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!