Look At All The Friends I Made

I am not on vacation at the time of posting this. I did however kind of go on vacation and wrote this blog post then. So let’s all travel back in time. The year? 2019. The day? July 6th. The mood?

I am on vacation(ish) at a lake house in the middle-of-nowhere Poconos, with 13 other people, almost all of whom I hadn’t met before Wednesday.

My friend Phil, the one who actually invited me to this lake situation, was talking this morning about how he’s having trouble sleeping in the house. I always feel really bad when people can’t sleep. For whatever reason, I can always sleep. My current theory is that my anxiety makes my whole body vibrate so intensely that by the end of any given day I’m exhausted from keeping still in front of strangers. Whenever anybody postulates that maybe the mattress firmness index (MFI) is not quite what would be preferable to them and that’s why they aren’t sleeping, I feel like a tiny bit of a freak. I don’t even notice what most mattresses feel like. It’s a mattress, so I guess I mostly notice that It’s nicer than sleeping on the floor. I feel like it might be because I grew up in a small house with a million siblings and no say in the mattress selection. The only mattress firm enough for me to even notice was the bed I slept on in Thailand, but I’m pretty sure that was a slab of concrete covered with pink Hello Kitty sheets.

He was saying that he thinks that maybe it’s a combination of his mattress the fact that it was so quiet. Which it really is. It’s the kind of quiet that makes someone who listens to a lot of murder podcasts nervous. I went running today without earbuds and it was so silent that I started getting worried. Someone drove by in an old pickup truck and I wondered how helpful my dental records would be in identifying my dead body. It really escalated fast.

This configuration of people at a house together has been really solid. Everyone seems to genuinely like each other, and the thinly veiled manliness competitions have been kept to a minimum. And I know that it's been hard for this group of dudes. Because there’s a gas grill, a fire pit and a canoe, and those are all un-pass-up-able opportunities to act like you know more than you do for no one’s benefit.

It’s a chatty group, and I found myself really comfortable pretty fast. To the point where I worry if I’m talking too much? Either way, I’ve made it through multiple board games, boat trips, meals and s’more making seshes without seeming to make too many waves (except in the lake HEY YO). But this morning, I woke up without an alarm, which is the state in which I will always be happiest, and grabbed a cup of coffee that someone else has made (+10 happiness) and wandered out to the back patio. I got scattered “good mornings” but mostly just a lot of silence. When I took a seat, I noticed that all of them were on their phones. It was actually noticeable now that we’d spent a few days with an unspoken agreement to not have them around at every moment. Felt good.

This group of people are incredibly talented when it comes to drinking. My specific group of friends just isn’t a partying crowd, so this has actually weirdly been a nice change of pace. There’s something so entertaining about binge drinking when you don’t have to be the one doing it. Their particular poison is spiked seltzer, which wasn’t really a thing when I was drinking, which is for the best, because that could have been my jam. One of them had never done a keg stand, so at 3PM yesterday we hoisted a grown man up feet over head and essentially waterboarded him on his own request. We played multiple rounds of Kings, which I hadn’t played since college, and even then I had maybe participated twice ever. I played along, pounding civilian seltzer in place of beer. As people got progressively drunker, my skin started glowing more and more as my body hydrated.

Last night we (one of the other girls, and me) built a fire and once again did the traditional marshmallow toasting with a bunch of insanely long sticks that someone had bought. One of the best parts of this trip has been the complete lack of need for my participation in the planning. They just sorta... got it. Planning HQ was an extremely active Facebook messenger chain and my contributions were limited to suggesting that we buy fruit for snacking (because I was tryna RAGE obvi.) But all of the meals were planned (without me) and the place was picked (without me) and the keg was procured and the marshmallow sticks were purchased and it all happened without me. This is the third year they’ve had this trip and they’re a relatively well-oiled machine.

We had run out of chocolate, so someone recommended using a peanut butter cup in its place. Let me tell you- it is not a good substitute. As someone who has pledged fealty to the gods of Reese's over the years, I hate to admit it, but it just doesn’t make any sense. There isn’t enough chocolate in the equation, and the peanut butter just feels like an unnecessary addition. I admired the chutzpah of the suggestion though. These are vacation improvisers and I respect it.

