Sunset, South Uist by kloniwotski on Flickr.

On my mother’s side, many of my ancestors are indigenous to the outer Hebrides off the coast of Scotland. The McAfee clan has been here for more than 1,000 years and it was wild to visit these lands for the first and only time in my life, when we scattered my grandfather’s ashes on the isle of Colonsay shortly after his passing. While I (as a mixed heritage, Asian/Nikkei, man of color) received hella sideways looks/muffled-comments from many of the European/Celtic/white country’s inhabitants and felt little-to-zero connection to them because of it, there was undoubtedly a deep peace I felt in connection to the land (and sea) itself. As corny as it may sound to some, there was a frequency/vibration that I felt in great accord and harmony with when sitting by myself (or nearby some sheep—there was hella fuggin sheep!), looking out onto the ocean from the tiny Scottish island whilst remembering my granddad and feeling (this relative degree of) connection to my Celtic ancestry. This pic was a dope reminder of that time.      

The new SZA album, Z is fuggin FIRE.


 “Student loans are destroying the imagination of youth. If there’s a way of a society committing mass suicide, what better way than to take all the youngest, most energetic, creative, joyous people in your society and saddle them with, like $50,000 of debt so they have to be slaves? There goes your music. There goes your culture. There goes everything new that would pop out. And in a way, this is what’s happened to our society. We’re a society that has lost any ability to incorporate the interesting, creative and eccentric people.” ~David Graeber

(via buddhag)

Dre-T - Sacramentality EP (via Jeff)

Thesis Shmesis

While my first year in the classroom has been profoundly rewarding, much of this reward has come in the form of high degrees of discomfort. I have and continue to confront the many unarticulated assumptions I carry into the classroom; stumbling, picking myself up and dusting myself off, only to stumble again shortly after. The degrees to which I have both knowingly and unknowingly internalized feelings of confidence to the point of arrogance, as well as self-critique bordering on self-doubt, due to my in/ability to have a command over the (ever changing) “Formal/Standard/Academic” English language-dialect, have lead to a multitude of personal crises and epiphanies. Being raised mixed heritage and ethnically ambiguous in the racially diverse, predominantly working-class and of color city of Richmond, CA, I grew used to code switching in and out of different vernacular, in efforts to find relative comfort in spaces that were often times unaccepting of (if not indifferent to) my identity. These experiences have greatly shaped my frame of reference as a classroom English teacher today, and this year in particular has done much to expose the gifts as well as many shortcomings my biases have provided me. Teaching Zora Neale Hurston’s seminal novel, Their Eyes Were Watching God has helped to push my students and I towards critically identifying and analyzing differing English language-dialects, as well as their relationships to power and/or powerlessness.  

Much like the text in Their Eyes Were Watching God, I perceive that my students and I switch in and out of various and varying English (and other language) vernacular depending on the context of where we are situated. When one of my students made a comment about the ways that Hurston’s narrative voice was written in “real English,” while her characters’ voices were written in “ghetto English,” I began to pose questions and thus begin a dialogue, alluding to the ways we learn implicitly and explicitly what “authentic” is and is not, when considering language and culture. I began to ascertain from this conversation, that many if not most of my students had internalized a feeling that those who were unable or unwilling to speak “Formal/Standard/Academic” English, had a direct correlation to possessing not only lower levels of intelligence, but even morality. Hurston’s text provided a rich platform in deepening for all of us, this examination.

Barack Obama’s Challenge to American Morality

If you haven’t yet, it’s worth checking out Barack Obama’s address before the National Action Network, last week. I think it’s one of the most significant and morally grounded speeches of his presidency. I think we will eventually regard this current effort to suppress the vote through voter-ID laws, ending early voting, restricting voting hours, etc., in the same way we regard literacy tests and poll taxes. (It’s worth recalling this piece for the magazine by Mariah Blake which helps historicize voter suppression.)

I believe in judging Barack Obama’s rhetoric and policies not as though he were the president of black America, but of the United States of America. On that count his speech soared. There aren’t many topics more important than the security of our democracy. The president did not attack that topic gingerly, but forcefully, directly and without hedge.

It’s an important speech.

As an aside, I’ll add that I still can’t get over seeing a black dude, who is the president, standing in front of Garvey’s red, black, and green. Strange days, I tell you. Strange days, indeed. No one knows where this is going.

-Ta-Nehisi Coates


Asparagus is a solid stand-alone veggie with all its vitamin K and folate but paired with this creamy risotto? HOT DAMN. It takes this spring staple to another level.


Enough for 4 people

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/3 cup chopped shallots or yellow onion

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 cup Arborio rice*

½ cup white wine

¼ teaspoon salt

4 ½ cups vegetable broth

1 bunch asparagus, about 1 pound

½ teaspoon lemon zest

1 teaspoon olive oil

¼ cup minced chives

pepper to taste

Warm up the veggie broth in a medium pot until it gently simmers then turn off the heat. Chop up the shallots, garlic, and asparagus. You’ll want the asparagus in pieces about an inch long, like bite-sized. Cut off the tough ends because those woody sons of bitches will ruin everything.

In a large skillet or pot with a wide bottom, heat up the 2 tablespoons of oil over a medium heat. Add the shallots and sauté them around until they start to look kinda golden, about 2-3 minutes. Add the garlic and rice and sauté until the rice smells toasted and starts looking like it absorbed some of the oil, about 2 more minutes. This helps make your risotto all creamy SO DON’T SKIP THIS SHIT. Add the white wine and salt to the pot and cook until most of the wine has evaporated and you scraped whatever bits of shallot got stuck to the bottom of the pot, like a minute or 2. Drink the rest wine because… well, that shits already open. Might as well.

Now add 2 cups of the warm broth, stir, and lower the heat so that the pot is at a simmer, uncovered. Stir every couple of minutes until most of the broth has absorbed into the rice, about 7-10 minutes. You don’t need to stand there and stir it the whole fucking time; whoever started that rumor about cooking risotto is a goddamn liar. Just stir it every minute or two while you clean up or troll the internet. Add another 2 cups of warm broth at this point, and do that whole stir and simmer thing again for another 7 minutes or until the rice tastes slightly undercooked and there’s still broth in the pot. Now dump in the asparagus and cook until it’s tender and the rice looks like its sitting in a creamy gravy, about 5 more minutes. If it starts looking a little dry before everything is tender, just add some more of the broth a tablespoon at a time to fix that shit.

When the rice and asparagus taste on point, turn off the heat; add the lemon zest, remaining oil, half the chives, and a little pepper. Taste and add more salt, pepper, or whateverthefuck you want. Serve right away and top with the remaining chives.


* This kind of rice is starchy as hell, so it will make your risotto the extra creamy and delicious. If you can’t find it don’t worry about it, just grab a short grain rice.

“The idea that sex is something a woman gives a man, and she loses something when she does that, which again for me is nonsense. I want us to raise girls differently where boys and girls start to see sexuality as something that they own, rather than something that a boy takes from a girl.”
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (NPR)

(via genderedborders)

“Life is a train of moods like a string of beads; and as we pass through them they prove to be many colored lenses, which paint the world their own hue, and each shows us only what lies in its own focus”
— Ralph Waldo Emerson (via purplebuddhaproject)


Rainy lunch with the homie @cindiddybk (at Cafe Rue Dix)

(via streetetiquette)

Fresh Off the Boat - Chengdu (pt. 2)

hey young world


theyre coming for you
in this realm of hungry ghosts
adults will eat you

timely advice

if time is money
i cant afford to hate you
time to be frugal