Six Unspectacular Quirks Meme

May 19th, 2008

My friend Sphinx Ink has tagged me for a meme. Here are the rules:

  • Link the person who tagged you.
  • Mention the rules in your blog.
  • Tell about six unspectacular quirks of yours.
  • Tag six bloggers by linking them.
  • Leave a comment on each of the tagged blogger’s blogs letting them know they’ve been tagged.

So, my unspectacular quirks:

1.  I hate coat-hangers.  Coat-hangers were invented by the devil during the Spanish Inquisition to bring out the worst in human beings.  I have, in fact, written a whole blog about these little shards of hell, and those of you who share my loathing for them can find it here.

2.  I am founding a new political party.  It’s called the IXNAYCRATS, and its goal is to say IXNAY to all incumbents, no matter which party they belong to, no matter what post they hold.  Vote every single one of them out of office.  When no incumbent is running but one of the candidates holds another office, vote for his or her opponent.  This country has never been in more wretched shape: it’s paranoid, in debt, being run by pygmies, in hock to lobbyists, engaged in the worst-conceived and worst-planned war in its history, suspending whole chunks of the Constitution in the name of national security, putting legal immigrants through Draconian procedures at our ports and airports while allowing hundreds of thousands every year to walk across the border to the south.  And I’m just getting started.  Vote them ALL out.  Join the Ixnaycrats and proudly wear our button that just says NO.

3.  I write to music and in public.  I love the energy of having people around me and having music in my ears.  I want coffee more or less constantly, and music without stop.  Right now I’m listening to Over the Rhine, Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings, Patti Griffin, Mary Gauthier (the greatest new country artist in years), Ryan Adams, Modest Mouse, Joan Armtrading, Bob Dylan (always), Elvis Costello, Jason Isbell, Chasing Cars, The Shins, the amazing Rufus Wainwright, Coldplay, Mika, Emmylou Harris (like Dylan, always), and the great record by Alison Kraus and Robert Plant, among many, many others.

4.  I like airplanes, which is a good thing considering how much time I spend in them.  And it’s also a good thing considering what an appalling ordeal the TSA has made actually getting onto a plane — and this despite the fact that Federal testers continually succeed in boarding planes while carrying weapons or bomb components and that the TSA can’t even clean up its own no-fly list so that it doesn’t prevent some air marshals from boarding the flights they’re supposed to be protecting.  (Honest.)  Once I’m on the plane, though, I love the solitude, the 6100 songs on my iPod, the fact that no one will interrupt my reading.

5.  I lack the sports gene. I couldn’t care less who wins anything. Football, basketball, golf, soccer, tennis, you name it.  It all exists as far as I’m concerned to allow me to exercise the finger I use to skip channels on the remote.  The only thing I’ll watch at all is baseball, because you can actually see the players think, especially when a really good pitcher faces a first-rate batter.

6, And, while I’m on the subject of remotes, I almost never watch television. It literally never occurs to me to turn the damn thing on, unless there’s some enormous news story or it’s election night and I want to gnash my teeth as people vote for incumbents.  Once in a trillion years I might catch an hour of “America’s Next Top Model,” just to track the evolving aesthetic of female beauty, from a purely scientific standpoint.  But I haven’t even seen that in three years.

God, I’m boring.  But I’m serious about the Ixnaycrats.

And I’m going to have to link to the other six sites tomorrow.  (Sorry, Sphinxy!)

12 Responses to “Six Unspectacular Quirks Meme”

  1. Andrea Mitchell Says:

    I like to write in public with coffee and music too! Although sometimes I become guilty about how few coffees I’m actually buying. I so don’t want to be THAT person who the waitresses all mutter about because I sit over a cooling cup of coffee for two hours. I probably am, though.

    If only New Zealand did bottomless filter coffee. It would improve my life immeasurably.

