Staying “Inspiralized” After the Apocalypse

So I wrote this on NYE AM after drinking half a bottle of prosecco by like 9 AM while texing Austin a bunch. He said I should make pictures but I didn’t. Here you go. This is mainly for Antoine:

If you’re reading this for instructional purposes, CONGRATULATIONS(?), YOU SURVIVED THE APOCALYPSE. AND, the Apocalypse has either left the Internet intact (guessing zombie-style) or you (intelligently) printed this post out in advance of the Apocalypse because let’s be fucking honest, we all saw it coming (I’d go with some sorta nuclear war sitch in this case).

Anyway, here you are, reading this post, thinking “What now? Everything and everyone I love is dead and gone and I think I’m supposed to rebuild society or whatever but honestly I couldn’t even back before those zombies/bombs/aliens/noroviruses came around and fucked it ALL up.” I have two words for you — spiralized squash. Or like, seaweed if that’s all that survived after that comet hit the North Pole that was already melted and caused that Tsunami to hit every major city in the world. Seriously, cookbook author, blog owner and lifestyle guru (totally guessing, but like, probably, right?) Ali Maffucci has got you in this time of desperate need and possibly having resort to cannibalism to survive because SPIRALIZING SHIT. I’m sure she also survived the raging fires that consumed the entire Northern Hemisphere just because people won’t recycle their damn bottles because the the level of craftiness it takes to realize you can turn a broccoli stem into an al dente noodle mean you can totes defend yourself against the mole people who have now become society’s overlords.

At this point, you probably have some questions about the helpfulness of this post, like —

  • Why are you ranting about a diet blog instead of telling me how to bury the contagious corpses littered around this shack I built out of old Amazon boxes?
  • All of the spiralizers melted when the self-driving cars were hacked and simultaneously drove into nuclear reactors so how in the world am I supposed to turn this obviously toxic and possibly deadly zucchini into a delicious substitute for angel hair pasta?

I will address the second question only, because the first is dumb, obviously spiralizing is the answer to the world accepting Bitcoin as its only form of currency and then one person hacking it, stealing all the Bitcoin, downloading it onto a USB drive which then got trashed when he accidentally unplugged it from his laptop without dragging the USB drive icon into the trashcan icon so all the Bitcoin disappeared and the world was forced to return to a bartering economy but the only skill anyone has is Bitcoin mining so like duh you need to develop this skill because you will be the first person with a skill. The fun thing about spiralizing, along with the creativity you can bring to your everyday dinners without even *feeling* like you’re dieting because sweet potato noodles definitely taste just as good in pad thai as regular rice noodles, is that pretty much any set of sharpened items shoved into a circular surface can be used to turn a seemingly bland, boring vegetable into a delicious substitute for starches.

Added bonus: whatever your apocalypse scenario is, I bet you have the tools to make a spiralizer. Whether or not you have the resources to actually spiralize is a different question, but spiralizers make your options almost limitless! In an attempt to imagine your specific apocalypse scenario and what resources you could use to create your post-apocalyptic spiralizer, I’ve come up with a couple plausible scenarios with some recommendations —

Scenario 1: It turns out that Kylie™ lipstain contains a dormant zombie virus that becomes activated when it comes in contact with the Starbucks Special Edition Unicorn Frappuccino so every #basicbitch turned into a zombie and that shit spread mad fast. There was a brief hope that applying some Fenty Mattemoiselle in Midnight Wasabi lipstick was the cure, but alas, even millennial Jesus (Rihanna) couldn’t save the world from the millenial antichrists (Kardashians) and so the #basics destroyed everyone with the exception of those who never attended Bikram, dabbled in a vegan and/or gluten-free lifestyle, or justified a purchase by calling it “cruelty-free”

Spiralizer solution 1: Your post-apocalyptic world is littered with the tubes of a lipstain that was once sold out almost immediately upon its release. You’re wandering around in a fog, asking yourself the Big questions like, “was Kylie ever pregnant? Was it Tyga’s?” and “what even IS lip stain?” but what you should really be doing is picking up ALL 👏🏻 THOSE 👏🏻 FUCKING 👏🏻 LIP 👏🏻 STAIN 👏🏻 TUBES 👏🏻 because once you remove the stain brush, you’ve got some perfect little plastic tubes you can sharpen into tiny spikes so you can turn some onions into the best oven-baked cajun fry substitute you’ve ever had. It’s like 15 calories. So good. What is that you say? The spiralizers are still around because in this apocalypse scenario nothing was destroyed except for a bunch of Starbucks and Forever 21s? Ok, fine, just go find a real spiralizer, but, like, I helped a little bit OK?

Scenario 2(highly likely): Everyone Googles themselves to death. This goes one of two ways for every member of society — the first have such a common name that they can’t even find any entries about them on page one of the results and they realize their meaninglessness, the second have such unique names that they find every negative reaction to everything they’ve ever done on the Internet (which is a lot), and the thumbs down to their Yelp! reviews, negative votes to the Quora answers, This Is Unhelpful count of their Amazon product ratings and general trolling of the YouTube video they posted of their pet ferret (mainly fat-shaming the ferret, but also some fat-shaming of the owner) plunge them into a similar feeling of meaninglessness. Both parties choose death by spiralizer BECAUSE YOU GUYS YOU CAN SERIOUSLY SPIRALIZE ANYTHING.

Spiralizer solution 2: OK in this scenario you def don’t want to use those spiralizers. That said, the Amazon headquarters probably have a shitton of unused ones and given that no actual disaster occurred you can probably just walk into any of their warehouses and find one. Good luck finding it with your internet-less, “keeps you off the grid”, flip phone, you fucking nerd.

