Love Like Crazy, or Goodbye 2016

The picture above was taken by a family friend at my mom's funeral in August of 2015 while I was reading her last words to the eight or nine hundred people in attendance. My dad showed it to me while I was home in Michigan a few days ago and I love it because I know that my mom would have loved it. Her face would have exploded into the biggest, brightest grin upon seeing all four of her kids together in a church wearing dress clothes, her boys all managing to get themselves into tied ties and pressed, tucked in shirts. If she were still around I'm almost certain that this image would be blown up, matted and framed, and hung on a wall in my parents' condo right now.

Because the aforementioned picture reminded me of them and because we're on the verge of a brand new year following what has been a particularly shitty one for a lot of people, I think now might be as good a time as any to share my mom's last words again. They are below.

Enjoy the hell out of your life. Enjoy every single moment. Go do things, preferably outside. Put your toes in the sand and your feet on the grass, feel the rain beat down on your face and if you can help it, don't ever miss a sunset. Hug your loved ones, every chance you get and take risks, big fucking risks. And for god's sake laugh. And dance. And try to worry a little bit less. And lastly, and most importantly, live simple and love like crazy.

Happy New Year.

A Lovely Little Windy City Reunion, or Anne and Kate Turn Thirty-Two

A bunch of people who currently live in Chicago and a bunch of people who did at one time or another during the four years after college that I called the Windy City home gathered at Barcocina in Lincoln Park last night to ring in a new year for Anne and Kate who were turning thirty-two. Drinks and tacos were served and consumed and all of the non-pregnant party-goers got a little bit lifted and it was a lucky little reunion of human beings that I love oh-so-much but don't get to see nearly enough of anymore.

Also, I just remembered in the moment before this one that I moved to Chicago ten years ago this week which totally tickles my nostalgia bone. So much has changed in the decade that followed my parents and I parking our U-Haul at the corner of Diversey and Kenmore to unload a truck full of clothes, dishes and hand-me-down furniture but it's still pretty damn strange to think that that phase in my life has come and gone already. How have ten whole years passed? How am I thirty-two? How am I still alive?

Another Quick Thing About Harrison, or On Seeing Movies with Kids

I just remembered something else about seeing Sing with Harrison and my dad last night. When the movie trailer rating screen came up before the first preview, Harrison pointed to it and yelled "GREEEEEEEEEEN!" at the top of his lungs, I assume just in case anyone in the theater was colorblind. It was very thoughtful of him and not at all embarrassing for my dad and I.

On that note, if ever you wanna have your heart nearly burst from being too warmed by something, take a kid to a see kid's movie (with their parents' permission, obvi) and listen to the children around you during the film. They're accidentally hilarious the entire time in a way that's totally adorable and absolutely not at all movie theater appropriate. Firstly, they have no idea what whispering is. Second of all, they point out the most obvious shit during the whole film. And finally, every single bathroom situation that arises is a last-minute life and death emergency. It's really great. Trust me.

Taking a Strong Stance on States

I'm traveling to Chicago tomorrow to hang out with friends before flying back to San Francisco on Friday which means that this afternoon's showing of Sing was my last Harrison hang sesh for a bit. When I tried to explain that fact to him as I was dropping him with his folks after the movie, my ordinarily sweet-as-can-be nearly-three-year-old nephew got a little fired up about my current state of residence.

Me (pulling Harrison into a hug): I love you, buddy. I'll see you in a couple months.

Harrison (confused): Where are you going?

Kelly: Uncle Corey's going back to California.

A pause.

Harrison (in his mean voice): I don't wike Cawifornia!

I'm Not Crazy, Commercial Airplanes Crash All the Time, Probably

My little brother Bryan and I were exchanging text messages during his flight to Mexico City this morning when he sent a message that simply said, "Holy shit!!!" followed by nothing for several minutes. Then, when I finally attempted to text him back, none of my messages would go through.

Of course, being the mammoth weenus that I am, I was one hundred and ten percent certain that Bryan's "Holy shit!!!" message meant that both of the wings had fallen off of his aircraft and that it was also on fire and therefore my baby brother was, in that very instant, plummeting from the sky while simultaneously being burned alive, so I wigged out and called my dad who was out for a peaceful hike in the woods, got Bryan’s flight information and then paced around my dad's condo in a sweaty panic while refreshing United Airlines' website every few seconds for the remaining hour and a half of his flight to see if they had updated his flight's status to 'Plane Crashed Everybody's Dead'.

Needless to say, when Bryan landed safely in Mexico City a few minutes ago and casually FaceTimed me to say that he was trying to send a picture of a Bloody Mary they'd given him but lost his WiFi connection over the Gulf I was a total fucking wreck. In fact, if I didn't so fully understand the importance of a stiff drink while flying, I may have killed Bryan myself.

As Happy As It Could Have Been

Chris and Kelly hosted both brunch and dinner at their house today and when we weren't stuffing our faces Aunt Patti, Bryan, Chris, Ella, Harrison, Kelly, Luz, my dad and I were either watching Harrison play with the Despicable Me 2 Fart Blaster that Uncle Bryan got him (I seriously want one) or trying to make Ella giggle. I think we're all still getting the hang of holidays without my mom, but today was as happy as it could have been.

One little detail that I'd like to remember about this Christmas day is that as I crossed the threshold of Chris and Kelly's front door wearing an elephant onesie shortly after 9:00am Harrison, who was waiting there for my dad and I to show up so the opening of presents could commence, looked me up and down before offering a very sweet and sincere "I wike yer bajamas."

Also, while reading Ada Twist, Scientist to Harrison during bedtime tonight Aunt Patti pronounced the word chaos "chay-ose" and I'm most definitely gonna give her shit about it forever now. At first nobody could figure out what she was trying to say or why the author might suddenly toss a random Spanish word into the story but then I took a look over Aunt Patti's shoulder and realized that it was, in fact, an English word and that maybe somebody should have gotten her a reading tutor for Christmas this year.