Saturday, February 27, 2010

Comics Roundup for 2/24/10

I read through my entire stack as of Wednesday night, but with this whole thing going on with Argos, I haven't had time to write until now.

Blackest Night
#7 (of 8) -
I think that Ivan Reis might be trying to beat George Perez's record for the sheer number of characters one can squeeze into a double-page spread. I don't know if he's succeeded, but he sure is good at getting lots of multi-colored Lanterns on a page. This was another solid installment in a storyline that's been building for a few years now. Hopefully they can wrap it all up in a satisfactory manner, as I certainly like some of the big revelations that came along with this issue.

New Avengers #62 - Steve Rogers gets to tell the Avengers to assemble once again, and that was cool to see. Other than that, not too much happened, as the main event is in Siege. Still, this was a fun issue with more Spider-Man/Spider-Woman team-up action, and the art was really nicely divided between Stuart Immonen and Daniel Acuna.

Batman and Robin #9 - This was a decent issue, and it finally answers the question regarding the corpse of Bruce Wayne at the end of Final Crisis. In short - that wasn't Bruce Wayne; it was a clone of some sort. I wonder how things are going to change once Bruce gets back to the right time period?

Thor #607 - What could this issue possibly cover in between the kicks and punches that Thor is getting over in Siege? Not too much, but we do get to see Volstagg try and restore his good name by going on Youtube, and some of the unresolved issues from Straczynski's run on the series get addressed. Overall, a pretty good read, but it wasn't quite as good as the last issue.

Spider-Man: Clone Saga - This definitely has a better ending than the original series did. Basically, you don't know whether Peter or Ben is the real one, and Ben goes off into the sunset. That would have been better, because fans of either one could simply tell themselves that their guy was the real deal. Not only that, but future writers could go ahead and either completely ignore Ben or bring him back without having to do the really lame resurrection story that is bound to come up sooner or later.

The Amazing Spider-Man #622 - The main story with Spidey battling Morbius was decent, but the backup that focused on Flash Thompson was a bit more gripping. This series has been a little hit or miss lately; here's hoping we can get some better issues like the last one.

The Flash: Rebirth #6 (of 6) - It's official. I'm not anywhere near as stoked for the new Flash series as I was for the new Green Lantern after Green Lantern: Rebirth reached its conclusion. I might still pick up the first few issues, as I do see a lot of potential with the character. Maybe I'll be nicely surprised.

Friday, February 26, 2010

The latest with Argos

Last summer, I chronicled the saga of my dog Argos and the need for him to have his toe removed. In short, he has cancer, and even though the toe was removed, the cancer is eventually going to get him.

Since then, Argos has been doing really well. I've taken him on his daily walks with even a few adventures up to Mt. Wanda and the Crocket Hills here in Martinez. He has lots of energy, and he's still going strong.

The only real issue is that the cancer is spreading up his leg. His leg is pretty lumpy, and he has one really bad lump on the back of it. He's been chewing on it, and it's gotten more and more bloody. So, today Kirsti and I took him to the vet, and we're going to try a little something to stop the bleeding.

Basically, it's bleeding for one of two reasons - either it's because he's been chewing on it, or that's the nature of that particular tumor. If it's the former, then we can probably do something about it. If it's the latter, then it might be time to consider putting the big guy down - an option that I dread, but I'd rather do that then watch it get worse and wait for him to start suffering.

Right now, we have his leg all bandaged up, and the vet recommended a treatment where you put some honey on the bandage. Now, before you think I'm doing some kind of New Agey homeopathic bullcrap, let me assure you that the vet explained to me the science of the process. I'm sure that I'd do a crappy job of re-explaining it, but it didn't involve a bunch of vague language about water having memory or some crap like that. Essentially, the sugars in the honey overwhelm any bacteria, and it allows for it to start healing. She did warn us though that it's going to look a bit worse before it looks better - again, I'd do a lousy job of explaining why.

