Six Characters in Search of a Blogger

8.7 The Seventh Day: Other Bloggers Worth Noting
January 4, 2009, 5:11 pm
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blog-to-blogAndrew Sullivan’s The Daily Dish:  Never did I think I’d be reading a blog written by a Republican, and enjoying it.  Sullivan is topical, erudite, and compelling…and while some of his posts are much shorter than others, they will make you feel like you have a sound idea about what’s going on in the world.

Defective Yeti:  Blogger Matthew Baldwin makes hilarious daily observations in his blog.  But, to be honest, he had me at yeti.

I, Cringely:  My husband swears by this one.  When I asked my husband how to define the blog, he said, “Robert Cringely is a technology evangelist looking at the impact of technology on everyday life.”  (My husband is wicked smaht.)   I just started reading it, and I’m very impressed.  Cringely’s blog is really interesting–and even provocative–stuff, offering predictions about technological advances and the politics of technology in the coming months and years.  (Note that Cringely’s blog/column The Pulpit was on for more than 10 years, so past posts will be found here.)

Life Begins at 41…or maybe 43:  Louise blogs about her midlife crisis and other interesting topics from her home in Canada.  And she blogs every day, which is no small feat.  Go Louise!

Margaret and Helen:  Two eighty-somethings blog about politics, their families, recipes, life.  I’m not *entirely* convinced it isn’t one of their grandsons (Matthew) doing the posting–the font is so small and the prose so seamless it seems to give things away–but I’m willing to put my skepticism on the backburner in order to keep reading. 

Soule Mama:  Amanda Soule is an amazing mother of 4 who lives in Portland, Maine.  In her blog, she’s the mom I’d like to be (that is, if I ever have a child):  creative, warm, and (not to make a pun here) soulful.  Of course, if I did become a mom, I doubt I’d create such wonderful projects as she–I was born without the crafting gene.  But I’d like to believe I was capable of such things.  Sigh.

Things I Bought that I Love:  Mindy Kaling–otherwise known as Kelly Kapoor on The Office–brings the blogosphere what I’d call a hilarious virtual shopping spree.  She loves stuff: purses and clothes and makeup and lotions and jewelry and gadgets.  And so will you, after reading her blog.  Seriously.  I don’t get whiteheads, but after reading her post about some magical potion that will remove them in 24 hours, I want to buy some.

8.6 You’ve Been Dooced: Heather B. Armstrong blogs life at
January 4, 2009, 12:38 pm
Filed under: Six Bloggers Blogging | Tags: , , , , ,


Heather B. Armstrong, blogger at

Heather B. Armstrong, blogger at

Heather B. Armstrong is a bit of a hero in the blogosphere:  she actually lost her job because she blogged about it.  

That makes her a bit of a blogging revolutionary; but what also makes her one of the rebels of the blogosphere is her witty, irreverent writing about life and motherhood.  I dare you to read and not be at least mildly amused.  Or mildly shocked.  She goes where most bloggers don’t dare to.

The other reason I chose Heather’s blog is the fact that she has managed to turn it into her own industry; not only making enough money with it to support herself, but also her husband, who assists with technical aspects of the blog.

So get your dooce on.  Go on, you know you want to.

8.5 The World is His Oyster: Gary Arndt’s


Gary Arndt on Easter Island

Gary Arndt on Easter Island

Imagine selling your house (granted, in this market, pretty difficult, but try to remember what it was like only a few years ago.)  Imagine putting your belongings in storage.  And imagine packing a small bag with a few items of clothing, a camera, and a laptop, and taking off on a trip around the world.  For an unspecified amount of time.  And without a detailed itinerary.

That’s exactly what Gary Arndt did in March, 2007–he left his home in Minnesota to go on the adventure of a lifetime by himself.  I have so much admiration for him; to me, it’s extraordinary that he has taken this giant bunjee jump (both literally and figuratively) into life.

What’s great is that Gary, in his blog, takes us along for the ride.  And if you have the travel bug, as I do, you’ll find yourself inspired by his world wandering.

Go, Gary!  (His next stop is Dubai.)

8.4 Danny Miller asks, Jew Eat Yet?
January 4, 2009, 1:41 am
Filed under: Six Bloggers Blogging | Tags: , , , , ,

70eab3195a01e124e5287ecd075b849dTopical, funny, touching, and above all, well-written, Danny Miller’s Jew Eat Yet? is one of the blogs I most look forward to reading from week to week.  It balances the personal with the informative in such an elegant way–I hold it up as a model of the way I’d like to blog.

Miller, a writer and editor who lives in LA, gives us posts about history, about his family, about movies, about music, about politics, and about pop culture.  Reading it, for me, is the equivalent of curling up on the couch on Sunday morning with a blanket, a cup of tea, and a good book.

So give it a try!  His recent post about the recently deceased Eartha Kitt is right up my alley–it illuminates a fascinating incident in Kitt’s life that many may have forgotten.  Thanks, Danny!

