I’ve Received an Award That Didn’t Come From Me!
Posted by Alan Edwards
It’s official. There are no blogs left that haven’t already received this particular award. Know why I know it? Because I’ve been given the award. Now, we can retire the prize for good, because if this shitty little corner of the Internet has gotten the award then clearly there was no one else left who hasn’t already gotten it. That’s right, folks, it’s official. I have received the Versatile Blogger Award. For everyone who said that my writing would amount to nothing, I say HA! You’re right. BUT… I have this award.
That’s right, bitches. Along with my numerous Aravan Awards, I’m now a Versatile Blogger.
There are rules and shit to this award, which I’ll lay out below, right about….now.
1. Thank the award-giver and link back to them in your post.
2. Share 7 things about yourself.
3. Pass this along to 15 recently discovered blogs you enjoy reading.
4. Contact your chosen bloggers about the award.
Now, I am a sarcastic caustic whiny ranting asshat, but (looks around) I’ll be honest. I’m actually (looks around again, hunches shoulders conspiratorially) touched by this. Shhh. Don’t tell ANYONE. I have a lousy reputation to uphold.
It means a lot to get it from the person who gave it to me, too. See, in April 2011, my book had been published for 6 months in paperback form and I’d done it for the Kindle and other e-readers based on some stuff I’d started reading about self-publishing – yeah, I’d self-published way before I ever learned anything about it. I’m haphazard that way – and so I’d started kicking around the idea. At this point, I’d never Tweeted, didn’t know a damn thing about marketing (I know things now, I just don’t do them and/or suck at them), hadn’t met or read an indie author, didn’t really read many blogs, and basically had no clue. I was a Lurker, someone who reads stuff and never comments or says anything because that’s almost like talking to people which I don’t do very often. But one day, April 6th 2011 to be perfectly precise, as I’m wondering what is going on in the wide world, I decided to type “Zombies” in the WordPress search thing. Just to see what was out there. One of the posts caught my eye.
It was called My Story. It was a post from a week before, and the author talked about how she’d just self-published her zombie story Jude and the Zombies on the Kindle. She seemed excited and happy about it, and I understood. I knew that feeling. So I added a comment, something innocuous about congrats and good luck or something. I subscribed to her blog, the first one I ever did. I got her story, the first thing I ever bought for the Kindle. Hell, I didn’t even have a Kindle, but my phone had an e-reader and I thought, why the hell not? Her name was, and is, Staci Crouch, and she was the first connection to the wide world on self-pubbing I ever made. I read her story, enjoyed it, and because of that I decided to make an effort to find more people like her and me. I did the unthinkable, namely start using Twitter, and started to find other authors, read other blogs, and throw myself out there.
She literally changed my life, and I bet until she reads this, she has no idea.
Because of her willingness to throw herself out there, I had the courage to do so. Since then, I’ve made other connections, met other amazing authors and soon-to-be authors, written another novel and started another, grown my blog’s audience, and made my blog a thousand times better than it ever was before (if you think it’s shit now, it was so much worse before). Yes, I am a sarcastic son-of-a-bitch, but I am sincere when I say this: When Staci informed me that I she’d nominated me for the Versatile Blogger award, I was well and truly touched and honored. The fact that it came from her made it even more special, because without her, there might not be 3,000 word posts on here with me fuming and cussing about the Walking Dead or whatever the hell else I vomit up on this here site. So, in a way, you can blame her for this.
That is my long-winded (because that’s how I roll) thank-you to Staci for this. It means a lot to me, so thank you. To everyone else, check out her blog. She’s a great writer and a better person.
All right, I’d better go on to the Seven Things About Me part or I’ll be here all day.
It’s actually taken me two weeks to write this post because I’ve struggled with what to do here. Seven things about me that you probably don’t already know. That’s hard to do. How do I present them? Should I bring Teh Funnay? Mention other commercials that make me irrationally angry? It’s hard for me to think about things that I don’t already make clear or that aren’t already in About Me. You already know I’m an atheist, love to drink, am a total gaming nerd, and all that stuff. To be honest, I have no idea what I’m about to say about me, so here goes.
1. I once beat a hobo to death with an old axe handle and a 5-pound bag of sugar.
OK, fine, I’ll try to be serious. Seriousish. Sort of.
