Yes. I saw “mother!” Yesterday…

The rest of the sentence, and laughed my ass off. Yes I finally saw it after reading too many reviews and random articles, and hearing all kinds of crazy stuff about metaphors and climate change and people walking out, etc. hysteria.

I was curious, mostly from reading Jennifer Lawrence’s experience making it. At some point I think she went to the hospital during the filming. I could see that she had a big job in the movie; most of it rides on her point of view and being with her throughout the movie.

Anyway spoiler alert…

My biggest concern was that it would bother me that it was very sexist. The usual premise: male writer with big ego and small dick is having writer’s block and his wife who’s way younger is supposed to be his muse and she fixes the whole house and makes his meals, etc. Basically he is a big baby. Do I have to see another one of these films with a woman throwing herself at the feet of such a guy; wouldn’t it be better if it were the other way round and the writer was a 48 year old woman with a young male sycophant? I just saw a pretty  funny version of that in a scene from the tv show, “Friends From College” where a writer and  editor visit a big famous female author who has a young dumb male husband.

Anyway, no, the roles were not reversed. If you try to see the movie as some metaphor or whatever where the writer is kind of “god” and I guess the wife is mother earth and the son gets sacrificed, it might be believable as a Mayan inspiration. I prefer to see it as a comedy horror film about a male writer with such a huge ego and need for constant adoration from as many fans as possible that he is willing to turn his house, wife and baby over to the mob and sacrifice them in the name of having  his ego fed. On that level it is kind of a great critique of all that is wrong with that paradigm. Ironically Ed Harris is in the movie; he played Pollack and got to be the big baby egotistical artist in that film, where Lee Krasner is basically doing Jennifer Lawrence’s job while doing her own paintings on the side.

Anyway, if you don’t take the movie super seriously, you can have a lot of fun watching it. I kind of liked the first house invasion where the old couple come and psychologically invade and freak the Jennifer character out, ending with their sons coming to the house and having a Cain and Abel scene. IF the bible was featured in the movie, that scene is it, a really great brutal murder. I can’t remember if I was laughing at that point or not. I really expected the Cain character to come to the house and rape Jennifer, but he just passed through.

I had mixed feelings about the mob; I was kind of waiting for the couple to return to the house and do more psychological damage but they don’t return after the wake invasion. It gets to the point where people are ripping the house to shreds.

For sheer originality in its insanity, the birth and tearing and eating of the baby was pretty great. I don’t think I was laughing by then as I kind of wanted the movie to stop and was waiting for some kind of bomb ending. It did not disappoint. I was ready for Jennifer to set the house on fire, hungry for it, but not thrilled that she set herself on fire too. The sacrifice of the baby and her were horrific and funny though. What kind of mob eats a baby? Really that part was inspired and brilliant. The self immolation was not so great but I guess total destruction had to happen.

The male “god” writer played by Bardem is not a very nuanced character; he is almost stupid and naive and for sure emotionally immature of course. The nosy character played by Michelle Pfeiffer was a delight; I almost expected her to make a pass at Jennifer; a sex scene between the two of them seemed immanent and would have been great.

Anyway, the movie is only half psychological thriller as it goes fully into the comic horror genre after the couple and their family are gone. Most of the funny parts were in the first half.

I refuse to see the movie as some kind of big deal thing about “Global Warming”. It works much better as a kind of new “The Shining” for 2017. If the characters are just a crazy immature narcissistic writer and his over devoted wife, you can enjoy the movie. For it to be less “sexist”, I would have been happy if Jennifer had first killed Javier with her bare hands and pulled his heart out of his chest and then burned the house down, but alas, it was not to be.

Definitely some enjoyable psycho cinema. The filmmaker and the actors could be more down to earth about what the movie is about and what it accomplishes and let of of the biblical allegory etc.. The description the filmmaker give of the movie being a “home invasion” horror/thriller is exactly right, and as such, it is really great and quite fun! People, stop taking films so seriously; it’s called “entertainment” for a reason!

