Last Thursday I got to go to San Francisco for a meeting that afternoon and on Friday morning. I took the train to get there early on Thursday so I would have a couple of hours to wander around. I started with Chinatown since it was within walking distance of my hotel. I had not been in that neighborhood since high school, so I pretty much didn’t remember anything about it. The buildings were so pretty!

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I have been craving a lobster roll for months (why?), so I asked around at work and someone recommended Anchor & Hope. It was pricey, but super delicious.

IMG 5235I often find that lobster and crab rolls can be kind of bland, but this one was incredibly flavorful. It also came with tater tots. A lot of you were quite wowed by the tots when I posted them on Instagram, but I have to tell you the tot truth – they weren’t my favorite. I am a tot traditionalist and I like mine fast food style with a little bit of chunkiness to the potatoes and a super crispy exterior. These were more like seasoned mashed potatoes on the inside and weren’t particularly crunchy on the outside. I obviously ate them, but I had a lot of tot feelings.

After my afternoon meetings, I rode a bus to Pier 39 to find some dinner and watch the sun set since it was such a clear day. I also found a crab roll which was fabulous. I think I’ve satisfied my roll needs – for now at least.

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It was such a pretty evening!

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As the sun went down, I spied Ghirardelli Square in the distance and decided that should OBVIOUSLY be my final stop of the evening.IMG 5258

I enjoyed a beautiful sundae with salted caramel and chocolate. It was magnificent.IMG 5262And, then it was dark and I hustled my fanny to the bus stop to get back to the hotel before it got to be too late. After the meetings on Friday, I rode back with a coworker and it took us three and a half hours in the car. The train only takes about two, so I won’t be accepting rides to or from SF anymore.

On Saturday, I went to Orange Theory and did some work from home, then went to our football game. At a fundraiser, our boss bought Lisa’s son a package to be an honorary member of the team (he’s 11) for a day, so I got there early watch him in action. I almost cried about 14 times because the players were all so kind and encouraging to him, and he had the biggest smile. He was definitely Mr. Cool.

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I left the game a little early to go meet Sari, Tracy, and Matt at a bar in town to hang out. It was a British pub, so naturally I had to get Scotch Eggs and beer. Gotta get that protein wrapped in protein.

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So delicious.

I went to Orange Theory again on Sunday morning, then did things around the apartment in the afternoon. I made more lotion bars and tried making chapstick for the first time. I was surprised by how easy they were to make, and I now have 17 tubes of it which should last me at least a month.

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Magnificent Men of Monday

I started watching The Last Kingdom in the spring, but never made it through the first episode. I gave it another try recently after Sari’s boyfriend convinced me that it was good. I am SO GLAD I finished that first episode because Uhtred son of Uhtred (father of Uhtred) is HOT. Just look at his grand entrance!

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Good grief he is pretty.

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I totally forgot that he was in American Horror Story: Coven.

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Ten Thing Friday

1. How you can help with the recovery from Irma.

2. I thought The Atlantic‘s article on “The First White President” was a compelling and thought-provoking read. I think it brings up one of the most important bits of inaccurate narrative that the bulk of his base are disenfranchised lower-class white.

3. Amber Tamblyn is NOT HAVING IT from James Woods and his accusation that she is lying about the time he tried to pick her up when she was 16. SIXTEEN. Get him, girl! He is a dumpster troll, and I am THRILLED that someone is calling him out on it.

Lainey Gossip has a great post on the specifics of why her letter is so perfect. The Donald connection is so damn spot on.

4. Sari and I were just talking this weekend about how beautiful and radiant everyone always looks on Insecure. There’s a reason! I clearly live with my head up my own white ass because it never occurred to me that proper lighting for darker skinned actors takes a very specific effort. I don’t know zip about filmmaking, so all of this was extremely interesting to me.


I realllllllly wanted things with Molly and the nice guy from Chicago to work out. I would totally date that nerd! The minute she put on that lingerie I knew Dro was at the door. MOLLY. I know dating hard and miserable, but you smart, successful, funny, and freaking gorgeous, HE IS NOT YOUR MAN. He is super pretty though and they have great chemistry, so I can see the dilemma here.

