Eclectic. Eccentric.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The Boxer Rebellion

Given, this news is a bit dated, but in case you didn't know, Barbara Boxer and Diane Feinstein came to speak at the Grand Salon at CSUN on October 29th.

I covered the event photographically and journalistically, capturing some key points Boxer made. Though the election has since passed, I feel that the issues are still pertinent and we should all give a sigh of relief that California made the choices it did at the ballot box.

The Boxer Rebellion

Boxer greeting audience after rally

Barbara Boxer came to rally the troops October 29th at CSUN's Grand Salon.

Her messages emphasizing relationship building, creating and retaining jobs, fighting for women's rights, and the environment all appeared to strike a chord with everyone at the space. "This election is such a clear choice," Boxer said to those sitting loyally in front of her.

She said she passed legislation the saved 16,000 teacher's jobs without adding a penny to the deficit. All done by trimming tax breaks from companies who ship jobs overseas, she said.

"What is disgraceful about making sure our children have teachers in the classroom? It's not disgraceful. It's critical," Boxer said to the crowd cheering.

Boxer reiterated her position on abortion rights. "I have been a champion for choice my whole life," she said. Prior to Roe v. Wade these women did not have the right to choose. Women's right to their bodies may come under fire if she lost her seat in the Senate, she explained.

The crowd chanted, "Boxer! Boxer! Boxer!" As she walked to the microphone, she had a sense of energy and confidence.

There was a young man in the crowd proudly donning a shirt with the words, "Repeal Don't Ask Don't Tell."

Fiorina, the Republican opponent was mentioned in the course of her speech. "She supports tax breaks to millionaires and billionaires and shipping jobs overseas," she stated "She wants to drill off our coasts," Boxer said. She said it is not just an environmental issue, but also an issue about jobs. She explained how our ocean supports 400,000 coastal economy jobs. "Those jobs would be lost," she said plainly when discussing the reality of an oil spill like the BP accident happening off the coast of California.

"This election is about the future of America," Boxer stated. The energy of the audience was tangible as Boxer went on, "This isn't about partisanship, it's about the greatest country in the world."

Photo: Jewell

Monday, November 29, 2010

Banana Bread

So we had a couple bananas that were turning brown this past week so I decided to try my hand at making some banana bread. I had never made any type of bread, yeast or otherwise so I was, truthfully a bit nervous. In the end it came out beautifully and I was pretty happy with it. Next time I would just make sure that all of the bananas used are completely brown and not yellow at all to ensure maximum banana goodness.

Here's the money shot.


  • 1 3/4 cups sifted all purpose flour. (I use unbleached.)

  • 2 1/4 tsp double acting baking powder

  • 1/2 tsp salt (may be omitted for low sodium diets)

  • 1/2 tsp good vanilla (not the weird fake stuff)

  • 1/3 cup butter (5.5 tbsp)

  • 2/3 cup sugar

  • 3/4 tbsp orange zest (or lemon zest)

  • 1 or 2 eggs. (I had jumbo eggs, so I used one. If you have small eggs, use two.)

  • 1-3 ripe bananas

  • spices to taste (I used (approximately) 1/8 tsp cardamom, 1/8 tsp ground clove, and about 1/2 tsp each of cinnamon, allspice and nutmeg. Ginger also works well in this recipe if you like ginger. 

  • step 1Bring on the mixer!

    1.) Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F (177 C)
    2.) Cream butter, sugar, vanilla, and zest.
    3.) Beat in eggs and banana until mixture is creamy, but not so long that it starts to separate.

    step 2Add dry ingredients

    Add flour, baking powder, salt and spices. Beat the batter until smooth and silky looking. (Again, time will vary depending on your mixer. In mine it takes just a couple of minutes.)
    At this point, if you want to add nuts or other fruit, fold in up to 1/2 cup broken nutmeats or dried fruit.

    step 3Pour into greased pan and bake

    I grease my pan by rubbing the wax paper that held the butter all over the pan, but any greasing method works.You don't need to flour the pan like you do for traditional breads.You can if you want, it won't hurt anything, but quick breads don't gain the same benefit as yeast breads do.
    Pop the pan in your preheated oven, and bake for 45 minutes to an hour. When the top is golden and a knife will slide in and out cleanly, it's done.

