Links to Other Journals I Like
This is by not quite a complete list of the journals I read, but it's a
starting point. If I waited until it was finished,
it would never get uploaded. I put the titles in alphabetical order (at least by what I call the bookmarks, which are not necessarily the real journal titles) to keep from offending anyone. If somebody wants to get upset, let them rail at my too brief descriptions. The quotes are all from relatively recent (as of September 2001) entries, because I am too lazy to go too far back into the archives. I didn't pull out anything from my Inactive Journals folder, which I use when a journal hasn't been updated in three months. (I check those about once a month to see if they've come back to life. I rarely delete a bookmark, though.) Nor did I list anything from the folder I have of journals to get around to reading someday when I have time.
Description: Poetic grad student
Journal Quote: Nobody gets a chance to re-live their lives and make different decisions. I'd be curious to see how things turned out-- not making "better" decisions necessarily, but different ones. Would I be the happy, relatively well-adjusted person I am today?
Would I be a better person? Worse?
I'm sure everyone out there could say the same thing. Point to this or that decision that changed their lives. But ultimately, I think, what changes your life is the people who are in it. I'm lucky to have had these people in my life.
Whether it was coincidence, or fate, that brought them here.
Author: Lucy Huntzinger
Description: Travel agent provacateur
Journal Quote:Oh, but I have a good client story for you. A guy wanted me to book him a hotel room in Rome. He didn't want to pay much, he just wanted a clean, safe room with a bed and a private bathroom. Fine by me, I know several decent, inexpensive hotels in Rome. I was all set to make some suggestions when he said he had a special request. No problem, I handle special requests all the time. On a particular diet and need a certain type of airline meal? Want tickets to a show? Require a private limo? Won't stay in a room if the color scheme is pink? Gotcha covered. I do some pretty amazing things for clients. I waited to hear what he had in mind.
He wanted to make sure there would be an electrical outlet in the room. He would not compromise on this issue, no siree. He absolutely had to have an electrical outlet.
Now there's a guy who's easy to please. And he thought the fee well worth it, I might add.
Description: Overachiveing M.I.T. alumna
Journal Quote:Golden Boy has a dictionary that says, across the top of the dust jacket, "The dictionary for people who have to be right." That is my dictionary, or at least that is the dictionary I was meant to have. That is the dictionary beside our bed, for those late night moments when I'm saying, "That is not what frumpy means! It means, it means like some middle-aged woman in a housecoat, it doesn't mean disheveled! No it doesn't! Okay, I'm turning on the light!" Today was all about being right, and maybe it means that no one I talked to today will ever speak to me again, but whatever, I was right.
Title:Bounded in a Nutshell
Author: C. E. Harris
Description: Boulder sports and television fan
Journal Quote:Then she popped the MRI films over the light boxes and spent a few quiet minutes sidling up and down the row's length, studying the pretty pictures of my poor diseased brain. Trying to help, but mostly trying to demonstrate that 1) I'm not ignorant about these neuro-thingies and 2) I was still part of this diagnosis process, I offered, "I didn't see anything when I looked at them."
Turning back around to face me, she agreed that there wasn't anything structurally abnormal in the films. "You have a perfectly normal brain," she said.
"Well," I returned, "except for the seizures, of course." Ha. Ha.
Battered Black Book
Author: C. J. Silverio
Description: Former talk.bizarre poster, current computer geek and motorcyclist
Journal Quote:I once read something about William Faulkner's childhood exposure to the King James Bible having a huge effect on the rhythms and language in his writing. This is true for all of us: what we read young shapes how we write later. Galsworthy shaped me. My sentences just keep wanting to be longer and more tangled than post-Hemingway American lit would like them. They want to have more dashes than they really should. Well, he's a better influence on my writing than the other huge lump of writing I was exposed to in childhood, the strained Germanic phrasings of JW leader F. W. Franz.
Author: Bill Chance
Description: Suburban dad with a used book addiction
Journal Quote:I dream of winning the lottery and spending the rest of my life traveling the world, going to exotic locations. I will send postcards. A reliable, discrete research company supplies me with lists of names - some random, others carefully chosen as perfectly ordinary, lonely folks from forgotten towns. I go forth each day and buy local postcards full of beautiful sunsets, mountain ranges, masterpiece-filled museums, famous tourist landmarks, castles, palaces, or tableaus of local fishermen or washerwomen toiling under the tropical sun.
Sitting in the office corner of my expensive hotel suite, or possibly a table by the pool, or even an overstuffed booth in a smoky bar I write the postcards. Something carefully simple and familiar, a message that carries an implied sequence, like a bit of daily conversation between close friends.
"Hi, we ate fish with mangoes today, the sea here is like a turquoise table."
There is also a weblog, Utopia With Cheese.
