Saturday, April 11, 2009

Photo of the day: Fresh Start

The roses in our yard look completely different as buds and in full flower. When they bud they're this delicious peach color and wound tight, as if not too sure about coming out into the world. But within a day or two they loosen up completely, holding nothing back, like the drag queens of the rose world. All but bursting into "I Am What I Am" while they strut their stuff.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Photo of the day: Crank up the Victrola

From a stash of old (ancient) records I got from my mother. These things are historical artifacts. I'd love to play them but I'm not sure our turntable can handle them...or even if they make the right needles anymore. But they're cool to look at.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Goodbye to J
One of my favorite relatives died yesterday. Before you get all "aww..." about it I must say I haven't seen her in 20 years, she was almost 90 and the "favorite relative" part is based entirely on memories of when I was a kid. So this is not a seriously depressing, soul-damaging loss.

"J" and my father were first cousins. (J's mother and my grandmother were sisters.) J's eldest son is my godfather though, like his mom, I haven't seen him since I was in high school.

J was a total character. The one with the infectiously rude laugh. The one who told mildly dirty jokes to the kids, which completely endeared her to us all. She'd drink like a fish back when all the adults at parties had "highballs" rather than just wine. She would grab any baby that came her way out of the arms of any unsuspecting mother and not give the baby back until the party was over. She drove an ancient brown station wagon like it was a Sherman tank and was one of the keepers of the family lore. Need to know how great Uncle Fred was actually related to the family (his stepfather was Auntie's M's third husband)? Ask J. Can't remember if the C family moved to Marin County before or after the 1906 quake? Ask J.

I'm going to miss J. Not in a "crying because of my loss" way but in a "she was a force of nature and the world is slightly dimmer without her" way.

So thanks to J for all the memories. For being partially responsible for giving me my first martini (at my father's funeral). For giving me a tube of waxy red lipstick for my 13th birthday. For leading the family in the Charleston at a cousin's wedding. I'm gonna miss you.
Photo of the day; Overhead, Underfoot

I love this little arch of trees over the trail up by Crystal Springs Lake. I suppose it could look kind of spooky under the right conditions, like something from Little Red Riding Hood. But here it's peaceful. No woodsmen. No wolves in granny's clothing. Just some chirping from the various birds and the distant sound of traffic, It's peaceful and, on stretches like this, wonderfully empty.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Me and My Tasty Hair
Cipher (the World's Most Amazing Cat, Screw You if You Don't Agree tm) has this thing about licking my hair. The thing is, she likes it. No, she loves it. At least once a night she'll curl up on my pillow and go to town like I'm an ice cream cone and she's Kirstie Alley. And once she starts in, she won't be persuaded to stop. Nothing. NOTHING will distract her. If I put a blanket over my head, she pulls at it (or, actually, at my head, which hurts muchly) until she gets access again. If I put my hand between the uber scratchy tongue and my hair she'll just make an end run in a move the Niners haven't seen in far too long.

Now here's the odd part....some of the cats at the shelter lick my hair too. Just today two of them went for me. One jumped up on a chair while I was sitting on the floor, said "yay, dessert!" (but only in cat-speak) and went forth with some serious tongue action. Another kitty gained access while I was carrying him. He had his head up by my shoulder and took the opportunity to indulge in an afternoon snack.

So is my hair tuna-scented or what? I just use normal regular shampoo. Nothing with fish oil. Nothing with a chicken-and-rice base. I don't condition with kibble. And yet cats the world over apparently consider me a delicacy. I am on menus in Thailand. You can order me on a stick in several Eastern European countries. In Africa I am reserved for visiting dignitaries and heads of state that don't taste nearly as well as I.

I know. you're so jealous. Ha, ha....I taste good and you don't.
Photo of the day: Hard at Work

There's something so unpretentious about an old pair of work gloves. Even if yours do nothing more than keep you from getting splinters when you close the back gate, they have a sort of dull reliability that is kind of comforting. And each crease and oil spill, every mysterious stain just makes them more interesting.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Photo of the day: A Shot of Red

I'm playing around with objects from the house. In this case, a shot glass on top of one of Husband's cast-off shirts. Nothing fancy, but I liked the contrast of red and glass.

