Sunday, June 3, 2007

toys without homes

Dear Misfit Toy Lovers Of the World,

This is the 2$ doll I bought at the antique faire last month. I only bought her because I felt bad for her. I found her laying on this table, amongst some dirty tools. The seller tried to sell her for 3$ and I said I'd give him 1$, but we settled on 2$. She's creepy, vinyl, and she has one lazy eye. She's dated 1964. Her dress is bright orange. This isn't the first thing in my life that I've purchased because I've felt bad for it. I own a lot of ugly toys. That's my secret shame. That and the fact that I love having my coffee at the bar at Pancake Circus.

Posted by Catharina

goodnight nurse

Last night, around 1 in the morning, I snuck out of my house in my bare feet and tip toed around the sycamore tree to record Brown Thrasher singing.

This is what it sounded like based on some of my recordings:

Roo roo roo roo rooooo
twit twit twit twit twit
roo roo roo
zzzit zzzit zzzit
tick, brrrrrrrrrrrr-too-too
tick, brrrrrrrrrrrr-too-too
tick, tick, tick, tick,
root root root
tick, root, root
tick-tee, tick-tee, tick-tee,
tick, tick, tick
twit, twit, twit
roo roo rooo
brrrrr-zzzzit, brrrrrr-zzzzit

Alright, I don't do it justice, but trust me when I say it was the most exquisite sound. It never ceases to amaze me the intricacy and variety of song this one bird has. The company of this bird alone is enough to make this old sweet bungalow, and all its old trees, worth it's hefty price. I wish I knew what Brown Thrasher was saying keeping me up at night like that. It must be something incredibly important.

So, I had the oddest experience yesterday. While walking downtown, I harvested an old table out of the garbage. It is dark brown and etched with flowers and with curly legs and a glass top. I figured I could clean it off and maybe use it for my plants when I start my container garden. (Oh, I should not forget to discuss the article I read on the importance using the proper "fillers" for container gardens.) Anyway..that's not the odd, with Keith's help I carry the table over to my friends house so I don't have to carry it all the way home, and I knock on her door and this unknown person answers the door from behind a white metal screen which cannot be seen through, and this is what happens next....

Me: Hi, is Betty home?

The door opens and the smell of old alcohol emerges. Without ever seeing his face a low, trembling, creepy troll voice with a slightly muddled English accent comes out from behind the metal screen and literally sounds like something out of the underworld. He says to me in this thunderous voice:

My name is not name is LAAAAAAARS........I... live... in the back. (but he might as well of said that he lived underground with hobbits and unicorns)

Me: Oh. So is Betty here?

Troll: No.... I do not know where she is...NOOOOOOR do I ask those questions.

Me: Oh.. well... I am Betty's friend and I just harvested this table you see here and...

Troll in creepy english accent: OOOOOoooooooooooo, what a beaUtiful table....why would someone ever throw that out?

Me: Uhhh, so can you tell Betty that I am dropping this off and I'll come back for it later today?

Troll says: I just came over to pet the dooooooooog.


Me: Okay, well I'll come back for the table in a few hours. Can you tell her I came by?

Troll: Unfortunately nooooo, I must go back the read the newspaper now. But I came over to pet the dooooooog.


Troll says: Who should I say I have met today?

Me: Oh I'm Kate, Betty's best friend.

Troll: Oh yes, Kate. And you? (turning to Keith)

Keith: Keith.

Troll: Ahhhh yes… Kate and Keith. Keith and Kate.

Me: Alright. Thanks!

door closes.

Seriously, I don't fucking know, but when I finally got ahold Betty she said, "Oh yeah that's Lars. He always smells like alcohol, but he's great with the kids!"...yes. Lars. Great with kids. Lord of the Rings. Dog sitter.

So I had chilaquiles for dinner at Zocolo. It was delicious. I give them an A across the board for the atmosphere (giant open air doors instead of windows and a great patio), for food-mmmm yeah, and for service. The bean dip and salsa was not bad either.

I don’t have any plans tonight. I haven’t slept well lately. I’ve had the most horrendous dreams. After the one about the 1950’s housewife that when on attack with a turkey dinner in fast motion, I had one the following night where I was this person who performed autopsies in some ancient ritual which helped release spirits from dead bodies. At one point I was in an underground burial parade and there was a choir singing the phrase, “It’s alright, it won't be long, you’ll soon be dead” Totally creepy. So, basically sleeping doesn’t provide me with the restful sleep I need these days, therefore I prefer to stay up real late doing things like painting or other such things some might consider counterproductive. If I can tiptoe around my neighborhood recording bird songs long enough I will likely work off enough energy to sleep without dreaming (which is exactly what happened).

Posted by Catharina

goodnight nurse


Posted by Catharina

how not to patch grass

Note to self: SCORE the dirt, before you lay the grass on.

Posted by Catharina

see pink shoes

I like the pink ones.

