When I was in Korea, I used to spend entire weekday nights leaving work and just walking around eating dinner on the street, having tea on the street, wandering around pretending that all of life was just an endless journey from one cart to the other with no need to ever go inside. And that’s how I imagined Heaven as a kid: no mansions, no castles, no need to hide or protect yourself, just an endless meadow, and if you wanted, a fern-carpeted forest on the edge for when you just needed to feel separate again. I couldn’t imagine eternal rest without the opportunity to sleep, so I just imagined that if you felt the notion, you just curled up on the grass and there you drifted away to dreamland.
But I always went back to my apartment and wrote and interacted with people who spoke my language. I never slept outside when I was in Korea.
And you know, I never got sick from street food, even the pork guts they served with soondae.
In fact, I don’t think I have ever had food poisoning ever. I’ve been sick after rolling the dice at a Chinese buffet, but not sick like food poisoning sick, and I think the reason for that is 1) my fairly strong immune system, 2) not letting my imagination run away with me, and 3) luck. It just isn’t my time, baby.
And I wonder what has happened to the street food culture in cities that have them. Chicago, as you know, doesn’t, or not really. There are trucks you can buy $20 artisanal sandwiches or sushi burritos or lobster rolls after waiting 45 minutes in line to order, and there are ice cream carts in the summer in Hispanic neighborhoods, but you can’t just get a slice or a hot dog or a knish on the street and eat it on your way back to the office.
I would imagine that they’re coming back slowly and cautiously, but will it ever be the same? Will we ever be able to hover over each other and each other’s food ever again?
You know what my favorite articles on the Internet are? These kinds:
I Half-Assed (Something) For A Very Short Amount of Time and Unsurprisingly, It Turned Out Poorly! Keep Reading to Learn Essentially Nothing About (Something)!
They’re everywhere, for everything. Diets. Beauty trends. Anything anyone might do to try to improve themselves by themselves. This Discouragement Journalism is an entire niche of its own.
Why are we discouraging people from trying new things in the most low-effort way possible? My thought is that it’s reverse psychology.
They want you to do the carnivore diet. They want you to try dermarolling. They want you to dye your eyebrows at home. They want you to wax your own bikini.
…it’s just the illusion of disapproval that gets us hooked because if I can’t do it, then neither can you, and then you don’t have to do it.
But I just lost all my COVID weight gain (seven months and personal tragedy and all) in four weeks, so that was cool.
I Did the Carnivore Diet for Four Weeks.
I should have taken a before photo.
And an after photo.
I decided to go full elimination for the first two weeks — all meat, eggs, fish — and then add a little dairy in slowly.
I never truly got fat adapted. I figured I wouldn’t, since I’ve tried before and I never quite achieve it, but I was okay as long as I wasn’t eating a ton of fat. Yes, it did get boring after a while. Yes, it was kind of expensive. Yes, it did reduce my overall calorie intake because food was fuel, not entertainment.
But it also reset my palate and I can fast for 24 hours without issue. I can go without water for hours on end. I don’t need to nap, and I never get sleepy after I eat. And yes – I lost weight. Sure, some of it was water weight, but the rest was certainly not, unless I was carrying 20% of my body weight as excess water with no signs of edema, and even if I did, I’d still be glad that there’s less fluid putting strain on my body. There was no muscle wasting, no loose skin, just a smaller version of me.
I was largely a paleo eater before I met Rick. It worked for me. It got me off synthroid and metformin and spironolactone and birth control pills for menstruation. My cystic acne disappeared. Bloating, IBS, all gone. And the weight I lost! amazing. Loved it. It worked. I couldn’t stop eating animal products because the B-12 and iron anemia would start very quickly, but I learned to eat naturally, shop the perimeter of the store, and pay attention to how food made me feel, and not necessarily psychologically but physically.
After he died and some months afterward, I pretty much ate anything I wanted, which was a lot of things I shouldn’t be eating, and I gained weight.
A lot of middle class people are complaining about having nothing to do but work remotely and get delivery. Aren’t we the luckiest people in the world right now?
And there is a freedom in finishing work and knowing you can eat anything you want for dinner, anything at all, because no one will know, and you’re only responsible for feeding yourself. So what if you have anchovy pizza or caramel ice cream (or both)? Did you know that McDonalds delivers now? If you don’t go out, no one knows you smell like curry (or three curries, a mango lassi, and two pieces of naan). Maybe I want to eat a bag of black licorice throughout the workday (I love black licorice). Maybe I’ll just have seven peanut butter and jelly sandwiches even though I still don’t like sandwich bread.