I can’t resist adding lessons learned:

  1. Like all NYC people know, don’t let strangers into your house. Even if they’re doctors or have a PhD. Especially if they are in academia.
  2. Don’t let your spouse let strangers into your house.
  3. If you decide to redo your house using your bare hands, hire help or get friends to come over, at least so you are not constantly alone and in danger of starting to lose your mind.
  4. If a murder happens at your house and everyone leaves, you should not stay alone in your house. Get out and go somewhere crowded.
  5. If you’re dumb enough to marry a really egotistical emotionally immature writer, get more than a house decorating hobby. Start painting, you have a huge empty house – make some great murals, get some self-esteem, get friends, go out, don’t stare at him while he’s trying to write. Don’t  stay home cooking and cleaning for him. It’s 2017. Enough of that paradigm.
  6. If someone kills his brother in your house, you are not required to clean up all the blood right away all by yourself.
  7. If you’re married to the above mentioned writer and he goes too long without writing, go on a vacation somewhere, with or without him.
  8. Don’t stay in a huge house in the middle of nowhere with just your crazy husband if you are pregnant. And get a plan for options besides a home invasion birth.
  9. Why did you get pregnant? Use birth control and remember Lee Krasner’s wise actions; she bravely refused to have a baby as she told her husband one baby is enough. If you end up in her situation, also do what she did: focus on your career and don’t get in a car with your spouse, even if you know he’s cheating on you. Let him self destruct all by himself. Once he’s gone, you’ll realize the error of your ways and stay away from other narcissists.

What are you wearing?

Warning: This post contains material about suicide. Please do not read it if you think you don’t want to. If you’re not sure, don’t read it now. Wait. It will still be here. If you need to, don’t read all of it…

I wrote a long post today and erased it. Today marks four years since one of my closest friends died from suicide. I’m not even sure the best wording. Died by suicide? Killed themselves? Committed suicide? I don’t know. I personally don’t like saying, “passed away” or “passed on” when someone dies from anything because for me, she hasn’t gone anywhere. She is dead.

There is so much written about this topic, suicide. I know I’ve written dozens of posts that I have erased or not published because it felt like it’s all been said before.

I wrote 2 long posts about the show, 13 Reasons Why, and then erased them too. I liked the show for many reasons, and I started out not even wanting to hear people talk about the show. There are obvious reasons I “suddenly” decided to watch the show in the past two weeks and have now seen the whole thing. I’m glad the show is out there; I liked the writing and the acting and all the questions raised by it. I’m glad they’re working on a 2nd Season. I was a little disappointed in feeling how flawed all the characters were and wishing to see their best qualities maybe it’s because I’m reminded of my own flaws, or because when someone kills themselves, suddenly everyone who is alive around it seems guilty, including oneself and you only think of the wrong bad things that happened but shouldn’t have happened.

There are interesting moments in the show, where there are these 13 tapes of reasons, and some character who has listened to the whole thing, still says that she made a choice and that nobody really killed her. Aren’t the other survivors in the show in great pain and making a choice to stay? Of course as a therapist, I suppose I maybe supposed to have one opinion or another, but I watched it only as a person affected by suicide more than once but especially four years ago. I can’t see the show from the point of view of a therapist except to know that a teenager or child suicide is very different from an adult suicide.

I obviously don’t have a neutral opinion of the show. It was partly a fantasy for me, and mostly a “Be Careful What You Wish For?” I don’t think you could find anybody who wouldn’t want even one tape of the person(s) in their life who committed suicide, talking about anything. In some ways I was jealous of the people in the show, but also saw how these tapes can really hurt people or make things even more confusing and painful. I would still choose the tapes. In real life, most people don’t get them.

It’s a portrait of a hunt. That’s what I call it. My friend loved wild animals. I felt like I was hunting for explanations after her death; I spent a long time hunting. And longer hurting. Now those feelings have faded. Once in a while I wonder if I’ve given up the hunt or is watching this show still me hunting? Yes, we never stop hunting for reasons why.

I posted this picture on her Facebook Memorial Page. I wanted to find a photo I posted somewhere of the two of us but I couldn’t find it and saw this photo of a wood sign I saw in Barnes and Nobel. For sure she would say, Yes, keep creating yourself, don’t stop for too long. Stay alive both on the outside and the inside. Stop trying to “find” reasons or “find out” anything, especially about yourself.

