You Probably Think This [Blog] Is About You, Don’t You?

My poor blog is highly neglected.  Believe it or not, I used to blog almost daily.  (Not here, obviously, but the internet proof is still there if you know where to look.)

Now, it seems that my blog usually serves as an internet scrapbook for my trips, where I post pictures and little anecdotes from my travels, so that when I am old and gray and demented, I can look back through these entries and relive my younger years.  (That’s right.  I said YOUNGER years.)

When I decided to start blogging again and get myself a spiffy new domain name, my old standby (“Shifting Sand”) was taken in all its various forms.  So, I started bouncing around ideas that played off my name – or nicknames, like “Panda.”

“Panda” is by no means a name I chose for myself, but when your given name is Amanda, these things tend to happen.  I had no nicknames growing up (and was somewhat shocked in my teen years when someone called me “Mandy” for the first time), but the “Panda” thing started to stick in my early 20s when a few friends started using it regularly.

I decided to roll with it, and found that it worked well for wordplays like “Panda-monium”—which was also already taken by someone (probably a zookeeper – or someone named Amanda – or a zookeeper named Amanda!) on the world wide web.

More thinking and brainstorming with Kelli brought me around to “Pandandrum,” which you obviously know if you’ve navigated here successfully.  I bring this up today because, when I checked my email this morning, I learned that the “Word of the Day” (courtesy of is “panjandrum,” which is how this website got its name.

A “panjandrum,” you see, is a person who is not really important… who behaves as though they are really important.  We all know one of those.  Some of my friends and I got a kick out of using that word for years to describe such people.  It was even referenced in an episode of Frasier (“Grand Panjandrum of the Vocabulary Club”).  It seemed appropriate for this blog because there is a certain measure of self-importance inherent in blogging, to presume that anyone cares what I think, where I’ve been, or how I’m feeling.

Aaaand, if you take “panjandrum” and add in “Panda,” you get….


Voila!  There is your vocabulary word for the day, and your explanation of my crazy blog url.  And a nod to the fact that I, much like the rest of the population, tend to think of myself a bit more highly than I ought.