one man's ceiling
Sunday, February 04, 2007
  6 weird things about me (although 5 would be better)
lyco tagged me on this one. gotta list six weird things about myself. how weird is that?

1. kindergarten. this is where i established my true weirdness. when we were all asked what we wanted to be when we grew up all the boys either said firemen or policemen. i was the only boy who said something different and i said swimming pool builder. can you tell i grew up in LA? what the hell? i think i took that natural boy idea of digging and projected it to its most natural conclusion. another piece of personal weird for me in kindergarten was when i waited outside the bathrooms and when elaine k. came out i kissed her. why? because i liked her. oh, but what a firestorm i created! conferences were had and i was asked repeatedly if someone had put me up to it or if i meant to hurt elaine. hurt her? i kissed her! why was that so hard to understand? but, oh, the trauma, the drama. after that i had kids calling me weird and my response was uniformly "yeah, so i'm weird." i knew it then, i was proud of it, and embracing it early on prevented my enemies from using it against me.

as a side note, i ran into elaine k. at my 20 year high school reunion. she introduced me to her hubby as "that guy i was telling you about." for years, all the way through high school and up until that night in the convention center i had assumed elaine hated me. and she had assumed i hated her because she had spurned me at the tender age of 6. truth was, i never hated elaine, and just assumed her distancing from me was a sort of smugness. but there we were, 32 years after the fact, still talking about that kiss outside the bathroom. that's pretty weird when you think about it.

2. a buffalo once snotted all over my hand. true. i was driving through golden gate park in SF when i noticed they had an enclosed field with a small herd of buffalo in it. i pulled over to an area that had a sort of feeding paddock where there were a couple of buffalo next to the fence. one in particular seemed to have it's eye on me and defying all logic and safety i stuffed my hand through the chain link fence to pet it. the friendly buffalo moved forward and made contact with my hand, rubbing the flat of it's face against my palm, the part right between the eyes. a couple of strokes later it backed up and sneezed, covering my entire hand in buffalo snot. apparently the buffalo had a need for an irritant to make it sneeze and clear out it's nasal passages. extracting my hand through the fence essentially acted as a squeegee, leaving a long ribbon of buffalo snot hanging there for all to see. extract the lesson and moral you see fit, few can say they've pet a buffalo much less had one deliberately sneeze on their hand.

3. in fourth grade i won third place in the state-wide dental health association dental health awareness contest. i don't know if this qualifies as "weird" but it was a total rip-off in the end. everyone in our class made posters for the contest and the teacher mailed them off. i took third place with a poster of a crazy looking monster (it represented tooth decay and bacteria) with the slogan "don't let me get in your mouth." to this day i can't believe that was a third place winner for my division. my friend pat got an honorable mention for his version of uncle sam in the classic montogomery pose saying "i want you to brush your teeth." we were the only winners in our school district in any age group. we were taken to a special awards luncheon at royce hall at UCLA by the school nurse. the american dental health association had just rolled out their new slogan "operation: apple brush" with the idea that eating an apple after a meal was as good as brushing your teeth, if you couldn't brush your teeth. ha ha, how silly we were back in the 1970s. anyway at the luncheon the first place winners got a certificate and a plaque and a t-shirt with the new logo on it. second and third place got nothing but lunch. nothing. how is that any different than honorable mention getting nothing but a lunch? why did i even go to that stupid luncheon. i hated that experience, hated it. don't ever enter a contest where only first place gets something. it's a rip off. it was boring and they served us school cafeteria style salsbury steak and it sucked. no, i'm not still bitter.

4. i have supersonic hearing. a few years back i began having a problem in my ears. basically i could hear things i never used to before, like my sinuses dripping. and if i focused on it the sound of swallowing was like the roar of the ocean in my ears. i went to a dr, then had some x-rays of my perfectly round head, then went to an ears-nose-throat specialist. the ent cleaned out my ears and then did some tests, those kind where you have to indicated when you hear a tone. i'm sitting in a soundproof booth with bone crushing headphones on and poking my finger in the air when i hear the tones. it feel like forever and i'm worried i'm losing my hearing. the dr shows me my results. it looks like a bell curve with the highs and lows sitting on the "normal" baseline. but the mid-range, the top of the bell curve, had been sliced off. "your mid-rage hearing is off the charts. you probably have some problems with sounds in that frequency causing interference with other sounds." yeah, like a television studio's worth of electronic can trigger a migraine and i can walk into an en empty office suite and tell you if there is a single computer on in a cubicle somewhere. or i know when a fluorescent light is starting to die, long before it starts to flicker and hum. because i can hear all these things.

5. when i was a boy, pre- school aged, i thought that if i sat in front of the TV when it was turned off it would swallow me up. this requires a couple of explanations. first, this would be back when we had an old black and white TV that used to take a while to warm up. and when you shut it off the old cathode tube would reduce down to a glowing dot that would fade away. it's not that strange a thought to imagine those people trapped in the big TV box being shrunk into oblivion, and being afraid that, like a bathtub drain, getting sucked into the whirling vortex of the cathode rays. second, anyone who thinks i got this impression from seeing poltergeist as a kid (as some have assumed when i've told this story) you need to understand: i'm old enough to have written the script for that movie.

6. zuska says that i have to write this one: every time i pee i have to go get a glass of water. i must protest this point because it really is only at the end of the night, just before i go to bed. but even if it were every time (as she insists) how can that be weird? you replace what you lost? you're going to sleep for 6 to 8 hours and you're not going to eat, your body's going to perspire, your mouth get's parched. and there's nothing worse than waking up dehydrated. do i occasionally overdo it and need to get up in the middle of the night to pee? yes, but i'm not like some old man with an enlarged prostate like those farts on those TV ads who let a problem get well out of hand before they even go to their doctors.

i forgot what i was supposed to do here. tag some people? virtula t, do you want to take a stab? i can see you all out there on my sitemeter traffic but you don't leave comments or link to me so i can't invite many of you personally. please, feel free to take the ball and run with it. let me know who you are and what you've posted so i can see, too.

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