Awesome Blogger Award

Those of you who have never sauntered over to http://reactionarytales.com, are losing out on a fun blog.   You never know what you will find there.  It might be a giveaway enterer’s lament (not a phrase I use very often!), a background on the Medici family or a treatise on poop…you just never know with Nel.  Go take a peek!

Wow, Nel I can’t thank you enough for nominating me for this Award.  Nominating me twice in a row takes guts, especially after I teased you so much the last time! I promise I’ll be better this time, for realsies!  *fingers crossed*

Here are the acknowledgments and the rules:

This award was created by miss Maggie over at dreaming of Guatemala! And she says:

“This is an award for the absolutely wonderful writers all across the blogging world. They have beautiful blogs, are kind and lovely, and always find a way to add happiness and laughter to the lives of their readers. That is what truly defines an awesome blogger.”

RULES OF THIS AWARD:

  • Thank the person who nominated you. Include the reason behind the award. Include the banner in your post.
  • Tag it under #awesomebloggeraward in the Reader.
  • Answer the questions your nominator gave you.
  • Nominate at least 5 awesome bloggers.
  • Give your nominees 10 new questions to answer.
  • Let your nominees know that they’ve been nominated!

 

Nel’s questions:

  • What are you currently binge watching or plan to binge watch?
    • Better Call Saul
  • Have you ever experienced a critical comment (justified or unjustified) on your posts or comments? How did you deal with it?
    • Everyone who voted that they loved Gordon Lightfoot on my poll just broke my heart.  😦   Haha!
  • Do you believe in chance or luck? Or everything is based on logic?
    • yes and yes
  • Android or Apple?
    • Apple
  • What’s something on your bucket list that you hope to do in the next 5 years?
    • Regain as much of my brain back that I have lost to epilepsy and medication.
  • Hot sub or cold sub?
    • yes and yes
  • If you are given two choices – death for denying to accept a lie as a truth, life for accepting a truth as a lie, what would you choose?
    • Uh, what was the question again?  I struggled with this one.  I hate lies and liars, but I really like life.  Are you sure there isn’t a parallel universe where I can have truth and live?  Modern physics says I might be able to have that.  I vote for modern physics!
  • Polar bears or Pandas?
    • yes and yes
  • If you could travel, all expenses paid, to anywhere in the world right now, where would it be and why?
    • The first place that comes to mind is Florence for the art.  There are many more.

 

 

My questions:

Ok, I’m going to part with tradition here and not ask any questions, however, I will request that you tell us ten things about yourself.  So basically, I am sloughing off my chore of coming up with questions and putting the burden on you.  I’m tricky like that!

And now for the nominees!!

Yeah, I’m going to part with tradition here, too.  All of my blogging friends are Awesome Bloggers in one way or another.  So you are ALL nominated!  Every time I do these awards I struggle to come up with a nominations list.  Not because there aren’t enough, but because there are too many.  This way, I think new bloggers can do this to gain exposure and some bloggers might be overwhelmed with awards and want to sit one out.  No pressure here!  Have fun with it!

#awesomebloggeraward

Zero Pounders

About forty years ago, I became a vegetarian because I thought it was the right thing to do.  Besides, a guy I liked decided he was going to be a vegetarian and how better to gain his attention and respect?  Ok, so it was mostly the latter but I was fifteen and I didn’t know any better.

I became a vegetarian, and then three days later I had a Big Mac.  We were on a school trip and on the way home we stopped at McDonald’s for dinner.  My new principles went by the wayside and then something amazing happened.  One of my friends on the bus took one look at the hamburger in my hand and said: “I knew you couldn’t do it.”

Oh yeah?  Hummmpph!  Not only did I become a vegetarian, I became a vegan.  That’s right my doubting friend…just watch me not eat animal stuff!  You just watch!  I was a vegan for a year and then it became obvious that living without cheese was a life not worth living….at least for me.  Plus, I was going to college soon and I wouldn’t be able to cook for myself there.  Even if I could sustain a vegetarian lifestyle, I was sure being a vegan would be next to impossible.  As it turned out, I was right.

I was lucky that my college did offer a vegetarian menu.  It consisted of pasta a couple of times a week, but mostly it was lima bean casserole.  If I never see another lima bean that will be just fine with me.  I must have consumed my weight in lima beans 10 times over and I’m a big person!

In spite of the lima beans, that Big Mac on the school trip was the last piece of meat I’ve had.  It’s been over forty years and I’m still meat-free.  Sure, it started for all the wrong reasons, but I’ve never regretted it.

My parents might have questioned it a bit, though.  My big decision to prove my friend wrong happened just a few days before Thanksgiving.  My mother was shocked that I wouldn’t be eating turkey.  How could this be?  She was so concerned that she contacted our doctor and asked his opinion.  It was a short reply: “she’ll die.”  As you can imagine, it was a rough road there for a while. As time went on, it was obvious that I wasn’t dead yet, so things settled down.

