Sunday, January 31, 2010

Sunday Matinees

At 2 o'clock this afternoon I regretted watching Julie and Julia last night. Oh, I loved the movie (new on my list of favorites!); I just wished I had saved it for today, for a Sunday matinee. I am a creature of habit and today I was at a loss for what to do.

For the past few months my Sundays have started with coffee at home before a workout at the gym, after which I enjoyed my favorite breakfast and mimosas, and then watched a football game or two. My favorite time slot for the Patriots was 1 o’clock. Brunch segued right into game time and left me with the evening to cook or get ready for school or just sit around and watch more football. But football season is over for all intents and purposes (although I’ll root for the Saints on Superbowl Sunday) and today, as much as I was craving a weekend with nothing to do, it was strange for nothing not to include football…which is when I thought it would have been nice to watch a movie. (Thank goodness for Lifetime!)

I know, I could take a walk on the wild side and change things up, maybe start the day with toast and coffee and run errands in the morning (instead of on Saturday), then skip the bacon, eggs and mimosas for breakfast and work out in the afternoon, but I’m a creature of habit. I’m not quite as bad as my parents (yet)—I can eat dinner at a time other than 5 pm and can miss the 6 o’clock news—but I definitely crave routine and order too. I’ll roll with the punches if something comes up (like a 50th anniversary party), but I like my weekends they way they are. They vary depending on if I’m here or in Boston or have company, but when I’m here by myself I like the way they are. I have arrived at the current routine after trying other permutations and this one works. Homebody Sundays work just fine for me.

Now I just need to plan accordingly and have a movie on hand. So my big dilemma is whether or not I should up my Netflix membership to two movies at a time or save my one allotted movie for Sunday afternoon.

I can handle that.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Great Minds Text Alike

I erased my text messaging inbox last night after we ended our exchange, but I think I remember most of the texts between Tamara and me, hers arriving just after I settled in after a long week.

T: OMG I’m at WalMart and I just heard someone call it WalmartS. I had to share my pain.

me: LOL Happy New YearS!

I should have gone to SafewayS.

Is there a CostcoS close by?

It’s over by TargetS

LOL That’s way out of the wayS then. AnywayS…

You win! What was I thinking dealing with the Master?

You owe me an eXpresso!

You always have to get the last word in edgewise!

eXpecially when I’m on a roll…

Well, I’ll then I guess I'll wish you an early Happy ValentiMe’s day!

Now u win! Love you!

Love you too! G-night.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

[Heart] Words

I am happy that I paid attention in high school and completed my vocabulary lessons. I am grateful that Dr. B. took the dictionary out when he had a no-show and reviewed words I had learned in high school (avuncular comes to mind) and taught me new ones while I was doing day sheets. Using good, not necessarily big, but good, smart words gives me a thrill.

Using the word tarmac for the first time made me feel like I had arrived; it was the intellectual equivalent to a debutante ball. (Woo hoo! I travel; it’s a tarmac, not a parking lot for planes!) Likewise, I bristle when I hear someone misuse a word, like nonplussed. (I know it sounds like I’m “not plussed” (even though plussed is not a word), so people think it means I’m “not confused,” but it means the opposite. Nonplussed means confused. A nonplus is a quandary.) Finally, I still care enough about words that when I hear one I believe is mispronounced I will get up and take the time to look it up in the dictionary. (For the record, the guy on the news wasn’t wrong when he said forMIDable with stress on the second syllable, but the way I pronounce it, with stress on the first, is the first pronunciation given.) (And, people, plethora is PLEthora, not pleTHORa. The latter is not even an option.)

I love that word, plethora, and avuncular, and nonplussed, and heretofore. Antithetical is a favorite, and specious is a good one too. Portend and prescient get a high five, and ornery definitely gets a “good word!” out of me. I find myself using gauche a lot (shame that I find the need) and bourgeois comes in handy. While the Merriam-Webster on-line dictionary does list staycation and frenemy (egads!), it does not acknowledge jackassery. I, however, do. It’s in my favorite old-school dictionary (Webster's Ninth New Collegiate), and it’s a favorite word. In fact, a lot of it goes on in my classroom and the halls at school, so I’d be lost without it.

Debacle, snafu, behoove, comeuppance, upend, erudite, fecund... oh how I [heart] words.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

A Teacher's Prayer

Dear God,

I know you have better, more important things to do, grave situations to ameliorate, needy people to feed and comfort. I get that. But maybe, just maybe, you need a little coffee break and are looking for something not-so-time-consuming to do, something a little more fun if not particularly satisfying.

