meditation in lincoln park.

For me, one of the (frankly…MANY) good things to come out of COVID was getting to meet some new JC gal pals via Jersey City Women’s Collaborative…via Zoom. It’s an awesome group of women and a perfect way to connect with other like-minded gals about the town. Everyone has some kind of cool business or expertise or talent or art or cause and some people have ALL OF THOSE THINGS BECAUSE THEY ARE SUPER HUMAN AND I SALUTE THEM. And this past weekend, it was time to actually meet some of them in person at a meditation in Lincoln Park!

You already know I love Lincoln Park, and now you know I love Jersey City Women’s Collaborative too, so needless to say I was pretty pumped.

But also a little nervous! In-person event etiquette is rusty for all and I didn’t realize COVID’s impact on my social skills at first but I do think that they have definitely suffered. I’m an extrovert in the sense that I’m loud and I’m out there and I need to suck the collective energy from other humans around me to survive, but I also kind of really don’t like people overall and I especially dislike strangers. I don’t love to make small talk. I also have a lot of difficulty hearing…LIKE A LOT…so I usually prefer the written word for interactions. Like if I message with you all the time on Instagram and then don’t really talk to you when I see you at a loud-ass bar or concert or workout class…that’s why. Like I literally CANNOT HEAR YOU and it is MENTALLY EXHAUSTING to try.

Sadly there is another element to my nervousness and it involves caring what other people think. I know…ew. So gross. And I don’t usually care what people think, I really do not. But in a situation where the whole GOAL is to try to make new friends/acquaintances and possibly locate the social jackpot that is a kindred-spirit, a small amount of care must go into considering the thoughts of others. Like really just a “read the room” approach is acceptable here but even that makes me nervous that I’ll do it wrong. Whew. Human-ing is just too much.

Enough about me because I want to tell you about this meditation in Lincoln Park! It was led by Jennifer Wai, Intuitive Consultant. She has an incredibly calming and thoughtful vibe and also has THE BEST HAIR. Not to take it THERE and make it about PHYSICAL ATTRIBUTES, but…love her hair. When I arrived I looked across the park with her awesome hair in mind and when I spotted it I knew which group I should head toward!

This is a creepy photo I took because I didn’t want to be disruptive.

Okay but BEYOND THE HAIR she expertly led us through a really calming and relaxing meditation under a tree in Lincoln Park. We were invited to sit down or lay down and it was Sunday and I had my blanket and I was also very tired so I laid down on my back and looked up at the beautiful tree before closing my eyes.

IT FELT SO NICE.

She talked to us about using nature as a grounding force and how connecting with something alive can help us meditate. LOVE THAT. I personally avoided meditating for many years because I 1 – thought it was silly and 2 – thought I would suck at it. In the past few years I’ve been more open to it and have definitely seen real and valuable benefits, but the suggestion of using something alive/in nature to help in your meditation like COMPLETELY BLEW MY MIND. Which is what is ACTUALLY SILLY because I love nature and I’m always hanging out there anyway so I don’t know why I didn’t think of that.

Oops. Sry.

Jennifer played some music and guided us through the meditation and I will say again that it just felt so relaxing and nice. The park is beautiful right now, and the weather wasn’t perfect but it was good enough. It was SATISFACTORY. We all just relaxed and listened to her voice and connected with nature and when she told us it was done and to open our eyes I felt very warm and fuzzy and float-y.

Oooooo ya.

I SHOULD DO IT EVERY SUNDAY.

But the fun wasn’t over because we got up and headed across the park to do another exercise! I couldn’t wait to see what it was and we found out soon enough when we gathered in a circle in a grove of big ass trees.

We partnered up, and usually partner things make me feel weird. Like in dance classes if there is partner work I will go hide in the bathroom until the class is done learning that part because I don’t want to do it. But for this exercise I was able to partner with a gal I have met via Instagram and I felt like I already knew her and she wasn’t a scary stranger and that was great!

It’s worth pointing out that no one there was actually a scary stranger and I’m just a weirdo. This one’s on me.

