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I hate Instagram, part 3: I’m a sucker for product ads.

In the age where every pet has their own account, people make a living off of promoting Fashion Nova clothing, and VSCO girls are an actual Halloween costume, I thought it best I update my never-ending rant about Instagram. I’ve become a total sucker for products sponsored via Instagram. 

Note to the Product Managers who are in charge of all things sponsored ads: you guys do a damn good job at predicting what I want and get outta my head!

Here’s a quick list of all of the shit I have bought because of Instagram:

Out of those 8, I would say I only regret maybe 2ish of those purchases because they weren’t worth the money or had poor quality. But it is very clear I have a problem. Out of all of these, the Varram pet fitness toy is my biggest regret; it has taken months for our dog to warm up to it to the point where he isn’t hiding when it’s moving. It’s been a very nice paperweight for us.

My best sucker purchase, I’d have to say has actually been the pet hair remover. Odie went through a really terrible shedding phase this summer and everything, and I do mean EVERYTHING was just coated in his hair. We went through lint roller after lint roller until an ad came up for this tool and it was such a blessing for our couch and for the environment.

The most ridiculous purchase goes to the Zitstickas. Their marketing wore me down good. I resisted buying for months, having already tried the NO BS acne stickers already. I had literal sticker shock as I checked out when I realized I was paying over $3 per sticker aka per zit, when my mid 30s acne was rearing its ugly head again. I could count like 8 zits on my chin! The worst was when I got hasty and put one on too soon and it fell off, goodbye 3 bucks!

So there you have it. My list of shame. And yet somehow, I still refuse to buy a Pandora subscription thats like a dollar right now? Priorities, am I right?

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What not to say to a woman you’re selling a car to

Fair warning: Consider this my rant of the week.

Ok, so, background: my dad was a mechanic, growing up he worked on his numerous cars (one day we counted how many he’s owned and its in the 30s-40s at this point), and I grew up watching him tinker in the garage on his FJ-cruiser. I took auto shop in high school. I go to Hot August Nights regularly. I know how to change my oil, a tire, do basic maintenance on my vehicle… though I choose to pay people to do that now. I’m definitely not a person who gets swindled at the auto-shop or at a dealership.

So fast forward like a decade or two, and my significant other has been shopping around for a new car and praise god, he finally landed on one. Well, two, he was trying to decide between leasing a Honda Civic or Accord Sport which really isn’t a necessary detail to this rant but whatever, I digress.

Immediately the sales guy put us off with his fake get to know you act (and it didn’t help he kept forgetting our names). Red flag  #1 was when he compared the rear diffuser on the back of the Civic to those found on actual high-end supercars. Cue massive eye roll and side-eye here. So then we test drive the Accord and we’re making small talk and we mentioned how we rent sports cars on the weekends to tear it up and live like the other half and he asks what everyone asks – what is your favorite car so far? To which I respond with my standard response, duh, Jaguar F-Type or the Corvette.

Once we get back, he starts pointing out the “premium” package this car has, which by the way, is a total rip off for wheel locks, mudflaps, and floormats. Then he turns to ME and starts to EXPLAIN WHAT WHEEL LOCKS ARE. Lord, take the wheel because I am about to slap this guy with a 2 1/2″ wrench and then bust out my micrometer to measure how thick his skull actually is.

It took all I had in me to not school him on who the actual F*ck he was talking to and point out the quite obvious sexist statements but instead I smiled and was like “Yeah I know” and went on my way as to not embarrass my SO. But don’t worry I ranted to him about it later. I guess I was able to get some sweet revenge when he brought in his manager to attempt to close the deal on the car and the manager started quizzing him on the current dealership promos they were running and he knew nothing (shocker).

Let’s hope he gets a good talking to about being an absolutely terrible salesperson cause he definitely didn’t sell me.

TL;DR this is basically just a long yelp review about a terrible sexist salesperson. You’re welcome.

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I want to be a Clarence Avant – a story about work friends

Unless you’re a total hermit, you probably have one. A work-wife, husband, boyfriend, best friend, friend, sister, cousin. I’ve either seen em all, had one or been one to a colleague. I’m not here to tell you all of the science-backed reasons why having a work friend is important, but I will tell you how they’ve helped me not only personally, but professionally.

