My watch says it’s 7:45pm, which I fully believe after a pre-dawn wake-up in California and a nonstop flight to Florida. It’s been another whirlwind of a week, but it’s all been leading up to tomorrow, when I’ll join my dear friend Jess and her family for a four-day cruise to Cozumel.
Hurricanes Irma and Maria have changed our itinerary, but they’re not stopping us from celebrating Jess’s birthday and cancer-free diagnosis. I’ve always known Jess to be strong, funny and full of perspective, but the last year has only further proven to me how remarkable she is.
I can’t put into words how grateful I am for her friendship and being able to celebrate with her this weekend. It’s sure to be a once-in-a-lifetime trip and I can’t wait share how much fun we had when I return!
As you already know, my family has been at the forefront of my mind while Hurricane Irma whipped her way across the state. On top of that, September brings a slew of family birthdays (we’re already through three of the five!), and today itself marks four years since my dad’s death. Oh, and I’m due to be back in Florida next week to celebrate a friend’s birthday and cancer-free diagnosis with a cruise around the Keys and Cozumel.
Shall I state the obvious? My emotions are on overdrive. I’m exhausted, while ever-grateful for the people who’ve shown constant love, support and thoughtfulness. Particularly today, as I think about the four years we’ve had without my dad, I am humbled by outreach from others.
I don’t always post or share how I’m feeling about that loss. It’s not because I’ve forgotten or because I’m “over it” or because I’m not hurting. Quite the opposite. I think about him multiple times a day and fear I’ll always be hurting. And oh, how I hate people to feel sorry for me.
Just this morning, I struggled with the way someone responded to my mom’s sentiments about my dad. We’re told there’s nothing wrong you can say when someone is grieving, but in the past four years, I’ve learned there are absolutely insensitive and thoughtless comments, which turn my grief into anger and take my energy away from what’s important.
And what’s important, to me, is reflecting on the many years we had him here. Looking back through our shared emails, texts and Facebook posts. Doing what Slick Rick loved to do: Cracking open a cold beer and watching The Weather Channel (because he loved it, with or without a hurricane to track). Listening to golden oldies and complaining about kids today. Typing in ALL CAPS and caring for others any way I can.
This beer and post are for you, Big Guy. I hope you’re getting a kick out of watching over us each day.
Images courtesy of family archives
It’s taking all of me to not get political up in here, so let’s just breeze on past the pleasantries and jump into other topics:
- Air Conditioning: We had record-breaking temps in SF last weekend, and while 100 degrees doesn’t sound all that bad, consider experiencing it without central air. My tower fan became my BFF, but it wasn’t enough for Saturday’s misery. Thankfully, a friend and I sought refuge in stores and bars to beat the heat. Woof.
- Irma Prep: I’m not talking about LuLaRoe, y’all. As yet another hurricane makes its way to the States, I’ve got my eye on Irma. Paths aren’t always predictable, but I’m staying in close contact with family and friends about their evacuation plans. In the meantime, all I can really do is sit and wait. And tell the same thing to my thoughtful friends and co-workers here who keep asking about it 😉
- NOT Fantasy Football: Are you as surprised as I am? After about eight years of juggling fantasy teams with pools. pick ‘ems and survivor leagues, I’m taking a break. Well, from the fantasy part at least. I’ve declined four invitations and couldn’t be more excited to just watch the games this year without a ton of invested interest. Bonus: I won’t have player paralysis because I have someone in one league but am up against them in another.
- Magz’s Big Birthday: What’s the most exciting thing tomorrow brings? My momma has a milestone birthday to celebrate! I won’t talk numbers, because I am a lady, but I have high hopes for the year ahead. The best is yet to come for my favorite mother, and I can’t wait to see what her next year brings. 143 always.
In case it wasn’t clear from me posting this late in the day, it’s been another wild week. I’m extremely excited for the long weekend ahead, particularly because I don’t have a whole lot planned. It’s my first unscheduled weekend since April, so I’m pretty pumped. Here’s what else is on my mind:
- Help for Harvey Victims: The largest storm to hit Texas in more than 50 years continues to wreak havoc, devastating thousands of homes and displacing countless residents. As always, I urge you to donate anything you can to help the victims affected — particularly because Harvey’s on his way to Louisiana next. No matter which causes you care about, I think we can all agree this is one worth giving to.
- A USF Weekend: My good ol’ alma mater kicked off the college football season against San Jose State this past Saturday, and I had an absolute blast with about a hundred others at the tailgate and game. Bonus: We came back for a win, 42-22! Then on Sunday, we went wine tasting with a new friend, who we met while volunteering the weekend prior, and who happens to work for USF. Small world. Go Bulls!
