Wednesday, December 25, 2019

senti MENTAL

Today's supposta mean summat

But it doesn't.

Most anticipated day of the year?

Nuthin' here.

The happy families

snow and wrappins

holiday's trappin


in the lie that these things exist.


See this shit ain't here

ain't real to me no more

as if it never was

though I was there before

another life - one with you in

one where I saw my friends

one without my medical sin

and yours

- apathy.

I'd say like Scrooge you want

to haunt


but y'all just couldn't find the time

and, with time, I've found that matters less.


There's a hole in my breast

and I wanted you to fill it

but y'all too busy being blessed

And I -

I'm blessed too.

Just now I'm a Jew.


I put down the trappins, the wrappins, and lies.

Finally, this year decided not to cry.

y'all weren't even here

still I said our goodbyes

I'm senti


talkin' to inconsequential


I miss my grandma though.

Monday, December 9, 2019

Break The Wheel

Scrolling through messages, and came across our last.

Indicative of your present, despite being so long past.

2016 - and I was trying to talk -

about me.

Inexplicably, you made it all about you

when we were talking Judaism, and you're not even a Jew.


The things I shoulda seen then

I already knew.

Not the first time we've been here


I know this is who you are.

This truth makes me depressed.

We can all be dicks sometimes

especially when stressed


but I'm the only one who admits it?


I accept the things I'v said and done.

And I accept that you are long-since gone.

Still I find myself ruminating on

what could happen if you would change.


Yes if YOU would change.


Because you're the one who refuses

the one who confuses my intent.

I've shown that I am willing

to change

but you will not relent.


And I can't continue to live or not

by your consent.


When I write the screenplay

of you and I

the ending is changed.

You and I are no longer estranged.


I write us at our best.

Open, willing to learn

putting bygones to rest.


It may be the first time I've intentionally lied about you.

Tuesday, December 3, 2019


Recently, an organization on my feed tasked Jews to come up with proposals for combating Antisemitism.

I thought about this all last week, and the exercise reminded me of that class I had in college that I told some of y'all about - that Race, Gender, and the Media class.

Anyway, we watched a movie in the class about what would happen if aliens came to earth, promising to clean up the planet and offer world peace in exchange for just one thing: the aliens wanted all of the world's black people.

The aliens wouldn't say what for, and those were the terms of the deal - give us your black people and we'll make your world whole.

Naturally, black people and woke people were against this. There were protests. Famous white people coming out in support of black people. Ad campaigns ran everywhere, touting the humanity and contributions of black people. If media coverage was to be believed, everyone was on board the Keep Black People train.

But, as you might have surmised, when the day actually came to cast a ballot, the majority voted in its own best interest. Black people were voted off the planet in favor of the benefits that would be given to everyone else.

I've never forgotten this film. I think of it often. Especially in situations like the "Hey Jews, how can we combat Antisemitism?" campaign.

I didn't submit a proposal, though I initially wanted to.


Two reasons.

The first - because even if human beings aren't bigots, they (we) ARE selfish. We are wired to promote self-interest, even if that interest subjugates another. It's a rare human who consistently acts selflessly...and no campaign is gonna change the fact that if it's down to what's best for you or what's best for me, 99.9% of people will choose what's best for themselves every time.

And the second - because I shouldn't have to run an ad campaign to convince you of my humanity. You shouldn't need billboards, slogans, and poems to memorize in 5th grade to remind you that Jews have inherent value, just as you do. To run such campaigns is folly because they won't change anyone's mind. If you see me as less? No 30 second commercial touting the contributions of Jewish scientists is gonna change your mind.

So what WILL change your mind? What will keep Jews (or black people, or Hispanic people, or any minority group) from being sent to live with the aliens? My inner cynic says "nothing" because the majority votes in its own interest.

HOWEVER - the one glimmer of light I see - the only thing I've consistently seen change someone's heart against bigotry is one-on-one relationships.

By now you've probably seen the story of Daryl Davis, a black man who purposefully befriends Klansmen. The results of the friendships he's forged? More than 200 Klansmen have left the "organization."

Stories like this abound, and they are problematic. Black people shouldn't have to befriend KKK members - the onus shouldn't be on the minority (how fucking exhausting!) - but it's the only approach I have personally witnessed that works.

So I guess that's that then? Jews should just go befriend Klansmen and NeoNazis? Again...problematic. Not least because of the danger posed and the fact that your bigotry is not our responsibility but also because IT'S NOT JUST NEONAZIS AND KLANSMEN WHO HAVE ISSUES WITH JEWS.

A recent study found 1 of every 4 Europeans holds antisemitic beliefs. ONE IN EVERY FOUR.

And y'all, it's not like Jews haven't tried. We've made movies, tv specials, comic books, regular books, done Ted Talks, built museums...all to tell our stories to let everyone (including those who'd vote us off the planet) have the opportunity to know us.

But y'all don't know us.

So many of you have our sacred book in your house (The Old Testament in Christian terminology), and yet you know little about the Jews. I can't speak for other minorities, but I imagine it's the same. You (me, us) might work with people of a racial, cultural, or religious minority group, but how much do we really know about them? Their culture, their struggles, their triumphs? Do we even care?

And you know what - we don't have to care. So long as we somehow come to the understanding that their experience is just as valuable as our own. That the world through their eyes is as worthy of examination and consideration as our own.

I'm a cynic. I don't think we can do it. We've had, like, a million lifetimes to do it and in many ways the people of today are no less bigoted and selfish than our ancestors. And lest it be said that I am trying to place myself above the fray - y'all - I'm selfish. If I could have my health back, but it meant one of you fuckers would have to take on my disease, I honestly don't know that I could forego that temptation.

