I told my psychiatrist that everyone hates me. He said I was being ridiculous — everyone hasn't met me yet. ~Rodney Dangerfield


Friday, December 5, 2014

Boring Work Days and Me: 5 Things I've Learned Before 5:00pm - Part IV

1) Currently unsolved or open problems or conjectures exist in various fields including neuroscience, linguistics and philosophy. We really do have 99 problems. 
2) The raven's paradox arises from the question of what constitutes evidence. The problem was proposed by the logician Carl Gustav Hempel in the 1940s to illustrate a contradiction between inductive logic and intuition. Similar idioms include a "red herring." 
3) Maybe I'm just like my father too bold.
4) In 1941, Danish physicist Niels Bohr and German physicist Werner Heisenberg met in Copenhagen to discuss the emerging role of scientists in the development of atomic weapons. The specifics of the meeting have been the subject of great speculation, notably Michael Frayn's 1998 play Copenhagen.


5) It's not that Japan was asking for all those Godzilla attacks, alls I'm saying is, it just doesn't seem to be that much of a problem for other countries.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Biglaw is Dead - Part III

Build a better mousetrap, and the world will beat a path to your door. This 19th Century quotation on the power of innovation is attributed to  Ralph Waldo Emerson. Modern Biglaw, however, adheres to a different ideology: "Build a better mousetrap, and we'll sue your ass for copyright infringement."

$100,000 in law school student loans?
Today's legal world has changed dramatically and irreversibly. It's an age where the average 12-year old has a greater technical capacity than the entirety of a law firm's IT department; where the average 16-year old has a more established and reputable social media presence than a law firm's marketing department (and is also doing freelance work for their advertising group). 

Since the 2008 recession, doomsday prophets have been voicing their Dewey Bingham, Hogan & Hartson, Howrey, Heller Ehrman concerns over Biglaw's reluctance to deviate from an outdated business model, namly billable hours, an argument, which, frankly, rings true to anyone not actively profiting from it. 

But let's say you're a struggling start-up and you need to retain counsel to deal with a troublesome fly situation. To handle "Project Airborne Winged Trajectory," would you choose—work quality being very nearly equal—a rolled up magazine that offers reasonable and flexible fee arrangements or a tank that charges by the hour?

The recession saw legal titans with century old empires figuratively, no wait, literally vanish from the ABA stratosphere. But as far as Biglaw was concerned, it don't make no nevermind and they pointedly, arrogantly, stayed the course. 

But if you're feeling untouchable, cocky, or maybe even just comfortable in your current Biglaw profession, take a quick peak at this list of now obsolete occupations, and remember the words of David L. Calhoun who warned: "You need to be absolutely paranoid about the currency of your knowledge." 

Or at least Aaron Sorkin:

Aaron Sorkin: Listen, lady—a gender I write extremely well if the story calls for it—this is serious. We make horse buggies. The first Model T just rolled into town.

Liz Lemon: We're dinosaurs.

Aaron Sorkin: We don't need two metaphors. That's bad writing. Not that it matters.



Fin

Saturday, November 29, 2014

The Cadillac of Cacti

How long does a relationship with a younger guy last? Roughly as long as he does in bed. I thought I was pretty clever when I started casually seeing a younger guy. Simple, relaxed, easy. A welcome break from the sometimes stressful DC dating circuit.

DC is teeming with urban Alphas. When dating these career-driven capitalists or political heavy hitters there's an underlying pressure to be constantly on your "A Game." To be engaging, outgoing, smart, to know the right people, and the right things to say. And it should all come in a vogue, pilate-toned package.

Being with a baby-faced Beta was refreshing at first, like caring for a low maintenance houseplant. It didn't need much water, specific periods of daylight, or fancy plant food. It was the cactus of relationships. Completely content—arguably happier—with my "B Game." But freedom from a more demanding relationship comes at a price: the realization that even the Cadillac of Cacti, is ultimately still a cactus. Flora and dating's lowest performing stock.

Younger men can teach you things about dating you didn't know you didn't know. For example, watching him play video games is a date. Drunken 3:00am phone calls asking for a ride to Virginia so he can play lasertag, also a date. Explaining to him how a 401k works for the fifth time—"So, you're telling me there's like no running in it at all. Cause Babe, I'm not trying to disagree, but my ultimate frisbee team had some pretty good points."—not a date, but no one's allowed to judge you if you sleep with someone after helping to secure their financial future.

