2. On Monday, November 24, after a grand jury in Ferguson, Missouri elected not to indict Officer Darren Wilson for the murder of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown, the mood on Twitter was tense and reactions mixed. #FergusonDecision
3. In response to the Ferguson Decision, many took the protest to their wallets and participated in the anti-Black Friday, national day of activism. #BlackoutBlackFriday calls for those who support the fight against racial injustice to boycott shopping on Black Friday.
Do old people just wait until #Thanksgiving to ask the younger generation of their family EVERY technology question they’ve ever had? — refinery29 (@Refinery29) November 27, 2014
Thanksgiving Dinner was drama-free until Uncle Floyd used gravy to write “Benghazi” in his mashed potatoes. That’s when all hell broke loose — dan mentos (@DanMentos) November 28, 2014
When ur at Thanksgiving dinner with ur girls family and she says “pass me the salt daddy?” And you and her dad reach for it at the same time — Josiah Carpenter (@J_Carp6) November 28, 2014
Aunt Jackie: Who made the Banana Pudding? *somebody in the room raises their hand*Aunt Jackie: Don’t Make It Again.#Thanksgiving — Sampson (@OfficialSampson) November 27, 2014
5. The day after Thanksgiving in the US marks Black Friday – a day when people go Hunger Games on their fellow citizen in the name of shopping. This year, it’s not just Americans going bananas for electronics at reduced prices. #BlackFriday
Just witnessed a woman have her trousers pulled down so another woman could beat her to a TV #BlackFriday — Emma Shackleton (@emmaaxlouise) November 28, 2014
Here are five things you may have missed on Twitter this week.
Apologies that there wasn’t a Friday Five last week. I was eating my way around New York.
1. When the reality star with a big derriere and a child named after compass points released yet another photo of her naked body parts with the hashtag #breaktheinternet, Twitter responded with it’s own trending topic: #fixtheinternet.
2.Jesse Williams, of Grey’s Anatomy and “hot eyes” fame, is one of the more sociopolitically active celebrities on Twitter. This week, he went in on racial inequality, Ferguson and “you should really know better” Halloween costumes. (I’ve only posted a subset, check out his timeline for more.)
Human Decency (AKA Social Justice) Twitterganza coming in hot, in 5, 4, 3, 2… — jesseWilliams. (@iJesseWilliams) October 28, 2014
With the swell of black death at the hands of cops & vigilantes, I have some genuine questions for this specific segment of the population: — jesseWilliams. (@iJesseWilliams) October 28, 2014
When “men” violently assault women, your reaction is never “Well, girls hit girls all the time.” That would be repugnant. Consider why. — jesseWilliams. (@iJesseWilliams) October 28, 2014
Why do so many of you reflexively defend, identify w/, and antagonize on behalf of whiteness whenever blackness is involved? — jesseWilliams. (@iJesseWilliams) October 28, 2014
What about black pain is so fun to you? From where is that joy derived? — jesseWilliams. (@iJesseWilliams) October 28, 2014
When #Halloween comes around, how exactly does dressing as Trayvon and other illustrations of black pain, make you feel? Please be specific. — jesseWilliams. (@iJesseWilliams) October 28, 2014
Millions of you smile in awe of our music, comedy, inventions, athletics, fashion, etc. but when we’re not entertaining you, you hate us? — jesseWilliams. (@iJesseWilliams) October 28, 2014
From 2006-2012 a white police officer killed a black PERSON at least twice a week in this country. By saying so, I have not attacked you. — jesseWilliams. (@iJesseWilliams) October 28, 2014
White people have played a crucial role in nearly every social justice movement in this country. Indifference is not your duty or heritage. — jesseWilliams. (@iJesseWilliams) October 28, 2014
You need not carry the heavy, hollow burden of racism any longer. Leave it behind. Be for something, and not because it’s easy. — jesseWilliams. (@iJesseWilliams) October 28, 2014
3. A video of a woman getting catcalled on the streets of New York went viral, prompting a stream of comments on street harassment. #streetharassment
Whet @SandraRose ??? The problem is men think they are entitled to woman..
