I had some short stories, poems and photographs to share ... and so here I am

Eight Little Titbits

LM Noonan has tagged me for a little exercise in "getting to know who we are":

To begin with:

1. I have to post these rules before I give you the facts.
2. Each player starts with eight random facts/habits about themselves.
3. People who are tagged need to write their own post about their eight things and display these rules.
4. At the end of your post, you need to choose eight people to get tagged and list their names.
5. Don’t forget to leave them a comment telling them they’re tagged, and to read your blog.

So, here are my eight little titbits:

1. I don't eat meat. I stopped eating red meat when I was about 20, limiting myself to chicken and fish. When I moved to Europe at the age of 25 I stopped eating all meat and fish. However, in 2000, after two and a half years in France, and finding it hard to find things to eat in restaurants etc, I started eating fish again - but not chicken. I only eat fish that doesn't really taste to me like fish (salmon, tuna). It's not a natural instinct for me to want to cook, chew and swallow meat, and I never liked the taste of it.

2. I used to have a mild stammer and a stutter when I was a child, probably caused by the fact that I had so much to say and spoke too fast. It became less severe as I got older but I still had some terrible times in my teenage years. I avoided words starting with k, m, s, r, among others, and always had alternatives up my sleeve if a word refused to leave my mouth (good vocabulary skills). I had a breakthrough in high school though: I discovered I didn't have any problem when speaking in front of large groups doing speeches, debating etc. I tried to emulate this 'public speaking' style in my everyday speech and things ended up improving dramatically. I went on to work as a radio reporter/presenter (and later television), which probably surprised those who remembered me as the poor kid who stammered.

3. I discovered a few years ago, via my "better half", that I have what is known as "restless foot syndrome". This means that during the night my feet shake and I sometimes kick out. Not nice for the person beside me. I also don't understand how Miss Muffin is quite happy to keep sleeping at the foot of our bed during the night. I don't think this condition is all that serious and I've never sought medical advice about it. I think it has something to do with circulation and the electrical system "unwinding". I hope so.

4. I am a "born-again" grammar fanatic. I developed a big interest in correct grammar when I started to learn French. Basically, for me, it was important to know English grammar inside out in order to learn how everything worked in French. Before learning French, I had to relearn English. I like the idea of breaking the rules though - deliberately - for effect. I also love introducing new words into the language. I love grammar that makes writing more interesting and breaks things up into more interesting parcels, with more interesting rhythms.

5. I have never been anyone's fan. Right from an early age I hated the whole concept of people idolising someone else: singers, authors, personalities. I have maintained this throughout my life and can never understand the "mania" that surrounds celebrity figures. For me, people are just people. Of course, I wouldn't mind if someone decided to become my fan!

6. I bite my nails. It's a terrible, disgusting habit, which just won't go away. I bite right down to the sensitive skin, until it hurts. I've bitten my nails for as long as I can remember. I tried those nasty-tasting lotions, but I always ended up liking the taste and got right back to chewing. Doctors say I probably have a very strong immune system due to the constant intake of bacteria. On the odd occasion that I have let my nails grow I couldn't bear it; I had the constant sensation that my nails were being dragged down a blackboard.

7. I am a manic checker. I check to see if the front door is locked several times before I'm satisfied that it really is locked. I will often get up out of bed to go and double check. I will often walk back to my car to double check that I've locked it. I always push the button on the remote a few times before I'm satisfied that it's locked. When I'm driving I keep pushing the buttons that operate the electric windows, to make sure that the windows are properly closed, with no little gap at the top. (After a real effort in recent months, I'm happy to say that I now do this less often).

8. I hate it when people talk at the cinema. I need to have total silence during a film and can't bear to be with someone who talks to me during a movie. Even one little comment will drive me crazy. I need to be totally immersed in the universe the film has created and I get irritated if I am taken out of that. I lost a potential friend once when I told him how annoyed I was at his non-stop, banal commentary during a film.

Yes, I know, I am dangerous and unstable! I should be committed!

Now, I tag these people from my sidebar to see what they have to reveal about themselves:

Cate Sweeney.
Doors Left Open.
Skint Writer.
Good Thomas.
Kat's Random Thoughts.
Once In A Blue Muse.
Word Carving.


unarex said...

Very interesting. They always advertise this "Restless Leg Syndrome" on tv and I'm like, what the hell is that?!?!

This sounds like fun.

Nail biting, Seamus? Oh dear me... There are worse things one could be.

S. Kearney said...

Yes, I don't smoke, don't drink to excess, don't do other very damaging stuff, so nail biting is probably not the end of the world. It just hurts like hell sometimes, especially when I want to type or play the piano! :)

Wanderlust Scarlett said...

Hello Seamus,

Yay! Glad you are playing; I think just about everyone has been tagged with this. Or at least they will have been by the end of the week.
So... is your lion a meat eater?
That's interesting that you have no taste for meat.