After the fire died down, around midnight, a couple of us jumped in the lake, which looked completely black at night. Once we were completely frozen to the core, we made the run from the lake to the hot tub. The spirit of it all just felt like college, but not the college I went to. A different college. Maybe one with a quad. And frat houses. With actual college students in it. It didn’t seem to matter that we’re all in our 30s.

It’s raining now, which is good because I want to do exactly nothing today. We were up until two AM asking the hard existential questions (including my favorite question of all time: “What celebrity would you sleep with but then be ashamed about it?”) The trip has been just long enough to start feeling my physical magnetic pull to New York ease off, but it’s not gone completely. I’m pretty sure that would take at least two full weeks away and that hasn’t happened maybe ever. 

I’m leaving tonight, early, so I’m back in the city for my rowing lesson tomorrow, and as much fun as I’m having here I like when I realize that I have a home that I get excited to return to.

Rose
I Went To A Barre Class

This week I went to a barre class for the first time. If you aren’t up to speed with the barre thing, it’s like ballet, but imagine if ballet wasn’t ballet at all and instead it’s a fitness class that costs more than your biweekly grocery budget where you do a lot of things that make you look alien-pretending-to-be-a-human level awkward. Oh and the floor is inexplicably carpeted.

I’ve been hesitating recently when it comes to agreeing to join work crowd extracurriculars. Luckily the last company-sanctioned one was basketball, which I am legitimately terrible at and feel no guilt in skipping. I try to stay for a drink at our weekly happy hour but I’m the only one not drinking and I’m always a little afraid everyone standing around me will realize that I’m not particularly cool now that they’re seeing me not in the middle of giving an above-average presentation.

When I’m talking to a group at work, about work, I go into this zone where I just know what to say. I open my mouth and I’m all jargon and supporting examples and little jokes so I stay relatable. Even the presentations I give on a regular basis that are exactly the same, I’ll always be trying out a new little bit. I am legitimately good at it. But the second I’m in a neutral, non-work-related situation with my coworkers, there are inevitably moments when I forget how to be a social human. I think (I hope) I do a pretty good job of hiding it but inside I’m doing a lot of thinking about if the way I’m holding my arms is weird and how quiet and peaceful it probably is at my apartment right now.

I was at a work dinner this week and the CEO of one of our partners was across the table and someone mentioned mentioned true crime shows and I said, and I quote, “Yeah I like mostly really fucked up TV shows.” Like, what? Even if that’s true (and it was) why on this crazy spinning marble did I vocalize it?

I have stretches in my social life when I actually find myself in the communication sweet spot. I’m really grateful for these. But at the first sign of trouble, my ability to speak English immediately fails. There’s this cute new guy at work and I just haven’t been able to think of anything to say to him. I’ve had like three conversations with him, good ones, but I abandoned them as quickly a possible because my natural instinct is less “fight or flight” and more “quit while you’re ahead.”

So I’m mostly just doing my work like I always do and then just double and triple checking that I don’t have anything in my teeth, which is totally pointless because I would have to be standing within a foot of him for him to notice either way.

A couple of my coworkers asked if I wanted to take a class with them after work, and said yes because I can never turn down a fitness craze. There are only two things that could come from a class where you do upside-down situps and whisper your deepest secrets out loud while a very specific type of instructor walks around “adjusting” you (wait but also about that- they always tell you that if you don’t want to be touched, you can just let them know when they walk over to you, but at that point, it just feels so awkward. Like if she’s already put her hands on whatever the part of your body you just happen to feel is the fattest, doesn’t it feel like it’s too late to ask? And they totally sneak the fuck up on you) ANYWAY the two possible outcomes are 1) you get a great workout or 2) you get an experience you can make fun of forever. And I just can’t choose which one of those I love more.

This one was both. First of all, you wear socks only, no shoes. The fancy women at the front of class have special socks just for the activity because you don’t want to slip (on the carpet?) From across the room I could see the teeny tiny Lululemon logos embroidered on their gunmetal gray, grown-ass-lady socks. I was warned about the sock thing, so I brought a pair of my tried and true running socks, white, with pink details, which I wore, boldly. My affordable, grip-less socks screamed “Yeahhhhh I don’t have enough money to be here”. The lady at the front desk was noticeably less excited to see me once she got a look at the socks. She knew this was most likely a hit it and quit it situation.

