Episode 23 - Joseph Carrabis, Founder, NextStage Evolution on “Why People Do What They Do.”
Hear Joseph describe the differences between neurolinguistic modeling, psychodynamic modeling and psychosocial modeling and how our brains are still working with 10 million years of evolutionary history. Get details on gender differences in the ways women create networks to establish power and authority and how men establish power and authority to create networks.
Joseph Carrabis, Founder, NextStage Evolution on "Why People Do What They Do."
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Susan Bratton: Welcome to Dishy Mix. This is your host, Susan Bratton. Hey, it’s great to have you listening today, I really appreciate it and I think you’re going to be very, very pleased with today’s show. You’re going to get to meet Joseph Carrabis. Joseph is the CRO, Chief Revenue Officer and founder of a couple of organizations – NextStage Evolution, NextStage Global. An amazing person who is literally been recommended to me by multiple previous Dishy Mix guests including Brad Berens and Jim Stern. Joseph has authored 23 books and over 300 articles and he has an amazing scope of expertise. We’re going to talk a lot about what all those big words are that he knows about today.
On today’s show, we’re going to talk about being a cultural linguist. We’re going to talk about the secret to understanding people. Let’s figure out what that is from Joseph. Joseph’s going to tell us how to make the world’s best pizza, or at least, I hope he will share his recipe. Apparently, he has bragging rights about it. We’re going to talk about some of the gender specific marketing discoveries that Joseph has made. An area that I find absolutely fascinating, including something called Fantasy Vectors. Which ever vector that is, I’m on for the ride.
We’re going to talk about power and authority. Two things I know the minute I say them get you excited. We’re going to talk about human brains a lot because that’s what Joseph studies. Cultural anthropology, of course, will be woven into the conversation as well as, I hope, we’ll get to what Joseph calls neurolinguistic modeling. I’m anxious to hear about it. Finally, kites as big as your car. We’re going to talk to Joseph about some of his passions and pleasures as well as all of his great brainy act information.
Joseph Carrabis: Anyone who knows me knows that just about everything interests me. I’m fascinated by everything because everything is just so fascinating. It’s an incredible world we live in. In my opinion, one of the core reasons that we develop the facility to have languages because it’s very important to gossip. Once we understood gossip, once we could share this kind of intimate knowledge about why we were doing what the other people were doing. It became excellent ways for us to understand, “Oh, I need to get on that person’s good side or that person’s not on high in the pecking order. I don’t need to be with them. What are those two people doing? How come she’s not with me? How come she’s with him?”
Then, because of the way we have evolved in time tend to be very hierarchical in nature. So, when men approach a social network, one of the things that they tend to want to find out is one’s pecking order. In a situation where there is no hierarchy, they will begin creating one. Women form social network by and large, to create communities, to establish, not a hierarchy, but extensions of themselves. It goes back to the fact that when women huddle together, they usually did it to protect themselves from aggressive males. If you were to say to someone in California or in New Hampshire or wherever, “If you had a direction for the past, where would you point and point to the direction of the past?” Most people point behind them. That’s where the past is in their psyche, in their neural wiring.
Well, these tribal people in South America, if you ask them where the past is, they’ll point directly ahead of them. “It’s right there.” “Why? How come it’s right there?” “Since you can see your past, you can’t see your future.”
Susan Bratton: Hi, Joseph.
Joseph Carrabis: Hi, there.
Susan Bratton: How are you today?
Joseph Carrabis: I’m fine, thank you.
Susan Bratton: Good. You’re traveling today, I think.
Joseph Carrabis: Yes, I’m in D.C.
Susan Bratton: So, you’re calling me from a hotel. All right. Well, thanks so much for taking time out of your day to be on Dishy Mix. Do you do a lot of interviews?
Joseph Carrabis: No, not really.
Susan Bratton: Yes? So, are you worried?
Joseph Carrabis: Only for you, my dear.
Susan Bratton: What are you worried about for me? What should I be watching out for today with you, Joseph?
Joseph Carrabis: To be very honest with you, I don’t think I’m that interesting a person and I’m always kind of intrigued when people say, “God! You’re fascinating!” But then, you do. I’d go, “No! it’s just…, but I do.”
