Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Mayday Mayday!

I'm just gonna lay it all out here. I've been noticing some bizarre behavioral patterns within myself. I've got some quirks that need ironing out.

I'm gonna list them here, and you tell me if you've ever felt like this --- or if I'm the only one:

1) I love heights, but I get a very compelling urge when I find myself way up high. The other night I was on a very high rooftop overlooking new york city. I looked down at the street, 40 stories below, and got that urge to hurl myself over the edge. It's not a suicidal feeling, more like a dare. Something inside of me screaming "Do it, you coward!" which forces me to leave the ledge because with a couple of strong cocktails in me, I fear I might be up to the challenge.

2) I recently was without a calculator and needed to do some division. There were some big numbers involved. Something random, like 28969 divided by 32. So I got out a pen and paper, wrote down the numbers, and then I sat. And I stared. I couldn't remember how to figure it out! I used to know. Once. Is this a failure of the educational system? Of the digital world we live in? Or has my brain just shrunk? I have totally forgotten the formula for long division.

3) I watch people eat, and it's a nice thing to do--going out to dinner. Often people go out to dinner on first dates, but isn't it bizarre? There you are, sitting across the table from someone who is shoveling dead animals into their mouth. And then chewing. Little bit of parsley getting caught in their teeth. Sometimes I think eating out is like 2 notches up from going to the toilet together. I'm starting to feel really weird about eating in public.

Am I suffering from multiple disorders? Is paranoid schizophrenia sneaking up on me? Let me know, I could use some advice.....and if you know the formula for long division, I'm all ears.


Anonymous said...

I do know the formula for long division. It involves us making out...trust me, I read it in Popular Science.


melissa said...

I don't like to sit in the window seat in the emergency exit row on airplanes because I feel that one day I may lose it, follow the instructions, and open the door mid-flight.

And maybe Steve holds the secret to long division, who knows.

Melissa & Jon

Edina Monsoon said...

# 1 scares me too.

I wonder how many suicide victims really just meant to say "Ha! Told you I could do it!"

Perhaps gay people who dabble in drinkie druggie shouldn't live around Tall Buildings. Let's all move to Palm Springs.

Anonymous said...

Oh, Steve holds the secret, and he ain’t greedy!

Michael said...

I can only commiserate on the last one, and it depends on the fare and the company. I have the most trouble with any kind of buffet (hog trough?) situation. Or those horrible churrascaria places where they keep bringing all those skewered carcasses around until you actually have to signal with a RED CARD to Stop! Bringing! The! Flesh!

Michael said...

PS Only the bourgeois need to do long division, darling.

avery said...

Although psychiatry isn't my specialty, I speak with authority when I present this differential diagnosis:

1) crazy person

2) cray person who can't do math

3) crazy person who cant do math, and finds BM and BLT equally revolting


p.s. I too fit into category 1 and 2 :(

Anonymous said...

Here's my advice:

1. Go skydiving.
2. Get a calculator.
3. Realize this: we're all animals, we just know how to dress better...

The Blackout Blog said...

Long division animated (I recommend the "slightly different method" animation):

Or graphically (sort of):

One of those things where you see it once and it all comes back to you.
I have a secret desire to be a high school math teacher.
D. Kareem

Tony said...

1. You and Batman overlooking Gotham. Cool.
But you need his wings before you take the plunge.
For me, the drop from a great height exerts a sinister, magnetic pull and resisting it makes me wobbly. Last week, while hiking on Monhegan Island in Maine, I took a very narrow branch trail along a ledge overlooking the beautiful blue Atlantic. The trail got narrower and narrower till it ended literally "on the brink" of a 150 foot straight drop to jagged rocks pounded by surf. I very carefully inched back to the comparative safety of the main trail, grasping for handholds as I went.

2. Your brain shrunk. Don't feel bad, mine has too. I'm developing a noticeable case of CRS. Parts of the multiplication tables (which are helpful for long division) are disappearing from my mind. I think that's because the scary images of my third grade teacher, who frightened them into me, are fading as well.

3. Well, I was gonna ask you and Bam out for dinner next time I'm in NYC, but clearly that's a non-starter. Thanks, though, you just saved me a serious pile of cash. :)

Michael Coates said...

The heights things is a bit strange.

I totally forgot all of the math that was taught to me in grade school & high school. I blame the fact that I have a calculator on my phone that can figure out how big of a tip to leave.

I hear you on the eating thing. It is such an odd behavior/ritual. That said - I adore food and would never give up the luxury to eat out. At least everyone else in the restaurant looks just as foolish ...

Mark in DE said...

I recommend you seek psychological help... immediately!


Mark :-)

Jesse Archer said...

Thanks, y'all are the best. Glad to know I'm not the only one.
And D. Kareem, Thanks for the animated long division. I had forgotten the whole "remainder of" part of the process. Now I'm back on track...phew!

Anonymous said...

Jesse, Thank God. I thought I was the only one. I too was caught without a calculator recently and was forced to do arithmetic with pen and paper. I was horrified to realize that I have forgotton my muliplication tables and long division was even worse. I am embarrased to admit this to anyone. After all I DO HAVE a doctor's degree. I nearly had to resort to the old tried and true method of counting on fingers and toes. Bah! Movie nut.

mich lyon said...

how do you feel about drinking together? maybe i should have selected jamba juice instead of elmo?

Anonymous said...

So I just did some light searching around, and found that there is a phobia describing this...

Carapedaphobia - The Fear of jumping from high, and low places. Since I don't have a fear from jumping from a low place, I'm not sure I fit into this category. And, there are treatment plans for it...but nothing thus far to suggest a cause, or a reason for us to have this phobia. Only that it exists.

Thought you might like to know what that's named. :-)


P.S. There's also Arithmophobia- Fear of numbers. for your second one
Sitophobia or Sitiophobia- Fear of food or eating. (Cibophobia)

landis smithers said...

jess. love.

you be thinkin too much.

it's time to DIVIDE your time between EATING OUT and THROWING . . .

never mind. i was going somewhere, then i forgot how to.

Jeffrey said...

To be quite honest, I prefer not to divide long things. And I have the same airplane compulsive thought about just opening the hatch -- wonder if there's a name for it? The Cosmic Suck?

Audrey said...

Maybe it's time to read Flowers for Algernon again.



samael7 said...

1) Not at all unusual. Lots of people get this. I think that one time I did a bungee jump cured me permanently of that impulse though.

2) If you don't use it, you lose it. This applies to a depressingly wide range of things.

3) Yeah, it's weird, but not incomprehensible. Um, become a vegetarian? That'll avoid the "we're eating flesh" aspect of it. But that's not the weird part, is it? It's more the "shared biological needs" aspect. Apparently the French, long ago, did take their toilets together, though. Upper class couples would pinch a loaf in tandem and discuss philosophy or the affairs of the day.

This may say something about the French, but I have no idea what.