oh, insomnia…and more music

So, first–30 day music challenge stuff.  Day 16.  Favorite song from a movie soundtrack.

I watched Once, years ago, with an ex during one of our “date nights” and, basically, just fell in love with it.  I’m not a huge musical movie fan, but I absolutely adore Glen Hansard–in any form.  So, this was love at first listen.  Oddly, this particular song apparently reminds a few people of me.  Something about stubborn loyalty.  Pfft.

Anyway, listen…and then scroll down for random questions from this insomniac.

1. You get to marry one fictional character – who is it?
Maybe Tom (Joseph Gordon Levitt) in 500 Days of Summer. Although he might be too much like me. Total INFP, there.  Or Johnny Castle in Dirty Dancing because I mean–the Swayze swoon.

2. If you didn’t have to worry about money or a job, where would you live in the world?
New Zealand or Manhattan.  I actually have felt very drawn there lately.  Or even SF proper.

3. What was the last book that you got so absorbed in that you couldn’t put it down?
I haven’t read a lot of fiction in years.  Probably Paul Auster’s new book. Because Auster.

4. In your mind, what are your 3 biggest weaknesses?
Oh, gosh.  There are coping mechanisms that are not me…and then actual weaknesses that ARE me.  Coping mechanisms: perfectionism, control freak inclinations, and anxious worrying.  Actual weaknesses: impatience, prone to moral high grounding, and sometimes defensive.

5. You only get 3 words to describe yourself – what are they?
One thing I get a lot of is that I’m effusive.  Which is such a great compliment.  I would say I’m also pretty intense and playful.

6. Which is better to listen to – your heart or your brain?
No such thing as “better.”  I would say I’m more apt to listen to my heart, though that’s a rather new occurrence since my mother died.  (I am actually going to try to write more on this topic later this week, hopefully).  My brain does come into play, and I often listen to it, too…but others often call this Alma logic–which tends to be highly infected by heart-infused mess.

7. Do you consider yourself a spiritual person? How about religious?
I would definitely say I’m spiritual.  I am not religious, but I am fascinated by religion.  I think this may be why Buddhism fits me so well.  You can see any religion through a Buddhist lens, and its dogma doesn’t really negate other belief systems.  I call myself a Beginner Buddhist because I really haven’t formally studied it.  I just basically lived my life and found myself having thoughts that others told me were very Buddhist–and then I found myself exploring—and found a lot of peace and comfort in that exploration.

8. What kind of extra-curricular activities did you do for fun in high school?
I did nothing for fun in high school.  I was much more type A back then.  Like everything I did was for getting into college & getting scholarships.  Which worked, but was stressful.  I guess the closest was probably volunteering.  We used to buy things and make food boxes at Christmas and then deliver them.  We also worked events and did a lot of service projects.  I loved that so much.

9. What’s your weirdest pet-peeve?
I’m really anal about clean, clear countertops.  I hate stuff on my counters unless I’m actively cooking.

10. Which is better: asking for permission or asking for forgiveness?
I don’t know that either is better or worse.

11. What would you do if you inherited 1 million dollars tomorrow?
Probably buy a house and a car, then give the rest away to worthy causes.

12. What’s the most embarrassing moment of your life so far?
There are so many.  So, so many.  They don’t really stand out, but most involve me accidentally flashing body parts.  I’m not really embarrassed about them anymore!

13. What fictional character do you identify with the most?
Probably Hope Davis’ character in Next Stop Wonderland.

14. Are you a superstitious type of person? About what?
I can be.  When I was a kid, I used to think I had to do everything the same after I actually did well athletically–like I had this streak of being really great at the long jump.  Nowadays, I’m mostly superstitious about my thoughts.  Like not letting certain thoughts be said out loud–or they’ll happen.

15. Where would you rather live – a big house in the suburbs or a tiny apartment in a great location in the city?
I’m a city girl, but part of me really yearns for the peace of smaller places.  Like I’d love to live in the mountains or near a coast one day.