I like to say I would or could...but those are lovely thoughts borne of hypotheticals.

In actuality, I'd be sorely tempted to benefit myself at your expense - not because of bigotry but because of selfishness.

Maybe these things can't be overcome. If they can be, they must be on an individual level (gestures to discussion above).

Anyway, this is what I've been thinking about, and, no, I don't have any of my holiday shopping done.

Friday, November 29, 2019

First Amendment Rights

I'm a prickly person

prone to unwittingly offend

But always thought my saving grace

was my willingness to amend.

My prickers sometimes puncture

But I'd give my life for a friend

I always thought my saving grace

was my willingness to amend.

The years my spears have sharpened

and many have met their end

Amending's just a bandaid

and healing's just pretend

Might and right they won out

then loneliness set in

and I am left with only

my willingness to amend.

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Hopsin's sermon: "Fly"

I didn't write this.

Hopsin did.

And he's fuckin' right.

From "Fly" by Hopsin:

My ass is sick just thinking about how rich and powerful all these bastards get

They package ideas like it's oxygen

They make us feel like if we ain't got it, we fucked and we cannot fit in

This fucking system is not your friend


Yo, fuck Hollywood, fuck all these reality shows

Making us feel lame unless we blowing stacks on new clothes

Making us feel like we ain't cool unless we have a few hoes

Making us feel like we ugly, unless we have a new nose

I see naturally beautiful women get Botox, fake tits

Fake lips, they so brainwashed and it doesn't make sense

Focus on your life and the path you're pursuing

'Cause y'all too busy worried about what Kim Kardashian's doing

Check it, most of this shit that you sheep are watching on television

Is fake as fuck and it's not real, I rebel against it

It's the Devil's business, they just reel y'all in

If they say it, we do it, yo, I'm tryna tell y'all man

The system created the stereotype for the Black image

That's why my people are scared to be different, why don't you get it?

I'm done practicing these ridiculous rituals

It's time I become a real individual and just do me

I really hate to break it to you but your life's being played with

You have not witnessed the world 'cause you're stuck in the Matrix

Everything we have been taught was all a lie

Open your eyes, open your mind, and fly

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

No Day But Today

Another classmate gone.

Memories of things that passed between us unresolved.

Silly stuff. Stuff I'm sure she didn't even remember.

But I remember.

And now I can only make restitution to her corpse.

That last sentence is jarring - and it should be.

Because something's gotta wake me the fuck up.

Maybe you need a wakeup call too.

None of us is promised tomorrow.

Fix things NOW.

Even those little, miniscule things.

Those "sorry I stepped on your toe in middle school" things.

Those "sorry I didn't stand up for you" things.

Those "sorry I never told you how much you matter" things.

Say them before you take them -

to your grave or someone else's.

Sunday, November 10, 2019

Paradise Lost

Just saw Phoebe Waller-Bridge's "Fleabag" live show, which she premiered at the Fringe Festival in 2013. Naturally, it was/is phenomenal...

Thing is, I wrote a very similar short film script in 2011. And I gave it to my professor, telling him I wanted to film it for class.

His response: "Who'd want to watch a movie about a confused, promiscuous girl?"

This wasn't the first sexist thing he said to me, and it wouldn't be the last. What ensued the rest of the semester was a battle of wills.

I don't know who won, but I never filmed my script.

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Inherent Worth

Up to 2015, I was a career professional with name notoriety. When I picked up the phone, important people answered. My work was easily accessible by Google search. I even had my own IMDB page.

But then the illness hit.

Overnight I went from working woman to woman whose body wasn’t working. And within a few short weeks of falling ill, it became apparent that working professionally just wasn’t gonna work anymore.

I tried – honestly I tried – making those VIP phone calls from my hospital bed, penning stories for a major medical news outlet that would never run because I couldn’t keep the pain, nausea, and other symptoms at bay long enough to finish them.

I was still alive, but I’d lost my life, and all that was left was to try to build something useful out of the broken pieces…

Growing up, I was driven to excel – a straight A student, honors graduate, Captain of various school groups, a scholarship recipient with both undergraduate and graduate degrees. I was an independent one-woman powerhouse whose self worth was tied up in my accomplishments, and, if I hadn’t “earned my keep” on any given day, that day was a day wasted.

But then I got sick. And my life – each and every single day – became a waste.

Or so I thought.

Recently I’ve been pondering the “worth” of my long-since limited life. I can’t write like I used to, lead a newsroom like I used to, run a film set like I used to. To date I haven’t even been able to hold down part-time employment because my symptoms are too severe.

So, if I can’t produce like I used to, can’t earn a paycheck like I used to, can’t clean the house or raise children or even feed myself like I used to, then where does my worth lie?

I’ve spent the four years since 2015 feeling that, because I could no longer contribute to society in my old ways, that I had no worth at all, but recent weeks have shown me this could not be further from the truth.

Friends, so many of us look at our limited lives this way – but it’s these viewpoints, and not ourselves, that are limited, and limited viewpoints mean we don’t see the whole person.

Let me say it plainly: You are infinitely more valuable than your illness and your pain. Even if all you managed to “accomplish” today was brushing your teeth, you have value. Immeasurable, undeniable value.

You are not a burden on those who love you.

You are not lazy or selfish or an impediment.

You are not worthless.

This shift in tone is recent for me, and please believe me when I tell you it was imperative that I make a change. My inner monologue since 2015 has been one of relentless bullying and despair. Because I could not bully my body into getting better, I instead bullied my mind, repeating mantras of my uselessness.

But I am not useless.

And neither are you.

