I have been nominated for the Sunshine Blogger Award by the author of HeideBlog. She confessed that she sometimes turns these things down because they have a chain letter quality about them. I hadn’t quite thought of it that way, but I can now plainly see that she has a point. I do know that my last few attempts have garnered little response and got anyone to forward the award. Maybe people are tired of these things.
As for me, I have enjoyed writing the posts for these. I considered it both good practice for the biography that is going to go on the jacket of my published novels or a good memory exercise. It also gives me something to write about.
I even created my own award. It is called the Promotion of Positive Spirit (Artwork by Quinn of When Do I Get The Manual). Sadly, it hasn’t gained any traction.
In my first year of blogging, I was desperately hoping for one of these. After writing about them for a while, I too gave up on them. However, my respect for Heide is such that I would not refuse. Her blogs are awesome and her photographs amazing. I assume that everyone who has read my blog has checked her blog out because she was been one of my most steadfast supporters and my most frequent commenter–more than double anyone else. If you haven’t checked out her blog, please do it now. Here is a link to it.
So the rules of the blog are as follows
- Thank the blogger who nominated you. • Answer the 11 questions asked. • Nominate 11 other bloggers and ask them 11 new questions. • List the rules and include the Sunshine Blogger Award logo in your post.
Thank you Heide of HeideBlog. Your support has been awesome. Your posts have been excellent. Your photographs have been inspiring. Lastly, your sense of humour and personality have been great. Sorry that sometimes my blogs make you hungry.
Answering Your Questions
What inspired you to start blogging?
I have been watching Jvloggers (people who make video blogs about Japan) for a long time. I envied them both because they lived in Japan and got to do cool stuff, but also because they had achieved a kind of fame. I also believed (wrongly I suspect) that they made a ton of money by doing things like eating weird ice cream flavours.
I no longer live in Japan, so I knew that route was out. I also felt that vlogs about Aurora Ontario really wouldn’t have much gravitas.
While searching for other things about Japan–which is something I did a lot in those days—I came across a blog about Japanese snack food. The posts were excellent and the author also wrote a blog about things she would miss when she eventually left Japan. You can check them out here and here.
I have always wanted to be a writer (or voiceover artist–my voice is quite unique) so I thought writing might be the ticket. Without doing any research, I assumed that fame and fortune would be easy that way and jumped aboard. I started on the same platform as the writer, and I tried writing a blog about hobbies and a blog that would help my students learn English. Both got very minimal traffic. For my students, I had to pester them to look at it. For the hobby blog….well, I had to pester my friends, family and co-workers. There response wasn’t great, but I continued on I enjoyed the writing and finding things to write about. I guess I saw myself as a modern day columnist who had deadlines–kind of like the Dad in Eight is Enough.
When I checked out WordPress, I realized that they had great ways of sending people to other blogs and so I came here. I brought my hobby blog along–though I do not write enough posts for it.
What are you most proud of?
If I am going to pick one it is probably that I fulfilled my ambition to live in Japan and learn some of the language. I had wanted to do that from a very young age and managed to do it.
On a more recent note, becoming more positive is something I can be proud of. I don’t think it is easy to change character habits (and I am not done yet) but I have made good progress in this area.
If you won the lottery, on what would you splurge?
Well, I would probably buy a Garmin with all the sensors for my bicycle, new cooler looking helmet, maybe a Sony Action Cam to record my rides, and probably buy a good turbo trainer with Zwift.
Travel is a must. Open ended travel, or travel without having to teach English would be amazing.
I have recently started stamp collecting, so I would probably buy the software (EZstamp and Albumgen) to make my own stamp album pages, a new computer to run it on, a nice printer to do the printing, and then some stamps to fill the new album.
Subscriptions to several magazines (Outside, The Economist, Monacle, stamp and cycling magazines,…..
Go watch a Notre Dame football game and stay close to campus.
Get a good haircut.
Join a gym and get a personal trainer–probably a woman with a loud voice like the woman from the Biggest Loser.
Take a serious bicycle mechanics course.
Learn to forge knives.
Where is the last place you traveled to? Would you like to go back?
The last place was Vietnam (the last stop on my last cycling holiday) and I would definitely go back there. I loved the food, the scenery, and I loved the people. I should also state that the coffee was amazing and ruined me for anything else. Specifically, I would love to stay in Dalat for a while.
What is your favorite book? Why?
As an English major, I cannot possibly have one favourite book. However, here is a list of books that come to mind that I liked enough that I could read them again (in no particular order). I haven’t included the author’s names because you can Google as well as I can. I am sure I have left out many books I should put here. If I continue to dwell on it, this post would never get finished.
- The Glass Castle
- The Crying of Lot 49
- The Sun Also Rises
- The Quiet American
- School of Velocity
- A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
- A Separate Peace
- The One-Cent Magenta: Inside the Quest to Own the Most Valuable Stamp in the World
- The Time Traveller’s Wife
- Zen and The Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
- A Prayer for Owen Meany
If you could go back in time, what advice would you give to your younger self?