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 American 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.
Treasure Island is man-made and sits in the San Francisco Bay just a short drive north of the Peninisula. Smartly, to avoid parking lot overcrowding, they provide (free!) large shuttles to transport concert-goers from the Civic Center to the Island. I enjoyed the bus ride, it felt like being on a field trip with a group of strangers excitedly buzzing about all the fun we hope is in store. We couldn’t have asked for better weather for the event with temperatures in the 70s and a mild breeze blowing from the Bay.
Thankfully, the Treasure Island Music Festival was more like Coachella’s chill baby cousin whose sprinkles their speech with “hella” and smokes a lot of weed. The Bay Area doesn’t hide its love of the sticky icky. There is no “typical” smoker in the Bay. Smokers are old and young, ranging in colors from all over the spectrum, professional and slacker alike, each with their intake method of choice. The air was pungent over that island. Contact highs are real, y’all.
My friend and I attended Saturday’s lineup of shows. We arrived shortly before Ryan Hemsworth’s hopped onstage. He made fans of us by the end of his half-hour set that had the crowd bouncing. My friend and I agreed we liked his set more than Zedd‘s, whose set was too heavy on the “electronic” and not enough on the “dance” side of music for my liking.
Janelle Monae did not disappoint with her high-energy show despite a confusing 10 minutes during which she sang her heart out and the audience heard nothing. The audience chanted, “We can’t hear! We can’t hear!” hoping to get attention from a sound guy, Janelle, a backup dancer, Jesus, anybody! If I miss hearing “Electric Lady” because of this, someone is going to pay.
Outkast closed out the evening playing all the fan faves like, “Ms Jackson,” “Caroline, “B.O.B.”, and of course, “Hey Ya!” At one point, André 3000 called out, “Seattle!” I guess he forgot where he was. Contact highs are real, y’all.
We had a “hella” good time at the concert.
Other scenes from the festival.
Me (L) and my friend E___
Which one of these will I not be eating in this public space?
I just got off the phone with my dad. A 45-minute conversation.
Our conversation went something like this:
“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. That’s it. So, not even a person.
“Ok, I will.”
Every conversation with my dad these days involves at least three themes: reminiscing about old times (and asking me if I remember them), commentary on current events & society (“Facebook is not an adequate means of communication. Your generation likes that. I don’t do that Facebook thing. Texting is not talking.”), and objections to the insane weather in Midwest, where he works.
He continued. Thoughts rolling out like waves. The only words I got in edgewise were:
“Uh, huh”, “Yeah,” “You’re right, dad,” “OK, dad,” “Oh, yeah, that is weird,” “I know I should go back to school and get my Master’s.”
With a college professor’s cadence, he touched on everything from the legacy he wants to leave in life, to explaining Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs to me (a concept with which, when he asked, I said I was familiar, but he explained it to me anyway), to how Seahawks’ Quarterback Russell Wilson got married “a tad too early” at 23. However, 49ers’ QB, Colin Kaepernick, can strut down the street with Beats headphones on and be a stud to women ’cause he’s single and therefore potentially attainable.
What is this conversation we are having?
I felt my inner teen threatening an appearance, eyes ready to roll all the way up in my head, familiar thoughts resurfacing in my head like, “God, dad! I’m not a kid, I knooooow!”
I hate that I regress like this. I’ll be 50 years old, eyes all the way up in my head, like I’m 13, thinking: “Daaad, I’ve been alive for 1/2 a century now. I know!”
Then he was told me about the shows that film in Chicago like Chicago Fire. Honestly, I was half listening; we were 25 minutes in. I have had a very
busy and stressful few weeks at work and had Ratatouille cued up because my brain couldn’t handle the mentally taxing reality of non-animated fare. I tried watching the latest episode of The Vampire Diariesthe night before and I couldn’t even follow the story; that’s how mentally exhausted I am. You know it’s a real “I need to metaphorically lobotomize myself” kind of weekend when even a teen drama about hot vampires is too much.
And then I heard him say, “My buddy and I saw, who’s that guy, from that movie…Magic…Magic ‘Something’…Mike…Magic Mike?”