  2. Lisa Kenney Says:

    I was looking forward to learning about your quirks, Tim! Re: #1 I think Joan Crawford said it best: “No… wire… hangers. What’s wire hangers doing in this closet when I told you: no wire hangers EVER? I work and work ’till I’m half-dead, and I hear people saying, “She’s getting old.” And what do I get? A daughter… who cares as much about the beautiful dresses I give her… as she cares about me. What’s wire hangers doing in this closet? Answer me. I buy you beautiful dresses, and you treat them like they were some dishrag. You do. Three hundred dollar dress on a wire hanger. We’ll see how many you’ve got if they’re hidden somewhere. We’ll see… we’ll see. Get out of that bed. All of this is coming out. Out. Out. Out. Out. Out. Out. You’ve got any more? We’re gonna see how many wire hangers you’ve got in your closet. Wire hangers, why? Why? Christina, get out of that bed. Get out of that bed. You live in the most beautiful house in Brentwood and you don’t care if your clothes are stretched out from wire hangers. And your room looks like some two-dollar-a-week furnished room in some two-bit back street town in Okalahoma. Get up. Get up. Clean up this mess.”

    Less stuff in the closet — wooden hangers 😉 Maybe that’s one of my quirks!

    Sign me up for the IXNAYCRATS. I’m in.

    I can’t write with anything but sad cello music in a minor chord — hmm, maybe another quirk?

  3. Sphinx Ink Says:

    Interesting quirks, Tim.

    I admit I don’t like wire hangers, but I don’t have a problem with wooden or plastic ones. (And I’d never freak out on someone because of a wire hanger.)

    As for politics, due to my job I don’t discuss my opinions publicly. Your idea of the Ixnaycrats could probably get some serious media coverage in the States if you proceed with it. Heh heh.

    I cannot write or do other intellectual tasks to music, especially vocal music. It blows my ability to focus. If what I’m doing doesn’t require concentration, I can listen to music, but I generally listen only to classical music–Bach, Mozart, Vivaldi.
    As you can figure from that, I also find it hard to concentrate in a noisy venue such as a coffee shop.

    As for airplanes, I’m not much of a traveler, and haven’t been on a plane since 1997. I like to drive, and prefer to go places I can get to by car.

    For most of my life, I too would have said I lack the sports gene, but since Hurricane Katrina I’ve become a devoted fan of the New Orleans Saints football team and, starting this year, of the New Orleans Hornets basketball team. (Why? I won’t take up space on your blog analyzing it. Maybe I’ll do an entry on my own blog someday to figure it out.)

    As for TV, I too used to ignore it far more than watch it. Again since Katrina, I’ve become a bit of a TV addict (shocking!)…I can figure out some reasons for that, but again won’t take up space here.

  4. Timothy Hallinan Says:

    Hi, Guys (Gals? Is there a gender-neutral term other than Y’all?)

    I am absolutely going through with the Ixnaycrats. I registered the name as .com, .org. and .net, and am working on design right now. We’re producing a button that says “Just Say IXNAY” in the traditional red, white, and blue. And it’s going to be about 80% serious. This country is in terrible shape, and both of the dominant parties are responsible. When you realize that the biggest national debt in the history of the world was racked up by a so-called conservative, small-government, low-spending president, and that the Democrats, who were handed the legislative branch purely on the issue of the Iraq war haven’t done doodly about it, it becomes apparent (to me) that what we have masquerading as government is an intricate set of interlocking obligations and you-scratch-mine relationships.

    Can every single one of them. Vote for people who have never held office. Remember, politics WAS NOT ENVISIONED AS A CAREER by the founders of the country. That’s the core message of the Ixnaycrats.

    And to those who say that people using their votes this way would throw the election this way or the other, I say: Who cares? There’s no difference anyway.

