The Versatile Blogger Award and Noms!

versatilebloggernominations

Recently, I was contacted by my friend Michael of the WHEN IT RAINS…YOU GET WET blog (aka @le0pard13 on twitter). He told me that he had nominated me for a Versatile Blogger Award! I was both thrilled and honored, of course! Let me tell you a couple things about my friend Michael. I had gotten to know him initially through twitter, often at #TCMparties, or through participating in blogathons. Even at 140 characters at a time, you could tell Michael was the genuine article- a good guy. So I was excited to meet him in person at the recent 2014 TCM Film Festival in Hollywood this April. That confirmed it.

My instincts were right- Michael is as kind, generous and genuine in person as his online persona, actually even more so. We happily exchanged stories and photos of our kids and spouses on our smart phones between screenings and discussed our “real life occupations” (turns out we both work in the medical industry). He even loaned me his copy of L.A. CONFIDENTIAL because I mentioned in casual passing that I hadn’t seen it yet. Who does that?? Michael, apparently.

So if you’re not doing this already, please start reading and following his blog (and twitter). I humbly thank him for this nomination… means a lot coming from a guy like that.

As expected, the Versatile Blogger Award has its rules. In order to accept it, I must:

  1. Thank my nominator and provide a link to their blog. ☑️
  2. Make my own fifteen nominations and tell them they have been nominated (see below).
  3. Offer up seven interesting facts about myself

The following in no particular order are my Versatile Blogger Award nominees. Here are some terrific blogs, written by some talented folks:

ONCE UPON A SCREEN

PAULA’S CINEMA CLUB

SILVER SCREENINGS

GLAMAMOR

NITRATE DIVA

SHADOWS AND SATIN

COMET OVER HOLLYWOOD

CAFTAN WOMAN

OUT OF THE PAST

THE JOY AND AGONY OF MOVIES

MOVIES SILENTLY

MOVIE STAR MAKEOVER

WIDE  SCREEN WORLD

BACKLOTS 

JOEL’S CLASSIC FILM PASSION

Here are my seven “interesting” (I’ll let you be the judge on that) facts about myself…

doritos bag

1. I used to have a Dorito’s sleeping bag, which I adored. 

I don’t know if it was because it was my favorite junk food, or because it was the 70’s (and what wasn’t quirky in that decade), or because as a poor kid I had more of an appreciation for food than the average kid, but for some unknown reason I was completely beside myself in pride of this particular childhood “nighttime treasure.”
2. In my early days of ambition to be an archeologist (before Raiders of the Lost Ark ever existed) I would collect bones in the desert.

I was obsessed with ancient Egypt, studying every little nugget of knowledge I could unearth on the topic. And because we lived in a desert region (from age 8-14 in Taos, NM), I was delighted if I would find an old jaw bone or skull of a poor, long-since-deceased creature (cow, sheep or coyote generally). I always looked for arrow heads or ancient pottery- no such luck.

3. The “duck head” story…

In my pursuit of collecting a unique specimen for my bone collection, I discovered two duck heads. We once lived next door to a man who had a small farm of sorts (an old trout ranch with chickens and ducks) and I discovered two recently decapitated mallard duck heads as I was waiting for the school bus one morning. As creepy as this sounds, I was intrigued to consider the possibility of how these may fit into my bone collection. All I needed was time, right? So, I popped them into sandwich baggies (the fold-over kind- this was long before ‘ziplock’ days), plopped them on our kitchen table and ran back to catch the bus just in the knick of time. I figured I could share my splendid idea with Mom that evening. When I came home from school, I forgot all about sharing my grand scientific plans; that is, until Mom came home later and started screaming from the kitchen. My duck heads turned animated- the baggies were now filled with maggots. (GAG, right?!)

3. I speak in accents all the time. 

I do believe it all started with Monty Python. I must have been around ten years old or so when during family visits to Kansas City, I would stay up late with my uncle Patrick and sister to watch Monty Python on PBS. This is when there was only five television channels- ABC, NBC, CBS, PBS and in Kansas City, UHF channel 41. (Channel 41 was local programming of re-runs like the Beverly Hillbillies and Gilligan’s Island but also had a deliciously campy ‘Creature Feature’ show hosted by Crematia Mortem.)

First I tackled British -both low-brow cockney and high-brow royalty versions. Then Australian, then Scottish, then Irish brogue (surprised this one didn’t come along sooner), and the others followed from there.  I have also taken on a few impressions. Christopher Walken is the only one I just simply cannot do, no matter how many times I’ve tried. My kids got so accustomed to my accents around the house, they have picked up this goofy habit, too!

Rexall drugstore counter today

Rexall drugstore counter today

4. I used to be a real ‘soda jerk’.

I’ve actually been working since the age of twelve (began with babysitting and bussing tables at restaurants) but when I was 14, my best friend’s dad owned the Rexall drugstore in town (in Taos) and she helped me convince him that I’d be a hard-working addition to the team at the lunch counter. After school, I would ride my bike straight there and happily start my shift. I was not old enough to start on the grill so I was in charge of hand-mixing sodas, scooping ice cream and cashiering. I was thrilled. It was an old-fashioned counter with all the original Coca-Cola decor on the walls like some 1950’s diner.

About two years ago, I went back to Taos and dropped in to the old Rexall. It’s called something else now. Amazingly the counter is still there, looks essentially the same but they now have a modern soda fountain (bummer). Mr. Holland who gave me my first ‘on the payroll’ job passed away this year but I still stay in touch with his daughter, my grade school chum Mariann, on Facebook.

