Thursday, May 10

Games People Play

So there is this gaggle of games in the blogging world and just like the best of childhood play it involves tagging friends. And she who is "it" gets to holler out "no-tag-backs"! I got touched twice this week by two different taggers for two different games.

I am going to play them both in one post.

And I am boldly going to let the buck stop here. And it's not that I am not a big fan of these games, or memes rather, because I really am. I love to trip upon them on others' blogs and read all the cool and juicy tidbits of information the writer chooses to share. The reason I am not thrusting the game upon others is simple. I am only just making friends in this big beautiful blogging world and I don't want to annoy or pester any of these fresh relationships with a meme which someone may or may not want, but would be too nice to complain about. Besides, both of these games call for an unreasonable amount of tags to happen, as in 10 and 8 respectively. And that adds up to: A LOT. To be perfectly honest, I just don't want to have to think that hard about which somebodies to pass it on to.

Lazy? Perhaps. But you didn't hear that from me.

Now, having put all that in print I feel compelled to add this. If you are interested or keen to play one or both of these games then by all means consider yourself tagged. And please tell me when you have posted so I can come by and read the cool, amazing and interesting things about you. Reading that kind of stuff seriously floats my boat. If you would rather post interesting things about yourself in the comments section of this blog, then feel free to do that. Only if it's 10 things, please do it in ten comments instead of one, so it will make my comment numbers soar. That kind of stuff really, really gets the boat rockin' for me.

So, sound the whistle. Start the clock. The tournament now commences.

Thanks for the tag to
this game, Brillig. And thanks for the nod on your sidebar too.

Anno? I twisted your tag just a little and instead of 8 random facts about me, I turned it into, well, you can read onward to find out what I did. I just wanted to shake it up a little bit so this post wouldn't be too awfully boring and long winded.

Oh, right, like I could ever be long winded!


1. When I was seventeen years old I did a McDonald's commercial. Really. I was 'discovered' straight out of drama class at Skyline High School in Salt Lake City. I think the talent agents were looking for fresh Utah faces for this campaign and they liked mine. Or rather, what they really liked was my voice. My face they said, after a series of auditions and screen tests, was "too young looking". So they didn't cast me for the screen part, but it was my voice you heard-dubbed in-all over the western United States for the "Your order in less than a minute" ad campaign of 1983. I also did the radio spots. And the follow up tags when they re-ran the campaign later on in another part of the U.S.
That whole face-too-young-looking thing was a total annoyance at seventeen. Having the same problem at forty-one? Not nearly so bothersome.

2. My first major-venue performance was at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington D.C. when I was eight years old.

3. I have danced in International venues since then including Sweden and Canada. As well as throughout the United States, with loads of concerts within Utah, which strictly speaking is a foreign place in its own right.

4. I took my 25+ year dancing/performing career and became a P.E. Teacher at Awakening Seed School in Phoenix. I taught there for six years. It was an awesome gig.

5. I can reach my nose with my tongue. Yeah, I have skills. My daughter can also do this which is my only claim that I had anything to do with her looks-just-like-her-daddy genetics.

6. I gave birth three times without so much as a Tylenol. Maybe that's not so impressive until you factor in that labor with my youngest was a 20-hour affair.

No, no applause please. Just throw money.

7. I love to eat green salad and a baked potato. Together. Not just cohabiting on the same plate, but together. Meaning, I prepare the potato by splitting its jacket in the center and tossing in the butter, sour cream, salt, pepper, and other what-not. Then I build a salad on top and crown the whole thing with ranch dressing. The dual effect of hot/cold, soft/crunchy is in a word: Fabulous.

8. I am a voracious reader. I love a book. Almost any book. I have been known to finish total drivel, just because I don't want to be without one. I tend to disappear completely into its world once I have cracked the cover. In Elementary School I often was 'caught' reading my novels behind the history or social studies texts. Since motherhood descended I have to be a bit more discriminate in my timing before I pick up a book and withdraw into the prose. After all, the children need to eat sometimes...

9. I have to be the lamest, slowest, worst SMSer on the planet. Seriously. Every time I try to text it takes me FOREVER to find the letters. It is a ridiculously arduous process for me and my friends on the other end have already finished croissants and cappuccino before I can respond to the invitation "Koffie?" with a simple "Ok".

