Thursday, August 26, 2010

Doncha Know.

This is what 3 am in my head sounds like...

I was 7 when I truly remember hearing an accent. And I'm not talking about the Spanish accents that were so common in Texas - I never knew those were different until I was older. Southern accents? Didn't know there was such thing until much later. But when I was 7 the accent that really rocked my senses was the Northern one. It was my Uncle Mark - my Aunt Anne's new boyfriend at the time (in 1985 and now husband) and I can remember thinking I know that's English so why can't I understand him? We were in Minneapolis and here's how it went down...

Uncle Mark: Hey Nic, I'm a boat to go to the stoh, you wanna goh?
Me: You're what?

Clearly he thought it was a volume issue. I can remember we were in his tiny little kitchen on Dupont Street and I looked around wildly for my mom - or anyone - to translate. After some more back and forth, the mystery was solved and I crinkled up my nose and thought This guy sounds WEIRD. When we finally made it to the stoh, it was like someone turned the volume up and I began to notice the accents. And not only the accents but the phrases, all said in a bit of nasally tone, like their noses were plugged (through my 7 year old eyes). A lot of I you betchas, oh yeahs?, oh yeahs and doncha knows.

After living in Indiana for the past 4 years (wow), I have developed a whole new appreciation for the art of the Northern/Midwest accents and phraseology. Some are specific to their regions and the longer I live here I've even begun to pride myself in distinquishing the Minnesotans from the Wisonisinites, the Chicagoans from every body else, the South Dakotans and the Hoosiers. The Canandians are in a league of their own and all of these as a group don't even come close to the East Coast folk.

Here are some of my faves:

You betcha. I first noticed this one a couple of summers ago while working (digging) in South Dakota. I find it endearing for some reason. Did you finally get some good rain this spring? Oh, you betcha. Long day? Oh yeah, you betcha. Wanna meet at The City Bar later? Yep, you betcha. I hear this one in Minnesota and here in Indy, but I attribute it mostly to my SD friends.

Oh yeah? Said with a softer 'oh' and almost a 'yah' - oh yah - this one is everywhere. Often used to express surprise or feign interest, it could be substituted for an 'oh really?' or 'wow' but rarely is. My Dallas native sis-in-law who now resides in WI has officially adopted this one and she says it a lot. I don't think she realizes it but it makes me smile every time.

Oh yeah. Same soft 'o', 'yah' and rampant everywhere, this one is usually said as confirmation of something while nodding the head . I heard there was a fight at The City Bar last night. Oh yeah (head nodding), it was crazy. Or, I heard little Nicole couldn't understand her Uncle Mark, she must have poor hearing. Oh yeah, poor kid (head nodding).

Have a good one. Or in some cases Have a goodun. The first time I noticed this one was from a security guard at the museum when I started working there. Goodnight Amanda. Yep, have a good one. Every time, every day, Yep, have a good one. Another guard there changes it up a bit with haaaaaave a good one. Another? Have a goodun. Each distinctive to their speakers, I use the guards as my examples because those are the folks who, for almost 4 years, I have said goodbye and goodnight to every day.

Doncha know. This is one of my faves. Made famous by the Coen brothers' Fargo, it said not so much as a question, but as a statement of fact. We got a lot of rain this spring doncha know. Or, Doncha know there was a bar fight last night. A rhetorical 'don't you know' if you will.

It's funny to think about my first experience with the accents because a few years ago, one of my camp kids - she was 7 - crinkled up her nose and said Miss Nicole, what's that word you keep saying? And I'm like What word Dior having no clue what she could be talking about. And she said That word you keep calling us - I don't understand it. After some back and forth I figured out that the word was yall. Ha, busted. It made me smile.

So do I find ever find myself saying the above mentioned? Oh yeah, you betcha. It's easy doncha know. Have a good one.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Saturday Shenanigans

It's Saturday. I had no work. Kate, no kids. So this is what we did. For hours. And it was perfect.
After several flights (of 3 oz. pours) of Upland's best, all Scrabble rules were out the window.


Sorry Mark, as much as I know you really wanted to add 'Become Baseball Team Owner' to your list of things to do, you being such a big fan of the sport and all, sadly, you were out-bid by one of the most prolific names in all of baseball - this guy...

Hey Nolan, congrats on an amazing victory. The Texas Rangers are finally yours and you totally deserve them and they deserve you.

After spending more than half of their division-leading season in bankruptcy court and being dangled like bate to anyone with money - that means you Mr. Cuban - it was Ryan and Greenburg that came out on top. We learned first hand from Texas billionaire Tom Hicks (grrr) and even Dubya (I repeat, grrr) that money can't buy you everything, even a winning team. After a decade of having one of the highest payrolls in baseball (not to mention doling out millions to players who were no longer on the team - A-Rod, wha??) and not even a playoff game to show for it, my beloved Rangers have finally come full circle. In 2008 Nolan came back to the pack as President of the team and by 2010 they have remained comfortable in first place in the AL West almost from the outset of the season. Oh, and their payroll? Go ahead, see for yourself.

