Notable Things I Did (According To Me) in 2013

  • Baked an apple pie from scratch
  • Told a story on stage to a room full of strangers
  • Went back to New York on vacation and enjoyed every second
  • Fell in love, though that is an understatement
  • Made a real mean pork chop
  • Took a bunch of pictures
  • Discovered the excellence of "Bob's Burgers"
  • Read a lot. Favorite book of the year: "Super Sad True Love Story"
  • Let someone unstable treat me poorly. Never again.
  • Ate funnel cake on the beach boardwalk in Santa Cruz
  • Stopped biting my nails (!!!!!!!!)
  • Decided what is important (subject to change)
  • Listened to the San Francico Symphany for free under the sun in the city with thousands 
  • Consumed 50 billion calories with Leo
  • Introduced someone to Brenda's French Soul Food
  • Distanced myself purposefully
  • 4th of July, Golden Gate Park. We were asked to leave.
  • Went on the best first date of my life
  • Rode on the back of a motorcycle up Twin Peaks and watched the city spill out all around me
  • Drank too much, then dialed that back
  • Finally understood what they mean when they say that
  • Maintained friendships that mean so much to me
  • Went home three times, once for my dad's retirement party, once for his open heart surgery
  • Started hooping again
  • Won a bunch of money playing black jack in Las Vegas
  • Ate crab in Half Moon Bay
  • Learned to play canasta
  • Saw the grandeur of Lake Tahoe
  • Didn't write enough

Some Things I've Learned By Age 35

  • Leave that zit alone.
  • No one is talking about you. Probably. Probably no one is talking about you.
  • It's genetics.
  • That thing you are worrying about is going to matter zero percent in the end.
  • Never let the person across the table from you influence what you order. Get the burger.
  • Lightly, lightly.
  • A good make-up brush is a good investment, but you can usually get away with cheap mascara.


  • Be sure of yourself. You are smarter and more capable than you know.
  • Wear those flip-flops while you can because soon you can only wear shoes that allow an orthopedic insert.
  • Most people didn't mean to.
  • Taking a walk cures an awful lot of things.
  • Keep secrets, yours and others'.
  • If you hate your body, you are spitting in the face of all it can do: run, climb, hug.
  • Write it all down.
  • Networking is a necessary evil. And you don't have to be a douche about it.
  • You own your story. Remember that.
  • The repetition of days and the unrealized accumulation of habits can steal your sense of wonder. Don't let them.
  • It's not about you.
  • Trust your gut. Goddammit, always trust your gut.
  • Mint and chocolate do not belong together. Under any circumstance.

Favorite Moments of the Day So Far

  • Being greeted by the man who sells apples and packages of chips with the most earnest "good morning" imaginable.  He wishes passersby good morning like it is his job--a job he loves and has wanted his whole life.
  • Woken by a kiss from a cat, who managed not to knock off my water glass from the bedside table in the night.
  • Lunch.
  • Listening to the ladies in the office (including me) turn down walnut fudge only to have another colleauge yell, "BRING THAT SHIT OVER HERE."
  • My boss asking, "Could we get a sighting of a UFO going over the fiscal cliff?" [I have no idea.]
  • When ordering a "skinny vanilla latte without a lot of syrup," the Starbucks barista responded, "No worries. I'm a two pump chump."

Some Things That Happened Today

  • I walked to the AT&T store at 20th and Mission to have a generously-loaned iPhone 3GS activated after my iPhone 4 was ripped out of my very hands. The man at the store gets a big, ol' gold star for being that nicest, most helpful customer service represenative in the business. Not only did he get me all set up and running he changed my plan thereby saving me $20 a month. Thumbs up for that guy. 
  • Three shots of espresso, just not at the same time. I went to Ritual and had a single-origin Kenyan espresso. I didn't notice any chrsyanthemum armoas or a gummy candy finish, but it was extraordinary. 
  • A guy walked in on me while using the facilities in the unisex bathroom at Ritual. I turned the lock, but it didn't latch. At least two people saw me peeing. I walked out of there with my head high, but wanted to hide in that public restroom forever.
  • Arranged a job interview.
  • Bought a tiny gift.
  • Picked up two books from free books bin outside of Dog Eared Books: The World's Shortest Stories (a collection of 55-word stories) and Elmore Leonard's Rum Punch. Free books make me happy like rainbows and red wine. We're talking immense joy.
  • Was made to bleed by a cat.
  • I wished for stamps to be made available for purchase at all (or most) ATMs. Someone should make this happen.

