Thursday, January 28, 2010

the lazy-ass and the 5k: part I

Once upon a time, there were three girls named . . . er . . . Miss T., Miss C. and Miss M. They worked together all day (and sometimes all night) at a Big Nameless Company in a City Near You. These lovely ladies were sassy, stylish and awesome, even in the face of adversity, hardship, and evil sea witches.

Sometimes, they were very busy. And sometimes, they were very bored.

When boredom struck, these three intrepid young ingenues turned to the internets for distraction and entertainment. They started blogs, and stalked other peoples blogs, and obsessively checked for updates on the outside world.

Miss C. became an internet celebrity.

Miss M. learned 4000 new ways to prepare oatmeal.

Miss T. laughed out loud too much, and often got scolded.

Eventually, the three friends were forced to part ways, but their love of voyeuristically stalking girls much more motivated and physically fit than themselves remained strong. United by their love of shit on the internet, they remained in touch.

One day, in the bitter depths of January, Miss M. sent her fallen comrades a message, reminding them of a pact they'd once made. (well . . . not so much a "pact", as "half-assed pipe-dream". and Miss C. would probably argue that she'd never agree to such crap in the first place -- but whatever).

"Hey guys -- Remember when we talked about running a 5k? Well, I've found the perfect one for us! It's a flat course, with a scenic view -- and there'll be refreshments afterwards!"

At first, Miss T. and Miss C. were a bit hesitant. Miss C. hates running. Miss T. has never actually run anywhere, ever. But the more they pondered the challenge, the more appealing it became. Sort of. And after all, if all those "healthy living" girls could run marathons and whatever -- surely our three heroes could do it too, yeh?

"Miss M. -- you had me at refreshments," replied Miss T.

So the three girls vowed to get themselves in running shape and kick some 5k ass. They have 2 months.

Let the adventure begin!!

Guess what, guys? That's a true story! I know, you were probably thinking it was some sort of Disney princess fairy tale, right? Any minute now, a singing june-bug is gonna come in and teach Miss T. about the importance of hydration while training. And maybe that will happen, if I get dehydrated and delirious enough!

So yeh . . . I'm gonna run a 5k. My two former co-workers have signed on to join me. Anyone else wanna be part of the story?! It'll be awesome -- you might even get to see me cry / throw up!

Seriously -- you should all come join us. Yes you, blog reader. I know who you are, and what you're thinking. And you're thinking, "Oh, heeeelllll no!" Well stop thinking that, and come sign up for the 5k with me. You know you want to.

Anyway --as the story above states -- I've never run before in my life, except to catch a bus or something. And even then . . . .I give up easily. Eh, there'll be another bus . . . sometime. In the meantime, lets just sit on this bench . . . .zzzzzz . . .

Miss M., knowing about my reluctance to move, also sent along the link to this handy Couch to 5k training program. Any exercise program that has the word "couch" in the title is a-ok in my book. Today, as I hit up the gym for a non-trainer sweat session, I decided to put the plan to action.

Week 1, Workout 1 is clearly designed for people who loooove their couches. Like moi. After a "brisk 5 minute warm up walk", you then jog for 60 seconds and walk for 90 seconds. You keep that up for 20 minutes. Then you're done.

Even I found this to be pretty easy.

10 minutes in, I was feeling pretty good. I'll admit, it was a little awkward cranking the treadmill back and forth from "run" speed to "walk" speed every 60 seconds. It only got more lame when some long-legged Olympian hopped on the treadmill next to me and broke into a flat out sprint.

Walking . . . . .jogging! Ok, walking . . . walking . . . jogging! . . . Walking . . .

My grandma could probably have done the walk/jog thing more gracefully. Granted, my grandmother also probably has much better support garments than I. But I digress.

So I was nearly done with Workout 1, when my trainer, Ron, wanders over and gives me the thumbs up. Yes, hi Ron. Good to see you too. My arms, shoulders and back still aren't speaking to you, though -- so eff off.

I realized Ron was probably expecting me to go bench-press some shit after this lame treadmill routine, so I shamefully dragged myself over to the free-weight area and actually completed a decent set of squats and lunges.

Ron says I have "perfect form" while squatting. I know. I know.

After 20 diligent minutes of bobbing around with the giant exercise ball and stretching, I scampered the hell out of there. Mission accomplished! Workout 1, in the bag!

Two months is not a long time to go from lazy-ass to runner, but I'm keepin' the faith. If things are looking bad come race day, I'm sure a whistling cricket or a dancing crab will come to my aid with some golden sneakers or something.

