A girl should probably finish a book before reviewing it, but I’m going to tell you right now that I’m totally digging Zeus by Tom Stone.  It’s both a personal and historical biography of the god and I just adore the way that Stone manages to straddle the line between treating the stories with reverance and making sure that his audience understands the history that informs the stories.

He does an excellent job, I think, of explaining how the Proto-Indo-European sky god, Dieus, finds his continuation through Zeus and, if you look carefully at Dieus (sometimes called something like Dyaus Fater or Dyaus Pater) you can see how we continue to invoke some memory of him when we call on the gods Zeus, Jupiter, and Tyr.

I often wonder about that–when many different names refer to the same god and when they refer to different gods.  I’m prepared to believe that Gotan, Wodan, Odin and Othinn are all the same god under slightly different names.  And maybe I’m okay with believing that Jupiter and Zeus are two expressions of the same god.  But I’m not so ready to believe that Jupiter and Zeus and Tyr are.  Even though I’m perfectly fine with believing that they are indeed continuations of the same god.

A theory we’ve discussed before for why the northern gods are so interested in the lives of humans is that their experience of time is much differen than ours.  For them, the present, the past, and the future are all jumbled together in some way we don’t understand.  Baldar, for instance, is dead and not yet dead and not yet even born.  Loki is Odin’s blood brother.  Loki has already betrayed the gods. The world is ending and it is just beginning.

But we experience time linearly.  We have a past, a present, and a future and because of this, we can do something that the gods cannot.  We can change the future.

Which means that the only possibility the gods have for change comes through us.  That’s their stake in us.  We bring change into their world through bringing change into our own.

That is, I think, part of the lifecycle of the gods that we don’t quite get, steeped as we are in the mythology of a god who clearly changes but claims he doesn’t.  But this is how gods reproduce and pass along their wisdom, through the change people make in the heavens.

For thousands of years, Zeus didn’t have a body.  And then we gave him one.  And then we relegated him to myth.  And then folks came to admit that they believed those myths were true.  And so he returned.  And so on and so on.

Anyway, it’s a great bookand I’m really enjoying it.

Happy Day

Well, Massachusetts let gay people get married and the world didn’t end, but maybe that’s just because it wasn’t a big enough state.  But now, one in ten Americans lives in a place where gay people can get married.  Surely, two people who love each other being able to make a legal committment to each other and enjoy the protection of the law is a cause for great concern and thus must surely bring about the wrath of someone.

Starting just about now.

Or now.

Um, right now.

Okay, now.



Anyway, I tease, but I really do think it’s nice.  Congratulations, Californians.

Here’s to hoping we’ll see the rest of the country go your way soon.

Mmm. Here, We Eat Dirt and We Like It

Today the TNGOP is urging radio stations across the state to play “patriotic” music in order to show Michelle Obama how much Tennessee loves America, unlike Michelle Obama, who hates America so much she’s married to a U.S. senator.  Because, of course, that’ll learn her.

On the one hand, I have to admit, I love this stuff, watching Hobbs act like some two-bit hack blogger.  On the other hand, it’s kind of embarrassing to watch Hobbs acting like some two-bit hack blogger now that he’s got this big important political job.

I mean, please.  Is this their argument?  Don’t vote for Obama, his wife’s not grateful enough?

Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha.

Why You Should Buy a House with Kathy T., Even if You Don’t Need One

She has snacks!  She piles you and your loved ones in her car and gives you snacks!  America, if there’s anything more pleasant than driving around town, munching on snacks, and looking at houses, I can’t think of what it is.

And I can’t think of what it is because I’m a little fried after a day of driving around town, munching on snacks, and looking at houses.

We must have looked at nearly twenty houses and by the end, we were just aimlessly circling blocks because those blocks contained young, shirtless, sports-playing men playing sports without their shirts on.  We were having profound philosophical discussions about how, if you had to live in a neighborhood with a clear gang problem in a house right next door to an active crack house (I should point out that this is my typification of the neighborhood, not Kathy’s), would you want to live in the neighborhood with the glistening, muscular, shirtless young men playing basketball or the glistening, muscular, shirtless young men playing soccer?

I, myself, lean towards the soccer players, because they have such nice butts.  Still, to each their own.

The Butcher brought a camera to take pictures of the houses.  I now have a camera full of pictures of the Nashville skyline and snails.

Anyway, it was a good day, but it was kind of a bust.  We saw some houses that had been rehabbed, but had floors so soft and rolling I was a little afraid we might fall through from just the weight of the three of us.  We saw some homes in neighborhoods so sketchy I didn’t want to get out of the car.  We saw rehabbed homes that looked like they’d been rehabilitated by guys on acid, with cabinets that didn’t line up and counter tops that seemed to have come from other houses and ceilings in one room lower than ceilings in another.  And I can’t even begin to tell you how many “two bedroom” homes are counting on you not minding that one of the bedrooms has two doors because it’s basically also functioning as a hallway or how many “three bedroom” places are counting the room they’ve converted from the garage with a door to the outside as a bedroom.  Is there high demand for having a door to the outside in your bedroom?

And, oh, the tiny kitchens.  The teeny tiny kitchens, without dishwashers.  And the rooms added on by just enclosing porches or garages or whatever.

We saw a lot of houses that, if put in the hands of a good rehabber, could be amazing places to live, but, of course, we don’t have those skills or the money to pay someone else to do it.

I think we’re going to have to broaden our search.