Wretched Excess

Posted by Princess Eva Angelica On 10:40 AM 0 comments
Maybe you won't agree with what I'm about to say, but I think the way people get married (or handfasted) says a great deal about their values.

You'll hear some women say, "This is my day, and I want it to be like a fairy tale -- perfect from start to finish." Yes, honey. Any one day can be like that. Now go live the rest of your life, wondering if you spent too much time planning a wedding and not enough time getting to know your groom.

You'll see men, bleary-eyed and wasted from bachelor parties featuring strippers and excessive drinking. If I'm a self-respecting woman, do I want to tie myself to someone who does this kind of thing?

But the worst offenders, in my eyes, are the people who turn weddings into playbooks for wretched excess. If you've got it, flaunt it. Right?

I'll bet you can guess where I'm going with this.

There's little clear fact clinging to Chelsea Clinton's nuptials. An anonymous spokesman for the family said the wedding cost "in the six figures." But other estimates, based on the people the Clintons have hired for planning, the venue, the designer creating the dress, the catering, etc., have placed the price tag at $3 million.

Either way, six figures or seven, this is the height of hypocrisy. It is vindicating my choice of Obama in the primary race (although we have yet to see how being president will mold Obama and his family).

You cannot run for president among blue collar workers, touting your own blue collar background, and then turn around and approve a million-dollar wedding at the summer playground of John Jacob Astor. This wretched excess sends a clear message to the American people that, while the price tag is chump change to you, at least you have the change. The people who voted for you don't.

I personally got up in the wee hours to watch Princess Diana's lavish wedding ... and enjoyed every minute of the ceremony. What's the difference between Diana and Chelsea Clinton? Diana was about to be a princess. With no genuine ties to the governance of England. This nation, although founded by wealthy white men, at least should give lip service to the "created equal" philosophy. If Chelsea Clinton has two sons who are not called "The Heir" and "The Spare" by the press, why should she cavort like a princess? Isn't she a ... democrat?

This is only my opinion, but the daughter of our Secretary of State should not be getting married in the style of royalty, surrounded by doting television celebrities and movie directors. It's bad form. It sends a message about our collective national values.

Last night I was reading in bed. I came upon the following paragraph, describing a diplomatic mission Benjamin Franklin undertook in March of 1776 to try to win Canadian support for American independence. Franklin was 70. It was March. The destination was Montreal.

"They rowed in a small boat up the Hudson, had to fight their way through ice on Lake George, landing frequently on shore to light fires and drink tea. They slept in the forest at night, two in the woods, Franklin on the boat. They had forgotten to bring camp cots with them. To get to Lake Champlain, they had to go through the woods by portage. It was agony for the gout-ridden septuagenarian. They had set out in March and arrived in Montreal at the end of April."

-- Triumph in Paris: The Exploits of Benjamin Franklin, by David Schoenbrun.

Later in that same year, 1776, Franklin sailed for Paris. That Atlantic sea voyage -- into the teeth of November gales -- almost killed him.

Franklin wouldn't have turned down an invitation to Chelsea Clinton's wedding. He liked his creature comforts. But would there be anyone at the wedding with whom he cared to converse? Any scientists, any economists, any philosophers? Oh well, I would imagine Bill Gates and Warren Buffet are both going to be there. So maybe our founding father would have amiable companions, even though he might find himself seated next to Barbra Streisand for the wedding toast.

My point is that Benjamin Franklin struggled for this country, putting his body and fortune equally at the mercy of a long-odds cause. Would our Clinton family do this? Or are they rather behaving like the final residents of Versailles, oblivious in a protective cocoon of privilege?

Bad form. A shameless spectacle behind closed doors. Where cake will be served.

Greetings from Asbury Park

Posted by Princess Eva Angelica On 11:31 AM 0 comments
Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," New Jersey at its finest since 2005! Baby, we were born to run!

Two months ago, my daughter The Heir turned 21. Her request for a birthday gift was simple enough. She wanted to go spend the day in Asbury Park, NJ.

The Heir does not particularly like Bruce Springsteen. She simply had seen some pictures of Asbury Park portraying it as a Jersey Shore destination that is down on its luck. Anything crumbling, deserted, rotting, or just plain weird is candy to The Heir. She adores New Jersey because it's chockablock with crumbling, deserted, rotting, and extremely weird locations.

I'm actually very partial to The Boss and his music, although not to the extent that I've ever tried to get a ticket to one of his concerts. Nevertheless, I thought it would be splendid to biff off to Asbury Park for a day amidst the crumbling ruins.

Little did I know how easy it is to get to Asbury Park from Chateau Johnson. You'll think I'm kidding, but literally, you turn out of our street, turn right at the second stop light, and go straight. Absolutely straight. Not a single turn. When you come to the beach, you're in Asbury Park.

Some people like their shore destinations to be bustling with tourists and shops and candy stores and amusement parks. I began to like Asbury Park the minute I saw the shoreline. First thing, it was ridiculously simple to find a parking space. No driving around for hours or trying to shove the economy car into a spot big enough for a bicycle.

I pulled into the parking space. I said to The Heir, "I wonder how far we are from the Stone Pony. I would like to see it before we go home."

The Stone Pony was across the street from the parking space. Literally.

Heir was correct that Asbury Park features some crumbling structures, but it also has some charming architecture from the early part of the previous century. Another feature I loved about the place was the proximity of the surf to the boardwalk (always good except for during Nor'Easters) and the affordable beach tag price. The boardwalk wasn't crowded, nor was the beach -- but there were people, and shops, and pubs.

Best of all, Heir and I found a charming pinball parlor where you paid by the hour and not by the game. It was all pinball -- none of those hideous modern killer games that give off such bad vibes. Each vintage pinball machine had a little poster on top of it with the history of that model, the year it was designed, the artist, and how many units were made. There was a hotdog stand with old 1960s-era tables. And the place just radiated happiness and good energy. Heir and I both love pinball, so we could easily have stayed longer than the hour we bought.

The weatherman had predicted thunderstorms, and as we sat on the beach I was able to teach Heir how to see rain on the horizon and how to judge how long until a thunderstorm hit. She was baffled that I made her run to the indoor pier, but just as I warned, the hard rain began practically the moment we got a roof over our heads.

On the way home, Heir and I stopped at an eatery called "The Circus Drive-In." From the street it looks like a round circus tent with clowns dancing on top. The sign outside consisted of a neon clown face. To Heir this was heaven. Okay, already, to each his own! The food was good, and cheap. Then we drove straight home -- I mean, straight home -- to Snobville.

Asbury Park proved to be the perfect place for Heir and me to sit and stare at the surf and talk about matters both large and small. Thanks to the unstable air mass, the day was breezy, cloudy and cool. Couldn't have asked for better beach weather or a more pleasant seaside beach, if you happen to be Anne Johnson.

