The “Liebster Award”


Last week, C nominated me for the Liebster Award.

I had some things to work through first, but I finally fulfilled all the criteria (for the most part)! Sorry it took so long!

This award is designed for bloggers with less than 200 followers.

The rules are:
* Share eleven facts about yourself with your fellow bloggers.
* Make sure to answer the awarder’s eleven questions.
* Ask eleven questions of your own.
* Nominate eleven bloggers for this award.

Okay. Here goes.

Eleven Things About Mouse:

1) In case you missed this little notation earlier, I apologize again for the sheer length and wordiness of some of my posts. It is a type of compensation. What I lack in verbal communications, I try to make up for in writing. So. That’s why. Please just bear with me on that!

2) For a couple years, while the family and I were members of St. Mary Parish (in Wisconsin), I was an altar server. Yup. I was an altar girl. It wasn’t a mandatory thing for a kid my age, and nobody forced me to do it. I wanted to do it, although I can’t remember why. It was always very soothing to do, and it made me feel like I was part of something special.

3) Still church-related – on at least three occasions while at St. Mary’s, I was a ‘liturgical dancer.’ It wasn’t really dancing – it was more like pantomime, in that it was a choreographed routine of gestures that would emphasize what was being sung by the singer or choir. I vividly remember two of the times – one was at a Christmas Day service with Arsele Vasquez set to a song called “Emanuel;” the other time was around an Easter time with Niccole Krueger and the song was “Only A Shadow.” I know there was one other time – it was another Christmas Day service, and it was me, a girl named Amy, and a guy named Wayne – but I can’t remember the song. (For the record, I cannot dance. At all. Period.)

4) I am a natural klutz. Yup. Always have been. When I was a kid, I was always falling off of stuff, running into stuff, scraping my knees and blackening my eyes. For the span of about a year, I would fall down the stairs at least once a week, and that’s really not an exaggeration. Believe me when I say my parents never once laid a hand on me. I did it all myself! The worst of times was when I fell and cut my head open and had to get staples, and then when I put my hand through the window and had to get stitches. Surprisingly, no broken bones. And I still have a tendency to run into things. Grace and coordination my middle names are not.

5) Here is your sign that I watch way too many movies. I have thought this in the past: “How could it be too big to be a space station?” Have you ever wondered about that line? Or am I just weird?

6) I have always liked science, in all forms – biology, chemistry, astronomy, earth science, et cetera. I mean, I was in no way smart or advanced at science. I just liked the subject. I remember in particular I liked learning about Punnett squares in biology (in ninth grade), stoichiometry in chemistry (in tenth grade), and the entire astronomy class in senior year which included near middle-of-the-night classes and using telescopes.

7) From an early age until I was about nineteen, I had a tendency to collect rocks. Couldn’t tell you why. I just did. Might have been related to my like of science. I honestly don’t know. The best rock collection was amassed when I was eighteen. It was during a summer visit with relatives in Illinois, and I spent time with my cousins Gina and Erin and their friend Margaret. We went up onto the railroad tracks, collecting railroad rocks. Per Margaret, the rocks all had classifications – there were geodes, crystals, cookies-and-cream rocks, and fossils, to name a few. We had a secret little ‘cubbyhole’ alongside the tracks in which to store the rocks. We even collected up a couple loose railroad spikes. True story. Speaking of, I actually wrote a story about that summer railroad jaunt, unoriginally called “Railroad Rocks;” certain things were, of course, creatively changed. Don’t know if I’ll ever post that story, either, though. I’ll have to think about that one. It’s sort of long.

8) I know I said I have a fear of needles but, believe it or not, I’ve often thought about getting a tattoo. Yes, it’s true. But only one! And I’ve been back and forth between three different designs in particular. The first design would be just a little red heart outlined in blue, perhaps behind my left shoulder – and I honestly don’t know why, so don’t ask. The second design would be angel-like wings on my back, like so:

Yes, I have this doll, and yes, the doll actually has this tattoo....
Yes, I have this doll, and yes, the doll actually has this tattoo….

