Thursday, December 23, 2004

Surfin' Bird

Not only because I can't find anything unique or less boring than usual to say, but because once an awhile it doesn't hurt to give credit where credit is due, I submit to you better - or at least other - blogs to read whilst you're all logey on tryptophane, nog, and distant relative overdoses this holiday season.

Don't take this wrong, but if you haven't heard of The Bleat in the blogsphere, you've not only been living under a rock, but under a moonrock, on the dark side of the moon, and said moonrock only recently arrived via a comet from the farthest reaches of space. James was doing a daily post back before the term "blog" was invented, so if you want top-notch writing that winds back for years and years, this is the site to hit. He also has some hilarious galleries of abominable interior design, food recipes that would make even dogs shudder if they could read (keep in mind how they bathe themselves), and unfortunate product mascots, just to name a few. His day gig is a humor column for the Minneapolis Star Tribune, but since he can go uncensored and follow his whims even further down the rabbit hole his daily bleat is about the best thing out there on the web.

The Poor Man is a hyper-intelligent guy who I believe is still in grad school for a physics degree or something like that (once in a while he'll write about his illudium Q36 explosive space modulator or something like that). He was one of the few blogs that was actually readable during the last election. He is also wildly talented at making the juxtaposition of cute kitten pictures and scathing ironic humor seem natural.

Dooce is new mom who recently moved from LA back to her and her husband's homeland deep in the heart of Mormon Utah, a brave move considering they are ex-Mormons who each had originally fled to LA to get hip careers and escape the pod-people gestalt that is Utah. (I would attempt a tactful mitigation of that characterization of Mormonland, but it would be a blatant lie and would read as such. TLD:During a trip to Zion, a beautiful area in Utah, we stopped at a bar for a beer, and a huge sign on the wall read "23 miles to the United States of America" which, of course, was the distance to the Utah border, so it's not only me.) Dooce, aka Heather Armstrong, is blessed with razor-sharp wit and the writing chops to spin comic sentences of such brilliance, you are often forced to blaugh. A blaugh is a laugh that is in such a hurry to get out that it trips over the laugh in front of it, causing a sound that is onomatopoeia to blaugh.

The 2Blowhards are your one-stop shopping for ruminations on all things artistic: movies, architecture, painting, porn, philosophy, memes, and advertisement copy. It's easy to get lost in all the ideas presented with astounding fecundity on this site. The comments are part of the experience as the regulars of this blog take the ideas as if they were relay race batons and run them out past the bleachers. Once you start reading, the only thing that may pull you back to the real world is the spouse or family screaming "Forrest, Stop!" directly in your ear to get your attention.

Syaffolee is another freaky-intelligent grad student who offers an eclectic and charming smattering of observations about anything under the sun. Or things that orbit it. Or even other suns. I enjoy traipsing around in brains much brighter than mine. You will, too.

Making Light is a very literary blog, which makes sense as the author is an editor for a major publisher. As with all the other blogs mentioned here, Making Light is eclectic to a fault, but manages to go into depth in a way that's never dry and always wry. Another reason I enjoy this blog is Teresa Nielsen Hayden is a Christian; a very informed, learned and (thank God) non-fundamentalist Christian. She doesn't discuss that aspect of her life much, so if religion gives you the fantods, don't be put off in fear yer gonna hear about Jay-sus! too much. Actually, her perspective might be a welcome oasis in that sense. On the web, it seems we Christians who aren't fundies but who really believe Christ was who He said He was (what I think if as mainstream Christians, which includes Protestants, Catholics and Orthodox) are either silent or very quiet about it, so it's nice to hear a calm, steady voice unafraid of speaking (was we believe is) the truth. She also drops the occasional bitchin' recipe.

Redwood Dragon is another blog by a Christian who doesn't pound it down your gullet, out yer arse, straight to China, and into orbit. Dave Trowbridge is also yet another eclectic (notice a theme here?), thoughtful funball. Good reading.

Minute Particulars is an overtly theological blog, and wow, even if you don't have any truck with Christian thinking, this guy explores some ontological corners that might surprise even the most virulent atheist. He makes your brain hurt so good.

Moby (click "moby journal") is the internationally renowned artist and musician whose work you've heard whether you've intended to or not. His album Play was unique in music history in that every single track was licensed for a movie, TV show, or commercial - some many times over. Granted, that is either a dubious distinction (if you're a music purist) or a hell of an accomplishment (if you consider that his tunes are so accessible and evocative that everyone relates to and enjoys them). His song "18" (off of the album of the same title), in my opinion, is one of the prettiest instrumentals ever composed. Anyway, for a big deal music personality, his posts are down-to-earth and very human. It's a unique window into one of the major artists of our day who is just an average guy. It's fun to read him talk casually about schlepping off to do a show the same way you or I would talk about trundling off to work in our cubies.

Have fun! And ya'll come back now, y'hear!

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