Member Questionnaire 1 (EnAnFnTnY2014)What is beauty? What is love?
- Beauty is a feeling of light, awe, inspiration, and desire caused by anything a person can observe, create or consume. It's the feeling that makes us interpret something as beautiful. I am more of a visual person and can come across an item or a fixate on a picture and it will stop me in my tracks with its' inspired fleeting vision of beauty. Also, foods. Love is a chemical batch to our brains. Love is knowing someone and understanding them to the point of feeling they are an extension of self. Love is feeling safe in a little burrow, sharing moments with people who make you feel most like yourself with no pretense or false identity. What are your most important values?
- Humility. Practicality. Simplicity. Intelligence. Being Insightful and Inquisitive. Adaptable. Being independent and knowing when to be a team player. Striving to overcome your own road blocks. Being able to help others. Empathy and compassion. Being honest to yourself and doing your best possible job with what you have available at the time. Do you have any sort of spiritual/religious beliefs, and why do you hold (or don't) those beliefs in the first place?
- Organized religion is formed by humans to have a connective feeling to their community. I do not believe in religious congregations due to the fact humans will always strive for power over those whom they can control with rules and constructs set to self serve. I believe the toughest battle for people on an individual basis is to feel their sense of belonging increase and their loneliness decrease. So many people do this through creating families and adhering to ridiculous religious constructs. I understand that need to belong. I understand loneliness. I believe this is why many people stick to religion. I would never whole-heartedly follow any man made religion. I think it's important to live without hurting others. I think it's important to have love and admiration for each other in a general sense but mostly on an individualistic sense. Humans are evolved animals. We have traits that are destructive and cruel, we have traits that are caring and loving. It's important to connect with each other and love each other for all our similarities and all our differences.Opinion on war and militaries? What is power to you?
- I despise war. Power is the ability to draw people for your use. War is using others' fighting abilities and deaths to bring about a desired result to a few people it will benefit. I do understand from a historical aspect that war and expansion is a necessary evil for a people's resources to grow. I don't like that war is by far the most direct way to get those resources. What have you had long conversations about? What are your interests? Why?
- Long conversations between me and anyone of interest usually focus on a method of completing a task, like exchanging methods of cooking or observing something to gain knowledge you can't necessarily just find in theory. I love to talk about other people's interests more so that my own, as I frequently have problems getting interested in things on a deep level. It is something I'm working on. I love gardening and learning about ways to get the most veggies for the least amount of water and effort. I love reading about different classes of plants and animals. I love reading about mating rituals and different observations about animals. I love reading articles about whatever terrible things are happening in the world and trying to look at the people who did it as a messed up caged animal. So I guess mental illness is specifically interesting to me. I have medical interests like neuroscience, biology, and what goes wrong in our brain pathways to produce certain illnesses. I'm interested in food and the culinary arts. I love food presentation but the waste involved makes me shy away from it. I like practicality and creativity but those two always manage to cancel each other out. I have a difficult time choosing either or. Interested in health/medicine as a conversation topic? Are you focused on your body?
- See above.Yes, I believe in vaccinations and health. I believe in not being strictly adhered to any one diet. Just limit your junk carbs, keep salt and sugar to a minimum, don't eat artificial sweeteners, don't jump on any bandwagon diets, keep things as fresh and simple as possible, and make it accessible within your schedule. I have recently become interested in less obvious cardio exercise and decided weight lifting was a beneficial exercise. I try to move around as much as I can, to think positively, eat fresh foods, drink plenty of water and to exercise my muscles every day as preventative measures. I have seen my mom have many health issues in her life, often physical but also mental, and I am sure these things stem from our bodies and mind being disconnected by stress. I believe our minds influence our bodies but outside stress by bad life decisions are our ultimate downfalls. I try to make healthy, mindful life decisions that will not only allow myself to benefit, but by association, my family to benefit. What do you think of daily chores?
- Daily chores are necessary to living. To some people, just getting up in the morning can be a chore. To me, little things being out of order within my living space messes with my sense of well being (sometimes!). I am not a clean freak but I do like to have an orderly, welcoming, comfortable living space. I do not like washing dishes, cleaning floors, or cleaning up after other people. I do these things only to ensure I don't blow up later when no one else does them! Besides household chores, I actually enjoy the rhythm of going to get the mail, go water my plants, say hello and chat with neighbors, play with my cat, get my stuff ready for a weekend... I enjoy the steadiness of preparation this rhythm ensures. They prepare me for life outside my control, outside in the world. Books or films you liked? Recently read/watched or otherwise. Examples welcome.
