Emily Kathleen Cooke





  • What I Saw in California Episode 05: Two Walks

    29/11/2010 Duration: 18min

    Summer 2003: I walk past the Balboa park BART station, here in the south-central outskirts of San Francisco. This place is not on the maps of the city that you see in the Travel pages or in guidebooks; usually it gets cut off just below the Mission. This is the las stop before Daly City. It is a place eviscerated by freeways, BART tracks, MUNI lines—bypassed, razor-wired, forgotten. But people live here, and on the side streets you can see sherbet-colored stucco bungalows built before World War II. The place is like a jigsaw puzzle made up of mismatched pieces from different boxes. You can’t put it together. Carl Linnaeus tribute from Smithsonian online. Music from ccMixter: "I Need Something," by copperhead, featuring Admiral Bob, WillemWillem, Norm Peterson, and Robert Siekawitch; and "In the Garden," by snowflake. You can view the license which governs the music used, as well as this podcast, here.

  • What I Saw in California Episode 04: Atascadero

    30/10/2010 Duration: 32min

    My instinct, mid-stream in the molasses flow of late-afternoon San Francisco traffic, was to just keep moving. This was getting us nowhere. Mom sat beside me listlessly looking out the car window while I steered us around and around, trying to make out the logic of this neighborhood: a tangle of pockmarked city streets, overpasses, skyways, and gracelessly aging industrial buildings that housed sweatshops and auto mechanics. Here and there an artist had carved out a space in all the late-industrial jumble, but SoMa, that amalgam of material desire and millennial longing, hadn't been invented yet. It was still just South of Market. Music from ccMixter: "I Need Something," by copperhead, featuring Admiral Bob, WillemWillem, Norm Peterson, and Robert Siekawitch; and "What It Takes To Be Me," by Alex Beroza, featuring FORENSIC and Nicolas Kern. You can view the license which governs the music used, as well as this podcast, here.

  • What I Saw in California Episode 03: Thunderbird

    15/10/2010 Duration: 15min

    I measure the imported rice, squeeze the plum tomatoes and chop them, chop the flat-leaf parsley and rosemary from the garden, the garlic, the onion. I grate the cheese and dice the celery, drizzle olive oil into a heavy casserole, eyeballing the measure. In go the garlic and celery. Dinner will be tomato parmesan risotto and rabbit with white wine sauce. The rabbit pieces are soaking in cold water in a clear glass bowl in the deep stainless sink. I lift each piece out and let it drip, then put it on paper towels I have spread on the granite counter. When all of the bits of the small body are arranged on the towels, like words in a poem, it makes me feel faintly ill to look at them. But I pat them dry as the recipe directs, then add them to the olive oil, garlic, and celery waiting in the casserole dish. I put the lid on (it makes a muffled ringing sound as it slides into place) and turn on the gas. It lights in a blue-and-orange burst and settles into two concentric blue rings. I turn it as low as it will go

  • What I Saw in California Episode 02: Domestic Water

    21/08/2010 Duration: 14min

    Up at Pulgas Ridge Megadog and I walk the Cordilleras Trail past the multiple-addiction rehab center tucked at the edge of San Francisco Water Department land. This open space, reserved for hikers and their dogs, is flanked by the rehab on one side and the county mental health services on the other. Sometimes we see guys playing basketball out in back of the rehab building, its tile roof and pale stucco walls aging with Katherine Hepburn style under California live oaks. Sometimes we see them tending their garden, where tomatoes still ripen on the vine on into the fall. Occasionally, they are out playing cards in the morning heat, or washing cars to raise funds for the center. Today, no one. Music from ccMixter by copperhead: "I Need Something;" and by Alex Beroza: "Too Young," featuring snowflake. View the license under which this music is used.

  • What I Saw in California Episode 01: Sweet Marie

    07/08/2010 Duration: 15min

    It doesn’t help that I have PMS on the day my chicken dies. I find her in the backyard coop, one wing drooping out of the nest, her head lolling. I have always told myself that if illness struck my tiny flock of two I would face it with the pragmatic detachment of a farmer, letting nature take its course or, in the interest of humane treatment, helping nature along by whatever means I had at my disposal (but not owning an axe, I’m not sure what I expected I would do: twist the necks of birds I had named “Visions of Johanna” and “Absolutely Sweet Marie”?) Music from ccMixter: "Our Father," by Alex Beroza, featuring FORENSIC; and "I Need Something," by copperhead, featuring Admiral Bob, WillemWillem, Norm Peterson, and Robert Siekawitch.

