Monday, March 26, 2007


Wonder of wonders! I have been given a Thinking Blogger Award by Lone Grey Squirrel.

I have no idea how this happened, but thank you a million times, Squirrel. I am thrilled and honored.

The Thinking Blogger Award began in February 2007 when Ilker Yoldas decided to combine the meme concept with links to blogs with quality content.

Here are the rules:

1. If tagged, you must write a post with links to 5 blogs that make you think.
2. Link to the original post, so that people can find the originator.
3. Optional: Display the Thinking Blogger Award with a link to the post that you wrote about it.
4. Tag 5 others whose blogs make you think.

Well. My first reaction was disbelief. I got over that quickly, in only a day or so, and moved into Phase 2, which can best be summed up as Wow. Cool.

The Wow phase was almost immediately replaced with Uh oh. I don't know how to make links. My template and I have never become really friendly. I venture into the bowels of my blog only to add to my link list. Much as I admire those who can scoot around in there on roller skates, customizing everything within an inch of their lives, well, I'm not one of them.

And then, worse yet, came the horrifying thought: How can I possibly choose only five blogs when there are so many excellent ones?

In my view, they ALL deserve awards. And I should know because I read them.

This won't be easy. In making my choices, I tried to adhere to the letter of the law as well as its spirit: Blogs that make me think. Some of my favorite reads of the day are not included because they make me laugh, I mean spilling-coffee laugh, not contemplate deep truths.

If there is an award for absolute funniest out there, my vote will go to Mist1. Kevin Charnas is also a hilarious fellow. He has caused my keyboard considerable distress over spilled beverages that made it onto my desk. I cannot laugh and do anything else at the same time.

Goodthomas and Maht at The Moon Topples are both fantastic writers and most interesting gentlemen. I adore their blogs, and they both deserve awards for artistry. Lee at Studio Twenty-Three is a fantastic visual artist and delightfully quirky. I love her blog. She also deserves a big award for all-around creativity.

I first included Theory of Thought, which never ceases to blow my mind because it is written by a 16-year old. 17 now? This young woman not only writes like an angel, but she addresses topics that are so beyond the breadth of most people twice her age that I used to wonder if this blog was a scam -- a person with vast experience in life pretending to be a teenager.

She also has such a balanced and mature understanding, even in the sensitive arena of mother-daughter conflict, that I just read her posts and marvel at her depth. I feel that I should be saving them against the day she becomes a published writer (and grownup.)

Then I discovered that Csl had already tagged her. I would like to give the award to those who haven't yet been recognized for this one. (I learned after writing this that she has also nominated me. I feel so very honored.)

So many great blogs.

1. Thailand Gal. Chani's posts invariably excite a growing number of us. Her commentators are usually so carried away with her topic of the day that we go on forever. She sparks something in her readers when she puts a subject out there, so her blog absolutely personifies the art and science of thinking.

Chani also demonstrates amazing reserves of intelligent compassion. She questions everything and then draws her own conclusions. She never buys into group mind, but is always completely herself. I greatly admire her and her spirit of adventure. Chani, this one's for you!

2. Katrice at Wait, I'll Think of Something is another great favorite of mine. She is always on the mark and never disappoints. She intersperses fun features like Hunk of the Month with her thoughts on life and its stages, along with reflections on her childhood, which are always fascinating and so beautifully evoked that reading them almost feels like being there.

Katrice is someone with whom I personally feel a tremendous rapport. Her posts are thought -provoking and her presence is comforting. Congratulations on being you, Katrice!

3. Urban Urchin at Urban writes delightful posts about her children, work, childhood allergies, and other subjects with great wit and sensitivity. She practices kindness and love, and always gives us something to think about. She is a formidable force for good in the blogosphere, and the world.

A clothing designer whose name I suspect we would all recognize, her priorities are those she loves. Her writing challenges me to think about unusual topics, and I think she would be a great friend in need. Yayyy, Urchin.

4. Lex of On Second Thought expounds on everything from food to religion to her ex-husband. She is always thought-provoking in the extreme. Her personality infuses everything she writes, from her sense of ethics to her sense of fun, while her care for others shines through.

Re-inventing herself after a disastrous marriage, she parses every issue to find its reality, and is not afraid to discuss anything, no matter how sensitive the topic. She is in many ways my idol for her courage and multi-faceted personality. Hurray for Lex!!

5. Liz at Los Angelista's Guide to the Pursuit of Happiness is a great writer. She delves into issues as diverse as race relations and pop culture, and can make even a routine visit to Starbucks an anthropological field study. She is insightful, clever, and always expressive. Her dry sense of humor is sharp but never mean.

