Jennifer Ball

Jennifer Ball's first story for the Reader was about her pet pig. She served as music editor and wrote stories from 1997 to 2005, including:

July 3, 1997, page 44 If I Had a Sledgehammer for a Nose, What Havoc Would I Wreak

Sept. 4, 1997, page 36 People Related to You by Jury-Rigged Means

Aug. 27, 1998 No One Compares Me to Other Famous French Horn Rock and Rollers

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Latest Articles

She Hated Adverbs

I knew Judith Moore only through her voice: a baritone with a slight Southern accent. And I knew her writing. The first time I spoke to Judith -- in early 1997 -- she called me ...

Second Day of 7th Grade

The second day of seventh grade, the students of my new junior high were having a sit-in in the library over open campus. There were about 40 of them on the floor between the stacks, ...

Soundtrack

The music that tells us we’re alive.

I'd press play on my older brother's boom box, and listen to the Beach Boys' "Surfin' USA." The volume never passed two; I was terrified of discovery by my mother who had a ban on rock music.

My Junior High High

James Taylor was the soundtrack for my adolescence. I would sit in the living room and play his records over and over on our big console while I tried to imagine what anyone would ever ...

Mom

The woman we never forget.

"Careful, Ma; don't spill your soup," I warned. "First time you spill, that's it — you're going to the home.” Mom's reply was immediate. "I know. I've picked out what I want to take with me."

Rage to Kill

I think I got my perfect pitch from my mother's side of the family. I got my anger from her side too. I call it the curse of perfect pitch. Or the chip-on-the-shoulder gene. My ...

At Home in San Diego

Where I live, no major high-volume road cuts apart the 'hood. People can cross the street without becoming dead. The amoeba-shaped Balboa Park Municipal Golf Course and grid-busting canyons have made a rabbit warren of the streets.

A La Costa gibbon saves a marriage

When I think of La Costa, I remember the wildlife — the skunk that lived under our house, for instance, a beautiful creature whose size would double when it puffed up its fur after it ...

Jefferson Jay

Jefferson Jay is getting a master's degree in history from San Diego State (he says his thesis will be on "mass media interpretations of Haight-Ashbury during 1967"), but he'll be singing songs and playing the ...

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