Susan Bratton: Well, you know what? Pretty soon, you’ll just going to have to start believing us.
So, just to prove to our listeners a little bit about how fascinating your brain is, I can’t believe a number of things about what you’ve written. They include every thing from – and this is quite a laundry list of really big words. So, if you’re listening to me, stay with me because you’ll be amazed at the range.
Joseph has written books that cover cultural anthropology, database technology, information mechanics, language acquisition, learning and education theory, mathematics, social networks topologies and psycholinguistic modeling. His articles have covered computer technology, cultural knowledge modeling, equine management – I don’t know how the hell that one got in there – knowledge studies and applications, library science, martial arts, myth and folklore, neurolinguistic, psychodynamic and psychosocial modeling, group and tribal behavior and social interactions in New York City. That is the finest range of subject matter I have ever seen combined in a bio anywhere in my life!
Joseph, how the hell can you know all these stuff?
Joseph Carrabis: Well, first thing is, if somebody were to say “Do you know all that stuff?” I would say, “No, if I knew, then I wouldn’t spend my time researching it.” I have had people throughout my life say, “Why do you spend so much time learning?” “Well, what else do you have to do? If you’re just watch TV, then if you get the right channel, you’re learning anyway.” I’ve always been the kind of person that will just put my attention to whatever interest me. Anyone who knows me knows that just about everything interest me. I’m fascinated by everything because everything is just so fascinating. It’s an incredible world we live in.
Susan Bratton: It is.
Joseph Carrabis: There’s so many miraculous things that are going on. You mentioned I’m here in D.C. at the hotel. The other day, I was having salad lunch on the veranda and some bees took a fascination with my lunch. I just started paying attention to the bees and watching what they were doing and observing their behaviors. I said talking to the folks I was having lunch with and describing how the social behavior of these bees, it is very, very much a model for social networking behavior in business. The first bee found something it liked, it took a couple of bites, it went back, came back, “Yes, the food was still there.” Check it out again, said, “Yes, this is still good.” Flew off, next thing I know, there are two bees! So, went and tell their friends and said, “Hey, there’s something good over here. Look at this.” (++) bee came back, took a couple of bites, flew off. It’s just so intriguing.
Susan Bratton: Well, speaking of social networking, that’s one of the first areas that I wanted to talk about with you today. You’ve done some work that has information about gender specific marketing. You’ve discovered some things that are gender specific around power and authority in social networking? Tell us that story because everybody in the world right now is getting a million links on Facebook and there’s still work in LinkedIn. Tell us what we’re doing that for. What is driving us to do that?
Joseph Carrabis: That’s an excellent question. The reason that social frameworks are so interesting, so successful is because when our prehistoric ancestors that are doing stuff, one of the things they acquired, of course, was language. But, the reason they acquired language was so they can gossip. The real function – there’s going to be linguist out there. “No, shut that off. Tell them to stop.”
In my opinion, one of the core reasons is that we developed the facility to have language is because it was very important to gossip. Once we understood gossip, once we could share this kind of intimate knowledge about what we were doing, what the other people were doing, it became excellent ways for us to understand. “Oh, I need to get on that person’s good side. Oh, that person is not high in the pecking order. I don’t need to be with them. What are those two people doing? How come she’s not with me? How come she’s with him?”
So, one of the real joy – especially something like Facebook, we’re just as not in this room or just as on the street – the real power of that is the ability to have gossip essentially with people that are – you might think of them as being disenfranchised. I mean, electronically, they are disenfranchised. They’re millions of miles away. They might as well be. They’re not in the next room. You can’t touch them. So, you’d use a surrogate finger, if you will, to touch them. We touch them electronically and we feel close. We’re getting the gossip, we’re getting the good.
Susan Bratton: Do you think that’s why Twitter is so popular because it even brings that to a more rapid, a faster pace of touching?
