Born November 4, 1979 in Louisville / Height: 165 cm / Weight: “none of your business… deuce, deuce and a half” / Blue eyes / Favorite Atari game: Donkey Kong
Carla Marie Wettig is stealthily amazing. From her everyday office professionalism, working in marketing for an insurance corporation, you’d never know that she graduated from an Ivy League school with a degree in linguistics. From her boisterous enthusiasm among friends, you’d never suspect that she researched cognitive neuroscience at the National Institutes of Health in Washington, DC. Unless the trivia topic was pop culture, you may never know that she has an encyclopedic and up-to-the-minute knowledge of celebrity gossip. And if you weren’t her good friend you might not know how loyal, honest and hilarious she is.
I found out how forgiving she is many years ago when we did a shot of bourbon one night in a friend’s kitchen. Mine went down the wrong pipe. I coughed and my shot of bourbon sprayed all over her face and jacket. I instantly felt awful. I still feel bad about it. She didn’t flinch or get upset and she immediately thought it was funny.
I found out how generous she is when I was waiting for my Swedish residence permit to be approved. I had already sold nearly everything I owned in the US and had nowhere to live while waiting for the green light. She and her equally awesome boyfriend Joel let me stay in their house for many months.
Born in Louisville on the fourth of November in 1979, Carla is now 165 cm tall with blue eyes. She weighs, “none of your business… deuce, deuce and a half.”
PHOTOS BY LINDSAY CAMERON
WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE ATARI GAME?
King Kong… I mean, Donkey Kong. I was thinking of what’s my favorite movie, which is Peter Jackson’s “King Kong.”
[laughter] OH. IS IT? WOW, YOU’RE JUMPING AHEAD TO LIKE QUESTION #30. IS IT REALLY?
Noooo. [laughter] I love bad movie. So whenever that’s on, I can’t stop watching it.
TELL ME ABOUT YOUR FIRST CAR.
Whoa, my first car was my ’84 Volvo 240 DL. White. Beige fabric lining.
DID YOU WRECK IT?
I did not wreck it, actually. I loved that car. Basically the transmission went out.
I SEE. IT WAS AN AUTOMATIC?
HAVE YOU EVER ACCIDENTALLY THROWN SOMETHING AWAY AND HAD TO GO FISHING THROUGH THE GARBAGE TO FIND IT?
Yes. [five seconds] I know I have, but I can’t think of something.
Do you know something I don’t? [laughs]
NO, ALTHOUGH SOME OF THESE QUESTIONS, I HAVE RECEIVED SOME HELP FROM SOME OF YOUR FRIENDS. BUT NOT THIS ONE.
No, I mean nothing funny. Stuff at work.
NOT LIKE A RETAINER OR ANYTHING? DID YOU EVER HAVE BRACES?
I did, in middle school.
HOW DID THAT WORK OUT FOR YA?
Good. I wanted them. My teeth were jacked. [laughter] Overbite, buck-toothed, gap between the two front teeth…
WHO KNEW! [laughter] LOOK AT YOU NOW. IT ALL PAID OFF!
WHEN YOU’RE READING BY YOURSELF, DOES YOUR MOUTH MOVE?
[three seconds] I don’t think it does. Is this a question from Lindsay?
WHEN YOU’RE READING BY YOURSELF, DOES YOUR MOUTH MOVE?
[three seconds] I don’t think it does. Is this a question from Lindsay [Cameron]?
NO… [laughter] NOW YOU’RE GOING TO BE SPECULATING ON EVERY QUESTION. [laughter]
No. As far as I know, it does not. But the reason I said “Lindsay” is because when we were in Aruba, we were sitting by the pool and I was reading one of those Sookie Stackhouse books that “True Blood” is based on…
[in a vampire voice…] SOOKIE!
…Sookie! [laughter] And I got to this sex scene in the book and I was like, “Oh, my!” And Lindsay just started laughing at me. [laughter] ..but I don’t think so. I’m not a ruh-tard. [laughter]
KENTUCKY’S FLAG HAS NINE WORDS ON IT. WHAT ARE THEY?
