Well, this is new. Recently a fine gentleman by the name of Nathan from Introvert Japan nominated us for a Liebster Award. Not to be confused with the Lobster Award which is given to the most handsome Maine lobster as voted on by restaurant patrons. If you are a lobster, “the Lobster” is literally a death sentence, but we digress.
We are honored in a way that cannot be put to words, so here is a picture of a red panda.
The red panda’s cuteness, which it has in abundance, represents the honor we feel for having been nominated/given a Liebster. Three cheers and a hearty hurrah for Nathan! Nathan felt that An Easy Distance met the criteria of being a quality blog with less than 200 followers (followers…THAT HE KNOWS ABOUT, MUHAHAHAHAHA), to wit he has given us a chance to pass the Liebster on to yet another generation of young blogs.
The origins of the Liebster are unknown, possibly the internet gods bestowed it to the original bloggers to pass down, or maybe Bill Gates is still secretly operating a 98° boyband fan blog and needed a way to earn followers. Regardless of its origin, the Liebster entails two things that must be done to complete the awarding:
1) Answering some personal questions.
2) Nominating some other blogs for the award, around 10 to be imprecisely precise.
Lucky for you, because Easy Distance has two writers, everyone gets two answers for the price of 1 question! It really is a bargain. For those of you that are new to Easy Distance, we have a couple subsections of our blog, one of them is Love and Travel where we tell stories from two perspectives. Shana is in italics and Andrew is in regular type face… On to the questions.
1) What’s your favorite book?
This is an insanely difficult question for me because I love books. Non-fiction, fiction, classical, contemporary, sci-fi, fantasy, horror and poetry, they have all been assaulted by my eyes for hours on end until they gave in and told me how the story ended. Let me pick some authors instead. PLEEEEEZE. K. Thanks.
Modern American Lit – Chuck Palahinuk and Cormac McCarthy: Palahinuk’s Survivor and Choke are two of the most mortifying reads. I loved laughing out loud at their gross morbidity. However, Suttree by McCarthy combines that awesome sense of macabre with humor that is only matched by his beautiful prose. (Example: a guy going to prison for raping an unwilling watermelon) (I laughed while typing that). Blood Meridian is not humorous at all but is equally brilliant and horrifying as a stark portrayal of lawless southwestern America in the late 1800’s. Special nod to John Kennedy O’Toole for Confederacy of Dunces which added the phrase, “floral abortion” to my lexicon.
Sci-fi/Fantasy – Piers Anthony’s On a Pale Horse, Asimov – ALL (particularly Nightfall and Nemesis), Dan Simmons – Hyperion Cantos, Kurt Vonnegut – ALL (Cat’s Cradle is the best though).
This isn’t going very well is it. OK, I promise, only one more.
Non-fiction – The Greatest Show on Earth by Richard Dawkins and Under the Banner of Heaven by Jon Krakauer.
Sorry. Not Sorry. Books are amazing.
Andrew may have trouble with this one, but mine is “The Count of Monte Cristo,” unabridged in all its 1,200 page glory. Runner-up: “Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations”
2) Choose a new name. What is it?
I like alliterative names, so something like Alex Applebee or Morgan McMurdock. A good jazz name is always cool, Franky “Two Tone” Fitzsimmons.
Andrew and I recently had a debate about the proper pronunciation of “hegemony.” Turns out we were both right, but I learned that I liked his pronunciation more: he-je-muh-nī. It’s beautiful, and I thought it would be a lovely name. Also beautiful, the word “diaspora,” so I guess my name would be Hegemony Diaspora.
3) If you didn’t know how old you were, how old would you think you were?
11 – I can be incredibly childish but I’m usually smart enough to know better.
23- Since I am now doing what I should have done after college, I feel like I just graduated.
4) Imagine you’re on death row. (Sorry to be grim.) What’s your last meal?
Is it weird if I want to know why I’m on death row because that would change my meal choice? A little? yeah. I would likely go for a really good pizza or hamburger. Also a really good Italian deli sandwich would be a great last lunch instead of last dinner if they were executing you at like 2pm instead of midnight.
One of those custom-designed 20 course meals from French Laundry, or some such equally respectable gourmet kitchen. It is a must before I die, although I doubt a prison would have (or spare) the budget for such an experience.
5) Do you want tomorrow be fun or peaceful?
Life is short, have fun while you can. Besides, who says peaceful can’t be fun?
Fun usually involves other people, and building and sustaining personal relationships is paramount to me. Fun.
6) What’s your favorite quote?
Look at that mustache!
Mark Twain had a knack for brevity and power, “It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open one’s mouth and remove all doubt.” Although, a less surly version would be Plato’s, “Wise men speak because they have something to say; fools because they have to say something.”
“Each mortal thing does one thing and the same: deals out that being indoors each one dwells; Selves- goes itself; myself it speaks and spells, Crying ‘What I do is me: for that I came.'”- Gerard Manley Hopkins
7) What makes you lose track of time?