After we found our partner, Jennifer passed out some neat little blindfolds and told us that we would be taking turns being blindfolded and led around by our partner to a particular tree. Our partner would also try to disorient us by spinning us around. We would then be expected to touch, smell, hear, etc the tree. Also, and this is my favorite part, we were instructed to “Ask the tree for information.” AND I FELT LIKE I HAD BEEN WAITING MY WHOLE LIFE TO BE GIVEN PERMISSION TO ASK A TREE FOR INFORMATION AND I COULD NOT CONTAIN MY EXCITEMENT. After getting to know the tree we would be led back to our starting spot, take off the blindfold, and try to ID which tree around us we had just had a moment with.

Whoa.

I didn’t think we’d be able to do it! I went first as the Blindfolded, and my new pal guided me around. It was super weird to not be able to see and totally freaked me out…so that was tough. But I met my tree soon enough and I hugged it and explored its surface with my hands and smelled it and spoke to it and ASKED IT FOR INFORMATION. Then we did the whole thing again with my partner blindfolded and me guiding her.

And guess what? WE ALL FOUND OUR TREES. IT WAS NUTS. MY MIND WAS BLOWN.

My tree friend is in the middle! 💕

What a cool exercise! I kind of want to go back and make my friends or my mom or my boyfriend do it with me. She DID let us keep the blindfolds…

It was an outstanding and memorable event and a perfect way to spend a Sunday, so thank you very much Jennifer Wai and Jersey City Women’s Collaborative. I’m looking forward to the next event, a summer clothing swap at Canco Park 6/12 at 1pm. Maybe I’ll see ya there!

briogeo scalp revival.

Just want to share about the Briogeo Scalp Revival Kit I tried yesterday. I guess I don’t really have any results yet but I will let you know my experience and maybe update with the results if I remember.

My scalp is a disaster. I realize it’s probably not socially acceptable to admit that because it’s like a MESSY and UNSIGHTLY problem but it is a DISASTER. It is very dry and uncomfortable and I’ve tried many things and none of them have worked.

I haven’t gone to the dermatologist and asked her so I guess that’s the next step. I also have to go and ask her about the skin on my face constantly breaking out because THAT is an additional terrible disaster but let’s handle one thing at a time for now.

There are a lot of products for scalp problems! I’ve tried the classic Head and Shoulders and that did work for many winters, but it does not work now. Not sure how I managed to level up beyond its ability to help me. But I’m honored.

Just kidding I am NOT honored because I had to try this disgusting black tar Neutrogena shampoo and it actually smells and feels like tar. OMG I JUST LOOKED IT UP AND IT HAS ACTUAL TAR IN IT. The smell of it sickens me and makes me want to die and it totally dries my hair out and ruins it for at least two days so I was only using it once a week on Sundays and slathering an overnight hair mask on after.

It didn’t even work. It was disgusting and awful and IT DIDN’T EVEN WORK.

Maybe because I only used it once a week but honestly that’s all I could tolerate and I’m sorry. I don’t like to be a brat and hate on things so I’m sorry for that too. Neutrogena, forgive me.

But that shit didn’t work so it’s ON TO THE NEXT MY FRIENDS.

The Briogeo kit arrived last week but I waited until my lunch break yesterday to use it. I was actually really excited to open it up and try it out.

The best part is it has a little scalp rubbing tool and I thought that would be really fun. AND IT WAS.

Both the shampoo and conditioner made my scalp feel tingly and that was delightful.

AND THEY DIDN’T SMELL LIKE TAR.

I finished it off with the scalp oil and a hair mask because my poor hair is very dry and a hair mask is always necessary.

As my hair dried I noticed that my scalp was…still dry. Which is so so incredibly annoying. LIKE STOP ALREADY. I think I’m going to have to use this kit a couple of times a week for a few weeks and then report back on the results.

Fingers crossed that THERE ARE RESULTS to report on.

Ugh being a human is exhausting.

months and months of birchboxes pt. 2.

Once again I have collected months and months of unopened Birchboxes. And I’ve found myself with a BIRCHBOX BACKLOG.

WHAT AM I SAVING THEM FOR?!

I guess…this?

Let’s begin.

october 2020.

Okay honestly I don’t really know what month any of these are from but October was my best guess for this one, for whatever reason. I guess I could look it up but I don’t really feel like it.