  • Nobody's Property Episode 15: Rose

    30/07/2010 Duration: 31min

    Three o’clock in the afternoon, and Shirley, of Shawnee Memorials, just across Harrison Avenue from Fairview Cemetery, was not taking any shit off my dad. We had come here at my urging; Dad had mentioned that he still needed to order a stone to mark the plot where Jenny’s and Edith’s remains were buried together. I could see that if I didn’t push a little, it wasn’t going to happen any time soon. And the grass in the Rose family plot, though a bit dry and thatched in patches, covered their grave so smoothly that no one would ever know they were there. Actual memories by Tom Fenley. "Coals" by Kristin Hersh: kristinhersh.cashmusic.org or www.kristinhersh.com

  • Nobody's Property Episode 14: Stupid

    09/07/2010 Duration: 31min

    The sound of pistons pumping, a lawn-mower pulse and wheeze, comes up behind her, and she looks over her shoulder to see the VW coming up fast: black and chrome, some of the shine worn off and anyway looking duller in this flat November light. She keeps her thumbs hooked under the leather of her backpack straps, walks backward and keeps her gaze straight and sober toward the driver of the car. It pulls over a few paces ahead and stops at an angle on the gravel margin. Under her boots the gray gravel rasps and she doesn't slow down or speed up but keeps up her trudge toward the car. In one version of the story she opens the passenger door herself; in another, the driver pushes the door open and it swings out in front of her like a gate, so that if she had wanted to keep going she couldn't; but she doesn't want to keep going. Translation by Johan Sussenberger Music by Kristin Hersh: kristinhersh.cashmusic.org or www.kristinhersh.com      

  • Nobody's Property Episode 13: Terminal Burrowing

    26/06/2010 Duration: 43min

    "I serve with the German Armed Forces. My garrison is Hardheim, where I am stationed at Carl-Schurz-Kaserne. At present, I attend the Bundeswehrfachschule in Tauberbischofsheim. "On Friday, 5 November 1971, I was driving in my VW...from Tauberbischofsheim to Hardheim between 12.20 and 12.30 o'clock. About 200 meters past the stone works on the B 27 I saw a young woman walk on the right-hand side of the road. She did not use the usual signal to indicate that she wanted a ride, but she turned around to face my vehicle. To me, this meant, she wanted a ride, so I braked and came to a halt at some distance ahead of her. When she reached the car, she opened the passenger door and said: 'To Bietigheim.'..." Translation by Johan Sussenberger Music by Kristin Hersh: kristinhersh.cashmusic.org or www.kristinhersh.com

  • Nobody's Property Episode 12: What I Know

    11/06/2010 Duration: 29min

    Terminal burrowing can be identified in reports of hypothermia deaths, but has only recently been given a name. It is a behavior pattern observed in the last stages of hypothermia whereby the afflicted will enter small, enclosed spaces, such as wardrobes, cupboards, and closets. Outdoors, the victim may burrow into piles of leaves, the crevices between rocks or fallen trees, or into culverts. Searchers must be aware of the possibility that the missing persons may be thoroughly hidden and too hypothermic to respond to their calls. It is most often observed in moderately cold conditions, when the victim's body temperature falls slowly. These conditions would be found during power outages, or when someone is lost in chilly, but not freezing, weather. See also Paradoxical undressing --from Wikipedia Translation by Johan Sussenburger Music by Kristin Hersh: kristinhersh.cashmusic.org or www.kristinhersh.com

  • Sequoiacast Episode 03: Senseless

    28/05/2010 Duration: 27min

    She's six years oldAll she sees are dirty walls around her Men coming in and out the front door She wants to run cry and yell But there is nobody there to help She sees many different faces Touching them in all the wrong places Hearing the door open and close She follows him because she is the one he chose --Gabriela I spoke with Gabriela, Bernardo, Heriberto, Santiago, Escarlet, Esmeralda, and Aldo on Friday, May 21, 2010. Listen. Music by airtone: sometimes instrumental mix; and Petitjardi: Sin Sentido, featuring Carmen La Puerta; both from ccMixter. Visit Creative Commons to view the license under which these works are used.

