Beware the Ides of March

I put the Ides on my calendar each year like it’s a holiday or special event that I must remember. I don’t really know the exact reason this date in history so intrigues me? Perhaps, it’s that it’s so very close to my Birthday and I some how identify with Caesar…haha, my greatness, go ahead faun. 😛

But really! I read Julius Caesar freshmen year in high school and I was totally hooked. “Et tu Brute?” how could you Brutus! You were his friend! What a betrayal ahhhhh!

So tonight when you snuggle up with your House of Cards, drinking a glass of Chianti, slice of pizza neopolitano in hand, reflect on the merits of friendship.

Luv and Hugs,

Carazona

Advertisements

That Makes me a Rat

giphy

Just once I want my birthday to be like an 80’s movie…right!

Well it’s not but I’ve had a lot of fun especially on my Birthday. And since it’s coming up and also it’s Chinese New Year why not combine the two?

Do you know what year you were born in. Well I’m the year of the Rat, yeppers, I’m a rat. Below is the chart if you want to know what you are…


And up until like a few years ago I didn’t even know what that meant outside of those paper menus at China Garden in small town Kansas. You know the ones that say each year and show a picture that is inevitably covered in cream cheese and syrupy plum sauce from the not so authentic crab rangoon..but again I digress, so I heard the story of the animals in the zodiac and my friend Ilin (from Taiwan mind you) told me why it’s sooo awesome to be a rat…we’re smart you see, also resourceful, so eat that!…can I get mine with those crispy noodles?.. love those ;).

So here’s the story so you can learn how your animal is not as awesome as the rat, who is cunning…

the_story_of_the_chinese_zodiac_printable_460_0

Chinese Zodiac Animals

I would like to make a side note that it’s sad that China’s rich heritage, culture and literature has been condensed to a paper menu for this blog 😳 … I’m sorry, I really do appreciate it and want to learn more. That’s why I’m planning on going to the heritage festival this weekend so I can learn more…and eat more he he.

And since this is a umm errr a fashion blog, here is a photo from 1940’s Beijing, PRIOR to the Cultural Revolution where like everyone dressed in beige jumpsuits and had page boy hair cuts..

40's Bejing

HAPPY NEW YEAR Monkeys!!! (2016 is your year my darling, I’m not calling you a monkey) ❤ ❤ ❤

Hugs and Cuddles,

Carazona

Cowgirl

cowgirl

So I was born and raised in the wild west of Arizona, more like urban cowgirl because I hate the smell of manure and I am deathly afraid of horses (ever since Tumbleweed, Leigh’s ill tempered and potbellied pony of a horse bit my arm at 9…shaking fist…seriously it left a bruise a the size of an orange!). I swore upon leaving at 18 that I would never move back, swore . I had been drug up and down Indian reservations and to the Herd Museum so many times I can’t count. I can identify Zuni deities and Hopi hairstyles for Pete’s sake! And now I’m back, I did what I swore I’d never do and I love native american art, Sonoran mexican food and I want to curl up under a freakn’ Navajo rug and watch the sunset.

I blame this picture from my preschool. Two year old Cara in a studio atop a pony, fringed chaps and vest. I especially like the pink bandanna, nice touch. Imprinted with the southwest, I return to my urban roots to ogle purple mountains majesty on the horizon and really wide avenues. This is home.

It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

…When you’re Andy Williams (totally stole that from a grumpy cat meme) no judgement.

I stayed with my Grandparents for a few days earlier this month and had a rock awesome time watching shows, cooking, looking through 1960’s and 70’s photos of my parents, here are a few gems (he he he)

In addition Grandmother and I gorged ourselves on holiday television programming. The all-time highlight was a Christmas Special on PBS, The Best of Andy Williams Christmas.

IMG_20151127_112633

Now when I told my dear Mother that I was watching this, eyes unblinking like a child at the mantle waiting on Santa Christmas Eve, I could literally hear her roll her eyes, much to my surprise she asked, “Cara, it’s so campy, how can you handle it?” to which I replied “That’s the beauty of it! It’s so saccharin sweet that it’s authentic, Andy Williams literally believed everything he was singing! To Andy it was the most wonderful time of the year and it was beginning to look a lot like Christmas! His smile and cheese was authentic, how can I handle it, I love it because it is truly felt, and that warms my heart”.betteandandy2

The other thing is, it’s all being seen with new eyes. I didn’t have this on a B&W in the background of my childhood. The show ended practically a decade before I was born. I didn’t even know Andy Williams was the one singing about Christmas on the radio starting the day after Thanksgiving till the New Year. Watching him talk about the show, his family and the memories they had making it, was a treat.

