29 June, 2012

Spread Wars: The Return of the Crunchy

Michael D'Agostino of The World As I See It is collecting pro-peanut butter blog-uments to continue (or end) the Spread Wars of 2012, a battle begun between him and fellow Aussie, Rusty of Swinging Like a Rusty Gate. (Those two links are, I believe, the two posts that started Spread Wars. Read the comments to get an idea of the extent of these debates.)
If size counts, we've already won!
~~~


If Rusty posted more often, perhaps he could garner such support for his spread of choice, Nutella. Just sayin'.
~~~

 
Now, I realize the posts that are collecting are all purely opinion, and I assume the goal here is to establish a consensus, not "prove" one is "better". (I'm actually not going to read the other arguments collecting on Michael's blog until I've posted this.) Opinion or not, I really don't see how there can be a debate!

 
I'm not going to cite facts and stats. Calories, schmalories. As far as health goes, neither spread is as good for you as an apple (which is best when sliced and spread with peanut butter, anyway).

 
Although I will mention the fact that peanut butter is much more affordable than Nutella. In the States, at least. Maybe Australia sits in the golden Nutella zone where it is cheapest. But I can't say that price doesn't weigh into my shopping decision!

 
Beyond that, as I started listing the reasons I find peanut butter superior to Nutella, I have to say the big one is guilt. Nutella *feels like* dessert. I know, I know, it's made with hazelnuts...AND CHOCOLATE! Why not grab the Hershey's syrup? Sprinkle it with some ground hazelnuts and you'll have a healthier snack.

 
Which brings me to:
Where's the crunchy Nutella? If it's really made of nuts, there should be a crunchy option.

 
What makes peanut butter superior to Nutella?
Variety. Nutella has no options. In this house, I keep crunchy for myself, my dad likes creamy "with honey", and there is currently Peter Pan creamy because it is the best for baking. I know some moms who like the convenience of peanut butter and jelly blends for use in quick sandwich-making, and of course, the health-nuts organic food eaters can get their kind. Is Nutella organic? I don't think so.

Nuts. See above comment about crunchy Nutella.

Versatility. I get that peanut butter and Nutella can both be spread on just about anything and improve it, but of the two, only peanut butter can be the base. Have peanut butter on your bread? It can stand alone. Feel a need for more sweetness? By all means, add Nutella...or honey... or jam, or fruit preserves. For variety, add cheese (Yes, Michael, I do that too). Or even bologna - something my brother started me on as a kid. The possibilities are endless.

Proven nutrition. (I believe I mentioned this in a comment somewhere.) When I organized a youth event to explore/experience hunger, one of the recipes recommended by World Vision to end our "famine" was peanut-butter based. (The recipe for "PlumpyNut" should be at this link.) Apparently in countries where this charity is assisting starving kids, the product they give to severely undernourished children is this peanut buttery goop. If it's good enough to feed starving children, it must have true value.

 
 
Remember these? From a few posts ago?
All that said, let me say, I am not "anti-Nutella" as I have been accused. I enjoy Nutella, who wouldn't? It's sweet! It's like dessert...and it accompanies peanut butter beautifully. Twice now I have brought different types of peanut butter cookies to the home of my Internet Fiance, and we have spread them with Nutella, and it was good. However, my peanut butter cookies stand alone. They do not require Nutella to be sweet, melt-in-your-mouth goodness. Nutella, frankly, is  superfluous.

I do enjoy both, but can see many more benefits to peanut butter. Given a choice of only one, I take peanut butter. In fact, I make that choice every time I go to the grocery store. I haven't had Nutella in my pantry in years but I always buy a new jar of peanut butter before the current one runs out. You want proof of a winner of Spread Wars? Follow the money.


(On a side note, is the yellow font easier to read? I read someone saying about the difficulty of reading blogs with black backgrounds, and suddenly remembered a study we found when I was captioning videos, about the easiest reading being black on yellow or yellow on black. Let me know if this change helps.)

 

22 June, 2012

One Hundred! 100! ...or "The other Big C"

(ha. Get it? "C" like as in Roman Numerals? 100? I'm such a dork.)
Some people would have us believe that on your 100th blog post you are supposed to list 100 things about yourself. What is that supposed to do? A. That's a very long list. B. Yes, I suppose I could list 100 things...but it would be incredibly dull. What 100 things?

