LaRocca Lush

Daily Prompt: Lush

her lips blushed
a LaRocca Lush
plump, juicy, and sweet
her smile dimpled
pig-nosed wrinkled
eyes twinkled
with pure delight
shied behind
a stray lock of hair
teeth pressed in
a nervous bite

her soul shined
in radiant gold
a Dionysus devotee
grape stomp beauty
draped in ecstasy
and purple toed
her windswept tassels
billowed like a horses mane
braided in grapevines
zinfandel red
cascading the curves
of her divine frame

larocca-vineyards-organic-wine
PHOTO VIA LAROCCA VINEYARDS
“The Late Harvest Lush Zinfandel was picked in November 24, 2005, allowing the grapes to hang longer on the vine. The grapes were picked at 34.5 brix at our Sutter Buttes Vineyard. Capturing the desirable effects of the Botrytis cinerea, the “noble” rot, this wine is rich, ripe and elegant with an enormous presence of raisin and luscious flavors of chocolate and berries which makes for a delightfully sweet finish. With hints of spice and pepper the wine is not overly powerful and is referred to as an aphrodisiac that only gets better with age. This wine pairs deliciously with a rich chocolate truffle or any desserts.”

LaRocca Vineyards grows on 110 acres in Forest Ranch, California, two miles down the windy mountainside Schott Rd, to the end of the pavement, and then a bit further. Nestled in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains at 2600 feet, LaRocca vines thrive on the sweet spring waters and rich mineral deposits of Mount Lassen.

12106829_986283898088474_3771412007118525030_nPHOTO VIA LAROCCA VINEYARDS

Vintner Phil LaRocca does organic with a passion, the fruits of his labor grow chemical free, and his wines age to perfection with no sulfites added. Sulfites may occur naturally in some wines as a byproduct of fermentation, but the United States Organic Wine Standard strictly prohibits use of sulfur dioxide, synthetic additives and preservatives.ccof+usdaAll LaRocca vintages are tested for sulfite levels, if the readings are completely sulfite-free bottles are labeled with “no sulfites detected” to distinguish these hypo-allergenic products for consumers. Roughly 1 in 100 Americans have sulfite sensitivity, which can present as shortness of breath, hives, or anaphylactic shock in extreme cases.

When my big brother Bisbee was in high school experimenting with alcohol, he played a game of slap-bag with some friends of his, passing around cheap Moscato wine… until he passed out on the sidewalk at the Boys and Girls Club where our mother would pick me up after school. Bisbee was taken to Enloe, suffered a brutal hangover, and learned about sulfite sensitivity.

12036804_979289982121199_764400101018690305_n

Dad — Pinot Noir Harvest 2015

Sulfite sensitivity runs in our Dad’s side of the family, but we would never have guessed that he was allergic to wine, because both our parents drank LaRocca wines regularly when they were working at the vineyard. The LaRocca family has been growing grapes to stomp their wine since 1984, and under them my family has been working from vine to bottle to tasting room off and on for roughly 30 years.

Dad laid out irrigation, harvested the crops and stomped in the vats. They always joked about the hazard of vat death, apparently common in this profession, but I still remember the day Dad chopped the tip of his finger off with the pruning shears. The flap of skin was hanging by a thread, but we stopped for popsicles at The Store on the way down the mountain to the hospital, orange creamsicle was always my favorite. In the photo below, roughly 20 years later, I am cutting myself with those same shears. Turns out, the grape doesn’t fall far from the vine, but sadly, the popsicle selection at The Store just isn’t what it used to be.

11990682_979290158787848_8979903615760473593_n

Me — Pinot Noir Harvest 2015

Mom worked at the vineyard in racking, bottling and labeling, and later behind the counter at the Tasting Room when the original location opened in Forest Ranch. At the time, town consisted of The Store, The Diner, The Video Rental, and The Tasting Room. Over the years, several businesses have briefly occupied Forest Ranch storefronts, but the remote little mountain town provides a rather limited customer base, and rent for these locations is notoriously overpriced given the circumstances.

