Saturday, June 16, 2007

Eight Random Things Meme - at last

(Written in Los Angeles, posted in Oakland.)

Rockin’ Padre Mickey de Panamá and the artistically inclined pj, my distant kinswoman, have tagged me. I’ll get even with you somehow, you two.

1. I have to post these rules before I give you the facts.

2. Each player starts with eight random facts/habits about themselves.

3. People who are tagged need to write their own blog [post] about their eight things and post these rules.

4. At the end of your blog [post], you need to choose eight people to get tagged and list their names.

5. Don’t forget to leave them a comment telling them they’re tagged, and to read your blog.

So here goes, but I’m doin’ it my way. (And the fact that I am writing this in an airport waiting area is a testimony to my devotion to you blogonuts out there, or to my own insanity.)

1. Rules duly posted.

2. and 3. Here we go:

(1) My maternal great-grandfather was from Tokaj, Hungary (home of the renowned Tokaji ["of Tokaj"] wine, pronounced “toe-kye”). We don’t know what his real name was; he left it in the old country and took the name Tokaji. So a branch of my family (not immediate, but cousins) has the last name Tokaji or Tokay. (Both spellings exist depending on the part of the family.)

(2) I am completely bilingual in English and French, except that I count in French. I have to make an extra effort to add, subtract, multiply, and divide in English, so most of the time I just do it in French.

(3) I used to play the guitar and sing. A lot. Folk things mostly, solo. In five or six languages, only a few of which I really speak. Now I hardly ever touch the guitar (I picked one up during my last vacation and it was really hard to play, because I no longer had the requisite calluses on my left-hand fingers) but I still sing. Mostly in church, but I took classical voice lessons two decades ago and I also do jazz, show tunes, and maybe a little scat, all of these if someone asks and accompanies me on the piano.

(4) Lest you think I am totally la-dee-dah, I must tell you that my parents both grew up in Brooklyn, New York. I have a theory that everyone in the U.S. East of the Mississippi has a Brooklyn connection of some kind. So far I have not been proven wrong.

(5) I was a French Protestant girl scout. Which to me wasn’t weird, but when you say it to people in the U.S. it sounds strange. How it happened: My parents were U.S. Americans living in France, where I grew up. The scouting movements in France are denominationally based: there are Catholic scouts, Protestant (Reformed Church of France) scouts, Jewish scouts, Orthodox Christian scouts, and because it’s France, secular scouts. There are now Muslim scouts, though there weren’t yet when I was a child. Given my parents’ humanism, the secular scouts would have made most sense, but because their closest French friends happened to be members of the Eglise Réformée de France and had been very active in the church’s scouting movement, my parents sent my brother and me to that one. I was a scout for about seven years.

(6) What my kitchen is never, ever, ever without, even when I am Supremely Broke: olive oil. Extra virgin, first cold press olive oil.

(7) I was baptized and confirmed at the only (as far as I know) joint Episcopal/Roman Catholic Easter Vigil in Cambridge, Massachusetts, in 1975.

(8) I loathe aerobics. I mean really, really loathe. But I love to dance. (Someone play “R-E-S-P-E-C-T,” please.) Just don’t ask me to join one of those dreadful loud classes at the gym with some skinny instructor named Tiffany yelling out instructions over seriously bad music.

4. and 5. Following the example of my mentor, Her Eminence and Serene Highness Grandmère Mimi (and my own example after the Six Weird Things meme, which I am partly plagiarizing here) I am tagging NO ONE. Hmph. So there.

But I’ll give you a 9th fact as a bonus.

(9) Despite the fact that I am a chatty social sort, I actually need and spend large chunks of time alone and quiet and I like being by myself. The last time I took the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator test, I was on the border between Extrovert and Introvert.


pj said...

Both of my parents grew up in Brooklyn too! And I still know some people in Brooklyn, but they most decidedly did not start out there.

johnieb said...

Brooklyn: believe the hype.