Barre classes, I learned, are all about super small, isolated movements that you do a bunch of times. I couldn’t help but think of my Irish ancestors, who were actually starving to death, while I watched my coworker pretending to hump a ballet barre (BARELY a parody of the move we were just instructed to do) all in the name of staying trim. I had a great time, and I couldn’t walk properly for multiple days. I accessed butt muscles I never knew existed. Honestly I never would have thought that I would be 30 years old and still being introduced brand new parts of the body to stress about.

This particular group of women was extremely cool. After the class, we went up to one of their buildings’ roof decks, with this unreal view of the Brooklyn Bridge. One of them, who’s based in Arkansas and travels to be at Eko four days a week, told us about how every week when she comes home from New York she and her fiancé have “closet time.” They put a bunch of pillows and blankets in one of their closets, smoke some weed, and then just hang out with each other in there.

I loved that so much. She talked about how she used to do that as a kid. I definitely did it too when I was a kid but it never occurred to me to try it as an adult. To be fair, I also have never had a closet in New York that I would fit in, but I didn’t even think about how cozy it would still be as a grown up to just pimp out a small space and stare into space for a bit with someone you like.

Honestly maybe I should just invite the new guy to hang out in a closet with me. He’s gonna find out I’m crazy eventually.

RoseComment
This Is What I Want

I lost my ring today, the one that I saved up for and bought for myself for my 30th birthday last October.

There’s a part of me that is really devastated, it was expensive (at least, by my yardstick) and I feel like an idiot- it was ever so slightly too big for my finger, and I kept meaning to go get it resized, but like most things in my personal life, I put it off for no reason. So I was just careful with it, at least I was until today. The last time I remember having it was when I was playing with it, twisting it around and around on my finger while I sat catching up with a friend in Fort Greene Park this afternoon.

I ran a few errands before I realized it was gone, I had thrown out an empty plastic cup, I was pulling things in and out of my bag… when I did notice, my heart sank. I backtracked slowly, but of course, no luck. I half heartedly left my phone number at the grocery store in case they found it. I’m not holding my breath.

Now that it’s been a few hours, that feeling in the pit of my stomach has mellowed a bit. I’m mostly just pissed about the money I spent, but the ring itself, with all of the symbolism it was supposed to have… it turns out it was just a ring. A ring with diamonds, something I’d never ever had before and felt a little weird wearing the whole time I did. It was beautiful, and I liked the routine of wearing it every day. But the vision I have of myself is of someone so overwhelmingly plain that having something sparkly felt like I was playing dress up with my mom’s jewelry.

I woke up this morning feeling like yesterday was the end a phase of my life. I don’t know why. It was like when I woke up one morning and decided to never drink again- totally unexpected and hard to explain. Losing my ring kind of makes me feel like the universe was telling me that I wouldn’t need it anymore. The ring was supposed to be this thing that I wore on my right finger, a show of my love for myself. But it was never really that.

Growing up, I always knew what I wanted. I wanted to be best cellist in elementary school, I wanted to be president of my 7th grade class, I wanted to go to school outside of the country. I wanted to settle neatly into that social group that vacillates between popularity and utter normalcy which ultimately results in me making not much of an impression as a teenager with my peers. I wanted to live in a big city.

As I got older, I started to slip when it came to identifying the things that I want. And lately it’s been pretty bad, me not taking inventory of my hopes and dreams. Instead, I cling to what everyone around me seems to want. And 8 year old Rose, the one who wore two different colored socks every single day of elementary school, who was a total badass, is screaming at adult Rose.

I woke up this morning feeling like I was ready to do what I wanted again, and like I was ready to figure out what that was. And, I mean really, I don’t need a fucking ring to prove to myself that I’m self sufficient.

Here is what I want, today:

  • To have fun. Actual fun, dumb fun… I want to do things that are maybe irresponsible that are fucking fun. I want to say yes to things again. When did I stop doing that? Speaking of stopping things:

  • I want to stop dating. The truth is that I hate it. I hate it so much. I hate the apps, I hate that in the real world I am always the one who has to do the asking because I’m “intimidating” (also, what the fuck does that mean? multiple people have super helpfully told me this about myself) and in the end I never ever like the person the same amount that they like me. It makes me feel terrible about myself like 85% of the time, and a 15% chance of not wanting to gouge my eyes out is not enough. It’s not that I don’t want a relationship, I’m a human (despite my best efforts) it’s just that I obviously can’t handle anything that would get me there and it’s making me feel like I’m crazy.