Limited relationship longevity aside, my Cactus did help me reach an epiphany—which can be harder to have as you get older—dating in DC is tough and it's tempting to slack, settle or end up with someone who's not right for you out of loneliness, convenience, or various social pressures. But did you know there are 2,000 types of Cacti in world? I find that comforting when facing the daunting task of DC dating. Some day, I'll find that one special prick that's meant for me.   
  

Saturday, November 15, 2014

20 Things My Little Brother Has Learned About The District

My little brother is celebrating his second anniversary in our great Nation's Capital (or as our parents' refer to it, the fast-paced city-life he's chosen over settling down and giving them grandchildren.) 

The following twenty items are nuggets of wisdom he's collected over the past two years of Washington, D.C. residency:

20.  Happy Hour is kind of a big deal 


19.  Non-stop construction, business growth, and corruption

18.  The weather is nice for about 3 weeks in October

17.  People love complaining about how long their commute is. Monday morning is like a contest on who drives the farthest

16.  "I'm from DC" "Oh really, where?" "Bethesda"

15.  Everyone has a friend who works for the CIA, who doesn't actually work for the CIA 

14.  Karaoke here is full of nepotism 

13.  Everyone is hiring, just not you

12.  People name drop like elsewhere, but it's way more esoteric: "So I was talking to the Deputy Secretary of Commerce Bruce H. Andrews and he loved my Tariff Proposal"

11.  Taxation without representation

10.  The Non-Profit industry surprisingly employees thousands of people 

9.  Food desserts 

8.  Never cross the Anacostia 

7.  In terms of travel, Virginia might as well be the moon

6.  Brunch makes Sunday morning Binge Drinking feel responsible

5.  "$1,300/month for a converted sunroom? That's an amazing deal!"

4.  I can look up your salary. And I will 

3.  DC Metro, "Expect delays in all directions due to single tracking"

2.  Rush hour is every hour

1.  Everyone has a fictitious, but completely reasonable sounding explanation on building height restrictions

Friday, November 14, 2014

Behind the Curtain

The best way to describe anxiety to someone who's never experienced it, is that anxiety is like a drunk in a bar. Irrational, nonsensical, and impossible to ignore.

"L-listen, that boyfriend of yours. He's cheatin' on you."

"K-know what your p-problem at work is? You need to be a bird. A-an jus' fly."

"You s-should have kids by now. That uterus is going to fall out soon, you know." 

"Y-yeaaaaaaaaaah turn this up! This is my jam!"


Both anxiety and drunks are belligerent loudmouths who rely on a realty that's entirely fictional. And while we're able to immediately identify drunks as unreliable assholes, living in a fantasy world of woo-girls, topless laser tag, and midmorning blackouts, for whatever reason, it takes years of therapy and self reflection to come to the same realization that anxiety's perceptive is equally distorted.

When the Greek philosopher Plato explored the concept of reality in his philosophical model The Allegory of the Cave, he envisioned a cave in which a group of people had lived for the entirety of their lives. They live chained to the wall of the cave and can only see another blank wall across from them and the images that occasionally pass along it. The wall and these images make up the prisoner's reality, but they are not real at all, only shadows projected onto the wall cast from an unseen fire behind them.

Now, Plato’s penchant for S&M metaphor caves aside, he illustrates the tactic to which his cave, anxiety, and drunks all owe their sloppy success: smoke and mirrors. When you take the drunk out of the bar or Plato's prisoners above ground you remove the confusion and distortion that smoke and mirrors create allowing you to pull
back the curtain on the truth of your situation.

And as it turns out, without smoke and secrecy, the Great and Powerful Oz you once feared is nothing m
ore than a shadowy creeper with a Mutchkin fetish and a drinking problem.



Monday, November 3, 2014

The Bermuda Triangle

If you ask the average couple to classify their relationship, (as used in this blog post "relationship" means significance, context, definition, meaning, labeling, foreseeable future, and/or status of those two people's involvement with each other) you'll receive either an adult, honest, straight-forward response or......

