I still can’t believe he’s gone.
It’s too much for my poor mind to comprehend. Even though I don’t write about him every day, he’s on my mind a lot. Shit, I think I’m getting sore wrists from typing in here at odd angles. Ah well.
There’s this empty space that looms. I get sad when i watch my mom eat her meals by herself - she doesn’t eat at home much these days but when she does, it just feels wrong. They’d make these very simple meals - steak and tater tots, chicken and stewed tomato rice (Sephardic dish) at the main kitchen counter. On the rare occasions I’d be “eating” at the same time - I have the eating in quotation marks because most of what I was doing is making concoctions with powders and drinks, Chinese herbal tea, broth and vegan ice cream that I’ll often eat right along with the broth and eggs. Neither of them feel like food anymore.
Someone tried to recommend that I add spices to the broth and I just stared.
I said: it’s not food anymore for me, it’s medicine, it keeps me alive, that’s it.
I’m starting to get sick of the eggs and broth. I wondered when it would happen. I had too many ripe avocados and the only way I gagged it down was because I found some garlic herb goat cheese I hadn’t tried yet. I seem to be tolerating the goat cheese ok THANK GOODNESS. I try to not eat it every day. I’ve packed the freezer with different vegan ice creams and my mom is like whaaaa?
I said: because I’m trying to force myself to eat them and if I spend the money on them, and they stare back at me, then I have to eat them.
Some days, I just can’t.
I’ll eat the chocolate pudding or something that isn’t frozen.
It’s tough. This diet is really, really tough on me. Now that I’m sharing some photos, I’m sure people can understand better why I’ve been freaking out all year. The photos I’m sharing are the ones where I look healthier than I did a couple of months ago!!
It’s terrifying. Like I’ve said, I don’t know how it feels to hear that I have something that will take my life very soon.
All I know is the slow steady walk toward a coffin.
Even I’m looking at my photos and saying fuuuuuck.
It was saving my life, all that adipose tissue giving me a literal and figurative cushion.
It’s still there! I still have one, thank goodness.
But it’s not the same.
I’m working SO hard at it. I’ve stayed above my target weight for over a week now! I don’t know how long because I still don’t have a system for recording those things (SINCE CERTAIN PARTIES PUKED ON MY NOTEBOOK which means maybe that’s not the best way). I should record in here because it makes me accountable, but I’m worried I’ll hold back because I’ll be embarrassed about recording my bowel movements.
Bowel movements. Just that phrase!
I had a good chat with my nurse this morning, she came early so I was half asleep at first. I went to bed by midnight AND did most of my routine which is unusual. I was SO tired, I wanted to get into bed at 6pm and not get out. But I can’t afford to not eat eggs for too many days before the trip. So I ate and walked early.
My head hurts. I’ve had a headache for a couple of days.
I never get headaches.
So when I do, I get a little worried. I’m very concerned about how many months I wasn’t getting enough nutrients this year. What it did to my insides. Everything is delayed when it comes to nutrition deficiencies.
This is what I keep trying to tell people in and out of the medical system.
YOU MAY NOT SEE IT NOW.
But the cells aren’t getting what they need. The many, many enzymatic reactions aren’t getting what they need. The brain cells, the immune system, all of it, requires basic shit.
Those trader joe’s cookies.
There was something I was going to confess today regarding my medical case so that I could be accountable.
Now I can’t remember!
I feel bad because I don’t feel like I’m being a great friend. It’s so hard to stay on top of things and be a good friend too.
I did have my new girl start yesterday and I’m THRILLED. She made my bed! And switched the laundry! AND, dealt with the litter box which I HATE doing. (I mean, who loves it?)
I used up a lot of juice going to my tattoo appointment but it’s gonna be AWESOME. He and I collaborate very well together. He pushes back just enough on things he knows will or won’t turn out right but gives me space to make the final decision. He says: you’re the one that has to live with it and look at it every day.
That’s not always the case, i’ve found, with all tattoo artists so I really appreciate it. I didn’t feel well the entire time. He does the entire thing on his phone which is pretty amazing. Makes it look easy but I know I’d never be able to do it.
When I was in high school, my mom and I would collaborate on my dresses for dances. I wasn’t getting asked to a ton, but my friends and I would go in groups or I’d go with a guy friend.
