A million thanks to all y’all who reached out and were thinking of me this past week. I can never express enough how much it means to me to have you in my corner.
- The Bachelorette: Yes, I’m still a fan despite how petty the boys are from Hannah B.’s season. I’ve never seen any main player on this franchise who is so open about their faith, frustration and fun-loving side. Her narration of (fake) Boston history remains legendary. Is it the most dramatic season ever? Unclear. But damn, I’ll keep watching.
- Saje Natural Wellness: I previously gushed about the diffuser my roomies got me for my birthday last year, so it’s no surprise I’ve since fallen for approximately 20 of Saje’s oils as well. Headache? Peppermint Halo. Stuffy? Inhale. Sultry? Tantra. There’s an oil for everything! Between this and Pine & Patchouli, I’m one happy (non-smelly) camper.
- “ME!” – Taylor Swift f. Brendon Urie: Somehow, I managed to miss featuring this earworm, and TayTay already has a new one out (hold your horses). The bubble-gum, rainbow, magical video set is one thing. Her voice mixed with Brendon Urie’s is another level altogether. Yes, she overacts. Yes, the lyrics are kinda cheesy. But don’t act like you haven’t had this on repeat for months.
- “You Need to Calm Down” – Taylor Swift: In time for Pride, TSwift’s lyrical genius returns with another banger and too many celeb cameos to count. The ultimate message: Support the Equality Act on Change.org. Next week marks 50 years since the Stonewall Inn riots inspired the modern LGBTQ+ movement, and we still have strides to make. There is a complicated debate around her privilege, but I still believe any attention to a worthy cause is better than ignoring or suppressing the spotlight.
I’m fighting off a nasty summer cold this week, so here’s what’s helping my get by:
- “Meaty”: This collection of essays from Samantha Irby was originally published in 2013 and recently updated with a reprint. A thoughtful friend and her bf gifted me a new copy for my bday, and I speed-read it in two sittings. It’s that good. From lazy-girl recipes to a loooot of information about GI issues, it’s not for the faint of heart. Which is exactly why I loved it.
- Cacio e Pepe: What’s arguably the simplest pasta dish has become a weekly staple for me. When my energy is gone, this satisfying combo of pasta, cheese and garlic (duh) can’t be beat. It’s an especially gratifying comfort food when you don’t have to hover over the stove for long. Add some garlic toast and you’ve got the perfect meal. Mangia!
- Breathe App: Don’t get me wrong — I still love my Daily Calm from the Calm app, but this is another way to get zen. Answer a few quick questions about how you’re feeling in the moment, and the app will recommend breathing exercises and plans for you to try. It’s weirdly satisfying and has lately helped me get to sleep faster. Win-win.
- “Delicate” – Taylor Swift: Is it possible for Taylor Swift to release a song that isn’t an earworm? I think not. This one has been rolling around in my brain for weeks and I can’t seem to shake it off. Yeah, I went there. I’m not even mad about it; I just had to warn you before I put it in your head now, too.
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.
I’ve gone pretty much nonstop since last week, even writing this in between happy hours and other social outings. I’m not complaining, although my marathon of watching Olympics coverage has slowed down considerably.
And, as a sure sign that I’m officially 29, I was just “laying down for a nap” last Friday before this Rave of Thrones event, only to wake up hours later after missing the whole thing.
- Britney/Taylor Mashup Night: I made up for lost time Saturday night with my first-ever visit to famed SF nightclub Bootie, because why else? It was Britney/Taylor Mashup Night! I expected a little more of “Bad Blood… One More Time,” but was truly amazed at the DJs’ abilities to mix Eminem, Black Sabbath and more with the queens of pop.
- Red Dog: Another day, another happy hour. This SOMA bar was the second stop on a night where I said farewell to both current co-workers and former colleagues who were leaving their respective companies. Red Dog was a perfect setting — friendly staff, delicious food and strong drinks.
- Barry’s Boot Camp: In case it wasn’t completely clear, I’m in need of a detox more than anything. Since that’s unlikely to ever happen, I’ve instead taken advantage of promotions through work to try “The Best Workout in the World.” It’s kicked my ass, motivated me and been, truly, one of the best group fitness classes I’ve ever tried. Best of all, the friends I made go with me are still speaking to me.
- Jessica’s “Daily Affirmation”: This toddler’s uplifting pep talk went viral a few years ago, but has recently made a resurgence and I’m not mad about it. Whether it’s your hair or your pajamas or your whole house, I hope you too have things you like and believe you can do anything good!
- “Ghostbusters: Answer the Call”: I can’t remember a movie that had me laughing for nearly the entire time, but this reboot has four fantastic leading ladies, a bunch of throwback references and some awesome eye candy. That’s what I call a winning combo.
