Sorry I haven't been around. I've had a terrible case of Old Ladyitis; just generally feeling like absolute shit. I had to start exercising and I've made some drastic changes in my diet, and now I'm feeling a lot better, but it was grim there for awhile.
I honestly think I've reached my limit when it comes to isolation. Winter weather just makes it worse, and I've become terribly cold-sensitive in my dotage, which is nobody's idea of fun either. In other news, I got all my yearly check-ups and tests done, and I'm apparently doing great. I mean, 'really unusual for my age' great. I'm told that the difficulties I've been having are due to age, pure and simple, and Mr. Internet seems to agree, so I'm taking aspirin and sitting on cushions, chucking down the fiber and wearing two layers of clothes indoors.
And reading the Septuagint.
This is the original Old Testament, the one that was in use back when Jesus and his buddies were alive. The one used now? King James thought it needed some tidying up so he 'fixed' it in the 1600's, and cut out a lot of stuff. I now see why. The Septuagint is metal. This is a scary, scary collection of writing. Not a light read either, but it explains So Many Things. The Church used the Septuagint until 1611, all across Europe, throughout the Christian world, and it explains a lot of the base beliefs, the art, the traditions and stories, the weird heresies, just on and on. I should have read this years ago. Anyone who is a history freak should read this. It clears up everything, every question you might have had about the medieval and renaissance mindset.
Human nature hasn't changed. People naturally head for the gore and violence, and the Septuagint has it all. God gets pissed off A Lot. (Deuteronomy chapter 32, verses 1 - 43 is a masterpiece of God being fed up to here with everybody's bullshit.) Everyone is knifing one another. The concept of circumcision is applied in...um...creative ways. Angels appear, do strange things like kick the crap out of you for no reason, and then leave. Lots of prostitutes around. Giants pop up here and there. Other gods exist. Houses get leprosy. People live for hundreds of years and have babies way up into their nineties.
Meanwhile Christianity is supposed to begin with the New Testament, and yeah, that's a nice book, but it loses something against the flamboyant wtf of the Septuagint, and priests had to catch and hold the interest of an audience. You don't do that with "Blessed are the meek." You do that with "A dude gets raped by his daughters."
So I still know how to party.