Tuesday, September 30, 2008

diagnosis: mood swings

The medicinal choices offered to me by the psychiatrist yesterday, and my gut reaction to them as illustrated by fonts available in Adobe Illustrator CS3 for Mac OSX (plus my own little bits of flair):

Based on these mental pictures (and Big Pharma marketing), I chose the latter. A good call, I think. Here is an excerpt on Lamictal from my new favorite book to hide the cover of when reading in public, The Feeling Good Handbook:

Lamotrigine [Lamictal] causes many other side effects [in addition to a severe and life-threatening skin reaction and liver or multi-organ failure] such as headache and neck pain, nausea and vomiting, dizziness, loss of coordination, sleepiness, trouble sleeping, tremor, depression, anxiety, irritability, seizures, speech problems, memory difficulties, runny nose, rashes, itching, double vision, blurred vision, vaginal infections, and others.

To name a few.


I am in my pajamas eating pancetta-and-herb-stuffed rabbit with a side of sauteed cauliflower, sipping white wine out of a coffee mug. I have concluded that this is pretty much the most perfect dining experience in the world ever. Thank you, Culinary School Graduate Roommate Danielle.

Monday, September 29, 2008

what a day

Whether you're upset by economic disaster and stunningly unqualified Alaskans or you're finally willing to concede that you're clinically depressed and too wrapped up in your own ennui to really truly care and then you feel guilty about that because there are things happening in the world that are more important than your inability to keep yourself happy for more than a six-month stretch and you'll actually take the medication for more than two weeks this time to see if it actually helps, doesn't it look like it'd be nice to be a Bighorn Sheep in Jasper?

Thanks, Dad.

Sunday, September 28, 2008


Behold, my crowning achievement in 1.5 years at my job:

Lady, you'd be amazed... Is one day of not having to hear "Ooooooh, it's a CHEESE store" 25 times too much to ask?

not moving to portland...

but my parents are! Very happy for them. And for me. And for whomever made this musical montage of their new house.

Saturday, September 27, 2008


Just sat across from a guy on the subway who fell asleep while eating a Twix. Dropped the Twix on the floor. Kept chewing though.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

is YOUR inner aspect nourished?

Hey guys. So in case you didn't know, this is GOOP. AKA Gwyneth Paltrow's new website. GOOP. You're welcome.


Monday, September 15, 2008

what are we waiting for, exactly?

On a lighter note, here are some things the guy I dated this summer said to me not long before, and/or interspersed with, "I'm totally fucked up," "I'm emotionally unavailable," and "I'm not able to commit myself to anything serious right now."

*"Wow, good things really do come along when you least expect it."

*"It's better to wait [to have The Sex], right?"

*"You give me something to be happy about."

*"I dreamed about you and I never remember my dreams. Clearly you've left an impression."

*"You should come to Paris with me next time."

*"We just get along so well."

*"Do you believe in fate?"

Sunday, September 14, 2008

depression sucks

This morning when I got to work I checked the New York Times online and learned that David Foster Wallace hanged himself on Friday. I never met him or read any of his writing other than his emails to my sister and critiques of her stories, but the news affected me hugely. Here's his Wikipedia bio, but, in a nutshell, he was a literary genius who achieved great fame and success with his novels, short stories, and essays. (The story of his death was the only one not about the election, war, or natural disaster in the "front page" of the Times online.) He was also a college professor. Not the typical famous college professor who gives obligatory lectures and then does his own thing, but a college professor who wrote three-page responses (with footnotes) to his students' two-page stories. For every student, every week.

At work today I read the commencement speech he gave at Kenyon College in 2005, and in it he told the graduates that the most important thing they should get out of their education is not knowledge, but the ability to think. To not be a slave to their automatic thought processes--there is a choice in how they think about themselves and the things that happen to them--and to learn how to get out of their heads and care about other people. This is pretty much the basic theory behind Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, which I've been studying a lot lately. David Foster Wallace understood all of this, clearly tried to live his life this way, and was able to reach out to so many people on both an indirect and a personal level. And he still couldn't deal.

