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Medium Dawn Felagund of the Fountain

Am I Weird?

The (Cyber) Bag of Weasels

bread and puppet




"About as much fun as a bag of weasels"...when I first saw this Irish adage, it made me think of the life of a writer: sometimes perilous, sometimes painful, certainly interesting. My paper journal has always been called "The Bag of Weasels." This is the Bag of Weasels' online home.

Am I Weird?

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wtf
Okay, that probably provides a temptation that some of you, surely, won't want to miss. So yes, I am inviting myself to be called "weird"--and while you're at it, "evil" and "bad" can be thrown in there too, since I also call myself those things (as well as some of you) and you probably want the chance to call me them too.

The reason I ask, though, is because sometimes I think that I really and truly, in the deepest core of my being, am weird.

I know that a lot of the things that I do--like spending hours reading/writing Elf stories, for instance--are weird in the modern world. But when it comes down to it, I think that my life is pretty normal. I have a job and a husband; I'm not particularly scandalous or even interesting.

But the following things about me seem to get an overwhelming response from people, especially coworkers:

I don't eat meat. At all. No seafood, no chicken. As I was telling frenchpony earlier today, I've become more liberal with respect to byproducts with "Ewww...it has beef tallow!" mostly serving as an excuse not to eat things that I don't like now, versus my heady youth when the words "lecithin" and "gelatin" not prefaced by a "soy" had the power to send me into convulsions. But I haven't eaten meat in 12 years--except for a few accidental ingestions when restaurants made my food wrong--and I don't plan to start again anytime soon.

I don't watch TV. People find this weirder than the vegetarianism, I think. First they look at me, agog. Then they say, "You don't watch TV?" as though there was something incomprehensible about the initial sentence "I don't watch TV." Then comes the part that really confuses me:

"Then what do you do?"

Well, I read, I write, I make candy, I make gifts for people, I spend time with my husband, I go out to the movies, I go out on dates (with my husband...like I said, totally not scandalous), I paint, I clean my apartment, I beta-read, I make ice cream, I go to the library, I go hiking....

And so I am forced to wonder--and I often want to ask these people who are so mystified as to how I can possibly not spend a minimum of two hours per day staring into a box--what don't they do that leaves them with so much time?

Not that I have a problem with watching TV. Occasionally, I'll watch sports on TV--mostly football and figure skating, an interesting combination--or a documentary that looks interesting, but when someone says, "OMG, can you believe who won The Amazing Race?" my response is usually: ... o.O ...

So, am I weird?
  • No. What kinda weird people are you surrounding yourself with, that´s the question. It´s nothing wrong with not being A4!
    And I´m getting tired with tv myself...
    • Well, they're mostly coworkers, ex-cops. This post was actually born of frustration that, whenever I am making a meal at work and one of my coworkers comes in, they must point out that the meal probably doesn't have meat in it.

      Doh. I'm a vegetarian.

      They also are convinced that I'm going to get robbed, raped, and/or murdered because I go hiking in the woods. Police work gives some people a weird outlook.
  • Er, then you do watch TV. You just don't watch the popular shows. Also, since TV is such an ingrained part of modern American culture—and one that people know is often looked upon as stupid or unhealthy or both—that people will tend to take an unqualified "I don't watch TV" as "I am superior to you and your idiotic couch-potato pursuits". A simple "I don't watch that show" would put people on the defensive much less. Sad, perhaps, but true.
    • True. I should rephrase to you all and to them with: "I only watch an average of a half-hour of TV per month." Because since the Ravens are having a crappy season, the allure of the Internet is ever-stronger than the television. ;)

      Funny, though, I don't think they think I'm being superior. In fact, if I were to ask them if they thought TV was an unhealthy pursuit, I'd probably get pie-eyed stares of shock. I don't know that this thought has ever crossed their minds. The people of whom I am speaking are my coworkers, all ex-cops, and I find that they are apt to assume that everyone else shares their behaviors and prejudices. Don't know how this figures into them all being ex-cops, but it seems pretty universal in my workplace.
  • Just out of curiosity can I ask *why* you don't eat meat? I admit, I couldn't give it up... I like chicken *way* too much! I do find it a bit weird, but coming from me that's not saying much! ;)

    I don't watch TV either really. Maybe Star Trek sometimes, or a good film, but really I prefer the PC! At least it's interactive! (I'd love to say I go out lots, sadly my bank balance does not allow this!)

