Monday, March 30, 2020

Reply Here

I don't do Twitter. There's a reason. I can't curb my enthusiasm. Inevitably I would get in big trouble, because on Twitter the trolls are everywhere. 

But here, safely ensconced at "The Gods Are Bored," mostly among like-minded -- and therefore highly intelligent and enlightened -- people, I can post tirade after tirade.

So today I'm inaugurating a new recurring motif: Replying Here. When our sorry excuse of a commander in chief tweets some brainless drivel that heightens my ire, I'm going to post it here and then smack the shit out of it. This is my comfort zone, and I need to vent.

Today's Assault on Humanity comes from March 29, 2020.

Real Donald Trump on Twitter:

"Because the 'Ratings' of my New Conferences etc. are so high, "Bachelor finale, Monday Night Football type numbers" according to the @nytimes, the Lamestream Media is going CRAZY. "Trump is reaching too many people, we must stop him." said one lunatic. See you at 5:00 P.M.!

Anne's Reply:

For real, are you kidding me, you bone-headed, knuckle-dragging insult to everything Neanderthal? Where's your empathy? Oh, wait! I go way back, watching your antics. You lost your extremely limited supply of empathy during a coke binge at Studio 54 in 1978. A janitor sweeping up the next morning dumped it in the trash and didn't even notice, because it was so small.

Empathy is what we need right now. We need a leader who is actually a human being.


Nobody's asking you, Donald Trump, to stride in to an emergency room and kiss elderly women on ventilators. But you should be able to express something more than a brag-out about your television ratings! Oh, right. Maybe you did. Maybe there are 42 compassionate tweets that I don't know about. But it doesn't matter, you chimp! One stupid, ridiculous tweet like the above totally cancels out any sympathetic tweets you send.

Trump, you execrable egg-head, you are only as good as your worst tweet. You are president. You should think, and think hard, about the contents of each tweet. And if you can't think (there is abundant evidence of this), you should turn this task over to someone who can. Oh, wait. There's abundant evidence that you have surrounded yourself with toadies who don't think much either, if their wallets aren't in the game.

Repent, clueless tweeter! Take that ridiculous, unprotected cell phone and fling it into the Reflecting Pool. Your boasting has always added insult to injury, but right now it is intolerable.

From Anne Johnson

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Sacrificing Grandparents on the Altar of the Economy: A Rant

Did you see where the wealthy Caucasian lieutenant governor of Texas went on Fox t.v. and said that senior citizens would be willing to sacrifice their lives to keep the economy humming? He's 70 or some such himself, so of course he could speak for all the wealthy white motherfuckers loving grandparents out there.

Count me the fuck out, Tex. I'll hang on to my life, Dow Jones be damned.

There is hardly anyone alive now who can remember the Great Depression. My mother was a little kid in the 1930s, and if she were still alive she would be 95. But the point is, America made it through the Great Depression. Without killing grandma! Jesus, has nobody read the last chapter of The Grapes of Wrath?

This bonehead Texas lt. gov. had the bloody nerve to speak for all older Americans everywhere. What does he know about the many households that are headed by grandparents? I'll tell you: He knows squat. Bupkus. Nada. Less than zero. There are significant numbers of such households, including in his state.

And excuse me for pointing something out to this clueless moron, but he forgot to ask grandchildren if they value their jobs over their grandparents. That's a big omission! Oh my Bored Gods, the stories I could tell him about my students and the bonds they share with grandparents! I wish I felt comfortable telling you all about it, but it would violate my students' privacy. But what does an old white guy care about people of color in New Jersey? The economy! Jobs! Executive Compensation! Salaries! Asshole.

I can only talk about myself.

When I was a child, growing up in a household ravaged by mental illness and redneck mentality, my father's parents were a bastion of strength and sanity. My life would have unfolded entirely differently if I had not had them and their gentle care, their little mountain home, and their comfort.


That's me on the far right. Smiling.

In order to keep my grandparents from dying before their time, I would gladly have worn feed sacks and eaten potato peels, or stood in line for soup, or lost my job. What amount of money can you place on the lives of your grandparents?

