so sweaty.

It’s summer and it’s time to talk about this and I’m so sweaty. “This” being how sweaty I am all the time. Like constantly.

I know it’s gross and not appropriate to discuss but I’m so sweaty and I’m really struggling here and it seems like no one else is dealing with this at the same level so this is a cry for help/commiseration.

It’s not that I’m just hot (in temperature) (and in hotness) (I’m a hottie), I’m hot AND full on sweating. It is literally dripping down my face and getting into my eyes and stinging and burning.

In the 90s/early 2000s when I had very thin eyebrows the sweat getting in my eyes was even WORSE and I was forced to run to the bathroom in stinging pain during cheerleading practice.

I’m glad my eyebrows grew back and now offer me slightly more protection but the protection is still LIMITED. My eyes still BURN.

Even my thick ass eyebrows cannot protect me from how much I sweat.

When I arrive at a fitness class I am already sweating from the frenzied effort of merely getting there. It is already pouring down my face as I scamper up the stairs and hurl myself through the door.

As I get set up in my spot the sweat continues to pour. I have to dry myself off with a towel BEFORE CLASS EVEN STARTS.

The worst part of this is that NO ONE ELSE IS VISIBLY SWEATING. I am the only one every time. I’ve checked! At least during this before class time, I’m truly the only one sweating. Once class begins like 10 or so minutes into it I can see other people sweating and I feel a little better.

But then I realize they are just normal sweating and I have a LITERAL PUDDLE on the floor under me and am constantly wiping my face with my towel.

The towel thing has been difficult for the past year, too. My gym stopped providing “dry your face during class” small towels, I think because of covid. Which makes sense! Totally cool with it. But this means that in my morning rush to get out the door I have to remember to grab one of my hand towels from home to bring with me.

And I don’t always remember.

And class is next to impossible for me without a towel so then I have to use a PAPER TOWEL and it just doesn’t feel right.

IT JUST DOESN’T.

I’ve spoken about my face at length but I sweat a lot everywhere. If I wear shorts, my shins get SOAKED and SLIPPERY and it’s difficult to get a grip on them if I need to stretch or something.

Perhaps the most embarrassing part of sweating a lot is when the BACK of my legs/my butt sweat when I’m sitting down and I’ll either leave a puddle of sweat on the seat I was in or completely soak my pants/skirt/whatever and it will have a big wet spot in the back of it and like Jo at the fancy party in Little Women (are you a Winona Jo or a Saoirse Jo? I’m still deciding…), I have to walk around with my butt toward the wall until it dries.

What a nightmare.

I’ve always gotten so sweaty and I guess there’s really no way around it. I like to say, “It’s because my body is highly eifficient!” But that’s probably just a scientific fact I made up. Who knows. Of course one can use deodorant/antiperspirant and I DO, and not even the “natural” kind because that stuff is “garbage,” but that’s only on one part of your body. And it’s more about the SHEER VOLUME of sweat all over all the time, making everything wet and uncomfortable and slippery and embarrassing.

UGH IT’S THE WORST.

Okay so, does this happen to anyone else? Please say it does. I need some validation on this one thx.

the frenzy.

Hey hi hello this is the frenzy speaking. This is the voice of the frenzy.

What is the frenzy? I don’t really know but it’s how I explain my anxiety sometimes so other people can understand it better and to convey to them that I’m not just “worried” and “everyone worries” and I should “just calm down.” I tried to talk to my boyfriend about it today and he was like “Talk to your mom about it” but Barbara the golden comet chicken died and my dad slipped on ice and hurt his shoulder and my sister is having AN ACTUAL HUMAN BABY so I think my mom is busy right now so I’ll write about it here and talk to you about it. And maybe you’ve felt this too. I hope you have, so you can relate. But I also hope you haven’t, because it’s terrible.

Like there is a frenzy going on inside of my mind and it feels like I have to do everything and can do everything but at the same time I am paralyzed with fear and can’t do anything. I sit here for hours and feel like I’m “doing things” and make a list in my head of all the things I need to do and it freaks me out and makes me more frenzied that I’m not doing them but I just can’t do them.

I just can’t.

My mind will not stop with the frenzy and there is no calming the storm and I have to ride it out. Taking a lot of deep breaths is supposed to help and I guess it does but I’m taking them now as I write this and the frenzy continues, electrifying the tips of my fingers as they sail across my keyboard. As I focus on them I relish the speed at which they move. “I AM DOING THIIIIINGS! THINGS ARE GETTING DONEEEE! COUNT THE WORDS, BABY.”