So I ask you, if you aren’t mad at me for anything, to pleeeease give me a snow day. I haven’t had one since December. And I haven’t had a delay since the beginning of January. I checked my journal, God, and at this point last year I had 3 snow days and 3 delays. I’ve been really busy lately and it would just be nice to have your permission to sit around and do nothing. Because really that’s what a snow day feels like to me, your way of saying Take a Break.

Within the next few days would be perfect. I just got Julie and Julia in on Netflix, I have lots of laundry to do, and I haven’t cooked a pot of soup in a while. (I might still have a nice bottle of red Jill and I never got around to opening.) And I’d like to have a little more time to write, too.

So, I’m just saying a good old fashioned Nor’easter would do the trick. Actually, that would really rock. And please, please, please not on a weekend. Because that wouldn't be a real snow day.


PS I'd even promise to stop asking for the new gym members to fall off their resolution wagons.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Group Hug

In the past I may have started this post by saying, I have no right to be sitting here writing! when I still have midterm exams to correct and grades are due tomorrow at 7 am, but I don't believe that. I do have the right, and I do have the desire. If not every day, writing is certainly part of my week--several times a week. I feel at home at the keyboard. And yet it has been 6 (albeit busy, fun, exciting) days since my last post. I'm in writing withdrawal....

I also already miss having Jill around (she just left this afternoon), and I don't know what I'll do with myself next weekend. The party is over and not only will I have not have any centerpieces to arrange, but I won't have a hectic schedule to keep. I suppose that part is not bad; it will be nice not to have to be someplace new every few hours. Yet there was some comfort in the chaos. The party was a collective (and successful) effort; at every point in the frenetic schedule I was with friends and family. The whole weekend was a bit like a big, long group hug. Although I did shed a few sentimental tears, I laughed far more than I cried. I would do it all over again.

But since I don't have to, I will have a nice, quiet weekend with a little more time to write.

PS Didn't Norma do a great job on the cake?...

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

[Heart] Care Packages

It has been a busy week. We are in midterm exams at school and as always I'm a little behind in correcting around this time, catching up just as two-hour exams are completed and ready for correcting. At home I've been trying to get ready for a house guest (Jill gets here tomorrow night!), getting overdue cleaning projects done (despite previous revelations and proclamations to keep up with my space). Meanwhile, I keep getting these pesky migraine headaches, which is probably not a surprise, but really, really sucks. I want to hide in the dark, not correct under fluorescent lighting, and that's exactly what I did at around 11:30, after giving a day at work my best effort.

Lucky for me I came home with a care package from Amy and Chris, who had made meatballs and sauce last night and were nice enough to share some with me. How nice it was tonight to boil some pasta and heat up their sauce and meatballs and have a delicious meal in minutes, made with love, comforting and filling.

I would have enjoyed it as much without a migraine, during a not-so-busy week, but today the timing was just perfect. I was reminded that I love care packages (like my French onion soup from Maureen at Christmastime)(and limoncello from Erika), generous gestures of sharing, homemade gifts from the heart.

Monday, January 18, 2010

An American Dream

My parents’ 50th wedding anniversary is this week. To honor them and celebrate this momentous occasion (really, can you imagine?) my sisters and brothers-in-law and I are having a big shin-dig for them next weekend—complete with a polka band and pierogi. As their printed invitations announced, “Please join us for dinner and dancing following 4 o’clock mass[…]” We are going all out for my parents because…well…because they deserve it. Obviously, there is a considerable accomplishment in being married 50 years. That in and of itself seems worth a party. But there’s so much more than that.

They never had a wedding. They married quietly in Poland in 1960 before emigrating here, separated for the first several months of their marriage. They worked hard, learned English and had three daughters. They educated us all, threw two weddings, and dote on four grandchildren. They have been retired for several years, but my father still does side work on a farm, and my mother keeps busy in her garden and the kitchen. Lately, they’ve been getting excited about the party.

Jill flies in from San Diego Thursday night, and Norma is coming up on a train from New York Friday night ahead of Ray and their kids to help us out and to make the wedding-style cake. Saturday I’ve enlisted Donna again to get our centerpieces right and the hall looking perfect, and Sandy is meeting us there well in advance with her black-and-whites and bar gear in tow to make sure the bar is ready to go. My dad is chomping at the bit to throw some money in the pot, of course (absolutely not!), and my mom is going to bake some desserts (there was no saying no to that), but for the most part they have accepted that this something we want to do for them. It is their turn.

