*** 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.
Vacation was beautiful and I never wanted it to end… but here I am, back in NYC. Back to work, back to everyday reality in a city I have outgrown. New York is a young person’s city, or a rich man’s city. It’s not a good place for a person like me at this time in my life. I feel empty and lost here. I have a good job, but it’s not what I want to be doing. The few things I liked about this city when I was 26 don’t exist anymore. The nightlife isn’t what it used to be, the parties aren’t what they used to be, the places aren’t what they used to be, and neither are the people. I don’t know why anyone would ever want to raise a kid here, unless of course they were rich… but even then….When I moved here at 24, I thought I needed to be here in order to achieve artistically, whether it was writing or painting or whatever. Clearly, the entire world is now connected through online media, remote work, and no one really needs to be in one place to do what they love or achieve what they want with their career (unless they’re an actor or a musician maybe… but even then…this just ain’t it, kid).
When I walk the streets, there are only remnants and relics of the past that I once enjoyed and for a short time loved. Now, I walk the streets and instead of daydreaming about a future or life in the city, all I daydream about is being somewhere else. I day dream about Europe, a slower lifestyle, a smaller and cleaner city or even a small town in the countryside or mountains. I daydream about a relaxed pace of life, dinners with family and friends, clean air, a house with a view. This city has made me tired and sad.
Tonight I walked past a couple of baby/children’s boutiques with adorable winter sweaters and high-quality stuffed animals on display in the windows. It hit me that I am never going to have a kid. When I was in my 20s, I thought for sure one day I would have a kid, but now that I’m 34, I’ve realized it’s just not happening. I don’t feel sad about it; it’s my decision, after all. It’s just weird to walk around the neighborhood where I spent so many days walking around and hanging out with my then-infant niece and my sister, who was three years younger than I am present-day, back in 2012. My how the times have changed in these past ten years. How the city has changed; the world has changed. Not for the better.
I grow more jaded and cynical each and every day I am forced to live in this city. Maybe I would have had a kid if I’d been married by 30, and before the current state of world took a turn for the worst. Now I realize that to have a kid would be more selfish than NOT to. It just seems unfair that the world made my decision for me. If there wasn’t a war happening, daily threats of nuclear holocaust, and another climate catastrophe every day, perhaps I would have been happy to have a kid.
I am engaged now… finally, after 9 years as a couple. I likely won’t be married for another 2 years. I am in no rush – I mean I waited this long, didn’t I?! My family certainly seems to be in a rush; they keep expecting that I will have the wedding next summer (which is only 10 months from now). Not happening, sorry. Although, perhaps I should have it next year, because because who knows how things will be two years from now (given the current political climate, war, nuclear threats, global warming, and advancing age of all of our parents). Maybe this world won’t even exist next year….
I am lucky that I live where I do, as opposed to so many other places where life would be much worse off right now. This world is falling apart … I try to enjoy every day now, for what it is. I try to enjoy every day that I have to work, once I have some free time to myself and the work is done. I try to enjoy every weekend day I spend alone, even though my boyfriend is working – there are pleasures to be found in being alone. You never know what each new day may bring, whether that something is good or bad. So it is best to just enjoy each day as it is, even if it is not ideal. If these last few years have taught me anything, it is to appreciate the little things in life and the (hopefully good) people that you have in your life.
I could go on and on about vacation. I feel incredibly lucky and fortunate that I was able to take such a great vacation. I feel fortunate to have the boyfriend I have, the family and friends I have, and the in-laws I have. I am lucky to have all that I have in this life, even though I bust my ass for most of what I have… I am fortunate that things have somehow come together over the last five or so years to get me to the point that I am at today (not that most days aren’t still a struggle, but at least I’m not contemplating suicide as I do three nights of floor-set at Hollister every month and wonder how I am going to afford a dinner out for someone else’s birthday).
Instead of going into depth writing about my vacation, I’m just going to post a shit ton of photos that sum it up. We started in Venice, traveled to Tuscany with his parents for a week, hit up multiple wineries and medieval towns while we were there (Siena, Montalcino (the town closest to our lodging), Montepulciano, Pienza, etc.). My in-laws went back to Venice when we departed Tuscany, but we made several stops: Modena to see not one but TWO Ferrari museums, a night and a day in Milano (more on that later), and then we spent a night in Lake Como because we just weren’t ready to go back to Venice yet. It was all so fucking amazing, words cannot describe.