Unfortunately writing this blog post is not “getting things done” and is completely arbitrary. I try to turn my attention to actual tasks and it bounces back into the frenzy, ricocheting off the corners of my brain again and again, growing more frenzied with each bounce as if my attention and focus will never come to settle anywhere and continue bouncing around forever and ever until I eventually go insane.

I get inspired to google “what does mania feel like?” but I don’t think the definition is this feeling. I’m no doctor but I’ve never been diagnosed as bipolar and the frenzy has been churning my whole life long so I don’t think that’s what this is. Mania seems more productive. I feel like I’m simultaneously doing everything and getting nothing done and it cancels each other out and I sit here neutrally impotent and completely freaked out.

Did I maybe drink too much coffee?

I DON’T KNOW, DID YOU?!

There was a time when I could harness the frenzy and use it as fuel to power anything I set my mind to. My workouts were stronger, my writing was better (at least it seemed better to me), I felt funnier and more fun, all good things. Then the frenzy got tricky and changed in some way and I could no longer make it work for me. And I hate that. It’s super inconvenient.

So for now I will cope with the frenzy and take deep breaths and think about everything and do almost nothing until the frenzy fades away. I’ll see you there.

I wrote this a couple of months ago and forgot about it but I found it today so there ya go. The frenzy continues to churn but not at the same hurricane level that it was churning that day. Whew.

vocal fry, do or die.

Vocal fry and up-talk are a part of our lives. A big part, for some. There’s likely some statistic about how common or uncommon it is and when and how it became common and what your grandma and your parents and your boss and your AP English teacher think about it. I know for sure that there is information out there about how listeners FULLY HATED ON some gals from NPR whose vocals inched too close to fry and whose speaking went up in a way they did not approve of. Because I read it and it pissed me off. Like a lot.

As a little kid I wanted to be a reporter when I grew up. I guess like a “journalist” but I was mostly inspired by April O’Neill, of being-in-the-periphery-of-the-teenage-mutant-ninja-turtles fame. I looked up to her because I was obsessed with the ninja turtles and wanted to date Michelangelo (because he ate pizza and had a skateboard…ughhhh so hot), but also because she was a smart and resourceful gal on the beat and I wanted to BE THAT.

April’s yellow jumpsuit and boots were impeccably fashionable but also functional. She was curious and intelligent and also knew how to have fun, and her camera person followed her dutifully and did every thing she said.

SHE WAS LIVING THE DREAM. Well, A dream. MY dream, to be exact.

As a teenager I attended “shoots” at the MTV Beach House in Seaside Heights one summer and I saw another side of television and another type of job I could aspire to – reality TV and live hosting. And I was like, “This is cool AF let’s do it.”

MTV Beach House, 2002

So then I did. The end.

Just kidding because at 18 years old I started my college career at Rutgers New Brunswick and I was pumped up to be a journalism major. I really still had my big April O’Neil dreams in mind.

Me digging in some sand by the MTV Beach House rocking a (henna!) tramp stamp...2002.

Rutgers provided a liberal arts education so we didn’t get INTO THE THICK OF IT until senior year, when we split up into groups to ostensibly “make television.” We had a great time running around on the banks of the ‘ol Raritan and made a fun video and I was on camera a bit. But it was during this project that I realized I have an “undesirable for news” voice and also an accent.

There were a few other girls/women in my class working with the same set of New Jersey millennial vocal cords and we were told by our well-meaning professor that we would have to “work with a voice coach and/or an ear nose and throat doctor” to achieve the much desired “mid-atlantic” accent and eradicate our nasally tone.

Wow. That seemed like a lot of work. AND I WASN’T GONNA DO IT. NO FREAKIN WAY. I also realized that if I was going to be on camera I would have to think about what I looked like and how much I weighed for the rest of my life and I was fully not on board. I was already sick of the pressure to look “good” in my cheerleading uniform, a pressure I never felt until those last years of college but it was super annoying and I wanted it to go away.

The cheerleading world is, of course, a loyal and historical stronghold of up-talk, so that didn’t really help me either.

So I retreated behind the scenes. And I loved it! It was great. Working in reality TV as a producer was an interesting, fulfilling, and exciting job and I’m glad I did it. I could gain as much weight as I wanted…AND I DID. I’ve eaten burritos in every state and they were all incredible. We can talk about all that another time though.