If you put them on a couch like the couples in When Harry Met Sally, I wonder what they’d say. What was the secret to their success, other than divorce being absolutely not an option for them? I honestly don’t know what they’d say, and while I am curious, I don’t think I’d ask. Instead, it is enough to remember, when I think of my parents and times in our life as a family both good and bad, two things.

Even if they weren’t talking or I could tell my mother was mad at my father for something, my father always kissed my mother when he walked in the door from work. Every day my parents kissed. And at every event at which there was music, they danced.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Words to Live By

I was out with my friend Kim tonight; it was our first time catching up in a long while. In fact, it was our rescheduled holiday get together. We work together--well, we're teachers in the same building--but rarely see each other. We might pass each other in the hallway or wave across the room at our monthly staff infection, I mean meeting, but we maintain our friendship outside of school, albeit sporadically. Sometimes it takes several tries to pick a date, pencil it in, and then not erase it, but eventually it happens. And we enjoy ourselves. The nice thing, as with most adult friendships, or those worth working on and keeping anyway, is that we don't guilt trip each other or set unreasonable expectations. I don't take it personally if something comes up with her daughter or if she has plans with another friend; she doesn't take it personally if I have something else going on. It works.

Aside from having gone to high school together and then finding ourselves 15 years later teaching at the same school two towns away (both having taken circuitous routes there), she and I have something else common these days. She has a dear friend, Patty, who is battling cancer and, as you know, I have a dear cousin, Donna, doing the same. She asked about Donna and I told her she is just amazing, doing remarkably well. She shared the same about Patty. And we both agreed that we don't think we'd have the same strength or courage to fight as gracefully and valiantly as they both have been fighting--and winning--the battle. Then, at the same time Kim and I both recalled hearing from people in situations such as theirs that you never think you have the strength until you need it, until you find yourself in the middle of the fight.

"I don't know, Kim," I said. "Donna is working, willing to help us decorate for my parents' anniversary party. I just had dinner with her last weekend. She's so positive and energetic and focused, and honestly, I'd probably be like, on the couch, 'Where's my cocktail? Would somebody get me a f**kin" drink for God's sake?! I'm dyin' ovah he-ah!'" (though not dying, of course)

At which point Kim thought the moment was perfect to give me my present: a fun, faux needlepoint throw pillow which reads: I'll have a caffe mocha vodka Valium latte to go, please!

(And to which Donna just replied when I told her the story of how I think I'd react, "How's that any different from the way things are now??" ha. ha. ha.)

Touché, sistahs. Good times.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Deep Freeze

I clean “experiments”, out of my refrigerator fairly regularly—or at least as often as I need the room for new, fresh groceries. Rubbery celery gets tossed to make room for fresh celery that I vow to eat every last bit of—including the leafy heart that I’ll put in soup. Slimy mushrooms make room for another container of mushrooms and carrots…well…you get the idea.

I have been better lately (really, I have!), trying to plan meals and real cooking experiments based on what I have on hand and on my plans. If I fall in love with a container of cremini mushrooms I make sure to pick up some pizza dough or plan to make a pasta dish with them because I know I won’t go through all 10 ounces on salads. If I buy deli meat it shouldn’t be a week during which I plan to cook a lot, because I’ll end up with uneaten leftovers or sandwich meat that will go funky before it gets eaten. And I shouldn’t buy a lot of produce if I have plans to go out more than once, because restaurant leftovers will make their way into my fridge, and let’s face it, it’s much easier to nuke leftover curry chicken and vegetables with sticky rice than it is to caramelize onions and get my dough paper thin.

I am my mother’s daughter, so I hate to waste things, especially food –try as I might not to—and including money, which is why I shop on sale and freeze. Unfortunately, my freezer doesn’t get as much attention as my fridge.

As things fall out I shove them back in, rearranging the contents only as absolutely necessary. (Ice for my cocktail might be melting on the counter, after all.) But today I had a little extra time to tackle one of those non-emergency—even though I do risk life and limb (okay, maybe I only risk broken toes) when I open my freezer—projects that gets put off. And because the other day I couldn’t tell, when I put several new chicken breasts in the freezer(purchased on sale, of course)(and smartly labeled—this time), if those frozen lumps of chicken already in there were boneless and skinless or not, it was time. And it went a little like this.


