1. Best surprise: Lolita’s complete recovery from a five-month back injury. It was BLEAK for a long time, with every specialist telling us that the chances of her getting better without surgery were extremely thin and Nathan and I attempting to come to terms with the possibility of putting her down. Now that she’s recovered, I don’t even mind that she prefers Nathan to me.
2. Best bad-ass: It’s a three way tie between Egyptian writer, doctor, and feminist Nawal El Saadawi, Oakland based blogger and novelist Mia Mckensie, and Russian performance artists Pussy Riot. These women unapologetically confront the major injustices of our time and refuse to be silenced, not even by prison (ok so only two of the three went to prison, but Mia Mckensie is still a badass).
3. Best classroom moment: A senior’s recognition that his privilege as a white man from a wealthy and politically connected background has instilled in him a sense of responsibility to use that privilege to impact the world in a positive way. BEST CASE SCENERIO!
4. Best blog: Black Girl Dangerous. Razor sharp analysis of politics, the arts, and culture through a racial and LQBTQ lens. Inspiring. Empowering. Informative. http://www.blackgirldangerous.org/
5. Best concert: Jay-Z. Ok, so it was the only concert I went to this year, but it still deserves to make the list. Free box seats courtesy of Kris’s company, including free dinner and drinks, and a night of fantastic music with Nathan, Kris and Erika, two of our closest friends.
6. Best find (retail): Mary’s Closet in Noe Valley. Scored a vintage Valentino sweater there for $28 and two pairs of jeans (AG and Earnest Sewn), each for $25. Their jewelry selection is also amazing.
7. Best find (restaurant): Contigo, also in Noe Valley. Taught me how amazing Spanish food can be.
8. Best weekend: The girls trip to SF in March. Hiking in Muir Woods + Peruvian food in Bernal Heights + Midnight feast a la Chef Moi = Heart exploding with joy. Best quote of the trip: Megan: “I’m having so much fun” a mere five minutes after my arrival at their rental in the Castro.
9. Best robbery: Wait… Suck it, Zurich!
10. Best inspiration: Seeing Junot Diaz speak at the N.A.I.S. People of Color Conference in D.C. His talk on his latest collection of short stories, This is How You Lose Her, his personal experience as a writer and professor at MIT and politics in the US and the Dominican Republic was peppered with F-bombs and witticisms. His fiery diction resparked my commitment to anti-racist education in 2014, motherfucker!