1. Like just about everyone who has a blog, I am incredibly shy in person. It takes a lot for me to become comfortable in social situations, and when I say a lot, I mean booze. I suck so hard at small talk that it makes people in the next room uncomfortable. I have a knack for overthinking exactly how every conversation should go, and the more trivial the interaction the more complex and detailed the thoughts spinning in my head become. When I meet someone or get introduced to them, I will never ever remember their name because I am already trying to think about what to say 5 sentences from them, like a chess master anticipating moves. I’m so far inside my own head I literally cannot hear the person say anything. I want to remember their name so desperately that it becomes impossible to do so. Because I’ve got so many possible sentences going in my head, I generally combine them into one nonsensical phrase as an answer to anything they might actually say. It goes like this: “Hi, Alan, I’m Bob. I hear you’re an accountant. Do you like it?” Me: “Hi, it’s nice to good meet you.” I follow this up with wide hopefully-sincere-and-trusting-eyes and a maniacal grin that is trying way too fucking hard to be friendly.
People generally don’t try to small talk with me very long. I am awful at it. It sometimes takes me actual years to learn some people’s names. I never try to use their names in conversation because I’m afraid I’ll fuck them up. Sometimes, when I’m drunk, my brain says “Go for it” and I throw it in there to demonstrate that I really can remember and use people’s names. The last time I did that was last August at GenCon. I of course fucked it up. Sorry, Mallery. Luckily, she reluctantly forgave me weeks later. Never again.
So if we ever do meet in person, you’ve been warned. I will be so uncomfortable that I’ll make you uncomfortable, I’ll make no sense, I’ll look like I’m trying to figure out how many garbage bags I’ll need to dispose of your hacked-up corpse, and I’ll not say much. I’ll be much better shortly after, especially if there is alcohol around. Then, you’ll just start wishing I’d fucking shut up already.
Wow, at this rate this post’ll be 8,000 words long. I write like I’ve already had 7 drinks and someone asked me to tell a story.
2. I was one awkward and ugly kid. Skinny, buck teeth, horrible hair, worse clothes, the whole nine. I hate, absolutely detest, seeing pictures of myself as a child. If I could scrub them from history 1984-style, I’d do it. Thanks to all the pioneering folks in the field of orthodontics, the ability to find a reasonable haircut, and my wife’s cooking, I’ve become much less the walking freak show I once was. Seriously, it was bad. So bad that another kid with buck teeth called me Bucky the Beaver once in 8th grade. So fuck you, Justin Stier or Styer or however the fuck you spell your name.
I’ve thought about scanning in some of the old photos I still have and posting them, just to move on, but I haven’t been able to make myself do it for two reasons. The first is I hate them. The second, and most critical, is that I am incredibly lazy. So unless my wife does it, it won’t happen. (Note to wife: don’t do it.)
3. There is only one thing in the world that I hate more than flip-flops, and that is talking on the phone. Actually, just the phone in general. I fucking hate phones. I hate talking on them. I hate getting voicemails. Walking into the house and seeing the answering machine light blinking at me with its insistent little flicker ruins my mood. I am not joking or exaggerating in the slightest. If someone besides my wife (who knows how I feel about the phone and uses it sparingly and well) calls my cellphone, my heart sinks. It fucking makes me miserable. If I’m on the phone, I have to pace around like a caged animal in sheer misery. I adore those friends of mine who call me, say the two sentences they need to communicate tome, and hang the fuck up. They have no idea how much that means to me. Text messaging and email have saved my sanity. I’ve hated phones my entire fucking life.
Of course, before I was an accountant (which is great because who the fuck wants to call accounting? No one with sense, that’s who), I was… a telephone tech support guy. Holy shit, did I hate that. Picking up the phone to call some asshat who couldn’t figure something out wrenched my soul. We got wireless headsets and I would actually pace the halls tossing a football to myself as I talked on the phone. It was the only way I could remain sane. Of course I was “sane” in the sense that I only threw my headset across the room and shouted obscenities about once a week. There were times that I actually stood on my desk frothing with rage. Thankfully, I had the best and most understanding boss of all time, and for some reason Eric put up with me. Apparently, I’m still a story that gets passed down to the new support people. That pleases me to an enormous degree.