I got through college, went out on my own, got married, got a job, and did all of the things people do.  I still wasn’t dead, but by that time, the doctor was.  It seems that being a vegetarian isn’t nearly as lethal as cigarette smoking.

People would hear me say I was a vegetarian and they would ask if I ate chicken…uh no.   “Don’t you eat fish?”  Uh no.  Finally, I came up with a way to make them understand.  I would say “I don’t eat anything with a face or a foot!”  That sounds weird, but it meant I didn’t eat clams or other shellfish either.  Hey, they don’t have faces, so I had to improvise!

I figure if I can’t kill an animal, I shouldn’t be eating it.  One of my best friends is a hunter and she bags turkeys and deer and even bears!  She guts them, skins them and uses every last part of them.  I admire that.  At least it’s not a trophy and nothing more.  I couldn’t do what she does, but I respect it.  Since I could never pull the trigger (at least against anything four-legged) you won’t see me eating bear burger anytime soon.

Early in my life as a vegetarian, every once in a while I would go to McDonald’s and have some french fries.  I’m rather partial to french fries and they were a treat.  Then I learned that McDonald’s put tallow in their fries, so they weren’t vegetarian!  I sent them a scathing comment on their website.  Not long afterward, I got a message from some law firm telling me I was part of a class action suit!  Wow, a scathing comment can have some ramifications!  The end result was that McDonald’s had to give a few million dollars to a bunch of charities who didn’t like tallow in french fries either.  Good!  Serves ’em right!  I vowed I would never set foot in one of their establishments again.

Then the unthinkable happened; I had to go there.  McDonald’s was giving away a doll with the purchase of two Quarter-Pounders.  One of my customers in Chicago who is a dear friend was desperate to get one for her niece.  All of the McDonald’s in Chicago were sold out.  Damn it…er I mean luckily, Maine still had them.  I couldn’t possibly buy meat because it was against my principles. But I was torn.  This was for someone I really cared about.  I was stymied.

Against my better judgment, I went there.  I asked if I could buy the doll outright…No.  I asked if I could pay for two Quarter Pounders and get the doll and not take the Quarter Pounders…I was just met with silence. Once they regained their ability to talk, they politely told me that they didn’t have a button for that.  Eventually, they agreed to provide two Zero-Pounders and the doll.  They didn’t have a button for that either and I’ve always wondered how they dealt with those four extra burger patties at the end of the day.  It didn’t matter, I proudly left with my Zero Pounder sandwiches consisting of nothing but buns with ketchup and mustard…and the doll. Score!

I know what you are thinking.  You are thinking that I went against my vow to never set foot in another McDonald’s ever again.  How could I do such a thing when I promised myself?  Well, I didn’t…I went through the drive-thru!

Photo source: Centralmaine.com

The Mystery Blogger Award

What is the Mystery Blogger Award?

“The ‘Mystery Blogger Award‘ is an award for amazing bloggers with ingenious posts. Their blog not only captivates; it inspires and motivates. They are one of the best out there and they deserve every recognition they get. This award is also for bloggers who find fun and inspiration in blogging and they do it with so much love and passion.~ Okoto Enigma.

I’m going to do things a bit differently because I really don’t think I deserve all of those lovely words up there, but my nominees certainly do.  Therefore, I will list my nominees here instead of the bottom of the page.  Visit them and enjoy.  You can thank me later.  🙂

My Nominations:

Renata at  http://www.mulheresementes.com.br

Nel  at  http://reactionarytales.com

Mr. Mel at https://lifemorethanexistence.com

Jauch at  https://eduardojauch.blog/

Roda at  https://growingself.blog

Robin at  https://therobinsnest2017.com/

George  at  http://www.lakelandwalkingtales.co.uk

 

How Does it Work?

  • Put the award logo/image on your blog
  • List the rules
  • Thank whoever nominated you and provide a link to their blog
  • Mention the creator of the award
  • Tell your readers 3 things about yourself
  • Nominate up to 10 people
  • Notify your nominees by commenting on their blog
  • Ask your nominees any five questions of your choice; with one weird or funny question
  • Share a link to your best post(s)

 

3 Facts about myself:

  • I am very pet-centric.  I adore all of the animals in my life.
  • I have a rare type of epilepsy and the depression that comes from the restrictions it places on me.
  • I strive every day to as much of a Renaissance woman as possible.  I want to know everything, be able to do everything and teach everything.  I don’t want much!  😉

 

My Favorite Post

This is a tough one.  I think one of my earlier ones is still my favorite.

The Secret Lives of Dog Toys: https://wordpress.com/post/mainepaperpusher.wordpress.com/198

 

Jess’ questions (not Jessica’s because she hates that):

1) What is your favorite word and what does it mean?

