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 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!
So, um. I move to San Fran in TEN DAYS. To say I’m ready would be a flat-out lie, so let’s just keep on procrastinating with these four finds:
- FALL.: That’s right, white girls can officially rejoice in a few days because the weather is changing and Pumpkin Spice Lattes are back! I’m personally just excited to sweat a little bit less … call me crazy.
- New York Fashion Week: With the emergence of fall also comes NYFW — a shining, glittering beacon for all the aspiring Miranda Priestlys of the world. I’m not super in-tune with the trends, but this color palette has me admittedly giddy.
- Van Diemens: I can’t believe I’ve never publicly obsessed over this bar … it’s been a steadfast go-to for a solid year! My alumni group hosts events here, and it’s also where my going-away party will be Saturday night 😥
- “Here I Go Again” – Audra Mae: I heard a snippet of this cover during a Bravo promo, and I am totally hooked. It’s raw and real, and I can’t get her voice outta my head.
It’s been a tough week, you guys. I had the best time with Magz visiting, but she went home right before a good friend of mine here moved back to Florida herself. Couple that with the true New York experience of someone dying in my building, and all I can say is: Next week has to be better.
- Homejoy: I was thrilled to use a Groupon for this cleaning service before my mom’s visit. Sure, my place was clean — but nowhere near “mom clean.” I didn’t particularly love the woman assigned, but there are literally thousands of certified employees to work with in the future.
- “How I Met Your Mother” Finale: SPOILER ALERT! I hadn’t watched much of the last 2 seasons, but knew I had to watch Monday’s finale. I was underwhelmed (not just whelmed) and thought it was a total cop-out. DISCUSS.
- Bowling with the Bulls: My alumni group is hosting a bowling event tomorrow night at Bowlmor Union Square. All are welcome to help us celebrate the 2013 grads who’ve moved to NYC — check it out!
- “The Mother We Share” – Chvrches: A co-worker reminded me of this eclectic jam via one of his many applauded playlists. Makes it easy to zone out and forget about anything going on outside my own little bubble.
This is absolutely the most difficult WO I’ve written since I began them 77 weeks ago. Today, I pay tribute to the city I’ve called home for more than seven years: Tampa Bay.
It’s not even possible to pick four favorites out of everything I’ve experienced here. From my days at USF to enjoying Gasparilla, downtown bars, Ybor City cigars and having co-workers become family … it’s all been too much.
I’ve been blessed with an opportunity to begin a life in New York City, but I’ll always be grateful for the time I’ve spent here. The farewell celebrations continue tonight, where absolutely no tears will be permitted. Well, maybe just a few.
Till next time, Tampa. Stay classy.
This hump day has pretty much kicked me in my hypothetical balls and rubbed my face in dirt — just for good measure. The Band-Aid to my wounds? These four lovelies:
- USF: I’m always obsessed with my Alma Mater, the University of South Florida. But this week, we have two guys going to the Super Bowl (you down with JPP?), and our Tampa campus hosted the GOP debate Monday night! GOOO BULLS 🙂
- Gasparilla: The annual pirate invasion of Tampa Bay began last week, and this weekend is the piece de resistance — an all-out boozefest, with beads and beards alike! Yo ho, yo ho.
- Squaresville: This South Tampa hidden gem is a one-stop shop for all of your vintage needs. From Golden Girls coozies to pirate-themed tanks, they’ve got it. Just beware: The owner’s snark takes some getting used to.
- “This City” by Patrick Stump: I actually can’t stand this song, but I figure since I’m so enamored with Tampa this week, I might as well celebrate it. Learn it, live it, love it.
Signing off before anything else goes wrong tonight … I think Brian Williams said it best Monday: