I don’t normally respond when I get nominated for blogger “awards” because it seems like the equivalent of a chain letter passed around more than a bottle of hooch at a hoedown. I can say that because I’ve been to a hoedown or two. There’s usually a pig on a spit or in a smoking hole in the ground involved. You should trust the pseudo vegetarian that abstains from the cracklings but probably swilled the hooch on this one. I tell stories, or ponder, or throw in a random poem when the literary muse strikes my inner Plath and these types of postings never seem to fit. But life is a jigsaw puzzle with missing pieces and ragged edges chewed by the family dog, so who cares about fitting really? The whole point of these particular types of posts is to reach out and connect a community of writers and readers, to introduce ourselves to each other, and perhaps someone we like to read ourselves to another reader. When I started this adventure I thought I would have three readers that I harassed into it and I’m tickled Pepto Pink that I have actual strangers that actively read and engage with my work. I don’t do any kind of self-promoting these days, especially since I broke up with social media, but a little linking action between blogging friends is always a welcome union.
Plus, like most writers, I’m a serious procrastinator and this seems like a great distraction from the half started piece I meant to have finished by the end of February to meet my self-imposed arbitrary deadline of at least a piece a month. It’s the shortest month of the year. I’m sticking with that excuse. It has nothing to do with binge watching Black Mirror. It’s sitting there right now, scribbles on a yellow legal pad, taunting me every time I venture to the kitchen for more coffee. It has the voice of the Frenchman from Holy Grail, jeering that I should “Come back so I can taunt you some more!”
So, thank you Jeff Cann for calling me out for the Getting to Know You Award. Jeff’s work is a pleasure to read for its style, clarity and honesty. In his own words his blog is about “Writing, Running, Other Stuff”. Go read it. But after you read this. Ok, maybe I still have some self-promotion in me after all….
Who are you named after?
My mother likes to say that my name just came to her one morning as she was eating some cereal. I’m not sure if it was Wheaties or Lucky Charms but apparently I can thank Kellog’s or General Mills for my moniker. This seems like a great time to come clean and tell you all I write this blog under a pseudonym, mostly to keep it separate from my professional life. I like to have this space to be exceedingly honest sometimes and I would prefer not to go to my paying gig and have a coworker ask exactly how much my elderly uterus likes to party. I was raised that you don’t discuss politics, religion, or the intimate details of your life in the workplace as a professional. However! Annie was actually a nickname of mine as a child on one side of my family, so she’s an integral part of me, part of the very fiber with which I’m built. I never understood why I was granted that nickname. I’m not a red-head. Or an orphan. Though I do know the chorus to Tomorrow. Bet your bottom dollar.
Do you like your handwriting?
I like it. Many others do not. I write with a flourish that can become indecipherable if I’m writing quickly. It is very distinct. Handwriting analysis might determine me to be a schizophrenic or a vagabond with a wander lust destined to be the next great creative mind. Or both.
What is your favorite lunch meat?
Please refer to previous comment on “pseudo vegetarian”. I tell people I’m a fake vegetarian because it’s easier than explaining Ovo-lacto-pescatarian in a land of steak eaters and pig roasts. So…. cheese. I can’t break up with cheese. I love it so. It’s my longest relationship.
I think I just answered this. It’s with cheese. We’ve been very happy together since I was introduced to solid foods. Oh, with a human? Four years. A lifetime and a half ago. This is a site where I discuss singledom after all.
Do you still have your tonsils?
I do! I have all my original parts plus a few bionic ones. Someday I’ll tell that story for everyone.
Would you bungee jump?
I have been parasailing, hang-gliding, and in a vertical wind tunnel that mimics sky-diving without that actual impact on the ground part. So, if this intended to ask me if I have an adventurous spirit? Yes. Bungee jumping itself never appealed to me, all that violent jerking around.
Do you untie your shoes when you take them off?
No. My sneakers are all laced and double knotted to exactly the point I can slip them on and off when broken in correctly. Should I Google what that says about me? One moment please…
Favorite ice cream?
This probably isn’t a revelation to my regular readers, but I prefer salty over sweet usually. I don’t eat a lot of ice cream or desserts. It may surprise people I like French Vanilla, given my less than vanilla tastes in life itself. But, it’s French so it’s extra, right?
What is the first thing you notice about people?
My gut reaction to them. It’s rarely wrong. I can usually tell in a few minutes if they’re a tool bag or a bag of glitter and fun. I know people are nuanced and complex and blah, blah. It doesn’t change the fact that some people are such tools they actually comprise a double tool bag.