When my life gets rough and I need to recall pleasant days and the glory of my daughter and her infamous, ongoing immersion in the weird, I will return to this post and think of the sea monsters carved on the ancient pier at Asbury Park. I'll think of the squat little bar that launched Bruce Springsteen into a deserved career. I'll think of a tattoo convention and of teenagers practicing their skateboard moves. I'll think of the lights and bells in the old pinball machines and the glowing neon clown sign. I'll show a little faith, there's magic in the night.

A Counter Spell That's Working

Posted by Princess Eva Angelica On 10:41 AM 0 comments
Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," mixing magick, mayhem, and mirth since 2005! I'm your host, Anne Johnson, author of The Porpoise Driven Life. Everything you would want to know about my attempts to build a theme park for dolphins that would feature humans tap-dancing for cheeseburgers.

It only takes a handful of evildoers to stir up a very caustic black magick spell. That's exactly what Fred Phelps and his band of dirty demons of the Westboro Baptist Church are doing, even though he would argue vigorously to the contrary. It's certainly not novel to suggest that a deity is behind the death of soldiers, but the idea that the deity is letting the soldiers die because certain fellow citizens are homosexual ... Mmmm. Well, let's just say I'm glad it's the busy god who's taking the heat for these haters, and not some poor bored god already down on His or Her luck.

But we all know the Threefold Law, right? Fred Phelps, meet the counter spell of goodness that you have wrought!

It's probably been five or six years now since the Patriot Guard was formed, and a little less since the Warrior Watch started. These two groups are composed primarily of Vietnam vets, along with anyone else who likes to wave the American flag while driving a Harley. The Patriot Guard and the Warrior Watch both attend military funerals to keep a human barrier between grieving families and the Westboro demons. One look at these men and women is enough to know you wouldn't want to get on their bad side for any reason, let alone for disrespecting a fallen soldier.

Monday I saw these groups in action for the first time.

It's hard for me to imagine that Vietnam veterans are starting to die from the illnesses that take us in late middle age. One of my co-workers lost her husband to cancer. He was a Marine during the Vietnam War. The Patriot Guard/Warrior Watch showed up at his viewing, funeral, and burial.

I went to the viewing, but I was doggoned if I was going to sit through a funeral Mass. Thus I found myself outside the church, observing the Patriot Guard as they prepared to escort the deceased to his final resting place. It turned out I knew one of the guys. He's the yearbook photographer at my school. We started up a conversation while the tough-looking PC/WW dudes set up their honor guard.

I said, "What a world, that we've come to this. People can't even grieve their loved ones without protection from lunatics."

This is what the Patriot Guard member said in reply:

"You know what? It's actually a good thing. So many of these guys say it's healing for them to perform this service. They've bonded with each other, and they know they're doing a good thing. And it helps to blunt their own leftover pain."

And thus the vorpal blade goes snicker-snack ... and black magick begets healing! What an amazing counter spell! You don't have to be a Pagan to see the alchemy in this. Especially if you're the same age as me, and you can remember how those Vietnam vets were treated when they came back from that savage war.

Reader, you should have seen that funeral procession. It was headed by four dozen Patriot riders, all of them flying large American flags from their motorcycles. From the distance they looked like a mad dance of red and white ribbons atop a float of shiny chrome.

I'm not one to wave the American flag with mad passion, but for some people the act of doing it restores their souls. Forget the politics of the Vietnam War ... the guys doing the grunt work couldn't change it any more than the poor souls on patrol in Afghanistan. What's happening now is that former soldiers are protecting their own from haters. To me this is a righteous thing, a holy thing, a sowing of goodness to offset evil.

As I left the cemetery, some of the Patriot Guard were leaving as well. I saw one grizzled dude turn to another and say, "Well, see you next time."

So mote it be.

Free Advice on Thawing Frozen Turkey

Posted by Princess Eva Angelica On 12:49 PM 0 comments
Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," and our popular ongoing series of free advice! Visit often -- maybe someday you'll actually find something useful. Or not. No guarantees.

Today we're talking turkey, both the gobbler kind and the vulture kind. Sit back as our story unfolds.

Every year, our local Acme Market gives away frozen turkeys to any customer who spends $300 in a certain number of weeks. I'm not sure if it's six weeks or eight, but I shop there all the time, so I never fail to qualify for a frozen turkey. What I love about this giveaway is that I can get a turkey, keep it frozen, and heave it out when the weatherman predicts a blizzard. Call it my Appalachian DNA, but there's something soothing about knowing you've got a big-ass frozen turkey on hand as a contingency plan.

If you buy frozen turkeys, you know that the advice on how to thaw them is printed on the plastic wrap that coats their poor icy carcasses. "Do not thaw frozen turkey at room temperature. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator, or run cold water over turkey for two hours."

Ever tried either one of those tactics, reader? Ever wake up on Thanksgiving morning to a rock-solid frozen turkey that was supposed to be thawed after an overnight stay in the fridge? Have you ever wasted a reservoir of water trying to soften the thing up, only to wind up facing a hungry family with nothing more than cranberry sauce and sweet potato casserole?

Don't try this at home, but my mama (may she rest in peace among the Confederate dead) just sat the frozen turkey on the counter top to thaw. Then she cooked it, and we ate it, and none of us died from it or even got sick. As I say, though, don't take chances! Here's where the free advice comes in.

Thaw that bird at least five days in the fridge, and then don't be surprised if it's still rock-solid inside. Free advice, freely given, all hail free!

Now you're asking, "Anne, dear, why are you talking turkey in July? Wouldn't this be best left for early November?"

Yes, of course this would be best left until early November, but that would be logical. I hope you didn't come here for logic! If you did, you took a wrong turn somewhere.

I'm talking turkey now because last week along the mighty Chesapeake Bay I made my annual donation to the local vulture population. I shoved a big frozen turkey (sans plastic wrap) into a soybean field near our Bed and Breakfast inn.

(Last year's donation was a fresh roadkill possum, adult, that hadn't even drawn flies. But one cannot always be this lucky.)

Picture a 15-pound frozen turkey, lying in a soybean field under the bright sunshine, with the temperature hovering at 97 or higher. How long will it take to thaw?

By my unscientific calculations, any frozen carcass would thaw rapidly under such conditions. I figured two, maybe three hours. But judging by the behavior of the local vulture population, that frozen turkey took 24 hours to gain any notice at all, and another 8 hours before it got consumed. By contrast, I heaved last year's dead possum into the same field at about 8:00 in the morning and found nothing but a spine and a tail (and much vulture down) at 2:30 the same day.

Of course you could argue -- and I wouldn't dispute you -- that roadkill possum is a familiar dish to the Golden Purifiers, and Acme frozen turkey is exotic fare. Still, vultures aren't very picky about what they eat. Think about it: It took one whole day of 97 degrees sunshine, followed by a night where the temperature did not drop under 80, and then half of another 97-degree day, before the turkey vultures found their treat.

