Saturday, November 17, 2007

Ten Reasonably Random Things About Me

I've been having some interesting comment exchanges with My Inner French Girl, and she has tagged me for the much-circulated "Ten Random Things About Myself" meme. I generally don't post much personal material on La France Profonde, but the timing of this meme will also allow me to give you a better look at my new winter thumbnail!

1. I'm not a very random person. That's why I immediately organized this list around three main themes: French stuff, food stuff and really random stuff.

2. My first trip to France was to do a semester overseas in Tours. We got a two-week break in November. Most of my friends took off to sunny climates, but I found one taker to go to Denmark, Sweden and Norway.

3. The worst mistake I've ever made in French was to announce that I had cooked something "à poil" instead of "à la poêle." No translation will be provided!

4. After driving for 14 years in the USA with a perfect record, I failed the driving part of my first French driving test...but passed the written.

5. I was the very first person at my current workplace to "brownbag" it for lunch, and I took some flak for it. Now many of my colleagues, both French and anglophone, eat lunch at work. The times they are a changing...even in La France Profonde.

6. I know how to make confit de canard and terrine de foie gras, but don't know how to put them up. They're awfully good "fresh" anyway.

7. The only drinks I truly enjoy are water, coffee, wine and beer.

8. I used to be a college radio DJ at KZSU. This means I had some type of radio license and actually knew how to turn on and shut down a whole radio station.

9. My husband, two daughters and I have all of our birthdays in a two-week period in June. Mine is last, so it usually goes by the wayside.

10. I have gone by a nickname all of my life because my parents made the conscious decision to "officially" give me a regal name but "call me" Betty. It has held. And by the way, in France it's my "Saint's Name Day," or however you translate that. So since I know not much will happen on my birthday, maybe someone will remember ma fête!

Now for the fun part: tagging. It wasn't really clear how many bloggers to tag, so I'm going to go with three...and will be surprised if any of them come up with a list:

The Empathic Rationalist to see if he can blog about something other than politics and philosophy.

Paul from Jeannot's Weblog, in the hopes he won't write a list in computer programming language.

Brandon and Jessica Haskell, ESL teachers in South Korea, whom I found in a totally random way -- you see I can be random if I want to. I opened up Blogger and watched the "recent posts" float by, clicking on everything that looked potentially interesting. It took me 13 minutes to find an appropriate candidate. There is a lot of junk out there!


Randal Graves said...

First, that is a wonderful photograph. I'm quite tempted to steal it. :)

Secondly, #3. Ouch. It's funny because I know how many mistakes I still make. Of course, I have the luxury of doing it around my fellow native English speakers, so the bug-eyed looks are fewer and further between.

#5 is interesting. Do you see any other obvious Americanization?

Daniel Spiro said...

How wonderful of you to clue me in to your blog. I'm kind of overwhelmed by it right now, having spent quite a while on this and "And so Forth" this morning. But I will say that (a) I'm very happy that you love "Let Down" and "2001 One" and sad that you left off any references to the Rolling Stones and Badfinger.

Your loyal fan, Dan.

Betty C. said...

Randal -- You are welcome to steal my picture for any non-commercial purpose. If you give me a little credit, that's even better.

The photo was taken directly into the shop window and door of a boucherie behind the Rodez cathedral (you can see the door in the middle), so the cathedral was actually behind me when I took the picture and what you see is its reflection.

As for signs of "Americanization," they abound, but now that I live here I hestitate to blame everything on the USA...Great Britain and Germany, with their stronger economies, share in this influence, as do new patterns of thinking.

Do employees who can't go home for lunch really want to eat out in a restaurant every day? Do they really want a two-hour lunch break when a one-hour break will allow them to go home an hour earlier? I think part of it is the French opening up to new ways of doing things.

Betty C. said...


I'm not sure how you can blog on Blogger and not figure out that I have my own blogs. But I kind of suspected that you were not aware of other types of blogs besides "political philosophizing" blogs, which you do very well BTW.