Scenario 3: Beyoncé dies.

Spiralizer solution 3: Nope. Starve to death. What’s the point?

Blogs are supposed to have a sign-off. Whatever,


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Edible Tide Pods

I couldn’t help myself. I had to do it. I’m mid-Dryuary, it’s cold AF out (or downright tropical depending on the day – cool. we’re all gonna die soon. it’s cool.), and 2018 has already brought us a deadly trend that’s been memed to oblivion. Plus, after like ten days of staring at Tide pods and thinking how delicious they look, I decided to figure out how to make some for real edible ones.

I made up several recipes in my head – first Jello, then hard candy crescents with like fun dip powder or something and finally I landed on GUMMIES. Because even if they turned out like a poison-themed Pinterest fail, they’d at least be delicious.

I based my plan off two recipes from The Spruce – this one for homemade gummy bears and this one for the white gelatin.


Jolly rancher gelatin is magic

So I made some gelatin. Then, because I couldn’t find any moon-shaped cookie cutters or molds, I purchased a fancy knife at the cake store (why spend money on things you need when you can spend money on a knife you’ll never use again but that also sort of makes you look like a secret serial killer?) to cut the gelatin.


NBD just making some food that could be poisonous with this scalpel thing, nothing to see here. Move along thx

I used a picture of real-life Tide pods for inspiration, but really I just aimed to cut out shitty-looking little whales.

Meanwhile, I made the base of the pod with the white gelatin so that I could get the full cube effect of the Tide pods. I THOUGHT OF EVERYTHING. Once I finished cutting out all of the ugly whales and eating most of the leftover gelatin for dinner, I attempted the hardest part of this project – getting the wrappers on the pods. I went totally rogue for this one and decided that two packets of Knox gelatin mixed with 1/3rd cup of water would gel enough to make the plastic.

I microwaved the flavorless gelatin for about 45 seconds and now I think I know what burnt horse hooves smell like so that was awful, BUT it did give me the right texture. I brushed a thin layer on the bottom of the silicon mat, and despite the fact that it didn’t stick all that well due to the canola oil spray, it did a pretty good job in keeping the colored gelatin stuck to the bottom when I poured in the white gelatin.


I guess it’s worth mentioning that at this point my entire kitchen is covered in dried, hardened gelatin drops and canola oil spray. 

Once I covered my gel pod/whales/poor excuses for Jello ying yang symbols, I topped the mixture with the backs of the pod and poured more hoof-scented clear gelatin over the pods.


Mmmm, hooves

I chilled another 20 mins or so, used my serial killer tool to cut the clear gelatin and BOOM. EDIBLE TIDE PODS, FUCKERS.


My life’s work. I can die happy now. 

So yeah. No more hypothetical recipes. This is IT.

Peace, Love and don’t eat (real) Tide pods you dummies,


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The Internet Should Be Read-Only after 9 PM

Do you hang out on the Internet at night? Do you often regret the things you’ve said/ordered off Amazon/said on the Internet at night? Me too. While this sounds like the beginning of an infomercial, I have neither the platform or the discipline to make one, so this is just a blog post about a strong opinion I have. SORRY.

So my thing with the Internet is that *it’s great*, right? Isn’t it great? It’s probably tracking everything I do, but IDK, I don’t do anything super-illegal and also it kinda feels nice that the Internet like, cares, that much to track all my movements. The Internet is basically the best listener ever.

The thing about the Internet that’s problematic for me is that I use it after 9 PM sometimes. It doesn’t matter if I’m drunk/high/totally sober, I’m  a total weirdo by like 8 PM because I’ve used up all my normal-humaning on work and so I’m gonna email my friends youtube videos of birds that have subject lines like “IT ME LETS MOVE

TO THE DESERT YES?” and then the next day I have to explain to my friend that no, it was not acid, I just have poor impulse control.

So I’d like to propose a new protocol. The Internet should be read-only after 9 PM. Based on your timezone, when you get on your wifi, it should block you from sending ANYTHING. Emergencies are for phones. Mistakes are for computers.

SRSLY, back away from the internet


Topics for the club

Last night I went “clubbing” with some friends, because someone was turning 30 and I apparently wanted to pretend that clubs don’t force me to immediately blackout and run home, leaving me awake in my apartment far too early the next day with a slew of texts from my (drunk) friends that are like, “R U ALIVE?!”, “I hope UR alive?”, “DID YOU GET SVU’D?!?!” It’s the club’s fault, y’all.

ANYWAY, because I haven’t been to a New York club in at least several years, I sat in my bathroom last night trying to think about what sort of stories I had to scream-tell a friend-adjacent person I’d inevitably end up fake-talking to while at the club. Back in the day, I was pretty good at clubs. I was 24ish, skinny enough to fit in dresses that were the length of the shirts I wear now and I had ample time and patience for my hair and makeup. Guys would come up to me and be all, “hey. I’m Greg. What do you do?” and I’d sigh, all bored at their politeness and be like, “NOTHING” and then dance on Austin to some Lil’ Wayne song. I’m pretty sure I was winning clubs back then.