The new LaRocca Tasting Room is a classy joint in the heart of Chico, next door to the El Rey Theater. An intimate setting with limited capacity, the wine bar is a refreshing escape from the rowdy college scene that dominates Chico nightlife, but with special performers and trendy paint nights LaRocca is a tasteful alternative social hotspot.

LaRocca Vineyards Organic Wine Tasting Room
222 W. 2nd Street
Downtown Chico, California
Open Weds – Fridays 1:30-8pm
Saturdays 12 noon – 8pm
Sundays 1:30-6pm

15170939_1286473071402887_8179436935070606296_n
PHOTO VIA PHAEDRA LAROCCA

Even Bisbee got to pitch in with the LaRocca crew back in the day, as a tall and lanky child he was just small enough to drop into the vats for cleaning and just tall enough to climb his way back out again. For payment, being the little devil he was, my brother asked Phil for a Dallas Cowboys jersey. The 49ers haven’t won a Superbowl since he got that accursed jersey, but it is still packed away in the family home with baby keepsake clothes and old hippie hand-mades.

When my brother Wilder and I found our way home to Forest Ranch, Phaedra LaRocca had taken over business operations, with winemaker Phil doing what he does best. While we settled back in town, I started working for Phaedra around the vineyard, and fit right in like my mother never left. One by one familiar faces walked in, said hello to my mother… and one by one they did a double-take, wondering how she had managed to age backwards.

Dad, Wilder and I joined the limited friends and family crew when they came up shorthanded for the Pinot Noir crop that year. Another generation of Allens beside another generation of LaRoccas, another vintage, another snapshot, another generation of Forest Ranch memories. Phil prepared an organic feast that couldn’t be beat, with pineapple glazed ham, pasta salad, fresh fruits and veggies, and of course, LaRocca wine.

12032971_979290192121178_3036881063608164687_n
PINOT NOIR HARVEST 2015 — PHOTOS VIA LAROCCA VINEYARDS
From right: Dad, Me, Wilder, Phil and Crew

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Semantics

a picture is worth 1000 words …but which words, exactly?

Before you squawk semanticist–
Give me 1000 words for this picture, compare it to the next contributor’s 1000 words, comment back what their words mean in your own words, take and/or draw a picture based on their words, compare and contrast.
If easier, start with 100 words, or even just 10.


set the scene–
primarily pink
a touch of green
flecks of red
a golden gleam
indecent exposure
liquid strangers
photo sin thesis
festive pranksters
sun spot blinders
de-arranger
black & white
graffiti gray
prismacolor
acid rain
tapestry woven
in tense disdain
fornication
in obscene name
a curse, a swear
profane love
a witty dare
screamed in passion
uttered in fear
flung for fashion
a viscous sneer
focus, focus
hocus pocus
a gentle bow
in falling dew
a fuzzy fwip
a curtsied skew
spin and dip–
the leads on you
hand in hand
shoe on shoe
word for word
view for view


With 10 words, I have a catchy hook.
With 100 words, I can spin a verse of visual imagery, motivational complexity, and a tease of linguistic philosophy.
With 1000 words, I can bore you with semantics.

In the words of Savage Garden– “a thousand words will give the reason why I don’t need you any more.” By today’s standards, a quick and sassy Sweet Brown meme says just as much, right?

94d74643939cd685a54ae8065ce91cd3f66a8aa727239585983bd879b07b2793

Errybody complaining that nobody gets it but “ain’t nobody got time” to speak out exactly what it is they want people to get.

A snowball effect of colloquialisms, presumptive universalities, and logical fallacies establishes it as an unspoken statement of the obvious, and thus, explanation is in itself an admission of obliviousness, in which case, if one does not get it by simple reference, then it is a concept that can not be gotten within the context of language as they know it.

Any attempt to communicate across such a divide is labelled as semantics, met with exasperation, and widely considered to be obnoxiously exorbitant… illustrator Jeff Mallett knows what I’m talking about–

6219694_orig

Modern technology has made communication with audiences of any size at any distance as simple as the touch of a button… but with simplification of our means of communication, came simplification of content.

Ratings for this type of content are off the charts– given our rising population and the increased availability of internet connectivity, this is not so much a sign of superiority as it is a statistical inevitability.

