answers to questions from "Me Reading Stuff"

I really enjoy listening to the podcast "Me Reading Stuff" by the artist Robyn O'Neil, it's nice to listen to someone being enthusiastic about poetry and other forms of writing. Robyn asks questions in almost every episode of the podcast and I find them as a nice way to reflect. This space will include the questions and my answers, mostly so that the thoughts that I get while listening don't keep rattling in my brain endlessly.

check out "Me Reading Stuff" here

Pavel Šrut - Worm-Eaten Time (released oct. 15, 2020; answered on oct. 19+20+21, 2020)

1. What is your sleep schedule? What are your sleep time rituals? What do you think of sleep?

I tend to go to sleep any time between 9 p.m. to 12 a.m. and then I wake up around 5:30-6:30. I'll be up for a few hours in the morning and then take a nap starting anywhere between 10:30 to noon and wake up an hour and a half later. This morning/noon nap is essential for me to function the rest of the day. Thankfully I currently have a schedule that lets me do this. I'm both a morning and night person but I hate mid-day, it feels too long. I used to dislike sleep in my early 20s because it felt like a waste of time but that has changed in the past couple years where it's become a very important part of my life.

2. Is your life together? How do you feel about your life right now?

Yesterday morning I would have said yes but some financial shit has come into view and I'm feeling lost again. I know that I'll figure things out but the initial stress is a lot on my body right now.

3. What are you dreading right now?

Applying for jobs, financial issues.

4. Have you ever had a restraining order put on you?

No. I do remember having a friend in college who had a restraining order on someone.

5. Are you sleeping enough?

I'd say so, maybe not all in one go but all together, night sleep plus naps.

6. Do you like Chinese chicken salad?

Never had it, curious to try it though.

7. Do you enjoy your occupation?

I'm not sure what my occupation is: I like being a poet, haven't written any poems in a few months, I like being an artist but there are a lot of other things weighing on me that I need to focus on and still I gravitate to do the art instead.

8. Do you have big plans?

Current big plans are to get a remote job and travel with S. if we end up getting a van this winter.

The School of Life Dictionary Part 2 (released oct. 1, 2020; answered on oct. 21, 2020)

1. What was your favorite pencil topper as a kid?

I think I had some that looked like animals that I loved. Can't remember specifics though.

2. What is your favorite crayon color? Do they still make the copper crayon?

My favorite is the Crayola macaroni and cheese, it's the closest to a natural orange that is also very pleasing. I also wonder how they came up with it- color or name first.

I did a little research and I'm not sure if they still include the copper crayon in boxes but it is still on the Crayola website. It was introduced in 1957.

3. What t.v. character do you relate to the most?

I've been thinking about this question on and off for the past couple of weeks. I usually relate most to side characters--Abed from Community is the first character to come to mind, it was one of the first times I saw a POC be as obsessed with pop culture as I was. Maybe it's because I'm currently playing it but I relate a lot to Mae from Night in the Woods. Her sense of feeling lost, this connection to something spiritual that isn't necessarily easy to tie-down, the way she is there for her friends and needs them, etc. There's just a lot there.

The School of Life Dictionary (released sept. 26, 2020; answered on oct. 19+22, 2020)

1. Do you care about cars?

I really don't, never have even though a lot of my early childhood was spent in my grandfather's garage because he was a mechanic for around 30 years. I like riding in cars as a passenger but haven't learned how to drive due to intense driving anxiety that formed after having to watch a video in high school about the dangers of drunk driving. I can remember the shots of car accidents the video focused on, solidifying a fear. I also have car blindness so no matter how many times I've seen a car or ridden in it I can't recognize it in a parking lot.

2. How are your indoor plants? Do you keep any? Are you scared of it?

All of the herbs that we bought at the beginning of the summer died over a month and a half ago. The only plant still in the house is a jellybean succulent.

3. How are you handling life right now? Would you give yourself an A or an F?

I'd give myself a C. I could get an A if I just put some more effort. I'm trying to take it one day at a time but life doesn't always play by those rules.

4. Do you consider your life to be successful?

Hmmmm, to early to tell?

5. Do you find your own life inspiring?

Yes. Every day I'm pleasantly surprised by something and that is beautiful.

