Month: March 2017 (Page 1 of 5)

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Karah Nazor Friberg is one of those role models you want your children to emulate.An accomplished scientist, Friberg spent 10 years researching brain prions, including in her post doctoral work at the University of California at San Francisco. Meanwhile, she found time to become the first person from Tennessee to successfully swim across the English Channel.Following a whirlwind courtship with local jazz musician Ben Friberg, she moved back to Chattanooga in late 2009 and has continued her high energy lifestyle.Currently, Friberg works in biomedicine at Chattanooga based eSpin Technologies Inc., which manufactures polymeric nanofibers.”We’re going to try to grow different cells on nanofiber matrices to create technology that could be used for making implantable biomedical devices or potential masks that protect against biological warfare,” she said.When she’s not in the lab, however, one will likely find Friberg in the water. In addition to taking up stand up paddling on whitewater, an emerging sport in which there are few participants, she volunteers as coach for the Chattanooga Department of Parks and Recreation swim team. She also started Chattanooga Open Water Swimmers, a weekly swim in the Tennessee River. Friberg is organizing “Swim the Suck,” a 10 mile open water swim through the Tennessee River Gorge, on Oct. 16.Indeed, if a science lab is Friberg’s office, the water is her playground.”I definitely like playing better,” she said.Q: What do you love about the water and swimming?A: I started swimming when I was 7. I swam in high school, at East Ridge and Girls Preparatory School, then in college at James Madison University. It keeps me in shape, but what I love about swimming in open water is that I have this weird skill with swimming: I know how to swim very efficiently, sparing energy. This is a way I can just swim straight for miles on end and be outside, someplace beautiful. I can access these places where a lot of people can’t go. In San Francisco, I could swim under the Golden Gate Bridge.Q: In fact, swimming led to your romance with (now husband) Ben Friberg.A: I met Ben when we went to Our Lady of Perpetual Help at the same time for a year in elementary school. He read about my English Channel swim, and he remembered me and contacted me on Facebook. We met within one month (after varied online communications) and were married within five months. We got engaged really quickly, not the first weekend we met, but we were probably engaged within two months of meeting. We got married on a boat underneath the Golden Gate Bridge and then we jumped in. Most of the guests jumped in, too.Q: Why start an open water swimming group in Chattanooga?A: I think there’s a lot of desire for people to swim in open water, but there aren’t a lot of people swimming in the Tennessee River here. But I like the current. Once I started a group, it grew really, really quickly, mainly with triathletes, who wanted to practice the swimming portion of their event. I did it just to find people to swim with, because I don’t like swimming in pools. I’ve made a lot of friends and had a pretty good turnout.Q: And you’re also a kayaker and have recently taken up stand up paddling on white water.A: It’s a very new sport, surfing on the river and actually going down through the rapids on the stand up paddle boards. You fall a whole lot but it requires a lot of balance. I wear protective gear, because you can fall on the rocks. It’s pretty dangerous, but it’s really fun to make it through a rapid standing up.Q: What other challenges have you taken on in the water?A: Abalone diving. It’s like free diving. It’s super challenging. You have to hold your breath and go down probably 40 feet. It’s a test of endurance and then you get this beautiful shell at the end. You can eat the abalone. I used to have abalone taco parties. So it was really fun to do that, and I love the shell (Friberg’s engagement ring is inlaid with abalone). Not very many people can dive down 40 feet, swim around and look for them, pull them off and then swim up.Q: You have so many skills and talents. Did you set your sights on standing out?A: I’m kind of shy, actually. I also like sleeping. I like going home and cooking dinner. I get to do these things on the weekend. I’m 33, and I don’t have kids, so I’ve had a lot of time to explore different sports. I’ve always enjoyed sports, since I was little. There’s a lot of things I’m not good at, like skiing. Ben’s parents are taking us on a ski trip for Christmas break, and I’m going to cry. Every time I’ve gone, I’ve ended up hurting myself and crying. I need lessons. I’m scared of heights. Somebody got us a skydiving gift certificate for a wedding present and I’m scared of it. I’m shy about singing. I whisper happy birthday.
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Oklahoma State center Kaylee Jensen was named one of 10 candidates for the Lisa Leslie Award, given by the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association. The award is in its inaugural year and will honor the top center in women’s Division I basketball. The 6 foot 4 Jensen leads the Big 12 in rebounding (10.3 per game) and double doubles (12), and is fifth in scoring (17.4). She is averaging 20.9 points and 11.9 rebounds in conference play.

