“I lieb’ ya, I lieb’ ya, baby, I lieb’ ya. Now lieb’ me alone”

Thank you, I think, Josh and Professor Mondo, for giving me the “Liebster Award.” Twice. It’s a great honor and all that. It’s also a fair amount of work. I’ll try not to groan too loudly as I comply with the terms.

This award has been floating around the internet for several years, and the rules have mutated over time. These are what I’m going by today:

LiebsterThe Quasi-Official Rules of the Liebster Award
If you have been nominated for The Liebster Award AND YOU CHOOSE TO ACCEPT IT, write a blog post about the Liebster award in which you:
1. thank the person who nominated you, and post a link to their blog on your blog.
2. display the award on your blog — by including it in your post and/or displaying it using a “widget” or a “gadget”. (Note that the best way to do this is to save the image to your own computer and then upload it to your blog post.)
3. answer 11 questions about yourself, which will be provided to you by the person who nominated you.
4. provide 11 random facts about yourself.
5. nominate 5 – 11 blogs that you feel deserve the award, who have a less than 1000 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!)
6. create a new list of questions for the blogger to answer.
7. list these rules in your post (You can copy and paste from here.) Once you have written and published it, you then have to:
8. 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 so that they can learn about it (they might not have ever heard of it!)


Eleven noteworthy facts about myself that I haven’t mentioned before? This might be difficult.

• In my early years I attended four grade schools and three high schools across the country, from Virginia to California. At every one of them I spent all day each day gazing out the window and watching the clock.

• The most enjoyable job I ever had was working as a nursery hand. It was sometimes hot and exhausting — during one murderously hot summer I would go in shortly after dawn to get the rototilling and hoeing done before the temperature hit 100°F — but I generally was on my own, and I prefer the company of perennials and shrubs to that of most people. Unfortunately, the pay was miserable.

• In high school, if I thought an assigned essay topic was dumb, I’d write a parody of it. Sometimes I’d get an A, sometimes an F, once both on the same paper.

• I keep an early schedule. My mind is clearest when I wake up in the morning, and I do my best thinking lying in bed before I rise. I resent it when my neighbors keep me up late partly because I lose those valuable hours between waking and leaving for work.

• I rarely buy books these days. There’s no room for any more. (I did buy the Professor’s, though. It’s in the pile next to my bed.)

• I have a driver’s license, but I neither have nor want a car. I did own one for a few years when I went back to school for another degree, but I was glad to get rid of it when I was done.

• I’ve been fascinated by volcanoes all my life, but the only volcanic area I ever visited was “Craters of the Moon” in Idaho, back when I was quite young. Even though my family lived seven years in northern Utah, we never went to Yellowstone.

• I loathe Facebook. I hate the ads, the constant nagging to complete my profile and search for “friends,” the lack of control, the incessant “invitations,” the frequent changes in policy, the overall smarminess. However, it’s the best way to keep tabs on certain friends and family, grr. I don’t do Twitter at all.

• Although I’ve been an obsessive science fiction reader ever since I got my first library card, I missed Robert Heinlein until late in high school, when a friend loaned me Glory Road. I gather that it’s not exactly his best. The next one I read was Stranger in a Strange Land, which killed any interest I might have had in his work.

• When I was thirteen or thereabouts, my father gave me Atlas Shrugged to inoculate me against socialism. It worked, but there probably are better ways to do that.

• During my SCA days, I frequently sewed colorful medievalish outfits for myself. Here in the twenty-first century, I shop without enthusiasm for the least repulsive clothes that fit and wear them until they fall apart.


Josh W. Thursday’s questions

1. Prog rock or punk?
Progressive rock, definitely. Punk has energy and attitude, but it doesn’t bear repeated close listening.

2. What book(s) are you reading right now?
Count to a Trillion by John C. Wright; Memories of the Future by Sigizmund Krzhizhanovsky; Dog in the Sky by Norman Corwin.

