Saturday, September 28, 2013

It's a major award!

It's not really, I just felt like quoting A Christmas Story.  I am very touched that Anne over at The Second Bedroom nominated me for a Liebster Award. Originally, my final ICLW post was going to be about my trip to Belgium and Amsterdam, but I will save that for next week and instead focus on answering the Liebster nomination.  Stole these from Anne, so you know what the rules are:

Ahem.  To the facts:

1.) I have five nephews.  Five!  Three are from my older sister, and two are from my husband, Jeeves' older brother.  They are all so different.  My oldest nephew, Connor, from my sis, is just like me.  My second nephew from my sis, Cooper, has a very severe form of autism.  He doesn't speak.  It took me years to figure out how to be with him, and to accept the fact that he won't say my name.  I now recognize him for what he is - a sweet, observant little boy, who knows who I am and loves me.  And I love him.  
2.) The sickest I've ever been, I had pneumonia.  I was 30 years old, and I have no idea how I got it.  One night I got a fever and it didn't go away until I got antibiotics 6 days later.  I coughed so much that I tore the cartilage between my ribs (something I didn't even know was possible to do) and it took months to heal.
3.) I moved to NYC almost 4 years ago so I could live with my then-boyfriend, now-husband.  Before that I spent my entire life in the great state of New Jersey.  Like all Jerseyans, I had a car that I sold after I moved to the City.  It was a dark green Honda Accord, and at the time I sold it, it had just over 160,000 miles on it.  Nothing ever went wrong with the car.  It was the best.  I miss it.
4.) I'm addicted to seltzer.  I own a Sodastream, and it is magic.
5.) I used to be pretty shy and a bit timid and I struggled to feel confident when speaking in public.  Pretty funny for someone who became a lawyer.  In law school, I never spoke in class.  Fast forward 8 years.  Last year in library school I cracked a joke about how I was scared to do something and my professor said, "Megan, I didn't think anything scared you."  That's when I realized I must have changed a lot over the last decade.
6.) I love the horror genre.  And I love the adrenalin rush that comes after a scare (a fun scare, like at a haunted house, not a real or serious scare).  But I don't like watching horror movies by myself.  My husband says it's because I hide my eyes and need someone to narrate for me.  This may be true.  I also like horror novels, though, and no, I don't need anyone else to read ahead and tell me what happens.
7.) I have terrible posture.  I'm constantly trying to improve it. Unsuccessfully.
8.) I love all kinds of music, but when I'm walking around the City, I listen to hip hop, especially 90s hip hop like Black Star, The Roots, Wu Tang Clan, Snoop Dogg, etc.  I'm trying to learn all the words to Lil Kim's Lighters Up, even though Kim's early 90s representation of Brooklyn no longer holds true.  It's still a good song.

9.) I love old movies.  Probably because of my parents, who were raised in the 1930s and 1940s.  Personal favorites are Hitchcock, especially North by Northwest, Notorious, Rear Window; Charade; Arsenic and Old Lace; A Touch of Evil; Swing Time; The Quiet Man; To Have and Have Not - the list goes on and on. 
10.) Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday.  I love the food, but I also like the opportunity to spend time with family and think about all the things I am grateful for.  The day after Thanksgiving, every year since I was in my early 20s, is Leftover Day, wherein I go visit my BFF Kate's family and we share and critique each other's leftovers.  I used to be responsible for cooking the entire Thanksgiving meal for my family, from the time I was 26 until I was 33.  After we got married, Jeeves and I started spending every other Thanksgiving with his family.  I thought that meant I would get a break from cooking, but I'm still responsible for the turkey because I'm the only one who cares about it being brined before roasting.  I'm kind of obsessed with brining turkeys.
11.) If I could change something about myself, it would be a) I would love exercise; and b) I'd be a morning person.  I guess I like yoga and pilates, but basically any exercise that makes me feel out of breath - blech.  I know it's good for me, so I do it, but that alleged "high" some people get from exercising?  That's never happened to me.  I just vacillate between uncomfortable and miserable.  As a result, I like the Jillian Michaels videos because each routine is only 22 minutes long, which is about all that I can stand.  Also, I hate waking up early - I'd rather stay up till 1 or 2 am, and get up in the late morning.  I wish I liked waking up early, all bright and cheery.
Anne's questions for me:

1. What do you turn to for comfort?
Usually other people - my husband, my best friends, my dad.  If they are all busy, then I turn to television or a good book.  When I'm not in treatment, a nice glass of red wine goes a long way towards comforting me.

2. Do you have any habits/mannerisms other people consider odd but you couldn't do without?
The only thing I can come up with is that I unconsciously cover my mouth with my hand when I'm reading something carefully.  I don't know why.  Someone at work pointed it out, and then I started to notice all these pics Jeeves took of me on vacation, reading guidebooks, with my hand over my mouth.  Weird.

