Hmmm, what’s the first thing I want you to know about me, besides what you’ve already gathered?

I like to travel. Far and wide, wherever and whenever. I don’t travel on a big budget, but it’s better that way.  I’ve lived in lots of different places, and to see and experience such diversity has really shaped me. 

In the Masai Mara of Kenya,
kids in traditional clothing say hello

People – their homes and families, their cuisine and culture, their history and beliefs – are all so different around the world, and in such beautiful and worth-knowing ways.

I wish everyone was entitled to a travel stipend, one that came automatically with each passport – as a start, I wish that everyone applied for a passport. 

Beautiful colors dance with the flow
of womens’ saris at the Taj Mahal

I can’t help thinking the world would be a place less driven by fear and greed if more people would get out there and see it touch it feel it. 

However, I think I’ve come full circle in respecting where I came from, and I’ve also gained a healthy respect for others who want to stay where they are and not go someplace new! and enlightening! and fabulous!.  It’s part of the diversity, right? 

Now  – about the rest of me.

I was born in America, so I guess that makes me American. I grew up in a tiny town in the rural Midwest. I went to a Big Ten school and became a chemical engineer. I decided that hard hats and steel-toed boots were fun and all, but that a job with more interaction with people in the outside world might be better for me.  Now I work in Marketing, and I love what I do.

Two younger sisters
+ me makes three

I’m loud and outspoken, I laugh a lot, and I’m fiercely devoted to my small circle of family and friends. I have 2 younger sisters of whom I’m very protective. We’re all tall and have freakishly similar mannerisms.

Aside from my hometown, I’ve lived in Chicago, New York, London, and California, which is where I currently reside. As much as I’ll always love my big cities, my soft spot for the countryside seems to be growing.  Where I’m living now, I really miss the four seasons.

I was a teenager in the late 80s, and my sister – Sissy B – was my best friend in high school. 

Jane Austen is pretty much my hero.  Who could be cooler than Lizzie Bennett?

On the other side of the spectrum, I freaking love Tommy Boy, and could quote the entire movie script for you.

When I was a kid, my parents would drop us off at the bowling alley every Saturday morning, where we proceeded to strike it up with our little junior-high teams for a few hours, earning patches and small trophies that would later make us a little too competitive during the occasional grown-up bowling excursion.

I like to scuba dive.  I was terrified to try it, but ended up enjoying it so much that I felt like I’d been let in on a big secret.  Wowee, those fishies have a lot going on down there.

My youngest sister – Wee C – can accurately date any family photo (plus or minus a month or two) based on the hairstyles that Sissy B and I were sporting at the time.  She’s seven years younger than me and five younger than Sissy B, and she never missed a beat of our exotic teenage lives.

I’m an analytical nerd.  I pretend to be embarrassed about it, but really I revel in my enginerdiness.  If I could keep track of my entire life in an Excel spreadsheet, I’d do it (and believe me, I try).  For this, I thank my father and his penchant for logic and order (our Family Contact List.xls includes everyone’s age calculated to two decimal points, and conveniently updates your age every time you open the file).

My mom could make anything. She could knock out sewing projects in no time, be it Easter dresses or Hammer pants (yep – as in, Please Hammer Don’t Hurt ‘Em), cheerleading pinafores or ornaments for the church bazaar.  She made the Kanga outfit I wore in the kindergarten musical (my best pal was Roo), and an awesome terrycloth Ernie number for my first grade performance of “Rubber Ducky, You’re the One”. 

My sister and I went to every single dance after the weekend basketball games in high school.  These weren’t the formal kind, but rather the type they held on home-game nights to keep kids “out of trouble” (as if Sissy B and I knew where to find it) after being let loose from congregating in suspicious packs in and around the gym bleachers.  They held these dances in the darkened school cafeteria, tables and chairs scooted to the side; maybe 50 kids showed up.  Occasionally we’d get lucky and a disco ball was involved.  Sis and I had the moves, baby.  We shouted the lyrics at the top our voices, smack-dab in front of the DJ (not much has changed, except now we don’t do our dancing in high school cafeterias).  Then we’d slink off the dance floor during the slow songs, pausing only to cast a quick look at any possible takers (the probability of being asked to dance during those songs was very, very low).  Then we’d catch our breath until Bon Jovi came back on.  Oh, the good times.

My family was completely on the Intellivision bandwagon – on board and in the front seat.  Not Atari – Intellivision.  My dad actually hooked up the VCR to the console so he could tape the tail-end of his highest scoring game on Astrosmash for posterity.  I was so impressed.  I don’t even know where to start with naming my favorite games. Snafu, Night Stalker, Triple Action, Skiing, Major League Baseball…gems, all of them.  I’m pretty sure we still have that VHS tape somewhere in Dad’s closet of archived home videos (which comes equipped with a catalog of the moments of our lives recorded over the past 25+ years – listed both alphabetically AND chronically for our convenience).

Every year from 6th grade up until high school graduation, I sang with Mom in the community’s performance of Handel’s Messiah.  (I was that kid.)  I still hear her voice over my shoulder when I hear even a snippet of the Hallelujah Chorus.

My favorite place is my grandparents’ summer cottage, which is on a beautiful lake near the town I grew up in. In my mind it will always be theirs, but I bought it from my grandmother before she passed away so that our family can hang on to it – part of the past, part of the future. This will be the place where I take my knitting off into the sunset when I’m done with the corporate world.

Being crafty and creative and letting the right side of my brain roam free is the only thing saving me from Type-A-ing myself into the loony bin.  Discovering knitting a few years ago was such a pleasant surprise.  I finally found my bumblebees (Blind Melon video? anyone?).

It was tough to figure out why I liked knitting itself so much, and why I got on so well with the fellow knitters I started to meet.  On the art itself, it’s got something to do with the repetitive motion, I think.  There’s a bit of the OCD about me; I’m either ON or I’m OFF, and whichever it is, I do it in a big way.  Balance is tough and I tend toward indecision; most markedly, I sweat the small stuff, just what they tell you not to do.

The fluidity of the stitching really calms me, as well as the idea that I’m actually producing some kind of useful item while my hands move along and my brain zones out, mercifully freed from the usual worry so the neurons can wander around wherever they want.  As for the liking the like-minded people, maybe it’s the very uncertainty of what makes it so cool to knit that brings us together. That and sharing really cute ideas for handmade clothes.

The rest of the words to describe the answer to the “why knitting?” question for me (can there be any left?) came together when I stumbled upon an astute blogger that summed it up right there in her header

“Life is complicated – love, family, work… Knitting is simple – it’s about imagination and creativity – about connecting with history and about connecting with my inner self. People knitted in ancient Eygpt, in the Middle Ages, on boats fishing off the coast of Scotland in the eighteenth century and today. Pretty amazing really. When I knit I relax, the rhythm allows my mind to wander. I solve the problems of my world!”

– from Knitting For Love and Sanity, by Susan in Melbourne

Since then I’ve discovered a host of other people who appreciate knitting for very similar reasons – who knows why we stumble into it and how so many of us end up happy addicts.  Sounds weird, but it is what it is.  If you’re into it, you know what I mean. Maybe it doesn’t matter why and how, although a few authors seem to have copped on that there’s an audience of knitters curious about the general question. I have Zen and the Art of Knitting on my bookshelf. I’ll let you know if I get it sorted out – the meaning of life and all that.

So.  There you go – a peek into the way my wee noggin sees the world.  If you can relate with any of my little quips or if you’re curious about a blog project, drop me a line, any old time.  Find me on Ravelry, where I’m SassyDoesIt.

Oh, and one more thing…my name is Amy.  Lovely to meet you.

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