 
Modern romance is riddled with causal flings, on-again/off-agains, and half-hearted commitments. Now, call me old-fashioned, but I'd always thought that a monogamous relationship meant that one man, one women, and their sex dungeon were ready to spend the rest of their lives together.

But far more perverse is the new territory relationships are charting: the Bermuda Triangle. Just what is the Bermuda Triangle? And why does it doom so many relationships to its murky depths? 

Studies have shown that when choosing a paint color if given five color options to select from, people tend to make the decision faster and more confidently than people who are given twenty color choices. The theory is that an overabundance of choice leads to fear of "missed opportunities and unrealistically high expectations". It's the worry that we're settling, that we could do better, or that we’re missing out. By allowing a relationship to remain undefined, we avoid choice (e.g. "the talk") as a way to prevent ourselves from experiencing regret. 

While Gulf Streams, Violent Weather, and Methane hydrates will seal a mariner's fate in the actual Bermuda Triangle, interpersonal instability poses the greatest threat to otherwise seaworthy relationships. 

So is there any hope for a couple who has navigated into this watery relationship graveyard?


Sunday, October 26, 2014

Don't Stand So Close To Me

What's the difference between being an introvert and being an extrovert



Introversion and extraversion have zero to do with shyness, outgoingness, sociability and the like, and everything to do with how you recharge your batteries. Introverts get off from solitude and personal down time while extroverts are energized by groups and interactions.  



As an 
introvert, it's sometimes easy to forget that when an extrovert engages me in what I'd consider to be a needless conversation—which is anything more personal than 'Sinkhole swallowed up Metro Center' or 'Hey watch out for that chemical spill over there'—they aren't being needy weirdos out to drain my time, energy, or patience, they're simply conducting their energetic equivalent of stopping at the gas station.

Me: Oh god, here comes Carol. Time for another two hour conversation about her awful life. Dear Lord, let her skin rash have cleared up. "Carol, Hi."

Carol: I'm a terrible person! You're strange for not wanting to hang out with me! "Hey, does this rash look weird to you?" 

And in fairness to Carol, for someone who not only needs, but also truly enjoys socially engaging, talking to a cranky introvert would be like torture.  
Deby: I hate people. I can't use my words. "Carol, Hi."

Carol: Oh god, there's Deby. I have to talk to her we work together, and I hear she's getting promoted. Shit, what do I say to her, she barely responds. Fuck, it's not like talking to me for ten minutes will kill her. Should I mention my rash? Why would I even think that? Don't mention your rash! "Hey, does this rash look weird to you?" 

But, as Susan Cain notes, it's an extrovert's world. So with the deck stacked against us, introverts shouldn't feel ashamed if they need to use The Police's immoral words, don't stand so close to me.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

I'm here

"I used to think I was the strangest person in the world but then I thought there are so many people in the world, there must be someone just like me who feels bizarre and flawed in the same ways I do. I would imagine her, and imagine that she must be out there thinking of me too. Well, I hope that if you are out there and read this and know that, yes, it's true I'm here, and I'm just as strange as you." ~ Frida Kahlo

Friday, October 10, 2014

Biglaw is Dead - Part II

Let me tell you what terrifies me the most about my biglaw job. I'm paid a certain salary — closer to 100 John Willards than 50 — to shovel smoke. Now, if this sounds like a job that only exists after you've eaten a batch of Space Cake that me and my friends bought that one time in Amsterdam, you'd be more right than wrong. And in terms of career longevity, there's only so much smoke left in the industry. 

Calvin would make a good litigator
Biglaw was once a glittering celebrity. And like any A-lister, it built an extensive entourage. There's Biglaw Lit Support, Biglaw Office Services, Biglaw Secretarial Support, Biglaw Special Services, Biglaw Administration and Human Resources, Biglaw Recruiting, Biglaw Marketing, Biglaw IT. Heck, Biglaw even has its own codependent friend Noreen, delivering "valid" industry critique straight from the bushes outside its back window.


But make a wish kids, it's a falling star. 

One day [2008] companies simply asked themselves "Why would we pay these lawyers over here $1,000 an hour, when those lawyers over there cost $500 an hour and are just as good, better even!"  

And just like that, the townspeople saw: Biglaw has no clothes!

to be continued

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Stopping By

Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.

My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods 
and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.

He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound's the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.