Keep this in mind the next time your local grocery store lets you walk out with a free frozen turkey. The thawing directions are bogus. Don't expect a quick turnaround time. Let the vultures of St. Michaels, MD be your guide, and plan accordingly.

Our ushers will now pass the plate. Dig deep.

(*snort* I hope this starts popping up in Google searches on this topic, but I doubt it will.)

Free Advice on Beach Reads from Anne

Posted by Princess Eva Angelica On 2:51 PM 0 comments
Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!" Have book, will travel! Today's topic is beach reads.

Most of us, when we go on vacation, like our surf-side literature to be as fluffy as the cotton candy on the boardwalk. This explains the perennial popularity of Nora Roberts. If her novels aren't the literary equivalent of cotton candy, I don't know what is.

Are you a huge fan of Nora Roberts, and thereby offended by what I just wrote? My friend, your difference of opinion doesn't change my respect for you one bit! Of all the pleasurable experiences out there, reading is the most self-directed. And thank goodness for that. Variety is the spice of life. We would have much less of it if reading was like golf, something you have to learn to do just like other people do it.

Last summer my sister gave me two "beach reads." I read and hated them both. One was the award-winning The Blind Assassin, by Margaret Atwood. The book kept me turning pages, but in the end I just didn't like it. In return, I gave her one of my favorite beach reads, Elsewhere in the Land of Parrots, by Jim Paul. She's never mentioned it, so I'm guessing she tried it and didn't like it. Oh well. I just hope she gives it back.

This past week when we were at the beach (sort of, see below), my daughter The Heir said she didn't have anything to read. She and her dad went into Easton, and she returned with her brand-new beach read: Junky, by William S. Burroughs. She sat there engrossed in it for the duration of our vacation.

See what I mean? Who picks Junky for summer reading? The Heir! You go, Heir. Read all about it, just don't try it. That's the whole point of a beach read ... to let us live vicariously.

There are two universally adored summer reads that I have not been able to penetrate past page 100 ... and not for lack of trying. One is The Mists of Avalon. The other is Twilight. Length is not an issue. The Thorn Birds, weighing in at a whopping 689 pages, is a personal favorite. I just couldn't become engaged in Mists or Edward Cullen. But go figure -- I've read every page of every Harry Potter volume. Sometimes I like the popular stuff, sometimes I hate it.

Here's my free advice on beach reading, just in time for your getaway.

1. Know what you've liked in the past. Nowadays, with Amazon at your fingertips, it's easy as pie to find similar authors to those you already love.

2. Ask people who have your personality type. I discovered one of my favorite authors, Carl Hiaasen, by borrowing a book from a totally unscrupulous local doctor with a sick sense of humor. Judging by the recommender, I knew what I was getting when I opened my first Hiaasen. I've since read every one of Carl Hiaasen's novels. Beach reads par excellence, according to Anne.

3. Vacation is not the time to strengthen your intellectual muscles. There's nothing quite so dismal as being stranded in a hotel room on a rainy day with nothing but Gravity's Rainbow for company.

4. Don't be embarrassed if you hate to read! It's your vacation. You can spend it in the library playing Farmville. Be proud of your strawberries!

5. Beach reads don't have to be books. Gosh, Heir's August issue of Rolling Stone just arrived, and I could for sure go to the beach with that puppy. There's an article in it about the BP oil spill. And a profile of Leonardo DiCaprio. I can't believe Rolling Stone is still so trippy after all these years. Leo on one page, dead pelicans on the next. It's like Hunter Thompson never died.

6. This may be a personal prejudice, but beach reads ought to be easily replaced without a trip to the poorhouse. No Kindles, no signed first editions (fine, in fine dw), no ebooks on your latest Droid. The person who steals your beach read in this case might not actually be taking it for content.

7. Don't travel light! If you're a picky reader, take along three or four (or more) books. Sample each one and stick with the one you like the best. I wish I had taken this advice myself when I was at the beach last week. I had a perfectly delightful history of Benjamin Franklin's diplomatic mission to the court of Louis XVI, but I passed it over for a more conventional beach read that turned out to be disappointing.

8. While on vacation, do something! Hike, swim, tour, ride a roller coaster. Do stuff you can't do at home. If you're at the beach, reading is fine -- but you should also take your chances with the sharks and play in the arcades. Because if your idea of vacation is to curl up with a good book, you should just stay home. With all the money you save, you can buy more books!

As always, this advice is offered for free. Of course, if you would like to make a donation, the ushers will be circulating with the collection plate.

What's your favorite beach read? Mine, along with the aforementioned Elsewhere in the Land of Parrots, is Stormy Weather, by Carl Hiaasen.

Back from Bay, Found That Beach!

Posted by Princess Eva Angelica On 6:31 PM 0 comments
Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," home safe and sound after another pleasant week alongside the mighty Chesapeake Bay! Yes, there's nothing quite like watching the sun set behind Kent Island amidst a balmy 97-degree evening. I am not saying it was hot there. It was hell there. When it's too hot to go kayaking, how much hotter can it get?

This is how hot it was. By Friday I was back in search of the elusive Claiborn Beach, bound and determined to find it. And I did! I credit a kindly local lady who told me how to get there -- exactly -- if I promised not to walk on her lawn. She did, I didn't, and -- voila! The public beach.

Claiborn Beach (deliberately misspelled) is a teeny tiny little spit of sand, liberally laden with oyster shells. The shells are hard to walk across in order to get into the water, but once you're in the drink, past the shoreline, you've got a sandy bottom. As in many parts of the Chesapeake, this shallow, sandy strand extends out into the water several hundred yards. You could literally wade two or three football fields in length out into the water before it got even up to your armpits.

You could, that is, except for that evil nemesis of the Chesapeake, the sea nettle.

Sea nettles are white, sheer jellyfish that range in size from a marble to a parasol. Once you've made an acquaintance with a sea nettle, you are no longer inclined to bathe in the mighty Chesapeake ... unless the temperature is a balmy 97 under cloudless skies.

How can I describe the sting of a sea nettle? It hurts. And not in just one little spot, like a wasp sting. It hurts wherever the tentacles touch. During my memorable bout with this vicious spineless Kraken, it got wrapped around my arm and stung me from shoulder to wrist. I yelped like a pup.

When the temperature is about to give you a heat stroke, however, you have to weigh the dangers of the Kraken against the knowledge that your hours are numbered if you don't cool off. So we plunged reluctantly into the surf -- self, Spare, Mr. J -- all three of us keeping vigilant watch for jellyfish.

We never ventured more than 15 feet from shore. Even there, several Krakens chased us back to the beach.

On such a bloody hot day, that little beach should have been filled with people. We were the only fools there. This was a good thing, however, because -- in addition to the much-needed cool-down -- I wanted some sea glass. And the bay gave liberally.

Have you ever seen sea glass? I love it. Let me explain what it is. Sea glass is a piece of a beer bottle, or other glass item, that somehow found itself in the bay. The sand scours the glass, removing all the sharp edges and dulling the sheen.