3. What is your favorite thing to cook? Or, for non-cooks, to order in?
Oh my goodness.  Just one?  This question is practically impossible. I think I will go with a group - I love cooking soup.  I make my own stocks, and I feel like soup is a really easy thing to make well.  I make a really good minestrone, a good shrimp bisque, a great gumbo, a spicy red curry winter squash.  I also like making turkey chili a lot. It's my mom's recipe.  She was a great cook, but never used recipes, so I learned how to make it by just calling her up and asking what to do.  And desserts!  I am the baker in my family - my sister doesn't have the patience for it.  Probably my favorite thing to make in that area is pumpkin pie, though I also love making key lime pie, any kind of cookie, and fruit crisps.
4. It's your day off. No commitments yet. Shockingly, ALL your laundry is clean. What do you wear?
If I'm not going out, I will probably wear yoga pants and a t-shirt, and go barefoot.  If I am going out, probably jeans and a nice top and ballet flats.  I used to be a little fashionista, but when I moved to New York and started walking everywhere, I kind of became a comfort nut.  If I can't wear a pair of shoes for a 10 minute walk, then I usually won't buy them. That is such a far cry from where I was 10 years ago, when I don't think I owned a pair of flat shoes.

5. You can have one word or phrase stricken from the minds of humanity--they just forget it existed and you NEVER have to hear it again. What is it?
Whilst.  I hate it when Americans use the word "whilst" instead of "while."  Usually I see if it in writing, and it just sounds so damn British (with all due respect to any British readers) and pretentious.  We don't spell "color" as "colour" here, so what's with the whilst?  Just, no.

6. You're a billionaire, hooray! What charity do you make your pet cause?

So tough to just pick one.  My parents were both social workers and both worked for a non-profit that did food, rent, and utility assistance for the working poor in New Jersey.  I think I'd focus on something like that.  Either that, or cancer research.

7. Do you wear socks to bed?
Not usually.  I really love being barefoot.  That being said, I do live in the Northeast and it gets cold here in the winter.  So on a very cold night, I might wear a pair of fuzzy socks to bed.

8. I've got a gift card for you! You can't spend it on bills. Only frivolous things. Where do you go?
First, books.  I would buy some more books.  Second, I'd go out for a nice dinner.  Third, I'd probably buy myself some jewelry.  I'm an Etsy addict.

9. What one thing that you do on a regular basis do you wish you never had to do again?
Ugh, that's easy.  Morning monitoring.  Hate it.  Hate getting up so early, hate taking the subway uptown, hate sitting in a crowded waiting room with other sad sacks.  Hate when all the blood draws make me look like a junkie.  Hate the dildo cam.  The worst was having to go after my miscarriage to track my falling hCG levels - a room filled with hopeful people when you have lost your hope.  Miserable.  On the bright side, it's close to Bouchon Bakery, so I get to stop there for breakfast afterwards.

10. If you were an expert in one area, and people came from miles away just to ask your thoughts, what area would that be?

I'm not sure if this question is asking what the reality is or is aspirational.  If it's reality, then it would probably be New York's sanitation laws.  I have to know them for my job.  I get asked questions about recycling rules a lot.  I jokingly refer to myself as the Garbage Queen of New York.  If it's aspirational, then I'd like to be a dinosaur expert.  I've loved dinosaurs since I was little, and that was the first career I wanted when I was little - a paleontologist.  I still think dinosaurs are really cool and I wouldn't mind being an expert in that.

My nominees:

Sigh, there are really only 6.  I read A LOT of blogs.  But most of the blogs I read have already been nominated for this award.  So I have 6 here, two of which already got nominated recently, so whatever.

And now to my questions for my nominees!
1.) What is your guilty pleasure movie/music/book/TV show?
2.) The best vacation you ever went on?
3.) If you could have a superpower, what would it be?
4.) Time travel is a thing, but you can only go back and observe - you can't change anything.  What time period would you want to witness?
5.) What would you choose as your last meal?
6.) The best book you've read in the last 5 years?
7.) What do you love about where you live?
8.) What's your biggest pet peeve?
9.) What makes you laugh out loud?
10.) Who was your favorite teacher in high school and why?
11.) What was your bravest moment?

Oy, long post.  Thanks for hanging in there.


  1. If only I had a leg lamp to go with it! Damn. Maybe next time. I used to have perfect posture when I took riding lessons. Being on horseback was the best for learning to walk like a ballerina other than actually being a ballerina. In the years since I stopped regular lessons my posture has become soooo bad. I need to walk around with books on my head or something. Also, I LOVE baking. I cook, too, but baking yields such beautiful and tasty things. Oh, and I find it so amusing that you went to NYC and *stopped* being a fashionista ;)

    1. Ha - I know! I used to be so much more fashionable! I think it's because shopping in New York takes more effort and doesn't involve a climate-controlled mall. I miss malls.

  2. Hi from ICLW! I have to agree with you on the breathing hard working out. I'm on a weight loss journey and I am doing Jillian Michaels 30DS because it's so short, so I'm on the same page for sure. Congrats on your Leibster! Well deserved!

    1. Thanks, Melissa! I know, Jillian Michaels kicks my ass, but I'm glad I have her around to do it.