Football or baseball?
Hockey. Ice. Live. Sweaty men smashing each other into the boards. I have a side.
What color pants are you wearing?
Blue. Scrub pants I’m wearing on my day off because they’re basically pajamas and I can still answer the door to strangers or walk to my mailbox at 2 pm without funny looks from my super German neighbor.
Last thing you ate?
Mac and Cheese. Did I mention my longest relationship?
If you were a crayon, what color would you be?
I would be the entire box of colors. Why be just one? I’m a rainbow! Plus, I just consulted the All-Mighty Google and there’s no way I could pick just one. When did they come up with names like Deep Space Sparkle? I think I need to visit the Crayola Factory.
Brewing coffee. Turning into the bread aisle. Gasoline. The smell of great sex. Smell is the most closely related to memory.
Who was the last person you spoke to on the phone?
The technical estimator for the roofing company. Alas, I decided it wasn’t cost effective to keep pushing the existing shingles to a Willard Scott birthday so I’m replacing the whole she-bang with newborn shingles. Who has the cigars?
Brown in varying shades. Never dyed except a little spray in green back in high school. Good girl with a streak if you’ll recall.
Hazel. Changes dependent on the light and my mood.
Favorite foods to eat?
I’m pretty sure you all know my answer at this point.
Scary movies or happy endings?
I was once gifted the box set of Nightmare On Elm Street and a box set of Evil Dead. Shaun of the Dead is one of my sick day, watch it over and over again, movies. It has a happy ending!
Last movie you watched?
Spike Jonze Her, raising all kinds of questions in me about the nature of love and humanity. Then I watched some shit blow up in Avengers: Civil War. Wait. I lied. The absolute last movie I watched was Sausage Party. It’s now streaming on Netflix. Salty adults will love it. Keep it away from gentle souls, those easily offended, and children. That’s my TV-MA disclaimer.
Halloween. No one is shocked.
Beer or wine?
Both please. The tag at the top does say “and the pursuit of wine”. But I had myself a little Sweet Baby Jesus! just last night. And yes, I do exclaim that after the first sip. Always. Every time. DuClaw wants you to, that’s why there’s an exclamation point on the bottle.
Night owl or early bird?
Night owl in my youth and as recently as a year ago. Now I get paid to be cheerful and professional by 7 am some days. It’s a daily struggle.
Favorite day of the week?
Sunday. After a long run, with an omelet cooking, and time to actually sit down and read the paper. It’s beautiful when it works out. I wish it worked out more often.
These people are under no obligation to continue the chain but I wanted to link them up because I enjoy, laugh with, am inspired by, or in awe of their work for various reasons:
Jason is a man who “When not blogging, instagramming or comically mangling the unpronounceable Danish language, I can often be found arguing with strangers in Facebook groups, or creeping silently across rooftops in the dead of night with a deadly cobra in my backpack.” His About Me speaks for itself. Never a dull read.
If you want to learn how to do odd things like dye human hair (maybe), old timey art projects, make wine at home that may or may not taste like vinegar (someday), or see work travel through the lens of a curious mind bent on seeing the odd side shows in life, this is something you should be reading.
Christine is a force to read that makes me laugh and cry, sometimes simultaneously. She reaches the gooey center under my crunchy shell with her honesty about loss and struggling to learn to live with grief. She tells the truth that grief is not something that really goes away when it seems so many people try to tell us we should button it up and pretend everything is sunshine and unicorns. And then she tosses out things like her dog’s “scrotal ablation” and I snort laugh.
I did find this to be an entertaining and quite flexing exercise if those I just “nominated” want to give it a go. Maybe I’ll even go pick up that piece that’s taunting me from the other room. It’s more likely I’ll open a bottle of wine, cook some vegetable lasagna for the week, and find some other salty adult movie to watch. But I promise I will finish it! It’s like running. It’s the starting that’s the hardest part. This little Q & A writing exercise is a perfect example. I intended to just make it a brief distraction in the day and suddenly its hours later and it’s turned into another lengthy (hopefully entertaining) post.
“What they call you is one thing. What you answer to is something else.” –Lucille Clifton
Or if you prefer the vernacular version:
“It ain’t what they call you, it’s what you answer to.” — W. C. Fields
I also try to live by this:
“To succeed in life, you need three things: a wishbone, a backbone and a funny bone.” – Reba McEntire