I’m such a sucker for these things. I just love knowing that people who read this stuff appreciate me as much as I appreciate all the stuff I read. It reminds me that we’re all in this together, reading and writing. 🙂
So, huge thanks to Yawatta Hosby for throwing my name into the One Lovely Blog Award hat. That’s just the coolest.
(Also, isn’t that a beautiful logo for the award?)
1. Include blog award logo in your post
2. Thank person who nominated you and link back to them in your post
3. Share 7 things about yourself (keep in mind that children may read this)
4. Nominate 7 bloggers you absolutely relish
5. Leave a comment on each of these blogs letting them know they’ve been nominated
7 THINGS ABOUT MYSELF
- When I was a preteen and an early teen, while all the other boys were out mowing lawns and clearing brush to earn pocketmoney, I worked as a babysitter. One time, while babysitting a four-year-old, the doorbell rang and it was the boy’s estranged father, come to see his son in spite of the restraining order against him. I still don’t remember how I talked the guy down and managed to shut the door again — he was twice my size and, if I remember right, freshly out of jail — but I do remember the tears of relief when the mother and grandmother got home.
- When I was 15, I was a maid. I got paid in cash. I worked with two other women; the three of us would sit in the minivan at midday and eat cheese sandwiches and drink cans of Coca-Cola. Once, in a mansion outside San Antonio, I was cleaning the owner’s office — heavy mahogany desk and stuffed leather recliner and, I swear to god, a tiger’s head mounted on the wall. I accidentally stumbled across a secret compartment in the wood-paneled wall. Inside was a short file cabinet and a small safe and an even smaller safe that I realized later was a lockbox for a handgun. Some papers. A small stack of cash. I closed the panel and never mentioned it to the maids.
- When I was 16, I pumped gas for a living. One of our regular customers was a pair of guys who ran a primate shelter in the Texas Hill Country. Their work was hard and often depressing — the chimpanzees they worked with had often been rescued from research or abuse — but they were always smiling, and they tipped well. One day, someone at work make a horrible comment about the two guys, who, it turned out, were a gay couple. They were the first gay couple I’d ever known. I thought they were amazing human beings. But I don’t think I had the courage then to stand up for them in the face of the derision they got at the gas station.
- When I was 17, I worked as a bagger and carry-out at the local grocery store. There was a regular at the grocery store who was an honest-to-god hippie, with the American-flag bandana and the John Lennon sunglasses and the bell bottoms and VW van. He must have been in his 40s, but he looked a lot more weathered than that. Some of the baggers fought over the right to take out his groceries, many because they thought him an oddity or a freak in the middle of conservative Texas, but I fought for him because I thought he was awesome. I wanted to be that guy someday.
- When I was 18, I mowed lawns for a summer. I only lasted a month or so, but I learned a lot about how to trim an edge, how to follow the contours of the land with a mower, how to operate a stand-behind riding mower, how to fix a small engine on the fly. I never did learn how to drive while towing a trailer, though.
- When I was 19, I worked in an Italian restaurant. The first day on the job, one of the waiters told me, “This is a family restaurant, man. It’s a dysfunctional family, but it’s still family.” He was right. That restaurant was chaos. But the waitstaff and the dishwashers and the owners and their kids are still some of my dearest friends.
- When I was 20, I started working on my college campus as a peer tutor in writing and English. And I knew then that I was destined to teach this stuff forever.
MY NOMINATIONS (feel no obligation whatsoever here, bloggers — I just think you’re awesome)
- Jackson Bliss (great — and honest — blog about writing and submissions)
- Monica Drake (who is a damn fine colleague)
- Marie Marshall (a fine writer and a very supportive reader)
- Cathy Day (a fascinating blog about teaching writing)
- Literary Rejections on Display (this anonymous blogger keeps threatening to quit but never does, and I hope that remains the case for a long time — we need this blog)
- Screaming Heads (it’s sometimes a downer, I know, but the honesty here is searingly beautiful)
- Reel Librarians (okay, yes, this is my wife, but damn it, you’ll be hard pressed to find better or more entertaining research into films and film stereotypes)