This coming to you from my living room, on a very cold day, with impending winter storm outside, and (appropriately) the snowed-in episode of Alive From Whispering Pines running in the background. I have coffee and my comfy hoody and I am ready to answer some entertaining tag questions, courtesy of my dear Sam’s tagging me for the Sunshine blogger award.
Thank the blogger who nominated you in the blog post and link back to their blog (thankee’, Sam!)
Answer the 11 questions the blogger asked you.
Nominate 11 new blogs to receive the award and write them 11 new questions.
List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Award logo in your post and/or on your blog.
1. Have you ever had an encounter with an unusual animal (either in the wild or otherwise)?
I think this depends largely on what you count as an ‘unusual animal.’ I’ve been to the zoo. But I’ve never like…run into anything particularly fancy. We’ve got a lot of possums and skunks round here. And as far as animals that are a little less commonly held as pets, my grandparents have box turtles that they raised from wild eggs they found abandoned. Turtles are surprisingly personable animals. I can also tell you exactly how to butcher and cook a snapping turtle. Not that you need to know, but if you did, I could tell you.
Sadly, I think that’s the best I can do on the matter. Unless you want to hear about the snake fight that happened in my back yard as a kid. (one of them ended up eating the other).
2. Would you dog-ear a library book? If not, what’s a weird thing you’ve used as a bookmark?
Heavens no. Of course not. The only thing I dog-ear with any regularity are my choir hymnals–because a) they’re mine and b) it’s very important that I know where I’m supposed to be turning to next, and I usually don’t have bookmarks handy in choir practice.
As for weird things I’ve used as bookmarks, I think the only actually odd thing I’ve used was a flattened out (and not sticky) truffle wrapper. But I used to collect bookmarks, so I’ve still got quite a few lying around. I also have friends that make cloth bookmarks.
Case in point, I don’t like dog-earing stuff, but I have an embarrassment of bookmark riches, and so am not inclined to use weird stuff for bookmarks.
3. What’s your favorite Christmas song? (I know I’m out of season to ask this, bear with me)
Oh Sam, my dear, I will happily bear with you–in fact, I am more than pleased to rant about this for ages.
I was in an extremely hard-core church choir for five years (9-14 years old) and one of the biggest events every year was the festivals of Lessons and Carols. Originally an Anglican tradition, I believe, but we Catholics have certainly taken it under our own wing as well.
Anyway. I learned a lot of rare and beautiful Christmas carols during my years singing for that event.
I also learned quite a few rare Christmas carols due to my late father’s interest in niche medieval music (in addition to the folk music). So overall I know a lot of uncommon ones.
Here are just a few of my absolute favorites.
Riu Riu Chiu–The Monkees’ Version. Yes those Monkees, the ones from the 60s, are here featured singing a very old Spanish Christmas song about the blessed Mother. And I love it.
The Shepherd’s Carol–hauntingly beautiful. Whatever else you may say about Anglicans, they write some ridiculously good choral music.
Jesus Christ the Apple Tree–if you only listen to one of these three, pick this one. Because my gosh. Is it gorgeous or what.
4. Have you ever been out of the country? If so, where? If not, where would you like to go?
Um, yeah. I’ve always wanted to visit Canada and Ireland. And any self-respecting Catholic also wants to visit Rome, so I will of course burn that torch as well.
I’ve never been out of the country, but whenever I do go, one of those three is where I want to go. Canada is probably the most attainable, although I’m a terribly long way away from any of those places.
5. What’s your least favorite book?
I would be beating a dead horse to say ‘A Thousand Splendid Suns.’ The sequel to the Kite Runner, that is. Anybody who’s been here any amount of time has heard me rant long and hard about how foul that book is–although I’m uncertain if I’ve ever mentioned it by name. Y’know, the one the ENG 112 teacher made us read, that I always badmouth?
Yeah, so not only would it be beating a dead horse, I feel like it’s not quite fair. Because there’s badly done books and then there are books that don’t even deserve to be called books because they are just cesspools of filth. So I think I’m going to cut to ‘badly done books’ instead.
In which case I would probably say any of the books in The Land of Stories. It’s a really well known middle-grade/YA series (I think it’s technically marketed as middle-grade, but c’mon, that romantic content is NOT fit for middle-grade readers). It’s just…it had so much potential. The idea was there. But the writing style is just…not good. Not worthy of NYT #1 Bestseller status. It felt like it was written by a middle-grader. The prose was awkward, and didn’t flow well, and none of the characters or dialogue felt natural. The whole thing read very stiffly, and very…manufactured. Y’know? Something like.
So there was that.
But there’s also the Inheritance Cycle (Eragon and its companions), which I hate with a passion. I don’t think they’re as badly written as The Land of Stories, but I still…yeah no. My problems with the series ranges from ‘all the romances are icky and all the friendships play second fiddle to the icky romances’ to ‘the worldbuilding clearly had an immense amount of work put into it and yet has all the believable depth and nuance of a piece of plywood’—but I will say A for effort. Paolini was only 19 when he published the first one (and um…it shows), which is very impressive, even if I think the books are trash.
