Nitty Gritty Dirt Man

Beautiful Blogger Award 

A few weeks ago,  the very kind and sweet NittyGrittyDirtMan sent me a message to say he nominated me for The Beautiful Blogger Award and I failed to make mention of. What a bitch, right? I had intended on mentioning it, I pinky swear, but one thing led to another and it fell to the way side. (Shame on me!) When I received NGDM’s note, I was touched (awe).  Honestly, I was. Never in a million years would I ever consider my blog worthy of such recognition, especially by someone whose blog is levels above what my blog could ever hope to be.  Sounds pathetic but I’m serious. My blog has been morphing since it’s inception in 2011 and lately it seems to be all over the map.

So how did I get here from there? Well kids, my blog journey began July 2011.  I was riding the commuter train home from Boston one evening reflecting on my life.   Health-wise, I lived through what I like call, a shit-storm, especially during the latter part of 2010.  Kiddies, the fact I’m still standing is a fucking miracle. That’s right, I said, MIRACLE!  When I think about what my poor body has been through, I am amazed.

Inspiration comes from the strangest of places.  For some, it takes a wake up call and as a result, I became a vegan. This is also the reason why harsh chemicals no longer reside in my home.  I couldn’t help but wonder if what happened to me was due to environmental contaminates in my food, laundry detergent and cleaning supplies.  It was during this time, I discovered Ask a Broke-Ass Grouch’s blog. Coincidence? I don’t think so. Reading through her blog made me realize she was living a defacto green lifestyle.  Suffice it to say, I was in awe (she had me at: “Let me put it in fucking perspective for you”)  Further inspiration came from the death of my brother. His death, my health, Broke-Ass Grouch’s blog and Voila! GiRRL-Earth was born (Waaaaaaa!).  [Would you believe, the acronym came to me as I was washing dishes (go figure).]  GiRRL_EarthGrow it. Re-use. Recycle. Love our Earth.  Ooooooooooh two snaps and a circle, uh-huh, that’s right.   The initial platform of my blog was to write about living a green lifestyle: ixnaying chemical cleaners, reducing one’s carbon footprint, growing vegetables… etc. Or so I thought. Little by little, vegan consciousness started creeping into my blog…and then stories about the egregious treatment to farm animals; recipes, and then, well… vintage slipped in and before I could see what was happening, my blog morphed into a ‘mashup’ of all the things I am passionate about: Green Living; Vegan Living; Food; Animal Rights & Abuse; Cats; My house; Ballet; Blogs who inspire me; and all things 1950s vintage.

I don’t know how it happened, but I began to attract followers to my blog. [Miracles do happen ya know.]  I can recall a time when my blog was like a fart in the wind. No one had heard of it.  Now I have some really groovy, talented, inspiring followers whose blogs totally rock.  I am in such awe of these people that I have a feeling most if not all of them have been nominated a hundred times over already so my nominating them will probably feel like this:  Again?! Jesus, not another nomination?!?!  “…Fucking nuts! I long for a grapefruit! – He seemed to say.” – Sorry I couldn’t help myself but to throw in an Eddy Izzard reference.

In accordance with the beautiful blogger award parameters I am supposed to reveal seven things about me, as well as nominate other bloggers. 

Seven things about me:

1.)   For the past two years I have been a vegan (former vegetarian). My health. A death. Alicia Silverstone’s book: The Kind Diet and Forks over Knives all inspired me to become a vegan. Despite the fact I was a vegetarian, I was still eating dairy and occasional fish. About six months after becoming a vegan, 15 lbs melted off my body and I feel so much clearer.  It is difficult to convey but since abstaining from all things animal, I feel a sense of clarity I never had before. Becoming a vegan has been a win-win for me.

2.)   I am an animal rights volunteer/activist (and the property of five fury felines). I have always been an animal lover/rescuer but now I give more of my $$ assisting local shelters as well as The Farm Sactury –most recently I adopted a turkey named Gable.

3.)   Seven years ago, I got back into ballet and have been faithfully dancing since.

4.)   I believe in a power greater than myself. I do not subscribe to organized religion or an Omnipotent God, but I do believe in energy, karma and spirituality.

5.)   I learned to forgive; to take the high road; and to not become tangled up in insipid drama. Life’s too short – if you feel the need to sling mud and cause trouble, do yourself a favor, take a long look in the mirror and ask yourself “What is missing from my life that I have to create such trouble for others?”

6.)   December 2004 I quit my corporate job to attend culinary school with a focus on pastry arts. Although I am no longer working in the field, this was the best experience ever!

7.)   I am a fan of Hitchcock, Bogie & Bacall, Edith Head, Mad Men and 1950s vintage


And now for the nominations: Below is a list of bloggers/blogs that inspire me and therefore I must nominate.

