Monday, January 30, 2012

Weekend In Review

Walking down the hall to the bathroom I found myself with the overwhelming urge to pull the fire alarm in my building. I would love to go play hooky with Husband and enjoy some of this spring-like weather we’re having. Sitting at a coffee shop with him would be the perfect cure for this Monday. Alas, I have work to do.

This weekend I had two episodes of rage - small, in comparison, but debilitating, nonetheless. One Friday and one Saturday. After going so long without having these it was scary to have those thoughts again. Why does my brain think that stabbing my wrist with a fork (which I did NOT do, rest assured) would make the anguish better? Why do I have to scream things I don’t mean at Husband? Why aren’t the pills working?

I am monitoring myself closely now, allowing only for one more of these stupid outbursts to occur before I call the psychiatrist to move my standing appointment up. Having been on pills for so long, though, I do know that this is about the time when a medication will level off and you will see what dose you really need to be at. This thing isn’t a perfect science and it takes a lot of patience, but it’s hard to have that when you’re staring down the barrel of a loaded gun. (But not literally. We do  not own a gun and never will.)

Yet, I can tell that the medication did do something because once it was over it was really over. I took a xanax and a nap and forced myself out of the apartment to go see my nephew compete in the Lego Championship.  Watching a stage full of elementary school kids do the Dougie was edifying, not to mention cute as shit.

Sunday I took my nephew and nieces to the art museum. They are now all of the age where they can appreciate something as potentially boring as an art museum – even my four year old niece made it three whole hours before starting to ask that we leave “immediately”. It was really neat to share one of my passions with them. They are all little artists in one form or another at varying levels of skill and they were interested to see what works qualified as “real” art.

I proudly strolled them through the European art section, drooling over Degas and Rodin and some of the lesser known masters that I consider among my favorites. I was surprised to find them most interested by the abstract artists like Miro and Picasso (but everyone loves Picasso, really), my oldest niece claiming an interesting Jasper Johns piece as her favorite of all the things we saw. Though I hadn’t planned to take them there, we ended up in the Modern and Contemporary Art wing where they were fully submerged into the world of “Why the hell is this art?” There the youngest begged me to read the descriptions of the pieces that interested her, like the wall of mirrors with a small child and some stage lights on it and the one that captured all of us – a creepy sculpture of a pair of hairy child’s legs in wax in place of the handles of a faucet in an over sized sink.

Despite the fact that the parking garage raped my wallet (note to self, never use parking garage again) I was so happy to have been able to share that place with them. The Philadelphia Museum of Art was one of the first “real” art museums I ever went to and now it is theirs as well. I had been dreaming about that moment with them for years, biding my time until they were old enough to not get super bored by looking at pictures on the wall. Afterwards I took them all to Starbucks for little hot chocolates, rounding out doing all the things I love to do.

By the end of Sunday night – after a hearty helping of my sister’s chicken parmesan and a dance off with the nieces – I felt normal again. I felt like a part of my family, like a part of my life, which is so much better than a sad silent spectator. I hope that this means that the rages will be fleeting and not a worrisome sign of something in need of changing. I am hopeful, period, and that makes waking up on a Monday worth doing at all.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Lightening

Normally on my way up the stairs at my office there is nobody to accompany me. I like this, as it keeps me from having to explain why my breathing sounds like I've just ran a marathon by the top. It’s less embarrassing when I am alone. Today I was not.

Three stairs behind me was the pretty asian girl from the third floor, the one who parks as far out as possible every day. She is petite and stylish. As I turned a corner she caught my eye, smiling.

“Normally have you lost your breath when you get to the top?”

“Yes, I definitely do!” I replied. My smile broke into laughter. Apparently climbing the stairs is hard for other people too. This made me feel a lot less ashamed of myself.

The second social networking event was more networking than social but Husband and I were happy that we went. We both made some interesting contacts and, really, I don’t think either of us expected anything from it. Just another lesson in the benefits of lowering ones expectations, I guess.

Also, despite being a little drunk last night I actually feel pretty good today, probably because I was in bed before ten. It was pretty awesome. I slept a heavy, solid sleep dreaming of fish in various, colorful states existence. I awoke refreshed and totally happy with my early bedtime.

