Awards: Take Four

Mere days after I’ve published my last “thank you” post for a blog award a certain Ella Medler hunted me down and attacked me with four new awards.

Now, I’m not saying there’s a global conspiracy aimed at drowning my blog in a sea of awards, but let’s face it – there is! I am tempted to open another, parallel blog, exclusively dedicated to keeping track of awards and writing about them.

But what happens if that blog starts getting awards of its own?! Will I need a third blog? Will it create a feedback-loop, opening up a black hole that swallows our Solar System?! Unlikely, but are any of you willing to take that risk?

So…yeah…awards. Four of them:

  • One Lovely Blog Award
  • Beautiful Blogger Award (don’t laugh, men can be beautiful too…on the inside…I assume)
  • Inspiring Blog Award
  • Don’t Do A Damn Thing Award

All of these can now be seen on the awards page.

Can I just take a moment to say how awesome I think the last one is?! Finally, an award created by someone who just gets me. You had me at “don’t do a damn thing” good sir/mam. Whoever and wherever you are!

I can easily do that!

Back to Ella Medler. Ella’s name may already be familiar to you, as we’ve exchanged awards and written on each other’s blogs before. Or maybe you have read one of her books – Martin Little: Resurrected? If not, I can highly recommend it, and in fact do so in this Amazon review. Ella, thank you for thinking about and nominating me!

The good thing about these four awards is that I’m essentially expected to do the same thing with each one – nominate 7 bloggers and share 7 random things about myself.

Instead of 7, today I will pick only a single blogger to pass all four awards to. It’s someone who has thrown blog awards my way before, but never received any from me. I will right this injustice immediately!

She runs a great blog that I read on a regular basis and leaves comments on all of my posts, which is awesome!

I’m talking about none other than Carrie Rubin.

Not only is she a great blogger she’s now also a great author. Her debut novel The Seneca Scourge is collecting excellent ratings on Amazon. Carrie, I know that you’ve received all of these awards from Ella herself, but repetition has never hurt anyone (unless we’re talking about repeated electroshock therapy). So enjoy the awards and please feel free to only follow the rules of the “Don’t Do A Damn Thing” one.

Can’t get enough of this award!

Now, the seven random bits about myself:

1. I hate umbrellas. There, I said it! I’m not afraid of telling it how it is. I get the concept of umbrellas and their inherent usefulness, but I’ve never had good experiences with them. I personally never carry one on the off chance of rain, for the same reason I don’t carry a shovel with me just in case I get buried in an avalanche.

Every time someone else offers to share their umbrella with me I end up having to walk uncomfortably close to that person, stumbling over them while their umbrella pokes my ear and lets rain leak onto my shoulders. Thanks, but no thanks. A hood will work just fine for me.

2. I hate formal wear. Suits, ties, tuxedos. It’s the most uncomfortable combination of items to put on your body, up there with nipple piercings and “willy leashes” (yeah, they have those). Thankfully there’s no strict dress-code where I work and there were few occasions in my life where dressing up was required.

3.  I hate coriander. It tastes like soap. It makes any meal with it taste of soap. Side note: yes, I know how soap tastes…I’m really uncoordinated when I shower.

4. I have a pretty liberal view on weed and similar light drugs, but I’ve never tried any myself. Additionally, to this day I’m yet to try smoking regular cigarettes. Yes, I am on standby for the Pope to grant me sainthood any day now.

5. I love essentially anything sweet – chocolate, candy, chocolate candy, candyfied chocolate. But above all – ice cream. I’m honestly surprised my teeth haven’t turned into jelly by now. That reminds me – I love jelly too!

6. I have two molars missing. One on the lower right, one on the lower left. Symmetrical as hell! Long story short: root canals, bad teeth, had to go. Surely nothing to do with point 5, in case you’re wondering. Ah well, more space for those wisdom teeth.

7. I involuntarily and automatically memorize most song lyrics. This is excellent for those a capella shower-singing sessions, but absolutely horrifying when I happen to listen to mainstream radio. Which is why, thanks to Gangnam Style, I now speak decent Korean.

