Brooklyn TexasComment

Do you have a secret talent? This weekend, BKTX was invited to a talent party, where we’re supposed to perform stuff we’re good at doing. WTF?! Who has talents? We realize we’ve answered a version of this question before, and while menu ESP and a penchant for organizing brunches are perfectly acceptable talent show fare in our opinion, we dug deep to try to find some mad skills we can show off on Saturday. There are a few things we can do really well that aren’t exactly obvious. Not all of them are performable, but  we’re still pretty proud of them. As for the talent party, Emily’s going to perform one of her talents below (guess which one?!) and Olivia’s not sure yet, but she’s been heartily encouraged to chug a beer, because that is always impressive.

EMILY: (1) Finding The Best Deals on Things I Actually Want

When I was a teenage employee of Anthropologie, I realized that I am a master at finding the stuff I want for crazy percentages off. My favorite thing to do on a break was to head to the onesie section, which was where weird one-off returns would go, or where we'd put the last unit of a style that we couldn’t put alone out in the store. Clothes in the onesie section would sit and just get more and more on sale as time went on, so I’d rifle through and find dresses I wanted earlier in the season for crazy low prices. I got a few hundred dollar dresses for $5. I’ve always been a little crazy about shopping, and for me the only way to really justify buying all the fancy new stuff I want is by getting it SUPER on sale. Last week, I found $500 Ulla Johnson dress that I’d been lusting after for weeks on sale for over 60% off, and it was still full price everywhere else! I had to return it because it fit weird, but it’s the thrill of the hunt sometimes, you know?

Olivia: (1) Falling Asleep In Public

I am an insomniac, so falling asleep at night in my bed can be really hard for me. However, the second I rest my head and close my eyes on any OTHER kind of flat surface, I totally pass out. I fall asleep on planes before they take off, I'm a frequent subway napper, and on Tuesday this week, I fell asleep during lunch at my office. In less than two minutes of resting my forehead on the lunch table, I was snoring. Oops. I don't know if I acquired this skill from years of practice or out of necessity, but when it comes to falling asleep in public — I'm really a pro.

EMILY: (2) Hula Hooping

The breakdown of the weather in Houston is thus: 9 months of summer, 1 month of extreme summer, 1 month of fall, 1 day of winter, and 1 month of light summer. Thus, there was a lot of time to play outside when I was a kid. I used to hang out for hours on my family’s cement driveway jumping rope and playing four square, but it wasn’t until the hula hoops came out that I realized I really had a talent. I can hula hoop for hours on end without it falling off: I can speed up, I can slow down, I can move it up and down (I used to be able to get one up over my arms to my neck and then down really low to my knees, but I haven’t tried that in a while), I can send texts while I’m hooping. At one point, I had dreams of being a belly dancer and thought that hula hooping would get me there, so I did it non-stop. Thankfully I’ve let those dreams go, but my hula hooping talent still remains.

OLIVIA: (2) Making Whipped Cream

I’ve always loved having dinner parties, and berries and whipped cream is my go-to dessert. It’s so easy,fresh, and tasty, and it presents well even though it’s not fussy. Some people find it really hard work to whip cream up, but it’s something that I have always been really good at doing quickly by hand without a recipe. Because I never measure anything the best way to get it to my liking is by taste testing it often. In a large bowl, pour one a one cup carton of heavy cream into a bowl and whip with a whisk until soft peaks form. Add a dash of vanilla and a few pinches of sugar. If I'm feeling fancy, I sometimes add a splash of bourbon. Continue to whip the cream until stiff peaks form — you want to be very careful not to over-whip. When you are done, the cream should still be silky and smooth.

EMILY: (3) Recognizing Any Face She’s Seen Before

When I see a face, I can recognize it later, pretty much no matter how much time has passed or if I even interact with you at all. If I see you in a restaurant even from far-away, and then I see you a week later on the street, I will remember seeing you in the restaurant. One time when I was in grade school, my family took a road trip to go to some of the national parks in Utah, Arizona, and New Mexico. I realized that there was another family that was on the exact same trip, because I had seen them on a hike, at a cafe, and at a hotel throughout the week. Finally on the last day, I told my parents that I was pretty sure that the family sitting near us had eaten at the same restaurant as us the day before, and they made me go over and tell them that I recognized them. It was true: we were on the same road trip! They thought it was great; I wanted to die. I think it’s a pretty cool talent most of the time, but I often have to pretend I’m meeting people for the first time — it’s pretty awkward to try to convince someone you’ve had a 5 second interaction with 5 years earlier that you have actually met them before, so I just pretend we’re meeting for the first time. Sorry for being creepy!

OLIVIA: (3) Parallel Parking

When I was in middle school, I was obsessed with The Fast and The Furious. I was convinced that as soon as I was able to drive, I would be a street racer. My street racing dream was pretty short lived, but my vision of myself as being an awesome-super-cool-bad-ass driver never died. In reality, I'm a pretty reckless driver. But after much practice and three years of having a car in New York with a car, I have become an awesome-super-cool-bad-ass parallel parker. I can squeeze my Jeep (with Texas license plates, of course) into tiny street parking spots that look too small for even a Mini Cooper. Sometimes, I even take pictures to commemorate my accomplishments.