This is not to say I would never be willing to sacrifice my life for my daughters. Pish, tosh! I certainly would! But the reason for that self-sacrifice would have to be more than the national economy. My daughters are already suffering from this recession, and they will continue to after the quarantine ends. But I have confidence in the sweep of history.  We will bounce back. And if it gets grim, if we find ourselves in a Great Depression, we will live as they did then. Sharing sacrifices.

I want to live to see my grandchildren, if at all possible, thank you very much you clueless moron of a lieutenant governor. A plague upon your house! Go ahead and sacrifice yourself. As for me and my house, we need each other more than that.

Monday, March 23, 2020

Names and Places

One night a few months ago, I heard the doorbell ring. Someone delivered a package to me from LL Bean. My name and address were on the front.

I told Mr. J, "I didn't order anything from LL Bean." But maybe someone sent me a gift out of the blue, for no reason? So I opened it. Inside was one of the ugliest shirts I've ever seen. You know that LL Bean look. Aggressively plain navy with some sort of snot-colored print. It was my size, though.

There was no gift card with it, but the invoice said the item had indeed been paid for.

So I called LL Bean. And surprisingly enough, after a very short wait, I got a real human being on the line. She read me the last 4 digits of the credit card used to purchase the ugly shirt. Not my card. Whew!

The question remained: Why did this hideous waste of cotton arrive on my doorstep? And then the customer service rep and I figured it out. The shirt belonged to the other Anne Johnson.

The other Anne Johnson lives down the street in the next block. (I notice her house is up for sale). Things used to get really mixed up between our two houses, but in recent years about all I've gotten is thank-you notes from the Boy Scouts.

I told the LL Bean customer rep that I would just schlep the item down to the other Anne Johnson. Which I did. She wasn't home. I left it in the mailbox.

Now it's just a few months later, and Mr. J and I find ourselves isolated in our house, with two daughters who hardly ever see eye-to-eye absolutely united in their demand that we not go out.

Bowing to the requests from the old kith-and-kin, Mr. J set out to order some groceries from the local store where we do the vast majority of our shopping. We can walk to this store from our house. But to get our asparagus and oranges delivered, we had to go through InstaCart.

At precisely 5:52 yesterday evening, InstaCart sent Mr. J a text message, reporting that our $100 of groceries had been delivered. Only they hadn't. Nor were they placed on the porch at any later hour, and they weren't here this morning.

My nimble fingers did a Google Maps search, and wouldn't you know it? There's another house with our exact address in the very next borough! When I called the house up on Maps, it was clearly and distinctly a single-family dwelling.

Someone else got my oranges. And InstaCart is out of the question, because Mr J spent 90 minutes on hold with them trying to sort this out ... and got nowhere. Never even talked to a human being.

I'm glad I stocked up on March 10, but I didn't buy any perishable fruits and vegetables. I didn't get cheese, either. Guess Mr. J and I will have to do without those luxuries. First world problems.

This is a mixed-up, fucked up country at the best of times. These are not the best of times.

Friday, March 20, 2020

Offer of Services

Hello and a hearty wave from a distance! It's another day at "The Gods Are Bored!" As of 4:00 this afternoon I will have been home bound for an entire week. It has happened before when I had babies and surgery. So far I'm okay.

I am posting the following message from my daughter The Fair. It is an offer of reasonably-priced services regarding web design and other tasks.

Her email is

Olivia Says:

Life update: I still have a job. I'm very fortunate to work for a company that cares about its employees during these trying times. Not everyone is that lucky and you should definitely give those people your business first. That being said, I am drastically having my hours reduced to keep the business afloat. I have a history with surviving on little but both due to needing something to do and to make sure I can keep up with my bills I'm re-opening my freelance services and I'm drastically reducing my prices to accommodate everyone's limited resources.
Here are some things I offer:
1. Website: Let me build your website! I can build you a website from scratch and teach you how to make edits on your own.
2. Graphic Design: Need a logo? Business Card? Resume Facelift? I can build a template for you so that you've got you a working copy you can continue to edit.
3. Social Media: Need some content? I can create that content. I can build posts and write copy for you. I can also show you how to use scheduling platforms and create a strategic plan for your profiles.
4. Copywriting: I have a degree in writing and can create content for you in no time at all. It doesn't matter what you want me to write. I'll write it.
Message me for rates. I'm going to be giving a HUGE discount to artists. I can also be flexible. Let's talk and I can see what we can do.