Last night I was watching Empire (BECAUSE THAT SHOW IS BASICALLY HEAVEN YOU GUYS ITS SO GOOD) on the couch in a couple of our gross old towels, lamenting to bf that I had to go socialize with people, and trying to mentally prepare myself for choosing a club outfit. The right choice would have been my “Nikki Minaj” dress, as I like to call it, which is basically just tight black dress with some mesh in the front that shows more of my boobs than I’m comfortable with. The choice I made was to wear my usually stylish trouser pants with a blue, loose tank top, because then I didn’t have to spend the entire night pulling my dress down and also my bra (yes, I have only one) is dirty, so I needed to be able to wear my substitute bra, which is just an under-tank with a shelf bra in it. And my shelf bra is navy and the dress is black, so like, I’d basically be breaking all fashion rules by combining them. Because the person who wears a shelf bra to the club clearly cares about fashion rules.

I digress, because the whole point of this post is that I no longer come equipped with club-ready topics. As I was strapping myself into my shelf bra and looking in the mirror, going, “this is kind of makeup on my face?” I didn’t spend enough time thinking about the meaningless topics I’d need to cover with my new fake club friends.

Club topics need to be short, easily understood (even if your listener is drunk and hears 1/3rd of the words you’re yelling), and relatable to anyone, because you’re not likely to meet your friend-soulmate at the club. Club conversations are like:

  • omg, that guy is so hot
  • omg, that girl is SO drunk
  • omg, this drink is  SOSO bad
  • omg, you’re like my fucking SOULMATE right now do you wanna do a shot?
  • omg, that shot was SO bad!

But, last night after telling a group of 40-somethings from New Jersey that they totally had Kelly Ripa arms and that they gave me hope for future me bearing children and still looking hot (at least I’m a nice drunk?) I found myself in the club, wholly unequipped. As it turns out, having things I care about in my life and being drunk at a club do not make me a good club person. Because I’m pretty sure my conversations were like:

  • omg, the sink in my pre-war apartment clogs like, every month, and I just want it to stop. u know?
  • omg, so I was on WebMD the other day and I either have tendonitis or I’ve fractured the front part of BOTH ankles
  • omg, this drink is SO overpriced for what it is, like, their well gin isn’t even Hendricks
  • omg, I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about our hiring process at work and how we could be more inclusive to women because I think right now we unconsciously select for men

I woke up this morning on the wrong side of the bed (literally, bf was sleeping on my side and it was BIZARRE), face full of smeared makeup and my stomach with the sort of dead undigested food feeling I have after eating not one, but two slices of probably toxic dollar slice pizza from the place across the street from my apartment, meaning I drunk-person Irish exited the club sometime before 4 AM.

At least I have all my stuff.

Peace, love and the “pizza” that’s going to live in my body forever, 


Not-so-subtle Differences

The other day I was at Grand Central, after like fifty-seven (ok, three, but it felt like way more) trips to Penn Station, and I was thinking about how I would describe Penn Station V Grand Central to non-New Yorkers. I was thinking about all of this while walking through a fucking gorgeous artisanal market IN THE TRAIN STATION that, upon entering it, literally prompted me to say out loud, “I love New York.” The doucheyness of this city has fully consumed me and I think I’m ok with it, artisanal train station markets and all.

ANYWAY, I spent a lot of time thinking about all the nuances that separate Grand Central from Penn that I could describe to a non-New Yorker, and I ended up with this –

Screen Shot 2016-04-08 at 6.24.13 PM

You’re welcome,

Peace, love and the rosé I’m drinking right now,


Groundhog’s Day is Stupid

This morning I was taking a cab to work, because I have recently (ie – in the past 9 months) become one of those pieces of shit who actually pays $10 to get to work in lieu of walking or paying $2 to get to work slightly more quickly via subway because it involves walking up the stairs at the W 4th street stop and I have some sort of vendetta against those stairs (they smell like piss and are kinda steep).

Seriously, though, you have to walk up stairs to walk back down stairs. It’s dumb an I object. But, back to the cab. So, for one thing when it snows in the city and you take a cab, the cab drivers seem to enjoy passive aggressively scolding their fares for taking a cab in the first place. Today (because I am double-shitty and wore sneakers instead of snow boots and COULDN’T walk home), both cab drivers immediately were like, “HEY. IT’S ICY OUT.”

Yes. Yes, cab driver. It is icy out. That is exactly why I have fled to the safety of your car rather than enjoyed my usually lovely walk through Soho to work. I can check Facebook and walk at the same time. I absolutely don’t need to be riding in your cab to accomplish all of my morning goals. They are not too lofty. But the cab drivers like to keep going with the passive aggression. With the sighing and talking about how it’s icy out and dangerous on the street and I want to be like LISTEN IF YOU DON’T WANT ME HERE I GET IT I’VE BEEN IN ENOUGH COLLEGE HOOK-UP SITUATIONS TO UNDERSTAND WHAT’S GOING ON. But I really didn’t want to get my new sneakers wet so I just kinda dealt with it. Just like in college when their apartment was closer to my 9 AM class. I was prepared for this, cab driver.

Ok, side rant over. Anyway, when I was in the cab this morning the radio people were talking about Groundhog Day. The first thing they said was how Puxatawney Phil in Philadelphia saw his shadow and so six weeks more winter and for whatever reason the whole crowd cheered. And also during the announcement they were like, “start using hashtag six more weeks.” Which seems like a really pathetic attempt to make Groundhog Day still happen.

But so then, immediately after that, the news was like BUT IN STATEN ISLAND, twobuckchuck or whatever our groundhog’s name is (may the one De Blasio killed last year RIP) was all, ‘hey no shadow’ and AGAIN EVERYONE CHEERED. Which makes more sense, but given Philly’s reaction I DON’T KNOW WHAT WE’RE CHEERING FOR. Is it the groundhog coming out of his groundhog house/hole on command? Is it the preservation of tradition? Is it that they know that TBS will DEF be playing that Bill Murray movie on syndication like alllllll day long?