- A Visit Back East: It’s only been six months since I was last in Florida, but so much has changed in that time and I can’t wait to get there this weekend. If I spend the entire time squishing my niece’s cheeks and watching “Zootopia” with my other niece, then I think I’ll be just fine.
- “The Night Of”: I did not need another show to watch. Really, I didn’t. But a co-worker and another friend each told me how much I needed to see this one, and I caved. I’m glad I did… the premiere left me breathless from start to finish, and I can’t wait to see how the rest of this miniseries unfolds.
- “This Is What You Came For” – Calvin Harris f. Rihanna: I honestly could not care less about the drama surrounding Taylor’s songwriting contributions (or not) to this song. And I really, really didn’t want to like it, because, Rihanna. But damn, it’s an earworm. And despite my distaste for most EDM, this one really gets me pumped.
So, today marks 10 years since my high school graduation. And I happened to wake up today to find my first-ever grandma chin hair. This world is so cruel. Here’s what is keeping me pleasantly distracted from reality:
- Memorial Day: Monday’s federal holiday has a lot more to do with service and sacrifice than barbecues and beach days, but teaching that to America’s youths is unlikely. Instead, I think it’s realistic to just take a few minutes Monday (and every day?) to remember the men and women who gave all to protect our freedoms.
- SUMMER FRIDAYS: Sweet, glorious half-days have returned to my office, from this week till Labor Day. There’s no better way to celebrate our teams making it through nearly five months of nonstop work. Hallelujah!
- “Mad Men” Finale: For seven seasons, we’ve followed the movers and shakers of Sterling, Cooper & Partners (and all its variations). Don Draper and crew bade us farewell with Sunday’s finale, and while I have mixed emotions about the ending, I will always have love for the menaces of Madison Ave.
- “Bad Blood” – Taylor Swift: You heard me. Combine a badass video (23MM+ views!) that features a bunch of cool celebs with an awesome beat and smooth lyrics, and I’m officially a T. Swift fan. Lord help us all.
In case you’re not FB friends with Magz and haven’t seen her weeklong countdown … it’s my birthday tomorrow! It kind of snuck up on me, probably because I’ve been packing every weekend with funtivities and nearly forgot to pay rent this month. Adulthood.
- 27 Ways to Be as American as Ron Swanson: Because, ‘Merica. And though I can’t grow a moustache like his, my mere existence is defined by #22. I’d say that’s a fair trade.
- Pie Face: My cubemate introduced me to this sweet and savory shop yesterday and I’m already hooked. I can’t wait to indulge in an all-American apple pie & caramel smasher tomorrow!
- Macy’s 37th Annual 4th of July Fireworks: Shameless plug? Sure, why not. Hosted by Nick Cannon, this year’s show features his wifey, plus Tim McGraw, Taylor Swift and Selena Gomez. Like, OMG.
- “The Remedy” – Jason Mraz: OK, I totally admit to loving this song simply because it opens with “ … fireworks from the freeway … ‘cause you were born on the 4th of July, freedom ring.” So sue me!
Hope you all have a safe and happy 4th!
Returning host LL Cool J tucked his ears into a Kangol hat and shared a handful of awful puns to bring music superstars together tonight.
His personal stories were long-winded and confusing, though not quite on par with Jodie Foster’s now infamous Emmy speech.
The red carpet coverage was entertaining, but can we all back off from pushing the social media stuff? Hashtag: It’s overkill.
The Fashions: Some snoozes, some surprises
- Finally dressing her age, Taylor Swift’s flowing gown was stunning. And that’s the only nice thing I’ll say about her tonight.
- Jennifer Lopez clearly missed the restricted dress-code memo (and later joked about it). Honey, your cooch is loose. Oh also? You’re FORTY-THREE.
- Usually adventurous Beyonce donned a bland pantsuit, but she’s Queen B and looked gorgeous anyway. Former DC3 band mate Kelly Rowland wowed in my fave dress of the night.
- Katy Perry said she channeled Priscilla Presley, and I think The King himself would be pleased with her tribute. Va-va-voooom — but where were notoriously wacky Lady Gaga and Nicki Manaj?
- Katy’s BFF Rihanna looked far more glamorous than I’ve seen her in a while, and first-timer Carly Rae Jepsen slinked and sparkled in a gorgeous gown.
- No idea what Adele was thinking, but I’ll allow post-pregnancy brain as her excuse.
The Performances: Where actors prove their relevance for attending
- Taylor Swift opened with that awful never, ever song — in a surprising departure from her sickly sweet scenery. Still no rhythm, Tay Tay. Like, ever.
- Sir Elton John and Ed Sheeran collaborated to perform a dazzling rendition of the latter’s hit single “The A Team.”
- Neil Patrick Harris included Barney Stinson trademark “legendary” in his introduction of fun. for their sweet ballad, “Carry On.”
