Sunday, July 31, 2011

Maybe I don't have to lie

Friends have been advising me to say nothing about my bipolar disorder and recent hospitalization at my employment physical. But that amounts to lying by omission, which I'm not comfortable with.

Fortunately, searching online for answers to my questions, I found JAN, the Job Accommodation Network. "JAN provides free, confidential technical assistance about job accommodations and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)." And you can submit questions to them via email:

I am a clinical social worker, and I have type 2 bipolar disorder. I have been hospitalized twice, once in 2000 and once (briefly) in July 2010. I've been on the same medication for about 6 years (it wasn't changed during the more recent hospitalization). I was recently offered a job at a methadone maintenance program based at a major NYC hospital. To get the job I have to undergo a physical examination. I am afraid they will ask about my psychiatric history and will rescind the job offer based on the recent hospitalization. I'm not sure how to handle the whole thing.

We'll see what they say. Tomorrow morning I'll talk to the HR rep and will probably schedule the physical. I'll try to make it as late as possible so that JAN can get back to me.

Copyright (c) "Ayelet Survivor"

Saturday, July 30, 2011

I don't want to have to lie

Yesterday (Friday) I was waiting to hear about 3 jobs. Two had led to follow-up HR interviews, and the other just sounded very promising. Two were offering fairly paltry compensation, one an excellent salary and staggering benefits (union position). The paltry agencies didn't contact me -- I wasn't too surprised; I wanted a good chunk more than they were planning to offer -- but the HR rep from the princely agency sent this:

Hi Ayelet -- We’re all set on our end and I would like to speak with you about moving forward. I just left a message on your voicemail. Please call me back; I will be in the office until 1pm today. If we cannot connect today, let’s talk first thing on Monday.

So: YAY! But wait: moving forward means they check my references, I go for a physical, and they drug test my urine. I'm not nervous about the drug test, since I don't need opiate painkillers these days and I don't even drink. But during the physical they're going to ask if I take any medication. If I tell them I have bipolar disorder, they're going to want to know if I've been hospitalized. And thanks to Ivan the Terrible and the assholes at my former job, I was hospitalized just over a year ago.

What do I tell them? Anything? Do I leave out the medication I'm taking and the psychiatric hospitalizations? If they find out later that I lied on my physical, I could be fired. But if I tell them, I might not get hired.

Which leads me to my next dilemma: references. I know the people whose names I gave like me and respect me. But I think I need to get our story straight. I've been telling interviewers that I was laid off due to budget cuts since my caseload dried up. Which is partly true. In the email killing my program, the executive director said that they want me to focus on probation cases since they were going to work on expanding the drug treatment court program. Last November, Brooklyn probation officers stopped counting marijuana positives as a reason for referral to treatment. So our probation referrals went from ~5/week to ~1-2/month.

All of that is true, but it's not really why I was fired, of course. So I need to make sure that the assistant clinical director, who is still on my side and giving me good references, is on my page.

As for the situation with me realizing that my mother's dirtbag boyfriend corrupted my innocence and put me on a very dangerous path -- my mother doesn't care. She sent me a letter saying she was coming into town and wanted to see me. I called her at my sister's.

"Do you know that if I had told any of the teachers in school about the porn at home, you and the dirtbag would both have been arrested?"

"I guess I was foolish," she said. "I'm sorry."

I told her I want her to kick him out of her house and stop spending money on him. She said, "You can't control me." So for now I'm cutting her off completely. No phone calls, no letters, no emails, and I blocked her on both of my FB identities. Of course, she reads this blog, but if I decide to restrict it again, she definitely won't be on the list of designated readers.

I want to say horrible things to her. Like, "I wish you had died instead of Daddy, because he never would have let anyone like that stupid piece of shit bring that kind of filth into our house. He would never have been so selfish as to choose someone who would encourage me to experiment with lesbianism and drugs and group sex. When you're old and sick, I will not lift a finger to take care of you. I don't care if you fester and die of bedsores."

Which is pretty much how I feel about my sister. Who takes every chance she can to put me down, and yet somehow I always believe her when she makes yet another promise that she doesn't bother to keep. I don't know how I'm going to honor my promises to Shira and Malka. I'm supposed to take them out for their birthdays. Since I don't have a car, I'll have to coordinate with Jerusha. A conversation I don't want to have. I haven't spoken to her since she called me on my birthday and I told her I thought she was someone else -- someone I actually wanted to talk to.

