Istanbul: Standing at the Crossroads, Part 2

Originally, I was supposed to catch a 10:30 am flight from Rome to Istanbul, but due to the lack of people wanting to risk a visit to Istanbul in the wake of the spring bombings, that flight was canceled and I was shuffled over to a 7 am flight.  Which sucked, in one respect.  However, I got to Istanbul before lunch, and was able to have a nice lunch before hitting the sights.

 

Sitting outside and enjoying the afternoon.
Sitting outside and enjoying the afternoon.
Yum!
Yum!

Istanbul: Standing at the Crossroads Part 1

I have been a bad blogger and have abandoned this place for too long.  I have several posts in queue, but recent events have pushed this one to the forefront.

I think most people have at least heard the song, first recorded in 1953 (the 500th anniversary of the fall of Constantinople to the Ottoman Empire), it pokes fun at the renaming of the ancient city.

Istanbul was Constantinople
Now it’s Istanbul not Constantinople
Been a long time gone
Old Constantinople’s still has Turkish delight
On a moonlight night

Every gal in Constantinople
Is a Miss-stanbul, not Constantinople
So if you’ve date in Constantinople
She’ll be waiting in Istanbul

Even old New York was once New Amsterdam
Why they changed it, I can’t say
(People just liked it better that way)

Take me back to Constantinople
No, you can’t go back to Constantinople
Now it’s Istanbul, not Constantinople
Why did Constantinople get the works?
That’s nobody’s business but the Turks’

 

Happy Mother’s Day from Geek Magnolia

I did not emerge from the womb as a Geek Magnolia, although there is a genetic predisposition.

No, my geekiness was fostered.  In a town as small as my hometown, nerdy things are not always readily available.  There was no comic book store, no group devoted to gaming.  It was a time pre-VCR (I know, children, that you might not know what those are–think of a very archaic version of a DVD that you had to rewind).  The only seeds of geekiness were found in the three basic alphabet television networks and books.  But seeds have to be tended to grow.

My Week in Culture: Of Princes, Carousels, and Idris Elba’s Voice

I know I owe y’all pictures from Istanbul and a food post at some point, but this will have to tide you over for the moment.

The first part of this week was mainly spent watching the local news report on the sever flooding in the Houston area.  This was very reminiscent of Tropical Storm Allison, and less than a year after the Memorial Day floods on 2015, so the local stations were pretty much on Flood-Watch 24/7.  The main difference is that this time it was actually reported OUTSIDE of Houston.  I don’t know if you remember, but when TS Allison hit in June of 2001, the worst of the flooding occurred on the same weekend that convicted terrorist Timothy McVeigh was executed.  If you didn’t live in the immediate Houston environs, you might not have heard a peep about the catastrophic conditions in Houston.

This time, I actually saw national and international news stories about the flooding.  Yay?  There are times when it feels like Houston is totally off of the radar for the rest of the country and world, never mind that we are the 4th largest city in the nation.  I hate that when we do make the news, it takes something like this to remind people that we exist.

Perhaps the biggest cultural news of the week is the death of Prince, musical genius and master of persona.  The outpouring of grief that we saw occur worldwide shows just how much he influenced popular music and popular culture.  I also think there is an element of purity when it comes to Prince.  Michael and Whitney’s legacies were at times overshadowed by their personal demons and drama.  With Prince, we are allowed to mourn someone who meant so much to us without the asterisk(*) that is their personal legacy.  We are allowed to revel in his weirdness, because for so many people it helped us embrace our own oddity.  

In Which Geek Magnolia Visits the Pope

Hello Geeks!

Still playing catch-up on the blog.  Today we have pictures from my visit to The Vatican.  And no, I didn’t meet the Pope.  Apparently that’s on Wednesdays, and frankly, I was on a schedule.

My apartment in Rome was just south of the Vatican, and I could hear the church bells when I sat out on the balcony, even though I didn’t have an astonishing view as in Florence.  But the train station that was merely steps from my building was the closest to it, so any time I ended up in the station, there were nuns, priests, and monks thick on the ground.

In which Geek Magnolia sets off in search of herself.

Hello again Geeks!  It’s been a weird 2016 so far, what with the layoffs and such.  I’m still trying to figure out my next step in life, and as stressful as it is, it is in a way, liberating.  Yes, I have to watch my money, and searching for a job is no fun, but I also have a little bit of freedom to figure out what I want to be, and how I want to approach life.

I won’t say that I’ve been depressed, because I’ve seen depression, and I don’t think my struggles have been that hard.  But I have been down, waffling between hope and exhaustion.  In order to kick-start my mood and tell myself life will still be good, I decided to indulge in my favorite thing ever, travel.

Thanks to Turkish Airways, I was able to get a round trip ticket to Italy for a steal.  So tonight, I’m sitting in my AirBnB apartment in Florence, looking out my window at the bell tower of Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore (Il Duomo), and blogging about my adventures.  Pretty okay, right?

A Room With a View
A Room With a View

Warning:  Image heavy.

Red Carpet Season: Golden Globes 2016

It’s the most wonderful time of the year!  It’s award season, and the red carpet action already giving us highs and lows.  It’s no secret that I adore red carpet fashion, and I have a wonderful circle of friends who love dishing on it as much as I do.  I’ve been hosting an Oscar party for nearly fifteen years, and it’s become one of my favorite gatherings.

Last night was the 2016 Golden Globes, and although it was a small circle, we did sit and dish on the fashion.  Here are some of the highs and lows.

I am ecstatic to see the trend of accessories coming back.  I love a simple silhouette on the red carpet, but lately the trend is for ladies to pare down with messy, ‘beachy’ (read–I either just rolled out of bed or I had a little fun with my lover in the back of the limo) hair and little to no accessories to give visual interest.  It was very gratifying, then, to see some lovely examples of simple done right last night.

Episode VII

Now that I’ve seen Star Wars:  The Force Awakens twice, I feel prepared to write up my thoughts.  After my first screening, I was still caught up in a haze of love and sorrow and ‘Oh Thank God it’s better than the prequels’ to really think about what I liked and what I didn’t.  I’ve also read articles ranging from ‘These 100 Plot Holes Ruined the New Star Wars’ to ‘Is Rey a Mary Sue?’ to ‘What’s up with all of these people that aren’t white or aren’t dudes?’  I now feel prepared to rebut at least some of these morons.  Excuse me, logically impaired neckbeards.  This is not so much of a review of the movie, as it is my thoughts of how it fits in the greater Star Wars universe, and what it says about earlier films.

Needless to say, spoilers abound below.