Pills, Pills, Pills

In the past couple of months, every time I went to write something for the blog, I suddenly found myself watching episodes of The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina and eating leftover Halloween candy instead, which is a clear sign that I am feeling a lot of things and having a hard time herding them into something that makes sense to write about.

When I slam into one of these emotional brick walls, I find myself doing a lot of Googling “industrial live/work loft spaces, Gowanus” and “why does cheap jewelry turn your ears green” and otherwise burrowing into the internet with no real purpose.

A few months ago, a friend and I saw a poorly designed flyer proudly scotch taped to a pole in the East Village, advertising a cure for “brain fog.” The URL on the bottom was http://michaelalexis.com/brain-fog/ which had a real ring to it (it didn’t.) I, of course, interrupted my friend to stop and take a picture of it so I could look it up later.

In my recent pointless wave of internet exploration, I found myself revisiting his site, and it is everything I remembered it to be. The site reads like a sales pitch given by someone who is just a little… off. It’s classic New York. Enough of the sentences makes some semblance of sense, so you feel as though an actual human person wrote it, but the points made in between can only be described as batshit crazy.

Our telephone pole prophet, it turns out, is preaching the virtues of a “self-designed treatment plan” for clearing your "brain fog.”

He writes:

“Disclaimer: I’m not a doctor, and if I was then other doctors would consider me a quack. This article is a personal account of what worked for me to clear over a decade of brain fog, neck pain, digestive issues and other symptoms.”

Long story short, he got a parasite in China and it made him sick so he came up with plan based on what appears to be absolutely no real logic/knowledge to make himself better. As an added benefit to curing his tummy worm, this regimen also enabled him to, uh, think more clearly, I guess?

Before detailing his plan, he offers the following parable:

“A lady I worked with was famous for making awesome cakes. She would give the recipe to people and then they’d come back and say it didn’t work for them; they always made substitutions like whole wheat flour or weird sugar. You can be a great recipe borrower or a terrible one.”

I think I speak for all of us when I say 🤯

I really did love reading his detailed instructions, which played out loud in my brain as I read, in the voice of The Girl You Wish You Hadn’t Started A Conversation With At A Party. A few gems:

  • No liquids with meals because it dilutes enzymes

  • “Chew everything a lot. Seriously, if the only thing you do from this article is chew more it will help.”

  • Try to keep electricity away from your body.

  • Pay attention to hygiene, cleanliness, posture, sexual restraint, emotional control, having a positive outlook, while avoiding grudges, resentments and stress (NBD)

Also, he wants us to go through something he calls “lymph cleaning” which was a hyperlink I ultimately did not choose to click.

This site confirmed what many of you would probably suspect. It turns out that you can actually put pretty much anything on the internet. And I will read it, obsessed, literally eating popcorn so fast that I’m barely tasting it. The world is a hot mess, and I’m just hanging on for dear life.

Yesterday I was listening to one of my favorite podcasts called Sawbones. Basically it’s a very lighthearted chat between a doctor and her comedian husband about all sorts of medical topics. It’s extremely low key and I’ve fallen asleep to it on many occasions, but the episode I listened to last night was horrifying enough to keep me wide awake and prompted a subsequent Google dive. It was about “Jilly Juice.”

For those who don’t know, Jilly Juice is a gross-ass concoction invented by a 100% out of her damn mind lady named Jillian Eberly. Her whole thing is centered around this drink, which you have to make yourself. You mix water, an OBSCENE amount of salt and cabbage, then you let it sit at room temperature for three full days to let it ferment. THEN YOU DRINK IT. And you drink a lot of it. And you don’t eat or drink anything else. You do this constantly. And by all accounts, it leaves your body quickly, violently, and from both ends.

Where Michael Lewis and his brain fog teachings feel relatively harmless (as far as I know, I didn’t click that lymph cleaning link) Jillian Eberly’s movement is just straight up dangerous. She makes Michael Lewis and his brain fog look almost Goopesque in its prescription of supplemental vitamins, tai-chi, and “snuggling with your honey bunches [sic]”

Jillian has a few especially bonkers tenets, including:

  • Cancer is a fungus

  • Exercise is bad for you

  • You can regrow a limb

  • Humans could live until 400 if they drink her swamp water

This information gathering expedition on my end was punctuated around 1AM by several clips from the Dr Phil show, showing segments wherein Jilly (of Juice infamy) vehemently puts forth a host of insane alternative facts. Dr. Phil eventually falls mostly silent, shaking his shiny dome in disbelief. You can tell that he’s cursing his booker and longing for a nice, unhappily married couple that he can tear limb from limb. A couple who, while not bright enough to turn down the show’s invitation, at least wouldn’t expect those limbs to grow back.

TBH, all of this would make me want to start a blog, which I’ve already done, or a cult, which is on one of the more freeform drafts of my bucket list.

Much like my current jury duty responsibilities are actually making me think about what it would be like if I went to law school, these case studies have opened the door to the realm of medicine for me. I mean obviously I don’t have the time or money for a medical degree, also blood makes me uncomfortable, but if these true pioneers have taught me anything, it’s that it only takes one, great, unproven idea to break the medical field wide open and save humanity. Science be damned. I’m going to start brainstorming, and for now I guess imma steer clear of electricity just to be safe.

RoseComment
Sleeves

Some weeks the world just feels wobbly. Not bad exactly, but fuzzy.

On Wednesday, I made it to 10:30AM wearing the wrong shirt. There was nothing actually wrong with the shirt I had chosen but I was yanking at the sleeves from the moment I put it on at 8:12.  My arms, much like every other part of my body, are on the short side, which means almost every top, every jacket I buy has sleeves that are too long. For some pieces, like my winter coat, I’ll hem the sleeves so they end at a reasonable place, but for the majority of them I end up either pushing the sleeves up so they bunch over my forearms, or leaning into the cozy, past my fingers cocooning that is only intermittently in style.

On Wednesday, I pushed and pulled, folded them up, unfolded them. I had worn this shirt at least fifteen times already over the last year and never had a problem with it but on Wednesday I couldn’t handle it. At 10:30, seeing the solid block of meetings I had that afternoon, I abandoned the cup of coffee I had just poured, grabbed my bag and ran to a store across the street. I grabbed the first shirt I saw that met my two default criteria- gray, and roughly my size.

Ripping off the tag in the bathroom, I slipped it on and it felt like the first gasp of air after holding my breath past the point of comfort. The material was warm and soft, and miraculously, the sleeves ended right above my wrists.

It was World Mental Health day, which somehow I wasn’t reminded of until much later that day. Somehow, in all of the residual excitement about the annual American honoring of the Italian dickwad who showed up where he wasn’t invited, I missed this other, equally American holiday. I was reminded when I was scrolling through Instagram in bed that night. I saw countless posts from celebrities, sporting perfect “no makeup” makeup, reminding me that it was ok to be mentally ill. It's a really nice sentiment but for me, it never really helps. I passed the point of feeling ashamed of my mental struggles a long time ago, but I still have to deal with the actual symptoms. The stiff, constant vigilance required to monitor my feelings at all times. Trying to be one step ahead of myself and, mostly, failing. The low level anxiety (read: fear) that is permanently coursing through me. I try to balance it by being extra daring. It rarely works, but the task keeps me busy. I add a little bit to each scale, back and forth, trying to make them level. At the end of a lot of my days, I curl up, exhausted, sleeves past my fingers, and attempt to detangle, so I can start it all over again tomorrow.

RoseComment
Drinking Outta Cups

I got out of bed at 8am today. I just opened my eyes, and I was immediately wide awake, which has happened maybe thrice in my life.

Weekend mornings have been consistently better since I stopped drinking (almost a year ago now.)

I hear myself telling people about how I quit drinking pretty often. It has to be extremely annoying to my closer friends who are usually nearby when it happens. It’s just been a life changer for me. I stopped, and it was this moment where I finally gave myself permission to move on from all the questionable things I’d done in my adult life, alcohol-related or not. And while I’m incapable of actually letting anything go, it was a really nice moment with myself.

When you quit drinking, weekend wake-ups become the most enjoyable activity in your life. You roll over around 7 from the sound of your phantom alarm, hit your phone to check the time, and feel a wave of pleasure wash over you as you realize that you can continue sleeping for as long as you want, and when you wake up, you’re going to feel the same age that you were when you went to bed, if not 6-8 months younger. I call it a snorgasm #nailedit

People ask me how dating is when you don’t drink. Here’s the thing- it’s a thing. I obviously don’t want to end up dating someone who isn’t cool with me not drinking so YES, I have dodged a few bullets by disclosing to Tinder guys early. But it’s something I wish we didn’t always have to talk about so early. My openness with sharing the story of my completely unprompted, wholly voluntary decision to be the least fun person at every party does not extend to guys that I maybe want to sleep with twice a week for 4-6 weeks.

