Thursday, January 31, 2013

January Music - New With Links for YOUR listening Pleasure!

Another strong month for new music that I like, and an inordinate number of females and Australian bands!  I fall deeper in love with Laura Mvula every time I hear her voice.  I really hope she is able to cross over into America because her stuff is gorgeous with a modern Nina Simone type feel.  Also, new for 2013 for your convenience, I am including links to the songs, so you can take a listen to the entire list in one sitting.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Sentimental for Sure

One great perk about moving twice in seven months is the opportunity to purge a great many things.  From clothes to knick knacks to many, many shoes, I have weaned myself off my previous level of "stuff."  Most of these things I gave to other people, many to Goodwill.  But as I did my weekly deep clean this past weekend, I noticed that many of the things I have kept, I was lucky enough to receive as gifts from other people.

I am so very lucky to be able to say I have an incredible support system and more than any other time in my life, have relied on them over the last year. So it really made me smile and take a pointed look at my house, my belongings and realize the things and the people that made the cut. Some like the Winnie the Pooh quote board from my college roommate and bestie Margaret, were obvious.  But others were not.  So here is a listing of some of the things that I have held onto over the years and a thank you shout out to the givers.

On my dresser is my care bear bank that my mom made for me when I was 8, in the height of my care bear obsession.  She painted it in a pottery class that I can vaguely remember picking her up at. It is next to my Winnie the Pooh bear that my friend Mandy gave me at some point in our very long friendship.

On my nightstand, for as long as I can remember I have had a small glass bowl with a decorative top and base that a former co-worker, Shea Griffin, gave me in 1996.  It held pot pourri (I think), but it has been the holder of my rosary beads for years now. I was sad to see that part of it broke in the move in March (so much for throwing stuff in boxes in a frantic hurry) but it is still intact and will remain on my night stand until it dissolves.  Shea recently got married and moved to California and thanks to facebook we still stay in cordial contact, but I think of him often, and how completely random it is that of all the things I have received over all the years, that I continue to keep this.

In my bathroom I have a plaque that my friend Melany gave me for my birthday years ago. It was a great day, an epic celebration, one of those days that felt perfect in every way. My core group of friends met for lunch, stayed through dinner, had husbands join us (and drive us home) and it was day that would be in a movie. The plaque reads something like "I remember all the women in my life, and am thankful for all the many ways they have inspired me, challenged me and made me laugh louder."  I am thankful that she thought of me when she saw that plaque, and that even though the friends and husbands are no longer the same, that we had that perfect day.

Along those lines is the plaque that Margaret gave me this year for Christmas that made me feel so loved, and way stronger than I think I am.  It says "I am pretty sure that given a cape and a tiara I could save the world."  When she gave it to me she said that it is how she has always viewed me...that I can handle anything.  I look at it every morning, remember she believes in me and smile.

Next to this is the boomerang that Shelia brought me from Australia and a print that says "she who loves the ocean" I bought in a little tacky tourist shop on our drive from Miami to Key West (in a convertible of course).  It's a trip I will forever be glad that I went on and solidified Shelia as a perfect travel buddy.  The boomerang reminds me to follow my dreams, and to seek out the ocean, because I am truly happy on and in the water.

A friend once told me I don't have a home; I have a gallery, and that made me insanely happy and proud.  I do have a ton of photos hanging on the wall, but each one means something to me and signifies a happy memory. Some are of my recent liberating trip to Ireland with my dear friend Beth and some are older, like the ones from my perfect trip to Jackson, Wyoming.    I have taken most of these photos, but have some other's work sampled in, many from my friend Mandy.  She is a fantastic photographer, and was taking pictures long before I became confident with my own photographic eye. Thanks to her I have some gorgeous photos of a trip I took to visit her in DC.  We got up and out before the sun and were rewarded with some of my favorite pictures of all time. She recently came to my house and didn't even recognize some of her own work, which made me laugh.  For me, I remember every photo being taken as vividly as the picture itself.

