My Blog May Not Have a Theme, But It Wins AWARDS. It’s Like the Seinfeld of Blogs!

GUESS WHAT!

Nope. That’s not it. Guess again.

No, I didn’t win an award. Guess again.

Stop being so impatient. I KNOW what the title says. “AWARDS”! As in plural. As in more than one.

I got TWO awards. TWO! Can you even imagine? It’s like getting TWO gold stars on the top of your paper, instead of the usual one (which is super nice, but not nearly the same awesomeness factor as TWO).

Great Work!

Yeah. I know this paper got THREE gold stars. Apparently, you can get one or three. Two is unheard of. Until now, anyway.

Award the First

The lovely, eloquent and very gracious George Kinnard over at COALESCENCE nominated me for the Kreativ Blogger award, because I have tricked him into believing I know what I’m doing over here. He is too kind to me, really. George in fact DOES know what he’s doing over at COALESCENCE, and you should definitely go check out his blog. I particularly like his “Sunday Spin” feature, because he never fails to find a song that brings back great memories for me or to introduce me to something I’ve missed out on all these years. George also wrote a very compelling series of posts about his relationship with his father. You lucky souls who are just finding them get to read the posts all at once. I suffered through the cliffhangers (and the wait was worth every minute!).

Award the Second

One Lovely Blog Award

Jim over at Just a ‘Lil Blog gave me this award after he wrote a story about poo and called my blog “themeless.” Oh, alright. He didn’t actually say my blog had no theme. But it was definitely implied. Definitely. (I mean, why would he say such a thing?)

I know what you’re thinking. Jeez, lady. You’re awfully snarky toward a guy who just gave you an award. It does say your blog is lovely.

You’re right, you’re right. Here’s the thing. Jim is waaaayyyyy funnier than am I, which means I’m totally jealous fella. In fact, he is THREE times as funny (see here, here and here), AND he has a legitimate day job. [Or so he says, anyway. I have my suspicions.])

Whachya got in the basket there, kid?

Blogger by night. ALIEN by day!!!

As part of accepting these awards, I have to write seven interesting facts about myself (see below). I feel like these should be at least as funny (if not more so) than the stuff Jim wrote about himself when he got this award. It’s so much pressure! I have never done anything as interesting as crapping myself at work. I feel like the America’s Got Talent contestant who had to perform after Susan Boyle. (Yeah, I don’t remember who the fuck that was either.) But, I’m going to try, dammit. In the immortal words of Tina Fey (well, they will be someday), “My ability to turn good news into anxiety is rivaled only by my ability to turn anxiety into chin acne.”

Do NOT, for the love of Pete, Google “chin acne” images. I think my eyes are bleeding.

So, without further ado (and before someone hooks me off my own stage) here are the strings attached to these awards.

First, I have to link back to the folks who gave me the awards. I did, and I – in all seriousness — encourage you to go read what they contribute to this Internet thingy. It is time well spent.

Also, I have to paste the award images into my post. Done. Easy-squeezy.

Now, here is the first hard part (which I mentioned above): seven “interesting” “facts” about me. What’s with the quotes?, you ask. Uh … you’ll see.

The Seven Wonders of Me

Wonder #1. I skipped the seventh grade. I went right from sixth grade to eighth grade. Cool, right? WRONG. See, my parents had the opportunity to do this little grade skipping stunt every year I was in school before the sixth grade. But my mother, in her infinite wisdom, waited until just before I hit puberty, to give it that extra kick of awkward that every 12 and 13 year-old girl needs in her hormone-raging life. (Also, I would like to personally thank my DNA right now for waiting on the boobs until I was a freaking sophomore … in COLLEGE. You come late to the party and then you leave early, too??? WTF.)

Wonder #2. I have a tattoo of Calvin from Calvin & Hobbes. Yes. It’s a fucking tramp-stamp.Transmogrify!!

I got this tattoo before “tramp stamp” entered anyone’s vocabulary, okay? It’s not like the tattoo artist took me aside and said, “Listen, dude. I know you want this somewhere that your mom future potential employers won’t see it, but people are gonna make wicked fun of you in a few years when some hoochie mamas start getting all kinds of stupid shit tattooed in the exact same place.” Nope. He just took my $75 bucks and set every nerve ending in my lower back ON FIRE while telling me to HOLD STILL.

