The blog of photographer Kim Ayres

6 Weird Things Meme

I was tagged by Rebecca from Always Chaos at Our House the other day, by way of revenge for the 7 Things meme I landed her with back in January.

As is the way with these things I have to reveal stuff about myself, then tag others to do the same. On this occasion I have to write an entry with 6 weird facts/things/habits about myself, but I find I’m struggling a bit. The main reason for this is that weird habits tend to be something that other people think you have, rather than yourself. Everything I do is perfectly normal and is perfectly rational and justified in my own head – it’s only other people who think I might be odd.

It reminds me of when I spent a year in Canada and a guy came up to me and said, in a broad Canadian drawl, “Gee, it must be funny you coming over here where we don’t have any accents!” to which the only thing I could reply was, “My dear chap, I appear to be the only one without an accent in this country!” My voice sounds perfectly normal, but to anyone from North America I sound like someone from a Monty Python sketch.

I see nothing wrong with being called Kim, but most of the world is shocked to find I’m not female.

Having a blog might seem quite normal for most of the people reading this, but there are many non-bloggers who stare at me strangely when I mention it. And even within the blogging community, the fact that most people have assumed identities must mean that I am viewed as a bit peculiar for revealing my full name and face.

I have a loving wife and children, yet to many the fact that my wife is 9 years older than me, one of my children has Downs Syndrome, and I have 3 step children, one of whom made me a grandfather when I was only 37 years old, all seems a trifle unusual.

When I used to belong to a Dark Ages Re-enactment Society, where I would dress up as a 9th Century Celt and hit people, who were dressed up as Saxons and Vikings, with swords and spears, I thought it was all a bit of a laugh. Some of my friends thought I was a complete lunatic.

And for me, to sell my business, move house and try and create a new career as a writer, was a rational and sensible thing to do once I realised that I was unhappy with my life the way it was. And yet most people seem to look at me with utter bewilderment that I could have even contemplated such a thing, let alone go through with it.

So nothing weird or strange about me then. In fact there are times when I believe that I am the only sane person in the entire world, so it must be you lot who are all screwed up.

I won’t tag anyone specifically with this one, as I’m sure every one else thinks that they are perfectly normal and would struggle with this, but if anyone wants to give it a shot, do come back here and let me know that you did it as I’d like to see what anyone else considers to be weird (or normal for that matter)


kats said...

I know the feeling.

Try saying "oh Hi, I've sold my house and all my belongings and I'm living on a boat now" Jaws drop with horror. I love it. You are not weird, you are doing what you want to do and many people may think they are, but tis all an illusion for some.

kats said...

Oh, and I am the only sane one in the asylum ha ha

SafeTinspector said...

"Canadian drawl" Was this Newfoundland, Quebec, regular or unleaded?

The whole "assuming identities" thing seems to be peculiar to our neck of the blogging woods. Most people don't, I think.

I, myself, am open about my real identity and have posted many pictures of myself. I use the name SafeTinspector for very specific reasons (theres a post about it somewhere...) and since Blunt Cogs got started I've left my avatar this cartoon robot.

Just because you hang out with schizophrenics who think they are cannibalistic ghouls, kitties with citrus helmets, "mature male" gorillas, puppet monsters, hyper-intelligent shades of color with doctorates, and anthropomorphic dinosaur homocidia doesn't mean you are the crazy one!

Charlie said...

You mean I'm the only one who walks around in a cheap suit made of cat hair???

The reason people consider you weird is because they are jealous. You changed your life because you didn't like it; they can only wish that they had the "trouserly equipment" to do it.

Rhonda said...

Kim, you aren't weird at all -- or I am twice as weird, or something. Except for the Dark Ages Reenactments, and the locations, it appears we've had similar experiences. So, that settles it. The rest of the world is backasswards.

Now, if you were, say, pretending to be covered with fur and wearing a lime for a hat, then I'd be worried ;o)

Kim Ayres said...

Kats - coming from someone who has a swirling avatar with "Mad Cow" on it, I feel oddly reassured...

