Saffron: You're a good man. Mal: You clearly haven't been talking to anyone else on this boat.

'Our Mrs. Reynolds'

Goodbye and Good Riddance 2023 Skiddoo

Take stock, reflect, butch, moan, vent. We are all here for it.

DavidS - Dec 18, 2023 10:35:27 pm PST #20 of 76
"Look, son, if it's good enough for Shirley Bassey, it's good enough for you."

Here's what I said on Oct. 24, 2022. Two months later JZ had a Stage 4 cancer diagnosis. I'm going to post the whole thing here for dramatic irony.

"2020 was awful for us (as it was for most people): Death, house fire, depression, grief, isolation, loss, anxiety (much of it about the upcoming election).

I'm really only now beginning to grasp how damaging it was to both Emmett and Matilda.

2021 started off with the other shoe dropping on Jan. 6th. I knew some shit would go down but even I was shocked by an actual coup attempt. Matilda was still doing school from home through the second half of the school year (and I am still wroth with SFUSD for that decision).

The City was still pretty shut down, though it was beginning to come back.Things began to turn that spring when Matilda was hired to work with Parks and Rec and vaccines began to roll out. I remember that glimmer of hope in June that the pandemic was going to be over once everybody was inoculated. (Ha!)

That Fall Matilda got to go back to school again for the first time in 18 months. Things weren't back to normal but it was so much better.In 2022 we finally cleared the money from JZ's father's estate and were in a position to buy a house in San Francisco. Something we had never imagined would be possible.It was disorienting.

In January of 2020 I was still selling my records for milk money when we were short. The entirety of Matilda's childhood had been scraping from paycheck to paycheck with no margin for error. Two years later we were actively house hunting.It happened so quickly. Our fantastic real estate agent, Alex, pointed us at an open house on Monday in February. It was just about everything we had hoped for and more.

We talked to our financial advisors on Tuesday to be sure we could make a bid. Saw the place again on Wednesday. Had the bid in by Friday and it was accepted on Saturday. Five weeks later we closed Escrow on March 8th, 2022.

We weren't scheduled to move in until June, but we had the Garden Apartment available to us and Emmett and his girlfriend, Kalena moved in by April. They'd been really hammered and depressed and in full Goblin mode up in Sonoma during the lockdown. So it was a huge hopeful reprieve for them to move into the City (which had seemed completely outside their reach before).

Then so much work prepping for the move, working with the outgoing owners, lining up movers and contractors. All while doing a delicate dance of trying to move Emmett, Kalena and Emmett's best friend, Joey, into our old apartment. Completely unsure if our old landlord would accept it.

The actual move started in the last week of May and really took almost four weeks to finesse. Every step was timed (had to wait for the tenants to move out before we refinished the hardwood floors, which had to be dry before we could move furniture in, etc.). It was completely and thoroughly exhausting even with hired movers for the big stuff we moved a ton of shit on our own and that's a lot of steps up and down. I averaged 50 flights a day and 20,000 steps during that month.

It was chaotic, and transitional and we lived among boxes and moved and re-arranged furniture and got used to the new appliances and at some point this became our home. (And Emmett, Kalena and Joey successfully settled in at our old place. With the rent control intact.)

Having money doesn't erase all your problems, but you will be unsurprised to hear that it solves a lot of them, and cushions the others. We've had losses and stressors this year too. Lost our sweet little Guinea Pig Marcie. A friend committed suicide.

But I have to say it's really gratifying to be in a position to help our friends. We were the beneficiaries of that aid in the past (frequently by Buffistae), and it feels good to give back.

It's been incredibly fun building the new home with Jacqueline. We've been remarkably in concert through a thousand big and little design decisions, and it really feels like a beautiful collaboration. I think the moment I saw our bedroom with the wallpaper up I really felt what we were doing.

From March of 2020 to September of 2021 I felt like I was desperately trying to keep everybody's heads above water. And now I feel like we have safely landed ashore.

I look forward to showing our new home to visiting Buffistas in the coming years!"

No safe harbor as it turned out. I still feel like I'm desperately trying to keep everybody's head above water.

So you might think that all I have to say about 2023 is: Fuck it. Drop the calendar in the middle of the room, douse it with lighter fluid and drop the match.

But that's not how I feel. I will take every painful moment of 2023 because it's the last year I had with Jacqueline. She won't be in any of 2024 or any year after that.

