Turning 50, With Gratitude.

It’s not every day one turns 50, and on the night before my birthday—which was on Monday the 19th—I wanted to do something special to commemorate. The eve of an occasion is most exciting to me.

I wanted to celebrate my birthday like the Spaniards, who prepare food for their friends and invite them over to their house. I decide on preparing four different kinds of tortilla española, so I consulted with Bubi and Alex as to the variations they prefer.

I finally decided to make four varieties: regular onion, ham and cheese, soy chorizo and Cubanella pepper. I was inspired by stories Dominic and Tony had told me of Camino de Santiago cooking and so I also included a lentil and vegetable soup in the menu.

At the crack of dawn on Sunday, I got up to prepare a Duncan Hines layer cake. I had bought a box of the red velvet variety at Key Food Thursday evening and a container of Betty Crocker buttercream frosting. I was a bit nervous about baking the cake, as I hadn’t done so in a long time. I remembered baking box cakes as a kid in Puerto Rico

Following the instructions on the box exactly, I was able to get the layers baked and set them on trivets to cool off.

Van got to the Ranch at around noon and we went to Key Food under the rain. The ingredients list was rather simple and we breezed through the grocery shopping. We hurried back home and proceeded to unmold and ice the cake.

One of the layers had baked a bit lopsided, so we cut the uneven mound with a bread knife and more or less made the layer level. I iced the top of that layer so the frosting would glue the pieces together and then frosted the cake once the second layer was in place.

Van had brought some pepitas, marcona almonds, roasted bell peppers and dried sour cherries from Fairway. One thing I forgot on my shopping list was a gel frosting pen so Scooter could draw my portrait on the cake, but Van had the brilliant idea of decorating it with the dried cherries, in a pattern that would split the cake into fifths—a perfect representation of the five decades of life I was commemorating. (Scooter’s idea of drawing a portrait on a cake would materialize very soon, later on that very same week… More on that later…) Van added five hand-dipped beeswax pink candles that Scooter had given me for the cake and voilá…it looked perfect and homey.

Chopping and dicing, we got the vegetables ready for the lentil soup and put them all in the pot. Once they were simmering, Van helped cut the potatoes, which I diligently fed into the food processor to turn them into thin slices.

After scrambling about four dozens of eggs and adding ingredients, one by one, the omelets came out of the frittata pan that Michael and Kats had given me for another birthday a few years before. As the afternoon wore on, they seemed to come out puffier and thicker, and Van got the last of the hors d’oeuvres ready for serving.

Once all the food was ready, I changed into my birthday outfit. For the occasion, I wore a party dress Scooter made, a favorite piece of mine, full of monastic flair and gothic pastiche

To keep the continuity of celebrations, I wore Scooter’s dress over a black velvet dress Phyphie had given me three years ago for my birthday, one that used to belong to her late wife. I also wore my Jean Paul Gaultier/Alain Mikli frames.

I cinched the dress with the rope Scooter included in the design and was ready for the evening. Idan and Abel arrived soon after. Kats, Tony, Freddy, Scooter, Johnny and Runn arrived within minutes of each other. So happy!

As the guests arrived, the video for “Cheers Then” by Bananarama was playing on my vintage white Sony Trinitron.

I was tickled by customized gift wraps! Dietmar, who arrived a bit later, used the sleeve of a Paul Smith shirt as a wrapper (which I will use to customize a shirt); Scooter used a zipper to wrap a felt-stickered box and Abel and Idan painted their own gift wrap and card.

I set out the tortillas with pretty wooden toothpicks, and paper soup bowls and cups. A YouTube playlist I had put together—titled ‘50’—with favorite music videos from my lifetime so far, carried on playing.

Dominic texted me from Iceland, sending blessings, love, and a picture of a clock store in Reykjavík, an image both cryptic and appropriate which lingered in my mind all night long.

We spent the birthday eve in my favorite way, watching music videos, eating yummy finger foods and enjoying wonderful company.

"Happy Birthday" was sung and I blew out the candles; we watched videos like "I Could Be Happy" by Altered Images, "Destination Unknown" by Missing Persons and "The Perfect Kiss" by New Order as we ate the cake.

Later on, good nights were said and Kats, Freddy, Van and I walked outside. Kats and Freddy got into a cab, and Van and I went to the Parkside Lounge to see some performances at Sweetie’s birthday party, which Idan and Abel had told me about. Van and I met them there and sat near the stage to see some great numbers. It was heartwarming to see Lord Warg there; he gave me a huge birthday hug.

I was feeling grateful for such a heart-centered time. Epiphanies flowed as the evening progressed, remembering life experiences and all the people who have shared them with me…catalysts in the name of blossoming. I thank you all!


Sarinova glass and Ru Titley copper bones .

More of Summer Sarinova’s incredibly beautiful hand made glass feathers combined with my copper inlay bone amulets .

All pics are shot by Summer in the stunning New Mexico landscape.

Summer currently has a sale on some her gorgeous work see here  http://sarinovaglass.com/shop

 and you can follow her Tumblr blog here http://sarinovaglass.tumblr.com


Versatility Is a Scooter LaForge “Suit,” Part 2: Details

I wanted to present these images which present up close the wonderful details, textures and color of Scooter’s “suit.”

The daemon on burlap, he explained to me, was inspired by an early Claes Oldenberg piece. He forwarded me the image which I include here.

The pins on the skirt were gifts from dear friends. Dominic gave me the kilt pin, while Van gave me the industrial one with the “33,” which was used to indicate the thirty-third piece of a garment being assembled on a production line.

I sketched this about 3 years ago for someone. I came across it again, and now we bout to trick it out!!!

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