Sometimes the simplest things in life can truly bring the greatest pleasures. I got back to my simple roots this week and, I gotta say, it really helped me get through some shit.
- GoT Finale: Wouuuld we call this simple? No. But finally knowing how our beloved Starks and the rest of the Westeros crew fared brings such closure to the chaos. Didn’t love it, wouldn’t rate it 10/10, but does any finale ever really nail it? Thanks for the memories, GoT. And now our watch has ended.
- Olive Garden: I don’t know if there’s another restaurant that reminds me of home as much as the OG. My grandpa (Pop) was a daily visitor and everyone knows those breadsticks can inspire family feuds like no other. I had my first-ever Tour of Italy and will be visiting again soon.
- Lolli & Pops: Next to the only OG in town is a massive mall, containing this SF treasure. We were actual kids in a candy store as my friend gasped “Pineapple! Gummy sharks!” etc. etc. The massive candy bark and cookie-dough bites are worth the visit alone.
- “Candy” – Mandy Moore: Well, duh. But I also killed some time the other day watching “Center Stage” and was reminded of this perennial pop hit’s place in history. Doesn’t get sweeter than that. Love always, Mandy.
I intended to cover some other very exciting things this week, but then I noticed a recurring theme and couldn’t stop myself. You guys know I love a good theme, yeah? Let’s see if you can figure it out, but first, lemme light a candle:
- Van Diemens: RIP, you awful bar. I spent so many nights (and days) in NYC at this bar, first because they played my college team’s football games, but then because we got to know the staff so well they just gave us great deals all the time. I recently learned it’s since closed and my poor soul aches thinking of all the times we could have had if it hadn’t closed its doors.
- Paradise Park: Even more recently (as in last night), I learned this Nashville treasure shuttered last summer. You want a bucket of Bud Lights and live music and the best people-watching that side of the Mississippi? Well, good luck finding it anywhere else on the bar-lined Broadway. In all seriousness, though, Paradise Park will forever remain my fave Nashville spot and I’m in full mourning.
- Ghost from GoT: Has a CGI character ever inspired such reaction, such fan-demonium, such chatter? Probably, but this one’s top of mind and so he’s featured here today. The budget for Game of Thrones is utterly wild, so to know our dear Ghost gets any screen time anymore is kind of a major blessing… but it’s still not enough for us fans. All Ghost, all the time? I smell a sequel.
- “The Ghost of You” – My Chemical Romance: Oh yeah, we’re throwing it back and it’s not even Thursday yet. As you’ve likely guessed by now, this week has dug up a lot of ancient memories for me, so it’s only natural I tip my metaphorical hat to the guyliner-wearing screamers I loved. Never one to love a mosh pit, I can still appreciate how this song gives me all the feels all these years later.
MILD SPOILERS AHEAD. So if you didn’t see last night’s GoT, just wait until Wednesday for your regularly scheduled WO.
OK so my roommate has only seen one episode of Game of Thrones (S8:E1). She watched it because she thought it was the finale. Precious child. She had no idea what she was getting herself into!
We watched last night’s episode, aptly named “The Long Night,” after hours of clearing out the old apartment with our former roommates.
While settled in a camping chair (me) and a pillow fort (her), here are some actual highlights of her watching and me explaining, and us both freaking out:
- He’s so hot
- Wait, I don’t get it
- I don’t want any of them to die! (said thrice in a row, plus more)
- Fuck! (lost count)
- I can’t watch! (lost count)
- This is scary!
- Who’s he?
- Why would she be executed?
- She killed a little girl?!
- Like I feel bad for these characters…
- It’s 90 minutes?!
- Isn’t he a eunuch?
- Is that the zombie dragon?
- There’s THREE episodes left?!
- What’s left to cover after this?
- Oh Cersei is going to die
- Cersei is so going to die
- Who’s she?
- No, not the little girl!
- Fire doesn’t do anything?
- What are they doing?
- Fuck they’re scary
- I’m scared
- YES ARYA
- NO DAENERYS
- He loves her (said multiple times in a row)
- Are they in love?
- Who’s that?
- Why’d she do that?
- Wow (lost count)
- Just wow (lost count)
Well, well, well. If it isn’t somehow already another Wednesday — the last in April, no less. If you’ve been here at all the last few weeks you know I’ve been drowning in the river of chaos. And while I’m not completely out of the woods yet (are we outta the woods?) I do see light at the end of the tunnel. How many nature metaphors can I use in one post?
- Canva: Yes, part of my job now is to research and test awesome apps. But I’ve been in love with Canva for quite a while and couldn’t believe I hadn’t mentioned it here yet. Beyond easy and fun templates for social media, you can also design your own invitations, presentations, flyers, and business cards. I still prefer to do so on the app, but the website is also pretty stellar.
- Giphy: Another great way to express yourself? With gifs. Yes, I switched to the proper “jif” pronunciation but then I judged myself so hard I switched back. If you use Slack or work in tech you’ve probably already discovered all of the magical /giphy combos to behold. It’s endlessly fun (and distracting), so please Giphy responsibly.
- GoT Final Season: Well it wouldn’t be right if I failed to cover arguably the biggest pop culture moment of the year. With just four episodes left, “Game of Thrones” is giving us all the feels and all the reasons to watch. every. second. I spiraled reading a few fan theories and am decidedly done — my heart can’t take anymore. #DanyForever
- “Jenny of Oldstones” – Florence + The Machine: SPOILERS SUPPOSEDLY.
