Weird. Who, me?

For a while now I’ve been entertained with your weird habits, unique talents, and interesting histories thanks to a little meme that’s been going around – six weird things about me. I wanted to participate as soon as I read the first few responses, but it’s taken me a long while to come up with six noteworthy and appropriate topics.

You see, in my mind there’s a thin line between interesting personal tidbits and too much information, especially if the TMI has the potential to make readers uncomfortable (not to mention get you discovered by old boyfriends, the IRS, your psycho neighbor, your boss, etc.). Other knitbloggers strike a balance effortlessly, and I know more about them than most of my friends. Me? I figure why walk a delicate line when I can show my newest project or yarn acquisition? There’s so much knitting to talk about that unfolding my personal life isn’t even on the radar.

But this meme, it struck me as a challenge. I’m an interesting person, right? Surely I can come up with 6 things about myself that would intrigue my readers, preserve my privacy, and not gross anyone out! For several weeks I jotted down ideas in a little notepad, until I had collected enough to share. So, here it goes.

1. There seems to be disagreement when it comes to our ability to read in dreams. Most say that we can’t read while dreaming, or at least we can’t read while dreaming deeply. For me, reading and writing in my dreams is a given – as far back as I can remember, I’ve been reading and writing in my dreams, and sometimes even remembering the specifics when I wake up in the morning. How about you?

2. I’m sure you’ve heard the question, “Is the glass half empty or half full?” Those who say “half full” are deemed optimists; “half empty,” pessimists. But how can we answer without bias? We all grow up knowing about this test and the meaning of the answers before the question is ever presented to us. I’m an exception, it seems. I was 11 years old when my ESL teacher showed a half full glass to the class, and asked us what it was. The ‘half full half empty’ thing didn’t exist in the Ukraine, so I thought it was merely a test of our English skills, nothing subversive. I raised my hand, and firmly answered, “a half full glass of water.” Apparently I’m an optimist.

3. I have a thing about flour. Well, technically it’s about flouring. Seeing flour is no big deal, touching flour is no big deal, spooning flour into a bowl, sifting, running my hands through it are all okay. But the mere suggestion of flouring something, anything, with one’s hands gives me the biggest heebie jeebies imaginable. Shudder! It’s multi-sensory, too – the sight, sound, and feeling of this disgusting act all offend me. The details aren’t important: whether it’s me or someone next to me, or even someone on TV, spreading flour on dough, over a rolling pin, onto a cutting board, gathering up flour bits from the table, it all sends me running to the next room. As long as it involves moving flour over a hard surface with hands, I will feel like vomiting. Gah!

4. Graduate students often have very irregular schedules, especially those of us in the sciences. One day we’re running to lab at 11 p.m., and the next we find ourselves waking up at 2 p.m. This leads to watching TV shows otherwise inaccessible to the working crowd. In my case, judge shows. I freakin’ love judge shows, and prefer to watch them over anything else given the chance. People’s Court with Marilyn Milian is my favorite, followed by Judge Judy, but I’ll watch any and all of them. Judge Mathis, Divorce Court with Lynn Toler, Judge Joe Brown, bring it!!! I’ll even watch Judge Hatchett when she isn’t punishing youngsters by sending them to prisons and such. (some of the new judge shows have yet to impress me, however, including Judge Alex, Cristina Perez, and Judge Maria Lopez. But I’ll still watch them).

5. I cannot stand hot food (temperature, not spice). I let my soup cool to room temperature before I’ll even touch it, and take my “hot tea” 3/4 boiling water, 1/4 ice cubes, please. Bread fresh out of the oven? No thanks!

6. I collect antique maps, especially ones of the Black Sea (my birthplace). I hunt them down on eBay or at flea/craft markets, then frame them and display them over whatever little wall space I have. The more the map is wrinkled, stained, torn, or otherwise marred, the more I’m drawn to it. (Thanks for the reminder, Maritza!)

51 thoughts on “Weird. Who, me?

