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Saturday, February 16, 2013

Dodgers’ Greinke learning about himself and his social anxiety disorder

And he gets along with teammates, even if he doesn’t see the point in idle chit-chat.

“I don’t really want to talk about nothing, or less than nothing,” he said. “If it’s interesting, yeah, I’ll talk. But just, ‘How was your day?’ I’m not interested in that.”

More from the always-refreshing and incomparable Zack Greinke.

Dock Ellis on Acid Posted: February 16, 2013 at 10:16 PM | 155 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: zack greinke

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   101. smileyy Posted: February 18, 2013 at 02:20 PM (#4371386)
I'd never heard of clementines until a few years ago. Not a citrus texture guy (I like the flavors/juice), but these are pretty alright.


I think the easy-peel mandarin/orange crosses are becoming more popular / being pushed more in recent years -- I've seen a lot more varieties in stores.

I was recently surprised to find out that so much of what we think about as "citrus" fruit are hybrids of a few key players, mostly the Chinese mandarin and the pomelo.
   102. smileyy Posted: February 18, 2013 at 02:22 PM (#4371389)
I like to challenge my co-workers to give extemporaneous presentations about what they're working on. I figure that if one really understands what one is working on, one should be able to present on it, given 5-15 minutes of prep time, and a whiteboard to draw things on.
   103. phredbird Posted: February 18, 2013 at 02:28 PM (#4371395)
my problem with social interaction is that i want to look like i'm interested and i try to listen but i start thinking about what i want to say next ... and end up tuning out what the other person is saying and losing the thread of the conversation.

what were we talking about?
   104. Bourbon Samurai Posted: February 18, 2013 at 02:30 PM (#4371396)
As an aside I have discovered it is almost always interesting to talk with someone about something they are truly interested in. The raw enthusiasm is cool.


Yep. Basically everyone has something they care about, and it is almost always interesting to hear about it. The exceptions tend to come when the thing is technical and the person isn't skilled at breaking down what they are talking about for people who don't have the same training. Then both sides tend to get frustrated.

   105. Srul Itza Posted: February 18, 2013 at 02:35 PM (#4371401)
thread suggests to me that maybe not everyone here would sign up for this scenario. Anyone out there who would, or who does? I find it a little challenging due to the length and the amount of ad-libbing, but it's one that I enjoy.


I teach construction law seminars. I enjoy the give and take. And if I could not make small talk, I would have a hard time dealing with clients, though it is not my strong suit. You have to cast about for something in common to talk about.
   106. Greg K Posted: February 18, 2013 at 02:37 PM (#4371405)
I think it would be a great gimmick to spend about a minute fumbling around like you decided to just wing the speech, and then just when people are starting to get frustrated, transform into a polished performance. You'd have to be supremely confident in the final product, though. Talk about a joke nobody gets.

One that I've contemplated using is a John Cleese routine (which is probably why I won't use it! First rule of being an original wit, make sure the comedians you steal from aren't famous). I forget what awards show it was, but I once saw him give an acceptance speech that he had supposedly written on a piece of paper the size of a stamp. It was just a quick gag at the beginning, but he harkened back to it about 2-3 minutes in by stopping mid-sentence as if he had lost his place and flipping the paper over.
   107. Greg K Posted: February 18, 2013 at 02:40 PM (#4371408)
my problem with social interaction is that i want to look like i'm interested and i try to listen but i start thinking about what i want to say next ... and end up tuning out what the other person is saying and losing the thread of the conversation.

what were we talking about?

I do this exact same thing with names. When I meet someone I concentrate so hard on introducing myself properly and sounding it out in my head beforehand that I'm never listening when they say their name.

Other weird name things...
I hardly ever address people by name, and generally feel weird doing it. And certainly am made very uncomfortable when someone uses my name while addressing me. I'm not really sure why this should be the case.
   108. Srul Itza Posted: February 18, 2013 at 02:43 PM (#4371412)
The weather is just gorgeous today!


The hell it is. It's -19 and windy and ...


The weather is always good. Except for the occasional hurricane. So once you get past "another day in paradise", there's not much to say.
   109. JE (Jason) Posted: February 18, 2013 at 02:48 PM (#4371416)
Basically, Brit kept unconsciously backing away and the other guy kept closing the distance. Neither seemed in any way aware of it, but it looked to others like the Brit was being chased across the room.

