September 6, 2013

Published on The Toast!

Mallory, because she is insane and brilliant, decided to do a DUI series over at The Toast. I’ve been hit by someone wasted behind the wheel, so I wrote about it. This was a hard one but I’m happy with it: http://the-toast.net/2013/09/05/dui-series-hit-by-a-car/

July 16, 2013

Published on The Billfold!

Places I Didn’t Live: House Hunting In Oakland, Calif. I think, had I written it a little differently, it could have been alternately titled, “The Trillionth Essay On How Expensive SF Is.” Subtitle: “I Hate Everyone.”

 

May 25, 2013

Got pulled onstage at iO and made the audience laugh.

Expect me to be insufferably cocky about this for at least the next week.

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May 23, 2013

A very belated April Fools…

I totally forgot to post the Yelp April Fools’ joke I did this year, which I am very happy with. Things got busy, I guess.

Conceptualized the joke with a couple of my coworkers and then wrote the copy for the landing page and the script for the video. I also co-directed the video with our production guy, Bryan Porter, which was a first for me. Very fun indeed.

I present… my baby: http://www.yelp.com/footmen

May 23, 2013

Response to my last essay on The Bold Italic

Title: What Is The San Francisco Dream? Wonderful art by Helen Tseng.

I wrote about my experience of moving to San Francisco after college to pursue a writing career and then winding up at a tech company because I ran out of money. It’s getting trolled pretty hard, and normally I would just roll my eyes. But it seems a lot of people think that my definition of “hustling” means I’m pro-gentrification, as well as some cutthroat bitch who thinks all art should be made for commercial purposes only, which is so far from the truth that I feel compelled to pull back the curtain a bit and address some of the negative comments.

First, I should clarify that I absolutely do not think I have more of a right to live in San Francisco than anyone else. It’s tragic that people who have lived here long before me and have worked a lot harder than me can’t afford to stay here any longer. The fact that you can’t be something like a social worker and also live comfortably in this city is disgusting.

The social injustices and the economic disparities of San Francisco are so vast and complicated. There was no way I could have adequately or appropriately discussed any of these issues in a 1,500-word essay that’s illustrated with super cute designs. So I didn’t.

Instead, I wrote a personal narrative speaking specifically about the people in my “tribe”: the under-30 creative kids who moved to the city after college, like I did, with the puerile expectation that the “starving artist” life will be romantic and also somehow affordable, like I did.

Okay, so here comes the part where some people are going to penalize me for sounding probably very smug: I think those people, who came to San Francisco to make art and didn’t figure out that they can’t live this idle existence, floating around and leisurely making things with no real focus, and then have the audacity to be mad about rent prices, should leave. I’m sorry, but I think the space those people take up should be filled with someone who is willing to work just a little bit harder (and be a little less of an asshole).

When I ran out of money, I didn’t get mad. This city is really expensive! And when I realized I couldn’t live here and just dick around, writing in my journal and for free on other people’s blogs, it was truthfully a rude awakening. I had to decide if I needed to move somewhere else, or if I wanted to see if I could make it work in SF. I really wanted to stay in the city, so thus began my hustling.

I managed to get hired as an editor/copywriter at one of the better SF startups. Not my dream job, but I turned it into something that’s as close to my dream job as I can make it. Turns out it’s fun, and it’s also helped me improve my writing skills as well as figure out what kind of career I really want and what kind of person I want to be. Some people call this being a sellout, but I don’t agree. Yelp has a lot of integrity and fully supports me in my freelance endeavors. I’m proud of the work I do for them. I’m also happy because now I’m able to write things that don’t make me any money without having to worry about my rent.

I don’t think my job/situation makes me “better” than any of my peers. But because I realized how relatively easy it is to find work that’s fulfilling (be it at a startup or somewhere else), I also have zero patience for wannabe creatives who endlessly complain that they are so unhappy they can’t figure it out.

I’m not sure if this attitude is a “my generation” thing, a San Francisco tech culture thing, or both. Regardless, I’m not the only one who openly finds entitled, self-deprecating people to be totally exasperating, so I’m a little confused as to why I’m being dismissed as a brat on TBI.

Maybe I’m a little insensitive towards my peers’ struggles, but it’s because I’ve never been handed anything – even though I’m white and thus inherently privileged, as so many commenters pointed out. On the contrary, my upbringing really set me up to fail at life, so I’m really proud I’ve been able to pull myself up from the depths of shit that rained on me for so many years. And I have no qualms letting everyone know I’m really proud of myself, which some may call smugness, but quite frankly, I don’t care. I feel empowered by my sense of self-satisfaction.

All that said, I acknowledge that luck has also been on my side these last few years. There are countless people who do everything right and are still priced out of the city. That fucking sucks. In fact, I’m one of them now: my boyfriend and I are moving to Oakland in hopefully the next week because we can no longer afford our SF apartment. (“Good riddance!” said everyone unoriginally in the comments.)

