Thursday, December 30, 2010

...what are you doing New Year's Eve?

Ok, here we go. On this day in 1904 the first New Year's Eve celebration was held in Times Square (then known as Longacre Square) in New York, New York. And then on this day in 1909 the Manhattan Bridge opened. A few years later, in 1923 the chimes of Big Ben were broadcast on radio for the first time by the BBC.
There are many myths and practices that parallel New Years Eve. For instance, Blackeyed Peas, Rice and cornbread are a few foods that remain tradition for many.
A New Year's Day meal is considered to bring good luck.
Dried Blackeyed peas in your wallet or purse promises to bring extra money for the new year. Collards, Mustards or Turnips Greens eaten at this time are believed to do the same.
Kissing at midnight is apparently a good omen, because 'lore tells us that you will be kissing that same person for a long, long time. Choose carefully.
On New Year's day, and let's add some sexism to this just for fun?... do not allow a woman to be the first person to enter your house, as it is bad luck. It is believed, the first person to set-foot in your house should be a good man carrying a sprig of evergreen. Try not to choose one who has obviously been rolling around in the woods before he visits you.
General Hygiene. Do not wash on New Years Day! It is bad luck and believed to wash-out a family member. You can add sweeping to that. I guess that could work in your favor for a family member you do not like.
Loud noises, Bell Ringing, Fireworks and Shooting.
At 12 midnight, on New Year's eve, "Shooting in the air" and making loud noises at the stroke of midnight is believed to have scared demonic forces away. Safety first, what goes up, must come down.
Cleaning house and outstanding debts:
It's not good to carry them over into the new year, if that is possible. Start out on a clean slate. I suggest you make a large pitcher of Martinis, get a nice buzz on and push the vaccuum until the ball drops...or you do.
Aside form all of the above, take a moment to be thankful for what you have, ask the Universe for what you want and try to be satisfied in knowing that you have what you need.
Peace, abundance, health and happiness in 2011.

"New Year's Day is every man's birthday." Charles Lamb

Wednesday, December 29, 2010 friends

"The only way to have a friend is to be one." Ralph Waldo Emerson

Monday, December 27, 2010

...Radio City

I have been hearing this catchy, old school-esque song on the radio for quite some time now. It is one that I have to own, called "Forget You". I went onto YouTube to find out who it was, convinced that it sounded like Gnarles Barkley and boy, was I surprised! Gotta love the radio, especially 88.5 WXPN who always play the more unique tracks. Radio Gaga everyone as, on this day in 1932 Radio City Music Hall opened in New York City. Their opening number was not F*ck You tho'. It snowed last evening and we now have a blanket of white over Chester County, PA. The radio sure comes in handy for weather and traffic reports. Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Christmas night came and went in a flash. I had a great time, happy that everything was done in a timely fashion. Now, how many days until next Christmas?

"It's not true that I had nothing on. I had the radio on." Marilyn Monroe

Saturday, December 25, 2010

...Happy Birthday

"For the church's first three centuries, Christmas wasn't in December—or on the calendar at all." Elesha Coffman

For many of us, Christmas and December are inseparable. But for the first three centuries of Christianity, Christmas wasn't in December—or on the calendar anywhere. The celebration of Christ's birth was usually lumped in with Epiphany (January 6), one of the church's earliest established feasts. Some church leaders even opposed the idea of a birth celebration. Origen (c.185-c.254) preached that it would be wrong to honor Christ in the same way Pharaoh and Herod were honored. Birthdays were for pagan gods.
Not all of Origen's contemporaries agreed that Christ's birthday shouldn't be celebrated, and some began to speculate on the date (actual records were apparently long lost). Clement of Alexandria (c.150-c.215) favored May 20 but noted that others had argued for April 18, April 19, and May 28. Hippolytus (c.170-c.236) championed January 2. November 17, November 20, and March 25 all had backers as well.

A Latin treatise written around 243 pegged March 21, because that was believed to be the date on which God created the sun. Polycarp (c.69-c.155) had followed the same line of reasoning to conclude that Christ's birth and baptism most likely occurred on Wednesday, because the sun was created on the fourth day.

