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Doubt Kills More Dreams Than Failure Ever Could

doubt kills more dreams
Vinny and I accidentally watched JOBS this weekend. Long story short – the human at the counter gave us the wrong tickets and we didn’t check them. We were sitting in the theater, waiting to be scared when Ashton Kutcher walked onto the screen in a turtle neck to talk about the new iPod. Some might argue we did see a scary movie but it wasn’t as awful as some folks make it out to be.

The movie was alright. Ashton Kutcher did a good job passing as Jobs in terms of mannerisms and appearance but it was difficult to suspend disbelief because of his voice. He was just too obviously Ashton. But that’s not even why the movie was bad. It was bad because it was inaccurate and the filmmakers pretty much made up their own version of reality.

ashton kutcher as steve jobs

I researched the film after I watched and learned the real truth of how things went down. I won’t bore you with the details but what I found most interesting was learning about Ronald Wayne, the third Apple founder. He was not mentioned in the film so let me tell you a little bit about him.

Ronald Wayne worked with Steve Jobs at Atari and helped create the first Apple logo. He was brought on board because he was older, wiser and trustworthy. His purpose was to act as mediator between the Steve’s on account of his older wisdom. He also wrote the Apple 1 manual, as well as the  partnership agreement. Three weeks after starting the company in Jobs basement, Wayne sold 10% of his stock for $800 because at 42, he was the only one who had assets that could potentially be seized if Apple didn’t work out. He would later receive $1500 to forfeit any claim against the company.

He would be worth $35 billion today if he didn’t walk out. Instead, he lives in a mobile home community.

This story makes me nauseous. Dude walked away from $35 BILLION because he was scared.

Of course he didn’t know that when they were working in the basement but the two younger fellas (Jobs and Wozniak) had no such fears. They were young (21 and 26, respectively) and they were free. Wayne was old and not-so-free.

And I get it. The older I get, the more I think about everything. And that’s BAD. It’s bad to over-think and always fear you’re making the wrong decision. Because not making a decision based on fear is, in fact, making a decision. And yet that is what I’ve been doing lately. I’ve been thinking and rethinking my next life steps and quite frankly, it’s getting exhausting. I want to be like my younger self and just do.

In case you’re wondering, my main source of frustration is whether or not I should write using my real name. If I use my real name, it will be on the internet FOREVER and my chances of getting a real job will go down substantially. I write about MS and ain’t nobody got time to hire a potentially fatigued sicky. On the other hand, being open may open up many new opportunities.

My fear makes me feel like Ronald Wayne and I don’t want to be Ronald Wayne.

I don’t want to and yet I still am. Looks like Doubt is killing my dream right now and I need some guidance.

Leave me a comment with some guidance. Should I risk my future employment to follow a dream that may not work out? Let’s talk about it below.

My Husband Lost His Wedding Ring and I Didn’t Kill Him

siesta keys, florida

My husband went away for a week to go on a brocation. His friend Steven is getting married (yay Steven and Christina!) and 14 of his closest friends rented a house in Siesta Keys, Florida.  While definitely a weird place to go for a bachelor party, the city does have beaches, bars and strip clubs so the men had their ample supply of boobs to ogle. That’s what bachelor parties are all about, right?

Everything was going great until Wednesday. On Wednesday, my phone rang and the caller ID said it was Vinny. It was 2PM and I was confused. I knew he was at the beach and didn’t expect him to be calling so I thought maybe he somehow butt dialed.

Diana: Hello?

Vinny: Baby!

Diana: Are you calling me on purpose?

Vinny: Yes. Okay, I have something to tell you. First, I’m okay.

When he said “I’m ok,” I thought the worst. Last time he went to a bachelor party, a cab he was in didn’t have breaks and him and his bros were in an accident. So I’m like, OKAY! YOU’RE OKAY! But what happened?!

Vinny: I was playing football in the ocean…

While he spoke, I thought, “omg. And a jelly fish stung you? A shark circled you? Rip tide tried to steal you away from me? But you’re okay! But omg, talk faster.”

Vinny: And I lost my ring.

Diana: Oh.