This sort of tactic might just be the trick needed for the Argentines to win back control of the Falklands.
   110. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: February 18, 2013 at 03:02 PM (#4371424)

I hardly ever address people by name, and generally feel weird doing it. And certainly am made very uncomfortable when someone uses my name while addressing me.


No wonder you moved to the UK.
   111. vivaelpujols Posted: February 18, 2013 at 03:07 PM (#4371429)
and setting aside the verbal portion are the physical distractions. i was at a board meeting once where the coo during his presentation kept his one hand in his pockets and was clearly touching himself in random fashion. it was quite obvious. no idea if it was an itch or what but for 40 odd minutes he went through his slide deck while his one hand was very busy in his pocket. it was ridiculous.


I did this in middle school when I was giving a presentation in Spanish class. I didn't even know I was doing it, my friends had to tell me after class.
   112. vivaelpujols Posted: February 18, 2013 at 03:36 PM (#4371438)
I do this exact same thing with names. When I meet someone I concentrate so hard on introducing myself properly and sounding it out in my head beforehand that I'm never listening when they say their name.


I do this also.

Generally I've found the easiest way to do small talk is just to keep it simple and not try to be too witty or anything.
   113. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: February 18, 2013 at 03:40 PM (#4371439)
As an aside I have discovered it is almost always interesting to talk with someone about something they are truly interested in. The raw enthusiasm is cool.


Yep. Basically everyone has something they care about, and it is almost always interesting to hear about it. The exceptions tend to come when the thing is technical and the person isn't skilled at breaking down what they are talking about for people who don't have the same training. Then both sides tend to get frustrated.

For whatever reason, some people simply refuse to drop their pet jargon and express themselves in layman's English. This says to me that either they're interested solely in communicating to themselves, or they lack basic communication skills. Whenever I run into a jargonspeaker, I jump in right away and admit my complete ignorance, and ask him to "say it in English". This saves a lot of time if he's unable or unwilling to do this, or it can lead to a much improved conversation if he is. It's a win-win situation.

------------------------------------

and setting aside the verbal portion are the physical distractions. i was at a board meeting once where the coo during his presentation kept his one hand in his pockets and was clearly touching himself in random fashion. it was quite obvious. no idea if it was an itch or what but for 40 odd minutes he went through his slide deck while his one hand was very busy in his pocket. it was ridiculous.

Lionel Barrymore once stole a scene in a movie from his brother John by simply scratching his butt while walking away from the camera and towards the exit door. He never uttered a word in the entire scene, while John was doing all the talking.
   114. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: February 18, 2013 at 04:14 PM (#4371463)
I'm a notoriously tough crowd

So, are you schizophrenic, or just really fat?
   115. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: February 18, 2013 at 05:12 PM (#4371492)
Merely a bad speller; I meant "assemblage".
   116. bigglou115 Posted: February 18, 2013 at 05:42 PM (#4371514)
My problem with small talk is that I generally don't understand what people are trying to communicate to me. I was out with friends once and one of the girls who was with us kept touching my arm (I generally hate physical contact from people I don't know well) and stood in such a way as to suggest she was attracted to me (spatially oriented towards me, palms open, touching her hair as if to assure it was in place or draw attention to it). However I missed every one of those signals and simply became irritated with her lack of regard for my personal space. A friend told me what was going on later, so I studied the topic of body language extensively, but I still rely on a close group of friends to supply me with observations on non-verbal cues and to help me navigate complex social interactions.

For instance the main point of small talk seems to be sub textual. A daily "how's it going?" is a surrogate for "I herby reaffirm that we are acquaintances, and I will uphold my half of the social conventions that apply to us as such." Talking to someone in a doctors waiting room seems to be an attempt to relieve the inherent tension of the situation by either distraction or diffusion among as many people as possible. Since I have difficulty grasping subtext in real time (analytically I can figure it out upon review) small talk has never been anything but burdensome to me.

Where do people learn that stuff anyway? There should be class in schools. I probably would have done much better in schools if I'd known walking around with my head down and my hands in my pocket was "weird" or that displaying my in depth knowledge of paleontology was "off-putting."