Syzygy is the first word that came into my head when I read this question.  I love the way it sounds, I love the way it looks, I love the meaning.  Plus, it’s a kickass Scrabble word!

2) What has been the happiest moment in your life?

The one I have right this very second.  The past is gone and the future is yet to be.  What I do right now will color both.  How can that potential be anything less than remarkable?

3) Why did you name your blog what you named it?

I named my blog “Everyone Else Has the Best Titles” out of sheer frustration.  I had a whole bunch of ideas.  They were brilliant (in my own mind) and every single one of them had been used “out there” somewhere.  Song titles, other blogs, poems…”I finally threw my hands up in the air and said everyone else has the best titles!”  I sighed, thought about it, and figured what the heck.  At least it was unique.

4) What is your great goal in life?

To recover my mind.  About 3 years ago I was diagnosed with epilepsy.  My cognition suffered, my memory was bad, and I started spacing out.  Through a long journey of drugs and hospitals and tests I have made some progress, but I still have a long way to go.  The one thing that isn’t gone is my ability to write.   My goal is to regain some of the other aspects of my life.  I want my math skills back, I want to drive again, I want…well the list goes on for quite a while.  The good news is that writing here is really helping to keep me out of the hole of depression.  You all are part of my brain recovery program.  🙂

5) Hero, villain or anti-hero? Which are you?

Gotta be an anti-hero.  Isn’t the anti-hero always the most interesting?  Heroes and villains tend to be fairly predictable.  They think inside the box and it is either all good or all bad.  I say “What box?”

NOT Checkboxophobia

I love lists. I keep lists for every conceivable thing.  Bill once joked that I should have a list of my lists.  I handed him a copy.  I have a serious list-making disorder.  If I lost my lists, I don’t think I could go on.

Then it occurred to me that this fear of losing my lists might be a phobia.  Do I have a phobia?  I went to Google and typed in “fear of losing lists.”  That got me a page called “The List of Phobias.”  Now we’re talking!  Phobias…in list form…yes!  I was sure to find my answer there!  I found a few phobias that seemed to hit a bit too close to home, but nothing on losing one’s lists.

Google failed me. So naturally, I decided to make up my own name for this fear. The first thing that came to mind was Checkboxophobia.  Sadly, this didn’t fit because it sounded like a fear of checkboxes and that is the opposite of what I wanted.  I like checkboxes, I NEED checkboxes.  Suddenly I had a fear of losing checkboxes…wait, what I’m losing is my progress toward solving my original problem.

Once I composed myself after that whole checkbox fiasco, I pondered what described my probable phobia. The things I came up with were all wrong. They were too complicated or too long.  Then I remembered Occam’s razor.  Occam’s razor is the principle that “other things being equal, simpler explanations are generally better than more complex ones”

I kicked myself for not having that quote in my list of quotes, but then I remembered that this was a principle and I didn’t have a list for those.  That made me feel a little better.  Then I thought about the fact that I had neglected to create a “principles” list and that made me depressed. Thankfully, I didn’t start my list of principles right then. It was a little dicey there for a bit, but I decided to stay the course.  My immediate problem was to coin a word for the fear of losing one’s lists.  Coining a word for forgetting to create a list was way down on my…ummm…you know…list!

Back to Occam.  Using his principle made perfect sense. The word had to be distilled to its essence, I had to shave it to the bone. I decided to call this fear “listlessophobia.”   It was short and it was descriptive.

Then it occurred to me that “listless” was already a word.  How could I use it to describe my phobia?  I consulted one of my favorite lists, the dictionary.  The definition of “listless” was “sluggish, torpid, inert, lifeless”  Hmmm, that’s exactly how I would feel if I lost my lists!  Listlessophobia it is!  Perfect!

 

 

Gordon Lightfoot Likability Poll Results

I sit before you a humbled person.  In the end, the lovers outweighed the haters by one vote.    Sigh…

I knew I was in trouble when we went to eat at Pizza Hut this afternoon and a Lightfoot song came over the speakers.  Bill sat there and laughed and laughed.  It’s a good thing he couldn’t read my mind because it was “If You Could Read My Mind” was the song in question.  Not only do I get to be sufficiently chastened here, but I was tortured there, as well.  Ahh..so be it.  Sigh…

It gives me pleasure knowing that a full third of the votes were under the category of “Other” and half of that didn’t give a rat’s patoot.  That leaves us with 22.2% haters against 27.78% lovers.  Hey!  Only slightly more than a quarter of the respondents were in the love category.  Now I sound like a politician  Sigh…

Now that you have heard WAY MORE than enough about Gordon Lightfoot, we’ll get on with our regularly scheduled programming.  😉

Gordon Lightfoot Likability Poll Last Call

Last call to vote in the very popular Gordon Lightfoot Likability Poll.  I say very popular because we have 18 votes so far!!!  This is my first poll ever, so I’m all jazzed.

I have been chastised for using the words HATE and LOVE.  So I guess I’ll have to instruct you to choose those if you strongly dislike or strongly like him.

Click the following link for your voting pleasure (think hate, think hate, think hate)  Subliminal messages are not my strong point.

https://wordpress.com/post/mainepaperpusher.wordpress.com/2840

The poll will be closed in less than one hour.

Here are the stats so far:

2017-05-19_22-48-33

Gordon Lightfoot Likability Poll UPDATE

I just want to say upfront that I am losing.  It’s by a small margin, but I am seeing the trends.  I’m going to leave the poll open till tonight just in case there is someone (anyone!) out there who might not care for Gordon, or folk, or terrorism.  Sorry, that last part was incorrect, but it’s just like saying something in a courtroom that’s been shot down by the judge, you just can’t unhear it!  Man, I am stooping levels lower than I thought possible!  😉

Here’s a screenshot of the outcome so far.  As I say, I am losing, but the margin is slim.

2017-05-19_13-55-15Sorry, it’s so small, but you get the gist.  Sigh…

Disclaimer:  This is all in fun and an over-the-top response to my husband’s obsession with folk music, and Gordon in particular.  In the old days, Gordon had a great voice, even though I wasn’t fond of his style.  Now he has regrettably lost that.  I’m not sure if that’s a good thing or a bad thing.  I feel sorry for him, and I feel sorry for Bill, but I’m happy that Bill refuses to see him anymore.  I’m conflicted!  I have a feeling I’ll learn to live with it.

Gordon Lightfoot Likability Poll

My Gordon Lightfoot post has engendered some polarization so I thought it would be fun to see how many like him vs. how many don’t.  Plus it will give me a chance to figure out how polls work here.  If the haters outnumber the lovers I’ll share this with Bill and that will take care of my smugness needs for a while. 😉  And yes, this is the one time when I won’t mind if you are a hater.  The whole “don’t be hater” thing is off the table.  It’s time to take off the kid gloves.

 

Friends Don’t Let Friends Listen to Gordon Lightfoot

My husband is a singer-songwriter devotee.  I am not.  He loves meaningful lyrics and sometimes mournful melodies.  He would take umbrage at the word “mournful” in the previous sentence, but I stand by it.

My idea of good music is different.  Give me a good beat, some funky rhythms, and some syncopation.  Give me some funk or blues or jazz or rock.  I’ll even take pop!  Hell, I’ll even go so far as to take opera!

Over the years I have attended more than my share of folk concerts.  I tend to make lists in my head or daydream about being elsewhere.  I know it sounds pretty awful.  That’s because it IS pretty awful!

Ok, I’ll admit that it isn’t quite that bad, but it’s close.  Of course, I couldn’t just suffer in silence.  I had to comment on my pain.  I had to comment more than once.  I’ll admit here that it was pretty much a constant tirade exclaiming the unfairness of the fact that there are more folk artists in Maine than any other kind of musician.

I focused my dislike of folk music on Gordon Lightfoot.  It’s probably not fair, he once had a wonderful voice, but he is Bill’s favorite folk singer so he took the brunt of my complaints.  It became a joke in the family.  “Oh no, you didn’t have to listen to Gordon Lightfoot, did you?”  I’d try to turn my nieces against their uncle’s choice of music.  It wasn’t hard, Lightfoot wasn’t really on a teenager’s radar.

The joking and ribbing expanded beyond the family.  Now I had friends involved.  Every man, woman, and child; I turned them all against Gordon Lightfoot.  The mere mention of his name engendered eye-rolls and groans of a magnitude that surprised even me.  No one was more adamant in her dislike than my friend Wendy.  She was a true ally in this crusade.

It got to the point where I forbade the playing of Gordon Lightfoot if I was around.  I wasn’t kidding here, this dude was the embodiment of all things folk.  To me, folk music is ponderous and sad.  It made me want to grab a gun and point it in one direction or the other.  Homicide was not off the table.  Suicide wasn’t either.  I think you now understand the intensity of my hatred.  Folk music is a downer and I wasn’t having any!

One day I came home and Gordon Lightfoot was playing loudly.  There was no effort to turn it off, either! I was flummoxed, but mostly I was mad.   Wendy was there and she looked at me sheepishly.  I looked sideways at my husband waiting for the explanation.

Apparently, there was a certain Lightfoot lyric that my husband thought Wendy would appreciate.  I can’t prove that this is how it went down, but he claims that when he started the CD Wendy got this incredulous look on her face.  She exclaimed “This is Gordon Lightfoot?  I love this song!  “Oh no!  I love Gordon Lightfoot!  Linda’s going to KILL me!!!”  Wendy went home that day with a Gordon Lightfoot CD and a heavy dose of my disappointment and dismay.