What I really wanted to say here is that I think it’s ridiculous that you’re expected to change your voice to sound more “credible.” Like, it’s your voice. You’re conveying the same information. It’s fine. I could understand if you weren’t saying things clearly or people couldn’t understand you, but that’s not what this is about.

This is about the fact that there is a certain way that you NEED to be to deliver the news and you NEED to conform or give up. It’s the idea that one sound/tone of voice or type of accent sets another person higher than another; that they’re smarter, more professional and credible…and also more WORTHY. And I really don’t think it’s cool. Perhaps those gals from NPR broke the mold because they ended up on NPR! I mean people got rude about it, but they still got in the door. And that says a lot.

Personally I love accents. LOVE THEM. I love to hear different regional dialects and the different words they have for things and really break down every nuance of vowel, consonant, and sentence structure (or lack thereof). It’s great! I’ve recently started watching Mare of Easttown on HBO and Kate Winslet has MASTERED the Philadelphia/Delaware County accent and it is a BEAUTIFUL THING. It makes the story and her character FULLER and RICHER and is WAY better than if she was just doing a vague “American” accent. I’m really so impressed.

Different types of speech make the world interesting and relatable and amusing and I expect they would do the same for the news. But I did come across a study that was like, “People hate vocal fry,” so maybe I’m wrong.

But maybe I’m NOT and EVERYONE needs to change their perception and stop with this useless value judgement. The tone or sound or accent associated with a person’s voice doesn’t mean anything about how “intelligent” or “trustworthy” or “credible” they are. This is my place to say the things I’m thinking about so there I said it.

And I’m not changing my voice. I will NEVER change my voice. And you shouldn’t either. As long as you have a good vocabulary and you talk about things that are interesting and I can understand you…NO CHANGES NECESSARY. EVEN IF YOU’RE ON NPR. thx.

i got covid.

If it seems like I’ve been quiet for the last week or so, it’s because I got covid. Yes, I almost made it a full year and even had an appointment set up for my first dose of the vaccine! But my plans were destroyed because I got covid.

Covid: destroyer of plans forever and ever and the pain will never end.

I’m pretty sure I got covid at the Barge Inn in Jersey City. I’m actually 99.9% sure that I got covid at the Barge Inn in Jersey City. It’s fair to say it’s my fault for going there and removing my mask to drink inside, but it’s also fair to say there were no covid restrictions in place.

Just a friendly neighborhood warning: if you don’t want covid, don’t go to the Barge Inn. Or go after you get vaccinated. Or wear a hazmat suit. Either way, a ton of people told me it was a covid fest over there and I still went. So I got covid.

There’s a certain kind of shame you feel when you get covid, and also a feeling that you lost some kind of game. Like how could you be SO IRRESPONSIBLE as to expose yourself?! What is wrong with you?! There’s a lot of guilt, which kind of pisses me off because it’s socially constructed. A judgement comes down: you failed at protecting your own health, and you are trash.

Take your trash life and hide inside and don’t show your face until you won’t infect the rest of us.

About 2 weeks ago I started to feel a little weird. I went for a run in the morning and I felt extra sweaty and dizzy. It didn’t seem right. I went about my regular business and started work. A few hours into the day, my head was POUNDING and I couldn’t even look at my computer screen. I actually couldn’t even look at my phone screen either, which has never happened.

It seemed like something serious was afoot.

I took the rest of the day off work and tried to sleep it all away, but it didn’t go away. Oh no, it did not. The next day I had the pounding headache again and I also had a fever. The fever made me nervous because I haven’t had a fever for over a decade. I always get the flu shot so I haven’t had the flu in a long time, and I guess I just haven’t had a fever for any other reason. I STAY FEVER FREE.

Except for 2 weeks ago, because I had a fever. I went to get a covid test and I felt awful and I was PISSED because I had JUST MADE my vaccine appointment and I felt pretty sure I got covid and was going to have to cancel it.

I did have to cancel it.

I was pissed.

Once I had the positive test result I had to accept my fate and start the process of hydration, sleeping, and taking the various medicines that this type of illness demands. It was exhausting. Just taking care of myself was a lot of work.

Ugh.

I ended up having a fever for about 3 days and I know this because I obsessively took my temperature until it was normal again. It got up to 100.3 and that was hot enough for me.

I slept and slept and slept, and got very, very sweaty. The sweatiness I really wasn’t expecting, but it was better than having to throw up.

The one good thing about covid is that it does not involve barfing. No barfing at all! At least not for me…but “vomiting” isn’t really on the list of symptoms so I don’t think barfing is involved for anyone sick with covid. Which is good because barfing is completely unbearable and I simply won’t stand for it.