It appears as though the little old lady is sticking around after all.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

With Age Comes Being Old

The man on the radio told me yesterday that a fancy scientist did some analysis and discovered that the most depressing day of the year was yesterday. It’s called Blue Monday. There is even an existing formula to back it up, if you believe in formulas.

According to a press release by a mental health charity,[8] the formula is:
$\frac{[W + D-d] T^Q}{M N_a}$
where weather=W, debt=d, time since Christmas=T, time since failing our new year’s resolutions=Q, low motivational levels=M and the feeling of a need to take action=Na. 'D' is not defined in the release, nor are units.

I tended to agree with that statement, considering the heavy fog that had been hanging over the city all day. It wasn’t cold but it was dreary.  When I got home I flung my rain spattered purse on the couch and sighed exasperatedly.

J’en ai marre de cette journee!I exclaimed. I’m so sick of this day!

Husband responded by promptly rising from the spot and doing the dishes. And the world was good again. (I think I’ll keep him.)

Lately I have been feeling remarkably old. This is silly because I’m not even thirty yet, and I also do not believe that thirty is old (or forty for that matter). I am convinced that I must be possessed by some little old lady who is trying to get another few extra years out of life. The proof:
• My tights feel like sausage casing around my belly. I might be losing feeling in the lower half of my body, or else I am about to be squeezed in half.
• I just referred to this as a “three cup of coffee kind of day”. This is because I am having coffee after two P.M.. I am afraid it’s going to keep me up all night.
• I put on the adorable cocktail dress this morning (thought being: wear the dress to work, be ready to go as soon as I am done.) and upon realizing it’s a wee bit short in the rump area I deemed it “not work appropriate”.  Twenty one year old me is so ashamed.
• That third cup of coffee is needed because I went to be after eleven last night. ELEVEN, people. THAT IS SO LATE.
So I guess what I am wondering is how much does an exorcism cost these days? Or maybe I can lure the old biddy out with some nila wafers and tea? Either way I suspect that I tomorrow, after going to bed late two nights in a row, it’s going to be another three cup of coffee day.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Don’t Think So Much

As it turns out, all of my various insecurities were for naught. Our first Internations get together was delightful and I came home with a list of half a dozen emails for people that will potentially be AWSEOME FRIENDS. We hope.

After feeling a tad alienated and little bit desperate about meeting new people in Philadelphia, we were literally greeted with a smile (and metaphoric open arms) by women and men who, together, accounted for most of Central Europe and India. We talked about language, the homesickness one feels as an expat and Philadelphia in general. We had a couple of drinks. We mingled and laughed and called it quits in time to be home and in bed by ten. Oh yes, it was a terrific evening indeed.

All this potential friend making is excellent because I discovered this weekend that, on my camera, there are more pictures of my cat than anything else. It seems we have  become those people whose pet is their child. This is only a small exaggeration of the truth, unfortunately.

This weekend it snowed. It was the first snow since October. In my head I had pictured that I would want to go out into the first snow and walk around, throwing snowballs and making snow angels, breathing in the fresh cold air. In reality I just wanted to make cookies. Husband on the other hand, went out twice – once to shovel the walk and once to clean off the car. He was just that excited to go be in the snow. In lieu of baking cookies I took a nap.

Today it’s raining. It’s not cold but it’s so dark, as if the sun never really came out at all. On the roof in my office I hear a great rush of water come down all at once, pausing only momentarily before continuing to erase what’s left of the snow. I am once again struck by an overwhelming urge to bake. And nap.

Tomorrow is our second networking event, but this time I am not thinking too hard about it. We had to pay for tickets and that makes me think that kind of people who might be going could be very different, but I feel remarkably “whatever” about it. I bought an adorable little navy blue pleated cocktail dress and I am going to wear it and have fun regardless of the crowd.

Because at least I won’t be at home taking pictures of the cat.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Outings and Stuff

Yesterday in the parking lot I spotted this bumper sticker.  I totally loled.

I can’t be certain but I do think that this is the maximum amount of emotion felt toward New Jersey by anyone who isn’t from there.

