FunBan2019: No Instagram (for me) or videogames (for him) for a week!

Watercolor of Chris playing The Witcher a year ago
Chris playing The Witcher a year ago

My partner Chris and I have challenged ourselves to the impossible this week: No Instagram for me, and no video games for Chris. (For real, though. Bloodborne was giving me nightmares, even though I only caught glimpses of it from the corner of my eye).

How has this FunBan2019 affected us so far?

For Chris, he seems a little more irritable, but he’s getting a lot more reading done!

For me, that means I go to bed an hour or two earlier and that the apartment is a lot tidier. Because what else is there to do?

I always used ~self expression~ as the justification for my Instagramful life. But who was I kidding? In reality, I was just sitting on the floor, scrolling endlessly through pictures posted by the only people who post, then getting up to go to the toilet to continue scrolling through more pictures. I was lurking without even thinking about it. And that made me feel like a huge creep.

So what do I want to do with this blog? Aside from the fact that it’ll distract me from the Instagram-shaped hole in my life, I want to share a little slice of my life with you. Whether you are my twin Justina, my college roomie Anna, Chris, or an Internet stranger, thank you for reading this.

Topics that I may write about:

  • My blood pressure story. 😭
  • How/why I started sewing.
  • How to elope. 10/10 would recommend.
  • Where on earth to begin with sewing.
  • My life. You know, livejournal style, but less angsty. (More angry?)

🙏

I’m an April Fool 🐰

Aliens for breakfast? Naw, it’s just me.

Yesterday I went to Kate’s new place in Oakland to join a BBQ. Her roommate set up the yard into this magnificent garden that grows all kinds of food. It even has chickens!

I met Julia’s friend Emma, who’s a chef and teaches cooking who took me around the garden and showed me edible flowers like borage and nasturtium, which are good to have in any garden because they attract bugs (nasturtiums taste like horseradish/arugula). We chomped on the flowers and walked around and she told me all about what plants grow best on a deck. For my own reference: padrone peppers (harvest when they are the size of thumbs), basil, thyme, diva cucumbers, strawberries, arugula, kale, rosemary, cherry tomatoes. And I lay on a hammock and talked to Caroline and Julia, we talked about how it’s so strange and life affirming to have known someone in college and to see what we have all become. We also commiserated over stolen bikes.

Here are the chickens (I imagine their names are Yin and Yang) hanging out:

Today Chris and I went to the Renegade Craft Fair, and I saw Virginie Millefiori again! Her stuff is soooo cute, I got matching popsicle necklaces for me and Justina. They’re understatedly whimsical and I want to buy all.

And I also found art by Naoshi Sunae, who makes the cutest sand art and prints and DIY kits. HER WORK SPOKE TO ME in a way that no one else’s ever has!!! So I bought a bunch of prints and buttons. She has twin sisters too!

These are the prints I got!!!! It’s raining Pockys! Hallelujah! They look like felt but it’s the texture from the sand.

We also got some concrete plant vessel thingies from Concrete Geometric.

Also this week I finished my Baby Bobbi Bear!! Now I must pack it up and send it to its intended recipient. 

I am sad to report that I have not drawn in several weeks, as I have been occupied with binge watching The Americans knitting my bear, but I think I will go back to it because you can never draw too many Wanchai Cats.

Also!! Our crates have been waterproofed and now it’s time for planting. WATCH OUT FOR TROWEL MONSTER!

I am killing the cilantro plant.

What’s he reading?

Oh, it’s only Chris’ annotated copy of Bountiful Container.

Planting Thyme/Time.

Please survive the transplant, plants.

To my one reader (Justina), stay tuned for more plant posts!

Love,
Jess

God gave you a mouth, it’s not just for eating.

I have decided to start recording what I do, if only to convince myself that My Life Is Spontaneous And Fun And Filled With Making And Friends And Love And Other Life Affirming Things. And to post my Critter Sightings. And perhaps to convince my friends that their lives are also interesting and worth writing about! So, here goes.