Ironically, this hasn't proved to be much of a handicap as a lawyer. I can speak quite well when I'm just orating instead of conversing, and most potential clients expect lawyers to be aloof.
   117. Voros McCracken of Pinkus Posted: February 18, 2013 at 06:22 PM (#4371525)
Person: What's your name?

Me: Ummm...

Sometimes the seemingly simple questions are the hardest.
   118. Dock Ellis on Acid Posted: February 18, 2013 at 06:23 PM (#4371527)
I hardly ever address people by name, and generally feel weird doing it. And certainly am made very uncomfortable when someone uses my name while addressing me. I'm not really sure why this should be the case.

Interesting. I love hearing my name. The sound of my name is better than most songs. I assume the same about others, so I am mindful of using their name when addressing them. I think there's a Mark Twain quote about this.
   119. Eddo Posted: February 18, 2013 at 06:47 PM (#4371534)
Interesting. I love hearing my name. The sound of my name is better than most songs. I assume the same about others, so I am mindful of using their name when addressing them. I think there's a Mark Twain quote about this.

I read somewhere (it might have been a work of fiction, even) that referring to someone by their name in conversation is very flattering to them. I have no idea if that's true, but I find myself doing it when I want to get on someone's good side.
   120. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: February 18, 2013 at 06:53 PM (#4371539)
Ive heard the same, Eddo. I think it's one of those "How to make friends & influence people" pointers, Eddo.
   121. Greg K Posted: February 18, 2013 at 07:14 PM (#4371549)
Where do people learn that stuff anyway? There should be class in schools.

I doubt it's where anyone actually learns it, but for work I recently had to read Erving Goffman's The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life. It's at times amusingly dated (at one point he describes the negative reactions people have to those who attempt to hide their "true" selves, except in cases where that "truth" is a flaw, such as illiteracy, those with a physical handicap, or half-breeds), but it's an interesting read none the less.

I do tend to get thrown for a loop when someone says something and I don't understand the underlying motivation for saying such a thing. It's usually perfectly innocuous things people say without much thought, but since I pour over pretty much everything I say around strangers to make sure it's a normal utterance I sometimes forget other people don't put that much effort into socializing.
   122. Howie Menckel Posted: February 18, 2013 at 07:29 PM (#4371554)
"Where do people learn that stuff anyway? There should be class in schools."

I have a relative who is an Aspie, and he went to a school for what I call the gifted/special needs combo. He's a genius, but this social stuff would have baffled him. He learned more every year, and was indistinguishable from typical/mediocre kids by age 10 or so. It CAN be taught.

He was about 5 when he ran home from school to tell his mom the unfathomable news that "sometimes it's ok to tell a lie" so as not to hurt others' feelings, for example. He found it odd, but he was happy to have been handed that and other secrets.

P.S. When he was 3, he told my fiancee quite clearly what he thought of her "lumpy" mashed potatoes, lol. But he learned diplomacy.....
   123. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: February 18, 2013 at 07:29 PM (#4371555)
I always assumed everybody hated their name. You have it your entire life, it gets dull and boring after 10 years, tops. That's why like 98% of people don't use their real name on the internet.
   124. DJS and the Infinite Sadness Posted: February 18, 2013 at 07:53 PM (#4371565)
I don't hate my name. What I hate is my voice. Every time I listen to myself I cringe.
   125. Srul Itza Posted: February 18, 2013 at 08:56 PM (#4371585)
I hardly ever address people by name


I as well -- because I can't remember names. I can remember facts, data, things I read, and I can remember faces reasonably well, but I simply cannot remember a person's name unless and until I have dealt with them for a considerably long time.
   126. Eddo Posted: February 18, 2013 at 09:04 PM (#4371589)
Ive heard the same, Eddo. I think it's one of those "How to make friends & influence people" pointers, Eddo.

Stop it, I'm blushing.
   127. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: February 18, 2013 at 10:28 PM (#4371613)
Interesting topic. I've never really considered myself to be on the autistic spectrum (although it wasn't really a thing yet when I was growing up). I always just figured I had trouble interacting with people due to my nerdiness. Like many here, I've often struggled in social situations and in the dating world. I went to maybe 5 parties over the course of college. I was often stand-offish, dismissive, above-it-all, etc. I didn't often like to just strike up conversations with people who are strangers to me (although this is usually still true).

