Better late than never, right? I’m nothing if not great on a deadline, so let’s get right to it.
- Dad’s Birthday: I’ve learned in the last 4.5 years without my dad that the milestones and anniversaries don’t get any easier. Instead, they become this new normal you adjust to, and you find ways to get some semblance of peace among the pain. I raised a few glasses to Slick Rick last night, on what would have been his 68th birthday. Cheers and 143 always, Dad.
- St. Paddy’s Day: In true Irish form, we mourn a loss the same way we celebrate. This year, I’ll be at a wedding, but I have no doubt it’ll be a holiday to remember. It doesn’t matter how old I get, I still love spending St. Paddy’s with good friends, good music and good beer. Slainte!
- Minneapolis: The wedding I’m attending is in the fair metropolis of Minneapolis, which I’m excited to explore for the very first time. The weather forecast isn’t ideal, but there are tons of breweries and local (inside!) hot spots to hit. If nothing else, this giant cherry and spoon sculpture is bound to give me some fascinating photos.
- “Meet Me in the Middle” – Zedd, Maren Morris + Grey: This earworm has been in my head nonstop for a few weeks now. If you recognize it from the Target commercials, you can blame them instead of me. (Fun fact: Target’s HQ is in Minneapolis!) Maren Morris’s voice is killer, and the hook gets me every damn time. I’m losing my mind just a little… if that doesn’t sum it all up, I don’t know what does.
I don’t know what it is about Wednesdays lately that I’m often struggling to get my head on straight, but I was able to cobble a few things together this time around:
- Antibiotics: Last week, my boss interrupted me on a conference call and urged me to see a doctor. I finally took the advice and went to a Walk-In Care clinic and was promptly prescribed antibiotics. I’ve since started feeling like a human again! I don’t recall the last time I was that sick but am so grateful to have both my nostrils functioning.
- Lafayette Park: San Francisco is experiencing some of the most beautiful weather possible in February, so I took full advantage last weekend by lounging around this neighborhood hotspot. 70 degrees and sunny? Doesn’t get much better than that. Bonus: It’s more of a family-friendly park so the DILFs are out in full force. Boom.
- Burlingame: I spent Super Bowl Sunday with friends in this South Bay gem I hadn’t yet explored. While I didn’t get any photos myself, I will definitely be back to discover more. For a quick 30-minute train ride from SF, you can’t beat the small-town feel with big-city culture. I’m especially intrigued by the PEZ Museum — talk about a throwback!
- “Meant to Be” – Bebe Rexha f. Florida Georgia Line: This earworm has been stuck in my head for a solid week, and I’m not even mad about it. While the lyrics are deceptively simple, the melody is complex enough to keep me coming back for more. I dare you to give it a listen and tell me you don’t feel the same.
My favorite four-letter word as of late is probably not the one you’re thinking. “Woof” is the only accurate expression I can think of after a very full week thus far, with no end in sight. First-world problems at their finest, I don’t get a “night off” until Tuesday. The 19th. WOOF indeed.
And in much bigger issues, we have the fallout of sexual harassment nightmares (not for all of the accused, naturally), racist remarks from Trump (cough cough), the threat of nuclear war… shall I go on? 2017, in another word, is a clusterfuck.
Sometimes the only thing to keep me sane is music. It might sound silly or counter-intuitive to facing reality, but a relaxation playlist is about all I can handle in the wake of living nightmares and a 24-hour bad news cycle.
When I get home tonight (after my dinner plans, of course), I’ll be lighting a candle and tuning into this 4-hour instrumental savior. Bonus: I only have to listen to it six times in a row to get through a whole day! Enjoy.
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.
3 days in a row of posting, who’d a thunk? I won’t tease you and make you think I’ll be continuing this streak tomorrow, but I certainly couldn’t leave you hanging from loving up on these four finds:
- You’re Not Going to Believe What I’m about to Tell You: Matthew Inman, AKA The Oatmeal, does it again. His latest comic is about the backfire effect, or why we often ignore evidence that contradicts our core beliefs. It’s especially fascinating given the political landscape we’re in, where most are shouting into a vacuum and refusing to listen. Please, enjoy.
- Salt & Straw: Portland’s very own addictively awesome ice cream shop made its debut in San Francisco a few weeks ago. Never one to jump on a bandwagon, I reluctantly agreed to wait for about 40 minutes in line this past sultry Saturday. Wanna know how good it was? A friend and I returned Monday night — pro tip, grab a pint to share and skip the line! — to indulge in the signature Sea Salt with Caramel Ribbons. Deeelish, particularly when SF is seeing temperatures in the 80s!
- “How to Get Away with Murder”: Here’s how reluctant I am to join aforementioned bandwagons: I know probably 20 women who absolutely love HTGAWM and rave about it every week. I finally caved and started Netflixing a few weeks ago. And now I’m almost through season 2. So yeah, you could say Annalise Keating and the K5 students have me hooked. I still can’t unsee Bonnie Winterbottom (hehe) as Paris Geller, but that’s a personal problem.
- “Gonna Hurry (as Slow as I Can)”: Thanks to my recent Patreon support of A Song A Day, I recently received a monthly playlist containing this little gem. I hadn’t heard of Chicago-based band Whitney before, but I had heard of the original artist (Dolly Parton). Something about the upbeat and high-pitched crooning of heartbreaking lyrics really speaks to me. I hope you’ll feel the same.
A San Francisco tradition, a local legend, a Monterey murder aaand a Kiwi songbird… What’s not to love?
- Ferry Building Farmer’s Market: I’m not one for crowds, so I didn’t think I’d ever be brave enough to shuffle through this iconic Saturday farmer’s market along the Embarcadero in SF. A friend convinced me after our gym class this weekend, and although it was packed — thanks in part to the gorgeous weather — it was such a treat to support local businesses. Perfect produce, fresh flowers and artisanal accoutrements, oh my!
- Slim’s: Established in 1988, Slim’s is an SF venue for the history books. I made my patron debut there Sunday night, seeing Electric Six for the third year in a row — this time, with a friend instead of my ex 😁 While I’ve enjoyed each of their performances, the band sounded better than ever… and I think Slim’s had a hand in that. The vibe is cozy but dynamic, cool but not pretentious. I’ll be sure to revisit soon and test my theory with other performers.
- “Big Little Lies”: If you haven’t been watching this HBO miniseries, explain yourself. I’m not the biggest fan of Nicole Kidman or Shailene Woodley (or Reese Witherspoon, lately), BUT this show blew my biased expectations out of the water. The characters are multidimensional, the story is riveting and the soundtrack alone makes it worth a watch. If you’ve seen through the finale, check out this article about the characters’ costume choices.
- “Green Light” – Lorde: I’ve loved all of Lorde’s singles thus far, so it’s no surprise her long-awaited latest is a hit. Her vocals remind me of Ellie Goulding meets Asteroids Galaxy Tour, with her own signature sound ever-present. Don’t let the upbeat tempo and pop feel fool you — this song is about devastating heartache and loss. Well done, Lorde. I can’t wait to hear what else Melodrama brings.