The eventual choice of December 25, made perhaps as early as 273, reflects a convergence of Origen's concern about pagan gods and the church's identification of God's son with the celestial sun. December 25 already hosted two other related festivals: natalis solis invicti (the Roman "birth of the unconquered sun"), and the birthday of Mithras, the Iranian "Sun of Righteousness" whose worship was popular with Roman soldiers. The winter solstice, another celebration of the sun, fell just a few days earlier. Seeing that pagans were already exalting deities with some parallels to the true deity, church leaders decided to commandeer the date and introduce a new festival.
Western Christians first celebrated Christmas on December 25 in 336, after Emperor Constantine had declared Christianity the empire's favored religion. Eastern churches, however, held on to January 6 as the date for Christ's birth and his baptism. Most easterners eventually adopted December 25, celebrating Christ's birth on the earlier date and his baptism on the latter, but the Armenian church celebrates his birth on January 6. Most—but not all—of the Christian world now agrees on the Gregorian calendar and the December 25 date.
I remember 336 vaguely. Still in my jammies I felt the excitement of this special birthday. Older now, I still love this day. I hope that whatever your belief system, this time of year still brings magic and happy times.
"Let's be naughty and save Santa the trip." Gary Allan

Friday, December 24, 2010

....RB and NORAD

Last evening RB was driving with her 2 friends in HB's Volvo. This is not an official report of the accident that ensued, but perhaps one of her friends tried to change the radio station during Mariah Careys "All I Want For Christmas Is You" and RB leaned over to slap her a good one. The car rolled and one of her friends was listed in serious condition. RB chipped a fingernail. Except for the Volvo that rolled over, everyone else survived. Thank God. And Thank God that there is a manicurist open today. On this day in 1955, NORAD Tracked Santa for the first time in what has become an annual Christmas Eve tradition. Can you keep an eye on RB also NORAD? We want everyone to be safe, and that includes goth black nail wearing lovelies.Hug your loved ones. Life tends to happen in a split second. "Bashful" trim shown today. Nothing ironic there!
"How a person masters his fate is more important than what his fate is."
Wilhelm von Humboldt

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

...under the mistletoe

Mistletoe is the common name for a group of hemi-parasitic plants in the order Santalales that grow attached to and within the branches of a tree or shrub. They are easily recognized by their smooth-edged oval evergreen leaves borne in pairs along the woody stem, and waxy white berries in dense clusters of 2 to 6. We all know mistletoe as the branch that you use as an excuse to smooch under! Pucker up, it's that time again! This time of year brings out warm feelings and the home and hearth attitude. It also brings out the crazy if you imbibe too much spiked egg nog. So watch who you are smooching underneath the mistletoe at you company Holiday party. Interestingly, on this day in 1809 the Non-Intercourse Act was passed by congress. Google it. It is not what you think.
"I'd luv to kiss ya, but I just washed my hair." Bette Davis

Sunday, December 19, 2010

...good company

Last night was the 23rd annual Christmas Party at the Qualms. Prior to that was a quick drink and time well spent with co-workers. Back to the Qualms. It was great to see everyone, many nestled on the sofas by the tree by the time that I got there. KJ taught me a back way to get there and she is terrific. There is something to be said about the safety and warmth of a safe haven. I felt quite at home as did probably everyone else there. I also took a huge slice of what I thought was chocolate cake but ***whammo*** it had more alcohol in it than my Grandma's Manhattan. The drive home was uneventful, thankfully, if you know what I mean. On this day in 1777 George Washington's Continental Army went into winter quarters at Valley Forge, Pennsylvania. I drive through the park on my way to work every day, am thankful for troops that continue to protect us and wonder also how the Revolutionary Warriors made a home from unheated log cabins. I guess we do whatever it takes.
"It is better to be alone than in bad company." George Washington

Friday, December 17, 2010 wars

Have you recently been to a shopping mall where they insist on spraying you with the latest fragrance? I have just learned that this practice dates all the way back to 1583. Forces under Ernest of Bavaria defeated the troops under Gebhard Truchsess von Waldburg at the Siege of Godesberg. It was called the Cologne War! Ernest had a large sample aerator of Chanel For Men; Gebhard chose Bod. I'm not sure how it all panned out, but reportedly the air around Germany was scented for days! Many of you have already received cologne and perfumes as a Hanukkah Present, many others will have some in their stockings come Christmas. Make love, not war...especially if you are buying the generic take-offs.
"The fabled musk deer searches the world over for the source of the scent which comes from itself." Ramakrishna

Monday, December 13, 2010

...the cost of Holo

Hanukkah ended on the 9th of this month this year. EW's carpet was installed just in time and I am going to her home today to choose wallpaper for her hallway. One of the most generous, positive and tasteful person that I have every met, one day some cretin etched the work "f*ck" on one of her large outside windows. How disheartening to think that some people still have a problem with different religions. On this day in 1938 the Neuengamme concentration camp opened in the Bergedorf district of Hamburg, Germany. Thus began the Holocaust. I don't understand people, and the more years that I spend on this earth, the less I comprehend. But that won't stop me from doing my best to educate and I truly hope that others do the same. This world keeps getting smaller and all that we have to do is realize that there is a sameness to everyone. A Universal Rule that should govern all of us is a Golden One. Apply it now if you haven't in the past. "Swirl" wallpaper shown today.
"Don't overestimate the decency of the human race."
H. L. Mencken

Sunday, December 12, 2010

...Christmas Turned Blue

...don't let it happen to you! On this day in 1937 a Japanese aircraft bombed and sunk US gunboat Panay on the Yangtze River in China. Several years later, Seiko recorded this Christmas tune. Put the bombs aside and enjoy our differences. If your loved one is far away, if you have no cash to pay, enjoy. Donate your time or toys or food. Many people have more, many people have less. Please keep this in mind when you are complaining that your Range Rover is in the shop for a brake repair while others have no heat and no food to eat. The wallpaper shown today is blue. No arguments, right? But isn't it a beautiful shade of blue?