Tonight after work Husband and I are going to our first social networking event in Philadelphia, hosted by the Philadelphia Internations group. I’m more than a little excited to get out there and socialize (if not ‘networking’, per se) because as previously mentioned we only have three friends in this area. I’ve lived here for over a year now! This is unprecedented for me, ever the social butterfly.

Tonight is kind of a hat toss, really, because the group could prove to be full of eurotrash yuppies or they could be like minded voyagers looking to connect and make friends. I went to several events in Paris that sported that kind of “I’m a world traveler and I am so much better than you” guest list and it made me gag a little. Honestly I suspect the latter case might be true tonight but one must prepare for the worst, musn’t she?

I got dressed today with the event in mind, though, darkening my eyes with my flashy liquid liner and putting on one of my power outfits – a vintage dress with blue leggings and my favorite yellow kitten heels. I wanted to be sure I dressed the part of me and not some up-classed version of me. If I really do meet any friend-worthy people there they will see me in my natural environment at some point and although I admit to becoming snobby on some subjects I am still a big mouth Colorado girl at heart. Too much fancy makes me grumpy. (But I love me some play-pretend!)

I could be thinking about it too much, actually.

I leave with this completely unrelated thought to ponder.  How is it possible that Morrisey has not died of something self inflicted? With lyrics like this, he makes Elliot Smith look emotionally put together (and we all know how that ended [he stabbed himself in the heart!]).

“There's a club, if you'd like to go
You could meet somebody who really loves you
So you go, and you stand on your own
And you leave on your own
And you go home
And you cry
And you want to die"

I mean, I actually like that song and I guess he is being ironic but that doesn’t make it less depressing. I’m just sayin’.

He said it best:

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Some News

On Friday night we stayed home again. We were out of money until the next paycheck, but no one was inviting us out anyway. It’s not that we’re not perfectly lovely people to be around, it’s just that we only have three friends in Philadelphia and they were all doing things. Nights like that -  when both of us would give our left arm to be able to socialize with someone else - we usually watch T.V.. It’s not exciting, but it fills the hours. Sometimes we don’t even talk to each other, just spending whole blocks of time glaring at the boob tube. (But honestly, I am shitty at multitasking when the T.V. is on, much to the chagrin of Husband when he wants to talk to me about anything.)

We were both feeling low. After two months of waiting we still hadn’t heard a peep about Husband’s work permit or green card. It was too soon for him to be able to ask for a temporary work permit (which is redundant anyway) but too late for us to not feel like time was eating us alive. For months now Husband has been tutoring French lessons, supplementing our income a little and keeping him busy, but the lack of “real job” was beginning to wear on both of us.

For all intents and purposes we have been on one income for well over a year now. First it was me not working and then it was him and neither of us have ever made enough of an income that didn’t make it feel tight at the end of the month whilst taking care of the both of us.We can barely imagine what it will be like when Husband has a full time, salaried job again and we won’t have say stupid things like “I have to wait until Friday to buy fruit.” Or “I think the car not starting isn't that big of a deal. It will probably make it to the spring.” Some of the things we miss are luxuries, it’s true, but right now we are longing for the luxuries. 401K, oh how I would love to open you up and add money.

So the T.V. was on and we were watching something non-memorable (because I don’t remember what it was). The dinner dishes were still laid out on the coffee table where we had left them. Two beers had been drunk. I got up to check my email, silently hopeful someone we knew would manifest an outing that we could afford. I clicked on gmail and scanned my messages.

“Oh my god - Baby!” I exclaimed, motioning for Husband to come look at my email.

After just having complained about how long this process was taking, there in my inbox was an update from the United States Citizens and Immigration Services.

“Ohmygodohmygod.” I clicked on the email, Husband just behind me on bated breath. I read it aloud.

“Your Case Status: Card/ Document Production

On January 12, 2012, we ordered production of your new card. Please allow 30 days for your card to be mailed to you.

“You got it! You got your work permit!”

“WOOOOOOO!!!” Husband exclaimed, speechlessly, laughing.

“Woohoooo!!!!” I echoed.

Alone in the living room, we jumped up and down and hugged each other wildly as if he had just won a million dollars.