    Sunday, November 21, 2010

    My Boyfriend, Chrix and I shot this image a while ago and he sent me the edited copy. I was pretty happy with it.

    Thursday, November 18, 2010


    These images make my brain salivate


    Autumn is taking its last breaths.

    Nights getting colder.

    Days becoming shorter.

    This season reminded me that its my favorite.

    Aromatic scents dancing through the air,

    Beckoning towards the treasure trove of treats to indulge in.

    Comfort foods brimming with flavors that make me want to sing.

    Now it's quiet outside.

    Winter is encroaching.

    It's harder to get out of bed these days.

    I need light.

    Wednesday, November 10, 2010


    Where There is a Beginning There's an End

    It seems like just yesterday.

    Desert sun warming the ground just for our bare feet. Backyard welcoming us with a proverbial smile.

    Deuce's tail wagging wildly.

    I'm tearing through the house and tugging on your shirt. I can see you aren't used to kids but you see this as a special, if not a slightly unaccustomed treat.

    I ask you over and over to make me your famous baby back ribs.

    They're my favorite.

    Or that time that I was being nosy.

    I was in the bathroom fumbling through your drawers.

    What do I find? Your Playboy stash.

    Wonder, amazement, mischievousness, and curiosity.

    Then there was the time that Grandpa had passed away.

    I was about eighteen.

    I was crying because I couldn't remember him.

    It's because I was with my dad, Rod when I would see him. Those memories were gone.

    I was crying and couldn't stop. You told me you loved me and held me tight. I felt hot tears fall on my shirt. I smelled the evidence. Your sadness on your breath.

    Even recently. I'm with someone special now. Someone who really loves and respects me.

    And even though you were weak, and skin was lacking color, your hands gently trembling, you assured me that you would, "beat the hell out of someone," if I wasn't treated right.

    You meant it, every word.

    I know that you have been a source of strength for so many.

    Speaking every week. Telling people your story. This could happen to anybody.

    You were just a sad man. You didn't mean to hurt anyone.

    I'm sorry your suffered alone for so long and that this happened.

    I love you Uncle "Cinderblock" Bob. I can't wait to visit you tomorrow.

    Love always, your Sweetie,
    Jessica Catalina Jewell

    Tuesday, November 9, 2010

    We Ebb and We Flow

    My head has been in a strange place lately.

    Compartmentalized. Flip a switch and the "work" me comes fully awake and aware. Everything that concerns that cross section of who I am, "work Jewell" is at full attention.

    There are other layers; "Domestic Jewell," "Scholar Jewell," "Writer Jewell," "Liaison  Jewell," "Daughter Jewell," "Companion Jewell," and of course "Lover Jewell."

    I have been trying to keep these parts of my brain separate. As if they were specimens of my essence undulating in a jar of formaldehyde catalogued away in the recesses of my brain meats.

    A smell that feels as if the delicate, thin layers of your sinuses would just wither and crack from the harsh, noxious fumes. 

    It's not my sinuses though, you see. It's my collective emotional state of homeostasis. 

    It's almost as if you are a manager for internal operations, the book keeper, the human resources person, promotional department, and the CEO all at once. There are always going to be politics at play in the world around us when these are roles taken on by actual tangible individuals, but when we have this kind of hierarchy and bureaucracy in our own minds everyday running the show, it can prove quite difficult to not get any overlap, for better or worse.

    To keep it in terms of business. We are all working very hard here at Jewell Inc. to maintain daily operations and we project a more profitable, efficient, yet strenuous quarter in the upcoming fiscal year. Jewell Inc. is a start-up after all, but this project has got a lot of heart- sometimes too much. Don't sell your shares too hastily. This is just the beginning.

    With Love and Dissent,