About a week ago, my blogging friend YvoCaro, proprietress of A Lady in Gaming, let me know via Twitter that she had nominated me for something called a "Liebster Award."
Apparently, "liebster" is German for "loveliest" and is a tag commonly used by that country's bloggers to highlight works they find especially appealing.
Anyway, according to YvoCaro, those who are nominated for a "Liebster Award" have to answer 11 questions and also share 11 interesting facts about themselves. Oh, and at the end of it all they have to nominate a few others to do the same.
I've always been an agreeable chap, so here are my responses to the 11 questions YvoCaro came up with for me, followed by 11 supposedly interesting facts about myself.
1. Can you tell something typical about the country you live in?
I'm going to take a few liberties with my answer for this one, if you don't mind, as I live in the US and I doubt I could share anything "typical" about my country that isn't already known by everybody and their brother.
So, I'll say something typical about the city in which I currently live: Seattle. (Which is in the state of Washington, on the northwest coast.) Anyway, something that's typical of Seattle is that it rains a lot, as you've likely heard. In fact, it rains on and off for about eight or nine months of the year.
That said, it rarely rains hard--it's usually just drizzle, or really light rain--and it doesn't rain every day. Instead, it'll rain (drizzle) for a couple of hours one day, be dry the next, drizzle a bit more the next day and then be dry for the next two or three days.
This probably surprises some of you, as Seattle's always had this reputation for being wet all the time. I can tell you it's not. That said, the fact that it's likely to drizzle on and off over the course of nine or so months each year can get on the nerves of us Seattlites, especially as summer approaches--which never really begins here until July 4.
Once summer finally kicks in, though, we get three solid months of sun and warm temperatures--and pretty much no rain at all. Seriously, it pretty much doesn't rain here from the beginning of July through sometime in October, which is another thing that's sure to surprise some of you, too.
2. Why did you take up blogging?
Although I had some friends who enjoyed playing video games when I was younger, as an adult I've rarely had friends (or even acquaintances) who had any interest in them. That's meant, of course, that I haven't had many opportunities since college to "talk games" with living, breathing humans.
So, in 2007 I started this blog in the hopes that it would be a place where I could "geek out" about all of the systems and games that cause my heart to race, bring a smile to my face and all that jazz.
At the time, I never thought anyone would follow me, or comment on one of my posts or anything like that. I just wanted to share my feelings and thoughts and obsessions with that void known as the Internet. As a result, it's been really cool to connect with so many people not only here, but on Facebook and Twitter and Tumblr and elsewhere over the last few years.
3. Do you set yourself a goal of number of blogs per week or month?
Oh, yes. I used to try to push as many as I could in a week--which sometimes resulted in more than 10 being published within a seven-day period. That wasn't all that sustainable, though, so a couple of years ago I scaled back to about five per week.
Now that I'm no longer freelancing full time, even five posts per week isn't always possible. I still try to publish at least three each week, though, and usually succeed in meeting my goal of publishing four or five.
4. Where do you get your inspiration to write?
I write about games and systems that interest me. Period. If I'm not interested in a system or a game, I don't write about it, even if I think it'll attract more attention to my blog.
This is why you'll sometimes see me temporarily focus on one system or company at the expense of others. Like anyone, I have periods where I'm obsessed with, say, the DS or the PSP or the PC Engine, and for a number of weeks or even months that's all I want to talk about in my posts.
Eventually, though, my interest wanes and I move on to something else. So, if you ever find yourself getting bored with my obsession of the moment, rest assured another game or system will steal my attention sooner rather than later.
5. Do you own more then one gaming device, and which ones?
Oh, boy, do I. Off the top of my head, here's are the systems I current own (in alphabetical order, naturally): 3DS, DS, Dreamcast, GameBoy, GameBoy Advance SP, GameBoy Micro, GameBoy Pocket, Game Gear, Genesis, Nintendo 64, PS2, PSone, PSP, SNES, Twin Famicom, Vita.
I have three 3DSes at the moment, by the way, and two DSes. I also have two of the original GameBoys (although the screen of one of them is in awful condition), two PSones (one North American, one Japanese--and both have monitors) and two PSPs.
6. What are your favorite kind of games?
When I was younger, I loved RPGs and platformers above all else. Now, my favorite games are puzzlers and RPGs, although I rarely have the time (or attention span) needed to finish games in the latter category these days.
I still like a good platformer, though, and I also really like "life sims" (à la Animal Crossing) and roguelikes.
7. What are your three favorite movies?
Oh, this is an interesting one! Also, don't hate on me too much if you think my answers are stupid or silly, OK? Anyway, I'd say the three movies I most enjoy watching are Aliens, Groundhog Day and Working Girl. If I were allowed to add a fourth and fifth, they would be the original Alien and The Evil Dead.
8. What is your go-to music when you feel sad?
Actually, I don't tend to listen to music when I'm sad. If I did, though, I'd probably turn to Sinead O'Connor. I used to be obsessed with her, and a number of her older albums provoke strong emotional responses from me. I love that so many of her songs are about love and loss and being treated like shit and then picking yourself up, dusting yourself off and moving on with your life.