And the third design would most likely be towards my lower back. It’d be a bar code design overlaid with words. And, inspired by a stamp I used to use at an old job, the words would be:

I made this photo myself, based on that stamp....
I made this photo myself, based on that stamp….

*spoken in Foghorn Leghorn’s voice* That’s a joke, son! No, that idea really is hysterically funny to me. I told you I have a warped sense of humor.

9) I cannot wear perfume. Ever. It irritates my skin – my neck and wrists get all itchy and red. I’m not allergic to it, because I can smell it just fine, with no adverse reaction. I just can’t wear it. Sad but true.

10) Speaking of allergies….*SIGH* I have an allergy to bees – in more ways than one. I’ve only ever been stung once in my life, back in kindergarten. You know that old adage that ‘bees will only sting if provoked’? Well, I wasn’t doing anything. I was waiting in line with the rest of my classmates to head back into the school building after recess. Suddenly a large strange-looking brown bug landed on my outstretched hand. I was fascinated, and so I held still, didn’t even breathe, because I had never seen such a bug before. I thought it was a firefly of some kind, because it looked almost like a firefly, even though it was mid-morning. Then its tiny middle moved, and I felt pain! I yelped, swatted the bug away, and promptly burst into tears. I was sent home early, on account of I broke out in hives and was having trouble breathing. So, yeah, I’m allergic. I don’t know if that’s an allergy that gets better or worse over time or with age, and I really don’t intend to find out. If there’s a bee in the vicinity, I vamoose, quickly, and not always quietly. Hope and pray that a bee does not get into a moving vehicle when I’m in it – chances are I will try to jump out of the moving vehicle. Yeah, I’m that bad. Oh, and here’s a phenomenally stupid question – does anybody know….if….? Oh god. You know what? Forget it. I really don’t think I want to know….

11) Once, for a brief while, the family had the Earth, Wind, and Fire song “Little Girl (Interlude)” as background music on our telephone answering machine. Yup. Of course it was Dad’s idea. And he actually went across the street to the pay phone, called the house, and let the machine pick up, just to hear the message and the music. While the rest of us were gathered around the phone, listening and giggling hysterically at the cleverness of it all. Yeah. That was a fun evening.

Mouse’s Answers to C’s Eleven Questions:

1. What defines beauty?
~ That’s a tough question, actually. In all honesty, beauty is subjective. The oft-used quote is “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder,” and that’s very true. Beauty is something deep and true within somebody. Anything can be beautiful, even if it’s something painful or marring – to some people, myself included, bruises or scars are the marks of survivors. It’s just a case of, you know it when you see it. I’m not trying to cop-out of answering the question. That’s honestly how I feel. It’s just so hard to put it into words. I suppose a good concrete example, at least for me, would be the actress Helena Bonham Carter. I personally do not think she’s physically very pretty, but it’s her being true to herself, with her candor and her quirky sense of style, and you can tell she is comfortable in her own skin. That is just really inspiring and beautiful to me.

2. What is something you admire about yourself?
~ The fact that, despite it all, I still have hope. For anything. For everything. It carries me through each and every day. I mean, it’s not always going to be better. But it can be.

3. What is your proudest moment so far in life?
~ Gosh. That would have been back in my senior year of high school, when I submitted eight pieces of writing for publication consideration to the school’s literary magazine. With the January 15th my junior year and everything that had happened between then and that moment in senior year, I thought I had killed the part of me that lived for writing. So I was just proud of the fact that I had written so much at that time, and that I thought it was good. I didn’t care if anything got published or not – I was just proud that I wrote anything at all!

4. What do you believe in?
~ Love. Truth and honesty. Trust. Hope. That anything is possible. That times change, and so will people. That there is goodness in all people. So much. This list is endless, infinite.

5. What is your best piece of advice?
~ Just be. Whoever you are, whatever you do, just be. Don’t let anybody tell you or make you otherwise. Just be.

