Virgo 29° (September 20)
There is plenty to read below so I’m just going to say that today is going to be super low key. We will have delicious tuna tacos later and have some laughs and try to forget for a day what we are in store for with RBG having passed. Dark times people and they will get darker before they turn light. If there is a god we will get some kind of reprise.
The following blocks of text are exceprts from my first year of Blagues, nos. 871-875. I am reading through all of my Blagues, five per day, and posting some samples here. Now, in my sixth year of writing this Blague, by the time I get to my seventh, I will have journeyed through all the daily Blagues of my first five years. If that’s confusing I apologize. Year seven, I’ll only have to read through year six, once a day.
So Olivia de Havilland is 101 and change. It’s 2017. She was born in 1916. Let’s round down and say she’s been around 100 years. Eleanor of Aquitaine was born in 1122, roughly 900 years ago. 1122 was only nine Olivia de Havillands. The dark ages were just nine Olivia de Havillands ago. We went from living by the light of torches sleeping under animal skins around fires to cell phones and the internet and satellites and remote probes sent out into the far reaches of the solar system in just nine Olivia de Havillands. Jesus was only twenty Olivia de Havillands ago. Our history is so short and we think we’ve come so far, and in many ways we have.
Woke up today at 3:15. I should be gearing up for late nights instead I’m getting up earlier than farmers do. I suppose I’m worried or rather I am experiencing something that has taken the place of worry, a sort of resigned laziness and unwillingness to go the extra mile but instead let sleeping dogs lie. Let the chips all fall where they may. I made my to-do list and I’ll just have to work it and see what happens.
We will perform our holiday show at Joe’s Pub again this Christmastime. I got my dates rather late from the venue and it’s tricky getting band together on what is a bit of short notice for the sought-after musicians we work with. To make it easier on our musical director, especially, I’m going to go back through the annals and see what songs in our repetoire can be resurrected. I will make that a priority in the coming weeks. The concept of our shows now is on the theme of: The Twelve Signs of….(fill in the blank), in this case Christams, Solstice, Winter, etc. But we can be loose. Indeed we are about to get a whole bunch looser.
Last night I did a Google search of “Afterglow 2017” and this page came up for a nearby resort here in Provincetown that was claiming to have a partnership with us and were thus advertising using our name as a promotion code, the whole nine yards. I wrote them and they were not at all contrite nor very apologetic, in fact they seemed vicitimized to have been accused. Don’t you just love with perps act like the injured party? I know I do.
It’s time to be funny a little bit more all the time. I think I’ll try that as my mantra.
The first artist up this year at Afterglow is Phoebe Legere. I first met Phoebe in 1988. I was working at Avenue magazine’s tabloid called On The Avenue, while also editing a new downtown DV8* (one might even call it a zine nowadays) and I knew this publicist that was launching film Mondo New York which starred, among others like Joey Arias, Rick Aviles, Ann Magnuson, Karen Finley, Lydia Lunch and Phoebe.
Phoebe was also working on The Toxic Avenger Part 2 at the time. Anyway I interviewed Phoebe, who was determined to tell me that she was way more Mayflower stock than Roxanne Pulitzer, who I had also interviewed (for some reason); anyway Phoebe got me an extra part in the Avenger film which entailed standing around with a bunch of other weirdos down in some marble-lobbied building near Wall Street. I was wearing precious little that much I know—we (the extras) were supposed to be assembled minions of evil or something. There was a lot of hammy snarling.
I contacted Phoebe and had her come to Provincetown in the summer of 2014 for a one-off on-season series but that was a bust, not just for Phoebe, but for everybody. I’m excited that World of Wonder has become a Sponsor that is great news. Everything old is new again.
We had our opening party and dinner last night. I wish people who say they’re coming to things would actually show up. We ended up being half the amoutn of people last night for the dinner portion and the amazing chef/owner Raina, at Baie, put out quite a spread. Honestly I could eat it all again. I can’t even begin to say how delicious the food was.
We are staying in a condo in Provincetown, an old house divided into many untis, a word I never want to use again. I don’t know who in their right mind would spend money to live in such tiny cramped quarters as these. It’s a joke honestly. I’m sitting outside right now on a “porch” and just behind my head is someone else’s porch and they’re outside right now as well. Without looking around, I can hear the sound of a measuring tape, the metal sliding in and out and stepping back. I would have OCD if I lived in a tiny condo. Obviously this person needs to measure to fit or build something. That’s all people do here in P-town is measure and build it seems. I can tell you how big it is, Queen, without looking: Small.
So yeah tiny turnout for the party. Meager ticket sales. A dearth of fundraising this year. Even my close friends who typically pony up have ignored the group emails to Dear Friends that have gone out. I don’t know. It’s the law of diminishing returns. Am I secretly done with trying to make this thing happen—saving Provincetown’s theatrical and performance heritage by running this non-profit—I think I might have to be.
