Lest you think I do nothing but drool

Recently a friend awarded me the Versatile Blogger Award. I wasn’t sure what to do with it; I was awarded it before, I think by Phylly, and never responded for the same reason. It occurred to me today that some spectators may be under the impression that because I devote a lot of time to this activity, and work very hard to fence certain areas off of the blog (notably: details about what happens in my job; the field of scholarship I engage in; U.S. politics), I don’t have other interests or concerns beyond the ones I mention here. This morning felt like a good point to remind everyone that what you see of someone on a blog — no matter how verbose or detailed it is — is only ever a tiny portion of who they are or what they do. So I’m accepting the award this time with some modifications. Here were the original conditions:

  1. Nominate 15 fellow bloggers
  2. Inform the bloggers of their nomination
  3. Share 7 random things about yourself
  4. Thank the blogger who nominated you
  5. Post the award badge.

I’m listing here a selection of blogs that I enjoy without passing on the award. These bloggers don’t know who I am, nor do they read my blog. If they come back here and would like to consider themselves awarded, so be it, but I’m not informing them of their nomination.

To be said about this list: I’m still basically staying away from politics. I imagine you can guess what mine are. Meanwhile, I’ve described these blogs but I do not vouch for their content — if the topic seems likely to offend based on the description, please don’t read. I’m just trying to give you a glimpse of my interests beyond Richard Armitage and the pressing problems of my life (work, vocation, parents, charity, faith / religion). This isn’t everything I read; I’m uncomfortable listing stuff from the Jewish blogosphere or the right side of the Christian blogosphere here, although I read that stuff, too. And I read a fair number of sex blogs I’m not listing here, either. So you’re getting another perspective on me, here, perhaps, but again it’s not a holistic picture of me. You could only obtain that if you knew me in real life.

  • Journey Mama. A mother of four and aspiring novelist who helps to run a Christian meditation center in Goa blogs about her life and travels, including her attempts to deal with anxiety. Sort of “New Age” / Christian.
  • Fencing Bear at Prayer. A history professor blogs about her personal growth through theology, prayer, fencing, and attempting to write her second academic monography. More “traditional” Christian.
  • Never a Dull Moment. An adoptive mother of twelve children, social worker and pastor’s wife blogs about her experiences parenting, placing children, and dealing with stress and weight loss. Claudia has a definite “Martha” personality, and she’s going to save her little corner of the world, just see if she doesn’t.
  • Mother Issues. A lesbian, interracial couple addresses the difficulties in the U.S. child welfare system as they seek to build a family. They’ve decided not to save all the children, but just one child (or perhaps, a few). A really honest exploration of how parenting a traumatized child affects one’s view of oneself, one’s world, and one’s relationships. Stay away if you disapprove of lesbians, adoptions by same-sex couples, or interracial adoption.
  • Banku, Pho, and Fried Spiders! An adoptive mother of four children from Cambodia, Vietnam and Ghana, wife of a kidney transplant patient, and worker for an international adoption agency blogs about her life and adoption. An unusually balanced perspective on the ethical difficulties related to international adoptions (I find many international adoptive blogs unbearable because of authors’ insistence on their own savior role.)
  • Permission to Live. A young mother of four, formerly quiverfull and married to a pastor, blogs about her journeys as a child of G-d, a parent wrestling with her own upbringing, and her place in her community.
  • Britt-Arnhild’s House in the Woods. I’ve linked to this many times. Britt-Arnhild is the mother of four, works for the Norwegian Lutheran Church, gardens, cooks, decorates, and most of all, travels and writes about it.
  • Generación Y. (In Spanish, but an English traslation appears here: Generation Y and there are translations into many other languages, too). The best of a group of Cuban dissident blogs discussing the general disintegration of Cuban state and society. Interesting to me not least because she’s approximately my brother’s age and reading her work constantly reminds me that my life would have been so different had I been born elsewhere.
  • I was a foster kid. Warning: explicit, painful, includes profanity. A young woman discusses her attempts to address the lasting consequences of abuse in her family of origin and in foster care.
  • The Little Professor. I don’t like what’s happened in the U.S. academic blogosphere recently, with the decision to absorb the smuggest, most unrepresentative academics into the Chronicle of Higher Education –a publication I hate viscerally– as if those people spoke for the entire body of professors. This (unassimilated) site is one of few academic blogs I still read regularly. The author is a professor of Victorian literature and right now she’s completing a book on the way the religious conflict of sixteenth century was perceived by the Victorians, based on popular religious novels of the nineteenth century. I like her reading lists and her brief analyses of what she’s reading.
  • Mrs. O.  Michelle Obama is a great looking person and she dresses really well in an unpretentious style that really appeals to me. This blog documents only her clothing choices. No politics. I used to read a blog about her garden until the blogger started to get preachy about Mrs. Obama’s healthy eating initiatives.
  • Perlentaucher. (In German, but a selection of it gets translated into English here.) A summary of the material that appears each day in the German cultural press.
  • Jay Rosen’s Pressthink. A communications professor at NYU blogs about the structure of the press — probably the most insightful take on what’s happening in the U.S. media today. Liberal / left.
  • Senegal Daily. A young couple, both of whom grew up in missionary families, have moved to Dakar to set up a medical practice. I followed them all through the husband’s medical training and just now they’re on a brief vacation in the U.S., but no doubt they’ll be back to the struggle soon.

