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Weekly Events Thread 12/2/19 - 12/8/19
Please, feel free to add any events below! Check out the Events Calendar and Visitor's Guide for more info!
Looking to meet up with people? Check out Meetup St. Louis.
- “A Spirited Holiday Past” through Historic St. Louis
- December 7, 2019
- Twenty-seven historic sites, museums, and privately-owned homes are once again joining together to present a grand holiday tour. For this one-day event, each venue will be decorated in a festive flair and serving refreshments. Many sites will also have special entertainment, whether it be a costumed skit, music, or seasonal activity. Create your own tour or utilize the themed tours to enjoy the holiday spirit of yesteryear.
- Anheuser Busch Brewery Lights
- November 22, 2019 - December 30, 2019
- Brewery Lights is a family-friendly event, open to all ages at no cost. Guests can attend every Friday through Sunday, from 5 to 10 p.m.
- Join others when they Flip The Switch on November 22nd with St. Louis Blues Captain, Alex Pietrangelo.
- Witness and experience the magic of more than a million twinkling lights during the 34th annual Brewery Lights at the Anheuser-Busch St. Louis Brewery! Guests are invited to stroll down Pestalozzi Street to marvel as the brewery is turned into a remarkable holiday experience with something for everyone, including a Kids Zone.
- Breakfast with Santa at the Saint Louis Zoo
- December 7, 2019 - December 22, 2019 (Saturdays & Sundays)
- Bring the whole family for a festive holiday experience at the Zoo. Your joeys will jump for joy as they meet Santa and his holiday helpers, and you’ll be in a merry mood with complimentary parking and a delicious meal.
- Cherokee Antique Row Cookie Spree (36th Annual)
- December 7, 2019
- Celebrate Historic Cherokee Antique Rows’ 36th Annual Christmas cookie spree. The festivities take place 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Cherokee Street between Jefferson Ave. & DeMenil, Saturday December 7. Come experience Antique Row as it comes alive for Christmas.
- Christmas at the Cathedral Basilica
- December 8, 2019
- Experience the joy of the music of Christmas with the St. Louis Archdiocesan Choirs and Orchestra.
- Crawl the Grove
- December 7, 2019
- The Young Friends of Forest ReLeaf celebrate each year with an ugly sweater pub crawl! This year, they'll be meeting up at 1 p.m. at the Gramophone (check-in begins at 12:30 p.m.). Highlights of the crawl include free koozies and other merchandise, as well as a raffle with gift cards to fun locations across St. Louis. All 21+ are welcome. Come out and support the reforestation of Missouri! Don't forget your ugly sweater!
- Deck the Streets of St. Charles
- December 7, 2019
- Now in its fourth year, Deck the Streets has become a holiday favorite. The event will kick off at 10:00 a.m. with the movie Elf at the AMC Theatre. Admission is free with a donation of two canned good items per person. Once again this year, all donations will benefit OASIS Food Pantry which serves residents in St. Charles County, offering a variety of non-perishable food items, and other items needed by families. The always-popular Selfies with Elfies, photos with Santa and hot chocolate bar will take place from 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. in the lobby of the 1520 South Fifth Street building.
- Fieldhouse Museum's Holiday Splendor
- December 1, 2019 - December 28, 2019 (Closed on Mondays)
- The Field House Museum is decorated for the holiday season featuring modern décor blended with the Museum’s toy collection.
- First Fridays in Grand Center
- December 6, 2019
- The Kranzberg Arts Center and Craft Alliance Center of Art+Design invite you to celebrate “First Fridays in Grand Center”- every first Friday of the month. Featuring live demos, complimentary cocktail samples, and live music.
- Garden Glow at the Missouri Botanical Garden
- November 23, 2019 - January 4, 2020
- Garden Glow features a million lights surrounding visitors with a spectacle of unique installations amid some of the Garden’s most iconic locations. Enjoy interactive photo opportunities, traditional holiday music and festivities, delicious food and drinks and more as the Garden is transformed around you into a winter wonderland.
- Santa will visit Garden Glow from 5 to 8 p.m. on Monday and Tuesday nights from November 25 through December 17. (Note: Garden Glow is not open on Dec. 9.)
- Grinchmas and Cocoa Crawl on South Grand
- December 7, 2019
- The Grinch will be arriving in the South Grand neighborhood in the city of St. Louis on Saturday, Dec. 7 with an unusual motive: to spread holiday cheer and joy and to raise funds for Shriners Hospitals for Children.
- History Made: St. Louis Blues Exhibit
- Running until January 26, 2020
- History was made on June 12, 2019. It’s a date that will forever live in St. Louis sports history. On that day, the St. Louis Blues hoisted the Stanley Cup for the first time. On Tuesday, Oct. 1, 2019, the Missouri History Museum, in collaboration with the St. Louis Blues, will open History Made.