The bullying brought on the despair, and every day was a misery. In his play, “The Last Days of Judas Iscariot,” Stephen Adly Guirgis writes: “Despair … is the ultimate development of a pride so great and so stiff-necked that it selects the absolute misery of damnation rather than accept happiness…”

Friends, a few weeks ago I realized I was being prideful and stiff-necked. If I couldn’t have my old life, I wanted no life at all. I chose misery over possibility. I chose the damnation of my own mindset over happiness. But I don’t want to – I can’t – make that same choice anymore.

And I don’t want you to either.

Change isn’t coming easy for me, but it is coming, and I’ll tell you how I did it. You can do it too.

1. Find a chronic illness accountability buddy. Because I could not summon positive thoughts on my own, I found a friend who’d mastered the art and I asked for her help. Yes, that’s right – stubborn, relentlessly independent me reached out for help – and my friend agreed to provide it. We now check in with each other every week, and share resources we’ve found to keep each of us in a hopeful headspace. Which bring me to point #2…

2. Resources. Don’t tell me you can’t find them. If you’re reading this, you have the internet, and therefore your options are endless. Even if you can’t leave the house, major retailers will deliver books to your door. If you’re like me and your vision was affected by your illness, audio books are amazing and you can get some for free (books too) with your local library app. And then there’s always YouTube videos, lots and lots of YouTube videos. Lately I’ve been inundating myself with YouTube healing meditations, and it’s awesome.

3. Online groups. Chronic illness groups are everywhere and can be a great place to find your chronic illness accountability buddy or new ideas for treatments or ways to more productively spend your time than lamenting your limitations. For some, groups can be intimidating or triggering, and if a member is pressuring you to buy some rare berry that only grows in Botswana in April to cure your disease, you may want to forego the groups in favor on #4.

4. Disease-specific organizations. Nowadays theres a non-profit or research group for pretty much any disease you can think of. Google them and then send an email, call, or join the message boards. Reach out to others who can sympathize with your struggles, and connect with experts (many orgs have disease specialists on their boards) who can point you to some areas of hope you may not yet be aware of.

5. Volunteer. Whether you’re able to leave the house or not, there are thousands of organizations out there that could use your special talents. Maybe you can do a few hours a week at a local animal shelter or volunteer at a food pantry. If you’re housebound, perhaps you can donate to the food pantry or crochet blankets for the homeless shelter. Meet the needs of another. Nothing feels better.

6. Reach out. Chronic illness can be so isolating, and isolation is depressing. Any form of human contact, whether meeting a friend for coffee if/when you’re able, or even just the weekly check in with your accountability buddy makes the world feel a little less lonely. If no one comes to mind, see numbers 3 and 4 above. There are always options. Don’t give up!

7. Share your gifts. Each of us is good at something. Find a way to do your thing. I recently saw a man with ALS in a wheelchair, fed by a tube. As he could no longer paint in his preferred way (with his hands, intricately, on canvas), he found a work around. Now he places canvases and paint on the floor, and rolls his wheelchair around in them to make beautiful designs. He’s still painting, and it brings him great joy.

A friend recently told me that happiness is fleeting, but joy comes from within and nothing can take it from you. That friend suffered a massive stroke 10 years ago, and is still paralyzed on her left side, yet she is one of the most joyful people I know.

I want that.

I want you to have that.

There are perfectly healthy people on this planet who are miserable. As members of the chronic illness community, we may have more reasons to be miserable than most, but friends, every day is not a misery. Every day is a gift – even if that gift didn’t come in the package you wanted.

We may need help to see the good, and that’s okay.

I’ve finally come to a place in my life where I can ask for help and am ready to receive it.

I don’t know why I waited this long. It’s bringing me joy, and I’m worth it.

And so are you.

Monday, August 19, 2019

The Quiet Man

"My gift is my song, yeah. And this one's for you."

All I have to give is words;

they're all I understand.

Repeatedly I give my words

to my Quiet Man.

No sooner does he open them

then they are swept away.

I wish I had a greater gift -

one that would stick and stay.

Words, they might be powerful;

to stimulate or sway

But what are words to a Quiet Man?

What do they convey?

When every night he makes my meals

after working through the day.

When every day he sees my tears

and keeps my fears at bay.

Sometimes I feel I need the words

they're all I understand.

But words are not the way of love

for my Quiet Man.

Would that I could do for him -

I try as best I can

but what gift do I have to give

to show my Quiet Man?

Action is a gift of now;

words echo throughout time.

Action is my Quiet Man.

Prose and rhyme are mine.

Even now I'm falling back

it's all I understand.

Even now I'm crafting words

to gift to Quiet Man.

He sees love in action

and action is my plan

to the degree that I am able

I'll give to Quiet Man.

To show him that I love him

in a way he understands

my every thought is of him

I love you, Quiet Man.

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Post Mortem

Death - most people fear it - think it's the worst thing that can happen.

But for me, with my chronic illness, it's no longer death I fear; it's increasingly limited life.

When I first got sick, I was frightened, but I had hope.

Hope that the medical community would fix me.

Hope that this or that med would help me.

Hope that God would heal me.

Hope that, if nothing else, I wouldn't get worse.

I no longer have any of those hopes.

What do I have?

Ever increasing disability.

The one thing I feared and fear more than anything else.

A prisoner in my own, declining body.

A victim of my own ignorance, the ignorance of my doctors; a victim of Big Pharma, and of poor choices.

Over a period of 4 weeks, I was given 6 (unnecessary) antibiotics, all of which are known to cause mitochondrial DNA damage; these meds were paired with counterindicated meds.

And I had no idea.

So I let them do it.

And now I have a degenerative acquired mitochondrial disease that's impervious to medications and insidious in its actions.

It's destroying my nerves; it's taking my hearing. My vision could be forfeit.

Most of my hair fell out. I am in constant pain.

