Smile (Living My Best Life)

If you’re breathing, you’re achieving.

— Snoop Dogg

An accounting of good things from the last three weeks:

  • Ridiculous slack conversations at work about Chantel Jeffries, why she’s famous, why she is able to put out music, and who Vory is, exactly
  • We got a new stove, and it’s the fanciest kitchen appliance I’ve ever used
  • Surviving a Lyft ride that included unexpected debris on the freeway and getting a check-in from the company, a rebate, and credit for some free trips in the future // I didn’t even complain, the driver did a good thing and informed Lyft of what happened
  • Watching my intern flourish during presentations this past week
  • Having a pretty exceptional work dinner at Norah turn into an endurance challenge as the food just. Kept. Coming.
  • Making it home from NYC despite 7 hours of delays due to weather
  • The Bibimbap lunch special at Epicé Cafe
  • Finally making my way to the Tenement Museum for a tour and getting to eavesdrop on white folks (domestic and from abroad) reckon with the realities of immigration and poverty throughout history
  • Spending a few brief minutes with Catherine in a different city
  • If a random restaurant name generator were to spit out three words that would definitely pique my interest, they would be Turntable Chicken Jazz

WNBA All-Star 2018 was so spectacular it deserves its own section

Loews Minneapolis is a lovely hotel, and while the WNBA players didn’t stay there, AC Milan did. It shares space with the Minnesota Timberwolves and Minnesota Lynx practice facility, so we saw many a basketball player throughout our stay. The lobby bar was great for people watching and drinking and eating throughout the day.

In the newly renovated Target Center, there is a gym. It is the most beautiful gym I have ever been in, and I suspect nicer than 99% of the gyms in Southern California. They have a juice bar and a real bar. At the gym. Their standard locker rooms are more luxurious than the executive locker rooms at most LA gyms I’ve been in. I loved that place. The only thing they didn’t have was the kind of elliptical machine I like but, seriously, if they had hotel beds, I’d just stay there my next visit to Minny.

We found the official hotel of WNBA All-Star a couple blocks away from us and spent way too much time in their lobby restaurant gawking at and interacting with players, coaches, officials, and other fans. Tiffany got pictures with nearly every player in town at one point. We had a brief interaction with Sparks All-Star and current fave, Chelsea Gray, and she found us during the open practice the next day and gave us a tee. During the same event, we also got called out by Coach Cheryl Reeve for being the lone Sparks fans in the building (we weren’t, but we were definitely the loudest), got a pair of free tix from the Sparks for making the trip, and got accosted with an abundance of Minnesota Nice from county fair award-winning jam maker. She gave us a sample of her jam and her hand-picked wild rice. It was so weird and so delightful.

We had excellent seats at both the open practice and the actual game courtesy of Erica Mauter. It is always a delight to see her. My only other time in Minnesota was for her wedding 8 years prior. She, her wife, and her sister are some of the best people we know, and it was exceptional to spend some quality time with them. Beyond Tiffany and Erica making NBA security a little nervous when they ran up on some players in the lobby of the hotel, I most enjoyed our dinner at Hai Hai. The food was excellent, and the drinks were five bucks cheaper than any fancy cocktail here at home. We’ll just ignore the dude in the MAGA hat who walked past us as we were waiting to be seated.

That he was such an anomaly during these last few weeks in which I spent most of my time with people and in experiences that represent the world I believe is the most ideal and optimal is a reminder that despite the onslaught of terrible news and uncertainty and anxiety and the on-going reminders that we live in a society that has throughout its history rewarded awful men, that is not the only reality.

This, all of this, is real too. And we’ve been living our best life.

I’ve got my grin on.

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