Adult Friendships with the ‘Rents

I’m friends with my parents. It’s unlike many of the other friendships I’ve formed recently such as when I’ve forced co-workers into friendship through humor and stimulating conversations. And it’s different than the friendships I’ve had since high school when we became friends because of our love for coffee shops to order Italian sodas after school.

This friendship with my parents has developed through travels, both domestic and abroad, and from the various times I lived with them as an adult as I figured out my next life step.

I haven’t lived with my parents in over four years, but I do still travel with them, visit them at their house for a weekend every now and again, and attend Oregon Ducks football games with them. Essentially, we like to hang out now and again.

But today, my parents are exercising their squatters’ rights at my apartment. What am I talking about? Well, my parents came to stay with me Friday night before the Ducks game on Saturday. Then had planned to go home after the game, but my dad was tired so they decided to stay a second night. When my mom realized that an NFL game was on this morning, they decided to stay a bit longer. I find it hilarious. My TV is a 13-inch VCR/TV combo that I bought back in 2001. It’s a crap television, but I have cable. My parent’s don’t have cable so watching NFL football real-time on my 13-inch TV is absolute heaven.

When they started joking with me about them overstaying their welcome, I laughed. I really don’t mind as long as they respect my decision to blog and write letters while they watch Marcus Mariotta and company take on the Oakland Raiders. (I’m not really a football fan; I attend Ducks games entirely for the social aspect.)

I think it’s fun to be friends with my parents. It changes the dynamics of what we’re able to do and how I can spend my time with them that likely differs greatly from how my siblings interact with them.

One of my prouder moments of our friendship also came this morning when my dad and I talked about women’s equality. He told me that our conversations in the past year about women’s equality have made him notice things differently. He noted that movies from Mr. Smith Goes to Washington to films made in the 1990s depict female characters in small, traditional roles of secretary, mother, etc. and that there were no strong, female leads in films he has seen. My immediate thought: Duh, Daddy. It’s relatively recent that female actors are in key roles in film. But – as Tina Fey joked in her sheet cake skit on an edition of this summer’s SNL Weekend Update – people won’t show up for those powerful films with strong female leads. It’s frustrating. And yet honestly, I am incredibly grateful that my dad is starting to notice this and that he finds it weird. His friendship with me alone should show him that sassy and strong female characters make any story, travel, and adventure more interesting.

I enjoy being friends with my parents. Despite the fact that I disagree with their politics, I find them quite wonderful people. And I appreciate having an adult friendship with folks who are the very reason I was brought into this world. It’s kind of cool.

And honestly, if they want to exercise their squatters’ rights in my apartment any given Sunday, I’ll just learn to make due and enjoy it.

Tata for now.



Long-Term Relationships and Beards

I didn’t realize that men with beards were better for long-term relationships. Clearly, they have longer-term commitments to their facial hair and food scrapings therein, but whether their beard would affect how long they could be in a relationship with me never crossed my mind… until today.

This morning I learned that researchers at the University of Queensland in Australia did a study with 8,520 women to see how men were rated based on attractiveness. Men with full-beards were rated as the best for long-term relationships.

I guess this might be accurate. I mean, at this point, both of my sisters are married to men with full beards and they are in long-term relationships so… that’s enough proof, right?

While this article has taught me a bit about us women’s perception of what men will bring us relationship-wise. I don’t know how accurate or real this may be. Does perception ever equal reality? Don’t some men grow long beards simply because they know women are starting to think this brings stability? And how damaging is it to those of us women who might actually really believe beards equal long-term commitment when guys read this and start growing out their facial hair to get more action?

Though I appreciate the effort the researchers at the University put into this study, I think it might be a load of B.S.

Until next time,


Why is DACA under fire? Simple answer: White Supremacy

I’m fed up with President Trump and the leeches he has working for him in his cabinet and at the White House. Not only has the narcissist continually made a mockery out of our country, but today, his administration solidified their White Supremacist ideals by calling an end to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).

Is it fair to call them White Supremacists? Yes, it is. Could you imagine if the Native Americans had stood up to the white folks and told them that they needed to leave the country that was becoming home? And why aren’t we talking about this on a day like today? This call to “rescind” DACA is clothed in white sheets of bigotry and hate.

Honestly, I’m fed up with our inability to create diverse communities here in the U.S. It’s getting out of control. We continue to fight, hate, ignore, and live in fake worlds without real investment in diversity and integration.

The other day, I was talking to my dad. He asked me if things were still segregated in South Africa. He trusts me and values the fact that I know some things about the country I visited a few years ago. I told him that yes, things were still segregated, “similar to here in the U.S.,” I said. His eyes shot up. He shook his head slightly, confused. And I told him how segregated we are in the U.S., how Portland, Oregon continues to be less and less diverse as people of color move out of the central part of the city. I spoke of the areas in Corvallis and even here where I live in Eugene. My dad was appalled. How could this be the reality in the year 2017? White Supremacy! We White folk continue to luxuriate in our power and dominance. It’s pretty gross, quite frankly, and it needs to stop.

