Happy December, Happy Holidays, and Happy War on Christmas! I'm sure, by now, you've heard of the supposed War on Christmas. It's one of the biggest bugbears of so-called Conservatives. I say, "so-called" because the first people to declare War on Christmas were the Puritans who banned Christmas in the Massachusetts Colony in 1659 and … Continue reading Happy Holidays — The War on Christmas Edition
Happy 626, or, San Gabriel Valley Day!
Pendersleigh & Sons Cartography's watercolor and ink map of the San Gabriel Valley, available in art prints and on an array of merchandise Last year, on 18 August, I published a piece celebrating San Fernando Valley Day. You see, in the US (and nowhere else, really), people write dates month/day/year. I know, it makes no … Continue reading Happy 626, or, San Gabriel Valley Day!
Happy 818, or, San Fernando Valley Day!
Pendersleigh & Sons Cartography's Map of the San Fernando Valley Although the date format of most countries is "day/month/year," the US, as we know, likes to fly in the face of global conventions and go its own way (see also: British Imperial Units, Fahrenheit, and American football). Because of our quirky date format, American nerds … Continue reading Happy 818, or, San Fernando Valley Day!
Swinging Doors — Los Angeles Beer Map and History on National Beer Day
As someone who loves a good holiday, I tend to ignore most of the dumb ones. You know the ones -- the dumb daily dumb food-related days created by grocery store trade publications (e.g. National Shrimp Day, National Shrimp Scampi Day, and National Fried Shrimp Day) or those "wacky" ones presumably invented by and for … Continue reading Swinging Doors — Los Angeles Beer Map and History on National Beer Day
Thanksgiving II; or, a Super Bowl Party for people who hate the Super Bowl
Last Sunday, the Super Bowl took place. For the 98.7% of the world's population who didn't watch this televised spectacle; it featured billionaire Enos Stanley Kroenke's Rams in competition with billionaire Robert Kraft's Patriots; the musical stylings of the Empress of Soul (Gladys Knight), Proactiv's Maroon 5, Kardashian rapper Travis Scott, and Big Boi; as … Continue reading Thanksgiving II; or, a Super Bowl Party for people who hate the Super Bowl
Mother’s Day Movies
Mary Cassatt's After the Bath (circa 1901) The American Mother's Day was invented by Anna Jarvis in 1905, when her own mother, Ann Reeves Jarvis, died. Her mother's death proved the inspiration for a holiday and by 1908 others joined her in this macabre celebration.After five years of dedication to her obsession, Mother's Day was … Continue reading Mother’s Day Movies
Happy Beltane! Your guide to observances and Beltane in popular culture
Happy Beltane! John Collier's Queen Quinevere's maying (1900) Tonight at sundown begins Beltane (also spelled Beltain, Bealtaine, Bealltainn, Boaltinn, and Boaldyn), a Gaelic holiday marking the beginning of summer (which in the Gaelic calendar takes place at the midpoint between the spring equinox and summer solstice). Historically it was observed throughout the British Isles. … Continue reading Happy Beltane! Your guide to observances and Beltane in popular culture
Happy 4th of July
Bruce Springsteen Toby Keith U2 Galaxie 500 Bruce McCulloch Eric Brightwell is an adventurer, writer, rambler, explorer, cartographer, and guerrilla gardener who is always seeking writing, speaking, traveling, and art opportunities — or salaried work. He is not interested in generating advertorials, clickbait, listicles, or other 21st century … Continue reading Happy 4th of July
My Reawakened Love of Christmas Carols and this Year’s Top Ten
"That's someone shooting Tiny Tim for his PS3" Of Christmas, the wise Ebenezer Scrooge cynically but rather sensibly wondered, "What was Christmas but a time for running into debt and getting one year older without getting even one hour richer?" That was 1843 and not even the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come could foresee … Continue reading My Reawakened Love of Christmas Carols and this Year’s Top Ten
April Fools Flicks!
April Fools' Day (or All Fools' Day) is celebrated 1 April, as we all know. The earliest likely written reference is in Geoffrey Chaucer's Canterbury Tales back in 1392. In 1509, a French poet referred to a poisson d’avril, likely a reference to the holiday. John Aubrey's 1686 mention of "Fooles holy day" is the … Continue reading April Fools Flicks!