If you’ve read my blog for any length of time, you know a few concrete facts about me. You know that Cher’s album of ABBA covers is a bop that refuses to stop, you know that Harry Styles is perfect, you know that ancient Egypt is the love of my life, you know that travel is my supreme passion, and you know that I put the pro in procrastination. Like Jennifer Saunders wrote in her sublime autobiography, Bonkers, “I am the worst procrastinator in the world. I wish it was actually a named disease so I could go to a clinic.” It overwhelms me and hurts my existence, but I continue to do very well with the added stress of procrastinating, so I never had much of a legitimate reason to change my ways. It’s gotten pretty bad lately, and I don’t know why. I think I developed ADHD as an adult. I took a bunch of online tests and I have so many of the symptoms. That’s going to be my excuse anyway. Recently I find that I can’t concentrate on my studies at all. Every little noise that I hear distracts me hideously. If the television is playing downstairs or somebody is on the phone, all I can hear is that. It’s horrible. I decided to put off my obligations so that I could work on finding a solution to this issue, and I kept coming back to white noise. I have never understood it or used it or believed much in its usage. My ear specialist suggested several white noise apps for me to try and retrain my brain so that I can’t hear the tinnitus that developed after I went deaf in the left ear. This has never done a thing for me, so I have ignored the apps. Still, all the online research said it was what I needed to do, so I loaded a ten-hour loop on YouTube and got to work.
It was super annoying, but then suddenly U didn’t hear the white noise anymore and I was so shocked by the realization that I got lost in my work that I lost my focus. Still, it was a wonderful discovery and I have been listening to it ever since. It doesn’t even matter how loud you crank it up, you eventually learn to ignore it and you can study and focus and achieve all of your dreams. I don’t understand how it works, the brain is wild, but it’s a miracle.
All right, welcome back to the trials and tribulations of chronic fatigue, all thanks to the incurable neurological disorder, multiple sclerosis. You know, it really hasn’t been all that awful for me, and for that, I am endlessly thankful. Each year when I go to the MS Walk, I realize just how lucky I am. There are people my age in wheelchairs, others using canes (and not just to be fashionable like Madonna, they actually have to use them.) You would not believe some of the horrifying orthopedic shoes that some people wear because it helps with their stability. If the day ever comes that I won’t be able to wear my suede Chelsea boots…well I really don’t want to think about that day. All in all, though, multiple sclerosis has been rather kind to me. All of the symptoms that I had have been reversed to the point where I don’t even remember how bad they were. My vision is just crappy vision now, not blurry from optic neuritis. The spasticity in my leg is 99% gone. I notice it a few times a year at most. Noticed it today actually, while walking down the hallway at work, but a moment later it was gone. I’m never even sure if it’s not a phantom spastic attack or if it’s real. Luckily for me I have had no new flareups and all the health issues that have occurred have been just bad luck. If you’re going to have a disease that requires medication in excess of $54,000 a year (without insurance) you’d think I’d at least get a handicapped parking permit. Oh well… The only real symptom of multiple sclerosis that I have is chronic fatigue. And it seems that everybody with MS has it. This has been a part of my life for as long as I remember it, so I wonder just how long multiple sclerosis has been attacking my nervous system? I suspect that I’ve had it for at least twelve years, if not more. I’ve been tired all the time, and lately it has gotten really bad. I can’t find the energy to do anything at all, so I chatted with my neurologist and was given a prescription for Provigil. When I went to the pharmacy to get it filled, I was horrorstruck to find it cost $800 (WITH INSURANCE) for a month’s supply. I could not afford that, and I suddenly felt really poor and I hated it. As I was leaving, giggling madly at the absurdity, my mind flashed back to a commercial I had seen and ignored a hundred times for an app called GoodRX. It purportedly gives you discounts on medicine, and I thought I’d give it a try. I downloaded it, typed in what I needed and my location, and then it suddenly told me that I could buy it at Walmart for $42. Now, I’m not all that good at math but that’s over $750 less. I had to get it generic, but I don’t give two hoots about that. I have a wonderful medication at a price that I can afford. I don’t know how it works, but you can get affordable medicine even without insurance. That price was just with a coupon. IT. WAS. WILD. Get the app immediately if you have any outrageous prescriptions. This is a game changer.