For some time now, I have felt that sea glass is a metaphor for my life. I once was all sharp edges, and crystal clear, and I could make people bleed by my pointy shards. Now I've been rounded and dulled. I'm calm. I won't hurt you, and my beauty lies in the changes time has wrought on me. Anne Johnson = sea glass.

Spare and I combed the beach and, in 30 minutes, found two handfuls of pretty sea glass. Oh! I wish I could go there every day, and then learn how to wrap the beautiful sea glass in wire for necklaces! Every person of a certain age should own a piece of sea glass, just to remind them that it's good when the sharp edges get erased by the sands of time.

Claiborn Beach is notable for sea glass, so whenever I can get down to the Chesapeake again, I'm going to search for more. I would like to be able to offer you a piece, reader, when I get a stable supply.

In the meantime, beware the "sea glass" sold at craft stores. It's factory made. Real sea glass is the color of ... well ... of glass. Most of it is milky white, or semi-clear, or the dark bronze so coveted by beer drinkers.

I'm glad I found some sea glass without getting stung in the process. I'm glad I found that beach. The prettiest places are hidden just at the edge of obscurity. You almost need to be sea glass to find it.

When It Pays To Be Lost

Posted by Princess Eva Angelica On 4:08 PM 0 comments
Left-handed people are lousy with directions. I'm left-handed, so I know. I get lost all the time.

Take today, for instance. I'm still down here with the nuclear family along the shore of the mighty Chesapeake Bay.

In some places the bay has beaches, but not everywhere. Much of its shoreline is rip-rap, some of the rest is eroding bluffs, and then there are the piers, and boat launches, and slips, and marinas, and over-built waterfront properties.

The place we stay has a swimming pier, but you have to climb down a ladder into the murky depths -- in which hide jellyfish just waiting for human flesh to sting.

Ever so much better to go to a beach.

There is a very small public beach in the area. Trouble is, it's hard to find. Once I tried for two hours to find it, unsuccessfully. Today (the temperature hovering around 95), Heir, Spare and I set out in search of the beach again.

This time I had directions from a townie at the pub. Take the right side at the Y, follow the road to the end, turn left, then you'll see a little lane that looks like a private road. The beach is at the end of that road.

Off we went in my little economy car with the helpful New Jersey license plates. Round and round we drove in the tiny community of Claiborn, asking residents, recreational boaters -- where's the beach? Hunting for street signs, always winding up at the boat slip, ask another boater -- WHERE'S THE BEACH? Finally we found a good ol' boy getting his crab boat out. He showed us where the beach was. We were one little spit of land to the left of it (ooops, I mean right). Then he said, "There are homes back there now. The owners will tell you you're trespassing if you want to use the beach. They're wrong, it's a public beach, but they have dogs and attitude."

I'm not easily cowed, so I got in the car and drove down the road, which was well-peppered with "no trespassing" and "private property" signs. And it was just as the crabber said. We could see the beach between high-end waterfront homes, but we could also see Cheney wannabes sizing us up for the kill.

This was the first time ever that I was in a situation where you can't get there from here.

But this dilemma of being lost, of driving around fruitlessly for hours... That I know. Happens all the time. As I said, I get lost easily.

So, sweaty and feeling cheated, my offspring and I came back to the B&B. And there I overheard an earnest conversation between the owner of the B&B and a kind missionary trying to drum up funds for work in Africa.

My regular readers know exactly what I think of missionaries, especially those who go meddling in Africa. And this one sounded like a pharmaceutical salesman. Apparently the B&B owner has given generously in previous times, but the mission has changed leadership, and our host is no longer digging deep. So the missionary was giving her the hard sell. Much of it had to do with handing out pamphlets and Bibles, but some of it was scarier -- like his description of the actual crucifixion that his flock somehow staged in his absence. Or some such, I was not close enough to hear much.

What I did hear was the B&B host. She said, "I just think the money should go to the Lost."

To which the missionary emphatically agreed, but with caveats about administrative budgets and travel and Bible-buying.

But it was that word "lost" that stuck in my mind. Presumably, the "Lost" are those who aren't Christians.

Well, folks, I've been lost many, many times in my life, but this is the first time when being Lost was not just a good thing, but a great thing. Tra la la! I'm Lost! Hopefully without a trace.

If missionaries want to find me, they can start looking at Claiborn Beach. It's ever so easy to find.

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FTLOFF: The War on Acronyms

Posted by Princess Eva Angelica On 10:45 AM 0 comments
Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," still broadcasting from the shore of the mighty Chesapeake Bay. What a lovely spot. Today the weather is fine, and I wish you were here.

Last evening, Mr. Johnson and I stopped by a local eatery to get some soft shell crabs. The sign in front of the dining establishment said "AUCE Crabs Mon-Thur."

Mr. Johnson said, "What are auce crabs?"

Then and there, I declared The Great Gods Are Bored War on Acronyms!

It was bad enough when crabs were "All U Can Eat." But "AUCE?"

This has gottten OOH (out of hand). FTLOFF (for the love of fruit flies), are we descending into the Orwellian nightmare of 1984, just 26 years behind schedule?

Well, here at The Gods Are Bored, we have occasionally acronymed our title. No more! When you come here, everything will be spelled out for you in that sweet, old-fashioned way! Down with acronyms! The pox take all acronyms! A plague upon the house of all acronyms!

In other news, we at The Gods Are Bored were driving some back roads here in the wilder parts of the Chesapeake, and we found the residence of the FVPOTUS.

See what I mean about acronyms? The devil's spawn, I say!

Laugh out loud, just kidding smiley face, see you later! Best friends forever. Ta ta for now.

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The Chesapeake Bay Can Bite Me

Posted by Princess Eva Angelica On 8:09 AM 0 comments
Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," from the fine lands sacred to the Nanticoke Peoples! We are long-distance blogging from the shores of the Chesapeake Bay.

The word "Chesapeake" derives from a Native American tongue. Roughly translated, it means "Water filled with stuff that bites and stings."

Mr. Johnson was born and raised in these parts, and it's no wonder he's a reluctant swimmer. He can drive a boat, but he's pretty ungainly in the water. His grandmother, who lives right on the water, never learned to swim at all.

Water, water everywhere, but don't go in the drink!

There is a swimming pier here at the pretty B&B where we stay. This morning I went to take a look-see on the pesky issue of sea nettles.

For those of you who live inland, let me describe sea nettles. They float like jellyfish (which they are) and sting like a hoard of rabid wasps. You just don't want to see one of those things being tossed your way on a balmy wave. Trust me on this. I had an intimate conversation with one two years ago, and it's still fresh in my mind.

Today, gazing from the pier, I didn't see a single sea nettle. "Oh, good!" thinks I. "Time for a dip!"

