The Hen’s Confession

She was no longer capable of hiding a vague sense of shame. It had started sixteen months ago when the Ox had come to visit. Sure, there were obvious size differences and his strange snorting always became a source of confusion. Sometimes it became a kind of language. Sometimes it was a series of emotive outbursts.  She seemed to understand the Ox after a time, though. So, a romance blossomed. Yes, she loved the Rooster. That had been since before the egg-laying days, but the Ox had a male mystique that drew her to him, forbidden and foreboding.

When the Ox would go out to the field to work with men, she knew he would come back to the pens wild-eyed and exhausted.  She often wondered why the henhouse had been set so close to the Oxen pens, but no matter. She found it relatively easy to slip out for her nightly visits. The Rooster slept soundly and only knew the call of the sun, upon its daily arrival. She relished this time. A luscious freedom. Beyond the Ox, beyond the cool evening air. She thought of her feelings, her memories as a kind of guilt at first. Then a kind of obsession.

She approached the Pig, to seek her counsel.  The Pig shook her head. “You have big dreams, Hen. That Ox has no good intentions. Rooster is no working farm animal. He tells the time. When he calls, the whole farm starts their day. Ox – he’s a hauler. Half the time you can’t understand all his snorts and snorts.”

“But I love Ox.” She heard herself say it as she thought it for the first time. “Rooster is a fancy barnyard animal, for certain,” Hen said, but for all his strutting around and big talk…” she let her thought die away.

“No matter about love,” Pig interrupted. “You’re a barnyard Hen. You belong to the Rooster and that’s that. Enough of your crazy thoughts about that Ox. He is not going to give you the right kind of life.”  Pig paused for just a moment. “And… hey… why are you not setting on those eggs of yours and getting them to hatch?”

“The eggs will be fine,” the Hen said.

“Sure they will Hen. Sure they will.” With that Pig closed her eyes and luxuriated in the many little nipple tuggings of her suckling piglets. “Good-bye Hen.”

“Good-bye Pig.”

For discussion:
1) Do you think that the Hen continues to see Ox? Using only evidence found in the story, explain your answer.
2) Do you agree with Pig’s logic regarding Hen’s relationship with Rooster? Explain your thoughts.
3) Can barnyard animals talk? Explain your answer using only academic sources.

Fun With Electricity

I wonder if Edison or Ben Franklin ever envisioned our near total dependence on electricity to survive. Day two of no power at home has come and gone and we are left with slush in the ice maker, slowly spoiling milk, and a total blackout from our usual media sources that spring into life from the electric currents that are now so dark.  All our little touchstones of existence, from the friendly read-out on the stove that reminds of the time of day to the chattering images of live TV. The quiet of no electricity, only spoiled by the low hum of neighborhood generators – those who have cheated themselves out of the quasi-Amish experience of candelight and early bedtimes. Are we really better off with electric light or have we lost something? Ask me when the electric is back. I will tell you I like having options.

Journal: 8/13/2011

Recent activities:

  • Joined Weight Watcher’s.  Wife joined at work.  My work needed a body to join.  So far, so good.  I’m right around 197.  It’s definitely a different experience at the grocery store looking at food in terms of points.  But, it’s a balanced approach, as far as I can see. Nearly all veggies and fruits don’t count.  My daily point allotment is 40.  In the future, when the food rationing comes, this will be the way everyone has to eat.  Just joking.  But, it does seem like a good rationing scheme, eh?
  • Purchased an Alesis MultiMix8 USB 2.0 mixer.  It hooks up to the laptop and allows for all inputs to be picked up individually in recording software.  I use a Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) piece of software called Reaper.  With the USB mixer multiple instruments can be performed and recorded individually.  With a standard mixer, the connection to the computer is through the main stereo jack.  This allows only one stereo signal to be recorded at a time into the DAW.  The upshot is that each individual instrument is part of the mix and, once recorded, cannot be separated.  However, with the USB mixer. each individual instrument is recorded on its own track and therefore can be manipulated after recording.  Advantages?  Expanded creativity and time savings.
  • Reading.  Books surrounding me right now are:  Perelandra by C.S. Lewis, The Symposium by Plato and All The King’s Men by Robert Penn Warren.  I’m terrible at keeping a reading schedule these days.  I kinda just like to have the books around, in some stage of mental consumption.  But, I’ll get around to reading them all at some point.  Well, maybe not all.  No sooner had I ordered All The King’s Men as part of Norm McDonald’s book club (see @normsbookclub on Twitter) that I landed, at random, on one of the movie channels showing a film version of the book, right at the end.  They call that a ‘spoiler’.  My interest died.
  • Music.  The rock snob’s penchant for hating the band Rush notwithstanding I have recently obtained their entire catalog on CD, including all remastered items.  What I found in my hunt for these is that the remastered version of the album ‘Presto’ (released in 1989) has a disc that is indistinguishable from the original version.  Therefore, used CD outlets can easily confuse the original version for the remastered version.  I found this out after ordering the remastered version used off of Amazon and while driving around in my truck, which has a decent stereo system (for factory stock), and not being happy with the sound with what I heard.  The sound was tinny, with no heft in the bass, and subpar stereo separation.  I ordered the CD new from Amazon and, although the identical item by looks, the new version sounded quite a lot better.
  • In addition to the Rush, the following CD’s are sitting around me: Sonic Youth’s Live Performance at the 2003 Anthology Film Archives, Red, Hot & Rio (Various Artists), Lady GaGa’s Born This Way (Deluxe Edition), A Portrait of Aldo Nova (Compilation), Laibach’s Sympathy For The Devil E.P., and the Digipak edition of U2’s Achtung Baby. A strange menagerie indeed.