Thanks to my friend Dearsley I have a gorgeous poster from the Sante Fe Music Festival which is hanging across from the blue star mirror that my friends Anthony and Barb gave me so many years ago.  My kitchen is full of towels and trivets from Mandy, a clock from Beth, a piece of pottery from Margaret, a vase that Melany brought me back from Italy, a bowl from Peggy. I have two plaques my mom gave me that say "of course I have baggage but at least it's cute and it matches" and "I'm not bossy; I just happen to know what is best for everyone." I have the crystal frame that my friend Stephanie gave me for being part of her wedding.  It holds a picture of my grandmother on her wedding day in 1929 and is next to the picture my dad gave me of my mom and I finishing our first triathlon, holding hands as we crossed the finish line.

I could never list everything in my home that was given to me; there are just too many, but that fact makes me very happy. It means a lot to be in my first home alone, surrounded by physical manifestations of all the love and friendships that are in my life.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Winter TV - Back in Armchair Again...

Sure fall has the glamor of new shows premiering, but there are plenty of good ones that start in the winter as well.  Here is what I am watching and when all these shows come back on the air. As always, I will apply my 3 episode rule: if you can't grab me in 3 episodes, I am breaking up with you.  You've got three chances people - now ready, set, watch!

How I Met Your Mother - CBS - January 14 - Watched since the beginning.  Will watch 'til the end.  Love these characters and have cried many times watching them progress through life.
Continuum - SyFy - January 14 - New show about a time traveling cop.  Could go either way, but I loved Alphas and Eureka, so I will check it out. UPDATE: This isn't bad, isn't great.  I don't think I will be upset if I miss one of these episodes, yet I am not deleting them off my DVR yet. 

The Following - Fox - January 21 - I really hope they do this well because the premise is great. A serial killer is in jail, but thanks to the internet, has developed a following of people who will act out the kills he wants. With Kevin Bacon, Natalie Zea and the hottie Shawn Ashmore, I am rooting for this one to be good. UPDATE:  First episode is good and the show has great potential for sure.  Worth watching. 

Deception - NBC - January 7 - I've had a crush on Tate Donovan since I was 10 or 11 and I saw him in Space Camp.  I know, I am a dork.  So I will watch this show.  It's about some murder or something.  Did I mention my dorky crush on Tate Donovan? OK actually it is about  an FBI agent who thinks the latest celebrity overdose is actually a murder.  It also has classy bad guy Victor Garber.  And Tate Donovan. UPDATE: Victor Garber is gay.  This show is OK.  I am three episodes in and would classify it as light priority tv.  It might take the place of Revenge - TV Soap Operas at Night. 
Bates Motel - A&E- March 18 - What was fun guy Norman Bates like when he was a kid?  What's his mom like when she is alive?  You can find out in this show.  Do I care?  Not really.  But A&E produces some high quality shows and I feel like I need to watch this just to see if I can learn to care.

Happy Endings - ABC - January 8 - this show makes me giggle and I completely relate to always optimistic and pretty crazy Penny. Damon Wayons Jr is HILARIOUS.  Yes, all caps hilarious.
Cult - The CW - February 19 - So this show is about a cult.  Surprising, huh?  Alona Tall is in it and while I am sure you have no idea who that is, I love her and literally cried when her character died in Supernatural. Therefore I will watch this show and hope it is good.

Don't Trust the B in Apt 23 - ABC - January 8 - If you watched Dawson's Creek, you simply must watch this show.  James VanDerbeek makes fun of himself and it is fabulous.  Plus it's got Jesse's heroin girlfriend from Breaking Bad in it.  But mostly, it is Dawson who steals the show. Watch it and tell your friends, because I heard it is most likely going to get cancelled and that is a damn shame. UPDATE: This show was cancelled and this is a travesty.  TRAVESTY I SAY!  I am so upset about this fact I feel like starting a letter writing campaign.  SAVE THE BITCH!  

