you suck, andrew.

Eight Obscure Things About Me:

1. I realized today that one of my favorite things about believing in God was that he remembered things about me that I didn’t. If he knew how many hairs were on my head and so forth, surely he could remember long-forgotten conversations I’d had, right? What I liked about this was not the reassurance that God was looking out for me, but the idea that, after I died, he might tell me about these conversations, or maybe even let me watch the tapes. I imagined sitting on a cloud in front of some heavenly VCR, playing back my life and seeing all the little things I’d forgotten. My bible-study teachers and youth group leaders always said that once I got to heaven, I would have no interest in my former life on earth. I didn’t buy it.

2. I participated in the spelling bee twice in elementary school. In the third grade I was the fourth person to be disqualified; I spelled the word “biscuit” b-i-s-c-u-t. The next year I was the fourth-grade winner, which meant I was the last fourth-grader to misspell a word. The word in question was “hollowly,” which the school principal pronounced “hallowy.” I asked her to define it and use it in a sentence, but each time she said “hallowy,” so I spelled it that way and was disqualified. That year’s champion was a second-grader, a friend of my sister’s. He won the next year, too, in part because the principal disqualified fourth- and fifth-graders even though they’d spelled words correctly. Apparently the principal was mispronouncing words and disqualifying people deliberately, because to have such a young spelling-bee winner looked really good for the school.

3. Until I was almost eleven years old, I was deathly afraid of dogs. Any dogs. All dogs. Small ones, big ones, friendly ones, mean ones. My dad once claimed it was because my mother was wary of dogs herself, and whenever one was present she would grab me and pull me towards her, thereby passing her own fear onto me. It sort of makes sense, but it doesn’t explain why my sister was never afraid of dogs. When I was ten, my parents got my sister a dog for her birthday. It was a terrier/lab puppy from one of my mother’s coworkers, and I loved the dog, but I was afraid of her, too. Every time I had to go through the backyard to get to the garage, I made my dad hold the dog’s collar so she couldn’t come near me. One morning before church, I looked out the window at our dog and thought, “What am I afraid of?” I told my dad he didn’t have to hold her collar this time. When I walked out the back door into the yard, she didn’t try to kill me or maul me or even jump on me, and after that I was mostly okay with dogs. I’m still wary of the big ones sometimes.

4. In high school my friend Jessica and her friend Suzanne used to talk in gibberish. That’s the one where you add -idig to the end of every syllable of a word, so that “He’s standing right there” becomes “H-idig-e’s st-idig-and-idig-ing r-idig-ight th-idig-ere.” It was really useful when they wanted to talk about someone who may have been within earshot. The two of them were really fast at it, but they did it often enough that I knew what they were saying all the time, and then they started using it when talking to me. Jessica and I used it as recently as a few years ago; we found it particularly helpful at craft shows.

5. In the last six years I’ve gained fifteen pounds, the last five of which I’ve acquired since returning from my roadtrip. Apparently my body got used to all the walking I did while traveling, and then it freaked out when I got back and spent a month sitting on the sofa. I don’t think I look too bad; what bothers me is that I’m all out of shape and a lot of my clothes don’t fit. My new exercise bike should help. I bought it so I can work out indoors without anyone else around — extreme Texas heat and oh my God I’m all sweaty and people can see me are the two biggest things that prevent me from getting exercise. And frankly, anything that can be done in front of the TV is more likely to be done.

6. In 2003 I watched every episode of a reality show called Mr. Personality. It had the hallmarks of all terrible reality shows: fucked-up contestants, contrived dating situations with bizarre restrictions, hosts of dubious celebrity. I watched it for several reasons: 1) it aired during a bad time in my life, when any distraction was a good distraction, 2) I found the premise sort of interesting, and 3) the rubber masks made the whole thing downright surreal. I was dating Andy at the time; to his credit he only made fun of me a little.

7. I get a lot of compliments on my various craft endeavors: sewing, jewelry, wall-hangings, etc. But for every project I complete successfully, there are at least two I fuck up beyond salvation. The shelves in my closet are stuffed full of botched sewing, and I have a small box full of ill-advised jewelry-making attempts. Right now my hands are covered with spray adhesive from a recent project, but I’m not sure I’m too happy with how it came out. I never know what to do with these projects gone awry: it seems wasteful to throw them away, and rude to give them to Goodwill, but I don’t want to keep them, either. I guess they’ll stay here until the next time I move.

8. Not so obscure: I’ve been writing this website in lower-case letters since February of 2000. I did it partly because it was easy, and partly because I thought lower-case letters looked better in general. Nearly everything I wrote online was done in lower-case letters: forum postings, IM conversations, e-mails. But I’m getting tired of it. I write all my work e-mails with proper capitalization, and I’m starting to do the same on forums. So I’m going to use capital letters on this website from now on. It makes me a little sad to do it, but I’ve been feeling weird about lowercase for the past few months, and now’s as good a time as any to roll out the capitals. IMs and e-mails will remain the same, though. I don’t want to abandon it altogether.

I don’t feel like tagging anyone.