July 2, 2008

Hidden Talents

As my mom used to say (constantly - what was up with that?), you can't judge a book by its cover. There are lots of things you just can't guess about a person by seeing them walk across the street or sit in their office. Everyone has secrets. And secret talents. Like me for instance. I bet you didn't know that:


  • I can recite the vast majority of the dialog from The Three Amigos. I'm not proud of it...except I kinda am.
  • I - the guy who seemingly spends half his life in a suit - can bust out some mean Black Sabbath and Iron Maiden guitar riffs.
  • I was a nationally-ranked tennis player when I was a kid.
  • I can curl my tongue.
  • Despite my liberal-leaning political ways, I'm a bad-ass shot with a pistol.
  • I can connect any two random bands you throw at me. For example, Iron Maiden and Genesis. Iron Maiden's Jannick Gers did the guitar work for the first solo album by Fish, the former lead singer of Marillion. Fish did a few stints as a guest vocalist on Tony Banks' solo albums. Banks is the keyboardist for Genesis. Lest you think this is a fluke, let's try Jane's Addition and Michael Jackson. Jane's Addiction lead singer Perry Farrell's latest project was called Satellite Party. The band's guitarist was Nuno Bettencourt. Nuno was originally in the hair metal band Extreme. Gary Cherone from Extreme went on to become the third (and shortest-lived) lead singer for Van Halen. Eddie Van Halen performed on Michael Jackson's mega-hit Thriller.
  • I can do a startlingly accurate impression of Alvin, Simon and Theodore (The Chipmunks) without the aid of modern recording technology.

See, I bet you didn't know any of that stuff about me. And now, thinking about all that, I'm curious. What don't I know about you? And what are your hidden talents?

Posted by Chris at July 2, 2008 6:37 AM
Comments

I, too, can curl my tongue.

I can recite all 50 states in alphabetical order.

I have a knack for remembering song lyrics, movie quotes, and assorted pop culture-y stuff and being able to spew out the "right" quote/fact for any given moment.

I can still do a pretty awesome cartwheel.

And one that is not hidden, but important nonetheless - I make kickass cookies.

Posted by: sarah at July 2, 2008 7:48 AM

Well, not to brag or anything, but I am consistently and overwhelmingly 100% correct, all of the time. It's crazy. And it confounds Sweetie.

And despite my stay at home Mom appearance, and the fact that I've been known to wear a sweater set and pearls (at the same time) (true story), I can tell you anything about Led Zeppelin. The Greatest Band in the History Of The World. No, the UNIVERSE.

Posted by: chatty cricket at July 2, 2008 7:48 AM

I can curl my tongue, too :-)

And, I can bend all 8 fingers and both thumbs at the top knuckle only, about 90 degrees.

Posted by: Alissa at July 2, 2008 8:03 AM

First: do you just remember all these random music connections, or do you use some variation on the IMDB concept, but for music?

Second, I want you to connect Nirvana to Britney Spears.

Posted by: SciFi Dad at July 2, 2008 8:17 AM

I was a child star in our community theater, playing the youngest child in the Kind and I and Gretel in The Sound of Music in 1st grade. I'm afraid after that it was all down hill!

Posted by: Maribeth at July 2, 2008 8:17 AM

I can juggle like crazy.

Do Rage Against The Machine and Herman's Hermits.

Posted by: Black Hockey Jesus at July 2, 2008 8:31 AM

I (along with the rest of my family) can recite the alphabet backwards really quickly.

Yeah, that's about it.

Posted by: Hazel at July 2, 2008 8:35 AM

I taught nursery school for 7 years l- and loved it.

I taught needle arts (knitting, crocheting, etc.) for many years

I judged at a state fair for 5 years

No actual claims to fame, but some personal pride.

Posted by: cassie-b at July 2, 2008 8:39 AM

I used to be a good soccer player (kinda suck now).

I'm pretty well versed in old-movies and musicals.

