Even More Answers – Thursday Thirteen

1. GlassHallFull asked:
Have you read anything by Alexander McCall Smith? (he’s an Edinburgh native and one of my favorite authors.)
No, I haven’t read any of his books. I am trying to read more, but sadly the boys take up all of my free time. Even when the little one naps, I’m probably recovering the house from the devastation they both caused.

2. Do you have any favorite books or movies?
The one series I have followed was Harry Potter. A friend talked me into reading them about eight months before book 5 came out. I really want to get into all the big Chick Lit books and actually bought a few quite a while ago. They’re still waiting to be discovered by me. I actually enjoy most books I read on some level. The only book I didn’t enjoy was one I read by myself for an assignment for a (like AP) English class. I picked a genre and “Catcher in the Rye” was listed in it. Maybe the reason I didn’t enjoy it was because I may not have understood all the terms. I have no idea. All I know is, I was glad when I was done with it.

Movies. I love films and have a varied taste when it comes to picking something. I love the Shawshank Redemption; Planes, Trains and Automobiles; Black Sheep, Happy Gilmore, The Pursuit of HappYness, 13 Going on 30, Night at the Museum, The Goonies, Back to the Future I & II. I love anything to do with time travel, like Frequency too. I also gravitate towards ‘Based on a true story” films. Although I don’t watch them as often as I used to, when it comes to scary films, ones that mess with my mind are the good ones. Unfortunately Signs and The Ring made me laugh.

3. Toni asked:
Are we Americans really as rude as we are told?
The only thing I took as a little rude and off-putting was when talking with a group of people. I found (and still find) that if someone is talking and it spurs someone else’s train of thought, they will interject and continue the conversation over them. Having had to fend for myself and drop the “she’s quiet” and “she keeps to herself” labels, I now do it myself. I have cut my poor mother off in so many conversations now.

I don’t know if I would use the word rude, but Americans are much more likely to voice their opinions rather than keep it to themselves (like my Mum who would blow up over stuff someone else did or said to her after it had festered in her for hours). I have always been able to stand up for myself a little bit more than my Mum (she taught me to, ironically), but living here has strengthened it.

In California, I noticed less people hold doors open for others.

Living here I don’t see it, but I think there are certain aspects to life where others could construe it as being arrogant. Occasionally, Bryan and I will banter back and forth spewing mock insults at one another’s country, one night he made some remark and I retorted, “You only despise the French because they’re more arrogant than you are.” He laughed, so I won! I find Americans to be very generous and open-minded.

4. Momisodes asked:
Do people ask you to repeat yourself often?
Moreso over the phone than anything else, or if it’s someone who’s never met me. I used to get it a lot when I first got here because people said I was ‘too soft spoken’. Bryan still says that.

5. Does it drive you nuts?
It does when it gets to be the fourth or fifth time, yeah. I’ve watered my accent down a bit just because of that. I also change a lot of my words because I got tired of repeating myself or eventually having to think of the American word for it anyway.

6. Karen MEG asked:
How often do you have to spell your name out for people, say on an average day?
Any time I have to say it, I have to spell it. The sad thing is, in Scotland the name was just getting popular in the last five years or so before I left. As an example, I had never heard my name called out in public where it wasn’t someone I knew calling after me. I was in a clothes store in Glasgow when I heard a mother yell out, “Siobhan! Put that down and get over here!” You’d be right in thinking I wet myself. Sometimes I joke with people who ask:
THEM: “How do you spell that?”
ME: “Like it sounds…”
THEM: “CH…?”
ME: “No–”
THEM: “SH…?”
ME: “Haha no…”
And then I put them out of their misery. The exact thing happened at Costco one day when I went to pick up my contacts. “CH or SH?” “Neither, SI.” She actually huffed at me. I’ve met about thirteen Siobhans in my lifetime. More than you’d think were here in the States.

7. The Grand View asked:
Tell the truth; Scottish or American cuisine?
Sarcastic answer? The only true American food that I can think of are hot dogs, casseroles and pies. (But not apple pies. I too was surprised last year when I learned the Pilgrims brought the recipe over with them from England. Who knew?) Everything else is kinda adopted. And at that, if I do eat a hot dog, the only ones I’ll touch are Hebrew National, I’ve liked them for eight years now.

I used to say, throw anything in a 13 by 9 here and it’s suddenly a casserole!

No contest.

8. Elizabeth asked:
Celtics or Rangers?
Although I’ll happily watch football now (on my own schedule and if I so choose–long story), I tend to steer away from those two teams–especially the Old Firm games. I’ll watch anything else though.

