• Every year I get a week off work between Christmas and New Years. It’s great. Except it always makes me anxious. A free week to do whatever I want. I swear I will go on hikes, visit museums, check out all those restaurants that I read about and think “someday, someday.” But what I end up doing is hanging out at home in lounge pants sorting drawers, filling trash bags and packing up clothes and housewares for my next thrift store run. I find myself cleaning appliances with a wad of paper towels and a toothpick to get out all the secret gunk. Then I swear next year will be different. Next year, I’ll do the hikes and the museums and that place with the lobster rolls in Los Feliz. What I realized this time around is that I fit the fun stuff into my normal life more often than I fit in the deep cleaning and drawer sorting. So it’s not a waste of a week to make my home a neater, tidier place. I’m hitting the re-set button.

  • What to drink when you’re not drinking? The floor-to-ceiling mirrors at my Cardio Barre studio kindly reminded me that I have a jelly belly situation going on, thanks to sumptuous food and drink over the holidays. So today the girlfriend and I started a Whole30. It’s 30 days of no sugar, dairy, grains, or Tropical Skittles. We’ve done this once before and it was an illuminating experience. So here we are again and the biggest wrench in the works is no drinking. I like a glass of wine and I really like making (and also drinking) cocktails. I especially like pairing cocktails with shows my girlfriend and I like to watch together. Does that make me sound like a dumb person? That I make a thing out of TV shows? I’ll deal with the ramifications of that later. Right now, I’m thinking about what I’m going to do in six minutes when Downton Abbey starts. The ritual of making a cocktail is not dissimilar to the ritual of making a cup of tea. And tea is very Downton-appropriate. So I think I’ll go put the kettle on.


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