Description: Most culturally literate person alive
Journal Quote:The reason this is very important is because, as a kid impersonating an adult, I have to watch my behavior very closely.
D'you know that in various wars, there have been a number of cases where spies were caught because they spoke their assumed language TOO well? No slang, no grammatical errors, no regional accents - far too perfect. But how could the spies do it any differently? They hadn't been born to it; they didn't know the rules; they didn't know which lapses were acceptable and which weren't. The best they could hope to do was speak the language flawlessly and hope that no one caught on.
I know the rules of being an adult. Not knowing my way around isn't the problem. So maybe the paragraph above isn't a good analogy. I know the rules, but my natural inclination - as an inner kid - is to not follow them. I have to continually remind myself, any time I am around other people, to keep my guard up.
And it's HARD. Because the other thing I've learned is that playing by the adult rules is not nearly as much fun. And I am all about fun.
Title:Field Notes: The Weblog
Author: Diana ben Aaron
Description: M.I.T. alumna studying linguistics in Finland
Journal Quote:The most linguistically surprising thing about Serbia was the alphabets. I had the naive impression that Croatia and Bosnia got all the Latin characters in the divorce settlement, and Serbia got all and only Cyrillic characters. In fact, about half the text in Serbia seems to be in Latin, including one major newspaper (Danas or "Union") and many public signs. A Montenegrin student at the summer school said that pupils have to write half their papers in Cyrillic and half in Latin, alternately. A Serbian student from Subotica on the Hungarian border said that almost everything there is in Latin because of the large Hungarian-speaking and bilingual minority.
I tried to figure out if there was any political meaning attached to the use of Cyrillic, but couldn't prove one: there were reform party political posters in Cyrillic, a nationalist "Who are the Serbs?" tract in Latin.
Title:Funny the World
Author: Bev Sykes
Description: Theatrical activist
Journal Quote:But I am an eternal optimist. I truly believe there will still be
Social Security when I'm old enough to start collecting my $35 a month, I believe foods
eaten while standing really don't have any calories, I believe that eventually I will find
a way to reduce the amount of junk mail I receive, I believe that David Gerrold will some
day finish the Chtorr series, and I believe that some day I will find the mates to all these sox.
Never mind that some of them were lost when we had our old washer and dryer, about 8 years ago.
Title:Had to Be There
Journal Quote:I often wonder what people think about Our Fair City. Are we a bunch of ski bums? Country bumpkins that dress up in Stetsons and boots that cost more than the rent on my old apartment? Neither is really true; while we do tend to ski more than people from Oklahoma City, everyone looks wistfully at the guy who tends bar in Fraser and says, "gosh, wouldn't that be nice, to be able to ski all the time," but real people don't actually get cushy jobs like that. The cowboy boot thing only happens when people paint idyllic pictures for advertisements, and of course for Western-theme weddings and during Stock Show. My excuse that there is that weddings aren't sane and the same is essentially true of Stock Show.
Author: John Scalzi
Description: Manages to get make a living writing
Journal Quote:Not that I really have anything against Barbie, mind you. Yes, she's Nordically perfect and with proportions that in the real world would cause the top half of her body to swing around wildly due to lack of structural support from the waist, thus providing an unrealistic image for young girls as to what they should look like when they grow up and what not. But you know, she's a friggin' doll. Teenage girls who end up looking like Barbie don't do so because they're taking life clues from an 11-inch perfect plastic homuncula. They do so because they've got parents who don't want an "ugly" daughter. Behind every Barbie-lookin' girl is a mom who's saying, "Oh, honey, don't eat that peanut. You'll never fit into your cheerleading outfit if you do." To paraphrase the NRA, Barbie doesn't breed anorexics, people do. I'll have no problems with Athena playing with Barbie; additionally, she can have as many peanuts as she wants.
Title:Journal of a Sabbatical
Author: Janet Egan
Description: My doppelganger whose interests include the Red Sox, Tuvan throat-singing and travel
Journal Quote:One thing that struck me funny about the Moby Dic discussion, though, was that the host (I forget his name -- all these not Chris Lydon hosts blend
together) kept asking where its staying power comes from - why it still resonates today and what is it about the novel itself that makes it so widely read. Uh, the answer is simple. It's widely read because the scholars like it and it has become part of the western canon or at least the American canon. If every high school kid in America is assigned Moby Dick in his/her sophomore year, odds are at least some of those kids will like it. See once academe deems (say that three times fast) something worthy it gets a chance to see if falls on fertile soil so to speak.
I happen to like Moby Dick a lot. The thing I'm trying to get at clumsily here is that there are probably a whole lot of books that would also move me and dozens of others that never caught the attention of academe so never made it to the attention of future generations. It's kind of like the Oprah phenomenon. Once Oprah chooses a book, a whole lot more people read it than otherwise would. However, there are plenty of other equally good or better books that don't get the Oprah treatment.
