Six Unspectacular Things About Me

I have been tagged by Indigo Bunting. I guess that means I’m It. It’s some kind of meme, I understand, though I’m not altogether sure I know what a meme even is. At any rate, here are six unspectacular things about me:

  1. I never sneeze fewer than nine times in a row, and frequently as many as fifteen times. The average is twelve or thirteen sneezes.
  2. My chin jumps when I’m under extreme stress (high emotions, prolonged tension on a job, tremendous concentration on a pinball or video game). I came out of the womb with my chin jumping; my mother says that was how she knew I belonged to her, since her chin jumps, as does one of my brothers’. Her father’s did too, if I recall correctly.
  3. I prefer to sleep on my right side. If I’ve been lying on my right side to watch television for an hour or so before going to sleep, I may lie on my left side to fall asleep, but it won’t be long before I’m shifting back to my right.
  4. I no longer allow myself to own a library card because I have too many books that were borrowed and never returned. Not intentionally stolen, just a baaaaaaad case of procrastination. (They finally send me a nasty letter and a bill for the replacements.)
  5. I think Chapter 7 of Kenneth Grahame’s Wind in the Willows, “The Piper at the Gates of Dawn,” is one of the most transcendent bits of writing in the English language.
  6. I have an irrational fear of heights, by which I mean three feet off the ground.

Tagging, I understand, obligates those tagged to write a similar post in their own blogs. So I hereby tag Deloney, Nathan, Houston, Iyov, Lee, and Ryan, unless they have already been tagged by others, in which case they need to tell me so I can find someone else to tag.

Meme Terms and Conditions

  1. Link to the person who tagged you.
  2. Mention the rules on your blog.
  3. List six unspectacular things about you.
  4. Tag six other bloggers by linking to them.
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Categories: Fun | 11 Comments

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11 thoughts on “Six Unspectacular Things About Me

  1. Ok, so tonight I shall be reading Chapter VII of The Piper at the Gates of Dawn. Do you think it is named after the Pink Floyd album?

    I wonder if writing puts one out of touch. Reading widely is, perhaps, the bext way to learn to write. Yet I seem to have read so without reading anything anyone else has. Like Chapter VII of The Piper at the Gates of Dawn.

    Like the works of the fellow who got impatient for the cosmic conductor and just punched his own ticket for a return trip. Foster Wallace? Foster Grant? Should I have heard of him?

    Maybe that’s an unspectacular thing about me.

  2. I remember my 6th grade teacher (Mrs Anderson*) reading Wind in the Willows to us. When she got to Piper at the Gates of Dawn, goosebumps arose on my skin and from then on, I strove to find literature as moving as that.

    I’d forgotten that until now, Craig — thank you for the memory.

    Mrs Anderson also read us The Hobbit (after which we made a hobbit hole out of chicken wire and Papier-mâché. After Wind in the Willows we all became screen writers or actors or set designers and put on a play of Wind in the Willows.

    Mrs Anderson was the best teacher ever.

  3. Yup, Adam, Pink Floyd’s album was named for that chapter. Stevie Wonder made reference to the chapter in one of his songs, and Van Morrison has a song called “Piper at the Gates of Dawn” on his Healing Game album.

    The fellow you’re talking about was David Foster Wallace. I still haven’t read him, but his book Infinite Jest made it on Time magazine’s “100 best English language novels from 1923 to the present” list. Brilliant and brooding, he was a beloved Creative Writing teacher. Suffered from depression the last 20 years or so, which had (according to his father) gotten worse in the few months before his death.

    This paragraph from Wikipedia makes me want to run out and read him immediately:

    Wallace’s novels often meld writing in various modes or voices, and incorporate jargon and vocabulary (sometimes invented) from a wide variety of fields. He liked to use obscure words and had a self-proclaimed love affair with the Oxford English Dictionary. His prose style features many unusual stylistic devices, from self-generated abbreviations and acronyms to long sentences with many clauses. His most notable rhetorical move is the use of lengthy explanatory footnotes and endnotes, often nearly as expansive as the text proper. He used endnotes extensively in Infinite Jest and footnotes in Octet as well as the great majority of his nonfiction after 1996. On the Charlie Rose talk show in 1997, Wallace claimed that the notes were used to disrupt the linearity of the narrative, to reflect his perception of reality without jumbling the entire structure. He suggested that he could have instead jumbled up the sentences, “but then no one would read it.”

  4. CW, may we all have a teacher like Mrs. Anderson in our lives!

  5. Craig: my head was entirely emptied during our interview. I’m afraid you will have to find another poor sap to tag!

  6. Perfectly understandable, Del. I hereby tag Audacious Aria, if she’ll let me.

  7. indigo bunting

    Ah, I’ve seen the nine sneezes thing. And now I have to somehow get myself to pull out my Wind in the Willows. Chin jumping, though. Not sure I get that.

  8. Bloody cheek, how dare you tag me 😛

    Done & dusted, only took me an hour!

  9. How do you not “get” chin jumping, Indigo? It just jerks and quivers and jumps like a little jumping bean, your basic intermittent simple motor tic. It doesn’t happen nearly as frequently as it did when I was a child.

  10. indigo bunting

    Seriously, I don’t think I’ve ever noticed.

  11. I guess I never feel stressed when I’m around you.

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