Look, I was in Berkeley when I got the tat, doing things you do in Berkeley. I had big tattoo plans, and those plans involved a lot more than Calvin dancing on the back of my hip in his cool shades. Hobbes was supposed to be there, too. Susie eventually. It all seemed like a good idea at the time. But a lot of things seem like a good idea when you are in Berkeley, stinking drunk well hydrated and stoned stupid well fed.

I also got this tattoo before I had children (which involved gaining and losing about 90 pounds each time. That’s NOT an exaggeration.) Calvin isn’t aging quite as well as one might expect for such a boyish face? So, no, I’m not going to show you an actual picture.

Wonder #3. I once worked as a temp for various Turner companies. I worked at TBS for a day in the video department that was responsible for putting those nifty stat graphics on the screen during a baseball game. You would not believe the amount of work that goes into that or how many people it takes to pull it off. (Or, at least, the number of people it took in 1990. Now it’s probably some snot-nosed 21-year-old with a Macbook who’s multi-tabling no-limit tournaments and fucking around with GarageBand at the same time.)

I also worked for Turner Publishing for a while. You remember when folks were giving Ted Turner a shitload of grief for colorizing old black and white movies? Well, I assembled press kits designed to convince people it wasn’t going to send Mr. Turner to cinemagraphic hell. I have no idea whether the press kits worked and, frankly Scarlett, I don’t give a damn.

My last temp gig was for the president of CNN (at the time, Tom Johnson). I answered his phone, at which I was spectacular, thankyouverymuch. Although playing receptionist was not nearly as exciting as assembling press kits, Mr. Johnson’s office offered a decidedly better view. The front of the office was a long glass window. The office was perched over the CNN Atlanta newsroom, so I had an excellent view of – among other things -the top of Bernard Shaw’s head.

I did these temp gigs between 1990 and 1991, when the Atlanta Braves (owned by Ted Turner) became an outstanding baseball team. The Braves had one of the best pitching staffs I can recall — John Smoltz, Steve Avery, Greg Maddux, in particular. When the Braves were in the playoffs, work stopped all over Turner (and downtown Atlanta in general). We stood around televisions (which seemed to be everywhere) and held our collective breath with each pitch. We tomahawk chopped when we passed each other in the halls. I always liked baseball, but that whole time made me fall in love with baseball — with being a fan of baseball. Eventually, I realized that I did, indeed, leave my heart in San Francisco. (Holy Shit, Matt Cain!) But, I have to give the Atlanta Braves credit for lighting the fuse.

Wonder #4. I once went to a nudist camp. With my family. We were on vacation. No, I have no idea WTF my mother was thinking, either. No, I have not yet mentioned this to my therapist, thank you. I can barely afford her as it is, and you know that little confession will run me another year of sessions.

Wonder #5. Ah, first date stories. Aren’t they fun? Usually, first date stories are told at the wedding reception, little rom-coms that they are. Well, I don’t do anything the “usual” way. No. The Hubs and I had our first date at the theatre. The O’Farrell Theatre. It has a juice bar. (NSFW. Unless you’re a stripper. Then, I’m thinking your boss won’t mind. It’s like professional development or something?)

Listen, I’m sure this isn’t a big shocker now that you’ve read Wonder #4. And, to be fair, it wasn’t really a date. It was a dare. Close, but not the same.

Here’s what happened. The Hubs and I went to law school together, but we didn’t really talk because he was all tall-dark-handsome-I’m-too-good-for-you-don’t-even-look-at-me. (He, as you can imagine, has a completely different story. He says I was mean to him because I thought he got a better grade than I did in Contracts, and I got up in his face about it all über-competitive-like.)

Anyway …

At the end of law school, the Hubs and I started interning in the same place, and we occasionally had lunch together with another law school person. Somehow, the conversation turned to strip clubs. (Weird how guys manage to slip that into random conversation …) I’ll spare you the details, but the conversation ended with the Hubs “daring” me to go into the O’Farrell.

I showed up at our appointed time and place. Because dare, yo. But it wasn’t until that moment that I realized, Shit. I’ve never been alone with this guy. We’re driving all the way to the City together. We’re gonna be stuck together in a car forEVER. What the fuck are we gonna talk about? Well, now I’m standing there. In the parking lot. Where he’s waiting. And looking at me. It’s kind of too late to be worrying about this?

