Friday, August 10, 2007

Eight Things About Me

"Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted counts." sign hanging in Albert Einstein's office at Princeton

I've been following a blog trend that's become popular in some circles. It's called a Meme. The idea is to come up with a list that reveals something about yourself which you post on your blog. You can also tag other bloggers to do the same.

Yes, it's a bit self-indulgent, but what's wrong with a little personal viral marketing? I see it as a bunch of kinetic profiles moving along the cyberspace grapevine, helping us get to know each other and new people.

It's also a good way to give our readers a little glimpse inside the muse. Not to mention remind our friends to keep in touch.

I wrote one a while back called a Polarity Meme.

Here's the latest:

Eight Things About Me

1. In any public place--and especially when I'm traveling--I like to look at strangers and try to imagine the kind of lives they lead. What customs, jobs, families, ideas they have. No matter how many people you know, it's staggering to think how many people you don't know.

2. I used to be a very good bridge player. I learned from my mother and grandmother, who was a Master and taught us brilliantly. All my friends from high school to college and beyond learned to play killer bridge using "Granny's Rules." It's been a long time but I bet I could catch up.

3. I'm totally deficient in math. It's not a 'girl thing' or a 'right brain thing.' I have what's called "dyscalculia." I can't solve 4th grade word problems. I transpose numbers. I can't remember numbers without saying them aloud, looking at them many times and rechecking my work. Paying bills is brutal. I misdial the telephone at least half the time. Thank god for speed dial and calculators. Oh yeah, and I can't play--or even understand--chess.

4. On the other hand, I started reading at age 4 and read stunningly fast with total retention. If a hear a foreign language I can understand it, no matter that I never studied it. If I listen carefully and learn a key word or concept, I can speak it, if only to children. It amazes me. I don't know how I do it, it's just there in my head.

5. I talk too much. While I'm talking, I'll sometimes think to myself, You really should stop, but I keep going anyway. The upside is I usually have something of value to say. And people seem to like listening to me. Still, I need to learn how to stfu.

6. Except... I love speaking in public. Most people supposedly fear it more than death, but not me. Family dinner, business presentation, wedding, even a funeral, give me an audience and stand back. I can think on my feet. Somehow I always know what to say. I can grab and hold a crowd, make them laugh or cry, have them with me all the way. It's a gift and I treasure it.

7. Every once in a while I smoke a cigarette. Oh, shut up. 99% of the time I don't give a thought to smoking, don't crave it even if people are smoking around me. In fact I can't stand the smell of smoke on someone's clothes, including my own. But then I'll have a moment out of the blue. I'll put on my smoking hoodie, sit outside on my front steps with a beer or a Pepsi and light up. Heaven. (Then the hoodie goes in the laundry and I wash my hands. Vigorously.) So sue me.

8. I'm incredibly superstitious. Even though I understand it's basically a control issue. Even though knocking on wood represents knocking on The Cross and I'm Jewish. Even though I know I can't make the Phillies win if I'm in front of the TV or lose if I'm not. I mostly keep this to myself. Sorry I brought it up here. Ptoo-ptoo-ptoo.

I tag: BoniLogue , Blinq , Citizen Mom, Essential Emmes, randomly snarky

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Anonymous Marcy said...

Dyscalculia? Now I know what to call what I've always had! Thanks.

4:43 PM  
Anonymous Bert said...

I keep telling my wife a couple cigarettes a month won't kill me. I'm going to show this to her.

12:09 AM  
Blogger Sally Swift said...

Hey Bert, I'm not advocating smoking, far from it. Just saying what *I* do.

And I'm talking about a cigarette every couple months, not a couple cigs a month. Watch out for that slippery slope, it'll creep up on you.

12:12 AM  
Anonymous Marcia said...

I must ask you - how can you play killer bridge with your numbers mishigas? I consider chess and bridge to be closely related (and I can't play either). My sense of them is that they both involve strategic planning, and I'm missing whatever it takes to strategically plan ANYTHING.

3:00 PM  
Blogger Sally Swift said...

Bridge isn't math or spatial... it's logic and memory and strategy, all of which both of us can do. Chess strategy is based on *seeing* numerous spatial relationships and possibilities progressively laid out in your head.

Bridge is based on *thinking* and *remembering* numbers and probabilities based on rudimentary rules and really good *communication* between partners. To me, very different concepts.

Btw, I can play backgammon but I Never win.

3:02 PM  

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