When I think of what we can do to change this, I think of today. We can do so many things this very day to stand up to hate and challenge whiteness and White Supremacy. Today wasn’t a fair day. The Dreamers given hope with DACA should not be threatened today. Without even looking at the economical actions we’ve taken as a nation to force migration to the U.S., just think of the children. Should children be punished and forced to leave their homes for the actions of their parents? (Notice that I didn’t say crime, but rather action? That’s because I have very liberal views on immigration.) I don’t think they should be. In fact, I believe that American should be/must be a haven to anyone who wants to live and abide by the freedoms afforded us in this great country.

With DACA under fire, I fear more young Americans (and yes, they are as American as you and I could we set aside the bureaucracy of paperwork) will have to jump through hurdles like Kevin did when he first left the U.S. as a teenager. While I admire Kevin’s story and journey to the U.S. and to LBCC where he studied as my advisee, I believe people deserve more opportunities and respect than this. I believe every person deserves to reach their full potential and we’ve got to do something to work towards that.

And to be honest, readers, the way to achieve this is to challenge White Supremacy, call out our horrendous president, and work towards building a better land of freedom and democracy for all.

American Fairy Tales

“Everything will out alright in the end. And if it isn’t alright, clearly it isn’t the end.” (The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, John Lennon, or perhaps Paolo Coelho)

Since early childhood, I have been anxious about the ending of stories. Would there be a foot-popping kiss? Would the princess still be able to travel after the wedding? This led me to be one of those inappropriate readers; I would often go to the back of the book to ensure that the characters were left on solid footing before I would truly dive into the literature. This, of course, did not happen with the Great Gatsby – I wonder if I would have finished the book had I done this back then.

Needless to say, I managed my anxiety by ensuring that stories had appropriate endings before I would invest in them.

As I’ve gotten older, this has changed a bit. Life has taught me that things don’t always end up the way you had expected or planned. If they had, I’d probably be married with children. Or perhaps, I would still be living abroad, taking pictures for National Geographic. Instead, I am here sitting at home in workout clothes, sweating while writing this (I don’t just sweat incessantly, it’s actually hot outside these days).

Along with my own life not turning out the way I had imagined, I’ve started to realize how unpredictable good movies and books can be. It has been a while since I invested in a truly predictable book, but I used to do it a lot. I always knew that the couple would end up together and that I could read about the wedding dress and flower arrangements. Fast forward to today when I went to a movie that I had only heard about once. I watched the preview earlier this afternoon and decided to actually get up off my couch to go watch it.

The movie was called Tulip Fever. It’s a film set in 16th Century Amsterdam when the tulip trade was pretty intense. But the film really wasn’t about tulips. Rather, it was about love, lust, passion, and longing. As I sat in the theater, watching the tale unfold, I really didn’t know how it was going to end. Would there be happiness or death? The funny thing is that I believed either option would be good for the characters. I’m not going to spoil it, but telling you how the film ended, but rather let you know that it’s worth the watch. It’s worth the agony, the frustration, and the worry. Movies, like life, don’t need American fairy tale endings. In fact, aren’t they more interesting when they keep you on your toes a bit?

That’s it for now. May your day have an above par ending as you close out this long weekend.



Why I marched.

Yesterday, we marched. Millions of people across the world gathered together to take a stand and protest the hate, discrimination, fear, and terror that our new president has spread throughout his campaign and his first day in office. When I asked myself why I marched, I hardly know how to respond. How could I not have marched? What else would honestly have been more important or valuable to do on that historic day?


On Inauguration Day, my friends were sending texts about the ridiculous hateful actions the White House was already taking. For example, within hours of being sworn into office, Trump’s White House staff had taken down web pages on Civil Rights, LGBT Rights, and Climate Change. Really? WTF?! These actions alone contributed to the reason I marched.

I marched because people who think that America is post racism are just wrong. If we want to eliminate racism in our nation, we have to acknowledge white privilege, challenge white supremacy, and support programs and initiatives that support people of color and provide equitable opportunities for the folks who have been marginalized by our racist systems for centuries.

I marched because as a woman, I believe I have the right to choose what to do with my body. I believe all women have that right and that the government does not have the right to dictate those choices. Along with that, I believe that victim shaming and blaming has got to stop. No man or woman has a right to touch my body or force me to do anything with my body to satisfy their needs or desires. I am in control of my body and no one has a right to take away that control.


The Future is Female. I was so proud to march with young feminists who are dedicated to this cause. 

