Friday, May 12, 2017

Friday Five @ 5

The ocean. Provincetown. Fall 2016.
1. Smitten Kitchen re-posted this glorious recipe yesterday and I'm SO jazzed because I'm headed to a place this morning where I can buy really good choriço. The name of that magical place? Fall River, Massachusetts. I love working for the state. I've lived in Massachusetts my entire life (minus one year) and I'd only seen a fraction of it before I started my state job. Looking forward to meeting you, Fall River. Looking forward to a (hopefully) great event with the best crew of co-workers I've ever had.

2. I am newly obsessed with Veep. I started maybe a month ago and, WOW. WOW. This is a good show. I think it's making me more vulgar, but it's a great show. I only have one more episode and then I'm fully caught up and I'm so sad about this. HBO is a gift to us all. Truly.

3. It's Mother's Day this Sunday. I'm very close with my mother. I'm in touch with her before noon pretty much every single day. Sometimes I even run into her on the street on my way to work or in line at the coffee shop - this happened just yesterday and it was the best. She is the sharpest, kindest, most resilient, most loving, nastiest nasty woman I know. There is literally no one on the planet I'd rather spend time with if I had the choice. I'm very, very, very, very, very fortunate to have her as my mother and to have her so close-by, and I'm more conscious of that this year than I ever have been before. Love you, mama. 123.

4. I've started teaching on Friday nights. Last week was my first week. I think I'm going to love it. I never thought I would. I always sort of assumed I was too tired by the end of the day on Friday to stand up in front of a room full of people for two hours and pour my whole self out onto the floor in the name of fitness. But then I realized that I work harder on Friday in my day job than I do any other day of the week. My friend, Carmen, always comments on how I walk (stomp) around the office on Fridays when I'm in my zone. I LOVE Friday. I love that the clock is running out and I absolutely have to get things done because the weekend is looming. If you give me 5 days to do something, I might get it done. If you give my 5 minutes and 5 other things to do on top of the thing you need me to do, I will get all six things done. I will get 10 things done. The later it gets on Friday the harder I go. 3pm on Friday makes my head explode. So teaching at 5:30pm and 6:30pm is going to be good I think. I'm into it.

5. Switching gears, but sort of staying with fitness: I LOVE yoga. This isn't a flash in the pan like that phase I had with spinning or my last few (all but one of my) romantic relationships, this is LOVE. I'm not totally new to it, but I'm new to doing it regularly. For years I liked it. I'd dabble. I'd go every few months. I'd leave feeling nice-ish but wishing I loved it more and knowing I wouldn't be back for a long time. Well, the day has come. I love it. I think I love it now because I really need to. Several years ago I was drowning (metaphorically), and adding movement back into my life by way of taking dance classes at the gym was the thing that, at least for a while, yanked me out of the ocean. A little over a year ago, something crappy happened and I started to drown again. I now teach the dance classes at the gym that had previously brought me "back to shore," so I had to find something else. I'm not out of the water yet, but yoga is the thing that seems to be giving me the motivation and clarity to at least try and tread water. I can't fully explain why I love it, but there is something about movement paired with stillness, something about the really unique heat it generates, something about the "try and touch the floor/try and grab your other wrist while twisted around yourself and feeling unsure if you're even standing up or lying down anymore/try and balance and not bash your face into the floor" aspects of it that are making me feel brave and like I could potentially roll the dice and consider fully rejoining the world again. I took my 50th class of 2017 yesterday. Not a flash in the pan.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Sunday Five @ 5

1. Oof. Been a while. I think I'll just accept that this is going to be an occasional thing for me. I've missed posting here, but have just been too scattered. What a weird year 2017 is turning out to be. I can't say that I dislike it as much as I disliked 2016, but I can't say it's been a good year so far either. Some sad news. Some weird news. Some strange vibes. And Trump. Meh.

2. At least there is food to cheer us up, right? I'm making this Glowing Spiced Lentil Soup tonight, and these Marinated White Beans for lunch this week.

