139 Of 365 (366) For 2012

[ All credit to maumau7, whose lovely picture may be found here. ]

 

“I’ve learned a lot this year..

 

I learned that things don’t always turn our the way you planned,

or the way you think they should.

 

And I’ve learned that there are things that go wrong

that don’t always get fixed or get put back together the way they were before.

 

I’ve learned that some broken things stay broken,

 

and I’ve learned that you can get through bad times and keep looking for better ones,

 

as long as you have people who love you.”

 

[ Jennifer WeinerGood in Bed ]

What I Ment To Say

“Speak with integrity.

Say only what you mean.

Avoid using the word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others.

Use the power of your word in the direction of truth and love.”

[ Miguel Ruiz ]

Lately, I’ve been very quiet.

That is except for the daily remembrance – maybe even intrusive in some way (but then you can always skip over whatever you don’t want to read here – that makes it a bit better than sitting across the table from someone I imagine – you can decide what you want to hear and let the rest drift on by you) – a daily glimpse into whatever bit of myself I was willing to define myself by; whatever bit of myself I wanted to remember the day by a year later.

I’m not sure what I am to make of the consequences that come with my silence. Life here is so different from life outside (quicker maybe, slower at times – a haze, a mist, a dream). I understand that. I do. But sometimes I’m not good at – processing.

This is not an apology and it’s not a plea either. It’s – I guess you could best refer to it as a “whisper”. I longed to test my voice in this space again.

Wondering if there would be an echo.

Wondering if there would be silence.

Wondering what I would feel.

Wondering.

– I know this is not what I envisioned my first real post to be (I have other drafts – many).

Maybe this would have been better as a letter (would you have preferred it to be one?).

I think what I ment to say is

“I miss you. I miss me with you. I miss – everything. Thank you.”

[ “Breathe me” – Sia ]

87 Of 365 (366) For 2012

[ All credit to Steven Dorgelo, whose lovely picture may be found here.]

 

“Jessilyn remembered:


Daddy didn’t say anything for a minute or so,

and then he reached up and caught a firefly as it glowed beside him.

 

>See this light?< he asked me when the firefly lit up his hand.

 

>Yes’r.>

 

>That light is bright enough to light up a little speck of the night sky

so a man can see it a ways away.

 

That’s what God expects us to do.

 

We’re to be lights in the dark, cold days that are this world.

 

Like fireflies in December.<”

 

Jennifer Erin Valent Fireflies in December ]

45 Of 365 (366) For 2012

[ All credit to Zolgy, whose lovely picture may be found here. ]

“Soon, Tully had Kate laughing.

That was the thing about best friends.

Like sisters and mothers,

they could piss you off and make you cry and break your heart,

but in the end,

when the chips were down,

they were there,

making you laugh even in your darkest hours.”

[ Kristin HannahFirefly Lane ]

A HUG To Cherish

The HUG Award - via A Hope For Today

“To refuse awards

is another way of accepting them

with more noise than is normal.”

[Sir Peter Ustinov]

I was presented with yet another award: “The Hope Unites Globally (HUG) Award (c) “

The HUG Award (c) is a fantastic (not just limited to bloggers) award, which initiated by Connie Wayne at Hope for Today, promoting hope, love, pace, equality and unity for all people.

It is designed for people, with an expectant desire for the world, for which they: Hope for Love, Hope for Freedom, Hope for Peace, Hope for Equality, Hope for Unity, Hope for Joy and Happiness, Hope for Compassion and Mercy, Hope for Faith, Hope for Wholeness and Wellness, Hope for Prosperity, Hope for Ecological Preservation and Hope for Oneness.

The HUG Award (c) recognises and honors those, who help keep hope alive in our current world plagued by war, natural disasters and economic recession. They nurture hope in any of the above areas by the work they do or in their personal lives with things such as blogging, public speaking, charity work etc.

As I stated above The HUG Award (c) is not just designed for bloggers, but rather for anyone, anywhere in the world, who meets the guidelines and especially nurtures hope and respects the dignity of others, without compromising their own religious, spiritual, or political beliefs.

If I felt undeserving upon receiving the other awards so kindly bestowed on me up to now, I feel especially undeserving in this case.

However, as the great Sir Peter Ustinov stated correctly, just accepting an award humbly takes away much less attention from the important things, in this case this fantastic award and all it stands for and my own nominees.

For a complete list of rules for accepting this award, please refer to the guidelines and rules of the HUG Award

I really wanted to adhere to the philosophy of this award and not bend the rules in regards to this nomination, so I decided to not just name the nominees, but rather explain, why I believe them to be deserving of this particular award.

