Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Some Gramlich Weirdities

I’ve been tagged by Billy to reveal seven weird things about myself. Although I am a very normal and average sort of guy, I’ll attempt to come up with some suitable oddities. As is usual of my response to memes, I won’t tag anyone else. This is actually one of the easier memes, though, so if you feel the urge have at it and consider yourself tagged by me.

Weirdities:

1. Despite the fact that I’m 49 years old and a rather staid college professor, I get hassled quite often because of my long hair. I could relate many examples of this, but here’s one that happened Sunday. I’m out for a walk, as I do quite often on nice days around the neighborhood, and I happen down a dirt road I’ve only been down a few times. A couple of women in a truck turn into a driveway some way ahead of me and seem to deliberately wait for me to approach. I offer a smile and move to pass them when one woman asks: “Can I help you?” “No, I’m just out for a walk,” I reply, and continue on. “You live around here?” the woman demands. Her voice is clearly confrontational and suspicious. I stop for a moment and start to answer her, but then decide to be contrary because of the tone of her voice and say instead. “Why do you want to know?” “Well, I’ve lived here 23 years and I haven’t seen you around and we’ve had a lot of robberies in the area and I’m just protecting my home,” is the reply. I could have sympathized with her concern if it had not been for the fact that her angry attitude seemed already to have convicted me. The fact is, I pissed her off by walking by her house, and I’m sure the long shaggy hair was a big part of her issue with me.

2. I’ve never been one to believe much in astrology, but it sure is interesting that my birthday is the day after Lana’s and that we are both so compatible. We are Libras. Of course, her sun is in art while I’m a rising drunk. But nevertheless.

3. I’ve walked away from four motorcycle wrecks, three of which totaled the bike I was on at the time. Actually, limped away is a more accurate assessment. There were various broken bones as well as lots and lots of missing skin and meat.

4. I have been shot in the face with a shotgun at far too close a range. When I was about twenty-four I was dove hunting with others on our family farm. A teenager who had not hunted with us before was in a creek about thirty yards from me. A dove swept down between us and he shot at it while I was directly in the line of fire. At least a dozen bird shot BBs struck me across the face and chest. Two BB’s actually penetrated my cheeks and one lodged under the skin. Another BB bounced off my nose, leaving a nice bloody spot behind. I’m glad I didn’t get BBs in the eyes. Although bird shot at such a distance is not lethal, it sure as hell hurt.

5. I wrote a western novel at age 18 but it will never see print. It was a poor pastiche of a bad Louis L’Amour knockoff. I called it “The Bear Paw Valley” and I didn’t even break it into chapters. However, a character in that book is the ancestor of Ruenn Maclang from my Taleran novels. And a short section of that book has since been greatly polished and published as a short story.

6. When I was about 11 years old I wanted to be a priest. I would even bless my food at supper. I think it’s a good thing the priesthood lost out on getting me. Good mostly for the priesthood.

7. I often remember important events in my life by the book I was reading at the time. For example, I was reading The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich when my son was born. I was reading Brain Control on my first and only trip to Boston. I was reading a fantasy collection called Amazons when I first went to visit Lana in Canada.

34 comments:

cs harris said...

And here I always thought the weirdest thing about you was your lack of a sense of smell. But you wanted to be a priest?

Josephine Damian said...

I'm thinking: Did Charles know Dick Cheney when he was young?

Yikes! Shot in the face, buckshot or not - cannot have been fun. I'll bet your mother freaked out.

Me? I'd have dropped the f-bomb on somebody who questioned my right to walk around my own neighborhood.

Shauna Roberts said...

Given the many priests who've been revealed as child molesters in recent years, I think the Catholic church would have been very lucky to get you instead of them.

Like you, I remember many important events by what book I was reading at the time.

Jack said...

I had long hair when I was in high school and college, so I can identify with your long hair stories. I had hoped that after all these years of men with long hair that people would have stopped harassing people. But, I know they haven't. Those are an interesting collection of facts about yourself. Shot in the face, wow!

Avery DeBow said...

Wow. You're one lucky pariah.

RRN said...

Holy cow.

What a treat this was Charles.
You are such an interesting fella(who writes a book at age 18?)

I have been really into being super kind to people to treat me poorly lately. It can almost get hillarious at points watching people have no idea what to do when they attack , for whatever reason , and you compliment them or say anything they never could have seen coming.

This was such a great post. Really enjoyed it. Thanks.

Sarai said...

Wow a priest huh? I wanted to be a rabbi but my mother said no and she was right. I wonder why a priest never came up when I was younger???
Great post I love learning about other people.

Charles Gramlich said...

Candice, I'm a like an onion in that way. Weird begets weirder.

Josephine, hey, I would think it might have been old Dick but he's older than me.

Shauna, perhaps the church and I were both lucky.

Jack, I guess I'm just the criminal type, in looks anyway.

Avery, Now if ALL of the BBs had bounced off I might be thinking of myself as superman now.

RRN, not a very good book, remmember.

Sarai, I didn't even know what the term rabbi meant growing up.

Lana Gramlich said...

My poor, poor sugardumplins! No more hurt & pain for you, I say! Now out to the deck with you for a nap...

