Tuesday, January 24, 2012


After my friend Sarah saw my last blog post about my falling prey to the Hunger Games, she admitted that she too had been sucked into the series on her honeymoon.

Along with her memories of eating exquisite meals beneath the lights of the Eiffel Tower in Paris and soaking up rays on the French Riviera with her new husband, she also recalls finishing the Hunger Games and then running from airport bookstore to airport bookstore like a drug addict looking for her next fix.

Not wanting me to suffer the same end, Sarah offered to bring me the second and third installments to help support my habit. And yesterday, she delivered, meaning sleeping, eating, doing anything at all productive must be put on hold.

Sarah. My colleague. My friend. My enabler.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012


I'm pretty proud of the fact that until recently, I've successfully avoided reading any and all of the cult novels that have seemingly taken the world by storm. Harry Potter, Twilight, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo - I haven't read any of them.

Worse than not reading them, I judged those who did. Almost with an air of superiority, whenever conversations about these books came up, or invitations to see the films about the novels were extended, I'd decline, walk right by, as if I was too advanced to engage in coversations about such meaningless books.

I mean, if so many people like it, it can't possibly be good, right?

I thought I was better than all of those people who had allowed themselve to fall prey to popular literary culture.

That is, until The Hunger Games.

This book has completely consumed my life over the last five days. I can't sleep, I forget to eat, I've put off things that really need to get done (like work projects) so that I can read it, and I fear it's only a matter of time before I begin finding my very own Katniss "Fire Girl" costume to go to the movie when it comes out on March 23, 2012 at select theaters.

Who's in? Looking for my Peeta.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Namaste. And be quiet.

If you're one of those people who has had to endure my recent tirades about how much I love hot yoga, I apologize. A five class trial at a yoga studio near my house, and now I've become a full-on yogi, taking 4-5 classes every week, telling anyone who will listen how much I love it and inviting others to join me in class (Do you want to come? Seriously. Come!).

Have no fear, I still drink (too much) beer and coffee, still make irresponsible food choices (I've been surviving solely on candy and baked good since the holidays), and still don't get nearly enough sleep; I haven't completely gone to the dark side.

I've just added yoga to the list of current obsessions I have. My body and mind feel strong, and I feel centered for the first time in a long time. Plus I'm doing things I haven't done since I was a teenager -- like back bends and splits. Moves I can only assume will make me popular in the dating world.

Much to the delight of the more seasoned yogis, lately we've been experimenting with inversion poses, or handstands. As much as I have come to love yoga, I do not love the handstand portion of the class. I just feel so out of my element, flailing my legs in the air, praying I won't fall and embarrass myself.

During one class recently, the instructor walked around and offered to assist those trying to get into the handstand pose. She and I made eye contact and the look of desperation in my eyes told her I was in need of some help.

She gave me some pointers about how to set up for the pose. Once I was in the right position, the only thing left to do was to go for it.

"Ok, now just kick your legs," she gently said, ready to catch them. I did as I was told, albeit with a lot of hesitation, and with her help, I successfully did a handstand.

Once my legs were safely on the ground, I looked up at her to tell me what I needed to work on.

"It seems you have issues with trust," she said.

I know she was talking about trusting myself and my body to do the handstand, but I couldn't help but laugh at what felt like her unexpected insight to my soul, as I thought to myself, "Girl, you have no idea."

Only instead of just thinking privately how much the instructor's comment really meant, I actually said, out loud, in front of her and everyone else in the class, "Oh, you said it, sister."

I said it with a smile on my face, but my eyes still widened and my face burned with embarrassment when I realized I'd used my outside voice instead of my inside one. Some of my fellow yogis chuckled as I shrugged my shoulders and laughed. I don't think the instructor knew what to do or say, so she gave me a sympathetic, awkward smile and then walked away to help someone else.

Yoga is all about quieting your mind so that you can be present within the moment. But maybe I could work on just being quiet in general, and keeping my angst to myself. Clearly, I have a lot to learn, and not just how to do a handstand.


Monday, January 2, 2012

happy freaking new year.

Just like Thanksgiving is a time to reflect upon what we are thankful for, most bloggers this time of year are reflecting on 2011 and sharing what they are looking forward to in 2012. At the risk of sounding negative and cryptic, I can say with certainty that I've never more looked forward to an opportunity to hit "reset" on a year in my life. Bring on 2012.