(sidenote: You can only receive this award once, so if I mistakenly awarded you this, please let me know, that you have already received this award.)

The nominees (in alphabetical order):

365 Veterans – This lady is honoring a veteran a day for a year. I don’t believe there is any question as to her being deserving of this award.

Childhood Relived – Now obviously this lady is beyond witty, but wittyness alone wouldn’t get her this award (not even considering her track record of winning everything in sight). The plain fact is: She is inspiring. Inspiring in seeing life and childhood memories for fun they are. Inspiring in proving you can survive all atrocity in life; – even an 80s childhood.

Creating Reciprocity – This lady asks herself the important question: “How can we live together?” With all our differences in culture, religion, upbringing, economic power and knowledge where is our common denominator that serves us as a foundation of living together in peace? Her posts are informative, but above all heartfelt.

Good Humored – I have previously described her as the Aretha Franklin of comedy and I stand by that description. What I haven’t told you about Paprika Furstenburg yet is that she has a truly genuine way of perceiving the different and the unusual with a loving heart. Above all she can laugh at herself as much as at or rather with others. I truly believe that humor is one of the pillars of the hope, especially when delivered with such warmth and intelligence.

Hotdogs And Marmalade – She is the daughter to a mother suffering from Alzheimer’s, a true christian (who doesn’t feel the need to impress her beliefs on others), a wife and a mother to her children. Her warmth in her descriptions of her everyday life and the acknowledgement of a gift at the center of every adversity are humbling and inspiring.

How To Date Boys – Yes, it’s funny reading through her honest recounts of dating as 20-something-year-old in this day and age, but it’s also her true and blunt honesty especially to herself, that creates hope. Hope of true love, hope of relationships and hope that in the end there is a prince charming for every girl out there.

Quieter Elephant – He’s one of the recipients, that is harder to explain. Obviously his posts are highly entertaining, random, hysterical, enlightening and informative, but that alone would not be enough. What makes him special and truly deserving of this post is his eye for beauty in strangeness in this world. I believe that being able to see something beautiful and special in random everyday occurrences is inspiring.

Random ReasoningThis post alone and her closer look at time and the essence of how we perceive time alone will tell you two things about this lady: 1) She’s hilarious and 2) She’s an analytical thinker, who enjoys the wisdom of foreign cultures and uses lessons from the past to explain the present.

Riatarded questions our western superficial values and challenges us to grow. This alone makes her more than deserving in my book.

Sakura Lights & Strange Trip Times – Art is always an inspiration for hope, freedom, beauty and connection deeper than words and these artists, each in their own right, are no exception to this rule. On top of that they each have a message that needs to be heard. It is my honor to nominate them for this award.

Snippets & Glimpses & Terminally Beautiful Life – These young ladies both courageously shares their mind and soul with anybody who will care to look and listen. They, each in their own right, suffer from several afflictions and they face this sufferance with more honesty and grace than most people I know. They truly bring hope and grace to my days.

Susserative Aspirations – This gentleman strives to understand humanity and most importantly himself. To confront your own imperfections and to relentlesly search for understanding of every other human he encounters, to me, is inspiring on a level I can’t even begin to comprehend. I challenge you to read his resiliency series and not agree with me.

The better man project – To try to confront your flaws and become a better man and a better person in the course of a life. I can hardly imagine a more inspiring project.

The Heartbreak Of Invention – External beauty leads to admiration. Although I can’t say anything about the charms her looks hold (since she has chosen to walk this past anonymously like so many of us), I can say that her inner beauty, the glow that surrounds her, is beyond inspirational. When I grow up, I hope to become half the woman she is today.

The Priviledged Contrarian – Her views on life and especially her honesty with herself and with others are refreshing and inspiring. She connects to so many people on so many levels and seems to be able to relate to everybody with a respect for their individuality.

Worrywarts Guide To Love, Sex And Marriage – If you are here reading this, you already know how I feel about the Worrywart. What you might not have heard me say yet, how important her presence in this blogosphere has come as a moral compass – She grounds me and inspires me everyday to be better, to me more (and maybe to be less dramatic). But it’s not just me. Her wit, eloquence and honesty alone would not make a fellowship as large and loyal as hers, I urge you to go find it for yourself. You will feel better for having met her.

Thank you for sharing all that you are with me.

Thank you for making this an enjoyable journey.

Thank you for making this my home.

[ Hallelujah – performed by Espen Lind, Askil Holm, Alejandro Fuentes, Kurt Nilsen ]

Everyone’s A Winner!

