Monday, November 27, 2006

I haven't been blogging

Happy Thanksgiving! More this week.
 Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, November 15, 2006


30 Days, 30 Gods -- A study of little-known religions


I always hated Melissa. She worked in my office. She'd only been there three years - where did she get off ordering me around? I order office supplies on the first Monday of the month. She should've talked to me before then if she needed something.

But I knew how to get back at her. I learned this from my grandmother, who brought it with her when she immigrated. I'm glad my parents left me with her, she taught me so much. I got beat up once for knowing how to sew, but this time it paid off.

I stitched her name, MELISSA, in a flowing script on some cloth cut from an old t-shirt. I folded the rectangle of cloth over and began to sew it up into a pillow or bag shape. When there was only an inch left, I filled it up with rice. Uncooked rice from Kroger. I finished the stitching and closed it up.

I took the bag into work and put it in the bottom of one of her drawers first thing in the morning. Of course, she was late and a slob, so she had no idea. The next month, the first thing I did after placing the Staples order was to stroll into her cubicle while she was in the bathroom and get my rice bag back.

Now I can get her whenever she crosses me. One night I left the bag under the front tire of my car; she came in the next morning with two black eyes! I left it in the freezer for a week once, her lips were blue continuously by the end. And of course I have pins and stick her in the microwave and sometimes just throw the bag across the room.

Hey, next Monday, I think I'll order a new stapler!

The Weekend

Amy came to town! We went to a film festival at SymphonySpace, the Brooklyn Museum (of art), and, on Sunday, had breakfast at Artie's on the upper west side, which is where that strawberry-and-banana-stuffed-challah-french-toast came from. Posted by Picasa


30 Days, 30 Gods -- A study of little-known religions


Welcome to our library! This is our most holy place. This is where our religion develops. First, walk though the Donian Grand Library. Here you can find the previous versions of our scriptures, those that are less holy. The Library is arranged in a series of five concentric rings. First, walk through the outermost ring. Here you'll see what remains of the papyrus on which Done's ideas were first recorded. Although we have no other artifacts that we know belonged to her, we do have displays and dioramas that show what her life was like.

The next three rings of the Grand Library trace the holy progress of our religion. You can see texts and artifacts from the last two thousand years, as our language and beliefs have improved. Please see the Lingual Timeline in this pamphlet to discover if your native tongue was once the language of Done.

The fifth and final ring has an interactive, multimedia display that shows you visually how the evolving text of our scriptures have changed our beliefs. You'll see how, with every subsequent translation, Done's teachings grow closer to perfection.

The innermost structure is our Hall of Translators. When our elders have determined that a better language for Donian expression has been found, we will translate the Donian scriptures and all associated texts in this hall, working day and night. The most recent translation, last year, took about 8 months. That was the 1,843rd translation, as we grew closer to perfection by translating our beliefs from Ainu to the Sotho language

Excerpted from the Donian Library's Visitor Guide, English Version, a pamphlet available with a $4 donation at the Donian Grand Library and Hall of the Translators.

Monday, November 13, 2006


30 Days, 30 Gods -- A study of little-known religions



There are 27 gods. One for each bed. Father reckons each god must be taller than 25 men, because their beds are further across than our whole village laying head-to-foot. Father has never seen the gods. We take good care of their giant beds. We stay in the houses the gods left for us (Father won't tell me why the houses are us-sized instead of god-sized) underneath their beds. When the sky is black we stay down there for weeks, but we haven't had to do that as much lately.

I think that when Mara and Marta have their babies, and there are 27 of us, we'll be the gods. Or the gods will come back down to us. I told Mother this and she laughed and told me the gods won't come back, they were all extinguished. I asked her what that word meant, and she said they were burned up with all the Citipeople.

Friday, November 10, 2006


30 Days, 30 Gods -- A study of little-known religions



One Friday four friends from Surprise, Arizona took off for a weekend in the woods. They were all killed before Monday, right out of a horror movie. Terrorized, sodomized, dismembered. Their possessions and parts strewn over several acres.

Residents of Surprise recovered, of course. There was a problem, however. Sightings of hitch-hikers late at night. Animals found killed with tent-stakes driven through their heads. The town paper, one morning, delivered with an entire section covered in the repeated words WE'RE COMING BACK in red ink.

Townsfolk knew what to do. Offerings. Plates left out on the porch at night - baked beans, roasted potatoes, chocolate-cracker-marshmallow s'mores. The haunting stopped.

