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Random musings on a writer's life & times, with occasional input from acquaintances

 

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

 
I have bookmarked on my computer the website of an outfit called NewPages (http://www.newpages.com), which is sort of a reader’s digest focusing on literary news, with a dash of left-leaning political rants. In recent days, its on-site weblog has led off with a diatribe against Time magazine for naming President George W. Bush it’s Person of the Year and printing his squinty-eyed visage on its cover.

“This is why we so desperately need to support independent media,” says NewPages. “Cancel your subscription to Time if you have one.”

Replace it, the NewPagers suggest, with a subscription to “one or more of the alternative magazines we have listed in the NewPages Guide to Alternative Periodicals.”

Intrigued by this suggestion, I perused said guide and discovered it contains several publications that sound quite interesting. Far be it from me to advocate boycotting a fine publication like Time magazine, but you might indeed want to subscribe to (comments presumably provided to NewPages by the publishers):

--All About Beer "Entertaining features, the best beer reviews, and the most cutting edge beer news."

--Bad Subjects "Political Education for Everyday Life"

--Bagel Digest "It tells a compelling story with text or pictures or both."

--Bamboo Girl "To challenge the issues of racism/sexism/homophobia from the point of view of smart, loud, non-traditional girls of color"

--Bark "Dog Is My Co-Pilot”

--Bitch "Feminist Response to Pop Culture"

--Blessed Bee "A Pagan family newsletter, filled with magic, features, stories and resources for Pagan families everywhere."

--Blue Suede News "The House Organ of the Church of Rock and Roll"

--Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists "Reporting on International Security, Military Affairs, and Nuclear Issues"

--Bust "For Women With Something to Get Off Their Chests"

--Crone Chronicles "A Journal of Conscious Aging"

--Curve magazine "The best-selling lesbian magazine."

--Dialectical Anthropology "An Independent International Journal in the Critical Tradition Committed to the Transformation of our Society and the Humane Union of Theory and Practice"

--Dirty Linen "The Magazine of Folk and World Music"

--Dollars & Sense "What's Left in Economics"

--Eat the State! "Seattle's shamelessly biased political newspaper and environmental scandal sheet."

--FAT!SO "for people who don't apologize for their size"

--Fierce Magazine "For Women Who Are Too Bold For Boundaries"

--Gay Parent "Featuring personal stories of lesbian,gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) parents from across the country and around the world."

--GreenPrints "The Weeder's Digest"

--Heeb "It is the bastard love child of Emma Goldman and Lenny Bruce."

--Left Business Observer "Accumulation and its Discontents"

--Mental Floss "Feel smart again."

--Modern Drunkard "It's hip, it's dangerous, it'll fill your family with dread."

--"Nude & Natural "The authority on socially responsible and adventurous social nudity."

--off our backs "a radical feminist newsjournal."

--RFD "A country journal for gay men everywhere"

--Rubberstampmadness "Premier magazine for rubber stamp arts and crafts."

--Sweatshop Watch "committed to eliminating sweatshop conditions in the global garment industry."

--Tastes Like Chicken "What are you doing later tonight?"

--Vegetarian Baby and Child "The Magazine of Vegetarian & Vegan Family Life"

--Velvetpark "Dyke culture in bloom."

As the gambling man said, read ’em and weep. Or laugh. Or just shake your head in wonder.



Sunday, December 26, 2004

 
Since I didn’t post the Sunday 7 last weekend because I was out of town, I decided to make up for it today by answering 40 -- yes, FORTY!-- questions. I stole most of the questions off someone else’s blog. The answers are mine, though.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

1. LIVING ARRANGEMENTS?
My wife, Cookie Jean, allows me, son Andy and pet Miss Kitty to share her domicile in Portland, Oregon. Phoebe Caulfield, our other cat of long standing (or lying about), recently moved across the neighborhood to share a house with my son Mickey. Son Joe has a studio apartment on Hawthorne Street, but often sleeps in our basement on the family room couch.

2. WHAT BOOK ARE YOU READING?
“Madame Bovary, C’est Moi, “ by André Bernard. Sounds classy, but actually it’s about half a step up from an Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader. Bernard provides short squibs on famous literary characters and the real people who served as models for some of them. Flaubert, for instance, liked to tell people HE was Madame Bovary. Bernard says in reality Emma Bovary was Delphine Delamare, the spendthrift, unfaithful wife of a Rouen doctor.

3. FAVORITE SONG?
If you go by the frequency-of-play indicator on my computer’s I-Tunes program, it’s Chris Isaak singing “Voodoo,” off the “Silvertone” album. However, that is skewed by the fact that I put it on repeat for mood music when I was writing a piece of fiction that involved voodoo. The song played most often just because I wanted to hear it is Alison Krauss & Union Station singing “The Lucky One,” off the “New Favorite” album.

4. WHAT'S ON YOUR MOUSE PAD?
A drawing of a books spilling from library shelves at Monticello, Thomas Jefferson’s home in Virginia. Below the drawing appears a Jefferson quote: “I cannot live without books.” The pad is a souvenir of Andy’s eighth-grade trip to the East Coast, on which Cookie Jean was a chaperone.

5. FAVORITE MAGAZINE?
Sports Illustrated for the stories. Rattle for the poems. The New Yorker for the cartoons. Playboy for the photographs.

6. BABIES?
No, thank you. I’ve had my share. (Four.)

7. FAVORITE SOUNDS?
A baseball popping into a catcher’s mitt. Humphrey Bogart saying: “Here’s looking at you, kid.” The slurp and smack Oregon mud makes as it sucks off your shoe. (Just kidding.)