The internet. In general my computer with photography, writing, reading and did I mention the internet.
Talking to people. I can spend hours in a conversation and not even notice.
8) You have a door to anywhere. Where does it go?
Holy Smokes. Ok, so remember earlier where I mentioned, Dan Simmons’ books Hyperion Cantos. The first book introduces these devices called “farcasters” which are basically portals that go anywhere in the universe where there is a companion portal installed. So, really rich people have farcaster toilets where you can use the loo on tower in the middle of the desert or they have a private bedroom on another planet. Anyways, I would have a door that goes to the top of a mountain, for many reasons, but mainly mountains are awesome.
My parents’ house. Yeah, I know that might sound lame, but when that’s all the immediate family you have and you live thousands of miles away, you just want to go home sometimes. Plus my parents’ German Shepherd goes absolutely nuts when I walk in the door. Can you imagine visiting a friend who proceeded to tackle you, kiss you and run around the house for five minutes shouting “Shana’s here!! Shana’s here!!” It would make you feel pretty damn special.
9) What makes you smile?
Not in any order: playing guitar, taking awesome photographs, my wife’s face, great food with good company, good whiskey and wine, snowboarding.
Tap dancing, sitting in restaurants, clouds, free chocolate, someone else smiling, Andrew’s terrible puns, being in a room with people I love, anything Shakespeare related, and finding tissues in my pockets that I strategically placed there but forgot about until I needed them.
10) What’s one possession you’ll never throw away?
I’m such a packrat. I love keep sakes. I have a ton of them from my travels. It’s unlikely I would ever willingly throw any of that away. My Green Bay Packer Owner’s certificate is a good candidate as an exemplar.
My grandmother’s watch, which I “borrowed” from my mother and am wearing at this moment. It’s the only watchband that has ever fit my tiny wrist, and it has no batteries, just needs to be wound once a day. I love it’s antique qualities, and I have a thing about the time. At any given moment, I have to be able to know what time it is, even if I never check to see. There’s probably a clinical term for this, and owning a watch is more convenient than stocking clocks in every room. The answer is always near at hand…get it?
There you have it, those are our answers. Thoroughly insightful, no doubt.
Now on to the second major task associated the Liebster. Here are some burgeoning blogs that belong in your blogroll.
My cousin Shou is off in Africa teaching English for the Peace Corps. Awesome. One of his fellow Peace Corp volunteers runs the blog Fishing in Zambia, also awesome.
see what I did there…?
If you like pictures of delicious food with recipes and a little humor Emily’s Pig & Quill is a great place to stop by. Give her some love.
Awesome photography shot here in Japan.
Heavy metal fan, family man and tourist extraordinaire. Check out his app too.
Follow a journey from the beginning. This young lass is blogging about ESL teaching and she hasn’t even left yet. She’s thinking about China.
Is there anything cooler than the background to the music? The story behind the song? Check out some interesting sound bytes with Elisa on Audiographer.
While they do have over 300 followers I am a rule breaker, a deviant and an avant-garde awards-giver-outer. Check out Uncovering Japan for great travel highlights in… Japan.
Pretty self explanatory title actually. +1 Google points. Go there, go back to your kitchen and make stuff.
Living in Korea would likely provide an equal amount of culture shock as Japan does. You can read more about that here on the Culture Muncher.
Below are the questions we would like you answer, you can copy and paste them to your blog or go free form and answer in a long form essay. However, because there are two of us, we get to ask 15 questions, its only fair. Also, in a reverse Liebster switcharoo… DUNDUNDUUUUN, it would be really cool if Nathan would also answer these questions…
- Favorite play seen in a theater. Musicals are acceptable as well.
- What is your next travel destination and why? Can we stay at your place while you are gone?
- Who was your best teacher, school or otherwise?
- What is the best season?
- Design your own house. What are the three coolest, most unique, awesome parts of your new home?
- A local TV news crew is conducting people on the street interviews during a street fair, you are a LARPer. You are asked by the reporter, “What do you think of the festivities so far?” What do you say to the camera?
- What is the meaning of life?
- Would you want your first child to be male or female? Why?
- Where was your favorite picture taken?
- What is the most absurd thing that has ever happened to you?
- Have you ever been legitimately mistaken for a celebrity? Who was it?
- Would you rather smell like Velveeta but be amazingly handsome/beautiful or be horrendous to look at but have a free supply of Velveeta for life? Things to consider: being mistaken for nachos, awkward sex life, and awesome sports viewing parties.
- Could you get by without a car? For how long?
- Which do you prefer, the city or being out in nature? Why?
- Pretend you are a cave person. Would you rather be on the hunt or stay in the cave?
Well there you have it. Those are our questions. I hope you enjoy our blog. We’ll continue to publish long form adventure, teaching, romance and cooking content because listicles are making us more stupider. I is more stupidified for has typing that word, “listicle” ugh.
I’m going to go wash my mind out with soap now. You should leave. But not our page. Just this one in particular. Go here: About Easy Distance