My step-dad was more than an avid fan, he was obsessed. If there wasn’t a game on TV, he’d watch a compilation of pre-recordings he’d made. On Saturdays, he’d watch one on TV, listen to another on the radio and watch a live game out the kitchen window (looked over the local stadium) all simultaneously. After they were done, he’d watch the highlights of other games around the country. I grew to despise Saturdays and would leave for hours just to get away from it.

9. Joy T. asked:
Have you ever been to Canada?
No, but I would LOVE to go. I have always wanted to go there. We’re only four hours from the border, and now that the boys have their birth certificate/passport, we have no excuse! Bryan had never been there until his business trip last month. I was spitting glass at him.

10. Do you plan on blogging forever?
Forever seems so indefinite to me. (See last answers I gave). I’m not sure really. I’ve almost given up twice now. Although it’s cathartic at times and definitely enjoyable to interact with others and share thoughts I may not normally voice in outdoor life, it can be time consuming and addictive! I still can’t say ‘yes’ or ‘no’ though.

11. Where do you see your blog being 5 years from now?
Everyone wants to be popular and I won’t deny that I haven’t thought about it. It can be a little disheartening to anyone if you don’t get some sort of feedback. I’m not looking for Dooce, Rocks in my Dryer or IamBossy et al levels, but I’m kinda secretly looking forward to the day when I get 50+ comments.

I’ve always wanted my own website, but all the names I have wanted are taken. We’ll see, I may still do it. In five years, I doubt I’ll still never want to be labelled a “Mommy Blogger” though. I’m stubborn like that.

12. VA Biker asked:
Do you care for Craig Ferguson?
Oh how I love Craig…his coy smile, his shout-y serious voice and when he laughs at his own jokes. His skits kinda creep me out a wee bit, but I’ll forgive him for that. He admits he “Googles” himself (“I like to Google my Yahoo!”), and I hope he finds this! I’ve always wanted to send in an e-mail, but can’t quite come up with anything good enough. I am very happy for him and his success here. Funny thing is, my husband used to watch Conan religiously for years, he now switches over for Craig without blinking. Muahaha!

13. anglophilefootballfanatic asked:
What do you think of Gordon Brown?
(New Prime Minister who took over from Tony Blair.) As politicians go, he’s pretty damn ugly. Oh…wait. I really only knew him as the Chancellor of the Exchequer (i.e. not very well), but aside from being a very well educated and highly intelligent man, he has a prolific education and political career. I like his forward thinking and policy initiatives. I also like that he’s Scottish. It’s about time.

What about total Scottish independence?
If it’s economically sustainable, I have no qualms about it.

Bonnie Prince Charlie?
I think his cause was (and to a certain extent, remains) noble, he gained a lot of support (and rightly so), specifically from Highlanders, but I also think he made many careless mistakes in battle that cost others their lives. Like most leaders, his life wasn’t without scandal or the lack of women. I almost wish more political or moral leaders were like those of the past, there’s definitely something to be learned there.

Queen Mary?
I’ll assume the First, right?
I actually feel really bad for her. Her Dad (Henry VIII), obviously loved her, gave her her own court at Ludlow castle and many royal prerogatives usually only bestowed upon males, then later in her life, disown her and halt her causes and progress. OK, so we’ll skim over the fact that she gained the nickname ‘Bloody Mary’ thanks to a few (fine, over 300) dissenters she had beheaded, but still, I can’t help but pity her, and all because of her father’s love for a bit of skirt (that could produce a male). Even though he was her biological father, due to a remarriage, she was declared illegitimate from that point and eventually lost all of the rights she had. I mainly feel bad that she had to stoop to gain favour with her father again. Henry (in my opinion), was a few sandwiches short of a picnic. I am impressed mostly, that she held to her faith and never wavered, despite being in the monarchy and in the minority.

The role of the monarchy in the 21st C?
I think my opinion has changed slightly, living over here. I think I now respect the tradition, the pomp and circumstance, if you will. I love that “uniforms” and ceremonies of the guards and Beefeaters haven’t changed through the centuries and that tradition holds true. However, the Royal Family – despite refute – hold quite a substantial burden on the UK. I think the role of the monarchy has changed dramatically just in the last century. I also think Princess Diana was one of the only ‘good’ ones left and I was sad that she died. Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s great that they all have causes they support and they’ve all been in the military at one time or another, but I think in my mind, they have less importance and relevance to the British public now, more than ever. In fear of being stoned by some English friends, that’s all I’m saying.