I appreciate the appreciation!

It’s happened again. I’ve been awarded yet another blog award! More accurately – I’ve award awarded yet awarder award award. I have brain issues.

I’m not sure how to feel about these awards. On the one hand, they’re more plentiful than the number of concussions Todd Akin had in his lifetime. Multiple-concussions are the only explanation for why anyone would believe in an invisible army of tiny intelligent robots living inside of women to tell “legitimate rape” from the other type, whatever that is.

On the other hand – a new flowery award! Weeeeee!

It glitters and shit!

Rachael McGimpsey, a fellow blogger, internetterer and a frequent guest poster on this very blog has nominated me for the “Reader Appreciation Award“. How…how did she know I want my readers to appreciate me? That’s just uncanny!

Jokes aside…thank you Rachael! Every award means someone’s thinking about me and my blog, so I can only appreciate that. For more information on my “reverse-appreciation technique” please consult page 34 of Daniel’s Ultimate Book of Life Answers: volume 173.

It’s a refreshingly quick read

For those of you who don’t know Rachael…now you do! She runs a funny blog here, a serious blog here, and a Twitter here. She’s well worth your visit and appreciation, so head on over and do some serious appreciating of her blog(s)!

Like most awards, this one comes with a bunch of rules, including questions to answer and bloggers to nominate. Unlike most awards, I will actually play by the book this time. Rachael and I go waaaaay back…to spring of this year. So, you see, I kind of owe it to her.

So here’s what I’ll do. I’ll answer 10 questions Rachael asked. I’ll nominate 5 bloggers, because I simply am running out of bloggers to pass awards to. Then I’ll ask 10 questions of my own to those five bloggers, which they’ll be honour bound to answer.


1. Why did you start blogging?

Who’s asking?! Oh, you? Well, why did you start blogging? I’m being defensive? Maybe you’re being defensive. I’m glad we had this talk, let’s never fight again.

Incidentally, a serious answer to this question is found in my recent “Fictive Fiction” post.

2. If money was no concern what would you buy for yourself?

Every. Single. Gadget. Ever.

I’m a gadget freak, so if money was no concern I’d check them all out – robots, computer-driven houses, Batmobile. Hell yeah!

I’d get my family some housing and necessities too. Or maybe I’d get my robot-assistant to do it for me.

3. What is one of your current life goals?

To publish a book. What a cliche, right? Since I started blogging I truly realised how much I enjoy the writing process, so yeah – next stop is to publish something. A novel? A collection of short stories? A humorous guide to self-flagellation? Sky’s the limit!

4. If you could have one talent you do not posses, what would that be?

Did you say “talent”? Because I heard “superpower”. I’d pick teleportation. Visiting my family and world travel would be made so much easier. Also, breaking into banks. Mind you, I’d only be able to break into banks, not take anything from them…unless solid gold blocks are also capable of teleporation. So I’d just sit there, surrounded by gold, like a fucking idiot. Shitty plan, now that I think about it.

5. What would you change about the world if you could?

Convert 95% of insane/evil/criminally stupid people into regular folks. I’d leave the 5%, because I need blog material – making fun of sane, intelligent people sucks!

6.How would you spend your time if you had no restraints?

My prison guard mocks me with that very question on a daily basis. God, I hate that guy! But soon he’ll feel my wrath, once my machine gun made of toilet paper and toothpicks is completed!

Serious answer: I’d visit as may countries as I could. I love to travel and lack of time is always a concern. Unless I manage to develop that teleportation skill I was talking about.

7. Where did you grow up?

In eastern Ukrainia,

Born and raised,

In a school yard

Where I spent most of my days…

Short answer: the second largest city in Ukraine – Kharkov. I lived there until I was 15 at which point I moved to Copenhagen, Denmark to infiltrate the capitalist society and make arrangements for the inevitable communist take-over. I fear I’ve said too much. More of this type of nonsense can be read on my “About” page.

