helen-louise (baratron) wrote,

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100 things about me.

I tried to do the livejournal meme whereby you write something about everyone on your friends list, then take away the names and muddle them up, so people have to guess which line's about them. But for some reason, even though I tried to write only positive-to-neutral things, when I read them back they mostly sounded neutral-to-negative. So I thought I'd better not post them.

There's another meme going round whereby you write down 100 random facts about yourself. I wasn't going to do it because I couldn't think of 100 random facts about me, but then I realised I could cheat by taking all the "me too"s from other people's lists *big evil grin*. I've rearranged them into a semi-logical order, and added some of my own...

1. My name is Helen-Louise, not Helen Louise. The hyphen is important. I get disproportionately upset when people chop my name up without asking permission. Grrrr.

2. My livejournal is the longest (in terms of time) diary I've ever managed to keep. I think it makes a difference that other people can read it - I'm often aware of writing for an audience.

3. I don't really care whether my journal is read by 2 people or 200, but I care that it is read. If I was writing just for me I wouldn't bother.

4. My dream career is still to be a famous author [4]. Unfortunately, I'm not very good at writing fiction, so it's unlikely to happen.

5. I hate not finishing a book once I've started - no matter how awful it is [1].

6. Most of the time, I'm in the middle of at least three books at a time [1].

7. I find hard SF to be very boring. I like stories about people, not things [5]. Likewise, I don't always like fantasy because that can be too airy-fairy with annoying deus ex machina bits which detract from the characters. However, I still refer to myself as an SF & fantasy fan.

8. I got into the habit of reading short stories when I was too depressed to be able to concentrate for long enough to read an entire novel. In some ways, I still prefer them. At least I get to put the book down and go to bed at the end of a story. If I read a novel before bed, I usually have to finish it before I can sleep.

9. I have horrendous insomnia most of the time. My natural bodyclock veers most often between GMT-4 and GMT-8. However, when I was in GMT-8, I still ended up going to bed at 4am local time. Hrm.

10. I have extremely vivid dreams. My good dreams are amazing, and my nightmares are so terrifying that I can wake up having a complete anxiety attack.

11. If the technology existed to record, edit, and play back dreams, I'm sure I would quickly become a best-selling dream artist. [4]

12. I'm a grammar fascist. I hate, hate, HATE it when people confuse soundalike words (your/ you're; there/they're/there; its/it's; here/hear; accept/except; ensure/insure) [5].

13. Misspelled and ungrammatical signs drive me up the wall. [2]

14. I never learned to ride a bicycle. I simply don't have enough sense of balance for it. The last time I tried was when I was 15 or so and some acquaintances couldn't believe I couldn't. I wobbled on the bike for 2 bike-lengths before falling off and nearly losing a tooth. With my parents having just spent a couple of thousand pounds to get my teeth straightened, I wasn't going to try that again.

15. I can't drive either. I was going to learn when I was 18, but never got round to it. Then I moved to London, where you don't need a car.

16. I think the concept of private ownership of cars is ridiculous. I don't object to the existence of cars, or their use by disabled people or people needing to transport large items, I object to them as a lifestyle thing, where every family has 2 cars. I'd like to live in a community with a proper carpool for use by the whole group on a booking system.

17. I am terrified of flying. This is because I'm afraid of depths. Not heights - I am quite happy up a mountain with several hundred tons of solid rock beneath me. But I can't stand the type of escalators in shopping malls which are suspended over several floors. I shudder involuntarily when I go on them.

18. I love amusement park rides - especially rollercoasters. Strangely, I'm sure a lot of my enjoyment of them comes from my fear of depths. I feel much safer on a rollercoaster than in a car, mostly because I know the relative likelihoods of dying horribly on a rollercoaster than in a car.

19. I do not like guns. At all. They frighten me [5].

20. I have never been under general anaesthesia and I hope I never need to be. Few things scare me more than the idea of being drugged into unconsciousness [2].

21. While I'm scared of a lot of things, I have only one real phobia. Most of the things I'm afraid of I consider to be entirely rational fears. My phobia is a bizarre fear, and it's strong enough that I don't like to talk about it.

22. I have a couple of superstitions, but they're ones I came up with by myself. I don't subscribe to any of the popular superstitions, which can cause conflict with my mum because she's very superstitious and goes round throwing salt over her shoulder and burying broken mirrors and so on. I don't walk under ladders, but that's only because I'm worried I might make the person on it fall off, or might end up with paint spilled on me.

