Friday, March 25, 2005

Heath Row Goes to College III

Sept. 28, 1991

Dear Mom and Dad,

Thank you very much for all of your letters and clippings. Dad's letter was very interesting and could almost be submitted to Silent Sports as an article because it was so long! I was confused by the one envelope from Mom that only had clippings and photos but then got your letter later in the day. Mail comes twice a day here and proved quite a mystery at first. Now I know that it comes at 10 a.m. and then again at 2 p.m. In the future, you could send all that stuff in one envelope and save postage.

Last night I saw Thelma & Louise. It's a great film and one you must both see. Its message is relatively good and the film really plays with your emotions. Today I am foregoing the football game to write you and do homework so I can go hear Dread Zeppelin tonight and go to the Shepard Chorus meeting. Sunday I'm going to play Ultimate Frisbee with B., P., R., and some others after the Bears game.

The graduate student who runs my history discussion section is the nephew of Noam Chomsky, a noted lecturer and political studies professor at MIT. Neat.

All of my classes are still proving to be interesting. Please write when you put money into my account so I can note it in my records. Also, please send bank statements so I can balance my check book.

I've been reading a lot for my classes. I have a quiz in Statistics in histograms, observational studies, controlled experiments and whatnot. At present I am reading Benjamin Franklin's Autobiography and Ulrich's Midwife's Tale. My audition for jazz went pretty well. I'll know the results soon. If no luck is to be had there I'll just do Concert Band next quarter.

As of this letter, I have had two articles printed in the Daily. Please comment. Hopefully, I shall become a staff writer after a couple more pieces. My apprenticeship at WNUR began on Friday. He put me in the 5-7 a.m. slot which is OK because I only have one class on Friday. It was fun. I am looking forward to getting on the air on my own. The board isn't too difficult to manage but I'll probably butcher my first show or two. Oh well...

Got a letter from B. She seems happy with National-Louis. Maybe I'll call her today. Hope all is well at home. Hope Dad's arms aren't too sore! May the both of you have happy days.

P.S. In case you're wondering, Ultimate Frisbee is basically Frisbee football. I haven't made any goals yet but I can't get better if I don't play.

P.P.S. K. got a Macintosh LT. It is absolutely beautiful and I am extremely jealous. Ink jet printer, too. Wow.

P.P.P.S. Pet Barney for me and have fun taking out the garbage. I used to... Ha.

Oh. The radio station has three Microscopic Septet albums I didn't even know existed and tons of Anita O'Day and Hoagy Carmichael!

Your son,

Thursday, March 24, 2005

It's an Ad, Ad, Ad, Ad World XXX

It's a good month for innovative advertisements in the magazines this April. National Geographic Adventure sports a fun trifold Gasoholic brochure from the Mini. GQ includes a well-designed punch-out card sheet from Pepsi's Oneify campaign. That same issue also features fun punch-out postcards from Song -- and if you give a card to a flight attendant, Song picks up the postage. And not to be outdone, Esquire -- which now offers one of the best subscription premiums I've seen for quite awhile -- binds in a Maker's Mark advert with Magnetic Poetry-like words and a make-your-own-bottle set of refrigerator magnets.

First time in a long time that I've been impressed by magazine advertising gimmicks!

None-Hit Wonder

Also in this week's edition of New York, writer Dave Itzkoff claims that the band the Bravery is "New York's next really big thing."

So it's interesting that Spin magazine, for which Itzkoff edits, hasn't published a major feature on the musical group. Not big enough for Spin? Hit up New York.

Tabloids of London

New York's Intelligencer touches base with Paul Field, recently hired to head the National Enquirer. Near the end of the half-page item, there's some interesting insight on the state of American journalism:

You've hired a bunch of British journalists. Are they better at this than Americans? In the U.K., everybody reads the newspaper every day. Most people read two or three. The competition just makes journalists very aggressive. ... British journalists don't understand that there isn't the same national newspaper. The Enquirer needs to brand itself as America's national newspaper.

