20 Things

Back in the day, we used to complete lists of random factoids about ourselves to share on social media. Turns out the last time I completed one of these was over 10 years ago, so it’s time for Everything-you-always-wanted-to-know-about-Amanda-but-was-too-afraid-to-ask. In no particular order:

  • I sincerely believe in Better Living Through Star Trek. There should be classes taught around these series the same way courses have been designed around the Harry Potter books. Humanity has a LOT to learn from Star Trek.
  • I love anthropomorphism. It never gets old. Putting a pair of googly eyes on anything makes it instantly better. Talking animals are a particularly big hit.
  • When I was a kid, I was a complete bookworm, now I barely read at all. One of the more unfortunate pitfalls of adulthood is failing to find time for hobbies after work and responsibilities.
  • I can draw really well. Like really, really well. Hand me a black and white photograph and I can recreate it. I just don’t have the time to engage in it anymore, and I’m too practical to pursue something artistic for a career.
  • I’m obsessed with sushi now and it is one of my favorite foods, but the first time I had it, I really didn’t care for it. Then the second time I had some, I hated it a little less. Then the next time, I kind of liked it, and it grew on me from there.
  • At one point at work I supervised a team of 7 staff, but I had no office. Twice I ran a meterstick across the top corners of the entrance to my cubicle and hung a blanket over that to create a makeshift wall and hung up a sign saying “There is no Amanda, only Zuul” when I needed a break. It was highly effective.
  • My original passion in life was Geology, and my original career plan was to be an Earth Science teacher. Through a convoluted series of unfortunate events, my plan was thwarted. I ultimately completed a Bachelor’s in Biology and a Masters in Teaching Biology, and I now work in Public Health. I can’t complain too much–at least I get to put my knowledge of biology to use and was able to develop my teacher-voice. But sometimes I wonder how things might have been different otherwise.
  • I have cut my own hair before–a few times since I started wearing it short. It’s very liberating. I’m also guilty of trimming my bangs at my desk at work when they’ve gotten too long.
  • When I was an adolescent, I was told I needed braces. I begged my parents to spare me the final insult of metal mesh over my teeth since I was already plagued by bad acne, frizzy hair, and coke-bottle glasses. I strongly felt that braces on top of all that was the last straw; that with that went my last shred of dignity. They let me get away with it, and now as an adult with crooked teeth I kind of wish I had sucked it up and just gotten the braces.
  • I love bananas with peanut butter. I generally won’t eat a banana until I’ve slathered pb on the outside first.
  • I am all about anchovies on pizza. And pineapple. Fight me.
  • I love making lists. At any given time, I’ve got anywhere from 2-5 lists going
  • I love the smell of books, and the fact that a particular book will have its own distinctive smell.
  • Speaking of books, I get extremely agitated when people take a new book and split open a crack in the spine or fold down a page.
  • I have a black thumb. I tend to kill a lot of plants—particularly by over-watering them. As a result, I’ve compiled a collection of cacti and succulents because they are the only things I can’t kill. I water them once a week and then leave them alone.
  • In college I had a habit of telling people that Troy was my “Bedford Falls.” I was born and raised in Troy, attended college in Troy, and figured I would ultimately die there. Since college, my hometown has had quite a Renaissance, and there is no shortage of cool restaurants, shops, community projects, festivals, etc.…And the best damn Farmer’s Market in the country. I can’t imagine living anywhere else now, and I’ve changed my marketing pitch to emphasize the fact that Troy is in fact, a MAGICAL place.
  • If I had to choose between being blind or being deaf, I would choose blindness. It would suck, but I could not live without music. I have several carefully curated playlists that I listen to constantly, and as anyone who knows me well can imagine, they are chock full of eclectic and cheesy hits.
  • I think purple grapes are far superior to green grapes. When I was younger it was one of the questions I would ask everyone I met to help me discern their character and whether they were still worth talking to. Then I grew up and got only slightly less judgmental 😉 It’s hard being an INTJ. Whether it’s harder on me or harder on the rest of you is up for debate.
  • My favorite Star Trek captain is Kirk. Yes, I know some of his mannerisms are laughable. His spoken word is laughable. His role on the show as a ladies’ man is featured about as often as his captain-ing, but I contend that there are several reasons why he is a great Starfleet captain, which are captured nicely here. But most of all, his greatness lies in the fact that he doesn’t believe in the no-win scenario. Imagine how much more we could all accomplish in life if we didn’t give up so easily in the face of our dilemmas, and employed a little creativity and optimism? And maybe a little cunning…
  • I live by the mantra “Life is what happens to you while you are busy making other plans” (thanks go to John Lennon for this bit of wisdom). I love to plan. I love lists. I spend an inordinate amount of time worrying about little details and developing contingency plans for all the ways X, Y, and Z could go wrong. So I carefully map out vacation itineraries and to-do lists for the workweek but deliberately leave my plotting, scheming, and organizing to short-term items while leaving the big-ticket items open to possibility. Experience has taught me that so often, the really big items aren’t up to you. If you have too rigid a picture of what is supposed to happen to you or what your life is meant to look like, you’re liable to miss opportunities that come your way.

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