Five Weird Habits

by wjw on February 2, 2006

Ling the Merciless has tagged me with the Five Weird Habits meme. In which I reveal five allegedly weird habits that I possess, and then tag five other folks with the same meme.

It took me a while to think of five weird habits, since they don’t seem very weird to me. And, now that I think about them, I don’t know whether they’re weird or merely pathetic. You be the judge.

1. I’ve never watched a Super Bowl or attended a Super Bowl party. (This one seems especially relevant this week.) I don’t even know who’s playing this year.

For a few years, on Super Bowl Sunday, Kathy and I made a point of attending the ballet as a form of cultural protest against this annual rite of drunkenness and spouse abuse. It was easy to get to the auditorium because the roads were empty, and the theater was always filled with mothers and their daughters, all of whom seemed very happy to be there.

2. Because of arthritis in my back and hips, I find it painful to sleep in a reclining position. I sleep most of the night in an easy chair, and then move to the bed when the chair grows uncomfortable.

3. I’ve been doing roleplaying games with the same group of people, more or less, for something like 25 years. My current campaign is set in the late Roman Republic and has been running since 1996.

For a while I thought it was odd that despite being an SF and fantasy writer, I don’t for the most part do fantasy or science fiction games. Then I realized that science fiction is work, and I game to get away from work.

4. Despite #3 above, I’m always working. Even when I’m reading a book or watching TV or talking to my friends, some part of me is always working on ideas, characters, plot points, and pacing. Because of this constant churning in my backbrain, I’ve outlined more books than I will ever write in this lifetime, and I’ve forgotten more books than I’ve ever outlined. Some of them end up as RPGs because I know I’ll never write them.

Kathy has stated that often when she talks to me she has to wait for the signal to bounce back from the Moon before I reply. It’s not the Moon, it’s the Fictionsphere.

5. When there’s a television on in a room, I can’t help but watch it. My eyes are drawn to it like a rabbit hypnotized by a snake. I absolutely can’t help myself, not even if the program is awful or the sound is turned off. Not even if the set is in the back of an Asian restaurant silently broadcasting Vietnamese karaoke videos. If there’s a bright screen somewhere with things moving on it, my eyes lock right onto it. I haven’t done the experiment to see if I’ll actually watch a TV turned to a dead channel, because I don’t want to know the answer.

If you want me to pay attention to you, for God’s sake turn off the TV. (I never have the TV on when company is in the house. What are you thinking?)

The meme now requires me to tag some of you so that you’ll post your own Five Weird Habits. But this is a new blog and, quite frankly, I don’t know any of you well enough to impose on you that way. So if you feel you have weird habits worth discussing, by all means discuss them somewhere and link back to here. Or post your essay here.

I have a feeling that some of you are a lot weirder than I am. So feel free to discuss yourself on my nickel. I promise I’ll turn off the TV.

Derryl Murphy February 3, 2006 at 5:48 am

I put mine up at my blog:


Andrew February 3, 2006 at 10:11 am

I think that I’ll be taking it as well…

I gotta say though, I love your reasoning for avoiding the Super Bowl

Mike Schilling February 3, 2006 at 7:47 pm

I wish that “Can’t keep eyes off the TV” were a weird habit; I’ve found it to be extremely common, particularly among my children. I expect that if you asked tham, they’d say that one of my weird habits is turning the damned thing off whenever I need to communicate with them.

Foxessa February 3, 2006 at 11:23 pm

The one weird habit of yours that I share is never having seen or attended or even paid attention to the super bowl. I don’t even know when it is. Is that the one they do at Thanksgiving?

No doubt, that both el Vaquero and I share total disinterest in games and sports, contributes to the strength of our pair bond.

I. really. did. use. that. term.


Love, C.

Joe Crow February 4, 2006 at 11:36 am

Holy crap, you’re me. At least on points 1, 4, and 5. Just outta curiousity, did your folks have a tv when you were a kid? My mom didn’t get a tv until I was 16, and I’ve always suspected that I failed to develop the appropriate mental antibodies or something.

Ling February 9, 2006 at 2:39 am

Cool! I must admit to attending one Superbowl party. I brought knitting to do and I ate too much jumbalaya! That’s the only thing I remember from it. I’m not too interested in football either! Last superbowl sunday, I was actually on the plane coming back from Florida to California. And the pilots kept us up to date on the scores!

Antagonist February 10, 2006 at 1:46 am

oh yeah.

dubjay February 12, 2006 at 8:39 pm

My family got a TV set when I was 2 or 3 years old, so I grew up with a big console black-and-white TV (with a very small screen by today’s standards), and a weird little fine-tuning device-cum-antenna that looked like something NASA would leave on the surface of Mars. You would dial the TV to the station you wanted, and then dial the antenna to the same station.

Curiously enough, my dreams shifted from black-and-white to color after the family got a color TV.

I don’t object to American football on the grounds of violence— after all, I like the Ultimate Fighting Championship and Australian Rules Football, which a friend once called “Road Warrior without the cars”— but on account of its incredible mind-numbing dullness.

The ball’s only in play seven or eight minutes, and for this you have to sit there the whole afternoon listening to bloviating announcers, ads for lite beer, and “celebrity” guests.

At least in ballet there are no timeouts for commercials.

James Williams February 15, 2006 at 1:24 pm

The “Superbowl Spouse Abuse” story is a myth.

check out:

This year was actually the first year I ever watched a Superbowl. It was OK- (I went mostly for the chili being served.)

HaloJonesFan February 20, 2006 at 4:52 pm

I never piss into a urinal if I can help it. I’ll use the stall, unless the stall is occupied and waiting would be socially awkward.

dubjay February 20, 2006 at 9:40 pm

Halojones, this isn’t weird at all if you happen to be a girl.

PureDoxyk December 5, 2006 at 3:17 pm

Umm…I refuse to sleep all night, because I like night too much to miss it. (I do work all day, which means I have to take pretty extreme measures not to sleep all night — but I manage it.)

The Moon-signal thing and the television problem, I have too. Of course I think it’s simply ridiculous to expect anybody to ignore something flashing and moving in their field of vision — What would I be, evolutionarily speaking, if I blocked that sort of thing out? Oh yes — dead. 😉


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