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.
- 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!
- 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.
- Hydro Flask: You may have noticed my restroom references, and I have this little guy to
blamethank. 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!
- “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.
Re: Ariana and Pete’s engagement, I’m still processing this information and have so many questions about two people I’ve never met. Don’t @ me.
As I try to unpack that, I think it’s only fitting you take a trip down memory lane with these longtime (2 years?) friends and newfound lovers.
…That was the only sketch I could find. So here’s some other Ariana-only highlights:
I’m gonna tell you straight: I had a 9-hour safety training today, so pls excuse any typos. Now wouldn’t that be a great email signature “sent from my iPhone”?
- Remembering Kate Spade: The tragic news of Kate Spade’s apparent suicide sent shock waves in my circles yesterday. How could someone who seemingly had it all take their own life? As of this writing, I don’t know exactly what mental health or other struggles Spade endured. I do know, though, her legacy won’t soon be forgotten. For more, read one author’s take on what she meant for women. As always, if you or someone you know is struggling, there are resources available. Including me ❤
- “Am I There Yet?: The Loop-de-Loop, Zig-Zagging Journey to Adulthood” – Mari Andrew: You may have followed author and artist Mari Andrew’s doodles for years on Instagram; or you may have just learned of her work with her annual, viral Mother’s Day illustration (or you may be just hearing of her now). In any case, her debut book illuminates more of Andrews’s personal life, coupled with those oh-so-relatable drawings and doodles.
- Mari Andrew in SF: After I myself became familiar with her work in 2016 with this Identifying the Problem post, I knew I just had to learn more about this Mari Andrew woman. The day has finally come and I’m super pumped for her event tonight at the JCC in SF. I may secretly check the Warriors/Cavs score but am otherwise thrilled to have the chance to hear her speak about #HowToAdult.
- “No Tears Left to Cry” – Ariana Grande”: I’m still on the fence about her new relationship with Pete Davidson (don’t even get me started on ScarJo-CoJo’s), but it’s impossible to escape this bop so here we are. The always intriguing, incredibly talented Grande puts out an earworm like no other and this latest offering is no exception.
Just when you think reality can’t get any scarier, something like the Manchester bombing happens — at a freaking Ariana Grande concert. And we all stop… and maybe we post about how terrible it is; maybe we donate money to help the victims (conversion chart here); maybe we put others before our own needs for a few minutes… and a day or a week or even a month may pass. And then something insane happens — again — to innocent people. Whether that’s as senseless as a terrorist attack or as critical as ensuring healthcare coverage, how are we ever able to feel like the future isn’t futile? If you have an answer, please do let me know. Here’s what’s helping me cope in the meantime:
- Mister Rogers: I read this series of tweets last night and promptly cried my eyes out. Happy tears, but tears nonetheless. Entertainment Weekly writer Anthony Breznican recaps the time he happened to meet Mister Rogers in an elevator, then proceeded to have a neighborly conversation about loss. It’ll pull at all of your heartstrings, and hopefully remind you how light can be found in the depths of darkness.
- Service Dog’s Yearbook Photo: I couldn’t possibly talk about coping without including some four-legged friends. Alpha is AJ Schalk’s service dog, and 10/10 would recommend him for being a good pup. AJ asked his high school’s yearbook staff if Alpha could be included, since he’s clearly a vital member of the student body, and they happily obliged. Is that not the happiest lil’ fella you’ve ever seen?
- 25 Hilarious and Wholesome Tweets: Are you sensing a theme here? Whatever your stance on BuzzFeed as an information source, I will forever appreciate the site for its ability to make me smile. These tweets are each sweet and simple, and should bring a smile to your face as well. If not a smile, then perhaps some Chloe side-eye?
- “Here Comes the Sun” – The Beatles: I can’t think of another song that almost immediately brings me to tears each time I hear it. Again, they’re happy tears, and sometimes it’s just a glimmer of a tear, but something about the melody and uplifting lyrics puts me in a bubble-wrapped glass case of emotion. It reminds me of my dad; it reminds me of hope; it reminds me there are better days ahead.
Considering I’m now 29 weeks and six days away from 30, I’m feeling much older and wiser than I did yesterday. Kidding — I’m still making terrible choices, stumbling and (hopefully) learning as I go. What else has kept me busy this week? Keep calm and read on.
- Son Saves Mum’s Business: Get your tissues ready, because this is bound to make you weep. A young man in England tweeted about his mum’s knitting stall at a craft fair, which sadly wasn’t making any sales. Twitter exploded in response with tons of orders, saving her business and putting Martyn as the forerunner for Son of the Year. Go ahead, cry it out.
- USF Football: What a roller coaster week it’s been for my alma mater’s football team. Our bowl game was announced a few days ago, with us heading to the Birmingham Bowl against University of South Carolina. But now, Oregon poached our head coach, Willie Taggart, and an interim coach will lead us for the game. Taggart’s four seasons at USF improved exponentially, with this season being the best in school history at 10-2. He leaves big shoes to fill, and a hole in my heart. Thanks for the memories, Coach.
- “Side to Side” – Ariana Grande f. Nicki Minaj: Did you know? It’s impossible to book a spin class without getting this song stuck in your head. Although the lyrics and video lend themselves to PG-13 concepts, people lost their damn minds when they realized what it’s actually about. Whatever the motivation, though, it’s one hell of an anthem.
- “Hairspray Live!”: Speaking of Miss Grande, I’ve set my DVR to record her and the all-star cast in tonight’s showing of “Hairspray Live!” I’m normally not a fan of these live-action musicals, but I was impressed with their showing in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and I’ve always had a soft spot for the story. Will you be watching?
I feel like all I can ever say lately is, “I’m tired.” Between crazy projects at work and crazy fun social events, I’m just run down and in need of Wittyburg time. Until I (ever?) learn how to relax, here’s what’s kept me smiling:
- lovejpep: My dear friend Justine’s birthday is tomorrow, so what better way to celebrate than catch up with her blog? It’s inspiring, thought-provoking and incredibly charming. Happy birthday, boobear!
- My High School Reunion: It’s still more than a year away, but some of my classmates are so eager, we’ve got a full-fledged #reuniongate on our hands. Their public passion about gay bars, family events and crepe paper is entertaining, if nothing else.
- East End Bar & Grill: This neighborhood spot is a new fave of mine for two very important reasons: They hosted my alumna group for a Mass Comm grad happy hour AND they have a buffalo sampler that will change your life. Priorities, people.
- “Bang Bang” – Jessie J, Ariana Grande & Nicki Minaj: Spotify delivers once again — this time, with a trio of badass voices. It debuted yesterday and is already climbing the charts. Just try to get through it without dancing like a maniac.