What Halloween Taught Me About Economics

[dropcap custom_class=”normal”]This is the third year that Jimmy Kimmel encouraged parents to torment their unsuspecting, innocent, cherub-faced children by pretending the parents ate all the kids’ Halloween candy. These candy-nappers film the interaction as they break the news to their presumed beloved spawn, and we, as adults, are expected to laugh at the pain these helpless tykes feel at the sudden, shocking and unexpected loss of their sugar prizes. “That’s not a very kind thing to doooooo,” one sweet boy wailed at his candy-napping parent.[/dropcap]

36 Hours in Barcelona

[dropcap custom_class=”normal”]We made it to Barcelona without incident and hopped on the Aerobus, an inexpensive shuttle to the city center and various Metro stops. As we exited the Metro station that first night on our way to the hotel, the familiar smell of ganja smoke wafted past us, not just once, but a few times. I gave my friend a knowing look. It’s like home in San Francisco! I liked the city already. If a city is down with its citizens freely hanging out with Mary Jane, chances are it’s down with other fun-loving shenanigans, and I enjoy not having to fear getting arrested for some random minor offense I didn’t know was illegal.[/dropcap]

My “Mindy Project” Moment With a Guy On the Elevator

[dropcap custom_class=”normal”]I marathoned season one of The Mindy Project during the summer television drought. I developed a girl crush on the lead character, Mindy Lahiri, almost immediately. She’s me. She’s my friends! Mindy’s an educated, single, professional woman in her early 30s, living in Boston. She’s a relatable blend of endearingly awkward, at times second-hand-cringe-inducingly awkward, feisty, ready to go head-to head with the funniest of dudes in a battle of quips, unabashed lover of pop culture, with a fabulous style exhibited by her flyass enviable wardrobe. And she’s brown! She’s a brown girl on TV, Indian-American to be more specific, and her brownness is not the focus of her character’s life. She gets to be “normal.”[/dropcap]

The Sneaky Privilege in Greeting Cards

[dropcap custom_class=”normal”]Earlier this year I was lounging at Starbuck’s with my friend V, who is Chinese-American. A friend of hers, also Chinese-American, was getting married to a half-white/half Japanese-American man.

She told me, with some sheepishness, “You’re going to kill me, but I bought a card for ___ and ____ with white people on it.”

I laughed.

“Why would I kill you? It’s not like I’m some militant “black power” chick. ‘You must only buy cards with people of color on them!'”

She chuckled and nodded.

“But, let me ask you this,” I continued, “would you give one of your white friends a wedding card with a happy Asian couple depicted?”[/dropcap]

Yes, I Am a Single Female in Her 30s With Cats

[dropcap custom_class=”normal”]A male co-worker and I got into one of our usual tiffs when I declared, “I want a dooooooog!” He scoffed and gave me a pointed look, “You already have two cats. No guy is going to want to date a woman with two cats and a dog!”

I and my female co-worker (and close friend) gasped in disagreement. This was a common occurrence. This male co-worker would nonchalantly drop a statement which we’d find incendiary and a heated debate would ensue, often in the lunchroom, hilariously, with others joining in and sides forming along gender lines.[/dropcap]

Bus Bullies and Ratchet Bitches*

[dropcap custom_class=”normal”]Last week on my way home from work, trouble came looking for me in the form of a bus bully. I could have ignored it, but the fighter in me protested: “Nope, we will NOT be backing down today.”

When I boarded the bus, it was standing room only. I parked myself near a pole, turned up Spotify and tried to decompress from work. Whereas I could have gotten lobotomized and still done my old job, my new job keeps me on my toes: literally and figuratively. By the end of most days, I’m spent. That day had been particularly exhausting.

A minute into my bus ride, the girl (she was maybe in her early 20s) sitting in front of me said to her friend, seated behind me, “Hoes be having they p-ssy all in my face and shit.”[/dropcap]

On Being Black in San Francisco: A Snapshot

[dropcap custom_class=”normal”]Last night, my sister, my friend “Mercy” and I were on the bus returning from Oakland’s First Music Festival (a blast!). We were exhaustedly babbling, trying to figure out what to do for dinner (sleep sounded like a great option!) when a young guy behind us interjected:

“Excuse me ladies…”

Oh lord. Don’t let this be some lame line. I am too tired.

