I Won An Award!


Sandi, at What Oft Was Thought, gave me a Liebster award for Christmas! (Okay, I don’t know if it was for Christmas, but anyway…) Thank you, Sandi! I will cherish it always!

Here are the instructions:

  1. Acknowledge and accept the Liebster Award by leaving a comment on the blog where you were nominated.
  2. Copy the Liebster logo and paste it onto your own blog.
  3. Inform your nominees by leaving a comment on their respective blogs.
  4. In your blog post about the Liebster Award:
    • Link back to the blogger who nominated you.
    • Answer the 11 questions put to you by the person who nominated you.
    • List 11 random facts about yourself.
    • Nominate, and link to, three–11 other blogs which you enjoy and which have fewer than 3,000 followers.
    • List 11 questions for your nominees.

Here are Sandi’s questions to me, and my answers:

  1. What is your ideal vacation? This is a hard one to answer, largely because, since going on disability, life is like a vacation, albeit one where I’m worried about money all the time… Seriously, I traveled on business for years, so going somewhere really doesn’t appeal to me. Although, I always wanted to sit in a sidewalk café in Paris, drinking espresso and smoking Gaulioses, except I quit smoking years ago (I don’t think they let you smoke in the cafés anymore, anyway) and I would have to order un café déca (decaffeinated espresso) to keep my blood pressure down.
  2. What was your first job? I delivered the Chicago Daily News for Lewis News Agency in Rogers Park. The guy who ran the agency was Chuck Sucks. At least, that was what we saw written all over the neighborhood. And yes, we knew it was him. Talk about your weird coincidences: my sister-in-law and I got talking one night, and it turns out she worked for Chuck at the same time. I remembered her; she was a real pain… I say that affectionately, because she is a nice person, my brother loves her and they have two beautiful children, including my only niece.
  3. What motivates you to post on your blog? I post every day and have since July. Keeping the streak alive motivates me. It’s the motivation technique Jerry Seinfeld uses.
  4. Name a book that you recently finished reading. Just this past week, I read K. M. Weiland’s Conquering Writer’s Block and Summoning Inspiration: Learn to Nurture a Lifestyle of Creativity. It is a very good book, worth having in your library, and, at $3.99, cheap at twice the price.
  5. What is your opinion of reality T.V. shows? The networks love them because they’re a lot cheaper than having to pay for scripted television shows. It won’t be long before we are subjected to a show that’s nothing more than a man sitting on the toilet reading the newspaper for an hour. It’ll probably win an Emmy and be turned into a movie starring Tom Hanks, with Jennifer Aniston playing his wife (who bangs on the door and asks him if everything’s okay every twenty minutes). In short, I don’t waste my time.
  6. How do you feel when a snowstorm hits your area and everything is cancelled for the day? It was culture shock moving from Chicago, where we regularly had heavy snow, high wind, and record cold temperatures and went to work anyway, to Atlanta, where the mere hint of winter weather closes the schools, empties the grocery store shelves of break and milk, and sends the local TV stations into full emergency mode. To be fair, it snows so little here that most local governments don’t spend too much money on snow removal equipment, and the hilly terrain makes snow removal an adventure, but we’ve started seeing more snow that stays around longer than a day or two, so they might want to rethink their strategy. Anyway, when we hear bad weather is coming, we stock up on plenty of comfort food and sit around watching the panic on television. Mary knits, I write, and the cats sleep. Life is good.
  7. Last night, my daughter was telling me about a friend who was applying for dual citizenship in another country. If you could obtain dual citizen in another country, which country would you choose, and why? I spent a week in The Netherlands (I still call it Holland) and thought it would be a cool place to live. I also spend a week in Scotland, and that’s another possibility. So, one of those two.
  8. What is your pet peeve with WordPress? Actually, compared with Blogger, I’m happy with WordPress. Blogger doesn’t do pingbacks, and the editor spends too much time saving your work. I would like WordPress to have more HTML tags available on the editor, make it asier to create nested lists (like the one above), and support HTML5 better (particularly when dealing with videos). It’s a safe bet that I’ll end up moving to a self-hosted site in the near future (i.e. buy a domain, get a hosting package, and install the WordPress software myself), but that’s down the road.
  9. Recently, I saw a study claiming that people who read fiction tend to be more empathetic. This study has generated controversy in my household. What is your opinion about this “finding”? They need to examine the other possibility, that being empathetic causes people to love reading fiction. In either case, you’re comparing apples and truck parts. You can measure the amount of fiction someone reads fairly easily, but measuring a person’s empathy level is another whole kettle of worms. It’s like the statement, “cat owners are better lovers.” One doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with the other.
  10. Did you believe in Santa Claus when you were a child? Of course. I also believed in the Easter Bunny.
  11. How do you prefer to learn about world news — through the internet? through the television? through a newspaper or magazine? Definitely through the Internet. Reading the newspaper with one hand is a challenge, and practically impossible with cats. We no longer have cable TV, and even when we did we rarely watched the news channels, and I’m convinced the networks are only carrying world news because it’s a tradition. The advantage to reading world news on the Internet is that you can read local news reports: if something’s going on in Japan, you can read Japanese news sources.

