The Mask - Photo courtesy longer shackled by the insecurities of the Cowardly Lion from The Wizard of Oz, I have finally found the courage and voice to step forward, with conviction, just like Stanley Ipkiss’ alter ego, and proudly state: Thank you Valentina Cirasola, the Home Designs Master, for awarding me with my sixth Blog of The Year 2012 star.

Ipkiss (Jim Carey), the meek bank clerk who, when he dons the magical mask of Loki, the Norse night god of mischief, goes on an animated terror in the fantasy-comedy movie The Mask.

The Mask_Howlin' WolfSporting a lime-green mug that could stop a freight train, and outfitted in a flashy banana-yellow zoot suit with oversized fedora, The Mask’s Looney Tunes-like antics reach one of their many apexes when he collapses in the arms of a gun totin’ bouncer faking his death, with dramatic flair, following the one-sided shootout on the stage at the Coco Bongo nightclub.

Lipkiss/The Mask receives a standing-O for his performance, is handed an Oscar statuette and accepts the award in over-the-top fashion by tearfully saying, “You love me. You really love me.”

Now, I can’t go quite that far in accepting my sixth star on the BOTY “walk of fame” — although it is worthy of Carey’s Cuban Pete leading a conga line of shuffling beat cops — but I will exchange high-fives with Valentina and say, “muchas gracias.”

Blog of the Year Award banner 600

As with any award given out over the WordPress blogosphere, there are  “rules,” but the BOTY award script is pretty simple.


1. Select the blog(s) you think deserve the ‘Blog of the Year 2012’ Award.

2. Write a blog post and tell us about the blog(s) you have chosen – there’s no minimum or maximum number of blogs required – and ‘present’ them with their award.

3. Please include a link back to this page ‘Blog of the Year 2012’ Award , and include these ‘rules’ in your post (please don’t alter the rules or the badges!).

4. Let the blog(s) you have chosen know that you have given them this award and share the ‘rules’ with them.

5. You can now also join our Facebook group – click ‘like’ on this page ‘Blog of the Year 2012’ Award Facebook group and then you can share your blog with an even wider audience.

6. As a winner of the award – please add a link back to the blog that presented you with the award – and then proudly display the award on your blog and sidebar … and start collecting stars (up to a maximum of six).


With the “mask” securely tucked away, I’d like to extend the same courtesy as Valentina and bestow BOTY 2012 stars on a few more of my favorite blogs:

Lightscapes Nature Photography – Join Kerry as he takes you over hill, dale and a few rocky peaks as he showcases his mastery of landscape photography.

Where’s My Backpack – Follow along with Ailsa as she romances the planet via her love affair with travel and join in the fun with her weekly photo themes.

The Wanderlust Gene – Meredith paints pretty pictures with her camera and backs them all up with great narrative from her digs on Sri Lanka.

Photo & Tour – Teresa combines her passions for travel and photography under one creative roof.

Congratulations to the above blog sites and their authors. To quote Stanley Ipkiss when he wore The Mask, you’re all SMOKIN’!

©The Palladian Traveler


Written by The Palladian Traveler

Tom traded his hometown St. Louis Cardinals' baseball cap in the United States for a Borsalino and he now hangs his "capello" in the Veneto region of northeastern Italy. A veteran print and broadcast journalist, with well-worn passports that have got him in and out of 49 countries and counting, Tom fell in love with the "Bel Paese" years ago. As he notes, "I'm inspired by the beauty I find in all things that are very, very old, and reliving history, or at least meandering along cobblestone streets that were laid down over a thousand years ago and just looking up and marveling at what occupies the space still today, really gets my 'Vespa' running." Tom has a good eye behind the lens and is a graphic storyteller, but he'll let you decide as he keeps his camera batteries fully charged and the posts flowing from his creative hideaway somewhere in the Veneto. You can also follow his dispatches from the cobblestone at and


  1. Congratulations on your sixth star, Tom…and thanks for awarding me my first. I’m humbled. (My apologies for taking so long to acknowledge this; your note was inexplicably designated as spam, and I had to “rescue” it.)

  2. Oops, same as Kerry, Tom, I just found this now, major congrats on your well-deserved host of stars, you’re pretty smokin’ yourself, and *blush* thank you so much for the shout out. You love me, you really love me.🙂

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