Anyone Seen The Keys To The Trophy Case?

 

You know how it goes; the Academy of Motion Pictures names its Oscar contenders, and you look over at your husband/wife/life-mate/favorite cat and shrug.  Neither one of you has even heard of these flicks, let alone ever considered going to see one.  If the Oscar nominees aren’t obscure enough, take a look at who’s nominated for Pulitzer Prizes – then you can really feel out-of-touch.

Mr. Parker: It's a Major Award! Swede: Shucks, I wouldn't know that. It looks like a lamp. Mr. Parker: What is a lamp, you nincompoop? It's a Major Award. I won it! Swede: Damn, hell, you say won it? Mr. Parker: Yeah, mind power, Swede; mind power.  (Image and dialogue from Jean Shepherd's "A Christmas Story")

(Image from Jean Shepherd’s “A Christmas Story”)

That’s all going to change right now.  Your days of being out of the loop as to who’s in and who’s out are officially over.  The winner of The Green Study’s “What’s on the B side of that 45?” contest is someone you’ve actually heard of.   That’s right, it’s yours truly.  My opus on middle age was so witty yet so poignant, so terse yet so wordy, so scratchy yet so smooth, that Michelle at The Green Study crowned it the winner.*

So now, just in time for the holiday cocktail party season, you’ll be able to confidently hold court and brag to friends and neighbors about your having been a long time reader, long before I was discovered by the masses.  Let’s face it, you’ll already look like something of a brainiac just for reading anything at all.  Being a loyal fan who knew my body of work** before I hit the big time will surely catapult you into the ranks of some sort of über-genius who borders on being an intellectual snob.

"I say, old man, I believe I've lost my favourite smoking jacket is at the tailor's shoppe.  Be a sport and toddle down to the wardrobe department and fetch me a new one, won't you?  Also, I'm simply parched, would you mind bringing me a glass of port as well?  Jolly good of you!" (Image from kued.com)
1 Point Perspective didn’t write a single one of the classic novels which sit beneath my wrinkled left hand.  That being said, many of his blog posts are considerably longer and more complex than Kim Kardashian’s latest Tweet.
(Image from kued.com)

If you’re like me, it’s not likely that you have much experience at looking like someone who’s “in the know” at holiday gatherings (or office meetings for that matter – pay attention Jenkins, and stop dawdling with your damn phone!).  With this in mind, I’ve come up with a few segues for you to drop into conversations about various topics.  You’re quite welcome.

“You know, I’d heard good things about that hunky trainer over at the gym.  My personal trainer is 1 Point Perspective.  You’ve probably heard of him, he’s an award winning blogger who wrote an epic treatise on exercise which is how I keep my upper arm fat just prominent enough to cover some of my back fat”

“Speaking of politicians, you simply have to reader 1PP’s exclusive interview with Anthony Weiner’s penis!  That little dick won’t shut up.  Plus, One Point’s illustration is quite tasteful, in a NSFW sort of way”

“Oh sure, ‘The Walking Dead’ is entertaining to a point, but it’s in hiatus – again!  I get my zombie fix over at 1PP’s Holiday Greetings from the Zombie Apocalypse.  Ho Ho Ho-ly crap!  The undead really make for some zany holiday hi-jinx!”

How exactly you’re supposed to fit links to blog posts into polite conversation is something you’ll have to figure out on your own.  I shouldn’t have to do everything for you people.  Take some initiative ferchrissakes!

In the meantime, I’m going to keep looking for the keys to the trophy case, I’ve got a new coffee mug coming and I’ll need to make space for it among the rest of my award swag.

Good luck at your holiday parties, if you’re going to be dropping my name when you visit The Green Study, try not to drink too much and end up making an ass of yourself.  I’m trying to build a brand here.

