Virgo 18° (September 9)

Things don’t necessarily improve. Take this WordPress site for instance: I had to update the version I was using but it is so much worse than the previous that I will probably end up leaving the platform altogether because it has failed to progress and innovate It has gone backwards. I have rejigged my schedule and making some necessary phone calls. The spark of the gods, divinity, is what Aries is all about. Taurus holds up a mirror. That’s really all that needs being said today. There is plenty food for thought below to chew on. I have to keep things moving.

The following blocks of text are exceprts from my first year of  Blagues, nos. 816-820. 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.

Okay so just woke up at 4am—I’ve gotten six blagues behind—so we’re just approaching the New Moon, which just transited Venus, opposed Saturn, as the Sun is about to transit Mars—so things are feeling intense beneath the surface. Anyway I awoke from a dream and/or Stella woke me up because I was talking in my sleep which I know I was, as I’m quite aware:

I was exactly in the same part of Provincetown as I was in the last dream I awoke to the morning before actually, a dream I spoke about time and again to Stella all day yesterday. I kept saying I know I keep talking about this dream but I feel it is significant, and we were unpacking it still into the evening. But this second dream from which I awoke at 4am, today (it’s 4:19 now) only related to the previous night’s dream in geographic location. The first dream was a dream, this last one was a nightmare:

My parents were alive and my family (I have one estranged sister, the “evil quint” in S+C stage vernacular of yore) were all trying to go on a day trip, I think, just out to some forested beach or something, and there were different themed routes to take. We decided to “book” the Flintstone theme. Don’t ask. But it was one of those classic dreams where you have a goal of trying to get where you want to go but wherein you keep discovering obstacles, a bad object exercise like I used to do in Uta Hagen’s acting class.

To be specific, the dream had the quality of trying to keep kittens in a bag. Everybody was sort of running late getting ready in their hotel rooms. Friends of my family were also staying in the hotel, in other rooms of course, but loosely moving too and fro among all the rooms as if they all belonged to us. I for one had some pointed problems with keys, which were my exact keys to my old Mercedes (anxiety over a need to start that car daily to make sure the battery isn’t being drained by some rogue connection, in reality that is). Anyway, there was something about finding a legal parking spot, but then I left my keys in the car, and I had to go back, but by that point my father was missing, and I felt he was using my running back for two seconds to grab my keys from the car for which I just finally found a spot, as an excuse.

I went back into the hotel where he supposedly was and went into his hotel room, where he said he needed the bathroom, but someone else was in the bathroom, or just coming out, an off-spring of that friends-of-the-family, David Vermeuel. But somehow my father got into the bathroom and I heard him talking on the phone, and I knew what that meant. In the dream it was my mother’s birthday. I was starting to speak up, to yell at my father through the wall, making it clear I knew what he was doing.

Somehow he was now in the room with me still on the phone, one of those heavy phones, not rotary, with buttons, but not the Streamline or whatever that slicker seventies phone was where the buttons were on the receiver. This phone had that classic bone-shaped receiver, with the buttons on the standing base of the phone, that heavy receiver that felt (I know from actual experience—I wrote about it once in a Christmas show—and I will find that piece I wrote and maybe print it in the next blague) like, and also recalled the shape, of a lightweight hand-held dumbell with which some type-A character might, with one in each hand, actually run, jog or powerwalk.

I pulled the reciver from my father’s hand—oh, I had already heard a woman’s voice coming through the phone receiver, as you kind of could in the seventies and eighties, and I started commenting loudly then pointedly shouting derogatory soundbites in my father’s direction, so that when he entered the room from the bathroom, now he was almost flaunting the fact that he didn’t actually run back to use the bathroom but to call this woman. I grabbed the receiver and said something like: it’s my mother’s birthday and then I launched into calling this woman what I felt she was but I was attempting to do so in Spanish because I realized that was, at least, the language she spoke. So I started saying puta, puta.

But you know how it is when you’re dreaming and you’re angry and you’re trying to get the words out: it’s a struggle. And this is symptomatic of the fact that, even though you’re dreaming, you actually trying to say the words for real i.e. talking in your sleep. You’re yelling, or trying to yell, in your dream, but to the person actually sleeping next to you, it comes out as deep gutteral moans. Meanwhile, back in your dream, it’s so hard to get the words out. They die on your lips. And the struggle to utter is lodged somewhere, or everywhere between your gut and your throat.

