Monday, August 01, 2005

Dissed Again

In the most recent Forbes there are two lists of note. The editors were kind enough to lay out for us the "World's 100 Most Powerful Women" and "Blogs That Matter". I couldn't help but observe that my name and my blog's name were missing from the lists. Maybe next year?

Saturday, July 23, 2005

A Plastic Pet

A new, and excellent hairdresser, in an attempt to know me, asked me whether I kept any animals. Unusual usage to be sure; she was asking if I had any pets. "A plastic bird," I replied.

Yes, my only pet is a plastic bird, sent to me as a pointed joke by my sister, Holly. She believes that my solitary life would be vastly improved if I shared my quarters with a well-mannered dog or cat. I have told her and others who have expressed this view that if I wanted to live with a small dirty animal I would adopt a baby human.

Anyway, Holly sent me a small plastic bird--a red tatinger. Battery operated, it chirps and shakes its tiny head whenever it senses movement. Perfect.

Friday, July 15, 2005

Bye Bye Blogs

Today I posted for the last time on two of my blogs: Jummy Speaks and Can't Marry Me. It is much easier to start a blog than to end one, but my reasons for ending these two are sound. My final post to Can't Marry Me is explanatory; my final post to Jummy Speaks, characteristically, is not.

Jummy may someday reappear as he was orginally envsioned, the figurehead (excuse the pun) of an ambitious ongoing art project. In the event that the art project is eventually executed, the blog Jummy Speaks might continue in its support. In the meantime, Jummy will revert back to "has been" status.

To please Jummy's fans (all one of us), I will be posting his portrait today at The Kay Ballard Collection.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

I Get It

One of the unexpected pleasures of blogging has been an acquaintanceship with Oscar Wildebeest who blogs the Gnus of the World from Great Britain. I discovered his blog through a Technorati search and made a comment to a post he wrote concerning what is possibly the lowest form of philanthropy--a wrist band campaign. He rewarded me for commenting with a post welcoming me to the blogosphere (sorry) and poking fun at me for having begun my blogging by creating a multitude of blogs.

Oscar writes a terrific blog--sarcastic and thought provoking. He is never sentimental unless he is writing about sports. I even enjoy his posts about local political issues.

Naturally I was surprised and pleased several weeks ago when I noticed that Oscar had included a link to this homely little unformed blog in his list of recommended blogs. And the pleasant surprises continue. Yesterday I saw that he has now organized his blogroll (sorry) into categories--an excellent idea, I must say. He placed this blog, Kiosk in the category "Personal Wisdom" which is the kindest and most elegant euphemism for irrelevant that I have ever heard. The Beest is Brilliant!

Friday, July 08, 2005

Phoebe's Take on the Terrorism

"It's very hard not to feel angry. 9/11 certainly scared the crap out of me, but I was angry.

Madrid - saddened, concerned - but not angry.

Beheadings - disgusted, heartbroken - but not angry.

Countless people killed in war - sickened, helpless - but not angry.

London-very angry. I've had enough, and I'm tired of feeling fearful."

There Was a Time, However

There was a time, however, when I wanted nothing more than to be a "citizen journalist"--or maybe a "citizen publisher".

When I was about ten years old, I decided that there was an opportunity for someone like me to establish a neighborhood newspaper. My mother was unusually supportive of my ideas and didn't hesitate to provide me with the necessary means to carry them out. In this case she told me that what I needed was a hectograph. We went straight to the Sears Roebuck catalog and she called in the order. Within a few days, I had my hectograph which at the time was state of the art technology for neighborhood newspaper publishing.

A hectograph was a simple tool. It was a wood masonite and wood tray, approximately 9 X 12 inches and one inch deep. The hectograph kit contained a kind of jel which we poured into the tray and let it set up. The kit also contained stencils. I laid out my newspaper articles on the stencils, placed the stencils on the gel, and one by one, put sheets of paper on the gel to pick up the ink.

What was the outcome of this little endeavor? I am not sure I know myself. My memory of this is somewhat vague, but for whatever reason my interest in exploiting the entrepreneural side of the activity quickly faded.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

My Mom Is a Blogger

My mom is a blogger. Well, not my mom--Phoebe's mom. Me. I would like Phoebe to give me some credit for that since apparently, many people my age (whatever age I am) don't even know what a blog is. (I could tell you my age, but I would have to lie about it and lying in blogs is not permitted.)

Anyway, I don't get the idea that my blogging has added to my coolness as far as Phoebe is concerned. Perhaps that is because she already thought I was really, really cool. Regardless, she pays me a great compliment by reading my blogs from time to time and telling me what she thinks about what I have written. Most recently she told me that in contrast to the opinion of one of its detractors, she finds my blog Can't Marry Me amusing. That didn't surprise me because she has both good judgement and an excellent sense of humor.

Now for a confession: The reason I wrote this was to give myself an excuse to once again post this caricature of Phoebe. The original post has gone into the archives and I missed seeing it.

Just to be Clear

With all of the references to journalists, columnists, and the prestige of the profession in my previous posts, I feel I must make it very clear that I am not blogging away as an aspiring journalist. Far from it. In fact, let me state it empahtically: Blogging Is Not Journalism.

My blogging certainly isn't.

Furthermore, I really don't understand all the confusion about this issue. Yet there are many (including bloggers) who high mindedly refer to bloggers as "citizen journalists". And in Sunday's paper, cartoonist Gary Trudeau put down bloggers by comparing bloggers to journalists, noting all the ways that bloggers fall short. His analysis, once again, assumes that bloggers are attempting to practice journalism.

Here is what is actually going on in the blogosphere. Bloggers write stuff and then they self-publish the stuff they write on the web. Sometimes others read what they have written. That's it. Not much more going on.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

The Most Prestigious Profession

Back in my undergraduate days I took part in a classroom project to demonstrate the difference between our own opinions and groupthink. We were each given a list of about twenty occupations or professions and asked to rank them first to last in terms of their prestige. Doctor was on the list; plumber was on the list; lawyer was on the list. Even though I was headed for law school at the time and was fully aware that being a lawyer carries a phantom prestige, for me the clear choice--the most prestigious profession--was Newspaper Columnist. I marked my paper accordingly.

The next step was to meet in groups and to collaborate on ranking the occupations on the list. I was shocked to learn that none of the members in my group thought that Newspaper Columnists basked in prestige. As someone who started each day by reading the daily paper, I defended my opinion by saying, "But every day they own a little piece of the brain of thousands of people." Very valuable real estate indeed. However, my group found my argument unpersuasive.

The exercise was fascinating to me and it confirmed what I already knew: I am not a mainstream thinker.