Cowgirl senior Loryn Goodwin has been battling through a rough shooting stretch, hitting just 27.8 percent of her field goal attempts (32 of 115) in the last six games. The 5 foot 9 point guard managed a pair of 30 point games during the stretch, and is averaging nearly six assists per game despite her shooting difficulties. Even with her late struggles, Goodwin is shooting 41.0 percent from the floor for the season and averaging 20.8 points per game.

The game will serve as OSU’s Play4Kay contest, honoring the memory of Kay Yow, the late North Carolina State coach who died of cancer. The Cowgirls will be in pink themed uniforms to bring awareness to women’s cancers.
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SkyWARN spotter talksSkyWARN spotter talksThe public is welcome and encouraged to attend upcoming SkyWARN spotter talks. A National Weather Service meteorologist will discuss various aspects of severe weather, storm spotting and severe weather safety.

The public is welcome and encouraged to attend upcoming SkyWARN spotter talks. A National Weather Service meteorologist will discuss various aspects of severe weather, storm spotting and severe weather safety.

More >SLIDESHOWIncredible weather photosIncredible weather photosImages of Mother Nature wrath leave many people in awe. Check out some of the most amazing snapshots of all kinds of storms and the destruction left behind.

Images of Mother Nature wrath leave many people in awe. 27, 2017. in more than a decade. in more than a decade.

PHOTOSKansas City and beyond: Photos capture the Great American EclipseKansas City and beyond: Photos capture the Great American EclipseKansas and Missouri are preparing for the country’s first coast to coast total solar eclipse since 1918.

Kansas and Missouri are preparing for the country’s first coast to coast total solar eclipse since 1918.

