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this is a dating blog.

if you scroll down far enough, you’ll see there was once one (1) science-related post.

if you scroll down further, you’ll see the remnants of a blog from when i was doing a writing residency that i’m not doing anymore.

you’re welcome to stay.

ps- i will never identify people by their real names or information but if you recognize yourself here portrayed in an unflattering light please feel free to take it up with me also you probably had it coming

Irritable Male Syndrome is a Thing

Is it TMI to let you know I’m on my period?

Probably not, considering social media has created a generation of overshare-ers, and about half the world population menstruates, and if you’re reading this you probably should be able to fathom and accept something as mundane as the menstrual cycle.

But that’s all beside the point.

For the first time in a while, I’m feeling emotional (rt if ur also emotionally ded inside lol !) Choked up at the drop of a hat, irrationally irascible – which is what I want to focus on. I found myself welling up over very little, and immediately blamed it on my period. It got me wondering – do men also experience hormone fluctuations that affect their emotions and moods?

We must stop believing that cis-women are inherently more emotional, especially because of their “””tIMe oF tHe MOnth!!!””” Cis-men, it turns out, ALSO have hormones! Do you know what that means? It means CIS-MEN’S hormone’s FLUCtuate jUST LIKE WOMEN’S!!!! THAT could mean that CIS-MEN ALSO EXPERIENCE mood swings and different emotional patterns!

In fact, psychotherapist Jed Diamond, PhD coined the term Irritable Male Syndrome, and has written a book of the same name. IMS presents symptoms in cis-men such as hypersensitivity, irritability, frustration, depression, mental fogginess, low libido, and others.

Pre-Menstrual Syndrome (PMS) is, as it suggests, linked to the menstruation cycle. Cis-men don’t menstruate, but their hormone changes are linked to other cycles. For example, there’s a daily cycle that shows cis-men to have higher levels of testosterone in the morning than in the evening. Testosterone levels also go through seasonal cycles, with higher levels in November than in April. Of course, when cis-men reach adolescence their bodies produce more testosterone than before. And as cis-women experience menopause, cis-men between 40 and 55 experience andropause. The intensity of mood swings and IMS/PMS also depends on extenuating circumstances: how stressful is your life already?

Cis-men can be testosterone deficient, but that’s another condition that can require medical attention.

I’d be remiss (and not a very good liberal millennial) if I didn’t bring up toxic masculinity. This notion that asserts how traditional Western conceptions of masculinity – macho, tough, eschewing emotion – are in fact harmful to all genders, especially cis-men, could play a part in why the chemical (read: quantifiable) fluctuations affecting cis-men’s behavior is not so readily talked about. That’s to say, hormones in all humans naturally fluctuate, affecting emotions along the way. Feeling feelings is not a human failing; it’s a consequence of your changing hormones. So, if emotions have a rational base in hormones, why is sensitivity and a degree of emotional volatility (especially involving sadness) stigmatized when it comes to cis-men?

I now have a few other questions that I’m not going to get into right now, like: how do one’s emotions change when one chooses to undergo hormone replacement therapy (HRT)? If an AFAB (assigned female at birth) person takes testosterone, how might their menstrual cycle change? If a cis-man and -woman live together, can they “sync up” the way menstruating people might?

 

Some Good Links:

https://www.healthline.com/health/do-men-have-periods#3

https://www.health.harvard.edu/newsletter_article/Testosterone_aging_and_the_mind

https://www.medicinenet.com/high_and_low_testosterone_levels_in_men/views.htm

https://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=53725

The Barn Is a State of Mind, or, reality bites

I’ve been home nearly a week. The rest of the world is not the Barn. The world is not a writing residency.

I’m sitting in a Blue Bottle Coffee in midtown Manhattan drafting a piece on deadline. It feels good, almost like being at the Barn.

Coming home has, for the most part, been good. I had a bit of a bumpy landing when it came to moving from the idyllic ideal world of the Barn back to reality. But it’s been fine.

But about that piece. Now that I’m home, I have more responsibilities again. More objects (I miss having fewer objects to worry about and organize), more traveling, more driving, more appointments, spending more money, looking for a job, somehow giving the cat eyedrops (???), catching up with friends I haven’t seen in a month. But I’m writing and reading. The work has become representative of the Barn’s solace and solitude. The joy is in the work, and doing the work. The good news is the work is transportable, even if the Barn is not. I can work from my parents’ house or a busy Blue Bottle Coffee. This is better than okay; it’s good.

So, that’s my post-mortem. The writing residency was a rare gift, a privilege, an existence outside of space and time that I don’t, won’t, and never will take for granted. I don’t expect anything like this to happen to me again in my life, but I will keep working hard because hard work is what makes things like that happen, in addition to loads of luck, a whole constellation of events, as it may be.

 

slow day.

Jumping around pieces. Mostly done with poetry translations. Checking email too much. Leaving Friday. I need to wash my hair.

The contents of my fridge:

  • Six (6) eggs
  • One (1) near-empty hummus container
  • Four (4) slices of whole-wheat bread
  • One-and-a-half (1.5) sticks of butter
  • Part of a tomato
  • Some chia pudding
  • Some overnight oats

Winding Down

The mornings and evenings are chillier now, and the days are ever so slightly getting shorter. The transition, truth be told, will make it easier to go home, I think. We’ve been here for the filet-mignon of summer, and now we’re down to less than a week. The leaves are starting to change. The sky is overcast more often now. The time here is coming to an end.

But, five days is still substantial time to get a lot done. I certainly am not letting up on reading or writing.

I’ve been really digging into translation. I recently had a great day of research. One of the poems is dedicated to Hugo Mujica, a lauded Argentine poem (whom I met and interviewed!). I started researching some of Mujica’s work and found he wrote an essay whose title is also the title of the poem dedicated to him. So, I started reading that essay. Mujica’s essay is about the poetics of Martin Heidegger’s work, so I started reading a translation of Heidegger. Now I’m going between English, Spanish, and German (which I don’t know at all). However, this research made me get back in touch with a wonderful college friend who would mention Nietzsche, Heidegger, Hegel, etc. in casual conversation, and he helped me a great deal.

Reading Speak, Memory, Vladimir Nabokov’s autobiography, is like eating an extremely rich, decadent brownie: You can’t go too fast, you need to savor it slowly. So much of the pleasure of reading Nabokov is in his language – his first language wasn’t even English, and most native-English speakers will never write half as well as he did – so I need to slow down. This book definitely isn’t a page turner. It’s extremely contemplative, a little melancholy, very nostalgic, so it’s not about moving fast but slowing down and spending time with memories. I’m a little sad to think I won’t finish this book before I leave the Barn; I brought several others with me that I haven’t so much as cracked open. But they’re coming with me.

New Piece! / Lazy Yesterday

I’ve got a new humor piece published on Points in Case, my first byline there! Anybody who knows me even a little knows I’m a huge fan of stand-up comedy, and that I love most of the comedians listed in my published piece.This is the third place I’ve submitted this piece, and I’m glad it found a home. 

Yesterday I woke up feeling very sleepy. I forced myself to work for half an hour, waiting to see if I’d snap out of it and get into a rhythm.

I did not.

So, I let myself have a lazy, lazy day. I left the Barn to go for a walk when I realized I hadn’t used my legs for like 10 hours.

Today I’m happily back to work.

Two days ago, we all went to Camp Hero, a former military ground whose weird story is the basis for Stranger Things. Then we went to the lighthouse and watched the sunset, and made s’mores. It was a good, good day.