Friday, December 29, 2006

I'm in a traveling mood. Even a little trip down the river would be nice right about now with this snowbound cabin thing. And there's more on the way as I'm pecking. Looks like I'll be in until next year. Mars is moving and I was hoping to ride him before Capricorn puts the brakes on.
Ah, well. Might as well relax. I've got a Sun-kissed grapefruit to enjoy.... and some sweet yellow peas.
This is the city of Bruges in Belgium, a town of tiny streets, gabled houses, and scores of bridges, reminiscent of the Middle Ages. Given its delicacy, it's appropriate that Bruges has long been synonymous with the making of fine lace.
Photo by Gerald Brimacombe from Heaven on Earth


Blogger jm said...

It's an official disaster here!

29/12/06 2:20 PM  
Blogger jm said...

There's one exact transit to the Colorado chart. A North node return in Pisces. Saturn at 6 Pisces. In my 30 years here I've never seen piggy-back blizzards.

Dissolution of something. very interesting. Denver is waiting to hear about being chosen for the Democratic Convention. I've been unable to figure this out. Interesting all the attention. Four planets in Leo in the state
chart ....Sun/Mercury/Mars/Uranus.

Moon at 0 Capricorn. Pluto will be there in a year.

August 1, 1876.

29/12/06 2:35 PM  
Blogger jm said...

A little history.

Did you know that the term “gala” originates from the gallows? Back in medieval England, crowds would dress up in their best clothes to attend the hanging, often followed by lavish parties where the decedent would be eulogized by the partiers. Invitations were often sent out: “We hang at eight, party at nine.”

The events became known as “galas”, replete with black ties for the gentlemen and ball gowns for the ladies. And if it was a really good execution, the condemned would make a lengthy farewell speech, telling observers not to mourn their passing, but martyr them, and look forward to an afterlife of riches and God’s graces.

29/12/06 2:47 PM  
Blogger Neith said...

Can we go to Bruges & look at the lace?! For some insane reason I always wanted to learn to make lace with bobbins on a pillow. The delicacy of it always appealed to me.

Winter is sure making a statement there this year . . . and here as well. We too have lots of snow & cold, not as much as Denver but lots . . .

In a Uranian moment, I added a link to my sidebar taking one to my webshots page for my photos..... :-)

29/12/06 4:39 PM  
Blogger jm said...

Can we go to Bruges & look at the lace?!

Let's take a boat, partner!

29/12/06 4:54 PM  
Blogger jm said...

I think all the snow is a purification. Interestingly, the trash has been outside for over two weeks waiting to be picked up. Pisces/Virgo node. The exact nodal return to the degree is certainly fascinating.

I do think it's connected to the convention, a trashy event all the way around. It's tempting to be in the limelight this way, but I think I'm against it. It does makes complete sense to have it here rather than NYC, so we'll see. I'd rather we be famous for something better.

29/12/06 5:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, I hope the weather gets better for you, although having been at the epicenter of some of the worst weather of '06 ( the window in our building front of my shop was IMPLODED by hurricane-force winds...)I do have to say "don't wish it here..." Neith, funny you should mention the lace. I'd love to learn that too. I have a reasonably big collection of lace done by my ancestresses, cut off of the pillows, linens and dresses that they had added it to originally. I use a piece now and then for my historical costumes.
Thank you for the background on galas, jm. Makes total sense in a sick way...reading some interesting biographys of the renaissance playwright, Christopher Marlowe, that info really fits in...
That river looks nice but a nice winter night's train ride would be better...loved your comments about that, have to agree...nothing like a train...take care, love ya all, Juno

29/12/06 5:19 PM  
Anonymous juno jones said...

That was me BTW :)Juno

29/12/06 5:20 PM  
Anonymous juno jones said...

Bruges, with both of you? oh Sign me up...

29/12/06 5:24 PM  
Blogger jm said...

Juno! Let's go! And a winter train trip when we get back.

That was intersting on the galas. The same thing still happens, although the fine dress has been deleted. And the banquets. Sick is right.

We can check out Amsterdam while we're in the vicinity.

29/12/06 5:30 PM  
Blogger Neith said...

((((((JUNO)))))) So glad to hear from you again!!! Sounds like a wild ride for you folks there! We get wind but nothing like the big winds you can get coming in off the Sound. Very sorry to hear about your window . . . not cheap to replace either I bet.

Handmade lace has this really unique appeal doesn't it. I fiddled around teaching myself the basics of tatting but didn't get very far with that. I've crocheted a little lace but nothing like the meters of lace I watched my fellow students in Finland crochet. They made the strips about 2-3" wide and used it on sheets & pillow cases. As in first cutting off the hem, finishing neatly & sewing the lace between the old hem & the body of the sheet, same w/pillow cases. It's a very exquisite effect.

Besides taking the train, one of those leisurely trips on river boats would be nice too. I sleep really well on boats too . . . :-) A lovely "time out" way to travel, especially if cell phones are turned off!!

29/12/06 5:36 PM  
Blogger jm said...

I had an old Victorian adobe house in Santa Fe, one of a kind, that was conducive to lace curtains. I loved them. Especially when they're tea stained. Now I have thick chenille ones, satin lined.

In Afghanistan, they embroider their white shirts all across the chest area with white regular sewing thread and I've never seen anything more beautiful.

29/12/06 5:44 PM  
Blogger Kadimiros said...

I don't think that is true about the word "gala".

"Gallant" is supposed to be a related word.

It's from the French (and before that, possibly from Arabic), whereas "gallows" has roots in Old English and Old Norse.

