During my daily visit to Nicki's awesome blog, I nearly fell off my chair when I saw that she had named me for a Kreativ Blogger award. I'm fairly new to this bloggity blogging thing, so holding true to my Type A Capricorn nature, I went to google what this award is all about.
The Kreativ Blogger Award comes with some rules:
1. Thank the person who has given you the award.
2. Copy the logo and place it on your blog.
3. Link to the person who has nominated you for the award.
4. Write 5-7 things about yourself that people don't know already.
5. Nominate other Kreativ Bloggers and share the link love.
So first off, I'd like to thank Nicki. Seriously Nicki, you are an inspiration, both in writing and in life. I'm honored to be nominated by you and appreciate your support of my little corner of the internet. For those of you who don't know her, you should totally check her out. Her writing is beautiful, insightful, and at the risk of being redundant, inspirational. And her life is totally unpredictable, so there's a high entertainment value quotient as well.
Well, well, what is there to say about me?
Firstly, it's potentially a miracle that I made it to adulthood at all. As a child growing up in a fairly rough Pittsburgh neighborhood, we were allowed (or appropriated for ourselves) what could be considered an inordinate amount of freedom to roam. It's not that my mom didn't care, but the world felt a different place back then. I look back fondly on memories developed while exercising that freedom in a way no responsible parent would allow now. When I was about 11, I was awarded tuition to a series of art school classes held at the fabulous Carnegie Museum of Art on Saturday mornings. My parents would drop me off for the class but then leave me extra time to wander about the museum when class was over. The institution consists jointly of both the extensive art exhibits and the equally large museum of natural history. I wandered all over, with no real navigating abilities, stumbling across Monet, Degas and Warhol, giant dinosaur skeletons and this awesome hall of minerals, dark with mirrored walls that made it feel like you were stood in a vast room of spotlit display cases lined up with military precision into infinity. I never realized, at the time, just how special it was to be able to stand in the personal presence of masterpieces, and to peruse what drew my interest without being pressured to move on by a parent, a teacher or a bored friend. And somehow, despite being directionally challenged, I always made it back to the meeting point. Fortunately, I never stumbled across a kidnapper.
Number 2 - There was a time when I was little that I sucked on road rock salt like it was candy. I know - gross! The city would stash wooden boxes full of salt around so that residents could toss it out on sidewalks when it was icy. If you'd seen the hill I lived on in Pittsburgh, you'd know why that was necessary. Once I was dared to lick one. I "rinsed" it off with snow and popped it in my mouth - and I liked it. It was like rock candy, only salty. I didn't understand about germs and dirt and god knows what else could have been combined with the salt. Fortunately, I lived through that too.
Number 3 - I can't hear the Chris Isaak song "Wicked Game" without feeling unavoidably depressed. And not for the reason you might think. I had just turned eighteen, going to school at a tiny college of about 2,000 students in Virginia - far from home in Oregon... far from my high-school boyfriend who I thought I would break up with when I went away but didn't... taking my first tentative steps into adulthood. In January, the campus pastor committed suicide after having struggled with schizophrenic demons for a long while. In March, a fellow student died of a sudden heart attack during spring break. And most tragically, the adopted brother of one of the most popular students - whose family was also known to a great many on our tight-knit campus - went insane and murdered his parents and sister. So it felt like death was stalking life in those couple of months. Unfortunately, Chris Isaak's melancholy song was also in heavy rotation, and now whenever I hear it, it reminds me that death is hiding behind doors and in corners waiting to reach out and pluck someone away you'd never expect. Heavy, huh? Sorry about that.
Number 4 - I can't swallow a pill without first filling my mouth with a gulp of water, then tipping my head back and dropping in the tablet like a baby bird being fed by its mother. If I don't do this, the pill gets stuck on the back of my tongue (even with a water chaser) and I have to spit it out and start all over again. Yes, I know that's ridiculous.
Number 5 - I received my first kiss at the age of 13 from a beautiful boy who couldn't speak my language. I had joined a woman from our church who was going down to the barrios of Tijuana for a week-long mission trip. I stayed in this house that clung to a hillside in the ghetto and was cobbled together from corregated iron and mud bricks. When I got there on the first day, I sat down on the cot and cried because I was overwhelmed by the troubling living conditions and wasn't sure how I would take a whole week there. But the bright spot of the trip was meeting Roberto. He was also 13, an adonis with cafe mocha skin, a mop of wavy hair, and startling light blue eyes - rare in a latino. I had a year of junior high Spanish under my belt; he spoke no English. Being American and severely blond, I must have seemed like a creature from another planet to him. This may have lent a sort of cachet that overcame my shy, nerdy home persona. I specially practiced saying deme un beso (give me a kiss) so that I could confidently deliver the line on the final day when we said good-bye. And he did. It was almost chaste. But lovely.
Number 6 - I love rollercoasters, but get motion sick on a carousel. Go figure.
Number 7 - I have been blessed with professional success in my career as a CPA. But it very nearly didn't work out that way. And sometimes it's impossible to know what innocuous choice can change the course of your life. Although I loved to write, and draw, and sing and act and had (only moderate) talents in these creative areas when I was young, at university I chose to major in business solely because I didn't want to remain fiscally challenged in adulthood. I took the required accounting classes in my freshman year and found an affinity for it. So I specialized in accounting. When I was searching for a summer job after my freshman year, I had a choice between being a receptionist at a recruiting/temp agency that was going to charge ME a $150 placement fee to accept the position (I was too inexperienced to know how strange that was) or taking a job as a bank teller. I felt my choice was to sit on my rear and do an easy job answering phones, or stand all day and deal with people and their money (which can be more stressful than you might at first think.) My checking account balance nudged me to the teller job, which shortly became a long term position with the bank's accounting department, in which I met the CFO who encouraged me to take the CPA exam (I wasn't planning on it) and hooked me up with an interview at his former employer, an international auditing firm where I went to work after graduating with my degree in accounting. The rest is history. Sometimes I wonder how differently it could have turned out if I had taken the lazier, if more expensive, summer job.
So there's a list of items mundane, maudlin or nostalgic that many people don't know about me. Now on to the nominations, which present some difficulty because there aren't many out there following me at the moment and therefore the tag may be a bit presumptuous. So I will simply say these are blogs I very much enjoy and I would be honored if they would accept my nomination and share a bit about themselves.
Postcards from the Edge (of the West Country)
The Open Road
Suburbane... So Close to Cool
Just a Titch
Looking forward to learning more about you all. And thanks again Nicki.