“Every day offers us the gift of being a special occasion,

if we can simply learn that

as well as giving

it is blessed to receive with grace and a grateful heart.”

[Sarah Ban Breathnach]

The intrepid cosmic tripster of Strange Trip Times graciously re-awarded me “The Versatile Blogger award” (againagainagain) here.

Unfortunately, I find myself once again in the situation of having to bend the rules to this award. Usually, I would be charged with telling you seven random secrets about myself, thanking the awarder (and linking back to them in this post) and in turn passing the award on to 15 – 20 worthy nominees.

Like I said in the third versatile blogger acceptance post, I really wouldn’t know who to nominate (but am always open to suggestions – speak up people!) and feel I’m already boring you with all the little bits of random that is me.

So, instead of this ongoing ramblings, I thought I turn the lime light from me on to my awarder and take a bit more words than usual to thank him adequately.

Apart from being a writer, who I cherish grately for his relentless honesty regarding himself and others, the intrepid cosmic tripster is also a pretty spectacular artist.

But please, don’t trust me on this, judge for yourself:

Photomanipulation by Strangetripsstudios via Strange Trip Times on WordPress

Photomanipulation II by Strangetripsstudios via Strange Trip Times on WordPress

3D Art by Strangetripsstudios via Strange Trip Times on WordPress

If you care to check out these (and other) artworks of him for yourself, which I highly recommend you do, you may do so here.

(sidenote: The reason I refrained from linking the artwork directly to the respective artist is, that I have found linking to mess up the dimensions of the picture.)

Being recognised by people / writers / artists, I admire, is a humbling and exhilarating experience for me and I am truly grateful to each and every awarder. To all of you and to the intrepid cosmic tripper in particular:

“Thank You!”

Not enough with me being recognised for my versatility by so many of you,

 Paprika of Good Humored was kind enough to nominate me for “7×7 Link Award” here.

Actually she didn’t specifically nominate me at first, but just everybody on her blogroll (which is still pretty cool, because her blog roll is rather compact, thus just being on her blog roll is an award in itself – or at least that’s what I tell myself).

So at first I was kind of hesitant to jump at this nomination, but when she repeated it in her comments, I grabbed that cute, shiny award badge off her writing home and hurried homewards to prepare my ever lengthy acceptance speech.

Rules for excepting the award:

The rules for this award mirror the rules for every other award I have come across with the exception of one cool little twist. Instead of spilling your guts about random little things about you, you get to link back to seven posts of yours (one for each of the categories).

Thanking Paprika is not an easy task, because I owe her much more than this cute little badge. I tried to express this gratitude here, but I actually think we’ve reached a point in our relationship where she knows, how much I treasure her. So to spare me the write and you the read, I’ll leave it at a simple, but heartfelt :

“Thank you!

7×7 Link Collection:

This is an extremely informative (thus helpful) post I wrote on the dangers of teenage pride and overly sweet liquor on christmas eve’. Although the title basically sums it up, you might want to read up on it for a more detailed go-to-recipe in these situations. You never know, when you’ll be a stubborn teenager on christmas eve’, better to be prepared.

I struggled with this one, because I wanted to base it only on the harsh reality of stats and figures. My highest ranking post is one of the acceptance award speeches. However, if you care for one where I’m not secretly singing my own public praises, you’ll be better off with the next popular one according to my stats.

This is an excerpt from my mother’s diary which she kept for me until she passed away in 1984. I don’t think I have to explain, why it is beautiful to me. Even though, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, I think you could enjoy my mother’s writing as well. (This was also the last post I published before disappearing for a while).

This is one of my earlier posts and since not a single soul was reading my posts at that time (not even the spammers), it’s a the absolute bottom of my stats. However, I think it deserves better. Not because it’s my best writing (I actually resisted the urge to go back and edit it!), but because it touches on a part of who I am, which is vitally important in understanding where I come from. Obviously, if you are only here for the pictures, don’t bother, it’s not nearly as artistic.

I’m not sure, if this is the best post I’ve ever written, but it’s the only post I’ve ever written about someone I am immensely proud off. This (rather short) post is a tribute to my mother’s father, who passed away a while back and who I still miss terribly. Among other things, he was my moral compass.

When I wrote this, I thought it might make you laugh or even just chuckle. I never expected it to coin this new saying of “living happily ever after under the bridge” (I have Worrywart to thank for this!).

Weirdly enough this didn’t spark the controversy I thought it might. However the topic, of deliberately chosing abortion (over adoption or other possibilies) not once but twice, is rather controversial in my opinion.