So. Anyway. It’s typically unwise to respond to haters publicly, but I was so bothered by the implications that I’m classist and racist, like I high-five a Mitt Romney poster on my bedroom door every morning or something. I guess first and foremost, I’m just anti-laziness. Is there an -ist word we can assign to that?

March 26, 2013

Published on The Bold Italic!

I have a piece about living with cancer up today on The Bold Italic. I’m particularly excited about working on this site because the essays all get a beautiful, one-of-a-kind design treatment. This one was done by SF illustrator Brad Amorosino. Hope you take a look!

March 21, 2013

I HAVEN’T UPDATED MY BLOG SINCE FEBRUARY?!?!?!

This is one of those blog posts that addresses the obvious fact that I haven’t updated my blog in a while, and nothing more. I’d make a promise to the greater internet to do better, but… no, actually. I won’t do that.

Things I’ve been doing besides not updating my blog:

- Being the creative lead on this really huge Yelp project that I’m super proud of, even though it’s not done yet. I am very excited to unleash it in a couple of weeks.
– Turning 26.
– Learning how to ski and being goodish at it.
– Working on a book proposal for my agent, as I have been doing for the past nine months.
– Deciding, on the nine-month mark, that I didn’t like my proposal at all, and then deciding to totally scrap it and start over with a new idea I haven’t thought of yet.
– Visiting mortgage loan officers and real estate agents with Nate because we are buying a house in Oakland this year.

That’s all for now. I’ll be back to post the shit out of that really huge Yelp project I was just talking about. Maybe before then too — who knows! Until then.

February 10, 2013

Somebody is punking Dave Sheridan’s IMDB page?

Watching Ghost World last night led me to e-stalking the minor characters, which led me to discover some super weird/hilarious photo captions on Dave Sheridan’s IMDB page.

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February 4, 2013

Published on Thought Catalog!

25 Things You Wish You Could Ask On A Friend Date. My favorite thing about this piece is that my friend/writing partner/favorite person Eve emailed me answers to my questions. I’m posting them below…!

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1. Firstly and most importantly, are you going to post ugly pictures of me on Instagram and then pretend like you think said pictures are funny in a flattering way? If you won’t be able to resist, tell me now so we can make this a casual fake friendship. I’d like to know in advance to not invite you out when there’s a possibility I might drunkenly and messily eat a hot dog while sitting on the dirty ground. Likely, after I ask you again how Instagram works for the 8th time and make you show me which buttons to push, exactly, to post said terrible photos of yourself.

2. Are you a musician, photographer, writer, or someone who publicly exercises any other form of creative expression? If so, are you any good? If not, do you mind if I lie and tell you I absolutely love whatever it is you’re “creating”? Yes. There are good days and bad days. Yes.

3. Are you a different person depending on who you’re hanging out with? Will I be forced to watch basketball with your sporty friends? Or worse, will you force me to eat some raw/live culture food when we meet your hippie friends for lunch? And if that’s the plan, will you be dramatic about it if I opt to just get a burrito and catch up with you later? I used to be that way, but I’ve grown out of it. And if you see it happening in a bad way, I’m counting on you to call me on my shit. Organized sports can fuck off, and hippies need not apply. Of course not.

4. On that note, who is your best friend? Will we be competing for your attention? Please know I’m in it to win it. I co-sleep with my laptop, and competition could get fierce.

5. How cool will you be if I poop in front of you? This won’t happen often but sometimes we’ll be at a bar or a party with only one toilet and I’l be in an anxious mood. If I’m in this kind of mood, I need you to pretend like we’re doing coke in the bathroom so I can think no one thinks I’m gross. I will walk you to the Bloomingdale’s bathroom three blocks away at any time of day in order to disguise your poop anxiety, and I will sit in the children’s corral and watch an episode of Dog With A Blog while you do battle.

6. Can we have inside jokes, but not so many that our conversations will start to feel false and scripted? Yes, because, circle of life.

7. Will you occasionally order food for me when we go out? Sometimes easy decision-making is exhausting for me, especially if it’s a Friday and I’ve spent my entire work week telling other people what to do. I need to trust that you won’t fuck me over and order something with mushrooms in it. If you will for me and/or if you’ll tolerate me also not ordering and asking the waiter to do it while also kind of hitting on them and you won’t judge. For future reference, no eggplant, eggplant is uninspiring.

8. Do you have better taste in music than me? The answer to this is probably yes, because I still listen to Rilo Kiley as earnestly as I did when I was 17. So I guess the better question is, when you find this out, will you not judge me harshly for it? I won’t judge you, but I will secretly maintain moral superiority, because what better gauge of a person’s ethical mettle is there? This will go on until you catch me pretending to know something I don’t, and then game over.