To be fair, most of the guys I talk to are drinkers, and most genuinely don’t seem to care when they find out I’m not. And they almost always decide not to drink on our dates, to be respectful. I like the sentiment but if I’m being honest, I want them to drink. If one of us can’t drink, I feel like the other one has a responsibility to drink twice as much and then go home and send the sober person embarrassing texts. One of us has to. Take one for the team.

But seriously, you acting like a normal human and having a drink in front of me just makes me feel like we can be cool with each other being real people. You drink, I don’t. You’re going to Burning Man, I will not. I like The Office, and you had better fucking like The Office.

One unfortunate side effect of this self-imposed corner-turning is that I find myself saying the word “mocktail” every so often without doing it in a hilarious pretend douchey voice. I’m not thrilled with this development.

In other news…

The other day while getting on the train at Fulton St I experienced the most concentratedly stressful 8 seconds of my life. I walked up to take my place amongst the gaggle of commuters pressed against each other, ready to shove each under onto the tracks at the first sign of budging. I was fumbling with my motherfuckingearbuds and when I looked up, I saw that the woman in front of me was wearing her shirt inside out.

I have never experienced the level of conflict within my own head that this elicited. Cute, if uninspired, illustrations of a devil and an angel character appeared out of thin air and perched on my shoulders. I should tell her. But then it might seem weird that I was looking at her shirt. But I would want a stranger to tell me. Or would I? I would definitely want a friend to tell me but maybe it’s not cool coming from the woman currently breathing down her neck. I mean to be fair the tag is the same color as the shirt and most people won’t be standing this close to her. This all played out over 8 seconds, tops. Then, finally, I made up my mind. I would tell her. And right at that moment the subway doors closed in my face and she disappeared forever.

The next day, I was walking down Park Ave. on my way to work and I saw a woman walking towards wearing. hand-to-God the coolest shoes I have ever seen. They were blue suede flats, with a lip of the front of the foot hole (technical cobbler terminology) that was kind of pointed. And yes, I realize you can’t picture them, because that was a terrible description. So as I continued walking, my brain, ever so slowly, registered that I was obsessed with these shoes. But by the time I realized I should’ve asked her about them, she was long gone.

And now, I can’t find the shoes. They are not on the internet, I can tell you this because I looked at every webpage that exists to try and find them (shut up, what the hell did you do this afternoon that was so great?)

Foiled by my natural urge to never interact with strangers once again.

Writing this in the backyard tonight, the first day of fall (!!), I’m wearing a sweater out of both average fashion sense and absolute necessity. I’ve got hot chocolate mix and a shit ton of ground cinnamon in my kitchen. Let’s do this fall.

Despite my inexplicable but extremely real hatred of Halloween, I still love the fuck out of fall, the clear Best Season. I moved to New York in October 2011 and it took me no time to fall deeply in love with this city. The air gets crisp, the subway smells better, and people put their clothes back on (by and large a good thing.) And this year, the first day of fall serves as a reminder that I’ve only got about a month of my 20s left.

So I’m gonna go watch TV.

RoseComment
Engagements: A Cheatsheet

If you ask me (you didn’t? huh.) the way you announce that you're planning on legally binding yourself to another person says a LOT about your relationship.

Photos: Pics taken In the middle of a city street. The couple is lifeless in the eyes but you know just milliseconds before they were dodging cars at the behest of an eager young, up-and-coming (read: works for beer) photographer. Three inch heels make her three inches taller than him.
Facebook post: "Kayla and Matt. December 12, 2018."
Translation: Let’s just do this before Nana dies.
Verdict: There are worse reasons to get married.

Photos: Impromptu Costco photo shoot
Facebook post: "We’re getting married AND 48 rolls of toilet paper. Can’t wait to marry this dork."
Translation: We’re being ironic, but we're totally relatable because we both buy in bulk and are fake mean to each other.
Verdict: I’ll allow it.

Photos: Engagement shoot in a field
Facebook post: "I just can’t wait to begin forever with him."
Translation: We love nature, each other, and Mumford and Sons.
Verdict: Sure! Nature is lovely and they look sweet in a gluten-sensitive kind of way.

Photos: Cap and gown and ring
Facebook post: "OMG. Graduated AND got engaged this week!"
Translation: We truly believe we will be in love forever, and when we get divorced, we will not spend one second trying to convince our kids that we still respect each other.
Verdict: You know weddings are expensive, right?

Photo: One poorly-lit selfie
Facebook post: Just the ring and upside-down face emojis
Translation: We will not be contacting you all individually.
Verdict: Efficient.

Photos: Posed pics from a what looks like a JC Penney portrait studio, emailed to you by the bride’s mom.
Email: Dear Rose. Josiah finally popped the question. Sarah is thrilled. How are your mom and dad? Ok well good to talk to you, Love, Mrs. Wilson
Translation: They're second cousins with a mall nearby.
Verdict: They’re second cousins, so.

Photos: Wearing mouse ears and a ring at what is unavoidably Disney World
Facebook post: "On our yearly trip to the Happiest Place on Earth, Erica made me the happiest man on earth! #sothisislove”
Translation: We act out scenes from Aladdin in the bedroom and we don’t have to explain ourselves.
Verdict: A little anecdote: when my sister and I were at a music festival in London we saw a guy and a girl in over-the-top costumes and I said to her, “I love it when people find each other.” and she said “I’m pretty sure they came together."

Photo shoot: Popping the question at the finish line of the New York Marathon
Facebook post: "The couple that runs 26.2 miles together stays together."
Translation: We’ve seen each other lose a toenail and we’re still sexually attracted to each other.
Verdict: God bless.

Photo: Someone else tagged them in their own wedding photos. This is the very first time their relationship has appeared on social media.
Facebook post: N/A
Translation: They’re outside rn.
Verdict: If someone on the internet makes fun of you and you never see it, did it even happen?

RoseComment
Welcome, Future Husband

You found me, Tinder guy. You were given at most two to three basic facts about me and my first name and somehow you hunted me down. And let me tell you, you've hit the motherload.

In a world where I've gone out with someone and made it 35 minutes in before he started telling me about how "technically legal" Trump's actions are, I feel like we're all allowed to Google the people we're going to meet so that dates like that don't have to last the full 36 minutes (I needed a minute to recover from the shock.)

I like knowing what I'm getting myself into, or at least arming myself with a modicum of information. Also let's be real, it's like a really fucking fun internet puzzle.

But during my very best reconnaissance missions, I've emerged with no more than a last name, and/or an article about your high school football team winning all-state (did you know there's a football position that's just called "kicker"?) and/or the LinkedIn page you haven't updated since you worked as a Sandwich Artist at Subway in 2004. Armed with this valuable information, I can go on a date and know which state I shouldn't talk shit about, what my married name would be (is it better than Seyfried? (probably) would I maybe hyphenate? (probably not)) and that I should double check your employment situation. Not exactly deep intel.

But you. You really got lucky. Because this is a place where I have promised, before Our Lord Jesus Christ and my triple digit FB following (COUNT 'EM)(no brag) that I would be as candid about myself as possible.

So as a reward for you hunting me down, I'm going to do some of the work for you. Because you know what? Men need to be rewarded more.

I've gathered a list of info that you might find interesting, most of which I normally wouldn't just offer up to a stranger. But you're not a stranger anymore, are you. By this paragraph, you've already fallen in love with me. So I'm right on time to go ahead and burn it all down.

  • I am gonna be REALLY confusing to you about all of the following:
    • My feelings towards marriage
    • My feelings towards staying in NYC forever
    • If I spend too much time with you I might start getting really annoyed but instead of saying that I need time alone, I'll just be annoyed. For the record, if this happens, just let me disappear for a couple of days and the clouds will part. Unless I was annoyed for a different reason.
    • Which Evan I'm telling a story about (somehow I have like 15 Evans in my life)
  • I've either been in love three times, twice or never depending on my mood when you ask me.
  • I love James Blunt. And not in an ironic way. The person, the music, all of it...
  • I stopped drinking a little less than a year ago. It was mostly for health reasons so I can still go to the bar with my friends, and I actually feel weirder about it if people are choosing not to drink just because I'm around.
  • I'm terrible at team sports. Please don't make me play them. If you push me I'll do it because I'm trying to seem chill and cool but please don't ask me.
  • I'm on anti-anxiety medication to combat the high anxiety job I chose, notably without a gun to my head.
  • I was kind of a piece of shit between 23-26 so I really try to be a really decent human now.
  • I can do pretty hard crossword puzzles but they take me forever to finish.
  • After a week of work, there are only 3 acceptable planned activities allowed on Saturday mornings. I won't do anything else, and I'm 100% serious. I will CONSIDER going on a run with you after 2PM.
    • Sleeping in
    • Brunch
    • Occasion where I get a present of some sort
  • I may try to dress you by repeatedly complimenting you on individual articles of clothing you already own and hinting that something you don't would look good on you when we're out.
  • I will buy tons of stuff online and return almost all of it.
  • Sometimes while I'm washing off my eye makeup I stop in the middle and I pretend cry with makeup running down my face because for some reason I think it's the most hilarious thing ever and I think at this point it's never gonna get old for me.

