Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Teenage Rebel Run Amok!

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," and may the faeries help me today!

Alas and alack! My oldest daughter, The Heir, has run away!

A nasty troll showed up in my comments section about a week ago, and he foretold that my views would ruin my children. Oh, woe is me! How right he was! (pun intended)

Yesterday started out innocently enough. The Heir and I came home about the same time, she from school and me from goats. We exchanged our usual pleasantries.

I said, "Hey, beaut" (I call her "beaut"), "I put a bottle of Dobra Voda water from that water-judging contest in the fridge this morning. Would you bring me up a glass? I have to type some notes."

If you remember from the last post, I was a judge at an international water-tasting contest over the weekend.

I didn't think I got any of the sparkling Silver Medal Dobra Voda from the enchanted isle of Macedonia. I thought my Dobra Voda was just plain old spring water.

What a fool I am. What a horrible parent!

Spare was a no-show with the water. So I go downstairs, and - gasp! - she's chugging it straight from the bottle. And it was the silver medal sparkling!

Well, you know how it is with kids. You give them a little seltzer here, a club soda there, a splash of Perrier, especially when they're too young to drive. But my precious daughter had just leaped into the Big Leagues of sparkling water without any warning!

In a flash I was on her, wrestling for the bottle. Of course she didn't stand a chance. You can imagine the kind of upper body strength a goat judge totes around. But as I wrenched the Dobra Voda from her grip, OH NO! It spilled all over the floor!

The Heir's eyes blazed. "Now look what you've done!" she yelled.

"I didn't do it, blast you!" I replied. "Who said you could help yourself to sparkling water? You're only sixteen!"

"I'll be seventeen next month, you old geezer!" she sneered. "And if I can't have all the top-notch spring water I want in this house, then I'm going to Romania!"

Readers, I thought she was kidding. Up the stairs she went, down she came with her passport and her parka. Out the door she flew, slamming it behind her.

I thought, "I'll give her a few minutes to calm down."

Big mistake.

She went to her bank, closed out her savings account, took a cab to the airport, and was last seen buying a ticket to Prague.

I have a cousin who lives there who will only be too glad to corrupt her entirely by taking the train with her to Bucharest and from there deep into the Carpathian Mountains, where she will become a sparkling water junkie!

How could this have happened? She was such a wonderful kid, an honor student, a poet and filmmaker, a deep thinker. And I led her astray with bubbling water. Me, the parent she looked to for guidance and direction in her life!

So it just goes to show that if you keep faeries in your house and worship a Goddess and pray at springs, and extol the Sacred Thunderbirds, you are absolutely going to lead your kids to rack and ruin, and have no one but yourself and your horrible pagan religion to blame.

Just Kidding!

Truth is, The Heir and I were both pleasantly surprised to find the Dobra Voda to be sparkling, we shared it amiably, and she went off to study her Spanish, and I went off to type my goat notes. It's an awful strange thing, but both of my daughters seem to be growing into fine young women. Maybe it's genetic on their dad's side.

Always welcoming readers from Down Under! Hey, try that Tasmanian rain water! It never hits the ground!

Monday, February 27, 2006

Water, Water Everywhere

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!" Follow the detour signs, enjoy the scenery, and take note of all the interesting gods and goddesses just sitting around hoping for your tourist dollar!

Perhaps you'll recall that, having learned of my prowess as a goat judge, the citizens of Berkeley Springs asked me to be a judge at the Sixteenth Annual Berkeley Springs Water Tasting Contest.

I am home with the results of the experience.

Okay, go ahead and laugh. Water is water, right? You go to a water tasting festival, you just sit around and hope Jesus shows up and turns the stuff into wine.

I must admit I was skeptical. And, with my deep training as a goat judge (and long experience winning county, state, regional, and national contests as an exhibitor), I wondered how one could develop water-tasting expertise in a mere afternoon.

But I think that's the point. The idea is to get some ordinary citizens to make judgments based on personal preference. The interesting development is that many of the same waters win year after year. And we're not allowed to cheat and ask the judge next to us what they think about Water Number Six.

For most of the judges, water judging was an ordeal. Go ahead, you try sipping 60 samples of water in four hours. And unlike wine, swallowing is an important component of this competition, because you have to evaluate aftertaste and whether the sample is quenching or not.

Water, thirst-quenching? What a novel concept! Except that some of them did lack that special quality that makes a water go down well.

In case you want to be a water judge, here are the steps:

1. Hold the glass up to a plain white sheet of paper, in order to detect suspended particles or cloudiness.

2. Sniff the stuff.

3. Take a sip and roll it around your palate.

4. Swallow.

5. Belch.

Okay, I added that last one.

The hardest category was purified drinking water (don't kid yourself, that's exactly what's in your Dasani bottle). It has no odor and no taste. That's what they filter out of it. Add that to the fact that all water comes out of the ground, and you've got 20 samples of pretty doggone dull stuff.

But the sparkling water. AHHHHHHH! By the breath of Poseidon, I love sparkling water! I drink gallons of Pellegrino and Perrier. But the sparkling water doled out at this competition made P & P taste like swamp water. We're talking the champagne of sparkling waters, the creme de la creme of bubbly wet heaven.

Did I mention that I love sparkling water? That competition was last on the program, I'd already sampled 40 other waters, and there were 16 in the fizzy portion of the evening, and after I judged them I went back and drank every glassful.