9. If we discover we like the same physical activities, will you join my gym? Because I would hate that. We can go on a bike ride or swim laps on some weekends, but beyond that, I need my space. Gyms are for suckers.

10. How close are you with your family? I feel like the kind of intimacy you share with your family, particularly your siblings, is the best way to gauge how good of a person you are. Oh, for the record, my siblings don’t talk to me. Anything they need, all they have to do is ask.

11. Can I be friends with your significant other? I would never call them to hang out without you or anything lame like that, but if we happen to be trapped in an elevator together, I’d like to not feel compelled to kill myself. Yes, please! My ultimate dream is that when you and my hypothetical future significant other get trapped in the elevator, you won’t stand there awkwardly making small talk while your asshole alarm goes into DefCon 1 which you won’t tell me about until after we violently break up, but instead compliment each others shoes and then talk about that one time you were wasted and saw Prometheus, and then maybe bring up The Giants so the two of you have a secret bond of your own.

12. Will you read my things that I publish on the internet and laugh and cry at all the right spots? Yes.

13. How will you handle it when I start calling you obsessively? I get super excited when I meet someone I could potentially become close with; I won’t be able to fight the urge to see as much of you as humanly possibly. Will you be flattered by this (you should be), or will you make it weird? Also, know that I may show up on your front doorstep uninvited, but I will bring cookies! It’s cool, and you bake delicious cookies. Just know I sometimes I have to disappear.

14. Just how far can I take my shit-talking with you before it makes you nervous? Until it sends me into a I-hate-everything-nothing-is-right-no-one-loves-me spiral, then I’ll need to take a step back.

15. Are you comfortable sitting in complete silence together for long stretches of time? Sometimes.

16. Will you be available to give me immediate feedback when I text you title ideas for my unsold, unwritten memoir at 3 in the morning? Yes.

17. Can we buy each other beers and not keep track of who owes who more money? If we’re friends long enough, everything will probably even itself out. And if it doesn’t, no one will die so it’s fine. YES!!! The ultimate expression of friendship.

18. Can you tell me really funny jokes, and then not make fun of my super loud, bellowing laugh? I know it’s startling and embarrassing, especially when we’re out in public, okay? I can’t help it. I might make fun of your laugh, like maybe once or twice, but it’s not a veiled way of me telling you to shut the hell up you’re embarrassing me – it’s because it’s awesome.

19. When I rattle off my lists of reasons as to why I think Matthew McConaughey is an underrated actor, will you actually listen to me? It’s not good enough that you just don’t mock me. I need you to make a genuine effort to understand. No. I will see Mudd, though.

20. If I don’t feel like going into great detail with you about my sex life with my boyfriend, will you make a conscious effort to not make me feel like a boring loser? I’m rarely interested in having a Sex and the City moment with any of my friends, and I’m tired of feeling bad about that. Ew, stop it. I will make a case for what a fabulous cocktail a Cosmo is, but that’s about as much as I can take of that.

21. Are you comfortable telling me when I’m being ridiculous, selfish, or otherwise annoying? Because I try my best, but sometimes I will need you to tell me to get over myself so we can skip away, hand-in-hand and resentment-free, into the sunset. I will try. No one wants to feel like an asshole, and when you tell your friends and lovers they’re driving you batshit crazy, you feel like an asshole.

22. What is our friendship’s Facebook presence going to look like? I need to know if you plan to tag me in posts that reveal our plans to get stoned and eat a stale bag of Halloween candy from Walgreens while we watch my Felicity DVDs on mute. See question 1.

23. Will you become friends with my friends? Because I think I’d like that, so long as you guys don’t hang out without me. Yes if your friends are cool. No if they’re not.

24. Will one or more of my friends fall in love with you? Because I think I’d like that too – it shows I have good taste in people. Yes.

25. On days when I am attempting to work on a piece of difficult writing, crying and ravaged by insecurities and self-doubt, will you be able to lovingly say, “Oh shut up, Becky. You are being stupid” in a way that makes me feel better about everything? I’m sorry if admitting my neediness up front is off-putting, but I can’t help myself. I’m excited to maybe be your friend. I will try!

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And that, ladies and gentlemen, is what a good friend looks like.

Can I just say that – while I don’t want to dwell on this and falsely give the impression that I think about these things past the initial two seconds, when it really stings – the mean Thought Catalog commenters on these kinds of posts just make me roll my eyes so far back I’m afraid they will get stuck in my head. Oh, you would never want to be my friend, weird person leaving asshole comments behind an anonymous internet moniker? Good, seriously. That means I’m doing something right.

January 17, 2013

After much internal debate, Kat makes an important decision regarding her Pinterest account.

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