Alas, just as I turned away with a refreshing swim on my mind, I caught a glimpse of another nemesis of the bay, the common blue crab. A sea nettle can sting you, but a blue crab can rip a hole in your flesh. This is why I have no compunction about eating big heaps of them, steamed and spiced.

Upon further investigation, I noticed that someone had sunk a single crab trap about 30 feet from the ladder off the swimming pier. It's open invitation for crabs today in the old swimming hole.

Gotta face facts. This waterway bites. Even the minnows gnaw on you.

Nevertheless, the vista is swell, and there's a breeze, and plenty of shady hemlocks to sit under, and cheerful sailboats dotting the waves. And inland ... ah, sweet flat inland ... there are plenty of buzzards who will gratefully consume anything one buys for them and flings into the field.

Wherever there are vultures, life is good.

Annual Trek

Posted by Princess Eva Angelica On 8:29 AM 0 comments
Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!" Some like it hot. They must be liking at maximum force this summer.

Every year 'round about this time, the intrepid Johnson family leaves Snobville for a brief respite along the shores of the mighty Chesapeake Bay. There we lie on chaise lounges drinking iced tea while watching the sailboats glide by. In the evening we drive into St. Michaels, which is basically Snobville except with a waterview.

I used to bemoan the missed opportunities to write these little posts while sunning along the mighty Chesapeake. But since there's absolutely nothing to do there except lounge around, it's a simple matter to go to the St. Michaels library, get a pass, and go online.

If I had my choice, we would vacation in the mountains. But the mere mention of this possibility would bring instant and wholesale opposition from the nest. So I have stopped worrying and learned to love the bay.

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How Modesty Will Keep Me Thin This Summer

Posted by Princess Eva Angelica On 2:34 PM 0 comments
Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," coming to you today with much weeping and gnashing of teeth.

Well, not exactly. I don't know how to gnash my teeth. Do you know how to do it? Post a YouTube! It's a talent I wish I had.

Readers of yesteryear will remember that our local ice cream man was not, in fact, a man but a bored god related by blood ties to Adonis. At least it seemed that way. The dude was so doggone handsome that the stars in the sky developed a taste for soft serve. The very sound of his annoying truck ditty would bring every female on the block sprinting from her home, digging into the folds of her sweatpants for quarters while taming the wild wisps of her bangs with trembling fingers.

You think I'm kidding. I'm not. All three of us -- Heir, Spare, and me -- would fight to be the first one out the door to see the ice cream man. My sister came to visit for a day. She saw him. She's talked of nothing since. Pinky swear on my mama's grave amongst the Confederate Dead: That ice cream man was the best-looking male human on the planet.

I say was. I should say is. He hasn't died. He has just become the victim of modesty.

I'm trying to imagine how this individual could get up and look in the mirror every day and say, "Damn, I'm not a bad looking dude. Maybe that's why I sell so much ice cream in the summertime."

Instead, the guy quit his day job, bought five Mister Softee ice cream trucks, and is now managing them.

Spare and I found this out the hard way yesterday, when we heard the ice cream truck ditty and sprinted for the curb. We shaded our hands from the sun's glare ... was it our man? Slowly, slowly the truck advanced.

It wasn't our man. It was a different man. An ordinary mortal who wasn't even very good at dishing out ice cream. I bought one small, for the Spare. If it had been our former Adonis of the Ice Cream World, I would have bought one for Spare, one for myself, and tipped him a buck or two. (Yes, I did that. Many times. You had to be there to understand.)

Over the past few summers, I bought and drank quite a few milkshakes. These are not good for the waistline. But I never bought them because I like soft serve from an ice cream truck. I bought them for that moment when I could ogle the ice cream dude.

Now that the opportunity to ogle has passed, so has my taste for milkshakes. Heir and Spare feel the same way. I bet many of the dude's former customers have similar cases of Adonis withdrawal that they are not medicating with truck-dispensed soft serve.

The sad thing is that this promising young entrepreneur entered into a business venture without taking into consideration that it wasn't the product he was selling that was making him rich -- it was the seller. There are four ice cream parlors in Snobville, and all four of them have better ice cream than you get from a truck.

One man's lack of vanity has been his undoing. Damn! He should have handed out anonymous customer surveys before quitting a day job and buying into a subpar franchise!

Do you think, when the profits plunge and he's earning less from five trucks driven by others than he did from one he drove himself, he'll finally look in the mirror and say, "I'm not a bad-looking dude. Maybe people bought ice cream from me just to see me!"

Modesty: refreshing or ruinous? You make the call.

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Look! Up in the Sky!

Posted by Princess Eva Angelica On 4:23 PM 0 comments
Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!" Are you ready for some praise and worship? You are? Well, WOOT!

(WOOT is the new Hallelujah. Change with the times, already!)

It's high time ... and I mean high time ... that we had a friendly interview with a bored god. Honestly, you'd think we'd forgotten our mission statement or something.

The bored god we've invited today can get out of hand sometimes and be quite destructive. But you know what? Life and death being what they are, if you get killed by this God's work, it won't be the worst way to go.

The God in question is Catequil, sacred to the Inca peoples. Please give a warm, wonderful "Gods Are Bored" welcome to Catequil! WOOT!

Anne: Catequil, you were busy here in New Jersey yesterday. Your thunderclouds flooded every major artery that I needed to travel in order to pick The Heir up from her job.

Catequil: Hey. Wait a minute. I thought this was "praise and worship!" Are you complaining?

Anne: Not on Your eternal life, I'm not! I swear I could hear the plants in my back yard drinking up the water. We needed every drop of that inch-and-a-half rainstorm.

Catequil: Thank you. I endeavor to give satisfactory deluges.

Anne: Job well done, Mighty God! But you know, Catequil, I think all the NORADS and Dopplers and such have taken some of the magic out of sky-gazing. People still get all steamed up over stars and eclipses and meteor showers (I'm guilty as charged on that), but I think the fine mystical experience of cloud-watching has not gotten its share of press.

Catequil: Here's what I have to say to that!

Anne: Now, now. This is not how to win friends and influence people! I'm trying to interest my readers in the finer arts of cloud appreciation. In order for me to do that, you need to be less confrontational and more "with the flow."

Catequil: Oh, no one understands cloud-gazing anymore! In the eons before barometers, radar, and telegraphs, wise men and women interpreted the clouds and could thereby predict the weather. Nowadays even the school children don't learn about Cumulonimbus and Stratus clouds!

Anne: I learned them.

Catequil: In an elective high school science class.

Anne: That was a chippin class, Catequil. You see? I don't remember much about the 1970s, but I do remember Mr. Brown teaching us about cloud types. Combine that with all the afternoons spent lying on a blanket on Polish Mountain, staring up at the ....

Catequil: Don't you dare say clouds! I know you were buzzard-watching!

Anne: It's a big sky. Clouds, buzzards ... all is good. If I may be serious for a moment...

Catequil: Go ahead and try. I'd like to be in on this "first."