I took two days off work, then it was the weekend and I slept my life away, then I also had to take off Monday. I didn’t have to use any of my vacay days though, BECAUSE THE MAN HAS GRANTED US SPECIAL PAID DAYS OFF FOR COVID. Make sure you look into it! I wasn’t aware and the HR gal at my work came through and let me know, a true heroine of the times.

Once I started to feel better, I promptly lost my taste. I couldn’t taste or smell anything for about a week. It was annoying but helped me not to binge eat since a big part of my binge eating is taste-based. So I didn’t even feel like eating which I NEVER FEEL and it was SO WEIRD and I COULDN’T EVEN STAND IT.

Now that I’ve spent my time convalescing and I’m no longer contagious I have returned to the outdoors and also the gym. The outdoors felt overwhelming at first but I comfortably settled in to enjoy sunshine and flowers and other natural charms we are offered this time of year.

The gym is another story. IT IS SO INCREDIBLY HARD TO WORK OUT. I usually love working out because I’m good at it or at least I FEEL good at it and I love to feel strong and like I can kick anyone’s ass that gives me any kind of problem. Right now I feel so incredibly weak. I can’t lift as much, and I get out of breath easily.

AND I’M PISSED.

It’s a real struggle to make it through the day when I don’t feel like myself. A REAL, TERRIBLE STRUGGLE.

As far as not feeling like myself, covid can also make you depressed or have like, “blues” for a while after. I’m not making this up. Although I will take any and every opportunity to feel depressed and diagnose myself with some kind of mental health crisis, this is science, I swear. So I’ve been dealing with that too, just feeling kind of slow and foggy and not interested in anything.

The other day I told my boyfriend I felt sad because I haven’t been getting excited about anything and that’s not like me, and he said “YOU DON’T HAVE TO GET EXCITED ABOUT EVERYTHING,” and I was like…”I DO.” Like I don’t feel like myself if I’m not excited. If I’m not excited, something is wrong.

And I’m dealing with that.

So, I got covid. It sucked and I’m still depressed and I don’t fully have my taste back. I need to make a vaccine appointment and currently can’t find one so if you have any leads please let me know.

jump rope is hard.

I’m a reasonably fit adult that enjoys working out but I can’t jump rope because jump rope is hard. It is completely impossible for me to do. Which is really frustrating for me! Because it’s good exercise and it definitely seems fun for those that have it figured out.

But jump rope is hard and I can’t do it.

As a kid I loved watching Sesame Street, like most kids. But the main reason I loved Sesame Street was because it had the little live video interludes where it showed kids in cities. City kids! I had a thing for city kids. Even at a young age I was bored as hell in my rural town and I loved everything city related. So if I saw kids in a place with concrete and a lot of buildings and not as many trees as the places I saw every day, I was like OMG CITY KIDS.

One of the things the “city kids” (based on my definition as a 5 year old), did in these interludes was jump rope. And they were so good at it! And they did it as a whole group! With some kids manning the rope and some kids jumping in and my mind was blown. I couldn’t wait to go to real school and have recess and learn to jump rope.

I knew I was gonna kill it.

Obviously I was wrong because I can’t jump rope at all to this day. Because jump rope is hard.

On the playground at recess and during gym class we were given these weird plastic jump ropes that made a loud ass sound when they hit the ground and that made me really nervous. I also realized that jumping up and then throwing a rope under myself at foot level and then jumping up again was a recipe for tripping myself and a guaranteed way to face plant.

I did not want to face plant. That’s the moneymaker, baby.

So I kind of gave up on jump rope after that. I watched others and sometimes flopped around with the rope, especially if it was gym class and they forced me to for a grade. But I no longer felt the excitement I felt while watching the city kids on Sesame Street. The love was gone.

A little later in childhood they came out with SkipIt, which was different than a jump rope but utilized the same skills. Needless to say I was not able to master the SkipIt or even get any reps around. It counted the reps I think? Bossy little thing.

We didn’t have it at our house because I thought it was trash but sometimes I would see a dormant SkipIt in the grass or the garage at a friend’s house and silently project into the universe, “My friend BETTER NOT make me use that SkipIt today because I will be PISSED.”

I think they got the message. My friends knew I was no athlete and I just wanted to play dress up and create elaborate historical narratives. I mean come on.