Joseph Carrabis: I think Twitter is one of those things that’s going to create a new kind of social architecture actually. The ability to do a smart mob behavior which some people are obviously interested in pursuing especially in the political season. Yes, that’s what gives it this kind of power that’s what, right now, gives it life until something else comes on. The key that is required for people to be aware of is that, in the end, regardless of how people are reaching out to each other, people love to put in their hands stuff which has touched other human hands. So Twitter is good because it gives you a bit more intimacy. Literally, there’s something in your hand. But the end of all of these, is that these social networks has (++) as now as they are for whatever reasons they come into existence. They will come into existence at the end point so that people can hold each other’s hand.
Susan Bratton: So, how do I hold your hand in Facebook?
Joseph Carrabis: Well, in Facebook, I’ll give you a good example. Somebody that I’ve known for a long time electronically finally had a chance to meet them. One of the first things that happened was we gave each other a good embrace. The fact that we have that embrace, we have this electronic relationship, if you will. Then, we then formed a physical relationship, radically changes the dimensions of the online relationship.
People who approached me through Facebook, when Facebook comes up and says, “How do you know this person?” I always ticked off that we dated. I’ll let people know, I wrote down that we dated. So, you may want to change that. It’s kind of funny because one of the people that I’ve known for a while, she modified it to “We dated and broke up but we’re still good friends.” Again, that’s a gossip feature that’s propagating the network that she and I have, (++) there’s no that we’re very comfortable with each other. So, you’re welcome into the network. The physical aspect, we do touch. You know, we have shaken hands. We have given each other a good, warm embrace.
So, the intimacy that is created in Facebook will allow for – but perhaps not drive – the intimacy that happens in the real world where I see you and I walk up to you and I introduce myself, “Oh, yes! We’ve known each other for a long time.” You automatically have this smile because you share some kind of history with me. Now, you have a for real face, not just the picture to put to it. You have a voice. You have mannerisms and you have into more intimate detail information about my family and stuff like that. You know, I invite you over for pizza or something like that.
Now, when we go back to the electronic world, to our electronic counterpart, they’re much more enriched because every time you do something with me electronically, it’s not just this avatar. It’s that real person. From now on, you will hear my voice when you read an e-mail from me.
Susan Bratton: So, what are the gender specific differences? How do women approach social networking and how do men approach social networking?
Joseph Carrabis: Well, provided no one else is listening but you and me, I’ll tell you the secret.
Susan Bratton: OK, tell me the secret.
Joseph Carrabis: Men, because of the way we have evolved through time, tend to be very hierarchical in nature. So, when men approach a social network, one of the things that they tend to want to find out is one’s pecking order. In a situation where there is no hierarchy, they will begin creating one. They will look for leaders. They will look for (++). They will look for those they can literally say, “OK, he’s higher than I am and I’m lower than he is and that person’s looked at me.”
Women form social networks, by and large, to create communities, to establish not a hierarchy but extensions of themselves. It goes back to the fact that when women huddle together, they usually did it to protect themselves from aggressive males.
Susan Bratton: So, when women network online, they want to create a community. They want to find people who are like them, who will band together. What does that satisfy for us? We’re not protecting ourselves anymore. So, it has to have evolved, we’re getting something out of it and it’s not protection. What is it? Is it connection?
Joseph Carrabis: Well, when you say that “We’ve evolved”, I would disagree with that.
Susan Bratton: OK.
Joseph Carrabis: Because the way the brain works is the way the brain works and the fact that we have a technology that comes up and established themselves in ten years, it doesn’t mean that in a million years, neural wiring goes out the window.
Susan Bratton: Right.
Joseph Carrabis: What it does mean is that we find new ways to use the neural wiring. We start to apply it to new environments. So, we have a women’s network, women establish a group online somewhere, and in the wiring, there is, “We’re all going to get together and help each other.” However, where men might say, “We’re all going to get together and help each other”, their way of helping each other is passing along favors. Women has passing along information. “This worked and this didn’t work. Here’s why and how it will work for you.” In my estimation, you know, feminine side comes up – women have more capability, I believe. I’m not just saying this because I’m talking with you. I said it to my wife all the time.
Susan Bratton: Is her name Susan, too?
Joseph Carrabis: Yes. Her name is Susan.
Susan Bratton: Hey! That’s good!
Joseph Carrabis: Yes. All the powerful women in my life, (++).
Susan Bratton: Nice!
