Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Bloggin' on Tuesdays.

Hmm. Looking through the archive of my past posts, it seems I've got kind of a Tuesday thing goin' on with the blog. It wasn't premeditated, I swear.

Tuesday is supposed to be ruled by Mars, right? Mardi gras = fat Tuesday. Mardi = Mars in French. So why am I bloggin' on Tuesdays? I should be ironing (Mars rules iron) or arc welding or puttin' the smackdown on those who annoy me. By all planetary logic, Wednesday - ruled by Mercury - should be for bloggin'!

On the other hand, my Mars in Virgo is ruled by Mercury. And it's true that when I do Mars, I do it in a Mercurial way. So I iron while watching TV and talking on the phone, because Mercury likes to multi-task. My preferred smackdown method is in writing - the nastygram. I do not arc weld, but if I did so, I'm sure I would make it way more complicated than necessary, because that's Virgo's way.

Got through Christmas fine by doing our usual: not going anywhere, not seeing anyone, not speaking to anybody. When we got married we made a pact to spend Christmases alone - mainly because we don't celebrate Christmas, per se. So we've made our own little tradition that consists mainly of cooking orange chicken together and drinking champagne. A few years ago we deviated from this fine tradition to spend Christmas in San Luis Obispo (we were en route to San Francisco to visit Jonny's family), where we had a nice Thai dinner and then saw the first Lord of the Rings movie at a cool old movie theater. But generally... nowhere, nobody, orange chicken, champagne. But look at the cool present I got!

Jonny had four days off, and I felt like hanging with him, so I mostly avoided the computer until yesterday. I was surprised how much I enjoyed the break. But this week I'm back at it, as you can see, and despite a power outage this morning I've spent today flogging away, with brutal diligence, at an article that's due on Friday. It's fully written, has been edited into some kind of sense, and yet I pretty much hate it. Luckily I still have a couple of days to fashion it into something a mother could love. Wish me luck with that.

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Winter essay posted

In honor of today's Winter Solstice (4:42 am PST), I've posted my winter essay over at my website.

In astrologically unrelated news... You might want to stop by Dan Goodsell's Imaginary World website. There's a sort of sweet, semi-demented Pee Wee's Playhouse vibe goin' on over there. I've got my eye on that Hillbilly Pears concert poster.

Sunday, December 19, 2004

A Mercury Rx classic

We found ourselves with our first free weekend day in a couple of months, so this morning we celebrated with a trip to the local bookseller. Hours of browsing later I dragged home my bounty, which included Steven King's memoir On Writing. I'm no particular fan of King's fiction, but I'd heard good things about this book, and tucked in immediately.

I was cruising along, fully engrossed, and had reached the apex of King's story about his battle with alcoholism in the 1980's. Riveted, I turned the page, eager to discover how King triumphed over the ravages of overnight success and cheap beer... and found myself reading a section I'd finished 30 pages ago. In my confusion, I wondered whether I had set the book down and lost my place. But no; I looked at the bottom of the page and found that the book had skipped from page 96 back in time to page 67 - which, make no mistake, was fine reading. But I didn't need to relive it quite so soon. And worse, the thrilling conclusion of King's battle with the bottle, as well as whatever happened in the next 30 pages, was completely missing.

So it's back to the bookstore tomorrow to see if I can exchange my freakish misprinted copy with something a little more sequential. Perhaps I stand a fighting chance; Mercury turns direct tonight, 10:29 pm PST.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

The void-of-course casserole.

The New Moon was on Saturday at 20 Sagittarius. In honor of the occasion I wrote this article for MoonCircles.com, if you're looking for something a bit more substantial than this entry promises to be.

Yesterday there was this transiting Sun/Pluto conjunction. To me, it felt exactly like someone had plugged in some really huge appliance that instantly sucked all the energy away from everything else, causing a brown-out. Maybe it was just me, though; we hosted a rather large party here on Sunday. Yes, it was highly festive and enjoyable, and yes, the cabinets either side of the fireplace looked fabulous. But for an introvert like me (no one believes me when I describe myself as an introvert, but then, they don't see me curl into the fetal position in front of the TV for a day or so after playing the social butterfly at some event), it was exhausting. So this week I've been taking advantage of my temporary lack of deadlines to do some serious goofing off.