What kind of man would want a woman like me, who despises her own mother and sister? My life is a mess. I'm supposed to be radiating positivity to attract love into my life. Right now I'm just spewing venom. I don't know how to turn this around.
Copyright (c) "Ayelet Survivor"

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Dear Universe: Please stop sending me the WRONG men!

I really hate Facebook's friend suggestions. If they're people I know, they're usually people I don't like. But usually the suggestions don't lead to anything.

Today was an exception. I got an email -- not a friend request -- from someone I'll call Kahanist. (On his profile, that's the only "activity" that shows: the Kahane fan page. Slightly disturbing. Also no photo.)

pls add me

On my disguised Ayelet page, I add people all the time. On my "real" FB page, I'm more cautious.

who are you?

I asked.

im kahanist, we have mutual fb friends

I'm not really close with any of the friends we have in common.

yes, but I don't know who you are or anything about you

In other words, I don't know what you do or where you live or what kinds of things you like, so why should I friend you?

im get divorced, im jewish

Ugh. I'm not interested in dating recently divorced men, I'm jaded about men who've been divorced less than 3 years, and I have no interest in someone who's not even divorced yet.

sorry to hear about your divorce

That's all I have to say to Kahanist. But he's not satisfied.

have u ever been married
i take it ur jewish

That is just none of his business.

I don't know who you are, so I'm not going to answer any personal questions.

He didn't take that well.


Anger management issues? He just made himself even less attractive. Just go away!

look, I'm not interested in someone who's not divorced

He's apparently difficult to put off:

ur single i take it
acc 2 jew law im divorced
civil div
G-d willing soon

I asked one of our mutual friends about him, but I'm willing to bet I still won't be interested. So when does the law of attraction start working for me, not against my gag reflex?
Copyright (c) "Ayelet Survivor"

Saturday, July 23, 2011

All hope is not lost

I heard back from Sylvia the shadchanit:

Shavuah tov. I have not forgotten you, my dear! It's been rather hectic for me in Israel; I am here for 6 months to help my daughter out with her new baby. By the time I sit down at the computer it is usually 1 am and I am exhausted. I still have you in mind for Netanel. He has been busy but he is free now and I will certainly, bl'i neder, talk to him about you. I am sure he will OK the match. If he has any more questions about you, you will hear from me. Sorry for the delay. I sure hope this is the one :-).

I wrote her back:

Shavua tov! Thanks for getting back to me. It certainly sounds like you've been very busy -- I didn't realize you were out of the country. I appreciate you taking the time to make this match, and I second that emotion -- I also hope this is the one! If he wants my phone number you can give it to him: 212-xxx-1234

I guess we have yet to see if Netanel is interested. As usual, I assumed wrongly. You would think, one of these days, that I would actually learn not to make snap assumptions like these.
Copyright (c) "Ayelet Survivor"

Friday, July 22, 2011

Ayelet overdoes it again

When last we saw our heroine, she asked the Cute Blondie to have her in mind as he enjoyed his single-malt in Great Neck. He responded:

you got it

The man who warned CB off chulent weighed in:

where is the erev shaboss kiddush club?

So I piled on:

where's the motz'ash kiddush club?

"Motz'ash" being the cool abbreviation for "motzei Shabbos" or "after Shabbos."

CB got annoyed:

you bunch of alcoholics

No word from him since. Maybe I overdid it. Or maybe, once I friended him, he looked at my profile and lost interest.
Copyright (c) "Ayelet Survivor"

Moving forward

Well, I canceled one of my Bronx interviews. I realized that taking the 2 for 15 minutes, getting out and walking five minutes to the 4 to ride 10 minutes, and then walking 15 minutes to the interview site was a dreadful commute. Especially in the heat we've been having this week. I went on the other interview, which I thought was for the position of substance abuse specialist on an ACT team like the one I interned on. Interestingly, after discussing my experience at the domestic violence shelter internship, the interviewer thought I should be a candidate for the family specialist position. Interesting because right now I'm not talking to either my mother or my sister. But hey, when it's someone else, it's easier to be objective, right?

