I'm Weird, I'm Random. And You Are Too!

It's been a hot second since I've been tagged with any memes. But, thanks to Mes Deux Cents, I can once more reflect on the myriad ways I'm weird and random.

Come take a trip down the path to oddball central:

1) One of my childhood nicknames was "Batwings". My mom would braid my hair into two cute pigtails on the sides of my head. Inevitably, some hair in the front on both sides would escape from the braids and it would flop up and down as I moved. My siblings decided it looked like batwings, so I became "Batwings". Lucky me, right?

They also sometimes called me "Hefty Trash Bag" -- but I don't remember how that one got started so I can't tell you that story. Sister, dear, if you're reading, care to chime in?

Hmm. Speaking of sisters...

2) I had a pet worm named Henrietta. She was slimy. She was fun. I chopped her in half just to be sure that both halves really would stay alive. (They did.) One day my family was doing yard work and I was happily playing with Henrietta. My sister was bending over, pulling weeds and the back of her jeans was gaping open. I just couldn't resist: I dropped Henrietta down the back of my sister's pants. My sister screamed, she wriggled, she grabbed a broom and tried to smack me with it. In my quest to elude the broom, I ran, full speed, into the clothesline pole and knocked myself out.

I was, of course, savvy enough to momentarily "come to" long enough to lie and say that my sister pushed me into the pole. I suppose that lie could be where my moral failings for always wanting to have the last word and get revenge first began.

3) I kept a bug box. As a child, I liked to catch bugs and observe them in the box. I wanted to know what exactly would a spider and an ant do in the box together? I knew, but I had to see the ant get eaten to really believe it would happen.

I particularly liked catching Japanese beetles because my mom told me they were killing her rose bushes. I wanted to be a helpful child so I'd catch the beetles and then set the box in the hot sun. It only took an hour or so for them to burn to a crisp. I'd document the various stages of roasting in an "observation notebook".

Oddly enough, I'm now terrified of bugs and can't even stand seeing them.

4) I once ate an entire box of Twinkies. My brother was acquiring money through nefarious means and bought a gigantic box of Twinkies with some of his loot. There must have been two dozen Twinkies in the box and he hid the box in his room. My eight year-old self was rooting around in his stuff and discovered the box. I'd never had a Twinkie before since my mom was a health food nut. We didn't have anything with sugar in our house at all. So, I decided to try one. And another. And another...and another.

Before too long, I'd eaten every single Twinkie and felt like I was going to throw up. But, the best part was that even though my brother was furious that I'd eaten all his Twinkies, he couldn't tell on me since that would have raised questions about what he was doing to get the money to buy the Twinkies in the first place.

I've never had another Twinkie since then.

5) I paid $75 to live in a filthy Phi Kappa Sigma frat house for a month. Between my junior and senior year in college I moved off campus with a girl that I thought I knew. But I quickly found out she was sort of psycho.

She'd compulsively pull her hair out, eat tons of food and then announce that she was going to go make herself throw up. I just could not deal with watching her devour three boxes of ice cream sandwiches and then hearing her retch into the toilet. She'd even say stuff like, "Excuse me, I have to go throw this up!" After a month of that, I was desperate! I had to move out!

I knew the one black guy who was in Phi Kap and he said he'd give me a room for $75 for the rest of the summer. It was a total deal for my broke self. But, that frat house was so filthy that I'd walk a mile to the 24-hour Burger King to use the bathroom. Needless to say, I never ever took a shower there. Instead, I showered at the gym...which also meant I was exercising every single day. Damn, I was in GREAT shape that summer.

6) I used to interview strangers on El platforms with a mini-cassette recorder. I developed a "Question of the Day" and then I'd go ask random strangers these questions. I'd record their responses and write down random facts about the person. I'd ask about everything from favorite eateries to views on OJ Simpson.

I always planned to make a book out of it all. I've actually thought about doing something similar here in LA, but I think I'm a little more safety conscious nowadays. Yeah, these days I'm more wary about rolling up on random strangers and asking them, "If you had to choose the way you'd die, what would it be?"

7) I can make myself dream about people I'm very close to. If I concentrate on the person I want to dream about when I'm saying my prayers before I go to bed, I'll dream about them. Sometimes I'll just see them somewhere but I can't talk to them. It's like I'm watching them just do the things they do in their day to day life. Other times though, I can have conversations with the person I'm dreaming about. Sometimes I can't remember what we talked about, but when I can, it's always stuff I later find out to be true.