9. Does your work or study match your blogging topics?
Not at all. As a writer, I've rarely gotten to write about video games. Actually, I had a few gigs early on that allowed me to write about them, but they've since ended. Oh, well.
Instead, most of what I write professionally is aimed at people in business world--executives and the like. Specifically, I've written a lot of articles for sites and magazines maintained and published by non-profit (or not-for-profit) associations.
That probably sounds boring, but I really enjoy it. I get to interview a lot of people who are passionate about what they do and in the meantime I get to educate myself about all sorts of topics I'd never know about otherwise.
10. If you have a partner, is he or she into gaming?
No. There was a brief period of time when my husband (David) was really into the first Brain Age title for DS and some of the mini-games in Wii Fit and Wii Fit Plus, but he's since lost interest in both.
Which is OK with me, honestly. I mean, it would be nice to play Mario Kart with someone now and then, but I also don't mind this being a "hobby" that only interests me.
11. What kind of pet do you have?
A calico kitty named Pajamas. She's a much-loved member of our family, no doubt. She's needy, but in a sweet rather than an annoying way, and she loves to play fetch and sit in our laps and purr for hours on end.
YvoCaro said I have to wrap things up with 11 interesting facts about myself, so here goes on that front:
1. I'm not a vegetarian (OK, so I was for a couple of years, but that was a long time ago), but I honestly and truly love tofu. I don't understand why most other people turn their noses up at it.
2. I love doing pull-ups. I started doing them right after I graduated from college, and as soon as I could do one without assistance, I was hooked. Needless to say (I guess?), these days I can do a whole lot more than one.
3. I'm a huge fan of the sport of tennis. I like playing it and I like watching it on TV (or, rather, on my laptop, thanks to various streaming services and sites). It all started when I was a kid and my parents would watch Wimbledon while we vacationed at a relative's cottage in Minnesota. Around the same time, my dad took me to the courts and taught me how to play. He was a jock (the good sort, not the annoying sort) in high school and college, so he was a great "coach." In high school, I played varsity for the last three years and even held the top spot as a senior. Today, I regularly play with my husband, who I introduced to the game almost 10 years ago.
4. I have a real sweet tooth. Seriously, I doubt you can name a type of candy that I don't like. Well, except for red licorice, which I consider to be akin to solidified vomit.
5. I used to be deathly afraid (or nearly so) of dentists. My dad has always hated going to see the doctor or the dentist (like his mother before him), and that influenced me, I think. Plus, the dentist my parents took me to when I was a kid was horrible. He looked like something out of a horror movie, and he was mean. So, until a few years ago, whenever I would go to the dentist, I would clutch the armrests like my life depended on them. Thankfully, the dentist we now go to here in Seattle is wonderful, and I no longer fear my bi-annual trips (every six months, not every other year) to see her.
6. Pajamas is the first "real" pet I've ever had. As a kid, my parents didn't allow me to have pets--dogs and cats, especially. Unless you count the odd goldfish, I mean. As a result, I was obsessed with animals when I was younger, and I regularly tried to convince them to get me a rabbit or a ferret--you know, because they weren't cats or dogs. Anyway, they never budged.
7. I have an irrational fear of both spiders as well as any insect that flies and stings. That said, my fear of the former has softened a bit since we moved to Seattle, as the spiders here are huge and you really have no choice but to accept their existence--to a point.
8. One of my gaming dreams is to one day own a Ms. Pac-Man arcade cabinet. Actually, I'd prefer to own a Bubble Bobble arcade cabinet, but I think that's pretty unlikely to come to fruition, so I'll set my sights on Ms. Pac-Man instead.
9. I absolutely loathed coffee until a few years ago. I've never liked hot liquids, period, but I especially hated coffee because it was bitter. Then, I had some iced coffee on whim and rather liked it. Fast forward to today and I'm downing about three cups of hot coffee every day. In fact, the first thing I think about every morning is getting some coffee as soon as possible.
10. David and I are determined to go to three specific foreign locales in the next five or so years: Australia, Europe (France, Italy and Spain, in particular) and Japan, not necessarily in that order. I've wanted to go to Japan since I first read an article (this one, in fact) about people lining up for one of the Dragon Quest Famicom games in the pages of Nintendo Power as a kid.
11. I've twice pondered going back to school in order to change careers. My first thought was to get a degree in graphic design, as I've always had an artistic nature, and my second thought was to do something in the nursing realm. The fact is, though, I can't imagine becoming a full-time student again at this point in my life, so for the time being I'll keep editing and writing.
As for the bloggers I'd like to nominate for Liebster Awards, I'm going to go with Anne of Chic Pixel, Brian of the Japanese 3DS tumblog, Jess of Kiblitzing and my longtime friend, Justin--on either of your blogs, if you're willing.
Rather than reinvent the wheel, I'm just going to ask these three to answer the same 11 questions I answered here--if they're up for it, of course.