Sunday, April 20, 2008

Seven Weird Facts about Me

I’ve been putting off the “Seven Weird Facts about Me” meme that Danny tagged me for because I couldn’t quite formulate seven weird things that wouldn’t make me look too weird, only endearingly flawed. It’s taken me two weeks to find this equilibrium.

I just had a twenty-ounce cup of black coffee and a bear-claw, which was way two sweet, so I’m feeling slightly nauseous. I hope it wears off soon because it’s Sunday and I don’t want to spend the-day-before-Monday feeling sickly and unmotivated. I was productive yesterday, cleaning the back-porch, kitchen, living room and fixing the screen-door. My friend Kevin came by last night and we worked on three new cover-songs “Under my Thumb,” Dwight Yoakum’s “I’ll be Gone,” and the unplugged version of “Layla.” It was encouraging to be playing well through the P.A., and the two of us became quite enthusiastic. We’re trying to bring ourselves back up to gig-readiness. But I feel I’m stalling here…

So, without further adieu, are the Seven Weird Facts about Me.

1) I have a phobia about the number 13. I’ve mentioned this in posts before but maybe I can go into some depth here. A couple of years ago I started realizing/imagining that every time I looked at the clock it would be 13 minutes past-the-hour. (seeing the number written in this post is actually starting to freak me out a little.) For a while it seemed that I would only happen to glance at the clock when this was so. The 13 would predict a bad day, and this was at a time when I was having a string of bad, if not self-inflicted, days. So the number still causes anxiety, but for some reason the occurrences of it appearing on the clock have diminished—let’s hope forever. My rational side thinks this is all about my body-clock, which is conditioned to prompt my brain to check the time based on years of scheduled patterns, if that makes any sense. This is what I tell myself when it happens several times a day. I also tell myself that in some cultures the number 13 is extremely lucky. I need to go join those cultures.

2) Numbers divisible by 7 are my heroes. Okay, here’s where it gets really weird. (“You mean it gets weirder?”) If I look at the clock and it is, say, 7:21, I feel relieved and encouraged. If it says 7:14 I feel doubly so because I was born on the 14th. For some reason I really like it to be 28 minutes past-the-hour. And who says I’m no good at math? You just need to bring irrational fear into the picture and I’m a whiz. (Boy am I glad that this meme is seven weird things and not thirteen!)

3) I’m extremely un-photogenic. When someone pulls out a camera I turn into the Wicked Witch of the West—the part where she’s melting! I don’t consider myself a bad looking guy, I’ve seen myself on video and I don’t come off too repulsively, but when someone takes a snapshot of me my teeth are out, my eyes are closed and young children start to scatter. I think it’s because I hate to have my picture taken, and this shows in my expression. It’s a catch twenty-two because the more terrible pictures taken of me the more I hate having my picture taken and the more it shows in the next picture. Or maybe I’m getting paid back somehow for all those family pictures I ruined by making funny-faces. I’m thinking of posting a few of my worse portraits, but I seriously don’t want to remain single the rest of my life. I really need to embrace amateur photography.

4) I’m Zen Buddhist about killing flying insects. Okay, this one might get me labeled as the mayor of Flake-ville but I try not to kill bees, wasps, yellow-jackets etc. that are unfortunate enough to fly indoors. I try to scoop them up with a towel and let them outside. Flies don’t count—any insect that craps every time it lands on you is not participating in my idea of the cycle-of-life. Mosquitoes as well, I like my blood and want to keep it in my body.

5) I don’t own a cell-phone. This is becoming more-and-more of an inconvenience. I was on the phone with a customer-service-representative the other day and she was practically appalled to find out that I had no cell-phone number. I calmed her down and tried to convince her that I was part of the living and not some throw-back ghost or time-traveler lost in the future. She told me she didn’t even have a land-line. I plan to get a cell, but I’m not much of a phone talker and I’m still prejudiced against the ruder aspects of the device. Having a date check her text messages during dinner is enough to keep me away for a little while longer.

6) I used to love watching cricket. I believe it is known as the most boring sport on the planet, but I got hooked while watching one-day-test-matches in South Africa. It’s been so long that I’ve forgotten any rules I grasped at that time, I just remember the Pakistanis being the team to beat. Their bowlers were comparable to the Atlanta Braves pitching staff during the 1995 season (subfact: I’m a slight baseball geek). They don’t show cricket in America, at least in my neck of the woods, but on the tennis courts down from my house I’ve seen East-Indians practicing their bowling recently. I’m anxious to find out if they have a league.

7) I’m not really all that weird. Does this count as a weird fact? I’m often silent, or boring even, but extreme weirdness eludes me. I grew up in a fairly normal home, I was a lazy, slightly dyslexic student, who worked hard later to redeem himself, and I continue to work in fits-and-starts to maintain the life I lead and possibly improve it. I love my family and friends; I get justifiably pissed sometimes but try to keep it in check, and I halfway buy into the American dream. I hate injustice though, and narrow-minded arrogant people get my blood up. For all this, I think I’m pretty normal.

