Saturday, February 27, 2010

Let's Play Catch-Up

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," daily delivery of delightful deities! I'm your host, Anne Johnson. Anne Johnson is my real name. When I was in high school, my best friend was Lisa Jones. Which proves that my mom wasn't the only woman with no imagination.

I'm getting a feeling that I have two or three new readers. So, as we enter Holy Buzzard Week, now is a good time to re-hash what we at "The Gods Are Bored" are all about.

My name is Anne Johnson (see above).

In 2005 I read a newspaper article about a woman who got all her vet bills paid by readers of her blog. I thought to myself, "Well, I don't have a dog, but you never know. I might some day get a dog. Better fire up a blog, because vets are expensive."

I still don't have a dog. So, why do I blog?

It's simple, really. It all comes down to jealousy.

In the Bible, God admits he's jealous. He tells his followers not to have any other deities but Him. All right, so that just proves there are other deities. How many of these deities are sitting around watching the sweep hand on a clock with absolutely nothing to do because God cornered the praise and worship market?

Usually this is the place in this sermon where I go into a riff about Gods and Goddesses selling knockoff Prada bags from kiosks in Manhattan. They're immortal, after all. They  have to do something! Instead, today, I'm going to take this into a more serious track.

If your ancient ancestors lived anywhere but the Middle East, chances are that you don't hearken back to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. If these three men lived at all (and there is some lively debate on that issue, particularly in the case of Abraham), they were leaders of a Semitic tribe located along the eastern Mediterranean. Where were your ancestors in those days? Did they herd for Isaac? Where did they fish -- the Sea of Galilee or the English Channel?

Well, you say. What difference does it make if my ancestors lived in Ireland, or Norway, or the Smoky Mountains in the days of yore? I'm here to tell you. Just as if you put your ear to a seashell to hear the ocean roar, so should you put your ear to your soul to hear the voices of the gods. Your ancestors' gods, not someone else's ancestor's gods. There's been no end of boredom dealt out to deities in the name of religious "progress."

 Fact of the matter is, for quite some time I've wondered what exactly about Yahweh is superior to any other deity, and if He is superior, then why is He jealous? Is the prettiest cheerleader in the high school jealous of the nerdy, pimpled, unpopular girl? What does this perpetually busy and popular God have to fear from the other Immortals out there?

When I first began "The Gods Are Bored," I meant for it to be a place where people would be encouraged to do two things:

1. Use ancient ancestry as a road map to discovery of holiness, and

2. Pay reverent attention to all deities whose aims are true.

Of course, what I've wound up writing about over the past four years is vastly more important stuff like supersized flatware, mending upholstery, rat finks, night school, politics, kittens, and ... drum roll ... buzzards, buzzards, buzzards! You might say I'm off topic more often than I'm on topic.

Truth be told, it didn't take me long to realize that a web log is the perfect place to battle the blues with laughter. By the time someone asked me to synchroblog photographs of my house, and I Google Imaged "trailer park," "landfill," "velvet Elvis painting" and "outhouse," I knew I had found a silly soapbox, not a serious one.

I'm totally human, with all the problems the human race dishes out. I've just decided that my work here at "The Gods Are Bored" will not be to pick away at heartache with tweezers ... not to devote my energies to one particular praise and worship team ... not to hang my dirty linen out to dry ... but to shake my fist at my troubles and laugh! Laugh!

In other words, let the world crumble around me. I'll still sit here and write about upholstery, rat finks, and vultures. With an eye to making us all laugh. Laughter is the best medicine, and I, Dr. Anne Johnson, prescribe it in copious quantities! Pay at the register. This pharmacy is never closed.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

International Rat Fink Day

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored" on International Rat Fink Day!

All right, I have no authority to declare International Rat Fink Day. Guilty as charged. I own a few late models. My sis has some vintage ones. But we're certainly not Grand Wazoos in the Ed "Big Daddy" Roth cult of the wicked hot rod. If you've never looked at original Rat Fink artwork, and you're contemplating worship of some excessively elaborate bored deity, you can check out this site or this one. And if those links work, no Fink is a jerk!

Here are some requested photos of my sister's Rat Finks doing the electric slide. And classically swilling a little too much Fink champagne, thereby going into a funk.

Wednesday was one of the hardest work days of my entire life. I hadn't had such a tough gig since 1999. During the school day I had four teachers, a consultant, and my department supervisor in my 7th period class. They had come in to watch me ask 17 kids under the age of 17 to sit absolutely still and not move a muscle for five minutes. (It was to experience what complete muscular disability would be like.) My department supervisor was not supposed to be there -- this was supposed to be a teacher-watching-teacher opportunity. But the supervisor came, not in an official capacity, mind you ......