Morning after, I felt like I had a hangover in the wrong end of my carcass. But it was worth it, since the natural fizzies aren't available in the U.S.

With no further ado, here's the scoop on The Best Water in the World, As Chosen by a Gang of Rank Amateurs, Soaked to the Gills:

MUNICIPAL WATER (i.e. what comes from your tap)

gold: Montpelier, Ohio
silver: Kent, Ohio
bronze: Sparwood, British Columbia, Canada

PURIFIED DRINKING WATER (extra treatment for that tap H2O)

gold: Claire Baie, Oak Creek, Wisconsin
silver: SoneClear Springs Natural, Vanleer, Tennessee
bronze: Water Boyz, Santa Fe, New Mexico


gold: Great Glacier, Oxford, Wisconsin
silver: Ontario Gold Beverage, Barrie, Ontario, Canada
bronze: Llanyr Source, Wales, United Kingdom
Virginia's Best, Edinburg, Virginia (it was a tie)


gold: Antipodes, Bay of Plenty, New Zealand (SOB! Not available in U.S.) silver: Dobra Voda, Macedonia (They sent two bottles. Ditto as above.)
bronze: Celvik, Tesanj, Bosnia (ditto as above)

So you see, I'm ruined. The 50 cent bottle of selzer will never taste the same, and a jaunt to New Zealand is not in the Johnson budget, and never will be. As for Bosnia (and in earlier years, Romanian fizzies have won big time too), I don't think even Queen Brighid the Bright will be able to find me the funds and the nerve to jet on over to Eastern Europe and hike my way into the Carpathian Mountains, where apparently this liquid gold just bursts from mountainsides.

Well, it was a fun way to spend a weekend. Now please excuse me. I have to go powder my nose.


Thursday, February 23, 2006

Testing the Waters

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!" Tiki loves you, and so do we!

It's a rare entry where we navel-gaze here. Who wants to read about surly goats? Whoa, dull.

But Saturday is "Testing the Waters" day, and it's got me in a navel kinda mood.

For about ten years I had a recurring dream. It was never quite the same twice. I would either be driving sort-of-familiar country roads in search of a spring, or hiking through the woods in search of a spring, or dangling my feet in a spring. Sometimes I even dreamed about those hot springs out West. Never saw those in my life, except on t.v.

At least once a week I'd dream about looking for a spring. (Not the season, the place where water leaks out of the ground.)

It got so that I'd tell my sweet husband, "I had another one of those spring dreams last night."

Now we're going back a year and a half, August 2004. My dad had become increasingly enfeebled by Parkinson's Disease, and he fell and broke his hip. My sis lived close by to him, but she'd planned a vacation out West (no kids and plenty of money). So I went home to clean out Dad's apartment and hold his hand through the first tough week.

It was an ordeal. The sun rose and set on my dad, there was no one I held in higher esteem, and I loved him like my husband and kids. You would have too, if you'd known him. No one disliked my dad.

They stuck him on the Alzheimer's floor in the nursing home because of his Parkinson's, so just getting to his room was heart-wrenching. And there he lay, all helpless, and he looked up at me and the first thing he said was, "I won't be able to fix you any dinner tonight."

I said, "That's okay, I'll get us some Big Macs. And Superior Dairy ice cream."

And using that as an excuse, I went away and cried my eyeballs out.

When I came back later with the McDonalds (yuck) and the Superior Dairy ice cream (#1 in the universe, sorry if you can't get it), they had strapped Dad in a geri-chair.

He smiled at me and said: "Guess who I saw, standing in the doorway?"

I said, "Who?"

And he said, "Peter Pan. And he had his hands on his hips, just like in the movies."

I'd been leaning toward the faerie faith for a year or so, but I hadn't told Dad or quit the good ol' mainstream Methodist Church. So his saying that was just amazing to me. Here was a guy who taught Sunday School for fifty years, but who never felt comfortable with the Bible. And out of the blue, his true ancestral Pantheon comes calling for him.

Puck says: "He was a druid and he never knew id."

Nice rhyme, Puck.

I sat with Dad that day until he fell asleep. Then I got in my car and drove to Berkeley Springs, WV.

You know how it is when you grow up close to a place, but you never go there because it's close by but it's nothing special, why bother unless your basketball team has a game against theirs. I had grown up near Berkeley Springs without ever spending any time there.

That day I drove straight there and parked on Main Street. I got out and went into the Roman Bath House and asked what it was all about. The nice lady said you pay $20 and you get 750 gallons of heated mineral water in a giant tub big enough for six people.

I slapped a Jackson on her and ordered up one tub.

Thirty minutes later I was a new person. One soak and I never looked back. You could say the faeries came for my dad and me on the same day.

I went outside and sat down where the water comes out of the ground (at a consistent temperature of 74.3 degrees, or about 20 degrees higher than regular spring water).

Feels like I've been sitting there ever since. It's where I belong.

Of course, you start spending time at a place you get to know people. And that's how I met the awesome faerie/psychic/astrologer community in Berkeley Springs. It's a great fit. Such wonderful folks.

So they find out about my goat-judging, and darned if they don't invite me and my husband to be judges at the annual Best Water in the World contest.

This weekend I learn a new trade: water judging.

This is not fiction, gentle readers. They are going to have a water-tasting contest, with entries from all over the world in three categories:

1. Municipal water
2. Bottled spring water
3. Sparkling spring water

And it's no small potatoes, either. The winning waters usually put big golden seals on their bottles saying "Berkeley Springs Champion." Big-time bragging rights.