I wasn’t a fan of Milan – even though we were only there for 24 hours. The hotel we stayed in was cool – very modern with lots of fun art pieces and installations. It was also super close to the city center, which came in handy for me, since I spent a day alone wandering around Milan, while Christian got a tattoo by a famous Italian tattoo artist he was able to book last minute (don’t ask – I already had my ring at this point, so if it made him happy… whatever). I did 9 miles by myself that day, and realized that I could never live in Milan. The city is a mix of very old and very modern structures – it is almost similar to NYC in that sense, but obviously much cleaner and prettier. All of the women are emaciated (and I am not lying). Most of the women also seemed to be under the age of 30… I saw mainly students and young people while I walked around that day. But, of all the women I did see, old, young, middle-age… they all had some serious eating disorders. Like, most of them looked like they needed to be in the hospital… and I am NOT exaggerating. I felt like such a cow next to these women…. and I am not a big person. I don’t think I saw a single woman/girl who weighed over 95 lbs. I get that it is the fashion capital of the world, but holy fuck. My ego took quite a blow that day, and I couldn’t really enjoy food for the rest of the trip… I’ve never felt so fat in all my life as I did walking around Milan that day. I was really happy we decided against spending a second night in Milan and decided to drive to Lake Como, since it is only about 1.5 hours from Milan, and Christian had never even been, despite having lived in Milan for several years! It was worth it:
Before we ended up in Milan and then Lake Como, we had briefly entertained the idea of spending the last few days of our vacation in Greece. It just didn’t make sense to waste another day spent traveling or buying plane tickets just to spend 48 hours or less in Greece, when our time with Christian’s parents and friends in Venice is already so limited each time we are there. We decided to just go back to Venice so that we could enjoy the rest of our vacation and see his friends and spend more time with his parents. We made it out to Lido not once, but twice this time… both nights were a lot of fun… maybe too much fun. Thank God Lido now has electronic rental bikes, because when we were ready to leave each night, there were no Ubers to be had and we needed to get back across the Island to catch the ferry back to Venice proper.
I could post a million more pictures and tell a million more stories. I wish I never had to come home… apart for being reunited with my babies (my cats) and seeing my own family. I hope that some day very soon we can live in Italy or France… or somewhere else close by, where life doesn’t move at the pace of NYC and every moment doesn’t pass by in a blink of the eye the way life does here in New York.
I’ll leave you with the food highlights from the trip (since that is what this blog was/is supposed to be about):
Now that I am back in NYC and inspired by the skeletal women I saw in Milan, I am trying to get back on the straight and narrow (i.e. no meat, save for special occasions, minimal wine consumption (sure, Jan…), and healthier eating in general). Wish me luck! Venice is great since the cuisine is primarily seafood, but boy did I go to town on meat in Tuscany: you have to… it’s the Tuscan way (when in Rome, do as the Romans do, am I right?!). Anyhow. We are still waiting for a case of wine we bought at the castle winery to arrive. This is what motivates me. I’m not sure where we are going to store it in our 1-bedroom apartment, but I’ll find a way.
Sitting here in my apartment on yet another 98 degree day, waiting until the sun goes down and work is over so I can get out for walk. I had an entire entry written, including a recipe and all, but my 2015 piece of shit Chromebook refused to let me publish it when I tried hitting “Publish,” and then also deleted the entire entry, even though I had repeatedly saved it as I worked on it. So here I am, retyping it all… convinced the first version was the best and this won’t be as good as what I originally composed, since I am now angry and hurried. I make more money than I used to, and still can’t seem to justify buying a new $1,500 MacBook. So, I will continue to use this ChromeBook, a relic of 2015, a piece of technology that does me dirty every time I use it.
I am on a mission to lose 10 lbs. over the next five weeks, prior to my vacation. I WILL WEAR SHORTS and I WILL WEAR SUNDRESSES like a normal human – like a normal, average American woman – if it is the last thing I do. I am tired of hiding my lower body in black jeans on hot summer days, and I am taking action and holding myself personally accountable. I will reduce the size of my legs, and I will wear shorts with confidence.
I choose to focus on this seemingly attainable goal, since I am unable to control the political climate of this country, global warming, all of the helpless, homeless and sick animals I see on the streets of my neighborhood, and the out-of-control shootings and stabbings that happen daily here in NYC and also throughout the nation. I can only control myself. And so, I help sick animals when I see them, try not to buy single-use plastics, recycle, and try my hardest not to eat meat, which is easy to do here, but impossible to do when I visit my parents upstate, and now, I will try to lose 10 lbs. I can’t control the war raging in Ukraine, I cannot control the crimes committed in Myanmar by the national army (which I made the mistake of reading about yesterday), but by God I can call for help if I see a sick cat suffering on the street, and I can control the circumference of these thighs.
My neighborhood is trash… literally. Covered in trash and the people are trash. They get pets they don’t spay/neuter and then kick them to the curb when they get pregnant or, in the case of a male cat, start spraying. I wish I could abuse people the way they abuse animals. The sidewalks are a mean place around these parts, and the summer heat makes the psychos that walk these streets even more psychotic. I worry that I will die at the hands of a psycho due to gun violence or stabbing before I have the chance to get out of this God forsaken city. It is a legitimate fear. My fear of climate change that I cannot control is a daily undercurrent to all of my other activities and thoughts. Even when I am working or busy these days, I cannot stop thinking about how fucked the future of this planet is. There is nothing I can do though, apart from hold myself accountable for my own actions. I cannot control the people I encounter on the street though – and there are more crazies than ever before.
I want to leave this country, but mostly, I want to leave this city forever. I fantasize about going to Italy and not returning. Maybe we can buy a small property in Tuscany, and I can work remotely from another time-zone. Who has to know? Better yet, I would quit my job and just work on restoring the property and promoting it as a retreat and establishing a small farm-to-table restaurant. I can’t stay here any longer. Me and NYC are done. It has nothing left to offer me.
