Monday, February 25, 2019

Because a Girl Can Dream

At 2:00 in the afternoon, Donald Trump -- dressed in white shirt, bright blue tie, and dark suit -- boarded Air Force One with all the pomp and splendor of the president of the United States. He blessed his weary nation with an imperial wave and set off to meet Korean dictator Kim Jung Un in Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam.

Air Force One took off without incident. Trump settled into his cushioned seat and stared out into the darkness across the wing of the plane.

Trump suddenly jumped like he'd been poked with a cattle prod. What was that out on the wing of the plane? It looked horrible, like a monster! Was he dreaming? Were his eyes fooling him? (He discounts that. Nothing fools him, nothing.) Vaguely, in the back of his little mind, he remembered an episode of The Twilight Zone from long ago, when a gremlin stalked a plane wing, or some such.

But the Thing, whatever it was, disappeared. Trump took two Maalox and reclined for a nap.

The plane touched down in Hanoi. Something was wrong.

The pilot and co-pilot looked at each other. This was not the Hanoi they had been told to expect. The runway was shoddy and pockmarked with craters. To make matters worse, armed soldiers were advancing on the plane from both sides. They didn't look friendly.

The pilot radioed for the Secret Service, but something was wrong. The Secret Service agents were all sleeping and could not be roused. It was as if they were in suspended animation.

Trump stirred, fixed his tie and his hair, and took a quick leak in the loo. "Let's go," he groused to the pilot.

"But sir ... Your Secret Service agents are all in comas ... and, look out the window!"

"That's just the welcoming committee!" Trump roared. "Open the door and let me out of here!"

The pilot couldn't refuse an order from his president. He opened the door.

Trump stared out across the runway. Gee, Hanoi sure looked dingy! He hadn't been briefed on this.

Because the Hanoi he landed in was not the Hanoi of 2019.

It was the Hanoi of 1970.

The plane had passed through a space/time continuum.

Before he could retreat to the safety of his plane, the plane dissolved into cotton candy! Donald Trump -- tie, suit, and bad haircut -- stared out at a platoon of gun-toting Viet Cong, who, although they didn't know the guy by name, recognized an American capitalist pig when they saw one.

"But ... my bone spurs!" Trump sputtered. "I'm not supposed to be here!"

Ahhhhhhhhhhhh ..............................

Here the story could take a turn. What completes this fantasy with the most satisfaction? Does he get blasted by a few hundred Soviet firearms, or do they haul him off to the Hanoi Hilton for a nice, long, comfortable (not) stay? How about a prisoner exchange with a brave young soldier named John McCain?

A girl can dream. Thanks be to Gritty!

Saturday, February 23, 2019

My New Grand-Cat!

About three weeks ago, my area got hit by the Polar Vortex, which is basically a big swath of super-cold air. It was so cold that schools were called off, and I got to stay home by the fire.

But there was a little kitty who wasn't so lucky. She was thrown out of a car in Philadelphia, and then kicked to the curb, for good measure. In all that cold. Fortunately a cat lady saw it happen and convinced our local shelter to take the kitty in.

My daughter The Fair and I first saw photos of the kitty and read her heartbreaking backstory on the Facebook page of the local shelter. And somehow we knew it was time.

Saturday morning the kitty went up for adoption. She was put up for adoption at 11:00 and adopted by Fair at noon. Don't you wish all homeless cats had such a quick turnaround ... and to a good home at that?

Yes, she is a white cat who quickly covered Fair's black leggings in white cat hair. She can't be given a Greek alphabetic name, because she isn't mine. Therefore I believe she is about to be called Bijou.

The lady who rescued Bijou got the license plate of the car from which the cat was thrown. It turned out to be registered to an 87-year-old man. We think it's likely that Bijou belonged to this elderly person, and he passed away. She is extremely friendly, not a bit afraid of people or other cats. She was microchipped in 2014, meaning that she's probably about 6 years old.

Welcome to the family, Bijou!

Monday, February 18, 2019

Survival Skills in a Time of National Emergency

Hello and welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!" Always good to see you. I've got some muffins in the oven -- banana -- so drop by!

As a lady of a certain age, I have lived through some national emergencies. Oh, yes. I mean, 9/11 was the big one, I suppose, but I can recall three assassinations, riots, Superstorm Sandy, an Oil Crisis, a fistful of hurricanes, and the inability of Smarty Jones to win the Triple Crown. I think I know how to handle these dire events.

And, since I'm such a nice and accommodating person, I'll gladly pass along to you some handy survival tips!

I know y'all aren't completely ignorant about these matters. (My readers are quite the opposite, in fact the total opposite, of ignorant.) I don't need to tell you to stock up on batteries and have a battery-powered radio, a few sturdy, working flashlights, and food that can be eaten straight from the box or can. Oh yes, and a comprehensive first aid kit, plus plenty of your prescription medications, and a full tank of gas in your car.

However, I do often notice in national emergencies that people don't plan for an adequate water supply. It's all well and good to have bottled water (a gallon per person per day), but you don't want to flush the toilet with your drinking water! Take those storage bins in your basement, remove the tops, dump the contents, and put those puppies out in your yard to catch rain water. Don't let this emergency find you unprepared.

Since this current national emergency involves the invasion of multitudes of hostile foreign combatants, I'm going to swallow my good sense and everything I believe in, and I'm going to advise you to purchase a semi-automatic weapon and several thousand dollars' worth of ammunition. Listen, the armed services can only do so much. Emergencies like this call for citizen soldiers. The enemy, from what I hear, consists of hardened criminals who particularly love to kill unsuspecting white people. So don't be unsuspecting. Get a gun. Learn how to use it.