Look, I sort of get that tradition is sort of important (basically I don’t, but I’m trying here), and that we have to have SOMETHING to do in February because Valentine’s Day is coming, fuck. But can’t we at least stick with one soothsaying groundhog like we stick with one Santa?

It’s getting really close to midnight and if I don’t publish this soon I fear I’m going to end up in the plot of that Bill Murray movie.

Groundhog’s day is stupid and always makes me think I have something to do on February 2nd when I don’t. But groundhogs are cute! Let’s look at some of them:

daww da babies

That’s it. It snowed today so I’m going with Puxatawney Phil’s soothsaying. Stupid winter. Diediedie.

I Regret Everything

I hate a lot of things: People who cut in lines; radio DJs who try to add their own ‘uh hu! uh hu!’s on top of a song you otherwise like; when iTunes only has a movie for purchase instead of rent(I will never watch Sex Tape twice, Apple). But one of the things I hate the most is when people are all like “I have NO REGRETS”. I get the sentiment. It’s that whole, “If I hadn’t made every single mistake/choice that led me to where I am now I wouldn’t be SO HAPPY with how my life is going at this exact second.” Or maybe you’re just like, on your deathbed, and it sounds a lot nicer that say “I have no regrets” to the people around you who are going to have to continue living afterwards and need some hope. Was that dark? Sorry, I’m sickly right now and I get all dark and broody when I’m sick. NO REGRETS. 

The thing about people saying “I have no regrets” is that they usually can only say it when they’re in a really good place in life. I’m totally guilty of this. I probably tried to be more stupidly poetic with it and say something like, “all of the mistakes I made have woven together the beautiful tapestry of what my life is today” or whatever. What a douche I was being. I apologize. But I really do believe when someone says, “I have no regrets,” that it comes from some place of self-righteousness, or at least delusion. There’s something about how you feel when literally every single piece of your life feels so perfect that you think you’ve REALLY figured it out. You’re the special one who, despite being 28 and only having like $10 in your savings account, GETS happiness. And you talk to people and give advice like you’ve cracked the code. That kind of attitude can be really detrimental to others, I think. I’ve given advice that is really detrimental to others, I think.

I think the other reason people are so compelled to say that they have no regrets is that regret fades. Like heartbreak or the fucking illness I’m dealing with right now (die illness, die) they leave you so quietly that one day you wake up and you can basically not remember what it’s like to live with them. In some senses you almost romanticize them. My mom and I have often talked about how some of our most vivid, happy memories have come from times when we were otherwise utterly depressed. That song you listened to when you were living in the bottom of a regret-pit becomes a badge of honor. It’s a way to conjure up the memory that you were once so low and can now be thankful that you aren’t.

But back to hating things. I’ve been living with some regret lately. In the grand scheme of things, it’s insignificant. It will fade faster than a spray tan(I’m hoping that’s short because I’ve never gotten a spray tan but real tans don’t last nearly long enough, so?). And definitely faster than the years of regret I experienced when I hadn’t figured out my career shit and I hated myself for going to music school. But because all these A-holes are out there saying, “YOLO. NO REGRETS” (“YOLO” precedes all dumb statements except for when Drake uses it), I’ve been laying listlessly on the pile of reasons to hate myself that exist in my head and thinking, “God, you’re the one fucking person with regrets. I bet Rihanna has a No Regrets tattoo because she’s that much better than you.”

Can we just band together and admit it? We’ve got regrets. Sometimes we feel them and we feel like they’re massively fucking our lives and sometimes we just look back and say, “Oh, hey. That sucked a lot and I would have been less sad had I not done that thing.”

I’ll start. Here’s a totally non-comprehensive list of regrets I have had in the past. If I ever say, “I have no regrets” print this shit and mail it to me:

  • So there was this boy on the school bus who I didn’t think I liked, but I guess I liked, and he totally liked this very pretty girl who was SO cool and knew how to perfectly wear her hair in one of those mushroom buns and her name was Jacqueline which was so classy bitch for Snellville, Ga. And so I guess I was harboring some anger about the fact that he loved her but would make fun of me so I kept making this joke that I was going to hit him in the head with my rock keychain (flirting? I only had brothers to learn from) and I think he was like, “bring it on!” but maybe he was just busy flirting with Jacqueline so one time when I was leaving I actually smacked him in the head with the rock keychain and he looked SO INJURED and I got worried I was going to get a citation and I repressed the rest of 6th grade bus rides homes. I think I apologized the next day.
  • The first time I ever got dumped I learned how to play guitar to I could sing an INCREDIBLY detailed song about our relationship at my high school talent show. I think I embarrassed the shit out of my mother and I really upset him.
  • When my family lived in Brazil and I had no friends, I’d watch “Two of a Kind” (that Olsens twins show) and wish I had a twin because I had no friends. And I liked their hairstyles. The first time I was invited out with a group to the movies I did my hair in these weird Princess Leia buns that ala the Olsen twins’ hairstyles but I was not good at doing hair so I overcompensated with more butterfly clips.
  • Every time I’ve tried to change myself so I could stay in a relationship.
  • Highlights. And then swimming in a very chlorinated pool and not washing my hair after. But also, just the highlights.
  • The first time I was ever pulled into a meeting with senior management at a company I worked for and asked my opinion seriously, I made a joke about how my college taught me nothing but how to do drugs (;;cringes a million times over for that one::).
  • Every piece of drunk pizza I’ve ever eaten.
  • Most of the times I’ve sung Karaoke because I notoriously pick bad songs. (note – don’t sing Natalie Merchant’s “Carnival” at your college welcome week)
  • Straight across bangs.
  • The entire period of post-college where I thought duck face or opening my mouth as wide as possible was better than smiling and letting my naturally smaller eye show (to her credit, BFF kept yelling “JUST SMILE NORMAL” during all these photos).
  • That time I was drunk and I tried to show my friend how well I could Walk it Out. I cannot walk it out.
  • All the other times I was drunk and did stuff.
  • But also all the stuff I did sober.