I loved those dresses so much. I’d have a vision in my head but I wouldn’t know how to GET to it.
We’d go to the fabric store and she’d know how to ask the right questions until we arrived at the design I saw in my head.
This has always been tough on me, because I do have that artist side to me, but I can’t execute things like dresses and tattoos. Words, always the words that must be part of my art.
I can’t write too long today - even though it’s keeping me flat in bed which is what I really need today in order to conserve my strength for the drive tomorrow, this is in large part why traveling is tough on me I’m finding, I have to do SO much to prepare for the trip and squish SO much into my limited upright hours that I’m exhausted and stressed by the time I leave for it.
That’s why having my new person start this week has been crucial. It takes a lot of pressure off to have her go through my medical supplies with me, even after Sarah already got it organized. I like to triple check these things. It’s important for my mental health. I should have made sure I could stay in bed all day today but I want my usual massage appointment. It’s risky for me to go out of town without having my intestines readjusted before I go. There isn’t a treadmill where I’m staying and there aren’t great walking paths so I’ll have to get creative.
There’s a yoga studio so I’ll take my phone, do some dancing and stretching. I’ve got to MOVE, that’s key, it’s the only way my intestines move those egg whites through. I’m now scraping more and more out of the pan and leaving them in the bowl.
But I need them. They’re just so much work to get out.
Shit, I’m worried about my headache. I’m probably just hungry and dehydrated. I’m more busy in the summer months which doesn’t work so well when you can only eat 1000 calories per day. I use up so much juice during the day, I don’t have enough for my routine. I see why I go to bed so late, I lose track of time in the evenings. I start doing something random and I look up at the clock, FUUUUUCK it’s late.
That’s the deal with adrenal fatigue / failure, the internal clock doesn’t work right so I have more energy the second half of the day.
I want to start writing stories. I can feel them nipping at my mind. Let us out…they whisper. First, my dad. I want to write stories about him.
I keep thinking about how many personal stories I’ve shared in here and on my podcast, it’s not easy to live with so much of my personal life on the Internet. I’m going to start sharing that I’m writing in here. I wanted to make sure it really was something I wanted to share.
I worry about how many stories I’m sharing about the dudes. I’ve scraped them a fair amount, but there’s still a lot in there. I still can’t believe it took writing in this blog to figure so much shit out. It’s quite extraordinary how therapeutic it feels. How much I can review and release, re-writing narratives.
It’s only going through these stories that I’ve been able to mature those parts of me that felt stuck. I was so stupid for so long! I was pretty dense about a lot of things. I’d watch my friends effortlessly flirt at young ages and being the quizzical academic, I’d be so curious - how do you know how to do that? It didn’t come naturally to me. That’s why I like keeping the friend piece as the focus, I’m a normal human being when I consider that way.
My friends would be so baffled at how dense I was! I could never tell when someone liked me. They’d have to tell me. I usually didn’t believe them. I was very insecure - still am, if I’m going to be totally honest in here, I talk like I’m confident, and I do feel more confident at this age, of course, but I had so many years where I was teased about my looks, and felt so weird, that it was hard to believe, hard for me to grasp with this cerebral mind of mine.
I realized I didn’t even mention how I FELT about my first make-out (feelings? Really? Do i HAVE to talk about them). It was lovely, but I think I was so nervous that I couldn’t really enjoy it.
I worry about that with young people. I can’t imagine the pressure they have now. So much. Too much.
Oh, I meant to clarify something. The young male that I mentioned - he didn’t just say something “snippy.” That wouldn’t even register, if it was just snippy. I grew up with The Bickersons (they called themselves that so I feel like it’s safe to disclose here - both my parents like to be in the driver’s seat, metaphorically and in real life, me I’d be happy never driving again, I think most people would be happy with that, I’m either spacey or aggressive on the road these days, ugh I’m dreading driving to this appointment today, I hate her new location, it’s on Queen Anne which is a very congested area of the city and today is the first day of school ugh) AND I lived in NYC so people bickering isn’t a “thing” I would notice.
He demanded something of her. In a tone.
I’m not too worried about this one. The sweetness is set. That’s the good part about them being mostly cooked by a certain age. The good parts are locked in too. She’s allowing it which I don’t understand. I try to be careful which battles I pick. This is something that doesn’t happen enough with teens.
