Monday, December 28, 2009


""I'm not going to tell you much more of the case, Doctor... [I]f I show you too much of my method of working, you will come to the conclusion that I am a very ordinary individual after all."
"I shall never do that," I answered; "you have brought detection as near an exact science as it will ever be brought in this world."
My companion flushed up with pleasure at my words, and the earnest way in which I uttered them. I had already observed that he was as sensitive to flattery on the score of his art as any girl could be of her beauty."

-Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, A Study in Scarlet

Fan fiction and its queer subset, slash fiction, is something that I've never really explored; I think there are a few reasons for that, most importantly the fact that, frankly, I've just never spent all that much time looking at stuff other people put up on the internet. I read my friends' blogs, I check my email rather incessantly, but I don't generally watch a lot of videos on YouTube (although OMG, this Kirk/Spock example won me over quite a bit) or, until recently, read stories about the romantic escapades of Sam and Frodo or Harry and Draco or, most importantly for my purposes, Holmes and Watson. But some things are just too ripe for the picking, and during my recent queer re-reading of Conan Doyle he sometimes seems like he's almost setting himself up, circa the late nineteenth century, for a career in poorly veiled homoeroticism. The first time Watson "ejaculated" a statement while speaking to Holmes, I nearly choked.

There are, however, reasons larger than the adolescent glee I take in the language of 1890s London behind my interest in the original tales of Holmes and Watson, and those reasons are part of what I've been trying and failing to articulate these last few weeks. I simply haven't been able to figure out how to begin. It feels like coming out all over again, and that (among other things) is complicated. But I'll attempt to take a cue from Holmes and reduce this particular series of events down to an inevitable logic: The Case of the Magical Unicorn, as it were.


I've said a few times already that 2009 has been the best year I've ever had, but it's also been one of the most unexpected. The overarching theme has been Personal Growth; I've learned about sex and gender and jealousy and the lack thereof while sitting in a sex toy store, about dating and being single and the importance of personal choice from lengthy discussions with friends and lovers, about how to access and utilize and value my quiet nature even as I begin, when I desire, to overcome it. I've learned some things about who exactly I am and how that relates to who I want to be, and I think I'm increasingly able to see the bridge between what I hope are ever-more-similar selves. I've gained an appreciation for the value of a good adventure when approached from the right angle. None of these trajectories are anywhere close to being over yet, but I feel like even the distance I've covered has so fundamentally changed me that I can never be the person I was before. In for a penny, in for a pound, and if I get to keep feeling the radical joy that I've been experiencing on this path I'm perfectly willing to follow it to whatever conclusion it may have.

I spent a fair amount of the year consciously being single, steadfastly insisting to friends that I needed to be alone to keep learning the things I was learning, to not be distracted by love, to put my energy into things other than dating websites or awkward job-interview-style coffee dates with relative strangers. The more time I spent being uncoupled, the stronger and more alive and better about myself I felt, and I was not particularly lonely most of the time. I was happy with and by myself. And while I was in this good alone space, I got to watch a lot of different types of relationships happening all around me: straight weddings, queer pairings, non-committed semi-casual longer-term connections, polyamorous strings of people, casual encounters, friends-turned-family. It was heartening and enlightening, seeing all of these varying ways to be and how many different ways it was possible to be happy in, and it helped me to understand that there are more options available than just the standard of a monogamous long-term relationship. Nothing against those, I promise, but it's nice to know that there are as many possibilities open to me as I can conceive of for love and affection and connection.

So what does this have to do with Holmes and Watson?

Simply put, I was happy, and eventually I let myself open up again to the possibility of liking people in a non-friend way again, and then I did like someone, and now there are two someones. I fell hard a few months ago for somebody in an open relationship and as of a few weeks ago I'm starting to be incorporated into the fabric of their framework, most hopefully in a way that preserves the autonomy of and individual connections between all involved parties. I'm nervous and excited and optimistic, and my happiness mostly feels smooth and slow instead of sparkly and crackling and actually I think that's a good thing. In many ways, this seems like the logical conclusion to this year: of course I'd end up as part of a queer triad, trio skating in Millennium Park and being cute as hell, because what else could possibly happen? It's a sort of leap of faith, I'll admit, but for all my caution I've never been all that good at resisting what seems right and this feels, in its own unique way, like it might be the best thing that's happened to me in a while. We refer to it occasionally as the magical unicorn of relationships: three incredibly nerdy and kind and rational people, all with different strengths and weaknesses and personalities, who seem to have the potential to form a subversive and excessive unit that is beneficial for everybody involved.