Teach abroad a bit longer.
Study chemistry instead of English or go to Law School.
Don’t buy that first car. It was a lemon and while pushing it was good exercise, it was never any fun.
Tell several of my high school crushes how I actually felt.
What is the silliest thing you ever saw or heard at work?
There are so many silly things that happen at my work. ESL teachers are….colourful. I think I once described my workplace as diversity in all its forms. We’ve also got students that come of their own volition and students whose parents might want a holiday from them.
I have had:
both drunk and high students (most likely to increase when pot become legalized sometime this year).
students who thought that they could become fluent in English in about 3 weeks.
I have seen teachers that:
couldn’t remember what they packed for lunch and then ate someone else’s lunch because they thought it looked like something they would bring.
worried so much about grammar that they were duped into believing English had a tense called Past Ultimate.
What is your favorite childhood memory?
I remember one morning that the milk man brought some chocolate milk. Obviously, my Mom ordered it. It was a special treat for me and just me.
Have you ever gotten hopelessly lost? What happened?
My second week in Japan I had to drive to a clinic to teach English to the clinic owner’s children. Their house was next to the clinic. When I was taken there the first time, I didn’t know that I would be teaching there, so I didn’t really pay attention. When I had to teach the next week, I left early, thankfully, but I had to drive around some narrow roadways (bound by rice paddies) and up steep mountain passes. There were no street names, I couldn’t remember any discernable landmarks besides the 180 degree turn up the steep hill towards the train station, and I spoke no Japanese. I had only been driving on that side of the road for about a week. I almost panicked, but managed to arrive just in time.
If you could have dinner with any famous person, whom would you choose?
You may need to indulge me on this one. I have actually thought a lot about this and have decided that one dinner and one dinner guest would not be enough (though if you made me choose just one, I would probably want it to be Winona Ryder)
I imagine my movie star crush table. This would include Erin Karpluk, Nicole Deboer, Joanne Kelly, Abigail Spencer, and Laura Benanti. That 3 of these 5 are Canadian is probably just a coincidence. I would also like to invite Jennifer Lawrence’s vacation alter ego Gail. (If you have no idea what I am talking about check out her appearance on Stephen Colbert or Ellen)
For the Author’s table, I would like to dine with Harlan Ellison, Isaac Asimov, Jack Kerouac, and Robert Pirsig.
For the music table….Michelle MacAdorey, Susanne Vega, and Michelle Shocked.
What hopes and dreams do you have for your next 10 years?
I would like to find an equally lucrative job in a completely different field and much closer to my house.
I would like to write something good–short story or novel that really moves people.
I would like to travel to more places, Chile, India, Laos, Eastern Europe…
I would like to find a romantic partner who challenges me and inspires me.
I would like to be able to keep up with the B group in my cycling club.
The Rules of the Blog stipulated that I should recommend 11 others for this award and harass them into answering 11 of my questions. I certainly hope some of them will do it, but I won’t be offended if they are uninterested. This kind of post takes a long time and since they are really cool bloggers, they have probably already done a bunch of these.
I also hope that anyone not familiar with these blogs check them out. I have chosen some of the more recent ones, not ones that I have been following forever.
Oh, and I decided to stop at ten. Not sure why.
Dorky Mom doodles–This one makes me laugh and although I do not have any children, I can certainly relate.
The Punk Philatelist–this one had me at the name. Then I read the posts and learned a lot of interesting stuff.
Hunida’s Blog–This blogger writes with brutal honesty and a bit of grit that I can truly appreciate. She is also warm and friendly.
Some Call it Red–This is a local blogger who may not write frequently, but does put out some amazing posts from time to time.
Bike Like Crazy–This is clearly one inspirational woman who has such a voice. I have witnessed her world expand and I can only predict amazing things for her in the future.
No Harm In Farmin–Besides making some cool knives, and being hardworking, this couple have been great supporters of mine. You should definitely visit their site.
The Vintage Toy Advertiser–from cool to kitchy, you might happen upon a memory of yours. Also, a fantastic resource.
A Few Spokes Shy of a Wheel–Overcoming adversity,cycling like a madman, and being one of the warmest and most encouraging people out there are just some of his qualities.
Doodlemum–She makes me laugh.
Local Girl in a Foreign Land–her most recent post should speak to us all.
Here come the Questions
- What inspired you to start blogging?
- What would you like your blog to do for you?
- Which post are you most proud of?
- If you could host a dinner party (and you didn’t have to cook and your liquor cabinet was completely stocked) which famous people would you like to attend and what would you serve?
- What is last really good book you read?
- What do you collect (because I know everybody collects something)?
- How did you help someone last?
- What one ingredient is crucial to a good sandwich?
- Who has inspired you the most?
- What is one thing you do better than anyone you know?
- What is one thing you would like to learn how to do?
- What TV show do you wish they would bring back with the original cast?