*Michelle has since revealed that during the contest judging she was battling a particularly nasty strain of flu-bug and may or may not have inadvertently over-medicated herself and/or suffered periods of delusion.  I took a quick look at the judging criteria and it clearly states that all decisions are final – no backsies.
** To be completely honest, my “body of work” includes interviews with The Easter Bunny, an infamous penis, and multiple essays on the human condition – most specifically, my frequent attempts at avoiding cleaning up dog dookie from the yard and generally whining about Facebook.

So Many Awards, So Few Cash Prizes

It’s happened again.  Someone has created an award, and… [shuffling feet, blushing slightly]…I’ve won it.  This particular award is timely in its arrival in the in-box I normally reserve for Nigerian inheritance notices and Swedish erotica.  It’s the Loyal Reader Award, which comes complete with fraternity hazing rituals rules and a groovy badge which may or may not infringe on the copyrighted material of one Peter Max.

Check out the funky colors, maaan!
Check out the funky colors, maaan!

In these times of followers who don’t follow or even understand my native tongue, it’s time we gave credit to our followers who actually follow us – those hearty souls who endeavor to read nearly everything we write.  I was nominated for this noble award by the globe-trotting Blogdramedy.  She felt bad for me after I whined about my non-following followers.  Perhaps she knew how emotionally drained I was after my very public spat with those cranky-pants gas-bags over at Team Irritable Bowel Syndrome.  It’s even possible that the lovely Ms. Dramedy mistook my frequent visits to her posts as being due to my reading them, when as often as not, I’m just checking in to see if the skirt in her header illustration has been raised any higher than it was the last time I checked it.  I’m just a sucker for leggy babes – rumor has it there’s a scooter in the picture too, though I don’t recall seeing one.

In any case, I know better than to snub an award from this particular blogger, lest my invitation to next year’s holiday blogfest get “lost in the mail.”

The rules for this particular award, as I understand them, are fairly simple:

1. Thank the person who nominated you.  Grazzi, Bloggia Dramedella!  Tuttorosso al fresco parmigiano!

2. Display the badge proudly on your blog – I promise to do so.  In fact, the first chance I get, I’m going to put it right on the mantle where the Liebster Award currently sits.  The Liebster award is getting dusty and to be honest, ever since someone gave Liebsters to “Ohiodiscountinsulatedwindowscall4afreequote”  and “earnXtramoneyAskmehow”, the trophy just doesn’t have the same cache’.

3. Nominate everyone you know who may deserve it – luckily for almost everyone I know on this blog site, Blogdramedy has amended that to “one person”.  After careful consideration and possibly throwing a dart at my list of followers, I have decided to nominate the lovely and talented Jots From A Small Apt. Jots, as her buddies like to call her, consistently writes witty and insightful posts.  She occasionally favors her readers with drawings and other artwork she’s created.  What she sees in the naughty drivel I regularly pollute this site with is beyond me.  Perhaps she has a thing for Bald Bad Boy Bloggers.  Perhaps she feels she can “change” me.  Forget it, Dottie – I’m a rebel.  Anyway, go check her out – she’s still posting gems, despite recently injuring her arm in a mosh pit incident.

4. Answer a rhetorical question.  I know you’re not supposed to answer rhetorical questions, but the one BD asked just begs to be answered:

Can you drink and blog?

My answer, quite simply, is that I have difficulty not drinking and blogging.  I once wrote a very short story which described the vodka and grapefruit experience so exhaustively that my wife took away my keys.  If alcohol isn’t featured as my topic, then it’s likely playing a role in either inspiration, keyboard lubrication or both.  I tried smoking crack and blogging, but I live in the suburbs and the inner city crack house I was frequenting didn’t have wifi – I tell you, it’s amazing what passes for living for some people.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got to find out the best way to patch a dart hole in a computer screen.

The Liebster Buck Stops Here

I was recently nominated for an award.  This should come as no surprise, and not because I’m an incredible writer with the rare combination of a razor-sharp wit and a gentle, tender side – though that does describe my writing perfectly.

