Liebster Awards

5.  If you had to rename your blog, what would you call it?
I'm not entirely sure.  That would imply I'm not happy with it's current name, or I'm competing to have a better name as a web address.  I actually like Life In Austin and it suits the random nature of the site.  It's about someone living in Austin, their thoughts, reactions, announcements, and interactions with the surrounding city.
Strength 9, Intelligence 8, Wisdom 6, Dexterity 11, Constitution 9, Charisma 12.
I think I would end up being a Wizard.  I like playing fighting dwarf tanks so I can just kick open doors and spring traps that the rest of my party fights off.  But I also like the idea of hanging back and throwing giant blue fireballs at things.

So, I'm not sure what to make of this.  Life In Austin was nominated by an online collaborator/friend who I know from doing writing and art and editing duties for a web comic (anyone remember ASJ41?)  Anyway, he was very cool in nominating my blog for this award, which is apparently a kind of pay-it-forward type of thing where bloggers recognize their contemporaries.  I like the idea but I'm just not sure still why he thought mine was a good fit.

This is the humility folks.

I think there's a whole process to being nominated, including recommending other blogs that you read.  Sadly I don't read as many blogs as I used to.  If hard pressed I don't think I could come up with 10.  Most of what I read any more are just feeds from random friends and strangers.  Tumblr is a child with a camera and no ADD meds, Reddit is more about snark than substance and Facebook is kind of a circlejerk, but in the nicest way possible.  (Love you guys.)

So I'll answer the questions and I'll let my nominator Dan let me know if I've done right or if I've mangled this responsibility.


Turns out I have mangled it, so I'll see if I can rectify that with an edit.

Ten Things About me:

I'll try to make this interesting.  Lists are kind of boring if you don't have some exposition.  I feel like I'm filling out a dating profile.

I. I can sing The Nations of the World from Animaniacs.  The problem is, that song came out in the early 90's so there are some countries that don't exist any more.

II. I had a drawing win a cartoon contest in the New Yorker.

III. I eat salted peanuts shell and all.  It started when I was a kid going to Air Force football games.  My dad would bring a bag of peanuts.  I would put them in my mouth to suck the salt off, but then I didn't want to shuck the wet shells so I just chewed up the whole thing.

IV. I have a scar on my chin from where I had surgery to fix a broken jaw.

V. I throw a lot of movie lines into everyday conversation.  1/3 of people don't know, 1/3 pick up on them, and 1/3 are probably annoyed I do it.

VI. I was in a commercial when I was 12.  I won a contest for a local Fox station in Denver and I got to claim my prize on air.

VII. When I finally stopped going to college in Denver, I had roughly 120 credit hours, more than enough to graduate, but I'd shifted majors too much.  Luckily most could transfer and I'm very close to finishing.  Just have to do it.

VIII. I own a lot of Lego but right now I'm sadly doing very little with it.

IX. The closest I've ever been to a celebrity is when Lou Ferrigno ignored me in an elevator.

X. I live in "The Live Music Capital of the World" and I hate large music festivals.

Now answering Dan's 10 questions.

1.  What is your blog about, and why did you start it?

My blog was originally just a way for my out of state parents to keep up with the day to day events of their oldest child and their grandkids.  I was chronicling my life and that of my family and any other thoughts I had about life, the universe, and everything.  I have used it to write reviews of toys, movies, books, TV shows.  I've used it as a political platform discussing whatever cause du jour happened to be tickling my fancy.  And I've used it to hock my freelance art.  In recent years it's use has dropped off because of Twitter or Facebook, but I will still occasionally  feel the urge to express myself in a greater number of characters than is allowable in a single text message.

2.  Did you serve in the military?  Why or why not?

I did not serve in any branch of the military.  Although 3 of my closest friends from high school immediately went either into the service or to the academies for those branches.  I didn't feel it was a good match for me, although I did have hopes of one day being a fighter pilot.  In the end, I decided that spending my college years skillfully navigating the registration and majoring process, exceeding the number of credit hours needed, and then not actually graduating.

3.  Are you an athlete?  What’s your favorite sport?

I am not an athlete.  I played soccer from about 9 till I broke my jaw as a junior in high school.  I also progressed very far into tae kwon do and ended up one belt shy of black.  I've dabbled at other sports and like playing basketball the most.  I would however say I'm a fairly naturally athletic person, in that I have a good sense of balance, coordination, and can pick up new sports pretty quickly.  I played roller hockey for a while and love ice skating.  The older I get the more it's just about staying active so my sport of choice now is running.

4.  Name three authors that other people should spend more time reading.

I've always felt that books are the most private and introspective media a person enjoys.  You can't really share a book while you read it, like you would a TV show, or music, or a movie.  Reading is a solitary event that can span several weeks (or months if you're an avid but slow reader like I am.)  So it's hard to say who anyone should read because the experiences are truly solitary.

That said, I suppose I'd be remiss in not telling people that you should read Clive Barker.  Not horror Cliver Barker, but fantasy Clive Barker.  Imajica is one of the most unique books I've ever read and deserves at least a chance by everyone.

If I had to rename it, maybe Life As A Robot.

