Winners and Losers: Honey Maid, Oakland, Teens on Twitter

Every now and then, I offer praise and somewhat gentle but biting scorn to individuals and institutions that are deserving of their respective honors. Let’s take a look at some of the latest Winners and Losers. This month, I have just one winner to profile for a good reason.


Honey Maid – Whenever major brands and companies inject a message of inclusion and equality into their marketing efforts, there are always the vocal, often hateful detractors who threaten to boycott what they are selling for taking a stance on a human rights issue that some still object to. Cheerios saw that in response to its ads featuring a biracial little girl. Oreo posted a mockup picture of a rainbow cream cookie to express its support for same-sex marriage. The list goes on and on.

What’s even better is when such brands choose not to retreat and decide to mess with their detractors by doubling down its efforts to be more inclusive in its marketing campaigns. Here’s one from Honey Maid.

Sure, some people may still object to homosexuality and even interracial relationships. Society continually changes, sometimes for the better and sometimes for the worse. Same-sex marriage is no better or worse than heterosexual marriage. Same-sex parents are no better or worse than heterosexual parents. Children will not necessarily turn out gay just because their parents are gay and even in that case, who cares? No one person is less of a human than another.

Brands like Honey Maid see not only a profit potential but also an opportunity to garner and command respect as a major brand for being inclusive and promoting equality in its messaging. It couldn’t care less what detractors think. So what if they lose some customers as a result? As I’ve alluded to in a post about Chick-fil-A in July 2012, most boycotts fizzle out not long after they begin. Honey Maid will be fine and so will others that embrace equality.


1. City of Oakland -  You had one job!

Last week, ABC7 News San Francisco reported on an intersection in Oakland where the STOP sign on the pavement was misspelled. Come on! It’s only four big letters to paint on a pavement. How hard can that be? Not before long, this seemingly small mishap could become a big problem. This has got to sotp — I mean, stop.


Photo: KGO-TV

Fortunately, someone later took a clever yet temporary approach to fixing this error. Ah, the joy of AP Style.

2. Teenage “Terrorist” on Twitter - You’d have to be a complete moron to think that tweeting a terrorist threat to an air carrier’s Twitter account is somehow funny. Well, that’s exactly what one Dutch teenager did over the weekend.

The screenshot of the tweet below shows that this user claimed to be from Afghanistan and a member of Al Qaeda — notice how she misspelled the name — who plans to “do something big” June 1st. American Airlines immediately responded to her tweet, informing her that she will be reported to the authorities for making a terrorist threat. Dutch police have since arrested and released the 14-year-old Rotterdam girl although the investigation is still ongoing.

Photo: Gawker

Photo: Gawker

It’s highly unlikely that she belongs to any terrorist group nor does she have any plans to “do something big,” as she claims. It does, however, remind us that Twitter users out there like her exist and they tend to exhibit such foolish behavior that sometimes have serious consequences.

There are posts from BuzzFeed and others out there that have compiled a collection of tweets from teenagers and young adults, expressing their admiration for figures like Justin Bieber and One Direction while demonstrating how ignorant they are to more pertinent matters that truly impact the lives of people everywhere. This is not a knock on all teenagers and young adults as there are those that don’t fall under this stereotype and I commend them for keeping it together.

My advice to parents, while you still have the ability to yield any influence on your teenage children: Don’t let your children use Twitter if they cannot tell what’s right from wrong when it comes to what should be shared in a public space. We don’t need more idiots like her tweeting out terrorist threats for the fun of it. The Boy Who Cried Wolf scenario also comes to mind in instances like this.

#Read3: April 13, 2014

Happy Scrabble Day, America!

No need to spell it out for you. Whatever you have in mind, make sure it’s in the dictionary first before you squabble (21 points) over Scrabble with your friends. No one wants that.

Compose yourselves already and check out what I have for #Read3 this Sunday.


  1. 10 Life-Changing Lessons You’ll Learn in Your 20s – Pretty soon, 20 life-changing lessons you’ll learn in your 30s, 30 life-changing lessons you’ll learn in your 40s, 40 life-changing les– you get the pattern.
  2. It’s time to stop using ‘just’ in your writing and speaking – Just stop. Oh, wait. I did that too. Damn. Just ignore that. Damn it, I did it again!
  3. RIP, ‘Stephen Colbert’ - In the words of Neal Diamond, he’s “done too soon.”

Have a wonderful week, everyone!

#Read3: April 6, 2014

I’m a year older this weekend and a quarter of a way through life — provided I live to be a century old. Birthdays are like Election Day — exciting on the day of and a relief once it’s all over with. Oh, yeah. We do have an election coming up in November. Oy.

Anywho, here is this week’s #Read3.


