Roxane Gay: Bad Feminist

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I just finished Roxane Gay’s Bad Feminist, one of those books that I saw everybody reading a few years ago but never picked up myself. I don’t have anything more to add to the conversation except to say that I loved it. Will you? I mean, do you enjoy books that reference Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, encourage you to confront your RACE and GENDER prejudices, and terrify you into ever birthing a child because he or she will wind up on some end of RAPE? If so, yeah, you’ll probably laugh out loud and feel shame too.

Roxane Gay writes eloquently and interestingly on including but not limited to Girls, the Sweet Valley High book series and its atrocious sequel Sweet Valley Confidential, reality programming on Bravo and VH1, Gone Girl, Junot Díaz, Beverly Hills 90210General Hospital, the Hunger Games trilogy, Law & Order, Chris Brown, Twilight and Fifty ShadesThe HelpDjango Unchained12 Years a Slave, Tyler Perry, Fruitvale StationOrange Is the New Black, Twitter, Trayvon Martin, Louis C.K., Sheryl Sandberg.

Bye, I’m heading to the library for everything she’s written and drowning in her social media.

 

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Tulum, Mexico

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I just returned from five nights in Tulum, Mexico. (Is that as visually strange to Mexicans as “Chicago, U.S.A.” is to me? Should I be writing “Tulum, Quintana Roo”? Anyway.) Before I left, some colleagues asked, “Oh, you’re going to Mexico? Who are you going with?” and I had to be like, “Uh, friends?” because the real answer was LADIES FROM MY GYM, and I felt weird saying that even though I shouldn’t.

Here are some pics, all of which I STOLE from my friends’ social-media accounts. (But I did take that one photo above, which was what I saw every time I walked out of the back entrance at Utopia Guesthouse to lie on the beach.)

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Cartagena de Indias, Colombia

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Four months ago, my buddy C and I visited Colombia. I’d never been there before, but after visiting Lima two years ago with a friend, I realized that traveling to South America is the best thing ever. From New York City, you can usually get a direct flight, there’s no (or minimal) time difference, and it’s cheaper than flying to San Francisco. EVERYBODY WINS.

Here are some photos but not many because I hate my phone:

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Bang-bang in Williamsburg

Mi amigo S and I ventured to WILLIAMSBURG, which will soon be inaccessible, today on a cultural expedition.

The Brooklyn Star, 593 Lorimer St

S really wanted to try its famed cinnamon bun:

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Honestly, I had zero interest in this because I’m not really into cinnamon, plus I’m haunted by the cloyingly sweet stench of artificial sugar (which has the disadvantage of also looking like MALE EJACULATE) any time I had the misfortune of passing a Cinnabon in my life. However, Better Call Saul has piqued my interest in the dessert so I ate the second half after S couldn’t ingest another bite. Warm and sugary. Not bad.

Mind you, this is after we both each devoured a plate of this:

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Biscuits with sausage gravy, cheese, and scrambled eggs. I don’t know much about Southern food (this is Southern, right?) but S proclaimed it delicious—thank goodness because I thought so too. I was full about 1/4 of the way into the dish but I wanted my $10 worth. (Yeah, it was weird to have gravy-covered scrambled eggs but, you know, CULTURE.)

The Meat Hook, 495 Lorimer St

We were going to walk around the neighborhood to digest before second lunch but it was really cold, okay? Plus this place was four blocks away. S really wanted to try the HOT CHICKEN, a Nashville specialty:

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I thought it was pretty good and ate most of my half (yep, we were being dainty), sans some of the bread, but S deemed it not hot (like spicy) enough.

Oh, and we were sharing a table with this late-20s/early-30s couple who perfectly exemplified why dating in NYC for straight women is awful. SHE seemed really sweet and was perfectly coiffed (with a braided-looking part in her hair; HOW DID SHE DO THAT?) with minimal makeup that highlighted her features, wearing a fitted sweater and a simple silver necklace. HE was wearing a black fleece over a T-shirt with some sports-team logo with a baseball cap. Basically he looked and sounded like every undergraduate male at my dining hall (though he exclaimed excitedly at our hot-chicken selection, and S pointed out that this guy’s enthusiasm for sandwiches could maybe be enough to sustain a relationship).

