Wednesday, November 27, 2013

10 Random Things About Me

I'm really fascinated by this post of 10 Random Things over on The Militant Baker - partially because I am a curious kitten and I like knowing random stuff about people I think are cool. But what intrigues me the most about this post is how much people are sharing in the comments. It really illustrates (IMHO) just how much people are willing to share if they're only asked. If you've ever seen the stuff that comes out on Post Secret, then you know just how much people can sometimes keep inside, for fear of judgement. But I don't think people's silence is always about judgement, necessarily. People sit on potentially dangerous or shameful secrets because they're afraid of consequences, but I also think people sit on small, mundane secrets all the time because they don't think anyone wants to hear them. A lot of us have been taught to keep our business to ourselves, to not impose, and I think that's a really harmful thing. I hate the idea of people sitting on all these things they want to talk about, waiting for permission, waiting to be asked.

So my dear readers, I'm giving you permission, and I'm asking you to join in sharing. Of course, I'll share my 10 Random Things first to get the ball rolling, because I can't expect you guys to spill if I don't share first. You can either share your 10 Random Things in the comments, or do as I did and take the idea off to your own blog. If you do, be sure to share the link here and at the original Militant Baker post, so Jes can see how far her lovely idea has travelled! As always, anonymous comments will be enabled for the next fortnight, so you don't have to put your name to your sharing if you don't want to.

10 Random Things About Me

Thing 1. 
I was a ridiculously well behaved student in high school. When I ran away from home for a couple of weeks, I didn't so much as miss a class, and was baffled when I discovered later my Mum had been checking to see if I was going. It simply hadn't occurred to me NOT to go to class. The night I ran away, I made sure to pack my uniform and all my school books - I discovered later this is apparently not how you're supposed to do it.

Image found at Ellen Dugan's Blog of Witchery

Thing 2. 
I learned to read very early, and was a passionate and voracious reader before I even got to school. This lead to me getting my hands on some stories that I probably wasn't quite emotionally prepared for...and no, for once I'm not talking about sexy times or overly sad stories. At some point around five, six, I got my hands on my first book of mythology and folklore, and I ADORED it. But there was one story that scared the SHIT out of me, and because kids love to be scared I would read it over and over. It was a very clumsy, badly translated version of the myth of the Baykok, a monster from the myths of the Ojibwe nation. This monster was described as being like a tall, ghostly pale figure, so thin that it was like a skeleton loosely draped with skin, with burning red eyes. But what really scared me about it was that it would attack you when you were asleep - other versions I've read since say a baykok can put you to sleep deliberately with invisible arrows or clubbing you unconscious with an invisible club, but in the version I read they only came after you if you fell asleep on your back. Either way, once you were out, the baykok would cut you open with a delicate little knife and eat your liver. Once it was done, it would put a rock in where your liver had been, and sew it back up so you'd wake up never knowing your liver was gone - you'd just get sicker and weaker until you dropped dead a couple of days later. 

I can't IMAGINE why this gave me nightmares
Image found on Tumblr

In hindsight, this is really interesting mythological reasoning for sudden illnesses that the Ojibwe people had no other explanation for. At the time though, I was SO convinced a baykok was going to come and steal my liver in the night that I stopped sleeping on my back, ever. I got panic attacks if I tried. I was THAT convinced there was a baykok lurking somewhere nearby, just waiting to get it's nasty skeletal claws on my liver. To this day, over 25 damn years later, I STILL feel uncomfortable sleeping on my back. It's nothing concious anymore - but there is still a scared little five year old somewhere in the back of my brain insisting I roll over whenever I try and sleep on my back. 

Thing 3.
I developed an allergy to alcohol a couple of years ago. It might be simply a reaction to my crazy pills - it did start at exactly the same time that I upped them to my current dose. However, several GP's since then have told me it's not possible this particular medication could make me puke whenever I have any alcohol at all, which is what happens. There is a possibility that if I stopped taking my crazy pills, I could drink again. But since I was hiding cheap bourbon in vases to conceal my drinking from my partner at the point in time I went on these meds, I've never been super keen to pursue this possibility. 

I love physical contact from my friends, but I LOATHE it from people I haven't "authorised" in my head. People who've only ever seen me around overly touchy strangers are always baffled by how comfortable I am climbing all over my friends, and people who've only seen me with friends don't understand how angry a "friendly" pat on the shoulder makes me.

Image found on Tumblr

I had a kitten when I was very small, but my Mum decided that it probably wasn't such a great idea after she kept finding me holding it over the toilet attempting to toilet train the poor thing. 