Cuz that's how fairy tales work, yo.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

shame on tea -- an extremely belated/half-assed red carpet recap

I know, I know - all has been quiet here at One Girl, 12 Ways. Sorry, readers. My bad!

So, I've been planning to do a Red Carpet Recap of the Golden Globes. I started hunting the internets for suitable photos of all my fav celebs . . . and then the People's Choice Awards happened, and the SAG's -- and suddenly I was overwhelmed with red carpet pics. Two weeks later, my thoughts on the Golden Globes seem pretty irrelevant. Now it's full steam ahead to Oscar season!

I am making strides towards my goal of seeing all the Academy Award nominated films before the big night. Which some might argue is a nonsensical feat. Since the Academy Awards outcome will have no direct impact on my life whatsoever. Also, actual nominees have not even been announced yet.

Whatever! This pop-culture whore flies in the face of common sense / reality!

So I'm basing my current movie-viewing line-up on all the other award show nominations of the season. In fact, I am heading off in a bit to see another potential Oscar contender this afternoon! When the actual shortlist is announced for reals, I'll give you my picks.

But for now, here are a few of my favorite moments from the 2010 red carpet season thus far . . .

Oh, what I would give to be sittin' at this table! Though I must admit, I enjoyed Tina's SAG awards dress more . . .

. . . but really, you could put this sistah in a burlap sack and she'd still be freakin' hilarious and amazing.

And speaking of Golden Globes vs. SAG Awards fashion, which Gabourey Sidibe ensemble do we like more?:

Golden Globes

SAG Awards.

My vote is for the SAG-blue number. I personally think all the "rhinestones" on the green dress are kinda "TJ Maxx salesrack". Hell, for all I know, they could be real emeralds. I'm just sayin' . . . from here, it looks a little "Isaac Mizrahi for Wal-Mart".

Please note my heavy use of "quotations" to denote my "opinions" in the previous "paragraph".

Can I also take this moment to say -- I hope we see more of Gabourey in Hollywood. Apparently, there are some people out there who don't quite understand that she's an actress. Yeh, and guess what -- Mariah Carey isn't a social worker, either! It's, like, make-believe!

Now for more people I love and the clothes they are wearing . . .

Carey Mulligan . . . my girl-crush of the week . . .

Betty White, my girl-crush of all time!

Jane Lynch, you were robbed!

Now, it seems that some media outlets have labeled Mad Men's Christina Hendricks a "big girl". Say wha? I don't see it . . .

Um, yeh -- she has boobs. Just like our awesome-hot friend, Penelope Cruz:

Those aren't "big girls", people. Those are women who look like actual women and not tanned, botoxed lollipop sticks. I would gladly swap bods with Christina Hendricks. Or Helen Mirren, for that matter:

And finally -- while both of these looks might have been trashed by the rag-mags, I give these girls snaps for doin' their thing:

Am I the only one who really enjoys this sparkly hoodie number? It's for an after-party, people! Come on!

I'll stand by you, Amanda Palmer! I'll stand by you!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


Greetings, Comrades! Hope everyone is having a good week . . . or at least, a survivable week. According to the weatherman, Boston is supposed to hit 50 degrees on Friday! There's something to keep living for!

So, remember how I got bamboozled into signing up for free personal training? Betcha thought I blew that off, huh? Not so! I've been taking a few days to digest my latest gym adventure. Also, I was unable to lift my arms to the keyboard. Until now!

Gather 'round, kids -- Tea's got a tale for you! With a surprise ending, no less!

Monday, 4pm -- I scurried into the rat-hole that is Golds Gym Somerville. I mean that in the most loving way possible. But seriously, this is the actual gym entrance:

It's located in the basement of a strip mall. Enough said.

Ron, the young man who initially approached me about signing up for a free training session, was literally waiting for me at the door.

Ron: "Heeeeey! You ready?"

Me: "Honestly, I'm kinda scared."

Ron did not seem particularly moved by my apprehension. He laughed and told me to go suit up. I was already wearing sweatpants and a baggy t-shirt -- was I supposed to bring a spandex leotard? Weight lifting belt? I played along and huddled in the locker room for a few moments, and then returned with my water bottle and my last remaining shreds of dignity.

Ron was waiting for me with a guy who is best described as a 'budget-Guido.' He introduced himself as Carlos, the General Manager. He was going to be my trainer for the evening.