Later in high school when I WAS an actual athlete, I still could not jump rope. During this time time I was practicing cheerleading 6 days a week and had a competition or game on the 7th day. It was a lot. My body was very strong and in constant motion. I also didn’t drink so my fuel was relatively pure if you overlook my constant intake of bagels, spaghetti-o’s, and Oreos.

I still could not jump rope. And if they made us at cheerleading practice as part of conditioning I was PISSED.

Stuff I can’t do really pisses me off.

Jump rope didn’t really cross my mind again until a couple of years ago when it came up at the gym one day during a cardio song. They were like “Grab your jump ropes! Yay!” And I was like, “Not yay but okay.”

I struggled through this part of the class while mostly everyone else casually and expertly and happily jumped rope. This was fun and nostalgic for them! They remembered the happy times on the playground!

Those times did not come to my mind. I just struggled and got more pissed and gave up and just jumped up and down while holding the rope and hoped no one would notice.

The jump rope came up again at the gym this morning and I think I handled it a little better. I just did my own personal jump rope move that involves hopping over one foot at a time and tried to focus on not tripping and falling on my face and dying.

Because that DOES happen.

It’s possible I could learn how to do it, I guess. I do think people can learn new things as they get older. I like to think there’s not a cap on that. Even physical things! But within reason, like I’m not going to be able to teach my peers to do backflips because that time has passed. But jump rope seems like a reasonable and possible thing to learn if I tried hard enough, had a good teacher, and put in the reps/took the time to do it.

Maybe I’ll try.

Maybe.

At some point in the history of time I knew a guy that told me he went to a pier to jump rope on his breaks from working at a bar in Manhattan. This really charmed me for some reason. I guess I really admired his skill since I don’t have that skill.

Of course I never SAW him jump rope, I just assumed he had to be good at it if he was enjoying it on a pier in his free time.

As with everything, I created a story of him in my mind and defined him solely by my perception of him and I need to stop doing that and I’m sorry. But I pictured a pier in the Hudson River in front of the Manhattan skyline and the sun was setting and it was summer, and there he was, a city kid grinning and jumping rope in the golden light.

PS I’m unclear on the grammar/verb/sentence structure of this activity and was unsure if it was “jump rope” or “jumping rope” or whatever and I’m sorry.

first day of spring 2021.

YOU GUYS, it’s the first day of spring 2021. This feels like a really big day. A really important day. I’m not sure why but I’d like to explore it here.

Last year, the year 2020, we did not have a spring. We were trapped inside for WEEKS. We could go for walks but we couldn’t go outside for too long and we couldn’t GO ANYWHERE. Last spring was really, really hard. Everyone really, really hated it. Okay, you get it.

I remember going to Target one day last spring, it was the only place I felt I could go that was fun but also a grocery store. Because we weren’t supposed to go to fun places. We weren’t welcome there.

JK because fun places WERE NOT EVEN OPEN. THERE WAS NOWHERE TO GO. TARGET WAS ALL THAT I HAD.

So anyway I went there and the last time I had been there the trees had been bare but then this particular time they had flowers and I realized in this moment that all of my fav spring trees around the town were currently flowering AND I WAS MISSING IT.

This is from April 2020. Knife in my heart.

And then I cried. Just cried right there in front of Target, waiting in line for my turn to go inside wearing a mask and feeling weird and sad about everything.

Flowering trees are important to me.

But more than that, spring is important to me and I think spring 2021 is going to make up for last spring and also be its own spring and we’re going to have a great time.

We’ve already figured out some safe ways to do fun shit and in some ways the fun shit is more fun than before. for example, I LOVE SITTING OUTSIDE. I want to sit outside and eat every day forever and ever, amen. It brings me so much joy and I’m glad it kind of became a year-round thing even here in the northeast.

Let’s keep it! CAN WE PLZ KEEP IT.

It’s also now normal to meet up in parks in a big group as a social event. Maybe that was normal for some people in the before times but for me personally it wasn’t something I saw happen often. I guess for folks without kids it was more like “let’s do drunk brunch at a restaurant establishment.” But now ALL people are into drunk brunch BYOB picnic in the park type events and I am HERE FOR IT, as they say.

We have so many options for fun and safe things to do this spring and our cups runneth over and again it brings a tear to my eye. I can’t wait to get out there and greedily drink in everything this spring has to offer.

It’s going to be double spring so bring your allergy medicine and rain boots and baby chickens and I’ll see you there.

*I wrote this on Saturday 3/20. I know THAT was the first day of spring and not today. Thx.

listening is hard.