Hey. Supervisors have to supervise. They've got to grade something, they're all ex-teachers!

I took a huge chance with my students. They could have crucified me. I even told them, the day before, that this was their chance to hang me out to dry if they hated me.

They don't hate me. They sailed right through the lesson, saying and doing all the right things. The objective of the lesson was to interest them in reading a slight piece of fiction called Stuck in Neutral. By the end of the class, they were fairly drooling over the book and vowing to read it in one sitting (which is entirely possible, it's only 114 pages long).

After being observed, I was "debriefed" by the teachers, consultant, and supervisor. They liked the lesson. The veteran teachers noted that they would never have attempted something like that with their students. (I didn't attempt it either with my other sophomore classes. You've gotta know when to hold 'em and when to fold 'em.)

After that hurdle, I had to go to (key audio, "Stooge Sounds") night school, for another lengthy lecture by Mr. Bigwand. At least this time he didn't exhort a bunch of penniless teachers of penniless students to travel the globe. But he did repeat all his other mantras. They're too numerous to mention. Actually I would mention them if I could remember them, but at my age you've either learned to tune things out, or you've gone into in-patient psychotherapy.

Murphy's Law being what it is, I also had to do my teaching demonstration that evening. Like I hadn't been on stage enough that day! Oh! The humiliation! There's nothing like trying to give an entertaining lecture on raising foster kittens to a room full of exhausted, stressed, and Bigwand-bored first-year teachers on the far end of their 12-hour day!

Mr. Bigwand rarely says anything mean about his students' silly little game-playing lessons. He liked mine. The class did too -- no, actually they would have said anything to get out of that room and home to their kith and kin. They sprinted for the door the minute Bigwand said, "See you next week for another thrilling story of my adventures in the Coast Guard."

I was packing up my cat carrier and found myself next-to-last to leave the room. Ah. Bigwand cornered me and showered me with delightful anecdotes about his departed kitty. Under any other circumstances, with any other person, I would have loved to hear a few new cat stories. But this is Mr. Bigwand. If you own a cat, he owns a celebrated, highly-intelligent and peerlessly bred cat. If your cat knocked over a vase, his knocked over an entire rack of bar glasses and sat in the shards purring.

The kicker was being unable to get out of the Catholic School parking lot because of all the SUVs and snowdrifts making it impossible to K-turn. Who needs to die to go to hell, I ask you?

Then I came home to all your kind comments. Thank you, my friends! The whole reason I wrote that post was to feel your presence as I marched through a grueling day. You were there with me, every step of the way.

That being the case, you had to go to night school with me. I have to apologize for Mr. Bigwand. You see, he wanted to be a preacher. Instead he became a teacher. Sadly, he's a long-winded creature. Without a redeeming feature.

Back to Rat Finks. You give me a sandbox and a dozen Rat Finks, and I'll show you how to spend an afternoon in an alternate universe without ever hitting a computer key. Forget all about the collectible crap! I'll make them a castle. With a moat!

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Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The One and Only Billy Shears

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," planting primroses along Memory Lane since John, Paul, George, and Ringo were Satanic! Honestly, do you really believe that "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" is about a kid's picture?

Tonight, for reasons known only to her, my daughter The Spare hauled out my old Beatles records. I mean records. Those round, black things with grooves in them. Some time ago, Mr. Johnson bought a record player, and Spare got that up and spinning. The music sounds so different!

It sounds like a younger me.

I just love the first songs on "Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band." And my favorite ... possibly my all-time Beatles favorite ... is "With a Little Help from My Friends."

Wow, I'm one unique puppy, eh?

Hearing that song come out of a tinny record player, from the records I spun when I was in college, made me think of all the friends I've had over the years. The tall and the small. The meek and the bold. The jokers and the smokers and the midnight tokers. The ones who walked away, and the ones who stayed.

And you. And you, and you, and you.

I have met wonderful people through this web site. I've gotten comments from people I thought of as heroes (Isaac Bonewits, Rodger Cunningham). I've had drinks with a few of you and met others at the Fairie Festival at Spoutwood. I've learned to love the Dallas Cowboys from you.

I get by with a little help from my friends, with a little help from my friends.

Stay with me, won't you?

Monday, February 22, 2010

Free Advice on How To Turn Your Cat into a Dog

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!" In this post, we're determined to entertain the bored gods -- and you!

