Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Somewhere around Barstow on the edge of the desert...

I can assure you I was the only 12 year old in my Catholic grammar school who ever toted a copy of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas to class. For this, I blame not only my insatiable need for attention, but also my older brother, ten years my senior and unusually attentive to his young sister's cultural development. He had me on a diet of Hunter S. Thompson, Rolling Stone magazine, Leo Kottke, Mott the Hoople, and the films of Akira Kurasawa before I was in my teens.

As an adolescent I didn't understand most of Thompson's opus, but something about the tone of it really appealed to me. He had a Venus in Gemini's rapier way with language ( it didn't hurt that his Venus exactly conjoined my natal Moon; he was the funny valentine of my Gemini heart), and his sheer delight in wrestling words to the ground made me want to jump up and down and applaud wildly.

Thirty years later, I had more or less forgotten about Thompson until I read his merry screed against the Bush administration, published just a few days before the election. This time I did jump up and down and clap, and made sure to forward the link to my brother with the subject line, "Kerry gets the Gonzo vote!" Good times.

Nobody seems to know why Hunter S. Thompson killed himself on Sunday. I couldn't sleep and got up to watch TV in the middle of the night, and there was the news: Hunter S. Thompson, mortal gunshot wound... I was so stunned that my initial response was, "But... is he alive?" Because geez, he was not that old, and his writing was vibrant, and he seemed utterly untamed and full of piss as ever. My 4 am mind simply couldn't wrap itself around the twin concepts of "Hunter S. Thompson" and "mortal." It's not having much more luck two days later and wide awake.

Monday, February 14, 2005

The Vapors

What a fantastic aspect for Valentine's Day: Venus conjunct Neptune (Feb. 14, 4:48 pm PST). Dreamy, candy-coated luvvvv. Romance. What Victorian ladies used to call "the vapors."

Despite my occasionally crusty exterior, I am no stranger to idealism and romantic love; I was, after all, born with Venus trine Neptune (one of the few nice aspects in my chart, actually). But whether it's age, experience, or my progressed Moon in Capricorn - I no longer find idealistic love particularly appealing. It's so exhausting, keeping up a pretense of perfection, pretending your partner is utterly blemish-free. Just... exhausting.

On the other hand... There is something terribly romantic about someone who is fully aware of, and painfully realistic about your faults - yet persists in cherishing you, calamitous failed experiment in humanity that you are. Someone who never stops trying to help you achieve your vision of a somewhat better you, the you that you never quite get around to being, the you that you would be if you worked out more and didn't lose your temper so much and were just generally nicer - yet who never makes you feel you need to be anything other than exactly what you are, right now.

That kind of love is just grand.

Monday, February 07, 2005

New article at Big Sky Astrology

Just published an article at my website in honor of tomorrow's New Moon in Aquarius.

Aquarius New Moon
Tuesday, February 8, 2005
2:28 pm PST / 5:28 pm EST
Sun and Moon at 20.16 Aquarius

Friday, February 04, 2005

Shooting is Fun-damental!

From Salon:

Lt. Gen. James Mattis, a career infantry officer who is now in charge of developing better ways to train and equip Marines, made the comments Tuesday while speaking to a forum in San Diego.

According to an audio recording, he said, "Actually, it's a lot of fun to fight. You know, it's a hell of a hoot. ... It's fun to shoot some people. I'll be right up front with you, I like brawling."

Right here in my home town, folks! Nothing like Mars richocheting off a conjunction with Pluto and careening through the last degrees of Sagittarius to make a military man stick his foot in his mouth. Well, at least he was being honest (sadly enough).

In other news: If you don't subscribe to Bill Herbst's newsletter, you may have missed his latest, in which he explores Pluto in Sagittarius with great insight and sagacity. It's a good read.

Thursday, February 03, 2005

April. Elliott. Kent.

So... admittedly, this is kind of a stupid thing to get annoyed about, and I must be having some kind of tough Mercury transit or something, but...

My name is April Elliott Kent.
Not April Elliot Kent.
Not April Elliot-Kent or April Elliott-Kent.
And certainly not April Kent-Elliott.

April. Elliott. Kent.

I'm more or less used to the dropped-t, because Elliott was my maiden name and people have been trying to rob me of that last -t all my life. I don't know why. I guess it's an honest mistake, but sometimes I suspect people think I don't know how to spell my own name. "Oh, her finger hit the 't' too many times, let me fix that for her." No. My finger knew exactly what it was doing. My father spelled it with two t's, as did his father, and so on. I'm not being greedy, taking an extra -t that doesn't belong to me. I own that sucker.

My name is not hyphenated because my last name is Kent. Elliott is my middle name. See? I like to use all three names. I understand the confusion - these are complex times we live in! - but I am not hyphenated. Because Elliott is not part of my last name.

Now, April Kent-Elliott is an entirely new one. Apparently it came up on a Google search when someone was looking for me, and they were nice enough to pass along the link. It's a little scary, because the link was to a catalog entry for a book I contributed to. Is the person who created the catalog the same person who is designing the book? Gack!

April. Elliott. Bloody. Kent, people. It's not like I'm named Schwarzenegger or something. Thank God. Because that would really be something to bitch about. Maria Shriver might've been crazy enough to marry the guy, but even she didn't hobble herself with that spelling-bee nightmare of a name.

She probably gets sick of people calling her a Kennedy, though.