Berries. Oh yeah, I thought I might try to get on a smoothie kick. (Right after I moved in. In 2007.)

Oh, I already had two steaks in the freezer when I bought those two steaks to have in the freezer? (When do I ever make steak at home? Do I think one day I’m going to get tired of the 9.95 Outback special?)

Ditto pound of raw shrimp.

Ditto pound of cooked shrimp.

Ouch. M*#$^ er F(&$^%*er.

I think I’m all set with pork roasts.

Freezer burnt Gyoza. And haricot verts. Yum. Not.

I think that was chicken pot pie filing. When did I make that?

Is that veggie soup? Or tomato sauce?

Lean Cuisine? (I am proud that I haven’t eaten a frozen meal in years.)

Chopped onions? Because I’m ever without at least one yellow and one red onion in my yellow bowl next to my utensil crock?

Oh my God, mom would be so upset if she knew you never ate these pierogi.

1, 2, 3, 4…Looks like I can have a bagel a week until spring. Maybe my birthday. (I’m a Memorial Day baby.)(I rarely eat bagels. Rye bread is my bread of choice for my Sunday breakfasts and my occasional sandwiches.)(Interestingly enough, I am out of my freezer stock of rye bread. And baguettes.)

How long have I had this kielbasa?

Why didn’t I wrap this sausage better?

Okay, I’ve got wheat bread. Good. I can make that work.

Tortillas? Maybe I’ll have a soft taco tonight.

Sh*t. No fish. Well, I could do shrimp. No cabbage.

I could go for a piece of halibut.

Wow. That's much better. No broken toes for me!

Mystery food went in the kitchen sink to thaw before it met its fate in the disposal. And I exercised great restraint not to start a new grocery list for freezer stock. I did however look through the grocery store fliers. And organize my coupons.

I love my mother dearly, but becoming her clearly it has its drawbacks.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

[Heart] Cold Sesame Noodles

After abandoning my lofty and sophomoric goal to cure cancer, which I was puerile enough to put in print in my high school yearbook under my senior portrait, I have been involved in pursuits less grandiose, more gastronomic. I am in search of memorable Caesar salads (I know where to order them and where not to bother), the juiciest burger within a 50 mile radius (Ted’s, hands down), and perfect sesame noodles—that I can make at home. Inspired by the sesame cold noodles on the appetizer menu at Char Koon, which I can eat in two sittings and which therefore I try to avoid, I started my search for a recipe I can make at home, which does not require leaving the house (and where portion control is a bit easier).

For a few years I stuck with the first recipe I found in a magazine, which was good. Very good, in fact. But not quite right. So I tried Ming Tsai’s recipe. And Tyler Florence’s. And I melded the two. Nope. And I tried others. Then last year Amy gave me a Trader Joe’s cookbook and in it there was what I consider a cheater recipe—equal parts TJs Soyaki, water, and peanut butter, with a dash of dark sesame oil. I add red pepper flakes for heat and whenever possible, I garnish with cucumbers, shredded carrots, green onions, and sesame seeds. When I have more than fifteen minutes and protein on hand (or the foresight to have taken some out of the freezer) I might also make pork tenderloin medallions, or chicken, marinated in aforementioned TJs Soyaki . ( I know, Trader Joes needs a [heart] note, although it did get its own post). Sometimes I’ll quickly sauté some shrimp.

But any and every way, they are easy to make and always come out the same: delicious. Spicy and satisfying, they are my Asian comfort food fix, which is why I [heart] cold sesame noodles.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Cleared for Take-Down

I don't decorate for Christmas the day after Thanksgiving, and I don't take my tree down the day after Christmas. Growing up we waited to take down the tree until after January 6, The Epiphany,Three Kings Day, which was also the day my mother would write lightly in chalk along the top of the dining room door "K+M+B=[year]". It took me years to bother to ask what it meant, assuming it had something to do with my parents and their first born/my oldest sister, since all three initials corresponded, but that's another post. (Caspar is spelled with a K in Polish.) In any case, the three kings got to the manger yesterday, and now it's okay for me to take down my decorations. [radio static] Catholics, you are cleared for take-down.


In recent years I usually tackle the task on the first weekend or the first snow day following Three Kings. There is snow in the forecast for the overnight, but it looks we are only going to get a dusting, so I'm not hopeful. That doesn't mean I won't be touching my lucky snowman today, however it looks more likely that my plans this weekend include multiple trips to the basement. Which, I suppose I can't complain about. It's clearly a lot easier than following a star and walking through desert, with gifts no less, for 12 days. Un-decorating I can do guess. With or without a snow day.

