Wednesday, January 10, 2007

The Year of the Boar

Here it is, a good way into the New Year, and I’m penning my first post!?! Pathetic, and hopefully not an indication of my level of discipline this year. Many things have been churning in the world of late—friends are living abroad, the euro continues to gain on the dollar, the new congress has taken hold (yes!), animals are beginning to “talk” to us, and throughout this planet weather patterns have been highly unusual.

There are many topics a woman of opinions could take on—and I’ve got a serious one in the pike—but here and now I’d like to share with you a variety of happy links to topics that have been occupying my thoughts.

For instance, over the holidays I watched a show on
Animal Planet called When Animals Talk. Hosted by the magnificent Jane Goodall, this program really blew my mind. I’d recommend you watch it if you have access to Discovery or Animal Planet, but in the meantime I’ll share my wonder at stories it told such as these: The wild pod of Orcas that were being filmed and photographed by a Spanish photographer, which day by day drew closer to the photographer standing at the edge of the seashore. These happen to be the same pod of Orcas which have learned to beach themselves in order to grab their sea lion prey. The photographer eventually got into the water with the whales, who allowed him to pet them and learned to respond to names that he gave them. The film of the Orcas swimming around his knees as he plays the harmonica for them is quite incredible. Or the parrot who not only has such an incredible vocabulary that he can speak with his owner in rather sophisticated sentences, but he also exhibits a distinct personality—like when Jane Goodall came to visit him he greeted her heartily, and then said to her: “Hey, where’s your little toy?” while making mocking monkey noises! Amused by his humor, he laughed at himself. He also asks his owner for kisses, and asks her to, “Get closer, I can’t reach you.” Or this one about the pair of pooches that seem to instinctively know when their owner approaches, although he returns at varying times on varying days, and often doesn’t return at all when he travels. No matter how variable his schedule, and long before they could conceivably hear the engine of his car or smell him, the dogs settle at the door of their home and wait for their owner’s return.

If humans evolved into sentience and ethics, is it inconceivable to think that animals might be doing the same thing?

Speaking of things that evolve, how about Mike Sherwood’s extraordinary virtual project,
Sub Rosa—a virtual restaurant he has created on the internet. You can have it all at Sub Rosa, incredible meals at no cost, accompanied by hand-selected music to help create a mood. Check out some of the very cool Indian tunes he has uploaded (for sharing only), particularly my two favorites, Within You Without You and Mausam. I love Mike’s restaurant because you can eat without gaining weight, you can download some of his wife’s incredible recipes, and because Mike has an extraordinary talent for artfully blending the best elements of dining. If only Sub Rosa were a material place, then again some things are best when held in our imaginations, don’t you agree?

In reference to my discussion of animals above, it’s the Chinese
year of the boar this year. Boars are honest, indulgent, eager to gain knowledge and logical. To celebrate this animal representation, Aaron and I saw “Charlotte’s Web” on NYE—very cute! Some people were surprised that I could rope my football-obsessed husband into seeing a children’s story starring Dakota Fanning on such a party night, but we didn’t have any exciting invitations this year. I have a very soft spot for the story of Charlotte and Wilbur (I remember the librarian at the Westchester Municipal Library recommending it to me), and thusly pigs in general. Boars are evidently compatible with tigers, which is my Chinese birthyear. What Chinese year were you born in?

Finally I’ll leave you with this image of our celebration the final night we were in Bavaria last summer. Notice the copious amount of amber-toned beer!


At 5:39 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Happy New Year from me the little Libran Monkey :) Karina xxxxx


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