Wednesday, October 17, 2012

You Won a What? Is That a Thing?

I was recently honored with a Liebster Award by ChickenFried Vogue.  Yeah, I thought the same thing – a ‘what the what’ award? I hadn’t heard of it either.  Chicken Fried Vogue sent me to a link to explain the whole thing.  The Liebster award is given to up and coming bloggers who have less than 200 followers. What is a Liebster? The meaning: Liebster is German and means sweetest, kindest, nicest, dearest, beloved, lovely, kind, pleasant, valued, cute, endearing, and welcome. She further describes this award in the following fashion: “one mark up from a participation ribbon, it’s one part chain letter mixed with equal parts fraternity hazing and bragging rights, with a generous heaping of exposure.” Basically, it’s a means of saying “good work and welcome to the blogging community – we like you.”   In my mind, I went back to those panty exchange chain letters we used to get as kids.  Does anyone else remember these?  I think you have to be a female over the age of thirty.  I mailed out panties, too, and never got a single fucking pair back – you bitches!  So, this award better follow through with its promise of more exposure or I’m holding onto my panties pretty tightly this time – no shares! 

So, here are the rules to this thing:

1.       Each recipient must post 11 random facts about themselves.

2.       Each recipient must answer the 11 questions the awarder has given to you, the awardee.

3.       You, now the awarder, create 11 questions for your nominees, who are now the awardees.

4.       Choose 11 awardees, link to their website, and notify them.

5.       No award-backs.

Well, this eleven thing was stressing me the fuck out because I’ve had super high levels of anxiety all week, so I’m changing that shit to ten because I do what I want these days, as anyone who knows me in real life would tell you.  For example, when I called my husband to tell him I recently discussed the illuminati with hard-core (now washed up) rapper DMX, he said, “Okay.  Sounds good.  The kids and are I snuggling,” later adding, “I don’t put anything past you these days.”  So – ten it is because I need some evenness to my life right now.  I’m the bitch you can blame later for changing the rules, but please don’t kick me out of the club.  Feel free to return to eleven if you, unlike me, are sane and odd numbers don’t strangely stress you out. 

Part One: TEN Things All About Me

1.       I suffer from bipolar disorder (also referred to as manic-depression), and I am not ashamed to admit to my illness.  I wish more folks who suffer from mental illness would speak up so that we can end the awful stigma associated with such diseases.  Mental illness is real; no one pretends to be bipolar for funsies.  Also, I can’t just snap out of it, but thanks for totally not getting it and wasting your useless words on me.  I should also mention that as I write this I have missed the last three days of work due to severe anxiety and depression, so it’s going to be a little evident here. 

2.       As it’s October, I should share that my favorite holiday is Halloween! I love this holiday because there’s so many fun ways to celebrate.  I love dressing up my adorable little babies, and this year my daughter will be Little Bo Peep and my three month old son her little lost lamb.  Adorable!

3.       I once worked as a professional cake decorator.  I decorated my own three tiered wedding cake for the second, much improved, marriage.  However, I also got carpal tunnel from squeezing icing bags all day long.  The random benefit to this is that I get out of giving hand jobs now because my spouse understands it agitates my illness too much.

4.       After my first marriage ended, I was sitting on the patio glider at my parent’s house with one of my brother’s best friends.  He said, “So, you living here for a while after getting divorced?”  I affirmed his question and he continued, “Well, that’s what you get for marrying a homo.  Everyone knew that guy was gay.”  I returned, “Apparently, I didn’t or I wouldn’t have married him.”  He shrugged his shoulders and said, “Oh well.  You wanna fuck around a little? It might make you feel better.”  So, we went to my dad’s pole barn to make out, but that was very brief after I sat on a wrench and decided it wasn’t worth it.

5.       My favorite book is The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck.  You should read it.  It’s truly touching.

6.       I’m going to plug some more quality art here by saying that Aimee Mann is my favorite musical artist, and the most enjoyable concert I have ever been to.  I’ve been listening to her new album Charmer, and loving it.  However, The Forgotten Arm is a musical masterpiece.  It’s a concept album with incredible story-telling, and you should also take a listen to that (after you’ve read The Good Earth). 

7.       Now sticking with music, if I were to ever go gay for someone, it would be Tori Amos – hands down.  If you have ever seen her in concert and been witness to the way that woman plays the piano, you understand this choice. Hot damn! That woman is a magical, sexual beast.

