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In her kind benevolence, or perhaps just in a confused drunken stupor, J Awkward Prufrock has nominated me for a Liebster award. If you have ever wondered why “awkward”, “dating”, and “relationships” are often found inhabiting the same sentence in life, you’ll want to grab some popcorn, grab a seat, and check out her blog:

https://jawkwardprufrock.wordpress.com

Now, according to internet lore, the Liebster originated in Germany, and is an award given by bloggers to other bloggers. Liebster supposedly means “dearest, kindest, nicest, lovely, pleasant, valued, cute, etc etc etc”. Really?

Of course not! If you look in the official Klaus Frankfurter Teutonic German Dictionary, you’ll find that Liebster means Hampster. Yes, hampster. Say it out loud. Liebster, hampster, liebster, hampster, liebster, hampster. See the similarity yet? Think about it. Are you always running on a wheel, never getting anywhere? Of course you are! Would a German use the words “dearest, kindest, lovely, cute”? Of course not. What words would they use?

”Dr. Schneider, I vant to conduct an experiment on hampsters who blog.”

“But Fraulein Muller, vee do not have any hampsters who blog”

“I know Herr Schneider, but vee could use Americans instead. They obediently stare at their device screens, whether at home, work, on the bus, or even walking down the street. Just like those hampsters and the sugar water experiment we did last year.”

“Ah, das is ein excellent idea, Fraulein. We shall call it….. the Liebster Experiment. They will be too lazy to check the name, and it sounds cute to the American ear. If we could only include a picture of a kitten or puppy in the logo, ve vould be in total command. But how will we motivate these bloggers? Ve cannot just send out cheese to every participant.”

“Don’t worry, Herr Schneider, they respond well to things called “followers”, and especially to something called “Likes”. And the NSA and Google are offering huge discounts on monitoring users this month.”…………….

So on to our experiment….. While she did provide a list of questions for nominees to answer, Ms. Prufrock apparently had me in mind with her question #7:

“Describe your writing in three words”. I answered with the first three that came to mind….

not very good……..

Uh, ….hmmm….awkward pause here. Maybe I should move on to my list of questions:

1) Are there any commas or exclamation marks in the Periodic Table? Or just periods?

2) Why is there so much blue sky and so little blue food?

3) How many writers do you know with logorrhea?

4)

5) Please explain why you have not answered question 4.

6) If question 1 was on a westbound train going 50 MPH from Chicago, and question 3 was on a train going 60 MPH north from Atlanta, what topping would be put on an ice cream cone made at 2pm in New York’s Central Park?

7) If you are a writer, please explain in 18 words or less how the Jurassic Period can explain the Roaring 20’s, and how Karl Marx is responsible for Global Warming.  Include footnotes.

8) Why have you still not answered question 4?

9) If red wine goes with beef, and white wine goes with fish, what beverage goes with Ben & Jerry’s?

10) Should mastication be allowed in public?

Now,dear readers,…….yes, I’m talking to both of you. Pay attention. The official Liebster rules are:

  • Link back to the person who nominated you.
  • Answer the questions given to you by the nominator.
  • Nominate up to 11 other bloggers with less than 200 followers.
  • Create 11 questions for the nominees.
  • Notify all nominees via social media/blogs.

Or, just lock the doors, draw the blinds, pull out the 12 gauge, and administer frontier justice to the the next award that comes your way. I’m not big on the 11 questions, so skip that if you wish. I think in all seriousness, the nice thing is to promote some of the blogs on WordPress that don’t get so much attention, yet are still worthwhile. Here’s a couple for you to check out, all worthwhile with under 100 followers. I will probably do another post in the future with additional ones, since I don’t want to overload people all at once.

https://fromchildtofather.wordpress.com/

Writings of an engaged, loving, supportive dad, as he journeys through fatherhood.

http://baltimoreblackwoman.com/

I stumbled onto her blog after the Baltimore riots, and stayed. Well written, well worth reading.

https://howtobe50.wordpress.com/

If you need a laugh about getting older, this might be it. Has me laughing out loud at times.

https://clcurriedotcom.wordpress.com/

Happiness is pulling out the iPad, settling down on the couch, and getting lost in one of her essays.

http://denelecampbell.com/

Part history, part crusading social justice warrior. I really enjoy reading her well researched posts.

Now, Fraulein Muller, ……when do I get my piece of cheese?…….

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A Beacon of Light

It dawned upon me slowly, like the instant you realize something is different about your wife, but you don’t know exactly what. So you ask her, and hear “You’re just noticing now? I changed my hairstyle 8 months ago?” (Yes…that’s me….guilty as charged). Anyway, I finally realized that the spot on my forehead never really healed. I thought it was just a case of occasionally hitting it on something, and by chance hitting the same spot. You know how you get busy and can’t remember things? I’d think to myself, “Did I hit it again? Or did I hit it 2 weeks ago? Or 2 months ago?” Who knew? So then, in keeping with the glacial pace of all men (page 37 of the man code), I decided I’d go see a doctor.