I am very, VERY excited about the eyeshadow in this one because I need eyeshadow but I didn’t feel like buying it. I haven’t really used it for a while but want to put it back in the ‘ol routine, if I ever get to leave my house again.

This box also includes a product for “scalp detox.” Personally I am currently very into “scalp detox” because my poor scalp is really suffering. I never realized it could be a problem but it really kind of is. Hopefully this will help! Yay!

The makeup brush made me laugh because I collect makeup brushes like Birchboxes…I put them somewhere and never open them.

And that has to stop.

This month’s box design was really fun too, I love all these different ladies with their different lipsticks!

november 2020.

November is my BIRTHDAY MONTH so I know this one is from then because on the silly shipping label it said, “Happy Birthday Shannon Popov.”

Okay first of all, THIS BOX CONTAINS A JADE ROLLER. I have been wanting to try a jade roller forever but really didn’t feel like buying one. But here one is! In my hand! For me to try!

This box has an amika hair product in it, which is great, because amika makes the only styling products I’ve found that make my hair look how I want it to look. AND I NEED AS MUCH OF IT AS I CAN GET.

It also has a Rebecca Minkoff perfume sample, which got me thinking. For the last 3-ish years I have obsessively worn “Comptoir Sud Pacifique Vanille Abricot” (which I found via Birchbox) because it SMELLS LIKE DELICIOUS COOKIES but I’ve let that run out so I think it’s time to try some new stuff? Maybe for the next month or so I’ll try on all the perfume samples I’ve been hoarding. IT WILL BE FUN.

december 2020.

Is this from December? I think? The little card said something about the holidays?

The box is very understated but a peaceful blue. Peaceful is always good.

I’ve been trying to do a hair mask once or twice a week so I was VERY PLEASED to find a hair mask in here, as my hair mask supply is not infinite and needed to be replenished.

I really LOVE this red nail polish and I wish I opened this box before Xmas because I would have used the polish then. Whatever I’ll still use it now.

RED POLISH 4EVA.

Additionally this box has hand cream! Always need that. Every minute of every day. In every purse. Thx.

mystery month 1.

No idea what month this is from but I LOVE this flowery box! Wow! I wish I had something to do with the boxes besides throw them out…plz share ideas if you have any.

Biggest takeaway is that this box has a CANNABIS moisturizer and I’ve never tried that and I want to. I don’t think it’s going to MAKE MY FACE HIGH or anything but I’m interested to see what benefit it might add to a moisturizer…if anything.

I GUESS I’LL FIND OUT.

I love the hydrating collagen eye masks in this box, too. I’ve gotten them in a box two or three times before and I will always take them again because they’re great.

mystery month 2.

Another mystery. Who knows. I apologize for kind of half-assing this post but like…this was a lot of boxes, you guys. I will try to get back on track next month I swear.

Anyway, this box is like a little drawer and has a little pink tassel to pull it open. LOOK AT THE LITTLE PINK TASSEL IT IS EVERYTHING.

This box had a cute little bingo in it that you could fill out and post on social media and enter to win a prize. But I missed that because it was over at the end of September and I didn’t open the box until now. Maybe this was the August box? Either way, I’m sad about the bingo.

There is ANOTHER hair mask in this box and I’m just so glad that I’ve got more hair masks in my arsenal. My poor dry, frizzy hair needs to be masked as much as possible so it doesn’t fully snap off my head. It’s a tough life.

This box also has an Arrow lip product and I AM VERY INTO ARROW LIP PRODUCTS. I always enjoyed grabbing an Arrow lip balm in the Birchbox section of the Hollywood Walgreens. I MISS TRAVEL. SOB.

This appears to be a moisturizing oil and again I wish I opened this box sooner because my lips were REAL BAD around Xmas and I really needed some help and this would have…helped.

Next time.

That’s all the Birchboxes! Whew! Okay I have to take a nap now bye.

the american medical association family medical guide: the original dr. google.

During one of my recent visits to my parents’ house I came across The American Medical Association Family Medical Guide, also known (to me) as The Original Dr. Google.

Originally published in 1982, the book has all kinds of helpful info about anything you can think of that might be slowly killing you and/or people around you.

