Shopping-Related Madness?

So Just How Dangerous Did Black Friday Get Around The Country? –

If you picked any date – say, April 13, 2011 – and counted up the number of shopping-related nonsenses that people get up to in stores, I’m convinced it wouldn’t be much different, per capita, than any “Black Friday.” Has anyone ever done statistical analysis on holiday shopping in comparison to regular-any-old-day shopping? Certainly there are more incidents of people acting crazy, but there are lots more people out shopping, too.

Holiday Shopping 1950s

Everyone I interacted with yesterday out shopping was nice, friendly and speedy, with a “we’re all in this together” mentality, and that includes both shoppers and retail staff. Sure, that’s anecdotal, but I like to believe in the better angels of our nature. There is always going to be some nuttiness related to interacting in public with strangers – lots of people have stress and social anxiety. But acting like it’s doomsday because people want to do something nice for the people they care about is hyperbolic, I think. We can be consumers and also celebrate the best in humanity at the same time.

Hobby Shop 1950s

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Whence this fragrance wafting through the air?

What sweet feelings does it’s scent transmute?
Whence this perfume floating everywhere?
Don’t you know, it’s that dear forbidden fruit.

Garfield Park Orchid Show

It’s that time of year again – Time to sing one of my favorite songs ever… The Lusty Month of May. (Preference goes to the version sung by the divine Julie Andrews, of course.)

Happy May Day, people.

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First of May

Usually on May Day, I post a link to the lyrics of my favorite May Day song — the Lusty Month of May, from Camelot:

Tra la, it’s May, the lusty Month of May
That lovely month when everyone goes blissfully astray
Tra la, it’s here, that shocking time of year,
when tons of wicked little thoughts merrily appear.
It’s May, It’s May, that gorgeous holiday,
when every maiden prays that her lad will be a cad
It’s mad, it’s gay, a libelous display,
Those dreary vows that everyone takes, everyone breaks,
everyone makes divine mistakes
The Lusty Month of May

Nowadays, there’s a newer, similar song by Jonathan Couton, along with a lovely WOW like video. Fair warning: if you’re offended by the word FUCK, you probably shouldn’t watch the video. Or read this blog.

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Happy Leap Day 2008

Leap Year 2008
Leap Year 2008

We can take some comfort in the fact that we’ve made SOME progress on the sexism front in the last 100 years. Not that much, since the only female Presidential candidate we’ve ever had has men telling her to iron their shirts, but at least women can ask ask men out on dates more than once every four freaking years.

Postcard Leap Year Maidens Are 1908
Postcard Leap Year Maidens Are 1908

Isn’t it surprising to see stuff like this and realize how bad things used to be?

Leap Year Poscard Sexism
Leap Year Poscard Sexism
Leap Year 2008
Leap Year 2008

A few year back, I blogged about finding Anti-Women’s Suffrage buttons on eBay, and how they were being bought by museums and universities for huge amounts of money. But seeing the postcards and texts were huge eye-openers, not because people’s attitudes have changed all that much, just that they’ve gotten more subtle/less open about their messages.

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Creepy Halloween

We had 195 trick-or-treaters at our house last night. I wish I could say our house was the draw, but in reality we tend to get quite a few because there are some awesome Spooky Victorian Gothic houses on our street, and a few of the neighbors go all out decorating for the holiday.
The Motes across the street have this awesome Victorian Gothic with gargoyles on the roof.
Mote's Gothic House
This amazingly restored Victorian Stick mansion up the street is always a big draw.
And the neighbors on either side of this nicely landscaped lot put together this awesome fake graveyard that people drive over to see.
The Million dollar house

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Happy 20th Annual National Coming Out Day

Last year, I recounted the story of what I was doing on the original National Coming Out Day 20 years ago… so I’ve already blown that anecdote. You’ll have to go read it; it was good. October 11th, 1987 was a great day for me.

So officially, I quit lying about my sexual orientation over 20 years ago, and I’ve been an “out” proud, happy, gay person for more of my life than I was “in the closet.”

So happy National Coming Out Day! (Hurry up and get out of the closet, all you self-loathing, lying bastards!).

Oh, sorry. Ahem. Welcome, newly openly lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender people!

National Coming Out Day
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Groundhog predicts early spring

According to the AP, Punxsutawney Phil didn’t see his shadow for the first time in several years.

Punxsutawney Phil predicts early spring
PUNXSUTAWNEY, Pa. (AP) — A new pair of hands pulled Punxsutawney Phil from his stump this year, so it was only fitting that the groundhog offered a new prediction.

Phil did not see his shadow on Friday, which, according to German folklore, means folks can expect an early spring instead of six more weeks of winter.
Since 1886, Phil has seen his shadow 96 times, hasn’t seen it 15 times and there are no records for nine years, according to the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club. The last time Phil failed to see his shadow was in 1999.

More than 15,000 revelers milled about in a misty snow waiting for the prediction, as fireworks exploded overhead and the “Pennsylvania Polka” and other music blared in the background.

A couple of Stephanie’s friends got engaged at the Pennsylvania festival, and are getting married today.

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Happy Imbolc

Today is Imbolc, an Irish holiday:

Imbolc is one of the four principal festivals of the Irish calendar, celebrated either at the beginning of February or at the first local signs of Spring. Originally dedicated to the goddess Brigid, in the Christian period it was adopted as St Brigid’s Day.
The holiday is a festival of the hearth and home, and a celebration of the lengthening days and the early signs of spring. Rituals often involve hearthfires, special foods, divination or simply watching for omens (whether performed in all seriousness or as children’s games), a great deal of candles, and perhaps an outdoor bonfire if the weather permits.

Sadly, yesterday I completely missed that it was National Gorilla Suit Day. I had a lot on my mind. Oh, well, it’s on the calendar for next year.

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