Peace, love and I REGRET EVERYTHING, 


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What it’s like to write an eBook when you have no idea what you’re doing

In case it wasn’t apparent from the giant banner at the top of this blog, I wrote an eBook. That was a little under two years ago, but due to career changes, life, blah blah, it feels more like something that happened in the life of an entirely different person. Also, WordPress deleted like thirty minutes of good edits so this post is not as good as it could have been (*fist shaking at the WordPress gods*).

My life has changed so much in the past two years that I rarely think about the time when I hated my job and my career prospects and the only thing that gave me any sense of satisfaction was writing this blog. I really only think about it in a “wow, I’m really fucking lucky I’ve found something I love to do everyday. How did I trick these people into paying me?” kind of way. Or I think about it when people say, “Hey. You wrote a book. What was that like?”

And that’s what I’m going to talk about. I’ve been reticent to write about the experience because I don’t want it to come off humble-braggy (or regular braggy), or sounding like I’m lamenting one of the most exciting and proud accomplishments of my 20s. Please keep that second part in mind when I lament.

But I think enough (so, like five?) people who read this blog are also writers/aspiring writers in some vein and hopefully my learnings can help you one day when you also write an eBook (or regular book. Dream big, peeps!). So, here goes:

How did it happen? 

Like threepointfive years ago I was walking home from work, thinking about how the one year anniversary of when I met my then ex-boyfriend was coming up because I’m a massive creep who’s overly sentimental and I was thinking about the Google reminder I’d set for myself when we broke up for four months out that was like, “Throw a party because you’re totally over that douche”, and how that reminder and come and gone and I was, in fact, not at all over that douche. I should have told my boyfriend to skip this paragraph.

^That’s a tangent and also very close to the first page of my eBook. NEWAY. I came up with this whole idea about the online dating and went home and told Austin and CLEARLY we got drunk in the living room to celebrate and when our other roommates came home and we were sitting on the floor having a singalong to Robyn (but songs from before she was like, Gay Icon Robyn, eg. “Show Me Love”) and were like, “Why the fuck are you guys blackout? It’s Monday.” We were probably like


but I’m not sure we said that because we were blackout.

So I started my experiment and nothing happened. The Internet did not rally around me 40 Days of Dating style, but some of my friends did express that they thought I was The Worst for going on dates and writing about it in what I like to refer to as The Great Rooftop Confrontation of 2012. And then Chris and I got back together and the blogging about dating came to an end.

BUT. A year later, when I was submitting anything and everything to Thought Catalog anytime I felt extra suicidal at work, one of my posts was finally accepted. An editor there started scanning through my blog and reposing more stuff. Then one day she emailed me and asked if I wanted to turn my online dating posts into an eBook.

Within about ten minutes my boyfriend texted me that he’d gotten the job he’d been in hoping to get for the past six months. We had the best day ever. Champagne was consumed, Drake was blasted, drunk rapping was the main activity of the evening. The high from that lasted a few days for me. I was going to be an AUTHOR. Ok, well, an eBook author, but someone who wrote something who someone else asked them to write so that’s like an author. Right? Shit, I was going to be an author. was going to be an author? How was I going to be an author?

What was it like? 

I wanted to be a writer when I was a little kid. I imaged sitting in my New York City apartment, guinea pig on my desk, eating a cookie at 9 AM because mommy wasn’t there to tell me I couldn’t. I’d look out the window at my city view and type away, relaying all of my experiences to the world. It’d be fucking beautiful.

Wrong. Me writing a book looked like this –

All of my roommates were out of town that weekend. Someone had gifted me some adderall a few weeks back (god bless you, unknown drug angel) so I spent the weekend very alert, holed up in my apartment crying and ordering different variations of my favorite sandwich from the bodega across the street, feeling utterly terrified that I was going to fuck up writing a book like I fucked up music school because apparently I’ve got some demons, people. I had bed bugs but I didn’t know it yet, so I was also quite itchy.

And here’s where I get to the hindsight being 20/20 part –

I was living with a brilliant, kind, helpful, beautiful, wonderful human with a giant book deal (who could make this sentence a hell of a lot better) and I didn’t ask her for help. One of my dear friends who knows every terrible, embarrassing thing about me is an editor a very real publication. Yet another good friend is an editor at a publishing house.

I asked none of them for help because I was Imposter Syndroming so hard. I didn’t ask my editor enough questions because I was starstruck and believed she secretly hated me and was terrified she was going to cancel the whole deal entirely.

It did not help that during this time it was that part of GIRLS where Hannah was blowing her book deal and if Lena Dunham couldn’t do it HOW WAS I GOING TO DO IT?

What was your “process”?

Art(super hating myself for even slightly putting what I do and ‘art’ in the same category) and expression are romanticized like whoa. In reality, they’re a lot like pooping.