A couple years ago, I was analyzing my life and decided I didn't like the way it was going and made a conscious decision to alter some behaviors. Among other things, I decided to be more friendly, more willing to listen to other people, and just being less pissy in general. My life has vastly improved since then and I certainly think it's in large part due to my personality overhaul. In particular, I definitely think I would not be in the amazing relationship I'm in if I hadn't done this.

I understand that for many people, they can't just up and change their behavior. But if you can, I encourage you to give it a shot. (At least if you think it will help.)

As an aside I have discovered it is almost always interesting to talk with someone about something they are truly interested in.

I primarily use Facebook to stay connected with friends I've made through Magic: the Gathering and thus most of my posts are about the game. In my latest post, my brother commented, "I never understand any of this, but I sure do enjoy reading it."
   128. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: February 19, 2013 at 03:05 AM (#4371683)
Where do people learn that stuff anyway? There should be class in schools. I probably would have done much better in schools if I'd known walking around with my head down and my hands in my pocket was "weird" or that displaying my in depth knowledge of paleontology was "off-putting."


There should be a class in schools, because people in general are just awful at conversing, and there are a half dozen guidelines that would help enormously while also cultivating actually paying attention to something outside oneself. Just figuring out that in general, if each person's air time isn't in the 40 to 60% range, you're either talking too much or too little, is a great place to start. My experience has been that only a very small percentage of everyone has any idea of (or maybe it's interest in) conversational balance.

I was talking to the daughter of a friend. She's very shy and was looking for some pointers. She almost burst into tears describing how basically no one listens, that practically everyone is perfectly happy to hear the sound of their own voice for hours on end. She doesn't know how to be aggressive enough in conversation such that she doesn't get turned into someone's audience, so she turned into something of a recluse.

This just seems like the kind of thing, if we started in fourth grade and devoted 40 minutes one day a week to it, that would pay huge dividends. It might also help us specifically identify early kids whose shyness is extreme enough to stunt them socially.

   129. Fred Lynn Nolan Ryan Sweeney Agonistes Posted: February 19, 2013 at 03:40 AM (#4371686)
She doesn't know how to be aggressive enough in conversation such that she doesn't get turned into someone's audience, so she turned into something of a recluse.

"Aggressive," is it?
I just figure if the other person never gets around to saying or asking anything about me, it's because they don't give a crap.
   130. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: February 19, 2013 at 03:49 AM (#4371688)
Sure. That's what it takes, sometimes. Aggression is often a very positive, healthy trait.

If your criterion for talking with someone is waiting for them to care as much about you as they do about themselves, enjoy your hermitage.
   131. BFFB Posted: February 19, 2013 at 05:34 AM (#4371694)
Add another person the crypto-autistics tally. I will happily talk to people when I have something to say or want something from them but the ritual of small talk I find wears me down to the point I feel the need to go be alone somewhere to recharge. I'm much better at small talk now than when I was younger because I get had the self-awareness to realize that just standing silently creeps people out, so built up a mental checklist of canned questions/responses. It's not sincere at all and I am unable to feign interest in things that, well, don't interest me but it's the best I can do.
   132. Infinite Joost (Voxter) Posted: February 19, 2013 at 05:48 AM (#4371695)
I had to teach myself a lot of this stuff in my late 20s. Still doesn't come naturally to me, but I can do it now. Exhausting, though.
   133. Dr. Vaux Posted: February 19, 2013 at 06:01 AM (#4371696)
Add me to the list of those with no trouble conversing about subjects of established mutual interest, and no trouble speaking in front of groups. I interview well, for example, and get recommended to others as a tutor, and things like that. And for whatever weird reasons they may have, a fair number of people, even people I barely know, get it into their heads that they like me. But in small talk situations, or at parties where I don't know people, bam--I feel like I have some kind of forcefield up, and if I could only shut it off--as I apparently sometimes do unwittingly--I'd be fine. It comes and goes, though. A few years ago I was totally normal for a while.
   134. Greg K Posted: February 19, 2013 at 06:07 AM (#4371697)
It always sounds weird saying out loud, but I can relate to needing to be alone to recharge and "exhausting" in #131 and #132. If I've gone out for a party/social event two nights in a row I definitely need to spend the third night home alone.

