Happy New Year's Eve Stream of Spooky Ancient Historical Consciousness, AAIEIIEIEEE

Happy New Year? Yes, THIS is the real New Year's Eve, according to the old calendar. What old calendar? You know, the OLD one. The one that the Romans and Atlantians and Rotarians used so long ago when people wore pointy hats and danced with animals. Ever wonder why September (latin for, "Month 7"), October ("8"), November ("9") and December ("10") are, according to our calendar: 9, 10, 11 and 12, respectively? Is our Gregorian Calendar two months off? Well... not really. Allow Da-da to digress from Da-da topics a moment.

In Ancient Rome, September used to be the seventh month until a whole bunch (the technical term) of rather snoozy calculations and numerical salads were mixed with too much Caesar dressing around 46 BC, when the first month of the year changed from March 1st to January 1st, due mostly to a bet that Caesar had with Brutus that he couldn't add an eponymous month (from "Quintilis" -- Month 5 -- to "Iulius," or "July"), and a nepotistic one (from "Sextilis" -- Month 6 -- to "Augustus," Caesar's adopted son). You get all that? Sure, Brutus got even later, but let's be honest, "SEXTILIS," sounds much better than, "Augustus." The old Roman calendar was hosed anyway, as it used to last some 304 days, with about 61 of those days of winter floating around unassigned because the Romans were too busy expanding their franchise, subjugating anyone not running ROME 1.0 software, and drinking untempered wine. Of course, Caesar's calendar had a flaw that wasn't fixed for about 1500 years, but they used to misplace WHOLE legions, so go figure.

But why did they change the New Year to January? Da-da doesn't care (actually, he's forgotten). The Egyptians had their New Year on August 29, and the Eastern Orthodox Church had theirs on Labor Day, September 1st, but only because PBR and chips were usually on sale. Regardless, anyone with an ounce of sense resets their clocks for SPRING, the growing season, March 1st -- though some did April 1st and some May 1st because they liked May Poles, jeez, who doesn't? (that deviation had more to do with a culture's latitude and when you could lie naked in the grass comfortably, ahem) -- but for much of the world going waaaay back, March 1st was the beginning of the new year. We won't bring into this all the other calendars, of which there are at least a hundred just in Cleveland alone. Like everything else in TIME, this stuff really doesn't matter, though it does give you what you really want: an excuse for a regularly occurring party. So, dust off the Mardi Gras hats a little early, Lombardo. Just don't wake Da-da with your ill-timed jocularity.

Backstory time. Speaking of calendars, the whole December 21st, 2012 Mayan calendar resetting to ZERO thing is another event that's wholly misunderstood. The Mayans, who had a million calendars commemorating this and that, used these calendars to remember pivotal events (like the last time Da-da trimmed his beard). One of the things that the dreaded 12/21/2012 Tzolk'in or Cholq'ij calendar actually commemorates is the cataclysmic sinking of the vast seven island, "continent," a loooong time ago. (And before you wag about there being no sinking land precedent, check out the geology of Lake Tahoe.) Ever looked at a map of the South Pacific, like the Phillipines or Borneo? Of course you haven't. Look at all the islands, which are just mountain-top remains of the island continent.

A Tikal frieze, lost to WWII, depicting survivors being picked up in the Pacific after a cataclysm; many confuse this with "Atlantis," but that's a different ocean, folks. There's a reason why Central American cultures have that old saying, "The Pacific has no memory." It doesn't.

Da-da's sources place this ancient cataclysmic event on the evening of October 31st, when the Pleiades are high in the sky (hence the calendrical dedication) -- the real basis for why various cultures celebrate this day as the, "eve of the dead," when the veil between life and death is thinnest... aka, HALLOWEEN. (Yeah, this is 20 years of secret society and ancient esoteric research talkin'; the things Da-da knows.) It's also why the sun god at Tiahuanaco is looking west and crying, in remembrance of all who were lost. (Note: those notches are where huge golden wraparound plates were attached. That crack is from a massive earthquake.)

Some left the island continents prior to the cataclysm, and some barely escaped. Many were lost. The survivors went to the cardinal directions -- South America, North America, India, New Zealand, etc. -- founding scores of civilizations (Mahenjo-daro, anyone?), as illustrated by the ancient Indian symbol of the swastika, which literally means, "you four groups go in four cardinal directions for a while -- then turn." (Like all symbols, it has lots of other meanings, too, not the least of which is spiritual.) Those on the move were all to turn in the same direction, after a time, so as not to bump into one another. Yup, people have always had  issues.