I wrote a recipe in my last entry that was deleted before I could publish, and now, I am too lazy to re-write it. Sorry. Here is a picture of the ingredients that I bought at Eataly though, and also a picture of my finished pasta dish:
You can use your imagination and the picture of my ingredients above as a reference point if you want to make something similar.
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.
As per the norm, it has been far too long since I wrote a blog (not that anyone gives a shit or looks forward to these blogs…). My vacation has come and gone, and it was honestly the best vacation I’ve ever had. I wish it had never ended and that I was still in Italy, but here I am – back in Brooklyn and back to work. On the upside, I came home to a new Job lined up, and which I have now been at for almost three weeks – so things are improving for me in that area of life.
It was so nice to be back in Venice and to see my boyfriend’s parents after three very long years, as well as his friends. It was also nice to be able to travel, after not being able to do so for over a year and a half as the result of COVID restrictions. It certainly was a hassle getting multiple COVID tests before flying out and again before flying home, making sure the carrying around our vaccine cards, negative test results, passports, and the additional documentation required (something akin to a “Green Pass”) in my purse at all times, but it was worth it.
While we were in Venice, the highlight (apart from seeing his parents and friends) was the cicheti and affordable wine. We went to town on both… how could you not?! I think the hardest thing since returning to the US, and more specifically returning to NYC, has been the memory of such affordable food and drink when a glass of wine here will set you back $15. We drank good-quality wine for 3 Euros a glass, and filled up our stomachs on delicious food for less than 10 euros a piece. It is a travesty that dining out or drinking in NYC will set you back over $100 on a night out.
I developed a bit of an obsession with seppia (cuttlefish) this time, if I wasn’t already slightly obsessed before, and I don’t just mean eating them. I bought a little cuttlefish (seppia) pin from SEPA, and, as Venice is known for the Murano glass, an adorable little glass seppia. I saw it in the window of a shop and just couldn’t resist!
As Venice is on the water, there is no shortage of seafood everywhere you go, which suits me well, since it is what I love to eat. There are cuttlefish dishes galore, mantis shrimp (which are different and more delectable than regular shrimp), prawns, fish, sardines, scallops, octopus, clams, etc. offered on every menu. It is food paradise for a seafood lover like myself.
The original plan was to spend the last four days of our trip in France: we were going to fly from Venice to Nice, rent a car, and drive to Paris over the course of three days. That was going to be one hell of a hassle, with days that would require 5-6 hours of driving in order to get us to the towns we wanted to visit and eventually put us in Paris the night before we flew home. We decided to nix this plan, and instead spend a couple of days in Tuscany. This made way more sense since we already had plans to visit a friend in Bologna. We changed the plane tickets to fly from Venice to Paris on the last day of our vacation, since we still needed to fly out of Paris.
My boyfriend’s parents were nice enough to let us borrow their car, and we drove to Bologna to visit our friend, before driving to the Chianti region of Tuscany for two nights. It was so good to see our friend in Bologna and catch up, even if it was only for one night. The hotel we had was amazing – a huge suite with a full kitchen and a huge bath tub in the bedroom. It is a shame that we didn’t spend more time in the hotel room, as we were out most of the night! After one night in Bologna, we set out for Chianti.
We are now ruined for life after paying only $135 for a night at Giovanni’s agritourismo (farm/vineyard/lodging) in Greve in Chianti. I was expecting we would be staying in a small cottage, but the 300 year old stone house could have easily accommodated 10 more guests. There were four bedrooms, and three full bathrooms – I think my jaw dropped open when I walked in and saw the place…
Not only was the house itself amazing, but the property was situated on a hilltop, surrounded by vineyards and olive trees. There were only a handful of other guests, so it was super quiet and peaceful. Giovanni gave us a tour, the history of his vineyard and the property, and was beyond accommodating and gracious. He gave us recommendations for dinner as well as suggestions for how to spend our short stay in Tuscany.
I don’t think that I have ever felt as relaxed and at such peace as I did during my time in Tuscany. The land, the scenery and the local way of life are such that it is impossible not to live in the moment and to appreciate all that surrounds you, in terms of nature, beauty, and good food and wine. I am considering moving to Tuscany in the next couple of years, if I can save enough to buy a property. I have never felt so inspired to GTFO of NYC as I did while in Tuscany.
My only complaint about my time in Tuscany, is that there are no options for vegetarians or really even pescatarians. And if you happen to be a vegan? Fucking forget about it! When in Rome do as the Romans do, right? While in Tuscany, eat as the locals eat. I went TO FUCKING TOWN eating meat while I was in Tuscany. I mean, how could I not? I ate more meat in three days than I had eaten in the past three years while I was Tuscany. Popular dishes were bolognese, ragu, rabbit, wild boar, beef (and tartare… my favorite), pasta, pork, etc. There was nary a vegetable to be found on most menus, apart from ordering as a side dish. I ordered a salad one night as a side, hoping to get some fiber into my system, and the salad consisted of three leaves of lettuce, a pickled slice of pepper, one cherry tomato, and a smoked herring and huge piece of goat cheese. Needless to say, my digestive system was beyond fucked up after a few days of living on meat and carbs and wine. I was severely bloated and uncomfortable for the remainder of our trip.