Those body parts made of collagen? My joints and tendons? Disintegrating.

Did you know your rib cage can actually hurt? Mine has for 2+ years.

Antibiotics took my ability to have children. They destroyed my thyroid.

I was a writer...but the brain fog is taking my words.

The worst is probably the neuropathy - if you can't feel anything, then all you feel is sorrow.

I am overcome by my sorrow.

I have been sick for 4 years. Pretty much exactly. And in that time, I have watched, helpless and hopeless, as one by one the dominoes of my healthy body fell.

I can no longer feel my feet or my hands. Or my position in space.

I can still feel the pain though.

Ain't that a bitch?

I'm developing trigeminal neuralgia. And my hearing continues to decline.

There's a daily headache now. And I can't sleep.

Constant tooth pain, but I can't go to the dentist. When he filled a cavity last year, the double dose of novocain he gave me didn't numb the pain.

Did I mention drugs don't work on me anymore?

I cannot adequately describe the terror that is living a body that you can actually feel dying.

Having constant dry eye, throat and nose so bad you actually bleed.

What I have basically mimics having MS, rheumatoid arthritis, Sjogrens and hypothyroidism all at once.

It's a nightmare from which I cannot awake.

And one from which I cannot escape into sleep.

In my heart of hearts I know that I am dying.

Dying slowly and painfully, which is really the worst kind of death.

And there's nothing they can do.

They killed me in 2015...I'm just taking my sweet time about getting there.

There are others like me, but we are few and ignored.

We'll die - early - robbed of decades of life and experiences.

I have a beautiful husband, home, and dog. And I cannot give them everything I want to give them. I cannot be for them who I want to be - which is just pre 2015 me.

What happened to me was the result of greed - Big Pharma greed.

And ignorance. Doctors don't know what they're prescribing or how it works.

And lies. Lies were told to get me in the position I was placed in to receive those meds. Lies were told and facts were ignored.

And my life is the price that will be paid.

I wonder how long I have left sometimes. But most of the time I just cry for my poor, diseased body and the health that I lost.


We do it for death.

But I am grieving while living.

Every day is a mini death - the loss of yet another vital function.

And I don't know how to cope.

I often dissociate - feel as if I am watching myself from outside myself.

Watching and mourning what's happening. But feeling as if it's happening to someone else. Because this simply CANNOT be happening to me.

I reach out to a few others who suffer. There is some comfort in knowing you are not alone. But that comfort last moments. And the pain never relents.

I marvel at the resilience of some others - how they endure despite overwhelming odds.

Many of these people lean heavily on faith - on the idea that there's a heaven, where they will once again be whole.

But I haven't the benefit of that belief.

Chalk it up to yet another thing I've lost in this process...

As I think about the limited time I have left, I consider what legacy I want to leave.

Sadly, I don't know how to shoulder that burden either.

I'd love to say I was a good friend, a defender of justice, a light - however small - in the darkness.

But I don't see any light anymore.

I'd give just about anything to see some light - to have some hope, however small.

To think help is just around the corner, so long as I hold on...

But I'm a dead man walking.

Friday, July 12, 2019


“Dead people receive more flowers than the living ones because regret is stronger than gratitude.” ― Anne Frank

When my sister died in July of 2007, she went from being someone I loved who was frequently on my mind, to someone I lost, whose memory I could not escape, even in my nightmares. Many's the morning I'd wake, having dreamt I was chasing her - down streets, through malls and places we'd been. She'd run, and, just when I'd give up hope of ever catching her, she'd stop, turn to look at me, and laugh, encouraging me to follow her.

I'm haunted...

Friends, give flowers now. Give phone calls. Give texts. GIVE TIME.

It's your most finite and most valuable resource. Guard it ferociously and gift it wisely.

Saturday, July 6, 2019

Surreal to see the shadows of your healthy life taunt you from your Netflix queue

My former "friends" on Stranger Things: why y'all don't come 'round no more?

We was close til I got sick; fair-weathers ducked out/side door

Can't believe these're the vestiges of what I fought so hard for

Thought we was love, in it for art but nah, you all just fame whores.

Friday, July 5, 2019

I don't think my family ever understood this about me.

If they had, maybe things would've been different.

Thursday, July 4, 2019

How I Holiday Cheer

I don't like the 4th of July. Never have. Fireworks (specifically, sudden, loud noises) scare me, and now that I no longer eat land meat, the enticing aromas are too much to bear.

Plus Americana paraphernalia is just ugly. FIGHT ME...

Anyway, about 7 or 8 (hell I dunno when EXACTLY it was) years ago, I went on a quest to tackle all my fears. Fireworks was a big one, so I went to the Mall in DC for the fireworks display. The whole time, Jenny Bybee Hammock held my head in her lap, squashing my ears down so I'd hear it's one of my favorite memories. Of me. Of her. Of us. What a remarkable human being, friend, and mother she is!

So, on my fav Independence Day, I walked away from fear and was embraced by love. May it be the same for every one of you. Happy 4th, y'all.

Monday, July 1, 2019


I fall

from afar

so I can invent

who you are,

what you say,

how we spar.

Force you to fall

with me - hard.

Down deep I know

it ain't you

just your face

the soul I drew

Pen and pad

who you should be

could be

to be with me.

I made you

shade's where I placed you

control you

dream at night that I could hold you.

I told you

but you ain't hear

cuz your ears - not near

not even close.

You're out there

I'm in here

feelin' morose

cuz I love you

I mean I think I do.

That is

if you can love someone

you never knew

never blew

never screwed


Always said the right thing

can't trip up

In our best light

every night

never fight

unless it makes it right

and by right I mean perfect -

that kinda shit

you never get

cuz life

does not

allow for it.