Physically speaking, the Egyptian and Mayan "feathered serpent" was sometimes depicted with red body, blue head, and green feathers, which might illustrate the aforementioned sunken-island Pacific continent looking like a serpent from the air (and still does if you trace the remaining island chains using Google Earth). Note that there may have been more than one serpentine island chain in oceans XYZ; sea levels, ice ages and capricious geology can ruin your whole day. Some recent, "seers," have called the Pacific variant, "Lemuria," or, "Mu," but it's real name has yet to be determined, as it's called many things in many languages no one really speaks anymore -- and then, each big island had its own unique name apart from the whole chain. It may have been called, "Xahila" or "Xanhel," which is Mayan for, "Great Serpent," ravished from the Heavens [Oxlahun-ti-Ku], though this could refer to another island chain, or something that disturbed the ancient vision of the Milky Way; the edge-on view of our galaxy in the sky has long been called a "dragon," ever since humans wore fake mustaches and put chickens in their underwear. Right. A LONG TIME.

There might be a few doctoral theses in there about this and that and where and when and how, but it so doesn't matter anymore, as Halloween candy is so damnably expensive now, anyway. Besides, good luck getting all this past chicken-butt scientists and anthropologists and archeologists and the media who are not only politically invested in their antiquated historical models, but also scared to death about anything that reveals the fact that the earth is DYNAMIC, and has whacked back countless advanced civilizations -- and will invariably whack parts of ours again one day. No biggie. Death itself isn't that spooky, as it's not really "death," as much as it is going back into the big spirit soup kitchen to find a parking space for your cosmological roach coach -- though hopefully you've divested yourself of a few roaches along the way. Ah, but once your kitchen is totally cleansed of roaches like anger and fear and guilt? BOOM. Well, then you might have a little problem with there actually being no individuals, per se, along with the loss of your "personality," which is an illusion, and the fact that we're all tiny drops of a giant spirit ocean, but Da-da's getting waaaay ahead of himself. Though this does aptly demonstrate the unconscious fear associated with, "Invasion of the Bodysnatchers," and a bunch of other sci-fi bugaboos about the evils of "group consciousness."


Krikey, what the hell was Da-da talking about? Oh, right. HAPPY NEW YEAR, Caligula. Give your horse a kiss at midnight. And don't worry: it's not like the Mayans said a giant spooky hole was gonna open up and you were all gonna jump into it in fear. Jeez, some people will believe anything.


Da-da Dreams

Not sure how many Freudian/Jungian/Yogi-Berrian volumes of analysis this will yield, but Da-da can pretty much guess. Da-da had 792 dreams last night -- two he remembers, three including this one -- that warrant some examinination.

In Da-da's first dream, he was... a baseball. He saw the world from a baseball's point of view, being thrown around -- WHOOAA! -- smacked into center field -- OWWW -- smacking into a glove, grabbed by a hand, thrown toward home plate, rolling along the ground, smacking into another glove -- YER OUT! -- tossed to the ump, set aside as being flawed, later emerging to have Ethel Merman write, "Roberto Clemente," on Da-da's face and hand him to a child dressed as Elvis... ok. That's a pretty easy one to figure out. It's almost baseball season, Da-da's been smacked and thrown around by life, has a healthy fear of Ethel Merman, Da-da's part of an Elvis Control Group, and that pesky MKULTRA-induced insanity that's been lurking behind Da-da's backstop since the abduction. But the other dream...

...was simply awesome. Da-da was a SQUIRREL. A fuzzy perky gray squirrel with full-on, smokin' bionic multiclawed four-paw drive that allowed Da-da to scream up and down trees, along limbs, onto roofs... laughing all the while. And yeah, Da-da knows what you're thinking, and the tail just FLIES along for the ride. Happy Friday, everyone.




Absinthe, Parenthood, or Kubrick?

Da-da needs a time-out.

Absinthe, Parenthood, or Vampire?

Get that underwear off your head and put some pants on, mister.

Absinthe, Parenthood, or Kubrick?

No one is eating their oatmeal. Fine. Be that way.

Absinthe, Parenthood, or Kubrick?

Eat your oatmeal.

Absinthe, Parenthood, or Kubrick?

Why can't they just eat their oatmeal without screaming?

Honky Da-da Remembers...

The view from Young Da-da's elementary school.

... not much. But he can pull together a little (true) honky remembrance in honor of Black History Month.