Joseph Carrabis: Now, I forgot where I’ve gone.
Susan Bratton: You’re going to say the women were better in some way.
Joseph Carrabis: Yes. Women are better in ways of connectivity because women have the ability – and this is really a wonderful thing that women will always bring to any kind of conversation. Let’s say that you and I are talking about something and let’s say that we’re both women or be it a male and a female. You get the information you need from me. Now, one of the things that women will do is, “OK, I heard from Joseph and I heard from Janice and I heard what they had to say about this product or service that I’m interested in. They also told me why it didn’t work for them or why it did work for them.” Then, women take that information and tend to go at some level, “How am I different from the people who gave me the information? Are the ways that I’m different going to cost me to have the same problems, less problems, different problems? Same successes, different successes?” That’s a very unique aspect of the female psyche. Whereas the male psyche will say, “Well, Joseph did it and it worked. So, I’ll give it a go, too. We’re going to totally forget the fact that Joseph is 52 years old and has certain ancestral traits and characters and genetic ability, all that kind of stuff.”
Susan Bratton: I don’t think I understood what you said. Let me say back to you what I think you said. What I think you said was women have the ability to show a gradation and how we differ. So, you and I differ. I can appreciate those differences and still apply the information you’ve given me about a product and say, “Well, it might not worked for Joseph because he’s 52 years old. But because I’m 46, I’m going to try that product anyway.” Is that what you’re saying?
Joseph Carrabis: That’s the start of it and it goes a bit beyond that.
Susan Bratton: OK.
Joseph Carrabis: You will recognize that there are differences and then you will begin to determine if the fact that those differences exist, give you a better chance of being successful.
Susan Bratton: OK, and men don’t do that. Is that what you’re saying, in general, that’s not a characteristic?
Joseph Carrabis: No. Men, in general, except in very high level of business, the male’s psyche is more wired to, “Joseph did it and he was successful, therefore, I will do it, too.”
Susan Bratton: Interesting. Yes. So, all that gradation, you know how women get slighted by the least little thing and all those things that we perceived that our husbands never alluded to that. You know, we’re like, “Oh, it was so clear to me. Did you see what she said? How she dished me and…” and stuff like that! That’s what you’re really talking about, isn’t it?
Joseph Carrabis: Yes, yes.
Susan Bratton: Love that! Well, one of the things that you had mentioned while you were talking about this was the neurolinguistic part of things. You have written about and studied a little bit about a lot of different kinds of modeling but I’m really interested in neurolinguistic modeling right now. I’m planning to take a training, an NLP training, and I think that – my husband tells me I’m naturally imbue a lot of the capabilities of NLP – but could you tell us what neurolinguistic modeling means and how that might apply to us as marketers just before we go to the break?
Joseph Carrabis: Neurolinguistic programming and neurolinguistic modeling are a little bit different.
Susan Bratton: OK.
Joseph Carrabis: NLP is what Bandler and Grinder came up with, I think, about ’75-’76, and a bunch of people kind of hooked down to it and end with it and created more and more aspects of it. Neurolinguistic modeling, there are actually three different types of levels. There’s psycholinguistic, sociolinguistic and neurolinguistic. So, sociolinguistic is the environment you were brought up in, the education you’ve had, the culture you live in. Psycholinguistic is you. That’s you, that’s how you utilize language. Neurolinguistic is the way the brain will understand and interpret language because it’s why you do things in certain ways.
For example, when somebody says to you, “Did you see the picture on the front of USA Today today?” The fact that I say, “See picture” is going to cost the optical center of your brain to begin firing merely because your brain is wired to fire those interests when those types of terms come up. So, when you do neurolinguistic modeling, one of the things you’re interested and in understanding is does the brain wiring change based on culture, based on social origins, etc., etc?
There’s a tribe in South America, for example, that has a very different concept of time than those of us who are raised in a Western culture paradigm do. This is where neurolinguistic modeling takes place. If you were to say to someone in California or in New Hampshire or wherever, “If you had a direction for the past, where would you point and point to the direction of the past?” Most people point behind them. That’s where the past is in their psyche, in their neural wiring.
Susan Bratton: Yes, right.