This book started it all. My paranoia that there could always be something wrong with me, even if I feel fine. And if I don’t feel fine, I’m definitely going to die. It’s all rooted in what I read in this book.

And it’s not the book’s fault. I would have found SOMETHING to be anxious about. The options and possibilities are endless! There will always be something in my immediate environment for me to obsess over and drive myself insane thinking about. But the book was there and facilitated and enabled this level of obsession with health so my anxiety became a health-focused anxiety.

This man’s face continues to haunt me.

I used to pore over this book for hours. When I was too young and couldn’t read I would look at the pictures. When I could read I would still mostly look at the pictures because they really gave me the most alarming level of information and I think that’s what I was looking for, in some twisted way.

Children wearing pink bodysuits OF ILLNESS.

Like, “show me the really messed up stuff because it helps convince me something is really wrong.” And it’s an endless cycle of thinking something is wrong and looking it up, then momentarily feeling better because you feel like you have some kind of control over the situation if you have more knowledge about it.

And then feeling more anxious and way worse and needing to look for more information to feed your terror. And so it goes. Hour after hour, day after day.

DEATH.

During particularly anxious times in my life I have stayed up all night long looking at the internet, mentally digging a deeper and deeper hole into a sickness I don’t even have.

Or maybe I do. Who even knows?

As soon as I finally got my own health insurance when I got a “real job” at 29, I felt relieved that I could go to the doctor for a reasonable price whenever I needed to.

I always need to.

I’ve spoken to most women I know about the gynecologist – if they like theirs, if I like mine, if I can recommend one. It’s a big thing with most women that they feel comfortable with the person performing their gynecological exams. Some women even prefer to not have a male doctor.

Hey look, a dick.

For the record I DO like my gynecologist and I like her so much that she’s also my primary care doctor and I’ve been going to her for over 10 years (DR. TULLY WHAT UPPP). But sometimes I’ve been convinced something is wrong but I’m away or can’t get an appointment or need to go down the street from my office to the urgent care place during lunch and that will just take less time and effort than going to my main doctor.

Where I’m going with this is that I’m so concerned for my health at all times that I don’t even care who is going in there as long as they’re qualified to examine me and give me some kind of a diagnosis. It could be a Times Square Elmo, I do not care as long as they’re wearing gloves and have a degree.

Ugh.

I live in complete and constant terror and the terror will not subside until I have some kind of definitive answer.

During the COVID times of now, this terror has started to involve the fear of infecting others. Actually, the fear of infecting others with whatever I diagnose myself with is always there, but now I feel an added social pressure and responsibility. Getting sick with COVID suddenly creates a negative perception of your character.

You were IRRESPONSIBLE.

You are putting people around you IN DANGER.

Maybe you even DIDN’T WASH YOUR HANDS.

WHAT WILL YOUR FRIENDS AND COMMUNITY THINK OF YOU?! HOW HARSHLY WILL YOU BE JUDGED?! MAYBE YOU’LL BE A LEGIT OUTCAST UNTIL LIKE 2025. OR FOREVER.

The truth is, no one is trying to get COVID, and it’s sometimes unavoidable. We can’t judge people’s character on their ability to fight off an invisible, microscopic foe. Most people are doing their best. I don’t know why it turned into such a social crime to get sick.

I mean I guess I do know. It’s because people are insane.

Not thriving.

And maybe everyone else grew up reading The American Medical Association Family Medical Guide too. And maybe everyone lives inside their own personal mental prison of health-related stress and anxiety.

So maybe I shouldn’t feel so lonely and isolated and insane. I guess everyone is turning to Dr. Google these days. It’s a lifestyle.

months and months of birchboxes.

I finally opened my months and months of Birchboxes on Saturday and I made this little timelapse.

See how sweaty I am at the end? Yeesh.


Just casually hanging out in a bridesmaid robe on a non-wedding Saturday afternoon. Also I’ve been wearing my glasses because I have allergies and I don’t want my eyes to take a turn into a dark unhealthy place where I can’t even get contacts in like they sometimes do. So I’ve been not wearing my contacts so I will be able to wear contacts and I HATE wearing glasses. They are ridiculous and uncomfortable and I have a terrible headache.

Moving along.

may birchbox.