By Monday I'll be able to tell you which bottle of spring water is the best in the world. I guess we'll all be disappointed if it comes from Bosnia, eh?

For those of you just joining us here at "The Gods Are Bored," my awesome dad went off with Peter Pan in January of 2005. The day before his funeral last February, my daughter The Spare went wading in Berkeley Springs. Doesn't matter how cold it is, that water is always the same temperature, you can wade while it's snowing.

So that's why I'm the Merlin of Berkeley Springs. It's always good to test the waters, to explore a spiritual path that feels right, instead of driving the freeway with all the other cars.

You know what? I never dream about springs anymore. Ever.


Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Sweet Supreme Court Victory for the Bored Gods!

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!" Religious freedom is what we're all about! Supreme Court hands bored gods a big thumbs up, and Quetzalcotl's doing the jig!

Gotta make this easy reading, so here goes:

Yesterday, the pre-Sammy Supreme Court ruled against Alberto Gonzalez and Dubya, saying that a sect named O Centro Espirita Beneficiente Uniao do Vegetal may use a tea they brew that contains dimethyltriptamine (DMT).

For Dick and Jane: If you worship the right bored god, you get to use hallucinogens. Supreme Court says so. It's freedom of religion.

This isn't a bunch of hippies flying the astral plane. This is a serious praise and worship team that believes one can only experience God through drinking ayahuasca, a hallucinogenic tea.

We at "The Gods Are Bored" aren't going to argue a point that the Supreme Court has decided. You go, O Centro!

In fact, this sounds to us like a praise and worship team that should attract more disciples. We here at "The Gods Are Bored" do not endorse recreational drug use, but, ah ..... spiritual drug use, carefully applied, is probably just what it's billed: a chance to talk to ancient South American gods.

The most important point of this ruling is simply that America has many diverse faiths, and they all deserve respect.

And respect means not having your sacred ceremonies disrupted by the DEA.

Sorry, Dubya. Sandra's last ruling is a pip.


Tuesday, February 21, 2006

A Brief Recap for New Readers

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!" We're the second-best polytheism portal on the World Wide Web! The top dog is definitely God Checker, where you can find a god for your every need!

Do you really think we care what you read or what you wear?
Come on and join together with the band!

Oh, that dates you, Anne. Everyone together now:


About this time last year, Anne was watching a lecture on t.v.

It was this atheist, and he was speaking in a Jewish synagogue.
Yeah, I know. I'm not making this up.

The guy was pinning all the world's ills on religion, all the wars and such. And you can make a case for that, until you remember that both Mao and Stalin didn't have any religion.

Then the guy said: "If you want to know how foolish the idea of God is, just substitute the name 'Zeus' for 'God.' Remember, generations and generations of people worshipped Zeus. They built big temples to him and his family. They had elaborate worship services and high holy days."

Then he said: "Now listen to this. 'In Zeus We Trust.' 'One Nation under Zeus.' Doesn't it sound stupid? Because of course Zeus is a myth, and so is God."

Food for thought.

Anne thought about it long and hard.

Anne decided that poor Zeus wasn't a myth at all. He's just a laid-off god. Anne used to call Zeus the victim of a hostile takeover, but hey, he was no Prince among Gods. He was ripe for a buyout.

The better analogy (that is, comparison) is with a guy making a fortune building expensive horse-drawn carriages in 1910. Along comes Henry Ford and the Model T, and the horse carriage guy is out of a job.

Zeus is bored out of his gourd. So is Chondanga. So is Sedna. So is Tiki. And Queen Brighid the Bright wasn't doing too great either until just recently. She's making a comeback big time! Yippeeee!

So this post is dedicated to all the bored gods out there. Because why should they be on welfare and collecting food stamps when they can be busy?

And that One God guy is just too busy. He can't keep track of his praise and worship team, and the fringe elements of it are running amok. He's way overbooked.

Hey, it's His fault, if you believe that he sat down and created the universe in six days. Most people can't even build a treehouse in that amount of time. He should have thought about getting a corporate structure in place. (And about those pesky mutating viruses.)

So we give respect to the bored gods from every culture and every place. And we are Equal Opportunity Polytheists, so we try not to disrespect any religion (or fairy tale, for that matter).

I mean, blaming Jesus for the mess the world in is like blaming The Who for the putz who got blitzed at a concert and plowed into a tree on the way home.

We are a species that needs a little more evolution, some geological tweaking.

In the meantime, all hail the bored gods!

This may be the second-best polytheism site on the Web, but it's NUMBER ONE for buzzard worship. Wait until next week! We are going to show you how Sacred Thunderbirds can change your life!

Our operators are standing by to take your call.


Midlife crisis? We prefer paradigm change.

Photo: Roman Bath House, Berkeley Springs, WV.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Applegate on The Da Vinci Code

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!" Are you waiting in long lines at the toll booth while other drivers are zipping past and floating through the EZ Pass lanes? Maybe those other drivers are worshipping bored gods who have more time to make things happen!

I'm your host today. Lucifer, the Angel of Darkness.

Gosh, that monniker sounds like a B-movie starring some poor schmuck who'll spend the rest of his life signing autographs at horrror conventions.

Please call me "Mr. Applegate." It's so warm and fuzzy.

If you prefer, you can use my corporate title: Secretary of Underground Operations. Except that makes me sound like James Bond, doesn't it?

I digress.