3. Speaking of food, if you're not following the Food of Elan on Instagram you should get that going.

4. Has everyone been shopping at LOFT except me? For some reason I got it into my head that I didn't love that store but it turns out I LOVE THAT STORE. I got this and this. Not bad. I felt swishy and pretty in both of them, and both were 40% off.

5.  Rosé season is upon us. I don't love the warmer weather but I do love rosé and the smell of tomato stems and having a lower electric bill because I don't need to turn my heat on. We can't all afford Whispering Angel all the time, at least I can't. I found a super cheap rosé at Trader Joe's on Friday that I loved almost as much. It's the "Les Portes de Bordeaux Rosé" and it's $6.99. Six ninety nine! I love Trader Joe's.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Sunday Five @ 5 - Couchbound Edition

1. You know when you meet someone new and within a few minutes of talking with them you realize they are EXTREMELY savvy and you'd do pretty much anything they recommended you do? I have a new co-worker like this, and last week when I started feeling sick she recommended I get myself some Manuka honey. Have you all heard of this? It's pricey - $35 for an 18-ounce jar (to me that's pricey), but after five days of a horrible sore throat and visiting the doctor today only to be told that what I have is viral and I'll get over it eventually, I was happy to plunk down my cash and try this magical honey. BOY, am I glad I did. It is like nature's Chloraseptic spray. I take that back. It is nothing like Chloraseptic spray because unlike Chloraseptic spray, Manuka honey actually WORKS. I took a teaspoon of it - that's not true - I ripped the lid and seal off of it and feverishly shoved a giant blob into my mouth as soon as I got home from the grocery store. No lie, it cut down on my pain almost immediately. After I'd calmed down a bit, I made myself some tea and added a little honey to it and things only got better. If you get sick this winter, do yourself a favor and get this honey. Apparently you can also use it topically to soothe bug bites and cuts. And, it just happens to be from New Zealand - the birthplace of Jam.

2. I want leg warmers. If I hadn't just spent $35 on honey, I'd treat myself to these.

3. I made up a recipe this weekend. I'm calling it Faux Pho. I used to LOVE to eat Pho Ga from Pho Pasteur when I was sick so I basically took everything I used to love and thought I could taste in that and put it in a pot and cooked it. This is NOT real pho. Not even close. Hence the name, Faux Pho. Here's what I did: boil a gigantic boneless/skinless chicken breast in salted water with a whole shallot peeled and cut in half (it was all I had in, you could use any onion.) Take the chicken out after 20-ish mins (leave the water in the pot) and shred it with two forks. Add one Wyler's chicken bouillon cube (I know) to the pot along with a cup or two of water. Heat that up. Grate a fair amount of fresh ginger - ginger makes me feel better - and add that in. Slice up a few cloves of garlic and cook them in a little oil in a separate pan until the slices are golden, then throw those in. Add the shredded chicken. Add some lime zest. Add some Sriracha - a teaspoon-ish, more if you're REALLY congested. Or if you're nasty. Add a tiny bit of soy sauce. Let all of that hang out and simmer a bit. Soak some rice noodles in hot water until they are soft - 15 mins or so. Put the rice noodles in a bowl and ladle the broth/chicken over the noodles. Top with cilantro if you have it, scallions, and a hearty lime squeeze. Eat. Immediately feel a little bit better.

4. There are SO many movies out right now that I'm dying to see. On my list for my holiday break - Jackie and Manchester By The Sea.

5. Two weeks from today it will be 2017. Aside from the fact that we are (probably) going to inaugurate a complete and total moron as President, I REALLY cannot wait to get started on a new year. 2016 was a rough ride for me and seemingly for everyone else, too. I'm not ready to dive into my reflections on this awful year just yet, but I did dive into making plans for sending it on its way. I decided I wanted to spend New Year's Eve alone. I'm taking myself to a class at North End Yoga that will run from 10pm to midnight on December 31st and then I'm going right to bed. I'm getting up on January 1st and doing my favorite thing on the planet (teaching fitness) followed by my second favorite thing on the planet (feeding myself.) What are you doing?