There is something in my life that I love more than I should. More than it’s appropriate, I think. It’s not anything like inappropriate, it’s just my weird obsession with the cartel. This is not something that I ever would have been into, but I fell down the rabbit hole thanks to my beloved queen, Kate del Castillo. After my first visit to Mexico, I missed the place so much that I began looking for shows set in Mexico City. I came across Ingobernable, which I’m not going to tell you all about again. Just know that you should watch it. This led me to La Reina del Sur, which you know changed my life. Completely changed my life. It’s all about, as I’m sure you know by now, a poor moneychanger from Sinaloa that winds up running the largest drug empire in the south of Europe. Not my usual genre, but it has become my absolute everything. I now love nothing more than a good show about a cartel. So, reader, imagine my delirious excitement when I discovered a brand new reality show called Cartel Crew? It’s about the children of ex cartel members who are trying to start life over in Miami, away from the stigma of their parent’s occupations. It turns out, at least in this show, that there is an entire narco lifestyle that is built around this experience. Who knew? The show follows several adult children of ex cartel members as they try to find honest money, and let me tell you, this was delightful. The show is really rather awful, but addictive in the best way. It’s like the Real Housewives of Sinaloa, only in Miami. One of the cast members is the son of Griselda Blanco, the infamous cartel leader that basically established the illegal drug trade in Miami. She was badass, but a total criminal, and is beloved in the way that many narco leaders are. In total honesty, they have been kinder to the local people than the government. That’s one of the reasons that the cartels have such a stronghold, locals would rather prosper from the illegal economy than get by with the legitimate government. And honestly, can you blame them? Anyway, instead of cocaine, Griselda’s son is starting a gym and a fashion line. I am stretching the limits of the definition of fashion line. It is clothing, but fashion is not exactly what I’d call it since it’s just shirts and leisurewear with the name Pure Blanco or graffiti style prints of Griselda. Like the shop they were trying to sell it at in New York City, nobody is wearing this. But whatever. The other cast members are trying to become legit businesswomen or singers signed to Lil Wayne or becoming the best tattoo artist in Miami. Let me tell you this, it is a hoot. The entire show is ludicrous, but I have such fun. The episodes are available for streaming right now, so get started. There’s a custody battle that involves margaritas and a shouting match over an Instagram picture of a police badge, and honestly, I was living my best life with my own margarita as I was watching. I can’t wait for the next episode on Monday!
I have a confession that will probably come as a total shock to you: I hate health and exercise and all things related to unnecessary movement. Britney and I both want a hot body and a Bugatti, but I don’t want to work, bitch. MANDATORY BRITNEY INTERLUDE:
I hate the thought of doing anything more strenuous than a yoga session or a long walk. And the thought of that even wears me out. The day I willingly walk into a gym to do anything other than tan is the day that Hell freezes over. And that would have been today, because the high was like negative twenty, thanks Polar Vortex! That being said, I do love healthy things because they’re actually like…delicious. For example, broccoli and grapefruit are two of the most wonderful things that have ever existed in this world. I’d eat salads until the cows come home — unless they’re some basic romaine mix nonsense — and I gladly eat a heavily vegetable focused diet. I eat fish maybe once or twice a week — and half that time…okay like ninety percent of the time, it’s a McDonald’s Fish Filet — because of the Omega 3s and how much evidence that supports people who have multiple sclerosis. Whatever, I just want you to know that I’m not a health guru and if I ever have abs it’s only because of a true miracle or I’ve developed another eating disorder. What I mean to say is I was at ALDI the other day and I saw a spaghetti squash, and I remembered I’d had one like a decade ago and it was weird, so I put it in my bag and ignored it for a good month. Well yesterday we had an early out because it’s too cold to be outside, let alone drive to work, so I decided that it was finally time to use the spaghetti squash. Reader, it was too delicious. Like…I’m ashamed of how much I liked it. It was STUPID. Like I’d rather have spaghetti squash than actual spaghetti.
