Sunday, April 22, 2007

Six weird things about myself (meme)

Earlier this week, I got tagged -- along with six other individuals she considers to be "strange and interesting people"! -- to reveal six weird things about myself by Bibliobibuli's Sharon Bakar.

According to the rules of the meme: People who are tagged should write a blog post of 6 weird things about them as well as state this rule clearly. In the end, you need to choose 6 people to be tagged and list their names. Don’t forget to leave a comment that says ‘you are tagged’ in their comments and tell them to read your blog.

So here goes (and please don't say that you've not been warned!):-

1. I've not worn a skirt in at least five years, and a dress in eleven and a half years.

Even as a child, I didn't care much for wearing skirts and dresses. And this before one fateful incident which saw my dress get caught on one of the spikes of the then spiked front gate of my family residence as I attempted to climb over it, with the result that I was left dangling fearfully in mid air for the better part of a few long minutes!

Then, much later, when I was a student at Beloit College, I used to get annoyed by it being so that every time I put on a skirt, I would get people asking me whether I was going out on a date that evening (and if so, with whom)! So much so that it gradually was the case that I only ever wore skirts on laundry day, when I had run out of clean pairs of trousers and shorts to wear...but since I've not had days in which I've run out of trousers and shorts to wear in years... ;)

2. I organized Communal Screams at my college.

At boarding school in England, a friend took me to an isolated end of the school grounds one day and introduced me to the wonders of destressing by screaming. In my first semester at college in Wisconsin, I decided to take the screaming to a new level by having a whole host of others scream with me at the same time for a fixed period. After getting the permission from the college authorities to organize such an event at midnight on the eve of Finals Week, the Beloit College Communal Scream was born.

Imagine, if you will, what seemed like a whole college screaming in unison for five minutes at a fixed time and place. And individuals being inspired to add to the experience by doing such as recording their screams in advance on tape and then playing the tape at full blast over their hi-fi stereo's speakers or augmenting the act of screaming by scattering their term papers from the windows of their dorm rooms...

It may all have seemed like bedlam to those not in the know. Except that it actually was organized bedlam. So organized, in fact, that before too long, the college actually took to funding the Communal Scream (and paying for the printing of the posters and for the artist who designed the posters)! As an American liberal arts college student -- like I was at the time -- might say, "how seriously cool was that?!" ;D

3. I used to think that I wanted to have my ashes scattered at Highbury after I died.

For those who don't know, Highbury = Highbury Stadium = the home of Arsenal Football Club (the English association football club and team I've supported since 1978) until the Gunners moved in the summer of 2006 to the far more modern plus larger capacity Ashburton Grove (AKA Emirates Stadium). And I used to fantasize that if my ashes were scattered there after I died, my ghost could maybe help Arsenal by doing such as trip up opponents and help block those of their shots that otherwise might have been goal-bound!

However, Highbury is now in the process of being converted into luxury apartments and penthouses and, as yet, I don't feel even half as much love for Arsenal's new home as I did for its old one. Perhaps, in time, I will come to yearn to have my ashes scattered over at the Emirates Stadium. But I think this development will need to involve at least as many visits there as the number of pilgrimages that took me to Highbury. Therefore, in the meantime, I'm open to suggestions as to alternative places to have my ashes scattered after my death! ;S

4. I ate 96 chapatis in three and half weeks in Kenya.

As mentioned in a previous blog entry, I went to Kenya in the summer 1986 at the invitation of a friend and stayed with her family for the bulk of my visit there. But what I haven't written about until now is how much I loved my Kenyan Indian friend's mother's cooking. And in particular, how much I loved her chapatis.

So much did I love those home-made flat breads that every meal that we ate in my friend's Nairobi home, be it breakfast, lunch, tea or dinner, I would choose the chapati option over, say, rice or Western style bread. Before too long, this came to be noticed by my friend's mother and the rest of her family, and they decided it would be fun to count the number of chapatis I ate during my stay in Kenya.

