It’s that time of the year when we’re supposed to be thinking about it being that time of the year… and what that means for us.
Is it about endings or beginnings? Is it about what came before or what will come afterwards? Is it about giving or receiving?
Is it about the glass being too full and spilling over because we’re not sure when to say “when” or is it about emptying it and wondering if we’ll get a refill? Is it about eating too much before we have to resolve to eat much less?
Is it about being together or being apart? Is it about sharing our world with others…
Before I go any further, it’s that time of the week to thank Melanie of Sparks From A Combustible Mind for giving us: Share Your Merry World 12-10-18
Thank you for sharing, Melanie!
So, let’s dive in and see what kind of a mess I’m going to make of all of this, will it be a bumpy ride or a slip-slidin’ away?
What’s the worst topping you could put on popcorn? (credit to Teresa for this one)
When I used to eat popcorn, my favourite topping was too much butter and too much salt. While I liked the popped corn, I had a particular fondness for the slightly burned unpopped corn kernels, and used to enjoy getting the bits stuck in my teeth as it was one of those tasty gifts which kept on giving.
I gave up eating popcorn because I evolved into a too lazy to make it being, and I don’t like packaged pre-popped corn (too soggy, too perfect, not slightly burned and no unpopped kernels covered in solidified melted butter and salt crystals) or those microwaveable ones (probably because I don’t have a microwave).
But I still love this song:
Almost forget the question… worst topping for popcorn… I used to scrunch up my face at people who liked theirs with sugary stuff on it, but caramelised popcorn is delicious so I must have been going through a salty phase.
Popcorn is basically like pasta, it’s pretty much tasteless until you add sauce so it can work with anything… I wonder if they do deep fried popcorn in Scotland? What would it taste like with Soy sauce? Wasabi!!! I’m making myself hungry… and I still can’t think of a worst topping, so I’ll have to pass.
In what country did Silent Night originate?
I looked it up. I’ve never been there unless you count visiting it vicariously through the TV or through Google Maps… OMG I love traveling using Google Maps, it’s a bit like teleporting without the hassle of being turned into a bunch of pixels which then have to reform themselves and if there’s a fly in the teleporter…
If you got the wings then you’d never have to use the teleporter again and could avoid the queues. But if you got the head…
Would it be like looking at the world through a kaleidoscope? Might be pretty… confusing, but the world is already like that when I look at it so nothing would change, and if other people found my fly head a bit disconcerting… well, people already experience that in my presence, so, nothing would be different it would just appear to be different.
How did I end up here!? Oh, yes… Silent Night! It was fun looking up its origin story. Thank you, Melanie, for instigating that.
It’s weird how you can be so familiar with something and yet know nothing about it. The same sort of thing happens with people, they become familiars but do you really know them and their origin story? Each person is like a song, composed of all the living notes within them, lyrics formed by their experiences of being…
“Quietness is an essential part of all awareness. In quiet times and sleepy times, a child can dwell in thoughts of his own, and in songs and stories of his own.”― Margaret Wise Brown
How would you react if there was irrefutable proof that God doesn’t exist? How about if there was irrefutable proof that God does exist?
I love the answer which Pensitivity101 gave to this question as she took into account how this could affect others which would then affect her.
When Melanie asked this question she added a warning before it:
WARNING! The following question is NOT meant to start a fuss. It’s merely a good discussion question in my opinion. Most everyone knows where I stand on this. If you feel like arguing about it, please give it a pass. We’re all adults and sensible ones at that. We can be mature about such things, right?
When I first saw the warning I thought it had something to do with the Silent Night song, and I wondered if the song was connected to the nazis or maybe to euthanasia, or was it like Ring a Ring o Roses which is so cute and deadly, but then I read the next question and realised… Oh, it’s about the God complexity!
My second thought was from the viewpoint of a blogger – if you have to write a Caveat Lector like that one, don’t write about whatever it is that requires a warning like that. It’s similar to saying: “I don’t mean to be rude, but…” Stop! You do mean to be rude, so just stop and take a moment to rethink things.
However upon examining the question – the question itself is a good one and doesn’t really need a warning even in these progressive times of everyone getting their knickers in a twist over everything anyone says.
Which reminds me of a very interesting book (published in 1887), and an allegory (written in the early 1600’s) the author shared within it about the god Apollo being tasked to solve the problems in the world. The god Apollo passed the parcel to a bunch of sages because they were supposed to be smart…
Give me leave, I beseech you, to say that you, in relating your opinions, seem to me to be like those indiscrete physitians who lose time in consulting and disputing without having seen the sick party, or heard from his own mouth the account of his disease.