There's this book, The Da Vinci Code, and it's been at the top of the bestseller list for, like, two whole years. How could it be this way? Couldn't every doggone American in the country have read it by now?

My guess is that people just don't buy books like they used to.

I read the book awhile back. I thought the writing was pedestrian and the plot ridiculous. But there's no one better than me to address the central (hardly stunning) revelation in the novel.

Stop here if you're the only American who hasn't read The Da Vinci Code. There's an episode of SpongeBob on that you might have missed.

In The Da Vinci Code, the characters discover that Jesus and Mary Magdalene were married and had children. And that after Jesus (my boss) did his heaven miracle, Mary and the kids took it on the lam. Eventually (like, 1500 years later) the descendants of this happy couple found protection by a group of free-thinkers in Italy, one of them being Leonardo da Vinci.

1. Yes
2. Yes
3. Somewhat
4. No

Okay, in prior posts I have established that my boss decided he wanted to understand his praise and worship team better, and simultaneously soften his message and make it more user-friendly. So he put on human clothes, chose an impoverished desert province ruled by a vast, brutal, imperial empire, and did his person gig.

One thing he didn't do was write down any of his adventures first-hand. I think he got that advice from Queen Brighid the Bright. But in his case it didn't work out, because the second-hand authors picked and chose a bit. They got the gist of some of his user-friendly statements, but in other cases they editorialized. You know, a cut here, an embellishment there.

Then the Romans jumped in and chose what they wanted to go into the Bible, and the editorial process became even murkier.

Aren't you glad you have me to set the record straight?

The boss was a Jew. Jewish men are expected to marry. He married Mary Magdalene at the age most men married in his day, 16.

They were happy together.

By the time the boss began his ministry, his children were nearly old enough to marry. At any rate, the younger ones were considered too young to trek across the countryside and were left with relatives.

As I predicted, the boss ran afoul not only of some of his own praise and worship team (who found him in violation of the Holy Scriptures), but also - more dangerously - the Roman Empire. The Romans didn't believe in freedom of speech or freedom of assembly, and they thought all charismatic religious leaders were enemies of the state.

You know the rest. If you don't, you might not even be ready for SpongeBob.

Now here's the deal. You recall how the Beatles all got along until Yoko came into the picture? Well, that's how some of those Disciples felt about Mary. She was a woman, Jesus favored her, and she knew him better than any of them. (Hence she was the first one to see him on Easter morning.)

In the wake of Easter 1, the Disciples reminded Mary that she had matriarchal duties she'd been neglecting, and that she might be in danger, so off she went to collect the kids and live quietly with a kindly old uncle. It wouldn't do to tell your teenaged offspring that they were half god, on dad's side of the family. Then the Romans would be after them too. And none of them showed the boss's talents for healing or preaching. (They could build good houses, though.)

And just like Paul McCartney and Wings, the Disciples got even with Mary by (almost) writing her out of the story. By the time they did it, she was dead anyway, so she couldn't complain.

Nowadays you can hire a genealogist who will go back through Medieval tax records and prove that you were the illegitimate offspring of King Robert the Bruce. But descend into the Dark Ages, and the paper trail just fades away.

To make a long story short, some enterprising minor gentry in the early Middle Ages concocted a genealogy going back to my boss, totally fictitious, and people have been believing it ever since.

It makes for a great bestseller. Here's a secret: Anne has dabbled with the topic herself.

Now this is no secret. The boss (meaning Jesus, not the Big Guy) considers everyone his children, so he's not partial to his bloodline descendants. He doesn't give them preferential treatment. And that's rare in any industry, especially godding. So I admire him for that.

If you haven't read The Da Vinci Code, I don't recommend you rush out to buy it. Try something that will make you think, like Oliver Twist, Les Miserables, or The Grapes of Wrath.

Personally I like Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (the book, not the movie), but I've just become twisted from doing this job so long.

See you soon,

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Heroes and Goats

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!" Come in without an appointment. We'll work you in, fix you up with a very nice god who will work out those nasty kinks!

Speaking of nasty kinks, Anne's got carpal tunnel syndrome, sore knees, and a burning need to smell goats instead of reading about them! She's used up the midnight oil and is on to the 3:00 a.m. supply (and we know how much that costs, don't we?).

In the meantime, some nice gods and goddesses have dropped in to keep you company, and Anne's faeries haven't hidden her car keys or her reading glasses even once!

We should know. We're Anne's faeries: Puck and Princess. You'll be pleased to learn that Anne should be back tomorrow. That will be good news for her cats, who continue to hide whenever "Mr. Applegate" arrives.

For the record, we faeries don't like Applegate either. He's an alien. It's written all over him.


Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Mighty Aphrodite

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," all you hot honeys out there! Love is in the air! Breathe deep!

I'm your host today, Venus, Goddess of Love. You may know me as Aphrodite or even (tee hee) Eros. Am I not the hottest thing on two feet? And the guy who painted this picture wasn't even in my praise and worship team!

You might wonder what's happened to me since my family got marginalized in a hostile takeover.

Well, of course we took it hard. Especially us girls: Me, Mama, and Diana.

First of all, in this One God Group, there's not even a decent goddess we can invite over for cookies and gossip. Then, to make matters worse, it seems like the only kind of love this new team talks about is agape. And that's nice, as far as it goes. But face it, folks. It doesn't go far enough.

A whole Bible thousands of pages long, and the best you can do is throw in three or four pages about you-know-what? Inadequate. Totally.

