Sunday, January 18, 2009

25 Random Things

Earlier this week I got tagged in a meme on Facebook by Trouble's new roomie, Lizard (pre-existing nickname, I assure you). Since I was going to fill it out and post on Facebook anyway, I figured I'd go ahead and use it as a blog post as well.

Rules: Once you've been tagged, you are supposed to write a note with 25 random things, facts, habits, or goals about you. At the end, choose 25 people to be tagged. You have to tag the person who tagged you. If I tagged you, it's because I want to know more about you.

I'll do the tag thing on Facebook; here, you just get the list

1. I'm generally not a big fan of giving pets common human names like Jack or Pete or the like; I tend to like more eclectic/esoteric/bizarre names. This carries over into my fiction writing, where I tend to give animals names of comic book characters.

2. I've never fired a real gun in my life. Rubber dart guns, plastic disc guns, Nerf guns, paintball guns, yes; actual lethal weapons, no. Cap'n Shack-Fu has eagerly offered to rectify that situation for me, but things haven't worked out so far.

3. I have a horrible head for numbers; they tend to go in one ear and out the other. This also applies to dates, which is part of why I never really liked history in school. I can count on one hand the number of birthdays of friends and family I can remember that aren't linked to a holiday.

4. I have a reputation as a picky eater, which is probably well-deserved. When I was younger it was next to impossible to get me to try new things; my cousin Lori once threatened me with great bodily harm if I didn't try the lasagna she made. I'm much more willing to try new things these days, just as long as it doesn't cost me anything and I know I have something Todd-approved as a backup.

5. I don't know how to drive a stick-shift. I've had many people offer to teach me over the years, but never have actually followed through on it.

6. When I live by myself, it's a struggle not to turn into a bit of a hermit. I get home, change immediately into my comfy, not-going-back-out-in-public-tonight clothes, and am then ready for a night filled with doing absolutely nothing. If I get a call from someone wanting to do something spontaneous, my first thought is "but I'd have to get dressed in presentable clothes!" I am much better about accepting spontaneous invites now than I once was, but there are times when I just have my mind set on staying home being lazy, and nothing is going to change that.

7. I often get impatient waiting in drive-throughs waiting for people to figure out what they want to order, but that's probably because when it comes to eating out, I usually find one thing I like and order it every time. Clan Stoneheart would often joke about having a "Todd special" at Hideaway Pizza, i.e. pepperoni pizza and coke.

8. I stay in touch much better with friends who use IM than friends only email. For some reason, I have no problem just saying "hey" in an IM, but if I start to write an email I feel like it needs to be much more involved. Subsequently, I will often think "I need to email so-and-so" but will put it off because I don't have time at that moment to compose anything substantial enough.

9. When I was six years old, I got to go to Hawaii with my parents. My strongest memories are of standing on the shore letting the waves wash the sand away from around my feet; going to an aquarium and seeing a show starring a fat penguin called Fred; and watching a bizarre Japanese television show. It's the last one that sticks in my mind the most; something about a guy in a rubber squid-man suit shooting off the top of his head so that it flies through the air, knocking over another man, covering him up and transforming him into a small canister, which the squid man this puts into a container revealed in his head when the squid top flew off . . . something about that just stuck with me. If I could ever find out what that show was and somehow see it again, I would be a happy, happy man.

10. I generally don't do well being put on the spot and being asked to make quick decisions. I am a muller; I like to think things through thoroughly before voicing my opinion or advice.

11. One of the organizations I was most active in in high school was the Technology Student Association. My first year, I was part of the parliamentary procedure team that won first place at the national conference. A few months later, we were asked to film an instructional video to be given to other TSA chapters in Oklahoma. Many years later while I was working at OSU, I volunteered to help judge at the state conference in OKC, and was actually recognized by a few people from the video. Makes me wonder if that tape of 8th grade Todd acting as Sgt. at Arms is still floating around out there.

