on the importance of names and jimmy kimmel’s sweet embrace of white supremacy

I can’t count the number of times people have mispronounced my last name. (Hiyama. Hee-YAH-muh.) I’m shocked if someone says it correctly the first time. My 93-year old grandpa has pronounced it wrong on purpose for a lot of his life so he doesn’t have to constantly correct people.  It’s really not hard to say once you know how to say it, and people generally get with the program quickly, but there is still something that feels crappy about having to explain myself and how I came to be whenever my last name comes up.

Our names beget our personhood and confirm our existence.  To have a name that is consistently fucked up by other people is to always feel like you’re abnormal, other, less. You feel simultaneously conspicuous and invisible. Everyone notices the difference, but nobody sees beyond it. In the United States, family names are important, but as an unapologetically individualistic nation, our first names are even more essential to our being. So as much as I identify with that experience of people mispronouncing my last name, it is a wholly different experience to not only have people mispronounce your first name but also to make fun of it.  And while anyone can have a name that is tricky to pronounce by American English standards, names are racialized and the mockery is certainly a racialized experience. Continue reading on the importance of names and jimmy kimmel’s sweet embrace of white supremacy


foodie face masks

Using food as a beauty product is very ~hawt~ right now, and I, too, have been swept up in the foodie beauty zeitgeist. What makes me feel more unjustifiably self-satisfied than smearing yogurt on my face and knowing that I “made” my face mask myself (store-bought ingredients notwithstanding)??  Absolutely nothing! If you also want to get in on this trend and feel like a fresh Stepford wife, read on. Continue reading foodie face masks

resolving tensions between animal rights and human-focused social justice movements

I had a phone call with my mom the other day, and she told me she had listened to a podcast that talked about the animal rights framework and the animal welfare framework.  She said that she isn’t really on board with animal rights, if by animal rights, we mean that animals and humans are entitled to the same rights and that we should not legally or morally distinguish between animals and humans.  She wants to prioritize humans; she thinks that because we have so many problems with each other already that need to be addressed, why add a whole other axis of oppression to fight?  Continue reading resolving tensions between animal rights and human-focused social justice movements

crime is a social construct

I’m writing this because Tr*mp issued 3 executive orders related to law enforcement yesterday.  These orders increase penalties against those found guilty of assaulting officers, increase information sharing between law enforcement agencies to fight “drug cartels,” and create a task force (under the Attorney General) to address drug trafficking, illegal immigration, and violent crime.  These orders seek to empower racist law enforcement and intimidate opposition to racist law enforcement agendas.  The president’s reasoning (and the reasoning of all “law and order” legislators who are “tough on crime”) is that there is a lot of crime and that increasing the power of law enforcement and punishment will lower levels of crime.

This belief isn’t true, and what I’m about to write about it has already been said many times by scholars and activists; they have said it better and longer.  This is just a philosophical introduction to why crime is a bad way to measure morality and why, therefore, we should not be using crime rates as justification to further criminalize poor bodies of color. Continue reading crime is a social construct

freakin’ delicious granola bars

I am not a breakfast person, not because I don’t need or want it, but because I don’t really live a “get out of bed in time to make yourself breakfast” life. On weekends, I love making myself a late breakfast/brunch, but during the week, I just haven’t figured out how to motivate myself to start my day with food, instead of the snooze button. That’s why these granola bars RULE. They are actually really yummy, they’re filling (for a not-real meal), and they keep me fuller than, say, an apple or toast (my other go-to breakfasts…smh). These are easy to eat quickly, in-transit, or at your desk (or in the bathroom if you need to sneak it…).  Full disclosure: the overhead for this recipe is a little expensive, BUT you can make soo many granola bars with them, and they are ingredients you can use in a lot of other dishes, too! Continue reading freakin’ delicious granola bars

lemon squares: a video

I LOVE cooking shows and food videos. I watch the Tastemade Snapchat story every damn day. If the Food Network website had a better video player (smh), I would stay on there for hours.  If I’m being embarrassingly honest, my dream job is hosting a cooking show. Which is why I am so flipping excited about the above video! I made lemon bars while my boyfriend filmed, and then he edited it all together to make something like all those super trendy, no talking food videos. Enjoy!! And check out his other videos on his Vimeo or his Youtube channel about environmentalism and media.

RECIPE from Joy the Baker. So good. Not vegan at all :/

super easy super rich vegan dark chocolate milk

To me, chocolate milk has always been the height of simple pleasures. It’s rich, creamy, and sweet without being too much of any of those things. I don’t drink it a lot anymore; I hadn’t found the homemade kind (i.e. not pre-made) to be as satisfying with non-dairy milk. It’s too salty or too thin or has a weird aftertaste. UNTIL TODAY.

There is no mind-blowing trick. I used a hot chocolate recipe I’ve been using forever that I think was originally on the back of a Hershey’s cocoa powder tin or something and made it cold.  This recipe is just really freaking good. Especially if you like darker chocolate. It uses a lot of cocoa powder, so I think maybe it was so overwhelmingly chocolatey to my tastebuds that they weren’t mad it was almond milk (no weird salty taste!). It’s also super easy! Slightly more time-consuming than Hershey’s syrup and milk, but this is worth it to me (although Hershey’s syrup is still good af and definitely hits the spot for nostalgia). Continue reading super easy super rich vegan dark chocolate milk