6.  When you read comics, do you pay more attention to the writing or the art?
Both, but to be fair, I got into comics because of the art.  I'm an artist, not a writer, at heart.  I love the 90's style of Jim Lee and Whilce Portacio and Larry Stroman and Joe Quesada.  I pay attention to it because I try to pick up tricks on how to improve my art.

Writing to me is a bit of a grey area.  I like to read and I like writing, but I'm not very skilled at recognizing the structure of stories.  I don't see when there are plot holes.  I'm bad at figuring out mysteries.  Most times when watching cop or law shows, I have to wait for musical cues for important events to know what's going on.

7.  Marvel has had a string of hit movies, but DC has fallen behind.  Besides Superman, Batman, and/or Wonder Woman, what DC superhero would you like to see in a movie?
I'm not as big of a comic geek as most of the people I know online.  So my choice of The Flash will probably seem pretty pedestrian.

8.  The game Dungeons and Dragons uses a set statistical block to describe Player-Character abilities on a scale of 3-18:
 -- Strength
 -- Intelligence
 -- Wisdom
 -- Dexterity
 -- Constitution
 -- Charisma
Using the attributes above, how would you rate yourself on a scale of 3-18, with 3 being incredibly feeble and 18 being amongst the best in the world.  If you were a D&D Character, would you be a Fighter, Rogue, Wizard, or Cleric?
Super in depth question for what will likely be a really small, sad answer.  Assuming the scale was applying to humans and not magically empowered humans.

9.  The secret of your success is…?
It wouldn't be a secret if I told you.

10.  If you’re still in school, then what do you want to be when you grow up?  If you’re grown and working, what are you doing now?  How does that compare to what you thought you’d be doing back when you were a kid?

I'm not doing what I thought I'd be doing when I was young.  I'm not a fighter pilot, or world class soccer player, or even a comic book artist.  I work in IT during the day and I putz around with art and Lego at night.  Even in college I thought I might have a promising musical theater career, but when I started hearing about how awful it was for my friends who moved to NY, I stopped going to school and got a job with the city.

Stay in school, kids.

Now Nominating 10 "blogs."

I don't actually follow many blogs.  I subscribe to some YouTube channels and kind of follow some Tumblr feeds, Facebook pages, and webcomics.  I don't know how I'll be able to sort this out.

Polished Pear - Amanda is a friend of mine and this is her editing and coaching site.  She writes on her own as well.  More than the basic editing skills, she works with authors to help find their voice and bring out not only their ideas but an obvious sense of passion that made them want to write in the first place.

Validation - A webcomic about a transgender girl and her everyday life.  I started following because I was impressed with the idea.  I know a couple of transgender folks and it's good to see some representation.

Hobotopia - Adam Koford is a wonderfully talented cartoonist.  While we haven't technically worked together, we did collaborate on a large project a few years ago.

Playing Doctor Podcast - I've been an online friend with one of the hosts at Playing Doctor for a long time.  I've been a guest on their podcast a few times and will be again no doubt.  They take an in depth and thoughtful (and at times irreverent) look at each episode of Doctor Who.

Monster By Mail - Len Peralta probably doesn't need any additional accolades.  He's such a prolific artist that it's only a matter of time before he just explodes into a cloud of confetti and dollar bills.  Although his big thing now is Geek A Week, he's also done comics with some fairly big names in online nerd-dom.

James Hance - Another artist that likely doesn't need a blogging credit, but I just love his style of art.

The rest are kind of the same things everyone else reads or watches.  Mostly random stuff on Tumblr and the typical following of anything Felicia Day or Wil Wheaton puts online.   I know I've left some people off here, Jeremy, Sunday/Mike, Nate, Loston, Shane.  And I've left off my favorite sites like XKCD and Hyperbole and a Half, but I think everyone likes those and I honestly don't have many blogs that read.

For the above sites, I'll ask some questions.

1. What do you find most rewarding when you are doing what you love?
2. What material (book, music, film, etc) has inspired you the most in recent years?
3. Creativity isn't always a lightening bolt, sometimes it's dedication and perseverance.  When the muse doesn't inspire, describe how you get yourself up, how you motivate yourself to be creative.
4. What is the biggest obstacle you've had to overcome recently, and were you able to turn it into an advantage?
5. How are you pursuing your passion now?  Is it a hobby?  Is it professionally?  If you could change it, would you?
6. What would you tell yourself if you could go back 5 or 10 years that might make you think about your creative endeavors differently?  Would you actually want that?
7. A lot of changes in past years have made it easier to be published as a writer or distributed as an artist.  How as being online affected your ability to produce or connect with the people you want?
8. How much of your own life do you put in your work, and is that something you do consciously or only recognize later?
9. If you aren't already doing your dream job or able to spend 100% of your time on your passions, describe what an ideal work day for you would be like.  If you are doing what you love, would you improve anything?
10. Admit something about how you work that you wish you could improve, something perhaps that you know is just a simple force of will task.

1 comment:

Dan Head said...

I don't think you give yourself enough credit, Ben. Also: I have a feeling that the Flash is gonna be the go-to answer on DC movies.