Sunday, February 21, 2010


When I got the ‘Sugar Doll’ award, I was speechless. Some lucky people get that Nobel award. Others get the Rotarian of the Year, or the Congressional Medal of Honor, or The Grammy, or the Peabody, or the Hugo awards. I got the coveted Sugar Doll.

I had to study the rationale for receiving this award from The Postman. Leaving aside the fact that I got the award from a guy who got it from another guy, he gave it to me because he essentially thought – although he expressed it embarrassingly flowery language – that I wrote about some pretty nifty stuff. I think the rules are that when one receives the award one has to turn around and present it to other ‘worthy’ bloggers. A little like passing around a hot potato.

But then The Postman piles it on. He tells me that I now have an obligation that goes with it. I have to write ten things about me (I’m not sure I know ten things about me) and then select four other ‘worthy’ candidates to pass the award to. Then I think I am supposed to proudly display this award somewhere on my blog. Actually this last part is hardest. I don’t know how to place the award on my blog façade. This means I have to study up on this whole thing. Sigh…

I have thought about this award thing and have had to translate into something that I can work with. I have concluded that the award says that I have been read and appreciated and that it is an encouragement to keep on writing. With that in mind, I should offer the same encouragement to others.

Now I have a basis to operate from. I need to find other really good blogs which have received no awards and have few readers and give them this award to show that they are appreciated. Indeed I have found some real gems out there that others should be aware of.

I received this from The Postman of The Sententious Vaunter fame. No – I don’t know what it means either. Now the Postman either has a lot of time on his hands or writes really fast. I can’t keep up with his blog entries – they come fast and furious. Usually this would portend fast and lousy writing. But this kid (anyone under thirty is a kid) keeps churning out highly readable, entertaining, and thoughtful stuff. And he is a blogging expert – quick to offer me excellent advice when I get confused and frustrated about this whole thing. So – to receive an award from him is pretty cool.

To fulfill my ‘Ten Things About Me’ obligation, I offer:

1. I’m pretty good at speaking (and typing) before I think. The other night I took my wife out to dinner. While dining, she thanked me. I replied: “This means that I won’t have to empty the dishwasher.”

Now I wouldn’t advise that a guy say such a thing unless they had been married a few years. In fact Lilly Johnson of Body and Mind for all Women, who writes eloquently of all things romantic, would have a heart attack at my inelegant statement. But Marilyn, more intuitive and smarter than I am, simply responded: “Then it seems you have an incentive for taking me out to eat every evening.”

2. When I was a tyke in grade school I had to give an oral book report. Also I had to pee really bad. I stood in front of the class and did both at the same time. I only remember a couple of facets of the whole episode. My book report had to do with the Sioux Indians, which I pronounced “Sue-Ox”. The teacher kept correcting me, telling me it was pronounced ‘Sue’ Indians which confused me. And someone said, “What is that water on the floor?”

My mind is blank on what happened next. I think I ended up in the nurse’s office and I think my mother was there. I figure my mental blankness has to do with burying the humiliation. I’m pretty sure that my whole life is what it is because of that incident. If I hadn’t peed, I may today be the Minister of the Interior for Indian Affairs. Little things have an impact.

3. I am not technologically challenged – contrary to what my kids think. I am technologically just-not-really-interested. I don’t Twitter, or have a Facebook account, or do any social networking other than my email account and this blog. I do have a cell phone – but it mostly stays at home. I have a TracPhone which means that I get to pay $19.00 every three months and get so many minutes that I will never use them up. I think I might have three or four or five conversations a month on the silly thing. (The downside of this is that when the phone rings there is a momentary panic. (“Shit! Which button do I push to answer this thing?”) I am appalled that people feel they have to be ‘connected’ at all times. I want just the opposite – I don’t want to be connected. I value my privacy and my personal thinking time and taking care of my life without broadcasting it to everyone.

4. In the Navy I received orders to proceed to a NATO base in Argentia, Newfoundland. Argentia sounded kinda’ like Argentina, and Newfoundland seemed like it would be a country around Australia. So I was going crazy looking in all the wrong places on the map, with dizzying images the Outback and Latin lasses and the sea breeze whispering across my face. My dreams were shattered when it was pointed out that Newfoundland was the easternmost part of Canada – a place of snow blizzards and isolation.