It's one of the reasons working/writing from home works so well for me. When I've worked 9-5 jobs I always get home thoroughly worn out from the process of socializing. With friends it is of course relaxing. My favourite job by far was working as a janitor for the Toronto School Board. I worked on a roving team with 2-3 other people who I became friends with so work was actually fun.

As for aggressivity, I think it's like anything else...some people could use more of it, some less. I never worked up the gumption to talk over people, which sometimes limits the ability to speak in large groups. I also have a terrible habit of prefacing the main point I want to make with tons of qualifications/background/set-up. So people who have a tendency to "actively listen" by interjecting notes along the way (I'm presuming this is a polite way of letting you know that they're paying attention to what you're saying), can muddle the conversation since they're usually missing the point I'm making (which isn't their fault as I haven't told them the point yet).

To reinforce a point made earlier in the thread, my conversation style is ideally suited for instant messaging, where you can present a few sentences in one go, and have time to collect your thoughts into a coherent sentence. I remember I had a girlfriend who got endlessly annoyed when we were breaking up because I took so long to properly form my thoughts in the conversation.

Anyway, that's probably enough for now. I suppose it should be obvious by this point that some of my favourite topics of conversation are
A) How people interact socially (I'm as fascinated as I am bad at it)
and
B) Me. (I often think I'd like to see a psychiatrist, not because there's anything wrong with me...well, there are things wrong with me, but I've carefully built a conceptual world where my flaws are actually virtues so I don't need to expend the effort bettering myself, and I wouldn't want to discard all that hard work...but because talking about myself for a few hours every week is my idea of heaven!...is there such a thing as a self-loathing narcissist?)
   135. Lassus Posted: February 19, 2013 at 08:47 AM (#4371710)
The only relevant thing I have to contribute is that I can remember faces and phone numbers and directions from when I was ten, but I still can't remember your name if I've seen you 10 to 15 times over the past year. Even if I can remember where you live, where you work, and what kind of wine you like. I have no idea why.

Also, although I usually prefer the pets to the humans at parties of strangers, I can still talk to strangers without any real trouble. If it gets boring, I try to say something not boring.
   136. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: February 19, 2013 at 09:13 AM (#4371716)
As with a lot of people in this thread, a large percentage of the posts here are ringing true for me. Over the years I've frequently used the throwaway line that I don't feel like leaving the house because I used up all my energy
for socializing at work that day. Except, of course, it wasn't really a throwaway line.

Parties? I prefer pets & bookshelves. The fact that I can't drink anymore (Crohn's, of course) only heightens that tendency.
   137. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: February 19, 2013 at 10:11 AM (#4371733)
I really struggle with names as well, occasionally with people I've know for years, have hung out with socially. Probably ought to use mnemonics. Privately, I like to blame my many concussions (callback to another thread), but that's a cop out and I don't say that to others (here excepted).

I suppose it should be obvious by this point that some of my favourite topics of conversation are
A) How people interact socially

I think this is super interesting as well - and will broaden it to "how people are". The better I know about people, the better person I can be for them and for myself. (Note: comment suggests a level of effort on my part that is not there.) Plus, people are damn interesting.

As far as rules of social interaction are concerned, one of the glories of maturity is realizing the extent to which you can define them, right?

viva, it may be the people I deal with but I don't remember the last time I spoke with someone who tried to be _witty_. Maybe 2011. Next time someone puts that level of obvious effort into chatting with me, I'm buying them lunch.

Dan, I think your voice is fine. (unasked for two cents)
   138. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: February 19, 2013 at 11:03 AM (#4371766)
Dan, I think your voice is fine. (unasked for two cents)


Well, thanks, but I don't --

Oh, right. Dan Szym. I'm a Dan in my day job, too. Seems like there are tons here; hard to believe I knew only one other (who went by *shudder* Danny ... of course, I was Daniel, which isn't much better, until I left for college) when I was growing up.
   139. Infinite Joost (Voxter) Posted: February 19, 2013 at 11:03 AM (#4371767)
no trouble speaking in front of groups


That's the funny thing, though. I'm actually good at performing. It takes work and so forth, but I've been able to do it for much longer than I've been able to sustain superficial conversation. It was actually working in retail that forced me to get better at small talk. I noticed my tips were better at the cafe, and I sold more books at the counter, if I could flirt with the girls and shoot the #### with the guys.