I did community theater and was once recruited by a voice coach. Cost of lessons was high even with the price break so we never followed up.

I used to be able to perform the proper way of taking a shot of tequila.

I'm "bendy".

I used to manage a death metal band.

I used to manage several local artists in SD and coordinate getting their work displayed, often parlaying into private showings, or stints at local galleries.

I am frighteningly good at sales, except, I hate sales!

Posted by: varinia at July 2, 2008 8:41 AM

Oh, I forgot one!
Somewhere in the world there is a naked bust of me wrapped in burlap,and painted an icy blue, mounted on a canvas. I used to be an artists model.

And now? Now I'm "the man". sigh.

Posted by: varinia at July 2, 2008 8:46 AM

1. I'm rather proud that I can remember whole dialogs of some seemingly God awful movies.

4. I can also curl my tongue. My husband says it is more impressive to be able to lick your own chin like he does.
6. Color me impressed.

I can only think of a few of my own:
I'm double jointed and can still sit crossed legged with the bottom of my feet facing up and hook my feet behind my head even now at age 41.
Most of the time I can't remember what I had for dinner the night before, but I retain lots of useless trivia (e.g., only book to have its copyright bequeathed to a hospital was Peter Pan; Buchanan was the only bachelor president; yellow houses sell faster; Jimmy Hoffa's middle name was Riddle; the dimple at the bottom of a wine bottle is called a punt, etc.)
I'm called "the hacker" by my IT department. :-)
I've never met a computer I didn't like or a software I couldn't figure out.
I once worked 63 consecutive days and work more hours than most of the people in my office. 2006=3,100 hours. 2007=2,700.
I started working when I was 15 and haven't (knock on wood) been unemployed since.
I haven't seen or spoken to my father in 29 years because of a letter I wrote to him when I was 12. I'm not sorry.
I have a very poor sense of direction above ground, but I can tell you how to get almost anywhere within the 5 boroughs of NYC by subway/bus.
I have slept less than 2 hours since last Friday. My insomnia is the worst it has ever been this year. I usually arrive at my office between 3:30 and 4:00 a.m. because I can't sleep.

Now you're sorry you asked, right?

Posted by: Maria at July 2, 2008 8:50 AM

Funny you should ask. I am currently answering reader questions until July 7, my one-year blogaversary. Since hidden talent isn't one the questions my readers asked me, I'll tell you: I can roll my tongue, raise one eyebrow, and wiggle my ears.

Posted by: Gwen at July 2, 2008 8:53 AM

I can recite the alphabet backwards and I play a mean game of Scrabble.

Posted by: claire at July 2, 2008 8:55 AM

1. I still do tricks off the diving board and my kids love it. I would make a good fish even tho I'm still pudgy from having my kids.

2. I know how much my grocery bill will be before the clerk hits the total button rarely am i over/under by 75 cents.

3. I can remember lists of numbers in one look up to 15 is the max so far.

4. I have no sense of direction without mountains or interstate, i can tell anyone how to get anywhere but i know how to get there!

5. Tetris - i own the high score.

Posted by: steff at July 2, 2008 9:19 AM

Number 4 should have read, I cannot tell anyone how to get anywhere but I know how to get there.

Posted by: steff at July 2, 2008 9:20 AM

I like the band connection game. My fam and I always place 6 degrees of separation (or Kevin Bacon if we feel frisky) when we get trashed.

Interesting tidbits about me?
**I rarely turn down a dare. I have ran around the track at my old high school naked, jumped off of any number of things, and drank/eaten unmentionable substances.
**My mother and I can communicated by spell-talking to eachother hella fast.
**I can leg press over 400#'s (random, I know)
**I have had braces for over 30% of my life.
**My grandmother knew Al Capone (her sister was married to his brother).

Posted by: Mymilabean at July 2, 2008 9:36 AM

I can remember addresses and birth dates of most anyone I have ever been friends with, all the way back to elementary school. Not a very useful talent, but a fun party game.

if getting lost and having no sense of direction could be a talent, I think I would win a prize for that.