SafeTinspector - yes, but what is it about me that attracts "schizophrenics who think they are cannibalistic ghouls, kitties with citrus helmets, "mature male" gorillas, puppet monsters, hyper-intelligent shades of color with doctorates, and anthropomorphic dinosaur homocidia"?

Admiral - so long as no one coins the phrase "Judge not a man by his deeds, but by the company he keeps..." then I should be fine

Rhonda - If it was me I would definitely have gone for an orange rather than a lime.

Anonymous said...

I'd tell you how strange my life is, but I'm worried it would find its way back to me....

Anonymous said...

Sorry, forgot you have a Rebecca here...

Dr Maroon said...

These days, no one is surprised by our deviation from what once was considered normal. An ideal that never existed anyway.
The term 'normal' relates to statistical trends (I'm something of an expert), which themselves are a little spurious, such that any individual or group who actually did conform to the true norm of a population would be a remarkable anomaly.

I will not be surprised if you do not understand that. It took me many years of study and I am unaccountably clever, as you will know, having been in my presence.

No, what is surprising today, is thae lack of anyone's surprise at 'weirdness'. Dressing up in dark age clothes? Come on, you can do better than that. What about going for job interviews dressed as Rob Roy, or John Bull, in fact why don't we just dress up in historical costume for six months at a time? You could queue jump, who's going to argue with someone carrying a broadsword or a musket?

I've taken that too far.

Kim Ayres said...

Rebecca - not to worry, the other Rebecca now refers to herself by her initials, RNP, so you don't have to be "Swiss" any more :)

Dr Maroon - not too hard to grasp - an easier analogy would be that the average family has 2.2 children, and yet no family has 2.2 children. In fact, if any did, they would definitely be considered an anomaly.

The problem comes with the fact that these days family cars, houses and seats in MacDonalds are designed with Mum, Dad and 2.2 children in mind, which means family satisfaction ratings have been in decline for some years.

Dr Joseph McCrumble said...

Maroon will no doubt agree with me (as he is an expert in such things), that it is possible to normalize just about anything. A simple statistical transformation will do it. It all depends on what you normalise, or standardise 'by'. For example, I am perfectly normal by the standards of mobile-laboratory inhabiting parasitologists. Monstee is normal by, erm, Monstee standards. Etc etc

Foot Eater said...

yes, but what is it about me that attracts "schizophrenics who think they are cannibalistic ghouls, kitties with citrus helmets, "mature male" gorillas, puppet monsters, hyper-intelligent shades of color with doctorates, and anthropomorphic dinosaur homocidia"?

It's your very normality that attracts such types, Kim: you represent an anchor in the tempest.

Dr Maroon said...

Yeah, I knew that you (and McCrumble) wouldn't get it. Average or mean values come into it but as your example shows can be quite meaningless.
I did warn you Kim.
Did you listen?
And I also know two other male Kims while I'm at it. Kim Tebbit (Tebbet?) a control engineer, and Kim Ure a metallurgist. I'm really bursting your balloon tonight.
I'm surprised at McCrumble though, a lot of these statistical techniques were developed by studting the behaviour of epidemics and so on and were adapted for manufacturing.

Kim Ayres said...

Drs J McC & Maroon - I remember getting into a philosophical argument (that had started out about solipsism) with someone once after he declared that "only a madman would believe himself to be the only person in the universe."

The obvious reply was that, as being mad can only be defined in terms of normality, and normality is, as Dr M points out, a statistical trend, then anyone who considers himself to be the only one in the universe is automatically in the majority and so, by their own terms, perfectly normal.

But, Dr Maroon, if I am missing a vital part of what you are saying then please feel free explain. I may not have a phd in psychological engineering, but I am bright enough to detect a bullshitter every now and then...

Foot Eater - urine extraction?

Dr Maroon said...

Sorry Kim, point taken.

(I just knew he'd be annoyed about the other Kims)

Foot Eater may have a point.
Re. your previous post, open book, anonymity etc. But before I launch myself into something, perhaps he'll (F.E.) come up with a word for the blogosaurus meaning commandeering other peoples blog's comments with tons of tangential stuff rather than writing a post that anyone might find even remotely interesting.

