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From the [livejournal.com profile] altfriday5:

1. Which is the best birthday you've ever had? Why?
I've had some pretty good ones in recent years, but none of them really stand out in my mind. I've never made the effort to have a really spectacular birthday, because then I'd get disappointed if it was a teeny bit less spectacular than I planned. I'd rather just plan for it to be moderately fun, so I can easily be satisfied when it is.

Somehow I can't get that to not sound downbeat and cynical. *furrows brow*

2. Which is the worst birthday you've ever had? Why?
The one where my dad and stepmom had their million and oneth screaming fight, I guess. I remember being pretty upset about that, even though it wasn't one of the fights that involved me.

3. What do you expect to have happen on a typical birthday? (i.e., you expect to get presents, you expect people to wish you a happy birthday, you expect to have a party, etc.) How do you feel if these expectations are not met?
See above re: expectations and my general desire to keep them low. These days, I expect two or three of the people I'm close to to wish me a happy birthday, and on the rare occasions when I plan some kind of event I expect a handful of people to show up. If those expectations didn't get met, I'd feel pretty darn low, but it hasn't happened yet.

4. How did your family celebrate your birthday when you were a child?
We'd throw a typical kid-party to which I'd invite maybe a dozen kids from school, all but one or two of whom would fail to show up. I like to think this was because my birthday was in the middle of summer and simply got forgotten about between then and the end of the school year when I passed out the invitations, rather than because everyone thought I sucked or something, even though I'm aware that quite a few people did think I sucked.

5. You have infinite amounts of all resources. Describe your ideal birthday.
It's hard to picture what I'd do if I had infinite resources but just one day to use them; there'd be too many things I'd want to fit in and be unable to. If the question really is about what I would do if I had infinite resources all the time but wanted to make this one day extra special, that's still tricky to imagine because I don't tend to mark out special occasions in that way; if there was something really cool I wanted to do, I'd do it whenever I got around to it. I'd probably end up just marking my birthday by taking some friends out to dinner at a super-nice restaurant, or taking them on a cool day trip, or something. I'd have to make it very very clear that it was on me, though, given that the usual trend seems to be for everyone else to pay for the birthday kid instead of vice versa.
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From the [livejournal.com profile] altfriday5:

1. Do you follow any cultural superstitions (e.g., avoiding the number thirteen, picking up pennies)?
In a half-assed way that's typical of most of my beliefs. That is, I do all the things that are supposed to bring you good luck (or at least the ones that don't take too much effort) and try to believe they'll work, while trying not to believe in the things that are supposed to bring you bad luck. It's all a matter of believing the things that are pleasant to believe and not those that are unpleasant, in my book.

2. Do you have any personal superstitions (e.g. wearing a certain item of clothing to bring you luck)?
Not really. I guess it's too much work making up my own.

3. Did your parents have any superstitions? What were they? Do you believe in them?
Not that I know of. Certainly none that they ever mentioned to me.

4. Make up a new superstition and share it with us (who know, maybe it will catch on!).
Er...how 'bout this: When a bird flies into your window and dies, you must do a dance of propitiation (involving much twittering and arm-flapping) to appease its spirit or it will come back to haunt you.

5. Did you notice the date today? Does it affect you at all (e.g. make you nervous, make you happy)?
Not till I had it pointed out to me. It does make me mildly nervous, but I am valiantly trying to suppress this and I certainly don't plan on behaving differently than usual.
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From the [livejournal.com profile] altfriday5:

1. When was the last time you took a test?.
A few weeks ago--the CBEST. And I don't know how the hell I scored so low on the essay portion--unless it's because they assigned a bloody controversial prompt and I answered as honestly as I could without sounding like an utter hippie freak.

2. Does taking tests make you anxious? How anxious?
Usually not; I'm a good test-taker. Tests of a kind I'm not used to make me a bit nervous, though, in the way that unfamiliar things often do.

3. Pick your favourite type of test question (short answer, essay, multiple choice, etc.). Why? Least favourite? Why?
Multiple choice tests are not only easier, but more objectively graded, which I value a lot because I often don't trust graders. I do think sometimes that they're too easy, and they're admittedly very frustrating when they're badly written because there's no partial credit if you get it "wrong," but that's not a problem I've run into often. Essay questions bother me mostly because I just physically don't like having to write so damn much.

4. Have you ever felt that someone was deliberately "testing" you (i.e., setting up situations or conversations to see what you would do or say)?
I can't recall that I have, but then again I tend to be oblivious to that sort of thing.

5. Have you ever deliberately "tested" someone?
Closest I've come is being weird at people to see how they'd take it. I've been told that's messed up, but I really don't agree; I don't think there's anything manipulative, and there's certainly nothing false, about showing people bits of your true self early on just to see if they can handle the real you, and if it's neither of those things, I don't see what else would be wrong with it.
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From the [livejournal.com profile] altfriday5:

1. Tell us something prosaic that you really should do.
2. Tell us something abstract that you really should do.
3. Tell us something interpersonal that you really should do.
4. Tell us something regretful that you really should have done.
5. Tell us something career-oriented that you really should do.
And bonus question, if you're feeling up to it: 6. Tell us something absurd that you really should do.