Liz taught English in China and her observations and ruminations about being in a place where nobody else looked like her are fascinating. Keep it up, Liz. You're the greatest.

May I reiterate that ALL the blogs in my roster are amazing, and add something to my daily life in so many different ways. Please check them all out. You won't be sorry.


Thailand Gal said...

Thank you so much! Kap koon kaa! :) If I have anything to say worth saying, it is only because folks like you and others come around and make me learn something new ~ all the time!

Later this evening, I am going to read the blogs of all the people you've nominated.



urban-urchin said...

oh my gosh susan I am blushing here. thank you my friend. i'll click back in when I've completed this excercise.

MsLittlePea said...

Cool! I'm such a fan of Chani-she's just amazing and Theory of Thought blows my mind. I'll have to check out the rest.

heartinsanfrancisco said...


Kap koon kaal to you! Reading your blog is like getting cozy with a cup of chai and a good friend who always enlightens effortlessly.


Well, blushing is okay as long as it doesn't get in the way of your wonderful writing.

Sweet Pea,

I love your blog, too. (Or is it really Peanut's?)

I tried to select people who move in different circles to maximize exposure to each others' writing.

mist1 said...

I love new links. Thanks for the referrals.

heartinsanfrancisco said...


Your blog is the first thing I read every day.

Lex said...

Oh, wow!! Thank you so much, Heart.

One of the most rewarding aspects of blogging has been being able to see how others "read" me and my experiences. I so appreciate your comments and I'll reserve mine for the post I'm tagged to write.

I'll be working on it.

katrice said...

I'm at 'Wow' already. Thanks so much for thinking of me! This is quite a challenge, narrowing it down to only five. I'll get crackin' right now!

Michael C said...

Congrats. It's well deserved!

heartinsanfrancisco said...


I can't wait to read your post. I'm a big booster.


The Only Five part kept me spinning my wheels for days.


Thank you, my friend. You're very kind.

The Moon Topples said...'ll (sniff)'ll tag me if you're asked to name five interesting gentlemen, right?

I'm sure your choices were the right ones. I plan to check them out tomorrow. I could use a think.

heartinsanfrancisco said...


Only if they're five interesting gentlemen who are beautiful writers, too.

Writing backward is optional.

Lone Grey Squirrel said...

Phase 3: Glad that's over and done with! Congrats on making it through the phases. Thanks for the pointers, will find time to check them out. The Theory of Thought is quite exceptional isn't she?

jali said...

You've given me a few new great blogs to check out today. I'm with you 100% on Mist's blog - She's one of the very best on the net.

Congrats on your award!

Pickled Olives said...

All wonderful blogs!!!

Anonymous said...

I cannot think of a blog around here that deserves such an award more than your's. I just love coming here, I really do.

And thank you for the kind words regarding mine. I am not sure it is accurate, but your compliment is greatly, greatly appreciated.

And I too am checking all these blogs out. Anybody you read has to be good. Though I am just amazed at Mist1. Her posts are so full, so funny that I find myself, reading, mouth open, in disbelief. And then afterwards, I cannot add anything in the way of comments. It is like following Richard Pryor onstage -- what is there to say?

velvet girl said...

Congrats! It's well deserved.

I'll definitely make a point of checking out these blogs. They must be very good if you recommend them. :)


heartinsanfrancisco said...


Yes, Thinker is really amazing. She created her own template, too. The child kicks butt.

Phase 3 here. Turns out, making links is easy. I don't know how to display the nice award in my sidebar w/o bringing down the whole house of cards, though.

Thank you again for the great compliment!


Thank you so much!

And yes, Mist is her own niche. She's outrageous.


They are, and if I did it again, I could easily choose five others from my link list that are also wonderful.


I soak up your kind words like a soft rain in drought season. Thank you.

Many people share our opinion of Mist. The minute she posts, she gets so many comments you have to fight your way to the end of the line. (I have comment envy.)


I meant kap koon kaa! I should enlarge my typeface. :(


I appreciate your most kind words.

They are all great, but picking five from all my favorites felt a bit like Sophie's Choice.

furiousBall said...

Sweet, new stuff to read - thanks!

Jay said...

Good for you hun.

heartinsanfrancisco said...


I hope you enjoy it!


Thank you soooo much!

Molly said...

Squirrel hit the nail on the head! Am thrilled to have all these new blogs to investigate. It's nice to have a recommendation from someone who's already done the leg work---I figure if you read them they must be good! Thanks and congrats!

heartinsanfrancisco said...

