You can’t deny people are awesome. Who doesn’t like sitting down with good friends to ask them interesting, insightful, and funny questions? That’s what 11 Questions is about. I’ll be featuring some friends I look up to as well as people within the community I’ve always wanted to get to know. As a bonus, I’ve updated some of the questions!


My mother always taught me, “the worst they can say is no…” I took that to heart and pitched some weird photo ideas to Jim for this piece. He turned down one but was game for the second. And that’s how we ended up with him, half-naked, in his bathtub. Cigar in hand and luffa by his side he was game for giving me the radio personality rundown so I could get an animated photo. And while Jim plays up his gruff side on-air, when you’re with him you can tell he’s a funny, kindhearted family man who just wants to have fun with those around him.

Who do you look up to?

I look up to people who endured setbacks to achieve their goals. I love hearing stories about people who were told no, that they couldn’t make it, make it. It takes courage and tenacity to ignore people who don’t understand your vision and believe in yourself. I greatly admire people with that gift.

Favorite book, album, musician?

I think it was ’96, or ’97 the first time I heard Tool. The album was Aenima. I grew up listening to everything from The Doors, Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, Jimi Hendrix, The Cars, Talking Heads, Blondie, and all of the hair metal. And I mean ALL of it. And although Tool was a heavy band, the music was this beautiful, melodic, dark tapestry of sound that struck quite a chord with me. Tribal drums and a haunting cascade of guitar provides an interesting canvas for lyrics boasting empathy, compassion, listening, and self-analysis. It changed the way I look at things. Not so black and white. There are so many grays before black.

What’s your favorite place to eat in Orlando?

You seriously expect me to name just one restaurant I like in Orlando? Lol. Can’t help you there. Here are a few. 

  • The Foreigner: Whatever Bruno is cooking, eat it. 
  • Kabooki Sushi: The Omakase dinner from Chef Henry Moso is one of the best meals I’ve ever had.
  • The Ravenous Pig: Red Wine Short Rib. 
  • Art Smith’s Homecoming: Jasper Board and fried Chicken. 
  • Pizza Bruno: Cherry Bomb and roasted Cauliflower. 

There are so many great spots in the city.

If you could mate two different species of animals what would they be?

A giraffe and a Dachshund. You know, just for a little ironic fun.

Who in your life has inspired you?

I had two inspirational grandparents in my life for two completely opposite reasons. My grandmother taught me the value of integrity. Doing the right thing even though it might be the toughest thing. She also led me down the fulfilling path of cooking and gave me one of my life’s great passions. My grandfather taught me to always be curious. Always wonder why. He was a tinkerer, and so am I. He was smart, self-taught, and painfully interesting. The things I continue to work on.

What are you proud of?

Yikes. I’m bad at this. I guess I’m proud that I was able to shield my family from my psychotic career and maintain a pretty healthy private/professional balance in my life. It was a challenge. However, my kids always got a kick out of complete strangers saying hi in the mall.

What rejuvenates you?

When I need to chill and recharge, I drive. I have an old Mustang with a really good sound system, and I love to just cruise and listen to music.  Everything from MGMT to Steely Dan. Loud. On the road, nothing is expected from you. Your attention is on driving. It’s like being on the ocean for me.

There anything you haven’t done yet which you feel compelled to do?

I would like to have a little restaurant one day. And before you say it, I know how insane that sounds. I just want to see if I could make it. Call it morbid curiosity.

How do you balance your personal and professional life?

See answer 1. I built an imaginary wall between myself and the radio station.

How do you hope to be remembered?

A great husband and dad, firstly. Secondly, I would like to be remembered as someone you could disagree with but still respect. Also, funny. Really funny.

If you were to choose a different career what would it be?

Man, I’m not sure. Maybe a chef? Deep-Fried Food Truck sounds fun and dangerous. Maybe a teacher. Who knows, I’m interested in a ton of things.

Click HERE to read more “11 Questions” columns by Brian Carlson.

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