Now three particular things are going on here all at once. I believe my father did (often) have someone (probably not the same woman) on the side. In later life I might have caught him on the phone—although he would have preferred I thought he had a mistress, which is sick enough, instead of what he was really doing: performing his role as a bookee, which is something he apparently was in his later life, or so says the one and only semi sane cousin I have with whom I would, perhaps, once a year by email (although I really can’t even do that anymore because it’s always depressing and somehow stirs the pot of my family connections which are actually non-existent); also my mother had Alzheimers from which she died and my father it seemed to be used that as an out to get away with bad behavior of some sort he wanted to hide, leaving my mother at home not knowing where he was or just how long he’d been gone, so that was all the first thing.

The second thing is that just before going to bed we were watching Cria Cuervos, a Spanish film starring Geraldine Chaplin as a dead woman whose husband, now remarried, dies in the act of fornication with another woman, a friend and neighbor, in the first scene. Chaplin is a ghost who only one child, a daughter, can see. So there’s the adultery trigger and it explains the Spanish lady whom I called puta figuring it most be close enough to whatever word means whore in Spanish.

The third thing is that I caught my evil quint once on the phone on Christmas Eve after she just arrived about four hours later for an elaborate seven-fishes dinner I prepared, talking to her (not-so) secret either boyfriend or husband—yes this is how dysfunctional my family was, my parents and sister, who were locked in some bad-karmic knot, I would often say, like the three prisoners locked in a prism hurtling through space in the opening scen of Superman 2. Yes that’s an old reference so you can see how long I’ve had this perspective, as it dates back to the late seventies or early eighties. Anyway upon discovering my sister, now further delaying our dinner, after having just arrived, secretly muttering in a corner of an upstairs bedroom, I verbalized my outrage at which point she started beating me with the heavy receiver of that exact kind of phone. In the dream it was olive green, in reality I’m guessing beige. So much in my family enviroment, real and metaphoric, was.


I said in the previous Blague that I would cut and paste a snippet from one of our live Starsky + Cox Christmas shows that related to the dream I recounted in Cancer 22°. Here it is verbatim. It is important to note that I totally forgot, in the telling of this to the live audience in this one-night-only presentation, the most important bit at the end about my mother forgetting. It still landed; but it would have landed harder if I hadn’t omitted that last part:

One of the last Christmases I ever spent with my family….first, I should pause to say that Peggy and Mickey didn’t become friends but they were drinking buddies, sometimes they’d go to the city, to Elizabeth Arden for the day and stay overnight at the Waldorf, but mainly they were ladies who lunched until dinner, driving their Caddies, blind drunk in furs, with giant rings and sometimes hats on. Evil Auntie Mame and Vera, my mother being an amalgamation of every actress who ever lit up the silver screen. She moved and looked, often exactly like Bette Davis, she spoke like Polly Bergen or Sandy Dennis, she dressed like Gena Rowland, and emoted like Ann Baxter. In later life she was constantly mistaken for Rue Maclanahan. Peggy and Mickey were both alcholics who died of Alzheimers, only my mother had twenty odd years of sobriety before the end.

So, that Christmas. One of the last. Ever the over achieving enabler I decided to shop, pre-chop, pack and cart by train to where my parents now lived “down the shore” in Belmar New Jersey not only a full menu of items for Christmas dinner—giant turkey, veges and all the fixins—but also the makings of a full on Christmas Eve “7 fishes” traditional Italian meal. Now my sister, who arrived four hours late to our wedding, and on heroin, which really agreed with her—she was lovely that day for the first time ever—but she could never be on time for anything. And Christmas eve, my mother was already showing signs of her Alzheimers and my father was deep into his Folinari white wine, which he drank, with copious ice cubes, mainly because the crest on the label was the family name, Leone. The seven fishes were put out and nobody was eating but a taste of each; as my sister, who arrived three and a half hours late. Amid apologies and excuses, she went to sit down, but made an that I just need the bathroom quick face. We waited, she didn’t surface. I poked around the corner, she wasn’t in the bathroom, I went through the kitchen up the stairs, all the bedrooms were dark, but I heard a faint muttering—she was hiding behind my parents smashed together twin beds talking to somebody.

