Jess Hutch.

Sunday, November 27, 2005


Okee dokee. So here's what I did to celebrate my thirtieth.

On the evening of the 12th, we threw a big party. To decorate we put a map of Guam on the wall, along with some photos of me on the island as a wee babe and as a young kid. I also cooked some tasty food from the island of my birth, including chicken kelaguen and red rice - the very nice Santos, who lives on Guam and writes an amazing food blog called The Scent of Green Bananas, gave me a lot of assistance with these two dishes. Man, I love the internet. Anyway, it was a lot of fun, and I drank about five mai tais. Could these two things be related?

So that was the party. On my actual birthday, Jeff and I took a trip to the necropolis of Colma. As San Francisco started to get bigger around the end of the 19th century, the folks in charge decided to start moving all the old cemetaries down to Colma to open up more space for the living. This very tiny city has been the burial place for San Franciscans for the last 100 years. Only 1,200 people live there, and over a million are buried there! Hence the town motto: "it's great to be alive in Colma!" Har. We bought the bumper sticker, of course.

I have always had soft spot in my heart for Victorian memorial customs. I love the horse-drawn hearses, the solemn mausoleums and black drapery; the cemetaries I like to visit in Colma are full of old monuments and funeral statuary from the old San Francisco sites. I know, I know, I like the cutesy colorful stuff too... I don't get it either. It was somehow important for me to spend my 30th birthday surrounded by reminders of lives past, to situate myself, in a way. It was so nice. Plus, Jeff took me out to lunch at the always fab (and close to Colma) Joe's of Westlake, you can't beat that.

olivet columbarium

This image is from the columbarium at Olivet Cemetary in Colma, which looks sort of like a Victorian conservatory or study due to the book-shaped urns and general ferniness. I love it.

To wrap up the Birthday Extravaganza, Rain, Chuck, and I headed to Disneyland. Making the pilgrimage with these two is always a blast. Plus, Chuck bought me prime rib. Mmm. Here are some photos from the trip... I never really know what to say about Disneyland, except that it's very strange and very beautiful. And it has the Temple of Mary Blair.

small world

mary blair cowboy

Original art by Mary Blair! Woo.

tiki room flower

Whew. Then I took a nap.


At 10:39 AM , laura r. said...

happy 30th!
what a grand celebration.
i love the image of the columbarium.
your disneyland photos are great!

At 2:18 PM , kimberly said...

When I worked at SF City Hall, there was an old map of SF there and the Colma/Daly City area said "Uninhabitable due to fog." I guess the dead do not mind the fog as much...

At 7:52 PM , abby powell said...

i don't really know you -occasional blog lurker here-but happy birthday!
I LOVED goin to the old Columbarium in San Francisco when I was a teenager. It is near Geary, kind ofor behind a gas station (close to Mels)! It is such a beautiful building and most people have no clue what it is ( or that the sunset neighborhood was once a cemetery years and years ago)! The groundsman is super cool and gives great impromtu tours. Anyway-happy birthday!

At 7:30 AM , lisa said...

that sounds amazing! i love that you went to colma. you rock.

At 6:32 PM , Amanda Woodward said...

Hello! I just wanted to ask if it was ok if I link you on my blog, I really enjoy your photos and all the neat things you make. Also, since knitty just was posted, I LOVE THAT PATTERN.

ok. end gushing. :D

and as a side note, I also really like little victorian customs & things relating to death, I have 4 of the photographs that they used to take after a person died... I treasure them to bits!

At 7:35 AM , IndigoMuse said...

Congrats on the cover of Knitty. You have an incredible talent. I love knitted toys and think that yours are adorable and fun. Best wishes!


At 1:04 PM , Rhainnon said...

I love Disneyland. It is so weird! I hope they don't take out any more vintage rides. I think the weird trpiocal room is gone now, no?

Anyways... glad I found you. I am in the Bay Area as well and a scorpio! Check out my blog at I just started it!

Happy Knitting!


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