 

So yeah. Text me.

RoseComment
Book Review: The Bible

There are a lot of people who decide what to do based on what they think is written in The Bible. As a lapsed Lutheran (the most lethargic AND attractive religion of that particular scatterplot) I know my way around The Bible, and by that I of course mean : Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, David and Goliath, Christmas, Easter, Loaves and Fishes, Almost Cut A Baby In Half, Technicolor Dreamcoat, The Rapture.

It took me the better part of 16 years to develop that understanding. To be honest I’m just impressed by these pious, focused and determined Christians who know about every single time the Bible contradicts itself, and has a direct line to God, who tells them which directive should prevail. Hearing them preach about how righteously they’re living their lives makes me feel less than, which seems to be totally on brand. So I think maybe it’s time to take a quick spin through The Bible* and see how my life stacks up.

1 Timothy 2:9 Likewise, I want women to adorn themselves with proper clothing, modestly and discreetly, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly garments.

I’m in the negative off the bat. While I'm not a pearl gal, I’ve been known to French braid some three day hair. Modest and discreet I guess I can usually get behind but I find the term "proper clothing” a bit problematic. It’s like when you’re online shopping and you can filter by “work shirts.” That designation means something completely different for a figure model (0 results) or a tech start-up employee who can, and does, wear literally anything with zero reaction/consequences. I started wearing glasses at work six months ago and one of the Product Managers asked me yesterday if there was something different about my face (“Not BAD different…”)

Leviticus 19:28 Ye shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor print any marks upon you: I am the LORD.

I’ve done this, twice, but one of my tattoos is hilarious and the other one is pretty, so I stand by them.

I understand that the frequent all caps “LORD” in translations of The Bible is a stylistic choice and was not to indicate that Jesus walks around yelling his own name. But when I come across this in 2018 I can’t help but picture Jesus as some sort of ancient DJ introducing himself, arms raised, to a crowd in the olden days equivalent of Ibiza.

Proverbs 23:2 . . . And put a knife to your throat if you are given to gluttony.

Once again, guilty. I’ve eaten more than 5 and less than 400 bacon egg and cheese sandwiches in my life and haven’t killed myself even once.

Leviticus 18:22 Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.

You know who isn’t around to explain himself anymore? The dude who transcribed Leviticus right from the mouth of God. So when I choose to interpret the word “lie” to mean “not tell the truth” I don’t anticipate much pushback, at least not from anyone actually reading this blog.

That said- I do not lie the same way with men as I do with my girlfriends. I do it a lot more, and there’s usually some sort of complicated endgame.

Exodus 31:15 Six days may work be done; but in the seventh is the sabbath of rest, holy to the LORD: whosoever doeth any work in the sabbath day, he shall surely be put to death.

The other day I was sitting with my two roommates and Megan said to us “I think Gisela is the coolest of the three of us.” and I agreed. Then I said Megan was definitely the cleanest out of the three of us. And then they both sort of examined me for a few seconds and finally Megan said: “You’re the best at sleeping in on the weekends.”

Rose Seyfried, ladies and gentleman.

Exodus 20:13 Thou shalt not kill.

I kill literally every day.

Deuteronomy 22:8 When thou buildest a new house, then thou shalt make a battlement for thy roof, that thou bring not blood upon thine house, if any man fall from thence.

If I ever buildest a house, I’ll do my best to make sure no one falls off.

Exodus 21: 33-34 And if a man shall open a pit, or if a man shall dig a pit, and not cover it, and an ox or an ass fall therein; The owner of the pit shall make it good, and give money unto the owner of them; and the dead beast shall be his.

Same here #coveryourpits

Ephesians 6:5 Slaves, obey your earthly masters with deep respect and fear.

Ugh, we were doing so well for a minute.

2 Kings 2:23-24 From there Elisha went up to Bethel. As he was walking along the road, some boys came out of the town and jeered at him. “Get out of here, baldy!” they said. “Get out of here, baldy!” He turned around, looked at them and called down a curse on them in the name of the Lord. Then two bears came out of the woods and mauled forty-two of the boys.

I’m extremely polite to my sister’s boyfriend, because if you make fun of a bald person, you will get mauled by a bear, literally. Also because I like him.

John 15:13 Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.

Let’s have a moment of sincerity (just one, promise.) I have the best friends on the planet. When my therapist tries to ask me anything about them, I immediately get really defensive and make it very clear that they are saints and are not responsible for a single one of my issues before changing the subject back to something relevant, like my job, or my love life, or my inevitable demise.

Proverbs 18:13 To answer before listening — that is folly and shame.

My long-suffering sister dealt with a lot as the youngest member of our family. By the time they got to her, my parents had done it 4 times already. They had gone through literally everything and made it out the other end already so they didn’t have that hyper-obsessed, nervous parent thing that newer parents tend to have. She was extremely self-sufficient and mature so a lot of the time she kinda flew under the radar. One of the most frustrating things in the world for her was to sit at dinner and be constantly interrupted by her four loudmouthed siblings or two loudmouthed parents.

This is something I actively try to work on, actually. I’ve done a lot of interrupting in my life, and 95% of the time it’s because I’m so excited about what the other person is saying and I want to contribute something and not because I can’t wait to hear the sound of my voice, but it IS shameful, answering someone before listening. Good one, Bible.

James 5:16 Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.

A long time ago, I decided to be the kind of person who tries to let as few people as possible know when I do something wrong.

Philippians 2:14-16 Do all things without complaining or bickering with each other, so you will be found innocent and blameless.

Anyone wanna argue with me about how much this one sucks? 

John 21:25 Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written.

This isn’t really relevant for this post but I thought I’d share it because I’m calling it now- Donald Trump will definitely steal this for the first two sentences of his autobiography.

 

*selected excerpts from

RoseComment
Swinging For The Sports Metaphor

I'm in LA! Yesterday I overheard someone saying "Oh, yeah, he's clutch. I just saw him when I was grabbing a crepe on Hollywood Boulevard." Hollywood Boulevard, I've learned, is in LA! Also, people just grab crepes here like it's NBD! Wow.

I've done a pretty solid job on my very own game of LA Bingo. I saw the piece of the sidewalk where Trump's Walk of Fame star was destroyed. I had my schedule disrupted by a rattlesnake. I ate legitimately healthy breakfast food that I didn't personally cook. I had a Lyft driver who gave me his very subjective, barely abridged history of the Yankees, his opinion of the beach ("overrated"), and the elevator pitch for his dad's Alien Vs. Predator augmented reality game that "has a lot of potential, we just need to find the right financier" all in a cool 28 min (4 mile) drive.

We've been shooting on location at a place called Golden Oak Ranch outside of the city. It's owned by Disney, and it's basically a small, fake suburban town. There are beautiful houses along a street, most of which are just empty shells. The one we're using for the main character's house has been completely transformed. Walls were built and wallpapered, curated furniture was added, a fake bathroom was built, and there are family photos of the cast strategically placed.

Writing about that level of detail, I suddenly feel really self-conscious about the fact that, due to poor planning and a scosche of laziness, I'm wearing two slightly different black socks. More glaring evidence of my Type A-minus-ness.

It's been cool being involved with this level of production. I've been on very few film sets, and the ones I have experienced were the kind of indie/low-budget situation where everyone is there as a favor to someone else, there is always a missing memory card (DUDE I had it a second ago) and there's a designated spot for the PAs to go take a (SHORT) break and cry. This shoot has fancy things like fire extinguishers, and trailers, and people who are being paid enough that they aren't miserable from the very beginning.

All of this said, I'm still way more interested in the tech side of what I do for work. I feel like I'm way happier communicating with developers and UX/UI designers. The people in the film world tend to either intimidate or exasperate me. Even when I like them, it's a constant struggle to match the level of energy they seem to all have. I just don't do well with earnestness, overt attempts at networking, or obvious cosmetic dentistry.

Yesterday I went on a run, arbitrarily picking a route that somehow consisted only of insane hills. Every few blocks, I had to stop, double over, and just sort of stand there, wheezing, focusing on not falling over. When I finally made it to the top, the view was amazing. It felt like Seattle- totally beautiful, but not for me.

I'm heading home on Monday, and I'll be really happy to land at JFK and get into a Lyft with a driver who may have face tattoos but will almost certainly also be silent.

RoseComment
Country Review: The USA

Happy 4th of July, fellow Americans. And by happy, I mean confused, extremely anxious, and constantly craving processed cheese, melted between pieces of butter-slathered white bread.

