Weird little quirks/superstitions you've discovered about yourself

I made some tasty chili tonight, but only after nearly burning up one of our two(2) good iron skillets. Once again, I failed to read the little burner diagram on the stove properly, even though it's one of the simplest pictographs out there. The empty iron skillet got a case of the ol' "Hot foot" while my buttered onion fragments remained cold and silent. My mom has the same problem; though an excellent cook, she also turns the wrong burner on a good chunk of the time. Is it because I always struggled with geometry while excelling at algebra? Or is it just garden variety idiocy? Who knows!

I also find myself practicing an odd little bit of temporal bias based on something that happened to me in middle school. I remember asking someone what time it was. He said "It's almost three, but the last five minutes are bad". I have no idea what that meant or why he said it; still, to this day (to this. VERY. DAY! for you Dead Milkmen fans) I won't check my email or listen to voice mails in the last five minutes of an hour. You'd think the smart thing to do would have been to ask him what he meant; well, that didn't happen. That moment has been indelibly burned into my brain; I can barely recall the faces of any of my middle school teachers, but that moment is as clear as a bell if I try to recall it; his clothes, the clouds in the sky, everything. It's stupid, but there you have it.

Do you have any odd failings/quirks/superstitions? Hopefully *fun* ones, not "sometimes I forget to bury the bodies, ahahaha!".

I can't be the first to post...AHHH!

I'm going to have to think on this, but the email checking is great!

If I hear the song "Save Tonight" by Eagle-Eye Cherry, something bad is about to happen.

Rationally know it's just due to a self-perpetuating confirmation bias type thing - when I hear the song I look twice as hard anything bad and remember otherwise forgettable events as examples of it (aka the horoscope principle) - but hearing it still hits me with a feeling of dread at a gut level.

Selective consciousness?

I remember to do things like, lock the doors, remember my wallet and keys, lock the truck, etc, by doing a weirdly repetitive ritual. I don't want to abuse the OCD label. It borders on that. Any time I take my wallet out, when I'm leaving that spot I do pocket pat, but at least three times. Not sure why my brain is dissatisfied with the first pat check.

Ritual and superstition is an interesting topic. Batters at the plate, golfers, all do a ritual. It's tied to reaching the flow state where performance is highest. It's also part of our survival instinct to be flippantly likely to fail at correlation and causation. We tie any critical success or failure to what was going on at the time so we have a better chance of repeating it; and thus surviving.

Caution. Huge amount of layperson heresay and Internet anecdotes contained herein.

Ghostship wrote:
Selective consciousness?

Similar, but I think it's more to do with our tendency to interpret observations to fit conclusions that we've already reached.

Ghostship wrote:
It's also part of our survival instinct to be flippantly likely to fail at correlation and causation. We tie any critical success or failure to what was going on at the time so we have a better chance of repeating it; and thus surviving.

I remember hearing that explained from an evolutionary standpoint as our brains having adapted to an environment where it's far better to think you've seen a leopard-shaped pattern fifty times and been wrong all of them than to have actually seen a leopard-shaped pattern once and have dismissed it.

Caution. Huge amount of layperson heresay and Internet anecdotes contained herein.

Ditto, although I'll also chuck a dimly-remembered first year philosophy paper on critical thinking into the mix. It was actually a lot of fun once you got past the basic logic stuff - we had lectures where did things like analysis of horoscopes and cold-reading psychics to see how they exploited our tendency to not critically analyse information.

I talked about this in the latest episode of my podcast but I cannot leave the house without my wallet. I'm afraid that if I do, I will die in some horrible way that leaves all my fingerprints and all my teeth unable to be matched to me. It's not terribly crippling though.

On second thought, I'm not sure I feel comfortable sharing all that. So I'll just leave the one.

Mints are my Linus blankets. I have them everywhere. Desk, backpack, on my person. I can sometimes smell my own breath. I know you're not supposed to, but I catch a whiff of it from time to time and I find it unsettling, especially if it's bad. I think I worry about it more than it actually happens. Probably just eat a mint from time to time to calm my nerves. I also eat one to mask the smells of other people (I ride public transit, so this is a legit thing).

I have a near disabling inability to close cupboard doors in the kitchen. I leave the spice cupboard open, the one with the plates, the one with the pans while I cook. My wife has gotten to not asking me to close them, but will just tail me around and shutting them.

I could be told to cook breakfast, and my wife's life or mine own depends on me completing an omelet but closing the cupboard doors when I am finished. I could not do it.

I have extreme tunnel vision.

Whatever I'm focused on, that's all that exists. I once walked into a room with a guy I was training, that was full of porn dvds, dildos, lube, outfits, etc., and didn't notice any of it because I was only concerned with figuring out how this guy's cable was run so we could troubleshoot it. My new guy mentioned everything in the room when we walked outside to check his lines.

I was unconsiously terrified of yellow stoves. Whenever I cook at one, I can never get closer than three or four inches from it. Other stoves I'll push right up to them without a problem.

I'm also very senstive to hot liquids. What I consider hot, most people consider lukewarm.

