I’m honored that someone thought enough of my blog to nominate me for a Liebster Award. Thanks to Lindsey, https://lindseylivings.wordpress.com/, and congratulations on your own Liebster nominations. I’ll try to do this justice. Once completed, I think I’ll have this post serve double duty as my About page since it contains a good amount of personal info and insight into what motivates me to write.

Here are the official rules, at least what I’ve been able to cull from Google:

The Official Rules of the Liebster Award

  1. Thank the person who nominated you, and post a link to their blog on your blog.
  1. Display the award on your blog — by including it in your post and/or displaying it using a “widget” or a “gadget”.
  1. Found this twist which I’ll include as optional. Write a 150-300 word post about your favorite blog that is not your own. Explain why you like the blog, provide links.
  1. Provide 10 random facts about yourself.
  1. Nominate 5 or more blogs that you feel deserve the award, who have a less than 200 followers. (Note that you can always ask the blog owner this since not all blogs display a widget that lets the readers know this information!)
  1. List these rules in your post, and change them to suit your wicked motives. Once you have written and published it, you then have to:
  1. Inform the people/blogs that you nominated that they have been nominated for the Liebster award and provide a link for them to your post.

Don’t forget to create 10 questions, give or take, for them to answer. Notify your nominees and provide a link to your post so that they’ll know what to do.


Some random facts about me:

* I’m originally from a small city bordering the Bronx, famous for basketball and several A-list celebrities such as Denzel Washington, Dick Clark and Art Carney. It also has the infamous distinction of being featured in the book, Savage Inequalities, a study of the disparities in education between schools of different classes and races. I’m a product of that school system.

*I was bullied as a child and think it contributed to the chip on my shoulder and temper triggers that I can’t always control or understand. I don’t subscribe to the theory that whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. There’s a difference between uncontrollable circumstances and intentional acts of cruelty. There’s no place in the world for bullying. For all the bullies in the world, including some of our world leaders, to paraphrase Laura Nyro, I know you swear there ain’t no heaven, but you better pray there ain’t no hell.

*I’m a natural righty who does several things left-handed such as shoot a basketball, play hockey and certain tasks that require fine dexterity. I like to believe that this right-brained lefty dominance is evidence of my creative side. My daughter and granddaughter are both crazy lefties.

*On April 8th, 1969 I was home sick from school and watched my first major league baseball game, New York Mets vs. the expansion Montreal Expos, which of course was won by the Expos 11-10 as the Mets fell short with 4 runs in the bottom of the ninth. That team would go on to win the World Series and is still affectionately remembered as the Miracle Mets. I thought I was a lucky charm. Little did I know that I would see only one more championship, in 1986, and many more losing and heart-breaking seasons.

*I am possibly the World’s Slowest Human. When I played softball it looked like I was moonwalking to 1st base. My one personal wish is to run as fast as Usain Bolt for just one day. Side note: Poison nickname was bestowed upon me by teammate on company softball team. I was Big Poison and he was Little Poison, paying homage to brothers Paul and Lloyd Waner who played for the Pittsburgh Pirates nearly a hundred years ago. My other nickname, poking fun at my lack of speed, was Roberto Cemente.

****I am not going to bore you any further with random facts about me…


On to the answers to Lindsey’s questions:

  1. How do you get ideas or inspiration for your blog? Ideas are everywhere, and my interests are diverse. The subjects of my posts are all over the place, to the point where the categories I created make no sense. This will come across as ingratiating, but I get inspiration from interaction with fellow bloggers, more so than from reading the classics. I’ll expand on that more in a separate post, but I’ve learned a lot in a few short months.
  1. What’s a funny story you will never forget? Personally experienced or not. I’m often sarcastic and amused by the absurdity of life. While I like to laugh to keep from crying, I’m hard pressed to recount one funny story. Is that strange?
  1. Do you sneak candy/food into the movie theater or buy it? Be honest. I’m definitely more of the sneak in food and drink type, but that has become more difficult at theaters and stadiums, especially with the security concerns. We go to the second-run movie houses. Our local favorite is the Edmund Town Hall Theater in Newtown, CT. It’s inside of the historic town hall building, has a great atmosphere, including a balcony, and if the $2.00 price tag is too high, there are free movie nights sponsored by local businesses. The goodies at the little concession stand are reasonably priced, so no need to sneak. http://www.edmondtownhall.org/movies/
  1. What was your dream career as a child, and what is it now? I wanted to be a superhero, first Thing from the Fantastic Four and later Spider-Man. I was genuinely upset when I realized I would never be made of stone, and couldn’t shoot webs and swing from buildings. I do think I got some of my smart-ass attitude from reading those golden age Marvel comics. Later, that dream became to pitch for the Mets like my boyhood hero, Tom Seaver. Sadly, growing up too often includes giving up your dreams one at a time. My dream career right now? Maybe working a small farm with family. We all seem well suited to it and as long as the farm is not too far from civilization, preferably close to the shore, and we have some modest modern comforts, that sounds right for this point in my life. Check that, too much work. How about running a little book store/café with some live music? One day I’ll figure out what I want to do when I grow up.
  1. If you had to eat one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be? I live to eat, and love so many different cuisines. One meal? It would need to have some complexity. Favorites like NYC or New Haven pizza, pasta dishes, a perfectly cooked porterhouse, even lobster might get old if I had to eat them for every meal. I was thinking Indian, maybe my wife’s pulao…with beef. The perfect texture of the rice, the fragrant spices, and the tender beef…but, then my mind wanders to one of her amazing soups, Turkey Orzo Soup! That’s it! Is it pasta? Is it rice? Is it soup? Is it stew? I’m a lucky man; I don’t have to choose just one.
  1. What’s your biggest pet peeve? I would love to have a pet peeve. It would be furry, kind of like a sheep or poodle, and it would vibrate. It wouldn’t eat much and would have the gentle temperament of a manatee. My pet peeve is my short temper and lack of patience, especially when I get upset over petty stuff.
  1. If you had the chance to go back in time and tell yourself one thing, would you? If so, what would it be? Most of us would like the chance to do at least one thing differently. This might seem a bit backward, or shallow, but I’d tell myself to go hard for the cash, but keep your eye on the prize. It’s not about accumulating trophies, but gaining a measure of security and freedom. Don’t think you’re smarter, or more clever, or creative, or have more integrity than everyone else. It probably wouldn’t have made any difference; I’ve always been a half-step behind the beat.
  1. What’s your favorite recipe either you or someone you know makes? My grandma’s carrot cake recipe is the only one I know by heart. Not too long ago I tried a recipe I saw on local PBS station for a pasta sauce that uses tuna, capers and anchovies. I substituted regular pasta for whole wheat pasta, but I thought it was pretty good. In my daughter Kate’s words, “You want to be Frankie so bad.” Frankie has his own blog and here’s the link to the site and recipe: http://frankiecooks.com/jarred-tuna-ragu-whole-wheat-pasta/
  1. What’s something you struggle with when it comes to blogging which you can give advice to new bloggers? I want my blog to be an honest view into my heart and mind. I usually agonize over each post, wanting it to be perfect and bullshit free. Since this is impossible, I am overly critical and not very prolific. I feel like my blog should have a more consistent theme and feel, but my interests are eclectic, so I guess it is an approximate representation of who I am. Advice? Don’t get too hung up on blogging strategies and trying to expand your followers. Develop your unique voice and just write. What I like about a blog is that it makes me feel obligated to write. Reach out to your fellow bloggers. I’ve found them to be kind and supportive. Don’t be discouraged by criticism. My advice to the author of Mind the Dog Writing Blog, “Spend less time worrying about looking fat in the dress and just walk like Marilyn.”

10. What’s your favorite thing to do in your down time? Go for a walk, especially by the shore, or along the streets of a city or small town with a sense of history and character. Watch my beloved New York Mets and Giants. Do some yard work or putter around the house while I listen to sports radio or music. Sit quietly with a good cup of coffee.

Here are the nominees:

https://bratnamedkat.wordpress.com/

My daughter Kate’s blog. She is busy with schoolwork and won’t participate, at least not right now, but I have to nominate her.

https://signedarouge.wordpress.com/

Arouge’s site has a cool retro vibe. Often obscure and mysterious to the casual reader, I always get where she’s coming from. A seeker of truth.

http://amandasuecreasey.com/

From my good buddy Julia, I mean Amanda, Mind the Dog Writing Blog is a must read to expand your vocabulary and share your dreams.

https://reviewdonkey.wordpress.com/

Nick Lambert is barely under the followers threshold to qualify, but I’m glad I have the opportunity to promote his blog. It is everything that my blog is not, focused and with a consistent theme. There are many great reviews, especially if you’re looking for something out of the ordinary.

https://goingsoflo.wordpress.com/

I just recently stumbled upon Kara’s breath of fresh air, and her unique take on motherhood and life.

Show some love and support for your fellow writers by visiting their sites and offering your comments.


Finally, here are my questions for the nominees:

While I prepared questions with the nominees in mind, I encourage, and would greatly appreciate,  guidance and feedback from the more well established bloggers.

  1. What generation were you born into? Which one do you most identify with?
  2. Which writers have influenced you? What genre are you most comfortable with? (Poetry, short stories, non-fiction?)
  3. Who would write and perform your theme song? Why?
  4. Have you ever sold any of your work?
  5. Name the accomplishment or act of kindness you are most proud of. What do you feel guilty about?
  6. What’s your favorite sport? What sport are you best at?
  7. Do you think all politicians are corrupt? What’s your take on Hillary and Trump being the finest the U.S. has to offer for President? Will you, or would you vote 3rd party? Do you think most Americans are out of touch with the rest of the world?
  8. Do you have a strategy for promoting and growing your blog followers? Do you link every post to social media? What type of blog most interests you?
  9. Do you usually comment on posts that you like? How important to you is direct interaction with fellow artists and bloggers?
  10. Do you sometimes post something you know is not up to your standards because you feel the need to keep your blog active, and to maximize your SEO? Does linking back to an earlier post accomplish the same thing?
  11. Are you a better baker or cook?

And now, I’m done…or I will be done once I notify the nominees. I apologize for turning this thing into such a bear.

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