8.3 Roger Ebert Still has a Thumb; and a Blog
January 4, 2009, 12:53 am
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I miss Siskel and Ebert’s At the Movies.  I miss their acerbic wit, their open (and even somewhat bitter) rivalry, and erudite analysis of modern films–they were able to transform certain movies from obscure arthouse flicks into something I really wanted to see.  

Roger Ebert

Roger Ebert

Gene Siskel, of course, passed away due to surgical complications from a brain tumor in 1999.  But Roger Ebert is still with us, staging his own heroic battle with thyroid cancer that has since spread to his salivary gland and jaw bone.  The extensive surgical work that has been performed on him has left him unable to speak.  

But he is not without a voice:  he continues to review films, as well as make observations about life, politics, the world and the movie industry in Roger Ebert’s Journal, which is featured on the Chicago Sun-Times website.

Well worth a read; pay special attention to the comments section, because his readers are also great writers.

8.2 AKMuckraker Tiptoes through the Muck of Alaskan Politics at

Sometimes a writer and a historical moment collide in a fateful and wonderful way.

AKMuckraker slings the truth about Alaskan politics at

Here's mud in your eye, Governor: AKMuckraker slings the truth about Alaskan politics at

That was the case this year with AKMuckraker and; a clever and very well-written blog about Alaskan politics that suddenly exploded onto the international blogosphere scene when an obscure Republican governor was picked as John McCain’s Vice Presidential running mate.  (Mudflats are a very clever geological metaphor for the political situation in our nation’s largest state–read about them here.)

Yes, AKMuckraker gives us the Sarah Palin show, up close.  It’s very well worth a read–if only to discover the fate of Tripp Easton Mitchell Johnston’s grandma.  I mean, of course, the one that isn’t the meth addict/dealer.  (Although she could have her fair share of appearances, too.)

8.1 The Gluten Free Girl (Shauna Ahern)


Shauna James Ahern, the Gluten Free Girl

Shauna James Ahern, the Gluten Free Girl

Shauna Ahern’s blog, Gluten Free Girl, was the first blog I ever consciously read.  It was two years ago (yes, I’m quite behind the curve) and I had just been diagnosed with Celiac Disease–an autoimmune disorder in which the body attacks itself when gluten is consumed (wheat, barley, rye, malt, and other derivatives.)  Now it may sound fairly simple to avoid these things, but it isn’t:  gluten is what makes pizza dough chewy.  It makes bread and cookies worthwhile.  It’s in soy sauce.  And pasta.  And movie popcorn.  And some candy.  And some meat products.  And spices.  And envelope glue.  And beer.  And much, much more.  (I even have to avoid microscopic amounts–so I cook in separate pans from my husband, rarely eat out, and have to wash my hands obsessively after I touch anything suspicious.)

My whole world turned upside down when I got my diagnosis; I didn’t know where to turn, knew no one else with the disease, and felt doomed that I’d never be able to enjoy eating again.  I’d be living in the equivalent of a culinary plastic bubble.

And then I started reading Shauna’s blog.

She’s a very talented and lyrical writer; and as I read her posts, day by day, the great cloud hovering over my head began to slowly dissipate.  I started to think, hey, maybe I can handle this.  Shauna provided important insights and advice, even when she didn’t mean to (just hearing her discuss day-to-day trivialities was educational.)  She listed recipes and products I would likely enjoy (like the best kind of gluten free pasta, special celiac flour mixes and alternative grains that were OK to eat.)  And most importantly, she sang about her new life as a celiac.  She sang about food and all its possibilities.  She sang about how her life had changed so much for the better because of her diagnosis–not only because she ate better, but because she lived better.  And most importantly, she sang about everything that had happened to her life since she started writing about it–it was while blogging that she met her husband (a professional chef) Dan; married him; honeymooned with him in Italy; and gave birth to their first child.  And mind you, she has done all of this since she turned 40.  Her life, and her blog, have become about the everlasting “yes,” the positive perspective she brings to everyday challenges (she even got “yes” tattooed on her wrist to remind herself of this.)  Shauna is, without doubt, one of the best examples of the law of attraction (in its New Age sense) that I have ever stumbled upon.

Shauna's book, Gluten Free Girl (based on posts from her blog), debuted last year to wide praise.

Shauna's book, Gluten Free Girl (based on posts from her blog), debuted last year to wide praise.

Now, I will likely never wax as poetical about food as Shauna does.  (Although I like to cook sometimes, I do miss being able to pick up take out on a whim, or go to any restaurant I like, or eat cake at a birthday party.)  And I will likely never be as radiantly happy as she–I was raised as an Irish Catholic in New England, after all.  (That means a certain amount of skepticism and cynicism will always be a part of my genetic make-up.)  But although I will never embrace my celiac diagnosis with the everlasting “yes” she has demonstrated, Shauna has certainly helped to move me away from the “oh, God, no” reaction I had two years ago.  For me, it is now more like an everlasting “hmmmm.”   

And that means I’ve come a long way, baby.

So thanks to Shauna for her inspiration, her wisdom, and her commitment to her craft.  It has made all the difference to me!  

Please take the time to visit Shauna’s website, visit