I marched because I believe that religion should stay out of politics. Though our money states, “In God We Trust,” our founding fathers were people who made mistakes and had errors in judgment that showed their humanity and prejudices. The thing I appreciate the most about our founding fathers is that they fought for the separation of church and state. In my world, there is no right religion or faith. One’s faith is merely the way they make sense of the world. And to say that one person’s interpretation of the meaning of life is the only way is just ridiculous.

I marched because I want to see my brother marry the love of his life. Throughout my life, I have been ignorant about LGBT rights, but in the past few years, I have learned much about gender identity and sexual orientation. People have a right to express their gender in their own personal way! And people have a right to love who they want to love! Why would any person try to prohibit another person from loving someone who makes happy and whole? That’s just mean to do so! Let’s love win! Marriage Equality Rocks!


my favorite sign: In Our America…

I marched because I can’t stay silent anymore. I refuse to be silent. I refuse to complain about what’s going wrong without taking any action. I will not be that person. I encourage my friends and family to take action too. So readers, if you are bothered by the racism, hatred, and intolerance present in our country right now, do something about it. Talk to a neighbor. Go to a council meeting. Talk to someone on the other side. Read. And take a stand. Because if you’re not doing anything to bring unity, inclusivity, or equity to the situation at hand, you are actually perpetuating the problem.

Tata for now.


Today, I march.

I am a feminist. I believe in my rights as a woman and my rights as a human being. Women’s rights are human rights.

Today, I march for my rights and for the rights of my all humans. When President Trump was sworn into office yesterday, I was weighed down by the legacy of the hateful and divisive rhetoric he has spewed over the past few years. Today’s Women’s March is a chance to stand up and protest and unite with others who care about the value of diversity, equity, and inclusion. I believe in the America where folks of all faiths, genders, sexual orientations, ability status, and race are treated as valuable individuals who bring knowledge, culture, and dignity to this society and world we all share.


I have been fearful of what this new administration will bring to our country. But this morning, I watched a recording of Obama’s final press conference and I took heart. America is a great country and together, we can fight the oppressive policies some folks are hoping to create. We’re stronger together, y’all. Let’s get to work.

Tata for now.


The Laws of Immigration

About a month ago, my dad and I got in the only yelling fight I ever remember. I knew there was no reason for us to argue – we fundamentally disagreed on a very important issue – that of immigration law. And I told him that we shouldn’t talk about it. He started to raise his voice and said, “It’s the law, Sharece! How do you decide which laws to follow and which not to follow?”

I got upset and started to cry, thus ending the debate. Mainly, I didn’t want to continue arguing because I knew that no matter how long the two of us would talk about it, we weren’t going to agree on the issue in the end.

My father and I disagree on immigration law much like I disagree with many Americans on immigration laws and policies. As a descendant of European immigrants, I appreciate how America has generally stood for a land of freedom and idealism for people to seek new lives in this gigantic land mass. In reality, America has been more of a haven for the white folk as we’ve continued to create a country and society that benefits from white supremacy and racist practices and laws.

Our immigration laws in the US are rooted in racism and white supremacy. If you look even to the most basic level of our northern and southern borders, white folks up north have less-restricted access to the U.S. than do the people of color living in the south. It’s shameful, in my opinion. My friend Caitlin and I have done a bit of research on the topic of social justice and immigration, and both of us have become stronger advocates for change through that process. I, for one, applaud steps forward which allow for more generous immigration policies. I am a fan of the Dream Act and I believe that we should create more policies that recognize the value immigrants bring to our nation. In the White House’s Brief on the Dream Act, there is a quote from Colin Powell, former Secretary of State,

“[The Republican Party] needs to take a hard look at some of the positions they’ve been taking. We can’t be anti-immigration, for example. Immigrants are fueling this country. Without immigrants America would be like Europe or Japan with an aging population and no young people to come in and take care of it. We have to educate our immigrants. The DREAM Act is one way we can do this.”

I’m not a huge Colin Powell fan or anything, but I definitely appreciate what he’s talking about. The rhetoric from the 2016 election regarding immigration was appalling. Our president elect has shown himself to be xenophobic and racist on more than one occasion and to be honest, we can’t have that.

If the president elect and the right-wing conservatives in Congress decide to create unjust policies that discriminate against people of color trying to immigrate to the United States, I think it will be time to challenge those laws by breaking them.

A great man once wrote in his work “Letter from Birmingham Jail,”

You express a great deal of anxiety over our willingness to break laws. This is certainly a legitimate concern. Since we so diligently urge people to obey the Supreme Court’s decision of 1954 outlawing segregation in the public schools, it is rather strange and paradoxical to find us consciously breaking laws. One may well ask, “How can you advocate breaking some laws and obeying others?” The answer is found in the fact that there are two types of laws: there are just laws, and there are unjust laws. I would agree with St. Augustine that “An unjust law is no law at all.” (MLK)

In 2017, I, for one, plan to fight for a better world – a world with more kindness demonstrated through diversity and inclusion rather than a world with stricter borders between nations.

Tata for now.