I’m Rich

My Grandma Howard used to say — chortle, really — ‘I’m rich,’ when referring to her six grandchildren. Funny, because she was a mostly unsentimental person about family and everything else (and also because she was rich, money wise).
I’m reading a book* about a man who has suffered a violent assault and is recovering at home, full of pain and rage, his memory addled. All he wants is to return to what was once so unremarkable he was entirely unseeing of it: his ordinary life. He wants to be just a man putting on his jacket before leaving for work in the morning, stopping to rinse out a coffee cup and check his pocket for keys. Unremarkable except when it’s all gone and you no longer have a job to go to or the ability to make coffee or the dexterity to use keys or the mobility required to walk down a sidewalk on your own. I read in this both a caution and an invitation. Notice all these things, they are not yours forever (the bad news). Don’t dismiss your ordinary blessings because you’re too busy wanting other things. Also (and the good news): while you have them you are rich indeed.
*The Witch Elm by Tana French

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How to be 60: Find Your Peeps

I seek women of my age or stage who look cool and proud and smart and stylish and modern. I imagine they recognize one or more of these qualities in me and we acknowledge each other as we pass, silently. ‘I see you, lady!’

This requires that the woman not be arrogant or self-involved or have some similar blinding factor. (Note: arrogance and self-involvement are limiting!”) Why? Because otherwise they won’t see me. 

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Storyholic

I have a horror of landing someplace without a book or streaming device or a way to write — a way to distract myself with a story. The more tired I am the simpler the distraction must be: an Instagram feed works well. Embarking on a 20-hour trip to Shanghai, I have 3 physical books, 5 novels on 3 platforms (Hoopla, iBooks, Scribd) and episodes downloaded to Netflix and Amazon Prime. Good to go.

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I Feel Bad About My Neck

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This is the title of a book of Nora Ephron essays, which, when I got it as a Christmas present, I found dated and schtick-y (I also thought, at the time, I’m too young for this). But now it happens to be true, though I feel like a bad feminist for admitting it. Maybe I should reframe the emotion as ‘I feel good about turtlenecks.’

 

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Lost + Found

Lost + Found

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I got through 21 days of Whole30 before succumbing to a glass of Pinot Noir last Saturday. I meant to complete the program—which I was also calling Sober October—but found another glass of wine in my hand on Monday night, out to dinner with family, and yet another while out to dinner with colleagues on Tuesday night. And so on. I expressed some self-serving (not to mention wine-serving) thoughts about the ‘magical thinking’ around needing to complete 30 days. And how much I loved Whole30, even while quitting it.

Here’s what I lost: a few pounds, maybe three, but more significantly a narrowness around my waist. I have a pair of pants, purchased this time last year, that had begun to make me feel bad and sad—tight around the waist which caused my stomach to look wide and round.

Here’s what I gained:

  • My attachment to wine in the evenings, as a means of changing my moods. Before Whole30, I felt deprived if I couldn’t pour a glass after work; now I feel slightly repelled by the thought of the wine-induced shift in brain chemistry.
  • My hunger for grains—pizza, pasta, sandwiches, popcorn. I craved those kinds of carbs. But now I don’t.
  • A super-productive run of weeks—a renewed interest in getting things done, as compared to the dulled and restless mood I felt before the program

Here’s what I’m thinking:

  • Continue with moderate drinking. No rules come to mind, but I’m thinking about them, at the very least.
  • Continue with the zero-to-minimal grains. For instance, in the airport very early this morning, I was thrilled to find RxBars, which satisfy so completely.
  • Continue with the focus on protein—was that the key to my improved energy?
  • Continue to avoid entirely sweets and salty snacks, which I’d protest are not a weakness of mine, until I consider the late afternoon candy, pretzels, popcorn and whatever else is being dispensed at the office.

Here’s what I’m still missed: a creative urge, the inspiration to write, this post notwithstanding. I’m writing it but in a workaday way. Same applies for reading. I can’t find the intellectual curiosity to take up ambitious novels, favoring pulpy women’s literature (The girl/woman in the window/on the train/in Cabin 10 and in all sorts of other perilous situations) and murder mysteries. And somehow connected to this is my aversion to yoga. The task of emptying my mind seems impossible; worse, it doesn’t appeal to me. At all. Where have you gone, mind of mine? And when will you return?

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Look at Her

Giuliani

Look at Him

Rudy Giuliani has said and done some odious things since he was declared “America’s Mayor” after 9-11. Getting in bed with Trump was one of them but making matters worse, he took it upon himself to explain why, in his opinion, Trump would have never had an affair with someone like Stormy Daniels.

“I’m mean look at her,” he said in a televised interview, disparaging Daniels as not attractive enough, not educated enough and not classy enough for the likes of Trump. His facial expressions—a wince, an eyeroll and the kind of Borscht-Belty mugging Trump himself deploys—dismissed even the “remotest possibility” of a Daniels/Trump affair. And then he felt the need to add that he couldn’t respect a woman who sold her body for money. “I mean, come on.”

“You misogynistic fool. Are you kidding me? Just look at Stormy Daniels? Just look at yourself,” Mika Brzezinski responded, frostily, after playing a clip from Guiliani’s speech. “Let me tell you something. Stormy Daniels could indeed bring down this president, so I hope you all just look at her.”

Co-host Joe, wisely, refrained from interrupting her, or saying anything at all, as Mika continued, which was a nice piece of theater unto itself.

So many baffling things about Guiliani’s words but some of them include: Trump already admitted to the affair, you fool, and Marla Maples is nobody’s idea of classy and, by the way, FLOTUS, at one time, also “sold her body for money” (see photos below).

FLOTUS

Classy

 

 

 

 

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The Writing Prompt

I often say to myself: “oh I should blog about that!” But then I don’t, and then I forget the topic, and then weeks pass and I still haven’t blogged.

Writing prompts come closer to assigned work which means—especially with a deadline imposed—I’ll actually write the thing, whatever it is. My TueNight writing worked that way. And it always started like this: “hmmm…the prompt is “sisters,” what could I possible have to write about that? Ridiculous because I have three sisters and they, more than my parents even, were the very structure of my childhood.

It’s like looking at those New Yorker cartoons without captions. I start with absolutely zero thoughts, often end there too, but when I see others’ captions I think: of course! And for proof this is so, what do we make of the police officer in an interview room grilling a kid and then in walks another officer with a  clown wig and balloon animal? Me: hmmm… well… nothing comes to mind really.  Screen Shot 2018-04-16 at 12.45.31 PM.png

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Hey Google

….. you’re creeping me out with your helpful auto-responses to my email. Here, a friend and I were sharing job insecurity stories and Google picked up on what sounded like plan-making and offered three ways I might respond.

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Some suggestions for you, Google:

  • Please don’t assume we’ve gotten so lazy we can’t formulate responses on our own.
  • Please refrain from reading my emails—now not even pretending that you’re not.
  • Please stop getting your helpfulness all over everyone, as Anne Lamott would say.

 

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