mokie: Stonehenge with the sun shining through the stones (holiday hippie)
Technically, today is for greeting cards - pulling out old cards, waxing nostalgic about when people used to send cards, that kind of thing.

But that's a bit dull, so I went with Le Tarot des Femme Erotiques instead. If you know your tarot, it's actually pretty easy and pleasant to read. Gist of the reading: I'm frustrated with work, and displacing it into other areas of my life.

Damn cards, calling me out and being right like that.

Without a deck handy? Facade offers free readings with a number of spreads and decks (along with other goodies).

P.S. If you're still looking for a reason to wear red in February, today is the anniversary of the publication of The Communist Manifesto (1848).
mokie: Villainous Mr Hand receives an injection of memories to the forehead (holiday birthday)
Today is the birthday of Joel Hodgson, creator and first host of Mystery Science Theater 3000, and the 50th anniversary of the day the U.S. crashed a probe into the moon. (Oops.)

Thus it is only fitting that we celebrate with Project Moonbase.
mokie: A cardinal sits on an icy winter branch (holiday winter)
Lo, this is the anniversary of the first time someone was acquitted in the U.S. using the temporary insanity defense. I could have used this holiday a few days ago.

It's also the birthday of Falco, the anniversary of the day the first rescuers reached the Donner-Reed party, and you just pictured Donna Reed as a cannibal and giggled.

So I'm going to put on some '80s music, make digital Donna Reed collages, and smile very, very widely at the family.
mokie: A package of meat wishes you happy holidays (holiday tribal)
On this day in 1930, Pluto was discovered. NEVER FORGET.

Also on this day in 1930, the first cow to fly in a fixed wing aircraft also became the first cow milked on a plane. Little paper boxes full of milk were then parachuted over St. Louis, MO, which is so weird and awesome, I can't believe we don't actively bring this up every year.

So go get a glass of milk and toast to Pluto, you heathens!
mokie: A package of meat wishes you happy holidays (holiday of the day)
I don't know what sadist thought St. Louis should celebrate Mardi Gras with a Carnivale-style parade with floats and beads and booze and frostbite, but goddammit, we need to rethink this holiday so it's more realistic for our climate.

I also don't know who came up with My Way Day, a day dedicated to putting your foot down and telling the world "My way or the highway!", but I want to shake their hand. I'm in a stressed-out funk over here, and this is the perfect holiday for it.

Today, I will wallow. I will sit in the dark with my headphones on and talk to nobody. I will chomp on homemade beignets and Vietnamese coffee mixed with a little hot cocoa and La Maison Fontaine Chocolate Absinthe Liqueur. I will catch up on TV shows, fifteen minutes at a time. (That's my current attention span.) I will grumble, I will sleep, I will make faces, and I will not feel bad about it.

Until tomorrow. Maybe.
mokie: A package of meat wishes you happy holidays (holiday internet)
I did myself a favor and stepped away from human beings today, before one of us ended up with an ax in their head.
mokie: An octopus offering free hugs (love boo)
Behold, it's St. Skeletor's Day! Not just the 'bitter singles' answer to Valentine's Day, but a day devoted to the destruction of love!
"If anyone is seen even holding hands on this unholy day, you're allowed to push them both in a puddle. Anyone who's had sex this calendar year gets put in solitary confinement. If there's someone you really hate you can send them an elaborate, expensive and anonymous card going into details of why you think they're such a meatus. But the real selling point is, if you're in a relationship that you're not happy about, on St Skeletor's Day you're allowed to just walk away from it, with no explanations, no repercussions, no reparations." (Richard Herring)
Those hexes are about to come in really handy.
mokie: An octopus offering free hugs (love eh)
Yeah, yeah, I know - today is Valentine's Day. It is also, I hear, the 139th anniversary of the invention of the telephone. But without a current sweetie, none of those mean much, do they?

So lo, I declare today Ignore Your Phone Day, a day on which to make a big fuss of turning off your phone and putting it in a drawer so it doesn't disturb you while you kick back and enjoy some Netflix - even if you know it won't actually be ringing anyway.