Here's the perfect example: Today I was attempting to send a quick message to my friend to let her know that Andrew and I were a little late getting to the bus stop and therefore I would be a few minutes behind our scheduled meeting time. (She and I had a spa date while our boys were at peuterspeelzaal). I diligently pushed the buttons on my mobile phone and got myself all wound up and hyperventilating over the fact that I was able to punch in "Bus late" in under five minutes. So then instead of adding "Be there soon" as was my original intention, I typed the same sentence (two words is a sentence, right?) again. So now my message read "Bus late bus late" . Sheesh. I deleted my mighty effort and got the words "but coming" typed in sometime before our thirty-minute bus ride was complete. I sent the message on it's way and I kid you not within seconds, my friend had texted back some novel length reply. I didn't dare send anything in return. I figured by the time I found the letters spelling "C U soon" I would have already seen her, had my toenails painted and arrived back home.

10. I sing in the shower. I have a fantastic repertoire of show tunes and 1940's torch songs. I can also belt out The Star Spangled Banner like nobody's business.

Oh, yeah, I am a diva. A wet, soggy, shower-singin' diva.


1. "Are you serious? You threw your yogurt behind the heater? Why? Why? Why?"

2. "I'm not listening to you.... you're crazy" (said in my best Nacho Libre accent.)

3. "Hey dude. The stinky shoes in the front hallway? Can they go away soon, please?"

4. "HOLY CHOCOLATE CAKE BATMAN! This is soooooo good."

5. "Plug the earphones into the television please. No one out here needs to be subjected to The Nanny's voice"

6. "Nee! Nee! Nee! Dit is niet voor jouw!"

7. "Wow, so these wet socks on the radiator? Are these going to be a permanent part of the house decoration or what?"

8. "Uh.... dude? The shoes? Now, please."

And that as they say, my friends, is that. You really read all the way to the end? Now, that's impressive.

UPDATE at 5:03 Kiki played. Who's next?


  1. Hmm,

    So now we know where the inage of the coffee cup came from.

    So who was it you were telling "that (this) is not for you" in Dutch? I take it that you all speak english at home, right?

    I'm glad that you were a teacher... I like teachers.


  2. We do speak English at home, mostly. But I find that there are just some phrases which are much more effective when Dutch is used. My youngest usually snaps to it when I tell him to leave it alone in Dutch. He selectively hears me in English. He and I speak a lot of Dutch actually because it is he and I out and about town together. I should correct that, he doesn't "speak" much Dutch as he was slow to acquire English in the first place and we are focused on that success right now. However, the child's comprehension of Dutch is phenomenal. And all the Omas en Opas chatter to him all the time. He's somewhat irresistable.

    So, Gunfighter, you know Dutch? Do you speak it? Dutch or Afrikaans?

    And, thanks. I loved teaching school. I miss it.

  3. I cannot stop laughing over the test messaging. My son's godmother texted me her new address and I nearly fell over. Mind you it was exactly the third text message I've ever received and my response was just woefully inadequate.

    In 6th grade I voiced a character in a film strip. Remember those?

  4. Oh good, SMID, I will send my slo-mo texts to you then!

    Yes! I remember filmstrips. Ah, good times.

  5. Great perspective on the meme's! Sometimes I just don't have time to post - and I feel like I should just because I was asked to do it - aarrrrghhhhhh .. I should just do what you did . . from now on I shall just say "consider yourself tagged" love it love it love it..

    I truly enjoyed reading your combo lists too!! I laughed out loud at the batman chocolate cake one :) I'm know to say things in expletive fashion about holy batman and robin - - that's so funny!

    Take care and happy Thursday to ya!

  6. Great lists! These put me in a better mood than my morning coffee, and that's saying a lot. Thanks for being a good sport -- I loved your adaptation of my meme.

  7. Hi, Jenn! I had to do the 10 random things on my blog after reading yours! Which was hysterical!! ::hugs::

  8. Holy THANKS A BUNCH Shelby! I am glad I could make you giggle today!

    Thanks to you too and thanks for understanding. I ultimately couldn't figure out 18 interesting things. 12 maybe, but that's an outside chance!