After our first night in Chianti, we did a short day-trip to Siena. I loved this little city, and the few hours we spent there were not nearly long enough. I definitely need to go back!
Siena is truly a beautiful and small medieval city. I absolutely must return, hopefully sooner than later.
We originally planned to stay just one night in Tuscany, but while we were in Siena, we decided to book another Airbnb and stay a second night, as we were loving it all so much. The second Airbnb, while still cheap compared to American standards, was slightly more than the cost of our first one, and not nearly as nice. It was still beautiful – don’t get me wrong. I guess our standards were set too high by comparison of of Giovanni’s place! The second Airbnb was also an agritourismo (working farm – lodging situation), not too far from the first place. It was much more rustic, and a lot smaller of an apartment, but the views were (once again) breath-taking.
After our trip to Tuscany, we headed back to Venice for a few more days with my boyfriend’s parents. I finally visited the INSIDE of St. Marco’s cathedral. This was my fourth trip to Venice, and the first time I saw the inside of the cathedral, as opposed to just the outside. Needless to say, my mind was blown by the beauty, the history, and the age of the artifacts.
As our last few days in Venice grew close to ending, we became sad at the prospect of returning back to NYC, but determined we needed to make the most of the time we had left. This included nightly walks and wine, more cicheti and dinner with my boyfriend’s parents.
As always, it was very sad leaving Venice and leaving behind Christian’s parents. I hope we can go back early next year to visit. We flew to Paris the day before our flight back to the U.S., so we still had one night in Paris to look forward to, even though the post-vacation blues were settling in fast and we weren’t even done with our travels yet….
When we arrived in Paris, we were exhausted from our early morning flight and general lack of sleep. I was also bloated AF and unable to go to the bathroom, which put me in a rather sour mood. I’m sorry if that is TMI, but my diet of wine, meat and not enough water or fiber truly had me fucked up. The hotel room in Paris was more than our Airbnb costs combined, and so tiny it was a joke. We put our stuff down, refreshed, and headed out for a full day and abbreviated tour of the city.
Paris is a beautiful city, but it is huge and clearly impossible to thoroughly explore in such a short time frame. Prior to our flight from Venice to Paris, we were on the fence about how to spend our very short time there. We did the Louvre last time (which takes up a full day). Versailles is on my list of things to see, but unfortunately that would have required a FULL day. I also considered the catacombs, and dancing on Jim Morrison’s grave. I think next time I’ll have to dance on Jim Morrison’s grave….
After our second abbreviated tour of Paris, I decided I much prefer Venice, although as my boyfriend kept pointing out, they’re two totally different cities and vibes and therefore cannot really be compared to each other.
Naturally we were both miserable to return to disgusting NYC and our even more disgusting Brooklyn neighborhood. I also returned to a life in which I am still helping the two street cats I rescued back in May. Somehow I am still involved fundraising and bringing them to vet appointments. The end does seem to be in sight, however. Gracie (the more feral cat that went to live with her feeder), is going for her dental extractions next Wednesday. Naturally, I somehow find myself (once again) responsible for catching her from under the bed at her home, taking her to and from the upcoming appointment, and for raising the funds to cover the appointment. All of this after I threw down my own cash and time for the vet appointment I brought her to this past Saturday.
Honestly, I cannot wait until she is done with this appointment. I hope that not only will she feel much better, but maybe she will become friendlier and happier in general. I’m also hoping that this is the last I will ever have to be involved with either cat.
If anyone reading this has it in their heart (and pocket) to kindly donate $10 or $20 to her upcoming appointment, it would be BEYOND appreciated, and you will go on my list of real-life heroes. Below is a link to her GoFundMe:
I did have a couple of great things to keep me motivated and to look forward to after returning from my vacation. Apart from my new job, which has been great so far, I went home the first weekend of October to attend my Aunt and Uncle’s annual “family picnic.” It is always so nice to see my family – at the end of the day, I always know my family has my back and wants what is best for me. I am thankful that I am so close with my family…. they are not perfect (who’s family is???), but they are supportive and they love me (I think…), and sometimes in this crazy fucked up world, their love and support is what I need to feel OK when shit hits the fan in other aspects of my life.
Anyhow, I digress. Here are some pics of my aunt and uncle’s cozy cottage on the Susquehanna river, and shots from the BBQ.
Would it be a blog if I didn’t throw in some selfies? It would be, but not my blog. Here you go:
I’m too sad to write this recipe right now, so I’ll have to get back you in my next blog. Stay tuned.
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!
