Off the beat: On stereotypes and white meat

Earlier this summer, my friend from home in Houston, Nina, brought me to her college town, a big city down south. After a couple of nights of going out downtown, we met up with some friends we knew from high school and some of their friends whom we had never
Read More…

Off the beat: Summer spent in the forest

Ten weeks ago, two strangers in a green Volvo picked me up from my house to begin to a life-changing adventure in the northern Sierra Nevada mountains. Our destination was nestled deep in the sleepy town of Meadow Valley: the University of California Forestry Camp, a 98-year-old university-owned camp dedicated
Read More…

An unexpected summer

Health and Happiness

This last column marks the end of my first summer in Berkeley, and it’s definitely been an interesting one for me. It was my first summer away from home, away from family and away from hometown friends. When I decided to stay in Berkeley and do a summer session to
Read More…

Say it one more time

Broke in Berkeley

“What are you doing?” I turned and looked over my shoulder to where my husband was standing. He was watching me at the bathroom sink as I scrubbed my face with an exfoliating pad covered in toothpaste. “Giving myself a facial. What does it look like?” “With toothpaste?” “Of course.”
Read More…

Musings of the 1.5

Cultural Crossroads

If you’ve often felt conflicted about popular aspects of American culture, like drinking or sexuality, chances are your value system has been impacted by a different culture. Perhaps it’s been influenced by your parents, your friends or where you grew up. You may even be part of the 1.5 generation
Read More…

For richer or for poorer

Broke in Berkeley

They came to me in the middle of the night. They were young and beautiful and dressed up like they were about to go out. I had about an hour’s warning, and their knock on the door was light so as to wake no one who wasn’t already up. When
Read More…

You snooze, you gain?

Health and Happiness

Over the past few days, I’ve become the most unproductive, groggy, exhausted human being. This is no doubt a result of my erratic sleeping patterns. My sleep schedule has consisted of going to bed no earlier than 3 a.m., waking up no later than 2 p.m. and taking obscenely long
Read More…

Top ramen wishes and taco night dreams

Broke in Berkeley

Corn tortillas were being warmed over an open gas burner, perfuming the kitchen with that taco night scent. A simmering pan bubbled and spat, and I spotted a mounded bowl of shredded jack cheese. Tomatoes, lettuce and onions were arranged like birthday balloons in bright colors, and bottle of crema
Read More…

Blurred lines of empowerment

Cultural Crossroads

Despite the title of Robin Thicke’s new song, when a friend of mine first mentioned the “rapey” undertones of “Blurred Lines,” I was taken aback. The fact that the song’s music video is grotesque and objectifying wasn’t new to me, but I had failed to recognize these more problematic undertones
Read More…

Moving on up

Broke in Berkeley

“We’re going to go on an adventure.” My mom had woken me up sometime after midnight to tell me this news. I blinked in the low light, trying to wake up fully. “What?” “You’re going to pack up your backpack for a trip. Bring clothes and the stuff that’s most
Read More…