Once Upon a Halloween…

I realize that I’m a WHOLE two days late but the season is still in the air and I know that EVERYONE wants to know everything possible about their favorite spooky holiday. Every Halloween comes and goes faster than the last and with every year the holiday becomes more and more popular across American college students. Whether its the costumes or the parties, students fallen in love. But how, fellow students, did this holiday come to be.

Apparently the very thought of Halloween is over 2,000 years old. It goes back to the Celts when they used to celebrate the new year on November 1st. It marked the last day of summer and what they called the first day of darkness. The Celts believed that the night before the new year the ghosts of the dead returned to earth to cause trouble and damage crops. This became known as the Festival of Samhain. The Celts also believed that during this time the presence of otherworldly spirits made it easier for the Druids or Celtic Priests to make predictions about the future. The Druids would build sacred bonfires and the Celts wore costumes.
After the Roman Empire conquered Celtic territory, many of the Roman traditions began to meld with the Celtic ones. The Romans had two festivals at the end of October. One to commemorate the passing of the dead, the other to honor the Roman goddess, Pomona, of fruit and trees. Her symbol is the apple. And so bobbing for apples was born.

By 609 AD Pope Boniface IV dedicated May 13 as all Christian Martyrs Day. It wasn’t until Pope Gregory III that this day became known as All Saints Day and was moved to being celebrated on November 1st. By 1000 AD November 2nd was declared All Souls Day and was celebrated in much the same way as the Celtic Festival of Samhain. All Saints Day was also called All-hallows or All-hallowmas and the night before, the traditional Celtic Festival of Samhain became known as All-hallows Eve.

When Halloween first started in the colonies, it wasn’t very popular outside of Maryland. Their celebrations included “play parties,” public events, sharing stories of the dead, telling each other’s fortunes, and dancing and singing. What we call Halloween now didn’t come into existence until the holiday hit America and spread like wide-fire with the immigrants of the mid 19th century. By the 20’s and 30’s Halloween became the secular holiday we all now know and love. Trick or Treating slowly became more and popular between the 20’s and 50’s. Not only did families use this as a way to build relationships within their community but they also used it as a way to avoid having tricks played on them. It would soon be known as the American tradition added to the old Celtic Festival of Samhain.

Breast Cancer Awareness Month!

The time: October. The color: Pink. The guest: Fighters & Survivors. Although it’s not my favorite color in the world it has come into my life for the past year in a BIG way. Cancer has impacted more than 1 and 3 people in a life time with that stat growing every year; the top three of the cancers being Non-melanoma, Lung Cancer and Breast Cancer. Breast Cancer has affected 12% of women, killing 115 women world-wide in one day. That’s 1 woman every 15 minutes. While it has affected every average sally, the cause has spread like wide fire over the past decade to bring it to the fore front of the entertainment industry as well. Entertainers affected by breast cancer include: Sheryl Crow, Kylie Minogue, Olivia Newtown-John, Melissa Etheridge, Cynthia Nixon, Edie Falco, Robin Roberts, and Christina Applegate.

So Why Pink? The pink ribbon was first used by the Susan G. Komen Organization in 1991 and was adopted by National Breast Cancer Awareness Month the following year. The ribbon represents fear, hope and goodness of people who support the breast cancer movement. Although the ribbon is commonly known for the cause, it also symbolizes  goodwill towards women in general.

There have been several sources in my research that lead me to people who don’t find BCAM all that… well they think it’s a sad excuse to attempt to coerce people into buying things with a pink ribbon claiming it will help breast cancer victims. Well… I just have one thing to say about this: BCAM isn’t about getting people to buy things, it’s about educating women about something that could affect them regardless of their knowledge of it. “The best protection is early detection.” Educate yourself, talk to your doctors and make sure that you don’t become easily misguided.

Make sure that if you’re interested in bringing an end to breast cancer to donate at Susan G. Koman for the Cure or the American Cancer Society. Separate we may fall but together we are STRONG.

Love Latinos Month!

That’s right, I said it! It’s Love Latinos Month! I’m renaming it. It sounds so much better than Hispanic Heritage Month. Technically the celebration doesn’t really start until this weekend, Sept 15th, but no one pays much attention to specific dates. No lie, the reason why they picked September is because so many Latin countries declared their independence during the month of September. Actually it’s over a week in September but President Reagan changed it to a month-long celebration in 1988. Really just giving Latinos and everyone else an excuse to have fiestas and pachangas for 30 days instead of 7. The countries included in this celebration are Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Mexico, and Chile. It may not read like it’s a lot of countries, but I promise it is.

