The Berkeley Desk Series: Brianna

*The Berkeley Desk Series will feature the desks of people we know, UC Berkeley students, strangers, artists, savants, intellects, eccentrics, normies, and whomever wishes to contribute.*

The first installment is brought to you by Brianna, the founder of Blend and BBB, second year UC Berkeley student studying Undergraduate Law, and avid social justice advocate.

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On: Valentine’s Day

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Alain Delon and Romy Schneider C. 1960s

We just got in our beautiful Valentine’s Day cards in the shop. Simple and elegant, the whole card devoted to Alain Delon reading to Romy Schneider casually on their couch. I fold each card, and look at how happy they are. And then I think of all of the people who will buy these cards and give them to their special someones. And then I think of how I’ve never had a Valentine, and how I was dumped a week before Valentine’s Day last February. I tell my boss how much I like the cards, and how I’m excited to sell them off to cute boyfriends and girlfriends and husbands and wives… But clearly the expression on my face indicates otherwise.

Excited about being in the early days of a budding romance with a boy I like more and more with each coming day, I have this idea in my mind that maybe I’ll have a Valentine this year. Maybe I’ll get an extra special kiss that day that tells me that I’m someone important in his life. Maybe he’ll make me a card or make me a bouquet of flowers he finds around Berkeley, or even just ask me to be his Valentine. But alas, such simple gestures seem to be asking too much still.

I go home after work and all I can think about is how this boy had told me just the night before that “Valentine’s Day is stupid”, all after proudly telling him about the new cards we had just received in the store.

But is it really? Sure, you could argue that you wouldn’t want to be involved in the “capitalist scheme” to get people to buy flowers, chocolate, cards, and presents under the guise of a fake holiday that celebrates “love”. Yeah, of course the whole idea is “stupid”, but him saying that to me invalidates everything I had ever felt about the significance of the holiday, and everything I feel about even just feeling special. 

Embarrassed beyond belief, I nervously laugh and tell him that I was just talking about the cards and how they’re cute, nothing more. But deep inside, my little hopes of being surprised and feeling special on Valentine’s Day are crushed. My heart sinks a little, and I think back to every guy who has invalidated my feelings, and back to every guy who has ignored the little things that I care about, and the little things that make me happy. I think back to all of these times, and I remember that I’m the one who lets people treat me this way.

But knowing myself, I probably still won’t stand up for myself, even though deep down I know very well that I deserve so much more. And so does every person out there who has been told that they “ask too much” or are “being ridiculous” when it comes to wanting to feel special. You’re not asking too much, because Valentine’s Day is fun, and why not celebrate being together? Why not spend a day to be mindful about feelings and ultimately just digging each other a little more?

So, if you’ve got a boo on Valentine’s Day, show them some love and make them a card/pick them flowers/cook them a cute dinner, because no matter how stupid the significance of the holiday actually is, showing someone you care never is.

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BBB Reading Lists: Social Justice Edition

The purpose of this reading list: to get woke.

  1. The Communist Manifesto – Karl Marx, Friedrich Engels, Gareth Stedman Jones
  2. The Autobiography of Malcom X – Malcom X, Alex Haley
  3. Why We Can’t Wait – Martin Luther King Jr.
  4. Animal liberation – Peter singer
  5. Up From Slavery – Booker T. Washington
  6. Are Prisons Obsolete – Angela Y. Davis
  7. On Anarchism – Noam Chomsky
  8. Profit Over People: Neoliberalism and Global Order – Noam Chomsky
  9. The History of Sexuality – Michel Foucault
  10. Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption – Bryan Stevenson
  11. Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City  – Matthew Desmond
  12. Undoing Gender – Judith Butler
  13. Plunder: When the Rule of Law is Illegal – Laura Nader

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B

Go to the forest and get angry.

**Learn more about Trump’s USRAP here: (links provided by my Ethnic Studies professor at UC Berkeley**

https://pennstatelaw.psu.edu/sites/default/files/MuslimRefugeeBanSummary.pdf

https://pennstatelaw.psu.edu/sites/default/files/AILA%20Summary%20of%20EO3.pdf

https://pennstatelaw.psu.edu/sites/default/files/Muslim%20Advocates%20Fact%20sheet%20Jan%202017%20re%20Trump%20EO.pdf

https://pennstatelaw.psu.edu/sites/default/files/Muslim%20Advocates%20Community%20Guidance%20Jan%202017%20re%20Trump%20EO.pdf

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/jan/28/trump-immigration-ban-syria-muslims-reaction-lawsuits

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Like I’ve said many times before, it’s ok to be angry. But when you’re angry, try and figure out how you can channel that anger into something productive and good.

