You know the cobbler whose children go unshod? I’m the blogger who dispenses advice but forgets to take it.
My friend and colleague Vera Marie Badertscher created a Web magazine, which debuted yesterday, called Ancestors in Aprons: All About Food and Family. As you might guess from the title alone, it has strong links to two topics that are central to Freud’s Butcher — the ones that fall into the general categories I’ve called “genealogy” and “meat.”
Of course dealing with relatives almost always involves the third topic, “psychology,” but it’s not explicit on Ancestors in Aprons as it is here.
Vera Marie asked me to take a look at her site before it went live.
I was happy to oblige and think the site looks — and reads — great. I’m sure you’ll agree when you go over there. (Note: That’s “when,” not “if”). I had only one suggestion: That she post a list of her family names as “cousin bait” — a lure to members of the family with the same name.
She took my advice, as you’ll see in the box on her home page that links to a list of her family names.
You can see where this is going. I realized I did not have a similar list of names anywhere on my site.
More Than Kornmehl
I’ve written the name “Kornmehl” in so many posts that my blog turns up high in most Google searches for the name, though Lasik surgeon Ernest Kornmehl — written about here as one of the members of the Far-Flung Kornmehl Family — is always on top.
But Kornmehl is only one of the names in my mother’s immediate family, the focus of this blog (I should note that Mally/Molly Kornmehl is the “ancestor in an apron” who appears in the picture next to this post’s title).
To name only my mother’s parents and the married names of her aunts, there are also:
On the male side of the family there is only:
with the oddity that one of the aunts married a Kornmehl who also had the same first name as one of her brothers, Siegmund. So she is a double Kornmehl. And the cause of much confusion for future genealogists.
Among the other names that caught my eye when gazing at my family tree there are: Fast (as in Howard, author of Spartacus); Fodor (Eugene, who created the series of travel guides which, as it happens, I worked on for several years); Sternbach (not famous, but I had a friend named David Sternbach, and I’d really like to track him down); and, of course, Margulies.
I promise to put all these names — or at least the primary ones — in a more prominent place on this blog. But this is a start.
Web Magazine Website
What’s the difference? “This Is Not a Blog Post,” an article in Slate.com by Farhad Manjoo, provides some distinctions regarding format and style that I don’t think apply to the difference between Freud’s Butcher and Ancestors in Aprons. This seems more relevant:
Writers online are sensitive to old, cheap stereotypes regarding their professionalism—”young men sitting in their mother’s basements and ranting,” as Andrew Marr, the former political director of the BBC put it recently. While blogs aren’t treated so dismissively these days, perceived misuse of the terms “blog post” and “article” can still inflame journalistic class consciousness.
Why do I use the term “blog” for this site? Because I like to use the verb “blogging” to describe writing that I generate on my own terms, and on my own schedule — and, yes, that I don’t get paid for. I value it as much as my other writing — even more, in some ways, because it appears precisely as I want it to appear. I can — and often do — change posts after I publish them.
But I agree that there is still a stigma attached to the notion of a blog, as opposed to paid work that appears in print, say, or (often unpaid) work that appears on sites associated with print media such as NationalGeographic.com; or on content aggregation sites like HuffingtonPost.com that get far more traffic than most personal blogs do (and which should pay writers, but that’s a whole other topic).
Just curious. Those of you who have personal sites: Do you describe yourself as the writer of a Web magazine — having to say that long phrase alone is a reason for me to use “blog”! — or as a blogger?