Haggis?
It’s spicy, but herby. Doesn’t really taste of anything else other than that. I think it’s funny that so many Americans get up in arms about it or grossed out when there’s Rocky Mountain Oysters, Scrapple and, dare I say–hot dogs?

If you made it this far (without skipping), I love you.

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17 responses to “Even More Answers – Thursday Thirteen

  1. I actually like Haggis.
    Never knew that about Apple pies!!
    I also like Craig Fergason. Apparently he wrote a good book…?
    I understand completely your comments on growing up with a football fan (nut). My FIL is like that. It consumes his weekends. I love that we are away from all that – but then it bugs me twice as much when I see/hear it again.
    I am getting excited for you for nexy week!!

  2. Interesting, as always.

  3. Great answers to some penetrating questions. Thank you, so much, for letting us in.
    I know you’re getting excited about the trip coming up. I hope everybody is well and that the trip comes off as planned.

  4. Mumof4- I read the book-Between the Bridge and the River-it’s very good and not what you would expect from him except that his sense of humour is intact.

    Siobhan-I should have phrased my question differently. Instead of cuisine I should have said cooking. Now which do you prefer?

    Good answers to all of the other questions.

    St./ Queen Margaret (Married Malcolm III) was obviously another who kept her faith despite being in the monarchy.

  5. I always laugh when a restaurant claims to have “American” cuisine. There is no such thing, sillies! I guess you could call McDonald’s an American restaurant, but I don’t know that even they have any food that is really, truly an invented in the US concept. I’ll have to ponder that . . .

  6. thanks for answering my questions! when my kids were younger, most of the reading i did was of children’s literature with them – and actually, i found a lot of really wonderful books that way. so enjoy whatever books you have time to explore at this stage of your life!

  7. the political ?s i had to skip a bit b/c i didn’t know who y’all were talking about but royals? i’m sooo in love w/prince william. so glad to find another who thought The Ring was silly! i’ve never been to canada either but this is the closest i’ve ever lived to it– about 5 hours away. i can’t stand repeating myself!!

  8. hey…those were awesome questions with awesome answers!
    you should, most definitely, make your way to canada…particularly the canadian rockies…so beautiful there!!
    have a great tt!

  9. Fascinating list. Thanks for sharing. Happy TT.

  10. Re answer 4: Scottish people tend to be more soft-spoken than Americans. I often have a hard time understanding people here, not because of their accents, but because they’re mumblers.

  11. I LOVE me some Craig Ferguson. LOVE HIM!! I think he is by far the best late night host right now. He is hilarious! I really he takes over the when David Letterman retires.

  12. anglophilefootballfanatic

    Can I be anymore of a dope? I did not look at what I asked closely. I should’ve put down Queen Mary Stuart the other Mary’s cousin. Mea culpa. And, I quite agree with your answers to my questions. I’ve always wanted to try haggis. I’m not put off by things that don’t sound all that tasty. Oh, and don’t get me started on Henry VIII. That man spent his whole life trying to escape his older brother’s shadow by doing very strange things.

  13. Good answers! Sorry I’ve been lurking and not commenting lately.. Good question and answers. I’ve met soooo many “Siobhan”s in the last few years! It’s becoming quite a popular name. My niece introduce me to Craig Ferguson’s show a year or so ago.. Love it! He’s very funny… and I do love the accent!lol
    You need to go see “thepioneerwoman.com” if you haven’t. She’s hilarious, and very interesting. I’ve always thought your site could be that popular, too. She has contests to name photos, and stuff and gets around 1000-3000 entries!!! Only one to a person! I’d like to be her when I grow up!lol (as a blogger) Have a good week with the wee ones!
    hugs,
    Jean

  14. The only Siobhan I’ve ever met in person was an American.

    Having grown up in a household where the only way to get a word in edgeways was to talk over other people, I haven’t noticed that Americans do it any more than any other nationality. I was in a study group of 5 people one time in graduate school here in the US where 2 of us (the other a Californian) would happily to talk to/at each other simultaneously. It drove the others in the group nuts, but neither of us minded.

    I hated Catcher in the Rye. I think I was too old when I read it.

  15. 4 days! Are you all packed??? 🙂

  16. How fun to learn more about you in this way. You and Sandy are so brave to respond to questions posed by your readers in this way. I hope you enjoy your trip!
    Hugs and blessings,

  17. Thanks for answering those (and my) questions! It was fun reading your answers!

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