Dynamic, Passionate, and Unique, Tho

Words continues to thrill and annoy me on a daily basis and I know you feel the same. Right now, I am creeped out anew by the word “tho,” as used on Instagram. It is not only gratuitous (” Those nails, tho.”) but the spelling is like a knife in my heart. MAKE IT STOP. So here’s a list I just came across, about words “you should never use to describe yourself.” I’m pretty sure these are all in the context of job interviews, because where else might someone claim to be “innovative?”

Here they are:

Extensive experience
Track record

Ew! Who would use these words to describe themselves? Maybe they’re the professional equivalent of self-negating dating-app words like “eccentric” or “classy.” But wait. If you string all those words together, they might make a persuasive sales-pitch for a booty call! Try that out, mentally at least.

On another front, who is not sick of “quid pro quo” at this point? How about this phrase instead, from Virgil: sunt lacrimae rerum  (tears haunt this world).

Here’s another list of those minutely specific words we don’t have in English, like Bakku-shan, Japanese for a woman who looks pretty from behind but not from the front.

Then there is the issue of linguistics by gender, like the female use of the word ‘just.”

Finally,  let me run this by you. It’s a quote by physicist Wolfgang Pauli, after reading a colleague’s paper:

This paper is so bad it is not even wrong.

I was so amused by it that I repeated it to *someone* who did not share my delight and argued about why not for the next five hours (okay, five minutes that felt like hours.)

Please tell me if you like it, or if you don’t, using rational considerations and back-up sources. Thank you in advance, xoxo.

Posted in Words | Tagged , | 4 Comments

It’s My Party And I’ll Cry If I Want To

Most people know at this point in social etiquette not to bark, “Cheer up!” at people who aren’t showing their back molars in a smile. Thank god that’s pretty much a thing of the past. I remember strangers informing me, even as a kid, “Things aren’t THAT bad!” as they walked past me.

But many people do find it difficult to be in the presence of sadness, not to mention grief.

Not long ago, a family member came over to visit, and was moved to share with me their wish that I could be less sad. I have so much going for me, after all!

It was a wish born of compassion. But still. Feeling aggressive, I leaned toward them and said, “Until you have seen your child in a body bag, you cannot understand what it’s like. You just can’t.” I know what a brutal thing this is to say aloud. But at times, I want to make it a teachable moment.

They were taken aback, but rephrased the sentiment to something like, “Yes, but you have to go on living.”

Humans of Earth, AREN’T I ALIVE? How alive do I have to be before you can deal with me? I walk and talk, I put on lipstick, I go to the grocery store, I walk down the street, you know?

Do I have to go on a fucking world cruise or Dancing With the Stars or what?

When I moved to my new community nearly five years ago, I was thrilled to make a new friend: An intelligent, vibrant mother of two who was funny and well-read. The perfect friend, I thought. As it turned out, she started avoiding me. When I finally pressed for a reason, she texted that I was too sad for her.

Even though all she talked about what the sexual assault of her daughter and how much she hated men. I was devastated, but I lived to tell. I’ve chalked it up to Her Problem, Not Mine, as one does.

I’m okay with being sad. Just let me be sad. I am Sad Girl. I am trying to use my sadness as an instrument for good. I’m an excellent listener, if you’re sad too. I try to turn my sadness into art, when I can.

I just read a review of a new Nick Cave album, in which the writer notes about the death of Cave’s teenage son, in 2015:

He has not put the grief behind him; he has learned from its presence.

OF COURSE he has not put the grief “behind him” for fucksake, it has only been four years, Jesus Christ. When can this kind of thinking end?

Most people never even get over a divorce, let alone such an elemental loss.

People need to be allowed to exhibit an entire range of emotions, as long as they don’t do it while driving. Let people be sad, worried, negative, silly, anxious, inquisitive, grumpy and hopeless if they want to be. Unless they ask for your help or your diagnosis, just try to accept this rich tapestry of human behavior.

Here’s a study that might convince you.

Posted in Disorders, grief, irritants, Words | Tagged , , , | 9 Comments

Finding Beauty

It’s a cliche that cliches are often based on truth, but the biggest cliches are easy to forget, like the ones about beauty. Beauty isn’t truth, but it elevates the soul just as much as garbage debases it. I keep forgetting to look for beauty in my search for relief. By relief, I mean relief from my own thoughts, which are my own worst enemy (not counting my trolls of course.)