You’re walking down the street, minding your own business, and suddenly it comes to you and so you have to go to a Starbucks and order a coffee and pretend like you want to be there so no one else knows you just needed a place no one you know will be in while you get this thing inside you out of you. This metaphor is working so well.

My “process” sucked. And I did it all wrong. And when my book was released (i.e. – put up on Amazon), I was actually sitting in my apartment alone, drinking massive amounts of vodka and texting pictures of dead bed bugs in a plastic bag to the guy with the bed bug sniffing dog to confirm that I did indeed have bed bugs.

Did you sell a lot of copies?

It was a stroke of luck in some ways that I was drunk and on the verge of insanity because both of those things compelled me to announce my book’s arrival on social media. I’d posted nothing about it previously because I was terrified I’d fail to produce, but in my drunkeness I harassed everyone I knew into buying it and reviewing it.

The early sales and positive reviews (thanks friend & mom) placed me into the Kindle Singles program. If you don’t know what that is it means lots of free promotion from Amazon and lots of lots of lots of sales. Of course, lots of sales means lots of reviews.

Is it good?

I was laying in bed on a Sunday morning, a couple days after the book became a Kindle Single, trying to figure out something to tweet because people kept following me on Twitter and I felt the pressure. I took a break from trying to think up jokes about my hangover and popped over to my Amazon page. And there it was, a review from an unknown human. It wasn’t scathing, by any means, but it was a, ‘this was a meh experience for me’ sort of thing. I freaked out, my boyfriend calmed me down. We got mimosas. All was well again.

Until the next day, when Googling myself brought up a review. A review! Of my book! As it turned out there was a new website devoted to reviewing every Kindle Single and the woman who reviewed mine absolutely fucking hated it. I read her review that criticized my writing, my experience and me, in general, and then I went outside to wander around in the fog and cry.

At the time, it hardly hit me that my book was in the top ten non-fiction Kindle Single sales for the week. All I could do was be obsessed with the opinion of this one person. And, subsequently, a bunch of other people who wrote negative reviews.

At first I wanted to hear all of it. I thought if I could soak up enough negative feedback I’d be able to make myself immune. In my quieter moments, though, those words would echo in my head. I’d get defensive and bitter. I’d make up conversations in my head. I’d try to take action.

Reviewer – “Seems like Tiffany needs to keep her day job.”

Me – “I AM KEEPING MY DAY JOB YOU ASSHOLE.” And then I went and marked every single one of his Amazon reviews for screwdrivers as ‘This review was not helpful’. Suck it, reviewer.

I made the mistake of personifying them when, in reality, internet commentors are unsympathetic shells of people. Anonymity does weird things.

So it’s two years down the line and every so often I get the inevitable, ‘hey! you wrote a book,’ from a new friend who’s taken the time to look at my Twitter. It’s a weird thing to be both proud of an accomplishment and simultaneously embarrassed by it. And it’s a weird thing to manage your internet self, a distilled version of you that (at least if you want to be paid attention to) should present every little thing you’ve done as evidence that you should be paid attention to. Well, until you’ve done something cool enough that just gets you them for free.

When I published the book I’d get asked by some of my more put together friends if I was nervous about the fact that I’d potentially forever be associated with drinking and dating. I didn’t think back then and I still don’t think now that I’ll ever be worried about that part of it. It’s really the smaller things, like the fact that I used the word ‘retarded’ or that I described in detail how I was repulsed by someone mainly due to his weight. I don’t worry people will find out I wrote it (because that’s still kind of fucking cool), but I’m always gripped by the anxiety that they’ll read it and see me like some of the internet commentors did. That maybe they won’t hear everything delivered in the flat, tongue-in-cheek tone I wanted them to hear it in.

What did you learn?

No one asks me this question, but it’s the most important part, because it all goes back to the biggest lesson I’ve ever learned about Imposter Syndrome. I was dying for an opportunity like this one in order to prove to myself that I was not just another person blogging on the internet, but a person with ideas worth being put into a more permanent form. Once I got that opportunity I felt just as much like an imposter as I had before. I was up against the other people writing books who really knew what they were doing. I thought if I could just push out ANYTHING and be published then I’d have that title of “author” to claim for myself. Once I did publish the book and the reviews started coming in, Imposter Syndrome struck again. I wasn’t an author, I was a “bad author”, a “hack”, or as the website that continually liked to use puns on how my book was about drinking (we get it, you’re not good writers either <- still bitter) described it “only selling copies because of a clever title and good cover art.”

The lesson I learned was that I’m going to feel like an imposter until the day I die if I let myself. It’s never going to get better, nothing is ever going to feed that deep-seeded insecurity that I’ve got in the pit of my stomach. Every glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel fades and morphs into something sinister, a whisper in my ear that wakes me up in the middle of the night to remind me that I’m the shittiest.

^Uplifting, right? BUT IT IS I PROMISE STICK WITH ME WE’RE ALMOST DONE AND THEN YOU CAN EAT COOKIES IF YOU HAVE THEM I PROBABLY SHOULD HAVE WARNED YOU TO COME EQUIPPED WITH COOKIES. Once I realized that the imposter syndrome, just like all of my anxiety and my crazy, is with me forever, I was able to take it a little less seriously. It became just like that voice in my head that tells me the 90-something, tiny Asian woman walking behind me in the street is actually a secret serial killer and she’s about to stab me. It doesn’t go away, but it’s stupid as fuck.

Are there a bunch of things I wish I’d done better when I wrote it? Hell yes. Am I so embarrassed at points when I think about things I wrote? Oh my god you have no idea. But we learn best through our mistakes. We see new parts of ourselves when we’re putting our broken egos back together.