Before I came on the scene my two partners had already been calling each other Holmes and Watson in true dorky slashfic fan tradition, and for the sake of continuing metaphor I have been deemed some sort of combination of Mary (Watson's wife) and Irene Adler (a crossdressing singer with a sharp set of wits who appears in the short story A Scandal in Bohemia) which seems about right. One of the most personally important things I've learned this year is that there are an infinite number of ways to be queer, to resist assimilation and be who you want to be instead of who you are supposed to be; while I never expected that in my own life that would end up manifesting itself in terms of either handholding with a boy or slashfic metaphors, I'm rolling with it. And so, with an attitude of both cautious optimism and perhaps entirely incautious enthusiasm, here I go. Where, exactly, is uncertain, but I think it will be someplace good.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

dance in america

I'm still not a dancer, and I'm not sure how much of one I will ever be. But this paragraph, from Lorrie Moore's Birds of America (a book of short stories that I adore but haven't read in a few years), makes me wish a bit more ardently that I could be.

"I am thinking not of my body here, that unbeguilable, broken basket, that stiff meringue. I am not thinking only of myself, my lost troupe, my empty bed. I am thinking of the dancing body's magnificent and ostentatious scorn. This is how we offer ourselves, enter heaven, enter speaking: we say with motion, in space, This is what life's done so far down here; this is all and what and everything it's managed--this body, these bodies, that body--so what do you think, Heaven? What do you fucking think?"

Thursday, December 24, 2009

there will be singing and dancing

The year is ending, and I'm exhausted. And moody. And sort of down. It irritates me to no end because I know that I have an incredible amount to be rejoicing over right now, at this end of one of the most positively transforming years of my life, and instead of feeling celebratory I'm feeling irritable and worn out and really I'd rather just go back to bed and sleep through something important. I'm not feeling poetic or inspired and words have not been coming easily to me lately, although I wish they would because there's a lot to say. That voicelessness in the face of so much life is incredibly frustrating, even as I know that if I just take a deep breath and wait I'll be able to say at least one or two of the things that I'm hovering on the verge of eventually.

But for now all I can do is soldier on through, go to work and sell unnecessary stuff to strangers, drink as much tea as I can, get on a bus tonight and keep breathing until I'm in the arms of chosen family, try to keep my feet dry and hope that this tickle in the back of my throat isn't the harbinger of something worse to come. I'll be back to joy soon, because really my life is ecstatic in a quiet sort of way and that's not something I can contain for very long, but until then I'll settle for low-key happy and visions of better things to come. I believe that life will improve, not just in the context of this momentary slump--which is probably mostly due to hormones and having a sales job during the holidays--but as a whole, and the idea that I could be even happier in the future than I have been recently is enough to keep me going through any downswing. There is so much potential for joy, and that trumps any sore-throated, capitalist-influenced, holiday-inspired lack-of-sleep low. So screw you, bad mood; I'm looking past you to better things.

Monday, December 21, 2009

jumping the gun

The year is winding down. Holidays always take me by surprise—my life is so full of people and places and things that deadlines often come as a shock—and Christmas is no exception. Last year I mailed out presents to my family in March, which is so clearly unacceptable. This year I’m shooting for January. Early January.

Some deadlines, however, are easier to meet. I'm aware that it is not the New Year yet, but somehow I feel moved to fill out my annual end-of-the-year survey early this time around. There are a few reasons for this. One is that I'm feeling blocked, perhaps because I've been expending my artistic energies in other areas; it seems like when I play a lot of music or cook a lot I write less (and vice versa, of course), and I've been doing a great deal of both of those things this week and so of course my words have run dry. But also, there's the fact that life is good, amazingly so, but in a way that I don't quite know how to talk about yet. I'd rather wait for inspiration than be vague and irritating--any more than I already am, at least--and so I'm just going to be patient until I can write with the heat and passion that recent changes demand. I'm dying to tell you how happy I am, but it seems that I'm going to have to wait just a little bit longer before I can say things as they deserve to be said. Suffice to say that the year is ending well. And so: a survey.