What 100 things would I want to list for readers who don't know me? I'm not sure if there's a rule that the list of 100 should be things not divulged elsewhere in my blog. However, I know some people just recently started popping in here, and not everyone feels drawn to read every archived post by every blogger they follow. 

To make this Herculean labor easier for myself, and to make better sense for you, I'm breaking the 100 into 10 sets of 10.

Let's give it a whirl...
(upon re-reading, I think the boring stuff is first. Keep reading.)

I'm the little one with the crazy grin.
A. GENERAL, GROWING UP
  1. I'm the 4th of 5 kids.
  2. I was born in Iowa.
  3. I started piano lessons at age 5. (For the story about my 5th birthday, see this post.)
  4. I know all the words to a lot of old songs because of giant piano books we'd play from as kids: Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head, Blue Moon, Beer Barrel Polka, Heart and Soul, Downtown...the list goes on.
  5. I grew up in Asia.
  6. I don't know where I'd live if I had my choice, but I'd like to get back to the Indian subcontinent someday.
  7. I'm obsessed with Stonehenge.
  8. Yes, I've been there.
  9. I'm obsessed with the Taj Mahal.
  10. No, I've never been there. (Ironic, huh?)
B. THOUGHTS ABOUT SCI-FI
  1. I don't really read sci-fi.
  2. I do not speak Klingon.
  3. I do enjoy Star Trek.
  4. In college, we played the Star Trek drinking game while watching The Next Generation. I no longer have the rules.
  5. I do not speak Wookiee.
  6. I know more about Star Wars than anyone I know (unless you count the videogames).
  7. Yoda does NOT always speak with reverse sentence structure: the script-writers of the prequel trilogy were lazy.
  8. My secret weight loss goal is to be able to successfully wear the Princess Leia slave-girl costume from Return of the Jedi.
  9. I've watched Dr. Who, but not enough to be caught up with current plot-lines and casting.
  10. I prefer Red Dwarf, when it comes to Brit-Sci-Fi.
C. A FEW THOUGHTS ABOUT BOOKS

  1. I was reading and writing in sentences at age 3.
  2. My favorite book is Douglas Adams' Hitchhiker Guide trilogy. (yes, the 5 book trilogy)
  3. I own everything he's written.
  4. My most consistent author to read on a whim is Agatha Christie.
  5. I do not own everything she's written... I only have 40-some of hers.
  6. I started reading her mysteries at age 11.
  7. My favorite living author is Christopher Moore.
  8. His book "Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal" is HILARIOUS ... if you can separate fiction from your faith.
  9. Another whacky-fiction author? Jasper Fforde. Grandly twisted. Check him out.
  10. In the past, I have organized my books alphabetically, by color, or by Dewey.
D. ABOUT WORK
  1. I don't really know what I want to be when I grow up.
  2. My ideal job would ultimately be overseas.
  3. My former boss used to say I only ate popcorn, peanuts and pizza. He was pretty close. Add peanut butter.
  4. My last job was at a marina. I could smell the ocean from my office when the windows were open.
  5. I've worked in housekeeping.
  6. I was on a paint crew for a summer job once.
  7. I worked in a TV studio during college.
  8. From there I worked captioning videos.
  9. Captioning was probably the most fascinating job I've had... too bad my boss was insane!
  10. I am about to go insane if I don't get a job soon!
E. RESPONSIBILITY AND IRRESPONSIBILITY
  1. No kids: don't have any, don't want any.
  2. Eight nieces and nephews.
  3. Once when I was babysitting my niece and nephew for a weekend, there was a thunderstorm. My niece was 5, and terrified. I had no idea how to calm her: fear of thunder & lightning was absolutely foreign to me. She survived.
  4. Four godchildren. (In the church sense, not in the sense that I am responsible for them if their parents die.)
  5. I taught middle-school Sunday School at my church in Delaware. (grades 5-7)
  6. They were unbelievably fun.
  7. One of the 10yo's admonished me before I moved here to Indiana "Don't tell your new friends out there that you live with your parents!" She was embarrassed for me. Cute.
  8. No pets, mostly because I hate being a burden on someone else if I go out of town and they need to be cared for.
  9. I had a Dragon Amigus named Spartacus.
  10. Plants die in my care. I am fortunate to still have two that have lived for more than 2 years: a spider plant and a jade.
F. DEATH
  1. My grandmother died 2 1/2 years ago, at age 101.
  2. Her funeral was all planned out...by her.
  3. At her 100th birthday, I asked her what the secret was to long life. She said, "love everybody."
  4. DUDE! That's really hard! 
  5. I don't want a funeral when I die. I want a "celebration of life".
  6. My family knows I prefer to be cremated.
  7. I want my sister to read Psalm 19 at my Celebration of Life, if she's still alive.
  8. She hasn't said definitively yes.
  9. There should be an open bar at the Celebration of Life.
  10. You're all invited.
G. ABOUT THE PANTHEON OF MY LIFE