I’m aware that this is a very controversial opinion. I would happily elaborate on it in another post, if anybody is curious.
So yeah. Those two series. That’s my answer.
6. What’s your favorite cuisine?
I’m assuming you mean ‘food categorized by ethnic origin’. In which case I shall preface my ranting by saying that I am admittedly just…not a food lover. I mean, I’m getting to be far more of one. But in general, for most of my life, I just…haven’t liked food. Don’t care for it, or about it.
Granted, this gives me a palate advantage in that I will eat anything because I hate it all the same amount. But that’s still not a cheery place to be.
(It’s because I have no swallowing reflex, if you were wondering. Which means I either have to water everything down in order to send it down my throat, or I have to sit there and consciously make myself swallow. So eating takes forever–and it’s just too much of a chore for me to enjoy food that much.)
However, I am attempting to improve that, and have been getting better for certain. In which case I would probably say my favorite cuisine is either German, English, or Mediterranean. I’m well aware those first two are widely viewed with disdain but I LIKE them, okay? Don’t judge me.
I would also note that my roommate, Victoria, has introduced me to a lot of new foods since I moved in back in April. Her style of cooking is extremely unique, due to a lot of influence from a former Brazilian roommate, as well as growing up in New Mexico, as well as a lot of time spent internationally, and especially in Turkey, whereat she collected a lot of interesting spices and things.
So she’s got a weird kinda South American–but also Middle Eastern–but also European–cooking combo, and I’ve yet to taste any cooking quite like hers, as you might imagine. And it’s so good.
Altogether, hopefully that ramble answers the question.
7. Favorite miniseries?
Sam, did you purposefully give me a platform to talk about Over the Garden Wall again, or….?
Okay, whether or not it was on purpose, I’m going to do it.
Over the Garden Wall is my favorite miniseries of all time. It’s about two little boys (and a frog) who suddenly find themselves lost in The Unknown, and have many varying adventures whilst attempting to get home.
Please accept this wonderful compilation I found.
As you may be able to tell from the above compilation, the show has the same unhinged whimsical chaos energy of Alice in Wonderland–actually scratch that. Yes Alice In Wonderland, but really, the most comparable vibe (except slightly more wholesome) is those Victorian Christmas cards I talked about a few posts ago.
So yes. Whimsical, chaotic, Victorian vibes, but also dark fairy tale–the central conflict of the story does not appear much in the above comp, but I can assure you that The Beast is quite as alarming as any fairy tale villain. And also autumnal. Extremely autumnal. I’ve heard that it’s based on Dante’s Inferno…which would not surprise me. Seems about right.
Anyway. I really, really love it. And pretty much everybody in ‘my set’ does. So much so that I and some younger friends dressed up as Over the Garden Wall characters for Halloween this year (myself just a as a trick-or-treating chaperone, of course. I was the schoolteacher, Miss Langtree, if you were wondering. She’s in the above comp.)
8. Would you rather try to wrestle a bone away from a dog, or a chicken wing away from a cat?
Uhhhhhhhh honestly I have no intention of wrestling either away from either. Cats are terrifying. I love them, but it’s clear to anyone who’s had a cat that cats are terrifying. If they were slightly larger they’d murder us all, I think.
I’m much less scared of dogs, but I do think a dog would be quite a thing to fight. It depends on how large it is, and how well it knows me.
But. Um. Can I say neither?
Well, if I had to wrestle any food away from any pet I would wrestle a peach away from a rabbit. (Yes rabbits love peaches. We had rabbits for many years, and I can confirm the fact.)
But if it must be a dog or a cat, I suppose I’d pick a dog.
9. Have you ever had surgery?
Unless wisdom tooth surgery counts, no. However, I have had some pretty intense medical imaging procedures done. An endoscopy–which is kinda the worst. I mean, I’m certain there are worse medical imaging procedures. But that one was really kinda painful. I found the brain MRI to be preferable overall. Even though the brain MRI’s circumstances were far more terrifying. (they thought I might have had a brain tumor. thank God, I did not.)
10. What’s your favorite kind of day? (you can answer this however you want, whether it be in weather, activities, books read, &c)
I have a couple different ideal days. One is a good, productive and full day at work, followed by a Rosary walk at Thornrose, and a quiet dinner at home with a book or a few episodes of the Office or a Ghibli film. As far as weekend/non-work days, I enjoy the ones where I get to sleep in a bit, then get some round the house things done for a few hours, then just settle down and write for hours with continuous cups of tea. Which hasn’t happened in a while–although I’m more or less doing that today. Inserting Sunday mass between the ‘sleep in’ (I mean, I slept till 7:30. For me, that’s sleeping in) and the ‘getting stuff done’. I’ll be off to Adoration later, and then having dinner at a friend’s house. I reckon that’s a pretty good type of day.
