Sunday, September 27, 2020

Declaration of Independence, Republic of Johnsonia

 When in the course of human events it becomes obvious that the nation one inhabits has failed to address and respect the well-being of its citizenry, it becomes necessary to declare independence from the same. 

We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all human beings are created equal and that they deserve to be considered so throughout their lives. That the planet, being the only place these people are able to live, should be revered and protected. And that leaders should concern themselves solely with the prosperity of their citizens and the preservation of the planet.

The current governing bodies of the United States of America, including its president, are deficient in all these respects. Therefore, we the citizens of *** ******* Ave., Haterfield, NJ, do hereby declare independence from the United States of America.

We do this because our wishes as citizens of the United States of America have been belittled and overlooked for too long, and we see that this state of affairs will get far worse in the years to come.

Therefore, this Declaration of Independence will go into effect on 1st October 2020. We pick this date because it's easy to remember.

Our nation will be called the Independent Republic of Johnsonia. May it never perish until its founders do, and after that we don't particularly care.

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

An Equinox That Isn't

 This is that moment in the year when light and dark are equal. We look to it for a sense of balance.

But the dark is ascendant now, and I find that the dark is so ascendant that it is threatening my health and life.

I'm talking about COVID-19, of course, which a lady of a certain age must be mindful about. I am also talking about the absolutely dire turn of events brought about by the death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

I cannot find balance. I cannot find equanimity.

A few weeks ago, so overcome by stress was I that I could not eat and could hardly breathe.  I said to myself, "I wonder what this is doing to me on a cellular level?" I haven't looked it up in a scientific journal, but I'm pretty much certain the answer is "Big Fucking Damage."

Therefore, I must turn off the television and listen no more.

Of course I will vote - I've never missed a presidential election. But I have to look away.

The very people I ridiculed so blithely in this blog when I began it are seizing power using any means necessary. They are succeeding. Can we infer that their Prayer Warriors have moved jealous Yahweh? Or do we owe this moment to the oligarchs?

I may be insulated from the worst damage by living in a blue state and by being past my prime. But my daughters ...

See? My mind misgives.

Therefore I am hereby declaring my 1/4 acre of land to be the Independent Republic of Johnsonia. The citizens of Johnsonia will not concern themselves with the affairs of other nations.

We will release our Constitution at a later date.

Saturday, September 19, 2020

24 Hours, 9 Emotions

 *5:25 p.m. September 18, 2020

Had chili for supper. It was good. (Satisfaction)

*6:25 p.m.

Splayed into recliner, too tired to join Mr. J on a simple walk around the neighborhood. Promptly fell asleep in chair. (Exhaustion)

*8:25 p.m.

Awakened by daughter The Fair. Looked at t.v. RBG dead at 87. Went from sleeping to full freakout in 20 seconds. (Panic)

*9:25

Total freakout mode, panic attack, predicting the end of the nation as we know it. (Panic)

*10:25

Congratulating self on not drinking the cooking wine, but did take a sleeping pill. (Fortitude)

*5:25 a.m. September 19, 2020

Nightmare that my daughter's car was stolen. (Fear)

*6:25 a.m.

Feeling a strong urge to engage in a fracas with fascists, knowing that there is a Proud Boy rally scheduled in Philadelphia at 1:00 p.m. (Fury)

*7:25 a.m.

Persuaded by spouse to abstain from rioting in the city. (Disappointment)

*9:25 a.m.

Bought some flowers at the farmer's market. Asked for a funeral bouquet. (Sadness)

*10:25 a.m.

Bought and drank some fresh cider and had an apple cider donut at the Berlin Farmer's Market (different from aforementioned farmer's market above) ... (Satisfaction)

*11:25 a.m.

Stood with my back to the Trump merchandise booth in Berlin so the vendors could see my Gritty cross stitch jacket and Black Lives Matter pin. Stood there awhile. Then a little longer. Then sauntered away. (Fury)

*12:25 p.m.

Sat in the sun wondering what it must have felt like in the USA the morning the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor. Told self it must have been worse than the death of Notorious RBG. Then told self that the attack on Pearl Harbor brought out the best in Americans, while the death of RBG will probably bring out the worst. (Pensive)

*1:25 p.m.

