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Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Reflections on my former 4AM antics (like riding on taxicabs), and what they mean to me in 2013

Five years ago, I was intimately familiar with the 4AM hour.  I saw that hour at least once a week as I reveled tipsily through New York City with friends, riding on taxicabs and making late-night tents on fire escapes.  Those were wild and joyful days. 

These days I rarely see 4AM.  I’m chagrined by what a lightweight I am compared to my former self. Four drinks in, I start to yawn.  Most nights, I’d rather stay in and watch Bridesmaids with a friend and a martini than go out and dance on a table.  I haven’t climbed up an illegal fire escape in many years.  Instead I climb rocks, secured by ropes, completely sober, in broad daylight.  I guess this is called “growing up,” something I once vowed never to do. 

On the up side, as I’ve “grown up” a little I’ve also shaved away much of the layer of anxiety that I wore like a second skin throughout my 20s.  I try to replace grudges with gratitude, and I view the amount of love in my life as a measure of success.  These new perspectives make me feel old, but they also make me feel like I’ll probably live a lot longer than that scrappy, angsty 20-something Me. 

I’d still like to hang out with Me circa 2007 for a night, because that Me was spectacularly fun.  But she also ended up crying behind a dumpster on her 30th birthday, so, really, it’s probably best for her to keep her head planted in the sand. 

But I’ll take some lessons from that version of Me.  Like her, I will try to fill my life with people who wring every molecule of joy and frolic from every day.  I will try to live life as lovingly, and ebulliently, as possible.  And, if there’s enough fun and mischief in the air, I’ll drink enough caffeine to punch down my yawns so I can see what 4AM brings. 

Friday, December 20, 2013

Young man comes out to his mom and videotapes it

This is so beautiful.  The young man in the below video tells his mom that he's gay for the first time, and videotapes it.  Their interaction is incredibly touching.  This video has moved me:

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Dogs appear to have a sense of pitch

Everybody knows that when a dog or wolf hears other animals howls, he/she may join in the howling chorus.  Scientists have recently suggested that these howlers also have a sense of pitch.  But they don't have the same notion of pitch that humans do.  When a wolf joins in a chorus, it intentionally tries to land on a note different from everyone else in the chorus, apparently reveling in the discordant sound it's creating (Full article:

It has also been found that classical music, more than other forms of music, has a calming effect on dogs.  Apparently even goldfish have discerning musical ears - one study showed that they could tell the difference between Bach and Stravinsky (

Animals are smart li'l buggers.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

How to control the debilitating physical effects of stress

Hello my friends!  I'm busy this week doing some more fiction writing, so for my blog I'll just link to a fantastic piece I just read.  The article talks about various studies showing that although stress has been linked to major, debilitating physical illnesses, we can reduce those debilitating effects (to ZERO) if we deal with stress properly.

I love this:
"A... study, out of the University of Buffalo, did not surprise researchers this year when they noticed a 30% increase in people’s risk of dying for every major stressful experience, such as financial difficulties and family crises. But those same researchers were shocked to discover that people who respond to such crises with the desire to care for others don’t just reduce their risk of dying. Instead, their risk drops to 0%. Caring, says Dr. McGonigal, creates resilience, the ability to meet with life’s crises with creativity, hope, and connection."

Here's the whole piece:

Have a good week.  xo

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Non-celiac bread intolerance may have nothing to do with gluten

If you’re like me, you don’t have celiac, but eating bread wreaks havoc on your digestive system.  A recent study suggests that for many people like us, the problem isn’t the ever-vilified GLUTEN in bread – it’s the FRUCTANS (which are carbohydrates). 

Those of you who follow my food posts know that some brilliant Australians figured out that many IBS sufferers are simply unable to break down certain (but not all) carbohydrates—the difficult-to-break-down carbs are called FODMAPs (Fermentable Oligo-Di-Monosaccharides and Polyols - whew!). Those same Aussies did a study where they tested IBS sufferers who can’t tolerate bread by giving them isolated gluten (i.e. none of the carbs/fructans), and those people didn’t have their typical post-bread-consumption reactions. 

Bread is rich in the same fructans as onions and garlic – which I, and many other people, can’t tolerate.  So, a non-celiac bread intolerance may have nothing to do with gluten and everything to do with fructans.  For more info on this study, see this great article:

And, in case you haven’t read my posts on a low-FODMAP diet (which is changing people’s lives all over the globe), here’s a brief explanation of the diet:
And here’s a list of foods you can/can’t eat on the diet: