How I Came to Embrace My Non-white Skin

In 1998 during my senior year of high school my AP English class was working on final team projects, which were modern interpretations of Shakespearean plays. My group of four had chosen to make a video along the lines of a clichéd Hamlet in the Hood (yes, we were young and stupid). After school, we would pile into my mother’s Chevy Cavalier to film some scenes in the suburbs of Quartz Hill, home of mostly well-to-do families working in the aerospace-defense industry, about an hour north of Los Angeles.

One afternoon as we drove out to shoot our first scene up in the hills, a police cruiser tore out of a cul-de-sac and signaled me to pull over. Being the polite, overachieving, and eager-to-please-authority kid I was, I calmly pulled over and wondered what I had done wrong, given my young driving record. We sat quietly in the car for a few minutes before the officer cautiously walked up to my window and asked what we were doing there. I explained our assignment after which he asked for my license and registration and walked backed to his cruiser. Another few minutes pass, he walks back, returns my documents, and curtly tells me to be on my way, with no explanation of why he flagged us down to begin with. …

The media I consumed and loved in 2015


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1989: Mega Deluxe World Tour Edition
  1. Taylor Swift’s 1989: Deluxe Edition. While this came out in 2014, 1989 had 2015 all over it or, more accurately, 2015 had 1989 all over it. Target Deluxe Edition FTW, which includes the generational anthem “New Romantics.” Favorite track: New Romantics
  2. Alison Wonderland’s Run. Run was the one album that made me leap off my feet every time I heard it, and I mean every time, even while sitting in a car. Favorite track: Run
  3. Big Grams’ Big Grams. What seems like a eye-brow raising mashup turns out to be a killer dance album that grows on you with each re-play.

I’ve done a lot of running over the past three years, and I’ve made seven observations about the endearing traits of running culture. I may not be enough of a champion to get paid when I run, but I am accomplished enough to share nondescript ramblings with others on the internet with relative impunity, so long as I preface the whole shebang with the phrase “I am not an expert.”

Disclaimer: NSFW language ahead.

1st Observation: Rationales for Running Are Unclear

So why run at all? Ask most runners and their answers range from “I’m crazy,” to “I have no clue.” With an asterisk, I lean towards “because it feels good”, but note that this is not 100% ingenuous. …

Back when I worked at Twitter, shortly after we moved into our old office on Folsom Street late in 2009, someone hung this Mike Monteiro print up near the exec’s offices:

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Yes, this was intentionally hung upside down.

It was playful and fun, a symbol of the humble, startup-y, “can do” nature of the company’s culture circa 2010. Back then, I didn’t give it much thought.

Two years later, Twitter HQ was bursting at the seams, and we moved into bigger and better digs near the Civic Center. Most things made the trip over — except this print (infamously).

I don’t presume to know if Dick’s (Twitter’s CEO) edict — that that particular piece of artwork not make the journey over to the new office — is true, or, if his rationale that Twitter was no longer the type of company that artwork represents, is true either. It doesn’t really matter. That quote stuck with me, and I wouldn’t have given it a second thought if that print ended up in the new office. …


Ed Gutman

Product Designer

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