Friday, November 25, 2016

Friday Five @ 5:30 - PM Edition

When Harry Met Sally
1. I only watch two TV shows: The Bachelor/Bachelorette and Law and Order: SVU. I don't like most of what's on these days. I loved 30 Rock. I liked Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt's first season, but if I'm honest I thought the second season was blah. I tried Grace and Frankie and lost interest. I HATED the couple episodes of Downton Abbey I watched. I don't really know what Game of Thrones is. I'm just not a TV person. But I want to scream from the ROOFTOPS about NBC's This Is Us.  If you aren't watching it you absolutely need to start. I'm only three episodes in and I'm hooked. There is a Mad Men-style twist at the end of the first episode that will blow your entire mind. I still have chills. Get on that.

2. So everything at Old Navy is basically free right now. Not really. But 50% off isn't bad. I'm getting a second pair of these leggings. I CANNOT SAY IT LOUDLY ENOUGH: Old Navy has the best leggings in the universe. Do not spend more. Do not. I'm also getting this and 5 of these.

3. I'm so sad and angry about the election that I can't form polite, coherent sentences and talk about it like a compassionate, intelligent, thinking, loving person just yet. I'm in a blind (devastated but somewhat controlled) rage. There is literally no one I won't offend with what I really have to say about all of this, so I'm going to pretty much leave it alone. The one thing I will say about it is that it's changed me. I don't yet know if it's for the better or worse. I felt something snap in my heart at 3am on November 9th when I saw that HRC had conceded. I can remember the exact feeling. There was this little "click" (onomatopoeia?) in my heart and I fell down on my living room floor in a heap and cried harder than I have in probably eight years. It shook something loose in me and I'm not the same version of myself that I was when I stood in line to vote with my mother on the morning of November 8th. In some ways I feel like I have more patience and compassion, in other ways I feel like I LITERALLY can't look at anyone. I'm introvert-ing more than usual. I definitely don't believe in Santa Claus anymore. So-to-speak.

4. Deep breath. Hey. It's the holiday season. That's great. Yesterday I got to teach Thanksgiving Day classes at Healthworks. I freaked out BIG TIME about what exactly to teach, but it ended up being a blast.  When I mentioned to a few non-Healthworks friends that I'd be teaching on Thanksgiving they seemed shocked that people would want to go to the gym on a holiday. It got me thinking. I so do not think of Healthworks as a gym. And I REALLY do not think of myself as a fitness instructor. It never occurred to me during my classes yesterday to mention burning enough calories so we could all eat Thanksgiving dinner later and not feel badly about it. It was more about kicking off a holiday doing something we all really love to do. I'm going to keep teaching from that place.

5. What's your favorite holiday movie? I have been watching When Harry Met Sally basically on repeat for the last week. It's not TOTALLY a holiday movie but it kind of is because it ends on New Year's Eve. Actually, there are at least two New Year's Eve scenes and they purchase a Christmas tree at one point. It counts. I'm also into Love Actually. I can't stand White Christmas. I'm sorry. I tried. Meh.

Have a wonderful weekend, all.

Friday, November 4, 2016

Friday Five @ 5

Let's do this.
1. I walk by this new boxing club in my neighborhood a few times each week and through the window I can see people going absolutely nuts on these big punching bags. I've been feeling absolutely nuts lately, so I decided I needed to try it. Title Boxing Club North Station, I will see you tonight.

2. I shared this on Facebook earlier this week, but it can't hurt to blast it out again. Everyone go make this for breakfast right now. This recipe has completely addicted me to chives, I want them on everything.

3. It just needs to be November 8th. I can't look at the internet and I also can't look away. I want to know what the polls are saying and I don't. I want it over with. I want to celebrate HRC's victory, have a cathartic cry, hug my mother, walk home, and go to bed.

4. I'm so HAPPY to have a weekend off starting in 10.5 hours. I love being busy, but wow I need a little break. In addition to my first attempt at boxing, I'm going to wash my comforter, take yoga, visit Tom at Miniluxe, try a new restaurant, FINALLY go see the Boston Public Library's renovations, and finish the great book I'm in the middle of. I'm most excited about washing my comforter. Nothing is better than clean bedding.