“Magic Mike? CHANNING TATUM?!”
I wanted to squeal and church dance. My dad saw Channing Tatumin the flesh! I had so many questions. What did he look like? What was he wearing? I hope a tight blue t-shirt that made his eyes shine like the sun and did serious justice to his pecs. What did he smell like? Was he tall? Were there little singing blue birds trailing behind him? He’s so not my type. And yet…
How has my dad seen Channing Tatum and I haven’t?! That is why I moved to L.A.! To see hot male actors in the flesh! (Oh, you thought I had legit reasons?)
I didn’t squeal though. I kept it chill.
“Oh, him. Yeah, that’s cool.” I mean, ain’t no thing. OMFG! Channing Tatum! My friend, E, just saw him on her flight last month. Why is everyone seeing Channing Tatum but me?
“So, what are your thoughts, Keisha?”
Damn! In my Channing reverie I’d checked out and hadn’t realized he’d continued talking. In my fog, I recall hearing the words “cold,” “sub-zero,” and “damn heavy jackets.” I guessed the topic had shifted to the Midwest’s cold weather.
“Oh yeah, that’s really cold! We’ve actually been having an unusually warm winter here. It’s been like 65 and sunny. It’s actually…” I was going to say that we actually finally got some much-needed rain, but he interjected with:
“65. Ho ho! That’s like telling a starving man you had a buffet with steak! 65!! What’s the high?”
“Um, that is the high. It doesn’t get that hot here.” I laughed, but it’s actually not that funny. I’d like to wear shorts once in a while too, you know, and not have to worry about rushing home to change into pants before nightfall arrives and the temperature drops 20 degrees. Like I’m Cinderella or something, dashing home before she turns back into a fake ugly girl.
“65! I tell you….”
I could tell he was happy to be on the phone with me. He didn’t outright say that, of course. He’s not the type to skywrite his feelings or Oprah-ize, though he’s certainly become more sentimental with age. Jokes aside, I appreciate these conversations with him. They are endearing. Frustrating at times (and whose conversations with their parents sometimes aren’t?), but endearing. As I get older, I become more aware of my parent’s mortality and I value the time I have with them to get to know them as adults.
“…find someone you have things in common with. If you marry a slob and you’re neat, it’s not gonna work. Don’t believe in that ‘opposites attract’ business. You understand what I mean, Keisha?”
“Uh, huh. Yes, Dad. Often it’s those little quirks you think are ‘cute’ at first, that become the most annoying or tiresome.” See? I know things!
“Right. Speaking of dating: how’s that going?”
Did I say our conversations revolved around three themes? Well, make that four.
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.”
Mindy, much like the Rachel McAdamses, Reese Witherspoons and Sandra Bullocks of the romantic comedy films she adores, is steady meeting cute dudes in random places, like the elevator. Elevators are like a goldmine for hot dates in her world. I remember in college reading stupid articles in Cosmo with titles like, “How to Get Him to Notice You,” which they seemed to repackage every issue using similarly uninspired titles and not dissimilar content. [How many different sex positions could Cosmo possibly find in the almost 50 years of its existence? They are either making shit up, inventing new and uncomfortable positions or slowly parsing out pages of the Kama Sutra until they run out.]
As Cosmo explained, eligible single men are everywhere! That cutie in the grocery store eyeing those cantaloupes? He’s hoping you’ll make the off-color joke about the large melons he’s checking out. The hottie at the gym who’s grunting like a warthog as he bench presses 500lbs? He’s just trying to get your attention. Do a little booty shake as you do your lunges and he’ll drop those weights and make a beeline for you. Or there’s the good ol’ elevator. Don’t be afraid to make eye contact with that handsome stranger in the business suit! He could be your soulmate.
I don’t know where to find these magic elevators from the Cosmo world, because most of the tech dudes in my office building act as though they fear exchanging words with females. “Have boobs? Won’t speak.” Furthermore, nobody wears suits in this city and if they do, they stand out like a contraband plastic bag in the grocery store.
Yesterday evening, I had a Mindy moment!
