My Year of Going Gray

graying hair
Getting in touch with my “roots”

It started 12 or 13 years ago, when I was in my mid-30s. I had two small children, a cool dot-com job with many younger colleagues, and a sprinkling of gray hair. I didn’t mind the gray too much, but sometimes there’d be a wiry one or one that stood straight up from my head. I didn’t care for those. My hairdresser encouraged me to let her try coloring it. I did. It looked pretty. It was fun. So I kept doing it.

But now I’m going to stop. I’m letting myself go gray this year, and judging from my roots, I’ll be way more salt than pepper.

UH…WHY? Continue reading

On Being Mistaken for the Other Japanese-American Writer in Town: Not the Rant You’re Expecting

The other day I ran into an acquaintance in town. We don’t know each other well and hadn’t seen each other in several months, so I reminded her of my name.

“Yes, of course!” she said. “Didn’t your book just come out?”

I laughed. “No, not yet.” And then it clicked. “You’re thinking of Brenda Nakamoto,” I said.

“Oh, you’re right!” she said. We both laughed, then shared a few pleasantries before going our separate ways.

I know people who would have been offended by this encounter. There goes another white person thinking all Asians look alike and are interchangeable, etc. Continue reading

On Pride, Identity, and Watching the Women’s World Cup

302px-Logo_of_2011_FIFA_Women's_World_Cup.svgMy friends are often surprised to learn that I love watching sports on television. I can’t blame them. I’m pretty aggressively nonathletic. My idea of exercise is biking to the Farmer’s Market. My notion of a competitive good time is kicking your butt in Scrabble.

But I do love watching sports, and not just the conventionally “girly” stuff like figure skating and gymnastics, although I enjoy those too. I love the World Series. I love the Olympics, winter and summer. I love the World Cup. This summer I’ve squandered hours of what was supposed to be prime a.m. writing time watching the FIFA Women’s World Cup with my family. Continue reading