I’m still coming down off the San Franniversary high, thanks — in large part — to you all. The love and support you’ve shown is immeasurable, and I’m grateful for the constant journey we’re taking together.
Someone who’s been on this journey with me for 12 years now is Jenny, my high school bestie. She’s visiting this week, and it’s been so fun showing her around SF. Despite the 2,000 miles that normally separate us, we can always pick up right where we left off.
Whether it’s exploring new cities and having adventures or just watching football and playing drinking games, we always know how to find fun (and get into trouble) together. And, we’re always the ones laughing obnoxiously louder than everyone else — in the same cadence — because we’re obviously hilarious together.
So this week’s obsessions are dedicated to our friendship, because without her, I don’t know where I’d be. Bonus: It’s our third member of the tripod, Christina’s, birthday week! We’re missing her like crazy but raising a glass to her tonight🙂
Today marks my second San Franniversary, so I thought I’d share some of the lessons I’ve learned since moving here. Bonus: It’s apparently (and arbitrarily) San Francisco Appreciation Week! If I’m missing anything, I’m sure you’ll all let me know😉
1. Never, ever, EVER call it “San Fran.”
I realize I broke this cardinal rule in the very title of this post, but I believe a pun makes it OK. (I haven’t gotten an eye-roll yet in my empty apartment, at least.) For some reason, SF residents absolutely cannot stand calling their beloved city “San Fran.” It’s “SF” (pronounced “ess eff”) or “The City” (though I still save that for NYC). And I’m guilty of the hatred toward “Saaan Fraaan,” too. It strikes a nerve, sounds sooo country and feels like a betrayal to the Bay Area. Even worse: “Frisco.” *shudders*
2. There won’t be a heat wave in August.
It goes against everything you’ve ever been taught, but bring sweaters and jeans if you visit SF in August. With an average temperature this year of 58°F, you’ll thank me later. Easiest way to spot tourists here each August? They’re wearing overpriced Golden Gate Bridge sweatshirts from Fisherman’s Wharf, because they figured it’d be hot like everywhere else. On the flip side, September and October are our warmest months. I don’t make the rules; I’m just sharing them.
3. NorCal is very different from SoCal.
I haven’t personally experienced Southern California yet, but I’ve heard enough comparisons to feel confident in this lesson. NorCal is bourgie and techy, chilly and pretentious — while SoCal is beachy and sprawling, warm and pretentious in a different way. Also: Don’t expect me to “pop down” to San Diego or LA while you’re there on a weekday, since they’re 400+ miles away. I still love you, though🙂
4. We work smarter, not harder.
Work/life balance is a constant topic of conversation here, almost to a fault. I haven’t worked in the smallest of startups — so there is some variation — but for the most part I believe SFers find efficiencies in their work, suggest changes to organizations’ processes and don’t have to prove their worth by how many hours they work. We value getting in, getting shit done and getting out to live life away from office walls.
5. We take our wine and our sports seriously.
This should come as no surprise, given electric playoff seasons from the Golden State Warriors, San Francisco Giants,and San Jose Sharks — plus the recent resurgence of the Oakland Raiders. Even the 49ers and A’s fans are fiercely loyal. And while wine and sports don’t necessarily go hand in hand, you can’t be just south of Wine Country and not have a strong appreciation for vino. Cheers to that.
6. Oakland is SF’s cooler cousin — and kinda too cool for me.
I haven’t explored nearly as much of Oakland as I’d like to, but what I have seen has been mostly awesome. The Fox Theater is a phenomenal concert venue, there are awesome restaurants and bars to try all over Downtown, Lake Merritt and more. Get comfortable with the BART map first, though, as I’ve gotten turned around and spent way more time on the train than is ever necessary for one human.
7. Trolleys are not the same as cable cars.
This is a lesson I’m still learning, as anyone within earshot is quick to correct me when I mistakenly identify a trolley (or streetcar) as a cable car. The key difference is how they’re propelled, which is exactly why I can’t seem to keep them straight. All I really know is, both types are adorable and strangely efficient forms of transportation — provided you avoid the stops at each end of the cable car lines.
8. Public transportation is laughable.
Ask me two years ago, and I’d say I would never, ever miss the MTA. But being out here, I miss the subway nearly every damn day. MUNI is inefficient, dealing with traffic and breakdowns and shitty people who refuse to follow the rules. BART is a hot mess of its own. And while I understand this city wasn’t built for the massive influx of people, it’s frustrating to feel like there aren’t any major changes in sight for affordable, efficient, reliable public transportation.