“I don’t believe it,” he said, looking at the email again.

“Me either, I can’t believe we finally got it.”

I sat down to breathe and Husband brought us both another beer from the fridge. We clinked the bottles together and let the moment sink in before the moment to follow could arrive. This week Husband would officially start looking for jobs. All the waiting was going to come to some kind of end, relatively soon. Monday, he would have a new “job” to fill up his days.

After abandoning my emails, I smooshed onto the couch with Husband, still mildly in shock. I could tell that his mind was already spinning onto the next step, how he would find a job and the million and one what-if’s behind it.

“Don’t think about it tonight,” I said to him gently. “You’ll start looking full steam on Monday. For now we can just relax.”

He agreed and we pushed closer together, sipping on our beers. It was a brief milestone, but a milestone nonetheless. Soon – though no telling how long, really – our lives will resemble that of two normal, working adults who live in the same country. The last time that happened we were still living in Paris. Now, here in Philadelphia, our new life can really, truly begin. (No more limbo!) We had made it.

For that night, though, we were happy to just be together watching T.V..

Friday, January 13, 2012

Minor Accomplishments

This week I climbed the stairs to my office every single day except Thursday. (I took them down all five days, but I don’t consider that making much of an effort.) Though I am extremely proud of myself for exceeding my goal of every other day, I am terribly embarrassed at how much I huff and puff by the top. I am out of shape.

But I am doing it for my belly. I want that son of a bitch gone.

I was weighed at the doctor’s office on Wednesday whilst checking off one of the items on my 2012 To-do list (Get tested for nut allergy, CHECK.) and even without my boots the damn scale claims I’ve only lost two pounds. TWO POUNDS. And I am hungry all the goddamned time. The whole thing makes me cranky.

On another positive note however, I succeeded in putting down 1,300 words on my book last night. I think I am over the hump of that spot I have been hung up on, but I sense my work becoming thinner. I really just want to get this first draft down so I can move onto the second. It’s going to resemble a skeleton book when I pass it around at ‘friends-are-for-reviewing’ time, but it’s going to have an end. I estimate early spring for this blessed event, unless some kind of motivational miracle happens. At least winter is forcing me indoors.

This weekend Husband and I are off to look at gyms to join. We think, for some reason, that we would like to pick up the sport of racquetball. Neither of us have ever played it. I’ll let you know how that turns out.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

The ABC's of Travel

The ABC's of travel gives bloggers the opportunity to share their favorite and most memorable travel moments from A-Z!  Thanks to Deidre from Decoy Betty for tagging me! I'll be tagging (approximately) 3 other bloggers at the end of this post so they can share their ABCs as well!

A: Age you went on your first international trip: My first international flight was taken when I moved to France. One would think I would have at least visited France before moving there, but that’s just not how I do things. I like to be really backward and surprise people and lead them to believe I am insane. In fact, I had never even been out of the United States of America before the day I got on a plane to Paris.

B: Best (foreign) beer you’ve had and where: I couldn’t possibly tell you the name of it but it came in a stein quite literally as big as my head while visiting my friend Amy in Munich. We were sitting in a beautiful beer garden beneath a dark three story pavilion which, at the time, was home to a band playing german oompa-papa music. The beer was so light and hoppy that I had two which is probably more than a gallon of beer. I remember also, on the way to get another beer, passing a table where someone was sitting casually beside his pet guinea pig. We found this hilarious.

C: Cuisine (favorite): I’m not entirely lying when I say French. I love me some fine French food – foie gras, a good baguette, ohmyfuckinggod the cheese, duck confit, and did I mention the wine? But I will admit I didn’t ever get too exotic in the food department during my travels. I ate minimally in Spain and Germany, well… Bavarian food is what you imagine it’s like. All I am saying is I never made it to Italy.

D: Destinations, favorite, least favorite and why: Least favorite, really? I am not sure that I ever had a least favorite destination when I was abroad. It sound clichéd, but no matter where I ended up it always felt like an adventure. Even the simple act of changing trains in Stuttgart, Germany was lovely. I am not sure that will ever change. My favorite place was definitely Paris. It lived up to all of my childhood expectations and then some. I will always have a piece of my heart attached to that city.

