• Category Archives Mardi Gras
  • ‘Emotions’ by Zoe Fellerer

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    "Emotions" ©2015 By Zoe Fellerer
    “Emotions” ©2015 By Zoe Fellerer

    Zoe Fellerer is a young artist from the Milwaukee, Wisconsin area and the daughter of the Mardi Gras photographer, Herb Fellerer.  Her piece “Emotions” is beautifully symbolic.  It is said that “the eye is the window to the soul” and her eye, stark in black and white in this work, sheds a rainbow of colored tears.

    Colors are often used to represent different emotions.  Green is related to envy and envy certainly can bring about tears.  Sadness is thought of as being a watery, teary-eyed blue.

    Yellow is often thought of as cowardly, but all experience fear.  Fear, when it cripples us from action, can bring us to our knees in tears.

    Reds and oranges represent a fiery rage.  Rage, when it burns within us, can bring us to tears.

    Purples are the color of royalty.  The kings and rulers of ancient times wore purple.  Those that rule over us are to do so in care and concern for those for which they care.  When it becomes ruling out of privilege, self-righteousness, or simply a love for power, those that rule bring oppression, grief, and sorrow to those over which they rule.  It is said that when Pilate, the ruler, had Jesus, the Messiah, brought before him:

    “1 Then Pilate therefore took Jesus, and scourged him. 2 And the soldiers platted a crown of thorns, and put it on his head, and they put on him a purple robe, 3 And said, Hail, King of the Jews! and they smote him with their hands. 4 Pilate therefore went forth again, and saith unto them, Behold, I bring him forth to you, that ye may know that I find no fault in him. 5 Then came Jesus forth, wearing the crown of thorns, and the purple robe. And Pilate saith unto them, Behold the man! 6 When the chief priests therefore and officers saw him, they cried out, saying, Crucify him,” (From John 19 in the King James version Bible)

    In His final moments of life before His crucifixion and resurrection, He wore a crown of thorns.  The crown was a representation of royalty yet it was a crown of pain and sorrow and He wore a robe of purple so show His royalty as He was condemned to crucifixion by His own people whom He had healed, loved, and forgave.

    The rainbow is said to have a been a sign that God gave to Noah after the Great Flood as a covenant to the earth that He would never again destroy the earth by flood.  Even so the death and resurrection of the Messiah was the sacrifice and sign of God’s love of His creation.  It was a commitment that Man could receive forgiveness of sin through that sacrifice of the Son of God.  The resurrection of His Son gave hope to mankind that we may, one day, participate in that resurrection.

    In the church, Mardi Gras follows the celebration of the Birth of Jesus Christ, the Messiah, and precedes the time of Lent when the celebration is set aside and the church prepares to honor the mourning of the Messiah’s death followed by the Easter celebration of His resurrection.

    Ms. Fellerer’s work of art is both a beautiful representation of the rainbow of emotions that bring sorrow and yet a reminder that in that rainbow of sorrow, God promises the Son will rise again and the light of His love will shine in our hearts as we welcome Him in.

    Many thanks to Zoe Fellerer for this beautiful work of art and may the many colors of our sorrows in this Mardi Gras season be turned to joy.

    For more about National Art Examiner, Pastor John N. Collins, find him on TwitterInstagram, Youtube, and Facebook.  Be sure to let him know your thoughts on his articles!



  • Featured ImageMardi Gras 2015: The sign of the Moon Pie

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    Evelyn "Champagne" King performing at Moon Pie over Mobile
    Evelyn “Champagne” King performing at Moon Pie over Mobile

    All over the world the ending of the old year and the coming of the new year is celebrated.  In Mobile, Alabama where they held the first Mardi Gras parade in the Americas, Mobilians celebrate the New Year with their favorite Mardi Gras throw at the Moon Pie over Mobile.

    The Moon Pie was created in 1917 at the suggestion of a hungry Kentucky coal miner, but it is also a great pick me up for a hungry, Mardi Gras photographer!  It is a delicious treat made with two cookies sandwiching marshmallow and then coated with flavored candy coating.  The original Moonpie was chocolate but they now there are several flavors including salted caramel.

    Remnants of the Worlds Largest Moon Pie at Moon Pie over Mobile
    Remnants of the Worlds Largest Moon Pie at Moon Pie over Mobile

    Mobilians are so in love with the Moon Pie that, instead of dropping a ball to announce New Years Day, they drop a 12 foot Moon Pie.  During the hours leading up to the dropping of the Moon Pie they also serve up the largest Moon Pie in the world to everyone that comes by for a sample.

    Stephen Fante and Moon Pie Moonshine at Moon Pie over Mobile
    Stephen Fante and Moon Pie Moonshine at Moon Pie over Mobile

    This year, folks from the Limestone Branch Distillery in Kentucky came down with their new taste treat geared strictly for the adult Moon Pie lovers, Moon Pie Moonshine.  Moon Pie Moonshine is 50 proof or so, and is flavored with the taste of Moon Pie.  It comes in chocolate, banana, and vanilla Moon Pie flavors but with a Mardi Gras Moonshine kick.