Vinny: I’m so sorry, babe. I’m so stupid! I’m sorry.

Diana: It’s okay. I guess it happens!

A part of me was upset but the other part of me was happy he wasn’t eaten by a shark. I didn’t argue with him and instead sent him back to his brotivities. Because I’m perfect.

My friend Michele was impressed with how calm I was. Initially I was too (impressed by my own calmness) but by the time her and I spoke about it, I had been left alone with my thoughts for far too long and annoyance had set it.  I assured her I would never let him forget about it and likely bring it up during every fight. Every. Single. One. Of. Them. Just like the relationship experts recommend.

My husband lost his wedding ring

He looks sad but really he’s just drunk.

This entire fiasco got me thinking about the importance of wedding rings in a marriage. Was Vinny going to suddenly act like a real bachelor now that he was ringless for a few days? Would he love the way his naked finger felt and comes home with a new found hatred of all-things marriage? Would his anti-wedding ring bros brainwash him? So many questions, so little space.

Your turn: How do you feel about wedding rings? Do you wear one? Does your spouse? And more importantly, do you even care?

Lady Gaga is So Creative

lady gaga face paint Dear Lady Gaga,

I am so impressed with your grand level of creativity. Wearing a colorful face in public to promote your song? Two steps beyond brilliant. It will go down in history as one of the most creative things you’ve ever done. Scratch that. It will go down in history as one of the most creative things anyone has ever done.

Your face is a canvas of creativity, this much is clear. I also dig your outfit. You look peaceful yet angsty – a perfect balance for the creative person. I like that you’re wearing black. Most people wear white to show how deep and creative they are but not you. You reinvented the wheel with your majestic outfit and I am impressed.

I also really like your lyrical video. I’ve never seen anyone do something like this. You’re just so…original and creative.

Bravo. I hope to one day meet you and share oxygen with you. My hope is that you may sneeze some creativity upon me. Fingers crossed!

Love,
Diana

How to Do Your Hair and Write a Blog Post at the Same Time

Is it weird that I consider learning how to do my own hair well one of my greatest accomplishments in life? Whatever. I don’t care what you think.

Anyways. I was doing just that (straightening my hair well) while hanging out on Twitter when Vinny walked in and did what Vinny does best: rain on my ADD parade.

“Are you doing your hair or are you on the internet?”

“Clearly both. Multi-tasking is what it’s called,” I replied.

“Why don’t you watch some videos?”

It was a good question so I gave him some credit and then hit up Youtube to watch some random and recommended vids.  This is what I watched. I wrote notes while I watched so hence, doing hair and writing blog post. Easy!

Blurred Lines – Uncut! by Robin Thicke

This song was called “rapey” by a self-proclaimed feminist. I disagree and it seems as though she  associated the song with her own negative experiences. The song was provocative, for sure, but rapey? I don’t think so, lady.  Either way, I love this jam. It makes me want to dance all sexy in my skivvies and silently sing along. Always a good time if you ask me.

This is not the Blurred Lines video but something even better I found. It’s a father-son mashup! I’m sure you’ve seen the original video so please enjoy this instead.

Wake Me Up by Avicii

You can’t even begin to understand how much I, and my 24-year-old self, love this song. I too wanted to sleep through the hard times and sometimes I did. Luckily I’ve grown and all that shit is behind me but I still love those songs that help me feel young and confused. Doesn’t everyone?!

Teens Reacting to Miley Cyrus’s We Can’t Stop

Some teens didn’t understand why Miley was hanging out with teddy bears. Kids, one day you’ll go to a party where you think you’re hanging out with teddy bears and it will be the best party you’ve ever been to. On that note, I didn’t spend too much time watching this because I don’t care what teenagers have to say.

VitalyzdTv – Speaking Russian with Strangers

As a Russian, I support any Russian who doesn’t have the stereotypical “I steal from Medicaid and drive a Lexus”  job and lifestyle. I don’t even think he’s that funny but alas, he isn’t stealing from Medicaid so he’s good in my book.

Those are all of the videos I watched, which means I focused more on my hair than on the Youtube. That’s right. Be jealous.