[five seconds, counting on her fingers…] Wait. I thought it was: “United we stand, divided we fall,” but that’s only six.
THAT’S SOME OF ’EM.
“Commonwealth of Kentucky?” “E Pluribus Unum?”
I’M GONNA HAVE TO ASK FOR YOUR ANSWER.
That’s it. “United we stand, divided we fall” and “Commonwealth of Kentucky.”
YEAH. YOU GOT IT! [laughter] HOW IMPORTANT ARE YOU?
Wait, are you gonna tell me the answer?
YEAH, THAT’S CORRECT. “COMMONWEALTH OF KENTUCKY,
UNITED WE STAND, DIVIDED WE FALL.”
Okay. That checks out. If you count the “of” then that checks out.
I’m pret-ty, pret-ty fuckin’ important. [disappointed…] I thought you would have known that by now.
OH! I JUST WONDERED IF YOU KNEW. [sigh] SO, YOU GRADUATED FROM AN IVY LEAGUE SCHOOL WITH A DEGREE IN LINGUISTICS, AND YOU WORKED IN COGNITIVE NEUROSCIENCE RESEARCH AT THE NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH IN WASHINGTON, DC…
Who gave you my resumé?
…HOW COME YOU’RE SUCH AN IDIOT? [laughter]
[playing dumb] In what context? [laughter] Can you give me an example?
Uh… I faked it?
YEAH. SO YOU’RE ADMITTING THAT YOU CHEATED YOUR WAY THROUGH CORNELL?
Ehhh, a little bit but not really.
WHEN YOU WORKED FOR THE GOVERNMENT DID YOU HAVE LIKE A SECURITY CLEARANCE?
No, not like you hear on TV. “I have Access Level Three.” No, it wasn’t like that at all. And it’s really funny because when I worked at the NIH, all I did was go on MySpace [laughter] and chat on AOL the whole time, and now that I work at Humana [health insurance company], you can’t do any of that of stuff. [laughter] And at NIH it was post-9/11 and all they would do is look at my badge, and I would walk past, and that was it.
THAT WAS POST-9/11?
Yeah. I did both. I did a pre- and a post-9/11.
WHEN YOU WORKED THERE, DO THE COMPUTERS AT THE GOVERNMENT REALLY GO “BBBRRRRR… BEEP BEEP BIP BIP DOOT DOOT BEEP…” WHEN YOU’RE LOADING AN IMAGE?
Yeah, they do. They do. They make those little sounds and there’s like holograms that come out of like a pyramid and then is says like [super high-pitched] beeepbeeepbeeepbeeep. And then I just say, “Okay, zoom in. Clean it up.” And then it looks good.
Enhance! And then I can see the “perp.” [laughter]
I HAVE NO IDEA HOW I’M GONNA TRANSCRIBE “BBBRRR BEEPBEEPBEEP BOOBOOP BBRBRRR.” [laughs] SO HOW DID YOU GET THAT JOB AT THE NIH?
I did some research while I was at Cornell to figure out where I could do neurolinguistic work. There are only certain states and schools and research facilities that have fMRI machines used for this type of work. I got a phone call from someone in the lab and did a phone interview since I was in Louisville and NIH is in Rockville, Maryland. I aced the interview because I got it like that. [laughter] Meaning, I faked my way through it, again. [laughter]
CAN YOU EXPLAIN TO US REGULAR DUMMIES WHAT YOU DID THERE?
Well, it was a lot like a summer internship, it just lasted longer – almost 2 years. It wasn’t as glamorous as it may sound. The study I was doing was checking for the area of brain activation in Aphasic patients when we showed them animate vs. inanimate objects on a screen while they’re in the fMRI. Basically all I did was working with these images. So I spent the majority of my time fixing up these images in Corel Draw.
COREL DRAW! [much laughter] I ALWAYS WONDERED WHO USED THAT PROGRAM!
I was able to scan a couple people in the fMRI, which is why I was there. But I learned that maybe that type of job wasn’t for me. Especially since I quit to work full time at a bourbon bar in Georgetown.
YES! THAT PLACE WAS AWESOME.