"We do not remember days, we remember moments."
Cesare Pavese

Friday, December 10, 2010

...turn on the radio

IPods are great but there is nothing better than turning on the radio and catching a brand new song that knocks your socks off. What a simple, and free, pleasure. On this day in 1927 the Grand Ole Opry premiered on radio. It is one of the longest running broadcasts in history. Reba McEntire is one of the longest running female vocalists in history. Her new song is, in my opinion, one of her best. Please use that as an example of how things can get better. Long into her career she is heading towards another #1. That can happen to all of us. Maybe not on the radio, but in other aspects of our lives. Keep striving, don't let the stress turn you into an a**hole and forge ahead.
"Create each day anew."
Morihei Ueshiba

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

...Happy Birthday Mom!

On this day in 1980 John Lennon, an English musician and peace activist, was assassinated by Mark David Chapman, a mentally unstable fan, in front of the Dakota apartment building in New York City. Who can explain it? On this day, but a few years earlier, my Mom was born. I won't say that I miss her more around the Holidays. I think that is expected, but untrue as far as I am concerned. I get so busy that I forget to 'talk' to her on a regular basis, much as it was when she was alive. But I do get signs to let me know that there is more after death than simply death. Many consider the day that John Lennon died the day the music died. I beg to differ. If anyone had the pleasure of hearing my Mom belt out a Helen Reddy tune from the air vent in the kitchen to my bedroom, or enjoy a performance of her doing some Patti LaBelle, the day that my Mom died was the day that the music died. "Keep On Singing" Mom. The angels need you.
"There is no charm equal to tenderness of heart."
Jane Austen

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

...pearl arbor day

Hi. We put the tree up at work and it looks quite beautiful. The light strands were ka-put so we forged ahead without them. There were also strands of lights with little pearls on them, but not enough to fill the tree. So what! Cram and silver ornaments, feathers strategically placed and a glittery tree skirt made for a wonderful combination. So, it wasn't a pearl arbor day but all worked out well. So pretty! On this day tho', in 1941, The Imperial Japanese Navy attacked the US Pacific Fleet and its defending Army Air Forces and Marine air forces at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, causing a declaration of war to Japan by the USA. Not so pretty. I shipped off a handful of Christmas Stockings late last night with the able assistance of JW and they are off to their respective recipients. Have fun today, try to keep the violence to a minimum...if at all and if you feel your lights fading, find an alternate source of energy.
"Next to sound judgment, diamonds and pearls are the rarest things in the world."
Jean de la Bruyere

Monday, December 6, 2010

...who needs a heart?

In 1970 a simple Holiday song entitled "Merry Christmas, Darling" was released and hit #1 on the Billboard charts. Here it is, 40 years later and the song has become a Holiday classic. Karen recorded the song when she was 19 years old, her voice making us believe that she felt every word. Apparently she did. Fast forward and the cast of Glee has recorded their version, keeping very close to the original arrangement. On this day in 1967 Adrian Kantrowitz performed the first human heart transplant in the United States. This is the time of year when those who do not seem to have a heart somehow prove that they do.

"Not enough people in this world are happy." Karen Carpenter

Sunday, December 5, 2010

...give credit where credit is due

At this time of year, many people feel the stress brought on by many demands. Social gatherings, extra errands and lots of retail pressures telling you to buy, buy, buy. Don't fall for it tho', if it isn't in your means. Homemade gifts, baked goods and a simple greeting card should be more than enough to show your love and/or appreciation at this thoughtful time of year. Just because you have a credit card or two doesn't mean that you have to max it out. That statement will arrive in late January, after the pretty wrappings and lights have all but disappeared. Speaking of credit, on this day in 1932 German-born Swiss physicist Albert Einstein was granted an American Visa. No doubt American Express, Discover and MasterCard followed in suit. Ironically, today's photo is available on my website. I accept every major credit card and PayPal. Happy Holidays! You don't have to be a Grinch, but please watch your bottom line. That also includes overindulging in sweets. Happy Hanukkah.
"A check or credit card, a Gucci bag strap, anything of value will do. Give as you live." Jesse Jackson