Forget making a mad dash to this years’ finish line with everything all tidily packaged up. Reflect on where you have happiness in your life and where you need it — and then bring that wisdom with you into 2011. (SFBG)
In 1967, John McCain was a U.S. Navy pilot fighting in Vietnam. Shot down during a bombing mission, he was captured and jailed in the notorious Hanoi Hilton prison camp, where he was tortured. After being freed in 1973, he returned to the U.S. and eventually launched a political career. When he ran for president in 2008, his candidacy got an endorsement from an unlikely source: Tran Trong Duyet, the Vietnamese prison commander who had supervised his torture. In the coming months, Taurus, I expect you to experience a turnaround that will have comparable poetic justice. I’m not sure how it will unfold. Maybe an adversary will praise you, a person who wounded you will make amends, or a force of nature that once opposed you will come over to your side. Twenty-eleven will be a Year of Vindicating Reversals. (Free Will Astrology)
Heartfelt exchanges with significant others offer opportunities for healing, but you must be willing to put pride aside and be humble. This isn’t about being submissive; it’s about being sincere. (Aquarium Age)
Projecting into the future is a big, stressful waste of time. Deal with what you know in the present, because it’s the best way to protect what has yet to come. Promote freedom by creating what you want, not by avoiding your fears. (SFBG)
If oil companies were given permission to sink their drilling rigs into the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, the petroleum they produced would ultimately lower gasoline prices by four cents per gallon. To my mind, that’s not a good trade-off. Let this scenario serve as a cautionary metaphor for you in 2011, Taurus. Don’t share your pristine wilderness or soulful beauty with exploitative types who offer iffy rewards. Instead, hold out for those who appreciate you profoundly and whose own gifts help you to thrive. (Free Will Astrology)
The eccentricity of the holiday spirit actually agrees with you. Give yourself permission to swap those reindeer antlers for your ET antennae, and have a wacky little weekend. (Aquarium Age)
Did anyone else watch Patti Smith on the Colbert Report Monday night? We’re Luddites without a TV, we admit, and this pales in comparison to her insanely gracious impromptu live appearance with the Tiny Cover Band at Columbia College in Chicago, but… . Sigh. Ms. Smith. May all of our cultural heroes continue to inspire with such ferocity. Speaking of: if you haven’t read Just Kids yet, why are you waiting? The opening, in which Robert Mapplethorpe is dying—going, going—and then (heart wrenches): gone. Smith wakes up, knowing and undone, to “Vissi d’arte” from Puccini’s Tosca: “I have lived for love, I have lived for art.”
I admit to having read Just Kids three times over within 72 hours of purchase. I admit to my own repeated listening to the music that informs the work, Smith’s own life: Puccini; Tim Hardin; an awkward, failed reevaluation of The Doors; Radio Ethiopia again and again. But the Puccini—there must be something in the air…
Extremes always. I haven’t had winter break in two years but faintly nostalgic for a long drive to DeKalb with my cold fingers smoking out the window and mix CDs cranked very, very loud. God, I’m fun today. LIES.
Wearing SidnNancy t-shirt and Supergirl boxers. Have barely left bed. Mike Birbiglia has just come on This American Life as I JUST turned it on. Epic dreams. Really good pizza. Spiced Swedish Wine with the rentals later. Sun on my bare legs, the black sheets. Languor. I am ruling this Saturday.
Of excursions you remember taking in elementary school, which was your favorite? Hm. I think I’m going to count junior high in this, too, because it’s all the same. Field Day was always pretty rad, and in my weird private school we got to go on an annual Toboggan trip in Wisconsin in like, the name of physics or something. Tobogganing = amazing. Outdoor Ed, for sure. Oh, and getting to see plays, especially Shakespeare style. Love, loved getting to go to the Shakespeare theater on the Pier when it first opened.
Of excursions you remember taking in elementary school, which was your least favorite? Fifth or sixth grade, Art Institute of Chicago, in which I had to reveal to all the girls in my class that I had “become a woman” due to discovering the magical wonders of tampon machines. Ugh. I was both mortified and, apparently, envy-producing.
What seems like a really good school excursion destination that nobody seems to take? Do kids still get to go see plays? Or camping? No money probably means this doesn’t happen in public schools so much anymore. Otherwise I vote bringing kids to poetry slams, or youth centers, or maybe like, factories or kitchens or something. Things that involve doing. Vocation. I’m not sure.
Which of your recent activities might pass for an educational excursion? Snicker. Some of them can’t be spoken of. Um, Uncle Fun’s is ALWAYS an education in GOOD TIMES. I drove a friend to Midway last week. It was pretty eye-opening. Aaaaaand… I’m going to The Alley/Tabou Tabou this weekend, so, there’s gonna be opportunities a plenty. Ooh, and the indie craft fair at Schubas! I will learn many things that I will never be able to do.