- Featuring more than 20 artifacts on loan from the St. Louis Blues from the historic playoff run and the Stanley Cup Finals, History Made tells the story of the underdog team that took home the NHL’s highest honor and united its community in the process.
- Holiday in the Park at Six Flags
- November 23 - January 1, 2020
- A dazzling winter spectacular featuring more than a million glittering lights, holiday entertainment, delicious seasonal treats, visits with Santa and many of our popular theme park rides. Combine holiday traditions with a thrilling family experience that is uniquely Six Flags.
- Six Flags St. Louis extends its season and will be open weekends and select weekdays from November 23 through January 1, 2020 for this one-of-a-kind magical event.
- A unique mix of holiday cheer with some of your favorite coasters & thrill rides makes Holiday in the Park a family tradition like no other. Meet Santa Claus in the North Pole or jump on Mind Eraser or Roar for a mid-winter rush. Then you can roast marshmallows near a cracking wood fire before you catch one of our many holiday shows.
- Industry Night at The Last Hotel Rooftop
- December 8, 2019
- This is a recurring event every Sunday until December 29, 2019 (that's as far as they have planned).
- Industry night is a way to gather with your friends, blow of some steam, and toast a day off... you earned it.
- It's a Wonderful Life at The Grandel Theatre
- December 6-8, 2019
- Metro Theater Company presents "It’s a Wonderful Life" at the Grandel Theatre, November 17 - December 15.
- The beloved American holiday classic leaps to life on stage in a delightful, heartwarming new adaptation by playwright John Wolbers. Wolbers' "It’s a Wonderful Life" has a clever twist: it's staged as a play within a play, more specifically a radio play within a play.
- On Christmas Eve 1949, KMTC Radio St. Louis is prepared to perform a live radio broadcast of "It’s a Wonderful Life," when unexpected events transform the station’s staff into the radio play’s actors. Complete with microphones, live sound effects by a Foley artist, 1940s period costumes, and a diverse company of characters, the play tells the story of George Bailey and his discovery of the life-affirming message that one life can change the whole fabric of a community.
- Lafayette Square Holiday House Tour
- December 8, 2019
- Experience the wonder of the holiday season by touring Lafayette Square on Sunday, Dec. 8 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The self-guided Holiday Parlor Tour begins at the Park House, 2023 Lafayette, where tour-goers pick up their tickets, starting at 9:30 a.m. This year's tour features unique homes, including Victorian-era "painted ladies" and two apartments in a beautifully renovated historic building that once housed canvas awnings and mops. Visitors are also in for a musical treat; singers from Opera Theatre St. Louis will perform songs of the season at one of the tour homes.
- The Loading Dock Ice Rink in Grafton, IL
- November 23, 2019 - March 8, 2020
- It’s that time of year! The Loading Dock Bar & Grill in Grafton is gearing up for the Grand Re-Opening of their Ice Skating Rink on Saturday, November 23rd. Each November The Boatworks is transformed into a Winter Wonderland offering ice skating, s’mores tables, and a full menu and bar, that is sure to entertain adults and kids alike.
- The rink will be open Friday, Saturday, & Sunday through March 8. 2020 with extended hours during Thanksgiving and Christmas breaks. Special events this year include a visit from Santa and a New Years Eve party.
- Maplewood Christmas Tree Walk
- December 6, 2019
- From costumed carolers to horse drawn carriage rides, the Maplewood Christmas Tree Walk radiates holiday spirit that is reminiscent of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol!
- After the grand lighting of the tree and the arrival of Santa, visitors can enjoy a carriage ride and sip hot chocolate while visiting merchant open houses throughout Maplewood. Business storefronts will be decked out for the season with many featuring live entertainment, complimentary refreshments and special discounts throughout the evening.
- Miracle Christmas Pop Up Bar
- November 25, 2019 - December 31, 2019
- Venue: Small Change 2800 Indiana Avenue St. Louis, MO 63118
- Miracle is a Christmas-themed pop-up cocktail bar that serves holiday cocktails in a festive setting. With kitschy holiday décor, professionally-developed cocktails and the nostalgic energy of the best office party you’ve ever been to, Miracle is sure to get even the grouchiest grinch in the holiday spirit.
- Movie Nights at St. Louis Union Station
- December 6-7, 2019
- Movie: The Polar Express
- Gather around the fire pits and celebrate St. Louis Union Station's 125th anniversary with free showings of the classic "Meet Me in St. Louis" every Friday & Saturday night in October.
- Enjoy free fire & light shows on the lake. Ticketed rides are available on the new St. Louis Wheel & the Carousel and mini-golf is open for players. Have dinner or treats at the Soda Fountain
- December 6-7, 2019
- Polar Express Train Ride
- November 29, 2019 - December 30, 2019
- Guests will take a real train ride from St. Louis Union Station to the 'North Pole' and discover the magical journey of one boy's search for the real meaning of Christmas. The Train Ride departs from St. Louis Union Station for a 45-minute adventure to the North Pole. The train ride is promised to be filled with magic, songs, and cheer.