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The national standard is 90 percent of all emergency calls should be answered in 10 seconds or less. However, that’s not the case in Kansas City. It hasn’t been for years, and it’s getting worse. (KCTV5)Twenty three seconds is the average amount of time people waited just to connect with a real person to say they have an emergency and help. This is for car crashes, fires and crimes where people who need medical help. The day after Christmas, someone waited more than 19 minutes just sitting on hold.Almost every call in Kansas City gets put on hold, and you wait.KCTV5 has done numerous reports from people who question if waiting for help became a critical tipping point for their loved ones.”I always wondered if maybe they could have saved him, but I never know, and it too late now,” Teresa Tschirhart said.”You expect 911 to help you and not be put on hold,” Tony Shaw said.Others simply shared their frustration that this isn how 911 should work saying they expect help and not a recording.The national standard is 90 percent of all emergency calls should be answered in 10 seconds or less. However, that not the case in Kansas City. It hasn been for years, and it getting worse.In 2015, the average hold was 14 seconds. In2016, it grew to 16 seconds. Last year average was 23 seconds.Wait times have more than doubled what national standards outline as acceptable.KCTV5 has covered the real life reaction to these wait times where people just give up and run for help or head to fire stations in a panic begging for help. We been crunching data realizing averages can hide big problems.Every month, KCTV5 analyzes the extreme hold times in this city, it is growing, too.In 2015, the longest wait time, on any given day, was more than four minutes. In 2016, that number grew, and last year it crossed in the five minute mark. However, even those averages don fully show what can happen if you call 911 in a busy moment on a rough day.The day after Christmas, someone sat on hold for 19 minutes and 28 seconds. The police department originally requested more than $1 million to hire 21 call takers to fix the problem. But, the new proposed budget only includes extra money for eight new positions.KCTV5 requested data for all the other police departments in our area including Overland Park, Kansas City, KS, the Cass County Sheriff’s Office and Lee Summit. No other police department had a hold time problem like Kansas City, MO. The other departments were within national safety standards.If you call for help, be prepared to wait and don hang up thinking you can call back and get someone. You will just move to the back of the line.A local citizen group is concerned with the number of new call takers positions. They have written Gov. Eric Greitens begging for more intervention and help.Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>An Olathe barbecue restaurant owner is accused of stealing two people’s credit card information. Matthew Sander, the owner of Smokin Joe’s BBQ, faces 19 counts in three separate criminal cases. Sander is facing seven counts of identity theft, one count of felony theft, six counts of misdemeanor theft and criminal use of a credit card. Matthew Sander, the owner of Smokin Joe’s BBQ, faces 19 counts in three separate criminal cases. Sander is facing seven counts of identity theft, one count of felony theft, six counts of misdemeanor theft and criminal use of a credit card. The witness list in the case filed Monday includes Smokin Joe’s BBQ personnel and employees at Cabela’s, Party Time Liquor, the Kansas Ci.
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KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) Famed physicist Stephen Hawking dies at age 76Famed physicist Stephen Hawking dies at age 76Updated: Wednesday, March 14 2018 12:23 AM EDT2018 03 14 04:23:37 GMT(AP Photo/Matt Dunham, file)Stephen Hawking, the brilliant British theoretical physicist who overcame a debilitating disease to publish wildly popular books probing the mysteries of the universe, has died, according to a family spokesman. He was 76.Stephen Hawking, the brilliant British theoretical physicist who overcame a debilitating disease to publish wildly popular books probing the mysteries of the universe, has died, according to a family spokesman. He was 76.Puppy dies after owner was told by United flight attendant to put it in overhead binPuppy dies after owner was told by United flight attendant to put it in overhead binUpdated: Tuesday, March 13 2018 6:21 PM EDT2018 03 13 22:21:20 GMT(AP Photo)A dog is dead after its owner was forced to store the pup inside the overhead bin of a plane by a flight attendant on a United Airlines flight.A dog is dead after its owner was forced to store the pup inside the overhead bin of a plane by a flight attendant on a United Airlines flight.More >An Olathe barbecue restaurant owner is accused of stealing two people’s credit card information. Matthew Sander, the owner of Smokin Joe’s BBQ, faces 19 counts in three separate criminal cases. Sander is facing seven counts of identity theft, one count of felony theft, six counts of misdemeanor theft and criminal use of a credit card. Matthew Sander, the owner of Smokin Joe’s BBQ, faces 19 counts in three separate criminal cases. Sander is facing seven counts of identity theft, one count of felony theft, six counts of misdemeanor theft and criminal use of a credit card. The witness list in the case filed Monday includes Smokin Joe’s BBQ personnel and employees at Cabela’s, Party Time Liquor, the Kansas Ci.
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Vigil held for many killed in drive by shooting in Kansas CityA vigil was held Sunday night for the man killed in a drive by shooting this week. Jeffrey Williams was outside a home near 80th and Wayne on Tuesday.(AP File Photo)While the Creighton Bluejays play their games in Nebraska, two of their players will be recognizable for the high school basketball community in Kansas City. Mitch Ballock and Tyler Clement played high school basketball in or near the Kansas City metro area. Ballock, a freshman who played basketball at Eudora, is averaging 7 points per game, 2.7 rebounds and 2 assists a game. He was a Top 50 recruit and turned down offers from Missouri, Kansas State and Kansas to . The Shockers will take on Marshall this Friday. Wichita State is the fourth seed in the East region. The game will take place in San Diego, CA. Only Kansas, Duke, Michigan State, Gonzaga, Cincinnati and North Carolina have longer active streaks.
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senior men’s championship despite having limited practice time with rinkmates Garnet Boese and Dave Johnston, both of whom are from Prince George.

The rink is hoping that same recipe works at the Canadian senior championship that opens Saturday at the Abbotsford Recreation Centre.

