It’s Friday night, and I’m out for a walk because I have nothing better to do.
I see all of the couples and groups of friends headed out for happy-hour drinks; I’ve also passed by several bar windows where a solitary person drinks alone at the bar.
I am craving a celebratory, end-of-the-workweek drink, or five. The “five” part is why I’m on a break.
How is it that some hours pass by so slowly, but some weeks, months or even years fly by in a blink? I was out for a walk earlier this afternoon, and it seems like a lifetime ago. This afternoon I spent sedentary, working at my laptop while the sun went down in a spectacular fashion that I nearly missed. I ran up to the roof when I saw a red glow in the windows of the high-rises across the street and knew the sunset must be amazing. It seems like the hours in between my two walks were an entire week’s worth of time.
I gave a homeless man $10 tonight, but only because he had a dog sitting on his lap.
I’m entertaining thoughts of xxxxxxx and Xxxx but instead I corral my train of thought to the units of Botox I’ll be injecting into my forehad on Monday morning, and exactly how much that’s going to cost me. When did I become this person? When did I get this old?
I decided not to cross under the BQE and walk through Greenpoint tonight, as has been my go-to walking route for the last couple of months. I walked earlier today, and I don’t need to go that far. But then again, how am I going to pass the time once I’m back home?!
I would love to cook something extravagant, but my fiance won’t eat it all, and I am also on a diet: trying to lose the same 10 lbs I’ve lost and gained, and lost and gained, over and over again for the last eleven years of my life. The same ten pounds that determine whether I look skeletal or curvy, at my height.
My fiance keeps asking me what I want for my birthday next month: I want snow, and I want the thigh-gap that I had in Fall of 2018. Simple things, really – but two things he cannot possibly wrap up and hand to me come February 18th.
The warm weather fucks with my head much like the malfunctioning bathroom scale does. As a person who spends a lot of time living in my own head and imagination, it is hard to conjure up pleasant winter memories of the past or even future winter scenarios when it is a balmy Spring day in January. Global warming will destroy us all, and we deserve it. Humanity has been a scourge on this earth for the last couple of hundred years.
What am I going to do when I get home?! I have the energy to walk another 8 miles, but I’ve walked these same streets on a loop for the past 11 years, and I’m bored by the same sights and smells.
I’m bored with life sometimes. That is my problem. I honestly think this is why people have kids – boredom. I would be lying if I said I haven’t considered what life would be like with a child in my advanced age – having a kid. But there is no way in hell I am ever going to survive being pregnant for almost 10 months. I also don’t want my future child dying in a water war or nuclear holocaust or wide-spread famine. I also do all of the household work and emotional labor now, and can’t imagine having a kid on top of all of this work I already do. I’d be doing all of the child-rearing.
If I had one super power, it would be to eat whatever I want and never gain weight. Right now, I’d eat an entire, large Margarita pizza from Rome to Brooklyn. Those of you who doubt I could do so, clearly don’t know me. This is why I don’t have a thigh-gap right now.
I really, really want a cocktail. A cosmo would hit the spot, or that purple gin drink that they do at Citroen in Greenpoint. I’m jonesing…
At least I’m not tweaking.
I am really considering going to the liquor store. One drink. One, celebratory, end-of-the-workweek cocktail. Drugs have no calories though…
My mind is not normal.
These are the thoughts I entertain daily. How many calories are in a cosmo? Too many. Maybe a vodka seltzer would be a better option.
I am home now, listening to the Dandy Warhols and reliving ages 21-22. Funny how music brings you right back to where you were and who you were with when you heard it. What you were feeling… I love music. It is one thing I have always been and always will be passionate about.
Depeche Mode concert is in t-minus 4 months as of tomorrow. Must get skeletal.
I have a new record player and five new records. Maybe I can take up record shopping in used record stores as a hobby. I need a hobby that is healthy and not expensive though. All of my hobbies are expensive and/or not healthy; or they straight up bore me. Maybe I’m boring…
Isn’t that what they say? “If you’re bored it’s because you are boring”?
I am sitting here on the night of January 4th, sober, bored out of my mind, hungry and depressed. Why can’t the beauty and magic of the holiday season last until at least February? January is the dreariest month…. the festive decorations come down, there are no more get-togethers and family dinners to look forward to (although not all of these functions are ones you may necessarily look forward to…); no more copious amounts of freely-flowing booze and platters of cookies and cheese. No more classic Christmas tunes and holiday cheer, no more pretty lights, and seasonal bouquets and boughs of holly to brighten up the ordinary and everyday spaces we inhabit. The fact that today was 64 degrees in NYC does not help – it just hits home that climate change has fucked everything up and we will likely never have real winters again. Don’t get me started….
I am going to try my hardest not to consume any alcohol until my birthday in February. It’s only been a few days without now and I am so fucking bored I am jonesing for a glass of wine right now (yes – being bored is an absolutely TERRIBLE reason to want to drink, which is why I needed a break). I also want to eat because I am bored. I don’t even think I’m really hungry right now… just fucking bored. I couldn’t go on my usual 2-hour walk tonight because of foul weather. I did start a new painting tonight, but it’s not bringing me the joy I anticipated it would; also, I needed the paint to dry before I could continue. Even my cats are bored. Sometimes I feel like I’m failing as a cat mom because I don’t get down on my hands and knees and play with them as much as I should. What I/they/we really need, is a house and a yard. This would surely keep all of us much more entertained and occupied.
I can’t even cook right now, which is my very favorite thing to do. My fiance is on a diet, the diet to end all diets. He’s not eating anything fun – no pasta, no carbs, no fatty sauces. How much time and effort does it take to make a salad or omelette, you know? Those take no time and effort. What I need are the challenging and time-consuming dishes. I can’t cook these meals I love to cook since he’s not eating them, and neither am I. His diet regime and fitness regime have put me into a very competitive place and now I am also determined to lose weight and get back on track. It’s all so boring… very, very boring. And the scale is fucking with me… I won’t go into details about my weight, but it just has to be wrong and it changes every time you step on it, even seconds apart. It’s whack. Also, I wear the same clothes as last year and they fit the same way they fit last year, and the scale is telling me I’ve gained 15 lbs since last year… this can’t be possible. I feel like I’m going crazy. I weighed myself on January first and almost needed to be committed due to the meltdown that ensued after weighing significantly more than I’ve weighed at any given point in the last ten years. A new scale arrived tonight, but it doesn’t work, so for now I have a cursed bathroom scale that clearly wants me to go mad. Maybe a frienemy I don’t know I have has done some voodoo spell and the possessed bathroom scale and my ensuing insanity is the result.
I had THE most boring NYE of my entire life this year. I stayed in, sad, lonely, depressed, and bored out of my mind. As usual, and for the 9th consecutive year that we’ve been together, my fiance had to work. I didn’t feel like going out and getting plastered or spending $300+ to get into a venue and buy party favors just so I could wake up hungover and poor on January 1st. Perhaps waking up hungover and poor would have been worth it though, because I sat home alone feeling sorry for myself. I was asleep before midnight, and my fiance came home from work at 3AM exhausted after a 15 hour shift and dealing with all sorts of drunken wrecks at his job. I don’t know how we used to go to after-hours at 7AM back in the day. I mean, at least back then they were actually worth the effort, the parties were way better and the party favors were way better. Everything today is a shell of its former self. Nothing has been good, fun or worth the expense since 2016.
I spent the week leading up to Christmas at my parents’ house with my cats (naturally, my fiance was working; maybe some day, before we are geriatric, we can have a single, fucking holiday season together…). I love being home and I love my family, but I think 8 days with my parents/family was just a bit too much. I know that said I wouldn’t, but of course I did end up binge-eating the entire time I was home. I ate from 9AM until I went to bed at 10:30/11PM each night, and this is not an exaggeration. I’m thankful to be back in my apartment with no snacks available or cookies of boxes of chocolate.
We had a white Christmas upstate, which was amazing. You know me and my love of snow. I wish the entire duration of winter could be filled with snow storms and a white blanket covering the bare trees and ground; winter is so ugly without snow. It was freezing cold for several days running (11 degrees), but that didn’t stop me from getting out for a daily walk! The sunrise on Christmas Eve was beautiful – mornings at my parents are just like I remember them as a kid: pink skies in the morning, snow on the ground, deer and birds in the backyard every morning and evening… It’s pure magic and peace.