With the dawning of the age of Aquarius came a technological boom that would come to define the Millennial generation. Marked by the coming of the new millennium, the invention of memes, and the hands of the doomsday clock ticking ever closer to midnight… this global culture-shock forged a divide that has fundamentally changed our understanding of language.

when_you_assume

They say that to assume makes an ass of u and me but we go on assuming that such assumptions apply only to the assumed target of the phrase, while the assumer is exonerated by… perception of moral superiority?

When I say that is a contradiction, I am arguing semantics.
But it isn’t just semantics, being a particular word choice, it is the very semantics of logic itself… a concept that is defined below in British context, whilst poignantly absent in the American understanding of the word.

You may question if it is really necessary to cite not one, not two, but three dictionaries just to make this here point about semantics…

a88e8bc6a5f81437fba79b7171bac0a2

If these 1000 words are not adequate enough to stress the necessity of expressly establishing common terminology within the context of a conversation for the purpose of mutual understanding across language barriers, perhaps that meme will suffice.


dictionary_splash_medium

semantics

 [si-man-tiks]

noun

(used with a singular verb)



1.
Linguistics.

  1. the study of meaning.
  2. the study of linguistic development by classifying and examining changes in meaning and form.
2. Also called significs. the branch of semiotics dealing with the relations between signs and what they denote.

3. the meaning, or an interpretation of the meaning, of a word, sign, sentence, etc: “let’s not argue about semantics.”

British Dictionary definitions for semantics

semantics

/sɪˈmæntɪks/

noun (functioning as sing)

1. the branch of linguistics that deals with the study of meaning, changes in meaning, and the principles that govern the relationship between sentences or words and their meanings
2. the study of the relationships between signs and symbols and what they represent

3. (logic)

  1. the study of interpretations of a formal theory
  2. the study of the relationship between the structure of a theory and its subject matter
  3. (of a formal theory) the principles that determine the truth or falsehood of sentences within the theory, and the references of its terms
Derived Forms
semanticist, noun

Word Origin and History for semantics

n. “science of meaning in language,” 1893, from French sémantique (1883); see semantic (also see -ics ). Replaced semasiology (1847), from German Semasiologie (1829), from Greek semasia “signification, meaning.”

mw_logo

semantics


Definition of semantics

  1. the study of meanings
    a: the historical and psychological study and the classification of changes in the signification of words or forms viewed as factors in linguistic development
    b (1):semiotics (2): a branch of semiotics dealing with the relations between signs and what they refer to and including theories of denotation, extension, naming, and truth

  2. general semantics

  3. a: the meaning or relationship of meanings of a sign or set of signs; especially:connotative meaning
    b: the language used (as in advertising or political propaganda ) to achieve a desired effect on an audience especially through the use of words with novel or dual meanings

oxford2bdictionary2bof2benglish2bpremium2b5-1-0562bapk2bfor2bandroid2bdownload2b252812529

semantics

plural noun


1 [usually treated as singular] The branch of linguistics and logic concerned with meaning. The two main areas are logical semantics, concerned with matters such as sense and reference and presupposition and implication, and lexical semantics, concerned with the analysis of word meanings and relations between them.
1.1 The meaning of a word, phrase, or text

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Ace Reporter – Trip Hunter

In a cramped, musty office on the ground floor of The Daily Star building– a lone worker steadily taps at the keys of his typewriter, their clickity-clack syncopating with the beat of a leaky ceiling and an empty can, the two forming a beautiful symphony that could perhaps be the very rhythm of the universe itself… or maybe that’s the combination of caffeine, psychotropics, copious amounts of marijuana, cheap beer, and bootlegged whiskey. Either way, ONE thing can be certain: no matter how queer the case, how dire the straights, Ace reporter Trip Hunter will be there, in the thick of it, to bring the truth to YOU!

illustrated series by WildEr

Save

Save

Along Came Dolly

Ba baa black sheep have you any wool?
Brush here, shear there, ne’er a bag full… 

That sheep ain’t no Dalai Lama– girl, yoe must be a glutton for for an ass-whoopin’ keepin’ that ewe round here!

