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A Night with Jason George from Grey’s Anatomy

Ten years ago, I was suffering from undiagnosed sleep apnea, and I “slept” about 16 hours a day in my aunt and uncle’s basement in Carnation, Washington–a little town just outside of Seattle. Each night before bed, I’d watch a bit of Grey’s Anatomy, which, while filmed in California, is set in a fictional Seattle hospital.

Fast forward a decade, and I just spent an evening with Jason George, aka Dr. Ben Warren, at a private event put on by Multiracial Americans of Southern California. Jason approached MASC about raising money for the organization by hosting a fundraiser with himself as the prize.

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Jason is married to Indian poet Vandana Khanna, and together they have three children. His family represents the growing multiracial demographic of the United States, which is accurately reflected in the makeup of Southern California. Jason’s mission is to embrace and celebrate this cultural shift and views it as a way to bring people together. He certainly did that tonight, by checking any “celebrity-ness” at the door and mingling warmly with us everyday folk.

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L to R: Elessia, past president Farzana Nayani, and Caitlin

Caitlin S. of Tennessee was the lucky winner of the fundraiser, though she says it took her a while to believe it wasn’t a scam. She hesitantly called to confirm her prize, and then sat speechless at work. She brought along her good friend Elessia whom she’s known since college at Southern Adventist University. Caitlin and Elessia say their friendship was almost instantaneous, and they text each other multiple times a day.

Even on the plane ride over, Caitlin and Elessia weren’t sure they hadn’t fallen prey to some elaborate scheme, but their luck wasn’t too good to be true. MASC put them up in a hotel for an extended weekend, and they spent a busy day chatting up Grey’s Anatomy cast members on set, sitting in on ON with Mario Lopez, and then chilling at a private screening of the Grey’s season premiere with Jason and some of the MASC crew.

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Live tweeting the Grey’s premiere

As we watched the episode, Jason treated us to tidbits of behind-the-scenes information. Having stopped watching Grey’s at the end of season five when it seemed like one catastrophe too many, I was pretty out of the loop; though now that I’ve met a cast member, I may find myself picking up where I left off. Regardless, it was a quintessential Hollywood experience to watch an intimate taping, and I felt like my life had come full circle from those dire, sleep deprived days.

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With MASC public relations director Delia Douglas

Conversation was lively and continued even after the scheduled event. Jason, Caitlin, Elessia and many MASC members reconvened in the main part of the cafe, and I and two friends of mine, one Colombian and Indian and the other Black and White, stood talking in the warm Santa Ana winds about our experiences with race, the current political system, and our beliefs about how to improve the world we live in. Tonight we got a taste of what that world could look like, as races came together in unity and understanding.

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From left: President Thomas Lopez, past president Farzana Nayani, Elessia, Caitlin, Jason George, administrative director Athena Mari Asklipiadis, public relations director Delia Douglas

 

 

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From Watching Blossom to Writing for Mayim Bialik

Today something incredible came full circle. I was an avid fan of Blossom back in the day, and I wanted to be just like the spunky protagonist played by Mayim Bialik. I wasn’t as obsessed with her as I had been with Punky Brewster in middle school, but she was still a really cool chick. I especially wanted to be able to do her dance moves in the opening credits!

For the past few months, I’ve been contributing to a column called Feminism 101. It’s been fun getting the questions in my inbox and answering them when I have something to say. The column started off on SheKnows, and later switched to a new site, GrokNation, which just happens to be that of Mayim Bialik! Or, as some know her, Amy Farrah Fowler from The Big Bang Theory.

For me, Bialik will always be the girl in this picture, which I’d cut out from a magazine in my teens and has remained in my cedar box ever since.

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These past two years in Los Angeles have been a hard road. Sometimes I’m not sure how I’m going to eat the next day. Sometimes I get lonely and miss the friends who have known me for over a decade. But then, like clockwork, something amazing happens that reminds me why I’m here. Today that amazing thing was realizing I’ve been writing for Mayim Bialik.

Click here to discover my first act of feminism, complete with a photo of preschool me.

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Feminism 101: “What Was Your First Feminist Thought?”