Posted by: Mark Nielsen | June 7, 2008

Tag the Blog (A Blogger’s Dog Tag)

My friend Ruth “blog-tagged” me the other day… oops, it’s been over a month ago now, where did the time go? I don’t often get involved with chains, or forwarding stuff, but since this one is more like shameless self-promotion disguised as a game of tag — and I’ve always been a fan of shameless self-promotion — here goes…

Here are the rules if you decide to play along:
1) Link to your tagger and post these rules on your blog.
2) Share 7 facts about yourself on your blog, some random, some weird.
3) Tag 7 people at the end of your post by leaving their names as well as links to their blogs.
4) Let them know they are tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

Ahem… and now, my seven facts (for which I make no claims as to their randomness or their weirdness, as I’m too far gone by now to distinguish weird from normal):

1) My earliest memory is a traumatic one: bleeding profusely from my right forearm, after snagging it on a cabinet hinge at about age two and a half, or three. (Yeesh… what a way to start, you sicko.)

2) My first job out of college was with Kartemquin Films, producers of the acclaimed film Hoop Dreams and dozens of other social-issue documentaries featured on PBS and in theaters. My name is even in the credits. I got fired from that job, though. (I was 22, and in over my head in terms of the specific, sales-oriented job I was supposed to be doing.)

3) My middle name is Sebastian, which was my maternal grandfather’s first name. (My son’s middle name is Brice, my dad’s first name, …and his first name, Graham, is similar to my father-in-law’s middle name, Gorham.)

4) I once missed a plane home from Paris, and was forced to stay an extra day or two. Not the worst place in the world to be stuck, let me tell ya…

5) Best comic timing I ever exhibited: my little sister spilled a glass of milk at supper, and some of it dripped into Dad’s lap, and he started screaming and swearing, and she started crying. After ten seconds of that, I piped up with this classic: “No use crying over spilled milk.” Everyone cracked up, including Dad. Crisis over. But my ambition to be a comic, or a humorist, or somehow use words to make people’s lives better was just beginning.

6) I took a date to a Cure concert once in the Eighties, mistakenly thinking it was the Christian rock band The Call. Never felt so out of place and awkward in my life, out there at Poplar Creeek Music Theater among 30,000 pre-goth, brooding, black-clad brethren, and me like a doofus in my yellow Izod LaCoste shirt. It was my one and only date with that girl, too.

7) My favorite food is lasagna. For all my other favorite this, that, and the other, check out my MySpace Profile. It’s one of the few things MySpace is good for anymore…

Seven other blogs I frequent:

1 – Brad Listi – A.D.D. – An actual published novelist. Doing a younger, hipper blog that has as many funny commenters as I’ve seen anywhere. Brad’s also funny, and capable of serious political and cultural analysis, too.

2 – Will Fitzgerald, aka Will.Whim . Words are the air he breathes… and he’s a fledgling Mennonite pastor, to boot.

3 – Jesus Manifesto – started by Mark VanSteenwyck (I think), this blog has grown up into a cool little webzine.

4- Alternadad – former Chicago Reader journalist and sometime novelist Neal Pollack, doing a blog about parenting a wild-ass six-year-old, much more colorful than my own kid. Neal leans more toward the profane side of my sacred/profane duality, but as the only person in this list who makes any MONEY at blogging (at, he’s my hero anyway.

5 – Pastor and Author Greg Boyd’s Random Reflections. I first caught this cat on Charlie Rose’s interview show, on PBS. Then I read his book Myth of a Christian Nation. Then I started listening in to an occasional podcast of his sermons, and reading this blog.

6 – Rafiki James – one of my first and most consistent supporters for the MySpace side of MT. He does some fine spiritual and political essays himself, I must say.

7 – Carolynn Todd Burbee’s chatty little blog without a name. It’s primarily personal news and reflections, by an old college friend who teaches history. I mean… she’s not old. A year older than me, but then… oh never mind. I’ve already gone and stuck my foot in it…



  1. I just love the image of you at that concert.

    Good play, Mark.

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