“Costco Membership” Club

A Delaware teen recently received ample press coverage when her college essay about Costco gained her admission into five Ivy League schools – and Stanford. She attested that Costco “fueled her insatiability and cultivated curiosity at a cellular level.” I tend to contemplate the effects of Costco on our society, only I scrutinize it through a 41-year-old lens. The population at Costco is not a … Continue reading “Costco Membership” Club

“My Parents Aren’t My Loudest Cheerleaders” Club

My father hasn’t read my blog since I started my “365 Project” on January 1st of this year. This is my 103rd piece and still I haven’t received a “good job” or “fun read” or even “nice to make me look like an asshole in that piece.” Instead, I got nothing. At first, I wondered had he read the piece which had gotten press, the … Continue reading “My Parents Aren’t My Loudest Cheerleaders” Club

“I Blog” Club

I’m writing every day. Yay. Good job. Celebrating my little victories, ceremonial pat on the back at 100 days; 265 to go. What’s 28% of anything? I’m a marathon runner on mile 7.4 of 26.2. In the back of my head I’m thinking, OK so I’m gaining some expertise; I’m flexing my muscles daily but where am I getting. If I’m just doing the training … Continue reading “I Blog” Club

“I Dye My Hair” Club

The gray wiry hairs crept into my dark mane slowly from the temples, combining to create a spray painted white look when my wore my hair in a ponytail. I would not be one to gray gracefully; I would cover up my mortality reminder. Following my immigrant, practical instincts, I tried the box dye which resulted in a brassy-diarrhea look. Instead of “washing that gray … Continue reading “I Dye My Hair” Club

“I Hate Playgrounds” Club

I didn’t like playgrounds as a kid and I certainly don’t enjoy them now as a mother. I blame the movie, Kramer vs. Kramer for instigating my lifelong playground paranoia. In an unforgettable scene, the boy playing Dustin Hoffman’s son falls off the monkey bars onto the very unsafe concrete. He runs to his son (too late), scoops his bloody body and runs with him … Continue reading “I Hate Playgrounds” Club

“I Have Spring Fever” Club – 100 Word Story

I woke up with spring fever. My eyes stung from the orange sun creating a spotlight on my face; my ears tuned into the inaugural bird symphonies of the season. My sun-deprived body was tugged by an invisible magnet outdoors. I held my husband’s hand as we hiked up rocky terrain hovering over the shallow red-sand beaches; the famous bridge in the distant haze. We … Continue reading “I Have Spring Fever” Club – 100 Word Story

“Understanding Intention” Club

When my teenager snaps back at me, I know it wasn’t his intention to slap me with his words, so I forgive him. When my husband is late time and time again or when he walks away without telling me where he’s going even though I’ve asked him to communicate for 11 years, I know it wasn’t his intention to say, “Fuck you” with his … Continue reading “Understanding Intention” Club

“I Weep at Track Meets” Club

Emma finished the mile in 5.4 minutes in the 85-degree heat. She did so with the ease I do nothing, not even write these words. No panting or hunching over in exhaustion; if she was sweating, I couldn’t tell. This was a private school track meet in New York City. At the onset of 7th grade, my son had the opportunity to choose a sport … Continue reading “I Weep at Track Meets” Club

“I Can’t Buy Concert Tickets Anymore” Club

I signed up for Paul McCartney’s Fan mailing list to be notified of ticket sales before the general public. As a super-fan, I get a special code (which incidentally is easy to find with the glory of Google) and TicketMaster opens up its virtual doors a few days early to the lucky few. This has happened on several occasions. Each time, I set an alarm … Continue reading “I Can’t Buy Concert Tickets Anymore” Club

“I Avoid Adult Chit Chat” Club

I don’t have many notable talents, but the ability to converse with pretty much anyone is my biggest claim to fame. However, occasionally I want to slip into the 6-year-old shell of myself, and retreat into a dark turtle shell so I can avoid the adult polite conversation known as chit chat. Examples of times I want to avoid grown up chit chat: Back to … Continue reading “I Avoid Adult Chit Chat” Club