  • I want to get my own apartment. I’m currently hiding money from myself to make this a reality in September. I’m cultivating the dopest of Pinterest boards and I. Am. Ready. To. Go. But yeah if you think living in New York is expensive, try moving in New York.

  • I want to start my own small business. Currently I’m thinking it’ll be an old trailer that I convert into a bar that has kombucha on tap that people can rent for their weddings because it’s Instagrammable AF.

  • I want to take three weeks off and go to Maine by myself and write the whole time.

  • I want to organize a trivia night at a bar with questions that are all about sex and I want to donate the proceeds to Planned Parenthood.

  • I want to get published somewhere. Which means I have to suck it up and try harder.

  • I really really want to be a good friend. Like an exceptional friend.

Here is what I don’t want right now:

  • I don’t want to change jobs. I have figured this one out, more or less, and my first instinct when I’m feeling restless is always to be seeking out the next job, but I need to stop. My career ends up being a crutch, an excuse not to be focusing on anything else. I have the vibe down, and I know where we keep the snacks. I’m staying, for now.

  • I don’t want to keep dwelling on the decisions I made in my 20s. I need to give myself a clean slate, it’s the only way this whole having-a-happy-life is going to work.

  • I don’t want kids right now. Until recently I’ve been really sure I wanted to have kids in the not-so-distant future. Lately, I’ve been reconsidering. I’ll probably end up popping a couple out eventually but that feeling of certainty has been missing, and I don’t want to feel bad about that.

The list is a work in progress, but at this moment I feel good about going forth with this list and without the ring.

RoseComment
Weeds

I’ve been going through a really emotional time lately, but I can’t complain too much, because I absolutely brought it on myself.

Last week, after 3 months of watching it on my commute, I finally reached the end of the hit TV program “Weeds.”

I hear your groans. I know that I really should have seen Weeds already, or accepted the fact that I never would. I’m sorry. These are the life choices I made. I have been faithfully skipping over Weeds as an option of what to watch for years at this point. I was almost tired of the show just from disregarding the Netflix thumbnail so many times. But there came a moment a solid quarter of a year ago where I found myself clicking on it. I don’t know what motivated me. Probably the devil.

Feeling generally shellshocked and frankly dehydrated from watching Mary Louise Parker suck down iced coffee from a plastic straw over a dramatically accelerated 8 years I have recently emerged from an aggressive fog of THC-laced entertainment.

My specific flavor of anxiety disorder hugely effects the way I watch entertainment. I find myself watching TV and movies through the lens of how anxious I would be if I were in the situation I’m seeing unfold in front of me. Weeds was not created with me in mind.

I marvel over the anxiety I would have in the situations that are written for the characters. The first dude (of many)(spoiler alert) who dies because of Mary Louise Parker 3 episodes into the series is tossed aside like, welp, what’re you gonna do, people die. I think of how if I caused someone’s death, even accidentally, I would immediately curl up in the fetal position on my bed and suffer a ginormous heart attack, or just rush to the police station to throw myself in jail. Mary Louise just slurps down her coffee and shrugs it off.

The way the characters handle money on the show is upsetting. They are regularly broke, owing thousands of dollars to other drug dealers and random people they’re pissed off. Even when they don’t have gangsters on their tail, they are always one bad deal away from needing to sell their house and live… where exactly? M.L., why isn’t this freaking you out as much as it should?

Even when the stakes are way lower I still feel so much anxiety watching any character dealing with predicaments. I see someone on TV being lightly chastised by her boss and I full-body cringe. I project like no one has ever projected ever before. I wonder if she’s worried about getting fired. Is she super distracted, and won’t sleep tonight because her boss gave her slightly negative feedback? Because god knows that would be me.

But time and again, people seem to just… not mind. The character is always in the office kitchen the next morning joking around with her boss like nothing had happened. Like their honor hadn’t been stripped unceremoniously just hours before by The Man. Where was the weird shame that would hang around for a few days? Where was the staring at the ceiling replaying it in your head and looking like shit the next day and people telling you you looked tired?