Nominees:

I’ve decided to take a different approach to this award (which I copied from Paprika). Since I don’t want to play favorites (more than I am already doing on my two separate blogrolls that is), if you are on my blogroll (the lower long one), that means I love what you are doing, which in term means you are deserving of this award (or both of them actually!)

So if you’d like to stick this shiny new badge to your writing home and you feel you are up for the challenge, by all means go for it! I’d love to read more from each and every one of you!

Update:

Worrywart of Worrywarts Guide To Weight Sex And Marriage just kindly bestowed 3 more awards on me here to complete my collection:

Thus all the more love to go around!

Since she didn’t post any rules to the exception I will just assume they are “ruleless“.

Also, because you all seem too shy or too humble or too reluctant  to accept awards without an official nomination, I have composed the following list.

If your name is one here, please by all means grab one of the awards, or two or all of them (like Worrywart said there is no sense in being selfish with blogger love: Take ’em and stick ’em to your blog!).

Because you are awesome and your blogs make me think, smile, laugh, chuckle, cry, feel and just overall feel like a part of an incredible blogging community, I nominate the following bloggers:

(in alphabetical order)

[“Bowl Of Oranges” – Bright Eyes]

A Spark In The Dark

“Feeling gratitude and not expressing it

is like wrapping a present and not giving it”

[William Arthur Ward]

The first award I ever received was at a YMCA day camp on the Cape. It was an honesty award. I was eleven years old. I don’t remember exactly why I received it, but it had something to do with lot’s of drama. The kind of drama that only a prepubescent girl perceives as vital to her own existence.

Over the last couple of weeks you kindly bestowed awards on me without me having to flood the Atlantic beforehand to receive them. I’m grateful for that: For the awards and for unnecessity of prepubescent drama (well mainly because I’m not sure I’d still know how to channel it – completely).

Yesterday, Papa Sakura of Sakura Lights bestowed “The Versatile Blogger Award” on met, yet again. Although I’ve already received it twice (once by Patrice here and once by Quieter Elephant here), it humbled me.

Especially, since his criteria for the nominations were growth and change, which I am both trying to achieve. I’m not sure, I’ve met them yet, but I see it as a vote of confidence on his part that I will receive them in the future. I’m grateful for that. It’s incredibly uplifting having people believe in you. If you know me (or at least have read a couple of post or comments of mine) you know I’ve already found a lengthy and winded way to thank him for this nomination on his award post (if you don’t well go see for yourself!).

Obviously, that doesn’t mean I can’t seize this opportunity to thank him again in my home. I felt the best way to do this was to post my favorite art work of his.

NY State of Mind - Sakura Lights

If you wish to check this wonderful painting out on his blog, which I highly recommend, you may do so here (in case you were wondering, I tried linking this pack to him directly, but it somehow wrecked its dimensions).

Although, I feel extremely grateful towards him for bestowing this wonderful Award on me yet again, I really wasn’t up for another Nomination Post. In all honesty, I don’t have anyone to nominate that I haven’t nominated before (except maybe Quieter Elephant and he already received it – obviously) and I’m pretty sure you’re all still recovering from my last seven random, dirty secrets.

So I decided to design a new Award, which I could bestow on a bunch of people I deem worthy. This proved to bit quite a bit of work. Not only because I couldn’t come up with a name at first (“Because of you” and “Je ne said quoi” – Award just didn’t cut it) and also because Phil had to help me a bit with the design in Paint.net (which I use because I’m to cheap to pay for Photoshop, if I can have something equally as good for free). I finally settled on this:

I guess, it would be more fitting to call this tribute as opposed to award, because that is, what it is.

Every single one of the following writers (I didn’t say “bloggers” now did I?!) has light the way for me on this journey. They are sparks for me (and not just me I’m sure) and this would be a dark, dire and lonely place without them. I don’t know, how to thank them enough for what they have done for me, but I hope to find a proper way some day in the future. Until then, this little jpg – file will have to suffice.

Rules for accepting this award: None. Honestly, this is yours and yours alone. Grab it and stick it on your blog or don’t. Share it with people you deem worthy or don’t. Make your own set of rule when awarding it or don’t. I said it before, this is more a tribute than an award and I can’t attach rules to a tribute (well maybe I can, but I don’t want to).

[However, I should add, that in order to spotlight the nominees the way they deserve, I chose to only nominate three writers this time. This time obviously implying, that I plan on awarding “The Spark Award” again in the future]

List of nominees (in chronological order of appearance):

Patrice was the first writer I met here and she was kind and understanding and genuinely interested in what I had to say. Above all, she thanked me for sharing my story.