Shortly after I read this, I was helping a customer at the register. As he was halfway out the door, he turned to me and said all-knowingly, "Just be happy. It's not that hard." We hadn't discussed anything other than which items on the counter were his, and as the door closed my first thought was that I hoped he'd step out into the street and get hit by a bus. But then I just had to laugh at the absurdity of his timing. For a lot of people, it just IS that hard. And that's the very sad, capital-T Truth.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

the fat lady sings

I've always been pretty vocal about my dislike for poetry. Too much seriousness and froofy language and hidden meaning. So I was a little surprised when my sister got me two poetry books for my birthday. But when I opened one of them to the first poem she'd bookmarked (she knows me and my stubbornness all too well) and saw that it was titled "Dickhead" I knew I could trust her. Tony Hoagland's poems are funny, observant, thought-provoking, down-to-earth, and, best of all, succinct enough for those with an inability to read anything longer than a blog post in one sitting. Here's "Dickhead" and another favorite that deserves to be in its entirety on the internet.

Here in Berkeley
the jogger with the Rastafarian sweats
runs past the mechanic reading Marx on lunch break
with a sprout sandwich for a bookmark
as the sunlight through a bottle of Perrier
wobbles little rainbows on his knee.

On the corner, someone wearing I Ching earrings
is talking about personal space,
how she just can't take it anymore,
the way that Marcia's codependency
defeats her own empowerment.
"The whole seminar is out of whack," she says,
slapping a bouquet of daisies on her knee.

Close your eyes,
swing a baguette horizontally,
you'll hit someone with a Ph.D.
in sensitivity,
someone who,
if not a therapist himself,
will offer you the number of his therapist,

which--it may take you years
to figure out--is a hostile act on his part
designed to send you on a wild-goose chase
through the orchard of your childhood
to fetch the tarnished apple of your mother's love.

And if you don't like it,
there might be something
wrong with you. You might be so
reincarnationally headed
in the wrong direction,
that you can't hear the music hovering
above this zone of crystal vendors
and karmic mountaineers.

Now the traffic lights harmonically converge:
the traffic flows
past the bakeries and bookstores,
past the cappuccino depot and the acupuncture center.

No matter how you feel, you have to act
like you are very popular with yourself;
very relaxed and purposeful,
very unconfused
and not
like you are walking through the sunshine
in chains.

Monday, September 08, 2008

and the "idiot customer of the day" award goes to

Scene: 6pm at the Cheese Store. The phone rings.

Coworker: Good evening. Cheese Store.
Customer: What time do you close?
Coworker: We close at 8.
Customer: PM?

This customer did make it in before 8pm and did proceed to be kind of an idiot. Although he also did plant a seed in my head . . . I wonder how many food blogs we could prank with a fake press release saying we'll be switching to overnight hours. In New York, probably a lot.

Friday, September 05, 2008

one, she's a beautiful lady

Now, I am not the most politically active/aware young Brooklynite out there (ahem...). However, I will encourage you to watch this video via Jezebel. I will also be voting for Samantha Bee as a write-in. Assuming I get around to, like, registering and stuff.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

separated at birth

ANTM Cycle 11's Marjorie:

And Bastian, the boy from The Neverending Story:

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

simple pleasures

How is it that high-waisted pants are an across-the-board atrocity, but high-waisted skirts are the best style of clothing ever invented? Hoping to do double duty in Manhattan after a life-altering appointment with a counselor (more on that later), I stopped in an H&M to find a new white tank top and walked out with three of the latter, never having tried one on before.

I just played dress up for an hour and discovered a whole new wardrobe. All my t-shirts, wife beaters, and what I thought were now-too-juvenile college-era tank tops suddenly look actually kind of stylish. For someone as lazy as I am when it comes to dressing myself (and, ok, pretty much everything else), this is nothing short of revolutionary.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

something about old dogs and tricks

Things I Gave Up (or Seriously Cut Back on) This Summer to Be Kinder to My Irritable Digestive System and More Healthy Overall:

*red meat
*sparkling water
*fried stuff
*raw vegetables

For a couple months, I felt amazing. High on health, if you will. Now the summer has come to a close. And here are the sacrifices that have stuck:

*sparking water
*raw vegetables