Let’s level with each other. Things are rough. Our basic freedom is at stake, racism is running rampant and at the wheel is a man who punctuates Tweets based on grammatical rules unknown to any but him.

So on this bittersweet day, I’d like to use my "pen" to assign grades to some of the Most American Things.

Privatized healthcare: F In a nutshell: healthcare in America is not considered a basic human right. See also: TV commercials for prescription drugs.

Baseball: A- I’ve only been to three baseball games in my life. We sat up in the stands, paid minimal attention to the game, drank beer and shouted a bunch. I couldn’t speak more highly of the experience. Only points docked are for it being a sport.

The Electoral College: C- I see what they tried to do but it’s as problematic as most America colleges.

PB&J: A+ I love this combination more than I love most people in my life.

Guns: F Have you ever been hit with a paintball? That shit hurts. Just ask our British exchange student in 7th grade who, in his excitement over shooting a paintball gun accidentally shot himself point blank in the finger. You really can ask him- in the moment, he was completely disarmed, however he managed to survive the experience. Real guns with real bullets are extremely unnecessary. I’d say we’re overthinking this one, but I don’t think that’s ever been America’s problem.

NASCAR: B AKA Drivin’ In Circles. Incomprehensible to me, and yet also kind of benign? I’ll allow it, but it loses points for being an unofficial conservative convention.

Bald eagles: A+ So cool. They look bald, but they just have white feathers on their heads. Classic American misdirection.

The Kardashians: One gold star The most alliterative of all reality TV families, the horse-haired Kardashians have woven their extensions into the very fabric of our society. One of them even ended police brutality armed only with a pout and a can of Pepsi.

LaCroix: A Don’t let the French name fool ya. LaCroix is from Wisconsin, and is officially pronounced incorrectly (it actually IS La-croy.) The bubbly liquid inside the cans is delicious, but beyond this, LaCroix symbolizes so much of what America is all about. It has it all. Noisy packaging design. Periods of popularity interspersed with valleys of obsoleteness, spanning decades (see also: Britney Spears). Zero calories. AND you can buy it in bulk without leaving your perfect, butt-shaped crater in the couch. God bless.

The American Dream: Incomplete Or as I like to call it, ThAD. Appropriately named after a mediocre white guy who built something out of *nothing* except for his determination and his family's overwhelming wealth.

Litigation: C+ One of biggest things I noticed living in Thailand for a year was how people just sort of made decisions based on common sense. There were very few warning labels and written agreements, and if something were to go down, the first attempt at remedy was not via legal action. I spent the entire year making mental notes of what wouldn’t fly in the US- like fruit sold directly from someone’s bare hand, or riding side-saddle on a motorcycle. While I generally think we are much too quick to slap each other with lawsuits, or blame others for our mistakes based on technicalities, I do think our insistence on getting signed permission slips before transporting groups of schoolchildren is fair enough.

Xenophobia: F Not to be confused with Xenaphobia, the fear of Warrior Princesses, or Xerophobia, the fear of duplicates, this is racist, pathetic, and as American as apple pie.

Apple pie: B- Overrated.

Britney Spears: A From her humble beginnings, sitting in an extremely uncomfortable position on the cover of “…Baby One More Time” to her current wildly popular (if bizarre) Instagram presence, we have kept one eyeball on Britney for the better part of twenty years and I for one have yet to be disappointed.

Freedom of speech: A+ See also: all of the above.

Ghosts

The last couple of days I've sporadically had a pain in my stomach, or slightly lower, right above my hip bones. It's not really a knot, it's more of a cramp that sets in quickly, without any warning. One second I'll be standing on the subway platform and all of the sudden I'll be doubled over in pain. And then a second later, it's gone again.  The train comes and I get on and thank whoever is or isn't up there for yet another day where I didn't cry on the subway. It's happened before, of course. I sit there and just kind of leak from the eyes and stare at the floor waiting for it to pass. I'm never 100% sure whether or not I want someone to ask if I'm OK.

Now that I don't actually bleed every month (thanks IUD) the cramps are way more mysterious. They used to be so severe that I would need to pop ibuprofen near constantly for 48 hours every month. Now they come and go so quickly, and on such a weird schedule, that by the time I realize I'm in horrible pain and go to do something about it, the pain is usually gone.

I talk a good game about how I don't have regrets- and, at least on paper, I really don't. There's nothing I can do about the past, and on a scale of Martin Shkreli to Michelle Obama I feel like I fall somewhere in the respectable middle. But lately, I feel like I'm being visited by ghosts, in the form of tiny, micro-flashbacks that I can't seem to shake.

It's amazing how those very specific feelings will show up when you feel like things are good. Hurt and embarrassment and failure and sadness, tied to extremely specific moments. Wanting something so badly and not being to get it. Someone else wanting something from me and me not being able to give it. I'll be standing on the subway platform and suddenly I'll feel it. I stop thinking for one second and a memory appears to take up that space.

I'm taking so many steps to try to be the best version of myself I possibly can, but I'm having a hard time moving forward. I feel complicated and imperfect and no matter how many apps I download, a step by step plan for dealing with that feeling doesn't exist. If I'm being real, I don't really forgive myself for the objectively crappy decisions I made that hurt other people in my almost 30 years. They're few, but significant. I'm not sure I forgive the people who broke my heart one way or another. I definitely don't actively harbor ill will towards anyone but I've got a lot of brilliantly casual, if cold, lines prepped for if I ever see some of these people again. I feel like a lot of things are still where I left them, whether it was 10 days or 10 years ago. It's difficult for me to move in any direction when I feel like I'm just packed full of ceramic shards. If I move too quickly or too much I'll puncture a lung.

If you made it to the end of this one, here's a recipe for coconut lime popsicles. I have no idea if they're any good and the tab has been open for at least a month now so if you could find out for me that would be great.

RoseComment
Movie Review: A Deadly Adoption

Will Ferrell and Kristen Wiig starred in a Lifetime movie, and it's called "A Deadly Adoption."

"What a hilarious premise for a hilarious comedy!" you're probably thinking, trusting deeply the comedic masterminds behind Anchorman and Bridesmaids. "Maybe he'll have Nick Kroll play Will's long lost brother, or something."

Oh no. You don't understand. They made a Lifetime movie. Like an actual Lifetime movie on Lifetime funded by Lifetime. Aside from the presence of Will Ferrell (with a REMARKABLE dyed beard situation) and Kristen Wiig, this movie would be indistinguishable from a serious* Lifetime film.

Turns out, their mere presence in this context is enough to make one of the funniest movies I've seen in a while.

SPOILERS AHEAD: DO NOT CONTINUE READING IF YOU IMMEDIATELY OPENED A NEW TAB TO FIND THIS MOVIE ONLINE LIKE I DID (just do a classic watch+online+free Google search and you'll have your pick of Russian websites from which to stream)

I would normally do my commentary on a piece of media in a plot recap from start to finish, and I'm going to try. But here's the thing about batshit crazy movies: time gets a little whoozy. At one point, we even noticed that Will Ferrell's character Robert's computer clearly shows "11:24AM" at the top of the screen when it was "night" outside. It also had the name "Emily Miller" displayed at the top, which is not a character and in all likelihood is a crew member.

So let's just get the ball rolling and see what comes out of my head/heart.

The movie starts with Robert (Ferrell), who is a big-time author, lounging in his backyard with some extras. His wife, Kristen Wiig (I don't remember her character's name.) is super preggers with what is their second child. One thing leads to another and the deck collapses under Kristen. She hits her head and falls into the water.

We then see her in the hospital. She's alive, but it's as we suspected. She lost the baby.

Then some things happen and time jumps forward and suddenly Kristen Wiig is running a stand at a farmer's market that has a big sign that says "100% Organic" or something. She's happy! She jokes around with her insultingly one-dimensional Gay Friend. She's tryna keep things light.

Meanwhile Robert is doing a lot of brooding. You see, their first child has diabetic ketoacidosis and he is TERRIFIED that she's going to die. Ever since the dock collapsed, he's afraid of what's around the corner. At one point, he actually yells "YOU KNOW THE DANGERS OF DIABETIC KETOACIDOSIS!" at Kristen in an impressive show of (over)acting skillz.

Kristen Wiig is trying to make the best of things. However, when one day an Adoption Lady shows up with a candidate for a birth mother, you can tell that she's cautiously thrilled. Robert has rejected every single person they interviewed so far. But the difference with this one is that she's read one of his books and is INSANELY hot, if somewhat dead in the eyes.

She claims that she's been living in a town called Idaho Falls (yup) and now is living in a shelter. From my seat on the couch, I called bullshit. She's got a full face of makeup, and (we will soon learn) a wardrobe full of very current, well-fitting maternity dresses.

Robert and Kristen, of course, take her in immediately and plan to adopt her baby.

