Thanksgiving Break in California:
Ever since I came back from my holiday abroad, I’ve been frugal. I have been budgeting and buying the very minimum. I want to rebuild my financial empire. (I never had an empire.) I want money money money. I want to sing about money like Rihanna. I love money and want loads of it in my accounts. So, I was prepared to deny myself next to everything so that the funds could pour in, the bills could disappear, and I could make it rain dollar bills on myself for my own amusement. But then I remembered that I have an incurable neurological disorder and that I’m probably going to be in a wheelchair someday and that money doesn’t matter. So, I booked my Thanksgiving Break trip! I don’t usually go anywhere on this holiday, but if I don’t get out into the world routinely, I fully believe I’ll lose what little I have left of my mind. I found a relatively decent flight, and I’ll be spending a week with my cousin in California! I’m beyond excited, reader. You know how I love California. I can’t believe that I spent so much of my life not going there regularly. It’s a shock and a shame that I didn’t discover this love earlier in my life and then develop an existence out in Hollywood. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ You can’t change the past. If you could, I would have gone back and made a bit more dynamic of an audition tape for America’s Next Top Model. But, what’s done is done and I’m not a model in LA. That’s probably for the best. How ever did I get on this train of thought? Anyway, I’m off to California. Beach and Hollywood and Hearst Castle and sun and hikes and joy. And maybe I can get reservations for a glorious return to the Chateau Marmont!??! Pam needs to visit there, everybody should have lunch at the Chateau at least once. I’m so excited to get out of Iowa and see how I feel on the West Coast now that I have MS. Sorry to be a downer, but that’s life now!
Roast Vegetable Bowl:
I have decided for what might well be the thousandth time to be a legend of fitness. I must have some kind of mental deficiency that continuously convinces me to do this to myself. Readily I will admit that it is addicting to count calories and budget days around a restrictive diet. But I’ve promised myself that I will not develop an eating disorder this time… I want to eat good foods and just look like Hollywood. They’re my aesthetic. Lean, tall, obviously muscular but not rippled enough to make you wince, thighs that could kill. You know the kind. So, I’ve been cutting back on unnecessary calories now like fourteen ounces of white cheddar every day, a liter of orange juice as a snack, and fistfuls of peanuts. Now, it’s all about moderation. The other night I crafted a nice dinner of roast vegetables that I poured over some bulgar wheat. There was broccoli, cabbage, onion, garlic, chickpea, and tomatoes. I seasoned them with some middle eastern spices I found in a gorgeous spice shop in Des Moines’ East Village and roasted them with olive oil for an hour. They caramelized and were gorgeous. It wasn’t thrilling though, but I had plenty of leftovers. The next day, I remembered something I already knew: leftovers are so much better. The flavors melded together sumptuously and when being reheated, the vegetables got even softer. It was delicious, but then I made it better. I added some crumbled white cheddar, half an avocado, and drizzled sesame oil over the top. Reader…that was transformative. It was, perhaps, the best thing I’ve cooked all year. I am going to make it again just as soon as I can get back to ALDI for hella cheap chickpeas. Maybe eating right won’t be so hard this time.
Spooky Scary Skeletons:
Now that summer is slowly ending, my mind has turned to autumn and Halloween. This has always been my very favorite of holidays, and I love how gigantic this has become in American culture. I mean, Halloween has always been one of the more prominent things we do, but as my generation ages, we refuse to give up on dressing up and getting turnt on October 31st. It’s such fun to put on a costume and have a wild evening. I have this fantasy of hosting the Halloween party of the year in the cemetery near me. It’s old and atmospheric and would look amazing dressed up in those dim outdoor string lights, a couple bonfires, plastic skeletons hanging from the trees, bunched and bunches of pumpkins, and a full bar. I have looked into it, and you can’t really rent out a cemetery for a party. You could get away with probably hosting some kind of impromptu memorial of the dead, but I doubt that the neighbors want a bunch of people dancing and celebrating the creepiest holiday of the year. I wish they would. I’d give them an invite. Anyway, I say all this because I want to dress up as a skeleton for whatever I do this year because of the Spooky Scary Skeleton meme.
I love memes. I’m like a wine mom on Tumblr, chortling over them. And I am madly in love with the dance version of the song. Listen, reader, and LIVE. That thing brings me to life. I want to dance for ten hours. I want to be turnt. I want to host the party and play only this song. It’d be be lit and on fleek and amazing. It won’t happen, though. That’s unfortunate.
MS Relapse Confusion:
Since June, I have been working on a “master post” blog on my diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis. There is just a ton of information that I need to process, and a lot of things I’m still figuring out. SO…I don’t know when that’ll be finished. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Something I will tell you now is that this dumb disease is absolutely different for everybody. There are similarities, but it’s still a completely different beast for each person that suffers. Ever since my body was pumped full of that horrible steroid and I ballooned and fell into the depths of despair for two weeks and sobbed about never climbing Mount Everest (why?), I’ve been doing grand. Literally fine. I feel bad about that because I know that so many other people with the same disease suffer so much more than I do. And I know that someday I might suffer that way, too, unless that wondrous stem cell treatment comes to reality soon. When I was in Egypt, as you’ll soon read in my travel posts that I’m behind on, I was at the peak of my health. I have literally never felt better. I felt better than I had years ago when I was twenty pounds lighter and slightly muscular. It was fabulous, so I’ve been on the lookout for how much worse I might feel back in America. My current working theory is that I need for my health: abundant sunshine, high heat, low humidity, and roughly fifteen thousand steps each day. In Iowa, I don’t get the same quality of light, low humidity, or the chance to walk more than about ten thousand steps. So, I’ve been anticipating something. Finally this weekend, I noticed it. My left leg, which has always been flawless in both nerve quality and beauty, felt strange. But then it went away. Then there was a tingling in my left hand which had never felt that way. But then it went away. That led me to freak the fuck out. Excuse my language, dear and precious reader, but I did not want to go on another round of intravenous Solumedrol. That’s the only thing that’s ever made me wonder if life was worth living. I’m not down for taking that again, and if I ever have to, I hope to try an alternative. I’ve found two that are routinely offered in place of that horrific solution. So I was legit scared. And I was annoyed because I didn’t know if it was an actual relapse or if it was just something weird or if it was some new disease. Since they went away, they aren’t relapses, but I didn’t know that at the time. I wish I had. But there is no manual for this disease. There should be. Maybe I’ll write it.
End of “NYT Now” App:
For a year or so, I have started my mornings with the NYT Now app. It has the major news stories of the day, some interest pieces, excellent political articles, and a miniature crossword. I couldn’t get out of bed unless I solved that crossword. Weeks and weeks ago, I wrote an entire post just about that game. I’m obsessed. So, I was traumatized when I checked in yesterday and it had a waving emoji that said that it had been updated for the very last time. I think I cried a little. It was a devastating moment in my life. Will I ever be over it? Probably. But still, I’m just so sad. I downloaded the regular app for the New York Times that they recommended, but it’s not the same. The little crossword is still there, for which I’m ever so thankful, but there are just too many news stories. Instead of a nicely cultivated and edited list of essentials, I am presented with every story in the paper. I don’t want that! And I don’t want to pay a hundred dollars a year for access to the paper’s content. I mean, that’s not a horrific price, but it’s an expense that I don’t want or need. Someday I’ll move on, but for now I’ll sulk and moodily scroll Google News instead. That works fine, but it’s just not the same. Weep with me, reader.