9. Uber, Lyft and Chariot are godsends… mostly.
It’s no wonder, then, we freaking love rideshare and shuttle services. Since Uber and Lyft were founded here, we’re often a test market for new features (and promos!) before they’re rolled out nationwide. I relied heavily on UberPool with my last job, since my 2.5-mile commute would take more than 50 minutes on MUNI. I’m now blessed with transportation reimbursement from my employer, so a shuttle service like Chariot (also founded in SF) makes commuting and getting around SF a breeze.
10. SF is a fantastic place to live.
There are plenty of challenges living in a big city with rich history and recent gentrification. It’s easy to take it for granted, but it’s truly become my favorite home. Whether making jokes about Karl the Fog; braving tourists on Golden Gate Bridge; or enjoying the quirky, eclectic local vibes, SF will always have a special place in my heart.
I had an influx of ideas for obsessions this week, probably because I’ve been on a spree of volunteer and social events lately. The good news? There’s no stopping in sight. The bad news? I’m running on about five hours of sleep and am not entirely sure this will all make sense😛
- #Brangelina … Meanwhile, Amal Fights ISIS: I was in an inevitable BuzzFeed rabbit hole last night and, naturally, read George Clooney’s off-guard response to the #Brangelina divorce. I was extremely proud to see the related article BuzzFeed suggested was about Amal Clooney (née Alamuddin) and her fight against ISIS. Talk about girl power.
- AOII Alumnae in San Francisco: In case it wasn’t painfully obvious in yesterday’s post, I’ve thrown myself into some social organizations recently. I’m thrilled to join my sorority’s alumnae board in SF as Vice President, and I’ve already enjoyed getting to know more sisters in the area. Check out our FB page to see what we’re up to and learn more🙂
- Junior League of San Francisco: Another fantastic organization I’ve joined as a Provisional (first-year) member is the Junior League of SF. From volunteering to social events and community programs, I couldn’t be more pleased to be connected to such an inspirational group of women.
- “Closer” – Chainsmokers f. Halsey: In my humble opinion, any song that inspires a flood of memes is worth a listen. I swear, I’m not into EDM — I’m too old for it anyway. But with a catchy beat and ridiculously fun lyrics, this one’s getting played out like it’s my damn job.
There there, stock photo girl.
Down in the dumps after being dumped? Dry those mascara tears and listen up: This step-by-step guide guarantees* you’ll win the breakup (which should obviously be your top priority).
Step 1: Get dumped. If you must do the breaking-up, fine, but know you won’t win any sympathy points if you’re the dumper. On the flip side, bonus sympathy points if you’re dumped the night before a couples’ trip for your birthday.
Step 2: Debate internally about posting a public statement. Decide not to, then regret it every time yet another friend asks about your (ex) significant other. Feel like a total dick until you finally post a public blog about it.
Step 3: Feel like a total dick for posting a public blog about it.
I think I just found my Halloween costume.
Step 4: Say “yes” to all social activities. Join local organizations, such as Junior League or your sorority’s alumnae board. Volunteer. Go to the gym. Attend concerts. Get out of the damn house.
Step 5: Create a girl-power playlist. Yes, even if you’re a dude. If you’re too lazy to create one — like you’re sooo busy now — borrow one.
Step 6: Watch “The First Wives Club.” Watch it again. Put on a white skirt- or pantsuit. If you haven’t sashayed and belted out “You Don’t Own Me,” what kind of monster are you?
Step 7: Take this BuzzFeed quiz to see if you are, in fact, winning the breakup. No matter the result, you can pretend you got this:
Step 7a: DO NOT POST YOUR QUIZ RESULTS.
Step 8: Try your damndest to be genuinely happy for them and find happiness in yourself, too. Understand that your time will come — or it won’t — but feeling sorry for yourself isn’t going to help anyone, least of all you.
Did I miss any crucial steps? What are your tips for surviving a breakup, let alone “winning” one? Let me know in the comments below!
*Oh, honey. No guarantees.
If you’ve read Wittyburg since the very beginning, you know I used to have a lot more to say beyond these Weekly Obsessions. And I love these WOs — more than I ever expected I would. But I lost my way three years ago, when my dad died and I had trouble finding inspiration beyond weekly posts. Hell, I had trouble getting out of bed.
All that to say, I’m so appreciative of those who’ve stuck with me, checking in each week. I absolutely hope to bring you more varied content soon … and I want you to hold me to it this time!
