It’s the most wonderful time of the year and I’m spending it in New York with some of my very favorite people. So far, we’ve managed to clock in more than 11 miles of walking, the Museum of Mathematics, countless tasty treats, and — tonight — we’ll add The Rockettes to the list.
I couldn’t be happier to spend this time with my mom, aunt, uncle and cousins. We don’t see each other often, and when we do, it’s not a collective vacation. I feel incredibly blessed to be here with them, and I hope time slows down juuust a little bit during the rest of our trip.
A more reflective year-end post is coming, but I’m just enjoying living in these moments for now. Cheers, y’all!
In case you didn’t know it, Christmas is in five days, people. FIVE. If you’re like most of the folks in my circle, it kind of snuck up on you and now you’re stressing to get some gifts in time. Well have no fear, y’all. I’m here to save the day:
- Ban.do Agenda: You know how there are just some products that have a cult-like following, thousands of reviews, and are both functional and fashionable? The ban.do agenda is at the top of that list for me, as I’ve committed to switching over and am completely in love. There are different options to keep the party planner in your life organized, and it ships quickly too!
- A Subscription Service: These days, we’re all about automating. Whether it’s curating your wine selection or replacing your razors without a second thought, check out this list of subscription services your Nice List will love. No matter your budget or recipient, there’s something for everyone.
- GiftTree Basket: The ultimate in gift baskets, GiftTree really knows how to make a statement. I recently received an ultra decadent collection from a friend, and it inspired me to gift my boss with a spa-centric basket for a restful and restorative holiday. Again, there are tons of options for different price points and recipients, and it ships next-day without an extra cost. Boom!
- Your Presence 😉 Finally, there’s often no better way to celebrate the holidays than being with the ones you love. While last-minute travel plans aren’t exactly relaxing, it can help put the cheer back in your spirit. I’m more than pumped to say I’ll be spending most of next week with some family members in NYC, and it’ll be worth every dingdang penny.
However you celebrate the holidays — and no matter what gifts you send (or not) — I’m wishing you and yours a wonderful winter week ahead. Be safe and stay thirsty, my friends!
For the first time in many weeks, I have mostly good news to share. It’s a Christmas (season) miracle! And while we’ll kick off on a somber note, I can’t express enough how trying 2017 has been for so many. The hope of what 2018 will soon bring is about all that’s getting me through right now.
- Remembering Mayor Lee: Yesterday, me and my San Francisco neighbors awoke to the news of the unexpected passing of our Mayor, Ed Lee. He was 65. After suffering a heart attack in a Safeway Monday night, he died at SF General in the early morning hours, leaving behind his wife and daughters, and a legacy that won’t soon be forgotten. No matter your opinion of his policy, no one can argue with how good a man he was and how hard he fought to protect SF and its residents.
- Holiday Soul with OIGC: From a touching tribute to Mayor Lee to appearances by Cece Winans and more, last night’s performance of the Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir with the San Francisco Symphony was incredible. I’m normally quite grinchy when it comes to holiday cheer, but my two-sizes-too-small heart will always beat for outstanding voices joining in worship.
- Doug Jones Wins: What’s that glimmer of hope amid all the bulllshit 2017 brought? Alabama chose people over party last night, in the highly contested seat for Senate vacated by (now Attorney General) Jeff Sessions. Take all of the chatter and “it’s temporary” talk out of it — this is a HUGE win for the often marginalized and silenced victims of sexual abuse. An extra special thank-you to the black voters who clearly supported the cause, and without whom, this victory wouldn’t be possible.
- “Oh Happy Day” – “Sister Act 2”: Not only was this my favorite song from the movie, but it also made an appearance at the Holiday Soul concert AND accurately sums up my feelings on Alabama. Oh, and anything with Whoopi Goldberg and/or Lauryn Hill gets me going. Need I say more?
OK, party people: I know we’re all feeling like 2017 is never going to freaking end, and the 25 days until Jan. 1 are going to take forever.
Lest we forget how eager we were for this year, though? “It has to be better,” we said. Ha! How foolish. In this 24-hour news cycle and constant need to publish our opinions about such news, there is no escaping it. I do my best to keep off a soapbox, particularly when it comes to social media. I’ve found the fine folks at SNL can often turn my clusterf— of floating thoughts into easily consumable content.
