Tuesday, May 29, 2012


This past week, I got something I have wanted: The Kreativ Blogger Award. I especially like this one because there is something vaguely subversive about it. I am not sure why. It's the "K," I think.  Wonderful Nellie of Buttons are Not Currency passed it on to me. I say wonderful because Nellie's support and enthusiasm for my writing means a great deal to me. It is, I think, not cheap. Her compliments do not smack of Hallmark cards or yearbook signatures. They are genuine, like her own talent and voice. To be appreciated by such people is a reason, I think, to keep getting my ass up at 5 AM, to slam nineteen adjectives into each sentences and hit "publish" every day. Don't you think?

This award comes, of course, with instructions. An allen wrench and several screws. They are as follows:

1. Thank and link back to the person who presented you with the award.
2. Answer the ten questions below.
3. Share ten random facts about yourself.
4. Nominate seven worthy blogs for the Kreativ Blogger Award.

I will proceed to try to put this thing together. I have thanked and linked to Nellie, although now it looks like it only did it because I had to, which makes it a cheap gesture–a single, not very fragrant rose surrounded by ghastly baby's breath which smells like an old foot. Here, have it anyway, Nellie. I'll send chocolates by email.

I will now answer (or evade) these questions:

1. What is your favorite song?
I have always been troubled by the need to pick a favorite of anything. Doing this is like committing to marry one color for the rest of your life, knowing that in the end you will be adulterous with any number of hues. Terribly dreary. I will tell you one of my favorite songs: "Cemetary Gates" by Pantera. Listening to this song is like letting out a cathartic scream to the beating of war drums while falling in love.

2. What is your favorite dessert?
I can't eat refined sugar, so this is not a fair question. My answer would have to either hearken back to my days of cakes and puddings or be based on the vicarious experience of watching others eat sugar–which is vastly overrated–or be a lie involving fruit. So, I plead the fifth.

3. What ticks you off?
The list of things that tick me off is longer than it should be, since I have never chosen to follow the advice of Deepak Chopra on anything. If I have to choose one, my husband says that I am ticked off by things that other people do, which aren't the done the way I usually do them. I pointed out that this is only because people can't do these things correctly. Otherwise, it would all be fine with  me. Viva la difference.

4. When you're upset what do you do?
When I am upset, I brood dangerously, like a mountain lion that is thinking about going after a house cat. I call this "taking space."

5.Which is/was your favorite pet?
I like my duck, Nibbles. This duck talks incessantly and sounds either like a squeaky toy or a goose. The boy ducks don't want to have sex with her because she's little and scrappy and dorky, so instead they go after her sister with the giant chest and the blank look in her eyes, piling onto her in the kiddie pool, while Nibbles exhales repeatedly like a chew toy and bobs her head. She eats out of my hand.

6. Which do you prefer to wear, black or white?
I am not competent to wear or own white garments. At one time, I owned nothing but black clothes because I was afraid I wouldn't be able to match my outfits otherwise. Now, I compromise by mixing black with color. So, yes, I like black.

7. What is your biggest fear?
I'm afraid that someone will call me on the phone and tell me that, in order to save the lives of starving children, I need to do a public presentation on Algebra followed by singing the National Anthem. I'd feel terrible about the dead kids.

8. What is your attitude mostly?
My attitude mostly is that of a person shooting a documentary about my own life. I watch myself with interest to see what the Hell I will be doing next and periodically forget to make any proactive motions, since I am so engaged in watching the unfolding action.

9 What is perfection?
This concept, to me, is stupid. I am always surprised that philosophers were drawn to it, like dragonflies that have tried to lay eggs in the La Brea tar pits. It is nothing but a source of suffering, and as imaginary as a purple unicorn.

10.What is your guilty pleasure?
Judgement. I fall into the potato chip bag of picking apart other people's psyches, under the guise of pretending to understand them, and emerge bloated and covered with acne, feeling like an ass, but I can't get over the salty temptation to do it again.

Random Facts: 

  1. I am the Lorax. I speak for the spiders. Don't kill any spiders in my presence. I find this irrationally irritating. If they bother you, take some deep breaths or, you know, take them outside. The world is their house. We're interlopers.
  2. I can make almost any small child walk at a fast clip to keep up with me. I create a sense of terrible urgency at all times, as if we are all narrowly escaping the detonation of a bomb, and then we all arrive ten minutes early and have to sit in the car. I am never late to anything.
  3. While I was growing up, my father had an LP of Ethiopian armpit music. To clarify, this is music made by people's armpits. I may have been affected by this fact.
  4. I am a terrible girl. I do not like shopping and despise chick flicks. I hate romantic stories and gestures of all kinds, and my ideas of the erotic are distinctly male. I am bored with other people's babies. I secretly wonder if rather than being from Mars or Venus, I'm from Pluto.
  5. I am growing purple carrots, purple kohlrabi and purple tomatoes and bush beans in my yard. It's like Harold drew all the produce with his crayon. Or like the whole yard is some sort of display of lesbian solidarity.
  6. I'm fond of catching frogs. 
  7. I can't fold maps.
  8. I react to sugary cereal as if it was marshmallow-heart-asbestos. I will allow my kids to eat dessert like everyone else, but stick it in a cereal bowl and that, my friend, proves you aren't even trying.
  9. I am delighted beyond belief by the discovery of a ladybug.
  10. I normally imagine my sons either as turning out like Albert Schweitzer or like Charles Manson. Mediocrity, it seems, is the hardest fate to envision.

