Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Blogs You Should Be Reading

This is a little list of the blogs I check regularly. Some are political, others more literary, others are a kind of potpourri menagerie of whimsy. All are worth checking out on the regular.

1.) Conceptual Reception by my homegirl Karen. One of the potpourri menageries; writing, crafts, random fun stuff that makes you wish you had found out about it first. Karen is a fantastic poet and a truly entertaining broad in every sense of the word.

2.) Headers, Margins, and Footnotes by my good friend Surya Kalsi. He's been one of my two literary backbones since moving to the Bay area and one of the smartest cats I know. He's put up several non-fiction pieces about his most recent trip to Big Sur and I highly recommend taking half a day to read them all. His prose is solid and the photographs he attaches to the pieces are always of his own handiwork.

3.) HTML Giant is a site spearheaded by experimental author Blake Butler ("Scorch Atlas," "Ever," "There is No Year," and most recently, "Nothing: A Portrait of Insomnia"). The site is more literary based with lengthy movie reviews, book reviews, and all things not found on bestseller lists. Spend a day sifting through the site and you're guaranteed to find something that twerks your fancy in just the right way. Off-beat as all hell, but a great read.

4.) Oddly-Even is another potpourri menagerie put together by my friend Giles, who I briefly knew back home in Kansas City, but who now lives here in San Francisco as well. Everything from music to books to current art to politics...the guy makes some interesting social commentary and is a whiz with the puns and humor.

5.) Oliver Belcher is an OLD friend of mine, back when I was growing up in Oklahoma City. He's one of the first people I remember calling a friend and we spent crazy amounts of weekends together before his family moved East. I recently reconnected with him on Facebook and found that he's finished his doctorate in Geography, among other academic notables. Primarily based in geo-political and social issues, his blog can be dense, but it's well worth the read if you're patient. A wicked smart guy with some very interesting opinions and writings.

6.) TED Talks are one of the best things to have ever happened to the internet. Academics, scientists, graffiti artists, writers, inventors, etc...all giving some of the most interesting talks based on projects that they've been working on or have studied in-depth. If you're not watching a TED talk a day, you're truly missing out on some fascinating parts of our world culture that don't get the hype they deserve from your everyday media sources.

7.) The Filthy Writer is put together by an old college friend named Blaine. His best friend from St. Louis, John, was one of my roommates and closest friends during my time at Truman State. Blaine's blog is another menagerie, full of writing, writing tips, and the occasional video game review.

8.) The Rumpus is an SF-based literary site that hypes up Bay area writers and writers in general. Once a month, they hold a reading at the Makeout Room in the Mission that is always PACKED early. I can't even begin to tell you how nice it is to live in a city where a few hundred people go to a bar for a reading and remain silent enough for everyone to hear the presenter on stage. Founder Stephen Elliot also sends out a daily email that covers his own thoughts on writing, movies, whatever crosses his mind at the time. I've gotten some really good advice from his daily emails and you will too if you sign up for the dailies via the website.