It’s already the middle of July, and Summer is half over. The Korn concert I’ve been looking forward to is a month away, and our vacation to Italy and France is less than two months away. Time really flies by when your sights are set on the future and you forget to live in the present. Although it is sometimes difficult to live in the present when every day is the same as the last, and you spend the majority of your time working, running the household, and making plans for a much more exciting and enticing future event. It always seems that the fun things you have planned will never come to fruition when you’re in the thick of it – slaving away at a job that barely makes ends meet, running the daily gamut of errands, chores, housework, and daily activities that are anything but relaxing or fun. Alas, one day you blink your eye and an entire month has passed and the thing you looked forward to for what seems like forever, is happening in three days! That is always how it goes.
Speaking of time flying by, my niece just turned nine last week, my dad is turning 70 next month, and I am officially looking like a middle-aged adult at the age of 33. It’s funny (no, it’s really not…), but I feel like I woke up one day just looking old. They say that you’re as young as you feel – I feel like I should still look 26 in that case. I don’t know if it was the stress from 2020 or what it was, but I used to look young for my age, and now I am convinced I look five years older than I actually am… and it really seems to have happened overnight. All I can keep thinking of is the Hemingway quote from The Sun Also Rises, in regards to my rapidly aged appearance: “gradually, then suddenly.” In the book, that line is in response to someone asking the character how he went bankrupt, and his answer is “gradually, then suddenly.” However, this line is eerily spot-on when it comes to how I’ve ended up here – looking old overnight, with fine lines that seemingly came out of nowhere. How did I go from looking younger than my age to how I look right now? I’ll tell you how: gradually, then suddenly.
Sure, there were subtle signs here and there that I was getting older over the last 10 years or so. My skin texture changed and became rougher, I lost some baby fat in my cheeks, I don’t look so hot waking up the morning after a night of drinking or no sleep anymore, unlike my early twenties when I looked just fine the next day. Then, before I knew it, suddenly the fat pads under my eyes seemed to all but hollow out (now, when I smile, I get huge bags under my eyes that make me look like my 73 year old uncle), my forehead suddenly has horizontal lines that don’t go away, even when my face is relaxed, I’m losing volume in my lips and cheeks, and I just kind of always look tired (even on the RARE occasion when I actually got a full 8 hours of sleep…).
I’m not trying to complain (even though it is most definitely coming across that way right now). I generally like the way I look, but fucking shit! I feel like I went from looking 27 to looking 36 in a year’s time. Things have gotten so bad, that I have vowed to quit drinking and partying altogether in order to save up for botox and a laser treatment. I am not even joking – it makes way more sense to stop squandering money I already don’t have on shit that makes my life worse off in the long run. Every time I want to buy wine, go out for cocktails, or spend a night at a rave abusing my body with mind-altering substances, I am going to take that $50 or $100 or $200 that I would normally blow on crap, and put it into a savings jar for future cosmetic procedures. I probably should have started doing this two years ago…
I have also vowed to start exfoliating every day, which up until this week when I decided I want botox, was not something I did regularly. It will be way easier to complete step 2 (exfoliating), since I will also being doing step 1 (abstaining from alcohol), which as we all know, makes a person very lazy when it comes to nightly skin care routines.
It’s been really hard to save money lately, not only because I live in NYC and a large chunk of my salary goes towards monthly rent and the cost of living, but because I feel like every month there is a birthday, holiday, etc. that I end up spending what would otherwise be my discretionary income on. Seriously – I feel like I rarely spend money on myself, and when I do, it’s Forever21 clothes because that is the only thing I can financially justify. I feel like I’m always spending money that could be put into my savings on family member’s birthday’s, dinners out to celebrate said family member’s birthdays, my cats’ expensive prescription food, or the occasional night where I actually go out and be social (which is maybe twice a month, but I always go all out, since I don’t go out often and probably feel the need to make up for lost time). It sucks – I need more money. Plain and simple. At this rate, I’ll never be able to save for a house or a move across the Atlantic. I can’t even save for a fucking botox consultation at this rate!
I kind of feel like I went a bit overboard in my last entry on here. I was feeling pretty feisty when I wrote it, after a 45 hour work week and a bunch of other factors that contributed to my higher-than usual stress level. I hope no one reading this was offended (I don’t know why anyone would be, but you never know). I feel bad I bitched about the endless saga of the stray cats I helped rescue and get off the streets. Things have finally calmed down. I actually fed one of the cats while her owner was away for the weekend (that’s the more feral of the two, that was adopted by their long-time feeder). And, thankfully, the older cat (who currently has a foster mom) is doing much, MUCH better. She uses her litter box like pro now, and finally has been granted free reign of the apartment, as she is getting along better with the other resident-foster cat, and stopped trying to climb walls and windows!
I’m sure everyone reading this will understand how stressful life can get at times, since it gets that way for all of us, but it always seems to be that one last straw that breaks the camel’s back. I was just barely holding my shit together, working a crazy work week, NOT getting out for exercise or fresh air (which is even more important for me to do during a crazy work week), and feeling sorry for myself because everyone I am close to hasn’t worked for the past year and a half and they all get to go to the beach and take naps during the weekdays, while I’m stuck in front of my laptop. I was also feeling sorry for myself, because my boyfriend and I are like two ships passing in the night. We don’t have weekends together, evenings together (we eat our dinners alone, at separate times), we rarely have holidays together, his job keeps him from attending every family get-together and birthday I celebrate with my family upstate, and we have opposite schedules so we are both always tired – him because he works 12 hour days, 6 days a week, and me, because I either wait up until midnight each night so I can see him for an hour before falling asleep, or because my sleep is interrupted when he gets home from work at 2am and I’m already asleep on the couch. Now that I’m writing this, this is probably why I’ve been looking so old lately… stress and lack of fucking sleep.
