Today, of course, is Ash Wednesday (the first day of the Christian season of Lent and a sign of penitence).
Today, Christians go to mass and receive ashes on their foreheads in the sign of the cross. It is a reminder of from "Ashes to Ashes and Dust to Dust". It means that we came from dust and we shall return to dust, referring to our earthly bodies, not our souls.
During 46 days of Lent, Christians fast and give up things they like. Perhaps it is for that reason that the Tuesday before is a time to party it up, and ....eat.
Yes, Fat Tuesday (also known as Mardi Gras Day or Shrove Day) is a day when people eat all they want. Nowhere on the planet is Fat Tuesday celebrated more than on Bourbon Street in New Orleans -- home of the NFL World Champion Saints.
So, while store owners were busy coating their storefront poles with Vaseline to keep wild and rowdy revelers from climbing them, thousands ate, drank, and were merry.
Lady Suzanne and I met up with Sir James of Taylor and Lady Gwendoline of Kensington at a Mardi Gras party in the old section of downtown Evansville. Sir James was the official photographer; however, he was already into is 20th or so Jello-shot when we met up with him. So... no photos downloaded this morning yet..
Lady Suzanne and my beer of choice was Magic Hat's Lucky Kat (more for the label than anything. Can you say "Beer Kitty, Kitty...."?)
Lucky Kat is just one of the many interesting elixirs brewed at he South Burlington, VT brewery.
"Lucky Kat purrs as he pours with a grin on his mangy face and a grin in his searching eye," as described on the web site. "He sits on the fence he calls home, dividing up from down. Is he an imperial beast or a pale soul from the east? Only he knows and we know only this: if you reach out to pet him he'll bite back with a big, hoppy kiss."
(above image from Sir D)
I love their poetic descriptions. Here are a couple more:
Blind Faith: An ale of enlightenment created to aid in deciphering the puzzles along life's road, and to interpret signs in the voyages of the spirit. It was our take on an India Pale Ale: a deep-golden amber ale with a rich up-front malty nose finishing with a big, hoppy bite.
Feast of Fools — Our Holiday Offering: In pre-Christian times, the celebration of darkness and light was marked with great halls filled with smoke & mirrors. Guilded goblets brimming with seasonal brews were lifted to lips, speaking a language no longer known. The winter wind finds its way through heavy wood doors. The present connects the past through the brewer's art and a new beer is born: Feast of Fools... A perfect dessert beer brewed exclusively for the holiday season. Hand bottled, champagne corked. Our inky, rich, black stout, with an addition of raspberries.
Vinyl — Scrumptious Spring Lager: Vinyl sails in on her shining wings as the spinning sun returns. She is the season-shifter, bursting from her cocoon to sing the ancient song of vernal yearning and to summon Spring's sweet green return... Her metamorphosis becomes our own.
Her thirsts are shared by all. Drink in her mysterious elixir as the revolution blooms again... Visit Vinyl!
Their web site is a must see: http://www.magichat.net/
In addition to Ash Wednesday, today is also "Random Acts of Kindness Day" (always February 17th).
Random Acts of Kindness Day is celebrated by performing a few random acts of kindness on as many people as you can. Though no one seems to know the official creator or the origin of this day, the originators have truly helped to make the world a better place.
Evidently, many organizations and groups have declared other days to be "Random Acts of Kindness Day". These declarations are usually local, one-time events, often for fundraisers.
So, Be Kind, Be Thankful, Be Merry, for we are all soon dust again.
Sir Bowie of Greenbriar