1. I really should return those library books.
2. I really should get more motivated.
3. I really should stop caring so much about things it's up to other people to fix.
4. I really should've gotten all my medical problems diagnosed and treated a lot sooner.
5. I really should figure out how I'm ever going to get that incomplete finished while working full-time.
6. I really should shave the cat.
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Wow, a nice meaty [livejournal.com profile] altfriday5:

["Parents" in my case refers to my dad, my only living bio-parent for most of my life and the only living parental figure I will honor with the term.]

1. How often do you speak to your parent(s)? Why or why not?
My dad emails every few weeks, and every couple of months I call him and we chat for a while. A fairly good way of describing our relationship is that we're good friends who like to keep in touch--except that unlike with my other friends who are at a distance, I actually manage to maintain the correspondence. The fact that he usually initiates the emails helps, as does the fact that he's one of my main sources of advice (though not quite as much lately. Actually, I've noticed that these days I seem to be trying not to rely on him so much, I suspect because I fear losing him and so am trying to prepare myself for it by acting as if I've already lost him. This worries me, as I don't think it's healthy and it's certainly unkind to myself to preemptively deprive myself of his presence in my life.) Another thing that helps is knowing that I could spend a year on the moon or something and then call him again without him guilt-tripping me about how long it had been, and without the lapse in time having made things awkward between us. There are very few people of whom I can say that.

2. How often do you visit to your parent(s)? Why or why not?
Thanks to my dad's long-ago remarriage and the repercussions of same, I haven't been able to visit in almost four years, which is also how long it's been since he's had a chance to make the drive up here. I fucking miss him. Phone and email just ain't the same.

3. What's the most valuable thing you learned from your parents?
Hard to say, as I think I'm still learning it. Probably the most useful thing he's given me so far is the knowledge that everyone goes through most of the things I'm going through and I'm not a fuckup no matter how often I think I am. I've not had many other people in my life who were in a position to apprise me of that sort of thing, but also, when someone that much older than me who knows me that well tells me these things, I really believe them.

4. What's the most harmful thing you learned from your parents?
How to sacrifice your and your child's emotional welfare to a psychotic abuser? As if I needed the lesson. Honestly, I've never in my life been able to conceive of doing that myself, and it baffles me that anyone so intelligent could.

5. If you could change one thing about your relationship with your parents, what would it be? Why?
I'd want him to fucking ditch the bitch and move a few hundred miles closer. Hell, just one out of two would be a vast improvement.
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From the [livejournal.com profile] altfriday5:

1. How old are you?
Twenty-four today, as it happens. Of all the dates to pick this topic....

2. How old do you feel? Why?
Hell if I can put a number on it. I feel years older than most people my age, but I still don't feel like an adult yet. Sometimes I wonder if I ever will.

3. How old would you like to be? Why?
Old enough for people to take me a little more seriously. Maybe thirtyish?

4. What was your best age? Why?
5. What was your worst age? Why?
That sounds to me like "at what age were you the best/worst person." I think I'm continually improving, so I guess 23 would have to've been my best age and zero the worst--though I admittedly went through a few bratty phases as a kid, I don't remember them all that clearly. If the question really means "what was the best/worst year of your life," any of the years since I started college might qualify for best and worst, really. I mean, yeah new friends and lovers and finding myself and all that, but also depression and dropping out of classes and taking too long to graduate and having no money....

Then again, I can think of even shittier things I've been through in my life--but then yet again, every time I think of those parts of my life I can't forget the good bits either. I guess I'm really just not prepared to peg any part of my life as outstandingly better or worse overall than any other, even though I think I'm slowly getting control of my life and may in a few years have swung it into the "unequivocally good" zone.
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From the [livejournal.com profile] altfriday5:

1. How often do you dance in public?
Not often enough. Used to do ceili every week, haven't been doing it lately. Haven't been going out ballroom dancing much lately either. Don't get many chances to go clubbing--it's tough to do properly without a car, and I don't seem to have any good friends with cars who care for that sort of thing. Truth be told, I've been less inclined to go out for any sort of dancing lately because I'm no longer getting what I want out of it socially, and for some reason I'm not finding it as easy as I used to to just enjoy it without caring about the social aspects. *sigh*

2. Are you selective about the circumstances (music, gotta have a few drinks, club), or will you dance to anything, anywhere, anytime?
I'm self-conscious about dancing if no one else is, but other than that I'll dance to just about anything I can figure out a way to dance to. It's hard to get me to not dance if the right music comes up.

3. Name some music (genres, artists, songs) that would be guaranteed to get you on the floor.
Lively Celtic music'll almost always get me on the dance floor even when there isn't one. When it comes to club-type dancing, though, getting me on the floor and getting me to seriously dance are slightly different matters. I love new wave, for example, but half my energy always goes into singing along with it and my dancing suffers proportionately. Loud techno and industrial, on the other hand, are better at bypassing my verbal centers and hitting me directly in the limbic system--in other words, more likely to send me into the light trance state that's theoretically my goal when dancing my ass off, but which I rarely manage to achieve.