Please let me repeat that:

“This wonderful, extraordinary and lovely writer and person thanked me for sharing my story”

She never gave up on me. Even when I stopped blogging for a while, even when I didn’t respond to comments. Even when I disappeared into thin air without a word of explanation. Through all of that, she never gave up on me. I don’t think I will ever find means to thank her for that.

I love the name and the design of her blog, so I’d like to share the facade of her blogging / writing home with you here:

I’ve put together a list of my favorite things about Patrice:

Search for Post: "I love Gandhi, too" - Drawn by her daughter

My favorite Post Not only is this brilliantly written, but it’s honest and deep and it make’s me feel like she just invited me inside her mind, soul or heart. It touches me deeply, when someone finds it in themselves to share such depths with random strangers. I strive to be like that.

But this wasn’t the first time, Patrice invited me in. I went back in time and found our first conversation here, so see for yourself:

If you want to read up on the post, which you should (actually you should read up on all her posts!) you may do so here.

So my dear Patrice, I hope you accept this token of my gratitude knowing it stands for much more than a couple of bits and bites pressed into a jpg-file.

Paprika is one of those writers, of which you can proudly proclaim: “I knew her before.” This wonderful, witty, caring, empathetic, honest and insightful Lady has been struck by lightning recently, – in a good way. This post of hers was “Freshly Pressed” and rightfully so.

Through all the buzz and excitement, she still carved precious time out of her day to read my ramblings and to comment on them. And guess what?! Above all, she makes me feel, like I’m the one she should be grateful to for “being her personal cheerleader” as she put it.

Let me repeat that:

“This rightfully renown writer is grateful to me.”

Paprika has a list of reader’s favorites on her blog (which may be found here), but strangely it didn’t include my overall favorite post and my favorite post regarding my funniest comment (If you want to know what it is, you’ll have to go see for yourself. I promise it will be worth it. Maybe not for the comment, but definitely for the post!)

Once again, I love the design of her writing home: It’s so simple and clean. But don’t trust me on that, judge for yourself:

The first conversation we ever had, was back in September 2011. Nothing can bring two gals together faster than a mutual agreement on their utter attractiveness (is that a word? Well now it is.). Since you weren’t a part of this historic moment, I’ve included it for you here (however this is another posts of hers you really should read up on).

Paprika for all the times you’ve made me laugh, for all the times you’ve made me smile, for all the times you’ve made feel special and for the wonderful that is you, please accept this award, knowing that this place wouldn’t be same without you.

Erik. Erik came to me, when I was but a ghost. He found me in the in-between, when I had stopped posting and before I took it up again (I have Patrice’s nomination for the “Liebster Blog Award” to thank for that).

Something about his comment on my About page touched me deeply and I felt compelled to return. As I am not going to force you to open another tab in your browser and look for the comment, I’ve posted it here (well at least the beginning of it, if you want to read more you may do so here):

One of the things that struck me first about Erik (apart from the sincerity of his words), was the calm and serene beauty of his writing home. Please judge for yourself:

I know, I know, this is rather superficial of me, but it is looks that make the first impression (just because you don’t like this fact, doesn’t make it less true) and this first impression was one of peacefulness and beauty within.

Although, I enjoy all of this modern-day James Joyce‘s posts, I’d have to say, that the Resiliency – Series are my favorite. I’m not sure why, but I love the discontinued feel of continuancy to them (and if you don’t know what I mean you haven’t read them yet – do so now!)

In all his talent, kindness, wit and cutting openness, he still praises my honesty.

Let me repeat that:

“This incredibly talented writer, who shows so much of his soul on random strangers, praises the honesty in my writing.”

My favorite posts of his is “Hannah” as part of the above mentioned resiliency-series. It’s moving, it’s powerful, it’s sad, it’s beautiful. I guess you could say it’s life.

This, in case you were wondering, is the first conversation I had with him on his home turf (on this post of his):

Please, Erik, accept this award knowing, that this can only begin to express the gratitude I feel towards you.

Let me finish this post with two words in the english language that are completely overused and at the same time rarely uttered in earnest:

“Thank You”

[“Tribute (The best song in the world)” – Tenacious D]

Apparently, Versatiler

“A little sincerity is a dangerous thing,

and a great deal of it

is absolutely fatal.”

[Oscar Wilde]

I’m beginning to develop a new talent:

“The talent of accepting recognition by others through awards.”

This is especially notable, because it takes a certain amount of refreshing self-denial to ignore the creeping feeling of being undeserving.

Also, this talent fits nicely into my other multiple talents, that are good for nothing except my own enjoyment and the distraction of others. I firmly believe everybody should have at least one useless talent. I really do.

