break, broken

Hey weirdos. How's it going? Everyone survive the holidays unscathed? I hope so. Rough stuff, even under the best of circumstances. The pressure we put on ourselves, it's unreal. I for one had a minor meltdown on Christmas Eve. Terence (yep, we're graduating him from LeBoyf) stayed in town with me, rather than visit his family. Which was amazing and meant the world to me, and we had a great time - but I sort of flipped out because I felt the need to milk every moment of sentimentality out of the holiday, because my boyfriend, he loves him the sentimentality.

As do I, in measured and approved doses that are usually very heavily spiked with, oh, you know, whatever spiking apparatuses are available. Let me rewrite that in English - I like Christmas, but it can be fucking brutal on me emotionally, so nowadays I tend to spend it with friends (wait, how else would you spend it, dumbass?), alcohol, and even in 2012, the mari-ju-ana. Ho ho ho.

Minor meltdowns aside, it really was lovely. We showered Chaucer with an obscene amount of toys, then spent the evening with my closest friends downtown, having dinner, playing games, hitting our local dive bar, and eventually closing down a karaoke joint in Little Tokyo at two am, all of us obliterated and chummier than a season finale of Friends.

NYE we tucked Chaucer into bed early and spent the night in Santa Monica. We ordered room service, dawdled and screwed around in the room until nearly ten, then finally got dressed to the nines and wandered about. Much lols were had, and many inside jokes were born along with the new year. I invented a game for when we take a selfie together: coin a suggestive or gross-sounding sex act, which he then defines on the spot while I snap photos of us. Try it, seriously, it's wonderful. My favorite was the Sandy Oyster.

I guess I've taken what amounts to a de facto winter break, because all of the goings-on sort of kicked my ass and I've been just too damn tired to write much of anything. Also, I lapsed on my thyroid meds for nearly a week, and doing so catches up with me quickly and leaves me flat out exhausted until they're back in my system. (Which they are.)

I'd had plans to write some end-of-the-year, reflective type posts about things I'd learned in the previous 365 days, but life is what happens when you're busy making other plans, right? Right. But I'm still feeling sentimental about the year that's just passed, so I want to make at least a gesture towards commemorating it, in some small way. However, it occurs to me that if you've been reading this dumb little diary all year, the very last thing you need is a grade school-style summary of what happened to me. You were there. So to speak.

However, there are some things that have happened, behind-the-blog-scenes, that you don't know, and which, even edging up to telling you right now, I'm getting all misty about, because they are spectacular, and have meant the world to me. So here are

Some Really Nice Things That Happened Because of My Blog in 2013

1. My parents' close friend and employee from waaaaay back in the late '70s/early 80s found out about my dad's death, did a little digging, and, along with his wife, found Elliequent. This is a man I haven't seen since I was nine years old, but whom I remember clear as day, because he was always kind and solicitous to the little girl who was probably incessantly underfoot, pestering him and his boss for attention.

A couple of weeks ago he wrote me a letter, a long one, saying some incredibly kind things about my parents, about how much they loved one another and me, and about how my father took every opportunity to show them my photo, in later years when he visited them.

His name is Dale. Everyone say Hi, Dale. 

"I hope you don't mind that I read your blog," he wrote. "It makes me feel connected to your father."

Imagine getting such a letter, and being told that. It would explode your head, right? Also your heart. I'm still gathering up the pieces.

2. A high school English teacher who has once before used a post of mine to teach a lesson on metaphor reached out to let me know she'd used my blog in her class again. I won't reprint what she wrote to me about it, because for one thing I didn't ask her permission to do so and for another, it ended up being a fairly personal exchange, with me all teary and everything - but I can't tell you how moved and flattered and honored I was. As I said to her, I don't think landing a spot on the New York Times best seller list would be a validating and rewarding a thing to hear, as knowing something I've written has been used in a classroom. Best and most motivating compliment received on my writing, ever. I didn't shut up about it for days. (And look! I still haven't!)

3. A very sweet reader responded through email to a post I'd written that had affected her, in not necessarily the best way, but which had renewed her determination to, I'll just say, continue being a very loving person. And that's esoteric and annoyingly vague I know, but out of respect to her privacy I'll leave it at that. But wow did it move me deeply, because what more could I ask for, of this dumb little blog, than that?

4. And of course, all the rest. All the lovely comments and encouragement from everyone, whether publicly on social media or privately through messages and email, to let me know something I'd written had positively impacted them. So, so grateful for every last one of them.

Okay well that ended up being sort of lame and non-specific, sorry. More for me I guess.

Anyway, I'm feeling much better physically and now that my little winter break has been broken, I do plan on picking things back up around here again. The usual mix of overshare, creative (or not so) sputterings, and whatever else that's gotten me and you to this point.

Happy 2014.