A Liebster Award from Rachel across the pond

Another spring season to savor. It’s time for the greening our our world. Soon in Syracuse, I say to myself on this Saturday morning. Soon.

I know somebody who’s been smelling the flowers already, and I shall not be jealous on this March 21 morn.

Rachel of London, Lundygirl for short in WordPress lingo, was one of the very first friends I made when I signed on for this blogging experience some 25 months ago. I wrote a short review of the latest Anne Tyler novel. She adores the work of Anne Tyler. A connection was made. A friendship bloomed like the flowers already in her new garden, and the allotment nearby, too.

I read and enjoy the words and photographs Rachel shares from her world. Therefore, I know that an allotment is a plot of land a Londoner can acquire among a similar group of land-seekers, a rectangle among many similar of which each winning bidder can than use any way they choose. Sort of like the public garden spaces over this side of the pond.

Here’s the link to Rachel’s blog Could Do Worse.

Last week, her post was all about receiving the Liebster Award. And one of her nominations was my blog that originates right her from my work/recliner in the living room of the Little Bitty I share with my dear wife Karen in the Syracuse city neighborhood of Eastwood.

Liebster Award

This is the third award nomination and acceptance for me in 2015, after a full year taken off from the process. From Rachel? In London? Here we go.

Liebster Rules

Here are my answers to Rachel’s questions, keeping her British spelling because that is hospitable of me:

1. What is your favourite film? “Amost Famous,” the movie that sets a teen in the 1970s as a rock ‘n’ roll writer on the road for Rolling Stone magazine. It’s fun and funny and touches quite close to my heart.

2. What is your signature dish? Whatever my dear wife Karen has whipped up for the evening. Wait, to cook myself, that would be fresh kielbasa with potato-and-cheese pierogi, sauerkraut and baked beans.

3. Favourite novel? “The Gold Coast” by Long Island author Nelson DeMille. Today. That can and does rotate.

4. If you could bring any fictional character to life who would it be? No thanks. Inside your head is where they’re supposed to live.

5. Where would you like to live? Hawaii.

6. What’s the scariest thing you’ve done? Get my 1969 Chevy Nova up to 110 mph on the hills of Route 20 oncewhen I was a dumb college kid.

7. What is your favourite flower? Roses.

8. How many books do you own? A hundred? I’m a public library guy, and have been my whole life.

9. What’s your all time favourite TV series? “The Sopranos.” Now my fave is “The Good Wife.”

10. If you could be a lead singer in a group which group would it be? Our imaginary Southern Rock band in our apartment at the University of Maryland was called Cattle Crossing. I played the air drums.

11. What’s your theme tune? My go-to karaoke song is “Mack the Knife.”

Now, 11 random facts about me:

1. I started kindergarten when I was 4 years old.

2. I am 8 and 10 years older than my two sisters.

3. My favorite other language is Spanish.

4. I can speak and read Spanish un poco.

5. My dear wife Karen and I both would like to take adult conversational Spanish lessons.

6. I really do have a novel inside my head. It’s in English.

7. The title of the novel inside my head is “Flippin’ Internet.”

8. The protagonist in “Flippin’ Internet” is a guy my age who has lived a life very much like mine.

9. I like to eat lobster and shrimp and tuna fish from a can, but nothing else from the sea.

10. If you put green olives in my salad, you are my friend.

11. I like my confrontations rare, my steak medium and my friendships well done.

Here are my nominations for The Liebster Award. I will not repeat anybody I’ve nominated for an award already. If you are a no-award blog, I hope you are not insulted by my nomination and accept the spirit of my appreciation of your work.


Y is a wonderful photographer and writer, and is becoming a good friend. She comes from the Buffalo area but has since moved west with her big family.


The Bumble Files is funny and smart because Amy Reese knows how to make it so. She’s on a short sabbatical because her dad recently passed away. We all wish you well and send you our best wishes, my friend.


Rachel’s Whims is a hoot. I just discovered her work during the Photo 101 workshop, and my reaction has been: Where Have You Been My Whole Bloggin Life?


Joe B. Lee is a fellow Syracusan and a friend who’s recently partaken in two series: Looking at turning 50 and memoirs about wild adventures that almost ended up in him dying when he was growing up. Great stuff from opposite ends of his mental bookshelf.


From her home in Washington state, sassy gives it to the apartment dwellers who give her grief in her job as manager of a complex there. She also has a good ear for music, and a daughter is going out to play at coffeehouses.


Audrey Dawn takes the picture and then writes the poem to match it. Or I should say that she writes the poem, and then takes the picture to match it. Or both. And they’re beautiful work from my friend in Texas.


Rachel is a great writer and photographer. She’s written a bunch of suspenseful novels and created many interesting graphics and shot beautiful photographs. Someday she will be famous for one or all of the above talents. And she’s the one who’s taken my Gravatar, The Head, around the world.


Jay is my main contact from a trio of Canadian friends who love movies, watch movies, review movies, with a passion. She’s a cool wife and commentor, who bought her basketball-loving hubby to Oklahoma City to see Kevin Durant tangle with LeBron James. Sweet!