- Example of the last film I did not like: Only God Forgives.I get the symbolism. I get the characters being in a state swinging between evil and forgiveness. I get the director and writers commentary on violence and sex in our society being one and the same. All these things can be done and portrayed well within a more moving representation. If this film would have been only a series of photographs with a story, it would have had a hell of a lot more impact. The fact that there was so much waste in acting possibilities, in money on set production and lighting, and an overall freshman on campus film feel.... I cannot forgive that. This film is probably the most tedious thing I've watched in the guise of artsy noir. What has made you cry? What has made you smile? Why?
Example of recent film I loved: The Hunt.
A man's character is destroyed by an innocent child's false statement. One instant, known by both parties to be false, that ultimately changes both lives forever. The surrounding environment and community is thrown into chaos, all because of one little lie, one little quip that was said out of honest jealously and pure, childish, human emotion. The fact that our lives so much revolve around other people, the fact that our lives can be destroyed by untruth perpetuated by a seemingly incorruptible source... the ability to see that translated in this film is touching and terribly frightening. I loved the characters. Loved the story. Loved the truth told by this film.
- Last time I cried was about 2 weeks ago when I saw a video about an elephant and her trainer reconnecting after decades of not seeing each other. He had trained this elephant since she was young, had raised her himself, and eventually gave her to some sort of park. He was older, a few years from death, and saw her again at the park on camera. I do not like zoos or circuses, but to see this very old man walk up to an old elephant friend and give her instructions, and her follow them to a T, was incredibly moving and sweet. I cried not only because they were reunited for a few hours and she remembered him, doing things he talked about her doing years ago, but also because he wouldn't see her again after that. He would die a few years later and she would probably live on past him for a longer time. I wondered if elephants and these animals know when someone close to them dies, if they have that connection into their old age. I wonder if they get sad or if they understand they are outliving all these other creatures. Where do you feel: at one with the environment/a sense of belonging?
Every morning I wake up and see my boyfriend sleeping besides me and our cat curled up between my legs on the comforter is a good day. I try to see that image of them being secure and peaceful whenever I have a difficult time to face during my day.
- There is definitely a more rewarding feeling to being out and about on a relaxed weekday. I do not like crowds. I do not enjoy myself in traffic or crowds. But I do enjoy being out and being able to connect with even one person via chatting or discussion. I feel more happy and positive after walking away from that exchange. I feel at peace when I can focus on what I'm doing and give it 110%. When I have exhausted my abilities to fix a problem or to help someone fix their problem, I feel complete. If I am able to see the fruits of my labor, I feel at peace. That applies to problem solving during my day but also literally when I am out in my balcony garden. I love to literally see the tomatoes of my labor and love come to fruition! I feel like I belong when I am able to run my fingers up my vines, pollinate my veggies, water them and care for them.What have people seen as your weaknesses? What do you dislike about yourself?
- Laziness and lack of direction. Also indecisiveness on many levels. Basic levels along with long term planning and life planning levels. I dislike being petty, mean and judgmental. I dislike being made to feel small by anyone, especially in terms of intellect or practicality. I hate my need for approval. I don't like feeling as though I need someone, I don't like the breach of independence. Speaking and story telling are not my forte. I could improve these things but I first have to overcome my laziness and low self confidence. My sense of pride is too high sometimes. My concern of making mistakes keeps me from doing new things sometimes. Pride would be my deadly sin though. I hate it in myself and I hate it when it surfaces in other people.What have people seen as your strengths? What do you like about yourself?
- I'm kind, compassionate, loving, nurturing, peaceful and dependable, on a good day! I'd love to say these things are strengths but too often than not, I feel they are double edged swords. I love my tenacity and focus, when I have them. I love being able to care for an animal or person at a particular moment and share that bond. I know that those moments are fleeting though, and try to overcome my negative thoughts with positive ones. The struggle is real. I like that I have struggles to overcome. I love that I will never be a finished person, I will always be working to smooth my rough edges and maintain a helpful existence to the people I love. I have many times been complimented on my lovely demeanor and insightful observances. I am able to keep the peace and also cut through family bullshit when needed. I like that I can be soft and tough. I like my dichotomies. In what areas of your life would you like help?
- Intellectual stimulation via discovering what makes me interested. I would love to have more interests that allow me more life experience. Ever feel stuck in a rut? If yes, describe the causes and your reaction to it.