Where others can suspend disbelief, I am forever looking for true portrayals of reality, which made watching Weeds an experience full of frustration and morbid fascination. And I ingested it all mid-subway ride. Not an ounce of it felt possible, the only thing that felt real was my acute transferred unease.

Anxiety aside, I experience TV and movies in a way I’m convinced very few other people do. I often lose the main narrative completely in the name of obsessing over little details, most of which probably don’t matter.

I’m constantly noting while watching TV that characters are drinking and then getting into their cars with no explanation and no consequences. Every once in a while you’ll get an extremely satisfying DUI or accident, when the writers are more firmly rooted in reality. But most of the time the story just moves along. It’s always seemed like such a huge oversight to me. I watch a character have three shots of tequila and then it cuts to her behind the wheel, all ten and two. Maybe we’re just supposed to fill in the two hours while she was waiting to sober up with our imaginations? If that’s true, they’re asking a lot.

I notice when food at a restaurant arrives way too fast. I notice when the leading man says “I’ll pick you up at 8” and walks away, never actually getting her phone number or address. I resent these gaps. I like to think that if I wrote TV I would hold myself to a higher standard. But honestly if I were a TV writer, I wouldn’t be particularly great with deadlines, let alone doing quality work. That shit is hard.

Speaking of my writing- I’m struggling a bit these days, the good kind of struggling I think. I’ve been working kind of intensely on one piece, which isn’t something I do often. My comfort zone is firing off quippy, half baked dispatches, like I do on this blog. But I’m trying right now to actually write and rewrite and get notes from people I trust and then rewrite again. The idea is that I’ll end up with a couple of pieces that are worth people who aren’t in my immediate friend group reading. I’m in the airport in Houston right now, on my way home from a trip I took for a friend’s 30th. While I was here I spent hours on something I’m writing about a very specific period in my life. I have wanted to abandon it about 100 times and I’m still banging my head against a wall on the daily over it. But it’s cool seeing it slowly become better. I think. I’m writing about myself and my life in a way that makes me uncomfortable. I’m hoping that’s because I’m succeeding in showing a raw side of me, and not because it’s just not very good.

TBD.

RoseComment
Losing My Keys, My Feet

Like many NYC residents, and drug traffickers, who are often also part-time NYC residents, I put a lot of faith in coffee. The last week has left me exhausted, and I’ve just been searching for motivation in the bottom of cup after cup of overpriced coffee. But it’s left me still exhausted, now with an intermittently twitchy eye.

It’s cold here, because it’s winter, which is my favorite season, because I can wear so much clothing at any given time and I am a sartorial maximalist and a fiscal liberal, but only with clothes. On my epic commute home, I was wearing a scarf, but by scarf, I mean blanket, around my neck.

This is something I picked up from one of my best friends when we lived in Boston, circa 2007. We worked together at Starbucks, which weirdly has yielded some of my closest friendships (Schultz 2020?) I had just transferred from my petty, dysfunctional suburban store, to a petty, mostly functional urban store and started college. I remember meeting her really well. I remember being struck by how pretty she was, in this unique way- she wasn’t wearing an ounce of makeup and she had these enormous eyes that were unreal.

That day, she was late. She lived a bit outside the city and I was told that it wasn’t unusual for her to be a little bit late for a shift. After a few years, I learned to tell her she needed to be somewhere 45 minutes before I actually needed her there. My first day at the Boston store, she swept in, wearing HEELS and some amazing vintage jacket with no less than three scarves draped around her neck and shoulders, all apologies, at 5:19. In the morning. Incidentally, by the time she unwrapped the scarves it was 5:24. From that day on, in the cold, I gravitated towards the biggest scarves I could find, and every time I wrap myself up, I think of her.

I feel like maybe I’m making it sound like she’s dead. She’s fine, guys. She’s in India and posting regularly to Instagram. Which is how I know people are ok now, I guess.

So I was semi-sleepwalking down the stairs at Fulton St, the steep ones, and I realized, between the obscenely big scarf and the specific angle of my body on the stairs, that I couldn’t see my feet. Let me tell you, when you’re walking down stairs and you realize that, for whatever reason, you can’t see your feet, your brain goes fucking bananas. All of a sudden, I forgot how to walk. I basically stopped short, trying to gingerly place one foot at a time in front of me, carefully adjusting my body to balance as I shifted my weight forward, envisioning myself tripping and skidding, face first, down the subway steps.