I think next season is going to be a great one for Issa. She’s hit the bottom, and now it’s time for her to start her trajectory back up. She was so gracious when she lost the job opportunity, but I hope she starts looking for something new. Everyone she works with is so odd. I think she’s learned from her mistakes and been hit in the face by the consequences of them, so it’s time for an “Issa is happy” season. I almost got a few tears during the montage of her and Lawrence as a family They can’t be done! They just need to grow some more before they find their way back to each other.

5. Thanks to my kidney issues, I had a lot of time this weekend to watch the third season of Narcos. It was totally bananas (Pacho!!!). You can read more here about the real Jorge Salcedo and the book that Andrea recommended, At the Devil’s Table, looks great. What a total nightmare of a situation.

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6. The science behind acupuncture. As I’ve shared before, I don’t really understand how/why/if it works, but it has significantly deceased my migraines, my fingers are less swollen, and it’s helped with back pain.

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7. A fun look back at the diadem of the Duchess of Devonshire. She was also a double duchess which is my new life goal.

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8. Sanders and the Single-Payer Health Care Bill.

9. Tips on recovering from long-ass flights.

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10. I’m in San Francisco today for meetings and I was hoping to spend the weekend here enjoying the city. Unfortunately, because I still don’t have a car AND am still recovering form the kidney stones/kidney infection (thanks, kidneys!), I am heading home this afternoon. SUPER RUDE.

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Words for Nerds

Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys



World War II is drawing to a close in East Prussia and thousands of refugees are on a desperate trek toward freedom, many with something to hide.Among them are Joana, Emilia, and Florian, whose paths converge en route to the ship that promises salvation, the “Wilhelm Gustloff.” Forced by circumstance to unite, the three find their strength, courage, and trust in each other tested with each step closer to safety.

Just when it seems freedom is within their grasp, tragedy strikes. Not country, nor culture, nor status matter as all ten thousand people adults and children alike aboard must fight for the same thing: survival.

I initially picked this up because it involved the Wilhelm Gustloff which is one of the worst maritime disasters in history (9,000 died), yet very few people are actually aware that it happened. Time has a worthwhile article on this novel and the ship if you are interested in learning more.

It took me a bit to feel anchored to the characters as there are four narrators and I wasn’t sure which one was which for a while. I typically struggle with these types of narrative choices, but I thought it all came together exceptionally well. I was quite stressed during the latter half of the book because I knew what was coming, but it unfolded in an unhurried way. I had a hard time putting the novel down and would recommend it to anyone who enjoys WWII historical fiction.

Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie


I really enjoyed this story and the characters. Event though it was almost 600 pages, I wouldn’t have been sad for 600 more. There are a lot of issues she touched on and some of them did not get explored as much as I would have liked, but I still really enjoyed it. At times it was a kind of all over the place and rambling, but I found it thoughtful and lovely. I pretty much always enjoy an immigration story and reading about people navigating a new land.

As teenagers in a Lagos secondary school, Ifemelu and Obinze fall in love. Their Nigeria is under military dictatorship, and people are fleeing the country if they can. Ifemelu–beautiful, self-assured–departs for America to study. She suffers defeats and triumphs, finds and loses relationships and friendships, all the while feeling the weight of something she never thought of back home: race. Obinze–the quiet, thoughtful son of a professor–had hoped to join her, but post-9/11 America will not let him in, and he plunges into a dangerous, undocumented life in London.

Fifteen years later, Obinze is a wealthy man in a newly democratic Nigeria, while Ifemelu has achieved success as a writer of an eye-opening blog about race in America. But when Ifemelu returns to Nigeria, and she and Obinze reignite their shared passion–for their homeland and for each other–they will face the toughest decisions of their lives. Fearless, gripping, spanning three continents and numerous lives, Americanah is a richly told story of love and expectation set in today’s globalized world.

Cockroaches by Jo Nesbø

Cockroaches (Harry Hole, #2)

I don’t know if it was because so many other things were going on in the real world at the time, but I never really got into the story and it was a labor to finish it. I blame the Nazis.

When the Norwegian ambassador to Thailand is found dead in a Bangkok brothel, Inspector Harry Hole is dispatched from Oslo to help hush up the case.

But once he arrives Harry discovers that this case is about much more than one random murder. There is something else, something more pervasive, scrabbling around behind the scenes. Or, put another way, for every cockroach you see in your hotel room, there are hundreds behind the walls. Surrounded by round-the-clock traffic noise, Harry wanders the streets of Bangkok lined with go-go bars, temples, opium dens, and tourist traps, trying to piece together the story of the ambassador’s death even though no one asked him to, and no one wants him to—not even Harry himself.