8.       I am still totally in love with the movie Labyrinth starring David Bowie.  I cannot wait until my children are old enough to share this treasured movie with.  It’s the greatest – and Bowie’s package is pretty stellar in the film too.  You remind me of the babe! What babe?  The babe with the power! Don’t know what I’m talking about? Rent this classic TODAY!

9.       I have learned more Spanish from Dora the Explorer than I did from my cranky old high school foreign language teacher.

10.   I was once legally blind.  I had a rare eye disease called Keretaconus, which basically means that your corneas become conical and the disease is degenerative, so I would now be completely blind had I not had two corneal transplants a few years back.  It is amazing what modern medicine can do.  I feel so blessed to have full sight.

Part Two: The Questions of Chicken Fried Vogue

1.       Do you smile a lot? Yes, all the time.  I’m like Will Ferrell in Elf: “I like smiling.”  I also think I have a very lovely smile.  My mother would say, “You better fucking have a nice smile because I spent a shit ton of money on that smile.”  I had a lot of orthodontic issues as a child.  I also have huge dimples, which barely ever go away.  As a teacher, my students often didn’t believe that I was mad because my dimples were still showing.

2.       Blondes, Brunettes, Redheads, or Baldies? As a brunette myself, that is easily my answer.  May I also add though that I HATE the term “ginger.”  South Park is to blame for so much that is currently wrong with our world.

3.       Can you tell me how to raise any kind of farm animal? No, but I can tell you how to kill a mini-goat by feeding it shit tons of Dairy Queen wrappers and a whole pumpkin.  Poor goat.

4.       Ever steal anything?  Yes, a few times – but I will defend every one of them.  The first time it was an accident.  I was a teenager at the local Ben Franklin store and I put a plastic star ring that cost all of a quarter on my finger for fun, and then I just forgot to take it off.  I know; I should be locked up.  The second time it was a Mylar balloon.  The line was too long, so I got pissed and just walked out of the store.  The third time was just last year.  I had two cases of soda under my cart at Wal-Mart and a lot of grocery purchases.  I picked the worst line in the world.  Every single time the old man working the check-out counter rang an item up, he announced it. “Romaine Lettuce: $1.80.  Two Red Onions: $1.29. One Loaf of French Bread: $2.19.”  Every god-damn item.  So, I figured – what the fuck? I am not lifting this soda up.  That’s my reward for putting up with this shit. 

5.       What was your favorite toy as a child? Boxes.  Always boxes. My dad worked at a paper mill when we were kids, so he would bring home large boxes all the time and we would make homes, cars, space shuttles, castles. I loved “toys” that weren’t intended to be toys and required creativity.

6.       How does it make you feel when someone corrects your spelling or grammar?  Like an idiot, but it rarely happens.  I’m usually the asshole making the corrections because I’m an English teacher, though currently unemployed. 

7.       Have you ever run away from home? Holy shit! All the fucking time! This would require its own separate page post.  Basically, I was an angry little girl.  Whenever I felt hurt or neglected, I would “run away.”  Usually this meant I hid under the log pile for an hour or so.  Then I came back in the house and declared, “No one even looked for me! No one in this house loves me! I hate you all!” Yeah.

8.       Have you ever won a real prize in a real contest? Yes. I won the “Essayist Award” at my undergraduate alma mater. As a debate coach for the past five years, my team also won many, many awards. It would be way too much bragging to list them all.

9.       What activities do you enjoy during your favorite season of the year? Play in the leaves, carve pumpkins, and go for walks in the cool crisp fall weather.  Enjoy the changing colors of the trees.

10.   Do you always begin at the beginning? No. I’m a fan of “in media res.” Oh yeah – dropping some literary terminology on your asses!

11.   I’m skipping 11! The stress! The stress!

Part Three: Questions You All Must Answer – with Pleasure! If I find out any of my nominees bitched about my questions, I will sic Rick Ross on your ass … or you know, do nothing.

1.       As I love books, you probably could have predicted this one, what’s your favorite book and why?

2.       What other bloggers (if any) do you currently follow? Please leave links.

3.       What are three reasons that you think my blog is super fucking awesome (because of course you do)?

4.       Do you believe in love at first sight?  If so, would you also be willing to admit that you are highly delusional?

5.       If you won the lottery, what is the first thing you would spend your money on?

6.       Have you ever had a cool celebrity encounter? Please describe.

7.       Okay: What’s your porn star name?  – Name of First Pet + The Road You Grew Up On =

8.       List three to five songs that have been in heavy rotation on your (iPod/CD player/cassette tape) lately.

9.       Do you believe in miracles?

10.   If I sent you my address, would you please mail me a pair of underwear to make up for those disappointing chain letters?

Part Four: Announcing the Lucky Recipients of the Liebster Award!

Okay, so as of today, here’s the deal folks: There are only two recipients so far.  The Liebster Award is meant to go to those who are new to the world of blogging. It’s a way of accepting them into the community and saying their work is valued and appreciated.  It’s kind of a gold star.  I want to give out gold stars.  However, I have yet to encounter any blog newer than mine (less than three months).  If you know of a new blogger, please send them on over here.  Have them check out my blog, and leave a comment.  I’ll head on over and do some reviewing.  Be warned that this process will probably take a while for me.  Any of my former students could assure you that I have high expectations.  But, also, the more newbies you send my way, that also grows my readership, and I will love you for that too.  Your help is appreciated. 

And many thanks to Chicken Fried Vogue for nominating me! Be sure to check her out today!


1. My first Liebster was awarded during National Blog Post Month to Azara at the Tesseract. Azara is an amazing blogger, who is funny, genuine, and insightful.  Her blog has brought me to tears ... both from laughter and sympathy.  She is definitely worth checking out.  Read about her reaction to the "Lobster" award and learn such wonderful facts such as the time she bought so many boxes of ice cream bars (because they were on sale), that she couldn't fit them all in the freezer, and had to bury some in the snow. Too funny!

2. And my second liebster was also given out during NaBloPoMo to another wonderful woman I encountered via yeah write.  This liebster was awarded to Gem at Disorderly Wanderlust.  I love how she describes her blog: "the musings of an oddball woman who is surprised her hubby married her, who questions the world and feels like an alien on earth- sans tin foil hat."  Through the blog-o-sphere, we have come to realize we share much in common and sometimes reading one another's stories is just like hearing our own voices.   So, if you love me (which, naturally you do), you'll also enjoy this blog.

3.  I could not possibly describe Larks over at Maybe I Should Blog better than she describes herself: "I blog about politics and civil discourse, parenting, and food. I know, right? Because all those things naturally bundle themselves together. Like, 'Why wouldn't you buy an engagement ring while you're picking up a George Foreman grill and tube socks?'" Larks is funny and intelligent.  One day, a post will be about Oscar Wilde and the next all about Zombie Jesus.  I am 100% certain that we would be besties in real life.  This has easily become one of my most visited blogs.  Her daughter, like mine, is also super, duper cute and clever. 

4. I am amazed -- truly amazed -- by Emma at Restraint Unfettered.  Emma is an incredibly strong woman, and a great writer.  Her stories give me strength.  Emma's former spouse developed schizophrenia later into his life, just as they were pregnant with her now four-year-old daughter.  Her posts about her trials and triumphs are truly beautiful and inspiring.  This is a woman both worth reading and admiring.  Emma just started her blog this October, 2012, urged so by a friend as a way to restructure her life.  I am thankful for that friend and thankful for Emma's words.  Much love to you, Emma!

5. My fifth liebster proudly goes to Bee over at Living Off Script.  By the way, I fucking love this blog title and have filed it under "Things I Wish I Came Up With."   Bee is another brave soul that I have come to admire immensely.  I feel quite determined that, together, Bee and I are going to eliminate the shame and stigma of mental illness.  As a fellow woman with bipolar illness, she writes bravely about her struggles -- with humor and heart that makes readers fall easily and quickly in love with her.  Bee, please be my wonder twin in the battle against ignorance of mental illness.  Stay brave, my friend, stay brave!

6. Clearly, it has taken me some time to dole out these awards.  You would think I'm the fucking academy the way I'm hoarding these things, but my next honoree is highly, highly deserving.  My sixth liebster was recently presented to Anna of Muddy River Muse.  I am in love with Anna's writing, as it helps to keep me grounded and remind me what I love about the world -- the flapping of butterfly wings, the sound of the wind, the warmth of the sun, and time to reflect on our past, present, and future while surrounded with such beauty.  Anna is also a former English teacher and great lover of books.  I find myself often drawn to others who love reading as I do.  Anna's words are thoughtful and timeless, and I'm glad to have them reminding me to sometimes just be still and be grateful.