We all know the difference between dogs and cats. Dogs are slaves. Cats have slaves. And you're the slave! Aren't you sick of it? Want to turn the tables?

I, Anne Johnson, can give you a tip that will make your cats sit up and beg. They'll follow you around loyally. Heck, if you use it right, they'll fetch your newspaper and slippers. What I am about to reveal is a food item that turns ordinary house cats into groveling wretches. If you've lived with cats as long as I have, you're really ready to see them humbled.

This is Ninben brand Dried Shaved Bonito. I purchase mine at the convenient Korean grocery store in Cherry Hill, New Jersey.

Dried shaved bonito could better be described as fish flakes. Stinky fish flakes. Korean cooks use them as soup stock, and I can imagine that combined with water and vegetables, dried shaved bonito becomes somewhat more palatable. In the form you see here, however, the stuff smells like a pack of kippers left out too long on a sunny day.

Never mind what Ninben Dried Shaved Bonito smells like. You want your cats to make asses of themselves, don't you? Okay then. Go to the Asian grocery store, purchase a big bag of fish flakes, bring it home, hold your nose, and call Fluffy. She will swoon. Then she'll be your bitch for life. Wherever you take the stinky fish flakes, she will call home.

In this way, my daughter The Spare convinced our cat, Alpha, to be a nightly bed companion. Spare doesn't even need to put out a bowl of fish flakes anymore. Alpha just sits there every night, hoping Spare will deliver.

Don't be fooled by those expensive cans of "Kitty Caviar." You know what that is? Dried bonito flakes! Cheap as all that in any Asian grocery!

Yes, you can make your cat do stupid pet tricks if you offer bonito flakes as a reward. Nothing is too stupid if it leads to fish flakes. Trust me, this treat goes where catnip never can. It turns the proudest animal on the planet into a drooling, fawning toady. And since people don't suck up to us, our cats should. Shouldn't they?

As usual here at "The Gods Are Bored," this handy advice is offered completely free of charge. Are you loving us yet?

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Sunday, February 21, 2010

Candles at Dusk

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!" Are you looking for a deity to praise and worship? Our Gods and Goddesses must pass rigorous, continuous, and unscheduled evaluations in which we measure disciple satisfaction and engagement with all sacred practice...

Wait a minute. Scratch that. Sounds like a textbook for teacher training. You need a deity? We'll serve you. Satisfaction guaranteed.

Yesterday the Shrine of the Mists partly emerged from its thick mantle of snow. This evening I re-lit the candle to Cernunnos, the Horned One, guardian of the forests. As luck would have it, the thrift store had one each red, blue, green, and white candle -- it's been too snowy to get to Woodstock Trading Company for Quarters candles. But now I have some, and they are kindled to the Quarters and dedicated to Queen Brighid the Bright, Goddess of the home and hearth.

I also pray peace from the Quarters. Perhaps you've noticed this: Without peace, nothing gets done.

My practice, as I have said before, is very simple. I light candles, I salute the Quarters, I honor Danu and Bile, Brighid and Cernunnos. My only prayer is for peace throughout the world.


I've never accepted the notion that someone -- human or divine -- died to take my sins away. My sins are my own. They are my responsibility. I must work to make myself better and more pleasing to my deities. Just a little "I'm sorry" is not enough.

There's no solid rock under my feet, because even rock crumbles. Sand is nothing but tiny bits of rock. So I move with life and try to do my best not to harm anyone. I don't think that eating a little piece of blessed bread and drinking a little cup of blessed wine is going to cleanse me. For that cleansing I'll need my own scrub brush and a mirror, so I can see what needs to be washed away.

As I light my dusk candles and pray for peace, I'm including in my prayers the inner peace we all need to do our work. Without peace, nothing gets done.

Off I go into another week of my life. I'm led by deities that ask me to consider the value of knowledge, justice, and the love of divine and all goodness.

Goodness! It's my responsibility.What a daunting task! But it must be done. With peace first, so the doing is possible.

My friends, may your deities be lights in your lives. May you be a light to Them, easing Their boredom and giving them cause to rejoice. So might it be.

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O Come, All Ye Faithful

Greetings From Wenonah!


We just wanted to let you know that East Coast Vulture Festival 2010
is right around the corner
Saturday, March 6th!


In its 5th year, this annual event
— celebrating a very strange looking bird —
 is the only thing like it on the East Coast!