"Are you ready to do this?" Carlos asked, with a genuine enthusiasm I'd not seen in Ron. Or anyone else at Golds Gym Somerville.

"Um -- sure?"

"That's right you are!"

Before we got down to sweatin', Carlos had me fill out a survey covering my medical history and fitness goals.

Carlos: "Have you ever had a stroke?"

Me: "I don't think so."

Carlos: "Are you currently pregnant?"

Me: "No sir."

Carlos: "Have you ever been on a diet before?"

Me: "[laughing] Oooooh yeh."

Carlos: "Is your spouse or partner supportive of your fitness goals?"

Me: "Uhhhh . . . sure?"

And so it went. I told Carlos my weight. He said some stuff about cardio, nutrition and free weights - the Holy Trinity of physical fitness. There was talk of ripping apart muscle, and muscle eating fat, and body fat ratios . . .

This was all starting to sound like an anatomy lecture. Taught by a Guido.

Then, Carlos sent me off to the elliptical machine, saying, "Don't go crazy, just get a little warmed up."

After 10 minutes, I was feeling sufficiently warm. I've been a member of Golds Gym for 4 years, and my usual workout sessions consist of 20 minutes on the elliptical, followed by 40 minutes of power-incline walking on the treadmill. Usually listening to some sort of talk-radio podcast. Not exactly heart-pounding.

After 20 minutes, Carlos deemed me sufficiently prepared for the next phase of the workout. And it wasn't going to involve The Hater podcast.

We wandered over to a corner of the gym with several dubious-looking machines. Carlos instructed me to lie down on what looked like some sort of torturous operating table, put my feet up on a bar, and reach back over my head to grab the handles behind me. Then, sit up. He helped to lift the machine with me the first time, so my completely uncoordinated body could figure out what was going on.

Well hi there, stomach muscles! Where the hell have you guys been?!

After a few reps on the crunch machine, Carlos led me over to the . . . "pull up machine"? I don't know the technical terms for the equipment, but basically, I was suspended from my arms and lifting my legs straight out in front of me.

Now things were getting tricky.

Me: "Oh, wow! Um -- yeh . . . I don't know how many more of these I can do."

Carlos: "Just 2 more! You got it! You got it!"

And, much to my surprise -- I got it. I completed the set. And I didn't fall / cry / collapse! A gym class miracle!

While I took a water break, Carlos asked me, "So who are you paying attention to in the gym right now?"

"You," I answered.

"Who else?"

"Uhhh . . . me?"

"Who else?"

"Uhhh . . . "

"No one, right? Because you're busy doing your own thing. And guess what? No one else is paying attention to you right now either. Everyone's concentrating on their own workouts, no one's watching to see if you're going to mess up."

This might sound like fairly obvious advice -- but in the moment, in all my sweaty, awkward glory -- it kind of blew my mind. Carlos was right -- no one gave a rat's ass what I was doing over here in the pull up corner. They were all busy sweating away on their own torture machines, or jogging along reading US Weekly.

And this was the turning point right here, people. This was when I started getting into it.

Carlos took me into the stretching area and had me lay down on my back, legs hovering inches above the floor. Every time he said "Up!" I lifted my legs straight up in the air. When he said "Down!" I lowered them. He put me through a rapid-fire series of "Up! Down! Up! Hold it! Hold it! Down! Up! Down! Up!" -- and I kept up with him. Through two whole sets, with barely a break.

Carlos: "Your lower abs are strong."

Me: "Seriously?"

Carlos: "Sure. I'm putting you through a slightly more advanced beginner series, and you're keeping up with me."

This was perhaps the first time anyone has ever commented on my physical strength. In a positive manner. I was sweaty, and starting to feel a little jello-y . . . but it was a good feeling. I was pumped! When Carlos challenged me to do some planks, I was determined to hold the pose all the way through his 30 second countdown -- no flopping to my belly with 10 seconds to go.

And I did it!

By the time we made it over to the final ab machine, Carlos and I were chatting like old friends. When I referred to the machine as a medieval torture device, he laughed appreciatively. I have no doubt that flirting with the young, female, non-athletic potential clients is a big part of Carlos' job description. But I was feelin' so pumped by the emergence of my previously hidden ab-muscles, I didn't even care that he was buttering me up for the Big Sell.