Joseph Carrabis: Well, these tribal people in South America, if you ask them where the past is, they’ll point directly ahead of them, “It’s right there.” “Why? How come it’s right there?” “Because you can see your past. You can’t see your future.” So, there’s a very clear example of different types of neural wiring. The same exact brain, if you will, given the fact that we all kind of have the same basic brain, is wired differently based on the language and the people.
Susan Bratton: You’ve written a lot of books. Are there any particular books that if someone’s listening today to Dishy Mix and they wanted to learn more about all of these things that you’ve processed, you processed a lot of these for marketers – what would you point us to to get more information?
Joseph Carrabis: Well, without this coming out as a plug…
Susan Bratton: Oh, no. I’m asking you, I’m really asking you for a plug.
Joseph Carrabis: OK. Reading “Virtual Minds” which we’re hoping to get fully published by the end of this year, and there’s an electronic version of it all over the place – but that’s really a description of how you figure out these tools, how you apply them to an online environment. The kinds of example that are utilized so that you will know how to place them and use them as screen, fire the right part of the brain because the purchase decision is to be made so that you will know what kind of language to use. How to set up a manual structure? What kind of videos to put online? So that the brain is doing the least amount of work it needs to do in order to achieve the goal you want the individual to achieve.
Susan Bratton: This sounds like it could be one of the most powerful online marketing books ever written to me.
Joseph Carrabis: Well, thank you and you’re absolutely correct. Tell all your friends.
Susan Bratton: All my friends, please, buy Joseph’s book.
All right, we’re going to take a quick break and when we come back, we’re going to talk about what it’s like to be a cultural linguist? I’m hoping for some examples. We’re going to talk about pizza. We’re going to talk about kites and who knows what else. So, this is your host, Susan Bratton. You’re listening to Dishy Mix with Joseph Carrabis. Stay tuned and we’ll be right back.
Susan Bratton: We’re back. At the break, Joseph told me I’ve been pronouncing his name wrong. It’s Joseph Carrabis, not Carrabis. So, that sounds a little bit maybe Scottish, Joseph. Is it?
Joseph Carrabis: (++).
Susan Bratton: What’s that mean?
Joseph Carrabis: That means, it’s not Scottish, it’s not Gaelic. (++). In Gaelic, my name is Seosaph (++) meaning Joseph.
Susan Bratton: Yes, Seosaph.
Joseph Carrabis: That has an interesting derivation because if you spell the name Seosaph, S-E-O-S-A-P-H, and I didn’t realize this. You know, when you’re given the name, you don’t know these things. The name, the way it is spelled, means either “Here it is” or it means Joseph. So, I just thought it was kind of funny. It sounds like my wife’s going, “Here it is again. OK.”
Susan Bratton: The other mistake that I made is that when I read CRO being a salesperson, I thought it was that you were the Chief Revenue Officer. But you were the Chief Research Officer, and of course, you are! That makes total sense to me and I’m sorry I messed both those things up. I wish I had asked that early on. But now, we fixed it for all to know.
So, next stage, that is your research company or those are your collective groups of research companies. But, before you started that, I wanted to talk about this cultural linguist thing. Obviously, you’ve just spoke some Gaelic to me. Tell me how all of that tied in? Where did you learn your language? What is that cultural linguist? How does that tie in to the work you do today?
Joseph Carrabis: Well, a cultural linguist, that to me is really a fascinating field of study. The example that I would give most people is the Western music system, the 8-note type of music system that we’re familiar with. Music theory, people in the music theory. One of the reasons that that system of music came about is because it’s very much tied to the languages we tended to speak that use those sounds. Original sounds came out of masses of the church and the church liturgies, so on and so forth. So, it’s all driven through the Latin, even though the 8-note system is only in the Latin world or Latin speaking world, not the language world. It tends to permeate it. Then, you take something like Gaelic, for example. Now, Gaelic tends to have a 5-note system and if you listen to Gaelic actually being sang – and I know that early on you said that you have (++) singing James Taylor, we’re not going to do that.
Susan Bratton: We’re not doing any James Taylor songs today.
Joseph Carrabis: We’re not doing James Taylor. You know, singing in Gaelic is really sounds like you’re just trying to clear your throat all the time. (++). Everyone out there who knows this is going, “Oh, he mispronounced it!”