  1. I do not use real names of anyone I write about from my personal life: I've swapped their names for a pantheon which can be found in this post.
  2. I use (usually) the names of Greek gods and goddesses for pseudonyms in this blog.
  3. That is because in our family, we are steeped in that knowledge, due to Dad's college education. Yeah. Weird.
  4. ...Seriously. It was dinner table conversation. At age 4, I was hooked!
  5. When we lived overseas, my sister Diana and I, and the two daughters of the other missionary, would take Poseidon into the ladies' cloakroom, put his hair in pigtails, and exit into the public calling him Persephone.
  6. His hair wasn't really that long.
  7. I took "Greek and Roman Mythology" as an elective in college. It was awesome.
  8. Because of the whole boarding school situation, I really only got to know my oldest siblings when I was in college.
  9. I think I broke my mom's heart when I told her that. (and I don't know why)
  10. Not yet in the pantheon officially, my eldest niece will be Calliope for her artistic talent, and my youngest nephew will be Icarus for consistently going too far.
H. COLLEGE DAYS

  1. I went to the same college with my older brother.
  2. Unfortunately, this meant that I dated very little. His temper was well-known. I was gold.
  3. I had tried to start going by my full name instead of the age-old shortened version, but having a sibling there ruined that.
  4. I got my first apartment during my Junior year of college.
  5. I kept a double minor all through college because I couldn't decied what my "practical" minor should be. I graduated with one minor and a TON of elective credits!
  6. Like Old Testament Theology, from when my 2nd minor was theology.
  7. Or Adolescent Psychology, from when my 2nd minor was psychology.
  8. Or Music Theory, from when my 2nd minor was music.
  9. The minor I graduated with was Geography/Earth Science.
  10. This should have been my major.
I. A MOVIE WHORE IS BORN
...a.k.a. 10 movies I watch regularly if there's nothing on TV.
(Please note, these are not my Top 10 faves, just easy to have on and ignore because I know them well.)
  1. The Star Wars trilogies (obviously)
  2. Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (obviously)
  3. Star Trek - 2010 version (obviously ...and because I don't own any others. If anyone feels like supplying me with Wrath of Kahn, I will be eternally grateful.)
  4. Casablanca (obviously)
  5. Clue
  6. Ghostbusters
  7. Young Frankenstein
  8. Kelly's Heroes (possibly the stupidest WWII movie, ever. But so funny.)
  9. Bridget Jones' Diary
  10. Muppets From Space (Best. Soundtrack. EVER.)
 J. The one you've all been waiting for:
The Red & Brett Story in 10 Key Posts.
(you're welcome)
p.s. There are others, but these are key.
Remember these? If not, read 5 & 6, below.

  1. Your Bloody Valentines Day We'd been reading each other's blogs and commenting, but this is The Key Post. (If you don't read any others, read this and the comments.)
  2. Evidence That I Am Harmless (posted at The Transformed Non-Conformist)
  3. Of Axe Murderers and Other Creepy Folks This is my response to no. 2.
  4. The Secret's Out and the Plot Thickens Because I'm an anonymous blogger, all of this was only in the blogosphere of my world until now.
  5. Chaos Butterfly Powers (posted at The Transformed Non-Conformist)Red & Brett's Secret Squirrel Squad 
  6. Red Arrived in the "Brett Zone" and Was Never Heard From Again Documenting our first meeting. There's a corresonding post at The Transformed Non-Conformist.
  7. Allow Me to Explain (or What Really Happened at The Avengers) This one is kind of left-field, unless you'd been following some of the Twitter convos out there.
  8. The Kids of Indianapolis Have a New Hero
  9. Brett's Plans Fall Apart Again (posted at The Transformed Non-Conformist)

That wasn't too painful, was it? 100 things you never cared to know about me, in 10 quick sessions. ...and all the pictures came from elsewhere in this blog.