Thursday, March 19, 2020

Solitary Religious Service for a Time of Pandemic

           Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!" I'm Anne, always Anne, and today I'm offering some terrific free advice. We could all use something free right now.

In troubled times, religious worship takes on even more significance. I remember during 9/11, the churches were packed. Sadly, we can't pack ourselves into anything right now, even if we feel the need to access the Divine more than usual.

This is where solitary-practicing Pagans can lend a hand. This post is long because it contains the text of a ritual that I have practiced for a long time, doing all the roles. It's a broad and general ritual, which I will make even more broad by suggesting deities instead of leaving specific deities named.

Christian teens, you can totally do this! Just plug in "God." And take a good look at the rest of this, because it might have some real appeal.

If you're comfortable in your solitary practice, you go! I'm so happy for you.                                    

Ritual for Solitary Worship

If a specific speaker is identified, just read all those roles.

Herald:        By the Light of the Sun and Moon, by the Power of Sea and Stone, by the Beauty of Flower and Field, I will now undertake this moment of worship. This is my ceremony to honor the Gods, Ancestors, and Nature Spirits. 

Druid 1:       Let us take three breaths…
                        Together with the Earth beneath us…
                        Together with the Sky above us…
                        Together with the Sea around us…

Druid 2:       I have sought this holy light, in the Sun’s (or Moon's) sight, to celebrate this, a Rite of Worship. Let all disturbing thoughts be laid aside. May I be granted peace from all quarters, for only with peace can the work proceed.

Face East:              I salute the Hawk of Dawn, from which rises the warmth of the Sun. I call upon the Powers of the East. May there be Peace in the East!

Face South:           I salute the Great Stag in the heat of the chase, and the crucible of the Sun. I call upon the Powers of the South. May there Peace in the South!

Face West:             I salute the Salmon of Wisdom, who dwells within the sacred waters of the pool from which all rivers flow. I call upon the Powers of the West. May there be peace in the West!

Face North:           I salute the Great Bear lighting the darkened sky at night, whose path marks the fruiting of the bountiful Earth.  I call upon the Powers of the North. May there be Peace in the North!

Back to Center:                 May there be Peace throughout the whole world.

Druid 1:       Gods and Goddesses of this most sacred place, I ask for your blessings in this my  ceremony. I will recite the prayer that unites all Druids.

                 Grant, O Gods and Goddesses, thy protection, and in protection, strength,
                        And in strength, understanding,
                        And in understanding, knowledge,
                        And in knowledge, the knowledge of justice,
                        And in the knowledge of justice, the love of it,
                        And in the love of it, the love of all existences,
                        And in the love of all existences,
                        The love of the divine and all goodness.

Face in the direction of your choice:           Why do I come today to the Gods?

            I honor the power of the Gods in every season, as all times and seasons are important to the life of humankind. I celebrate growth, the dance of life, vibrancy shimmering through the day and night. I honor the sun in the sky, with its many faces, as it makes the transition from its northernmost rising at the summer solstice toward the south for the winter. I honor the waning of the year, the slide into darkness, the harvest home. I honor the Wheel of the Year.

Druid:            I will let my sickle down
                        As the nourishing ear is in my hand
                        I will raise my eye to the heights
                        I will turn on my heel to the right

Druid:                As the sun travels
                             From the eastern quarter to the west
                             From the northern quarter to the southern quarter
                             As the sun rests at center, I will honor the Gods.

Druid:        Let us meditate upon the things in our lives that nourish us, the things that we wish to preserve in troubled times. 

All: Meditate quietly.

Druid:  Think of how you can open yourself to that which would smooth you and soften your way as you pass along this challenging path. This is a time for meditation: for relaxing what is hard and sharp and becoming at peace with the elements of time and tide. Think of the power you have to protect yourself, and those things which are outside your control. Both of these are sacred. They are the way of the world.

At this time you address your deities personally, petitioning them for clarity or asking them to hold you and your loved ones in the Light. Any concerns or celebrations are acknowledged. Stay in the presence of the Divine as long as you like. You can kindle a bonfire, do a dance, some drumming or singing, or even make a craft. At the end of this period, complete the ritual as below.

Druid 2:      This time has passed; may it come again in the fullness of the year. As the celebration ends, let its fire be lit in my heart. May my memory hold what the eyes and ears have gained.