That's why I sent you the little "meme"...but I had no idea you didn't know my blogs existed!

As for Badfinger and the Stones, of course the list could go on and on. There's no Elvis Costello either, nor the Kinks...on that "And So Forth" post I was really focusing on songs that brought back memories, which weren't necessarily songs by my favorite groups at all.

Daniel Spiro said...

Never underestimate my capacity for cluelessness. Seriously, I could often plead ignorance and not be lying.

As for the blog post you inspired this morning, I tried not to talk about politics or philosophy. Really, I tried. But as you will see when you finish the entire thing, I failed.

But hey, at least I didn't mention politics. After that debate from Nevada, not talking about politics was a pleasure.

Take care, and congratulations on your beautiful portion of cyberspace.

katiez said...

That was fun! I can sympathise with the driving - thank god we didn't have to do the written in Andorra - in Catalan!
Love the new photo!

paris parfait said...

Happy Saint's Name Day! And when I was in college, I had an on-air news program on the local radio station.

Rosie said...

as a result of point 3, I think I am finally able to confess to my worst mistake in French after 15 years. Proud to show that I understood the word bizou, and that I wasnt afraid of a bit of grammar, when someone held back on the greeting kisses I said to him
"Personne ne me veut baisser par ce que je suis anglaise."
mmm...I can't remember exactly what he replied

Alison said...

Cooking à poil could be dangerous...

Thanks for the not-so-random random info. That was fun to read.

Betty C. said...

Rosie: You spelled the key verb wrong (just one s,) but anyone who speaks French will get it.

Alison: I did have fun writing this. Sometimes these memes come at a good time.

Lucy said...

One of my daftest mistakes was telling a neighbour I'd been walking in the woods and seen some 'clochards' when I meant 'clochettes'. But it wasn't serious and I've enjoyed recounting it since. Probably the worst mistakes I don't even know about, but I generally steer clear of 'bise', 'baisser' 'baiser' etc for fear of making a similar one to Rosie's. (Who, incidentally, I followed here).

tongue in cheek said...

à poil, and Betty I bet your saint turned in her grave, and enjoyed the laugh out loud!
That is a good one! The best one I must say!

Poppy Fields said...

That was fun to read. I have the same drink list except change the beer to diet coke...but keep the wine, coffee and water.

Chris Late said...

You need to let us know when your birthday is next June, so we can pick up the slack!

Chris Late

Betty C. said...

Chris Late -- That's nice to show concern about my birthday. I wish I knew who you were, though -- the link to your Blogger profile didn't work.

How sad if I have to turn to my blogging pals for birthday wishes! But it's a good idea too!

Cassoulet Cafe said...

Is it true that if you use "exciter" it doesn't really mean excited in the way we use it in English? If so, I made some very embarrassing statements that were never corrected until I moved back to the USA.
I, too, steer clear of the word baisser for fear of accidentally saying it with one S. I heard horror stories of Americans using the wrong one.
Great post, it was very interesting!

Jann said...

I enjoyed reading this post~ and probably would have enjoyed it more if I spoke some French! It's always fun to see what bloggers have done during the course of their lives~

Betty C. said...

Yes, "excité" does not have the meaning of "enthusiastic" like in English. It's not always, um, a sexual meaning either though. It can also be something like "excitable and fidgety," as in "Les enfants étaient tous excités avant l'arrivée du Père Noël." This would be more of a complaint from an exhausted parent (or teacher) than a description of happy enthusiasm.

Tinsie said...

I already knew no. 9 but it was fun to read the rest :-)

Veronica said...

I liked no. 3 too. Luckily foreigners have a bit of leeway to make mistakes like that. But here's a very professional one I found this morning, evidently lacking knowledge of the similiarity of pronunciation between "Q" and ... :-)

Betty C. said...

Veronica -- Hilarious!