One Lovely Blog (and Eight Better Ones)

onelovelyblogawardEmelia Leigh, a London writer—by which I mean she’s in London, but I suppose she might write about it, too— whose excellent Last Beginning Blog has an inspirational and all-too-relateable backstory that you need to read right now—nominated me last week for the One Lovely Blog Award.

To accept, I’m to share seven facts about myself—supposing there’s anything about me I haven’t shared already that I’m willing to admit to in public—nominate at least seven blogs I regularly read, and provide links to their places.

Here goes:


Whistle1.  I can whistle any tune—I can even do a flying saucer imitation by humming at the same time— but am simply incapable of doing that piercing taxi-call thing with the two fingers. Every time I try, I end up with a popped ear and a wet chin.

sock guy2.  I haven’t worn hosiery—except to exercise in athletic shoes—for at least four years. Even in winter. It wasn’t a conscious decision, exactly, more like an incredibly long series of smaller decisions based on a deep, abiding hatred of women’s trouser socks and pantyhose.

3.  When I play Words with Friends, I’m much more likely to win if I play very quickly. If I stop to think about strategy, I’m doomed. This may explain the problems I have using story outlines . . .

blueberry guy4.  My favorite on-the-go drink mix is a generic -brand Blueberry-Acai Energy, not only because it’s cheap and has caffeine in it—though heaven knows that would be enough—but also because when you shake the bottle perhaps a bit too enthusiastically hard enough, the water goes pink and the bubble froth goes blue. SCIENCE!

5.  I sometimes wonder if I’m really a writer, or just someone who loves to read so much that I confused the two. I’m also aware that I borrowed this particular self-doubt from John Irving’s Hotel New Hampshire, which doesn’t help much, especially when it occurs to me that I’ve put a bear in my current  project. . .

6.  I love listening to music when I’m driving and have been known to belt out anything and everything from country to Opera, just try to stop me sing along—volume is no object. The kids are totally on board with all this, pun intended, and I’ve added our favorites to a special kid-safe Driving Playlist that includes everything from (“#thapower” for Jane, “Scream & Shout” and the Black Eyed Peas for me) to the Backstreet Boys (Rachel adores “Larger Than Life”, which is Not My Fault), plus a square ton of acapella groups and cello covers (2cellos, Apocalyptica, Pentatonix, etc.) for me.

This is my current favorite, because it makes me feel like I’m getting away with (or from) something:

When we discovered Sunday that my MP3 radio converter had died sometime during the night, we didn’t even bother to turn on the radio —my kids and I were quiet the entire trip, as if stunned by sudden grief. Which, I suppose, we were.

Hitchhikers7. I’m always secretly proud of myself when I pay a bill the moment I receive it or register a new purchase right away, or remember to bring coupons to the store and use them, or rearrange conflicting appointments in my planner and immediately call people about them. It’s like I’m a Real Adult™ . . . who just happens to be shaking her bottle of Blueberry-Acai to make the bubbles turn blue.

I’m now supposed to nominate seven of my favorite bloggers.  If you’re named here, you’re under no obligation.

If I missed you, it’s because if I listed all the blogs I obsessively read, I’d never get this done, or you’ve just been nominated by someone else, you’ve just decided to stop blogging, or I know for a fact that you don’t care for awards much.

Indy, who rules Fangs and Clause with a grammatical fist in a witty glove and also writes me Firefly poetry.

Lyra, who runs Lyrical Meanderings and is fantastic, funny, fierce, and inspirational like whoa.

Averil Dean, though she’s supplied (and required) more than five times as many facts in her past two posts.

Mike Allegra, in the efforts to get him to come of out hiatus, if only this once (please?).

Caitlin Stern, from caitlinsternwrites, who does interesting things with shifters and chimera and also sends me escalator dragons.

Laura Maylene Walter, an accomplished writer whose facts, if she chooses to participate, will probably include at least one cat.

John Shaw of Taps and Ratamacues, because go read his poetry right now (and try his recipes, because yum).

Sherry Stanfa-Stanley, whose 52/52 Project is almost as amazing as she is.

Thanks again, Emelia!  That was fun!


Random Thursday: Men, Music, and Questionable Dairy Products

Random Thursday (ˈrandəm ˈTHərzdā): the day on which Sarah plunks down all the odd bits and pieces she’s been sent by friends or has otherwise stumbled upon this week in an effort to avoid writing a real post, the assembly of which usually ends up taking twice as much time as sitting down and creating actual content.

This one is dedicated to my kids, who managed to avoid bedtime for a whole half hour the other night by asking me to confirm a single weird fact about dolphins, sending us all on a strange and squicky quest that . . . derailed a bit.


Got Hipposudoric Acid?

This is hippopotamus milk.  From a lactating (I hope) hippo.

It’s pink.

Don’t know why that weirds me out, but it does.

Hippo milk

Actually, the milk itself is white,
but hippos secrete Hipposudoric acids and Norhipposudoric acids
which are red and orange and, coincidentally, important to hippo health
and these mix with the milk,
so it turns pink.

Frankly, this doesn’t make feel any less weird about it.



Show of Hands

How many of you know exactly why this puts sticking stuff to stuff up to eleven?

This Is Spinal Tape

And why I just said that?

(appropriated from the Facebook page of Cornelia Read)



The incomparable Tim Minchin provides a six-minute commentary
on the heartbreak of Lactose Intolerance.

I feel you man. I feel you.


And while we’re at it . . .

Giraffe milk is kosher.


Because giraffes qualify as ritually pure animals anyway,

and their milk curdled when someone tested it.

I think the fact that someone bothered to curdle giraffe’s milk to find out
is either really cool or even stranger than the results.



The Most Interesting Wizard

Most Interesting Wizard

(via Watson, who knows from interesting men)


Wait for it . . .

Now this is what I call a concert.

(My husband found this for me—-thanks, love!)


Photo of the skeptical giraffe by Hans Hillewaert, via Wikimedia Commons

Something Lovely

It’s no secret or surprise that I’m a big fan of the Finnish group Apocalyptica—I love orchestral instruments and I love Metallica, and frankly, there are times when only heavy metal cellos will do.

I’m sure you agree.

But Apocalyptica aren’t the only source of that particular sound.

Luka Šulić and Stjepan Hauser, who perform under the name 2CELLOS, can seriously rock—try their versions of Smells Like Teen Spirit and Supermassive Black Hole—and their classical performances are frankly gorgeous.

And sometimes they team up with musicians like  the incomparable Zucchero Fornaciari to produce something like Il Libro Dell’Amore:

(direct link to the video because embedding gremlins are sneaky)

Beautiful music, lovely lyrics, and an excellent video—can’t ask for more than that.