Monday, March 31, 2008

cake walk

remember cake walks?
my first one was in mrs. pfister's kindergarten classroom at the castro lane elementary school carnival. it was weird being at school at night. even weirder was the mix of adults and kids vying for the baked beauties. we obediently paraded in a circle while mrs. agan played the piano (no records here, this was the real thing), carefully stepping on the letters and numbers where my bottom sat that very morning patiently awaiting finger painting time (and wishing that melissa rea would sit down already so we could get on with it!). the music stopped and...I'm not sure what happened next. can anyone remember the rules? did you have some sort of ticket? did they draw for the letters/numbers? all I know is that I didn't win the coveted strawberry cake.

now I can make my own and won't it look lovely on this gorgeous cake stand by whitney smith at etsy?

ah, kava

do you think one cup of yogi tea equals 90 minutes of actual yoga?

just trying to justify taking the easy wind down from a frustrating day.

I guess it's better than margaritas and cigarettes.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

saturday with spirits

I spent a few peaceful hours at the old city cemetery in lynchburg on saturday. the season's beauty is just beginning to emerge. it was a perfect space of nature, history, and spirit (both departed and present).

as I was nearing the end of my walk, I heard a joyous voice over by the children's garden, "mommy, look what I found for my fairy house!" the sweet girl's exhilaration at a found object was surpassed only when she flew high in the sky on the old wooden swing. her mother graciously allowed me to capture her pure joy in the experience.

what a place.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

corgi triptych

my muse, simon, and I are in a blue period.

dream holiday

the lovely bloggers at desiretoinspire posted about hotel particulier montmartre this week. can you just imagine staying here while in paris? it's absolutely perfect.

Friday, March 28, 2008

things I like about my job #1

in an effort to be more positive about my day job, I'm focusing on small things that I take for granted about it every day. the big thing, of course, is that I actually have a decent job while some do not. so I'm going to be grateful.

#1: I don't have to wear a stuffy suit and pantyhose to work (well, except maybe when I have court). I get to wear jeans and my favorite pointy-toe aqua pumps.

ps collage crazy

I can't stop making photoshop collages! I'm very, very new and having so, so much fun with layers.

this little guy flew in our house last weekend and was traumatized by the time he made it back out (multiple head-ons with various windows and three extremely loud dogs in mad pursuit!). once outside, ken picked him up and held him and we weren't sure he was going to make it. he let me take his picture, then he was like, "see ya!". and off he went...

thanks mark

for giving me some perspective with humor. I really don't know about real woe... and I need to pay more attention.

here's mark morford's latest column:

It is a time for a radical rethinking. It is a time to reconsider it all, to perhaps reassess how we are presenting and digesting America's most costly and lost and unwinnable and brutal and ignoble and inept and insidious and depressing war that's not really a war; it's time to revolutionize how it's all packaged and broadcast and pumped like hot sticky misery into the heavily narcotized American cultural bloodstream because, oh my God, we are sick sick sick of it all, and only getting sicker.

This is the problem: People are getting bored. Check that: People are already bored, insanely so, have been bored for a few years now, so utterly and thoroughly jaded and burned out on stories and pictures and woeful tales of Iraq and death and Baghdad and cluster bombs and burned-out trucks and limbless soldiers and flag-draped coffins and photos of a grinning George W. Bush posing with a horribly burned, mutilated U.S. soldier, it might as well be Lindsay Lohan snorting blow off the dashboard of an Escalade.

We have now accomplished 4,000 dead U.S. soldiers in Iraq. Did you see that headline? Did it cause anything but a stab of pain and a heavy sigh and a need to click a different headline, maybe the one about cute baby polar bears in Germany? Did you simply mash and mix that inglorious number with tales of wretched economic meltdown and torture and health care system collapse and roll it all into a little ball of sadness and hurl it at the wall of forgetfulness? You are not alone.
Yes, 4,000 dead soldiers was a miserable milestone indeed, one that doesn't even hint at the roughly 100,000 wounded and brain-damaged and clinically depressed U.S. soldiers and simply shrugs off the hundreds of thousands of dead Iraqi civilians, a number which is probably far closer to 1 million but hey, they're just civilians and they were stupid enough to live in Iraq in the first place and therefore the military couldn't care less about them and besides, all those stats are just boring too, so who's counting?

