Anonymous no more

During my sophomore and junior years at Southwest High School, a handful of friends and I published a ‘zine before we even knew what a ‘zine was. We called it an underground newspaper, and we dubbed it Anonymous! We vowed to each other that we would not reveal to anyone outside the publication our involvement.

Initially, it was just my friend Angela and me, and we wrote in several personas in order to make it appear more people were on staff. Over time, a few more people figured out what we were doing and joined in. We didn’t talk about it explicitly at school, and denied it ferociously if questioned. In fact, I had one friend and reader who was so obsessed with getting me to admit I had a part in it, that he eventually became my stalker, even after I moved to New York for college. The front page of the first farewell issue was directed toward him.

The first issues were photocopied at the Boy Scout office during Angela’s brother’s meetings. Later, one of our teachers offered, hypothetically of course, to make copies for us in the teachers’ lounge on the sly. We had other support among the teaching staff, mostly of the moral kind. At some point, we were also noticed by the head honchos, and we had to find another copy source. My mom was gracious enough to take up the challenge, and we mailed off our mock-ups 250 miles away to Houston for printing.

We closed up shop when half the staff graduated and Angela and I lost interest in each other. It was a lot of fun while it lasted. The most amazing thing about it was that we had an actual readership and subscribers, even.

Recently, I was reunited with all the issues of Anonymous!, thanks to my wonderful mother, who had been keeping them safe and well-archived for all these years. And now, for the first time since 1991, they are available for public consumption. I make no claims as to the quality – some are really quite bad in fact – but I think it is a neat piece of nostalgia. Keeping true to the name, we never claimed ownership of any of our original writing. If we did put a name to it, it was a pseudonym, mainly to keep up appearances of having more people on staff than actuality. Some of the pieces I know for certain were written by me, others I’m not so sure.

Now, seventeen years later, I reveal my fellow staffmembers (those that I can remember, anyway), in no particular order: myself, Angela C., Sean S., George P., Gabriel B.

I apologize to anyone I forgot, and to those I remember (in the event they still don’t want to claim involvement) .

And without further ado, I give to you Anonymous!

Top 10 of 2007

It’s the end of the year, and everyone is thinking back to all the good stuff and bad stuff from the last 12 months. All the DJs are putting out their Top Ten songs and albums of the year. There are probably Top Ten news stories in various places. Top Ten This, Top Ten That. I thought I might make my own list. So I thought and I thought, for at least five or ten minutes, but nothing came to mind. Well, one thing did come to mind – the Top Ten Indescribable Things That Happened in 2007 That Made it Unique From All the Other Years I’ve Been Alive.

For instance, I started this blog in 2007. I got the Tassajara Bread Book this year after seeing the film How to Cook Your Life. I played Quake again after like 10 years. I used Flexcar. My buddy Alex finally came to visit me after years of my badgering. I bought a new DVD player. The QFC opened two blocks from my apartment. The Tower Records two blocks away closed then became a Silver Platters which I never go to. (I rarely went to Tower, either.) The only marriage for which I’ve been a member of the wedding party (since my sister’s when I was 18) ended in divorce. I finally bought rain boots after living in Seattle for nine years.

I think that’s 10 things. I don’t know if that’s Top or Bottom, and I’m not sure what the long term effects of those things are – hence the “indescribable”. But they happened. And who cares?

So here’s my real Top Ten.

The Top Ten Wasabi Peas of 2007:

Top Ten Wasabi Peas

And then there were none.


At the corner of the main road, the north end of the straightaway, was an entrance to the pasture. The gate opened on the road that led past the oil wells and down past the bee hives and to the Back Tank. Between the gravel road and the gate, the earth was somewhat dug out, and a perfect place to play dolls. I used to take an old blanket – I think it was the pink bedspread from the double bed I used to share with my sister – and spread it out in the dip. Sometimes I’d take my little suitcase full of Barbie clothes, and my Barbies, and play dress up and act out little soap operas.
I think I had picnics out there, too. I’d pack up my lunch in my miniature Tupperware set, not forgetting the Kool-Aid.
One of the reasons I chose that spot was because it was quite clear of brush. Obviously, I was on a roadway, but even away from the road, the bushes were kept cleared. This was essential in keeping away from rattlesnakes.