1. Girls, Girls, Girls, Girls- Girls All Over the World- Rant

    Maybe it’s being in my last year of my 20s. Or maybe it’s feeling like I’m finally sinking into my professional life, my adult self and knowing- this is who I fucking am…

    • I hate dubstep.
    • Love the San Francisco Giants, and cannot, nay WILL NOT date someone who is an LA Dodger’s fan.
    • I am an incredibly huge sucker for songs with 808 kicks, piano loops, horns and Emcee and a Mic, which means that despite my backpacker indie tendencies I love shit I’m “too cool” to actually love.
    • I know all the words to Nate Dog & Warren G.’s ‘Regulators,’
    • I cry every time I watch the movie Up. I have a J. Crew problem, but admit I try and wear it as edgy-ly and urban professional as possible (yup that’s a thing).
    • Pac over Biggie. Nas over Jay. Black MJ over Nose-Falling-Off MJ and the Roots are the greatest band ever.
    • I love all lemon desserts and don’t actually love chocolate as much as most women.
    • If I don’t have eyeliner on, I’m insecure, but know I will survive.
    • I hope to tell my kids I met their dad having a hokey dance battle and my incredibly bad body roll is what won the war.

    (SF Nails did for a wedding during the 2010 World Series Race, Gold Fitted, Work fit for a day vs. the Dodgers.)

    I’m settling in. Not necessarily to a life with any type of permanence but again, I know who the fuck I am. And sure, maybe I don’t know everything, but I know a lot. I know enough right now to know that our obsession with “Girls” or the word “girl” drives me fucking crazy.

    I read this and I’m not gonna lie- I’m psyched for these chicks. It’s amazing that all of these female comedians, writers, producers and powerhouses are finally getting attention and through mainstream media sources- satiating our appetites with chick shit. (Yeah I don’t like what I did there, but I mean it).

    But as revolutionary as it might be, that we’ve finally got women on TV or in movies that aren’t part of “Sex and the City” or side characters in some ensemble cast, I can’t help but be irked by the whole “Girls” thing.

    (Xmas gifts from my parents… Because I’m a Jane of all trades)

    For every second that I am a “girl” I’m also not a “girl”. I will always be an “angry mixed girl.” I will always know that when my “homegirls” talk about issues with their sisters, there are dynamics involved that only us “girls” will understand. But I’ll be damned if I’m that “little girl” that works for the city, don’t refer to me and my friends as ‘girls,” we’re grown ass women & I will never be a “not so cute- cute- Asian girl”. I’m just not having it.

    That may all seem a bit backwards but lets face it, I decide when I’m a girl-doing girly things. “Shit Girls Say” is hilarious and I do some of that shit, but not only do I have a problem with women, particularly funny ones mentioned in the article being labeled girls just by nature of having a Vaginga because it borders sexism so finely its almost too hot of a word- it might actually be deeper.

    (That’s a Transformer Bandaid incase you were wondering. I am pure class.)

    New Girl, and Shit Girls Say (the original not the parody) and Two Broke Girls, and HelloGiggles, xoJane & the Hairpin, all the names named and well, White Girl Problems are exactly that. White Girl Shit. I like white girl shit, I do. But what if this whole “Girl” thing, belongs to white girls?

    Yes, some dudes parodied Shit Girls Say, with Shit Black Girls Say. Yes- you MAY have even seen something about Black Girls Rock or Black Girls Are From the Future, out there encouraging positive portrayals of black women or embracing images of black women that don’t fall so neatly into previous stereotypes and embrace more eclectic aesthetics, sounds, interests.

    But lets’ be real here. You had NO idea about that did you? No clue.

    I’m not advocating we abolish the term, or that we reclaim it on some new 8th phase SocialMediaFeminism tip.

    I love that Mindy Kaling is mentioned in here, I love her book, and wish we were friends IRL, she admits to being a girly girl, shit she talks about it at length. But face it, she’s only one small part of this game.

    There are no women of color on SNL right now, well, Nasim Pedraf is some kind of olive. I loved bridesmaids and wished I had been in the game enough to get cast as her Asian friend, but come on… Maya Rudolph’s character was written as Biracial- shit her daddy was a dark man with LOCKS. But all her friends were white and her only relative in the wedding was blond haired and blue eyed? Suspect.

    I dig so much about HelloGiggles and other sites like HighSnobette, geared toward younger women in my age bracket, but I still just feel like I’m not one of ‘these’ (read:white) girls. Calling successful-brown-women “girls”, successful-brown-funny-women in particular feels so diminutive and so last century. The submissive Asian girl, and sassy black girl are passe.