  5. Stefan Hammond Says:

    No argument on throwing ALL INCUMBENTS OUT OF OFFICE. Vote straight-ticket Libertarian or whatever. As I left the USA over a decade ago (people thought that was peculiar, almost treasonous, back then…funny, i don’t get that so much ANY MORE), it doesn’t bother me as much. But it’s painful and shameful to watch what I considered core American values–based on basic human values–scratched/bitten/torn by a bunch of ghouls and harpies who behave like crack addicts with platinum credit cards.

    I also write to music and in public. But non-vocal music, especially stuff that streams seamless and has enough pulse/oomph/whatever to keep the energy-level up.

    I absolutely cannot stand country music and that is as politely as I can put it. But, to each their own–that’s what keeps it all fresh and crackling.


  6. Timothy Hallinan Says:

    Stefan, my man! One more Ixnaycrat! If I ever get around to doing the site, the JUST SAY IXNAY party will be positioned as America’s only “anti-political” party, and one of the four planks of our platform will be WE WILL NEVER RUN A CANDIDATE FOR OFFICE.

    When one lives abroad, as you do, one gets a very different perspective on the American political process, and just how much damage the American political leadership can wreak on the rest of the world. It’s enough to make one wish that the State Department would take the Hippocratic Oath: First thing, do no harm.

    But until that happens (and it probably won’t be really soon), Just Say Ixnay.

  7. Larissa Says:

    how did I miss commenting on this? Sign me up for your political party. Seriously. It’s a small text box so I’ll leave my reasons out of it, but I want a button dammit. (c: Your quirks don’t seem that quirky to me…maybe because I do a lot of them too.

    I definitely write to music. All the time. I can’t if it’s not playing. Vocals, no vocals..doesn’t matter so long as it’s there to make my brain quiet so I can write.

    I like airplanes except when you’re stuck on one and you keep getting same smell of someone’s perfume or food or snack or something as they recycle the air. Then I just want to open the window but I think it might give me more problems than recycled air does.

    Funny-I got back to the states and was hit by a barrage of “oh my god, have you seen such and such episode of whatever?” me: “uhm…no.” I hardly watched TV (unless you count The Discovery Channel and The Food Network occassionally)pre-I’m living in Europe for 6 months let alone while I was over there. Oy. I did miss Fight Science though.

    Anyway..I guess as far as my belated posting goes, ’tis better late than never? I might have to do a blog about my own quirks ’cause now I’m thinking.

  8. Timothy Hallinan Says:

    Ah, Larissa – A kindred spirit. The buttons are some time in the future, since I won’t even be back in the States until June 18, but they’re on the cards. And I’m fooling around with design and text for the site right now.

    Music gives me energy, and it also gives me something I can control in the writing environment — if I’ve been having bad days, I can change the music and avoid negative associations. In fact, in every book I’ve written I acknowledge the musical artists who got me through the story. I also thank Apple for the iPod.

    Opening the window on an airplane is a very funny image.

  9. Stefan Says:

    Well put everyone…the thing with living overseas is u see how much damage the Current Regime does to the reputation of *Americans*! I could go on.

    My favorite place for writing is on a private cabin on a train (first class on a Thai train is perfect and inexpensive). Airplanes (and airport lounges) can be good. But nothing beats a train, and a loaded iPod.


  10. Timothy Hallinan Says:

    I admire anyone whose breadth of experience is wide enough for him to choose a train — no, first class on a THAI train — as his favorite writing environment. I enjoy doing it weightlessly on the International Space Station.

    The difference, of course, is that Stefan’s actually experienced his favorite.

  11. RJ Baliza Says:

    can i be the international ambassador of the IXNAYCRATS? I’ll hold political parties every night, and write white-papers on every incumbent while loaded on coffee with iPod music blasting through the speakers.

    interesting thing to see on one’s blog–one’s quirks. or perhaps not.

  12. Timothy Hallinan Says:

    Hi, RJ —

    They’d have to be anti-political parties, but otherwise, no problem. And since you’re in the Philippines (right?) I’d want to be invited.

    And the coffee/iPod combo is essential to all creative enterprise, as far as I’m concerned.

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