About a week ago, The Hobbler named me as a recipient of her “Awesome At Awarding Awards” award. In case you are unfamiliar with this award, it is retaliatory in nature… you get it because you have given someone else a blog award. Think of it as a form of blogospheric payback.
While I love getting blog awards (who doesn’t like a little pat on the back every once in a while?), I’m not a big fan of having to jump through the flaming hoops set up as part of the whole deal, such as passing them on to others. I have two main reasons for this…
- Lately I’ve had heaps of crap the world has been piling on me that has been eating up my time and so I haven’t been visiting or commenting on other blogs very much. My bestowing a performance-obligatory award on a whole whack of people who may deserve recognition but haven’t been graced by having to comment and/or delete and/or edit my comments to their posts in a while seems like a bit of a faux pas on my part. I know that I’m making an assumption that other people are as time-management challenged as I, but I still feel bad about shoehorning another task into their busy days.
- I presently have 23 blog drafts that have been accumulating, without significant development, for the past couple of months. Some of the topics humanity was deprived of my insight on as a result of me having to respond to this award were… a groundbreaking philosophical system that would bring peace and harmony to Mankind by following the path of one of my favourite critters; a biting political/ethical exposé of how the world is screwing us all; a report on how the Quebec, Ontario, and Canadian courts are battling each other in an epic struggle to make this fair land a major tourist attraction while hurting individuals and filling the pockets of international criminals; various photo essays including such subjects The Welland Canal and The Police; Christmas gift suggestions [at the rate I’ve been blogging lately, I better start that one now… Costco has had their Christmas line out for nearly a month already!]; various geeky photographic reviews and how-to pieces which generate most of my blog’s long-term hits (but virtually none of the comments); and what to do with your loved ones after they’ve died.
Just to assure you that I have, in fact, been busy and not just snubbing your blogs, here’s a short list of stuff that’s been going on lately that has been whittling away at my blogging time…
- My son brought his girlfriend over for close to a week. This being the first time we met her, we really had to clean the house so as to make a good first impression.
- My childhood friend The Dane stayed with us for 5 days. He has a union job so he gets time off on holidays (including his birthday!) so the little woman and I had to tag-team entertaining him between our shifts at our own jobs. We didn’t do much in the way of cleaning except shovelling a path to the guest room because… 1.) The Dane knows what a slob I am. and, b.) The Dane’s apartment is on a par with our house according to the Index of Domestic Clutter.
- Mrs. HoaiPhai’s sister and her family came to visit for over a week so we had to clean the house, including removing the bedding that my friend The Dane previously slept on. Because they came all the way from Korea just to visit us, I took the week off work to have the time to give them The Full 5-day Niagara Tour. There were also daily heavy-cooking sessions, and the pre-visit buying of gifts for every one of my overseas in-laws ate up a huge chunk of our time (including my wife’s buy-it-and-return-it-and-then-buy-it-again system of material acquisition). The visit was great fun and I even managed to squeeze three posts out of the whole thing! The first in the series can be found here.
- My college friend, her husband Curly Khai, and their two young children were threatening to come for a visit so we had to clean the house again, including identifying all objects that we didn’t want the kids to break or talk about with Child Protective Services agents. They ended up not coming, wasting the precious time we spent cleaning the house we could otherwise have spent messing it up.
- My son returned with his girlfriend for the better part of a week. The clean-up for Curly Khai and his family had worn off so we had to do it all again but since his girlfriend had already been to our house once, we didn’t have to follow the strict first impression clean-up protocol.
- Various medical setbacks like debilitating colds, a couple of trips to the eye doctor that left me functionally blind for most of my day off, several multi-hour root canal appointments that left me in no mood for socializing (even via blog comments), and I herniated a disk while sleeping that made it next to impossible to sit in my computer room chair for days on end. Actually, sitting wasn’t the problem, it’s getting out of it that I wanted to avoid having to do without the benefit of a mechanical hoist.
- Mrs. HoaiPhai and I have had quite a few common days off this summer, which is a real treat. Because it’s such a rarity, we do stuff together like go on long drives, have meals together, return merchandise she’s bought to the store, and just plain pay attention to each other.
- I’ve had some nasty photo assignments lately, some involving post-processing techniques that require all day on my ancient computer and open-source software to get a single image right. I’ve been really productive this week having edited and printed 40 lovely prints of dubious artistic quality.
And that’s just a general list of the big stuff. Here’s what I had planned for today that I probably won’t have time to do…
- Get to the office supply store to buy photo mailers.
- Mail a bunch of photos… not sure if the satellite postal counter at the pharmacy is open past noon on Saturdays.
- Make olive chicken so it’s ready for when my wife gets home from work. Yesterday she insisted that we buy two whole chickens, which means spending a lot of time carving all the raw meat off and the inevitable afternoon visit to the neighbourhood suture clinic, instead of buying boneless meat.
- Catch up on other people’s blogs.
- Do some personal blog maintenance, such as updating The Table of Contents, answering a couple of comments, see if I need to catch up on making any Eat Sheets, start a new draft, etc.