    I’m not gonna sit here and pretend that the kind of women I’m talking about here, are in abundance in entertainment. It’s still a man’s game. I recognize it’s hard and I recognize that to get this kind of attention we still have to play sweet enough for people to love us and take care of us, or trashy enough for people to want to help us. Madonna or Whore shit. All of these women deserve their kudos (whatever happened to kudos the snack food?) and I will be the first to stand up and start a slow clap ala epic movie moment, but by calling them girls it almost feels like we’re diminishing their true success. They paid their dues and deserve more.

    Hey Bey, Who runs the world? Girls?

  2. Totally appropriate for what I’m feeling today. 

  3. Rant: Thou Shalt be Polite When Coveting Thy Neighbor’s Mixer

    Last night I got caught up in this 20/20 episode about the ring of folks stealing from celebrities… obsessed much?

    I mean there are a couple things going on here… on one hand, the guy involved ‘claims’ that he’s the victim and was doing this stuff just to be closer to the main girl– maybe, but if you have a conscious now, where was it before?

    On the other hand, there’s a level of obsession and a level of “coveting” that the girls experienced in terms of wanting what these celebs had– of wanting to be like them.

    I wouldn’t want to be anyone but me, but as of late I’ve especially understood two things.

    • Wanting to be a different or “improved” me.
    • Wanting. Period. Just wanting. Coveting shit I don’t have.

    I’ve been reading Chopra and trying to Chopra-ize my life, but most of my reactions have been “yeah and?” or “I knew that…” the full effect has yet to actualize. But my deductions of it thus far are that I should be focusing on what I can control, how I’m connected to everyone and everything around me, and what I do or don’t do with all this information.

    Fine. But do I feel like it’s helping me evolve as a person? Hell no. Why? Because in reality, I’m on this “I WANT WANT WANT” tip and it almost feels like the majority of my thoughts revolve around wanting. But it’s not as deep as “I want the watch/jewelry/purse I saw ______ wear at the MTV awards.”


    Some of it’s practical: a full time job, this fellowship I’m applying for, to pay off my college loans…

    But some of it’s fueled by the fact that for weeks now, on certain days, when I log into my facebook feed, I see multiple statuses/pictures/news about what I’m calling people’s “adult” lives.

    Engagements, Marriages, Babies, Long trips in Far away Lands… but those aren’t the things I get jealous of. As I’ve said before, I’m sorry I’m not pregnant. It’s more– benign.

    I can’t help but be jealous of one thing… people who have their own closets. So every time someone moves… and every time someone posts pictures of their new balcony or kitchen… and every time someone shows me the colors they’ll be painting their apartment… I go crazy.

    I’ve been so obsessed that this week I entered a contest on twitter to win a KitchenAid Mixer from Martha Stewart… I did not win, and I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t bummed.

    Boysenberry... I love you.

    I… Oh my own mixer. My own closet. My own CHAIR, or COUCH… I can’t stop looking. I even went as far as making a small and unconscious mistake in a fellowship essay…

    "This fellowship aligns with my career goals as it would… allow me to buy my very own chair…"

    A friend pointed out I might as well have just written “the salary afforded in this fellowship will allow me to attain ‘all kinds of ill shit”…

    But imagine. Imagine writing an essay draft or reading an article or even Chopra in this chair…

    via ikea.

    When you’ve spent 4 years using your bed as your couch, desk and drafting table, a chair oh what a luxury!

    So, two things to want… right? No it’s deeper. It’s silpat pads of my very own, it’s closet organization systems, and paintings to hang on walls, lamps. It’s functioning blinds (because I’m too lazy to replace mine) and a home for every doodad on my dresser… sometimes sneakers but I can usually satisfy that urge.

    The truth is, it’s kind of passing… the obsessive wanting. I’ll always want. I talk about wanting things all the time, we all want, thats how I bought groceries in college, there was a wants list for frivolous things and a needs lists for basics– I usually purchased only the stuff on the needs list. But for a brief, brief moment… this clip I saw a commercial for the other day touched this part of me… the part that shamefully said “I would never do this,” but later compiled a list of businesses that give out free things or discounts to their twitter followers, and raffles that were being conducted for things I want… Yep. Obsessed.

  4. Archives: Match Ya Panties with Your Bra, Get ya Shit Together Rant

    Match Ya Panties with Your Bra, Get ya Shit Together Rant: Sep 12, 2009

    There are those songs, that you come across where you neither like, nor dislike the artist, but nonetheless the song just hits you a certain way…

    I’ve had a lot of those lately.

