I am postponing my promised post on the 10K Turkey Chase for an important announcement!
NO, I am NOT pregnant. Perish the thought. Also, stop thinking that every time a married woman says she has an important announcement.
I’ve been nominated by Jocelyn Eikenburg of Speaking of China for the Sisterhood of World Bloggers Award! I am so honored that I have goosebumps!
I also have no idea what this means. If anyone reading this does, please tell me. Especially, you know, if there’s some grand prize. And it’s cash. Or chocolate.
Wait. Someone nominated Jocelyn. Then she nominated a bunch of other bloggers. Am I supposed to nominate someone? Is this a cyber chain letter?!
I mean, Jocelyn nominated every internationalish blogger she liked, which is also every blogger I like, and then some. I am not entirely certain if I should a) be flattered or b) be running from a pyramid scheme.
But what the hell. I’m gonna make the most of it. Because, cash or no cash, I’m a storyteller and I love it when my audience tells me I made them feel anything.
Example: “Oh, you wrote the best post about being so stupid that your own cat bit and nearly killed you! That was so funny! I nearly died!”
Me: “And so did I, but it was all worth it if you laughed! Or smiled, even if it was just with the tiniest corner on the right side of your mouth.”
Anyway, once Jocelyn nominates you, you’re supposed to answer her questions. Huh. Sounds like an excuse to pry.
And yet I’m fine with that. Because Jocelyn said my blog, along with twenty others, touched her. (If she’d named thirty, though, I’d might have stormed off in a huff. Even I am not so desperate. Oh, who am I kidding. I am the ultimate middle child. She could’ve named a hundred and I’d still do it.)
So here we go, playing 20 Questions Minus 10:
How did you come up with the name for your blog?
I was raised in a very western, American household. I’m not talking American Wild West, although my great-grandfather was a doctor in Arizona over a century ago. Familial lore has it that Pops performed an appendectomy on a bar in a saloon. By the time I arrived, though, my parents were the epitome of educated, uptight, East Coast, White Anglo-Saxons. This meant that while we NEVER talked about our feelings, we talked politics, religion, science, and literature to death. My parents neglected us all equally, and so my five sisters and I never grew up believing we were in any way inferior to my brothers.
My dance partner, boyfriend, and now husband Andy is Chinese-American. His parents emigrated from Hong Kong. Andy was born in Hawaii. Andy watched a lot of TV while his parents worked their butts off. He seemed very Americanized to me, what with his muscle car, love of crappy movies with explosions, and terpsichorean skills. Then I met Andy’s parents and discovered that they are somewhat more traditionally Chinese in their thinking. Especially when it comes to the woman who marries the #1 Son. (Cue a threatening minor chord of DOOM.)
My posts are mainly memoirs, though I throw in political diatribes whenever the Ridiculously Reactionary Republican Party starts to piss me off. (Look out! It’s almost an election year!) I wrote a lot of emails to family and friends when I first met Andy’s parents as I tried to process and find humor in our culture clashes. This continued when we got married, when his parents first came to visit us, when they harassed me about giving them a grandson EVERY WEEK, etc.
I used to moan to Andy that I would someday write a book and call it When West Marries East: Memoirs of the Persecuted Daughter-in-Law. He laughed and patted my shoulder.
I made it into a blog instead, and started at the beginning: When West Dates East.
Andy is still laughing. I think.
What do you find most challenging about blogging?
Finding pictures! Since I blog under a pseudonym, I can’t always use my own photos, which are pretty amateur anyway. I spend way too much time staging pictures for my crappy iPhone camera, or asking friends with better cameras to stage them, or hunting for appropriate pictures on the internet.
What do you do when you aren’t working on your blog?
When I’m not working or writing or stuck in traffic, I’m walking my rescue dog(s), or cleaning up rescue cat hairballs. I get to eat the husband’s fabulous dinners, and then I clean up the fabulously messy kitchen.
If I can fit in a yoga class, the cross trainer, and some weights at the gym, it’s a good week.
I love books, and so I try to squeeze a few pages of reading in at night before I fall asleep.
Everyone has a favorite post. Name yours and tell us why it is your favorite.
A favorite post that I wrote? Ummmm… Maybe “Dim Sum. Dim White Girl. Aw, Fork!” because my own title cracks me up every time. Or “Dresses,” which has some of my most favorite people in it. I cry every time I read the damned thing. And so does everyone else, so don’t click that link if you are in public.
What do you consider the best part of your day?
Walking the dog(s) at dawn. The sky is pinkish orange, the neighborhood is so quiet I can hear the surf from a mile away, and the golden skyline of Los Angeles seems filled with possibilities.
And then the dog finds a skunk.
Could you share with us a beautiful moment or experience you had recently?
No. It will destroy the specialness.
Just kidding. There was a truly lovely moment last week when our giant, skunk-shredding dog breathed on me and FINALLY didn’t smell repulsive. (It took 6 months for skunk-stink to disappear from his nostrils.)
Tell me about your proudest achievement.
There was this one time when I was able to refrain from stabbing my father-in-law with a screwdriver.
What is the biggest difference in your life post-blogging?
I have less free time to read books, because I’m reading blogs instead. But that’s okay, because I read fantastic posts from these brave, intrepid women who travel all over. They share their adventures and their photographs (which are SO MUCH better than mine), and it’s like I got to travel and learn without getting diarrhea and that is awesome. Hugs to Lani and Becky and Mary and Eileen and Constance and Heather and Jocelyn and Jeralyn and Jessica and I am sure I forgot someone. If I didn’t list your name, assume that I mean you.
Share with us one of your favorite books, and why you like it.
Just one? Seriously? From the woman who just named a dozen favorite bloggers?
Okay, fine. Curse of Chalion because I love fantasy escapism and Lois McMaster Bujold knows how to tell a riveting story.
What do you think would make the world a better place?
The Rapture. Because all the religious crazies would be gone and the rest of us might stand a chance of fixing the place up.
Apparently this nomination has rules and I have to pay it forward or suffer some terrible fate such as daily paper cuts for a year. But in case this is an annoying chain letter thing, I’m gonna shoot for a lot less hate email than Jocelyn. I’ve only got 3 worldly nominees.
Lani of “Life, the Universe, and Lani,” just moved from Thailand to Cambodia. Lani will tell you all about the local table manners, selfies at Angkor Wat, and how not to be an asshole Expat celebrity. (Lani, I know Marissa The Prolific already snuck her nomination in ahead of mine, but please consider answering some of my questions anyway. They are way snarkier than hers. You should like that.)
My questions for my nominees are:
- You can annihilate three world leaders or celebrities instantly. Who’s going down?
- What surprised you the most in your travels?
- If you could swap your U.S. citizenship with a citizen of another country, which country would you pick? Why?
- What food did you discover overseas that you now cannot live without?
- Was there a moment abroad when you were proud, mortified, or afraid as a U.S. citizen? Can you tell us about it? No? Tell us anyway.
- Finish this sentence: “I started blogging because…”
- What’s the worst comment you ever got on a post and how did you handle it?
- Did your family ever read your blog? If so, are they still speaking to you?
- What little-known fact about you would surprise your readers the most?
- In the last year, what would you consider your greatest personal triumph?
I will, of course, understand if my nominees are too busy to draft a post and answer my questions.
Enjoy your paper cuts.