Friday, July 31, 2009

Late summer in Maryland has been wet, with rain, wet, and more wet.
The garden, raised bed and all, has been the recipient of all the overflow. That and the low spot between us and the neighbor! It looked like a lake, this afternoon.

Rain! we get a lot of it.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

I'm in a part of the world I only ever read about.
Growing up in central Texas, this part of July was the last time you ever thought about opening the windows. In the last days here, it has barely gotten hot enough to bother with anything more than the house fan and "window management". We open the house at night to let in cool air, and close up during the day to shut out the heat.

The sun has turned the corner of the solstice about a month ago now, and while most things are still in full growth, the sun has gotten old.. I can see the traces of the season beginning to age, as I see the traces in my own face & body. Things become subtly less bright, less defined. Leaves fall yellow here and there, early casualties of the beginning of season's turn.

Plants in the garden are still trying to catch up to the cool spring, while the pokeweed & hickory, and wild grapes, seem right on summer's schedule.

Last week I played hooky one day in the Appalachians, and found black chanterelles. They popped suddenly like black shredded paper in last fall's fallen leaves.

The veloute' I made still sits waiting, for another delicate dish. The earthy sweetness, the fruity musk of the incredible chanterelle infuses it.

I think I have missed raspberries for the season, but perhaps elderberries will give me a chance at wine.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

No man is an island
(nor is anyone else).

It is the basic misunderstanding of the basic American, that this is a free country, and you can do what you want.

If what I want is to have elephants in my living room on the 5th floor and experiment with explosives, am I still free, if it bugs you?

If what I want is to drive as fast as I want, while talking on my cell phone, with a Rottweiler on my lap and assuming you know where I am going so I don't need to use my turn signals.. am I still free, if that bugs you, or kills your kid while I am not paying attention?

If what I want, is to drive something with a loud reverb exhaust, in a residential neighborhood or down a commercial street where people are trying to communicate in public (heaven forfend they do anything but think of me and my tiny wedding tackle) , why shouldn't you put up with it?

If what I want, is to have an untrained, insecure animal outside, who makes noise constantly, why shouldn't you put up with that?

The basic misconception is this: That we are islands.

The basic truth is this: Islands are contained by a shared ocean. The flotsam you let go, shows up on my shores. The flotsam I let go, shows up on yours.
My success in society shows up, when you don't notice me.
Your success in society is denied, if I notice you. Your loud transportation demonstrates your lack of taste, as a person's willingness to share their music or mode of transportation, is always inverse to their taste in it.

Your loud animals demonstrate your lack of self-control.
The need to hold a cell phone to your ear during every moment of your existence demonstrates your lack of self-esteem.
Your need to be in front of everyone demonstrates a drastic failure of the most basic kindergarten rule- don't be a dick.

I really despair of any Americans ever achieving something resembling civilization.
If you have never lived anywhere else, you are not qualified to comment.

The idea that we live in a pioneer society has been reduced to the most basic ideas of farting in public (which is what the loud reverb, animals & music really are) and being hogs in every social sense.

Whatever happened to being good neighbors, to thinking about the welfare of others? Whatever happened to looking out for each other? Sure, it happens in micro, but what about micro.. Real pioneer society is all about looking out for each other, because you never know when your house is going to need some help.

The Right has taken advantage of their architecting lack of education about socialism, to make it a dirty word. In fact, it's working so well for most of our modern counterparts, that they are kicking our behinds on everything from manufacturing to health care.

It's a bright, strong cup of coffee. Take a long drink.