I was nominated because of the way awards work in the blogging world.  There are many awards.  This particular one is The Liebster Award.  The Liebster Award works like many blogging awards; you get nominated, have to answer questions about yourself, then, in some way, shape, or form, you have to nominate others.  In the case of the Versatile Blogger Award, it was 7 additional nominations, in the case of the Liebster, it’s 11 of them.

Picture this:

It’s Oscar night, 1955.  The RKO Theater is packed with Hollywood’s most glamorous celebrities.

Bob Hope is the host (for you younger folks, think Billy Crystal, but talented).  The music dies down and he names the nominees.  Hope drops his friendly smile as he opens the envelope.  It’s time for a big announcement.

The Academy Award for best director is,” a look of mild surprise crosses Hope’s face, “Elia Kazan, for ‘On The Waterfront’!”.

Look Kazan! You play nice and name names and I’ll give you back your trophy. (Image from oscars.org)

Kazan, looking dapper in his tuxedo, makes his way to the stage to a standing ovation.  After the applause dies down, he gives his acceptance speech.  It’s blissfully short and predictable – he gives credit to Marlon Brando and Eva-Marie Saint, he throws a bone to the studio for taking a chance on “another boxing film”, then he wraps it up and is about to turn and walk off the stage.  Bob Hope rushes up and firmly grabs Kazan just above the elbow and guides him back to the podium in an awkward dance.

Elia, old chum,” says Hope “you forgot the rules of the award.  Before you go back to your seat, you need to nominate eleven other directors.”  Hope mugs to the crowd, raising his eyebrows and smiling.  “Or did the shine from that little statue get you all razzled?”

Kazan is in fact razzled.  He steps back to the podium, rubbing his arm where Hope had grabbed him.  Hope stands just off to the side with a thin smile, ready to move back in if Elia makes a run for his seat.

Well” Kazan begins “I’d like to nominate my four fellow nominees; Alfred Hitchcock, George Seaton, Bill Wellman and Billy Wilder.”  The crowd applauds politely as the cameras pan the audience to find the nominees.  Hitchcock is caught on camera making a face which looks like he just swallowed a lemon-flavored turd.

That’s great, Elia” says Hope.  He turns to the audience as though they’re all sharing a dirty joke with him and continues, “Just seven more“.

Once Kazan manages to blubber out seven more names, he is permitted to leave the stage, whereupon he skips returning to his seat and exits the theater.  Once out of camera range, he vomits behind a potted palm.  Kazan is certain he has missed someone and is not entirely sure that his eleven nominees are all as worthy as Hitchcock and Wilder.  He notices that a few flecks of what was once a Delmonico steak dinner washed down with a few gin rickeys have landed on his trophy.  He grins at the irony and begins thinking about his next project as he walks down Vine looking for his limo.

“You don’t unnastand. I coulda been somebody, I coulda won a blog award.” (Image from thenation.com)

Meanwhile, back in the theater, the new award winners are taking their turns at the microphones and being bullied by Bob Hope into each naming eleven additional recipients.  By the time Japanese director Motoyoshi Oda is nominated for “Gigantis the Fire Monster” the cameras have long been turned off and the crowds have gone home.  Many of the audience members left the theater earlier in fear that they directed something and would eventually be nominated.  They discretely hide their faces as they go, lest they’re spotted by whoever Hope is strong-arming at the time.

Now don’t get me wrong, being nominated for an award is an honor.  I really appreciate Life With The Top Down’s having thought of me.  She writes a very good blog which runs a gamut of topics and really gives you a glimpse into who she is.  Let’s be frank, chicks and convertibles, man!  Who doesn’t dig a combo like that, am I right?  Click on her name above and see for yourself.

As part of my nomination requirements, I pledge to answer Top Down’s eleven questions:

1.  What is you favorite song of all time?  “Lively Up Yourself” by Bob Marley and the Wailers.  Great bass, kind of an edge to it versus some of the more mainstream, sweet songs that people think of when Bob Marley comes to mind.  For the record, I was tempted to say “Rockin’ Shoppin’ Center” by Jonathan Richman and the Modern Lovers, just to appear aloof and eccentric.

