The Radiation-from-a-distant-nuclear-furnace Person-who-posts-things-on-the-Internet-that-are-too-long-for-tweets Thing-you-give-people-when-they-do-a-good-job

Hi guys! I am feeling bright and bushy-tailed today (what does that saying actually mean) and so I return to you with a tag, bestowed upon me by Irene of Horseback to Byzantium. She’s a cool person (I think) with a cool blog (I know), and she even asks cool questions! Thank you, Irene, for tagging me for the Sunshine Blogger Award!

A note to anyone who has tagged me for anything in the past: I am dreadfully sorry, but I went and deleted all my old drafts. They were killing me Smalls. It’s not that I didn’t want to fill out the tags – some of them I was really looking forward to – but they’d piled up and some were really old and I just wanted to get back to blogging semi-regularly without the crushing burden of all those tags I need to catch up on slowing me down. Honestly at this point you probably don’t even remember tagging me, so you don’t even care, but I felt I ought to make the announcement anyway.

On to the questions, then!

// Scotland or Italy?

So…this question should be easy, right? It should be easy because duh, Scotland, but unfortunately it isn’t easy because I have a story set in Venice and another set in Genoa, and you guys??? The research opportunities??? Imagine getting to go to Venice and see the Ospedale della Pietá, which I think is still there, though reduced in size from Baroque days. To see the environment, the city. Canals, gondolas, the Doge’s palace, everything. You know how interesting Italian history is? In Vivaldi’s day, there was no Italy. It was the declining days of the Venetian Republic, I believe. (I should really learn more Italian history.)

And Genoa. I’m sure modern Genoa doesn’t exactly resemble medieval Genoa, but to go there and see it. And go out in a ship! And Venice is Vivaldi’s city, but Genoa is Christopher Columbus’s and as an American…yeah. The research, you guys, the history!

But…as interesting as Italian history is, Scottish history is more interesting. And Scotland is beautiful; or so I hear from my aunt, who’s been there three times. She’s never been anywhere else three times, besides Arkansas. I want to go. There’s a place on our road, where just as you come up over the hill you can look across someone’s field and you see a house (someone else’s house) and then hills rising up from it in multiple directions – and the lie of the land, my aunt says, reminds her of Scotland. It’s a beautiful view, you see.

Besides, the Caledonians are very, very old mountains, and I love mountains. The older the better. It’s an island. The land is all bound about by water, lochs that are really the ocean. I really like Scottish accents. Robert Louis Stevenson didn’t write any books about Italy. Scotland’s history is brave and tragic – and in a way, looking at even older history, there is just a little Italy in Scotland, but no Scotland in Italy.

I’m sorry, Italy.

// Silent movies or ’90s rom-coms?


I’ve never actually seen a silent movie besides part of a Robin Hood. But the only ’90s rom-coms I think I’ve seen are Kate and Leopold (it could’ve been worse, sure, but no thanks) and Return to Me (watched very recently because somebody told me there was Dean Martin and then I saw a copy of it the next day). Actually Return to Me was pretty good, so maybe ’90’s rom-coms. At least if all ’90’s rom-coms have those four old guys in them. I need to show that movie to my sister, actually; she’d love the old guys.

// Tennyson or Shelley?

I haven’t read enough Shelley to be really fair about this, but he hasn’t impressed me.

Whereas Tennyson – I love Tennyson dearly. For “Crossing the Bar” alone, but he wrote a ton of good stuff.

// Ambrosia salad or plain old marshmallows?

Finally, an easy one!

Marshmallows are gross.

Ambrosia salad, though we have it but once a year at Christmas, is delicious.

Also, it’s green. Green is a good color for food.

// Cello or piano?

Well, I play the piano, so I’m kind of biased.

The cello can be beautiful, don’t get me wrong, and I do love my own stringed instrument (the violin) better than the piano, but the piano’s such a versatile, all-purpose instrument. (Yet it’s much prettier than a guitar. You can accompany people on a piano, and accompanying people is the delight of this musician’s heart, anyway.

