I am a big fan of how San Francisco does wintertime. Most of February has felt like spring. There's a slight chill when I leave for work in the morning but we're well on our way to 60s and 70s by the time I get to the office. Sign me up.
Read and Reading
Friends have recommended the Inspector Gamache series for a few years now and I decided to finally see why. I bought Still Life (Penny) from Parnassus Books while I was back in Nashville, as a plane debacle on the way there led to me reading three books in one day and I was in need of reading material for the flight back. It's a delightful character-driven murder mystery. I'm curious to see how our dear Inspector will grow over the course of the series. Still Life sets up some interesting premises and I liked learning more about the town and its inhabitants. The mystery itself could have gone in several directions, which led to some surprises, even if I did figure out the murderer before the rest.
My friend Addie Zierman's second memoir Night Driving comes out March 15. I was honored to receive an advance copy, which I devoured. The level of honesty and vulnerability is rare for the spiritual memoir genre. Had Addie waited several years before writing it, we would get a very different book. But I'm glad for the immediacy and that we can learn from someone who is still figuring it all out. Someone who can be honest about the ups and downs and the fears and the doubts. Addie's writing is permeated with grace and wisdom and she's an amazing writer. I'm so proud of her. Plus, I make an appearance, which is a first, as I hosted her for one night during her Epic Road Trip.
Trigger Warning (Gaiman) is an eerie, captivating collection of short stories. I am fascinated by Gaiman and how he comes up with these stories. What a wonderful world we live in.
You can see all the books I've read at Goodreads.
Currently reading: The Complete Enneagram (Chestnut), The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness (Alexander), The Bible Tells Me So (Enns), Spiritual Friendship: Finding Love in the Church as a Celibate Gay Christian (Hill), Out of the House of Bread (Yancey)
(I read 18 books this month.)
Must-see TV: Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, Once Upon A Time, Jane the Virgin, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, Top Chef, Downton Abbey
I'm still enjoying Crazy Ex-Girlfriend but I'm going to need them to move the storyline along so it's not so "Rebecca is going to do anything to be near Josh Chan!" Can she at least accept the fact that they can only be friends right now?
I'm writing this before Downton Abbey's finale (last night, as of this publication) but all I can say is Edith better get a happy ending. Or else.
I loved the first Zoolander movie and was very excited about the sequel. What a disappointment! Whereas the first movie had a point to make about the fashion industry, Zoolander 2 made no sense, even if you tried to suspend disbelief. Plus, it was offensive. So much fat-shaming and homophobia. What a waste of time and money.
Listen to the What I'm Into 2015 playlist.
I haven't stopped thinking about Reply All's episode #55: The Line, about the intersection of Mormons and doubt. Or rather, how doubt is seen not only as incompatible with the LDS church but of the devil.
I am a HUGE fan of BJ Miller and his work in end of life care so I was delighted by his episode of On Being with Krista Tippett. I hope more and more people get to listen to his perspective.
Hindsight Parts 1 and 2 completed upended my experience of Serial. I've been thinking about Bergdahl's case one way, only to learn about a key missing piece of the puzzle. It's inspired a lot of discussion with a coworker who is also listening.
I got a kick out of Jeff Tremaine coming on Sorta Awesome to share behind-the-scenes of the entertainment industry with Laura and Megan. Such a fun and funny listen!
The Longform Podcast interviewed the hosts of Another Round and, as always, it made for fascinating listening. I love this podcast because they rarely ask the typical questions. It was great getting to learn more about Heben and Tracy.
Things I Love:
- I was finally able to share how I sold my Enneagram coaching business. I'm so happy about how it all worked out and glad I can return to being an Enneagram enthusiast.
- I tried a few new things from Devil's Teeth Bakery when Cara and I got together. This was a good decision. Thank you for not letting me down, kale parmesan scone.
- My friend Julie and I went to b. patisserie after work and it absolutely lived up to its reputation. I had a Valrhona Fudge Cookie that was life-changing. Plus, I love getting to hang out with Julie.
- Beyonce and Bruno Mars made for one unforgettable Super Bowl Halftime performance. ENCORE.
- Sometimes the bus is half empty, even if it only lasts for a stop. It's so nice and rare to choose where I want to sit.