Image found at Cute Overload

I have really square, hobbity feet that are totally unsuited for women's shoes. (Don't worry, I'm not going to put in a picture of them) It's an absolute nightmare trying to find ones that don't squish my toes, or pinch my heels, but I love my hobbit feet anyway. There's something I find really comforting about their square stability - they feel really strong, and firm, and I really dig that. 

Plus I'm super good at scrabbling around rocks at the beach. 

I didn't lose my virginity until I was 19 and a half, not because I wanted to wait until I was in Twoo Wuv - I didn't really believe in that at the time. I was just waiting for someone that I was reasonably convinced would make it good for me, because I really REALLY didn't want my first time to suck. 

I completed my first (unpublished) novel when I was 12, and started a second (much better) one when I was 19. As yet, I haven't finished it. I read over the manuscript every now and then though.

The romantic relationship I'm in now is currently one year shy of the longest relationship I've ever had - six and a half years. Other than those two, they've never lasted more than three. What can I say, I'm not so great at long term commitment. 

I love dance movies - I could watch Centre Stage, or An American in Paris, or anything with gorgeous muscular people being talented for days at a time. But they always make me a little sad, because I know I'll never be able to dance like that.

This movie makes me swoon so badly.
Image found at

Alright, your turn! Bring on your random things! The Listen Lady is In.

Follow Me Everywhere!


  1. Random things about me:

    I struggle to do anything, including reading, with music or the television on. My mind has only room for one thing at a time.

    2013 has been the Year of Audiobooks for me. Seriously, why just stand there in line when someone could be reading a book to you while you wait? Every commute is story time!

    I can never, ever, think of things that I want for my birthday.

    I can never think of witty things for lists.

    I have never had a haircut any earlier that "too damn late, you look like a caveman."

    1. "I struggle to do anything, including reading, with music or the television on. My mind has only room for one thing at a time."

      ...this is kind of a problem when your girlfriend can't concentrate WITHOUT music or some noise.

    2. I think we make it work, though.

    3. I love to touch and hug other people, especially friends, affectionately but I appear not to. In social situations I tend to hold back because I’m afraid of offending others.

      I sometimes binge on chocolate, chocolate coated nuts or plain, lightly-salted corn chips. You know the kind of eating where you feel slightly sick half way through the packet but keep going until it’s all finished.

      As a cis-gender, white, middle-class, heterosexual male, I have for all of my adult life been very comfortable with gay or other varieties of sexuality. I’m comfortable that I’m sexually attracted to female bodies and not male bodies. Aesthetically both, sexually not both. This seems to result in me being comfortable around gay people and people of varied sexuality.

      When I was a child and our parents were out for the night, my brother and I used to watch the late-night horror movies on TV and scare ourselves silly.

      I have a love-hate relationship with feminism. I find that I agree with most of what most feminists have to say when they’re speaking (or writing) theoretically. I certainly agree that in many ways the world disadvantages women and that this is un-just and needs to be corrected. I don’t understand why any man would want to have a partner/wife who doesn’t have choices. On the other hand, I sometimes feel women blame me (personally) for all the suffering in the world. Secretly, I worry (like a lot of men, I feel) that when women figure out that they don’t need us, they’ll no longer want us. Then we’re doomed.

      I have an absolute mad crush on Lucy Liu. If she ever invited me into her bed, I would be completely powerless to resist. Not that I would try too hard to resist. Actually, not at all.

      I’m pretty damn good at making crepes, even if I do say so myself.

      I feel guilty that I don’t call my dad enough. He lives a long way away.

      I do think that men are benefitting enormously from feminism, which must be very annoying to the zero-sum thinkers on both sides!

      I love reading but am very slow. Sometimes I think this is great because a good book lasts a long time, other times I wish I could get through all the books on my list.

    4. "I love to touch and hug other people, especially friends, affectionately but I appear not to. In social situations I tend to hold back because I’m afraid of offending others."

      I've come across a couple of people like this, and they're almost always very tall guys. I find the disconnect between how imposing they are physically and how squishy they are on the inside fascinating.

      "When I was a child and our parents were out for the night, my brother and I used to watch the late-night horror movies on TV and scare ourselves silly."

      Awwww, I LOVE childhood stories like this. ADORABLE.

      "Secretly, I worry (like a lot of men, I feel) that when women figure out that they don’t need us, they’ll no longer want us. Then we’re doomed."