I went to the forest today with a friend. I took in the vastness of everything and wondered how trees that beautiful and big could withstand all of the elements that have come against them. Resilience. Strength. Staying grounded. These are lessons I’ve learned from the trees today. From the little bugs we saw. From the streams that (finally) flow in the valley. From the moss that thrives on the Redwoods. They’ve been strong throughout it all, and that’s what we need to do moving forward.

With that being said, I want to make it clear that BBB is a space where you can feel safe and loved, and if you are in need of support or legal help or anything at all, know that you can feel free to email me (Brianna: bhd@berkeley.edu) and I will do the best I can to help you.

BBB has become a blossoming community of beautiful people, and I would like for all of us to support each other through all of this fucked up shit.

With love always,

Blend HQ. 

 

Weekly Tunes: BBB14

it’s ok to be angry.

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B

Weekly Tunes: BBB13

Mourning music for sad situations.

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B

 

 

How to do a flight to Paris the right way

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I’ve flown to Paris more times than I can even count, but this is the first time I’ve been here in a couple of years, and my experience has proven to be very different than it usually is.

On this trip, I decided that I wanted to test out some tricks to make my flight the best it could possibly be, while minimizing jet lag and getting some beauty sleep. Here’s my advice.

  1. Take an Edible 

Ok, so this was 100% my first time taking an edible before a long flight, and I do have to say that I was a bit weary, considering a lot can go wrong with edibles. All I can say is that it depends. First of all, I took an edible that I’m very very used to taking, so I know exactly how much I need to feel fantastic, and I know exactly how I’ll feel too, instead of being surprised and then having an anxiety attack on the plane. Secondly, although I took a sativa edible (which energizes), I actually had a really great time experiencing all of the new sounds and feelings that being in a plane can bring. Many first recommendation would be to take an indica edible if your goal is to fall asleep on the plane, however. But if you do want to have the trippiest plane experience ever, take a sativa edible.

Also, I opted to take the edible about an hour before takeoff, and it ended up hitting about two hours after that, which came to my surprise as I was watching a movie. It hit me like absolutely out of nowhere. But damn was it fun.

2. Come prepped with sleeping supplies 

Planes are cold and uncomfortable places (if you’re flying in economy, which I’m assuming most of us do!) To make your 11 hour flight much more enjoyable, bring a few things in your carry-on:

3. If you’re over 18 and flying to Europe, you can drink on the plane.

When the flight attendants were bringing drinks down the aisles, I noticed two things. Firstly, the flight attendants were French. Secondly, they were passing out champagne. Through various mental processes that lasted much longer than they should have, I reasoned that since the flight attendants were French, they probably wouldn’t I.D. me, since the drinking age in France is basically nonexistent. Also, I figured that if I asked confidently, everything would be fine. And it was. I had multiple glasses of champagne during my flight, and it definitely helped me sleep 😉

4. Bring Snacks!

I’m vegan. Plane food is awful. Vegan plane food is even worse. So I always bring snacks in the form of protein bars and sushi rolls! Usually I’ll just make a Tupperware full of rice rolls and bring them on the plane, and I’m a happy camper. And everyone else will be über jealous!

5. If you can, try to travel as light as possible and avoid checking any bags!

This may seem obvious, but it’s probably my best piece of advice in terms of traveling. The Charles De Gaulle airport in Paris has the worst baggage claim situation, and it’s honestly just best to skip it, or your wasting precious time you could be spending outside of the airport and in fucking Paris. But this stands for any airport in the world. Bring a little carry-on suitcase and a backpack, and you’re fine. You don’t need 3 pairs of shoes and an entire bottle of hairspray. You’ll live.

Happy travels!

With love, from Paris ❤

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B

Paris, je t’adore.

Pictures of Paris I’ve taken thus far.

I’ve fallen absolutely and undeniably in love with this city.

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