Stuff! Things! A List!

  • Squash Blossoms in the Hallway is the new front runner for the name of my first (ha!) novel. Today my boss asked the sous chef, "Why are there squash blossoms in the hallway?" and the words just sounded so great together--squash blossoms in the hallway--that I can't stop thinking about them. Especially since the answer is "because there are bees in them."
  • Twitter changed its bird logo and wrote a whole blog post about why, and I appreciate both the change and the explanation, but the fact that this exist already makes me laugh so hard.
  • Gossip Girl is goddamned ridiculous. 
  • Are you following me on Twitter? You should be following me on Twitter.
  • Today I waited on two ladies, one of whom asked me at the end of the meal: "Are you from here?" I told her I'd been in the Bay Area around three years. She said, "I can tell. You are too sweet to be from the Bay Area. Never lose that." 
  • Hilarious. I'm sorry I didn't text this.
  • At work, there's a dish with pig ear in it. Every single day people ask me: "What is pig ear?"
  • I went to the park:


Things I Will Miss About San Francisco

Rainbow Over Bay Bridge
  • Palm trees
  • Street art, Mission-style
  • Mission-style burritos
  • The Pacific
  • Bi-Rite's salted caramel ice cream
  • Street cars, rail lines and rail cars
  • The tangle of overheard wires
  • The chime of the bells on Powell Street
  • The fucking Ferry Building
  • Pulse-increasing hill cresting cab rides
  • Unexpectedly seeing the ocean or the bay
  • Cheaper rent (ha)
  • The laid backedness
  • Dolores Park
  • The Golden Gate Bridge popping into view as you pop over a ridge
  • Incredible views from high atop the hills
  • Bay windows
  • Victorian houses
  • Houses painted three shades of purple
  • Driving over the Bay Bridge (it took me a while to not be terrified of this, but now I love it)
  • The big rainbow flag in the Castro
  • The Castro Theatre
  • Water dogs at Crissy Field
  • Anything goes
  • Pier walks
  • Sunset on Market Street
  • Vesuvio's
  • The romance of approaching fog

*People are not things.

Things I Learned About San Francisco While My Family and Friend Were Here

  • You pretty much don't have to pay to ride the cable car if it is crowded, and you didn't get on at the turnaround or Ghiradelli Square
  • We are not weather wimps! It's as cold and windy and bone-chilling as we all say it is.
  • The Tonga Room will fuck you up. And your mama, too.
  • Don't go to The Top of the Mark for breakfast a) hungover b) without a wad of cash c) without a camera. The view is phenomenal, and so is that brunch buffet (with dim sum!)
  • The Mark Hopkins Intercontinental is a very swanky and clean and quiet hotel with windows that open onto a gorgeous city skyline, and it's very reasonably priced. For what you get I'd say it is a steal.
  • Many tourists--way too many--never see more than Union Square, Fisherman's Wharf, the Ferry Building, Chinatown and/or North Beach. There is just so much to see and do in San Francisco, and because other people who visited tell up-and-coming visitors all the best things to do, one local's recommendations cannot overcome the power of grand tales of the sea lions. Which are pretty damn cute.
  • It can be hard to find what my mom calls "normal food," and find variety. That said, we ate some stellar French, Italian, American and seafood. Everyone seemed to leave with pleased palettes. 
  • Traveling in packs of five or six makes it very hard to cab anywhere, and twice as expensive.
  • The City does not have a large number of men that appeal to my single sister and our friend Emily, both of whom brought their A game.
  • Breakfast places open unusually late. At least a lot of them.
  • The ladies who work at Miette are always so nice. This visit cemented that.
  • They don't have sweet tea.
  • Holy crap, am I going to miss it something fierce.