Certainly not the media. Sure enough, war coverage has apparently dropped to less than a fifth of what it was even a year ago, as increasingly desperate, budget-strapped news organizations understand that everyone's exhausted by incessant death tolls and no one wants to read about suicide bombers or failed surges or Bush's staggering ineptitude anymore, even if John McCain is now wobbling around the nation trying to defend Bush's idiocy and rally the frothy, paranoid faithful by actually suggesting that what the world needs right now is not the United States out of Iraq, but rather the United States into everywhere else. One hundred more years! One hundred more years!

Of course, all the widespread boredom and ennui is completely understandable, similar to having some sort of inoperable tumor growing deep in your heart for so many years it eventually becomes the norm, The Thing That's Always There, so ingrained and embedded into your being that you can't even remember a time when you were free of it. And so every morning as your chest convulses and your body withers a little bit more, you just sigh and shake your head and accept the misery because, well, what the hell else are you gonna do?

But here's the fascinating part: On the one hand, the rabid GOP war hawks would simply love it if you'd let your boredom rule and just shut the hell up and forget all about Iraq, let it all just keep churning and eating us away and killing until the economy collapses and Halliburton and Lockheed and Bush's puppet masters make a few hundred billion dollars more off the backs of young and exhausted soldiers who only joined the military because they couldn't afford school or get a decent job or buy a home.

But on the other hand, the GOP still desperately needs middle 'Merkins to hate, to seethe, to burn with fear at least until election time so McCain can leverage America's latent loathing of dark-skinned foreigners and convince the remains of Bush's heartless base that we need to invade and destroy and kill a great many more people in order to, you know, remain free and happy.

And then there's the anti-war crowd, fighting the exact same widespread malaise in reverse, given how everyone with even a passable education and a thriving soul is now exhausted by the incessant jackhammerings of Bush's incompetence. Indeed, the left needs intelligent Americans to remain angry and outraged at least until Barrack Obama can wipe the slate clean of all those warmongering old men.

So then, maybe what everyone needs, of course, is incentives. We're Americans, after all. Do we not love shiny dangling things to keep us enthralled, engaged, some sort of clear prize at the end, maybe a nice all-expenses-paid vacation to Cabo or a new dishwasher or $100 worth of free iTunes downloads? In other words, do we not love to have our collective misery turned into soft, sweet pablum, into cheap cultural commodity for mass consumption? You bet we do. You have a better idea?

Maybe reality TV is the answer. "Real World: Baghdad." Could that do it? Make it all more interesting? Tagline: "Will macho heartthrob jerk/personal trainer Tyler hook up with drunk slutty ex-marketing manager Sonia in the hot tub even as gay bartender Todd is weeping in the game room because his tiny Chihuahua, Mr. Sniffles, was blown up by a cluster bomb just outside the Green Zone? Tune in to find out!"

Or, something else entirely. For example, the McCain campaign could make you an offer: "Attention, America! Launch an insular, jingoistic blog with lots of animated American flags and link out only to Sean Hannity and Ann Coulter and Michael Savage and include lots of hunky photos of Rod "Destroy Islam" Parsley and John "Christian Zionist" Hagee, those rabid televangelists McCain has welcomed into his camp so as to court the ignorant evangelical vote, and the Republican Party will send you a free iPod pre-loaded with Chubby Checker and Tanya Tucker and bad Christian rock. Yay America!"

Indeed, the possibilities for alleviating our boredom are endless. Free tank of gas with every anti-war comment you post to whenever they lie about the troop surge. New Starbucks coffee drinks named after various Shiite and Sunni leaders so you never forget that no one in the Pentagon has the slightest clue as to what their religious war is really all about. "Hi, I'd like a double vente caramel macchiato Abdallah Suleiman Omary, with lots of room for cream."
Will it help? Will it make it all less boring? Will you attach to the horrors and misery of the war more passionately as you wake up every day thinking, Oh my God, I can't wait until I get a hot steaming cup of Abu Omar into my body? Well? You have a better idea?

Monday, March 24, 2008

my folly

is it foolish and irresponsible to wish I could spend my days creating? I am struggling in a professional environment riddled with suspicion, fear, repression and dishonesty. is it too much to want openness, genuineness, enthusiasm, dedication? my world at work is increasingly dark and the light, the folly, is calling. what is the answer?

