this is prolly gonna be happenin' soon.
like as soon as we unload the car, unleash the liquid, and put on our sequins.
bust out your bubbly and go do something dangerous.
this is prolly gonna be happenin' soon.
christmas is technically over, although over here we like to marathon it out and have it last until the 28th or so. which is swell if you have the necessary stamina needed to keep up with the hooligans i share DNA with. and if you don’t, then you should just be comfy with the concept of hangovers and sleep deprivation.
“it’s not gonna be christmas until someone projectile vomits.”
was said to me.
but i’ll save that memory lane, and all associated photographs, for another time.
hold your breath.
on a similarly festive note: this time of year, every year, people like to create events as an excuse to make you wear ugly things. like sweaters. this keeps happening (as late as yesterday) more than i can understand this season. i only went to one.
[chris, if you stumble back upon this you will notice that i kept my word. i told you i just might post a lil’ somethin’ somethin’ on this topic . . . but i would really prefer it if I had exhibit A++ to go along with it . . . it’s not too late; you can still shoot it over in a text, email, snail mail, telegram – singing, preferably – or any other means you like.]
because it’s funny?
because it’s funny.
and because it’s the only time you can accidentally wear something that you otherwise maybe thought was cute (or didn’t) and get away with it because it’s just par for the course.
assuming everyone else around you is also rockin’ the ugly.
whilst in chicago, we found ourselves in a particularly special mix of ugly sweaters. and vests. and other assorted holiday inspired garments that really should have been left on the production line.
which made me think that somewhere, probably more frequently than not, people purchase these things and they mean it.
like for reals mean it.
like these people:
she is holding what looks to be a goat.
wearing a santa hat.
which is amazing.
this could be funny for days.
but apparently, funny didn’t last too long . . .
it’s probably because they took away her goat.
. . .
here’s hoping your holidays included all things wonderful. and wonderfully funny. and not an ounce of things that would make you sad. like her.
and for a minute there, i lost myself, i lost myself . . .
and then i found this:
while recently reflecting upon the act of waking my neighbor with the obscene volume of celine dion belting from the inner walls of my kitchen, i realized i actually had living proof of such a thing.
and i couldn't resist.
[but probably should have. no, definitely should have. oh well.]
all good memories need a visual. otherwise few people will believe it ever happened.
this clearly doesn't take place inside my kitchen.
ignore the fact that this reads as a happy birthday video.
[mainly because i can't figure out how to remove the graphic. and almost threw my computer against the wall trying to do so. and then realized that i quite like my computer and quite like the fact that there is a happy birthday graphic which i can't remove and shouldn't because this did, in fact, take place during the single greatest and most historic birthday in all of creation. not to be outdone until the next one rolls around and we do it all over again.]
it is neither my birthday nor is it erin's, but it doesn't really matter because it might as well be.
when things like this happen.
which is often**
|Customize a greeting|
and everywhere else, apparently.
i have found myself, over the years, spending an unhealthy amount of time being mad at winter.
like i don’t know it’s coming.
like it snuck up on me and i want to give it 4 knuckles to the face just for being a real SOB who never gave me forewarning that it was hovering on the horizon. even though it always is. like motherlovin’ clockwork.
i took a walk today to find coffee. among other things. about 20 minutes down the street, i couldn’t feel my kneecaps.
on the corner of division and something else there is a bank with one of those electronic signs that flashes back and forth between time and temperature.
it said negative 10 degrees.
celsius, i assume, although if you’d told me otherwise, i probably would have bought into it.
why does anyone refer to anything in celsius? can we stop doing that please? when was the last time you read negative 10 degrees celsius and immediately knew how cold it really was?
[nerd squads need not respond. because you will make me feel stupid.]
not that it really mattered, at all, because cold is just cold at that point, but had i found it completely necessary to figure out what had now obnoxiously peaked my curiosity level (and what the bank failed to help me out with in its watch-me-pull-the-wool-over-your-eyes-and-not-tell-you-what-i-know-you’re-dying-to-know kind of way) i would have needed do this:
[°F] = [°C] × 9⁄5 + 32
yeah, okay, whatever.
regardless . . .
i think I’m gonna change my tune for a while, try it on for size, and see how it feels.
you see, there is a solution for everything.
like wearing 6 pairs of socks at a time.
and while your shoes won’t likely fit whatsoever, at least you will be able to feel the end points of your lower extremities.
which is a pretty great thing.
as a girl who spent 22 years living south of the mason-dixon line, snow was always somewhat of a novelty. something we wanted to bottle up and keep by our bedside year ‘round.
a northbound move and 2 ice-induced car accidents later (neither of which were my fault, in case you care or want to judge me for being a bad driver. which i am not.), i sorta started to see things in a different light. snow was the enemy after the initial bliss moments of untouched front yards, when it then settled in as nothing more than a royal.pain.in.my.ass.
not to mention dirty.