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5 Things All Multiple Sclerosis Patients Need

You were diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. Great, but now what? That is the exact question I Googled shortly after my diagnosis in 2012. I was scared, confused and looking for answers. While there were a ton of excellent resources available, it wasn’t until I actually lived life with MS that I realized exactly how I would and could go on. Read on to see the top five things I’ve discovered during my learning curve.

5. A Neurologist

multiple sclerosis blog And not just any nuerologist but one that you trust. Whether you’ve opted to take disease-modifying drugs or opt to heal yourself naturally (nor not at all), a nuerologist should be on your speeed dial. Why? Because your accupuncturist can’t order an MRI to see your progress or prescribe you meds if you do have a relapse. If you’re looking for a neurologist, check out the American Academy of Nuerology. You can filter by subspecialty so you’ll have an easier time locating a multiple sclerosis specialist in your area.

4. Vitamin D

vitd

Vitamin D is formed in the body when sun hits the skin and according to a 2012 Swedish study, people with higher levels of Vitamin D in their blood showed a lower risk of developing MS. This isn’t the first such study since the Vitamin D and MS connection theory was proposed in 1974. Chances are your neurologist (the one you need) will order a blood test to see your Vitamin D levels. If you are low, they may prescribe vitamins and supplements. I currently take 4000UI as per my doctor.

3. Supportive Friends

support groups for patients with multiple sclerosis Unfortunately I read too often how MS paients lose their friends. I am always sorry to hear that but there is hope out there.  The internet makes it easy to engage and make friends with new folks within minutes. Whether you sign up for an online MS Support Group or find one in your hood, it’s important to be around people who understand. I particularly enjoy MSWorld Forums as an online forum, as well as Twitter. Search “multiple sclerosis” and you’ll find a community of people just like you. And if you want to talk to real humans, check out the Multiple Sclerosis Foundation to find  a meeting near you.

2. Knowledge

what do multiple sclerosis patients need This is a tricky one because while there is a lot of information out there, you can’t always trust what you read. My doctors love to tell me that but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t read at all. It’s your body/life so do yourself a favor and be well-versed in your illness and also, your opportunities. Read everything you can and write down your questions so you’re prepared when you meet with your doctor. Your neurologist, the one you trust, should be able to answer all of your questions in a respectful and informative way. The National Multiple Sclerosis Society  is a wonderful resource because they not only provide you with conventional treatment information but alternative medicine options as well.

1. A Good Attitude

how to be happy if you have an illness Being happy is good for your health and this, my dear, is a fact. Sure, it may be hard since you have MS and that’s no picnic in the park during nice weather but there is no benefit in dwelling. Instead, put effort into finding happiness and meaning in your life. This isn’t something that happens overnight and you may have bouts of depression. That’s okay but really the main goal is to work towards a less stressful, happier life. Being Happy with Multiple Sclerosis by Vicki of Health Central provides good tips, as does happiness guru Gretchen Rubin. You must check out her site, The Happiness Project and specifically, her post about tips from memoirs about illness.

I’ve learned more but I won’t give away all of my secrets in one post. I want you to come back! Please subscribe to posts via email. Click here to get started and don’t forget to verify your subscription. Thank you!

Now let’s talk – what do you think is necessary for MS patients? Share your tips and stories in the comment section below.

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Me, Myself & I

The other day I exited my apartment and there was a man smoking a cigarette in the hallway. While I didn’t know him personally, he looked like a guest of one of my neighbors. I took one look at him and before I realized words were coming out of my mouth, I said, “Uhm, sir, can you please smoke that outside?” He was standing by an open window and even though there was a cloud of smoke dancing around his head, it wasn’t that bad. He quickly apologized and threw the cigarette out. I said, “thanks, I’m sorry” because I was. He said he was leaving soon and I made an acknowledging smile even though he was long gone and didn’t see.

ms blog, multiple sclerosis blog

it was my apartment so i made the rules, ya hear? nye 2008 > 2009

I entered the elevator and immediately decided that if I had the ability to do so, I would surely kick myself in the face. Did I really just tell someone not to smoke in the hallway? The hallway with a window that greeted the smoke with open arms? The same hallway I had so easily smoked in years ago, on the steps and away from the window, with no regard for other tenants? Sure, I was a youth and going through an unruly phase but just because I was mutating into an adult didn’t mean I had to become an obnoxious one.

