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.