Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Ooh, Pretties

Yes, today is award day. And why is that? Because the QUERY QUEUE IS EMPTY!

Ahem. Because lexcade at Going From Nobody to Somebody thought of THIS SITE to pass the Versatile Blogger Award to. Isn't is pretty and shiny and precioussssss? Thank you, lexcade!

The award comes with the obligation to tell the blogging world 7 random facts about me. And I've spiced my list with a never-before-revealed secret...

1. I have an MA in English, with a concentration in Medieval studies. My BA is in English, but I started out in pre-med, so it took me awhile to get it. I also minored in history, biology and Greek (koine and classical - the equivalent of Old and Middle English - modern Greek is still Greek to me).

I probably wouldn't have passed my test to get my MA on my first attempt (most folk needed 2 or 3 tries) if luck hadn't been with me. We were given a choice of three topics and had to write an essay on one of them. The first essay question had something to do with American post-modern something or another and the second question about Victorian mores and their influence on the western world. I was about ready to slink off to another university to try again when I saw the third question was asking me to compare/contrast the life and times and literature of Beowulf and King Arthur. Hallelujah! I'd studied this stuff for fun. But how could I possibly cram everything I knew on the topic into just 4 hours?

I was also asked to scale back the first choice for my thesis. I wanted to do an annotated novelization of The Niebenlungenlied (Wagner's Ring Cycle opera was based on it), but was assured that was more fitting for a Ph.D. project. My advisory board settled for me writing a handful of short stories instead. Seriously? I was doing that anyway. So really, I earned an MA in Hobbies.

2. I'm a vegetarian, but not one of those healthy-eating kind. I prefer starch. I keep lots of fresh fruit and veggies on hand for the beasties, so it's not like the choices aren't available. I just don't find them very appealing (a-peeling?).

3. I once flew gliders. When I was 14/15 years old, I worked weekends for a mom-and-pop glider-rental, tow-plane-services company. I got paid in flight lessons (both glider and powered) and flight time. I flew a glider solo long before it was legal for me to drive a car by myself. Now I press the right foot pedal to go right, correct?

4. I'm a breast cancer survivor. Seven weeks of radiation 10 years ago. What an annoyance. Even more annoying is that I used to work with ancient x-ray machines when I was a vet tech, holding down animals using inadequate protection (and sometimes no protection) from the rads. So the same radiation used to treat the disease may have caused it in the first place. Ain't life funny.

5. 20-ish years ago, I was often asked to be a panelist at SF/F cons in Texas (I was using my real name back then). I made the rounds for about 5 years, and it was a blast. AggieCon would comp a room, though I had to share it with some big-name authors over the years (yes, I know, the sacrifice). I even got paid once for an appearance at my alma mater, UNT, where I was headlined with Roger Zelazny. What were those people thinking?

6. I used to be active in the Society for Creative Anachronism. I participated in fight demonstrations (heavy weapons and swashbuckling) at the first Scarborough Faire in North Texas. I used to dream of owning land where I could invite folk to come for a weekend tourney. Now I have the land, but I'm no longer involved in the SCA. Timing is so critical.

7. I'm a genius. No, really. I have the papers and everything. I was once offered the Marketing Director job for Mensa, an organization to which I don't and have never belonged. Because, really, other than snobbing around with other geeks and laughing at geeky humor and playing Scrabble with high-vocabulary opponents, why? I mean, I got the whole Mensa spiel when I got the HQ tour and I did my research, but I never did "get" it. Seemed like a glorified camp where folk sit around comparing SAT scores and having pissing contests over who's better, smarter, faster. Guess it's a good thing I turned the job down. In any case, this is my coming out on this subject, as it's not something I've mentioned to even my closest friends. Notables with IQs within a couple of points of mine (161, if you must know) include:
  • Einstein
  • Darwin
  • John Locke
  • Copernicus
  • Stephen Hawking
  • Kant
  • Descartes
Ultimately, as with most things, it's not having the potential that counts; it's what you do with it.

So now it is my privilege to pass the award and the baton (as well as the meme obligation - ha! thought you'd get out that, did you?) to:

Wilkins MacQueen

Go visit them and learn their secrets, too!

But send queries first :o)


Wilkins MacQueen said...

Loved the secrets. Screwing up my courage, I put mine on my blog. So many things came to mind. Interesting looking back over the twists and turns.

Simon John Cox said...

I love the idea of a Society for Creative Anachronism. Makes me think of King Arthur driving a tank.

I also enjoy the fact that simply putting an "e" on the end of a word automatically makes it Old English.

Jo-Ann said...

Wow, Phoenix, you've had a very intersting life. Why'd you give up the creative anachronism? Sounds like fun.

Since you kindly nominated me, I've done as I was told.

I've now posted some of my secrets, but how many can you actually believe...?

Wilkins MacQueen said...

Tried to comments on your blog. I don't think they got on. Likely the Thai thing although I have English set and so on. The message I got was all in Thai. The language ability is less than I even thought.

I'll comment here. Daughter's name Olivia I guess. And you are not stupid. Spatial challenge goes with failing the drivers test. Do I get a prize? Huh?

This is fun!

Chelsea P. said...

"I'm a vegetarian, but not one of those healthy-eating kind."

Ha! You and me both, though I'm a lot better than I used to be. Can't count the times my dad has said, "Um . . . aren't vegetarians supposed to eat VEGETABLES?"

This was great. Thanks for sharing :)

lexcade said...

O_O nice to know that a certified genius has critiqued my work. quite an interesting list, Phoenix! (also, you're welcome!)

Phoenix Sullivan said...

@Mac: Heading over to learn your secrets now. Love your new avatar!

@Simon: Great, now you've got me thinking of Judas being chased by tanks and fighter planes in the film version of JC Superstar. And, yes, all hail the mighty "e" ;o)

@Jo: Life kind of intervened those many years ago. The SCA and writing went by the wayside. And now, getting away for the weekend is a bit too hard to do frequently enough to make playing in the SCA worth it. So I'll write more historical fiction/fantasy around the time period instead!

@Chelsea: We need to come up with another word for us. Help me think...

@lexcade: Yeah, thanks. I'll find a way to get "repay" you. You and your little dog too. (BTW, when DO you get your puppy???)

AA said...

"I'm a vegetarian, but not one of those healthy-eating kind."

I LOL'd. Thanks. Me, I'm not a vegetarian, but I love my veggies. Even the ones people hate, like spinach and arugula.

Landra said...

I feel honored and humbled to be included in the pass it on list. Interesting facts as well. A few of those I never would have guessed. Genius, on the other hand, I had you pegged for one of those ages ago.

It took me 24 hours to wander over here because I caught a sinus cold and when to sleep for over 12 hours yesterday! The most sleep I've got in weeks. Ha!

Whirlochre said...

Anyone who has flown around in a glider is good in my book — even though you were good in my book anyway (even though you're not actually in my book [though maybe next time you can feature as an iguana]).

fairyhedgehog said...

I was just enjoying reading all your secrets when I found you'd implicated me! Sorry, I mean you'd passed the award on to me - thank you! I'm torn between hugely flattered and slightly at a loss. I stopped doing memes a while back because I'd already told people all the things about me that I thought might be interesting.

I'm not at all surprised that you're a genius - we all could have told you that!

I always think that the Society for Creative Anachronism should be a club for time travellers.

I'm full of envy for the glider flying.

As writing and me are on a break, I'm really enjoying reading your non-query posts!

Sylvia said...

This is fascinating! We need more random facts, please!