Oh, so? What about USA Today or, arguably, the New York Times? Scrappy snarkiness at the outset -- or does Field really think he can retool the trashy celebrity gossip tab into a national newspaper of note?

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Photographic Design

This is pretty cool.


Courtesy Spell with Flickr.

Friday, March 18, 2005

Food for Thought

Why would you spend upwards of $3 on a Wendy's cheeseburger when a Jr. Cheeseburger Deluxe costs just 99 cents? Sure, you only get two ounces of beef instead of a quarter pound, but they're basically the same and cost a whole lot less.

Generous on the Block

This morning, on my way to work, I saw a woman living down by the Palace putting a stack of record albums on the sidewalk by some garbage cans. "Are you throwing those away?" I asked. She was, and she said that I could help myself. I tried to restrain myself somewhat and only took about a foot-high stack of albums, including some Christmas records, Gregorian chants, and assorted classical music -- the records were almost all classical.

When she finished bringing out the records -- "That's the last for today," she said with a sense of accomplishment -- we talked for awhile. She still listened to classical music but was "making the change to CDs." We agreed that they were smaller and took up less room, and that we preferred record albums' cover art. Can't wait to go home after work and slap down a platter -- time to find out why turntable hasn't been playing in stereo!

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Comics and Commentary VI

Not to telegraph anything (touch metal), but it looks like I'm going to be contributing comics reviews to Rick Bradford's Poopsheet. His writers cover a lot of impressive, intriguing small-press and self-published material, and I think it'll be a nice parallel to my work with Zine World.

Re: Design

A friend recently remarked that Media Diet could use a redesign. Rather than take offense -- after all, this blog does use one of Blogger's original templates, with slight refinement -- I'd like to offer a call to action.

Would you like to redesign Media Diet? If so, email me. You can either show me what you've already done in terms of a redesign mockup -- or I can email you my template code to play with. Join the ranks of such illustrious contributors as Joe Szilagyi and Nate Rock. Help make Media Diet.

In the Test Kitchen with Dinah

The Fast Company Web team just relocated its workspace within the same office building in Midtown -- one floor above the magazine staff. I'm not sure how keen I am about being further away from the editorial team, but I think I'll appreciate sitting near the Family Circle test kitchen.

Almost every day, the Family Circle chefs test various recipes used in the magazine to refine the ingredients and cooking process. Already, on Day One in my new location, I've eaten a fine salad, some lima bean and corn concoction, and peanut noodles. I'm not sure whether I'll be able to eat for free every day -- but this will make lunch even more fun.

Monday, March 07, 2005

Music to My Ears LXIII

And... the grassroots soundtrack to Robert B. Parker's Spenser novel Bad Business.

Fictional Media Mentions

Real media, as mentioned in Robert B. Parker's novel Bad Business:

Books: The Teammates by David Halberstam, Genome by Matt Ridley, and Rembrandt's Eyes by Simon Schama

Magazines: Life

Movies: Chicago

Music: Gerry Mulligan and Chet Baker, "But Not for Me;" Lee Wiley; Bobby Hackett; Dean Martin; Benny Goodman, "Live at Carnegie Hall 1938;" Johann Sebastian Bach, Concerto No. 3

Note: Bullets and Beer is a fan site that offers even more Parker annotations.

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Libraries I Like

I just got off the phone with Grant Leuning, a zine archivist at the Minneapolis Community and Technical College Library. He emailed me inquiring about my old zine Karma Lapel, and I called to learn more about the archive -- I currently donate all the zine-related materials I receive to DePaul University's Chicago Great Lakes Underground Press Collection.

In any event, Grant says that the collection was started when Utne -- and perhaps Chris Dodge -- donated a bunch of material to the library. Since then, the archive has accepted "basically anything we can get our hands on." And to their credit, they index the collection: by title, author, location, date, and subject -- throughout the issues on hand. That's more than DePaul can say; I think they only index by title.

This week, I'll mail the MCTC a full back issue run of Karma Lapel, if I'm able. And if you self-publish, you should consider supporting the archive, as well.

MCTC Library, 1501 Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis, MN 55403.