Weird, True, and/or Random

First, a sincere thank you to everyone for their supportive comments on yesterday’s post. This community of readers is a testament to how we’re truly stronger together!

And now let’s turn our attention to decidedly lighter fare. Every once in a while it’s fun to do a brain dump of random/irrelevant things I’ve noticed/thought about. Here goes:

  • I rarely cut myself shaving. When I was a teenager, I was constantly nicking my ankles or knees. Now, I might cut myself…once a year? I use cheap disposable razors (think 12 for $2 from the DollarStore). I dry them off after each use, and each one lasts for months! I also don’t use any shaving gels or creams – just whatever soap happens to be in rotation. I am decidedly low-maintenance in this regard, but I’m still not sure how I went from regularly nicking myself (using much more expensive razors and special shaving gels) to almost never nicking myself?
  • A few weeks ago I was mopping the floor in our dining room; I had closed the French door that connects to the kitchen and happened to catch my reflection – and I jumped. For a split second, I was absolutely convinced someone had come into the house and was standing in my kitchen. I felt silly – and it took a while for the adrenaline to wear off – but it did make me laugh.
  • Two days later I opened the door to our car and a gust of wind made a leaf on the floor mat dance around and I screeched. I thought it was a brown mouse. I’m clearly feeling extra skittish?!
  • There is a familiar route in town that I instinctively take to get to various locations. It is currently full of potholes (MASSIVE craters that are literally impossible to miss because the entire street has been ripped up). For weeks I kept forgetting about this…until after I’d committed to that route. It started to feel a bit pathetic how many times I’d get to within 20 seconds of that section and be incredulous that I had committed the same mistake – again.
Abby was going through a box of old pictures and found one of these modified birth announcements…
  • I’ve posted about my name before (and how some people strangely call me Liz without any invitation to do so + how some people, who have known me for an extended period, continue to spell my name incorrectly), but here’s another fun tidbit. My mother had written out all my birth announcements as Elizabeth – you know, back before there was Facebook or Instagram – when my father happened to glance at one and casually mention: Oh, I spelled her name with an “s” on the birth certificate application. Somehow they had gotten their wires crossed; turns out, in older versions of the Bible, Elisabeth is spelled with an “s” and so that’s the spelling my father had defaulted to. My Mom scratched out the “z” and changed it to an “s” and the rest is history.
  • I HATE baths and I dislike them more and more each year. I get overheated. I feel icky sitting in stagnant bathing water. It is entirely feasible that some years I will go 365 days without taking a single bath. More generally, we are a shower family. When the kids were really little we bathed them, but when Abby was a toddler we visited my brother in Denmark for 3 weeks and he only had an upright shower. So she had to adjust to a shower at a young age and we just never turned back; Levi was taking showers as soon as he could sit up independently!
  • Until recently I didn’t know what level a sophomore vs. a junior was; in Canada, we tend to only label someone as a freshman. After that we’ll say: they’re in their second year of university, third of university, final/last year of university. And in high schools, we mostly specify grade – I will almost never hear someone say their child is in their senior year, they’ll say they’re in Grade 12. I wonder if it’s an American thing? Or if I’m just living under a rock. Either way, every time I heard sophomore or junior I had NO idea what this meant. Now I do, thanks to this post by Kelsey at Rising*Shining (I also followed her lead and created my own “The Years are Short” spreadsheet).
  • I can’t do any cool body tricks. I can’t cross my eyes. I can’t roll my tongue. I’m not double-jointed. I can’t wiggle my ears, or my nose. I can’t whistle with fingers in my mouth. The only slightly cool thing I have mastered is a very specific pen flip that I spent WEEKS perfecting in high school that I can still do – thankfully, given how many hours of academic learning I ignored to perfect said skill. I also tried to learn how to gleek as a teenager and it bothers me to this day that I never learned how (though, also, gleeking is gross, so maybe I should be relieved). A classmate of mine could gleek SO well and we would sit in the back row of music class and she would just…sit there and gleek. Her name was Tiffany and I remember nothing else about her aside from her gleeking proficiency.
  • The kids have been into Pokémon card trading lately and it made me think of Pogs for the first time in…decades. Does anyone else remember Pogs? My parents would never have financed a fad like that, so a friend gifted me a slammer, a little stack of Pogs, and even a genuine Pog carrying case. It was hot pink with a yellow cap. My Mom uses it to store crochet hooks now.

Your turn. Do you cut yourself shaving? Do you like baths? Are you easily frightened – I’m not, but apparently leaves and my own reflection are pretty terrifying? Did you ever collect Pogs? Most importantly – can you gleek, cross your eyes, or roll your tongue?