So I haven’t spiraled into reading these theories, because I just love the song and don’t need to have it ruined. This original tune was in Sunday’s episode and sung by Daniel Portman (AKA Podrick Payne). His voice is beautiful! Then the end credits rolled and I was haunted by Florence + The Machine’s version. Seriously, chills. #NerdAlert
Mild spoiler alert: If you haven’t seen this week’s “Game of Thrones” or “The Bachelorette,” you may want to stop reading here…
- Applebee’s: Remember when Aidan from SATC was the voice of Applebee’s, and the tagline was “Eatin’ good in the neighborhood”? Ahh, sweet nostalgia. I recently revisited my old HS stomping grounds for after-party karaoke and it didn’t disappoint. 2-4-1 margaritas, shared appetizers and a TWELVE-DOLLAR BILL. Sometimes, it’s good to go back to your roots — and cheaper prices.
- Game of Thrones: I know, I’ve already mentioned GoT in these obsessions before, but this past week’s episode was so damn incredible, I would be a fool to forget it. My superstitious side says it was because it was Episode 07.04, which happens to be my birthday. And my logical side says it was because they’ve been building so many storylines and it was about time for some MAJOR stuff to go down this season. Hot damn 🔥
- “The Bachelorette” Finale… NOT: Booooo, hiss. We waited all season for Rachel Lindsay to pick a perfect mate and I’m quite disappointed with her final rose. The second place suitor wasn’t ready to propose after six weeks of dating, which sounds completely normal outside of Bachelor Nation. Unfortunately, Rachel claimed to have found the real thing elsewhere, and while I wish them well, I don’t understand how she literally cried off her eyelashes over the runner-up and got engaged to someone else the next day. Reality TV at its finest…
- “White Liar” – Miranda Lambert: That karaoke session I mentioned? Well, Daytona’s finest chose this little ditty and my youngest cousin swore up and down it was a Reba McEntire song. I don’t know if I’ve ever laughed as much as I have while hearing his arguments, but I do know I’ll always enjoy hearing this one when it comes up in my playlist.
MILD GOT SPOILER AHEAD. If you didn’t watch this week’s S7 premiere, scroll on down. Allow me to complain, for just a moment, about Ed Sheeran’s appearance in Sunday’s episode. I know I juuust said I liked the guy, but that doesn’t mean I want him showing up in Westeros. What were they thinking? Grrrr…
- Sacramento: In more important news, I traveled to California’s capital city Sunday to prepare for orientation at my new company’s HQ. It was 105 degrees when I arrived, so my first impression was not the best. It turned out to be an interesting city, though, with decent food options and some incredibly nice people. I look forward to return visits in the near future, too!
- Volcano Candle: I don’t recall ever receiving a candle for my birthday before, but this year I was gifted with THREE. All of them smell amazing, but I chose to burn this scent first and it didn’t disappoint. You know how that feeling when you walk into a room and are instantly calmed, just from the smell? Yeah, that’s what this little guy does. It’s sheer perfection.
- Purging: Before moving into my new apartment, I had the help of some friends who were supportive of me purging the heck out of my space. While those efforts were super successful — I donated 10+ bags of goodies — I still find I need to cleanse my stock of stuff. I started diving in this past weekend and have the ultimate goal of finishing on Saturday. Who says being a grown-up isn’t fun? This is thrilling stuff, you guys!
- “Ruby Tuesday” – The Rolling Stones: Naturally, I always think of this song when saying goodbyes. It’s a gimme for that, but it’s also one of those songs that always transports me back in time and puts a smile on my face. I simply can’t hear it without getting a little misty-eyed and reminiscent of fond memories. Take that, Ed Sheeran.
I’m feeling much better after a week of illness and some reeeal ugly cries, you guys. It absolutely helps that my cousins are in town for the week to visit — allowing me just enough time for these faves:
- “The Fault in Our Stars”: ‘Twas was the perfect setting to see a movie by myself for the first time. This year’s best read was wonderful on-screen and I highly, highly, highly recommend it.
- HBO Go: A week bedridden was made sort-of OK with this service. 31 episodes of “Game of Thrones” later, and I was feeling almost human again!
- “Fancy” – Iggy Azalea f. Charli XCX: I can’t get enough of I-G-G-Y. One look at my Spotify, and you’ll see I’ve binge-listened approximately 500 times. The “Clueless” music video is just the gangsta cherry on top.
- “Part of Our World”: And I can’t listen to “Fancy” without thinking of this hilarious sketch from Anna Kendrick’s turn hosting SNL. She plays Ariel (“The Little Mermaid”) and teaches Ursula (Aidy Bryant) about today’s popular music.
Since I’m officially a senior citizen and enjoy discussing the weather at great length, I thought you should know that my KNEECAPS were sweating yesterday. Sunshine is finally upon us in the city, and I couldn’t be happier to show up at work with soaked knees and a flushed face.
Lovely visuals, huh? Let’s get some nicer ones in your mind:
- “Game of Thrones”: I know, I know. I’m way behind on this one, because my stubborn inner voice said I’d never enjoy such an unbelievable show. Well, I’m hooked. Just seven episodes in, I plan to binge-watch all weekend.
- Warmer Weather: Isn’t it obvious? I can finally put away my sweaters and pants, and trade them for tank tops and flip-flops! My summer wardrobe is ON POINT (thanks to decades in Florida), so I’m sure my office is also thankful to see my oatmeal sweaters retire.
- 230 Fifth: The rooftop space of this swanky hotel and lounge was perfect for a summer concert. Their service wasn’t great, but the views and atmosphere more than made up for it.
- Platinum Album – Miranda Lambert: That summer concert I just attended? It was for the Queen of Country, whose latest album I’ve had on repeat since yesterday’s release. “Platinum,” “Priscilla” and “Somethin’ Bad” are my top tunes so far.