It's really great that you overcame the speech impediment.

Had to laugh at your double standard fan rule. Funny guy.

I am a manic checker too. I was reading through your examples and thought... oh, I do that. Oh wait, I do that too... uh... uh-oh. I don't like the term, though.
I hereby commission you to come up with another name for our type of 'careful double checking' people. Manic checker doesn't work for me. ;o) Something that sounds more mentally stable. Could you please? Would you mind terribly?

On movies... Do you get up and leave or just get mad when people talk during the movie?

Good list, glad you played along.

Scarlett & Viaggiatore

Anonymous said...

Holy cow, you tagged me Seamus!
I used to be a nail biter too, before that I was a thumb sucker, now I'm a smoker...definate hand to mouth problems with this Kat.

Dewey said...

That restless leg syndrome can really be a problem if it starts to interfere with your slow-wave (or delta) sleep. It can keep waking you up, not all the way, but just out of sws, bringing you into the lighter stages 1 and 2 of sleep. If you don't get enough of the sws, your body doesn't get the chance to regenerate and renew, which can lead to heart failure. But don't worry! Long before you developed such serious problems, you would be fatigued during the day and possibly start to develop other problems, such as high blood pressure, which would hopefully lead a good doctor to sign you up for a sleep study. Just to be on the safe side, any time you have a health problem, remind the doctor that you have this restless leg syndrome, in case your health problem could be caused by sleep issues.

L.M.Noonan said...

A great read Seamus. We are slowing unravelling you...bit like peeling an onion. I also bite my mails to the qick and cannot remember not doing it, the few times I'm commanded myself to stop doing it (remember I'm a scorpio and a control freak) my nails grow upwards. Very unpleasant feeling. My family doctor has moved his practise three times over the last two decades and I have follwed him. I have warned him however, that should he decide to do so again...I'm finding a new man. Not only is he incredibly intelligent (not all doctors are!) but he has a fabulous bed side manner AND he bites his nails even lower than I do. They must bleed. So I trust him with my life.
I also hate people who talk during the movies as well. I cannot multitask when it comes to listening to music or watching a movie or reading a book or making art.

Anonymous said...

Shameless, this is a very engaging and courageous list. I love the honesty, the humility, the charm of it.

(But I am having trouble breathing over here with the tag. Thanks, mate.) Nail biting, yeah, um, yeah.

The restless leg thing can be a drag, especially at the theatre or in the cinema.

S. Kearney said...

Hi. No, my lion's a vege like me ... out of solidarity.
I also like "careful double checker" ... that sounds a lot better. :)

Yes, what do the experts say about nail biting I wonder. Does it mean something?

You've got me all worried now about the restless leg thing. Geez. Oh well, we all have to have something I suppose. :)

Yes, we're probably stuck with this awful thing ... but as Jessica says, there are lots of things far worse. :)

I look forward to reading your list. Luckily the restless foot/leg thing is only when I sleep. Although, if I sleep during a film or play ... :)

Anonymous said...

thanks for your sharing, Seamus! this meme thing, it's wonderful.

what, you tagged me? i thought i tagged you first?

visit my post: http://doorsleftopen.wordpress.com/2007/05/22/meme-of-eight/

S. Kearney said...

Canterbury S,
Hi. Thanks. How did I do that? I didn't even see your tag. I definitely saw the one from LMN though, which sparked this. How funny. Two meme tags. The same meme. Life is fun. :)

Unknown said...

So... you're a nail nibbling, button fiddling, leg jiggling, meat hating, silence loving, pedant!
Sounds good to me.

pee ess - yer story is up!

S. Kearney said...

I will use that line on my CV. I think I will go far! :)

Kay Cooke said...

Interesting ... fascinating ... the things we learn about others when we ask for random facts - and now it's my turn, as I've also been tagged (twice!) Does that mean I have to produce 16 randoms? Heaven forbid.

cate sweeney said...

I share some of your disgusting habits too.
Working on it on my blog now. This could take some time.

S. Kearney said...

Hi CB,
It seems there's been double and triple tagging going ono all over the place with this one ... Memes are a bit like that, aren't they? It's hard to keep up with it all.

Oh good. I'm not alone. Whew. We're all funny creatures I think, in one way or another. :)

Unknown said...

I used to bite my nails until lsat year. Now I content myself with biting them to within 0.5 c of the end of the nail. I don't like them long, they're annoying and interfere with the keyboard and the guitar.

My husband is a foot jiggler in bed. He also snores. Loudly.

Anonymous said...

I can relate to your 1, 5 and 6. And when I eat an ice cream cone, I shove it all down to the bottom so the very point of the cone has ice cream in it too, a little miniature.

Because you absolutely had to know that. ;)