I found out that a college boyfriend was cheating on me through one of these dream conversations. He told me all about his cheating, told me he was planning on having breakfast with this other girl the next morning, and told me the location of the rendezvous.

So, I got up, went directly to the restaurant and guess who was there!

Yep. Busted!

So, that's seven weird and random things about me. Hopefully you haven't been scared away from reading this blog. I know you have at least seven things that are weird and random in your past.

I haven't tagged anyone in awhile and I'm supposed to pick seven people. So, I'll pick:

1) Mamita Umita
2) Nerd Girl
3) Ian at Or So I Thought
4) West
5) Dena at Ready, Set, Blog
6) Jess at Under Construction
7) Jameil at Unabashedly Me

I look forward to coming over to see how you all are each weird and random!


Jameil said…
ok. since its slightly different than the others, i shall comply. you and the creepy crawlers is amazing!! wow. "Hefty Trash Bag"?? terrible! bugs and worms don't and never have scared me. i def liked to pick up the worms. i like the questions thing (journalist). twinkies are disgusting to me. they taste like plastic. sometimes the dream thing works for me. i chant the person's name in my head and visualize pleasant things abt them.
Miriam said…
HI Liz, interesting list! re: the worm split, that was interesting! something like that happened to me while I was trying to trap a small lizard in the kids' room. all the parts were wiggling. Gross!

re dreams. Wow! some say dreams are 60% prophecy
Mes Deux Cents said…
HI Liz,

Wow! I remember gorging on peanut butter crackers when I was a kid, which is probably why I'm not to crazy about the stuff now.

I can't remember the last time I had a twinkie. But if I find my self with the urge to buy them next time I'm shopping, I'll know who to blame. (lol)

I'll have to try to conjure some people up in my dreams. That sounds interesting.

You where a brave kid. I was typically afraid of creepy crawly things.

Thanks for playing!
I love weird people. We make the world so much more interesting, no?
Odat said…
Hey, I used to collect spider eggs in a shoe box and bring them into the house and watch them hatch!
My Mom didn't like that idea at all!!! lol.
That was a great list...you should do your "question of the day" again and blog about it!
Heafty Trash bag ?!...I busted out laughing. What would we do without our siblings? I love my brother and sister but man some of the names we called each other were kinda mean (yet clever at the same time).
Jon said…
I can picture every kid running full speed away from a sibling and knocking themselves out with a sudden slam into a stationary object.... I almost fell off my chair reading this morning!
SheWhoLives said…
Worms? Bugs??! And what are Twinkies when they're at home? As I float around the US blogosphere sometimes I feel so very foreign... *sigh*...
Liz Dwyer said…
Oh good! Can't wait to come over and read your seven. Yes, Hefty Trash Bag. Siblings are mean, aren't they? I'm surprised my mom's head wasn't completely gray by the time she was 35 given all the drama we put her and my dad through.

With the worm, I was convinced that it wouldn't cause it any pain to chop it in half. The poor thing was probably writhing in agony. Now I can't imagine doing that. And if dreams are 60% prophecy then I have a whole lot of interesting things on the horizon. Hmm!

Thanks for visiting and sharing your thoughts!

I've lost all of that bug braveness. I think living in China where bugs were huge just crushed my "bugs aren't so bad" streak out of me. I'm closer to believing that bugs can kill me! I'm so scared of them now that I can't even kill bugs for my sons.

I also once ate two sticks of salted butter by pretending to be a deer at a salt lick. I now have a hard time eating butter, which is probably a good thing at this point!

I agree. I love weird people as long as their quirky weird, not psycho weird.

Now that is a cool thing to watch the spider eggs hatch. I would have felt like I was in "Charlotte's Web" or something.

I have thought about doing the question of the day on this blog or starting another one just dedicated to the question. We'll see!

Yes, being called that is one of the "treasured" memories from my childhood. They also called me "Bunny" and "Baby Boo"! My sister still calls me Bunny. She's the only person who still does. I love it.

Oh yes, that was quite a doozy of a knock out. My sister does not have fond memories of that though because she got in BIG trouble for supposedly pushing me into the pole! ;)
Liz Dwyer said…
Oh, sorry I didn't see your comment just now when I was replying! Welcome to my blog! I'm sure we must seem like nut balls here in the US! :) You all don't have Twinkies in the UK? I suppose a Twinkie can technically be classified as a food, but it's a BIG stretch to say so.
Lola Gets said…
I used to "experiment" with bugs as a child too, lol. And I dont think I could ever live in a frat house, ever! Hell, I dont think I could have survived going to or living a co-ed environment - some of the bathrooms at Yale and Trinity College were distigusting!