Last night I went to see Van Morrison, and was reminded of the healing power of communal joy. Normally, I don’t want to make the effort to do things that involve any commitment of time and energy. A Van Morrison concert requires buying tickets, a strategy to get across town, a timetable to keep, packing snacks to eat, putting together an outfit that’s comfortable but reflective of my superior style, and so on. Thanks to my husband, I gathered myself to go.

Beauty is probably everywhere for all I know but I’m finding I need to search for it and cling to it. I wish this would become a habit, like checking the New York Times to see what new travesty is afoot. All my habits are bad but I know it’s possible to form new ones, better ones. Smoking weed is a relatively new habit that’s improved my life immensely. Same with Chai Latte.

Music used to a big part of my life before smartphones. Driving and listening to the mixes Max made me was always so pleasurable.  A house full of musicians was something I took for granted. The empty nest is quieter, and there is a joy that can’t be replaced but there is still joy to be had. I might need some mechanism to remind me: A rubber band, an alarm clock, a mnemonic acronym like MOEB (Music Or Else Bummer)?

I wish I could follow Van Morrison around the world and see every show. I wish I could rouse myself to get out and see more art. It’s a first-world problem but a life or death one for the severely depressed. (See Schopenhauer.) The crack is not where the light comes in, it’s where the vessel will break under pressure.

What form of beauty do you turn to for consolation? Tips, anyone? Here is a video that my friend Andra sent to me, an excursion into undersea beauty that left me weak with religious ecstasy.

And here’s some sparks of joy for you synesthetes.

Posted in Art, Religion | Tagged , , , | 6 Comments

Are You Ready For Emotional Granularity?

Granular is a word that’s starting to make me wince, maybe because of the people who use it or maybe because it’s so onomatopoeic.  I can almost feel it in my shoe, like sand. Nevertheless, I just came across a new theory that I love, involving “emotional granularity.” Just as you would suspect, it means getting into the minutia of emotions, the gradations that distinguish one type of anger, let’s say, from another.

Apparently, it helps to label an emotion when you’re trying to manage it. I guess that makes sense, if only because stopping to label it is a form of counting to ten. You also have to accept the notion that there are all kinds of anger, and in other cultures there are kinds we may not have experienced or named.

Germans have a word that means “a face in need of a slap,”or backpfeifengesicht. I’m not really familiar with that feeling but I’ve heard men talk about “the kind of face you want to punch.” Mandarin Chinese has a word for anger directed toward oneself; that one is familiar and ongoing. Ancient Greeks distinguished between short-term anger (orge ) and a long-lasting anger that’s permanent (menin.)

In Thailand, there’s seven degrees of anger, starting with displeasure and ending with (just guessing) homicidal rage.

So anyway, your ability to distinguish between the many varieties of your emotional experiences can help you cope better. If you can say to yourself, “That guy is an annoying cunt” instead of “Why are people so awful!” you will be less depressed and less given to binge drinking. Studies have shown, alright?

I have already written about the varieties of misery experienced in other countries but not anger. I think that in the U.S, people are experiencing new and debilitating forms of anger that probably need to be labeled, like the kind you feel when people with Southern accents talk about Christianity. Or the kind you feel when you listen to Tucker Carlson. And the kind you feel when reading about immigrants in cages.

What about the kind you feel when the person in line in front of you at Starbucks has a ridiculous order? After all these years, I still have that one!!! What about when the thing you wanted at a great sale price is no longer available in your size?

What about the kind when you see Taylor Swift trying to dance? Or the kind when someone starts talking about “the program”? So many types of anger, yearning to be named.

I often have the one when your husband keeps reflexively contradicting you. Today, I experienced the anger you feel when your dog eats your toast because you looked away for ONE FUCKING SECOND at your Instagram feed.

So, what do you guys think? Angry? Is it the kind where you thought reading a blog would be entertaining but it was just a waste of time? Are you buying the concept of emotional granularity and can you name an emotion that needs it’s own label, like schadenfreude? I’m going to call that Tucker Carlson feeling tuckerschmerz. And I’m hoping that this time next year, it will be a fading memory rather than menin .

Posted in irritants, News, Words | Tagged , , , | 6 Comments

5 Things You Don’t Need to Know

1. Demi Moore isn’t blaming Ashton Kutcher for the threesomes they had during their marriage but it was his idea, not that she’s blaming him.

