short hair love affair

Can I just tell you how much I am loving my short bleached hair? Chopping my hair has inspired wardrobe choices as well. I'm dressing more and more for fun and attempting to veer away from boring basic, though my uniform most days is still jeans and a t-shirt. Take these overalls, above. I hesitated over buying them (on super sale), but am so glad I did. They're amazing. When I wear them with my high-top chucks I do feel a little bit like my 6th grade self, but I bet she'd high-five me for my awesome outfit.

Anyhow, back to short hair. Every day I wake up loving it all over again... until it needs to be cut, which is where I'm at now. I'm looking forward to having it reshaped and re-bleached next week. Here are some short haircuts I'm currently smitten with:

And how amazing is this lady's hair? In LOVE.

[images: pinterest]



Last night I finished Jo Baker's intensely readable and richly detailed novel Longbourn. In it, Baker elegantly refocuses the lens of Austen's Pride and Prejudice from the Bennet sisters to the plight of their maid, Sarah, and the inner workings of Longbourn. Behind the scenes at Longbourn there are are clothes to be scrubbed and mended, tea to be served, ladies to be dressed and coiffed, and chamber pots to be carried out and emptied.

I hesitated before cracking open this book, I'll admit. Too often re-imaginings of classics fall sadly short. Either the writing is horribly off, or the plot veers to sickly sweet romance or zombies. Longbourn exceeded my expectations. While honoring Austen and the world she created at Longbourn, Baker successfully airs the day-to-day drudgery and maintenance of that world without the original story ever becoming tarnished. Instead, we are privy to secrets, conversations, and facets of the Bennet household that enrich the story and amuse the reader at every turn. 

All in all a wonderful read...

NPR Q&A with Jo Baker


tara donovan's cups

Untitled, 2003
Styrofoam Cups, Hot Glue
Dimensions Variable
Ace Gallery Los Angeles, 2005


the plot is not my own

I haven't read poetry in a long time. Not because I don't love it, I do. 
Most of it.

It's more that most poetry doesn't fulfill me in the way that fiction does. It doesn't transport me so completely. And at this point, if what I'm reading doesn't transport me, doesn't transfix and insert me into the easy machinations of the story, I don't have the head space for it. I want to be transported, taken into another world, another life.

It's not that I don't love my life. I do. But at the end of the day, I want to experience something else, something fresh and unknown. Even if the story or the characters aren't fresh, they're new to me. The plot is not my own.

But tonight Djuna pulled Turneresque by Elizabeth Willis off the shelf and brought it over for me to read to her. This is her new thing. She brings me books, plonks herself in my lap, and sits still for 5, 10, 15 second stretches before she's off again, in search of the next book. (We are raising another reader for sure).

So as I flipped through pages of my old poetry teacher's book, I happened upon a poem that reminded me of being in my early twenties again. Of that feeling that I was living with all the unknown ahead of me. Every day an adventure, every book or movie or song a life I might live or emulate.

untitled by Elizabeth Willis

The day left off with a kind of singing "bang." Golden-
rod in a small sea-like air, specific and unbroken. I cannot
favor hunger or its alternatives. I cannot describe salt. In
a parallel universe does anything intersect the confused
blossoming blueness of a wall that is not sea, not golden-
rod, but the paper fastenings of you, standing against it?
I favor concrete between our rage and its mirage. Its
broken line. Catch the flying saucer but spit out its metal
mystery. Adore the big green nothing of the past, the
rationing of calm late in the century, like the arches of a
brick heart, letting go.

[image: Joseph Mallord William Turner (1775-1851), The Burning of the Houses of Parliament, from Old Palace Yard, with Westminster Abbey, c. 1834; watercolor and gouache with scraping-out and stopping-out on paper, 55 x 80]


happy birthday, djuna baby

Djuna on her first birthday
A year ago, after a quick 3 hour labor, our Djuna was born. I have been thinking about that birth experience all day. After weeks of waiting and getting increasingly tired of being pregnant, I was joyful to finally be in labor. I felt powerful, so different than when I gave birth to Stella. Giving birth isn't easy, but looking back I can remember starting to push and thinking I can do this, my body is strong, I can do this...

In some ways that ease and assurance has carried over into Djuna's first year. She is very much the second child. There is less intense one-on-one time with her because our attentions are always so fractured.

I hear myself say "she'll be fine" all the time after falls, face-plants, and crying jags. It's a nonchalance that only comes when you've seen a first child survive the mishaps of the first year and beyond. "Let her figure it out," is another phrase I find myself repeating.

She's showing signs of being more independent than Stella was at one. Part of this is due to the fact that she's been walking for two months already (a full 3 months sooner than Stella).