I also got a callback from a job I interviewed for two weeks ago at a methadone maintenance clinic. I'd always had a kind of Annie Hall opinion about methadone -- "I used to be a heroin addict. Now I'm a methadone addict" -- but this program, which is affiliated with one of NYC's best hospital consortia, takes a very holistic approach. Vocational counseling, psychiatric treatment, therapy groups, etc. The social worker based at each clinic supervises the counselors who do most of the direct practice, runs groups, and sees individual clients who have complicated situations, such as dual diagnoses. So they're not just handing out the happy juice.

Yesterday I met with HR, gave them my references' contact information, and mistakenly checked "yes" in the section of questions about having been cited for ethics lapses and having your license revoked. Fortunately, the interviewer gave me the chance to change my answers. She said I'll hear by the middle of next week if they're going to hire me. Of course, then I'm only "pre-employed" -- I have to go for a physical, give a urine sample, and they'll check my criminal background and references. But the job pays very well for social work, and because it's a union position, it has amazing benefits. Here's hoping!

I still haven't heard about the site director position, but it's actually from another branch of the same hospital consortium. I thought HR was calling about that job at first. Not getting it would be a relief, which seems likely.

On the other major front in my life, romance, I've gotten a few undesirable email contacts on dating websites. Nothing horrifically wrong, just wrong enough that I'm not interested. I also got into a little flirtation. In one of my Facebook singles' groups. FB now lets you see whenever someone new is added. I clicked on his profile, thought he was cute, and realized he was close to my age, since he graduated college two years after I did. Let's call him "Cute Blondie" or CB.

Several people welcomed CB to the group, and one warned him:

welcome CB no more chulent

It's a "health-conscious" singles group. CB replied:

yeah, but scotch is still ok, right?

So I posted:

as long as it's single-malt

An ex-boyfriend got me into Scotch a few years ago. Don't drink it much these days, but I used to savor a good single-malt. CB must have good taste:

of course

I'll give him some positive reinforcement:

then gezunta heit ;)

Because of course it's a "health-conscious" singles group. And apparently he has good manners:

tx, Ayelet now i can have the real shabbos experience ;)

Wasn't that sweet? Now I'm curious:

tell me where ur kiddush club is and maybe I can too ;)

Okay, I'm not just curious, I'm fishing. How does he respond?

Great Neck.

Long Island isn't exactly walking distance from the Upper West Side:

too bad... no way am I hiking from Manhattan to LI in this heat :(

Ball's in his court...

your loss :)

But he friended me. So what's my next move? One last clever comment:

please have me in mind as you enjoy a sip tomorrow ;)
Copyright (c) "Ayelet Survivor"

Monday, July 18, 2011

The law of attracting creeps

Someone need to tell the universe that I don't want to attract the wrong job or the wrong man. On Saturday I shlepped a ton of watermelon to a potluck picnic (it was on sale for 69¢/lb, so it was the cheapest thing to bring, albeit not the lightest) organized by my friend Ozer. One of the other attendees was a plump, balding, vaguely effeminate man who toed the line between friendly and a little too friendly. I'll call him "Creepy Cheapy" for reasons that will become apparent.

Before hamotzi CC cried, "Give me your hands!" and insisted on washing them for me. A little much. But I didn't really read into it. Then during lunch Shalva and I were talking. I can't remember how we got on the subject, but we were discussing pest removal. Bugs, mice, etc.

"That's when a husband really comes in handy," I said. "They're good at stuff like that. Once I had to call a friend to get rid of a really big spider in my apartment." Just so you know, this was before I ever saw Annie Hall.

"What else is a man good for?" asked CC archly, all but batting his eyelashes.

"Reaching things on high shelves," I mused. "Lifting and carrying heavy things. Buying me jewelry."

"And what else?" he simpered. This really was verging on the inappropriate. I think you all know I'm no prude, but there's no way I'm going to start talking about sex with a total stranger at a picnic populated by friends and acquaintances.

"High shelves, heavy things, jewelry... that's about it," I said disingenuously. "That's how I got these earrings." They were my Chanuka gift from Ivan the Terrible. I don't feel nostalgic (or worse) wearing them because I had my eye on them for years before I showed them to ItT.

