Actually, three tofu-based, etc., because in order to counter my recent spate of self-loathing and try to be positive for once, this thirteen will be all about talents you may or may not know I possess.
This is my first foray into the Thursday Thirteen, so it may be a bumpy (or boring) ride. Comments, as always, are appreciated.
1. I am a pretty good singer. No, I’m not planning on going on American Idol any time soon – too old and jaded for that, fortunately – but I’d hazard to say I’m better than most of the people who compete on the show (yes, I’m aiming low, here).
I have always had a good musical sensibility – I memorized most songs I heard and began writing my own (rather prolifically) at a very young age, was in an award-winning a cappella group in high school and had some well-received coffeehouse-type acoustic performances in college. I majored in sound and have a good awareness as to recording and mixing techniques, as well as having learned to play the guitar and drums a bit. So, when I say that I’m a good singer, I have a certain amount of knowledge that allows me to make that a somewhat objective statement.
This is not to say I think I’m a great singer or musician. That knowledge also informs me that I am no Aretha Franklin, honey, nor my voice suited to the kind of melisma-heavy music that tops the charts today. Not to mention, if I’d had the patience, work ethic, skill, charisma and self-confidence to fulfill my teenage dream of being a musical performer, I’d have done it by now. I’m not kidding myself – that’s not my path. But I can at least allow myself a bit of pride now and then for being better than average.
2. I can make people laugh. Not everyone, all of the time, but most people, with a good frequency. And not just laughing at me, thank you very much, although I’m not above that. Some people might even find my sense of humour off-putting. But most of my friends would tell you that I am funny. Look, I can show it to you in my 30th birthday slam book right here!
3. I am a pretty good writer, this blog notwithstanding. I’ve had some people I respect as pretty good writers, themselves, tell me so. This does not excuse the self-promoting radio show on young queer poets I produced in college. I don’t think anything ever will. But I know a good turn of phrase or two.
4. I have a knack for remembering obscure trivia and inserting it into conversation. Some might consider this a curse or tic, actually, but let’s just call it a blessing, shall we?
5. I am good at comforting people. I’ve always felt unsure about this, and it seems a strange attribute to promote, but when I was an animal communicator, I frequently dealt with people who were upset, afraid, angry, distraught or in mourning. They always told me that they felt a lot better after our sessions. Some of it could just be having someone they thought was knowledgeable and sympathetic listen to them, but I suppose being that person is a skill in and of itself, isn’t it?
6. I make a mean chimichanga. Actually, I just made that up, because I just love the word “chimichanga,” and don’t get to use it frequently enough. Plus, they’re yummy. But I am a pretty good cook, when I put my mind to it. Even the kitchen perfectionist, Mrs. Nator, says my omelettes are to die for.
7. I’m good at learning. That is, I tend to grasp new skill sets pretty quickly, when I need to, and also like to learn new things. Of course, there are areas, like mathematics, the hard sciences, etc., where I am more limited than others. But I’m generally a quick study when it comes to learning new programs for work, how to program or fix household appliances, conjugate a verb in another language, etc. This also goes along with…
8. I’m a good researcher. Seriously, if you need to know about something, I will hunt down all the information available on the Internet, make phone calls, peruse books, you name it, to get what you need to know, if I deem it a worthy investigation. Neither this or number 7 necessarily means that I am great at retaining all this information for long periods of time – that brain space seems to be taken up by number 4. But, want to know where to see a scarlet macaw or a brief history of the construction of the New York Subway system by the end of the day? I’m your woman.
9. I speak cat fluently.
10. I have a pretty good artistic eye, which comes in handy in everything from house decoration to designing a website. I used to fancy myself something of an artist, but I’m not under that illusion, now. Let’s just say that’s more of a raw talent I’ve not fostered.
11. I can talk in all sorts of funny voices, and will do so at any given opportunity, whether you like it or not. I’ve thought about pursuing a career as a voice-over artist for cartoons, in fact. Apparently, however, all those spots have now been filled by Robin Williams.
12. I can knit baby hats and booties. I made some really cute ones last year. They may have been beginner level, but they were cute, dammit. And we all know that I don’t even really like babies.
13. I can make a list of thirteen talents I have! Is that a cop-out? Listen, I was thinking of making insinuating comments about my skills in the boudoir, but I refrained, and I’m sure you’re all relieved about that, so let’s just quit while we’re ahead, yes?
Well, that’s that. It was harder than I expected to think up thirteen talents. Whether that’s due to low self esteem, a learned value of modesty or an actual lack of talents, I’ll let you judge. It also could be that my attention span has become so short that writing thirteen things just got boring for me. Writers’ workshop, here I come!
Have a pleasant Thursday. Y’all come back now, hear?