Monday, November 06, 2006

Nine Weird Things About Myself

Okay, I'll just admit it--I got my wife's help with this meme. When Hearts in San Francisco tagged me, I freaked out a little. After all, I think I'm pretty normal. Honestly, is it weird to spend all your time drawing pictures of Bea Arthur on your naked legs while listening to old Roger Whittaker albums? Is it strange to steal pebbles from your neighbors' driveways while dressed like a Jawa? Is it odd to cover your body in Thai peanut sauce and dance the tango with a half-wild ferret named "John Ehrlichman"?

I didn't think so, either.

So, anyway, here are nine things that my wife and I agreed are at least moderately weird.

1. I xeroxed my butt on the House of Commons copying machine. I was working as a legislative assistant to an MP in the House of Commons, and tended to get a little obsessive about work, so I often stayed in my office long after everyone else had left. One evening, while doing some xeroxing, I decided that I would never again have the opportunity, so...what the hell. I finally lost the xerox copy a few years ago.

2. When I was 21, I became my little sister's legal guardian and raised her until I was 30. My mother died when I was 20, and my father died when I was 21. One of his last requests was that I take care of my sister, so I agreed to do so. Over the next nine years, I had the honor, and the joy, of helping her develop into a confident and brilliant young woman. This year, she graduated Summa Cum Laude from the art school at Virginia Commonwealth University.

3. According to my wife, I'm obsessive about q-tip usage. I don't think this is particularly true, although her evidence is pretty compelling. I just tend to get a little upset when we run out of q-tips. Or when people buy off-brand q-tips. Or when people touch my q-tips. With their grubby, q-tip stealing fingers.

4. In High School, I seriously contemplated becoming a priest. I liked the idea of a life of the mind and the spirit, and the priesthood seemed like a pretty good gig. I particularly enjoyed the idea of counseling people. I ultimately decided against it because, even at 15, my incredibly strong arm muscles indicated that celibacy was not for me.

5. I taught myself Polish. I had a little thing with a Polish woman, and I started studying Polish so we could better communicate. When the relationship folded, I kept working on the language because I was totally hooked. Later, when my girlfriend and I traveled to Poland, my linguistic (and lingual) abilities came in handy. I proposed to her on that trip. My Polish is a little rusty now, but my mind still vomits up the occasional word or phrase.

6. I really, really like "evil children" movies. I don't even want to think about why this is, but The Exorcist is one of my favorite films, and Children of the Corn, Village of the Damned, The Omen, and The Ring all still have some power over me. There's something about evil children that just really scares me to death.

7. I will drive twenty miles out of my way to go to a private, or family-owned restaurant. I get especially excited if they have something really odd on the menu, like butterscotch pie, grape-nut custard, peanut soup, and so on. I usually try to buy t-shirts from these restaurants, even though I don't wear t-shirts. I also make a point of avoiding hotel chains as much as possible. Although privately-owned restaurants and hotels are sometimes not as polished as their chain counterparts, there's something homey about them that makes me seek them out.

8. I love religious horror movies. Okay, I know that this one's closely related to the "evil children" movies, but I'd argue that it's different enough to warrant its own number. I love movies about demons, Satan, and so on. I even enjoy the crappy ones, like End of Days, Stigmata, Exorcist II: the Heretic, and so on. In general, I'm really interested in people's views of the end of the world and of morality in general.

9. I'm obsessed with the Holocaust. I've studied it in school, read extensively on it, and have traveled to several Holocaust sites. Part of my obsession is probably because my mother was Jewish, but that really doesn't get to the heart of it. I think I'm most intrigued by the intellectual gymnastics that otherwise sane people went through in order to become capable of mass murder. After all my research and travel, I still can hardly believe, much less comprehend, the fact of this.

I'm tagging Lee, the CEO, and Parlancheq with this one. You're on, lady and gentlemen.

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  • Gha--evil children movies! Those are the ones that freak me out THE most. I will not, under any circumstances, watch an evil children horror film. Okay, maybe under Percocet circumstances, but even then...*shudder*.

    (By the way, I know we've never met. I'm your wife's friend from high school, Karen. Hope it's not too weird or awkward that I'm commenting on your blog first thing Monday morning.)

    By Blogger Mrs Pinchloaf, At November 6, 2006 at 8:31 AM  

  • Oh, never knew strong arm muscles dissuade people from being priests. If you ask me, I find many strong armed Hindu priests here to be sexy. ;)

    ALso how did that glass on the Xerox machine not break when you sat on it?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At November 6, 2006 at 8:48 AM  

  • evil children movies scare me, but just because I run into so many in real life :)

    The arm thing is funny... i think its the only reason my friend comes along to the buddhist teachings, she's in love with the tibetan monks strong arms, which are usually bare :)

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At November 6, 2006 at 9:58 AM  

  • Please post the Xerox of your butt.