So, that's where we're at. The not knowing is always the worst thing, but I'm starting to mentally prepare myself for the eventuality where he'll need to join that big roundup in the sky. Here's hoping it won't come to that just yet.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Skepticism versus denialism

Don't call yourself a Global Warming skeptic, even if you are one. That is, don't call yourself one unless you're happy with getting lumped in the same boat as all the Global Warming deniers. I learned this recently when I posted a Facebook status update about this, and I got people "agreeing" with me about how they didn't think that there was much to it either.

Why do I call myself a skeptic? I do so because unlike a lot of people, I'm willing to admit that I don't completely understand the whole thing. Also, I don't know if I can believe everything that I hear from those who are saying that we human beings are having an impact on climate change. Don't misunderstand me; it's not that I don't think that we're having an impact. I just don't believe EVERY SINGLE THING that they say. Getting back to the whole bit about me not understanding it completely though, I think that's the most important reason why I consider myself a skeptic.

The thing is, I'm a skeptic about everything else, and I think that should be the default position when it comes to anything that you don't feel as though you completely understand. Still, I've realized that you can't use that word without being lumped in with the deniers. And let me tell you something, if anything ever makes me a true believer, it will be the lame-ass arguments of the deniers.

No doubt you may have heard of some of this "climate-gate" stuff that's been going on. Much of it is deafeningly stupid, consisting of arguments like, "Global warming can't be real because it's cold right now!" As I said, I don't completely understand the whole thing, but anybody who makes that sort of an argument knows even less than I do. Since when was "it will never be cold again!" part of the whole Global Warming process?

Then there's a matter of certain scientists fudging (or supposedly fudging) data in order to make things look more dire than they really are. From what I can tell, some scientists have indeed screwed up. However, that hardly means that the entire science behind Global Warming is now completely debunked! Honestly, this reminds me of the anti-evolution crowd, where they point to a few hoaxes in the fossil record as a way of completely debunking the entire fossil record. It's like finding a typo in the dictionary and declaring the English langue to be a hoax.

I guess what I need is another word. I can't be a skeptic without being thought of as a denier. How about "Only Mostly Convinced"?

Comics Roundup for 2/17/10

Batman #596 - This is really one long, winding story with a lot of subplots, and supposedly it's all going to wrap up next issue. I think that I should definitely take the time to read the entire story again in one sitting when the next issue comes out. There was a pretty cool moment in there where Dick shows off that he can plan ahead nearly as well as his mentor. Also, I must again mention that Tony Daniel's art has never looked better.

Batman: Streets of Gotham #9 - Well, crud. I remember enjoying the last issue by fill-in writer Mike Benson, but I didn't remember what the story was about. I basically read through this and was kind of confused. I guess there's one more comic to add to the "go back and reread" list. Still, Dustin Nguyen's art was looking really good, and I'm still enjoying the "Manhunter" backups in this series. That said, I'm still eager to have Paul Dini come back to continue on with some of the threads he's been building on in this series.

Spider-Woman #6 - This was a pretty fun issue, as it pits Spider-Woman against the Thunderbolts. I don't really know much about the current team of Thunderbolts, but this issue addresses what my first impression of them was - a bunch of "who the hell are these guys"? Jessica had the same attitude, and she did a cool job of humiliating them without it seeming like it was too easy. While I've been able to follow this story issue-by-issue just fine, I think that this is yet another one that will read better in one sitting. Shoot...I don't have much planned this weekend. I should do just that.

The Amazing Spider-Man #621 - As much as I was looking forward to this whole "The Gauntlet" storyline, where all the old villains came back, I have to say that it was nice to see this issue devote itself to a more recent villain - Mr. Negative. He's getting more and more interesting, and in the spirit of old Spidey villains, he seems pretty unstoppable as of right now. I would also like to point out how much I loved Michael Lark's pencils in this issue. While I really enjoyed his stuff on Daredevil, I wouldn't have thought of him as a good match for Spider-Man. Well, that's a load of crap, because this was really well-done, and the man is great at storytelling. Everything rolls along from one panel to the next rather smoothly, and the image of Spidey getting punched through a building sticks in my head after only one reading.