    So in my view you're not especially weird! :P

    Evil? *Glances at your Rúmil* No comment!
    • Of course! I've been asked plenty over my 12 years of vegetarianism so I don't mind at all!

      My vegetarianism started, oddly enough, at my cousin's graduation party when I was 12. I was reading a book on animal rights issues, and until then, I'd never been aware of factory farming. I know that a lot of European countries have passed regulations banning some of the more atrocious aspects of factory farming--especially in light of mad cow disease--but per usual, we Americans are still very backward with this. So we still have veal crates and "downed cows" at feedlots that die slowly of disease, starvation, or trampling from their peers; we still have mechanized slaughterhouses where awful things happen to animals with the nerve not to die right away.

      I simply could not eat things raised/killed under such conditions. And, as it turned out, the health and environmental aspects of vegetarianism have provided nice perks to continue with it.

      I have no problem with people who eat meat. I admit that it is a difficult lifestyle in Western culture, where meals usually center on a meat entree, and when people consider vegetarianism, I always ask them to consider this. I didn't care for most meat before becoming a vegetarian--except seafood, which is akin to religion here in Maryland--but even I've struggled at times with things that I did like, like steak and fried chicken.

      Hope that helps! :)
  • I don't watch TV either during termtime. Mostly because I refuse to splash out £100 a year for a TV license when I prefer to talk to people online, surf the internet and generally choose what I look at rather than letting the people controlling the TV schedules do it for me!

    When I'm at home I do join the rest of the family for the Thursday night ritual of watching House, MD, and the odd comedy program, but by and large I don't watch nearly as much these days as I did maybe 5 years ago.

    I don't think being a total veggie is that weird either. I was intrigued to see that when I went to our lab lunch on Wednesday, about half of my fellow scientists were ethical veggies. As long as you're happy and healthy, it seems like as good a way to go as any other!

    (Just...if you ever go to Portugal, be prepared to live off mostly eggs, salad, bread and cheese! When we did a field course there in April, the veggies who came along were starting to worry that if they saw one more egg they would start growing feather and clucking!)

    Conclusion: of course you are weird, but I think that has more to do with the Elves resident in your brain than not eating meat or watching TV!! *grins* :p
    • I was intrigued to see that when I went to our lab lunch on Wednesday, about half of my fellow scientists were ethical veggies.

      Interesting...I remember a time at The Piece when there were four of us on the staff, including me, who were vegetarian. And I was the kitchen manager and the one acknowledged as the best at cooking burgers and steaks! :^P

      I saw a stat once that 7% of Americans are now vegetarian. I don't know from where this stat was derived or how accurate it is, but it does seem that in the U.S. the vegetarians are concentrated in certain social groups and not at all in others. Hence the fact that my ex-cop coworkers all think that I'm weird, I guess!

      Conclusion: of course you are weird, but I think that has more to do with the Elves resident in your brain than not eating meat or watching TV!! *grins* :p

      Lol! Well, I thought about going there because my coworkers also think that my writing is weird, but thought, "Why invite that upon myself?" But, yes, I know that I am in fact a bit odd. Just not for the reasons that they think I'm odd!

      (Oh, what would they say if they actually read my stories? o.O)
  • Weird? Not really, no! Actually I'm surprised that vegetarianism is still considered controversial, and as for watching TV, life's too short to spend it sitting in front of the television (at least without having something else to do at the same time, like ironing or eating, or even checking email!).
    • I think that vegetarianism--over here anyway--is still largely concentrated in certain social groups. I knew many other vegetarians in college, but they were all young, liberal activist-types like me. Among my ex-cop coworkers, it is regarded, not necessarily as controversial, but just plain weird.

      I have heard of people who come from ranching/farming backgrounds here who get downright irate with veggies like me. Am I evol for hoping to meet one of these people one day? :^P
  • What's so weird about not eating meat and not watching TV?

    I drink chili chocolate and did a movie! chat with Aranel to celebrate the New Year according to Middle-earth reckoning this year.
    • Yes, I "don't even go there" regarding my fanfic writing at work, for the most part!

      My boss knows about it, but I don't think he really understands what it is. He keeps asking me if I'm going to publish my story; I keep telling him that I can't, as it is based off someone else's work and characters.

      I may be naive for asking, but what is chili chocolate? :^P
      • Well, chocolate was originally not sweet... but rather bitter, and in South America it was mixed with spices, among them: chili.