Djuna (Djunes, Djunie, Djuna baby, Pooms) loves greeting people with a smile and a wave, watching dogs, and gazing out our front windows. She is generally pretty content, but is quick to tell us when she doesn't like or want something. She likes swinging and exploring at the park. She spits out a lot of foods, but seems to dig cherries and sausage. She loves Stella but usually wiggles away from her hugs. She blows pretty sweet kisses.

Happy birthday, Djunes!



We're back!

This photo was taken at 7:30am at the park yesterday. The girls woke us up at 3am and refused to go back to sleep, despite our many attempts. By the time we got to the park we'd already eaten breakfast, stopped for coffee and croissants (Stella must be going through another growth spurt because she is eating every 30 minutes) in the city, and dropped Jordan off at work.

This morning they woke up at 3:40am. I managed to get Djuna back to sleep, but Stella and I were up eating breakfast again at 4:30am.

Jet lag is no joke. It is going to be another LONG day.

Have a lovely weekend!


be back soon... and friday links

Kara Rosenlund's "Sea," via Cup of Jo
We are headed to the south of France and Berlin for two weeks, so the old blog will be neglected for a bit while we are away. I am excited to get away with family, and visit with dear friends we haven't seen in awhile, but I'm totally dreading the flights and traveling with a newly-walking toddler. When do vacations with kids become relaxing?

See you in a few weeks!

Pan-roasted chicken with harissa chickpeas.

My friends Melissa on SFGirlByBay!

Remember Sarah? Her site, Speed4Sarah, just launched. Consider donating to help find a cure for ALS.

One of Stella's favorite activities? Taking photos.

I'm not grossed out by armpit hair on women, are you? Truthfully, I often grow mine out, and I find it quite sexy on other women.

How Powerful Is Your Passport?

This pretty much sums up my daily uniform.

How a woman's plan to kill herself helped her family grieve.

Josey Baker Builds a Bakery

(Happy Birthday to my Dad!!)


djuna, 11 months

Djuna, 11 months
Djuna's first birthday just a month away, can you believe it?!

It's funny to look back at this post and think about those last weeks before Djuna was born, when it was still just the 3 of us.

Djuna at 11 months is walking and getting into everything. Her vocabulary consists of uh oh, Dada, and Mama, in that order. She loves seeing dogs, but seems to be allergic to them. She's still plagued by eczema on her hands and ankles, despite my heroic attempts (they have helped some) at excluding dairy, nuts, and tomatoes from my diet, and putting ointments on her throughout the day. She has 8 teeth, and an underbite to boot. She likes waving goodbye. She loves watching, toddling after, and touching Stella. She is watchful and a bit serious but has a smile that lights up the room.


@large: ai weiwei on alcatraz

I would brave the Alcatraz crowds for this.

From For-Site Foundation:

“The misconception of totalitarianism is that freedom can be imprisoned. This is not the case. When you constrain freedom, freedom will take flight and land on a windowsill.”
— Ai Weiwei
The Chinese artist Ai Weiwei is internationally renowned both as a maker of potent and provocative art and as a passionate advocate for human rights and freedom of expression. His art and ideas find a compelling new context in this exhibition of works created specifically for Alcatraz — a 19th-century military fortress, a notorious federal penitentiary, a site of Native American heritage and protest, and now one of America’s most visited national parks.
Ai’s sculpture, sound, and mixed-media works will occupy four locations in the former prison: the New Industries Building, A Block, the Hospital, and the Dining Hall. With the exception of the Dining Hall, these spaces are usually off limits to the public, but all will be open throughout the run of this unprecedented exhibition. Revealing unexpected perspectives on Alcatraz and its layered legacy, @Large prompts visitors to consider the implications of incarceration and the possibilities of art as an act of conscience.
For Ai, these are not just artistic themes; they are facts of life. A vocal critic of the Chinese government, Ai was secretly detained by Chinese authorities for 81 days in 2011 on charges of tax evasion, and is still not permitted to leave China. As a result, Ai is currently unable to visit Alcatraz. He is developing the artwork for the exhibition from his studio in Beijing, with the help of the FOR-SITE Foundation and a team of collaborators from organizations including Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch.
@Large runs September 27, 2014 – April 26, 2015 at Alcatraz Island 

[photo: for-site foundation]


the week in brief + friday fun links

Crab Cove, Alameda
The week in brief:
Djuna is walking (if 6 steps count... I think that's walking). Stella, out of the blue, started drawing stick figures (heads with eyes, a nose, and mouth, arms, and legs) yesterday. Jordan is flying home today from a 5-day business trip (hurray!). Me and my friend Shayna are always in sync. My Dad finishes up his second AIDS ride in LA tomorrow (again, hurray!). It's going to be a good weekend.

