Martha Stewart Not In St. Louis:

Oh, reader, I have a doozy of a story to share with you today. Martha Stewart is one of the icons in my life that I look up to every single day. If I can ever be a bit more like her, I’ll find a way to do that. Whenever I’m tidying and redoing my house, I’m thinking, what will Martha think when she comes over? It’s absurd, reader. Martha is never coming to my house for lunch, but I terrorize myself into order at the thought of it happening. This has been a commonplace scenario in my mind since the summer of 2008 when I saw my first episode of Martha’s daytime talk show. Immediately I became obsessed. Bought all the books, subscribed to Living, rewatched her PBS show, and restyled my wardrobe to be more “New England Martha goes yachting on the weekend.” It was a major moment for me. And then you know how I go to her coffee shop in New York City in the vain hope of seeing her. And you know how I stock up on her goods at Macy’s. And you know how I watch her late night show with Snoop Dogg religiously. And you know how she and I were blocks apart on Broadway last year. And you surely remember the divine moment when I bumped into her dogs! If not, let me refresh you on one of the more spectacular moments of my life:


This holy image still gives me chills.

All in all, Martha Stewart is my everything. And for some reason, the Universe keeps us apart. I mean, we would probably rule the world  if we came together, so this might be the Universe trying not to overwhelm the public. Let’s go with that. So this brings us to the present. I was reading the latest issue of Living cover to cover, as I always do — ads and all, and chortling over the calendar that is in the front of each issue. This is full of absurdities Martha does like: horseback riding at Skylands, touring Antarctica, attending Harvard commencements, ordering dozens of pea varieties, switching out the window screens on all of her houses, visiting the Seed Bank in Norway, celebrating her grandchildren’s birthdays with sumptuous events, and a lot of yoga. But in this issue, there was a mention of a book signing in St. Louis. I clutched at pearls I wasn’t wearing. Reader, I can go to St. Louis. It’s not that far away. Immediately I hurled myself at a computer to get a ticket, but they were all sold out. I refused to be dismissed so easily, so I scoured the underbelly of the Internet and eBay in hopes of finding one for sale, but the Internet failed me. I was in misery, so I put it out of my mind. Then, reader, the most decadent thing possible happened: a nor’easter. Martha made an attempt to get to Illinois for the book signing, but due to the weather, she was unable to make it. I watched it transpire live and was riveted by her attempt to cross a bridge in gale-force winds. Finally she gave up and sent apologies via Instagram posts. IT WAS EVERYTHING. I WAS THRIVING. I couldn’t see Martha, and all those smug people with their tickets couldn’t either. It was a moment of the most decadent schadenfreude. How blessed I feel. HOW ALIVE!

Fire & Fury:


I have been pretty good about not writing about the president on this blog. I feel like the less I acknowledge his existence, the less real it will be. Of course that isn’t true, but we’re all allowed to live in our bubbles of comfort. I need that. I won’t belabor the point or beat it to death, but it is absolutely absurd that we have such a bumbling fool after the grace and dignity of the Obamas. They were not perfect, of course not, the whole Syria issue and drone thing perturbs me on a deep level, but President Obama was still a good politician and a seemingly decent human being. The current president is neither of those things. When Fire and Fury first came out I knew that I had to read it as fast as I could, but I refused to buy a copy because I want my money to in no way support the existence of Donald Trump. I know that the book is not supportive of him, but he is surely vain enough to love having a best seller all about him, no matter how it shines a light on his incompetence. So the library bought it instead. I have been tearing through it the past week whenever I get a chance and the level of idiocy that abounds in the White House is alarming. I knew that he was a fool, and I knew that he was uninformed, and I knew that he was largely what he presents himself to be. But it’s hard to read about it being true sometimes. You want to hope the media is exaggerating a little bit. If anything, they are under exaggerating. The worst is the truth and it’s likely even more awful than that. I was gobsmacked by his seeming inability to read. I understood his love for McDonalds, but that might be the only thing in common I share with the current president of the United States. His inability to do anything properly is absolutely astounding. And I was most concerned by a passage regarding Egypt’s president, el-Sisi. I worry about el-Sisi a lot. I went to Egypt for the first time shortly after his election and the people were all so hopeful for the change in administration, but it appears that el-Sisi is falling into many of the habits of the strongmen leaders throughout Egypt’s history. That’s irrelevant to this discussion, though. At a meeting with the Egyptian leader, President Trump (still a bizarre sequence of words to see) responded to him by saying, “Love your shoes. Boy, those shoes. Man…” I can’t get over this. I’ve been thinking about it endlessly. I can’t wait for the next election.   




