I’m running on empty today, after being emotionally drained and awoken multiple times last night by what I thought was an alert in a dream. It wasn’t until 6am that I realized the alert was happening in real life, and it wasn’t until I was on a chair, smoke detector in hand, that I discovered it was coming from my beloved Jambox.
I must not have turned it off after its last use, so I had a woman’s voice tell me every 10 minutes or so to recharge the battery. Hint: This is not an ideal way to wake up.
All that to say, I’m ready to recharge myself and my Jambox.
- Before the Fall: I’ve been on a book binge lately, devouring the shelves of stories I bought months ago but hadn’t committed to reading. This novel details the events of a (fictional) horrific private plane crash from multiple perspectives, as we try to piece together what happened and why there are just two survivors. It left me breathless most of the way, but I was a bit disappointed in the final chapters. Still, I’d recommend the read — just not while you’re in-flight.
- Heavenly, Tahoe: I spent last weekend in Tahoe for a good friend’s 30th birthday celebration, marking my first adventure there in the winter (and with a bed)! We had our fill of snow games during the day, plus cozy cabin fun at night. Our backyard was a winter wonderland, making it hard to leave, so I’ll just need to find 15 other people to rent the house out with me again soon. Should be as easy as a Floridian sledding down a snowy hill, right?
- Basecamp Fitness: It’s only natural to try the countless fitness facilities SF has to offer. A friend brought us in for a free trial and we picked Plyo, AKA “the toughest class ever,” according to the girl next to me, who’s worked out there for a year. The schtick is simple: You do a minute on a resistance bike, a minute doing something else, then back to the bike and so on. You’re “done” in 35 minutes, although they encourage you to stay for the optional 10-minute abs session after. I’m sure I’ll be back soon to see how other classes compare.
- Pagan Idol: It’s the Tahoe birthday girl’s actual birthday, so we’re set to escape even further tonight — to a magical, tropical bar downtown. The tiki hut is reserved, the drinks will be flowing and I’m practicing my “luau” for the occasion. Added bonus: The excitement of tonight’s festivities are about the only thing getting me through today. And, the promise of a warm space away from the cold, rainy outdoors is even better!
We’ve already made it through a month of 2017, people! Can you believe it?!
I sure can’t, because these past four weeks have been so mentally and emotionally exhausting, I thought we were at least through May. My calendar still says “February 1,” so I’ll have to take its word.
- Santa Barbara: What’s the best way to escape all of your worries and problems? Get away. For reals. I’m thankful to have a dear friend who straight up asked my boss if I could skip town for a few days, and couldn’t be happier with the result of some time outside of reality. The pier, the people, the villa, the food (not in that order) were all incredible. I have a feeling I’ll be back again soon.
- Salt Cave: The highlight of our trip — for me — was spending time at Salt. We did a 45-minute “guided meditation” (a misnomer, as it was a barely audible recording that left us with 30 minutes of silence) in a full-on salt cave. We’re talking Himalayan salt on the walls, floor, ceiling! It was breathtaking and incredibly restorative to relax in a chilly room with purifying and calming properties. They also offer massages and yoga… yet another reason I see myself back in SB!
- Disrupted: My Misadventure in the Start-Up Bubble by Dan Lyons: A former co-worker recommended this book to me months ago and I finally dove in recently. It’s a fascinating look at the tech world I thought I knew, as Lyons is a lifelong journalist who’s laid off and begins working at a Boston start-up. If you can get through all of the intentionally annoying “awesome!” usage, I think you’ll enjoy. If nothing else, the perspective of a 50-something in a sea of 20-somethings is quite entertaining.
- ‘90s Playlist: Anyone who’s been in a car for more than an hour knows the importance of a good playlist. My friend and I are luckily like-minded musical geniuses, so we blasted all of the ‘90s nostalgia we could handle. From obvious faves like Backstreet Boys and Notorious B.I.G. to sometimes forgotten legends like Steps and M2M, these tunes actually made the six-hour drive fun.
Hurricane Matthew seems to have its sights set on the east coast of Florida. As my family and friends batten down the hatches, I’m using these distractions to weather the storm updates. Stay safe out there — lifelong Floridians are great at ignoring dramatic predictions, but this one looks like it could actually be a doozy.
- Lisa Frank on FB: What better return to childhood nostalgia than your favorite rainbow and animal enthusiast sharing Facebook updates? From recipes to products to memes and more, the posts always bring a smile to my face. Absolutely fabulous!
- Grape Stomping: One of my work teams had our quarterly outing yesterday, this time with grape stomping at Grgich Hills Estate. We tasted wines elsewhere, too, but this was easily the highlight of the day. Stomping away in barrels (while accidentally dressed as twins) was the perfect activity for a team-building Tuesday.
- “The Help”: I recently found this bestseller in a thrift store for just $1, so I promptly brought it home to enjoy. It took about four nights of voracious reading — it’s that well-written — to devour this story of black maids in 1960s Mississippi. Bonus: Comcast had the movie showing for free, so I indulged in that after the final chapter. If you haven’t read it, I strongly recommend… especially with today’s racial landscape. It’s eerily scary to the
- SNL Is Back: With its biggest premiere audience in eight years, it’s clear America loves Donald Trump. Or at least, loves Alec Baldwin as Donald Trump. The highly anticipated debate parody was just the beginning and — although I feel like real life is sadly funnier — I’m excited to see what else they’ll come up with the circus, I mean, election.