This was one piece of mutton long past its expiration date, with a comb-over rivaled only by The Donald himself, and a disproportionately sized tongue lolling out its mouth.

Dolly was an old ewe, she had certainly sheered better days… but the little boy who lived down the lane, turned his nose to ordinary wool, white and plain.

Master demands a bag per day, and a second for the Dame. You know what happens when their coats grow lame.

Ewwwwe, not stew! Not Dolly!

Hush! Not a peep from you or the ewe– I have a plan:

Knight, Bruce I. “Animal Cloning: Transitioning from the Lab to the Market.” USDA. March 5, 2008. https://www.aphis.usda.gov/newsroom/speeches/content/2008/03/Biotech_Comm_final_3-5-08.pdf

Do you even movie night big bro? That never bodes well for the humans…

Think–Dollhouse. The 6th Day. Invasion of the Body Snatchers. Star Wars II. Blade Runner.
Ask yourself: Do Androids Dream Electric Sheep?

I know I know, a clone is not the same as an android… but would you want to eat it? wear it? drink its milk?

Pull the wool over your eyes, but ewwwwe, not stew!

We assure ewe, it is as safe for human consumption as the foods we eat every day: United States Department of Health and Human Services. “Animal Cloning” FDA. July 3, 2014. http://www.fda.gov/AnimalVeterinary/SafetyHealth/AnimalCloning/default.htm

We? Big bro, are you–

We assure ewe, it is as safe for human injection as the drugs we take every day: United States Department of Health and Human Services. “Creating Human Drugs From Genetically Engineered Animals” FDA. August 23, 2015. https://www.fda.gov/ForConsumers/ConsumerUpdates/ucm143980.htm

But that’s a goat–

Sheep go to heaven. Goats go to hell…
Just kidding!
We assure you, it is as safe as for human society as the society we live in every day:
Michael Herndon. “Transcript of Media Briefing on FDA’s Release of a Final Guidance for Industry on the Regulation of Genetically-Engineered Animals” FDA. January 15, 2009. http://www.fda.gov/downloads/NewsEvents/Newsroom/MediaTranscripts/UCM121219.pdf

Recorded? I object–

Hush!
Reporters will be in a listen only mode until we open call for comments.

Little Bo-Peep has lost her sheep,
and doesn’t know where to find them;
Make them a clone, and they’ll come home,
wagging their tails behind them.

She awoke with a start, her face full of wool– black wool.
Dolly the sheep, with a fleece thick as thieves…
Her eyes they must be deceiving.
It couldn’t be! Not Dolly, her Dolly?
She sure was a spittin’ image…
Three bags full she stuffed with wool
She had dreampt her sheep from lame to cool!

Little Bo-peep fell fast asleep,
and dreamt she heard them bleating;
but when she awoke, she found it a joke,
for they were still a-fleeting.

You’re a hack with a hook!
That filthy crook!
Big bro must’ve been deceiving.
Alternative facts
And fancy “science” reading
Dolly was gone
Before she ever knew she was sleeping

Then up she took her little crook,
determined for to find them;
she found them indeed, but it made her heart bleed,
for they’d left their tails behind them.

Tale of woe, woe is me
How could she let it be?
Tale by Tale
bye bye tails…

It happened one day, as Bo-peep did stray
into a meadow hard by,
there she espied their tails side by side,
all hung on a tree to dry.

bi-tale
buy small retail
these rhymes
are getting stale…

She heaved a sigh and wiped her eye,
and over the hillocks went rambling,
and tried what she could, as a shepherdess should,
to tell each clone from its lambkin…

But the real mystery
was little Bo-Peep
for that night she dreampt
of electric sheep.

Save

Dreams of Daily Star-dom

I had all but forgotten about dreaming.

For those of you looking to your Daily Stars, this past night you may have noticed an empty sky clouded in this reporter’s silence. Snuggled up warm in my bear, I drifted off to the soft sound of puppy snores… and found myself in a familiar, but distant place.

In my youth, I deemed this place Slumberland, but then again, I have always been partial towards naming my original scripts with a catchy portmanteau.

Reflecting now on my college admissions essay to Drexel University’s Film & Video program entitled “Silver-Screen Dreams” I can’t help but notice the correlation between the dreams we dream at night and the dreams we aspire to live by day.