  1. Arachnera

    I’ve read in dreams, too, but I don’t remember what I was reading when I wake up. The mention of the Black Sea reminded me to ask you this: If you do indeed speak Russian, could you give me any hints to learn a bit of Russia? I am doing a project on Russia and would like to be able to know what a few of the Russian words mean.

  2. Heather

    I know I had one dream where I was writing, it was the most realistic dream I have ever had. What was I writing? The last Harry Potter book. I woke up when I finished it, and thought “THAT’S IT! This is true!”, then promptly went back to sleep and when my alarm went off I had no recollection.

  3. maryse

    ha! i think it’s hilarious that you watch judge shows. that is something i would not have thought of you. ha!

    thanks for listing your 6 weird things. this meme is one of my favorites and i’m glad to see it pop up now and then.

  4. Crafting Jen

    Huge fan of the judge shows here, too! I somehow thought I was the only one who called them that as well. :)

    My favorite is Judge Milian on The People’s Court. Sometimes I’ll save up a bunch of People’s Court episodes in my Tivo. Then when I’m having a bad day – sick, or just frustrated – I’ll have a People’s Court marathon.

  5. Shanti

    I didn’t know there was doubt about reading in your dreams. I can’t imagine not being able to do either. I usually have a good recall of what I’m dreaming when I first wake up and sometimes longer if it really struck a nerve. (And I hate flouring things, too.)

  6. gleek

    the flouring and cool temp foods things make me smile. the fact that you have no problem using flour but freak when others do is strange! but who am i to judge? i still sleep with a security blanket ;) thanks for sharing.

  7. Holly

    Interesting your “thing” about flouring things. I hate it too especially chicken. It really grosses me out. Glad to hear you like “judge” shows. I am one in real life. What you see on TV is not as weird as it gets in real life.

  8. Ariel

    I also read and write in my dreams. I even had a dream once that was subtitled!

    And I’m with you on the hot (temperature) foods. I’ll go to a coffee shop, order a drink, then sit down and let it cool for 30 minutes or so while I knit. I really do prefer it lukewarm.

  9. Sasha

    Well flour is like poison to my Celiac daughter, so I can’t stand flour either, just inhaling too much of it in the air can give her a reaction.

    Language and dream is interesting, I always dream that I am speaking in German (in real life I know a few words) and in my dreams I am fluent. I often wake and wonder if I am channeling German that I got through osmosis or if I am dreamin gibberish.

    Do you have a picture of a wall of maps that we can see?

  10. Ulrike

    I am also NO big fan of flouring! I also strongly dislike the idea of having to bite into a really, really dry teatowel. Just thinking about it, makes me shudder … About number five: I feel that warm food allows me to really taste everything. When it is too hot, I cannot discern the different flavours.

    Thank you for sharing!

  11. Kris

    The “judge shows” thing completely shocked me. I never woulda pegged you for someone who was into them. Learn something new everyday!

  12. rachel m

    i watch the court shows TOO! i never though i would, but my extended unemployment (and inability to work yet in my new country) has left me home watching tv. so far i like judge alex, but i think divorce court is my favourite because sometimes i’m pretty sure they just pulled people off the street, gave them a story and we’re expected to buy it!

  13. suzanne

    Any chance you were my college roommate? She was equally weird, in many of the same ways. She was also a science student at Harvard (undergrad, though), multilingual and freakishly brilliant, with an extraordinary memory and extremely picky eating habits. She rarely slept, but seemed to enjoy lying curled in a fetal position, rocking herself and humming. She frequently destroyed my stuff, and rarely cleaned up after herself. It was sort of like having a really strange pet, actually.

  14. Martha

    My husband likes this idiotic show called “An Eye for an Eye” (I think). It’s everything bad about reality television raised to the nth. It’s like watching the decline of the Roman empire beamed into your living room. As you can probably tell, I’m not a fan ;) Although I do like People’s Court and Judge Judy okay.

  15. Anne

    Haha.. wonderful tidbits! Judge shows are addicting, I don’t care what anyone says =) And to whomever mentioned it – Judge Judy actually made a list of one of the 20 highest paid women in entertainment, so I’m sure she makes more than the justices!