So finally, the team has returned to the people, and judging from recent attendance, the people have returned to the team. Will I make it to a game before the season's out? I doubt it but there's always hope. For those of you that do make it to a game - or 10 - enjoy your newly reduced priced dogs, beers and parking. And don't forget to thank your new team owners.

Oh, and Mr. Ryan or Greenburg, if you're listening, can you please see about getting live audio stream of the games for us fans that aren't in D-town?

Thanks and cau for now.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Monday Morning Ramblings

It's Monday morning and this is my view. I'm not at my desk, I actually ate breakfast, and I'm catching up on 4 - yes 4 - weeks of The Economist. All of these things plus I've got hot coffee in my belly and what feels like the neighborhood to myself, pale in comparison to the fact that I'm teaching a class today at noon. Could this day get any better? If all my weeks started out like this the world would be a much better place. And even though I worked my way through Friday night and Saturday and Sunday, I still feel like I'm getting away with something, being at home on a Monday and still in my pj's at 10 am. Exhale here.

Back to class. With 2 weeks of being back at the front of the room under my belt, I'm still nervous about teaching. Armed with new music mixes, I mentally prepare. Sometimes I even stole away into one of the extra rooms at the studio, minutes before class begins, to practice some new move that comes to mind. But once I get up to the front and see the smiling familiar faces of encouragement, it all comes rushing back. Half the time the verbal cues and exercises that flow from one to the next manifest without thought. Where did that come from I often find myself wondering, as I constantly work to make it all appear seamless. But they know better than that. A missed count or forgotten set on one side or the other goes rarely unnoticed by my regulars and I love them for that. I've missed them and I've missed teaching. Yes, it's good to be back.

In the above photo please take note of the pristine white pillars and porch rail. My beloved husband has lessened the blow of his 10 week vacation by indulging in some much needed house projects and this one was a bear - stripping, sanding, priming and painting 4 pillars, 5 archways and 5 sets of handrails. All of those things laid on the side of the house during our 6 month porch renovation due to one 70 year old man, driving drunk on a Saturday afternoon. But I digress. Kevin did a knock-out job and as a thank you I agreed to do the touch-ups. Today. Ask me how that's going so far. I'll kick myself later when it's 95 degrees (for the record, 95 degrees in Indy is a way hotter/humid story than 95 degrees in Dallas, just so you know) and Kevin is reminding me that I have yet to live up to my end of the bargain. But I'll do it. I will do it. And it will be glorious.

I glance at the side bar of my blog to see the sad frequency - or infrequency - with which I update my blog. A sign of the times, once again. What you don't know though is that I've got tons of them bouncing around in my head at any given time. On my mental check list:

1. Our beloved digging town of Faith, SD, population 489, which, after the new census, is still 489.

2. Mine and Kev's adventures in Vegas - the first trip we've been on since Europe that did not involve family, a holiday, a wedding, or a funeral - no offense to any of those events.

3. Our trip to the Brickyard 400 and the startling differences between Indy Car and Nascar fans. Wow.

4. The book The Help. There are no words yet there are so many. A thought-provoking and immersive experience that was painful and beautiful all in one breath. I did not want it to end.

5. Prop 8 was overturned. The fact that gay rights remains an issue still today is mind boggling but this is a huge step. With straight marriage divorce rates on the rise, why not give people a chance to be happy with whomever they choose to be happy with? Who are we to say who is or isn't worthy of equal rights? Gay couples may not be able to procreate by traditional standards, but happily married and comfortable in their own skin they can certainly raise a child to be just as happy, well-adjusted, and open-minded (if not more so) than any straight couple. Why are people making this so difficult?

6. My little sis-in-law Paigey Poop just gave birth to one James Dalton Schoville. Paige, whom I remember first meeting when she was a mere 15-year old, wise beyond her years, with more hair styles and hair colors than most people have in a life time, is now a proud mama and wife almost 11 years later. It seems like just yesterday that my other sis-in-law Mandi and I were handing over our ID's to Paige and her best friend Jenny. No words can express how proud I am of that beautiful soul of a woman who will now get to pass on all her beauty, humor, and words to her son.

7. I recently read a Schumepter article that reminded me why I prefer working for non-profit over for-profit companies. And where it is true that for profits could certainly benefit from certain non profit ideals and practices, the reverse can also be true. Only beware the non profit that tries too hard to play with the big boys. I know that much is true.

8. The Rangers are still in first place in the AL West, but they're no longer as strong as they were a month ago. That's ok though, we're sure to see them in playoffs and for me - and them - that's huge.

9. There is a Post Secret exhibit happening now at the IMOCA. Cannot wait to see it.

Whew. That's all I got.
Cau for now.