Perimenopause: a fun little play

(God and the Archangel Michael, ironing out some last details about humanity) 

The Archangel Michael: Dear God, how do we inform women that it's time to stop procreating? 

God: What do you mean, "time to stop"? 

Michael: Well, they can’t do it when they’re 80, right? Their bones would break. 

God: Oh, they’ll certainly be dead by 50. Look how many diseases I made up. (Points to diseases.) 

How I killed my art practice—then resurrected it

I started posting about my art practice on Finslippy a little over four years ago. I was feeling pretty low, and my psychiatrist had urged me to pursue something for pure enjoyment. A "hobby," he called it. At the time, very little came to mind. “What do you do for fun?” he asked, and I couldn’t think of anything. What is this word “fun,” Doctor? Please explain while I try to remember how smiling works. 

Back to life

Things got hairy for a while, there. To wit: I caught a particularly severe strain of the flu that left me unable to do anything but lie down and moan for a couple of weeks. (Oh, and an ear infection. And this was after the sinus infection/bronchitis that came from the cold I had in March. It’s been quite a couple of months.) I would just lie there and enjoy a series of panic attacks and wonder if the panic attacks were actually imminent death. I was pretty fun. 

Excerpts from interviews I wish existed but of course do not, everyone knows Emily Dickinson wouldn't curse

Shakespeare: Oh, I have not a stinking clue by what means I create or recreate these adventures that live inside my soul. I stare at these cursed pages and think, who-ever told me I should compose even the dung-heaps of words such as I have done? Once in a fit of despair I ate all the Shrewsbury cakes Anne had but recently baked. They did not assist me.

I would title this "Prince-piration" but I respect you too much

I've been thinking a lot about this loss, and about Prince himself. Of course I'm a huge fan of Prince’s music because I am not a fool, but I'm also a fan of Prince himself. I just loved knowing he was in the world, you know?  Blessing us all with his existence. Touching down onto the mortal plane and delighting the universe. 

It's amazing I ever get anything done

8:30 am
Me: [opening up laptop]
The Internet: You should check me before you start writing. 
Me: We’ve been over this. First I write, then I check you. There’s no emergency happening.  
T.I.: That you know of. 
Me: Someone would have called me. 
T.I.: Unless they’re all dead. I mean probably they’re not all dead. It’s fine if you don’t check first. Maybe. 
Me: Just give me an hour, Internet. A lousy hour. 

Updates and horn tooting

Question: why do people always say "Not to toot my own horn, but..."? Why is it unseemly to toot your own horn? I would think if you have a horn, you should toot it. What, you have to wait around for other people to toot the horn that you, the horn-owner, could toot at any moment? Isn’t that unseemly? I’m going to yell out at people, “Hey you, toot my horn”? Where has dignity gone? I’m a married woman! My horn-tooting activity is sacred and between me and my spouse! I can’t remember what I was talking about! All the blood’s left my head.

Nothing to see here

I have a story that wants to be told. 

I don’t understand it. I truly do not understand why I can’t keep this one to myself. It’s all over. I've had so much therapy. I’m okay with it, it’s been decades, and I’m done. I’m good. But for whatever reason, it simply won’t back down. I’ve been arguing with it. Pipe down, I tell the story. You’re not that interesting. I have much better stories to share. But the damn thing won’t shut up. It’s like, pick me! I’m going to be so embarrassing for you! Yay! 

The League of Awkward Unicorns

Have you been listening to my podcast? Look, I don’t want to tell you what to do, but if you like podcasts and/or you have even a glancing interest in mental health, you should listen to my podcast. It’s a good podcast!

The League of Awkward Unicorns features me and Deanna Zandt, who is my friend and fellow depression/anxiety sufferer. We wanted to do a podcast about mental health issues that wasn’t a total bummer.  More specifically, we wanted to do a mental-health podcast that featured us, hosting it. We amuse each other and assumed that meant we would amuse other people. So far our assumptions seem to be working out! 

You know that neither of us are mental health professionals, right? We're just two goofs with a vested interest in reducing the shame and stigma of mental illness. (Actually Deanna is a media technologist, activist, author, and speaker, so technically not the goof in this pairing.) I am not a mental health professional in any way except that I’ve gone to so many mental health professionals that I should have at least one honorary degree. Shouldn't it work that way? I know a lot, guys. 

We have seven episodes out in the world right now, and more to come—we’re publishing them every other week. Sometimes we interview guests, and sometimes it’s just us. We’ve got big plans for the future. In case it’s not clear, I’m proud of this thing we’ve made. 

You can find us on iTunes, Stitcher, Soundcloud, and probably anywhere else podcasts can be found. You can check in with us on Facebook, too. Let me know what you think, what you want us to cover, whom we should interview, et cetera and so forth. 


Today I got injured in my Pilates class, which is a thing that could only happen to me. It’s like suffering a croquet injury, or a bongo mishap. It’s just not easy to injure yourself in Pilates. It was a tower class, which means that you’re working on equipment that’s bolted to the wall, and there’s a piece of that equipment on springs that you push down with your hands—and what you’re not supposed to do is let it go so that the equipment flies up and whacks you in the chest so hard you can’t talk for a few seconds. 

You see that bar each lady is holding? Well, if you stand over it, push it down, and then let it go, it will rise up with surprising force and leave you bruised and mad at it. 

You see that bar each lady is holding? Well, if you stand over it, push it down, and then let it go, it will rise up with surprising force and leave you bruised and mad at it. 

It hurt. It really, really hurt. Like, really.

It’s only a small class, just me and another student and the instructor, so it’s not like the WHANG that reverberated through my chest went unnoticed. Once I was able to talk I claimed that I was fine, and after a few minutes of me enthusiastically lying (why? Why must we always pretend we're fine?), we kept going. 

And that’s when the tears started. You know when you feel them coming and it’s just not the right time, and you’re like, not now, tears, wait until I’m home, come on, we only have ten more minutes of class, RETREAT, RETREAT, you're fine, keep it together, and the tears are like "NO THANKS! WE CAN’T WAIT TO SPILL ALL OVER THIS YOGA MAT!"? 

So embarrassing. 

It hurt, yes, but I also think I needed to cry. I'm normally a crier (boy, am I) but I've been having a dry spell. And it’s been a rough few months. I’ve been worried and sad. My dad isn’t doing great. His health problems keep multiplying, and he’s having cognitive issues, and it feels like every week there’s more news, and it’s never good. I’ve been keeping it together, though. I mean, he’s 80. This is what happens. I’ve kept my focus on my mom, who has to deal with the brunt of it. But then I got whacked in the chest, and something else hit me: my dad’s going to die.  

Luckily, as I said, it was only the three of us, so the class turned into a stretching/therapy session, with me soaking my yoga mat as the other two recalled the times they had cried during Pilates. I kept trying to stop, but my chest kept hurting in these waves, and each wave would bring it on again. 

The thing is, I really don’t want my dad to die. Not surprising, I know. I don't want him to die, and also I hate this. All of it. I think this whole deal, this whole getting old and sick and unhappy business, is stupid and unfair. I wish to have some words with whoever came up with this plan.

In the meantime, I hurt myself and I hurt and I got home and thought I'd stop crying, but I continued on with great vigor, and then my son came home from school and was quite concerned, and he ordered me to bed, because he is goddamn adorable and sweet. So I’m just going to lie in bed for a while with a whole bunch of damp tissues and a mildly alarmed chihuahua. Right after I hit publish.