I say enjoy your sour grapes - until midnight, and then zip down to the drugstore and enjoy your heavily discounted chocolate. Nom!
mokie: A package of meat wishes you happy holidays (holiday personal)
My family has always celebrated Friday the 13th as a lucky day.

On this day in 1913, the 13th Dalai Lama proclaimed Tibet's independence. As you might have heard, China disagrees, says Tibet is and has always been part of it, and has made some pointed remarks about Westerners endorsing what is essentially a theocracy (something that's easy to ignore when it's a religion we've gotten used to seeing only as a coffee shop philosophy).

Fortunately, the first Friday the 13th of the year is also Blame Someone Else Day. I say we point our fingers at Brad Pitt. Sure, he wasn't even alive in 1913, but hey, that's his bad luck.
mokie: Cartoon dollar bill demands that you dance! (holiday political)
Happy Darwin Day!

Today is the birthday of Charles Darwin, author of On the Origin of Species, a day to promote science and "the principles of intellectual bravery, perpetual curiosity, scientific thinking, and hunger for truth".

About 150 years ago, give or take, Darwin wrote a book about how animals better suited to their habitat are more likely to survive and have lots of babies, and pass on to those babies the traits which make them better suited to that environment, and so forth. Like Newton telling the world, "Oh, by the way, gravity," or Ellen DeGeneres telling the world, "Oh, by the way, I'm gay," this probably should have been one of those, "Oh, yeah, I see it now" moments, because hadn't humans been intentionally breeding plants and animals for certain traits for ages? (Yes.)*

Alas, if only it were that easy. Anyway.

I admit that I cheated a bit and celebrated this one early.

As a younger mokie, no matter how often I was sent to play with, and later babysit, poxy neighbor kids and relatives, I didn't catch their dirty germs. I was pretty sure I'd had the MMR - wasn't it required for public school students when I was a kid? And didn't boosters go around when I was in high school? Maybe? I think? But I had no paperwork to confirm it, and that was many, many years ago, back when we still believed in science. And even if I had, I still had no protection against the chicken pox - that vaccine was too new.

The older I got without catching anything itchy and spotty the old-fashioned way, the more the family and I worried, because the risk of complications is significantly higher for adults.

So lo, here I was, an unpoxed adult in the 21st century, listening to horror stories about the return of illnesses that killed pioneer babies, and all because some affluent white hipsters thought they knew more about science than doctors, and were more afraid of the completely fabricated risk of getting autism from a vaccine, or a one-in-eleventybillion chance of an adverse reaction, than about the very real risk of complications from a totally preventable illness to babies too young to vaccinate, kids with cancer or impaired immune systems, etc. - you know, the kids that herd immunity is actually supposed to protect. But fuck those kids. Those are other people's kids. Right?

Sigh.

Do we want to poke at the paranoia and callousness that says autism is so bad, it's better if other people risk death than my kid faces the imaginary risk of it? The issues of disenfranchisement of the autistic that go along with that line of thought? The convoluted conspiracy theories developed by people so removed from and protected against severe illness their whole lives that they had to make up secret conspiracies to foist wellness on them? How about the asshole anti-vax quack in Arizona who presented his stance as an issue of Darwinism, because some kids are supposed to die, as long as it's not his kids.

You want a conspiracy? Try $300 for an adult vaccination against the chicken pox. As I steeled myself to get the jab and get it over with, to adapt myself to my environment before it could take me out, I brought the topic of chicken pox up with my mother. "Oh, you had that."

What? What?

One day, when I was about seven years old, I suddenly developed what looked like full-body freckles. No fever, no itching, no raised areas, no symptoms at all besides freaky freckles that had disappeared by the next day. My mother called her friend over, and the two poked spots and puzzled over them, but it was a mystery. The friend's kids had the chicken pox at that time (something I didn't find out until this conversation), because they were going around (ditto), but they had broken out in a few itchy spots at a time until they were covered - nothing like my sudden unitchy bloom. It was like I'd somehow managed to get the chicken pox backwards. Thank you, super-paranoid immune system! Finally, my allergies serve a purpose!