I’d just like to express an idea, and maybe some of you will be able to relate, but listening is hard. Listening is like, really, REALLY hard. I honestly have a really terribly hard time with it.

I am not a natural listener. I am naturally inquisitive, and I love to ask a ton of questions and I love finding out new information a ton more. But parsing through what I’m listening to in order to glean that information is quite difficult for me.

It could be because I’m deaf in one ear, and I do think that has a lot to do with it. But I also think it has to do with the way my brain works. In that naturally I am one of those much maligned “waiting for their turn to talk” people. OMG the WORST people. I am one. Hi, hello.

Talking is easy! Talking COMES easy. It’s very easy to find something to talk about. It’s very, VERY easy to find something to say in response to something someone else says. Opinions! I love them!

Well, I love mine.

For a long time I told very, VERY long stories. I think they’re still pretty long but either way they are now shorter than they were before. Because I had to take a long, hard look at how I communicate and I saw I was kind of being a dick. And a really boring one. The most boring kind, someone who tells long stories that never, ever end and everyone listening wants to escape and they don’t know how to do it without seeming mean.

And I’m SORRY. I’m sorry I put some of you in that position, and I hope I’m doing better. It’s something I work on! But I also work on being an “active listener.”

I read about “active listening” once and I was like wow that sounds like a great thing that I am 100% NOT doing so I’m going to start trying it. And I did! And I have seen improvement in my listening skills, since I started working on them. But that doesn’t mean listening isn’t still hard.

BECAUSE LISTENING IS SO HARD.

You have to use your entire brain, YOUR ENTIRE BEING, to really give someone your full attention in the most respectful and appropriate way. And I’ll do it. Yes, I will do that for you. But I will be very tired at the end.

Recently I was out and about and suddenly I got very tired and couldn’t stand to be out among people for another second. I really just had to leave, I couldn’t take it anymore. And when I asked myself why I was so tired, I realized I was tired of listening. IT WAS EXHAUSTING. And I don’t think we should be expected to do it all the time. Or at least we should get some breaks from listening at that level. Because it’s a lot to deal with.

Now that I think about it, this is what happens every time I’m out and about. I will always end up reaching a saturation point where I can no longer listen to another word another person says. I need to leave. I need to leave FAST. Because listening is hard and I can’t do it anymore.

So the next time we’re hanging out and I all of a sudden have to go, it’s not you. Well actually in a way it IS you, but it’s my fault in that I no longer have the capacity to listen to what you’re saying. My ears are full, my head is full, and I need to go home and sit in blissful silence and stare into sweet nothingness to recharge. I’ll catch you next time.

i hate jeans.

Guys, I really hate jeans. Like really, really hate them. And I’m going to reflect on that here. Because like, don’t hate, pontificate! But also I hate them. Additionally I will share some photos of me in jeans to display my ability to cavort comfortably with the enemy.

Let’s begin.

I hate jeans because they’re uncomfortable. THEY ARE SO UNCOMFORTABLE. I have never felt comfortable in jeans. I’ve tried every fit, brand, fabric, etc etc and I’ve never felt like my best self wearing jeans. There are some that fit great! And they look good in pics! And they feel OKAY but I wouldn’t say that I feel COMFORTABLE and like I can take over the world or anything.

They’re just jeans.

And that’s my second problem, they’re JUST jeans. I am so BORED by them. They’re classic and basic and predictable and I don’t want to be involved in any of that. That’s not me! I’m weird and wild and wacky. I am ABOVE jeans. I have ALLITERATION.

Jkjk I’m not ABOVE them. Like they’re fine. Rock jeans if you feel like your best self in them. I just don’t. I feel constricted and restricted. They hold me back. I can’t even kick my leg or do a cartwheel. It’s trash. And the trash is on fire.

I say this because I have ripped many pairs of jeans while kicking my leg or doing a cartwheel. This is the reality that I must deal with. Those were tight jeans, yes. So why don’t I wear loose jeans? Who wants to wear loose jeans?! Not me.

I do like a high waisted wide leg jean though. That’s kinda my thing now. Getting back into that style from middle school (1996-ish), when Limited Too had those wide leg jeans and they had like a blue thing in the back so you could tell they were from Limited Too. It was all about labels and being able to tell where something was from in 1996. I think I had one pair? Or I imagined that and I had no pairs. Limited Too was pretty much Chanel level in its unattainability for me so I didn’t actually have much from there.

I couldn’t find these Limited Too jeans on the internet to show an example and I am PISSED.