      I've actually heard this quite a bit before, from lots of different men. I think it comes from a feeling of deep self consciousness, a feeling that no one would want them if they weren't "useful". As someone who feels this quite regularly, and has no idea why anyone would genuinely enjoy spending time with them for fun, I can certainly empathise. My problem with this feeling is when it leads men to try and ensure women will always be reliant on them.

      Also, totally agree on Lucy Liu.

  2. 10 Random Things:
    1. When I was little we had a dog called Bianca who was a cockerspaniel. She was put down when I was 3. I've never had any other pets, mostly because I'm allergic to most things that are alive. Nature and I get along fine as long as we don't have to meet.
    2. I had a brother. He died when I was 11 and he was 24. His suicide was an extremely formative experience in my life and I can't talk about it much because it's very emotional for me.
    3. I have strong urge to blog about something, but I can't think of a good framework to use for it. So for now I'm just observing.
    4. I really love being married and really love my husband. That's really lame of me, I think.
    5. I'm really bad at arts and crafts. I can't translate the things in my head into actual things. While this can be frustrating I've developed a coping method, where I find people who can do it and give them money. This isn't a bad thing, just a recognition of strengths and weaknesses.
    6. I didn't continue with history because I found writing really stressful. I love research and studying, but the actual writing was awful. On top of that my thesis supervisor was unsupportive and a bunch of my hair fell out so it didn't seem worth it. I instead got a job to get some other things I want. I'm still not sure if it was the best choice, but have no urge to go back. I'm just 31 and unsure what I'm going to be when I grow up.
    7. Yesterday I cried for an hour while putting away clean laundry. Being unemployed is hard some days. Too many emotions and too much time on my hands.
    8. I should not pursue positions of power. I would be an awful dictator, because the idea of imprisoning or murdering people who disagree with me is sometimes very appealing. I also would love to be adored. This makes my role-playing characters a bit unbearable. My last long-term campaign was ages ago, but I played someone who became a queen, and I was a little bit evil. I was also obsessed with having heirs. I may have been inspired by actual historical royalty, but comments like "It's okay for me to take a lover while I'm pregnant as that won't disturb the succession or put my husband in an awkward position of not knowing if his children are his" seemed to amuse, but also distress the other players.
    9. I would like to live healthy and young as long as I choose to, so technically forever. I don't want it to be impossible to die, but I'd like to stop aging and just live forever. I think all the things people say about why it's a terrible idea are silly. You'd set your life up completely differently if you didn't have to worry about an expiry date or illness. So your move science! Make it happen! I've got your ethics problem all worked out here.
    10. I'm going to eat a peach now, or possibly some strawberries.


    1. "4. I really love being married and really love my husband. That's really lame of me, I think."
      I don't think it's lame at all. Being happy is never lame.

      Also, being unemployed can be SUPER hard - I promise you, I know this feel all too well. I can only suggest keeping as busy as possible with something that makes you happy.

  3. I like this!
    Just an aside before I begin- I find your Thing 2 very interesting, as I hadn't read any of those myths BUT I can never sleep on my back without having nightmares about an evil thing cutting his knife into my back or stomach. Ever since I was a child.

    1. I love making up and playing in imaginary worlds, whether through writing stories, day dreaming or role playing. I didn't know about Dungeons and Dragons until I hit uni, and I embraced it.

    2. During my four years at uni I played a bard in a D&D group (2nd edition). Blessed with a fantastic character focused DM, I spent so much time as my character that she's like an alter ego.

    3. I am intensely visual. When I read, I see the words without hearing them. When I roleplay or write stories, I have a mini movie running in my head.

    4. It wasn't until I got to uni that I realised that female masturbation existed (and still may not have known if an acquaintance hadn't taken it upon herself to pass on that info).

    5. My natural inclination is to trust people and believe the best of them. This has led to two bad romantic relationships (my only ones), and I tend to be a bit more cynical now.

    6. I'm still not really sure what direction to take my life in in terms of work.

    7. Sometimes I love being a single mum (no emotionally abusive partner, yay) but other times I feel like I got all the downsides of being single and none of the advantages.

    8. Physical touch is usually the last thing I like, but after 5 years of only having the odd hug from my parents, I actually miss it. Mostly, just cuddling someone while watching tv.

    9. I love singing, playing the drums and guitar and music in general, I miss being in a band.

    10. I really admire artists, and wish I had the ability to draw the pictures in my head.

    1. I visualize while reading, also. That's why it's hard for me to watch movies made from books, as they don't match up to me.

    2. D'n'D nerd solidarity! That's a super cute story :)

      I honestly can't even imagine the weight of responsibility that comes with being a single mum to two small children. As hard as it is though, as you say, at least you're not trying to do it with an abusive asshole dragging behind you.