Whew.
Time for a beer.

18 June, 2012

The Big "C" - It's Not If, But When


It's summertime. We are having 90-degree days, and a lot of sun. I may not be at the beach anymore, but I still get outside, and with the hot temps I won't be wearing long-sleeves! You know what this much sun means: Skin Cancer alerts.

Now, I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that The Big C has me in its sights. And yes, Skin Cancer, specifically. It's kind of comforting to know something with such certainty, in a world where nothing seems sure.

 
THIS is an absolute! (cue Hallelujah Chorus)


 
How can I, who have never professed any powers of foresight, foresee this?
Dude, I have Every. Single. Risk factor.
Every one.
I know. That's pretty awe-inspiring, right? You may envy me, if you wish.

 
Biologically:
  1. Fair skin, fair hair, fair eyes? Check.
  2. Direct descendent of skin cancer survivor? Check. My grandfather on my mother's side.
  3. Even more direct line: My mom has had 5 spots removed already. One (or two?) of which were actual trouble. ...I guess the others just looked like trouble. Guilt by association!
  4. High quantity of moles/freckles? Dude, I used to play connect the dots with the moles on my stomach or legs. My last doctor did a map of my back. Check.

 
But Red, you say, didn't your parents slather you in sunblock knowing this risk?

Well first, that's cute that you think I'm young enough that all the modern info about skin cancer was available when I was little. Secondly, yes, to the extent they could control it, I was always told to wear sunblock. But thirdly, I went away to boarding school at the tender age of 11. Apart from telling me, how much control do you think they had?

 
Genetically, it's out of my control.

 
Environmentally... well let's just do a quick tally of enviornmental risks. They usually count these as risk factors if they happened before age 20 or 25 (CDC can't make up its mind which age counts.)

 
  1. Live in tropics? Check. Look up Sri Lanka on a globe. I was about 10* N latitude. Even my school in India and our later home in Taiwan qualify.
  2. Live at high altitudes? Check. Most of that time in South Asia was at high altitudes 6,000 ft. or higher, which put me closer to less-filtered UV rays.
  3. Number of sunburns? Huge. At least one major, peeling, lobster-red burn every year. At least. I think that's a big "Check!"
  4. Number of blistering sunburns? Also high. One that qualified as 2nd degree. Youch. Check.
  5. Use of tanning beds? Check. I will admit, with some chagrin, that I started using the tanning beds at my gym last summer. (just a couple hits per month) I don't think I will continue - well, even if my new gym has them, whenever I sign up at a new gym.

The funny (if that's the word I want) - the funny thing is, my sister had breast cancer a few years ago. I'm not at all worried about that. I mean, yes, I do all the check-ups and mammograms, and have since before the usual age they start that, but I don't think I'm a likely candidate.

We have NO family history of that.
Hestia lives a generally less healthy lifestyle than I do. (A lot of processed/fast foods. A lot of soda. Very little exercise. An overall chaotic/stressed out take on life.)

In the meantime, I will try to stay out of the sun during peak hours, and will wear sunblock if I know I'll be out in it. (Regardless of all the changes to sunblock labels. Oy vey, really?)

What do you think? Do you need or not need sunblock? Are you one of those blessed with the ability to tan? Or will I be seeing you at the dermatologist/oncologist?

And...on this day in history:
Napoleon met his Waterloo! ...and we gained a new phrase. So let's all drink something French.

p.s. To those of you who followed this weekend's events on Twitter and were expecting a different post, it's coming, but this was on deck. ...and next up is the 100th Post. Bear with me!

12 June, 2012

Guest Posting and What's Up in Iowa

Dudes! I survived the weekend road-trip with my parents!

Actually, I'm not even really here to say that. Adam, AKA DJTrain over at The Train's Whistle was given the Kreativ Blogger Award, and suggested I write it as a guest post. Woot-woot! My first guest post! I have to say, not only did I have fun with it, I think it's some of my best - and indeed most creative - writing so far. Go check it out HERE! (and while you're there be sure to read some of his earlier stuff. It's pretty cool.)

Since I wrote a full post already, I'm just going to share some photos from this weekend's trip, and call it a day. After all, a picture is worth a thousand words!
(I'm including an extra special bonus)

First, to catch you up in general. Last week on Thursday I went out to watch Brett's softball game. I brought along homemade peanut-butter cookies, and before heading to the game...