2. Brad Pitt has realized that it’s not the roles that matter. What he really wants is to live an interesting life.

3. Tavi Gevinson picks at her face when she’s anxious and has let her assistant take care of her Instagram posts.

4. Rap artists with gang affiliations have to check in with the local gang when they arrive in a new city, or some bad shit will go down.

5. Demi Lovato wants you to accept her cellulite.

All these things are true, according to the Internet. I know them because I clicked on them. I clicked on them because at the time, each one seemed less stupid, pointless, or distressing than the other suggestions thrown up by my cellphone or the New York Times.

I’ve never clicked on anything about improving my habits at work or at home, about fitness or food, about what successful people do to manage their lives or about relationships. I’ve never clicked on anything to do with finances, careers, credit scores, parenting, or shortcuts to anything.

Every day, I’m confronted by a thousand ways to lose myself and avoid being present, so I’m learning to skip things that will make me go back to bed. It’s a process, okay? I still make mistakes. I just clicked on the thing about a grandparent in Florida who gave her disabled adult grandchild an overdose of something, because she was worried about dying and leaving him alone. There’s a whole website somewhere that lists the people who were killed this way, in order to honor their truncated lives. This is exactly the type of thing I am drawn to like a moth and must learn to ignore.

Who started the fucking Five Things lists? Why five? Is it because ten is too many for most people to handle? Five is a reasonable number, if there were things I wanted to know on the fly.

I don’t want to know five things though. I read stuff about philosophy, depression, addiction, autism, nursing homes, refugees, writers, murderers, artists, and Donald Trump. Ivanka, too. I want to know everything on these subjects. As little kids, my sister and I liked to dig deep holes at the beach, hoping to reach China. I still want to reach China, pretty much. The dream is alive.

Is there something I’m missing in my pursuit of knowledge and distraction? Let’s hear the five things you click on, or refuse to click.

Posted in irritants, News, Words | Tagged , , | 8 Comments

I’m Talking to You.

Dear stupid cunt from Texas,

Will you get a fucking grip on yourself and stop harassing me after almost ten fucking years?

What will it take to shut you up? Why don’t you have anything better to do? Do you read my blog when you’re feeling bad about your life? I understand those feelings, but not the depths of your malice toward a stranger.


Your other comments about what a piece of garbage I am, how much you hate middle-aged married white woman, all that crap is fine. Even though I’m actually an elderly jew, close enough.

But my son is off limits. My grief is too. I want you to own up to triggering my god damn fucking PTSD. I’m talking to you, Ariella C. Villa or Monique L. Roberts of Texas.

Both of you have tormented me enough. Whichever one of you fucking lunatics is responsible for this latest, just be the big Beyonce-loving piece of shit you are and admit it.

Thanks, you fat dumbass coward.

Love, Sister Wolf.

Posted in Disorders, Rants, revenge, Words | Tagged , | 17 Comments


You know how I am about hair, right? So I wrote about hair for Miista over here if you’re interested.

If not, here’s some more hair.


Posted in Art, Disorders, Words | Tagged , , | 9 Comments

Dear Lonely Young Murderous Incel White Nationalist

Dude, chill the fuck out! I know you’re mad, I’m mad too. We’re all mad. You have problems but you’ve misidentified them. It isn’t black people or Jews or immigrants that caused your problems, it’s the lies you’ve been fed your whole life. It’s the old lies of the patriarchy and the new lies spread by your buddies on the internet.

You’re worried about weakness and that’s understandable. You probably had a mean daddy who ridiculed you or hit you, or maybe your daddy wasn’t around. You had trouble making friends and that made you so angry! You felt helpless and you still feel helpless. You want to be the powerful one. You want to be the mean daddy for a change! You want to show the world who’s boss! Fuck those foreigners and niggers and kikes!

You can’t get laid either. You’ve tried being nice and you’ve tried negging. Women won’t give you what you want. It’s just like Mommy. She wouldn’t either. She made you feel like a baby. A helpless baby. But now you’ll get even. You don’t need women anyway, now that you’ve found your buddies online.

You even belong to a group! When you were little, they didn’t pick you for the team or they picked you last. They wouldn’t let you into their clubhouse or tree-house or their little fort. Now you are respected, a person with ideas and guns and backpacks. You are part of a community, a brotherhood. And if you aren’t afraid to die, you can be a hero! All you need is some ammo.

