2012: A Recap

Jan 2, 2013 by

Well, here we are.  The year that the Mayans thought would never happen (I know it’s not as simple as that, but go with me on this).  The year that’s essentially a bonus round for the human race.

I, for one, am fairly pumped for this threshold.  I love change, and 2012 was such a slam-bang year that I can’t wait to see what 2013 has in store.  But first, before we wipe the dust of 2012 completely from our feet (and shoulders), let me reminisce for a moment about what the big 2-doz brought me and taught me.

For the more photographically-inclined among you, I made this slideshow.

Songs: “Take a Walk” and “Carried Away” by Passion Pit.

Here We Are.  2012, With a Bullet.

If I can figure out a way to move forward with my career using all the momentum I gained in Chicago, AND have a life in a small town with my husband while he makes his career dreams a reality, then I will have truly pulled off an awesome feat of life-itude.

So How Do I Do Normal?

I used to be so awesome. I had the energy for fourth locations. I used to wake up on Friday (well, any day really) and honestly have no idea where the night would end up, or who I would meet along the way. Those were frenetic, exhilarating times. Yesterday, as I stood in my kitchen making a tuna noodle casserole to feed my husband, I got so homesick for an age I used to be.

A Playwright’s Day

I thought it might be possible that a lot of people don’t know what we actually do. Of course, having been a real-life playwright for just years now, I thought I’d be the best person to address this knowledge deficit.

Back in the Saddle (Whose Horse is This?)

I subconsciously believed that this trip back would be like taking a breath for the first time in a long time. I kept telling myself that if I could make it though another day, another week, in the mountains, I could get back to my real life in March. But the longer I’m in Chicago, the more I realize that my “real life” might not have been all I cracked it up to be.

11 Travel Tips from a Newbie Jetsetter

With a little bit of preparation and a lot of flexibility, air travel doesn’t have to be the nightmare it certainly has the potential to become. I’ve pulled together 11 ways to make your time in those duty-free spaces between cities easier and more enjoyable.

Chicago’s 7 Best Coffee Shops for Getting Work Done

I spent a good many years finding the perfect places to write in Chicago, and now that time is of the essence when I’m here, I find myself going back to the same shortlist of establishments again and again. These are the cafés where to get stuff did in Chi-city.

Cleanse It to Wins It — The Finish Line

I made it, folks! I am so very CLEANSED and happy, and I don’t see any reason to stop now. Sure, there are things I miss, and I will make a few exceptions while I’m in Chicago and NYC, but for the most part I will try to adhere loosely to the following tenants of the Clean Program for the rest of my eating days. (Editor’s note: HAHAHAHAHAHA!)

Bundles of Other People’s Joy

I’m slightly jealous of all these new bambinos and adorable bumps, but I’m not ready for motherhood yet myself. And it’s not because I just got married, or just moved across the country, or just started a new job. It’s because I’m not ready to be replaced as the youngest version of myself.

Six Things I’ve Learned After Six Months of Marriage

That’s right — it’s our half-iversary!  I’d like to make a quick little list of things I’ve learned over the past half-year. It’s short, because I know I still have a lot to figure out, but there is one little lesson for every month of marriage.

A Public Apology to My Mother (28 Years in the Making)

An open letter of apology to my mother for all the ways I plagued her and took her for granted in my younger years: demanding trendy clothes, refusing to order from the kids menu, insisting I be allowed to move to Los Angeles and become a child star, and many more. Thanks, mom, for always knowing better.

The Name (Changing) Game

I decided to go ahead and get on legally changing my last name from Marcantel to Marcantel-Polaski. Upon beginning this legal process, I was momentarily overwhelmed by the idea that I could use this occasion to change ALL of my names, and even add on a few.

5 Ways to Survive a Summer Breakup (Scientifically)

I know, Lord, do I know, that being suddenly single can make you feel weak and crazy and depressed and out of control. But knowledge is power! I firmly believe that once you know more about why, chemically, you are feeling the way you do, your mind will be calmed and you can ride the wave of the breakup with optimism and clarity.

Late Spring Bounty

I won’t say that it feels like the best place on earth every single minute, but days like yesterday prove that there are things to be appreciated about every single place in America, and our tiny new town in Virginia has lots to offer.  This was especially reassuring, since yesterday marked Six Months and One Day since we moved here from Chicago, and there were days in January I wasn’t sure I’d make it this far.

West Coast Weirdsmobile

Los Angeles is the same kind of weird it was when I visited in 2009, but now I have the facilities (a rental car) to explore the weirdness more thoroughly. California is weird in different ways in different places. Let me take you through the first few days of my trip.

Awkward on the Set

Taking pictures, snapping up anecdotes for the blog, posting updates to Facebook and live-tweeting, I can totally handle.  But when the AD asked if I wouldn’t mind just sitting in the background of a shot, I should have informed her that I become paralyzed with awkwardness in front of a camera.  But instead, trying to get into the indie film go-getter spirit, I said “sure.”  They won’t make that mistake again.

Discovery: I am Bad at Sick Days Now

That’s what no one tells you about freelance before you go there: how hard it is to mentally take a day off. I’m probably in the middle of having some kind of pulmonary embolism, but I can’t even enjoy it because all I can think is that I haven’t checked anything off my to-do list today.

Awkwardness-Free Rejection: A Template

In practice, no one has been educated in how to accomplish a delicate rejection. It’s just not something that comes up when you’re being trained to navigate society as a young tween. But fret no longer! Here I am, a real and true writer, who has ridden on both sides of the rejection wagon. I am here to help.

10 Things You Must Eat in Chicago

So, in a gustatory landscape so vast and varied, how is a person to ferret out the best, the most transcendent of the dishes on offer? My suggestion is to start with this list, compiled by me, a professional fan of food AND lists, and make your way from there.

Asheville: The Eater’s Tour

Here’s the beta list of how to eat like a Polaski in Asheville (meaning you bounce from restaurant to restaurant all day long, trying to take in as much food as humanly possible, before returning home).

Here’s to more traveling, eating, theatre-making, social-media-guruing, and freelance wife-ing in 2013!

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