The  Festival is in two parts.
First is a free of charge Vulture Day Children's Fair 
at the Wenonah Community Center
 1:00 - 3:00 p.m.


Featuring live birds and other animals presented by naturalists from Woodford Cedar Run Wildlife Refuge, the fair also includes crafts, games, nature talks, displays and guided walks to the roost.

The Festival finishes with the "Evening Roost"
  at the Wenonah Elementary School
 6:30 - 10:00 p.m.

“Animals With Bad Reputations” featuring live animals will be presented by
The Academy of Natural Sciences.
 One Heart, a drumming group will present traditional American Indian songs,
dances and stories.
 Music and an original vulture skit round out the Evening Roost.
Fruit salad, elegant deserts and beverages will be served.


The evening event is a fund raiser to support Environmental Education in our schools.
VEE (Vulture Environmental Education) Grants
 are awarded to local teachers for  environmental programs in their schools and classrooms.


Tickets for the Evening Roost must be ordered in advance.
The cost is $18 for adults and $10 for children.

Festival T-shirts are available, but MUST be pre-ordered by February 27th.
They are $12 each (*$13 for 2X & 3X.)

For more information go to our website www.EastCoastVultureFestival.org

To order Tickets or T-shirts email us at Tickets@EastCoastVultureFestival.org
or call 856-468-6536.

Hope to see you in March!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Cousin Dream

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," California (Condor) dreaming on such a winter's day!

It's funny how, sometimes when you need help the most, your subconscious kicks in and delivers up a whopper of a happy dream. Or sometimes it's a mysterious dream, like the keys to a quest. For years I dreamed I was searching for a special spring. Lo and behold, in 2004, I discovered that the spring I was searching for was Berkeley Springs, WV! Right in my own backyard. The dreams always hinted at that, because I would always  be driving on roads that were somehow familiar, but not exactly recognizable.

Last night I had a dream that made me feel good. It was very simple. In the dream, my grandmother picked up my cousin and me from my old home house. We drove to the family farm (grandma's house) and went in the door. Inside, all of my other cousins were having a party. They all embraced me and were glad to see me. It felt so good to be there amongst them.

This was my family from my father's side. I wouldn't say I'm close to any of them anymore -- they are spread far and wide across the nation -- but they stood there so vivid in the dream. It felt as if my closest relations were rallying around me. We sat down to a big, merry dinner. And then I woke up.

It was 3:00 a.m., and I never got back to sleep. I just lay there, staring out the window, thinking about the fact that elsewhere my cousins all lay asleep, dreaming their own dreams, gathering strength for their new days in Cleveland, and Charlotte, and Cumberland. It felt good knowing they're alive.

Whoever said that blood is thicker than water sure was right. I see it in my students, and I see it in myself. Our cousins are our backbones, whether they sit across the table in the cafeteria at breakfast, or whether they're raising children I've never met in a town I've never seen.

Cousins are clan. And clan is power.

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Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Back by Popular Demand



Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," live from my desktop! Bring on the pictures, the bells and whistles, the vlogs and YouTube links! I'm back online!

Here and now, I would be remiss if I did not thank my dear friend, Sufficiently Twisted, for his computer expertise. He saved this ship. What could I possibly do for him in return? I let him use my Facebook account to drive his battle power on Castle Age. One good turn deserves another!

Please, though ... If you're my Facebook friend, don't think for one minute it was me slaying the dreaded Hydra. I've had Hydras as pets, and they're great. You save a lot of money on fuel bills, and they really don't eat that much. I feed them Rice Krispy Treats.

Seriously, if you could keep a magickal pet, what would it be? I think I'd like something I could fly around on. Maybe a Super Vulture. That sounds swell. Nice bald buzzard with a 15-foot wingspan. I would be chippin!

Speaking of vultures, it's time to mark your calendars for the busy "Gods Are Bored" spring season! First, coming up very shortly on March 6 is the annual East Coast Vulture Festival, our yearly gathering of buzzard devotees. Won't you join us? This year's program is a Native American drum group. Seriously, I could use a spotter at this event, because I may swoon. Native Americans praising their sacred Peace Eagle! Be still my beating heart. And yes, I will be "suiting up" as the vulture mascot again. I'm humbled at the prospect.

From Vulture Fest it's only a short burst of incredibly debilitating teaching until the Spoutwood Fairie Festival! Oh my, I cannot tell you how much I am looking forward to this event! My daughter The Spare and I already have our room booked at the nearest hotel (we don't do the camping thing). Won't we all be ready for spring by May Day? Now go and look at your calendar. Beltaine is on Saturday this year! So, come one, come all, to Glen Rock, PA. Meet and greet me there! I'm hard to miss. I'm the leader of the Mountain Tribe. And this year ... we WILL rock you!