Anyway, there’s a 5-note system in Scottish music and Gaelic music and Celtic music. One of the ways that we recognize this more obviously hear it is if you ever hear bag pipes playing. It’s such a haunting sound that comes out of those things. Well, it’s because it’s a different note system. It’s not one that we, you who are Western-trained minds are very familiar with. So naturally, when we hear that, our minds go, “That’s unique. That’s strange. That’s haunting that’s out there.” But the Gaelic language, of course, the Celtic language system, they are uniquely tuned to the music systems which came from them. So, when you sing in Gaelic, if you ever listen to people who really know the language, know the music, you will hear that same kind of interesting cadence in the way they pronounce things because the way that the language formed was closely tied to the way the music came about. That is cultural linguistic.
If you listen to native Americans, Lacota, Menominee, when they sing, they’re (++) chants. There’s times when they actually sing words and there are times when they are just coming out with I call blind vocabu. In other words, they’re just making sounds. It’ll be kind of like, if you and I…
Susan Bratton: Like SCA.
Joseph Carrabis: What’s that?
Susan Bratton: Like SCA.
Joseph Carrabis: Yes, exactly. We’re just coming out with sounds that make sense. When I teach this to different groups, I demonstrate by just saying, “I’m going to make up a sound and I’m going to say it in different ways. You’ll know what emotions I’m conveying.” So I can say, “Imaa?” and you’ll know I’m asking a question.
Susan Bratton: Yes.
Joseph Carrabis: Or I go, “Hu, naah!” then something is bothering me.
Susan Bratton: Yes, you’re annoyed.
Joseph Carrabis: Or then I go, “(++)”, you know then we’re doing something different.
Susan Bratton: Yes. “You’re pushing me!”
Joseph Carrabis: Yes.
Susan Bratton: So, how many languages do you speak?
Joseph Carrabis: None.
Susan Bratton: Do you just know a lot of phraseology and construct of many languages?
Joseph Carrabis: Well, I can get my face let in just any part of the world. I know Italian because I was raised speaking it and it takes me about 10-15 minutes of hearing it to begin speaking it again. The funny thing is, when I go visit my sisters, my wife who doesn’t have any Italian, first time she visited my family, my mother, at the end of the, you know, getting together and we’re going to drive back to college – my mother comes over to me and she said, “Is there something wrong with your girl?” I went, “What do you mean?” She said, “She’s often quiet.” “Oh, really? Maybe she’s thinking about a task or something, I don’t know.” So then, Susan and I are driving back to school and all of a sudden, she turns to me and she said, “What language was your family speaking?” And I had to think about it. It was the first time that, consciously, I thought to myself, “Oh, that’s right. They speak Pidgin English, don’t they? They don’t exactly speak English and they don’t speak Italian.”
So, you know, I have that. I have Gaelic because I love the Scottish language. The highlands Gaelic is such a powerful language. I have enough French to make mistakes when I order at a restaurant. German, I think that’s it. I have no Spanish. People are stunned that I have absolutely no Spanish but I can’t seem to get my head around it. I worked on a Portuguese farm for a number of years so I took up enough Portuguese to make myself understood.
Susan Bratton: All right, I’m writing this down. Of course, there’s one, two, three, four, five, six including English plus I’m sure, a smattering of other things. You told me you play several musical instruments. Then, you went on to list them – the clarinet, the oboe, the alto and soprano sax, six- and twelve-stringed guitar, banjo, mandolin, bass, fiddle, bag pipes, Northern Woodland’s flute, tin pipe flute, piano, harpsichord, organ, something called (++), which you’ll have to tell us what that is, and, apparently, only one of them at an orchestra level. So, you speak six languages and you – how many instruments is that? I have to count them up – eighteen instruments. How did that happen, Joseph?! And, wow! Why
Joseph Carrabis: Well, I speak the languages because one of the jobs I had early on in my life, I signed on as a deck hand on a deep see trawler and the captain took a liking to me. He was just this real old soul who’ve been everywhere in the world and all that kind of stuff. He said, “If you really want people to understand, you have to speak their language.” You know, that’s an obvious type of thing. But, where I applied it is, when I want to have a decent meal at the Three Chimneys on the Isle of Skye, that’s a plug for one of my favorite places. If you listeners, ever get to the Isle of Skye, get directions to Three Chimneys and tell them “Swisha and Seosaph“ and you’ll going to be really taken cared of.