The sets were as plastic as they come, the costumes over the top, and did I mention his array of matching outfits with his brothers! Hilarious! I am personally fond of the white turtle neck combo.

But that’s the glory of it. I think there’s something in me, maybe even in all the millennial kids that lived through the recession, to want to know it’s going to be ok, that our family will surround us and sing and laugh and dance, that the world isn’t such a scary place, with no jobs and people taking advantage of each other and these awful wars. Maybe if we all watched a little more Andy Williams we’d appreciate it (sorry about the speech, I’ll come down off my soap box now).

Blessings to you and your loved ones this Holiday Season, hold them tight, tell them you love them and sing a few carols for good cheer.

Merry Christmas to you and a Happy New Year!

Peace and Love,

Carazona

P.S. And I know it wasn’t all easy for Andy and his wife apparently she was…well wild, “ran away with that professional skier!” Oh my! Well that’s what Grandmother said anyway 😉

Creeper or Keeper – Lionel Richie’s Hello

Dear whoever posted that ridiculous music video of Lionel Richie singing Hello without the backup. yeah you know who you are…you ruined Adele’s Hello for me.

Yep, having seen this totally awkward vid where Richie is a professor who stocks his community college student around and then she makes a weird clay sculpture of his head and they kiss (ewww) You have to watch this…but remember once seen it can never be unseen…think about it.

So now every time I hear Adele’s Hello, I see the curly 80’s mullet and stashyface of Lionel Richie. Adele’s songs make the people who hear them weep, yes sob uncontrollably at the beauty and pain of her experience and lyrics and rich voice (not to forget her 60’s style, so awesome) but no, no I feel nothing of that, I inappropriately smile and think wow Lionel Richie was a creeper…so thank you, thank you guy who felt the need to post this prior to Adele’s release of Hello.

And in case you missed it there’s some pretty funny parodies out there:

Dancing on the Cieling made this one himself

and Ellen!!!

Way Out West

I took a trip to Tuscan Arizona early this year and wanted to share with you querido my tales of riding and roping in the Old West.Having moved away when I was but a babe, there are things I had forgotten to remember about this place so here they are…

#1: Embroiderer Shirts are Awesome, and I don’t see why everyone isn’t wearing them everyday….
image

#2: Sonoran Mexican Food…the dried beef called Machaca (heavenly voices sing it’s praise!) add it to burritos, enchiladas in eggs sprinkle it on your face, I don’t care what it’s served with, it is dried meaty goodness and nourishes even the most down cast of individuals. nuff said.
image

#3 Quirky (semi-creepy) shop keeper with too many turquoise rings  and looking like he may have toured with the Rolling Stones. His wares, a wide range; from taxidermy rattlers (with a sign hung overhead “Gifts for Men”) to full sized Aztec Warrior costume complete with plumage. A short conversation determined that his ancestors came to the Arizona Territory in 1820 and his favorite band is the Gypsy Kings (very fitting).
image

image

image

#4 Stuff made with old wood and railroad ties…
image

image

#5 Catci  were my favorite childhood friends. Trivia the Saguaro Cactus is only found in the Sonoran Desert which is by far the most sweet smelling of the deserts because of the night air, cooing of the mourning dove and the smell of the creosote bush after it rains.
image

image

Sneak Peek: More to come from this trip including a visit to Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin West!!!
image

Kisses!