But before I begin! This is my brilliant friend Sara and Jenni’s wedding weekend and I wish I was in New Orleans celebrating with them but I will unleash myself on them some other time. 🙂 Sara and Jenni, thousands of happinesses to you.

And now I shall recollect this weekend. And the last, too.

This weekend

Saturday: Most of the day I stayed home and started knitting a Baby Bobbi Bear. Recipient TBD (well, I know who the recipient is but I don’t want to ruin the surprise!). If I were to name this bear I would call it Butterbear. I have many ends to sew in (I cry yarn tears). WAIT! This Crying Baby Bobbi Bear that Justina made (it was only in this state for a few minutes I am sure) perfectly captures how I feel about sewing in the ends. 

This is Baby Bobbi Bear’s Alpaca brother that I knitted some time last year as a prototype and now he sleeps with me with Tiger.

I also got some wine crates from Craigslist, which a very nice guy named Ben dropped off with his adorable Boxer, and which Chris will repurpose into planters once we properly waterproof them.

After I knitted most of Butterbear’s torso I went to the Marina for Su’s birthday and died a little bit inside from Marina exposure, but I think I’m OK now because I had good conversations with people.

In the evening Chris and I went to Sunflower for dinner (this and Chez Maman are my favorite restaurants in Potrero Hill), then we went to see a heartbreaking, surreal play at Crowded Fire Theater called You For Me For You by Mia Chung about two sisters in North Korea who are starving. One is ready to out of the past but the other one has a harder time letting go (too many demons) and falls into a well and meets a bear and has to paint leaves green and stuff. But now I wonder: How does starvation and desperation upend reality? How does being full sate us until believing that we are OK?

Today: Went to Sang’s house for a BBQ (Met Ichigo the Shiba! and lots of cool humans too) and stopped by Flora Grubb Gardens again to get succulents and soil and kale and stuff. I made Chris order me a cappuccino from the Ritual Coffee there at 4:59 so that it would still be warm when I got there. (This blog post is Ritual fueled).

On our way home I said to Chris: This feels like Rainbow Conditions, and sure enough, behold:

Here’s Chris repotting a succulent.

And while we are on the topic of DIY, here is a floor lamp that I helped Chris resolder (my first time typing that word) into something shorter so that we can use it in our little gnome house.

 

 

Last weekend

On Saturday, Chris and I went to the New Parkway Theater in Oakland to catch a screening of the film Finding Kukan as part of CAAMfest

The filmmaker, Robin Lung, spent seven years trying to unearth the mystery Li Ling-Ai, the uncredited female producer behind the Academy Award-winning movie Kukan, who devoted herself to showing Americans the suffering of the Chinese. This was pretty significant at the time, when there was a lot of anti Chinese sentiment in the US—the Chinese Exclusion Act wasn’t repealed until 1943, and California only repealed anti miscegenation laws banning interracial marriage in 1948.

The most heartbreaking thing about the film was that for years Robin worked three blocks away from Ling-Ai’s house, but Robin only started making the film after Ling-Ai passed away so she never got to talk to her herself! Even in the footage of Ling Ai in her 90s (?) she’s a spirited, candid woman who says what she thinks. I think we could all be a little more like Ling Ai. Robin made some moving remarks about telling stories. As Ling Ai’s mother told her: “God gave you a mouth, it’s not just for eating.”

I tried to talk to Robin afterwards but got too starstruck/tongue-tied to say anything meaningful, OOPS.  So I leave you instead with this grainy, poorly zoomed-in photo taken from my office chair in the balcony of New Parkway.

On Sunday, we headed over to Kirby Cove to celebrate Michael’s birthday after I made Chris eat this for breakfast. Note the SURVIVOR mugs, thanks Kathy and Jim! 😀

Note to selves: Don’t miss the bus.

Highlighter flowers.

Afterwards we went to Flora Grubb Gardens to pick up some plants for our new home. This is the King (Queen?) of Chris’ new happy place.

Oh and here is a video that Facebook reminded me that I posted last year.

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