Archive | My So-Called Life

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!


Borrelia burgdorferi

All these years, I assumed I’d sidestepped the worst of it. It’s been 25 years since I first contracted Lyme disease, and I told myself I was one of the lucky ones. But maybe not so much.

Years ago, I was at a trade conference for insurance fraud and a bunch of claims examiners were laughing about how they deny coverage for chronic Lyme. (Assholes.) I mentioned that I’d had it, and was never treated. They got quiet; one of them finally said, “That’s not good. You’re probably going to have problems with your heart later.”

Not me, I thought.

Well, now I’m very short of breath, all the time. Even sitting down. The cardiologist who tested me said my heart was “fine.” I feel like I’m going crazy, that no one understands that I feel like an 85-year-old. “You need to lose weight,” my primary care doctor says. “Yes, I do, but that’s not the problem,” I tell him. “I can hardly walk across the room. This can’t be normal.”

I’ve turned into a hermit, because it’s so exhausting to go anywhere.

I finally talked to someone who’d also had untreated Lyme, and she said, “Oh yeah, that sounds just like me. It’s Lyme carditis. I was so bad, I had to get around on a scooter. You need to get this test.” (It’s $400, and naturally insurance doesn’t cover it.)

If you’ve been reading here for a while, you know how much I hate taking antibiotics. The thought of IV antibiotics sounds like a nightmare. But I’m going to see what I can do to get diagnosed, and possibly feel normal again.

Today, I am a crone.


It’s official, I’m 62 today. If I could afford to, I could apply for Social Security in a month. Now I have wisdom, I guess.

When I divorced, I began a new birthday tradition. Since I no longer had a husband to buy me a birthday present, I would buy myself a present instead. It didn’t have to be big or expensive, just an indulgence. An impulse I would not normally indulge. (Because secretly, I always assume everyone will forget my birthday.)

This year, one of my friends talked about how she was using Tibetan singing bowls as a meditation tool. “What do you have to do?” I asked. (Because I’m really bad at meditation.)

That was the good thing, she said. You didn’t have to think about anything, all you did was strike the musical note and sort of attune yourself.

Well, I’m a musical sort, I can do that, I told myself. So I tracked a set down on eBay, to be shipped from Katmandu.

And now I’m using them to meditate. I’m not sure they’re working, but I like listening to them. Happy birthday to me.

Traffic report

How to Actually "Use Your Network" to Get Through a Job Search (Even the Tough Parts)

So it seems like my traffic, which has not been all that fantastic for several years now, is really hitting the floor — in a heated election season, which disturbs me.

Thoughts? Feedback?

Site Meter