Also, I just really love leggings. I LOVE leggings.

I remember as a kid my mom wore leggings all the time and I was like “<eyeroll>NERD,” (sorry mom) but in college leggings came back in a BIG WAY and I was like wait a minute my mom was totally on to something. Leggings as pants were okay for some time there in the early 2000s and that was a best life situaish. Leggings as pants with Uggs or $5 black Old Navy flip flops – PERFECTION. I wish we could go back but alas we cannot.

So we soldier on.

I still love leggings but now with a dress or tunic-like top and combat boots. Honestly any casual outfit that would call for tights I wear leggings instead. My legs are warmer and they’re more comfortable than tights. I have a HUGE bin of tights that has not been used in over a year.

Again, the leggings allow me to kick my leg and do cartwheels WHILE WEARING A DRESS. They offer FULL COVERAGE while upside down! My 4 year old niece inspires me in a lot of ways but one of the MAIN ways is showing me that you can wear leggings or bike shorts under a dress and then literally take over the world.

YOU CAN DO ANYTHING.

Which is to say you don’t even NEED jeans. They’re useless to me at this point. If I wanna feel cute AND be an all terrain being I just wear my dress with leggings or bike shorts underneath. Boom. Ready to go.

When I was a little girl and I misbehaved, my mom would threaten me that my punishment would be that I would need to wear pants to school for a week. AN ENTIRE WEEK?! I would rather die so this threat made me behave. I assume I was probably pretty manipulative, or at least TRYING to be manipulative as a 6 year old, so really getting to the root of something I would hate and offering that as punishment was necessary.

Did this reinforce my already existing hatred of pants, or did it create it? I don’t know but either way I hate pants to this day and will avoid them at all costs.

After a year of COVID time only 3 pairs of jeans fit in my FILLED TO THE BRIM SO I HAVE TO YANK IT OPEN AND KICK IT CLOSED jeans drawer.

I have an entire huge drawer of jeans even though I hate them.

Shut up.

But now only 3% of them fit and I can’t decide if I should keep the ones that are too small in case I get a little smaller again from the singular act of moving around more in the outside world once that returns, or if I should throw them out. I just can’t decide.

I DO know that I DO NOT WANT TO BUY ANY MORE JEANS. BECAUSE I HATE THEM. I’m so frustrated by the fact that I don’t have many jeans that fit but also I don’t want any jeans so I’m kind of at a crossroads.

Hating jeans is specific to me, I’d like you to know. Like I don’t care if you wear jeans. Jeans are great for people who find them great! It’s okay! If I hated jeans on others I’d spend a large part of every day just hating and hating because so many people wear jeans. I would have an unsustainable amount of hate in my body and I would drop dead from the effort.

So you can have your jeans and I support you. BUT I DON’T WANT ANY.

you should work out.

You live and you learn or whatever and one of the biggest things I’ve learned in the last couple of years is that you should work out. By “you” I mean “me,” I’m just reminding myself. But I’d like to share why working out is so necessary to me and maybe that will inspire you too.

I’ve talked about working out before, I know. It’s just really burrowing a permanent place in my life and heart and I’d like to express that. I JUST LOVE IT OKAY. I’m not a doctor or a trainer or a therapist or even a front desk person at a gym so I’m really not authorized to dispense this advice but I’m going to anyway you’re welcome.

Working out helps me…FEEL NORMAL. For so long I felt awful – depressed, anxious, tired, fully nihilistic. I’m still fully nihilistic but the depression, anxiety, and tiredness are partly semi-cured by working out. I firmly believe in a “use it or lose it” mentality when it comes to working out. Once you stop using it, you lose it. But guess what? ONCE YOU START USING IT AGAIN IT’S NO LONGER LOST.

BOOM, BITCH. You can continue that cycle for all of your years on earth and then in the blackness that becomes you when you die. It’s a beautiful thing.

I used to be so pissed at people that worked out and liked it, so I get it. Those people suck. I AM that person and I think I suck. Like shut up. But you really have more options to hop on this rainbow sparkling iridescent endorphin train than you think!

By “work out” I mean “do any kind of physical activity that is reasonably attainable per your body, time budget, and level of athleticism.” By my definition, “working out” could mean like ANYTHING. Walking your dog, wandering around the park looking at birds, riding your bike to work, blablabla and so on and so on. Did you bake and get sweaty because baking requires old school grandma muscles you’ve never used? That’s working out, man! There are a lot of options and all of the options are good and okay!