Header photo by Laura Mitulla on Unsplash

50 thoughts on “Weird, True, and/or Random”

  1. This is so fun! I am cringing for your poor mother and all those announcements!

    I literally cut myself shaving two days ago and bled all over our bathmats. A tiny cut but so gruesome!

    Like you I despise baths!

    1. Returning to say that I have never been able to gleek, except by accident. I do remember a phase in middle school, I think, when all the boys seemed to be honing their skills. As a grownup, I think only: “GROSS.”

      1. Yes. Gross! Why was I jealous?
        I am jealous I can’t cross my eyes/roll my tongue etc. I feel rather boring and ordinary, especially since other family members (including my kids) can do these things.

    2. Ha! I’m sure she had “smoke coming out of both ears” as we say in our family…but it makes for a great story, eh? Like Nora Ephron said: Everything is copy.
      I know – those tiny cuts can produce so much blood. I still have no idea how I avoid it now? I’m thankful, but perplexed.
      Yay, Team Shower.

  2. Oh my gosh, I have not heard the word “gleek” in donkey’s years! I cannot gleek; in fact, when I was in highschool I think it was more of a male thing than a female thing to do it. I have done it a few times on accident, but never on purpose!

    I totally have the same issue with the age of kids vs the grade. Like, you’re in 8th grade? So how old is that? Are you 13? I don’t even know or spend enough brain power to remember. I think in the US we use the terms “senior” and 12th grade interchangeably. At least in my HS we did; I think I was more likely to say 11th grade than “junior” personally, but maybe it varies throughout the country?

    1. Oh, I’m terrible at grade and age. I have NO idea how those things align. To some people it seems to come naturally, too. Like I’ll say the age of our kids and someone will respond: Oh they must be in such-and-such grade, and it will be correct. And I think? How do you do that? I’m amazed!
      To be fair, I have no idea how old I was in Grade 10. I could do the math, but it would take me a minute…

  3. I don’t nick myself often. When I do, it usually does bleed a lot so I try to be careful! My husband does the subscription dollar shave club and has a lot of blades, so a couple of years ago I had him order an extra handle and I use those blades. I do have to be careful with them to not nick my ankles.
    What is gleeking? I have never heard that term before.
    I went from light highlights to a dark colour this week and when my daughter saw me, she said I was “emo”. When I asked if that was good or bad she laughed, like “oh you are old and out of touch”. She is 10!
    I also never had pogs. They were not a thing, but I think I was older before those were popular.
    That exact brown leaf thing happened to me when I was backing my car into the garage, I could see something brown moving on the backup camera and instantly thought mouse. My son was the one who noticed it was a leaf moving with the wind draft. And I also hate baths. I have a friend who loves them and has one every single night. Nope.

    1. Gleeking is when you can squirt saliva out of your mouth (usually pooled under the tongue) in this concentrated stream. It’s gross. But I was so jealous of Tiffany…

      Oh kids. They don’t hold anything back, do they!

      My parents always had a bath each evening, so it was a family thing growing up, but I’ve long preferred showers. When someone mentions a bubble bath being a luxury, I shudder. Now a hot tub is different and think I would love having one!

  4. I had to look up gleeking- but when I found out what it is, I remember it. I knew a girl who could do that in high school, I just didn’t know what it was called!
    My friend gave her daughter the middle name “Elisabeth” and one day, when her daughter was two or three, she was writing her daughter’s name on something, her husband looked at it and said “you know you spelled her name wrong.” She had spelled it with a “z” just because she wasn’t thinking. Granted, this was a middle name that you don’t write as much, but she was still a little chagrined that she misspelled her daughter’s name.
    I think “sophomore” “junior” etc. is an American thing. I have a couple clients that are European and when I ask what year their kids are in school, they’re confused by those terms.
    Showers only! I don’t have time for baths.

    1. I have a niece named Elizabeth and I ALWAYS have to stop and think carefully before I write her name because it feels so odd to use the “z.”

      The bath thing is partially about the time, but mostly it just feels so…icky to me.

  5. POGS!!!! Yes I also think of them whenever my kids get deep into a fad like Pokémon. I had a set of purple backed pogs that I got for a gift and cherished them. I never used them to play with though. I had other pogs for that. The controversies around slammers (metal or not), throwing technique… how important it all seemed at the time.

    No one in my province uses freshman, junior etc. It is always just the year. Though grade 7 (when high school starts here) is level 1 and that follows all the way through to level 5 (grade 11 or the last year of high school).

    1. I laughed out loud when you said “controversies”…but it’s so true! Wouldn’t it be great to be at an age where our biggest concern was how to best throw a slammer?
      We don’t have levels in Nova Scotia – just the straight grade.