But here’s the thing: You won’t really be a warrior. Shooting at unarmed civilians makes you a pussy, or a cuck, if you prefer. Real warriors run into battle, not mosques or churches or shopping malls. There have been too many of you guys for us to remember your names any more. I can’t even name the guy in Las Vegas, and you’ll probably never come close to his body count.

What you want so desperately is a purpose, a community, and an identity. Your online group may provide a sense of all three, but it’s a sham. The world you imagine will never come about, and if it did, you wouldn’t know how to survive. You spend too much time at your computer. You don’t know how to grow crops or raise cattle or drive a tractor. You can’t get a date, so you won’t be able to reproduce. You wouldn’t be happy without another group to hate, so then what?

You have not thought this through, have you?

Why don’t you join the US Military if you love your country so much? Aren’t the uniforms scary enough? Are you afraid of being in close quarters with men who are bigger and stronger than you? Are you afraid of guns when you’re not the only one who has one? Are you afraid of a meritocracy? Are you lost in situations where memes don’t bring status?

I feel for you. You thought you were entitled to the whole world, as a free white male. You didn’t know that it only works that way for the wealthy class. You didn’t prepare for a shitty job market when you were spending all that time online instead of studying. You nursed your resentment when you should have been learning how to socialize, how to dance, how to make eye contact, and how to laugh at yourself once in a while.

You could still have a real life if you gather your courage enough to move away from your computer. Your buddies will denounce you but they’ll get over it. Later, much later, you’ll see how pathetic they are. And when you see one on TV, in handcuffs, or in a scowling mugshot, you’ll think, Dude, YOU are the problem, not those Mexicans buying school supplies.

At least, that’s my dream for you, b’ezrat hashem, inshallah.

Posted in Horrible Stuff, News | Tagged , , , | 7 Comments

To Be or Nah

Recently my brain has come up with a philosophical dilemma that I can’t solve. I know the best solution would be to stop thinking about it. Nevertheless, here it is:

Does the past matter?

By “matter’, I mean does it still have a bearing on the present. Is it still relevant? Are you responsible for your past actions, and do past events have consequences that can’t be dismissed, morally speaking? Can you renounce the past and live in the present without reference or reflection? Does “Now” matter more than yesterday or tomorrow?

If only Now matters, than nothing matters. Because once it’s over, it’s a new Now. And if nothing matters, why go on?

Or, if the past matters, and you have experienced unbearable tragedy or loss, why pretend it’s over and that you can move on? According to Faulkner, “The past is never dead. It’s not even past.” 

Going about my daily life, I lack motivation for almost everything, and it’s easy to just decide to go back to bed. Going back to bed isn’t a crime and it’s not fattening. It’s peaceful and comforting. Sometimes, getting up again seems futile but I’m able to take a perverse satisfaction in doing it anyway, just as Camus describes Sisyphus.

Maybe the key for me is to live in the same spirit as Sisyphus. I once told Max that the purpose of life is to withstand irritation. Don’t worry: He was probably nearly thirty and already had his own ideas. Years earlier, he told me he felt like a contraption with its wires exposed. We were talking about the advent of Prozac, and whether it was a good thing or a bad thing to eliminate one’s deep sense of melancholy. What a ridiculous question! If only a drug could do that, without ultimately killing you.

Back to the original dilemma, what are your thoughts? I want to hear them.

*Also, how much would you like to hear Shakespeare done in AAVE? My kingdom for that shit. Seriously. I certainly can’t understand it as written.



Posted in Disorders, grief, Words | Tagged , , , | 10 Comments

These Boots Are Made For _______?

The apocalypse? A bonfire?


Just like you, I’m filled with dread about everything but it would be wrong to overlook these boots. I mean, Jesus Christ. They are Hawaiian Printed Ankle Half Cowboy Boots!

How can this even be?! Only R13 could have come up with this, and then ask for $1,895! Here are the listed details:

Leather: Cowhide
Studded harness detail
Chunky heel
Buckle at ankle
Pointed toe
Leather sole
Made in Italy
This item cannot be gift-boxed

“Cannot be gift-boxed” for $1,895??? I don’t think so.

And how could they forget to list SPIKES for fucksake?

If any footwear deserved to die, it is these boots. I mean half boots.

Posted in Fashion | Tagged , , , | 11 Comments