E: Event you experienced abroad that made you say “wow”:  I had a lot of wow experiences, likely due to my open, fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants nature. I said “wow” walking around Paris at three a.m. one nuit blanche with three random british men trying to find a taxi. I said “wow” when I found myself half naked in the bathroom of Palais de Tokyo. I said “wow” when ended up hitch hiking in Spain. I said “wow” every single time the Eiffel Tower sparkled. I often found myself thinking “Wow, this really ismy life.” And laughing my head off about it.

F: Favorite mode of transportation: The train. Not only is it probably the safest, it will always be the coolest in my book. Ever since my Aunt and Uncle took my sister and I to Glenwood Springs on the Amtrak, I have found it to be the most relaxing way to travel. Also? I find myself incredibly prolific on trains. I don’t know why, but it’s a fact. Three journals were filled while living in Paris, riding on trains.

G: Greatest feeling while travelling: The arrival. There is something exciting about stepping off the chosen mode of transport into a new destination. I know that I am about to discover something amazing and I might have specific plans and I might not but something wonderful is about to happen. It’s a little like Christmas morning. I also loved being an American abroad. I felt special – even if it may have been in a negative way at some points. I have to be different in life (in a ‘you say black and I will have to say white’ kind of way) and travelling like that made me one of the odd men out, in the best way possible.

H: Hottest place you’ve traveled to: Spain in July. I remember, after having particularly pleasant weather for my whole 40km hike, arriving in Barcelona and immediately starting to sweat like a pig. I don’t know what the temperature was, I just knew I wanted to be NAKED. I couldn’t get to my air conditioned hotel fast enough.

I: Incredible service you’ve experienced and where: Nothing that was memorable enough for me to add it here. I have yet to go anywhere that I have been “served”, so to speak (outside of restaurants, I suppose).

J: Journey that took the longest: Getting to Munich. I missed my flight and so I ended up taking an overnight train to get there. I was stuck in a very small room with four other people, it was hot, there was snoring and I had gas. It was a long, long night.

K: Keepsake from your travels: Spoons. I have a collection of stolen spoons (still in France) from several of the restaurants in Paris. I wish they were with me now.

L: Let-down sight, why and where: The Mona Lisa. Anyone who has seen it in person can tell you why.

M: Moment where you fell in love with travel: See the letter F. On that trip with my Aunt and Uncle, we had dinner at the Glenwood Springs hotel. There was a whole pig on a platter being served, and I remember butlers crisp suits serving us. At that age (I think I was like 5 or 6) it was the fanciest, most exciting experience I had ever had. My play pretend thereafter was colored with fancy ladies staying in fancy hotels and traveling to exotic locations. We always paid with checks for some reason.

N: Nicest hotel you’ve stayed in: Money restrictions have always put me up in simpler hotels, staying with friends or in hostels, but in Barcelona I stayed at the Catalonia, Avinyo as a treat for actually making the trek to Casterojeriz by foot. I spent an entire day on their rooftop pool.

O: Obsession—what are you obsessed with taking pictures of while traveling?: I’m a building photographer. The architecture I grew up with was so wildly uninspiring that I find just about anything remotely aging impossibly charming. I’m a sucker for old falling down things.

P: Passport stamps, how many and from where?: Just one, from France. I took trains into Spain and Germany and France repeated jipped me in the stamp department.

Q: Quirkiest attraction you’ve visited and where: It was stateside. Definitely Cadillac Ranch in Amarillo.

R: Recommended sight, event or experience: The coast of Normandy. Oh god some of the most lovely days ever spent there. The geography of those cliffs is varying and lovely. The cold wind whipping on your face makes you feel alive.

S: Splurge; something you have no problem forking over money for while traveling: FOOD. I love to try the local delicacies and snacks.

T: Touristy thing you’ve done: Gone to the top of Rockefeller Center to see the sights. I would do it again, too.

U: Unforgettable travel memory: Hiking in Spain. I have rarely felt so happy to be alive as I did on that trip. The little towns that smatter the map between Barcelona and the Western coast are like little time warps. The intense pride I had in myself in the final mile approaching Castrojeriz (my destination) was immeasurable.