If there are too many battles, they tune it all out. I think of the teacher and adult voices used in old Peanuts cartoons. Wah wah wah wah wah wah, that’s what teens hear. Unless it involves, here is money and there is food on the table. Even then, getting them to look up from their phones is no easy feat! Fucking phones. We’re ALL addicted to them.
I’m so tired of being tired.
Peanuts cartoons! Ha, that was the first inkling as a kid that being redhead wasn’t a bad thing, but could be a good thing. I was always a little weirded out when strange men would come up enthralled with my hair.
Men who love redheads. A special breed. There’s a few I grew up with (obviously, the ones who married the redheads - there used to be a redheaded niece every generation but it ended with this generation).
Fuck how am i going to drive like this.
No vignettes are coming to me today. My head hurts and my body is so tired.
Can I do this trip? Will it go ok? Will I love it? Or just get through it to see if I can do it? I hope to enjoy it. I’m mostly packed. I have exactly 24 hours.
Oh the consent thing I mentioned. I really don’t know what’s going to come out of these fingers. There’s this song that recently came through my playlist, the computers knowing what I’ll like better than me sometimes. It’s a group of millennial men in the youtube video it’s called Got it In You, I think? It seems like it’s written for a woman.
I realized that I’ve never heard that before in my life.
A group of men singing to a woman saying YOU CAN DO THIS! You’re much stronger than you realize! You’re quicker than the world can spin, I think is the wording, don’t feel like googling it.
How sad is that? That I grew up without a group of male musicians singing anything other than love, sex, and rock and roll directed toward women. Or hatred, plenty of that too.
What a change. What a fundamental change to have male singers saying hey girl you’ve got this, you’ve got it in you, you’re bigger than the ocean that you think you’re drowning in. I love that imagery. This huge version of laying in a puddle worried I’ll drown.
I was really worried this year. I mean, I still am. But the worst of this last storm seems to have passed. Thank fucking goodness. So painful. The mental and emotional anguish far worse than the physical pain - and that’s saying a lot.
People wonder how I get through it and one of the ways is I tell myself - even in the midst of the worst pain - I have to KNOW, I have to FEEL it, how can I turn around and help the young people, or whoever, get through THEIR pain if I don’t experience it myself? - this may not be the case but it helps me get through it.
I was thinking about how I mentioned consenting, in an unspoken, and even unconscious way, to be learned on by others. There’s a wonderful book - it was so good, it was one of the few novels I’ve been able to ingest these last few years - called Sweetbitter. It’s about a young woman who moves to New York City, very sad and lonely, and she falls for a hot bartender with a lot of issues. (Bartenders, by the way, are not a good way to go for casual hook-ups, I’ve been thinking about writing a “how to hook-up wisely” hahahaa why not? There are smart ways to do it, and dumb ways, I’ve done enough of both, though I always avoided the bartenders, and this is no offense to the amazing bartenders I know and love, but in a general way, not always smart since they’re often the ones that get around, but not always! I know many who are very loyal to their partners and not into that scene at ALL - but in NYC in my thirties? It was for the best).
I’d forgotten about the book until I went through my papers and found quotes from it. Then I mentioned how I essentially picked a bunch of different ones to “learn on” in my thirties and realized I kind of did what the protagonist did. She was wiser than me and knew it right after she did it.
She chose a hot mess to experience it. Someone who would never love her back. To crack open parts of herself, to learn about herself. Then she wisely walked away. I suppose I did that. More than once….
I’m always in awe at people who are perfectly content with never having these experiences. Why can’t I do that? Fuck it’s already been almost an hour. How do I do that? I feel like I’m writing in here for only a minute.
I was debating whether I should bring my computer on this trip. The wifi sucks up there which is awesome. I love it. But I do want to be able to write and I want to post my podcast on time. I’m determined to get a handle on that.
Get this: my new person - who I really envisioned as house help, driving, picking up prescriptions, all that - is really good at social media! AND photography! Can’t believe it. I had her take my annual birthday photo. I want to do one on my trip too and see which one feels right.
