Quirk in the dictionary gives you either "an acute hollow between convex or other moldings" or "a peculiar behavioral habit". I'm most interested in the latter.
I like to think quirks can give insights into a person's history and how interesting they are. Every quirk has a story. Lots of people don't think they have any.... but if you think long and hard enough there are probably a *bunch* of things you do that make you unique from most other people. It maybe talking in your sleep, a method you use to remember, the way you eat, the way you get ready for something, a strange/superstitious belief or perhaps an embarrassing noise you make when you're nervous. Often you won't even realize the weird habits you have until someone else points them out.
On this page I've listed out my own quirks because: (a) quirks are fun, (b) I was curious how many I had and (c) to remind myself that I'm one of a kind..... and yet less unique that I wish to be. Sadly you can't really force a quirk on yourself, a real quirk chooses you. Try your own quirk list today. It's not a competition.... but I do have around 25 all up, and anything under 5 is shameful. :-P
- Picking up litter - Litter is a big irk of mine, so if nobody is watching I like to pick up litter. If people are watching, I feel self-conscious doing it... which is weird, but hey - I never see anyone else ever do it, so I figure it looks abnormal..... sad society we live in sometimes.
- Clicking Noises During silences - This is something an ex pointed out that I never noticed... if I'm with a group of people and there is a silence I'll make a weird clicking noise with my mouth - exactly three times.
- Hand dancing - I like to think I'm pretty good at this... it must have started when I was too shy to actually dance, so I just discretely moved my fingers around in patterns. In the card I'd sometimes sing, but for really good songs I'd get carried away and drum on the wheel or hand dance while driving. I guess that is/was pretty dangerous now I think about it. Hrmmmmm.
- Expressive face - I've been told by many, many, many people I have an expressive face. When I dance and smile I usually have a huge goofy expression, and basically the more fun I'm having, the more expression you'll see. :)
- Car preparedness - I like to keep a lot of stuff in my car - beyond just the first aid kit, I like to have spare swimming trunks, a towel, shoes, belt and.... well I have listed some of the other stuff in this list!
- Recovering thrifty person - I can blame my hippy environmental science parents for my thriftiness. I've let go a lot over the years, but on certain items I refuse to buy the expensive version when the cheap one is just as good!
- A myriad sunglasses - I'd never, ever, ever buy expensive sunglasses, instead I buy a bunch of $10-15 sunglasses because I'm always losing or breaking them. At peak ownership I had maybe 20.
- Desire to be different - I never liked the idea of being like all the other kids. Somehow, in some way I like trying and testing my own methods.
- Old man groan - When I stand up I often grown like an old man. I don't know why.
- Old man pajamas - Even in my 6 person share house I like to wear my old man long sleeved cotton pajama pants.... you know the ones. It made me look like an old man. :)
- Handkerchief - I always carry a handkerchief in my pocket. Always. I was told "a gentlemen always has a handkerchief" - an old fashion expression. It's pretty rare to meet other handkerchief carriers, but something even more rare is that if I happen to end up somewhere crazy loud I'll tear a piece of handkerchief off an use it as makeshift ear plugs. Also useful to clean up a spill or.... I guess... blow my nose if I need to.
- Some old-fashioned gentlemen habits - Table manners I'm sadly not that great at, but there are a few little things my grandmother taught me that will stick. Opening doors and walking on the road-side of a lady are the big ones.
- Best food for last - I'm not as bad as I used to be, but as a kid I'd eat things from least to most favorite. To anyone else they'd think I was avoiding the prawns because I didn't like them... and would possibly be jealous to see me savor every bite of that last bit well after they had finished their own meal. Somehow I went from a slow eater to a fast one, and I eat a bit of everything, but I still like to leave my last few bites as the most delicious.
- Buying in bulk - I never like to buy just one of anything - if I buy deodorant I'll buy 4 bottles.
- Filling the petrol tank - Most people I know drop below 1/8 full. Me, I get uncomfortable around 1/2 full - I used to wedge a light-bulb squish toy in my steering wheel to remind me when it was time to refuel - I was always paranoid I'd forget, but so far has never happened.
- Zoning out - I zone out regularly and often - it's something I'm trying to work on so that I can be more "present" in the moment.
- Whistling - Love to whistle, it's a habit I picked up from dad.
- Bad puns - Puns are not measured like normal jokes. The bigger the moan, the better I feel I did. :)
- Huggy-ness - I tend to be a big hugger - was just the way I was raised - my mum is a great hugger and so am I. :)
- Last off the plane - We all have to wait for baggage, so when the plane lands I stay seated. It used to be that I'd be the last to leave, but because of my legs I always try to get isle seats and will stand up and leave when it's my turn, but not ages before.
- Terrible liar face - I'm usually very honest..... to a fault in fact, but on the rare occasion I decide I need to lie I can be read like a book! One of the reasons I try to be very honest and upfront - especially in dating - is that I know it's rare enough in people (well in America at least) that it makes me stand out.
