Monday, February 2, 2009

Introduction meme-style!

Hi there! My name is Amanda and I'll also be contributing to this blog here and there. I recently responded to a meme that I thought might serve as a fun introduction. So, without further ado, here are 22 factoids about me:

1. I live in Eureka. I moved here from southern California less than a year ago and I love it.

2. I made the transition to veganism in 1998 for moral reasons, but my health has thanked me for it (with the occasional grumble over the sometimes-irresistable ‘junk’- Yay vegan Doritos! Boo vegan Doritos!).

3. When I was really young (under 10) I lived with quite a few non-human animal friends. One of those friends was a chicken named Henrietta. The night that Henrietta died my father made a joke to the effect of ‘guess who we’re having for dinner tonight?’. Not too many years after that I stopped eating certain creatures and continued on that path until I arrived at veganism. I found out later that we weren’t actually eating Henrietta, but it opened my eyes.

4. Higher education has taken all the joy out of writing for me. I used to LOVE expressing myself through stream-of-consciousness writing; it was so liberating to let go and write whatever I needed to write in whatever way I wanted to (agrammar and all). Experiencing over-and-over a formulaic critique based on (in my opinion) dogmatic/prescriptive notions and having to alter my writing in order to fit within those prescriptions has driven me writing-crazy. It actually got to the point where I would experience intense anxiety whenever I had to write a paper. This would cause major procrastination, which in turn prompted hurried/under-developed papers, which in turn prompted lower grades, which in turn prompted anxiety, which in turn prompted procrastination…well, you get the picture. I’m currently trying to reclaim the joy that institutionalized prescriptions took away (part of why I’m contributing to this blog). Yay for college!

5. I’m considering several graduate programs right now. Perhaps I’m a glutton for punishment?

6. I think language can be a powerful tool and a powerful oppressor. I think it’s an amazing fosterer of communication and I think it’s inherently dishonest.

7. I love neologisms.

8. I’m a closet (no longer!) fan of the Buffy the Vampire Slayer tv show (see #7).

9. I was on Romper Room as a wee lass (I wasn't allowed to be a wee lad, so I did what I could- damnable gender normativity!). What I mostly recall from the experience was being incredibly uncomfortable about the cameras and not having a toy/item for the 'show-and-tell' portion of the you might guess, this didn't help with my overall discomfort.

10. On the topic of gender normativity, I remember when I was younger that I sometimes felt a bit like a 'boy' inside. Not because I wanted to be male- I'm actually quite content with my gender- but because I associated certain aspects of personhood with boyness; the roles that I understood girls were supposed to play didn't give me enough room to be all that I understood myself to be. I find this to be a very unfortunate statement about what our culture continues to teach those not lucky enough to be the recipients of certain sorts of privilege…and I think this is very pertinent to the non-human animal rights movement as well as every rights movement.

11. I had an organ removed last year. Mind you, it wasn’t a vital one, but it was powerful enough to bestow plenty of grief. After a number of years of intense pain after consuming fatty foods and subsequent weight loss, cancer fears, ulcer fears, and general unhappiness, my gallbladder and I parted ways. Turned out it was chock full o’ gallstones. Alas, I still can’t really eat fatty foods (*sigh* Doritos).

12. I kept the stones. They actually look like stones. Considering what they’re made of, I think that’s pretty amazing. They’re people-pearls.

13. I’m considering making a ‘pearl’ necklace out of them just so I can tell people I made it...’No, I mean I REALLY made it.’

14. During Fall/Winter I often go extended periods of time without shaving my legs. I like to pretend I’m one of those awesome womyn who are unconditionally accepting of their own body…but really I’m just lazy.

15. I love the color green, in every shade. It means trees and grass and leaves and growth and it makes me happy.

16. I’ve been called a “hippy-goth.” I just think that’s too funny.

17. I don’t really like labels. I think they have merit and are functional, but I think over-reliance on them can be conducive to over-simplification and can ultimately contribute to unhappy-making, exclusionary things.

18. I’m very misanthropic, but also very hopeful. I don’t believe people are ever ‘bad,’ but I think they can (and do) do a lot of damage. I also think they can be really beautiful, inspiring beings. I dislike them en-masse, but like individuals.

19. I think my husband was intentionally created in a lab 1,000 years in the future and sent back to teach us about our species’ potential. He’s by far the most loving, empathetic, compassionate, creative, sensitive, nurturing, brilliant being I’ve ever met. He’s a big part of the reason I can say I’m a HOPEFUL misanthrope and I plan to love him forever and ever.

20. He’s also one of my oldest friends. We met when I was 16.

21. Sometimes when I look at my kitty-friend, Cookie, she doesn’t look like a kitty to me. She just looks like a furry baby-friend I love.

22. I think love can be transformational.

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