I could talk about my memories of her but I haven’t figured out how to write about them. I will write about them at some point and figure that out, but my memories are not the ones I want. I’m supposed to remember positive happy memories which I do have but they are random. Just as I feel I was somehow cheated out of having some concrete thing of hers,  I feel cheated out of not having the memories I wish I had. I am not someone who remembers things well. I hear others remember whole conversations and I have a little something here or there but nothing so detailed and concrete. How are you supposed to write about someone if your memories of them aren’t the ones you’re supposed to have and wish you had?

I have her clock, which she left in my old studio when she was using it for a brief time to see patients. I’ve drawn and painted the clock and written about it. It wasn’t a gift. It was something I meant to give back to her or that she would use again. Now I look at it and I’m amused. This tiny old fashioned alarm clock that is like the ones in cartoons and has that ring on it, I forget to put the battery in it. Once in a while I use it and it makes loud ticking sounds. Recently the battery ran out and it’s constantly 4:30; one time a patient got annoyed at how loud it was and I put it in a drawer. Then a while later I had it on my desk ticking away and the same person did not notice it. I can make this clock say all kinds of things, it ticks with or without batteries…

I have some of her secrets, the things you don’t write about because they were shared as something that you keep from anyone else.

She called me “Bitsi” starting when we were at Harvard together and a mutual friend started calling me Bitsi because I wore Betsey Johnson clothing all the time. She used to talk to me on the phone by starting with “Hi Bitsi, what are you wearing?” I would describe my outfit and ask her what she was wearing. It was an innocent exchange at the same time as a joke on what people usually say when asking that question. Today’s outfit was not picked out for any deep reasons. I wear skulls a lot. It’s just an irrelevant outfit but it is what I happen to be wearing…

K. I am wearing a grey t-shirt with a skull on it and lace at the top, olive green cargo pants with zippers and black and white Missoni converse sneakers, and of course, Betsey Johnson: a pink sugar skull watch and black skull earrings…

New Photo Series: Pieces of the Studio

Today I got a new idea perfect for my Artist Instagram, to post photos of different parts and things in my studio. Some are the kind of photos you’re not sure what it is, others random pieces of the floor, the table or a door or some other little aspect of the studio.

On Instagram I used the weird filters to have some fun with it. I just posted seven photos from today, taken quickly in a free moment and then crafted a little with cutting and filters.

The Grand Graphic Novel of 17 years

I am now starting another 30 days of no sugar/low natural sugar, after a successful 30 days that ended last Wednesday. The next day I had an ice cream and then Friday began the next 30 Days.

This new eating “plan” is working on a much grander level. Yesterday at a party I met someone who just started something similar and we shared how this is much more than about dealing with sugar addiction and eating healthy, how this can help you focus on doing the important things you want to do that you neglect. It’s the secondary side effect, being more able to follow through with goals and projects and why food is such a big factor with ADHD for me.

I started writing a graphic novel “fantasy/memoir” 17 years ago in 2000. I took a class at the Open Center with a comics expert friend about writing graphic novels. It was taught by a woman who wrote a graphic novel about having a baby as a teenager. She got us to figure out what was important for us and what we wanted to write about and to get going with the nuts and bolts of layout and drawing and speech bubbles. I got started and got the first 10 pages done and got a lot of great feedback. People who read it thought it was funny and well, good, worth continuing.

There is nothing like immediate “success” to stop me in my tracks. I kept working on it and then at some point put it aside and left it to collect dust. It was too hard and I reached a place where I didn’t know what was supposed to be on the next page. Since then at various points in the last 17 years, I have taken it off the shelf and worked on it. For a while in 2006-2007 I was meeting up regularly with my friend I took the class with to work on our graphic novels and encourage each other. Then life got in the way and I put it back in the black hole of writer’s block until the next spurt of inspiration hit. In 2013 I got very revved up to get it done by my 50th birthday and figured out how to get 100 pages done by doing a page every 16 or 17 days and posting some of it on Facebook. That went on for a few weeks, then I lost several pages of the book and gave up again. I picked it up and did a few more pages and even found the lost pages, after putting the loss of the pages in the book. By then, the book had  developed a life of its own and was also about my inabilities to keep going and doing it. Fast forward to a few weeks into this new “food plan”. About 4 weeks ago, I decided to get one page done per week and use therapy to make me keep it up, so I had to do a page by Friday and send a photo of it to my current therapist. I am now working on the 4th page (page 44 of the book). If I keep it up, I will have about 31 pages done by my 50th birthday and be on page 71. It won’t be finished but it will be more finished than it’s ever been.