10pm (The Thank God For The Dish Network Hopper DVR That Allows Me to Record 4 Shows at the Same Time Hour)
Justified - FX - January 8 - This show is just great, bad guys you root for, good guys you love, intelligent stories, funny dialogue and the always awesome Timothy Olyphant as Raylan.  Watch this. 
White Collar - USA - January 22 - Yummy Neal Cafferty (Matt Bomer in real life) as a con artist gone good gone bad, sorta.  This is a cute, not so serious show, which makes for a great hour of escapism.
Cougar Town - TBS - January 8 - I was late to the party on Cougar Town coming in on season two, which from what I hear is when it grew into its own.  Ignore the title and give the show a chance. It's like a grown up, slightly more ridiculous Friends.  And make sure you read the subtitle each week.  It's a highlight.

Supernatural - The CW - January 16 - Another show that I have watched from the beginning and will watch til the end, no matter what.  Cass, my favorite character is back so I am happy.
Suborgatory - ABC - January 9 - This is a cute show that chronicles a teenager in suburbia. It is not MUST WATCH TV, but it is cute and worth the time if you've got it.

The Americans - FX- January 30- This show about two KGB spies living as Americans in the 80s stars Keri Russel and Matthews Rhys (who you might know from Brothers and Sisters).  The premise could go either way but I will watch it though because Margo Martindale is in it and she was SPECTACULAR as Mags Bennett in Justified.

30 Rock - NBC - January 10 - you have one month to watch this show before it is gone forever (except for reruns being shown in sydication every 5 minutes on other channels for years and years to come.) UPDATE: The ending was sweet, funny and had call backs to some of the better inside jokes. Such a good show, catch one or twelve episodes in syndication.

NEW ENTRY: Zero Hour - ABC - February 14 - I had originally skipped this one because it seemed like a tv version of National Treasure. But I recently watched the first episode and I am intrigued.  I am not saying it is the best TV on right now, but it is good to see Anthony Edwards back on the screen and the show has a very movie like feel.  I will watch it again.

Parks and Rec - NBC - January 17 - this is such a fabulous show; funny for newcomers; sweet, great, hysterical, heartwarming and perfect for people who have watched these characters develop from the beginning. Watch and fall in love with the entire town. UPDATE: Yep, still the most perfect show. 

Person of Interest - CBS - January 3 - I am not current on this show, but when I did watch it, I loved it.  I will get this on DVD when this season comes out, catch up and be ready to go for next year. 

Suits - USA - January 17 - Another fun show highlighting a few lawyers and one that is just really good at taking tests.  The bad guy is so smarmy and weasly and misunderstood you can't help but love him. UPDATE: Now that it is back on, I remember just how much I love this show.

Spartacus - Starz - January 25 - if you have this cable channel, check out this show. It's violent and people are naked and having sex about three quarters of the time, but it is a well written story.

Banshee - Cinemax - January 11 - I only have Cinemax for one more month but I am going to get started on this show anyway.  Filmed in Charlotte, and produced by Alan Ball, this show is about an escaped convict who moves to a small town in Pennsylvania and assumes the identity of sheriff.  Sound implausible?  Did I mention Alan Ball and Charlotte?  UPDATE: I had heard that while the show is good, it is still very "Skinemaxy" and that is accurate.  The first five minutes have graphic sex, murder and a transvestite. But the actual show is pretty good and how they work the character into the sheriff role is not AS implausible as it sounded at first. If you have Cinemax, check it out for sure. 

(With 9 shows in two hours, it is another Thank God for Dish Network Hopper Day)
Revenge - ABC - January 6 - Season one was great.  Season two has been iffy at best.  (The one shining spotlight? Gabriel Mann as Nolan.) I don't really care but then again it I don't hate it enough to stop watching....yet.
The Good Wife - CBS - January 6 - Another great show having a sub par year. But I'll hang in, because I know this show can be great.
Girls - HBO - January 13 - Caught this show in reruns and for so many reasons, I love it. The lead character can be whiny and self obsessed but she makes me laugh and the entire ensemble is refreshingly honestly funny.
Shameless - Showtime - January 13 - When this first came out the previews made it seem like it is about Frank, a disgusting caricature of a man. Sure he's in it, but the drama is really about the eldest daughter Fiona and what she has to do to keep her family alive. It's sweet, scary, funny, rude, crass and addictive. Justin Chatwin is hot, Shanola Hampton is from Summerville, SC and Jeremy Allen White is a younger, hotter version of DeNiro.