    Paul Beam and Moon Pie Moonshine at Moon Pie over Mobile
    Paul Beam and Moon Pie Moonshine at Moon Pie over Mobile

    Moon Pie Moonshine is distilled by Kentucky’s Limestone Branch Distillery in Lebanon, Kentucky by Paul and Steve Beam.  They are descendants of Case Minor Beam and Steve was on the show “Moonshiners.”  They are following the traditional distilling of their ancestors, while also innovating with products such as their Moon Pie Moonshine.

    The Village People performing at Moon Pie over Mobile
    The Village People performing at Moon Pie over Mobile

    In addition to Moon Pies and moonshine, the Mobile New Year’s Eve celebration had music throughout the evening with The Village People headlining the series.  So with music, moonshine, and Moon Pies, Mobile rings in the new year and the 2015 Mardi Gras season.  Tomorrow, January 3, 2014, the Go Daddy Bowl Mardi Gras parade, featuring Danica Patrick, will be rolling on the streets of Mobile and Sunday is the Go Daddy Bowl.

    Laissez les bon temps rouler! – Let the good times roll!

    For more about John N. Collins, find him on TwitterInstagram, Youtube, and Facebook.  Be sure to let him know your thoughts on his articles!



  • A pearl and a gold nugget on the Gulf Coast

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    Biloxi Bay is for the birds!
    Biloxi Bay is for the birds!

    A beautiful Polynesian princess plunges to a bed of oysters in the depths where she returns with a lovely, precious pearl while a prospector searches for the glitz and glammer of gold.  Each is precious but the one is serene and smooth, while the other’s shine sparks excitement and the lust to win.  Along the shores of the Biloxi Bay are two such treasures.  Ocean Springs to the east, is an old, artistic community, while across the beautiful bay bridge lie the casinos, convention center, and clubs of Biloxi.

    In the spring of 1699, French Canadian Pierre Le Moyne d’Iberville established a colony on the Ocean Springs shore and built Fort Maurepas to defend the territory.  The area natives included the Bylocchy tribe for which the area was named Biloxi.  A couple decades later and across the bay, the city now known as Biloxi began to grow and the twin towns were known as old and new Biloxi.

    As time has passed, mother and daughter cities have matured with the city of Ocean Springs having a more quiet, reserved, and artistic disposition.  Ocean Springs was a recipient of the 2013 Great American Main Street Award and is known for its lovely, old storefronts along the downtown street where Elvis would go to relax in the sunny south.  For those artistically inclined there is the nationally recognized, Walter Anderson Museum and a number of art shops, where you can chat with and buy the works of local artists.

    To set up  your  own picnic for the beach, head over to Broom’s Grocery and Catering and fill up in the deli.  For more generic fare, just up the highway a bit, there is a Walmart, fast food shops, as well as an Applebee’s for a bit more upscale fare.

    Ocean Spring's one-eyed gator spends a lazy day by his pond
    Ocean Spring’s one-eyed gator spends a lazy day by his pond

    For a relaxing vacation, the bay shore is beautiful for laying in the sun, a casual, sight-seeing bike ride, and, of course, watersports in the bay.  For a change from walking on the lovely sands of the beach, a nearby park has nature trails and a pond where you can see their old, one-eyed alligator.

    Of course, across the bay, the shore of the coast continues with more beautiful, sandy beach for the sun seekers and a lot of action and excitement.  At the Beau Rivage Casino, The Hard Rock Casino, the smoke free Palace Casino, and other casinos you will find more fervent, unanswered prayers than in the local churches.  In the casinos, night clubs, and other places of entertainment and revelry you can catch performances from old favorites like Gary Puckett and B.J. Thomas.

    At Biloxi’s Mississippi Coast Convention Center you can catch great events like the Fear Fete horror film festival and convention and Geekonomicon, where they passed the Guinness Book of World Records current record for the most Steampunks in one place.  At events like Biloxi’s Geekonomicon you can see such celebrities as Richard Hatch from “Battlestar Galactica”, Christopher Judge from “Stargate SG1″, Gigi Edgley from “Farscape” and other awesome actors who visit the sunny coast.

    The creative folks that are working to bring Juamingo to the screens
    The creative folks that are working to bring Juamingo to the screens

    In addition to importing actors for conventions, there is a developing film industry in the area.  The films “The Historian” and “Rites of Spring” were filmed in Mississippi and an upcoming animation, “Juamingo” is in development in Ocean Springs.

    The Biloxi Bay Bridge in the evening light
    The Biloxi Bay Bridge in the evening light

    While the mother and daughter cities of the Biloxi Bay are remarkably different they share a distinct beauty.  They are also joined by a remarkably beautiful bridge that ties the two together for drivers, bicyclists, and pedestrians.  The bridge’s lovely curves stretch over a mile, provide bikers and walkers resting points along the way, and add beauty to the sunsets.  Tourists and locals alike owe their thanks to Ocean Springs Mayor Connie Moran, who insisted that they build a wide biking/walking path on the side of the bridge when they were planning the post-Katrina reconstruction.