V: Visas, how many and for where?: Two, both for France. One student and one working visa.

W: Wine, best glass of wine while traveling and where?: Barcelona, Spain. While eating a plate of tapas and writing in my journal at some local hangout. The wine cost 1.50 in euros.

X: eXcellent view and from where?: Etretat, from the top. I couldn’t capture that kind of green if I tried. Y: Years spent traveling?Since High School. I set out with my best friend to Las Vegas in my mom’s minivan one weekend and the mere act of being somewhere new was enough to get me start moving around and I haven’t stopped since. Husband and I have a million hypothetical trips planned so I don’t think I ever will.

Z: Zealous sports fans and where?: Oh probably Spain with their futbol but I wasn’t paying any attention to that.

Tag you're it!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Therapy Is Good Like That

At therapy tonight I dumped. I took everything that had been building up on my brain like a residue and I let it out. It felt good to empty myself in that way. When we were done my therapist told me that she was proud of me for all the little things that I've been doing to get myself back to a truly solid emotional place.

And that is why I go to therapy. Because sometimes, even as adults, you need someone to tell you that they are proud of you.

I am proud of you, Boo Radley. So proud.

Mondays Are Like This

I know of no world in which foie gras and beer makes a proper meal, and yet that is what we ate for dinner last night. It should go without saying that I chose to take the stairs today, despite it being an “off” morning.

At the top of the fourth flight a marveled at my glorious ineptitude at climbing stairs. I am so out of shape. I was huffing and puffing and dizzy and completely embarrassed. People my age should not have this much trouble with stairs.

Last night I started a short stint as a volunteer for thisorganization. Perhaps it was exhaustion (I should have brought a snack) but it really hurt my feelings that the children laughed when I introduced myself as a secretary.

“You should have told them you are the Office Manager, that’s much more impressive,” Husband said.

“Yeah, but I was trying to teach the kids that anyone can be a writer,” I replied, defending my choice to not tell them I was a something more important than a glorified typist.

“They don’t care! They just want to be impressed.” Husband explained, Frenchly*.

I pouted and told him he was wrong and I felt butt hurt about it anyway.

Of course he was right, goddamn him. The truth is, my ego had been bruised by the cute hipster girl who was also volunteering who introduced herself as a writer. She has an MFA in creative writing and somehow this makes her a credible writer, whilst I am simply a secretary. Yes, I was wanted the spotlight on me, I am not too proud to say it.

Though I am apparently too proud to admit that I am a writer. So there is that.

Thankfully I have therapy tonight. I obviously need to talk about some things.

*Frenchly: adj. - a new word I invented to describe the act of acting particularly FRENCH.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Keepin' It Red

Whatever I had last week, it didn't last too long and for that I am grateful. I can only claim Seasonal Affective Disorder as the culprit; when the weather warmed back up I felt as good as new.

As promised, though, I did paint my fingernails bitch red. Tried and true, it worked to pick up my mood. The hot bath and dancing around to Justin Timberlake in my living room surely didn’t hurt, and I even stayed in that elevated state for most of the evening.

This week has the bones to be promising. I am putting my irons into the fire, so to speak, starting some new projects that my lead to the eventual return of my mythical sparkle. I won’t say much about what exactly because I don’t want to jinx any of that moving forward positivity. In the interest of not being too cryptic I will say that it has to do with writing and it’s not just on this blog. Let’s just say my word count is going to go UP.

Then there is the whole “losing weight” thing I mentioned. Husband and I’s conflicting schedules (and lack of disposable income after our New Years Eve spending spree) have kept us from starting up a new sport we can do together. We are leaning towards squash or racquetball or are they even different? I’m not sure. Whatever the case this leaves me NOT exercising which means also that I am NOT losing weight. I am trimming down our eating habits to be healthier, low carb and low sodium meals, but it’s that whole moving thing that needs to happen in order to drop the pounds. Or so I have been told.

So today on the ride in I decided that I would start taking the stairs every day. I work on the top floor of a four story building and I take the elevator to go up it. Mostly I blame the fact that I wear high heels to work, and while this does make stairs slightly more precarious they are not impossible. I did it Paris, didn’t I? Suck it up! I said to myself, and climbed up four flights of stairs this morning.