Donna Parker, the steering force behind yadadarcyada, is smart and witty and acerbic. How delightful a combination that can be!


The Hook is a concierge at a hotel in Niagara Falls, Canada, who tells it like it is. I want to meet him when my dear wife Karen and I go over the border to visit.


Wendy is unafraid in tackling any issue that irks her in everyday life, and I so often agree with that which bothers her. She disses the offenders in a smooth and pleasing style, too.

Your 11 questions to answer:

1. What’s the first thing you usually read each day?

2. What’s your favorite food?

3. What’s your favorite beverage?

4. Where’s the best place you’ve ever lived?

5. Who’s your best friend, and why?

6. Who’s your worst enemy, and why?

7. You have one day to do anything you’d like. It would be …

8. What’s your favorite movie?

9. What’s your favorite book?

10. What’s your favorite subject to talk about at a party?

11. What’s your favorite subject to walk away from at a party?

Congratulations, take your time, and have fun passing along the honor.

39 thoughts on “A Liebster Award from Rachel across the pond

  1. Pingback: Brace Yourselves…She’s Feeling Chatty | Oldest Daughter & Red Headed Sister

    • Agreed, Rachel. It’s a movie I stop on every time I see it listed on HBO. I pick up new little favorite parts. And the soundtrack is killer. After our newfound comment volley, are you really surprised that we have the same favorite movie?


      • See, I purposefully don’t buy the dvd because I know if I did I’d watch it so much that I might not love it as much as I do now. When it’s on t.v. I gotta watch it. And on my birthday, I rent it. And If I miss that it was on t.v. and I just catch the end of it, I’m mad all day. Wow, I never realized what kind of sick relationship I have with this movie! And of course I’m not surprised. Only the coolest of the cool love Almost Famous. And you, my friend, are cool.


      • We rock, Rachel. 🙂 I saw it the first time when I worked for the big daily and the ad people invited me to the sneak preview to write a column about it. I immediately thought, uh-oh, I love this movie too much for my own good. Walking out of the theater I heard some people saying, ah, this wasn’t that good, and I wanted to shout, WHAT, ARE YOU NUTS?! But that would not have been cool. And I gave it a good review from the music critic’s perspective, and all was well.


  2. First, thank you! ! I’ve already embarrassed myself on my blog over your nod in my direction….no need to go on again.


    I love your answer to #1. Everything I enjoy about you is in that simple movie answer.

    #3…one of my all time favorite books, as well! Fancy that, Chum! Gold Coast was a thrill to read.

    Nova, public library guy, anything his wife cooks…you’re the cream of the crop for ladies from Nebraska Chum. Da best!


  3. Well, thank you, Mark! ❤ And how cool that you know so many Rachels! 😉 And I love your answers! I want to read "Flippin' Internet" as soon as you write it. And your number 11 is so sweet! 😀


  4. Pingback: Liebster Award | Assholes Watching Movies

  5. Mark, I nearly had to stop reading at potato-and-cheese pierogis – now I have a major craving but the snow is falling heavily and I’m not sure I’m up for a drive to the grocery store. Naughty you!
    Thank you for introducing us to interesting and varied bloggers, and for including me in the list.


    • You’re welcome, Jay. Yes, potato-and-cheese pierogis are the bomb. I want some soon. I’m glad to introduce you to my blogging friends, and they to you, Jay. You are an interesting blogger. Congratulations on your nomination here, my friend.


  6. Hello Mark, how are you? “ISpontein”, if you can remember.. 😀

    You used to go through some of my posts when I was experimenting with different ideas, like short status like posts or a single photo etc. Thanks for that. 🙂


  7. This is truly a well deserved nomination and lovely set of facts I never knew about you, Mark! Wow! I loved the list of your fellow bloggers, recognize some of them and shall come back tomorrow to explore them more. I have an adventure, seeking a new sofa for my little apt. with my oldest daughter, both of us using Red Lobster gift cards from my youngest brother, Rich. We will be out in the sunny Central Ohio weather, in and out, trying to find the best bargain for my ‘bucks.’ Mark, hope you had a great week and an even better, fantastic weekend. Have to play catch up tomorrow, sorry to say… smiles!


  8. Congrats on your award, Mark, this site should be flooded with them until you’re having trouble walking because they’re squishing around your legs, sorry, what were we talking about? Oh yes, your award, congrats!
    I’m not only honoured to be nominated, I loooove that description of me/my blog (I cut and pasted it to keep it), Mark, you are a master.
    Going to share this so everyone can find you and these other amazing bloggers!!! 🙂
    Thank you again and hope this day is good to you! 🙂


  9. Great post, Mark … And I’m glad I found Rachel’s blog via yours. I can’t say I pictured you as an air drummer … Cattle Crossing???


  10. Hi Mark, congrats on your award! I enjoyed reading the entire post. Yum… never tried olives in tuna, but I love olives (all kinds) and that sounds pretty delicious to me. Congrats to your nominees, too.


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