            Now I should explain that my sister was married, I think, for sixteen years to a guy called Warren who died, I think, and lived in, of all places, named for the planet of delusion and dissolution, Neptune, New Jersey the next town over; she pretended not to be married and to live with my parents, which she sort of also did, while living with Warren. I never met him, you see, because he was black and couldn’t exist because my father was so racist that he made Archie Bunker look like Meathead. So she led this sort of double life and had obviously just come from one Christmas Eve dinner with a family of inlaws she pretended not to have and was on the phone to Warren or someone now. Did I mention my sister was a Gemini? Yeah. So was my father. Yeah. So during all this my mother, who is really exhibiting symptoms of her disease, was trying to find some bits of pricey jewelry of hers that she was planning on gifting Stella for Christmas. She couldn’t find them. She’s rifling through the house. My father’s adding more ice cubes to his wine with a vengeance now, having all but polished off the entire gallon of Folinari bianco and my seven fishes have long since faded into dried up smelly memories, and I see my sister and I’m like what the fuck are you doing?

      And her reaction? To lunge and charge at me over the bed and start beating me upside the head and face with the heavy receiver of my parents beige streamline phone which had an extra long cord for her assault and battery convenience, all the while shouting No no no never again like a trainee at womens violence prevention workshop. My father, alerted, flies up the stairs, drunk and red faced, and also starts to beat me, assuming, of course, that I am somehow the culprit here. And only my mother, ironically, is seeing clearly; and drags me and Stella-Lynne who is also now on the scene into our room to keep the assailants away and comfort and reassure us. You did nothing wrong, they’re animals. And so, safe, my sister having returned to her other life and other selves, we fall asleep.

(Piano starts to play Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas….)

And when we awake, it’s Christmas morning. And we tiptoe downstairs to find that my father has not only thrown away all of the smelly 7 fishes Christmas Eve dinner but also the entire Christmas day dinner items I had precut and packaged for cooking with ease, along with, yes, the giant turkey; and not just in the kitchen garbage, but in a hefty bag filled with uneaten dogfood and dog waste outside in a trash barrel next to the garage. And as if this isn’t bad enough, my mother has absolutely zero memory of her tidings of comfort and joy—they’ve been erased Alzheimers-style from her mind and are now replaced with the story my father told her that morning about my having attacked my sister, which my mother thinks is her actual memory of the night before. So, pre cellphones and internet, we found, via the yellow pages, a car service that would bring us back to our one bedroom rent stabilized apartment in the West Village and did what Jesus, what Jesus and Mary, being Jews, would do, we got Chinese food delivered. Or as my mother would say, we ordered Chinks. Incidentally, my mother never found the jewelry that she planned to gift to Stella because my sister, who couldn’t bear anything not going to her, would have stolen it, scapegoating my mother’s disease as she and my father would both do for the next ten years of Peggy’s life; invariably, my evil quint would have sold that jewelry for drugs or money to gamble away in Atlantic City. So this is my gift to you—I hope it makes you feel better about the holidays with your families this Xmas.


And somehow I again slipped eight days behind. I could resort to the third Questionnaire I created but never used, a tactic I employed to pull myself out of a twenty some-odd hole in my Blague output. And though I might want to look at that anyway (I find I as myself some very good questions and also I have learned to love to dialogue with myself—in fact I think the dialoguing actually amplifies self-love) I don’t quite feel the need to utilize it. Something tells me I have eight Blagues worth of stuff in me today. It’s been a very productive time but also one of those moments/phases in life when I feel loaded. Not on anything imparticular; in fact on nothing at all other than what feels like a dammed raging north sea of emotion. I say north because it expresses the nature of my feelings better than, say south.