6. What is the most beautiful thing you have ever seen?
~ There is not one specific thing or moment. The world you live in, the world you think you know, is never the same from one day to the next. All the little things, all the little moments add up, and life is just so beautiful all at once like that.

I’ll give you an example – some days ago, heading to the bus stop after work, I looked up and the sky looked like this:


The sky was really that blue, and the clouds were so perfect. And I was listening to a certain song on my MP3 player that fit the mood (no, not Irving Berlin). And everything just felt right again. And that was beautiful.

7. Have you ever been in love?
~ No.

8. Do you collect anything?
~ Music CDs. Movies (mostly DVDs, but I still have some VHS tapes). Books. Anything angel related, but mostly angel figurines. Odd stuff, like buttons, stickers, and those Bleeding Edge Goth dolls (which are a real scream, pun intended; the angel wing tattoo picture above is actually Leda Swanson’s back). Notebooks, blank books, and stationary. Pencils and pens. Magnetic poetry kits. Dust (tee hee).

9. What is your most treasured possession?
~ This, actually, is an answer you’ll have to wait on, as I intend to post about it in the future. I’ll give you a hint, though – it’s actually three things, very closely related.

10. Do clowns freak you out too?!?
~ No, not particularly, although I understand how they could scare people. I’ll keep that in mind, and I’ll make sure to avoid posting a certain Animaniacs cartoon as a Funny. And just a word of advice – if you are afraid of clowns, do not ever watch that miniseries “It.” Tim Curry’s performance as Pennywise has often been cited as a main reason for so many people’s fear of clowns. I have seen that miniseries, because I like Tim Curry, and, yes, he is insanely scary and good in it.

11. Name your favorite scent?
~ Hard to pick just one in particular. Vanilla. Fresh cut grass. Various flowers, especially lilacs and carnations (which are my favorite flower, actually). Rain. Fresh fallen snow, which really does have a smell to it. Not wanting to sound morbid, but rotting leaves, which actually have a sort of cidery smell at a certain point in their breaking down. But I guess if I had to choose, sticking with leaves, my most favorite smell of all would be the smell of burning leaves in the fall. When I was initially living in Illinois, the townspeople would rake all their leaves to the curbs and burn away the leaf piles. It’s sort of a hickory smell, sharp, smoky, and it’s almost unbearably poignant now. Here in Iowa, every now and then during the autumn months, people disregard the rules and burn their leaves. It’s the only time I will ever thank citizens for breaking a city ordinance.

Eleven Nominated Bloggers:

This is the parenthetical ‘for the most part.’ I actually don’t know that many bloggers. I am trying! I mean, my sidebar says otherwise, but a lot of those blogs already have over 200 followers. Perhaps some of the bloggers I nominated already have over 200 followers. And some of the bloggers I thought about to nominate for this award, I’ve already nominated for an award in the past, and like I said, I don’t want to seem a nuisance. So I’m sorry but I only have seven nominations. But, hey, join in if you want to! Feel free to answer any question you want, either on your own blog or in the comments.

In no particular order, my nominees are:

1) Emma
2) Brea
3) Rachael Stanford
4) Muse Writer
5) meggie’s fervor
6) The War in My Brain
7) Nincompoopery
8) Join in!
9) Join in!
10) Join in!
11) Join in!

Eleven Questions for the nominees:

1. Why do you blog?

2. When you were younger, what did you want to be when you grew up?

3. What is your favorite season and why?

4. What sort of stories/books do you like to read and why?

5. What is the weirdest/strangest thing you’ve ever seen?

6. In your own words, define ‘trust.’

7. What has been the most significant obstacle you’ve ever overcome in your life?

8. If you could visit any place in the world, where would you go and why? Or, in the alternative, if you have visited a place you always wanted to visit, what was the most memorable thing about that place?

9. What do you like and/or dislike about people in general?

10. Do you like cartoons, and if so, what is/was your favorite cartoon?

11. What is your most favorite song of all time?

That’s all for now.


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