Windsor said Tuesday that the rink will head for Abbotsford on Thursday and have two practice sessions before competition begins on Saturday. men, who won the province on Feb.

“We’ll practise at one of the clubs on the Coast on Thursday, practise at the venue on Friday and away we go on Saturday,” said Windsor, who plays third but throws last rocks while Graber holds the broom. “That definitely is one of the disadvantages when we’re not closer together.”

This all came about because Windsor wasn’t sure that he was going to curl competitively, and when he finally made his decision there weren’t many options left.

At one point, it looked as though Graber and Windsor might end up playing with veteran Gary VanDenBerghe of Vernon. But he became heavily involved in business interests and has been travelling internationally, so that took him out of the picture.

Graber and Boese had lived in Grande Prairie, Alta., a number of years ago and had curled against each other. Windsor and Johnston were frequent opponents over the years. The four ended up together and, as Windsor admitted, there is some chemistry there.

“It’s a happy story in the end,” said Windsor, before adding that Johnston has been an especially wonderful teammate.

“He’s a fabulous team guy and I really have to give him a lot of credit,” Windsor said. “He’s helped this team along a lot and is playing great at lead.”

Windsor is especially looking forward to this event because it will be his first time representing the host province.

“Yes, it will be a new experience that way,” he said.

He also is planning to enjoy it, although he knows it comes with at least some added pressure.

“Possibly,” he said. “You don’t want to get off to a bad start but it should be fine.”

The men’s field is littered with prominent curling names, so Windsor expects a tough week of curling. His rink includes third Doug Armour, whose history with Graber goes back to the 1982 Brier in Brandon. Armour played on Mel Logan’s Manitoba rink, while Graber was with Gary Morken’s rink out of Grande Prairie.

“He’s not well known,” Windsor said of Armour, “but he’s a great player.”

The Saskatchewan entry is skipped by Eugene Hritzuk of Saskatoon. He is a veteran of the curling wars and skipped a rink to the 2009 world senior men’s title. His rink in Abbotsford will include Dave Folk, the brother of veteran Rick Folk of Kelowna.

The popular Pierre Charette is skipping the Quebec rink out of Thurso.

Graber and Windsor also are quite familiar with Robbie Gordon, who skips the Northern Ontario entry from Sudbury.

When it was suggested to Windsor that this is shaping up as a fierce competition, he replied: “Absolutely.”

“I know the games will be hard fought,” Windsor continued. “I understand from Dennis and Rick, it is a little bit more social than the Brier but a lot of the same elements are still there.

“There is still a world championship at the end of it and these are all guys who don’t like to lose.”