I purchased a mini elliptical in early December, thinking it would help me achieve my fitness goals, but it made me gain muscle weight. My ass is like a horse’s ass right now. Like I can crack nuts when I clench my butt cheeks. Now, this is not me trying to brag, because if you know me at all, I am NOT into huge asses or boobs. That is not the body that I strive for or idolize like most of my female compatriots. I returned the machine to Target on New Year’s day, after the scale got me all sorts of fucked up in the head. When the cashier questioned why I needed to make the return, I told her straight up “I thought this machine would help me slim my butt and thighs, but I’ve gained muscle weight.” I’m sure her and her coworker talked shit after I left, but it’s true: not every woman wants a donkey-sized derriere! New Year’s day was my last day of drinking, since it was my day to celebrate the New Year with my fiance. We had a couple of drinks at Ludlow hotel (amazing and lovely, will definitely go back), and then we had dinner at St. Anslem. St. Anslem used to be great, but they switched chefs and it was a disappointment this time. I will just go to Quality Meats next time, which is what the original plan was that day, but then we decided we wanted to stay in Brooklyn. The prices at St. Anslem are the same as Quality Meats, and they don’t even have my favorite dish, steak tartare. What kind of self-proclaimed steak house doesn’t carry a staple like steak tartare?! The mushroom appetizer we had (because the one we wanted was sold out) was over-priced AF at $25 for 7 mushrooms. The mushrooms were gritty from being cooked on the grill and had no seasoning what so ever. They were tasteless. They also did not have any sort of steak sauce, but instead offered chimichurri… um, no thanks. The steak is now sold by the ounce there, and the giant T-bone in our steak was definitely the bulk of the weight. From now on, I am sticking with Quality Meats.
Happy New Year everyone! I hope it’s off to a good start…
*** This blog previously appeared unedited and under the influence of wine. It has since has been edited (whilst sober and in a better state of mind)***
PREFACE: The current state of the world has been wearing heavily on my mind and my emotional well-being for quite a while now (CLEARLY), but things really came to a head after several glasses of wine a couple of weeks ago. Naturally, I decided this was the PERFECT time to write and publish a blog here on The High Heeled Cuntessa (and to be totally unhinged in my IG stories). I woke up at 6AM the next morning and quickly un-published the blog and then deleted all of my psychotic IG stories, as I lay awake in a state of regret, mortification and hanxiety (“hanxiety” = hangover induced anxiety). I am such a mess (and not even a hot one) sometimes.
I have decided I need to not drink anymore. Alcohol does nothing for me, and it never has: it doesn’t make me thinner, it doesn’t make my skin glow, it doesn’t make me happier (maybe for a moment, but then I have hanxiety for the next several days), it definitely does NOT improve my relationships…it is literally the Devil’s drug. If it is a special occasion (ex. a holiday or birthday celebration), I will allow myself 3 drinks maximum, but only if I am with people I know I will be controlled around (i.e. my family). Anyhow, here is an updated version of my unhinged post, complete with full recipe, which I was too sloppy to write out before.
Because I have finally realized how annoying it is to scroll through a bunch of bullshit when you just want the recipe, here is my recipe for fake chicken and dumplings.
1/4 cup olive oil and/or butter
1 bag of Morning Star Fake Chicken Nuggets
2 Potatoes (Yellow or White), washed and cut into cubes (no need to peal)
3 Stalks Celery, diced
1/2 Small Onion, finely diced
3 slender carrots (or 2 large ones), diced
1 cup frozen green beans
1 cup frozen peas
Better than Chicken Bouillon
1 – 1.5 Cups Whole Milk or Dairy-milk alternative
Fresh Parsley, finely chopped
1 TBS Fresh sage, finely chopped
1 bay leaf
1 tsp. thyme leaves
2 tsp. granulated garlic
1/3 cup flour
salt and pepper to taste
FOR THE DUMPLINGS (because I’m too lazy to re-type):
Microwave frozen Morning Star nuggets for 2 minutes and then roughly chop each nugget into quarters and set aside
Prep broth by heating 3-4 cups of water in pot or sauce pan and adding in 2 TBS of Better Than Chicken bouillon; set aside for future use
Heat oil (or butter) over low heat in large sauce pan and add in onions; cook until they start to become translucent
Add in celery, granulated garlic, and fresh herbs and cook another 3 minutes
Add in flower (and additional oil/butter, if necessary) and stir for about a minute over low heat or until all oil/grease is soaked up by flour
Increase heat to medium and add in broth, 1 cup at a time, stirring constantly (you’ll likely only need about 2 – 2.5 Cups of broth + 1.5 cup milk)
Add in 1 – 1.5 cups milk, depending on desired level of thickness
Add in chopped carrots, potatoes, bay leaf and frozen veggies, and season with salt and pepper to taste
Bring to a low boil over medium heat and boil until carrots/potatoes are tender
Add in dumpling batter, 1 tsp. at a time (I suggest making only 8-10 dumplings and saving/freezing the rest of the batter)
Cook covered and over medium-low heat for 10 minutes or until dumplings are done
Gently stir in Morning Star chicken pieces
Serve and enjoy!
[INSERT LONG-WINDED CATCHER IN THE RYE TYPE, NIHILISTIC RANT HERE ABOUT HOW THE WORLD IS FUCKED AND EVERYONE IS FAKE AND HOW I’M NEVER HAVING A KID] (that sums of the gist of my prior blog…)
Me, with Mac in Cancun: My emotional support TY Beanie Baby. For Mac content, please follow @macandthefunkybunch on TikTok
Halloween has come and gone (I dressed up for myself and stayed home), my cousin’s wedding has come and gone, and now Thanksgiving has come and gone. I am on the straight and narrow until after the New Year (sober, eating healthy, getting 8 hours of sleep per night). Work has been slow given the current state of the economy and I fear for the recession and job cuts that are inevitably going to happen next year. Oh well, it’s out of my control; I can only work on myself, and that is exactly what I intend to do. I want to take Italian lessons in the new year so I can finally have a basic conversation with my in-laws. That will be my present to myself when (and if…) I receive my holiday bonus. Watch me get a Jelly of the Month gift certificate instead…. if you know you know, and if you don’t, please go watch National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation NOW.
Axl Rose, Circa “Patience” Music Video for Halloween. I have a soft spot for Axl Rose.
Came close, but my nose isn’t small enough…
I wish I could fix this world, but I can only fix myself and do good where I can do good. I will not let this world bring me down (I can do that myself with the help of alcohol and low self-esteem LOL).
I will continue to donate what small sums of money I can afford to donate to cats/rescue organizations in need and buy Christmas presents for underprivileged children, since I have no children of my own. I guess not having a mortgage or kids of my own allows me the financial freedom to help others, however small/insignificant my contributions may be. It feels good to help others, especially when I feel like I can’t help myself 😀 I certainly cannot help the world.
Had the whole plunge-pool suite to myself… just me and Mac. How romantic….
Thanksgiving was great, minus my four-day binge. I lose all self-control when I am home. I am now back in Brooklyn and determined to be the best me I can be… which means no booze and no binges, also plenty of walking (which is increasingly difficult to do, now that it is dark by the time my work day ends).
Looking forward to milking the holiday season for all it is worth. I already did my Christmas cards, although I haven’t yet started my holiday shopping as I am awaiting my bonus (or Jelly of the Month Club certificate…) to determine my budget.
I wanted to get a tree while I was upstate this past weekend, but that didn’t happen since my fiance left the day after Thanksgiving for work and I had to ride back with my sister’s family. Hopefully we can go cut down a tree this Sunday… I’m not sure where, but I refuse to buy a trash tree from the trash Home Depot near me this year, which is what we did last year.
I hope everyone (all two of you who read this + my loyal bot followers in India) have a peaceful and safe holiday season. Cheers.