An interesting contribution to this discussion may be a couple of articles about the creator of the TV show "Community":

How Dan Harmon Drives Himself Crazy Making Community

God Needs a Hobby


Part of what's interesting about these articles is that Harmon was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder in his mid-30s, after years as a successful (if often fired) TV writer. He says at one point that Abed, "Community's" Aspie breakout star, kind of became that show's protagonist when Harmon himself realized that they had a lot in common.
   140. Petunia inquires about ponies Posted: February 19, 2013 at 04:39 PM (#4372073)
It was actually working in retail that forced me to get better at small talk.

Been following this thread with interest. I used to have to deal with a lot of the issues mentioned until in my early 20's I delivered pizzas for a few years (in a college town) and realized I had no trouble at all doing the large number of brief, semi-social interactions that job required and in fact was quite good at it (if you don't think pizza delivery is social, believe me, I saw a lot of guys who could drive circles around me flame out because they 'got creepy at the door').

What I realized was that what gave me the success at a stranger's doorstep that I lacked in an acquaintance's living room was the reason to be there/the task at hand - I'm here with your pizza. We must interact. We share common goals. And THEN what I realized was that there was no reason one can't apply the same logic to a purely social setting, short-cutting the awkwardness.

And then I started forcing myself to try to pick up girls at bars. What I realized there was that it's possible to manufacture the same inner sense of 'I'm here for a reason' and it literally does not matter what the stated reason is. Because one of the underlying assumptions of all social interaction that they would teach at the 'there should be a class in schools' you guys are talking about is 'I want the two of us to enjoy this interaction.' And that's damn near universal.

This is why the best pick-up line is 'Hi' (or 'Hello' for the formal). Small talk is just the transition period between two silent strangers and two people enjoying a conversation.
   141. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: February 19, 2013 at 04:59 PM (#4372098)
I liked retail, to the point I where I'd consider doing it over "professional work" if the pay and job security were the same.
   142. bunyon Posted: February 19, 2013 at 05:07 PM (#4372110)
I'm also a guy who can't remember names. Which does bother me - it seems impolite. But I really do try.

However, it is clearly a skill. My first insurance guy was amazing at this. When I got to town for grad school, I went to the Allstate place to set up car and renter's insurance. We spent maybe 20 minutes going over it, I gave him a check and left. I paid by mail for 5 years. As I was preparing to move, I dropped in for some reason, without a prior appointment or contact (I forget why I went). I had not been to the office in 5 years. I had met this man once, 5 years before, for 20 minutes. I opened the door to the business, he looked up, smiled and said, "Paul! Nice to see you! How is chemistry treating you?"


What the hell? It bugs me to this day. I want to say he somehow knew I was coming and studied up but I've since come to the conclusion that he simply remembered me. Which I find disturbing as it is amazing.
   143. phredbird Posted: February 19, 2013 at 05:19 PM (#4372127)
What the hell? It bugs me to this day. I want to say he somehow knew I was coming and studied up but I've since come to the conclusion that he simply remembered me. Which I find disturbing as it is amazing.


who was that guy who played center/forward for the knicks for a while? paul lucas? he claimed he had an incredible memory. i think he was trying for a while to do some sort of business with it, insisting people could learn how to have a better memory or something. i saw him go on a talk show once and get introduced to about a hundred random people before the show (i believe they showed a tape of it or something), then talk for a while about his game or whatever, and then at the end of the segment they lined up the people and he reeled off everybody's name as he walked by them.
   144. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: February 19, 2013 at 05:28 PM (#4372143)
Jerry Lucas, yeah.
   145. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: February 19, 2013 at 05:28 PM (#4372145)
Jerry Lucas.

(Aaaaaaaand a coke to Der_K.)
   146. Howie Menckel Posted: February 19, 2013 at 05:41 PM (#4372158)
Jerry Lucas, an all-time great at Ohio State and former Knick, used to memorize entire phone books (kids, your grandpa can tell you what those were). He was on Johnny Carson once, I think the bit was Johnny opening the book at random, reading a name, and having Jerry give the phone number.