1. What did you do in 2009 that you'd never done before?: Oh boy. A really, really large number of things, many of which I'm not going to talk about here. But here are a few: took naked pictures on a mountaintop in Alaska, embraced my queer self in radically new and beneficial ways, became the top google search result for "naked girls and me" (text and images. boo-ya), got asked to be a best man, and learned how to bake vegan gluten-free cookies.

2. What would you like to have in 2010 that you lacked in 2009?

Pay for writing something. Any other improvements I'm willing to wait and experience as they come up.

3. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

Seriously? This has been the best year of my life. I'd say that's an achievement.

4. What was your biggest failure?

Breaking up with S. I could have dealt with that situation less harmfully.

5. Whose behavior merited celebration?

Oh hell. Nearly everybody. Notables, in no particular order: Erica, Peter, Lauren, Mugsie, Jonathan, Rose-Anne, Anna P., Anna S., Nicole... And like 500 other people. Really.

6. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?

Various politicians, as usual. But otherwise, only random people in random moments, none of which I can remember currently or are noteworthy enough to single out. Oh, except for the person who kept my favorite books for three months after I asked for them back. Grr.

7. Where did most of your money go?

Food, plane tickets, instrument repairs. Umm, sex toys, largely for other people.

8. What did you get really, really, really excited about?

Have you read this blog? This survey is no good for ridiculously happy people. A LOT OF THINGS.

9. What song will always remind you of 2009?

Most of Cat Power's You Are Free, Amanda Palmer, the Dresden Dolls Delilah, Neutral Milk Hotel's Oh, Comely. Radio Cure, both the Bad Plus version and the original Wilco version. I listen to slow sad music when I'm happy.

10. Compared to this time last year, are you

i. happier or sadder? HAPPIER. And I was happy last year.

ii. thinner or fatter? About the same? Dunno. All my clothes still fit, that's all I know.

iii. richer or poorer? Probably slightly poorer, but I can't say I care too much.

11. What do you wish you'd done more of? Reading. I've been lazy, and caught up in other things.
12. What do you wish you'd done less of? Facebook, mostly.

13. What was your favourite TV program? I don't think I watched anything. I'm not so into visual media lately.

14. What was the best book you read? Probably The Trouble With Normal, even though I still haven't finished it. (I got distracted!) Mostly I re-read things.

15. What was your greatest musical discovery? Emily Wells, an amazing cello band. <3

16. What did you want and get? Good conversation. Joy.

17. What did you want and not get? My alphabet tights in time for Halloween. My librarian costume would have been ten times better if not for backorder.

18. What was your favourite film of this year? I watched like no movies this year. But I saw Up, and it was adorable.

19. What did you do on your birthday? Got a haircut. Went to rehearsal. Skipped down a sidewalk out of happiness.

20. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

What a silly question.

21. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2009? Unobtrusive, with an injection of sparkly.

22. What kept you sane? Writing, long phone conversations, a week in Alaska, my cats. All the good people in my life.

23. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most? Amanda Palmer. Still.

24. What political issue stirred you the most? Policing of gender and sex, just in general.

25. Who did you miss? Erica, Lauren, Rose-Anne.

26. Who was the best new person you met? Oh man. Overall, Mugsie and Jonathan, Nicole, Shannon, and all my genderqueer friends. Does Peter count? But many others as well.

27. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2009. Let things happen instead of forcing them into your own idea of what is best. It is virtually always better to tell the truth than to hide, both for me and for people around me. Happiness is totally possible.

40. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year. "We all do what we can/So we can do just one more thing/We won't have a thing/So we've got nothing to lose/We can all be free/Maybe not with words/Maybe with a look/But with your mind" -Cat Power. Mostly just "We can all be free." We can.

41. Where did you ring in 2009? Haven't yet, but I'll be in Milwaukee being sickeningly cute.

42. What was your status by Valentine’s Day? Made a lemon meringue pie. It was very, very good, and I was impressed with myself.