“I Have a Teenager” Club

Unlike math, parenthood has no right answer. From the onset, I held this 7-pound slimy human who was reliant on me for every bodily function 24/7 and I had no idea what I was doing. By the time I emerged from the haze of year one, my little human was using words and persuasive behavioral tactics (read: debate-worthy negotiations) I worried so much about things … Continue reading “I Have a Teenager” Club

“I’m in a Fashion Slump”Club

I’m in a fashion slump and this is nothing new. For the last seven years, I’ve worked from home and subsisted on a wardrobe of leggings, yoga pants, camisoles, two pairs of jeans, four sweatshirts, and five plaid shirts. For three seasons of the year, I wear a jacket, even on date nights, over my outfit-less outfits, which help buffer the urgency to shop. On … Continue reading “I’m in a Fashion Slump”Club

“I’m Team Paper” Club

I was calculating how many books I can read on a several-stop trip to Hawaii we’re planning later this year and the thought struck me about how heavy this would make my bags. For a minute, I considered plunging into the of benefits digital reading, but just as soon, my considerations were debunked. We can’t consume all our information from screens of varying sizes; our … Continue reading “I’m Team Paper” Club

“I Get Along Best With My Gay Friends” Club

I’m not sure what the science behind it is, but gay men and I have a chemistry which has repeatedly proven successful. I get along well with gay men and they think I’m dandy; we bond over chatting, and a mutual adoration of my big hair and pouty lips. I’ve always had a hard time with girlfriends but gay men were a great compromise of … Continue reading “I Get Along Best With My Gay Friends” Club

“I Do My Own Home Renovations” Club

I used to think it was just the contractors who conspired to give us all two-week estimates for projects which end up taking two months. Or worse, four months and a trip to court. When we moved into our apartment, we conducted a major renovation including new hardwood floors, all new closet doors, wall rearrangement, repainting everything, fixing the “popcorn” ceilings and other minor repairs. … Continue reading “I Do My Own Home Renovations” Club

“I Met My Favorite Writer” Club

On our drive down for a weekend visit to Philadelphia, I said out loud to my car witnesses, “The only famous person I know in Philadelphia is Jennifer Weiner.” “Who’s that?” My 14-year-old son asked. He hasn’t had the benefit of jumping into her stories, engaging with her thoughtful, well-rounded, intelligent characters. “She’s one of your mom’s favorite writers,” my husband chimes in. “She wants … Continue reading “I Met My Favorite Writer” Club

“Cheater” Club

I strongly believe I inherited the cheating gene from my dad. I have used this excuse more than once when I should have just taken accountability for fucking up royally. Cheating, in the cardinal hierarchy of human behavior, is considered a bad thing. I’m talking infidelity cheating, specifically, although tax abatement and stealing the SATs are two other examples. A lot of hype surrounded Beyonce’s … Continue reading “Cheater” Club

“I Moved in with My First Boyfriend” Club

At 19, I remember a precise moment when I felt I had a grip on this life thing. Somehow I thought I had matured to this ripe age, where I could function as a grown up in society. I was attending NYU and my parents didn’t want to pay for me to live in the dorm because they believed we lived close enough for me … Continue reading “I Moved in with My First Boyfriend” Club

“My Renovation Took a Detour” Club

My bathroom renovation evolved into the perfect metaphor for life. The renovation plan seemed simple enough; just a small bathroom, nothing major. No real organs would be touched; this was mostly a cosmetic procedure. We did extensive research, educated ourselves on protocols and materials, and always followed the mantra, “measure twice, cut once.” We gathered our supplies at Lowes and came home gung-ho, excited to … Continue reading “My Renovation Took a Detour” Club

“Valuing Your Writing” Club

There is no greater satisfaction than filling up a page. There is no sound more rewarding than the rapid stroking on the keyboard. The quick tapping is reinforcement that it’s going, it’s writing; the machine is working. Quantity and quality aren’t as important as the physical act of stretching the muscle; like exercise. For a writer, to get the words out, to document, to annotate, … Continue reading “Valuing Your Writing” Club