...we spread them with Nutella, satisfying the debate happening over on Rusty's blog.
yes, there are milk chocolate chips in some of them. I like to experiment.
At the game, I was commissioned to write for The Train's Whistle, as I linked to above.

Here he is: the man, the myth, the Coach DJTrain!

On Friday, my parents, my aunt, and I headed off towards Iowa.

The Amana Colonies are an Amish community in Eastern Iowa.
Iowa is NOT flat! It is gently rolling prairie - well, fields now.
That gets me every time. People who've never been there think Iowa is flat. Not true, people. You are mistaking Iowa for Kansas.

This cracked me up...
You "redeem" your empties for the deposit, but it sounds
as if there's an AA meeting in the back room or something!
Summertime at the lake. Crazy. People with boats tethered together, people on boats with a raft pulled behind, speed boats, pontoon boats...

This isn't even the most crowded part, because I was trying to get all the RVs.

This is the town of my paternal grandmother. We visited a lot when I was a kid. I was delighted to see that the same old death-traps toys are still in the park:

The rolling barrel o' joy.
Or, for those of us with big brothers:
The rolling barrel o' terror.
...and isn't it amazing that we ALL survived these?
The reunion itself was fun. As of course they always are. I won't share pictures of all the family, though. You're welcome!

Sunday we headed back across the state to my Mom's brother's house. When we stopped for lunch, guess whose table number was the Ultimate Answer!!!
(My parents did not understand why this was photo-worthy.)
More proof of Iowa's non-flatness.
For breakfast the next day we stopped at a good old fashioned Iowa local restaurant. Check out this cinnamon bun!

Dudes! It's as tall as a juice glass! That's 3 meals right there.

The Mighty Mississippi. It's really big, dudes. And I'm not even crossing it at a notably wide spot!
Well that's it, really. Not really, really, because all the stuff that you'd have to be family to appreciate isn't here, and that was the whole purpose of the trip. My dad was the youngest of 6. Of the 6 kids, 4 had 5 kids, and 2 had 3. PLUS any living siblings of my dad's dad, and their kids/grandkids come, too. (My dad's dad was the oldest of 6.)

That's a LOT of people. Of all ages. Actually, there are only two from my generation (and my grandpa's branch) that are younger than me: my brother and one cousin. I have cousins who have kids that are nearer my age than my cousins. Heck, I have cousins who are grandparents! So it's kind of weird, still being the young one. But it was fun. And I decided that if our generation is going to continue this, we need to start wearing name-tags. And family tree-tags.

Extra Special Bonus...JUST for playing along and actually reading this lengthy post all the way to the bottom, I've decided to include an actual, CURRENT picture of me:
My Eye.
True, dudes. It was a lot of driving, and somewhere in between reading and napping, I got bored and took an extreme close-up of myself. You're welcome.

And FINALLY finally,
In today's Something to Celebrate:
On this date in 1942, Anne Frank was given a diary for her 13th birthday. It gives you chills, doesn't it?

07 June, 2012

My Dad May Be Trying To Kill Me

I used to wonder if my internet fiance Brett would survive a meeting with my father. 

Back here I put forth the possible dangers of such a meeting. Since then, as I got to know Brett better, I figured the bigger problem might be that they would team up against me. I now believe it may be a non-issue: If my dad gets me out of the way, he won't have to worry about Brett!

~~~
This post has been growing over the last few weeks. Since I first developed my hypothesis, Brett has met my parents twice and there have been no notable injuries to anyone. In fact, my father has been abnormally...normal! This just strengthens my suspicions.
~~~

I marvelled that Dad had no questions when I introduced the concept of my Internet Fiance. His only concern was that I was "meeting strange men on the internet". (For the full story, read about the Secret Squirrel Squad here.) Since I started living under my parents' roof a month ago, he hasn't asked or offered commentary about this relationship. He smiled once when handing me the phone to talk to Brett, which seemed curious. He smiled while I relayed the story of Brett teasing the kids at the ballgame. At first I chalked it up to that being a funny story.

Now I know. He can smile and be as unconcerned as the grasshopper who sang all summer. I'm the one he has access to, so I'm the one in danger.


See how cleanly I sliced that white wire?
...and notice all the exposed copper?