And I nearly died. I realized that “every day” might be a tad optimistic for me at the moment, and have since changed my resolve to “take the stairs every OTHER day.” A girls gotta stay real, you know? Or else there will be many many many days of red fingernails in the future.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Things I've Lost (That Need To Be Found)

The End.*

* click to enlarge.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Post Holiday Blues

Do any of you have them? Mine rattled in yesterday with the onset of a hard freeze and I haven’t been able to shake them today. It’s been dark – not in a snow-flurry kind of way, but rather in a ‘we’re in the throws of winter’ kind of miserableness wrapped in boohoo.

For the sake of Husband (Who has been in a relatively chipper mood - he is a cold weather person.) I am going to take myself home and pour myself a hot, hot bath. Maybe I’ll paint my nails, the jury is still out. He doesn’t deserve to have his good mood pooed on though, so I am going to make an effort to shake this feeling of general malaise.

I feel a little overwhelmed with my New Year’s To-Do list. I am trying to be full steam ahead, organizing volunteering and athletics and classes (and eating well and feeling beautiful and creative), but I think it may be time already to start breaking down lists into sub lists and giving myself realistic time frames for starts and completion. Diving in head first is making my head swim. Ha.

Once again today I thought about posting pictures for you all to see but decided against it. While I thought it might be fun to recap my New Year’s Eve with you all (for those who aren’t my facebook friends), I feel like it’s already past. I kind of want to leave it there. It’s just a pleasant memory that I don’t want futz up by reliving it over and over. That’s why pictures are nice. You can look at them, smile and then put them away and forget them. So much better than real memories in a hundred million ways. If we could turn off our brains in the same kind of way just imagine the things we could get accomplished.

I’ve decided, YES, I will paint my nails. Bitch red, I think, which always makes me feel extra feminine for some reason. I will shellac myself until my bad mood is gone.  I think I will download some music, too. I know for sure that this song will improve my attitude tenfold. Listen, I think you would agree.

Another New Year’s Post

When I was thinking of doing this post, I was going to do what some of my fellow bloggers have done and give you a month by month recap. There were going to be post track-backs and all that fancy stuff. There were going to be pictures.

The truth is, though, that 2011 was a hard year for me. It began with a big change (which we all know I do so well). Transitioning myself from a glamorous city like Paris back to Philadelphia was ultimately less difficult than I had imagined it would be. I got engaged. I got a job and an apartment. Things seemed hunky dory. And they were, I guess, if you don’t count the emotional turmoil I was sinking into. There were fights. A lot of them. Tears in even greater amounts. Heartache and fear for myself and for my future. Physical pain. Dark, cobwebby places I never knew existed. These are all things that I would rather like to sweep under the rug of last year and move on. I decided not to revisit them month by month.

To ring in the New Year I partied hard. Did you know that jagermeister is terrible terrible drink? Of course you did, you are all that much smarter than I am. It was the tipping point of my evening to be sure, but despite the eventual sickness that came from that toxic substance I had an amazing time. I was in New York with two of my best friends in the whole world - Husband and K from Austin (recently moved to Brooklyn!). We met people from other countries, joined their group and laughed our heads off. We danced. I felt beautiful and alive – for the first time in a very very long time. It was worth every second I spent passed out on the Subway (still sorry for that, Husband!!).

This year is about finding me again. That brush with the lovely, exuberant version of myself made me remember that I once was that girl. Even without alcohol, I used to feel magnetic. I want to feel that way again – 25 pounds over my ideal weight or not. I have nothing less than massive expectations for 2012 and they begin right here.

I want to find my sparkle. There used to be a magic about me and in the mess of getting married and becoming a part of a couple and starting my life over I covered it up. It’s there, though, behind layers of sweaters and long hair and scarves and I am going to take it out again to let it shine. Just like some warm sun-shining day in spring, I am going to strip of the extras until nothing is left but my naked soul, glowing you out of the room. You are going to want to bask in it and I am going to draw you in. 2012 is going to bring that, so help me God.

You can’t go anywhere but up from the bottom.