 (3 times) 
I swear, by peace and love to stand,
Heart to heart and hand in hand.
Mark, O Spirit, hear me now,
Confirming this, my sacred vow. 

 Three Awens or other closing spiritual exclamation

Druid 2:       May the spirits of the four directions be thanked for their blessings.


Face East:              In the name of the Hawk of Dawn, from which rises the warmth of the Sun;  I thank the Powers of the East.

Face South:           In the name of the Great Stag in the heat of the chase, and the crucible of the Sun, I thank the Powers of the South.

Face West:             In the name of the Salmon of Wisdom, who dwells within the scared waters of the pool from which all rivers flow, I thank the Powers of the West.

Face North:           In the name of the Great Bear lighting the Darkened Sky at night, whose Path marks the fruiting of the bountiful Earth, I thank the Powers of the North.

Return to Center:                 May the harmony of the land be complete.

Herald:         May the blessings of the Divine be always with us. I declare this ceremony is now closed in the apparent world. May its inspiration continue within my heart.

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Plague in the Time of Oligarchy

Back in the day, when a plague broke out, the rich would quickly gather their tots and their pets and hoof it to the old country estate, where they would be less likely to become infected. This is happening in America right now, rest assured. These rich fucks have bunkers in Montana or wherever. They're all set.

The rest of us are getting laid off, or our hours are reduced, or we've been downright fired. Or maybe you were looking for a job, and had your finger right on one ... and then this happened. Our nation's workers are being sucker-punched.

And as usual in America, the government is going to step in to try to help. It will be the stupidest Republican of all time who votes against stimulus that includes a basic income, a pause in college loan payments, and deferral of income tax.

How is our government going to pay for this? The bill will come due. Here's a modest proposal. Tax those rich bunker-dwelling motherfuckers! They are the reason the rest of us are living paycheck-to-paycheck in the first place.

In special circumstances like this, companies that are highly profitable should dip into those profits to help their workers. You think McDonald's doesn't have a bottomless pit of money somewhere? The C.E.O. should re-invest 9/10 of his salary and all his bonuses into private stimulus grants to employees. (Hint: He would still be crazy rich.)  Wal-Mart? Don't get me started. If justice prevailed, the Walton family would be announcing a vast employee assistance program, established with funds from their own personal fortunes.

Sadly, oligarchs have proven abundantly that they don't care how much pain and suffering they cause humanity. An opiate epidemic can claim 100,000 lives -- husbands and wives, beloved sons, daughters, nieces, nephews -- and the Sackler family will blithely collect fine art and yachts. They don't care who they kill.

It's time for ordinary Americans to demand that oligarchs care about the greater good.

Call this what you like: socialism, communism, whatever. I don't care. In the best case scenario, the ridiculously rich would voluntarily surrender wealth in service to the common good. In the next best scenario, the government would compel the billionaires to pay taxes.

In the worst case scenario, citizens will rise up and make the matter very, very personal. The two scenarios outlined above would be far better options.

Workers of the world, unite.

News Flash: You all know my daughter, The Fair, right? She just went from full-time employment to 12 hours a week. The Fair has mad skills. She can make or improve a web site for you. She knows how to market your product on social media. If there's anything of an online nature you've been wanting to do but aren't sure quite how, contact her!

I'll post more about Fair tomorrow.

Stay safe, only eat the rich!

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

New Feature: Recipes for Quarantine

Here at "The Gods Are Bored," we have identified a need for helpful recipes to get us all through this dangerous pandemic. I am very helpfully posting the recipe I prepared last night. I hope you have all the ingredients on hand.


1 frozen turkey from Thanksgiving promotion, thawed and roasted
1 tranquilizer in the benzodiazapine family (I used clonopin) whiskey can be substituted
jar of turkey gravy, or gravy you made when you roasted the turkey
frozen peas


1. Take the tranquilizer or imbibe the whiskey. This will be the only way your nervous stomach will accept food.
2. Put 2 cups cooked turkey in a pan with the gravy. Heat.
3. Make Bisquick biscuits according to recipe.
4. Cook peas according to recipe
5. Serve when you're calm enough to eat.

It is recommended that you do not watch television, most especially the nightly newscast, before you begin to prepare this recipe.

