cakes & cherry blossoms

I was feeling a bit down yesterday afternoon so I took a lovely walk in the sunshine to Crixa Cakes. It’s one of the very strong benefits of my neighborhood (along with Ici, Tail of the Yak, & Ital Calabash) & a cozy place to sit and draw. To be honest, the walk itself cheered me immensely – the cherry blossoms are out!!! My 2 favorite things about the Bay Area are cherry blossoms, and Dia de los Muertos. 2 sides of the seasons.



I know I’ve mentioned Crixa 100 times before, but I cannot possibly begin to profess the level of love I have for them. They are sadmaking on just 2 fronts ~ they close at 6pm, and they are not open on Sundays. Why, Crixa, why? Do you hate the common working person? Are your cakes merely for the idle rich?

The shop specializes in Hungarian pastries, and that’s where they shine. Out of the many pastries I have tried, only 2 stand out as vaguely disappointing: the meringue and the pumpkin pie. But who needs American and French pastry when one can have such delectable treats as these??


Carmella ~ Moist chocolate chiffon cake with vanilla whipped cream, bittersweet chocolate mousse, and butterscotch caramel.


Vatroushka ~ Russian-style cheesecake of sweet curd cheese, sour cream and vanilla. In Hungarian, Túrós pite.


As you can see, we’ve tried almost everything. Stand outs are Fatima’s Thighs (soon to be your thighs! If I ever bemoan the 6″ I’ve added to my waist and hips – each, mind you – since my early 20s, I can look at this post and know I’ve only myself to blame) & the Honey cake, & the gingerbread – oh the gingerbread, so light and fluffy and spicy. Eeeeee!!

Tanya from Stay for Tea and I have been trying to make a date to go here and continue the tasting extravaganza. We will have to go soon!

9 times 9

2273329323_79141c17321. Aspen ~ A multimedia magazine of the arts published by Phyllis Johnson from 1965 to 1971. Each issue came in a customized box filled with booklets, phonograph recordings, posters, postcards — one issue even included a spool of Super-8 movie film. Be sure to read Letters from Vali in no. 9.

2. Annie Besant ~  fought for causes starting with freedom of thought, women’s rights, secularism, birth control, Fabian socialism and workers’ rights.

3. TED ~ The annual conference now brings together the world’s most fascinating thinkers and doers, who are challenged to give the talk of their lives. The site makes the best talks and performances from TED available to the public, for free.

4. Murray Bookchin ~ was an American libertarian socialist, political and social philosopher, speaker and writer.  Bookchin was the founder of the social ecology movement.

5. Akashic records ~ One explanation of the Knowing.

6. Jung on Synchronicity and the Paranormal ~ takes the coincidence of events in space and time as meaning something more than mere chance, namely, a peculiar interdependence of objective events among themselves as well as with the subjective (psychic) states of the observer or observers.

7. The Dollar Dreadful Family Library ~ There is something to be found for all, be it occult adventures, mysterious crimes, woodsmen, foreign lands, or domestic disputes!

8. Esalen ~ a non-profit organization that has been devoted to the exploration of human potential since the 1960’s.

9. Greenpeace / New Economy ~ a great jumping off point for discussion of a new economic model, as we have clearly reached the end of a growth economy. High quality artisan crafts, barter, & local economies ahoy!

bread & puppet prizes

Growing up in Vermont meant summer at Bread & Puppet’s Domestic Resurrection Circus. It was an important part of the formative years of my life, visually, politically, and socially. I was exposed to communal camping, food, working together, art on a scale I hadn’t imagined before, and life life life. We’d camp all weekend, bring jewelery I’d made (under the disturbing moniker of Abruptly Naked Gerbils Who Were Formerly Wearing Hats — ah, my 14 year old self was an odd one) to sell on blankets in the sun, swap for pretty stones & crocheted goodies.  We’d ramble into the woods, bathe in the creek, freezing cold mountain water.  The Circus ended in 1998, after party kids changed the atmosphere from one of community& art & harmony to something dangerous. But the museum is still in VT, and performances happen all over all summer. John Bell wrote a really fantastic history of the Circus and it’s closing, please read it!

More & larger images here, from the museum in Glover, VT.

OK! So…my first giveaway. I ordered my regular Bread & Puppet calendar, and they sent me some extra prizes. So much goodness. These 2 lovely & heart-bursting prints could be yours, just post a comment & then I choose randomly. Uh, maybe when I have more than…5 comments. That’s how it works, right? It’s nice also if you maybe say some nice things or share some pretty memory. Tit for tat!


The large print is 11 x 17 and the little one is 5 x 7.

Madame Yevonde

I love coming across groundbreaking female artists from the past, it’s so refreshing and inspiring!

By 1921 Madame Yevonde had become a well-known and respected portrait photographer. In the early 1930s, Yevonde began experimenting with colour photography. The introduction of colour photography was not universally popular; indeed photographers and public alike were so used to black-and-white pictures that early reaction to the new process tended toward the hostile. Yevonde, however, was hugely enthusiastic about it and spent countless hours in her studio experimenting with how to get the best results.

Her use of color, subject matter, and style influence can still be seen today. The following are all from the 1930’s!





Isn’t she lovely? I want to make friends with her & lie around and read together!


More images here!

we find our histories

I spent the long weekend in San Diego, as my mother is there for a month taking care of her parents. For me, being around family is surreal – we are not “family people” inherently, and witnessing behaviours and being around this curious tribe that looks like you and acts like you is strange but enlightening. It was good, a good trip. I have really been feeling blessed these days.

I did manage to snag some amazing treats while down there, from an estate sale around the corner & also family bits that were plied onto me by my Nana.


The shearling 1930s coat is from the estate sale. It was perfect for my strange feverish flight home, in Long Beach you get on the plane on the tarmac with a stairway, so glamorous. It’s very Myrna Loy in the Thin Man. The coat, not the plane. Though you never know.
Tweed cap, estate sale.
Kid gloves, estate sale.
The typewriter, my uncle’s, he died in 1993. It writes in cursive, which is exactly what I have been wanting for aaagggeess. I am in raptures over it & really glad to have something of his. Maybe he will send me messages on it? When he died,  I’d have dreams that he was calling from the beyond but I was too scared to answer the phone in the dream as I Knew It Was A True Thing. Now, I wish I had.
Dominos, my grandfathers. Ancient bone? Ivory? Again raptures. I’ve been wanting to play dominoes again since my birthday. Now I just need Oakland friends. And domino tea parties.
The Polaroid Land Cam was my grandfathers. I may need to splurge on at least one pack of film.
I also grabbed 2 family photo albums, one from 1917 and one from 1944. They were disintegrating and wedged in a closet.  One amusing moment ~ my grandfather has piles of rocks and driftwood and feathers everywhere, just tiny collections and vignettes,  and my Nana was angry about them being everywhere. My mom laughed and just pointed at me, knowing that I do the same.  When he is gone, I will go to the house and collect those tiny piles.