All of my talents (including the most recent one) apparently make me not just beloved and versatile, but “versatil(er)” (oh be still my beating heart).

Thank you, Quieter Elephant, for bestowing this award on me: How fun and twice as nice!

In the interest of full disclosure, I should probably add, that Quieter Elephant has only started his adventure here a short while ago, so he hasn’t gotten acquainted with all the versatile this place holds yet. Still, I am quite certain in my delusion, that I would have made the cut no matter how many blogs were on his blog roll.

(update: I just checked his acceptance post and as it turns out he knows more people than he thought he did – don’t we all – so yes, I was right in thinking I’d be versatile even within the masses)

The reason I have chosen to post about this (again) and not just quietly and humbly accept the honor is not (just) because I can publicly thank the kind bestower (is that a word? well it is now) and can publicly bask in the warmth of yet another award, but primarily, because I can nominate new people I’ve found through Project 365 (366 – Quieter Elephant was also the one to kindly point out to me, that yes this year’s a leap year. I’ve totally gotten over that by the way. I welcome criticism the same way Lucy Lu does in Kill Bill Volume I, so I want to take this opportunity to encourage you to always speak your mind freely here) and I can share 7 more dirty, random little facts about me.

Every social realm has its own rules (written and unwritten), here are the ones for accepting this award in the blogosphere.

The Rules: 

1. Thank the award-giver and link back to them in your post.

2. Share 7 things about yourself.

3. Pass this award along to 15 or 20.

4. Contact your chosen bloggers to let them know about the award.

7 (more) random things about myself

  1. When I read poetry, in my head, I start a dialogue with the poet – To those of you who read comments on my posts, that’s old news, but it’s random enough to share here. I should mention that those dialogues are not always friendly. Most often than not they turn into arguments with them regarding the limitation of their work (which probably says more about my mental state than theirs)
  2. I have had my wedding all planned out since I was fourteen – Yes, I could take you through every detail, but in all honesty, who really cares. Suffice it to say, that one of the smaller problems with my dream wedding is the ice-cream wedding cake for my beach wedding in July. Well that and the minor detail of lacking a groom and date
  3. I loathe brushing my teeth – Before you get all “yuck” and “gross” on me, re-read the fact. I didn’t say I don’t brush my teeth, I said I loathe doing it. In the words of Calvin (no, not the philosopher, the comic character from the awesome strips of “Calvin and Hobbes” by Bill Watterson): “It seems like such a waste of time. They’ll only get dirty again.”
  4. The first time I manipulated my father (consciously) I was four – We all manipulate our parents to some extent, just like they manipulate us. It’s a fact of life! When I was four, I had a tape player and tapes. Most of them were annoying children songs that are revolting for the mind and ears to everyone past the age of eight, but some of them were stories, too. This one tape (and for the life of me I can neither remember name nor narrative) included a line of a little girl saying the following to her father: “Daddy, sometimes when you scold me like that, I’m afraid you don’t love me anymore. Please say you love me Daddy. I promise I’ll be good.” I performed this line perfectly to my Dad after being reprimanded for stealing cookies before dinner time from the cookie jar. I think I even added a trembling lower lip and sad bambie eyes for the dramatic effect.
  5. My first (german) word(s) was illegal credit agreement – Technically, in the English language that’s three words, but since the Germans adore creating long and winding words compiled of several separate words, it’s really just two words in German and the way I pronounced it, it sounded like one (for all those of you dying to know what illegal credit agreement is in German, it’s “sittenwidriger Kreditvertrag” – try saying that fast three times). I kidd you not those were my first German words (no wonder I chose a legal career path!). The back story is, that my father, a lawyer himself, was dealing with a bunch of those around the time I was three-ish. Since my mother had just passed away and he didn’t really know what to do with me, I spent a lot of time in his study listening to him dictate stuff. Well this just happened to be one of the more common terms he’d say out loud (My first ever word by the way was either “duck” or “truck”, my father can’t be pinned down exactly on one of them).
  6. I completely botched my first kiss – I don’t know about you, but no one I ever met (no matter how much they practiced on their hand beforehand), has ever experienced a hollywood type sweet first kiss (at least no one has told me they have). So I guess my story isn’t that unusual. Except maybe in that, that when I say I botched my first kiss, I mean we never actually looked lips. I’m not completely sure how old I was, but I can’t have been older than seven. Remember that pony I always wanted and never got? Well, my father made up for it by sending me to horseback riding camp every possibility he got. One of those camps was a day camp and there was an older boy ( he might have been as old as nine), who took a liking to me. Anyways, during lunch breaks, we would spend romantic dates on the jungle gym close to the stables. This one time, as he was hanging head-down by his knees from the jungle gym, he heroically proclaimed, that he would not get down, until I gave him a kiss. I blushed and froze and said “no, no, no” over and over again in a very hysterical, high-pitched voice. At first he didn’t relent, but after a while the blood-flow to his head probably made his resolve a bit less comfortable, so he scrambled down from the jungle gym and walked away. He never talked to me again and two days later he was walking around with another girl holding hands (I bet she kissed him on the jungle gym, that slut!)
  7. I ran away from home when I was 13 – This is a long and winding tale and should probably be a post on its own, but I’ll try to keep it short here (yeah right?!). My father had an endless strings of girlfriends (most of which I just ignored, some of which I couldn’t stand and none of which I accepted – well until I was sixteen at least). Usually, I had my sly methods of getting rid of them (calling them by different first names and then apologizing and saying it was so hard for me to keep all the names of all the lady-friends of my dad’s separate – stuff like that, the usual). There was only one that threatened me. For the sake of this post let’s call her “Eva” (I actually refered to her as Eva Brown a lot, which totally pissed her off). Not only was Eva a former lingerée model, she was also well-travelled, fluent in many languages and Cambridge educated. Also, she saw through all my little games. Suffice it to say, I hated her guts. Well, when I realized, I wouldn’t win this battle I stole money out of my dads foreign currency drawer in his study, exchanged it at the bank, left a mellow-dramatic fare well letter to my father, tied pots to my backpack I had stuffed with all the necessary essentials (junk food, books, my discman and a Backstreet Boys cd), bought a train ticket to Hamburg, got on the train and left. Obviously there is more to this story and if you want to hear it, I will share it, but this is the essential (well the running away part of it, not the getting there or coming back part obviously).