And all of the lessons I’ve learned? Those will just have to be used on the next (e)Book.

Next time… On Serial.*


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A Reboot

A long time ago, in a land far, far more Republican than the one I’m currently writing from, a very lost 24-year-old girl packed a bunch of slutty American Apparel dresses and half-broken Forever21 heels into the back of a Uhaul van and drove up to New York city because, fuck it, why not? She’d spend four years trudging through the fog of her mid-20s, giving up on all of the assumptions she’d made about what The Rest of Life was supposed to be and dealing with all of the emotions that come with feeling totally unsure of everything. And so she wrote about it. Pretty much all of it.

I’m not sure exactly when it was that I realized how distant I feel from that person who wrote about moving to New York and ‘figuring it all out’. Maybe it was the moment I signed my offer letter for me real, grown up job that left me no longer feeling rent-poor. Maybe it was when I moved south of 100th street for the first time. Maybe it was yesterday, when I was standing in a Container Store on the Upper East Side, guarding two carts full of closet organizers while my boyfriend went to check out some back-of-the-door hanger things because I now live with a man in a place that is not a dorm room or my parent’s house or my bed-bug infested room in a four bedroom above 100th street while he’s just hanging out until the co-op board approves his lease.

I know it wasn’t a single moment where I felt a shift, but increasingly in the past few months and, even more so, days, I’ve become aware of how different life suddenly feels. This blog, while at times was my half-assed attempt to get internet famous, functions as a dairy, of sorts. I’ve never really cared to remember my innermost thoughts because they’re usually about how many types of cookie/brownie hybrid I can make, but having an externally-facing diary has been really weird way to capture what I was like at a certain point in my life. Whenever I go over these posts, I get to see how I wanted to present myself to the world.

As I said, I dunno, three posts down from this one, I’ve really been wanting to write on here again in some sort of regular fashion, but every time I get halfway through a post it all sort of falls apart. I’ve spent the greater half of last year trying to figure out exactly why that was. It goes back to being a different sort of person. An adult, now, I think? Or at the very least not a person who can lament being totally, 100% unadult. My unadulthood is no longer unadulterated by adult-ness. <- I’m sorry, I had to. I’m rusty.

It goes back to the whole presenting myself to the world thing. I think the more put-together my life starts to get, the more I feel the need to protect my little world. Like I’m somehow going to make a joke about my job, or my relationship, or even myself and it’s going to ruin it all. I’m not good at nice things. Actually all of my nice things are locked in a storage facility by the West Side highway right now and I’m too lazy to visit them. Sorry, nice things.

Back to the point. Protecting myself is starting to feel really shitty and lonely, and I don’t think I want to do it anymore. So, full disclosure, I have no idea what the fuck I’m going to write about or if it’s going to be funny or will there be pictures or maybe I’m just going to post links to tattoos I’m thinking about getting and you guys can comment on them? I’ve thought about starting countless new blogs; an anonymous Tumblr with all my secret thoughts; “deep” shit written on napkins (also a Tumblr, probably?), a Twitter parody account called Bad Observational Humor (I think we actually did make a Tumblr for that one but it turns out funny bad jokes are harder to make than funny good jokes), but I think I’m gonna stick with what my generation is best at – narcissistic, self-involved, egotistic, vain (how many other synonyms has the New York Times Styles section used when describing Millennials?) blog posts about my life in New York.

Because, fuck it, why not? 

Half Marathon

As a child, I had no shortage of energy for participating in all things active. I took gymnastics, karate, ran laps around the playground while singing the Animaniacs theme song at the top of my lungs during lunch (no, I did not have many friends but thanks for asking you jerk), and begged my mother to plant a weeping willow in our front yard since they were the easiest type of tree to climb.

The argument went something like this:

“Tiffany, trees take a really long time to grow and you’re not going to care about having a weeping willow when you’re 20.”

“Please mommmyyy, can’t we get one of those half grown trees from Home Depot? I will TOTALLY still want a weeping willow when I’m 20. I WILL ALWAYS LOVE TREES.”

We had a very similar argument about my love of the 1998 Ford Taurus when I was in middle school. Oh youth.

As a child, my body was a happy place to live. I was tiny, energetic and hand-eye coordination didn’t seem like a concept invented by The Man just to keep me down. Somewhere in between the 4th grade and being handed a pamphlet about the Magic Transformation into Womanhood I was about to experience, my body teen-werewolfed itself into the top-heavy, accident-prone vessel that has me identifying all too closely with Arcade Fire’s “My Body is A Cage”.

Pretty sure this is the weirdest picture I’ve ever made

I don’t remember exactly when the transformation occurred, but I know it was very close to when health class starts making you run the mile as a basic fitness test. I’m pretty certain this test was created to establish teenage popularity hierarchy, because when I think about huffing and puffing(caused not by running but speedwalking, of course) my way around that track which, mind you, was the ONLY elementary school activity that required a trip to the high school stadium, I re-live every awkward, terrible, teenage trauma I ever experienced in a few brief seconds.

SO! Running and I have a complicated relationship.

Strangely enough, while looking for a good image for It’s Complicated, I came across the Spanish translation. “It’s not so easy” is better, don’t you think? Also, if anyone has any pointers on how to make a pic of running shoes and a water bottle look sexy, please advise.