House of Lies - Showtime - January 13 - Don Cheadle is funny.  Really funny.  He works in "management consulting" and leads a team of 3 others including Kristen Bell.  The show is rude and funny and kinda an upscale, corporate version of Shameless. Fun to watch for sure.
Happy Endings - ABC - So good they air two new episodes a week.

Don't Trust the B in Apt 23 - ABC - ditto Happy Endings. UPDATE: SAVE THE BITCH
Californication - Showtime - January 13 - Frank Moody is Back!  David Duchovny will forever be in my top 3 celebs of all time and his character in this is amoral, irresponsible and generally a  despicable human being, so of course I love him.  Watch him spiral down in the season where he hits the rock bottom of rock bottom.

Friday, January 4, 2013

The Best Music of 2012 - So Says Me

I debated how many songs to include and finally settled on 25, simply because I could not get rid of one of these songs.  My qualifications:  MUST be released in 2012 and I must still like to listen to it even after hearing it over and over again.  I am not burning CDs this year, so if you are interested shoot me an email and I will DB you the songs.

In no particular order, my top 25 songs of 2012 and why:
  • Stubborn Love by The Lumineers - this little band hit mainstream really quickly with their Ho Hey song.  I'm sure you've heard it, almost everyone has.  And don't get me wrong, I really like that song.  But I like this one much better.  It's got the sweetness and simplicity that Ho Hey has, and it keeps my toes tapping.
  • Wild by Royal Teeth- this group from New Orleans has been around for a mere two years so are still a sweet baby band to me.  I love this song and I love this line: Just because we’re growing up, it doesn’t mean we’ve had enough - When times are hard we’ll smile and say we’re not afraid of anything- (cause we feel young and wild).  This makes me think of my friend Shelia and if I could assign a motto to her, this would be it.
  • Payphone by Maroon 5 (featuring Wiz Khalifa) - I blame this song's inclusion on a business trip where I was stuck in a hotel room and settled on The Voice as "background"  TV.  I couldn't stop watching that night and still haven't, watching seasons 2 and 3 and in the process have developed a little girl crush on Adam Levine. Cute tattoo boy aside, this song came out early on after Joe and I split up and for that reason the following lines really made me love this : If happy ever after did exist, I would still be holding you like this, All those fairy tales are full of shit One more fuckin' love song I'll be sick.  There is more, really I could paste the whole song...I like it all...But even the sun sets in paradise.
  • Call Me Maybe by Carly Rae Jepsen - Fact: I love this song. Fact: It's undeniably catchy. Fact: You know the words too.  Fact: the many, many parodies are hilarious.  Make sure you check out Obama's version. Fact: You must admit it: This is a great song.  Let me know if you want me to teach you Miller and my car dance. It's as fantastic as this song.
  • Locked Out of Heaven by Bruno Mars - I knew Bruno was talented and he has been featured on previous Amy Audible Best Of mixes.  But two things solidified it this year and only one has to do with this song, both are from Saturday Night Live.  First is the Pandora skit which is hilarious for so many reasons but show you how great he is. Then watch his performance of this song.  Sure he's great, but look at his back up band and the crazy cardio workout they are getting. They just look like they are having a great time and that makes me smile.
  • One Day/Reckoning Song - The Wankelmut Remix by Asaf Avidan & The Mojos - I'm not sure what it says about me that I love Israeli folk music, but I do. And who cannot love a song that is produced by someone named Wankelmut?  This song became number one in a ton of countries this year, of course not US. 
  • Madness by Muse - I've been a big fan of Muse for a number of years and over a number of their styles. There were two Muse songs that were contenders this year, Madness and Survival, which was the official song of the Olympics. Survival is a great song, but I chose Madness because it reminded me of Queen in parts, and the last rousing bit is just great to turn up in the car and sing loudly (out of tune).
  • All of Me by Tanlines - My subconscious really likes this song.  I can't count how many times I have gotten up in the middle of the night with the refrain of this song stuck in my head, and I still like it. And while some songs make it on this list because of lyrics, this is NOT one of those songs.  I have no idea what is happening here...I just like the all of me is asking and thinking part.
  • No Tell by Smoke and Jackal - it's no surprise that I like Smoke and Jackal seeing that the band is comprised of Kings of Leon bassist and the lead singer from Mona (check out their song Lean into the Fall, a 2011 best of contender). I think this song is pretty and has gotten stuck in my head many a day.
  • Gimme Twice by The Royal Concept - this is a little Swedish band and I mean little.  These kids can't weigh more than 90 pounds between them. I saw them at The Visualite and was surprised how techno they are live, but you can't help pop around when this song comes on. They are touring right now with Imagine Dragons (It's Time was a 2012 Best Of  contender) so that gives them some street cred in my book.
  • Global Concepts by Robert DeLong - I LOVE this song.  Yes, it is techno, but the line "Did I leave my life to chance or did I make you F**CKIN Dance".  I just love it.  Checkout this picture - kid doesn't look ANYTHING like I thought he would.
