Turkey week!

I’ve recently been impressed at how fatty ground beef is. Worse (in my mind) is its fat:protein ratio. WO and I usually cook something once a week using it, whether it’s shit-on-shingles (modified to use mashed potatoes instead of “shingles”), chili, or something similar. This week, WO and I are switching to ground turkey. While not a cure-all in terms of fat, the ground turkey we purchased is significantly leaner. (Unfortunately, there was only one available brand of ground turkey at Kroger.)

Last night, we made chili in the crock pot using turkey instead of beef. I’ll note that this is the good kind of chili, with onions, kidney beans, lots of tomatoes, onions, garlic, green chilies, optional angel hair spaghetti, etc., not just meat and a hint of tomato. I only had a small taste this morning, but it was damned yummy. The meat was less strongly flavored and “softer”–even though it was cooked a little long in the crock pot (by which I mean 4 hours long–fuck getting up early), it seemed more inclined to fall apart than dry up. I like that. Chewy ground beef makes my jaw tired.

Frying the turkey was a pleasant experience, too. Lots of water loss, very little oiliness. There was a similar difference in the chili: no layer of oil on top. Yay happy tummy.

Hell, yay happy heart.

Tuesday night, we’ll be doing turkey tacos. I’m excited.

Pain, or suffering?

I can’t comment directly on Krustukles’s recent entry, so I’ll do so here. She writes of ethical thoughts regarding vegetarianism vs. omnivorism, listing some interesting thoughts in an attempt “to develop an informed position on the subject”.

What struck my particular interest was the point:

Regardless of whether animals have a consciousness which to us is not apparent, it is easily demonstrable that most things more complicated than fungi have some kind of nervous system, if only rudimentary. Even if a cow isn’t contemplating Proust, it does feel pain.

This is always a stopping point in my discussions with WO on animal killing. He argues that, yes, cows may feel pain, but do they suffer as a result of that pain? Do they have enough higher brain functions to care?

Given some research I’ve found on permanent shrinkage of the amygdala as a result of trauma (and I’ll note that my “knowledge” is such that I can only recite a definition of what the amygdala is by rote), I’m inclined to say that there is suffering. He, of course, argues back with, “But is their quality of life worsened by shrunken brain parts?”

I don’t know, and I don’t know if it matters, but the distinction between pain and suffering is something to toss out.


Poetry all around

I’m not really a writer of poetry. I tried my hand at it back in 9th grade for some English assignments, and the results continue to embarrass me now. I’ve been tempted to post one or two, in fact, but honestly, I’m not sure I could face the questions from high school friends here who would wonder who in the hell I thought I was so in love with at the age of 14 that I should write horribly cynical poetry about.

Regardless, last night, as I was lying in bed, my response to a stressful situation came to me in poetry. I blame this on listening to lquiet last night. So at 02:00 this morning, I wrote my first poem in seven years. I won’t post it, as it’s rather more personal than I intend to get here, but it’s a portentous start to my decision to write more.

I have an assignment coming up in my Bible as Literature class that will let me do some more creative funness. I’m cackling in glee over this one, too, although I’m going to keep it secret until I’m sure I can pull it off.

Dissatified on the creative side

I feel like I haven’t written in forever. I mean, I blog occasionally, but not at length. I write for the paper, but nothing really challenging aside from infrequent humor pieces. I haven’t written fiction… sigh since early summer.

NaNoWriMo’s coming up, and I’m dry on ideas. That’s straight from a lack of practice. Every idea I come up with is suspiciously like a story or character I’ve read of recently, and I’m not up for 50,000 words of fanfic. Even my diary writing has been sporadic and staccato in style. “I went to yoga. Yay! I binged again. Boo. Oh, well, better luck tomorrow.”

I’m realizing lately how important my creative endeavors are to my general happiness. My self-exploration, my self-expression, hell, the simple ability to string a few well-chosen words together usefully: all of these stem from my writing practice, and I haven’t been doing it. Over and over again recently, I’ve felt like my words are “lost”–I can’t write funny or witty little phrases in my newspaper pieces, I have trouble thinking of the elegant word I want to use for something, etc. It’s frustrating and I feel like I’m getting dumber and less skilled. It definitely shows here on the blog.

My goal for the next week is to write at least three micros, shorts, or segments of my larger works. I might wrap up a few pieces for my sorely-neglected Ila des Mains series or post a few unrelated pieces out here. (Then again, nothing may make it out here.) I don’t excel at shorts (since I don’t like to read them much), but it’ll get the juices flowing again.