Raven's tour of quality blogsaloning

Welcome to the December 2 edition of the Quality Blog Tour of Salon, or the Blog of Salon Quality Tour, or whatever. I’m confused after reading all the blogs around here and the Raven is prepared to spread the uneasiness around. For some reason, forty writers decided to pen thoughtful selections for your consideration today, and if you’re like me, you probably didn’t read them all. Except that I did, because that’s the job of the Salon Tour host. Rayne did a great job yesterday, by the way, and I hear that she’s in the process of recovering from the experience. More smart and sassy stuff from her is forthcoming, and if you don’t read Rayne Today, then you’re probably the kind of person who wears their underwear inside out.

If quality is indicated by readership, the The Julie/Julia Project features prominently in the local popularity contest. Now I don’t cook French, and Julia Child wheezes too much for my liking, but here’s Julie’s take on Concombres a la Crème:

“Concombres?  We don’t need no stinking concombres!”

And here she is on rice:

Julia and her goddamned rice.  Making Riz a l’Anglaise is just like making her regular steamed rice, only you toss it with butter at the end.  A waste of goddamned time, is what it is… Irritates the hell out of me.

Gonzo food writing? There might be some genre exploration going on here.

There’s a lot of fiction being written at Salonblogs of late, and some fictional cross-over work deserves a look. Of this category, the Raven recommends Gentleman George Mahood’s Radio Weblog. In this Bukowskian blog, the author drifts in a surrealistic fugue between smoke-filled bars and what passes for reality but shouldn’t, as in this myopic take on the technical process:

One time Schlagowsky had a question.  He was curious about blogs.  A customer of his was a blogger.  The guy blogged at Salon.com.

“Theoretically,” the guy told Schlagowsky, “you hit ‘post’ and it updates your blog.”

This author is so talented it’s downright frightening.

Some of us around here like to tackle the mysteries of the universe. Rayne Today comes to mind, and so does Rob at Emphasis Added. He’s in a prosaic state of mind as he explores the masculine tendency to engage in Battleshopping:

As one myself within my very narrow fields of interest, I can recognize the telltale characteristic of the male battleshopper: an obsessive fixation on military-style strategy and precision.

How true that is! Another veteran of the metaphysical, the ever-popular Jan at Secular Blasphemy, regularly presents a selection of the amusing and educational. Today he’s got an expose on The Illustrated Book of Sexual Records and a clever item titled “Proof that ESP works!” (Yes, we know how it’s done.) Another uber-blogger of the eclectic, Tenorman, appears to have returned to regular posting after an extended hiatus. Glad to have him back. Nobody classifies the Tenorman!

Before we leave the intellectual segment of the tour, Morgan Sandquist’s Gnosis has an article titled Can We Understand Non-Linear History that is the sort of thing the Raven enjoys immensely.

So, you want to know how to be popular in blogland, do you? Leah at Struggle in a Bungalow Kitchen thinks she’s cracked the code:

Hmmm. . .I wonder if I should’ve called this “Struggle in a Bungalow Bedroom” in pursuit of 40 new sexual positions by the end of 2003. (are there 40?)  Then maybe I’d get as many hits as that reverse cowgirl person.

Nope.  Nope.  Then I’d probably be embarrassed as my husband has sent links out to his friends informing them that I have this blog.

This brings up that annoying problem of wanting to tell everyone you know about your blog, but not wanting to be constrained by those expectations and relationships. “Now how am I supposed to write in complete obscurity?” she wonders.

Kat’s She’s Actual Size, Nationwide, Believe examines the addiction of blogging in her posting “Re: The Writing Impulse.”

I write the way some people drink; if I don’t do some writing every day, I get tense, irritable, and everything seems just plain wrong.

Clever and insightful, as usual, and she makes it look so easy, too. Doncha hate her?

A frequent Quality Tour mention, Maxine’s Radio Weblog, gets the nod today for her outstanding writing that, if anything, is sharpening daily:

“You smell like gin,” he finally said to me. “Well, tell me, are you satisfied now? Did you get what you were after when you went up there on that phony typing job?”

By now, I was crying, and I mean that horrible, gasping, insane kind of crying everybody hates when you start it. I think I could have been somewhat hysterical.

How can you stop reading after an intro like that? Another entry in this category would be Gary’s Tilt