It's just that I've gotten used to having my angel collection around. And I just put up the sparkly star I bought on clearance last week at Pier 1 and haven't had a chance to go back for more. (I [heart] Pier 1.) And I love to sit by the light of the Christmas tree at night. It's so relaxing. But now it's time to take it all down, and put it all away until next year, which makes me wonder...

What will vodka with cranberry juice taste like if not from my Joyeux Noel glasses?

Wednesday, January 6, 2010


I’m not one for New Year’s resolutions. I do spend a little time reflecting, maybe more than on some given days, but I’d like to think I keep current with self-reflection and evaluation and set goals when I recognize I need to. Take my decision to join the gym when I had to step away from the pool and into some real clothes and go back to work in them. I knew it was time; I had put it off long enough. And now, as I start the New Year I am happy to have 3 months under my belt.

But it appears that most people in my vicinity wait until the New Year to begin fitness as overnight it appears that the MEMBERSHIP AT MY GYM HAS DOUBLED. And all the new members have looked at the traffic pattern handout, which I got too, and decided to beat the rush, as I like to do, so now the rush begins earlier. So now I can’t beat the rush. Speaking of that, don’t most people work 9-5? So why the hell are they there at 3? We can't all be teachers.

On New Year’s Day I was one of 5 people in the gym that morning. Yesterday, after school, every single treadmill was taken in the cardiovascular room. Thank God one was taken by me. Because if I couldn’t get on a machine, I might have gone postal.

So, I’m wondering—since I don’t make resolutions—how long it takes before people break them? Now that I mean to wish failure upon people, but I kind of liked going to the gym and not being one of millions. (Okay, maybe not millions, but it’s definitely a full house.) I have even gotten used to seeing students on occasion. I will not, however, get used to not having a machine in front of Ellen and/or Oprah when I go after school.

So what do you think? Will people give up when they supersize their nachos on Superbowl Sunday and rediscover their love of pizza? Do I have to wait for the Valentine's Day chocolate binge for people to fall off the fitness wagon? When does the do-gooder, legal crack come out? Maybe they will they just sort of start dropping like flies?...I'll keep you posted.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

My New Toy

I was pleasantly surprised over the weekend by an unexpected gift: an MP3 player. Yay! Fun! Now I can listen to music when there’s nothing good on TV at the gym.

Okay. Before you get all OhMyGod I Can’t Believe You Didn’t Already Have One! on me let me assure you that I was not walking around embarrassing myself with a Discman. Or an even more archaic Walkman. Although I understand Sony is using that name again with MP3 players, I mean the brick-size cassette player radio that came with a belt clip, which is the Walkman I remember. Can you even imagine what my students would do if they ever saw one? But I remember well, back when I used to run in Boston, holding mine in my hand (because it didn’t attach well to spandex), cranking my Pat Benatar tape to pick up the pace. ([begin head bobs here] “People walking ‘round all lost and confused, trying to get their lives out of the gutter!...” [guitar riffs here])

It took me a couple of tries to figure out what I was doing, how to get music from my CDs to my computer to my fuchsia MP3 player. I still don’t know if I was ripping or burning or downloading or some combination of the three but I’m pretty much a pro at it now. (Why can’t it just be downloading? Or is it uploading?) (And why can I still feel like such a technological moron?) So far I have downloaded some U2, some Peter Gabriel, some Genesis, some Led Zeppelin (Zep!), some Stylistics, Harold Melvin and the Bluenotes (with Teddy Pendergrass), and a few odd singles. When I decided to step away from my laptop and get some other things done (like eat dinner) I took a few minutes to listen to something on my new toy. I put my on head phones—I mean ear buds—and danced around to Modern English’s Melt with You. Seriously danced. I have a lot of music to go but am so excited! Like a kid on Christmas. Only I’m 44.

I think, in my effort to find peace and quiet, and block out the noise, and take time to meditate and do my daily affirmations, I don’t often listen to music anymore. Especially in the car. But, if you can tell by my play list, I love all kinds of music. So maybe before upgrading my cell phone to one with a QWERTY keyboard so that I can text more easily I’ll get a little speaker set instead to plug in my MP3 at home so I can listen to more music again, to dance around the house and find joy in music as I do in silence.