You can sort of tell when those history lessons might be put-ons.


gala: 1625, "festive dress or attire," from Fr. en gala, from It. gala (as in phrase vestido de gala "robe of state"), perhaps from Arabic khil'a "fine garment given as a presentation." Sense of "festive occasion" (characterized by display of finery) first recorded 1777.

29/12/06 6:32 PM  
Blogger jm said...

Your derivation sounds right. My sources concur.

Even if the word association is incorrect, I think the celebrations were actually held.

29/12/06 6:44 PM  
Blogger Kadimiros said...

Didn't mean to ruin the horror/humor! :-)

According to Webster's dictionary, "gallows" has this etymology:

"Middle English galwes, plural of galwe, from Old English galga, gealga; akin to Old Norse gelgja pole, stake, Armenian jalk twig"

I suppose that it is possible that the two meanings and usage mixed over time, but this seems unclear from a cursory investigation.

Language is so ambiguous. I guess that's the fun of it!

29/12/06 6:46 PM  
Blogger jm said...

You certainly didn't ruin the horror. Words couldn't do that entirely.

It's impossible to say how the mix occurred, but I love going back to derivations.

Gallows is kind of a stretch from galga, but the meaning is the same...a framework.

How the gala celebration got connected is interesting.

29/12/06 7:00 PM  
Blogger jm said...

I just ran across a picture that was in a tabloid many years ago of an actual execution here in the electric chair.

It's interesting to me that sex and other things were taboo, but public execution was cause for celebration. I wonder if these trends in taboos are universal and how they are established.

It's absolutely phenomenal how societies have rationalized murder. But more than that, I wonder about the ecstatic response. Even when revenge shouldn't really be a factor since the witnesses aren't personally involved.

29/12/06 7:06 PM  
Blogger Kadimiros said...

Well, if it's entertainment, there's probably some psychological projection going on. Like, what's going on in kids' minds when they play violent video games.

Ecstasy is just being carried away by extreme emotion, yes? Not sure if something more specific is intended.

29/12/06 8:34 PM  
Blogger jm said...

I think it's more than entertainment. Maybe some sort of exorcism or relief that they're not in the hangman's noose themselves, although probably feel they should be. Guilt. Bloodlust. Desire. Group mania. Prurient excitement. And for some, just a good banquet.

29/12/06 9:35 PM  
Blogger Kadimiros said...

Exorcism...either that, or they're momentarily possessed! Same difference, maybe.

29/12/06 10:06 PM  
Blogger Kadimiros said...

And I usually muse over why people are so sure that death would be a horrible punishment to the departed.

29/12/06 10:12 PM  
Blogger jm said...

Momentarily possessed?

I think closer to permanently.

29/12/06 10:12 PM  
Blogger jm said...

And I usually muse over why people are so sure that death would be a horrible punishment to the departed.

OMG!!! Yes!!!

This has always amazed me. The whole idea of death as punishment.
What on earth reward do people get out of watching someone put to death. I don't get it.

29/12/06 10:16 PM  
Blogger Kadimiros said...

"...closer to permanently."

Which must be why many people seem to be undergoing perpetual exorcisms.

29/12/06 10:29 PM  
Blogger Kadimiros said...

Torture bad, death okay. A little funny, yes. People who work on execution teams have to psychologically distance themselves, and dilute the sense of personal responsibility.

29/12/06 10:32 PM  
Blogger jm said...

perpetual exorcisms.

Yes. That's it exactly. Sounds like something obscene. Well it is.

How do they keep the desire going?
That is so it. No bottom to the guilt. I wonder what would happen if they looked at themselves instead. Maybe it would be worse.

29/12/06 10:35 PM  
Blogger jm said...

Torture bad, death okay. A little funny, yes.

Please. You're getting concise, deep, and truthful. Actually torture appears to be good in some cases here. Hell, I'm confused.

People who work on execution teams have to psychologically distance themselves, and dilute the sense of personal responsibility.

As do the witnesses enjoying the galas.

Like I said, the rationalization around killing is a great testament to the human imagination.

29/12/06 10:40 PM  
Blogger jm said...

I absolutely refuse to attend an execution unless its properly catered. The last one was a dud. The wine was sour.

29/12/06 10:51 PM  
Blogger Kadimiros said...

Hmm...Maybe they made it from sour grapes! :-)

29/12/06 11:02 PM  
Blogger jm said...

Ha ha ha!!!

I wonder what the preferrd dance step is at these events.

29/12/06 11:11 PM  
Blogger jm said...

It's tragic and amazing. when in doubt...murder.
Something to do.

29/12/06 11:20 PM  
Blogger Kadimiros said...

Maybe they can dance to Chopin's skeleton-inspired Funeral March. Should be easy.

29/12/06 11:22 PM  
Blogger jm said...

Nope. They'e having too much fun for that.

Maybe some polkas.

29/12/06 11:34 PM  
Blogger Kadimiros said...

But a bunch of people dancing with skeletons while wrapped in a sheet would be such a sight. :-)

29/12/06 11:39 PM  
Blogger jm said...

Well it would be a sight. But I don't think they connect these things. that would be macabre to them, not like an execution.

29/12/06 11:58 PM  
Blogger jm said...

It's impossible. Killing one another is so rampant. There's got to be a reason or it would have phased out.

30/12/06 12:00 AM  
Blogger Kadimiros said...

Oh, I think we're just evolving as fast as we can. It'll largely phase out in a few hundred years, probably.

30/12/06 12:09 AM  
Blogger Kadimiros said...

Or we could just be dancing as fast as we can. :-)

30/12/06 12:14 AM  
Blogger jm said...


I'm not moving too fast, myself. They can evolve without me.

30/12/06 12:25 AM  

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