At my last job, a colleague and I used to joke that we stayed for so long and got along so well because of the trauma-bonding that happens when you work in the trenches together. You can thank him for co-opting that term from real victims of domestic abuse, and he has 10 years of corporate call-center experience to thank for internalizing that term.

There is something to be said about bonding through trauma though. When I was at Starbucks, at my second store, I had just gotten demoted there and was pretty much a pariah because no one really knew me and I’m one of those grow-on-you types. A co-workers boyfriend was killed, and in providing sympathy and support during that difficult time people finally got to know me for more than just that girl. That friendship ended up being one of the ones that lasted through multiple store transfers and me exiting the company; we’re still friends to this day and I credit her with keeping me afloat during my darkest times with that company.

When I started doing Lyft and Uber full-time, my work-friends became more than just a shoulder to lean on. They became a source of inspiration and motivation, and I can credit one person in particular for helping me change my mindset (for the most part) on how I approach self-confidence. She was one of those types who always seemed to have the best luck. She hit all the prime-time spots (higher rate of pay for Lyft), she was raking in the dough, she met a ton of cool people and made really interesting friendships, her husband even won the lotto. I thought it was all pure luck until I asked her flat out one day how the hell she was so positive and seemingly lucky. She responded by telling me about the law of attraction and all that goes with it. I’m going to be real, I was VERY skeptical and I think a part of me still is because The Secret is still unwatched in my Netflix queue. But, the idea behind it works and it worked for me both personally and professionally (got the man I wanted, got the job I wanted, got the paycheck I wanted).

Maybe its an age thing or maybe I really am just getting more emotionally intelligent, but at my last job, something changed in me. Instead of the take-take-take trend I had going with workplace friendships, I wanted to give back in a meaningful way. I had an opportunity to do this as I climbed the BPO promotional latter. I started encouraging my reports to pursue their career dreams and I offered help and support wherever I could, even if it was just as a professional reference, giving them practice interviews, or teaching them what I have come to know so far. This carried on for a while until I finally found a work-friend who not only wanted to climb the ladder like myself but was passionate about it and actually took my advice and applied it. He went off to bigger and better (and actually inspired me to do the same) and we’re still friends and meet up with a group of former-BPO workers about every month or so for drinks & dinner where we commiserate, share job leads, and talk about our current work lives.

I guess my good faith attempt at giving more than getting actually worked. Recently, my good karma returned to me in the form of an amazing job opportunity where I’m finally making six figures and have taken a real step into my career path towards Product Management (more on that later). And no, for those naysayers, the person who referred me to this job did not help me get the job. They simply provided a professional reference to back up my already accomplished resumé and also convinced me to apply since I was so against working in SF. Side-rant, I was really excited to tell my previous boss that I had gotten this job and the first words out of her mouth were “Did X help you get the job?” You can go ahead and file that under Assshole Things You Don’t Say to Your Fellow Woman Who Has Worked Hard to Get Where She’s At.

Now that I’m playing in a bigger arena, The Bay Area Tech Industry, my need for advancing my fellow career climbers has only grown. I recently watched a documentary about this person Clarence Avant, who basically is behind every black Hollywood success story and made it his life mission to help advance the careers of many talented black artists of our time. It inspired me. I want to be like him, I want to make it my life mission to help others advance their careers because if I can do it, so can you. I essentially dropped out of college at a time where a college degree is as important as a high school diploma. I went from customer service and food retail into the tech sector and seemingly the sky is the limit at this point on what I can accomplish and do. I want to inspire others like me to do the same (except you should really finish college if you’re in it now). Clarence is the epitome of what a work friend should be like in this aspect.

If you’ve made it this far, I encourage you to look at your career successes (or otherwise) and see how you can help others with those learnings. Be a good work friend. Be a Clarence Avant. 

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Don’t let my daily driver fool you

So here’s the thing. I love cars. I love a guy who loves cars. We’re car lovers. Enthusiasts, if you will. But here’s the catch, we both drive bucket daily drivers and definitely cannot afford the cars we prefer to drive. So instead of living off of top ramen and living out of the cars of our dreams to get by, we rent them instead.