Once she moves in, there are a couple of scenes where they try to insinuate sexual tension between the birth mother, Bridgette, and Robert. It felt uncomfortable, like when your friend in middle school thought someone else's super old dad was hot. There's a great moment in the closet where they just kind of turn in place looking for something in a room that barely fits both of them and I have never been less turned on in my life.

She starts kickin it with their existing kid, a little girl who was named "Sully" for her parents' love of both Monsters, Inc. and airplane crashes. Sully's recitative delivery of her lines actually played well with the stilted hot-girl murmurs escaping from Bridgette's face. #acting.

Despite being 7 and probably old enough to know that doing this is weird, Sully walks in on her in the bathroom one day and sees that, GASP, Bridgette isn't really pregnant and is just wearing a big ole fake baby bump. They agree to make it their little secret.

Ok so then some more things happen, and the viewer starts to get a picture of Bridgette being super shady behind Robert and Kristen's backs. A guy shows up to find her who has Tattoos and Shaggy Hair and is clearly Bad News. He was ALSO hot, in a Jackson-esque sort of way (Joshua)

OH I forgot ok so Robert has been sober for six months, because before that, when he was on his last book tour, apparently things got out of hand every night. This was new for me because I always assumed book tours were a little less The Clash and a little more sweatervest. But Robert went hard. Too hard. Now he's on the wagon... but not without his temptations.

Now we've reached the point where Bridgette disappears and take Robert and Kristen's kid with her. Robert is beside himself, yelling at a very cool and collected local police officer who says things like "Sir, we're getting to the bottom of this." while sitting on Robert's couch drinking Robert's coffee and not doing a goddamn thing besides delivering his lines with gravitas.

Then there's some cutting back and forth between Robert and Kristen, and Sully and Bridgette (and Pacey). Ostensibly they're trying to blackmail the parents, which makes sense because Robert and Mrs. Robert are rich. The otherwise unsatisfying exposition at the beginning of the film did make that point clear.

Confoundingly, Bonnie and Clyde and Sully don't go very far away. Bridgette actually says the line "They'll never look for us on the other side of the lake." I mean to be fair, the sheriff is still on the couch.

Robert and Kristen are continuing to freak. Because you see, Sully needs her insulin. Which to be fair is a legit scary thing so I'll allow it.

Yada yada yada, Joshua Jackson ends up shooting Kristen's friend who goes looking for Sully and follows them to their hideout cabin. Our first casualty. You start to figure out that HER plan was to steal Sully forever and I guess kill Kristen Wiig so she could be with Robert, you know, as a family. But I'm not sure why she had to steal Sully to make that happen. Maybe to keep up the pretense for Pacey? Meh. Surprise: aspects of the plot don't really add up.

TURNS OUT: Six months earlier, Robert had gone on a bender after an urban Barnes and Noble appearance, which is basically a stadium show, and blacked out. Suddenly, while freaking out about his present-day kidnapped daughter, he remembers flashes of what happened. Turns out, he had slept with Bridgette, real name Joanie, out on the road and she had turned out to be insane. It all adds up! Kinda!

Joanie goes to rent a boat from a grizzled old man to return to the other side of the lake and kill Kristen and hook up with Robert.

Joanie pops up in the garage and gets into an altercation with Kristen. There's an amazing part of the scene where Joanie kind of lamely pokes Kristen's face with a gun for a WHILE while she delivers a monologue. They tussle, she chokes Kristen until she passes out. Then she puts Kristen back in the car, in the garage, and turns it on, leaving her to asphyxiate. Point Joanie.

Then she goes inside to confront Robert, who is inexplicably wearing a hoodie. So she shoots him. Not because of the hoodie, though it was really bad, but because Robert doesn't want to run away with her. After he gets shot, she assumes he's dead then runs back to the cabin to grab Sully and make a run for it (after also shooting Pacey. She's really big on the gun.)

Robert, lying face down after being shot, lifts his head. There is the funniest sound design I've ever heard for the blood dropping from his wounded arm. It's like someone peeing on a tin roof.  He finds Kristen in the garage and revives her, by yelling BREATHE at her.

Empowered, HE now gets in a boat and speeds across the lake, face stoic and chest puffed like Washington crossing the Delaware. He lands on the other side, crawls up the embankment, and stands in the middle of the bridge over the lake, waiting for Joanie and Sully in a car to drive directly at him. I don't know how he knew to be there. Movie magic.

Finally, Sully and Crazy get out of the car for a final standoff with Robert. Quick thinkers, Sully and Robert jump into the water to avoid being shot. And right when you think Joanie is going to pick them off, the viewer hears one final gunshot as Kristen Wiig shoots Joanie in the back.

Then, as the end credits rolled, we sat in silence, trying to wrap our brains what we had just watched.

I give it a solid 9/10, in what is admittedly stark contrast to Rotten Tomatoes' 20%, but I stand by it. I'm mostly docking the full point because I felt that using the word Adoption in the title was misleading. There was barely anything about adoption. They don't even inquire about Bridgette's medical history.

Luckily, they over-delivered on the "Deadly".

Uphill Both Ways

I have a fascination with what people wanted to be when they grew up. The question has a bad rap, as a throwaway, to fill awkward silences on blind dates, but I love asking and being asked. I want to hear about how you wanted to be a firefighter when you were a kid, and if I’m feeling generous, I’ll assure you that yes, the fact that you’re now your office building’s floor marshal counts. I mean, you EARNED that gig (by being out the day they chose.)

My first AOL screen name was Mo4Prez. Mo, because it was my nickname, short for Maureen, my real first name. “4Prez” because I had decided that I would be the first woman president of the United States. This was during the years that Clinton and Lewinsky were smashing but before we all knew about it. This job had everything I could ever want: it wasn’t located in Oreland, Pennsylvania, I wouldn't really have a boss (you know, besides the American people) and it looked great on a resume. I could picture myself, normally clad in leggings and sporting baby bangs, in a drab pantsuit, with a sensible haircut. When I hit age 10, that picture lost it’s anti-glam sheen as I realized how... administrative this job would inevitably be. I decided instead, that I wanted to be a famous novelist. Why not? I could do anything.

When I was a kid, our parents were all about telling their kids to follow their dreams, whatever they were. Maybe this was a knee-jerk rebellion against their own parents, who had sent them to Catholic school with nuns who beat them with Bibles, systematically scoffed at their dreams and threatened to make them take over the family business. If these stories are true, they were expected to pick something reliable, call tops “blouses” and retire after 40 years at the same company. It makes sense, then, that our parents wanted us to do something we love because then we could be Guaranteed Happy. In the early 2000s, it was rare that you heard of a set of parents ordering their child to return home to Peoria after Ohio State undergrad to run the family mortuary.

When I graduated from college, I set out on a path surrounded by incredibly creative people: musicians, primarily, but also visual artists, and writers. Sound was my future because I loved doing it. Simple as that. I was excited that I was able to listen to my parents and follow my heart.

For the first couple of years out of music school, I wanted to make sound my job. I interned at one audio post-production house, then another, while I took on my own projects that consisted mostly of sound edits for film school juniors and bored wealthy men in their fifties.

In order to pay my bills, I was a live-in nanny for a family with a terminally ill mother and a daughter who had been adopted after a multi-year custody battle. I willingly inserted myself into a situation that was fraught with emotion, disappointment, and anger. I lived in the attic and dreaded going downstairs to watch the wild child of a daughter and sustained daily bites from their cat, who suffered from Crohn’s disease.

I also worked a retail job where my job title was “stylist” even though my primary job purpose was to sign the citizens of Seattle up for store credit cards. Incidentally, I was the best at it at my store. As an addendum to the required sales pitch of “If you open a card with us, you’ll save an additional 15% off your purchase today” I would add “And if you’re worried about interest, as soon as we’re finished with this transaction you can go ahead and pay your account balance with your debit card and never use the store card ever again if you don’t want to. Here, you can borrow my scissors.” The highest card openers would both keep their job, and regularly get free clothing, which is how I managed to avoid being naked for probably a full calendar year. 

I was miserable, but it allowed me to have something resembling a sound career, and that was the goal. And if it wasn’t still the goal, I couldn’t tell, because I was too busy working side jobs trying to afford to reach it.

For me, and for some of my friends, the directive to follow our passion kind of backfired. A large number of people in my life starting out doing what made them happy as a career. But they did it for so many more hours, and in a hyper-competitive environment where their creative work was constantly critiqued, that it made them miserable. I remember coming home from work and just not knowing what to do with myself. The last thing I wanted to do was to play around with audio files or write music. I had been doing that all day for a client who didn’t know what they wanted but kept repeating random adjectives at me angrily until they had finally grown tired, long after the studio staff had gone home.

It’s obviously not impossible to make your passion a career successfully. I know it isn’t, because Lady Gaga exists. But sometimes I feel like it’s maybe just as brave to.. not.