I would take 2023 in all its stress and shock and pain and loss for one hundred times in a row to spend that time with her.

erikaj - Dec 19, 2023 9:58:16 am PST #21 of 76
If Scooby Doo taught me anything, it's that the only thing to fear is real-estate developers.Lisa Simpson

You're lucky to have met that person. I sure haven't.(Sometimes,, it's sad in a different way, thinking about the people who *could have* been at my table and are not. Not that that's the same as missing someone that you got to know and not minding their morning breath and all of those kinds of things. I hope it doesn't seem like I'm trying to make that equivalent!) I'm sorry you were robbed, though.

sj - Dec 19, 2023 10:04:21 am PST #22 of 76
"There are few hours in life more agreeable than the hour dedicated to the ceremony known as afternoon tea."

Hec, I’m so sorry that you didn’t have more time together in your beautiful home.

Jesse - Dec 19, 2023 10:07:18 am PST #23 of 76
Sometimes I trip on how happy we could be.

It's all so heartbreaking.

Laura - Dec 20, 2023 5:56:34 am PST #24 of 76
Our wings are not tired.

But that's not how I feel. I will take every painful moment of 2023 because it's the last year I had with Jacqueline. She won't be in any of 2024 or any year after that.

I understand that. You knew you had to treasure each moment you had to hold in your heart forever.

DavidS - Dec 20, 2023 9:37:24 am PST #25 of 76
"Look, son, if it's good enough for Shirley Bassey, it's good enough for you."

You knew you had to treasure each moment you had to hold in your heart forever.

I have a lot of fond memories of our trips down to LA. They were arduous and stressful, but we also managed to walk over to the WeHo dog park, and the Friends of the Library almost every time. And we started doing Fancy Brunch down there when she felt up to it. The French bakery with their lovely raspberry croissants.

Today's the anniversary of the day we stepped off our Healthy and Prosperous timeline, and went sideways into the Multiverse and found The Darkest Timeline.

A year ago today I took her to the ER with acute abdominal pain. I still can't believe how hard it was for us to even get out of the waiting room at the ER to get a CT scan (requiring an intervention from her Division Chief boss).

Or that she spent three nights in the ER hallway on a gurney under fluorescent lights surrounded by Fentanyl overdose cases.

Such a brightly lit nightmare.

I still remember the exact expressions of the two doctors who saw her CT scans and told us the news. Their faces were so grave and conveyed more than their words. In short: "You're fucked."

And the faces of Emmett and Matilda the next day when I told them the news. The shock and tears as they absorbed what I was saying.

Matilda later told me that they had speculated that Jacqueline might be pregnant. They weren't ready for the worst news. But who is.

DavidS - Dec 20, 2023 9:55:03 am PST #26 of 76
"Look, son, if it's good enough for Shirley Bassey, it's good enough for you."

I guess the other thing that's hard to articulate as a positive is that last year was an important part of our marriage. That we spent so much time together on her treatment and traveling together. Long conversations. Tending to her.

It deepened our relationship. Trust and tenderness and working together through hardest trials.

Over a 20 year marriage you will have your ups and downs, but there were no doubts about who we were to each other in 2023.

There were two or three times when we were at the Sofitel Hotel in Beverly Hills, after I'd scrambled to handle one hurdle or crisis when she'd say: "I love you so much."

And I knew she was telling me she was grateful for me handling the bullshit.

But when I think about it now there was another layer there. Of just speaking to that deepening bond that we were feeling in the midst of her cancer care.

When we'd gone through hard, stressful times in earlier years and were having a fight she'd invariably say, "I don't even know why you married me!"

When she was at home during hospice, after she was past most talking but still present I would go in to the bedroom to see her, relieving whomever was on duty.

I'd lean down to kiss her and I'd say, "I love you so much."

And she would sweetly lift her face up to be kissed, completely certain of our love and bond and commitment. She knew why I had married her.

erikaj - Dec 20, 2023 10:36:40 am PST #27 of 76
If Scooby Doo taught me anything, it's that the only thing to fear is real-estate developers.Lisa Simpson

I can appreciate that.

Cass - Dec 20, 2023 11:05:36 am PST #28 of 76
Bob's learned to live with tragedy, but he knows that this tragedy is one that won't ever leave him or get better.

It's all so heartbreaking.

Suela, I am so sorry. How sad.

-t - Dec 20, 2023 11:17:11 am PST #29 of 76
I am a woman of various inclinations and only some of the time are they to burn everything down in frustration

That's lovely, Hec. I'm so, I don't know, something, that you can see and articulate all those things