Who Owns A Story?

During the great American spanking debate of September 2014, Elon James White wrote a thought-provoking piece about his experience getting spanked as a child. He writes of the “pain and distress” he recalls feeling during belt-whoopings. As I read it, I wondered:

How does his mother feel about him telling this story?

In a world where neighbors call the cops on parents who let their kids play outside, he “outed” his mom as a former child-spanker.

What Happened to OFFline Dating?

Does anyone meet anyone in real life these days? Offline? For dating purposes, that is. You know like:

Guy sees cute girl at bus stop.

Guy makes joke about the horrid stench wafting from a black trash bag near the bus shelter.

“Ah, the sweet smell of street funk and human waste,” he cracks.

Girl giggles. She relaxes her street defenses.

They discover they share a preference for puffy Cheetos over crunchy. “This is awesome,” they both think.

Scenes from the 2014 Treasure Island Music Festival

When my friend asked if I’d go with her to the Treasure Island Music Festival, I surprised myself when I said, “Yes.” After my one and only experience at the Coachella Music Festival a few years ago, I all but swore off large-scale music festivals. Between the heat, the parades of douchery, the posers (people who literally seem as though they are just there to pose), the flower headbands, the Native headdresses on non-Natives, the spilled beer, sloppy drunken fools, the long lines to get just about anything and my general dislike of unruly crowds, I must have temporarily lost my memory to agree to this. Of course, it didn’t hurt that my friend’s face lit up as she gushed about how much she loves André 3000 of Outkast, one of the headliners of the two-day concert.

Is Everyone Saying “N***a” Now?

“If you having a good time, I want you to say, ‘Hell yeah, niggaaaaaaaaaa!”

“Hell yeah, niggaaaaaaaaaa!” the crowd screamed back at Lil Wayne.

I scanned the stadium of concert goers: a sea of young, white and light faces surrounded me, bopping their heads to the beat, hip-hop hands swaying in the air, phone cameras recording and repeating at Lil Wayne’s command,

Helllllll yeah, niggaaaaaaaaa!!

I looked over at my friend, who, like me, hadn’t joined the crowd.

10 Tips for Making Friends as an Adult

Making friends as an adult is difficult for many of us. People date, marry, procreate, change, drift and relocate. Growing up, my family moved at least four times and I lived in three different states. While being the new kid often isn’t easy, it seemed so much simpler to make friends in school.

Why Glasses Aren’t Just for Nerds and Ugly Ducklings Anymore*

You know the film/TV trope of the ugly duckling? Usually she’s got braces or other distracting face gear, as well as a hot mess of a hair situation (easily remedied by a brush and hair products) and topping off her tragic look: hideous, over-sized glasses. She’s a nerd; an outcast. Boys ignore her. Girls make fun of her. People pin “kick me” signs on her. One day, fed up with being a social misfit, she decides it’s time for a change.

I Get Tired of Talking About Race Too

When I created this blog, I never expected to write about race & ethnicity as much as I have. But like I say in my blog summary, being a black person in America, my “race” has an undeniable impact on my life. I’m not going to wake up one magical morning and discover that I can hide my blackness when I walk out in the world. Cloak myself in a different skin color, so I can experience what it’s like to walk through this world free from all the invisible pressures of the expectations of blackness.

Why I Stopped Playing Fantasy Football

An ex-boyfriend of mine loved fantasy sports. He had fantasy teams for baseball, hockey, basketball and football. Almost year round, he dedicated a not insignificant portion of his focus to tending to his fantasy team(s), football especially. Initially I found his fantasy hobby curious and amusing. So, this is what some of the male species spends their time doing? Fascinating. He’d get so passionate watching a football game – though I couldn’t figure out why he didn’t seem to root for one team consistently. “I don’t really have a favorite team. I just need my players to score me points!” Uh, ok.

How I Broke Up with Comcast (Well…Kinda)

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Circumstances forced me into a relationship with Comcast when I moved here. In Los Angeles, I’d been a loyal DirecTV customer for years. Unfortunately, when I tried to transfer service and have a dish installed in my new place, the DirecTV installer shared his dreadful assessment, “San Francisco sucks for satellite! The building behind you is blocking the signal. Can’t hook you up.” Then he told me I should move back to L.A. because he hates San Francisco. Uh…thanks for the welcome, homie!

Walk on the Right!

“I no longer have road rage, I have walk rage,” I explained to my friends at breakfast recently, about one of the ways which my life has changed since leaving Los Angeles.

“We’re in the city. People walk, take public transportation, taxis, Uber. We’re trying to get somewhere, not take leisurely strolls through the streets.”

Traffic, horrendously douchey driving and my resulting road rage which became way to commonplace for my liking (I don’t think it’s healthy to regularly wish…

About This Texting Thing

Doesn’t texting seem invasive sometimes? People can get at you all times of day and night. When did it become expected that we be attached to our phones all day long? There used to be a time when people made plans to call each other. They didn’t call during dinnertime. They didn’t call you when you’re sleeping to ask “are you awake?” They didn’t ask you to snail mail them naked photos of yourself after one date. How is it that I’ve been texting since the ’90s and yet somehow I find text message protocol more confusing?

Post Traumatic Stress from…Work?

My career counselor told me she thinks I have post traumatic stress from my last two jobs.

I laughed when she said it. The past two years have been intense for sure, but post traumatic stress? Isn’t that usually reserved for soldiers, victims of violence – you know, real trauma?

I knew my sense of confidence and self-efficacy took a serious hit with the job I left in 2013. I admittedly felt a bit raw going into the next place.