- Santa’s Wonderland at Cabela’s
- November 16 - December 24, 2019
- Santa’s Wonderland is a free family Christmas event returning to Cabela’s this holiday season. Hazelwood and surrounding area families are invited to enjoy this enchanting Christmas village offering free 4x6 studio-quality photos with Santa and free family holiday activities including fun crafts and games.
- Features include rustic Christmas cabins, holiday characters and live elves set amongst a dazzling backdrop of snow-covered hills and illuminated Christmas trees. Kids can enjoy free crafts, coloring stations and write a letter to Santa.
- Sippin' Santa Christmas Pop Up Bar
- November 25 - December 28, 2019
- A "Pop-Up" Tiki Christmas Cocktail bar. Join others for a month of holiday cocktails and celebration!
- Sittin’ on the Porch Open Jam at the National Blues Museum
- December 5, 2019
- 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm
- Join others at the ‘Sitting on the Porch’ Thursday night jam sessions, from 6PM – 9PM. These events are just that – jam sessions – where musicians can just show up and join in the fun.
- NBM volunteer Jesse Lopez will be running the jam session here at the National Blues Museum! It’s FREE to attend, just bring your own gear.
- Soulard Farmer's Market
- Wednesday - Saturday
- 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
- Soulard Farmers Market is located at 730 Carroll Street in St. Louis, Missouri, a half mile north of the Anheuser-Busch Brewery. The market is open Wednesday through Saturday, year round. They feature locally grown and shipped in goods, including: produce, meats, cheeses, spices, gourmet kettle corn, flowers, baked goods, and general merchandise. There are also several different eateries that have many food options, which allows customers the convenience to grab a quick bite to eat and a drink while shopping.
- St. Louis Zoo Wild Lights
- November 29, 2019 - December 30. 2019
- Delight in over 1 million twinkling lights and whimsical animal-themed displays across Zoo grounds.
- Steinberg Ice Skating Rink in Forest Park
- November 15, 2019 - March 1, 2020
- Steinberg Skating Rink is the largest outdoor ice skating rink in the Midwest, offering public skating all day, everyday—including all holidays. Your skate admission is valid for all day. You may arrive at anytime during business hours & skate as long as you like.
- Up on the Rooftop Holiday Pop-up Cocktail Experience
- November 29, 2019 - December 31, 2019
- Go "Up on the Rooftop" for a whimsical holiday cocktail pop-up experience with extreme decor and delicious seasonal drinks, small plates and more. Three Sixty at the top of the Hilton at the Ballpark overlooks the downtown lights and the glowing Gateway Arch. Cozy indoor spaces and outdoor patio fire pits.
- When the Blues Go Marching In
- December 2, 2019
- Author and sports writer Dan O'Neill will be giving a free audio/visual presentation on the history of the St. Louis Blues on Mon, December 2 at 6 p.m. at the West End Grill & Pub, located at 354 N. Boyle. The event is free, but reservations are recommended by calling 314-531-4607. Guests may also purchase dinner or drinks while they listen to the presentation. Dan's new book "When the Blues Go Marching In: Championship Edition" will be available for purchase after the event.
- Wild Lights at the Saint Louis Zoo
- November 29, 2019 - December 30, 2019
- Wild Lights at the Saint Louis Zoo offers a chance for you to stroll through an enchanting holiday experience.
- WinterMarkt at Urban Chestnut
- November 30, 2019 - December 21, 2019 (Saturdays Only)
- Usher in the holiday season with a “traditional” European WinterMarkt at Urban Chestnut’s Midtown Brewery & Biergarten. Eat, drink, and be merry with local vendors on hand for holiday shopping
- Winter Wonderland at Tilles Park
- November 22, 2019 - January 2, 2020
- 5:30 pm - 9:30 pm
- Enjoy a stroll through more than one million twinkling lights at Winter Wonderland. Tickets are $6, not including MetroTix fees. Pre-registration is required. Dogs on a leash, cameras, strollers and wagons are all welcome. Desserts, hot chocolate, and other beverages will be available for purchase. Also, be on the lookout for a special visitor from the North Pole until 8:45 pm!
- Winterfest at the Arch
- November 23 - January 26, 2019 (Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays)
- A favorite St. Louis winter tradition for all ages, the fourth annual Winterfest, presented by Bank of America and World Wide Technologies returns to Kiener Plaza and features a community ice rink, a Winter Market shopping district, reserved Igloo seating with Sugarfire table service and more exciting events than ever before.
Sporting Events This Week
- St. Louis Cardinals schedule
- St. Louis Blues schedule
- St. Louis FC schedule
- Gateway Grizzlies schedule
- Gateway Motorsports Park
- SoFar St. Louis
- Experience the Gateway to the West with Sofar! From The Grove to Cherokee Street to The Loop, they're reimagining live events through curated, secret performances in intimate settings. Come mingle with touring acts, local and international artists, fellow music lovers and our imaginative hosts.
