Most of my family is celebrating my cousin Kathleen’s wedding on a five-day cruise to the Bahamas. And while I wouldn’t mind lounging in Nassau, I’m getting over a nasty head cold and would have been awful company anyway. Sure, Amanda. Just keep telling yourself that…
- “The Family”: I was reluctant to add yet another show to my must-see list, but this series, so far, breaks all my rules. And I love it. The premise? “A community is rattled when a politician’s son, who was presumed murdered years ago, returns home.” (IMDb) And that’s just the beginning. Trust me, you don’t want to miss this one!
- Spring Has Sprung: Shout out to Daylight Saving Time (now that I’ve adjusted) and the beautiful weather we’ve had lately, because I’m really feeling this springtime thing. We’re still getting a few pockets of rain here and there, but fog retreated and sunshine returned … at least for a little bit.
- Foodnited States: Who says you shouldn’t play with your food? This series of fantastic food photographs celebrates a pun for each of our great 50 states. I’m obviously partial to Flo-radicchio and Kale-ifornia, but there are some other really clever creations. Dig in 🙂
- “Gone” – Parlour Tricks: My boyfriend and I saw Electric Six this weekend, and while I enjoyed their set (again!), the highlight for me was the opening act, Parlour Tricks. These three songstresses and three dudes on instruments brought fun, energy and excitement to the stage. My fave is “Gone,” but all their stuff is equally infectious.
A huge thank-you to all who reached out with messages of love and support after last week’s heartbreaking loss. If I learned anything from Michelle, it’s that you can find reasons to smile even in the darkest of days.
- Little Girl Turns Sister into a Zebra: This may be the new “Charlie Bit Me.” Honestly, is there anything cuter than videos of tiny tots with posh accents? 3-year-old Sovereign took a permanent marker to her little sister’s… canvas… to turn her into a zebra. Why, you ask? Because she “loves being zebras.” Duh, mom.
- Response to Talia Jane’s Open Letter to Yelp: The viral open letter to Yelp highlights just how clueless many millennials are. That’s not to say we aren’t all clueless in our 20s, but now we have the world as a social media stage to broadcast major mistakes. Pro tip: Negotiate for a livable salary, don’t sign a lease you can’t afford, don’t be too proud to live or work in less-than-ideal conditions, and don’t go credit card poor before the ink on your diploma dries. This response puts it far more eloquently than I can in a few sentences.
- “American Crime Story: The People vs. OJ Simpson”: This miniseries is already a few episodes in, but you can still catch up! I didn’t expect to be so captivated, but the always-provocative Ryan Murphy has done it again. It’s chilling, gripping and an absolute roller coaster — the all-star ensemble cast will, no doubt, be nominated for every accolade available. Despite it being more than 20 years since the murders, it’ll bring you right back to the heart-stopping Bronco chase and trial in no time at all.
- “7 Years Old” – Lukas Graham: Something about this song haunts and humbles me. Maybe it’s that he covers a 60-year life in less than four minutes. Or it could be how fragile and fleeting life is, which Graham identifies and reflects on beautifully. Whatever the reason, I can’t seem to stop listening to it on loop.
I’d like to thank all of you who took the time to read about Duane and Deirdre’s story last week, offered help and spread the word. I know there are countless stories like theirs, so it means all that much more to me that you contributed to their cause.
- Mom Hears Deceased Son’s Heartbeat: If you haven’t seen this story yet, grab some tissues. Heather Clark’s 3-year-old son died tragically in 2013 and his organs were donated to help other children. The recipient of his heart, 4-year-old Jordan Drake, recently met Heather and gave her the most precious gift: a listen to her son’s heartbeat. If that doesn’t pull at your own heartstrings, I don’t know what will.
- Super Bowl L: Um, hello. This is Planet Earth. Have you heard? The 50th Super Bowl is Sunday, coming at you from none other than San Fran-freaking-cisco. The city is abuzz with excitement as an estimated 1 million visitors flock to the Bay Area. I’ll be enjoying the game from a friend’s place, but if you’re braving the events, may the odds be ever in your favor.
