Liebster Awards

I know some of you are wondering about my whirlwind business trip to New York City (which I have mentioned on my other more transient social media outlets which you should hit up in my side bar) with MTV, but Kaitlyn over at Kaitastrophical nominated me for a Liebster Award! Thanks Kaitlyn!

So what is a Liebster? Well, it basically lets people learn a little more about me and then I get to challenge other people to participate with it. So here are the rules:

List 11 facts about yourself, answer the 11 questions asked to you, write your own 11 questions, and nominate 11 other up-and-coming blogs. Also in the post, you should thank whoever nominated you and link back to their blog.

11 Facts About Me

1 . I have a collection of over 25 Peter Pan books spanning about a century in publication dates. I got really into Peter Pan in high school and I just never stopped collecting. My one regret is not being able to see Peter and the Starcatcher on Broadway. But then Broadway is a luxury that I only recently have experienced in its fullest.

2 . I'm really clumsy. There's a certain point, a certain level of basic coordination, below which most humans do not fall-- at least not for this long. Some how I've managed near 20 years at this horrendous level of poor timing, terrible balance, and complete lack of basic athletic ability. And that's not to say there haven't been close calls. There have been many, and most of them were really stupid and embarrassing. I once tripped and fell head first into the pavement in front of my neighbor's house. She was a nurse and freaked out because apparently I had gotten a concussion.

3 . I am afraid of a citrus fruit. I like citrus flavored candies and I drink tons of OJ, but there is one particular fruit that actually scares me. It's called the Buddha's Hand and it just creeps me out.

4 . I'm really, really awkward and my life is a sitcom. Sometimes, like when it comes to my work, I'm one of the most capable people I know, and when it comes to big, life-defining moments, I have been exceptionally fortunate. But on the daily, I'm a mess of awkward social interactions, stupid unfortunate incidents, and poor timing. For example, when I was a kid, I used to choke all the time on those fried mozzarella sticks they serve you as appetizers. I really liked them as a kid, but I eventually had to give up on them completely because I really did just keep on choking on gooey strings of partially cooled cheese that hardened halfway down my throat. This is the life I lead.

5 . I am a huge fan of Newsies. If you didn't already know, I love love love that show, its cast, and its message. I love sending the cast stuff and I have a special bond with LaVon Fisher-Wilson who plays Medda. She's my sassy Broadway auntie!

6 . I don't really eat fruit. You know how most kids hate veggies? I grew up the opposite. I was down for veggies and mushrooms-- mushrooms were my favorite. But fruits tasted really alien to me. Mostly I eat avocados and drink orange juice now. I have a lot of idiosyncrasies like that.

7 . I am an award-winning amateur playwright. I wrote a couple plays in high school that got some recognition in the DC Area. I was a winner and an honorable mention for the Arena Stage 10-Minute Student Playwrighting competition and was nominated for the Theater of the First Amendment's student playwrighting award.

8 . I need all the lights on when cleaning my room or when eating a meal unless I'm in a restaurant. I don't know why. It makes me really antsy for some reason. I have an anxiety disorder so certain things just make me uncomfortable to an unusual extent.

9 . I like to write in purple, magenta, or green ink. It's really relaxing. I also like writing on bananas with ballpoint pens. It's just so therapeutic.

10 . I don't drink. I mean, I can't legally drink anyway since I'm just turning 20 this week, but I really have no desire to drink and I didn't do that freshman thing where drinking becomes the thing you do because you can. It just doesn't have the appeal of say staying at home and writing or watching a movie or running around at night. I'm an odd bird. I just wasn't really socialized around it or anything. I'm fine with people drinking around me, it's just not something I'm into. Given the fruit thing it's a pretty everyday experience for me to just not be into something everyone else is and have it not be a big deal to me.

11 . I love dandelions. They're my favorite flower. They're misunderstood, I think. They're these pretty things that hold tight to their roots and can flourish most anywhere. They're beautiful, bright, and sunny. They're happy yellow flowers and even towards the end of their lives they become something to wish on as one blows their seeds off into the wind. In other countries like Korea and Japan, they're actually considered poetic figures like the moon or a rose... In the language of flowers they mean "Until We Meet Again" and I think that's very romantic. I remember I had a boyfriend once who asked me what my favorite flowers were, and I told him dandelions. He showed up a few days later with a bunch of roses and told me he couldn't find anywhere that sold dandelions. I laughed at how preposterously sweet and absurd it was that he tried to track down a store that sold weeds in bouquets.