Sunday, March 23, 2008

happy easter

easter sunday was a big deal in my family. we did the whole shebang every single year: new outfits with gloves of course, church, egg dyeing, hunting eggs in the yard with a basket, ham and green bean casserole. here we are in 1965: mom, dad, scott, baby me and sam the dog (nice butt, sam!).

rainbow world

I wish I had paid more attention in sewing class so I could quickly whip up something, anything, with these fabrics from free spirit. perhaps some pillows? an apron? maybe I will get adventurous and try to piece them together into some sort of patchwork loveliness.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

so true (and more blue)

this necklace is fantastic and so me! there are lots more like this over at matsudabunch's etsy store. very clever! I'm wondering if wearing the label will somehow exonerate me, you know, like it's fair warning.

Friday, March 21, 2008

in to blue

I'm usually drawn to saturated mid-tone colors (plum, olive, pumpkin), but am recently compelled to wear everything sea blue (and of course some paisley).

  1. joni blue eyes earrings from streetnoodles etsy shop
  2. coach francine patent leather bag
  3. paisley top from free people

the earrings and the top may soon be mine, but will have to be an extra, extra good girl to score that bag!

blue bunny

this is robin, the blue felt bunny from girlsavage's etsy shop.

I love that he looks curious and a bit judgemental at the same time. and that his ears are all cattywonky.

he's a fine fellow to have as an easter date.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

happy spring

it's official. finally. time to grow.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

think twice

Self Portrait Challenge: Politics

I was born and raised as a Californian. A lot of people have a lot of ideas about what that means. What it means to me is that thinking and speaking and creating and changing are part of what it means to be human. On top of that, my parents taught me to do these things openly and honestly.

I now live in a community where I find myself thinking twice about saying what I think. Lynchburg is not only the home of the late Rev. Jerry Falwell and his followers, the community truly embraces the whole Southern Niceties thing. I never know the real truth. Worse for me is that I feel I cannot speak the truth and cannot share the vibrant energy of new ideas. It is better just to go along and be pleasant. Don't cause problems. Don't hurt feelings. And DON'T TRY TO CHANGE ANYTHING.

Monday, March 17, 2008

day of atonement

dvd is released tuesday. see it. it's a beautiful film.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

lovely weekend

I spent a simple weekend at home and it was just lovely! Here's what I did:

  1. Set out on foot with my camera. The light was so pure and I discovered yet another historic neighborhood in Lynchburg (hence the cobblestone under my feet).
  2. Saw multitudes of daffodils, tulips, forsythia and this lovely budding bush (is it quince?).
  3. Discovered a great new place to shop (see previous post).
  4. Made sunday morning pancakes.
  5. Saw a movie with the initial intent of merely continuing the James McAvoy Filmfest (my husband is so understanding!), but was pleasantly surprised by a brilliantly fantastical modern-day fairy tale. See Penelope! I'm inspired to make that patchwork armoire and wear turquoise maryjanes. And James is fantastic, of course.
  6. Planted my window box with yellow pansies.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

sweet folk

there is nothing like watching a downtown rebirth. sweet little lynchburg is yearning to show its true colors, hidden so very long. FOLK opened today next to starlight cafe and it's such a breath of fresh air. stockists ali & sarah jean have impeccable taste and style. the shop features fair trade and independent designers such as american apparel, velvet and scosha.

just beautiful.

FOLK is located at 514 5th street in lynchburg, virginia.

a tree grows in san francisco

I finished A Tree Grows in Brooklyn last night. As I was reading the last few pages, I received a call from my own girl-growing-up in San Francisco. She is in a sad and lonely spot today. Does a mother's heart ever stop aching in tandem? Here's what Katie, Francie's mom, has to say:

Katie heard the story. "It's come at last," she thought, "the time when you can no longer stand between your children and heartache. When there wasn't enough food in the house you pretended that you weren't hungry so they could have more. In the cold of a winter's night you got up and put your blanket on their bed so they wouldn't be cold. You'd kill anyone who tried to harm them--I tried my best to kill that man in the hallway. Then one sunny day, they walk out in all innocence and they walk right into the grief that you'd give your life to spare them."

Francie's prayer:

"Dear God," she prayed, "let me be something every minute of every hour of my life. Let me be gay; let me be sad. Let me be cold; let me be warm. Let me be hungry...have too much to eat. Let me be ragged or well dressed. Let be be sincere--be deceitful. Let me be truthful; let me be a liar. Let me be honorable and let me sin. Only let me be something every blessed minute. And when I sleep, let me dream all the time so that not one little piece of living is ever lost."

