Five Things You Might Not Know About Me

Published 17 years, 5 months past

I got tagged by Matt Bailey a couple of weeks back, shortly before the meme started spreading through my feeds, but I didn’t have time to post then.  In fact, I did a lot less blogging in 2006 than in previous years, thanks mostly to the work that’s gone into An Event Apart and my latest books.  Well, a new year, a new start.

So here’s five things you may not know about me.

  1. I played piano for seven years, and violin for eight, becoming fairly good at both without ever really becoming great.  I showed a fair amount of talent on the violin, actually, but wasn’t disciplined enough to push through to the next level of proficiency.  I also did a little drumming, though I never really studied, and still own a (disassembled) five piece kit with a cowbell.  Ya gotta have cowbell.

  2. I once nearly killed myself in a car accident.  Five days into driving on my license, I hit a large rock on a back country gravel road.  I very clearly remember thinking to myself, as I lost control, If you don’t know what to do, do nothing.

    The car slid into a ditch at speed, plowing into the far bank on the front right corner of the car, and rolled once, coming to rest upright.  My friend and I walked away with only cuts and bruises, thanks to our seatbelts.

    I can still see the cornstalks rotating just beyond the windshield as we rolled, but I barely remember anything from then until my parents arrived on the scene, almost an hour later.

  3. I have been married more than once.

    And that’s pretty much all I have to say about that.

  4. Something I’ve come to realize late in life is that my senses are more vivid than most people’s, or else I have less of a dampening filter on the input, which really comes to the same thing.  As the man once said, “All my nerves are naked wires, tender to the touch…”

    You know what it sounds like when a speaker is driven past its abilities, the way the sound gets crackly and distorted?  That happens in my ears when sounds get too loud, and they don’t have to be terribly loud.  When it happens, I can actually feel the muscles around my auditory canals trying to slam them shut.  I get similar effects in all my sensory channels: push the input too far, and it starts to overload in uncomfortable ways.

    Because of this, I cannot stand alcohol, carbonated beverages, chocolate, coffee, or hot spices.  Every aspect of my being is influenced: how I act in social situations; my handling of personal relationships; my taste in art; my sexual responses and interests; my perception of world events; my reaction to stress.

    I don’t know if I’d trade this for a more ‘normal’ sensory response or not.  On the one hand, turning down the dial would open up whole experiential areas I can’t currently access.  On the other hand, I’d lose the ability to truly savor a subtle and complex flavor or scent.

    In what is perhaps simply a desire to extend what’s already there, I’ve always wanted to (temporarily) experience letter-color synaesthesia.  Seeing colors from license plates doesn’t count.

    What’s really odd is that I have a fairly high pain tolerance.

  5. In private and around people I know really well, I have a tendency to swear to an extent that would probably shock regular readers.  I avoid that kind of stuff here because I know there are people who visit or read this site from work while researching CSS and I don’t want to trip their content-filtering proxies and get them in trouble with middle management.  That kind of stuff leads to all kinds of icky paperwork, and who needs those kinds of headaches, you know?

    Besides, I generally find that when I do want to start cursing in writing, there are better and more effective ways to express myself.  I agree with Mr. Twain regarding the utility of profanity, but it’s no way to frame an argument or plead a case.  Not for me, anyway.

I’m not going to tag anyone specific, because I’ve decided to stop propogating these sorts of memes for many the same reasons I don’t forward chain letters.  Instead, if this post inspires you to post five little-known things about yourself, then consider yourself tagged and let us know a little bit more about you.

Comments (13)

  1. Very interesting Eric! And I also share numbers 4 and 5. My ears do exactly what you describe, my left especially, and as soon as there’s too much light I start getting disorientated. Supermarkets and all that strip lighting are a nightmare.

