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TED 2021: Veni Vidi Vici

TED hired me to be the voice of its daily podcasts at the start of the pandemic, so that means this year’s in-person conference was my first chance to attend a non-virtual TED conference. To be fair, I’d been to TED Women in 2013, but this was the flagship co-ed TED. It was held in Monterey … Continue reading TED 2021: Veni Vidi Vici

Commonlaw Cousins

We have been on so many squad vacations together, in so many places and across so many continents, that today when our family parted from The Wan-Yau’s of San Francisco, Isa said, “They’re not friends, they’re our cousins!” COVID-19 kept our families from coming together at all in 2020, and Sarah had worried that maybe … Continue reading Commonlaw Cousins

Rest In Power, Caesar

Caesar Hu-Stiles, born July 2004 in South Carolina, died this morning in his sleep in Southern California. He was gentle giant with the loudest purr. Caesar was my very first cat — I only had dogs growing up. He came to me as a soft, black kitten with soft medium-length hair and a long poof … Continue reading Rest In Power, Caesar

Exiting the Pandemic

There was a fleeting moment in the middle of the first lockdowns, when everyone nurtured sourdough starters and kitchen gardens, when I thought we’d emerge from the pandemic more human, more connected with nature, more deeply connected with one another. Instead, as my kids returned to school in real life this week (first time in … Continue reading Exiting the Pandemic

The Sexual, Submissive Asian Woman Trope Didn’t Come Out of Nowhere

Following the Atlanta tragedy, so many stronger writers than me took on the exhausting task of making visible some of the previously invisible traumas of living as an Asian woman in America. But I wanted to do something, contribute something useful to help better explain this moment. Since I’m in LA, I did a Hollywood-related … Continue reading The Sexual, Submissive Asian Woman Trope Didn’t Come Out of Nowhere

Paddle Prattle

Long curious about stand-up paddleboarding, I waited until my late 30’s to finally give it a try. And only with the prodding of my Canadian-Californian friend, Janet, who decided to take me for my birthday. (Janet’s daughter: “But Auntie Elise’s birthday was last month! And we already got her a cake!”) Things that happened: Serious … Continue reading Paddle Prattle

The Best Pandemic Birthday

Hopefully this will be the only pandemic birthday. Seriously. But damn, I feel so overwhelmed by the birthday love. I have made no secret of my despair and how excruciating I’ve found the past year to be. Knowing this, despite the distance, my dearest loved ones showed up in ways they could. My friends proved … Continue reading The Best Pandemic Birthday

Kato Brought It

Y’all know I’m obsessed with the OJ Simpson story and trial and believe it is America in microcosm. So when Friend Liz surprised me with a personalized video message from KATO KAELIN you can bet I totally lost my mind, collapsed into a heap of laughter, tears and delight on the sidewalk, and made so … Continue reading Kato Brought It

Free Time With A Shrink

Psychiatrist Dr. Mark Goulston asked me to be a guest on his show, and I never turn down time with therapists. So we ended up having a wide-ranging (and rather discursive) conversation about this once-in-a-century global pandemic we’re all enduring, the roots of my identity, how to pay better attention and deepen our relationships and … Continue reading Free Time With A Shrink

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