Frankly, I'm finding this year to be one of the most trying of my entire life. The prospect of my annual festivals and revels keeps me hopeful that all will be well, and that all that is well will be wonderful.

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Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Rat Fink Envy

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," the biggest, baddest, boldest blog on the block!

Sorry. Teaching alliteration today. Sticks in the brain.

When it comes to keeping stuff, there are hoarders who keep everything (like my spouse), and pitchers who toss everything (like me).

My sister is a selective hoarder. She has kept everything from her childhood that made her happy. Since her childhood was extraordinarily unhappy, she really clings to the stuff that gave her solace.

Thus has she clung to several vintage Rat Finks.

I'm still on my netbook today, so I don't have the pictures of Sis's Rat Finks that I published in previous posts. (Ah! "published in previous posts!" Alliteration!) But such is the power of the Internet that someone trolling for Rat Finks emailed me about one of the best ones in Sis's collection. Big bucks for a little plastic leering rat, small enough to stand on a quarter.

Back in the day, you could get a Rat Fink from a gumball machine for the lavish investment of a nickel. Some Finks had whiskers. Some didn't. Most were blue, but there were other colors too. I had a magenta one and an orange one (with whiskers) that I was fond of. They fell off my key chain in 8th grade, never to be seen again.

I'm 100 percent sure Sis will not part with her Rat Fink for the $75 offer she received from the interested Fink fan. I can almost see her chuckling at the thought of putting her childhood treasure into a postal mailer for that paltry sum. (postal ... paltry .;. getting the alliteration drift?)

We all take solace in something from our childhoods. And while the Rat Fink collector may envy my sister for having an orange, whiskered Fink, I envy her for having portable plastic happiness.

Because the thing that gave me solace as a child was the 75 acres of Appalachia from which my great-great-great grandfather marched to the Civil War. You'd need a massive vat of whiskered Rat Finks to buy my childhood treasure. Better to love the ugly little gumball machine toy than the mountain property that you want to keep hold of but probably won't be able to, given the rapacity of relatives, realtors, and now the new demon, Columbia Gas.

Sometimes I wish I could bring back my joyous memories by holding a tiny Rat Fink in my palm, At other times -- most times -- I think it's better to embrace a whole mountainside, the country of my blood, my soul in landscape form. Maybe I'll have to watch my farm get sold out from under me, but at least that doggoned mountain isn't going to fall off a key chain and be lost forever.

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Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Snow Day

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," where the Sugar Plum Faerie has given her dancing snowflakes a potion that as made them multiply with reckless abandon! We got 22 inches of snow over the weekend, and today it looks as if we'll get more than another foot. As a consequence, we at "The Gods Are Bored" are declaring a snow day!

Snow days are like your grandmother's best cake. You don't even get a slice once a year, but that only makes the one you do get that much better. Snow days are better than holidays. They're so random. You can only plan for them 24 hours in advance. Then, you have to wait until the world shuts down around you and hope that your employer shows some good sense. In the case of the Vo-Tech where I work, the sense was abundant. I knew yesterday that I would have a snow day today.

Prior knowledge is so helpful. Ask my cat Alpha, who was almost out of food.

Living in a major metropolitan area can be a noisy existence. The planes! The planes! The traffic, the sirens! Snowstorm, take me away! Can't land a plane in this kind of storm, not even in Manitoba. So it's blissfully quiet. Except for the giggles of the little girls next door, who are managing to play in snow up to their waists.

Alpha is drowsing by my side, Lil Scratch the netbook is clicking away, and I'm still in my bathrobe.

Last year I attended an Alchemical Fire on May Day. When it was my turn to speak (I am the Cailleach, so I'm last), I said, "If not for winter, would we celebrate spring?"

This year I may say that again. It bears repeating, especially after such record-setting weather.

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Sunday, February 07, 2010

Super Bowl

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!" Some few quick thoughts:

1. Would anyone watch the Super Bowl if they knew the final score before it started? It must suck to be a deity who does the predestination thing.

2. I'm going to see The Residents tomorrow with The Heir. You know what? I think they were wise to wear eyeball masks their whole careers. I say this as I watch the Super Bowl halftime show. Peter and Roger singing "Teenage Wasteland?" I'd rather watch a psycho weirdo in a dirty bunny costume.