The woods are lovely, dark and deep.
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,

And miles to go before I sleep.

~Robert Frost, Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening


Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Biglaw is Dead - Part I

When you think of Biglaw you think of the culmination of hundreds of years of the leading legal minds.

 
When I first moved to DC, I couldn't wait to be surrounded by the finest from that field. The elite, the top tier, the best of the best of the best. True intellectual giants, their legal knowledge and analytical skills so advanced it would be almost otherworldly or futuristic in its progressiveness and forward-thinking. I naturally assumed they would fill to bursting the hallways of each DC law firm creating a veritable vortex of legal advancement driven by the combined powers of rational thought and sound decision making.

Well, I partly got my wish.

I've worked at large DC law firms, I've worked at small DC law firms, and they've all had one thing in common. They've all fucking sucked.


So when the attorneys I work with talk, I do feel like I'm witnessing a supernatural force. Kinda like what happened when they opened the Ark of the Covenant in that Indiana Jones movie....   

to be continued

Sunday, September 14, 2014

False Flag

I love conspiracy theories. I love them so much I want to take them behind the gym and get them pregnant. And I'm not alone. Be it the Lindbergh baby, the Apollo 11 moon landing, or the idea that Breyers engineered Birthday Cake Ice Cream just to make me fat, certain events throughout history have conspiracy theorists convinced that the general public isn't being told the full story.


What exactly causes conspiracy theories to develop? And more importantly what makes some people believe even the most outlandish of them? Interestingly, studies have found that the single best predictor of belief in a conspiracy theory, is belief in another or prior conspiracy theories. Sorta an incredulous version of the chicken or the egg dilemma. 

As a self-proclaimed conspiracy theorist, I've found that particular incidents, due to their extremity, their shocking nature, or their sprinkle-filled deliciousness, trigger our spidey senses. Once stimulated, people are anxious for a resolution be it a hidden agenda or a government cover-up.

I've compiled three of my favorite ominous occasions and researched the most compelling evidence for, and the strongest rebuttals against, these respective conspiracies.


1) Apollo 11 Moon Landing

The smoking gun: From the C rock to the lack of stars to moon dust, a faked moon landing is like conspiracy theory Viagra. But it is interesting how the backgrounds in certain photos are so similar they're nearly identical, as though NASA used, or forgot to change, the same backdrops for different photos.

Time for your meds:  NASA has an overall solid case against the faux moon landing conspiracy. It's almost like there's a bunch of scientists over there. But it's film expert S.G. Collins whose knowledge about the technical capacities of filming in the late sixties who makes the conspiracy-dispelling statement that it would have been easier to actually go to the moon than to fake it on video.  


2) 9/11

The smoking gun: Your 9/11 conspiracy needs can be satisfied by the film Loose Change. Not being structural engineer, I couldn't point to anything unusual about how the towers fell, but I do love money and the extraordinary amount of put options placed on United and American Airlines stocks just days prior to 9/11 caught my attention. The mathematical odds that this event would occur randomly and independently of the 9/11 attack are so low they statistically don't exist.

Time for your meds: 
Debunking the 9/11 conspiracies has become almost as popular as creating them. For me, the collapse of the Twin Towers, free from explosives or a controlled demolition proves that this horrible event wasn't internally manufactured.

3) Paul is Dead

The smoking gun: 
It would be easy to dismiss this theory that Paul McCartney secretly died in 1966 and was replaced by a look alike as the creative but insane result of the vast amounts of psychotropic drugs consumed in the sixties, if not for Gabriella Carlesi. In 2008, the Italian forensic pathologist specializing in the identification of people through craniometry or the comparison of skull features, analysed images of Paul McCartney before and after 1966 and found they did not match.

Time for your meds: Debunking Paul is dead for Dummies breaks this theory down piece by silly piece. For me, the most compelling evidence against this conspiracy is that there's simply no reason for it. It's a conspiracy as unnecessary as Ringo. 

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Boring Work Days and Me: 5 Things I've Learned Before 5:00pm - Part III

1) The Peter Principle is a management concept that suggests employees rise into a position for which they are no longer qualified.
2) Canadian Murders. They happen. And they're horrifying.
3) Occam's razor states that among competing hypotheses, the one with the fewest assumptions should be selected. An overly simplified view of this theory is: the simplest explanation is most likely to be correct or that William of Occam is a lazy dick.
4) Chewbacca was left-handed.
5) A Scholar's Mate is a black checkmate in chess that is accomplished in four moves or after I've had my third glass of wine.