Author: Scott Andersen
Description: Canadian getting ready to move to Toronto from Berlin
Journal Quote:But this did remind me of a funny story that I don't think I ever managed to tell in the old journal. In the winter of 1986 I worked as a bike courier in Vancouver. On a chilly, rainy October afternoon I found myself wearing an old pair of cycling shorts, well past their prime, as it turned out (they were probably the ones I'd bought in Italy three years before, if my memory can be trusted). I was cold and soaking wet when I pulled up to a client's building with a delivery. After a long ride in a very warm elevator, I entered the office. This client had a young, attractive secretary/receptionist, though not one I recall being especially pleasant to couriers. (Receptionists were one of the few things that kept the day interesting for a bike courier, not that we'd heard of anyone ever dating one. There were two basic qualities: cute/not cute, friendly/not friendly.) I walked up to the low desk where she was sitting and passed her the envelope. As I waited for her to sign the waybill and tear off my copy, I noticed her staring straight ahead with a fixed, slightly horrified expression. Puzzled, I took the slip after she'd finally signed it, walked out, stepped into the elevator, and saw myself in the mirror. Only then did I realize what had happened. When I entered the warm, dry environment of the building, blood suddenly rushed to a body part that had shrunken badly
over the course of a long ride outside in the cold. The blood didn't just return - it
overcompensated. And my ageing, wet, nearly transparent shorts singularly failed to conceal
this fact. The poor girl had looked up from her desk to see a near-erection clearly outlined
in black lycra, two feet away at eye-level. And she was obviously not aroused by this sight. I
was completely stunned for a few seconds, then I couldn't stop laughing. Hooking up with other couriers later in the day, the story grew in the telling. "How obvious was it, man?"
"Dude, you could see the fucking veins on the thing." "WhoaŠ and she didn't ask for your
I think this is the reason why other companies made their couriers wear normal, baggy, non-lycra shorts on the job.
Title:Mighty Kymm - Sweet as a Biscuit
Author: Kymm Zuckert
Description: New York actress and journaling community czarina
Journal Quote: I am in such trouble. I should never have gotten the Sims. I have this very strong feeling that it is evil, specifically created to take over all of the free time of every journaller on earth, then spreading to the normals, and then, once we are all completely immobile, staring unblinking at the computer without moving anything but our index fingers, the aliens will come down and take over the planet.
Author: Jan Yarnot
Description: Former rec.arts.books poster, dinosaur fan
Journal Quote: I wanted to see the sharks. Chicago had its cows, Seattle its pigs, and San Jose has sharks. We drove downtown, parked, then took the dog out again to his great confusion. I mean, he was tired already from all the walking and socializing, and his car was full of mattresses and stuff, leaving him a very small space, and now here we were, out walking again. Whatever, if we were going, he was happy to go too.
Nice sharks! I liked the one that was done up like a cow. One was "Fish and Chips", with silicon chips. The one sponsored by Orchard Hardware was covered with washers for scales. This one was broken, and the artist had hung a complaint sign about the vandals. There are some other signs of vandalism, but most of the sharks are still in good shape. We saw about 40 of the 100. Some are indoors, so a late Saturday afternoon is no time to look at them, and some are in different parts of town, so we did pretty well.
Description: Has an even weirder family and much stranger ex-boyfriends than I do
Journal Quote: He reminded me of something he did when I was in middle school. God,
I'm sure I repressed the memory out of sheer humiliation. We were at the
mall, and this was back in the day when you could smoke at the mall. Pop
was waiting for me on a bench puffing his Macanudo, when I arrived, he
put the cigar out in a sand ashtray. Just then some of my friends
approached to say hello, and my dad concocted what he thought was the
funniest gag ever. He looked around and then pretended to notice the
ashtray for the first time. He walked over, pulled the cigar out of the
sand, brushed it off, said "Hey that's not bad!" and lit the damn thing.
Nothing like having your friends think your dad picks butts out of the
ashtray at the mall.
Author: Never (a.k.a. Lynn)
Description: web designer with great travel tips
Journal Quote:Anyway, I like those shows. And they always talk about how there was all this strong emotion fueling the popular music for years, and then Kent State happened and everyone got depressed, oh and also everyone was getting old and tired and was having families and needed to get jobs to feed them and finally everyone just said "oh hell" and went on about their lives, and somehow that created the Singer-Songwriter. Maybe it was because there weren't as many band members around because they were out, depressed, cutting their hair and getting jobs, so people who really wanted to do it just had to grab a guitar or maybe a piano and write some songs and play and sing them themselves.
I don't know. I'm pretty sure that's not really how it happened, but that's what all the documentaries say.
