I grew so accustomed to having an outlet here to indulge my spiraling, detailed thoughts on the ephemera that swirl through my head on a daily basis. When I took a holiday break, things began to build up in my head. Rather than inspire me to let loose with a string of posts come early January, the following would ensue: I’d have an idea of something to work through, and then instantly, I’d think, “oh, but I need to talk about Les Miz first, or that great book I tore through, or maybe it should be my college football postmortem, or hey, that service I used to print Instagram photos.” And then, all of those ideas crowding around the small door of opportunity and patience I have for writing would block each other, and like a putz, I end up saying nothing. And the pressure grows.

So, a bit of a reboot! Making a list lets me down never, so a list of my recent mini-obsessions, to clear the decks, as it were:

  • Nail art: I just bought an assortment of colors that come with teeny skinny brushes, and though I’m starting slow (a single yellow diagonal on dark grey nails), I can’t want to get super-elaborate! One lesson already learned: designs look WAY better on short nails than long.
  • Snow activities: we booked a mountain cabin weekend getaway with close friends today, and I am SO excited! We’ll be in Lake Arrowhead for Presidents Day weekend, which is apparently a great time of year to hope for snow on the ground. While spending most of our holidays in Ohio and Montana means we’re pretty familiar with snow, something tells me that experiencing it with a passel of small children (four under 4!) is going to make it a whole lot crazier, hopefully in a fun way.
  • The Manti Te’o Fake Dead Girlfriend Scandal: Y’all. Y’ALL!!! Maybe the most surreal sports story of the year, and it is MID-JANUARY. And given that it’s a bit of a slow time for news in general, people are jumping all over this, including these tweets.
  • The Africa They Never Show You: I’m guilty of having thought, sure, I’d love to travel more, but not necessarily to Africa. This Tumblr changed my mind in a jiffy. The above photo, showing the Simien Mountains in Ethiopia, is making me weak in the knees!
  • Churro Kettle Corn: From my glorious mecca, the reason I have taste buds. The world is amazing.
  • Safety Not Guaranteed: Now that I’ve seen pretty much all the prestige 2012 Oscar bait that I wanted to, I can confirm my suspicion from six months ago that this quirky indie — ostensibly about a crazy dude who thinks he can time travel, but really about the huge, real, breathtaking risk of real relationships, and the immense pleasures in life available when we drop the veneer of irony — would be my favorite movie of the year. I just rewatched it, and yup — it made me feel all the good tingles all over again… no, not those, you perv. Canadian tuxedos don’t quite do it for me. Trailer: [youtube:

Ahhhhhhh. It’s good to be back!

(Photo from David Ruiz Luna’s Flickr, via The Africa They Never Show You)