Like, imagine my sister playing her trumpet to Coventry Carol and me accompanying on a cello. No. You need the piano, so you can play all those soft, clanging dissonances that bring out the poignancy of the song. (Is it a coincidence, I ask you, that when Frances played it in Above Suspicion, for her Nazi audience to make a point, she did it on a piano? not a cello?)

Plus, I grew up listening to those twin composers, Chop-in and Show-pan, played by my mother on the piano. There may be great composers for the cello, but nothing that I will ever remember with so much pleasure as the music of Show-pan filling the house. (And that Chop-in fellow was pretty great too.)

// Activities with friends or just sitting and talking?

I like activities that leave plenty of time for talking. Such as hiking, kayaking, sailing, or going to rodeos and such. One time a friend and I were at a barrel racing event, and we perched on the rail and watched the horses and had the longest, best conversation about WWI flyboys and the War in the Pacific (WW2) and Japanese culture and Frisbees. You don’t feel you have to talk, but you can if you want to, and you’re doing something enjoyable in and of itself. And you’re not just…sitting…all the time.

I was first a high school, then a college, student, my friends. I get tired of sitting.

// Cold weather or hot weather?

Dear me. Cold weather, I suppose. Sweaters and clean air and crinkly-insides-of-noses and snow. And the grass in the hayfield bright brittle white and amber. And snuggling under covers and baked goods and hot tea and fires.

But please don’t really make me choose. I love the Midwest, where we’ve got both in abundance and don’t have to give up our lazy, molten, impossibly still summer days for the cold ones.

// Writing poetry or writing stories?


Writing…stories, I guess? I think? Poetry is an on-and-off thing, a more fickle Muse. And stories mean more to me, on average, though there are a few poems I love an impossible amount, and that’s sort of how it is with my writing of them too. I love poetry, but I live and breathe stories.

How…very dramatic that sounds. But I think I have a compulsion to write stories, whereas it’s only a very great proclivity to write poems. And I love stories a bit better. (And you can always cheat and stick poems in your stories. No one calls Tolkien a poet.)

// Texting or talking on the phone

Ha. Haha. Texting, please.

I want to talk to you face to face, but I hate just hearing a voice. Especially when the service is bad and you’re always having to repeat what you said or only catching jumbled bits of what they said or talking over each other. It’s always awkward.

So texting, please, but Skyping over both.

// Snakes or slugs?

Definitely, definitely slugs. Have you ever met a slug that could kill you? Or that would bite you? Or that attacked your mom and she had to chop its head off with a shovel? Or that rattled?

My coworker’s daughter has new snakes appearing in her house every day. It is a whole saga. There are pictures. It’s terrifying.

Once a black snake got caught in the netting around the garden and died and when I went back not very much later thinking I’d cut him out, he was…mostly evaporated.

Once I was fishing with my dad in a river. I was standing in the river, and suddenly I looked down to see a red-and-yellow snake circling my ankles. There was screaming, scrambling, fishing pole tossed many meters from its original location, and unfortunately I rather cut up my knees on the rocks.

Would any of that have been even a tenth as bad if it was a slug rather than a snake? I think not.

Besides, I like slugs, actually. Always have. Snails are such funny little things, and slugs are just naked snails. You gotta be nice to the poor little things. No squishing allowed.

// Cheerios or corn flakes?

Well…I’ve never had corn flakes. But I don’t like Cheerios. I do like Wheaties (wheat flakes, right?) and Raisin Bran (are those corn flakes?), so I think I’d probably like corn flakes better. But who knows, really. Cereal can surprise a fellow, don’t you know!

Okay, that was fun! Thank you again to Irene for tagging me! Part of why I don’t like tagging people is that I want to see everybody’s answers, so here are my questions and please steal them or answer them in the comments if you are so inclined.

  1. Favorite mountain range?
  2. Favorite Italian city?
  3. Favorite musical instrument?
  4. Favorite underappreciated animal?
  5. Would you rather fly a Sopwith Camel in WWI or a Blenheim in WW2?
  6. Have you ever made a fool of yourself because an animal scared you? Do spill the tea.
  7. Mosquitoes or chiggers?
  8. Hemlock or arsenic?
  9. How often do you ask yourself morbid questions like “what sort of poison would I prefer to die from?”?
  10. Japanese or Chinese history?
  11. What are your thoughts on the morality of Hiroshima and Nagasaki?