        A Spanish restaurant close to where I live makes chili candies and they are among the best I have ever had. An Austrian company has specialized in making chocolate bars for hot chocolate. You dissolve them in hot milk and put that in a blender so that it gets all frothy. My favourite flavour is chili chocolate there. And even Lindt carries some chili/spice flavoured candies/chocolate by now.

        I think that got popular with the movie "Chocolat" as that's all about making candies and chocolate and truffles according to ancient recipes.
        • Interesting.... *is now tempted to try it, tasting and making!*

          Now I can convince Bobby to watch Chocolat by telling him that it's about the candy-making industry and is thus market research. ;^P
  • Yes.




    ;) j/k
  • Girl there are so many other reasons you are weird - why would you pick those little quirks?? LOL An obsession with elves - weird. An obsession with LOTR and Silmarillion - weird. Love of Feanor/Feanorians - weird. Writing fan fiction - weird. Hanging out with people like me - weird. Seriously though - normal people probably think all of that is weird. These "normal" people who collect stamps or torture puppies.

    I know I'm weird and I'm okay with that. I have an unnatural obsession for Tolkien's works and writing fan fiction. I have an elvish tattoo. I treat my animals like they are my children. I don't eat any meat on bones (the whole carcass thing is ewww to me), anything that was cute in life, or anything that looked like it did when it was alive. My husband and I collect action figures (him-Star Wars, me- LOTR). I love Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, and other weird fantasy/sci fi movies and TV shows.

    Weird is just a label that people put on people who are not sheep. We don't follow blindly like they do. I'd rather be weird than a follower. Weird people of the world unite!!!!!!!!
    • Girl there are so many other reasons you are weird - why would you pick those little quirks??

      Lol! Mostly because those are the few weird things that my coworkers know about me. If they knew about my Elves and fanfic...I've explained slash to my boss, but I think he blocked it out because whenever I've mentioned it since, he looks a little confused. ;)

      I have an elvish tattoo.

      Really!? What is it? Hubby did an very evol thing this summer by encouraging me to get a Star of Feanor tattoo. I've yet to get the courage to actually do it yet, though.

      I know I'm weird and I'm okay with that.

      Me too. :) I just get irritated when people at work treat me like a freak show rather than keeping an open mind and accepting that people are *gasp* different.

      For example, every time I eat lunch, attention does not need to be called to the fact that it is a meatless lunch. I am vegetarian, okay, we all know that. Time to move on. I'm happy to discuss it with people in a non-aggressive ways but not so happy to be made the puppet of some strange sense of humor: "I bet that doesn't have meat in it. Haha." WTF?

      I actually had a RL friend confess to me once that she wished she could be "eccentric like me." I was like, I'm eccentric?? :^P

      And as for my weird friends like you, I love my weird friends!!! I wouldn't trade the lot of you for fifty "normal" folks. How boring! :)
  • Weird? No.

    Ok, so I like meat. I wouldn't want to live without it, actually. But I also know many people who are vegetarian and I see nothing weird at all with it.

    And to not watch TV (or only occasiocally) is pretty reasonable. Most of the programs are plain sh*t. And the interesting movies are always shown at times when reasonable people are asleep. TV in my life is a lot like background entertainment. It's somehow always running without me paying attention to it. Now that's weird. :-)
    • Ok, so I like meat. I wouldn't want to live without it, actually.

      Totally understandable. It is a really hard lifestyle, especially at first, especially at the time when I did it, when there weren't a lot of alternatives available.

      It's somehow always running without me paying attention to it. Now that's weird. :-)

      I can't write to most background noise, one of the few exceptions being hockey games. Of course, this is probably because there is rarely a time when my hockey-junkie husband doesn't have a game on...I can't write to music but I can write to hockey. Weird. ;)
      • It is a really hard lifestyle, especially at first, especially at the time when I did it, when there weren't a lot of alternatives available.

        I can really understand that. For example, even me, little meat-junkie that I am, could spend my vacation in Italy with hardly eating meat at all. They've got so many fantastic vegetarian pasta dishes that I did not even miss it. It's different at home, though (and even more different, when I'm visiting my parents). Then I'm somehow all meat-crazy. ;-)

        I can't write to most background noise, one of the few exceptions being hockey games.

        I actually cannot write to background noises either. I can scribble down the occasional line or other, but when I seriously work on a story or university paper, I have to switch it all completely off.