- Fill the car with gas and get a gallon for the lawnmower. Sure, most of you take five minutes to do this but I’m a Quebec-trained driver driving in Ontario so carrying that container of liquid explosives in my trunk is risky, like throwing potassium into water in a library. I’ll have to take the slow seldom-travelled route home.
- Mow the lawn.
- Trim the corn on the sole of my foot.
- Back up some of the ~150 gigabytes of raw and processed images that I haven’t manually backed up yet. They have supposedly been backed up automatically, but I feel safer when I save stuff on DVDs, too.
- Get started scanning my old negatives into a digital format. This project is why I bought a fancy scanner two years ago.
- Take more pictures. It’s a nice day with both banks of dark threatening skies and puffy clouds and I don’t see many of this type of weather on my day off. [Mrs. HoaiPhai just called and instructed me to make taking pictures my priority today]
- Do a rough cost analysis of what a print costs me to produce… I might be shooting a wedding for some people who don’t have much money and I’d like to know exactly what my break-even point is on materials alone.
- Find a high-ground location within an hour’s drive where I can repeatedly return to take nice sweeping landscape pictures all year round. I’d also like the location to be away from any cities so I could point my camera upwards on clear starry nights. It would be really nice if this location would be close to a parking lot so I don’t have to anger my knees and back by lugging my camera junk uphill. It would be a major bonus if the parking lot didn’t have a sign warning that cars are frequently broken into while parked there and if the location was not a meeting place for muggers or murderers I won’t have to go through the hassle of making my tripod look like a rifle.
- Look for a better job.
On to the award stuff
My personal blogging hurdles having already been enumerated, I wish to thank The Hobbler for this award — it being a fill-in-the-blanks sort of deal makes my life a whole lot simpler and it has taken me far less time throwing this post together than it would have taken me to put together one of the drafts that are sitting on my back burner! When I combined the satisfaction of actually churning out a post this week with the guilt-relief of devoting a little time to The Hobbler (whose blog I love reading but haven’t been visiting because of, you know…), I am really enjoying doing this post.
The way this award works it what the bestower (in this case The Hobbler) supplies a list of words (the bolded words in the list below) to the bestowee (in this case me) and the bestowee (me again) has to write the first thing that comes to mind (my responses are in italics). I included a value-added bonus in the form of a little explanation for my responses, which appear within the square brackets ( “[” and “]”) following said responses. Here we go!
- Awards: An envelope, a handshake from Russel Crowe, bigger paydays, and getting drunk backstage with Catherine Zeta Jones. [Isn’t that what achievement is all about?]
- You: Not me. [A great survival strategy in case a single bear attacks a group of people]
- Blogging: The most fun way to let off a little steam. [My posts get a little sarcastic at times]
- Don’t: Juggle un-declawed cats. [A bad idea on so many levels]
- Let’s: Fall in love. [I’ve been enduring the same Muzak playlist at work for eight years, except the month around Christmas when the same Christmas playlist plays every year]
- Why: HoaiPhai Jr. at age three. [Has it really been 27 years since he used to ask “Why?” fifteen hundred times a day?]
- Party: Experiencing altered states of consciousness with people you don’t know. [Those are far and away the best parties, IMHO]
- Oh: Pee. [“The Alphabet Song” really sticks in the head, doesn’t it?]
- Try: If at first you fail your deed, try again ’til you succeed — then hire someone who knows what they’re doing. [I’m very unhandy]
- Watch: eBay. [I love gadgety under-$20 Chinese watches]
- Life: Way too short. [’nuff said]
- Favourite: Transient. [I cannot get Humpty Dumpty BBQ Chips or Hersey’s Chocolate Syrup anymore]
- No: Life. [Life is the act of fighting the world saying “No” to us]
- I’m: Happily frustrated. [See “No” above and hints in my various posts as to what tickles me pink]
- Sorry: Marriage. [According to the film Love Story, “Love is never having to say you’re sorry” but anyone with a conscience in a long-tern relationship has a veritable warehouse of reasons to feel sorry for the myriad of inconsiderate things that (s)he could have done better or differently]
There we go. Again, I’d like to thank The Hobbler for this award. Without her I probably wouldn’t have posted this week (so you can blame her).
But as I said earlier, I won’t be spreading this award around but I do invite all three of my regular readers to put your responses down in the comments section below. Have fun with it!
- Awesome At Awarding Awards Award (puddinggirl.wordpress.com)
- Yay, I’ve made the Blog Awards @blogawardsie Ireland Shortlist #bloggm (markstephensarchitects.com)
- One Lovely Blog Award? (backroadscholar.wordpress.com)
- Blog Award Q&A (thelittleblackraincloudblog.wordpress.com)
- Beautiful Blogging Award and More! (poetrycurator.wordpress.com)
- One Lovely Blog Award (yomicfit.wordpress.com)
- A Lovely Blog Award (tchistorygal.wordpress.com)
- My First Blog-Award (ashaseth.wordpress.com)
- One Lovely Blog Award! Thanks! Just What the Doctor Ordered (mikesfilmtalk.com)
- Can You Believe It? (writingfictionblog.com)