Chef Amber Shea random factoids

I’ve been tagged! Kati shared seven random facts about herself and nominated me to do the same. I don’t talk too much about myself on this blog – it’s all about the food, baby – so I thought, why not? Here goes nothin’…

1.) I have a Bachelor of Arts in Linguistics from the University of Kansas (KU), which I earned in three years. Though I’ve lost some of my foreign language skills since graduating (in 2006), I can still say I am comfortably fluent in Spanish, am proficient in French and Latin, can read and understand Italian and Portuguese, and know bits and pieces of various other languages such as German, Dutch, Romanian, Turkish, Japanese, etc. (Perhaps now you can see why my romp across Europe was such a life-dream-fulfillment for me!)

2.) As you may know, I’m a marathon runner. I’ve completed two so far, with times of 4:54:59 and 4:38:26 (in other words, pretty slow!). I run other distances as well (my best half marathon time is 2:15:33), but the marathon is my bread and (vegan) butter. This year, I’ve got half marathons scheduled in late March and early June, and I’ll run my third full marathon in October (hopefully sub-4:30).


Post-marathon #2 (October 2009)

3.) I’m a music freak, with a hundred or two concerts under my belt and a good 40 gigs of music on my hard drive. As far as genres go, I’m primarily into metal ( m/ ), with dashes of industrial, goth, punk, and classical. I love road-tripping with friends to see shows. For example, among the 11 Nine Inch Nails (my all-time favorite artist) shows I’ve been to, I’ve seen them in Dallas, Denver, Chicago, Oklahoma City, St. Louis, Columbia, Wichita, and (of course) Kansas City.

4.) Speaking of being a metalhead, I’ve had my hair every color in the rainbow (and then some), though I quit dyeing it near the end of college. Around that same time I took out my septum (nose) piercing I’d had since high school. I finally removed my tongue ring just the year before last. My two-hole industrial and one cartilage piercing eventually rejected, but I still have all of my other 12 earrings (8 earlobe, 1 vertical cartilage, 1 tragus, 1 anti-tragus, and 1 rook), though I also downsized all my lobe piercings after college, from up-to-4-gauge rings to dainty little studs. I’m still hardcore on the inside, though!


Circa summer 2005

5.) I’m very into reading and writing (which is probably no surprise, now that you know I’m a linguist; see #1). My obsession with reading goes way back—as I just related to Kati recently, I was the elementary-schooler who read 365 books one summer, the sixth-grader who read 23,000 minutes that year instead of just the 1,000 required; the kid who voluntarily set her alarm for 5:15am on weekdays so she could fit in an hour and a half of reading before school. Nowadays, I don’t have nearly as much time to read as I’d like, but my favorite reads are classical and Russian literature, and historical and/or scientific nonfiction. As for writing, besides this blog, I’m an avid diary-keeper and an amateur poet. I’ve dreamed since first grade of being a published writer someday.

6.) I’ve never really talked about my “food journey” on here because it’s quite complex, as well as personal. But to summarize, I’ll say that I pretty much didn’t eat for many years of my life, and when I did eat, I subsisted on Ramen noodles, pizza with the cheese peeled off, and spaghetti marinara. No one has ever found a satisfactory explanation for this, least of all me. As a child and young adult, I was somehow simply averse to food in general. As a result, I was malnourished enough by mid-high-school to raise concern, and was put on a constellation of medications that made me not just gain weight, but blow up like a balloon. Suddenly, after having been scrawny my whole life, I found myself a fat and unhealthy 18-year-old. This is when I dived headfirst into nutrition, cooking, and exercise, losing 45 lbs in 7 months and forever altering my interests, tastes, body, habits, and attitudes. Vegetarianism followed, and not long after that, I developed my current “almost vegan” routine/philosophy. I’ve never looked back.

7.) I’ll conclude with some small, random/silly facts about myself…I am an inexplicably thirsty person, and typically drink 120-130 oz. of water per day. I have some strange phobias—the ocean at night, pictures/footage of underwater shipwrecks, index toes, optic nerves, dead trees sticking out of water, the sound of fingernails rubbing on terrycloth, the windmills in central Kansas, the word “enterprise,” et al. I had absolutely beyond-atrocious eyesight (-12.5) my whole life, until I finally had Lasik two years ago. I have a smattering of freckles on my upper chest which, if you play connect-the-dots, form the Big Dipper. I have an uncanny memory in general, but especially when it comes to birthdays. I get inordinately delighted at the sight of geese. I have the cutest bike in the world.


Coco, my pride and joy!

Tag, you’re it!
Hillary
Hannah
Matt
Aimee

5 comments Post a comment

  1. Hannah

    Oh my golly gosh, tagged! First time ever! This shall give me something to do tomorrow as I spend the entire day changing trains to get to Paris 🙂

    Also, now I know why I instinctively like you so munch 🙂 Reading! Language! History! I miss reading as much as I did as a kid too… Which of the Russians do you like? I’m a fan of Tolstoy, and have been meaning to read the Dost-man for years 😛

    P.S. Your piercings look pretty darn awesome!

  2. Kati @ Living Well

    I loved reading this! That is amazing about the languages you can speak/read/interpret! I’ve done 1 half marathon and probably won’t do another! I like that you journal too; I can’t seem to make the habit stick. Great story on your journey with food too. See, you’re inspiring me: I’ve gone 11 days now into “Meatless in March.” :> Love that bike!!

  3. Aimee (I Tri To Be Me)

    Great list! Thanks for sharing with us! Thanks for the tag too. I’ve already done it, but I’ll do another one with a different twist to it! 🙂

    Oh…and I grew up in KS so I actually love the windmills there. It’s so interesting how people can see the same thing so differently!

  4. Amber Shea

    Hannah—You’re too sweet! I like Tolstoy too, especially Anna Karenina. But “The Dost-man” is my favorite! Crime and Punishment and The Brothers Karamasov are two of my favorite books of all time. And although he’s an expat who wrote his best works in English, I suppose my favorite writer of all time, Nabokov, deserves a spot amongst the Russian greats.

    Kati—Me, inspiring? ::Blush:: Aw. I’m so glad Meatless in March is going well for you!

    Aimee—Haha, the thing about the windmills that specifically creeps me out are the little red lights in the center that are on at night. When you’re driving past in pitch darkness, you might not even know there were windmills there, but then you spy the little red lights…and then you make out these GIANT STEEL ARMS swinging mightily…and then they start to look like huge zombie beacons blinking in the night, stretching for miles in either direction. Eek!

  5. Joe Macchio

    I love this girl … she amazes me … As much as she loves to read, i love to read about her … I cant enough and for me thats pretty rare … I never really like to go up to girls to talk to them when music is BLASTING around me in a club or bar … you see I hate talking over loud music … And no matter how HOTT the girl is I wont do it … But for whatever reason this HALLOWEEN 2010 there she was sitting next to me … I wanted a picture with her and figured Id get the pic and move on … But as soon as we chatted for a brief time I felt like staying longer … I WANTED to stay … I did not want to leave her … It was worth almost losing my voice talking to her cuz i became so intrigued … I did’nt want to stop talking to her about artificial surgars and the conspiracy behind them … and i did’nt want her to stop talking to me about anything she had to say…. The more she talked the more I wanted to hear.

    … Now would I ever stop eating EGGS for her, probably not but I do love Ethiopian … LOL

    Very interesting meeting You !

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