  6. Baths are like stewing in sweat. Disgusting. Exceptions can be made if you have a really deep bathtub with jets, I think, but otherwise they are gross. I live in California, so the amount of water needed is ridiculous. I would have to shower first, to avoid the feeling of stewing in my own dirt (as though I ever get dirty, I have a desk job), then take a bath, then shower again to get that feeling off of me.

    The only times I have bathed on purpose (as an adult, I think my mom bathed us when we were little) were once when I was pregnant and everyone said it helped with back pain, and once when I had my first flare of RA, as everyone said it helped with pain there too. Both times it did nothing to help my pain and I felt like I was being punished.

    1. Baths are like stewing in sweat. Truer words have never been spoken.
      The few times I have taken a bath in recent years I always showered afterward. And felt overheated and icky.
      I did take baths a few times when my kids were little and one year for my birthday the kids drew a bath for me and it was very sweet (candles and bubbles were involved and they even heated up my robe in the dryer for me) – but those are rare outliers.

  7. I love the comments in this post! Through blogging, I feel like I can find “my people” but then within the larger community like supporters of the broken brain, there are even smaller groups that can really unite. Bath haters! Gleekers! Non-gleekers! American English-isms! Oftentimes, these perspectives awaken a memory or a thought that’s been asleep for awhile and I feel refreshed by the new perspective.

    1. Yay! Isn’t that a wonderful thing about friends (both “in-person” or “virtual”) – seeing where we overlap and diverge? It takes all kinds, but thank goodness most people showing up here are bath-haters because…ick!

  8. As recently as 4 years ago, I was able to drop back into a backbend from standing, then stand back up, then drop back again and grab my own ankles. I could also put both legs behind my head. However, I cannot cross my eyes!

  9. I hate hate hate baths. I took a couple out of desperation when I was pregnant and had awful flares but they didn’t help so I abandoned them. I used to take ice baths after really long runs when I was training for marathons so I have taken more ice baths than normal baths as an adult. My kids both take baths, though. They love them and it’s a way to kill some time between dinner and bedtime. I’m always happy when they stay in there extra long! Paul will occasionally shower with dad but doesn’t love it because he’s more likely to get water in his eyes.

    I had to google gleeking. I have never heard of that! It sounds pretty gross! I can curl my tongue and am very flexible in general. So, for example, when standing, I can completely turn one of my feet so that the heel of one foot is aligned with the toes of another. I thought everyone could do this but have been told it’s not normal! I also used to be able to put my feet behind my ears when I was younger but i have lost that level of flexibility!

    I absolutely need to use shaving cream when I shave because my skin is so very dry and very sensitive.

    And I am pretty easily frightened and am terrified of things like mice. Phil saw a mouse in our yard one morning this week and wanted to point it out to me and I was like – heck no!!!

    1. Gleeking IS gross, but I don’t know if I thought it was gross + cool in highschool, or just cool. Perhaps it was only cool because I couldn’t do it?

  10. I sometimes cut myself shaving, but not usually. I do not like baths. I am easily frightened by movies, but not by people. I briefly collected Pogs. I can roll my tongue. Anything else you need to know?

    1. How far can you state Pi? (2 digits; I was so relieved when I finished my last Math class in university)
      Can you recite the alphabet backwards? (I can’t – I get stuck on Z)
      Do you own an apron? (Yes, but I never wear one and my clothes get dirty every time I cook)

  11. I like idea of a bath but then I never take one. We do have a bath tub but since we almost never use it I am thinking of replacing it with a shower when we do the remodel. I see a family vote on this in the future.
    I don’t cut myself shaving and I can roll my tongue. I had to look up Pogs are – now I know.

  12. Baths are gross. End of story. I do not like sitting there in my own grossness and I’ve never had a tub big enough that my entire body could be submerged, so some part of me is always cold and there’s a perfectly good shower.

    I can roll my tongue, I’ve never tried gleeking, and the little boy I used to babysit for (who is a grown adult now with children of his own) had so many Pogs. They were everywhere and I didn’t understand them, but I do appreciate the nudge of nostalgia about them.

    I cut myself nearly every time I shave, even with fresh blades and shower gel. I am also a bit squeamish about my own blood, so this has proven to be a problem. I am jealous of your invincibility.

