“I’m the Go-to Google Gal” Club

I am a compulsive Googler. Google has been a savior to my perpetually inquisitive, journalistic, non-stop mind of mine. Whenever I’m mid-discussion and there is a fact of which I’m uncertain, (How old was Marilyn Monroe when she died? What day is the exact middle of the year?) I Google. Don’t we all? Kids today take it for granted (allow me one paragraph to pontificate … Continue reading “I’m the Go-to Google Gal” Club

“Perpetually Doubting Myself” Club

I thought reaching the exact middle of the project would unleash a vibrant burst of successfulness. I envisioned the middle to be “when” something… When I’d have a certain number of followers or when someone might discover me or when I’d have something else written, something of substantial significance. Instead, the date came and went, burst free. July 2, 2016, marked the exact middle of … Continue reading “Perpetually Doubting Myself” Club

“I’m Afraid of Heights” Club

I live less than half a mile from the George Washington Bridge, a magnificent and iconic span over the Hudson River, providing gorgeous views of Manhattan. The bridge carries over 106 million vehicles per year, making it the world’s busiest motor vehicle bridge. It is also a popular bridge for pedestrians and bikers, with a total of 382,433 bike trips and 226,047 pedestrian trips across … Continue reading “I’m Afraid of Heights” Club

“Living with a Collector” Club

My husband is a collector, which he is quick to point out, is very different from a hoarder. I, on the contrary, have spent my life abiding by the motto, “clutter in your house is clutter in your life.” According to my husband, clutter is not a black and white issue, there are gradients of clutter, just like there are variations of shades of gray. … Continue reading “Living with a Collector” Club

“The Art of Talking on the Phone” Club

My six-year-old daughter made a friend on vacation and for two weeks they were inseparable, forming a storybook bond of friendship. The only challenge is we live in New York and the new friend lives in San Diego. Lucky for us we live in an age of technology; FaceTime at our fingertips. Our first call was from the airport and the girls giggled with delight … Continue reading “The Art of Talking on the Phone” Club

“I Don’t Buy Souvenirs on Vacations” Club

There is nothing tackier than touristy t-shirts with locale names, glittery plastic key chains too big for use, and mini license plates, with typical names only, usually made in some less desirable third world destination. Yet, as travelers, somewhere in history, a seed was planted that we must bring a souvenir of where we visited, no matter how brief, as a memory. Perhaps a plastic … Continue reading “I Don’t Buy Souvenirs on Vacations” Club

“Lessons from an Ageless Bird” Club

I was on the phone with a friend yesterday and in the midst of my poison ivy story, I was horribly distracted by the obnoxiously loud bird squawking in the background. “Is that Maggie making all that noise?” I ask. “It sounds like a full rainforest. Does she say words?” “No, she copies sounds, but doesn’t really say any English words.” “How old is she?” … Continue reading “Lessons from an Ageless Bird” Club

“Searching for Geocaches” Club

Legos were the first way I bonded with my son. I would help him sort through his almost thousand-piece Star Wars sets, organizing them by color, shape, and size, and page-by-page, we’d work through the multiple booklets and put together some flying fighter contraption which lived on his bookshelf until we moved. As a voracious reader, my son preferred fantasy/science fiction while my brain insisted … Continue reading “Searching for Geocaches” Club

“My Neighbors are Dying Around Me” Club

When we first moved into our building in Fort Lee, NJ, just on the other side of the infamous George Washington Bridge, it was because my cousin had recruited us here. She had a gorgeous apartment in the building and had twin boys the same age as my daughter. The family connection (and more affordable real estate) convinced us to cross over the bridge from … Continue reading “My Neighbors are Dying Around Me” Club

“I Took a Break from Make Up” Club

I wouldn’t call myself a “girly girl” (I’m sure feminists would love a diatribe on the phrase alone), but I love makeup. I’m not a shopper, couldn’t care less about purses or shoes, but I’ve always looked at my face as a canvas I can perfect upon. I have always firmly believed everyone looks better with makeup and I never leave the house without it … Continue reading “I Took a Break from Make Up” Club