There was one. He was sooo cute. He lived in Wililamsburg and I lived on the Upper West Side - there’s a Seinfeld episode that I didn’t fully understand, an old friend who was a New Yorker made that point to me before I moved there, she wondered how people liked Seinfeld when they didn’t know New York, so many of the jokes were based on living there, like when Jerry’s fruit stand guy and him get in a fight, you don’t want to lose your fruit stand! That’s worse than sleeping with a bartender and not being able to go back to a bar! There are more bars than fruit stands near most apartments - and Kramer was in a “long distance relationship” for one episode.
At the end, he calls from a phone booth - lord I’m old - and you can see the signs behind him while he whines to Jerry to “come get him.”
He’s on first and first! Which is only a couple of miles from the Upper West Side where Seinfeld and his crew lived - where I was based most of my time there. Kramer had a suitcase! That’s how “far away” other neighborhoods could feel when you lived there.
I don’t remember his name - these were the early years - I want to say it started with a J but who knows. He was a bit younger - what? Have I not mentioned that I usually skew younger all this time? Hmmm…yes I DO, they’d often find me and think I was younger than I was.
I remember being at that old bar on Orchard where my friend worked - so this must have been even before Guinness or maybe at the same time, who knows - and we hit it off. Great kisser, I do remember that. Not the name! i know, I know, it’s awful but it’s the way of the world now. Well, less so because people can “follow” each other and learn way more than they probably need to for certain situations.
He was really upset when he found out I was a few years older. He then disclosed that his last girlfriend was in her FIFTIES. Yeah, man. Yeah.
I’ve discovered over the years that the ones who gravitate to older women - because we’re awesome, c’mon, we know what we want and not full of drama, well not medical drama, wait, that’s probably changing as the demographic ages, anyway - they’ll sense it. I’ve always looked so much younger that I was surprised that they’d still find me.
We met up a few times, this cute young guy. One time, he came ALL the way to the Upper West side for a movie. It was a movie where the actor from Lord of the Rings came right in front of us and introduced the movie. I have no idea what movie it was but I was struck by how small he was. I’m always struck by how teeny tiny many actors are. Most people are. Except for Matt Dillon. Have I mentioned Matt Dillon? Should I talk about Matt Dillon. Tex…that was my first Matt Dillon movie.
I digress! You can’t mention Matt Dillon and think I’ll just roll right past it. Oh wait, it was ME that mentioned him. Anyway, this guy kind of reminded me of him. That’s how cute he was.
I invited him back to my place after the movie, and he straight up said: I’m looking for a serious girlfriend.
I was startled by how open he was.
I paused and said: I don’t think I’m looking for the same thing right now.
I’d do that all of the time. I’d treat the ones that would make great boyfriends like hook-ups. I’d treat the hook-ups like boyfriends.
Yeah, so I’m confessing all here, and that was part of my thirties confusion.
NOW, of course, I know I did this because I was too afraid of going down a path with someone that could be real. It scared the crap out of me, and I’d been through so much in my twenties, I was doing it all reverse. I was doing what most women did in their twenties, in my thirties, after getting so serious in my twenties.
I try to be honest with myself these days. And it seems like writing in here is the only way I can evaluate my mistakes. Hopefully not make them again. Whatever works. Whatever works sigh.
He lived too far away too. TWO trains worth for anyone that doesn’t know NYC. My friend A would admonish me: find someone closer! She “dated” a guy that she didn’t like for a good year because he lived down the street. His name was Barry. He was mad for her. He even stalked her sister at the gym down the street and introduced himself. He would have married her for sure.
She ended up with a white boy from Montana and is very, very happily married. He is the greatest, I love her husband.
I don’t know if I should share this - she is pretty open, I’ll check and remove if not - but he’d had a dream about a girl who hair like hers. It’s very noticeable, her hair. Different noticeable than mine, but definitely distinct.
When he saw her in a bar - they actually met in a bar - he walked across and introduced himself. She tried messing it up a bunch of times, calling me frantically trying to break up with him, because she was terrified, of course, because he was sweet and steady and adored her. One time, she said, that’s it! That’s it!
I said: well how does he feel about it.
Her: well he’s on his way over to talk about it.
I laughed and said: I don’t think he’s going anywhere but good luck with that break up!