8. Who is your favorite music artist and why?

I like too many different music genres and artists to be able to narrow this one down. Rock, hip hop, jazz, alternative, some pop, none of techno, even less of heavy metal.

9. Who, if anyone, is your hero?

My mom. The strongest woman I know. That’s right, you should see her juggle semi-trucks – it’s absolutely insane.

10. Can you dance?

Yes, I can, in that I am physically capable of performing a series of jerky motions in response to music, which could be remotely qualified as “dancing”. Can I dance well? That’s a question you didn’t ask, isn’t it?


Last time I nominated a whole bunch of guys from DudeWrite. This time I want to pass the award onto five blogging ladies I recently discovered:

  • Ellen at “Defenestrated Feet“. She’s got a quirky sense of humour. She illustrates her stories with pictures, so you won’t even have to read too much text. How awesome is that? Very! Check her out for some guaranteed smiles.
  • Kalieta (Colette Ngo Ndjom) at “”. She writes. She draws. She’s got affiliations with Ukraine, which I assure you have not had any impact on my choice. Colette has lived all over the world, so has many curious experiences to share.
  • Kianwi at “Simply She Goes”. Kianwi has three cats, but she’s not a crazy cat lady. She’s a very funny lady with a great writing style. For rare pictures of her cats and not-so-rare funny posts, head on over to her blog.
  • Lynn Schneider at “Lynn Schneider Books“. Unlike me and my future plans, Lynn’s already a published author of several books. Read more about her books and her technology woes by visiting her blog.
  • Reanna at “Rock The Single Life“. A word of warning: Reanna’s blog is not safe for work, or safe for life. It’s not safe. It’s full of profanity, inappropriate sexual content and other gross things. She’ll shit in your mind and eat your cat. She’s also going to make you laugh your ass off. Then she’ll film it, put a video of your ass falling off on Youtube and make you famous. For your chance to become famous, visit her blog right now.


This one’s easy – pick your 10 favourite Nest Expressed posts and tell us why they’re your favourite. Go! No? OK fine…but I want answers to all questions!

  1. Batman or Superman?
  2. What musical artist do you absolutely hate?
  3. Who framed Roger Rabbit?
  4. You’re forever trapped on a deserted island . For some contrived reason you get to pick two people and an animal to live with you there. Who are they?
  5. You can visit and live for a while on any planet in our Solar System. Which one?
  6. What do you enjoy most about blogging?
  7. Why did chicken cross the road?
  8. You can pick any profession or job (including crime-fighting vigilante). What do you pick?
  9. Favourite word/phrase/insightful quote?
  10. You can watch only one TV show for the rest of your life. Which one?

Chairman’s Choice

Did I ever tell you about DudeWrite? Ssssshh, it was a rhetorical question – of course I did! Once and twice and thrice. Well I’m nothing if not annoyingly repetitive, so here I go again.

I’ve participated in yet another round of DudeWrite last week and two days ago the results were in. This time I didn’t make any major splash on Twitter or here on the blog and instead quietly entered my “8 Key Ingredients of any Infomercial” into the line-up. This resulted in my entry being just as quietly ignored by the world at large, or at least ignored enough that it didn’t make it to any of the three top places by votes…

…but, one man didn’t ignore me. One man cared enough to give me one of the Chairman’s Choice awards handed out this week. This man’s name is WilyGuy, although my sixth sense tells me he has an actual name too. WilyGuy is one of the founders and editors of the DudeWrite initiative and it’s him I have to thank for this:

If you want to learn more about this week’s DudeWrite line-up and read the many cool entries by male bloggers, head on over there!

….what? Stop looking at me like that! Look, I know I’ve been half-assing it a bit lately – first a filler canteen post, then a post about my blogger’s block, then a guest post, and now a “look at me, I’ve gotten a new award” post?! What exactly am I trying to pull?

OK, so I’m not perfect! I’m pretty damn close (latest poll shows I’m around 98.37% perfect), but I have my moments of imperfection. I do expect to have something decent cooked up the coming weekend, so stay tuned.