I also started feeling sorry for myself, because everyone else I know seems to be getting married, buying a house, or having a baby (not that I want a baby, but still….) and humble-bragging about it on Instagram. This, in turn, led to feelings of being fucked over, because everyone else gets to have a shower thrown for them when they complete these “life milestones.” Since I’ve never completed any of these so-called “milestones”, I’m always the one buying the gift for said shower, and never the one BEING showered. I know that sounds petty, but it kind of sucks sometimes. When will it be MY turn to have people throw a party for me? When will it be my turn to create a registry and get a bunch of fucking gifts for my house, just because someone finally put a ring on my finger? I don’t know. But between 45 hours of working at a job that does not fulfill me, just to make ends meet, seeing another smug couple humble-bragging about buying a home or spending a weekend away together on social media, while I never having a single fucking weekend off with my boyfriend, and then receiving texts containing sad and upsetting news about the cats I gave my all to help, really put me over the edge. It’s OK though; I’m back on track now. I shouldn’t feel sorry for myself when I am in an able body, of sound mind (…. that’s actually debatable), in good health (as far as I know), I’m smart, funny, and I’m capable. Everything else is just crumbs.
Speaking of being back on track, I’m also back in the office a few days a week. Yes, I know I said I would have a new job or end my life before I ended up back in the office, but here I am. There just wasn’t enough time to find something better, and I have things to live for – my new goal is a new job when I come back from my vacation in September. Bring back in the office hasn’t been bad so far, but then again, it’s only been two weeks, and a lot of people are still out, which means I don’t have to see them. It is nice to have a reason to get my ass up and into gear so early in the morning. Because I hate taking the subway so much, I’ve also motivated myself into walking to work. It’s really hard to do since it means getting up and out of my apartment much earlier, when I could just sleep an extra hour… but it’s worth it. It’s also nice getting my exercise in before the work day starts – this way, even if I get blindsided and have to work overtime, I already got out for fresh air and physical activity.
In addition to planning the itinerary of my impending vacation, at decided I needed to order a few dresses for the upcoming trip. Enter ASOS…. they have the biggest selection of clothing imaginable and a nice spectrum of pricing to accommodate every budget:
Once again, the temperatures here in NYC have been in the high 80s/low 90s, with humidity levels upwards of 75% each day, rendering it too hot to run the oven or do much cooking in my apartment. I should just post a good salad recipe, but I don’t consider throwing together a salad a recipe. I guess in lieu of a recipe, I’ll provide a few suggestions for things I like to make or throw together when it’s too hot to turn on the oven!
Hot Weather Dinner Ideas:
A hearty salad (should have a source of protein to add substance, whether it’s chick peas, tofu, chicken, fake chicken, shrimp, or another kind of bean)
Non-meat tacos (**the fake meats they have cook super fast either in a microwave or a few minutes in a saute pan, so minimal heat is required)
Ramen (this is not a toilsome soup that’s going to keep you chained to the stove for an hour, since instant ramen cooks in like 3 minutes). I suggest adding in some fresh veggies (bok choy, mushrooms, canned baby corn), diced tofu, and if you’re not vegan, boil a hard boiled egg in the same pot you cook the ramen in.
BLTs (with real or fake bacon) – also works well with avocado or smoked salmon in place of the bacon.
Grilling the entire meal (veggies, potatoes, protein) … unfortunately I don’t have this luxury since I don’t have a grill here.
My birthday has come and gone, and once again I didn’t don any of the sexy dresses I have been stockpiling over the last year. I have probably purchased upwards of six dresses (on sale, of course) at this point, because they were heavily discounted and I was looking forward to a future date when I could finally get glammed up and wear one in public (instead of the confines of my own apartment). Buying all of these tight, short, plunging-neckline dresses has honestly kept me sane and motivated throughout the last year that the world has been mostly locked down and we’ve all been looking forward to brighter days. Needless to say, we aren’t quite there yet. If I had celebrated my birthday in the city with my boyfriend, I probably could have worn a more scandalous dress – it also didn’t help that I celebrated the day of my birthday upstate with my family. I was definitely not about to rock a bodycon dress and thigh-high boots at Remlik’s in Binghamton, NY with my parents and my sister’s family (more on Remlik’s below… it is my new fave).
It was so nice to be at my parent’s house for almost a full week, even if I was still technically working (I was lucky for once, and work happened to be very slow that week). I had to go upstate early (before my boyfriend and I had our mini-vacation in New Hampshire) to drop the cats off at the cat lodge, since they don’t do pick-ups or drop-offs on Sunday. I also had Monday, February 15th, off for President’s Day, so it was my only day to travel up without work interfering, and the only day my boyfriend could drive me, since he works all three weekend days.