Is she or isn’t she?

breakfast_at_tiffanys_02Reflecting on the short story Breakfast at Tiffany’s by Truman Capote and the subtleties that only come out from reading a story instead of watching it on the big screen. Audrey Hepburn, 32 years old when she played the adorable and unattainable Holly Golightly. However, as Capote wrote the character she was to be just 19. How difficult to hide the confidence that comes from 10+ more years of being in the world. 19 is untouched the innocence and also confidence of life still fresh on cheeks and limbs. I no longer see Audrey’s face when I read about Holly and her slightly upturned nose and stylish frocks, fixing a bow tie here or jabbing away at Fred. She is now what Capote painted her to be, like a girl I knew from high school that everyone loved and wanted to be with but disappeared and is more of a legend in our memories.Capote At Home

This is a sad post it seems, perhaps I mourning my 20’s or maybe. what Capote saying about youth and the insatiable character of Holly Golightly is sad?… the beauty of Hepburn embodied and the smiles and fun fresh expressions in those brows rendered… I don’t know still thinking on it. There’s a interwoven tragedy to Capote’s writing, a loss of innocence but beauty of youth too, I was never  good at English or literature for that matter, the book strikes me as more tragic than the movie but I can’t put my finger on it…you’ll just have to read if for yourself dear one, it’s not too long, I know you’ll enjoy it.

Vintage Cookbook: A Letter

Dear Reader,

I address this to you as if writing to you. We should be seated across from eachother speaking in excited and warm conversation, but alas technology and distance separate us so I’ll leave the forces that be and remain in this unconventional method of correspondence between close friends. Have I ever told you about my vintage cook book? No!? Well I do apologize for it is one my dearest and most beloved possessions. The pages are near pristine and though the 3rd ring on the binder refuses to close completely allowing pages to mangle, it is indeed a treasure and I treat it with the up most care.

Gingham Cook Book

My Better Homes and Garden’s Cookbook has page after page of hard to acquire recipes. Not only are they explained simply, the no fuss ingredients and old school style are soo helpful in making food I make tasty really good. The biscuit recipe  saved my life many a time, true story!. They are so light and fluffy and not the overly salty artificial home flavor of so many a biscuit acquired at the chain restaurants. Of course they don’t reheat well but what quick bread is meant to last more than the meal it was prepared for …I mean really? This is food, not a durable consumer good, it should have no shelf life and be enjoyed even savored for it’s brief and purposefullfilled (compound word I just made up) existence, like a masterpiece etched in a sandy beach, it’s enjoyment lasting only in the senses; the beautiful bulbous structures of the mind forever guard it’s enjoyment.

IMG_20150111_101841~2

Simply the food from this little gingham Better Homes Recipe book makes life better. Look here at the delicate crab and Swiss quiche recipe. I have turned to it a thousand times to make an easy bright and satisfying brunch!

The tang of the cheese and sunshine of the lemon zest! Then surprise a hint of dark and earthy from the “dash of ground mace” How exciting! Here is the end product (presentation lacking but the flavor is elegant). I recommend serving it with sliced bosc pear or a frisee with a light vinaigrette. (Also I’ve made some modification, smoke salmon instead of canned crab…fresher fish is always better 😉

 

Quiche

Smoke Salmon Quiche

In addition to the miraculous quiche and biscuit recipes there are all kinds of pictures from another era. A Brady Bunch Kitchen! Table Displays where hands with pointed nails show off holly berries and jello molded sorbets! What a jem!

IMG_20150111_101621 IMG_20150111_101331

So my love, should you come across one of these old and wayward cookbooks do not turn aside, Oh No! Snatch it up, mind the binding and discover the majesty of home cooking !

Hearts and Warm Thoughts!

Love,

Cara

Jackson Grayhound

Work took me to Jackson, Mississippi  (I cant help but spell it out loud each time I write it, it’s this kind of chant that I learned as a child: m-i-s-s-i-s-s-i-p-p-i … doesn’t have the same ring when written out…sad ). I had never been to either Jackson or Mississippi for that matter, so it looked to be just  another city on a map, and  I really didn’t expect much beyond the usual conference scene, maybe some overcooked chicken dinners and for sure lots of hand shaking. But the city has such treasures and add to that an interesting history, of which I will now divulge the from my mental clippings of four days thither.

After orienting myself to my hotel and it’s surrounding, I began to take in what is Jackson Downtown. Each day walking down Lamar Street, in the morning from the hotel, coffee in hand, and on my return, sun setting behind faded buildings.

The curved steel and blue of a certain structure caught my gaze again and again, like something from a glamorous movie during the golden age of Hollywood! Luckily, downtown Jackson doesn’t have much going on so I could stand in the middle of the street  and snap a few pictures!

