Eleven random things

Lots of people I know have done these ‘eleven random things about me’ blog posts, I haven’t bothered to see if there’s anything more to it than that. But here are mine.

1) The last time I counted my CD’s I had 800 of them. This was twelve years ago, just before I started university. It’s not unusual for me to spend £90 in a month on new music so I dread to think how many I have now. I’ve tried to wean myself off the habit of feeling I have to own everything by a band I like but I still sometimes get collector fever and every missing item from a band’s discography is like a little hole in my soul. If anyone has Volume 2 of Mictrotronics by Broadcast I have some money for you.

2) I still can’t drive. When I was seventeen I decided that cars were an ugly, selfish, dangerous form of transport that was doing irreparable damage to the world. I still do. However the main reason I haven’t learned is because I’m too lazy.

3) My favourite author is Kurt Vonnegut because he is humane and funny and inventive. He says things that make me understand my existing beliefs more clearly. He sees humanity in all its flaws and he shows us how beautiful it is to embrace those flaws and forgive ourselves.

4) I essentially didn’t eat vegetables until November of last year, whereupon I simply decided overnight that I was going to start eating them. I now enjoy 90% of them perfectly well. Sweetcorn can fuck off.

5) I cannot see in three dimensions because my eyes don’t work together properly. I have no idea how my experience of the world differs from yours because of this – although I know I suck at tennis. I heard a Radio Four programme about some woman who had the same thing and had surgery to fix it. It didn’t work for years until one day her brain sort of went ‘oh yeah’ and then suddenly as she was walking down the street she started to see in 3D and just wandered around looking at how beautiful all the trees were and stuff like that. I was jealous. I feel I should be allowed a discount off 3D films as a result. Otherwise it’s disability discrimination. (as I was spell-checking this blog post I received a text offering discounted laser eye surgery, I deleted it)

6) My granddad was at Auschwitz. He was a truck driver during the second world war, delivering supplies. His truck got hit by a bomb, so he was left alone without his unit. He ended up with the Americans for a while, and ultimately was with them when they liberated the concentration camp. He didn’t speak about it much – and never to me, I think I only found out after he died. He had pictures of the camp but my nan made him burn them. When he came back from the war he’d stopped believing in God. Mostly because of Auschwitz. He also spent most of the war wearing a ‘tall china’ top hat, because he’d also lost his standard issue cap in the bombing. You can always tell which one he is in photos because of this.

7) The only recurring dream I’ve ever really had involves me inadvertently killing or injuring my pets. This has included dropping my dog down a well, allowing my goldfish to suffocate in a small plastic bag, and allowing my goldfish to be killed by a small underwater monkey with a giant claw.

8) I met my wife through volunteering for a Samaritans-style helpline at university. We are one of at least three couples who are now married or engaged having met at this service. There are several more of our friends who are also in stable long term relationships as a result. The pool of volunteers at the time was about forty people at its maximum so that’s probably much better statistically than anything claimed by match.com.

9) I have a thought experiment which proves that you’re never going to die. It’s this: if you were ever to suffer total memory loss of your whole life up to this point, then you would essentially have been born today. Your life before that point would be, from your perspective, exactly as your ‘life’ was before you were born now – an empty void. Therefore you can know, sitting reading this, that you are never going to suffer memory loss, because if you were then you would already be there experiencing your new post-trauma life, rather than here reading this. If you were ever to die, then you would also essentially ‘skip ahead’ to that point where your perception was an empty void/no perception at all. As you are perceiving the world now, that must mean your consciousness will exist forever, otherwise you’d already be at the point where it didn’t. See?

10) It is not possible to look at a major decision I’ve made in the last seventeen years which is not directly traceable to me hearing ‘Common People’ by Pulp at the age of thirteen.

11) I managed a pathetic seven out of the ‘thirty things I’ll do before I’m thirty’, one of which was ‘say hello to a dog’. Never vow to anything, never set a target again.

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