A few fun links...

On happiness

The arugula in my garden is providing us with salad greens every day of the week. I'm adding Ashley's Easy Squash Salad for Summer to the menu for next week.

Chef's Night Out with State Bird Provisions

Is Your Free Time "Contaminated"?

One of my fave Instagram feeds

Nonsense Names: The Rise of Restaurant Gibberish

Why We Laugh: The fascinating science behind your giggle fits


oh, kevin drew

Kevin Drew + Feist + Zach Galifianakis = awesomeness

Chris DeVille of Stereogum:
For a certain sort of indie-rock fan — specifically people who were in college when Broken Social Scene’s You Forgot It In People came out, people like me — the sight of Kevin Drew and Leslie Feist playfully singing together in an empty ballroom is enough to make your entire week. Funny Or Die’s video for Drew’s Darlings jam “You In Your Were” delivers on the front while weaving in a comedic storyline about Zach Galifianakis choreographing a dance routine to help Drew have a hit on par with “The Macarena” and “Gangnam Style.” That whole ordeal is pretty funny, and when Feist shows up, her chemistry with Drew elicits some serious tingles. In other words, the video is overflowing with positive emotions. Do yourself a favor and watch it.


china's ghost towns

Marketplace: "An empty residential complex in the city of Kangbashi, Inner Mongolia. The city, part of the region known as Ordos, is built for a population the size of Pittsburgh's, but for years has sat empty. It's one of China's many 'ghost towns' built by ambitious local governments eager to report high GDP growth by any means necessary."
After listening to this Marketplace piece on China's ghost towns on Monday, I had to go online and take a look at the photos. Go listen and a take look...

[photo: Rob Schmitz/Marketplace]


pizza friday + links

Elise Joy's The Best is Yet to Come
It's Friday which means it is homemade pizza night at our house; the pizza dough is rising as I write this. Stella loves "Pizza Friday" as she gets to help assemble the pizzas, meaning she usually eats more pieces of cheese and olives than actually make it on her pizza. Tonight I'm making a pizza bianco (without the Parmesan) for myself with prosciutto, and arugula from our garden. Yum.

Happy weekend, lovelies.


life is a glorious thing + friday links

It has been an emotional week. Last Friday night a friend's husband died unexpectedly. There are no words to describe the immeasurable loss and subsequent outpouring of love that we have witnessed for her and their young son and their family over the past seven days. His death has made me pause often, tell those around me that I love them, and hold tightly onto my family and friends.

Life is a fragile, precious, glorious thing. It is good to be reminded. 

Happy weekend.

I love Sophie Calle. Forever.

The perfect weekend bag.

I am usually one to roll my eyes and make fake gagging sounds at food restrictions, but now that I've gone dairy, nut, and tomato free for Djuna's sake I'm actually considering buying this cookbook. Crazy? Maybe.

I found my perfect jumpsuit. (thanks for the treat, Mom!)

Though I am, and always have been, a morning person, the upside of being a night owl.

[image: Guillaume Ziccarelli; 2014 Sophie Calle/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York, ADAGP, Paris ; Paula Cooper Gallery and Galerie Perrotin]


trip anticipation

We were on the plane en route to France and Turkey for our honeymoon when I turned to Jordan and said: "I'm already feeling so sad about the end of our trip... Where should we go next?!" The trip had barely begun and I was already mourning the return home.

I am a planner. I love to create itineraries, think about the food we will eat, the art and architecture we will see, and imagine myself in a new or well-loved far-off place. I pack and unpack my suitcase 10 times in my head before my suitcase is even opened. I read guidebooks and articles, research restaurants and coffee shops, map out unique stores, bookstores, and boutiques. That is, I did all of those things before having kids. It's a little harder now to plan; plans don't often turn out as expected with children. That has been a hard lesson to learn for this planner.

So, of course, I laughed and nodded my head when my Mom pulled out Stephanie Rosenbloom's article What a Great Trip! And I'm Not Even There Yet at our weekly coffee date on Tuesday and said "this is SO US." The article describes us, me and my Mom, perfectly. We relish the anticipation, the longing for travel and new experiences, while the reality, oftentimes, is the trip itself is mired down by the day-to-day: the weather, exhaustion, a bad unplanned meal.
Turns out, there is an art to anticipation. Savoring, said Elizabeth Dunn, an associate professor of psychology at the University of British Columbia and a leading happiness researcher, is an active, not passive, process. “It’s better to immerse yourself,” she said. Reading novels and poetry, watching films and television programs, browsing fashion and design blogs that are either from or about the place you plan to visit encourages you to not only learn about your destination, but to dream, providing some concrete details for your mind to latch on to. It may sound counterintuitive, but this building up of positive expectations and excitement actually helps our minds smooth over any minor discrepancies if reality doesn’t quite measure up to the fantasy. “We’re less likely to be bothered by these little holes if we build up our expectations ahead of time,” Professor Dunn said. “So go ahead and assume it’s going to be wonderful.”
What about you? Do your travels live up to the ones you imagine and create in your head prior to the trip itself?

