Monday, November 19, 2007

My Mother Always Told Me I Was The Weird One In The Family.

It seems I have been tagged to do this "seven weird things about me" meme. I thought that maybe I already had done that here at some point, but I guess not. Anyway, here goes:

1. I talk to myself. A lot. I try not to do it too conspicuously in public, but when I'm on my own, I can deliver entire 20-minute lectures to myself, complete with hand gestures. I also sometimes talk to the cats, especially when I'm planning out my day. "OK, kitties, I'm going to take a shower now, and then I'm going to go out to the post office..." Like it's more psychologically acceptable to talk to animals who can't understand me than it is to talk to myself, at least if the subject matter concerns said animals the way my comings and goings (and thus my availability for cat dish-filling duties) does. Also, once in a while I'll read out loud to the cats. I was reading bits of Lonely Hearts of the Cosmos to Vir Catto yesterday, but he seemed sadly uninterested in Hawking's ideas about black holes.

2. I use my car maybe once a month, usually when I have to buy cat litter or drive up to Albuquerque for some reason. Otherwise, I walk everywhere. I live in a small town -- few places I want to get to are more than 15 minutes away -- so this is eminently doable. Walking is the ultimate win-win situation for me. It's good for the world at large, what with not burning up pesky fossil fuels and all. It's good for my body, being the only real exercise I get. And it's good for my mind, as I find it helps to clear my head, lift my mood, and concentrate my thoughts. I do all my best creative thinking when I'm walking. And, if it's light out and I don't have any particular creative thinking I need to do, I can read while I walk. For some reason, people seem to find this strange. I suspect this is mainly because they haven't tried it; it's easier than it looks, honestly. But anyway, yeah, in conclusion, I love to walk. Sometimes -- OK, kind of often -- I'll walk a two-mile round trip at 2 AM to drop a letter in the mailbox at the post office that I could easily have mailed from home, just to give myself an excuse to get out and walk.

3. I don't eat invertebrates. Shellfish are basically just giant underwater bugs -- ick! And mollusks are squishy, slimy things. Also, while I'm ruling out whole classes of lifeforms, I'll add in an entire kingdom and say the same thing about fungus, with the added point that that stuff grows in shit. You may keep your lobsters, scallops and mushrooms for yourself. Thank you.

4. I cannot think properly with the TV or the radio on. The sound moves into the part of my brain that I use to think with and interferes with the words I use to think in, and I do not have the ability to tune it out. The effect is lessened if it's soft instrumental music that's not to my taste but also not actively annoying, or if it's something really dull and quiet playing on the TV, like a golf tournament. It's heightened if it's something I find interesting (even if only in the train-wreck sort of way that you get with a lot of TV programs) or something with strong lyrics. But if I really need to concentrate on something, especially something that involves writing, I really need either silence or white noise. Music is for occupying my brain while I do mindless physical tasks, and I only watch stuff on TV that I actually care about enough to devote my full attention to.

5. I have a book-buying addiction. I had to impose a quota limiting the number of books I buy to less than the number I read, otherwise I would have found myself buried under an avalanche of books. Not that that might not still happen.

6. My idea of getting dressed up is wearing khakis instead of jeans, a sweater vest over my t-shirt, and boots instead of sneakers. If an event requires getting dressier than that, you're going to have a hard time talking me into going.

7. I spend eight hours a day at work in front of a computer. Sometimes twelve. So, what's the very first thing I do when I get home? Sit down in front of the computer. Hey, important e-mail might have come in during that 15 minutes it took me to walk home!

Um, wow. That all makes me sound more eccentric than I thought I was.

6 comments:

  1. Most of those don't sound all that weird to me, except perhaps foer the giving yourself 20 minutes lectures, when the "listening you" presumably already knows the content.

    I use my car maybe once a month, usually when I have to buy cat litter or drive up to Albuquerque for some reason. Otherwise, I walk everywhere.

    Beware that you don't meet the fate of Ray Bradbury's "The Pedestrian". I think that story was written in the 1950s, so it has any erry prescience to it. I was going to say that your walking wouldn't be considered odd anywhere but in the USA, but I fear that Britain is headed in that direction.

    When you mentioned walking at 2am I became a little concerned. Even in a place like Socorro, where muggers and rapists presumably don't lurk on every street corner, that strikes me as rather risky.

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  2. except perhaps foer the giving yourself 20 minutes lectures, when the "listening you" presumably already knows the content.

    It helps me think about, organize, and remember the content, sometimes. Other times, I suppose it is kind of pointless. But I like talking to me, because I agree with most of my own opinions. :)

    Even in a place like Socorro, where muggers and rapists presumably don't lurk on every street corner, that strikes me as rather risky.

    *rolls eyes* You, and everybody else who's never actually done it. I've been prowling these streets at all hours of the night for something like 15 years now, and I've had exactly one incident where anybody did anything remotely threatening, and that was a kid who was so incredibly inept at it that it was more laughable than frightening. (He was also with a couple of buddies who disapproved and kept telling him to cut it out.) Other than that, the worst I've ever encountered have been a few over-friendly drunks who only wanted to talk and were very easily put off. Well, and dogs. Dogs are far and away the biggest danger here, but they're just as dangerous in the daytime. Fortunately, there aren't many dogs where I usually walk. And I know how to handle dogs, anyway. Most dogs are easy enough to deal with, if you just understand a little canine psychology.

    And, just in case any memebers of my family are reading this and are thinking about giving me a hard time despite all the foregoing, I'll also not that police cars regularly patrol the streets here. If I spend half an hour walking late at night, I'll usually see a police car go by three or four times.

    Indeed, walking here at 2 AM is much, much safer than driving is at any hour. Fatal car accidents happen all the time. Random murders in the streets don't.

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  3. Were your switched at birth without me knowing? I can be a little eccentric. Just ask Janice. Oh by the way, pout for me. I just had a tooth pulled.

    Uh, I think I am a little wary of you walking at night, suppose there was a vampire mosquito after you.

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  4. I just had a tooth pulled.

    Ouch! *pouts for you*

    And isn't "vampire mosquito" redundant?

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  5. You're asking the wrong audience if you're weird. We all think these behaviors are perfectly normal -- since we share some of them ourselves.

    It's the outside world that does think you're (and we're) weird. None of my coworkers understands #4, and they eternally give me grief for not being able to listen to them and do my own work (which I naturally find immensely more important) at the same time.

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  6. This has actually been my strategy for feeling normal: surround myself with people as weird as I am. It works. :)

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