april 23, 2004
I have always had a soft spot of taxidermy. I don't know why. I'm an animal lover and I hate the idea of hunting for sport. And yet, I often find myself searching for "taxidermied squirrels dressed as hula dancers" on eBay. So it shouldn't be that much of a shocker that to celebrate the Easter holiday, I went straight to Paxton Gate in my hood, and bought a bonafide taxidermied Jackalope.
"A JackaWhat?" you say. A Jackalope - Lepus-temperamentalus to be more scientific. Part jackrabbit, part antelope, these legendary creatures "roamed the plains of the South and Southwest in vast herds that grazed on the natural grasses that grew there. Their antlers, originally used in ceremonial battles for territory and breeding rights, later proved a vital asset when battling buffalos for shrinking grasslands. When forced into smaller and smaller regions the Jackalopes became desperate for food, and would lay waste to entire farms, ranches and the occasional saloon." Or at least that's what the clerk at Paxton Gate told me.
Or course, I'm no stranger to these animals. I've grown up hearing about them ever since my granddad first took me out for a ride on his tractor when I was a wee Kansan lass. Supposedly first discovered by cowboys on the open range, Jackalopes are shy and so elusive, not a single one has been captured in the wild.
Apparently the original jackalope was displayed in 1829 by the owner of a Douglas hotel, LeRoy Ball. Some people say it's a huge conspiracy, but I say "bah!" I have proof, mounted and stuffed hanging in my apartment right now! But if that's just not good enough for you, perhaps you should take a gander of this professor's page which explores the history of the Jackalope..
april 2, 2004
Buy My Book
When I started writing poems about kitty litter around the age of seven, I never thought I'd be publishing a book a mere 24 years later. Now instead of saying that I'm "working" on a book, I can say I published a book. And this is it -- Never Threaten To Eat Your Co-Workers: Best of Blogs. It's an anthology featuring some of the best blog writing on the Web today from my fellow bloggers.
Along with my co-editor Alan Graham and of course added inspiration from long-time collaborator/illustrator John Burton, I spent a year reading through hundreds of blogs to get some great stories to entertain the masses. There's tales from the minds of extraordinary people such as a reality TV star, a war journalist, a video porn store clerk, a Star Trek child actor, a public defender and more.
In addition to their stories, I interviewed a selection of the bloggers to get their viewpoints on why documenting one's life complete with funny, insightful and somethings bizarre stories is important. Maybe I'm just naturally nosy, or I like the idea of stepping into someone else's shoes so much that the idea of reading other people's blogs is addictively appealing to me.
That's why I wanted to be such a big part of this book project. I'm hoping that if the book is a success, that I'll be able to do more Best of Blogs books with specific topics such as dating, pop culture and even DIY projects. Of course, I plan on marketing the heck out of this sucker to make that a reality.
Unlike a lot of books backed by huge publishers and agents, Never Threaten To Eat Your Co-Workers: Best of Blogs will be promoted by myself and others who made this book a reality. It's up to my fellow bloggers to get the word out that blog books are the next wave of DIY literature. You don't have to beat down the door of a publishing house to get your opinions heard. Blogs are be overflowing with talented writers. And this book features some of the coolest folks around.
This book gives blog addicts like yourself the power to walk in the shoes of a TV star, international journalist, criminal court lawyer, video sales clerk and a busy mom, among others. MTV's The Real World's cast member Neil Forrester gives new meaning to the phrase "Bite your tongue." Star Trek: The Next Generation actor Wil Wheaton gives his take on the Hollywood system and fleeting stardom. Web designer Heather B. Hamilton finds herself in the unemployment line after publishing work stories in her blog, Dooce.com. Humorist Choire Sicha gives advice on broken hearts and timeshares. Illustrator Mark Frauenfelder throws out his cell phone and uproots his family from Los Angeles to the sandy beaches of Rarotonga. Plus tales of creepy video store customers, online love lies, Iraqi politics, office pranks gone wrong, jury duty, a childhood meeting with Darth Vader and so much more.
These blogs serve as an entertaining and educating cross-section of the people dwelling online. But of course you knew that already, or you wouldn't be reading this now.
So please do me a favor, and buy my book. Let me know what you think of it and of course, let any other bloggers and bloggers-to-be know about the book.
Feel free to go to Best of Blogs book section on Grrl.com to read reviews, promotion tips, book spotting photos and more fun stuff!
Also be sure to check out the official Best of Blogs site for the book FAQ, forward, news and updates!