2.  Boxers, briefs, boy shorts, granny panties, thong or the universal choice of Commando?  That’s kind of a personal question.  Mr. Hope, you’re hurting my arm!  If I say “thongs” will you let go of me?!  What am I wearing now?!  Really?!  It’s orthopaedic underwear, if you must know…I need it for the tux to fit right.  Geez!

3.  Would you break the law to save a loved one?  Of course I would, especially if the loved one was a rich lawyer.  Love ya, Steve!

4.  Would you go back to being a teenager, without the wisdom you have now?  Are you implying that I have more wisdom now than I did when I was a teenager?  Back then I knew everything, now I know almost nothing.  Let me give it some thought.  Do I get to keep my current income?  Would I get my hair back, but lose my back hair?

5.  What are you most grateful for?  That my wife and kids don’t hate me…oh, and electricity!

6.  Are you a beach or mountain kind of person? Both!  That’s a blatant shout-out for the Oregon Coast.

7.  Reveal one of your guilty pleasures?  I love watching the Spanish language channel and pretending the vixens are fighting over me.

8.  Are you a dark, milk or white chocolate lover?  At the risk of alienating many of my female readers, I’m going to go ahead and say “Meh!  Chocolate-Shmocolate – I can take it or leave it”

9.  If you could give a newborn child one piece of advice, what would it be?  “Quick! Get back in the womb!  It only gets worse!”

10.  What is your best childhood memory?  I tend to repress the good ones and focus on the horrible stuff.  Once, Kitty Carlisle scared the crap out of my little brother and me.  Also, there was the time the hoodlum kids stole my Halloween candy.  Ah, memories!

11.  Do you act your age or your shoe size?  Luckily my feet are massive, but still they’re only in the teens.  My age on the other hand, is getting up there.  I’m going to say that I act my waist size….don’t ask.

Another requirement of this award is that I tell eleven things about myself.  I just answered eleven questions, and you people want to know MORE about me?  You’re gluttons for punishment.  OK, here goes:

1.   I was painfully shy as a child, now I’m painfully extroverted.

2.   As a child, I bit my fingernails.  When out of fingers, I’d bite my toenails.  For the record, I never bit anyone else’s nails – that’s just gross.

3.   I love to hear myself talk, yet I’m befuddled when asked to write eleven things about myself.

4.   I have a secret plan for world domination, but I can’t tell anyone – it’s a secret.

5.   I’m more of a “dog person” than I am a “cat person”, but if you cook them right, I’m OK with either.

6.   I watch House Hunters International to satisfy my strange fetish for realtors with accents.

11.  I have a rare learning disability which results in my often skipping entire groups of numbers when making lists.

So far so good.  I’ve satisfied all of the rules, except one.  The mother of all rules.  I’m supposed to nominate eleven other bloggers, each of whom has less than 200 followers.  I have no idea how many followers my favorite bloggers have.  I strongly suspect that most of my favorites either have more than 200 followers, or have already won this award.  So….I’m gonna take this neat little trophy and try to get off the stage before Bob Hope comes back from his bathroom break.  In the event that the Liebster Police come looking for their trophy, it’ll be good fodder for another post.

The Bitter Truth

My fingers were crossed. Psych! Those aren't even my fingers, it's clip art from bigstockphoto!

Yesterday, I posted my humble Versatile Blogger Award acceptance speech and fulfilled all the requirements for winners, including listing 7 little known facts about myself.

Being something of a prankster and pathological liar, I couldn’t help but sprinkle a few stinking lies in the seven facts about myself.  I requested that readers of the post give their opinions as to which ones they thought were true and which were not.

As of this moment, there have been 41 views of that piece and exactly three people have made guesses.  To be fair, I asked that anyone who actually knows me in the real world restrain from blurting out the answers, lest I brand them as “tools”.  I find it a little difficult to believe that of those 41 readers, only three of them don’t know me in the real world.  For one thing, I’m fairly confident that I don’t actually know 38 people who read all that much.