And now, Kaitlyn's questions for me!

1 . How would you explain love to someone who has never heard of it before? Love is when one person wants nothing more than for another person to be happy in the deepest ways. It's fulfilling and draining. It's an extraordinary part of everyday life. And then I'd probably break out into a relevant song, because I do that a lot. 

2 . Are you a coffee or a tea person? I like coffee drinks-- not plain coffee, which gives me tummy aches and tastes like tar to me (my coffee-addict roommie calls me a priss for this). But really, I drink coffee drinks to stay up. My true love is Korean rice tea. I love it. It is the taste of my childhood so I find it comforting and nostalgic. I'm not a big fan of most other ones.

3 . What was the first thing you learned to cook? Who taught you? I think it was fried rice, taught to me by my mother. It was either that or spaghetti. I didn't take to cooking like my sister did-- she's very talented and picks up skills very quickly. I just see cooking as a thing to do-- not a passion, not something I've ever felt the need to work terribly hard at.

4 . What is your favorite subject in school, and why? In high school I loved psychology the most in terms of subject matter. I also loved learning anatomy in high school because it was so practical. I had great teachers which really makes all the difference for me since ability is usually not the issue-- it's motivation. I'm a people-person I suppose. I liked learning things I felt had relevance to my everyday life-- while at least literature classes had real significance in teaching me to think critically, for example, I highly doubted I would ever need to know how to do integrals to get by, especially with computers and smart phones. 

5 . What comic strips do you read? I don't read a lot of comics in strip/print form. I read online comics like Buttersafe, Sunday Morning Breakfast Cereal, and Amazing Superpowers

6 . Do you parallel park or drive around the block to find a regular spot? I drive around the block. Not to contribute to the asian-woman-stereotype, but parallel parking was just not something I mastered and given my anxious tendencies and my horrible depth perception... I've just learned it's better for me to take my time and do what I need to do than to potentially mess things up with my car. Cars are no joke, you know? They're expensive and can do a lot of damage. Anyway, I could do with the extra walking from a far-off parking space.

7 . If you could travel to just one place, where would it be? There are so many places I'd want to travel to. But if I could only pick one place to ever be able to travel to again, I think it'd be New York. It's just so... deliciously high-stakes there. When I go to that city, all my dreams come true, and everyone lives broke and hard there. I also just feel much more exciting. There's no telling when I'll ever see anyone again, so when a stranger on the street or in a store wants to get to know me, they fight for those few more minutes. They fight for that chance. Back at home my presence is sort of taken for granted-- you know, the "I'll see you around" mentality. In New York people try to know me, they sing on the streets with me at 4am, they give me coffees on the house and think I'm charming because they're not used to people smiling at them just because they're around. Plus, how could I ever go without Newsies?

8 . What book are you currently reading? What was your favorite book as a child? I haven't been reading a lot of real books for fun lately. I've been reading articles and listening to poetry. But I last picked up Heartless by Gail Carriger and never got the chance to finish, which is part of a well-done steampunk series beginning with Soulless. My favorite book as a child-- well, Harry Potter is sort of a given, but I really adored Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli. It's about a very odd girl that this boy falls in love with but high school bullshit gets in the way and the school turns against her-- but she's still happy and remains herself and he still loves her, but his need to be accepted by the school forces him to break things off with her. I loved it. It's a book that really shaped my world. Well, maybe it didn't shape it, it just laid it out in a way that was much clearer and well-organized than the jumble of ideas in my head. I don't need to be loved by everyone, I just need to be myself and strive to be someone I can be proud to be-- unique, kind, accepting, extroverted, loving. (Not that I need to be extroverted. I just find that I feel better when my emotions flow outward and I am impacted and draw energy from the world around me, instead of processing things internally like some people can.) It's why I never "grew out of" being odd.

9 . If you could have a drink with someone in history, who would it be? Probably Zora Neale Hurston. I feel that I owe her a lot in terms of how I think about my position as a woman and a woman of color. Hurston was one of the writers who pioneered black feminist writings about the black female experience-- and she did so at a time when most people said you had to fight for your blackness first and womanhood second, and was sometimes accused of playing into white superiority complexes in her attempts to, as a folklorist, accurately depict dialects which contemporaries often saw has rooted in racism. It was the Harlem Renaissance and her voice was sometimes silenced for being divisive and she was often shrouded by her contemporaries for not furthering the overall movement. I read Their Eyes Were Watching God in high school and it deeply affected me. I would love to talk to her about all the bullshit she went through and her attempts to reconcile a past with a present and a future as a woman and as a black person, because I find that for any minority or less privileged class, it's hard, and it was much more so back then. 