Lana Gramlich said...

BTW, you bless the food with the love that goes into making it (when it's your turn.)

Steve Malley said...

IS Lana Canadian?!

Not that there's anything *wrong* with that.... :)

steve said...

Charles, your entries may outdo anyone except for your 187-I.Q. wife. Wanting to be a priest at 11 maybe isn't that weird. Assuming this is Latin Rite Catholic, it's a little weirder to want to be one after puberty. Of course, I have a friend who's not at all weird who was in pre-seminary when he was rescued from the celibate life by the woman he's still married to.(I think I'm prone to awkward sentences this week.)

Lana Gramlich said...

Steve; Watch it--them's fightin' words! *LOL* Yes, actually I'm Americanadian, a citizen of both countries. Don't hate me because I'm virtually "North American." ;)

Miladysa said...

Very interesting and a delight to learn more about 'you'.

Strange, I have never associated 'long hair' with trouble - quite the opposite! lol

ivan said...

Not sure if it all addes up to weirdness.
My ex-wife seemed to equate me with Michael Jackson, however.

Now if I'd only had the talent! :)

Deanna Visalle said...

Holy f*ck!! You married Lana??!!??

Ahh..tis but an insect scurrying by to say 'HI'..with 4 of her 6 legs...

oh, i umm guess i better comment on some Gramlich Weirdities...yup..you sure are STILL weird...

Travis said...

#7 is a little weird.

Charles Gramlich said...

Lana, you always have my best interest at heart. If I listened to you more I'd be better off.

Steve Malley, Lana is a citizen of the universe. Perhaps an alternate dimension, of course.

Steve, yes, puberty put the nail in the coffin on any wish to be a priest.

Miladysa, growing up and living in the south, I've found a lot of folks aren't comfortable with men having long hair.

Ivan, perhaps if you'd failed to mature sexually you would have had a voice like Michael Jackson's.

Deanna, hey, great to see you. Hope you are well. But, now, we both (and Lana) know I'm not as weird as the insect.

Travis, it's a sign of my basic nerdiness.

Michelle's Spell said...

Hey Charles,

That's cool about the priesthood. I always think of priests as being kind of 70s superheros -- messed up, hard drinking, exorcism doing types! As for the long hair, people are so fricking judgmental. And it makes sense that you and Lana are both Libras -- great sign. My best friend Angela has almost all Taurus friends and her boyfriend and I are both Taurus and have the same Chinese sign, the boar.

Bernita said...

Libras?
That's why Lana is a Venus
and why Lana is your better half.
A lot of kids get the religeuse urge about that age.

Randy Johnson said...

I can identify with your long hair story also. Though fairly short now, in my younger days, I was doing the ZZTop thing before they did. I once got a ticket for loud mufflers because of my long hair. The officer was quite frank in telling me if my mother drove by in the car in the next few minutes he wouldn't give it a second thought. Only because of my long hair.

Billy said...

Shotgun blast at close range. Good Lord! Are you Batman?

Erik Donald France said...

Tinged with Catholicism adds to interior compexity, as does, I'm sure, being shot. . .

Charles Gramlich said...

Michelle, that's probably the kind of priest I would have been, hard drinking and cursing.

Bernita, Lana is my better 4/5ths

Randy, I've been stopped quite a few times while obeying all traffic laws, and I think it's simply because of long hair. Although once it was because I was a white guy driving through a black neighborhood adn the cops figured I was trying to buy drugs.

Billy, that's part of the reason why I know that movies where folks shoot others with shotguns at long range and kill them aren't very realistic.

Eric, my Catholic upbringing has had a huge effect on my writing, especially my poetry.

Monique said...

Like miladysa I have something for guys with long hair and that's probably why I married my loved one (even though now not long anymore and getting quite grey) and he is also a libra.

Wonderful weird things. I tried to think of seven weird things that have happened to me and I only got to number two!

Josephine Damian said...

Charles, are you ready for the BookEnds contest? They're changing up the order on the list - thrillers could be next, and remember they'll only be 24 hours to post it.

Travis Erwin said...

Interesting list.

Lana Gramlich said...

You're far too sweet, y'know...I sense a foot massage in your future.

December/Stacia said...

But, so what happened with the truck woman when she said that? Did you just frown and walk away or what? Tell us the ending!!

I think every Catholic child in the world at some point wanted to be a priest or a nun. It's like a rite of passage or something. The blessing the food is cute, though.

Charles Gramlich said...

Monique, perhaps you need to live more weirdly.

Josephine, I'm pretty much ready.

Travis Erwin, thankee.

Lana, I think I'll keep you.

Stacia, I just walked off. She was still talking but I didn't really care to hear anymore.

Lisa said...

What a cool set of weirdities -- somehow I'll bet you could expand that list out with a number of items just as interesting as being shot in the face and aspiring to the priesthood. And whoa -- did somebody say Lana's IQ is 187???

Charles Gramlich said...

Lisa, Lana's "Sweety Q" is over 250.

SzélsőFa said...

This is an amazing collection of facts. I enjoyed it!

Ello said...

Ow I can't believe you got shot in the face! And I am so mad about that woman being such a bitch! I hope you told her off!