Friday, June 28, 2013

Invasion Of The Kiwi Apples

Forget any Chinese grand-design for economic world domination. The real concern for global equilibrium is a blatantly expansionist aspiration, emanating from the apple orchards of Aoteoroa.

Before I'm accused of taking a swipe at our New Zealand friends, detour to the pre-eminent grocery emporium in your 'hood.
Head for Produce. Casually dangle your smartphone or recording device by your side, and surreptitiously document the blinding array of premium apples on offer.

If you've made it this far the rest is simple deduction.

Familiar Red, Golden "De-lish" and Granny Smith varietals have long been complemented by Braeburn and Gala. When Fuji and Jazz showed up, it seemed a statement of intent. What better stealth to exploit/export, than such a proven seduction.
Keen Spidey-sense engaged, it fell to me to flesh out this exposè.

Opportunity presented itself on my weekly supermarket mission. There before me, was a motherlode of evidence. Intuition aided the selection of four specimens from the smörgåsbord, then home to conduct a random taste-test, aimed at the core of the matter.

It's fair game to begin at original sin. Which I'll suggest, makes a more evocative moniker for the obviously named "Eve," a classic apple-shaped fruit. Deep ruby skin, firm, tempting ... tart.

You get the general idea - a bite built to chew on for an eternity.

The crunchy, super-sweet-an'-dandy "Smitten" had me at hello. Yet, mindful. "Must-not-succumb, to the Succubus of this fruit."
Weakness could mean rehab. A.A. ... Appleholics Anonymous.

I hadn't bargained on "Envy." When mind-games are deployed, subordination is complete. This is a subtler, can't-eat-just-one, crisp-biscuit. With these apples hanging from his tree, this lucky grower must be in huge demand. Haters will hate ... hence, envy.

My image of New Zealand benefits from a single Auckland trip. Muriwai Beach, Rotorua, Kauri Wood, lambchops, honeybees. These are romantic indicators, and clearly the Apple lobby has
co-opted the power of Kiwi Love as aggressive market strategy.
Those pesky plastic stickers are the slippery slope to PLU porn.
Preferences do differ of course, but "Divine" proved to be merely that by comparison. Still, I won't let it dilute my due-diligence.
Waiting in the wings is "Ambrosia," promising sex by suggestion. And from there it's onto the "Southern Slap," which will require a proper re-think in the wake of the Paula Deen snafu Stateside. 
Those of us living in up-the-way Ontario, facing this invasion, can choose to be a cultivar-collaborator or join the resistance.
I'll reveal how I lean after I've studied the entire seasonal tease.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Window on Valencia. España: Parte Uno.

So, this is where paella comes from ... Ibiza is offshore too.
Bankers from here funded Christopher Columbus in 1492.

Valencia visit was a long time comin', beckoning as seabreeze.
Plenty citrus. But in early season, just tart oranges on the trees.

A road-blocked tent-event held us. Only those on foot shall pass,
y los perros out to walk, seeking communal privy patches of grass.

What's that famous line about the rain in Spain, and where it falls?
My rewrite says, on promising, unfinished, football-stadium walls.

Valencian settlement record is storied of conquest, varied, long.
Now, shiny streetcars signal a future, bright, electric and strong.

Much to see, so little time, a common traveller's lament or prayer.
Strategic wall stencils promote escort to the city's seamier layer.

Lost-in-translation syndrome. I read streetsigns wrong all day.
Some seemed to instruct tourists to divert and route another way.
Of course that's not so, Valencia's design caters to a visitor's fun.
The Arts and Sciences City complex has everything under the sun. 

La Opera and El Museo lavishly testify to quantum Euros spent.
I would've seen more attractions but the weather wouldn't relent. 

The mall over the road was shelter and food, lunch fast 'n' terriffic,
after a tour of Europe's most elaborate Aquarium Oceanographic.

Muppet Gonzo, Idris Elba, Apophis, Isaac from The Love Boat.
"Hey where'd that come from?"- as you re-read what I just wrote.

Well, I met there a friend, a big part of the trip's enjoyment factor.
The names are assignments for Iñaki, Spain's finest Voice Actor.
Having been, seen and conquered, and become part of the lore,
a resolution for a not-too-distant summer, return to see more.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Pinkie and The Blues. A Daydream.

You don't see these color combos on this blog very often.
More de rigueur for Ackeelover Chronicles are earthtones and Jamaican accents. Well, that's still my go-to aesthetic I can assure you, but now is summer, and the gris of Canadian winter has lifted to reveal Rembrandt's pallette. Everywhere.

Colors stir imagination, so expect retailers to combine tone and tint with font and product placement. This day, I experienced a spontaneous waking daydream thanks to a well placed, simply conceived, plastic serving tray. As I passed through the add-on aisle (that inescapable, build-a-shelf, trinket heaven near any check-out), my music-matrix cued up a familiar guitar intro.

A rare silent "Q" had suggested my default to B.B. 'n' Lucille.

Implicit allusion to hickory and mesquite in the motif evoked a backyard spread, in which I'm feeding fictitious friends from a focal firepit. My apron, a joke gift which should have gone out with the wrapping but stuck around to become part of my shtick, bears the word "horngry," flinging flirt on the flames.
Alas, the line moved sharply, undermining the process of talking myself into the $3 purchase. Still, I couldn't get The Blues outta my head. Further on up the road (intentional reference), I'm still going over my playlist for when opportunity presents itself.
B.B. King appropriately segues into Bobby Bland, another B.B., and back, before Bland a.k.a. "Blue" gives way to pink. 

"Pinkie" had parked the statement whip outside Old Navy.

Precisely where her audacious bumper was in my line of vision.

Ignition. Then a lingering look at innuendo before pulling out. Slowly. The confluence of blue and pink in my fluid, freestyle daydream, makes me wish I'd dropped a trey for the tray.

 As a sort of ... dreamcatcher.