“Excuse me ladies, but I just have to tell you how refreshing it is to see three African-American women on this bus. On any bus here really.” [/dropcap]

I Don’t Pop Molly

[dropcap custom_class=”normal”]”I don’t pop molly, I rock Tom Ford.”

– Jay-Z, “Tom Ford, 2013

If you listen to hip-hop these days, you’ve no doubt heard all the references to molly (basically ecstasy): “I Can’t Seem to Find Molly“, “Popped a molly, I’m sweatin‘” or maybe you’re even listening to Miley “cultural appropriation” Cyrus’ latest song. She sings about poppin’ mollies in “We Can’t Stop“. [She told producers she wanted “something that sounds black.” Girl, get your life! I give major side-eye to people who reduce blackness to the sliver of sub-culture of which they are aware. You need to diversify your black exposure. 13 million black Americans aren’t all the same. It’s like if Rihanna said she wants a “white” sound for her next album and had bagpipers all up in her video. Have a seat with your pancake booty that has no business twerking.][/dropcap]

Men in San Francisco and My Awkward Black Girl Moment

[dropcap custom_class=”normal”]If you haven’t watched the hilarious web series “The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl” on YouTube, you need to get on it! Issa Rae plays “J”, a well-meaning, feisty-but-lovable, often awkward, twenty-something dating, working, and trying to navigate her world in Los Angeles. She hilariously narrates the awkward, uncomfortable, and sometimes cringe-worthy moments many of us encounter in our daily lives. Watching that series helped me let the gunk out after long, shitty days at my recent lifeforce-sucking job. [/dropcap]

I Woke Up Thirtysomething

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“As you sit in your rocking chair at the age of 100, what might be a regret you will have if there was something(s) you did not do/achieve/try?”

I stared at the question on the work/life reflection worksheet given to me by my career counselor. One of several questions aimed at helping me find my “passion.” The idea being once I discover this elusive passion, I can direct my efforts toward an endeavor I’d truly find satisfying and meaningful, instead of middling through a career that like a perfunctory meal, provides nourishment, but doesn’t inspire, isn’t particularly memorable or something you want to effusively praise to your friends.

Things I’d regret not doing? [/dropcap]

When Volunteering Gets Real

[dropcap custom_class=”normal”]A homeless woman yelled at me today.

Through my company, 10 of my co-workers and I volunteered to help out with Project Homeless Connect’s (PHC) annual event. PHC helps to “connect” the homeless population with the essential services they need: everything from dental care and eyeglasses to haircuts to helping people get low-cost bank accounts. You know, the things that help people feel more included in modern American society.[/dropcap]

Rainbows, Rainbows and More Rainbows: San Francisco Pride 2013

[dropcap custom_class=”normal”]San Francisco Pride weekend was crazy, insane, high-spirited, free-spirited and fun. I’ve been to pride parades and events in Los Angeles multiple years, but I’d never made it up to San Francisco for the events. As I’ve quickly learned since moving here less than 10 months ago, any occasion in San Francisco seems to call for wearing a costume of some sort. So, you can imagine that the locals (and visitors) were all very eager to amp up their personal decoration for the pride parade.[/dropcap]

Happy First Blogaversary TGNIB!

[dropcap custom_class=”normal”]A year ago today I created this blog in anticipation of writing about my then-impending trip to Tanzania. It may have begun as a result of my first trip to Africa, but it became so much more. In honor of the first anniversary of my blog, I’d like share some stats (humor me, I work in tech).

My very first post was Dead Trees and the End of My Love Affair with the Mailman. That post was fun to write and the response was encouraging.[/dropcap]

Waking Up From a Bad Dream: Job Nightmares

[dropcap custom_class=”normal”]I’ve been living in San Francisco for 9 months. I genuinely like San Francisco now (no one say, ‘I told you so!’). I realized a few months ago that I like the city. At the time, I’d add the caveat: “But, I’m not sure about the people.” Now I just like it. No, it’s not the city I knew it to be when I first visited over a decade ago. Yes, as a new friend lamented “Strangers don’t talk to strangers here” and “Men [seem] too afraid to approach women.” I’m adapting to the culture and the norms. I even trained myself not to make eye contact with people on the street.[/dropcap]