The winner in Abbotsford advances to the 2012 world men’s championship in Basel, Switzerland, March 31 through April 8. men’s champs won’t know who they’ll play in their first game until sometime Thursday as rinks from New Brunswick, Yukon and the Northwest Territories are to play in a qualifying round at the Langley Curling Club. . . . The final is to be played March 25. . . . This will be Graber’s second Canadian seniors. He played on Rick Folk’s rink at the 2007 event in Trois Rivieres, Que. Alberta’s Pat Ryan won that year. . . . The Canadian senior women’s championship will be decided in Abbotsford at the same time as the men’s. champs are skipped by Penny Shantz of Nanaimo.
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if they want to read a poem. MODERN JAZZ MEETS CLASSICAL as trio Myriad play Caffe Motivo (229 Victoria St.). and admission is $20. with no cover charge. CANADIAN FIDDLE CHAMPION Scott Woods and his band honour fiddle legends Don Messer, Ward Allen, Al Cherny, King Ganam, Graham Townsend and many others. The two hour live show features old time fiddle music, championship step dancing, traditional country, gospel, trick fiddling, family humour and more. at Desert Gardens Community Centre (540 Seymour St.) and tickets are $20 for adults, $10 for children five years old and up. SATURDAY LEARN MORE ABOUT the floods that have plagued the city by taking the latest River City Guided Walking Tour with the Kamloops Museum and Archives. and lasts about 90 minutes. Tickets are $8 and must be arranged in advance by phoning 250 828 3500. B 100 AND ORA Restaurant present Kyprios with special guests, Earthbound at the Kamloops Convention Centre. Hailing from North Vancouver, Kyprios is a member of the popular hip hop group Sweatshop Union and has a successful solo career in the hip hop music industry. Tickets $25. FOR THE LOVE OF DANCE is a global grooves oriented dance party that’s part of the Interior Wellness Festival at Thompson Rivers University in the Campus Activity Centre. Enjoy a stellar line up, tasteful DJ’s and the good vibes of the festival behind it. Tickets are available at Let’s Move Dance Studio (925 McGill Place), Mystic Dreams (419 Tranquille Rd.) and The Art We Are (246 Victoria St.). ALL WEEKEND THE INTERIOR WELLNESS FESTIVAL at Thompson Rivers University continues all weekend at the Campus Activity Centre. Enjoy three days of transformational wellness with free workshops, seminars, yoga and fitness classes, a marketplace, and entertainment. Admission is free. THE KAMLOOPS ITALIAN FESTIVAL, presented by the Colombo Lodge and the Cal Ital Ladies Society, takes place Saturday and Sunday. On Saturday, enjoy a banquet dinner featuring live music and authentic Italian dancers. Tickets are $50 and available in advance only at the Colombo Lodge, 814 Lorne St, or at the Hair Specialists, 5 177 Tranquille Rd. On Sunday, everyone is invited to a free day of fun and culture at the Lodge. Pasta, wine and sausage making will be on display, as well as live entertainment, delicious food and fun games for the kids. ONGOING KAMLOOPS Art Gallery is delighted to present Connecting the Dots: Doug Buis and Astrid Menze, until June 9in The Cube and BMO Open Gallery. The KAG also presents an exhibition of work by Esther Shalev Gerz Art entitled White Out: Between Telling and Listening until June 16. JOIN FIRST NATIONS ARTISTS Mariel Belanger, Tracey Kim Bonneau, Chris Bose, Bracken Hanuse Corlett, and Cease Wyss for the Picto Prophecy exhibition running until June 9 at the Old Courthouse Gallery. The artists present their re interpretations of prophecy, just in time for the end of the world. GIFTS FOR WEDDINGS is on until June 30 at the Old Courthouse Gallery. The exhibit features a varied selection of quality arts and craft by local artists that includes pottery, photography, textiles and stained glass a variety of options that make great wedding gifts. Saturday. UPCOMING MONTREAL BASED folk rock band Wind Up Radio Sessions perform with Lost in the Woods June 5 at The Art We Are at 246 Victoria St. Tickets are $25. Phone 250 828 3500 to register. JOIN THE KAMLOOPS Museum on a guided walking tour of some beautiful heritage neighbourhoods in the downtown area on Thursday, June 7. Learn about historic homes and various Kamloops residents as well as hear some local history. and cost $8. Phone 250 828 3500 to register. on Thursday, June 7. Tickets are $25 per person and can be purchased at Kamloops Fire and Rescue Station No. 1 (1205 Summit Dr.). Money raised at this dinner goes towards purchasing a container that which will be filled with building material, sporting goods, clothes, musical instruments and whatever else is needed. The container will be shipped to Camp Mahanaim in Haiti with a 20 person group of firefighters and other volunteers in