OKAY, SO I KNOW YOU DON’T WEAR THE GLASSES WITH RED FRAMES ANYMORE, BUT I HAVE A QUESTION ABOUT THEM.
DO YOU FEEL LIKE THEY WERE INTIMIDATING TO PEOPLE?
[surprised laugh] Uhh… no?
NO? I MEAN, WHAT DID YOU MEAN BY WEARING RED GLASSES? WHAT DID YOU MEAN BY THAT?
[perplexed by the question] Um? I wanted to wear red glasses and they were Michael Kors, soo… they were extra special.
[impersonating Michael Kors’ greeting from Project Runway] “HEY, GUYS.”
“Hey, guys.” [laughter… then using a much deeper voice to impersonate Michael Kors’ mother…] “Miiichael…” [laughter]
[in a deep, manly voice…] “HEY, SON.” [laughter] SO, DID YOU PLAN YOUR OUTFITS TO MATCH YOUR GLASSES?
It would be coinkidinky, like I had my red Lacoste shirt.
DO YOUR PARENTS KNOW WHO YOU REALLY ARE?
DO THEY HAVE AN IPAD?
[laughter] OKAY! THEN I CAN ASK YOU SOME MORE QUESTIONS ABOUT THAT.
My dad… They were just here this morning and my dad was talking about how… Oh, what was he saying? “Too much effort.” Like us having Netflix over the Internet was like beyond his scope…
You know we have that antenna because we don’t have cable…
YEAH. SO YOU WERE LIKE, “YEAH, AND WE WATCH MOVIES ON THE ONLINE… THROUGH OUR TV.” THAT WAS BLOWING HIS MIND?
[nods in agreement]
DOES [YOUR BOYFRIEND] JOEL REALLY THINK YOU’RE AN ALCOHOLIC OR IS HE JUST EXAGGERATING?
Uhh… [three seconds] He does.
HE DOES? [laughs] ARE YOU?
Not by my definition.
[laughing] NO, I DON’T THINK SO EITHER. [laughter… grabbing a drink off the table…] BOTTOMS UP!
[laughter] I think I’m a high-functioning alcoholic.
IS IT “THE LEVEIN TEAM”?
No, it’s the May Team. But we had looked at tons of houses before this one, and she called me at work at 2:00 and was like, “This house just went up five minutes ago. Do you wanna come see it right after work?” And it was the first one that [Joel] and I were both like, “This is it.” And it was drastically underpriced. We did a full offer.
WHEN YOU BUY A HOUSE, YOU HAVE TO BE IN LOVE WITH IT, RIGHT?
Yes. It’s like a feeling, I mean, obviously… I don’t think you were here when we first bought it, to have seen the dramatic changes… But it’s more of like a… You don’t want to settle. You don’t want to have one that he loves and I’m like, “Ehh…” or that I love and he’s like that.
YEAH. WHY ARE YOU SLEEPY ALL THE TIME?
[excited] I don’t know! Why am I hungry all the time?
THAT WAS MY NEXT QUESTION!
[laughter] I am always tired. I’m always hungry. I’m always bored.
What’s the other one? We have another one?
OH, WHY DO YOU ALWAYS WANT A DRINK?
Yeah. And that goes back to the “bored” thing.
I FEEL YOUR PAIN, BUDDY. I FEEL YOUR PAIN. HAVE YOU EVER TRIED TO FALL ASLEEP SOBER?
Yeah, I have been the past couple nights.
OH GOOD. HOW’D THAT WORK OUT?
Uh, it was okay because I’m on pain meds, so that makes it like…
OFF THE RECORD, WHY ARE YOU ON PAIN MEDS?
[laughs] I had my other foot surgery done a week and a half ago.
SERIOUSLY, OFF THE RECORD, BUT WHAT’S GOING ON WITH YOUR FOOT?
Don’t you remember I had foot surgery right after you left?
MAYBE? LIKE 2009?
No! In October . I had it in October.
OH! AFTER I LEFT LAST TIME.
I was hoping that you wouldn’t leave because I was going be home from work and I was gonna be bored.
OH RIGHT. I DO RECALL THAT. YEAH.
Then you booked your ticket for like a month earlier.
