Happy New Year, everyone.

We spent ours at Disney World, having had the amazing luck to slip into the park during a 20-minute window when they weren’t closed due to being crammed to capacity. Creepily, the French announcer on the monorail as we were traveling from the parking lot to the park informed us that it was closed again, and giddily reminded us all that “Mickey loves you!!” O_o

So I got to relive a little of my California youth, realize that I have been to Disneyland an obscene number of times from the point of view of a midwesterner or east coaster, despite only average for a Californian, and share almost all my favorite rides, (though they pastede on Jack Sparrow in Pirates of the Caribbean, which makes an angry purist) except Space Mountain, which broke. Space Mountain has to be the most break-prone ride in the universe. I know at least a dozen people with stories of it breaking with which to regale their friends and family.

I’m normally pretty jaded about Disney, I mean, they do destroy fairy tales like a massive corporate “Will It Blend?” episode, but for some reason, this time I was able to let it all go and enjoy Mickey as Kami of Happiness in the Face of the Degenerate World, and the little London of electric lights in the Peter Pan ride that used to catch my breath when I was a little girl. This time I was a bit struck by the fact that I used to fervently wish that I could go there, into that little blue and gold city down there in the dark below the belly of my flying pirate ship–and now I’ve been to the big blue city in the world. Life, how you do move forward.

I told

that one of my first novel ideas when I was about 13 was a post-apocalyptic thing where refugees would have taken over Disneyland and set up shelter in the massive ride complexes, particularly Pirates, Peter, and Space Mountain. Down and out in the Magic Kingdom, indeed.

I think Disneyland is more a part of my mental landscape than I thought–I went there a lot as a kid, because I have an aunt in LA and it was a relatively easy drive. A lot means 3 or 4 times, and 4 times by my count past my 18th birthday, and this seems normal to me, but I guess it’s not. There was a period when I hated it, when it was just desolation and greed to me, but now there is kind of a zen to the plastic and the simulacra, the lights and the communal story. It’s a thing, I can’t deny it.

And we saw the fireworks right under Cinderella’s Castle. I’m cynical as all hell, but there is something about ringing in the new year with 50,000 people and a big, huge fairy tale icon. The rockets lit up the park as bright as day, and ashes fell on our shoulders as the bells chimed out and the numbers counted down. It was perfect. The ashes were a little creepy, but it was the best fireworks show I’ve ever seen, and I’ve seen a lot.

New Year’s Resolution? Typical. Lose weight. (Yes, I have a plan. No, there won’t be a fitness filter. *shudder*) Write more. And learn Russian, and write more.

And stop feeling like I’m trying so hard, and losing my grip on whatever cliff I’m clinging to. That would be nice.

Mickey-Kami, wanna help me out with that?

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