The world is still on fire (literally and figuratively) and I’m counting down the days until vacation when I can mentally step away from it all for a couple of weeks (yes, I realize I am privileged to be in a position to do so). I don’t think anyone reads this blog anymore, apart from the weird Keto/fitness bots that are always giving me likes. Shout-out to all of the Keto-diet bots and other fitness themed bots out there: cheers guys!
As if war raging on in Ukraine, global warming, climate catastrophes, global inflation, impending recession, wide-spread famine, and general political discord weren’t enough, Roe v. Wade was overturned and now the U.S. government apparently doesn’t “have the power” to phase out coal. We are truly fucked as a planet and a society…. I’d say there are maybe three years left (and that’s a generous estimate) before society collapses and the world implodes. That’s why, I am looking forward to this vacation.
Work was insane the last couple of weeks – a 50 hour work week followed by 55 hours. I barely left my house, got no exercise, no fresh air, and was teetering on the verge of insanity (when am I not though….). Thankfully, I went upstate to my parents’ house for the weekend to celebrate my niece’s 10th birthday with family. I was able to get out for a decent walk each day that I was home, although I negated the exercise with all of the food I consumed.
I felt guilty leaving my cats behind in the city though while I frolicked in nature and breathed fresh air. The cats love being at my parents’ house with more space to galavant around, fresh air and lots of wildlife to watch. It was also hot AF all weekend, and our AC units shut off after about 2 hours of blowing cold air. My boyfriend was also working 13 hour days, so my poor cats didn’t eat dinner until 1:30 AM each night after being alone in the hot apartment all damn day. I feel like a bad cat mom when they’re alone for such a long stretch…. I don’t know how some people leave their cats for days at a time.
I feel like I’ve been upstate every other weekend these last few months – my mom’s birthday, mother’s day, my brother’s 30th, father’s day, my niece’s birthday party… I’m not complaining. Being home beats spending money I shouldn’t spend to stay in this disgusting city and go out drinking. I am trying to be better at saving money, and it’s easier to do when I am not in the city on the weekend.
My boyfriend and I just celebrated our 9th anniversary. It is crazy to think we have been together for nine years, even though it also seems like our first date was just last year. I was a fun, wild, 25-year old with a crappy job, creative aspirations, and probably in the best shape of my life (apart from Fall 2018, when I was in the best shape of my life). Now, I am a 34-year old seasoned veteran, with a corporate job that allows me to actually pay my bills and have extra spending money, still creative and a lot less crazy than I was at 25, and my greatest aspirations today are moving out of this fucking city and buying property in Europe (a small farm where we can have a B&B and little restaurant…. that is THE DREAM).
We celebrated 9 years by doing a sunset sail around New York Harbor, just as we did on our first date. It rained a bit around Ellis Island/Governor’s Island, but it wasn’t anything that some wine and cheap ponchos couldn’t fix! The sailboat ride was lovely – if only tickets weren’t so pricey, I would do it every couple of weeks.
My hair is almost back to an acceptable shade of strawberry-blonde, although the ends remain much lighter as a result of the bleach. I’ve also been experiencing on-going breakage due to bleach damage, and everyone keeps asking me if I’ve cut my hair. All I ever wanted was a flowing mane of hair, half-way down my back, and at this rate, that sort of length seems like a fever-dream…
My boyfriend finally cleaned the balcony off this past weekend, while I was at my parents’. It is too late in the season to plant, which saddens me greatly because it was so nice to have fresh tomatoes, peppers, and a spattering of cucumbers and eggplants these last couple of years. My plan now, is to go to a plant nursery this Sunday, and buy herbs and flowers to pretty up the balcony. I am obsessed with lavender at the moment, and want to pot some. The cats loved chilling on the balcony these last two summers, when the plants were in full bloom, and the views of the street were obstructed by the vegetation. Hopefully, they can enjoy the balcony in a couple of weeks after I get some plants potted.
I know I haven’t included a recipe on here in a while. Unfortunately, when I have a crazy work week or I am upstate for the weekend, I don’t make the elaborate meals I like to do when I have time on my hands. Now that summer is in full swing, there are lots of parties, picnics and celebrations to attend. No one wants to have to turn on the oven or stand over a stove-top for hours at a clip when it’s 90 degrees outside, so the below is the perfect recipe for a Summer get-together!
SMOKED TROUT CICCHETTI:
INGREDIENTS (the hardest part of this recipe will be procuring the ingredients if you live in a rural area):
1 lb. of smoked trout
1 container (half pint) of crème fraîche
Good quality mustard
fresh dill (rinsed and dried)
1-2 fresh baguettes
Cut the baguette(s) into thin rounds; toast in the oven at 375 degrees for 5 minutes if you prefer toasted
Smear mustard over-top of all of the baguette rounds
Top with general chunk of smoked trout
Top all with a teaspoon size dollop of crème fraîche, and garnish with a frond of fresh dill
ENJOY! These were a party favorite when I brought them to two different BBQs over Memorial Day weekend. I picked up the trout at the Scandinavian cured fish counter at Essex Market. Some large grocery stores carry smoked trout, but not all. I keep meaning to stop by Essex Market next time I plan to go upstate to pick up more smoked trout – my family loved it…. as do I…. and so do my cats.
Speaking of cats, I haven’t had an uninterrupted night of sleep in years. Tuna’s newest thing is waking me up at 4 AM for food…. it is literally impossible to ignore him. I also can’t shut him out of the bedroom or he will still wake me up by scratching at the door. It’s futile. I just get up and feed him so I can go back to sleep for a few more hours. I’ve tried giving him a snack right before I go to bed, but nothing has worked. One night, I was knocked out after taking NyQuil, and he actually scratched my back for so long that he left marks. He must have been going at it for upwards of two hours while I was basically comatose.
Since the world is inevitably on its way out, I have been shopping and treating myself to new shit far more than I know I should. After all, another recession is coming and I could lose my job at any time as a result…I should really be more careful with my consumption and spending habits. I am just so incredibly excited for Italy and Greece that I am stocking up on clothes to wear on vacation. Vacation is so close I can taste it, and I am savoring these few weeks bin the run-up to the actual travel. I am trying to buy less impractical mini dresses and crop tops in my advanced age, and more sensible sundresses and tops that are family appropriate.
I need to start prioritizing my health at all costs. I haven’t been feeling very good about my body lately. I always thought it was bullshit when people in their thirties and forties used getting older and a slowed-down metabolism as an excuse for gaining weight, but I am finding out now that it’s real. I used to be able to eat one meal a day for a week and drop 8 lbs. Now, I fast for a day and gain 5 lbs. I honestly need to stop eating late at night, drinking alcohol, and pushing myself to get out for a walk even on a 15-hour work day (yes, I had one of those last week… not OK). I am the youngest I will ever be, and there is a lot of untapped potential in my current body. I want to tap into this potential now, so I can rock the string-bikinis I bought on sale from Calzedonia with confidence on my vacation…. I better get cracking. Time is not on my side and all of these weekends spent upstate recently have not been kind to my thighs.
Does everyone else realize this world is doomed and the end is near? I think some people are blissfully oblivious to the severity of humanity’s current situation. I know it’s a pessimistic outlook and a morbid one, but between the war Russia has waged against Ukraine, the grim realization that Putin is unhinged enough to use nuclear weapons, and the ever growing threat of global warming wiping out the entire living world, the future of earth and life on it is not looking promising…
I wish there was more I could do to help. I wish I didn’t need to work in order to afford rent, pay bills and feed myself. If I was independently wealthy or had enough money in the bank for the future, I would devote my life to rescuing animals or working for a non-profit that helps refugees. The sad reality is, I need a job that pays money to afford my life. Although I’m over everything… living in this city, working at a law firm, paying bills and still just somehow getting by despite working non stop. I don’t think I’d mind working so much if I was benefiting some cause or helping people…. instead, I help the rich get richer as I continue slaving away at the bottom of the food chain, so to speak. I’m not complaining – I’m grateful my country is not at war and I have a secure home and food on the table. But it seems so pointless most of the time…. working to pay rent and bills…. not helping any specific cause or the world around me as it crumbles day by day. I can’t do this forever… but I am so over working for other people and corporations. I want to work for myself but I’m not sure how to start without going into debt… and that is scary when you have no money.