Looking for a dermotologist reminded me a little bit of looking through the personal ads, trying to figure out the person:

Personality:

“Are they brusque and short with patients, or do they listen and seem to care?” (I’m skating on a thin line here. Too much caring, listening, hugs, and talk of feelings could get my man membership might be revoked….)

Family:

 “How is the receptionist? Does the billing dept curse patients who owe money and show up at their door wielding baseball bats? Does the staff laugh behind our backs and post pictures of botched surgeries to Facebook?”

Education and Skill:

“Did they graduate from medical school? Do patients rave about the end result?” Or is there only a mention of how the doc started out at eight years old carving the family turkey, and later deciding to get into dermatology and surgery, with a new nickname of “Scarface”?

Age:

Are they fresh out of school, full of excitement and enthusiasm, ready to practice……..on YOU!

Or are they about ready to retire, with shaky hands ready to carve zig zags on your face?

I ended up, like a few other men in history, with my mom playing matchmaker, sending me to her dermatologist. So I went. The first visit was to take a biopsy. Walking into the office, the first thing I saw was the huge wall poster declaring “Certified by Benihana!” It had a picture of the smiling doc, yielding a cleaver the size of Nebraska. It was about an hour later that they finally dragged me out of the closet of the dentist’s office down the hall. They claimed I was screaming and leaving claw marks on the rug, but that’s probably just heresay.

Once the results came back positive for skin cancer (slow moving, limited, so hold off on the condolence cards), it was back for the excavation. I never knew dermatologists were such big fans of Black & Decker. As she dug away, she kept smiling and saying, “It’s just like the coal strip mining we used to do in West Virginia!” Stopping just short of providing me with a full frontal lobotomy, she then cauterized the wound. This is when the assistant puts a vacuum hose next to your scalp, as you notice the faint smell of something burning……YOU!!!!!

Once the fire department had finished hosing me down, she followed with some stitching (now I know why docs never buy new socks), and finally a pressure bandage. For those of you who don’t know what a pressure bandage is, it’s a very, very thick bandage that they tape onto your forehead. Sticking a good 2” up, you officially now look like a Unicorn. Put some white flourescent paint on it, and you have a headlamp. Someone asked if I had a transplant done and if now I was going to be an official dickhead. I felt a little bit like Elephant Man, to tell you the truth.

After 32 hours, it was time for the bandage change. Collecting the official list of materials (Gauze, neosporin, non stick pads, tape, Q tips, hydrogen peroxide, whisky, hammer, chainsaw, the full collection of Encyclopedia Britannica, and a roast beef sandwich), I was ready to begin. You first peel off the bandage and tape, doing the man version of a Brazilian wax. Who knew men could scream in such a high pitch? This is followed by the view of your forehead, when you realize that you are absolutely ready for a Frankenstein Halloween costume. So you clean the wound with peroxide, and your pride with the whiskey. Then some more peroxide on the wound, and some more whisky in you. I still don’t understand it, but when the wife came home an hour later, she failed to see the humor in me wallpapering the bathroom with gauze, and playing army with a horde of Qtips glued to the floor…..

A Hairy Situation

I went on a hike last weekend with a few friends as well as a newcomer or two. We headed into Butano State Park, on the coast, about 45 minutes below San Francisco. It’s a nice little place, with a mix of some redwoods and meadows, as well as hills and ridges. The first part of the trail was uphill, and as we neared the upper part of the ridge, it had gotten a little hotter. So a few of us moved to shorts. As we resumed the hike, one lady was in front of me, and as I glanced down to watch where I was going, I saw the legs. And the hair.

My first reaction, was sort of a double take. Did I see right? It got me thinking, in between dodging the poison oak vines and the occasional branch waiting to whack me in the face. I normally associate hairy legs with men and clean shaven legs with women, because “that’s how it’s always been”. Seeing this aberration, part of me had to keep reminding my brain that “this is a woman, this is a woman”. Another part was thinking, “Why doesn’t she shave?” Yet another was thinking, “Is the problem not with her, but with you expecting shaved legs?”

I think if someone asked me, I would always say, “yes, I prefer shaved legs on a woman”. They do (at least in my mind), look nicer, cleaner, and sexier. However, as I walked along, I started to think of what I would do as a woman. Or even as a man if the standard was shaved legs for men too. I have to admit that the first thing that popped into my mind was, “No way I’d shave my legs….waste all that time…. go through all that headache and mess of razors and shaving cream or other machine…..FORGET IT. If people don’t like it, the heck with them.”

So now, with full acknowledgement of her decision being truly understandable, I then started to wonder if I’d be okay with Mrs. Dolphin going the no shave route. (In my case, the Mrs has already stated she is not about to sport hair on her legs, so this thought exercise is a bit theoretical). I’m not sure, as it felt like something I’d have to get used to. Probably no different that getting used to women with nose or body piercing, colored hair, different facial or body features, accents, or cultures. I think that after awhile it would be less of an issue, as I’d most likely be focused on the person, not the package. Which makes me wonder if society as a whole would get used to hair on lady’s legs if all the sudden everyone did it. I’m sure there’d be an uproar initially, and some people would accept it quicker than others, but would things change enough so that in a generation or two it would be no big deal? It’s an interesting question.