This week’s obsessions are focused on my dad, as we honored his angelversary yesterday. 3 years doesn’t feel like long in the grand scheme of things, but a thousand days without hearing his voice have truly taken a toll. Combine that with an ER trip for my older niece — she’ll be OK, thank God — and yesterday sure was a doozy.
- “M*A*S*H”: There is no other show to evoke memories of my dad than this. He watched reruns religiously, we bought him the boxed sets of DVDs over the years, and I can’t hear the theme song without immediately thinking of him. Even now, if I’m mindlessly flipping through channels, I’ll land on a rerun to follow Hawkeye and crew.
- Boy Scouts of America: My dad donated countless hours to various organizations, but the BSA held a particularly special place in his heart. From helping Brother’s troop to eventually becoming Scoutmaster, dedicating summers and weekends to Camp La-No-Che in Central Florida, and selling popcorn like no other, Mr. Rick lived its mission to the fullest — scout’s honor.
- Brother’s Birthday: I’m such a selfless little sister, aren’t I? Dad wouldn’t be who he was without his first-born, who turns 33 on Friday. Despite spending our tumultuous childhoods tormenting each other, Brother has since become one of my best friends, closest confidants and biggest supporters. 143, Bud.
- “Lookin’ Out My Back Door” – Creedence Clearwater Revival: CCR is so quintessential Slick Rick, without a doubt. Among the songs we chose to play for his services, this one lifts me to another place, puts a smile on our faces, and reminds us of all the good times we had with him.
Are you ready for some life-changing obsessions this week?! You are?! Hint: This will not include the anger-inducing “schedule” feature on WordPress, since it failed me so hard last week.
Anyway, get set — this is not a drill.
- Hoisin Chicken Stir-fry: I haven’t been shy about professing my love for Blue Apron. And despite some ingredient issues recently, including with this very meal, it’s my go-to for creating delicious dishes. I couldn’t give this any more than five stars, but I would if I could. Check out the recipe here and let me know if you’re as in love as I am.
- Silencing FB Live: If you’re suffering an endless slew of Facebook Live notifications, you’ve wondered, no doubt, how to make them stoppp. I was only seeing the option in-app to turn off individual notifications, but there’s a way to do it from the ol’ desktop that takes two seconds and will save a million headaches. Dramatic, much? This article explains.
- Magz’s Birthday: It’s my favorite mom’s birthday today, and as she celebrates (undisclosed number here), I have to reflect on how much she’s impacted my life. From keeping our family together during tough times to answering all of my “how to adult” questions, Magz is deserving of a gold medal and a fantastic year ahead. Cheers!
- “Starving” – Hailee Steinfeld & Grey f. Zedd: I heard this song on Spotify a few times without realizing how often it’d get stuck in my head after. You may recognize Hailee from “True Grit,” “Pitch Perfect” or the upcoming “The Edge of Seventeen.” Turns out, her pipes sound even better with a little pop-funk in the background.
I say it all the time — because what else is there to comment on besides time and weather? — but did you realize it’s the last day of August?! I’ve already seen pumpkin spice memes and countdowns to Christmas… where does the time go? We may never know.
- “…Why Women Drink”: My women’s group at work frequently shares inspiring and thought-provoking content to consider. This article has a bit of a clickbait-y headline, and some examples are extreme, but I found it interesting nonetheless. The author covers two disparate topics, yet both apply to me as a professional woman who enjoys socializing over drinks. Let me know what you think!
- VMAs: For the first time in as long as I can remember, I didn’t watch the VMAs this year. Pro tip: It’s saved to my DVR, for mass consumption when I have a few hours to kill. Luckily, my trusty news source BuzzFeed provided some recaps to keep me in the loop with the millenials. Because I’m definitely not old…
- MY2K Tour: To prove how not-old I am, I treated a close friend (and myself) to THE concert of the summer for her birthday. 98° + Dream + Ryan Cabrera + O-Town = what more could we ask for? Each act performed originals, covers and medleys that brought us back to the height of “TRL” and boy-band fever. Swoon.
- “Mama Said” – Lukas Graham: Instead of the obvious choice to present a song from the MY2K Tour, I’m keeping you on your toes with this one. You can’t have a sample of “Hard Knock Life” in your hook without it becoming an earworm… just ask Jay-Z. I also can’t listen to this without lip-syncing along like I’m some sort of undiscovered musical talent, so there’s that.