[say no to yellow.]
yesterday i ventured out to the walgreens around the corner to make a run for some electrolytes – in what appeared to be a blizzard even though by all real accounts it probably wasn’t. i have no background in meteorology. i haven’t a clue how much of the white stuff has to fall and how quickly it has to do so to constitute being a blizzard.
upon returning to the defrost setting of an indoor temperature which hovered right around cozy, my friend and host asked me “now how miserable was that?” . . . to which i replied, “it was actually really nice. it’s quiet and peaceful in the snow.” (to which he then replied “well, yeah, because no one is going outside!!” . . . which was true.)
but please note the change of tune. because that is the point of the diddy.
my dad (also known as father joe. even though his name is not joe. or anything remotely resembling joe. it’s tommy.) has this saying that he pulls out from time to time. and by time to time, i mean all the time:
“if you can’t stand the pain, get out of the rain.”
now i don’t really know what that means. and it’s entirely possible that he just likes it because it rhymes.
but i guess what it means to me is this:
until i purchase that second home in the south pacific for retreat purposes between the months of november and march, i should just get over it.
love the cold. embrace the cold. be friends with the cold.
and buy more socks.
i pinky promised i would upload this for francesca.
and well, a promise is a promise.
what i will NOT promise is how long this will remain online for the all of cyberspace to view, so frankie . . . get your fix.
and i’m about to put caution tape around it.
like a crime scene.
if you’ve been to my townhouse, then you know the kitchen is not super big.
in fact, it’s not big at all.
room enough to do whatca gotta do, but certainly without enough adequate counter space to bake a 7-tier wedding cake.
which i probably wouldn’t ever do anyway, so i guess i’m in the clear.
to put it in brutal, but appreciated, context, my kitchen is about half the size of my freshman dorm room.
and that a’int saying a whole lot about my freshman dorm room.
[except for the fact that it was like a utopia where Peanut and i lived with our family of fruit flies, aptly named The Wilsons. and ignoring the fact that it was right next to the projects, a concept which never seemed to phase our parents as they dropped us off and kicked it into nearly-empty-nesting overdrive.]
of all the 8 rooms in my townhouse, the kitchen is by far the smallest.
with the exception of the bathroom which is really more of a doll-house closet with plumbing.
but for reasons unbeknownst to me, and anyone else in.the.entire.world., the kitchen is where it all goes down.
usually dance parties.
always dance parties.
sometimes the kind that wake up the neighbor. (and definitely the kind that wake up the neighbor when certain best friends are in town and decide it’s a stellar idea to sing celine dion at an unforgivable level at 4 o’clock in the morning . . . yes, apologies were made the next day. like a friggin’ dog with my tail between my legs. my neighbor still loves me, though. i think.)
sometimes i walk downstairs in the morning and it looks like a nuke exploded in the kitchen.
and sometimes my head feels the same way.
and sometimes (like a day ago), i find a plethora of photos which were taken from inside the kitchen that rival the club scene in hollywood.
and then i wrestle with the notion of “to delete or not to delete” . . .
and then i ask myself why i think my kitchen is so cool. repeatedly.
and then i resign to the fact that some things are just left unexplained.
party in the kitchen.
all are welcome.
sunglasses are optional.
holidays on one end of my family sometimes (always) go a little like this:
we drink wine from a box.
for no better reason than there is no reason at all.
[except that it’s tradition. and you don’t mess with tradition.]
we share our wealth of boxed wine with Maddie Pie.
because we are good sharers.
and because we think she will like it.
but she doesn’t really like it and runs away.
and we think this is funny.
we drag canoes to the middle of the yard.
because why not.
and then we get inside the canoe.
and then we find all the concrete sculptures scattered around the yard and decide they would like to get inside the canoe, too.
and we think this is also funny.
and then we pose for an absurd number of photos with our concrete sculptures.
in the canoe.
in the yard.
with the box of wine.
and then we try to put Maddie Pie in the bird bath.
but she is not into this.
kinda like she is not into the box of wine.
so we sit in the bird bath without her.
and that suits us just fine, too.
and then we sit on the back steps and talk about how glad we are that we are McKenzies.
and how we don’t really want to know what a “normal” thanksgiving is like.
because we think it might be boring.
and the McKenzie family doesn’t do boring.
or normal, for that matter.