23. My main superstition is about celebrating events before they happen. I don't like to celebrate a birthday or anniversary before it's actually happened. I'm especially superstitious about buying things for a baby who hasn't been born yet. I don't know where this came from.

24. I'm shy, but I fake not being shy pretty well - most of the time [3].

25. I hate going to public events alone [1]. If I can't find someone to go with, I'll probably not go.

26. However, I don't mind speaking in public [1]. In fact, depending on what it is, I actually enjoy it.

27. I use the words "actually" and "really" far too often, and find myself going back through text I've written to try to correct the over-use of these words. Other people rarely even notice.

28. I like unusual stuffed animals [4] and still sleep with a creature under my arm [1]. At the moment, my bed is shared by a wolf called Luka and an octopus called Yaoi/yowie.

29. I used to collect My Little Ponies. I think I had 22 of them. I'm trying to find them now so I can sell them on eBay.

30. 29 is really bizarre because I was a tomboy for almost my entire youth. I just went through a really girly phase for about 6 months when I was 9 or 10.

31. My first computer was a BBC Master called Nibble. I was teased mercilessly for naming my computer at school, where people kept insisting he was called "Nibbles". Actually, he was called Nibble because a nibble is half a byte, but... argh. I wish I still had him. I sold him to a friend who I later lost contact with.

32. I was teased mercilessly at school for just about everything, including existing. I am actually still afraid of large groups of teenagers in school uniform, even though now I just register as another adult to them.

33. I didn't start dating people until I was at university [3], although this wasn't for lack of trying. I was just too geeky to register on anyone's meter.

34. Even now, I generally fall in love with geeks. The type of geeking doesn't matter quite so much as the fact that they geek about something. [5]

34. I am attracted to "practical femmes" - people who are feminine, but who are more likely to have a screwdriver than a lipstick in their handbag. I also like butch women, but not butch men. Overt masculinity is a turn-off for me.

35. I have never actually learned to put on makeup. Not even lipstick [3]. I'm mostly allergic to it, in any case.
36. Richard is definitely more feminine than me. We are in absolutely no doubt about which of us wears the trousers. Neither of us care.

37. I don't at all like the idea of a wife automatically taking her husband's name. I very much like the idea of family members choosing to share a name, however, and also inheriting names from ancestors. [2]

38. I am ambivalent about marriage. Every so often, I think Richard & I should get married, but it seems like far too much hassle. We have declared things to each other in private and before God, and that is all that matters to me.

39. The idea of marriage as a lifetime contract utterly terrifies me. How can I promise something for the rest of my life, when I don't know who I'll be in 20 years time? I think marriage contracts should be issued for no more than, say, 10 years - or at least this should be an option.

40. I am only 99.9% sure that I never want children, but I am 100% sure that I never want to be pregnant or have children that are genetically "mine".

41. I believe that chosen family is much more important than birth family. The idea of spending time, money and effort on people just because we share some genetics seems bizarre to me. I put up with my parents because they gave me everything I needed when I was too young to look after myself, but I'm not sure why I should go to see my parents' brothers and sisters or their kids. What do I have in common with them?

42. All of my friends know I'm bisexual and polyamorous. The only member of my family who knows is my mum, and she doesn't understand it.

43. For the past few years, I've definitely been far more attracted to women than men. But most of my relationship history has been with men.

44. The two facts in 43. may be related :)

45. My current relationship configuration is the closest to my ideal that I've ever had. This is due to a lot of things including my current partners being wonderful, their partners being wonderful, and me knowing better what I want and how not to screw up.

46. I have had many long thoughts about gender and sexuality and things like that, but most of them can't easily be condensed into short facts for this meme. Blast.

47. I swear more than I like. I went to a religious school and was always taught that swearing shows a lack of imagination. But I have too many times in my life where shouting (at least in my head) "fuck!" multiple times is far less painful than trying to put proper words around it.

48. I am really bothered by "genteel" versions of swearwords, such as "Sugar!" and "Oh fiddlesticks". It seems unlikely to me that people would actually use these words in their heads, and so it seems pretentious or artificial for them to say them out loud. The only real exception to this is the "Shiiii...ugar" thing that people say sometimes when they've just hit themselves with a hammer then realise there are small children present.