Also:

  • One of the creative producers we’re working with thinks that the “stakes” in a story is spelled “steaks.” Told the creative lead that I would give him $20 to reply all to his latest email to the full team with just “Mmm…. steaks.” He’s thinking about it.
  • I fucked up cutting my bangs a couple of months ago and I’m afraid to go to my hairstylist because I know I’m gonna get a very mild lecture that lasts about 10 seconds. Having disproportionate anxiety about it.
  • How do you go about finding an old factory to live in? My heart is telling me that’s where I should live if I’m going to have a shot at being the best version of myself. My initial research, though, has told me that I may as well empty my meager savings account into a metal garbage can now and set it on fire. It'll be quicker and I won’t have to navigate zoning laws.
EOD

Tonight I had to join a 9PM call with one of our LA creative teams. I live in a world where EOD means nothing without a time zone attached to it… New York, LA, Tel Aviv...occasionally a fake-out far away city like Atlanta trying to trick me.

It was a creative call, an update from a writers room currently in progress, which meant my role in the call was “extra set of ears." But generally I’m happy to be easygoing about a 9PM call just to reiterate that I’m Really Involved. From my perspective, taking one evening call makes up for being kind of late for about three days. It shouldn't matter because it’s “ok to be late” (I don’t believe you) and "no really it’s fine we’re actually a super cool start up who cares about you" (there’s no way that’s just cool) and you get so confused and your head hurts so you just say fuck it and show up late a fourth day, smelling like nice dry shampoo, clutching an iced latte like the Olsen Twin: The Later Years that you are.

During the call I did some planks and then I did some downward dogs for a while and then I became horrified with how much hair is on my bedroom floor, so I got up and swept it. It was easier to focus while I was moving around. Sometimes I think making my body be all normal all day is exhausting, I feel like I’m constantly wanting to suddenly just lie down on the floor while I'm talking to a colleague, or sit cross-legged on my office chair. It's so hard for me to smile through an entire conversation with no breaks, especially if it's particularly joyous one. My natural expression is mild concern. My face hurts. It's not like I'm always about to burst into an unprofessionally choreographed dance, but I am so conscious of my body. In fourth grade, someone told me to "sit up straight, hon" and I have thought about it every day of my life since then. “My back feels straight. But am I looking down too much? I should be better about making eye contact. Lean back. Wait, whoa, what if I overcorrect and my whole body starts bending in the entirely opposite direction? Is that as hilarious as I feel like it is? Is that my legacy?” etc.

We ended the call with my boss saying, “Ok I really have to go- I’m at Trader Joe’s and my wife is gonna be pissed if I don’t get what we needed before it closes so I’m gonna lose you in a second, it’s super time sensitive I need to buy 5 frozen pizzas but I need them to all be called a different word for pizza (he didn't say that last part) I’m going down the-e esca- -es- cala- tor… -ow...

And with that... he was gone. 

DiaryRoseEOD, job Comment
SATC

I'm starting to plan a 30th birthday trip to New Orleans, which means it's a reasonable amount of time between now and turning 30, which means my brain has gone into hyperdrive with plans and priorities.

I went for a run in Central Park the other day with a friend who recently moved to an apartment a block from the park. Coming back after the run to a totally empty apartment that was decorated exactly the way she wanted made me suddenly jealous of her living alone.

I feel like growing up I always had a picture of me living in Manhattan in a super tiny but meticulously decorated shoebox... in a neighborhood that's not inconvenient but also isn't necessarily the coolest, of-the-moment hood. Even in my dreams I wasn't ever picturing a huge, modern apartment. Just something that was mine, and, to be honest, something in Manhattan.

It was the 20th anniversary of the premiere of Sex and the City the other day. I didn't watch it in real time, it was just before my time, but I did spend the entire year I lived in Thailand watching a bootlegged DVD of all six seasons I bought in Burma so I could listen to English and feel slightly closer to home. I've always known just how unrealistic Carrie's lifestyle was, but if you dial it down about 1000%, that's maybe a little bit of what I'm going for.

Of course, there's also a lot about the show that's problematic bordering on totally insane, and once you peel it all away you're not left with all that much. Which makes me wonder- is it even really possible for a normal girl to be glamorous in the Big Apple? And if you think about it, isn't writing about Carrie in her own voice just the absolute worst?

I've lived in Brooklyn since I moved to NYC, a solid 45 minute commute to my job near Union Square. I love it, especially my current pad which was an insanely good find with two uber respectful, busy, lowkey roommates. I feel silly even thinking about a new place because this place is so great and I'm not going to leave any time soon.

I've been making a lot of financial spreadsheets, which is how I deal with change in my life- you know, aging, new resolutions, a conscious shift in my style strategy... playing the game where I balance austerity measures (like making the Sophie's choice that is Netflix vs Hulu) ambition (how much money will I make in a year? in 5?) and out of the box strategies (how much do you get for selling your eggs again? what's the going rate for a quippy young freelance notary public? did I write off subway drumming prematurely?) Even when the actual numbers are less than inspiring I still get a sort of comfort from at least knowing where I stand.

Speaking of austerity, I took the long journey today down to Sunset Park. In one of the huge warehouse buildings in Grand Army Terminal, there's a nonprofit that operates called Fabscrap. They pick up industrial fabric pieces that would otherwise be trashed and recycle it. You can sign up for three hour volunteer blocks where you sort fabric for them, and then get 5 lbs of free fabric in return. I left with 6.8 lbs of fabric and a heightened ability to tell the difference between cotton blends and 100% cotton. Heightened from the no ability I started with.

And as the breeze drifted through my curtains, I could smell summer- and I thought, maybe being in Brooklyn isn't a consession after all (cut to the theme song but with the end credits #reuse #recycle #SATC)

RoseComment
Dispatch From The Blogosphere

I'm writing this from our backyard, which now has a bright mint green table and a wooden chaise lounge that I assembled with my own hands (and some freakishly tiny tools, included). It's about 70 degrees, the sun is setting and I am three Lacroixes deep. I am just housing seltzer these days. It's been over six months since I've had alcohol, my skin is glowing, I don't have any new embarrassing stories, and I am SO much less fun.

I just spent two hours deciding on a fabric for my new sewing project... landed on this peach (eh, pink) chambray that I will hopefully make into a casually chic jacket. And hopefully, like all of my sewing projects so far, I will wear to the office and ask everyone if they like it, then when they grudgingly tell me that they do, I'll tell them I made it, and their eyes will pop out of their heads (they won't) and they'll grudgingly give me the praise that gets me through every day. I love a genuine compliment but I will totally take a coerced one too.

My latest project was a kimono that I ended up really liking. I'm taking a LOT of time to finish these projects, I want to learn how to do it properly, with nice hems and errrything. If I'm going to learn, I want to REALLY learn, but it's making me really strain to gather all of the patience I have. Did you know that sewing requires a ton of ironing? Ugh.

I finally met our neighbor behind us. I was out back wiping down the aforementioned table and I heard a super friendly "hello!" from across the fence. I glanced over and he was on the stairs in his yard (they live on the second floor, but I guess they own the backyard so there is a expertly executed system of partitions and stairs that makes that work) smiling and waving. We both walked over to the fence that was dividing us, at which point we both realized that neither of us were tall enough to see OVER the fence (perspective really shifts things) so we had a chat between the slats.

His name is either Merg or Merv. Or Merk? It definitely sounded like Merg but I am not confident at all. He was extremely nice, and after introducing himself (it has to be Merg...) he passed a plastic bag with two little gray mini donuts in it to me over the fence. He told us to fill a bucket with water and put one of these donuts in it. Mosquitos are drawn to stagnant water, which I knew, and would lay their eggs in the water, which I did not know, and apparently the little circular gift would stop the eggs from hatching. So yeah, they weren't donuts.

He was giving them to all of the neighbors to see if we could minimize the mosquito infestation for the summer.

I have never felt more neighborhoody since leaving East Oreland, Pennsylvania. I assured him that we would do so immediately, then took the baggie inside and forgot about them until this moment. And now I'm adding it as a task in the task management app that I use. I am so so so close to being the hottest mess, I really do rely on technology quite heavily these days to exist. It's objectively devastating.

Last night, I went to see My Fair Lady at Lincoln Center. A friend of mine had won tickets to this whole package deal and was hoping to fly in from California to go, but ended up not being able to make it SO the tickets were generously gifted to me. In addition to the show, it included a swanky dinner at the restaurant next door to the theater and a "talk" by a "Broadway expert."

Luckily, I brought someone who's eyes are always oiled up and ready to roll, because we found ourselves in the midst of a group of people who were all clearly v old and v rich. The Broadway expert was a woman who, while very talented I'm sure, waxed drone-like as she tried to present the themes and core conflicts of the show. The talk was punctuated by her asking the audience if they wanted to hear her sing a bit of one of the songs and then confidently launching into it without waiting for much of a response. That was probably for the best as the only response I could hear was one elderly man who croaked out something that maybe sounded a bit like "yes" but it could have been a burp.