4. Name some music (genres, artists, songs) that would have your ass super-glued to your chair.
Anything too slow to waltz to, I guess. A few years ago I would've said that I'd never figured out how to dance to reggae, but now it occurs to me that I could probably hornpipe to it. (Why, no, I have almost no qualms about doing dances that don't match the venue.)

5. Fill in the blank: In general, dancing makes me feel __________ . (e.g. scared, happy, free, awkward, etc.) Why?
Exhilarated--but these days that's all too quickly followed by Tired. I think the "why" of both is pretty self-explanatory.
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From the [livejournal.com profile] altfriday5:

1. What is your preferred relationship structure? (polyamorous, monogamous, celibate, etc.) Why? Polyamorous...because imposing arbitrary limits on relationships just quit making sense to me once I thought about it. Not that all limits are arbitrary, but monogamy doesn't seem to be otherwise for me.

2. How long have you known that you preferred [insert answer from #1 here]? A few years--can't pin it down precisely because it was a gradual process. The part that took longest was realizing that I was capable of comfortably sharing serious partners and not just casual ones.

3. Have you ever had relationships that were not [insert answer from #1 here]? Once. It was back in high school, and we defaulted to monogamy just because it never occurred to us to do otherwise. I was a little disturbed, though, to find that my natural boy-craziness (not to mention my newfound girl-craziness) didn't slacken in the least during our relationship; I felt rather guilty about it but hoped it was simply due to my being new at this dating thing. Funny how many assumptions you can operate under without knowing it.

4. Are you currently in a [insert answer from #1 here] relationship? Why or why not? Er, several. I should think the reason would be obvious from my previous answers.

5. Would you consider having relationships that were not [insert answer from #1 here] in the future? Why or why not? I might consider it, if someone I loved enough to spend the rest of my life with asked it of me. Otherwise, though, it's hard to see how it would be worth it.
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From the [livejournal.com profile] altfriday5:

1. What gender do you consider yourself? Er...uh...sorta-kinda-female?

2. Is this the gender you were assigned at birth? Without the modifiers, yes.

3. Do you like being your current gender? Why or why not?
I guess I'm pretty indifferent to it. I can't think of anything I really really like about it, but there isn't much I hugely dislike about it either--or maybe it's just that the things I do like and dislike are mostly not simple enough to be solely gender-related.

4. If you could change one thing about how society perceives/constructs your gender, what would it be? (don't go nuts here, I know the response to this could make for several doctoral theses)
If I could change one thing, I'd make gender distinctions completely irrelevant. Anything less sweeping than that, and I'd never be able to pick just one thing.

5. Everyone gets their ideas of what it means to be "a man" or "a woman" from somewhere (parents, movies, magazines, books). What was the single biggest influence on your gender identity?
Can't think of one. I mean, it's tough to point out just where I got my idea of "what it means to be a woman" when I can't recall ever having cared much about that question. I did get some rather warped ideas of what it meant to be an attractive woman, though, from growing up seventy miles from Hollywood, though I'm not sure how much of that was in fact universal teenage crap. Hell, UCB doesn't seem much better; walking around campus, I'm the only female undergrad I ever see who isn't wearing stereotypically feminine clothing, if not outright skank-wear. It depresses the fuck out of me sometimes.
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From the [livejournal.com profile] altfriday5:

1. How many hours do you normally sleep at night? These days, 6 to 9, depending on whether I have to set an alarm or not.

2. Do you wish you had more time to sleep? Or do you wish that you slept less? More time or less need; either would be good. I'm not sure I really wish I had more waking hours in the day, though, so much as I wish they coincided better with other people's.

3. Do you like sleeping? It's kinda nice. Dreams are fun, and that warm comfortable falling-asleep sensation is a pleasure I'm learning to appreciate more these days.

4. What is the longest continuous period that you have spent awake? Why did you do it? I've stayed awake as long as 28 hours, I think, writing papers on various occasions. I don't seem to be able to go longer than that, though, without crashing hard. And cognitive impairment starts to kick in around the 12-hour mark anyway.

5. If you were offered the chance to eliminate sleep from your life, with absolutely no negative physical or psychological side effects, would you take it? Why or why not? What if this chance was only possible for you, and not for any of your friends or family, or society at large? If it was for everybody, I'd definitely take it--not to eliminate the need for sleep but to eliminate the conflicts between different people's diurnal cycles. In other words, to make the world a better place for us night owls. If it was just for me, I'd probably take it, because having more time to get work done would simplify my life at least as much as not sleeping through business hours would. The only drawback would be the boredom potential, but I imagine I'd find things to fill in my time with, especially if I were functioning at the much higher level I would be if I no longer needed the restful sleep that I'm not getting anyway.

Of course, this is assuming we're talking about eliminating the need for sleep. If it were just a question of never being able to sleep again, then for me that would translate to being brain-fogged all the time and not being able to do anything about it (since that's my natural state anyway), so no.

I think I may need to make a habit of this just to get writing something on a more regular basis.

On the other hand, I'm not sure why I feel I ought to write anything here at all on a regular basis. I just know that I do.


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