Monday, December 20, 2010

Holy Virgin Reindeer!

Mary, Mother of REINDEER! Thank you, so so much, Zoo Borns, for lighting up my rainy weekend with this gem:

The little Reindeer was a surprise when he was born at the Zoo on Sept. 18 in an exclusively female Reindeer exhibit. (Scientists do not believe there was any miracle involved, though; Boris’ mother was just unexpectedly pregnant when she arrived at the Zoo in May.)
"Scientists do not believe any miracle was involved"... Thank you, San Diego Zoo, for having a fabulous sense of humor!

And "Joey to the World" everyone! 

Thursday, December 16, 2010

The Story of the Christ Child

At work, I began a discussion about having religious Christmas music playing and whether or not anyone was bothered by it. Generic secular Christmas music certainly doesn't bother me, in fact, I rather enjoy it! Even the religious music doesn't bother me as much. I grew up with it, so I sort of have nostalgic feelings towards it. Although, "Silent Night" and anything specifically referencing a virgin birth is sort of weird to me when it plays in a public place. Like a restaurant. I just think it's a little odd in a restaurant where a decent percentage of our guests are Jewish or non-religious.

Gross. That's just weird.
This led to me telling a story about my best friend in 6th grade whose father was Catholic and her mother Jewish. The family celebrated both Hanukkah and Christmas. Coming from an area with very few Jewish families, my friend and neighbor explained to me the story of Hanukkah and its traditions. However, while the family put up Christmas decorations and exchanged presents on Christmas, my friend had never been to a Catholic church and had absolutely no idea what the Biblical Christmas story was... so I explained it to her.

Now, as I told this story, a co-worker who grew up in a relatively non-religious household confessed that as an adult, he really didn't know the Biblical story either. So, I tried to explain it. And I laughed. It really sounded ridiculous.
An angel tells a teenage girl named Mary that she's going to have a baby! But Mary is a VIRGIN! Mary cons her boyfriend, Joseph, into marrying her so she will be respectable. Joseph calls Mary a lying whore and stomps off. That night, he's visited by an angel in a dream, telling him that Mary is telling the truth. This scares the crap out of Joseph, so he marries the now-pregnant-by-God Mary.
When Mary is uber-pregnant, the couple travels to Bethlehem to pay taxes (or participate in the census, depending on the version). Mary rides on a donkey. Anyway, when they get to Bethlehem, the inns are all booked up, so they end up sleeping in a stable. There, Mary gives birth to Jesus. And a whole boatload of angels show up and sing, probably freaking everybody out.

Meanwhile, a great big star shines overhead, and a bunch of shepherds travel to the stable and pay homage to Jesus. Because some angels told them to do it. OR if you read a different account, some "wise men" see the star, interpret it as a sign, and travel all the way to Bethlehem from who knows where and bring Baby Jesus some useless, but probably valuable gifts.
Wow.  As always, you can count on Wikipedia for plainly spelling out all of the wonderful contradictions that exist in the Bible even for the most simple of stories. I love it. And as an adult, I now get to enjoy the incredulity on the faces of those who grew up in a totally secular environment as I tell the traditional Christian story of Christmas.

But you know the version I like best? The short, but sweet, version told on Pee Wee's Playhouse Christmas Special, our household's favorite holiday movie tradition! It's utterly delightful.

It's the TRUE MEANING of Christmas at 1:20. Thanks for explaining it to me Pee Wee!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Virgin Mary, Mother of Wings...

A little irreverence to brighten your day. 

Not that I'm a big fan of Hooters OR eating chicken wings, but this kind of thing always makes me laugh. Thanks to the bro for sharing.

And on a similar-ish note, I just watched the first episode of "Extras" with Ricky Gervais and laughed riotously/uncomfortably throughout. Cheers to him for making atheism a major theme of a first episode. The BBC gets away with everything. I can't imagine an American show doing that. I'm looking forward to watching the rest of the series.

Saturday, December 4, 2010


Jesus has re-arisen! Last night, in Beverly Hills, a friend and I saw JESUS! We saw him once on Little Santa Monica Blvd. near Canon, and then again walking down Wilshire by Robertson. It was awesome to watch the double takes passers-by would give. Apparently, he's a familiar figure to west-siders because a lot of people know about him.

He's just this incredibly tall, probably 6'6" man with long brown hair and a goatee who walks around Los Angeles in a flowing white robe. He likes flashing peace signs. The photo I got is miserable, I only caught him at the last second. With legs like that, he moves pretty fast. I'm sure superstitious types would look at this photo and think it's a ghost! I'm going to keep my eyes peeled for this guy, and next time I'm talking to him and getting a better photo!

Perez Hilton has some much better photos! I really want to talk to this guy! Alert the non-believers! I guess we're just wrong.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

God Damn-- I mean... ?

Blasphemy. Doesn't really serve a purpose anymore, does it? I mean, Holy Zeus, am I a hypocrite for acknowledging a god in some small way by damning it?

I'd like to think not. It's just words, after all. It's something made up to help give expression to anger or frustration. Just because I say "fuck" doesn't mean I'm actually talking about sexual intercourse. I don't know much about the etymology of swears, but I sure do enjoy using them. And "god damn" may be one of my favorites... it's a close second to just using "JESUS CHRIST." Sometimes I may or may not give Jesus a middle name that isn't mentioned in the Bible.

I started thinking about this a while back at work when I had the most comical/graceful slipping-and-almost-but-not-quite fall in the middle of the dining room. Someone had spilled olive oil on the floor and my right leg flew out in front of me as my arms windmilled, flailing wildly. I ended up performing something that looked a bit like a ballet move as all the surrounding customers GASPED audibly. Thankfully, my hands were empty at the time. And I shouted,


at the top of my lungs. In retrospect, I'm quite pleased with myself for not shouting out something more offensive. I'm lucky that most of our clientele are either gay or Jewish, and likely don't care about such things. My mother is the type of person who takes offense at Valley Girl types saying, "Like, gawd, totally, for sure" too much. To her, even saying, "Oh, god" is using the "lord's name in vain."

If I don't believe in any of these imaginary figures, why do I invoke them when I am most frightened or angry? Old habit? I actually used them less when I was a believer. Or maybe it's just utterly satisfying to abuse the words. They are unbelievably satisfying.

So what? Does this make me a hypocrite? It might take some practice, but I could get used to saying "FSM damn it" or "For the love of INVISIBLE PINK UNICORN!" Sure I could.