Yes, that’s right, we regularly rent sports or luxury cars, typically on the weekends. I’m not just talking like for special road trips only or vacations. Like, we rent so regularly that we have preferred rental agencies and a lady named Nancy that we go to at the airport to get the good cars. I would say we’re “those” people but there aren’t many of us out there who do this apparently because this expensive habit of ours has really caught the attention of friends and family. I guess it doesn’t help that we flaunt it too. I mean if you got it, flaunt it right? Even if it’s just rented. Live a little.

The worst part of this entire thing is returning the cars. That’s when reality sinks in and we’re forced to ride home in my little bucket of a car, all the while wishing that someone would help us push it off a cliff so we can be rid of little putt-putt.

So, in an effort to prolong the car-rental feelings of happiness we get from renting these badass cars, we started an Instagram, and are starting a youtube channel as well (launch date TBD because the boyfriend is working on his drone camera skills still and we need a proper computer to edit on). So be on the lookout, in the meantime, I’ll write about them here because each rental really does have its own story and we’ve been getting a few of the same questions which I’ll answer in a later post.

So there you have it, our addiction is out there in the open finally. Its been a couple months now since our last rental mostly because we’re waiting for better cars to come out for us to rent. I’m already jonesing for my next whip.


2018 BMW M3 CS (competition sport), one of only ~550 in the US.
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One day I will return just for the True Mexicana

So I recently (like last week) visited Portland with 3 main goals:

  • drink as much beer as my body will handle
  • see as much nature as the Willamette Valley will offer
  • drink all the bougie coffee I can get my hands on

While I didn’t drink nearly enough beer or see as much nature as I wanted, I feel fully satisfied with my coffee exploration.

Anyone who knows me knows I’m obsessed with iced coffee and I’ll drink it pretty much year-round. Not many know I have a secret obsession with mochas that dates back to my high school days when True Love Cafe (RIP) had their “Michael Jackson Mocha”, which by today’s standards would be shunned by our overly PC society for its mildly questionable name. It was a tuxedo mocha: half mocha, half white-mocha and it was fucking delicious.

Portland had me all in winter mode with the constant rain and being 10 degrees colder than it was when I left Sacramento, I knew I needed to find a decent mocha using my tried and true Temple “Mexican Mocha” as my benchmark.

The contenders:

Barista (top left)
12 oz
Almond Milk
4.0 stars

This was my first mocha in the city, what struck me was the option of a semi-sweet (that’s what I chose) or dark chocolate mocha and if I recall correctly they were using some fancy bougie chocolate for it too. It was handcrafted, as expected and decent but no Temple.

St. 14 Café (top right)
8 oz
Oat Milk
4.5 stars

We just happened to find this cafe as we were leaving Astoria and I needed a pick-me-up. While small and pricey, it packed a bigger flavor punch than its predecessor and the friendly Nor-Cal native barista turned me onto Oatly oat milk which I’ll be eternally grateful for.

Kiosko (bottom left)
12 oz
Oat Milk
$5-6ish (charged diff amounts each time we went)
5 million stars

Oh Kiosko, I found my home here. This tiny little kiosk near the waterfront in downtown Portland stole my heart and taste buds. The owner who was super friendly (we commiserated about how we’re the only Mexicans in the area and crave authentic eats), handcrafts the most beautiful “True Mexican” mocha with dried raspberry flakes and real cacao on top. It was a work of art and most definitely my favorite drink while I was in Portland. My only regret is not having tried it sooner than the last 2 days we were in town. It was just up the block from our hotel! I will come back for you one day, my sweet coffee love.

While we’re on the topic of amazing coffee…

I can’t talk Portland coffee and not mention Huber’s. I was coaxed into coming here our first night in town after a heavy dinner (I couldn’t breathe) and was promised a show. Boy, did I get one! We went so late the room was so dark there was no point to trying to video the action myself, for that you can check out this spot on Drinking Made Easy here. Set in Portlands oldest restaurant, dripping with history ranging from turkey sandwiches to trap door shanghais, the Spanish Coffee was a beautiful demonstration of adrenaline; coffee and lighting shit on fire. While the coffee was way to strong for myself, everyone seemed to enjoy theirs and I would highly recommend the iced coffee- but only because its a prettier sight to see poured. If you want to get your buzz on, caffeinated, and possibly lit on fire- definitely check this place out and you won’t be disapointed.