Friday, April 11, 2008

7 Weird Facts about Me Meme

Dear Danny (are you reading him? If not, you should be. He doesn't post frequently enough, but that's probably because he has a life that includes such things as passes to The Grammy Awards and SNL, which you could read about if you were reading him) tagged me for this one. I have to admit that I was absolutely convinced I'd already done it. After all, I'm the Queen o' Memes, always looking for an excuse not to have to post anything too intellectually taxing. But, it seems, after a cursory search of my blog, that I was wrong.

It must be déjà vu. That means if that guy who read my palm a couple of months ago is right, I most likely was the Queen o' Memes in some past life, maybe in some country where such queens wielded great power. (I can see myself shouting "off with their heads!" in response to all those I tagged who chose to ignore the fact.) Either that, or, as Danny noted, this meme just feels eerily familiar, because aren't weird facts about me basically what I write 99% of the time? I had quite a hard time coming up with seven, because each one that emerged at the front of the brain, hoping to be immortalized on screen had to be told, "No, get back down there. You know perfectly well you already had your Immortalizaion Day back in July '06 (or whenever it was)." Anyway, for those of you who just can't get enough weird facts about me, here are seven more:

1. I am borderline germ phobic, which means I can't stand to see people "clean" something with their saliva. I also hate places like public bathrooms, and I hate the fact that we basically have to sit on other people's laps on airplanes these days. However, I also have a passing acquaintance with statistics and know that the likelihood of my catching TB in such places (even from the person three rows up who sounds like he has it) is about as likely as having the Cleaning Fairy decide to take up residence in my home. Thus, my rational side is constantly fighting with my irrational side, which is very annoying. Why can't I just insist we all wear masks and rubber gloves whenever I enter a public restroom or step on a plane? Why can't I yell at the woman who didn't wash her hands as she was leaving the restroom, forcing me to touch that door handle she last touched with her filthy paws?

2. Watching a movie is something I have to convince myself to do. For some reason, I don't ever believe I'm really going to lose myself in a movie the way I do a book, and the first ten minutes of any movie is typically spent wondering if I'm understanding what's going on and if I'm really going to get into it. The rest of the movie is then spent in complete, total, ga-ga immersion. Really. Even those I ultimately decide I didn't like still manage to pull me right into their worlds with them. I think I've watched maybe a total of six movies in my life that did nothing for me. So, why I'm so convinced I'm not going to be grabbed by cinematic magic is a mystery.

3. I'm a fidgeter. I literally cannot sit completely still for more than about ten minutes at a time (and that's a wild guess. It may be much less than ten minutes). As a matter of fact, I can't pay attention to someone who is talking to me as well if I'm not allowed to fidget in some way. I always have a foot that's shaking, a pen or pencil or watch I'm fiddling with, or am shifting positions in my seat, or something. Supposedly, this means I burn more calories than most, but it seems to me I still have to exercise 45 minutes for every ounce of cheese I eat or 4-oz glass of wine I drink if I don't want to gain a pound.

4. I don't like to wear mittens. They make my fingers feel as though they're being restrained somehow, and I constantly feel the need to try to spread my fingers if I have them on. This is annoying now that I'm learning to knit, because it seems to me, mittens are probably much easier to knit than gloves. Then again, at the rate I'm going, I'm never going to graduate beyond scarves, so it really doesn't matter.

5. I hate to be the center of attention except when I'm with a group of very close friends. Throw me a surprise party with ten special friends and family members, and I'll be filled with great glee. But if that surprise party happens to be at a large table at a restaurant surrounded by fifty strangers who are all going to be staring at me, I'll be filled with the desire to flee.

6. I argue with and ask questions of nonfiction writers and journalists when I read them. I rarely make it through a nonfiction piece feeling I believe absolutely everything I just read. Although I sometimes mark up fiction books when I read them, typically I only do that with books I know I am going to write about in a blog post. However, all the nonfiction books I read (except for library and other borrowed books, which is one reason I don't tend to like to borrow nonfiction) these days have pencil marks in them with thoughts, reactions, and questions.

7. I love ghosts and ghost stories, but I don't really believe in them, because I've never seen one myself. Wait a minute, how did that one manage to slip to the front of my brain and onto the screen to celebrate yet another Immortalization Day?

And now, I'm supposed to tag 7 others. I think some of you have already done this one, but I can't remember who has and hasn't. Thus, if I tag you, and you've already done it, I promise not to yell "Off with his/her head!" if you choose not to do it (this time, that is). The lucky seven are: Ian (whom Danny already tagged, so now he's really got to do it), Mandarine, Zoe's Mom, Susan, Eva, Charlotte, and Froshty (who should have been beheaded long ago for ignoring many memes and for being the one who introduced me to slam books). I'd tag Becky and Courtney, too, because I know they both love a good meme, but Becky's going to be gallivanting all over the world for all eternity, it seems, and I don't want to distract Court (too much, that is. She's already been distracted by one meme from me) from her continued political blog post.

