Thursday, January 8, 2015

stranger danger

i'm still stalling on getting to "the good stuff." but, my husband is dying to know what Mackenzie Cheeseman's been up to ;) so, here goes:

december was supposed to be a mellow month, or i had hoped it would be, anyway. i got most of the christmas shopping done by thanksgiving, we got our tree early, i planned to bang it all out and then just chill. i didn't want december to be a frantic game of catch-up like it usually is. i took specific precautions to prevent such an eventuality. then life happened. (why does this (life being life) continue to catch me offguard?) one weekend we ditched the kids and went to disneyland (per paragraph 7a of DM's wedding vows - annual disney trips).'s a small world after all...
ever wonder what Space Mountain looks like with the lights on?!
then we went to a "rock-n-roll christmas" party with our friends. DM and i were johnny cash and june carter cash, and everyone made fun of us all night for not dressing up. they were like, "Oh, who are you supposed to be? Mackenzie and Daddy Mack? Wow! Super original!" Brats. I guess I should be flattered that we just look like the Man in Black and his Leading Lady all the time :)

the weekend after that we took a last-minute trip to san francisco because i won this totally random charity raffle that included an all-expense-paid trip to watch the forty-niners at the new levi's stadium (which, by the way, is nowhere near san francisco). the original prize was for the thanksgiving day game against the pea-hawks. i bought the raffle tickets on monday, and found out that i'd won on tuesday... i was like, oh wow, i won, awesome, wait... i have family in town for thanksgiving (two days hence), i can't go to SF, what in the F was i thinking?! (< this is SO like me, btw.) so they let me move it to the december 20th game against the chargers.

the day we left for SF was strange. at work it was that weird "everyone's already basically checked out for vacation" vibe. i had an afternoon meeting and the partner on one of my cases was like, "you guys should just go on home after this," but i had to stay at work until DM and the kids picked me up on the way to the airport. i squeezed a few precious drops of productivity out of my brain, but my heart wasn't in it, so i decided to take a stroll to 7/11. on the way in this dude asked me for money, and i said "sorry, not today." but on the way out i actually had a couple bucks, and i figured, it's almost christmas, what the hey? so i handed him a few dollars, smiled, and started to walk away. he reached toward me and said, "wait wait wait! don't go!" so i turned. he said, "when am i gonna see you again??" me: "ummmmm..." him: "christmas is going to be so lonely without you!" now, mind you, i do have some transient buddies who frequent the sidewalk in front of 7/11, but this guy is not one of them. as far as i know, i've never seen him before in my life. but he seemed like a nice guy. a kind of grizzly old black dude wearing a weathered and worn track suit. possible contender for my grandpa collection. anyway, i said something like, "oh, sorry man, that's too bad, i hope you have a good christmas anyway!" he replied, "well it's not gonna be the same without you. just hold up one minute. i need your help with something." oh dear. "see, i just got this new cell phone today [?] i don't know how it works." me: "well you're asking the wrong gal, i am useless when it comes to that kind of stuff." he's fiddling with it, muttering at it, and for some reason i feel incapable of turning and walking away. suddenly, *FLASH,* and he says, "Alright! There we go! Now I'll have your warm smile to keep me company on these cold winter nights." So, yeah, some homeless (hipster?) dude has my photo on his cell phone. although i sort of doubt i'm smiling. pretty sure if he got me at all i'm looking like this:

hope this mug's enough to keep you warm, bro
then we get to the airport and our flight is delayed 3 hours so we have to kill 4 hours in the airport with a 2- and 4-year-old, which is basically the very definition of my personal hell. honestly though, they were rockstars. i have zero complaints. at one point DM got up to go get us some coffee and when he came back the kids were eating m&m cookies and he gave me this puzzled look and said, "where did those come from?" i informed him that some nice girl gave them to us. he stared at me as though i had personally fed my children risin poison. then he froke out because the girl wasn't there anymore and started to move like he was going to hunt her down like Liam Neeson in Taken 7: The Cookie Monster. okay, so, it probably wasn't the wisest decision i've ever made. but she seemed super unthreatening and had a convincing story (she made them as a thank you for her friend who dropped her at the airport, but it turned out he was allergic to butter, and cookies have a lot of butter in them), and they were on a cute little paper plate, and she had a half-eaten one in her hand, and, this is racist i think, but, she was an asian college student and i feel like on the spectrum of potential bio-terrorists that is just above sweet grandmas knitting sweaters with home-grown alpaca wool... anyway, we all lived to tell the tale. (of course i did. i wasn't about to eat that shit, you kidding? ;))

survivors of the harrowing cookie-gate 2014
a series of unfortunate events occurred upon our arrival to san francisco (FYI - the last BART from SFO to the city leaves at 11:54pm. also, kids + public transportation isn't as seamless as you might hope. for some reason we thought we could do the trip without car seats. we were wrong.) anyway, we didn't get to the hotel until 2:30 in the morning, but the kids handled it like champs. they were actually angels the whole weekend. DM and i basically wrote them a blank check from Santa because they were so shockingly good.

we left them with my brother and his boyfriend for like 12 hours on saturday while we took the looooooong trek to and from santa clara and levi's stadium via public transportation. i had total anxiety about ditching the kids with my bro - he's never really watched both of them before - and this was in the big wide city, not in the safety and comfort of our home. i texted him as much, saying "are you sure you're up for it?" his reply: "only one way to find out." me: "that is not the answer i was looking for." brother: "i was about to ask what's the worst that could happen, but i think your over-active imagination makes that question hurt more than help." needless to say i was on panic level 7 by then, but my brother was AMAZING and the kids had the best time with Uncle T. and he got some help from his new(ish) beau (who we all met when he braved the family for thanksgiving!). as DM pointed out, "Beau" pushed an empty stroller around San Francisco for 2 hours without complaint so he's good with me! :)

uncle Fun
i wish i had such glowing praise for my forty-niners. they blew a 21 point lead for the first time in 48 years, with a painful/shameful loss in overtime. it was fun while it lasted though. this was one of the few times i've been able to watch a game surrounded by niners fans. i could get used to it :)

tiny man's victorious fist pump (before shit got ugly)
and i got a quick visit with some of my favorite people in one of my favorite places to be, so all in all i'd say we rounded out the year on top!

i do love this city
and now it's 2015. that sort of boggles my mind a little bit. will I ever not think of the 90's as "ten years ago?"

anyway. in the words of jon stewart, 2014 wasn't a great year for... people. and i have high hopes for 2015. but we're not off to a great start with this Charlie Hebdo business. and, look, i know better than most that you can't care about ALL OF THE THINGS all of the time. you just can't. there's not enough emotional bandwidth. but. this devastating display of intolerance, hatred, and lack of humanity is thrown into stark relief by my "news" feed, which prominently features a debate over whether or not justin bieber actually has a happy trail, and it kind of makes me want to stab myself in the eye with a spork for the hopelessness of it all.

that's all i have to say about that. and, to call again on jon stewart, i'll leave you now with a moment of zen :)

p.s., we still have our crispy critter of a Christmas tree up in our living room, save the lower 1/3 that the new pup feta has already helped us de-trim, if that gives you any indication as to how well we're adjusting to the new year 'round here.

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