6. Who inspires you the most?

I'm really inspired by Donald Glover, aka Childish Gambino. I'm obsessed with his work ethic that has allowed him to have like seven careers, also the way that his work builds up a bigger world of interconnectivity.

7. Who distresses you the most?

The big bad orange man. I've been watching too much news coverage of the election lately and hearing him every day is not good for my mental health.

Mostafa Nissabouri - Approach to the Desert Space (released sept. 17, 2020; answered on sept. 18, 2020)

1. What companies/brands would you like to be sponsored by?

I'd like to be sponsored specifically by the Aldi brand vegan dumplings they have for at least one week every summer. Others include: Wave Books, audio-technica headphones, and whoever is making new Godzilla movies.

Jessie Redmon Fauset - Oblivion (released sept. 7, 2017; answered on sept. 15 , 2020)

1. How are you?

Overall, doing well! I've got a busy day ahead but I'm trying to enjoy my morning by doing some writing and reading.

2. Who was your favorite neighbor?

I really like our current neighbors, a couple who graduated from the same library and info science program that I'm in now. I feel a new, positive energy in the whole house. We've talked to them a couple of times and hope to get to know them better, it's a little tough with the pandemic, of course.

3. When was the last time you felt like a teenager?

Writing on here makes me feel like a teenager sometimes, the way I would blog on Tumblr back in high school. But the thing that really throws me back into the teenage mindset is reading YA novels. I've had to read a couple for my Social Justice course and especially "The Hate U Give" brought back memories of racism I experienced in high school and the intensity of first crushes/relationships. So, to be more specific, like two weeks ago.

4. What would you buy in Kmart right now?

I honestly can't remember what they sell at Kmart. Maybe some type of breakfast food, I'm not really in the mood for sugary Aldi brand Captain Crunch this morning.

5. Coolest/least cool professions?

I asked S. what the coolest profession was and her response was: "I don't know. I think if I did know I'd be doing it." Ditto.

I don't really have an answer for least cool profession, I think as long as the person can derive some personal joy from their work than that's pretty cool.

6. How many days in a month does your stomach hurt?

Somewhere between 1-4 days. I have a pretty tough digestive system I think, takes something intense to give me stomach pain.

Juan Gregorio Regino - Cantares (released sept. 10, 2020; answered on sept. 14, 2020)

1. What is your least favorite color?

There are some harsh oranges that I really dislike. Not oranges found in nature though, it has to be something painted or colored orange. I'm fine with most reds though.

2. What is your drink of choice currently?

Hmm, this is tough. I'm not very good at keeping hydrated so anything that I drink I tend to gulp down quickly. I've been drinking more orange juice and diet pepsi lately so that's usually what I've been gravitating towards.

3. What is your present mindset?

I'm really organization-minded right now. I'm looking at things with the intention of getting what I can out of them and then moving forward. I think this has to do with a restlessness that has been making sleep hard for me the past few days. I've been in a depression fog the past two months, though it's been a little clearer lately.

4. What helps make you calm?

I tend to listen to music to calm down, a lot of those lofi music YouTube videos. I love to eat my meals looking out my front window while listening to something, especially in the morning and early evening. Sometimes playing video games goes into this category but the past month or so I've been playing more combat-based games so it's not as calming. Honestly, reading is what centers me the most. No matter the subject matter I tend to focus in on the language and let my mind play around with it.

p.s. Full disclosure: I googled what some good anger-reducing hobbies would be because quarantine has led to a lot of pent up anger but the lists I found were just full of your generic suggestions: journaling, puzzles, yoga, etc. I used to do solo boxing training in high school but that's not really an option right now because I don't want to go to a boxing gym due to covid and because I don't really like to spend time in male-dominated spaces. I feel out of place and in danger most of the time there. I do think writing my diary here on flounder has helped reduce some of my anger, it's nice just to dump my thoughts out.

5. What is your prized possession? (inanimate object, no humans or pets)

Usually I would say my notebook(s) but lately I've been writing more here (on flounder, the internet) than in my notebooks. I like that because I can access it even if the physical notebook isn't around. My mind keeps going back to "Autobiography of Death" by Kim Hyesoon. I read the book early in the summer, bought a copy immediately afterwards. I feel like I could use that book to get myself through almost anything so having it is necessary.

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