Getting back into it and forcing myself to do it each week has been enlightening. One question that I won’t be able to answer until I finish is what is this project getting in the way of in terms of other things to accomplish with my creativity? I always thought in terms of all the things I manufactured as reasons to not be working on the book and what are all those things I put in its way, but I hadn’t thought in terms of what this unfinished big block of a project might be obstructing. What if this book is an obstacle itself? I won’t know until I do it and finish it.

When you force yourself to work on something like this that has been 17 years in the making, you learn things for sure. It is just at the point of shit or get off the pot, put your money where your mouth is, etc. So I have decided while getting back in the process that I have to get this done and finished and then get it published so I can continue with whatever else I am doing with my artistic and writing career. I definitely have another book, not graphic, just writing, that I started last year and am working on which I have put aside lately while doing the graphic novel. I posted a few things from that book on this blog, but for sure, I will have to write it at the same time or get the graphic novel done so I can do the book.

The book is going to be called The Art Box and is a book of essays/reflections, mostly about doing art therapy with adults, especially my work at my old job at FEGS Rockwell Continuing Day Treatment Center that I left in early 2003 to start my private practice.

The graphic novel process is extremely challenging as each page takes a really long time to conceive and complete. It’s much more frustrating than pure writing as the images are a big deal and take a long time. Sometimes I forget how fun it can be. I started it in black and white, drawing in pencil first and then covering in black sharpie. Now it is in color as well and I am trying to vary the layout and composition. The one benefit of taking forever to get it done is that now the internet is so great for research, whether to look at examples of fight scenes in comics or look up things  that relate to the content. I also just organized my sketchbook journals that I started doing in 1987, so there are 30 years of them, minus a few that I took apart. I’m going to have to look in them more for more info and ideas. I have been using old drawings from my journals to get image ideas for the pages in the past few weeks. Today I used a scribble drawing from 2012.

The second week I noticed how it is difficult to deal with the inner critic saying this isn’t good enough, your drawing is bad, there isn’t enough variety, maybe you won’t get it published. You have to just keep going and keep in mind that you are going to keep going and not stop. Stopping is the deadly thing, so having this idea of having to do a page a week at least is great for momentum and also keeps me motivated to stay with this eating plan, as the fear is, going back to eating badly will remove my motivation and I will give up. Each goal feeds the other.

I hope this continues to work as it’s reached the point where 17 years is enough and I have to get it done in the next year-year and a half!

The Therapist Profile: Reflections

Writing my profile for websites for therapists, such as, has always been a challenge for me. With each new website, I’ve discovered new clearer ways to answer the questions about my work. It’s hard to put into words my practice and approach and how I might be the kind of therapist you would work well with. I definitely look at other people’s profiles for inspiration, more to see how they word things, if they start with questions, what kinds of phrases they use that seem to be really clear  than to paraphrase. My profile is unique and I explain art therapy in the way I think of it from how I experience working as an art therapist, but I’m still not too satisfied with it. It’s an ever evolving process for me, so I’ve often changed my profile on (the Main Encyclopedia of psychotherapsits), when I am in the process of putting it on it  other websites.

I’ve recently joined the relatively new website and community of healers/doctors/providers, lighthouselgbt: Safe Space for LGBTQ + Wellness. The first part of the Lighthouse Profile defines the space and providers in this way: “We are a group of NYC based providers who have devoted our careers to caring for LGBTQ+ patients.” This is the link if you’d like to check out the website:

I am very excited to be part of the Lighthouse community, especially right now with the political climate we are forced to endure. It is more than ever important to find your “tribe(s)”, no matter whether virtual or “real world”. As an extreme introvert, I need meaningful soul to soul  person to person connections with other like minded open tolerant curious and out of the box people, including in my work as an art therapist. (I have yet to find a group of artists/writers/galleries/publishers/creative professionals that feeds me. Here I am in NYC and the NY Art World is not for me at all, but I’ve never quite found something. I do have plenty of friends whose careers involve creativity and the “arts”, and social media places to share my work, but it is not quite a real community of people for me. I’m hopeful I will find this eventually. I put this in parentheses because it is a whole other topic to explore that is on my mind lately.)