Posted by: diane at July 2, 2008 9:36 AM

I remember phone numbers - I still remember my best friend from first grade's number (1972!)and my grandfather's service station (last dialed in 1985) and some others...

Posted by: Sue R at July 2, 2008 9:49 AM

I'm not sure what hidden talents I have. I can curl my tongues. I can pop most joints in my body. I am horribly slow at making connections or recognizing symbolism, which isn't a talent so much as an enormous annoying flaw. I will randomly quote movies, particularly Mel Brooks movies, and then laugh at how funny I am. But uh. That's it.

Posted by: Sparkle Pants at July 2, 2008 10:06 AM

1) Curl Tongue
2) Lick Chin
3) Tie cherry stem in mouth
(the Boy is indeed lucky)
4) Loudest person on college campus, 1996
5) The date I offered at a charity auction broke all records. I can't remember the amount, but it was all college students. I don't remember the guy's name, but his friends all chipped in, and they saved me from a REALLY creepy dude.
6) I ended up buying the cheapest date at the auction and we dated for a few months.
7) I've been mistaken for a mom, a doctor, a "streekwalker," and a secretary, in that order. I've only been one of those, even though I wasn't that at the time. Guess which one.
8) I still don't know how to ride a bike.
9) I'm going to run my first 5K in August.
10) My husband has lovingly compared me to a Wookie (in the loyalty/ass-kicking personality department, not for excessive height or body hair, thank goodness).

remind me to tell you about the house we bought where your glasses will go PERFECTLY.

Posted by: alektra at July 2, 2008 10:39 AM

1. I can also curl tongue, but it's totally genetic dudes.
2. Can recognize and name celebrity voice-overs with uncanny accuracy.
3. Can whoop my kids at any video game that stars Mario.
4. Can play flute, tenor sax, and tuba.
5. If you ever find yourself needing an espresso drink, windows washed, blood drawn, and on and on... I have job experience.

Posted by: sunshine at July 2, 2008 10:39 AM

i don't know if my hidden talents are appropriate for your family-friendly site..

haha. just kidding.

um, hidden talents?? erm...i bake a mean chocolate chip cookie.

Posted by: ali at July 2, 2008 10:39 AM

My resume would appreciate knowing my hidden talents as well. Too bad I don't seem to have any, other than successfully making it past FBI background checks!

Posted by: Poppy at July 2, 2008 11:03 AM

I discovered quite by accident the other day that I can make my fingers do the "live long and prosper" thing. My husband, the huge Star Trek fan, can't.

I rock at Jeopardy and Wheel while sitting in my living room (but I'd probably be speechless if I ever got on either show).

I can't curl my tongue or wiggle my ears but I can curl my little toes over their next door neighbors.

And I can remember the first 2 phone numbers we ever had. 817-J and 483-M. The first was over 60 years ago and both preceded the dial in my town.

I have a gift for retaining useless information but can't remember when I walk into a rom why I'm there.

If I don't get back to you before the 4th, have a great time. Don't let Mia put more than one marshmallow in her mouth at a time (seriously).

Posted by: Ann Adams at July 2, 2008 11:27 AM

I can stack dishes 3 feet high in a dish drainer, while allowing for proper air circulation for drying purposes.

I know all the words to both 80s hair band songs ("Girls, Girls, Girls," "Every Rose Has Its Thorn," "Paradise City") and classic country songs ("Delta Dawn," "Tennessee Flat Top Box," "Walkin' After Midnight").

I can almost always see all sides to an argument, a skill that has earned me the nickname "The Diplomat" at more than one job. This despite my general lack of patience for human beings. Sometimes I think I would have made one heck of a judge.

Posted by: Alias Mother at July 2, 2008 11:38 AM

I can not only curl my tongue, but I can roll my r's like the best little senorita.

I have a photographic memory. It's totally awesome. Except when it's not.

