Happy All Hallow's Eve! Today's the first day of Dia de Los Muertos, the Day of the Dead. Dia de Los Muertos has nothing whatsoever to do with movies or TV shows, but an honoring of family members who have passed on.
In this part of the world, the Days of the Dead are a celebration of life and the acknowledgment of death. Remembering the dead and the continuity of life in our children, it encompasses All Hallow's Eve, All Soul's Day and finally All Saint's Day. Celebrated for hundreds of years, it has taken many forms, none of which include zombies. Strings of decorative cut papers, candy sugar skulls, funny skeletal figures, and marigold flowers are favorites at this time.
I'm particularly partial to the candy skulls.
Speaking of skulls, this has nothing to do with Santa Muerte or "Our Lady of Holy Death." If I insert here, there was a decidedly creepy scene in Breaking Bad where the Salamanca cousins and a bunch of villagers are crawling on the ground ... not unlike a prostrate pilgrimage ... down a dirt road and up to the shrine of a human skull festooned with images of death, where they presumably ask the saint of death to knock off poor ol' Walter White.
Like I said, creepy. Creepier still, that whole Santa Muerte cult is really a thing.
Suffice to say, it's the polar opposite of the Day of the Dead when we can welcome into our homes the spirits of our ancestors and loved ones who have passed on. Personally, there are a couple of them that I'd rather not see wafting in through the front door, because one will be asking me for money and the other one will talk my ear off about politics.
Excepting them, I say, come on in and sit a spell, mom, dad, and grandma and grandpa, and let's talk about the good ol' days before cellphones, emojis, and un-social media. No apps or passwords are required.
This year Dia de Los Muertos goes from today through Saturday. And that's followed on Sunday by another special day - one I just invented for the occasion - called Dia de Los Cambio de Hora.
We celebrate it twice a year, actually, that puzzling custom of springing forward and then falling back again. It's like me getting out of bed every morning.
On Dia de Los Cambio de Hora, everyone starts celebrating it precisely at 2 a.m. Sunday by resetting their clocks to 1 a.m. What you do with that extra hour is up to you. Me, I just might call my friend in Arizona and brag about the extra hour.
Mountain Standard Time, here we come. Reset your roosters!
Before I go any further, let me offer some rules for the time change:
For smartphones, do nothing. It'll work its magic.
For your sundial, move one house to the left.
For your oven, you'll need a master's in electrical engineering. Or a hammer.
For your car radio. Not worth it. Wait four months.
Some people say Daylight Saving Time should be done away with, and others say Standard Time should be done away with, which would make Daylight Saving Time, Mountain Standard Time.
Maybe we should just split the difference and fall back a half an hour, call it Mountain Saving Daylight Standard Time or something and let it go at that.
All this fooling around with our circadian rhythm goes back to when Daylight Savings Time was decreed in 1918, presumably having something to do with war production. It was abandoned nationally in 1919 (over the objections of golfers) but came back for the World War II years.
I remember the big controversy in the 1970s when there was an oil embargo and the government figured that an extra hour of daylight in the evening would result in less energy usage, so President Nixon along with Congress figured we should have Daylight Savings Time year-round (as well as outlawing the sale of gasoline on Sundays, ouch).
For those unenlightened, the price of gas during the' 73-'74 energy crisis climbed to $1.20 a gallon, up from 30 cents. No wonder people get nostalgic about the sixties.
Anyway, for the next four months or so we'll be driving home to Magdalena in the dark.
Last weekend Chieftain editor Wanda, and I were up at Albuquerque for the New Mexico Press Association convention, and lo and behold The Chieftain came away with something like 14 awards in the Better Newspaper Contest for journalism and writing. There was a big fancy banquet Saturday night for the couple hundred newspaper people there, and I obligingly put on my one sport coat and necktie.
Truth be told, I felt as awkward as Jed Clampett wearing his Sunday-go-to-meeting clothes.