11. Do you have a favorite board game, and if so, what is it?
I’m uncertain if most of my favorite games would count as board games or not. I mean, I play a lot of tabletop games, but they’re mostly variations of card games and don’t involve boards. I guess I’d say either Whodunit (which is like Clue, but far less chance based, and extremely intense), Settlers of Catan (basic, I know), or Rummikub. But for card games, probably Ex Libris or Five Crowns.
Well, I daresay that most of my closest blogging buddies have already been tagged by Sam. So instead I shall list out questions and tell you that I would love to hear any and all of your answers. I’m tempted to tag Sam back out of pure mischief but I have a feeling that’s not etiquette. I wouldn’t know. I’ve done like three tags since I started blogging.
I don’t know what I’m saying. Here are some questions. Please answer the ones you find interesting, either on your blog or in the comments.
- Do you listen to podcasts, and if so what’s your favorite?
- What’s your favorite Western?
- What’s a family-favorite story? (i.e., the time my grandfather obtained a pet Komodo dragon, etc.)
- What’s a memorable compliment someone has given you?
- How do you feel about Trigonometry?
- Darkest fairy-tale you know?
- If you listen to folk music, what’s your favorite folk song? (yes, I had to do it)
- Any languages you’d like to learn?
- Favorite type of ice cream?
- Tell a story about some holiday, birthday, or big event that went ridiculously wrong.
- Afternoon tea, or midmorning coffee?
Well, I reckon that rounds things out. Thank you for reading friends, and thank you for the enjoyable tag questions, Sam! I had a good time.
I’ll be back next week, with something–not sure yet what it is.
Have a lovely week!
7 replies on “I Hath Been Tagged–the Sunshine Blogger Award”
A SNAKE FIGHT? That definitely sounds like an unusual encounter.
Ooh, Riu Riu Chiu! We sang that one in choir! It’s a very good one. The other two are absolutely gorgeous.
(I read the Inheritance Cycle because a friend of mine recommended it to me, and I didn’t want to make him feel bad, but it is Objectively Trash. Even if parts of it are Enjoyable Trash.)
You have no SWALLOWING REFLEX? That sounds HORRID! I’m sorry, Grim dear. (I mean, I’m sure you’re, like, kind of used to it by now? But still.) Your roommate’s cooking sounds fantastic, though.
My family had rabbits for many years (still does, actually), too! But we never tried to feed them peaches. Hm.
Okay, even though you didn’t tag me back, your questions are interesting enough that I might need to do the tag again anyway…
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It really wasn’t all that exciting. I mean, it was exciting, but we couldn’t get close enough to see what was happening because they were thrashing around a lot. One of them ended up eating the other. *shrugs*
Isn’t it great? I love that one. Despite the difficulties of pronouncing Spanish haha.
Objectively Trash. *nods* Yep that’s it. Occasionally Enjoyable Trash. I didn’t enjoy too much of it, to be honest.
Yeah not much of one, unfortunately. It’s not so bad. Just obnoxious. Not painful or anything. (Usually, although it does incline me to choke on stuff a lot more than the typical person.) But my roommate’s cooking is splendid despite it, haha.
Yeah they love peaches. And grapes! I recall him really liking watermelon as well. Pretty much, if it was juicy, he’d eat it and love it. But peaches were his favorite.
Well consider yourself tagged back then. *doffs hat amiably*
I loved the Inheritance Cycle muchly as a young teen (you should see how worn out my copy of Brisingr is) but as a world-weary non-teen I can acknowledge that you are most likely right about them. (Does that mean I won’t ever reread certain scenes? No comment.)
I love your ideal day. Cemetery walks and Studio Ghibli films sound like the perfect way to unwind after a long day at work. Alas, alas for homework that sucks all my evening time away from me.
Settlers of Catan is actually pretty good! I would also recommend Ticket to Ride & Azul as really good board games. And Scrabble.
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Haha, well, I never said you couldn’t enjoy them. The Heroes of Olympus is more or less trash…not nearly so much as the Inheritance Cycle, but still trash…and I’m rereading that series right now and enjoying it. *shrugs* People are weird. Meaning myself, heh.
Yeah, I suppose there is a tradeoff when one is in college. Doesn’t mean I wouldn’t love to be in your shoes sometimes though. ‘Grass is greener on the other side of the fence’ I suppose. Allow me to reiterate: people are weird. XD
I recently learned how to play Ticket to Ride for the first time and I really like it. I think you would really love Ex Libris though. You read from a card the summary of a famous novel and then everybody has to write down what they think the first or last line of that novel is. And the real line is mixed up with everybody’s, and you have to guess which is true. Great fun.
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[…] not been tagged to do this tag, but it’s the best way to not do Greek homework right now, and Grim offered it to anyone who wanted it. So here we […]
So how do you butcher and cook a snapping turtle?
I’ve never seen Over the Garden Wall. But I watched the link…what just happened?
Those are good questions. I’ll think on them for a bit.
[…] taken this tag from The Grim Writer. I hope you don’t mind my thievery, Grim. Your questions sounded so fun, and I could hardly […]