[*editor’s note: if you are wondering where all the other McKenzie members are . . . they were the peanut gallery taking the photos. naturally. or inside eating.]
“it wasn’t over. IT STILL ISN’T OVER!”
name that movie.
no, wait . . . don’t.
it’s embarrassing enough that this film quote has decided itself upon my inner dialogue, but it’s the first thing that came to mind. and it stuck. so deal with it.
the white impala is no longer mine. that gps lady no longer tells me to “turn left, then stay left, then turn left, then go point 2 miles and turn left”
that’s a circle, bitch!
we got along most of the time.
and now i’m left with the 96,000 photos i took as a means of relaying my world and direction to the crew that was always 4 days behind me. and then 3. and then 2. and then we were reunited on an island and it was sort of like christmas. but unseaonably warm. and on an island. with no christmas trees. otherwise, it was just like christmas.
i also have the infinite number of shampoo samples which i’ve crammed into my medicine cabinet. somewhat unsuccessfully. and about a year’s worth of expenses and paperwork to go through.
and about 300 free nights in hotels.
[hello, hilton family. so glad to be on your priority list]
oh, and travel pasta (thank you, angie . . . it made it all the way from vegas, through the entire state of nevada, and all of cali, and back across the nation again. and it makes me smile. and think about gavin. and cars.)
and i have the memories.
more memories than i’m even sure my soul knows what to do with. and certainly with no knowledge (yet) of how to process them appropriately. or maybe they don’t need processing at all. maybe they are just fine left unprocessed. like raw foods. which is fitting, seeing as though the memories themselves are rather raw.
because they just happened.
people keep asking me what my favorite part was.
that’s sort of like asking people who their favorite child is. and while they probably secretly do have one, the rightful response is always “i have no favorites.”
so my answer will remain the same.
i have no favorites.
and if i do (which i do), i think i’m keeping it to myself.
in the meantime, you can have my highlights. in no particular order. whatsoever.
[boulder, colorado. i like it here. probably should have put it on my list of college towns. which i realize is somewhat blasphemous with regards to my beloved athens, but we are talking in pretend terms, so it doesn’t count.]
[lake tahoe, california / nevada. because it encompases 2 states. which is rad. i don’t think this needs further explanation. and no, it’s not the encompassing of 2 states which makes it rad. figure it out.]
[chicago, illinois. which is sort of the perfect city because it has all the things about new york that i love without all the things that i hate. at least that was my impression. and there’s a lake. a big one . . . and other things which make it a highlight.]
[lake tahoe. again. okay, so that’s 2 for tahoe, 1 for the rest. whatever, get over it.]
[general store. placerville, california. okay, so maybe this isn’t saying much to you, but you weren’t there. like i said . . . some things i keep for myself.]
[en route to san francisco. while discussing the importance of eating an in-n-out burger while on the left side of the country. which never happened. if the sky looks like it was on fire, it’s because it was. even an east coast girl can say eat it, east coast.]
[alamosa, colorado. or just outside of it. there are cows nearby. i liked the cows.]
[in between central city and grand island, nebraska. there is an incredible small town blue collar pride here that makes me want to do something more honest. and be better. a lot lot better.]
[san francisco, california. should i go on? go here, dream here, do big things here, and stop complaining about how expensive it is. they have sea lions. i could move here. tomorrow.]
[and thank you.]
[zion, utah. it’s sort of a lame photo, i admit. but there is nothing i could show you that would justify the awesomeness of this place. it shook me to my core. and wait until i stain you with the video of my star athlete climbing that vertical rock on the left. you will book a flight the next day. it is that epic.]
[arizona. the.whole.damn.state. . . . don’t want to live here. ever. but i like it, nonetheless.]
[denver, colorado. any town that grows flowers in a toilet gets a thumbs up from me.]
[great sand dunes national park. just go there. and then thank me.]
[santa monica, california. let’s just pretend, for a moment, that it is entirely separate from los angeles. which it is . . . in my own mind. there is a ferris wheel. and sand. and drunk yoga on the beach. and a plethora of wetsuits which make the pacific ocean look like it’s been taken over by seals. and a sunset that will make you reevaluate your entire life.]
[catalina island, california. okay i just realized the majority of these photo memories take place in california. shit. this one also needs no real explanation. just go there.]
[the cows. in colorado.]