    Great! I am on my way over to read your list now!

  9. About the migraines, I don't take anything regularly. I have this issue about taking stuff so I only take Excedrin Migraine when they get to the point of feeling like there are mining dwarves in my skull!

  10. Ha! I can totally relate to the annoyance of looking younger than you are. It bugged the heck out of me until I got into my thirties. Although now that I am 40, I think my face is playing catch-up!

    Oh, and I have a good friend who sends her kids to Awakening Seed! Such a great school!

  11. mama-
    OH! I miss The Seed! It is a fantastic place, and I don't just say that because I once taught there. My older kids were enrolled there too. It's just a fabulous environment. For everyone!

    And we must remember we are young as we feel right?

  12. Okay, I've lived here in the Valley for over 16 years, and this is the first time I've heard of The Awakening Seed. Could it be the best kept secret in the Valley?

    I laughed out loud, long and hard, at "Nee! Nee! Nee! Dit is niet voor jouw!" Our favorite phrases around here are, "Nee! Stout jongen! Moet je niet doen!"

    (I must say, you are really making me step up my Dutch. I've never really spoken it fluently - my parents insisted on becoming fully American - but I could mostly understand it spoken aloud. By reading it aloud, I'm getting better at writing it, so thanks!)

  13. songbird-
    The Seed may well be the Valley's best secret. Previously on the letterhead it stated "quietly providing quality education since 1976". I think the new phrase is something about nurturing the hearts and minds... which is also lovely.

    It's hard for me to imagine that my lame Dutch is helping you along at all! I should probably trust my instincts more and use it more often, but I always fall back to my comfortable English. And writing? That completely eludes me... I have to look up almost every word!

  14. I've used the word Dude at least a few times today myself ... I agree with you about not wanting to burden others with tags. I would feel funny about that. I have never been tagged ... not sure if I would be into it or not. I guess it would depend on the content. I'm linking to you today. Thanks.

  15. shawn-
    Dude is one of the words I use that is a dead giveaway here to my Americanism. Awesome is another. I suppose both really date me generationally as well...
    Thanks for the link!

  16. Having grown up in Utah myself, I can only laugh at the first few things. Hahaha. And is it wrong for me to think that your stint with McDonald's is SO FREAKIN' COOL????

  17. I was in performing arts too...

  18. No one ever discovered me in my drama class. I should have gone to Skyline rather than Timpview. I see that now.

  19. Oh, and thanks for playing. I feel a bit the same way with these meme thingies... You are a VERY good sport. And I love the way you altered the 8 things meme. Hilarious. I might actually do that variation myself--one of these days that I have nothing else to write. So, look for it this September or something. Haha.

  20. And now, my dear Jenn, I think I have commented sufficiently to, as you say, "rock your boat." hahahaha. You can just deposit the money right into my paypal account...

  21. Brillig-
    Ha! You're killing me baby! If I ever suspected or hoped that there would be a someone who would take me up on the challenge to leave multiple comments today, I had my strong suspicions it would be you!

    You do rock my boat girl. Thanks for all the love and hilarity. I think I shall never get over just how fabulous you are.

    Oh, somewhere I still have the cassette tape (remember those?) of my big moment of radio/television stardom. I suppose it was my 15 minutes...

  22. I love reading the answers, but I hate the whole thing about the thing. And I get tired of having a blog every other day have a thing about the thing. But ah, whatevah! I do what I want!

    So, about text messaging. I'm pretty good at it. Not like the kids, though. Kind of depends on your phone, too. ANYWAY, I have a great friend who is the vice president of a local salt lake city financial institution. A brilliant woman, I might add. She told me she didn't know how to text, so I showed her. We sat at the table (at the old spaghetti factory in trolley square) for what seemed like an eternity, while she worked and worked at it. Finally she said, "I was trying to say 'hi' but all I wound up with was G4."

  23. CT-
    My sister is a wiz at the text thing too, but her daughter? Sheesh, you've never seen anything so fast and she can have multiple terxt conversations simultaneously. She's 19 so I suppose it's a generation thing. I have youth envy.