Saw Trump's tweet that he would seat another judge on the Supreme Court because that was what he was elected to do. Replied: "Say it louder so the moderates in the back can hear you." (Fury)

*2:25 p.m.

Got a package of new clothes and they all fit. Talked to The Fair, who is on a hike with a new gentleman caller. (Dim happiness)

*4:25

Back to the recliner to read about the Proud Boys event I was dissuaded from attending. Reports indicated that over 500 residents of Philadelphia turned out to counter-protest, and if the Proud Boys even showed up at all they retreated like egg-sucking dogs without being seen. (Satisfaction)

*5:25 p.m.

Still sitting in recliner, writing blog post, wondering why my words aren't historical enough for the Smithsonian, wondering if I'll die of COVID seeing as how I have hired a Goddess who presides over the death of women. Wishing I had asked my parents how they felt when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor. (Sadness)


Monday, September 14, 2020

Artemis Brauronia Reports for Duty

 I've interviewed quite a number of bored deities over the 15 year span of "The Gods Are Bored." I've had chats with my great-great-grandmother and heard stories from Anansi the Spider. But never have I ever needed a Goddess more than at this present time.

Funny thing is, when I need a Goddess to perform a specific task, I often get help from the Graeco-Roman deities. And that is what has happened just now.

Some people have ecstatic religious experiences where a God or Goddess reveal themselves after long periods of preparation, devotion and study.

Me, I open my monthly Patreon mailing from Thalia Took.

For a very modest donation, the talented Ms. Took will send you a Goddess card every month in the mail. I have amassed quite a stack.

Last week I came home from the first day of school, and there sat an envelope that was clearly from Ms. Took. Being a super religious and deeply studied individual, I said to myself, "Whatever Goddess is in this envelope will be my protector in the COVID trenches."

Wouldn't you know, there were three cards in the envelope! I think Thalia missed a few monthly messages.

Thank all the bored deities of all the pantheons I already had Thalia's Hel card! Because there was another Hel card in there -- I would have curled up in a ball and cried. But since I already had a Hel card, I could pass Her along to the stack. Whew!

The second Goddess was Korean. I wasn't feeling Her. Now that I've said that, I'm determined to have Her in for an interview, because I don't want to feel like I'm discriminating against Asian deities.

The third Goddess was Artemis Brauronia.

EXHIBIT A: ARTEMIS BRAURONIA, BY THALIA TOOK


Artemis Brauronia is the Goddess Artemis as She was worshiped in the ancient Greek city of Brauronia. In that city's festivals, young girls would go through stages in a ritual that at times required them to dress like bear cubs and at other times required them to wear saffron-colored robes. It was a coming-of-age thing, so to speak.

The minute I laid eyes on Artemis Brauronia, I knew She was the perfect Goddess for my current needs. I mean, look at that intense gaze, that saffron robe, that gentle cradling of a baby creature! And wowsa, is She ever bored! Her chunk of the Acropolis is all that's left of Her influence. She's keen for an assignment as challenging as keeping an older school teacher safe from a novel plague!

I have taken my image of Artemis Brauronia in to my school and installed her at my right hand, literally. I even went to the thrift store and got a beautiful jeweled frame so She will be protected from the mice and the elements.

In the past I have called on Queen Brighid the Bright in times of need. But there's something so much more intense and fierce about Artemis. Right now I feel like I need a fighter in my corner. Here's another Thalia Took image of Artemis that I just love:

EXHIBIT B: ARTEMIS, BY THALIA TOOK


Nobody's going to mess with this Goddess. Nope.

Now, for those of you who Take Your Religion Seriously Thank You Very Much, don't look askance at me. It's a grand hillbilly tradition to stick your hand into a deck of cards and draw one out as an omen. It's just the way mountain people do things. You get an envelope and you need some help? Might be something in the envelope, if you intend it to be so.

I intended it to be so, and Artemis Brauronia has arrived to help me through these troubled times.