This one was in a pretty blue box with flowers and very May-like. I’m most excited to try the ModelCo Instant Brows brow pencil. Because brows are everything. EVERYTHING.

june birchbox.

The June Birchbox came with a note that said, “Everybody needs you time. Indulge a little.”

As if I needed someone to tell me that.

The Amika Flash Instant Shine Mask is already one of my most fav products and I’m glad to have a travel size now! Amika has incred products and their branding has cute skeletons. I’m sold.

The Arrow BOOST Color Enhancing Lip Balm is a Birchbox OG classic as far as I know and I’m never mad about getting one. I always, ALWAYS need another lip balm because I lose them and/or leave them in a purse and forget about them. I’m only human.

july birchbox.

All I have to say about this is look at this THICC AF MASCARA FROM STILA. Yes it’s everything I needed to freshen up my makeup bag for the fall.

august birchbox.

More Amika in the August box! Hooray! I also love that this box has a hand sanitizer AND a hand moisturizer because at this point one 100% needs both.

And now I feel immensely relieved for resolving the Birchbox backlog that has been hanging over my head for months. Whew.

covid test up the nose.

I haven’t been writing here much because I’ve been busy with something else in my free time and maybe I’ll tell you what it is someday but maybe you don’t even care. Today I WILL tell you about getting a covid test up the nose.

It’s actually called a…ugh whatever I can’t find what it’s actually called right now. So it’s called covid test up the nose.

“Goes up your nose”

I had heard that this test was “uncomfortable” so of course I was scared. I was also told IUD insertion was “uncomfortable” and it was a searing pain that radiated from my cervix out into my entire body. So no I don’t really trust the medical claim of “uncomfortable.”

There is a testing center on Marin Blvd in Jersey City that I’ve walked by and seen out the window of an Via on my way to Target so I knew it was there. The internet said it was open 8am-3pm so we decided to head over during my lunch break.

The line is usually very long and goes out the gate and around the block so in my mind I was like “the line will show us where to go.” But when we got there, there was no line and we did not know where to go. There weren’t even clear signs. It was like they were trying to hide it. Maybe they were.

In a hidden back corner of the parking lot we saw a woman emerge from a nondescript white trailer holding an official looking paper and we were like “there!”

No line!

We entered the trailer and there was no wait. We gave our IDs to the gals taking the IDs and got ready to get a covid test up the nose.

My boyfriend went first and the test caused him to sneeze everywhere. This was unfortunate because he had his bandana pulled down to uncover his nose for the covid test up the nose so it seemed like he was sneezing all over the whole trailer. And in a way he was.

The calm before the sneeze.

The ID gals were shocked and terrified and yelled, “Ah! Put on your mask!” And as he ran out of the trailer they generously sprayed Lysol everywhere.

That was a tough act to follow but I gathered my courage and obediently sat in the chair for the doctor gal to give me a covid test up the nose.

She said she was going to “take a sample while counting to 5,” and I was like “okay.”

The moment of truth had arrived and she shoved the swab up my nose. And honestly it wasn’t that bad. I took a big dramatic breath and closed my eyes to steel myself and she was probably like <eye roll> because it just felt like falling into water and getting water up your nose because you were surprised and unprepared to blow air out your nose.

My own personal test

Like it was just a water up your nose burning feeling. And she counted to 5 and I think that helped me get through. Bedside manner is v important my friends. Chair side manner?

This shit is free so go get it! I mean why not? I love free shit and we never, EVER get free health shit in this land of the free home of the Brave so why not take advantage. My phone insisted on capitalizing “Brave” there so I left it. Have some respect.

Here’s where you can find places to get tested in NJ: Covid Test NJ

Please don’t sneeze all over the trailer and scare the ID gals.

outdoor workouts.

When I was in college I worked as a cheerleading instructor at summer cheerleading camps. Every year during our training “Work Week” one of our lectures (like a LEARNING lecture) would always involve the presenter saying “And you’re going to want to take some of your regular workouts outside.” As in we should 1 – do regular workouts and 2 – they should be outdoor workouts. To help us get ready to work outside all summer.

I think they probably noticed this but I was NOT doing ANY kind of REGULAR workout. I was doing the cheerleading practice I had a few times a week and also jumping around at this instructor job but that was it. I wasn’t into working out. I did not want to work out at all. Definitely not outside. But definitely not at all.

