Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Redirecting You Tonight

 Not gonna lie, I've lost a step or two with the ol' humor, and I know it. Fortunately, my old pal Thumper Lightfoot is ramping up. So tonight I offer a link to his very helpful advice about how to rile up a River Spirit.

The post is here, I hope! 

Monday, May 16, 2022

A Public School Teacher Reads "The Dawn of Everything" in the Spring

 What's the name of this blog again? Something about Gods. What's my name? Oh, I know this one! My name is Miss. Pretty sure of that. It's a very common teacher name.

So for Xmas my husband (I forget his name) gave me a book called The Dawn of Everything. It's a heavy book. I mean heavy as in it hurts your hands to hold it. Don't quote me on this, but I think it's over 700 pages, including exhaustive footnotes and bibliographies.

I've been reading this book with teacher brain since early March. It was interesting, I think.

Long story short, this book is about, em ... everything? First thing in the morning? Well, I am an absolute expert on that! I have to be everything to everybody at 7:15 a.m. every weekday! Heck, it's dawn or near dawn or before dawn when I wake up, ten months of the year. So I know me some dawns.

The book. It's about ancient cultures, and Indigenous Americans, and whether or not human history leads in a straight line from little bands of hunter-gatherers to Elon Musk buying Twitter.

Now, I would absolutely hate to ruin this important and fascinating book for you, so I'm not going to offer up any spoilers here. Mostly because I can't. I read this book with teacher brain. I think I got the message of it, but I won't be sure until mid-July when the fog clears and I'm no longer chronically sleep-deprived.

It's not just The Dawn of Everything that eludes my fried-egg-in-the-pan brain. It's the Sunday New York Times, the cookie recipe on the side of the oatmeal box, the exit signs on the New Jersey Turnpike, the laundry directions on a pair of blue jeans. I can't comprehend basic syllables, let alone sentences.

Well, it's 8:12 p.m., my bedtime. I feel like I could sleep for 15 years.

I have not used The Dawn of Everything as a book to fall asleep while reading. It's too heavy for that. Plus, my cat Gamma bats books out of my hands when I read in bed.

I liked The Dawn of Everything? Ask me again in August.

Sunday, May 08, 2022

May Day Faerie Festival at Marshy Point

 What do you know? All this Supreme Court s*** hits the fan, and I get so bummed out that I don't post about the first Faerie Festival I attended since the lockdown! It was already last weekend.

I thought I would cry, and I did.

Day to day I don't have any close friends around me. I have acquaintances like the Monkey Man and colleagues at work, but most of my spare time goes to the spouse and the daughters. There are only so many hours in the day.

I'll bet the same can be said for the other people who go regularly to faerie festivals, because wow, when we got together it was like a fresh breeze blowing away all the stale air! So very good to see everyone again, so good that we came through the pandemic and into each others' arms!

The festival outgrew its original stomping grounds before the pandemic and has since moved to Marshy Point Nature Center near Baltimore. This is a quite pretty setting. Along some of the walking trails there are vernal ponds full of tadpoles, and of course there's that classic Chesapeake Bay-style view of a swath of water with reeds and stuff. Another bonus was a black vulture named Dumplin on exhibit. (Turns out black vultures don't particularly care for bagpipes and shouting. Who knew?)

All the elements of May Day returned. The Maypole, calling the Quarters, Tribal rivalries. Which of course yours truly aced like a boss.


Okay, okay. At least I had a tribe. With a hobgoblin. Something to be said for that. If you look close you can see Kwiplick the hobgoblin on the shoulder of Professor Greenman. That's me behind the banner.

The event was very well attended, and the vibe was merry, festive, and respectful to our great Mother Earth. It was incredibly great to see all my friends!

Beltane is one of the major holy days on the Pagan calendar. It's a day dedicated to youthful joy and the lust that's rising in the land at this time of year. Perfect moment for a bunch of people who have been holed up behind masks and locked up in their homes to come dancing out for a good ol' time!

The festival lasted two days. I went to Marshy Point a day early to help set up. And I actually set things up! Not my strong suit. 

All hail the return of festivals! All hail Beltane, the day of dancing! As for me and my house, we will serve the Green Man.

Saturday, May 07, 2022

What Happens When It Happens?

 There was no particular controversy back in 1973 when women were guaranteed the right to bodily autonomy in the USA. Then as now, the majority of thinking people in American felt like the government shouldn't be messing in peoples' personal medical decisions.

The only blowback on Roe v. Wade came from certain sects of fundamentalist Christians. At first they made a lot of noise in their own domains. Then the Republican Party needed a platform to attract those voters, and abortion seemed tailor-made.

So, let's look for a moment at America since Roe v. Wade. At the time that decision was handed down, more than 24% of Americans were in labor unions. Now that percentage stands at less than 6. A family could live on one parent's salary. Now they can't. Housing and college were affordable. Now they aren't. There was government-provided day care. Now there isn't. Companies gave their employees health insurance that was pretty comprehensive. Now they don't.

Why is this important? Because both political parties stopped caring about the prosperity of the electorate, but the Republicans in particular.

No one has challenged the ridiculous stagnation of wages while prices rise ... because unborn babies. No one has challenged our deplorable health care in this wealthy nation ... because unborn babies. Heck, if not for one principled decision by a dying man, we wouldn't even have Obamacare anymore! Because unborn babies.

Just this past year, no one stood up for a terrific child care credit. It expired. Because the babies it served are born.

Now things stand to change.

States will pass draconian laws that roll back certain guarantees that have been in place since 1973. These laws will fall upon people who have never given their rights much thought.

It will be up to those people to go out to vote. If they don't, they deserve to live in the Hellscape that has been created for them.