Street View

The Jackson Grayhound Station. It is fitting that it be a beautiful lone ranger in the otherwise banal high rises and brass pillars of it’s neighbors. My behavior of staring at buildings  and snapping photos like a NYC tourist did not go completely unnoticed.

The passers-by just shrugged hurrying off to their day time occupations. Jackson had an abandoned hush over it like an elementary school during summer. There was evidence of it being looked after, a nicely arranged pot of flowers here  and polished letters advertising a Law Office there…but people were few and far between. The ambiance gave me a Martian Chronicles feel and I studied the buildings like relics of a lost civilization. Who used to walk these streets? Men in double breasted pinstripe suits tipping their fedoras, the click click of heels, shop windows reflecting a navy wool skirt suit and red lipstick.

Researching the Old Grayhound Station, I found that it was the end point on the long journey for the Civil Rights protesters, The Freedom Riders during the early 60’s. They road buses to key locations in the movement, raising awareness for their cause and speaking to the masses of repressed and brave African Americans throughout the South (Kevin Levin, Professor Civil Rights Tour 2014 ).

It was restored in 1988 by a the local architect Robert Parker Adams and now houses his interior design offices. Wow! To have that kind of money to recognize an amazing building in need of a face-lift, buy it, and make it fabulous! What a gift to the city of Jackson. Luckily it wasn’t torn down for some 1980’s monstrosity of a cement bloc sky scrapper or meeting its end as another downtown fast food restaurant.

Entrance

The Jackson Grayhound Station is a classic 1930’s Art Deco design built cerca 1937. Smooth lines, chrome and simplicity.  I read somewhere that the discovery of the King Tut’s tomb (1922) and the artifacts from within influenced the movement, but I couldn’t tell you where I read it so now it’s just something to ponder.

Here are some pictures of the interior, love love love the checkered floors, fenced reception and well just about everything! (Photos from The New Southern View )

nsv_ie_greyhound_lobby

LOBBY

nsv_ie_greyhound_shop_doors

CHECKERS!!!

nsv_ie_greyhound_mural

And I leave you with one more mystery, another historic building on the edge of downtown Jackson yet to be researched by this amateur blogger and photographer (did you see the ones I took?!? It’s all in the filter darling…sometimes I even impress myself he he).

Sunset

The Mall

RUMUR.com just released these throw back photos of Mall goers from the 1980’s. Mind=Blown!

Malls Across America I know it’s a link…but really it’s worth the click, I promise 😉

Yes, I was a child of the 80’s and yes the Mall was quintessential to my being..MY VERY BEING! Do I hold this as a point of pride, no dear reader, I do not,  I’m not ashamed of the copious hours I spent lazing around the ground floor fountain, waiting for a certain blond individual with a slouchy flannel to share my fries with…the Mall…

Did I not grow up in the southwest! The only  retreat from the inferno of summer was the 1,400,000-squarefoot  mecca of capitalism, Metro Center Mall (notable for it’s appearance in multiple scenes of Bill and Ted’s Bogus Journey).

Yeh...pretty sure this was outside the Dillard's

Yeh…pretty sure this was outside the Dillard’s

The pictures from RUMUR are totally awesome (insert air guitar). There are people smoking in the Mall in public spaces What is that?!?? and the Mom Jeans! and the Hair! Lawdy Laawwwdy those bangs girls! Wait a second…I think I can dig up a childhood photo with some of those bangs he he…

Here ya go…

BANGS!Bangs

OMG and crazy face LOL! Maybe I find this more humorous than you do but seriously I’m dying laughing…hold on I think I have another one…

Bangs

My poor mother…this was at my Aunt’s wedding…they must had a number of retakes…always the ham of the family even then. Oh and yes…the not so discretely placed birthmark on my upper lip (Eww ! That ugly mole, I got that thing removed years ago -Buffy) they say all artists must suffer in their childhood well since my was removed by the age of six it may explain why this blog remains short and inconsistent…but that is beside the point… back to my favorite topic as you know…the Mall…or at least the topic at hand.

Here are a few of the photos that really made me happy.

 

AHaha Muscleman!

AHaha Muscleman!

Ramone's Dad

Ramone’s Dad

I Love the 80’s and hope you enjoyed this little time capsule as well. In honor of the Season I leave you with this parting…

Be Excellent To Eachother