Thursday, August 14, 2014

The Miracle Question

If you've ever read anything about business, studied for the GMAT, or drank myself into a blackout at my friend's grad school party last week, you'll know a little something about two contrasting business ideologies: problem-focused and solution-focused. A stagnant economy, struggling enterprise, and diminishing middle-class gives business theory about as much credibility as Wikipedia and if you're like me you probably imagine the average corporate board meeting runs much like this:



but the problem-focused/solution-focused concept holds water. To be solution-focused is to ignore the cause, details, and nuances of your problem and concentrate your efforts on a remedy, resolution, and outcome. To be problem-focused is to ignore said potential solutions and concentrate your efforts on "Bats! Bats! Dear God how did all these bats get in here?!?!"

For example, nowadays technology allows the average television viewer to virtually eliminate what was once considered a marketing staple: the commercial. Advertisers must use their thirty seconds wisely, commercials have to provide answers. 


Need something done? Rube Goldberg can help. 

Sober? Have a Samuel Jackson

Bats in your house? Protect your neck! Good Lord make sure you protect your neck!!!

Which brings us to Crazy Larry. He lives down by Union Station and your roommate bought weed from him one time — no, not that Crazy Larry, Crazy Larry, local furniture salesman and President of Crazy Larry's Couch Emporium. Due to a shipping error is currently OVERSTOCKED on couches and he needs to sell them THIS weekend at a LOW LOW price!!



Crazy Larry will offer you prices so low you'd think he was insane, but one thing he won't do is schedule an extended videoconference with the corporate office to review company training protocols in order to identify potentially problematic shipment handling procedures to ensure this never happens again.

How is Crazy Larry able to see beyond wave after endless wave of bat attacks and concentrate his energy on the ultimate goal? Solution-Focused Therapy credits The Miracle Question. Its premise is simple, one night a miracle has occurred and all the problems in your life that would normally preoccupy you have been resolved. When you awaken the next morning, what is it that you are doing, thinking, seeing, or believing that lets you know this miracle has occurred?  

Anyone else's miracle involve Alec Baldwin giving this pep talk as they get ready for work each morning?

The Miracle Question acts like a set of mini blinders. When you rewire your thinking to ignore the troublesome distractions that otherwise would monopolize your thought process, you're able to entirely invest in how you'll achieve that end goal, that perfect outcome, that light at the end of the bat-filled tunnel. 
 

Friday, August 8, 2014

Goodfellas

God Entity: Bender, being God isn't easy. If you do too much, people get dependent on you, and if you do nothing, they lose hope. You have to use a light touch. Like a safecracker, or a pickpocket.

Bender: Or a guy who burns down a bar for the insurance money!


God Entity: Yes, if you make it look like an electrical thing. When you do things right, people won't be sure you've done anything at all.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

The Raven

In the months since my bipolar II diagnosis, I've discovered that the "Bipolar: True Hollywood Story" is much, much lamer than its celebrity persona. 

Modern media would have us believe that a bipolar diagnosis is the medical equivalent of hitting the mental illness jackpotNowadays, it's somehow become synonymous with the "mad genius," bringing to mind all manner of artists caught in the midst of mania creating masterpieces.

Robin Williams 1951-2014 
But nobody pictures Vincent van Gogh refilling his pill dispenser each week or arguing with his insurance provider about whether a pre-authorization is required for seroquel

In humble experience, bipolar has been disproportionately heavy on lithium shakes, nausea, and memory loss and light on creative sparks of mad-scientist-like genius. But what I have experienced is a new underlying pressure to harness greatness in some way from the condition. And now that my peers include Edgar Allan Poe, Ernest Hemingway, and Jackson Pollock can my greatest artistic achievement really be a blog full of fart jokes, dirty posts, and animal videos? Leave it Peanut.....


Bipolar Superpowers activate! 

Wham! Wham! Hmmm, maybe the on-switch is broken? I'll bring that up to my doctor. 

In the meantime, Natasha Tracy examines this issue beautifully in her post Do the Mentally Ill Have to Be Extraordinary to Be Accepted?