When Carlos led me away from the machines and back towards the office -- I was actually surprised. Our workout hour had flown! And . . . I liked it. I liked feeling strong -- like every machine was a new little physical challenge. I liked pushing myself right to the "oh-my-god-I-can't-do-4-more-reps!" edge -- and then doing 4 more reps. I'd walked into the gym certain that I would crumple in the face of weights and scary machines -- but I didn't! In fact, I did the whole routine without copping out on a single thing!

When Carlos shut the office door, I said -- "I need to be really honest with you. I came here tonite mostly for a laugh, definitely not planning on signing up for anything. But I really liked this. And I wanna keep doing it. But my financial situation right now is a huge joke. Seriously. Funds are . . . nonexistent. Almost."

And Carlos, in true Guido fashion, said, "Talk to me. What can you afford? If this is something you really want to do, we can make this work."

I sat there and thought about it for awhile. Was this something I really wanted to do? God knows, I've never been a gym bunny, or a fitness fanatic. Hell, I'm usually the first person in line to scoff at those people who get up at 5am to do spin class, go running in the snow, can't miss a workout. And yet . . . I've struggled with my body image and my weight for most of my life. I've tried every diet plan you could think of -- and a few I've invented myself. I've had some successes -- but I have never really reached a point where I've felt truly comfortable and confident in my own body.

But strangely enough -- I felt confident out on the floor doing leg-lifts with Carlos. I felt strong, I felt determined. So . . . maybe its time for me to start focusing on what my body can actually do, instead of just what it looks like.

"Ok, Carlos -- let's talk," I said.

I bet you can all guess where this is going, right?

Tea Guarie, sucker of the century, now has her very own personal trainer!! I'll be meeting with him once a week for a one-on-one session, and then he'll give me two other workouts I can do on my own for the rest of the time. Financially, I think I'll be able to swing it. If not, I can cancel it without too much trouble. And really -- people have made worse investment decisions, right?

I won't lie -- I'm really excited! Is that weird? To get excited over exercising? God knows, my muscles have been making their displeasure known over the past few days. My ab muscles seem to be particularly resentful - I had to roll out of bed onto the floor this morning. But this is just the beginning -- even though it hurts like hell now, I can't wait to see where I'll be three months from now. Maybe Carlos will be able to put some actual weights on the machines! Maybe I'll be able to do more that 5 pull ups!

The possibilities are endless!

So between my library hook-up and my gym escapades, I feel like I've been more productive this week than I was in all of 2009! And if there's one thing I learned from my "workout", its to take it all slow and steady. One movement, one step at a time.

Piece o' cake.

Monday, January 11, 2010

hit the ground running (or in my case, walking)

How is it already 7:30pm? Funny, how time flies when you're out being productive! I've gone a whole day without watching a single episode of Real Housewives of Orange County or Teen Cribs. And I don't even miss it. Much.

So, what have I been doing with my valuable daytime tv watching time? I'm glad you asked!

Today was my inaugural day of "volunteering" at the Cambridge Public Library!

Volunteering is in quotes because, while there is no official volunteer program / position for me at this time, my library administrative coordinator contact (a friend of my dental hygienist) has offered to give me projects on an as-needed basis. She's also going to pass my name along to the Friends of the Library committee, to see if I can help with any of their upcoming programming. She is hopeful that by the fall, when I'm officially in school full time, there will be more opportunities to work with the library on a regular basis. Can we say boo-yeh?

The reason the CPL is in such chaos is because they've just moved into a brand spankin' new building. It is squeaky-clean-wonderful-gorgeous. My time spent slaving under a regime of architects who specialized in "light-filled, community gathering spaces" gives me a special appreciation for the library's awesome new layout. Sunny reading areas. A Harry Potter-esque study room in the refurbished historic wing. An amazing new "Teen Lounge." Man, I love this place!

I am a dork.

But I don't care!

So yeh, I didn't get to do anything really "librarian-y" today. Which is fine, because I have not yet begun my official librarian training. Instead, I got to put together brochure packets that pimp the awesomeness of the new library. Needless to say, I read a lot of brochure packets while I worked.

Fortunately, reading is encouraged at the library.

True confession time -- I love collating. It's true. When I'm not under a major deadline, I find repeatedly bundling massive piles of papers in specific order extremely relaxing. My imagination wanders. I think about my life, and if it would make a good sitcom. I think it has potential. Especially if I could somehow finagle it so all my friends had apartments in my building. Then we could make a reality-sitcom. A reali-com? A Doc-com?

Then I start thinking about what the theme song to my reality-sitcom would be . . .

