I’m gearing up to do a post about my do-it-yourself patio project called “The War of the Roots,” but I have been tagged by Emily to do a meme, so that’s what I’ll do first. The premise is to name the ten best compliments you’ve ever gotten. When I read Emily’s, I realized (and this is going to be corny—so beware) that one compliment that I could put on my list was Emily telling the blogosphere that I am the best chef she knows. Thanks Emily!
[Totally irrelevant aside: I’m just wondering, and this may just be me, but lately I’ve been writing papers for school and I’ve found that writing a paper comes more easily for me than writing a post. I think there are a couple of reasons for this. Last week I was writing a paper about how historians have treated Leon Trotsky during and after the Cold-War. The professor has set the guidelines so that the paper seems to be writing itself. The main task that helps me so much is the annotated bibliography assignment. Doing this makes me more confident going into the paper because I know my sources much better than if I was winging it with a stack of books teetering over me and a pad of post-it notes. I’ve done it this way too, and believe me, it can be traumatic, especially come citation time. So…get to the point Ian. Okay. I think with a post I do less preparation and just dive right in, and my thoughts get a little muddled so I often have to go back and rethink what I’m trying to say. Also, by this time, I know that a number of people who I regard highly for their writing ability may read this and I want to at least be as clear as possible. It really helps to have this peer group.]
But back to the meme. Ten compliments that made my day:
1. The institute of higher learning that I attend honored me with four humbling awards last spring: the history award, the Gilbert award for English, Who’s Who among American college students, and the big one…the Eugene S. Hire Award, which will pay my ticket until graduation. I really feel like I’m bragging right now. I’m going to go on to the next one.
2. The professor for my independent study (the one that I’m writing the Trotsky paper for) complimented me on my draft and told me it was shaping up well. It helps to know this, and I believe that as long as I know that I’m on the right track I can continue. It helps that it is very interesting topic, and he’s a very good teacher.
3. Another professor, who is also my advisor for the English degree, wrote an informal recommendation for me and sent me a copy. I had to check to see if the name was correct because it was hard to believe that the person she was writing about was me. I sounded so motivated. She said I had one of the best work ethics she’s seen. She didn’t see me this weekend, on the couch watching movies for hours on end. (Tsosti, by the way, is a great movie—and I watched The Prairie Home Companion with my mother and we both enjoyed it a great deal. Altman rules.)
4. I get a lot of compliments on my fried chicken. One of the reasons it turns out well is that this is probably my favorite food, so I cook it to my own taste. I really like getting compliments on my food from children and teenagers because these are usually the most finicky eaters. I do a mean potato salad—this is all southern style stuff—which goes nicely with the chicken.
5. I like getting compliments from my parents. The one I like from my dad is, “We’re proud of ya son.” The one I like from my mother is, “I’m not worried about you.” This is always a big relief to me.
6. I can’t talk about this compliment, but believe me, it was a very good one, and it made me feel he-man-like.
7. This isn’t really a compliment, but then maybe it is: I like hearing all three of my sisters howling with laughter at some story I tell. It’s even better when my parents are doing it too. When I get my Aunt Boo laughing along, it’s like a hat-trick in hockey.
8. My professional-artist-sister thinks I have artistic ability as well, and she always encourages me to draw. She told me that she and her husband saw some outsider art in New York which reminded her of mine. Then she said she thought mine was better. Maybe I can make this my third career some day.
9. Of course I like it when a group of people are clapping after a song or piece of music I’ve performed. This doesn’t happen all that often, but it is nice when it does.
10. I absolutely love getting complimented on my blog by the people who read it regularly. There has never been a time in my life where I’ve felt so compelled to write and improve my writing ability. Reading other peoples blogs is fascinating and inspiring.
Emily, you are right. This meme does make me feel better—and grateful.
I really don't have anyone to tag since Emily tagged everyone I would have, but, if you read this, consider yourself tagged. Can't believe I've actually done a meme and tagged people.
This has nothing to do with the meme, but if you are like me and are a culinary voyeur, check out this post by Anthony Bourdain about Gordon Ramsay's "Hell's Kitchen." It may seem mean-spirited but something about Bourdain (of Kitchen Confidential fame) compairing Ramsay's rants to the improvised inspiration of jazz great Charlie Parker struck a chord. Only Bourdain could get away with this.