  4. My 10 things:

    1. I don't like being touched, too! I tolerate it from people I love, but I rarely seek it out. I absolutely hate being touched by strangers and acquaintances. This super sucks, because where I live, people like to hug all time. People I'm not friends with. People I only know through work. I hate it, and I always want to refer them to the Captain Awkward post, "Do we hug? Because my thought is we don't."

    2. Reading saved me growing up. I started early and read often. It helped me escape from a super unhappy childhood, and it's why I'm a writer and editor now.

    3. I have two tattoos (so far), and they're both based on Canadian-created science fiction.

    4. I love kids—I am a Sunday school teacher—but I have zero desire to have any of my own.

    5. In the last year, I have turned into one of those people: the ones who love going to the gym and feel gross if they don't. (Ugh.) As a result, I now call going to the gym "bro-ing out."

    6. I love music and seriously resent my parents for stopping me from taking piano lessons.

    7. It drives me seriously batty when people make the stereotypical, "Oh, you're Canadian, eh?" joke when they find out I hail from the Great White North. Wow, you guys, I've never heard that one before.

    8. I love reading really bad, really smutty fanfiction. I can't stop myself.

    9. I hate puns so much I have a pun jar at work, and I make people put money into it if they want to get a pun in the newspaper—or if they make a particularly bad verbal pun. I use the money to buy all of the alcohol.

    10. I really, really love editing. I love days when I can sit down with something someone else has written and mark it all up. I love taking something and making it better.

    1. Re: being touched, there is a director at my work who has decided that apparently we have progressed from a friendly pat on the shoulder to cheek kisses when he's in the office, and I don't know how it happened and I want it to stop so bad!! I think I'm going to pretend I'm sick with something contagious next time he's here.

      Re 10: This is actually what I enjoy about admin. I hate a lot of things about it, but being able to create a smooth, efficient process for moving paper and invoices and stock around is deeply satisfying to me. Most of my annoyance with work comes when people get in the way of my processes.

    2. I love your 10. This is my life aspiration too.

  5. 1. Another one who likes hugs from friends but not being touched by strangers.
    2. Definite air space issue here - can NOT work if there is someone peering over my shoulder. I generally take the worst/smallest space in the office so I can manage this.
    3. Voracious reader, always have been. And horror stories since primary school.
    4. Can't stand people talking over music. Best Beloved has finally learned not to try and talk while Queen is playing. Related - unable to write simple emails if TV is running. Spouse now has a pair of wireless headphones so we can at least be on the couch together.
    5. Thesis topic was possum skin rugs. Bears absolutely no relationship to working in IT.
    6. Far too strong a work ethic. This means I find it really hard to switch off work or to just sit around and goof off on the weekends (all chores must be done before I've earned time off). Seriously? I suspect I'll have retired before I sort that particular part of my head out.
    7. Used to bite my nails. All the bitter stuff in the world didn't stop me, just suddenly stopped when I was at uni. CFS means my body has decided that keeping nails in good condition is less important than trying to fix the immune and hormone systems. So polish is a must to stop them flaking and falling apart. Currently wearing a sludgy khaki which I rather like.
    8. Jeans are my Thing. I can do dresses, skirts and trousers, but most comfortable in jeans.
    9. Despite my accent (very old school BBC), 4th generation Australian, never been out of the country.
    10. Best snack ever? Fresh brioches with rosehip jam and perfectly made coffee.

    Bonus Random Fact: my pets have kept me alive more times than I care to think. I refuse to live without them.

    1. "2. Definite air space issue here - can NOT work if there is someone peering over my shoulder. I generally take the worst/smallest space in the office so I can manage this."

      OMG I cannot express how much I LOATHE people walking around behind me, or looking over my shoulder when I'm trying to work. It drives me BATTY. I would give my kingdom for a desk that backed on to a wall.

      "5. Thesis topic was possum skin rugs. Bears absolutely no relationship to working in IT."
      Possum skin rugs? Tell me more.

      "10. Best snack ever? Fresh brioches with rosehip jam and perfectly made coffee."
      This sounds MAGIC.

    2. Australian Aboriginal Possum Skin Rugs
      - methods of manufacture
      - possums, diet and climate
      - artefacts used - ethnographic and archaeological record
      - considerations of ethnographic literature
      - uses of possum skin rugs
      - influences on rugs
      - the museum rugs (seven of them around the world)
      - designs in relation to other decorated artefacts

      I wanted to go on to a PhD on the relationship between Scythian tattoos and celtic art, but couldn't find (a) the money, (b) the dedication to being a poor student again. Still think it would make a great research topic!