The nominees

  1. 365Vets – Frankly they are she’s not versatile, so she’d be better off with the “Liebster Blog Award”, but this is the one I have to pass on and I think her sphere, in which she gives families of veterans and veterans themselves a place to speak their truth and be heard is worth the recognition.
  2. Eldon – Think awkward, think weird sitcom, think life and ramblings of a group of random friends. This and more is Eldon.
  3. Hotdogs and Marmalade – Have you ever wondered what life would be with a parent succumbing to Alzheimer’s? Yes, it’s difficult and painful, but it’s also hysterical at times. She tells her own personal experiences with her mother with a loving heart and a twinkle in her eye  – enough said
  4. Law and the Multiverse – I love this blog. Love it. Heart it. Totally. These two guys are geniuses! They explain the concept(s) of common law through Marvel and DC comics. – How cool is that?! And believe me, it’s not just for those interested in legal issues. Seriously, they rock!
  5. What to say about Jorah and her place with the bitter-sweet name Terminally beautiful life? Diaries of a dying girl is what she calls them. I call them a celebration of life. The dark, the light and the in-between. This is raw, guys, raw and honest. Tread there with humility, dignity, respect and a great appreciation for her humor, heart and spirit. She deserves the best you have to offer.
  6. Would you try to better yourself through the course of a year? Acknowledge your weaknesses and flaws and resolve to actually confront them head on. This is what he is doing @ The better man project
  7. This blog speaks for itself: The privileged contrarian
  8. This guy should be on my blogroll and I was very surprised to see I’d forgotten to put him there – I will have to remedy this as soon as I finish this post – The life of fatherless son. I feel it’s very fitting for me to nominate him: Crawling King Snake
  9. Someone else, who should be on my blog roll and apparently never appeared on it (gosh this thing needs an update!) – Life through the eyes of a cosmic wanderer: Strange Trip Times
  10. I sincerely applaud the guts of someone putting himself out there with his own pieces of art, even if he’s as talented as this guy and doesn’t have anything to fear in the process: Sakura Lights
  11. The next lady is a true writer showing us Snippets and Glimpses of her life. Not all of it is light, but all of it is worth it.
  12. Worrywarts! I know she’s already won this, but seriously I could care less – I haven’t awarded her with this yet, so I’m still free to nominate her. Above all – I know you will fall in love with her Guide to Sex, Weight and Marriage the same way I did and selfless as I don’t want you to miss out on this one, it would be a shame.

I know the rules call for twenty and yes, I stopped at a 12. I have this weird notion of only awarding people I deem worthy of awards. So far, and because I don’t want to nominate people again (but YOU want to do yourself a favor and check them out here) I’ve already nominated this will have to do… . Live with it!

