For the first time in many weeks, I have mostly good news to share. It’s a Christmas (season) miracle! And while we’ll kick off on a somber note, I can’t express enough how trying 2017 has been for so many. The hope of what 2018 will soon bring is about all that’s getting me through right now.
- Remembering Mayor Lee: Yesterday, me and my San Francisco neighbors awoke to the news of the unexpected passing of our Mayor, Ed Lee. He was 65. After suffering a heart attack in a Safeway Monday night, he died at SF General in the early morning hours, leaving behind his wife and daughters, and a legacy that won’t soon be forgotten. No matter your opinion of his policy, no one can argue with how good a man he was and how hard he fought to protect SF and its residents.
- Holiday Soul with OIGC: From a touching tribute to Mayor Lee to appearances by Cece Winans and more, last night’s performance of the Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir with the San Francisco Symphony was incredible. I’m normally quite grinchy when it comes to holiday cheer, but my two-sizes-too-small heart will always beat for outstanding voices joining in worship.
- Doug Jones Wins: What’s that glimmer of hope amid all the bulllshit 2017 brought? Alabama chose people over party last night, in the highly contested seat for Senate vacated by (now Attorney General) Jeff Sessions. Take all of the chatter and “it’s temporary” talk out of it — this is a HUGE win for the often marginalized and silenced victims of sexual abuse. An extra special thank-you to the black voters who clearly supported the cause, and without whom, this victory wouldn’t be possible.
- “Oh Happy Day” – “Sister Act 2”: Not only was this my favorite song from the movie, but it also made an appearance at the Holiday Soul concert AND accurately sums up my feelings on Alabama. Oh, and anything with Whoopi Goldberg and/or Lauryn Hill gets me going. Need I say more?
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.
It should come as no surprise that I’m ex-haus-ted this week. It’s a good problem to have, given how many fun experiences and projects I’ve had lately. But it’s all caught up to me just in time for a wine country day Saturday and the big 3-0 Tuesday. Here’s what’s helping me attempt to unwind before then:
- Tracey Mammolito Photography: The woman responsible for those amazing photos I shared yesterday, y’all. Tracey’s energy was contagious, she made me feel comfortable (despite looking VERY silly in a public park) and her communication was spot-on. If you’re in SF and need a profesh photog, Tracey’s your girl.
- BachFantasy: This isn’t my first rodeo when it comes to betting on “The Bachelorette,” but it is my first season in a BachFantasy league. The recaps are entertaining, and the spreadsheet is a wet dream for OCD nerds like me. We’re up to the mid-season draft, and although I’m pretty far out of first, I’m hoping my dark horse picks will make a comeback soon.
- Sutter Health: Remember that career leap I mentioned yesterday? Well, today I can officially share I’ve accepted an offer to join Sutter Health as their Manager of Content Strategy and Multimedia! Sutter is a not-for-profit network of doctors, hospitals and health services for millions of Californians, and I couldn’t be more excited to call it my next home. I’ll have more to share soon, but at least that cat’s out of the bag 🙂
- “California Girls” – The Beach Boys: Call me old school, but there’s something about this classic that just puts a sunshiney smile on my face. I don’t know that I’m considered a true Californian at just a few years in, but my family can attest to my lifetime appreciation for The Beach Boys. Bonus: They remind me of my dad, and riding around in his beat-up ‘91 Ford Ranger.
I’m running out of ways to say how messed up the world is. I read about the Virginia shooting on my way into work, only to learn around 9am (from my desk) about the UPS shooting in San Francisco, five blocks from my office. We were told to stay inside, and our security staff remained on high alert until the area was clear and the shooter was confirmed in custody.
Trying to make sense of these people’s motives feels futile: It doesn’t matter what side of the aisle you’re on, how you feel wronged by your employer — any of it. Lives are lost at the hands of others, who very clearly need help and healthy ways to express their anger.
Hot on the heels of the Pulse anniversary, my heart shattered today when I called my mom and heard her crying. I can’t imagine what these families are feeling, to know they aren’t able to hear their loved ones respond and say they’re OK.
I don’t have the answer to gun violence and/or control. It’s a complicated issue, obviously, and I don’t believe the answer is as simple as a sentence or two. What I do believe is that violence is not the answer. Hurting others doesn’t solve these problems. Pointing blame is pointless.
So it feels tone deaf to share about the week I’ve had, when others aren’t as lucky. Instead, I suggest you call your loved ones — for no reason at all, except to say hello — and to hug those you can a little tighter.
This playlist has been my inspiration all week, and it’s worth a listen if you’re in need of comfort. As always, if you need more than music, there are organizations to help.
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.
Raise your hand if your brackets are busted 🙋🏻 Thanks a heap, Wisconsin and South Carolina. Aside from ripping paper to shreds, here’s what else I’ve been into lately:
- NOT These Boots: San Francisco’s wonky weather patterns continue, and yesterday’s monsoon retired these Chooka rain boots faster than you can say “shit.” I purchased them in 2014, but have worn them no more than 10 times, so it was a total disappointment and waste of money. Here’s hoping these highly rated Sam Edelman booties will serve me better.
- Rusted Mule: I was thrilled to celebrate a dear friend’s birthday last night with drinks at Rusted Mule and dinner at The Saratoga. While both were phenomenal, I’m prioritizing Rusted Mule for its newness and happy hour specials. It opened less than two months ago and feels tucked away, while still getting a good mix of people. Bonus: Taco Tuesday was truly tasty and the Yelp reviews are crazy entertaining!
- Surprise Meetups: After a killer workout this morning, I was sore but super excited to volunteer at the SF-Marin Food Bank with some co-workers. Little did I know, my former team at macys.com was volunteering, too! It was such a pleasure seeing familiar faces — some new ones, too! — and I loved catching up with them all. Giving back + surprise meetups = win-win.
- “It Ain’t Me” – Kygo f. Selena Gomez: I had no clue who Kygo was (still don’t) but I DID know this earworm was stuck, stuck, stuck in my head for days on end. I also barely know the difference between Selena Gomez and Demi Lovato, but I do know there’s a ton of talent in this tune and you should certainly listen.
Happy International Women’s Day! I hope you’re all able to celebrate the women in your lives every day, but especially so today. If you’re anything like me, you dug out your LRD and toasted the fab females you’re lucky to love 😉
- Shannon’s visiting!: Hot off the heels of my former roomie’s visit, my cousin Shannon arrives tomorrow! It’ll be her first trip to California and I hope to make it a memorable one. She always brings out the big kid in me, and I always… well, I always entertain her with my impatience for tourists. Just look at those mischievous smirks — it should be a hoot!
- Beach Blanket Babylon: As much as I don’t love tourists or touristy things, I will happily see this campy, historical revue in SF anytime! I took Erica last week and am excited to return tomorrow night with Shannon. The hats and humor are outrageous, the songs are fantastic and it truly is a can’t-miss experience.
- JLSF March Madness Kickoff Party: As Provisional (AKA first-year) members of the Junior League of San Francisco, we put on a fundraiser for the League. Our March Madness Kickoff Party is next Thursday, March 16, and is sure to be a success. We’ll have a silent auction, wine pull, photo booth and games — what’s not to love? Get your tickets (or make a donation) here.
- “Girls” – Beyoncé: This isn’t my fave of Beyoncé’s body of work, but there is arguably no better female anthem than this. Top five, at least. I heard it blasting in my barre class this morning, on my Chariot ride to work (props to Maria for the lady power!), and am pumping it now for good vibes only. Who run this mother?