That did not get heavy at all.

Author: sarahseele

A Christian, cat owner, college kid, and writer. Fond of stories. Fond of rain.

10 thoughts on “The Radiation-from-a-distant-nuclear-furnace Person-who-posts-things-on-the-Internet-that-are-too-long-for-tweets Thing-you-give-people-when-they-do-a-good-job”

  1. Good to hear from you again! (I’m not sure where the saying ‘bright eyed and bushy tailed’ comes from, but I always thought it had to do with squirrels)
    Ah, you got the first question correct! Scotland the Brave! Can’t agree with the snake/slug one, though. Snakes don’t eat my garden.


    1. (Squirrels! That makes me think the expression must really mean something like “ripe for thievery” 😒)
      🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿 Oof, I wouldn’t like slugs either if they are my garden. Fortunately I’ve never had problems with that. Snakes ARE good for gardens, though, I forgot that. Hmm. (But you also have to worry about to snakes getting your chickens’ eggs, which is not a concern with slugs…)


      1. 1. I don’t know many mountain ranges by name, but the mountains in The Sound of Music were beautiful! So I will go with that.
        I tend to think mountains with a lot of green, and trees are much nicer than the ones that are just rock and snow, or dirt.
        2. I don’t really know anything about different Italian cities, but if I had to just pick one, maybe Sicily? I know nothing about it, but the name is nice.
        3. Dulcimers! They look and sound beautiful, and they are very ‘middle-ages’.
        4. Opossums are like little cats, but also like a monkey, but without the creepiness of monkeys! I’m not sure if opossums are underappreciated, but I think some people might think of them as pests, and I don’t mind them.
        5. I don’t know anything about planes, much less historical ones, but I’ll go with the WII one, it probably has a roof, and the WI one might not?
        6. I have, on many occasions, acted quite unreasonable around other people because a bug, spider, wasp, or (especially) a roach came much too close to my general vicinity.
        7. Mosquitoes.
        8. Hemlock, as far as I know, has no uses. Arsenic at least, people used to make green books. Not a good choice of coloring, but at least it wasn’t meant to kill anyone.
        9. I can’t think of a single time I’ve ever considered that.
        10. I suppose Japanese, mostly because in the history classes I’ve taken, the Chinese history was always boring or sad.
        11. Did y’all know that Bishop Fulton Sheen was completely against the bombings, and I have actually listened to a talk he gave, that compared it to abortion?
        People hear that two entire CITIES were incinerated by one guy who dropped bombs on them, and everyone says it’s sad but necessary.
        If the USA shipped five warships out to Japan and told them to march through Nagasaki and Hiroshima armed with bayonets and guns, and shoot and stab all the grandmothers, grandfathers, moms and dads, hospitals, and schools, churches and neighborhoods, I have a feeling that people would be a bit more unsettled.
        It’s the ‘neatness’ and ‘sanitized’ way that the thing was carried out that causes people to be accepting of the bombings, perhaps.
        Ironically it would have been more humane for the USA to have used guns instead, because children were dying years after the war was over because of all the radiation poisoning that lingered over the cities.


      2. 1. The Alps!!!! Good gracious, yes. They are lovely. I think you win the Best Answer award for this question. XD
        2. Sicily does have a cool name! I think that’s where the mafia started, also? Or at least that’s what I associate it with? So that’s also…cool. If concerning. XD
        3. I love that answer, it’s so unique. And I love dulcimers! I got to play one once, a long time ago, one of my favorite memories. (I assume you’re talking about hammer dulcimers. Mountain dulcimers are nice too, but there’s just something about a hammer dulcimer.)
        4. Love that answer. I’m definitely in the “thinks of possums as pests” category, but your description makes them sound much more adorable.
        5. Lol Sopwith Camels do indeed have open cockpits, so good choice!
        11. Okay, I love this answer. And I love the way you put that because…yes. That’s why bombing civilian targets (in any way) is so…weird to me, that people dismiss the morals of it so easily.
        The nukes were American leadership’s alternative to an actual invasion of Japan, of course, which wouldn’t have involved American soldiers directly killing Japanese civilians but would still have resulted in lots of mass suicides, I’m sure, like on Okinawa. And would also have cost many many American lives (and…a government does have a duty to protect its citizens’ lives, that’s kind of the whole main point of a government). So I UNDERSTAND why the decision was made, when the emperor refused to surrender and stuff, and it’s a hard thing, but I still don’t see how it can be thought of as anything but wrong…idk. It’s very sad and interesting.