I thought about what kind of illnesses you can contract by having an open wound anywhere near an NYC subway. Then I wondered when the last time was that I got a tetanus shot. And then I realized I wasn’t focusing on walking down the steps and I did that thing where you go to step and the step just isn’t there and I had horrifying moment in which I was certain it was all over for me. I did catch myself, right before I did accidental parkour. Maybe if I had just let myself fall, I would fallen right into some bad boy with a heart of gold’s arms. I have been told that I should let people feel more needed by me. I think about it a lot, but in this moment my reflexes decided for me that it wasn’t the right moment to test it.

True story: I am having a rough few (several) days. If still drank, this week might have driven me to temporarily become the person I hate, the one who drinks rosé because that is what you drink to get lady drunk and cry. My attempt at trying to feel better while suspecting that I’m not actually aware of everything that’s bothering me has made me feel like I’ve been tripping down the stairs off and on for days.

I also lost my keys yesterday, which to most plebes is not the actual end of the world. But to me, a mere vessel for anxiety and La Croix, it was harrowing. I am fallible, arguably very to extremely, but I do not lose my keys. They're either in my purse, or in the dish on the dining room table. That’s it. If they ever come out during my day, like when I’m handing over my keys over to the Foodtown cashier so she can scan the little plastic tag, which I’m not convinced does anything, I immediately snatch them back protectively and quickly deposit them safely back into my bag.

But I went to leave yesterday and my keys just, weren’t there. I tore the house apart but eventually I had to leave for work without them. Over the course of the day, I racked my brain over where they could be that I didn’t already check. Around mid-afternoon, I started to stress about dealing with coordinating my return home that night so that one of my roommates was there. At what point should I stop looking and just make copies? And where was I gonna make copies??! Is this who I was now, the kind of person who straight up loses her keys? I felt like things were colossally out of control. I mean, I was the only one who had the mailbox key. We might never be able to receive mail ever again.

When I got home last night, I stood outside my apartment and texted my roommate to ask her to come let me in, which she did immediately and without any complaints. I slept shittily, and continued to feel crazy today, until my other roommate found my keys. On her desk. At her office.

I just feel like everything is a little harder right now. I’m knocking on random doors, my face completely covered by scarves, yelling about how I’m having hard time seeing and breathing because of the scarf situation and that I need some help to whoever is inside, through the tiny keyhole.

I was talking to a friend of mine about the eye surgery we both had when we were kids. We commiserated about not being able to properly open our eyes for about a week after. I remember how painful it was, how weak the muscles felt and the stray bright red tears. But when I resigned myself to being patient, did nothing, just kept them closed, when I opened them again, my eyes were strong enough to ditch my glasses.

I’m motivated to do nothing right now, which is convenient because I don’t know how much more I can flail around before my limbs, already traumatized by the stair incident, give up and lie still.

RoseComment
How Skinny Feels

There’s an enormous, monster Toblerone on our kitchen island right now, mocking me. I don’t know which roommate it belongs to (I sent a text and started it with “URGENT”, haven’t heard back yet) so right now it’s just sitting there. It’s open already but barely any of it has been eaten. I want to eat it so badly.

I’m not sure I even like Toblerone. I’ve asked what’s in it hundreds of times and I forget immediately. Chocolate definitely. Toffee? Or do I just automatically think it’s toffee because Toblerone starts with a “to".” I wanna say there’s something unpleasant but minor enough that you’re going eat it anyway, like marzipan, or fingernail clippings, or a raisin.

This one is enormous. It clocks in at about a third of the length of the island. We’re lucky enough to live in NYC and have a totally respectable, open plan kitchen, but it does mean that we need a proper butcher block to use the space. And at some point in the history of this apartment, it acquired one. I couldn’t tell you who got it. I was not responsible, and it wasn’t either of my roommates.

But luckily one of my forefathers spent the funds on a nice, big, solid island that we can hang pans on, with enough space underneath for us to keep an alarmingly large assortment of alcohol that none of us drinks and vitamins that none of us take.

I’ve lived in this apartment for four years now and I have had such good times around the island. We’ve thrown so many parties, I’ve had so many friends over for dinner. I’ve had some really dumb and some really serious conversations around this hunk of wood. I’ve spilled so many things on the island. I’ve burned it. I’ve left rings of wine and coffee on it that will probably never come out.