I'll bet you agree with me.

Now here we are in modern times, and you humans have devised foolproof methods of contraception. And what do you do? You sign chastity pledges and fight about whether or not family planning should be taught in school! What an uptight bunch of primitives you are!

What, do you want to make your young people wait until their libidos dry up like my mama's has ...

Juno: (offstage): You'd better shut that smart lip, kid, or I'll start another Trojan War!

Sorry, Mom. Just kidding. (Snicker.)

Now. Where was I? All right. I, Venus, Goddess of Love, do not actively promote sex for young teenagers. Although it's been a given as long as anyone can remember. But when people get into their early twenties, that's no time to be panting and slobbering, fully clothed, while planning the $60,000 wedding! What if you love each other, but you just can't get the old spark lit? What if he's hiding a BIG SECRET ... let's just call it the Brokeback Mountain scenario.

You need to know this stuff before you say "I do, forever and ever and ever, amen."

So, in the words of my dear friend Marvin Gaye, "get it on."

This abstinence stuff is just plain tom foolishness. Kids pledge not to smoke and drink, too, and I don't see RJ Reynolds and Budweiser folding up.

There's always been room for hanky panky. When my family got ousted from godding, I just went undercover (tee hee).

Don't believe me? HAPPY ST. VALENTINE'S DAY!

Gather ye rosebuds while ye may
For time it is a-flying.
The selfsame rose that blooms today
Tomorrow will be dying.

That's just beautiful, don't you think? What's better than making love? Why wait until your rose petals are drying at the edges? Tear up that stupid abstinence pledge, buy some protection, dust off that Marvin Gaye record, and live a little!


Monday, February 13, 2006

Applegate on Artistic Depictions of His Boss

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," a primary caregiver of sound goat maintenance and polytheistic pointers! We take every kind of insurance here, confident that the bored gods will reimburse us when they regain their praise and worship teams.

Oh, boy, is Anne working her girlish little butt off! That book she's reviewing, Mortality and Morbidity in Lactating Goat Populations: Principals and Practices of Sound Herd Management, is a tome of major proportions!

That leaves her computer open to me, The Prince of Darkness. Satan. Lucifer. Beelzebub. Azrael. Ol' Mr. Scratch. etc. etc. etc.

Gosh I get bad press.

Take it from me: You don't want to be a desperate freelancer, out of a job, acting on a tip from a galaxy far, far away that you've never seen before. I blundered into this position and have 3,994 more years on the contract. But it does serve up bennies, and I'm surrounded by the best thinkers this insufficiently-evolved species can serve up.

I wish you would call me "Mr. Applegate." It's pithy and user-friendly.

Lately there's been some flap up above about some nasty cartoons of the boss that got published in a newspaper. There's a big, big segment of the boss's praise and worship team who think it's a sin to put his face on paper.

And then there's another big, big segment of his praise and worship team who go out of their way to depict the boss and his family (and the incidents in the Bible) in the most gorgeous ways possible.

Who's right? Well, I hope I don't insult any Muslims here by saying this (they're all insufficiently evolved individuals like the rest of the human race, no better, no worse), but the Christians have done right by the boss. Not only does he have a thick skin where satire is concerned, he's often quite smitten by the artwork he inspires.

Not that he doesn't like all those beautiful mosaics in the mosques. He thinks they're swell. But he doesn't mind having his portrait painted. He told me he didn't even see why Andres Serrano got his NEA grant yanked. Now that's tolerant. A guy submerges a crucifix in ... potty stuff, and calls it art, and the boss says, "Oh, I'm not going to waste a perfectly good lightning bolt on that."

Every time the boss sends me an email he asks how Michelangelo is getting along down here. The boss does care about Mikey.

What, you mean you thought the artist who carved all those breathtaking sculptures, and lay on his back doing a chapel roof, and had to beg for his payments (we freelancers know all about that), you thought he got into heaven? Forget it. And you know why, too.

Mikey tried, he really did, when he was alive. But he had a few breakdowns in resolve, and that's all it takes.

When he first arrived here, Mikey was bummed big time. But at the dawn of the twentieth century, he found a whole new team of collaborators. Take Van Gogh, for instance. Mikey adores him. Picasso? Adores him! Edvard Munch? Mikey's softened that one up substantially. And for the last ten years, Mikey's been working with this really sweet kid, Jean-Michel Basquiat. You should see what they turn out together!

Ah, well, I guess you might ... someday.

Back to the case in point: insulting cartoons about the boss. He figures it goes with the job, and his second-in-command (and for that matter, the Prophet in the Shade), are truly heartbroken over the course of events.

If someone can't take criticism, they hardly qualify to be a god. Am I right?

So stop all this burning and rioting and pontificating (I love that word), and be at peace with one another. I'm nowhere near certain that your species will make it to the next level, no matter how many thin cell phones and IPods you create.

See You Soon,

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Another Brief Notice

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!" There's nothing godless about this site. We've got scads and scads of gods! It's hard not to play favorite. Okay, well, we do give special consideration to a certain ancient goddess. But hey, if you like to pray to buzzards, you go!

Due to a difficult and not terribly cost-effective goat project, Anne will be working hard until February 21.

And we all know what that means, don't we, our legions of readers? It opens the space to that Lord Voldemort of the Old Testament, Mr. Applegate. And also to those pesky faeries, Puck and Princess. And perhaps some other bored gods too. Not Mars, though. He can go kiss a duck.

