Tuesday, July 28, 2015

I'm Back with a Weird Tale about Another Encounter with the Menace Named Michael Divine

Well! It's been awhile! How are you? I'm okay, I guess. You know what would make me feel better? A little laughter, Gods Are Bored style.

Over the weekend, Mr. J and I made our first trip to Gunnison Beach. A picture paints a thousand words:

Yes, Gunnison Beach is New Jersey's only lifeguard-staffed, clothing optional beach. As for the option, the vast, vast majority of people there opt to doff the threads.

I loved the place. Great vibe, good-looking people, beautiful view of Manhattan across the water, happy party atmosphere. I wish it was closer! Anyway, on with the story:

Mr. J and I went to Gunnison Beach because some people I'd met at Four Quarters Farm were going to be there. It was sort of a Pagan/polyamory/bi meetup that was advertised as having a little drumming too. Finally, a reason to make the 2-hour commute and the grueling trudge to the nudie beach! I even brought my hand drum.

We found the folks at the meetup, and after some swimming, and people-watching, and sun tanning, we just chilled and chatted with the Four Quarters folks. Much of our talk was about Four Quarters Farm itself and all the fun we had there.

All of a sudden I looked around, and ... what are the odds? ... I saw the same jerk who was rude to the Spare at the Fairie Festival! Yes, there he stood in his birthday suit, wearing a little hat with a feather in it.

Back story: This person is a show-off drummer. At a drum circle, he asked Spare if he could see the drum she was using, then took it to another part of the circle and dumped it. He didn't want to use it, you see ... he just didn't want her to use it. At least that's how it came off at the time. Who asks for a drum and then doesn't even bang on it? Then, to make matters worse, when we called him on it, he exploded at Spare and shouted in her face. Suffice it to say we found the man unpleasant.

And just about the last person on Earth who I would want to bond with on a nude beach. So I did my best to ignore him. (For one thing, I knew my drum would never leave its travel pouch.)

Thank goodness he didn't sit down in our group! But alas. He did sit down.

How's this for bad form? This guy ... same one who outdid himself at Spoutwood ... saw my folded-up beach chair in the sand. He picked it up, unfolded it, and sat his naked butt down on it without asking anyone! Who does this at a nude beach? Would you sit in a stranger's chair at a nude beach? Without even inquiring who it might belong to?

So he sat on my folding chair for about five minutes, banging his precious drum. Then he got up and walked away.

I liked that chair.

I really liked that chair.

It was a special chair. It was given to me on Ventnor Beach by a Canadian tourist who had bought it for her week-long vacation and didn't want to take it home. It was lightweight and easy to carry. It was also sturdy and a good fit for me.

What are the odds that the same person who threw a dark blanket over the Fairie Festival would rise from the rubble to bedevil me again? Because you know what I'm going to say, right?

No way would I ever sit in that chair again. I'm trying to wipe the very image from my mind!

On my way off the beach for the day, I ruefully paid that nice, lightweight, sturdy chair forward to a group of bathers who needed extra seats. They were grateful for it. I was sorry to see it go.

Today I went out and priced beach chairs. Even though it's mid-season, the doggone things are costly. Oh, by all the bored gods ... I may be faced with the options of sitting on the sand, or shopping at Wal-Mart!

Michael Divine, if you Google your name and find this, please know that I could make concessions for you regarding your behavior in the drum circle. But I can't even imagine how you could show the colossal bad form to use a beach chair -- on a clothing optional beach -- without first asking to do so. Where did you learn your manners, the Planet of the Apes?

And oh, by the way? You're a lousy drummer. A legend in your own mind.


Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Why I'm Not Here

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," culture vultures and bad-ass buzzards since 2005! I proudly bear the name Anne Johnson and am grateful for its sublime anonymity.

At one point I was up to five readers, so I'll address you as if that's the number.

I haven't been here at "The Gods Are Bored" lately. There are two reasons:

1. Now that the tots are grown and I've settled into a Path that is written about so much better on other sites, I'm running out of things to say.

2. I'm writing a novel.

Yes, after spending 15 years writing a grand, sweeping, historical fantasy that was widely deemed suitable to line a bird cage, I've started a whole new project. This one's not a grand, sweeping historical fantasy. It's a droll little fluffy thing, aimed more at the heart than the head. In short, it's like "The Gods Are Bored," only fiction.