Hey, let's trade! If you have a pandemic recipe, post it in comments, or put it on your blog and let me know. We're all in this together.

Monday, March 16, 2020

Home for Quite A While

Hello and welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," CORVID-9 edition! Forget the coronavirus, I'm avoiding the crow-navirus!


Mr. J and I are in a high-risk group for the virus, so we are chilling at home for at least the next two weeks. I'm essentially an alarmist, so I stocked the freezer on March 7. I didn't stockpile more than Mr. J and I would need, though. That's despicable, doing that.

Even when I went on March 7 there was no bleach, no wipes, and no hand sanitizer. I did get a package of toilet paper, and let me just say...


I know some of you who donated paper and pencils to my classroom are wondering: How are my students going to do their schoolwork at home? There are indeed many kids at my school who don't have Internet, or only have smart phones. I made paper-based packets for all my students, and their work will go into writer's notebooks that we set up in September and use all year. I gave some precious loose leaf to the kids as well. No one should have to type a paper on a smart phone with their thumbs. And those assignments? They're based on personal choice books the kids took from my classroom -- books that y'all sent me. Books that they will want to read.

As you might imagine, being confined to my house means I'll have plenty of time to blog. I'm going to try to figure out how to set up a blog for my classroom that will be independent of this one. But I'm also going to get back up to speed on this one.

May the Bored Gods bless and keep you. Stay safe, maintain a distance at work, and remember to check Etsy for all the vendors you'll miss at your spring festivals!

Talk to you tomorrow, crow-navirus willing,


Thursday, March 12, 2020


On any given day, I miss living in the mountains. At certain times that general sadness blossoms into a deeper woe.

My grandparents lived 12 miles from the nearest convenience store and 25 miles from town. Their little cottage sat on the mountainside, and you couldn't see another house in any direction -- just mountains and forests.

Being that remote, my grandparents were ready to hunker down. They had shelves of canned goods and boxes of powdered milk and potato flakes. They had big jars of medicine and even cans of motor oil. It wasn't that they wanted to stay home all the time, it's just that frivolous trips to the store were a waste of time and gasoline.

I'm in the thick of coronavirus scare, and my store doesn't even have powdered milk. It's gross, I know, I know. But it serves a purpose.

Although I just ignored another birthday, and I feel like a spring chicken today, I had a whopper of a virus in January. I coughed for weeks. Worse than that, Mr. J had the same virus and developed pneumonia. He was in the hospital for two days.

The minute I heard "novel coronavirus" on the local news, I went out and bought a boatload of supplies. (Too late for hand sanitizer, but I'm not a fan anyway.) I stocked the freezer and the pantry and took some heat for it from picky Mr. J, who likes his foodstuffs minty fresh.

I have reason to believe my public school will be closed on Monday.

When Donald Trump was elected, I soothed myself by reading books about contagious diseases. The big ones, like smallpox and bubonic plague. Little did I know that this seemingly irrational choice of literature would be a cautionary tale. Not that the coronavirus is smallpox (which killed 3 of 10 who caught it), but if you're over 60 and have a history of pneumonia, it might as well be.

I think I have everything I need to live in this house for two weeks except one prescription that can be delivered.

There are people quarantined in my county. We have had one case confirmed.

As you might imagine, I'm sitting here thinking about the little cabin on the mountainside, bulging at the seams with foodstuffs and medicines, with rain barrels and kerosene lamps and pup tents and army blankets. Oh, to be at home once more!

Kind of hoping some bored deity will protect me, considering how much I do for Them. Okay, so I don't do much for them. But I used to, and they have good memories.

Wednesday, March 04, 2020

I Got It Done!

If you want to drop off the map, go to the hobby store and purchase a baby quilt kit. Your trembling hands will be busy for months and months. Finally, with the recipient a healthy 4 weeks old, the Great 2020 Baby Quilt is finished!


It's revealed now because it has been delivered. I did enjoy making it, because while it's a cheesy kit, it has a little bit of an edge to it. The elements kind of sneak out of their squares, and the central tulip spreads over two squares. I didn't put a back on it or any ruffles, because I wanted it to be light and portable, and washable (which it is).

I also didn't sign it because I didn't want to mess with its vibe.

I hope this pleases the Bored Gods. They let me live long enough to finish it, so there's that.