Blackest Night: The Flash #3 (of 3) - Yeah, this is mostly filler, and the story with the Rogues Gallery was more interesting than the one with the title character. Oh well, three issues wasn't a big commitment, so that's all good.

The Astounding Wolf-Man #21 - This is yet another title where I don't find myself having much to say about each issue, but I definitely know that I enjoyed it. I'm pretty sure that for the past few months, I've commented on the fact that the series is going to be ending soon and how that disappoints me. Consider it said yet again right here.

Green Lantern #51 - Now this is how you do a crossover issue. Between this issue and the last, you have a complete story that also fits in nicely with the larger context of "Blackest Night". Basically, you've got Hal Jordan deliberately joining up with Parallax in order to defeat a Black Lantern Specter (or is that Black Lantern The Specter?) Considering that Parallax was the thing that made him fall from grace in the first place, it was cool to see him show no fear of the entity that represents fear itself. I guess there's a reason why he's considered the greatest of the Green Lanterns.

Dark Avengers #14 - This is another good way to do a crossover issue. Instead of taking place in between issues of Siege, this one fills in some blanks of what happened before. In particular, it goes into what exactly the deal is with The Sentry. Considering what that guy wound up doing to Ares, I'm pretty curious as to what his deal is as well. I guess there are probably only a couple more issues left of this series, and while I definitely think that it should conclude with the end of Siege, I'll have to say that I will miss it.

Captain America #603 - This continues the story that started (and riled up the Tea Party types) last issue. Nothing too special happens, but I definitely have to say that I'm glad that Ed Brubaker is using The Falcon as much as he is. I always liked him, and he's used quite effectively here. I never read the original appearances of the character, so I can't comment on those, but I definitely don't feel as though he's just some sort of token African American character. He definitely brings something interesting to the story, and Brubaker does a good job of neither ignoring nor focusing too much on the fact that he's black.

Daredevil #505 - I think it's pretty safe to say that I have no intention of dropping this title anytime soon. Andy Diggle continues to run with the story of Matt Murdock now being in charge of The Hand, but now it seems as though he's not playing them as much as he thinks he is - and it very well could be that they're playing HIM instead. I also like the new artist.

Thursday, February 18, 2010


In the spirit of my Ramadan and vegetarian experiments, I decided that I'm going to try and participate in Lent this year. I'll admit that I haven't done a lot of research, but from what I gather, it's a religious observance followed mainly by Catholics (but it seems like some other Christians - including Eastern Orthodox) as they pray (moreso than normal, I guess) and practice a little self-denial.

As usual, I'm not interested in the spiritual aspects of these religious practices, but I do have some respect for the notion of self-denial. The trouble is I was having a hard time thinking of something to give up. There's beer, but I kind of did that during my Ramadan thing. Of course, I already did the meat thing. Comics? Crap...I'll just fall behind and then spend way too much money the following month. (Besides, how can I let my fans down with a distinct lack of Comics Roundups?)

Truth be told, I didn't even realize it was Lent until a coworker brought it up. I immediately went, "Oh! I gotta do something for that!" The best thing we came up with? No more swearing.

I don't know - seems kind of lame. I'm in control of my cursing, and I know the right time and place for that sort of a thing. Besides, it doesn't really feel like a sacrifice. It feels more like I'm thought-policing myself. So, to heck with that, but I thought of a better idea. Unfortunately, I'm off to a late start, but I'm going to give up sweets.

I have a serious problem with the sweets. If they're in the house, they're going to get eaten. I already had some today, but it doesn't count as cheating as I hadn't decided to give them up until afterward. In fact, I had told myself that I'd have a couple pieces of candy before walking the dog and THEN start my Lent experiment. However, I figured that was lame, and I passed on the sweets. (And they're the REALLY good cherry gummy hearts from France that they sell at Trader Joe's. When you bite into them, some cherry juice squirts out. Mmmm...)