Later on, as the end of my visit neared, that motherly cooking genius proceeded to announce that I wouldn't be allowed to leave Kenya until I had eaten 100 of her chapatis! Alas, despite my valiant efforts, I never did eat 100 of her chapatis -- at least, not on that particular visit. Still, the woman did generously decide to allow me to head home without having achieved that feat. Though not before enquiring only half in jest, as I got ready to head to the airport on the final day of my visit: "Are you sure you don't want me to pack four chapatis for you to eat on the plane?" ;D

5. I was bitten by tsetse flies in Tanzania.

As also has been mentioned previously, I spent two years of my life in Tanzania (Kenya's southern neighbor). Towards the end of my stay in East Africa, I decided to treat myself by going on a wildlife safari that took in visits to the ecologically diverse Lake Manyara National Park, the truly vast and animal-filled Serengeti National Park, the seriously awesome Ngorongoro Crater and surrounding Conservation Area, and elephant-rich Tarangire National Park.

For the most part, this wildlife safari was a wonderful experience. However, even in this modern day and age, this kind of experience is not without its problems and perils. For example, at one point, one of our Land Rover's tyres developed a puncture and, since an unpunctured spare tyre couldn't be found for miles, the car had to limp along very slowly for a few hours.

Then there were the tsetse flies which dogged us for much of our stay in Tarangire. And, I found, were well capable of biting through layers of clothing, socks and safari leather boots! While these insects' bites were painful and thus bad enough, what worried me more was that they are known carriers of the incurable disease popularly known as sleeping sickness. Fortunately, however, it does look like the tsetse flies that bit me weren't carriers of that fearsome disease... ;S

6. I have lots of dreams in which I'm doing things like reading, writing, watching movies and -- these days -- blogging.

In conversations with various friends, I've been told that they don't dream much. Or, at least, don't normally remember their dreams. I, on the other hand, feel like hardly a night goes by without my having at least one dream.

Something else in which I differ from many of my friends is that they tend to have -- or, at least, only remember having -- dreams which tend to be really unusual. Meanwhile, I seem to be stuck with having generally mundane dreams. Ones in which I do a lot of what I do in real life -- e.g., read, write, watch movies and, increasingly, blog and check my blog's site meter! I wonder: Is this because I don't have much of an imagination; or is it maybe a sign that I'm generally happier with my life than most? ;b

In any event, here's going ahead and tagging the individuals behind the following blogs* and requesting that they divulge six weird things about themselves on their blogs:-

Falling Stones are Not Heavy
Morsels of Peach Souffle
The Places You Will Go
Cultural Snow

Now off I go, as the meme's rules direct, to leave "you are tagged" comments over at their blogs! :)

* Addendum: As per the rules of the meme, this group originally was six in number but two individuals have asked to be "let off" having to write six weird things about themselves. However, if there are any volunteers to replace them from among this blog's readers who have their own blogs, please let me know and I'll happily add two of you to this list!

** 26th April update: The game and interesting individual behind Collecting Tokens has volunteered to be included on my list of "taggees" for this meme. Here's looking forward to seeing her "weird" revelations over on her blog at some point in the near future! :)


GoldenRockProductions said...

Hi ytsl,

Thanks for the tag. But after much thought (I really did think about it), I can't really think of 6 weird things about myself. I have my eccentricities, I'm sure, but it's kind of hard for me to see them, or organize them in prose form.

But I appreciate the thought =)

YTSL said...

Hi goldenrockproductions --

Okey dokey and you know, I really didn't mean to cause you (or any of the other people I tagged -- three of whom have written that they think they're normal and have difficulty thinking of six weird things about themselves) undue stress over this matter!

Frankly, I had a lot of fun doing this meme -- and was really happy that I got formally tagged for the first time for a meme by Sharon Bakar. But, then, I also can think of more than six things that make me weird. So maybe I am *really* weird, huh? :(

bibliobibuli said...

i'm glad i tagged you ytsl! the communal scream sounds great fun. i don't envy you the tsetse bite, but at least it gave you a story.

checking your sitemeter in your sleep?? i thought i was addicted!

YTSL said...

Hi bibliobibuli/Sharon --

And like I wrote on this thread: I'm glad you tagged me for this meme! :)

And yup, I really enjoyed the communal screams and have wished over the years that there were equivalent occasions in the places I've passed through since Beloit.

Also, have to say that Tanzania gave me lots of experiences like the tsetse fly bites: i.e., ones that weren't particularly pleasant at the time but gave me stories to tell and memories that should last a lifetime. :)

jmb said...

Hi Ytsl,
I enjoyed reading this post and thought your six weird things were great. However I would be totally stumped thinking of 6 things about myself. Of course there are probably more than 6 weird things about me but I don't think they are weird, just normal for me.
I especially liked that you went on safari, although I don't envy you the tsetse fly bites. Luckily everything was Ok.
Thanks for thinking of me.

YTSL said...

Hi jmb --

Like I told goldenrockproductions earlier on this thread, I really had thought that I'd be involving the people I tagged in some fun rather than giving them a lot of undue stress trying to figure out how to respond to the meme.

So, okay, will remove both you and him from my list of "taggees". And, well, I'm glad that you at least got something out of my post.

just me said...

Hey... been busy... but just saw this on Yahoo News. Thought it might interest you. :)

Copy and paste url in browser windown. (hope it works)


YTSL said...

Hi "just me" --

Thanks for the link -- and yep, it works fine! Also, for those who are curious to know, it's for an article which makes it seem like Britain's Queen Elizabeth II is another fan of the Arsenal. ;D

Anonymous said...

Like the idea of the communal screams

After a bad day at work I sometimes scream in my car while driving home. So I guess that isn't so weird after all.

YTSL said...

Hi sbk --

I get the feeling that, if nothing else, one person's "weird" is another's perfectly normal... ;)

Speaking of screams: I like that in more than one Hong Kong movie (e.g., A FISHY STORY?), I've seen people going up to rooftops and screaming to destress. :)

Madara said...

Excuse me, YTSL, but none of those things sound particularly weird--to me! And no, I'm NOT volunteering to list six weird things about myself on my blog. Although everything that seems normal to me would probably seem weird to everyone else. For example:
I don't own a microwave, nor do I want to.
I don't own a cellphone.
I'm a big fan of Pokemon and Power Rangers.
I'm a big fan of Morning Musume.
My Sony Walkman and audiocassettes constitute my preferred medium for listening to music.
I like VHS tapes and continue to buy and watch them and prefer some aspects of them to DVD.
I write things with a pen in a little notebook, not a palm pilot or blackberry.

There, that's seven. Are those weird enough? (Looks like you got them out of me anyway.)

(Oh, and something that's definitely NOT weird about me: I think you'd look great in a skirt, YTSL.)

YTSL said...

Hi leo86 --

"Excuse me, YTSL, but none of those things sound particularly weird--to me!"

Really? Hmmm, for even if they're not outright strange, you surely must concede that they're on the unusual side... ;b

"Although everything that seems normal to me would probably seem weird to everyone else."

There might be something to that notion! And continuing in that light vein: I find it pretty funny, actually, that you are such a follower of Japanese pop culture and Hong Kong cinema yet appear to be the kind of person that many Japanese and Hong Kongers would consider majorly technophobic... ;D

(Though having said that, I *do* know that you're not the only Hong Kong movie fan without a cellphone and maybe even a microwave! :b)

As for the skirt thing: You may think I'd look great in a skirt but it still doesn't change the fact that I don't FEEL all that good when wearing one... ;S

Madara said...

Well, I don't "FEEL all that good" wearing a suit and tie, but guess what? I get lots of compliments and admiring glances on those rare occasions when I do. And those feel pretty good. So there's a nice trade-off involved. Once in a while doesn't hurt.

YTSL said...

Hi again leo86 --

Hmmm and well...*my* feeling is that you should feel free to wear a suit and tie -- and be happy with the compliments and admiring glances that you get when you do so -- but by the same token, I should feel free to decide that all the compliments and admiring glances in the world cannot compensate for the discomfort I feel when -- and my personal dislike for -- wearing a skirt, never mind a dress!

Anonymous said...

Ah, YTSL. Your weird things are so very interesting. The communal screaming bit is so very cool. And as for the you find interesting things in your blog stats while you sleep?

I'd actually be game for being tagged. On a semi-condition. Would you consider subjecting yourself to the 5 questions meme? I'm not sure if you saw my post from that, as I think you were travelling then. It's a self-selecting meme, in the sense that people ask to be asked questions. I was hoping you'd ask...

YTSL said...

Hi Alejna --

Am glad that you found my weird things so very interesting. :)

And as for the dreams: It's not so much that I find interesting things in my blog stats there but that the dreams frequently bring to light my fantasy of having more visitors to the blog than I thus far have had... ;)

"I'd actually be game for being tagged."

Ooooooooo!!! And if you're wondering, I didn't tag you for this because you may be *cough* backlogged with tags for memes. ;b

"On a semi-condition. Would you consider subjecting yourself to the 5 questions meme?"

Ooooo errr with that. Went and had a look again at the relevant post on your blog. Does fear of unknown questions (even from a friend) count as one more weird thing about myself? ;(

Still, if you promise to be ultra-gentle and disinclined to probe too deeply into my psyche... ;b

Anonymous said...

And if you're wondering, I didn't tag you for this because you may be *cough* backlogged with tags for memes.
Ah, yes. Well, um...the wannabe meme. It's still in the back of my head. The problem is that the "things I've been" are so very, very dull compared to the "things I've wanted to be." (For example, I wanted to be a pilot. I have been a waitress. I've wanted to be a professor. I've been a student. For a long time.) But perhaps I'll get to it.

Still, if you promise to be ultra-gentle and disinclined to probe too deeply into my psyche...
I would promise to be ever-so-gentle, and not ask for anything that would be too revealing of your identity. (Oh, you anonymous blogging types. I don't even know what you do for a living!) Though with the psyche-probing issue, it makes me tempted to offer up some sort of Rorschach test...

YTSL said...

Hi again Alejna --

"Ah, yes. Well, um...the wannabe meme. It's still in the back of my head."

Heheheh and okay, howzabout I'll kindly allow you to put that on a backburner and to put the "weird things" meme in queue in front of it? Also, okay, I'm "in" with the "questions" meme though I'll reserve the right to baulk if the questions look too scary! ;D

(Additionally, have shot you an e-mail about this and related matters. Hope you've received it.)

As for being an anonymous blogger type: Funny but true: A friend of mine who has known me for years told me that he felt that he had learnt more about me from reading one weeks' worth of postings on this blog than he had from being otherwise acquainted with me throughout all these years! ;D

Anonymous said...

Wow! I thought I remembered some of those weird things. For some of mine, try these:

1. I still have considerable strength for a woman in her mid 40's. I can still move most anything twice my size. For instance, my husband Tom and roomate Linnie...

2. In my youth I taught my Norwegian Elkhound, Eva, to sneeze on command.

3. Of the women in my town, I'm considered bizarre for driving and lusting after coach buses; although my sisters drive rock crushers, Caterpillar front endloaders, and earth movers. Oh yeah, and fellow hometown girl Indy Racer Danica Patrick who drives that souped-up Honda in tight little circles.

4. I can read Maya hieroglyphs and have participated in a Chicago-based group that has done so since 1991.

5. I used to play finger puppets with the Logan Museum shrunken head collection.

6. I someday wish to make cross cultural eroticism a legitimate academic discipline.

7. I can count a Benedictine monk among my paramours.

YTSL said...

Hi Karrie --

Seeing as that you were at Beloit for at least a couple of years that they occured, I most certainly hope that you remember the Communal Screams! :b

Re your 6 weird things: Knew some of them about you already (including #6) but not previously re #2 (!!!) and #5 (!!!!!!!!!! Which begs the question: What would you do with those Mummy's hands???!!! ;D).