- Full disclosing everything - Most people hold back information in one form enough. Take a job for example - you won't tell someone else how to do your work 100%, because then you might be replaceable. If I discover something new, my instinct is to tell people everything.... and once I get into this teaching mode I can't stop - I usually overload the person with every bit of info I have... I don't care how boring, I like to cover everything... or at least point people towards a page I wrote that covers everything. :-P
- Labeling everything - Before I moved to a share house I wrote in permanent marker on every item of clothes I owned! I've calmed down a bit, but I try to label expensive things with my email and phone. In primary, I really liked writing "stolen from Andrew Noske" on all my rulers and "lost by Andrew Noske" on all my thongs (flip flops).
- Making my own cards - As young as third grade I refused to pay a huge amount of money ($2-5) for a piece of paper that said "happy birthday" on it - money that could go towards the gift itself. This was long before we had a PC, so I'd draw little cards with army men or even a maze. It didn't bother me that all the other kids would get my friend shiny cards - mine card was unique. Once we bought a printer I switched to designing simple cards, usually with funny Card messages and often a picture. Sometimes I get a bit lazy, I'll still whip out a sharpie and scribble a little cartoon instead of an actual card, but it still counts. :)
- Enjoy taking my socks off - Living in Darwin, Australia was sweltering hot - above 35°C (95°F) and 95% humidity much of the year. As a little kid, I would walk all the way home from primary school and the whole walk home by myself I'd look forward to peeling off my sweaty socks when I got back. There was something wonderful and refreshing about my feet being able to breathe again.
- Drinking cereal for afternoon tea - After arriving home from school and removing my sweaty shoes I'd make myself my favorite afternoon drink and lie back on our veranda in a reclining chair. My drink of choice was a huge mug of Kellogg's Rice Bubbles (that's Australian for "Rice Krispies") cereal in milk. Back then rice bubbles tasted delicious and I'd love the way they popped in the cup as I slowly relaxed in the shade and watched the birds. Those were the days. :)
- Weird foods - Back in primary school my favorite food pairing was beetroot, layered on cheese. My pairing of penut butter and honey was a little more normal, but my habit of eating a whole pack of frozen peas (in their frozen state) was not.
- Finishing assignments early - Starting primary, but all the way through undergrad I was always the first kid in the class to finish any assignment. Sometimes weeks before. I hated the idea of a last minute rush, so I just finished it, finished it well, and yes, it did make all the other kids a little jealous come the due date. I'd be slightly annoyed that people would beg for extensions and always get them - I never needed one and it seemed no issue to submit something a week early.
- Dog signature - I have a little cartoon dog I started drawing in high school. I started drawing him on cards, but eventually I'd leave him on any whiteboard I passed. I never did give him a name. "Dog" I guess.
- Never cried - My earliest recorded quirk: I almost never cried as a baby.... except for the time as a toddler I feel onto a pan on a campfire. My sister would tend to watch my bed and once I was awake she'd yell out "Arno's awake-up" (she couldn't say Andrew) and so maybe I never needed to develop that mechanism to cry for help.
- Offset pointing - As a toddler I had a habit of pointing - which by itself isn't unusual, the unusual part is that my finger never pointed forwards, it stuck way up in the air - at a 90 degree angle from what I was pointing at. Mum has many photos of this to prove what a weird kid I was. :)
- Sideways TV watching - Something I still do, but usually I'd watch TV with my head pointing 45 degrees to the left or right of the screen... and tilted down. Didn't matter who else was watching, my head was rarely face-on unless it was something really exciting.
- Perfectionist - Not really a huge quirk, this is common to many people, but what really did annoy me at one point is that as a teenager I'd replay every conversation I had with people during the day and beat myself up for anything stupid I said. It's like I wanted to be a perfectionist in my interaction with people and it even caused insomnia. That god I grew out of that! I'm still a perfectionist much of the time, but I've learnt to let go a bit more. :)
- Cooking in bulk - During my postgrad I was in a 6 person share house and decided before even moving that I'd cook all my dinners and lunches for an entire week in one sitting. Every Saturday arvo (afternnon) I'd take over the whole kitchen and cook 4-6 different dishes simultaneously by occupying every stove top. By the time I packed these dishes into 13 plastic boxes and 1 plate I was exhausted, but for the rest of the week I was set. I did this for 5 weeks and only got food poisoning once.... from someone else's food. It is somewhat of a miracle I survived.
- Dyslexic as a child - Not that uncommon in people - I would write most of my letter backwards in primary school. Especially "n". Went away eventually. I am still, however, terrible with grammar and speller. I use to get mum to proofread everything I wrote because once I've written it down I don't notice the errors when I read it... I "read ahead" too much.
- Awkward accepting praise - I use to get shy and blush if I was ever praised heavily. I'm a bit better now.
