The Versatile Blogger Award

Last spring, I got nominated for the “Versatile Blogger Award” by The Mirth of Despair’s Fractured Angel, but for a number of reasons I never got around to writing the proper response for this. One of them was that it came just before my wedding, a time when I was incredibly busy with a plethora of bureaucratic acts. Immediately afterwards, I became very busy with university, and then a writers’ block hit. Another reason was that it took me a very long time to think of seven random things about myself which would make for a somewhat interesting blog post. However, enough of the excuses, I finally made it. Thank you very much for the nomination, Fractured Angel, and please do not think the long time it took me to come up with this post is an indicator for how little I care !

The rules demand that I nominate another 10 blogs for this, and much as I’d like, I am rather out of the loop with what’s going on in regards to mental health blogging. Most of the blogs I used to check on a regular base have been on a hiatus for most of 2012, and on top of that I do not know who already got this and who didn’t, and who would want to do this in the first place. So if you are reading this and feel like participating, consider yourself tagged!

Here are the complete rules:

  • Nominate 10 other blogs. (Done.)
  • Inform them about their nominations. (Done.)
  • Share 7 random things about yourself. (Following.)
  • Thank the blogger who nominated you. (Done.)
  • Put the Versatile Blogger Award picture in your post. (Done.)

And without further ado, seven random facts about me:

I don’t drink alcohol. Never. Not on my birthday, not on New Year’s Eve, nor any other day. The biggest reason being that I simply don’t like the taste, and partly also because I hate what alcohol does to many people (for every person I know who can drink responsibly, there are three who just lose control). When I was younger, I tried a couple of different alcoholic drinks, but never actually found them to be so appealing that I would have wanted another one. Consequently, I was tipsy a few times, but never completely drunk either. The last reason why I do not drink is that I have strong suspicions that alcohol would turn me really loud, vulgar and reckless, and I could never live down the shame after such a night.

I’m a huge Cate Blanchett fan. In fact, that’s how I “met” my husband –  in an online discussion forum back in 2005, and I also made a number of really good friends there whom I met in person.
The first time I really noticed Cate Blanchett was in 1999, when watching the Academy Awards. Cate was nominated as Best Actress for “Elizabeth”, and when the camera zoomed in on her, I was instantly smitten. There just is something about her face which utterly captivates me, and apart from being one of the most talented actresses of her generation, there also is a very nice human being behind the whole film star facade. In 2008, I met her in person and talked to her for about 30 seconds, and last year my husband, a friend, and I were actually able to see her in a stage performance when she was part of a theatre festival in Germany.

I have been playing The Sims since the day the first part was released. What I like about this game is that you have so much freedom: building, furnishing, character development, or just simple gameplay. And everyone is equal in the game, regardless of gender, ethnicity or sexual orientation. Nobody tells me what the population of my world has to be like.
As for other games, I have also played all parts of SimCity, and am very much looking forward to the new one due in March (even though I’ll probably have to wait for my birthday in May to get it). Last summer I was obsessed with Skyrim for about four weeks (then my computer blew up), but the problem with it is that combat situations really stress me out, so that even though Skyrim really appeals to the archaeologist in me like no other game does in terms of design, I haven’t been playing much since I got the new computer.

I know three dead languages. In my school, three languages were obligatory and you had the choice to add a fourth and even fifth to your curriculum. In addition to learning English, I also hold proficiency certificates for Latin, Ancient Greek and Biblical Hebrew. Actually, I was the only person in the entire county to finish school with all three of them that year: six pupils had started out learning Hebrew, but after a year and half, I was the only one left and thus enjoyed 18 months of quasi-private tutoring.
Apart from giving you bragging rights and having something to put on the CV, it did not add any competitive advantage, however – while Latin was required for prehistoric archaeology, the others never played a role in my studies. Lack of practice pretty much eroded away most of the active knowledge I had, and depression took care of the rest.

I have been keeping a diary since 1995. I started writing when I was fifteen years old and went on a student exchange to England, as an outlet for all the anxiety I suffered in advance. Afterwards I just kept writing, and especially at the time when I was slowly coming to terms with my sexual orientation it proved very valuable to me. Over the last years, however, the motivation slowly faded and the time periods between entries became longer and longer; blogging apparently took its place.

I have skew-splay-flat feet. Yep, all three at once, inherited from my father. If you are wondering what that looks like: the closest analogy probably are the Hobbit feet from the Lord of the Rings movies (minus the hair). During my teenage years this condition made me sprain my ankles so often that the ligaments are completely worn out now and I have to be quite careful when walking to prevent accidental twisting or stretching. I cannot wear heels due to this and have a hard time finding shoes which do not make my feet hurt. At home I wear Birkenstocks all year, because they support my feet the best.
A freaky side-effect of those feet and the loose ligaments is that I can turn my feet so far outwards that my toes are pointing backwards and the heel points forward. If it’s only one foot at a time, I can manage a 180° turn, both feet at the same time about 120 – 140°.

I was frequently mistaken for a “foreigner” as a child. I have dark hair, as do both my parents, but in addition I also have an olive skin tone neither of my parents has. Growing up in a small town neighbourhood where literally all other children in my kindergarten class had either blonde or fair brown hair and generally light skin tones, I stood out. Visibly different ethnicities could be found in bigger cities only, and my mother would be asked if her husband was German as well, or simply be greeted with, “So you do speak German!”
Usually, the comments were not unflattering and people would assume that I was Italian or Spanish. But not only Germans made wrong assumptions about me, I also got chatted up by Africans a couple of times.
The older I got, the less frequently situations like these repeated. I think it has something to do with the fact that there is more ethnic diversity in smaller towns now as well, and that there are more people with mixed backgrounds too. “Not looking German” just is not something which attracts stares anymore.