Thus liberated, I had expected to feel energized this week but instead lack energy and direction. My accomplishments today? I answered some emails, rewatched a couple of movies I've seen fifty times (and I don't even particularly like them; what is that? I dislike these films, and yet when I stumble across them on TBS or something I cannot.look.away.) and made a rather tasty chicken and rice casserole. And that's it. Elsewhere in the world today, folks did useful things that improved nations and led to the betterment of the human race; I baked a casserole and watched Trading Places for the gazillionth time.

Then again, my progressed Moon is currently at 29 degrees Sagittarius, void of course, in a late-sign slump of evolutionary exhaustion. It is poised, however, to ascend to the heady heights of Capricorn next month. So I suppose the quest for world domination can wait until then.

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Manual labor and cookies

Mercury conjoined Pluto today, and together they squared my natal Mars in Virgo. Doesn't that sound dreadful? But it wasn't; rather, I tackled an epic scraping-and-painting renovation project I've been putting off forever. How's that for Mercury/Virgo (dexterity and detail), Mars/Pluto (hard work, bringing something back to its bare essence)?

The backstory: A few years ago, we bought two old kitchen cabinets from an architectural salvage store, planning to convert them to built-in bookshelves to flank our living room fireplace. Unfortunately, they were covered with layers and layers of vile paint, and we got sidetracked by renovation torture; so our cabinets spent a couple of years cluttering up the garage before, finally, we tackled them. We stripped them, Jonny cut them down to fit under the windows, and we painted and installed them. Gorgeous. Perfect. Except... somehow, we never got around to finishing one set of doors, so for the past couple of years or so the bookcases have had a weird, lopsided look.

But today, galvanized by a party/house concert we're having here next weekend, I tackled those suckers. Out came the sawhorses, the silent paint remover ( a kind of infrared heating gadget we saw on This Old House that actually works like a charm), the scraper, the primer, the paint brush. For about four hours I meditatively scraped away out on the patio, absentmindedly listening to (the annoying) Rachel Ray on the Food Network, (the sublime) Terry Gross on NPR, (the ridiculously overplayed) "Love Actually" on HBO. And at the end of it all, the doors are all ready for a top coat tomorrow, ready to be installed in time for the party. Because Venus was sextiling my Mars as well, and because I felt so pleased with myself, I ended the afternoon by baking some celebratory chocolate chip cookies.

Martha Stewart's in jail, folks. Someone's gotta fill the void.

Friday, December 03, 2004

The Sky Within

From the shameless commerce division: After making half-hearted attempts to write my own computer-generated natal report, I broke down and bought Steven Forrest's "Sky Within" natal report generator. You can view a sample report at Matrix software's site (link opens a PDF file).

If you want a really nifty, profoundly non-stupid, and refreshingly cheap computer-generated report to give someone as a gift this holiday season, email me. I'm selling the individual reports for $12 a pop, which includes shipping and stuff. Or, save yourself a couple of bucks (and save me a trip to the post office), and I'll email you the report for a measely $10. Quel deal!

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

The "ooh" in the "ooh la la"

We interrupt the angst and depression of the past three weeks to bring you this uplifting announcement: Venus and Mars will make a conjunction in Scorpio this Sunday, December 5, 2:13 pm PST - ish. And may I just say that this aspect promises to put the "ooh" in the "ooh la la," so book a weekend date with your sweetie.

And oh yeah, Mercury is officially retrograde as of yesterday. But funnily enough, after a pretty hairy pre-Rx week, everything immediately calmed down once Mercury made its station. Don't ask me, I'm just the astrologer.

It's been pretty bloody cold here. We actually had frost the last two nights; we had to swaddle our lemon tree in blankets. I'm just making conversation here, incidentally; there are people who know all kinds of things about astrology and the weather, but I'm afraid I'm not one of them.