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Liebster Award Nomination March 20, 2016

Posted by Ubi Dubium in Blog admin, Responses.
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I’d like to thank the Academy….

Wait, no, not that award.  I’d like to thank Aaron K. Collett for nominating my blog for a Liebster Award.  Very kind of you, and unexpected!  I don’t post very often, so didn’t expect any kind of award.

“The Liebster Award is online recognition given by bloggers to other new bloggers for enjoying or valuing their work. It is meant to highlight and credit favorite new up and coming blogs within our writing community.

The rules are:

  1. Share the blog that nominated you and thank them.
  2. Answer the blogger’s 11 questions.
  3. Give 11 random facts about you.
  4. Nominate 11 blogs for the award.
  5. Notify the bloggers of your nomination.
  6. Give 11 questions for them to answer.”

Here’s Aaron’s questions, and I’ll do my best to answer them.

Why did you start your blog? 

For a long time I had read and commented on other blogs, but never thought I could really do my own.  But every so often I’d find myself writing a long comment in response to some apologist, and realized that I’d been writing the essentially same comment many different times in different threads.  Wouldn’t it be better to have a single place to write down all those things I was always saying?  Plus, I figured out that WordPress was free and really easy to use.

Name 3 of your favorite authors/poets, and why you like them.

Only three?  I’ve spent my life as a real bookworm, so there’s a ton of authors I like.  So I’ll just pick a few out of what should be a list of probably more than a hundred:

J.K. Rowling.  Meticulous craftsmanship for how she structures her work.  Nothing is there by accident.  Plus, I figured out Snape’s motivations long before book 7 came out.

Isaac Asimov.  I started  with the science fiction as a youngster, but it was his science essays that probably affected me more.

Donald Jack.  This Canadian author is obscure in the US, but years ago my parents picked up Three Cheers for Me at the library, and couldn’t stop laughing.  They handed it off to me, and I likewise spent a long time in fits of helpless giggling.  There’s a lot of books in the series, but the first one is the best.

Do you have any pets or significant animals in your life?

One cat and three parakeets at the moment.  The cat is a LOT of cat – his name is Regulus, and he is very large and very fluffy and very (as Potter fans will guess) black and mostly made of pounce.  People think of cats as quiet and graceful, but not this one.  He charges around the house and knocks over furniture like a puppy.  We’ve nicknamed him “Thunderpaws”.

Do you have any tattoos?

Ew, no.  Apologies to those who have tattoos, I understand that they are part of your self-expression and you love them, but my reaction to any kind of body modification is just to be squicked out.  (I didn’t even get my ears pierced until I was 21.)  Apart from the whole needles thing, getting a tattoo would be committing myself to the idea that who I am and what I like right now will always be who I am and what I like.  I reserve the right to change my mind about this stuff, and a tattoo is just too permanent.

I’m also older, and from a generation where tattoos were generally thought of as disreputable. Nice people didn’t get them.  I realize that this standard has changed, but I grew up with a “Tattoos?  NOPE!” mindset, and for me that has not changed.

What has been your greatest achievement so far?

My kids.  Two wonderful intelligent daughters.  I also think being married for thirty years is not too shabby.

What do you do daily to keep yourself as mentally healthy as possible?

I try to learn something new every day.  Science magazines, science blogs, anything interesting.  And I stay far away from all the trashy reality TV.

What city do you live in and how do you feel about it?

I live in the DC suburbs.  I grew up here, lived elsewhere for a while, and came back. It’s where I feel at home.  The traffic may suck, but it’s worth it for the high-caliber schools, the amazing wealth of arts in the area, and all the free museums downtown.

What is your favorite meal?


I’m not much on breakfast ( I don’t care for eggs or cereal or coffee) and my gallstones say that I can’t eat much at dinnertime, so lunch is where it’s at.  Teatime is also nice.

Or did you mean what do I like to eat?  I like Chinese food, I like Indian food, I like Taco Bell but can’t explain why.  But often, when I’m thinking about what I’d like to eat, my first thought is a hot deli sub and unlimited refills of diet soda.

If you had a superpower what would it be?

Flying.  I think about the other possibilities, and I always come back to flying.