But damn I hate talking on the phone. My voicemail light at work has been on since last Tuesday. I haven’t listened to the messages. I can’t bring myself to do it. Phones are a necessary evil.
4. I turn 40 on June 29th this June. 40. Fucking forty. That sucks some major asshole right there. Luckily for me, I subscribe to the theory that you’re only as old as you act, and there are few limits on age-appropriate-behavior. I mean, I draw the line at diapers and baby-talk and that shit, and there is a time to stop saying Mommy and Daddy, but for the most part I think the idea of “acting your age” is a lot of bullshit. I act pretty much the same now as I did in my mid-twenties. I play video games a lot, I drink often, I don’t pay attention to the news, I work because I need to afford my actual life, and I don’t have to raise kids. In my experience, raising kids makes you old. It just changes everything. I have no kids. My wife and I have 3 dogs, and being responsible to them is enough of a pain in the ass (although I love them so damn much and they are entirely worth it). Having a kid? Jesus. I’d have to worry about estate planning and affording college and all the bullshit things kids do. Thinking about it making me age right here and now.
Some people were made to parents. My wife and I were made to be childless. Trust me, that’s the best solution. We are both way too selfish to be parents and we know it.
I was talking to a friend of mine a couple weeks ago and he referred to one of our other friends as an old man. Said old man is, of course, younger than me and my wife. I called him out on that, and he just waved it off. “You guys aren’t old, no matter what your age is.” I see his point.
However, I am turning fucking forty, and I am none too happy about it. I will be having a birthday party this year. Everyone is invited (surprise, honey!). I will drink WAY too much and I will encourage everyone else to around me to do the same in a more and more obnoxious manner as the night goes on. I will bake myself a cake from scratch even though I don’t know how. I will eat the shit out of it. So if you’re near Delaware or the Philly area in June, come on over. Free booze and food.
5. If Big Trouble in Little China, The Fifth Element, Resident Evil, or Pulp Fiction are on TV while I am flipping channels, I will stop and watch them no matter what time it is, when I need to go to bed, or what I might have to do. I have actually been late to the airport to pick someone up because of one of those movies. I own them all on DVD but their siren song is irresistible.
6. I have a superpower. It is driving a car. Not in the sense that I can drive around an oval making left turns for three hours, but more like a long-distance runner. I drive. It’s what I do. This past weekend, I drove for 3 hours in the morning (fucking accidents on the merge point of a two-lane turnpike), ran around the woods for 12 hours, drove two hours back home, slept four hours, drove two hours back, ran around the woods for 4 more hours, and drove the two hours back. It didn’t bother me in the slightest that I had to. I like to drive. It’s like a Zen thing for me. I once drove 22 straight hours, from North Carolina to New Jersey to Florida, without doing anything more than stopping for gas, soda, piss breaks, and a memorable stint playing NBA Jam at South of the Border at 3 am. I could have kept going if I needed to. I really like to drive.
My other superpower is superhuman lung capacity. Dunno why. Just born that way. Of course, I’d much rather fly or have telepathy or be super strong or something, but we all have to embrace the superpowers we have. We all have them. Find yours.
7. I could eat 3 dozen fresh Krispy Kreme glazed donuts in one sitting without a problem. I’ve never done it, but it’s one of those things you just know. There are few things better than the sight of a lit-up Hot Now sign outside a Krispy Kreme. After the Krispy Kreme store near our house closed, I lost 40 pounds. Coincidence? Possibly. Probably. I mean, I didn’t eat them all that often or anything because I was too lazy to get there. But still. It’s a fact. Maybe for my birthday I’ll guilt someone into driving to the closest one and ringing me a heap of donuts to gorge on. Sounds like something I’d do.
Wow, that took a while. I have more to do! Jesus.
Let’s see. “Pass this on to 15 blogs….” Yeah, no. Like I alluded to earlier, pretty much everyone I read already has this award. I’ll instead point to my blogroll over to the right and say READ THOSE PEOPLE. And if you’re on that list, you’ve just been nominated if you haven’t already gotten it. Of course, I love my wife’s blog, and I’m nominating her for it, but we’ll see if she accepts. She’s an even more haphazard updater than I am.
So, if you know me, and you have a blog, I read it and I want you to have this award.
That’s all I got. Thanks again, Staci. And thanks to all of you disturbed people who actually read this thing. You’re all crazier than I am.