I think I’ve put on all the weight I lost over the last few months, perhaps even some more. I really don’t eat that much junk! I do get hungry late at night (when I should really be in bed) and eat cereal and sometimes I eat too much when I get home from work as dinner is almost always late in our house. It is hard to make myself go to bed hungry, or deny myself one biscuit or small piece of chocolate after a stressful day. I’m not sure what else I could do to reward myself. If we’re talking empty calories, I also eat a lot of prunes (which I’m sure have a lot of natural sugar), because it’s the only way I’ve found to combat the constipation caused by taking clomipramine (sorry if that’s TMI), another reason I’m anxious to reduce my meds.


I did the second night of the sleep study. I slept a lot more first night than the second because of work. That shouldn’t make any difference, as they’re just checking whether I stop breathing in my sleep, but I am vaguely nervous, especially given the problems I had with the questionnaire, which asked a lot of questions that I could not answer, either because they required a “bed-partner” who knew if I snore or referred to my experience of fatigue while driving, which I don’t do. I wrote a whole long covering email when I returned the questionnaire explaining the situation. I just hope someone takes note of it. I would really like an accurate to answer to the question of whether my disrupted sleep and constant tiredness is at least in part due to a sleep disorder.


Some thoughts about chatan (bridegroom) class from last night: I knew a lot of the material that I was being taught, and even spotted the teacher’s mistakes on a couple of occasions. I am generally too polite to point out other people’s mistakes, but maybe I should have done so here to show that I was pretty au fait with the material.

The topic was mostly standard Jewish texts on love and marriage. I felt that I was told that I should love E as much as I love self, which I already knew (it’s from the Talmud), but that I didn’t get much advice on how to do this. (If I was teaching the class, I would have referred to Rav Dessler’s idea that giving rather than receiving generates love.)

The teacher gave me a lift home. I felt embarrassed that I don’t drive. I don’t think he realised how old I am (forty next birthday), particularly as discussion of my university background and efforts to move into proofreading work made me sound as if I have joined the labour market relatively recently (and not because of years of depression and burnout). It’s not uncommon for Modern Orthodox Jews to meet their future spouse at university and get married soon after graduation and, as I mentioned the other day, I look a lot younger than I actually am. I also hid my MA, as I’m embarrassed about that too (the fact that it was not at a good university, that I had to struggle to get the degree and took three and a half years to do a degree that should have taken one year, and that my library career did not go anywhere afterwards).

On the plus side, the teacher is somewhat geeky and likes Doctor Who. Unlike me, he prefers the new series to the old. Like me, he thinks it has gone downhill lately. Unlike me, but like many other people, he thinks it’s too woke. I don’t really think it is that much more woke than it has been at other points in the past, and I don’t think being woke is necessarily a problem here. The problem is a lack of original, interesting, fun competently-written stories.


Today I’ve been struggling with having negative thoughts about other people and then obsessing over my thoughts and thinking I’m a bad person for not only thinking positive things about other people. I’m not sure where this has come from.


Work was a bit stressful. I had trouble with the very user unfriendly website we use for stationery orders. I also made some mistakes that were at least in part because J fired too much at me at once and I tried to multitask, which is something I do badly (autism).

I stayed for Minchah and Ma’ariv in the shul  (Afternoon and Evening Prayers in the synagogue).I got pretty overwhelmed by the noise and the people, and by thinking that not only does autism stop me functioning in the frum (religious) community, but no one even understands my problems because there are so few frum autistics (who I have come across, at least). I did think of posting something on the autism forum, but I’m not sure who would understand and it would just come across as bad mouthing my own community to people who know nothing about it and perhaps just reinforcing anti-Jewish/anti-religious sentiments.

I managed to do some shopping after work, but I’ve been pretty exhausted since I got home.


E and my therapist both said I should stop writing my novel for now, and, as a good Jewish boy, I know not to argue with my wife or my therapist (or my mother, but she doesn’t know what I’m writing). E encouraged me to work on the satirical novel I want to write in the meantime. I feel I should do research, but also that I don’t have the head for that with everything going on in my life right and now and that I should just jump in. How much can you research comedy anyway, even if it is satire? Unfortunately, while I feel confused and angry about much in the world, it’s hard to frame my confused and angry thoughts coherently in my head, let alone in a dystopian satirical novel. I also worry about the attitude (on the part of readers) of “If you disagree with X, then you must want Y instead” which isn’t necessarily true. I might satirise the extremes of X, but be absolutely in favour of it in moderation, but satire isn’t so good at reflecting that level of nuance, or the concept of moderation at all.


10 thoughts on “Bits and Pieces

  1. I don’t remember learning anything about love in kallah class, tbh.

    I’ll have to do some research for my comedic satire novel (not the one that takes place in prison – the one in prison is hopelessly plot-flawed and I am shifting focus to the comedic satire). Comedic still needs to have some grounding in reality.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s sad.

      It does, but I am not ready to do a ‘deep dive’ into woke culture yet. I figure I know enough for my purposes (bearing in mind this is a science fiction dystopian satire, so doesn’t need to be 100% accurate) can start writing based on what I know from personal experience and the media and catch up on extra things to lampoon before the second draft.


      1. Tbh, kallah class was a while ago. I could be misremembering. But I feel like the closest we got to love was like, the beauty of mikvah night.

        Fair enough. The first novel I started working on was going to have some subtle critiques of certain woke culture elements. My bigger problem with that one is that the plot is a disaster.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Never having seen Dr. Who, I can’t address the “woke” question although I do dislike that word intensely. If it means what I think it does, I’m not sure why it’s considered a pejorative. I think E and the therapist are right; the novel seems to have become a source of internal conflict. I enjoy satire but could never write it effectively. It has so many layers and I’m not imaginative enough.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s an ugly word, but there isn’t really another one that concisely expresses a left-wing ideology based not around freedom or class (as per traditional liberalism, social democracy and socialism), but the politics of identity expressed in a culturally revolutionary (rather than evolutionary as with earlier mainstream left-wing movements in the UK and USA) mode. If someone comes up with a better word, I’ll use it.

      As far as I’m aware, it was originally not a pejorative and was coined by self-described woke people who saw themselves as “awoken” to the injustices of the world. However, over-use by conservatives criticising the extremes of the movement led to it becoming pejorative to many people and turned it into an insult.


        1. I think the movement is aware of some issues, but significantly unaware of others, and often intolerant of opposition. The staggering amount of antisemites in the movement upsets me more than anything else.


          1. Here in the U.S. the vast majority of members in white supremacist and neo-nazi organizations are far right in their politics. Violence perpetrated on Jews as in the Pittsburgh massacre are also coming from the ultra right wing. My daughter, who is a progressive and probably considers herself “woke,” has criticized Israeli policies but I’ve never heard her make any anti-semitic comments. To be fair, she’s also (and even more) vociferously criticized U.S. policies on a number of topics. I’m not saying that there are no anti-semites in the left wing; however, I think that here in the U.S. anyway, there are definitely differences in scope and action between the beliefs and actions of the right and left wing–regarding Jews, Muslims, Hispanics, or anyone who isn’t a heterosexual white male Christian. Just the way I see it! Hope we’re still friends!

            Liked by 1 person

            1. That may be true, but I’m thinking about the UK, which is what I know. I don’t really know the US. I do know about ongoing antisemitism scandals with left-wing academics, the National Union of Students and the BBC in the UK.

              Yes, of course we’re still friends. I try to separate people from whatever beliefs they may have that I don’t share.


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