OK, party people: I know we’re all feeling like 2017 is never going to freaking end, and the 25 days until Jan. 1 are going to take forever.
Lest we forget how eager we were for this year, though? “It has to be better,” we said. Ha! How foolish. In this 24-hour news cycle and constant need to publish our opinions about such news, there is no escaping it. I do my best to keep off a soapbox, particularly when it comes to social media. I’ve found the fine folks at SNL can often turn my clusterf— of floating thoughts into easily consumable content.
And since I’m driving the bitter bus from Taggart and Leavitt going to FSU; Trump and the RNC choosing party over public safety; and the late-night, last-minute tax deal I’ll just urge you all to take a little journey.
Even if you’ve seen it before, I suggest you pack your bags for a revisit:
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.
It’s the inevitable WO-before-Thanksgiving post, so I won’t be offended if you tune out before you hit the end of this sentence.
If you’re still reading this, then I’m thankful for YOU. Those suckers who abandoned already are dead to me!
And for real, this year has brought so much change to my life, I have to be grateful for the many blessings — even when I’m missing my former studio apartment or relaxed office vibe.
I’m thankful to have a roof over my head, gainful employment, friends who treat me like family, electricity, food, running water, the means to take care of myself, and so many other “basics” that really aren’t basic at all. (And, I’m not referencing Pumpkin Spice Latte basic-ness.)
While my travel plans for Thanksgiving changed, who knew it was for good reason after all? Now I have a work trip Monday, to interview candidates for an open role on my team.
When my job hunt seemed endlessly futile, it culminated in TWO offers within 24 hours of each other — allowing me the choice to make my next move, which not everyone is afforded.
When my struggles have sometimes felt endless and disheartening, I can appreciate how small they are compared to the world’s larger issues. I can be an agent of change for women’s rights, sexual assault victims, hurricane survivors, healthcare issues, and more — and I am still allowed to think my small problems feel really big to me, too.
We’re all in this together, and I’m hopeful this boiling, ever-changing social climate we’re in will soon reflect a lot less judgment and a lot more compassion.
However you’re spending this Thanksgiving holiday, I wish you all continued blessings, love and kindness.
There ain’t no rest for the wicked, so let’s dive right on in this week:
- Haircuts for Homeless: I’m not saying this story will make you cry, but I’m not saying it won’t. Brennon Jones is a barber in Philadelphia and gives free haircuts to the homeless there. Sean Johnson was a stranger to Jones, chatting about the service; and months later, Johnson called to meet him at — surprise! — a space he’d bought for Jones to set up shop. Who am I kidding, cue the ugly cry.
- Winter Is Coming: This has nothing to do with “Game of Thrones,” except for the obvious tagline. Winter in SF is legit on its way, evidenced by the nightly mid-40 temps and scattered storms all week. Snuggle up, buttercup. It’s about to get frosty in here (not really; I know it was 20 degrees in NYC last week). I’m just really good at being dramatic and blame it on my thin Floridian blood.
- The Ramen Bar: With cold weather comes hot soup! The absolute top of my soup list lately is this delightful lunch spot, which serves spicy pork, tasty tonkotsu and ridiculous ramen recipes I’ve only dreamed of before. I especially enjoyed it today, while catching up with a former boss lady whom I love. Oh, another bonus: Their Boba tea is to die for.
- “Thunder” – Imagine Dragons: It could be the stormy weather or it could be my need to get really pumped to get through the days lately, but regardless, this song is the ticket. I don’t know why I’m surprised every time I like one of their singles, but they continue to impress me and get stuck all up in my ears.
And just like that, it’s No-freaking-vember. I understand yesterday was Oct. 31, so naturally, today is November, but HOW? I feel like a new mom when I say the days are long, but the years are short. Before we know it, we’ll be saying “sayonara” to the garbage dumpster of 2017 and embracing the newness of 2018 for all of about two hours. Woo-hoo!