5. Sigh. It just needs to be November 8th. Happy Friday, all.

Friday, October 28, 2016

Friday Five @ 5

1. I had two good friends get married in the last two weeks. I was a bridesmaid in one wedding and a guest at another. The highlight of both experiences was seeing my friends so happy. These are two lovely and completely badass women who I genuinely adore and respect and who married dudes who have made them both amplified versions of their very best selves. Good job, you two. Anyway, also on my list of highlights from these two beautiful events was my (far more shallow) first experience with something that has really changed my life: the gel manicure.

Holy shit. I was hesitant for years to get one. It sounded weird to me that something could stay on my nails for weeks at a time and not chip. But I had two weekends of weddings and time for only one manicure, so I tried it. Where have you been all my life, gel? I'm sure you're terrible for me. But I don't care. I didn't realize I needed you. My friend Katie had given our mutual manicurist, Tom a heads up that I was coming in for my first gel manicure. When I arrived he looked thrilled. "FIRST GEL!" He was right to be that excited. I couldn't believe how shiny and perfect my nails looked when he was done. But the best part was the effect the no-chipping had on me. Not that I typically spend all my time worrying about my nails, they usually look pretty blah, but it was SO nice to have some part of my appearance look reliably nice for two whole weeks. It made me feel better about myself. Even if my hair looked sad and I'd forgotten to use the lint brush before leaving the apartment, my nails looked good and that meant I was a grown-up woman with her act together. If you haven't tried it, you should. Miniluxe will even remove it for FREE when you get tired of it.

2. Fall makes me want to cook. The blogs have been teeming with awesome recipes lately. I'm planning to make thisthisthis again, and ESPECIALLY this in the next couple of weeks.

3. I rolled the dice with my fitness teaching this fall and decided to take on more classes. Being busy with teaching keeps me on track and out of trouble, and (best part) I get to eat more. Last night I added my final class. I think I've ended up with the best five days of teaching I could have imagined. Sunday, you are the hardest working group of human beings in the city. Monday, you are my lobster. Tuesday, you are the biggest and most wonderful surprise of my year. I didn't know I could smile quite that hard while sucking wind. Wednesday, you fill the most enormous studio at The HW to the brim with your energy, and I want to hug each one of you at the end of class. And Thursday, I can already see your wheels turning and it amazes me how quickly you put my words into action. I can't believe I get to do this work five days in a row. I really can't. I laughed out loud walking through the Prudential last night thinking about the fact that people actually pay me to teach fitness classes. I feel like I should pay them. I don't know what I'd do without it.  

4. "He's fearless. And always had a chip on his shoulder."   I enjoyed this.

5. I feel so sad for a friend of mine who lost his beloved dog this week. I saw the news on Facebook and my heart broke a little. I had to go to the ladies room and have a quick cry. I think there's something really special about having a pet. I have a cat. He's an old man and he has diabetes and a thyroid condition. I have to give him insulin injections and thyroid medicine twice a day everyday, exactly 12 hours apart. (Minus the two nights each week when I don't have time to come home between work and my classes and my wonderful father comes over to shoot and medicate the little big man. Thanks, Dad.) I don't LOVE that Buster is as sick as he is, but in a weird way it makes me feel good to become even more responsible for his well-being as he ages since over the years he's been so responsible for mine. I really think our four-legged family members take care of us just as much as we take care of them. I'm glad I'm a pet person. I'm glad I prioritize my little big dude. If that makes me a "crazy cat lady" I'm 500% fine with it. I think people who love animals are the best people, and the friend I mentioned above is one of the most loving pet owners I've ever met. I'm sending a ton of love his way this weekend, you should too.

Happy Friday, all.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Lick-Your-Bowl Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

I got an INTENSE craving for roasted red peppers on my way home tonight, so I threw this together and crossed my fingers and it came out AMAZING. Blew my entire face off. I don't have a face anymore. I also don't have a photo of my dinner because I devoured it immediately and literally licked the bowl. Everyone go make this.

