Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Lookin' out Mama and Daddy's window

Sunday, December 16, 2007

"I'd like to buy a vowel..."

...are the words that will possibly be uttered to Pat Sajak by my friend Deborah on the January 8 episode of Wheel...of...Fortune!

How cool is that? Deborah, plus two other friends, traveled to Hollywood this past week for the taping. They came back saying that, although they are allowed to tell how much (if any) Deborah won, they are going to let us wait and find out. We'll be gathering in our student center to watch together and cheer Deborah on as she spins that big wheel!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Follow-up to Synesthesia Post

More than a year ago, I wrote a little post (click here to read it) about spatial synesthesia. I had seen a show on TV about it, and was so excited because I recognized myself in some of the descriptions. So I looked around a little more and shared what I found. Little did I know that that post would result in more comments from people I've never met than anything else I've posted! Truly, it was astounding. Not only that, but as of yesterday I am still receiving comments and emails about it! This is just people doing searches and finding my post. Amazing.

What I love is all the different things people have shared about their own versions of synesthesia, so I am finally going to share some of that here. I had to cut some stuff out, just so this post wouldn't be too terribly long, so if I left some of your info out please forgive! And I've never even shared exactly how I see some things myself, so I'll do that as well.

I have always assigned gender to numbers. And for the longest time, I suppose because I didn't share it much when I was younger, I thought that everyone did this. My number/gender thing goes as follows:

1 is male, 2 is female, 3 is female, 4 is male, 5 is male, 6 is male, 7 is female, 8 is a little ambiguous, but it leans more toward being male, and 9 is male. You couldn't change my mind on this. It always has been and always will be this way in my mind.

I also see the calendar year in 3-D, but from every email and comment I read, no one else sees it the way I do...I was a little bummed at that, but oh well. Anyway, I see it as linear, but I am in the middle of it. The months that are to come are directly in front of me, and the ones that have passed are behind me. There is an ending point at December, and as we near the end of the calendar year, the next year's months are starting to show up way back behind me. Days of the week are just a smaller version within the bigger picture. I have no idea if this makes sense. I find it very hard to explain as it is. Maybe someday I'll draw it.

This is how my sister Kerry sees numbers:

...I don't have the same numbers matching the genders you have. It has nothing to do with curves or whatever....it's just been in my mind since I was little. 1 is a young male, 2 - young female, 3 is a non-athletic boy, 4 is an adolescent female to me, 5 is an adolescent male, 7 is a grown male, 8 is grown and maybe pregnant female and nine and six are unsure of themselves but I sometimes considered them to be a grandmother(9) and a grandfather(6). I guess I'm just bright...what can I say.

Joy said:

Mine is in an incomplete circle...almost a u-shape with the summer months at the bottom. My days of the week are in the shape of a D. I have always seen them this way, and think of them constantly in this form. I mean, today being Friday, I'm sure I have pictured it at least a dozen times.

I also see numbers in a way that is somewhat like a zig-zag timeline...and when I think of centuries, decades, etc...they follow this same spatial sequence. Since 2000 though, they don't have a very logical sequence...I just realized that!

Unknown said this:

I have also assigned gender to numbers and letters since I can remember. I remember being different when watching Sesame Street and their character letters were different from the ones in my head. I told my sister and she just ignored me. I never said anything about it again until now.

Karen shared:

I totally attribute gender to numbers and I see the calendar in my mind in a huge slightly squished oval (not 3 D though.) Summer is at the top. Days of the week are in a squished oval the other way, sat, sun are at the top....

Rachel said:

I see the months of the year in 3D in a circular form. Kind of like a clock, but one whose face is parallel to the ground. December is at the 12 o'clock position, January at the 1 o'clock position and so on. It has always helped me remember when certain life events have occurred and since I am at a crossroads right now, I wonder if knowing more about synesthesia will help me figure out what occupations I would be good at. I don't know.

Dean emailed this:

I wish I could draw it out for you here. Months move in a counter-clock rotation, with January at about 12 o'clock and August at 5, each represented by a rectangular block. Days of the week, however move in a clockwise rotation (but neither are round - months are more like a flat oval dinner plate and days of the week are linear, monday thru friday left to right, then saturday and sunday dropping down right to left completing the cycle). Time on the other hand (hours of the day) falls up and down like a sound wave, with 5AM at the top, 10PM at the bottom, and the middle hours on the up to complete the spectrum. Years past are behind and below me, as if looking through a stretched out slinky. Interesting, huh? I can remember with clarity all the way back to three years old.

