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    Moi-même meme

    It seems to have been Pelt Sean with Memes Day when I wasn’t looking, and since I didn’t arrange to be on an inaccessible island in time, Ghost of a Flea got me.

    Okay. This one is “five weird things about me,” which means we need to get something out of the way right from the get-go: I’m normal; it’s the other 6,499,999,999 of you who are weird.

    Actually, I don’t think there’s much that’s all that interestingly quirky about me. I’ll focus on five things that other people are constantly telling me are weird.

    1. I was named for the Beatles rhythm section. My first name is Sean (Irish form of John; also, it recalls Sean Connery, of whom Mom was a fan) and my middle name Richard (given name of Ringo Starr). My parents met just after high school, when they ended up playing in the same cover band. My mother drums and my father plays bass. I spent my years as a toddler playing around with stray cords and strings and brushes and things while they jammed with friends. It’s a wonder I never strangled or electrocuted myself. Anyway, lots of people born in the early 70s were named after celebrities from the period, so as I say, other people think this is weirder than I do.

    2. My favorite band is the Church. Whenever I say so to a hetero guy who actually knows who the Church is, he invariably–invariably–stares in disbelief and says, “But they’re so STRAIGHT!”
    3. I wear jeans until they basically fall off me in shreds. You would think that in the Shibuya-Shinjuku zone of Tokyo, wearing ripped up jeans would be so unimaginative as to be hardly worth commenting on. And it’s not like I wear them to the office, or to dinner when everyone else is in coat and tie. I have plenty of proper trousers. But when things are cas, people are always like, “Wow! Those are some seriously air-conditioned jeans you’ve got there.” Well, yeah, they’re ten years old, and I’m from a thrifty family. Besides, good stuff ages well, even when it’s threadbare. (One of my buddies responded to this with “I somehow don’t think Granddad meant you to apply that to jeans through which guys can see your boxers when you’re hanging out at gay bars.” Some people just can’t turn off the catty.)
    4. About once every four months or so, I’ll feel like a cigarette when everyone around me is smoking–and in Tokyo, everyone around you is always smoking–so I bum one, smoke it, and then…you know, go back to not smoking. Totally freaks people out. They’re like, “Sean? YOU with a cigarette?” Well, sure. Considering that I live in one of the largest urban agglomerations on the planet, with the air to match, I don’t think that my life expectancy is going to sink like a stone because of three cigarettes a year. I don’t seem to have the addictive personality.
    5. When I write in cursive, I turn the paper sideways. I’m a lefty, and we were away for the Feast of Tabernacles (Sukkoth if you’re Jewish; we were in a Sabbatarian Christian church) the week my third grade teacher starting teaching how to angle the paper, so when I got back and was hastily catching up, I kind of winged it. The way it ended up was, the paper was sideways and I was writing, essentially, vertically. Mr. Davis thought it was odd, but the letters were formed correctly, so he didn’t go ballistic. But other people are constantly doing exaggerated double-takes. Once I was at…uh, Saks, maybe, or Barneys…you know, one of those places where the sales clerks cultivate an air of too-cool-for-you unflappability…and when I signed the credit card statement, the girl got all animated and asked her friend from another counter to come over and get a load of this guy who was writing sideways. What the big deal was, I have no idea. My signature is as illegible as anyone else’s, anyway.

    Now you know.

    5 Responses to “Moi-même meme”

    1. Hmmm, I don’t even know who the Church are. Your family sounds entertaining. I was almost named after my father – Elmer – but fate intervened. Total teen suicide

    2. Zak says:

      The Church is indeed excellent. I think I used to have all their albums, although time and lots of loans to friends have winnowed my collection significantly. I was just thinking the other day that I need to make some new purchases.

      Do you have any of Marty Willson-Piper’s solo stuff? It’s great. Even better, I think, than the Church stuff. I recommend Art Attack.

    3. Sean Kinsell says:

      Zak:

      Kicking around on tapes, I have some of the solo stuff. The stuff Steve did with Hex (him + Donette Thayer from Game Theory) is also really good if you like more dream-poppy things.

      Jeff:

      Elmer? Wow. That one’s just bottomless with vicious adolescent joke potential. At least the household product it’s associated with is relatively tame. I have friends whose initials are KY, for example, who have a rough time of it, sometimes from me personally.

      And my parents are weird. Endearingly weird, and not, thankfully, let’s-not-set-rules-so-our-kids-can-free-their-creativity weird. But the kind of weird against which your only choice is to rebel by becoming frigid and strait-laced.

    4. Portia says:

      And my parents are weird. Endearingly weird, and not, thankfully, let’s-not-set-rules-so-our-kids-can-free-their-creativity weird. But the kind of weird against which your only choice is to rebel by becoming frigid and strait-laced.

      Oh no. Sean,you just explained my oldest son to me. We normally say “boy was born conservative” — I never thought it was because he was born to what uncharitable people call a family of loons and nicer friends call “uniquely eccentric.” When he was younger and still smaller than me, a routine threat was to cut his hair in a mohawk and/or dye it a weird color while he was asleep. It freaked him out. (His next younger brother, OTOH reacted to 9/11 by wearing his hair with red/white/blue gel for almost a year. He also has a … um… unique sense of fashion and stands out like a duck in the middle of a group of penguins. So, clearly this only affects the oldest.) Now I’ll now that if he ends up unbearably stodgy in adulthood it’s all my fault. (Hangs head in shame.)

      I have friends whose initials are KY, for example, who have a rough time of it, sometimes from me personally.

      And the “sometimes from me personally” fortunately came after I was done with my coffee, otherwise the keyboard would have been seriously sprayed.

      P.

    5. Sean Kinsell says:

      “Oh no. Sean,you just explained my oldest son to me. We normally say ‘boy was born conservative’– I never thought it was because he was born to what uncharitable people call a family of loons and nicer friends call ‘uniquely eccentric.'”

      Well, you know, there are theories that say eldest sons are wired in such a way as to be predisposed toward risk-aversion and resource-conservation, while second and later sons tend to be more mercurial and profligate. I won’t bore you with the conversations my little brother and I have had revolving around that particular topic (except to point out once again that, dammit, I was the one who was the GUINEA PIG who valiantly allowed himself to be EXPERIMENTED on so the path would be easier for the younger guy and it wouldn’t hurt him to show some respect). I will only point out that I have friends from non-loony families who exhibit the same general pattern, so I don’t think you really need to blame yourselves. Unless you’re even weirder than you’ve depicted yourselves here.

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