And poof -- three hours later, I'd created 500 new brochure packets! And the library staff was amazed at my collation stamina! It's a win-win!

As payment for today's efforts, I was given a little library freebie:

So here's hoping my library hook-up calls me back for more random fun at some point soon! Just being in the building, meeting people and doing random little housekeeping chores is a treat at this point -- and hopefully, will lead to bigger and better library adventures in the future!

The second half of my day was so mind-blowing, I think it deserves a post all its own. I'll give you a hint, though -- it involves sweat, guidos, and risk-taking of both the physical and financial sort.

Any guesses?

Saturday, January 9, 2010

its time for . . . Tales From the Treadmill!

Picture it -- Golds Gym Somerville, 2010.

I was strolling along on the treadmill like I normally do, after successfully convincing myself that my "walk-jog" routine will start Monday. Everyone knows, diets / exercise plans / weeks start on Mondays. Duh.

I was listening to The Hater podcast and trying not to laugh out loud like a creepy freak, as I'm sometimes apt to do. This week Amelie Gillette is making fun of Tyra Banks, Oprah, the Jonas Brothers and Domino's Pizza. I effing love her.

Suddenly, I'm aware of someone standing on the vacant treadmill to my right, staring and gesturing at me. My first thought was that this is "Ghostbusters dude". What -- I've never told you about Ghostbusters dude? Allow me to indulge in a brief tangent here:

There's a guy at my gym who is apparently a huge fan of my "Ghostbusters shirt". It's just a black t-shirt with the Ghostbusters logo on the front -- suitable attire for dive bars, the gym, job interviews at the Sav-Mor Liquor Store. Nothing special.

The first time I wore it to the gym, this guy stopped right in front of my elliptical machine and started talking at me. Which was pointless and annoying, because I was listening to the Glee soundtrack at top volume and couldn't hear what the eff he was saying. At first I thought he was a fomer date, come back to awkwardly remind me of some unreturned phone message or something -- but no, this dude merely wanted to tell me how much he liked my Ghostbusters shirt.*

"Ghostbusters, man! I remember that movie! That's so cool! Where'd you get it?"

"Thanks . . . uh . . . Target, I think?"

"That's awesome!"

A few minutes later, he came back with a friend, and proceeded to proudly point out my Ghostbusters shirt to his buddy. His friend, to his credit, looked confused and embarrassed.

"Dude, remember Ghostbusters?"

"What?" said his friend.

"Ghostbusters -- that movie! With that guy . . . that was the logo!"

"Oh yeh . . . I don't know if I ever saw that . . ."

"Whaaaaat?! Are you serious?!"

So they went on. I stopped even pretending to be a part of the conversation and cranked up my ipod once again, and eventually, they wandered away.

So, needless to say, the Ghostbusters shirt was taken out of gym rotation for several weeks. When, at last, the day came when all my other gym tees were in the laundry and I was forced to don the GB tee -- dude was right there in front of my treadmill again!!!

Him: "Heeey!" [gives thumbs up on shirt]

Me: [startled, confused stumbling, followed by embarrassed nod / thumbs up]

Seriously? Does this guy just wander around the gym checkin' out people's outfits? If so, I pity him -- because Golds Gym Somerville is certainly not a fashionista gym. Unless the hot new trend in workout wear is "moving company t-shirts, old sweatpants, and ill-fitting support garments". They had to post a sign at the front desk stating: "As of January 1, 2010, No Jeans Allowed".

I'm no athlete, but even I know you shouldn't wear jeans to the effing gym. Come on, people!

Ok, end tangent.

So back to today's treadmill visitor. It was, thankfully, not Ghostbusters dude. It was a guy wearing an official Golds Gym Somerville shirt, which immediately made me nervous. What did I do? I wasn't wearing jeans . . . did they notice that the last time I was here, I failed to wipe down the treadmill when I was done? What -- its not like I touch the damn thing other than to press the Start / Stop button! Get over it!

But no, Official Gym Employee had not come to scold me. He had come to gently shame me.

Him: "Hi, My name is Ron. I don't think I've seen you at the gym before -- how long have you been a member?"

Me: "Um . . . awhile . . ." [by awhile, I meant 4 years. although clearly, the effects of 4 years of gym membership are not immediately apparent when looking at me in all my gym-clothed glory]

Him: "Oh, ok -- so you're getting back into it for the New Year!"

Me: "Right!"

Him: "Has anyone ever talked to you about doing a free personal training session?"