Real people are flawed

But me?

I created a god.

I gave him your face.

and I gave him your name.

Both were there when I came

shame - less

But I woke up alone.

I always was


I created a god

and I gave him a script

but - the real you - you don't come with that shit.

And if I ever met


saw you with my eyes

instead of my mind

I'd just walk on by

because you cannot be

quite as perfect as he

and you'd never see



Monday, June 24, 2019

I'm Jealous Of A Trans Woman

Saw a transgendered woman today and had 2 thoughts:

1. How TF is she so damned pretty? Like, she was born with a dick and STILL somehow managed to be prettier than me. Ugh. I am jealous, petty, and a bad person.

2. (More profoundly and, hopefully, redeemably) There are entire chapters - books even - of the human experience that I will never know or understand firsthand.

I've been straight and Christian, and I've been bi-sexual and Jewish, and I can tell you definitively that the entire world - how I experienced it and how it reacted to me - varied wildly depending on which of these identities fit me at the time.

To be clear, each designation actually WAS who I was at the time, so each felt genuine TO ME, but how the world reacted to and processed me was shockingly different. And the world's reaction to each designation then affected how I felt about the designation - and about myself.

Examples: I remember once in undergrad my girlfriend and I went out to eat with her dance team after her recital. Everyone was very nice. No rude "dyke" comments or anything like that. We weren't treated poorly. (Good job UGA circa 2001 BTW)

But we were treated as objects of interest. As we ate, the dancers stole glances our way. Not malicious glances, just "look at that exhibit in the zoo, isn't it strange/interesting?" glances.

When the check came, all eyes at the table dropped any pretense and just stared, waiting to see who - in a romantic relationship between two women - was expected to pay the bill.

Had I (or she) been a man, we would have been blissfully ignored.

As it was though, I was super uncomfortable.

And that's one lesson I learned about being a sexual minority - even if you are not met with hostility, you will be met with an uncomfortable amount of interest. For some, this is fine. Maybe those folks desire the opportunity to educate. But I don't. I just wanted to eat my damned pasta in peace.

Anonymity is a luxury afforded to all of those who fall within the categories of "normal" or "majority."

Contrary to the ludicrous belief that there's a War on Christmas, Christians in this country ARE NOT persecuted. Neither are heterosexuals. But when I stepped outside of those two norms, the reactions I received were so astonishingly different that they forever changed my (previously much more limited) worldview.

It also affected how I felt about my own place on this planet.

I've been a performer all my life, so being in the spotlight wasn't a new feeling - but in my Christian hetero life, I basked when I chose and enjoyed anonymity the rest of the time.

Minorities, I found, don't have that option.

When Christina and I were together, the spotlight shone 24/7 whether I wanted it to or not...and suddenly everything I did wasn't just something Erin did. It was something BISEXUAL Erin did. Or maybe all bisexuals did. Like I was suddenly an example of/ambassador for/god-help-me-not-an-embarrassment-to-bisexuals-of-all-stripes-everywhere.

It was an enormous burden, and I was honestly relieved when Christina and I ended things and I started dating men again...


By this time I was already questioning my Christianity (had been since adolescence) and my political affiliation (raised Republican Conservative). Neither felt like a fit - and the "squeeze" of those identities would grow to choke me over the next few years.

So I pried them off, and sought something that fit me better.

I wanted to feel like I could breathe.

In 2011, I finally got a gulp of air. Judaism provided the oxygen that Christianity had siphoned from the room.

My conversion journey is the subject for a book, surely, but for these purposes I will tell you that the more I pursued it - the more I changed and the more I allowed it to change me - the world once again reshaped itself, in some cases closer aligning with and in others, utterly shunning me.

My experiences as part of a marginalized people opened my eyes to the systemic barriers still rigidly in place, the struggles that come with "difference," the ludicrous notions of "wars" on majority groups and the fucking nonsense that is "All Lives Matter."

I finally saw what people meant when they said they were being denied a place at the table.

As a minority, I have been held accountable for every decision made (or not made) by Jews worldwide with whom I have no other affiliation.

I have been hated for that affiliation.

And defended for it.

I can only assume this experience in many ways echoes the experiences of other religious, racial, and cultural minorities.

I imagine it's true for the stunningly beautiful trans woman I saw and so envied.

I am grappling with that envy.

Because now I recognize that envy for what it is and from whence it came:

1. My own insecurities.

2. My own feelings of entitlement.

As a woman born with female genitalia, I somehow feel entitled to be more aesthetically pleasing than someone born with male genitalia. AND HOW FUCKED UP IS THAT?

To my credit, I can now say I recognize the shortcomings of my initial, gut reaction.

I can look at myself critically and ask, "Why do you feel this way? Is it good/appropriate to feel this way? And if not, how do I change the way I feel?"

And I am very proud of myself for having at least that level of self reflection. Some folks I know never even get that far...

And that's something that my own life journey and experiences as a person of minority status have taught me - how to have empathy for other people. How to check my own privilege and meet people at their level. How compassion is a more desirable character trait than judgement (which is saying something, as, when I was at UGA and dating Christina, I was an ENFJ).

I should wrap this up. It's late and these Raisinettes aren't gonna eat themselves...but I just wanted to put it out there that there are entire worlds that you and I will never - even with the best of intentions - know.

I will never know the world of a Muslim woman, or a Syrian refugee fleeing civil war. I will never see the world through the eyes of a black, brown, or Asian person. I'll never know what it is to be a man of any color or creed.

I do wish I could though.

Reincarnation - can't say I believe in it - but having everyone complete a few cycles sounds like an excellent idea: a karmic way of ensuring we all walk a mile in another's shoes.

