Happy Mardi Gras!

Busy Week Ahead

My calendar shows a busy, eventful week ahead.

Game-wise, the latest DLC of The Elder Scrolls Online drops on Monday. Dragon Bones hearkens back to The Elder Scrolls Online V: Skyrim in the same way two other chapters paid homage to TESO III: Morrowind. The history and lore maintains accuracy and cohesion, thanks to the dedication of their lore-masters.

Tuesday is Mardi Gras – “Fat Tuesday.”

Maha Shivaratri will also be celebrated.

Wednesday is Valentine’s Day and Ash Wednesday. Is that ironic or what?

Thursday marks the only New Moon in February 2018; there is no full moon in February 2018. Another rarity is January and March both having a “Blue Moon” in the same year. Neil DeGrasse Tyson might know when this phenomenon will occur next!

😎

Last, but certainly not least, Friday marks the Lunar New Year. Officially it is Chinese New Year 4715, a Yin year of the Earth Dog.

In light of these festivities, I decided to set off a Cherry Bomb to start the week off with a bang.

More explosive demonstrations are forthcoming. More music will follow as well.

Ready to party? Let’s go.

😎

Thursday Thoughts…4 February 2016

This weekend is going to be busy, so I won’t be able to do much blogging until Monday or Tuesday – so I figured that I’d give you all a short rundown while my computer is showing me some love this morning, LOL!

Rosa Lee Parks: 4 February 1913 – 24 October 2005

First off, today marks the “birth anniversary” of Rosa Lee Parks, who passed away on 24 October, 2005. She is remembered as the woman who refused to give up a bus seat, but her life and activism extended far beyond that. From The Washington Post:

“Parks was a seasoned freedom fighter who had grown up in a family that supported Marcus Garvey and who married an activist for the Scottsboro boys. She joined the Montgomery chapter of the NAACP in 1943, becoming branch secretary. She spent the next decade pushing for voter registration, seeking justice for black victims of white brutality and sexual violence, supporting wrongfully accused black men, and pressing for desegregation of schools and public spaces. Committed to both the power of organized nonviolent direct action and the moral right of self defense, she called Malcolm X her personal hero. The Rosa Parks Collection, which opened in February, reveals how broadly Parks has been distorted and misunderstood. Her papers languished unseen for years following her death because of disputes over her estate, the hefty price the auction house put on the archives, and its refusal to allow any scholars to assess the papers before the sale. Last year, the Howard Buffett Foundation bought the archive and gave it to the Library of Congress on 10-year loan.

Though Parks later wrote an autobiography, her notes from decades earlier give a more personal sense of her thoughts. In numerous accounts, she highlighted the difficulty of navigating a segregated society and the immense pressure put on black people not to dissent. She wrote that it took a “major mental acrobatic feat” to survive as a black person in the United States. Highlighting that it was “not easy to remain rational and normal mentally in such a setting,” she refused to normalize the ability to function under American racism.

For her, the frustration began in childhood, when even her beloved grandmother worried about her “talking biggety to white folks.” She recounts how her grandmother grew angry when a young Rosa recounted picking up a brick to challenge a white bully. Rosa told her grandmother: “I would rather be lynched than live to be mistreated and not be allowed to say ‘I don’t like it.’ ”

Parks viewed the power of speaking back in the face of racism and oppression as fundamental — and saw that denying that right was key to the functioning of white power. Parks’s “determination never to accept it, even if it must be endured,” led her to “search for a way of working for freedom and first class citizenship.”

Friday, 5 February, marks the beginning of the Sapporo Snow Festival in Japan, which runs through Sunday, 7 February. That looks like a beautiful festival to attend! I love the snow sculptures, especially the way they are lit up at night…visually stunning masterpieces.

The Super Bowl is on Sunday…I look forward to watching Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers make mincemeat out of the busted Broncos! I would have loved to see my Seahawks do it, but – eh. Not happening this year!

There’s a New Moon on Monday – this marks the beginning of the Lunar New Year: the Year of the Red Fire Monkey!

Tuesday marks Mardi Gras – “Fat Tuesday.” I’d like to go to New Orleans…just not during that festival. Too crowded, too noisy, too many disgusting, drunk tourists…it just doesn’t appeal to me very much anymore. Some places are best seen “as they are,” without the phony mask put on for visitors. Also, Tuesday marks 666 days since the young ladies were abducted from the school in Chibok. Interesting coincidence, that…

Anyway, time for some coffee and a shower, then I have to get packing – we’re attending a concert on Saturday, if Ozzy Osbourne’s health holds up! He had to cancel a leg of his tour due to sinusitis, according to reports…I’ll have to listen to the Boneyard today and see if there are any updates. Speaking of which, I finally got a reply via email to be their ‘Ultimate Sinner!’ I’m stoked…my voice will be on the radio again, for the first time in 20 years! Not just tiny, local radio, either…no, I’ll be blasting across the stratosphere on SATELLITE RADIO!!! It’s going to be awesome – I’ll let you know when that’s scheduled!

