just cause oakland/things i collect

tonight i had the lovely opportunity to be a co-emcee for the just cause oakland gala at the historic sweets ballroom in downtown oakland. beautiful event, honoring the remarkable work of just cause oakland members, and of the progressive movement in the city. housing justice organizers who have been fighting for the rights of home buyers and renters for years are a really special type of people – it takes tireless dedication to keep people in their homes. if you weren’t at the event tonight but want to support their work, you can donate here.


in other news, it has become very present to me, the things i have collected in this world. i don’t shop often, many of these things are gifted, found or created items. what i am learning about is what i haven’t let go of over the years. here’s a short list of the type of things i collect:

books. huge art books, slender memoirs…i love books – used books more than new ones. i love science fiction books, and philosophy books with notes in the margins. i have a core of books i can’t give away, but each time i move i give piles of books to people i love.

richard pryor movies. and marilyn monroe movies, postcards, calendars.

frida kahlo art in any form, especially forms easy to see daily, like magnets.

lamps. tiny little lamps, large floor lamps, mismatched lamps.

candles. tea candles and huge knee high massive candles.

altar items…sage, earth and rock, goddess cards, turquoise, photos, prayer beads, feathers.

necklaces – rarely to wear. i like to cover my walls in necklaces from all over.

elephant figurines. small elephants.

soap. blocks of lavender and ginger and rosemary and sandalwood soap.

music – records, tapes, cds, comprehensive compilations, instruments, books of sheet music, recordings…

scarves – really decadent colorful soft bright warm scarves. head scarves, scarves as belts, scarves that change outfits.

vintage high waisted dresses.


playing cards, toys and games. i have enough playing cards to throw a tournament. and jenga, dominoes, scrabble, chess, madagascar solitaire, boggle, sudoku.

everything my friend daniel alarcon wrote in college.

hilarious, out of context photos.

postcards – kahlo, dali, van gogh, hiroshige, avedon, places i have been and long for.

containers – gorgeous bowls too pretty to use, jewelry boxes, travel toiletry bags, vases, tiny jade boxes, baskets, canvas bags, small illogical purses. i have more containers than things to put on them.

and gifts. i have something for everyone.