When I graduated college, I decided that one of my goals for my 20s was to become “athletic”. Throughout the years I’d dabbled in various types of workouts — everything from kickboxing bootcamps that required I get up at 5 AM and circuit train in a terrifying Atlanta park with a bunch of 30-yr-olds who were probably having some sort of quarter life crisis I was unaware of at the time to swing dancing classes I hoped would be fun but ended up reminding me of my complete lack of coordination all to the soundtrack of Big Bad Voodoo Daddy (Zoot Suit Riot was more like Zoot Suit Fall on the Floor and then hop up and hope no one saw you but they all totally saw you, you should just leave now). The one takeaway I had from trying it all was that I found no joy in any of these activities. Even the most benign of fitness activities (think Zumba or that one where you are supposed to get your arms toned by clacking two sticks together) was a chore for me. It all came down to the fact that I am not athletic.

Athletic people seemed to revel in the idea of spending a weekend hiking, or sunset yoga when they could be happy-houring it up. I hated them and their stupid fast metabolisms and their endorphin highs and I had no idea how I was going to get myself to become one of them, so I figured I’d start at the root of where athleticism all went wrong for me – running.

If you are not an athletic person, you know all about the hells of running: the blood/copper taste in your mouth, the coughing that leads to gasping for air in between coughs that then leads to dry heaving. Trying to block the timer on the treadmill with your towel, but then getting impatient and moving the towel, figuring you’ve run at least 10 miles if you feel this bad, only to realize that you’re two minutes in and not even a quarter of a mile into the process. Running is masochism at its purest. The term “runner’s high” is a fancy synonym for Stockholm Syndrome.

At least that’s how it feels at first. But slowly, not-so-surely because of all of the dry-heaving, I found myself starting to tolerate running. And the reason I began to tolerate it had little to do with how good my body felt afterwards (because well, it still really didn’t) but because of what was happening to me mentally. I found that through running, an activity that I could continue simply by placing assuring that my legs were moving required my mind’s commitment to continue that action. And my own ability to endure discomfort grew and eventually became an outlet I found pretty inspiring.

But after the initial exposure, I hit some sort of wall. I could run 3-ish miles without feeling as though I was being punished for every mistake I’ve ever made in the history of my whole life, but I couldn’t do much more. On days where my lungs felt strong, my ankles, knees or even the arches of my feet (et tu, arches?) would feel ready to snap in half. As I ran toward those hopes of laughing and climbing rocks with all of the Athletic Ones (or more often than not, the image of Paula Dean garnishing a fried oreo chocolate cookie tower with an entire pint of Ben&Jerry’s Chunky Monkey because I love watching the Food Network at the gym), my body gave out and once again I felt doomed to never understand the joys of making one’s body do things.

After several years of failed running attempts, I decided to force myself to progress by the only way I know how to force myself to do anything – fear of public embarrassment. So in January I signed up for a half marathon that seemed far enough away to not terrify me, but close enough that I would immediately feel forced to prepare. And prepare I did, through runners toes (gross), angry ankles (limping!), and all sorts of discomfort, I found myself last Saturday running mother. fucking. half. marathon.

It’s universally known that the best part of doing something like running a half marathon is telling people that you are going to or have already run a half marathon, but I don’t want to spend this blog post doing that, because that’s what Facebook is for. What I want to tell you about is all of the random shit going through my head while running a half marathon. Because 2 hours and 20-some minutes is a LONG time to run and there has to be something going on in there other than “ow my feet hurt, my feet hurt, when will my feet not hurt?” for at least some of the time.

S0 here’s a brief outline of the things I was thinking during the half marathon –

Mile 0 –

  • OK, here we go. You can do this. YOU CAN DO THIS. Ow, my ankle already hurts.
  • I’m passing people! Some people are already walking! Maybe we’ll win!
  • Shit. How far have we gone? I wonder if they let you know at every mile. That can’t be. We definitely already gone a mile.

Mile 1 –

  • Fuck. I can’t believe we’ve only gone a mile.

Mile 2 –

  • Ok, this is fine. You’re gonna feel great once you know you have less than 10 miles to go.

Mile 3 –

  • Minor freak out, I guess that wasn’t really a hill as much as a slight incline, but you’re doing it!

Mile 4 –

  • I really identify with the lyrics of this Drake song.

Mile 5 –

  • Mile 5! This is almost over. Right? That’s a thing, probably? Like, “oh you know how half marathons go. Once you get past the first five miles it’s just cruise control from there.”
  • It sort of smells like Iowa out here. What is that, cow manure?

Mile 6 –

  • I’m pretty hungry.

Mile 7 –

  • Past the halfway point! And I feel sort of OK. I’m basically to the finish line. God, I can’t believe I’ve accomplished this. This is amazing. I’m so proud of mysel-
  • Quit crying. Why are you even crying? WTF there’s another hill and you are hyperventilating because you are crying.

Mile 8 –

  • Ok, so your left foot is completely numb but at least you quit crying. Why were you crying anyway?
  • Maybe you’re just really excited about finishing this thing and when you think about it you start crying.

Mile 9 –

  • I’m running slower than the old man walking in front of me.

Mile 10 –

  • Think about all of the cheese you’ll be able to eat when this is over.

Mile 11 –

  • Cheeeeeeeeeeessssseeeeeeeeeeeeeee

Mile 12 –

  • Cheese and bread. Cheese and bread. Cheese and bread.

Mile 13 –


And when I crossed the finish line, the chick who handed me a metal was like “ARE YOU OK?” because I was making a weird moany hyperventilatey sound from crying like a moron.

Peace, love and here are some pictures of me being “athletic”,


Thinking about cheese, duh.

The height of a runner’s high. Probably identifying with Drake songs.

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