Fresh pasta of any shape. Maybe not spaghetti, I feel like spaghetti wouldn't be the best here

12-ounce jar of roasted red peppers - mine were just Trader Joe's and had been in the cabinet for at least four months

1/2 cup heavy cream

2 giant or 3 medium garlic cloves minced

salt + pepper + sprinkle of dried basil

Throw some olive oil in a little frying pan, turn the heat to medium, and cook your minced garlic until it's sizzling a bit. Drain the roasted red peppers and throw them into the pan on top of the garlic. Just leave them whole and stir them around with the garlic. Let them cook about five minutes. Dump all of that garlicky deliciousness into a blender or food processor and puree it. Throw it back into the pan. Add 1/2 cup of heavy cream and stir slowly. Let it all hang out over low heat until it's good and warm. Add a little salt, pepper, and dried basil to taste. Cook your fresh pasta and mix it with an obscene amount of the sauce in a bowl. Top with some freshly grated parmesan if you have it. Which you should. Everyone should always have a wedge of good parmesan in the house. Eat. Lick your bowl. Happy sigh. You're welcome.

Friday, October 7, 2016

Friday Five @ 5

Cash. Try it.
1. Do you all meditate? I'm starting to feel like I'm the only person on the planet who doesn't do it regularly. I'm an anxious person and so I've always thought meditation would be good for me, but also impossible. I have to relax and clear my mind so I can relax and clear my mind? Sounds... great... Anyway last week I was VERY stressed out and feeling like crap, when I came across this video that explained meditation in a way that really worked for me. The key message is that your mind absolutely will wander, it will go nuts, but every time you bring it back into focus it's like a bicep curl for your brain. You will get stronger/better at it over time. I tried it. After I got my giggles under control, I made it through 5 minutes and I did feel a little better afterwards. I might do this more often. (I haven't done it since.) (Sigh.)

2. So there's this new thing I'm super into. It's called cash. Have you heard of cash? When you go to pay for something in a store or restaurant or coffee shop, the cashier tells you the total and you hand them this little slip of paper called cash. It has a dollar value attached to it. The cashier then immediately hands you back the difference and you leave. You don't have to stand there for an eternity and wait for the chip reader to function, you don't need to hold your phone in the exact right position for the LevelUp scanner to read it. It's amazing. You should try it. Like really, try it. It shouldn't take 10 minutes to pay for two items in CVS. Let's go.

3. Gluten free friends. I want you all to come to the North End and go to Bricco Salumeria and Pasta Shop because guess what? They just started carrying gluten free fresh pasta that will blow. Your. Face off. $10 for a huge bag. It doesn't turn to mush when you cook it. It doesn't fall apart when you mix it with sauce. Pasta dignity. Here is what you should do with it: sweet Italian sausage in a little frying pan, brown it. Add one clove of minced garlic. Stir and cook for 30 seconds. Shut the heat off. Pour in 1/4 cup of heavy cream and then throw a handful of spinach or arugula in on top of that. Stir, and it will wilt. Boil your baller pasta for 4 mins, throw that in on top of the greens and sausage, sprinkle some pecorino in so the sauce will stick, mix, cook it all on low heat for a few, eat. Happiness explosion.

4. I turned 37 yesterday and it was such a relief. I think I do better with odd years. Even years always kick the shit out of me. 24 was a rough ride. 30 was a disaster. 36 was brutal. On Wednesday night I sat on my couch and stared at the clock at 11:59PM waiting for 36 to be over. As I sat there and reflected on the year, I realized that at least a third of what went wrong wouldn't have happened if I'd listened to my gut. Two-thirds I had no control over, but one third was on me. WHY do I not listen to myself? Ugh. Anyway, when the clock finally hit midnight, I ate a cupcake (thanks, Little Ally!) and decided that 37 is not going to be perfect, but it will be 33.3333333% better than 36. That I can manage.

5. I just got this sweatshirt and I wish I could wear it every single day. Old Navy really just nails it in the fall.

Happy Friday, everyone.