So those are the Seven Weird Facts about Me. Not exactly a concise list, but one I can live with. Weirdness is a good thing in my opinion as long as it doesn’t infringe on other’s rights to be weird in their own way. Think of all the great artists who were and are weird. Without them, life would be boring and, well, pretty Republican. Now no one in their right mind would want that!

No tagging…just do it.

Emily: REM post in the next day or so.


litlove said...

It's okay you can breathe easy - definitely endearingly flawed rather than full out protect your children weird! (I like the number 3 and all its divisibles).

Charlotte said...

I'm with you on the cell-phone! I own one but it usually lies uncharged and ignored in the bottom of my handbag. I loathe the things and all the attendant rudeness and inability to make proper plans that go along with them.

My husband would be with you on the cricket. I like it too, but only in short bursts. I can't follow a five-day game with anything less than cursory interest, but I have to say there are few things more soothing than sitting round a cricket pitch, sipping an ice-cold drink and listening to the sock of willow. Very pleasant, but sadly part of another life for me. There is no cricket in Germany!

communicatrix said...

"I'll Be Gone" is one of my favorite country, singalong songs. Sounds like a good set you're building.

Ryoko said...

I need more pictures of you^-^
to tag on facebook...take pictures with me plz ;)

Anonymous said...

I spent 42 adult years playing cricket. It is the king of sports. I don't know if there is a league anywhere near you but you may find some information here.

Alternatively, ask the guys you see practising if you can join in. Most cricketers are also proselytisers :)

Anonymous said...

oops - try here. And my favourite numbers are 5's - or 14 or 23 - It goes back to my reading of the Illuminatus Trilogy while under the influence of certain chemical enhancers ;)

IM said...

litlove, thanks. All in all I think I'm not quite bad enough to scare the children, but eccentric enough to be kind of interesting.

Charlotte, I would probably leave the phone off the charger and have the power be dead at the one crucial moment I needed to use it. In fact that happens all the time with my home phone. I'm anxious to experience that laid-back cricket match again as well.

Communicatrix, Isn't it fun to sing? That's why we rehearsed it several times the other night. A Website called Wolfgang's Vault has a Dwight concert with a smokin' version of that and others.

Ryoko, we'll take a whole memory card's worth of pictures and maybe a decent one will come out of them. Of course you are VERY photogenic.

Archie, I actually played the game a little at the age of twelve in England. I wasn't too terrible. Is there a website with streaming video of matches...or maybe that's the one you directed me to, I haven't checked it out yet. I'm off to do that now.

Emily Barton said...

You sound perfectly normal to me. Oh, wait a minute, aren't we related somehow?

I think my R.E.M. post might have to wait until next week. But I promise not to read yours until I've written it.

IM said...

One of the weirdest things about me Emily is that I pretend to be normal. But that may not be so weird, maybe a lot of people do that.

Danny said...

Fascinating! I have to say the one that shocked me to the core was #5. And then I was disgusted with myself that I was so shocked. I share your revulsion for cell phones, God knows, but on the other hand, I don't know how I could live without one at this point.

I'm so suggestible that I've been trying to get your two points about numbers out of my head because I can see myself becoming instantly obsessed with 13 and 7.

Interesting that several of the people I tagged made claims about not being "weird." That's in the eye of the beholder, I guess. To me, "weird" is a great compliment (well, way more of a positive attribute than "normal," that's for sure!), I can't imagine that I'd be interested in your blog if you weren't just a little bit weird!

IM said...

Danny, I'm the same way about my laptop. If I were to lose it I would sink into complete despair. I think this is a reason I resist getting a cell phone, because of my dependency issues.

The number thing is weird as heck, if I get a string of 7 based numbers I really feel like I'm on a roll. Like Vegas. And I hate gambling!

And I thought hard about what I wrote about not being weird. The problem was I was not feeling weird at that moment, but, as I re-read, the part about the bear-claw alone is enough to convince me once-and-for-all--I'm WEIRD! Thanks for the tag.

Anonymous said...

We don't have a cellphone either. The embarrassing part about this is when you have to borrow someone else's to make an urgent call.

I had the song "Under My Thumb" in my head for two days before I read your post--now that seems weird. linser

IM said...

Oh my god, I'm having to post the 13th (!) comment. This does not bode well. Borrowing cell phones is bad, especially when you have to ask how to use it.

IM said...

Okay, so it's bugging me that the comments stopped at 13, I'm posting this comment to bring it to 15.

IM said...

I meant 14, but now it IS actually 15...Okay--I'm weird alright.

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