Jordan posted this comment:

I picture the months of the year, days of the week, days within each month, hours of the day, digits from 0-1,000 and then increasing by increments of 1,000, years of history. I place dates, appointments, and historical dates on my mental timeline and recall them easily. My calendar is shaped like a horse shoe with January on one end, December on the other, and the summer months along the bottom curve. Where I visualize it from changes as I go through the year so I'm looking at it from the month I'm currently in. I picture the days of the week like two parallel lines with a top and bottom. Sat. & Sun. both fit at the top and bottom. I ride along the week as it goes on one line and the parallel line is both next week and last week. I'm able to keep it straight when I picture it. My hours of the day are like the hours listed up and down with the morning hours at my feet and the evening hours up above.

I also visualize the order of the alphabet and have always just known the gender of letters, numbers, colors, days of the week, and months of the year. Like another, I remember being discouraged in kindergarten when the gender of the "Letter People" didn't match what I perceived. I've always had more trouble recalling combinations of numbers and letters together (such as A6) because I don't have a visual that combines letters and numbers. No wonder I can't get the Autobauns figured out here in Germany! I probably depend so much on being able to mentally place ordered objects on my own visual that when I can't, I don't have another developed way of remembering numbers and letters. I also visualize on a flat plane for the www and visualize spots where different websites are located on the www. It's like my navigation is a physical thing rather than what it really is. Is that possibly related or just a quirk? Does anyone else do this?

A comment from nineteen84:

I always thought that the way I viewed months/days/years/hours was normal.

Anyway, for me, the months of the year surround me like a circle. January and February are straight ahead, August and July are behind me, and the other months are on either of the sides. Although right now since it is April, I consider myself in April so diagonally across from me is September (if that makes any sense). Days of the week appear to me on two separate lines. The first line is Mon-Fri and below on the second line is Saturday and Sunday which take up bigger areas. I see the hours in the day as two vertical lines. 12 midnight is at the very top of both, then the left hand side goes down until it reaches 8am, then it goes back up the other side until it reaches midnight.

Your writing about this, and the comments it has received has been very insightful and helpful. It seems like there is not a lot of information on spatial-sequence compared to some of the other types.

Jenne says:

I have a very similar sort of synaesthesia, and was convinced that I was the only one to view dates and numbers in 3D! It's good to hear that other people do too. I see the days of the week in a line stretching away from me forwards (for a specific distance for each day), and the days of the year each have a specific place around me. Numbers are in a line, from left to right, stretching from my left shoulder out diagonally away from me. That looks really weird when I write it, but it's true! I use the synaesthesia to do maths, I'm not sure how non-synaesthetes do it!

From Joshua:

I've assigned gender to numbers ever since I was a young kid, like age four or five. Like you, the genders for numbers from one to nine are very clear cut. Each number has a slightly different personality, but those are harder to explain. Some, but not all numbers above nine also have consistent personified genders, but they are fewer and farther between as the numbers increase.

I've wondered if synaesthesia relates to the seemingly arbitrary concept of grammatical gender in foreign languages, whereby nouns are assigned genders. Some languages have classes, or more than two genders. I know that synaesthesia is individual, and different people with the trait assign different personalities to things. However, it shows that it's not an odd thing for a culture to relate to, nor is it much of a stretch of plausibility.

Susan talked about something different:

What about assigning colors to smells? For example, puppy breath is brown, garlic is yellow, hot asphalt is blue, vanilla is gold and wet cat is beige. Also, in music, middle C is yellow, D is red, E is beige, F is blue G is green, A is black and B is pink.

Sandy posted this:

I will say that everything is 3-dimensional in space and my point of view is from the current place in time. I discovered viewing the Primetime episode that what I have always assumed as too normal to even mention to anyone(like breathing or eating) is not shared by everyone. I mean, how do people know what day of the week it is if they don't have a visual? They must have to carry a calendar with them everywhere. I can't imagine being able to organize my life without having some sort of visual concept of time and space. It's the same to me as trying to imagine what it would be like to have been born without sight or hearing. It is as necessary to understanding the concept of time and space as hearing is to experiencing music.