Me: "Uh . . . no . . ." [but they have approached to me comment on my t-shirts / oogle me]

Him: "Is that something you'd be interested in?"

Me: "Kinda . . . I gotta be up front with you though -- I'm not gonna be able to commit to paying for sessions, because I have no job." [ and I'm pretty sure that once you watch me attempt a sit-up, or a crunch or whatever -- you're probably not gonna wanna train me, either.]

Him: "Totally understandable . . . just see what training's all about . . . blah, blah, blah . . . should I put you down for Monday at 4?"

This is usually the part of any pitch where I break the sales-person's heart with, "Weeellllllll . . . let me think about it . . ." and then run out the door and never return. But today, I thought to myself -- what the hell? I've been coming to this sweaty pit for 4 years, and I still can't touch my freakin' toes. Maybe it is time to switch it up, get some "professional" advice.

Which is exactly what they want you to think.

Damnit. Clearly, the treadmill is my kryptonite. Corner me on one and I'll agree to anything.

Ron obviously saw me as fresh meat. Sauntering along at an easy 3.5 miles per hour, occasionally snickering to myself. Oooooh yeh, he thoughtThere's a girl who's enjoying the gym too much. There's a girl who needs some pain. .

Ron's parting words to me were, "Bring water and a towel, and come prepared to sweat."

I should have told him, "Ok. You bring Band-Aids and a face mask, and be prepared to call 911 at some point."

Instead, I actually said, "Ok, great! Nice to meet you! Can't wait for you to kick my ass!"

The moral of these stories: I need to stop being friendly to people at the gym. Or anywhere. Or just walk around laughing out loud to myself at all times, so they'll stay away.

*Just so we're clear, I am aware that this dude was probably more interested in my "lovely lady ghosties" than my "shirt". I can be clueless . . . but not that clueless.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

ten for '10

A new decade, a new adventure, a new blog layout! I'm fairly certain that the image blogger has randomly superimposed into this template is the Boston Public Garden, yes? Or is it one of the many other "monuments to men on horses" that exist all over the world? Whatever -- I'm choosing to believe it is a photo of my hometown, and therefore this template was designed especially for moi!

So - I didn't have the heart to scrap all the "One Girl, 12 Ways" biz from 2009. Even though my efforts to improve myself with monthly themes didn't work out so well -- I feel like it should stand as a monument to a strange, transition year in my life. RIP, 2009 - Viva 2010!

You may have noticed a small addition to the blog title. That's because -- drumroll please --

I've been accepted to the Simmons Grad School of Library Science!

I'm trying not to let the word "science" scare me too much. The word "library" counteracts the traumatic memories of high school Chemistry.

School officially starts in May, which means I've got a few months to clear the cobwebs out of my head, figure out a job situation and prepare myself for being a full-time student once again. Fortunately, I enjoy school -- so much, in fact, that my goal is now to work in an academic-type setting for the rest of my days. No more late-night deadlines, no kissing CEO ass, no blah-blah-blah corporate bottom lines. No more gray, windowless cubicles! Bring on some dusty, windowless bookshelves!

So this year, the blog is gonna be a lot less "theme-y" and a lot more . . . "life-y"? A humorous peek into Tea's wacky world, and a place to record all my little adventures.

Also -- there will be lots of book reviews.

So, its time to list my 10 Completely Achievable Goals for 2010. Lets not dwell on the fact that I "achieved" very few of my 2009 Goals. A new year -- a clean slate. Here we go:

10 Completely Achievable Goals for 2010
1. Go to Grad School
2. Get a new couch / pull up nasty-ass carpeting in my apt
3. Keep my nails painted and not let them get all chipped and gross
4. Do yoga. Regularly. For real!
5. Learn to play an instrument so our amazing band, T&A, will take off (tambourines count, people -- we're talking "achievable" goals here!)
6. Run / jog / briskly walk a 5k
7. Volunteer at 826 Boston
8. See all the Academy Award nominated movies ( i need to get on this, like, now)
9. Write something -- short story, screenplay, lyrics for amazing T&A songs . . .
10. Go to the beach, again!

Ha! I don't know how "achievable" some of those are . . . considering last year I didn't manage to "wear eyeliner everyday" or "do my dishes with some semblance of regularity". But we'll see . . . even if I semi-achieve half of these things, I'll be living a productive life. So get on my ass, friends -- remind me to start running / volunteering / movie-watching.

It's gonna be a hell of a year, folks -- get ready!