Here we are again — another week of absolute insanity, where I question my faith in humanity and wonder if the madness ever stops. Crucial conversations are happening, but they spark debate and unrest and even more hatred. Families are ripped apart and grieve inexplicable loss, with unanswered questions and shattered hearts. I’ve heard “the worst mass shooting in U.S. history” in reference to multiple events now in my lifetime. How is that possible?
I don’t have answers. Hell, I don’t have questions I can formulate without my blood boiling. I have prayers for peace, but all that praying isn’t changing the landscape of this very real horror we live in. Did we give up the fight when it became “OK” to kill children in their elementary school? Churches, movie theaters, music festivals… these places we seek solace and comfort in, are no longer safe. Maybe they never were.
Without getting even more preachy than I’ve already been, here’s what you can do to help. Learn the names of the victims. Call your senator. Have thoughtful conversation, with more listening than talking. Refrain from being silent, but use your voice for change — not just to soapbox on social media.
I have to believe there is hope, but even that is exhausting. Because after the news of a dear friend’s dad passing Sunday, I had no idea what terror we’d wake up to Monday morning. And it can never be too late — after yet another “worst mass shooting in U.S. history” to express your desire to feel safe in America.
Have you ever had an “oh shit” moment where you question your intelligence and entire existence, because you can’t believe you could possibly do something so stupid (read: human)? Oh boy, have I.
- Nachi Cocom Cozumel: This was far from an “oops” — this was by far, actually, the best part of #33AndCancerFree! We spent the day on a private beach with unlimited cocktails, delicious food and access to amenities. I opted to add on an oceanside massage, while others went parasailing and rented floaties. Perfection is an understatement.
- MIA TSA: Fresh off a relaxing getaway, THIS was my major f***-up. I often make snarky comments about my fellow travelers who don’t know the liquids or laptop rules, and karma came for me hard. Thankfully, the fine folks at MIA TSA Lost and Found were able to locate and overnight a very important item I left there, and I couldn’t have been happier to be reunited with it today. Major sigh of relief.
- Alli’s Birthday: It’s hard to believe my older niece didn’t stay age 3 forever, but as of yesterday, she is now 4 freaking years old. Holy heck. I don’t know where the time has gone, and I’m sure her parents feel it even more. I couldn’t be more proud of the little lady she’s growing into, and I can’t wait to see where the next year takes her. Happy birthday, Alli-gator!
- My San Franniversary: Also worth celebrating? Today’s my 3-year San Franniversary! Some days, it feels like I just got here. Other days, it feels like I’ve been here 10 years. No matter the mood, I’ve been exposed to more culture, opportunity, perspective and temperate weather than I ever imagined. Cheers to you, SF! I love to hate you sometimes, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.
My watch says it’s 7:45pm, which I fully believe after a pre-dawn wake-up in California and a nonstop flight to Florida. It’s been another whirlwind of a week, but it’s all been leading up to tomorrow, when I’ll join my dear friend Jess and her family for a four-day cruise to Cozumel.
Hurricanes Irma and Maria have changed our itinerary, but they’re not stopping us from celebrating Jess’s birthday and cancer-free diagnosis. I’ve always known Jess to be strong, funny and full of perspective, but the last year has only further proven to me how remarkable she is.
I can’t put into words how grateful I am for her friendship and being able to celebrate with her this weekend. It’s sure to be a once-in-a-lifetime trip and I can’t wait share how much fun we had when I return!
As you already know, my family has been at the forefront of my mind while Hurricane Irma whipped her way across the state. On top of that, September brings a slew of family birthdays (we’re already through three of the five!), and today itself marks four years since my dad’s death. Oh, and I’m due to be back in Florida next week to celebrate a friend’s birthday and cancer-free diagnosis with a cruise around the Keys and Cozumel.
Shall I state the obvious? My emotions are on overdrive. I’m exhausted, while ever-grateful for the people who’ve shown constant love, support and thoughtfulness. Particularly today, as I think about the four years we’ve had without my dad, I am humbled by outreach from others.
I don’t always post or share how I’m feeling about that loss. It’s not because I’ve forgotten or because I’m “over it” or because I’m not hurting. Quite the opposite. I think about him multiple times a day and fear I’ll always be hurting. And oh, how I hate people to feel sorry for me.