Every since the pandemic started in 2020, I’ve seen an array of people selling their artwork and somehow making a profit. No offense to anyone – but some of this art work is nothing I’d ever consider “good” or anything I’d would think would ever sell for more than $50 (SIDE NOTE: art is totally subjective and in the eye of the beholder, like beauty – so my opinion counts for very little). Anyhow, it made me realize that perhaps I can also sell my art… why not? There’s a market out there for everything, CLEARLY. If you or anyone you know is looking for a grunge, “colorful” portrait of a woman, please feel free to contact me here or on IG. I’ve also listed my work on Saatchiart.com.
GRUNGE GIRLS: The Collection
It’s been five months since I went off the deep end and decided to bleach my hair. I regretted it immediately, but after a few washes, the blonde looked OK for a couple of months. by Mid-February, I was over it. Blonde just is not my color or my personality… at all. I desperately want[ed] to return to red/stawberry-blonde, so I made an appointment with my hair dresser upstate, so I wouldn’t have to fork over a month’s rent to dye my hair again. Who knew that you couldn’t go from bleached blonde to red in one process/sitting?! I sure as hell didn’t. My hair dresser had to let me down when she told me I would risk my hair turning pink or orange if she tried to go from bleached to red in one day. I was devastated when I realized I will basically be a brunette until I can go see her again to complete the process. I mean, the brunette is actually a refreshing change from the blonde, but my hair has never been this dark, and it gives me kind of an emo vibe with my fair skin. I’m counting down the days until I see her again at the end of April. In the meantime, I am jealous of every redhead I see on the street….
I read so many books since the pandemic started in 2020 – more in one year (2020) since I’ve read altogether since college. I’m glad that I rediscovered my love of reading and books and have continued to buy/read more books since the first lockdown. In the last two weeks, I read “Not Dead and Not for Sale,” Scott Weiland’s memoir, and then, because I enjoyed that so much, felt compelled to buy and read his ex-wife, Mary Forsberg’s memoir “Fall to Pieces.” I must say, her memoir, which was published two years before he wrote his, was way more interesting and also better-written (she had a co-author/writer, whereas I am quite sure Scott Weiland did not). I literally did not put the book down and finished it in two days, even though I worked both days. I spent every free minute and both evenings reading it – I was sad when it was over. I love books like that – when someone tells a story in first-person and you feel like you are there/have been there with them. I love when people are honest and relatable. I need to find more books like this.
The only other books that I have enjoyed so much recently are of a similar nature. I really loved “My Dark Vanessa” by Kate Elizabeth Russell. I plowed through that in the first few days of quarantine in March 2020. Then I also plowed through “How to Murder Your Life”, by Cat Marnell a month later. I also loved “Meet me in the Bathroom,” by Lizzy Goodman, about the late 90s/early 2000s indie/rock scene in NYC. Like I couldn’t get enough – first hand accounts, places I remember, bands I loved, sex, drugs, rock and roll. It really makes for great reading. If anyone has any suggestions, please drop a comment or reach out via IG. I am desperately seeking a new book that I can’t put down.
I probably start most blogs off by saying this, but HOLY SHIZZLE – can you believe it’s already mid-August?! I can’t… wasn’t it just February?!? I swear, time flies when you spend every day working just to pay rent and bills.
My dad is turning 70 next week, but we will all have to celebrate next month, since my parents leave for their vacation that day. I’m really happy they’re going on a vacation – they deserve one. We all do at this point. I am going to see Korn on Tuesday, so that’s also something to look forward to. I’ve only been waiting for this concert ALL summer. The last band I saw before the pandemic was Korn in August 2019, and they’ll be the first band I see… well – I guess the pandemic is still happening so I can’t say “after the pandemic.”
Speaking of which, we are finally going on a well-deserved and much needed vacation in just three, short weeks. We will finally be able to visit my BF’s parents for the first time in forever, and will be traveling to Venice on September 5th. We are then flying to Nice on the 15th, renting a car, and road-tripping to Paris. I have literally been living, I repeat: LIVING, for this trip. We booked for September thinking that things (the pandemic, COVID, vaccination rates) would only continue to improve over the summer. Now that Delta variant has reared its ugly head, I must admit that I fear the worst – foiled travel plans, another lock-down in Italy, curfews, restrictions, etc.
I swear to God, I will swim the Atlantic if I have to. In the event that our vacation plans are ruined or put on hold YET AGAIN, I will likely want to die anyhow, so I’ll just take my chances of swimming across the ocean and being eaten by sharks or drowning; which ever comes first. Fuck it. What will I have to live for if this trip doesn’t happen next month?! My cats and my family, I guess. But I will be one miserable bitch. And yes, this is my jealous side showing itself, but after everyone else I know took their vacations this summer and was able to travel, if my plans get fucked-over after everyone else had a break, I will be pissed. Let’s hope it doesn’t come down to this. I have a lot to be thankful for, I know this. But at the same time, I haven’t been to the beach, a pool, or a weekend away once this summer (*weekends spent at my parents’ house don’t count). I haven’t worn a swimsuit once, and I haven’t been in a hot tub since last Fall. I’ve just been working non-stop and walking 5 miles daily to feed my sister’s cat for the last three weeks; I’ve had only one day a week off with my boyfriend (sometimes not even that…) since last Spring – he probably needs this vacation way more than I do. I’ve been mentally checked out for the last three months… call it ‘burnout’, call it ‘not giving a fuck’ – I just really need to get away.
I’ve been busy trying to figure out how I will get the required PCR test with results back in the 48 hours before I board the Alitalia plane for Venice. In addition to requiring vaccination to travel to Italy, we need to present negative PCR test results. I also have to drop off my cats at Misty Ridge Cat Lodge upstate. I think I’m going to get tested early Friday morning, and then I’ll drive my cats to my parents’ house and drop them off on Saturday and then take public transit back to NYC. Everyone is worried about me driving home – I relinquished my car back in 2012 when I moved to NYC and my boyfriend has only owned stick-shift vehicles up until this year, so I am very out of practice. I’m basically like Mr. Magoo behind the wheel. I think it’s my vision, honestly…. I mean I’m not the worst driver, but I do suck. Driving isn’t my strength. It’s going to be stressful and exhausting to swing it all, doing all of that rushing around and traveling before our flight on Sunday, but I will reward myself with copious amounts of vino and cicchetti upon arrival in Venice.
I’ve been daydreaming of drinking wine in a vineyard in Provence, doing a cicchetti/wine crawl in Venice, visiting a friend in Bologna, and seeing the south of France. Naturally this daydreaming involves fantasies of all the outfits I will wear. I hope I actually wear all of the dresses I’ve purchased specifically for this trip… I feel like I over-pack and then end up in the same pair of jeans every time I go away. Let’s face it – it’s more practical to wear jeans when you’re being a tourist and walking 6 miles a day.
Now I’m just waiting on a new pair of Superga platform sneakers to arrive for my trip. I have been averaging about 37 miles a week (walking) these past two months, and I burn through sneakers like crazy. I hate it – it makes me feel very wasteful, but I literally run them into the ground. Having a go in the washer isn’t going to save them when they have holes burned through the rubber soles, you know what I mean? I got a nice discount on Superga’s website since I signed up for emails though… so I don’t fee terrible about what I spent.
I think our balcony garden peaked earlier this month – we harvested the large eggplants, the Japanese eggplants, four peppers, and the cherry tomato plant was producing about 8-10 ripe tomatoes a day. It’s just been so ungodly hot, that now the plans are kind of fried, despite watering them. There are still a lot of green Roma tomatoes though that should be ripe in another couple of weeks, and the basil is still growing like crazy. Last year we were lucky enough to still have cherry tomatoes ripening into late October! Global warming, am I right? (don’t even get me started on global warming…. it’s been one of my biggest sources of anxiety lately).
It’s been extremely hot here in NYC, so I’ve mostly been sticking to meals that do not involve the oven or multiple burners going at once. I did make some awesome polpette a couple of weeks ago (I dare say, the best batch I’ve ever made), using Field Roast vegetarian sausage. If you’re curious as to exactly what polpette are, and how they differ from regular meatballs, you can read all about it in this post from 2019. The recipe in the past post also uses real meat, if that is your jam.
