What the Hell is Going On in Ferguson, MO?

[dropcap custom_class=”normal”]I’ve been glued to Twitter the past few days. Twitter is how I first heard of the shooting of Michael Brown, the unarmed, black, 18-year old, Ferguson, Missouri resident, shot multiple times and killed by a police officer. Yet another “shoot first, ask questions and apologize later” incident. Yet another unarmed black American killed. Another life taken too soon, a child snatched from his devastated parents who surely didn’t expect to have to bury their own son, the people whom…[/dropcap]

So, I Killed a Bee

[dropcap custom_class=”normal”]It flew into my home one afternoon, using my screenless window as it’s portal. When it zoomed into my living room, my favorite cat did absolutely nothing. His feeble, half-assed attempts to catch it evolved into a game of his design, a cat-and-bee chase, only the bee was unaware of its participation and I became very concerned about getting stung.[/dropcap]

What the Confederate Flag Symbolizes to Me

[dropcap custom_class=”normal”]It’s 2014 and people are still squabbling over the meaning of the Confederate Flag. Currently, the flag is a topic of contention in a Virginia town, where an “activist group” raised the Flag on a 90-foot tall pole on private property, visible from a freeway. According to an article from The Washington Post, one of the activists from the Virginia Flaggers, shared his perspective:

when he sees the giant flag along the interstate he feels pride and reverence

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Simple Tips for Hosting a Fabulous Girls’ Night In

[dropcap custom_class=”normal”]1. My personal life was like, “Hey girl, where you been?” My days seemed to consist of either being at work, thinking about work or recovering from the exhaustion of an intense workweek that left me so spent all I want nothing more than to recline on the couch, watching cartoon movies and other non-mentally taxing fare. In addition to that, most Thursday nights in the winter I played kickball with the company team. “I need to get a life!”[/dropcap]

Potty-Mouthed Street Kids & Other Tales of Harassment

[dropcap custom_class=”normal”]A couple of weeks ago, seated with a girlfriend outside Philz Coffee, a random, late middle-age man passing by, grabbed my foot and shook it. He didn’t say anything, just shook my foot and continued walking.

What the hell?!

My friend and I looked at each other, puzzled. I didn’t say much and publicly shrugged it off. It happened so fast I didn’t even have time to react. Afterward, however, I sat feeling disturbed…[/dropcap]

Laid Off, Not Laid Out

[dropcap custom_class=”normal”]I got laid off this week.

The news didn’t completely surprise me. I knew the company, which I’ll refer to as “Fancy Startup” (FS), planned to cut some jobs [the numbers-focused CEO told us weeks ago, “We have too many employees and still more to hire. We now have x hundreds of employees and plan to hire x number more. Do you guys think we should have that many? That’s crazy!” He laughed mirthlessly, “By year’s end I expect we’ll have the same number. So…”] [/dropcap]

Saying No to No

[dropcap custom_class=”normal”]Recently during lunch with a co-worker, Mighty* – we’ve bonded in our search for sanity in the crazytown that is our work environment – she exclaimed, “Keisha, I have to tell you! Something you told me really helped me!”

A few weeks earlier, on our way back from lunch, dodging poo on the sidewalk (dog? human? who knows), sidestepping a disheveled-looking man angrily muttering to himself and quickly breezing past a urine-scented staircase, – in other words, a not atypical walk in certain parts of San Francisco…[/dropcap]

In Defense of The Sensitive Person

[dropcap custom_class=”normal”]”You’re such a good listener.”

It’s something I’ve heard often, that I’m a good listener. It’s probably the trait of which I’m most proud. Who doesn’t want someone to listen to them? Who doesn’t want to be heard? You can change the tone of a conversation or an argument just by letting the other person know that you are listening to them and reflecting listening behavior.[/dropcap]

The Dangers of Dancing While Black

[dropcap custom_class=”normal”]”Go Keisha! Go Keisha!”

It’s a college party. I’m in a Soul Train line, surrounded mostly by white people, and it’s my turn to dance. A popular rap song is blasting from a giant stereo and people are losing their collective shit, arms flailing, bouncing up, down and around, shout-rapping (“shrapping?”) along but skipping the word “nigga”, some glancing at me out of the corner of their eyes. An expression that says, “See? I didn’t say it! Aren’t you proud?”[/dropcap]

Tapas, Cathedrals, Flamenco and Street Mazes: Seville, Spain

[dropcap custom_class=”normal”]By 6pm we found ourselves in a familiar conundrum, starting to get hungry, but not sure what to eat. Our stomachs were on an American, childfree, working professional meal schedule, meaning we generally eat dinner anytime between 7 p.m. and 9 p.m., with 9 p.m. pushing it on a weeknight. By 9, Spanish dinner has barely begun! The solution is tapas and cervecerias (bars with snacks).[/dropcap]

Awkward Encounters at the Greeting Card Store

[dropcap custom_class=”normal”]A few days ago I was at my local greeting card store picking up what seemed like stacks of birthday cards because I tend to befriend and befamily* a disproportionate number of Pisces/Aries/Taurus people (those born in March and April, for the non-astrology folks). As I approached the cash register to pay, I kind of hoped that I wouldn’t be helped out by the somewhat eccentric older woman with the Thelma Harper hair and with whom I’d had an off-putting encounter around the Christmas holidays.[/dropcap]

Beware the Crazy Old Goat Down the Hall

[dropcap custom_class=”normal”]Hi, I’m Keisha and apparently I get into fights with old ladies. Let’s take a look, shall we?

When I first moved into my apartment building I met the girlfriend of one of my neighbors. Her boyfriend had lived in the building for two years.

“How do you like it here? How are the people in the building?”

“Oh, I like it. People are pretty quiet and nice, but…” she lowered her voice and moved closer to me, “Have you met the old lady that lives down the hall?”[/dropcap]

My Dad and ‘The Guy From That Movie…’

[dropcap custom_class=”normal”]I just got off the phone with my dad. A 45-minute conversation.

Our conversation went something like this:

“Hi, dad.”

“I just tried calling you. Your voicemail box is full.”

“Oh, ok. Yeah, I never check it.”

“Someone might want to call you and leave you a message. Gotta check that.”

The only people who call me and leave messages are Walgreen’s pharmacy with an automated message letting me know that my prescription is ready. So, not even a person.[/dropcap]

Don’t Pity Me Because I’m Single

[dropcap custom_class=”normal”]”Are your standards too high?”

My concerned dad, seated in front of me in the booth, waited to hear whether I was self-sabotaging my romantic possibilities and thus crushing his dreams of seeing more grandchildren. Grandchildren from his firstborn. No pressure.

I’d returned to Houston to visit my family for the Christmas holiday. My dad had kidnapped me from my parents’ house, where funnily enough I’d been regalingmy mom with dating horror stories. He’d returned from running whatever errands dads run and whisked me away. He didn’t tell me where we were going. I didn’t know until we pulled into the restaurant parking lot. I guess we’re eating then. [/dropcap]

12 Things About My First 12 Months in San Francisco

[dropcap custom_class=”normal”]Well, well, well, look who survived her first year in San Francisco! That’s right. She of the woeful posts New City, No New Friends, San Francisco: Not a Treat (Yet) and Making Friends: Paying Dues. It’s been a tremendous year with intense ups and downs and quite a bit of change and growth. Here are 12 ways in which my life has changed in the 12 months I’ve lived in San Francisco, from the mundane to the exciting.[/dropcap]