43. Where did you go on vacation? Alaska! Flagstaff! Kansas?

44. What did you purchase that was over $500? A ticket to Alaska, and that's about it.

45. Did you know anybody who got married? Ben and Martha, and Josh and Anne.

46. Did you move anywhere? No! Hallelujah.

47. What’s the one thing you thought you would never do but did in 2009? Oh God. That's a pretty long list.

49. What’s something you learned about yourself? I can be really cheesy, but also really really happy.

50. What was your best month? Most of them. November and December have been kind of awesome.

51. What pop culture event will you remember 2009 by? Michael Jackson dying, I suppose, and suddenly hearing Thriller everywhere.

I'll write something real soon. I think the words are about to come together. But goddamn, I'm so happy. I'm walking down the street smiling to myself, (usually) resisting the urge to twirl, feeling happiness just gushing out of me at times. Things are falling into place. 2009's motto was "Life is awesome" (also "Boobies for everybody" and "Go team!", but those came later), but I think 2010 has a good chance of being even better. Win.

Saturday, December 19, 2009


I'm hoping that soon there will be words for this past week, but for now the events and shifts and adventures have been too large for me to figure out how to articulate them in the way that I want to. Titanic change requires time to settle, and there has been no time. Instead, watch this, because it's lovely.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

the love we have always had for our own bones

The cold has hit, finally; even though I knew winter was coming I wasn't quite prepared for the drop into temperatures that felt like -7, but in some ways it's a relief to have it here and not somewhere in the distant and dreaded future. Now we're in for the long haul, and all of Chicago can talk about nothing but the weather. I had to get my mittens out, and my scarves and my wool hat that says "light" on it in Chinese for reasons that I will never understand but always makes me feel as if it's referring to some sort of divine (in the human and not the celestial sense) brilliancy beaming from me, straight from the top of my head. On good days, which is to say many days, I do feel filled with light, and so this hat makes me secretly happy even though I generally hate clothing with unnecessary words in other languages on it and only bought this one because it was the best fit when I went hat shopping last year. My window panes have been freezing over, because I haven't shut my storm windows yet and now will have to wait for above-freezing temperatures to do so, but the patterns in the ice are sometimes beautiful and my apartment is warm enough that I don't have to resent them for making me cold.
Which is to say that even during winter, there are things to be grateful for.

Cold Poem

by Mary Oliver

Cold now.
Close to the edge. Almost
unbearable. Clouds
bunch up and boil down
from the north of the white bear.
This tree-splitting morning
I dream of his fat tracks,
the lifesaving suet.

I think of summer with its luminous fruit,
blossoms rounding to berries, leaves,
handfuls of grain.

Maybe what cold is, is the time
we measure the love we have always had, secretly,
for our own bones, the hard knife-edged love
for the warm river of the I, beyond all else; maybe

that is what it means the beauty
of the blue shark cruising toward the tumbling seals.

In the season of snow,
in the immeasurable cold,
we grow cruel but honest; we keep
ourselves alive,
if we can, taking one after another
the necessary bodies of others, the many
crushed red flowers.

Monday, December 07, 2009

crash into me

I will not deny that there are aspects of my life that I partially appreciate simply in terms of their story potential. Maybe I'm wrong, but I feel like my life sometimes lends itself particularly well to this predilection; it's been a busy year. These stories aren't all serious or deep (despite what you might think from reading this blog sometimes), and it helps that I have almost no shame about telling my own stories to other people even if they don't reflect well on me--just ask me about my best drunken story sometime (it involves underwear), or about how at work one afternoon I advised an elderly woman to "not go home and stroke her succulent". But the point, at least for today, is that I suspect that this liking for a good story is part of why I began and have continued playing contemporary classical (or just plain "new") music. Simply put, it's just hard to resist an art form where I occasionally get to play a slide whistle and act all serious about it.

November was completely devoid of gigs for me, but December is, relatively speaking, packed full of concerts and rehearsals. The most personally exciting one, which got a really great review--they said we were disturbing! new music win!--is already over, and even before we started I was aware of its potential to be a "story" concert. One of the pieces I played involved all of the performers keeping track of their place in the music via individual stopwatches; we spent the first twenty minutes of our first rehearsal searching for blackberry stopwatch apps and setting our phones to airplane mode so as not to have the performance derailed by an untimely text message. Each "measure" was a different length, and each player was assigned one note per measure and told that we were also allowed to play pretty much whatever else we wanted as long as that particular note appeared in some sort of prominent way. We could also switch lines at will and play another part for a while, as the fancy struck us. It was basically long-form guided improvisation, which made me nervous (I'm such a stereotypically classically-trained player that the idea that I could do whatever I wanted was somewhat intimidating) but--as often happens with things that initially make me uncomfortable--it ended up being somewhat fascinating.