- St. Louis Symphony Concert Calendar
- Celebrated as one of today's most exciting and enduring orchestras, the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra is the second-oldest orchestra in the country, marking its 140th year with the 2019/2020 season and its first with Music Director Stéphane Denève. Widely considered one of the world's finest orchestras, the SLSO maintains its commitment to artistic excellence, educational impact, and community connections – all in service to its mission of enriching lives through the power of music.
- This calendar includes the following venues.
- Blueberry Hill Duck Room
- Delmar Hall
- Halo Bar
- The Pageant
- Other Live Music Venue Calendars
"Disability" MD: I'm 29 years old, make $50/hr plus $1500/month from family, live in Brooklyn, and am a teacher/grad student
Hi all, I wrote this for the “disability” series on R29 in July, but it was never published. I got nervous about being recognized, so I think this is a better venue for me anyways. Just after this diary was written, I was hired to teach writing at the college level (a different position than I discuss in the diary), so I now earn an extra $600-$1000/month. This is allowing me to dip into my savings less as I pay for my various medical expenses.
At the time this was written:
Profession: Yoga teacheGraduate Student Income: Yoga teaching $400-900/month at $50/hr Parents $1500/month
Monthly Expenses Rent - $860 (1 room in a 4 bed, 1-bath apartment) Internet - $18 (my share) Utilities - $40-70 (my share) Gym - $55 Monthly unlimited metro card - $127 Apartment fund (we use this for shared expenses like TP, paper towel, etc.) - $10 Spotify - $10 Hulu - $8 Netflix - $8 NYMag - $5 Therapy - $3700 (yes, a month, paid for by parents) Health/Dental Insurance - $0 (combination of Medicaid and No-fault insurance provided through open car accident case - see below for more information) Phone - $0 (still on family plan) Student loans - $0 (undergrad paid for by my family, grad school number 1 a combination of savings/inheritance, part time work, scholarships, teaching, and fellowships, grad school #2 savings/inheritance and hopefully a scholarship) Credit Card debt - $0 (I use my card like a debit and pay it off in full every month)
Other Expenses Pet insurance - $1,000/year Emotional Support Animal Documentation - $130/year Grad School Tuition - $6,000/semester Donations - $500-1000/year towards Planned Parenthood, ACLU, RAICES, Elizabeth Warren, etc.
Assets Checking Account - $1500 Savings Account - $20,000
Investment Accounts - $225,000 (inheritance from deceased grandparents)Regarding my medical situation: I don’t think of myself as “disabled,” but I do have extenuating health circumstances that affect my daily life and finances. I have been living with mental illness for my whole life, with diagnoses including eating disorders, anxiety, and OCD. I was hospitalized for 9 weeks last summer (2018) for treatment, and have been doing much better since. That hospitalization was paid in part by my old health insurance, and the rest covered by my family. I currently see two different therapists (they have different specialties) a total of three times a week, plus a psychiatrist once a month. They are all out of network, thus I (my parents) pay out of pocket. A few months after I returned to NYC from the hospital, I was hit by a car while walking. Luckily I’ve been able to have some healthcare costs covered by the driver’s insurance, but recovery has been more complicated than we initially imagined and I’m still, 7 months later, in rigorous physical therapy. When concerning neurologic symptoms started showing up a few months ago, I had to seek insight from specialists who don’t take the car accident insurance, so parents are helping with these costs as well. I am paying for physical therapy and ancillary therapies not covered by my insurance (medical massage, acupuncture) from my savings/inheritance. As a yoga teacher and former professional dancer, physical recovery is one of my highest priorities.
Regarding insurance and general money situation: Medicaid eligibility is based on income, not total assets, so I enrolled when my health insurance through grad school ran out last fall. Since returning from the hospital, I’ve been teaching yoga and nannying. I planned to get a full-time job with benefits and applied to openings aggressively for 7 months, but a combination of recovering from mental illness, getting hit by a car, and just general job competition resulted in me not getting hired. I decided to go back to school for a second Master’s degree in Public Policy/Administration (my first was a fine-arts degree) with the hope that in this program I will gain skills that will make me more hirable once I graduate. I hoped to be far more financially independent by this point, but am eternally grateful for the support my family is able and willing to provide. Without their help, I would be - like many others in this country - in unimaginable debt, institutionalized, and/or unable to access the care I need. My parents pay for my therapy and other medical care, and give me $1500/month to help with living costs. The remaining money I spend comes from yoga teaching income and my savings/investment accounts. I always imagined I’d use the inheritance for a first house, future children’ education, and/or donations to social justice causes, but I suppose these aren’t possible unless I take care of my health now, so healthcare it is.