Posted by Catharina

Pictures from the California coast

Posted by Catharina

blue throat

today i discovered the tupelo tree, also known as a water tupelo which grows in the southern swamplands. much like the evergreen camphor in my yard, it grows tall and full, but lacks the droppings of yellow flowers. according to an arborist at uc davis, it's an ideal tree for an area that needs privacy because of its dense canopy.

heartache is a terrible thing. i think heartache is not worth the risk of being in love. even if, ultimately, you are the source of your own heartache. the question is...what is your ideal dystopia? or should i say anti-utopia? fine, fine. an oxymoron..but not a conundrum by any means. my anti-utopia is easy to answer, but difficult to exercise. if only i controlled both halves of the chess board, but not like a dictator, more like a "catharina gets her cake and eats it too". i see all parties benefiting here. but like i said, heartache is such a terrible terrible feeling. it's the kind of thing that makes your throat knot up in the afternoons and evenings and makes you wake up thinking it'll be okay if you can just make it through the day without thinking about it all too much. maybe i need some kind of emotional cleansing apparatus like a hemodialysis machine, but for heartache and not kidney failure. not to forget the past, but just to remove the waste that old love leaves in the body. that would be good for both of us.

i love my porch. a solid porch bench is an absolute must have for an old bungalow. and best of all, i have a new friend out here whose name is Brown Thrasher. hes a singer in his own right. he probably knows at least 1,000 songs by heart, and none of them contain the word "georgia" or "loverboy"...which is alright with me.

the trash collectors are nice out here. they wave to people. my neighbor calls them her "good friends". she grew up in vegas. i learned that today after a brief two week hiatus of not talking because of an argument over the camphor. i hugged her and told her i was sorry we argued. i didn't know trees could cause heartache, but they can too.

today i ate a coconut cupcake. thanks to keith, i ate salad and a coconut cupcake, because i might have stayed in bed for another 24 hours if it wasn't for being dragged out for mixed greens with balsamic vinegar dressing and for coconut. food didn't make me feel better inside, it never does, but the coconut flakes were pretty to look at before i ate them. a visit to philips bakery has a way of making me want to embrace my inner cake decorator. i know its in there. if my heart (and my brain) were kinds of cakes, they would be multilayered, with deep blue oceans along the sides, and bright flowers along the edges, with cut outs of paper people with big eyes and blue throats and edible confetti hearts scattered on top.

that's depressing.

i give the one tupelo i saw an A.

Posted by Catharina

supreme beings, defense mechanisms, and the role of the other mother

spent the morning identifying trees again. discovered that the process of figuring out what a tree is has many parallels to making a medical diagnosis, and furthermore, that we are likely creating new neuronal pathways of tree information in our brains. so, it is essentially, an exercise of our minds in critical deductive reasoning.... which could potentially help us as we advance in practice into the roles of nurse practitioners. yes...very good thinking kate.

ahh, note to self....the valley oak is creepy and grows large apple looking knots to keep wasps away...and it sounds like a soccer team. C-

after the sf symphony we headed north along 101. i had forgotten how perfect the ocean could be in california. i think when i had moved out to massachusetts i had expected to find the coastline to be similar, but really, both coasts are not comparable. the pacific is very blue. i love it. on this trip i came across the most beautiful, fully matured crepe myrtle with a large round trunk..and of course all the coastal redwoods, ponderosa pines, eucalyptus, and cypress, etc etc. oh, and i even saw a baby bear. i give baby bear a B- because it scared the shit out of me, in a thrilling/exciting sort of way..but also because baby bears usually have mama bears close by and i'm not cool with the stories i've heard about mama bears.

mountain lions D-...they eat children, but their slightly attractive.
baby chipmunks A+...hell yeah

on the trip i read on intelligence in nature...NOT intelligent design. i learned all sorts of things about western science as it compares to beliefs in amazonian shaman culture. books are great things for life.

i am thinking of making this recipe i have for a lentil-bulgur salad this afternoon, with some kind of fruit dessert. this seems like a nice compliment to the heatwave.

Posted by Catharina

my (brief) tree report card:

american gum tree- appropriately named, much like the hotdog weiner, it is classic tree icon. at some point or another everyone has come into contact with it's "gumball". it grows tall and widespread, with filtered light... leaves in the form of stars. I'd give this this tree a B+ for it's form and color, but I'm not incredibly impressed with it's rough looking trunk.

bottle brush tree or shrub-well, this is a toss up...i can see why people would like the bottle brush because it attracts bees and squirrels and can look moderately nice, with a low spreading trunk when it has been made into a tree. my major drawback about it is that it makes an unattractive shrub. it's the kind of shrub i feel like i would see off an LA freeway. no thanks. i give the tree a C+ and the shrub a D.

sycamore tree- these can be found all over the place, and they have a distinct leaf pattern:sharp spikes followed by quick slopes...they remind me of some electrophysiology experiments i did as an undergraduate. They have a very pretty white and brown peeling looking trunk and the most lush red fall color. I'd give this tree an A+.

saucer magnolia-i like this tree. it reminds me of something that indiana jones would have eaten off of back when he was eating monkey brains. I think the most elegant quality about this tree is that it branches into these broad finger-like leaves and it produces these small pink flowers. I'd give it an A+.

chilean wine palm- yeah, i don't like palm trees. their roots can be invasive (the arborist told me about these people who planted palm trees all around their new pool and thought it was great until a few years later the pool cracked) and they just don't look that impressive as a whole. despite the initial displeasure all palm trees create for me, i was slightly impressed by a number of fallen yellow flowers and what appeared to be tiny brown pods around its base. I'd give it a B.

japenese maple- oh the japanese maple! i give that a B+ because they are pretty and always welcome, but everywhere i look i see them. i've seen them get super tall and i'd be willing to give the tall ones an A-.

guadalupe italian cypress- I LOVE LOVE LOVE the cypress! it has the most beauuuuuutiful brown and white smooth trunk and the most lovely leafy green strands. there just isn't enough cypress trees in the world. A+!


....i still have to get to the strawberry tree, the china fir, the various eucalyptus, and so many more!... but i'll have to get back to it later. i'm taking my books and headed north to find more trees.

Posted by Catharina