EXHIBIT A. Remember that I said I mowed over the extension cord? I was all apologetic and replaced the cord, then finished mowing and came inside. Mom's response was, "Did you electrocute yourself?" That hadn't even dawned on me. And Dad had expressed no such concern.

Aha! I foiled Plan A! I survived the trick extension cord. Hm...Dad told me to save it - that he'll fix it. I'd best be on guard.

EXHIBIT B. That same day, that same extension cord caught on the brick trim. Had I been hasty and just yanked on the cord, one of them would have flown up and hit me in the head. My dad may have been counting on my impatience, which would have caused me severe head trauma. Too bad for him, I decided to stop the mower and walk down to disentangle the cord. Haha! Safe!


You can see how it could be treacherous to
step backwards from the left to the right.
EXHIBIT C. The next week, again with the mowing. (Darn grass keeps growing.) This time I thought I'd follow Dad's advice to go "back and forth" across the slope instead of up and down. Oh...he's tricky! In order to do that, I had to step back across the stone path that descends the slope. I stepped back, nearly twisting my ankle on the opposite, steeper slope, and stumbled back a few steps. Had I not regained my balance quickly - thank you yoga! - I'd have certainly fallen and cracked my head open on one of the hickory trees or stumps right behind me.

Setting me up for danger, again!

EXHIBIT D. The other day, during the course of my regular dog-walk, I was bitten by a tick. I knew someone in Delaware who had Lyme's disease. That is one mess I do NOT want! My dear father tried to convince me it was a gnat. Dudes, I've never divulged to you about my work, but I was with Parks and Rec for nine years. Not only do I *think* I know a tick when I see one, but I have a card that identifies the type and whether it's engorged or not.

Haha...way to try to lull me into submitting to this horrible disease, Dad! I'm too diligent for that!

The Piece de Resistance:
The day before Brett was due to come over for a cookout and "meet the parents", dad "offered" to walk me through the gully (mentioned in "The Secret's Out..." as the perfect place to hide the bodies) ...in case I wanted to take Brett through there. We took along some rope to mark the turn to start climbing back out, and headed down.

**My dad is very agile for a 72yo!**

"The Gully" - ravine, abyss, valley of death - suddenly brought to mind the Fire Swamp from The Princess Bride: "The trees are really quite lovely!" ...only in a narrower valley.

There's a little less light filtering into our ravine/gully.
(otherwise, that could be Brett and me...)

It is a cool, green, probably photogenic walk. If you don't mind sliding over or crawling under fallen trees, and are adept at deflecting thorny bushes!

There's no real path, but once you get to the bottom you're following a stream bed. The trick of course is knowing when to turn off. If I got lost down there, I'd be vulture food. Or ROUS bobcat food, since we know Magnum (the dog) once tangled with one down there.

There's no cell phone reception, so I'd not be able to call for help. Devious plan, Dad. Touche! But I was too smart and took Brett for a walk around the pond, which I know well.

(...However, getting lost in the ravine with Brett might have been fun. Darn. Guess I didn't think that one through.)

This weekend I'm heading off to a family reunion with my parents. I'd best stay on my toes - my dad has three brothers who might be in cahoots with him!

06 June, 2012

Kreativ-ity Counts!

Wow! Apparently I am a:


...Because I've been granted the award! Thank you to Ken-Inatractor for his consideration. Ken's blog is awesome, so you should go check it out. He covers every topic you can imagine. (not just tractors) "At 6 miles per hour, sometimes your mind wanders."

Thank you also to Michael DAgostino of The World As I See It, who also thought I deserve this award. I already had him in my list to nominate him, so I'll leave him in my list. We must have something in common, to recommend each other!

And most recently my dear east-coast friend Misty of Misty's Laws felt the same. I must be doing something right. Misty is awesomely snarky in her take on the world around her, and as a lawyer she gets a front row view! 