I was about to discuss the missused term 'optimum' there. A lucky escape for us all.

Kim Ayres said...

I was also wondering whether there's a term in his Blogosaurus for starting to write a really long comment then cutting it and pasting it into your owm blog as you realise that it's more interesting than what you were planning on writing anyway. I've done that 2 or 3 times now

Dr Maroon said...

Misused even.

What I was going to say, was that anonymity affords freedom to the blogger and the commenter but then i started thinking about the misuse of the term 'optimum' by people who should know better, especially in meetings recently, just to win cheap points, and I don't know, my dander got up.

Dr Joseph McCrumble said...

Statistically speaking, the term 'normal' is restricted to the description of a symmetrical density distribution where the mean is equal to both the median and the mode, and where the standard-distribution is independent of the mean (in other words, the distribution stays the same shape as the mean increases. This is not necessarily true of other distributions). The normal distribution follows a bell-shaped curve with few outliers. We describe individuals as being 'above' or 'below' the mean for whatever characteristic we are measuring. Thus, in sensu strictu, no-one is actually 'normal'. We use the term to label someone whose value of whatever we are measuring lies close to the population mean. The population can be defined in any way you like.

I apologise for any confusion caused by my previous post. It was scientifically un-rigorous.

Dr Joseph McCrumble said...

P.S. I recommend the following text for anyone still unsure

'Statistics Without Tears: A Primer for Non Mathematicians' by Derek Rowntree. are selling used copies from $1.97, so grab yours while you can!

Foot Eater said...

Kim, yours must be the only blog in the Blunt Cogs circle where terms like 'in sensu strictu' can be used without eliciting a torrent of astonished abuse.

Will get cracking on those Blogosaurus entries (and the link) as soon as I get back from me Easter weekend. In Belgium, of all places.

Dr Maroon said...

In Belgium? Am I going mad?

Has anyone seen FE and Barbudo in the same room? Dr J McCrumble's rigour is most welcome. I never doubted him.

Binty McShae said...

My family had 2.2 children. There was me and my older brothers who were siamese twins, sharing the entire body apart from seperate necks, heads and one additional shoulder and arm. Got nicknamed Zaphod at school, perhaps predictably.

"in sensu strictu"? What the *%#$ are you talking about you #@*%ing $@%#!?

Dr Maroon said...

If I remember my cod Latin ipso facto as it were, I believe the Doctor means "In the strictest sense" (of the word). E pluribus unum. quid pro demonstrandum et spiritu sancti et ceteri.

Kim Ayres said...

Dr Maroon - I've long had my suspicions about FE & El B being the same person, but I don't want to start another drawn out witch hunt

Dr J McC - I think you've probably scared away anyone but hardcore commenters from this post now

Foot Eater - good luck in Belgium... cough...

Oh, and I had to look up "in sensu strictu" to find out what it meant in the strict sense

Binty - have you been reading too much of SafeTinspector's "Closure" series?

Kim Ayres said...

Dr Maroon - we seem to have just crossed in the ether... again. This happens more with you than any other blogger.

According to the online latin translator I just found, you're saying "OUT OF often one. what for demonstrandum and breath to sanctify and the remaining" So I'm not sure I'm much the wiser

Dr Maroon said...

It's cod Latin Kim.

E pluribus unum. out of many, one.
motto of USA. spiritus sancti, and holy ghost. (from the blessing)

quid pro demonstrandum, just made that up.

Will I go on?

Unknown said...

You Kim [which I know more male Kim's than female Kim's!]....I love reading your blog and your look on life.

I agree,,,,,,,many things that others find 'weird' to me make perfect sense and are exactly the way they should be.

I think that your life is glorious...for the main fact that you are true to yourself and are living it exactly the way you choose too...and when it is not exactly the way you choose to live it, you change it to the way that best fits you!