This incident reminded me of The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka. I read it in college and faintly recall discussing that Gregor Samsa turned into a giant beetle and this was a metaphor for his existential life crisis. At first he was uncomfortable in his new beetle body but before we all knew it, he was racing up and down the walls like all of the other gross wall-climbing critters.

Where am I going with this? Not sure. Honestly, I just needed an excuse to write that I’ve been feeling like a helpless beetle lately, stuck on my back and waving my creepy little beetle arms around like I care a lot. My anti-smoking request was just the click I needed to hear to realize that I too am in a new body, mind and soul.

ms blog

i was confused. and i still am. – 2008

It’s uncomfortable and confusing and like the voices in my head, the changes just won’t stop. Next thing I know I’ll be lecturing people on why dairy is bad for you and the dangers of gluten. Oh, wait. I do do that. But in the words of the great lyricist Tupac Shakur, “Come on come on, that’s just the way it is, things’ll never be the same, that’s just the way it is, aww yeah.” I feel you, Pac. I feel you and Gregor but I’m wondering when I will feel like myself and be okay with it.

Don’t get me wrong. I love my  life, MS and all. Maybe even because of the MS because now at least I know. But sometimes I wish I could go back to a time when that wasn’t the case. I sometimes day dream of the glorious days when I was ignorant and didn’t know why smoking (and everything else) was so bad for me. Or rather, didn’t really care.

But I suppose it is what it is and time must move forward, whether I’m ready for it or not. I’m comforted, though, by the simple fact that maybe some things will never change and that is okay with me.

Things don't change

Added value:

Have you ever felt like a giant beetle? Share your thoughts about change, MS or anything you wish to comment on. It will melt my smoke-free heart.  And don’t forget to subscribe to posts via email! Click here to get started.

I’m Too Fancy Fan Mail

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I can’t believe that I, Diana, have fans. Like real breathing human fans. They write me fan mail and send me pictures and sometimes even their unwashed undies in ziplock bags. It humbles me so.

Please note that when I write “fans” I really just mean fan and by fan I really just mean my best friend Zohra sends me funny emails. She is the funniest person I know and she helps keep me on my “haha” toes. Below is her most recent email to me and it made me laugh out loud. I did not correct any of the grammar because that would take the love out of her original words and also because she writes like she skipped a lot of required English classes and I want to laugh at that.

On that note, I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Dear Diana,

My name is Zoe Apple and you don’t know me but I am a huge fan of yours. I think that you’re not only a sore for sight eyes but you are a hilarious writer. I enjoy the way you live your life and hope that one day I can smell meet you. So that we can laugh about hair and cheese and also create a plan to destroy gluten. We are destined to be together. Sometimes I stand outside your building and wait for a glimpse of your disheveled hair, outfit, and face. I pray you would notice me but alas my dreams always fall short like a midget on platforms, oh so close yet so far. I will never reach that top latch on that door knob to your love, will I?

I wish like the last of the Mohicans and speed I too can catch you in a power race against time with fancy horses and trains. You Diana are the last of the Mohicans, you’re also the bus on Speed you just keep going. Until the end but that doesn’t count.

Keep going Diana!

Your friend, stalker, and confidant PUSSY CAT.

funny ms blog

yes, this was also part of the fan mail.

I think everyone deserves a friendly stalker now and then. Someone who will tell you just how great you are in writing so that when you’re crying in the corner, wrapped up in the fetal position, wondering where life will take you, you will have those marvelous words to look back on. Wouldn’t you love that?

Do you have a friendly stalker? If not, do you want one?

Thanks for reading and make sure you click here to subscribe to get posts in your inbox. Thanks and till next time!

My Hair is on Fire But I Still Want that Bread

I was having dinner with my friend Naomi when suddenly my hair caught on fire. Well, not quite so suddenly. I actually leaned over a votive candle to grab a piece of bread and then BAM! hair on fire.

