Archive | My So-Called Life

Help me if you can, I’m feeling down

No job, haven’t made a damn cent since November, running out of money and my taxes are due. I’m in a chronic state of high anxiety. I was counting on a Kickstarter project, but the legal paperwork has been delayed for at least a month.

So if you can spare it, I’d appreciate it.



It’s been a rough couple weeks. A sibling had a minor stroke, a kid lost his job, and my brain hurts from processing all the stories emanating from the White House.

If there’s something you especially want me to cover, leave notes in the comments. Thanks!


Me and the animals

Wheatley in green bow tie

I’m allergic to most animals. If I pet a dog or cat, then forget and rub my eye without washing my hands, my eye swells up and gets weepy. And I have about a half-hour or so in a house with pets before the sinus headaches kick in. So when I’m around animals, I try not to encourage any contact.

You can guess how this turns out, right? Every time I’m around animals, they make a beeline for me. The shocked owners always say, “He never goes to strangers! Never!”

I was thinking of this yesterday when I was at a friend’s house, whose big old tomcat kept rubbing up against my leg, purring. “Listen, I really wish I could pet you, but I’m really attached to breathing,” I told him.

He came back, again and again. “I wonder why that happens,” my friend said.

“I imagine they sense my utter indifference,” I said. (Which isn’t really true, but it’s a good line. I grew up with dogs and cats, I even had them as a grownup. I don’t remember exactly when I started to develop allergies, but oh well.)

Sick bay


Sorry I’m not writing more. I have a horrid cold AND an active flareup of TMJ. I used to see interviews with Burt Reynolds when he had TMJ and he said at times, the pain was so bad, he thought of killing themselves. I thought he was exaggerating. He wasn’t.

So mostly I’m sleeping and watching bad TV. Back in a day or so!

Begging in the rain

Times Square 168

I’ve gotten so hard from living around here, and I wish I hadn’t. I went out yesterday to get some tissues and cold medicine, and there was this kid standing outside the Walgreen’s — dirty fingernails, but otherwise pretty clean. Mixed Asian kid with freckles, clearly gay. He started in with a long, convoluted, hard-luck story about how he was stranded with some other kids from his group home, and when I pressed him, he said “I’m not supposed to be here.” Then he said he was taken away from his parents and send to the home when he was 13 (I doubt Bucks County is sending their kids here) and finally, I just stopped him.

“Look, every drug addict in this neighborhood has some story like yours, and it’s always very smooth and polished, and I just don’t believe you,” I said. He started to cry.

I explained that I had my own problems, and he needed to take responsibility for his. “You weren’t supposed to come here, right? Now you’re trying to make it my responsibility to help you. Sorry,” I said.

The funny thing is, not five minutes before, I gave money to a homeless guy who was standing in the intersection, begging for change. I didn’t think twice about it; I guess I just figured, “At least this guy’s really working for it.” Because it was cold, and pouring down rain.

I don’t feel the compassion anymore, and it really bothers me. I’d like to get back to that.

Comic relief

So one of my nieces has this kid who can pretty much open any lock, and has also recently discovered Twitter. He also figured out how to hack into his school’s email admin account.

He’s in the first grade.

One of my favorite stories is this one. My niece was resting with a broken foot; she thought the kids were sleeping. She hears her keys jingling, and her son tells his twin sister, “Come on, C., we’re going to Target!”

Yes, he’s one of those kids who might actually drive off in a car.

I can’t wait to see what he does next.

Merry Christmas, happy holidays

It’s been such a tough one, hasn’t it?

I was at a dinner party last night when a woman who works in a local hospital told me the morning after the election, a co-worker got a note from a stranger with $3 in it. The note said “I know how bad we are all feeling today, and I wanted you to take care of yourself and buy a cup of coffee.”

That’s the silver lining, I guess. People are so empathetic to what we, as a society, are going through right now. It’s a massive, extended wake, and it’s nice to see all the people who are here to mourn.

But remember, when the mourning’s over, time to fight!

Merry Christmas!


Christmas bleg

So as you know, I’m out of work. You may not know I was a contractor, and don’t get unemployment coverage. I’m trying to get funding for a new project, but in the meantime, I’m uncomfortably broke and living off the money that’s been put away for taxes.

Which is the long way of saying anything you want to throw in the jar as a Christmas present will be gratefully appreciated. Thanks!

Choke artist

Whitman's Sampler - 19401116 Post

It’s been six years since I had a reaction to eating chocolate candy, and I have to say, I don’t think it’s the chocolate. I have a piece of dark chocolate every day, I have hot cocoa when it’s cold, and there’s no problem at all.

Last night I had a milk chocolate-covered cherry from a Whitman’s Sampler. My throat immediately swelled up and I started coughing uncontrollably. I spit out all but a minute amount. I don’t ordinarily eat milk chocolate — but I’m not allergic to dairy.

What a puzzle.

Phase One, in which Doris gets her oats



I’ve been done work for a week now (I have an NDA, can’t talk about work stuff so don’t ask), and I’m working on healing my brain. Literally! My neurological system is pretty much in shambles after a year of working 12-hour days and constantly scanning my surroundings for election-related news.

Part of that is, I haven’t once watched the news since the election. I don’t have the stomach just yet for that nonsense. I do watch short video clips, but that’s it. (After working on the mayoral race, I didn’t watch the news or read a paper for six months.) I’ve been reading a lot of books — six since I stopped working.

My original post-election plan was to start a site of women-focused political news but as you probably noticed, our government suddenly took a different turn. My partner (to be named later) and I are instead starting a much larger site that will focus on deciphering the news instead of reporting it — an umbrella in the shit storm, as it were.

These are dangerous times, and we have a lot of work to do, including the hard work of organizing to save Obamacare, Medicare, and Medicaid. But more importantly, we have to put Trump’s actions (and that of the media who covers him) into historic and political context for the voters. The fog of lies is the first step in creating an authoritarian government, and we’re not going down without a fight.

So sometime in January, we plan to announce a Kickstarter campaign for the new site. In exchange for two years’ funding, we promise no ads, no click bait headlines, and no stories meant to drive traffic. But you will get our undivided attention on this administration, and that’s worth a lot.

Chasing traffic is a fools’ errand; advertising revenues are in the toilet for all but the largest sites. I’d rather concentrate on drawing the map you’ll need to navigate the next four years.

Stay tuned!

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