10 . Have you ever been mentioned in the newspaper? Kind of? I wrote a piece for my local newspaper when I was in like, 10th grade. I wasn't "mentioned" per se. I wrote a little biographical bit on my family's tradition of making hundreds of dumplings by hand every New Year's Eve and submitted it. It got published! It was very exciting for me. My parents got a clipping of it framed for my grandparents.

11 . What do you miss most from your childhood? Being small enough to play on cool things. To be completely honest, I've held onto a lot from childhood. If it doesn't really conflict with me being an adult, I'm not going to stop doing things I love for the sake of everyone else. I'm not going to stop watching cartoons or freaking out about Disney Movies or what have you. However, I am 5'8" and there are a lot of things I did as a kid that I physically can't do anymore. One of the most traumatic experiences of my teen years was the time I was working at a summer camp and we took a field trip to Chuck E Cheese. I love playing with kids and I was about 14 at the time, meaning I was about 5'6", and I thought it would be fun to mess around in those tubey-jungle-gym-tunnel things like I did back in the day. Mistake. I got stuck in there. I don't know why I thought I could do it, but I did.  Remember that thing I said about my life being a sitcom and me being really awkward? Yeah. So i got stuck in the tunnel and was borderline freaking out and bemoaning a childhood I had only just now realized I had lost. It took me at least 20 minutes to wriggle my way out again. Some of the kids I was supposed to be watching saw me, too. I wish I could go back in those tubey-things.

Those are my eleven answers! Now it's time for my nominations and questions for my nominees! So if you guys want to participate:

Chelsea from NYlovesmetoo
Melanie Kirsh at Melanie Kirsh
Dylan from Always Dolled Up
Van at ThriftCore
Alicia at River City Chic
Sarah at Lame Chic
Jasmin at the blog she keeps telling me she's going to make but hasn't done yet

Here are my 11 questions for you all, should you choose to take the challenge:

1 . What movie's soundtrack would you want to be the soundtrack of your life?

2 . When you think of "home" what exactly do you picture? What place, images, and memories come to mind?

3 . What TV show do you miss most?

4 . If you could do everything exactly as you wanted it done, what book would you want to turn into a movie?

5 . Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years?

6 . If your days could start and end at anytime, no consequence-- your work, store hours, etc. all shifted to match with your sleep cycle-- when would you set them and why?

7 . What song(s) would you want played at your funeral/memorial service?

8 . You have to give up one talent you already have to be twice as good at another thing: which talents do you chose?

9 . Where is your ideal home away from home?

10 . Why did you start blogging?

11 . Describe something you love fiercely.

Thanks for playing guys! I hope it was interesting getting to know me, and be sure to check out these other bloggers!



  1. Julia O'ConnellMarch 31, 2013 at 3:54 PM

    Ooh, I just started the Soulless series. It's pretty good.
    Also, I love all of these hilarious awkward stories about your life!
    And your New York trip sounds like it was tons of fun! I'm jealous.

    1. It builds really well, the series! I am very excited about it.

      My life is always, always, always awkward.

      I'll be blogging about my trip to New York soon! I'm having a great hectic time being me!

  2. I hate parallel parking as well! Sadly, in Richmond, more often than not I have to suck it up and do it. It's pretty nerve wracking when there's a ton of traffic whizzing by when you when you're trying to park.

    And thank you for the nomination, you're so sweet! I just did a Liebster Award post a couple of months ago, but I'm starting a series of guest posts for my blog featuring regional bloggers if you're interested!

  3. I can't stand plain coffee either... I'm more of a tea person myself; I'm excited to try out Korean rice tea!

    Totally agree re: cars and driving safely, etc.

    I have had Soulless on my to-read list forever, and now I'm even more convinced I have to read it. I also enjoyed Stargirl as a young girl!

    I loved reading about your childhood anecdotes... and reading about your thoughts on Zora Neale Hurston. Really enjoyed reading your answers, Harper! :)

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