I think it'd do us all some good.

Sunday, June 23, 2019

Until then...

An oft-overlooked benefit of health is the opportunities for growth it provides.

Because I'm sick AF, folks now treat me as some sort of sage. Like every day with me is "Tuesdays with Morrie" or some shit, and they can better cope with their own mortality (and its relative distance to my horizon) by simply being in my presence.

Y'all - I'm still the same fucking idiot I ever was.

And I'm scared to death.

So let's stop with the hushed tones and reverence plz.


While I am supposed to be growing in areas like gratitude and acceptance (that's what chronic, scary illness teaches you right? How to be a warrior poet?)... I'm a petulant child who makes her situation worse by going back and reading what she wrote years ago when she was healthy - accounts of the day's adventures. The lovely little gifts life hurls in your path when you're well enough to walk one.

I was a good writer once.

And a risk taker - so life threw me many a gem before fucking/floxxing me in 2015.

Example? Sure, I've got the time...

Just before becoming sick I went on a trip to Bermuda to cover the renovation of a historic hotel and the opening of a restaurant by some celeb chef. I spent a 3-day weekend in an all-expenses paid paradise avoiding the social media influencers who were whoring themselves out to the celebs, in favor of courting the cute hotel staff, getting invited to locals parties, and seeing the REAL, locals' Bermuda.

When Jordan wasn't tooling me around town, showing me where he played rugby, showing me the boats and talking about fish in a way that miraculously didn't bore me, grabbing my hand and dragging me to and through the nightlife...I spent quiet time around the hotel marveling at the artwork by Andy Warhol and Nelson Mandella. Quiet, reflective, moved by the masterpieces I could literally touch with my hands. While the influencers walked right by. They were off to fawn over the celebrity chef. You know I don't even remember that guy's fucking name now?


I then came home and penned a piece about the art - not AT ALL my assignment - but my editor loved it and printed it anyway...

Did I mention I almost got arrested for trespassing?


Yeah, I don't trespass much now. I often don't get out of my pajama pants.

Does that sound inspiring to you?

Because it sucks for me.

Before getting sick I was always getting almost arrested for trespassing (almost bc the cops always let me go. I know. White, female privilege.)

I guess what I am saying is, I miss almost getting arrested.

I miss going places other people can't, shouldn't, or wouldn't.

I miss that girl who walks away from the party to view the art.

I miss having a body that allowed me to do those things.

A body that allowed me to do even the most run-of-the-mill things.

Like type and actually feel the keyboard.

I go to write now, and my mind is sluggish and slow. My neuropathy is pervasive and steals my words because the fear steals my thoughts.

I can focus on my prose when I can't feel my toes?

Something like that.

This illness has robbed me of so fucking much.

So much of my autonomy - and therefore my personality - is on the table.

I don't know what else it's gonna take from me (or when).

The fear is palpable. It's my only constant companion. And I wish I could shake it.

Maybe then I could string two sentences together again.

Until then...

Saturday, June 15, 2019


I don't wanna do this.

I DO NOT wanna do this.

But you got me thinkin' 'bout doin' this.


Looks like we're doin' this...


Y'all don't know me.

And you can't hurt me.

My armor's on

so even if you desert me

I can say it don't mean shit to me

say it don't hurt when you hit me

or -

worse -

when you don't give enough of a damn to give your 2 cents to me.

Starvin' for affection here

but my armor's on

so you can't see

but got me...

thinkin' 'bout takin' my armor off.

Armor off.

What would happen if I...

took my armor off?


Spent the night, circling

a predator

Want to trap, eat, feast on all of ya

Can't have what I want

so I'ma bury ya

'Cuz that's how it goes -

bitches and hoes

maybe I envy ya.

How you lose yourself

in X, booze and designer shoes

I can't escape myself

need some help

trapped myself

wrapped myself

in armor.

Got my armor on.

so y'all can't hurt me

can't desert me

can't hit or quit me

But you - baby you got me thinkin'

thinkin' 'bout takin' my armor off.

Armor off.

What would happen if I...

took my armor off?

Would you, could you


really hear and

touch me?

Put no one above me?

actually fuckin' love me?

You actually different?

or do I just want you to be?

kindred spirit?

my equal intellectually?


Your mind and mouth

slaying me softly?


Betchu don't even see


Forget your 2 cents - I don't even register.

So I'll be leavin' my armor on.


Leavin' my armor on.

And it's so heavy, baby.

Leavin' my armor on.

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Beautiful Like Me?

Ostensibly we all know beauty is only skin deep, yadda, yadda, yadda...

But it doesn't stop us from gravitating to the prettiest face in the room...

Which hurts those of us whose heart, soul, and mind are the pretty parts.

So many days I'd trade this brilliant mind for a pretty face...

But beauty fades.

Beauty fades.

What's Your Sign?

Astrology is nonsense.

That said, I'm a Pisces.

All of my best friends are Geminis.

And every man who ever ripped my heart out of my chest was a Libra.

Like it was written in the stars or some shit.

Thursday, May 30, 2019

My Life In One Sentence


"In my personal experience, women raise their voices because they feel like they aren't being listened to. Men raise their voices because they feel like they aren't being obeyed." - insightful internet stranger

Sunday, May 12, 2019

Mother's Day

There's only one Mother's Day that actually stands out in my mind.

And that's the one where my Aunt Clara had a stroke.

We customarily honored our grandma (Clara's sister) every Mother's Day, but each year we also honored Clara, who watched me and my brothers while my parents were at work.

The parents and us kiddos brought flowers over that year.

We knew something was wrong because Clara kept repeating, "Who are those flowers for?"

Us, "They're for Mother's Day."

Clara, "Is today Mother's Day? I didn't know it was Mother's Day."