Creepy Cheapy sobered up. "I would never buy jewelry for a girl I was dating," he said. (Now you get the second part of his moniker.)

I wasn't actually offended by the sentiment, but I decided to use it against him. "What if it was her birthday?" I asked, mimicking his effeminate simper.

"Even then..." he said. Shalva began talking about meaningful, non-jewelry gifts she'd received, and then CC's fairly ugly friend came over, asked me what I did, and, after I told him I had been a drug counselor, started asking me questions about withdrawal.

"Which is worse, the physical or the psychological withdrawal?" he asked. That's a fairly meaningless question. It completely depends on the user and the substance. I tried to explain that to him, but apparently his insides were as mediocre as his outside, so I decided to get a drink of water.

There were a few attractive men at the picnic, but I didn't make any real effort to engage them in conversation. I happened into conversation with one, who was actually the only person to ask why I was accessorizing my brown and white dress with a black armband (the elbow brace). But he didn't seem too interested, so I didn't ask Ozer to ask him about me. The other attractive man was a Cohen, and I actually didn't talk to him at all, so asking about him seemed pretty futile.

Alona and I arrived at the picnic together, and I told her that the Law of Attraction was going to draw men to me irresistibly, without any effort on my part. I should have told her that the LoA would draw attractive men to me irresistibly, without any effort on my part. Never heard from Sylvia the matchmaker either. I guess the guy, like so many men on SawyouatSinai, doesn't want to go out with women close to his age.

On the career front, I went for my third interview for the site director position, and I did not like some of the people I would be supervising. Especially not at the pay grade they quoted me. They made a point of emphasizing how stressful and hectic the job is -- sounds like too much aggravation for not enough compensation. (Jeez, I sound like Jesse Jackson.) I haven't heard anything since, but I'll decline if they offer it. And hope that it won't queer my chances for getting a job at the methadone program, where I interviewed Friday before last, since the HIV treatment program is part of the same health care/hospital network.

I also have two interviews in the boogie-down Bronx tomorrow. I know I said I'd only go on one interview per day, but they're relatively close together so it makes sense to knock off both in succession. Not looking forward to hiking 15 minutes from the subway station to the first interview site, since it's supposed to be wicked hot and humid tomorrow. I'm definitely not wearing pantyhose -- I will wear closed-toe shoes, but that's as far as I go in kowtowing to professionalism.
Copyright (c) "Ayelet Survivor"

Friday, July 15, 2011

Ayelet dreams of underachieving.

Last night I had a very common anxiety dream -- minus the anxiety.

I dreamed I was in college, it was almost the end of the term, and I was behind in all my classes. Hundreds of pages behind in English and History; waking up too late to get to class; trying to do five mini-reports on fruit, using forms that had to be signed by Deepak Chopra. I messed up the forms, so I got some blank ones and filled them in and stapled them to the pages signed by Dr. Chopra. No idea why he need to sign off on mini-reports about fruit; I chose the topic of fruit because I knew I could finish the assignment quickly on that topic.

And I didn't care. "So what if I get a few B's?" I thought. "I'm not going to grad school anyway."

This is very unlike me. Every other time I've had this dream, I've been almost frantic about being so behind, and unable to understand how I let things deteriorate that badly. I've interpreted that as me being frustrated about how behind I am in real life: No husband, no kids, no house. Right now, no job. But last night I wasn't anxious at all -- and I even had a job interview this morning. (Which I think went well, but I don't think I want the job. Too much responsibility and stress for not nearly enough money.)

Is my attempt to practice the law of attraction -- to believe that good things will come to me if I stay positive -- affecting me subconsciously as well as consciously?

Part of me is very skeptical about the law of attraction. My father was convinced he would beat his cancer. A very optimistic person all his life -- almost literally to the day he died. And obviously it didn't work.

But thinking optimistically is a lot more pleasant than being depressed. So for now, I'm going to keep trying. It doesn't hurt that I just scheduled two more job interviews for next week. Not the ones I'd really hoped for -- but still.
Copyright (c) "Ayelet Survivor"

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Law of attraction working already?