Or better yet, tell me about others who do deserve it. Seriously. I want to pass this along to people out there deserving of recognition and I want to find good reads – It’s a win-win situation. Really.

Update: To get your cute little green badge, which you’ve totally earned, go to my first lengthy award speech (linked above) and grab it from there.

[Apparently embedding has been deactivated for this clip, so if you have a soft spot for Rocky deep down inside follow it to YouTube, if not ignore it the same way you would have anyway]

People Who Don’t Know Me Think I’m Awesome

“Keep your face to the sunshine and you cannot see the shadow.”

 

[Helen Keller]

 

 

In all honesty, I might have read a similar post somewhere at some point which seems like eons ago, but since I can’t fully remember it might just be my overly vivid imagination.

In any case, I am always blown away by the apparent impact I have on spammers.

One told me recently:

“Thank you so much for your great advice. All my family agrees that the advice given here is great and now I will go back to school.”

This was a spam comment left in reply to my incoherent ramblings on the advantages of waterproof-anything.

Although I am quite flattered, that someone out there feels the need to share this post with their loved-ones and in the aftermath decides to go back to school, I am pretty sure the only advice you could get out of this post is:

“Don’t post, when / if you are in an overly melancholy mood – or do, but be prepared that people will try to link adds for vibrators and such to it in an attempt to cheer you up”

(Although the vibrator spam link might have been in response to the beloved and versatile post, in which case I didn’t need cheering up, but I really can’t remember)

Actually, I quite like those little spam comments. Like them enough to actually consider not trashing them, but adding them as legit comments to my posts.

Why” you ask? – Well, simply because it would be neat to write something, that in turn would encourage someone else to go back to school, or change their life or spend some time with their family reading my posts.

Not only do they make me feel special, but they definitely beat vibrator, weight-loss or breast-enhancement adds.

Now if only the people who do know me would concur, but I guess there really is no sense in being greedy.

Since my words, obviously, have tremendous impact on all those out there (well at least the spammers) – let me leave you my sincere best wishes for 2012 and may we all be surrounded by people, who think we are awesome; – even if they don’t know us.

Update 01/03/12:

This is my new favorite spam-comment – Genius:

Liebster Blog Award

Liebster: n. sweetheart, beloved person, darling adj. dear, darling; beloved, liked very much; affectionate, loving adj. favorite, preferred above others; liked or loved above other

” I don’t deserve this award, but I have arthritis and I don’t deserve that either”

[ Jack Benny ]

I don’t have a lot of rules or habits about my posting except maybe two:

1. I try to introduce my post with a quote that sums up the sentiment I am trying to convey in it

2. I try to be brutally honest

So when I was looking for quote for this post that sums up my underlying sentiment towards the “Liebster Blog Award” I googled “quotes about receiving an undeserved reward”.

Obviously the first thing that hit me was: “Really? 1.010.000 results in 0.27 seconds? Gosh there must be a lot of undeserved rewards floating around out there…”

And then I read the quote by Jack Benny and thought “Yeah, that sounds about right… – I really (in all honesty without an inch of fishing for compliments here) do not deserve this award, but then again I didn’t deserve a lot of the things that happened to me, so why not take the good with the bad?!

Therefore, dear lovely Patrice, I graciously accept and am happy to pass it on to others, who don’t have to think a minute about whether they have deserved this… :

(I know the rules call for 5, but I do not want to devalue this award by nominating random blogs and since I haven’t been blogging for a while, I can only nominate 3 – sorry)

Paprika von Furstenburg is witty, eloquent and charming. She made me laugh many a days when I really needed a good laugh, but she is also caring and sweet and in her comments always addressed me very personally – as I have been absent from blogging for a while, it’s been a while since we’ve been in touch, but the kind of wonderful she is doesn’t just melt away in the manner of days or weeks or months, so I know she is deserving of this

My next choice mind seem a bit odd considering I only just met him, but you know how they say that first impressions are lasting? – Well this young man made a darn good first impression on me! Not only is he an eloquent, strangely witty and rather good-humored modern James Joyce (although a lot nicer to read), but he’s also caring, courageous and very emotional attune to other people’s feelings – so, Erik, if Patrice was right to nominate me, then I am most certainly right to nominate you

Last, but most certainly not least – this Lady needs no further introduction and although I am not sure if re-nominating someone who nominated you is against the rules or not, I could care less and I couldn’t think of anyone more deserving:

Patrice: You are not just my favourite blog – but my favorite blogger and a true friend – thank you for being you!

Lastly, to accept this award, you are to return to your own blog and thank your awarder and then list off five of your favorite blogs.  Don’t forget to alert those you nominate.    Happy reading!