And now it’s staggering under the weight of a Toblerone that is, let’s just say it, unnecessarily big. This Toblerone screams money. It’s ostentatious. It wears it’s gold lamé coat proudly. It gives zero fucks. I want it so badly.

My mom had a coworker once who had a sign that said “Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels.” on her cubicle. I’ve since learned that that little gem can be attributed to our voice for the voiceless, Kate Moss. I remember hearing it for the first time when I was young and feeling part of my brain physically click into place as I realized just how fucked up it was going to be to be a woman in this world.

In the midst of all of my now totally resolved food issues (jk they’re still more or less bubbling below the surface) I developed this tendency to compare every piece of food I eat to the feeling of being skinny. I’ve been doing it for years. The summer between freshman and sophomore year of college, I stopped eating any sugar, ate 1200 calories and ran every single day. By the end of the summer, I was legit skinny. And now, 20 pounds heavier, I still remember that feeling surprisingly well. It would feel great, almost euphoric, at very specific moments… like when you were trying on clothes. I guess, to be fair to Kate Moss, that’s what being a model is (I always try to be fair to/about supermodels in case I meet one one day who can get me free stuff) But for the most part, it was just kind of disappointing. I felt like I had won some award no one cared about. I knew as I was talking about my weight that I was talking about it too much. I still didn’t date anyone seriously, I still had to write papers at a music school that I will be paying for for the rest of my life. I still had all of my OG, signature Rose Insecurities.

So now, I’m constantly asking the silent question of each item of food that goes anywhere near my mouth- are you worth being fat for? And to be honest, most of the delicious things that exist absolutely are.

I consider the Toblerone. Honestly, this guy probably isn’t worth being fat. But sometimes, when a giant candy bar appears in front of you, you just have to take it as a direct instruction to eat it. The candy gods have spoken, we have no control over our own lives.

NEW DEVELOPMENT: My roommate just came down the spiral staircase and, without any prompting, told me the story of how the Toblerone appeared in our home. Apparently, her boyfriend had been coming back from a trip and needed to give a gift to someone who he needed to deter but also stay cool with SO he just got him a giant Toblerone because it was the most impersonal gift he could find. And so then another friend, after hearing this story, thought, correctly, that it would be hilarious for them to bring my roommate a giant Toblerone as a gift. I love it so much more knowing it exists as a joke. She also (BOOM) gave me permission to eat it.

But now that I know I’m allowed to, I’m not sure I want to anymore. That’s the thing about giant Toblers-one. Once you have one, you don’t really want it anymore. I mean I’m definitely still gonna eat it.

Rose Comment
Rage Against The Clock

A couple of weeks ago I was on Good Morning America.

Lemme back up.

A couple weeks plus three days ago, I was on a call with a couple of my colleagues and a potential new production partner to talk about what kind of content we’re looking for. At the end of the call, the woman mentioned that she was going to be in New York the next week to break a world record on Good Morning America. Then, she asked if anyone wanted to join.

Looking back at this, it occurs to me that she may have been kidding, inviting total strangers to join. But at the time, all I heard was “world record". Frankly, if I had really heard the “Good Morning America” part I would likely have put two and two together and realized that i would have to get up at the ass crack of dawn to participate and I would’ve immediately declined.

But I didn’t. I enthusiastically volunteered, the only person from my team who did so. Because honestly, how many times do you get asked to help break a record in your life? I think usually zero and only sometimes one, and I wasn’t about to pass this up.

I didn’t find out what the record was until Monday of the next week. On that Monday, I received a hefty email full of details, clearly written by a really talented but really obnoxious GMA producer. It gleefully announced that we would be “Racing Against The Clock to break the record for number of cookies frosted in a hour!”

I’m not gonna lie, I was relieved. I had agreed to participate before I knew anything about the actual record, and in previous four days I had managed to convince myself that whatever it was was spider-related. Number of spiders on a human body, number of spiders you can eat, amount of collective pain caused at one time by spider bites… whatever it was, it was gonna be fucking terrifying. It was a welcome update. Cookies tend to bite way fewer people than spiders.