WTF Wednesday


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One of the most bizarre experiences for me post-election has been the repeated accusation from friends and family that I “don’t live in the real world.” This always surprises me because this comment ALWAYS springs forth from someone who has never left our tiny town in Texas. Or, on the rare occasion, has moved from our tiny town to another predominately white tiny town. Most of them live in the middle of nowhere on land that their family has owned for a century doing the same thing their grandparents did. Don’t tell me about the real world when you never encounter a person of color and you spend all of your time on your isolated ranch bitching about how crappy our education system is. You haven’t been inside a school in 40 years; YOU KNOW NOT WHAT YOU SPEAK OF.

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They’ve never made new friends. Never had to find their place in a new city. Never experienced the unfamiliar. Never had to be uncomfortable. Never worked with or spent significant time interacting with someone who is completely different from them in every way. They’ve never lived in a large city and faced the issues that come with it. They’ve never traveled to another country and have never been thrown into a completely unfamiliar culture. They’ve never had to change. And they have never been forced to look at who they are and realize that they are not always as kind and decent as they once thought. They haven’t been called out on their bullshit or had to take responsibility for beliefs that harm others.

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There is nothing wrong with living in a small town or staying in the town where you grew up. I would love to move home one day (although it will have to be after I retire since there are zero jobs I could do there). Just like there are people who never leave New York City. That is your choice, but recognize the limitations of your own experiences. I am a dramatically different person than I was at 18 because of the diverse range of people I’ve met and the places I’ve lived, but I still have a lot to learn. I also think I have a pretty good grasp on the real world because it comes into my office every single day. I work with kids who have seen the worst that this world has to offer, and yet they still somehow manage to pursue their dreams of an education. That is the real world and it’s bigger than your tiny town in the middle of nowhere.

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While my parents initially got me interested in history, it was a teacher in middle school who truly made me fall in love with it. She would lend me her personal history books and let me sit in her classroom at lunch to have history chats. As you can imagine, I still have great admiration and affection for her. So, I was devastated this weekend when she posted this:

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First and foremost, the fact that there is a period instead of a comma at the end of Lincoln’s quote is an egregious and purposeful error to make a false point. The full quote:

“If I could save the Union without freeing any slave, I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing all the slaves, I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing some and leaving others alone, I would also do that. What I do about slavery and the colored race, I do because I believe it helps to save the Union; and what I forbear, I forbear because I do not believe it would help to save the Union.”

No one is denying that the North went to war to protect the Union first and foremost. Abolition came later, bu there was no way to even address that problem if the United States was fractured. Additionally, no one is arguing that Robert E. Lee wasn’t a perfectly honorable man. I have no doubt that he would have done anything to avoid the war. He had to make an unimaginably hard decision, but that doesn’t negate the fact that he led an army in a war against the United States. He still fought for the side defending their right to slavery. And, if anyone pulls that “states rights” bullshit on you, then kindly direct them to the original Declaration of Causes of Seceding States. These states declared, in their own words, that they were seceding in order to retain their “right” to enslave people.

South Carolina: “…An increasing hostility on the part of the non-slaveholding States to the institution of slavery.”

Mississippi: “A blow at slavery is a blow at commerce and civilization.”

Texas: “She was received as a commonwealth holding, maintaining and protecting the institution known as negro slavery– the servitude of the African to the white race within her limits– a relation that had existed from the first settlement of her wilderness by the white race, and which her people intended should exist in all future time.”

Georgia: “For the last ten years we have had numerous and serious causes of complaint against our non-slave-holding confederate States with reference to the subject of African slavery.”

Alabama: “No slave in this State shall be emancipated by any act done to take effect in this State, or any other country.”

I could go on for each state, but this article provides a nice summary of the actual percentage of each declaration that was dedicated to various claims and grievances:

As I’ve mentioned before, I don’t typically bust into someone’s comments when they merely express an opinion. I likely disagree with that opinion, but I respect their right to have it. But if you share blatant misinformation, then I am coming for you and I don’t care how mad you get at me or how “disappointed” you are that I dared to disagreed with you. Take a moment to verify what you share, then you won’t have to deal with me. I feel like I should make an “Arguing Against the Lost Cause” toolkit because my GOODNESS how easily people forget well-documented history.