    I think it’s so odd how different people prefer food – I wonder what makes us that way. I’m your polar opposite and can’t stand anything not steaming when it comes to food and drink.

  16. Kristyn

    I also never would have thought that that you liked judge shows. I love People’s Court! When I think people are lying to me I use a line I heard from Judge Milian – I wouldn’t believe you if your tongue was notorized!

  17. Tam

    I feel the same way about the flour thing. It’s the sensation of the flour rubbing on the solid surface, especially a metal surface. It’s like running your fingernails down a blackboard. shudder!

    I can also read and write in dreams. I have written songs in dreams though I have never remembered the entire song upon waking. I have heard that this is more common in people with very high IQs. I’m sure this applies to you.

    I like my food VERY hot and my drinks very hot or very cold. The glass is half empty if it has $200 wine in it. It’s half full if it contains that nasty stuff you have to drink when they xray your GI tract. bleh. It’s all in the context.

  18. jennifer

    I love flouring. I don’t like the way it sucks up all the moisture from my hands though. I do read in my dreams, but usually I start reading and then at some point I realize that I’m not reading because there’s nothing in front of me and I wake up. I dream in color though. I hate judge shows, but that’s probably because I’m a lawyer and have to deal with real judges and real clients in real life. Kind of takes the fun out of it.

  19. Lola LB

    Yes, I do read in my dreams. And Sometimes I remember what I’ve read. Usually these are signage, or particular phases in books or whatnot.

  20. amber

    yeah soem people don’t know when to call it quits on the sharing… TMI is a faint line in the sand :) Thanks for sharing some info about yourself.

    -Amber

  21. Sara

    Wow, how neat and bizarre to discover that there are other people out there who hate flouring things. I too shudder when a recipe calls for a “floured surface.” Yuck!

  22. Jenn

    I agree with not liking hot foods! I like warm, to the chagrin of my family, they think I’m weird. And there’s really a lot of people posting TMI in their six weird things? Mine were mild, such as how my cat got her name when I was obsessed with a geeky book series, and weird foods I like to eat.

  23. Sue F.

    I don’t mind flouring so much as long as it doesn’t get underneath my fingernails. What I hate, though, is the feel of cotton balls. Ugh!

  24. Stephanie

    I read in my dreams. I also feel that I do a lot more in my dreams then I have time for. I once read that people dream in real-time speed, so it would be impossible for me to have dreamed everything that would have happened if I believe what I read. So I don’t believe all of the dream research.

  25. pennie

    I love the judge shows too. But here they come on during the day, so I have to compete with my little ones for the TV. Most days I end up watching Wonder Pets instead of Peoples court. Thanks for sharing a bit about you, it was fun and interesting reading.

  26. Judy

    Very often my dream is a book which I read and the pages turn. These dreams are always about me. The other kind of dream, where you see people and places, are always about other people. I thought I was the only one to do this. I’ve asked many people about this through the years and never met another person who dreams books. I’m coming up on 70 years old, so I’ve asked many people.

  27. Heide

    Maybe in a former life you worked in the kitchens of a tyrannical master who loved fried liver. He was also extremely paranoid. As a result, not only were you required to coat pile after pile of slimy liver in a choking flour concoction, but her wanted to see you taste each and every piece before he ate it. And because he didn’t like cold food you were often required to taste it while it was still scalding hot. Because of his afore-mentioned paranoia he would often wake all of his servants at wee hours to ensure that nobody was sneaking away or plotting to kill him in his sleep. You were dutiful, but secretly you dreamed of revenge in a utopic society where even women could decide the fate of others. One where somebody would dole out justice to this evil, black souled person.

  28. Cirilia

    Oh, graduate school. Luckily I’m in cultural studies and virtually any crap that is on can fall under my “IT IS FOR RESEARCH!!” clause. I second you on the temps–I leave things in the microwave for 30 seconds and I’m good. Boyfriend says: “Is that even warm?” and I say “Warm enough!”