    I love the Old Spaghetti Factory! I also love that you have SLC ties as well. My sister is there (up on the East Bench) and my oldest brother and fam just moved back to Utah last year. They are up near Layton. That place has become a big widespread metropolis! It is not the Salt Lake City of my childhood.

    I would love a texting lesson. I need some serious help.
    Lame, I tell ya. Lame.

  24. Love your list!
    I am so glad to have found your blog.
    I can't wait to read more.

  25. Had to comment on the LOVE to read thing! I also LOVE to read - in fact I must admit it is one of my many addictions (Diet Mt. Dew being another evil of mine!). SO on to the sharing part of my comment - on Mother's day I read for about six hours straight! The book was fabulous and I hope the author writes a sequel because the characters were wonderful! It is called "The Friendship Test" by Elizabeth Noble - pick up your copy today!!!

    Miss you!

  26. tori-
    Welcome! I appreciate you stopping to comment. Come back any (all the) time!

    I knew our friendshp was based on something DEEP! Reading, reading, reading...
    And with a recommendation like that, I am on my way to the American Book Center TODAY to pick it up!
    Miss you much.

  27. Dearest Jenn,
    Talk about hiding your blog under a basket...just now finding you and started with the oldest. Have got this far before going to bed, but wanted to comment for you. Luv it! Luv It! LUUVVV IITTT!! So I'll start by playin'!...

  28. Not necessarily the ultimate top 10 of interesting facts, but know you'll get a giggle...

    1) Even though I am/was a scientist and engineer, even though I designed semiconductor chips that are still used in computers and electronic gadgets today, even though my husband is also an electronic engineer, my children are both generally deprived of using computers, playing computergames, video games, etc. We do not own a playstation/gameboy/I-Pod/mP-3 player, etc. And though I do have a mobile phone, it is rarely switched on and I have only sent out about a dozen SMS messages, ever. By the way I didn't mention that I also worked to help market mobile telephony and data communications in the Netherlands, having been employed at various times by 3 of the major operators in the Netherlands. I guess the adage about the cobbler's children is true...

  29. 2) When speaking to non-native English speaker, I have little or no Texas accent. The occasional "yawl" does sneak in, but it's only because I have never found a better word (plural you can be confusing). My accent in German is generally considered American, but I have also been asked if I was Swiss or Austrian. My accent in Dutch is often considered to be Belgian (not necessarily a compliment!). And what little Italian I speak has met with such raves by my Italian friends who claim I have no real accent. However, when I get off the phone from talking to my Mom or girlfriends, or spend a morning with a fellow Texan or Southerner, then my poor long-suffering German husband can barely understand me for a couple of hours. It takes some time for the "native" tongue to wear off. You can take the girl outa Texas...

  30. 3) I was once mistaken for a "hooker". (Sorry, I've been out of the US for too long and don't know the PC term. "My bad!") I was in hotel in Vegas, waiting beside the entrance to the casino for my date who was playing blackjack. A man walked past me a couple of times. I wasn't really paying much attention, but then he came up to me and asked if I was busy. I smiled and said I was waiting for someone (we Southern girls are brought up to be polite). He said, "Well Honey, I'll double whatever he's paying you." It took me a moment to understand what he was saying, but the gleam in his eyes finally got the message across. I was in turn shocked, angry, momentarily speechless, and then amused. I straightened my spine, cocked my hip, and gave him a long slow look up and down. I then looked him in the eye and in my best Texas drawl said "Darlin', you couldn't afford me." Must've been pretty convincing as he backed away fast. One of the few times I've had the perfect comeback...

  31. 4) I have an albumn credit. When I was a back-up singer to an electronic music band, we scraped up enough money to actually cut a record. I not only have my laugh and a couple of vocals enshrined in the grooves of black vinyl (yes, this was before CD'S became all the rage), I have actuals credits as back-up singer and "Executive Producer" printed on the albumn cover. Okay so maybe it's not 15 minutes of fame, but it is mine...

  32. 5) My youngest child was born without any drugs, and we were home from the hospital less than 8 hours later. Sometime I'll write you about how the Dutch treat pregnancy and child-birth in the Netherlands, a verrry different experience from my US and Uk girlfriends!