  2. I love the title of this post. It took me longer than I will admit to figure it out. XD XD XD

    “For “Crossing the Bar” alone”<<INDEED. That poem. ❤ ❤ ❤

    Activities that leave time for talking are definitely fun! (I prefer the sitting. But I think you secretly do too, given that your example of doing something is sitting on a rail fence…;))

    Cold weather, YES!

    Hm. I think the only reason I picked snakes instead of slugs is because I live in a places that has zero poisonous snakes. XD (Or at least I'm from there. Rn I'm living in the Midwest, and I have no IDEA what kind of snakes there are here. XD)

    On to your questions…

    1. I am partial to the Cascades, because that's where I live, and they're cooler than the Olympics (also where I live) because they are the result of a subduction zone, rather than just scrapings left over from continental movement. There is a non-zero chance of one of them erupting on pretty much any given day. They add spice to life!! Plus, they are bee-you-ti-ful. Look up Mt. Rainier, if you please. 🙂

    2. Rome. Romeromeromeromerome. This answer brought to you by: me being Catholic. 😉 (But seriously, ROME.)

    3. Ooh dang. Like, favorite instrument in terms of sound, or to play? Because I can only play the piano…but I love the sound of the cello, violin, and horns. Oh, and trumpets. So. Yeah. Most of them?

    4. GOATS. This answer brought to you by: the "crazy goat lady" shirt I'm currently wearing.

    5. Blenheim in WW2. It seems quite a bit safer.

    6. Yes. All the time. I've screamed multiple times because rats scared me/ran over my feet. Also, there was a time where I walked blithely outside only to realize that there was a raccoon two feet from me, and screamed so loudly that my family inside thought I was being murdered, no joke. Most recently, a squirrel ran across my path within three inches of my feet, and I scREAMED and my friends laughed at me. XD

    7. Mosquitos. At least I can see them to squish them.

    8. Whichever is the least painful, I think.

    9. Actually fairly often, believe it or not. I contemplate slow-death-vs.-quick-death on a regular basis.

    10. Japanese, I think. It's less "big", and more interesting. Catholic missionaries, expulsion of foreigners, warships, &c.

    11. I don't know that I have time for the entire explanation of just war theory that the justification of my answer would require, but I don't think it was moral.

    Um, yeah, not heavy! Buh-bye!! 🙂 XD


    1. XD ngl, I’m ridiculously pleased you like it. It’s kind of dumb, but it amused me. XD

      (But you are wrong, Samantha! I swear! XD I really picked that example because the sitting around was nicer because a) it involved perching and climbing, and b) we were watching the horses at the same time, so we weren’t JUST sitting talking. I realize that this is a completely unnecessary explanation, but yes. Also I don’t understand how one prefers sitting. If you were given a summer afternoon and the option to sit in the shade and talk or to take a picnic and go kayaking down the river, would you REALLY choose just sitting under the tree???)

      Wait, y’all have no poisonous snakes in the PNW??! None at all? Huh. Yeah, I’m sure you have copperheads (won’t kill you unless a whole nest bites you) and diamondbacks (they like water). Besides that I don’t know. You might have rattlesnakes – they’re pretty rare in Missouri but they exist.

