I received an unexpected honor this week: a nomination from fellow blogger A.E. Poyner for the Liebster Award. The Liebster, which is awarded to noteworthy blogs, claims Germanic origins and is roughly translated as "dearest" or "beloved." Excellent! I originally started this blog because I like to amuse myself writing odd pieces. I've since derived great joy from sharing my musings with the three people who read my posts (not all the same post, or in the same month ... or necessarily more than once). The Liebster Award would be tasty syrup on my pancakes.
But wait: it turns out there is no such thing as a free lunch (the pox on you, Milton Friedman). I always thought pancakes were breakfast fare, but such distinctions apparently mean nothing in Liebsterdom. In addition to hosting a blog deemed worthy of the Liebster, the nominee must perform a number of specific tasks. First he must thank and link to the nominator. Easy enough: Thank you, A.E. Poyner -- and check out the link to Of Moose and Men at the right. And the nominee must post the award on his blog. Ooh, a technical feat, but not insurmountable (see above).
So far so good.
Next ... what's this, I have to provide eleven "gee-whiz facts" about myself? I haven't used "gee whiz" since the Navy taught me to curse like a proper fleet sailor. And who sent you, A.E. Poyner? It was the NSA, wasn't it? It doesn't matter: they got everything they needed from my cell phone and Internet accounts, anyway. Okay, I'll give that a shot too. But there's still more: the nominee identifies other blog sites that may be worthy of the award. And finally, he must answer eleven questions posed by the nominator.
Good lord, I didn't have to do this much for the Nobel Peace Prize or even the Pulitzer -- possibly because I've never been nominated for either, but let's not nit-pick, shall we? All right, if I must, then let's get started.
Here are eleven "gee-whiz" facts about me:
1) I have a head so big that I can't take showers, at least not if I want to rinse the soap off my body;
2) I ride a recumbent bicycle (I believe "weird" falls within the definition of "gee whiz");
3) Before I learned how to kayak, I built a wooden kayak with my hands (I'm lying; I used tools);
4) I had carnal knowledge of another person (if you'd met me, you'd be saying "gee whiz" at this point, or "seriously?" or maybe "how could you possibly afford that much liquor?");
5) I know what "carnal knowledge" means;
6) I've written two novels -- including Hillari's Head, an intriguing and funny novel which will be available for purchase August 1, 2013;
7) I've alienated most of my family and friends by making awkward and transparent sales pitches for my new book, Hillari's Head, at inappropriate times (I did mention it'll be available August 1st, right?);
8) I once had it out with the Governor of California (by "had it out," I mean he was standing at the next urinal over during a banquet);
9) I make a limoncello that'll have you swearing you're on the coast of Amalfi (which is great if you're on the coast of Amalfi. If not, you need to ease up a tad on the liquor);
10) I enjoy the music of John Denver (okay, that's not so much a gee whiz fact as a cry for help);
11) I nearly stomped a man to death in New Orleans once (not really, but I've run out of gee whiz facts. I should at least get some credit for exposing myself to possible criminal prosecution in Louisiana ... er, ah, if the statute of limitations hadn't already run).
Here are my answers to the A.E. Poyner's questions:
1. What are three things on your bucket list? I don't have one, so the first is to start a bucket list. I'd also like to live and write in Europe for an extended time, sail to Hawaii from California, and compete in the Race Across America.
2. What is your pet peeve? Ranting, unthinking political shock-show hosts who have lowered the standards for political discourse in their quest for higher ratings.
3. What did you want to be when you grew up? Writer, pilot, forest ranger, diplomat. Shoot, I even wanted to be a lawyer once.
4. What do you do to get out of a bad mood? Why don't you just #%^} off? Sorry, I need a drink. There. Now, what was the question again? Oh, I uh ... ride my bike.
5. What is your favorite book? A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving.
6. What was your most awkward moment? I received an award from the Department of Defense in Hawaii a few years back, and had a cigar and drink with a general the night before the awards banquet. Next day we were chatting before the event and I saw a small vacant table off by itself in the corner. Feeling quite relaxed, I quipped, "What is that, the kid's table?" The general soberly replied, "No, that's the table for our honored dead who couldn't be here with us today." I was familiar with those tables from previous Army events, but just wasn't thinking at the moment. (That actually happened. Ouch.)
7. If you could go anywhere in the world, where would it be? Ever since I saw the movie Forrest Gump, I thought it would be pretty cool to use that White House restroom with the pictures of Marilyn Monroe and Jack and Bobby. Oh, that's not what you meant, was it? How about the South Pacific?
8. How do you find balance? All I know about serenity, I learned from the Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu ... or was it Kwai Chang Caine? Whichever one always said, "I do not wish to fight you," right before kicking an obnoxious cowboy's butt.
9. What is the best meal you know how to prepare? Osso buco and tiramisu, along with complementary courses and my limoncello.
10. When you decide to have a nervous breakdown, where to you want to go? You sound pretty certain that's going to happen. What have you heard? I've never thought about that, but if it's true that there's a fine line between genius and madness, I'd head to the deck of the nearest aircraft carrier and trumpet, "mission accomplished."
11. What is your favorite phone app? I want a ring tone that sounds like a distressed GI system; then when it goes off in a meeting, I'd be an object of pity rather than derision.
Last but certainly not least, here are six excellent blogs I follow that I nominate for the Liebster Award:
Congratulations to the above nominees! If you wish to accept this honor, please answer the same eleven questions posed above -- and perform the other rites of passage (turns out it's not so painful).
Thank you again, A.E. Poyner!
Now that I'm an Award Winning blogger, perhaps you'll join my other three subscribers (see blue buttons to the right, just beneath the periscope in San Diego Harbor). Thanks!
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