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.
Considering I’m now 29 weeks and six days away from 30, I’m feeling much older and wiser than I did yesterday. Kidding — I’m still making terrible choices, stumbling and (hopefully) learning as I go. What else has kept me busy this week? Keep calm and read on.
- Son Saves Mum’s Business: Get your tissues ready, because this is bound to make you weep. A young man in England tweeted about his mum’s knitting stall at a craft fair, which sadly wasn’t making any sales. Twitter exploded in response with tons of orders, saving her business and putting Martyn as the forerunner for Son of the Year. Go ahead, cry it out.
- USF Football: What a roller coaster week it’s been for my alma mater’s football team. Our bowl game was announced a few days ago, with us heading to the Birmingham Bowl against University of South Carolina. But now, Oregon poached our head coach, Willie Taggart, and an interim coach will lead us for the game. Taggart’s four seasons at USF improved exponentially, with this season being the best in school history at 10-2. He leaves big shoes to fill, and a hole in my heart. Thanks for the memories, Coach.
- “Side to Side” – Ariana Grande f. Nicki Minaj: Did you know? It’s impossible to book a spin class without getting this song stuck in your head. Although the lyrics and video lend themselves to PG-13 concepts, people lost their damn minds when they realized what it’s actually about. Whatever the motivation, though, it’s one hell of an anthem.
- “Hairspray Live!”: Speaking of Miss Grande, I’ve set my DVR to record her and the all-star cast in tonight’s showing of “Hairspray Live!” I’m normally not a fan of these live-action musicals, but I was impressed with their showing in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and I’ve always had a soft spot for the story. Will you be watching?
I’ve refrained from commenting publicly about last week’s Paris attacks, in large part because I am speechless. The resulting debates about terrorism, gun control and refugees are sickening, to say the least.
Here’s hoping these bring a little comfort and solace to your day.
- Only Love Can Protect Paris: This now-viral video of a little boy and his father will bring happy tears to your eyes. Watch as he tries to process the magnitude of the attacks — and then, comes to the realization that flowers and candles can protect one’s heart.
- How to Process Grief: “Not knowing how to deal with grief is a common problem for humanity,” this article begins. Taken from an elderly man’s perspective, this is absolutely one of the best explanations of the grieving process I’ve seen. If nothing else, it humanizes and normalizes how we all cope with loss.
- USF Wins Big: On the lighter side of things, my alma mater had an incredible win last Saturday, making us bowl-eligible for the first time since 2010. Taking down a ranked team and securing our spot in a bowl? I’m not mad about it.
- “Stitches” – Shawn Mendes: I’ve been toe tapping along to this song for quite some time. Mendes’s voice reminds me of a hybrid between Justin Timberlake and Adam Levine… it sounds funky, but trust me, it’s all good. Plus, he’s adorable!
It’s safe to say my week has been a challenging one. And while I mourn the last of my Summer Fridays, the coming weekend brings my college bestie to the big city and I. CAN’T. WAIT. Until she arrives, here’s what’s keeping me happy:
- Beck Bennett: This year’s favorite spokesperson was just cast for the upcoming season of SNL, and I couldn’t be happier. Here’s hoping he’ll be a standout, along with his Good Neighbor comedy partners, Kyle Mooney and Dave McCreary.
- National Bow Tie Day: I fully support this totally-not-made-up holiday, simply because a bow tie should be celebrated. From Huckleberry Hound to Pee Wee Herman himself, the bow tie is a thing of beauty.
- College Football: It’s the most wonderful time of the yeeear! I can’t wait to celebrate the return of my USF Bulls to the gridiron. Wear your college colors Friday and vote for Rocky in the Capital One mascot contest — because I said so.
- “Royals” – Lorde: Blame it on Pandora. I can’t get this song out of my head, in large part to it being thumbs-upped and me listening to music 50+ hours/week. Excuses aside, I think you’ll love it too.