Hi I’m 19 years old and def don’t work out.

So this (learning) lecture always made me laugh, is what I’m saying. In my mind I was like they’re trying to indoctrinate me into living a lifestyle of exercise addiction! These are unfair working conditions! The patriarchy!

I’ve always been prone to the dramatic. This is not what they were doing. Although the patriarchy does do this. So beware!

But these days I work out regularly and was beyond excited when places I like and new places I wanted to try started hosting outdoor workouts.

It’s a workout! In the outdoors!

The workouts I’ve gone to have been socially distanced and people wear masks. Most people don’t wear a mask the whole time, which seems okay because we’re socially distant but I’m not a doctor. I wear mine for as long as I can stand it but sometimes during cardio or if it’s scorching hot out I have to take it off for a breather.

I’d like to think I have perfect post COVID social decorum but I’m only human after all.

barre burn.

The first outdoor workout I attended was a barre burn class held by a gal Morgan that teaches at JC Barre. I had never gone to a class there but I met Morgan while drinking frozen rum drinks on Newark Ave Bourbon Street and her class sounded right up my alley.

And it is. It’s in Enos Jones Park and there is lots of shade so that’s great for the stifling hot days. The class is a mix of circuit cardio type stuff and tradish barre hold and shake type shit but obvi we don’t have a barre so there’s an added challenge. I recommend this class to all and brunch at White Star after is always a good plan.

PS you can see people skateboarding while you work out and sometimes they do cool shit and that’s obviously my favorite thing.

do it all.

JaneDO, my first workout love, who I credit with getting me back into moving around and not being out of breath after walking up stairs, also has outdoor class!

They started them in Hoboken first and I was like <sideways judgemental stare> but now they have them in JC too and I am glad. Also in Montclair! One day if I have a car I’ll go to Montclair.

The JaneDO JC outdoor workouts are at Roberto Clemente Field which is a baseball field and those little league kids have some nice grass to play on. Lucky.

But we also get to work out on the grass! They run their “Do It All” class which is, and I quote, “Pretty much whatever the instructor feels like doing.” And it’s great! Different every time, which is important for the body and the brain. I think.

It’s just really nice to be outside and be around other people. Working out at home makes me lazy and distracted and I feel like I don’t work out as hard or get as much out of it, physically AND mentally.

Working out is a big part of my day every day because it helps me stay calm and it makes me feel like I have my shit together. These are two very important elements that are necessary for me to get through the day. Working out at home doesn’t calm or inspire me the same way that I am calmed and inspired working out in person among others.

Outdoor workouts have that! ALL OF THAT!

Come join workouts with JaneDO on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 7am, weather permitting. Or with Morgan on Saturdays at 11am, weather also permitting. Or don’t, I’m not the boss of you.

alcohol is a depressant.

Oh hi it’s me, writing about alcohol again. It’s just that recently drinking has got me thinking and I was thinking about how alcohol is a depressant.

After spending many delightful day-long weekend drinking sessions and weeknight twilight drinks with pals while sitting on the literal ground on Jersey City’s Bourbon Street (formerly known as “Newark Ave”), I realized I wasn’t feeling so great. Not just physically not great, although I felt that too, but not great…in my mind.

Last Saturday we watched a movie called “Wendy.” Watch the trailer.

As you can see, THIS MOVIE ISN’T ABOUT ANYTHING. That didn’t stop me from sobbing uncontrollably by the end. My boyfriend comforted me for like 10 minutes but I couldn’t stop. I had to go hide in the bathroom and finish out this roller coaster ride on my own.

I was so incredibly sad because I had had at least one alcoholic a day for 4 days in a row. I had reached my LIMIT. Once I drink too many days in a row, the sadness starts to creep in and there’s no way to bounce back. I have to sit at the bottom of the pit and cry about nonsensical movies with no point and no story AND NO MEANING. The meaning is inside my head. And it’s sad as hell.

I don’t look like this in a bathing suit right now and I’m pissed AF about that. But I’d like to say that the metadata with this photo says it was taken at 2am and I was def drinking before and likely also crying. Obvi depressed.