One nation, under Zeus, with liberty ... etc.


Friday, February 10, 2006

It's an Inny

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!" Who can resist gazing at their navel, even when too too busy?

I've been tagged by my pals at Appalachian Greens to answer some questions. No doubt they want insight into who they have recruited to rant.

1. What was I doing 10 years ago?
Listening to black ladies tell me how cute my daughter was.
(She's still cute.)

2. What was I doing one year ago?
Cryin' over my recently-deceased dad.

3. What was I doing an hour ago?
Trying to figure out how to index a goat book.

4. Five creative things I want to do this year:
A. Can't tell first one, it's top secret.
B. Encourage worship of bored gods.
C. Write a novel (gee, that's bloody original, huh? Actually I'm kidding.)


D. See more of the Monkey Man.
E. Re-write my favorite Christian hymns with pagan lyrics.

5. Five snacks I love
A. day-old biscuits
B.Krumpe's doughnuts
C. pie from the Road Kill Cafe

BYE BYE BUZZARDS! I knew they wouldn't stay.

D.kettle corn
E. cotton candy

6. Five things I'd do if money were no object.
A. Give every last cent to eco-projects and buy every acre of mountain land that came up for sale.

That would cost alot, so I doubt if I'd have anything left over.

7. Five bad things about me I'd like to change.
A. Scots-Irish temper
B. Potty mouth
C. Anxiety
D. Wasting time
E. Spoiling the kids

8. Five things I like about myself
A. Married well
B. Haven't broken any laws
C. Luv buzzards
D. Girlish figure
E. Awesome altar downstairs - worshipping in saves a lot of money

9. One good thing about myself?
I don't like to talk about myself.

Done. Back to work. Never send chains, but if you want to, go ahead and take the questionnaire on your site.

I never tag, because I'M IT!


The Gods Are Busy

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!"

Due to a massive goat project, we will be unable to add to this widely-read and often-quoted site until February 21. That's only 11 days, so please come back to see us! We value your patronage!


Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Methodist Mayhem

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!"

Anne's legions of readers will know that she prides herself on creating original material for her site.

We'll just call it "inspiriation from the bored gods."

But today a message came in the mail that is just so priceless Anne has to share it in whole. PLEASE NOTE: Anne did not write this. Anne will have a short rebuttal at the end.

The author must remain anonymous, because she would have a hissy fit if she knew about this sinful site.

Author's Message as follows:

"Stepford United Methodist Church
Anytown, Anywhere

"Dear Acolyte:

"Spring is around the corner and this starts the season of Lent and Easter worship. Please find Methodist Crosses up on the shelf where the gloves are. They are to be worn around your neck every Sunday. Please take care of them and wear them with respect and honor.

I am hoping we will have new white robes for Easter. More info to follow. I am also trying to get some celebratory dove kites but have had no luck researching the idea. More info to follow...

(italics in original)

"Some writing was found on the pew bench where the Acolytes sit. If you are caught disrespecting church property you will be asked to step down from your position. Please remember to wear appropriate clothing and shoes. Please do not chew gum or talk and fidget. You can be seen by everyone and comments have been passed onto me that some of you may be having a hard time keeping it together up there. I do not want to have to pull you off such a valuable position in the church. If you feel that you would like to take a year off and then retry, please do so. That is a mature act on your part.

"Again, I remind you to act respectfully when passing in front of the altar by pausing for a moment, walk together and put out the altar candles from the outside to the inside. Please be careful when blowing out the torch candle, hot wax could splatter back on your face as it has been splattered on the glass. Please blow gently.

"We appreciate your role in assisting the Pastors and glorifying God with your service. Enjoy God's recognition of New Life called Spring.

"Glory in His name,

"Mrs. Jones, Acolyte Administrator
Thank you again for your service to our church.
In His Name,

"Mrs. Jones."


When are my rebellious daughters going to stop this and become good pagans?

Blow gently,



Tuesday, February 07, 2006


Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!"

Do you miss that little Mom-and-Pop hardware store that used to be on your Main Street? You know the one I mean. The one that had to close because it couldn't compete with Home Depot and/or Lowe's.

Gods are just like that. Used to be, each little culture had its resident deities, familiar and comfortable to the small group. Along comes Big Box God, the One and Only.

Big Box. You find yourself wandering aimlessly, looking for socket wrenches, and none of the employees even know what socket wrenches are, let alone where to find them. When it comes time to check out, you have to scan your own purchases. No friendly face saying, "Have a nice day." Just some receipt to show you're paid up.

And by damn, they're fighting in the aisles. It's Plumbing vs. Lighting, Garden vs. Carpeting. One Big Box, but no one can agree on which aisle is best.

Not for this site. We endorse an intimate and personal model of worship. Pick a God or Goddess, and he or she won't make you scan your own items.

Good news in abundance today! Gosh, I wish it had been spread out a bit!

1. My beloved spouse and I have been asked to be water-tasting judges at the annual Berkeley Springs Festival of the Waters, where they choose The Best Water in the World! The honor has me on my knees with humility! I am not worthy.

2. OH THIS IS THE BEST! A little town only 40 minutes from here is having a BUZZARD FESTIVAL! Watching begins at roosting hour (scopes provided), followed by a banquet with speakers! See? I've had to go all the way to Hinckley, Ohio to perform my buzzard rituals in the past. I think the bored gods approve of my devotion.