1 - Saturday 4:am - Puppy wakes me up whining and barking in her pen (she sleeps in her crate, which opens up into a gated pen in my room). We’re deep in the middle of house training, so I have to take her out when she whines, but I also don’t want to establish a pattern of playing with her in the middle of the night. I take her out for a couple minutes then put her back in her pen. She whines for about 45 minutes but we both fall back asleep.
6:45 am - Up again. Pup and I go out for a walk and spend some time in the dog park a couple blocks from the apartment. It’s a little empty because it’s so early on a weekend, but she spends a solid few minutes eating wood chips. We head back home and she eats breakfast while I brush my teeth and do my morning skincare routine (Mario Badescu face wash and toner, facial sunscreen, Argan oil). Hang out with pup while catching up on some emails, then take another nap.
12 pm Up for the day. When I got the pup, I hoped her schedule would help regulate my sleeping schedule. Ha. But she’s been such a joy these past few months (She’s 5 months old, and I got her at 10 weeks!) and I’m so happy we’re together. We head to the dog park again (so lucky we live so close!) and then back home so she can rest and I can eat “breakfast” - yogurt with fruit and peanut butter.
1 pm - realize I need to cancel my afternoon plans - I was so exhausted this morning and slept for so long that now I don’t have time to hang with my friend before my night plans. I apologetically text A to reschedule, then work on some math homework for my online grad school course while drinking iced coffee I made at home.
2 pm - For the rest of the afternoon, I move between math homework, cleaning my room/the apartment, editing a manuscript by my friend/ex-partner (long story…), doing my at-home physical therapy exercises, showering, and playing with pup. Feeling a little anxious about not working out - I used to work out intensively 6-7 days a week, but this has changed dramatically since getting hit by a car. Admittedly, my relationship to exercise wasn’t healthy, so this forced step-back is perhaps a lesson I needed to learn anyway. Still, it’s hard to go from heavy lifting and interval training multiple times a week to not being able to do any impact exercises at all; now I mainly walk and use the stair master.
7:45 – B comes over for our first at-one-of-our-apartment dates. We’ve seen each other a couple of times and I like him, but given the madness of this past year I feel nervous about engaging romantically with someone. I also got out of a really serious but complicated relationship a year ago (the writer of the manuscript I’m editing), and feeling compelled to date around/not settle down with someone. At any rate, we have fun hanging out, playing with puppy, working on math (he’s about to finish his PhD in math and said he didn’t mind…), drinking wine, etc.
2 - Sunday 7 am - Up to take pup to the dog park, and text B (who’s in my bed…) that I left so he doesn’t worry if he wakes up. I wasn’t sure if I wanted him to stay and I’m still not sure I did, but he’s very sweet and I’m just unsure about a lot of things right now. Puppy and I come home and B and I lay in bed talking and cuddling for a while.
9:45 – B leaves and I go through my morning routine (tooth brush, face wash, etc.). Breakfast of yogurt, fruit, peanut butter, and oats. I didn’t eat yesterday other than the meal at noon, so I’m trying to boost today with some add-ons. I am in a much better place with my eating than I was, say, ten years ago, but it’s a roller coaster and things haven’t been great for the past 8 months or so. I have trouble eating with people, and eating when I don’t have control of when/what I eat. It’s taken a back-burner this year as I’ve been in treatment for other mental illnesses and recovering from injury, but it’s on my radar, and I don’t endorse my eating habits…
10:30 - Spend the next few hours napping (we went to bed at 3 last night…), planning for my yoga class, editing my ex’s manuscript, and playing with puppy. At some point I eat a snack of leftover cooked greens and some carrots with peanut butter
2:30 - walk to teach yoga (a couple miles away) while talking on the phone with aforementioned ex. We are not getting back together for many reasons, but we’ve recently reconnected and are trying to be friends. It’s really nice to talk to him but hard to know we can’t pursue a relationship.
4:00 - Teach yoga. I really like teaching here - have been doing so for almost a year now. I’ve met some really sweet people and made friends with several students who come to my class. I’ve been practicing yoga for over ten years and teaching on and off for 8 or so, but this is the first long-term, regular yoga teaching gig I’ve had. I was always really nervous to teach, because I didn’t want to participate in the way yoga studios are only accessible to people with a lot of time/money resources, and because I had some difficult relationships with my yoga teachers and I don’t want to harm anyone or otherwise perpetuate a problematic teacher-student dynamic, but it’s been lovely this past year to teach in a playful, friendly environment.
5:30 - walk back to my place while talking on the phone to a dear friend who lives across the country; we get off the phone and I run into a friend from grad school #1, so I stop to chat for a bit. I love running into friends in the city, it makes me feel like I’m forming connections here and starting to belong. I take the pup out, shower, etc.
7:00 sign on to a virtual meeting for my math class. The professor goes over our assignments, answers any questions, etc.