Title:Not a Thing
Description: Caltech chemistry grad student
Journal Quote:It was incredible. I was above the water, part of the wave, feeling the
crest under my feet. I was part of the sea, a bit of driftwood being
propelled along the top of a wave, in control, and completely at the
mercy of the wave. Christ, this is why people get addicted to this shit.
This is why people some people live for surfing, merely existing in the
boring span between waves. A boogie boarder appeared in my path, and I
knew, instinctively, how to lean into the wave to steer out of the way. The
wave, finally, petered out before I did, and I coasted to a stop, flopping
backwards into the water.
Title:Om Mani Padme Hum
Description: New York writer and humorist
Journal Quote:Apartment Baseball is not the sport of kings. In fact, is the sport of the kind of people to which kings (and assorted other royalty) used to exhort pastry consuming. It is also the sport of those with a huge capacity for enjoyment - by which we mean those sorts of people who can quite entertain themselves with balls of string, pieces of lint, and playing Quarters until the bar kicks you all out for excessive rowdiness.
Title:P.S. - A Column on Things
Author: Paul Schindler
Description: M.I.T. alumnus and computer industry journalist
Journal Quote: But I belong firmly to the camp that says hyper-realistic animation is a mistake. In the past, I made an exception for science fiction, since you could do stories in animation you couldn't do with live action. But with computer-generated graphics, if your story is about people, there is nothing and I mean nothing you can't do with live-action. See The Matrix. So, I felt this movie would be a mistake from the git-go, and I was right. It is an impressive technical achievement, and the human movement is not as realistic as you could get with adequate actors. The present use of CGI in live-action films is the very best contribution animation can make to realistic movies.
Animation should be saved for subjects like Shrek, or The Little Mermaid. Not just Disney, not just comedies, but films in which the characters are exaggerated and doing things that would be completely implausible if performed by live actors. The Emeror's New Groove would be another good example. You want serious? See if you can find a copy of Fritz The Cat. I suspect, in the end, that the live-action Lord Of The Rings will not be as good as a good animated version would have been. That may even be true for Harry Potter. We'll see.
Description: Orthodox Jewish pornography critic
Journal Quote: The good news, I realized almost immediately, was that my atoms weren't bouncing around the atmosphere and the radio was still broadcasting, so global thermonuclear warfare clearly hadn't broken out. As a child of the '70s and '80s,
this was a natural thing to come to mind, I suppose. Especially for a New Yorker-- I think most of us are generally aware, at the back of our minds, that if anything happens, we'll be at Ground Zero.
On the other hand... my God.
Title:The Silken Tent
Author: Margaret DeAngelis
Description: Former teacher with a strong sense of place
Journal Quote: I want to go to Wyoming. In Wyoming, people live on ranches or in towns
with wooden sidewalks. There are no big supermarkets or Wal-Marts, just
individual shops of different sizes and designs attached in rows. One of
them is a saloon with swinging half doors that go from neck to knee. In
Wyoming the sky is blue and the fields are gold and green and everyone
owns a horse. The vista stretches unbroken along amber waves of grain,
and you can ride your horse on out into forever in search of adventure.
That's the vision I have had of Wyoming since I was ten years old. I
was a dedicated fan of the Saturday morning TV show My Friend Flicka,
which was set in Wyoming, although it was filmed in California. But I didn't
know that, and I took the hills and canyons where young Ken McLaughlin
and his horse met adventure as authentic Wyoming. I also watched
Fury, the Story of a Horse and the Boy Who Loves Him, set in the less appealing
Texas (and also filmed in California) and dreamed of being adopted by Ralph
McCutcheon, who owned and trained the glossy black stallion.
Description: British born New York architect
Journal Quote: I guess it also reinforces how I feel about schmoozing and business relationships -- if I don't genuinely like the person I don't care how good a "contact" they are, it's pointless. And I don't necessarily mean like as a friend, wanna hang out with them and everything, but I need to enjoy talking to and working with them.
And actually, I recently had a schmooze lunch with some sales reps that I wasn't particularly looking forward to that actually turned out to be a genuinely fun time, and I thought, wow, that was a good move on their part. It is nice when business has a degree of the pleasurable.
Title:Unpack the Luggage
Author: Angela Hamilton
Description: humorous acting student
Journal Quote: All I have left to say about my cat is that one time, my friend Bryan came over and was studying Tom's food dish, which is a big elaborate kind of self-feeder thing. The front of the feeder reads "TOM" in great big black letters. The feeder sits on a large shelf in our kitchen, where Tom likes to eat. Bryan asked me, "So, is that where you make all your boyfriends eat when they come to dinner?"
Haha! That Bryan, he kills me. Oh wait. That story is only funny if you know that I was dating a guy named Tom at the time (Hello Tom! Bet you never heard that story, did ya?). Tom actually has naming issues himself, and calls our dogs "Happy Button" and "Original Button" respectively. But that's another story entirely.
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