And finally: Thanks, Didion! You are the true versatile blogger, not me.

Eight random things about me, because I couldn’t settle on seven:

  • I had read Roots from cover to cover five times by the time I was eleven.
  • I was a member of a synagogue burial society in a German city for three years, and am still on call when I’m there for the summer.
  • My favorite place I’ve ever lived is Guadalajara, México. Living there woke me up on every level. In the dreams I have where I’m happiest, I’m always in Guadalajara.
  • I cringe every time someone I meet tells me they’ve read something I’ve published under my real name.
  • I have done at least two things that, if they were known, would prevent me from running for political office. One of them is illegal, and I am still doing it. No, I am not going to tell you what it is, even though I feel guilty about breaking the law (though not about the activity itself).
  • I had the MMR vaccine series twice, as an infant and as a six-year-old, and still got measles and rubella.
  • My favorite film of all time is probably Ruby in Paradise (1993).
  • I really, really, really like lentils. All legumes, but especially lentils. OMG lentils. Sing it with me! “Servetus loves the little lentils, all the little lentils of the world. Red and green, brown and ‘yelly,’ they’re so yummy in my belly, Servetus loves the little lentils of the world.”

~ by Servetus on January 8, 2012.

21 Responses to “Lest you think I do nothing but drool”

  1. Thank you for sharing all these blogs with us. It looks like there is a lot of good food for thought out there. I haven’t seen “Ruby in Paradise” in years; good film. Of course, now I am intrigued by your illegal activities.
    I committed one in college my husband will never let me live down. Ah, to be young and foolish . . .

    I think you are a very versatile blogger, able to write about everything from art and music and history to lessons in anatomy and making cookies with the nieces and it all keeps us engaged.


    • I’ll never tell 🙂 The illegal thing I do is not immoral, unless you consider breaking a law immoral by definition. None of the immoral things I’ve done are illegal 🙂


      • That’s good to know, Serv–I was raised to believe you can’t legislate morality anyway. 😉 I have always said if chocolate were banned, I might become a criminal. Chocolate–or Richard Armitage.


  2. The versatile blogger award is more than well-deserved!
    Confession: I smoked a marijauna cig once, in the seventies. I inhaled (Sorry, Bill). And I think I got high, as I did inhale, after controlling the darn stuff falling out. At which point, I was paranoid, and kept wondering if the RCMP could smell it (I still don’t know what it actually smells like), and the Mounties would be breaking down the door… So much for turning on and tuning out, or whatever. Didn’t work. 😀 Just not Hippie material…


    • Wrapping my mind around the notion of a hashed-up fitzg!