“I’m Affected by Mercury in Retrograde” Club

This morning, for the first time in 41 years, I slammed the door on my finger. On a scale of one to ten, it was a seven-point-five. Running it under cold water only made it the pain come in bursts and I was certain a nerve had been severed because the finger throbbed all morning. I’m not sure if human digits are designed to withstand … Continue reading “I’m Affected by Mercury in Retrograde” Club

“I Hate Mother’s Day” Club

I hate Mother’s Day and feel so guilty saying it, but it’s the goddamn truth. My mother is still alive and so is my grandmother. With my five-year-old daughter, we can pose for a “four-generation of women” photo and enjoy a picturesque brunch where a vase of tulips holds down the cream-colored linen tablecloths. Only this doesn’t happen, nor would it ever with the parties … Continue reading “I Hate Mother’s Day” Club

“I Play the Hamilton Lottery” Club

I’ve entered the online “Hamilton” lottery every day since it’s inception over two months ago. I’ve submitted two entries each day (one for myself and one on behalf of my husband), even on days I’ve had no babysitter. I don’t think mathematically I’m increasing my odds, but maybe I’ll be rewarded by the theater gods for my diligence and genuine adoration.  Today “Hamilton” received a … Continue reading “I Play the Hamilton Lottery” Club

“Sometimes I Get Sad”Club

“Happy is my favorite color,” it says across my daughter’s favorite new t-shirt, where “happy” is written in rainbow sequins. For me, sometimes my favorite color is blue. Our society doesn’t endorse sadness. In fact, we do everything to avoid feeling sad. We take happy pills, we drink bright colored liquors, and we smoke plants, vapors, and tobaccos; all to get happy. Who is going … Continue reading “Sometimes I Get Sad”Club

“I’m a Co-Parent” Club (100-Word Story)

I’ve been a co-parent (with my ex-husband) to my 14-year-old son for 12 years and I’ve wanted to write an article about it for just as long. Only, every time I sit down to the business of actually writing this piece, it feels like the grand opus I’m not ready to tackle. In the wake of my piece on my ho-hum attitude on Mother’s Day, … Continue reading “I’m a Co-Parent” Club (100-Word Story)

“Daddy’s Girl” Club

One night last week at bedtime, my five-year-old daughter wrapped her arms around my husband and me into a tight embrace and said, “Oh I love you BOTH SOOOOO MUCH!” She squeezed us with all her might and looked my husband square in the eyes and said, “But mommy is one number higher than daddy. I love you the same, but she is one higher.” … Continue reading “Daddy’s Girl” Club

“I Don’t Like Star Wars” Club

I don’t like the Star Wars franchise; never did. I could have published this post on May 4th and be current, but instead, I tweeted, “Is there an emoji for me not giving a shit about May the 4th?” No one liked it. I remember seeing The Empire Strikes Back as one of the first movies we saw in America. It was May 1980 and … Continue reading “I Don’t Like Star Wars” Club

“I’m Living My Good Ole Days Now” Club

There was never any good old days They are today, they are tomorrow It’s a stupid thing we say Cursing tomorrow with sorrow — Gogol Bordello, the song “Ultimate” “The good ole days” is an all-American phrase like hot dogs, apple pie, and the “Dukes of Hazzard.” I often wonder to which are these “good ole days” referring? High school? College? Why is our cultural … Continue reading “I’m Living My Good Ole Days Now” Club

“Obsessed with the After” Club

I love the last five minutes of a home renovation show; skip the hard work, just show me the finale where it’s all pretty and clean. “Before and after” revelations amaze me; they are the ultimate visual catharsis for a problem solver like me. With a make-over, you can redo something, making it better and there’s a finite end to it; as opposed to working … Continue reading “Obsessed with the After” Club

“I’m Drowning in Digital Photos” Club

I was drowning in digital photographs long BEFORE I got an iPhone, but now I’m buried in them. They exist on my computer, on my phone, on portable hard drives (yes plural), on the Time Capsule, and now, of course, ON THE CLOUD (wherever the fuck that is). Now when I stare at clouds, waiting for them to morph into unicorns and amorphous hearts, I … Continue reading “I’m Drowning in Digital Photos” Club