And since I’m driving the bitter bus from Taggart and Leavitt going to FSU; Trump and the RNC choosing party over public safety; and the late-night, last-minute tax deal I’ll just urge you all to take a little journey.
Even if you’ve seen it before, I suggest you pack your bags for a revisit:
My favorite four-letter word as of late is probably not the one you’re thinking. “Woof” is the only accurate expression I can think of after a very full week thus far, with no end in sight. First-world problems at their finest, I don’t get a “night off” until Tuesday. The 19th. WOOF indeed.
And in much bigger issues, we have the fallout of sexual harassment nightmares (not for all of the accused, naturally), racist remarks from Trump (cough cough), the threat of nuclear war… shall I go on? 2017, in another word, is a clusterfuck.
Sometimes the only thing to keep me sane is music. It might sound silly or counter-intuitive to facing reality, but a relaxation playlist is about all I can handle in the wake of living nightmares and a 24-hour bad news cycle.
When I get home tonight (after my dinner plans, of course), I’ll be lighting a candle and tuning into this 4-hour instrumental savior. Bonus: I only have to listen to it six times in a row to get through a whole day! Enjoy.
It’s the inevitable WO-before-Thanksgiving post, so I won’t be offended if you tune out before you hit the end of this sentence.
If you’re still reading this, then I’m thankful for YOU. Those suckers who abandoned already are dead to me!
And for real, this year has brought so much change to my life, I have to be grateful for the many blessings — even when I’m missing my former studio apartment or relaxed office vibe.
I’m thankful to have a roof over my head, gainful employment, friends who treat me like family, electricity, food, running water, the means to take care of myself, and so many other “basics” that really aren’t basic at all. (And, I’m not referencing Pumpkin Spice Latte basic-ness.)
While my travel plans for Thanksgiving changed, who knew it was for good reason after all? Now I have a work trip Monday, to interview candidates for an open role on my team.
When my job hunt seemed endlessly futile, it culminated in TWO offers within 24 hours of each other — allowing me the choice to make my next move, which not everyone is afforded.
When my struggles have sometimes felt endless and disheartening, I can appreciate how small they are compared to the world’s larger issues. I can be an agent of change for women’s rights, sexual assault victims, hurricane survivors, healthcare issues, and more — and I am still allowed to think my small problems feel really big to me, too.
We’re all in this together, and I’m hopeful this boiling, ever-changing social climate we’re in will soon reflect a lot less judgment and a lot more compassion.
However you’re spending this Thanksgiving holiday, I wish you all continued blessings, love and kindness.
There ain’t no rest for the wicked, so let’s dive right on in this week:
- Haircuts for Homeless: I’m not saying this story will make you cry, but I’m not saying it won’t. Brennon Jones is a barber in Philadelphia and gives free haircuts to the homeless there. Sean Johnson was a stranger to Jones, chatting about the service; and months later, Johnson called to meet him at — surprise! — a space he’d bought for Jones to set up shop. Who am I kidding, cue the ugly cry.
- Winter Is Coming: This has nothing to do with “Game of Thrones,” except for the obvious tagline. Winter in SF is legit on its way, evidenced by the nightly mid-40 temps and scattered storms all week. Snuggle up, buttercup. It’s about to get frosty in here (not really; I know it was 20 degrees in NYC last week). I’m just really good at being dramatic and blame it on my thin Floridian blood.
- The Ramen Bar: With cold weather comes hot soup! The absolute top of my soup list lately is this delightful lunch spot, which serves spicy pork, tasty tonkotsu and ridiculous ramen recipes I’ve only dreamed of before. I especially enjoyed it today, while catching up with a former boss lady whom I love. Oh, another bonus: Their Boba tea is to die for.
- “Thunder” – Imagine Dragons: It could be the stormy weather or it could be my need to get really pumped to get through the days lately, but regardless, this song is the ticket. I don’t know why I’m surprised every time I like one of their singles, but they continue to impress me and get stuck all up in my ears.