“I Took a Facebook Hiatus” Club

The newest cleansing rage is not the green smoothie, but the Facebook detox – taking a declared (unspecified) time off from the social media time suck. I took a month off Facebook. I took a break from my daily scroll through pseudo-strangers’ lives, wondering which smiles are real and which ones phony; whose photos are accurate and who is hiding behind childhood images. I also … Continue reading “I Took a Facebook Hiatus” Club

“Hesitant to Share Good News” Club

There are too many new sad stories every day. Shootings and terrorism and cancer and what the fuck is happening to our world? “Are we on the brink of a revolution?” my husband said the other day and I didn’t answer him because I didn’t want to go there in my head. I try to stay local, stay present, stay in the now, but these … Continue reading “Hesitant to Share Good News” Club

“I Don’t Like Snorkeling” Club

I’ve snorkeled about a dozen times in my life, in some of the world’s most majestic and sought after underwater locales. It’s cool – ish. I mean it’s awesome to stare at mother nature’s aquarium (invasively as aquatic creatures conduct their mundane daily business of eating, shitting and fish fucking) through a plastic mask suctioned onto my face (leaving substantial unsightly post-mask indentations) while I … Continue reading “I Don’t Like Snorkeling” Club

“My Best Day Ever is Today” Club

I’ve been trying to #RetrainMyBrain to focus on now. Focus on this moment. I try to make every moment of my life count (whatever that means) and am perpetually checking in, validating whether I did enough in each moment. Did I successfully seize the day? I’m programmed with the “problem solver / make it better” / find the best of everything” gene, but sometimes life … Continue reading “My Best Day Ever is Today” Club

“I Love Hawaii” Club

Hawaii is Mother Nature’s candy shop. Its vistas are unparalleled. Orchids grow like dandelions and trees line the roads like a box of crayons. If the flowers don’t lure you in closer, the mysterious fruit and nut clusters will: wild berries, mangoes, bananas, coconuts, grouped in bundles, camouflaged in multicolored leaves. The blue of the ocean is the kind they call azure. The surprising warmth … Continue reading “I Love Hawaii” Club

“Revisiting the Same Vacation Spots” Club

I’ve been to Hawaii three times, St. Martin, three times, Tulum, two times, and there’s more. I’ve been to Disney World five times, I’ve been to the South of France three times and Paris three times. I’ve been to London twice and California dozens of times. I’m not alone in my revisit-itis. When I was 15 and 16, on consecutive years, my mother took my … Continue reading “Revisiting the Same Vacation Spots” Club

“Searching for Suppressed Memories” Club

Traveling has always occupied a huge part of my life. Not necessarily exotic, but not stoic either.  I want to move, see, explore, study other locales and people. I fantasize about the time my kids are both off to college and my husband and I take off on continuous travel, with no home base, just traveling everywhere we want to visit before our time here … Continue reading “Searching for Suppressed Memories” Club

“I’m Terrified of Cancer” Club

Cancer is a boa constrictor which squeezes you from the inside and encapsulates the rest of your family into a smothering chokehold. Cancer is a terrorist which doesn’t discriminate. There are citizens in the United States (I’m passive aggressively referring to the Trump supporters) who have become so terrified of “Islamic terrorism,” they are suggesting we rewrite the entire doctrine on which our country was … Continue reading “I’m Terrified of Cancer” Club

“I’m Writing for Sanity” Club

One of the overwhelming goals of my 365 autobiographical-essay-a-day project was “writing as therapy.” I theorized that getting “it” all out of my head (while learning what “it” was) would ease my anxiety and panic disorder. I embarked on a journey to shovel the shit out of my garage of a brain, alleviating the past baggage weighing me down in the present and preventing me … Continue reading “I’m Writing for Sanity” Club

“I’m a MILF” Club – Part 2

I earned a special set of MILF stripes a few days later, doing laundry on the 7th floor (I use more than one floor), I run into Matthew’s father. Tall and jovial like his sun, he is eager to chat as I’m carrying my laundry up one floor and when we both get off at 7th, me to use the machines, him to go home, … Continue reading “I’m a MILF” Club – Part 2

“I’m a MILF” Club – Part 1

It’s funny to think we’ll be eternally grateful for the American Pie movie series for introducing the term, MILF (Mother I’d Like to Fuck) into the mainstream lexicon. I’m not being presumptuous by declaring myself a member because it’s clearly up to another person to declare you a MILF, the criteria being someone else has to want to fuck you. Lucky for me, I was … Continue reading “I’m a MILF” Club – Part 1