I was happy to find plenty of white snow on the ground when I arrived upstate, and plenty more that would fall over the course of the next five days. I fucking love snow… probably because I don’t have to shovel it (which, truth be told, I actually enjoy doing since it is a good upper-body workout) nor do I have to drive in it. Anyhow, because work was slow, I was able to get out for daily walks and enjoy some time with my family. I celebrated my 33rd birthday at Remlik’s in Binghamton. I would highly recommend to anyone in the area. It was my first time there and I chose it specifically because I knew they had a raw bar and sushi. The oysters were awesome (when are they not?), the cocktails were lit (I tried three), and the food was great. The place was also really pretty and cavernous inside – dark wood, huge bar, good lighting. The ambiance and service were amazing – our waitress was super nice and accommodating to my niece and nephew, and the music was right up my alley (they played Massive Attack, Moby, and Depeche Mode… I mean, come on….(and yes, I am perpetually living in 1997)).
After five days of almost continual snowfall, half-assed bird-watching, and gorging myself on the copious amounts of food available in my parents’ fridge and cupboards (dude – they have a whole drawer just for chips…), my boyfriend picked me up on Sunday afternoon and we made the six and a half hour drive to North Woodstock, NH.
We stayed at The Woodstock Inn Brewery, in North Woodstock, right at the foothills of the White Mountain range. I stayed here a handful of times as a child on family vacations, and was really happy to be back as an adult. The place is better than I remember it. I think the part I honestly enjoyed most, was just being off work for a full week – shutting my laptop, ignoring emails, not having to answer to anyone. I really, REALLY needed that. We stayed Sunday night through Thursday morning, and in those four days we really didn’t do much besides eat, shop and chill. Honestly, just what I needed. I never chill…. ask anyone who knows me (*unless I’m in a highly intoxicated state of being).
The drinks and food onsite were good – they offer a really great deal to guests wherein breakfasts are totally free, and I’m talking FULL, AWESOME breakfasts (crab Benedict, omlettes, fresh waffles, etc.). I normally do not even eat breakfast, but I’m certainly not going to say ‘no’ to crab and eggs Benedict with hollandaise sauce and a bloody Mary at a more reasonable hour of 11am. We would be full until dinner time after those breakfasts, so it worked out perfectly.
If we had gone in the Summer or Fall, there would have been significantly more to do in the way of physical activity and outdoor activity (hiking, etc.). We could have gone skiing, but didn’t plan ahead, and to be honest, I have never been skiing, so I would need some classes (to be even more honest – I have no desire to ski, although maybe I would like it if I tried it). Instead, we enjoyed good food, the scenery, and each others company (to the extent possible, since my boyfriend was still answering phones and emails for the better part of each day 🙂 #cheers).
Naturally, the pictures I’m posting here aren’t doing any of these views justice. If you’re looking for a drive-able destination with some new scenery and you like mountains and/or snow, I would really suggest looking into a mini trip to the White Mountains. Especially if you like skiing/snowboarding – so many resorts and slopes everywhere. While we were in ski country, I attempted to find a ski suit for my weekend excursion to the Poconos with two friends. Needless to say, it didn’t happen, since I was looking for something along the lines of THIS but could only find, expensive, boring-ass ski wear in all of the shops. There was no way I was about to drop good money on some ugly crap that I would never wear. I ended up finding a ski suit from ASOS for a heavily discounted price that I wore last weekend in the Poconos, where yet again, I ended up not skiing… go figure….
We actually lucked out with the weather while we were there, because after the first day of crazy snow, the remaining days were fairly mild for this time of year (high 30s). I really didn’t want to come back to NYC, which is what happens every time I go away, but I was happy to be reunited with my cats after a several days away from them.
I really am feeling refreshed and rejuvenated after my time at home and my time in New Hampshire. I hadn’t had more than a full week off of work since early August when I went away with my family, but that trip was without my boyfriend. We haven’t had more than a couple of days off together, since I don’t even know when… one of us is always working and we have opposite schedules. It’s honestly been forever. I feel slightly more prepared to push forward and tackle life again. Before this trip I was in a rut and started to have that “fuck it/this/everything” attitude. I couldn’t make myself focus or give a shit about anything, including my job. I’m feeling revived though…. not totally, but much better off than I was before this trip.
I’m sure many of you reading this feel the exact same way that I do right now, but holy shit… what a time to be alive!! Am I right?! As if the last few years haven’t been mentally and emotionally taxing enough given the current political environment, global warming, mass extinction, catastrophic natural events, threats of war, and impending societal collapse, it now feels like we’re all living in some surreal world, or, rather, in one of the many apocalyptic movies that came out between 2006 – 2016.
We’ve basically reverted back to medieval plague times – I feel like Beetlejuice when he makes the joke about having ‘lived through the black plague and had a pretty good time during that.’ All I can do to stay sane right now, is keep cracking inappropriate jokes and making memes about Coronavirus. I know this virus isn’t a joke, but we’ve basically shut down the entire world, the economy is crashing and isn’t going to be able to recover for a long time, many are losing their jobs and sources of income (depending on the industry they work in), and people are going insane stockpiling supplies and food like they’re anticipating nuclear fallout! It’s the insanity of the media whipping everyone into a crazed frenzy that is going to lead to the most devastation, I believe.