I can still remember the entire McDonald's Menu Song that they came up with as a contest in, oh, 85 or something. And can still sing the whole thing in one breath.

I am a freak about brushing my teeth. I bring toothbrushes everywhere I go.

I am viciously allergic to red food coloring.

That's enough for today.

Posted by: Mr Lady at July 2, 2008 11:46 AM

My hidden talent is either funny or creepy, depending on personal opinion. It's freaked a few people out and is much better seen than described.

I can move my eyes alarmingly quickly in different directions for an extended period of time. Some have told me they move in different directions from each other, but I'm not sure about that myself.

Posted by: jessica at July 2, 2008 12:20 PM

1. I can curl my tongue *and* tie a cherry stem in a knot with it.
2. For reasons I cannot explain, I can correctly name *and* sing along to at least 8 of 10 polka songs at a party. These parties don't come along very often, but when they do, I am in my element. Whatever element that may be.
3. I could probably recite the entire dialog to The Princess Bride.
4. I'd make the perfect spy. Nobody ever suspects me of anything. I've sometimes used this to my advantage.

Posted by: PirateBikeGrl at July 2, 2008 12:41 PM

We'll get to my talents later. I want to hear a recording of your chipmunks impersonation!

Posted by: Jeff A at July 2, 2008 1:18 PM

I can also curl my tongue.

I rocked my Spanish classes in HS and college. Even went to Puerto Rico as an exchange student in college. And today? Am hardly able to have a conversation with a child in Spanish. However, I generally can still read it and pick up the gist of what people are saying.

I was a pretty good clarinet player in middle school, high school, and college. I fell out of it in college and am not sure I could read the notes on a musical staff these days. I was consistently first or second chair in the clarinet section. However, I know more about classical music than anyone would ever guess, and I'm a pretty good judge of good vs. crappy music and singing.

Although I wasn't into playing sports, I was in marching band and was a kick-ass line leader. It's my love for metered and even things. It also helped me become an awesome multitasker.

I always have a running count somewhere in the back of my head of how many steps I just climbed or how many steps I just took from point x to point z. If you were to ask me how many steps I just climbed, I would be able to tell you within 1 step. (I try to ignore it.) I believe this comes from my marching band days. It can actually be rather frightening.

I have a good eye for design -- be it in a room, on a scrapbook page, in a photograph, etc. People are always asking me for help or ideas with decorating or design.

I apparently have a green thumb, which I only recently discovered. Friends and family are impressed. So am I.

I am able to see all sides of an issue or argument, which sometimes makes decision-making difficult for me. It's the curse of being born under the astrological sign of Libra.

Heh. And to think that I didn't think I'd come up with more than two things!

Posted by: ironic1 at July 2, 2008 1:22 PM

Not sure if this is really considered a talent or not, but I'll claim it anyway. I have never been bitten by a mosquito. Ever. At outdoor parties and camping I make people insanely jealous- ha! Perhaps I stink?

Posted by: Jill at July 2, 2008 1:28 PM

Will you do Iris Dement to Finger Eleven? For some strange reason, I like them both for different reasons.

Me? I took harpsichord lessons in college just because I could.

Posted by: k8 at July 2, 2008 1:45 PM

I knew a few of those things from years reading the blog, but I didn't know the tennis one. That's amusing :)
Annnd...hm. Journey to The Eagles. :D

Posted by: Heather at July 2, 2008 2:42 PM

Can you do that band connect thing for me? I want you to connect Led Zep with Little Big Town. Ha! Bet ya can't!! :)

Ok also hmm...something you don't know about me: When I was 9 I purposely hit my 5 year old brother on the head with a baton (the twirling kind- not the police action kind) to impress a boy.

Hidden Talent: Hmmm that is hard...because I don't think I have a hidden talent...if I have a talent..I like to tell the world about it :) Um...I really can't think of anything.

