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Category Archive for "Life" | The Girl Next Door is Black
  • A Day in the East Bay

    Damn my need to experience things for myself.

    When I announced I was leaving Los Angeles and heading up to the Bay Area, a few people encouraged me to consider living in the East Bay.

    [For those unfamiliar with the area, here’s a simple analogy. San Francisco is like Manhattan. It’s the flagship city of the area. Oakland is like Brooklyn, a sister city across the water, that is sometimes very underrated, a city ‘snooty’ residents of the flagship city wouldn’t consider even visiting, and one that has its diehard fans who will passionately defend it’s superiority. It’s affordability. It’s lack of pretentiousness. Both cities are experiencing a growing gentrification that dismay it’s original residents and is often attributed to the uptick in the overflow people who can’t afford to live in Manhattan or San Francisco. Then there are the other ‘boroughs’ like Berkeley and other surrounding small towns. ]

  • How Are the Kitties?

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    It’s always funny to me how, when catching up with friends, they’ll sometimes ask “So, how are the kitties?”

    The answer is always a (thankfully) boring, “Oh, they’re good. Healthy.” But, why do we ask about each other’s pets? They are very simple creatures. They eat, drink, play, sleep, whine to eat more, shed, and find the only rug in a hardwood-floored apartment to vomit on because vomiting on the floor would make things easier for me to clean, and repeat.

    Do we expect the answer will be something like this?

  • Being Kind to Myself

    We all have our moments of doubt, where we feel like we’re not good enough or pretty enough or whatever-it-is enough. This starts so early, this self-doubt. It becomes like a shadow that follows us around to rain on our parade from time-to-time. Trip us up. Cause us grief.

    I decided rather than doing what is all-too-easy and focusing on what I don’t like about me, I’d take some time to think about what I do like. I took an objective view (as much as this is possible) and considered what other people see when they meet me. How my friends feel when they are around me. What my dad thinks when he sees the woman I am now. What my younger sisters think when they think of their big sister. I’m someone’s aunt.

  • You’ve Got a Friend…in San Francisco?

    I officially have my first San Francisco friend! I’m a couple of weeks shy of my 6-month marker of living in the City and I can now boast a new friend. This friend was hard-earned. I am not a hermit, I am not shy, I smile at strangers, I say nice things to people, I shower regularly and smell good. Should be a friend magnet, right? No. Hhhhheeelll no.

    I couldn’t even get hit on here. Usually if there’s one thing I can count on in life, it’s that a creepy guy with no sense of personal boundaries will hit on me. Not only did I feel friendless, but ugly. Maybe I don’t smell as good as I think I do.

    As I often do when I have questions about life, I turned to Google. Google, why is it so hard to meet people and make friends in San Francisco?

  • A Friending Frenzy

    I’ve been living in San Francisco a little over four months. I had five immediate goals when I arrived:

    1. Unpack box-partment and decorate within six weeks of move in – Did it in five.
    2. Don’t get fired (or maybe it was “do well at work”. Still, end result is, don’t get fired.)– still employed
    3. Find a gym – found
    4. Make friends – well, see…so…but I, err…
    5. Possibly finally trade in bitchy, useless, freeloading, ungrateful second cat.*

    *still debating this one

  • 10 Ridiculous Business Terms

    I was IMing with a co-worker last week about the absurdity of business jargon. How ridiculous is business-speak? I envision that somewhere there is a committee of Seth Rogan-types who secretly hate their jobs and sit around in a slacker lair inventing dumb shit for business people to say. Stuff that will secretly crack them up when they hear the words repeated. I remember when I started my first big girl business job. I’d hear people speak in a seemingly foreign language and I wanted to quit. It was Office Space: Live!

    (sidenote: OMG you guys, a co-worker and I IM’d about non-work stuff, this is such progress in the work friendship department. This deserves Rachel Zoe levels of excitement: This is so “major!” )

  • The Significance of Gap Jeans

    A couple of years ago I had an intense crisis of conscious moment while waiting for the bus in North Hollywood. Returning from a beer festival, I’d opted to be a responsible citizen and take public transportation rather than drive. I don’t know what the stats are, but few people in Los Angeles take public transportation. You can see the economic divide between those that take the bus or ride the trains and those who zip around in one of the many BMWs, Mercedes or Porsches that flood the city. I watched as a Latina woman fished around in her purse for change to afford the ride for herself and her three children. I resisted the urge to hand her the extra dollar she was looking for. I didn’t want to assume she needed it and risk insulting her. Near her stood two black female teenagers in worn clothing and holey shoes in dire need of replacement, listening to music and joking with each other.

