Thursday, September 27, 2007

gina's 10-step prescription for dealing with post-breakup stress

1. Start smoking again.

2. Take Fung Wah bus to visit bff Ellen in Boston. Use this as an excuse to have pork buns for breakfast.

3. Drink a lot of Samuel Adams Oktoberfest.

4. Make fun of MIT nerds, groups of dudes with gelled hair wearing matching button-down shirts, jeans, and square-toed dress shoes, and bad comedy acts that you're forced to watch because the Okkervil River concert downstairs was sold out and you don't want to stop drinking beer.

5. Buy a pair of red patent leather peep toe heels from Steve Madden even though you hate peep toes, heels, and Steve Madden. Whatever, they were ten fucking dollars.

6. Use clothes-shopping thriftiness to justify purchase of the new 80 gig iPod Classic. Wonder what, exactly, with it's matte silver finish, touch wheel, and video capabilities makes it "classic."

7. Drink a lot of Wolaver's Organic Nut Brown beer, even the ones that are "off." Make mental note never to buy organic beer again.

8. Watch Dr. 90210 and Gossip Girl in graduate student housing building's lounge while drinking said beer and wearing sweatpants, farting when wannabe loungers turn around and leave (oh wait, that was Ellen.)

9. Discover that since you own R. Kelly's Trapped in the Closet: Chapters 1-12, and Ellen owns R. Kelly's Trapped in the Closet: Chapters 13-22, it's kind of like having a friendship bracelet.

10. Eat the best ice cream in the world for lunch, including a taste of a beer-flavored one called [Something] Wort. Really really good, surprisingly. Or not.

Well shit, only five of these ten steps involve beer. I'd say I'm doing pretty alright, no?

Friday, September 14, 2007


I swear I'm not a basket case. The whole "new blog" thing just didn't feel right. I guess I needed some sort of change or kick in the ass or whatever, but I'm starting to find that through various other means. This return is somewhat embarassing, but fuck it. What's good enough for Jesus is good enough for me.

Anyway, based on how I've been spending my free time lately, you might assume I've sold all my clothes to Beacon's Closet (even though they only buy 10% of what you give them and apparently prefer H&M over Marc Jacobs...seriously, what the hell) in exchange for a wardrobe of L.L. Bean and Crocs. But no, I'm just trying to, you know, not be a spaz. Thus far my efforts have proven somewhat successful, and now I feel like sharing. So here is my five-step guide to reducing spaziness by at least a good 9.2%.

1. Read advice columns. Nothing will improve your spirits when you're feeling blue more than hearing about the problems of others. Especially when their problems are worse than yours. (Also, alcohol. Even better, reading advice columns while drinking alcohol, not that I've ever done that. Not in the last 20 minutes, at least.) My favorites include Carolyn Hax, who tells it like it is, now stop your bellyaching and get your shit together; Erin Bradley, who I wish was my big sister so my awesome younger sister could have TWO older sisters who are both also awesome; and Cary Tennis, who, well, just do yourself a favor and read this (keep going--his seriously brilliant and thought-provoking response is way more general than the question), and then print it out and take it with you to your therapy consultation on Monday to remind yourself why you're there. Oh, and who can forget Gawker's recent addition to the advice column world, Tionna Smalls. "Special" is the only adjective I can really come up with at this nascent stage, but I look forward to checking in with Ms. Smalls on a very regular basis.

2. Get shrunk. makes it easy to find a mental healthcare provider in your area who doesn't sound too old, male, foreign, or likely to use the word "energy" in a non-physical sense. Now you just have to overlook the occasional grammatical transgression in the personal description and lack of a photo, and cross your fingers.

3. Exercise! Especially if you haven't really done so in a year and a half, and you pretty much eat for a living. Pilates is my physical activity of choice because it strengthens the core muscles/reduces back pain, it doesn't involve too much leg work (on most days I walk several miles and stand for more than several hours, and that is enough, thanks), and, most significantly, a brand new cool-looking and small-enough-so-as-not-to-be-threatening studio just opened up literally around the corner from my apartment. Just don't wear one of your American Apparel Athletic Grey t-shirts, because four out of the seven other students will be wearing one and you'll start to wonder if you really are just another Williamsburg hipster afterall.

4. Make something. Even though I've never been able to cook (ex-roommate and BFF Ellen will fondly recall The Great Rice Incident of 2002), I've found it to be a relaxing and rewarding endeavor. It involves a lot of repetitive motion (clinically proven to boost seratonin levels!) and you get to eat afterwards. My favorite thing to make is granola. Breakfast is not a meal I like to fool around with, and unless I am severely hungover or on vacation I want some sort of semi-sweetened grain coupled with a dairy product. For the last several years I've asked my mom to send her homemade granola in lieu of the cookies to which I, as a somewhat aloof yet increasingly respectful daughter, am entitled. Last time I asked, she gave me a big Ziploc baggie-full, along with her recipe (a hint, perhaps?). Turns out you can vaguely follow the instructions and throw whatever you want in there, and, as long as you don't burn it or realize the pan you bought doesn't fit inside your toaster oven just as you're ready to bake, it works. My kind of cooking.

In the process of writing this and realizing I didn't have a fifth step, I remembered the Oprah 20th anniversary six DVD set I accidentally got for Christmas and how it made me cry pretty much continuously. So there's Step 5. Enjoy!