It happened so quickly that Naomi didn’t even have time to react. She was all like, “what? huh? what just happened.” Two minutes later, you could smell what happened and other diners had no problems pointing it out.

You may be wondering what I was saying while I leaned over that candle. If you were wondering, then you’d be right to do so because I was saying, “I shouldn’t be eating gluten.” Yes, that’s right. As I leaned to get a piece of delicious gluten-filled bread,  I was talking about how I no longer indulge. Or rather, how I shouldn’t indulge in gluten.

I feel like I perhaps deserved to have my hair torched. I can just picture that vindictive votive candle thinking, “wow! this biatch won’t shut the fu*k up about gluten. She eats bread! With gluten! Lot’s of it, too. She is a fraud! Oh, look. Some dry hair and excessive hair product. I like.”

And then, well, you know. By the time I came home and told Vinny, I thought it was highlarious but he disagreed. He was actually very upset. “What if you burned your face?!” he wanted to know.

And I was like really? That was your concern? Not that my entire head could have been a fireball and I would end up living my life like Michael Jackson after his Pepsi hair mishap – an icon with a pill problem.

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And he was like, yeah, really. Then he suggested I try some non-flammable hair products even though we both know that I should avoid candles, not hair products.

ms blog, multiple sclerosis blogs, funny blogs

I get it though. We’re both concerned about my brain damage and why add to the problem with unnecessary product? Except it’s not unnecessary as you can tell so as of now, I stay out of fire’s way and carry on with my obsessive affair with John Frieda Frizz Ease 3-Day Straight Styling Spray. Life is about compromises and because I know my priorities, it was an easy decision.

As for bread? Don’t ask.

 

Cilantro, Is That You?

I wrote this at a Gotham Writer’s Workshop Write-In in Brooklyn, New York. It was five writers hanging out at Two Moons Cafe, writing freestyle stories based on prompts by Amy Shearn, writer of the acclaimed, The Mermaid of Brooklyn: A Novel.

The first prompt was cilantro and this is my story.

Cilantro

Before I met my husband, I thought Cilantro was the name of the pizza guy.

“Babe, did you put cilantro in the guacamole?”

“Why would I do that?! Cilantro has done nothing bad to me!”

Death stare.

Okay, so as a Russian Jew raised by a tired mother, I was never privy to the mouth watering herb that would complete the Spanish side dish. Sue me! My husband, on the other hand, is a half Spanish, half Italian cilantro loving fella. I just had to figure out how to tease his taste buds in the kitchen.

“What’s for dinner?”

“Cilantro.”

“What?”

“Cilantro and quinoa. It’s just a salad I’ve created. Just for you!”

Death stare.

How rude but really, it’s fine. We can’t win them all.

But I must admit that I am proud of how far I’ve come. I used to have to Google pictures of cilantro to make sure I was buying the proper herb. Sure, supermarkets label their greens but I made sure to be diligent. Now I no longer Google and let my other senses take over. I am now familiar with how it looks, smells and feels.

To most this is basic but to me it is an accomplishment to know that cilantro is an herb and not a man.

Is that you cilantro?!

Joe Manganiello

 

No, I’m over here! Aren’t I’m sexier?

Cilantro

No.

joem

But I smell pretty!

Cilantro

FINE. I’ll take you both.

cilantroandcilantro

 

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Dear Cheese, Goodbye.

One of the saddest breakups in the history of breakups is the dissolution of marriage between myself and cheese. Oh, how I loved cheese. Ham and cheese sandwiches for lunch with Poly-O String cheese for dessert. Double cheeseburger meals from McDonald’s. Cheese pizza with extra cheese. Even though I ate peasant cheese, it was still a huge part of my being.

But then MS happened and shit got real. Real real. I had to change my lifestyle because apparently I would be safer walking on the wires of the Brooklyn Bridge without a harness than continuing my hungover teenage-boyesque eating habits. While diet is not an FDA-approved treatment and most doctors scoff at nutritional healing not created by Pfizer, I decided to take a holistic approach to feeling better. Christina, my new acupuncturist and official sponser of my Chi, gave me a crash course in healthy anti-inflammatory eating and it has made all the difference.