Anyway, it’s one thing to recognize this when you’re learning a new language. However, in business, language of Web Analytics is not the language of Biomechanics. So if you really want to be understood, apply the same very sensible old South rule to learning the language of Web Analytics, of marketing analytics. Take your pick. You know, we’re doing a podcast and you have a language around developing podcasts that will be very foreign to me. I would recognize there are words but I would not know their meaning.
Susan Bratton: Right.
Joseph Carrabis: So, learning language, you know, do you want to be understood? Do you want to be paid attention to? Do you want to just be able to share information? Well, then, you have to learn someone’s language. The music (++), I came up from a very musical family. So, my uncles and parents and stuff, we get around. Who is sitting at the piano? Who brought over the guitar? Who did this and who did that? It is kind of amusing when people walked into our house saying, they’d go to the music room and they’d say, “Did you, guys, loot some music store or something?”
But, I love music. Now that I’m kind of almost semi-retired, I spend probably an hour a day playing guitar. I have a wonderful, wonderful, wonderful mentor, Gerhard Birkenmeier who’s a phenomenal jazz guitarist who occasionally will take pity on me. He’ll come over and help me. So, I spend about an hour a day doing that and maybe half hour on the piano and pick up other instruments as I wish. Nine times out of 10, what I’ll do is compose music for Susan, my Susan. Sometimes, she’ll just say to me, “That was really beautiful.” It becomes one of hers.
Susan Bratton: Oh, that’s charming. Really charming.
So, I am sensitive to our listeners’ time. I only asked for half an hour a week. I’m sensitive to your hard stuff. But, I’m also a greedy little pig and I want my last two or three minutes with you. Here’s I want to talk about because I promise we would. I would like for you to just describe these ginormous – as my little girl says – kites and then I would like you to leave us today with your secret to making the best pizza in the world, or at least, in the surrounding states of New Hampshire all the way up into Canada.
Joseph Carrabis: OK. The kites, I enjoy physical activity.
Susan Bratton: Describe the kites, Joseph. So, just take one the most impressive ones and paint that little picture for us, will you?
Joseph Carrabis: OK. One of my most fun kites would fit over a dump truck, a good sized dump truck. It would envelope it. In a nice, moderate wind – it doesn’t have to be a strong wind – this will inflate itself. It’s a (++) type of kite, it’s kind of like a parachute, a parasail. It will begin lifting and if you’re not strapped in properly and if you don’t have yourself tied to something very heavy like a jeep, you will get airborne. It’s great. It’s just so exhilarating to feel nature working with you.
Susan Bratton: How high up do these kites fly?
Joseph Carrabis: Depending on the lines you have, they’ll go anywhere from 75 feet up to about 500 feet and if you’re not careful, they will take you with them. They have pictures of me anywhere from six feet to about 50 feet off the ground.
Susan Bratton: Wow! And, what was it like to land?
Joseph Carrabis: Painful.
Susan Bratton: Yes! That’s what I would have thought! You should take up kite surfing and do it over the water.
Joseph Carrabis: That’s one of the things I’m exploring. I do what is called kite dragging which is kite surfing on the land, and it’s a lot of fun. We have big spread up in Nova Scotia that I go to and bring out the kites and have friends strapped themselves in. We actually have a lot of pictures of the NextStage people playing with kites one afternoon because we just we’re dead on how to get out of the office.
Susan Bratton: That’s a good thing. What about going on a skateboardie kind of thing like an ATV skateboard? Have you ever done it that way?
Joseph Carrabis: That’s another one that I’m going to be trying again now that I have a few more hours in my day.
Susan Bratton: Yes. My husband has done that. He is a kite surfer and he learned how to really fly a big, heavy kite in wind on land before he went out into the ocean.
Joseph Carrabis: Yes.