I think they just celebrated their 10th anniversary. She swore she wasn’t going to ever marry when we started hanging out. She’s one of the happy ones. Makes me so happy she’s happy. It really does make me happy. I’m smiling as I write this.
My next podcast, as I’ve mentioned, is about women supporting each other. I’m nervous to go down this path. I could yell at the boys all day long, but nudging women…that’s a whole level of terror. But it’s got to happen. The young people need us to get our shit together and figure this out. It’s such an outdated thing, the whole competitive thing, public cat-fights between singers, all of that. I cringe every time I read about one. The housewives shows? Don’t get me started.
And we wonder why the kids are so anxious.
Do your French lessons!
They need conflict resolution skills, tools on how to work through pain, and better mental health services. Everyone talks about this, but dang, it’s going to take a long time to build that out.
I’m very passionate now about curriculum on these topics. I created nutrition for kids out of mostly thin air - there was a bit going on at the time I started in the mid-90s but not a whole lot.
I’m SURE others have created amazing curriculum. The problem is - and this would make me SO frustrated when I worked in the food field - people don’t know about it. It’s often created by a school or a non-profit. Then the next school and non-profit would hire me to create similar curriculum. Then again, and again.
A bunch of us got together to try and collaborate. The woman who started a pretty major non-profit that New Yorkers would recognize the name was there. Another one worked for the organization that Donna Karen started. I mean, these weren’t small-time AT ALL. Another one was the LEAD on nutrition services for the entire New York City school district which is the largest in the country! One million kids at the time - I have no idea what the number is now.
It didn’t work.
Nobody could agree.
We’d get together and everyone would debate their own angle.
Same thing as I see in the activist groups now.
No, that’s not MY idea, we have to do MY idea.
No, that’s not MY area.
Everyone so determined to be the leader, that no one would play beta.
I worked in the culinary field which is predominantly male - though most of the educators are women, of course, because well, we work in education! And nutrition! - where it’s very hierarchal. Sometimes I’d walk into the kitchen at that director job I had when one of my teachers was leading a class (I guess I have some vignettes to share after all) and the students would ask ME a question about the recipes.
I’d always defer: you have to ask the teacher. I’m the director but not the teacher.
There’s a constant mix-up of hierarchy. I was always very proud of the fact that my teachers, my colleagues, said they liked co-teaching me.
They’d say: you don’t take over, you know when to step in and when to step back.
That’s so much of what’s happening in our culture now, right?
NOBODY wants to step back and say: you have a point, let’s talk about it and find a way to meet in the middle.
Why? Why is this so hard? Why is it so hard for women, in particular, to assign an alpha in a group setting, and work through things?
Not always! I’ve worked in some amazing groups of women over the years and learned a ton with so many people who mentored ME and taught me the way.
But you get some ego in there, and…it’s not good.
How dare you call yourself a leader?
That’s what one woman wrote under a post I did in an activist group.
Which nobody is active in anymore.
It was destroyed from within.
I predicted it. I said: nobody is going to read in here or get involved after awhile because the mean girls took over and were controlling and awful to so many people, like me and so many others, so who wants to stick around for that?
It’s in large part why the Left suffers so badly.
Inability to be the sous chef when necessary.
Everyone wanting to be head chef.
I like being able to go back and forth. Sometimes it’s fun to be in charge. Other times, I’d be tired or whatever and I’d tell whoever I was working with: you decide, I’m tired, I’ll support you unless I think I really feel like we’re getting off track.
It’s a really important part of training. I use that skill with the kids now, I realized - those two things overlapping.
When to step back, when to step in.
Until women work through whatever it is INSIDE, then we’re going to struggle with this piece.
It’s not like I don’t have my own issues. I do. I have a lot of issues - I think i make that pretty clear, I try to own them at the very least, warn people, be honest about them, and work through them and get better as much as I can - but I don’t have that competitive streak with other women. On the athletic field? Yes but not crazy pants, I was around too many hardcore athletes over the years, I just don’t CARE that much.
Professionally? Sure, I feel competitiveness. I FEEL it. I try to acknowledge it and not act on it though.
In large part, why I have the network I have is because I’ve been a supporter of women!
It’s amazing to me now, though, wow.
Who is competitive with a disabled woman whose life has been destroyed?
