Tag: christmas

arbitrary separations

Separating one year from the next 

Arbitrary, yes, but any excuse for a party. I think Festivus, Christmas, the solstice, and New Year’s should all be placed on the solstice, with a week-long party on either side of that date.

I’ve been reading about year-end celebrations on Wikipedia. The idea of a celebration on December 25  came from the Roman Emperor Aurelian for his “birthday of the unconquered sun” festival. This festival was one in a long line of winter solstice celebrations that included gift-giving and Yule logs (from the Roman worship of the god Saturn), decorating with evergreen boughs, greenery, and lights, having feasts, and performing acts of charity.

The January-to-December order of months was established by a Roman emperor around 700 BCE. At some point the English changed New Year’s to March 25. They returned to the older Roman-derived  calendar in 1752.

Needless to say, various people celebrate New Year’s on other days and in other months. Every day is a new year, isn’t it?

Utah notes December 31 with an attempt to separate couples

Coming back down to culture wars and politics, we can remember this New Year’s Eve as the day the state of Utah appealed directly to the Supreme Court to put a stop to the gay marriages that are happening in that state. The marriages became legal following a judicial order on Dec. 20. In Utah’s appeal to the Supreme Court, it said that same-sex marriage is an affront to the interests of the state and the ability of its citizens to define marriage “through ordinary democratic channels.”

Remember the case of Janice Langbehn a few years ago? She’s a Washington state woman who took a vacation with Lisa, her partner of 17 years, and their three adopted children. When Lisa collapsed due to an aneurysm, she was hospitalized in Florida. Janice and her children were denied the right to visit Lisa at her bedside and to be with her before she died. They weren’t considered to be family. This is the sort of thing Utah wants to put to a vote. It wants to deny marriage licenses to people like Janice and Lisa.

I think the tide of history and civil rights will overcome Utah, Florida, and other states like this, but I hate seeing the casualties along the way.

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jello christmas

I missed an opportunity. There was a holiday potluck at work, and I completely forgot about it. It would have a been a fine opportunity to create a nativity scene embedded in Jello. Think about it … a dome of lime Jello, much like a giant snow globe without the snow, and at the bottom there would be little plastic wise men, camels, a baby Jesus. Hmmm. I might have to attempt this anyway. I’ll get back to you.

It would be easier than nailing Jello to a wall.

jello_nails

a christmas curse and a couple movies to mention

As we celebrate Christmas, make a happy toast to all of the people who are currently suffering horrific agony in hell (for those gullible readers who believe in a literal hell). Merry Christmas to you, sinners in the underworld. Especially those of you who just happened to be born in a non-Christian family – eternal burning torture and Happy New Year.

But enough levity; now on to the movies.

Spirited Away – I’m way late to the party on Miyazaki movies, but finally saw this one. Wow. A new surprise every minute. Amazing scenes and creatures bursting out of the imagination over and over again. It’s pretty spectacular. The story itself was just okay for me, probably great for children. Overall, a fountain of creativity and strangeness and beautiful images. Next up: Princess Mononoke.

The Hobbit, part 1.  I saw this in 3D but not the 48 fps version. I had read lots of reviews that said it was slow moving, especially at first, but I had no trouble in that department at all. I enjoyed it. Lots of Gandalf, which means lots of Ian McKellen, and that’s all good. I really enjoyed the Radagast wizard character. This film didn’t stick with me the way the first film of the LOTR trilogy did, and it probably doesn’t need three movies anyway. Enjoyable, nonetheless.

Evil-Snowmen

my annual holiday music post: ¿Que es mas macho?

Which of these two Christmas songs is the most powerful soul-sucking mood destroyer for anyone over the age of 14? When you go into a store with muzak or walk past some carolers, which one of these tunes brings you down the farthest?

Is it “Jingle Bell Rock” or “Little Drummer Boy”?

“Jingle Bell” has the vapid, empty-brain despair of a chewing gum commercial. It’s one-dimensional white bread hell that smells like a junior high gymnasium. It’s the musical equivalent of a poster of a cute kitten that says, “Hang in there!” as the baby kitten dangles from a string. You feel nauseous during exposure and long afterwards.

“Drummer Boy,” on the other hand, creeps in with an almost tolerable melody and then you realize, in horror, that the words are puerile nonsense. You’re singing baby talk imitations of a toy drum. It’s like a mantra designed to kill brain cells. You’re embarrassed by what’s going on in your ears and head and you try to stomp it down like you’d stomp down a fire in your kitchen. Too late.

Go ahead. Choose your poison. Jingle Bell or Drummer Boy? Which is the most bad ass? And happy frickin’ holiday christmas kwanza new years crap to you, too, Mr. or Ms. reader. That’s right, I’ve got a bad attitude. You want to step out into the alley behind this blog and deal with it? Right now? Come on, mofo, get in here.