Posted by: Amy at July 2, 2008 2:42 PM

hm hm hm. my fingers are very bendy. like amy from amalahs. its a great party trick. im very good at reading people. but i am not psychic. if anyoone calls me that they get kicked in the face. i dunno. i dont have anything special. OH WAIT i remembered. i used to do pantomime as a kid. lol. yes...i should write a post about that sometime..

Posted by: cri at July 2, 2008 2:46 PM

I have no hidden talents. All of my greatness is out for the world to see :-)

Posted by: GreenCanary at July 2, 2008 3:19 PM

Nationally ranked tennis player eh? Wowsas. I used to have the same affliction with Three Amigos... but I'm on the wagon :)

For me... I was accepted to Juliard but I turned them down. I never told my parents I'd been accepted, or even that I applied. Also, I'm a liberal but I love to shoot and am a pretty good shot. Finally I have an uncanny ability to guess how movies will end... and I don't even have to work at it. I'm just sitting watching and all of a sudden I'm like "hell, I know how this is going to end." And 98% of the time I'm right.

Posted by: Kate at July 2, 2008 3:22 PM

First, this (http://semicharmedwife.com/) has nothing to do with your post today, but related to an earlier one. Seems there are lots of people that don't know what they want in their lives.

Ok, I don't have any 'real talent', but I can remember numbers, especially phone numbers.

I can remember crazy things I talked about with other people that are truly irrelevant.

When I didn't eat out all the time, I could remember everything I ate AND what you ate and where/when we ate it. Hubby thinks that is crazy!

When my kids lived at home I knew where everything in the house was, drove them crazy, cause if they moved or used something, I knew it. Silly....

Some random things about me: I ran nekked down to the beach in Ocean City from our hotel at 3am. It was about 1/2 a block away.

Our family used to own 16 horses. I rode all the time (probably why I have back problems) I now own 14 cats and used to have up to 20. (anyone need a rescued cat??) I skated every Wed/Fri/Sat for 5 years straight. I could swim the length and width of our public pool under water. (took lots of practice) If it wasn't raining, I spent every day in that pool.

Oh, and I can curl my tongue and twist it from side to side. I can also lick my chin.

Posted by: been there, done that at July 2, 2008 3:23 PM

I too can curl my tongue!

I once helped fold over 1000 paper cranes to send to Rochester, NY for a valentines day present

If Alton Brown were to stop me on the street and ask me to run away with him, I would go

I can turn on almost any radio station and sing along no matter what the genre

I secretly love country music

I don't like hard pieces (chips, m&ms, etc.) in my ice cream

I won't eat raisins because I don't like the way they feel in my mouth.

Posted by: Dani at July 2, 2008 4:07 PM

Do you know how some people are intuitive to the point that they can tell within the first few hours with someone what his/her greatest desires, fears or joys might be? I think I am able to tell the negative things such as fears or temptations. It's harder for me to figure how happier things.

I'm not sure if it's a great ability to have...

Posted by: Arwen at July 2, 2008 5:07 PM

I can curl and twist my tongue. I can raise one eyebrow. I can look like Im listening to you talk and nod in the appropriate places, even answer occasionaly, and not know what the heck you talked to me about 2 seconds later. I can also double knot a cherry stem in my mouth, if its extremely long, i can triple knot it. :o)

Posted by: Elizabeth at July 2, 2008 5:28 PM

I can not only curl my tongue, but split it down the middle thanks to some speech therapy when I was young.

I can read and understand almost all romance languages, but not speak them. Also Hebrew. (Okay, I could get by with Spanish if I had to.)

I can type accurately and unbelievably fast thanks to a typing class in 7th grade.

I can pick up an accent and intonation of someone I'm hanging out with -- or a city I'm visiting almost immediately.

And I make a mean chocolate toffee pecan pie.

Posted by: Pammer at July 2, 2008 5:42 PM

I can not only curl my tongue, but split it down the middle thanks to some speech therapy when I was young.

