This year I’m not up for making any broad proclamations, no grand gestures or extreme promises. I’m not not resolving to create change, especially not as a way to low-ball myself, expect the worst and you’ll do better, no. I just believe that change happens with baby steps. We edge our way to it.

Neil Simon's Goodbye Girl
It actually never happens like that in movies. With a film, there’s a peppy soundtrack and a wall calendar with days marked off in red X’s. It’s do or die. Black or white. You change everything and maybe something will stick.

2012. I can’t tell you what I resolved to do last year (not without peeking… 2012, Have Something to Show For it.).

I know the year before that, in 2011, I resolved not to be the fattest chick in the room.

But back in 2010, I was onto something with my resolution: “Watch more movies of substance–movies that people call films. Films that make me feel. That’s what I want to do this year. I want to wake up when other people go to work, pull out my notebook, and press play. I want to study film appreciation in my jammies.” —2010, It’s All In the Planning, And Yet

This year of 2013, it’s smaller.

I resolve to watch more movies. What a wonderful goal, truly. I didn’t mention the quality of the films, but that’s a goal, too. To see more films that will enrich my life. I’d also like to read more, more psychology books, more on parenting, more relationship books, more Neil Simon plays. This isn’t a resolution but a wish, that I may find a mentor this year. I’m not asking for a muse–I already have a few, who inspire me in so many ways–but a mentor, even if it’s a one-sided affair, where I learn by way of a dead writer, so be it. I’m needy for it, and if I’ve learned anything over the years it’s this: fill your own need, first. So before it’s fair to go asking the universe for a mentor to hold my hand through the hard bits, I must mentor myself. And in an effort to do just this, I resolve to read more, watch more, take notes on what I read and write in a notebook, one that requires a pen or pencil. And to make more shallow wish-lists.

Most important, I think this could be the first resolution that has nothing to do with “should” and everything to do with “want–” a word that’s no small stranger. Not what I think I should want but what I already want, what I already do–just not enough. Baby steps, read more, keep on drinking, eat a bowl of capellini pomodoro now and again, date night with an Italian film and a Barolo. And for goodness sake, take a vacation to somewhere you’ve never been.

Also I want to make a list of awesome wish-fulfillment moments in movies, like in The Holiday, when Kate Winslet shows up at Cameron Diaz’s LA compound and dives head first into the king size bed, giddy. The exploration of a new place, the fresh excitment, the whim, getting into the story just before it goes… it’s delicious. I also want Cameron Diaz’s wardrobe in the movie The Holiday. A white fuzzy cableknit, braided yet not too bulky. Here’s to a year of cozy delicious bowls of love. And to Nancy Meyers, my girl hero.



  1. And you look just lovely in cozy winter white, my dear. :)
    Here’s to hoping for a meet-up by chance somewhere, sometime in 2013.

  2. My New Year’s Resolution is to make one new recipe a week. And I am writing them down. In a book. With pages. Using a pen. Novel stuff, these days.

    I find myself getting into a rut with cooking when I have an absurd number of cookbooks, not to mention the food media I read.

      1. Yesterday I made vanilla pot de creme from the New York Times online topped with dark chocolate ganache. I never leave enough time for proper chilling so I will be testing it out tonight after dinner.

  3. Did you see ‘Take this Waltz’, yet? It is new on netflix instant. SEE IT!
    I loved reading the reviews online after on netflix- something rare for me. It is something you will think about and discuss, or want to discuss afterwards. SUCH a neat little film and lots of layers. Seth Rogen playing a serious role and Michelle Williams- seriously, I think you’ll like it. I watched in NYW while the husband and kiddos were in bed early. Fantastic little moments in the film and would be curious as to your reaction. I think it could be a post in itself, actually! Sarah Polley directed it, I like her work (she’s an actress too) she’s really talented.

    1. Author

      I did see “Take This Waltz.” I took it out from the library, since that place is a second home. I took the DVD home with me, then by the time I tried to watch it, I realized it was due. Returned without watching. Your comment prompted me to take it out again, and I watched it last night. I also signed up for Netflix streaming, can add that to my Amazon Prime obsession, together with apple TV, and now I’m way too plugged in. You are right. There is now so much to process. To the point where I need to watch it again, today, so I may reflect on it fully.

      As with many movies, I tried to rope Phil in, asking him questions along the way. “Do you think she’ll have an affair?” To, “Wait, do you think what she’s doing now constitutes an affair?” And he was having none of it. Wouldn’t play along, just shrugged. In the end, he turned to me and said, “I don’t get it.”

      “What don’t you get?”

      “Any of it. What it means, what happened, if it happened, any of it. What’s the point?”

      I will write about this. Thank you CC!

      1. Cool! I am glad you will (when you can, I know the health issues with you and Phil’s operation are happening) write about it. I thought their pool scene was soo good, almost magical-their playfulness, what so many new relationships have- but he broke the ‘trance’ with touching her. And I will never think of the song ‘Video Killed The Radio star’ the same ever again. I SO would have taken a first date to that amusement park place they went to!

  4. I find it interesting that Americans seem to love capellini while most Italians find them yucky! A popular Italian novel from the early 1900s tells the adventures of a mischievous boy who gets to eat capellini as a punishment when he misbehaves.

    1. Author

      This is actually VERY interesting. Wonder if it’s linked to our obsession to be thin (eating the thinnest of noodle). I love this fact!

      1. Ha ha love your explanation! In Italy we tend to like thicker noodles better because they are more difficult to overcook, I guess.

  5. Hi Stephanie:

    Let me say first, that we loved this post! Probably one of my top five favorites this season. Why? Because it was personal, honest & allowed us a look at you. During this time of year, so many people including us, make resolutions, large to-do-lists, that in themselves become more of a burden than a release or betterment and almost impossible to fulfill. I love your baby steps theory, because it’s so true and attainable. Watching more movies with substance, while broadening ones mind by what we take in. And yes, movies are another avenue to do just that. Nancy Meyers…what a great choice! She’s brilliant. One of our favorites as well as Nora Ephron. Let us know if you grab any out there that are good enough to recommend, and best of luck with your 2013-ventures!

  6. I watched The Holiday as well last week. My favorite moment is Cameron in bed with her tray, her glass of wine, all bundled up. :)

  7. My resolution is to CHOOSE to do better this year and not let stress and life in general run me over. I also have suggestions for you, two movies, in French, sorry, but you can find them with subtitles: Intouchables and Café de Flore. I also finished reading ‘Why children succeed’ by Paul Tough, which rocked my world and provides tons of insight on how to overcome parenting anxiety…

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