Versatile Blogger Award? Why thanks!

Some weeks back a fellow writer, blogger and Twitterer by the name of M. E. Franco has sent a shoutout my way on Twitter. The tweet read: “Versatile Blogger Award worthy!”.

Upon reading that I thought: “Well, cool! I’m certainly a blogger, I guess I’m versatile and I also know that ‘award’ is a noun. So it’s nice to have those three put together and directed at me”. I thanked M. E. Franco for her shoutout and that was the end of that.

Later on I was checking out her blog and suddenly saw my name mentioned in a blog post about the Versatile Blogger Award. That’s when it hit me that the “Versatile Blogger Award” is an actual thing. What can I say, sometimes I’m as sharp as a pack of Q-tips.

Above: Me, I guess?

So, what is this Versatile Blogger Award? It’s an award that bloggers pass on to other bloggers. It is also one of the rare (only?) awards where being nominated also means having won the award. If they tried that shit with the Oscars we’d be seeing a lot fewer awkward shots of Oscar losers struggling to look genuinely happy for those who won. Also, the inevitable “Thank You” speech marathon would require a separate TV channel.

OK, what happens now? Well, according to my extensive research gathered by skimming a few blogs, the following Versatile Blogger Award “rules” apply:

  1. Thank the person who has nominated you (aka “given you the award”) and include a backlink to their site.
  2. Share 7 curious and/or random facts about yourself that your audience may not already know (while simultaneously preventing the North Korean government from finally pinpointing your identity and location…but I’ve said too much).
  3. Nominate/pass the award to 15 other bloggers and inform them that they have won.

Those of you who know and like me (hi, mom!) will also know and hate my OCD tendencies. Now follow me as I use these OCD powers to go through the above Versatile Blogger Award steps, in order.

The thanking.

All bullshit aside, I’m honoured to have M.E. Franco throw some “Versatile Blogger Award” love my way. It’s always nice to get noticed and it’s even sweeter to get noticed by the author of a top-rated book. So – a huge thanks for nominating me, I truly appreciate it!

You can find M.E. Franco here:

I have previously talked about my conviction that Amazon know their stuff. So if they tell me M. E. Franco’s book gets a clean 5-star rating based on 12 customer reviews (as of writing this post), then I say “show me the money!”. Wait, no, I say “here is my money, show me the book!”.

The sharing of 7 random facts.

A fair warning – these facts may forever change your perception of me and you won’t be able to get them out of your head. Do you know what else you won’t be able to get out of your head for a while? “All the moves like Jagger, I’ve got the moves like Jagger, I’ve got the moooouuoooves like Jagger!“. You’re welcome!

And now, the facts:

1. I have a bad case of the “photic sneeze reflex“. Before you grab your phone to call an ambulance (seriously, you don’t even know my address, just put that phone down) – it’s nothing serious. All it means is that when I step out into the sun (or sometimes just look at a bright lamp) I sneeze. Usually twice in a row.

I’ll leave the explanation of how this weird reflex works to the Wiki article I’ve linked to. But yes, I’m in the 18-35% of the people who have this ACHOO syndrome (no, really, that’s the acronym/backronym). Also, my girlfriend has it, which makes our summer days together infinitely more enjoyable. Who needs conversation when you can just sneeze at each other loudly?

2. I am terrible at football. Here I’m referring to the game that involves actual feet kicking an actual ball, not the game where guys throw egg-shaped objects to each other (no offence to the American audience). If it’s any comfort, I’m probably equally terrible at throw-egg.

I normally play defence, because while I can usually pass/kick the ball passably, I absolutely suck at dribbling. The only goal I’ve ever scored was an own goal, much to the frustration of the goalie.

3. What I lack in football skills, I totally make up for with my Martial Arts background. I have a yellow belt in Tae Kwon Do. This is about as intimidating as having any belt in ballet.

