No Hidden Talents Here! by Deb Danielle Younge-Ullman

Oh this is a topic meant to egg me on, I’m sure! The other debs want to know about my quarter trick, or perhaps the how and why of my learning it, but I have to protect my sources so I can’t do that.

Since I’ve already revealed my talents for excessive hip-gyration, goofy poetry-writing and fixing electronic devices by shaking them, plus outed myself as a cherry-stem-tyer (planning a duel with Deb Jenny in July), my fellow debs probably think I’m going to confess all my other hidden talents.

They probably think I’m going to tell you I speak French when drinking and am also apt to thinking I’ve morphed into a fashion model, acrobat, Solid Gold dancer or Rock Star when under the influence. They think I’m going to brag about how I can still do the splits and touch my hands to my heels while in a back-bend and know all the songs from The Wizard of Oz, even the ones that didn’t make it into the movie. And then there’s the useful (and classy) talent of balancing dinner rolls on my head–as if I’m going to tell you about that!

They might think I’m going to reveal my very cool-looking Russian drinking trick, the one I learned (from real Russians of the Moscow Art Theater) while working on the part of Masha in The Seagull a bazillion years ago, the one where you roll a glass full of straight vodka along your cheek one-handed, from your ear to your mouth, tip the glass up, down the vodka, roll the glass back up to your ear and present it for refilling. (Truthfully, the most important part of this trick is to switch the vodka for water and leave the serious vodka drinking to others–in my case, the Russians themselves, who managed to seem only slightly woeful after a night of fancy vodka tricks.)

But all of these talents would make me sound like a bit of a lush with a wild lifestyle when I am, at the moment, a homebody with a low alcohol tolerance and small child whose early rising is a serious deterrent to late nights of any kind much less singing, dancing, acrobatics or vodka drinking in any language at all.

So let me just tell you that I’m excellent at parking two cars in our one-car garage, hiding vegetables in muffins, singing the ABCs while marching in place and throwing the ball for the pooch…and I have a crazy ability to memorize lines quickly–a talent I have no use for anymore but one which makes The Oppressor gnash his teeth every time I help him prep for an audition.

Thanks for reading!

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15 Replies to “No Hidden Talents Here! by Deb Danielle Younge-Ullman”

  1. OMG you so crack me up! I am most impressed by the fact that you can still do a split AND a backbend and touch your head to your heels. Wow. And I won’t ask when you even practice such maneuvers!

  2. Jenny: thanks for laughing! You know, the flexibility thing is not something I practice and nothing to do with fitness, since I’m not particularly fit right now. One of these days I’m going to try one of those things and it will just be gone but for now I’ve still got some party tricks.

    Joanne: sorry about your monitor!! But always happy to make you laugh of course.

  3. Love the post, but must set one thing straight: hiding slivers of veggies in muffins is NOT a hidden talent. It is a sneaky talent, an insidious-crafty-sinister talent that is indiscriminate in the poor mortal sods it chooses as the victims of its quest to erradicate all that is holy in the enjoyment of a treat, choosing to infect that treat with vegetables that have no proper place in the pantheon of marvellous muffins. The veggies, Danielle, that you talk of might make a reader think of say, innocent carrots, or benign zucchini, but I am here to say NO gentle reader!!! I have fallen prey to the warm muffin fresh out of the oven, tempting to the eye and nose. I have seen my child eating those muffins and seen chocolate on the side of her cheek. Happy, in fact, overjoyed that my wife has baked(!), I have been invited by my loving wife to try one of the chocolate bran muffins. I have arrived at the table, willing to share in this family moment, bit into my ooey-gooey muffin, chewed, and savoured the taste of…warm broccoli slivers. Yes. Broccoli. Baked in chocolate bran muffins. Ahhh, when the Oppressor becomes The Oppressed.

  4. Gail, I’m in VERY talented company all around, here at the ball. Keep in mind that when I say I “speak French” for example, that it’s not necessarily GOOD French or even intelligible French–though it makes perfect sense to me in the moment!

  5. Oppressor,
    So lovely to see you 🙂


    I am so impressed! As if the cherry stem-tying weren’t enough, the SPLITS!

    Seems to me like you’ve just found a spectacular grand finale for your book signings. Eileen’s going to lick books, you could do the splits! Right at the cashier’s desk!

    I laughed out loud at this post, and sadly now, can’t stop picturing chocolate muffins with big ‘ol hunks of broccoli poking out.

    Great post,


  6. You forgot to add magician to your daily talents, Danielle. How else do you explain being able to park two cars into a one-car garage? Now there’s a talent or a minor miracle!

  7. Lisa: You’re hilarious! Wait until you see Eileen and I signing together! The splits/book-licking combo is going to be deadly. In fact with all of our deb talents thrown in, we really need to take this show on the road.

    Eileen: I know, I know, but it’s a VERY BIG RESPONSIBILITY, trying to meet the nutritional needs of a picky 2-year-old. I am not inclined to eat veggies myself but I lie awake at night worrying about the little one’s iron levels, calcium intake, etc, etc, and fearing that I’ll let her follow my own less-than-healthy inclinations and stunt her growth or brain development, give her issues with weight, etc, etc. I want good things for her and if that means sneaking broccoli or spinach (and carrots, zucchini, blueberries, raisins, etc)into the muffins and then making them more palatable by adding chocolate chips, that’s what I have to do!

    The Oppressor wouldn’t be harmed by an extra veggie or two in his diet either since left to his own devices he would live on grilled cheese and doritos.

  8. LOL, Larramie! It is quite a trick, parking the two cars. It helps that one car is a Toyota Echo and the other a Pontiac Vibe–both quite narrow–and it helps that it’s a LARGE one car garage. We just can’t bear the idea of paying to park on the street because every two weeks in the summer the side to park on changes and there are parking enforcement officers waiting for 9am on those days, ready to pounce on anyone who hasn’t moved their car to the other side and give them a ticket. The Oppressor and I work from home and at our old house we got dinged almost every two weeks. It was infuriating and cost a small fortune! So when we got a second vehicle at our new place we decided to get creative with the garage. Sometimes I have to climb out the passenger side and I can’t say the side mirrors are totally unscathed, but we do it!

    I like that you call it magic, though…

  9. Isn’t broccoli a sort of chunky thing? Slivers? And can’t you find something a little more agreeable than broccoli? That sounds bordering on abusive and I have to say I’m siding with The Oppressor on this one. Leafy green veggies in muffins is beyond the pale.
    And BTW, my girlfriend and I in college spoke french often after being out at the bars together. At the time we made such great sense! Though I wonder if anything we said was truly French in the first place 😉

  10. I must say, The Oppressor has had an excellent day here at The Ball. He’s feeling downright emancipated…maybe I mean vindicated…hmm. But I’m not stopping with the veggies, I tell you!

  11. My jaw is agape at your many talents, D!! I must see this vodka glass feat. And the French-speaking. I have a feeling I’m going to be very amused in San Francisco this July!!! 🙂

    And hey, if you can have carrot cake, why not broccoli muffins? I’m just sayin’.

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