“My Husband Takes Me Shopping” Club

I didn’t grow up valuing style. My parents and I immigrated to this country when I was five years old; my mother was 25 years old. My family had to learn a new language, secure housing, get a job, and deal with things like trying to obtain an immigration certificate for your daughter when you had to surrender her birth certificate when you defected and … Continue reading “My Husband Takes Me Shopping” Club

“I Ruin My Own Surprises” Club

I always check Google Maps before we go anywhere, even if I don’t need directions, just so I know exactly how long the ride is predicted to take. My husband, on the other hand, doesn’t care. He says, “I bought the ticket, I’m taking the ride and it’s out of my control. I don’t stress out about it.” (See: “My Husband is Always Late” Club.”) … Continue reading “I Ruin My Own Surprises” Club

“I Love TV Theme Songs” Club

This morning I woke up with the theme song to WKRP in Cincinnati in my head. “I’m living on the air in Cincinnati; Cincinnati WKRP.” I’m not sure why my mind pulled up this ditty to get stuck in my head; it wasn’t even one of my sitcom staples and I’ve been consumed with listening to Hamilton the Musical on repeat. I once read if … Continue reading “I Love TV Theme Songs” Club

“I Hate(d) Carnivals” Club

The minute I saw the lights near the library, I knew it was that time of year – the church carnival. Augh. Nothing about the yearly carnival at the church parking lot tempted me. But to my almost six-year-old daughter, this was a palace of rainbows and unicorns; the very incarnation of FUN. My husband promised to take her on Saturday if the weather cooperated. … Continue reading “I Hate(d) Carnivals” Club

“I Don’t Believe in the Tooth Fairy” Club

I’ve never believed in the tooth fairy – even when I was a newly immigrated 6-year-old losing her first tooth. I saw right through the hokey pokey stuff they tried to sell me on. I didn’t discriminate against the fairies; I was an equal opportunity doubter and didn’t believe in God, Santa or the Easter Bunny. Fast forward 35 years and my daughter lost her … Continue reading “I Don’t Believe in the Tooth Fairy” Club

“Death Made Me Get Married” Club

Two years ago my grandfather died at 87 years old. On our last visit to his house, he was so alive. He had retiled their bathroom floor and refinished the kitchen cabinets. He complained about a pain in his side and waved it off as he embraced my four-year-old daughter. He lifted her up, spun her in the air, and then looked for the nearest … Continue reading “Death Made Me Get Married” Club

“I’m Obsessed with Hamilton” Club

Hello, my name is Galina and I’m addicted to Hamilton: An American Musical. It’s been consuming my days. I wake up singing “How lucky we are to be alive right now” and quickly segue to “Life doesn’t discriminate between the sinners and the saints” and go to bed singing “Who lives, who dies, who tells your story?” I suspect my husband and teenage son are … Continue reading “I’m Obsessed with Hamilton” Club

“I Took to Twitter” Club

A decade ago when Twitter was this fun new thing, I jumped aboard like a hip wanna-be Gen-Xer. I was such a late bloomer with everything else, it felt great to be riding on the Millenial bandwagon. Thinking of tweets consumed my mind more than I care to admit. Driving my son to school, chopping carrots, staring at a blank box with a little blue … Continue reading “I Took to Twitter” Club

“I’m Never Going Back to a Corporate Job” Club

Spring in New York City is a unique descriptor which means everything to the native city dweller. Walking through the streets of the greatest city in the world in 74-degree weather, the sun warming my newly exposed shoulders, I am dancing with every cloud. New York City is a high-fashion supermodel in every season, but with the blossoming pots of baby blue hydrangeas decorating even … Continue reading “I’m Never Going Back to a Corporate Job” Club

“My Mother is an Alcoholic” Club

It is biologically counterintuitive to NOT love your mother; you cannot un-love from where you were born. I wish I could un-love my mother. I’ve tried to build walls to protect myself, but instead, I built panic attacks, hypochondria, and chronic anxiety. I am a happy person because I work hard not to be sad, like my mother. My funny, sarcastic mother who biologically transplanted … Continue reading “My Mother is an Alcoholic” Club