  • Sequoiacast Episode 02: Free

    28/05/2010 Duration: 27min

    According to the nonprofit California Against Slavery, seventy percent of slaves worldwide are now women; fifty percent are children. Human trafficking is now tied with weapons sales, and second only to the drug trade, in terms of profitability in the illicit global marketplace. What surprised me most when I met with Eduardo, Javier, Daena, Gaby, Laura, and Blanca was to learn that San Francisco is now a bustling center of trade in humans. Our conversation took place on Thursday, May 20, 2010. Music by airtone: sometimes instrumental mix; and kCentric; both from ccMixter. Visit Creative Commons to view the license under which these works are used.

  • Sequoiacast Episode 01: Papers

    26/05/2010 Duration: 28min

    On Wednesday, May 19, 2010, I sat down with Marcela, Donaciano, Anet, Rocio, and Maria to discuss Arizona Senate Bill 1070, the widely protested new law requiring proof of citizenship or resident status on demand from peace officers or other government agents in that state. What emerged was a coversation about identity, aspiration, and the economic cycles that regularly make restrictive and discriminatory immigration policy the order of the day. Our talk inspired me to read the actual text of the law and think about the tricky language it uses to skirt the charge of racism. It also reminded me, once again, that when we talk about 'immigrants' or 'aliens' we are talking about people. Music by airtone: sometimes instrumental mix; Eternal Blue Moon: Mother; from Jamendo. Visit Creative Commons to view the license under which these works are used.

  • Nobody's Property Episode 11: Tourist Information

    22/05/2010 Duration: 33min

    In Tübingen the houses sit along the River Neckar like nineteenth-century ladies on lounge chairs with flowing skirts and big hats: they look comfortable and bourgeois and unassailable. Like most of Germany. From the bridge over the river you can see a tower, painted yellow now, where the poet Hölderlin went crazy for 36 years: a long, slow burn that might, in other circumstances, be called life. This is where he wrote these words, which I found quoted by Paul Auster in The Invention of Solitude: The lines of life are as various as roads or asThe limits of the mountains are, and what we areDown here, in harmonies, in recompense,In peace for ever, a god will finish there. On the opposite side of the river is a park where I walked with my father under plane trees two hundred years old. Music by Kristin Hersh: kristinhersh.cashmusic.org or www.kristinhersh.com

  • Nobody's Property Episode 10: Rasthaus Schwarz

    15/05/2010 Duration: 26min

    Charles had given us maps and a police report when we visited him in Oklahoma City. He pulled out one map, of Hardheim and its surroundings, and pointed. “This is where Jennifer was…uh…murdered,” he told us. At the time, I wondered if his hesitancy over the word indicated uncertainty. But later I found that I, too, was reluctant to say it: murder. Not an easy word. We had this itinerary we’d been given: Jennifer’s last stops on this earth. Did we think visiting them would make sense of things? I tried to tell myself we were on a kind of pilgrimage, which made it sound okay, even more than okay: important. Dignified. There were stations we had to visit. The first was Münchingen—the place where a truck driver had let Jenny off before first light on a cold November morning. The place where she drank a cup of coffee. Music by Kristin Hersh: kristinhersh.cashmusic.org or www.kristinhersh.com

  • Nobody's Property Episode 09: Free Drinks

    07/05/2010 Duration: 27min

    We had our money out to pay the Lufthansa flight attendant for our drinks—my no-name red wine and Dad’s Glenlivet—and when she moved on without even looking at the fold of bills in Dad’s hand we were practically giddy. Free drinks! It made being stuck in a metal and plastic capsule for eleven hours seem worth it. The flight attendant, a slim German woman with blond hair gathered expertly into a chignon, must have thought us such rubes. We didn’t care. Salt of the earth! Thankful for small favors! Not taking ourselves too seriously, over here in seats 34 A and C; able to live with light irony. Music by Kristin Hersh: kristinhersh.cashmusic.org or www.kristinhersh.com