    By Blogger mist1, At November 6, 2006 at 11:04 AM  

  • Karen-
    Good to hear from you (you didn't freak me out!). Regarding the evil child thing, I think I like them because they freak me out. I realize, of course, that this makes me a loon.

    I have a sneaking suspicion that Buddhist monks and Catholic high schoolers have strong arms for totally different reasons. To look at it another way, I imagine that the monks' arms are both strong, while I'm a little overbalanced on the right hand side.

    Regarding not breaking the glass, I braced my arms on the edge of the control panel and the edge of the copier and pretty much hovered over the glass. Believe it or not, avoiding broken glass in my tuchus was my primary concern during the whole operation.

    You deal with evil children too? The whole idea that little kids are sweet and innocent seems...questionable.

    I lost the xerox, so you have to imagine. When I was twenty, my butt was somewhere between that of a young Mel Gibson and a young John Kennedy. Except hotter and with more personality.

    By Blogger Crankster, At November 6, 2006 at 11:39 AM  

  • Ain't the blog world wonderful.. now you have all us girls imagining your 20 year old hot and personable butt.

    Only on the internet.

    By Anonymous Just D, At November 6, 2006 at 6:54 PM  

  • just an fyi #1 made me laugh so hard i scared my cats. lol :p

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At November 6, 2006 at 7:03 PM  

  • HELL YES to #1. who else can say they've done that? also, i totally feel you on #3... the roommates know not to come anywhere near my q-tips.

    By Blogger nordicbitch and texass, At November 6, 2006 at 7:24 PM  

  • Dude! I have this dream where I learn Polish (one of my grandparents was Polish) and move to Poland temporarily for a big shot job and just have my pick of the long-legged ladies....

    It's a nice dream.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At November 6, 2006 at 7:28 PM  

  • Doesn't everyone Xerox their butts, at least once? lol.
    I also have this Q-Tip obsession...and they must be the brand name Q-Tip and nothing else!!
    Thanks for sharing!

    By Anonymous Odat, At November 6, 2006 at 7:37 PM  

  • His 35 year old butt is pretty hot and personable too. :)

    By Blogger misanthropster, At November 6, 2006 at 9:59 PM  

  • D-
    Or on radio. Although, I must admit, I wouldn't really want to imagine The Shadow's butt.

    I'm glad my butt was able to frighten your kitties. And proud.

    Thanks for stopping by!

    Nordicbitch and Texass-
    There should be rules about Q-tip etiquette. Actually, one rule: touch my Q-tips, draw back a stump.

    Check out the Transparent Language CDs. I was able to pretty much get the language in about three months. And, by the way, Polish women are really cute and love it when you try to speak their language.

    I should also note that everyone in Krakow thought my wife was Polish. Even the Polish men.

    Absolutely. There is no other brand.

    By Blogger Crankster, At November 6, 2006 at 10:39 PM  

  • There appears to be a consensus on yor butt being the best butt, and you've even received a testimonial, so i can't find anything interesting in that area. I'll have to try this after I vote.

    And I think that the Lady who gave you the testimonial is also glad that you had strong arms in high school, and came to your senses. Move a leaf and affect a solar system.

    Finally, congratulations on your sister. You have a lot to be proud of, really!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At November 6, 2006 at 11:38 PM  

  • Thanks for playing!

    How beautiful that you raised your sister. Strong karma there, no doubt. And you obviously did a kick-ass job of it. What a lovely story.

    I am also drawn to a life of mind and spirit, but really wanted children this time around.

    I don't think it's odd to seek out individual hotels and restaurants over the big chains, which lack all evidence of human contact.

    I'm fascinated by the Holocaust, too. And despite all I've read and the first-hand accounts I've heard from people with crude tattoos on their forearms, it's still incomprehensible that so many could have participated for any reason in such widespread madness.

    This was a great read! If you're weird, more people should be weird in the same ways.

    By Blogger heartinsanfrancisco, At November 6, 2006 at 11:53 PM  

  • Regarding q-tips, my compulsive behavioral tendencies are kept in check by an inability to use them without poking myself in the eardrum. It should be simple:
    1. Insert q-tip.
    2. Bring q-tip up to ramming speed.
    3. Perforate eardrum.
    4. Withdraw q-tip.
    Where am I going wrong? Btw, thanks for dropping by.

    By Blogger slaghammer, At November 7, 2006 at 2:02 AM  

  • A lot of the things I strongly stand in your corner. Evil children movies, religious horror movies, obsessed with the Holocaust, I can understand. Teaching youself polish? Dude I'm polish and never learned it, and my family spoke it! I guess I got turned off by all those Polak jokes. Don't forget to VOTE today!!!