Monday, April 06, 2009

The Cat House
I have written often about the neighborhood cats. Our yard is the flop house of choice. When you consider our half-price drinks during Happy Hour and all-you-cat-eat kippers buffet, I guess it's not a surprise. But I thought you might like to see some of the regulars so you know who I'm talking about.

First off we have Stripeycat:

He looks like a bigger, tougher version of Cipher (the World's Most Amazing Cat, Screw You if You Don't Agree tm). Stripeycat likes to monitor the fence. I guess he's part Marine. He's also been known to hang out in front of our house. He's a big of a longer, though has been known to pal around with a big white guy that I can't seem to photograph.

Our next contestant is Pigpen:

We call her that because she's a long hair kitty that always looks disheveled because she's a stray. She spends entire days in the side of our yard. She's there from about 10 am until the sun goes down. Unlike the other kitties, she doesn't hang in the back yard, always the side. It's odd, because it's not a very sheltered area, and you can see her coat blowing in the breeze, but she seems quite comfy curled up on the concrete looking like she desperately needs a good combing.

Mamacat is one of the breeders:

She's had at least two litters. There was another cat who looked just like much so that we can't be sure if there was one cat or two that looked like this, but we think this is Mamacat, version 2.0. And, if our kitty luck holds, Mamacat will have litter number three who will probably look a lot like their father...


Aside from getting caught in the act with Mamacat, I have never seen this cat when he wasn't asleep. OK, I saw him hop over the fence once, but most of the time this is how you'll see him....lying in a puddle by the fence. I'm just hoping that when I saw he and Mamacat doing the nasty yesterday I was fast enough to render the whole thing inconceivable.
Photo of the day: A Rose by Any Other Name

The roses on this bush have the sweetest fragrance. Sort of old-fashioned, Victorian. The kind of think you can imagine your grandmother picking in her garden. They're a lovely pale rosy pinky yellow. Hard to define, harder to photograph. But so wonderful to sniff.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

What is the cosmic rule about coincidences? There's the odd thing where, for example, you think about a song you haven't heard in years. Then you get into the car and it's playing on the radio. Or you get a craving for Chinese food and your significant other calls to say "I have a craving for Chinese food, let's get take out tonight."

Right now it's the name Pandora. Yesterday I heard the phrase "Pandora's box" which I haven't heard for ages. Then today I pick up a book and one of the characters is named Pandora. And a few minutes ago I was on Facebook and a friend mentioned the name Pandora as an artist whose music he was enjoying.

Things like that happen quite often. You'll go for years without thinking about some obscure actor like Edward Everett Horton and suddenly he's in three movies on TV on the same day. You'll wonder when X will come out with a new CD and it shows up in your mailbox. Your old friend Y (who moved to Ohio 15 years ago and disappeared from your radar) will pop into both your mind and your inbox on the same afternoon.

The thing is, you can't force it. You can send cosmic brainwaves into the universe that hope your sweetie will spontaneously pick up a pizza on his way home from work and he either shows up without dinner or with burritos. You'll wish the classic movie station will play The Big Sleep because you're in the mood to see it and turn on the TV to find they're airing a tribute to Paul Muni. You'll keep your fingers crossed that when it's your friend's turn to pick the place for lunch she'll vote for sushi and find yourself eating pasta.

There's just no rigging things your way when it comes to coincidences. I guess if you force it it's not a coincidence, it's a choice. Or an action. Sure if I want pizza I can call Husband and say "please pick up a pizza on the way home," but it's not the same, is it? It's really only magical when the universe reads your mind and gives you what you want.

I hope the universe is tuned into you this week.
Photo of the day: Bridges

There's a short concrete bridge up along the walk I took a few weeks ago. Opposite this post is a gorgeous view. So of course I took a picture of concrete.