I have never dressed up in dark ages garb and re-inacted the times [but have always been facinated with those that do and if the opportunity presented itself, I would definately do so....may because my heritage is Celtic and Viking Mixed?]

I so enjoyed reading your memememe

Charlie said...

I have fallen asleep three times reading your stimulating comments. Either I am narcoleptic or you people are b-o-r-i-n-g. Over at my place, we comment like normal people.

Uh oh.

Kim Ayres said...

Dr Maroon - ah yes, the impress people who don't know any better school of Latin. I've been fooled by it many times.

Tara Marie - really it's just a variation on dressing up as a Klingon, only slighty more authentic

Admiral - may I congratulate you on your perseverance. I'm amazed anyone has made it this far down the page

Anonymous said...

Interesting reply-I actually like it better than the numbered style list. I really do not like these meme things at all, but sometimes when we are "tagged" by good blogging friends we just feel stuck doing them.

I can't wait to read your book(s).

Thanks for playing along!

P.S. we are even now-so no more tagging one another ok?

Kim Ayres said...

RNP - OK, I'll try and remember to keep you off my meme list :)

Attila the Mom said...

Oh dear. How shameful. You trollop.

Monstee said...

Me was going to comment... but me had to walk so far down this page that now me am too tired!

Oh, dangit! OK. Why am you surrounded by all them types and stuff that me no want to find and copy and paste in italics? It not no anchor or stability or nothing like that. It am like "The Munsters". Me not know if you get that show over there, but it am a really old TV show from 60's of 70's about family of monsters. Dad "Herman" am a Frankenstein monster type, mom "Lilly" am a Vampira type, son "Eddie" am werewolf type, grandpa "Grandpa" am vampire type, and "Cousin Marilyn" am the girl next door type. That am you! You am the Kim next-door type among all us. When you look at all them old monster movies, no matter how many monsters get mixed in with the mad scientist and hunch back assistants and vengeful burgermeisters and villagers with torches.... there am always one guy who am not none of that and keep a level head. ...yeah, in contrast it make him the weirdo. WOW! You the weirdo Kim. Boy, you lucky we let you hang around at all!!

Kim Ayres said...

Atilla - absolutely :)

Monstee - so I'm just the straight-man that shows off how weird everyone else is, giving the reader/viewer the everyman perspective and anchor in an otherwise bizzare and unsettling world? That's not unlike what Foot Eater was getting at in the 12th comment in this post.

I'm not entirely sure how I feel about that - not particularly reassured, that's for certain. Perhaps slightly insulted?

I'm going to have to think about this...

Dr Joseph McCrumble said...

Oops, I seem to have fallen behind here as I was busy writing. I do sincerely apologise if I put anyone off from commenting with my scientifically pedantic description of normality. I just got carried away there for a moment.

You are indeed becoming the bedrock upon which this little e-community depends for rational interlocution. Look at how you have been portrayed in the latest bluntcogs, for example, trying calmly to arbitrate between various factions.

Monstee said...

"straight-man," OK.
"the everyman perspective," given.
"bedrock upon which this little e-community depends," definitely
"anchor in an otherwise bizarre and unsettling world," NO!

It am you normalcy that make you the odd one out. Ordinal question was:
"What is it about me that attracts 'schizophrenics who think they are cannibalistic ghouls, kitties with citrus helmets, "mature male" gorillas, puppet monsters, hyper-intelligent shades of color with doctorates, and anthropomorphic dinosaur homocidia'?"

Me agree with Foot that it am you normalcy that attracts such types, but you am far from any anchor in any tempest. If anything you am the eye in the hurricane. You am simply something the happen when weird groups form and interact. We can be a storm without an eye, but when we really get going... you gotta have that spot of normal or it just don't get as strong. It really make you weirder than all of us anyway. Ask ANYONE on street, weird or normal, and tell them about each Blunt Cogger. Me think it go something like...

"What's with this guy again?"
"Kim? Nothing. He's the normal one."
"Normal, huh. Nothing strange about him?"
"No, not really."
"Huh.... That's weird."

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