3. Awhile back I took a Praxis test on Animal Husbandry to see if I qualified to teach it in high school. Haven't gotten the scores yet, but today I got a fancy Certificate of Excellence from Educational Testing Services, Inc. It appears I finished in the top 15 percent. (I'll admit I was a bit nervous on the matter of ferrets and emus.)

3. This last is good news/bad news. Today by Parcel Post, a 400-page manuscript entitled Mortality and Morbidity in Lactating Goat Populations: Principles and Practices of Large Herd Maintenance (Essays in Honor of Sylvester Poditat, Professor Emeritus, Billy Bob Agricultural University), University Press of Appalachia, 2006. I am to peer review this volume and provide an index. By the end of the month.

I guess they couldn't find anyone at the international conglomerate Amalgamated Goats, Inc. who had the stamina for the job.

But this will cut into the time I can spend here with you, my wide readership. Please understand. I'll do what I can.

Imagine me, a water judge one week and a buzzard-watcher the next. Heaven. I'm in heaven.


Monday, February 06, 2006

Johnson Family Values

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!" Usually we are a full-service polytheism superstore, but today we switch to the topic of Family Values.

You know what those are. Shelter your kids, keep them away from anything that might challenge their idea that they are the center of the universe. Home-school the little darlings and see that they're in church every Sunday, then come home to a big family dinner! Don't let them know defeat or disappointment. Monitor their every breath, because hey, You Are the Mother of Your Children.

Can't wait to see how this generation of spoiled brats turns out.

Oddly, one of the few things the Johnson Family does every year is watch the Super Bowl together.

Not for the game, mind you, but for the commercials.

This year the beloved spouse and I had the added pleasure of the panoramic shots of downtown Detroit, where we lived after we married. I thought Detroit was swell, and I never let anyone bad-mouth it in my presence.

We Johnsons rank all Super Bowl commercials on a scale of 1-10. Here's our Top Five, 2006:

1. Sprint Cell Phone with Crime Deterrant.

2. Mr. Spock Needs Aleve.

3. Cave Man Crusher.

4. Burger King Follies (The Heir loved this one).

5. We all were roaring over Monster Love until we saw what they were selling - a Hummer. So Monster Love was a Bummer.

It's rare when the Johnson family agrees wholeheartedly on anything. Hey, we can't all be the Happy Santorums, eh?

But in our universal opinion, none of this year's Super Bowl commercials compare to last year's Mastercard Masterpiece:

As for halftime, it was as predicted Nightmare on Geezer Street.

Does anyone know who won the game?


Sunday, February 05, 2006

I Know, It's Only Rock and Roll

"As for me and my house, we will follow The Residents."

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," America's first stop on the World Wide Web!

Well, maybe not. Maybe it's a tourist's first stop on the Pennsylvania Turnpike.

That's overly ambitious too? Okay, we'll try again.

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," a site that's more popular than Francis the Talking Mule movies!

Please, if you're a Francis fan, don't disrespect me. I love that smart-talkin' jackass, and he is just never on the tube anymore. Forget finding him on VHS or DVD. What a loss to our society!

Today's topic: A tired rant, so I'll be brief.


I would rather see Janet Jackson's knockers than the Rolling Stones. I would rather listen to a medley of Lawrence Welk's Greatest Hits than the Rolling Stones. I heard two dozen frightful singers on American Idol that I'd rather see than the Rolling Stones.

Geez, I could kvetch all day on this. The only person who fails to beat the Stones on my halftime wish-list is Billy Joel.

This is not because I'm some freshly-minted specimen, steeped to the gills in hip-hop and garage bands.

I can remember Mick and Keith in the day. And just let me say, that day was deep in the last century. There are people out there with grandchildren who weren't even born the first time Mick and Keith gigged before a big audience.

So, would someone please tell these formaldehyde-fueled has-beens to retreat to their castles in Transylvania and let someone else entertain us?

I vote for the peerless University of Michigan Marching Band.

Or, if your tastes run solely to 1960s-era rock groups that have lasted and thrived into the new millennium, then bring on The Residents. Early in their band's career the members decided to wear big eyeballs and skull faces at every concert. Even people who work with them aren't sure what they look like.

Okay, so The Residents haven't left behind as much DNA as Mick Jagger, but you can't see what's going on under a big eyeball mask. And what's going on is the MARCH OF TIME.

Mick. Keith. Are they real, or are they Memorex?

DVD Recommendation: Wormwood, by The Residents, 2006. A fresh treatment of the Old Testament in avant-garde rock. Soon to be banned by a church near you!

Friday, February 03, 2006

American Idle (Spelling Intentional)

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!" We don't think our gods are better than your gods. We just think our gods are different from your gods. And vive la difference! Independent thinking is a virtue!

They haven't been showing the whole picture over at American Idol, so I'm going to clue you in. Here are some notable outtakes that hit the cutting room floor.

1. George Bush got three "no" votes when he forgot the words to "Row, Row, Row Your Boat." (Perhaps he should have tried singing "Roe, Roe, Roe Must Go.")

2. Pat Robertson got three "no" votes when he sang "What Kind of Fool Am I?" He got the lyrics but went off key. He couldn't redeem himself by belting out the first lines of "Onward, Christian Soldiers."

3. Condoleeza Rice is going to Hollywood! Her medley of "Annie, Get Your Gun" tunes was a big hit! Simon called her a "hot honey," and Randy suggested she ought to run for president.