[columbus, ohio. another cool town which i think might get overlooked. unless you are an ohio state fan. or me, who gets shipped there without knowing it’s actually a cool town. i like surprises.]
because it happened.
and because this is another photo op found inside an elevator shaft.
and because corporate suits are already talking about doing it all over again.
to which i reply:
team cutter took the road by storm (as if that wasn’t already happening) and embarked on a seemingly illogical reverse adventure.
los angeles to denver.
with no stops.
with raging hangovers under our belts (thank you, wrap party, i forgot how much i love mixing tequila and red wine. and a lot of both) we pulled out of santa monica well past the sunset, pumped up the jams at decibels worthy of a high speed police chase, and found ourselves in denver 19 hours later.
the cutter crew is made up of 4.
and we all serve a purpose.
i have been designated Cutter 5.
in the military, people are assigned numbers in accordance to their position.
5 is always the medic.
[or so i am told. i’m not in the military, so what do i really know. i’m just going with it.]
which is awesome considering all i can remember from CPR class is something about blowing air into one’s mouth and then pushing a whole bunch of times on their sternum until it either snaps under pressure or the heart starts beating again.
but i’m sure i could save your life if push came to shove.
this reverse trip wasn’t part of the original plan.
i was supposed to take a flight back to new york after logging the first 6,798 miles.
[and if you do the math, that’s the equivalent of crossing the motherland twice. at least. holla.]
i thought driving across the nation once would be enough. more than enough. i’m-so-tired-of-driving-i-want-to-put-my-skull-through-a-glass-window enough. that kind of enough.
cutter.0 (as in cutter-point-0 . . . that’s just what he wants to be called. even though it’s not an official rank. i didn’t argue. we’ll make it official for our own amusement.) wants to go to Amarillo next, eat a 72-ounce steak, and have all of us buy matching shirts and knives with our names on them.
that plan got vetoed rather quickly by the production company sponsoring this little journey.
perhaps because texas is not even remotely on the way from denver to new york city.
even though we tried to convince them it was.
with an atlas in hand and everything.
or perhaps because they knew we’d be putting all related expenses on the company amex.
which is hardly true.
i was fully prepared to purchase my monogrammed knife all by myself.
in any case, it was a good idea . . .
put your glasses (or styrofoam cups) together for the cutter crew. lord knows, we are.
it’s the 2nd to last stop.
i still don’t have a plane ticket home. and i still don’t care. it seems better that way. and it’s not my problem anyhow.
they could ask me to drive back across the nation.
and i could say yes.
in a week’s time, i’ve devoured vegas, death valley, lone pine (as if there could never be two pines. and definitely not three), lake tahoe, reno, placerville, san francisco, santa cruz, los angeles (and all the bits and pieces that come with that), and san diego – with a pit stop in san clemente for homemade chicken soup and some family. family i haven’t seen in a decade or more, yet it kind of seemed like yesterday. that’s the good kind of family.
the week looked a lot like this:
and i looked a lot like this:
[always with a seatbelt on. safety first.]
and my world was summed up by this:
[which, ironically, was found on the inside of an elevator shaft. but true. oh so true]
i hit 2 bars named sierra gold in 2 different cities. both with a closing time of never.
i sat inside a 400 year old general store in the middle of nowhere (also known as one of the greatest small towns this country has ever known. or, perhaps, not known) and wondered to myself not only how did i get here, but why did it take me this long?
i visited the sea lions at pier 39 who have it way better than the rest of us, stacked on top of each other in a lumpy pile, and wondered if they would like it if i pet them or if they would rather dismember my body limb by limb.
i had my life changed in 3 seconds by this:
and had my life changed again only days later by this:
2 words: lamb skewers. it’s like crack on a stick.
that is if i did crack and enjoyed it. then it would probably be something like that.
(hana zen. san francisco. go there, if you know what’s good for you. in fact, do just about anything in san francisco, if you know what’s good for you. and then do it all over again.)
i walked around in the pouring rain. and liked it.
i laughed a lot.
i even cried.
i rolled the windows down and sang my favorite song at the tip top of my lungs and then got pulled over by a cop because said song and said singing turned my rental car into a rocketship. apparently. allegedly.
and then i was told i could expense my speeding tickets to the company.
i picked 2 cities i want to move to and mentally made plans to move there as soon as i conclude this adventure.
and i meant it.
or mean it.
i took a bath with a miniature whale.
i drank overpriced vodka and ate overpriced food and had intellectual conversations about the art of filmmaking. with strangers.
i stared at this for a really long time and solved all of my problems. and probably most of yours, too:
i had my heart stolen by wonder.
and restored by newness.
i did a lot of things, saw a lot of things, thought about a lot of things that i will keep only for myself.
because they are better that way.
because they are mine.
and then i looked back through my photos just so that i could know for certain that it was all real.