[image: cara lou of we do iceland]


goodbye to all that...hair

I am in seriously in love with my new haircut.

After years of living with and loving long hair, it was time for a change. I showed my hairdresser, Alise, a photo of Michelle Williams for inspiration. Alise worked her magic.

And now I'm ready for summer.


book/shop oakland

Read instead... screen print from an original watercolor painting by BOOK/SHOP founder Erik Heywood
BOOK/SHOP is an intimate, well-curated book store/experience in Alley 49 next to Temescal Alley. As well as first editions and other fine volumes, they carry bookish prints, lovely book bags, and other book-related paraphernalia.

Book/Shop book bag, $15
"The Habit of Reading" print, $18
At the end of March they started featuring five new arrivals on their site a week which are only available for online purchase. A few recent gems:
Richard Brautigan's Trout Fishing in America, The Pill Versus the Springhill Mine Disaster and In Watermelon Sugar. First Edition of this printing. $250
Claude Cahun, Photographe. First Edition. $200
Adrienne Rich's Of Woman Born. First Edition. $35.
BOOK/SHOP blog. And Instagram.

[all photos: book/shop]



I'm on week two of going dairy-free after Djuna had a bad reaction (mad hives) to touching cheese last Monday. She's had chronic eczema, on her hands and feet/ankles, for months and it had gotten worse in the past few weeks. She is still primarily breastfeeding and seems to have little interest in eating food; she won't even open her mouth for me if I try to feed her. In an effort to improve her eczema I've given up nuts too as I worry that almond milk and the other nuts in my diet might be exacerbating the issue as well.

My morning coffee is now an Americano, and I am eating lots of protein, vegetables, and fruit to keep my energy up throughout the day. Without dairy in my body, I actually feel pretty great. If Djuna's skin does improve, I will give it up while she continues breastfeeding, which could mean being dairy-free for two years or more. I have even toyed with the idea of cutting dairy from my diet on a more permanent basis. Though, I do love me some cheese. And ice cream. And buttered toast.

Needless to say, I'm on the hunt for tasty, dairy-free, nut-free recipes. If you have any, send them my way.

ulla johnson style

I'm loving the Ulla Johnson spring 2014 collection big time.


a few friday links

Manhattan Dolls
The Manhattan Dolls
My sister got married on Monday! To help the newlyweds celebrate we surprised them with a "singing telegram" of sorts. Three Manhattan Dolls showed up to their apartment on Monday night and serenaded them with My Funny Valentine, Fly Me to the Moon, Apple Blossom Time, and Blue Skies. Sweet, right?

This Barbara Ehrenreich interview on Fresh Air about her new book, Living with a Wild God: A Nonbeliever's Search for the Truth about Everything, was interesting: "The religions that fascinate me and could possibly tempt me are not the ones that involve faith or belief. They're the ones that offer you the opportunity to know the spirit or deity. ... I think most readily of West-African-derived religions which involve ecstatic rituals where people actually apprehend the spirit or the God or whatever that they are invoking and that they are trying to contact — I have respect for that. But don't ask me to believe anything."

I'm feeling the need for a change and have been coveting this hair/cut for awhile now. To perm or not to perm. I can't believe I'm even writing that...

These honey mustard roasted chicken thighs are so easy and delicious. I've been eating tons of greens of late; I've got my eye of some of these main-dish salads.

The Depth of the Problem. The ocean is a vast, deep place. Via Mary.

Happy Friday!


covering the classics

Shayna recently introduced me to Creative Action Network, "a marketplace for original, visual, meaningful work, crowdsourced from a passionate community of artists & designers around the world." She just finished a Muir Woods poster for their See America campaign.

They also have a Covering the Classics campaign, wherein designers can submit their cover interpretations of classic books; you can buy the book (printed by Harvard Bookstore) in paperback with the design you like, or buy it as a poster. Here are some standout choices:
Jack London's Call of the Wild; cover by Michael van Kekem
Bram Stoker's Dracula; cover by Steve St. Pierre
Jules Verne's Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea; cover by Darrell Stevens
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes; cover by Ioannis Fetanis
Jonathan Swift's Gulliver's Travels; cover by Naomi Sloman
Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter; cover by MrFurious