I was depressed as my plane landed at the base and it was raining and blistering cold. I spent two years there – and ended up loving it tremendously.

5. Larry was stationed with me in Newfoundland – and he was a linguistic genius. He spoke seven languages. We cooked up a scheme where he would put on a turban and robes and we would drive up to the capital, St. Johns, and he would speak a bizarre foreign language because he was a prince and I was his interpreter. The idea was that we would go to clubs and use this plan to pick up women.

There was one minor problem. Larry would speak perfectly in whatever language he chose to speak in. And I would translate his words that I didn’t understand into English for the ogling lasses. The difficulty was when the ladies asked questions, I would have to translate back to Larry in mumbo jumbo. My mumbo jumbo was so hideous that Larry would start smirking, then would burst out laughing. The whole plot didn’t work – although we made friends simply because we were trying something so idiotic.

6. Every year I go on a ‘venture’. This is when I kiss my wife goodbye and depart by myself into the wild to hike or camp or climb mountains or sweat it out in the desert. Admittedly these days I do more strolling than hiking, and usually camp out in a motel room. But it is my personal odyssey of rejuvenation and review and assessment and plotting for the future. Marilyn is very supportive, not only because she understands it is important to me, but it gets me out of the house and her hair. She has insisted that I can go anywhere I want to – jump on a plane and fly to Canada or Colorado and do my thing.

Think of this freedom that I have to travel far and wide. But for some reason, I simply get in the car and drive to places like Big Bend National Park or the Guadeloupe Mountains in New Mexico or the Texas Hill Country. These are all within eight or nine hours of home. I usually plan on staying away for a week…and I’m usually back home within four days or so. ‘Far and wide’ sounds good – as long as I can quickly get back home when I get lonely.

7. I fear I need to spend some Blog Maintenance time. But I resist a little – fearing that I will be sucked into a time-consuming abyss. I have an award now…and others have this area on the side of their blogs for ‘Award I’ve Received’. How did they get that there? I don’t have a clue. Then there is a section for ‘Blogs I Read’, but then there is that ‘Follower’ thing. Is one more important than the other? Can I have the same blogs on both? I note that I have ten followers. I hope that I don’t lead them astray. Then people have a blog section listing somehow all of their followers with some kind of little pictures. How does that happen? And the blogs that I follow don’t have a picture of me….just kind of a blank outline. Why don’t they have a picture? There is a lot of stuff I don’t know.

But then I do need to empty the dishwasher, take out the trash, cut back those stupid corn plants in the back yard that froze over, make a run over to Home Depot, have a financial meeting with Marilyn to figure out why we aren’t millionaires, contest something on my credit report, post some family pictures on our shared photo site, and….well, the stuff of life.


8. I got divorced about twelve years ago. It was a confusing time and I was trying to figure out what to do with myself and how to somehow get connected with the female segment of our population. At some point I placed an ad online honestly describing the situation I was in. I checked now and then expecting enthusiastic responses, and saw nothing – so I promptly forgot about the whole thing.

Weeks later I checked back in, and there was a single email from Marilyn Morecock. Yeah…right. This was obviously a thinly veiled attempt to appeal to me sexually. My finger hovered over the delete key…but then…well, she was my only response. So I opened it. It seems that was her real name and she recently was divorced and understood exactly my situation. So I wrote back. Then she responded. And somewhere along the way she told me she lived 200 miles from me and provided her phone number. I nervously called…and then soon our phone bills were sky rocketing with phone calls every night – we were like giddy teenagers.

She was flying to Atlanta to visit her daughter and had a two hour stopover in Houston. (There is no stopover in Houston – that had to be booked that way!) I was invited to meet her in person. Scary times. We saw each other in the airport and both of us laughed and almost cried. Now I don’t know how to explain this – but we skipped down the terminal. We were so happy and silly, one of us started skipping. So the other joined in….and we skipped down the terminal with others staring at us in…awe? Then we got on the elevator and kissed. We still do that whenever we get on an elevator. We had dinner…and she informed me that she had a stopover here on the way back. We met again.

Soon, every weekend one of us was driving 200 miles to see the other. Finally she accepted my cautious invitation to move in with me in Houston. Two years later she accepted my botched marriage proposal over my homemade spaghetti dinner.

We have been married ten years now. The best ten years of my life.