THE RULES:
  1. Thank and link back to the awarding blog.
  2. Answer seven questions. (Misty's version had 10 questions, but I like 7. I'm swapping some of the lame ones and keeping the best of the 10 she had.)
  3. Provide 10 random factoids about yourself.
  4. Hand the award on to 7 deserving others.
THE 7 QUESTIONS:
Yeah...dessert with a touch of danger.
1. What is your favorite song? It changes all the time. I rarely know much current or trendy stuff. Lately "Birdhouse in Your Soul" by TMBG runs through my head a lot.
2. What is your favorite dessert? Creme Brulee. I will always order it if it's on the menu. (actually, the question originally said "desert" . For that I'd have to say "The Sonoran Desert" because it makes me think "sonorous" which is an excellent adjective.)
3. What do you do when you are upset? I shut down. This isn't a silent treatment thing...it's just my defence against saying something I'll regret later. So if you see me shut down, just keep going with whatever is happening and ignore me. I'll come around.
4. Which is your favorite pet? Reptiles and amphibians are the coolest. I had a Dragon Amigus (a very cool lizard) once. And I caught a snake on my uncle's farm when I was in high school.
5. What is your guilty pleasure? This blog. Since nobody knows about it in my life, it makes me feel all sneaky/ninja-like to keep it going in the presence of others!
6. What is perfection? A day spent in the company of Brett, The Transformed Non-Conformist. (Can I get an "Awww..."?) 
7. What is your attitude mostly? Mostly positive. Which is probably why people are shocked when I'm in an.... angry upset alternative mood.

THE 10 RANDOM FACTS ABOUT ME:
(FYI, Ken, it was really hard to come up with 10 MORE random things, beyond the 100 I'm collecting for my upcoming 100th post!)
This isn't me, but it's
a reasonablefacsimile.
1. When I was little (think 5yo) I'd hide at the time in the afternoon when my 3 older siblings were coming home from school. My heart would pound so fast and loudly in my ears as I waited for someone to find me - it was scary and exhilirating. I'd about jump out of my skin if I was found. If I wasn't found, they may not have been looking, but I would triumph in my ability to successfully hide.
2. If possible, I prefer not to wear shoes.
3. If possible, I prefer to wear jeans.
4. When offered a choice of iced tea or lemonade, I'll usually take lemonade: given a choice of lemonade or grape kool-aid I'll definitely take the purple stuff!
5. I love the Muppets (and Fraggle Rock).
6. In this order (usually): vanilla, strawberry, chocolate. When I was younger the first 2 were reversed.
7. Chocolate (my last choice) moves up in the list if peanut butter - or nuts, or coconut - has been added.
8. I should have been a geologist. I love rocks and soil.
9. When I was in 3rd grade, a friend of mine broke her leg and she was on crutches for what seemed like EVER. I was totally jealous. I've never broken a bone.
10. I have never lost a limb to a shark. (Believe it or not, this was an issue last month.)

THE 7 DESERVING BLOGGERS YOU SHOULD TOTALLY CHECK OUT:

Catherine, ex oh mwah! at Rainbows and Unicorns. She doesn't write about Rainows and Unicorns. I think that's a ruse to attract little kiddies. She's a brilliant Aussie teenager, who is funny and topical! (She may have already said she doesn't participate in awards, but I'm sending it to her anyway!)

Rusty at Swinging Like a Rusty Gate. He doesn't post nearly as often as he should, because he's an entertaining read, but for that very reason you don't want to miss a single post! I love him, even though he prefers Nutella to Peanut-butter, poor misguided soul. (He's already gotten this award, but maybe he can re-direct us to his earlier Kreativ post.)

Michael at The World as I See It. Another funny guy putting his view out there for us to chime in. AND he's smart enough to know peanut-butter beats Nutella. Of course, since he decided to award this to me while his name was sitting here in my draft, I don't expect him to re-do it, but you should check him out anyway.

Sweety Darlin (I don't know her name) at Sweety Darlin Designs. She has a variety of subjects, and is very creative, so definitely deserves this award. You will also see her comments all over the blogosphere, so should check her out so you know where she's coming from.

Josie of Josie Two Shoes. She is all over the blogosphere, and you're probably already familiar with her. Josie certainly doesn't need a plug from me, but she is so insightful I love reading what she has to say, and think you might need to check her out!

Good Youngman Brown. He has divulged his name, but I'll leave it to you to find it in his archives. He's another you've probably read before, so you must already know that he's an awesome writer. He probably puts more thought and effort into each of his posts than most of us. You won't regret following him!

DWei, over at I Am Such a Derp. A Canadian college student, his struggles are just like the rest of ours. He's another one with so many followers he doesn't really need an award, but again, I am furiously pushing the blogs I visit regularly. It's never bad to see good writing!

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Sorry it took me so long to get this out to you! Please note that I actually referred you to 8 blogs, including my link to Brett in question 6. Over-achiever, that's me.