And then it happened again: blood sugar out of control, insomnia, mood swings, hunger and satiety signals screwed up and increasing hunger pangs.
I just watched someone die at the cusp of a personal Renaissance because he decided to fuel it with sugar and chemicals. No thanks.
I could stay on this diet for the most part. I’ll be skewering back toward keto/paleo next week, but so far, so good. I lost weight – like nearly twenty five or thirty pounds (no scale, just using a tape measure). My skin cleared up, including hormonal acne and psoriasis. My swelling went down, my dehydration disappeared, my libido came back, my energy is up, I recover more easily from strenuous activity, I sleep at night and get up easily in the morning, I fixed digestive issues, made my palate sensitive to taste again, and stopped eating recreationally completely for one month. I mean, you can’t really snack for fun on steak or ribs, and even cheese gets boring.
What did I miss the most?
Have you seen Midnight Gospel yet?
That’s quite a Neptunian show.
I have lamented that Thanksgiving ought to be my favorite holiday, but it’s not. This show is what I think my favorite cartoon should be and pretty much is.
I haven’t seen Adventure Time. I haven’t seen a lot of things. I have never been able to sit through an episode of Friends, and sometimes I wonder why I even own a television because what I really need is a good stereo, but sometimes I get hooked, and tonight, I will stay up and finish every episode of this show because this is the first adult cartoon I have ever really seen that made me feel the way I did as a child watching cartoons, The Littles or or even Reading Rainbow something like that: it filled the void I felt between me and the rest of the world, this invisible, vast void between me and the world, the monolithic world, a place I was both somehow caught in as if I was born walking through a spider web, and a place I was also distinct from.
I used to wonder if everyone else looked at the world as something very distinct from themselves as if it were all merely the culmination of circumstance for which the odds of these circumstances even occurring were staggering and nearly impossible, because why me, whatever that is, why now, why this loneliness, why this endless dark meadow surrounded by a thick, endless wall of black forest that I’m just going to have to enter alone someday if I can just get there one day?
Now, believing in reincarnation for the most part, I realize that as a four year old, there must have been an old part of me that really thought she was being initiated into something new in this incarnation but just didn’t know what she was supposed to be looking for or perhaps thought it was going to be so much more grand and cinematic to join all these people in whatever it is they’ve been doing all this time.
And sometimes I think I just incarnated to piss my father off and that was the sum total of my entire plan for this life.
Or maybe I just came here without a plan, as if for me now, life is just a series of unstructured events similar to a beachside vacation when I don’t truly forget what seriousness is waiting at the end, but for now, life is not so constricting or binding, and the convent or prison or lofty mountain top monastery will always be there waiting for me when I’m ready to go back, and for now in this very moment, I want street food for dinner because I’m slowly learning that farting around perpetually is truly living.
I have a major personal transit happening right now, sort of: Neptune is transiting over my ascendant. However, my chart is already so Neptunian. In those moments of clarity I sometimes get, and in consultation with other astrologers, I realized something kind of incredible:
This doesn’t actually affect me that much, as in, I don’t really interact with it. It doesn’t come from the world to me or at me. It’s a slow rise of the tide, but as a Neptunian, I was already kind of an untethered buoy in the sea, so it doesn’t really matter that much to me personally that the sea levels rise under me. The idea of it affects me a lot, but boots on the ground, I’m just a little more me than usual for the next few years, and I’m kind of happy to allow things to dissolve and then be reimagined.
Sure, my memory, particularly for forming new memories, is worse than usual, but that’s also a bad mix of me + circumstances.
And there are other aspects that should affect me, but here’s the deal:
For the first time in I don’t know how many years, I am not really touched by any major transit in any direct way, as if this Neptune transit is just more lubrication to help me keep gliding along. Mars is retrograde in my first house opposite my natal Pluto. All action toward transformation is turned inward, but this is happening to everyone my age, every late-born Gen X, so it’s not just me.
I Don’t Care About Trines Much.
