Who Are You Calling Stylish?

Posted on February 4, 2011


Last week, Linda Paul of What comes next? nominated me for a “Stylish Blogger” award. For some reason, that news was contained in a comment that went directly into my Spam folder and was deleted because of my own inattention. A few days later, I received the same message from Priya of Partial View, and this time I knew what it was.

The award comes with four basic tasks: to present seven things about yourself, name about a half dozen bloggers you think deserve the award, contact those people, and create a link back to the person who gave you the honor.

Usually, I would dismiss all such designations as scams, in league with the Nigerian emails I get twice a week and the three winning tickets I unknowingly purchased for last year’s Irish Sweepstakes. But being mentioned in the same breath with the word “stylish,” perhaps for the first time ever, was more than I could resist. And being acknowledged by two gifted writers such as Linda and Priya sealed the deal.

I have only recently become familiar with Linda’s writing, but all of the posts I’ve read on her blog have been highly-crafted, thoughtful pieces that reflect her skill with both the language and complex ideas. I look forward to reading much more.

Priya’s writing is stunning. Her voice mesmerizes, even as her words weave ideas from disparate fields and memories of her childhood in India. The addition of her own photographs completes the spell. Priya is sensitive and smart, and that’s a refreshing combination.

Snoring Dog Studio was also designated by Priya. I would certainly have included her, as well. If you haven’t visited SDS’s blog, please do. It features funny, pointed essays and wonderful original paintings. I can almost guarantee you’ll like what you find.

For the seven things about myself, I offer no such guarantee.

* * * * *

1. It’s been a life-long fantasy of mine to have a woman look at me from across the room and say in very serious tones, “Get over here, ya big lug!” At five-foot-nine and a hundred and sixty-five pounds, I realize this is only going to happen if I’m performing in some kind of stage play, or if the woman is heavily medicated. Either way would be acceptable.

1a. Just to clarify number 1, the phrase life-long is something of an exaggeration. When I was six, my fantasy was to meet Huckleberry Hound.

2. When I was fifteen, I jumped out of an airplane. Twice. After the parachute opened and I realized I wasn’t going to die that day, the float down to the ground was exquisite silence and perfect solitude. It’s a feeling that will never leave me.

3. I’ve been a vegetarian for more than twenty years. When people hear this, they assume I’m some kind of health nut. I’m not. The truth is, my favorite food is dessert. Any dessert at all. (Except pumpkin pie, because pumpkin isn’t a food; it’s a decoration.)

4. I don’t think there’s any such thing as a lower intelligence,
a primitive culture, or a very important person.

5. I have a collection of wooden boxes from all over the world. My favorites are carved boxes from India, puzzle boxes from Japan, straw boxes from Russia, and painted boxes from Poland and Peru. I have more than three hundred, but it isn’t an obsession.

6. Conversations about car engines, stereo equipment, the stock market, our carbon footprint, and multi-level marketing businesses make me wish I could turn my hearing on and off, or set it for different intensities, like a blender. And if there’s a Hollywood Salute to Anything on television, I would rather fill up the bathtub and drown myself.

7. I’ve made my peace with guilt. A person with too much guilt is dysfunctional; a person with too little is dangerous. I’m much closer to the dysfunctional end, but I think it’ll be okay.

* * * * *

Now the hardest part: naming some people for the Stylish Blogger Award. (It’s hard only because of the people I’m leaving out.) I hope you’ll somehow find the time to visit all of them.

Arbor Familiae, by Kevin Harris. This is a guided tour through Kevin’s family history. His research and attention to detail produce fascinating posts, because he isn’t listing facts — he’s telling dramatic stories. If only our high school history books were this good.

Big Happy Nothing, by Amiable Amiable. My first blogging buddy, AA is an amazingly creative writer with an unstoppable imagination and an unprecedented talent for wordplay. Her blog is a journey to beautiful places, as well as to the most interesting corners of her life. Her strange octopus fixation aside, she’s also a great friend.

Conjuring My Muse, by Margaret Reyes Dempsey. Published author and amazing writer (they’re not necessarily the same thing), Margaret looks at life from many unique and surprising angles and describes it in her own distinctive voice. The results are funny and insightful. (She’s also part Sicilian, but I didn’t consider that at all.)

Cooperstowners in Canada, by Kevin Glew. This blog is about major league baseball players who are in the Hall of Fame and have some real connection to Canada. I began reading it to see how Kevin could possibly pull that off — and sustain it. He does, with tireless investigation, excellent writing, and a profound knowledge and love of the game.

Mirrored Images, by Julia Harris. Happily married to Kevin Harris (above) and the mother of two wonderful sons, Julia nevertheless finds herself struggling with maddening situations on a regular basis. Her peerless observational and writing skills will leave you both entertained and empathetic. She has also been known to dabble in the sacred art of Sarcasm.

Surely, You Jess! by Jessica Sieghart. This woman’s life could be a mini-series, and should be. Until then, we’ll have to settle for her blog, which is filled with humor, protest, exasperation, family life, and wisdom. Jessica is funny and sweet. But if I ever make her mad, I’m going into the witness protection program.


Posted in: In Over My Head