Now, eleven random factoids about me:

  1. I’ve worn my hair in a ponytail since 1992. It’s so curly that it’s the only way I can control it.
  2. I use a cane when I’m away from home. Mine is a replica of the one Hugh Laurie used during the middle seasons of House MD. I saw it, and told Mary that, if I ever needed a cane, I wanted one like that. Little did I know…
  3. I’ve had a mustache since I was nineteen. Yep, forty years.
  4. I have an uncle who worked for WLS TV in Chicago. Anytime one of their cameramen caught me on camera, it was a safe bet it would be on the news at 10. Then there was this
  5. I’ve been interested in weather and weather forecasting since seeing PJ Hoff on TV when I was a kid.
  6. I learned to use a slide rule in junior year of high school because calculators were nowhere as near ubiquitous as they are now and they cost a small fortune.
  7. I worked for one of the first US companies to make panko breadcrumbs.
  8. Mary and I have had many cats over the years, including a Siamese, three half-Siamese, a polydactyl named Thumbs, and two Devon Rexes. We got a rescued Devon from a breeder, and when the cat died the breeder gave us a kitten, Milton. Milton is not what you’d call the sharpest knife in the drawer.
  9. I didn’t get a driver’s license until I was 28. I was informed by the short-tempered football coach I had for driver’s ed in high school that I had a depth perception problem and probably should forget about ever driving. Showed him, didn’t I?
  10. I came in second in the Mu Alpha Theta math contest when I was in eighth grade, and got a huge trophy. The next year I met the guy that came in first; he sat either in front of or in back of me at the same high school. Nice guy. We had a good laugh about it.
  11. I first saw Mary in a training class at Marshall Field’s when I was a junior at Loyola. The next time I saw her was in the halls at Loyola. The third time, I was getting coffee in the cafeteria at Loyola, and she came up to me and asked, “Don’t you work at Marshall Field’s?” We’ve been together ever since.

All right, well…. Now comes time for me to nominate eleven of you. I would really hate to leave anyone out, so tell you what: If you’re a blogger and have fewer than 3000 followers, you’re nominated. Congratulations! Grab the badge and have a ball answering these questions.

  1. What browser do you use, and why?
  2. If you had to live somewhere else, where would you move?
  3. Do you have any pets? What are they (species, breed, etc.)?
  4. If you’re a writer, what genre do you write? What would you like to write?
  5. What sports do you enjoy, and what team(s) or athlete(s) do you like?
  6. What’s your second-favorite comfort food?
  7. What do you think of this recent controversy over the movie The Interview?
  8. What’s your favorite holiday, and why?
  9. Do you have any crazy relatives? What makes them crazy? (By crazy, I don’t mean mentally unstable.)
  10. What’s your favorite software app?
  11. What would be your dream job?

Again, Sandi, thank you!

10 thoughts on “I Won An Award!

    1. One day I’m sure I’ll tell the whole story. As a driver’s ed teacher, he was a good football coach; the only reason he was teaching in the first place was IHSA rules that said all the coaches had to be teachers.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. These were some fun questions and factoids. Really got to know more about you. I had a mustache for about 40 years and then shaved it off about 4 or 5 years ago. I’ve got a post in the hopper about that story so I won’t tell it here. Sometime in the future though.

    I may take you up on this challenge in January–tentatively I’ve scheduled it for my birthday on the 30th.

    Tossing It Out


  2. Thank you, John: this was informative (obviously), motivational (I read the article about Jerry Seinfeld’s productivity tip and may try it, though not necessarily for writing), and entertaining (I especially enjoyed your Jerry Lewis imitation). The random fact that I found most surprising was the ponytail, but, now that I look at your profile picture more carefully, I can see it.

    Merry Christmas!


    1. What Jerry Lewis imitation? XD I was just walking to get a cup of coffee and got hijacked by my friend, and the guy filming the commercial remembered me from my aunt and uncle’s wedding six months earlier. Believe it or not, Christmas four years ago was the first time I had seen the commercial; it was filmed in 1977. Needless to say, I was mortified…

      For me, “keeping the chain going” really works. I haven’t missed a day of blogging since July. 750words.com keeps score like in bowling: if you write at all on a day, you get a spare (/), and if you make 750 words or greater, you get a strike (X). Seeing a string of X’s there really encourages you to keep the string going. Try it and see!


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