Last but not least: here’s my latest ESO gaming video! I’m slaying a couple of trolls and their master, and they give me the worst of it at first…but not for long! I’m not bothered by posting my agonizing defeats along with my thrilling victories – I learn from watching my mistakes and missteps!

A Very Merry Mardis Gras…2014!

Ah, yes… ‘tis Fat Tuesday! My Louisiana relatives are certainly whooping it up down in N’awlins – my dad’s side of the family hails from that Gulf state and we’ll be heading that way next year for a big-ass family reunion…I can’t wait! It should be a blast. I want to eat a mess of crawdads at a fais dodo, romp and stomp to some zydeco, and visit the gravesite of Marie Leveaux – get some more good gris-gris flowing towards myself and my family. I’m glad to say that my son has gotten out of his funk, knuckled down, and now has two jobs! He’s putting money away to get away from inbred Alaskan fuckwads, moving south to be closer to me and his other Washingtonian loved ones. It’s been bumpy for him recently…glad that he’s taking initiative.

Mardis Gras means that it is the month of March. It arrived gently, like a lamb, in my neck of the woods; not so for most of Washington state, the rest of the West Coast, and pretty much everywhere east of the Rocky Mountains. Those folks are getting hammered by more snow than they’ve seen in over a decade. I imagine that a lot of people are wondering if Spring will…well, spring! At any rate, St. Patrick’s Day, the Vernal Equinox and my birthday all occur this month, so it’s my time to celebrate. The flowers have begun blooming on various bushes around the yard, the frogs have been singing loudly in the woods, and the birds have been very active. The ocean has been frothing from the various systems moving through…it’s soothing to hear.

March has also been designated as ‘Women’s History Month,’ which should more accurately be called ‘White Women’s History Month’ – the achievements of white women are lauded, while non-white women are pretty much tossed aside. I guess that’s why the Sports Illustrated Slut Parade Swimsuit edition was just released; it perfectly captures the ‘empowerment’ of the white female, and using a plastic Barbie® on the cover this year is ideal – after all, most of the so-called ‘models’ are 50% plastic parts anyway!

I don’t watch awards shows, so I didn’t watch the Oscars. I do, however, keep up with current events, so congratulations to Mr. Steve McQueen, the first Black director to hoist the trophy. He directed the much-discussed movie 12 Years a Slave, which took the ‘Best Picture’ award. 12 Years a Slave is based on the true story of Solomon Northup. Mr. Northup was born a free Black man in New York, who was wrongfully and unlawfully captured and sold into slavery in 1841; after regaining his freedom, he wrote an autobiography about his harrowing experience.

Lupita Amondi Nyong’o: 1 March 1983

Congratulations and a happy belated birthday to young Lupita Nyong’o for winning Best Supporting Actress for her role in…you guessed it – 12 Years a Slave. I guess I have mixed feelings on this; on one hand, it is refreshing to see a beautiful, dark-skinned sister winning an Oscar and reaffirming my notion that Black women don’t need to be pale-skinned mulattoes to be beautiful or noticed. I was happy to see a woman whose skin tone more closely resembles my own, being front and center. She also displayed a great deal of class, grace, and style, from what I saw in clips on The Daily Show, the Colbert Report, and Conan O’Brien. I’ll have to say that I was disappointed in Conan when he interviewed her on his show last week, before the Oscars. Usually, when he introduces a white actress, he always talks about how ‘beautiful’ she is. He did not use that adjective when he mentioned Ms. Nyong’o as an upcoming guest, nor did he say it when he announced her to the audience. I grow so weary of the false assumption that we cinnamon-colored, honey-toned, deep-bronzed or dark-chocolate sisters are somehow ugly simply because we are dark. Guess what, people: WE ARE FUCKING BEAUTIFUL, so STOP YOUR HATING. We aren’t going anywhere.

On the other hand, it seems that the only time a dark-skinned Black woman is recognized in films, it’s for portraying a slave. In February of 1940, Ms. Hattie McDaniel was the first Black woman to get an Oscar award, also for Best Supporting Actress, for her role in Gone With the Wind. Since the Oscars were segregated at the time, like everything else in this country, she was seated in the very back of the theatre – what a bittersweet victory for her, no? Since then, how many dark-skinned Black women have gotten that honour? Where are the bronze bombshells and sultry vixens? Why are there no serious roles for us, such as being a teacher who takes a student under her wing and becomes their champion? Or the warrior-queen of a country, commanding men-at-arms? Or a goofy, silly, ‘a-dork-able’ Awkward Black Girl? People want to limit us and our images, and so many of us give power to those who don’t have our best interests at heart…but that’s part of my topic about my series on ‘Black History Month,’ so I digress.

Topic switch: it looks like the murder trial of ‘Blade Runner’ Oscar Pistorius has begun in Johannesburg Pretoria, South Africa. He is the first amputee to run in the ‘regular, able-bodied’ Olympics, so became a well-known athlete. He is accused of shooting his live-in girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, on Valentine’s Day 2013. He claims that it was accidental, citing fear, while prosecutors say that it was done during a heated quarrel and Oscar acted in a fit of jealous rage. I suppose it will be interesting to see what transpires with that…

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