Roger Green made me a “Sunshine Blogger”

On his personal non-Times Union blog, fellow blogger Roger Green received a “sunshine blog” request, in that he was challenged by one of his fellow bloggers to answer eleven questions.  Green later challenged eleven of his fellow bloggers to create a “sunshine blog” post, with eleven questions that he crafted.

Guess who got tagged as one of the eleven bloggers for a “sunshine blog” post.


So I’m going to post Roger’s questions, and my answers will follow.  And afterward, I’ll tag eleven other Times Union community and independent bloggers, and ask them to create answers to questions that I will write.  This should be fun.

Here we go.

1. What is your favorite song? Do you have a significant memory attached to a time you listened to it?

There are so many favorite songs for me … but if I narrowed it down to one track over the entirety of my life, it would be this one.

Rain, by the Oceania-based rock band Dragon, was among my first true favorite tracks.  It was danceable, it was rockable, and it was like nothing I had ever heard before.  It was like a Top 40 song that deserved to be a worldwide hit.  And, in essence, it truly should have been.  My most stirring memory of this song was when I was in college; I heard it for the first time as an import single, ran to my college radio station WHCL where I had a 2-hour radio block, and played the record every chance I could.  It was just THAT good.

2. Where do you love to blog/write the most?

I blog mostly in my home office, early in the morning, when my mind still holds embers and entrails of last night’s dreams and mental concepts.  And in those fleeting fragments of REM sleep, there’s a small nugget of dream that finds its way into the morning blog post.

3. What can you hear right now? What would you prefer to be listening to?

My box fan has been blowing and whirring non-stop.  I can hear the motor rumbling as the semi-cool air circulates around my apartment in the Town and Village.  Maybe I’ll turn on the news in a few moments and listen to Good Morning America or SportsCenter.

4. What do you do when you feel you should be writing but are lacking in inspiration?

I change things up.  I make myself breakfast.  I brush my teeth.  I walk outside and look at the skies.  I clean up something that fell over.  And in those moments … something will stir me to write again.  And that’s worked every time.

5. What is your greatest achievement?

This.  Thirty-five years ago.  The first time that those who told me, “You’re worthless and pathetic,” were wrong.  So yeah… this.

6. If you could only eat one meal for the rest of your life what would it be?

Spam Stroganoff.  For those of you who are unfamiliar with the delicacy, it was created years ago when, as a single father, I had only a few pantry items left until payday.  Now back then, my motto was, “Everyone gets fed before I do,” and there were times that I went without so that my family went with.  And one night, there was a box of Hamburger Helper in the cupboard, along with a can of Spam.  I fried up the Spam, mixed it into the Beef Stroganoff Hamburger Helper, and we ate like kings.  On occasion, I’ve made Spam Stroganoff again and again, even while living alone today.

7. Who is your favorite author and why?

Without a doubt, William Kennedy.  A local author who turned the history of Albany into vibrant novels and plays and dramas.  And I can’t wait for his new play Roscoe to premiere.  That will be fun.

8. What are your favorite (10? 50? 100?) songs of the 21st century?

Oh, you want a K-Chuck Radio for this morning?  Okay.  I’ll give you five songs of the past sixteen years that I really enjoy.  They include the neo-soul of Fitz & the Tantrums’ “MoneyGrabber” –

Martin Solveig and Dragonette’s “Hello” –

Phantogram’s “Mouthful of Diamonds” –

Dave Carroll and the Sons of Maxwell, “United Breaks Guitars” –

And this soulful rendition of “Anyone Who Had a Heart” by Anja Nissen.

9. What do you believe these days, spiritually/theologically?

I believe, spiritually, that as much as there are people who will support what you do and celebrate your achievements, there are also people who will ignore, denigrate, condemn, marginalize, and disaffect your accomplishments.  They are jealous and spiteful, they are hurtful and heinous.  I’ve dealt with them for over 52 years.  Heck, I dealt with one yesterday.  But in all that, you have to step forward.  You have to keep going on your own pace.  Your beliefs and your accomplishments and your success is balanced by those who wish you would drop dead.  For those people, I wish them luck.  With a capital F.

10. What are some of the worst awards winners, where you wonder, “How did THAT happen?? (Movies, music, TV, whatever)

There are some award winners where I know why the award was bestowed – politics, backroom machinations, the contest was just a promotional event for a planted winner – but if we’re talking nationally, I’m still amazed and astounded that although it picked up six Oscar wins last year, Mad Max: Fury Road got shafted for Best Director and for Best Picture.  Come on, does anybody even REMEMBER who won for Best Picture last year?  Was it that film about the insurance scandal or the film about the newspaper scandal or the film about the guy who got attacked by a bear…

11. Will Donald Trump be President? And if so, why?

I have learned never to count out demagogues.  And this is probably the only time I will have a serious discussion about the 2016 election on this blog.  Donald Trump keeps hammering the same attacks over and over again, e-mails, Benghazi, Crooked Hillary.  There’s an old mantra that if you say something over and over again, eventually you start to believe it.  That being said, this election has been harder to predict than a one-hundred-ball lottery.

So now I get to pick eleven bloggers, and I get to throw eleven questions at them for their post.  Okay, TU bloggers… you’re up next.  For the next round of “sunshine bloggers,” I challenge Rob Hoffman, Lale Davidson, Ken Screven, Rob Hoffman, Sara Rose Wheeler, Jaye McBride, Gina Peca, David Kalish, Fran Rossi Szpylczyn, Heather Fazio and Mary Martin.

And here are your eleven questions, should you choose to accept the challenge.

  1. What was the first moment when you said, “Wow, I can really do this”?
  2. Which teacher, professor or educator inspired you through your formative years?
  3. Where did you travel to on your most exciting vacation?
  4. You’re battling aliens from outer space.  Who do you want on your battle team – the Enterprise, the TARDIS, the Millennium Falcon, the Yamato or the Serenity?  And why?
  5. You want to hand someone a copy of your favorite author’s book.  What is it?
  6. Finish this sentence – “I can’t believe I’ve seen ___________________________ happen in my lifetime.  Wow, talk about being blessed.”
  7. What does the word “blogger” mean to you?
  8. Tell us the story about the time you met the legendary famous ______________.
  9. What are your “house rules” for your favorite card or board games?
  10. Someone offers you $50 to blog on Christmas Day.  What would you write about, and what would you use the $50 for?
  11. What person out there do you think deserves a standing ovation for all that they’ve achieved?

And after answering those questions, you can challenge eleven other bloggers of your choice with eleven questions of their own.

And let’s spread sunshine all over the place.