Saturday, April 25, 2009
Friday, April 24, 2009
As a totally irrelevant aside, I do believe that my given name, "Janet," which under traditional patriarchal interpretations is a derivative from "John," meaning something like "God's Gift [to men] ("Ja" = shortened name for God in Hebrew), is actually a derivative from the much older Naunet -- the "et" syllable denoted a female or the feminine in ancient Egyptian, much as "ette" denotes female or the feminine today in French). Perhaps the older name of "Nanette," which is out of style these days (as is my name, Janet), is an ancient carry-over from the times when the Goddess reigned supreme. Therefore, darlings, I am named after the Goddess of Creation, and not after "St. John." I always thought he was rather wimpy and - well, swishy. Oh, slap my face, I'm a bad girl for saying such a thing :)
Various myths said Tiamat alone produced the fluid of creation, which was not semen but her menstrual blood, flowing continuously for three years and three months.Is this why the use of red ochre was so predominate in Neolithic times in sacred cave drawings and painted on stone, ivory and bone carvings -- to show life and a link to the Mother Goddess, from whom all life flowed through the sacred menstrual blood? Is this why the color "red" - as in "red blood" is associated with life and living? Is this why the mythical elixir of life, called "Soma" in Sanskrit and "Homa" in Pahlavi, was linked to menstrual blood? And is this why black (blood lacking oxygen from cessation of breathing, is a darkish, sort of black looking color = lack of life) is associated with funereal rites in many cultures to this day? I was going to put up an image of Tiamat with this post, but without exception those that I found were images of ugly beasts - sort of like Lizard-Dragons with huge claws and teeth -- ancestral memories of dinosaurs? Traditionalists would say I'm nuts for even thinking of such a thing, but based on the record -- actually lack thereof, to this point in time -- who's to really say? Wish I could live another 100 years to see what the archaeologists, paleontologists, anthropologists and historians come up with! Er - got sidetracked there for a second - back to finding an image of Tiamat: Since Tiamat is "formless" it occurred to me (duh, Jan!) that all images of her thus far discovered, without exception, were from much later times, after Marduk had "killed her off," and she was thereafter depicted as a monstrous being. As dondelion says, history is (re)written by the victors.
Thursday, April 23, 2009
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
Well, I'm very disappointed this evening. I had $20 worth of "Kohls Cash" which I thought expired tomorrow, plus a $10 Kohls gift card sent to me in the mail (for being a valued customer? Yeah, right...) which became effective today. So, I determined to trek down to Southridge Mall after work tonight and shop for a new pair of shoes for the upcoming New York trip.
Arggghhhh! As the bus headed southwest from downtown, I thought "you'd better check the dates on your Kohls cash again, just to be sure. Well, I'm glad I checked because it sure would have been embarrassing to arrive at the checkout counter only to discover that my Kohls cash expired YESTERDAY. Damn! A free $20 down the drain.
I weighed my options - continue my journey, now armed only with $10 of free money, and pay the rest in cash (I'm off credit cards these days), or forget about it and save my hard-earned cash. I decided to save my hard-earned cash. Using $30 of free money toward the purchase of new shoes on sale is one thing; using $10 of free money is another thing.
But - no new shoes. Boo hoo hoo!
Anyway, earlier this evening I was paging through the April, 2009 edition of Chess Life magazine. I didn't find the contents particularly interesting this month, but perhaps you all thought otherwise. I did think that the three/quarter back cover ad - in beautiful color - for the International Chess Festival in Last Vegas, which also includes the Susan Polgar World Open Chess Championship for Girls and Boys and several other tournaments and special events was absolutely gorgeous! The hotel choice - off-strip. Not cool. I wonder what was the thinking of the organizers was behind that decision?
On page 70 are the Classifieds - two pages from the end of the magazine. I usually do not look at the classifieds. I do not have any idea why I decided to look at them today, but it was interesting! Who, for instance, is the "*Legendary Chess Instructor*" whose website address is printed so tiny I cannot read it even with my magnifying glasses on? And what do those asterisks before and after mean? Are they simply meant to be marks of emphasis? Or are they meant to designate some particularly large footnoted joke?
Then there was an ad for "Chess-Player Scholars" - offering university scholarships to certain qualifying chessplaying high school students. The university is the University of Maryland, Baltimore County - famous for its championship-calibre chess teams.
Then there was an ad for Ancient Chess.com. I said to myself, "Self, you must check this out," because anything with ancient and chess connected together are like an interesting scent to a bloodhound. Okay, not a particularly attractive analogy but heck, it fits. LOL! So, I visited the website. It's primarily a vehicle for selling chess sets on ebay, but I do have to say that I thought the section on "Chess History" was well done. I particularly enjoyed the detail the writer went into about some of the moves of particular pieces in chess as it was/is played in various countries around the world, including China, Cambodia, Thailand, Japan, Korea, etc. It was informative and entertaining without overwhelming one with too many technical details. Good job!
As for the merchandise - well, I'm not in the market and, not being a collector of sets, I only took a quick look at the offerings under a few categories. There are a few sets that are the several hundred dollar range, but also many sets that are more within the price range in which I would consider making a purchase.
In sum, I think the website is well put-together and worth a visit.