- Yes, all the time, from my boring office accounting and managing job. I try to integrate little things that offset my normal routine. If I'm too stuck in my ways, I try to be more open in general. Basically do the opposite of my normally introverted habits... I'll strike up conversations when I would normally ignore people. I'll go out of my way to gift something to someone I love. I'll ignore my pride and try a new meal plan even though I'm worried if it's tasty or not. I'll read about random subjects in order to gain new perspectives or ideas about daily life. Normally this helps break my rut and makes me realize I've taken things for granted and that I need to be actively living each day instead of going on autopilot. Sometimes just exercising in a different way will also help me break a rut. What qualities do you most like and dislike in other people? What types do you get along with?
- I like when people are funny in an original way. I love when people are not afraid to goof off or embrace a moment. I love when people do what they do instead of think about it like I have to most of the time. I love people who love their family and kids. I love when someone speaks their mind and goes against the common grain. I enjoy people who are smart, witty and open. I get along with these people. I get along with a lot of people in medical professions and science fields like chemistry and biology because I love to talk about gross stuff. I get along really well with systems people, like tech fields. I also get along with more creative types in terms of food, body movement, practical artistic pursuits, engineering and writing. A sense of humor goes a long way. How do you feel about romance/sex? What qualities do you want in a partner?
- Compassion. Love. Curiosity. Dependability without being overly dependable. I love when people can manage themselves without bringing down the house and relationship to shambles around them. I love when people are not mentally unfit in their relationship and not abusive. I love when people are not doormats and stand up for what they believe is true for them. But I also love when people understand when it's necessary to ignore the little things that don't matter... a sense of perspective in relationship is always good.If you were to raise a child, what would be your main concerns, what measures would you take, and why?
- Main concerns are whether we could provide a loving, stable environment for a child for two decades. Security, maturity and money would be huge factors as to whether that stability would last. I take birth control to ensure I don't have to deal with these concerns before I'm ready. I come from a broken family and was raised by a single mother. I remember divorce proceedings and custody battles for my other siblings. I know what it's like to be under stress you have no control over. I know what it's like to grow up and have your siblings taken away from you. I know what it's like to only have a mom providing everything she can for you. I would never want my child to go through those struggles and I would never want to struggle as a single parent. I try to take control of my life to ensure I'm ready and my partner is ready for when children arrive. I would never want to perpetuate my early childhood to my own family if I could help it. I would rather them have struggles outside that circle.A friend makes a claim that clashes with your current beliefs. What is your inward and outward reaction?
- I would rock the boat if that claim would somehow harm someone else as far as I could tell. If it was something like religion or anything big that like, I really would try to be respectful and understanding, but I would be honest and speak my mind. Inwardly, I would judge a person I thought had something stupid to share. Outwardly, I would try to be understanding of their belief. If it was a huge difference in belief, like they somehow admire crazy human experiments or the KKK, I would show my disapproval of them outwardly and also tuck away their crazy insensitivity and possible psychosis for future reference. Describe your relationship to society. How do you see people as a whole? What do you consider a prevalent social problem? Name one.
- A social problem like homelessness, vagrancy, mental and physical illness in our war vets is very worrisome to me. I would like to think these issues could be solved by our state and local communities when war vets come back home from serving. I believe these people were already put into a position to be taken advantage of and then thrown back to a society that would rather choose to click a 'like' button and flip the channel on the news instead of helping in a hands on, practical way. If we were more connected as a whole, within our living environments, within our smaller towns and within our communities, I think it would be easier overall to organize food drives and get donated clothes and provide medical care at a discounted rate to people coming back from war. I come from an area that is drudged in apathy, waste, hatred, and distrust. I grew up around gang members and drug dealers. I saw them on the streets and in my classrooms. I saw them as teachers even. I grew up also being under a very protective mom who made me look and understand that we are not what we see around us. We do not have to adhere to those ways of life. So I would like to eventually help people in my immediate community band together more and become a more cohesive society. I have no idea how to do these things, but that is a goal of mine, to make my immediate surrounding community less apathetic and more helpful to each other.How do you choose your friends and how do you behave around them?
- Common interests and a sense of well being when around a person. It helps if they are competent and drama free when we interact. I behave as I always do, maybe a bit more goofy around true friends. How do you behave around strangers?
- Ummm, around strangers I tend to mind my business. If someone is approachable and looks nice or seems interesting for whatever reason, I will behave more assertively to gain their attention and hold it. I'm pretty quiet for the most part but I do enjoy a good laugh and take advantage of anyone who is funny in daily life. I will interact more with an outspoken or enthusiastic person if I am feeling well and have the time. I try to be helpful when the need arises. I don't always become aggressive around mean strangers, but if someone is picking on someone else or seems to be badgering someone or interrupting the general easy going mood of the group, I will try to put them in their place and talk them down.