This same exchanged happened - I dunno - maybe half a dozen times?

Clara never had kids of her own. Which was actually kinda common among her siblings. Clara was one of 10 kids, Of those, only 2 of the girls had biological children.

There's a lot to unpack here - about what constitutes a "mother" - about who we honor - about how that makes women who never had children feel - about how it makes kids who had shitty mothers or no mothers at all feel - about the grief those who lost their mother feel.

About why the one Mother's Day I really remember is this one...

Bad stuff stands out more to me than good stuff.

I guess I am a glass-half-empty kinda gal.

So the negativity of a stroke, of a woman who shaped me suffering, of having no idea what was going on or how to help it - I guess all that shit stuck with me more than the customary annual brunches, flowers, and cards.

Like Valentine's Day, I've always kinda felt Mother's Day (And Father's Day) were Hallmark Holidays, designed to sell cards and candy and other things to give the economy a boost in the downtime after Christmas.

So, while I love my parents (and surrogate parents), I always kinda crinkled my nose at the dedication of a day.

I'm much the same way with other dedicated days - unless those days are religious. Religious days I still cling to for some sort of significance, but all the others - even anniversaries - kinda get a "meh" from me.

I'd blame chronic illness and that fact that I am always tired...but that's not really it (though it contributes).

I love my spouse. And my parents. And I appreciate that the USA allows me freedoms that many others in the world still don't have. I'm glad the Irish gave us a holiday in March, and my name and stuff. I'm not a robot.

I just don't GAF about most holidays in general, and Mother's and Father's Days specifically.

I like talking to my folks on a random Tuesday about shit going on in our lives. A dedicated day just seems to add extra stress.

And, as I've aged, I've realized how much pain such days bring for so many people. I mentioned 'em before, but I'll say it here again: those women who want to be mothers but can't. Those mothers who lost children. Those children (or adults) who lost their mother. Those people for whom "mother" was never anything but a source of pain.

And then, of course, there's the memory of Aunt Clara.

This Mother's Day - as with many others - I am thinking of Aunt Clara.

If there's a place after this one, I hope she's having a Happy Mother's Day.

And a Happy Mother's Day to each of you too...

Sunday, April 28, 2019

Highlander. & Jews. & Dying. But hopefully, mostly Highlander.

Of the many life lessons of "Highlander", one of the more poignant is when bonnie Heather, on her deathbed, asks an ever-creepy Chris Lambert to "light a candle for [her] on [her] birthday."

This request - and the fact that Lambert keeps this promise for, I dunno...millennia? - was near and dear to my heart as a child, long before I knew it echoed a Jewish practice.

You see, Jews honor birthdays AND death days.

For all you goyim, a death day is called a yahrzeit, and on it you light a candle for your lost loved one. You also attend temple and speak that loved one's name aloud. Then the congregation stands to join you in your sorrow and your remembrance.

With this tradition, your memories become the shared memories of the collective Jewish people, and your loss is a loss shared by the entirety of the world.

(Typically, Queen's "Who Wants To Live Forever" isn't part of the service, but if Freddie Mercury had been around a few thousand years ago, I'm pretty sure it would be.)

Anyway, it's a beautiful practice.

It keeps loved ones alive in a very real way, and speaks to my soul so deeply that I lack the words to impart it to you.

If only for a brief moment, those we've loved and lost are not really gone, but instead are present and precious to all who have gathered.

For me, it's the closest I'll likely come to seeing those people again.

Judaism calls on us to be a light in the darkness and - by lighting a candle in someone's memory - that person's light continues to shine on our dark, imperfect world, long after that person is "gone."

It's fucking beautiful.

It's beautiful in "Highlander," and it's beautiful in synagogue.

And it's just one more way in which I know I was always supposed to be a Jew.

Someone I love recently told me how much I've changed - that I'm not the same person he's known for 30+ years.

I respect that take, but I don't necessarily agree with it.

Because I'm more "myself" now then I ever was before - and I'm that same little girl watching "Highlander" with her father, crying as bonnie wee Heather breathes her last.

I'm not as lost as that little girl.

Not as confused.

But my heart is the same - and it comforts me to know that, when my time comes, my blessed Connor MacLeod will light a candle for me on my birth and death days. (He already promised he would.)

I hope my memory is "a blessing" as the memories of those who have gone before are blessings to me.

I miss them.

I think of them often.

I even talk to them, though they have not answered back.

One of those I miss most - Wanda - her yahrzeit is coming up. And Madison's isn't far behind.

I'll light candles for them and say their names.

Queen asked "Who Wants To Live Forever" - welp, not me. But with the time I've got left, I am honored to be a living vessel of their memories. I'm honored that my life in some ways extends the length of theirs.

I first learned that lesson - that the living extend the lives of the dead - from "The Last Unicorn," but that's another blog for another day.

There's more to say. Some profound thing about mysticism, and God, and the eternal nature of love.

But I'm not smart enough to say it, so you fill in the blanks however you want.

All I know is, there are people and practices that imprint themselves on your very soul.

And I am glad to have a few.

If you're one, I hope you'll light a candle for me, 'cause you know I'll light one for you.

War of the Words

Wars aren't won with words - but communication coulda prevented some of 'em.

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Not Alike

I'm getting worse.


Seeing the doctors

who either don't know or don't care.

When you don't get help, you do the research yourself.

But that's how I was disabled to begin with.

A few perplexing symptoms

a few docs who wouldn't listen/do anything

a doc who yelled at me: "Don't read the warnings. You'll never take another med again."

Same doc snidely says see a gastro.

I do.

And I ask him for antibiotics.

Because could this be an infection? No other docs have any ideas. Other than "psychosomatic." Which I'm not buying.