5. I gave a funeral for a mouse once.

There was a memorable summer when we house-sat this beautiful home in the desert outside Ranchos de Taos, NM. It was our beautiful oasis surrounded by acres and acres of sagebrush and cacti with a gorgeous view of the mountains. It had a pool and a fabulous array of vinyls. My sister and I were in the kitchen, fixing a snack. I was slicing cheese on the butcher block table and dropped my knife. As I bent down to pick up the knife, a tiny grey field mouse lay lifeless on the spanish tile floor, only an inch or two away. With no obvious signs of a wound or cause of death, we guessed it was the blunt handle end of the knife and force of the drop that must have caused this wee one’s demise.

Having played “Funeral For A Friend” from Elton John’s Yellow Brick Road LP countless times over at that house and having nothing but time on our hands, we knew exactly what to do. We dug through the closets to don all black clothing. My sister agreed to be the “mom in morning” role and I was to officiate as the priest. We carefully wrapped our dearly departed in toilet paper then rinsed out a used OJ can and tucked the deceased inside. Now it was time to start the ceremony.

We started the record at the beginning of the song and slowly marched outside, in solemn pace. Yards away, we found a nicely attractive cactus and stopped. We waited until the song finished, then chose a few words to give our respects. We each made statements about what a fine and kind mouse he was, how much he enjoyed cheese, and how he’ll be missed terribly by his mouse friends and family (whom we hoped would stay outside of the house). We never saw any of his fellow mouse friends that summer but I’ll always fondly recall my summer of the mouse funeral.

Mom and me checking out one of Grandpa's self-built planes in progress

Mom and me checking out one of Grandpa’s self-built planes in progress

6. I have flying in my blood.

Both my grandfathers were life-long pilots and I’ve always been fascinated by aviation. On my mom’s side, her dad was a WWII bomber pilot. (This is especially interesting considering he was raised by Quaker farmers in Tonganoxie, Kansas before he married a feisty red-haired Irish Catholic woman… then his life was forever changed.) He flew 30 missions in the Air Force along side the British. After the war he stayed on as an officer, traveling often, until his retirement in his mid-40’s but died young by the age of 49. (I was only 3.)

My other grandfather on my dad’s side was an aviation mechanic in the South Pacific in WWII. After the war, he worked for the FAA as a traveling inspector who had to approve every make and model, so he knew the every imaginable detail of every flying machine. He also retired young in his mid 40’s. And spent his retirement years building airplanes from scratch in his garage that he had re-built into a personal hangar. We spent many summers going with him to air shows and fly-ins across small towns in Kansas. It’s still my ambition to get my pilot’s license once my nest is a bit roomier. (Flying lessons are very pricey but so is raising four teenagers.)

the best pick-me-up!

the best pick-me-up!

7. I love tennis.

I love watching tennis on TV, but I especially love playing it. The older I get, the more challenging it becomes physically. (Stretching, knee braces and ibuprofen are requirements.) But the more I play, the more I improve my skills. Besides, there is nothing that puts me immediately in a better mood than playing tennis with my hubby… other than watching my favorite classic movies with my family.

Now that you’ve read all the quirky ways that make up this ‘Old Movie Weirdo’, I hope I haven’t scared anyone away from joining me in the next blogathon or #TCMparty!

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Comments

  1. What a wonder post, Kellee! Not for the kind words offered my way (you are still so, so generous), but for you.and what you share with your readership. Love these tidbits of your life, along with your #TCMParty participation and blogathon contribution and hosting. Fascinating, as I would suspect. So glad you participated in this and that I got to meet you in person this year at TCMFF. Hopefully, we’ll get to bring our spouses sometime in the future and they can exchange stories about being married to movie-crazies. Thanks for this 🙂

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    • Too kind, friend! Glad you enjoyed my goofy tidbits- lol! Yes, I like the idea of our spouses meeting at TCMFF! Although we may both regret it as soon as they start teasing us about our obsessively weird love of old cinema- ha ha! Thanks again for the nom!

      Like

  2. I think you should make a video of your impressions!

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  3. CONGRATULATIONS Kellee!! And thank you so much for the nod. SUH-WEET!!

    Aurora

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  4. Really cool answers. I’m such a fan of tennis too. What did you think of the French Open?

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    • Tennis is the best, isn’t it?!? We played 3 days in a row this weekend- now I’m sore. lol. I wish I had caught more of the French Open but too busy to watch very much this year. I’m a fan of both Nadal & Djokovic so bummed I didn’t see the finals- but Rafa is my fave overall. I also like Sharapova but my fave for women’s tennis is definitely Serena!

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  5. Great post! No mouse ever had a better funeral.

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  6. 10-year-old me would’ve killed for a Doritos sleeping bag.

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  7. Hi, Kellee! Thank you so much for the nomination! You’re too kind, far too kind. I loved your seven facts — I think my favorite is the Doritos sleeping bag, for some reason. It just cracks me up. I also love that you do accents — I do, too! Thanks again for the nomination — you’re a doll.

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  8. Gosh, Kellee, thanks for thinking of me. I’m honored to be listed among such cool bloggers. And your fun facts have only confirmed that you are adorable and awesome in every way 🙂 Also, why can’t I help picturing you with young George Bailey working the counter at your “soda jerk” job?

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    • You’re incredibly sweet & generous, gal! Funny you should mention George Bailey. I’ve often thought of myself as a female George Bailey, especially at those moments when I’ve been able to pick myself back up after tough times. (Although it’d be much easier to do if Clarence were around.)

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  9. Congrats on your award and what fun facts you have here. I love that you speak with accents all the time, how cool is that! How lovely that you have flying in your blood, I hope you get your pilot license one day Kellee!

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