I spent a couple of hours in my favorite Chicago secondhand store this week. It amazes me that things can look so mundane in a thrift shop pile, and then take on a new life at home. Finding a use—the perfect use—for something that's been discarded gives me the same satisfaction as creating. I guess because I am creating. I'm creating context.

Bits of this haul: marble trivet and little ceramic pot, textiles, clothing, faux fur cap, and a rug for our snowy boots. (And here's one from last year.)


My apartment's empty this weekend, quiet compared to last. The beer is gone, the air mattresses deflated, and the dishes making progress. It's nice just the two of us, but I wish Ally lived down the street. And I wish Molly lived down the street. And I wish Ashlee lived down the street. And I wish Ellie lived down the street.


I've made New Year's goals as always, but my mindset has changed in some ways. I still love a challenge, setting specific goals and crossing them off a list—it's a game I play with myself, which I find enjoyable and rewarding. But, in other parts of life, I'm prone to an all-or-nothing sort of attitude, which I don't find enjoyable or rewarding. (I owe a good deal of thanks to my friend Molly for always recognizing the medium between extremes, and pointing it out to me, too.)

So, this year is all about doing the things that make me happy, about making soft progress. Wishing everyone the very best.

2013 GOALS

• run one mile
• cook something
• arrive to work early

• watch a film
• write and mail a letter
• visit a museum or attend a cultural event

• read (at least) three books
• knit or sew something
• stick to a budget and pay extra toward my student loans
• learn a new skill (guitar, crochet, ceramics, etc.)

• camp at least three times
• build a garden plot
• watch Seinfeld beginning to end
• learn more about jazz
• give everything a proper place in our apartment