Both of these trace themselves back to me pulling a pot of hot water down on my head when I was a child. Even thirty-plus years later I still have these quirks... along with a small inch long scar from the burns.

I talk to myself when I leave the house - "OK - keys, wallet, iPod, phone, pen, notebook...I think I'm good." This is probably pretty normal, but I find if I only think about it, I forget something. If I say it out loud, I leave the house with everything I'm supposed to.

I also have this bizarre fear that if I don't wash my face last when I shower, that the shampoo and conditioner residue would creep into my pores and have a little pimple party. I have no idea where I got this idea from, but I always wash my face last.

Last one: I carry small packets of deodorant wipes everywhere I go, in every bag, purse, backpack ever. I almost never use them, but I always feel certain that the bad smell in the room is me, and I like having the option to fix it if it's true. I guess it's sort of like Amoebic's mints, but for armpits.

I tap the doorframe of any closed door before I touch the door knob. It's because I generate static electricity so easily, but I've been doing it for twenty years now, so it's become as much of a compulsion as anything.

I sometimes have very vivid and brief audio hallucinations. I can always tell that they're hallucinations, because they come from inside my head, but it's still alarming. No tendency towards schizophrenia in my family, as far as I know.

I trace the joints on my fingers in a weird counting pattern. I've done it so much that I'm not even aware I'm doing it, and I'm not sure I could tell you the rules if I asked. I also count blocks of tiles by dividing them into horizontal, vertical and diagonal lines, and then mentally counting the in between sections until it comes to a square number. No tendency towards OCD in my family, as far as I know.

Much like Sonicator, if I hear Interstate Love Song on the radio, I feel like it's time for me to move to another city. I don't listen to the radio a whole lot anymore.

I don't celebrate birthdays. It's not so much that I hate getting old, it's just that for as long as I can remember, my birthdays have always been terrible days. I mostly just spend the day with some video games, eat some ice cream and pizza and try not to go outside.

I have KingGorilla's problem with cupboard/pantry doors.

Maybe this is common, but I'll have days that I refer to as being "off a step". Catching my rist on a door knob, missing a stair, bumping into walls, losing my balance are examples. Typically it is a day when I haven't gotten enough sleep and the only way to solve it seems to be to take a nap or go to bed and wake up the next morning. Once I think in my mind that this is an "off step" day it seems to worsen.

I can't curl my tongue like my wife and kids can. I'm also addicted to chapstick and have to have tube of it in my pocket at all times, except when sleeping.

I'm also left handed, isn't that a quirk?

I only to set my AM alarm to a time ending with a odd number and prefer it ends with a 1.

I have to hang out clothes on a clothes line with similar coloured pegs. The actual rules for this change from time to time, I'll interchange white and black for example, it doesn't have to be spot on, so long as the rules each time I hang out the clothes are consistant. Different coloured pegs on one article of clothing is right out.

It also only has to be the closest colour, so I'll often use white in place of beige, blue in place of green, etc. My stepdad bought me lots of multicoloured pegs for my birthday once as a joke, I nearly strangled him for it because now it means I have better granularity between the colours, and it takes even longer to find the right peg.

When I move out next month, I'm buying a bag of black pegs, and only black pegs.

MacBrave wrote:
I can't curl my tongue like my wife and kids can. I'm also addicted to chapstick and have to have tube of it in my pocket at all times, except when sleeping.

I'm also left handed, isn't that a quirk?

The tongue thing is genetic. Some can't, some can. Did you do this in High School with the bitter taste, and skunk smell thing?

And chapstick, man, just quit that stuff. It will be a week and half of misery, but just quit it. It is addictive. Somehow it promotes chapped lips. My theory is it allows fungus or bacteria to thrive on your lips, and each time you use it refresh from a supply of bacteria living on the stick in your pocket. Think about it. You pocket is an incubator. The wax is probably a good food source or growth medium.

Really bright lights annoy me. A lot. Like, to the point where it will alter my mood if there's one on in my house, and I'll have to shut them off. (My mother used to keep a bright lamp on next to me as an infant while I slept, as she was paranoid something would happen. Maybe that's where it comes from? =P)

I also have to wear a belt when I go to work, but when I'm off, I can't stand wearing one. I don't know if that's a superstition per se, or just weird.

And speaking of work, I have to check my paperwork multiple times before I go get a patient to be scanned - even when I know everything is set: patient name, date of birth, proper exam ordered, proper exam selected on the scanner, etc. Sometimes it even stops me in my tracks as I'm on my way to the ER; I'll turn right around and have to check everything all over again. I think it crosses that line from being conscientious about my work to being paranoid I've missed something.

Yeah, tounge rolling is genetic. It seems like more can do it than not. I cannot but 2 out 3 of my siblings can. I don't remember if my parents can.

If I'm walking down the footpath, I'll actively avoid walking on the lines/joins between the concrete/stones/pavers/whatever. I'm sure it makes me look a little stupid occasionally

It's a direct result of this poem by A.A. Milne
IMAGE(http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-76ZGVbml474/TmNzgwrJyUI/AAAAAAAAL2M/BX0av_Di6zg/s1600/Picture%2B2.png)

Freaks me out to have my feet hang off a bed or couch. Stupidly have the feeling they are going to get grabbed. I'm OK if they are touching the floor though.

