A week back in NYC turned out to be the best way to celebrate Thanksgiving. From time with family and friends to perfect parade weather, it was an experience I won’t soon forget. It’s true what they say: New York City is the best place in the world when you don’t live there. Who’s they, you ask? Idk. But they say it.
- Touring Bridgeport: After the parade, I ventured out of the city to my great aunt’s home in Connecticut. She took me on an incredible tour down memory lane: I saw the homes where my mom and grandpa grew up; the church my grandparents were married in; the college my grandpa and some of his brothers attended; the street named after my great-grandfather and much more. My heart is still so full from our special time shared.
- UCB East: After returning to the city Saturday, I went to a 3-on-3 improv tournament at UCB East to support my hilarious friend Chrissie and her talented group, Mannequin Room. They had a killer semis performance and advanced to the final show, where they placed 2nd. I’d never been to a show with this sort of setup, and it didn’t disappoint. There was a group who specialized in spontaneous song and another who somehow made infant mortality rates funny… yeah, just think about that.
- “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon”: I was super smart to do the math and figure out how far in advance free tickets go up for our fave talk show. All humble bragging aside, I’m so glad we were able to attend Monday’s taping! We laughed endlessly and enjoyed seeing guests John Goodman, Alexis Bledel and David Gray. Jimmy even did a Q&A with the audience while David and his band set up, which was super nice. Dare I say, it was my favorite Tonight Show appearance yet!
- “Babylon” – David Gray: True to form, I’ve gotta get this earworm back into your brains. To celebrate his Tonight Show appearance and greatest hits album, here’s a reminder of his most popular song in the US. It’s been stuck in my head since Sunday, when we played it on repeat to get pumped for his performance. I have no doubt it’ll be stuck in yours soon enough, too.
As ready as I am for 2016 to be dunzo, it’s only fitting to take time this week to reflect on the things for which I’m grateful. Cliche? Absolutely. But essential to the healing process? You betcha.
- Wittyburg Is Six: True to form, I missed my sixth blogiversary last month. With more than 280 WO posts, plus more than 22,000 visits to this little site, you readers give me reason to keep going each week. I can’t say enough how much it means for me to have your support and enduring readership. Here’s to the next year, and beyond!
- Macy’s 90th Thanksgiving Day Parade: I’m super pumped to be back in NYC for another romp in this iconic Thanksgiving Day tradition. The early morning, long hours and chaos are more than worth it to see the smiling faces of thousands lined up for the parade. Look out for Sinclair Oil’s green dinosaur balloon — I’ll be doing my best to hold him down!
- Family Dinner: After the parade, I’ll head to Connecticut to spend time with extended family. My maternal grandpa died in 2014 and his sister, Mary, is his last living sibling. She’s got some of the best stories, and a huge heart, and she’s graciously opened her doors so I can celebrate with her clan. I can’t wait for the craziness to ensue!
- “Hymn for the Weekend” Coldplay f. Beyoncé: You read that right; I’m litchrlly recommending a Coldplay song for your eardrums. Oh, and Queen Bey gets the “featuring” credit, which is potentially a first for her. What better way to celebrate an extra-long weekend — my first in about 10 years? — than with this soothing salute? Everyone enjoy.
You know what I’ve found to be the best way to deal with post-election depression? A sample of the steps I’ve taken since last Tuesday:
- Delete my Facebook app — I can’t deactivate because of too many organizations that use it religiously for events, but this has been a HUGE help.
- Pour myself some wine — even if I only have red wine on hand and made fish for dinner. I think Jesus would understand.
- Throw myself into volunteer opportunities — because it always feels good to give back.
- Surround myself with people who make me laugh — and make me think in a constructive way.
With that said, let’s get to it!
- AIDS Memorial Grove: I had the pleasure of volunteering here on Sunday, and what a powerful day it was. We heard numerous stories, talked about the ongoing fight for AIDS education and prevention, and we helped set the stage for a candlelight ceremony on November 30. Doesn’t get much better than that.
- Tonga Room: I met up with my sorority alumnae group recently at this iconic SF establishment. The tiki vibe is easy to poke fun at, but it truly has some of the tastiest cocktails and most entertaining live performances. I recommend a front-row table, if you can snag one, to enjoy the show without an obstructed view.
- My IMDb Debut: A college friend and his brother will soon open their grilled-cheese storefront, and lucky ol’ me attended their tasting and taping for an upcoming Food Network show. All nerves aside, I delighted in the creative creations and inventive flavors. Naturally, I should create my IMDb page sooner than later😉
- “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt”: I recently discovered I have a Netflix app through Comcast, which almost justifies the $$$ monthly price tag. Almost. And yes, I’ve been too stubborn to buy a damn Chromecast, Apple TV or Roku. I’m also late to this game, but the eternally optimistic Kimmy Schmidt makes for a binge-worthy show with an infectious earworm of a theme song. Dammit!
2 posts in one day? I must really like you guys.
In all seriousness, I couldn’t possibly let my 279-week streak of obsessions die, despite this morning’s reflections and revelations.
