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:

If I Had a Sledgehammer for a Nose, What Havoc Would I Wreak (July 3, 1997)

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

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

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Articles by Jennifer Ball

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, ...

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 ...


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 ...

Solana Beach

I discovered Solana Beach because of a pig — well, two pigs, actually — Sporky and Frances Bacon. Frances (name variation because she was female) lived on the middle Barbara in Solana Beach. Before I ...

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