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bits monday music

Monday Music: Jagwar Ma “Come Save Me”

I lost my voice cheering for the marathon runners yesterday. I’d never done it before, and overwhelmed at how joyful I felt. A lot of participants ink their names on their shirts so you can cheer for them by name, and it was so great to catch hundreds of smiles as I shouted, “You go, Mike!” or “Looking awesome, Liz!” right at them as they went by. I punked out after about an hour because it was cold, but next year I’m bundling up, taking a thermos of coffee and whiskey, and getting there extra early to cheer my heart out for hours.

This story has nothing to do with today’s Monday Music, which is just one of the songs I’ve been grooving to these days.

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Do Ducks Quacks Echo?

Me and Gavin, traveling together on the BART.

“You know ducks quacks don’t echo?”

“Amber, what are you talking about? Of course a duck’s quack echos. That doesn’t even make sense.”

“No. It’s something to do with the fragmented sound…”

“Google it.” He rolled his eyes at me.

I whip out my iPhone and type in “duck quack” and Google auto-fills to “duck quack echo”.

“See? Google is already agreeing with… oh.”


“It’s a Snapple Cap fact, and it’s not true. The link I found even says not to believe ‘the caps of fruit drink beverages’.”

“You look like you just found out Santa isn’t real.”

“That’s how I FEEL.”

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bits only in new york

From the New York Times: Familiarity Breeds Content Frank Bruni, Former Restaurant Critic, on the Joys of Repeat Visits

I love this article from the New York Times about being a regular at a restaurant. One of the biggest joys of living in New York for me is to walking to my favorite place and sitting down in a familiar setting.

For me, there are two. One is an Italian restaurant where the owner taught me how to swear with a Sicilian flourish and frequently sends over dessert on the house. The other is a bar where I get a lot of work done during the early happy hours when I’m not quite ready to snap my laptop shut but could use some company and a drink (in that order, actually). One bar tender in particular knows what kind of beer I like and can steer me to new things on tap that I’ll enjoy; he also has my sort-of fussy drink order memorized: one shot of Farmers organic gin in a double glass of tonic, a dash of bitters, and no twist.

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My Grandmother’s Leaf

During a visit with my grandma last week she said, “I have to show you something!” and pulled a dry brown leaf off of her shelf.

“It was just so perfect,” she said, eyes shining. “And it was just laying there on the ground!”

We both admired it together; perfect edges, deep rich color, genuinely caught up in the wonder that something so beautiful was just laying around on the ground. I have never loved anyone more than I loved her in that moment.

“Ah,” I thought. “This is where I get it from.”

Happy weekend.

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bits only in new york

Only In New York: She Had the Same Purse

“Hey! Nice purse!” I called out.

I was on the streets of the East Village, and a lady my age was carrying the exact same purse I have, which is made by a tiny company in Warsaw, Poland that no one has heard of unless they are Pinterest-addicted. It’s the type of purse that ages like a baseball glove, and I plan on carrying it for decades.

“Yours looks broken in,” I said, admiring it. “Mine is still crisp because I just got it. This is what I have to look forward to.”

“Oh, yours is so shiny. I like it. Mine’s been everywhere. I just took it to Costa Rica!”

“So then yours has stories on it! I can’t wait for the stories to show up on mine.”

We compared all of the stuff we shoved into our purses on a daily basis, and giggled at ourselves for carrying too much before parting ways.

The gentleman I was walking with wisely took a step backward and remained silent.


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