Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Tag! You're it!

Or rather, I'm it.

I've been tagged for the Liebster Awards, a 'tell us about yourself' blog hop for new sites with less than 200 followers, by recent tagee Musings of an Aspie.  I don't strictly fit in that this blog's not new, but it does have well less than 200 followers, so I'm claiming it with glee.  A little recognition is a wonderful thing. Also, who doesn't like talking about themselves?

The first task for this Liebster ('beloved' in German) lark is to give 11 random facts about yourself.  So here goes, in my usual rambling stream-of-consciousness style:

1. I am really shy and not at all good at conflict, even of the mildest sort.

2.  I recently had my hair cut short and dyed it purple.

3. I can't decide if this makes me look awesome, or ridiculous.

4. The biggest source of clutter in my life are my email inboxes.  They're always overflowing with crap.

5. This is because if there's something I don't want or know how to deal with - say someone's offered to do a guest post over on the travel blog I run, but I'm not sure if they're legit or just a text-spinning link-whore - I just ignore it.

6. I feel really, really guilty about that.  But sometimes I'm just not up to correspondence.

7.  I don't know if that's laziness, cowardice, or something to do with the social or executive function issues that come with Aspergers.

8.  If I knew it was an Aspie thing, I'd stop feeling guilty about it, or at least try to, because I'd know it wasn't just laziness or cowardice.  This is a line I really struggle with, that grey space between beating yourself up for stuff you genuinely can't do, and using an excuse to get out of stuff you could if you just knuckled down.  I don't know where that line is.

9.  I suspect, however, that it's much further over to the 'you genuinely can't do this' side than I realise.  I've been living alone and working full time and generally trying to be normal for a good 12 years now, and I. Am.  Exhausted.

10. So I'm coming to the realisation I can either go on as I have been and become more and more exhausted and bewildered until I crash, or I can redraw that line and give myself a chance to recover.

11. Sometimes I dream of running away and becoming a burlesque performer.

Now it's time to answer 11 questions from the person who tagged you - Musings of an Aspie, in my case:

What book are you currently reading?
I'm still in the midst of a collection of Byron I started two years ago and keep forgetting about even though I genuinely like reading it.  I recently gave up on How to be Idle because it started well but then my interest just slid.  I'm about to track myself down some PG Wodehouse, because I've recently fallen in love with Jeeves and Wooster through my Stephen Fry fangirlings.

What hobby or interest would people who don’t know you well be surprised to learn you have? 
If you only know me through this blog, you might be surprised to learn I'm a witch, pagan, and read tea leaves and tarot cards.

Coffee, tea or something else?
Always tea.  I love tea.

If you could have a superpower, what would it be? 
I used to wish for invisibility, but have come to realise that was less about being able to sneak around and more about being so socially anxious I wished people couldn't see me.  So while that power might be handy, it isn't a healty one for me.

Then I realised a superpower could be anything, so I got out of the old comic heroes mindset and thought about what would be the most useful in today's world.  I'd like amazing, uncanny, superhuman... social skills.

What’s your go-to activity for entertaining out-of-town guests?
Dinner out, if they're in town overnight.  A trip somewhere like a park or nature reserve type place otherwise.  In the town where I'm living at the moment there's a delightful and very old park that has a little craft and cakes store in it, so I take everyone there.

And by 'everyone', I mean my Mum.  Who else would there be?

If you could have any sort of animal for a pet, what would it be? (assume anything is possible, like if you want a pet giraffe, your neighbors won’t mind a bit) 
Not a pet but a companion/acquaintance type thing, but if I lived near the ocean I think being able to hang out with dolphins would be a blast.

Do you have any phobias? 
Social phobia.  Also heights.

When did you start writing? 
This blog?  Three years ago or thereabouts.

In general?  I've never not written. I was reading and writing before I started school.  The first thing I ever wrote was "Swan Hotel", on a deposit slip in a bank where my mother was doing some business when I was still getting about in a pram.  I copied it off the sign on the building over the road.  I vaguely recall it being hailed as a sign of my genius.

Which Halloween candy did you eat first and which did you always give/throw away? 
Halloween's becoming a thing in Australia now, but it wasn't at all when I was a kid.  I was aware of its existence from American TV shows, but certainly no trick-or-treating was ever undertaken.  But in general, when faced with a bag of mixed lollies I'll eat the nicest ones first and save the blah ones til last.

How far away from your place of birth do you currently live?
1,322km, according to Google Maps.  It feels further.

If someone is only going to read one thing on your blog, what would you like it to be?
I think you could do worse than to begin at the beginning, with the post (originally a Facebook note) that kicked the whole thing off: The First Letter.

The most popular post on this blog, by a very, very wide margin, is Is autism the next step in human evolution?  This is vaguely annoying because I personally don't consider it one of my better posts - there are much better ones that haven't had a tenth of the views.  Also the answer is basically 'no'.

Next, I have to set some questions for the next round of taggees:

1. Who are you?  (In as great or little detail as you feel like sharing)
2. What's the story behind this blog?
3. Right- or left-handed, or something else?
4. Does evil exist?
5. Do the ends justify the means?
6. If we use our brains to understand the world around us, but we don't understand how our brains work, do we understand anything?
7. Loud socks or plain?
8. Do you think Lady Macbeth's reference to the "milk of human kindness" means human kindness, or humankind-ness?  Or something else?
9. Justice or fairness?
10. What's a key point in your life, where had you made a different decision things would be very different for you?  What would you and your life be like today if you'd chosen differently?
11. Now, bearing in mind all those anwers.... who are you?

The last step in this Liebster business is to tag 11 more up and coming blogs.  However, I don't know 11 bloggers - I'm not sure I even know 11 people outside of my immediate family and work colleages - so here's the deal.

Get thee hence to the comment section, and tag yourself.  Whoever you are, whatever sort of blog you have,  all decent folk are welcome here.  So if you'd like to be tagged in this blog-hop, but maybe you're just as shy and poorly connected as I am and don't know anyone to tag you, here's your chance to tag yourself.  Just leave a comment with a link to your blog in it, so we can all follow up on your answers.

No, seriously.  Don't be shy.  I'm really worried nobody at all will respond to this, and I'll look like a complete stalk.  And probably run away and cry.