Unknown wrote:

I see the year as a squashed oval running counterclockwise parallel to the ground, with July as the furthest point and January sorta running through me. But I can scroll through it at will to sequence events. Time of day is like a vertical oval with 6 at the bottom. Days of the week are like a sideways D at a 45 degree angle. And years in history are on a straight line with a vanishing point - past years in front of me and the future behind me, and I can scroll through so I'm viewing it parallel...decades and centuries are divided by bold lines and different historical eras have different colors - like before 3000 BC is green and it slowly fades to yellow from 3000 to AD 1. The number line is mostly straight until 20, then the numbers are vertically stacked...first thing I remember is being 1 1/2 and asking my dad what he saw when he closed his eyes - because I saw kaleidescope-like static and wondered if everyone did. I do the www thing too - it's like a mental map. Not sure why, though. You wouldn't think the two are connected.

Thanks to all who posted and emailed! I didn't put absolutely everything in, like I said, but I wanted to show you how interesting all of these were and how we really are more alike than we know.

Friday, December 14, 2007


cartoon from www.weblogcartoons.com

Cartoon by Dave Walker. Find more cartoons you can freely re-use on your blog at We Blog Cartoons.

What's in a (nick)name?

Shellie asked where the nickname 'Kilo' originated for Miles (I mentioned it in my last post title). It's a quick story, and here it is.

When I first started bringing Miles to the campus ministry Wednesday night Bible study, a good friend of ours would say, "Hey there, Ki-lo-meter!" You know...instead of "miles." From that point on, this same friend would just call him Kilo. I have liked the name from the beginning, and I told the guy this, which he was happy to hear. I have always liked interesting nicknames, and I wonder if this one will stick as Miles gets older.

I guess that will be up to our Kilo.

Added later: In case anyone is wondering, it is pronounced KEE-lo.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Miles (a.k.a. Kilo)

I feel so bad about not posting in so long. I have a new iMac (woohoo!) as of one week ago yesterday, and have been so busy playing with it...but I should have been posting. Bad blogger!

Anyway, I'm not going to post a ton of news for now -- and there's not much, so don't get excited -- but I thought I'd post a recent photo of Miles taken at his grandparents' house during the Thanksgiving holidays. And yes, he is actually growing hair now! This is one of my favorites by far. What a smile!

I've been tagged!

I was tagged by Sally-Anne who apologized for doing so...but I don't mind! (Actually, it gave me a good reason to get back on the blog.)

I'm supposed to share seven random or weird things about myself, and then tag seven other people who are supposed to do the same. Rules are posted at the end. Here goes:

1. I can shake my eyeballs. You've probably seen someone do it. I used to think it was a lot more rare than it is, but I've met tons of people who can also perform this trick. Oh, and sometimes it does it on its own, when I'm reading, and I do not like that.

2. Last summer, for probably a month after Miles was born, my leg hair stopped growing. I had super-smooth legs for what seemed like forever...it would have been awesome had I not been sort of ill at the time.

3. My mom wanted to name me either Cindy or Juliet. Obviously my dad won that one.

4. When I was about 10 years old, I was in love with Kirk Cameron from Growing Pains. I discovered we had the same birthday -- five years apart -- and was sure that this meant we would be together someday. I tried very hard to win a drawing contest for Tang that would put me in a commercial in L.A. From there, I figured meeting him would be simple, and the rest would be history.

5. I wasn't given a middle name when I was born, and growing up I always wanted one. So when I was 18, I represented myself before a judge and paid for my middle name. You can pretty much call yourself whatever you would like, but if you want that name to appear on official documents -- which I did -- you have to pay some money and have a judge sign a form. Just in case anyone's interested.

6. I flipped a three-wheeler when I was 10 (a lot of crazy things happened when I was 10). My family used to ride motorcycles and three-/four-wheelers all the time when I was younger. Anyway, one day I was trying to keep up with my dad on this three-wheeler, and I was going full-throttle in the highest gear, plus I was standing up. When I hit a rut, well, I lost control and the next thing I knew I was on the ground with a big lip and half a front tooth. I was riding again a couple of days later.

7. For some reason I used to choke a lot. When I was -- you guessed it -- 10 years old, I ended up having the Heimlich performed on me a total of three times: once by the science teacher in front of the entire lunchroom at school (pork rinds), once by my dad at home (hamburger meat), and once by a friend at a swimming pool (water...duh). I haven't choked on anything since, but I've come close dozens of times. Seriously.

Okay, here are the rules for tagging:

Link to the person who tagged you and post the rules on your blog.

Share seven random or weird things about yourself.

Tag seven random people at the end of your post and include links to their blogs. I will tag Andrea, Sarah, Shellie, Jolene, Erin, Ann, and Brandi...even though some of these haven't posted in a year or more.

Let each person know that they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.
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