16. If you could have any job in the world, what would it be?
Hah.  I’m currently wrestling with that now!  I think I’m leaning toward something that combines my current work with helping people.  Stay tuned.

17. Ever have any trouble with the law or get arrested?
I had my identify stolen years ago and was actually sued for something they did.  That was a bit of a nightmare.  I’ve always been on the right side of the law, though–except for almost getting arrested for protesting.

18.Which do you like more, a great book or a great movie?
A great movie.  Less work.  I get worn out easily these days.  And movies are just so much more–in a way.

19. Do you think it’s important to keep up with the news or do you not care?
It’s important, but so is self-care.

20. What’s the nicest thing you’ve ever heard about yourself? What do you WANT to hear about yourself?
The nicest thing I’ve ever heard was probably when people noticed how hard I work at really seeing people and honoring them.  It’s deliberate and hard for me since I am prone to that disconnect a lot of trauma survivors go through…so that’s a really big compliment for me.  I want to hear that I’ve made someone feel accepted or comfortable or appreciated.  I can get very caught up in my head–so it’s something I consciously work at.

21. What do you want to have going on in your life in 5 years, or 10, or 15?
Oh, gosh.  I’ll get back to you on that.  I will say this: I’m really feeling restless about a lot of shit in my life, so there will be a lot of change in the next five years.

22.Which would you rather be, smart or happy, and why?
Happy.  Smart is just about educating yourself.  Happy is more complex.  And simple, too.  But puzzling and often elusive.

23. You can have one superpower – and only one. What is it, and why did you pick it?
The ability to heal people instantly.  Like whatever causes suffering.  It’s so hard to be helpless when you see someone suffering.  As an empath, it’s even harder.

24. What’s your biggest regret that you have in your life so far?
Not saying goodbye.  Which was really about not being present in that moment.

25. Which show on TV do you absolutely HAVE to watch live when it airs?
The Walking Dead (I know) or Younger.

26. When did you have your first kiss and who was it with?
7 years old.  A little boy with a thunderbird tattoo.  Really.

27. If you were a waiter and a customer was a JERK , would you spit in their food?
Nope. I’m not that low.  I would just kill them with kindness.

28. What’s your favorite food to eat?
I love cheese. It’s just so good.  Also fruit.  All the fruit, all the time.

29. What’s your favorite type of music to listen to?
Indie, acoustic.  Small venues.

30. What’s the one movie you love more than any other movie?
Shawshank Redemption.  Nothing compares.

31. If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?

32. What’s the funniest thing that’s ever happened to you?
Maybe falling in love with a guy who stalked me at a movie about suicide bombers.  I have a very weird, dark sense of humor that’s kind of random.  For me, the funniest things just sort of show up and then I forget them.  But I guess that is something people thought was pretty funny.  Or that time when I cut my ex-fiance’s hair.  That was pretty good.  Hint: I am horrible at cutting guy hair.

33. Has anyone ever walked in on you naked?
Some of my most embarrassing moments involve me with very little clothing on–so yes.  A whole crowd, even.

34. How do you deal with people in your life that you don’t like?
I try to be open and honest with them…to have empathy and set really clear boundaries–distancing if needed.

35.  What’s the funniest thing that happened in your childhood?
My childhood wasn’t filled with a lot of funny moments.

36. Do you like waking up early or staying up late?
I’m a night owl, but I have to get up early, usually.

37. What are you most afraid of?
Dying like my mother or dying alone.

38. What actress would play you in a movie about your life?
Noel Wells.


39. Pick one to live in: beach, city, or country?

40. Which describes your personality… naughty or nice?
Nice. I’m known for it, even.  But I have some naughty.

41.What’s the sexiest animal in the animal kingdom?

42. Who’s a celebrity you have a crush on?
Ben Gibbard. We even share a birthday.

43. You get to date one famous celebrity – who is it?
Duh. Ben Gibbard.  🙂

44. If you had the power to read someone’s mind, whose would it be?
I don’t think I’d want that power.  Being in my own head’s disturbing enough!