January to help build an adventure park at the camp. Copies of the book, a collection of travel vignettes, will be on sale for $17. Admission is $10 cash at the gate. For more information phone 250 851 1180. Tickets are available at Kamloops Live! Box Office and Ora Restaurant. Purchase a pair of tickets at Ora and receive a $20 gift certificate for the restaurant. at Interior Savings Centre. FABULOUS CANADIAN band The Tequila Mockingbird Orchestra is scheduled to play two dates in Kamloops this summer, with a show at The Art We Are (246 Victoria St.) on Tuesday, June 19, and Music in the Park on Tuesday, Aug. 7. ACADEMY AWARD WINNING performer Kevin Costner and his country/rock band Modern West play Sun Peaks Resort on Saturday, July 7, with a free outdoor concert. QUIDAM, Cirque du Soleil’s ninth stage show and the third to tour through Kamloops, takes over Interior Savings Centre Aug. 15 19, 2012. Tickets range in from $36 (kids 12 and under) to $80 (adults). EARLY BIRD passes to the 20th annual Salmon Arm Roots and Blues Festival are available now. A limited number are available, ranging from $76 (youth) to $110 (adults). CHILDREN’S TV SENSATIONS Toopy and Binoo and the Marshmallow Moon come to Kamloops Wednesday, Sept 19 with a live stage show at the Sagebrush Theatre. GRAMMY WINNING blues guitarist Jonny Lang plays the Kamloops Convention Centre Thursday, Sept. Tickets for the 19 and older show are $65 and can be purchased at Kamloops Live! Box Office and ORA Restaurant. GUITAR PHENOMENON Jesse Cook plays the Kamloops Convention Centre on Thursday, Dec. 13. ONGOING DECADENCE, an exhibit of fine art photography by the city’s own Theresa Tahara is on until June 20 at the Wilson House Gallery (115 Tranquille Rd.). CALL FOR ENTRIES:The Old Courthouse Gallery Co operative, 7 W. The gallery, 167 Fourth Ave., carries art by local and nationally recognized artists. BY YOUTH 4 Youth is the name of a new Kamloops Art Gallery program inviting teens and youth to take part in programming that reflects their passions, interests, issues and events. Youths aged 13 21 can join the BY4Y council. Participation is free and, with school approval, hours may be used towards required volunteerism for high school students. THE SILVER Follies are still alive. The show next year will still be on similar lines to previous shows, but with some new productions. We hope to continue with our music and comedy themes, as in the past. We are meeting monthly and working on the show. Anyone interested can call Doug Routledge, 250 8282 2120, or Betty Barker at 250 434 6657. DESERT Sounds Harmony Chorus, a Sweet Adelines four part harmony group, invites new members to attend its four week recruitment sessions. at Heritage House, 100 Lorne St. LOVE to sing? Looking for a musical challenge? Vivace Chorale, a small mixed chorus, invites new members. Paul St. A spoken word event where poets recite or read, dramatize and perform poetry for an audience. Winners split a pass the hat cash prize with a portion going to the venue. Admission is $5 at the door with a non perishable food donation for Kamloops Food Bank. CALL for entries: The Old Courthouse gallery, a fine art and craft co operative, 7 West Seymour Street invites applications from artist working in wood, stone or metal, photography and basketry. LIEDERKREIS Choir, a mixed group of seniors that brings old German folk songs to senior homes and care facilities, invites new members of German speaking background to join them. For more information call Heidi Colasanti at 250 372 2973. at Heritage House, 100 Lorne St. For more information call 579 9505. Lessons available. Call 828 1993 or 571 1069 for more information. DESERT Gardens Community Centre offers a variety of games and invites people aged 55 or older to join them in daily play. Registration not required. There is a $2 entry fee to cover costs for each game. Cribbage tournaments ($10 entry fee) are held the third Sunday of each month. For more information call 372 5110. WANT to have fun with music? Have you blown a reed or brass instrument? Ever thought about the Rube Band? The band practices Monday evenings at the Yacht Club, 1140 Lorne St. For more information call Bob Eley, 250 377 3209. No experience needed. Casual attire. For more information call 374 0277 or 828 2389. THE ARTISTS’ Studio and Gallery, Sahali Centre Mall, is an artists’ co operative with a goal to provide a venue for developing artists from the Kamloops region to show and sell their paintings. Thursdays and Fridays. For more information, call 250 679 3536. Saturdays. Call 679 3536. Please include first and last names with contact information. Keep us, and our community, posted.
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If there’s one thing we can all agree on, politics aside, it’s that love transcends all.