Shitty Songs That Have Played at this Coffee Shop So Far

  • "Baby, Baby" - Amy Grant
  • "Desperado" - Eagles
  • "Straight Up" - Paula Abdul
  • "More than Words" - Extreme (On a church youth trip to Panama City Beach, I sang this song to a bunch of stranger boys around a campfire. They applauded after. True story.)
  • "I Will Always Love You" - Whitney Houston (If it had been Dolly, it would not be on this list.)
  • "Endless Love" - Luther Vandross and Mariah Carey (I sang this with my HS boyfriend in a talent show. We won. Did I mention I used to think myself a singer?)
  • "Footloose" - Kenny Loggins (I waited on him once. He was wearing a lot of makeup, and asked to be seated facing the wall so he would not be noticed.)
  • "Even the Nights are Better" - Air Supply
  • "The Game of Love" - Santana with Michelle Branch

Seven Reasons You Should Never, Ever Bank with SunTrust

1. Complete and Utter Incompetence

I called the other night to ask a question and to order a new check card and the call took 29 minutes, and I was put on hold 7 times. I asked that the check card be expedited, paid extra to have that done, but was told I had to sign for an expedited card. Took a personal day so that I could be here to get it. Called SunTrust to get the tracking number, as I was told to do by another employee. First woman gave me a tracking number that I suppose she pulled out of her ass, because it did not exist. Called a second time and was transferred to Hartford, a third party company, who could not help me because they only deal with credit cards. Not debit cards. Hung up, called a third time to be told that only one person in all the SunTrustLand had the tracking number, and "she isn't at her desk right now." After asking if that was a joke, I was transferred to a supervisor who then informed me that the check card was sent regular mail. I had taken the day off for nothing. He then told me the card would arrive on Monday, but that he made a note that I wouldn't have to sign for it, which was an option I was told was impossible just days earlier.

This is just one story out of a handful. Trust me on this: if there is a way fuck it up, SunTrust will do so with gusto.

2. Antiquated web banking

You cannot transfer money from your checking account to someone else's, even if you have the routing numbers for both. Any bank will allow you to do this. Not SunTrust.

3. Phone operators lazy/ignorant

If you call, expect to be put on hold around six or seven times. You will talk to at least two people, if not a completely third party company who will then tell you that they don't deal with your issue, and that you were put through to them unnecessarily.

4. Lack of communication throughout company

Just because one person tells you something, doesn't mean they made a note or told anyone else. It's as if everyone is working independent of each other. No cohesive information across the system whatsoever. Your outcome will depend on who you talk to and what they know. Which very well might be nothing.

5. Liars

I have thrice been told I would receive something in the mail that I'd requested only to find out the order was never placed. Like, at all.

6. Their Ability to Suck is Wide-Reaching

I am not the only one who has suffered:

7. Arrogance

They say they are sorry. But they are not sorry. If they were sorry they would improve. They would strive for excellence. Instead they are just as happy to pass you off to someone ELSE who doesn't have a clue. 

Breaking up with your bank can be really, really hard. SunTrust knows this. They must, otherwise they would actually give a shit about what they do. Instead, they act as though they are dealing with fake Monopoly money and that this is not people's livelihoods we are talking about here.

The number of times I have been screwed by these people can only be blamed on me, for putting up with it for so long, but rest assured that you should never, ever open up a banking account with SunTrust, or woe be unto you. You will suffer, and suffer mightily. And wait on hold. And be lied to. And take days off for no fucking reason. And generally stew in SunTrust's unabashed disrespect for their customers.

Avoid SunTrust if you don't like headaches, unfair fees, blistering ignorance or rampant incompetence in your life. 

Credit union, credit union, credit union.