Two weeks ago today we opened the seventh annual Afterglow Festival in Provincetown and I lost the thread with the Blague because it took every moment of my time and every atom of my energy. So again doing a bit of catch up here and I thought I might tell you a little tale of what we did. First our fundraising was down by about twenty thousand dollars oer last year which seriously impacted our abilities; however we did have quite a good turn out so we managed to break even. Friends had given us a place to stay but I have to tell you it wasn’t comfortable; and our old realtor (who found us places in Provincetown in the past) was our upstairs neighbor and started stomping around every morning at five am. By the end of the week I was a hot mess.
But the week did start out great with a fun party and a great dinner at a friend’s new restaurant which is my new favorite eatery in town. First night of shows went well. But audiences were low but in the end we did have two sold out performances which was a first. Despite the excitement in being in a new venue and the fact that many people “discovered” us for the first time in seven years, it is becoming increasingly difficult to pull this off. It is the law of diminishing returns in many ways and I think in order for us to do an eighth year it would have to be “the Afterglow to end all Afterglows” perhaps literally.
As I say I typically post about the artists each day but it was in many ways a disjointed festival. The artists used to share a spirit of community. Now they pretty much perform their own show and don’t see anybody else’s. And there is a photographer in town who always siphons off the talent to take photos of them so that he can put their images in a book and profit from them. He will schedule shoots during our shows. It’s just beyond.
If I am to do this again, I need big funding and I need to drain the swamp so to speak. Now that we live in such a polarized society, too, the type of artists I champion seem not to exist—that is to say I have carved out sacred space for those who aren’t big-ticket sellers (like the Broadway stars who people the stage on season) but the artists seem not to feel that they aren’t as financially valuable. “I need a guarantee of X.” Okay so the fact we’re paying you and traveling you and housing you and building audience for you in a place where nobody knows you is not enough?
I often tell clients that when they hit a paradox it is time to take note and close the circle and move on. Well the fact that people are now really turned on to the festival will not be a reason for me to continue. I cannot do it without support or money. And Provincetown has more reach people in it than ever before. I will give the people of Provincetown the chance to pony up and help just as the year begins. And if they don’t bite then the festival will…the dust.
I ran into a former friend cum abuser. Well I didn’t quite; because, as I was sitting in a local restaurtant, he came waltzing in only to see us and flee. He is a mentally ill character so I do have sympathy for him. He was with friends who bolstered him back into the joint, no doubt reassuring him that they would protect him if we…. what?… attacked? Because you see he is so ill to have convinced others, gaslighter that he is, that we pose some kind of danger. Of course that’s not the real reason he fled. The real reason is he knows that we know the stories he’s spread about us and I guess he fears some kind of retaliation?
The only kind of retaliation I was able to mount was a poem of sorts, which I’ll spare you. Time goes by so quickly and it has now been years since I’ve spoken with this person. I will see mutual friends I haven’t seen in years who always seem shocked that I’m not wearing some kind of straightjacket and tinfoil hat. And I know that he’s gotten to them. It is really odd. On paper this person has everything—money, status, a certain fame—and yet he is the most miserable sod on the planet. Why do those things often go together?
If I were him I’d run too. But there is a lesson in this for me too. I have seemed to attract the crazies in my life. I’m sure it has everything to do with my upbringing, having been, in large part, raised by at least one wolf. So much drama in my family of origin and then poof, they’re gone. Why did you make me work so hard to cope with you all those years? Anyway, that is for my meditation or some shrink to absorb. And I suppose for a Blague as well.
I’m getting to the point (again) where all I want is a peaceful life. That and three inches off my waistline. I think I can achieve both in short order and I’m grateful for the peace I have been able to cultivate. I mean it. I know it sounds superficial. But I am, in some ways, just writing whatever is foremost in my shallow brain. In the words of an old Grateful Dead friend of mine: “If it’s not fun, leave”. And I’m finding culture here to be quite unfun indeed. I don’t know where I’ll go exactly but I do have the good fortune to have made some inroads for myself and my family of two with my writing and I believe it’s time for me to prioritize my craft once again, in the myriad forms in which it manifests.
The Zodiac does start with the first house (of physical self) for a reason. Our physical being is, science says, really just denser energy anyway. Energy and spirit are synonymous to me; so our body is a dense form of spiritual energy, that true temple. And I have to recognize the ways in which I’ve trashed mine, even in the smallest ways. I want to start with my phsycial self and try to be the best I can be on that score. Now that doesn’t mean gyms and diets for me. That means taxing it less. Feeding it water and sunlight. I’m lucky I hate sugar and always have. But I do like savory Scoobie snacks. Yum.