Identity: “Who am I and what am I about?” is a lifelong voyage of discovery. I’m a work in progress. The longer I live, the clearer I am at articulating who I am in whatever sphere of life, and then I’m able to look back and see how I’ve always been this way and are just in process of becoming more fully who I am, constantly evolving. I am passionate about evolving and becoming increasingly aware of ways that I want to present myself to the world more accurately. Whenever I have an “Ah ha” moment, I realize this was who I was even back when I was a 7 year old just being me, without as many barriers to being able to be myself. I understand when my clients report that they have bravely forayed into proclaiming their discovery of their gender or something else and gotten reactions of “you never said this before. You’re not this and that so how is it you say you are this (gender, career, creative mode of expression.) It can be as simple as “But you’re a performer, youre not a visual artist.” “You’ve always been “xyz”. Even, “You should talk to your parent. They are so nice or they are your family.” Someone has gotten to the point of taking a brave stand and boundary with an abuser and doesn’t always get this validated; in fact often people devalue whatever you’re proclaiming. I recently read someone’s essay about their identity as an asexual person and what it is about for them. The comments were downright nasty, some insinuating that you can’t say you’re asexual because you had sex in that relationship or you’re talking about having sex, so you’re not asexual. I’m happy that now there is a phrase, “the asexual spectrum”, which was invented to explain especially to such limited bullying individuals that being asexual is not that simple and only works when not a label slapped on someone.

I can say that most of the barriers I have had to being myself have been self created, but maybe I woulnd’t have created these barriers to radical full self acceptance and standing fully in the light if the world were a lot safer and more openminded and accepting.

“Be yourself. Everybody else is taken.”As I wrote that I think of Oscar Wilde’s words in a way I haven’t before. The two sentences are kind of a dialectic in the sense that being yourself involves having to define yourself in relation to other humans because we use language, verbal and non verbal, to express or hold back who we are. We can’t get out of the aspect of self acceptance that involves negating a sort of “norm” communicated to us by society and their constructs and clarifying taking space as unique and beyond the norm. There should be no “box” to be inside of or outside of in any arena of life; of course that is a fantasy. Imagine being born into a world where gender was a spectrum, where polyamory, monogamy and a romantic approaches and of were all just choices like the color of a t shirt and that your shape, size and color of your skin were seen like a box of magic markers. You wouldn’t need to focus on what you are not and what does not resonate with you as who you are. There would be freedom to be and freedom to play. My challenge: “What gender are you today?” which was the main focus of my last art show, “#Bathroom Art Only” would be like deciding on a cereal for breakfast. Some people want the same breakfast every day; others want different things or no breakfast, or have the same breakfast for years and at age 37 decide to have a completely new breakfast. It would be the ideal of “live and let live”, “whatever floats your boat” and the maxim would be “Be yourself. Be free to be yourself. Be free to evolve and change in your concept of yourself.” with no need to refer to others.

There is a therapy phrase, “ego syntonic” and another one “ego distonic”. I like these phrases because they get to the heart of self acceptanc, self worth and learning how to navigate an unsafe unpredictable world we all have to live in. Something is ego syntonic if it is in sync with who you are and your values and aspirations, like when you put on a t shirt and it fits you in size as well as what it looks like and what kind of t shirt it is. Jobs can be seen in this way. If you are working at a job that is deadening you and feels like it’s not what you want to do or the people you work with are people you would not choose to be around, the job is ego distonic. When I worked cleaning the house of a science fiction writer in the summer during college, it was ego syntonic because he was nice and weird and non critical and paid me cash and the job was temporary; a job doesn’t have to be on your career path to be ego syntonic; it just needs to match who you are and your wants and needs. Same with any relationship. Therapy for example. If you feel comfortable with your therapist for whatever reasons and that there are minimal blocks in the way of your accomplishing your therapy goals created by the therapist, or even if the therapist has done so and you are able to address it, then the therapeutic realtinoship is ego syntonic; at certain points in therapy, it can be very therapeutic for you to notice and tell your therapist that they have said or done something that was not ok with you. Then you have an opportunity for the therapist to adjust/correct and you are improving your communication in important relationships and growth occurs. Often we discover what is ego syntonic by experiencing something as ego distonic. That’s the “everybody else is taken.” part of the dialectic. It means asking “Is this for me or for the other person?” “Am I ok with this or am I now not ok with it even if I was in the past?” “Is this something I want now in my life or not?” “How does this serve my growth or impede it?” The more you can clarify what is ego distonic, you also clarify what is ego syntonic. The process is unique for each person.