I can read and understand almost all romance languages, but not speak them. Also Hebrew. (Okay, I could get by with Spanish if I had to.)

I can type accurately and unbelievably fast thanks to a typing class in 7th grade.

I can pick up an accent and intonation of someone I'm hanging out with -- or a city I'm visiting almost immediately.

And I make a mean chocolate toffee pecan pie.

Posted by: Pammer at July 2, 2008 5:42 PM

Hmm, well I too can curl my tongue but I can also bend it in half width wise. I can hang spoons off my nose, cheeks and chin. I can still do a pretty great cartwheel and I can pick things up with my toes.

Posted by: Mandy Lou at July 2, 2008 6:14 PM

I scored 11 points shy of a perfect score at cheerleading tryouts my junior year - 789 out of 800.
I was awarded "My Affair Lady" at our 8th grade awards day (catholic school - how shocking!) AND Class Flirt in High School.
I can remember facts from forever ago about people and places.
I juggle.
I have the patience of a saint.

Posted by: NancyJak at July 2, 2008 6:49 PM

the music stuff? that doesn't surprise me about you at all. the whole "7 degrees of separation" type game with bands? that's kind of amazing haha. go you :) and i can totally see you rocking out on the guitar. that's actually the you i've kind of always pictures...the business suit guy is the OTHER you.

Posted by: tiffanie at July 2, 2008 6:59 PM

I can imitate a car alarm. It's surprisingly accurate and concerned a few people when I did it during a theatre audition once.

Posted by: Amy at July 2, 2008 7:38 PM

1. I'm crafty
2. I am famous among family/friends for my walnut chocolate chip cookies
3. I was on the cover of a magazine wearing a bikini when I was about 14 yrs old
4. I still have the rebate check from the whole Milli Vanilli fiasco - it's framed and hanging in my son's room
5. I rock the hell out of Tetris
6. I'm good at forging signatures
7. I collect foreign coins
8. In when I was a senior in high school, I briefly worked at a steak house, and had to stab one of my bosses in the hand with a fork. And no, he did not fire me.

Posted by: coolchick at July 2, 2008 8:57 PM

If it were not for my mother and an over-zealous orthopedic surgeon, I could have counted to ELEVEN on my fingers!

Posted by: Julie at July 2, 2008 10:08 PM

I was once a puppeteer and traveled with a puppet team. The puppet team had a name, but that should remain a secret. No . . . really . . .

My special talents are all about cake, hence my very big and happy ass. Oh and I make the best Halloween costumes for my kids and my nieces and nephews. You have not lived 'til your three year old corrects a cashier to say no he isn't Robin Hood, he's a Welsh bowman.

Posted by: OS at July 2, 2008 11:33 PM

OK...no teasing! Now you've GOT to record yourself as Alvin, Simon and Theodore. I want to hear!!

Posted by: Lani at July 4, 2008 2:16 AM


# I can recite, acapella, the vast majority of the lyrics from Dougie Doug's song Six Minutes. I'm not proud of it...except I kinda am.

Posted by: MazingAmt at July 4, 2008 1:34 PM

I can make an owl hoot noise with my cupped hands,
make a LOUD squeaking noise with a piece of grass between my thumbs (I'm proud of that one)
bend the top joints only of all my fingers,
move my ears,
identify the majority of the local birds by song (proud of that one too)
and know lots of flower games (how to snap dragons, pixie arrows, grandmother grandmother jump out of bed with convulvuless)

that is an AWESOME talent with the band connection. I had a huge crush on the lead gitarist of Extreme... ah, happy days.
Can you connect... hmmm... Steps with U2?!
Now there's a challenge for ya!

Posted by: mamacrow at July 4, 2008 3:44 PM

"Despite my liberal-leaning political ways, I'm a bad-ass shot with a pistol."

Um, I have never shot a gun - but we just got a Wii and I am scaring the crap out of everyone with my aim on the shooting games.

Posted by: Aimee Greeblemonkey at July 7, 2008 6:04 PM

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