YEAH, I WAS LIKE, “LATER! SORRY I CAN’T ENTERTAIN YOU. HERE’S THE REMOTE! LATER!” [laughter] OKAY, LET’S GO BACK ON THE RECORD NOW. TELL ME ABOUT YOUR CELEBRITY CRUSH ON [CONVICTED MURDERER] SCOTT PETERSON.
Oh, man! I mean, have you seen him? [laughing…] He’s dreamy! [laughter] No, but what I was gonna say what was my obsession with the Laci Peterson trial, now is the Casey Anthony trial. [laughter] It’s so good!
ARE YOU AS COOL AS YOU’D LIKE TO BE?
WHAT WOULD MAKE YOU COOLER?
If I was skinnier, had better clothes, knew how to style my hair… Maybe tone down the bitchiness.
[laughs] I THINK YOU HAVE GOOD CLOTHES.
…or had hobbies maybe?
I don’t have any hobbies. You know, to meet people and be “cool.”
WHAT KIND OF HOBBIES WOULD YOU LIKE? MODEL RAILROADING? IS THAT PRETTY COOL?
Joel makes fun of me that I don’t have any hobbies, and I’m like, “What would I do?”
ARE YOU AN ADULT?
WHEN DO YOU THINK YOU DID OR WILL YOU BECOME AN ADULT FOR REAL?
I think I’m halfway there because I have adult bills and an adult house. Things like that. I think I’m not an adult because if you talk about people our age being married or already divorced or having kids… and I’m like, “I’m still a kid, so I don’t really want a kid.” [laughter]
TELL ME ABOUT YOUR SOFA.
It’s special because it was expensive. [laughter] It was probably the first large purchase that we made together – that Joel and I made together. It’s from Habitation, which is a contemporary furniture store at The Summit. There’s nowhere else in Louisville to get a couch that is not microsuede or velour or whatever that shit is. So that was the only place that had modern lines, or somewhat midcentury modern decor.
LET ME ASK YOU THIS ABOUT YOUR SOFA: WHY ARE PEOPLE NOT ALLOWED TO EAT ON IT, BUT YOU LET YOUR FILTHY, MANGEY DOG JUMP ALL OVER IT?
He’s not filthy. He’s no longer mangey. He got a haircut. And he is precious and he can do whatever he wants.
[laughter] WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE MOVIE?
King Kong. [laughter]
NO IT’S NOT! I KNOW THAT IT’S NOT!
[laughter] I don’t think I have a favorite. What’s yours?
UM, I THINK MAYBE “ELECTION.” THERE ARE A FEW THAT ARE MY FAVORITES LIKE “FALLING DOWN” AND “ELECTION” OR “PEE-WEE’S BIG ADVENTURE” AND “HELVETICA.” I THINK THERE’S A DISTINCTION BETWEEN WHAT ARE MY FAVORITE MOVIES AND WHAT I THINK ARE THE BEST MOVIES.
BECAUSE THOSE ARE DEFINITELY NOT THE BEST MOVIES EVER MADE, BUT I LIKE THEM THE BEST.
I was gonna say, I guess the best movie I’ve seen in a while, that left an impression on me, would be “Inception.” But if we’re talking about a movie that I could watch over and over, a favorite would be “Team America.”
OH YEAH! THAT’S A PRETTY GOOD ONE. WHAT ELSE CAN YOU WATCH OVER AND OVER. LIKE “WET HOT AMERICA
Yeah. “The Ten.” [laughter] Lately I’ve
been watching “Hot Tub Time Machine” multiple times. [laughter]
REAAALLY? I COULDN’T GET THROUGH IT THE FIRST TIME.
You should give it another try.
IF THERE WAS A MOVIE ABOUT YOU, WHO SHOULD PLAY YOU AND WHY?
Tori Spelling. [much laughter] Because we’re both pretty busty and good at being a bitch.
WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE THREAD-COUNT?
WHOA! THAT’S A FANCY SHEET!
Yeah, well, anything… We have a set of 600, but there’s really not quite a distinction after 350 or something. They just feel fantastic.
DO YOU BELIEVE IN OUR LORD AND SAVIOR JESUS CHRIST?