This is only the second or third time I’ve asked for audience participation in a post.  The previous efforts were also met with the similar soundtrack of a solitary cricket chirping in an empty auditorium.  When you’ve had several consecutive days with higher than usual number of hits on your blog as I have, it’s easy to get carried away and think that people are reading your stuff and getting you.  Maybe they are getting me, but are so awestruck by the brilliance of my sarcasm that they dare not attempt a public exchange of ideas with me for fear of looking less than intelligent.  I know when I comment on posts, I give careful consideration to my chosen words for just that reason.  Sadly, on my award post, the response requested was basically true/false – so we can eliminate fear of ridicule as an option.

In fairness to those few brave, loyal readers who went to the trouble of guessing, here are the answers.  Thanks to all three of you for participating.

1.  I was born in Vienna, AustriaFalse – I was in fact, born in the town which is the home of Northern Illinois University on a bitter cold January morning many decades ago.  I’m sure I stumped a few people on this one, as my sparkling command of the English language is more consistent with those who hail from other parts of the world.

2.  I am a physical therapist who works with special needs kidsTrue – Satirical leanings and a rapier-like-wit are actually assets in my career.  For the record, I also work with adults in other settings.  Just to clarify, I would never ridicule one of my patients, but the rest of you dolts are fair game.

3.  I have a fondness for dessert winesFalse – Very false.  I am no stranger to spirits of all sorts, but I’d prefer a strong, hoppy India Pale Ale, any number of tequila’s, boutique bourbons, or single malt scotch over some nasty, sweet dessert wine.  You can save that swill for someone who eats dessert.  This one should’ve been easy, as I have never been seen wearing an ascot – ergo – no dessert wines for me.

4.  My son is a jet-setting professional poker playerTrue – He’s abroad as I type this, flying hither and yon to play in tournaments and make more money than his old man.  If you sit at a Texas Hold Em table with him, don’t come crying to me later looking for cab fare and your retirement savings back.

5.  My younger brother met Kurt VonnegutTrue – Worst of all, I don’t think he’s a fraction of the fan that I am.  He actually meets all kinds of famous people all the time anyway, so I don’t think it meant much to him even if he was a fan.  I’d ask him, but his mellow attitude about it would just infuriate me.

6.  I see my mother on TVTrue – Mom is an actress and she shows up on my TV from time to time.  She hasn’t been acting too much lately, as she and Dad are bogged down with blog reading assignments.  As you may have read in an early post of mine, she and my father have a history of squandering her residual checks on cruises and dog-sweaters.

7.  My basement is filled with survival gear and back issues of Guns and AmmoFalse – While I’ve written, and will write again very soon about the Nat Geo series “Doomsday Preppers”, I am not a survival expert (Not yet, but that show is getting to me…stay tuned).

Those are the 7 little known or false facts.  In the fun spirit of lies, here are a few bonus lies:

8. I’m a massive fan of operaFalse – If I wanted to see some fat lady sing in a foreign language, I’d take public transportation in Philly.

9. Yardwork is a passion of mineFalse – Paying non-English speaking gentlemen to do yard work on my behalf is a passion of mine.

10. I’m a pet loverFalse – My gimpy dog left me a prize this morning which, due to a slight slope in the floor, extended the entire length of the hall.  I am convinced that this accident was no accident at all.

11. I prefer movies about space travelFalse – In fact I avoid movies with the word “Star” in the title.  I don’t know an Ewok from a Tribble, and I’m fine with that.

12. I love writing listsFalse – Good opportunity to wrap up this drivel.

“What is a lamp, you nincompoop? It’s a major award. I won it!”

