The apparent path of the sun will cross the celestial equator at 22:45 UTC tonight. Happy Ostara, Dear Readers, and Blessed Be!
Archive for the ‘Holidays’ Category
The deities who preside over [carnival] are not those associated with Christianity, but rather the ancient pagan gods who, in New Orleans alone out of this whole grim, Puritanical country, have never fully relinquished their rule. – “Mardi Gras 2014”
If you’re a new reader and not from New Orleans, you may not understand why the day is still important to me even though I no longer live there (and in fact, I’ve never been as far from the Crescent City on a Fat Tuesday as I am today). So take a look at my previous columns for the day (the one linked in the epigram plus 2013, 2012 and 2011), and if you want to celebrate in your own small way try indulging yourself in whatever way makes you happiest, at least for one day; that’s exactly what I’ll be doing!
An obligatory “gift” of a certain expected value which must be presented at a certain time in order to retain a woman’s sexual favors is not a love offering, but rather a whore’s fee. – “St. Valentine’s Day”
Regular readers know that I don’t care much for Valentine’s Day, mostly because it’s so nakedly hypocritical but also because, as I explained last year,
…while all the others are inclusive, this one is exclusive. Holidays are times for friends, families and others to gather and celebrate together, but Valentine’s Day festivities (except, perhaps, for polyamorists) are exactly the opposite. Lovers tend to seek every available excuse to be alone together anyway; it hardly seems necessary to set aside a special day for that, especially one on which the show is celebrated above the substance.
In fact, I like the classical Roman Lupercalia much better; dudes running around naked and hitting women with whips seems to me a much more exciting way to celebrate than being given a box of chocolates I can’t eat without worrying about my waistline. Even most Valentine images are annoying or even creepy, which is why I like the little kitten one above so much. SEE HOW CUTE IT IS??? Major, major cute. 7.5 on the Richter scale of cuteness. And therefore one of the few I can stand. Starting next year, I’ll be generating my own images for this occasion, but until then you’ll have to settle for…no, I can’t say it; some puns are just too awful, even for a Valentine.
There is neither heaven nor earth
only snow, falling incessantly. – Hashin
You may be wondering why I’m featuring this lovely picture of a beautiful witch on this particular day. Well, since this is Christmas Eve in Russia, you might think of her as the Frost Maiden, granddaughter to Ded Moroz (the Slavic Santa Claus). And since today is also Epiphany, when children in many Catholic countries receive their presents, you might think of her as Befana, the witch who performs that function in Italy. Befana is traditionally depicted as an old lady, but since Italy is Italy sexy Befana images are now quite common there; besides, if I were an immortal witch with magical powers you can bet I wouldn’t go around looking like a hag. Befana is a Christianized version of the minor Roman goddess Strenia, who was herself associated with the Greek witch-goddess Hecate. So as you can see, a sexy witch image is totally appropriate for this first day of the carnival season…and besides, it’s my blog and I’ll use just about any excuse I can think of to post a picture of a beautiful fantasy chick.
While it’s true that we can no longer put the entire world on hold for twelve days, I’m sure most of you can manage two. – Maggie McNeill
Doctors, so it is said, make the worst patients; they will not heed the advice they give to everyone else. I guess I’m the same way; though I’m always giving others advice that is generally lauded as good, I never seem to heed my own counsel. One timely example is the advice I always give in this blog on Boxing Day, as stated in the epigram above; though I’m always telling y’all not to be in too much of a rush to get back to work, I myself tend to be in motion every waking hour…and that’s sometimes as many as 20 per day when I’m on tour, and 18 per day at home. And yes, holidays too. But I had a lot of time to think when I was alone in the car this summer, and that was even more true on the long train trip from Chicago to Seattle, over 48 hours without internet. And right after that came the visit to Seattle itself, which affected me profoundly for a number of reasons; the end result is that I realized I really don’t have to knock myself out quite so much, and I really can relax just a little bit. Oh, don’t worry, I’m much too tightly-wound to slack off for very long; however, when one is over the top of a hill and rolling down the other side, there’s no harm in stepping on the clutch and just letting gravity and momentum do the work for a little while. Things will continue here as they always have, but right now I’m just enjoying the last bit of three days of coasting.
Merry Christmas, Dear Readers, and Blessed Be!