Astrologically I’m wont to pin this backlogged time to the period in which I’m not so much stuck but almost to full to bursting to know exactly what it is, or how, to express it. The word express here having a very little meaning. I need to get these thought-feelings out of me. Anyway it cosmically figures that this backing up (rather than dearth) of entries might be due to this having been the transition time from the sign of Cancer to that of Leo. I can’t separate that notion from the fact that I am in the middle of producing two festivals (one being a first, just five days hence, in Cambridge at Harvard/American Repertory Theater’s second stage), each festival’s to-do list having hundreds of line items; while also being in the middle of writing and otherwise preparing our 2018 Haute Astrology books, twelve in all, and working on a business plan which is begging for completion. All this while Stella is finishing a three-year masters program which took her, recently to Canada, leaving me alone for about nine days.

When alone I typically take it as a time to relax and eat bad food (or surplus of good restaurant fare0 and indulge too much in other fun too. But this time I’ve had to be up and at-em everyday, preparing myself three meals and keeping all these projects on track in time and space. I also have been doing much in the way of press interviews and promotion in additon to all the administrative and design tasks that go into everything. And moving the needle on so much else it would make your head spin. Honestly, I have felt these last two weeks, like the busiest person on the planet. And yet, I didn’t get spread too thin; rather I played it like a drummer sitting before the most elaborate kit you’ve ever seen, hitting every tom, high-hat, snare, bass, triangles, bells and whatever the fuck drummers have splayed out before them, hitting my every mark with speed and precision.

And all the while doing that, I let this Blague go (just a bit) as feelings began to mount inside me; the kind of feelings that have physical repercussions like stomach aches, dizziness, sleeplessness, sweating and a number of other symptoms which, trust me, I know all emanate from my emotions. And not realizing this was happening when it was happening I only got a handle on this in hindsight when suddenly I hit a wall or a milestone or both. I had this realization that I can no longer effort on certain projects but rather have to play the cards that I’m dealt. More than that: That I have to rally these my rogue feelings in the formlation of something new and real. I had this simultaneous realization slash averted nervous breakdown (maybe?) slash total releasing of the past and all its people, places and things that have plagued me.

Put it this way, if I were to admit that all my life I have been a people pleaser seeking approval and thus feeling hurt and rejected a lot of the time by situations, family, folks that either disappointed or derailed me to some degree, I suddenly felt the cutting of all loses. I suddenly felt that I can no longer trade in all the what-ifs. I suddenly felt that enough has to be enough because all I can give is my all and to give more robs me of what truly belongs to me. I also feel a fire under me that I have rarely felt before.


Picking up from the last post, that fire under me one might call that the fixed-sign of Leo after being completely away in a flood of emotion, Cancer being the preceding cardinal-water sign. Everything has that kind of logic in astrology. I like short sentences. I tend to use them after seeing Bette Davis play Margo Channing. Anyway, Leo is about passion while Cancer which comes before it is about feeling, pure and simple, surely the stuff of what passion is made. Leo needs to create a life. To be the creator in life. No longer at sea but getting on with it, pouring all those feels into a fortress of ones own making. You can’t have one without the other really. But while Cancer is a great sign to be in when you’re purging and releasing in the process of getting to another shore. Then Leo is all about playing the hand your dealt and getting on with it in a spirit of nobility, something which must be earned and built stone by stone. And so I look to the projects of the last seven years and I say good for me job well done. Whether or not I continue with them is no longer an important matter to me. At this point I’m ready to create a new beginning, to birth a new plan, or rather, to use the Leo vernacular, to birth some new offspring. And even with that I’m not beholden to any immediate outcome. I have so many irons on that fixed-fire of Leo, heart and hearth of my true home, my interior castle, all of which are equally thrilling and enjoyable, all falling under one Starsky + Cox umbrella that I don’t need so much to pick and choose as I do to judge which iron looks readiest, now, to take from the fire. I have a private consultancy, books, events, creative collaborations, performances, productions and a completely new company to launch. I’m in no rush to determine what should happen next althought I am continuing to nurture and feed my existing endeavors, always taking them ever higher, trying to make them all the better, just as I want to instill total faith and creativity and sincerity in my new endeavor, to truly make it the best experience it can be. Because truly, the real work is in being a better person every day, forgiving yourself for your asshole ways, seeking forgiveness from others, and doing better next time, tomorrow, later today.

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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