49. I am not really bothered by swear words in songs, except when they prevent me from singing the song out loud.

50. I've gone from mostly listening to 80s synth pop and soft rock through heavy metal to the punky poppy rock stuff I like today. But I still really like most of the records I've ever liked, and play them occasionally.

51. I've owned a CD player since I was 11, and I've never owned a record player.

52. I will listen to most types of music, but don't really like blues or jazz. I intensely dislike "Easy Listening", which drives me into a rabid, frothing frenzy. And I've lost the number which tells me whose list I borrowed this from.

53. My favourite band in the whole world ever is The Wildhearts. (Yes, you knew this already - but I'm running short on facts here!).

54. My favourite (console) video game ever is Pop'n Music and my favourite computer game ever is The Sims. My favourite arcade game ever is a tie between the original Tetris, Bishi Bashi and Dance Dance Revolution.

55. Certainly, the arcade version of Bishi Bashi has the greatest names for levels ever. These include Let's Stop The Alien Invasion - For Fun!, Happy Wedding Athlete and The Ancient Oriental Daruma Drop. When it was ported to the Playstation, the levels gained crappy names like Martian Pinball and Pie Thrower. Blah.

56. My favourite children's book ever was "Time and Again Stories" by Donald Bisset. I check for it on eBay every so often, but so far without success.

57. I spend too much money and/or time on eBay.

58. The internet is my drug of choice. Well, duh.

59. I have never used any recreational drug apart from alcohol, and I've been drunk maybe twice in my life. I don't enjoy the feeling even of being mildly tipsy, and I don't like the taste of alcohol, so I hardly ever bother with it.

60. I loooooooove carbohydrates, particularly starches [2]. My idea of a satisfying meal would be pasta with roast potatoes, vegetables and garlic bread, followed by cake and custard. I also eat rice and potatoes together.

61. Since I became lactose intolerant, I've found myself needing to eat a lot more protein than I used to, presumably because I used to get it through dairy that I can't have much of anymore. I don't need to actively plan for it though, because I seem to crave it if I don't have enough.

62. Being lactose intolerant is a Right Royal Pain In The Arse. I love hot chocolate, butter and ice cream, and melted cheese (never liked cheese "raw", though), and I just can't eat it. I can have melted cheese very occasionally if I take about five billion lactase enzyme tablets with it. Milk and ice cream I can't have in any quantity, even with the lactase.

63. I love eating out, and like to try new restaurants. However, at my favourite restaurants I usually order the same thing every time. [3]

64. I am vegetarian, almost vegan, for a variety of reasons. I quite honestly prefer most vegetable sources of protein to most meats, with the exception of bacon which I crave every so often, but can never face eating. However, if bacon could be grown in vats so it didn't come from actual animals, I'd probably have it a couple of times a week.

65. I don't mind if other people eat meat in front of me, as long as it doesn't resemble the animal too much. Once, I went out for dinner with someone on my lj friends list and some of their other online friends, and a lobster was brought out still looking just like a live lobster. It was dismembered in front of us. I felt so sick that I went and cried in the toilet for a while, and almost left the restaurant.

66. I've never dissected anything [1]. Well, duh (again).

67. I don't like any expensive chocolates [3]. Lindt is okay, but I'd rather have Cadbury's. I like milk and white chocolate best, but now I can't eat them at all because of the milk (and again, lactase doesn't help). Dark chocolate is just too bitter for me. *whine*.

68. I also don't really care for cut flowers as gifts or decorations [4]. I prefer to see them growing as live plants.

69. I have only ever broken one bone, and I didn't find out until 6 years after I'd broken it. Hence it set wrongly, and the top of my left foot is a noticeably different shape from my right foot.

70. Since I was 18, the only shoe I've worn from day to day are 8-hole Doc Martens. I get through a pair every 18 months or so, and like to have several pairs of different colours to wear according to my mood, but haven't been able to afford to do that for a while.

71. I think trainers are horrible and uncomfortable and make my feet sweaty. I don't understand how people could wear them as their regular footwear. It's bad enough wearing them in the gym!

72. I am supposed to wear orthotics in my shoes, but couldn't afford them. So I have some rubber insoles which do the same job for a fraction of the price, made by a company called AOL. This always disturbs me.

