Thursday, July 30, 2009

Wisteria Sinenis

Back in May we almost swore off our Chinese wisteria vine. Shredded and emaciated from the late spring snow, it had become a dull, leafless thing: Depressed and downtrodden. Our spring Colorado weather wrecks havoc on the more sensitive souls in the garden. But, don't be fooled by its prettiness. This wisteria has proved yet again that it can. It has come through with understated beauty for yet another glorious season with vigor and gusto and honor and pride and virility and a plodding stubbornness to just get on with it. It displays at the risk of being incorrect politically, dare I say it— an Asian work ethic?

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Animal Ruminations

Come dinner time in my neck of the woods, most folks can be found pecking at plastic packages in the endless aisles of their local supermarket. Raised in cages or corralled knee high in shit filled lots, these produced for profit "packages" had little to live or to die for. They were hormoned to the hilt, fattened on genetically modified grain and thoroughly juiced on antibiotics. We change their name from cow to beef and from pig to pork. The further we are from the act and the knowledge of killing an animal, the easier it seems, it is to eat.
Another perhaps closer to the bone, but more honest way to eat your meat is to catch it and kill it yourself. As humans we have always taken life to maintain life be it animal or vegetable. We decide which animals and plants are pests and then dutifully destroy them by poison or by traps. We decide which ones to keep and cuddle as family and which ones to have for supper.
I am reminded of an obscure poem that I recently wrote:

Some won't eat a horse
and some will a cat
some won't eat a hog
and some will a bat
some will eat a dog
and a bitch
will eat a rat—

I don't know about you but if I were a four legged creature, I would rather live my life free and wild and fall by the hunter's hand than to spend my days in captivity and die by a processing tool called a cattle prod, and end up as a plastic package on a supermarket shelf.
One meat I cannot eat though is bunny. Rabbit, however is clearly a different matter. The following images show how to skin and gut a freshly killed rabbit. Thanks to Joel, from Easky, Ireland for providing the samples.
As a cautionary note: these images contain graphic content and should be shown to all teenagers.

Little furry animals

All in a days work

Shapely Legs

Spill the guts

Looks like rat to my eyes

Here she comes

Nicely does it

I'm so hungry—I could eat a horse

Prepare to package

Tastes like chicken

Thursday, July 2, 2009

A visit from the man in black

The color black being thoroughly modern never goes out of style—especially in urban habitats where the Anglo Saxon dwells, as in the coffee shops of Dublin or Denver. Every few years the global fashion pundits, in a declaration of co-dependence approve black to be accentuated with grey.

The Monsignor thus entered the room fashionably attired in black slacks and grey collarless shirt. He could have been just another soul tapping away on his laptop in any urban coffee shop. Oblivious to his fashion cool, he strode into the room bearing his gifts of charm and mirth. After some light chatting he offered a blessing to my mother. A spontaneous rambling of sorts, delivered in the relaxed manner of a seasoned professional. None of the old school catholic dogma— a prayer for every occasion— suitably dull and dour. This was an upbeat offering; sincere and contemporary. He conferred his blessing for peace, love and understanding upon her. Forgiveness and its inherent allusion to sin wasn't mentioned. The Monsignor, judging by not only his fashion sense is clearly a modern guy.