Not so much in the content of the dreams themselves, mind you. Many artists claim that a particular inspiration came to them in a dream– while I imagine that is true, in a way– they tell it much like they were watching it as a film in their sleep, and transcribing it to you by day.

Naturally, an inspiration we are deeply immersed in, will slip its way into our subconscious in our slumber. But not in an instantly recognizable literal sense. And crossing this border the other way around, is something else entirely.

They royal “they” tells you that you do not dream in color.
I know this to be a lie.
I can remember a neon pink octopus. Smooth, shiny, almost cartoonish for there wasn’t much texture to it.
I can remember a wizard, a castle tower, a magic book, a cat that was a shark.
Underwater, but also not. Swimming through water and swimming through air feel very much the same– and I can do both, as naturally as I breath in either.
I can relate mixed memories to you now from this dream, a particularly memorable dream I dreampt many nights ago.
But when I woke from that dream, many afternoons ago, I could remember the rhyme, but none of the reason. Though I did recall it was quite intriguing. A smash hit, a million dollar idea, I had to tell the world. But when facebook asked “What’s on your mind?” and I put fingers to keys… err… pink octopus?
I cannot tell you anything about the dream I dreampt last night. Though I do recall it was very vivid, and I spent much of my morning reflecting on it… err… coffee?
I don’t even drink coffee.
But at a distance, I can describe for you images of that old dream, like it was yesterday. Mayhaps, a tiny bit distorted by this reporter’s recent adventures with Dirk Gently’s Hollistic Detective Agency… but as we speak, I am just now beginning to piece together elements of a plot long forgotten by the journey to the waking world.

When I made the journey back this afternoon, I was left with very little in memory. But as the drive to dream drags me back to slumberland through most mornings, the drive to dream pulls me ever onward now, reflected in my waking world creations.

I suppose I could say the inspiration for this here post came to me in a dream. But that would be so cliché.

Rain, Down the Drain, Jussayin’…

I’m singin’ in the rain, but raindrops keep fallin’ on me head.

Perchance its empathy for an increasingly anxious puppy, perched on his windowsill, unwilling to brave the storm even as the big business builds up from this morning’s bowl.

Could be its the excess macca-smoothie-energy, the art production frenzy, or the spring cleaning much too soon for Punxsutawney Phil’s prediction.

Mayhaps, the soft pattering, the gusting howling of mother nature’s song, as dry banks flood to play along.

However the rhyme, whichever the reason… some drought we’re having!

Its a bittersweet feeling– thankful for the roof over my head, and the panda bear to snuggle warm and fuzzy in my bed… but still, it comes over me, this sense of dread.

There’s a chill to this winter that can’t be all in my head.

When George R.R. Martin says “Winter is Here” I am filled with giddy butterflies awaiting the fate of angst-ridden fan-fic-fans world-wide as they come to realize that their hero is no hero.

But as the solstice ushered in this reporter’s twenty-third year of life in human form, the last leaves of autumn fell… and we seemingly expected it all to end there.

Alas, its over a week into 2017, and the world hasn’t ended yet. Some thank their Nightly Stars, while others…

DSC_0037.JPG

Illustration by WildEr

BRAKING NEWS headlines the front page, by-lined to somebody that knows a lot about the subject, your go to source on new developments in speed reduction. You come to a screeching halt.

Another two cents down the drain… but you must know: what about that THING that we have?

As you scrounge in your pocket to pay the dispenser– picking out the lint and the Cheetos dust to tuck safely back in your belly button– a gust of wind blows a wadded up ball of newsprint smack into your face.

~~~uurmph! You fall back, flat on your patootie, pennies flying like hail to a stripper’s donkey. They land with a cling and a splash in the clogged up gutters of your mind.

You can just make out the header: THE DAILY STAR

Intrigued, and moderately dizzied, you delve into the genius wordcraft of reporter Zu-Zu Lee with the scoop of the day.

Your two cents still remain, fighting back the current of social media sewage.

In the distance, clouds part, a beam of light shines through illuminating the comments section below, a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow–

Save

Save

Save