        Perhaps you're just used so much to the "hockey-in-the-background" noise that you hardly recognize it anymore? It may also be the fact, that with music one starts to follow the lyrics at least mentally (at least I do). I can imagine that it's probably more distracting than a hockey game (but then I have no clue about hockey at all, hehe).
        • My husband laughs at me because I tell him that writing to music creates interference in my head, just like you describe: I'm trying to construct a sentence and the lyrics keep interfering, so I end up with "Stepping onto the Helcaraxe *ice ice baby* Fingon thought of Maedhros *vanilla ice ice baby* and--" GAH!

          Okay, so I don't listen to Vanilla Ice, but it seemed to fit. :^P

          Glad to know I'm not the only weird one out there! I should try instrumental music; wonder how that would work?
          • "Stepping onto the Helcaraxe *ice ice baby* Fingon thought of Maedhros *vanilla ice ice baby* and--"

            Oh my, that wonderful. :-D But well, it's exactly how it happens.

            I should try instrumental music; wonder how that would work?

            I'm not sure about that. I might actually have that one part that I like best, where I follow the melody, hum along with it, whatever, and then it would be the same, I fear. ;-)
  • You sound very normal to me. I hardly watch tv. I am a happy pup if I can watch my weekly West Wing or Stargate Atlantis oh and maybe The Daily Show by John Steward... Maybe the news if I want to. Eumm that is basically it. I attempt to write... I sometimes have to remind myself to eat meat (I just realised I skipped dinner... whoops), I do eat it, but if it's not available.. ah well. I had a short timeframe I craved for salty meat (get your mind out of the gutter). Beta reads yeah... a bit of webdesign...having a bun in the oven, keep the house clean...
    • I sometimes have to remind myself to eat meat (I just realised I skipped dinner... whoops)

      Tsk tsk...I'm going to be all overprotective now and remind you that you're eating for two. (As though you could forget, right? :^P)

      I find that Americans are either vegetarian or meat-hogs who can't live without it. Not only can't but won't accept that it's possible. Many of my friends in Europe have your sentiments: I don't eat a lot of it, usually only if it's available. This is interesting, I think.

      I had a short timeframe I craved for salty meat (get your mind out of the gutter)

      Why, whatever do you mean? 8^) <--that's my pie-eyed innocent look
  • total carnivore here! i'd do almost anything for cow (aka - beef). i said almost... i live in the sewer, so i know exactly what you were thinking! ;-) well, i'm more omnivore, i guess, since i eat veggies too.

    Tip: next time anyone asks you who won The Amazing Race, tell them the Linz Family won. ;-)

    Isil... Survivor and Amazing Race fanatic
    • Thanks...but I'll remember that until clicking POST, at which point it will be replaced by some obscure Sil reference or an annotation to my calendar or something else totally random. I simply have no mind for those sorts of things. ;^P
  • I don't think you're weird. And I hang out with ethnomusicologists, so I should know. I eat meat, but not on a regular basis, but I don't own a TV.

    How do I get by without one? people cry. Well, I have the Lord Jeffrey IMac, which plays DVDs, so I can watch movies. I have the internet, so I can "talk" to you lovely folks. I cook, which chews up a certain amount of time. I have a kickass stereo. And I have homework. Where would I find a couple of hours every day to watch TV?

    Besides, I used to work for a TV production house, so I know how that shite is made.
    • That's what I wonder: How do people find the time? Then again, I guess it is a hobby for them--they probably wonder how I find the time to write 50K words in two weeks--and so they make time for it. But how does it move from being a hobby to a life essential? Like, I don't watch TV. *gasp* Or: I don't breathe. Well however do you survive? :^P

      Perhaps I should start treating them strangely because they don't write epic-length stories or have Elves living in their heads.
      • One thing I've discovered is that I like watching medical shows with Little Sister Pony when we're both back at our parents' home over break. Little Sister Pony, being a nursing student, has a professional interest, and I have a stomach that is plenty strong enough to watch surgery with her. So we watch them together and talk about them and bicker and laugh, and it becomes a social thing to do with my sister. That's fun. Sitting and staring mindlessly at some reality show isn't.

        Perhaps I should start treating them strangely because they don't write epic-length stories or have Elves living in their heads.

        There's an idea. I think it could work.
  • Hm. Neither vegetarianism nor watching little to no TV strike me as overly weird. (Not that there's anything wrong with being weird...) While I like to eat meat, I do understand vegetarians - at least those who're not being militant about it. And I hardly watch TV. In fact, nowadays I only use it to watch DVDs with my boyfriend, or, very rarely, to catch the news. I have no idea about what happens on popular shows; worse, I have no idea what said popular shows are...
    • While I like to eat meat, I do understand vegetarians - at least those who're not being militant about it.

      Well, you've just met the least militant ethical vegetarian probably ever (as I hope the icon suggests. :^P) To each his or her own, I say. It's a tough lifestyle to follow, ingrained in Western culture as meat-eating is.

      I have no idea about what happens on popular shows; worse, I have no idea what said popular shows are...

      Lol! Me neither. I was over my parents' the other week, and my dad had the TV on and I saw an advert for ER. ER? That's still on? That show was popular when I was in high school! :^P
  • You're not weird. In some of the liberal academic subcultures I have encountered, you'd be incredibly conformist. (People tend to lie that they don't even own a TV--then when one sees it, they claim they only use it for DVDs. Independent film DVDs, of course. And yet surprisingly they know all about TV shows I have never heard of.)

    Also... I used to tell myself that it's okay for me to be spending time on fanfic, it's just the time I would otherwise be spending watching TV. And then I realized I hardly ever watch TV anyway, so this is not a valid approach.
    • In some of the liberal academic subcultures I have encountered, you'd be incredibly conformist.

      Interesting...because my current workplace is about as far from a "liberal academic" place as one can get, short of fast food. I'll have to remember to tell my coworkers, next time they go all agog over my failure to catch the season finale of Survivor, that in some circles of the world, not watching TV is the norm. Just to see what they say.

      And then I realized I hardly ever watch TV anyway, so this is not a valid approach.

      But you could watch TV during that time...but you choose to write instead. What would you do if you weren't writing?
      • Oh, you know, the usual. Read, take up some random hobby, go for a walk. I have spent large chunks of my life not-writing and filling my time has never, ever been a problem. (There's also the fact that in academia, one is never really off work, so I'd better have some damn good reason to not be working at any given moment.)

        But T.V. just seems so passive, you know? Although T.V. with friends and a running commentary is rather fun, from time to time.
  • I detect no weirdness. Just uniqueness, and we all of us have that.
    • Thanks. :) I think that's the problem: that the people with whom I work have such an ingrained idea of what "life" consists of that any deviation from that makes them go kind of crazy.

      And, apparently, "life" includes meat and TV. :^P
  • I don't watch TV either. At least, I haven't watched it regularly since I was seven.

    Whenever I mention this to friends and classmates, they goggle at me and say, "What? No TV? At all?" And then I explain that I occasionally watch the National Geographic channel. And then they goggle more and say, "You actually watch that of your own free will?" I got similar responses when I admitted to reading Jane Eyre and Milton.

    *headdesk*
    • Lol! I was just about to say that you remind me of me at your age, but then I realize that this is something that Old People say, and so I'm trying to resist.... *headdesks with you*

      And there are some very interesting programs on the National Geographic channel, one of my favorites being Taboo, half of which I have to watch with my eyes closed because of my blood phobia. Note that Taboo is about as close as I come to a regular program, and I've seen it maybe four times since moving here last October.

      I'm guessing you don't tell your classmates about your Elves then? :^P
      • No. I don't tell my parents either. Mum would say, "What? Why?" It's not her fault-- she grew up in the Cultural Revolution. The other day I was reading one of Terry Pratchett's books to her, and there was this character who was a troll, and she said, "But that's impossible!" And I explained that yes, technically it is impossible, but it's fantasy, so it doesn't have to be real. Whereupon she said that it made no sense, then, and refused to go on reading.

        People are weird sometimes. *nods sagely*

        National Geographic rocks. I like the history programs and the... dare I call it political?... programs about the Middle East and China. It occurs to me the NG is more accurate in its depictions of China than other western media. They're spot-on in just about everything.
  • Well, to tell the truth...;)

    Actually, whenever somebody mentions the O.C. I think "other character?"
    • Lol! Being a Marylander, my first thought is "Yay! Ocean City!" then "original character?"

      I know it's a program, I suspect that it's a teeny-bop soap opera, but I'm not entirely sure....
      • It's apparently Teh Thing to watch in college...*shrug* I've never seen it.
        • I guess you're not Teh Thing, then.... ;^P

          Welcome to the club: nerdy Elf-lovers unite! :^D
          • Well, if it means I don't have a bunch of people watching me al the time, I won't mind not being Teh Thing...;P

            Hooray! Elves are a way more productive way to spend your time...

            ...I didn't mean like that, I swear...
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