So then why did I have to spend so much time with other people's miserable children in later years?

"Just in case."

Ladies, gentlemen, my family. Evolution won't catch us sleeping.


* A reference to this, which is taken apart here.
mokie: Cartoon dollar bill demands that you dance! (holiday political)
Today we celebrate the birth of Mel Carnahan, Missouri's - and the United States' - first zombie senator.

The actual story: during his second term as governor of Missouri, Carnahan ran for the U.S. Senate, until a fatal airplane crash ended his life. It didn't end his campaign, though: since it was too late to withdraw his name and enter a new candidate, his widow ran in his place, with the campaign slogan "I'm Still With Mel."

Maybe to the political scientists out there, it's more interesting that Missouri would rather elect a dead man than see John Ashcroft re-elected, but personally, I like the 'zombie senator' version, and welcome our new undead overlords.
mokie: A woman in elegant restraints wailing (holiday lurve)
There are several invented holidays that pop up at various times in February, because there's no set date for being disgruntled.

For instance, Singles Awareness Day might be celebrated on February 14th by folks who need to strike back against the lovey-dovey bull, or on February 13th by folks who don't want to share their holiday with lovey-dovey bull, or on February 15th by folks throwing a bone to folks who put up with their lovey-dovey bull.

World Marriage Day is one of these holidays. Oh, sure, the folks who invented it technically have rules on when it should be celebrated, but the Internet can't be bothered with that kind of thing. Some other website listed it as February 10th (or 8th, or whatever), and that's good enough for us!

I had to go and look it up, didn't I?

World Marriage Day was intended to be observed on the second Sunday of February or the Sunday nearest to Valentine's Day, because it was invented by a Catholic marriage retreat. It "honors husband and wife as the foundation of the family, the basic unit of society."

Very specific on a man and a woman in a nuclear unit there. Guess other folks and family units can go suck eggs along with the single folks.

But no, no, wait, it's fine. Fine. Have your World Marriage Day. Go on. Find a babysitter for your 2.5 children and enjoy your "Thank God I don't have to try so hard now" married people version of Valentine's Day. You have my blessing.

I will just be over here celebrating the 95th anniversary of Poland's wedding to the sea with cupcakes; the 481st anniversary of the Church in England (not yet of England) recognizing Henry VIII as its supreme head because he wanted to divorce the bride that had been forced upon him by politics1 and marry someone he was interested in instead2, but the Pope refused because that would have violated the sanctity of marriage been political suicide; and Betty Bowers (America's best Christian) explaining traditional marriage.

Because the theme of this blog this year is finding things that I can celebrate every day, and why would I celebrate such a limited definition of marriage and family? Pfffft.


1 Who also happened to be his brother's widow. History is ambivalent on the question of how much this actually squicked Henry.

2 Briefly, at least.
mokie: An octopus offering free hugs (love boo)
Three months ago, the world found out that Charles Manson, the former cult leader convicted of masterminding a series of killings in an attempt to launch a race war, was getting married.

Across the land rang the cry, "Oh, come on!" Twitter was atweet with exactly three jokes ("Even serial killers have a better love life than me!" / "At least I'm not marrying Manson, Mom!" / "Women would rather marry Charles Manson than date a fedora!") in 50,000,000 slightly different wordings. The clickbait peddlers online news sites confirmed that her parents were exactly as appalled as one would hope they would be.

But lo, it was not meant to be: she only wanted him for his body.

According to reports, the 26-year-old fiancée and 64-year-old fellow Manson follower who goes by 'Gray Wolf' planned the marriage as a way to gain custody of Manson's body when he dies, so they could display him under glass in a "California version of Lenin’s Tomb [to] draw huge crowds and make big money."

How do you make me feel bad for Charles Manson?

So the wedding is off - and right before Valentine's Day.

The official statement on Manson's website, run by the fiancée (so grain of salt), is that it was simply 'logistics', presumably because he's been hospitalized and the license will expire before he's recovered. But according to that aforelinked article, one of Manson's biographers reckons he never intended to get married at all, and was stringing the pair along for shits and giggles (and assorted toiletries).