Monday, September 07, 2020

Labor Day 2020

 Dear Pandemic Diary,

Today is Labor Day, and on every other Labor Day since 2008 I have marched in the Philadelphia AFL-CIO Labor Day parade. One year I made the march (about a mile and a half) one week before a total hip replacement. That's where I got this bag.



Last year it was hot as ever loving fuck. I think I got a touch of heat stroke. But even that was better than sitting on my front porch doing yet another virtual holiday on the computer. One can only click the heart button so many times, you know?

And speaking of virtual, my new life as a virtual school teacher begins on Tuesday. I had all last week to prepare ... except not really, because the district scheduled 3 hours of meetings a day, and on Friday they had a 90 minute meeting about taking attendance. Therefore I did not get the kinks ironed out of the dodgy technology they gave me to use. It worked on Thursday, but not on Friday. So I'm not going to trust it on Tuesday.

The district offered us the opportunity to come in on Labor Day to prepare. To which I say



I. Will. Never. Work. On. Labor. Day.

United we bargain, divided we beg.

Saturday, September 05, 2020

Pandemic Jean Jacket Done!

 I should have been out walking. I should have been working on my memoir. Instead I slid into the comfort of cross stitch, a talent my dear grandmother gave me back in the 1970s.

Mr. J gave me a jean jacket for my birthday. A nice one. And then, just a week afterward, we were in lockdown.

So I went to work.

EXHIBIT A: GRITTY IS THE CENTERPIECE

I actually got permission to use this design from its creator.


It says "No Grit No Glory." The green strip just above the bottom is my name, with a snowflake. More about the Phoenix in a moment.

After I finished Gritty, I thought, "It would be really cool to make this jacket monster-themed." And that's what I did.

EXHIBIT B: RAT FINK


I'll bet some of y'all remember this hot rod mascot from the 1960s. This is an iron-on patch, and I must say they adhere better than they did in the past. Technology isn't totally a waste. To the left of Rat Fink you'll see more snowflakes. They are buttons I sewed down the front.

EXHIBIT C: PHOENIX


Iron on patches are kind of cheating, but I could never have done this amazing Phoenix on my own, on a jean jacket. I have plans to add some words above it, but other projects come first.

EXHIBIT D: MOTHMAN

I really enjoyed working on Mothman. Above him is my WVresist button I got from the Women's March on Washington and my "My Heart, My Soul, and My Grave Are In Appalachia" pin. Under the arm is a pin that says "Tax the Rich."

EXHIBIT E: MURDER HORNET AND CTHULHU



My daughter The Heir drew the murder hornet. It is straight-up embroidery. Above it is a pin featuring Otter the River God (long story), and a Jersey Fresh pin. Cthulhu is a patch. And I've never been able to spell his name without looking it up.


EXHIBIT F:  FRONT OVERALL



So this jawn has pins and more pins on it. In no particular order, Union Yes, NJEA PAC, BLACK LIVES MATTER, SEPARATE CHURCH AND STATE, and the others previously mentioned.

When my daughter The Fair was snapping these photos, we totally forgot to take a picture of the Flying Spaghetti Monster patch I sewed on the back at the top.


There's one last monster, and it's the absolute worst of all.

EXHIBIT H: HORRIBLE MONSTER




This says, and I quote, "Any protesters, anarchists, agitators, losers or lowlifes who are going to OKLAHOMA please understand you will not be treated like you have been in NEW YORK, SEATTLE, or MINNEAPOLIS. It will be a MUCH DIFFERENT SCENE."

Followed by the monster's name, the date, and #notmypresident.

Counted cross stitch and embroidery had gone by the wayside, being considered an obsolete granny-driven art form based on platitudes and pretty flowers. But a new generation has taken it up and given it a whole new direction. I'm so glad, because it never would have occurred to me to bend such a floofy hobby to novel ends.

I haven't done this one myself yet, but it's on the radar. Don't you love it?


And fuck the Smithsonian Institution too. To me this post screams "pandemic diary."

Friday, September 04, 2020

The Only Thing Worse Is Death

 If I could inflict a punishment on Donald Trump, I would make him a public school teacher. Yes, that's exactly what I would do.