Location: Buffalo, NY
1. What book has most [had an impact on] who you are today? This question has been driving me nuts since we started running these — not because of what it’s asking, but because “impact” cannot be a verb! It’s “…has most had an impact on who…”
*Sigh of relief* — Now that I’ve got that off my chest — Matilda taught me to love reading (after I threw a fit in Barnes & Noble because my Dad wouldn’t let me get a fun book; the cover illustration was Matilda reading on top of a stack of books — how fun could a book like that be?! Dad always knows best). The Phantom Tollbooth taught me to like riddles and wordplay. The Great Gatsby taught me that things aren’t always what they seem, life isn’t always peachy and if you start trying to be someone you’re not, it’s going to catch up to you in the end. The Giving Tree taught me about love and compassion (and, honestly, I tear up a little bit when you get to the last page, and the tree is just a stump, but it’s still giving…awwwwww!).
I could keep going…
2. If you unexpectedly received $100 today, what would you spend it on? Rent? Food? My heating bill, so I don’t freeze in cold, snowy Buffalo? Sorry, I’m boring. Or I’d go spend it on a concert ticket (two, if I’m lucky and buy from the box office to avoid Ticketmaster’s stupid fees!). Or a plane ticket to Boston. Depends what bills are stuck to my fridge, what shows I’m debating going to and how badly I miss Boston when you hand me that hundo.
3. What are 5 brands/products that you can’t live without?
- iPod/CD player/Pandora, YouTube, online radio — Your pick, but I need one of them. Life is too boring in silence.
- Snapple diet peach or raspberry iced tea — No, seriously, I’m addicted.
- Crackberry — I would only go without it if you traded me for a Droid or an iPhone. Yeah, yeah, typical Millennial, I know.
- Goat cheese — I put it on pretty much everything from crackers to my morning bagel to my (super-spectacular) grilled cheese sandwiches.
- SpOt Coffee, Tim Hortons, Mighty Taco and various other Buffalo food establishments — Not being able to eat a Mighty chicken fajita any time I wanted for the three years I was in Boston was painful at times. Buffalo may be losing population and cold, but you will eat damn well here.
4. What are you most thankful to your parents/guardians for? For letting me follow my passions and encouraging me along the way. My family’s a family of math and computer geeks, so I’m sort of the black sheep in that respect — but I know they wouldn’t have it any other way. My mom handed me the ad for writers for The Buffalo News NeXt (their teen-written weekly section; I wrote for it all four years of high school). She didn’t say much (though was probably dying a little inside) when I didn’t take a single math course through all of college. My dad sat me down and made me watch Almost Famous and is willing to go to almost any concert. And I suppose I should lump my sister in here, too, because her multiple job interviews before she’s even graduated, paid internships and the fact that she’s going to make more at her first job than I probably ever will are pretty much what keep me searching for the next step in my career. Oh, sibling rivalry…
5. What’s your favorite website/blog, and why is it so dang awesome? http://hyperboleandahalf.blogspot.com/ Allie Brosh is a genius, and her drawings are hysterical. And I admire her flair for the dramatic and the way she tells a story. After that, CakeWrecks, Promtacular! and MyVeryWorstRoommate get me through the downtime at work — who doesn’t love a little schadenfreude (I just sang the Avenue Q song in order to spell that right!) and some pretty awful cake designs?
6. What’s the most “scandalous” thing you’ve ever done, that you’re willing to admit to the public? Ha — I was, at one point, banned from my friend’s college campus. I’m not telling you which school, and all I will say is that it involved a frat party and an ambulance. (Sorry, Mom and Dad!)
7. What have you done so far in life that you’re most proud of? I’m living on my own. I have a good (though not my dream) job. I have family and friends who love me and whom I love very much. I just bought a car. I’ve had my work published in multiple places (if it happens more than once, it can’t be a fluke, right?). I’ve interned with an NHL team. I’ve interviewed rock stars and movie stars. And I’ve made it 22 years of my life without screwing up too badly.
8. What accomplishment (personal or professional) do you hope to achieve by the time you retire? I want to be Cameron Crowe — but since I don’t have a time machine and am already about five years too late for that goal, I just want to see my name in Rolling Stone. It doesn’t have to be big — just a CD review or something. Jann, are you listening? Call me!
Otherwise, I want to do something meaningful for the city of Buffalo. Mostly, I just want to be happy.
9. What is the #1 issue that you wish your peers would pay more attention to, or care more about? Poverty, homelessness and the underprivileged. I complain about heating bills and having to pay for an apartment on my own — but I can afford it, and I can afford to feed myself every day, so I guess I’m pretty lucky. No one shouldn’t be able to do those things.
Second to that (yeah, I know, #1, but this is important, too) — funding for the arts. Buffalo’s going through a major funding crisis for cultural programs right now, and it’s totally messed up. Music, art, dance — it’s just as important as math, reading and writing!
10. What should older generations realize about your generation? Give us time — we’re just getting started! We’ve got big shoes to fill and big messes to clean up (and whose fault would those be, hmmmm??), but we’re going to do it. Trust us and believe in us.