3-4 Idaho potatoes (these will be cut up, boiled, mashed and seasoned)
3 Tbsp vegan butter
4 Field Roast brand “sausages” (I prefer the Italian Garlic and Fennel ones)
2 cups seasoned breadcrumbs
1/2 cup finely grated Parmigiano
1/2 cup finely diced white or yellow onion
3 brown eggs from free range chickens (1 egg goes into the Polpette mixture and otthe other two eggs are whisked and use for breading purposes)
2 Tbsp freshly chopped parsely
2 Tbsp freshly chopped basil
1 Tbsp granulated garlic
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried basil
salt and pepper
olive oil (for frying)
1 jar quality marinara sauce for dipping (Rao’s marinara is perfect)
Use the potatoes to make mashed potatoes (cut into large chunks, and boil in salted water until penetrable with the tines of a fork… usually 15-20 min)
Drain the potatoes, reserving 1/3 cup of the potato water to be mashed with the potatoes
Go ahead and season the potatoes as you normally would – I prefer a generous amount of vegan butter, salt, granulated garlic and pepper. Mash away! Once mashed, set aside.
Finely dice 1/2 of a yellow or white onion
In a medium saucepan, heat 3 Tbs. of olive oil on low heat and add in the onions
Chop the sausages into a rough/crumble consistency and add the crubmles into the saucepan with the onions. Cook over low-medium heat for 3-4 minutes and spoon mixture into a large mixing bowl.
Add in about 1/2 of the mashed potatoes (the other half can be eaten as is, or used in another recipe)
Add in 1 egg, the seasonings (granulated garlic, dried oregano, dried basil, salt and pepper, the chopped parsley and fresh basil), 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano, and 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
Thoroughly mix everything together using your hands, and roll into meaball-sized balls (*you may need to add more breadcrumbs depending on the consistency)
Set the balls aside and prep your breading station:
Whisk 2 eggs together in a bowl
In another bowl, add in the remaining breadcrumbs, salt, pepper, 1 tsp. of granulated garlic, and some dried oregano and mix together
In a large saucepan, heat 1/3 cup olive oil over low-medium heat
Take each ball, dip into the egg mixture and then gently roll/coat in the breadcrumb mixture and add into frying pan
You’ll want to gently turn the balls every 1-2 minutes so all sides achieve the same, even golden-brown color
Each ball will probably need a fry time of around 6 minutes or so, just remember to keep track of which balls have just gone into the pan, and which ones are finishing up and need to come out of the pan (assuming that your pan will not be big enough to fry all the balls at once)
Heat up the marinara sauce in a separate saucepan and serve on the side of the polpette once warm. Garnish the polpette with fresh basil or parsley and a sprinkle of grated Parm! Enjoy 🙂
Now I want to make polpette… perhaps that will be my Friday night excitement. Here are a couple of pics from a walk I took last week – the sunset was beautiful. I kind of wish I had made it to my boyfriend’s venue prior to sunset, since I would have had an even better view from a skyscraper!
Before I dive into the recipe for the above pictured dish, or bore you with the bullshit of my life, let me first provide an update on the two, local street cats I’ve been busting my ass to help get off the streets.
If you’ll recall from my earlier post(s), or if you follow me or my cats on Instagram, you’ll know that my current life mission has been helping these two cats that live a few streets down from me. It has honestly been more work, effort, time and emotional taxation than I initially assumed it would be – first reaching-out to, and now coordinating-with various local rescues and the cats’ long-time feeder to help them. My goal is and was to have both cats see a vet, and then be placed together with a foster, adopter, or perhaps sent to live the rest of their days in a cat sanctuary or a bucolic barn setting.
I thought that once I found a local rescue group willing to assist, my job would be over, but I’m actually doing almost all of the work. Finding a rescue group that was able and willing to help literally took about two months of back and forth Instagram messaging with upwards of five different rescues. Greenpoint Cats (@greenpoint_cats) said that they would help trap the cats, extend their rescue discount at the vet they use, and also now, they’re saying that they can also try to help find a foster or look into other placement options. This is extremely helpful, since I don’t know where to begin.
The crappy part of all of this has been the fact that it is “kitten season” – the time of year when litter after litter of homeless kittens and pregnant mothers are found on the streets, in abandoned buildings, delis, etc.. Obviously, local rescues are inundated with calls to help rescue these kittens and pregnant moms, and they’ve been taking priority – which is understandable. There have also been a lot of abandoned cats and pets that people call in and need to be rescued immediately from terrible situations; cats found in cardboard boxes or cat carriers, just left on the street scared and in their own filth, cats seen being kicked out of cars on the highway… people honestly disgust me. Don’t even get me started though…. it makes my blood boil.
Since all of these rescues are non-profit organizations, they rely on donations from people to help vet the cats they take in or find that are in need of medical assistance. I’m not sure why I assumed they’d be sitting on a pile of cash and ready to cover vet bills, but they aren’t, and so it was suggested I start a GoFundMe to help pay for these two cats’ vet bills. There is no way I make enough money to cover their expenses by myself, after all, I have two cats of my own, rent, bills and lot on my plate as is. I WISH I had funds to help random stray cats, and every other animal in need, but sadly, I do not. And so, I swallowed my pride and started a GoFundMe.
If you are reading this right now and you’ve already contributed, thank you again. Thank you, thank you, thank you – you don’t know how much I appreciate the fact that someone else cares!!! If you are reading this and you are my friend in real life and have not contributed, please do so. All I am asking for is $5 that you might otherwise spend on booze, drugs, or takeout food. I’m not asking for a large contribution, as I know everyone is struggling right now, and everyone has their own priorities (which are clearly not the same as mine). But seriously, if you consider yourself my friend, you will know how important this is to me, SO PLEASE DO SOMETHING TO HELP 🙂
Anyhow, I digress. I never realized how annoying and time consuming it would be to start and run a GoFundMe and acquiesce to asking family, friends and social media friends to contribute. It feels similar to begging, and I am not a fan. A lot of people have surprised me by donating and sharing – people I don’t even know in real life and am only friends with on Social Media. So, here is an extra thank you to them!!!! It has really warmed my heart to see how generous people you don’t even know in real life can be!!! I am truly grateful.
Coordinating with the cats’ long-time feeder has also been stressful. She means well and has already been doing a huge part by feeding these two cats over the last 6-7 years. There used to be a colony of FIVE CATS! Can you believe it??? She was the one who initially coordinated with ASPCA to have them spayed and neutered and has been feeding them twice a day, every day for the last several years. That is serious work – not to mention emotional heartache every time one of them gets sick or the weather turns bad and she cannot bring them in. Several of the cats have died over the years, and now just the two remaining girls remain – it is my goal that they can spend the last years of their lives comfortably and without worry or stress or struggle.
We have finally set a date to trap and bring them to the vet for checkups, vaccinations, etc. Both cats will be brought to the vet in DUMBO by me, on Friday, May 28th. I’m hoping that neither cat needs extensive work or treatment. I’m also praying neither cat is FeLV positive, as their feeder assumes that they are (the other cats in the colony that passed away were positive).
After we better know the condition of the cats’ health, we will be able to better understand what kind of living arrangements they will require or what would be the best option for them. No matter where they go, we want to keep them together, since they’ve been friends and each other’s support all these years on the street. Finding a foster is going to be hard since they are two older cats, one of whom is friendly and one of whom is almost feral. If you are reading this right now, and you live in the tri-state area and either you or someone you know would be happy to foster or adopt both cats, please reach out to me!!!! I would literally be willing to drive the cats upwards of 100 miles in any direction if we can find a good fit.
Anyhow, that is my update on the McKibbin cats. I’ve probably been putting in an average of 2-3 extra hours each day promoting the GoFundMe, talking to and coordinating with the rescue and the cats’ regular feeder, and thinking of ways to find these cats a home. The individuals for whom this is a full time or part-time job (working for the local animal rescue groups) do not get nearly enough praise or reward for all the good they do in this world, and I’m slowly learning how fucking hard this work is. If anyone out there helps animals in need, thank you for what you do – you’re making this world a better place and making a huge difference in their lives.