45. Did you ever cheat on a test in school?
No. I was the girl whose tests they looked at.


30 day music challenge, day 15

A song that’s a cover.

Paul Auster, my favorite author, has a daughter.  Her name is Sophie, and she sings.  Here, she covers my favorite Bonnie Raitt song–maybe better than the original.

wordart, mostly

Hey friends.  I’m waiting on a sandwich to be delivered, so I have decided to indulge some questions and etc.

1. What are your nicknames? What do you prefer to be called?
Almacita, Meeks, Almypants, Ms. A, Twin.  There are more, but those are embarrassing and/or special.

2. What books on your shelf are begging to be read?
I am still waiting on my roommate to put together my bookshelf, but I have a bunch of Danielle Laporte on my nightstand to read.

3. How often do you doodle? What do your doodles look like?
Not too often.  I don’t really write long-hand much.  I sometimes doodle with my iPhone, but that’s wordart stuff, mostly.

4. What do you do if you can’t sleep at night? Do you count sheep? Toss and Turn? Try to get up and do something productive?
I am not one to really endure insomnia and stay in bed.  At least, not sleeping.  Reading makes me tired, but it energizes my brain.  Sex is out because I actually get a second wind after.  Mostly I answer questions on the Internet because it has to be enough to empty my brain, but not engage it.  Or I watch movies with intricate plots or trash tv.  Which is why I’ve never watched Star Wars past the first 5 minutes.

5. How many days could you last in solitary confinement? How would you do it?
Years and years. My life is pretty solitary.

6. Do you save old greeting cards and letters? Throw them away?
Some of them.  I sort of regret tossing out old love letters and emails. But you need to, sometimes, to get people out of your heart.

7. Who is the biggest pack rat you know?
My roommate.  My God.  Worse?  He says it’s my stuff!

8. When making an entrance in to a party, do you make your presence known? Do you slip in and look for someone you know? Do you sneak in quietly and find a safe spot to roost?
I usually show up and slither along the wall, looking for animals, kids, old people, and limited English speakers.  Or appetizers.  I then proceed to talk babytalk to the animals, rub their bellies, and roll on the floor with the animals.  If there are kids, we go on weird adventures or read books.  If it’s old people, I engage them in convos about their childhoods.  If it’s limited English, I ask them to tell me a word and then I tell them a word.  Or we smile and nod.  I avoid loud people and attractive men.  And Republicans.  And then I sort of stay in the corner till I can make my great escape.  Unless there is crafting.  Then, it’s on.

9. What is your strongest sense? If you had to give one up, which would it be?
My intuition–the 6th sense.  I don’t think I’d give up any willingly.  But maybe smell.

10. How many times a day do you look at yourself in the mirror?
6?  After every meal/snack to rinse out my sockets.  Ugh.  Plus before bed and in the morning.

11. What is the strangest thing you believed as a child?
That I wouldn’t die if I yelled Wonder Woman first.  That you could play Carmen San Diego as a job.  That broccoli was disgusting.

12. What is one guilty pleasure you enjoy too much to give up?

13. Who performs the most random acts of kindness out of everyone you know?
A few of my friends from college, probably.

14. How often do you read the newspaper? Which paper? Which sections?
I don’t read newspapers.  Sadly, Twitter is my main news source.

15. Which animals scare you most? Why?
Dogs used to really scare me as a kid.  I think now it might be birds.  I don’t know–they’re unpredictable and bitchy.  And they poop.

16. Are you more likely to avoid conflict or engage it head-on?
Depends on what it is.  I try to engage it in my personal relationships.

17. What was the most recent compliment you’ve received and savoured?
Someone said I was a breath of fresh air–at work.

18. What is something about yourself that you hope will change, but probably never will?
Probably the perfectionism thing.

19. Are you a creature of habit? Explain.
I can be. Depends on what it is.  Sometimes, I’m the opposite.

20. Are you high maintenance? Explain.
I can be.  About some things.  I have preferences and needs–and I will voice them if they’re important.