If so, good for him.
mokie: A package of meat wishes you happy holidays (holiday of the day)
I'm pretty sure a goodie two-shoes started this.

The Internet has little to say about the holiday except that it's about replacing bad habits with good habits. I'm sure wherever it is, the original write-up on this holiday includes the words 'swear jar' and 'kale chips'. It's probably on Pinterest, next to tips on how to organize wrapping paper.

Except good habits aren't 'vices', no matter how firmly you embed your tongue in your cheek.

This is some bullshit.

So, I read up on hexes, laughed at someone who deserved it, and read some smut. The latter isn't really an alternative vice, but it's one I like, so.
mokie: A package of meat wishes you happy holidays (holiday of the day)
On the evening of 8 February 1855, hoofprints appeared in the snow that blanketed the countryside in Devonshire, but no ordinary hoofprints: they ran over rooftops and across rivers and through walls as if they weren't there, for a hundred miles. When examined, the spacing and placement suggested the creature that made them walked on two legs.

Plenty of logical and mundane theories were offered, like that they were not hoofprints at all but the pattern left by mice hopping across fresh snow, or that they were really badger tracks half-thawed and refrozen. Some less mundane but equally worldly suggestions were offered, such as the possibility of some escaped kangaroos from a private zoo making a midnight run, or that a secret experimental hot air balloon had broken free of its moorings, leaving the hoof-like marks of its shackles as it drifted, only to be subsequently covered up because of the damage it caused.

All were plausible (some more so than others) but none quite fit the bill.

Maybe it's better that way. Don't we all need a little more mystery in our lives?
mokie: A package of meat wishes you happy holidays (holiday of the day)
Why is it that on all other nights we watch Hulu, but on this night we dig out the DVD collection?

Because it's Eddie Izzard's birthday, and Hulu doesn't have Dress to Kill.
mokie: A package of meat wishes you happy holidays (holiday of the day)
The first Friday of February is Working Naked Day, which is idiotic, because it's February. Here in the northern hemisphere, it's just too damn nipply for that.

Some people celebrate February 6th as Lame Duck Day, dedicated to politicians who are just coasting till the end of their term, but that's just too cynical for me today.

So I'm celebrating a birthday - one that's made quite a few people happy over the last few years.
mokie: A package of meat wishes you happy holidays (holiday of the day)
February 5th is National Weatherpersons Day.

This is a difficult holiday for me, since I hold KTVI meteorologist Dave Murray personally responsible for all inclement weather in the St. Louis area, but to keep the peace, I'll eat my turkey in silence.

(Do I need to clarify that this is an inside joke? Dear FBI: I am not this kind of crazy, I promise. We just used to have a cat that hated Dave Murray's ties, that's all.)

Edited to add: Oh look, it's also Brad Fitzpatrick's birthday! And H.R. Giger's birthday. Hrrrrrrrm.
mokie: Vibrant red Japanese maple leaves (holiday death)
Radium became the first radioactive element synthesized in a US lab on this day in 1936.

Four short years later, George Romero was born, the man who would go on to give us Night of the Living Dead.

And finally, in 2004, Facebook was launched.

Braaaaaaaaaaaaaains...
mokie: A package of meat wishes you happy holidays (holiday of the day)
On this day in 1959, a small plane carrying Buddy Holly, the Big Bopper, and Ritchie Valens crashed, breaking teenage hearts across America and bringing the '50s to a gloomy end. Though only 22 when he died, Holly was hugely influential - he was to the Beatles and Rolling Stones what the Beatles and Rolling Stones were to every act that followed - and had just gone solo, leading lots of teary-eyed music lovers to wonder how pop music and pop culture might have been different had he survived.

The accident inspired the 1971 song "American Pie" (famous for its symbolic lyrics), so that's how I'm celebrating for the day.

February 3rd also marks the 145th anniversary of the ratification of the Fifteenth Amendment:
The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.
But nobody has written a "Day the Fifteenth Amendment Died" song yet, so...

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