Here, for reference, are the program notes for the piece:

"The underlying that of inexorable forces (such as politics and plate tectonics) pulling people (and continents) apart, counterbalanced by a reciprocal yearning to keep pulling together, to strengthen community. The title [note: I'm leaving it out for google search purposes; read the review and figure it out] is an indication of the complexity of these relationships and of the strategies for addressing them: implicit, explicit, complicit, duplicity, multiplicity, implication, duplication, replication, etcetera. The score itself is a template for contingency, presenting the performers with recurrent windows of opportunity to assess and reassess their relationships with each other, shift allegiances, and to map out a course through changing sonic terrain."

So when I read that I'll admit I mentally snorted and thought something along the lines of "Plate tectonics? You want me to think about continental drift while I play? Mmmhmm..." Even when we were first playing through and I was beginning to see how we could work together, imitating sonic effects that we heard other performers initiate and slowly changing dynamics and intensity as a group without prior discussion, I only sort of got it. But during the composer's visit to our rehearsal he told us to think about birds and fish, how they change direction with no warning but in unison, how they function as a unit with no thought or leader or hesitation, and I felt a little click in my head, the lightbulb coming on. We didn't have a leader; theoretically we were playing at least three different pieces (plus video installation!) all at the same time, but together we formed a whole, an entire experience. We pushed and pulled on each other, tugged ourselves towards silence and cacophony (or "total freakout", as we usually refer to it in this group), imitated and diverged and formed something new every time we played. Sometimes it worked, sometimes it only sort of worked, sometimes it didn't really work at all; sort of like politics, yes? It was a slow and lengthy piece and I did, in fact, have time to think about landforms crumpling and rising and bumping into each other, the slow and inexorable process of change, and sometimes, for a minute or two I felt like a part of something larger. In other words, it might not be as funny as the slide whistle, but maybe it's a good story nonetheless.

Thursday, December 03, 2009


It seems almost obligatory to post blogs about holidays, and I somehow managed to celebrate Thanksgiving by posting about my own breasts instead. (Whoops.) But really I have a hell of a lot to be thankful for, and not just on one specific day in November. It was my birthday yesterday and consequently I've been thinking a lot about the past year and how much has changed, how my life keeps taking these twists and turns that I would never have expected but that somehow seem to be bringing me closer and closer to something so good I can't even put a name to it, can't even imagine it. A year ago, I was happy; today, I am ecstatic, and there is no end in sight.

Life is complicated, and difficult to sum up in a few short words, whether I'm doing it face-to-face or on a page. When I try--which I do, occasionally--the beauty evaporates and I'm left with something trite and inane, a soundbite version of the absolutely gorgeous cacophony that makes up my life. To really tell you why I am so happy I would have to take my time, to tell you about so many things and people and places and feelings and moments and images, that often I am simply not up to the task. My joy is too large for easy explanation. But here is something true: some days I'm so in love with the world and my place in it that it seems beyond anything I've even previously conceived of as happiness; it's a whole new thing, this feeling. I can't even explain it to myself. Instead I smile, and write or speak as best I can about what the most immediate source of my joy is, and it's never enough.

I spent Thanksgiving with my queer family, my chosen family. It's a term I take seriously. It's been a long time since I felt all that close to most of my immediate family, other than in a joking cordial sort of way, and I think that for a while I lost some of the sense of the intimacy and emotional support that family can and should entail; I had acquaintances and a few close friends, I had lovers, I had family, but they were all separate entities and I managed to keep them compartmentalized as such. But ever since I started on this part of my life that I've been writing so obsessively about for the past year and a half or so, allowing my connections with people to deepen and realize their full potential and to give myself over and open up to those I love, the lines have started to blur as they are so wont to do when you stop making an effort to keep them intact. My family is still my family, and I still have acquaintances and people that I count as my friends, but there is this whole new grey area of people that I love and who love me back, who let me be who I really am and appreciate me for that and reciprocate in kind, and they have become part of the bedrock of my newfound happiness. They are my recreated family, the ones who are in my life because we have things that we want to learn from each other and because we care enough to make that happen.

