It’s been an interesting week.
Perhaps I should give some explanation to the poster above.
Or maybe it should just come later.
Let’s start here: I’ve been dieting.
For those of you who follow the blog, or at least read the last post, you know that I tried doing a carb reductive diet and, mostly, I’ve stuck to it.
I haven’t eaten a significant portion of bread or potatoes or rice in about a week and a half. I’ve stayed away from anything with added sugar.
My only times breaking were drinks, with no mixers, once to celebrate the launch of “Skinnygirl Sangria”, which I think would have been disrespectful if I wasn’t drinking it at the party, and once to commemorate good-man Chadd Harbold’s first week down on his first feature film.
Both times, I tried to keep it to a limit. I break rules sometimes about fried things, because they are delicious and their restriction seems less based on the science of my diet and more on heart concerns for people who are not 24 (I said “23” out loud when I typed that).
But mostly I’ve been good, which has changed me, how?
Well, I’ve been cycling through rapid mood swings in the mornings even for me, veering between sadness and anger and a nervous energy, the last of which is at least applicable to some improv. My book calls this “sugar withdrawal” and it’s the first real withdrawal of any kind I’ve gone through, at least in my memory.
Sometimes this means I just need to drink a coffee (sugar-free vanilla, 1-percent milk, not allowed Soy, too much sugar) or a swig of the Diet Coke in my refrigerator. Sometimes it means I need to eat a salad somewhere and wait.
Or sometimes, like Thursday, it means I get anxious and upset and my eyes see red and I tell most of my friends to go fuck themselves to their faces and storm out, catch a cab and retreat to an improv show, wondering why, as soon as I’ve extricated myself, I was just such a douchebag.
It’s the diet, but is it the diet? I counseled a friend who recently went through a bipolar break that they didn’t have to own their behavior, this was something they couldn’t control, the first time it had manifested. But they told me, laughingly, in the psych ward that was the only thing they kept telling them: that it was their behavior, their thoughts, their ability to control.
Maybe I should tell the story:
It was a Thursday night and I’d spent most of the day whittling down a 2-minute monologue about my blog that I had to perform for an audition I’d been asked to. It was the story of getting over a girl and how writing about it had helped and it was raunchy and weird and funny-ish. I rehearsed it over and over in my head, in the mirror, in the hallway of Shetler Studios, waiting to be called. I headed in and gave my monologue, thinking I had confidence in it, that it would kill, I had been asked to audition, after all, I could use this story, go to Moth or RISK story-slams and tell it, my pseudo-celebrity would help, this was one of the nice things, I bombed.
Or I don’t know if I bombed, I was fine, they didn’t laugh. But they called me in to read a bunch of other stuff, lines tweets, other people’s blog posts. I kept doing three or four callbacks into the room until they let the person next to me stay and told me to go.
And I hadn’t auditioned in a while. And I just felt silly in my expectations. And an hour earlier I had dropped my halal chicken platter into the cart-man’s metal bucket of lettuce, to much Arabic cursing.
Basically, I felt like a fuck-up.
I went to the end of my improv class that I’d missed, was told a rare “good work today” on my way out, but literally didn’t hear it with my headphones in and then when I took them out, still didn’t hear it either. It was another situation that was the bane of me, commitments to two different groups of friends I’d made, to see my friend’s show at the Magnet, or to go out karaoke-ing with Rob and Blake and Andrew Parrish (who had gamely come with to the Skinnygirl party earlier). I chose Karaoke but didn’t tell them I was definitely coming, thinking I just needed the catharsis, to yell, to croon, even if I couldn’t get drunk, I felt it, it’d be enough. Shaun Farrugia would understand if I missed his show, as long as I could tell myself and him that I was doing what I needed to to let off steam.
When I got to Planet Rose, the screens were all funked-up and Rob and crew were nowhere to be found. I discovered via texting and calling that too many of the machines were broken and the only ones working were in the back where people were concentrated and that they had all gone to play billiards and I should come.
Billiards? Billiards! I thought. This is what I would ditch my friend Shaun for? This is what I would not do unto others as I would have them do unto me for? I would violate my ethical code to go stand around and watch people play pool while I couldn’t drink because of my diet and just feel like crap and continue to feel like crap.
And of course what made me angriest of all is that I let myself be talked into this, I made decisions I shouldn’t have.
And when I walked into Amsterdam Billiards I was angry already and started yelling at them and being sarcastic as they obvious were just standing around playing pool. Where was my catharsis?
When Dan Pleck came in, who I had invited off his late-night work to tell me that we had to pay-up or leave even if weren’t playing pool, I told my friends to go fuck themselves and got in a cab.
The show at the Magnet was good and I even made it in time. It felt good to support my friends there and to see people I knew. But it just kept nagging at me after.
As I made that lade night walk, as I do so many nights now, to that 23rd St CE train station, I saw a post-dated poster for Mike Birbiglia’s “My Girlfriend’s Boyfriend”, a storytelling show my mom had seen and thought was good.
And as you can see, someone had visually told him to go suck a dick.
I wish I had a better reason than that to through that in there, but I don’t. I guess just looking at that at 20 past midnight made me just think or surrender a little bit. Or back down.
When I got home, I texted my friends apologies and they all accepted.
I don’t own a scale, but I tried stepping on a novelty “Weight/Horoscope” machine in Penn Station about a week ago.
It told me I was about as heavy as I thought I was. So I’ll step on it again when I’m done with this.
And try to tell how crazy at least a few things are.
So in case you guys were wondering what I ate during all this dieting, it sometimes looked like this, though actually, this was a night that I was treating myself.
I had just helped my boss Jason move into his new apartment, shipped a bunch of things and schlepped around the city with my laptop in my backpack, weighing me down and causing me to sweat clean through the back of my shirt, which I wish I could say does not happen often.
Anyway, he lives near Tamarind Tribeca so that’s where I went afterwards to recuperate.
I ate a bowl of Chicken Tikka Masala, no flour or sugar in it, they assured me, with no rice and no naan, eating less of the sauce than I normally would.
With this diet, it seems like the way to survive is to find ways to treat yourself, to find things that would seem bad but are permitted, to find ways to indulge other pathways, thus super-ceding the need for potatoes and stuff.
Chicken Tikka Masala from Tamarind Tribeca is perhaps the best example of such a thing, creamy, with saffron and fenugreek, brought steaming to you sitting over at the hyper-modern bar.
The attendent outside recognized me and invited me in. I even met up with a girl I knew from college.
But, in both cases, I didn’t get anything special because of who I am.
I guess I’ll have to find a way to treat myself emotionally, someday.
Chicken Tikka Masala- $21.50 (!) *Not my normal expenditure.
SW Corner of Hudson and Franklin Sts.
1 to Franklin St.