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Reindeer Games

When I was in the 7th grade I was cast as a reindeer in The Nutcracker. I was NOT happy about it. Prior to this I'd been cast twice as a child party scene guest and once as a polichinelle—two roles that were WAY higher on the Nutcracker food chain. Reindeers tended to be on the taller side, and were too old for the cute young kid roles but not yet experienced enough for the big kid roles. Reindeers were Nutcracker Jan Brady. They didn't even dance. They wore white antlers and pulled a sleigh onto the stage during the snow scene, dropped the Snow Queen and King off in "the forest" and exited stage left. A little while later they pulled the sleigh across the stage to the wings on the other side. I can't remember why? Probably so their parents wouldn't complain that they weren't onstage long enough. At the end of the snow scene they pulled the sleigh back onto the stage, picked up Clara and the Prince, made a U-turn, and peaced out. My mother tried to make me feel better about all of this by saying, "Joyce Kulkawik says she likes the snow scene the best almost every year!" I was, at that time, (and still am) a HUGE Joyce Kulhawik fan, but no. Not having it.

I arrived at the Wang Theatre on Reindeer Cast D's first day of performances, and made a beeline for a folding chair in the corner of the child performer holding pen backstage. I yanked on my stupid white ballet slippers, folded my arms, and began my sulking. A girl who I recognized as a fellow reindeer arrived a few minutes later and sat down nearby. She was close enough so that we could have chatted, but far away enough so that if we didn't, it wouldn't have been too awkward. Occasionally, we'd glance at each other and look away if we made eye contact. I didn't want to talk to her because the fact that I was a reindeer meant the entire Nutcracker experience that year was going to be terrible. In my mind I was a Boston Ballet School loser. I didn't want to get to know anyone or appear to be enjoying myself for even one second, because then everyone would get the impression that I thought being a reindeer was something to celebrate, and they'd think I was pathetic.

So this other reindeer sitting nearby was making me nervous. To be honest, I was getting bored and wouldn't have minded a chat, but then I'd appear to not be miserable. I decided to stay silent and get back to having fun next year when I'd, hopefully, have a more impressive role. I looked at the party scene kids playing cards and unwrapping their Secret Santa gifts and missed being one of them. I saw a group of girls who were part of the Tea divertissement in Act 2 walk by our room with black ballet slippers and their hair into two buns and was so overwhelmed by their coolness I could have passed out. I think some of them were chewing gum. IN THE THEATER. If they saw me enjoying life as a reindeer they'd definitely laugh and I'd definitely never recover. I even saw the other members of our reindeer squad clustered together at the far end of the room talking and laughing and doing the occasional little jump or pirouette. "What for?" I thought. "We're just going to pull a sleigh around a stage and go home. You need to practice and warm up for that?" Ugh.

Now I could feel the other loner reindeer looking at me. I told myself to not engage, to stay silent, freeze, and look down at my stupid white ballet slippers. But then she abruptly uncrossed and crossed her legs and turned towards me and said "So what's new?" I can STILL hear her saying it in my mind. Lauren was her name. I was startled and relieved at the same time and I unfroze and answered her. I asked her a question. She asked me another question. We laughed. I acted like a normal person. It wasn't horrible. No one seemed to be laughing at me. We eventually wandered over to join the rest of our reindeer squad.

It ended up being a wonderful Nutcracker experience for me. Probably the best one I ever had if I'm measuring things by how happy they make me. I got to know a really nice new group of girls my age, there was no sense of competition, and I got to wear a dusting of glitter on my face. I also do think the snow scene is the best part. I'm not sure if anyone thought I was pathetic for enjoying my time as a reindeer because I forgot to look around and check. I'm going to guess they either didn't notice or didn't care. Thank you, Lauren, wherever you are.

Fast forward 25 years and oh look, I'm still me! This time I'm not avoiding making new friends and enjoying being a child performer in a ballet production, I'm avoiding writing - something I really love to do, just like I loved ballet and being onstage.