- Join the Movember Movement: My friend Nate is back at it again, raising money and awareness for men’s health in his fifth consecutive Movember campaign. He’s already more than halfway to goal — and it’s only Nov. 1 — but you can still support and get a super-sweet pic if you donate $50+. And, with VISA checkout, donations are matched (up to $25, so split ‘em up if you want extra points)! It takes seconds but can save so many lives.
- “Stranger Things”: Uh, duh. I couldn’t dress as Barb yesterday and not be totally hooked on this Netflix original. I binged all of season 1 over the weekend in preparation for my role (and a friend’s themed party!), but I have yet to dive into season 2 so NO SPOILERS. From what I’ve watched you’ll be just fine if you can get through the spookiness of S1:E1. Plus, these kids are so talented — and hilarious!
- “The Good Place”: After bingeing on a creepy show, I obviously needed a mental break. So I binged the first season and was pleasantly surprised. Again, NO SPOILERS on season 2 so far! Kristen Bell and Ted Danson are devilishly funny; and I highly recommend it, as one of the freshest comedies I’ve seen in years. Even the Rotten Tomatoes critics and reviewers give it an 86-90% approval rating!
- “I Put a Spell on You” – Screamin’ Jay Hawkins: There are plenty of haunting Halloween classics I could write about, but this one’s been in my head lately so it takes the cake. Notice, I’m not even touting the version from “Hocus Pocus” — personal growth again? Screamin’ Jay sure knows how to grab your attention and make you want to groove. What’s your go-to Halloween song? We can still talk about it, despite so many attempts to make Christmas happen, like, today ::eye roll::
Here we are, another Wednesday come and (mostly) gone, and what do I have to show for it?
Y’all, I am beyond tired from what I believe are adult onset allergies, plus the fear of serving jury duty, and a little thing called “work-life balance” going out the window. When meditation isn’t enough, I’m finding furry friends to soothe my soul.
Thankfully, the fine journalists at BuzzFeed (WINK!) have curated plenty of scrollable content to ooh and ahh over.
Some recent fave finds:
- 45 Dog Memes Guaranteed to Put You in a Good Mood
- It’s International Sloth Day So Look at These Slow Precious Babies
- And the seasonally relevant 18 Dogs Who Completely Won Halloween
Now, don’t you feel better? Point me to your favorite posts so I can peep them when I can’t sleep tonight.
I feel a little like Dory after the past few weeks … Telling myself to just keep swimming, just keep swimming. It seems harder than ever to balance being well-informed with remaining sane. So what do we do? We swim, swim, swim. And buy 1/2 price wine.
- The Serenity Prayer: Another tactic for me to stay somewhat centered in a topsy-turvy climate is this reminder. An added benefit is remembering my Pop referenced it often. His angelversary is in a few weeks, so he’s on my mind more than usual, and these words echoing in my head bring him that much closer to my heart.
- #MeToo: No doubt, you’ve seen the social media movement to share stories of sexual harassment and assault. It started with activist Tarana Burke years ago and went viral this weekend with a tweet from Alyssa Milano. The discussions are unsettling, uncomfortable and eye-opening for some — but the point remains: No one should ever be physically, verbally or mentally abused without consent. Say that C word with me now: CONSENT.
- Getaround: Despite 22 months without driving and my stubbornness to make it through numerous work trips without a car, I was foiled this week with a two-part trip through northern California. Thankfully, Getaround made it easy to, well… you guessed it. I booked an affordable SUV, backed out of a garage into traffic blindly and navigated my way through 200+ miles of freeway fun. Even a hiccup at the end (my fault) was handled swiftly. Use this link to sign up for $20 off your first trip!
- “I Get Around” – The Beach Boys: Obviously, #3 above has a lot to do with why this song has been stuck in my head. If it’s not already the soundtrack for their commercials, then I hereby claim this genius idea and shall await the profits. Plus, who doesn’t love the timeless California coolness of The Beach Boys?
PS: Last week marked SEVEN years since I began this blog — I’ve been a bit preoccupied to make a whole special post about it, but thanks for sticking with me whether you’ve been around since the first post or just joined me here today. Cheers to that!