I did have a second beer tonight though, but trust me, it doesn't replace the craving for some candy and/or chocolate. Oh chocolate! What am I getting myself into? Ahh well, I can do it for Thor. I mean Jesus. Yeah, that's the ticket.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010


People who know me know that I'm pretty well versed in beer. I know a few things about a lot of styles, and I'd definitely say that I know more than the layman. Sure, there are folks who know much more than me, but I can hold a conversation down at the homebrew shop, and I didn't feel that it was necessary for the waitress at BJ's to tell me about the different styles that they had on tap (especially considering that I've made about 90% of those styles).

Wine though? That's another matter. Push comes to shove, I prefer a good beer over a good wine. Still, I find myself getting more interested in wine, and I've come to learn a few things - which puts me several steps ahead of many of the people who drink wine, oddly enough. You don't seem to need to know much to know more than the average person, it seems. Not only that, but I've found myself at the point that when it comes to some meals, I actually prefer a glass of wine to a beer.

I really don't buy all that much. I think that I buy one bottle of Trader Joe's "Two Buck Chuck" ever other week. Still, that's a lot more than I bought just a year ago. Before then, I'd only drink beer if that's what somebody was offering at their house. When asked if I preferred red or white, I'd always go with red, not realizing that there's quite a bit of variety within that one category. However, there have been a few things that have changed some of my attitudes on wine.

The first was a wine-tasting that I did the last time Kirsti and I were on a cruise. With that, I got to try a Riesling, a Chardonnay, a White Zinfandel, a Merlot, and a Cabernet Sauvignon. The two that impressed me the most? The Riesling and the Cab, even though they tasted completely different from one another. I didn't care for either the Chardonnay or the Merlot, and I thought that the White Zinfandel was fine, but it wasn't nearly as interesting.

The second thing was when I was at a Barmitzvah. I got to eat this really awesome stew/chili, and they were serving a white wine with it. I didn't feel too thrilled about this, but I'll be honest when I'll say that I was pretty much drinking anything that was put in front of me. I might have even had a Bud Light with Lime if I was given that. Why? It was frikken' hot. Also, I didn't know a whole lot of people there, and I was feeling extra-introverted that day.

Anyway, the white wine was excellent and the perfect compliment to that spicy stew. I checked the bottle, and it was something called a Sauvignon Blanc. Absolutely brilliant. I liked it so much that I bought a bottle at Trader Joe's the very next time that I went there. I went and had it with some spicy food, and it really did the trick.

I'm starting to realize that when people say that they don't like white wine (or they say the opposite) that means about as much as when people say they don't like "dark" beer. Just as "dark" is not a descriptor of taste, neither is red or white. Let's face it, a Sauvignon Blanc doesn't taste a thing like a Riesling, and a Merlot doesn't taste like a Cabernet Sauvignon. I've also come to learn that even within those different styles, you can get a lot of variety. I assumed that Rieslings were all sweet, but I've recently come to learn that they make some dry varieties. (I find that I tend to prefer the dry stuff.) I'd like to try one of those one of these days. Maybe there might even be a Chardonnay out there that I'd like.

I just watched a special with John Cleese where he basically did a primer on wine for beginners. The major point of the show was to give people the proper vocabulary so they can get the experts to recommend to them the kinds of wines that they might like. Also, it dispelled some myths - like how a more expensive wine is supposedly "better" than a less expensive one. Overall, the main point of the program was to let people know that they shouldn't let others tell them what to drink; they should drink what they like.

The most interesting part was when they did some blind taste tests. Sure enough, some people preferred the $5 bottle of wine over the $200 bottle. Even more surprising was when the wine was put into plastic cups where people couldn't see its color. When asked if they were drinking red or white wine, half of them got it wrong.

I guess my attitude for wine is the same as my attitude for beer. You should drink what you like. However, you should keep an open mind and not rule out a type due to something as arbitrary as what color it is - there just might be something out there that surprises you.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Comics Roundup for 2/10/10

I didn't go last week, as there were only two books out that I wanted. This week had only two as well, but four books is enough for me to make the trip to the comic book store. Here goes:

Criminal: The Sinners Part Four - I somehow made the mistake of thinking that this was the last part of the story, so I sat down to read the entire series. It's really good, and all of the subplots are starting to come together. However, now I'm going to have to wait a month until the next chapter. Hopefully I won't forget everything by then; however, it wouldn't be so awful having to reread every issue.