Our business, gentlemen, is to cure the present age of the foul infirmities under which she labours; we have all laboured to find out the reasons of the maladies and its proper remedys, but none of us hath been so wise as to visit the sick party. I therefore advise that we send for the present Age to come hither and be examined, that we interrogate it of its sickness, and that we see the ill-affected parts naked, for this will make the cure easie, which you now think desperate.”
The whole Assembly was so pleased at Mazzoni’s motion, that the reformers immediately commanded the Age to be sent for, who was presently brought in a chair to the Delphick Palace by the four Seasons of the year.
He was a man full of years, but of so great and strong a complexion that he seemed likely to live yet many ages, onely he was short breathed, and his voyce was very weak, at which the philosophers, much wondering, asked him what was the reason that he, whose ruddy face was a sign of much natural heat and vigor, and of a good stomach, was nevertheless so feeble? And they told him that a hundred years before his face was so yellow that he seemed to have the jaundice, yet he spoke freely, and seemed to be stronger then he was now, and since they had sent for him to cure his infirmity, he should speak freely of his griefs.
The Age answered thus:–“Soon after I was born, gentlemen, I fell into these maladies under which I now labour. My face is fresh and ruddy because people have petered it and coloured it with lakes; my sickness resembles the ebbing and flowing of the sea, which alwaies contains the same water, though it rises and fals, with this variation notwithstanding, that when my looks are outwardly good, my malady is more grievous inwardly (as at this present), but when my face looks ill, I am best within. As for the infirmities which torment me, do but take off this gay jacket, wherewith some good people have covered a rotten carcass, and view me naked as I was made by Nature.”
At these words the philosophers stript him in a trice, and found that this miserable wretch was covered all over four inches thick with a scurf of appearances.
They caused ten razors to be forthwith brought unto them, and fell to shaving it off with great diligence, but they found it so far eaten into his very bones that in all the huge colossus there was not one inch of good live flesh, at which, being struck with horror and despair, they put on the patient’s cloaths again, and dismist him.
Then, convinced that the disease was incurable, they shut themselves up together, and abandoning the case of publike affairs, they resolved to provide for the safety of their own reputations.– excerpt from The Prophecy of Paracelsus, and The Universal Reformation of the Whole Wide World, Chapter II of The Real History of the Rosicrusians by A. E. Waite
Apart from that allegory which is fascinating to read in its entirety because, although it was written hundreds of years ago, it pretty much sums up human politics, government, systems, intellect and how we problem solve, and a couple of other stories written by others shared by the author, the book is basically a blog post rant. It’s one intellectual’s attempt to disprove the existence of the Rosicrucians, but mainly all he does is argue against another intellectual’s attempt to prove that the Rosicrucians exist in another book.
If those two intellectuals had been alive today, they’d be bloggers at war with each other. With each post written as a rebuttal to whatever the other guy said.
Humans love to argue, and love to do so from oppositional stances. There is actually a psychological condition called – Oppositional Defiant Disorder.
The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), published by the American Psychiatric Association, lists criteria for diagnosing ODD. The DSM-5 criteria include emotional and behavioral symptoms that last at least six months.
Angry and irritable mood:
Often and easily loses temper
Is frequently touchy and easily annoyed by others
Is often angry and resentful
Argumentative and defiant behavior:
Often argues with adults or people in authority
Often actively defies or refuses to comply with adults’ requests or rules
Often deliberately annoys or upsets people
Often blames others for his or her mistakes or misbehavior
Is often spiteful or vindictive
Has shown spiteful or vindictive behavior at least twice in the past six months
ODD can vary in severity:
Mild. Symptoms occur only in one setting, such as only at home, school, work or with peers.– signs and symptoms of ODD from The Mayo Clinic
Moderate. Some symptoms occur in at least two settings.
Severe. Some symptoms occur in three or more settings.
I only just came across that disorder because I was checking to see if I was using the word “oppositional” correctly. There really does seem to be a disorder for everything… or is it that everything human is a disorder?
Anyway… why am I writing this? Oh, yes… the big G question.
Personally I would be intrigued either way, however I’d probably give the “irrefutable proof” the side-eye, and explore the story behind the finding of that “irrefutable proof” and the people who found it, their motives and reasons for finding it and then sharing it knowing that it would most likely cause pain and suffering, and more chaos.
If God exists, as Sandmanjazz pointed out – Which one of the many gods would the existing God be?
And if God exists, is it God’s fault that the human world is a chaotic disordered mess and that humans are the way we are?
If you give someone a car for Christmas and they crash it, maybe killing themselves and/or others… is that your fault for giving them the car?
