men in my life

2 07 2008

Today was a rotten day at work. The concept of “capacity” is a little advanced for six-year-olds. Little did I know. Also Teach for America is crazy about this thing called the TAL Rubric, which makes you feel the equivalent feeling of watching a lot of CSPAN until your head gets really, really dizzy because all the words are too big and similar-sounding.

So I was thinking today about the brilliant men in my life (i.e., people who have directly contributed to without ever reaping any real benefit or credit), and I was thinking about their great Web sites, and I thought you should all direct your Internet attention over to them. I assure you, you’ll like what you read…

Chris Tognotti.

Chris contributes rousing usually-sports-related articles to basically all the time. The content would be meaningless if he didn’t.

Favorite thing about Chris: He once sent me a 500-word Facebook message on Why Lebron James Sucks. That link won’t take you to it.

His site:  Check out BOTH of them:


  • This is Chris’s bloggity blog, as I like to call it. Call me old fashioned, but I’m really into the good, Livejournal-era, solid, about-my-life blogs. This is not one of those. It’s far too intelligent to every be associated with the word “Livejournal.”
  • This is a Podcast about movies Chris does with some of the other interesting men in his life. Two of them have the name Shawn (not necessarily spelled as such. In fact, probably not spelled as such in either case). They say funny things about movies. You can listen to it. In the shower if you really want to. And if you have an iPod in your shower.



I rode my bike to and from my house a couple days ago. I must say, to whoever coined the expression about never forgetting how to ride a bike… there is a bit of a rust to shake off, you know? I have little to no idea how I’m supposed to work the gears on it, and I’m sure I looked incredibly stupid swerving unsteadily down the road at night, but it rides well. I’m pleased with it.


Andrew Hall.

Now we get into the land of Andrews. I will warn you that there are no fewer than three important Andrews in my life. There might even be more than that. THIS Andrew is one of the most brilliant writers I’ve ever met. He contributed a few pieces mostly about music and about animatronics. I’m relatively confident he is the next David Sedaris.

Favorite thing about Andrew H.:  Is hard to say. But he did introduce me to the least-desired music. Which has been one of the greatest musical discoveries of all time.

His site:


  • You know how hip Andrew is because he has a Tumblr. That’s about as hip as they come. And last time I visited, he even had a funny picture up. How hip of him. But seriously: His blog is the shit. I am RSS Feeding that like the plague (?). 



What I do remember is the bowling alley in Bellevue. At this point in time it was brand new and everyone was rather excited, since it was much cheaper than the bowling alley at the Sun Valley lodge and was in much better shape, what with it being new and all. It had arcade games not from the Cruis’n series, an air hockey table, and a tabletop machine called Gorf that I thought had a fantastic name at the time. For some reason this left me strangely compelled to search for things on library computers, in lines of ten to fifteen children on our monthly trips to the public library, concerning Gorf, though they never had anything, I knew this, and everyone just found it kind of irritating.


Andrew Witherspoon.

I probably wouldn’t know what the Internet was if it wasn’t for Andrew Witherspoon. He’s the most talented computer graphics designer I’ve ever met.

Favorite thing about Andrew W.: He’s a really good bowler. But I’m just thinking that because I just read about bowling in that entry above. So that’s not really my favorite thing. My favorite thing about Andrew W. is that he is a good person. And that’s straight-up.

His site:


  • This just relaunched, and it’s gorgeous. It’s a portfolio site, and Andrew has done some really extraordinary things in just the last month. You’re going to want to keep this bookmarked for all the work he puts into it in the future.




Andrew Jesaitis.

I love this man with all my heart. And when he makes one million dollars, I hope he’ll give me at LEAST a hundred thousand for feeling that way perpetually. Andrew edited the Whitman College Pioneer with me for three years, and now he works at a big company. He’s a genius. And he taught me how to embed my images using a simple CSS code which I now completely forget. C’est la vie.

Favorite thing about Andrew J.: His scent.

His site:


  • Andrew is really outdoorsy, so he posts a lot of outdoorsy things. But he’s also a really classy, really talented photographer. His photo recently won second in an Outside Bozeman photo contest. I hate the multitalented.


An excerpt:

Here is Andrew’s winning photograph.


Mackenzie Schubert.

Mac has never actually contributed to my site, but one time I made Mac an HTML Livejournal before he knew EVERYTHING about the Internet and the Web site had the same color scheme as this one. Also I want to brag about knowing this artist who I can promise you money will one day be famous.

His site: 


  • Click around and feel inferior as a twenty-something in your generally meaningless life.
Mac has one of those fancy Flash sites you can’t steal pictures from. Fuck that. Here’s a piece he did a few years ago. It actually moves. Try to fathom that. You can see other pieces of his earlier work by checking out his old deviantART. I took that picture of him jumping. I get three points.
Alex Kerr.
Alex doesn’t have a Web site but he’s absolutely my favorite living, breathing human being. And he was brilliant in this YouTube video. And, on the theme (Re: Andrew Hall) of animatronics, he sent me this badass YouTube video of Chuck E. Cheese puppets playing “Love In This Club” by Usher.
Bask in the talented glow of my friends. Thank you.





3 responses

2 07 2008

‘Sup, old school?

2 07 2008

ian! happy birthday, belated. i have been thinking about you a lot lately. i hope you’re well. <3.

2 07 2008

i learned about the TAL rubric in my first education class at occidental. i still have two binders full of information from that class. did you get my email about the books from that class? they’re about teaching low income and ESL students. i’d love to give them to you.

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