- Shy on the phone / writing what to say - In primary and high school the telephone frightened me - I knew I couldn't see the persons face and was afraid of forgetting why I was calling, so I'd sometimes write out a bullet point of what I wanted to say - whether it was asking a friend over for lunch or ordering food.
- #1. Wikis and documentation
- Desire to document - I like writing and documenting. In school I'd write pretty brilliant summary notes for all my subjects. What really annoyed me after a while is that I'd lose some of these precious pages, so once we got our first PC it was clear I'd have to switch to word documents... and eventually to the internet.
- Long emails - I have a sad condition of being verbose. My emails tend to be crazy long - it's a problem! Sometimes I could spend hours on a single email to a friend, re-reading it again and again. Now I work at Google and have to deal with hundreds of emails a day I've been forced to get better, but back in high school it was at its worst.
- Giant letters - I had a great pen pals when I was in high school, then a second during undergrad. Both girls were I had a big crush on but lived back in Darwin while I was in Cairns. These poor girls bore the brunt of my longest emails - pages and pages, which I'd sometimes print and mail. Most of what I wrote was drivel, and as many bizarre jokes as I could dream up. They tried to keep up with *relatively* long emails, but not Noske-long emails. Eventually I decided to get a bigger audience and I wrote magnificently long Christmas e-mails - each 30 pages or more - about what had happened that year. This lasted from 2000-2005, until eventually I realized I was having no fun around Christmas because I was too busy reflecting on life and teenage drama. I know at least one friend, Tristan, and his family loved my letters as something fun to read around Christmas for a bit of a laugh.... they were possibly the only ones. My desire to document was still there, but I figured it should be about stuff people cared about.
- Adding personal wiki pages - Funnily enough, one of my most unusual quirks is the desire to write a wiki page whenever I come up with an idea, want to list something or discover something interesting. I've always liked to document, but this wiki site you're looking at excited me because I can access it from anywhere (with internet at least) and I can't lose pages, like I did with all my old notes. It started with writing down a few lessons from my undergrad in computer science when I was tutoring, but before I knew it I was writing pages about subjects like "Online dating", "Electric toothbrush" and "Love letters]", lists like "Gift ideas", "Food options" and "Bay Area hiking". Then one day I decided to publicly document like "CellPhone Robot Avatar" and "Seal Solutions" which I realized I could never do by myself but wanted people to find on Google search. Some of my pages get 1000s of hits, so I like to write pages in a way other's can read, but about 50% of the purpose is that I like documenting things for myself... I just happened to do it in a wiki! Other pages, such as "Questions for Potential Housemates" and "House hunting" I write primarily because I think it might help others! I have >300 pages.
- #2) Detailed Phone Notes
- Lists of Names - I used to keep this secret, but even before smart phones I used to make lists of people's names on my phone. All the people I met at Salsa, I would write down their name, and a tiny prompt to remind me of who they were - maybe their frizzy hair. If I forgot a name I'd discreetly open my phone. I tend to order the names by gender then chronologically, but it annoyed me how slow it was typing on a cellphone. When I finally got a smartphone I realized I could sync my contacts pretty easily and so that was the place for my name lists.
- Contacts for Entities - If you look through my contact lists you'll notice lots of capitlized names that look like: "SOCCER MISC", "CAR MISC" or "DENTIST MISC" and so on. Yes indeed, I'm friends with my car, insurance companies, amazon, and even my computer. Why? Well I write the URL and notes about websites where I might need a password clue, or need to remember various usernames and account ids.... or the model number of my printer for when I need to get ink. Whenever I sign up for a new website or get involved with a company I create a contact.... and my notes are extensive! For my car, for instance, it not only contains my licence plate (in case my car goes missing/stolen), but also the VIN, date of purchase as an anniversary, numbers to call if I get in trouble, address where I get it serviced and a little record of each service. People who make fun quickly decide it's a brilliant idea. Admittedly it's a lot of work to setup, but the automatic syncing of my Android phone with Google Contacts means I can add new information on my computer or phone and know it's backed up to the cloud and accessible from anywhere.
- Details on People - I'm not sure if this is creepy, but since my notes on entities are so detailed, I decided to write a little bit about all my *ACTUAL* friends / people contacts in my phone. I try never to write anything offensive, in case someone ever saw their entry, but in addition to wanting to record everyone's birthday, I like to have a URL to their facebook/linkedin or whatever online article blogs I might find for them, and information like the name of their kids etc. I feel like it comes in pretty handy because hey - I bet you can't remember the names and age of all your coworkers kids! So stop judging! :-P
- Photos for Everyone - I'm not sure if this is creepy, but for every person in my phone I like to have a picture. I'm a very visual person and if I get an e-mail or call I like to see the face first. Even upon first meeting someone I'm suddenly hunting for a photo of them via Google image search or Facebook, and if I can't find one I have a little cartoon pic. It's like I'm scared of amnesia and feel like these photos would prompt me to remember my life. The scary thing: even my "entity contacts" have photos - usually a logo or a photo of the building.
Quirk: a peculiar behavioral habit.