7.24.2008

File Under: Hair-Brained Schemes Gone Right and the Death Of A Good Tree


B's birthday party last night. We borrowed a projector and set up a screen on top of our car, parked in the driveway. We anchored the projector on a rickety table in the garden and had a viewing of 'The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T'. The guests sat on the porch under an assortment of camp blankets and quilts. The little girl cubs piled on top of each other in a rocker. I was inside for most of it, washing up. Every now and again I would glance behind me, my eye caught by a flicker of light. Each time I was startled to see moving images framed in the glass of my front door. It's pure eye candy: Dr. Seuss' fantastical sets, awash in 1950's sci-fi lushness. Hans Conried dancing around like a maniacal stork; Tommy Rettig pre-Lassie days, with his doe-like eyes and pristine dungarees. What a film! I first came across this movie whilst still in high school, my older brother took me to a showing at the long gone but still much missed Sashmill Theatre in SC. B first saw it at the Stanford Theater in Palo Alto, and it was one of the things we had in common when we met-a love for this goofy film. Happy Birthday, B!!
Earlier in the evening, our friends Jack & Nancy came by, armed with banjo and accordian; not unexpectedly, an impromptu garden concert ensued. It was pretty idyllic, although frequently interrupted by tears and trodden toes, brought on by the little girl mosh pit.
A Good Tree
I'm trying to enjoy our life beneath the mammoth oak for as long as I can, now that the diagnosis is in. I think I'm still in shock, and can't really articulate it like I want. But I will say that my favourite oak tree, the one that has borne me up and held me between it's boughs for 12 years now; given shade and shelter to my garden and a deep brilliant indigo-hue to my hydrangeas, has been diagnosed with Phytopthera ramorum, aka Sudden Oak Death. I'll write more about it soon, but it's still a little too raw......

4 comments:

b said...

thanks for doing the dishes- you should have said that you opted to do them for some key introvert time! Also, I first saw Dr. T on television sometime in my tender pre-teen years- I still remember the effect the ladder jump scene had on me.

rosa said...

That's true, it WAS key introvert time. I love all you people, but sometimes you make me tiiired. Also I was still sick. And yeah, the ladder scene had a definite impression on me too. That's the part I always associate with the Sashmill whenever I watch it now. It was probably the audience laughing at Bart's parachute-esque T shirt, and me feeling a connection with all these cool older people around me, laughing at something so obviously fake.

Mum said...

Ok.....I guess this is part of the problem with being the matrefamilias. Often times you bump into the fact that you are old. (or at least headed in that direction) I saw "Dr T" when it originally came out in the theatre and just knew I would never be the same. I think 'eye candy" is a very apt discription. Funny, I can't remember if it was in color or not.
So glad a whole new generation is experiencing the wonders of the 5000 Fingers.
Mum

rosa said...

that's true, mum, I don't usually think of you as one of those adorable 50's kids that this movie was marketed towards. I had reservations about letting G see it, and I even had her come in to "brush her teeth" during one of the scenes, I think it was the part with the elevator operator (yikes!)

Read Your Way Through the Garden: Choice Tomes From Garden Literature

  • A Book of Salvias by Betsy Clebsch
  • Botany for Gardeners by Brian Capon
  • Making Bentwood Trellises by Jim Long
  • RHS Encyclopedia of Plants & Flowers
  • Rose Primer: An Organic Approach to Rose Selection & Care by Orin Martin
  • Start With the Soil by Grace Gershuny
  • Sunset Western Garden Book
  • Sunset Western Landscaping Book
  • The Book of Garden Secrets by Patent & Bilderback
  • The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Botany
  • the Gardener's Table: A Guide to Natural Vegetable Growing and Cooking by Richard Merrill & Joe Ortiz
  • The Gardener's Year by Karel Capek
  • The Hutchinson Dictionary of Plant Names: Common & Botanical
  • We Made A Garden by Margaret Fish

lotsa latin: rosa's botanical & etymological ruminations

  • vespertinus: flowers in the evening
  • vernalis:spring
  • veni vidi nates calcalvi: we came, we saw, we kicked butt. This was printed on a T shirt I bought at Abbot's Thrift many years ago. It encircled the NEA symbol. I wish I knew why.
  • superciliaris: shaped like an eyebrow ex: sturnella superciliaris, the White-browed Blackbird
  • rosa-sinensis: species of Hibiscus: Hibiscus rosa-sinensis. Lit. Rosa of China, so named by British plant hunters.
  • placentiformis: shaped like a cake ex: discocactus placentiformis
  • nudiflorus: flowers before leaves show ex: flowering quince, magnolia
  • nivalis: growing in or near snow ex: galanthus nivalis (common snowdrop)
  • muralis: growing on walls
  • mirabilis: marvellous, wonderful
  • formosa: beautiful ex: dicentra formosa, a.k.a.western bleeding heart/dutchman's breeches/lady in a bath
  • carpe vitam: get a life
  • Carolus Linnaeus: Latinized name of Carl von Linne (1707-1778), Swedish naturalist considered the father of plant taxonomy. Whatta guy.