The whole point of this month is for people to recognize contributions of “Hispanic and Latino Americans” to the US as well as celebrating the heritage and culture. This PC excuse to celebrate has really just turned into an excuse for people to eat “Hispanic” food and thank us for the invention of Tequila and Rum. Am I angry about this? ABSOLUTELY NOT! I’m damn proud of my Latin ethnicity and definitely think that a month dedicated to loving us is necessary and awesome. Just remember these important tips: Cinco De Mayo is NOT Mexican Independence day, White Rice and Black Beans are called Cristianos y Moros (Christians and Moors), the worm is full of protein, Plantains are NOT bananas (so don’t try to eat it like one), and NEVER keep a Latino from our food when we’re hungry. It won’t end well.

So during this Hispanic Heritage Month give a Latino some love. We don’t bite unless we’re hungry.

Labor Day Friday!

Happy Labor Day weekend friends! Well, well, well. There has been so much going on this week and yea as much as I would love to talk about it all, no lie, I’m just not in the mood. This whole speedy Friday thing seems to be going over well. Not too many complaints have come my way. If you do have a complaint you can either A) write me about it. I always respect anything and everything from my LOYAL readers. OR B) keep your mouth shut and CHANGE the channel. There’s no need to be rude about things. Just keep it real.

Now that that’s taken care of we can move on to the updates for this week. YAY! The Independent American Antitrust Institute has asked the Federal Trade Commission to not let the Universal deal to buy EMI go through. Pink has received death threats from Chris Brown fans… really!?! What LACK of life do these people have?! Christina Aguilera is claiming that her new album is a “rebirth,” a culmination of everything she’s been through. Keith Urban has been officially announced as the third and last American Idol judge. Now that just sounds like… a cry of desperation. The DNC announces it’s entertainment line-up not long after the RNC ended theirs. Lindsay Lohan makes it out of handcuffs again in LA by escaping burglary charges. It almost feels like this has to happen at least one a year. Turns out Steven Spielberg isn’t and wasn’t interested in making a movie based off the book “No Easy Day.” And speaking of the Navy Seal book written on the killing of Bin Laden, apparently there is a detail that doesn’t match up. DUN DUN DUN! And now music videos released this week include: Bob Dylan’s “Duquesne Whistle,” Matchbox Twenty’s “Overjoyed,” One Republic’s “Feel Again,” and Usher’s “Dive.”

Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter @CEliseMata and check out guest postings at ographyblog.wordpress.com.

Speedy Friday!

I guess this is going to become a trend. There was no news that really came my way until yesterday and I thought, well what’s one more day. Most of everything is pretty typical of the entertainment industry but the funnest stuff comes from the one place I hate talking about: Politics (YUCK!) But here we go:

The Grammys noms will have their live concert special Dec 5th and air on CBS. 90’s female singer Brandy is coming back to bring R&B back into the music world. 98 Degrees is “Definitely” making new music. WHY am I so excited about this? Authorities have amended Natalie Wood’s death certificate. DC Comics has come out saying that Superman and Wonder Woman will become an item. Nickelback’s new Music Video stars Jason Alexander as a barista. A genius decided to write a book describing the raid that killed Bin Laden. It’s not enough that we did it, we have to share with the whole world how we did it. GENIUS idea. And the best for last the Romney and Paul campaign is doing the great job of pissing off plenty of the musicians in the industry. So much so that Dee Snider of Twisted Sister has denounced the campaign. Now that just makes me laugh.

Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter @CEliseMata. And look out for special posts on ographyblog.wordpress.com. Have a safe and fun Friday.

Story of the Today!

I’m already getting on top of this. The Story of Today is entitled: “Meet the Dictionary’s New Words” posted on the Atlantic Wire. Every update to the Websters Dictionary has surprised me especially when they decided to include “Bootylicious.” Even still that word comes up as a grammatical error! But for 2012, these words, some no surprise others beyond surprise, the words given an entire are, I’m sure, going to be welcomed with open arms.

Thanks to Oprah Winfrey: aha moment n (1939) : a moment of sudden realization, inspiration, insight, recognition, or comprehension.

Lord knows I get these all the time: brain cramp n (1982) : an instance of temporary mental confusion resulting in an error or lapse of judgment. Aren’t those also called Brain Farts?

