WO: Weekly Obsessions

It could be the nonstop rain (I know we need it but damn I miss the sun!) or it could be that I haven’t made any exciting long-weekend plans or it could be that I’m just irritable but I don’t have four things to celebrate today. Instead, here are four things I’m decidedly NOT into:

Image Credits Listed Below

  1. The Shutdown: This one’s a gimme, but I still felt it necessary to include. Thankfully, furloughed workers will now receive back-pay (eventually), but this historic failure further underscores how useless it is to put party above people. And logic. And reason. Note: The 🚫 in the photo and the 🚫 in the overlay ≠ a double negative here. Just let me have this.
  2. 10-Year/Aging Challenge: I don’t have a conspiracy theory, but rather an annoyance for lack of imagination and authenticity. Some people, like Zuck, sure do look exactly as they did in 2008/2009. But most posts I’m seeing are Facetuned, filtered and fake AF. It kinda defeats the point… and since my first FB profile photo is from 2005 I can’t even properly participate in the 10-Year or OG #HowHardDidAgingHitYouChallenge ← also one of the worst hashtags ever.
  3. Terror in Kenya: As news of yesterday’s attack in Nairobi made its way to my little life, I couldn’t help but hold my breath and pray fiercely. Having just spent 11 days in Kenya, and three of them in Nairobi, I couldn’t imagine the beautiful and thriving metropolis under fire. I don’t need a soapbox to tell you how senseless terrorism is, but this one really struck me as a heartbreaking and horrific event.
  4. Baby Shark: Parents everywhere should be nodding their head in agreement and also maybe hating me for putting this back in their heads. With 53 million+ views, this viral tune is likely playing in approximately 5 million households at any time. On repeat. And while my nieces are obviously adorable and can do no wrong, I wouldn’t mind going a year or 10 without hearing this one again.

Images courtesy of: Today, Wired, The National, YouTube

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WO: Weekly Obsessions

Back to routines and reality, I keep waiting for the eventual slap in the face January usually brings. It hasn’t happened yet, making me even more paranoid, but could it be? A New Year’s resolution that sticks? A lasting positive outlook? Only time will tell.

Image Credits Listed Below

  1. SAP Center: I hadn’t been to this venue until last Saturday’s Sharks-Lightning NHL game, but color me impressed. From the streamlined security process to massive restrooms (crucial for 20-minute breaks) and pleasant parking attendants, it was a near-perfect night. If only the Lightning had won!
  2. Akira: This sushi spot is a local fave worth reserving a table for. Even without being able to have rice or soy sauce, I gobbled down the grilled octopus, yellowfin nagiri and cucumber roll with delight. A spa-like restroom completes the whole lovely ambiance.
  3. Hydro Flask: You may have noticed my restroom references, and I have this little guy to blame thank. My former team gifted the mint 16 oz. to me and I’m really enjoying the flip top versus my S’Well’s screw-off cap. It makes getting my 100 daily oz. a literal snap!
  4. “thank u, next” – Ariana Grande: I can’t hold out on this grammatical travesty any more — this record-breaking bop is here to stay longer than you can say “I really don’t endorse anything but forgiveness and positivity.” The video is iconic, the chorus is catchy and it’s no wonder why we’ll hear it for a long time to come.

Images courtesy of: SAP Center, Akira SF, Nordstrom, Amazon

WO: Weekly Obsessions

Well, we made it to 2019. Can you believe it? However you spent the countdown, I hope you had more fun than Chrissy Teigen getting hit in the face with an umbrella (still love you, Leslie!) and Andy Cohen listening to Anderson Cooper describe his mother’s affairs with Marlon Brando.

God bless this wacky, weird world.