8:00 - Make dinner while talking to parents (who live out of state) on the phone. Dinner is a stir-fry of broccoli, edamame, garlic, onion, and soy sauce, with some extra veggies and hummus on the side and a couple pieces of bread.
9:30 - I play with pup, clean her ears, brush her hair, brush her teeth, etc. Eat dessert of frozen yogurt with chocolate and fruit. Lights out by 11:30
3 - Monday 6:45 - Puppy slept through the night! We head out to the dog park, where she is singled out as The One to Hump. She can’t quite defend herself yet so we get out of there pretty quick and wander on leash for a bit before returning home so I can feed her and do my morning routine.
8 - I intended to work on the manuscript editing/ do some math homework, but end up falling asleep. I struggle with feeling guilty about napping/worrying that I’m sleeping too much (in the past I’ve gone through phases of wanting to sleep all day, as well as phases of barely sleeping at all), but these days I’m trying to be more intuitive, and just let myself sleep when I feel tired. The combination of having a puppy + allowing my body to recover from injury is helping me to relax a bit about this confusion. I feel perpetually guilty because I’m not working full time, and tend to wonder about “what if my family couldn’t afford to help me and thus I had to work full time? Would I get sicker and sicker? Or would I just be forced to actually take care of myself and things would magically improve?” I am ashamed to have resources handed to me when I know so many people don’t, though I suppose this is why I’m going back to school - so hopefully my future career can help efforts to resist and amend this kind of inequality.
10 - Eat yogurt with berries and nuts, then Head to Physical Therapy
12:45 - At PT, we continue to focus on regaining mobility in my neck and spine. Things are on the right track, but it’s a slow process. ($125, I get a special rate for dancers, but they don’t take my insurance). After, I head to the gym for 40 minutes split between the stair master and arctrainer. On my way home I pick up masking tape ($4.69), toothpaste ($3.69), almond milk ($4.69), and some prescriptions (covered by insurance). (125 medical, 13.68 other)
2:30 - I head home to play with puppy, shower, and drink a matcha latte (made at home.)
3 - head out with puppy to therapy ($300/hour, included in monthly expenses). Puppy is adorable (I know I’m biased, but outside sources confirm) and we get stopped all the time when we’re out together. I don’t mind for the most part - I’m happy to socialize, and the whole situation really helps get me grounded and out of my head. Some people are weird though… there’s a woman who follows us around in the dog park… this time, thankfully, no weirdos, just people smiling at this adorable creature. We stop by at the dog park on the way home so puppy can tire herself out. Hoping to keep up this sleeping-through-the-night thing.
6:30 - Back home, pup is eating, I’m doing a bit of math studying. Then cook dinner of scrambled eggs and cheese, toast, and veggies on the side.
10:30 - In bed with nightly fruit/chocolate dessert. asleep in an hour.
Total: (125, medical. 13.68, other)
4 - Tuesdy 1:45 - Take puppy out 5:45 - Take puppy out 8 - Awake for the day, puppy and I head to the dog park. One of us sits on a bench and one of us eats sticks. We spend an hour and then head home so I can feed her and do my morning routine.
10 - One of my roommates and I spend some time cleaning the apartment. It’s always the two of us maintaining order, and we talk a bit about how we might distribute the work more evenly. Really hoping to upgrade living situations before I’m 30…
10:30 - breakfast - yogurt with berries and almond butter, then work on math homework, then head to therapist #2, and stop by the gym after to do my PT exercises (therapy is $250/hour, included in monthly expenses). I also drop by Trader Joe’s to pick up a few things - tomatoes, mushrooms, cold brew coffee concentrate, eggs, kale, peaches, bananas, almond milk (the almond milk I bought yesterday had little chunks of white stuff in it… yuck), and tofu (31.76). I also pick up a couple pints of blueberries for a dollar each at a street vendor (2).
4 - play with puppy
4:30 - Walk to medical massage appointment. The bodyworker is a friend and also a performing artist, so she’s really gifted and intuitive at working with me to figure out how to address things holistically. She gives me a dancer rate for these weekly massages, which is still steep at $100, medical.
7 - Run home to pick up pup, then head out to meet a friend for a reading (I bring pup because the bookstore allows dogs). I met G in treatment last summer - we were both in the same psychiatric hospital. She just moved to the city; it’s really lovely to be able to spend time with her when we’re both doing so much better. Really moving to realize this time last year, we were barely functioning, and here we are, living our lives in the city. I’m excited for her and her pursuits, and looking forward to the hopefully-not-too-distant-future when I’ll be more financially independent and be able to contribute more.
9:30 - home, assemble a random dinner of tofu, lots of veggies, some hummus, and bread. I normally teach yoga Tuesday nights, but another teacher asked me to cover their class in a future week so he took mine today. Good timing, because I have to be up really early tomorrow, and I usually don’t get home from class until almost 11. bed at 11
(100, medical. 33.76, other)
5 - Wednesday 4:45 - Take pup out 5:45 - Up for good, go for a walk with pup, play with her, feed her, do my mourning routine, etc.
