Somewhat Stylishly Versatile

Posted on April 9, 2011


Several weeks ago I was given the Stylish Blogger Award by rumblycottage. Because I’d already received this award months ago (and felt self-conscious about it the first time), I really didn’t know how to handle this second honor. Then, about a week later, I was notified by play101 and writerwoman61 that they’d named me for the Versatile Blogger Award. The two honors have the same format and requirements — that I tell some things about myself and name a few other bloggers I feel deserve recognition.

And the similarities got me thinking.

Now I know someone is going to get upset about this, but I’ve decided to combine the awards into one, called the Stylishly Versatile Blogger. This accomplishes two things: It allows me to weasel out of creating a second post, and it blurs the nature of the award sufficiently that I almost don’t even feel self-conscious anymore. “Stylishly Versatile” seems to say something, until you think about it, and then it sounds fuzzy and incoherent, as though I were acknowledging that I’m “Pleasantly Obscure” or “Fascinatingly Bland.” Those are names I could live with.

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Here are seven things that I tend not to talk about, mainly because they’re trite and uninteresting.

1. I have a history of getting locked in bathrooms, both in public and in the homes of other people. Okay, in my own home, too. And on trains and planes.

2. I graduated from high school in 1973, a date that, when I look at it now, makes me think of George Washington and the Revolutionary War.

3. I often watch recorded lectures on math and science. I do this, not only because I’m interested in the topics, but also because I like being alone; those lectures always cause everyone else to scatter to the far corners of the house.

4. In 1989, I set a personal record by eating pizza on eight consecutive days. I tied the record in 2010.

5. I’m no longer afraid of dying, but I’m also not looking forward to it. I guess I’m neutral about death, similar to how I feel about home entertainment systems and cole slaw. My fear is that I’ll die in some pointless way, like getting hit by a falling telephone pole while waiting for a red light to change.

6. I’m very easily confused. I don’t know how to buy a lottery ticket. I get lost in any building that has more than four sides. I have an inordinate amount of trouble with remote control devices. Airports baffle me. If someone gives me directions and there are more than three steps, I immediately forget the first one.

7. I have to know what something is before I’ll eat it. Even before I became a vegetarian, I would never consider tasting snake, shark, insects, rodents, internal organs, or the tongue of anything. I also won’t eat certain things just because of where they might come from; mushrooms, for example, sometimes grow on rotting tree stumps. What food looks like is important; bean sprouts remind me of pictures from my Biology textbook, although I’m not sure why. And there are things I will consume, but only if I can manage to temporarily forget what they are; both eggs and honey fall into this group. On the other hand, I eat Oreo cookies and I have no idea what they’re made of. So all in all, I’d say my dietary choices are a fascinating and enchanting mix of preferences. However, no one I know would agree with that assessment. Most people want to chain me to a fence and shove food down my throat.

* * * * *

Having combined the awards, and thereby doubling the vagueness of their names, it may seem as though I’ve watered down the honor I’m supposed to bestow on others. I assure you that isn’t my intent. At least once a day I stumble upon another amazing blog written by someone who’s talented, creative, and smart. My blogroll reflects many of those happy discoveries, but not all. The thing is, the Stylish and Versatile awards have been making the rounds for months, and everyone I know has received one or both of them, some several times. Rather than continuing this recycling process, I’m going to mention six bloggers I like a lot. Under each name, I’ve listed two recent posts that I enjoyed. Please visit their blogs when you have some time — I think you’ll like what you find. And if you happen to be one of these six and want to accept the Stylishly Versatile Blogger Award, it’s all yours.

Charly Walker’s Blog
She takes a subject — any subject — and whips it into a frenzy with clever wordplay and breathless monologues. I keep telling her these posts could be performed on stage, but she won’t listen.

Earth Ocean Sky Redux
Great photography and insightful narrative, mostly about locations in southeastern New York State and southwestern Connecticut. Some great travel posts, too.

The Happy Freelancer
One of my original blogging buddies, Heidi dispenses valuable advice about the business of freelance writing, and refreshing commentary about life.

I Tried Being Tasteful
Real-life experiences and observations, told with sensitivity and humor. She calls herself Texas Trailer Park Trash. What else do you need to know?

Lenore Diane’s Thoughts Exactly
Funny, candid, and thoughtful reflections, Lenore’s posts are like letters from an old friend, only much better written.

This blog, based in Australia, is a buffet of jokes, stories, essays, and fascinating videos you’re unlikely to find anywhere else.

As usual , most of the original artwork for the cartoons in this post was done by Ron Leishman. I manipulate the images to fit my needs and add dialogue and captions, but the true brilliance is Ron’s. Visit his website to see what I mean.


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