It turns out the dead are easily distracted. Pay them a little attention and they mostly leave you alone.

Thursday, November 09, 2006


30 Days, 30 Gods -- A study of little-known religions



When I was a kid, parents in my town cautioned us that, the Strubble would come after us if we misbehaved. The Strubble wasn't your normal under-the-bed or in-the-closet bogeyman, though. He did one thing: he stole. He stole artwork. Maybe these stories started as a way to get yellowing traced-hand-turkeys off of refrigerators, but the story spread far enough to bring life to the belief.

Most folks had fond feelings toward the Strubble. I could never understand that. I always pictured this thing, said to repose in a cave south of town, surrounded by but incapable of appreciating the creative output of our whole community. That was key to my Strubble myth - that it couldn't possibly understand what it ws that it took. But it did steal from me -- a felt banner from my confirmation, high school ceramics projects from my locked car, a dress I was stiching for my girlfriend.

I'm glad to have left the town, and won't even take so much as my camera with me when I go back to visit my parents.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006


30 Days, 30 Gods -- A study of little-known religions


AFter machines reached a human level of intelligence, India was the first country to grant them citizenship. Many quickly moved there. A number of them strongly identified with the Hindu god Ganesha and could even be said to venerate him. The artificial intelligences say they identify with Ganesha's self-discovery, wisdom and intelligence. "Lord Ganesha, to me, represents the ability to tell truth from illusion, and has helped to me accept my own existence as an intelligence and as a citizen of India," said currency analyst and AI Federline Indianapolis from its Mumbai home.

Perhaps a less direct explanation involves the ground-breaking work of the AI researcher Parvati Patel (frustrated in life that more people know her for a Harry Potter character than a scientist) that did so much to generate truly independent machine intelligences. To be sure, most AIs remain atheistic, but the subset of believers is an interesting and growing anthropological subject. "I think this just goes to show how powerful metaphysical ideas can be," said the Times-Post religion reporter Cait Lestro. "Even when one knows exactly who its maker is, for many that's not enough to explain all of creation."

Wait, wait, what rhymes with "ephemeral"?

The New York Libertarian Party's candidate for Attorney General has his own song.

Some lyrics:

Christopher Garvey is an honest gent:
Dis-approves of the Government;
Hates the fact that we have upon our backs,
The awful burden of the income tax.

Go vote today, for Christopher Garvey.
Won't rest until - - New Yorkers are free.
Make our freedom more than just ephemeral.
Vote Libertarian Attorney General.


Monday, November 06, 2006


30 Days, 30 Gods -- A study of little-known religions



In secret, many New Englanders worship the the sailing god Napauru.

Napauru was a Carribean sailor who came to the region on a whaling boat around 1819. The ship he'd been on was hit with a string of bad events until they took him on board; their luck immediately reversed when Napauru joined the crew. The ship's captain was on his last voyage and took on Napauru as a good-luck-charm-slash-adopted-son. Napauru was introduced to New England high society and stories of his ability to swing fortune spread. In partnership with the retired captain, and later on his own, Napauru toured the region, supported by donations from patrons and the sale of small carved likenesses.

His largest shrine is in New Bedford, MA, located in a secret sub-basement of the New Bedford Whaling Museum. Suspected adherents to this religion include Herman Melville, John Singer Sargant, and Frederick Law Olmsted. Original idols, believed to have been carved by Napauru himself, are treasured family heirlooms and can sell at secret auction for tens of thousands of dollars.

Kyl and Jason

Back from Seattle

Wednesday, November 01, 2006


I'll be in Seattle for the rest of the week and weekend for a wedding! Updates may be sparse, but I'll be writing even if I'm not publishing.


30 Days, 30 Gods -- A study of little-known religions


islanders worship Pinactle, a god who appears in the shape of a man with the feet and bristly hair of a pig. His body is covered in tattoos describing nautical maps. He lives in a tree that moves through the ocean without an island beneath it.

Pinactle is a master navigator. Once, his enemy, Pinde, tore out his eyes and cast him from his treetop home. Pinactle, blind, built a raft from driftwood bound together with his hair, and found his way to his home with sound and scent. He silently climbed his tree and found Pinde sleeping. He killed and ate Pinde, and regained his vision by replacing his missing eyeballs with those of his enemy.

A common ritual among his worshipers is to eat a meal blindfolded, removing the blindfold only after the last course of pig eye stew.