As an artist and person who has a deep need to approach life creatively and express myself creatively, I have always been someone who tries many of the t shirts on, or has different breakfasts every day. I like to shape shift and morph and copy and try on things; I learn best by watching how someone does something and trying it out, but reshaping it to do it my way. I don’t learn well by being told what to do in a rigid way or being told what I did wrong. My college was ego syntonic to the way I learn and the kinds of people I needed to find for my life, so I was able to grow as a person during thpse important years. I like seeing diversity and experiencing diversity, as I am easily bored and like the new. At the same time I don’t gravitate towards situations involving meeting new people in a social context. As a therapist I enjoy meeting new clients because I am curious and interested in how unque and fascinating each person’s inner life, identity and approach to life is. As an artist, I often try out new things and then in that process, keep repeating something I’ve stumbled upon. With drawing especially, it involves looking at other people’s drawings or images; to draw musical instruments for my Warrior Series, I looked up musical instruments from other cultures, especially middle eastern and African.

Using the line from Annie Hall comparing relationships to sharks, as an artist I need to be like a shark, constantly moving. The dialect between me the artist and me the art therapist is being the shark and the snail. As a therapist I slow down and stay with whatever the client brings in to explore and process.

Wonder Woman: Not so Wonderful

I did not like the movie. It was a huge disappointment. I went with two 9 year old girls hoping to have the feeling I had leaving the movie “Hidden Figures” with my 9 year old. It was a kind of elation I hadn’t felt after a movie, maybe ever, a really intense feeling of the generations of women dealing with living in our reality and feeling a sense of hope mixed with anger and feeling bedazzled and in some sense of wonderment.

There was no wonder for me in Wonder Woman. I’m not comparing the two movies but I am. Sure, they are completely different but they do focus on women characters and women doing things the people at least on earth in the movie don’t understand and can’t do.

Well, my wonder women super heroes are still the mathematicians in the movie Hidden Figures. I like superheroes; I confess I’m partial to Marvel; my favorite is Ironman, at least the movie.

The movie was endless. Way too long. The writing was trite and unoriginal. The plot was simplistic and boring. Wonder Woman was needlessly overly naive and innocent in an insulting way. Why does the first big female superhero movie have to have a main character who is so ignorant and ernest? Why not make her a complicated and interesting person/superhero/goddess? Greek mythology is full of complicated goddesses. The dialogue is terrible. I don’t care what genders were involved in making the film, I felt insulted. It also was racist in a way that nobody seems to have noticed except for one of my clients who wrote a poem about the movie. She noticed the word “fair” and not meaning proper or level playing field, “fair” the color, used to describe the people/gods during the weird origin montage; I noticed it too and that all the random figures shown were not people of color. On the island there were a few Amazonians; my client who is a person of color, noticed that they cast an African American to play Diana’s caretaker. Lots of light blondes.

Anyway, putting that aside for a moment, the plot was ridiculous and the lines about realizing love not war is important and all the other banal cliches in it, I really don’t understand why this movie was so lauded, but then again, I didn’t like “La La Land”.

I have been wanting fierce independent woman to be the main characters in movies since I was old enough to notice that gender was a thing with these humans I was supposed to grow up with and live with. That’s why Katherine Hepburn was one of my main heroes.

I finally found an article addressing these issues on SlashFilm and then realized the writer hasn’t seen the movie. Anyway, it’s a good article on this topic of people of color in Wonder Woman:

None of the characters in the movie are very “real”, and lots of superhero movies manage to have some “real” people in it, Spiderman for example.