7. I am super, super stoked (hmmm ... I think this may actually be the first time I used the word "stoked") to hand out my seventh liebster award.  As you're aware, I have been really hasty with these things, awarding them only to the most worthy of individuals.  Therefore, to know me IRL is not enough to earn you a liebster.  However, here is a blog that is legitimately worthy on the quality of the writing, and is written by someone I know and adore.  How cool is that?  Lots of teachers will tell you that they don't have favorites, but I don't believe that. While my favoritism didn't impact his grades (he can tell you things were looking quite rough at times), Cooper always was and always will be my favorite student, even when he's an old man.  Beyond that, he also addresses really important issues in his blog, and speaks honestly about mental illness and anxiety.  I was especially impressed with his most recent post "In Case of Emergency," which you can find along with his other great work at Stardate Soliloquy: The Lost, Weary Space Traveler's Story.  I hope his writing dreams, and mine, both come true and we may travel together some day.


  1. Angela! It was great getting to know you better. You make even the tough stuff entertaining to read. Those fucking underwear chain letters that sucked me in...yielded not ONE pair of f-in undies. WTF? JK but it is true! Congrats!

    1. Thanks! Yes! You remember the underwear chain letters. After sharing this post, my husband asked me to explain how it was supposed to work. Then he said, "Oh, like a panty pyramid scheme?" :)

  2. Congratulations. But really, that poor goat.

    1. It wasn't just me. My brother helped feed that goat fast food wrappers. Oh well.

  3. Brilliant and marvelous! So glad you played along. Your posts are a joy to read, and I have full confidence that once more people find out about you, you will have an incredible following.

  4. Congratulations, and well done. Also, I think I deserve two gold stars for having to endure myself all day. It's not picnic, as almost anyone that knows me can and will attest to.

  5. I HATE the word "panties". It reminds me of child molesters. :P

  6. I knew I was a misfit when I was a kid, but knowing I somehow missed out on panty chain letters! Liebster awards - so gratifying but at the same time so hard!

  7. I graciously accepted your liebster but I do not know how to add my blog. It's the musings of an oddball woman who is surprised her hubby married her, who questions the world and feels like an alien on earth- sans tin foil hat.

    1. I will add it. Just let me know after you have your liebster post up. I add it after you complete all the fun rules/questions, etc.

    2. Okay, nevermind. Damn, you're efficient and got that post up fast. I'm adding you now! :)

  8. I love that you are open about having bipolar. I am too, for the very same reasons.

    And thanks for giving me the award! I'm so in. I'll work on the post over the next few days and let you know when it's up. Thanks again!!!

  9. These had me cracking up! I feel like the biggest jerk ever, but the thought of questions right now makes my brain want to explode. Mostly because I spent all this week formatting a document from word to web to pdf to kindle and it was just enough to almost kill me. Will you hate me forever if I say that I want to happily blush and accept like a good girl but instead, I'm going to fall asleep early on a Friday night? (not literally, it's after midnight already.) Also--I have to say that David Bowie in the Labyrinth pants...well, that's all. And did you change your layout this week?? I don't know why, but it looks different. maybe the formatting haze. Or else I'm observant!!

  10. I've posted my Liebster post!

  11. Hi! I am honored and somewhat flabbergasted at the nomination, which I will happily accept! I will get back to you, hopefully later this evening, when I've had time to process all the questions etc. I'm not big on the "chain letter" thing as a rule, but since you have not threatened me with seven years bad luck or and untimely demise if I break the chain, I'm cool with this! One of the things I love about blogging is the sense of community among bloggers. This kind of peer recognition is very nice. :)

    1. Fantastic! No rush to get back to me. I'm generally not big on the chain letter thing either, given my disappointment at having mailed out panties as a fifth grader, and never receiving any in return. And now my two year old daughter is getting sticker chain letters. I don't want any more stickers. She puts them on the hard wood flooring and I'm forever on my hands and knees scrubbing Dora's sticky face off my floor, so yeah -- no bad luck if you break the chain. It's just love for your writing! <3

  12. Ta dah!--

  13. I heard I should post here!