3. I should be grading papers. Wouldn't it be just as easy to give everyone an "A?" Sounds like a plan.

4. Roger Daltrey is hoping he doesn't get fooled again. At his age, if he gets fooled by anything, he's a moron.

5. I wish I knew who Mr. Bigwand was rooting for in this Super Bowl, so I could root for the other team.

6. Gods are great, Gods are good, and we thank Them for firewood.

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Saturday, February 06, 2010

Another Interview

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," your highway to heaven ... lots of them! Don't book with a busy carrier. Fly the friendlier skies!

That is, if you can fly at all. You won't get off the East Coast of America today.

Every now and then, in February in New Jersey, we get these crappy wind-blown rainstorms called Nor'Easters. And when we get them, we always say, "Oh well, at least it's not cold enough for it to be snow. Because if this was snow, we'd be buried.

Today it's snow. And we at TGAB are buried. We've got two feet and counting. The Shrine of the Mists is totally obliterated.

There's a bored god in the back yard. He blends in pretty well with the background. His name is Aisoyimstan. He is a God of snow, blown in from the wilds of Montana. I just invited Him in for a frosty mug of root beer. Let's give a freezy feisty "Gods Are Bored" welcome to Aisoyimstan, sacred to the Plains Indians of America!

Anne: Aisoyimstan! What's with the snowstorms? This is the second whopper we've had in New Jersey this year!

Aisoyimstan: I hope this doesn't shake your faith in global climate change.

Anne: Oh heck no! Every winter used to be like this when I was a kid! Now this kind of snowy weather is the exception, not the norm. Is it still the norm in Montana, o snowy God? ... Aisoyimstan? Aisoyimstan? ....

Well, one can hardly expect a God of snow to hang out inside a warm house! I'll have to light a candle ... err ... leave a few well-crafted icicles on the Shrine of the Mists in honor of this worthy deity!

Just remember, readers, that one cold winter doesn't alter an otherwise clear warming trend. Of course, if you're Bill O'Reilly or Rick Santorum, all it takes is one snowfall to set things right. But they're morons. The rest of us have sense enough to be concerned about the future of Aisoyimstan and other bored gods of the realms of snow.

Okay, now it's time to hitch Decibel the Parrot up to the shovel and set him to work on the driveway. Can't sit here and count on school being closed on Monday. Come here, birdy!

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Thursday, February 04, 2010

Here we were at "The Gods Are Bored," congratulating ourselves on 77 followers and a nice new post about a fascinating topic, and ... WHO TURNED ON THE FAN?

Everything has gone wrong at once. Including, yours truly would have died of asphyxiation in the lunch room today if a savvy phys ed teacher hadn't performed the Heimlich.

Grateful to be alive while computers and relationships are crashing all around...

Please bear with me.

Monday, February 01, 2010

Imbolc 2010

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored on Imbolc, 2010! Sorry, but I'm not going to ask my netbook, Lil Scratch, to load a picture. I treat my Scratchy gently.

Our Druid Grove had a nippy but moving Imbolc ritual on Sunday. On the way out to the park, my daughter The Spare and I had a long conversation that got me thinking about Queen Brighid the Bright.

The conversation was about all the different animals that can kill people. For some reason we concentrated on the African plains. Spare asked: what animals could kill a person? Must hurt to be attacked by a lion. How about leopards? Do they eat people? How about a wildebeest? Chimp?

When you get right down to it, most of the animals of the African savannah could kick human butt. I said to The Spare: "You know what we have that the lions don't? Fire."

I don't know which came first -- fire or spears. All I know is that, if I had to choose one with the lions closing in, I would totally opt for fire.

Some praise and worship teams treat fire as an evil, something that humanity would be better without. The Bible does not share this view. It takes fire as a given. But look at poor old Prometheus. Tortured for eternity. Crime? Giving humanity fire.

The Celts had a different view. Fire was of course sacred to them, but it was also considered a gift from the Goddess. No quibbles here ... to the Celts, fire was a present. Not a curse. You've got wolves in the woods? Fire is handy. Cold outside? Ditto.

On this Imbolc, thank the Goddess, Queen Brighid the Bright, for your warm hearth and the bright goodness of fire. It was not She who put it to work as a weapon. From Her it is a gift.

Cook. Be warm. Bring light into the world. Never should a Goddess be bored who helps us feed and protect our children.

Eternal flaming Spirit, enfold us. Foremother of our foremothers, be with us. All will be well. All will be warm. And all that is warm will be wonderful.

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