“Facebook Memories Plague Me” Club

I manage two Facebook accounts; one is my personal page, the other, my husband’s clown business. On most days, on both accounts, Facebook dutifully greets me with this message: “Galina, we care about you and the memories you share here. We thought you’d like to look back on this post from 1 year ago.” (Or 9 years ago.)” I love a good time hop as … Continue reading “Facebook Memories Plague Me” Club

“My Boyfriend’s Friends Hit on Me” Club

I’m not generalizing, (I kind of am), but I can bet that at some point if you ever had a boyfriend, and he ever had friends, the likelihood that said friends would hit on you is very high. Like probably. Probably definitely. Most of the time it is completely harmless and can even be flattering, am I right ladies? A boyfriend’s friend hits on you … Continue reading “My Boyfriend’s Friends Hit on Me” Club

“I Pee Anywhere” Club

It’s arguably easier for a man to urinate whenever the need arises than a woman. While I’ve always been a gold-card toting member of the “When I gotta go, I’ll go anywhere Club,” my husband has peed all over the streets of New York City, on the Great Lawn and Sheep’s Meadow in Central Park, on hikes in Hawaii, in the ocean (like the rest … Continue reading “I Pee Anywhere” Club

“I Feel Intensely” Club

I can’t think back to a time when my feelings weren’t INTENSE. No matter what I felt, I experienced it with an exclamation point and it often swung like a pendulum between mildly euphoric and mildly depressed. I was never clinically diagnosed as bipolar because the logical part of my brain is still able to trump the spontaneous one, and seizes control no matter how … Continue reading “I Feel Intensely” Club

“I Don’t Celebrate the 4th of July” Club

“What are we doing for the Fourth?” My husband asks me every year and every year I do a double-take. “The fourth of what?” I didn’t grow up celebrating The Fourth of July, and not because we weren’t glad for American independence; on the contrary, it was for this specifically that we emigrated to America and not for its famed national cuisine of hamburgers and … Continue reading “I Don’t Celebrate the 4th of July” Club

“Chaos Before Vacation” Club

Somehow whenever I plan a vacation, life makes me work extra hard the week before I go to really earn it. (As if writing every day for 182 days doesn’t earn me some mental detachment on the sand of a beach on an island in the middle of the Pacific). We’ve planned this trip for 10 months or 9 years, however, you want to look … Continue reading “Chaos Before Vacation” Club

“I Watched My Dreams Fly Away” Club

I sat on my balcony typing away furiously trying to get on top of my project before our two-week vacation. I had my red composition notebook nearby filled with printed half-stories and two handwritten pages. On the handwritten pages were 40 titles for articles I would write. It was the cheat sheet I had created for myself to get me through this week of writing … Continue reading “I Watched My Dreams Fly Away” Club

“I’m a Frequent Flyer at Michael’s” Club

For those who don’t know Michaels, the arts and crafts store, your wallet is safer. Their slogan is “Where Creativity Happens,” but for me, it’s “Where Losing All Restraint Happens.” To my defense, I do have an art business which mandates frequent visits for necessities such as Canton art board (Made in France!), tacky glue, Swarovski crystals, jewelry beads, silver charms, and buttons. While I’m … Continue reading “I’m a Frequent Flyer at Michael’s” Club

“I Plan Vacations & Want to Cancel Them” Club

I’ve loved to travel for as long as I can remember. The summer after 10th grade I spent in the South of France and Paris; after college, I backpacked through 20 countries in Western Europe and this past decade I’ve followed my photographer husband around 40 of the 50 United States. I have never taken the easy way towards travel either. I’ve seen those “package … Continue reading “I Plan Vacations & Want to Cancel Them” Club

“I’m an Idea Person” Club

Ironically if you asked me if I was a “creative” person, I’d instinctively say, “no!” I am continually spewing ideas. I presume they come from the same part of my brain which generates my verbal diarrhea and while it’s easy for my brain to “storm,” it’s harder for it to filter and drain and even harder still to implement. Ideas can be fun. I have … Continue reading “I’m an Idea Person” Club