  1. Change Your Thinking: Turn Your Quarter-Life Crisis Into A Quarter-Life Opportunity – Jessica Lawlor’s blog post from last July still resonates with people like us who are still trying to find themselves as they graduate from college and adapt to the post-graduation life changes.
  2. Reflections and Expectations: Snails Pace – My latest monthly wrap-up / look-ahead post. Optimism remains a prevailing theme.
  3. Your Career and You: “Not A Single Regret” – Don’t be afraid of change. Embrace it. It might actually work out.

Have a great rest of your week, everyone!


Reflections and Expectations: Snail’s Pace

c13875ce9e6700e91cfcb22204958524Ever have that feeling where things are not going as fast as they should be?

As I am slowly emerging from a personal slump that has lasted at least two years now, it still seems like a long march toward a full recovery. Being in grad school and on a leadership committee this year allowed for a cautiously optimistic start to 2014. Getting my career back on track is still a work in progress — finding where I go next, once and for all, should help things greatly.

Let’s look back at the month that was and look ahead to what I can expect in April.


Jay Leno – On March 2, I went to go see Jay Leno perform like he does every Sunday night at the Comedy and Magic Club in Hermosa Beach. I always enjoyed Leno as the host of the Tonight Show, having attended several tapings of the show on my own during his tenure. This was my first time attending one of his Sunday night stand-up shows.

As Leno has always been widely popular with conservatives despite being nonpartisan himself, it was a bit unsettling for me to be in the same space as a largely right-leaning audience responding positively to jokes that attack left-leaning figures while jeering at jokes about members of their own. Still, for this liberal, I enjoyed Leno’s performance along with the food and drinks the fine comedy club had to offer.

Mineta program – I finished my first graduate school class March 12 and started my second class of the program last Wednesday. My second class deals with security issues for transportation professionals, which shares some similarities with my first class that involved emergency issues for transportation professionals.

While I wait for the official grade to be posted for the first class, it is likely that I received an A for the first of ten classes needed to graduate with a Master of Science in Transportation Management (MSTM) degree at San Jose State University. I am currently studying for the GMAT in order to be formally admitted to the MSTM program while starting out like I am doing now with the certificate program.

CSI: Miami – With some of the free time that I had this month, I began watching the series on Netflix earlier in the month. Even though this police procedural ended its 10-year run in 2012, it is still a worthy show to have started watching after finishing Breaking Bad and House of Cards. I’m currently on the ninth season of the show — yes, already. With this and one more season to go, looks like it’s time — [putting sunglasses on] — to finish what I started…


  • Birthday – Only because this is the first Reflections and Expectations post to preview what will happen in April, I will turn 25 on Friday. In recent years, birthdays have been largely uneventful — which I generally prefer anyway. I might go to Yogurtland again like I did in 2012. Couldn’t do that last year as Philly does not have a Yogurtland.

How did March go for you? What are your expectations for the month of April? Share your thoughts below. I would love to hear from you.

#Read3 + The Week Ahead: March 30, 2014

If you’re like me living in Southern California, we’ve had two sizable earthquakes since Friday night. I felt the one on Friday night while I didn’t feel yesterday afternoon’s. Sometimes, I wonder which is scarier — experiencing earthquakes in these parts or that day in Philly in late October 2012 when I survived Hurricane Sandy. In any event, it’s all part of the journey.

That being said, here is my #Read3 for this week.


  1. 6 Simple Tips to Boost Your Concentration - Focus!
  2. 10 Gmail Hacks to Help You Master Your Inbox – However, zero tips for ensuring a job offer email by the end of this week.
  3. Against Hashtag Warriors – Some people just don’t have a sense of humor. This means you, Suey Park.

This Week

  • Birthday – I’m turning 25 on Friday! Nothing special planned as birthdays in recent years have become largely uneventful — which I prefer anyway. I might go to Yogurtland or see a movie. I’ll figure it out.
  • Reflections and Expectations – It’ll be out tomorrow. Eternal optimism has been a recurring theme lately.

Have a great rest of your week, everyone!

#Read3: March 23, 2014

Happy Sunday, America!

It’s also OK Day today. No, not Oklahoma. OK as in okay. Is there really that much of a difference between OK and when someone says A-OK?

Here is this week’s #Read3. OK?


  1. A PR History Lesson – A brief history of how it all started…and no, it does not involve an altercation at a West Philadelphia basketball court.
  2. A New Pro’s Guide to Starting Your Own Blog – Don’t let pessimism hold you back. Get going already!
  3. Let’s Talk About The New “Peanuts” Trailer And Why We Love It – “In 2015, go nuts!” – my rejected tagline for this movie.

Have a better than OK week, everyone!