Thursday, January 31, 2013

One-Hit Wonders: January 2013 terms inexplicably pulling up this blog...
  • milla la la land times
  • 50 things to do when youre sick
  • winter malaise
  • house with caution tape
  • landmark forum took all my savings
  • redd and milla make lesbian
  • one hit wonder tug of war
  • limoncello amalfi
  • good girls go to heaven bad girls go to bruges

Wednesday, January 16, 2013


it’s that time of year again, the time when i immortalize the things i likely won’t do on the tubes of the internets. it’s a weird one this time, because 2012 was a fantastic year that will be hard to top — so hard i almost don’t want to try. i spent most of it floating through the months buoyantly, unwrapping each day like a gift. not since 2008 (the year i bought my house) have i enjoyed such a great year with more highs than lows. of course, i hope 2013 wows me as well, but i’m tempering expectations. something about lightning striking twice.

on the whole, i think i had moderate success keeping last year’s resolutions. i made fairly healthy decisions, particularly with men as evidenced by my lack of one. at least i didn’t distract myself with unhealthy dalliances, choosing the solitary route instead, which surprised me with its many hidden benefits.

i also maintained a mostly pescetarian diet until that trip to Italy ruined everything with its scrumptious salami. debt reduction did not go entirely as planned, though i managed to cut my house debt by a third instead of the half i was aiming for, which was probably unrealistic anyway. the getting published thing went pretty well, with that whole New York Times thing happening in addition to an album review on the GEEK website.

as in other years, i made a lengthy list offline about the things i hope to accomplish, which read more like a list of bad habits than resolutions. they included such things as “get better about buying gifts for people” and “wash dishes every night.” the usual suspects also made their appearance, with debt reduction, regular exercise, getting published and flossing daily noted. of course, i should also meditate consistently, be a better friend and daughter, lube up my brain with more books in addition to starting a career as a weekend crime-fighter. but i think i’ll just focus on these instead:
  • love: it feels silly to write this as i don’t think love can (or should) be achieved like a bullet point on an agenda, but i’m doing it anyway. it’s time for the real thing — for the next one to be the last one. i’m sure admitting this makes me suddenly irresistible to every man, because fewer things are more appealing than a marriage-minded woman who refuses to change her last name for you and can hear her ovaries crying. to avoid being a total cliche, i’ve joined okcupid (“okstupid,” as i’ve been calling it) over jdate. expect bad date stories to start peppering this blog and hopefully making it interesting for once.  
  • work: i can’t keep riding my own tailcoats forever. time to produce more than one great byline to tell everyone about. there will also be a book that chronicles the best of the first year of Haiku Wednesdays, the group i founded on Facebook, in addition to the work i do with GEEK (hope to also get a byline in the print mag this year) and my other standing clients. because work = money = debt reduction = freedom.
  • house: this is the year for landscaping, goddamnit. it is also the five-year anniversary of being a homeowner, which makes five years of calling various lenders and brokers to see about refinancing, only to be told to call next year when there is less likelihood of being underwater. with the remodel done and home values rebounding ever so slighty, this should be the year when i lock into a lower interest rate.
  • heart: i’m as nice as the next person (whatever that means), but there were a number of times last year when the bitch in me escaped from her cage. every instance was followed by apologies, regret and a vow to myself that i would be more restrained the next time i felt the most perfectly cruel words reaching my lips. now it’s time to make good by considering the following buddhist-esque questions every time the urge to say something bitchy strikes: is it honest: is it humble; is it kind? (i think the real buddhist maxim includes “is it necessary”? but nothing i say beyond “please” and “thank you” is really necessary so i’m not including that.)

    i don’t struggle with honesty, which is often part of the problem. humility is tricky as i’m full of needless pride that seems impossible to chip away at. i’m trying not to tempt the universe into giving me (another) epic beatdown by doing the job myself. and my kindness is fairly consistent until it lapses, at which point i’m reminded that i’m still far from being the person i want to be. so i will continue to remind myself before i speak: is it kind? is it kind? is it kind?
i also need to work on letting myself show vulnerability to more than just the five or so people i allow to see me without my armor, though as the years pass, this notion seems more unlikely. i’d like to say i’ll keep working on it but i doubt it.

overall, i feel strong going into this year, having finally put the identity crises away. it only took 36 years, but i’m mostly cozy with who i am (the bitch issue notwithstanding) and can cope better with the insecurities that do remain. i’d like to say i wouldn’t change a thing about everything it took to get here, but that’s untrue. there is plenty i’d do differently, none of which is worth harping on. instead, i’ll toast to the new year, roll up my sleeves and get to work.

Sunday, January 06, 2013

The Winter Malaise

like clockwork, it happens every year. things truck along swimmingly through thanksgiving and then something wicked this way comes in december. it’s stupid and silly and i know better and  now fear it’s become more self-fulfilling prophecy than organic necessity, but off to funky town i’ll go each winter with my emotions.

the town looks a lot like the inside of my house, where i will move about shiftlessly, refusing invitations in favor of curling up with my dogs to watch movies or read, or sometimes to just lay in bed and stare at the ceiling. i’m not particularly depressed, at least not this year; it’s more of a funk that makes me not want to do much of anything or see much of anyone.

but you had such a great year, i tell myself. remember that whole new york times thing? that thrilling trip to italy? your remodeled house and healthy family and kind friends? you are luckier than most, you pathetic crybaby. get your ass out of bed and go take in the fresh air on your new deck.

i know, i know, i know.

yet still, the ghosts of christmas past come to visit. i know these visitors well. i have baked them cookies and set up cots for them so they could linger as long as they like. grabbing a broom to sweep them out won’t work. they have a job to do and it’s easier to let them do it instead of resisting. better to open the vein and let it bleed than ignore it until it ruptures.

so it’s been flowing alongside the wine, sad music and picture books in my head. they look a lot like a big river of regret. there’s heartache and loneliness, too, fueled by holidays that do plenty to highlight the obvious. and what’s obvious is that it’s cold and i’m lonely. also obvious is that i need to repair this situation so 2013 doesn’t resemble 2012 in its solitude and celibacy. this may mean joining the wild world of online dating, as many of my friends have urged.

i’m dreading it as a central part of this winter malaise is laziness. though i’m not exactly content with the State of Things, i am content to lie around and sigh heavily about them — at least for now. though i have a feeling this will change soon as January has finally arrived, dragging with it all those annoying good intentions that seem to kick off each year. i feel them beginning to stir inside me as well.

there is plenty i want to do this year, none of which involve being a pathetic crybaby. this means these days of lying around and daydreaming about a past i can’t change and a future i can’t predict will soon come to pass, forcing me to attend to what’s already looking like a very demanding January. the freelance deadlines have begun to loom. i have a leaky roof that needs fixing. these holiday pounds need to go. there are boxes in the garage to sort through. life has been waiting.

i’m almost ready. i just need another week (or two) to leave the holiday lights around the deck, lie in bed while staring at the ceiling and hug the ghosts goodbye.