Thursday, March 13, 2008


I adore cb i hate perfume and was addicted to burning leaves last year. I'm always eyes akimbo for the perfect woodsy scent. revelation is a perfect blend of woods, honey and fig. It smells like a wood sprite would.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Self Portrait Challenge: Politics

This is my first month doing the Self Portrait Challenge. I'm not sure if I followed the rules (I think you may need to have some part of your actual body in the shot). This month's theme is politics.

There is a soft, quiet place in my heart where the lovely idea of democracy resides. This is the place that holds the reverence that gently wells up when I enter a court of law or a voting booth. This is the place where every One counts, every One has a voice, every One matters. Through my twenties and thirties, I wore the "I Voted" sticker proudly on my heart throughout the day after an early-morning vote. This last primary, I noticed that my voting experience was somewhat devoid of feeling, in spite of this being a historic election. I don't feel the Hope. I don't feel the Change. I feel like I'm being lied to and sold something I don't need. I completed my duty and declined the sticker, then found myself returning to claim one. It didn't go on my heart. It went on my Starbucks cup. I'm trying to access that place in my soul that believes in democracy. I'm scared of apathy.

WTF? wednesday

This little blog has been such a nice departure from my day job. I've filled it with things that are happy, whimsical, inspiring, pretty. But those who know me understand that there is another side to me. I can be quite sardonic, sarcastic and sometimes downright mean. I try really hard to make sense of the world and get very impatient with really stupid people and ideas. The dark side keeps trying to sneak it's way into this space, so I thought I would commit a weekly (or less) post to those things I find silly, condescending or that I feel have no place on a thinking woman's planet. I'm not going to take on the big issues, just little annoyances...things that make me think WTF?

First up: the double bathtubs in the cialis commercials. It's bad enough that I have to be bombarded with multiple messages about ED (thank you, Tivo!), but what is with the double bathtubs? They are in every single cialis commercial. All the couples are enjoying precoital activities (you know, the usual walking in the forest, washing the dishes together, petting each other's faces) and they all end up in separate bathtubs OUTSIDE. The white couple's bathtubs overlook a Pacific sunset, the black couple is bathing in what appears to be the Everglades. Where are these bathtubs? Who does this? Maybe their choice of foreplay activities has something to do with the presenting issue.

I told you it wasn't going to be about the big issues.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

happy holly

My colleague Holly will leave her paying job at the end of this week to be a full-time mom, gardener, cook and yogini. I wish her much happiness. She's going to need a cool apron (and the girls too!) for all the cookie-baking, finger-painting and glitter-gluing. How lovely!
  1. bird apron (sold out)
  2. stripes & flowers apron $30
  3. cowgirl apron $18.75
  4. vintage zoo apron (my favorite!) $38

Monday, March 10, 2008

etsy spree

Shopping etsy is my new favorite thing. Here are a few of my recent purchases:
  1. Multicolored dots table mat from karen thurman design
  2. Snowdrop earrings from miabeads
  3. "Oui" charm necklace from birdzNbeez
  4. Opal earrings from gypsylane
  5. Colorful poncho from enchanted cottage

Sunday, March 9, 2008

starbucks rehab

One week down on the starbucks detox. It really wasn't that bad. Instead of my usual 5-7 triple ventis per week, I did 2 (that's right TWO) last week. So I saved a little over $20, which will go straight into the vintage Moller chair fund. Of course I missed Nikki and Gracie with their cheerful morning selves. This week, I'm indulging on Friday only. My chances are not good to be the *featured customer of the week* and get my name and drink on the chalkboard.