When a sack lunch was needed for a field trip, what was most likely in your brown paper bag? How about now? Ha. There was a good spate of time where my papi was packing me a lunch when I was about eight, which involved ham and butter sandwiches (it is precisely as like, Old Venezuelan Man as it sounds), shiny blue foil rice crispy treats and an apple. Then junior high hit, I was in charge and started being all adolescenty and constantly packed Diet Coke or cold rice or yogurt or something. Now, I’m the SHIT and make really good sandwiches, pasta or polenta with ragouts and toasted breadcrumbs and greens, leftover kale/spinach/provelone pizza, Nicoise salad, succotash and cheddar grits, BAM.
Ah, brings me back. Either to elementary school or my old livejournal. Sigh.
Trying to change the past will get you in some demoralizing situations. Things are changing, and it’s necessary that you find peace in who you are and where you’re at right now. (SFBG, thanks for being AWESOMELY unhelpful).
Here’s a haiku-like poem by Cor van den Heuvel: “the little girl / hangs all the ornaments / on the nearest branch.” My comment: It’s cute that the girl crams all the decorations onto one small section of the tree, and maybe her parents will keep them that way. But I recommend that you take a different approach as you work to beautify and enliven your environment. Spread out your offerings; distribute your blessings equally; make sure that everything in need of invigoration gets what it requires. (Free Will Astrology)
Call your condition an “existential crisis” and you won’t be wrong because you’re uncertain where you really belong. But home always has been and always will be where the heart is. (Aquarium Age, and way to be on the ball, Ralfee)
Sometimes I cannot stand the thought of swallowing another bite of oatmeal I make in the morning. But I eat it anyway because secretly I believe that eating oatmeal in the morning just sort of makes you better than other people.
Mercury’s taking its time this month, hauling me back into memory. Been tapping into four years ago when this album came out (and, dang, it is probably one of my favorites of the oughts). Slow, lazy, orbit when you’re supposed to just stare back and try to figure out what’s changed. My desires harken. I have the strongest urge to find a bathhouse around here. Haven’t thought about that night at Osento in so long, but now can’t seem to get it out of my brain: the sharp shocks of cold air, heavy pull of hot pools, sweat rooms, rose and flushed skin swallowing all the breezes off Valencia street, the smooth planks of cedar, Victorian roofs, strange conglomerations of stars and radio antennae. How it pulled me taut but quieted the ache. Something about sense in extremes.
Winter that year. Tequila sunrises and listening to this with FB near constantly. A little bit older, a little bit colder. Long, brown cigarettes, Regina Spektor, my constant presence perched on the bricks between Ethel and Mary. It felt cold in California that year. Writing like a wraith, then, jagged but clean. That, too, poking. Fighting with everyone, almost, too many miles logged between November and December, tear-logged in a car, New Years at the House of Pain and gin at Denny’s around four AM. Hearts might not beat like they used to, but the change in cadence isn’t always bad. Next year’s hand on my shoulder, and I can’t turn to it yet, but goddamn, I will.
(Just supposed to be a music post. Oye, retrogrades. There is not enough coffee in the entire world for today).
inhaled around midnight, thank you. Meandering Fridays are the best. But it is now 10 AM and subzero fronts are apparently headed my way (and snow!) and I have “Wait, Wait!” on my radio and parties to plan for and oh.
“Dionysos had to be feminine, for the same reason that he had to be foreign and bestial: he was Other, opposed by nature to the dearest values of Greek society. He was wet and wild, emotional and disorderly, a god of madness and shape-shifting. He could not be a ‘real man’ in the eyes of the Greeks because a real man could not be allowed to possess these attributes. He was a strange god, and a god of the periphery - edging on the dark and unknown. The periphery, the uncivilized, was the realm of women and beasts; hence his companions were maenads and satyrs.”—Delia Morgan, “The Ivied Rod: Gender and the Phallus in Dionysian Religion” (via dressrehearsalrag) (via zombiemaenad) (via ophelia-psychosis) (via leda-swanson) (via lamortdesamants)
You’ve been making things happen and now it’s time to sit back and reexamine things. Reacquaint yourself with your relationships and investments to make sure you’re still pointed in the direction you wanna go. (SFBG)
Butterflies recall at least some of what they’ve learned during their time as caterpillars. The metamorphosis they go through is dramatic, turning their bodies into a soupy goo before remaking them into winged gliders. And yet they retain the gist of the lessons they mastered while in their earlier form. I see something comparable ahead for you in 2011, Taurus. It’s as if you will undergo a kind of reincarnation without having to endure the inconvenience of actually dying. Like a butterfly, the wisdom you’ve earned in your old self will accompany you into your new life. Are you ready? The process begins soon. (Free Will Astrology)
Mercury has you searching for new answers to old questions. I’m not suggesting you surrender all your deepest beliefs, but I am advising you to consider previously dismissed perspectives. (Aquarium Age)