As I walked out of my office suite into the elevator bank we share with the company across the hall, a guy asked me, in a way that made me think his own question surprised him, “How was your day?”
Was he talking to me? I looked around. Yep, juuuuust me.
I smiled with hint of confusion and answered, “It was pretty good. How about yours?”
He was wearing a faded-red shirt and jeans. The shirt wasn’t faded, red as in “bled out in the washer”, but a distressed shade of red. The distinction is important. A messenger bag hung from his shoulder. I decided he was cute, his voice appealing and best of all, age appropriate.
The elevator arrived (“Doors opening,” announced the disembodied voice who for some reason has a British accent) and we entered. I figured the conversation would naturally die as others were already in the car.
“I’m leaving at 5:30,” he continued, “so it has to be good.”
“Oh? Is that not normal?”
“Nope, I usually work until 8:30. There are only four of us, so it’s not like anyone is forcing us to work late. We just do.” He seemed bemused.
Am I actually having a conversation with this dude? Like for real?
We exited into the lobby. I thought, say something funny!
“Haha. I wonder why that is. Maybe the force of the…(blah blah blah not funny, you fool!).”
Were he not present, I would have slapped myself upside my own head.
I added, “Haha. I don’t even know where I was going with that theory.” Like a damn fool who doesn’t know how to have a proper conversation.
He chuckled. “No, I think I get it. Haha. You’re probably thinking, ‘this guy is weird!'”
Uh, no. Not at all.
We were on the street outside now. A few feet away was the intersection. Now what? Are we walking the same way? If we are, do we keep walking and talking? What if he was just being polite and wants me to stop babbling at him? If we’re going separate ways, should I pretend I’m going his way anyway in case he is chatting me up? This is what I hate about being single at my age. You’re always second guessing your natural instincts because even though you know you do “put yourself out there” and “present yourself as open and receptive to attention” and all the other repetitive phrases with undercurrents of unintentional judgment from helpful loved ones who want to see you boo’d up and not end up a crazy cat lady, you can hear their words in the recesses of your mind. By this point, Mindy Lahiri probably would have rattled off three or four cute quips and scored a date. Yes, I am aware she is a sitcom character.
I could see our bodies subtly moving in opposite directions. We were headed different ways.
“Well, I’m this way,” I tried to say as brightly as possible with a subtext of “I am open to more conversation possibly over a drink, but not in a desperate ‘make me your baby mama’ way.”
“Ok,” he replied. I couldn’t decipher his expression. He smiled though and said, “See you tomorrow.”
Will we? See each other tomorrow? I don’t recall seeing him ever before. This man from the elevator who talks to humans who have ovaries. Will there be more to this story? Who knows? At least I got an elevator moment! Well…kinda. No date. No soulmate (I don’t even think I believe in that). An elevator conversation with someone cute? I’ll take it!
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.]
My sister asked me to go with her to an album release party for Big Sean‘s album release party earlier this month. We arrived just in time to see him being hustled from his outdoor stage into Brooklyn Circus to sign CDs. The crowd was large, super hype and pushing and shoving trying to sneak in behind him. The bodyguards weren’t having it. It was a disorganized mess. No one seemed to know how we were supposed to get into the signing. Some people had wristbands, others didn’t. If there are two things I can’t stand: crowds & chaos. As the crowd started to form a line, I overheard this exchange between a girl who appeared to be in her early 20s and two older teenagers:
Girl: “Y’all want some pills?”
Boy 1: “You got mollies?”
Girl: “No, but I got those Obamas and McDonalds.”
Disappointed, the boys shook their heads no.
Obamas?! My sister joked, ‘That must be some Presidential-grade shit!”
I looked at my sister, pleading with my eyes to leave. This isn’t my crowd. I don’t pop mollies, Obama or McDonald’s. I am not here for that business. I’m too old for this shit. We didn’t get to see Big Sean perform, but we did see him. I didn’t need an up close and personal experience.
I'm Keisha ("Kee-shuh", not to be confused with Ke$ha). I am a (later) thirty-something, non-mommy, non-wife, who lives in San Francisco, California New York and has lots of opinions on lots of things.