Anne: I just want to praise You and thank You, O holy Catequil, for the dramatic pre-thunderclouds and fully-formed thunderclouds, and shift-shaping Nimbus clouds, and puffy soft Cumulus clouds that you blew across the horizons of my life this week. I absolutely marveled at Your creations. Yes, modern science can explain every little twist and turn of colliding pressure systems, but the human eye -- and the human heart -- can still thrill to the miracle of clouds.

Catequil (scornful): Now your airplanes fly right through them.

Anne: Yes, but to me this does not diminish their greatness. It only provides humble humans with a different perspective on a holy creation.

Catequil: I'm starting to like you.

Anne: Well, I've always loved You, and I always will. Let me bore You with one little naval gaze before you head over to Africa.

Catequil: I've got time.

Anne: Glad to hear it. Okay, so here's the story:

Our house on Polish Mountain looked out to the west, and so did Uncle Earl's. Uncle Earl had a better view, but basically we all knew when a thunderstorm was coming ... We could literally watch it cross over Warrior's Ridge and advance up the valley and overtop the houses.

One evening, a whopper of a thunderstorm came roaring through just minutes before sundown. As it passed over, the sun came out on the far side of it. The setting sun turned everything -- everything -- magenta. Then crimson. Then lilac. Then violet. The clouds were magenta, and the weeds in the pasture were magenta!

We were all bustling around. Grandma and I were clearing the dinner dishes, Granddad had gone to the shed. But when those colors started turning the world into a natural Purple Haze, everything just ground to a halt, and we stood there admiring Your work, O mighty Catequil!

As soon as the magic sunset passed, and the thunder roared off to the east, Uncle Earl and Aunt Belle walked over from their house. Uncle Earl was the oldest of Granddad's family, and he said he'd never seen a sunset like that in his life.

Uncle Earl looked at me and said, "Anne Janette, you may never see another sunset that magnificent as long as you live."

So far he is correct, and almost 40 years have passed since that evening.

Catequil, I know the science behind cloud formations, but I still see Your work in them. Clouds are sacred things, mighty things, holy things. We who cannot be You must salute You. Thanks be to You, again, for the beauty and nourishment of Your holy clouds this past week!

Catequil: You're welcome. But you might want to go back and edit that anecdote. Little more of your name in there than you usually allow.

Anne: It's okay. I'm not going to change my uncle Earl's words. He was a Titan among men, and that's what he called me.

Catequil: Suit yourself. Oh say. Can I get a glass of water for the road? I'm parched.

Anne: How about if I fill the bathtub?

Catequil: If it's not too much trouble.

All glory, laud, and honor to Catequil, God of clouds! Next time you see the sky, blow a kiss to this fabulous deity. That's not moisture up there, it's mystery.

Summertime, and the living is easy....

Posted by Princess Eva Angelica On 8:24 AM 0 comments

Det er sommertid og ferietid her hos oss i StampARTic.
Vi trenger å slappe av litt og lade batteriene i løpet av sommeren....
Men ikke vær engstelig, vi er tilbake igjen den 15. August, 
med masse nye planer for høsten fremover. 
Vi er i full gang med planleggingen...

It is summertime and that means vacation time here at StampARTic.
We need to relax and reload our batteries, during the summer... 
but don't worry, we are back August 15th and we have great plans for the fall...
we are already planning it as we speak! 

Vi tar ferie med denne herlige skissen fra vår egen

We leave for the summer with a great sketch,
made by our very own Marianne!
Bli med i vår sommer skisse utfordring, og du kan vinne en herlig gevinst fra:
Join in our summer sketch challenge, and have a shot at winning a wonderful prize from 

Gevinsten ~ The Prize 
Stempler fra Impressions Obsessions, nydelige papier og dekorasjoner.
Impressions Obsession stamps, along with great papers and wonderful embellishments.
Her kommer litt inspirasjon fra design teamet:
Here are some inspiration from the design team:







Legg igjen link til kortet ditt i Mr. Linky skjemaet, sammen med navnet ditt innen
10. August ~ Midnatt StampARTic tid.

Og husk;
For å være med i trekningen om premien, 
kan du ikke kombinere kortet ditt med andre utfordringer.

Leave a link to your card in the Mr. Linky scheme, along with your name
deadline is August 10th ~ Midnight StampARTic time.

and remember;
To be in the drawing of the prize, 
You can not combine your entry with other challenges.

Til alle våre lesere ønsker vi:
En riktig flott sommer!

To all of our readers:
We wish you all a wonderful summer!

The Trouble with Free Speech

Posted by Princess Eva Angelica On 7:31 AM 0 comments
Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," coming to you from the Land of the Free and the Home of the Not-So-Smart!


First, a bit of good news in this morning's Philadelphia Inquirer. Rick Santorum will no longer be appearing as a weekly columnist. Woot! This must have been the first executive decision of the new publisher. I don't know about the rest of the Inquirer's subscribers, but I canceled my subscription after a particularly virulent and self-serving Santorum rant. Now I'll be back on board with the "Inky!"

Rick Santorum's broken-record, impassioned pleas for a Constitutional amendment defining marriage as occurring between one man and one woman lost him his Senate seat in Pennsylvania. Well, that and the fact that he didn't live in Pennsylvania. He had moved his family to the deep blue suburbs of Washington, DC, from which he cannot now emerge to challenge his left-wing foes.

Before you tea party morons out there accuse me of not wanting to listen to opposing viewpoints, I will tell you that the Inquirer has a very good and very conservative columnist named Kevin Ferris. I hate the guy's politics, but he expresses himself well. He also answers his hate mail, which is rare in the newspaper biz.

But today's sermon is not about our sweet Ricky. It's about people who ardently support freedom of speech.

Everyone is entitled to an opinion. Trouble is, some people don't think their opinions through before they take them public.

If you're a member of the Tea Party, and you passionately believe in personal freedom (is this before or after cashing your Social Security check?), see what you have wrought! Onslaught without thought!

Each and every bored god and all busy gods forbid that we ever get a president like the two men with whom he's pictured on this billboard! Especially Hitler!

Excuse me, Tea Fartiers: Have you been rounded up, placed in "camps," tortured in the name of "medical research," and gassed wholesale? Do you honestly believe that could happen under our sitting president?

I'm trying to imagine our American military goose-stepping and Sieg Heiling President Obama in a vast parade of muscled might.

Ooops! Sorry. I've got a vivid imagination, but NOT THAT FRIGGIN VIVID.

In all fairness, some Tea Party higher-uppers have condemned this billboard. Sorry, dudes. It's too late. The thing is looming over a highway in Iowa, and it says "tea party" on the bottom. Freedom of speech! The rights of the individual! That's what y'all stand for. But you see, the "rights of the individual" includes every individual, even the ones with extremely bad judgment and extremely hefty bank accounts. Those individuals have just shot the Tea Party in the foot.