Mr. Parker: It's a Major Award!
Swede: Shucks, I wouldn't know that. It looks like a lamp.
Mr. Parker: What is a lamp, you nincompoop? It's a Major Award. I won it!
Swede: Damn, hell, you say won it?
Mr. Parker: Yeah, mind power, Swede; mind power.
(Image and dialogue from Jean Shepherd's "A Christmas Story" - MGM)

I was recently named as a winner of the Versatile Blogger Award.

I was nominated by the presumably lovely and unquestionably talented Emma of In Other Words .  Thanks Emma – I’m not worthy of your praise.  While I appreciate the award, it’s made writing even more challenging than it already was.  It’s always been a bit daunting to hit the “Publish” button on a piece.  With my award, I now have to ask myself,

“Is this worthy of a Versatile Blogger Award recipient?

“Is it too trite?”

“Is it versatile enough?”

“Will posting this give Emma reason to doubt her judgement?”

Clearly the bar has been raised, and now I’ll need to consider my stellar reputation as a wit (or half-wit) before I post just any old thing.

I read how after winning the Academy Award for “Hamlet”, Sir Lawrence Olivier had the good judgement to turn down the title role in “The Incredible Mr. Limpet” – leaving the door open for Don Knotts to star as the man-turned-fish.  That’s the kind of foresight I’ll be needing from here on out.  I don’t want to be the Don Knotts of blogging – there are too many of those already.

To add further doubt to my already shaky self-image, I’ll be damned if I can figure out how to post a link to Emma’s site in here.  Fortunately, I stumbled onto a video tutorial on the VBA page, and after watching it an embarrassing number of times, I was able to negotiate myself through the process.

Now the other award shoe drops.

As if it wasn’t difficult enough writing with this massive new weight upon my shoulders, the award stipulates that I, in turn, award the VBA to no less than fifteen of my favorite bloggers.  Fifteen?!!  That means I’m going to leave someone out and undoubtedly hurt their feelings.  In addition, I’ll be saddling fifteen other bloggers to this same horrific batch of challenges and angst.  What fun!

The positive aspect of this is that all fifteen of my nominees write way better than I do, so they should skip through this effortlessly.  In the event that as a recipient of this noble chain letter award you choose not to follow through with your sworn duties, don’t be hating on the nominator.  It’s not my fault you write well and entertain me – that’s on you.

Here then, in no particular order, is my list of fifteen wicked-good blog writers.  I apologize in advance to both those who I nominated and to those I did not.  If you are one of the award winners, try clicking on a link besides your own, ferchrissakes!

The Good Greatsby

The Byronic Man

japecake

Prawn and Quartered

Paltry Meanderings of a Taller Than Average Woman

publikworks

Notes from a She-Hermit

blogdramedy

TEStazyk

Shut Up Dad

freddyflow

White Elephant In The Room

Perverted Wisdom

She’s a Maineiac

Peg-o-Leg’s Ramblings

I know that some if not all of my nominees are wildly successful bloggers who can’t be bothered with this nonsense, but I’ll be damned if I’m going to put some hack on my list and risk guilt by association.  Many of these blogging superstars have the good taste not to follow yours truly, so I have no idea when or if they will even hear about this.

The final requirement for winners is to tell seven previously undisclosed things about themselves to their loyal readers (This is a lot like work).   I’m not exactly a private person, but I’ve decided to just make some of this stuff up rather than risk boring people with nothing but facts.  In a wacky twist, you’ll have to decide for yourselves which of my following are facts and which are fabrications.

1)  Born in Vienna, Austria

2) I’m a physical therapist who works with special needs children

3) I have an admitted fondness for dessert wines

4) My middle child is a jet-setting professional poker player

5) My younger brother once met Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. – and I resent him for it (My brother, not Kurt)

6) I see my mother on TV sometimes

7) My basement is filled with survival gear and back issues of Guns and Ammo magazine

My god, I feel so exposed !  For those of you who don’t know me personally, I’d love to hear which of the 7 attributes you think are true.  For those of you who know me in the “real” world, don’t be tools and spoil it for everyone else.