Blogger’s Block?

Ha, look at that guy with his block in that picture! He looks pretty clueless, doesn’t he? Look at that face! Priceless!

It’s like he really wants to do something about that block, but he doesn’t quite know where to start. Also, it’s a pretty large block, don’t you think? There’s no way that’s a standard-issue construction block, because Arnold Schwarzenegger hasn’t been cloned into an army of builders just yet. He has been cloned before, though, just not in a manner that improved anyone’s construction efficiency.

So anyways, back to the guy with the block. Maybe the block is actually a regular-sized cinder block and the guy is just exceedingly small? He could be one of the Oompa-Loompas laying the foundation for the infamous Chocolate Factory?

Chocolate Factory – the rejected design…

Also, what’s with the pony tail? The only man who’d ever successfully pulled off a pony-tail was Steven Seagal and we only let him get away with it because he could break our arm in seven places just by sneezing at it. There’s no way that pony-tail is helping the man with his block-pushing job…or whatever it is he does.

What’s the premise for that picture in the first place? What’s he supposed to be doing with a block half his size? Unless it’s not a block. Maybe it’s a cardboard box with some electronics in it? Or a dead body, if you’re into that kind of crime mystery stuff. Although if Dexter has taught me anything it’s that dead bodies are best contained in a bunch of black plastic bags. At the bottom of the sea. In Miami.

Then again, if it’s not a block then I don’t know why it showed up in Clker when I searched specifically for “block”. Why am I looking for an illustration of a block? Well, why do you have to be so nosy about everything, huh?

All I can say is – I’m just glad I don’t have any block-related problems like that guy…quite a relief!

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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!

SpyGlassViewer

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.

Blogger Collab: “The Shoe Phenomenon”

Last week I told you about my blogger friend Ria and her groovy Picture Worth A Thousand Words endeavour of weekly fiction writing, prompted by pictures. Well, this week there were tons of shoes involved and I chipped in yet again.

Ria really started a piece that left itself perfectly open to a humorous conclusion. However, in a sharp 180 I managed to turn my back on my usual outright comedy routine and wrote up a more serious ending. I do unpredictable shit when it’s weekend time!

To read the full story and treat yourself to some of that Xmas spirit visit Ria’s blog right here.

Blogger Collab: “Aerial Invasion”

Some weeks ago my talented fellow blogger, Ria, started to engage her readers in a new and interactive way. Every Wednesday she starts a fictional piece, prompted by a curious picture. Ria only writes up a part of the story and invites her readers to complete it as they see fit. At the end these pieces are…pieced…together, creating a complete short story / sketch. This effort is aptly named Picture Worth a Thousand Words.

This week’s story was prompted by a picture of either a blimp hyper-realistically disguised as a cat or a gravity-defying cat from the future (they totally have those). I’m proud to have contributed to this somewhat crazy piece, which you can read in full on Ria’s blog: SpyglassViewer: Aerial Invasion

Stay tuned for (hopefully) more of these!