That’s on them. I know that.
But it doesn’t make it feel any easier.
I said something on my podcast, which has already been sent to my editor so I can’t take this out, even though I have the urge to remove it, about how my mom said fairly recently, in the last couple of years: you don’t get jealous of other women do you?
I said: hmmmmm, I guess not.
I hadn’t really thought about it until she said it and it was around the time that I was being shoved out of activist group left and right.
They say they want a female leader.
The blowback from a comment like that if I’m bigger?
My new assistant, I feel weird calling her that, but helper is worse for her, so I need to get over myself, is excited to help me grow my Instagram following.
As soon as she said it, I could feel the fear in my chest. I felt it, and I acknowledged it and then said: yes, let’s do it. I don’t want to be dependent on others for however long I’m left.
The only way out is through.
Freaks me out though.
They ones who have a LOT of internal misogyny will take that hatred and unleash it on me.
I mean, just read mommy blogger and influencers like Chrissy Tiegen’s comments threads. I’m not saying I’d get that big! I’m just saying that they’ll find you, no matter how big you are.
The mohawk was in large part because of this. I’m no dummy. I’m so confusing to those women now, it makes it a little harder.
I mean, it’s SO bad, that in one group, I’d intentionally dress really androgynous. There was only white woman in the group, a thin blond.
It didn’t matter. I still got pushed out. She didn’t even say she was sorry about my dad.
That’s some serious stuff to work through. I know that’s the reason, but dannnnggg.
Who feels competitive with someone who goes through what I GO THROUGH?
I’ve kept quiet about this piece for a loooong time. It’s always bugged me, but the last few years….wow.
It’s time though. Everyone has to do their piece. White women, especially those at the top, are crucial. If they’re not on board? I realized that their men may not get on board.
Even my friend that I interviewed in the podcast - I can’t stop thinking about this - kept saying: we SAY we’re all about empowering other women, but ARE we? Are we authentically doing that?
It’s an excellent question that I can’t answer.
All I know is that the Movement is here for it. The women networking organizations are growing. If they’re aren’t a multi-billion dollar business yet, they will be.
The young ones will demand it, or create it themselves.
They already are.
The body shaming, the mommy shaming, the single shaming, the everything shaming, all of it boils down to working through the internal stuff.
We can’t love others if we don’t love ourselves.
We hear this over and over and over again throughout out lives.
But it really is a core truth.
I struggled a lot with female friendships over the years, but it wasn’t because of this issue. It’s the main relationship stuff I always have dealt with regardless of gender.
I think like a dude a lot of the time. That’s why I know how to communicate with them.
Like I’ve said in here, there’s more of coded language for women. Things aren’t dealt with as directly.
Then I think: how am I going to date one?
Not like when I was young and things would just happen, and I’d fall in and out of things, or hook up while drunk.
I mean, intentionally and sober.
It’s terrifying! I have so much empathy for cis mostly straight dudes (ok, I’ll just say it, I don’t think anyone is fully straight, I think everyone experiments more than they share, and we all are curious, or horny at some point, or whatever, so what, the shell is fun to explore at times, I do think many skew one way or another, and definitely for actual relationships). How aggressive is too aggressive? What about consent to touch? How does any of that work? I want to share more of this because I think a lot of young people - or anyone - would want to hear of someone’s exploration. I don’t know how much I’ll share of anything that’s “in play” in public. I tend to want to keep anything present super private, midnight texter notwithstanding, he’s just such an awesome example of how far off track we’ve gotten, texting at middle age in the middle of the night…I haven’t even shared…well, that’s for another day).
I didn’t anticipate THAT coming out today and now I have to leave in 8 minutes. Dammit! Two hours of writing. How do I do that?
I may have to delete some of this. I get so panicky every time I disclose something major. But no one is reading in here, I tell myself! It’s too long! It’s too much! I’m too much!
I always worry that I’m too much.
Then I remember, oh yes, the Internet never finds a ton of (good? decent? original?) content as too much. Indeed, that’s the key.
The beast, the Internet is a monster that needs to be constantly fed.
The trick is not letting it eat YOU, the content creator.
Shit 6 minutes.
Your - hmm I’m going to have to read over my “feelings” chart if I want to get original here…
Your open friend,