Here's the good part: When I finish this novel, tentatively titled Million Dollar View, I am going to copyright it and post it online as a free read. Oh, there will be a PayPal button, but I'll ask only a goodwill offering, if you choose to do so.

I expect this little confection to be completed within the calendar year. In the meantime I will still be dropping by TGAB with my usual blend of giddy and fluffy.

Speaking of which, isn't this adorable? I've started a garden of these around my shrine. Yard sales are chock-a-block with bowls and vases. The beauty of this craft idea is twofold: First and foremost, it's easy to do. Second, it's impermanent. If you need the bowls or vases, there they are!

Friday, May 08, 2015

Change of Heart

It's funny what's left to learn when you reach your golden years.

I'm not exactly golden yet ... but I'm sure not green.

Last weekend my daughter The Spare and I went to a festival that we attend each year to honor Beltane and the faeries. We look forward to this festival eagerly, all year long. Yes, all through my long and horrible work year I dream of the festival. My work is awful, dreadful, stressful, unappreciated, and unrecognized. The festival is wonderful, awesome, happy, joyous, and otherwise perfect.

Except when it's not.

Spare and I had an unpleasant -- very unpleasant -- experience in a drum circle, featuring a man who acted disrespectfully and then made matters worse by laying the blame on Spare. She was reduced to tears, and I was shocked, shocked I tell you, to see someone act like this in what is supposed to be a nurturing space. But this happens sometimes with drumming. People who are really good at it can become annoyed with people who are not good at it, or only beginning to be good at it. But that's beside the point.

The point: We left the festival rather shaken up.

And then Monday came.

When I walked into my workplace, it looked and felt different to me. What do you know? NOTHING is all good or all bad! I spent 150 work days this year miserable, living only to go to the festival ... and then something stressful happened at the festival!

This week has been different than any I have ever spent on this job. And not because I got a great gift from my school for Teacher Appreciation Week. (Not even exaggerating, each teacher got a 12-ounce bottle of water with a packet of instant iced tea mix tied to it with a ribbon.) Things were different because of the shock I experienced at the festival.

Ask me how valuable it was to spend my Beltane weekend at the festival. I'll tell you: It was Earth-shaking. I am a different person now. I hope it lasts!

As for the festival itself, I now love it more than ever, because I love it a little less, and my work a lot more.

Thanks be to the bored gods for lessons learned in unexpected ways! This week has flown by. It's Friday, and I'm going home to drum.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

The IPhone Rebellion

Something has changed drastically in our society since I was a stripling.

That "something" is computers.

I can remember when there weren't any personal computers at all. I can remember when telephones were hooked to the wall. I even pre-date cordless phones.

Now everyone has a phone with them, all the time. (Except for me. I either lose or misplace or forget my phone frequently. I have never gotten used to having a phone on me all the time.)

Big Brother and Big Business are watching us as we use our computers. But there's a flip side to that. Equipped with phones that can record video, we are now watching Big Brother.

I call this the IPhone Rebellion.

If a police officer uses unusual or excessive force, someone might catch it on video and post it to the Internet. This has happened frequently over the past few months.

We had a situation in Baltimore, Maryland in which a young man was killed during the initial stages of arrest by the police. Has this ever happened before? You betcha. Has it ever been recorded on a cell phone? Not in Baltimore.

Who among us has not recoiled in horror at the video of that young person being dragged by police, his face twisted in agony? Speaking for Anne Johnson here, I was horrified. And I'm not young or African American. I cannot even imagine how African American citizens are dealing with this emotionally.

There are riots in the streets of Baltimore. I am calling this the second incident in the IPhone Rebellion. Someone snaps a video, loads it onto the Internet, everyone sees it, and some people react. Then we get soldiers on city streets, with armored vehicles and guns.

We also get alliances between urban gangs who have longstanding rivalries.

What do you call this? I lived through the 1960s, and I do know that rebellions are squashed with impunity in this country. But we have the Internet now. What are they going to do? Shut it down?


Sunday, April 26, 2015

Spoutwood Bound!

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," humble home of an average human being! Nothing exceptional about me ... except for the way I go on about buzzards.

Every year at Beltane, my daughter The Spare and I sojourn to Glen Rock, PA, where we lead the Mountain Tribe at the May Day Fairie Festival at Spoutwood Farm. We've been going to this festival for almost a decade.

Spoutwood is a beautiful spot, and everyone dresses up like faeries or creatures or free spirits. There's wonderful music, and food vendors, and drum circles, and ceremonies. As Mountain Tribe leader, Spare takes part in a midday ceremony each day that varies little from year to year. We do a lot of shouting, then we march in, then we sing some songs. We have a beautiful leather banner made by one of the artists at the Faire.

This is a picture from last year. The well-dressed fairy with the flute is my sister. Last year she came to the festival and stayed in our hotel room all three days. It was the first year I didn't have a good time. Or, I wouldn't say I didn't have a good time ... I just didn't have as much fun as usual.

The reason for that was that I found myself in a childhood dynamic with Sis. I really resented having her at my side for three days. She didn't want to do anything by herself, and at these things I always crave an opportunity to be alone in a crowd.

Growing up with a very ill mother, I often had to take care of my sister. So these days, even if I'm not really taking care of her, I am taking care of her in my mind. And it's a chore. Especially since, in her mind, I am supposed to take care of her.

Well. That was last year. I didn't invite Sis this year. I shouldn't need to -- it's an open event. She can come and go, and I would even be glad to see her there if I didn't have to care for her!

Just now I talked on the phone to Spare. She says she has a lot of school work to do and will need to curtail her hours at the festival. That's fine with me! I want to do some meditative drumming. I want to walk the land. I want to respectfully acknowledge the bored gods. Just me. Just me and a few thousand other people. Alone in a crowd.


Thursday, April 23, 2015

Can't Get Behind Her

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," ten years of joyous romping in the Realms of the Mountain Gods! I'm Anne Johnson, and I used to get far more riled up about politics than I do now.

Pretty much I have given up on the system. I have lived long enough to see how things are now, as opposed to how they were in the mid-20th century, when we actually ousted crooks instead of deifying them.

This is why, although it would be very nice to have a woman running the show in the US of A, I can't get behind Hillary Clinton. If the fix is in, she is one of the authors of it.

I remember when Bill Clinton was president. Hillary was way more than a "First Lady." No tea parties and back yard gardens for her! She set her sights on a Universal Health Care bill and lobbied tirelessly for it. She was unsuccessful.

Bill Clinton signed NAFTA into law. Jobs moved overseas in cartloads. Then he presided over the repeal of the Glass Steagall Act, which set up our too-big-to-fail banks and laid the path for the ruthless hedge funding that is now the way of the world. I don't call that a stellar liberal political record, right there. To say the Clintons, when they were running America, did a better job than George W. Bush, is damning them with faint praise.

I supported Obama because he was a fresh face, and he exploited that fact. Say what you want about him -- and say what you want about Obamacare, because it's sure not perfect -- he did get health care done.

Mrs. Clinton had my tepid support until it was revealed that she used her personal email to conduct the business of state. This should not be done. How do you justify that? If you say it was for convenience, you're lazy. If you say it was to avoid scrutiny, you're a Clinton.

This country should not be run by two or three powerful families. That's how dictatorships are born.

We at "The Gods Are Bored" can hardly believe that we would support a pudgy old white man over a woman, but Bernie Sanders it is. Doesn't matter anyway, because the fix is in. This is a nation run by a few very wealthy families, and they want us to eat cake.


Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Ten Years of "The Gods Are Bored!"

Wow. It's our tenth anniversary here at The Gods Are Bored!

There are over 2200 posts.

And a half million page views.

Dozens of bored deities have sat for interviews.

Goats were judged back in the day. Not so much anymore.

We will always love faeries! Remember Puck?

So many adventures with Decibel the parrot!

I couldn't afford to buy the family farm, so I've asked Gaia to reclaim it. This view is already lost due to tree growth!

I love the Goddess Brighid the Bright. She led me to the Light.

One day when they're older, my daughters The Heir and The Spare will come here to read about their lives! Spare was 11 when I started this blog. Tomorrow she turns 21. Oh my.

There's been one magnificent, overriding passion here at "The Gods Are Bored," celebrated with supreme devotion since this site's inception. That passion is the Rich Worship of the Great Sacred Thunderbird! Long may Vulture own the skies!

Thank you, readers, for your comments and support lo, these many years. It doesn't seem like a decade has passed since that day I read an article about a woman who got money to pay her dog's vet bills by blogging. I didn't set out to make money here ... but your generosity through several projects has been heart-warming and well-remembered.

Ten more years? Probably. There are still quite a few bored Gods and Goddesses out there who want their Voices to be heard!