Picture Young Honky Da-da schlumped on a huge couch watching, "The Bob Newhart Show," circa LONG AGO, somewhere on the scorched roof of the Mojave Desert, winter wind howling outside. His own parents had just come in the front door, later than usual because they'd just had their first parent/teacher conference with Young Da-da's sixth grade teacher, Mrs. Lawyer (who taught at oxymoronic Park View Elementary, a school in the middle of the desert, with no park in sight; Mrs. Lawyer made up for it by being awesome.)

Da-da's '70s parents walked into the room, all hirsute and wide-tied and polyestered, and stood there staring at Young Master Da-da -- who immediately thought he was in trouble. Had Da-da done anything wrong lately? Not that he knew of. Or wanted to admit. Apart from referring to himself in the third-person all the time.

"Something the matter?" Young Master Da-da asked.

"Why didn't you tell us your teacher was black?" his dad asked. Mom stared at Young Da-da.

Surprised, Da-da said, "I didn't think it was an issue. Is it?"

Da-da's dad spread his hands out, "No, no. Not at all. I just think it's great that you never mentioned it." He was quiet a moment. "It's one of the reasons we moved to California."

Young Da-da neglected to tell them that the situation was actually much worse: Da-da was teacher's pet. Must've been that weird machinery Da-da's parents strapped him into every night. Da-da can still feel the straps.


Is it Absinthe, or is it Parenthood?

Fig. 9a - The parental thousand yard stare.

The Missing Nagurski...

...is not missing, but he is in trouble. BIG trouble. This morning Da-da went into his oldest boy's room as usual to wake him for school... and his bed was empty. That was unusual, as he's typically quite log-like and inert in the morning. Ok, maybe Nagurski's in the bathroom... nope. His brother's room... nope. Ah, he's gone downstairs... nope.

Da-da gets Ma-ma.

They go over the same territory, looking into closets, under beds, tables, places he may have crawled into while asleep, under our own bed... nothing. Da-da checks the windows for possible intrusion by UFOs, monsters, J. Edgar Hoover... nope. All secure. Now it gets serious. Ma-ma goes into the cold and rain of the backyard, calling her son's name... nothing. She and Da-da start searching in places they've already searched. Uh oh...

Da-da knows what's coming. It hasn't reared its ugly head since the time Bronko vanished at a huge, crowded pumpkin patch (he was hiding in a hay tunnel), but here it comes with it's black-flapping crazy-wings: PANIC. Da-da shoves it aside and checks the garage, the insides of cars... meanwhile, Ma-ma thinks a moment and goes back up to Nagurski's younger brother's room, as she was more awake than Da-da in her search. Something caught her eye...

Nagurski is found, hiding in his pajamas behind a small rocking chair in his brother's room, waiting for him to wake up so they can play. Da-da's not sure if he'd fallen asleep back there, or if he was intentionally hiding -- or if he really heard them calling his name -- but the point is moot, as Nagurski is well on his way to the sun.

So long, you little booger. Pleasant journey. Wear sunscreen.


Breaking News From Da-da's Head

Is that "Outer Limits," or "Bowling for Dollars"?

Crap. Must be Tuesday. Either that or Bronko and Nagurski have been playing with the remote to Da-da's head and tuned him to a dead channel again. Huh. It's kinda like real life, but more compelling. Wait, is that a chicken up there? No. It's just the way she's holding the grapefruit.


Valentine's Day SMOKED CHEESE

Yeah, yeah, another... Awwwwwwww moment. At least there will be no Space Chicken sightings.

For the Valentine's Day record, Da-da's wife exhibits so many superlatives it makes your head spin... except when she gets on Da-da about emptying the trash. And scotchguarding the cat. C'mon, Da-da LOVES scotchguarding the cat, but these things take time.

Anyway, Da-da tried to think of ONE THING wrong with her (Ma-ma, not the cat), and all he came up with was that, besides that righteous left hook, she smelled like smoked cheese for two days during her two pregnancies. Seriously. Women's pregnancies (as opposed to men's) have chemical and somatic changes that are mind-boggling, not the least of which is the dreaded, "SMOKED CHEESE SYNDROME." Some pregnant women smell like smoked cheese, while others smell like pepperoni, proscuitto, East Rutherford, NJ... etc. Factually, proto-Ma-ma was redolent of either a five-year-old smoked gouda or some kind of ancient Basque manchego; it was both FASCINATING and DISGUSTING at the same time, and left Da-da wondering what wine to pair Ma-ma with, a viognier or a montrachet? On our budget, we're lookin' at NIGHTTRAIN, if you can find it. Serve chilled.