Bad Mood:


Let me tell you something about me, I try to be irritatingly chipper. Being sad or mad or miserable is nothing but a damn waste of time. Life is far too short to wallow in grief over things that are completely out of your control. I credit my diagnosis with multiple sclerosis for changing my mindset this way. When I realized just how awful things could be, nothing that I was going through seemed that bad. Yeah I couldn’t see out of my eye, but at least I had another eye that could see. The muscles in my thigh were saying, “Bye, Felicia,” but I knew that with steroids it would start to vanish. And ever since then, I’ve been doing remarkably okay with my mood. Then I started on antidepressants and boy was everything even better. I honestly don’t know why anybody would resist popping a Prozac in the morning if it makes them feel excited and happy for life. But blah blah blah, lately I have been in an absolutely terrible mood. There are too many reasons to list, and it would not be appropriate to put them here, but it feels like everything is hitting me all at once and in the worst way. I haven’t really found a way to perk up or feel like my old self or find that silver lining I can always easily pick out, and it’s making me miserable. I don’t want to feel like I do, but I can’t seem to control it. I’m sure in time, this bleak moment of my life will fade away and I’ll be left with nothing but hazy memories. But now, it’s all I can think about, and it’s not who I am, and I can’t wait to be over it. I need a vacation desperately. June can’t come soon enough. 

The Freaking Snow:


I am so tired of this crap. For a few days, you’ll remember because I rhapsodized on it at considerable length, it looked as if spring had sprung. The birds were singing, the snow melted, my driveway was a veritable mud pit, I could walk around the yard and not die, I could sit in the sunshine with a book and live my best life. It was a glorious time to be alive. Life was so much simpler a few weeks ago. Well, Mother Nature, in her awful way, tricked me. This week has had repeated snow showers and the weather is atrocious. On Monday, I was stuck in a convoy on the highway of idiots driving forty miles per hour. Yes it was snowing, but the roads were not slick, and there was nary a reason for this foolish behavior. So I was late. And I was cold. And then it melted. And then yesterday the same thing happened again. Out of nowhere the satanic flakes of evil poured forth from the heavens as I was driving to Ames. It was a misery. I was in a foul mood because of it, which only compounded the foul mood that I had already found myself in. Sometimes everything is awful. I really need a break from the cold and the dreariness that I’m being swallowed up in. It’s really not at all to my liking to be this moody. People who are grumpy all the time must be so exhausted. It’s only been three days and I want to jump off the Golden Gate Bridge or go for a long weekend in a hospital bed on an IV drip. That sounds particularly lovely, bedridden watching my telenovelas and passing out into the bliss of unconsciousness whenever the whim strikes. But until then, I shall nobly press on. This snow is atrocious. It’s a nightmare. 

Medical Bills:


I haven’t hated so many things in so long. It’s wearing me out. I have made a huge effort to do better with my money. I don’t make a tremendous amount, but I should be able to sustain myself. I’m trying very hard to limit the amount of credit card debt that I’ve accrued over the years. And once I realized that I couldn’t fix everything in a month or two, I have really been pleased with the results and watching the numbers go down on my statements. One of these days I’ll be able to have a better handle on my finances. But an endlessly irritating burden on my life is multiple sclerosis. I have next to no symptoms, just the occasional irritation and constant fatigue, but one of the worst byproducts of this disease is the absurd expense. I am part of a program that pays for the copay on my medication, so that costs me absolutely nothing, which is remarkable as the yearly cost of Gilenya, the last time I looked, was $54,000. Isn’t that silly? Because of my diagnosis, I need to have an MRI every year, a process that is so deeply relaxing that I fell asleep the last time, but a process that is prohibitively expensive. I am so very lucky to have decent health insurance from my work, but even so, I am routinely gobsmacked by some bills that I get. Seemingly at random, I’ll receive notices for a hundred dollars or fourteen dollars or seventy something. These are obviously irksome, but a hundred dollars is hardly the end of the world. Imagine my horror then the other day when I came home to a bill for eight hundred dollars. EIGHT HUNDRED DOLLARS. And the bill was due in full in a week. After I stopped screaming in outrage I had to cackle. How could I ever rise above when I’m routinely hit with a fee for little less than an entire paycheck? Thankfully, I was able to set up a payment plan with the hospital so that I can pay forty bucks a month for a year and a half. I’ll never be free of debt, I suppose. But at least I try. I just need a rich person to marry me. If you have money and a sense of humor, please send me an application. I’m a hoot and a half and perfectly at ease in five star hotels and I can wear anything and make it look couture. A real catch. So, marry me, please.

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