21. When was the last time you really pushed yourself to your physical limits?
Moving out here.  It was such a cluster.

22. Do you have a whole lot of acquaintances or just a few very close friends? Why?
A lot of acquaintances.  A few people who are acquaintances, but think they’re closer friends.  Very few close friends and lots of distant formerly close friends.  A lot of who I used to be accepted toxic bullshit.  So I tend to draw people who are not the best for me.  But I also have a hard time giving up on them.

23. Are you more inclined to “build your own empire” or unleash the potential of others?
Can’t I do both?

24. What’s a strange occurrence you’ve experienced but have never (or rarely) shared with anyone?
Oh, I share it.  Haha.

25. What do you think about more than anything else?
How tired I am. Goddamnit. And how much I love my kitties.

26. What’s something that amazes you?
How much I love my kitties.  Oh yea…and I’m still here.

27. Do you prefer that people shoot straight with you or temper their words? Why?
Shoot straight.  I want to know the truth.

28. Where’s your favorite place to take an out-of-town guest?
I don’t know this place well enough yet.

29. What’s one thing you’d rather pay someone to do than do yourself? Why?
Clean.  Fuck cleaning.

30. Do you have a catchphrase?

31. What’s your reaction towards people who are outspoken about their beliefs? What conditions cause you to dislike or, conversely, enjoy talking with them?
Oh that’s a loaded question.  🙂

32. How and where do you prefer to study?
Late at night.  Bedroom.  Total quiet.

33. What position do you sleep in?
Side, with lots of pillows.

34. What’s your all-time favorite town or city? Why?
Santa Fe, maybe.

35. What are the top three qualities that draw you to someone new?
Strong communicator, sense of humor, empathy.

36. How has your birth order/characteristics of siblings affected you?
Only child or youngest, depending on how defined.  That’s a whole lot of complicated.

37. If you could eliminate one weakness or limitation in your life, what would it be?

38. If you could restore one broken relationship, which would it be?
You know, if it’s broken now, it’s on them.  I am open to whatever and have done the work on my end.  So, I probably wouldn’t.

39. If you had to change your first name, what would you change it to?
I wouldn’t.

40. Do you believe ignorance is bliss? Why or why not?
No.  Not at all.

41. What do you consider unforgivable?
Nothing, really.

42. Have you forgiven yourself for past personal failures? Why or why not?
Pretty much. It’s not the failures that are hard to forgive.

43. How difficult is it for you to forgive someone who refuses to apologize?
That can be a challenge.

44.Do you hold any convictions that you would be willing to die for?

45. To what extent do you trust people? Explain.
Not a lot, then sometimes immediately.  Depends.

46. In what area of your life are you immature?
I don’t call it immature.  I call it being in touch with my inner five year old.  In all things, basically.  Not a bad thing.

47. What was the best news you ever received?
I don’t think that way.

48. How difficult is it for you to be honest, even when your words may be hurtful or unpopular?
Not at all difficult.

49. When did you immediately click with someone you just met? Why? What was the long term result? Conversely, are you close with anyone now that you really disliked at first?
All the time.  Depends a lot on them. I disliked most of my exes early on.  Haha.

50. When do you find yourself singing?
All the time.

30 day music challenge, day 14

A song you’d like to be played at your wedding.

30 day music challenge – day 13

Sorry for the neglect.  Here’s my favorite song of the 1970s.  Intro’d to me by a former love of my life who I didn’t end up marrying–for better or worse.  I remember how he was so worried I would think he was some huge stoner because he loved Pink Floyd–and I somehow had never actually listened to them on purpose–and couldn’t identify their music…and had no idea they were a stoner band.  Ha.  So naive.

Anyway…as silly as “our song” was, I think this one should’ve been our song.  But wasn’t.  Just like a whole lot of other missed opportunities during that time.  I’ll always love this song and associate it with some of the best and worst days of my life.