I have twelve e-books to rework in the next month. I typically have a column for Glamour this time of year but the editor is MIA. I have an upcoming Starsky + Cox show at Joe’s Pub which I’ll want to write; and I do want to keep up more consistently with this Blague. I have a call scheduled with an agency that is meant to represent us; and I know what will happen on that score. It will be up to me to write more of a proposal or, perish the thought, sample chapters. I don’t want to have to. I feel that I have already proved myself beyond a shadow of a doubt as a compelling writer. I’m tired of the auditions. And I will sooner retreat into some cabin in the woods and quietly and modestly publish e-books under my own steam then continue to prove myself. I’m an old person.
A little bit of show writing to kill two birds with one stone. The next twelve posts constitute a draft of our upcoming Christmas show.
It’s another year where holday spirit is hard to come by what with the Heat Miser—read: climate change denier—in chief. And Happy Solstice. The Winter Solstice is at 11:28 tomorrow morning, to be exact, when the days start getting longer. And, after all the darkness, so much darkenes, we look forward to the return of light.
We like to think of tonight as the second show in a two night run that begain a year ago, with a small 364-day break in between, so if you caught the first show, we hope to have improved on it for you, now that we’ve got the show up and running.
We are litereally “dashing through” the twelve signs of Christmas here, exploring how songwriters of each of the twelve signs interpret the season, Christmas and, yes, spirituality in general, from their various persepctives. We’ve found that in the process of creation 99 and 44/100ths percent of artists really can’t escape their archetype. Twelve is of course a number associated with Christmas because it’s the number of Cosmic Order, which the Zodiac represensts, and therefore grafted onto the holiday which is still a relatively new event in the scheme of things
So yes, will examine how the signs of the Zodiac correlate to the various aspects of the Christ-mas story just as they relate to the whole of the bible really because they are all metaphors for you, you see, and you’re own journey. The Zodiac’s Twelve signs and houses really illustrate the different aspects of Self, in turn, with encoded wisdom on how you might get yourself to fire on all these cosmic cylinders if you will. Really, we see the Zodiac as a practicable system. It’s the original Twelve-step program. And so too is the whole of the Christ-mas story meant to serve as a exemplary guide for living.
People born any sign are simply the best, examples, literally personifications, of that sign’s particular energy. Anyway don’t get hung up on the particulars. If you feel you’re not getting it. Don’t worry, you are on some level. Trust us This is something of a transmission. So let it just wash over you. And, oh, yes, also some of you will have sent us your birth info and we do have something prepared for you which we’ll deliver at the end of the show so you can relax on that score too. And just chill.
So that first song Star of Wonder was written by Terre Roche, an Aries, the first sign of the Zodiac. The Star, in the story, signals birth. And the first sign of Aries rules birth and new beginnings. The headstrong Ram is the symbol—we’re typically born head first.
Aries is the cardinal-fire sign. It is a spark, and ignition of new experience. On the grand scale the spark of big bang creation but on a personal level it is our individual spark, our purpose, motivation. Aries is ruled by Mars, named for the Roman War god the Greek Ares (A-r-e-s) who, like the Ram, attacks life. He is fiercely single-minded in his sole objective. His emblem is the spear. He has a point. A singular purpose. Of course, before he was a war god he was a hunter, with that spear, and before that, a herder, a shepherd, with his staff, taking the lead.
Aries people embody this purposeful, pointed energy. Perhaps to a fault. Not terribly sensitive to their effect on others, they personify the notion that we must all be one with our purpose. And you must first ask yourself what is your point? What we you born to be? Are you being it? It all starts with living your purpose. And it’s never to late to do so. The first house rules the physical body. Embodiment. Mars rules the blood. What it is in your blood to do.
The Ram, a sheep first sign. And the first to see that Star is the shepherd. Star of wonder or star of I wonder Should I follow or continue to take my own leads? Am I Ram or am I sheep? It’s an existential question. Aries motto is I am. Being. Being and Embodiment. Buddha was an Aries. And, his brand of spirituality, and really Aries default brand of spirituality—Terre Roche is a buddhist—is all about the capital S self.
To view the original Sabian Symbol themed 2015 Cosmic Blague corresponding to this day: Flashback! The degree point of the Sabian Symbol may at times be one degree higher than the one listed here. The Blague portrays the starting degree of for this day ( 0°, for instance), as I typically post in the morning, while the Sabian number corresponds to the end point (1°) of that same 0°-1° period. There are 360 degrees spread over 365/6 days per year—so they nearly, but not exactly, correlate.
Typos happen. I don’t have a proofreader. And I like to just write, post and go! Copyright 2020 Wheel Atelier Inc. All Rights Reserved.
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