  • Away Frm U by Oberhofer - Another techno song, and even though I despise when people don't spell things correctly (hello, you aren't Prince), I like this song.  I especially like the line "I can't fight all of your battles for you."  Truth.
  • Sweater Weather by The Neighborhood - Just another in a long list of bands from Oklahoma...Wait, Oklahoma? Exactly.   I think they sound dark and I like it. If I was doing music for a movie about a druggie going down hill, I'd want their music behind it. The other song of theirs that I really like is Female Robbery, which is actually more dark and druggy.  
  • Headlights by The Morning Parade - I love this band. I love the music, the guys are so sweet and I am positively rooting for their success.  The lead singer, My Best Friend Steve, is smart and polite and wore a sports coat to a station interview.  Love that. This is the song that started them out, but my favorite is a slower song, but honestly, I love it all.  I am really hoping that this will be one of those bands that are headlining one day and I can say Steve bought me drinks one night while we hung out together talking about everything from politics to music to sales people.
  • Geraldine by The Avett Brothers - OK honestly I could not decide between Pelican by The Maccabees or Dark Again by Gold Fields so I decided to scrap them both and include (for the first time ever) The Avett Brothers. Yes, they grew up about 30 minutes from here and are the hometown boys gone big, but I have never really been a fan. I don't know if it is the Rick Rubin influence (thank you Charlie Gaddy), but there are a few songs on this latest album that I really like.  This one is just a silly good time.
  • Carry On by Fun. - This band is getting some crazy recognition, recently getting 6 Grammy nominations.  Their big hit, We are Young, is absolutely anthemic (again, thanks Charlie Gaddy) but I interpret it about spousal abuse and settling for whatever is around late at night, so I tend to say "I really like the song, but have you listened to the lyrics?"  And really, I swear I am not a lyrics person, but I can't get over that. But no denying, the band makes some great music.  Some Nights has the hook "What do I stand for? Most nights I don't know".  And this track, Carry On, has this to say, which I LOVE (again, I am so not a lyrics person). So I met up with some friends at the edge of the night At a bar off 75 And we talked and talked about how our parents will die All our neighbours and wives But I like to think I can cheat it all To make up for the times I've been cheated on.
  • This Head I Hold by Electric Guest - There are so many great bands that do one or two really good songs, but that is really it. So when I come across a band that I like absolutely everything they do, I am floored.  Enter Electric Guest's 2012 ep Mondo, produced by Danger Mouse, and containing 10 songs I love. Buy their stuff.  They are awesome.
  • At Home by The Crystal Fighters - It's pretty.  Apparently there is a music genre called "folktronica".  This it it.  I like it.
  • True Romance by Citizens! - I think Citizens! might be one of the worst band names, but I like their stuff.  Little British boys, good lyrics and they have a pretty decent range of sounds.  I like the lead singer's voice.  True Romance got them to the US, but Let's Go All the Way is actually my favorite.
  • Champion by The Chevin - Another British band, not quite as anthemic as Muse, but gotta love a hook that let's you belt out "I'm a champion". 
  • Come Home by Chappo - In 2002 there was a movie called Laurel Canyon.  I don't really remember much about it other than it had a GREAT song that I of those epic songs that no matter how many times you listen to it, you love it. It was In a Funny Way by Mercury Rev.  Of course Mercury Rev broke up, but I still love that song and the ethereal quality about it.  For some reason, Come Home by Chappo makes me think of that old Mercury Rev song.   They are in no way related, and really don't even sound alike, but that is my brain for you.  They are both good songs though.
  • Safe and Sound by Capital Cities - Another ear worm type song, I have gotten up in the middle of the night many times with this song.  
  • Forest Whitaker by Bad Books - One of my favorites of the year, Bad Books is a band with one of the guys from Manchester Orchestra, which generally I do not like. But I like books and I like Forest Whitaker a lot. And again, I am not a lyrics person, but this one has some great ones.
  • Scream by Usher - There are certain songs that as soon as I hear, I am instantly transported to a specific memory.  This song will forever take me to the security line of the airport at 5am with a still drunk Shelia, on our way to Jamaica. This got stuck in our heads and since we didn't know more than the refrain, we just kept singing Ooh Baby Baby over and over again.  It makes me smile.
  • Fitzpleasure by Alt-J - Winner of the 2012 Mercury Prize if that matters to you, this band has a wide range of sounds, from Mumford and Sons folk to Fitzpleasure, which is just a really odd song, that I have grown to love.  The video is even weirder.
So there ya have it - my favorite songs of 2012. It was much harder this year to narrow down and I had to leave off some greats including Django Django, A Silent Film, Imagine Dragons, The Vaccines, The Mowgli's, Alabama Shakes and Narrow Plains. 2012 was a great year musically, I hope 2013 continues the trend.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

