Wednesday, January 25, 2006


I got tagged by La Gringa, bless her.

So, here you go...five weird habits. Or, I guess they're weird. I'm not really that weird.


(1) When I play racquetball, I have to bounce the ball 7 times or 14 times before serving. Also, if I win a point on serve and the ball rolls against the front wall after the point is over, I have to bounce it against the front wall and side walls a total of 3 times or 7 times before I can take it back to the server's box. If there's a time out and I'm serving, I will stay inside the server's box. If the game is close at that point, I bounce the ball with my racquet while walking along the inside edges of the server's box.

(2) If something is on or past its sell-by date, I won't eat or drink it.

(3) I had a lot of odd writing habits, but I gave them up because they were getting in the way of writing. I used to need the right journal to write a story or novel--the texture of the paper and the texture of the cover had to fit the story. If I was writing in a lush style, the journal or notebook had to be lush. If I was writing noir, I needed an old manual typewriter. I had to have a pen that bled just the right way across the page, matching the texture of the story. I wouldn't start the story otherwise...All of that is history, though.

(4) The toys on my desk at work need to be arranged just the right way. If I have four of something, like smoking bunnies, then one of them is designated the leader and the other three form the advance party. If I have 7 smoking bunnies, then when I buy little devil ducks, I need 7 devil ducks. Okay, so this is kinda stupid rather than weird, but I'm running out of weirdnesses.

(5) I'm gonna let Ann use the comments field to post something about any other weirdnesses. I just can't think of any others. I'm a normal guy.

(Evil Monkey: "I brought you a present." Jeff: "Holy shit! What the hell are those?!" Evil Monkey: "Heads. On spikes." Jeff: "I know that, but whose are they?!" Evil Monkey: "Michael Crichton, Ann Coulter, and Newt Gingrich." Jeff: "That's horrible!" Evil Monkey: "Yeah, well..." Jeff: "Put those back where you found those! I'm fairly sure they need those." Evil Monkey: "I'm fairly sure they're not using them at all. At the moment." Jeff: "Well, honestly, I could care less. I just got a peek at the interior design for the Tor edition of Shriek and it's fucking gorgeous. Just great. So, behead as many people as you need to." Evil Monkey: "I was going to anyway, without your permission, thank you very much.")


At 10:23 AM, Anonymous Ann V. said...

So, my love. Do you REALLY want me to list one of your weirdnesses, or... how much will you pay me not to?

Ann V.

At 10:42 AM, Blogger JeffV said...

Go for it! Tell the truth! I have no fear! LOL.


At 10:50 AM, Anonymous Ann V, said...

Well, fellow Vanderfans. Since Jeff is broke after our recent trip to NYC (Kidrobot store was too good) and since he can't meet my price to keep quiet (and also since Evil is paying me to 'tell all'), I can give you a few more...

- Jeff has this stuffed soccer ball toy that he must have for his head whenever he sits on the couch. He cannot get comfortable on the couch without it.

- When he goes to bed, he must lock the door to our bedroom (when I asked him who he was locking out, the cats? He looked sheepishly at me and nodded. As if any of them can open the door!)

- Also, when I travel out of town, he sleeps with a baseball bat in the bed (in my spot). Somehow this makes him feel safer.

- He has vertical blindness. He cannot see anything that is underneath anything else. For this reason, he wil not allow any book or piece of paper to reside on top of any other book or piece of paper. Needless to say, we have quite a few things spread out at our house.

At 11:28 AM, Blogger Jason Erik Lundberg said...

I also have that thing about threes and sevens. Am actually working that into my novel as we speak.

At 11:39 AM, Anonymous Rose Fox said...

I'm fascinated by the increasing replacement of "couldn't care less" with "could care less". My PW editor actually pulled that on one of my reviews (I need to write him a sharp... er, baffled note about that). Is "could care less" the way you've always said/written it, or a recent change?

At 12:04 PM, Blogger JeffV said...

That's just speech, so no need for great care, since people rarely speak like they write. But in this case, it's also just a typo.


At 12:24 PM, Anonymous Rose Fox said...

I'm one of those rare birds, I suppose. *) I learned to communicate well in writing long before I learned to communicate well in speech, so a lot of my speech patterns draw on the way I write. That's a big part of why I'm intrigued by speech and writing habits, actually. Most people's connections between the two are very alien to me.

At 1:25 PM, Blogger JeffV said...

Right. Well, getting back to the point of the blog entry, I think I'm going to tag you--you're it. You are now required to list your weird habits on your blog.


At 1:32 PM, Blogger Kameron Hurley said...

I'm the only person in our house who will happily drink or eat anything for up to a week past the sell-by date.

"Mold? Scrape it off!"

This probably comes from my long years (and those of my family) working in the food service industry.

Which might say something about the food service industry.


At 2:09 PM, Blogger Luís Rodrigues said...

I don't think this qualifies as a habit, but for some reason that I can't explain, my handwriting changes depending on the type and colour of pen I'm using. Black rollerballs (i.e., water-based ink) get me smaller, neater handwriting, and I make fewer mistakes as a write. Typical blue ballpoints (i.e., oil-based ink) usually yield messier results, and I end up crossing a lot of stuff out. Also, whenever I write on lined paper, I always do it a couple of millimetres above the line. And the way I hold the pen seems to drive a lot of people insane --- even though it feels perfectly comfortable to the withered clutch I have for a hand.

As for the nuttier, obsessive-compulsive stuff, I feel the need to wash my hands every time I touch something that's been on the ground. But I guess even that is a little vanilla.

At 6:04 AM, Blogger Joe Gordon said...

Jeff, you are indeed a Freak, but this is meant as an honorifc, not an insult and we love all the more for your weirdness.

Ann, the locked door thing may not be so odd - my cats can indeed open the bedroom door. Since this sometimes functions as a backup furry alarm clock if I sleep in for work it is not always a bad thing.

And since Kameron is happy with mouldy food I think she would be perfect for cooking Ambergrisian cuisine. I shall now rotate my chair 12 times before sending this. Its nto actually a weird ritual I have, I just made it up to be part of the moment.

At 2:02 PM, Anonymous Clare said...

1. I look left, right and then left again before crossing the road.
2. I brush my teeth once in the morning and again at night.
3. On Sundays I spend longer in bed than I do on weekdays.
4. I always go round the local supermarket in a clockwise direction.
5. When stressed I sit under desks - and usually an old man with a golf ball for a head comes to join me there. He sits on my shoulder and tells me to do stupid things until I have to shout at him to stop. Sometimes people confuse this with 'under the table, drunk' but it is not the same thing at all.

At 9:23 PM, Anonymous Vera Nazarian said...

Hey, I'm so with you on #3. Used to have a special kind of journal for whatever project, a special kind of pen fetish, but now -- it's whatever I can do to get those words ot on the page, usually a blank screen on a computer, with the least amount of bodily pain.... :-)


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