- Quintessential douche John Mayer stood with icon Bonnie Raitt. They announced Miranda Lambert and tour mate Dierks Bentley’s too-loud dual duets. Say that five times fast!
- Is Johnny Depp homeless now? He sure looks it. Mumford & Sons strummed and sung an electric “I Will Wait” to shift our focus away from Depp’s derelict designs.
- Beyonce and Ellen DeGeneres paired up perfectly to introduce OMG JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE. His “Suit and Tie” world premiere was simply fantastical, even better in, you guessed it: black and white. Jay Z joined in because he can and we loved him for it.
- Maroon 5 led with “Daylight” before Alicia Keys brought it home with “Girl on Fire.” Adam Levine is better speaking, not singing. Alicia’s crooning (and drumming!) saved my ears yet again.
- Rihanna and Mickey Echo belted “Stay” to a silenced crowd. Finally, a Ri Ri song I don’t hate!
- 1 Broke Girl Kat Dennings announced The Black Keys, performing alongside Preservation Hall Jazz Band and Doctor John. Hipster magic was made and they lived happily ever after.
- Kelly Clarkson paid homage to Patti Page and Bonnie Tyler with respective renditions of “The Tennessee Waltz” and “A Natural Woman.” Get it, girl.
- The much-anticipated Bob Marley tribute kicked off with Bruno Mars and his lovable backup dancers, followed by powerhouse performers Sting, Rihanna and Damian and Ziggy Marley. Shout-out to everyone singing along, especially NPH and that one white guy with his arms crossed.
- The Lumineers nailed “Ho Hey” before introducing Jack White. The former was an entertaining escape; the latter was reminiscent of old jams to The White Stripes. Even Nicole Kidman said it was awesome.
- Newcomer Hunter Hayes warbled through “Wanted,” but I’m told that’s how it should sound. Carrie Underwood appeared with “Blown Away.” Yet another example of sound techs needing to check before they wreck!
- An acoustic and bilingual “Your Song” by Latin GRAMMY winner Juanes was soft and sweet before introducing Frank Ocean for “Forrest Gump.” Lieutenant Dan, ICE CREAM?!
- LL Cool J teamed up with Travis Barker and others to close the show. “WHADDUP” felt out of place, but I always enjoy a “No Sleep Till Brooklyn” nod.
The Winners: 3.5 hours of coverage, and only 11 televised gramaphones
- Spicy songsters Jennifer Lopez and Pitbull presented Best Pop Solo Performance to Adele for her live version of “Set Fire to the Rain.” In a 15ish-second speech, she held the award awkwardly and called J. Lo her good luck charm. Adorbs all around.
- Hot-this-moment Miguel and Wiz Khalifa worked the crowd in patterned suits before presenting Best Country Solo Performance to American (Idol) sweetheart Carrie Underwood for “Blown Away.” Her heartfelt speech was also short and sweet.
- Country’s favorite couple (right, guys?) Tim McGraw and Faith Hill awarded fun. with coveted Song of the Year honor for “We Are Young,” as performed with Janelle Monae. Many thanks were given to their fellow musicians, with Jay Z shouting back “You’re welcome!” Classic HOVA.
- Proud presenters Kelly Rowland and Nas announced first-ever Best Urban Contemporary Album winner Frank Ocean for Channel Orange. You mad, Chris Brown?
- Producer of the Year Dan Auerbach was announced by Pauly Perrette and my future first husband, Dave Grohl. They then honored Auerbach’s band mates, The Black Keys, with Best Rock Performance for “Lonely Boy.”
- Kaley Cuoco shouted alongside American Idol judge Keith Urban to present first AI winner Kelly Clarkson with Best Pop Vocal Album. She rambled and ran around like a crazy person. Perfection.
- Carly Rae Jepsen and Ne-Yo presented Jay Z, Kanye West, Frank Ocean and The Dream with Best Rap Song Collaboration. Mr. West was absent, but Jay Z killed again.
- Best Country Album went to The Zac Brown Band for Uncaged, and their thanks to the fans brought roars from the crowd.
- Eyelash line creator Katy Perry joked and presented Best New Artist to fun., who should definitely change that period to an exclamation point (NPH)! Their pee jokes were great too.
- The man, the legend, the symbol, the cane: Prince! He handed over the GRAMMY for Record of the Year to Gotye and Kimbra for “Somebody That I Used to Know.” No surprise there.
- 2012’s GRAMMY cleaner-upper, Adele, presented Album of the Year to Mumford & Sons for “Babel.” Their flirtation with the crowd (and Adele) was both humble and humorous.
Before its In Memoriam segment, The GRAMMY Foundation announced a brand-new category, set to begin in 2014: The Music Educator Award.
And speaking of education, the touching Sandy Hook tribute brought a wealth of performers together — and the crowd to its feet.
Did you watch? How do you think it compared to last year’s event?