I mean to rock on with my bad, MP3 player self.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Two Hour Delay

I knew last night that this morning would be a struggle. I'd want to snooze my alarm, and I'd probably move around in relatively slow motion after being on vacation for more than a week. I'd become accustomed to sleeping in and leisurely mornings and 5:30 was sure to be a rude awakening. So in addition to getting my lunch ready and planning my outfit last night, I also decided to set my alarm a few minutes early--5:21 instead of 5:28--to build in some time for moving slowly and/or hitting snooze. Just in case.

At 5:21 I hit snooze. And got back on my bed, but not under my covers. By 5:22 I was in the shower. When I got downstairs my coffee was still brewing (I didn't change my timer on my coffee maker). I sat down and turned on the TV and saw names of towns in groups of three appearing on the bottom of the screen. Hmmm...Guess those flurries at the tail end of the storm amounted to more than a dusting for some towns. The Os were going by. Of course none of those towns are close by, and my school district is at the beginning of the alphabet, so I waited.. The Ps and Rs meant nothing to be either. But then came an S next door, and another and another; the Ss started talking to me. So I went over to my laptop and there in my inbox was my 2 hour delay notification. I walked back to my couch and picked up my house phone, and there on my caller ID was the call I missed when I was being my Up and At 'Em! self in the shower.


If I went back to bed my hair would dry all funky. Plus, I was already feeling awake, and my coffee was finally ready. And it smelled really good. Going back to bed didn't make sense.

Guess I get my leisurely morning after all.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Setting the Tone

I believe I have mentioned that my mother is the Queen of Superstitions. In fact, some of what my sisters and I lump together as “superstitions” are probably a combination of Farmer's almanac applications, some folklore, some old wives’ tales, some religious traditions, and only a few can't be-classified-as-anything-other-than superstitions.

Saving the ends of our umbilical cords and putting them in coin envelopes, and then sending us off on our respective first days of school with them in our pockets, was supposed to make us smart and is definitely one of those can't-be-explained-any-other-way-than Superstition (although, truth be told, we all excelled in school). Not harvesting cabbage to make the year's sauerkraut until after All Souls' Day (maybe All Saints') probably had more to do with the weather and when cabbage was actually ready for picking, or maybe taking the time on a holy day to prepare for the winter, than anything else, but over time it garnered an or else clause that I can't put my finger on (it won't ferment right?). To this day that is when my mother and father prepare their barrel of cabbage to ferment and become our year's supply of sauerkraut. They won’t tempt the fate of a bad batch or a growing a third eye or whatever else, and every year the sauerkraut is great.

This week my mother has no doubt been making notes about the weather on each of these twelve days of Christmas, which is supposed to foretell the weather for the twelve months to follow. If it snows on the seventh day it doesn't mean it will snow in July, but I think it means it will be a wet month. I'm not sure my mother follows up on the accuracy, but for those twelve days she makes notes and for twelve months they can be found among her coupons on the kitchen counter.

Another one of her superstitions says that how you spend the first day of the New Year is how you will spend the whole year. Interesting, right? I must say that this is one of those I have come to see not as superstitious at all, but instead embrace as making a lot of sense. There needs to be a little flexibility in the interpretation, of course—especially for those of you out there who spent the better part of January 1 nursing a hangover and making empty promises to God so you could feel better fast—but it makes perfect sense to me. It’s about setting a tone at the beginning of a new year, and an opportunity for fresh starts. Maybe you don’t want or need a fresh start. In that case it could be about taking stock and appreciating the way you live and who you love. Maybe it’s just about making the most of your day, on the first day of the New Year.

How did I spend the first day of the year? That is, am I being smug?

Well, I woke up around 7, made coffee, then sat and wrote for a little while. I wanted to get some writing time in because I didn’t know when I’d have free time to write again for a couple more days because I was having company. When I finished writing I went to the gym, and then came home and got ready for what was a very nice weekend.

So if, according to my mother’s superstition, that means this year I will continue to take care of my physical and creative selves and enjoy the company of special people, I am happy. And I’m happy to be smug if that’s what you deem me to be. (Or maybe you’re just pissed that you didn’t know about the superstition and spent the first day of the year looking for the cold spot in your sheets, or worse, on your tile floor, wishing you had Yoo-Hoo and a Big Mac. )

Either way, Happy New Year to us all.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year!

Wishing you health and happiness in the New Year.
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