And now, for those of you I didn't tag (oh what the hell? For all of you), here's a little game to make this meme even more interesting. One of these seven things, because I'm sleep-deprived and exhausted and just couldn't think of anything you don't already know that wasn't deadly dull, isn't true (hint: # 7, you already know, is true. That means you have a 1/6 or about a 17% chance of guessing correctly). Guess which one it is, leave your guess in a comment, and if you get it right, I'll put your name in a hat drawing. I'll offer to the person whose name I draw the same sort of prize I've offered in the past: a free copy of the book of your choice you've read about on my blog.


Patricia said...

About your germ phobia...I've noticed that many, MANY women get this way as they earn years of wisdom. In my 20s and 30s it was rare to see or hear about someone who was freakish about germs somewhere. Once I hit 40 they all came out of the closet! The scary thing is; once they tell me the what and why I've then caught the germ bug! So don't feel lonely about it. I also watch in public places to see who skips the sink after using the toilet. I don't want to be near ANYTHING that person touches!

I like the idea of writing notations, questions, thoughts when reading a book. I just started doing it in my books. I used to do it a lot in education books...but never transferred that habit to what I read for fun. Sometimes hobby reading teaches you more about yourself, doesn't it? I hate borrowing books from people who are so fussy about the perfect condition of their books. I like a well-worn, creased book that has been loved and read many times!

Your job truly sounds interesting and fun. What education/work background do you have that landed you this job (besides a spectacular personality, I'm sure!)

Rebecca H. said...

I'm going to guess #4. But if I happen to be right, don't include my name because I won the last contest you ran, and I want to let other people have a chance!

Anonymous said...

Fascinating facts, and I love the added twist of one of them being untrue. I would also guess #4 with my second choice being 3 or 5, but I would say that with the level of detail in all of these I'd add an eighth fact that you are a terribly good liar!

Eva said...

I'll be doing this soon! :)

Anonymous said...

I agree one hundred percent about the germ phobia! My mother-in-law believes strongly that dirt is good for you and it took me years to be able to visit her house without a stomach upset. As for which one of these isn't true, hmmmm. I'll run with no.3 as I can imagine you have your serene moments!

ZoesMom said...

I am possibly way off base, but my guess is #2 is the false weird fact. I can't say why I think that, but I guess it might be because I assume everyone loves the thought of watching a movie.

I am off to compose my own list...

Anonymous said...

Alas, I've already been distracted from my political posting because I'm too disillusioned by the brough-ha-ha over Obama's "bitter" comment. I seriously haven't listened to political coverage in days, now. Instead I am stuffing my face with pastries and guacamole and surfing for good sugar-detox diets upon my return to Pittsburgh...

Anonymous said...

Fun! Which one isn't true? Though number 1 is tempting, I'm going with the mittens in number 4. I am not a movie watcher. My husband loves movies and can watch the same one over and over again. He has to twist my arm to get me to watch one. For some reason I feel like I am just sitting around doing nothing while watching a movie. Knitting helps that feeling but I am not good at knitting in the dark.

BooksPlease said...

My guess is no. 3, with no. 4 as second choice.

I'm with you and the others on the germ phobia as well.

Anonymous said...

Well, I'm your sister so I ought to know the not true one, but I don't. The mittens thing is new to me, but I kind of want to go with the not believing in ghosts. I thought you did. linser

Emily Barton said...

Lady P, you're right. My germ phobia seems to have worsened as I've aged. Believe it or not, I have absolutely no credentials for the job I am lucky enough to have fallen into. I have an undergraduate degree in psychology and a graduate degree in library science. The latter happened to help me get a job at a reference publisher that is the sister company to the company where I now work and I've had some great mentors who helped me get where I am today.

Dorr, well, you were right, but I included you in the draw anyway, just to see if you'd win a second time, which you didn't. (I say, you're quite good at these guessing games.)

Danny, well I lie pretty well in print, but in person, I'd be beet red, avoiding eye contact, and doing everything possible to say "I'm lying!" without actually saying it.

Eva, looking forward to your version.

Litlove, the odd thing about me is that, despite this slight phobia of mine, I'm not very good at keeping house. (I do, however, keep a pretty clean bathroom and kitchen.)

ZM, nope, see? I'm truly weird? I don't love the thought of watching a movie (well, maybe in theory, as in "I want to see that," but actually sitting down to one takes discipline).

Court, no problem. Your posts have been fantastic lately.

Stef, well, and you now know you won!

Booksplease, close, but not quite.

Linser, the problem is, I just can't really figure out whether I believe in ghosts or not. But if I had some real proof...