September

I spent a lot of time in August thinking about how fucked-up and traumatizing the past year of my life has been. August is always a rough month for me, as the two most difficult things I’ve lived through both happened the first week of August, in different years. But taking inventory of what I’ve dealt with over the past 12 months has been a different beast altogether.

In the past year I’ve gone through two job changes, four months of the most toxic professional experience of my life, and the person I loved breaking up with me basically out of nowhere. Beyond that, there’s trauma around the good things that have happened. Continue reading “September”

How to look vaguely normal when you have the driest winter skin on the planet

To cope with dry winter skin, stare pensively into the mountains. Or, check out the list below.

As I’ve mentioned, I have what my mom calls “lousy Irish skin like [my] father’s.” During warmer months, this works out OK, but I live in the Northeast, where we have this thing called winter (the occasional warm spell notwithstanding). No matter what I do, my winter skin is bright red, extremely dry, and susceptible to becoming more of the prior two descriptors at the slightest provocation. Sound familiar? Below, a few pieces of advice  on how to look vaguely normal (the best I can hope for) in even the harshest weather: Continue reading “How to look vaguely normal when you have the driest winter skin on the planet”

5 ways to fake a vacation (when you can’t take one)

Sometimes, as Rose tells Sue Ellen in Don’t Tell Mom the Babysitter’s Dead, “I really need to get away.” Unfortunately, that need doesn’t always coincide with periods of my life in which I can actually skip town — or the country. Work, volunteering, and social obligations may keep me tied to NYC, or my bank account may not be in the ideal condition for an impromptu jaunt around Eastern Europe.

What I love most about traveling is the feeling of being taken out of my daily routine. The good news is that even when I can’t get away, this feeling is something I can replicate — often without even leaving my neighborhood. Below, a few ideas for how you can do the same: Continue reading “5 ways to fake a vacation (when you can’t take one)”

3 Annoying Ways I’ve Changed Since My Late Twenties

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The New Year is a standard if cliched time for reflection, and I found myself thinking yesterday about how much I’ve changed over the past few years. Some of the changes I’ve made have been unquestionably positive — I get more sleep, I drink considerably less, and I’m more discerning about who’s allowed in my life — and some are both generally positive and really annoying. Here are three from the latter list: Continue reading “3 Annoying Ways I’ve Changed Since My Late Twenties”

4 Shallow, Self-Serving Ways I’m Coping with the Impending Apocalypse

Since shortly after the election, my friend Arielle has been sending out a daily TinyLetter in which she offers small, actionable things one can do to make the world a little bit better during dark and uncertain times.

As it turns out, Arielle is a much better person than I am. My near-term approach for dealing with this brave new world that not only has such people in it but also elects such people to the highest office in the land is to do as much as possible to make *myself* feel better. Sure, I joined the ACLU on November 9 just like everyone else, but for the most part my coping strategy is less “I volunteer as tribute!” and more “listening to that Fleetwood Mac tribute album from 2012 while mainlining Fromager d’Affinois.” Either I am, as Shakesville’s Melissa McEwan would say, all out of teaspoons, or I’m simply using what few spoons I have left to expedite the delivery of Nutella directly from the jar into my mouth.

Other than bingeing on Nutella, here are some things I’m doing in attempt to deal: Continue reading “4 Shallow, Self-Serving Ways I’m Coping with the Impending Apocalypse”