12. I rarely stop a movie once I've started it; there's always a part of me that hopes to find a redeeming moment in the film to make it not a total waste of my time. Sometimes this pays off; sometimes it doesn't. Every once in a while I run into something so painful I can't make it through; this seems to happen more often the older I get.

13. A lot of people I know talk about how when they read it's like a movie in their head. Me, not so much; yes, I love to read, but I'm not generally a "visual" reader. Yes, when I get into a good book I get sucked into it and tune out the rest of the world, but I suppose my focus is more on the writing itself -- cadence, meter, alliteration, dialogue, characterization, etc. -- so unless a writer is very heavy into descriptions, I don't automatically generate a mental movie. This, of course, has led to issues in my own writing, as I have to fight to avoid the "talking head" syndrome and actually write some descriptions and action sequences.

14. It's sometimes hard for me to focus or concentrate in total silence. I almost always have the TV on or some music playing so I can have background noise. Of course, I have to be careful what I use as background, otherwise I find myself watching the TV or, in the case of music, singing along.

15. I am not an overly organized person, as anyone who has ever lived or worked with me can attest. I will occasionally be overcome with a need to attempt to organize things, but I either (a) run out of steam before finishing or (b) succeed initially but then don't keep up with the system.

16. If most of my Parkerite friends hadn't been so gung-ho about moving out of the dorms, I probably would have stayed in Parker until I graduated. For some reason, the "no alcohol" policy and "no member of the opposite sex on your floor after curfew" rule didn't seem to bother me like they did others . . .

17. When I do something and feel guilty about it, I invariably tell on myself

18. I never realized I enjoyed spicy foods until after I went off to college; my parents neither one eat spicy stuff, so I never really tried any until much later.

19. The places I'd most like to visit are Australia, New Zealand, Japan, and the U.K. Yes, I primarily want to visit English speaking countries, but the language has nothing to do with it. I've just been fascinated by Australia and the U.K. for as long as I can remember, and have heard nothing but good things about New Zealand. As for Japan, well, I've always wanted to visit someplace that triggered total sensory overload . . .

20. My handwriting is horrible. When I was doing a research paper for my Senior English class in high school, my teacher made me type up my rough draft because she refused to try to decipher such a massive chunk of my illegible writing. And I couldn't even complain to my mom about the teacher since, y'know, my mom was the teacher.

21. I talk to my parents on the phone an average of a couple of hours a week . . . typically all in one sitting. We are a chatty people.

22. When I was in college, I picked up the skill of twirling a pen in my fingers from my roomie Wrath teh Berzerkr; that skill has now become a habit that I do almost without thinking. Over the years, many people have tried to emulate it, and invariable they ask me to "do it slowly," a request that robs all momentum from the object, making the twirling impossible. I will occasionally meet someone else who also does it; so far, everyone who has either (a) learned it in debate in high school or (b) learned it from someone who was in debate in high school.

23. Although I have eliminated or reduced many of my irrational insecurities over the years, they still rear their heads in my reluctance to initiate telephone conversations or instigate plans with others. Part fear of rejection, part neurotic certainty that my random call is an annoyance. I can probably count the number of people I'll call up with no hesitation on one hand.

24. I used to cheat at Candyland; I would stack the deck, and then ask my mom to play. As a cover, I would let her go first. That's one of the few deceptions I really remember perpetrating in my childhood. Yeah, I was a goody-two-shoes, but is anyone really surprised by that?

25. I spent way too much time coming up with this list because I was trying to come up with stuff that I haven't talked about in my blog, and I didn't want it to just be a bunch of one sentence statements. Yes, I have a problem, but we all knew that, right?


Flunky lover said...

Well I'm disappointed. There was very little I didn't already know and most of it seems like stuff that came up when we last met.

Cap'n Neurotic said...

Sorry to disappoint; I'll try to do better next time I get tagged with a random thing meme. It's just really hard to think of semi-interesting personal facts that I haven't already blogged about that don't also require tons of backstory.

Flunky lover said...

That's true. Your comments were enjoyable to read at least since you write well. Mine would just be lame and short.