7 - I’m at a different location for PT; my regular therapist sent me to her colleague at another office because she said he’s more skilled at working with a few of my symptoms. I’m really grateful for her care and creative thinking, and her willingness to share other practitioners’ expertise with me. I have a double session, but am only charged for one. This PT is incredibly kind, knowledgable, and empathetic. (125, medical)
8:30 - head to the gym for a quick cardio workout
10 - At a new doctor’s office to get a second opinion from a neurologist. I was in and out of the ER for a few days a couple months ago due to a weird physical symptom that appeared in the healing process after the accident, and was put on the waitlist to see this neurologist, who couldn’t take me for 8 weeks. In the meantime, I saw a different neurologist, who was able to evaluate me immediately but didn’t take my insurance. After multiple tests showed nothing clinically significant, Dr. T said she thought these symptoms would go away, but they haven’t. I’m pretty confident that I’m on the right track with PT, but I nevertheless kept this appointment with Dr. Z because it’s covered by my No-Fault insurance, and it seems reasonable to get a second opinion as I’m still figuring out the best course of action to take (covered by no-fault) . 11 - Well, that appointment was not helpful. Dr. Z suggested these symptoms were neuropsychological, rather than physiological. I am not a doctor, however I have studied, and experienced, the way that doctors (especially male doctors) can make assumptions about women’s pain/experiences and label them as psychosomatic when there is in fact an anatomical/physiological pathology. Leave very frustrated, nearly in tears, but have to remind myself that I have some wonderful professionals on my side who DO believe me, and also, I have a puppy, so nothing’s really that bad. 12 - home to walk puppy and finally eat “breakfast” (yogurt, berries, almond butter)
1:30 - head out to teach yoga. Class was sweet, people seemed to have fun and learn something
4:30 - back home, roll around with puppy for a while, then do some bookkeeping for the gym where I teach (in addition to teaching I also coordinate the yoga program, which involves calculating monthly pay for all the teachers). Then I dive into math homework; I have a problem set due tonight.
6:30 - turn in my problem set, then take a look at my friend’s resume (the friend who just moved to the city). I’m the younger sister in my family, and it’s fun to play big sis to this friend.
6:45 - make dinner (veggies, tofu, roasted potatoes). This is way earlier than I usually eat, and feeling anxious to change my routine. I drink a glass of white wine while cooking, and am tempted to procrastinate eating and take the puppy out before I eat. If I do that, though, It’ll be at least another hour, and I’m tired and hungry now. I cuddle with puppy then decide to eat, then take the puppy out after. It’s really hard to switch up this ritual!
8 - Never mind, I decided to take puppy out before eating. I know it wasn’t the “right” choice, meaning, in line with my best self, but it’s a process… I finally sit down to eat while printing out my CV and other materials for a job interview I have tomorrow to teach at the college level. I also sort of watch the democratic debates in the background…(#Warren/Castro 2020…). Cringing a little when Cory Booker comes on, remembering his attempt at Spanish in the first round…
10 - In bed, lights out. Exhausted after today, praying puppy sleeps through the night… (125, medical)
6 - Thursday 2:45 am - there is no god.
6:45 am - up with puppy, longer walk, romp in the dog park.
8 - Feed the pup, brush teeth, play with pup and review some math while texting with family that’s in town to make plans for next weekend. Get sidetracked and go down a google rabbit-hole of B stalking (we’re going out again tonight) but pull myself out before I disappear to help out G a little more with her resume. Think about transitioning to work on editing my ex’s ms and/or reading (Motherhood, by Sheila Heti) and/or working on MY OWN book project that’s been in process for over 5 years now (mostly I’m waiting to hear back from publishers at this point…) but instead take a nap.
11 - Leave for my follow up appointment with Dr. T. This one is in private practice, so my parents help pay. I wait for a while and can hear her screaming on the phone to someone through the door, but when I enter she’s perfectly friendly, so… hmm. At any rate, she’s much more sensitive than the other doctor, she takes me seriously, but basically says right now I should just continue with massage, acupuncture, and physical therapy, because I’m not in danger, per se, even though I’m limited. I tell her what the other neurologist said and she laughs. At least I feel validated? ($400, medical)
1 - Walk to grad school to meet with someone at the research office. I’m hoping to get more into research, data analysis, etc., but don’t have a background in those areas. This woman was super helpful and I’m excited to take the next steps of reaching out to professors whose studies interest me.