- Lydia and I walked around the neighborhood by our office and I found some really neat architecture. The buildings here are fascinating.
- Speaking of which, I got to tour Sherith Israel, which is one of the oldest synagogues in the US. It is beyond gorgeous. The attention to detail, the design....I couldn't stop taking pictures while walking through it. It was built in 1904 and part of the national registry of historic places. We couldn't use our regular Sunday facility yesterday so Sherith Israel filled in. And what a substitute!
- My friend Rachel and I tend to both have Fridays off so we took the opportunity to grab lunch at Beachside, where I tried the Irish Breakfast sandwich. It was as amazing as I hoped. Then we walked the beach for a while, which never gets old. She asked me for book recommendations so she is my favorite.
- My friend Laura took me to Glen Park, a neighborhood I hadn't yet explored. We had breakfast at Tyger's and then walked through Glen Canyon where it looked like spring everywhere we turned. It was hard to remember we were in the city.
- I went back to Nashville for a visit for the first time since moving away last June. Erin came down from our hometown and we both stayed with Tracy for a best friend reunion. I came a day early so I could see as many Nashy friends as possible, though there was no way to fit everyone in. (Sorry, y'all!) It was so good to catch up with friends and visit my favorite haunts. Plus, the weather warmed up to the 60s the last 2 days of the trip.
- My niece-in-love and nephew-in-love woke me up early my first day...but only for a hug before she headed off to school. So grown up! (I gave them permission to wake me up.) It was so good to see them again and see how much they've grown and just plain be in their presence for a few days.
- I got to meet Casi's sweet baby girl. She is so precious!
- I got the very last brisket sandwich when Julie and I went to Edley's for lunch. Score!
- Alece and I had delightful cocktails at Pinewood Social. I am so impressed with all of her adulting!
- Amanda and I caught up over dinner at Flip Burger. I have missed her so much and it was good to finally be face to face while we solved the world's problems.
- Fido upgraded to Rishi Tea, which made me happy but not as happy as I was to see Abby. It was weird not seeing her since October.
- I got to see my sweet nanny "baby" who is 4 1/2 now and still doesn't quite get where California is or why I don't see her more often. It was great spending time with her and her mom.
- I really like my stylist here but she went on maternity leave early. Luckily, my stylist Michelle agreed to cut my hair while I was in town! I went back to a shorter style and I love it. It was so great to hear what all Michelle has been up to, too!
- Crystal and I went to Edgehill Cafe...which looks COMPLETELY DIFFERENT. Like, I questioned if we were in the same place. The remodel job turned out nice but it was a little disconcerting. Luckily, they still have my favorite Tangerine Ginger tea. Crystal and I didn't have nearly enough time together but we managed to pack a lot of conversation in anyway. She is such a source of encouragement.
- Allison and I took advantage of Local Taco's Happy Hour margaritas and sat outside talking for a couple of hours. You know those friends who you can talk about anything and everything? That's Allison. She and Adam have been through a lot so I don't take time with her for granted.
- I walked down to Dose to see Jess before she had to go to work. I am always inspired by her and, of course, walked away with a few good book recommendations. Such a treat!
- Tracy, Erin, and I went to Sinema for a nice birthday dinner. The food and drinks blew me away, as did the decor and service. Incredible! We all turn 36 within months of each other. and it was nice to be able to celebrate together. We started talking about what we should do for our 40th birthdays and I fervently hope we follow through.
- After dinner, we saw Zoolander 2 (boo) and then Tracy and Erin dragged me to an Irish pub. I wasn't against the pub, per se- I just wanted to get into comfy clothes sooner! We stayed at a hotel that night and it was so nice to be just the 3 of us. I don't know the last time we've had that much time together just the 3 of us. But it's so important for it to happen, no matter how much I love their families.
- The last morning in town, we went to a new place Proper Bagel that opened up in Belmont. There was a bit of a line but it moved fast and the bagels were worth it.
- Lydia, Christy, and I went to our favorite pho place for lunch. I can't get enough of it.
- We had doughnuts from Mr. Holmes at work. Definitely a dairy cheat (like other places I went to this month!) but worth it.
- And of course, this sunset.
(If you want to follow me on Instagram, my user name is leighkramer.)
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What have you been into this month?
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