    The Mardi Gras Museum in Biloxi
    The Mardi Gras Museum in Biloxi

    While not as large as Mardi Gras in Mobile or New Orleans, both Ocean Springs and Biloxi celebrate Mardi Gras.  Biloxi has a Mardi Gras museum in a beautiful, old, French mansion where you can stop in for a bit of information on their celebration.

    The Barbeque Sandwich at Slap Ya Momma's in Biloxi
    The Barbeque Sandwich at Slap Ya Momma’s in Biloxi

    So for a quiet vacation in the sun or a hot night on the strip, check out these two treasures and make sure you stop by Slap Ya Mommas BBQ Smokehouse – the best barbeque on the beach!

    For more about National Tourism, Art, Music, Celebrity, Steampunk, and Geek Culture Examiner, John N. Collins, find him on TwitterInstagram, Youtube, and Facebook.  Be sure to let him know your thoughts on his articles!



  • ‘Arkham Ass-ylum': New Orleans Nerdlesque with voluptuous vixens and Voltaire

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    Xena Zeit-Geist as Batman in her Bat-Jammies at the opening of "Arkham ASS-YLUM!"
    Xena Zeit-Geist as Batman in her Bat-Jammies at the opening of “Arkham ASS-YLUM!”

    It would be neglectful on the part of a writer of Music, Geek Culture, and Tourism to visit New Orleans without checking into the nightlife.  This evening was the world premiere of Xena Zeit-Geist‘s “Arkham ASS-SYLUM!” a DC Comics Universe based nerdlesque (nerdy burlesque) show at The Shadowbox Theater.

    The premise of the show was that:

    “There’s been a security breech at Arkham Asylum, and a strange gas is causing Gotham’s favorite super villains to take off their clothes! The Riddler is determined to solve the mystery, but can he do it before the world’s greatest detective? Join Poison Ivy, Catwoman, Joker, The Mad Hatter, Scarecrow, Dr. Strange, Harley Quinn, Two-Face, Penguin, Riddler, Batman, and Robin for a titillating evening of crime-fighting and tassel-twirling!” (From the Arkham “ASS-SYLUM!” Facebook page.)

    The Riddler narrating the opening of Xena Zeit-Geist's "Arkham ASS-YLUM!"
    The Riddler narrating the opening of Xena Zeit-Geist’s “Arkham ASS-YLUM!”

    Ms. Zeit-Geist’s Arkham features the Riddler as the Narrator of the show as well as a member of the cast.  He goes through the Asylum questioning the inmates (most have females cast as the characters, oddly enough!) about their potential involvement in the release of the mysterious gas.  The questioning usually comes after they have already been impacted by the gas and he, himself, is slowly succumbing to its pull as the show goes on.

    "The Cell Block Tango" satire in Xena Zeit-Geist's "Arkham ASS-YLUM!"
    “The Cell Block Tango” satire in Xena Zeit-Geist’s “Arkham ASS-YLUM!”

    The opening act of the show is a satirical rendition of  “The Cell Block Tango” from the play/movie Chicago with DC Villains recounting their encounters with the Batman in song then all in chorus singing, “He had it coming…”

    There is a brief intermission where a few members of the cast come in and offer low priced refreshments and raffle tickets to win a dance from the cast at the end of the show (sadly, this writer’s tickets were not winners!)

    A budding romance in Xena Zeit-Geist's "Arkham ASS-YLUM!"
    A budding romance in Xena Zeit-Geist’s “Arkham ASS-YLUM!”

    In the second half there is a tale of love between the prison psychiatrist, Dr. Harleen Quinzel and The Joker.  In the seduction of the Dr., Ms. Zeit-Geist useds the song, “When You’re Evil” by Aurelio Voltaire, aka Voltaire.  When informed that his song was used for the seduction scene, Voltaire responded, “I’m honored she used my song!”  Voltaire will be appearing at the Midwest Media Expo in Detroit and then the Steampunk Empire Symposium in Cincinnati the same weekend when this writer will be sitting down with him for an interview.  For more information on his performance schedule, check out Voltaire’s Facebook Event Calendar.  The Transformation Scene where Dr. Quinzel becomes Harley Quinn is to the music of Ed Cobb‘s “Tainted Love.”

    For the Geek in the Big Easy looking for some nerdity, Xena Zeit-Geist’s “Arkham ASS-YLUM” is a delightfully dorky, comic creation from commencement to curtain call.  At only $10 per ticket it is five stars of geeky fun!

    Show dates and times: Friday March 14, Saturday March 15, Friday March 21, and Saturday March 22 at 11:00 p.m.  and it may be extended for another week so check their Facebook page if you can’t make it during these dates!  Doors open at 10:30p.m.

    More about John N Collins

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