Hi Molly!

Thanks so much! I'm also making new acquaintances through other peoples' selections.

Great. More blogs. Now I'll NEVER get anything else done.

Your soda bread was sooo delicious, by the way. Nice recipe, and I'm still snockered from the raisins. (I'm a cheap date.)

thethinker said...

Thank you for the compliments. I'm not quite 17 yet, but I will be soon enough.

I'll have to check out the five that you picked. Anything you reccomend has to be worthwhile.

Anonymous said...

Heck, HinSF, you may possess comment envy over someone else but some of us can only dream of the kind of activity you generate. 25 comments!!! You do well, very well.

Have a good night.

heartinsanfrancisco said...


I only pay compliments when they're true.

I thought you had a birthday coming. When is it?


I do hope it wasn't lost on you that as soon as you opened up your blog to comments, they started pouring in. Kind of like Western trade with China, way back when.

mjd said...

This is my first visit, and I am happy to be here. Congratulations on your award. In this post, you have suggested several more places to visit...and these are recommended by an award winner.

heartinsanfrancisco said...


Welcome and thank you for coming by.

I think you'll enjoy the other blogs I mentioned. They are all written by wonderful people with a gift for communication. (As a teacher, I know you'll appreciate that.)

Bob said...

I am sorry that I didn't stop by earlier to offer my congratulations! You deserve it.

heartinsanfrancisco said...


How very nice that you're here now. Thank you!

Pendullum said...

I know some of these great sites but there are a great deal that I am sooooo very excited to try out...
I'll be back to check out the links...

heartinsanfrancisco said...


Ready, set, READ!!!

Lee said...

As much as I adore you and your writing, you can bet I'll be checking out your recommendations!

Thanks for the nod...I wish I could get back to creative. I'm stuck at pissed. Will work on that.

djn said...

I have visited some of the blogs you list and you are right -- they're excellent. I've linked out to some of them on my own.

Very nice piece!

heartinsanfrancisco said...


So do pissed-off paintings. Choleric collages. Seething sculpture.

Get an oversized canvas and hurl garbage at it. Then photograph it before it begins to stink.

I adore you, too. You're my favorite Ninja.

Donna Jeanne,

I hoped that some of my friends would find each other. I'm so glad you did.

Thank you for playing!

Liz said...

If I could have picked you, I'd give you a Thinking Blogger Award as well! I'm having a moment where I'm completely psyched that blogs exist because otherwise I wouldn't get to contemplete the thoughts and experiences of so many diverse folks around the world. My experiences have definitely been expanded by reading everyone, including you. Wish I could tag you back!

heartinsanfrancisco said...


I agree with your thoughts on blogging. I had no idea that it would involve me with people and their lives all over the world, or that I would grow to care about so many of them as friends.

Blogging is the 21st century Pen Pals, but so much better.

Thanks for the tag back... it's the thought that counts.

Ryane said...

hey, congrats. I love getting referred to new blogs!

heartinsanfrancisco said...


Thank you! They're all great. Enjoy.

CSL said...

Congratulations! I've been so pleased to keep seeing the blogs I read showing up. I'll check out the picks you made that I don't know.

Lone Grey Squirrel said...

The award logo behaves like a photo that's all. That is, go th the site, put your cursor on to the logo and press the right mouse button. A menu will appear and just choose "copy".

Now go to where you want to place it, put cursor there, right click the mouse and choose "paste". Ta Da. End of instructions.

Lone Grey Squirrel said...

Ooops! I just realise you probably know all that. You were asking about the side bar.

Go to the dashboard and edit layout , choose add "text" and you can paste the image in the box.

heartinsanfrancisco said...


Thank you for the good words.

I've only recently discovered your blog, but it quickly became a place I visit daily.

heartinsanfrancisco said...


Thanks for your help. I got it into the sidebar, but was unable to keep it from crowding my link list, no matter how much space I left between them.

From this, I infer that there are interior "boxes" built into the template, and the award html is in the same one as My Reading List.

I need a Systems Administrator.

Lex said...

It took me a while, but I played along. Sorta.

Odat said...

Hey're always thought provoking and "heart" felt...
Well deserved!!!

heartinsanfrancisco said...


I just got back in town, but I'll check it out now. Thanks for playing!


Oh, thank you, thank you.

I love your new picture!!

alphawoman said...

There are really interesting blogs in there. All of them I have never read before! What a great surprise! Thanks.

heartinsanfrancisco said...


I'm so glad to introduce you to some of my other friends. I tried to choose people from different blogging circles, as nearly as possible, so they would cross-polinate.