5 odd things about me

Wren has tapped me to reveal five weird things about myself. Interestingly, she prefaces her five odd things with a blanket “But actually, I’m not terribly odd” caveat, while I think that exactly the opposite may be true of me. I have a deeply held concern that I may be Odd. Not in any profoundly dysfunctional way, but odd enough that anyone less tolerant than my lovely wife would find living with me to be a long series of WTF? moments. I may be wrong about this, but I wouldn’t bet on it.

How can you resist an opening paragraph like that? Let’s get started!

1. What’s the opposite of phlegmatic? I am a ridiculously emotional person, often to the point that it’s embarrassing. Giving this an even odder twist, I often am not animatedly emotional- I can be experiencing an emotional maelstrom internally and appear the the casual observer to be dispassionate to the point of total detachment. My lovely and talented wife has developed a sixth sense for this, and has taken to asking after my emotional state, usually as I am struggling to keep a lid on it. Since I am incapable of misleading her, it often all comes out in a rush. Whee.

2. I suspect that my lack of emotional detachment impedes my ability to write analytically with the sort of detail and objectivity of the best journalistic writers. Josh Marshall seldom answers my emails, in other words. However, Gordon always does. I often look back over my writing and think “It’s no wonder folks don’t come to me for sound analysis- I write like a pissed off crank.” On the other hand, so do my favorite bloggers. (see The Alternate Brain and Billmon…) I am trying to get over feeling bad about this and would like to decide that it’s an asset.

3. I will eat just about anything, AND I will probably enjoy it. I can only think of two things that I just DON’T like to eat:
cottage cheese

4. I am a huge baseball fan, and I even played some in high school. However- I have never understood the infield fly rule. I mean, I know about, and I get it, but it always takes me several minutes to understand what just happened when I see it in action. It’s an odd sort of mental block… This has led to several fairly embarrassing moments where I screamed “RUN!!!” the top of my lungs… at completely inappropriate times, like “How could an entire stadium not have noticed that the shortstop just dropped the ball?” I have left games after embarrassing myself this way. When a nine-year-old turns around and says to me “You dummyhead, it’s an infield fly ball!” it’s time to go home.

5. I teeter back and forth between being coldly rational and painfully superstitious. I periodically knock wood, look for signs and portents, and even (occasionally) surreptitiously read my horoscope in the paper. I find that my level of superstitiousness grows in direct proportion to my powerlessness in most situations. I have a suspicion that there is a causal link there that might be used to explain certain kinds of religiosity. Call it a hunch.

What? Why is everybody looking at me like that?

I tag five people:

my twin brother


  1. Oh my god you are a funny man. Really we have to figure out how to meet f-2-f one day. Come to LA damn it! Okay, it’s going to be tough to narrow it down to 5 (and you and I share number 5 with a vengeance–I’ve almost lost friendships over my distress when people say things like “well, it couldn’t possibly get worse.” I’m like “The god I don’t believe in is listening!! Shaddup!”)

  2. I have always loved cottage cheese but I didn’t discover I liked pickled beets until about two years ago. My mother-in-law made some yummy-and-rich-but-bland cheesy potato and noodle Mennonite dish and served some tangy pickled beets to go with. Absolute heaven. Now I sometime open a jar of pickled beets and eat them totally plain.

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