… I don’t not believe. I mean he really did exist as a man.
RIGHT. DO YOU THINK HE WAS CUTE?
WHEN I STAY AT YOUR HOUSE, I OFTEN SEE THAT EITHER YOU OR JOEL (OR BOTH OF YOU) PUT THE TOILET PAPER ON THE DISPENSER IN THE “UNDER” FASHION. A FEW QUESTIONS ABOUT THAT: WHO IS DOING THIS? IS IT COINCIDENTAL OR RANDOM, OR IS IT A CONSCIOUS CHOICE?
When I was growing up I used to obsess about the toilet paper roll direction. It HAD to be “under.” I don’t know why, but that’s how it had to be. Kind of like I’m loyal to NBC and Dawne Gee. I was loyal to the underhand way. It was so bad that I would change it to “under” at other people’s houses. Didn’t matter who. But since I’ve been on crazy pills, I no longer obsess over this and many other things. It’s called rumination. So to answer your question, it’s just coincidence. Joel has never been crazy and could care less. I’m sure he’s oblivious to the direction the toilet paper roll is facing.
HAVE YOU AND JOEL DISCUSSED WHICH TOILET PAPER ORIENTATION IS PROPER?
No. Again, he’s not crazy.
WHICH WAY DO YOU PREFER?
If I pay attention, I do prefer “under.” It just makes sense to me.
HAVE YOU NOTICED THAT I CHANGE IT TO THE “OVER” FASHION EVERY
TIME I SEE IT POSITIONED THE OTHER WAY?
I did not notice, but I appreciate the effort.
[laughs] DO YOU FEEL LIKE I HAVE OVERSTEPPED MY BOUNDARIES AS A HOUSE GUEST BY INTRODUCING MY PREFERENCES INTO YOUR PERSONAL HYGIENE PRODUCTS?
No, I don’t feel you overstepped for changing the toilet paper roll direction. I think you overstepped when two or three weeks as a house guest turned into six months. [laughter] JK! JK! JK!
HOW DO YOU THINK IT MAKES YOUR SISTER [MINDY] FEEL THAT YOU’RE THE FAVORITE AND THAT YOU’RE SO SUCCESSFUL?
I think that’s partly why she’s going crazy. I mean, I really am the favorite.
YEAH. DO YOU FEEL BAD FOR HER?
[reluctantly] Yeah. I do.
HAVE THEY [MINDY AND HER FIANCÉ BEN] MOVED INTO THEIR NEW HOUSE YET?
[laughing a lot] Yeah! Yeah!
WHY IS THAT SO FUNNY?
Because you’ve asked me that multiple times and they’ve been there for like a year!
[laughing] HA! I GUESS IT’S A DIFFERENT HOUSE THAN THAT CRACKHOUSE I SAW PICTURES OF?
THAT’S WHY I GUESS I’M SO SURPRISED THAT THEY’VE MOVED INTO THE HOUSE.
Yeah, I don’t know what they’re doing.
ARE THEY GETTING MARRIED?
They have a wedding date set.
OH DO THEY? … SO I THINK THAT’S ABOUT ALL THE QUESTIONS. IS THERE ANYTHING THAT YOU THOUGHT I WOULD ASK YOU ABOUT THAT WE DIDN’T COVER? OR ANYTHING THAT YOU FEARED?
That I feared?
[laughs] You fucking asshole. [laughter] Still? Still doing Duncan jokes? [much laughter]THERE IS ONE QUESTION THAT I SKIPPED BECAUSE I FEEL LIKE IT’S REALLY INAPPROPRIATE AND I WON’T PRINT IT, BUT… I WAS GOING TO INCLUDE IN THE MIDDLE OF THE INTERVIEW, “SO IS DUNCAN A PRETTY GOOD KISSER?” [Duncan Barlow, K Composite 5]
YEAH. WELL, THAT WAS VIRTUALLY PAINLESS, WASN’T IT?
Can you make me sound witty?
I’LL SEE WHAT I CAN DO, BUT YOU GOTTA CONSIDER WHAT I’M WORKIN’ WITH HERE.
PHOTOS BY LINDSAY CAMERON