Susan Bratton: Yes. It’s an amazing thing to watch those guys doing their flips and everything. Gosh!
Joseph Carrabis: Well, a few (++) that he’ll know and your listeners will know that I have Q2002, Q2004. I have Power Wings, the 15-meter Power Wings and the 6.2-meter Power Wing. I have a Track Sacks called to (++) actually give me a lifting capability.
Susan Bratton: So, that meant absolutely nothing to me but I’m absolutely sure there will be many listeners who will like that.
All right, so, for all the rest for us, pizza eaters, leave us with your best secrets.
Joseph Carrabis: Best secrets to making an incredible pizza is to make sure you put love into it and you love the people that will going to be eating it.
Susan Bratton: That’s a good start for you. We want a recipe.
Joseph Carrabis: Well, I always start by actually making my own dough.
Susan Bratton: OK.
Joseph Carrabis: That’s a daylong experience. I usually start at about 9 in the morning and if we’re going to have friends over, about 7 o’clock at night. There’s a lot of kneading. You have to really work yourself into it. If you don’t have good back and shoulder muscles, it’s going to be exhausting. You don’t do this with the machine, you do this with your own hands. You work the dough and you work it repeatedly. I will go through probably seven to eight risings of the dough so that by the time I’m actually turning the dough out and making the pie, the shells, I have very, very elastic dough. Very, very sticky, elastic dough.
Now, here’s a recipe for your listeners. This is one that I don’t often share, but because it’s you, (++).
Susan Bratton: Thank you.
Joseph Carrabis: It’s called the Northern Light Pizza. What you do is you get Fontana cheese.
Susan Bratton: Love it.
Joseph Carrabis: It’s a white creamy cheese, grated up nice and fine. The first layer, you roll out the dough. You make your pie crust, you lay that out. You take oil, nice good virgin olive oil and just dabble it on the dough. So, your first layer is actually oil. Then, you take your seasonings. You take your garlic, spread them out to your own taste. I like to put a little bit of crushed red pepper in it to give a little bit of kick. Then, you take the Fontana cheese and layer it on. If you have cholesterol problems, just don’t eat this cheese. But if you’re otherwise, layered it on. Make it good and thick. Get some fresh red pepper out of the garden, just like a salad red pepper. Dice that up, sprinkle that on top. Then, the final layer is some nice Parmesan, some good hard Parmesan – Asiago is good – and just light, just finger it on top there. Put it on the oven for 10-15 minutes at about 450-475.
When that comes out, number one, the smell. People come down the street when I’m cooking it. “You’re making pizza, aren’t you? I can tell.” But between the garlic and the cream of the cheese which is melted into it and the Asiago giving it a nice little kick, the hot pepper giving it a nice little kick, it is one of the mot tasty things and simple, simple, simple to make. Again, the big thing is you got to lay out the crust. You got to work the crust, you got to be getting the risings. That’s the toughest part of it.
Susan Bratton: It does sound difficult but it sounds like something I’d like to learn. Also, anybody could, if they wanted to buy a pizza shell already done and at least, make the topping part. That sounds fabulous. Got our mouths watering, we’re seeing kites flying. We’ve gotten so much information about you and people that I think is really helpful. And mostly just, I think, turned on to you some really great work. I can’t wait to read your book.
Joseph Carrabis: Thank you.
Susan Bratton: You said there’s excerpts online already, right?
Joseph Carrabis: Yes. They are. Just go to the HungryPeasant.com.
Susan Bratton: Hungry Peasant. OK! Hey, thank you for that. That’s helpful. We don’t like to have to Google everything. HungryPeasant.com, we shall go, we shall read, we shall cook and we shall – I don’t know – continue to enjoy all the great work that you bring to the Web so we can learn from all the amazing things that you’re teaching us. So, thank you, Joseph, for being on the show today. I really had a good time. I know our listeners did and I hope you enjoyed it, too.
Joseph Carrabis: Yes. I did. Thank you very much.
Susan Bratton: It’s my pleasure. All right. This is your host, Susan Bratton. Thanks so much for listening to Joseph tonight today. Next week, you know, I’ll have another really fun person for you. So I hope you’ll tune in. Have a great day. Bye bye.
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