First and foremost: Ask a Broke-Ass-Grouch [Full Disclosure: I inadvertently left her out when I initially posted this! How could I have done that when she is/was the inspiration for this blog?!?!    😦

BookPeeps BP & I found each other because her blog was Freshly Pressed  after writing about the death of Helen Gurley Brown and I had literally just read a post by another writer about the very same topic (Barbara Lippert’s Mad Blog” (normally I would link you to BookPeeps post about HGB but I cannot find it.)

Next is Somer, of VedgedOut I honestly do not know how Somer and I found one another – had she commented on something I had posted or vice versa.  Oh wait, perhaps we found each other via her other co-blog:  Either way,  I find inspiration from Somer almost every single day.  This girl is my hero. 

NittyGirttyDirtMan.  NGDM blogged about 9/11 on the anniversary of 9/11 and as a result was Freshly Pressed. Had his blog not been FP’d, I may not have discovered him.  I have a feeling, if NGDM and I lived closer, we would be friends as we seem to be of the same generation and have the same interests in music, books and movies. Of course, putting myself in the same playing field as NGDM could be viewed as an insult. Not only is he a beautiful, inspiring writer but an incredible gardener!  Have you ever seen the movie A Fish Called Wanda when Wanda’s “brother” Otto tells Wanda  not to call him stupid and she says,  Oh, that’s right because calling you stupid, would be an insult to stupid people.” Well I feel, putting  myself in the same playing field with NGDM would like that… an insult.

Thanks to my adorable, young, brilliant, talented, graphic designer co-worker Erica, I learned of Manhattan-Nest When I am having a bad day or in need of a good guffaw, I nav on over to MN.  This kid is funny as shit and a true hero in my book because he saved a homeless dog from the streets of NYC Anyone who follows my blog clearly knows my stance on animals.  They rule!

Irunibreath How did I discover iRuniBreath? Was she FP’d like so many others? I honestly cannot recall but this girl is a riot. She writes about stuff we all think but don’t dare say, or if we do muster the courage to say what we are thinking, we only do so in selected company.  iRuniBreath throws balls to the wall and says what we all wish we could say.  I have a feeling IRIB and Somer of VedgedOut are kindred spirits. These two women are amazing – they are doing it all:  wife, mother, career, blogger, athlete, vegan cook – and they make it look so darn easy!  Argh! I hate them in a love kind of way…    😉

ElroyJones this woman took the time to blog about a very painful experience that happened to her when she was in her 20s, while staying in Italy.  To blog about something so painful takes a tremendous amount of courage.

BipolarBlogging  BPB was recently FP’d because he wrote about his decision to end it all and then managed to write (or blog) himself out of the abyss.  BPB wears his disease like a 2nd skin – he says the disease and he are one. I disagree. I think there is the man and then the disease.  BPB comes across as downtrodden. He has a very low opinion of himself, but I can see through is writing that he is so much more than he gives himself credit for.

MorningWarmUp   MWU fuond me because I had left a comment on Somer’s blog asking about running.  Seeing as I had just taken up the sport, I needed some guidance.  MWU’s blog is a wealth of info regarding running, health & fitness.  Coincidence that I have attracted three runners into my life: Somer; iRuniBreath and MorningWarmUp? I think not.

InPursuitofMore (while living with a lot lessSomer led me to IPM’s very touching blog about shopping addiction.  InPursuit was a woman who had it all, and yet still felt empty. She tried to fill the void with shopping, until she realized, she had a problem. Admitting you have an addiction takes strength, no matter what the addiction is and to share it with the world takes true courage.

TheFrailestThing   if Michael Sacasas was a college professor here in Boston, I would sign up for his class in a heartbeat. Most of what Michael writes about is so over-my-head that it leaves a part in my hair as it flies over – seriously, this guy can write!

In his own words: “Currently, I’m a working through a PhD program vaguely titled “Texts and Technology,” so much of what will pass through these pages will relate in some way or another to the interaction between technology and culture. My aim in thinking and writing about technology is, so far as it is possible, to achieve the critical distance necessary to make wise and humane use of technology; and neither unbridled optimism nor thoughtless pessimism regarding technology foster the sort of critical distance required to live wisely with technology. Before beginning my present track of study, I earned an MA in Theological Studies. And so another theme you will find running through this blog is the exploration of technology’s influence on communities of faith, particularly within the Christian tradition. Ultimately, I am interested not only in living wisely with technology, but also in living faithfully with technology.”

And last but not least importantly:

My best (and long time) friend Wheeza (nickname), started a blog: stupes_insips_rants   Sadly, Wheeza hasn’t had much time to devote to his blog because during the day he whiles away the hours as a corporate accountant; and during his off hours he writes movie and music reviews for Edge Magazine in Providence while patiently (and secretly) waiting for Pat Benatar and Neil Gilrado to adopt him.

So there you have it folks…