Then we ate THE BEST FOOD I've had in a long time. It was incredible. The setting was so insanely wrong, I made my friend wear a tie, it was a weird cultural experiment for us but absolutely worth any discomfort because this food was next level. It would have been delicious regardless, but that umami note that comes with food being free really took it over the top.

As we left the restaurant to head to the theater, we tried to get our coats from the coat check. An older man who was part of this whole thing told us "oh, you can just keep them here and come back for the cocktail hour afterwards!" at which I point I requested that he return our coats now "just in case we can't make it back."

We did not make it back.

The show itself was fantastic. I mean listen, it's an extremely sexist show and I'm not sure what the final message is supposed to be, but I do love a lot of the music and the cast was on point. And at the end of the day, it was actually fun getting to put on an outfit I rarely wear and do something I normally wouldn't do.

I enjoyed it so much that next weekend I think I will put on some elbow length satin gloves and perform an autopsy.

 

RoseComment
Golden State Killa

Does anyone else keep screenshots of nice things their boss says to them in a Google Drive folder for when they're feeling shitty about themselves? Also just any compliments they've ever received in writing? And then a list of qualities they like about themselves in a note in their phone?

Also, when I'm feeling bored and restless I remind myself that I don't have a UTI and I just sit there feeling normal and I feel just so grateful.

(Now that I have an IUD, I have to take like three full seconds before I say UTI, IUD or IED in a conversation because I need to confirm in my head which one is the one I mean)(it's almost never IED, but not never)

Do you think that the last thing Ben Affleck thinks about before he falls asleep at night is his back tattoo? There's no way that isn't persistently tormenting him.

Oh wait SO I had a party a couple of weeks ago to celebrate the arrest of the Golden State Killer, the serial murderer/rapist who had eluded police for 40 years.

For those of us who are true crime oriented, this was a HUGE development. For me personally, it gave me the chance to tell the story of the GSK to multiple people who weren't familiar. This was an opportunity, much like Fyre Festival, to stretch my storytelling muscles with a story that basically tells itself.

There's so much to say, but the most emotional part of the arrest for me is the closure for Michelle McNamara. Michelle was an incredible investigative journalist who spent her entire career searching for this guy and she died, suddenly, two years ago, before he was caught. Her book, finished with the help of her colleagues, was published posthumously, about two months ago. 

In a section of the book, she spoke directly to the man who raped over 40 people and killed 12:

"This is how it ends for you. 'You’ll be silent forever, and I’ll be gone in the dark,' you threatened a victim once. Open the door. Show us your face. Walk into the light."

Shivers.

RoseComment
Obituary

Guys. GUYS. I'm sorry. I have been neglecting you. I read an article recently about how procrastinators are actually perfectionists who care about doing good work who are terrified of disappointing people so they have a hard time starting things and if I actually felt bad about being a procrastinator that article would have made me feel so much better!

I just want everything to be perfect. For you.

Last week I went to a talk at the DUMBO location of The Wing. The Wing, for those who aren't in the know, is the impeccably designed "women's coworking space and social club." It was started in 2016 by Audrey Gelman, who I want to hate so badly but just can't. She is an exceptionally privileged woman who has actually done some very cool things (like have a guest role on Girls!)(she did, but that's not the cool thing)(but also she's friends with Lena Dunham)(and that's cool depending on whether or not we're all liking Lena Dunham that day.)

She's been heavily involved in progressive politics in her 20s, now (she's 30ish) she's founded The Wing, which by all accounts has been super successful in the two years it's been in existence.

Basically it's a midcentury modern clubhouse for the ladies and I hate that I want to be a member SO badly. I'm so drawn to the perfectly coordinated furniture and the bookshelves full of books, all written by women, hundreds of them, organized by color. Honestly, if I joined, it would be to have a place to write that isn't my apartment. And then maybe I would procrastinate less? The monthly price tag exists in this weird place on the expense spectrum, right between "I can reasonably justify this" (i.e. a good haircut, buying a hardcover book) and "this is actually getting a little ridiculous" (i.e. an Equinox membership, juice fast deliveries, the costs that come with trying to give your dog a decent existence in NYC.)

The talk was given by two female staff writers from the obituary section of the NY Times. It was an accident that we were there, my friend misread the schedule and we were expecting a completely different talk entitled "First Jobs" but we rolled with it. Frankly we didn't have a choice, we were sitting in the front row, but I'm glad I stayed.

One of the women had just started about a year ago, the other one had been on obits for something like 14 years. They were talking about how the Times decides who gets a fancy, big featured obituary and who doesn't. They have this incredible project called "Overlooked" where they acknowledge the fact that the obituaries have been dominated by white men since 1851 and present freshly written obituaries for a bunch of women who were overlooked.

Speaking of kicking the bucket- I was listening to a podcast the other day, one of my favs called "The Hound Tall Discussion Series", where they have a panel of comics interview an expert on a subject in a live show at UCB in LA. This one was about death, and the expert was a mortician. She talked about how, instead of cremation, the best use of your dead shell of a body is actually what's called a natural burial. Basically you eschew the trappings of traditional burial (embalming, casket, etc) and let your body decompose naturally in a hole. Not sure if this is a legally binding document, but that sounds really good to me (re: cheap, less fuss) so I think I'll go with that please.

 

 

Rose Comment
Hitwoman

I remember about ten total conversations I've ever had in any sort of detail. The biggest piece of the pie chart is "times when I embarrassed myself." The rest are times that did not seem particularly consequential at the time, and as I grew older, I realized that they were indeed inconsequential. My brain has a system of sorting things (and throwing memories away) that I clearly have no control over.

I very clearly remember one walk home from school with a girl I knew. We were friends in the way you often were with childhood friends- we lived in the same neighborhood and were roughly the same age, so our parents told us we were friends.

We were walking home one day, and apparently her mother had done something that she was not happy about (what could it possibly have been? she wouldn't buy her butterfly hair clips? she wouldn't let her go to the movies with the 'boyfriend' she was too scared to talk to in person? she wasn't allowed to use the computer for the four hours it would take to load a single webpage?) She did a sort of hair flip, which my brain may have added retroactively for affect, and declared dramatically- "Mo." (I was still using this androgynous, Stooge-y nickname for my given first name at this point) "You have to promise me something." I guess I nodded or thrust out my pinky or something because she was satisfied enough to continue, "If I ever. EVER. end up like my mother, just kill me."

For whatever reason I remember, vividly, this conditional request for me to ultimately bump someone off, that I solemnly swore to undertake should it become necessary. Not once did either of think I would find myself needing to go through with it.

I rarely go back to church anymore. I grew up going every single Sunday. We would have Sunday School in the AM before the service, and our family was Extremely Involved. I was expected to make an appearance every week with no exceptions. Naturally, I loved it (I did not.) but it was important to my mom and so we went.

When I'm back in Philadelphia now, as an adult, I'll go every once in a while. My beliefs haven't really changed since teenagerhood (it's sort of an agnostic flavor of cynicism laced with a stubborn refusal to declare myself an atheist because fuck if I know why we're here) but most of the people I knew from the community have grown up and moved on, and there is a new batch of families at the services, most of whom I don't recognize.

When I do go, however, there is one group of church personnel that never seems to change, and that is the church choir. Every Sunday, a very slightly different combination of the same people shuffle up to the altar and sing their hearts out along to a flamboyant backing track with a confusing concentration of African percussion. And every time I've come home and gone to a service, I have seen my friend shuffle right alongside her mom, turn to the congregation and proceed to look and sing EXACTLY like her mother.

If we go by sight, the level of similarity is unnerving. She sports the same bangs as her mother, her adult facial features are an exact replica. They even wear the same choir robe (although to be fair, so does everyone in the choir.)

So the question becomes- at what point do I have an obligation to murder her? I feel at the moment that I don't have enough information. Just because they look identical, doesn't mean she's become her mother. And further- maybe she's exactly like her mom, but she's happy. I could ask her I guess but, we stopped being friends in the way that you often did with your childhood friends- you no longer live in the same neighborhood and while you remain roughly the same age, there aren't two sets of parents actively facilitating playdates for you.

I do wonder why my brain holds on to certain things and lets other things go. My memory is notoriously bad. I can't tell you the general plot of books that I loved reading. I don't remember that quote from a TV show (unless it's The Office, when I can, but only because I've seen it more times than a healthy human should.) I remember pieces of the birthday parties I had as a kid, but mostly because of the photo evidence I've seen since.

Sometimes I wonder if this is why I have such a hard time breaking out of behavioral patterns that aren't helping me. While I remember the vague feeling of the consequences, I don't remember each and every fact of my past experiences, which leaves me open to doing some of the same things over and over and expecting different results. Is that actually insane or just extremely human (is there a difference?) And while we're asking the tough questions, how is it that Gael Garcia Bernal is as hot as he is?