    Then there are those songs that you find hidden deep in your iTunes library that you forgot were there, again an artist you’re pretty much indifferent to– maybe someone put it on a mix for you, maybe you’re like me and felt as bad/non-significant as the song might be you may “need it later” for a “never going to happen but I can still dream I’m doing a one woman show” type deal. And that song hits you, hits you hard.

    I never really denied the power of music, but I don’t know that I take full advantage of its awesomeness. And then, amid finally feeling like I’m on the road to get my head right– despite a crazy summer/last month I remembered this hook.

    "Now we can ball seven days, six nights

    If that head and that p***y get right
    Hey, match ya panties with ya bras get ya shit together
    Go get ya hair and nails done get ya shit together”

    All I could think was “SANG IT T.I. Sannnnnng it.”

    Yet another mantra to add to the many I’ve tried to come up with to, indeed get my head right (I’m pretty sure those lyrics are not accurate, but I don’t care. I come from a family that invents their own. I hear what I wanna hear).

    I took a mini vacation last weekend and the following learnings helped me get my shit together… though I can’t promise it actually involves matching my bra and my draws.

    • Experiencing something for the first time, can often ground you and remind you of who you are and what you love. Case in point; Roscoe’s Chicken and Waffles.

    • Having little faces great you in the morning, saying “Good Morning Auntie Magtonic” while scratching their bellies and yawning” is a pretty rad start to your day.

    • Sometimes seeing something abnormal, that you wouldn’t normally care about can pull at your inner “smooo mooo” and make you have the excitement of a 5 year old.

    • Writing your thesis in your bathing suit makes for such a productive day.

    • No matter how much you believe this will change, your oldest friend is eye candy for the ladies and will get better service than you in restaurants, so start asking him to use that to get you free drinks or desserts.

    • It’s okay that you aren’t ready to drink in an airport bar alone. According to DG, “you can drink alone at an airport bar once you hit 50. It is actually quite liberating to be a crone. Nobody messes with you and you don’t give a shit if they do.”

    • And lastly, Long Beach Airport, is still Long Beach.

  5. Archives: Crossing over into Grown-Assness

    Still on that 1/4LC tip.

    Crossing over into Grown Ass-ness: Apr 22, 2007

    A few weeks ago, my sister, who has been through her fair share of being confronted face first with her own mortality (deep sentence, easy explanation: she has lots of friends who have not understood the value of their own lives… Cryptic statement from magtonic? Yes.) recently had a very grown up thought.

    At 20 she said she felt that you have to earn this life.
    My boyfriend sharing her sentiment clarified it to say that you have to earn a meaningful life.

    Given that they’re both in different places, it seems to me that for my sister, so many people in her life cannot value precisely what life is about. Happiness, laughter, sadness. So many people in her circles have lacked the ability or perhaps the desire to keep it. It was robbed from them, they couldn’t own up to that responsibility.

    The boyfriend lacks that aspect. He’s never seen it taken from someone-with the exception of two recent events, both tragic accidents- taken by the hands of whatever it is that led to that circumstance: something beyond ones own control, or at their own discretion.
    So from his standpoint it’s about what you do with this life you’re given. For him, it comes down to that choice.

    Given the fact that I’ve been dealing with the realizations that come with growing up, I think you DO have to earn this life. I think you DO have to earn a meaningful one, but I also believe you have to earn your adulthood.

    As a recovering (here I go with that word again) American Studies Scholar, I have to say that more now, than ever before I feel like this country is flawed in that we don’t have forreal, meaningful or significant rights of passage that people must go through before being considered adults.

    A friend in graduate school, who is taking a class in adolescent development, highlighted something that’s at the heart of this manifesto. The lack of meaningful and mandatory rights of passage in American culture. She noted most feel that stage, the step from childhood into adult hood is marked by things like college, buying a home, perhaps car. I noted that those things aren’t mutually accessible. To which she said that the space between childhood and adulthood is a nebulous one and fairly undefined. The second she said that it clicked. A fog. A literal fog. Most adults between the ages of oh say… 17 and 30, perhaps 35, are nearly lost in a mental/ emotional fog.

    Suddenly, for me, it comes to make sense. The space between childhood/adolescence and adulthood is like a mini replica of San Francisco. All of us live with the fog from time to time but most/ many, fail to realize the city is full of microclimates and can never learn to get out of the Sunset District.

    Sending my head spinning I thought about it.