- Wattle Creek Winery: That wine tasting I mentioned? Wouldn’t you know, it was right in SF’s own Ghirardelli Square. I generally avoid that tourist trap like the plague, but when I learned our new friend is a member — and I am too, via a sister winery — I just had to try their Sunday Funday promo. And, a Ghirardelli sundae after a few glasses of wine doesn’t hurt either.
- “Look What You Made Me Do” – Taylor Swift: Uh, duh. Seems like you can’t go more than an hour since its release Friday without hearing it, or uncovering all of the hidden meanings, or seeing all of the records it’s breaking. As for me? I’m guilty, guilty, guilty on all accounts. I don’t love every single lyric of this one, but damn, Taylor does it best when she’s pissed.
It’s another week of pure crazy over here. Traveling up and down the state, working 12-hour day, balancing a social life, trying to get sleep… it’s all too much for my little Witty brain and body to handle.
The best way I can describe it is insane in the membrane, so that’s what I’ve got you:
I’m hopeful next week will bring a bit more sanity — and obsessions — for us all.
I feel like a broken record when, week after week, some national news takes precedence over my thoughts and heart. It’s nothing compared to what the people directly affected are feeling. And I don’t expect the world to be all sunshine and rainbows. But is anyone else completely exhausted by all of this hatred and violence?
I studied journalism — I know that “if it bleeds, it leads.” Yet it feels like we can’t even get so much as a day anymore without some terribly traumatic event being splashed all over the news, social media and our day-to-day conversations. Such conversations are important. I’m not denying that. But I do wonder how long we can possibly continue to shout (into vacuums) at each other, when not many seem willing to listen?
- Help Heather and Other Charlottesville Victims: The President may be reluctant to say it, but I’m not: White supremacists are domestic terrorists. There is no room in this country for such ignorant bigotry and violence. Don’t @ me comparing this to Black Lives Matter. Seriously. Pour your energy into something useful, like donating to help the victims in Charlottesville, Va.
- Lady Gaga: I can think of very few artists who are so consistently vocal about being inclusive and accepting of all humans. I’ve been a fan of hers for years, and finally had the chance to see her perform live Sunday night — her first-ever stadium show in the US. She spoke about Saturday’s events, of course, and brought 40,000 to their feet — and many of us to tears as well.
- “The Cure” – Lady Gaga: Something about this recent release of Gaga’s really strikes a chord with me. Maybe it’s because all we need to hear sometimes is, “I will be right by your side.” Whatever the reason, it’s been stuck in my head for days and I’m not mad about it.
- The Summer of Love: Isn’t it ironic, Alanis? Don’t you think? I walked into the de Young Museum’s exhibition about The Summer of Love on Saturday, having no knowledge of the Charlottesville events. An hour later, and I couldn’t unhear the news. What a blissful hour it was, though; exploring fashion, art, culture and more from one swinging summer that defined San Francisco 50 years ago.
Mild spoiler alert: If you haven’t seen this week’s “Game of Thrones” or “The Bachelorette,” you may want to stop reading here…
- Applebee’s: Remember when Aidan from SATC was the voice of Applebee’s, and the tagline was “Eatin’ good in the neighborhood”? Ahh, sweet nostalgia. I recently revisited my old HS stomping grounds for after-party karaoke and it didn’t disappoint. 2-4-1 margaritas, shared appetizers and a TWELVE-DOLLAR BILL. Sometimes, it’s good to go back to your roots — and cheaper prices.
- Game of Thrones: I know, I’ve already mentioned GoT in these obsessions before, but this past week’s episode was so damn incredible, I would be a fool to forget it. My superstitious side says it was because it was Episode 07.04, which happens to be my birthday. And my logical side says it was because they’ve been building so many storylines and it was about time for some MAJOR stuff to go down this season. Hot damn 🔥
- “The Bachelorette” Finale… NOT: Booooo, hiss. We waited all season for Rachel Lindsay to pick a perfect mate and I’m quite disappointed with her final rose. The second place suitor wasn’t ready to propose after six weeks of dating, which sounds completely normal outside of Bachelor Nation. Unfortunately, Rachel claimed to have found the real thing elsewhere, and while I wish them well, I don’t understand how she literally cried off her eyelashes over the runner-up and got engaged to someone else the next day. Reality TV at its finest…
- “White Liar” – Miranda Lambert: That karaoke session I mentioned? Well, Daytona’s finest chose this little ditty and my youngest cousin swore up and down it was a Reba McEntire song. I don’t know if I’ve ever laughed as much as I have while hearing his arguments, but I do know I’ll always enjoy hearing this one when it comes up in my playlist.