Batman and Robin #8 - This issue is a bit less confusing than the last one, and we're finally starting to get some more information regarding Bruce Wayne's supposed corpse. How can there be a dead body when he's supposedly trapped in the Stone Age? And is it looking like Batman's going to have a Clone Saga of his own? Could be...

The Amazing Spider-Man #620 - This was a satisfying conclusion to a pretty decent story. As I've mentioned before, I like the villain and I like the artist. Also, this is building up to something big where Mysterio is going to have a big part to play, so that's good news. Still, they'd better start getting around to the payoff, as it's feeling like they're dragging it out a bit.

Siege #2 (of 4) - This issue was awesome. Where else but in comics can you find Ares, the Greek God of War fight Balder, the Norse God of Light? Plus, toss in a bunch of superheroes and supervillains waging war on Asgard, and then you've really got yourself something. The best part? The last page, where you can see the reflection in The Iron Patriot's helmet revealing Captain America's shield heading straight for him. Bring on the good guys!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Captain America versus the Tea Party!

Maybe it's only the comic book nerds who are paying attention, but the Tea Party is now aiming its frustration at Captain America. You can read about it here, but here's a quick rundown: In Captain America #602, Captain America is trying to infiltrate an extremist, anti-government organization that's taken hold in Idaho. While there, he comes across an anti-government rally, with people who are holding up signs that are awfully reminiscent of the type that you'd see at the Tea Party rallies. The implication is that the extremist organization might be recruiting from amongst the Tea Party types.

Of course, right-wingers are always pretty bad at seeing nuance, and the interpretation is that the comic was implying that the Tea Party protesters are some sort of villainous lot of terrorists. Not only that, but Cap's partner, The Falcon, comments on how it would be hard for him to blend into the crowd, seeing as how he's a black man from Harlem. Apparently, some right-wingers really hate it when you point out that the Tea Party is predominantly angry white people - even though it's, you know, true.

You can read the article to get Marvel's and Ed Brubaker's official explanation as to why it all happened. Personally, I don't care. I'm definitely left-leaning, but I didn't see this as some sort of left-wing propaganda piece. Do some of those Tea Party types look silly when one of the signs reads, "Get your government hands away from my Medicare?" Sure. BUT PEOPLE ACTUALLY HAD SIGNS LIKE THAT. Basically, the comic was just trying to reflect some things that were going on in reality. I never got the sense that there was a direct connection between the rally that Cap sees and the extremist group called The Watchdogs.

I've written about Captain America specifically on this blog quite a few times. I've said it before and I'll say it again - I'm not interested in a politically charged Captain America. Would I read some other comic where Tea Party types were connected with some sort of supervillain organization? Sure, but I don't want to see that with Captain America. He's best when he's apolitical, and if you actually read the issue, you'd see that he still is.

Palin's cheat sheet

I realize that I'm pretty late on this one, but I haven't really had the time or motivation to write over the last few days. I probably also won't say anything that hasn't already been said, but I promise that these thoughts are my own, even though many others have reached the same conclusions independently of me.

For starters, if you've been living in a cave, then you might not have heard about how Sarah Palin wrote notes on her hand for her appearance at the Tea Party rally. Obviously, she's been getting a lot of grief from the usual sources. I know that I certainly guffawed when I first heard about it, but in all honesty, I went on and thought some more about it, and as I thought more about it, it just got dumber and dumber. In fact, it has multiple layers of stupidity.

Level One - Palin was criticizing Obama for using a teleprompter. Now, her fans have defended her on this point, and they actually have a point. There is a big difference between reading something word-for-word and just having a few notes in front of you. You certainly need to have another level of talent to pull the latter off. However, the reason why she's still dumb is because she'd criticize him for using a teleprompter in any context. Hasn't pretty much every President used a teleprompter? You want to tell me that Bush didn't? What's wrong with doing it in the first place? Yeah, I agree with her fans that it doesn't make her a hypocrite, but it's still a stupid thing for her to mock in the first place.