Hm. I suppose I have a few.

A quirk I've had since childhood is...hard to describe. I sort of twiddle my fingers I guess, I don't know how to describe the motion. I'll often do it with my fingers near my mouth. When I was a kid I would alternate between my mouth and my head, but it is just around the mouth these days. The catalyst is a form of excitement, often while my imagination is going off. If I'm brainstorming some ideas for a story, video game, comic, article or song (most of which never come to fruition) my fingers will start going.

If no one is around I won't notice it, but if there are others around or they start approaching I immediately stop. Most of my family thinks I outgrew it and haven't done it since I was a child, but the truth is it's more a private thing I do now.

Once when I was a child we were at one of my Dad's indoor soccer games, and I was sketching something up. I must have gotten excited, because my fingers started twiddlin'. Next thing you know one of the kids I went to school with a few seats over was going "Mom! He's doing it! I told you! He's doing it!"

-

On the superstitious side, I'm afraid of the dark. Usually my mind goes back to an X-Files episode I saw as a kid involving something like the fountain of youth, where there were two humans whose bodies became camouflaged to fit in with the forest and the darkness. One of the episode-specific characters was in their house at night walking around, and next thing you know they turn a corner and there are two amber eyes looking at them.

I was afraid of the dark before that, but now it just haunts me. Thing is, stuff that bugs me at night doesn't matter in the day. In College when I lived in a town home there was a door to the basement in our kitchen. It was semi-furnished so we'd often leave the door open. But if it was night and I was getting a drink of water or something it would just look like a gaping maw of death, and I imagined some sort of raptor or tiger coming up out of it and mawling me to death. So I closed the door each time.

Usually this fear only manifests in turning the lights on before I enter a room, but all in all the darkness just disturbs me. If there are others home, it's usually less of a problem.

kazooka wrote:
I sometimes have very vivid and brief audio hallucinations. I can always tell that they're hallucinations, because they come from inside my head, but it's still alarming.

I have these when I'm sick. It's always someone talking -- me, I think -- and the tone is not a happy one. Probably a form of waking dream, and usually a sign that I should really be sleeping it off. But it's pretty consistent.

Whenever I leave a room, I always have to touch everything in my pockets to make sure I actually have them. The order is:

1. Wallet
2. Car Key
3. Cell phone
4. Work Badge (on work days, obviously)
5. Any jump drives I may have on my person

I will usually always at least tap my wallet if I'm in a crowded area to make sure no one stole it somehow. I dunno, call it a distrust of everyone around me, but I'll usually always do a quick tap of my back pocket to make sure the wallet is there.

Hell, I'm pretty sure I have a bunch of other little quirks if I stop and think about it.

CptDomano wrote:
I will usually always at least tap my wallet if I'm in a crowded area to make sure no one stole it somehow. I dunno, call it a distrust of everyone around me, but I'll usually always do a quick tap of my back pocket to make sure the wallet is there.

I do that too. The Telegraph Twitch?

Creepy_Smell wrote:
Freaks me out to have my feet hang off a bed or couch. Stupidly have the feeling they are going to get grabbed. I'm OK if they are touching the floor though.

Reading too much ancient Greek literature could explain this feeling.

When I shift into neutral in my car I waggle the shifter right and left for no reason. I guess it's sort of a verification for my brain that "Yep, I'm out of gear" but I didn't start doing it for that reason. I have no idea why.

I sort and face the money in my wallet the same way. People hand me change in a restraunt, I'll stand there and face it all and then put the bills in order in my hand before I put it in my wallet. This is a leftover from my brief time spent running a cash register at retail. Had a supervisor that threw a fit when someone didn't face their drawer. She talked to me about it the first time I ever ran a register and never had to again. Mine was always perfect after that. Just became habit to face/sort money when it's handed to me.

I'm sure there's more but I'm kind of blanking.

clover wrote:
CptDomano wrote:
I will usually always at least tap my wallet if I'm in a crowded area to make sure no one stole it somehow. I dunno, call it a distrust of everyone around me, but I'll usually always do a quick tap of my back pocket to make sure the wallet is there.

I do that too. The Telegraph Twitch?

Yeah! Exactly! It seems like seconds after I do the tap I start freaking out that I may have totally tipped off a potential pickpocket to exactly where the mother load is. Which usually sets off any number of ticks and random paranoia in my head.

I can't play The Rolling Stones while driving in a car. If a song comes on the radio while I'm driving that's OK, but I can't actually play a RS song while driving. For this reason I don't have any of their songs on my iPod, which is an issue because I'm a huge fan.

This reason? I've been in two auto accidents in my life and both times I was playing the Stones. Better safe than sorry.

Thin_J wrote:
When I shift into neutral in my car I waggle the shifter right and left for no reason. I guess it's sort of a verification for my brain that "Yep, I'm out of gear" but I didn't start doing it for that reason. I have no idea why.

I do the same, but it's a conscious thing.