3. If you could instantaneously become fluent in one language which you are not already, which would it be?
Japanese would be the most immediately useful. If world travel were a realistic possibility, then perhaps Indonesian.

4. Name one piece of media, literary, musical, visual etc. which you believe has had a significant effect on your life.
“Retreat Syndrome” in The Preserving Machine, Philip K. Dick’s first collection. It’s not one of his outstanding stories, but there is a difficulty with the point of view that irritated me and prompted me to pay more attention to the mechanics of fiction.

5. Has your worldview ever undergone dramatic changes? How many times?
There have been no sudden, drastic changes, just gradual, subtle tectonic shifts.

6. Final Fantasy or Dragon Quest?
How about chess?

7. Favourite kind of verse?
Verse that scans and is potentially singable.

8. Are you a bot pretending to be a human? Please type: rI45yeARal3
RlpH124c41-? rU4rEel? I always scored poorly on “clerical speed and accuracy.”

9. Favourite short story collection?
The Island of Dr. Death and Other Stories and Other Stories, by Gene Wolfe. Alternates: The Complete Works of Saki, or whichever collection of R.A. Lafferty is nearest to hand.

10. Is it obvious that I am straining to come up with questions at this point?

11. Would you rather be in Agamemnon’s army, or Odysseus’ crew?
I’d prefer to be in Roadstrum’s ship in Space Chantey, R.A. Lafferty’s version of the Odyssey.


Professor Mondo’s Questions

1. If you could give a really painful (but not permanent — we’re not awful people) charley horse to anyone in the world without fear of retribution, who would it be?
Just one person? Pick any bigshot in Hollywood who does his best to make the culture just a little bit trashier every day. While you’re at it, give a wedgie to any nearby politician.

2. DC or Marvel?
DC, because of Batman.

3. Who would you cast to play the lead in a biopic of you? (You are not eligible.)
I’d like to say Norio Wakamoto, but Shintarō Asanuma would probably give more accurate portrayal. (He’s the narrator and protagonist here.)

4. Preferred pizza crust — Thin? Pan? Whole wheat? Other?
I don’t do pizza. Sorry.

5. Is there a song that makes you hit the channel change/shuffle button as soon as it starts? What is it?
John Lennon’s “Imagine.”

6. What’s your favorite “guilty pleasure” movie?
I can’t think of any I like that I ought to feel guilty about. I’ve never been much of a moviegoer.

7. Bluegrass or World Music?
“And,” not “or.”

8. What’s the most unusual thing in your fridge?
Outdated infra-red film.

9. What have I got in my pocket? (Hey, it worked for Bilbo.)
A hole. (It worked for Ringo.)

10. What topic is most likely to make you start talking as your friends say, “Now you’ve done it.”?
Photography, maybe? Music? Animation? Books? Actually, I’m not known anywhere for talking and talking.

11. What question were you hoping I’d ask you, but I didn’t? (Feel free to answer that one as well, by the way.)
What is your home planet? (I haven’t found it yet, but it’s not this one.)


Eleven questions

1. Who should write your biography?

2. Who should direct the movie version?

3. Who should do the musical score for the movie?

4. Please tell a favorite joke (keep it tasteful, thank you).

5. What book should everyone read?

6. What obscure movie is worth tracking down?

7. Do you have a battle song, i.e., a tune that you hum, sing or stomp your feet to while on the way to a difficult day at work or an unpleasant appointment?

8. What fictional character do you particularly identify with?

9. Which mode of literature do you find most congenial: comedy, romance (in the Arthurian, high-fantasy sense), tragedy or satire?

10. Who is a writer you once thought highly of but have since outgrown?

11. What neglected writer, composer or performer deserves rediscovery?


Let’s pick a few victims — er, honorees:

The Port Stands at Your Elbow

Not Quite There

TWWK at Beneath the Tangles

The Brickmuppet

John Salmon

Jonathan Tappan

(If you’re feeling left out, leave a comment, and I can add you to the list.)