My boyfriend was off on Tuesday night last week, and we were able to get in to one of our favorite places for dinner: Cecconi’s DUMBO! What a treat! We hadn’t been in a couple of years, I think – the last time was definitely before Corona times.
The restaurant is so romantic – beautiful, dark, classic and cozy. The perfect spot for a dinner date, or for a small family dinner. I really need to bring my parents here next time they visit. The food was great as always – cooked to perfection (or, not cooked, in the case of the salmon tartare), and the cocktail I had was delicious. Needless to say, I am looking forward to next time! The building that the restaurant is in (55 Water Street), is also really cool – there are some fun shops and now the building has an accessible rooftop!
My boyfriend was “partially” off on Sunday, which is definitely better than the usual 14-hour, 12pm – 1:30am shift he has been doing for the last 4 months. Sunday used to be our day off – the only FULL day off we both had – where neither him nor myself was working. I really miss being able to go out late on Saturdays, sleep in late on Sundays, and take a drive together or do something productive with our day together. Alas, we still had to go into Elsie for several hours this past Sunday, but I got a couple drinks out of it, so I’m not complaining. I also got to check out the new rooftop he helped open, the Glass Ceiling Nomad.
After we left Elsie, we enjoyed a late and quiet dinner at my favorite Brooklyn/Williamsburg sushi (Japanese Tapas, rather) spot of all time: Bozu.
Bozu is a Williamsburg institution – the place has been open since 2004, before all of the yuppies, wall street douche bags, trust-fund-wanna-be-artists, celebrities and models invaded North Williamsburg and ruined its vibe.
It’s technically a “Japanese tapas” place, but they are known for their sushi bombs (“partyboms” on the menu), which do not disappoint and which I order EVERY SINGLE TIME I eat here. I’ve been going here since 2008. I FUCKING love this place, although right now, they have a limited drink menu. I’ve really been missing that lychee martini and the blood orange cocktail they used to make.
They do still have their tofu salad, which is made with silky tofu they make in-house, and some delicious zucchini that’s been marinated in a soy based dressing. I truly hope this place stays open forever. It’s one of my favorites and holds a special place in my heart. Honestly, the prices are not bad either. The partybomb comes with 12 huge pieces of sushi and is pretty filling for two people to share along with a couple of appetizers thrown in!
Yeah, yeah, yeah – I know what you’re thinking after reading this caption: that I said I was done drinking. I totally am! On WEEKDAYS. I’ve realized that I feel a lot healthier, mentally stable, and productive just by avoiding alcohol Monday – Thursday. I’m not going to go cold-turkey on weekends – it’s just too difficult and restrictive. I cannot imagine going to a rooftop or a restaurant and not allowing myself one or two drinks. I mean, WTF??? Unless someone has a serious problem abusing alcohol or they are totally allergic (which, by the way, I think I am at this stage in my life… oh well) I don’t see why they need to restrict themselves to the point of a total teetotaler.
I’m still trying to walk a certain number of miles each day (2-3 is my weekday goal) and do basic floor exercises at home. I feel so much better emotionally, mentally, and physically when I am not completely sedentary in front of my work laptop and iphone all day. It just isn’t healthy to NOT be moving. In order to encourage and motivate myself to work out, I invested in an adorable new workout outfit:
Not only am I obsessed with the colors and how perfectly this hand-dyed ensemble fits me, but it also smells HEAVENLY. You can check out her Etsy shop here:
SUNSHINE HONEY EARTH – the perfect shop to find a hand-dyed gift for someone special or just for yourself! She also makes hand-dyed cloth towels, lounge sets, etc.
In other news, we are slated to go back to the office on July 6th. If you know me, you probably know I’d rather die than go back to the office, that is not an exaggeration. I really need to start looking for another job, because I refuse to go back to the office. Life has been so good without the addition of 2 hours added onto each workday, spent in transit and riding the disgusting, fucking subway.
In fact, the subway is still so dangerous, I am not even comfortable riding it twice daily, 3-5 days a week. There are still slashings happening every single day in the subway and on the subway platforms, and they happen during broad daylight. Does my company really want to put hundreds of commuters at risk by exposing them to that?
Not only am I totally against riding the subway twice daily for the purposes of work, but I honestly do not know how I got things done when I had to spend 7+ hours of each day sitting in my Manhattan office, and the extra 2 hours running to and from and riding trains to go there and then go back home again. I still average only 6.5 hours of sleep a night (on a good night), because there is just so much to do in a 24-hour day. I’m writing this at 12:30 am right now, because by the time I finished taking care of everything I needed to tonight, it was 10:30 pm.
I don’t know how I managed to look after and care for my cats, keep a clean apartment, run errands and pick up groceries, cook dinner, take care of myself, have any sort of discretionary free time to write, etc., and manage to sleep at least 6 hours a night when I was commuting and working in the office. No wonder I was burnt out all the time and frazzled. I don’t know how I did it all before, and I honestly do not want to go back to that stressful lifestyle. The best thing about working from home has been the extra hour of sleep each morning, being able to run an errand or grab groceries when work is slow for 30 minutes, exercising on my floor when work is slow for a few minutes, and just doing all of the other shit I used to have to wait until 6:30 pm to do each night after I finally got home from work. FUCK THAT. I’ll do whatever it takes to never go back to that office…
Anyhow, I digress…..
Now that you’re all caught up with the cat situation and on my relatively boring existence, here is the recipe you’ve been waiting for. This is the perfect meal to cook for someone special, someone you’re trying to impress, or just for yourself because you have time on your hands and you deserve it! This is also my least favorite part of every blog, because despite the fact that I live for cooking, writing out a recipe and directions is really tedious and boring.
1 pound of fresh or frozen sea scallops
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and smashed
1/4 cup olive oil
3 TBS butter
1 large red pepper
1 small can tomato paste
1 bottle of dry white wine or rose (you’ll need 1 cup for the rice, and 1/2 cup for the bisque)
1 box seafood stock, or bottle of clam juice
1.5 cups of wild, black rice
2 cups of chicken (or vegetarian – chicken) stock** I make mine using “Better Than Bouillon” “No-chicken base,” but boxed stock works just as well
large dollop of sour cream or a few Tbs. of heavy cream
Freshly chopped chives (to garnish)
sprinkle of cayenne pepper
salt and pepper to taste
*If you DO NOT have a gas-burning range, you’ll need to start with the roasted red pepper in the oven: heat oven to 400 degrees, brush pepper in olive oil, and roast pepper for 20 minutes on one side, before flipping to the other side and roasting for another 20 minutes.** Set pepper aside once roasted.
In a medium sauce pan, heat the olive oil over low heat
Peel and smash the two cloves of garlic and place into the pot of oil, cooking for a minute and stirring occasionally
Add in the dry rice, and coat with oil, cooking over low heat and stirring for two minutes, raise the temperature of the burner to medium
Add 1 cup of wine and stir, cover and let cook for about 1 minute
Reduce heat back to low, and add in 2 cups of the clam juice (or seafood stock); stir and cover until most of the liquid has been absorbed, checking on the rice and stirring occasionally to see if more liquid is needed
For every 1 – 1.5 cups of liquid, the rice takes about 15-20 minutes of cooking over low heat to absorb the liquid
Once the stock/clam juice has been absorbed, add in 1 cup of water at a time, intermittently stirring and keeping covered to make sure it is being absorbed and more liquid is not needed
At some point, taste the rice to see if it needs any salt or pepper
You will know the rice is done once the grains have expanded and it is edible (you don’t want the rice to be hard). Take the pot of rice off the heat and set aside.
If you’ll be roasting your red pepper over a gas flame, grab some tongs to assist. Roast the pepper over a low flame, turning every couple of minutes.
If is OK to leave the pepper on the cast iron burner for a minute or two (without holding it with the tongs), so long as the flame is very low.
Once the pepper grows soft and blackened, you’ll know it is thoroughly cooked. This process takes about 20-25 minutes.
Take your roasted red pepper, and slough off the blackened/charred skin, before cutting into 1-inch chunks.