Yesterday I had a second interview for the site director job. They like me -- they really, really like me, and I'm really, really not sure I can handle it. I would have to negotiate disagreements between staff and intervene with very difficult clients that the case managers can't handle. It would be a long time before I got to do actual therapy, because I'd have to get up to speed on running the site. I don't know if it's the best next step for me. But I'm visiting the site on Friday anyway. I suppose I can always turn down the offer if they make one.

Today after my knee exercises I opened an email from my friend Tziporah:

The conversation below is b/c there was a match on SawyouatSinai that I said no to b/c of age but I thought you might be ok about it. The guy was educated and decent looking. The only thing was that he was 45 and never married -- weird, right? Anyway, even though I would have been okay with the rest of it, the age was too much but I know you're sometimes more flexible than I am.

I tried to suggest you and the matchmaker made me email her separately outside the SYAS system. Can you take over from here? The matchmaker's name is Sylvia and our email correspondence is forwarded below. Good luck!

Well, I'm fine with dating a 45yo man, even if he has never married. But I deleted my SYAS profile after several bad experiences, which is why the matchmaker couldn't see me after Tziporah tried to suggest me as a consolation prize.

Thanks for thinking of me. Unfortunately, I can't see any match details. I have a SYAS profile but I'm not a paying member, so I don't know if she would set me up outside the system.

Tziporah is an optimist.

Respond to her saying exactly that. I think it's honest and she might do it. She asked me to email her outside the system. Doesn't hurt to try, right? In fact if I were you I'd just forward this whole thread.

Well, I didn't quite do that:

Hi Sylvia -- My friend Tziporah told me about a gentleman you suggested as a match for her that she thought would be a good match for me. I no longer have an SYAS membership, since I wasn't getting any matches I found remotely compatible. Would it be possible for me to send you information about myself and not go through the SYAS system? Thanks!

Apparently it is possible.

Absolutely, Ayelet. Looking forward to receiving it. Netanel is a GREAT guy so let's see if this will work :-) .

I sent her some photos and a brief self-description:

I am 41, shomer mitzvot, 5'1", medium build, dark hair/eyes (pics attached). I grew up in Rochester NY in a traditional family, became more religious in college (Cornell), moved to Manhattan in 1992 and lived here ever since. I am a clinical social worker, was working as a drug counselor but lost my job in January. Have been interviewing and turning down wrong offers, currently considering a few opportunities. I love museums, movies, exploring NYC, traveling (but who doesn't love traveling?), reading, and my nieces & nephews (some from my sister, others from friends). Very smart, very funny, and people tell me I'm nice. In terms of hashkafa, I'm pretty flexible as long as the house is kosher, shabbat is observed, and the kids go to Jewish schools. I'm open to covering my hair if it's important to someone.

Let me know if I've left anything out, and thanks again!

I guess we'll see what happens.

Somewhat in jest, I might have sent this message out to the universe:

I'm tired of going to events and trying to meet someone. I want to meet someone while I'm just sitting at home!

Maybe this was an answer. I'm relieved to hear he's educated and decent looking, which I hope also means employed. I don't know any Netanels, so I'm pretty sure I never went out with him.
Copyright (c) "Ayelet Survivor"

Thursday, July 07, 2011

ALMOST overdid it

Yehudis emailed me:

Let me know what happens. I sent it to the HR Director, the clinic director and the Associate Director (who is the clinic director's 2 level up boss). I don't know the Clinical director himself. I haven't met him yet. He could be replacing someone who just moved to (our headquarters where I am located) with a promotion so our paths have not crossed just yet. Are positions like these competitive? How is the market? I really have no clue. Good luck!

She did me a favor, so I'll answer her questions. Or try to:

Well, it's a pretty tough job market. Since my layoff in January I've gone on about 25 interviews and gotten 4 offers that I turned down. But I've probably sent out hundreds of resumes. I don't think these jobs are as competitive as big firm law jobs, but it's definitely a boss's market.

Did I say too much?

Interesting. Why did you turn down those offers?

In retrospect, I should have remembered to be extremely careful about anything I say to an attorney. Instead, honest person of integrity that I am, I answered honestly.