With all of 2011's disappointments (and I do plan on sharing more on those, when the time is right), each year always offers an opportunity to learn and grow and change for the better. So while I'm looking forward to 2012, I will not forget all that I learned in 2011:

Being kind is far more important than being right.

Evident by the display of Christmas cards in my house right now, my friends honestly do have the most gorgeous children ever.

Getting stepped on at a party hurts. So does falling off a bike in wine country.
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In their words and deeds, people will show you who they are. Believe them.

I will never tire of "Your Momma" or "That's what she said" jokes. Simple. Effective. Always hilarious.

I can hold my own on a ski slope and a golf course. Unfortunately, becoming a skier and a golfer means spending lots of money. I am gifted with the ability to find expensive hobbies.
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As sad as it is for me to admit, The Office is really not as funny without Steve Carrell. But I still love it. (Also, Mindy Kaling is still hilarious and her book Is Everyone Having Fun Without Me is worth reading.)

I can travel by myself. Solitude can be healing . . .

. . .Buuuuuut traveling with friends is my favorite. I hate drinking alone.

True, we shouldn't measure our self worth by our material possessions, but never underestimate the power of great jeans. Specifically, Citizens of Humanity Angie Super Flare jeans.

Bravo makes a lot of disturbing, yet highly entertaining and addicting television shows.

I get by with a little help from my friends. Actually with a lot of help from my friends.

Coffee tastes better when someone else makes it.

The people who want to stay in your life will always find a way.

I like the Avett Brothers and I like Mumford & Sons, but sometimes their music sounds the same to me.

The olive oil and salt frozen yogurt topping at Star Provisions is truly life-changing. Thank you, Callie.

I don't see anything wrong with still having a flip phone, even if it means facing the ridicule of everyone (including complete strangers). But if someone wants to present me with an iPhone 4s, I would happily accept it and Face Time into eternity.

I have, for better or worse, developed a style that is distinct and unique to me, and I've built a wardrobe that reflects it. So much so in fact, that when I sent this picture of this dress to my friends asking them what they thought, most of them responded with, "That looks like you," or "That is SO a Stephanie dress." Some of them (my mother, for example), responded, "That's hideous. It looks like a dressing gown," so I'm not sure my distinct style is good. But it's mine.

I don't get Radiohead. I don't think I ever will. And yes, I've seen them live.

Being a Red Sox fan (and I still don't know how that happened), means signing up for a lifetime of disappointment. But I'd rather be disappointed than ever be a Yankee.

I love Jimmy Fallon. Like for real. And yes, I know he's married. I also know that the fact that he's married is not even close to the top of the list of reasons why we will never be together.

My family is everything to me. Everything. Thanks to them, I've learned the most important lesson of 2011:

For the past few years, my New Year's resolution has been to manage my expectations, as if lowering what I expect from people and situations I could somehow save myself from ever feeling let down. But living a life expecting the worst just seems like a miserable existence and since I just can't stop thinking and hoping that something great is going to happen, I've failed at that resolution over and over again. True, maybe I could work on how I react when my expectations aren't met, but I refuse to stop assuming that people, at their core, are good. Life is good, even when it's bad.

I have a new resolution this year, one that I already started working towards in 2011, thanks to starting attending yoga regularly. I'll spare you the details about how much practicing yoga has truly changed me mentally and physically (don't want to be one of those people), but yoga is all about becoming centered and focused on the present, something that I've struggled to do my entire life.
In 2012, I want to live more presently. I want to quiet the distractions that keep me from being completely engaged in the people and situations around me. I want to turn off my phone, turn off the television and breathe in all of the wonder that is around me.

I want to be a better listener, a better sister, a better daughter and a better friend.

I want to be the kind of person who buys presents for no reason and picks up the phone to call a friend to tell them I was thinking about her (Ok, I know I just said I would turn off my phone, but sometimes the phone is fine). I want to do the things I dream about doing now. Today.

Plugged in to the moment. Unplugged from the past or the future; locked and loaded on the here and now. That is my resolution for 2012.

What did you learn in 2011? What are you most looking forward to in 2012?

Triangle Sally wants to wish you a very Happy New Year. And I do too. Let's kick 2012's ass.