Image Credits Listed Below

  1. United Airlines: Don’t @ me. I continue to fly United when it’s got the lowest prices and best itineraries for my destinations (hello, nonstop SFO → MCO). After the Kenya snafu, I was able to use my credit toward a holiday flight home, and the service was top-notch on both routes. Flying is often frustrating, but United’s customer service is still among the best I’ve experienced.
  2. Whole30: I’ve drunk the Kool-Aid. Well, not really since I can’t have sugar for the next 30 days. This clean-eating phenomenon has an annual resurgence each January, and I’ve joined the bandwagon to reset my palate and mindset. The biggest struggle so far is not reaching for sweets, but I know I need this to get back on track. Let me know if you’re interested in joining my low-key accountabili-buddy group!
  3. This Candle: The real winner from the four White Elephant parties I attended this holiday season? None other than a Saint Kanye candle. I enjoy most of his music and agree he’s better off without a Twitter account, but every time this catches my eye from my desk I gain a little smirk. I won’t actually be lighting it, so hopefully I don’t summon any more crazy.
  4. “Stronger” – Kanye West: There are many variations of “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger,” but I’m obviously inspired by the candle so this one wins. Through all of 2018’s ups and downs, faith and humility helped me along. It doesn’t hurt that this is one of my fave workout songs, but I also recommend when you’re having a shitty shit day and need a reminder of your superpowers.

Images courtesy of: Brands of the World, The Whole Smiths, Etsy, Wikipedia

 

WitLit 2018

You may have noticed how much I love reading and sharing book recommendations. As part of my new job, I won’t be able to do that on a regular basis anymore — but I thought I could provide a quick recap of All the Books I’ve Loved Before.*

I started 2018 with a challenge to read 15 books, aiming to double my paltry performance from 2017. With the help of Libby and a newfound taste for e-reading on a long commute, I smashed that goal and read 45 books this year.

In order of when I read them, here are the books I consumed in 2018. The titles in bold are my faves:

  1. Lying by Sam Harris
  2. The Emperor’s Children by Claire MesSud
  3. Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng
  4. Smoke Gets in Your Eyes by Caitlin Doughty
  5. Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan
  6. Born a Crime by Trevor Noah
  7. Am I There Yet? by Mari Andrew
  8. Wild by Cheryl Strayed
  9. A Working Theory of Love by Scott Hutchins
  10. Shrill by Lindy West
  11. Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman
  12. Meaty by Samantha Irby
  13. Where’d You Go, Bernadette? by Maria Semple
  14. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Steig Larsson
  15. The Girl Who Played with Fire by Steig Larsson
  16. The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest by Steig Larsson
  17. Then We Came to the End by Joshua Ferris
  18. It’s Not You by Sara Eckel
  19. The Heart Is a Shifting Sea by Elizabeth Flock
  20. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon
  21. I’ll Be Gone in the Dark by Michelle McNamara
  22. The Last Black Unicorn by Tiffany Haddish
  23. Best State Ever by Dave Barry
  24. Refinery 29 Money Diaries by Lindsey Stanberry
  25. Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty
  26. Turtles All the Way Down by John Green
  27. We Are Never Meeting in Real Life by Samantha Irby
  28. The Girl in the Spider’s Web by David Lagercrantz
  29. The Girl Who Takes an Eye for an Eye by David Lagercrantz
  30. China Rich Girlfriend by Kevin Kwan
  31. The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn
  32. Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff
  33. The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion
  34. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer
  35. Into the Water by Paula Hawkins
  36. The Death of Mrs. Westaway by Ruth Ware
  37. Imagine Me Gone by Adam Haslett
  38. The Sunshine Sisters by Jane Green
  39. Nine Perfect Strangers by Liane Moriarty
  40. The Girl Who Smiled Beads by Clementine Wamariya
  41. Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng
  42. A Simple Favor by Darcey Bell
  43. Fear by Bob Woodward
  44. The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a Fuck by Sarah Knight
  45. Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows by Balli Kaur Jaswal

There are plenty I’m awaiting from the library, so I have no doubt I’ll be off to a strong start tomorrow. Happy reading, and see you all in 2019!

*Yes, I am as cheesy as they come.

WO: Weekly Obsessions

In the final WO of 2018, I think it’s only fair to reflect on the past 52 weeks and how much has changed.