RoseComment
Sleep Study

I'm a star sleeper, no thanks to my genes. My dad in particular has always had sleep issues. He wakes up every morning at 4ish, goes downstairs and starts reading (always a sizeable historical tome... biography of Truman, stories about spies in World War II, "If I Did It" by OJ Simpson)(yeah ok I'm kidding about the last one, that's more my speed.) He'll read a few pages, then fall asleep, only to wake up fifteen minutes later and start the cycle again. He's been to doctors, participated in sleep studies, tried home remedies, all to no avail.

Over the years, to be honest, Dad's early wakeup really came in handy for us. I remember times in high school realizing that the outfit I wanted to wear the next day was unacceptably dirty at 11PM. I would pop it into the washing machine, and ask Dad to stick it in the dryer when he woke up, giving it plenty of time to dry, thus ensuring my ever important sartorial choices.

Ugh remember washing machines?

I also had a habit in high school (and, who am I kidding, middle school)(and fuck, probably elementary school) where I would be so tired by the end of the day that I would go to bed at 9, and have my dad wake me up at 5:30AM to finish my homework before school. When I was tired, I needed to sleep. Pulling an all-nighter was never an option because I physically couldn't do it. On the two or three times in my life that I tried, I would fall asleep on my work at 3AM and wake up with ink all over my face and pages of completely incomprehensible scrawls scattered around me, which was extra bizarre because it was 2004 and I was using a computer.

All of this to say- I didn't sleep too well last night. I had BOTH of my recurring stress dreams, my radiator sounded like a tiny, angry person was trying to escape from it all night, and at 6:53 (my body really knows my 7AM alarm) I was already wide awake, reading a long form article about Hope Hicks and the general clusterfuck that is our government. By 7:15, I was watching dance videos on Instagram wistfully, wishing I had stuck with my dance lessons and not quit at age 8. At 7:45 I rolled out of bed, made some coffee, and opened my laptop.

 

P.S. The other day, a friend who I hadn't seen in a while asked me what I had been up to. When I told her I'd been trying to write more, she said "That's right!" she said. "I need to check out your blog. I was told that it's sad."

1) Yessss someone was talking about my blog (no bad press?)
2) Sad? Hmm...

When I sit down to write something that I know more than one and probably less than twenty people will almost definitely read, my goal, of course, isn't to be depressing. But I also don't stop myself from writing about how hard things are, or how I went through an experience that was painful, or sad. This isn't a preachy lifestyle blog with some cutesy pun for a name (I mean I did come up with a TON of pun-based names but ended up nixing them all)(you're welcome.)

Anyway. I do appreciate you coming with me when I do touch on things that are less than glittery. And because you made it to the end of this post, I'd like you have this song from the recording artist Tiffany Trump and this article about Ben Affleck's back tattoo. Well, more about how everyone making fun of Ben Affleck's back tattoo. Because we do have fun here.

Rose Comment
Goop's Recommendations for Dying Your Best Death

“'Lifestyle' is really only one part of all of this, you know?” our founder Gwyneth Paltrow has been known to posit, gesturing widely with her arm on the days when she can summon the strength to lift it. “It’s important that you also do everything you can do to honor and beautify your deathstyle.”

1) The Products

Invigorated by Gwyneth’s new and delightfully morbid focus on our certain mortality, Goop now offers a line of artisanal nooses, as well as bespoke burying smocks. Made from fairly sourced materials and blessed by someone who is not religious but spiritual, these items are priced starting at everything you’d have left should you kick it today.

2) The Look

Our beauty editor Rachel Kirkpatrick offers the following: “No one really thinks enough about the makeup you’re buried with. You’re buried ‘in'? Anyway, an open casket is your last chance to make others feel less than.” She suggests a combination of high density pigmented concealer to cover any unsightly evidence of your demise and a sheer highlighter to showcase your sunken cheekbones and emphasize that fleeting, recently-alive glow.

3) The Method

And for those looking for guidance as to the best method, we have you covered. We asked our Goop readers for their favorite ways to die and if we were capable of feeling genuine enthusiasm we would be so excited to share them with you.

The number one way to go? Dying of happiness, in one's beauty sleep (happiness, incidentally, is also available for purchase on our Goop online marketplace.) Runners up include experimental skin injections, conscious uncoupling with modern medicine, and self-inflicted blunt trauma due to having caved in the face of a grocery store scone.

According to Paltrow, "Goop feels that it's important for our community to know that death is just another beautiful opportunity to do something incorrectly."

Today I stopped dating someone.

If you know me at all, you probably know that I've never had a serious relationship. While it's not necessarily something I lead with (at 29), it's also become a weird, persistent part of my brand. We don't have to get into the reasons now, but just know that it's an area of my life that I've never prioritized, until very recently.

I just got home from the two month relationship I was in ending. This exceeds my longest actual relationship by 2 months minus 3 days (I had a short relationship with a boy in 5th grade) (We were both in 5th grade.)

I sat across from the two-monther as he stared into his tea. I knew something was up, the last few times we had seen each other, he was distracted. But then we'd say goodbye, and we'd kiss, and I would go home feeling mildly reassured and a little bit crush-nauseous and trusting that if something was wrong, he would talk to me about it.

When a guy you're dating start a conversation with "I've had this thing in the back of my mind," you don't waste a second. You immediately start replaying every single thing you said or did over the last two months to find the moment where, precisely, it went wrong. So I was little bit distracted when he continued with "I am getting to a point where I'm starting to really have feelings for you. But I also know that it's really important to me to end up with someone who's Jewish. I don't know if I can keep going with us knowing that." I was genuinely surprised. I was losing this guy because of something that I actually had absolutely no control over. As someone who finds a fucked up comfort in blaming myself for everything, I felt a little dizzy and a little sad-nauseous.

I found myself for the first time in this weird space- let's just call it "The Relationship Ending Even Though The Two People Still Really Like Each Other Zone." It was kind of foggy and bright at the same time and I kept bursting into tears for like 4 seconds and then getting my shit together and looking masterfully nonplussed only to immediately fall apart again. I even said out loud (kill me) "I'm just getting emotional." Rose. Everyone outside of your apartment knows what emotions are. Some of these people even express them regularly. You don't need to tell someone while you start to cry that you are "having emotions." 

When I came out the other side of The REETTTPSLEO Zone, my project manager side made an unscheduled appearance to try to come up with quick solutions to solve this unfortunate problem. Other than a very alarming 20 millisecond period of considering converting to Judaism (TO BE FAIR my brain was breaking at the moment) I had nothing. So I stalled for time. I managed to draw this relatively simple conversation ("You're not a Jew and I need you to be" "Welp, goodbye.") out for a full thirty minutes. If I hadn't seen the latest Bachelor episode I would think that I had just had the most agonizingly long breakup ever to occur, ever. I said I liked him, he said he liked me, he said he was sorry, I said it was ok (it wasn't, but even as I'm being dumped I'm still trying to come across as the cool, chill girl.) Then we repeated those sentiments again, then again. We really had it down by the seventh time through.

When we finally ran out of air, I faced one of the weirdest moment's in human life- the very last moment that you're dating someone.

You aren't eased back into singlehood. You have one last moment of "actually, I am seeing someone Mom" and then just like that, it's gone. And you can't just keep holding this person's hand anymore. You have to give him back the hand so you can have yours available to wipe the eye makeup off your face if you cry on the subway (if you need to. It's not mandatory.)

So three hours have passed now. And it will take me more than three hours to get over this guy. But my brain is booting back up again and I'm thinking about this relationship's purpose, and how it was maybe a little bit exactly what it should have been:

1) I dated someone for two whole months without freaking out early and running, getting tired of it/him/myself, or finding something horrible out about him accidentally on purpose when I stalked him on the internet.

2) Rose. Buddy. You haven't cried in front of another human being in like 3 years. The fact that you cried sucks and we will definitely obsess over this happening later but for today, let's be proud. Feelings are good and you shouldn't be afraid to have them and share them (I have this written in dry erase marker on my bathroom mirror)(I don't, but fuck, maybe I should.)

3) He was so cute but SO short so our kids wouldn't've have a chance.

I'm glad that this person was in my life. He said he didn't wish it had never happened and I said the same and I meant it. It doesn't mean I'm not sad about it- I'm sad, and angry, and hungry (that one might be unrelated.) But it's not impossible for me to imagine that one day I'll feel that this was only ever supposed to be a first step in the right, new direction.

Before I left (which I did, eventually, throwing my tea away without drinking any of it), he said "please don't delete me from your life." I'm pretty sure I will never see him again on purpose but I don't think I'd be able to completely delete him from life, even if I wanted to.

 

 

PS Motherfucker had a British accent. Damn.

RoseComment