25 Things I Never Get Tired Of (or My Beautiful Life as a List)

  1. Morning coffee: Strong with one shot of espresso, three sweet & lows and skim milk.
  2. Rainbows and brilliant colors all mixed up together. When I’m having a gloomy day, I’ll wear a multicolor striped sweater and/or nickname myself Rainbeau and it always works to put me in a better frame of mind.
  3. The sound of Mia’s laughter.
  4. Playground swings and animal spring riding toys. Especially the toucan at Beale Park in my hometown. I could ride that thing for hours! In summer, it would burn the inside of my thighs and I didn’t care one bit.
  5. My dogs (except during the third Monkey Hour of the day!).
  6. How unapologetically dependent and vulnerable I can be with my husband every once in a while. I can just fold myself into his body and disappear with no worries (heaven).
  7. Nightly baths complete with Lush’s Waving Not Drowning bath bomb and a Corgi face hanging over the edge of the tub.
  8. U2.
  9. Having a good loud rant, preferably with an equally loud friend who totally agrees with me so we both leave feeling totally justified and indignant.
  10. Vintage t-shirts. My favorites are Go Climb a Rock from Yosemite and my baseball tee from the US Festival (although it’s depressing that things I actually did are now considered vintage).
  11. Being a Native Californian.
  12. Words. My current favorites are kismet, karma, akimbo, and kabash. I’m in a K phase.
  13. Pancakes!
  14. Real diners.
  15. Paisley.
  16. Outdoor art festivals.
  17. Magazines. My favorites are Sunset (missing the West Coast) and modern home magazines from the UK, like Living Etc.
  18. Uninterrupted deep sleep.
  19. Trying to fit all those “in my next life…” hopes into this life.
  20. Road trips.
  21. Margaritas and fish tacos.
  22. Funkifying my house.
  23. Gardenias.
  24. The sound and smell of a campfire.
  25. Making lists.

spring ahead

It's not officially spring yet, but I'm excited about the possibilities of a new season. I love beginnings: mondays, back-to-school, new years day. Everything is fresh and clean and waiting for the story to unfold. I wonder what will transpire, what I can make happen and what will surprise me. I want to learn something new, make something new, start something new.

I'm focusing on positive possibilities here. Yesterday, something happened that took me off guard. I've never been one to obsess about getting old. I look pretty young for 43, my skin is good and I have some fun youthful energy. A clerk at the drugstore tried to give me a coupon for a baby product. I told her I don't have any kids at home and she said, "Do you have grandbabies?" Grandbabies?! WTF?! Now, I know it is possible for a 43 year old to have grandchildren, and I was sans makeup and wearing sweats, but puh-leeze! I actually got a little depressed. Now I'm just mad and searching for that "You: Staying Young" book I bought last year and never read. I'm hoping that her little insult will serve to focus me to putting in more effort to be the best I can be. I need to get back to yoga, get back to art, cultivate more friendships. Be more like myself.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

happy birthday sunshine!

How old are you, anyway? Twenty-four? Twenty-five?

Thursday, March 6, 2008

just shameless

I was so excited to learn that Sundance Channel is airing episodes of Shameless (Sundays 9pm). I first fell in like with this dysfunctional but loving British family a few years ago when it aired on BBC America and was devastated when it stopped playing after the first season. Sometimes it's like watching a trainwreck and there is a bit of guilt associated with viewing (I am a child protection professional). But this family has such strong attachments despite their poverty, substance abuse and other assorted issues, you can't help but hope it all turns out great for them. The bonus is getting to see James McAvoy, pre-movie-stardom.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

time to dine

My tiny dining room is in the midst of a rehab. A wall has been opened up and there is drywall dust everywhere. It's time to paint and decorate. I want something clean, funky and colorful. There will be dots, circles, art and some mid-century modern furniture. I love the start of something new, when creativity is blossoming. I'm inspired by these rooms from Living Etc magazine.

Monday, March 3, 2008


I'm inspired by Sabrina Ward Harrison's collage-journals. My favorite is Spilling Open.

Sunday, March 2, 2008


Ok, the diet is clearly getting the best of me as I have spent the last hour and a half browsing Flickr for pictures of cupcakes. I really want to be a pixie, but I really want this cupcake too. Plus, I'm very, very sad that Starbucks has increased the price of my triple venti sugar-free hazelnut non-fat latte, extra hot. Apparently, they just weren't "perfecting the art of espresso" on Wednesday night, but also raising prices. While I love my Starbucks, I can't do $5.35, five days a week. I'm sad. And hungry.

Saturday, March 1, 2008


faith n 1: trust; 2: belief without reason or evidence.

This is my pocket buddha chosen for me by the mythical, magical all-mighty insight of Urban Outfitters. Definitely something I need to work on.

Just Brilliant

I found this photo on SF Gate's Day in Pictures.
How would our American lives be more creative and interesting if our national dress was a tad more vibrant than jeans and a tee or (how embarrassing!) head-to-toe camo and a dirty trucker hat?