“Curing Panic One Page at a Time” Club

I had my first diagnosed panic attack on the NYC subway, on my way to work, when I was 21 years old. For the next two decades, I analyzed various triggers and tried to decipher the puzzle, of which panic attacks are just one piece. Hypochondria is another one, which, like a bully tends to edge the panic on. I’ve also noted in reviewing past … Continue reading “Curing Panic One Page at a Time” Club

“I’m a Procrastinator” Club

I’m a procrastinator and I better write right now. Just as soon as I put in this load of laundry. I’ll have 45 minutes while the washer does its work for me to have a block of uninterrupted writing time. After I loaded six machines, I went for a quick cup of coffee in the kitchen and noticed the terrible mess on the kitchen floor. … Continue reading “I’m a Procrastinator” Club

“I Don’t Run” Club

I’ve tried running for exercise, for the ease of being able to do it anywhere, for the health benefits and mostly in search of the elusive runner’s high. The only problem is the brick wall blocking the running ability in my brain. I’m not an unfit person. I can walk 20 miles. I can rollerblade many miles. I have stamina and agility but my body … Continue reading “I Don’t Run” Club

“My 2 Children Have 2 Fathers” Club

I’m on to husband number two, but in selecting both mates, above all else, I valued a man who would be an exemplary father. The first time I valued it more than connection, respect, passion, honesty with myself. Both times I wanted a partner who was signing up for exactly 50% of the parenting ride; half the diaper changing, feedings, bathing, lunches, doctor’s visits, playdates … Continue reading “My 2 Children Have 2 Fathers” Club

“Finally Taking the Road Not Taken” Club

Dr. Seuss’ Oh The Places You Go is sold in the children’s book section, but could be filed under motivational guide or self-help book. Struggling artists’ and writers should regard the book as a cheerleading bible, whose rhymes ought to be re-read over and over again until we believe them. “You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes.  You can steer … Continue reading “Finally Taking the Road Not Taken” Club

“I’m on My Second Marriage” Club

I never thought I’d get married, never thought I’d have kids, never thought I’d get divorced, DEFINITELY NEVER EVER thought I’d get remarried, God forbid. I’ll take my hypocritical bow as I acknowledge, even after four decades, I know shit about life, which continues to school me and remind me how words like ‘never’ should never be uttered from my pouty lips. Time can bring … Continue reading “I’m on My Second Marriage” Club

“I Chopped My Hair Off” Club

It’s interesting how much value we attach to hair. There are entire religious ceremonies revolving around a child’s first haircut. My long hair has always been a source of pride and protection; an ever-present shield from the world. In junior high school, right as I finally felt somewhat popular, I went for a trendy haircut at the mall. Somehow in a manic moment, channeling my … Continue reading “I Chopped My Hair Off” Club

“I’m Everyone’s Cheerleader” Club

I never realized how much time of my adult life would be devoted to cheerleading. Thinking back to childhood, I never participated in any events which elicited pom-poms and rah-rah action. It thoroughly surprises me how this grown-up role of perpetual cheerleader comes to me naturally. I encourage my son at track meets, I clap loudly at my daughter’s dance recital, and when my husband … Continue reading “I’m Everyone’s Cheerleader” Club

“I’m Not a Pocket Person” Club

I don’t like to keep things in my pockets; I never did. I appreciate pockets as a resting place for idle hands or for a good pose, but I never thought pockets were convenient for storing things like wallets, keys, cell phones. I’m like the Princess and the Pea and I feel anything and everything in any pocket. After college, I purchased two “lady business suits” (one … Continue reading “I’m Not a Pocket Person” Club

“I Write to Live and Live to Write” Club

When I started my 365 project, I had no idea how it would really affect my life and the lives of my immediate family. My project would entail a total re-shift of my priorities this year and within a month, it was evident around my house. Dishes lived in the sink longer than usual, dust bunnies grew in the corners, and the 8 loads of … Continue reading “I Write to Live and Live to Write” Club

“I Doodle” Club

I fidget – a lot! My husband doesn’t understand us fidgeters, even though he is his own breed of fidgeter. He gave his condition a clinical diagnosis: Shaking Leg Syndrome. I call it fidgeting. He just can’t keep his leg still any more than I can keep my fingers idle. I’ve been doodling as therapy for as long as I can remember. I have never … Continue reading “I Doodle” 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

“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 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 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 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 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 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 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