How is it that people have gone so far off the deep end, that grocery store shelves are empty, and psychos are fighting over packs of toilet paper and hand-sanitizer? This is everything that is wrong with our world, and more specifically our country today. This is why the world is going down the toilet. I understand the immense pressure being placed on the healthcare system and hospitals and healthcare workers right now, and the lack of testing and resources – it’s a major issue, and certainly one that the U.S. should be panicking about and enacting cautions around (i.e. recommending people to stay at home and cancelling concerts and events). But how is hoarding toilet paper going to help with that?
I am worried about the elderly and those with compromised immune systems as much as the next person. I feel sympathy for anyone who has already lost a family member or loved one due to this virus. I worry about my boyfriend’s parents in Venice, and my own parents upstate. The fact that there is now a travel ban in place is what really makes me nervous though – what if we needed to go to Italy to take care of his parents???? It’s crazy to think that weddings, funerals and births have all been affected, postponed, or not gone as expected as a result of the travel bans in place and red-zoning happening around Europe.
I’ve still been commuting from my apartment in Brooklyn into my office in Manhattan all week. The subways have been empty and the streets quiet, not only because of people working from home, but also for the lack of tourists. It took my company until today to recommend that we all work remotely, starting on Monday. I was excited at the prospect of this a couple of months ago when I first started reading about Coronavirus, but now? Not so much. I like having routine in my life, and I’m scared if I am home I will be bored and binge eat and start fights with my boyfriend. I honestly don’t care if I get the virus, I know that I will be fine. I understand the reason we’re all going into quarantine mode, working remotely, and avoiding public gatherings is to stop the spread of the virus, and to protect the most vulnerable members of our society. It is also an attempt to not overwhelm our already-fragile healthcare system. But the media really does seem to be going overboard.
This virus is really making class disparity all the more visible. People who have the capacity to work from home (‘white collar’ jobs, so to speak), have been doing so for over two weeks now. In my own office, all of the partners haven’t come into the office in about two weeks time, as they have the luxury of working from home. Retail workers and workers in the hospitality industry (hostesses, servers, dishwashers, line cooks, bartenders, managers, etc.) have no such luxury, unless they’re working in the corporate sector of their respective industry. They have to show up to a brick-and-mortar store or restaurant to work their shift, and on top of that, be exposed to a rotating cast of the general public who patronize their venue. Same goes for teachers, gym instructors, dog-walkers, nurses, daycare workers, construction crews, etc.. People who are financially well off enough have been taking Ubers or other car services into work so as to avoid the subway or public buses. Most people can’t afford to take private cars into and from the office each day. Now that everyone has seen what happened in Italy, with towns being locked-down, those who have secondary homes are fleeing NYC to go to the countryside, so they don’t get stranded here in the event that no one is allowed out or in.
What about the rest of us poor slobs? I guess we’re just left exposed to extra germs and carrying on as usual. I walked to work a couple of days this week, just because I am ambitious and enjoy walking, but what about everyone who has been mandated to come into an office or restaurant or retail store, and has had no option but to ride a train or subway or take a bus? I feel especially bad for gig workers – the babysitters, personal trainers, tutors, pet-sitters, etc. of the world who have had jobs/gigs cut since everyone who employs them currently has reduced need for them. We live in a society where 78% of the population lives paycheck to paycheck. Unless the government steps in with stipends or some sort of compensation, how will these people pay for rent and food and medical expenses? Especially considering that the majority of gig workers do not have insurance….
Maybe this will be part of the wake-up call that Americans need regarding the need for universal healthcare and/or childcare.
If this city does get shut down, I have approximately 1 large sack of white rice, 1 bag of oats, 1 bag of split peas, 1 bag of lentils, a couple boxes of pasta, and 2 rolls of TP (TP = toilet paper, for those of you who didn’t already know that) to see me through a quarantine. Hopefully, in the event that I am housebound for a few weeks, I’ll come out looking ‘as thin as a needle,’ to quote Britney Spears. I also hope to come out on the other side with better skin, since I will be getting way more sleep if I don’t have to commute into work each morning. I’m looking on the bright side here guys….
Maybe the Illuminati sold our entire world/human population to aliens, and they need us all to be complacent and contained when the aliens touch-down their UFOs to enslave us next week. We will all be like sitting ducks, trapped in our homes and cities when the alien takeover occurs.
Just kidding with the above. I’m not really one for conspiracies, but I am pretty sure this virus was intentionally released or accidentally released from a lab in China. I don’t doubt that. I don’t really know what to think or how to feel in today’s world, honestly. Anything is possible. I put nothing past anyone or any government.
In the event that “they” tell us not to leave our residences (like they have recently enacted in certain cities in Italy – Venice, included), I think I may go insane. If I can’t get fresh air and some physical activity, I risk going off the deep end.
I hope everyone out there (all five of you who read this), and everyone’s family and friends are staying safe and healthy during this trying time! Hopefully it will be over soon and we can all resume life as usual.