Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Six Random things

I've done this before but who doesn't like posting about themselves? Wake Up and Smell the Coffee tagged me. I have to tell 6 random things about myself then pass this on to 6 others. I have already passed this one on way back so I won't inflict it again, but if anyone feels like jumping in, please do:

1. I have been in the States since 1990 and still say 'aluminium' (extra syllable), tomato (pronounced the correct way - see last post), and process (pronounced with an "oh"). I have met quite a few Brits who've been over here for less time and who have gone completely native. I'm sure when I'm on US soil I could be accused of rolling an R or two at the end of a sentence, but I've never understood how people can abandon their entire verbal upbringing and say American things. Not meaning to be judgmental here but, actually, well, I probably am.

2. I'm a decent tap-dancer and I really enjoy it. I know that sounds brash but you don't meet many people younger than Fred Astaire who can tap dance. I even have a pair of adult tap shoes and up till about 6 years ago used to take classes. (That ended with pregnancy bed rest and now I don't have the time.) As a child I took ballet, tap and "stage" which I believe is now called "jazz". I did them all till I went to university and didn't take any up again till about 8 years ago. As soon as I started with the adult ballet I remembered why I had given it up - too damn hard, and quite frankly, some of those poses are the exact opposite of what any personal trainer will tell you to do. No wonder they all end up with hip replacements. But tap - give me a glass or two of Pinot Grigio and a hard kitchen floor and I'm off!

3. After all this time in the States, my American accent is pretty woeful, although I do a mean Texan accent. Thanks in part to my in-laws who are both Texan, and also thanks to my daughter's fave TV show - "Reba". I have always been a good mimic, but somehow a generic US accent fails me.

4. I am not, and never will be, a morning person. Despite have had small children in the house for over 15 years, and working outside the home, as they say, for a goodly while after I left uni, I have never come to terms with the fact that I couldn't work ooh, say about 10am till 7pm. I once nearly got a job with an indie record company after I left uni, (they were too chicken to take a risk with someone so young) and a big factor was the 10am start. However, I was living in Wimbledon at the time, and the job was somewhere like Finchley, or Nottingham, so it probably would still have meant getting up at 7am.

5. I know I have mentioned this before but - I can touch my nose with my tongue. I have only met one other person who can do this, but my 5 year old is almost there. It's more to do with the small space between your top lip and nose than the length of your tongue before anyone leaves a blue comment!!!

6. I fell down a manhole when I was 17! I did - really! And not just a little bit - I was in up to my chest in filthy, icy water. I will post the full story next time as it's a bit involved and it doesn't show my mother in the best light either!! (Cliff hanger.)

26 comments:

  1. the manhole comment made me laugh. But in a good way - it sounds so intriguing, can't wait to read more. not that I am laughing at your painful fall, just the tease of the story - oh you know what I mean!
    Love the fact you still tap! I too regress to my youthful dancers life when one too many of the good stuff gets me going. Glad my kitvhen floor isn't the only one taking a hammering!

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  2. oh good on you for keeping your accent and pronounciation. The second I step abroad I go native - apparently I have permeable ego barriers! It's a bit lamentable really and has nearly got me into trouble in so many places I lose count - people assume you're taking the piss.
    Eeek to the manhole. jx

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  3. "Permeable ego barriers" - what a FAB phrase. Must find a way to work it into conversation!

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  4. Yes....... keep your accent! I recently slipped into Lancashire while with people from there, but normally speak quite neutrally.
    Didn't like the sound of the manhole fall.
    I heard the tongue thing before! Amazing!

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  5. How strange - you're the first tap dancer I've met in my life. Totally understand the "morning" thing and I think night owls are far more fun anyway.
    With you 100% on keeping the English accent but one thing I find even more annoying than changing to a US accent is when someone from northern England comes here and starts speaking posh. I once met a lad from Northumberland who instead of speaking like Gazza talked like Jeffrey Archer. What a muppet.
    Looking forward to the manhole story!

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  6. I have to say, in defence/defense of "posh" Geordies - we don't all speak like Gazza. My mother was a teacher and on pain of death, we were not allowed to use slang.

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  7. Very much look forward to that manhole cover story . . .

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  8. Great reading, but I thought at one point (you know how our brain sometimes races ahead of our eyes?) you were going to say "But tap - give me a glass or two of Pinot Grigio and a hard kitchen floor and I'm anybody's! ;-) x

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  9. I can do that whole tongue thing too, expat mum. I call it my party piece; grown men have been known to sink to their knees at the very sight of it.

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  10. I too can do the nose/tongue combo but it makes me look a bit like Les Dawson so most grown men turn into Olympic sprinters at the very sight of it.

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  11. The wiggling ears thing I think is a bit of a sham - yes, I can do that (is there no end to my talents?) but like most people, I end up wiggling my whole head in the process.
    And BTmama - Les Dawson? You need to talk to Maxine.

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  12. Oh dear,BTmama. I can see you need a bit of coaching. There should be more groaning less gurning going on there...and timing is everything!! Hey, who else can raise one eyebrow like Elvis...or was it Cliff? :-S I do a mean flared nostril as well but not at the same time as the tongue and the eyebrow you understand.:-D

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  13. It's really sad..am a N.E. lass and still can't do Geordie. I speak better "Northern Irish" but can only rustle up a feeble "why aye hinny pet"!

    Manhole cover/tap dancing/tongue thingy...done simultaneously? The mind boggles. Oh do tell more, there's a dear.

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  14. It was those bliddy nuns wasn't it? One whiff of Geordie and they belted you on the back of the legs with their rosaries. And god forbid we used any dialect.

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  15. I can touch my nose with my tongue too! As for the pronunciation of tomato, here's a bit of history. It used to be pronounced tomayto in England. The first pilgrims to America brought the pronunciation with them, and as most of them probably didn't come back to keep up with the change in pronunciation to tomahto, it stuck. But like you, I have stuck to my native tongue. I'm American through and through, and 16 years in Great Britain hasn't changed that.

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  16. That manhole story must be told - I'm very curious now!

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  17. I remember some of yours from before. And I do agree - don't lose your British accent. What else is there at the moment? M :-)
    PS Have caught up properly at last - not helped by my bloody computer freezing every five minutes....

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  18. great post..........

    If you have a chance could you pop by my blog on Friday?

    Thanks,

    Gill in Canada

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  19. great post..........

    If you have a chance could you pop by my blog on Friday?

    Thanks,

    Gill in Canada

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  20. I like the idea of you talking in a broad Texan accent in Chicago!

    Can't wait to hear about the manhole...

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  21. I'm pretty bad about picking up the linguistic tendencies of those around me... It's not even just the place where I live, but just the people who are speaking in my immediate vicinity. If I lived in London, I guarantee I would be speaking exactly like Londoners, extra syllable in aluminium and all.

    It's actually rather embarrassing... sometimes I mimic people around me without even noticing and accidentally offend them!

    http://travelday.today.com

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  22. welocm..thanks for popping by, hope you come again sometime..we seem to have many blog pals in common!! your blog always makes me smile actually...keep it up!

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  23. I've only been in Australia for a year, but I just realized yesterday that they pronounce "aluminum" with an extra syllable--
    Every day is a new adventure right?

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