Let's see if I can guess what I'm going to see on "Countdown with Keith" tonight, when I sit down to yawn through it. If the Hitler/Lenin/Obama billboard isn't the first image on the screen, it will only be because the BP oil cap has exploded.

Just as most mainstream Christians flinch and flee when the Westboro Baptist Church slings its hate, most mainstream Republicans must be appalled at the Tea Party fringe "freedom fighters." At least I hope that's the case, because civil discourse is the hallmark of a healthy democracy.

The beauty is that the Tea Party can't police its own, can't ask for reason to prevail. This would tread on the freedom of speech of its members. Hopefully this will prove the downfall of this small group of political zealots who are doing the dirty work for Big Business -- and who presumably have lived such fortunate lives as to never have needed government assistance, even to fill the pesky pothole in front of their house.

Tea Party, when you go down, that billboard is going to be your life raft. Uh oh.

Winner, sketch challenge.

Posted by Princess Eva Angelica On 3:05 PM 0 comments
Jeg håper dere alle nyter sommeren, og at dere allikevel har tid til litt kortlaging innimellom.
I morgen har vi en ny utfordring klar, men nå er tiden inne til å presentere vinneren av skisseutfordringen. Vinneren er tilfeldig trukket denne gangen, og den flotte premien er sponset av ”Paperinauha”.


I hope you all enjoy summer, and that you still find time to make cards.
Tomorrow we are ready with a new challenge for you, but now it is time to present the winner from our sketch challenge. The winner is chosen by random this time, and the great price is sponsored by “Paperinauha”.

Og vinneren er / And the winner is….






Og her er Pernillas nydelige kort / And here is Pernillas beautiful card.

Gratulerer så mye Pernilla. Send adressen din til stampartic@gmail.com , så får du snart premien din i posten.

Congratulations Pernilla. Please send your address to stampartic@gmail.com  to receive your prize.


Ha en flott sommerdag alle sammen, og husk å ta turen innom igjen i morgen, og ta en titt på vår nye utfordring her hos StampARTic.

Have a nice summerday all of you, and remember to come back tomorrow for a new challenge here at StampARTic.

Little Stuff Pissing Me Off Today

Posted by Princess Eva Angelica On 7:57 AM 0 comments
Grrrrr! Anne is in a bad mood. It's a Loki hangover. He was here for the weekend, and then He departed. It's kind of like crashing after a sugar high.

In honor of this bad mood, I will now list the pesky items that are ticking me off today.

1. I now have to blog professionally. Thank goodness I was able to set up a different account. Still it's like being paid to taste salt water taffy, which means you have to try all the flavors you don't like.

2. My refrigerator broke down. Have you ever noticed that this always happens in the summertime?

3. Mel Gibson meltdown. Prior to "The Passion of the Christ," I rather liked Mel Gibson. He's about my age, and he used to be good-looking. Now he's a washed-out, scary raving lunatic who ought to be watched closely. I wonder what the fundies think of their altar boy now?

4. George Steinbrenner dies. First we must consider what they are listing as cause of death. Heart attack. If that guy had a heart, he never showed it -- just ask the people who worked most closely with him. I am mourning his death, though, because in this household he was the Number One Baseball Executive We Loved to Hate. The mere mention of his name would cause even Decibel the Parrot to hiss. I would nominate Mel Gibson to replace George as household hate-ee, but Mel doesn't own the @$$%^$%@#!! Yankees.

5. I saw someone run over a chipmunk yesterday. Worse than that, I was driving to my daily teacher workshop at the time! I couldn't even stop and consign the sweet little thing to the Green Man. This put me in a blue funk, I assure you.

6. Governor Fat Ass. Ask and ye shall receive! We've got a Republican governor in this state now, and he's acting just like every other Republican since poor Abe Lincoln got shot. He's balancing New Jersey's budget on the backs of the poor and middle class while allowing the state's wealthiest few to go right on being under-taxed and spoiled rotten. Cut your calories, not our salaries, asshole! (If you've never seen this sorry excuse for a human, his name is Chris Christie. I refuse to place his photo on my blog.)

7. The end to New Jersey's traffic circles. It's bad enough that we are losing the famed 1920s-era traffic circles that couldn't exactly handle today's suburban crush. But as the circles get re-made, the "upgrades," with their orange barrels and cones, have made travel far slower. I will sorely miss the take-no-prisoners-only-the-strong-survive mayhem of the circles. Everyone needs a little assertiveness training. Where will we get it now?

8. My readership is down. Booo hooooo! According to my stat counter, my readership has tumbled from three to two. What have I done? (I guess the better question is, "What haven't I done?")

9. Fridays with Thurber. Do you watch "Countdown with Keith?" Have you seen his Friday exercise in vanity, in which he sits in a chair reading James Thurber? James Thurber? Couldn't he had at least picked an interesting author? I don't want to hear about James Thurber's fourth grade class! I want to hear H. L. Mencken's rants against the popular preachers of his day!

10. Supreme Court nominees. You know, as long as Obama is getting accused of being a socialist, why doesn't he act like one? If I stood in his shoes, I would have picked the most rabid liberal activist judge in the nation and stuck him/her on the Supreme Court. How come the conservatives get justices who go to conservative parties and write letters of thanks to their far-right Christian base, while we get blank slates who may or may not change the face of the Supreme Court of the United Corporations?

Mr. Johnson just handed me my final, and perhaps most brutal, piss-off. It's an invitation to my 30-year college reunion next spring. Can I have been out of college for 30 years? I am totally ripening for the buzzards.

So, to my two faithful readers, have a nice day. What do you want me to blog about ... politics or religion ... or my sister? Or Rhodesian Ridgebacks? Kept women? Rat Finks? Tea Party morons? My garden? My cats? Decibel the Parrot? My sordid past as a pole dancer? Just asking.

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~Readers gallery~

Posted by Princess Eva Angelica On 6:30 PM 0 comments
Velkommen til Readers gallery.
Vi gleder oss til å få vise frem kort som våre lesere har laget,
med inspirasjon fra våre artikler

Welcome to the Readers gallery.
We are looking forward to Showcase cards our readers have made with
inspiration from our articles here at StampARTic

Denne gangen har vi fått MANGE flotte bidrag som vi gleder oss til å vise dere.
This time we have MANY great contribution that we can not wait to show you.

Karin har lagd et nydelig vintage kort ved hjelp av en bretteteknikk hun fant
her på StampARTic
Karin has created a beautiful vintage card using a tray technique she found
 here on StampARTic

Wenche er blitt inspirert av Mariannes nydelige stearinlys tutorial og har laget
noen nydelige stearinlys med motiv av vakre blomster.
Wenche has been inspired by Marianne's beautiful candlelight tutorial
and have created some beautiful candles with motifs of beautiful flowers.

Antje har også blitt bitt av "sko -bølgen" som herjer kort verden.
Hun har laget et par nydelige pumps som hun har dekorert med blomster, blader og blonde.
Antje has also been bitten by the "shoe-wave" that plague the card world.
She has made a couple of gorgeous pumps,
which she has decorated with flowers, leaves and lace.

