In recent months I’ve received notification not once, but twice by fellow bloggers who were kind enough to think of me and notice my low follower count when brainstorming their nominations for the Liebster Award. For readers new to the blogosphere: most blogging awards aren’t decades-old ceremonial traditions determined by committees or democracy. Most of them are congenial badges passed from blogger to blogger as a way of promoting each other’s talents, encouraging networking, and spreading good cheer whenever our malicious Site Stats page is lying to us about our traffic stats. In my mind, I think of them as Mega-Likes.
I’ve dragged my feet on my Liebster Award acceptance post for a few different reasons. I kept forgetting about it. Other writing ideas kept crowding past it to the forefront of my brain. I didn’t feel worthy. The Internet got in my eyes. The dog ate my acceptance notes. That sort of thing. However, I knew I needed to move forward on it soon, because I may be in imminent danger of disqualification. The Liebster Award can only be gifted to bloggers with a low number of followers. Evidence shows the threshold was 3,000 followers or less at one point in Liebster Award history; as of the most recent Draconian revision, new nominees must now have less than 200 followers. A lucky streak last week left me dancing on the edge with exactly 200 followers for a day, until the balance and my humility were restored when a bitter Twitter spammer dropped me after I refused them the courtesy of an undeserved return Follow. Even at 199 followers as of this writing, my hard-earned Liebster Award is two new spammers away from getting me summoned before a Liebster Award Internal Affairs review board, surely a fate worse than zero-traffic.
The acceptance guidelines have mutated as they’ve changed hands over the months, as previously investigated by another blogger whose attempts at archaeological research yielded mixed results. The gist of the nominees’ requirements are loosely as follows:
1. Thank your nominator.
2. Cite between five and eleven random facts about yourself, preferably previously unrevealed.
3. Answer the questions posed by your nominator.
4. Nominate between three and eleven other blogs for the Liebster Award.
5. Pose a new set of questions to your nominees.
6. There is no number 6.
7. Include a Liebster Award graphic. (I found more than one design out there.)
1) If you could choose to live anywhere in the world, and work was guaranteed, where would it be?
Minneapolis. Random fact: of all the cities we’ve visited on vacation, Minneapolis had the most efficient interstate design for my tastes.
2) What is you fondest childhood memory?
Playing Advanced Dungeons & Dragons with my friends around the neighborhood. Random fact: I was always Dungeon Master because I owned the manuals, and no one else was interested in reading that many rules.
3) Does it bother you when people “dog-ear” the corners of their book pages? What about writing and highlighting in a book?
Dog-earing is a mortal sin. Writing and highlighting are okay only if you vow to keep the book for the rest of your life.
4) Kindle/Nook or traditionalist?
Traditionalist, until and unless my existing reading backlog is eliminated. This is impossible.
5) If national elections had celebrity judges and a telephone hotline, would people be more apt to get involved in government?
Obviously. They wouldn’t have to leave the house to participate.
6) What’s your favorite movie/TV show?
Movie of all time: Die Hard. TV show currently in production: Community.
7) What were you doing on August 21, 1987?
What I usually did on Fridays in tenth grade: enjoy German class, regret taking Debate 1, and count down the minutes till day’s end. Random fact: I met my wife in that very German class.
8) Dude, do you have the answers to yesterday’s Algebra homework?
Yes. They’re all “X=1”.
9) Glass half-full or half-empty?
No. I like my glasses full.
10) What’s your least favorite color?
11) If you were born on February 29, when would you celebrate your birthday?
1. How old were you when you first learned to read?
Around age four. Random fact: By age four I was already doing word search puzzles.
2. Name two of your favorite books.
Watchmen and The Book of Romans.
3. What’s your favorite holiday dessert?
Heath bars. (Halloween is a holiday.)
4. What is a Merchant Marine?
A Marine who uses a boat instead of a gun, and who sails instead of shoots.
5. Who is your role model?
The first one I remember having was Peter Parker.
6. Who is your favorite movie star?
This year, Joseph Gordon-Levitt was the most consistently engaging. Random fact: I thought the world of Tom Hanks when he and I were younger.
7. Do you make new year’s resolutions?
No. I prefer to commit to changes as I go along.
8. What’s cluttering up your life?
9. Do you drive a car or a truck?
Car. Random fact: I’ve owned five cars in my life, three of which I consider lemons.
10. Do you know how to change the battery in a smoke alarm?
Yes. Ours may be overdue, in fact.
11. What is your best home remedy for a sore throat?
Tough it out till it fades away. Keep the cough drops coming till that happens.
* * * * *
In return, my nominees for the Liebster Award, presuming I haven’t underestimated their follower count, are the following sites worthy of gracious attention:
My questions to them would be:
1. What’s your least favorite movie?
2. Pie vs. cake: who wins?
3. If you owned TIME, who would you pick for the 2012 Person of the Year?
4. When you write, which words annoy you because you use them too often?
5. Does your city or town still have its own newspaper? If not, what happened to them?
6. Why is there no number 6?
7. If Lindsay Lohan asked you for advice, what would you tell her?
Thanks for reading and attending the Midlife Crisis Crossover Liebster Award Ceremonies. Please imagine a series of end credits running in front of a pointless montage of random quotes from what you just finished reading. As my regular supporters would expect, there’s also a scene after the MCCLAC end credits. Imagine the heck out of it.