And yes, I realise giving someone a car for Christmas is a rather extravagant gift… what about a sweater? Or socks…
If you gave someone socks for Christmas and they slipped while wearing them, and fell down the stairs breaking their neck or hit their head on the edge of something hard which caved their head in… is that your fault for giving them the socks?
If I punch you is that my fault for being an asshole who decides to (perhaps randomly) punch people, is it your fault for making me decide to punch you (you must have done or said something, provoked me, you were asking for it, right?), or is it a God’s fault for giving me arms with hands with fingers which curl up into a fist, and also for giving me free will and this is how I’ve decided to use that gift?
In other words….
“Love is our most unifying and empowering common spiritual denominator. The more we ignore its potential to bring greater balance and deeper meaning to human existence, the more likely we are to continue to define history as one long inglorious record of man’s inhumanity to man.”
― Aberjhani, Journey through the Power of the Rainbow: Quotations from a Life Made Out of Poetry
What is the scariest non banned item you could take on to a plane?
I haven’t been on a plane for at least a decade. The last time I was on one, the new rules for what you couldn’t take on board were just coming into effect.
I did once bring a sword onto a plane as hand luggage. The airline and cabin crew knew what it was, I didn’t need a permit, and they were the ones who insisted I carry it with me rather than put it in the luggage hold.
Do they still sell Swiss Army Knives at airports in Switzerland… what happens if you buy one after you’ve checked in, can you take it on board?
What about perfume… but I guess you need a lighter to turn it into a weapon, although some perfumes are very noxious (remember Giorgio of Beverly Hills… OMG that was so horrible and people used to always use too much) and in a small cabin with dodgy ventilation you could gas everyone with it.
As a child I traveled a lot on airplanes during that period when planes kept getting hi-jacked, I used to spend the waiting time before the flight rehearsing how I’d react and behave if the plane I was on was hi-jacked. The imaginary scenario got so complicated that eventually I decided it would be easier if I made a nuisance of myself and got the hijackers to kill me immediately. I was weird and crazy as a child too.
I’ve also been on two flights where an engine malfunctioned. One time the wing caught fire, but luckily we’d only just taken off. The other time we were halfway across the ocean and luckily the other engines were fine, I slept through the whole experience because I was tired and there was nothing else to do about it.
Which version of the holiday celebration do you and your family enjoy?
Yesterday my partner and I went to get our tree at the local lawless town full of outlaws (this is a reference to something in the local news which made me chuckle). On the way back we were listening to Mele Kalikimaka, and for some reason it reminded me of the three breasted biscuit woman.
She’s the one in the featured image at the top of this post, also known as a Pupazza Frascatana (this is a link to the Italian Wiki page about it).
There’s a wonderful blog post – The Three Breasted Woman From Frascati – if you’d like to know more about the Italian biscuit and read it in English.
That post was funny to read because – they actually tried to eat the biscuit!!!! If you grew up as I did in the area – no one in their right mind eats that biscuit, it’s just something you give to people as a good luck token, especially foreigners (to see if they’ll be crazy enough to try to eat it).
The last Christmas I spent in Italy, several years before I met my partner, I was staying with family friends who own a winery.
The Mamma of the household was a superb hostess as well as a great business woman. Part of her Christmas preparations included going to a local bakery and picking up a bunch of Pupazze Frascatane to give as X-Mas tokens to all the people who had helped with the success of the winery.
The Pupazza Frascatana is a symbol of fertility… so it’s quite a good gift as a symbol of fertility in business.
She also covered everything in Christmas decorations. In the wine shop, the feature decoration was a human-sized Santa doll sitting in an armchair at a table with grappa and biscotti, in the armchair opposite was a human-sized witch doll known as La Befana.
La Befana used to be responsible for deciding who was naughty and who was nice, and giving gifts accordingly in Italy.
Then Santa became more and more popular, and so Italians now have two gift-givers at this time of year. Santa comes first, then shortly after New Year, La Befana comes along and does her thing on Epiphany (Jan 6th).
Since my birthday is the day after her visit… I have always felt more of an affinity with La Befana. And this year I’m turning 50… so I’m officially entering my old witch years and hopefully will be getting a magic broom, and some other crone powers along with it. I promise to use them thoroughly irresponsibly! Watch out, I may decide to turn everyone into Disney Princesses (and yes, that includes guys, c’mon the princess costumes are so much more frou frou and fun).
FYI: Anyone who wants to give me a gift – only really ridiculous, impractical, funny age-inappropriate gifts are welcome!
That’s it from me…
Buon Natale everyone!