One had a commute that was 1.5 hours and was fee-for-service, so if the clients didn't show I, I wouldn't get paid. One wanted me to work on Saturdays, which I can't do. One didn't offer LCSW supervision, which I still need, and the pay was very low. One offered pay that was insultingly low ($35,000/year). And one wasn't really a therapeutic position so much as a supervisory position -- I wouldn't have been doing direct work with clients. I guess that makes five.

Only three of these were formal job offers; the other two I could have gotten but decided not to go for. There was another job I interviewed at that I was pretty sure I could get, but it involved mostly group work -- you only see your individual clients once a month. I didn't like that model.

Probably makes me sound kind of arrogant. But between unemployment and my savings, I can support myself until I find a job I really want.

Actually, I wanted to say that because my last workplace was horrible and toxic, I want to find a place where I really like the other workers. But I left that out.

Didn't matter...

OK-- I understand. I probably should have asked before I sent my note so that I would have a better understanding. I have no clue what we are paying, but my guess is that it won't be much more if at all from your low offer. We are a not for profit and I know that Social Workers are not paid that much.


It's definitely more than $35,000 -- that's at least $10,000 less than most programs pay. Even the not-for-profits. $40,000 - $45,000 is a standard starting salary out of graduate school. Trust me. I mentioned that salary offer at another interview and eyebrows shot up around the table. I'd still like the opportunity to interview for the job.

Will it work?

OK-- all good. Let me know.

Whew. And I guess that I am developing slightly better instincts concerning when to hold 'em and when to fold 'em. But why is it that social workers are paid so poorly? No wonder so many go into private practice. I may end up treating the worried well after all. Or no -- I won't. Because the law of attraction says that I will meet and marry a wonderful man who will make a decent living. Right?
Copyright (c) "Ayelet Survivor"

I get jobs with a little help from my friends

Maybe there's something to this law of attraction. Today my friend Rina emailed me a job posted on the New York Nonprofit News website. I wasn't sure it was right for me, but I sent in my resume, then browsed the other listings. And saw a really great opportunity at an agency... whose General Counsel and Secretary, Yehudis, happens to be a friend of mine. Not an extremely close friend, but still a friend.

So I sent them my resume and then emailed Yehudis on Facebook:

Hi Yehudis, hope you are well. Are you still at (the agency)?

She wrote back:

yes, why? Please respond to I don't really use FB.

I forwarded her my resume and cover letter, and added:

Just wanted to let you know I applied to this position. I have almost 3 years of experience in substance abuse and dual diagnosis treatment, and I'm used to homeless shelters. I hope it's not unethical of me to reach out to you like this; I wouldn't do it if I didn't believe I'm qualified for the job.

I don't like asking for help, and I'm not very good at it. Fortunately, Yehudis is gracious:

Hi Ayelet:

I am very glad that you reached out to me. Not unethical at all.

Can you send me the post so that I can see who I need to contact and at what site the position will be? It seems that it's at (location). I am in touch with all of the directors related to that program. Please let me know so that I can reach out to them about your application. It seems like it is just being sent to HR who will just direct the resumes, but I can reach out to all directly. Very happy to do so.

All the best, Yehudis

I sent her the job description. She wrote:

I see that the position reports to the Outpatient Clinic Director. I know who to contact. Is there anything in particular that you would like me to say?

Wow. What do I ask for? I don't want to go too far.

Just that you've known me for a long time, that I'm very passionate about the work and you believe I'm qualified for the position. Thanks again for doing this.

Of course, later I thought of (and sent her) this:

Also you could mention that when I was in my second year of social work school, part of my fieldwork included weekly visits to (the big homeless shelter where her agency has a few programs), and that I'm not intimidated by that population.

I should have said "I like working with that population" but I'm not going to email her AGAIN. We'll see what happens. Hopefully I'll at least get an interview.
Copyright (c) "Ayelet Survivor"

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Good news from Dr. Hottttttt

Last week I had my annual physical. Nothing remarkable aside from elevated triglycerides, which could have been because I forgot not to eat before the appointment. In my defense, it was at 1:15 p.m. But I discussed my old knees injury and recent elbow injury and my doctor (the partner of Dr. Cool; I guess I'll call her Dr. Very Cool) thought there could be a simple explanation of the knee pain that's persisted these 5 years and more. She referred me to an orthopedics practice; I called and asked for someone who could look at both knee and elbow, and I was scheduled for an appointment today with Dr. Hottttttt.