But I guess anything is gross when compared to the housing system at Smith. The housekeepers cleaned the bathrooms 3 times a day!

1969 said…
Liz....you are so weird but cool. I like!
I am intrigued by your ability to learn people's secrets in your dreams. This is way beyond lucid dreaming, which I can do easily.

I found the entire post delightful, but this really excites me.

Are you also able to communicate with those who have passed on? I wonder if you could visit the earth herself in dream time and find out what is in store for us in these uncertain times.

It's tempting to refer to you as the Prophet Batwings, but I'm quite serious about being in awe of your talents, Liz.
You're actually fairly "normal" and very creative compared to most dolts out there. There are too many people in this country who couldn't even list seven things about themselves even f you suggested the first four memes.

I knew a sister in Duluth Ga who's nickname was batwings as well, but that was because of her...well...extra folds of skin around her...well...place. She subsequently got that fixed by a plastic surgeon and actaully appears on the dude's brochures endorsing the procedure. Indeed she did a meme/self-attribute exercise on a work retreat and listed the batwing thing. No lie. I haven't seen her for five years.

That's my post-holiday story you...
Jen said…
Some of these were hysterical - I knew there was a reason I loved reading your blog. Your "interviews" were the best. And the dreaming is pretty fascinating - women are supposed to peak at that sort of thing around 13/14.
You are so incredibly cool. I love the worm pet. It reminds me of the Buddhist monks moving the worms to build a building.

What I admire about this list is that you left situations that were bad for you. I would have just suffered. Suffered with the weirdo girl, suffered with the nasty shower.

You do inspire.
Mamita Umita said…
Yeah to Clarks!! We had many nice breakfasts there together, except the time when you found a piece of glass in your pancake.
Liz Dwyer said…
I was definitely desperate when I lived in that frat house! I always lived in co-ed housing because the best dorms were co-ed. There were no co-ed bathrooms, though. I don't think I could have handled that!

LOL! Thank you. In honor of this post, I am relishing my weird status!

Perhaps I should rename this blog "Prophetess Batwings"! :) Sometimes I feel bad about doing this because I feel like I'm tapping into something I'm not supposed to. And, I don't always think the people I dream about are psyched that I then know things about them before they're ready to tell me. More frequently now, I have conversations and although I can't remember specifics, I get a feeling about something, a feeling that a specific situation is going on with the person. And then that feeling gets confirmed when I eventually talk to the person.

I have very rarely dreamed about those who have passed on. However, my eldest son frequently does this. He has dreamed of my paternal grandfather (who he never met) and one of my great uncles. He has also dreamed of my brother, who he also never met. I've been told by a couple of folks that I should discourage this because it could be demons reaching out to try to possess him and if he sees the dead, he should tell them to go away. I don't know about that.

I am loving you today because you used one of my favorite words: dolt! And because you just made me laugh uncontrollably over that one. Thank goodness that is not the reason my siblings called me that. I can't believe she listed that at a WORK retreat! Wowzer!

Thanks. I've been told my whole life that I'm really damn weird so memes like this give me my moment in the sun.

I definitely don't dream as much as I used to so maybe I did peak in my teen years. Although, of course, I dreamed like crazy when I was pregnant. I'd get pregnant again just to have those kinds of dreams.

I never thought about it that way before, that I left situations that are bad for me. Thanks for pointing that out to me. I am definitely a survivor though. I just can't stay in situations that are absolutely horrible. Or if I do, I have to have a really good reason.

Oh gosh, that glass in the pancake and my subsequent boycott till they apologized. Oh, and there was the time a roach crawled on my shoulder and the waiter thought it was funny. Goodness...but I still go there to eat. Those two brothers that owned the place were really funny. One was such a ladies man and the other was such a lovable loser. I miss Clarke's!
Ian Lidster said…
OK, my lovely friend, I got your tag message and shall act accordingly. Loved yours.
Liz Dwyer said…
Oh good! Can't wait to come over and check your seven things out!
Anonymous said…
I am so impressed with number 7. What a story!
Liz Dwyer said…
It was seriously weird. I was glad to know the truth, but at the same time, ignorance is bliss, you know?
M said…
Okay, I'm just catching up on your blog - but I have to tell you that I also had a pet worm named Slither who met his untimely end when my two year old brother ATE him. I walked out in to our backyard just in time to see my brother SLURP him up and swallow him whole. Poor worm.
Liz Dwyer said…
Now THAT is one of the funniest things I've read in a long time! And one of the grossest! Poor worm...and poor little brother! LOL!

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