Mag har også blitt inspirert av sko tutorialen vi hadde i vår blogg for en stund siden.
Mag has also been inspired by shoes tutorial we had on our blog a while ago

I tillegg har Mag fulgt den nydelige blomster tutorialen til Marianne,
noe som resulterte i dette flotte bidraget
In addition, Mag followed the beautiful flowers tutorial for Marianne,
which resulted in this great contribution.

Mag har også lagd et nydelig kort ved å bruke babyservietter og bord.
Mag has also made a beautiful card using baby wipes and borders

Husk å sende oss en e-mail eller legg igjen en kommentar her hos oss, hvis du har
latt deg inspirere av en av våre artikler.
Vi gleder oss til å vise frem akkurat ditt kort eller prosjekt!

Remember to e-mail us or leave a comment, if you have been inspired
by any of our articles.
We are looking forward to show of your project in our magazine

Summer Camp

Posted by Princess Eva Angelica On 7:07 AM 0 comments
Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!" We bring a whole new meaning to the phrase "camping out."

My daughter loves cheesy roadside attractions and wacky advertising. During a recent visit to Chicago, she took the El train, a bus, and a cab (plus walking) just to see a hot dog stand with neon wieners on top. When one thinks of what Chicago offers in the way of tourism, one can only conclude that Heir loves camp. Not "to camp," just "camp."

Enter the campy festivals.

My three regular readers are already familiar with the East Coast Vulture Festival, possibly the campiest of all campy fests in the Philadelphia metropolitan area. This is the only campy festival that I actually participate in. That's me, pictured.

But just this past weekend, the Philadelphia metro region offered not one but two campy festivals. Oh, the choices, the choices! Should we get pelted by Twinkies thrown off an abandoned prison parapet by a champagne-swilling Marie Antoinette? Or run screaming from the retro theater where they filmed "The Blob?"

Smackdown: Blobfest vs. Bastille Day.

I've already described Bastille Day to the best of my ability, below. The video is helpful. This year, the Johnsons chose Bastille Day -- and wisely, because Blobfest went all gooey in the rain.

Nonetheless, my daughter The Spare and I found ourselves in Phoenixville, PA yesterday, just a day in the wake of Blobfest. This meant that all the Blob art was still in the store windows and on the sides of the buildings. All the creative hats made of aluminum foil were still in the art gallery. I couldn't persuade The Spare to attend the final showing of "The Blob" at the Colonial Theater. (Campy as it is, "The Blob" can morph in one's dreams -- I'm living proof of that.)

Even without attending "The Blob," there was plenty of Blobilicious camp in Phoenixville. Next year, if the weather is fine, we'll go to Blobfest.

If you haven't seen "The Blob," it's a cheesy horror/sci fi movie starring a young Steve McQueen. It was filmed in the Phoenixville area, including at their vintage movie theater.

One of the things I admire about the human condition is the way we tend to latch onto any local irregularity and turn it into a reason to celebrate. You've got 75 vultures roosting in your back yard? Let's have a Vulture Festival, invite people to see them! A really, really dumb movie was filmed in your town? Party hardy! A matter of pride! Seven pubs within two blocks of an imposing, grim fortress that was once home to Al Capone? You can best bet those bartenders are going to hatch a festival of some sort -- and on a hot day, too. You sell more beer that way.

What people don't know about campy festivals is that many of them are inspired by the not-so-bored god Loki, who whispers into the brains of folks who are eager to organize something. Festivals require organization. The bigger the fest, the more whispering Loki has to do. Vulture Fest alone has more than a dozen dedicated volunteers who put in hours and hours and hours for an event that celebrates turkey buzzards. If there's no bored god behind that, I'll eat my hat.

I must say that Loki has found America fertile ground for weird and wacky local celebrations. Thank you, Loki, from the bottom of my heart.

I have two festivals in my future that are in the way of holy pilgrimages. One day, somehow, some way, I am going to attend the Moth Man Festival in Point Pleasant, West Virgina. The other festival (it falls on The Spare's birthday, alas) is Hillbilly Days in Pike County, Kentucky.

Once I have been to those two events, my life will be complete. Then I can die, and Snobville will finally get its campy festival, Annefest, in which people will dress as bored gods and have contests to see which pantheon is the most powerful.

These days, Snobville's only festival is an arts and crafts fair. It was held this past weekend too. I guess we also need some events for normal people to attend, however boring they may be.

Posted by Princess Eva Angelica On 6:33 AM 0 comments
A journey of 3,000 Twinkies begins with a single snow shovel.

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DT article: Maja Design

Posted by Princess Eva Angelica On 1:57 AM 0 comments
Vi har vært så heldige å få besøk av Marie, eieren og designeren av de lekre papirene til
Maja Design!
De fleste kjenner nok til de vakre papirene til Maja Design, og vi her i StampARTic har vært så priviligerte å hatt besøk av Marie før. Husker dere artikkelene vi hadde over 2 dager i vår?:

Maja Design har slipt nye papirer for salg, og denne gangen er det "sommer" som er tema!
Herlige dobbeltsidige papirer, i nydelige friske sommerfarger!
Akkurat som Crea Diem serien, så er det så enkelt å jobbe med disse papirene for de matcher perfekt til hverandre. De dobbeltsidige er jo en klar match men også flere papirer går sammen med matchende farger!
Det gjør livet til en kortlager og scrapper så enkelt og morro! 
Marie hadde med seg den nye sommer serien til oss, og vi har virkelig kost oss, 
og ikke minst komt i herlig sommer stemning! 

We have been so fortunate to have Marie visiting us, the owner and designer of the gorgeous pattern papers from Maja Design.
Most of you already know Maja Design and the fabulous papers, and we here at StampARTic have been so privileged to have had Marie for a visit before. Remember our articles this spring? 
We had a 2 articles over 2 days:

Maja Design has released some gorgeous new pattern papers with the theme "summer".
Wonderful, gorgeous double sided papers, in fresh summer colors. 
Just like the Crea Diem papers, these are also so easy to work with, as they match each other perfectly!
The double sided papers of course matches each others, but also the most of the papers are matching too.
This makes the life of a card maker and scrapper so easy and fun!! 
Marie brought the new summer papers so we could play with them, and we have enjoyed our selves big time, having so much fun and not to mention getting in the summer mood! 

Her er Design Teamets Sommer kort med Maja Design papir:
Here are the Design Team's summer card with Maja Design papers:










Har litt internett problem for tiden, så vi vil legge inn hennes kort når hun er på nett igjen.

Is having some internet troubles, so we will upload pictures of her card when she is back online. 

Tusen takk Marie for de nydelige sommer papirene! 
De kommer garantert til å bli brukt mye av i sommer! 

Thank you so much, Marie, for the gorgeous summer papers!
We guarantee you, they will be used a lot this summer!

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