  • Nobody's Property Episode 08: Civilized Tribe

    30/04/2010 Duration: 38min

    “I’ve been thinking about a trip to Germany,” my father says on the phone one day. “I’m thinking I need to start thinking about Jenny in a new way.” I’ve been thinking that too. And my father: the first thirty years of our time together are over; what are the next thirty going to be like? What will we do in Germany? I’ve thought of going by myself, trying to find some things out. I see myself in a room with a man who was the last person to see Jenny alive. Did he kill her? Or did he just leave her by the side of the road? All these years I’ve waited for Jenny to haunt me, but she’s just kept her peace. That’s a nice way to think about it, that she’s out there somewhere keeping to herself (‘she is just away’). I know it’s not true; I know she’s gone. But him? He was a young guy in 1971. Odds are he’s out there. He’s the one who’s been haunting me. Music by Kristin Hersh: kristinhersh.cashmusic.org or www.kristinhersh.com

  • Nobody's Property Episode 07: The Plot

    24/04/2010 Duration: 28min

    Do you think you are free to live your life? We try to tell ourselves that the worst won’t happen, that we can leave the doors of our lives unlocked and the crazies won’t come through them, or if they do we can talk them down. We search the papers for the reasons behind the senseless murder—the plot. How can we still be doing this? I grew up with the plot in my head: Jenny died hitchhiking. That was the “reason.” That was the “plot.” Her parents sent her there. That was the “pathos,” the “hook.” And so there were ways to prevent dying, to make sure it didn’t happen to you. There were rules to being safe, rather than dead, and these rules chiefly applied to women, because—let’s face it—women who don’t follow the rules don’t deserve to live. Music by Kristin Hersh: kristinhersh.cashmusic.org or www.kristinhersh.com

  • Nobody's Property Episode 06: Evidence

    17/04/2010 Duration: 37min

    Hush-a-bye, don’t you cry Go to sleepy little baby. When you wake, you will find All the pretty little horses. Dapples and grays, pintos and bays All the pretty little horses. Way down yonder, in the meadow, Poor little baby, crying “mama”. Birds and the butterflys flutter ‘round his eyes. Poor little baby crying “mama”. Hush-a-bye.... Music by Kristin Hersh: kristinhersh.cashmusic.org or www.kristinhersh.com Sorry for the crazy German accent!

  • Nobody's Property Episode 05: Living on the Remains

    09/04/2010 Duration: 29min

    A few years ago, my father told me the story of how my Aunt Jenny's remains were shipped back to be put into different ground. Dad called me from Oklahoma to describe how my grandmother Edith stood by while workers dug up the urn from under the small brass marker that barely wrinkled the surface of the grass in Oak Park Cemetery. They opened the urn; Edith looked inside. I could see her standing there, in a tasteful suit and stockings and pumps, her light hair neatly and stiffly styled, bowing her head to see. “There were actually quite large bone fragments mixed with the ashes," Dad said. The urn was too heavy for Edith to take on the plane from California to Oklahoma. So she shipped it U.P.S. Ground. Music by Kristin Hersh: kristinhersh.cashmusic.org or www.kristinhersh.com Some names may have been changed; I can't really remember.

  • Nobody's Property Episode 04: Base Line

    03/04/2010 Duration: 31min

    After my father stopped living with Mom and me, he spent his nights in his woodshop, in the lemon packing house that my grandfather Charles owned. The remains of the citrus groves still grew all around us in Claremont, and an old guy sold wooden crates of local lemons off the loading dock of the packing house: the sole survivor. When I visited my dad's shop there, I was afraid to go to the bathroom, because it was all the way on the other side of the packing house, and the big, scarred wood floor seemed huge, while the hollow building seemed to whisper to me as I crossed it. The packing house sat on the old Santa Fe line, and freight trains would rumble past at random intervals during the day and night. Eucalyptus trees marched straight down the railroad right-of-way, and stony, stubbly fields and a few scattered industrial buildings stretched on either side of them. One night, somebody wandered in from the tracks and, while my dad slept nearby, robbed his jeans. Music by Kristin Hersh: kristinhersh.cashmusic

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