I'm supposed to list five "weird" things about myself, then "tag" five people who have to do the same. And if I don't, I'll die. Okay, so I was kidding about dying, but isn't that how these chain mail things work?
Off we go:
- Parking my car This is one of my odd habits. When parking spaces run parallel with the building I am going to enter, I have to park with the driver's side closest to the building. If the parking spaces are perpendicular with the building, I point the car away from the building. I'll pass up a perfectly good parking space if it isn't possible to park my car in the preferred way. In cases of emergency, I'll break my rule, but I'll be nervous the entire time I'm in the building.
- Scrabble. I play competitive Scrabble. Read Stephan Fatsis' Word Freak, or watch the great documentary Word Wars for an idea of what competitive Scrabble is like at the top level. I'm not anywhere near that good, but I'm good. My friend Kevin and I always go out on Thursday nights and play three games at a bar. We play tournament style, with fancy equipment and a timer and all that. Guys think we're losers, but women find it fascinating. One of the things competitive Scrabble players do is to memorize anamonic devices and word lists. For instance, you memorize the list of acceptable q- without -u words. Prior to this year, that was a very short list -- 21 words. This year, the word source has been updated, and there are (I think) five more. There are 101 acceptable 2-letter words. One time, because we didn't realize how dorky we were being and we thought it would impress a girl, Kevin and I raced each other to see who could write the complete list of 2-letter words quickest. Kevin won the race, but the girl would eventually become my best friend -- the famous "Amanda", who has the misfortune of being a lifelong Sabres fan. I kid!
- Trunk boy I once locked myself in the trunk of my own car. The doors were locked and I had the keys with me. I was trying to... Well, let's just say that I was trying to settle a bet with the girl I was dating at the time. I hate to imagine how this must have looked to passersby, but we had a conversation (really just me yelling frantically, and she talking to a car) that went something like this:
Me: Oh, crap. I can't get out. You can let me out now.
Eleanor: You have the keys.
Eleanor: You have the keys, dearie
Me: Well, can you, like, pop the trunk?
Eleanor: No. You locked the doors, too. Remember?
After a few panicked moments, I remembered that the release lever inside the trunk did NOT pop the trunk. Instead, it released the mechanism that folded the back seat down. Seven years later, in somewhat embarrassing fashion, I found out that this story had become somewhat of a legend. I was telling the story to a woman I had just met, and she interrupted me saying "Wait.. I've heard this story. Aren't you friends with (so-and-so)?"
- Sleep? Who needs sleep? You can sleep when you're dead. I don't sleep. I normally get something like four our sometimes five hours of sleep. I have always been this way. When I was a baby, I had to have some surgery which required putting me to sleep. When they administered the dosage appropriate for a baby, there was no effect. When they doubled it, there was still no effect. When they gave me (the 18-month old me) an "adult" dosage of whatever it was, that did the trick. These days, even when I have the day off, or even if I am on vacation, I can't get to sleep until very late and I wake up no later than 8 am.
A couple of years ago, when it got to the point where I literally wasn't sleeping, I got a little concerned. I would go three days without getting anything more than an hour of sleep. I went to see my doctor, who actually gave me this brilliant medical advice: have more sex. I told him thanks for the advice, but I was really looking for some medication. He prescribed me with something that knocked me out alright, but it made me wish I was dead. Incidentally, I don't go to that doctor anymore.
- Vacation / long drive I don't go on many vacations. Used to be, I had paid vacation time, but didn't use it. Now, I don't have it. Anyway, I would never go to fabulous places like Cancun or Prague or even a cruddy place like Vegas. My idea of vacation is to go on a 3,000 mile road trip. On two occasions, I used vacation time to help different friends move cars 3,000 miles. One summer, I went from Washington DC to Portland Oregon, spending the night in the wonderful cities of Chicago (okay, Chicago is cool); Sioux Falls, SD; Rapid City, SD; Jackson WY (okay, Jackson is very cool, even in the off-season); and Boise, ID. The next summer, I helped a different friend move a car from Boise to Durham, NC. Along the way, we spent the night in the awesome cities of (middle of nowhere) Utah; North Platte, NE; Davenport IA; (somewhere in Hillsdale County, MI), then home. To be honest, I don't remember much about the second trip. That trip was strictly business. Getting the car from point A to point B. Of course the route we took was a little indirect, but that's neither here nor there. The first time, it was a blast, and I intend to do that kind of thing again. And again.
Seriously, if anyone reading this ever needs a car moved thousands of miles one way, or needs a second driver for such a task, let me know. I'd honestly rather do something like that as a "vacation" than go somewhere fancy.
I hereby tag Scott Cason (Casonblog), Kevin ( BFLOBLOG), Chris! (Covered In Oil), Mac McCaughan (Portastatic) and Reid (Are Seven). Four of the above are serious hockey fans. Be nice to the odd guy out. He's good peeps.
Those who have been "tagged" will receive e-mail from me. If you've already been tagged, and I tag you again, sue me.