At some point during the New Year’s party I think I yelled: “I’m OUT!” Grabbed the bowl of chips, spilling them all over the place, went up stairs and fell asleep. (What a jerk!) But I’m glad I did because I was the first one up this morning. I offered to “Do breakfast” even though I have a cold and have been quarantined from Babu for three days. I couldn’t take it any more! I missed her! And I wanted to see her at the start of this gonna-be-awesome-new year. So, armed with hand sanitizer and a scarf over my mouth and nose, looking like I was about to rob a saloon, I greeted Babu for the new year. We greeted with the usual “Djane Dobre” (I never know how to spell the Polish) and then she spoke a string of Polish words that she could only translate half of before she forgot what she said. Even still, it’s potential filled me with excitement.
I asked if she watched the ball drop. No, she didn’t even stay up until midnight. This is her usual. Since I’ve been helping to caretake she just continues her routine on New Year’s eve. Man, I love and respect her to death, but don’t let me be like that. As sick and cynical as we all are about all the new year’s talk (by “we” I meant not me) I plan to always stay up until midnight and run outside and shout: “Happy New Year!” Maybe when I’m her age I wont run. But there are some things I vow to never be too old for.
I set some pretty big goals, mostly all around writing, for this new year. I set the goal to post every day for the year!!!!! I also set some large goals for my stats on this blog and just as I was starting to chide myself about it all being too much, I get Freshly Pressed and now it all seems very attainable. What a nice way to end the year. And shitty as it was, I got one good realization out of it. Even at 33 (that feels so very old to me) the world can still amaze me and things I thought I had seen too much of could be like new. I guess I didn’t even realize that I had begun to feel like life was old news, but maybe I did there for a moment. This summer, there was a heat lighting storm that knocked my socks off. I must have watched it for an hour. I’ve always loved thunderstorms and lightning but this one was amazing. It was unreal.
So sorry about the Nickleback playing in the background. It was NOT my choice. (The boys were playing nerf!)
And I just fell in love with snow again. I absolute love. I blame Lorelei Gilmore. I have no shame admitting in 2016 I watched every episode of Gilmore Girls on Netflix. Every one. And we almost had a white Christmas. And that day I had to shovel because of husband’s broken collar bone, I loved every moment of it. And him telling me not to bother going out until the snow stopped did not work for me. He was missing the whole point. I wanted to be in it!
I have stopped this year and stared at sunsets that were like nothing I’ve ever seen before. I saw the best fireworks show at a food fest at the Big E and all the sulfer fell in our hair and in our beers. It was amazing!
And then there are king crab legs. My oh my there is shit in this world I don’t even know about. People who know me are so sick of hearing about the king crabs, but I’m obsessed. So, I was at work about a week ago, ringing up people in the grocery line, and I reach over to scan something wrapped in plastic and suddenly I don’t even know what I’m looking at. There are two skinny fleshy parts the length of my lower arm and a mean ass looking talon at the end of each. I carefully pick it up and scan it, the horror not yet set in yet, and read the screen. “King Crab leg.” Stuff of nightmares. I knew they were a thing but not that thing. So I’m telling stories to anyone who will listen about how much they scare me and my coworkers tell me how they have gotten cut up picking up those things. I went home and watched youtube videos of these suckers. I had to know how big! I told all my supervisors that when I signed up to work at whole foods I did not know I was going to be selling monsters and if they kept coming through my line I was gonna quit. I’m asking customers if they have any when they come up to my line and making the joke that I’d send them away if they had them. Then yesterday I’m ringing people up and it’s really busy and my boss is helping to bag. It’s awesome they do that but I get so nervous! This sweet couple comes up they put their stuff on the belt and I start ringing them up and turn to see, not two, but four king crab legs! I leap out of my skin. I had been telling all of these stories thinking I wasn’t really scared but I got so scared that I not only jumped but then in a very girly gesture put my hands up toward my chest in an “I don’t wanna touch that!” statue, and for a moment, froze. My very kind boss goes: “Do you want me to get it for you?” And I laughed. He doesn’t know me well enough to know that I face my fears, no matter how utterly terrifying. So I laughed, the spell was broken, and I laughed so hard I cried and continued ringing up the nice couple who just kept repeating “very sharp claws very sharp claws” while I was freaking out. It feels really good, as a horror writer, to be scared every once in a while. It’s research. It’s wonderful. It gives me stories to tell.
So that’s why I’m fiercely and belligerently optimistic about the coming year. I had begun about a month ago saying that 2016 was so terrible that 2017 was going to have to be great. But I was only trying to convince myself. I knew one bad year that could. have. been. worse. doesn’t guarantee me anything. And I know fucking Trump’s gonna be president, so there was a lot of evidence stacked against me. But it was the king crab legs that sold me. The world has a lot of new out there for me and I will either be scared or awed or bathed in bliss. I’m excited because I have already been reminded that the world has surprises for me. I’m really looking forward to it.
And this year, I am gonna write like a crazy man.
Oh, and guess what. In 2017, we’re making a movie.
Yea. We are.