    By Blogger The Naked Nerd, At November 7, 2006 at 5:06 AM  

  • dude - you don't wear t-shirts? That should have been at the top of your "weird" list. If you had followed that up with "and i don't wear sandals" then you would have been dead to me.

    close call, dude.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At November 7, 2006 at 10:43 AM  

  • CEO-
    Thanks for holding back on the issue of my posterior. Frankly, he's getting a little to big for his britches. I've started hearing talk of glamour shots.

    Frankly, when I think of all the things that could have shifted slightly and left me in a totally different place than the one I occupy, I'm amazed and a little frightened.

    My sister is living with us right now while she applies to grad schools and residency programs. We've never broken contact, but it's been a long time since we spent this much time together. I'm constantly amazed by her.

    Regarding the holocaust, here's something odd: in the picture above, which I took at Birkenau, the sun flared the camera in the shape of a Star of David. If you can't see it, tilt your monitor. It's pretty weird.

    It's not about using the Q-tips. Not really. No, it's about having them in reserve.

    Back at you--thanks for dropping in.

    Nerd (That sounds meaner than intended)-
    Maybe the reason I found Polish so cool was because my parents didn't speak it. If they'd spoke it, I might have ended up learning Urdu or something. Luckily, though, they spoke Russian and Korean.

    Have fun at the polls!

    I'm a proud wearer of sandals. And I wear long-sleeve T-shirts. I'm not a total freak.

    By Blogger Crankster, At November 7, 2006 at 10:59 AM  

  • HA! Great many people can say they xeroxed their bum in the House of Commons??

    And by the way, the Excorcist is my all time favorite movie!

    By Anonymous Drib, At November 7, 2006 at 11:04 AM  

  • they are not weird they are badges of honor.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At November 7, 2006 at 5:24 PM  

  • Drib-
    Believe it or not, that is exactly what was going through my mind while I was on the copier.

    Exorcist is my number two. Right behind The Godfather.

    I'd have to say they are one and the same. After all, what is more pride-inducing than the things that make us unique?

    Thanks for dropping in!

    By Blogger Crankster, At November 7, 2006 at 6:53 PM  

  • I've been tagged! I think I was tagged with this one once before, but there are many things about me that are weird, so probably I could come up with more! I will work on it tomorrow. I don’t think I can top your great list, though. :)

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At November 9, 2006 at 1:35 AM  

  • Parlancheq-
    I don't know--I'm pretty sure that you'll have some fun and bizarre things. Call it a hunch!

    By Blogger Crankster, At November 9, 2006 at 11:02 AM  

  • OK, now that all is well, here are my 9 weirdnesses about me:

    1. I used to drink Diet Coke compulsively. Two liters a day easily. CMHL sent me two articles and I gave it up in one day.

    2. I once wrote a Letter to the Editor defending WalMart's right to open a store in my county. They had optioned the land near a very rich area close to where I live. The rich people, ple I actually know wrote scathing letters back, including threats to have the City Council removed because "they had the votes". I was invited to the State Legislature during it's session that year and "introduced" by my district's leading Legislator and given a standing ovation by the Legislature and the Senate. The City Council is still the same group with the exception of one person who moved out of town. If the little guy never stands up for the big guy, why will the big guy ever stand up for the little guy? Said differently, you need to have principles, and adhere to them.

    3. I tend to eat in even numbers.

    4. I prefer the company of women to the company of men. We have lots of friends who are women, and very, very few friends who are men, unless they come with the women. My wife prefers that I have this preference for women, go figure.

    5. I am a much, much better cook than my wife. This is according to her. I wish I had never learned to cook at all. I'd weigh a lot less.

    6. I am a man who needs to be married. That may be because of my wife. I have been married for so long I can't remember being single, so I figure i need to be married. I can't even conceive of what it is to be single anymore.

    7. I love statistics.

    8. I love all things computer even more.

    9. I loath memes. This may make me eccentric.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At November 10, 2006 at 4:08 PM  

  • CEO-
    Good answers down the line. I'm a better cook than my wife, too. As far as the memes go, I look upon it as a compliment--someone showed an interest in what makes me tick, and I passed that interest on. Also, it helps get to the other side of the personas that we all adopt online.

    By Blogger Crankster, At November 10, 2006 at 5:21 PM  

  • Yes Crankster, but you are normal, and I am a weird Internet persona who has been actually certified as being eccentric by a professional. I may be proud of that, or some approximation thereof. Quants are not like writers. Muah.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At November 11, 2006 at 7:02 PM  

  • Quants?

    "Eccentric" is another word for "interesting."

    Pride is, of course, the only reasonable response to the term "eccentric."

    By Blogger Crankster, At November 12, 2006 at 5:31 PM  

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