I felt talked down to. The whole thing was so simplistic it was painful. Seeing all the hype about it is painful too. Even knowing that the two 9 year old girls I went with loved it was a bit painful, but I did not ruin their buzz. One of the same 9 year olds saw “Everything Everything” with me recently, and that merits a whole post, finally a non animated movie where the main character is African American and her ethnicity and race are not part of the story. That movie was simplistic but in a good way. Leaving the theater with her, she asked if I liked it. I did, but it seemed like a fairy tale not a movie about reality, but not in a bad way. She then observed that it was a modern day Rapunzel and that was it! Yes it was, and it was pretty good. It’s very hard to make a movie out of a book involving the characters writing to each other, as opposed to making a movie from comics which are already in story board form.

No wonder was felt. And the whole time, I felt this bothering thought lingering in the back of my head. I bet they used World War 1 for this movie so they could make a sequel using World War 2, but it seems impossible they could do it without it just being the same thing; maybe no sequel. Sorry, to those who loved it: thumbs down and sad that a potential really cool feminist movie did not live up to expectation…


With the onset of this new mindfulness “diet”, I am going to try to set some goals and work towards them. One is to post more regularly on this blog, which is supposed to help with another writing goal, my book of essays. I’m marking my Mondays to remind myself to post.

I will figure out how to fit writing into my schedule.

Then there is the Graphic Novel, now 17 years in progress. Not sure how to tackle it, but the goal is to do something about it.

Other than that, I don’t want to fill up a list of goals I will never do. The food goal is to notice some good food each day that I ate while keeping to the no refined sugar. Yesterday it was frozen raspberries. The day before avocado. Today will hopefully be fresh spinach.

I noticed I started writing about my interest in fashion and set goals with it and never did anything more, so I may pick that up.

Thanks for reading as always. Please make any comments!!!

ADHD and Food

I just had two breakouts for non mistakes, which hasn’t happened in quite a while. I called my credit card to remove a late fee and found out I had just paid ahead for July and had paid for June a few weeks ago. Then I found a webinar and made sure I could take it on the day and time of it; I looked at this Thursday in my calendar where I noted the seminar for the week after, to remind myself. I missed that it was just a reminder and tried to change a session time as well as ask the Seminar people how to transfer a paid for class. The client answered and I realized I had not double booked and could keep the appointment.

Is this just the usual ADHD, where, because you’re using the skills to get things done on time, especially the mountain of monthly bills, and now that I’ve mastered it, where the “H” in ADHD rears its head and starts creating anxiety and impulsivity over things that I did right, convinced I did them wrong? Or something else.

I started the post with the title: “Deadlines Big and Small” but just remembered the ADHD, which, true to form, I tend to forget it exists until it suddenly gets in the way of something. It sounds crazy but it’s kind of like PMS. If you don’t remind yourself the week is there, you forget that there’s a reason the PMS symptoms are there!

I try to look at the funny side of ADHD, now that I know I have all of the letters (some people, especially adults, have ADD, where criteria for “Attention deficit” are met but not “Hyperactivity”).

As I went across the street to mail a check that I know I mailed a week ago but didn’t get to the company, I wondered if my new “food plan” could be blamed for all this generating what DBT calls “extra emotions”. Anxiety about things that are not real. Anxiety about paying bills on time, real when you haven’t paid them and its challenging, but not real when you have and think you haven’t.

Now there is no way to tell for sure what’s going on. I have a new reason for being grumpy, over anxious, generating extra emotions, having ADHD symptoms that were under control before. It’s a great reason, so there is a goal.

I again stopped eating refined sugar. In terms of deadlines, the death line of “No more!” came Tuesday, June 13, 2017, Day 1. Suffice it to say, my eating habits had deteriorated badly and my sweet tooth has been acting up since last summer, so I put on the brakes and decided to try again cold turkey. I had tried moderation but it didn’t work; I “forgot” when and with what to do the moderating, so, giving in to my ADHD and extremes, I am doing the extreme and on Day 7 of eliminating refined sugar from my diet or “food plan”.

Those of you who have sugar addictions know what this is about. Some rats or mice prefer sugar to cocaine, in case you don’t believe it’s an addiction. I realized I had the problem back in high school when I read “Sugar Blues”, probably one of few books about the topic in the early to mid 80s, and tried to do the diet then but failed.

I did this in a similar way back in 2015, probably in March, and lasted into the summer and then lost it all in late August. My new plan is slightly different and I’m hoping to have success this go round if I don’t kill someone in the process.