Normally I don't fall for the whole "tall" male mystique. I think short men can be extremely attractive. But Dr. Hottttttt is tall. Built, but not bulky. Thick cascades of shiny, straight, medium-brown hair. Thirtysomething, or has a really good dermatologist. Nice skin. Awesome cheekbone. Strong jaw. Blue eyes. It's a good thing he's not a cardiologist, because all his patients would suffer extremely elevated blood pressure.

My elbow was X-rayed, and turns out that my Facebook friend who Google-diagnosed me with ulnar nerve entrapment was wrong. (Not his fault; he's an engineer.) No, I have golfer's elbow. Which I got by leaning on my elbow while doing my Sudoku puzzles. Technical name is "medial epicondylitis."

A really stupid injury, and fortunately, easy to treat with some simple exercises that can be done at home. Just like my knee injuries. I'd always been frustrated that my MRIs didn't show anything really wrong with my knees. Apparently the injury I have is relatively minor -- no breaks, tears, chips, arthritis, or other permanent damage. It's "patellofemoral pain syndrome," caused by significant weakness. (Which was caused by the stupid personal trainer who overworked me at Crunch.) Again, all I need to do are some simple home exercises. I don't even have to go to physical therapy.

I ordered some wrist/ankle weights, which I will be working up to using -- you need to start slow and gradually build up. But the sense of relief is incredible. Not only is there relief in sight, it's not going to cost me an arm and a leg. Not even an elbow and a knee. I don't even have to go back to see Dr. Hottttttt if I feel better. I was tempted to look him up on Facebook, but I think I'd better leave him in his office, making everyone's life better one appointment at a time.
Copyright (c) "Ayelet Survivor"

Monday, July 04, 2011

The law of attracting weirdos

Still no response from GG. But I did get an email on SuperTova:

Hi Ayelet,

Happy July 4th! You definitely get an A for creativity and brevity. You wrote a fascinating yet concise picture describing who you are and what you value. You make my life very easy.

My name is Yossi and I am an expert stick figure artist. Actually not, but how great would it be to make a living drawing stick figures? I know people who have compiled great stick figure portfolios during meetings.

I also like going to museums, movies and reading. Do you like reading about history?

I read your profile and love the fact that you find ways to make the most routine daily tasks enjoyable. This is a very special quality. I love meeting people who are like that. You seem like the person who always makes life fun!

Can you give me an example of how you did this today?

Why don’t you drop me an email? Maybe we can even get past the generic online profile scripts. (I also like having a great conversation at a coffee shop on the first date.)

Looking forward to it -- Yossi

He struck me as a bit odd. Who fantasizes about being an expert stick figure artist? And his profile also seemed a little off:

If you could add a day to the week, what would you learn that you don’t know already? I admit that I can still get a little nostalgic about my college years. It was one of the few opportunities life provided me to learn all sorts of cool things without many distractions. Learning is central to my life. In fact, one of my favorite pastimes is browsing at Barnes & Noble’s. If you had to choose your favorite section of the bookstore, which one would it be? Also central to my life is giving to others. I use the know-how that I gained working in a Human Resources Department to help my friends create professional looking resumes. I share with them my insight about what hiring managers look for when they read resumes. I also volunteer my computer and bookkeeping skills to help prepare a young disabled man to find a job. What excites you about life?

He loves learning, but he doesn't seem to do much with it. But maybe I'm being too judgmental.

Hi Yossi,

You certainly read my profile thoroughly ;) Today I went to a friend's apartment and hung out with her and her family (husband and 2 kids). We read "National Geographic for Kids" magazine. That was a lot of fun. The 8yo can read, and has read the mag before, so she made sure I read all the jokes and sidebars on every page.

I do enjoy reading about history or watching documentaries. And getting past generic online profiles -- Ayelet

Let's see how he responds.

Hey Ayelet,

It sounds like you had a very fun time today with your friend and her family. I always enjoy spending time with kids who like to read and make sure you are aware of their “expertise.” These are kids who end up being successful in life much of the time.