Something I think we all could use right now, is a mental break. So, please enjoy these funny dog videos at your leisure.
I’ll be back at it next week with our regularly scheduled programming.
I knew it could happen. I just didn’t want to be right.
I can’t recall the last time I woke up feeling so uneasy and unsure, so desperate to talk but wanting to keep my mouth shut, so vulnerable and disgusted and helpless.
I didn’t care what the candidates wore or about their hair or if they sniffled or had a cold. I cared about what example the candidates set, as a standard, to hold the highest office in our country.
I couldn’t say I didn’t care who you vote for, because I did. I’ve largely stayed out of social media debate, because I believed minds were made up and there was no convincing people otherwise. Because I didn’t want to damage relationships or get into endless arguments or hurl articles back and forth to prove a point. I was proud to say #ImWithHer. I still am.
So how did we get here?
I read this essay about five months ago — before half of this circus even came to a head — and while it’s quite lengthy, I think many will find the time to try and understand how this could happen… and did.
2016 has seemingly become the year of the anti-, with droves of people, particularly in rural regions, being vocally anti-establishment, anti-government, and truly believing someone with no professional experience is better than someone with an imperfect 30 years of experience.
These people have felt marginalized, as minority voices have taken center stage and action toward the promise of equality for all.
Trump said last night he’ll be a president for all people. How are we to believe him when he’s openly bashed and berated nearly every human but the Christian, white male?
I check two of those three boxes and find it hard to go about my day today. How can I expect my fellow women, friends of other races and religions, LGBTQ allies, and all others who don’t fit this rhetoric to be OK?
I live in one of the most progressive and liberal cities in the US, yet I’m conservative compared to many of my fellow residents. And if I feel unsure, unsafe today — how does someone in my home state of Florida feel, who wears a hijab or who is not white, or who had the unfortunate circumstance of being born a woman?
The pains in my stomach could be blamed on period cramps or a woman’s intuition, but I know it’s the fear of what this means for my future; for my Muslim and black and Hispanic and Hindi co-workers and friends; for my nieces; for my LGBTQ peers; and countless others.
I’ve taken great pains to refrain from speaking in absolutes or extremes this entire election cycle, but I’m exhausted. I feared this could happen — this would happen — and the only thing I fear now is every day of the next four years. I hope to all that is holy, he proves me wrong. That we can have forward progress and make real changes with thoughtful debate, care and compassion.
We have to do better for our fellow humans. We cannot sit idly by and allow people of any race, religion, gender or economic status to be marginalized simply because of that checkbox on their identity. I’m prayerful the system of checks and balances will help keep policies and legislation from being extremist or exclusive, but it’s going to be a while before I can do so with both eyes closed.
Resources for those struggling today:
- Suicide Prevention Hotline
- What Do We Tell the Children?
- Cory Booker’s uplifting message
- Bible verses about hope
And while I’m all for healthy and productive debate, I kindly invite anyone with hateful commentary to please show my site the same respect I’ve shown yours by moving right along.
Do you remember, as kids, how your siblings or friends would annoy you and you’d plug your ears and shout repeatedly, “I’m not listening!” That’s kind of the approach I’m taking over the next week or so. Also, BuzzFeed’s Election Survival Guide. Also, wine.
I swear, it has only a smidge to do with my desire for both teams to lose in Game 7 of the World Series tonight. #BitterPartyOfOne
- “This Is Us”: You hear me say it often, because it’s true: I didn’t need another show to fall in love with, but goshdangit, I couldn’t resist when so many people in my networks were raving about it. You can still catch up on demand, and despite the apparent love/hate for Mandy Moore as an actress, I think you’ll enjoy. It’s funny, sad, thought-provoking and so much more.
- Decision 2016: If you haven’t already voted — like me, because there are 42 propositions between SF and California — then you know full well it’s crunch time! I rarely get political in public, but I think this someecard sums it up perfectly. No debate needed, since everyone (even Ken Bone, I imagine) is sticking to their choice. Just make sure you do it!
- #NoDAPL: If you haven’t been following the Dakota Access Pipeline conversation, then you may have just started noticing it with this week’s viral check-ins. Aside from raising awareness, you can stand with Standing Rock using one of these ideas. From PayPal to donation drives, there are plenty of options for you to help out.
- “Diggy” – Spencer Ludwig: Got the song from the Target Vibes campaigns stuck in your head endlessly? You’re not alone. Although I have no idea why a woman is on a treadmill in platform heels, I’m otherwise enthralled with this earworm’s incentive to get up and dance. If ever there was a song to emulate “vibes,” this is it. Check out the extended commercial below, or click the image credits for Ludwig’s full song.
It’s one of the best days of the year, pumpkinheads!
I took a few years off from really celebrating, but I think this year’s costume may be my best yet. It wouldn’t have been possible without the craftsmanship of my dear friend Sarah, and the fine folks at Center Hardware in SF.
However you’re celebrating this year, have safe and fun festivities. Cheers!