Food for Thought

Q&A #2 Conspiracy Theories? Travel Destinations? Bedtime Routine? Answering questions my friends asked me.

Hello friends!

I thoroughly enjoy answering questions. Not only does it give me a chance to feel connected but… ya girl loves to talk about herself. I asked my dear friend to text me a list of questions and boy did she have some good ones. I’m not editing this and I’ll do it in one take. The two of us are going to have a nice little chat off the cuff. So snuggle up with a coffee because today we are talking conspiracy theories, bedtime routines, travel spots and much more.

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1. What is your standard bedtime ritual?

I have really bad skin, I always have. It’s drier than sandpaper and breaks out with the ferocity of middle school hormones. Luckily, the only New Year’s resolution I’ve managed to keep is moisturizing. So for me, the key component of my bedtime routine is skin care. I generally finish up with my homework around midnight and wash my face. I use plain ivory soap most of the time because it makes me feel cleanest. My is also clearer when I keep things simple. I’ve tried all sorts of fancy face washes from drugstore to crap ordered off of infomercials but plain old soap is the only thing that has done the trick.

After I wash my face I moisturize. I use straight rose hip oil or this oil blend that smells a little like curry from the turmeric. No lie, I use enough to fill the little cup of my palm. I just slap that all over my face to fix the worst of it. If that’s not enough I follow it with tea tree oil or more of a lotion consistency fragrance-free moisturizer. I’m not picky on brands as long as there is few ingredients and no scent.

I brush my teeth with Sensodyne because my teeth are sensitive  a combination of factors including aggressive brushing and an eating disorder I recovered from a few years ago. I only mention this because nobody ever talks about how Anorexia screws up your teeth from the lack of nutrients and dry mouth despite (generally) no purging. Anyway, I prefer soft toothbrushes over hard ones.

I will never sleep in my daytime clothing because I live in the Northeast where ticks are everywhere. You can pick one up just by walking through the backyard. I also shower at night and feel around my scalp for this reason. Any old tee shirt and a pair of shorts that don’t ride up are fine.

For bedding I prefer flannel sheets and firm pillows. I read a little to make me tired and listen to some calming videos or music to fall asleep. I really like audiobooks for this purpose. I usually wake up four or five times in the night to scribble writing into a notebook so I keep a pad of paper and a pen under my pillow and a small light on in the bathroom so I have just enough to see.

I slept walked quite a bit as a kid especially if I was feeling ill or had a fever. I have vivid memories of waking up in the bathtub fully clothed under cold water to shock me awake. There’s some false rhetoric out there that you shouldn’t wake up sleepwalkers roughly because it is dangerous for them but honestly the worst that happens is a bit of confusion. I once broke the Shark vacuum cleaner because I managed to turn the shower on, flood the bathroom, and then tried to suck up the water with the vacuum before snapping out of it. Zero memories of the event, just an odd dream and a big mess afterwards. These days I send cryptic text messages to my boyfriend… “What are you doing with that ladder?”… while in the odd stage between awake in asleep.

The one area where my odd sleep patterns are helpful is in generating ideas to write about. Maybe it’s why my short stories are weird as hell.

2. Favorite baby/pet names?

I love when people give their babies or pets old-fashioned names. What’s better than a big ol’ Bernese mountain dog named Lester? For humans I dig names that sound great for old women or cats. I love the names Agatha, Tabitha, Savoy, Sylvia, Emiline, Evelyn. Evelyn less so now only because it seems like the names Eva and Eve are gaining wild popularity at the moment. It’s too bad because I’ve had the other two shot down as well. Boy’s names are tricky because I don’t like most offbeat names for men. It’s hard to imagine a 50 year old dude named Starbeam-moonmellow or whatever people name people now. James, Thompson, Theodore (literally everyone hates this one I don’t know why) and Calvin are strong contenders in my head. Not much reason behind those–Thompson and Calvin are family names that sound nice.  When I meet people whose name or personality I like I write it down on a little list. No–I am not pregnant and do not want to be. I’m just a name collector.

3. Would you rather live in an urban or rural setting?

I would rather live in a rural setting with some sort of downtown setting in driving distance. Ideally I would have no neighbors for miles but it wouldn’t be a hassle to get groceries once a week. I love the feeling of a small town community with local businesses. After graduation, a period of travel, and getting my life together I’m looking to move north to New Hampshire or Vermont.

But seriously, with my journalism degree of dubious value I’ll move to wherever is hiring.

4. Socks: must they match?

Socks don’t need to match in color but they must match in type. I won’t wear one tall sock and one short sock, but a blue sock and a black sock together is fine so long as my pants or shoes conceal them from view. Earrings on the other hang, earrings never have to match. I have double piercings on each ear in which I like wearing hoops on one side, a dangle on the other side, and mismatching studs in between.

5. Ideal travel destination?

I love going to New York City. The energy is fantastic, there’s a ton of free things to do, and lots of neat spots to explore. I also appreciate trips into the the Berkshire mountains which hold a special place in my heart. Road trips are also fun, especially solo road trips. Last summer I drove down the East Coast on my own listening to the one CD I have in my car over and over for 24 hours of consecutive driving. I also flew to Texas that summer. I spent time in Alabama at Space Camp as a kid and similarly went on a class trip to Washington D.C. Those were fun, but I don’t think about them so much so as not to rehash my awkward years. I’ve been to Disneyworld in Florida twice. I would go there again any day. I also like travelling north: Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine… Maine especially in the summer to spend time on the beaches. I’m not much of a swimmer but I like to run along the water’s edge and bury in the sand with a book. My least favorite places I’ve been: I drove to Scranton, Pennsylvania to see if it was anything like The Office said it would be… man it was depressing. I peed at a gas station with no light in the bathroom and no soap. Who knows what I came in contact with.

This did not answer the question. My ideal travel destination is somewhere I am travelling alone with enough structure to have things to do but the space to explore or veg out if I want. Big cities and road trips to places I’ve never been are great for that.

6. Favorite conspiracy theory?

Some people watch the Kardashians or the Bachelor to satisfy their guilty pleasure. I watch conspiracy theory videos. There’s tons of crap floating around YouTube, including a video that the movie Pitch Perfect revealed details about 9/11 (Ridiculous? Yes. Entertaining? Heck yes). You open anything with a dramatic voice over and some spooky transition music and I’m hooked. I think for me, what makes a great conspiracy theory is less the actual thesis but the storytelling process. I always loved ghost stories around the campfire as a kid. No longer a kid and no campfire in sight, these sorts ridiculous urban legends satisfy that need for a weird and wild story line.

7. How’s that book going?

I don’t know… you tell me… The Women Who Burned Mountains Sneak Peak.


These are fun to do and a great exercise in banging out a piece of writing in one take. Connect with me, I’d love to chat!

xxoo,

Allyson

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