4. Dick Cheney got two no votes for his rendition of "If I Were a Rich Man." Simon liked it, but Paula and Randy thought he lacked conviction.

5. Sam Alito sang "You Ain't Seen Nothin' Yet." The judges didn't seem to like it much, but they appeared fearful of thwarting him. He's going to Hollywood!

6. Some guy named Marley sang "Get Up, Stand Up." He was arrested and sent to Guantanamo.

7. A woman identified only as "Cindy" was not even allowed to sing. Simon took exception to her t-shirt, and she was led away in handcuffs.

So there you have it. The American Idol that you're missing! But don't feel bad. We may have a second chance to hear from Condi and Sammy. As for "Cindy," I think they've outsourced her torture to the Saudis.


"Milk and Cheese" are the creations of Evan Dorkin. Their comics are called, uh ... Milk and Cheese. Available at a comic shop near you. Action figures to be released this spring. Yay!

Thursday, February 02, 2006

A Blessed Imbolc to All

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," the most widely-read and comment-spawning blog in the universe!

We interrupt the normal flow of insane antics to mark the most holy day on the calendar, Imbolc. This is the festival honoring Queen Brighid the Bright (you may know her from such incarnations as The Blessed Mother, St. Brigit, or Mother Nature).

Queen Brighid the Bright is the ancient goddess of the forge, of fire, and of creativity. She is also the goddess of home and hearth, which I guess makes her a proponent of family values. Her festival, marked these days with a silly Pennsylvania groundhog and with the much more logical Candlemas, heralds the return of the sun, the earliest dawning of spring.

Long may she offer her fires to our souls, our work, and our homes!

Bridghid of the mantle, encompass us.
Lady of the Lambs, protect us.
Beneath thy mantle gather us.
And restore us to memory.
Foremother of our foremothers, Foremothers strong,
Take our hands in yours.
Remind us how
To kindle the hearth.
To keep it bright, to preserve the flame,
Our hands within your hands,
Your hands upon our hands.
To keep the light, both day and night.

The mantle of Bridghid about us,
The protection of Bridghid upon us,
The memory of Bridghid within us,
Keeping us from harm, from ignorance, from heartlessness, this day and night, from dawn until dark, from dark until dawn.

So might it be.


Portrait of Queen Brighid the Bright by Brian Froud, from Good Faeries, Bad Faeries, Simon & Schuster, 1998. Also available in limited edition print, signed by artist.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Faeries to the Rescue!

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!" If you clap at the right place in Peter Pan, and you believe in faeries, then you've fallen down the rabbit hole and into the right site!

My name is Puck. I'm Anne's boy faerie.
I am Princess. I'm her girl faerie.

Puck: Of course these aren't our real names. This is the internet. We're concerned about identity theft.

Princess: Anne uses her real name. And what an original name it is, too! Oh, Puck! Tell Anne's readers what you did to her on Sunday!

Puck: HA HA HA HA! Boy, was she riled! She swears she won't wear me for a week! She had to check on her friend's cats, and one of the cats was - how shall we say it? - very, very bad potty-wise. So Anne had to clean up a mess, and while she was doing it, I hid the key to her friend's apartment. Once Anne had finished cursing and fuming about a bad kitty, she had to hunt for a house key!

Princess: And it was on a bright Kelly green lanyard. Hard to hide, eh Puck?

Puck: I was challenged until I saw Anne pull out a fresh trash bag to put the cat mess in.

Princess: You see, that's what impish faeries do for fun. But we also have a serious side and a serious purpose.

Puck: For instance, if some bad ass Roman war god comes along and stuffs Anne in a well, we're gonna call the boss and get her outta there before she turns into buzzard soup.

Princess: The boss would be Peter Pan, of course. And we're proud to say that, not only did he save Anne, he also busted the axel on Mars's chariot.

Puck: You never heard such cursing in your life. What a horrible god, that Mars! We'd never let him into Sidhe. He need not apply.

Princess: Sadly, we couldn't save Anne's goats. Not even her darling Suki, who was only two months shy of breaking the Ripley's World Record for Goat Longevity.

Puck: So, as a consolation to Anne, Princess and I sent her to another dimension, in which there's a planet named Terah.

Princess: We gave her a ticket to something called a "State of the Confederacy" address.

Puck: The speaker must have been a leader of some kind. He was taking about the importance of peaceful solutions to aggression, how a nation dedicated to religious ideals should not retaliate to violence by using violence.

Princess: And then this leader said that taxes should be based on income, and the wealthiest, since they have the most, should generously part with some of it to help those with the least.

Puck: And this leader said that college education should be free to everyone through the internet, and that students should concentrate on skills that will provide them with lasting, unionized jobs.

Princess: And then this leader said that he would sponsor an initiative to build thousands and thousands of windmills to take advantage of the natural energy source on the Big Plains.

Puck: Tax credits for people who found ways to live without automobiles.

Princess: Protecting the rights of states to pass laws, the rights of individuals to their privacy and freedom of assembly without fear of reprisal.

Puck: And this leader ended with a passionate promise to protect the natural resources of this Confederacy, looking beyond its borders to all of Terah, in order to preserve Terah's riches for future generations.

Princess: We thought this would cheer Anne up, but when we brought her back home, she went out in the pasture and beat her fists on the ground.

Puck: Well, Princess, you know these Scots-Irish people. Perpetually pissed off about something.

Princess: Perhaps we should wait a few days before we hide any more of her stuff.