  33. 6) I wanted to grow up to be an astronaut. Since I was 10 years old. I mapped out my career path, and pretty much followed it for the next 14 years (a few detours, but still got back on track). I wasn't deterred by the many times I was told that this was not something for a girl/woman. I was not intimidated in my Physics classes when I was the only girl. So many of the choices that have shaped my life today came from this original goal. I learned German so that I could read Einstein in his native language (and it was more "scientific" than French or Spanish). I learned to fly an airplane when I was only 17 years old. I was not bothered to be the "geek" or "nerd" because I had a goal I was focused on. Being left out and lonely only made me more determined. I even had the opportunity when I graduated from college to follow the same career path that Sally Ride eventually took. But when that choice came up, I realized that I no longer had the same goals, even though they had gotten to that point. It took some soul-searching and hard thinking, but I chose a different path. And today I have no regrets, well, not many and not often. Just a twinge and a "What if..." every once in a while.

  34. 7) I dream in 3 languages. Sometimes even 4 when I have visited with my Italian friends. I cannot even tell you what language many of my dreams are in. I just know that sometimes I wake up with phrase in my head and it isn't English. I can't say that it comes naturally to me, the way it does to my girls who change languages on the fly. But it has become "normal". We speak 3 languages at home. It is at times a real "cultural chaos". But as you would of course attest too, it is a rich, surprising, at times hilarious mix. My neighbors have admitted to getting a real laugh out of their evesdropping on our backyard conversations.

  35. 8) I have gone for a topless swim in the ocean. Once. And I was punished for it and learned my lesson. But having seen the almost full frontal nudity that was the accepted attire on the public beaches in Portugal, on a day when there was only one other couple on a secluded beach, both sleeping and the woman having only a postage-stamp sized bottom, I gave into the temptation. I admit it was exhilirating to feel the ocean waves on bare skin that had always been covered. And it was no small feat to overcome my Southern Baptist upbringing and indulge, even in this less-than-public location. But it was fun, for about 10 minutes. And then, "OHMYGODICAN'TBREATHEITHURTSSOBAD". At first I thought it was a jellyfish. But no, only some algae, complete with the microscopic protozoans that adminster a burning-stinging sensation. It left a long red whelt, right across my bare nipple. I knew without a doubt it was a message from God. Baptist girls do not go swimming nude or semi-nude. I learned my lesson. Never again.

  36. 9) There is a gap in my memory. I was in a bad car accident (my station wagon vs. a bridge support on an icy road). It took 2 tow trucks to remove the car. I received a double concussion, multiple bruises, no broken bones but ended up with a bad case on pneumonia before I got out of the hospital. But the lasting effect is a 6 month period of time where I have little or no memory of events. I have since filled in the gaps with the stories and memories that other people have told me about those times. But in all of these memories, I see myself in the picture, rather than seeing the picture through my own eyes. These "manufactured memories" have blended seamlessly with those from before and after that period. But whenever there is the rare occasion when I try and recall something from that period, it is like I am watching a video of myself. Strange things these minds and memories.

  37. And 10) I used to be a perfectionist. I took myself very seriously and I never liked making mistakes. I was cured of this shortly after moving to Germany. Even though it was only going to be for a period of 2 years, I learned the hard way that I would not survive the stress of holding onto my ideals. I had to let go and not be afraid of making a fool out of myself when I tried to speak the language. This lesson was only too clear after I went to the office where six of my male German colleagues worked (including one who was eventually to become my husband). In a very clear and confident tone, I announced that I was moving house and was there someone who would be willing to help me. A very good, perfect German sentence, pronouced well and easily understood by my colleagues, except...I included one tiny extra word that changed the sentence to me announcing that I was removing my clothes and would someone be willing to help me. My conservative German colleagues were very quiet and stunned, and I stood there a bit confused about why they were looking at me so strangely, when I realized my mistake at the same time that they did.... Well, it did break the ice. And the colleague who did volunteer to help me move also helped remove my clothes some months later...

  38. Okay girlfriend, I played. What do I win?! Keep on Bloggin' dear Jenn as the laughter helps us all live longer! Much love, --Becca