I woke to my vibrating alarm clock at 4AM. I have a vibrating alarm clock now so as not to wake my long suffering roommate who shares a wall with me. I also have my normal alarm, which goes off at 7, but this has become sort of a backup measure. Now, I shove a little plastic thing under my pillow and then wake up thinking my mattress is attacking me. It works really well.

Of course, It was 4:30, so the subways were fucked up. You can’t even be too angry when the subways aren’t running properly this early in the morning. This was the time when they were supposed to be free to fix the signals and clear the garbage on the tracks and change the subway oil (I dunno what subway maintenance entails.)

I shared a remarkably full shuttle bus. I managed to get on the A at Jay St. Metrotech, transferred at some point, and found myself sleepwalking through Times Square under the freakishly convincing manufactured daylight.

When we all walked into the studio, it was decorated like crazy for this thing. Big cutouts of gingerbread men were everywhere, stations were set up for decorating. On massive screens hung all over was a big graphic of a round cookie with clock hands, with a headline that read “Race Against The Clock.” Of course the typography made it look like “Rage Against The Clock” which is how this 90s child read it in her head multiple times before, eventually, her brain caught up.

We went through a quick rehearsal, most of which involved me sitting on a chair, waiting to be told to move to another chair. The highlight of the rehearsal was the camera guys, wide awake at this ungodly hour. They spent most of the rehearsal giving each other shit, loudly, and making crass comments about “frosting someone’s cookie.” The mothers in our group did not look pleased. I, on the other hand, felt a deep camaraderie with them and was disappointed to be whisked back to the greenroom post-rehearsal.

When it was actually time for the show, they came to the greenroom to herd us back in to the studio. I had tried to lose the costumer but I didn’t make it out the door without him forcing a Santa hat onto my head, squishing my hair, which to be honest I’ve become really vain about lately.

I took my agreed upon place behind one of the six tables that had been set up.

On my left was a group of three girls who were clearly the popular girls from their respective high schools 8-10 years ago. Somehow they had managed to sneak past the costumer and got to make their television appearance WITHOUT a Santa hat. I was extremely jealous.

On my right was a guy who hadn’t been at the rehearsal. It seemed like he was a last minute addition, so I smiled and gave him the quick rundown of what we needed to do.

The director counted down, then gave us the signal that we were live, and, right on cue, our newest table-mate began humming.

It wasn’t a song, it was just a low volume humming. Every four minutes or so he would stop to take a breath and I would pray that it wouldn’t start again, but it always did. The intensity of the humming would ebb and flow, but it was always there.

The other thing about this guy was that he couldn’t ice a cookie. And look, I’m not a snob about decorating cookies, but this guy was hopeless. It turns out the Guinness Book of World Records is really strict about these things so only cookies that were frosted all the way to the edges were counted towards our total. The proceedings were all overseen by two Guinness adjudicators, who wore fancy blazers and looked like they regularly got the crap beaten out of them. I referred to them as the Guinness Debate Team and got a few laughs, which, frankly, is all I’m ever looking for. Throughout the hour, they were reviewing each and every cookie and rejecting the gingerbread men that were not positively struggling to hold the weight of a snowdrift of frosting.

My table buddy was not reaching the edges of his cookies, if you know what I mean. We had to keep giving the cookies he handed to us back so he could put more icing on it. It happened enough times that it blew my brain. And while the explosion in my skull happened, it was accompanied constantly by the humming. I don’t mean to be dramatic but it was, frankly, apocalyptic.

In the end, the whole event really wasn’t that glam. Leslie Mann showed up for a minute, not sure why, and we got a quick glimpse at Robin Roberts, which was thoroughly underwhelming. I was hoping she’d be a bit tipsy (isn’t GMA the show where the women drink wine in the morning?) but she seemed like she was as sharp as ever.

By the way- are all just not commenting on her name? Robin Roberts? I feel like her parents should get a lot of grief for that. I feel like the kind of parents who name their daughter Robin Roberts would name their son Robert Roberts. But I just did some quick research, and her brother is named Lawrence, Jr.. So it’s really just her that was christened with a dumb first name.

Long story short, we beat the world record to a bleeding, diabetic pulp. I ended up in an apron absolutely covered in frosting. And then, to celebrate, I went to work. Because, after we raged against that clock, it was still only 9AM.

I am not in this picture.

I am not in this picture.


RoseComment
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)

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