On the See How You Feel & Then Eat It List – Eggs & corn
On the Meat List: Hormone free & organic meat preferred
On the Eat A Lot of This Sh*T List – Omega 3’s (wild salmon), fruits, veggies and some meats.
On the Hell No NEVER EAT THIS SH*T List – Gluten, processed sugar (white sugar), dairy, high fructose corn syrup, processed & packaged foods

What?! Cheese is bad for everyone?! I love cheese! And bread! I love cheese, bread and sugar together! Mmmm mmm. 

No, cheese and bread is bad for me although I’m sure you’ll find your body isn’t a fan of either if you were to do a cleanse. On the other hand, you very well may be able to swim in a sexy hot tub full of bread, cheddar and sugar for a guilt-free orgy with no repercussions. I doubt it though.

dairy free lifestlye

I interviewed Christina to better understand why inflammatory foods such as wheat and dairy are so devilish, especially for those with reckless autoimmune systems. This is what she had to say.

Diana: Why does Chinese medicine have beef with inflammatory foods?

Christina: Chinese Medicine works on treating imbalances in the body, focusing on our internal environment which is quite similar to the external environment we know including: heat, dryness, dampness, cold, and wind. As with external environmental factors, internal factors affect us just as much. As the saying goes “We are what we eat.”

Diana: If that’s the case, I used to be a bottle of Pepsi and a delicious bag of Sour Cream and Onion potato chips. But let’s not get off topic here. Tell me more about inflammation.

Christina: Inflammation impacts how our body’s system functions. Inflammation affects our digestive system, immune system, endocrine system, mental health, cardiovascular system, skin, and so much more. In general it is best to eliminate inflammatory foods so our bodies can stay healthy, happy, and function optimally.

Diana: Please refresh my memory and tell me why I’m supposed to just say NO to dairy. 

Christina: Dairy creates an excess of phlegm and mucous which affects the flow of qi (or energy) in our body. It’s like a clogged drain and the water can’t go down. The back up that accumulates, over time, can create inflammation and disease. Many people can’t break down lactose which is a sugar found in milk and milk-derived dairy products. Once again, if our body can’t process something properly inflammation can occur.

anti inflammatory diet ideas

Diana: This certainly can’t apply to everyone. What’s the best way to tell if your body can’t process certain foods?

Christina: Elimination is the best way and then slowly adding foods back to see how you feel. I recommend cutting foods out for at least two weeks. Most likely once you know how great you feel without a certain food you’ll be less likely to eat it. There are also food allergy tests that can be done.

Diana: So much to learn, so little time. So what’s the difference between being allergic and being sensitive to a food?

Christina: Many people have sensitivities to foods and just don’t pay attention – other then feeling bloated, low energy, headachy, spacey, or just bad after eating certain foods. With allergies one may have sudden swelling of the tongue, throat, eyes, or mouth which can be fatal for some. An EpiPen is recommended for those with food allergies.

When I tried cheese after my cleanse, I got a headache so bad it felt like aliens were trying to probe my brain for answers and then kick me when they realized they picked the wrong human. That is why I stay away although it’s harder in the summer. Lately I’ve been giving in to dishes I once loved (hello there, caprese salad), despite the often uncomfortable headaches that follow. Cheese and I are still divorced though but sometimes we bang on the side, you know? In other words, cheese is my side piece.

But my main piece is healthy eating so here are a few anti-inflammatory meal ideas if you’re interested in eating clean.

    1. 20 Grilled & Baked Salmon Recipes via Health.com
    2. 7 Day Anti-Inflammatory Meal Plan via Healthline.com
    3. Foods That Heal: An Anti Inflammatory Cookbook via Food.com
    4. Famous Chefs’ Recipes for Your Anti-Inflammatory Diet via Lifescript
    5. Vegan Veggie White Pizza, Light & Easy Lettuce Wraps, & Gluten-Free and Vegan Risotto via Go Dairy Free

Are you on any special diet or do you fight against the machine? Let me know in the comments. And after you do that, please subscribe to get new posts in your inbox. Click here to sign up! Just do it. You won’t regret it.

 

 

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