Monday, July 02, 2007

Normal Stuff

My sister Anna informed me that I write about weird stuff. She wanted to know when I would return to normalcy. I had no idea that was possible. Well, she did tell me that same thing years ago but it was that I did weird stuff and why couldn't I be normal, but we were teenagers then.

The horses have done a superb job of cleaning up the barnyard and the side pasture. We keep finding junk hidden by the grass and weeds - bits of metal, a rusty water pump, an 8 foot round tank, a cement pad with wood stacked on it. So far the horses have been a joy to have too. They drink a lot so filling up their water takes a while every day, but otherwise they are pretty low key.

We have the chickens in one side of the small barn. This barn is divided into two rooms with an open breezeway in the middle. The horses hang out in the breezeway where it is shaded throughout the day. The chickens pick through and break up any manure left there and keep the flies down. It really is a good system.

The donkey on the other hand is a trouble maker. The donkey I think feels this need to be in a stall and had been coveting the chicken coop. Emily opens the door for them in the morning and she would put a brick in front of the door and a brick behind the door so the chickens could come and go, but the horses could not get in. The donkey had no problem though pushing through the door. When I would get home I would find him holed up in the back, snacking on the chicken food. I decided that enough was enough and put a gate across the door that was about waist high. But, the donkey jumped the gate and came in anyway. The gate must have been the last straw because he decided to break everything in the chicken coop - feed cans, watering buckets, pallets set up for roosts, and he ate ALL of the chicken feed. So after I cleaned up his mess I put up a hotwire around the chicken coop so he can't get in any more. Now he is trying to get into the other barn. But he is very likeable. He is like a rebellious kid that everyone likes even though he keeps getting into trouble.

One good thing about the donkey is that he will not tolerate raccoons, cats, dogs, coyotes, or foxes in the barnyard. He has been gentle with the girls, but if another animal enters his area he becomes a heehawing terror.


Anonymous said...

Hi Brian. I personally consider myself a fan of both the "normal" as well as the "non-normal" posts. Your take on zombies was interesting. It reminded me of something I read ages ago in one of Christopher Tolkien's books. Apparently, Christopher's father--the famous J.R.R.--came under fire at one point from conservative Catholics who questioned the whole idea of Orcs. They objected to them on the grounds that a Catholic conception of moral ontology does not allow for any created thing to be purely evil. In Catholic theology, the idea that purely evil things exist is Manichean; the contrary idea, the idea that all being is intrinsically good, and that to turn away from goodness is the same thing as turning away from being, is in my experience ascribed to Boethius. (Hence nihilism, the belief in nothing, can be construed as an essentially evil doctrine, because it denies being). Zombies, like orcs, seem to be purely evil constructs. On this, I tend to agree with your view. An alternative interpretation, however, is suggested by Dante; in one of the later cantos of INFERNO, I recall stanzas describing gigantic, fiery tombs in which the souls of damned men and women (including at least one pope) are burning. The lids of the tombs are removed, and the flames blaze brightly in hell's caverns. When Dante and Virgil approach them, the unfortunate souls explain that things, as bad as they are, will still get worse. Following the Final Judgment, the damned souls will be reunited with their glorified bodies in the general resurrection. In this reunified state, the condemned will burn eternally in a state of divinely perfected pain. At that point, the lids on the tombs will close forever. I mention this because, in certain ways, it seems to mirror the idea of a "reverse resurrection" that you described in your post. I don't know whether Dante's vision has any theological validity at all, but it certainly works as poetry. If only all zombie movies were as good as INFERNO!

Brian Gardunia said...


It is good to hear from you.

The difference between Dante's tortured souls and Zombies is that Zombies are soulless, mindless bodies. The only thing left to them is hunger. Dante's tortured souls still have their minds, they are just tortured beings. Orcs are different to in a way because they were never alive as "good" beings.

Kelly said...

Hey Brian!!!

I don't know if this counts as "Normal" but it looked like soemthing you'd be interested in!