Marilu Henner of "Taxi" fame can tell you what she was doing on any date in her life since childhood. Give the date, and she'll tell you the day of the week, where she was, what she was doing, the weather, what she ate, etc.
   147. DJS and the Infinite Sadness Posted: February 19, 2013 at 05:44 PM (#4372160)
Dan, I think your voice is fine. (unasked for two cents)

It sounds like puberty only dealt it a glancing blow!

I always joke that I would trade a year of my life to have Geoffrey Holder's voice. If I had his voice, I would never stop talking. I would read books out loud just to hear myself.

Here's the first reference to my voice I can find. Yeah, I sound older than 14, but not by much!
   148. DJS and the Infinite Sadness Posted: February 19, 2013 at 05:47 PM (#4372162)

Oh, right. Dan Szym. I'm a Dan in my day job, too. Seems like there are tons here; hard to believe I knew only one other (who went by *shudder* Danny ... of course, I was Daniel, which isn't much better, until I left for college) when I was growing up.


My mom and sister and my godparents call me Danny. I've been Dan to everyone else. There were always lots of Dans in my classes, so I'm used to being called Szym (I usually go by some form of Zim in online games). For example, all my Guild Wars 2 characters are Zim+something, because I find it really weird to be called by a handle in mumble/teamspeak, so I end up getting called my nickname.
   149. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: February 19, 2013 at 06:26 PM (#4372184)
My cousins, aunts & uncles on my father's side (weren't any on my mother's) called me Danny until sometime in my teens, I guess. These days, I'm still Daniel to them. Otherwise, back in my hometown I'm Daniel Paul, I guess since everyone in the South is required to have 2 names.

Only other person who ever calls me Danny is a fellow Dan who can't stand it, either.

I've got a friend back in Little Rock who I guess has gone by Danny his whole life; he's about a year older than me, which means he's at least 54. For some reason, it's always sounded belittlingly childish to me, though I'm not sure why, since Danny Cater & Danny Thompson were MLB players when I was a kid, & Danny Hodges was a noted pro wrestler. Not to mention Danny Kaye & Danny Thomas.

Maybe it was the fact that my dad was named Billy -- not William; Billy -- & hated it with a passion. "Billy Bailey" does sound stupidly sing-song, I suppose.
   150. Greg K Posted: February 19, 2013 at 06:43 PM (#4372192)
No one has ever called me Danny.

Though I had a teacher in high school that called me Michael (and apparently thought that I was my older brother, though his name isn't Michael either). I had a prof call me Jeff for a few years. I didn't jump in fast enough to correct him the first time, and so I lost the opportunity forever. Until he got it wrong in front of another prof who actually knew my name and got corrected. Which I suppose made him look foolish and me look like an #######.
   151. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: February 19, 2013 at 06:55 PM (#4372196)
No one has ever called me Danny.


Danny, that's no longer true.
   152. Greg K Posted: February 19, 2013 at 06:57 PM (#4372197)
Danny, that's no longer true.

And since it isn't my name I felt perfectly comfortable with you addressing me in that fashion!

It's win-win.
   153. CrosbyBird Posted: February 19, 2013 at 07:12 PM (#4372206)
I always joke that I would trade a year of my life to have Geoffrey Holder's voice. If I had his voice, I would never stop talking. I would read books out loud just to hear myself.

Yeah, his voice is fantastic.

My first name (Jordan) isn't one that people modify very often. I use JW when I put my name in at a restaurant because people always seem to hear "George" for some reason.
   154. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: February 19, 2013 at 07:16 PM (#4372209)
This is why the best pick-up line is 'Hi' (or 'Hello' for the formal).

I always go with 'Heya'. It's edgier.
   155. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: February 19, 2013 at 07:29 PM (#4372219)
A woman at the church I grew up attending always called me "David Paul." Granted, with my not-so-hot handwriting "Daniel" looked like "David" as often as not, but still. Maybe that's part of the reason my signature now consists of a D followed by a straight line.

My second wife's name was (still is, actually) Teresa. According to her, people on the phone tended to hear it as "Joyce." Weird.
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