      1. Oh man, I want to visit the Cascades someday, they’re beautiful. And it’s interesting to me when people live among mountains that are actually volcanoes – and /know it/. I’m sure it does add a spice to life, haha! I think personally I’d rather live in the Rockies or the Himalayas or something – boring continental uplift is just fine by me; I can pass on the lava and ash flows and stuff. XD

      2. Wow did not see that answer coming. (actually…saw it many miles away XD)

      3. To hear, I was thinking! “Most of them” is an EXCELLENT answer, and yes, strings and brass can both be SO beautiful (but are also probably the worst-sounding when played badly, haha, ironically)

      4. XD also would NEVER have guessed your answer to this one.

      5. I mean, in a way, but didn’t a lot of Blenheim flyers die? Like even more than the percentage of RAF overall, which was already…not low?

      6. XD XD the squirrel story

      7. Yes. Correct answer, for correct reason xD

      11. I thought you’d say that. Now I’m curious whether you’d think it was moral after all if the target had been military rather than civilian.

      🤗 Thank you for answering my questions, I loved your answers!


  3. Okay, you answered these questions correctly. Not that I agreed with all of them, but you answered them correctly.
    Scotland has a mysterious air about it, a meloncholy magnetism that attracts me more than any other country. Well, Soctland and Ireland both have it for me. I do like Italy though.
    I keep on wondering why the heck I chose the silent movies vs. 90’s rom-coms question, but I kind of dig the noncommited, unenthusiastic vibe I get from everyone answering it LOL
    Green desserts are the best!!!! Love me some ambrosia salad.
    I love cellos the most simply for the first movement of Elgar’s cello concerto in E minor. I’ve listened to it so many times, and it still can make me cry. But violin and piano are right up there with the cello, definitely.
    I’ve never been to a rodeo, but I would dearly love to! And that conversation you had sounds so good.
    And yeah, you are so right about Tolkien being a cheater. He *was* a poet, but everyone calls him a fantasty author. I wrote a post about him and his poetry actually… I myself love writing stories, but I’m more dedicated to poetry and it’s like my favorite thing in the world.
    Gosshhhhhh, your stories about the snakes freak me out! There are no dangerous snakes in western Washington, but there are IMMENSELY big slugs, so I have an avid dislike for slugs. They eat my garden! They ate up my little radish leaves 😦 I would never step on one though. That would just be kind of gross. Pouring salt on them on the other hand… Muahahaha. They are just like naked snails though, and I do kind of like snails.
    You’ve never had corn flakes??? Woah.
    I’m just gonna answer a few of your questions really quick, although I love them all. I must confess, I don’t know much about plane types.
    My favorite mountain range would probs be the Cascades, like Samantha said above. I really like the Caucasus Mountains too.
    I love Venice, though I’ve never been there.
    My favorite underappreciated animal would probably be the tern. Caspian terns, royal terns, fairy terns, they’re all beautiful.
    Oh, story of when an animal scared me! I was sitting on the front porch at night, talking to a friend on the phone, when a dark grey shape came around the corner. I leaned over to pet Lupe, our grey cat, only to realize it was a very large racoon. LOL. It scared me quite badly, but he was just as freaked out as me, so we both jumped away from each other and all ended well.
    I have never experienced chiggers, luckily. I don’t like mosquitoes, that’s for sure.
    As for the poisons, hemlock of course. It has a primevil, ancient sound to it, and the trees are quite nice! But yes, quite the morbid question, I must say…
    I’m more interested by Chinese history, definitely. It really fascinates me.
    As for the morality of the bombings, I would say it had to be done, but I would hate to be anyone in charge of making it happen. Absolutely tragic situation.
    Thank you so much for doing this tag! I genuinely enjoyed reading it. This has been Irene speaking 😀


    1. What a relief, to know from the official source that I answered correctly! XD

      YES to what you said about Scotland. So much yes. And Ireland too, although it’s a little different to me, which may just be because I know more about Ireland? And I have some Irish ancestors so it doesn’t feel as mysterious? Idk.

      Oh, the cello is beautiful. The concerto is gorgeous (I hadn’t listened to it in so long I didn’t remember if I knew it so I went and listened to it again and 😍). Have you listened to Saint-Saen’s “The Swan”? I love that cello piece dearly as well.

      Poetry is simply the best, so of course it’s your favorite thing ever. 😉 I went and looked up that post and enjoyed it greatly. Tolkien’s poetry is just…fantastic.