I was into Geography when I was a kid. One time, we were on the bus in NY and we met a woman from Bulgaria. She couldn’t believe that I even heard of it. The whole bus turned around when I started saying something like, “it is south of Rumania, East of Yugoslavia and North of Greece.” Bulgaria’s bordering nations became a little more complicated since the breakup of Yugoslavia which happened a decade later.

What was the last historical documentary you watched about?

Speak to you soon.

Okay. Who brags about their impressive childhood geography skills? I'm just getting a really weird vibe from him. And I'm tired of going on dates with weird men. Call me excessively judgmental, but I don't think I'm going to pursue this.
Copyright (c) "Ayelet Survivor"

Sunday, July 03, 2011

Hate mail

I got an email yesterday, from someone I'm pretty sure I've never met, and I really don't know how to respond to it.

Shalom Ayelet

I'm sorry you think, I suck. Thanks for the vote of confidence. The Jewish females never did like as much as the ladies of Italy and Puerto Rico. I had Italian females since I five years old, I think they suck, there bad tempered and pushy, and can keep up with you sexually along with the Puerto Ricans. Why do you think so many Jewish boys have Puerto Rican girlfriends. The Jewish girls in my own family pushed the ladies of Naples and Palarmo on me from a young age. The ladies of San Juan I found in my Twenties. Just cause you despise me dose not mean all the females do. I just need to find a better class of goyom.

When you say I suck adds to my Problems my bi-polar illness, I you don't a Jewish boy fine, I don't want an Italian or Puerto Rican girl ether. There no adventure in the Christian girls anymore. We both Jewish and an attack from you hurts far more, then one from an Italian or Puerto Rican, If those two attack me so what
I had enough of them, that they can go somewhere ease, I had both in large numbers. Your saying I suck its to push me toward the Italian and Puerto Rican females, I got your number, I have Aspergers and Autism so I have the ability to see the motives of others..

I know I've complained about Jewish men in the past, but I can honestly say that this email doesn't reflect any of the reasons why I think Jewish men suck. I'm sorry I hurt this man's feelings; that was never my intention. I certainly don't want to cause more pain for a fellow bipolar sufferer. I'm aware that he's probably transferring a lot of anger onto me. I know because that's something I've also done.
Copyright (c) "Ayelet Survivor"

Friday, July 01, 2011

Ayelet tests the law of attraction

I had a dream last week about the Gorgeous Genius. We were together, and I was happy. So I woke up thinking about him. Back in October 2010, I was unable to be... intimate with him. It was too soon after I lost Ivan the Terrible. But maybe now I'd be able to. And maybe he's more stable than I gave him credit for; I never really inquired, I just made assumptions. So last Sunday I sent him an email:

Subject: can we hang out sometime?

You don't have to buy me food. I'd just like to hang out sometime. I like talking to you.

He responded less than a day later:

I don't know...the last time we met up it ended fairly unpleasantly...

Yeah, when I stopped kissing him and made him leave my apartment. Can I mollify him?

I understand how you feel. That's why I'm just asking to hang out. No dating drama, just hanging out.

I waited. No answer. After a day I sent this:

So you'll only hang out if the evening promises sex? Either you're really hard up, or I'm a TERRIBLE conversationalist ;)

I know I freaked out on you before. It was too soon after the breakup, I was a mess. I'm somewhat less messy now.

Still no response.On Wednesday I got together with glamorous Rochel, the dating coach, and her adorable 6-month-old. We talked about her life and mine, how I've had trouble letting go of Ivan the Terrible, and how I've tried to re-engage with GG.

"It's okay that you contacted him, because you sent him away," she said.

"Three times," I said. "Each time we've been involved I've broken it off. You can't blame him for being a little wary."

We also talked about the law of attraction, which I understood to postulate that if you want something, you bring it to yourself.

"I don't believe it," I said. "I've been wanting a husband for more than 20 years, and haven't attracted one."

"Have you been focusing on positive energy?" asked Rochel. "Or have you been saying "why don't I have this yet?" instead of  "this is what I want and deserve."

She had me there. I definitely have been emitting negative energy in the form of complaints and resentment. So I decided to focus on sending out positive energy -- hope and joy and envisioning a happy future with GG.

But it hasn't worked. I still haven't heard back from him. So I was thinking of sending him this video:

What do you think?
Copyright (c) "Ayelet Survivor"