What Comes Around, Stops
The open society in China was not open for long. Shortly after world leaders departed the APEC summit, China quickly restored blocks on internet sites of foreign news organizations.
Every autumn, Monarch Butterflies, which have summered up north in the United States and Canada, return to Mexico for the winter protection of the oyamel fir trees. The locale inhabitants welcome back the returning butterflies, which they believe bear the spirits of their departed. The spirits to be honored during Los Dias de los Muertos.
Los Dias de los Muertos, the Days of the Dead, is a traditional Mexico holiday honoring the dead. It’s celebrated every year at the same time as Halloween and the Christian holy days of All Saints Day and All Souls Day (November 1st and 2nd). Los Dias de los Muertos is not a sad time, but instead a time of remembering and rejoicing.
The townspeople dress up as ghouls, ghosts, mummies and skeletons and parade through the town carrying an open coffin. The “corpse” within smiles as it is carried through the narrow streets of town. The local vendors toss oranges inside as the procession makes its way past their markets. Lucky “corpses” can also catch flowers, fruits, and candies.
In the homes families arrange ofrenda’s or “altars” with flowers, bread, fruit and candy. Pictures of the deceased family members are added. In the late afternoon special all night burning candles are lit – it is time to remember the departed – the old ones, their parents and grandparents.
The next day the families travel to the cemetery. They arrive with hoes, picks and shovels. They also carry flowers, candles, blankets, and picnic baskets. They have come to clean the graves of their loved ones. The grave sites are weeded and the dirt raked smooth. The Crypts are scrubbed and swept. Colorful flowers, bread, fruit and candles are placed on the graves. Some bring guitars and radios to listen to. The families will spend the entire night in the cemeteries.
Skeletons and skulls are found everywhere. Chocolate skulls, marzipan coffins, and white chocolate skeletons. Special loaves of bread are baked, called pan de muertos, and decorated with “bones.
Handmade skeleton figurines, called calacas, are especially popular. Calacas usually show an active and joyful afterlife. Figures of musicians, generals on horseback, even skeletal brides, in their white bridal gowns marching down the aisles with their bony grooms.
The celebration of Los Dias de los Muertos, like the customs of Halloween, evolved with the influences of the Celtics, the Romans, and the Christian holy days of All Saints Day and All Souls Day, but with added influences from the Aztec people of Mexico.
The Aztecs believed in an afterlife where the spirits of their dead would return as hummingbirds and butterflies. Even images carved in the ancient Aztec monuments show this belief – the linking the spirits of the dead and the Monarch butterfly.
One year ago tonight, I was sharing thoughts with my beloved of the painted desert… These days, I have a split desire. one side of me wishes to keep her with me, all to myself, and just orbit off into bliss with her. The other half wants to take her around with my hippie buddies, especially Cathi, Dave and Leisa, where we can just goof around and have a big group good time. I want to carve a gourd with all my sweetie and other pals… I don’t know if I’m going to have a pumpkin head on my stoop this year or not. If this cold keeps up, I may just blow off trick or treating again this year.
This coming Sunday, I have to take my bro to Mom’s for her birthday (it’s actually on Nov 1). Got her a nice hibiscus plant, and a gushy card… but I really don’t want to spend much time there. I can be nice and diplomatic for a bit, but I would just as soon keep it to 3 hours or less.
Remembering my first spook house as a little boy… I was probably five or six, and we went to one held at a hospital (I think was… I was little, remember).
I wasn’t afraid of the bloody doctor, or the witch with the cauldron… but a guy in a Spiderman costume grabbed my little brother, and ran off with him… I *freaked*. I went after him, and punched him as hard as my little kid-fists would let me. (not too hard, I guess.) My mother and grandma pried me off of him, but I would have no more of that place… I was pissed, and afraid. Later, I got mad because someone used Spidey’s costume in vain! (Still like ol’ Peter Parker, after all these years.)
I think that’s my first memory of an adrenaline rush.
Like Giving Candy To A Baby
The FBI said Friday that it is investigating the cash purchase of “large quantities” of candy from Costco stores in Hackensack and Wayne.
“We have been advised and we are looking into the incident of a gentleman buying large quantities of candy,” said Sandra Carroll, an FBI spokeswoman in Newark.
Did anyone tell the FBI that Halloween is coming?
The Man Is Keeping This Magical Elixir Away From You!
The magical elixir is supposed to cure all sorts of ailments: gonorrhea, leukemia, sleepwalking, AIDS, arthritis, athlete’s foot — even anthrax. And now, thanks to Howey-in-the-Hills Mayor Greg Bittner and the Town Council, colloidal silver is the officially endorsed “simple solution” for anthrax or any other malady that might strike the 950 residents of the quiet Lake County village.
Bittner, definitely not taking his cue from medical science, told a council meeting last week: “This is the greatest medicinal item that has ever come along. It wipes out virtually every virus.” Wishful thinking. Federal health officials in 1999 prohibited the marketing of colloidal silver as a remedy for any disease because it turns human skin blue and gray — permanently. And they say the fluid — actually, tiny particles of silver suspended in distilled water — doesn’t cure a thing.
Officials at the Food and Drug Administration and the Federal Trade Commission were horrified to learn that any government would promote what they consider a
Potential New Japanese Fetish: Undercover Transvestite Police
Cops often say police work is a drag, but it seems the Aichi Prefectural Police have taken the belief a step further in an effort to combat a criminal who pilfers women’s purses, according to Josei Jishin (10/30).
Parts of Nagoya have been plagued in recent months by a snatch-and-grab thief targeting young female office workers and hostesses walking along dark thoroughfares. With over 300 robberies reported for the year as of the end of September, police decided something had to be done.
As female officers are usually relegated to traffic duties in Japan, only the male members of the force were considered as realistic weapons to combat the crimes.
Although the idea of dressing up male officers as women trying to lure the bandits into the open began as a joke, Masanori Hyodo, an Aichi Prefectural Police lieutenant, soon found himself ordered to give it a try.
“We picked out four of the smallest, thinnest officers we could find and designated them our cross-dressing cop corps,” Hyodo says. “Snatch-and-grab crimes occur almost instantaneously, and neither the criminal nor the victim can recall many of the details of what’s happened.”
Um, I thought that it was a gag when they did it on Barney Miller, dressing Sgt. Fish up as an old lady. Go figure!