You can blame Twitter for my lack of posting. I've said a lot there. It's just so *easy* when I can communicate from a cell phone on the bus, or in the file room, or in the kitchen. The brief postlets add up to a long blog post's worth of words most days. But really, if I didn't have Twitter, I'd probably not have communicated online at all for most of the past two months. When I had time, I had nothing to say. When I had lots to say, I had no time. You know, blogging's Catch-22.
Tomorrow is New Year's Eve. Six years ago on December 31st, I took a deep breath and made the biggest, hardest, most rewarding decision of my life. The girl I was on-and-off-and-on-again with over a long distance for 12 years and I threw a cocktail party for friends and family in Massachusetts. We chose that state because that was where the main attraction of that party, our wedding, would be considered legal at the time. It became legally invalidated by judges in Massachusetts, and we'd have to go back to that state a couple years later when its new governor allowed us, but we still consider tomorrow our sixth wedding anniversary.
We were going to do a lot of things this month. We were going to visit my mom and Future Stepdad in the DC area, with my brother and his wife. We were going to see the familiar white marble buildings all decorated up and walk among the special animal-shaped lights at the zoo. Thanks to Future Stepdad, we were going to attend the Winter Classic game, an outdoor match between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Washington Capitals, on New Year's Day. We were going to spend a couple days in Pittsburgh, because we felt we hadn't seen enough of it last year.
But things change. At the beginning of the month, my uncle had...well, it still sounds like a fucked-up version of "the House That Jack Built." He got into a car accident because he had a stroke behind the wheel which was caused by the inoperable tumor in his brain. We were told he had days to live, if he was lucky. So we hastened to Florida. I packed my one black dress.
Thank the Gods, I didn't have to unpack it. The doctors are speaking of months for him now, not days. He wants a second opinion on the brain tumor. The effects of the accident were very minor, for the people in the other car as well as for him. He's definitely lost a step or five; he's definitely recovering from a stroke. He's nowhere near out of the woods yet. But he's doing so much better than anyone expected, and not just because he's alive.
I've never been close to him. But I was much closer to his two sons, who are in their late teens. My cousins were upset at us for skipping Christmas in Florida with the extended family last year, although my many aunts and uncles made things rather difficult for us. (To give an example--as I was asking one of my aunts whether my wife and I needed to come to Florida or not, she got angry at me for referring to the woman I'm legally married to as my "wife" and tried telling me to use another word around her. I respectfully declined.) The boys needed to know they were loved and supported. Suddenly avoiding another Christmas with the extended family was no longer an option.
So we went to Florida last week. I don't really want to go into all the family stuff, although my uncle could participate in some of it and I hung out with my brother and cousins a lot.
Y'all know about this year's Snowpocalypse in NYC, right? Our flight was delayed late Monday night, then we had a long layover in Atlanta. We waited forever for a cab to take us home at the airport. We were lucky. On Tuesday, flights were arriving but not departing. We felt terrible for the people who'd waited days for departing flights. Getting to work on Wednesday was downright hellacious. I basically had half-days yesterday and today. L'Ailee doesn't ever want to travel around Christmastime again, ever.
Oh, and the Weather Gods are still having some fun with us, because it'll probably be too warm and rainy to have the Winter Classic on New Year's Day in Pittsburgh. We'd spent money we couldn't really afford on both of these trips to Florida. We were tired and traveled out. People are just now getting out of NYC. So, we decided we're passing on this trip. Future Stepdad understood. My brother's going since he lives close to Pittsburgh now. We would actually prefer to watch this cuddled up on the couch with the cats and mugs of hot tea right now. My mom gave us jerseys to watch the game with for Christmas. (And my Detroit Red Wings fan looks so sexy in her black Evgeni Malkin jersey!) We'll wear them to other games, I assured her. Games that are easier for us to attend and won't get rained out...
L'Ailee and I made each other laugh during what rapidly became a trip from hell. We cut each others' whining. I've complained about those "coffee bitches" who detain me during coffee runs because they have to perfectly calibrate their cup. At the hotel, L'Ailee laughed at me and told me I'm a coffee bitch, too. She seldom cusses, so she blushed a little saying that phrase. She propped me up when I learned about my uncle's condition, listened to me, and gave my cousin math tutoring. This woman is the reason I left sunny Florida for icy New York. Every day, she finds a way to remind me just how worth it she is.
I don't like to make New Year's resolutions. As we move into 2011, though, I have two. The first is to make certain I give L'Ailee everything she needs from me. The second is to write my thoughts into Blogspot rather than Twitter sometimes, to check in to your blogs, and to not ignore the people who made blogging worthwhile. Yeah, you!
Happy New Year!
Someone with a family a lot like mine breaks down what hetero privilege is. And if that's not depressing enough, sexgenderbody breaks down why women still aren't equal.
What, exactly, went wrong in NYC while we were in Florida Please remember this when, not if, Michael Bloomberg runs for President.
Over 100 things New Yorkers talked about this year.
The Badass Girl Gang That Ruled London's Underworld
Finally, winter always makes me think of the amazing Calvin and Hobbes "snowman" strips. Take a look, and appreciate what Bill Watterston meant what became "that peeing boy on the stickers" to be.