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Boring Work Days and Me: 5 Things I've Learned Before 5:00pm - Part II

1) slowplay in poker, also called sandbagging or trapping, is deceptive strategy intended to lure opponents into a pot who might otherwise fold to a raise.
2) The red string of fate connects those destined to meet. The cord may stretch or tangle, but never break.
3) Howard Storm, a devout atheist and college professor, was leading a three and a half week European art tour when a perforated stomach led to a terrifying near-death experience.
4) Breaking the fourth wall occurs when an actor speaks directly to or otherwise acknowledges the audience. Examples include Shakespeare, House of Cards or me every morning in the shower.
5) Cats have a longer short-term memory than dogs, 16 hours compared to five minutes. Isn't that right Professor?

Monday, July 21, 2014

When You're Going Through Hell

I've been deep down in that darkness
I've been down to my last match
Felt a hundred different demons breathing fire down my back
And I knew that if I stumbled I'd fall right into the trap
That they were laying

But the good news is there's angels everywhere out on the street
Holding out a hand to pull you back up on your feet
The one's that you've been dragging for so long
You're on your knees might as well be praying

If you're going through hell
Keep on going
Don't slow down
If you're scared don't show it
You might get out before the devil even knows you're there


When you're going through hell
Keep on moving
Face that fire
Walk right through it
You might get out before the devil even knows you're there

~Rodney Atkins

 

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Boring Work Days and Me: 5 Things I've Learned Before 5:00pm - Part I

1) Snooker is a, for real, sport governed by the World Snooker Association.
2) Gaslighting is a form of mental abuse in which false information is presented with the intent of making victims doubt their own memory, perception, and sanity.
3) Among notable musicians who played left-handed are Jimi Hendrix, Paul McCartney and Justin Bieber.
4) The rock band AC/DC's name is a tribute to the rivalry between Nikola Tesla and Thomas Edison

5) James Jesus Angleton, counterintelligence chief at the CIA from 1954 to 1975, suffered from crippling paranoia, but he like, these other unheeded paranoiacs, turned out to be right in the end. Read more and you'll see, you'll all see.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Feed Me Seymour

If all the cities in the U.S. met up for drinks one night after work, D.C. would show up late, bogart the pitcher of sangria, dominate the table conversation, then plop down a ten spot when it was time to split the tab. An hour later, D.C. would make a booty call to a metropolitan equivalent of a 5—Richmond for example—show up sloppy, be lazy in the sack, and not even give a courtesy call the next day.

The point is, D.C. is a taker.

Recently, a work project dominated the lion's share of my free time. Like a tornado through a Kansas City
trailer park, my nights, weekends, even lunches were sucked into the vacuum. And after the storm, like a Kansas City trailer park resident, I was confused, disorientated and left with the question: "Where the hell are my pants?"


D.C. is the type town that will gladly accept all the extra we're willing to give. From our jobs that asks for few hours on the weekends, to the metro which wants our patience while single-tracking, to the homeless who wonder if we have a dollar to spare. And while I believe that accomplishing anything worthwhile requires that we devote the best, and most, of ourselves to it, how do you know when that energy is channeling your life's dreams and when it's fueling a giant man-eating plant?

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Bipolar Like Us

What's it like being diagnosed as Bipolar II? Imagine you're going through a particularly rough patch in your life and you're suddenly handed a baby. A baby dragon. And you live in a terrible school district and there's no way you can afford to put Smuag Jr. in private school.

Bipolar II is a tricky rascal to diagnosis. What distinguishes it from Bipolar I is the absence of Bipolar I's trademark mania.


Because the Bipolar II spectrum only reaches hypomania, a mood state characterized by increased energy, productivity and confidence, it's often mistaken for simple high-functioning behavior.

Mania wants to fly to Vegas, rob a Casino, and start a high-speed police chase. Hypomania would rather work quietly and efficiently on a home improvement project or screenplay.

Hypomania's my jam. For
me, it shows up like a childhood friend on your front porch who asks "Want to ride bikes?" The world feels like it's on your side when you're hypomanic. It roots for you, shows you possibilities and connections. It's influenced my writing in ways I'll probably never fully understand. And I'll admit, now that — medically speaking — my next years will be devoted to not experiencing this sensation again, there's a part of me that feels like I'm taking the blue pill


But since I'm being honest, there's an equal part of me that recognizes the destructive path that Bipolar II has walked through my life. I see it in all the risks I've taken, all the opportunities I've lost, all the people I've hurt. 