UNLESS the option you’re trying out doesn’t feel great. This shit needs to FEEL GREAT. If it’s too hard and you’re dying, that’s not great. If it’s too easy and you’re not finding a pleasantly distracted place of peace and even ELATION, that’s not great. IT’S GOTTA BE GREAT SO FIND THE THING YOU THINK IS GREAT FOR YOU.

It might take some trial and error, but the best things do. That’s how you find a romantic partner, that’s how you find a therapist, a job, etc etc. Kiss the frogs and move along, you can do it.

I’ve arrived at a place where I can accept that cardio is trash. CARDIO IS STRAIGHT GARBAGE. I can only do cardio if it’s hidden inside a fun dance, there is a trampoline involved, or I’m running while listening to the soothing, hypnotic, distracting sounds of Nike Run Club. I WILL NOT, EVER AGAIN, run on the treadmill or elliptical or ride a stationary bike simply to get a certain amount of time in and burn a certain amount of calories.

THAT IS A JOYLESS ENDEAVOR AND I WILL NOT STAND FOR IT. YOU’RE NOT ALLOWED TO DO THAT EITHER I’M SAYING IT RIGHT NOW PLEASE DO NOT KILL YOUR SOUL IN SUCH A WAY THERE IS MORE OUT THERE FOR YOU AND YOU’LL LOVE IT.

You can’t let working out be to lose weight or even to get in shape. I mean I guess you can if you want, but for most folks it’s going to feel joyless that way. Just bring some joy in, do a fun thing. Little kids run around in circles. Even little kids like me, who hated playing sports and would rather read books, spent some time running in circles every day. Just because.

BECAUSE IT BRINGS JOY.

I was inspired to go on this ridiculous work out tangent because I returned to my most favorite trampoline class at JaneDO early this morning, after a 3 month hiatus. Hopefully I only have to realize this one time for the rest of my life but THREE MONTHS OFF THE TRAMPOLINE IS TOO MANY MONTHS OFF THE TRAMPOLINE, YOU GUYS.

And this morning as I walked into class I was like “I’m le tired” but as soon as the music started up and we started stretching I was like “OH HELL YEAH IT IS ON, BABY,” and I jumped (ha) right back into it. Like every song was the best song I ever heard and I’m jumping up and down and looking at the instructor begging him with my mind to give us a cool move to do as the beat drops. Because doing a cool move as the beat drops, when it feels like you are inside the beat, THAT IS LIVING, PEOPLE.

And if you don’t want to live your life along with the beat dropping I don’t know what to tell you. The beat is in your mind. You make the beat. You should work out.

snowfolx roundup.

I’m here today to present to you a snowman roundup. Maybe I should say a snow PERSON roundup? Or snow FOLX? I’m gonna go with snowfolx, that sounds fun. This is a snowfolx roundup, you’re welcome.

Watching over the Citibike rack by Van Vorst Park.

It has snowed a metric shit ton this winter but according to the forecast there won’t be snow for the next week AT LEAST so I think that calls for some reflection. Hopefully the snow currently on the ground will melt quickly and the snowfolx will soon be a distant memory.

My favorite pic of snowfolx taken by me.

But what a fun memory they are! I hate winter and snow but I actually do really enjoy snowfolx. Whenever I walk by one on the street or in the park it truly makes me smile. I think because snow disgusts me so intensely, it’s a nice feeling to see that someone has done something creative and even ARTISTIC with it.

Abstract and colorful snowfolk on a stoop in downtown JC.

Like, “snow is here and it sucks and is terrible but let’s USE IT TO MAKE ART,” is truly a brilliant and life changing idea.

Lost an eye. 😬

Snowfolx for pres.

Or probably more accurately, people who build snowfolx for pres.

TINY BABY SNOWFOLK ON FROZEN POND AND THEREFORE THIN ICE!

Snowfolx are most likely all built by children, but I know there are some adult-imagined snowfolx out there. If I didn’t hate snow so much I would make some!

Classic three balled snowfolk in Van Vorst Park.

But I hate snow and want it to die and don’t want to spend any time with it unless I’m skiiing and even then it’s a tenuous relaish.

ADORABLE MINIATURE MAILBOX SNOWFOLK.

So it’s just cool to see these snowfolx around the town and I wanted to give them some recognition and appreciation and show them my support. Winter is tough and hard and sad and stupid but snowfolx give me something to giggle about and be grateful for and I appreciate that.

A dog peed on this snowfolk in Lincoln Park. 😬

THX SNOWFOLX XOXO.