W. Kamau Bell is a comedian who has become famous for his no holds barred approach to tackling race, politics, and social issues in his comedy. He also hosted the late night comedy show “Totally Biased with W. Kamau Bell,” which aired on FX. Kamau has frequently spoken out about the role race and racism play in American society, entertainment, media, and politics. Here, he and his wife, Melissa Hudson Bell, talk to msnbc about race, love, interracial relationships, marriage, and raising a family.

Been together for: We have been together since April Fool’s Day 2003. And we’ve been married since 2009 And, yes, Kamau just had to look that up on Facebook.

How did you meet? I [Kamau] was directing a one person show that starred a good friend of Melissa’s. Her friend, Jill, hired Melissa to run the tech booth. Jill had described Melissa to me as a college student, and she had described me to Melissa as a theater director. (I was mostly just a struggling comedian.) So when we met, we were both surprised. I expected a 19 year old college co ed. Melissa was a grad student. And Melissa expected some older, grizzled theater director. I was a “fresh faced” up and coming comic with dreadlocks in pigtails.

How did your friends and family react to your relationship in the beginning and now?

We met in the San Francisco Bay Area, which doesn’t mean that everybody around us was cool with interracial relationships but those who weren’t were certainly in the gratefully, mostly silent minority. Our circle of friends had absolutely no problems or issues with our relationship. If anything, we have the kind of friends who openly engage in conversations about the specific challenges that the outside world puts on any relationship that is not two, cisgendered, white, heterosexual Americans of slightly more than average height and slightly under the average weight.

There were, however, elder members of our family that were stuck in old school beliefs that the races shouldn’t intermix. The awkward conversations we had to have, and re have, and re re have around these beliefs were hard and painful, and they took a serious toll on our relationship. It took us years to move through them to the amazing blended family we now are. But if we hadn’t stuck it out through all of that, then we wouldn’t have our two daughters, who are the smartest, funniest, most amazing people on the planet in the history of everything. But then maybe we are totally biased.

Kamau, you have talked in your shows about the landmark Supreme Court case Loving v. Virginia, which struck down laws banning interracial marriages in 1967. Since then, there are more interracial couples than ever, but public attitudes towards interracial couples haven always completely caught up. What do you say to people who might not understand your relationship? What do you wish people knew about your relationship?

This is a frustrating question, because, on the one hand, it’s not for anybody to understand my relationship just like people in those white on white (or black on black) relationships don’t feel any pressure to explain their couplings. If you don’t think it is okay for the races to intermix (or the sexes or genders or religions) then I really don’t know what to say to you other than “turn off your TV and try not to go outside too often if you live in a major city or near a big college campus.”

The “work” we have done with family is about reaching out to people who we know have love in their heart but just never envisioned this kind of family. If you are that kind of person, then I would say that you need to understand that from my perspective that anytime two people decide to bring their separate lives together for the purposes of forming a new family unit,
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that is a challenge. It is a challenge just from the standpoint of reasons that we are all familiar with “Where do we spend the holidays?” “Who gets to choose what color we paint our walls?” “Why can’t I leave my socks everywhere around the house anymore? I’ve done that my entire life!!!” But these are internal challenges. When you apply pressure to the relationship from the outside world, well, then you are just making a difficult challenge infinitely more difficult for no good reason like a reality show. Why would you want to do that?

I would also ask that people not make assumptions about any relationship that they are not intimately involved in, because of the fact that you’re not actually, like, in the relationship so how would you know, like, anything about it.

In your stand up shows in San Francisco a few years ago, you used to offer a discount to people who brought a friend or date of a different race. What was your thinking behind that promotion?