2013 Goals, Predictions and Hopes Oh My

If two thousand one two (2012) was the year to get through, then two thousand one three is the year of me. I have always set year goals; I like having a plan and I like seeing that I can set a goal and achieve them.  So here are my resolutions for 2013:

  • Run the Rear in Gear 5K in March - My running partner that I love dearly lost her mom to colon cancer and I will run this in her memory.  It also serves as a gentle kick in my butt to get my rear in gear in my life. I need to get active.
  • Ride in 24 Hours of Booty in July - Last year I made an appearance at 24HOB but was still fighting a wicked case of jet lag after coming home from Ireland. It was not anything like it has been in year's past, but I want to change it this year. I will set up a tent and be there all night.  I will also ride 100 miles because I know I can. 
  • Run the Detroit Chevy Dealers International Half Marathon with Shelia in October- I can't believe I am going to say this, but I miss running.  Maybe not the ACT of running, but I miss the routine of it, I miss Cindy and Doreen and I miss who I was when I was running.  The Detroit marathon has a lot of appeal to me since you run into Canada.  I know I can do a half, and I think I'd like to try running with a pace team. I've got time to get back into shape, and will look forward to visiting Shelia in her new town.  But more than that, I am very proud of my running accomplishments, and want to get back to that me. As evidence, I just registered and broke into tears.  UGH.
  • Read more.  Really.  I got in the habit of watching TV and heading right to bed and I miss reading.  So I am going to read before bed...the goal is 30 minutes a night. 
  • Continue to pay off my debt, while saving for a kick ass 40th birthday year trip somewhere.  
OK those are the SMART goals, you know, Specific, measurable, actionable, realistic and timed. Here are my more esoteric goals.
  • Sleep more.  I need sleep.  I do not need TV.  I also do really well on a schedule, so I need to get on one. 
  • Eat better. I feel better and I know I need to. 
  • Stop worrying.  This time last year I would have said my life was as close to perfect that a person can reasonably expect to have. Then I had this huge bombshell dropped in my lap (or more accurately. email) and my life has been on a roller coaster ride since then. An unintended result is that I am unreasonably scared that something really bad is going to happen. I think  I CAN'T HANDLE ANYTHING ELSE, so please God, go easy on me.  Let's have a steady, boring year.  K?
  • Think about dating - to be clear, I just am going to think about it. Many, many, many people have expected me to be dating already, and I've had several offers. But here's the thing, I was in a relationship for 20 years.  I know how to do that. I am good at it, I don't need to worry about that.  I also know that I am pretty awesome and actually, I don't mind spending time by myself.  Please note that I did not say alone.  By myself.  I like me.  I think I am funny. I always want to watch the same thing I want to watch.  I like my taste.  I love my home.  I'm OK being on my couch.  I've done the relationship thing, now I think I'd like to try being on my own. I know some people can't be by themselves and must be in a relationship to define themselves or to make themselves happy. I'm not one of those people. I'm not saying I am never leaving my house (though Operation Holiday Hermit has been awesome), but I am perfectly happy being me.  
  • Have a home where my friends feel comfortable coming and hanging out.  I want to host parties; I want people to bring beer and hang out on my couch for hours talking. I want my friends to feel that my home is warm (though not literally, bring a blanket) and open to them all the time.  It might not be perfect, but it is perfect for me. 
So that's all.  You know, the usual.  Eat less, work out more, spend less, laugh more.  Should be
Happy two thousand one three...the year of a happy, healthy, more of me, me. 