  • San Francisco: Not a Treat (Yet)

    I’ve been feeling pretty lonely and lacking regular human interaction the past few months. You know you’re desperate for human interaction when you look forward to visiting your new chiropractor because you know that as chatty as she is, she’ll also be a captive audience.

    La, La, La, I Can’t See You!

    I think people in this city, at least the parts I’ve been in, are deathly allergic to making eye contact with others. As though meeting the eyes of another human might suck out their souls. I know there are many reasons why people may avoid eye contact: some are shy, some have social anxiety (or just regular anxiety), others wary of strangers, I’ve heard some say that they are afraid of being asked for money, but everyone?!

  • 2012 in Review

    This is the time of year when people start making resolutions that many probably will not keep. The time of year that regular gym-goers like me hate. The gym is packed with resolutioners who don’t know what the hell they are doing, hitting themselves on the head, breaking shit, all up on my machines, sweaty after walking 30 seconds on the treadmill, and hogging the free weights. Sadly for them, but happily for me, their enthusiasm for their resolution will die down within a few weeks as they forget they want Jennifer Aniston’s body.

    I gave up on resolutions years ago when I realized I was ignoring them and not meeting them. Instead I decided to set goals for things I’d like to accomplish for the year. Here’s how I fared in 2012.

  • New City, No New Friends

    I forgot how hard it is to move to a new city where you know virtually no one. It’s my sixth time doing this. I think it gets harder each time.

    When I moved to Los Angeles years and years ago I dreamed about the fabulous life I’d have hobnobbing with celebrities, meeting other actors, falling in love with my hot male castmates in all the leading roles I’d get and generally just living a flyass life. None of that happened. The closest I came to meeting a celebrity that early on was during planning for a charity event. We were looking for star power to amp up the interest; someone offered, “My friend is friends with Ryan Seacrest. Maybe we could get him to host?”

  • Black in the United States and Exhausted

    This year’s election and the 2008 election have shown me a side of some Americans that I find abhorrent, disgusting and sad. I cannot say I was / am proud to call them all my fellow countrypeople.

    At times I feel very unwelcome in my own country. I’ve worked and continue to work hard. Once I left my parent’s house to attend college, I was fully on my own. I worked an average of 30 hours a week while taking 12-15 hours a semester and still managed to have an active social life and hold leadership roles. I’ve struggled through jobs that I didn’t like or that didn’t pay well, usually both at the same time. I am an active contributor to American society. I volunteer my time, I give to charities, I give money to the homeless. I pay what seems like more than my fair share in taxes. Yet, there will still be people who look at me and assume the worst.

  • Where’s the Fire?

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    Since I moved to San Francisco two weeks ago, my life has been like a comedy of errors. No big catastrophes, but little “first world” annoyances.

    It all started when:

    • The post office ignored the fact that I sent my apartment deposit via Express Mail and decided to ship it any ol’ time they felt like. That ended up being a week later than I paid for. I was fit to be tied, worried that my hard-won apartment would be given to someone else who actually paid when they said they would. They didn’t.
    • The movers accidentally absconded with the power cord for my flat screen. I got it back.
    • My mailbox key didn’t work. The box was jammed full of legacy mail. Do these people not believe in forwarding their mail? The building manager got it fixed.
  • The Great San Francisco Apartment Hunt Continued

    Two weekends ago I began The Great San Francisco Apartment Hunt. I’m leaving sunny (and yes, sometimes downright hot as hell) Los Angeles for foggy San Francisco in search of a less trafficky-lifestyle (and thus reducing the chances that I commit a road rage-induced homicide or suicide) and an escape from gaggles of women who speak with a Kardashian-perfected vocal fry, end declarative statements with like, a questioning, like tone? and spend more time talking about their manicures and expensive designer handbags than the current Presidential election. The “why L.A. is making me grossly unhappy” list is a lot longer, but again, I’ll save that for another post.

    Having had not much luck the first time (that kiss ass girl with the yappy dog got the apartment in the Marina, boohiss!), I flew up this weekend armed with a new strategy and attitude: I’m here to find a place and I will cut a bitch for an apartment.