Anyway, it totally reminded me of this amazing cartoon:

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Vomit.

Links I liked this week: 

  • Campaign to #sharetheload (This is so timely since I’m obsessed with EMOTIONAL LABOR.)

Happy puppy

Earlier today, I was engaged in a fun-filled email exchange with a friend. At one point, it got a little tense so I googled “happy puppy” to send a cute image (the underlying message, of course, being IT’S ALL GOOD). I went with this one:

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However, I noticed that this was the second non-image search result (after Happy Puppy Activewear):
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Well, the more you know.

American Museum of Natural History: Titanosaur + RACISM

My sister C was in town for a week, and yesterday, we headed to the American Museum of Natural History to check out the Titanosaur (pretty cool, especially if you were able to get in for free—thanks, IDNYC!).

After I activated my IDNYC membership, I waited on the plebe line with C (who classily donated $10, which is about $9 more than I would donate). When we got to the front, she immediately launched into some friendly chitchat with the rep about the relative crowdedness (lots of people there on a Thursday morning), which the rep attributed to a lot of city schools being on spring break.

Takeaway: A full conversation with complex sentences had ensued between the two.

But after the rep handed my sister a ticket, she asked, “Where are you from?” (Oh, don’t I know where this is going…) Listen, if you are a POC in the U.S. anywhere in the world, you know to CRINGE whenever you hear this.

“California!” my sister chirps, her cheery tone masking the fear of the scene that she knew I would soon make.

“Would you like some Chinese-language brochures?” the rep asks.

I had been silent this entire time, and I just stared at her straight in the eyes and asked, “WHY on EARTH would you think that we would need CHINESE-LANGUAGE brochures when we didn’t REQUEST them, especially after my sister just had a FULL CONVERSATION with you in PERFECT ENGLISH and told you she was from CALIFORNIA?”

(C at this point is just standing with a smile plastered on her face, saying, “It’s okay…”)

The woman responds, “Well, you know, some people want them.”

Full of derision, condescension, and impatience, I asked, “WHY would we want these? We didn’t ASK for them. JESUS CHRIST,” and C literally has to put her hands on my person and lead me away as I’m giving this woman the nastiest look and before I could ask her whether she would think to offer us CHINESE-LANGUAGE brochures had she been blindfolded or whether she’d offer them to the white people (aka “some people”) on line.

Anyway, C asked me in a very kindergarten-teacher voice, “Would you like to stamp your feet?” and I nodded yes and stamped my feet for a while. Then I was ashamed at wasting my valuable energy on some dumb lady (who FWIW was Hispanic, which infuriated me even more because WE’RE IN THIS TOGETHER AND I EXPECT MORE FROM YOU) that I had to repeat to myself, “I have a limited number of fucks in life to give, I have a limited number of fucks in life to give…”

The funny thing is that later that afternoon, I was Gchatting my friend about what had happened and C commented, “Wow, you’re typing very loudly and sound pretty angry! What are you writing about?” I was like, “The INJUSTICE earlier today!” and she asked in complete sincerity, “What injustice?”

I really ought to be able to let shit go like she does. Not worth it.

tl;dr = People are dumb. Including me.

RELATED ARTICLE:

“Why do my co-workers keep confusing me with other people? Because I’m Asian”

Peter Pan Donuts

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Because she is a wonderful human being, my boss stopped by Peter Pan Donuts in Greenpoint yesterday to bring my department a dozen of the city’s most delicious doughnuts.

“If I had a penis, I would put it in this doughnut.”—Tina Fey, Esquire

I had planned to pretend to begin my diet (I mean, my HEALTHY LIFESTYLE) but I guess I’ll start that, well, eventually.

Afterward, I HALFHEARTEDLY filled out a Dunkin Donuts survey from a receipt that wasn’t exactly burning a hole in my wallet. Like, thanks, Peter Pan, for ruining regular doughnuts.