Pork Chops with Quinoa and Tomatoes

Tonight’s dinner was pan fried pork chops with quinoa and tomatoes. I finished the chops in the oven for a few minutes. I’ve never done a pork chop that way, and it turned out a little tough, but the taste was still amazing.

If you haven’t integrated quinoa into your diet, try it. Quinoa is rich in protein. It’s a super food. And it tastes really good alone or with some seasoning.

I buy it in bulk. In bulk you might have to soak it for 20 or 30 minutes to remove the outer layer of bitter-tasting saponins. Saponins are nature’s way of keeping hungry animals from eating it. Once removed, the taste is flavorful and grainy without any need for seasoning (seriously).

I threw some garlic and tomatoes in tonight, though, which really allows the quinoa to express itself and get a little extra kick during certain bites.

Bon appétit.

We Pluck, Raze, Clip, Color, Condition, Trim, Wax, Botox, Face Lift, Soap, Disguise Evolution Right Out of Our Collective Human Portrait

You’ve heard someone pound a desk and grunt through gritted teeth, “I didn’t come from no ape.” That comes before ripping off their shirt to reveal their hairy monster chest and perfectly manscaped pubes.

The evidence for our descent from primate ancestors stares at us in the mirror every morning, and then we shave, pluck and tweeze till we look as little like apes as possible.

For me, our skeletal frame is alone a good enough reason to accept evolution. Evolution deniers really think god liked the skeleton so much he varied it ever so slightly from animal to animal, but for the most part kept it the same. Did he do that to fool you or are you not as special as you thought you were? If “Intelligent Design” had a chance, there would be a mysterious disconnect between our innards and the common fish. But that apparently isn’t enough for the “Intelligent Design” movement.

I like to think of evolution in terms of hygiene. Tina hates me for this, because I got the idea whilst waiting for her to leave the bathroom once. She went on a marathon pluck fest for what seemed like a fucking week, and my natural body hair grew down to my toenails. Believe it or not, but that’s a picture of me (top right) after not shaving for a week. Scary right?

If it weren’t for all our modern bathroom accountrements, we’d all be awful looking beasts — especially the older we get. I feel obligated to remind people of the hair on our bodies (some men and women more than others). I mean for pete’s sake: nose hair, ear hair, face hair, head hair, pubic hair. If it weren’t for modern techniques to remove as much hair as possible every day, maybe evolution would have a better chance of being accepted.

As it is, we pluck, raze, color, condition, botox, face lift, wax, soap and disguise evolution right out of our appearances.

It should bother you that the “ideal” human look is to resemble a child as much as possible. At least in America, we prune the hedges like fanatical landscapers. The term “manscaping” didn’t come out of nowhere. Women stress over bikini lines.

We are made to think we should want to look most like pre-pubescent children, and then wonder how and why there’s a problem with adults fiddling little kids, when they represent an ideal picture of human beauty.

It boggles my mind.

I’m not saying I don’t do my share of pruning my bushes. I want to feel and look young just like the next guy or gal. It’s as if corporations have cornered all the markets on a million different ways to cover up evolution.

Disguise evolution any way you want, it’s your history, your background, your blood and your privilege to have the connection.

I don’t know about you, but I’m off to manscape my apish heritage right out of my bikini line.

Honk.

Does a Hawk Sighting Count as Superstition?

Tina and I were having a heart to heart yesterday about all that’s going on. It’s an emotional time, but a wonderfully hopeful time. We’re pioneering into uncharted territory … at least for us.

We were at the end of our talk. We had just hugged, and as I stood up to walk away, there was a HUGE bird in the tree out our front window. I’m almost positive it was a hawk. But sometimes I hesitate to identify birds.

I got really excited and said, “Tina, stand up! No don’t stand up. I mean, stand up really really slowly!” I wanted so badly for Tina to see the beautiful masterpiece of a bird that was at arms length outside the window.

I ran and got my camera. I had to change lenses, and fortunately I snapped off this shot before another hawk flew up and they both flew off together.

Back in my superstitious days, this would have been a sign from heaven. I struggle with that even now.

“Wow,” I said to myself. “That totally looks like a sign from heaven. What if I’m wrong about this whole god thing?” Then I fell down, bumped my head and drew … the flux capacitor!

I’ve written off the possibility that our bird friend came from a supernatural place. It doesn’t make any sense. If I were to think it was a sign, there’s a whole slew of lies I could tell myself regarding what the bird symbolizes about the mysterious possibilities.

Or I could see it for what it was, a majestic encounter with a beautiful beast in plain view of my living room.

Seeing the hawk served as a positive sign alright. It completely awed us about nature, about its ability to perplex and inspire. It was certainly a time when we needed a reminder of how life has evolved on this planet for so long and our efforts are invigorated and inspired with science and human reasoning.

However, we are connected to that majestic bird, and it to us. Connection to all that lives is what gives me/us/you wings. Look around you at all that there is to admire about nature, and remind yourself that 99% of all living things that ever existed are now extinct. Ninety-nine percent!

If all there is around us is 1% of life that ever existed, and we are all so dumbstruck by nature’s beauty, imagine what you’d be like if there were 99% more beauty!

Truly it should put perspective on evolution versus “intelligent design”. What intelligence gets a 55 or 60 on a test and is considered bright? Let alone, who gets a ONE on a test, and deserves any right to be called “intelligent”?

Think about it.