      My illegal thing does not involve controlled substances. 🙂 I was socialized way too heavily by (a) religious parents; (b) the Reagan years: “just say no”; and (c) years of warnings in music lessons about how inhaled substances impacted one negatively.


  3. What an amazingly varied list of blogs you frequent Servetus. I see that they all have in common an interest in religion and/or improving life for oneself and others. You are indeed a versatile blogger, and I didn’t worry when you didn’t respond to your first award. I sat on mine for quite awhile too, before I knew what to do with it.
    As for illegal, my experience was very similar to fitzg’s but I regularly break the speeding law on my way to work! 🙂


    • I break the speed limit occasionally, too (though less than I did when I was younger), but I don’t think it would prevent me from being elected to public office if it were known. Of course, we are getting pickier here in the U.S.

      Thanks for your understanding.


  4. servetus, you truly are a versatile blogger. It it were just about RA I would be entertained (and totally satisfied!) but because you write about so many other topics, my brain is also engaged.


    • Mezz,

      I won’t even go into my possible fantasies about RA AND chocolate together in the same room. 😉

      Nothing illegal, but . . .


    • Exactly, Mezz.

      Our interest in RA may be our starting point in coming to this blog, but we discover so much more along the way in terms of topics, as well as discovering interesting people with whom we have much in common. I really do value the friendships I have made along with the way, along with all the intellectual stimulation and generous dollops of humor. A win-win situation. 😀


  5. Oh angieklong how I understand you “If chocolate was banned I would become a criminal…..”

    Serv you are such a tease….first that dream of Mr. Thornton in your cold appartment and now your illegal behavior.

    Speeding, pot, chocolate binges…been there, done that. And now to my long list naughtiness…RA Oogling.


    • Grace,

      When someone says they don’t like chocolate or are on the fence about it, it sort of boggles my mind. My husband prepared very fudgy brownies last week with homemade chocolate frosting. Every day it’s like I had to have my hit . . . and when I took a bite into that fudgy goodness, oh, my . . . euphoria. Sadly, they are all gone now. 😦

      Re RA ogling, I have been re-watching Spooks 7 this weekend and even as I enjoy and appreciate his wonderful, nuanced performance as Lucas, I find myself thinking, “Wow, he looks gorgeous in that suit. Wow, the olive green T-shirt brings out the green in those eyes . . . oh, my, those jeans are quick snug, aren’t they?” And so forth. It is hard NOT to when you see something that purty. 😉


    • that’s me, I’m a real tease 🙂


  6. Hi Serv,
    Lentils huh? For me, it’s fruit. I read somewhere that the food we crave contains a vital vitamin or mineral that our bodies need replenished. Hence, our body telling us to consume that which we need.
    I could draw an analogy here to an activity other than food consumption that also involves cravings, but the analogy wouldn’t work in my case. So, I would be a poor example.
    Ah well, I guess ‘it’ will have to remain mysterious. Ha!
    Cheers! Grati ;->


  7. Congratulations! You really are a versatile blogger and I look forward to reading your blog each morning. You’ve listed a remarkable selection of blogs, ones that reflect certain aspects of your character. I have always imagined you as a “renaissance” woman, one whose interests span a broad spectrum, rather than a one-note Johanna. Sure we drool also, but could we live by RA and chocolate, and in your case lentils, alone? Not likely. As for being ineligible for public office, me, too, although an investigation for a security clearance did not turn up the activity. Curious … Thanks for all that you do.


  8. […] us for any number of reasons; it’s almost a part of the human condition. (Servetus references her own admission that she’s done things that would have prevented her from being elected pres…, and her refusal to state what said actions were.) At the same time, however, given the wide range […]


  9. […] I’ve been reading her since 2007 (?). I’ve been recommending posts from her blog since 2012, but if you’re not reading her yet, I strongly recommend it: Here in original, here in […]


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