Now, mind you, the Republicans are trying to find more red meat to fling at these same voters. But no amount of trans-bashing and teacher-bashing is going to overcome the sudden realization by millions of men and women that they may be saddled with an unwanted child. Saddled with pregnancy, which is a tough nine months. Saddled with expenses, one way or another.

It's not going to matter to Karen whether or not there's a trans student on the volleyball team when -- at age 40 -- she suddenly finds herself carrying a baby she doesn't want and can't afford. Critical Race Theory won't matter to Buffy when her cheerleading uniform starts fitting tight and she falls out of the running for 'Bama Cheerleader of the Year.

This is a test for our democracy. This is a test for workers. Breaking free of the "right to life" dogma, people might actually ask themselves what our government has given them in the past 50 years, as opposed to what the government has taken away. 

In New Jersey we have a blue legislature and a blue governor. A woman's right to bodily autonomy is enshrined in the state constitution. And just last week we got legalized weed!

If nothing else, the Republicans have just boosted New Jersey's tourism industry. But my feeling is, this regressive party has just Fucked Around and Found Out. And if it hasn't, the whole mess of a country should be divvied up. Just as when you lop off a rotting limb to save a whole person. 

Tuesday, May 03, 2022

Annie's Garden State Tourist Haven for Single Ladies

 Are you a single lady in need of a quick vacation to the Garden State? Have I got a deal for you!

My name is Anne Johnson (really), and I have a nice little house with two spare bedrooms, here in New Jersey, the Garden State. I'm just a hop and skip from Philadelphia International Airport.

Would you like to take the Bruce Springsteen tour and hear a concert at the Stone Pony? We can do that. How about a nice hike with a few waterfalls? You would never guess New Jersey has waterfalls, but we do ... lots of them!

But of course the best part of this Constitutionally sound state is the Shore! Dear old Jersey Shore. You might not believe it, but the Jersey Shore is just like they showed it on t.v. Cheesy gaudy boardwalks, bars upon bars where you can get blotto in your bikini, caramel popcorn and taffy by the gallons, and miniature golf! And that's just Seaside Heights. If you go to Atlantic City, there are glitzy casinos and a first-class health care system in case you need some emergency procedure.

You can't beat this deal, ladies. For an unlimited time, you can stay at Chateau Annie absolutely for free! Yep, you heard that right. I know how expensive travel can be, and how single ladies often struggle financially.

The best part of Annie's Garden State Tourist Haven is that we have a big, broad, flexible outlook. We don't judge other people or tell them what to do with their lives. Be yourself, single lady! You're safe and sound here.

I'll be putting up offers here, beginning this summer. A simple email can set up your stay at Annie's. When certain things become official, this here tourist destination will be open for business.

No Bibles by the beds, either. I can give you some great witchcraft volumes to peruse. The library will be open to all the single ladies.

Come to Annie's Garden State Tourist Haven! We all need some privacy from time to time.

Saturday, April 23, 2022

I Have Returned from Anneland

 Anneland. That's what I'm going to call my mountain property. It's the most beautiful little scrub forest in the world! I'm just back from my first visit, and now I am going to bore you to death with the details!

I know, I know. I should be sticking to interviews. Who wants to look at photos of a scrub forest in the middle of nowhere?

Then I will be brief.

I did not know the boundaries of the land I bought, so when I arrived to find 5 inches of snow on the ground, I was also pleased to find that the surveyor had wrapped neon pink ribbons around trees on the property line. These same trees are also blazed white. No question where my place begins. And thank goodness for that, because here's my neighbor:

I made a list of things I was hoping to find on my property. One thing was a really mature tree. And, bingo.

I wasn't kidding about the snow. It's usually cold in those mountains in April, but it doesn't often snow this much. But hey, I love the white stuff!

Saving the best for last. When I got the survey at closing, I thought there *might* be a view. On that account I was surprised to the point of weeping.

I don't have any plans to build on this property. The land is not even on the grid. But if my ship were to come in, this would be what I saw while sipping the morning tea and doing my devotions to Venus Cloacina.

And oh yeah, that ridge is Polish Mountain, where my grandfather's farm was. It's not the farm pictured, but that's a good thing.

The only other item I have to report in this boring ass blog post is that I have vowed never to take the Pennsylvania Turnpike to access my property. For one thing, its pace is worse than frenetic. For another thing, the tolls would set me back $100 per trip. So I took little ol' Route 30, the Lincoln Highway. Through Lancaster (Amish buggies), York (Walmarts), Gettysburg (battlefield), Chambersburg (city square), Caledonia State Forest, McConnelsburg (unfortunate name), and down to Route 522. Skipped that turnpike completely, and it only took me about an hour more! (It takes a solid hour to go the first 20 miles out of Philadelphia).

Something funny did happen on this trip. Saving it for the next installment of this Endless Navel Gaze called "The Gods Are Bored."

Monday, April 18, 2022

I'm Going Forest Bathing

 You've got to hand it to the Japanese. They come up with some of the best ideas.

Take "forest bathing," for instance.

That's what the Japanese call it when they stroll off into the woods and just take in all the joy that Nature has to offer. Apparently the Japanese do this in droves.

I've done this, but I never had a name for it. And it's been way too long since I have done it, mostly because every time I've gone to a forest in New Jersey, it has been densely populated with other New Jerseyans. It's to be expected, I suppose.

But the forest I am about to bathe in has no one around. It has no trail through it and no significant landmarks that I know of yet. It's off the grid and probably off the world wide web as well. Forest bathing is not done in the nude, but if I wanted to I sure could.

Gonna stroll into the woods for a nice long forest bath. Gonna stand there and appreciate the miracle of owning mountain property again. Gonna pull out a chair and a good book and just take in the view. Gonna hug every tree and kiss the ground, because I belong in the mountains, and it's been too long. 

I will bore you with photos when I return.

I'm going home.