Just this morning, I struggled with the way someone responded to my mom’s sentiments about my dad. We’re told there’s nothing wrong you can say when someone is grieving, but in the past four years, I’ve learned there are absolutely insensitive and thoughtless comments, which turn my grief into anger and take my energy away from what’s important.
And what’s important, to me, is reflecting on the many years we had him here. Looking back through our shared emails, texts and Facebook posts. Doing what Slick Rick loved to do: Cracking open a cold beer and watching The Weather Channel (because he loved it, with or without a hurricane to track). Listening to golden oldies and complaining about kids today. Typing in ALL CAPS and caring for others any way I can.
This beer and post are for you, Big Guy. I hope you’re getting a kick out of watching over us each day.
Images courtesy of family archives
It’s taking all of me to not get political up in here, so let’s just breeze on past the pleasantries and jump into other topics:
- Air Conditioning: We had record-breaking temps in SF last weekend, and while 100 degrees doesn’t sound all that bad, consider experiencing it without central air. My tower fan became my BFF, but it wasn’t enough for Saturday’s misery. Thankfully, a friend and I sought refuge in stores and bars to beat the heat. Woof.
- Irma Prep: I’m not talking about LuLaRoe, y’all. As yet another hurricane makes its way to the States, I’ve got my eye on Irma. Paths aren’t always predictable, but I’m staying in close contact with family and friends about their evacuation plans. In the meantime, all I can really do is sit and wait. And tell the same thing to my thoughtful friends and co-workers here who keep asking about it 😉
- NOT Fantasy Football: Are you as surprised as I am? After about eight years of juggling fantasy teams with pools. pick ‘ems and survivor leagues, I’m taking a break. Well, from the fantasy part at least. I’ve declined four invitations and couldn’t be more excited to just watch the games this year without a ton of invested interest. Bonus: I won’t have player paralysis because I have someone in one league but am up against them in another.
- Magz’s Big Birthday: What’s the most exciting thing tomorrow brings? My momma has a milestone birthday to celebrate! I won’t talk numbers, because I am a lady, but I have high hopes for the year ahead. The best is yet to come for my favorite mother, and I can’t wait to see what her next year brings. 143 always.
In case it wasn’t clear from me posting this late in the day, it’s been another wild week. I’m extremely excited for the long weekend ahead, particularly because I don’t have a whole lot planned. It’s my first unscheduled weekend since April, so I’m pretty pumped. Here’s what else is on my mind:
- Help for Harvey Victims: The largest storm to hit Texas in more than 50 years continues to wreak havoc, devastating thousands of homes and displacing countless residents. As always, I urge you to donate anything you can to help the victims affected — particularly because Harvey’s on his way to Louisiana next. No matter which causes you care about, I think we can all agree this is one worth giving to.
- A USF Weekend: My good ol’ alma mater kicked off the college football season against San Jose State this past Saturday, and I had an absolute blast with about a hundred others at the tailgate and game. Bonus: We came back for a win, 42-22! Then on Sunday, we went wine tasting with a new friend, who we met while volunteering the weekend prior, and who happens to work for USF. Small world. Go Bulls!
- Wattle Creek Winery: That wine tasting I mentioned? Wouldn’t you know, it was right in SF’s own Ghirardelli Square. I generally avoid that tourist trap like the plague, but when I learned our new friend is a member — and I am too, via a sister winery — I just had to try their Sunday Funday promo. And, a Ghirardelli sundae after a few glasses of wine doesn’t hurt either.
- “Look What You Made Me Do” – Taylor Swift: Uh, duh. Seems like you can’t go more than an hour since its release Friday without hearing it, or uncovering all of the hidden meanings, or seeing all of the records it’s breaking. As for me? I’m guilty, guilty, guilty on all accounts. I don’t love every single lyric of this one, but damn, Taylor does it best when she’s pissed.
It’s another week of pure crazy over here. Traveling up and down the state, working 12-hour day, balancing a social life, trying to get sleep… it’s all too much for my little Witty brain and body to handle.
The best way I can describe it is insane in the membrane, so that’s what I’ve got you:
I’m hopeful next week will bring a bit more sanity — and obsessions — for us all.