Some of you may know that I don’t consider trines to be major transits. These don’t change things and don’t inspire action. They generally just feel nice, if you notice them at all. They don’t add energy, nor are they necessarily a protective factor. They just make thing better but not in a way that is surprising, depending on the planets involved. You may find that it’s simply easier to do things, live things, or find things based on the planets involved, but as far as motivation, a bunch of transiting trines can make a lotus eater out of even the most action-oriented person.
I should know. Check it out:
Neptune is trine to my natal Mercury right now. Cool. Jupiter, Saturn and Pluto are currently trine to my Saturn, Vertex, Lilith, and Descendant. Cool. Uranus is currently trine to my natal Venus, natal Mars, and my North Node. Cool. Mars is currently trine to my midheaven and natal Neptune. Cool.
Guess what I want to do? Nothing. I want to take baths, give myself facials, exercise, diet, figure out which mascara I like best, go for walks, write silly things, and make my home prettier. I want to smell all the grapes at the grocery store, stay home and listen to music, have pleasant conversations with other women, do astrology, read tarot, and keep my plants from dying.
I want to have a mad, clandestine love affair with myself.
Now, this isn’t the best energy for someone who has to appear in court every day and speak on record. This isn’t the best energy for someone who is still supposed to be lost in a world she’s alone in. But is good energy for a Neptunian to come to herself, and I like seeing more of my old self again as the layers of the last six years peel away. I do have some of my doubts — when I’m overweight, women are much nicer to me, for example (heterosexual women, that is. Lesbians have always been cool) — but this is a very unusual “me” time. There wouldn’t be any room for a new committed relationship for at least…eighteen months it looks like, and it kind of looks like, for the first time in decades, there is a major world event that will not really affect me personally in a way that is devastating.
Yes, Rick dying was bad and really changed my entire life, but it didn’t burn it to the ground because it just hasn’t. Maybe it’s that Neptunian fog that makes it hard to face these things squarely. Or maybe that’s just not how I grieve, or maybe just not how I grieve this.
As it is, I’ve been working from home for seven months and living in my new place for four. I’m not sure what the next year will bring, or even what the next six months will bring, and my ambition is far less grand and more focused on a series of achievable things I really need to dedicate my time and attention to achieving.
But this Capricorn stellium? This Uranus retrograde, this Mars retrograde? Not a big deal. Even Mercury retrograde, which is in the sign of my natal Mercury retrograde, isn’t a big deal, because now everyone is just as much of a space cadet as I am.
Well, not quite.
It’s okay to not have any major transits affecting you right now.
I have friends who are directly affected by the Capricorn stellium, and I advise them, but sometimes I wonder if I’m not a little jealous. No, that’s not the right word. Left out? Pawing at the glass wondering why I can’t get outside to catch that squirrel that only exists to taunt me? Not really that, just feeling more like I’m supposed to be pushing a boulder up a hill or watching one tumble down a hill because that’s the down turn on the wheel of fortune because that’s what you do in a world crisis.
But that’s not happening. This major astrological event is asking nothing of me, as if I tried the pandemic, like I half-assed it for just a little while, even somehow getting very close to death without even a hint of illness, and yet, here I am writing article after article about it like I know something:
I Half-Assed The Pandemic For A Very Short Amount of Time and Unsurprisingly, It Turned Out Un-cinematic! Keep Reading to Learn Essentially Nothing About the Pandemic!
Don’t get me wrong. The world is on fire and my country is still in shambles, and I am staying inside all election day and the day after no matter what happens because of what has been promised depending on the outcome (I think you know how I feel about Trump). I still wonder if this is how it felt when the Third Reich was starting to come into power. I was talking to a colleague today about this, this feeling that something is wrong, that you’re supposed to stop or fight a known enemy who has not quite appeared yet in his true form, but you know it’s coming.
The only good thing about the Trump regime is that it couldn’t have made it more blatant and more obvious to Americans that we don’t need Christianity for anything. It just doesn’t actually serve any purpose loftier than socializing, kind of like in other countries, and maybe if there is no more reason to fetishize the suffering of the poor and oppressed the way Christianity does, then maybe socialist endeavors won’t seem that bad. I mean, once we stop thinking Jesus wants poor people to pray the cancer away instead getting affordable healthcare that might mean our corporate CEOS only making millions instead of billions, we can start being reasonable, and ironically, being more Christ-like.
Or maybe it’ll happen the way it happened in Europe, after a World War.
But I hope not, because I just don’t have the fight in me to resist; I just have enough strength to wriggle away and get back in the sea.