- Puppy Bowl: With every Super Bowl the last 12 years comes the furry frenzy that is Puppy Bowl! My team plans to stop by the Puppy Bowl Café (terrible name, btw) to see the players in action. And, Uber was sending puppies to various locations nationwide — if you were lucky enough to snag a spot. Let the cuteness overload begin!
- “I’m So Excited” – The Pointer Sisters: Some big changes are coming to the Wittyburg world, and while I can’t share specifics just yet, I can say that I’m so excited! Cue this song and, naturally, the “Saved by the Bell” gif we’ve all grown to love. Stay tuned… and in the meantime, enjoy the totally rad ‘80s montage.
Was last week a whirlwind for you all, too? Even with Thursday off from work, I can’t quite believe how fast Thanksgiving came and went. Oh, and it’s December. Where does the time ever go?
- “The Talented Mr. Ripley”: Speaking of time, step back to the 1950s (or 1999, because that’s how far behind I am) and soak up this thrilling tale of deception and lust. The book was better — yes, I’m an asshole — but the movie is pretty damn good.
- Ryan Gosling Hosts SNL: If time continues to move at warp speed, then Christmas come early indeed. My love for The Gos has become a parody at the office, but my excitement for Saturday is fully genuine. Here’s hoping there’s at least one shirtless sketch!
- “California Christmastime” – “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend”: This CW show continues to surprise me week after week, and this finale number from Monday’s episode was another showstopper. It’s a little more referential to SoCal than San Francisco, but all Californians alike are finding ourselves.
- Spiced Pork, Squash & White Bean Soup: I’ve obsessed over Blue Apron for most of this year, and there are often recipes I’d repeat again. But never have I felt so compelled to share — this soup not only made about five servings, but it was so easy to make (once you hack through the squash)! Enjoy 🙂
11/11: Make a wish! Or, you could consider one of these more productive ideas 😉
- Veterans’ Day: I say it every year, but today is just one opportunity of many to thank the servicemen and women who sacrifice it all to serve our country. I’m fortunate to know many active and retired military members, whom I can’t thank enough. I won’t get on a soapbox, but the freedoms we’re fortunate enough to enjoy come at a hefty cost — so JUST DO IT.
- Coffee Cups Cause Commotion: Surely, we have better things to do with our time than debate a coffee cup and its “hidden meaning.” I’m a Christian, and I celebrate Christmas because of Christ — not because of a billion-dollar company’s alleged agenda to take down Jesus. Unfortunately, it’s another example of a few bad apples (or pumpkin spices?) spoiling the bunch.
- Blue Apron Donates Thanksgiving Dinner: It’s no secret I love Blue Apron for its (literally) life-changing service, but here’s another reason to obsess. Now, you can donate your Thanksgiving box of food OR an additional box (and still receive your own). Either way, Blue Apron will match all donations to help feed local families in need! You can donate now until noon ET on November 20.
- “Hotline Bling” Parody – SNL: Last week’s SNL episode, hosted by Donald Trump, left much to be desired… until this ridiculously silly parody popped up. I’m still laughing so hard, I cry — not sure if that says more about the video or me. Either way, enjoy!
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!
You know it’s been a crazy couple of weeks at work when you have recurring dreams … about work. The only way to combat such nonsense? Let’s start with these four highlights:
- “The Great Gatsby”: Despite touting its soundtrack as the best of 2013, I hadn’t seen the Baz Luhrmann masterpiece until recently. It’s a visual spectacle and takes F. Scott’s Fitzgerald’s narrative to explosive, extravagant new heights.
- Aziz Ansari’s Love Advice: I can’t wait to read the undoubtedly hilarious writing debut from Ansari, called “Modern Romance.” Till then, BuzzFeed graciously cooridinated a Q&A sesh that doesn’t disappoint.
- Warriors Win!: I was thrilled to have both of my Bay Areas in the playoffs recently, but sadly the Lightning didn’t pull through against the Blackhawks. Thankfully, the Warriors brought home a trophy for the first time in 40 years — what a sight to see!
- “GDFR” – Flo Rida f. Sage the Gemini & Lookas: This song should be in the dictionary next to “pump-up jam.” Whether you’re hitting the gym or the bar, you just feel like you can take on the world after hearing this one.