Happy International Women’s Day! I hope you’re all able to celebrate the women in your lives every day, but especially so today. If you’re anything like me, you dug out your LRD and toasted the fab females you’re lucky to love 😉
- Shannon’s visiting!: Hot off the heels of my former roomie’s visit, my cousin Shannon arrives tomorrow! It’ll be her first trip to California and I hope to make it a memorable one. She always brings out the big kid in me, and I always… well, I always entertain her with my impatience for tourists. Just look at those mischievous smirks — it should be a hoot!
- Beach Blanket Babylon: As much as I don’t love tourists or touristy things, I will happily see this campy, historical revue in SF anytime! I took Erica last week and am excited to return tomorrow night with Shannon. The hats and humor are outrageous, the songs are fantastic and it truly is a can’t-miss experience.
- JLSF March Madness Kickoff Party: As Provisional (AKA first-year) members of the Junior League of San Francisco, we put on a fundraiser for the League. Our March Madness Kickoff Party is next Thursday, March 16, and is sure to be a success. We’ll have a silent auction, wine pull, photo booth and games — what’s not to love? Get your tickets (or make a donation) here.
- “Girls” – Beyoncé: This isn’t my fave of Beyoncé’s body of work, but there is arguably no better female anthem than this. Top five, at least. I heard it blasting in my barre class this morning, on my Chariot ride to work (props to Maria for the lady power!), and am pumping it now for good vibes only. Who run this mother?
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.
After five packed days back in NYC, it’s safe to say it’s a good thing I no longer live there. My skin, liver, wallet and waistline desperately needed a break from the city that never sleeps. Side note: I, too, apparently never sleep while there. Good thing I’ve got an SNL-laden tribute this week to keep spirits high in my disoriented state.
- Trump’s Halloween “Apprentice” Promo: OK, so this is obviously a throwback to when Darrell Hammond was the king of impersonating Donald Trump, and not Alec Baldwin. It’s kind of eerie to watch it back now, as Trump is now one of our candidates for President, and the impression is dead-on. I recall giggling endlessly at his attempt at an evil laugh, so I hope you’ll enjoy it, too.
- Ashlee Simpson’s Lip-sync Hoedown: In that very same episode, Ashlee Simpson gave us a dance to remember forever. She delivered hit single “Pieces of Me” just fine in the first performance, but in her second shot at the stage, that same song — with vocals — began playing. What would I do in that situation? God only knows. But her awkward jig is burned into our brains, so I hope I would have come up with something a little less memorable.
- Melaniade: Of particular relevance with the impending election was last week’s pre-filmed short, featuring the women in Donald Trump’s life taking him down (and taking him back) à la Beyoncé. If this doesn’t make you laugh, I don’t know what will. It also might make you cringe, but hey, that’s kind of what SNL does best.
- Bruno Mars Is “24K Magic”: I was disappointed to see Emily Blunt hosting last week — not because she married John Krasinski and I loathe her for it — but because I’ve always enjoyed Bruno Mars as a host/musical guest, and he was just singing this time. The thing is, though, he’s never just singing. He’s a performer through and through, and his dynamic dancers put on quite the show.
- Cider Summit SF: A new friend invited me to this event Saturday and it did not disappoint. A little disorganized at first, but for it being just the third year, I was pleasantly surprised. More than 50 cider vendors, plus a few snack food companies, shared samples of their supply. Delicious!
- St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church: I’ve tested out a few Catholic churches in SF, but hadn’t found one yet that really spoke to me. During a lovely morning hike with a friend, we stumbled upon this church and I went back Sunday night for mass. I’m hopeful this will become my new home church and will keep you all posted.
- A Backyard BBQ: Friends of mine from Florida moved out here a few years ago, and recently moved into a much bigger home that’s perfect for entertaining. Their Sunday barbecue was the perfect way to enjoy cold drinks, sunny weather and engaging people.
- Rachel Roy vs. Rachael Ray: By now, you’ve likely heard about Beyoncé’s visual album “Lemonade” and the fallout toward designer Rachel Roy. Enter “The Beyhive,” AKA Queen B’s fans, who lashed out mistakenly at Food Network celeb Rachael Ray. Luckily, the chef has spunk and responded with a new lemonade recipe. Oh, the hilarity.
It starts with JAY-FREAKING-Z.
Put it on, and just try and tell me you don’t love it.
Returning host LL Cool J tucked his ears into a Kangol hat and shared a handful of awful puns to bring music superstars together tonight.
His personal stories were long-winded and confusing, though not quite on par with Jodie Foster’s now infamous Emmy speech.
The red carpet coverage was entertaining, but can we all back off from pushing the social media stuff? Hashtag: It’s overkill.
The Fashions: Some snoozes, some surprises
- Finally dressing her age, Taylor Swift’s flowing gown was stunning. And that’s the only nice thing I’ll say about her tonight.
- Jennifer Lopez clearly missed the restricted dress-code memo (and later joked about it). Honey, your cooch is loose. Oh also? You’re FORTY-THREE.
- Usually adventurous Beyonce donned a bland pantsuit, but she’s Queen B and looked gorgeous anyway. Former DC3 band mate Kelly Rowland wowed in my fave dress of the night.
- Katy Perry said she channeled Priscilla Presley, and I think The King himself would be pleased with her tribute. Va-va-voooom — but where were notoriously wacky Lady Gaga and Nicki Manaj?
- Katy’s BFF Rihanna looked far more glamorous than I’ve seen her in a while, and first-timer Carly Rae Jepsen slinked and sparkled in a gorgeous gown.
- No idea what Adele was thinking, but I’ll allow post-pregnancy brain as her excuse.
The Performances: Where actors prove their relevance for attending
- Taylor Swift opened with that awful never, ever song — in a surprising departure from her sickly sweet scenery. Still no rhythm, Tay Tay. Like, ever.
- Sir Elton John and Ed Sheeran collaborated to perform a dazzling rendition of the latter’s hit single “The A Team.”
- Neil Patrick Harris included Barney Stinson trademark “legendary” in his introduction of fun. for their sweet ballad, “Carry On.”
- Quintessential douche John Mayer stood with icon Bonnie Raitt. They announced Miranda Lambert and tour mate Dierks Bentley’s too-loud dual duets. Say that five times fast!
- Is Johnny Depp homeless now? He sure looks it. Mumford & Sons strummed and sung an electric “I Will Wait” to shift our focus away from Depp’s derelict designs.
- Beyonce and Ellen DeGeneres paired up perfectly to introduce OMG JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE. His “Suit and Tie” world premiere was simply fantastical, even better in, you guessed it: black and white. Jay Z joined in because he can and we loved him for it.
- Maroon 5 led with “Daylight” before Alicia Keys brought it home with “Girl on Fire.” Adam Levine is better speaking, not singing. Alicia’s crooning (and drumming!) saved my ears yet again.
- Rihanna and Mickey Echo belted “Stay” to a silenced crowd. Finally, a Ri Ri song I don’t hate!
- 1 Broke Girl Kat Dennings announced The Black Keys, performing alongside Preservation Hall Jazz Band and Doctor John. Hipster magic was made and they lived happily ever after.
- Kelly Clarkson paid homage to Patti Page and Bonnie Tyler with respective renditions of “The Tennessee Waltz” and “A Natural Woman.” Get it, girl.
- The much-anticipated Bob Marley tribute kicked off with Bruno Mars and his lovable backup dancers, followed by powerhouse performers Sting, Rihanna and Damian and Ziggy Marley. Shout-out to everyone singing along, especially NPH and that one white guy with his arms crossed.
- The Lumineers nailed “Ho Hey” before introducing Jack White. The former was an entertaining escape; the latter was reminiscent of old jams to The White Stripes. Even Nicole Kidman said it was awesome.
- Newcomer Hunter Hayes warbled through “Wanted,” but I’m told that’s how it should sound. Carrie Underwood appeared with “Blown Away.” Yet another example of sound techs needing to check before they wreck!
- An acoustic and bilingual “Your Song” by Latin GRAMMY winner Juanes was soft and sweet before introducing Frank Ocean for “Forrest Gump.” Lieutenant Dan, ICE CREAM?!
- LL Cool J teamed up with Travis Barker and others to close the show. “WHADDUP” felt out of place, but I always enjoy a “No Sleep Till Brooklyn” nod.
The Winners: 3.5 hours of coverage, and only 11 televised gramaphones
- Spicy songsters Jennifer Lopez and Pitbull presented Best Pop Solo Performance to Adele for her live version of “Set Fire to the Rain.” In a 15ish-second speech, she held the award awkwardly and called J. Lo her good luck charm. Adorbs all around.
- Hot-this-moment Miguel and Wiz Khalifa worked the crowd in patterned suits before presenting Best Country Solo Performance to American (Idol) sweetheart Carrie Underwood for “Blown Away.” Her heartfelt speech was also short and sweet.
- Country’s favorite couple (right, guys?) Tim McGraw and Faith Hill awarded fun. with coveted Song of the Year honor for “We Are Young,” as performed with Janelle Monae. Many thanks were given to their fellow musicians, with Jay Z shouting back “You’re welcome!” Classic HOVA.
- Proud presenters Kelly Rowland and Nas announced first-ever Best Urban Contemporary Album winner Frank Ocean for Channel Orange. You mad, Chris Brown?
- Producer of the Year Dan Auerbach was announced by Pauly Perrette and my future first husband, Dave Grohl. They then honored Auerbach’s band mates, The Black Keys, with Best Rock Performance for “Lonely Boy.”
- Kaley Cuoco shouted alongside American Idol judge Keith Urban to present first AI winner Kelly Clarkson with Best Pop Vocal Album. She rambled and ran around like a crazy person. Perfection.
- Carly Rae Jepsen and Ne-Yo presented Jay Z, Kanye West, Frank Ocean and The Dream with Best Rap Song Collaboration. Mr. West was absent, but Jay Z killed again.
- Best Country Album went to The Zac Brown Band for Uncaged, and their thanks to the fans brought roars from the crowd.
- Eyelash line creator Katy Perry joked and presented Best New Artist to fun., who should definitely change that period to an exclamation point (NPH)! Their pee jokes were great too.
- The man, the legend, the symbol, the cane: Prince! He handed over the GRAMMY for Record of the Year to Gotye and Kimbra for “Somebody That I Used to Know.” No surprise there.
- 2012’s GRAMMY cleaner-upper, Adele, presented Album of the Year to Mumford & Sons for “Babel.” Their flirtation with the crowd (and Adele) was both humble and humorous.
Before its In Memoriam segment, The GRAMMY Foundation announced a brand-new category, set to begin in 2014: The Music Educator Award.
And speaking of education, the touching Sandy Hook tribute brought a wealth of performers together — and the crowd to its feet.
Did you watch? How do you think it compared to last year’s event?