    Graduation is bogus.
    Prom is bogus. (Insert any sort of coming out ceremony that involves large gowns, tuxes and perhaps ballrooms… however if you choose to reveal your sexuality to your loved ones by throwing a party in this manner, by all means do so, I applaud the idea)
    Going to college and getting a degree… Bogus.

    Although I realize it’s only those hard life lessons and real experiences that “age” us in the way that I might be interpreting adult growth to mean, It’s hard to pin point other ways to achieve a grown up status.

    Maybe I mean to say that adulthood should be broken up into phases, the way school is. Having goals, realistic ones that don’t exclude you based on class (ie: college degrees), sexuality (ie: marriage) etc. that every person must meet to cross into adulthood is probably a pipedream.

    My head is still spinning thinking about this one. But maybe that, in and of itself, is part of this right of passage. Maybe the quarter-life calls for you to be in this fog. The goal is to get out of it and find that warmer microclimate that sees sun more often.

  6. Archives: I’m a Grown Ass Woman

    Still feel this one.

    I’m a Grown Ass Woman: Apr 15, 2007

    The world of hip hop although known to cause controversy, provide lost suburban teens a scapegoat outlet for foul adolescent behavior, and urban teens a familiar face or story in the media, is also known to be somewhat paradoxical. At the moment personalities like Farnsworth Bently, the manservant of Sean Puffy Combs, dawning Burberry, a large umbrella and bowtie while their friends rap about coming from the streets, being hard and wearing merely white tees, or the College Drop out himself Kanye West who wears furs of all kinds but stands firmly against conflict diamonds and speaks freely about FEMA and Presidential neglect in the after affects of hurricane Katrina come to mind.

    Which got me thinking, not about issues as pressing or culturally important as the ones I’ve just mentioned, but about something I feel isn’t really mentioned as much. Now you can get into all the discussions you want about masculinity in hip-hop, male bravado, the ideas of confessional vs. boasting rap songs, but that’s not what I’m thinking about with my idea. Frankly that’s too academic for my extremely exhausted and no longer as sharp brain.

    The idea I’m curious about is the notion of being a “Grown Ass Man” which is heard often as it comes out of rappers, hip-hop fans, and men of all ages. (Disclaimer: Ass is now an adjective used to mean Very, or having reached a certain level. Example: “This is a good ass burrito.” It is not a burrito made of ass, as much as it is a very good burrito)
    To say “I’m a Grown Ass Man,” is of course not just a statement about age, but about having responsibilities, being able to handle ones own business and life in a way someone grown should. Cee-lo has a song about the idea of being grown, which clearly strikes home to someone like me. Needless to say it strikes other people I know, some saying they are Grown Ass Kids, having so much life to live even if they are growing.
    Given previous posts implying where my head might be lately I have been thinking about what it means to be a “Grown Ass Woman.” This is what I have to offer.

    Things A Grown Ass Woman Should Do:

    1. Admit when she’s made a mistake, hurt someone, needs help and or spac
    2. Know when to step back and let others take the spotlight
    3. Know how to dress age and situation appropriately. Particular points to note:
      • Pigtails are often juvenile unless the situation lends to them
      • Trends found in teen stores do not often work for work wear
      • A good bra is the best investment you can make, at any time.
      • No one should know you are wearing a thong unless you are sleeping with them, they are meant to be assumed not seen through your pants because they are too tight
    4. Accept that life does not have a set path and it is okay if you are you do not have that husband/house/dream job/baby by the age of X.
    5. Know that at her best, when she is most herself, people notice. She wont have to try so hard if she keeps that in mind.

    Things A Grown Ass Woman Is Not:

    1. An attention whore. Wanting validation and recognition is one thing, but using your god given assets, fucked up     gender norms or other women to get them is not very grown.
    2. Someone who plays “the game” and gets caught. A grown ass woman instead, is conscious of the game and         only plays enough to get by.
    3. Someone who places blame on others for problems that are of her own making.
    4. A slightly older version of her high school self. Grown Ass-ness implies holistic growth as a person not just in         age/height/weight. Honey you do not have the right shape to wear Baby Phat any more, and you are too old to wear clothes with ages in the title.
    5. Someone who measures her worth by someone else’s standards.

    This is a working idea… it might take some time to get used to it, but please take it into consideration. (Particularly the C section of Things a Grown Ass Woman Should Do. The bra part is very true).

    UPDATE: 4/18/07 As noted by dnA of www.toosense.net , my use of the word “ASS” would “make ass an adverb, since it modifies an adjective not a noun.” He was deeply bothered by my calling it an adjective in relationship to the phrase “good ass burrito.”  I think he is merely upset that there are no good *ass* burritos on the East Coast.