Forgive my ignorance from my last WO as I celebrated the Winter Olympics without any clue about what happened in my home state of Florida.
You see, I was avoiding any and all breaking news alerts because I didn’t want to see spoilers for the games.
What I didn’t learn, until later, was of the massacre inflicted upon the students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High in Parkland. I read and watched a bit of it before becoming physically ill and needing to turn away.
I have no desire to debate gun control. I have no agenda here. What I have, instead, is a breathtaking piece from The New Yorker I think every human should read.
No matter your stance on the issue, I hope we all can agree there is no place for this kind of terrorism in our school system. Not now, and #NeverAgain
It’s a double whammy celebration today with Valentine’s Day AND Ash Wednesday — can you feel the excitement? No? Well, put on your party pants because it’s about to get crazy up in here.
- Chloe Kim: If you know me, you know I LOVE the Olympics. One of many reasons why is a story like Chloe’s: She was 2014’s best snowboarder but too young to compete in the Sochi games. Fast forward to today and she’s winning it all — and her dad is winning our hearts.
- Shib Sibs: I’m fascinated by ice dancing as a sport and this brother-sister duo only adds to the intrigue. I love my brother and would do anything for him, but I can’t imagine being partnered with him for decades of competition. How these two still get along is beyond me, but you go, Shib Sibs!
- Adam Rippon: There’s not much I love more than a quick-witted shit talker who can back up their stuff. Adam is the quintessential figure skating and LGBTQ icon we’ve all dreamed of, and his haters know where to go… to the left, to the left.
- Maame Biney: It wouldn’t be a tribute to PyeongChang without talking about this superstar. To some, she came out of nowhere and now she’s making history as the first African-American woman to represent the U.S. in speed skating. Don’t let her electric smile and bubbly personality fool you — she’s a beast on the ice.
What are some of your favorite Olympic moments so far? Let me know in the comments and we can nerd out together 🙂
I’ve gone pretty much nonstop since last week, even writing this in between happy hours and other social outings. I’m not complaining, although my marathon of watching Olympics coverage has slowed down considerably.
And, as a sure sign that I’m officially 29, I was just “laying down for a nap” last Friday before this Rave of Thrones event, only to wake up hours later after missing the whole thing.
- Britney/Taylor Mashup Night: I made up for lost time Saturday night with my first-ever visit to famed SF nightclub Bootie, because why else? It was Britney/Taylor Mashup Night! I expected a little more of “Bad Blood… One More Time,” but was truly amazed at the DJs’ abilities to mix Eminem, Black Sabbath and more with the queens of pop.
- Red Dog: Another day, another happy hour. This SOMA bar was the second stop on a night where I said farewell to both current co-workers and former colleagues who were leaving their respective companies. Red Dog was a perfect setting — friendly staff, delicious food and strong drinks.
- Barry’s Boot Camp: In case it wasn’t completely clear, I’m in need of a detox more than anything. Since that’s unlikely to ever happen, I’ve instead taken advantage of promotions through work to try “The Best Workout in the World.” It’s kicked my ass, motivated me and been, truly, one of the best group fitness classes I’ve ever tried. Best of all, the friends I made go with me are still speaking to me.
- Jessica’s “Daily Affirmation”: This toddler’s uplifting pep talk went viral a few years ago, but has recently made a resurgence and I’m not mad about it. Whether it’s your hair or your pajamas or your whole house, I hope you too have things you like and believe you can do anything good!
I’m happy to report I made it safely back to SF, and even happier to report my four-day migraine has finally subsided. Is it possible my silent apartment was, in fact, deafening after eight days of nonstop fun with two nieces, two dogs and family galore?
- RIO 2016: If you know anything about me from 2012 and 2014, you know “obsessed” is an understatement for how I feel about the Olympics. The opening ceremonies in Rio are Friday, and I can’t quite wait to fill the DVR with gymnastics, beach volleyball, swimming, sailing and speedwalking.
- Local Olympians: It wouldn’t be fair to mention my love for the games without highlighting alumni of my high school and college Greek life, respectively. Ryan Lochte already has 11 Olympic swimming medals, so why not add some more to the collection — and with a new ‘do? And Paige Railey hopes to sail her way to victory in her second Olympic games. Good luck, FL friends!
- Cosmo + Tasha Tie the Knot: In non-Olympics news, a good friend from my Tampa days will marry the love of his life in Napa next week. The celebrations start Friday, though, so it’s a good a time as ever to wish them well. Cheers to all this next chapter will bring, you two — I can’t wait to celebrate!
- U.S. Men’s Basketball Sings Vanessa Carlton: Is there anything better than a bunch of grown men, who are professional basketball players, singing a sickly sweet pop song? I submit that there is not. Carmelo just isn’t having it, but the other guys seem to know a good thing when they hear it.
How’s my week going? My contact ripped while inside my eye today. You’re welcome for that visual.
Not to fear! Here are some other, hopefully less vomit-inducing presents:
- Brooklyn Nine-Nine: The Olympics are over, so I had to find something new to binge-watch. Thank goodness for Andy Samberg and this delightful little cop comedy. The supporting characters are equally entertaining and ridiculous.
- MikWiki’s Birthday: My friend, my muse, my everything. This Brooklyn guy is one of my best friends and has stuck by me for more than 10 years. He deserves the world … or at least another Xtina tour!
- Atlantic City: We celebrated Mike’s birthday in AC last weekend, and let me tell you: It’s absolutely a place you should be for 24 hours at most. What a clusterfuck. But, a fun clusterfuck and I can’t wait for the next visit!
- “Dirrty” – Christina Aguilera: I couldn’t possibly do a tribute without including his muse, his everything. This track, in particular, will always remind me of Mike because his choreography to it is ON. POINT.
In the five months since my dad’s death, there are many things I’ve left unsaid. Many blog posts I’ve drafted, many journal entries I’ve crafted, many people I’ve shafted.
There have been countless tears without nearly as much closure as I expected.
And isn’t that so stupid? How can I expect anything?
Sure, I’ve been to more than 20 funerals for various friends & family — but nothing prepares you for the loss of an immediate family member.
I’ve gone through many stages, sometimes simultaneously. My laughter over a fond memory bubbles up anger and resentment for not flying home more often in the three months between his diagnosis and death.
The anger continued last night, when an NBC reporter questioned Olympic skier Bode Miller about his brother’s death. Overcome with emotion, Miller was unable to finish the interview.
I was reeling over the reporter’s inability to recognize she should stop asking questions and just shut the hell up. But Miller is more gracious than I, and he understood she had no idea he would break down at that moment.
Everyone deals with grief differently … that’s no surprise. What is surprising, though, is how often people make these situations about themselves.
They don’t know how to deal with the loss. They can’t handle seeing you cry. They can’t imagine what you’re going through.
What they don’t realize is that sometimes, they don’t need to do anything — just be there for you.
I’ve held my tongue and left many things unsaid in the months since my dad died.
Part of me wants to let go of my guilt that I didn’t say enough when he was alive.
Part of me wants to lash out every time someone tries to change the subject, when I really just want to cry it out for a few minutes.
Part of me wants the words to come out, free of judgment, instead of bottling them up for fear of burdening someone else.
And all of me wants him back here just for one day, just so I can say everything I didn’t.
It’s only fitting that I focus this week on the Winter Olympics in Sochi. Don’t even think about questioning me on it, because I’m super exhausted and at my wit’s end. You’ve been warned.
- The Bilodeau Brothers: Moguls skier Alex Bilodeau dedicated his recent gold-medal win to his brother, Frederic, who was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy as a kid. Good luck reading this without bawling like a baby.
- Shaun White’s Hair: Can we all just collectively take a minute to appreciate The Flying Tomato’s decision to look like an adult? He may not have won gold, but he sure won my heart. He should still lose that earring, though.
- Team USA Mittens: These were the so-called culprits behind JCPenney’s ridiculous Super Bowl tweets, but I still want a pair. Who knows? Maybe it’ll convince my generation to GET OFF THEIR PHONES for once.
- “Purple Haze” – Jimi Hendrix: Each Olympics brings an earworm that you just hear over and over for three weeks straight. This is Sochi’s — and it’s not entirely NBC’s fault! Thanks for nothing, Cititbank, with this obnoxious commercial.
I’m not sure whether I’m still mourning the end of the Olympics or just missing my boyfriend (Big Ben) terribly, but this week has me overly obsessed with all things LONDON. I’m not apologizing for it; I just thought you should know.
- Jane Green: My favorite Brit-Chick-Lit author never disappoints. “Jemima J” and “Straight Talking” are longtime personal favorites, and I’m about to dig into “The Patchwork Marriage” next.
- “Made in Chelsea”: I stumbled upon this import Monday night after watching “Sex and the City” reruns and avoiding the Pittsburgh-Kansas City game (that Big Ben and I need to talk). I’m totally hooked on the lives of Caggie, Spencer and the other young socialites.
- Daniel Craig: I’ve yet to see the latest Bond flick, but I know Mr. Craig’s piercing eyes and killer physique will satisfy plenty. Oh, and the action scenes. Yeah, those will be great.
- Adele: Speaking of “Skyfall,” I love this songbird’s dramatic soundtrack release. Her adorable baby boy makes her even more endearing — I just wish she and boyfriend Simon would name the kid, already!
Despite the end of the Olympics, I am hanging in there. (The viral meme of McKayla Maroney and BuzzFeed’s post-Olympic coverage help.) Onto new obsessions we go:
- Shark Week: I’ve never really gotten into this annual obsession with all things sharky, but it’s the 25th year of scaring people out of the water so I figure it deserves a nod. Duuun-dun, duuun-dun.
- Slick Rick: Today is the 17th anniversary of my dad’s stroke, and about the zillionth day I’ve been thankful for his survival. Here’s looking at you, big guy. You’re a total BA.
- Best of the Bay 2012: Creative Loafing’s contest returns with the chance to name your local favorites. Hint: I know a really good blog … plus this food blog, brewery, non-profit and photographer.
- Beauty and the Beat: Many thanks to my friend, Jonathon, who introduced me to this parody of a Disney classic. Ghetto fab and fun, it’s the best of both worlds — unlike that Hannah Montana chick.
The video features widow Lynn reading from Mitch’s personal notebooks, including jokes and insight for aspiring writers. It’s heartbreaking to watch her go through his collection, but it’s inspiring and heartwarming as well.
I remember hearing of Mitch’s death when I was a senior in high school and immediately calling a close friend who was a fellow fan.
The man had a million one-liners — some smart and some silly — but all hilarious. Check out his Comedy Central special, which was my introduction to Hedberg, and remember: Write it down.