When I started drinking in college it was all, “The more you can drink the better! The more days in a row you drink that’s great! The more different kinds of drinks the cooler you are! Oh it doesn’t matter if you want to be cool it’s just a way of life! If you do all this stuff you win drinking!” And then anyone that ever questioned why you were drinking or was like, “Is this nuts? Maybe it’s too much?” was cast off as a full-on FUN RUINER and banished to another land where people did boring shit like drink water and meditate and actually study for their exams.

Googly eye on my arm but still depressed. I really, REALLY love googly eyes, too.

It was in insult, in a way, to tell someone they were probably drinking too much. And if YOU YOURSELF admitted you were drinking too much, it meant you “had a problem.” People that didn’t drink were assumed to have recovered from some kind of “problem.” Basically drinking your face off daily was accepted and even celebrated, and those that questioned that were wrong.

Tried to drink and look at art. Too depressed.

If you think about it, we ALL have some kind of “problem,” or have had a “problem,” or will have a “problem” at some point. In this scenario “problem” is a euphemism for “probably should not drink that much and even not drink at all and they’re definitely being embarrassing and they’re going to feel shitty about this tomorrow even if it’s not even a big deal and we the people around them don’t even care because we do it too. But they’re still going to feel VERY SHITTY about this and that in itself IS a problem.”

Whew.

A stranger grabbed me on the subway and now I have to ride to the police station at 125th st you guessed it, depressed.

There’s some kind of social contract among people in our age group, young gen-x and old and young millennials, that says it’s okay to get drunk and be stupid as long as no one gets physically hurt or dies. And even the physically hurt part “like isn’t a big deal.” Wounds heal, ya know? And in the same sense, bad choices, misbehavior, and personal slights are always forgotten in time, mostly because more bad choices, misbehavior, and personal slights erase the former ones. There are perpetually new things to be mad or sad about or offended by but one thing remains the same – we are all always drinking.

Drinking also makes your skin look terrible. And also depressed.

One time for a while I had a super mean, emotionally manipulative boyfriend (then for a longer time after that a mean, emotionally manipulative not-boyfriend that hung like a dark, ominous, MALIGNANT cloud over my life. For like a decade). Although he was very mean and very manipulative, and also ominous and MALIGNANT, he was right ONE SINGLE TIME and that was when he said, “Why do you THINK you’re so sad, Shan? Alcohol is a depressant.”

Okay first of all don’t call me “Shan,” only my family and NICE PEOPLE call me that. Second of all…I’LL DRINK WHAT I WANT, BITCH.

YOU CANNOT STOP ME.

It took me a couple more years after that for me to realize that he was right…ABOUT THIS ONE SINGLE THING. And I should have listened to him BUT ONLY ABOUT THIS, and then I should have been like, “Bye, leave my life.” Luckily it’s like that now. Whew.

I did sober January last year for the first time, and did it again this past January. Sober January really made me realize how drastically alcohol affects my moods. Maybe it’s just me but I really think it isn’t just me. When I consistently have drinks for a few days in a row, by the end of those days I am ready to live in a dark room and just sob constantly. It’s not a good feeling.

But I still like drinking! I still like having fun! I AM STILL COOL I SWEAR. I just have to do it less now. Like way less. BUT STILL FUN WHEN I DO IT. I just have to drink a lot of water.

Looking at some flowers on a Sunday, feeling depressed. Because yesterday was Saturday.

The biggest bummer about this whole thing is that I spent literal years feeling pretty depressed all the time. And I am formally diagnosed (BY SCIENCE) with depression and take medication for it and that stuff helps and it’s great. But I’ll tell you what DIDN’T HELP was the drinking most days of the week. Back then I wish I would have realized that I was making myself depressed and I should have just not been out drinking as much. It seems so simple! But I was CONVINCED that drinking COULD NOT POSSIBLY MAKE ME SAD and anyone that suggested it was insane.

Who is the insane one NOW?

Oh, it’s me. But if anyone would like to “hang out” in the world with me and drink Diet Coke or juice or mocktails, or even better, EAT DESSERTS INSTEAD please let me know. Thx.

microneedling at home.

