and I’m off…

A week ago, I was going to do a post on summer beauty. But I was too hot to think and realized it’s all pointless when it feels impossible to look fresh and put together in the DC heat and humidity.

Then last night I was going to write a post on packing. But let’s be honest, I suck at it. I mean, I’m good at folding and organizing and remembering everything (and I do mean everything) but I always bring one pair of shoes too many. At least this time I practically (almost willingly) left my precious hair dryer behind, but I more than made up for it, as evidenced by the grunt the driver made when loading my deceivingly small but heavy suitcase into the trunk.

Five dresses (think easy breezy, not work), four pairs of shoes (not including the travel pair), three workout outfits (maybe overly ambitious), two lipsticks (not including lip gloss) and one bathing suit (just in case) later, I’m in a car on the way to the airport.

And where am I going? I almost forgot to mention. San Francisco until Friday. Napa for the weekend. Enough said.

This trip to SF that I used to take quarterly already feels different. For starters, it’s the first time I’m not building a long weekend in wine country around a business trip in the city. Then there’s the whole not flying Virgin thing. (I’m not breaking up with you, Richard Branson… Your flights were just so much more expensive.)

The bottom line is I’m ready to get out of dodge and while Northern California apparently is not welcoming me with the cool weather embrace I crave, I’m thinking that a “heat wave” in San Francisco holds a different meaning from one here in DC.

I may have packed poorly, but I’m getting away. And I hope Napa has a lot of wine to help me drink to that.

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13 in ’13

First came 43 by 43, and now 13 in ’13. That is, I’ve set 13 goals that I intend to pursue in the year 2013. A few of these goals are a continuation of my 43 by 43 efforts. But there are some new ones already penetrating my psyche. And because I can think of no better way to hold myself accountable, I share them all with you. I expect badgering, welcome participation and hope for encouragement.

In no particular order:

1. Get spin certified. You know I love my Biker Barre. I’m not expecting to attain a level of awesomeness that will allow me to teach there. (That might have to be a 2014 goal.)  But every time I hear a song I  like, I imagine what I’d do along to it on a bike. In that regard, spinning is as close of a sport to cheerleading as I’ve managed to get in my adult life. Just harder and sweatier.

2. Learn a new wine region. I know my California wines, but it’s time to branch out. And  I know nothing about Italian wines. Bring on the Barolo, Amarone and Brunello.

3.  Host (at least) quarterly dinner parties. I love to cook, but I don’t do it enough for my friends. Just understand if you’re invited to a Chelsea feast, I’m going to cook Italian so I can practice the skills attained in the advanced pasta making class I’m taking from Hill’s Kitchen. And I’m going to multitask by serving Italian wine (see goal #2).

4. Save money for college. Or get the kids discovered. But I don’t feel like I’d make a good stage mom, so saving is probably easier (though not on my shoe budget).

5.& 6. Travel. I promised the kids I’d take them to Hawaii. And I want to go to Italy. To drink obscure Italian wines (see goal #2) of course. It’s listed here as two goals because it’s two trips.

7. Make iconic fashion purchase. I dream of Chanel. And Cartier. But I may have to set my sights lower. I’m sure I will agonize in this very forum over any potential purchase.

8. Open my heart to relationship opportunity. I’m a dating disaster. I tried Match for 24 hours before canceling the membership. I went on zero dates after six months of e-harmony. Set ups are few and far between. After my divorce, dating wasn’t a priority. However, I’m now at a point where I’d like to share my crazy, drama-prone life with another (hopefully calmer and less dramatic) person.

9. Sign new clients. I have this hot new job. It’s time to exceed my potential with some great new clients whom I can help navigate the tricky world that is the U.S. Congress.

10. Publish the sequel to My Night with George Clooney. This is the only goal that has a very specific deadline. Which would be by the White House Correspondents’ Dinner in late April. If you read my first story, you know why this date is significant.

11. Refinance my house. It’s time. That is all.

12. Finish home improvement projects. That means have a deck built, fix up the yard and install window boxes. Maybe build a wine cellar. Some things the Warriors can help me do. Some I will have to contract to have done. And maybe I can bribe my talented brother to come down to Maine for a week of intense help.

13. Live life to the fullest. I know this particular goal will be difficult to measure. But I will know it when I’m feeling it, and those who are close to me will call me on it when I’m not.

There you have it. 13 goals. 11 months left to achieve them. Wish me success.