Next, you’ll want to prepare your chicken (vegetarian-chicken) stock, if it is not coming directly from a box
Heat up 2 cups of water over medium heat in a small sauce pan and add in 1.5 tsps of the ‘Better Than Bouillon’ and stir until dissolved
Empty the stock into a pyrex measuring cup or small bowl; you’re going to use the same small saucepan to make your bisque
Next, you’re going to heat up the 1 Tbs. of butter in the same sauce pan you heated up your stock in, over low heat
Add in the chunks of roasted red pepper, and 2-3 Tbs. of the tomato paste and stir together over low heat
Add in 1/2 cup of the wine, and stir
Add in a 1 – 1.5 cups of the stock and stir; you’ll want this mixture to remain fairly thick
Pour the contents of your pot into a blender, and blend on medium
Add the blended contents back to the sauce pan, and add in a few Tbs. of heavy cream or a generous dollop of sour cream and stir over low heat
Add in a pinch of cayenne, and salt and pepper to taste
Feel free to add more liquid (either stock or cream) if needed, until the consistency is that of a thick soup, if it is not already
Set aside the bisque
Next, you’ll want to pat your scallops dry with a paper towel, and sprinkle with salt and pepper
In a cast iron skillet, heat 2 Tbs. butter over medium heat
Once the butter is sizzling, add in your scallops, and cook for about 1.5 – 2 minutes on each side, until they are golden brown
Set the scallops aside, and re-heat the bisque and rice (if necessary)
To plate: put a ladle of bisque onto a plate, a pile of rice slightly to the side, and arrange your scallops around the rice.
What a year it has been for all of us! I’m hoping 2021 will be an improvement and things will start to get better by Spring, but I won’t hold my breath (with this new strain of COVID and the entire restaurant/hospitality industry in shambles, shit might get a lot worse before it gets better). I’m just thankful I am still here, having survived a mild case of COVID, my friends and family are all healthy, my boyfriend’s parents are healthy, and I am still gainfully employed (for now…. ).
I thought my senses of smell and taste had fully returned after my October bought of Corona-virus, but for some reason I am now smelling a phantom smell of wood smoke 24/7. It started when I was at my parent’s house for Christmas – they have a wood stove, and I thought there was a back-draft because even in the bedroom at the opposite end of the house, I was smelling smoke. Well, I am back in my Brooklyn apartment and I still smell wood smoke, even in the absence of a fire. I guess there are worse phantom smells I could be smelling. I am hoping that eventually my senses will return to normal one day soon. There are obviously much worse things that could have happened to me with this virus, but I feel I am starting to go insane when I can’t focus on anything but the smoke I am smelling that’s not actually there.
Christmas was quiet one, but I was thankful to be home with my family for several days, instead of just the 48 hours I usually seem to have with them for Christmas (it was the first year in 8 years that my boyfriend didn’t have to work on Christmas Eve… what a treat….). We spent Christmas day at my parent’s house with my sister’s family, and had breakfast and dinner together. It was nice to stay home and not have to cart a bunch of presents and hot dishes elsewhere for the larger family dinner we would normally have. The next day, once the rain and snow had stopped, temps dropped to about 20 degrees Fahrenheit, and the windchill made it feel like 12 degrees, but that didn’t stop us from getting together with my mom’s side of the family for a 3-hour outdoor get-together. It was frigid, but we had a fire and hot beverages and certainly made the most of it.
I wish I could post quality videos here, but the quality is always compromised. I saved all of my Christmas pictures and videos of deer, the big snow fall, and peaceful mornings upstate to my Instagram highlight reel titled “Winter 2020” (in case you need some bucolic scenery in your life).
Anyhow, here we are on the last day of 2020. I would say good-riddance, but 2020 had a few perks. It was nice to have an excuse to say ‘no’ to people more often, regarding social functions etc. Before this year, I was constantly feeling burnt-out and never had any real down-time. Any time not spent working I felt like I had to engage in social functions or hanging out with friends, even when what I really needed was some quiet time to myself. It has always been hard for me to say ‘no’ without feeling guilty, but this year’s emphasis on self-care really opened my eyes. It’s OK to do nothing sometimes.
With that being said though, I think I’ve had enough quiet time now, and cannot wait to go to a mega-concert or a rave. I miss being surrounded by happy, united people – all sweaty and smiling, having fun and enjoying themselves. That is what I miss the most. I hope that by summer 2020 we can all attend concerts and big parties again.
I never keep my New Year’s resolutions, and the resolutions I made last year were pretty much impossible to keep with the global pandemic and lock-downs happening worldwide (ex. “travel more”….. RIGHTTTT). This year, I’m sticking to resolutions that won’t be influenced by outside forces, and also giving myself some leniency!
My New Year’s Resolutions:
Stop drinking alcohol (will make exceptions for social occasions such as birthdays, holidays, and romantic dinners out (if those ever happen again….)).
Go *mostly* vegan (will make exceptions for bivalve-mollusks, farm-fresh eggs (i.e. eggs picked up directly from the farm where I can see the chickens for myself), and from time-to-time, cheese (if it is a special occasion and good-quality cheese)).
Get out for a walk each and every day, no matter what (2.5 miles minimum).
Write more often.
Save more money (should be easier to do since we still can’t have social lives, and also since I won’t be spending money on wine and booze).
That’s it. These should be fairly easy goals to stick to for me, minus the daily walking, which can be difficult when the weather is shitty or if I get stuck working a 15-hour day (which has sadly happened a few times over the course of this year).
Cheers to healthy, happy and prosperous New Year – let’s hope 2021 is even a fraction better than 2020 has been!
Can you believe I started writing this blog a month ago and never finished? I sure as hell can. It’s been forever (what’s new?). This year is almost over, and the sad reality of a COVID Christmas season is upon us. I know I thought I had corona virus back in March, but I guess I was mistaken, because I actually tested positive for Corona last month, in October. Cheers fam. I survived unscathed… apart from the fact that four weeks later, I can still barely taste or smell. But if that’s the small price to pay for not being critically ill, well by God I’ll take it! So yeah, if you follow me on Instagram and wonder why I haven’t been cooking as much, it’s because for the last few weeks I haven’t been able to taste or smell ANYTHING. You could have held dog shit or the world’s most expensive perfume under my nose a couple of weeks ago, and I wouldn’t have been able to tell the difference because I wouldn’t have smelled either. As far as taste, that is also coming back. Two weeks ago I could only taste extreme salt or sugar. I couldn’t taste spicy though or sour. I could eat chocolate or Nutella and it would just taste sweet, but not chocolaty. I still can’t really smell or taste coffee. Thankfully, my sense of smell of taste and smell are slowly coming back… SLOWLY.
Leading up to my positive diagnoses, I had a slightly elevated temperature and felt a bit “off” for about a week prior, but I thought it was the change of seasons. Honestly, a common cold would normally include worse symptoms than what I experienced. My throat didn’t hurt, but felt a little “tight.” Kind of like when you first turn the A.C. on when summer hits. I had no body aches, no cough, no real fever (my temp was like 100 degrees one day, but I thought it was because I was hungover). I knew that I needed to go get tested though, when I lost my sense of smell and taste one night… since normally I have the sensory capabilities of a bloodhound (I can usually smell if someone had one drink 6 hours ago and what the neighbor two floors down is cooking). I went to a walk in clinic knowing I was going to test positive, and sure enough I did.
Needless to say, I wasn’t very hungry for the first couple of weeks that I couldn’t smell or taste, and much to my entertainment, I lost a few pounds. This was the only upside. Sadly, after I tested negative, I went home to watch my sister’s kids for five days (like all day and overnight… not just “babysitting”), on top of also working from home. The stress of this arrangement caused me to senselessly binge eat for five days straight and gain back all the weight I’d lost plus some. I can never win. I am honestly just thankful that I didn’t pass the virus onto my sister or to my niece and nephew, because they are the only people that I hung out with (other than my live-in boyfriend) for the week leading up to my diagnosis. I am also thankful that I lost my sense of smell and taste, otherwise I might have never gotten tested and unknowingly passed it onto my parents.
