“He who marvels at the beauty of the world in summer will find equal cause for wonder and admiration in winter.” —John Burroughs
At my latitude today, there’s only seven hours fifty-four minutes and eighteen seconds worth of daylight; we get nearly double that during the summer months, and unsurprisingly, the shortest day of year marks the Winter Solstice for this year. Winter descends upon us, a season characterised by cold mornings, ice crystals and much cursing while trying to negotiate transportation systems en route to work. However, in equal measure, there’s the opportunity to sip cocoas, hike a hill after a fresh snowfall and those odd days when adiabatic warming results from föhn winds coming out from the West, bringing unexpected warmth to frigid days. The Winter Solstice corresponds with the Chinese Dongzhi (冬至) festival, which appears to have crept up on me this year in comparison with last year. This is perhaps unsurprising, given that the days have been a blur since I began working; Christmas will be upon us in mere days, and by this point in the game, I’m done Christmas shopping for the family. Hence, I look forwards to enjoying the Christmas holidays. I don’t have a Master Grade Gundam model to build this year, but I do have a lot of books to read (among them, A Sky Longing for Memories: The Art of Makoto Shinkai and Calvin and Hobbes: It’s a Magical World), plus a pile of games that I’d like to mess around with (including Battlefield 1, Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, Halo Combat Evolved and Star Wars Rogue Squadron II: Rogue Leader).
This post, however, is not entirely a report on Winter Solstice or what I plan to do with my winter holidays (à la a typical primary school assignment): as per its title, I have one other matter to deal with. Every so often, this blog is nominated for blog awards, and these pay-it-forward exercises are a fine opportunity to both answer questions from other bloggers that normally are not widely discussed, as well as figure out which blogs out there merit reading because they do something unique. This year, the blog was nominated for three separate awards by two different bloggers. I’ve gotten a second Sunshine Award from Yahari Bento, and from Crystal of Hooray for Something, I score a double kill with the Blogger Recognition and Unique Blogger Awards. I will first thank these two bloggers for their nomination, and secondly, remark that I have been horrendous when it comes to completing these posts in a timely fashion. This time, things are slightly different: I’ve gone ahead and completed the questions as stipulated by the awards, giving them their own separate pages. To access the pages for either award from anywhere in the site, the awards on this blog are tucked away under the “About Infinite Zenith” tab: hovering over the tab with one’s cursor with bring out a drop-down menu of all the blog awards I’ve got so far. With the bulk of the heavy lifting done, I will pick out five blogs each for the Blogger Recognition and Unique Blogger Award; I’ll deal with the Sunshine Award quite separately. Naturally, there are no obligations to complete these awards.
Unique Blogger Award
Blogger Recognition Award
Both awards ask for the recipient to thank the individual who nominated them. For folks looking at the Blogger Recognition Award, I believe this one is simple: provide a story of how your blog started and offer some advice for new bloggers. The Unique Blogger award leaves the floor open to the recipient for three questions, and I exercise that liberty here. If you choose to take on the Unique Blogger Award, here are your questions:
- Suppose you were offered a dream vacation to any destination in the world. Where would you go, and what factors generally drive where you decide you’d wish to go for vacations?
- The world is a remarkably cold and unfriendly place. What is a belief or idea that you hold that allows you to get out of bed each morning and face the world as best as you can?
- What was one anime that you’ve watched that left a non-trivial impact on your life, whether it be the way you interact with people, approach a problem or view the world?
I actually got off pretty easy from Crystal, whose questions were pretty straightforward to answer, but for my nominees, you will have no such luck. In the meantime, being inundated with other things, such as the Brave Witches discussion for the eleventh episode I’m scheduled to complete shortly, I will do as I’ve done last year. I will take a rain check on the actual task of writing the award pages themselves and redirect my attention back to the matter of the Brave Witches review.