Thursday, June 28, 2007

Narcissus Neuroticus: Eight True Dull Things About Jim Roeg

Here we go. Blame plok!

1. I’ve always had a problem with procrastination—a shocking blogger confession, I know. On the one hand, I find it incredibly productive. Nothing lights a fire under me to do something creative like avoiding “real” work. On the other hand, the avoidance fills me with stress and undermines both my creative projects and my professional life, neither of which is quite as developed as I would like. Maybe the problem isn’t procrastination so much as attention deficit.

2. I love soap operas. They remain the most misunderstood and underappreciated art form in any popular medium. He said, defensively.

3. I don’t like James Joyce and have never been able to make it through Ulysses, much less Finnegan’s Wake.

4. I’ve always hated dieters and gym bores whose ripped bodies and healthy lifestyles seem designed to make the rest of us feel bad. When they jog past me at a swift clip on a hot July day I wonder, where are you going? What’s the hurry? How narcissistic and yet herd-like must you be to worship idealized body images and make yourself a slave to the scale and the mirror? That was then. Now I’m one of them. After a year of lethargy and tubs of Drumstick Ice Cream, I’ve become obsessed with my diet and weight, have taken up jogging and exercise, and have lost 20 lbs since May. And have the nerve to brag about it at the slightest provocation. Ironically, I now hate myself.

5. I’m nervous but excited about impending fatherhood.

6. I have trouble throwing things away. Once, in grade six, I did a major purge of my room and threw out a huge bag of classroom notes passed between me and my friends that I’d saved from the first few years of primary school. I’ve always regretted it.

7. I don’t understand how people are able to both eat and drink at parties that involve mingling. We only have two hands. If one hand is holding a plate and the other hand is holding a wineglass, how do you get the food into your mouth? I made a decision long ago that one either eats or drinks at wine and cheese events. I drink.

8. I hate tagging other bloggers because I worry that tagging will be perceived as an unreasonable demand on their time and presupposes a level of web pal intimacy that might not exist, the revelation of which would wound and embarrass me. I like to relieve my anxiety about this by making coyly humble, endearing confessions like this one. But I also worry that in doing so I will offend the very web pals who were nice enough to tag me in the first place. I’m very neurotic.


plok said...

Personally, I don't care for the personal revelation-type meme -- I don't even have any old photographs, and always wind up consumed with jealousy when others show off theirs. Look, they have interestingly-decorated lives, full of adventure and immersion and detail, and I don't! As much as I'm my own favourite subject, I tend to be underwhelmed by my own "secrets"...

So I felt a bit guilty passing it on, hah!

And, amusingly, my word verification is "nuanx".

Spot 1980 said...

Jim - I drove past you the other day. You were clearly in workout mode, sweat on your forehead and IPOD in hand. There was such a fire in your eyes that I was too intimidated to stop and say "hi". I was scared you'd maybe give me a wedgie and then dunk my head in the toilet.

Jon Silpayamanant said...

Congratulations on the impending fatherhood!

Jim Roeg said...

Hi plok - no need to feel even the faintest pang of guilt. Personal revelation memes allow me to indulge all my worst impulses. It's me who should feel guilty!

Haha - honk your horn really loud next time, spot. Please don't let me get away with becoming one of those humorless robojogger types!

Thanks, jon. It's all still a bit surreal...

joncormier said...

You're in Ottawa. People run on the frozen canal here so it's no wonder you've been infected by the jogging.

My goal is to get around Dowe's Lake by October.

Matthew E said...

I’m nervous but excited about impending fatherhood.


If it helps any, some things I've learned about fatherhood in the four years (to the day, coincidentally) that I've been one:

1. Some dads will say that the birth of their first kid was this profound and life-changing experience that connected them to the universe and all that crap. Others (like me) process the event on a more quotidian level. Both reactions are legitimate and neither makes you a better or worse person than the other.

2. Bibs are key. You want bibs that attach with snaps or good velcro (there is good and bad velcro). You want a mix: quite a few light ones that are just around to soak up random drool, big waterproof ones for mealtime, and absorbent/waterproof-backed ones for bottles/breastfeeding.

3. Watch the plastic that bottles and toys and stuff are made of. You want to avoid the kind with bisphenol.

4. Bath toys are almost invariably a complete waste of time.

5. Not every woman can breastfeed and not every baby can breastfeed. If this happens it's not a sign of inadequacy on anyone's part; just switch to formula and get on with your lives.

6. Not that you'll have to worry about this for a while... We all know that all kids are different. If you have a second kid you will already know intellectually that he/she will be different from your first one. But you might not realize that what that means is that all the tricks you learn for dealing with your first kid won't work on the second one.

7. The vibrating baby chair can often be very helpful.

8. There's a lot of winging it and temporary solutions involved in parenting.

9. Raising kids is something that stupid people can do successfully, so if you're intelligent and at all conscientious you're way ahead of the game.

Jim Roeg said...

joncormier - yeah, it was only a matter of time... Good luck with Dowe's Lake!

matthew e - sincere thanks for that incredibly practical advice. We invested in one of those vibrating baby chairs on the advice of a friend, so we're on the right track at least. Somehow, I find point #9 the most comforting of all!

Nobody said...

That's my favorite Dali painting! I saw it recently at the Dali & Film exhibition at the Tate Modern and could have stared at it all day. Truly ingenious.

Anyway Jim, I resonate heavily with your 1st, 6th, and 8th entries -- could have written them myself.

I was tagged with this meme too but can't find any blogs that haven't been tagged already -- which is kind of a relief since likewise I hate to presume familiarity!

Congrats on fatherhood as well.

Jim Roeg said...

Thanks, nobody. It really is an incredible painting, isn't it? I slapped it on there as an optimistic (?) forecast of my own impending metamorphosis from self-indulgent narcissus to responsible parent (the egg). Haha--just kidding. Like that will ever happen! (God help the child.)

And hey--presume away, everyone.

David Golding said...

Jim! This is belated, but it's taking me a while to catch up on blogs since getting back from my trip...


I'd write more, but the sixth month old is wriggling in my arms. :-)

David Golding said...

Oh yeah, on my trip I finally finished the first volume of Proust, and came away disappointed. I've only managed 100 pages of Don Quixote before giving up. Joyce is one of those writers who I see a sentence quoted and think---wow, I have to give him another go! But I've never managed to finish even a single page. I feel like such a classics failure.

Jim Roeg said...

Thanks, david - and right back at you! It looks like you had a fantastic trip--I'm jealous. I recently ran into a friend who had just returned from Australia and she couldn't stop raving about how fabulous it was. Have to get out there some day. It's also great to see how portable a six-month old can be (my parents trekked around the wilderness with me at that age too). I didn't become a difficult traveller until I became a teenager!

Good luck with those classics. I figure, life is too short to waste time reading things that don't speak to us. I've just discovered librivox recently and am quite enjoying it. Never thought I'd get into books on tape, but it's actually very pleasant being read to, and it can help get one 'over the hump' with slow-starting books...

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