My chosen family is spread all over the country, from California to Texas to Alaska and beyond, but it started here in Chicago with my rediscovery of my infinitely queer self. There is a significant history of queer familial patternings--the House system described in Paris is Burning, a documentary about the vogueing scene in New York, is an easy example--in part because it makes sense to build solidarity and kinship bonds in the face of discrimination and in part because of the rather different ways that queer people are more likely to define their interpersonal relationships. Michael Warner, in The Trouble with Normal: Sex, Politics, and the Ethics of Queer Life, says this: "The impoverished vocabulary of straight culture tells us that people should either be husbands and wives or (nonsexual) friends." I'd rather pull a bit of a bell hooks and substitute something like "heteronormative patriarchal culture" for straight culture, but the idea stands. Queer culture, however, can become something like this (and I'm going to type the whole thing despite its length because oh, it's kind of perfect):

"There are almost as many kinds of relationship as there are people in combination. Where there are patterns, we learn them from other queers, not from our parents or schools or the state. Between tricks and lovers and exes and friends and fuckbuddies and bar friends and bar friends' tricks and tricks' bar friends and gal pals and companions "in the life," queers have an astonishing range of intimacies. Most have no labels. Most receive no public recognition. Many of these relations are difficult because the rules have to be invented as we go along... They can be complex and bewildering, in a way that arouses fear among many gay people, and tremendous resistance and resentment from many straight people. Who among us would give them up?"

I would not. I can't, for my own sake and the sake of my life. But given that, is it any wonder that my queer family is where I truly learned what chosen family could mean? When I arrived for our superqueer polymorphous family Thanksgiving potluck, in the midst of a full-on dance party, I was greeted by people cheering my name. My relationships with these people spanned the spectrum from friends to lovers to exes to exes' lovers to exes' lovers' lovers; at some point a while ago we made a chart like the one on The L Word and oh my god it was hilarious. That evening there were two different sets of polyamorous familial groups there, both situations where one person had two partners and all three involved parties were in attendance, dancing together and happy and perfectly fine. There is something to be said for being witness to the joyful playing-out of a connective scenario that many people would find problematic, if not impossible, and there are no words for the feeling I got from watching my genderqueer ex-boyfriend's two current girlfriends--all three of whom, at multiple points during the evening, declared their love for me, which I wholeheartedly reciprocated--doing interpretive dance together to Madonna's Like a Prayer. Seriously.

But that was just a reflection of the larger theme of the evening, which--at least for me--was undoubtedly and absolutely love. Here's the thing about love: it's not as scary as it sounds. In the context of relationships it seems like people tend to get all freaked out about it as a word--more so even than as a concept, I'd almost say--but really it means so many different things that I feel like seeing it only in that way is a rather shallow view of something complex and varied and personal. I love tons of people, and things, and places, and moments in time, and trees, and so on. I get all worked up about it, and it makes me feel like a twelve-year-old girl: "Eeeee! You are my BEST FRIEND EVER and I love you SO MUCH!" But I'm of the mind that I'd rather act like a pre-adolescent than lose my sense of love, my feeling that I have a deep connection with things outside myself, regardless of whether that affection is returned or not. (I mean, I prefer if people return it, but I don't ask that of places, etc. Or trees.) I doubt most people would deny that being in love is pretty amazing, but love itself, regardless of particular goals or aspirations, is one of the best things I've ever personally felt. I feel so lucky that, on a day when people around the country express thankfulness for whatever they feel has been given them, I was brought nearly to tears by the simple fact of my chosen family gathered around me, the love that was so palpable in the air that every single one of us were grinning like damn fools in the first blush of a new romance. I felt like I had reached a sort of home.

As I said, yesterday was my birthday. I feel that I can say with complete confidence that these past twelve months have easily been the best of my life, and that I am absolutely happier than I have ever been. I feel like there's light coming out of me, vibrations rumbling in my breastbone from the excessive fantastic exhilaration of daily life. That is amazing, but what is even better is this: I don't think it stops here. I think it's going to keep going, and that my joy and happiness and love for the world is just going to continue to grow until I either explode or my heart stops from the sheer overload of that much life pumping through my veins. I can't wait to see what this next year brings.