8. WORST FEELING IN THE WORLD?
That falling-down-the-elevator-shaft sensation announcing arrival of another depressive episode, triggered by anything from being dumped by your girl to discovering someone drank the last Fresca you hid behind the pickle jar in the fridge.

9. FIRST THING YOU THINK OF IN THE MORNING?
What the hell time is it?

10. HOW MANY RINGS BEFORE YOU ANSWER THE PHONE?
Three rings and the answering machine picks up. I avoid responding to telephones as much as possible. Most of my worst experiences in life started with a phone call.

11. FUTURE CHILD'S NAME?
Highly doubtful there will be another child, but I’ve still got that name I wanted to give each of my three sons if they had turned out to be girls. Alexandra Ruth Jordan. Alexandra because it sounds classy and we could shorten it to Lexie. Ruth because that was the name of my beloved maternal grandmother, who raised me off and on. Jordan because I am a traditionalist (sexist? so say some) who has been peeved since 1978 because his wife, Cookie Jean Chandler, decided to retain her maiden name.

12. WHAT IS MOST IMPORTANT IN LIFE?
Not dying.

13. FAVORITE FOODS?
Cinnamon rolls (preferably baked by my late grandmother). Spaghetti. Spotted Dick (it’s British; you could look it up).

14. COFFEE OR TEA?
Coffee. I am addicted, alas, although I never drank it until I was 24 years old and working nights as a police reporter for the Minneapolis Tribune. I was the only reporter manning the cop shop after 6 p.m., and most nights were so slow I had to buy scorched coffee from a rusted vending machine to stay awake. Other nights, of course, I squished loafer tracks in the blood following stickup shootouts or counted bullet holes in dead detectives after burglary arrests went awry.

15. CHOCOLATE OR VANILLA?
Chocolate, with banana slices and marshmallow sauce.

16. DO YOU LIKE TO DRIVE FAST?
I enjoy it (I own a 2004 Subaru WRX STi), but it scares me. Airing out the STi feels kind of like a ride you’d wait in line an hour for at Disneyland.

17. DO YOU SLEEP WITH A STUFFED ANIMAL?
Does my wife count?

18. STORMS - COOL OR SCARY?
When I was ten years old I moved from northern California, where thunderstorms were unheard of, to Georgia, where thunderstorms were a daily occurrence in the summer. I endured years of terror. Now that I’m old enough to realize there is nothing supernatural about thunder and lightning, I find them fascinating.

19. WHAT TYPE WAS YOUR FIRST CAR?
A seven-year-old Mercury sedan handed down by my parents when I was sixteen. I wrapped it around a telephone pole about a week after they gave to me.

20. EDUCATION?
I graduated from Cottage Grove (OR) High School, the University of Oregon and Kansas State University. My last diploma was a master’s degree in journalism and mass communications from K-State. I was a successful student (Phi Beta Kappa, etc.) not because I am smart but because I figured out how to play the game.

21. FAVORITE ALCOHOLIC DRINK?
Strawberry daiquiri on crushed ice sipped slowly as the sunset breeze flutters seaside torches at the Napili Kai Beach Club on Maui.

22. IF YOU COULD DYE YOUR HAIR ANY COLOR, WHAT WOULD IT BE?
Auburn. When Veronica’s white hair ribbon got wet in the rain and bleached her black tresses auburn on the way to the dance, Archie went wild over the “new” girl before Jughead could explain. Cool.

23. WHAT IS YOUR ZODIAC SIGN?
Taurus da Bull.

24. DO YOU EAT THE STEMS OF BROCCOLI?
Yes. My wife makes me.

25. IF YOU COULD HAVE ANY JOB YOU WANTED, WHAT WOULD IT BE?
Catcher in the rye.

26. EVER BEEN IN LOVE?
On the advice of my attorney, the Hon. William J. Clinton, former attorney general of Arkansas, I must ask that you define for me the meaning of the term “love.”

27. IS THE GLASS HALF EMPTY OR HALF FULL?
Half empty.

28. FAVORITE MOVIE?
“Casablanca.”

29. WHAT’S YOUR MOTTO?
Do unto others before they do unto you.

30. FAVORITE NUMBER?
7

31. WHAT'S UNDER YOUR BED?
Dust bunnies.

32. FAVORITE SPORT TO WATCH?
Olympic ping-pong. Doubles.

33. FAVORITE SPORT TO PLAY?
Slap and tickle. Or, if you prefer the Australian version, tickle and slap. My favorite used to be baseball, which I played as a kid (I was the Valdosta, Georgia, Little League’s all-star shortstop when I was 12) and coached for several years as father of three sons, but my arm died from pitching too much batting practice.

34. WHAT IS YOUR RELIGION?
I am a Druid. I practice human sacrifice, dance naked in moonlight, etc. .

35. WHAT IS YOUR POLITICAL AFFILIATION?
I am a Democrat. I practice human sacrifice, dance naked in moonlight, etc.

36. BEACH, MOUNTAINS OR CITY?
Beach -- a tropical one, preferably. See Napili Kai, mentioned above.

37. TECHNOLOGY OR ART?
Art. I am an artist, I like to think. Technology mystifies and intimidates me.

39. COMEDY OR HORROR?
Comedy. Woody Allen is as big a hero to me as Humphrey Bogart, which is why I enjoyed “Play It Again, Sam” so much. I quit being a horror fan after junior high. I guess my hormones calmed down and I stopped identifying with monsters.

40. FAVORITE TIME OF DAY?
It used to be late at night, when I could be alone and do as I pleased without interruption -- read a book, watch TV, get soused, whatever. Nowadays I fall asleep by 11 p.m., so I guess my favorite time is mid-morning, after I wake up but before I deplete my energy.






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