      When you say immensely big slugs…HOW big? Cause I’m a little freaked out imagining these huge garden chomping slugs. Pouring salt on them sounds cruel though!! 😂

      Ooh thank you for answering!! I love all your answers! And terns!!! I think Arctic terns might be one of my favorite birds (and I love birds). They’re so cool.

      Oh my goodness, your raccoon experience!! That would freak me out.

      High five on Chinese history! It IS so fascinating and I really need to look up more about it.

      Thank you for tagging me, and leaving this delightful comment!


  4. Oh, Sarah, I just LOVE your titles! XD

    Well finally there’s someone who agrees with the fact that marshmallows are gross. 😊 I will eat them on one condition: in a S’more BUT only if there’s chocolate with it because then you can’t taste the marshmallow as much as the chocolate, he he. Otherwise, they’re a ball of sugar.

    I do have to disagree about the piano versus cello…now they’re both great and I love listening to both. But, I think the cello is more lively and keeps me alert when I’m listening to classical music while doing math (highly recommended by the way 😉). Also, I grew up listening to my sister play the violin and it’s quite similar. In the end though, the flute is the winner!

    Yay for cold weather! My family doesn’t understand why I look forward to this time of year. Although it’s Fall, Minnesota is starting to bring on the cold winter. Look at it this way: in the heat of summer, you can only cool off for so long. In the winter, you can add layers of clothing and blankets and heat and you’ll keep warm.

    Snakes for me! To be honest, I’ve never heard of a slug. I don’t know, do we even have those in Minnesota? I was a bit of a tomboy growing up. I picked up worms and chased my older sister with them and my friend and I used to go searching for Gardner Snakes and PICK THEM UP. It was a blast! We had a reptile show come into the daycare that I work at and there were snakes. I got to hold a King Snake, which was so fun! However, I can see why some people don’t like them.

    Answering some blog questions instead of studying for tomorrow’s anatomy exam… but I need a break:
    1. The mountains…how I wish to visit some in person one day! I would love to visit the Rocky Mountains one day due to an extensive research project in Geography class.

    2. Rome, simple as that! So much Catholic history and so many cathedrals.

    3. FLUTE! No bias at all…just kidding

    4. Manatees, I don’t know why but they are just cool.

    5. A Blenheim in WW2 because I know more about WW2 than WW1, and I find the history more interesting.

    6. Oh yes! Recently, in fact. I was practicing my flute and playing this slow melody. I was getting all of the rhythms right and then, out of nowhere, a silverfish lands on my music. I screamed so LOUD. I’ve never let out that loud of a scream! My siblings had to be there and won’t let me forget “that time you were practicing and a silverfish landed on your music”. Funny how snakes and spiders don’t bother me one bit, but silverfish, NO WAY!

    7. Mosquitoes, they’re harder to avoid but easier to smash and the bites aren’t as bad. My brother had chiggers once and it looked horrible.

    8. Umm, I don’t think I can answer that…

    9. Not very often

    10. Chinese, thanks to “The Iron Man of China”. It’s a very heavy topic book about Fr. Lavin and his missionary work in China. Highly recommend, but it is sad at times.

    11. I don’t have many thoughts because I honestly don’t know much about it.

    What heavy questions, Sarah. XD Thanks for giving me a break from my studying!


  5. Someone asked the other day where I would go if I could go anywhere. I answered (after panicking internally for a few seconds because WHY do people ask you to make spur of the moment DECISIONS for the sake of SMALL TALK??) that I would like to go to Scotland. And she was like, “Huh. I don’t think I’ve ever heard anyone say that before.” Which stunned me into silence. Because who DOESN’T want to go to Scotland?? I am very confused??
    Ahhh, accompanying! I love accompanying my sisters on the piano. I play disney and broadway songs and they sing (and don’t turn pages for me) and it’s always good fun (even when the music gets too difficult and I’m sight reading and suddenly the accompaniment is just a single solitary bass note for three measures…)
    The snake stories XD I mean, they’re terrifying, but you didn’t die, so I can laugh at them
    I saw the plane question and instantly thought Blenheim because JAMIE BEAUFORT STUART


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