Locate and stock your nearest bomb shelter. (Yes, they still exist! There's one under my school!) Just because the invaders haven't used nuclear weapons yet doesn't mean they won't get around to it.

Be deeply suspicious of anyone who looks or sounds foreign. If you meet someone who has an accent, call Homeland Security immediately and give your GPS coordinates. We can't be vigilant enough in these trying times.

Be ready to defend your minor children, especially the girls. The invaders are known to engage in human trafficking. God forbid they snatch your child!

Tune your radio to a trusted news source. I recommend Rush Limbaugh. He's on at the same time every day, and he's already in a bunker, with a gun, and with rations to last years. You can count on him. He's already been there through thick and thin. Mostly thick.

All right, this last one is really difficult. I'll be the first to admit it. But in a national emergency, you can't be burdened with pet care. Since you don't want the invaders to snatch your beloved Fifi or Fluffy, it will be your duty to euthanize your pet. The sooner, the better. You may need to consume their food. If the electricity is still working, you should freeze your pet's carcass as a potential source of food. Waste not, want not.

Just because the United States of America hasn't been invaded since 1812 is no reason not to take this national emergency seriously. Remember, in 1863 the highly-trained and well-armed Confederate Army got the whole way to Gettysburg, Pennsylvania before being routed like egg-sucking dogs pulling back after a skirmish. You've got to take this seriously!

Look at you. Why are you laughing? Do I look like I find this funny? I could honestly get a jump on my outdoor water supply just by weeping. But chin up. This is no time for fear or failure. Just remember, we are the nation that whipped the Nazis.

Oh! But don't do any Nazi-whipping now! Those guys with the swastika flags? They're on our side.

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Interview with a Bored Goddess: Holda

It's staying light a little longer. Have you noticed? This morning when I set off for work, the sky was pearly and a few birds were chirping lustfully. All is well with the world.

But make no mistake. Winter is still well under way. Ask anyone in Washington State. They'll tell you. What better time to tender an invitation to Holda, bored (and misunderstood) Goddess of the Germanic peoples? Spread a few flax seeds, brew up some good lager, and She'll be only too glad to stop by. Please give a warm and wonderful "Gods Are Bored" welcome to Holda, the Winter Goddess!

Anne: All hail, great Snowy Goddess, vilified and persecuted by the Christians ... portrayed as a hateful hag, when really you are beautiful, nurturing, and helpful to humankind!

Holda: Yes, yes. That's me. Marginalized and misunderstood, like so many of my Sisters. Your cat has some mats in his fur. Shall I groom him?

Anne: What a kind offer! Please do. Oh, would you look at that! He never holds that still for me! Holda, I invited you here because I'm quite braced. I think you have a new praise and worship team!

Holda: Who, me? Couldn't be.

Anne: Want to see?

Holda: Yes sirree!

Anne: Aren't they beautiful? A gathering of women who are determined to nurture this nation!

Holda: They certainly have good taste in attire.

Anne: I thought of You the moment I saw them. There, I said, are acolytes of Holda, channeling Her snowy gowns and Her generous spirit.

Holda: How did they come to assemble in that place?

Anne: They came to listen to a despot who they plan to oppose. They chose the snowy white garments in honor of women's rights (and also to honor You).

Holda: I'm so touched! It gets tedious, you know, when the only white you see is on a bride.

Anne: I couldn't agree more ... but You have to admit it's a hard color to keep clean. These ladies aren't Goddesses. They have to be mindful of pesky stains. And yet they chose Your luminous shade. You should be proud.

Holda: I am! This is quite encouraging! What can I do to assist them?

Anne: All glory, laud, and honor to You for wanting to be helpful! Go, Holda, and sit among them. Be by their sides as they seek to restore balance to our troubled land.

Holda: You mean it? An assignment with dignity? I'll hop right on it!

Anne: No one is asking me, but what I think this modern nation needs is way more attention paid to ancient Goddesses. Go therefore, Holda. You're no ugly old hag trying to eat children! Show them how a Goddess does it. You're perfect for the job!

Holda: I accept. And in gratitude for the job, I'll send you a nice, bracing snowstorm.

Anne: With no sleet mixed in.

Holda: Hold the sleet, hold the freezing rain.

Anne: And ditch the wintry mix. We get that here all the time.

Holda: Snow it is for you, dear Anne. Deep, white, pure, and powerful.

Saturday, February 02, 2019

Imbolc 2019

It's 4:45 p.m. and still bright daylight, so we are making progress. However, my heart is heavy today. One of my students who I had three years ago died after a long and painful battle with cancer. His funeral service was today.

To me, there is nothing so heart-wrenching as burying a child. Life is no cakewalk, but we still prefer that everyone get a chance to muddle through it, at least past the age of 25. My student was 17.

I had him as a freshman, before his illness began. He was "that kind" of freshman boy, full of energy, lots of friends, and very little (actually none) interest in English class. So he wound up sitting right in the front, right by my desk, for most of the year. (I tend to do this with "those kind" of boys.)

This student told me he hated to read. He'd never found a book he liked. Then I handed him a few of my carefully curated young adult urban lit novels, and he started reading. I can still see him turning the pages, lost to the world, right in front, next to me.

Today his friends looked shell-shocked, and his family looked worse. No amount of faith in God and Jesus makes this easy to bear ... I'm sorry, that's just the way it is.

This young man had a beautiful smile and was full of antics. I'll miss seeing him cross the stage for his diploma this spring.

I petitioned the Orishas to find him and acquaint him with the Ancients of his line. For good measure, as I was in a Baptist church in downtown Camden, I asked Jesus to please allow this to happen.

May his ancestors greet him. May he find his way to the Ancestors in the Old World, before they were sent to these hostile shores.