I haven't been writing because I tend to write about my life, and life hasn't been the best the past few months. I haven't been at my best. And I've been reluctant to write anything because I knew it wouldn't be the best either. I didn't want anyone to read anything I wrote and think I was pathetic for thinking it was good enough to put it out there. Dumb. No one cares. No one cared if I liked my smallish part as a reindeer in The Nutcracker. No one would care if I shared a mediocre blog post about my diabetic old man cat and how his new insulin schedule has turned me into a morning person and I kind of like it.

I appreciate that a lot of you have reached out over the past few months and asked me when I'd be posting here again. I've been at home for several days now recovering from a little procedure I had early last week - I'm 100% fine and it was more inconvenient than serious - and I've been looking at my laptop really wanting to write something. Finally, I did. Thank you for reading it. I'm going to skip apologizing for it, and I hope to be sharing more words with you soon. Happy Sunday.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Happiness Snowball

Yesterday New England Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman brought me back to life. What do I mean by this? Have you ever had a day or a week or a month or a year where something just HAS to give? I've had four occasions in my life where I've hit that point, and all four times I've had a moment therein where I stop, close my eyes, and ask for... something. Who am I asking and what am I asking for? I'm not exactly sure. Help? Sort of. Guidance? Maybe a little. Am I praying? Not really. Meditating? Nah, I'm way too anxious to meditate. Anyway, I had one of those moments yesterday around lunchtime, and 45 minutes later Julian Edelman saved me. 

A friend sent me a message saying she'd heard he was in the restaurant in the lobby of my office building having lunch. Holy shit. Today? Did someone hire him to do this? (As a point of clarification before I continue: Julian Edelman is my #1 celebrity crush. I think he is handsome, funny, talented, and perfect in every way. I will marry him. Watch.) I immediately threw some lipstick on, stood up from my chair, and walked to the elevator with one goal: eye contact. If I can look Julian Edelman in the eye, I can bounce back, I will know the world is not a lousy place, I will brush myself off and get back in the ring. I figured I'd just walk in there looking like I knew where I was going and see what happened. If they asked me what the hell I was doing, I'd lie and say I was considering the restaurant for a private event and wanted to see the space. Easy. I got myself down there, nodded confidently at the hostess, and walked in a very authoritative circle around the bar. I stopped 10 feet away from my future husband's table and pretended to check my phone. Not working. Only the woman sitting diagonally across from him looked at me. Probably because she was excited that someone was seeing her at the same table as Julian Edelman and wanted to watch the jealousy bubble up around her. I'd do the same thing. I needed him to look at me, so I got a foot closer and just stared at him until he seemed to notice my creepy self doing so, LOOKED RIGHT AT ME, and looked away. Julian Edelman looked at me. Sure it was for one second, but I locked eyes with my celebrity athlete dream man on one of the worst days I'd had in a while and it helped me see the light at the end of the tunnel. 

I don't want to go into the lame details of why I had a rough few weeks, I don't feel like wallowing in it anymore. It's done. I think locking eyes with Julian Edelman for one second helped because it reminded me that I have tons of things to be happy about - his chiseled face, for example. But also, my good friend who adores his chiseled face just as much as I do and the fun we have swooning over him. Thinking about that led to me think about all the other fun things I do with that friend, which led me to remember how much I love teaching at Healthworks, which led to me think about how excited I am to learn all the new choreography I have to learn in the next two weeks, which got me thinking about teaching on the Esplanade this summer, which led me to think about maybe organizing a little dinner at 75 Chestnut after one of the classes, which reminded me how much I love a good steak, which got me thinking about cooking in my kitchen and how happy it's always made me, which got me thinking about how much I love the North End and how fortunate I am to live in such a cool neighborhood and so close to my family. Happiness. Snowball.

I don't know about the rest of you, but I very easily lose sight of all the good things in my life when something big goes wrong. I'm SO bad at remembering all the other pieces of the puzzle, how nicely they fit together, and what a beautiful picture they make. This was a rough one, I don't want to beat myself up for having a hard time getting through it, but I did lose sight entirely for at least a little while, of all the really wonderful parts of my life. So thank you, Julian Edelman. Thank you for looking at me and coaxing me back towards happiness and reminding me just how lucky I am.