    1. I agree. Bath are gross.
      I will try to remember each time I shave – without cutting myself – this is one form of invincibility. But how did I make such a 180 shift in my shaving proficiency? It feels destined to forever be a mystery…

  13. What a delightful mind dump of randomness.
    – I gave up shaving years ago- thanks to genetics I’ve never been really hairy, but also it’s always just felt like one of those arbitrarily slightly patriarchal expectations for me and made me angry to do it. Also it always seemed like a lot of work and I’m lazy about showering as it is.
    – baths also seem like a lot of work. I know this sounds totally gross, but bathing just always seems like a lot of effort. I mean I feel great on the other side, but I think I suffer from life inertia where changing tasks is hard. I also don’t like hot tubs or hot springs…. I feel like human soup.
    – I don’t think i knew about sophomore and Junior until i moved to the States. Also- when I was growing up in Ontario, there was Grade 13- is that still a thing? Would that be considered a senior year? Or was Grade 13 just in Ontario in the 80s-90s? Also… I didn’t realize until we came to the US that here they say First Grade, Second Grade, Third Grade, etc…. I sometimes still say Grade One, Grade Two, etc… out of habit, but it’s starting to sound weird to me.
    – I admit I had to google “gleek” and I definitely can’t do it. I used to be able to stuff my fist in my mouth- that was my party trick.

    1. I’m a very lax shaver; but I have to admit – patriarchal or not – I do it for myself. I prefer the feeling of shaved skin in the summer. In the winter I go for much longer stretches, but I don’t like the feeling (obviously this is conditioned over the years…).

      Baths are a lot of work! And if the temperature isn’t right, it takes forever to adjust where if you’re showering it’s just a tiny movement of the dials and bam = perfection!

      I don’t think Ontario has Grade 13 anymore, but I believe Quebec still has cégep (which is equivalent to a Grade 13). And yes, we definitely say Grade One, not First Grade.

      That’s quite a party trick!

  14. I don’t HATE baths, but I have some issues with them, too. My mom is a huge “bath taker”. Always has been. She can’t stand water running down all over her head and face and stuff. We have a jacuzzi tub at our house, with jets, etc. so before we bought our hot tub, I would use that occasionally. Really not very often though, because I also get hot. And unlike when I’m in our actual hot tub (outdoors, which I LOVE to pieces), I can’t really just “get out” of the bath tub. Like in the hot tub, there is a cool off seat I can sit on, so I’m still partially in the water, but more out than not. It’s perfect if I over heat. Also, obviously in the hot tub I am not trying to actually “bathe”. I do not get my face or head wet. If I take an actual bath, presumably I also want to use soap and shampoo, etc., which I find very tricky in a bathtub. If I need to wash my hair, I have to let half the water out, then bend awkwardly forward to stick my head under the faucet…and then my hair is all flipped forward in a way that feels really weird, if that makes sense? It’s like it’s all going the wrong way. I have on occasion, pre-hot tub days, taken a bath to relax (which can be nice, with a candle on or a book), and then drained the water and stood up and took a shower to actually wash/ shampoo myself! It felt… rather silly and kind of wasteful, though. Like a double bath.

    1. It’s ironic because I hate running water on my face (so while I shower almost every day, I might put my face directly under the shower water once a year?)…but baths. It almost makes me shudder to think of taking one.

      We’ve had this discussion before and I think I would love a hot tub. Someday? It would be perfect in the winter here!

      And yes, in the rare cases where I do take a bath, I almost always shower after to feel “clean” and to wash my hair.

  15. I do not like taking baths – and I am glad to learn that there are lot more “bath haters” than I thought. Just wait for Stephany to find your post though – she’s an avid bath-taker 😉

    You’re not living under a rock, btw. In Germany, we also just specify the grade someone’s in – I had to learn what freshman, sophomore, junior and senior meant.
    And have no problem with your name being spelled with an ‘s’ because that’s how it’s spelled in German 🙂

    1. I would say people visiting here are mostly all in the anti-bath camp.
      Yes! Elisabeth with an “s” is very European!

  16. Freshmen, Sophomore, Junior and Senior are used for both high school and college/university here. I also cannot figure out what grade a child is in just by knowing their age (except for high school, I kinda get that for some reason).
    I used to love baths in our old house but the tub in this house just grosses me out for some reason, so I don’t soak anymore. In fact, if I win the lottery and we remodel our bathroom, I think I would take it out and put in a huge, luxurious shower – our current shower is so small that there is no room to maneuver to shave my legs, so that gets done before I even step into the shower.
    I can roll my tongue and cross my eyes. I can only snap my fingers using my dominant hand though; the other hand just can’t do it.

    1. A huge shower with MULTIPLE shower heads sounds like a dream. I would 100% be happy to get rid of the bathtub – though when we’re sick, people like to lay down in the shower and having a bathtub shower is ideal for this.
      I just checked and I can snap my fingers with both hands. Somehow I don’t think this will impress people at holiday parties, but it might be worth a try?

