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My Own Drummer

Grass Houses

I was meandering through technorati, checking what people out there in the world have to say about us (at least those who have the courage to link back) and saw WAH(Web)Mommy expose her weirdness to the world. A little off kilter, I had almost relegated her to the OCD kookie bin, where she would be pleasantly surprised to find about half the women I have ever loved including my wife, when dear god, she called me out to lift my skirts too. Never one to back down to any kind of challenge, I bring you seven more pathetic quirks to add to this ever growing rash of personal exposure making its way across the web.

1. My Hand Shakes When I talk to People I don’t Know on the Phone

I know a lot of people have a tough time with cold calls. I react physically. My wife would always know when I had been doing business calls with a stranger because my phone hand wouldn’t stop shaking for about 20 minutes. It is not subtle either. Even years later, when they barely scare me at all, I still get the shakes.

2. Don’t Touch that Pile

I am afflicted with a particular type of mnemonic curse. Out of site, out of mind. Literally. As a compensation system, I build piles. My wife has worked with me and we have reached a compromise. Julie is a woman of order, who believes each thing has its place. A belief I encourage and benefit from (I love a clean house, especially when I don’t have to do it). I have assigned places to pile and as long as I stay within my assigned places, my stacks remain unmolested. But should they break quarantine, all hell breaks loose.

3. Please, Never EVER Crunch Near Me

Ok, you know how on TV they make this big drama about the nails on the chalk board torture technique. Well you could abuse your chalkboard all day long, see if I care, but crunch on a pretzle or granola within 10 feet of me and prepare to see me tense up and wince. If I feel safe around you and know you, I’ll nicely ask you not to do that (if I am not able to run away). And if I love you, I’ll probably freak out on you and yell things like “You know I hate that $%^@, why do you come near me with your bowl of shredded wheat when you know I’m just going to have to leave the room.” Where did this come from? No idea, but I’ve definitely considered regressive therapy just out of love and courtesy for my wife. It is no fun being stuck with someone who can’t stand to hear you eat.

4. Don’t Eat or Clip Your Toenails in Bed

Now most people would say, that’s pretty normal. And it is, if I was a neat person. But I’m not. I pay very little attention to physical appearance as I tend to be very, very focused on whatever is today’s dominant thought in my life. I’ll wear the same clothes for a week and forget to shower for two days in a row. I respect hygiene, it is just one of the last things to enter my mind, I have more important things to deal with. I’ll have piles of laundry and when I was single would only do laundry every 2-3 months (I bought tons of undies). But somehow, I developed this internal rule that food & nail clippings on the floor is fine, but in bed are gross.

5. Bring on the Fear

I was terrified of heights, so I started rock climbing. I had horrible internal issues with how alone I felt, so I left to travel the world for a few years by my self. I had physical reactions to talking to strangers on the phone, so I volunteered for a community hotline where I listened to strangers in 4 hour blocks talk about anything they wanted, then went on to do a cold calling network marketing business for five years. I am obsessed with personal growth. I am happiest on the razor sharp edge of the discomfort of change.

6. I Can’t Hear You

A blessing and a curse. I have the ability to focus. More than most people I meet. I get so focused that I don’t hear you when you talk to me. Great if you work in a public place like a coffee shop and need to stay on track. Bad if your wife is trying to get your attention and begins to believe you are purposefully ignoring her.

7. I Believe in Fate / Spirituality but Can’t Stand it in Most People

My grandmother called me while at college at 11pm pacific, 2 am her time (New York). She was over 80 years old, in fine health, and usually went to bed early in the evening. I was concerned.

Listen close Shane, I know it is late but I need to talk to you. It is time for you to stop being angry at your parents. They did the best they could raising you and even though they don’t quite know how to show it, they love you very much. You need to grow up and let it go.

That is it, almost word for word. She wished me a good night and then hung up. That was the last time I spoke to her. She had an accident the next day and died. My life is full of these events. Insane karmic circles that only belong in daytime soap operas. These consistent events and connections in my life have made me a strong believe in fate and karma. And yet the moment someone begins to talk about spirituality, my hackles fly up and all my warning alarms trumpet. “Charlatan walking, make room people.” As our friend Brito said in his interview, I just want to sell them some magic beans. It is an odd double standard I have yet to puzzle out. Perhaps it is that so many people use spirituality (and religion) as another form of segregation and bigotry.

Oh and a bonus

I love to dance and am a fairly decent dancer. But put me around other people and something odd becomes clear. I love the off-beat and am always about 1/2 a beat ahead of everyone else. Still works for me.

You’re Next Sucka

And in conclusion, I am of the firm belief that misery loves company and everyone who writes a blog is fundamentally an exhibitionist seeking attention. So I pass it forward:

Brito at Bobby Street
Christine at Self Made Chick
Jarkko at Insanely Interested
Jonathan at Awake at the Wheel
Cyan at Freelance Switch
Tara at Horse:Pig:Cow
James at Branding Shed
Eric at The Admin
Jon at Freelance Folders
Susan at Vox Fortis

Have a good night – I stayed up way too late on this one.