  2. I like the hidden “thing you don’t know about Eric”: He thinks Neil Peart is the Man. And he is SO right.

  3. Your sensitivity issues reminded me of this article I read about a year ago.

    Red heads suffer more pain

    At first I thought it might explain your issue, but then your last line about having a fairly high pain tolerance through me for a loop. Anyway, I’m a red head as well and I have always noticed that I’ve never been able to hold cold (like ice cubes) or hot objects as long as other people can. It really hurts if I hold on to a couple ice cubes for more than a few seconds.

    Oh well, enjoy!

  4. Matt: wow, sounds like your visual sensitivity is well above mine. While bad flourescents can give me a headache due to the subtle strobing, good ones don’t bother me and lots of light doesn’t disorient me. It can make my eyes water and temples throb fairly easily, though.

    Jemaleddin: I have occasional Rush references scattered throughout my books, in fact.

    Ward: subjected to the same experiment, I might well require more anaesthetic to stop feeling the pain. I never said I didn’t feel pain. I only said I was pretty good at tolerating it.

  5. Trackback ::

    Point studios

    5 things you don’t know about me

    I consider myself tagged by Eric Meyer so here’s my 5. I’m 20 years old my birth date is 16 March 1986. I’m married, just married at 28 June 2006. I don’t drink tea, coffee or any hot drinks. I…

  6. No alcohol or coffee? So tell me exactly what does happen if you were to drink some coffee?

    Oh, and I missed the Rush reference. Well spotted Jemaleddin! And I gotta agree with you and Eric on Neil Peart.

  7. Very interesting article, Eric. It takes a lot to be open about a lot of the things that you have written.

    Like you, i played piano for 5 years, and i was so away from being brilliant … hehe … I am still capable of playing one or two tunes with my wife in 4 hands, but they are so basic, that i better shut up … haha =O) I was even singing for about 7 years in a choir, but i am a kind of ashamed of it right now, cause my singing abilities at the moment are close to the zero.
    As about swearing, at the moment, there are probably no people in any country close to where i am living now, who would have any idea about the time when it happened, or how bad it was.
    If you will ever come to Portugal, you better be drinking coffee, as here it is a kind of “social requirement”, actually more a tradition perhaps … =O)

  8. Eric – good article. I can definitely relate to #s 1 and 5. However, something in 4 jumped out at me – phrases that flip a switch are a sensitivity of mine. It’s where you say “something I’ve come to realize late in life.” It caused me to stop… wow… pretty cool for an old guy. So, I got curious and checked out the rest of your site, and saw your lovely wife and absolutely adorable daughter.

    Eric. Sweetie. When your grandchildren and great-grandchildren come to you and ask, “Pop-pop, tell us what it was like in the old days- when you still had keyboards and hard drives, and some program called Doors or Rooms, or something… oh yeah, Windows. What was it like, Pop-pop?”

    When that day comes, you get to say… “late in life.”

    Unless you meant something else. If so, then, nevermind. ;-)

  9. Eric,

    Great post! It takes alot to open up and definitely makes you more human to some of us.

    Thanks for sharing!

  10. C: a spit-take. Seriously. If I accidentally took a swig of coffee, I’d spit it out so fast the recoil would rock my head backward. The story’s pretty much the same for chocolate, and most alcohol. They just taste awful to me.

    And yes, I’ve tried sweetened coffee. I once took a coffee mug that was less than half-full of coffee and added cream and sugar until the mug was full and the contents well-mixed. One sip, and it came right back out. I could clearly taste the individual components: the smooth cream, the sweet sugar, and the bitter, bitter coffee. The last killed the whole thing. I almost literally gagged.

  11. Interesting.
    I played the piano for many years, and though I haven’t really worked at it lately, I’m still surprisingly good at it, or can be with a little practice. I also played the violin for 7 years, and though I really enjoyed it I didn’t apply myself the way I should have. Same with the piano, had I applied myself more, I could be almost as good as my brother, who has one a few fairly prestigious competitions, and is pursuing a career in performance.

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