2 - Was planning to head home between this meeting and my next meeting, but realize it’ll be too frazzled. I feel bad that puppy will be home alone for so long, but sometimes that’s life, I guess. I head to the gym to go through my PT exercises, pop into a natural foods store for some ayurvedic soap (1.99) then take the train back to Brooklyn for an interview. 1.99
4 - The interview is the most casual, low-key interview I’ve ever had… it’s a group interview, so myself and another man, along with the interviewer. We actually all sit on a bench outside of a cafe, because the cafe was closed. We’re essentially told we can both work if we want (the job is a teaching position at a local community college) and are on our way after 20 minutes.
5 - Get home, apologize profusely to puppy and take her to the dog park as a plea for forgiveness. She forgives me. I’m thinking a lot about this teaching opportunity; I really want to take it, as I love teaching and initially went to grad school with the intention of teaching at the university level, but the past few years have revealed that teaching might not be the best choice for me. I think I need something more structured and stable than university level adjunct/lecturer positions, which are super ad hoc, low paid, and don’t come with benefits. After this year of crazy health issues, I’m newly and intensely realizing that I need a job that will allow me to support myself through my mental and physical health care needs. Next year I’m already planning to be in grad school full time, continue teaching yoga, work on a couple book projects, stay in therapy, and continue physically healing (involving PT and massage), so I’m wondering if teaching a college course on top of that is even feasible. I’ll think on it.
6 - Work on math a little, rehydrate, change, and head out to meet B at a museum.
7:30 - at the museum with B ($0, I get free admission with student id). The exhibit is pretty post-modern/“cultural commentary”/“installation” heavy, and it’s fun to play around and not take things so seriously. After a while we head to a vegetarian restaurant for a late dinner; I order white wine and a peanut soba tofu kale noodle bowl. It hits the spot, and I pay for both of our meals + drinks ($55.75 with tip)
10 - We head back to B’s place. I’ve never been there before, and it’s a ways away from my apartment, so I go on the condition that “I won’t stay long.” (400, medical. $57.74, other)
7 - Friday 2 am - oops. Time to head home. Debate for a while whether I should take a car or the subway; I tend to be super lax about transit late at night, but after listening to a bunch of murder podcasts (hello MFM, Generation Why, etc.) I’m starting to doubt my confidence/luck. A car will be over $50 though, so B walks me to the subway and I agree to text when I get home. I eat my leftovers and an apple he gave me on the ride home.
3:30 am - finally home, gotta take the pup out. I feel so bad I left her alone for so long!
6:15 - pup is up and whining; we play for a while at the dog park and then come home for breakfast and, fingers crossed, a nap for both of us.
8 - send off yoga bookkeeping to the manager, then try to sleep a bit more. First I check my email, where I see I have a really generous follow up from Dr. Z, apologizing for seeming dismissive and giving me the name of a specialist at a different hospital. Feeling a relieved but overwhelmed.
11 - Puppy takes me out for a walk, then I come home and eat yogurt/berries/almond butter. Iced coffee (made from home) on the side. A note about groceries - I did a big shop right before starting this diary, usually I’d spend a lot more on groceries over the course of a week!
12:10 - Therapy appointment with therapist #2. We talk about B and also a tricky roommate situation. I also decide, based on our conversation, that I can’t take the college teaching gig. It’s just too much. Hopefully there will be openings in future semesters. After, I wander around the Farmer’s Market for a bit then walk a couple miles to my next appointment. On my way I check my email and learn that some of my creative work will be published in a journal I’ve been aiming to get in for a long time, so I call my mom to celebrate. (Therapy 250, included in monthly costs)
3 - Acupuncture appointment. I get a dancer rate here, too, because the practitioner is a former dancer and extends the favor to other performers. The treatment is pretty intense, but I am so lucky to have access to such wonderful professionals ($125, medical)
5 - Back home, head to the dog park with puppy. We are stopped along the way by a woman who kisses her, so now puppy has red lipstick on her white head. I also run into another friend who just got back from a trip, so we catch up a bit. Then home to feed puppy and work on some math.
715 - I gather goodies to take to the park (puppy, cups, and a bottle of wine. I don’t usually drink this much/have wine around, but there was a lot of booze left over after I had people over a couple weeks ago). I’m meeting a coworkefriend/potential partner… he’s very sweet, and I’m interested to get to know him more, but I’m hesitant to pursue something romantic because a) we work together, and b) I’m just not sure that’s what I want from our relationship at this point. He was pretty insistent that we at least see how one date goes, though, and I figured it couldn’t hurt.
8 - We talk and drink for a while, which turns into heading back to my place…
10:30 - He leaves, and I make food (veggies, chickpeas, bread w/ olive oil). I had a lot of fun with him, but I’m feeling anxious about the situation. I think I need to listen to my intuition here, and resolve to communicate my needs tomorrow. My body is feeling rough today - symptoms are aggravated after acupuncture, so overall I’m just exhausted, and ready to fall asleep.
(125, Medical. 0 other)
Weekly Total: $875 medical, $115.18, other
Breakdown of Other: $96.19 – food & drink $3.69 – Health/Wellbeing $4.69 – Household goods