“I Don’t Like Cake” Club

My grandparents arrived in America two years before my mother, father and I joined them in 1979. My grandmother was good at hustling to make a buck. She was also a phenomenal cook and baker. In her new American life, she christened herself a baker. For 7 years, (until my family of now 4 moved to Staten Island in 1986), my sister, cousin, and I … Continue reading “I Don’t Like Cake” Club

“My Husband is a Celebrity” Club

My husband is a unique brand of celebrity: he is a rock star to children! As one of New York City’s most popular professional clowns, his name elicits Justin Bieber-worthy teenybopper screaming reactions. “Looney Lenny! Looney Lenny!” From three-year-olds to ten-year-olds are the true die-hard set. These are the ones who come out whenever he’s performing, like mini followers of the Grateful Dead, only they’re … Continue reading “My Husband is a Celebrity” Club

“I Always Thought I’d Be…” Club

Last week on a walk through New York’s Rockefeller Center, home of NBC, I stumbled upon a live broadcast of Access Hollywood. Arianna Huffington was the guest and she promoted her book and discussed two of my favorite things, sleep, and sex. The dormant rebel in me thought, “I could wave my hands in the air in the background” or “I could hold up a … Continue reading “I Always Thought I’d Be…” Club

“I Haven’t Listened to My Dream” Club

This year marks the 20th anniversary of my graduation from NYU (Magna cum laude, thank you very much). It was one of the worst weather days on record in New York City’s Washington Square Park. The Arch seemed to look like a huge concrete frown. There was marble sized hail hitting us as we sat through torrential downpours. Our pretty dresses were saturated under our … Continue reading “I Haven’t Listened to My Dream” Club

“I Ignore the Weather Report” Club

How much of your life have you spent worrying about and preparing for imaginary futures that never com to fruition outside of your mind’s stage? Recently I was allowing the weather forecast to control my plans, as usual. Once again, as a blatant metaphor for life, I learned planning has nothing to do with what actually may happen. The weather forecast was 90% chance of all … Continue reading “I Ignore the Weather Report” Club

“I Don’t Like to Be in Front of the Camera” Club

I was born in the Soviet Union in the mid-70s, which in photography standards was equal to 1950s America. My father, my first photography inspiration, snapped all of my childhood photos on black and white film and developed them in the tiny bathroom of our one-bedroom apartment in Kiev. I was the muse and subject of his never pursued, dormant love of photography. In those … Continue reading “I Don’t Like to Be in Front of the Camera” Club

“I Put it in the Ether” Club

I often speculate on how my husband, the perpetual dreamer and I got (and STAYED) together. To his dreams, I bring a sense of Russian pragmatism, which I call realism, but he calls pessimism. He envisions the movies he’ll write, Oscars he’ll win, old firehouses he’ll convert into the dream work/live space for us. I, on the other hand, put a concrete ceiling on my … Continue reading “I Put it in the Ether” Club

“I Need the Sun” Club

The sun is the heart of our solar system and imperative to existence, but it’s especially important to mine. It is iconic as a symbol of life and energy. It comes as no surprise the great ball in the sky comes with a plethora of health benefits besides the Vitamin D rhetoric. It can lower blood pressure, improve bone and brain health, and the most … Continue reading “I Need the Sun” Club

“I Wasn’t a Camp Girl” Club

My mother tried to send me to day camp one year when I was about eight. I rejected this notion and held steadfast to the declaration, “I am not a camp girl.” I didn’t like to swim, change in locker rooms, or play team sports. I had no interest in getting dirty, rallying behind something, or interacting with kids my own age. No one would … Continue reading “I Wasn’t a Camp Girl” Club

“I Don’t Like Crowds and Lines” Club

Despite my husband’s insistence that my membership to the “I Hate Crowds and Lines” Club developed with age (like a degenerative syndrome), I am convinced it is part of my DNA, transfused with my father’s blood when I was a baby. My dad wouldn’t be caught dead at an amusement park on a Saturday. Instead, he’d take us out of school on a Tuesday at … Continue reading “I Don’t Like Crowds and Lines” Club