73. I have scoliosis [1]. In fact, this is just one of a variety of "interesting" ailments I suffer from.

74. I often wish I could trade in my myriad of relatively minor illnesses for one major illness, but if I say that in front of my mum she says it's "tempting fate".

75. I also wish I had limbs which could be removed and repositioned. Sometimes it would be really useful to have both arms on the same side, or to attach my legs to the top of my back instead of the bottom.

76. I want a trackball, with a left mouse button and keys for 1, 2, 3 and P. Guess why? :)

78. I type around 80 WPM on a QWERTY keyboard.

79. I have a "thing" (either positive or negative) about certain fonts. I absolutely loathe Comic Sans MS, which is unfortunate as it's used throughout The Sims. I like Garamond, Fitz Quadrata (I think it's called) and Copperplate Gothic, and I've recently discovered that Trebuchet MS looks like New Johnston, so am loving it because of that.

80. I expect less than 10 of the people who will read this to know what I was going on about in 79.

81. I have had a deep fascination with London Underground since I was a very small child. I used to beg my mum to take me to London so we could go on the Tube. Even now, an ordinary Tube journey that I do every day feels like a voyage into an enchanted place.

82. I think aspartame is evil, and it bugs me (a) that it seems to be the only option for diet drinks and (b) when it turns up in non-diet drinks. But I drink Tango nonetheless because I like the flavour.

83. I studied Latin up to GCSE and started the A/S course, but dropped it because I needed the time for Further Maths which was more important. I also did GCSE Ancient Greek in sixth form. I loved both, and considered doing classics at university instead of sciences. If I could have studied classics as my ancillary subjects instead of the crappy choice of modern languages offered, I would have.

84. I am always upset by the amount of my classics that I have forgotten, and want to relearn them again someday.

85. My favourite word in any language ever is "polyspaston", which is Greek (and also used in Latin) for "crane". As in the thing used in building.

86. Although I've tried to learn several modern languages, the only one which has stuck at all is French. I write French moderately well, understand it slightly better, and can hardly speak it at all.

87. One of the reasons for this is that I simply cannot roll my Rs - I can barely say them. Although this is not noticeable unless you get me to say "roar" or "brewery", which come out as "woar" and "bwewewy". Richard thinks my pronunciation of "brewery" is adorable.

88. I hate making "business" phone calls - especially to people I don't know. I'd much rather e-mail people initially [1]. And even that is scary. This fits oddly with my line of work, but for some reason that's different.

89. I sometimes-to-often wish that I belonged to an organised religion [4]. I wish there was an organised religion that fits my beliefs.

90. I do not believe in horoscopes, and it bugs me when friends of mine do. I'm like "You're intelligent, why do you believe in this rubbish?" argh!

91. I would not choose to live in any other time in this planet's history [4]. There are long complicated reasons for this.

92. I cry easily [1], and even find myself blubbing while watching a comedy. I am sometimes bothered by this, but mostly just accept it.

93. I'm uncomfortable when people tell me I'm attractive [1]. I know intellectually that there are reasons why I'd be attractive, but inside I'm still the ugly teenager that no one wanted to be friends with.

94. I dislike all extremes of weather. Temperatures of around 15-20 Centigrade are the most comfortable - anything colder is too cold and anything warmer is too hot. It's just as well I live in London with its microclimate.

95. I have an extremely good memory for emotions and sensations. When I remember especially good or bad things that have happened to me, it's like reliving them. My smell, taste and auditory memory is amazing. There is one particular smell of the springtime that reminds me of a love affair I had, and it makes me remember exactly what it was like to be loved by that person - and I love him all over again.

96. I dislike or am allergic to most artificial perfumes. Natural oils, such as those used in aromatherapy don't actually make me wheeze, but I still dislike them because they are mostly still far too strong. This is probably connected to 95.

97. I like the sound of my own voice the way I hear it, but hate the way it sounds to everyone else.

98. I like ewoks, but the only Star Wars film I've seen all the way through in one sitting was "The Phantom Menace". I've seen most of "Star Wars" and "The Empire Strikes Back", but in a very large number of small chunks. Sometime I have to see them properly.

99. I drink tons of water every day - at least half a litre each hour.

100. It has taken me over 4 hours to write this list, and I am now officially knackered.

Random facts taken directly or modified from:
[1] from anathema's list
[2] from Rose's list
[3] from Rivka's list
[4] from elynne's list
[5] from Griffen's list.

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