Monthly Archives: April 2012

wonky…

I’m a wonk, of sorts. No, I don’t spend time reading policy statements, so not a policy wonk. I think policies should be clear, limiting and individual. No policy should be longer than a sentence or two. The consequence of breaking the policy should be clear and concise, and the effect immediate.

I’m not a science wonk, because I’ve never spent much time with the x’s and the y’s of the math and the terminology that makes up science today is almost incomprehensible to me.

I’m not a political wonk, not tracking polls and delegate counts, almost numb to negative as well as positive ads. Although, here, I must add that I think all of these words, policy, science and politics, are neutral, neither good nor evil, they just are.  

I’m just a wonk, i.e., a studious or hardworking person. When we use wonk in terms of policy, science, politics,  we fail to mention those of us with an interest in life and all it holds can be wonks too. I like to know. Just know. Stuff.  I’ve always liked to know. And not to know a certain thing or fact. I remember my dad asking why I majored in history in college. I told him it was because then I could, with great legitimacy study just anything. Everything.  

I love the trivia of a historical moment, or a scientific breakthrough, or a policy footnote, and a biographical  notation. And I think, in all the written and verbal noise we are surrounded with today, we’ve forgotten what it means to know. Because we don’t just give facts anymore, we insert adverbs and adjectives that add portent and weight to one side or the other. Since when did knowledge have a side? Since when did knowing something denote superiority over another? Isn’t that the definition of a bully? Isn’t it just enough to continue to grow, to explore, to understand? I am thrilled by each new tidbit of knowing, excited to fill brain cells with information, information maybe never shared, but added, studied, turned over and studied again. So. Just call me a little wonky. 

symbols and signs….

The most potent of religious icons is the cross with the figure of Jesus, nailed and hanging, suspended ever in our psyche as the one who saved us from damnation. And for that, yes, I am eternally grateful.  Because of that most potent of religious icons, Easter is the most holy of feast days in the Catholic liturgy. And if the cross is the symbol of our salvation, Easter is a sign we can overcome sin.

Unlike other feast days and holidays, Easter acknowledges the world in which we live, how it moves through our universe and our relationship to the sun, although you could just as easily say the Son!  In order to determine Easter Sunday, you need to know when the earth turns so that our star, the sun,  moves across the vernal equinox heading for summer solstice, when we leave the bareness of winter and move into the spring of renewal. Using the Paschal Full Moon, which actually comes from our Hebrew roots, or Passover, and the 14th day of the lunar month, rather than a real astronomical event, Easter, in the western churches, arrives anytime between March 22 and April 25.

On the religious side the symbols and signs are quite clear and straightforward. You sin, you can be redeemed .  Outside religious events, there are what I think of as mascots. A baby boy for New Year’s Day,  Cupid for Valentines, Leprechauns for St. Paddy’s Day, Santa Claus for Christmas. And they all relate to the day. But.

The Easter Bunny has always been a particular  problem for me, mainly because he delivers eggs. As a kid, I never really thought that bunnies and chicks went together. I mean, chickens roam around, pecking at the ground, peeping and squawking inside an enclosure that even earned the name chicken wire. Whereas bunnies, or rabbits [and there’s a dilemma, are they the same or are they different? OMG, then there are hares!] sit in cages or behind rock walls or underground hidden by shrubbery, drop little black pellets and really don’t say much. So how did they come together?  I get that bunnies are the quintessential sign of fertility. Spring=renewal and what better way to convey that than fertility, ergo, bunnies. Eggs hold life. So.

Even though these are pagan symbols, the bunny and the egg, they bring together the most holy of beliefs that this season, Easter, on the first Sunday after the 14th day of the lunar month when the sun crosses the equinox on it’s way to the equator, is a celebration of renewal and life. Hallelujah! 

so what…

There’s a lot of chatter on the web about Once Upon A Time. Yes. Yes, it is a favorite of mine, loving the way it strings out the important tidbits like dropping diamonds on a trail into an unknown location. Sort of like Dr. Who. But. See, with Dr. Who there were so many zany and weird bits, if you didn’t follow it right a way, you’d have a chance to go back and see what you missed.

This time they lost me. Okay, okay, they almost lost me with naming Ruby’s boyfriend Peter, I mean, who dreamed that up? But this time they left a huge hole and I’m not sure this particular story can get out of it. Well that’s not true, I’m guessing they will be able to tie the issue of why Regina hates Snow with a neat and tidy bow. But I don’t know how happy I’ll be about it. Because I’m still very very unsure as to why Regina, who knows how manipulative and wicked her own mother can be, seems to feel so strongly that Daniel’s death was solely and completely Snow’s fault. Weird. She’s watched her mother maneuver all the people around her with her will and her magic.  

All along I have suspended my disbelief and accepted the other side of the story, the part that wasn’t in the books. But this part. Wowzer! They’ve made this one tough. We know there is a great deal of time between when Snow’s father dies and Regina becomes king and the time when King Leopold marries Regina, at least five to seven years have passed. The question is, because her mother has magic does Regina? I suppose we are going to see Regina get rid of her mother in some fashion. Does she help her mother take over the kingdom of Wonderland? And that’s why Regina’s father’s heart is with the Queen of Hearts. Oh, and does she rescue her father after she’s made the curse? Or before?

But I am very close to saying So What!

april fools’…..

So. Maybe it’s just a grammar thing, but is it April Fool’s Day or April Fools’ Day? If it’s Fool’s then that means there is only one fool. But if it’s Fools’ Day then all of us fools have a day. But enough of that stodgy ninja grammar  stuff. Let’s talk about the name of the day.

Apparently at one time, after the vernal equinox and the arrival of spring, April First was considered the beginning of the new year. Who knew? I don’t think I’d ever hear that before. Maybe because everything was new? The cold and hoary winter was in the past. Trees and shrubs were blooming, babies were being born. New, I tell you.  According to an internet article April Fools’ Day has an uncertain origin. When the calendar was changed to make January 1 the beginning of the new year under the Gregorian Calendar, those who stuck to keeping New Year’s Day as April First were made fun of, sent on a fool’s errand, enticed to do silly things on this pseudo new year day. But there’s not a lot of evidence to support this.

Another theory is that back in Roman times, Constantine allowed the court jesters to rule the empire for a day, and they called for a day of absurdity. But that turned out to be just another April Fools’ Day joke by a professor of history at Boston University.

As there seems to be some doubt as to the origin of april Fools’ Day. Here’s my personal take on the origin of the day. It was a brutal winter. The snow was piled ten feet and people had to get out of the house through the upstairs windows if they went out at all. And then it all started to melt. All that snow had to go somewhere and because it became warm slowly, the snow melted into the ground giving a huge boost to all the local flora. Trees had bumper crops of leaves, bushes blossomed  without shame on every inch of their branches: forsythia, azalea, marigolds, snapdragons, lavender, wisteria, dogwoods, the air was perfumed with the fragrance of a million blooms. And one out of every five people were dazed and disoriented from the pollen; headaches, toothaches, sneezing, coughing, runny eyes. And they went nuts! Doing and saying the most foolish of things. That’s where it all began.  All because of Spring.

And, if you want to read about the top one hundred April Fools’ Day pranks, click here 🙂