In my mind, the only way to truly get to the end of racism is to get everybody in the room at the same time so that we can have these awkward conversations that many of us normally try to avoid. So that offer at my show was my way to guarantee that the audience wouldn’t be just be predominately one racial group, no matter where the theater was located. It also got people thinking about race before they walked in the door. For me, that was necessary in doing a show about race and racism mostly because, in my experience, white people don’t think about their whiteness nearly enough. Also I thought it would force people to think about who is in their immediate circle of friends. If you can’t find a friend of a different race to bring to the show then maybe you should think about why that is. Also as a person who is in an interracial relationship, it is a sneaky way to let those couples know that this is a safe supportive space. In comedy spaces, I have found that, overwhelmingly, interracial couples are generally the butt of easy jokes. I wanted to redefine that idea in a comedy context.

Last month, you wrote about an incident at a restaurant where you were together and a server mistook Kamau for a panhandler while he was talking to his wife and her friends, who were white. The incident has generated outrage on social media, and there will soon be a public forum to discuss what happened at the restaurant. What do you want people to learn from the events that took place there? What’s your message?

What I think we want people to take away from all this is twofold. It is twofold because it really involves two different perspectives on racism in America. The first thing is for white people who are currently sitting on the fence about the subject of racism in America. We want them to get off the fence and accept that racism is still alive and thriving in this country despite the election of a black president and the fact that a black woman owns three hours of prime time television on Thursday nights. We want those people to accept that painful truth and roll up their sleeves and commit to making the country a more friendly place for people of color.

Secondly, we want people of color to know that we are personally committed to making the world a better place, not just for our family but for people of color everywhere and also for other families that look like ours. I have personally been frustrated when people of color who have high profiles seemed to shy away from talking about the racism that they have experienced in their lives, so we felt that we had to say something when the incident went down at The Elmwood Cafe. Also we believe in the power of the awkward conversation to initiate change in people’s lives. We didn’t call for a boycott. We didn’t cal for anyone to get fired. (Although the owner decided to fire the employee that he felt was at fault.) We called for and will have a public conversation that will be open to the community and involve community leaders and members of the community to talk about their experiences of racism in the Bay Area. Since this went down, I have received emails and Facebook messages and tweets from people who have had similar treatment and worse from Bay Area businesses. And since the Bay Area is allegedly the most progressive place in the country, and since we choose to live there, we want to be part of a positive change.

You have two young daughters. How do you both talk to your kids about race and interracial families?

Since we first began reading books to our oldest daughter, we read not only the usual suspects from our childhood (Shel Silverstein, Dr. Suess), we also read books to her that are about families like ours. Selina Alko has an awesome book called “I’m Your Peanut Butter Big Brother” that’s about how some families have members with different skin colors. Karen Katz has an equally awesome book called “The Colors of Us.” Obviously this isn’t enough, but it is the start of what will inevitably be a lifetime long conversation about race and racism. We also celebrate both of our individual family traditions, which means around Christmas we do crab cioppino because of Melissa’s Italian heritage, and we do Kwanzaa because that is how Kamau was raised. Yup, he is a part of the 1% of African Americans who actually celebrate Kwanzaa.

What’s something you’ve learned from each other and from your relationship?

One thing we have learned is that committing to a marriage takes more flexibility, more creativity, more humor, more forgiveness, more compassion, and many more pints of late night ice cream than we ever imagined. It hard. Period. But it that same hard stuff that has revealed the infinitely interesting depths of really loving someone as they are. And we know that sounds like the longest Hallmark card ever but it also happens to be true.

What something you find surprising or intriguing about your partner?

Something surprising about Kamau is that when he is not on the road, he insists on cooking a giant breakfast for our daughter and packing her an interesting lunch for school. The surprise is not that he would pull an awesome dad move like that, but rather that the guy who literally eats the same bowl of granola every morning would be so thoughtful about food.

Melissa is great at reminding me of the principles that I stand for when I sometimes want to forget them because things feel too hard. Also she has improved many of my jokes.

And lastly, just for fun: How will you two be celebrating Valentine Day?

Because showbiz hates families, we will be in separate cities on Valentine’s Day. Kamau will be on the road working,
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and Melissa will be at her parent’s house with our daughters. But we have decided to watch “Boyhood” together on each of our computers at the same time, over the phone, just like two teenagers from the future.

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