Level Two - She wrote on her hand. What is she? In third grade? Ever hear of note cards?

Level Three - The content of what she wrote is moronic. If I remember correctly, she wrote "energy," "budget cuts," and "lift American spirits". Oh, and the "budget" was crossed out and replaced with "tax". Seriously? Are these talking points really so hard to remember? I wouldn't fault her if she had some precise facts and figures. After all, I'm bad with numbers myself. However, I'm not even a right-wing carny like she is, and I could have gone in there and winged it with those points.

Level Four - From what I understand, she didn't even use those notes for her speeches. She used it when she was being interviewed! By a supporter! Keep in mind, this was the same woman who said "all of them" when asked both what magazines she read and which founding fathers were her favorite.

Am I harping on the same crap that pretty much every other left-leaning person is? Yes. But I also have the same complaints about the common cold that everybody else does. We keep making these complaints and observations because just as one can only conclude that the common cold is unpleasant, one can only conclude that this woman is an idiot.

(And I know that's a picture of Tina Fey up there. No way am I putting a photo of Sarah Palin on my blog.)

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Shakespeare, Beer, and Comics

I've had a lot of things floating in my head lately, but none of them feel worthy of their own blog post. I figured that I'd just write it all here - and coincidentally enough, three of the topics fit the title of my blog. Here goes:

Shakespeare: I just started reading Macbeth with my seniors. They seem to be getting into it for the most part, even though they're third-quarter seniors, and they're pretty much checking out. Still, when I had them do some work rewriting some speeches, they seemed to understand the heart of what the characters were saying.

Anyway, one of the pleasures of Shakespeare is that no matter how many times I read some of his plays, I still tend to discover new things about them. This time something really hit me. Why is it that Lady Macbeth and Macbeth are both on the same page when it comes to killing the king? They don't even say those words out loud; it's just understood. Is that some sort of flaw on Shakespeare's fault? I'll give Bill the benefit of the doubt on this one. What I think it all implies is that Mr. and Mrs. Macbeth have discussed regicide before. After all, why else would that thought immediately jump to Macbeth's mind when the witches prophesize that he will become king? It also fits his character, as we know he's a guy who wants to get ahead. It also fits his wife, as we know that she's a schemer and she wants her husband to get ahead.

Beer: Amongst some of the beer nerds I know, lagers sometimes get a bad rap. I think that this is mainly due to the dummification of the lager on the part of Bud, Miller, Coors, etctera. I don't know why this should be, as you have some great session beers that are lagers like Samuel Adams Boston Lager and Negra Modelo. You also have some pretty great strong beers like the Doppelbock and the Maibock. Sure, you don't have quite the variety that you do with ales, but there are definitely some great lagers out there.

Speaking of which, I recently bought a 12 pack of Sam Adams new Noble Pils, and they've been going pretty quickly. Now, the Pilsner isn't exactly my favorite style, but I certainly do enjoy one from time to time. Personally, I think that beers like the Pilsner and the Munich Helles are often more impressive when they're good. They're both such clean styles that if even the slightest thing was off about them it would be hard to not notice it. Anyway, this beer is a damn fine example of a good Pilsner. I think that I might like it even slightly better than Checkvar (the "real" Budweiser). That's probably only due to the fact that since it's not imported across an ocean, it's a bit fresher when it comes to me.

Comics: I wrote some time ago that I thought that there might be too many Avengers books out on the stands. Turns out that Marvel is canceling them all, and then we'll have at least two new books: The Avengers and the Secret Avengers. The creative teams look pretty good, and there is a decent lineup of team members on the mainstream title. (These are the ones that have been announced so far.) I guess the biggest surprise is that the Bucky Captain America is sticking around for a while despite the fact that Steve Rogers is alive and well. That's fine by me. So long as they have good stories to tell with him, then I'll stick around. Personally though, I'd just love it if Spider-Man gets to be on the main team. Spider-Man belongs on The Avengers for the very same reason why he doesn't belong. He's not usually a team player, and he tends to do things his own way. This is exactly what makes it interesting when you put him on a team.