And while my diagnosis was a series of personal and profound "a-ha" moments for me, I also had to understand how relatively little it meant to the rest of the world. My college Dean didn't call to personally apologize and cancel my student loans. "Again, we're terribly sorry for the mix-up, we'll be refunding your payments over the years and sending a fruit basket." There wasn't a steady stream of ex-boyfriends calling to apologize and admit that I was in fact right about any outstanding or unresolved fights. The Daily Show didn't immediately contact me to book a guest appearance. "As a hero and an inspiration, ho
w do you do it?" I mean, they still have time, they're a busy show.

Immediately after my diagnosis, I felt an overwhelming elation. Anyone who's struggled with mental health issues knows that just being able to put a name, any name, to what you're experiencing is a victory in itself. 
Yes! My crazy is recognized by the APA! In your face universe! 

But this dragon has needs: medication management, individual therapy, group therapy, mood charts, sleep hygiene. Mental health can feel like a mountain that you have to climb. But I hear the view from the top is worth it.

"No one can tell what goe
s on in between the person you were and the person you become. No one can chart that blue and lonely section of hell. There are no maps of the change. You just come out the other side.

Or you don't."

~Stephen King, The Stand

Friday, April 18, 2014

Insomnia and Me: 5 Things I've learned before 5:00am - Part XVII

1) Ain't no burn like a Don Draper burn.
2) Whenever I'm feeling down or in need of guidance, I think of the big guy upstairs and his words give me comfort. "We all have ways of coping. I use sex and awesomeness." ~Alec Baldwin
3) Not sure if the Cat-Shaming website shames cats...or us.
4) The best line from the Comedy Central's Roast of Stephen Hawking: "I. See. That. Andy. Dick. Is. Here. Tonight. I. Presume. He. Wants. Me. To. Tell. Him. How. A. Black. Hole. Swallowed. His. Career...No. No. I. Kid. Andy. It's. Not. Fair. To. Make. Fun. Of. People. With. Disabilities. Boom. Roasted."

5) I'm currently working on a political piece that's a comprehensive commentary examining how the changing roles of women and religion affect DC politics. For example, the female partner I work for is so Jewish—


Sunday, April 13, 2014

Bipolar and Me and Me: 5 Things I've Learned about Bipolar II Disorder - Part II

1) Get familiar with your medications, their side effects and alternative treatments. And don't expect anyone who looks like Bradley Cooper or Jennifer Lawrence to show up at your support group meetings.
2) The Oh Brother Where Art Thou? scenes with 
George Nelson are some of the most accurate cinematic representations of Bipolar mood shifts I've ever seen.
3) A little humor, can be a lot of help.

4) "Mental illness is nothing to be ashamed of, but stigma and bias shame us all." ~Bill Clinton. 
5) Every day mania and depression will battle for dominance over your mood, emotions, and mental well being. They'll tell you no one understands you, that things will never improve, that the world would be better off without you. Mental illness is the most skilled liar you'll ever meet. "Happiness is a choice. You have to choose it – and you have to fight for it."ยช Always be fighting. (Key: Balrog = mental illness, Gandalf = us)

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Insomnia and Me: 5 Things I've learned before 5:00am - Part XVI

1) Talamakuy is an anual practice by the inhabitants of Chumbivilcas Province near Cuzco in Peru. During the festival, which occurs on December 25th, individuals are encouraged to drink and fight one another to settle old conflicts.
2) "
Lisa's Sax" is the third episode of The Simpsons' ninth season. In a series of flashbacks, the viewer learns the origin of Lisa's saxophone. The episode ends with Lisa's performance of Gerry Rafferty's "Baker Street."
3)
Will Shortz, the crossword puzzle editor for The New York Times, is the only person known to hold a college degree in enigmatology, or the study of puzzles.
4)
The Hodge Conjecture is a major unsolved problem in algebraic geometry that relates the algebraic topology of a non-singular complex algebraic variety and the subvarieties of that variety.

5) This horse from Turkey was announced the most beautiful horse in the world.

But is he single?