    3. That actually sounds like a really neat thesis, even if it has no bearing on your job right now :) I love the idea of exploring Scythian tattoos and celtic art, why does uni have to be so EXPENSIVE?

    4. Because we have short-sighted governments who don't understand the concept of long term investment in an educated (in the old sense, not just for work) and curious population. And thank you!

  6. 1. I used to play guitar. I can't anymore due to joint problems
    2. I didn't have sex until I was 29 and in a relationship.
    3. My first relationship started at 29, and is non-monogamous.
    4. I'm ADD but got ridiculously good grades in school with little effort.
    5. My first year of college (university), I got addicted to cigarettes, and had a pack/day habit until I quit the summer before my second and final year.
    6. I really like dissonant music.
    7. In jr. high, I was part of a runners club that was like the school track and field team without the field. We did 5k runs.
    8. I have asthma and am allergic to tobacco. Funny given 7 and 5
    9. I'm a bibliophile.
    10. If someone surprises me and touches me from behind, My first reaction is to attack, (a reaction I have learned to suppress) due to constantly being attacked from behind when I was in grade school.

    1. Booo to 1, I hate how many cool things joint problems get in the way of. This is the same reason I can't knit anymore.

      It's interesting that your first relationship ever is non-mongamous. I imagine it's quite different to the experiences of those of us who started monogamous, and then switched.

      I'm also getting the impression there a lot of people I know that I shouldn't approach from behind - not that I would generally, but good to know :)

  7. I had forgotten about the post on TMB, I started reading the comments but then life happened and I've never gone back. I love reading these things, so maybe I should also participate.

    1. I have a phobia of being drawn on. I'm not sure when it started but think it was somewhere in my early teens. I once kicked a friend in the face when she drew on my leg when she thought I was asleep on a couch. I wasn't asleep. I couldn't even wear makeup until my early 20s, and I'm still working on being OK with lipstick.

    2. I'm in the no touching club too! I'm even weird with close friends and family. I am always seeking affection from my partner though.

    3. I have a dog and she's pretty much the best animal on the planet. No really, she is. I even once told my boyfriend 2 years into our relationship that I might love her more than him. He didn't take that very well AT ALL.

    4. I'm terrible at the internet. I see people sharing all these amazing things and just think "how did you find this??". I bookmark things and forget about them all the time and I pin things for no apparent reason.

    5. My right shoulder has been a total jerk for the last 2 years, with my most recent diagnosis being subacromial bursitis. It makes giant cracking noises all the time and tends to roll forward up to 2 inches and freak out all my muscles constantly.

    6. I have ridiculous urges to create things. I have craft supplies all over my house but only a few dozen finished projects. I'm currently just over halfway through a 57500 stitch cross stitch of a scene from the Digital Estate Planning episode of Community that is on hold due to 5. I have zero artistic talent though.

    7. Two years ago my closest friend dumped me from her wedding party (and therefore her life), and it's the best thing that ever happened to me. I learnt that sometimes breaking up with your friends is really the healthiest thing to do.

    8. It has been 12 months since my last haircut. Before that, it was 18 months. I'm just not good at going to the hairdresser, and when I do they inevitably give me a crap haircut because they don't seem to understand that I don't want something that "flatters my face/shape", I want something awesome.

    9. I have been pretty anti-marriage for most of my life, I still don't understand the importance people place on a certificate and a ceremony but... I'm getting married in 5 months.

    10. I was only wearing a pair of undies when my partner proposed, and it wasn't in a sexy way. I had been having (what I later found out to be) panic attacks all night while out for a fancy dinner and had stripped off everything once we got back to our hotel because I was convinced I was going to spew.

    Well, that was fun!

    1. re 9 - me too. Got married to Best Beloved 4 years ago (after something like 10 years together). I think it's actually bugger the ceremony (ours took 5 minutes) and certificate, it's that step of commitment, declaration and love. Soundest piece of advice? Stick to the low stress option.

    2. A phobia of being drawn on! That's fascinating. I mean, I'm sure it sucks for you, but fascinating!

      Congratulations on your engagement, and that proposal story is possibly my favourite thing I've read in a long time. So sweet and strange and romantic! *clutches heart* It gives me, as Tumblr would say, many feels.

  8. Yay! I love all those facts and particularly empathised with the Thing 1 - me too. I (to quote Simmons for Agents of Shield) 'like following rules. It makes me feel good'. :) Anyway, I did a 10 things post as well and if you want, you can check it out here -



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