Chopsticks, Death and Love

I’m in Monterey Park and after dropping a chopstick on the floor I grab a new one. Just one. As my hand hovers over a dumpling my friend practically shouts, “Don’t do that!” Alarmed, I drop my hand and ask, “Don’t do what?” “Never use mismatched chopsticks,” she says, “it’s bad luck.” Not being superstitious I raise my chopsticks again and start to grab a dumpling when I am interrupted by an older woman at the table next to us, “We use chopsticks like that when someone is dead. It’s for …

definition of agency sociology

Agency

Tomorrow I’m meeting with some people from the city. We’re scheduled to discuss the prostitution problem in my neighborhood. We don’t have streetwalkers and pimps, we have massage parlors. We have massage parlors that no one ever enters from the street. We have massage parlors that use their rear entrances with free parking. We have massage parlors where no one speaks English and the older woman at the front desk wears rainbow eyeshadow. These massage parlors are admittedly not good for property values and I have some concerns about that, but …

This is Privilege

Recently I mentioned on Facebook that I’d be visiting Pueblo, Colorado. It was met with a chorus of why’s, most with a disparaging tone. I get it. When people think of visiting Colorado they think Aspen or Vail, possibly Durango or Breckenridge, but people in Los Angeles don’t think, “I’ll go to Pueblo, Colorado today.” Which is all well and good but they’d be missing something because part of me really loves that little city and always will. I went to school in Pueblo. After a false start at a …

Parents Who Sustain Us

Over the weekend I met a lady in the baby business. We chatted a bit about her career and I was impressed, as anyone would be. She’s bright and hardworking, she’s the kind of lady you want to listen to and learn from. Then she talked about social media and crowdsourcing photos. I smiled conspiratorially and faux whispered, “Yeah, it’s a tough trick when 90% of baby items are things no one needs.” Which, she ignored. And that’s when I knew she was brilliant. The more she talked about social media …

Broccoli the Cat and his rat

Whatever Happened to Broccoli and His Rat?

Maybe you saw a video I posted to Facebook very late Wednesday night. It was simply captioned: I’m going to set my house on fire. Because that seemed reasonable at the moment. In fact, it’s still sort of a good idea. So yeah… we’re not great with vermin and didn’t help the cause at all. I admit it. It was late, I was tired, and the only reason we even have cats is that back in 2011 we really did have a rat and mouse problem and I grabbed Sparky …