Halfway Home


1. I basically threw a tantrum and demanded that we take a route through San Francisco instead of around it.

2. Due to traffic, we drove through at a moderate 35mph, right through the city to get to the Golden Gate Bridge.

3. Do I get to say that I’ve been to San Francisco or is this the same as being in the airport in Chicago because of a layover?

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The Colored Girl Connection

Of all the fears and doubts I have about moving to a new place, one of the biggest and most overwhelming is more than a little shallow. It was my biggest stressor about moving to Spokane for school and even made me reconsider Boston as an option. As a black woman I have to research if there will be a place for me to get my hair done.

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A Case FOR Facebook

Any of my true friends can tell you one thing about me: I do not have a Facebook. From both friends and random people alike, this declaration has been met with a variety of reactions: surprise being the first, followed closely by admiration. In rare cases, there is indifference, but the first two definitely trump all others. The responses of admiration always make me laugh the hardest internally, and typically go something like this:

“Oh, that’s so good!” “That’s not something you hear everyday!” “I can understand why!”

These responses are then met with reasons why it’s good NOT to have a Facebook, as if I need the reassurance that I am making a wise decision. I always want to say, “No likes necessary,” because that’s the type of person I’ve always been; however, it has not always been the case that I have been Facebook-less.

Rewind to that fateful day in tenth grade, when my mother busts into the house to declare that she must, I mean MUST, see my Myspace.

“Jumaane, you could be doing drugs. You could have guns in this house. I don’t know WHAT you’re doing. I was listening to the radio, and I need to see your Myspace.” Continue reading

10 am on a Monday at the Wash N’ Go


  • Twenty dollars worth of quarters in your wallet feels like you’re carrying a brick
  • You could ditch the laundromat and go to Chuck E. Cheese.
  • Clean out the construction worker’s pockets: nuts and bolts, screw drivers, things you have no idea what they are, and sometimes, a box cutter, which is awkward in public. You stuff it down your pants until you can smuggle it to the car.
  • Clean out the smoker’s pockets: Lighters. And yet, he can never find one when he needs it.
  • Clean out the man’s pockets: Change. Dollar bills.
  • Claim anything useful.
  • Plot your course: The empty row of smaller washers or the three bigger washers spread around the laundromat.
  • Scout the competition: one Hispanic lady, one Hispanic lady and her daughter and a baby in a stroller, one white lady
  • Wonder why they’re not working
  • Wonder if they’re wondering why you’re not working
  • Wonder if you’ll ever find a job

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A Summer of Reading – Pt. 2

We spent a lot of time at the beach last week, so I blew through a few more books. I had a goal to read 25 books before the end of 2014, and I am well on my way to surpassing that number. All of the books below were solid, though for completely different reasons.Get your read on.

indexMe Before You  by Jojo Moyes — This is a great book club book, because it’s a bit controversial, and I wish I was a part of a book club, so I could bounce my thoughts off other people. Whether you like the book or not you will have an opinion about it. Moyes deftly brings readers into the world of disabled people and the people who love and care for them with this semi-romantic story. The main narrator, Louisa, is fired from her steady job, and ends up taking a job as a caretaker for a quadriplegic. Her charge, Will Traynor, is a man from a wealthy upbringing who used to live on the edge — From skydiving to deep sea diving to buying and selling companies, nothing was out of his reach, until a car accident changes his life. Through various narrators, we watch Louisa and Will become closer and even fall in love, but there’s a catch, and it’s a Doozy. I can’t tell you much more without ruining the book, but trust me when I say the end of this book is a kick to the teeth. Continue reading

Eating Free Lunch

Seemingly a perk is the free room given to TJ on his current renovation of a Motel 6. We “lucked out” when the electrician he shared a room with left for a family emergency, leaving the space to just the two of us (after Jumaane left for the east coast). Having dealt with my share of almost evictions during graduate school, I haven’t taken a roof over my head for granted since. But a free lunch (or room in this instance), as we all know, is never free. And while living in a motel room does have some unique advantages, it also has some fundamental drawbacks.

Privacy — One morning, when I first arrived in Ventura, but after my brother was gone, I was lingering in bed with a book and cup of coffee. My intention to get up kept falling to the wayside with each page, when I heard the door opening. I thought it was TJ,and gave no thought to my state of undress, which was mostly covered by a blanket. In fact, it was not TJ, but another man on the crew who was looking for a tool that TJ had in our room. We made eye contact, not sure what to say,

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International Students

IMG_1797I have always been more intrigued by people from other countries than from America. In my undergrad, I had the pleasure of living in the International Residence Hall. I noted that the students dressed better and danced/partied harder than Americans. My job with the Language School here in Bronx, New York has again proven these two observations correct. I’ve seen 15 year old girls in gladiator sandals and overalls that ACTUALLY looked good, as well as more than my share of Nike sneakers in various colors. I have also been told about weed and clubbing by 16 year old males, and I’ve used the term straight-edge to describe myself more in this one week than in my entire life. Imagine their surprise when I said I have never smoked weed (and don’t plan to in the future).
Overall, this job has been very enjoyable. I took a group of 20-25 foreigners to Times Square on a subway, with more ease than I thought I would have. This success is largely due to the iPhone & my coworker who was on the subway as well, but I chalk it up as a success for myself nonetheless. On this excursion, the words No Child Left Behind brought a smile to my face. Tonight, we had a carnival, and I had the ‘pleasure’ of being pied in the face for the very first time in my life. One student complimented me on my running abilities, comparing me to the great Usain Bolt. To me, I felt more like an gazelle being chased by ten lions.
The lions won.
Of course, it hasn’t all been perfect.

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Up, Up & Away


This morning, TJ snapped at me. I hadn’t been awake for more than two minutes and hadn’t said more than two sentences before he was banging the room door behind him, leaving me open-mouthed and staring. A few months ago, even a few weeks, this moment would turn what might’ve been a good day into a bad one. I’d be raring for a fight, and would sulk until we talked over every detail, and TJ would eventually be so frustrated he’d stop talking altogether — all before noon.

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