The Bloggers:
  1. Kelly of Southern Fried Children. I hope you already know this, but Kelly is one of those writers who will simultaneously delight you and cause you to seethe with jealousy for her talent. She is a storyteller with the perfect balance of crassness, compassion, ridicule and love to wind you in for the length of every tale.
  2. Tangled Lou of Periphery. Tangled Lou is something of a flesh and blood muse for me and, I think, for many. In case one of you doesn't already know her, she's brilliant. Her mastery of metaphor puts almost everyone else to shame and proves again that the best writing is that which must be chewed slowly.
  3. Mike Adams of All Things Reasonable...except the ones I forgot. Quite apart from being my husband, Mike is also one of the smartest people I know. His writing is full of ideas and questions that most people don't think to ask and the raw truth of being alive.
  4. Jessica of Jessica Banks Schools You. Jessica's is a blog for smart people. She offers the honest experience of her own parenting of a child on the spectrum alongside topics like religious literacy and treats each with equal art and candor.
  5. Masked Mom. Masked Mom is just fun to read. She gets the laugh of recognition, smile of pure enjoyment. Her writing is short and spare, but never leaves anything out.
  6. Amy of From the Mom Cave. Amy writes on her experience of raising two kids with special needs. Despite the obvious challenges she faces, though, what she writes never makes me pity her. It allows me to feel the kindred love that all mothers share, filtered through our different experiences, and grants me the profound gift of seeing through her eyes. 
  7. Jane of Jane in her Infinite Wisdom. Jane's blog is fun. She sets me right down in the middle of a life so different from mine and acquaints me with all of its characters. "What if I had never married?," I have to wonder. Her blog makes the single life look like so much fun.
If I have named you, you must now take up the allen wrench and follow the rules. You are dubbed Kreativ! Happy Tuesday.


  1. well done Tara! and congrats on the award! you are an excellent writer. I particularly like/enjoy being surprised with your thoughts/writing---novel ways of interacting with life. But spiders...hmm... I usually try to coax them out of my living quarters, but I have killed a few.

    1. I don't know why I have this attitude. I can't stand roaches, but spiders, I feel carry a mystical weight about them. Anyway, I sort of feel like we should stop screeching in terror at Nature. (Except, of course, for dead mice. Live ones don't bother me so terribly. Dead ones will get a scream every time.)

  2. Congratulations! Enjoyed getting to know you a little better.
    "I create a sense of terrible urgency at all times," sounds very very familiar. (:

    1. This comes down through the DNA and upbringing of my British lineage, wherein my female relatives have all been ready to leave ten to fifteen minutes before it was reasonable, sometimes walking out into the driveway to meet a ride. I used to say that I was surprised that my grandmother didn't make it most of the way down the block, waiting for her ride to church.

  3. Spank you very much for the award, darling. I love your list of things. I shall have to work on this. I think #4 is why we get along so well.

    1. Most likely. Most of my kindred female spirits are not the mani-pedi type. What would we talk about?

  4. Hi Tara. LOVED this essay. Your answers to questions made me smile a lot. And the random thoughts were almost as interesting. This is the kind of blog that one Forwards to good friends! And many congrats on the award==your writing very much deserves it. Tom/T. Jackson King.

    1. Thanks, Tom. It's a fun little award. And I enjoy the pay it forward aspect.

  5. You are one of the most interesting people I've ever known. Thank you so much for the honor. I will pretend like the spelling doesn't piss me off.

    1. TL pointed out that it is a Bolshevik spelling, which immediately appealed to me. And you totally deserve it. Sorry it doesn't come with a book deal.

  6. I agree with you about the spiders. I've never understood why people feel the need to kill them, to kill anything. It's something I hope to never understand.

    Those are some great blogs you picked. It took me a few hours to decide on the seven people I chose. It's just like me to panic over the small things.

    1. It took me hours, too. I ruminated and mulled over. I wanted to make sure I didn't pick the same people I picked for my last award. Then I picked some and discovered they'd already gotten this award by searching their archives. So, after doing all that research, these are the cherry-picked results, which I think are good. You'd really think it was the Pulitzer.


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Faith in Ambiguity by Tara Adams is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License