9. I like some jazz, some orchestral, some folk, Mannheim Steamroller, Mel Torme, and I’m the only person in the world that likes Frankie Laine. On television I enjoyed the old ‘Northern Exposure’ and the Canadian ‘Corner Gas’ shows. I don’t watch reality shows…except for ‘Dancing With the Stars’ when there is someone performing that I know. I enjoyed ‘Battlestar Gallactica’ and watch ‘The Middle’, ‘Lost’ and ‘24’. That’s about it except for documentaries and a few news shows. Books: I like some science fiction, some historical novels, and some mysteries. I’ve tried to read Dan Brown’s stuff – but get hung up on his lack of story-telling ability and historical inaccuracies. About a quarter of my reading is non-fiction. Movies – I don’t know. They don’t stick with me like a book does. I guess the latest movie that I watched was ‘Avatar’ – and I thought the visuals were pretty exciting.

10. Number 10 is truly Number 1 – I have two pretty amazing kids. A son and daughter. They both have always been down to earth, never getting involved in those scary things that I feared they would get involved in, and both going off accomplishing stuff that is pretty amazing. They both married the perfect people, and they both have a child which validates my purpose for being on this earth.

Now I need to select bloggers to receive the coveted ‘Sugar Baby’ award.

There are rules attached to this:

A. Just because I give you the Sugar Baby Award, it doesn’t mean that I think you are hot. It means that I really like your blog and that I think others will really enjoy it. Okay – you may be hot too.

B. You are supposed to in turn present the award to four other worthy bloggers. Whether you do this or not is your business. I’m just reciting the rules here. I’m pretty sure you won’t go to jail for not following them.

C. You are supposed to display the Sugar Baby icon on you blog. If you don’t know how to do this, I don’t either. So we are in the same boat.

D. And finally, you are supposed to write in your blog ten things about yourself. I can’t make you do this – although experience has been that lightning has struck the houses of those that don’t.

So in no particular order of preference, I present this award to:

Paulz Blog The 86 year Old Professor is a sardonic, witty curmudgeon that doesn’t hesitate to opine about the absurdity around him. For the most part, he writes short, insightful observations. He understands that, unlike me, one does not have to write ten words when three will do.

Michaels blog Everything Else is what a blog should be. Most of us sit down and dash something out without too much thought and preparation. Michael Lockridge thinks, prepares, and analysis before he writes. I go to his blog to learn and to get his valued insight on whatever subject he is tackling. He is also helpful – patiently explaining to me how to post pictures on my blog. I don’t know how I am going to explain to him that I have given him a Sugar Baby award. I hope he has a sense of humor.

Year 31 is an interesting blog. I get a kick out of TB – her identity. She writes with ease and even when writing of something that aggravates her there is a joy behind the words. I think if you visit her you will find that she is someone that you would like to know. She sings, writes music, is a married mother of a child, and aspires to be a writer. I think you will find that she is already a writer.

Carol is the author of Life and Loves of a Bubble Bath Queen. This 45 year old lass is the talk-across-the-back-fence down-to-earth funny person that you would be privileged to call your friend. She is a single mom doing, as she says, “…the best I can”. Read and truly enjoy.

Pifflesnit? I couldn't think of an appropriate title.

Now, go forth and multiply….or whatever.


  1. Your blog is becoming one of my favorite reads.

    The best part is not the award, but the beautifully worded acceptance speech. Great job.:)

  2. I'll say this first so I don't forget: displaying an award on your blog is easy. If you go to our dashboard, and click on the "Layout" link, it'll take you to a nifty little template page (you've likely been there before) where you can fiddle with the "elements" on your page and move them around, add new gadgets, and so forth. One of those gadgets is the "Picture" gadget. You can use that. Just click on the little plus sign next to the picture gadget, enter a title (if you want one), a caption (if you desire), and then upload the photo. Click "okay" and then hit "save" up at the top of the page. Your award should then show up wherever you placed the gadget on the page.

    The blogs you follow don't have a picture of you because you haven't uploaded a picture of yourself to your profile page. Go back to the dashboard, click on the "EDIT MY PHOTO" link up there, and add something. That should take care of things pronto.

    P.S. I wouldn't have known all this stuff if one of my college professors hadn't put all of his lectures on Blogger, and I was forced to learn.