SIDE NOTE (after watching kids and basically being a single mom for 5 days):
If you are reading this and you are a mom, I applaud you. Legit props to any mothers out there, especially working moms. I don’t know how you do it, because I was ready to off myself numerous times throughout each day that I watched two kids, and I was so damn tired each night that it was honestly all I could do just to scroll through Instagram after the kids were finally asleep. Kids and motherhood are a beautiful thing for some people, but I’ve decided I am NOT cut out for that life. Furthermore, we all know that moms do like 90+ percent of the work when it comes to child-rearing and keeping the house clean and running functionally, so like, extra extra props to all of you.
Anyhow, despite this last month that is both a total blur and a total shit-show, I’ve still been cooking (just not regularly posting what I cook). Because I have been cooking for so long now, I know how much of and which seasonings and ingredients to add, regardless of whether or not I can actually taste/enjoy the finished meal. It’s a true gift…. possibly the only thing I was gifted with in this life, besides my twisted sense of humor.
I don’t think that we are going home for Thanksgiving this year do to COVID cases picking back up and my boyfriend’s work schedule (and mine). It’s honestly not that tragic for me. Having worked a few years of retail in the past, I’ve missed a couple of Thanksgivings in my life, and I can honestly say that there are some upsides. I won’t have to dodge questions about why I don’t have any turkey on my plate. I also won’t end up binge eating for 4-days straight, which is usually what happens on any given weekend spent home (the stress of being with family, coupled with the availability of my favorite snacks, paired with the boredom of being in a rural town always sends me into a tailspin…). Honestly, missing Christmas is much more tragic… I’m hoping that doesn’t happen.
Also, my sister and her family will be overseas, so that really takes away from the joy and excitement (kids really do make holidays better…my mom wasn’t lying). I think I’ll do a vegetarian or pescatarian Thanksgiving for just me and my boyfriend here in the city. I will plan to make all of the sides (mashed potatoes, *mushroom* gravy, stuffing, green bean casserole, etc.) and then do either a fo-turkey, or lobster or scallops as the main dish. I mean, you can’t pour mushroom gravy over seafood, but l’ll improvise and adjust all the dishes once I know for sure what the game plan is. My favorite Thanksgiving dishes were always stuffing and green bean casserole – both of which I have perfected in the art of making vegan, so that’s a done deal.
As the pandemic drags on into the 10th month, and winter is fully upon us, the outlook seems bleak. The days are shorter, and we have complete night by 4:30pm each day. The impending doom of another shutdown/lock-down is also making anxiety and stress levels go up across the world. With everything being so dismal, it is important to take time out (when we can) and take care of ourselves (to the extent we can). I mean, if I was really taking care of myself, I’d probably need to see a therapist weekly, start hitting the gym, and stop drinking wine. But, alas… since these things aren’t possible in the time being, I resort to long baths and painting my nails. One of the worst things about the entire last ten months has been the fact that none of us (most of us) don’t really have anything to look forward to (or so it seems).
It’s hard finding motivation to take care of yourself when you aren’t regularly seeing people or socializing. I find myself asking “what is the point?” more often than not. I miss being able to have future plans that I looked forward to – concerts, travel, parties, etc.. I know that these will come back one day (hopefully sooner than later), but in the meantime, I honestly don’t know what to look forward to, because even weekends kind of suck now.
Anyhow. The way things are going, I am prepared for a very emo holiday season. Christmas is normally my favorite time of the year. This year is not looking so bright or merry with cases picking up all over the globe and everything shutting down again. Things were so promising for a few months – why the fuck couldn’t we keep it that way?! I’ll tell you why – because we got careless and sloppy and now we are all paying the price (myself included in this demographic).
I am scared about getting laid-off if things haven’t improved by early next year. I am also scared about another shutdown of restaurants/bars here in NYC, since my boyfriend and most of my friends are working in the hospitality industry, and have either been out of work for months, or will be out of work again. Scary fucking times ‘yo. But honestly, what can we do? I guess all we can do is take it day by day and to appreciate the little things in this life. Or, rather, appreciate the important things.
If you have a roof over your head (even if you’re scared of losing it in a couple of months), food in your fridge and in your belly, a small network of friends or a family who you know will help you out when times are tough, and if you are healthy, you are doing better than most of the world. Be thankful for all of these things that you might regularly take for granted. The worse this world gets, and the more uncertain my future is, the more thankful I am for even the things I used to take for granted (my health, my *sometimes dysfunctional* family, the people who love me unconditionally, having food to eat, etc.).
I’d like to start this blog off by acknowledging how lucky I am – I am still employed and able to work from home (for now… that may all change in the coming months), I have a roof over my head and food in my cupboards, I am healthy (physically-speaking… mentally, not so much), my family and friends are healthy, I’m not working from home while trying to parent/educate my children at the same time, and I am not a health care worker or food-service worker who has to put my own health at risk each and every day. Shout out to everyone still going to work each day in the health industry, food-service industry, or whatever line of retail or service industry that has you leaving your house to deal with the general public – you’re the real MVPs.
However, this quarantine, now that it has been extended another month, and the state of the world in general has made me feel extremely depressed, and has me wondering what the purpose of life is, if things will ever really get better, and feeling like nothing really matters.
I have lost interest in things that brought me joy, like cooking (food shopping and cooking isn’t nearly as exciting as it was when I was trapped in an office all day and looking forward to coming home and unwinding by cooking something labor-intensive and exciting), writing (I started 3 different blog drafts about three weeks ago, finished none, and haven’t logged back onto WordPress until now), and painting (no inspiration whatsoever). I feel trapped inside this apartment, trapped inside my mind, and I don’t even have a date to or event or anything to look forward to to keep me motivated. It’s really hard to stay positive when you don’t even know when quarantine will end, or if things will ever go back to being even remotely close to how they were.
Will we ever be able to go to concerts or festivals again? Will restaurants and clubs and bars be the same when this is over? Will we constantly be anxiously awaiting the next pandemic or disaster? Even when this pandemic ends, there is still global warming and all of the shit that entails to deal with.
I’ve tried to keep myself active by getting out for walks, if not daily, at least every other day. They seem to help while I am on them, but after I return to my apartment and the high of walking 4 miles wears off, the depression sets in again.
It’s a struggle not binge-eating because there is nothing else to do BUT eat, and I constantly have an empty void inside my soul that needs to be filled with something – whether that something is shopping, cooking, fun activities, or now, food. If I eat too much than I get more stressed than ever, since I am not getting nearly the amount of physical activity I was when I was going into the office each day. I’m not trying to body shame anyone, but the last thing I am going to deal with on top of all of this other shit is hating my body, since I have to live in it and see it every day.
I miss my family and not knowing when I can go see them again without the fear that I might be carrying the virus and infect someone unintentionally. I mean, I could get in a car tonight and drive upstate to stay with my parents, but that is not what we are supposed to do, and like I said, I might possibly and unintentionally get someone sick if I have been exposed to the virus.
My boyfriend and I haven’t been to Italy together since August/September 2018. We were looking forward to a trip this summer to spend time with his parents in Venice and to see his friends and travel to other countries for our own pleasure, and now all of that is not only on hold, but we don’t even know when travel bans will be lifted. It’s just really stressful and anxiety provoking not to know what the future holds. We cannot even make plans so that we have something to look forward to when all of this ends.
My skin has been breaking out terribly, probably from a combination of stress and poor eating habits (excess sugar, excess fats, excess dairy in the form of cheese…). This in turn makes me even MORE STRESSED and fucking crazy. I am trying to remain calm, but it’s kind of hard to do with this current state of affairs. My skin is inflamed and aggravated with ugly, red, painful zits all over my cheeks and chin. It is definitely a combination of hormonal acne and wearing a fucking mask every day when I go to run an errand or take a walk. By the way – I know all of this is trivial bullshit compared to what others are dealing with and going through right now. I know that this is trivial bullshit… but it still fucking blows.
I wish I had a yard to sit in and to take in some fresh air, sans-mask. I wish I had some woods to walk in or a lake to take a paddle boat or canoe out on, or just anything other than these ugly, grey, dirty NYC streets.
I’m really trying to stay positive because I know having a positive mindset is everything… it’s just really hard right now. Work has slowed to a crawl… which is scary but I also have more time to take an afternoon walk. I guess only time will tell. In the mean time, I am trying to focus on the things I can control… like staying semi-healthy and fit.