    1. My Mom is very cool…
      Maybe she was zen about the whole thing because she was just so in love with me as a newborn? HA!!

  17. i also have no idea about senior, junior, sophomore years… why make it so complex? hahaha.
    I used to take bath after long run in manila to relax. i haven’t done for a while. Now when I need to truly relax I go to the sauce. the benefit is that I can’t bring my phone with me, I don’t have notion of time, and because of the heat, I can’t stand there for too long, and obviously the health benefits. 🙂

    1. I love the idea of a sauna. It sounds like the best of both worlds – especially here in cold Canada this time of year!

  18. I’m Team Rarely Cut Myself Shaving. I just use regular soap and I use my disposable razors for about a month. The only time that I have to look out is when I get a new razor. And baths? No thanks.
    I did not know that sophomore, junior, and senior aren’t used to describe grades up north and I did not know what gleeking was until one second ago when I googled it. I have learned things today. Which is good I can’t do any cool body tricks either. Not even a cool pen flip.

    1. Yay for smooth shaves; and I agree. My inexpensive disposable razors seem to only cause my grief when I start a new one (and even then it’s still rare, but I am always more cautious with a new blade). I will literally shave my legs in the semi-dark without my glasses on (so I basically can’t see a thing)…and still not cut myself. Maybe I’m invincible in this one area, like NGS said?

      Nope. Freshman is it, and it certainly wouldn’t be atypical to have someone say their in their first year of university. But everyone is familiar with the term freshman.

  19. I still have no idea about the US high school and college year levels. We have year prep to 12 for school. Primary school is Prep, then 1-6. High school is 7-12, then university is 1st, 2nd, etc year. Much easier to work out.

    1. Here we tend to call the year before Grade 1, Primary; in the states it’s typically Kindergarten.

      The start of high school keeps changing. When my parents were in school it was Grade 10. At other times it has been Grade 8. In our province at least, it starts at Grade 9.
      Primary – Grade 5 is elementary, Grade 6-8 is “middle school”, and then Grade 9 marks high school.

  20. I am repeatedly manage to scare myself walking by a mirror in the night. I am easily scared. I just need to sit in my room and the husband walks in asking me something and I jump like crazy.
    Also I do like to take a bath. Never did before Covid but that was my Covid habit. This year however not so much.
    As for the junior sophomore things – not a thing we do in Germany. Its grades like you. And in university the reference is the number of semesters (half years) you have taken. Definitely something I had never heard before going to Highschool in the US.

  21. Oh boy this post was like reading another language! So many things I have not heard of or have no clue about until I read the comments ;),

    I don’t shave, ever and haven’t for years and I love baths particularly in the depths of winter, with a good book or lots of candles. My eldest hates showers, I think he has about two in his life. He has tactile defensiveness and it is too much stimulation for his skin. He always came home filthy from camping as there was only ever showers on the campsite, when he was little I would wash him in the skins but when he got too big washing stopped completely.

    I have no idea which school year is which in my own country as they have changed since I was at school, let alone those used in other countries! When people ask me what school year my children are in I just give their age and let them tell me as I have no idea.

    I can roll my tongue and I hypermobility in my thumb, ankle and wrist joints which I have learnt to live with but can sometimes trip me up when I forget.

    1. I know many people who love baths (and some who, even as adults, bathe daily). I am definitely all about the showers…

  22. Oh man, give me a warm bubble bath or give me death! I love baths! There is NOTHING like those first few seconds of sinking into a warm bubble bath that’s the perfect temperature.

    I had never heard of the term gleeking! I had only heard the term “gleek” from Glee… like a geek for Glee club, hahaha. What a weird hobby!

    I *loved* pogs. One of our Christian bookstores used to have these huuuuge tubs filled with pogs to purchase. My mom would let my brother and I go there for good behavior. 🙂

    1. We’ll have to agree to disagree on the baths – I *wish* I liked them, because baths sound like a lovely luxury, but they fall flat for me. I do love hopping into the shower when I’m cold/tired/sweaty, though!

  23. Ok, let’s see here…
    * Shaving. Rarely do it but also realized recently that I don’t cut myself nearly as much. And trust me, I’m super-low key, using the same blade for… 6 months? And soap.
    * Baths. HARD NO. Team shower all the way. I loved baths in HS but now, nope nope nope. Gross.
    * I can raise one eyebrow (but my father is the king of this), roll my tongue, cross my eyes, and… that’s about it? Ha.
    * I had no idea what gleeking OR pogs were. I’m so Out of Touch. 🙂

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