Thursday, January 19, 2006

Five Weird Habits Meme

Chris Barzak was tagged by Ms. Bond for the five weird habits meme. He tagged me.

The first player of this game starts with the topic "five weird habits" and people who get tagged need to write an entry about their five weird habits as well as state this rule clearly. In the end, you need to choose the next five people to be tagged and link to their web journals. Don't forget to leave a comment in their blog or journal that says "You have been tagged" (assuming they take comments) and tell them to read yours.

Wow. This is a little like opening up that closet in the extra bedroom that is really a mess so you just don't open it any more. Five weird habits, huh?

1. Before I write anything, I always play Free Cell. I suspect that this is far from weird and that way too many people have been seduced by some form of computer solitaire. But I really do have to play free cell before I write.

2. When I close and lock my car door, I have to be holding my keys in my hand. I started this when I used to lock myself out of my dorm room. If I was holding the keys when I closed the door, they couldn't be in the room. now it has become a habit and then one of those things. I can't bring myself to close the door if they aren't in my hand. I can be looking in my purse and see them, but I have to touch them in order to be able to close the door. I find this so annoying I am actually working to break myself of this habit. I did manage to break myself of the habit of genuflecting in a Catholic church. But I still feel weird when I don't.

3. If the dachshund is on the second floor as I am coming up the stairs, stop and let her lick me on the nose between the bars of the stair rail. It is the only time she and I can look each other in the eye since she is only eight inches tall. This comes under the heading of 'cute' behavior and is therefore mildly embarassing.

4. I say 'either' and 'neither' so they rhyme with 'fiver' rather than 'leave her'. This is complete affectation. No one in my family says it that way and I don't think any of my acquaintances do, either. I'm not sure why I do it. And I'm not really consistent. Sometimes I slip.

5. When I write, I have to set up the manuscript from the very beginning as if it were a final draft. Manuscript format, address at top, large bank space, double space, etc. When I write a novel, I allow myself to set up chapter conventions any way I want, but I still have to put the header in and double space and all that stuff. Otherwise, it's not writing, it's something else. Nothing I have started, either handwritten or in single spaced format, has ever become a story. Sometimes the double spaced perfectly formatted stuff doesn't become a story either, but sometimes it does.

So I tag Greg Feeley, Greg Van Eekhout, David Moles, Madeleine Robbins and Barth Anderson. You're all it.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm really grateful about that car door thing.

January 19, 2006 3:51 PM  
Blogger Maureen McHugh said...

But admit it, the 'either' and 'neither' thing drives you nuts.

January 19, 2006 4:34 PM  
Blogger David Moles said...

Consider me tagged! Though since I'm moving out this weekend, it may be a few days. (And by the end of it I may have developed some all-new tics.)

January 19, 2006 5:42 PM  
Blogger Christopher Barzak said...

I do almost all of the same formatting tics too, except I don't put my address at the top under my name anymore, because I never know where I want a reply sent to while I'm overseas, but everything else, yep. I never finish or write anything that I start in handwriting or without this sort of formality usually either. I have no idea why, but yeah, otherwise it's just not writing to me. I think this started when I liked to have a sense of the physicality of the story on the page while I was writing. I need my spacial sense of writing fulfilled as I write as well, I guess.

January 19, 2006 8:38 PM  
Blogger art girl said...

(i'm 14) none of my annoying habits are like that, but i wear glasses, and my mum cleans them, and i can't put them on in the morning if they don't have finger prints on them...even if a have to purposley put the finger prints or dirt or what ever on them myself. it's quite annoying, because now i see everything in a cloudy form, though it's better than seeing nothing at all...

January 20, 2006 4:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have the same formatting issue as you and Chris. I blame Clarion. I went in totally oblivious to formatting and came out only writing in manuscript format. As you said, nothing else feels like real writing.

January 20, 2006 3:21 PM  
Blogger Erin O'Brien said...

Number three, McHugh, is not mildly embarrasing. It is hugely embarassing.

January 20, 2006 10:29 PM  
Blogger Maureen McHugh said...

Erin, from you that's...something. Okay, one of the people I tagged (Greg Van Eekhout) had already done it. Which means now you're it.

January 21, 2006 1:40 PM  
Blogger Greg van Eekhout said...

Upon further reflection, I realized I have at least five more weird habits:

1. If I see a raised curb, such as a concrete tree planter of the sort one often sees in municpal settings, I have to walk at least a few feet of it as though it were a balance beam. This is a holdover from my childhood when going Look at me, I can walk on a curb was deserving of notice and praise. As I get older and more feeble, I realize that continuing this habit can only result in tears and the need for heat balms.

2. I put in my contact lenses, I go to martial arts class, I come home, I take a shower, I get out of the shower, I put on my glasses. Since I'm still wearing my contacts when I put on my glasses, I see nothing but major blur, and I say to myself, "Oh, I'm still wearing my contacts." I do this at least twice a week, since I go to martial arts class twice a week.

3. If I have a pen in my hand and a blank area of paper, I will doodle a fish. It will be a fish with a human face, like the ones in Monty Python's The Meaning of Life. If the human-faced fish isn't the first thing I doodle, it will be the second, possibly the third, but if I get to four doodles, there is a 99.99999% chance that one of them will be the fish.

4. When I gargle, I gargle to the tune of "Way Down Upon the Swanee River".

5. I don't say "stew." I say something like, "SSSSHHteeeewwwww."

January 21, 2006 5:27 PM  
Blogger Maureen McHugh said...

You gargle to the tune of Sawanee River? That is the coolest thing ever. I confess, I rarely gargle, and even brushing my teeth sometimes makes me gag.

I wish I gargled now.

I always doodle a fish, too, although not with a human face.

January 21, 2006 5:31 PM  
Blogger Autumn said...

I have to admit this is the most fascinating meme ever invented. I love reading people's responses to it.

January 21, 2006 7:01 PM  
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