The Hubs at least had the good sense to feed me and liquor me up first. (I’m pretty sure this was the only part of the “dare” that was actually supposed to happen? Please see earlier discussion about the Contracts grade.) After dinner, he’s all, “You ready?” in his Cocky McCockerson voice with one eyebrow raised they way he does when he’s trying to make me weak. I downed my drink, said, “Fuck it. Let’s go,” and walked toward the front door of the restaurant. Between there and the front of the “theatre,” he gave me like 300 three chances to back out.

There are a lot of other details to this story, but I’m pretty sure my sister-in-law reads this, and even though she lives like 5,000 miles away, I can still feel her glaring at me all big-sister-like. So, I’m going to tell you only this. At one point in the evening, my future husband declared to me, “You are the coolest chick ever!” If you were there, you would know that he meant it. At least until the hot-ass woman who was expressing herself through dance to put herself through college took the Hubs’s money but gave me her phone number. And, don’t think for one second I’m not still flaunting that shit twelve years later. (Please see earlier discussion about the Contracts grade.)

Wonder #6. I lost my car once. I was at the Danbury Fair Mall in Connecticut. As you will see (if you click the link, which you should do, because it’s a map the helps this whole story make more sense for those of you who are – like I am – directionally challenged), there are six ways to exit the mall into the parking lot. Well, I parked my car in the area marked P3 and went into the mall through Macy’s. I made a mental note of where I parked. Then I set about shopping. Several hours later (I was in college – the halcyon days of free time), I exited the mall via Macy’s and went to where I parked my car. NO CAR. In fact, not only no car, but shattered glass in the parking spot where my car used to be.

This is in the days before cell phones, so I am left wandering around the mall parking lot muttering and crying, trying to figure out what to do about my stolen car. Luckily, golf-cart security guard sees the spectacularly hot mess I’ve become and stops to assist me. As I gasp for air in between my tears, I tell him my car was stolen. He smiles — a knowing, condescending, patronizing smile.

Mall Cop: Are you sure this is where you parked it?

Me: [saying aloud] Yes. [want to say] Yeah, I’m sure, you wanna-be, jelly-roll-eating, golf-cart-driving, glorified-parking-attendant.  Because, broken glass.

Mall Cop: Why don’t we just drive around to the other side of Macy’s and take a look-see? (Gesturing to the area marked as P4.)

Me: But, I know I parked here. And there’s glass. Clearly my car was stolen.

Mall Cop: Yes, I see the random glass to which you are pointing, ma’am. There’s a lot of that in this very, very big parking lot? So … [pats seat next to him in golf car]

Me: [pouting and sniffling] Fine.

So Mall Cop drives around to P4, and we start cruising up and down the parking rows. Round about the fourth row, I see the familiar red bumper. My face starts to match my car. I can feel Mall Cop laughing inside.

My car was right where I parked it. In P4. I really hope Karma enjoyed that shit. I probably deserved it, but …
Wonder #7. I am undefeated at Boggle.

BRING. IT.

I have never lost a game of Boggle to anyone. Seriously, my family won’t even play it with me anymore. For a while, we played with varied rules. I could use only five-letter words or higher. Everyone else could use three-letter words or higher. Still, undefeated. When Scramble with Friends came out, I was SOOOOOOO excited. Not anymore. Random opponents – creamed ’em. Family — dusted ’em.

I’ve been beaten at SWF only once. I was playing – of all goddamned people – the Hubs. He’d lost like 500 five games in a row to me. When I was taking my turn, Helene started pulling on me and asking for something, but instead of pausing the game, I got all cocky and just set my phone down on the table. I figured I had a healthy enough lead to win. Damn if he didn’t beat me by like two points. Don’t think he doesn’t flaunt that shit either. (Please see earlier discussion regarding Contracts grade.)

Now, no one will play that game with me either unless I let them slaughter me at Words with Friends. (*Ahem*Kevin Burdick*Ahem.)

The Seven Wonders of the Blogosphere (or at Least My Little Corner of It)

The last condition of these awards (and this is the HARDEST PART) is that I nominate others (seven others, actually) to receive them. I hate this part. I hate it for two reasons. First, I don’t want to leave anyone out and hurt feelings. I don’t deal well with guilt? Second, I know a lot of people really don’t like these awards, because they’re like email-this-or-bad-luck-forever-for-you forwards, only a lot more work than just hitting the “Forward” button and dumping your contacts list in there. And, I don’t deal well with guilt?

But, listen. My blog is a little fledgling blog, and I get so stupid-happy when people come by and “like” my blog, and I get warm-fuzzy-blissful when people comment (unless a person writes a trolly-crap-wagon comment, then I get all package-punchy). So, you can imagine the euphoria when I got TWO AWARDS. If nominating seven of you for an award is the price I must pay for happiness, I’m going to sit here and convince myself that you’ll forgive me. Please. Please?