Who living or dead would you like to meet? (up to 3 people)

Hmmm…   Again, so many possibilities.  I’d have to be careful, because I’ve learned it’s dangerous to have heroes.  If you look too closely at anybody you admire, you often find something to spoil your impressions.  So I’m going to leave out a lot of people I really admire, and put in people I have questions for, or who would just be interesting to talk to:

Queen Ankhesenamun – to clear up all that uncertainty around the end of the 18th Dynasty.  Who was Smenkhare, what happened to all of her sisters, and did she really write those letters to the Hittites?

Shakespeare – to find out the plot of Love’s Labour’s Won.  I guess I should probably read Love’s Labour’s Lost before then.

And, I don’t know, maybe Voltaire?  I’d say Mozart, but I’m pretty sure he was an asshole in person.  No, I know! Ötzi!   We’ve found out so much about him physically, but don’t know his name or his history, or how he wound up frozen in a glacier.

11 Random Facts about me:

  1.  I’m a super-taster.  I can’t abide foods that are bitter or biting.  Coffee and radishes are right out.  Raw onions are really nasty. I don’t like walnuts or pecans, and guess what nuts people usually put in their baking?  I also have texture issues with things that are oily or cloying and stick in your mouth, and so don’t like sour cream or avocados.  I like ice cream, but had to acquire the taste for it.   No beer, no dry wine, bring on the stuff that tastes like Kool-Aid!
  2. I went on Jeopardy in the late 90’s.  I came in second, and had a lot of fun.  I was more proud of passing the qualifying test then of being on the show.
  3. I sing in the chorus for A Capitol Fourth most years.  I’ve gotten to see the back of a lot of famous performers, see how they are to work with, and sing backup for some of them.  I have a lot more respect for Barry Manilow now, and a lot less for Little Richard.
  4. I have a forked uvula.
  5. I can twiddle my thumbs in opposite directions.  It’s easy to twiddle them both forwards, or both backwards, but try doing one forward and one backwards.  Not so easy.
  6. I can wiggle my toes individually.  Not a natural ability, I practiced until I could do it.  No idea why.
  7. I can overtone sing.  Two notes at once.  I learned when we did a piece in my chorus that needed it, and we all tried to learn to do it.  I run out of breath really fast, though, so I can’t do it for long.
  8. I’ve been binge-watching on Netflix a lot recently.  Just finished off all of Breaking Bad.  My oldest wants me to watch Death Note next.
  9. I love learning to cook dishes from different ethnic cuisines.  My spice cabinet has just about everything you can imagine, and a lot you’ve probably never heard of.  Except asafoetida, I have to draw the line somewhere.
  10. Necklaces!  I love them and have a ton, and wear them almost every day.  Big sparkly stuff recently came into fashion, and that’s what I like, so I took advantage of this and bought a bunch while the stores have them.  Once they go out of style again, I won’t care, and will keep wearing them.
  11. I can knit.  And crochet.  And quilt.  And embroider.  And needlepoint. And cross-stitch.  And make clothes, including RenFaire gowns.  And I’ve tried to teach these skills to my children, with no success at all.

Now as to nominating other blogs – I will have to apologetically decline.  I love you guys, but If every blogger nominates eleven other bloggers, pretty soon we’ll all be doing nothing but responding to these awards with no time for anything else. This kind of thing only works as an honor if most people don’t pass it on, otherwise we’re dealing with an unstoppable chain letter.



1. Daniel Digby - March 20, 2016

I had no idea people actually ate asafoetida. I thought is was for a bag to wear around your neck when had a cold or just felt antisocial. Either way, it keeps people away.

What’s your opinion of durians? That’s my choice for people who like asafoetida.

Liked by 1 person

2. ubi dubium - March 20, 2016

Asafoetida is used in in some cuisines as a substitute for garlic and onions. The Hare Krishnas, for instance, hold that garlic and onions are not acceptable to offer to Krishna, and so use asafoetida as a “replacement”.

As for durians, I once tried one single bite of a durian cookie. The terrible rotten onion smell was stupefying, but was then overwhelmed by the massive turpentine aftertaste. The group I was with each took one bite, gagged, and then we said “We have to go to Baskin Robbins. NOW!” And that was only a cookie. My local Asian markets keep them in mesh bags in the freezer, so nobody will open them in the store. I think they should also keep a padlock on the freezer. And then maybe drop the whole freezer in the Potomac, just to be safe. Friends don’t let friends open durians.


3. Nan - March 21, 2016

LOVED reading this! Not only learned about YOU, but also saw that we have some things in common … which is always nice to find. 🙂

Congrats on the nomination!

Liked by 1 person


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