2012 Year In Review

Well 2012 certainly did not go as I expected.  There was considerable heart ache, sadness and lots and lots of tears.  But there were also some amazing times, travels and laughs that I never thought would happen.  Regardless, here is my 2012 resolution list and how I did against it:

  • Run a marathon: I'm proud to say I did this.  I didn't hate it and might even do it again.  Training was the hardest part and showed me that I can set a goal and stick to it...and I am capable of way more than I can even imagine. 
  • Finish a half ironman: Well this didn't happen.  Basically my life turned upside down on March 18 and I haven't quite righted it yet.  The ironman is one goal that didn't happen.  I felt really guilty about it for a long time and then I decided I needed to get through the year how ever I could make it.  Forget getting through an ironman, I needed to get up and go to work, and some days that was struggle enough.  Honestly I don't know if an ironman is in my life plan anymore. That is going to be a goal of mine in 2013, figuring out who this new me is and what I want to do.  I have no doubt I CAN do it, the question is if I want to do and if I have the right reasons for doing it. 
  • Read at least 24 books:  This didn't happen.  Again, life really became about surviving, so reading took a back seat.  I think I read 16 books.  
  • Lose 20 pounds: I highly recommend the divorce diet...I did lose 20 pounds.  But fat and happy is a cliche for a reason and as my stress level rounded out, so did my hips.  
  • Talk to my parents at least once a week: Well this one I can emphatically say I accomplished.  One of the highlights of this whole experience is living with my parents for 7 months.  I loved having that time with them and miss seeing them every day. One of my favorite memories will always be laying on my couch, my mom on hers and my dad on his, watching jeopardy and Saturday night lives.  (Loren. Sophia? no Loren. Sophia?)
  • Work on friendships and me with some dedicated girls weekends:Well the weekends didn't happen as I planned, but I can say that I developed some great girl friends. I spent a week with my bestie Margaret, spent two weeks in Ireland with new friends, and generally made a point of making new friends but keeping the old.  You know, one is silver and the other's gold. 
  • Rededicate myself to TIFL: Ha....this didn't happen.  I resigned in early May.  After having several stress related health concerns that had me undergo several MRIs, I needed to eliminate stress and Tri It was one of those.  So I resigned and honestly, it is one of the best decisions I have ever made. I am still very thankful for the organization and I don't think I could have gotten through this last year with out the skills and the friendships that I developed as part of Tri It. 
  • Continue to work on my marriage by supporting and loving Joe the best way I can.- Well, what can I say about this one.  I still love Joe.  I worked on our marriage and I supported him. I can honestly say that I gave our marriage every ounce of my being and tried to make it successful.  

So not at all what I expected when the year started.  But as I learned in Ireland, sometimes the most unplanned things can bring the most happiness and that is what I am working on for 2013.