So, here we go. These are in no particular order, but I’ve chosen blogs that I think are worth a lot more readership and comment participation than they’re getting. Also, if you’ve already told me that you are anti-the-awards, I am not going to make you write me a public thank you letter in which you politely decline the award but silently curse my name and wish for pigeons to poo on my freshly washed car. If one of my nominees happens to fall into this particular category, I beg you, please, do not wish the Karma pigeons on me. I wash my car myself. I’ll buy you a coffee or something and we’ll call it square, ok? Thanks.

1. Love Many. Trust Few. I nominate this blog and its author, Rose, for the One Lovely Blog award. I don’t even know where to begin describing what a wonderful blog Rose writes. She fosters several children one of whom is on the spectrum. She is a fountain of hope, knowledge, patience, wisdom. I LOVE reading her blog. And I look forward to the comments she leaves on mine, which are often insightful and comforting.

2. MrJMFlynn. This blog I nominate for the Kreativ Blogger award. Mr. Flynn is a freshly minted law student at the University of Michigan. He writes about a wide variety of subjects, and he writes well. I particularly like his posts that relate his experiences as a new law student. He also understands how to engage in healthy debate, and I’m enjoying watching him develop into a future lawyer (much as I usually try to talk folks out of it).

3. Ashley Jillian. Ashley gets the Kreativ Blogger award. She is a self-proclaimed “media savvy and fashionable math nerd.” She is also an aspiring comedian. Her blog posts are quirky, funny, witty, snarky — a lot of the things I enjoy in a writer. She’s got a crapload of followers already, so she probably doesn’t need this little award. Still, I’m glad she’s out there, and I hope to see her make it on the comedy circuit.

4. It’s Bridget’s Word. Bridget kicks ASS in the autism advocacy department, and I want to hug her more than give her an award, but the One Lovely Blog award will have to do. When Bridget writes, she does it all ballerina-ninja style. She mesmerizes you with graceful eloquence, yet she’s forcing you to reallythink about something. She doesn’t blog as often as I’d like (*ahem*), but when she does, I appreciate her point of view, because she is autistic and can speak from knowledge and experience even “experts” lack. You can also follow Bridget on Twitter @ItsBridgetsWord.)

5. nerdmommathfun. Ringer for the Kreativ Blogger award. So, I’m a total math-a-phobe? Seriously. I have a problem. But, I have NO problem with the lovely person who writes this blog. First of all — great sense of humor. I appreciate the “overuse” of emoticons. But, I also love the series of posts for the “kiddos” who need help with their math homework.  Let’s be real — it’s not just the kids who need math help, okay?  I was unable to help Nate with his math homework after about the fourth grade. So, factor on, Nerdmommathfun. Factor on.

6. Muse~ings. Elizabeth is an English teacher, so I love her by default. But, she’s also got One Lovely Blog (and now has the award to prove it). She writes about her experiences as a sometimes ninth-grade, sometimes twelfth-grade teacher. Her posts are funny:

Your name sounds French. Can you bust out with some French?

Uh… Just because I have a French last name doesn’t mean that I’ve got mad French skills. My maiden name is Taylor. It doesn’t mean that I can alter your suits for you. I can only swear in French and, even then, I am not sure if I am saying them correctly. For all I know, I could be saying “fish” when I really want to say “shit, er, crap.” That’s how I rock my French. (I don’t swear very well. I feel guilty.)

She is also practical and insightful about teaching and learning. But, Elizabeth also shares a good deal about herself, including about depression/anxiety and how it affects her in her personal and professional life. I genuinely appreciate people (especially women) who are willing to put the issue out there and discuss it, because every voice brings us one step closer to acceptance and understanding.

7. The Third Glance. Another One Lovely Blog nominee. This blog is written by E, who is a Ph.D student and Autistic. What I love about this blog is the way E shares stories. E expresses thoughts about autism based on concrete experiences, which puts thoughts, actions and communications into a context for me that I think helps me – as a parent – better understand and communicate with my daughter. E is an honest, compelling, smart and thoughtful writer. E’s site also has a fountain of other spectrum-related resources.

So there you have it. Seven facts. I’m sure you’ll tell me whether they’re interesting. And seven wonderful blogs. Thank you again to George and Jim.