There are many “withdrawal” symptoms of going off sugar. Headaches, yes, luckily I only had 1 on Friday. Grumpy and irritable, yes, hoping that’s getting under control. Now I can add jumpiness and anxiety of the impulsive kind to what’s going on.

This time round, I will eat a lot less raisins and dried mangoes to try to really lower all sugar consumption, which means looking more carefully to learn where the sneaky “other” sugar shows up, the grams of sugar still there when you get rid of refined sugar. This seems like extreme as a food plan, but actually, it means I will eat more like all the healthy vegetarians out there: fresh fruit and vegetables, frozen fruit, yogurt, eggs, beans etc. because the sugar problem for me is that sweets take the place of healthy food, so when I remove sweets, it’s like magic. Suddenly it’s easier to eat healthy, especially the vegetables and other things like chik peas, black beans, avocados, spinach and other foods.

The diet works at the beginning because it’s suddenly easy to eat much healthier, probably as healthy as the average person, because when you eliminate bad stuff, you just do the good stuff. It’s like the sweets build a wall between myself and healthy eating. It can be very rewarding to do this. In 2015, I ate pasta and pizza. The other day I had the choice of pasta a few times and pizza and got myself to eat a great salad with hard boiled eggs, etc. instead. The good thing is that you still eat plenty of fats and the goal has nothing to do with lowering calories even though it may happen a little because of the new foods.

Habits change and healthier ones suddenly arrive. I see the pineapple sitting in the kitchen that I’ve been procrastinating dealing with. One recent morning I just cut the damn thing and realized again how lazy I get with food. The next challenge is to figure out what to do with dry lentils. At the moment I eat a lot of French Lentil Hummus from Whole Foods but the goal this week is to make the lentils. For most of you, this is just normal healthy stuff you do, but for me, the bar is very low because food is one of those ADHD things, either too overwhelming or extreme; The ADHD causes me to forget to eat and forget to prepare food at home; the thinking ahead has to be learned, and so does the awareness of eating at regular times, as well as not having extremes of getting too full or forgetting to eat for too long. Most of all “cooking” can no longer just be avoided much of the time.

It sounds nuts that I’m almost 50 and haven’t figured it out, but that is ADHD for you. Becoming a vegetarian 21 years ago was great for many reasons, and one ADHD reason was that it eliminated a ton of food that is now off limits, so I won’t get distracted by it. Eliminating sugar as totally as possible also deletes a long list of foods and suddenly there are clear choices of healthy foods, with no toxic foods distracting me. I used to wonder why I was so all or nothing with a lot of this, but the ADHD explains it. The environment is always too overstimulating and distracting, especially when it comes to eating.

Like with clearing clutter, there are and will be great side benefits! Instead of trying to eat mindfully by doing my daily yoga and cultivating mindfulness with other things and DBT mindfulness skills which are great, I will focus on the mindful eating above all, and then the mindfulness in other aspects of life follow. Going at it the other way didn’t work for me, because once I’m not eating healthy, awareness in general just goes down the drain. I have already noticed that it is easier to be mindful of everything else by doing this food plan.

The other day I saw a re dramatization of a British man dying of carrot and VITamin A overdose in a great TV show called Weird and Unusual Deaths, that’s close enough as the title. The man had orthorexia which the medical people pointed out. He was sandwiched into an episode with Isadora Duncan choking to death on her silk scarf and some poor guy dying in his closet.

Anyway, orthorexia is a real issue and should be listed with other eating disorders. It involves getting addicted to eating in an extreme “healthy” way to the point of obsession and other extreme symptoms similar to other eating disorders. Yes, that person you know who does an extreme amount of exercise and won’t eat at restaurants because of their extreme healthy diet could be in the territory of orthorexia. A small dose of it usually helps with getting rid of sugar and is more part of the ADHD, but as one of my goals is to be more present and productive in the rest of the hours a day not spent dealing with food, I’m not worried about carrot juice overdose. To be honest, I haven’t eaten a single carrot in the last 7 days, only because I was having other healthy options.

Anyway the extras also include having more energy and I hope, will also help with some long range goals and my writing. More than art making, writing seems related to getting rid of clutter and eating better, the bad food also being clutter; when I get rid of stuff that is not good, the writing benefits, so maybe I will write my book of essays now!