A few weeks -a few twists and turns and mistakes by me and my doctors later - and I am disabled.

4 years later and it's getting worse.

Always worse, despite prayer. Or treatment. Or avoiding treatment.

Don't go back to doctors - they won't believe you or won't care.

Go back to doctors, desperate for help - they won't believe you or won't care.

The guilt is irrepressible.

If only if only if only...

I read the stories of others who suffered likewise: Keller. Roosevelt. JFK.

How often did Roosevelt regret going on that one swim?

I don't know how much more time I have on this earth.

And if I leave it soon, what legacy have I left?

What was the point?

Why all the pain?

What did I bring?

Friday, March 22, 2019

Shoutout to all the people from broken homes who didn't let that dysfunction destroy them.

For some of us, "family" is now less about who shares our DNA, and more about who shares our values.

Monday, March 18, 2019

Mea Culpa

I don't know if I'd rather you take me seriously or see me sexually.

I long-since gave up on having both.

Saturday, February 23, 2019


"I want the money, the women, the fortune and fame

If it means I end up burnin' in hell, scorchin' in flames"


Was it everything you hoped it'd be?


Sunday, February 10, 2019

We're so busy fighting each other, our alarms are drowned out by the din.

We're so busy fighting each other, our in-fighting allows them to win.

Friday, January 18, 2019

Maybe His Name is Tyler?

Not for the first time, I wish I had an older brother.

60+ pages into Anna Kendrick's "Scrappy Little Nobody" and this is one of three lessons that keeps slapping me in the face.

1. That if I'd had an older bro to protect me and show me the ropes, there's little doubt that I, too, would be an international sensation and household name.

2. That if I'd had parents that were willing to drive me 6 hours to NYC auditions at tender ages, I, too, would be an international sensation and household name.

3. That if I'd actually had any real talent to speak of, I, too, would be an international sensation and household name.

That I don't have any considerable talent to speak of is likely somehow an offshoot of the first two.

And my genes.

And lack of work ethic.

Still, petulant me just knows that an older bro woulda taught me talent. Just like he'da taught me how to sneak out of the house like a cool kid. Or smoke weed without coughing.

He'da protected me from school bullies. Offered advice when life handed me lemons. Picked on me mercilessly, but balked when anyone else'd do it.

He'd have been my hero.

Many's the moment in college when I'd wished someone was there to light my way.

As it was, navigating pretty much everything on my own was a very hit-or-miss (most often "miss") affair.

Without anyone there to guide me, I basically bumped into every obstacle in my way, and I am not now nor have I ever been known to be the taker of the path of least resistance.

Had I an older brother, he could have steered me clear of at least some of these pitfalls.

Lead by experience, if not example.

"Nah, Erin. I tried that. It sucked. You want no part in that."

Thanks bro.

Crisis averted.

I'd have had someone - besides long-dead actresses on VHS tapes - to emulate.

As it turns out? Neither Scarlett O'Hara nor Margot Channing are particularly apt at giving life advice to college-bound morons. Who knew?

An older brother would've encouraged me to leave UGA. Follow my dreams. Or, at least, taken my side occasionally with the parents.

That I was the first born is some kind of cosmic mistake - one that a particular parent has pointed out on several occasions.

My folks wanted a boy first. And, had I the sense at my time of conception, I'd have obliged them this request.

While they face their own challenges, in general boys have an easier go of some things. And who wouldn't want an easier go?

That said, if I couldn't have been born a boy, I figure having an older brother woulda been the next best thing.

Sure, he'd think I was annoying and do anything to avoid hanging out with me.

But he'd also be my champion. And my first exposure to all things slightly more adult than I was.

At 14 I had no older sib to shlep me to the movies and sneak me in to something above my maturity level.

No older sib to show me how to fill out a college app. Or pick a college. Or tell me it was ok to take a year off to decide what I really wanted to do.

There was no older bro to give me shelter when I wanted to run away. Or take me home after talking some sense into me.

I tried to provide such things for the youngers who wanted them (which was really only Madison), but I tried to give what I didn't get just the same.

My husband is a younger brother, and the ways in which he benefitted from his brother's good and bad influences are endless.

He knows about a million things and people he'd never have known had he been an only or a first-born.

I envy him this.

And I envy it of Anna.

The adoration with which she speaks of her older bro is a feeling I'd like to feel. A personage I'd like to know.

The first born bears the brunt of so many challenges. And, like so many decisions afterward, my being sent first was a mistake.

Because I clearly have no idea what I am doing.

And if I had an older brother, maybe he'd tell me that that was okay.

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Clouds In My Coffee

You think you know

but you don't have a clue.

You take somthin' 'bout me

and make it 'bout you.

This won't be the first time

I've known that we're through

but it will be the last time

I waste time on you.

Monday, January 7, 2019

They couldn't annihilate us or assimilate us, so they had to hate us.

Thursday, January 3, 2019


My victim mentality absolves me of responsibility.

But it also steals my power.

So much time wasted, waiting...

On him to save me or her to raise me


Bitch, while you waitin' for Superman and white knight dreamin'

times' still going

and you're gonna die.

That shit's finite.

The curse of the Pisces to live in the clouds -

but I've been on that shit for more than 30 years

Dreams w/o actualization? Mental masterbation

fleeting; meaningless.

I don't wanna live my best life in my head.

It's about fucking time I got the fuck up off the couch.

Superman steals my power.

Why the fuck am I letting someone steal my power?

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Fucking Fantasy Fuck

What if I didn't spend hours a day talking to you?

After all, you ain't callin'.

What if I admit what I already knew

I'm not good enough. And you'd know it too

if I knew you

at all

and I don't.