It seems fun to stick with a two days long theme so I’m going to tell you about another self care needle activity you can do trapped inside your house. And that is microneedling at home.

WTF is microneedling? I honestly have no idea, but it’s one of those words that sounds fancy and fashionable and EFFECTIVE. Because BEAUTY IS PAIN and NEEDLES EQUAL PAIN so this shit WILL WORK.

At least I hope so.

I ordered this little at home microneedling rolly thing from Grace and Stella. This store came out of nowhere and I think was in my Gmail ads. Like the things on top of your emails that aren’t actually emails and they say “Ad” next to them. Because they are ads.

My Gmail knows me better than anyone, even my own mother, so it knew that if it showed me this particular ad for this particular product that I WOULD click this ad and I WOULD purchase the product being sold by this ad. Does this sound like Rehoboam to you? That’s because it is. Google is Rehoboam, you heard it here first.

So this microneedling at home rolly thing (it’s called a “dermaroller”) arrived at my home and I was pumped to check it out. Just like with any facial skincare thing, I was also nervous. The skin on your face is sensitive AF (according to science) and when you’ve found a good balance for it through products and sleeping and drinking water and shit, it’s scary to throw something else into the mix that may tip the scale back to shittier skin.

When I opened the package it was like, “soak the needle thing in alcohol first.” So first, I soaked the needle thing in alcohol for 5 minutes.

Following the alcohol soaking sesh, I then rolled it on my face back and forth in different directions. I was afraid it would hurt but it didn’t – it was just like a tingly prickle. “Tingly prickle” sounds freaky but that’s what it was. Deal with it.

Afterward, I applied the hyaluronic acid that came with the rolly thing. This seemed like a good deal but they could have just tricked me with marketing. It happens again and again.

The instructions said not to wear makeup for 24 hours so I didn’t. Yesterday it was really humid and my face did get a little irritated when I was walking outside and got that disgusting sweaty sheen that happens on humid days, but it feels fine today!

I’m not sure it really did anything, but I think this may be something I have to do a few times to see results. The result I desire is blasting my forehead wrinkles off my face. Soon I’ll try Botox for that, but not yet.

Have you tried microneedling at home? Did I even do it right?

i got this acupuncture thing.

In the spirit of ordering any and all of the random shit on the internet, I got this acupuncture thing.

It’s possible that you know that I struggle with terrible lower back pain, just like <some really large number>% of adults over 20 years old. Back pain is just a thing we all battle and I guess I have to accept it. But I’m constantly searching for something to help it suck less, so I got this acupuncture thing.

One time during Real Life, I went and got real acupuncture. My insurance covered it and I felt rich with privilege and resources so I made an appointment. The man performing it, the wielder of the needles, was very kind and patient. The treatment itself was terrifying and I audibly screamed and probably freaked him out. I never went back.

Close up of the needles on the acupuncture thing, not scary!

The needle somehow hit one of my nerves in my back and sent a zap all the way down to a needle that was in my calf. It was one of the weirdest physical things I have ever felt. I was not okay. “Zap” isn’t a scientific word and yes this isn’t scientifically proven but I was still scared by it. Scientifically scared by it. IT TRIGGERED A FIGHT OR FLIGHT RESPONSE. So I got this acupuncture thing.

I guess maybe I like the pillow thing best.

The acupuncture thing is pink and I can lay on it 10-15 minutes per day. I’ve started laying on it and trolling Instagram between my 2 workouts in the morning. I can also put my head on the little pillow part and it’s supposed to help with headaches. This is helpful because I have an almost constant pounding headache.

Everything is fine.

I kind of almost don’t have a headache here.

They (the acupuncture thing overlords) recommend putting the little pillow part under your bare feet while seated, “a great way to start the day!” Okay.

You can put the full pad on your chair to target your butt and legs. There’s really nothing you can’t do!

So far I don’t feel like it’s doing much but I think it may have to be part of a bigger stretching and relaxation routine. And once that stuff is in place the acupuncture thing will complement the rest. I do notice a difference in my headaches while I’m resting my head on the little pillow…they go away! But that is only for 10-15 minutes a day and then the squeezing, pounding daily routine returns. I’d really like that number to go up.

Another time I kind of almost didn’t have a headache.

Thx.