Thanks to Jack Nickelson and Morgan Freeman: bucket list n (2006) : a list of things that one has not done before but wants to do before dying. cloud computing n (2006) : the practice of storing regularly used computer data on multiple servers that can be accessed through the Internet. copernicium n (2009) : a short-lived artificially produced radioactive element that has 112 protons. Someone that loves beer added this one: craft beer n (1986) : a specialty beer produced in limited quantities : microbrew. earworm n (1802) 1 : corn earworm 2 : a song or melody that keeps repeating in one’s mind.

Thanks to a society of go getters: energy drink n (1904) : a usually carbonated beverage that typically contains caffeine and other ingredients (as taurine and ginseng) intended to increase the drinker’s energy. e-reader n (1999) : a handheld electronic device designed to be used for reading e-books and similar material.

This one is BY FAR my favorite: F-bomb n (1988) : the word fuck — used metaphorically as a euphemism. This one sounds like an oxymoron: flexitarian n (1998) : one whose normally meatless diet occasionally includes meat or fish. game changer n (1993) : a newly introduced element or factor that changes an existing situation or activity in a significant way.

Who in the hell uses this word this way?: gassed adj (1919) … 2 slang : drained of energy : spent, exhausted. gastropub n (1996) : a pub, bar, or tavern that also offers meals of high quality. Thank you gamers of the world: geocaching n (2000) : a game in which players are given the geographical coordinates of a cache of items which they search for with a GPS device. life coach n (1986) :  an advisor who helps people make decisions, set and reach goals, or deal with problems. man cave n (1992) : a room or space (as in a basement) designed according to the taste of the man of the house to be used as his personal area for hobbies and leisure activities.

Thanks to the wonderful show of Glee: mash-up n (1859) : something created by combining elements from two or more sources: as a : a piece of music created by digitally overlaying an instrumental track with a vocal track from a different recording  b : a movie or video having characters or situations from other sources  c : a Web service or application that integrates data and functionalities from various online sources. obesogenic adj (1986) :  promoting excessive weight gain :  producing obesity. This one makes me laugh for some reason:sexting n (2007) : the sending of sexually explicit messages or images by cell phone. shovel-ready adj (1998) of a construction project or site : ready for the start of work.

This sounds like our economy 4 years ago: systemic risk n (1982) : the risk that the failure of one financial institution (as a bank) could cause other interconnected institutions to fail and harm the economy as a whole. tipping point n (1959) : the critical point in a situation, process, or system beyond which a significant and often unstoppable effect or change takes place. 1toxic adj  (1664) … 4 : relating to or being an asset that has lost so much value that it cannot be sold on the market. underwater adj (1672) … 3 : having, relating to, or being a mortgage loan for which more is owed than the property securing the loan is worth.

So what do you think loyal readers? Leave your comments about the new additions to the dictionary below! Have fun. 😀

Summer Update: The Return

THAT’S RIGHT! I’M BACK! To my dear loyal readers, I’m so glad that y’all continually checked out my blog even though I haven’t written since June. It’s now August and I have plenty of stories to share with you that have happened during my summer hiatus. To clarify, I didn’t close down the blog nor did I decide to quit. It was just ONE CRAZY SUMMER. To get back on track I’ve decided to try and make this as quick and painless as possible. I promise if you get bored blame yourself because it’s not me. 😀

Here we go: Green Lantern is now gay, Houston NASAs gets a replica shuttle (BOOO!), Spartacus is going into it’s final season, Oprah relaunches her book club, the Nun Book for Sexuality is denounced by the Vatican (still my favorite story of the summer), Ann Rutherford dies at 94, Rock of Ages movie BOMBS!, Happy 4th of July, Adele is Pregnant! YAY!, Katie and Tom divorce… too soon for jokes?, Magic Mike…Did he really bring sexy back?, Helen Reddy coming back to the industry, Coachella Cruise Line!?! Excitement!, Larry King returns on Hulu, Steve Tyler, JLo and Randy all leave AI (Is it a sign from above?), Comic Con… why do I never get to go?, Olympic opening WAY better than the closing, USA wins most over all and gold medals!, Marvin Hamlisch dies (a sad day in the music world) Dennis Rodman writing childrens book… SAY WHAT?!?, Ron Palillo dies (a sad day in the tv industry), and Rob Pattison makes jokes about KStewart scandal.

I’m sure there is so much more for me to mention however, these are the stories I loved the most. Make sure you are following me on Twitter @CEliseMata for all the up to date stories I find the most entertaining. With the fall comes new stories and new hopes for better music, television, arts and technology. Here’s to hoping!