5 Things: Binge-Diversity-Traditions-Mail-Meat

A couple of these are from earlier in the year, but there’s no time limit on 5 Things, right?

Your Next Netflix Binge Series: “Kim’s Convenience.” It’s about a Korean family that owns a convenience store in Toronto and shows us their place in their community, as reflected through their relationships with their family, friends, and their customers. It is super funny. As an Asian-American it is rare for us to see our experiences shown on mainstream media, so this means a lot. Seeing us on TV really hits. Four seasons are available and it was just endorsed by Oprah’s magazine. ‘Nuff said.


I started co-chairing a women’s group on the Westside where I book speakers, who in turn help set the tone of the group for my term. Last week an older white woman who is a long-time member of the group came up to me after our gathering to tell me how glad she was that I and my co-chair, a young black woman, were now leading the group. She said that for years it was just white women, and that since we, along with other brown women have joined, the group has been elevated. It was an unexpected and cool thing to hear in a place where inclusion isn’t really thought of — unless you are black or brown. Inclusion really does raise all boats.


February 21st is the day of one of my favorite annual traditions. Every year I call my friend to wish him a happy sobriety birthday. The reason this call is so special is because he is the one who took me to my first meeting just two months later. 29 years ago was a dark and hopeless time for me — little did I know that God was working in my friend’s life so that he could help me out. I thought I was hiding it pretty well and still managing, so I’m glad that he was alert and sober enough to see that his buddy was not in good shape. (We weren’t even getting along that well – some dispute about a VCR if I recall. Ha.) So this day puts me back in that spot and reminds me that (1) no matter how uncomfortable life can be now, it ain’t nothing like that; and (2) when times are tough, I never know what’s in the works. Hang in there, everybody. And Happy Happy Bday to my friend….Looking forward to the call next year!


You’ve Got Mail. When I was 12 my family moved to St. Louis for a couple years when my dad accepted a job transfer. Out of necessity, my childhood friend and I became pen pals and began sending each other monthly missives in which we’d scrawl in bright pens “I Love Steve Perry” for her, and “Rick Springfield Forever” for me, all over ruled-paper. We resumed our in-person friendship when I moved back to LA until she got married in her mid-20s and moved up to Washington. There was no FB back then, so we became pen pals again and sent notes updating the other on our travels and hobbies and other life stuff. Colleen still isn’t on FB (!), but like clockwork every May, I receive a note from her on my sober anniversary, and I get to hear about her garden and crafts, and sometimes I get photos too. (And this time I didn’t wait too long to reply. Ha.) 40 years later…and still my forever pen pal.


Woah What Just Happened Moment. So I was out in front of my house about to go back in from running when a dude in a truck pulled up beside me and asked if I liked to eat healthy, like healthy grass-fed beef. He then proceeded to point to the back of his truck which had what looked to be a chest freezer. I said I was a vegan, and then he yelled “Well, so were these cows.” I mean, I know they had to shut down some meatpacking plants, but is selling beef out of the back of your truck what this country has come to?

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