Is beauty overrated?

A Mercedes-Benz commercial:

Dating… again

I just came across this funny video about a ‘first date’ and how it can go wrong.

Carnival

Carnival is celebrated all around the world just before the fasting season of Lent. Here in Spain, the week leading up to Lent is a time for wild partying when anything goes,  and many cities play host to some of Europe’s biggest and best Carnival festivals.

Some theories speculate that Carnival has its origin in the Roman Saturnalia,  a pagan festival where people indulged in much eating and drinking.  An alternative theory is that it comes from ‘farewell to the flesh’ (carne =meat and valle= farewell), again a reference to the excesses that led up to the sombre Lent. With these pagan roots and widespread ‘permissiveness’, it’s no wonder that the dictator General Franco banned the festival for forty years!

Carnival in Spain is celebrated nationwide, although the most well-known festivities are in the Canary Islands, Cadiz and Sitges. While each town has its own unique flavour of celebration, they all have a devotion to having a good time. No one seems to sleep, as the drinking and dancing go from dusk until dawn. You’ll see extravagant costumes and people in masks everywhere, with parades and fancy dress events culminating in the traditional Burial of the Sardine on Ash Wednesday.

The sardine is a symbol which reminds the people that now they will be eating fish instead of meat – some Catholics still observe the tradition of not eating meat on miércoles de Ceniza and on Fridays during Lent. This is the event that truly symbolises the end of the good times and the beginning of a period of abstinence.

In Catalunya Carnival is a particularly exciting time as celebrations were illegal under Franco’s rule. So, since the end of his dictatorship in 1980 people have been making up for all of those years without a carnival!

As for Carnival in Rio, Venice, New Orleans … (sigh) follow the links and enjoy them virtually. But don’t despair, there’s also London’s Notting Hill Carnival in August!

Stephen Fry and the Christmas Crapper

I couldn’t let it go… the crapper and the shitting log in the UK!!! Don’t miss their ‘Is-this-for-real?’ faces

Two Brains… or a bit more on men and women

A hilarious look at male and female brains. Don’t miss it!

And if you want to know if your brain is 100% male or female, click on this link and do the test!

http://www.tv3.cat/fitxaplus/sexesenguerra/test/

Thanksgiving for turkeys

Did you know that… ?

1) Minnesota is the top turkey-producing state in America, with a planned production total of 49 million in 2008.

2) The National Turkey Federation – yes, it exists! – estimated that 46 million turkeys—one fifth of the annual total of 235 million consumed in the United States in 2007—were eaten at Thanksgiving.

3) Nearly 88 percent of Americans said they had eaten turkey at Thanksgiving last year.

4) The average weight of turkeys purchased for Thanksgiving is 15 pounds, which means some 690 million pounds of turkey were consumed in the U.S. during Thanksgiving in 2008.

Amazing, huh?

Thanksgiving: A Stressful Holiday?

Thanksgiving celebrates tradition, family togetherness and good food but it can also be a very stressful time. There’s a lot of work associated with pulling off this feast, and with pulling together distant family and friends.

One of the first factors of stress during the holidays or get-togethers, is the high divorce rate.  With many marriages ending in divorce or even greater family complications by remarrying, children have to decide which family or parent they choose. The parents who get to be chosen need to work hard at proving themselves worthy, while for the parents who lost, it feels like a failure. So, a no-win situation for all the parties involved.

Many people only get to see their families – thank God 🙂 – at special events or celebrations. This is the time when you’re put under their microscopic eye to see whether you’ve gained or lost weight, have got any grey hair or need new glasses… Also, pictures are taken year after year to record our aging process faithfully and to remind everyone of that dreadful dress, hairstyle, etc. How’s that for stress?

Thanksgiving, like other holidays, is a celebration of food, which poses another problem. For those with eating disorders, it becomes really stressful; fo those who are on a diet, it’s a challenge akin to climbing the Everest.

This is also a time of the year for family members to talk about what has been going on in their lives, both personally and professionally. So this is the time when you are asked about that girlfriend who dumped you and about the promotion that never came. You don’t really feel like telling them and this, of course, causes stress.

Now, what do we do about all this? One possibilty is to swallow your pride, hold your tongue and just vegetate through the entire family affair silently reminding yourself that it will be over in a few hours… But remember, Christmas is just around the corner!

 

 

Adapted from Holiday Blues at http://www.brownielocks.com/holidayblues.html