After scraping out the squash pasta strands, I made it into a millionaire spaghetti, which I’d never heard of either until yesterday. It’s like regular baked spaghetti, but in the middle, you spread a layer of cheeses and then top it with more noodles. I was convinced immediately that I needed to make it, so I got a chance to use up a bunch of crap I’ve had too long. I mixed together cream cheese, quark cheese, cottage cheese, garlic, a ton of dried parsley (only because the lid fell off while I was pouring ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ ), and then whipped it all together. I topped the dish with sharp white cheddar, olive oil, and Panko breadcrumbs. After broiling the top of it within an inch of its life, I pulled it out, let it cool a bit, and then cut in. LORD JESUS, READER, IT WAS TOO GOOD. Get yourself to the grocery store immediately. Buy all the damn spaghetti squashes. You’ll lose it. I have.
Harry Styles in Japan with Queer Eye:
This one might be a particularly obscure major love for me that others aren’t so passionate about, but let me introduce to you three of my favorite things. You already know them all, but I’m going to give an abbreviated version. 1) One of my dream vacations — and I refuse to call it a bucket list item, I’m so over that expression — is to go to Japan to see the cherry blossoms in Kyoto. I have been enamored of this since, honestly, middle school when I first read Memoirs of a Geisha. I wanted nothing more than to slowly wander under the gorgeous pink trees, smiling up at the sun as the geishas sauntered by on their way to a tea ceremony. It’s one of my oldest fantasies. 2) I absolutely adore the reboot of Queer Eye on Netflix. The five guys are each endlessly lovable. I have never seen people who are so nice in all my life. They adore each other and they’re endlessly supportive of literally anything any of them do. Every picture they post on Instagram is followed with comments from the other guys posting things like, “Where was my warning????” It’s adorable. I want to be one of them. I want Jessica to go on the show. Absolutely everything they do is phenomenal. 3) Does my love for Harry Styles really need to be explained at this point? Probably not. I’m not going to dive to deep into how he changed my style — see what I did there — and my hair and my opinion on duck calls. He’s everything. He’s handsome and kind and beautiful and nice and stunning and talented and tall and precious and so stylish. Okay, now that these essential elements are established, prepare for the mental breakdown I suffered the other day. Jessica sent me a video on Instagram that was posted by one of the guys from Queer Eye, Bobby Berk (lovingly referred to as Bobbers), who was singing karaoke at some gay harajuku bar in Tokyo. This wasn’t all that odd, I’ll admit. Queer Eye is filming a series of episodes in Japan, so they’ve been in that nation for awhile. It’s been fabulous to see the things they do, and I have never wanted to go so much. But I kept watching, and reader, you know where this is going, but you will never believe who was at Bobby’s table, just casually sitting in a gay harajuku karaoke bar with a star of Queer Eye. Yes, it was Harry goddamn Styles. I could not believe it at first. I mean, I could be mistaken, after all, after a One Direction concert in San Jose, a rabid fan screamed at me after I went into the gas station for a sandwich, “HARRY!? IS THAT YOU?!” So, I admit that I could have been mistaken. But then more and more videos came in and it became perfectly clear that my beloved Harry really was there. And then, reader, they started singing one of the gayest gay anthems of all time, “Bohemian Rhapsody.”
Yes, Harry was singing gay anthems with Queer Eye in Japan. Put it all together and you have me with a heart attack. No wait…they stole my heart…MANDATORY ONE DIRECTION INTERLUDE:
It’s not up to me to assign a sexual orientation to Harry, but he has never stated definitively what he’s into, and this fueled my gay soul. I will never stop thinking about it. I want to get a tattoo of Harry singing with the Fab Five on my HEART.