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But before going into the first day of spring and other weather traditions, I have invited Murray the Groundhog for a few words

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Hello! This is Murray, the 14 Street Groundhog. I have been called to help East Village Woody from now on. Not with the shadow sighting, he is pretty good at that. But with hyperbolic tendencies in reading the signs. This year he said winter was over! Six snow storms later, no wonder he wouldn’t get out of his hole. But I am here to say: we groundhogs are not called upon to announce the coming of the spring. Our special skill is merely to say, at the appointed time whether the spring will be late (6 weeks) or not (less than 6 weeks). And, I am saying today, the next two weeks might still prove Woody right.

Now, back to March First or Martisor. Last year I collected all the trivia I found on the occasion – the First Day of Spring and Dochia’s 9 days

So the advice is: enjoy the apparent spring but don’t throw away your 9 winter coats or you’ll end up like those rocks in the picture. (Murray says: not this year. Me: I am buying a winter coat today)

This time I found  more Martisor lore from which I picked some new “twists”

It is said that the string from the “martisor”, a rope of 365 or 366 days, was sown by old woman Dochia as she went up the mountain with her sheep. Like the fortune-teller that sew the string of life for each new baby, old woman Dochia sows the string of the year.


It is believed that those who wear “martisor” will not be burned by the Sun during the summer and that they will be healthy, lucky and beautiful like flowers.

There is a big advantage in not having clear origins for a legend. New explanations spring every day. Here’s a new one

The symbol of the Martisor lies in the red and white thread. While red symbolizes in the Romanian culture peace, blood and sun, it is connected to the idea of life and giving life, therefore the feminine concept. White, on the other hand, is usually connected to clarity, equilibrium and wisdom, attributes associated to the masculine concept. Therefore, the union of these two colors symbolizes the essential togetherness of masculine and feminine that preserves the continuous circle of life.

I am giggling as I am pasting this as my mind goes to my latest cartoon of the day where the clarity, equilibrium and wisdom of the masculine are  not so clearly on display ;-). But hey, this is about the guys we do love!


Here’s my fuzzy girl sporing her martisor today

Today is groundhog Day

As every year, we take out East Village Woody and make our own prediction

This year he didn’t see his shadow

here’s another shadowless sunrise for you

unlike say, in 2007

when he went against the most established Groundhogs predictions and was proven right.

or last year, when he agreed with the rest of them

So, East Village Woody has a good record under his fuzzy belt!

And for those of you driving today, the yearly reminder: Don’t drive angry!

I changed the title because – here’s our little secret: East Village Woody is not an actual groundgog. he is a woodchuck! But don’t tell my daughter!

And also, keep the dirty jokes to yourself!

Linking to a Donna Hennes article about the significance of today

February second is the exact halfway point between the Winter Solstice and the Spring Equinox.

It is customary in many places to foretell future spring weather conditions on this halfway marker of winter, which is celebrated as Imbolc in the Celtic tradition, Li Chu’un by the Chinese and Candlemas by the Christian Church. In Greece, people maintain that whatever the weather on Candlemas Day, it will continue the same for the 40 days to follow.

And let’s not forget dear Staten Island Chuck. He may fail to see his shadow on perfectly sunny days, but has other endearing qualities

Read the rest of this entry »

Remember the Staten Island Groundhog who bit the Mayor?

He did become a hero to many,

VIVA CHUCK! On February 2, 2009 Staten Island Chuck gave corrupt plutocrat Mayor Bloomberg a well-deserved bite on the hand, making him a hero to all New Yorkers! Show your solidarity! Bite the hand that starves you! VIVA CHUCK!

launching his own T-shirt

His feelings were quite clearly expressed after that when the media descended on him

“He went rampaging across the stage in the zoo’s auditorium, knocking over a prop-size statue of a giraffe” and when he encountered a photo of Bloomberg, “Chuck rubbed his lips on the corner of the picture frame. He was not making nice — it looked as if he had bared his teeth.”

But politics, being what they are, humans are trying to make chuck recant and make nice, some zoo funding being  maybe at stake .

So, they are using Valentine’s day to stage an armistice

Tn the photo op, poor Chuck has to stand next to a box of chocolate meant for the mayor.

However, if you want to know Chuck’s real opinion of this circus, an astute commentator on the Gothamist spotted it in the photo. You can too, if you look at the background. where politicians usually display their messages. There are two little brown ones.

I mean, what’s a poor rodent to do, spell it?…

As we see that Phil and Woody were right after all – it snows here – we also enjoy Staten island Chuck getting recognition for his style in a page one headline

Hey, Mike – we just found the New Yorker not on your payroll!

“His hand was nicked,” a Bloomberg spokesman said. The mayor is up to date on his Tetanus shot, so he simply washed his wounded finger and put on a bandage.

The video from Staten Island Advance (click photo)

All I can say is

(you know, buying the job, school and budget mess third party if they don’t get Obama, Caroline Kennedy and poor people get asthma because of bad hygiene amongst other things) So I added him to my schadenfreude list

I loved the write-up and photoshop from The Gothamist

Mayor Bloomberg is Scared of Staten Island Chuck!

But the Mayor referred to Chuck during a later press conference, suggesting the groundhog might be a “terrorist rodent” and was perhaps trained by Al Qaeda.

2nd update

The second part of the day was cloudy – so I say: 3 weeks of winter?


Proving once again that facts mean little to him, Staten Island Chuck cheated again, failing to see his shadow in spite of the fact that there’s no cloud over the tri-state area. But this is a cheater I started to love because this time

The Staten Island Advance reports that the interaction between Chuck and the mayor was pretty amusing, “Though Mayor Michael Bloomberg tried luring Chuck out of his house with an ear of corn, Chuck snapped at the mayor’s hand, grabbed the tasty treat and ran back in. As Bloomberg reached for him, the groundhog tried hiding in the corner before eventually being lifted out.”


East Village Woody disappointed me. he went against the weather we are having, the forecast, and most unforgivably – ME!

he saw his shadow – predicting 6 more weeks of winter

In the 3 years we’ve been doing this, this is the first time I doubt Woody’s prediction. 2 years ago, he went against both Phil and Chuck predicting a long winter – and was right!

I’d try to discount Woody, but  the dog seems to agree

Here’s an inappropriate wish:

groundhg.gif picture by Robbedvoter

Sunshine is the last thing you want today – as it means 6 more weeks of winter. You want it cloudy – so the groundhog won’t see its shadow. Like East Village Woody did last year:

If Candelmas Day be bright and clear
There’ll be 2 winters in an year
if Candlemas day be cloudy with rain, winter is gone, and won’t come again

I predict there won’t be  shadow today. We’ll go out with Woody at 8 – and let everyone know by 9

Before that time, place your bets.

P.S. I always loved Groundhog day. That it also is the name/theme of the best movie ever doesn’t hurt either

Don’t drive angry!

Not Your Sweetie

May 2020