Yellow belt is the second stage after “white belt” (which, incidentally, is the belt you have if you’ve never heard of Tae Kwon Do and/or are a toddler). It is earned by performing a number of choreographed “fighting” moves in front of some judges, while hitting thin air and trying to maintain a shred of dignity.

4. Back in Ukraine I was hand-picked to be in an all-guy choir. I’ll let you make your own jokes about this one.

5. My real last name is Gniazdo.

“What?! No! This blog is a lie!”, you’re screaming at your computer (or iPhone, if you’re that kind of a show-off). Calm down, your Tegretol pills are in the left drawer.

“Gniazdo” is of a Polish origin and translates to English directly as “nest”. There, feel better now? The few reasons I’m not using my actual last name are:

a) “Gniazdo Expressed” is a marginally less catchy blog name.

b) I’ve seen my last name misspelled in a hundred different ways, from “Gniazalo” to “Gucadze”, and I want people to be able to find my blog on Google.

c) I want a pseudonym, because that’s the kind of vain guy I am.

6. I’m extremely clumsy. I can’t begin to recount the many things I’ve dropped or broken and the numerous ways I’ve hurt myself with seemingly innocent objects. I may actually write a post about my clumsiness at some stage. For now it’ll just suffice to tell you that I once managed to tumble UP the stairs.

7. My earliest childhood memory is of a bee flying into my mouth and the panic that ensued. There you have it, my conscious adult life has started with an animal attack incident. From now on I have carte blanche to say anything I want on this blog, on account of being traumatised as a baby.

The nominating of other bloggers.

Here we go, the awesome part! I get to pass on the “Versatile Blogger Award” to some great fellow bloggers. Being a fresh face in the blogging world, I simply don’t know enough blogs to pick out 15 of them. So here’s what I’ll do. Today I will pass the award on to 5 fellow bloggers.

Later, when I have met more awesome people and have read their blogs, I’ll bring you more Versatile Blogger Award winners. Deal? Great!

Below come the first 5 Versatile Blogger Award worthy blogs in alphabetical order. Alphabetical so that I avoid offending anyone. Also, OCD, remember? And so, the first five “Versatile Blogger Award” nomiwinners (patent pending word) are:

Dionne Lister’s Blog

Dionne is a fellow writer I’ve recently followed on Twitter. Her blog gives outlet to her fiction, as well as curious observations/stories from her life (you know nothing about the reality of being a property valuer until you’ve read her stuff). Dionne has a great sense of humour and her posts are both easy and entertaining to read.

Extremely Average

Brian Meeks is a writer and his blog is focused on his writing journey. He muses about the writing process as well as actually posting his Henry Wood Detective Agency on the blog, chapter by chapter. Check it out, but don’t come crying and complaining if you end up getting hooked!

Light Speed Gaming

A blog run by a real-life friend (I have like at least two of those!) and colleague with a very Danish name (Søren Christensen, for the curious among you). His blog focuses on science fiction, video games and science fiction video games. If you’re a fan of both science fiction and video games that should sound like “win, win, win-win”. You’ll find book/movie/game reviews, playing tips and a lot more stuff related to sci-fi and video games. All of it is injected with a healthy doze of humour for good measure. Head on over and get your geek on!


Ria is truly a versatile blogger, covering a range of subjects on her blog. I like her sense of humour and I especially enjoy her fiction pieces (two of which I have had the honour of contributing to). She’s also studying Dentistry and has plenty of observations about her study process and her teachers (both horrible and hilarious). Definitely give her a read, you won’t be disappointed!

Teach From The Heart

Ms. Welty is someone who’s joined the blogging world even more recently than yours truly. Her passion for teaching is immediately apparent from her posts. Right now it’s an infant blog with just a couple of posts, but I have no doubt that Ms. Welty will be bringing more of her upbeat and encouraging writing to the masses!

That’s all from me for this post, but I will be returning later with more bloggers to pass on the Versatile Blogger Award to. Time to turn off those lights and…aaa…AAaa……AAAAAAACHOOooo.