September is always a month that kicks my ass. Between five birthdays in the family, the anniversary of my dad’s death, and whatever else life throws at me, I can’t seem to keep my head above water. Luckily, I have a long vacation coming up this month (on the water) and can focus on the positive vibes that will surely bring.
- Fantasy Football: What else does this month mean? FOOTBALL. And because I’m a glutton for punishment, I’ve committed myself to three fantasy teams. And a survivor league. And a weekly pick ‘em. Too much? Never. Bring it on.
- Modern Romance: I love Aziz Ansari and can’t wait to see him perform live in October. Till then, I had to get my fix with his highly entertaining — and informative — take on dating in today’s day and age. It’s a must, especially for any man who “doesn’t get” why he’s striking out.
- Balboa Café: I ran into a friend on the bus last week and we determined it was high time to schedule a brunch date. This neighborhood spot introduced me to crab cakes eggs benedict, and was quite literally life-changing. I didn’t get to sample their famous Bloody Mary … all the more reason to return.
- “Gossip Folks” – Missy Elliot f. Ms. Jade & Ludacris: I love that Missy had a quasi-comeback during this year’s Super Bowl, but lately, I can’t seem to get this song out of my head. Maybe it’s the catchy beat. Or the (NSFW) ridiculous lyrics. Or the addictive video. Whatever the reason, I’m not mad about it.
Summer, as most people know it, is over. It’s time for back to school, final family vacations, and the holiday will be here in no time. Lucky for us in San Francisco, summer weather is just about to start. Even though it doesn’t come with more vacation days, I couldn’t be more pumped for some fun in the sun.
- Everything Is Perfect When You’re a Liar: Twitter queen and bestselling author Kelly Oxford has lived quite the life. She put together this compilation of unbelievable oh-no-she-didn’t stories, and it left me laughing — sometimes even scratching my head. It’s a quick, easy read and the cover art is awesome … what’s not to love?
- Just Dance: What happens when you have a bunch of people in their late 20s, all hopped up on wine and cheese? Apparently, it’s this game. We followed the suggested moves and made up our own, resulting in an absolutely ridiculous evening of goofs and giggles.
- Kelly Clarkson: I saw the American Idol herself perform this past weekend and was endlessly entertained. She speaks to the crowd like she would a close friend, and is just about the cutest pregnant performer ever.
- “Heartbeat Song” – Kelly Clarkson: Speaking of, Kelly’s recent releases have reignited my love for her multiplatinum career. This one is from her latest album, Piece by Piece, and sure to be stuck in your head soon enough.
While most of SF is recovering from its annual shitshow, Outside Lands, I’m recovering from my own shot nerves, lack of sleep and downright refusal to sit still. Let’s focus for the next few minutes, at least, on these:
- Poncho: I’ve had my eye on this delightful daily weather report for months, and it’s finally extended service to San Francisco! The forecasts are fun and factual, with equal parts story and sass. See if Poncho is in your area!
- Saving Grace: I’ve been reading more for fun lately, and this latest from seasoned storyteller Jane Green was a fast and easy-to-digest book. It made a six-hour flight more bearable, and it made me think about what people’s “perfect lives” really entail.
- Taco Bell Portraits: Brittany Nicole Creech is officially the most popular girl in America this week. Her senior portraits didn’t have your typical feather boa, fake rose and wistful expression — she took them at TACO BELL. Can you say #killingit?
- John Oliver Revamps Sex Ed: Speaking of high school, remember how awkward it was to learn (or not) about the birds and the bees from your inexperienced (or not) friends? John Oliver takes down the lack of sex education in America, and the crowning jewel is this star-studded video. Enjoy!
I’ve been in Florida the past few days, and despite the suffocating humidity and daily thunderstorms, my heart is very full. One thing is for sure: Precious time with friends and family is priceless.
- The Girl on the Train: I’ve been meaning to read this heavily reviewed thriller for a while, and a six-hour flight did just the trick. Full of twists and turns, it blurs the lines of reality and alcohol-induced visions. I could hardly put it down and highly recommend it to fellow bookworms.
- Ford’s Garage: This restaurant opened recently in Brandon, FL and is kitschy fun for the whole family. From onion rings served on funnels to a huge tire sink stand, the decor is unmatched. And the food? Simply awesome.
- High School Reunion: This weekend finally brings the event I’ve helped plan for a year — dun dun dun! The weather doesn’t want to cooperate, but I’m still confident we’ll have a great time bullshitting and remembering all the stupid stuff we did. Take that, Christy Masters Christiansen.
- “Poor Unfortunate Souls” – The Little Mermaid: Obviously, my niece is obsessed with Disney movies. And the cutest thing I ever did see was her bobbing along to their soundtracks. This song is particularly entertaining — she waits quietly all the way through until Ariel sings and then belts it like a diva.