Speaking of fascinating and disgusting...

Astonishing. Happy V-day, Captain. You guys always were hot for each other.



A Valentine's Day Warning

Da-da was recently forced to stand in line at the grocery while the checkers did something checker-like for a long time. LIKE FIVE MINUTES. Jeez, don't they know how BUSY Da-da is?? Anyway, Da-da stood there, blasted by not only some jaunty Ramones Muzak, but also by terrible phalanges of salacious, trashy magazines that lined all the exits. Do people even read magazines anymore? Nine out of ten cheesed-out covers had the same theme, as we're pre-Valentine's Day and there's money to be made:


As if that line wasn't loaded enough. But Da-da wondered what this edge might be, it having been quite some time since Da-da was near any kind of edge; indeed, small children remove one's edge and cut you into countless pieces with so many others. However, being a college graduate (Ed's Mechanics' College in Winnepeg, summa c*m cloude), Da-da interpolated this 'edge' to mean $EX. (And Da-da's guessing that he cleverly bypassed spam filters everywhere... or, more likely, has been trebucheted along with this entire blog into some cybernetic Pottersville Dimension.)

Ah. So, back to what the hell we were talkin' about. Check it, proto-Da-da wannabes. Read this carefully, especially if you're below the age of 30. Da-da knows you've all had advanced $ex education since the third grade, but let's review: if you take her over the edge in an unoprotected fashion (you know what Da-da's talkin' 'bout), like Stephen King says, therein lay monsters. Little ones. Tiny cute monster cherubs that smile and giggle and barf and poop and YELL and keep you awake for the rest of your unnatural life BECAUSE THEY NEED THEIR BLANKIE RIGHT FREAKING NOW AND WHY CAN'T YOU FIND IT YOU MECHANICS' SCHOOL GRADUATE? Worse, they make you love them. Krikey.

Point in fact, "taking her over the edge" is the perfect way of putting it. Over the edge of real adulthood and parental responsibility (Da-da can hear you packing the Prius and heading for the hills, they go over hills, right?). Over the edge of intimacy. Over the edge of biological imperative. Over the ontological edge -- which features the biggest drop: having children means it ain't about YOU anymore, Myron. But above all, over the edge of SANITY.

Da-da used to be sane. (Lies.) He used to play golf, have a job, go on vacation, go to Rotary meetings, drink SANKA, listen to The New Christy Minstrels. He used to only capitalize the first letter of a sentence and people's names. Now... well. If you read this blog, you know. If you don't, then Da-da suggests you aim for the pocket and TAKE HER OVER THE EDGE, MISTER GIRTH. Good luck. We're all counting on you. And Happy V-day, brother.

V-Day Note: Ever notice how people, with unerring frequency, often seem to fall in love with and/or marry people WHO LOOK EXACTLY LIKE THEM? It's narcissism in action, makes mirrors redundant, and gives Freudians something to mull over for days and days.

If you stare at this too long, you'll go insane.


EAT AT DA-DA's (or don't and see if he cares)

In case you haven't noticed (what's wrong with you, anyway?), Da-da has added a little sidebar item on the right-hand side (beneath the pic of Da-da hanging by a horse bone stuck through his chest) that's basically the menu for the week. This changes as Da-da's mood changes, which makes it dynamic indeed. Here's the latest:
  • Thurs - Burgers got moved here as this week's menu caught fire and crashed into Haddonfield, NJ.
  • Fri - Sausage lasagna, but it depends on the weather. Da-da actually constructed it for New Year's, as the secondary lasagna to the primary. Huh? Basically, Da-da made too much so he had enough left over to make a small second. Blah blah blah. Dish to be partnered with a Ravenswood zin; always good and inexpensive. Da-da is all about frugality -- except when he makes lasagna.
Note that Bronko and Nagurski -- three and five, respectively -- have completely different palates and apparent dietary requirements, as does Ma-ma (who can't eat ANYTHING spicy, sniff)... and well, Da-da likes what he likes (SPICY). Trained as a backwoods/low country/high desert chef d'resistance, Short-order Da-da can whip up balanced and interesting indy plates of any ethnicity, simplicity or complexity, but this is inefficient, annoying and time consuming -- and costly. It makes Da-da crazy. And Da-da was already crazy. Da-da has yet to find ONE THING that the boys and Ma-ma will all eat, and frankly, he's ready to ditch that supermodel and install the Dadabot 3000, an unerring machine that will make ONE healthy meal and deposit it hot and steamy on the table for all to either eat, or not eat. You want your own special dish? Get a job and go out to dinner every night you little boogers. Da-da will be outside drinking coffee.