  29. Corvus

    Chalk up another “I definently recall reading in my dreams”. In fact, I often keep a notebook nearby, because sometimes I’ll wake up with dream-read phrases or story ideas still floating about my memory. Once I dreamed about writing the ultimate novel, and I know at many points I was telling myself “I’m asleep, oh sweet mother of fuzzy kittens, I have to remember this when I wake up” and thus would read over every line I wrote multiple times before moving to the next.

    I actually remember a little of it.

    You know you’re a geek when you idly click a link to an answerbag.com question about dreaming, see the first answer spouting something about dreaming being a “right hemisphere” function, and immediately have to go to pubmed.com, pull up research that contradicts this, register at answerbag.com, and post copious quotes about how both hemispheres play roles in dreaming. Bad me: this is the weekend, and if I’m going to do anything scholarly I should really be studying Medical Bacteriology.

  30. Maritza

    I am so with you on the reading and writing in a dream. The only thing is that for me, the words always shift and change, so that if I try to read something twice, it will say something different the second time.

    I’ve had maps on the brain lately. Have you checked out the Ukranian map collection at the university yet? I’m a little confused as to where exactly it is located.

  31. Chris H

    Half-full vs half-empty? I was always a pain in the neck, saying simply that it was “half a glass of water”. When pressed, I’d say that unless I knew the starting point, I couldn’t accurately answer the question. If the glass started empty and then had water added to the half way mark, then it was obviously half full. Had it started at full with half the volume removed, it stood to reason that the glass was then half empty. I made my teachers crazy! LOL

  32. Donna

    Well, this was definitely worth waiting for – interesting and fun! I would have said you were an optimist in a heartbeat, though, even without the glass.

  33. Barb in Sudbury

    Judge Maria Lopez has a TV show?!!

    When I saw the tape of her during the incident which caused her to resign from the bench, I thought she was a complete whacko!

    Although, maybe that makes her good for TV….

  34. Myriam

    Interesting! You put some good thought into your meme :) I have read in my dreams but there is one that really stands out. I went to germany over the summer to visit my Oma and i had a dream about this story where some rich hunter hunts this fellow human on his island ANYWAY that fall when i went back to school we read the story in school and I remembered reading it in my dream word for word–it was really kind freaky at the time but cool too.

  35. Angie

    One person’s weird is just another’s interesting. I also read, write and direct movies in my dreams.

    My husband’s grandpa and grandma are from the Ukraine and he was lucky enough to accompany them on a visit just before we met. Now they are post-communism, the day to day reality has totally changed. Half full?

    I’m Irish, but I try to give them a sense of being Ukrainian at Easter when I bring out the eggs and the linens and enjoy the incredible foods.

  36. SheepsPyjamas

    I love this meme, though I tend to react the way you initially describe about coming up with my own wierdness… I also had a chance to take the glass test without preconceptions; I heard my results second hand from my grandmother, who apparently asked me when I was quite small. My answer, “It’s half a glass of water…” So what does that make me, ambivalent?

  37. Monica

    Ha, these were fun. I’ve been saving up weird things too, I think I finally have 6. It’s always interesting to see what people think is weird about themselves – and how many others share the traits!

  38. Jen the Knittingspaz

    very nice job of sharing without over sharing. My favorite though is the flour thing. Hey, at least it’s not a pickle!

    I also dream vividly, these days mostly about chemistry experiments that I’ve let go for way too long and I have to start over because everything went to crap. But sometimes about reading. Never about writing because let’s face it, very few people are blessed with the pen, and I have no delusions that I’m one of them!

  39. Mary

    I think that I can read in my dreams, too. I’ve never heard that it wasn’t possible, and I seem to recall doing it in a dream or two.

    I cannot relate to your flour or hot food issues, nor your love of judge shows, but I’m a half-full person as well, and I ADORE old maps, and have purchased a few myself from ebay, although haven’t yet hung any of them.

  40. Marsha

    Ok, so my response to the question of half full/half empty glass is……..’so, what’s in it that you are trying to poison me with?’

    You don’t think I might be paranoid do you?

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