I traveled thousands of miles for various trips between SF to Minneapolis, Cabo, Tampa, NYC and Kenya. I navigated new challenges at one job and earned a new role with my dream company. I forged new friendships, let go of some others and started learning to say no to things more.

And beyond me (or I, I, I), the world still turns despite scary headlines, and turmoil between family and strangers, and all of the nuances that make up this crazy thing called life.

I hope you find peace and joy this holiday season, especially if you are struggling. Whether it’s publicly known or privately fought, you matter to me — and likely a whole other slew of people out there.

Sending you warm holiday wishes and blessings for a prosperous 2019!

Image Courtesy of Canva

 

WO: Weekly Obsessions

The holiday season is in full swing, and as if I needed another reminder of it, today was the FOURTH White Elephant I’ve participated in this month. Over-commit much? I’m rocking my special sweater, tree earrings and festive fur so you better believe I’m trying to ward off my usual Grinch-y tendencies and embrace the season wholeheartedly.

Image Credits Listed Below

  1. SF Ballet’s Nutcracker: Thanks to a monster group discount and the Junior League of San Francisco, I’ll be enjoying tonight’s performance of this winter classic for a nominal fee. Sugar plum fairies and pirouettes await to fulfill all my wildest prima ballerina dreams. I have no doubt my intro to the SF Ballet will be a memorable one.
  2. Suppenküche: A dear friend hosts an awesome annual dinner at this SF staple during Hanukkah, and this year’s celebration was no exception. From dreidel spin-offs to giant potato pancakes and banana beer, it’s a tradition I remember fondly every year. Who knows? Maybe one year I’ll even break tradition and go twice.
  3. The Exploratorium: Despite living in SF for 4+ years, I hadn’t yet ventured into this museum of curiosity, adventure and education. My department holiday party was here last weekend, though, and I thoroughly enjoyed the activities at every turn. The food and photo booths helped, too, but I’d happily revisit on a “normal” day.
  4. “All I Want for Christmas Is You” – Mariah Carey: Duhhhh. I can’t help myself and refuse to apologize for it. Between last week’s viewing of “Love Actually” and Carey’s always entertaining holiday antics, this is about the only seasonal  tune I can listen to more than once a day. Don’t @ me, you knew it was coming at some point.

Images courtesy of: SF Ballet, Sac Foodies, Exploratorium, Amazon

WO: Weekly Obsessions

 

It’s been an absolutely packed week and isn’t about to slow down anytime soon. From holiday happenings to dogsitting and #shuttlelife, I got a lot going on:

Image Credits Listed Below

  1. Cafe de la Presse: My favorite hangover cure entails four beverages and runny eggs (not together). A Bloody Mary, a coffee, a Coke, a water + eggs benedict are just the trick to get my 30-something self back in fighting shape after a night out. Even though this spot is close to the touristy Union Square, the food comes out fast. My eggs were over, but it didn’t matter in the wake of a wicked headache.’
  2. A Raiders Win: Praise be, the Raiders had their third win of the season on Sunday and I was there to witness it! As expected, Steelers fans are just about as insane as Raider Nation, but I stayed out of the arguments and focused on the game. And what a game it was — for a scoreless third quarter, it still stood out as one worth watching.
  3. “Love Actually” at the SF Symphony: Expanding my cultural horizons, I finally experienced the phenomenon that is a live orchestra accompanying a movie screening. Unexpected front row seats, talented tunemakers and the best holiday film (don’t @ me) made for a magical evening. Some commented about how it doesn’t quite hold up in the “Me Too” era but I believe it’s actually rather indicative of 2002 culture and how far we’ve come — in some cases.
  4. The Grove: Simple, approachable sandwiches and soups are the staples of this SF mainstay. I prefer the Hayes and Fillmore locations for their proximity to the Symphony Hall and my ‘hood, respectively. The SOMA and Design District ones are decent work-week options if you’re tired of sad salads or lackadaisical lunches. And don’t get me started on the desserts… YUM.

 

 

Images courtesy of: Cafe de la Presse, ESPN,  SF Symphony, The Grove