    Okay, now:

    EXCELLENT POST. Not only for the incredible, marvelous, extraordinarily kind stuff you said about me and my scribbling, but also for the wow factor of your ten facts. You went to NEWFOUNDLAND? You go on VENTURES? You and your Navy buddy used to dress up like foreign dignitaries to try to impress the ladies? How awesome is all that? I never expected to find somebody else in the world who both (a) likes Mannheim Steamroller and (b) couldn't get into Dan Brown. And it was an absolute privilege hearing about your children, and how you and Marilyn got together. (I couldn't suppress a hearty "awwwwwwwww...")

    And the effort you put into the format and rules is flabbergasting. You did splendidly. Not only did you put up PICTURES and DESCRIPTIONS of the people you nominated for the award (well done), but you also meticulously delineated the rules for this award (something I didn't do) and came up with the perfect blog title to cap it all.

    I'm stunned, floored, blown away. Great work, good post, excellent links, interesting facts, and lovely sentiment (thanks again).

  3. P.S. Good links, too, I'll have to check those out. And in answer to your hypothesis, you're correct. I have way too much time on my hands, being unemployed and rooming with my folks and all. Between painting the eaves, attending flying lessons, driving into LA once or twice a week to bartender's school, trying to edit a book, going out on the town with my old high school crowd, and reading the oldest book in the history of Western civilization, I have mere hours to spend every day on blogging. I've actually got my blog posts planned out for the next two months, almost daily. And I've already written some of them.

  4. It's getting rather redundant to say "Well done, Jerry!" again. I'll need to come up with something new. I am flattered to be considered worthy of being included in your "In no particular order" list even though you were mistaken about my proudest achievement which is my age. You say 82 when it's really 86 and will be 87 next month.

  5. I read a little of your post and enjoyed it....I'll be back to read more! Tried to find a "follow" button but couldn't, so I'll have to be a stalker. :-)

  6. Your writing never ceases to amaze me, nor does your life. Congratulations on not deleting Marilyn!! And thank you for the reading suggestions! I'll be sure to check out those blogs!!

    Oh and congrats on your award!


  7. Congratulations on your award, Jerry. I knew you were a winner the first time I read your blog.

  8. Oh, Jerry. What a fabulous post!

    Number five made me laugh out loud, and number six sounds like heaven. Maybe after my kid is out of the house I'll start going off on solo-soul-searching adventures once a year.

    The story of how you and Marilyn (Morecock? Really?) met was very sweet and brought me back to when I met my own husband. Maybe I'll tell that story in my ten things list.

    Thanks for passing the award down to me! I'll write my ten things, but I can't say I'll pass it on since I only follow two blogs, yours included. :)

  9. Old Professor: I have indeed corrected you age to 86 and humbly apologize for portraying you as a snotty nosed 82 year old kid.

  10. Wow. An award. Ahem. I am caught a bit off guard, I must say. It is delightful to know I am being read, and that things I find to write about are of interest to others. Thank you for this honor, which I will do my best to pass on to other worthies.

    To my right are thirteen hand written volumes of my personal journal. Whatever skill I may have in thinking and writing down my thoughts were largely developed there. As a consequence I have spent a great many years developing a bloggish way of thinking and writing even before technology and society made it possible to share my thoughts with the world.

    More delightful than being able to share my thoughts is the opportunity to read so many blogs that are well written and personal. Published writers may remain a rare breed, but that is a matter of economics and the industry. The number of writers worth reading are legion.

    The only negative in that might be "so many blogs, so little time." I find your blog worth the time, and am pleased that you find mine to be so as well.


  11. Good job on presenting your award! Looks good. Now, you need a "Follow" button. Adding the "Followers" gadget might help out with that....wink, wink.

  12. This post was great. Congrats on your award!
    I have a post coming out on the 24th called "Tagged". I put you on the list of people to tag and tell 10 things about themselves. Since you did this one, don't worry about doing mine.

    What a lovely story of you and Marilyn!

  13. You are a winner. Enjoy your writing very much.

  14. Jerry, I've been a blog slacker and return to find you said such nice things about me! Once again, I love reading your posts and losing myself in the worlds you create. Thanks for thinking of me, I have passed the torch!

  15. Oh, congratulations on the Sugar Daddy Award!

    What?? Wrong name? Sorry....I couldn't resist.

    I loved this post....lovely learning more about you and the meeting of your soul mate....

    Congratulations to the recipients as well. It's great finding more wonderful reads!