Kudos, Props and Thank You Very Much

Many thanks to the ceaselessly creative wit and wisdom of Pat Sandy (or, as I like to call him, Dad) for passing along the Beautiful Blogger honors yesterday.

Lake Effect, his cartoon blog, dishes up an awesome variety of illustrative themes and reflective/humorous thoughts each day.

As he mentioned in his recent post, the routine and constant maintenance of blogging is demanding work and it takes the kind of commitment that only the tirelessly creative possess.

Check out his work. You’ll love it.

As per the guidelines of the award, I’ll nominate several other fantastic blogs that are well worth perusing:

– Even passive readers of my blog and/or Tumblr will know that I’ve got some sort of sick obsession with the band Phish. So does this guy. “Mr. Miner’s Phish Thoughts” is one of my must-read blogs, especially when the band’s on tour. Which they are. Right now. So go read his stuff! (And listen to the 6/23/12 Burgettstown, Pa., show for a real aural trip.)

– While it’s not really maintained by a single blogger per se, The Atlantic’s Cities blog offers one of the most consistently engaging collections of articles online. City planning is a burgeoning interest of mine and this is probably my favorite spot on the web to learn more about it all.

Heather Diana Designs offers a close look at the sometimes chaotic world of art and jewelry design. Heather Vaselaney works in the Cleveland area and her art is shown in several locations on both the east and west side of town.

– I love the way Short Form Blog aggregates and comments on the day’s news. Keep this page open throughout the day and you’ll be set with a steady stream of stories and, often enough, thought-provoking questions that really do push the reader to read/learn more.

– Maria Popova’s Brain Pickings is one those delightfully insightful websites that you can’t avoid returning to again and again. She’s got a great approach to Twitter and that’s mostly how I run into her new posts.

– As a political junkie ever in denial, I’ve come to really dig Greg Sargent’s  The Plum Line via The Washington Post. Especially in a year like this one, there’s an absolutely flurry of news and non-news in the political sphere. Sargent does a great job of wrapping up his take on various matters both clearly and succinctly – two fantastic traits for any writer.

– And even more so than the political side of things, I’m an incessant reader of media-related news (or, “news about news”). And, again, in a year like this one, there’s an insane cornucopia of news about this ridiculous industry. Dylan Byers on Media tends to point out both the unavoidable story du jour, as well as some other stories in the media that I may not have stumbled upon otherwise.

– Curation is often the name of the game in online news distribution. Many will scoff at the idea (Still?! C’mon!), but curating and aggregating the news serves an important function that, until recently, was never fully realized in the paradigm of print publishing. Byline Beat, based in New York City, has an editorial board headed by Michael Rusch that knows exactly what they’re doing. “Just as America, and indeed the world, is a juxtaposition of old and new, so too is our name and our mission.” Nice.

OK, so there are some of my favorite blogs. I’ll be sure to post additional recommendations in due time, since there’s an endless Rolodex of daily visits for my news reading habits.

To cap things off, there are a few more items to take care of as per the Beautiful Blogger guidelines. Here are seven things about myself:

1. I’ve always known I wanted to spend my life writing.

2. Playing the guitar soothes my soul. And the only reason I ever picked the instrument up in the first place was because of my Dad. Thank you!

3. I’m 23 and slightly unsettled with how fast time moves.

4. My favorite movie is “The Big Lebowski”.

5. In the same vein as writing, I’m a voracious reader. I’m currently reading Salman Rushdie’s “Midnight’s Children” and Francis Fukuyama’s “The Origins of Political Order” (Vol. 1).

6. Regarding the Fukuyama book, I’m really into political theory and I miss taking Poli. Sci. classes in college.

7. And regarding college, I went to Ohio University from 2006 to 2010. For the uninitiated, it’s in a little town called Athens. I love that town.

And here are the answers to 10 quick questions:

1. What is your favorite colour? Green
2. What is your favorite animal? Dogs
3. What is your favorite non-alcoholic drink? Water (Boring but delicious)
4. Do you prefer Facebook or Twitter? Twitter (It’s my newswire and my constant byline)
5. What is your favorite pattern? Anything chaotic and unpredictable
6. Do you prefer giving or getting presents? Both, absolutely
7. What is your favorite number? 33
8. What is your favorite day of the week? Saturday
9. What is your favorite flower? Sunflower
10. What’s your passion? Writing and music


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