CAT LAND (Love in): Figs. 47-50

Fig. 47 - The Tyrone Power

Fig. 48 - The Just-lie-there

Fig. 49 - The Bad Kisser

Fig. 50 - The Stalker


Heads Up!

Which is America's Game?

Note that this pic is not meant to be a dead giveaway, and that the fielders are not yet asleep.
Ok, some of you might not care, but it's allllmost baseball season. In the few moments of non-kid-screaming bliss Da-da experienced yesterday while rigging an irrigation system, Da-da was thinking about why he occasionally pines for baseball's fjords. Why does Da-da find baseball so safe and relaxing? (Maybe Da-da just needs a nap.) And why does he have quite the opposite reaction to NFL games, now? And which deserves to own the distinction of being, "America's Game," anyway -- baseball or football? Jerry Jones will tell you one thing, but who listens to him (besides those on the payroll)?

NFL PR flacks have tried to usurp Major League Baseball's claim to the title for years -- and indeed, they were close to doing so up until about 2007. But the NFL's and broadcasters' greed has cemented this trophy into the hands of MLB. Why? Horrible R-rated commercials, too many commercials, stupid rule changes and fines for basically playing the game, too many commercials, boorish commentators (with egos bigger than third-world countries), too many commercials -- and then there are too many commercials. All this makes it impossible for Da-da to watch the games (and makes them an unjustifiable, gouging expenditure, are you reading this DirecTV/NFL Sunday Ticket?), because... who else is watching these games? Any guesses?

That's right, Roger: it's Da-da's 3 and 5YO boys who are also watching -- or rather, were. The NFL, ESPN, FOX, ABC and NBC have made games unwatchable, with FOX the worst transgressor; their commercial level of bloodlust achieved new lows for 2010. (Rupert, you might consider abandoning football for something more honestly egregious, like televised executions and slo-mo footage of war, disasters and car wrecks.) But enough bitching, let's look at game/commercial structure.

Anyone who's been to an NFL game knows about the two guys on either sideline who wear big orange gloves: when they cross one arm over their chest: we're at commercial. Unofficial timeout, everyone. Those guys really broke a sweat this past season, what with all their arm-waving/genuflecting commercial aerobics. Part of this is due to the way the NFL structures these games.

Baseball, on the other hand, has a more rigid structure, with commercials in-between innings or pitching changes. It also has the best play by play announcers in sports. Overall, your sensorium is accosted by far fewer BS commercials during baseball games -- commercials that Da-da has to mute and/or turn off so his young charges aren't blasted by manipulation. This is work, not recreation. Rarely do broadcasters who carry baseball games fall to the NFL's reprehensible R-rated commercial level. Baseball, therefore, preserves its historic roots, while maintaining a more "watchable" format for folks with families. (Yes, this is important to some of us.) Then there's the head-injury/character issues.

The game of Baseball, its history and players -- and ballparks -- are also sweeter. They're nicer to watch, to be a part of. And sure, MLB ticket prices are outrageous, but they're a bargain next to the NFL (and minor league baseball games are both affordable and fun). And baseball doesn't oversell World Series seats, like the NFL just did for this most recent Stuporbowl.

Bottom line: it's baseball that deserves the title of, "America's Game." It's safer and more entertaining for kids to play and experience, and for kids and parents to watch together. On the other hand, sadly, the NFL has jumped the shark. Besides the greed, look at all those wussy players shivering in the cold at that letdown, "snow game," versus the old-timey toughness of Bud Grant and co. From now on, for that level of autumnal, game-day excitement, Da-da will turn fully to college football. Let the MLB games begin -- and the NFL lockouts commence. Da-da, for one, could use a permanent vacation from the NFL. Hope you guys made enough money off of everyone, because those days are over.

P.S. Yes, honey, Da-da is officially making a public commitment to NOT renew his DirecTV/NFL Sunday Ticket for 2011, or any year subsequent. However, Da-da will be hitting you up for some baseball tickets.


Another Hallmark Day Approaches...

Awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww... uh oh. Crap. All this touchy smoochiness (that Da-da gets once a year, usually by accident) has invoked... 

...the Space Chicken.

Now we're in trouble. Or we're gonna get our lobsters boiled. It's tough to tell with Space Chicken.
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