Random religion potshot: Ever since I admitted my atheism to myself, I had hoped to keep an open mind. I never wanted to get to the point where I felt that I had everything all figured out. While I certainly don't feel that I know everything, I'm starting to realize that I'm just not going to ever hear anything new when it comes to why I should believe in a god. It's always the same old arguments over and over again - many of them I even used to use but I have long since wrapped my brain around them so thoroughly that I can no longer give them any serious consideration. Not only that, but whenever I have what I consider to be some very serious questions when it comes to this whole subject, I keep getting the "Well, I'll have to get back to you on that." Guess what? They never get back to me.

And one thing's for damned sure, I absolutely cannot believe that if there is a god that it's a loving god like the Christians would have us believe. I've said it before, and I'll say it again - you'd have an easier time convincing me of the existence of Odin than the existence of Jesus. When I see what happens in the world - especially with the earthquake in Haiti - I cannot accept that a loving god would allow that to happen. And I know the arguments as to why a loving god would let it. I used to make those arguments. And you know what? They're bull, and I don't think that I can listen to them anymore.

Maybe I just need to settle down and stop looking for answers. I figure if there is a really good argument as to why I should believe all this stuff, it'll eventually come my way.

I'll end this with an interesting video of Stephen Fry. He basically says the same stuff that I've said regarding why it would be easier to believe in the old pagan gods than the current concept of god. No, I didn't see this video first and then parrot him. I discovered this video recently. Not only that, he reaches the same conclusion but explains it much better than I did, I think.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Prayers for pregnancy

People ask me all the time which god they should pray to in various situations. For instance, the other day, some guy had a whole lot of water but wanted some wine for his party. Naturally, I told him to go with Dionysus, the Greek god of wine. He told me that he didn't want to pray to any god that turned people into dolphins, so I gave him the next best choice - Jesus. Sure enough, all of his water turned to wine and a good time was had by all.

Now that my wife is pregnant, people are asking for suggestions as to which god or goddess they should pray. Of course, some people are just assuming which one is the right one, and they're going with Jesus again. I'm not so sure that's such a good idea. After all, do you really want some guy who made it to 33 without losing his virginity to look after a childbirth? Does he even know where everything is and where it goes? Of course, you don't want to go with his dad (or is it him?) Yahweh. That guy drowned children in a big old flood. (This also makes Zeus a poor choice.) Not only that, but he killed all the first born males of Egypt one time. Whatever he is - a caring nurturer is not an apt description.

When it comes to pregnancies, you want to go with somebody like Artemis, or Diana, as she was known by the Romans. Artemis is a good choice because childbirth was one of her specialties. She also had other interests, as she was the goddess of the hunt. She's also a goddess that you don't want to mess around with, as she turned Actaeon into a stag to have his dogs tear him apart after he was spying on her while she bathed. Not only that, but she took out the giant Orion. What's her only downside? She's a virgin as well, so really how much can she know about this sort of a thing?

An even better choice towards which prayers should be directed is the Norse goddess Frigga. She was Odin's wife (very doubtful he let her be a virgin) and was also known for helping women in childbirth. She has some other good attributes as well, as she was able to see into the future. Not only that, but she was the only one other than Odin who was allowed to sit on his royal throne, Hlidskjalf. She was also known as being a protector of married women, so she's got the family values thing sealed. (Oh, and every Friday is her day!)

Of course, if you like your Norse goddesses to be a bit more promiscuous, then go with Freyja. She is most definitely not a virgin, as she has more in common with the likes of Aphrodite/Venus, but she was also one who looked after women when they had their babies.

Lastly, you might want to go with Hathor. She was an Egyptian goddess who specialized in love, motherhood and joy. Seems to me like she'd know how to bring the right kind of mojo to any expectant mother. Not only that, but she was often depicted as a cow. Fact: Cows give milk. Kids drink milk. Seems like a no-brainer.

As for the father, I guess your typical prayers to Thor should do just fine for me. After all, I don't want any damned Frost Giants ruining our special day.