Pisces 30°-Aries 0° (March 20)
It turns Spring at 5:37 this morning. And not a moment too soon. I need the optimism of knowing that the next nine months aren’t the coldest. This weekend will be not that great, but it will have its moments. I’m going to do the best I can but I will leave it there.
The following blocks of text are exceprts from my Blagues, nos. 1761-1780. 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. I messed up a bit on the counting so there are twenty below now….
Paris, Day Thirty Eight of Sixty. And Day Ten of Bikram. Rabbit Rabbit. I had some white wine and then some red from Nicholas and back to dinner at La Fronde. Another steak tartare. Shh. Don’t tell anybody. Though I made a soup. The house is pretty clean which is good. It is going to be a bery bery big week and there is so much to do. I’m feeling a bit concerned about the boufer. I don’t have a lot to say. I need to put a schedule together in regard to the work still on the table because I blew my original dealine. I need to speak with April. Right now it’s Penny, Dito, Joseph, Tammy Faye, Isaac Oliver, Jeremy Goldsmith, April Ekfield. That’s already seven folks so I just need to come up with another three which is good. I will start the whole ball rolling again on the fundraising. Here is what I worked with last year.
Paris, Day Thirty Nine of Sixty. And Day Eleven of Bikram. I left my phone at La Fronde and was so happy it was there. S. wants to go to a late yoga so I will tool around and get some water in the house. I am getting a bit lax and I have to be careful. I almost passed out yesterday on the street walking to yoga. I might be over doing it. Then I will nap when she comes back and we’ll have a great class with Martine. And then we will go to Pink Flamingo for pizza which is super bon. We bought some roses on the way home which was really nice. I feel bad we got into a snit. Johanna wrote a thank you note. We will have to write her back. I feel a bit off my axis and had a good talking with myself in the mirror. I am so extreme with the exercise on one hand and then not taking care of my well being as best as I should be. The soup tastes great but I don’t think I’m having any. The virus thing is really amping up and I’m in health scare mode and feeling familiarly unsettled. I suppose I shouldn’t worry to much as I’m being fairly self protective. I don’t know (if anything) what to do about Alex not getting back to me. I suppose I really should just let it go. I am going to let Penny sell and do some promotion but I’m not going to super push it. I rejigged my schedule and I think I can hit all my marks these next couple of weeks and still get to enjoy the sights which I really haven’t been able to do. I gave myself an obstacle to get over and I am acclimating to this Bikram thing. I am pushing myself too much and after A. leaves on Thursday I am going to go into a two plus weeks of giving myself a major break. I really don’t want to drink that much wine as I do my second half of my thirty day challenge. I don’t think it’s a great idea at all. I contacted and confirmed our hotel rezzie.
That week is amping up. It looks like we will be very busy in London. I am going to sort of give up on the consultancy work for now because there is no reason to over do it. We have to talk about if we are going to pay ourselves this year or continue to keep that rolling over. And we are schedule a time to tackle the Astro-Scapes question as well. That’s really going to be it for today. I am coming up on finishing out my fifth year of doing this and I really must decide what the next year might look like—in terms of what themes this Blague should consist of. I’m hoping we hear back from the agent too. If there is going to be another book than that will certainly be the the Blague. My putting together little starter kits for the next tome like I did for the sample chapter. I know I have it in me but it would have to be for a lot a lot of money; otherwise there is really no point in putting all this effort in. It is exciting to thin that a TV deal might happen this week and to be working with a new management company, potentially, on a podcast. I am shocked that I haven’t heard back from the French agent since I asked a question that was pretty time sensitive, which came and went. We have been cautioned a bit about her and I’m on high alert and also feeling somewhat relieved to know that other people have had weird experiences with her in the past.
Paris, Day Forty of Sixty. And Day Twelve of Bikram. Though I woke up feeling that perhaps I won’t be able to go. That might change though. I am a bit weezy today and I’m having a mini health scare given the current events. We are putting final wheels in motion on the Mandabach deal which will hopefully be lots of fun. We booked our Eurostar and I confirmed the hotel. Now I need to figure out the Cricket situation. I’m not that good on the money front I don’t feel but I imagine that I will just ask for what I need and hopefully get it. We are meeting J. on Friday in any case. I have no idea what I’ll wear. I’m feeling a bit down still but hopefully coming out of it. We ended up having a little soup and then both went to yoga. It was Michael in French. Then we dropped things off and scared the crap out of Timmie. Then ended up at the Voltigeur for quiches. It was so crowded and we were on top of people and there was a couple with newborn and I was wondering if I would ever bring a new born to a crowded restaurant during fashion week with buyers and others from Asia during this coronavirus scare. I could barely relax myself. I felt super bloated from the gluten and we had Susie coming over for a little session. It is her birthday. We got her some candles. When she left we got directly into a car and went to Dom and Nan’s and had dinner with them and Esther and Theo. Stan said hello and then disappeared and didn’t join us. Theo is really funny. Esther is wonderful as usual S. brought her a bunch of clothes and she seemed really happy. We never not have fun with that family and though we thought we’d leave by eleven it was after midnight before we did.
We laughed pretty hard, especially over: As S. mentioned, I used to do this thing to her where I would just whistle words at her as if she should know what I’m saying. So I did it to Nan basically which made her laugh pretty hard. There were other funny moments. And as usual we ended up singing. And we had some serious conversation too. For instance I don’t really think they ever knew about my family situation. The next few days will be interesting. We have so much on our plates. I’m imagining that by Thursday we should heal about the deal we are making with a television production company. The people that are representing us in this deal are really going to be helping us as well to get a podcast in the works, so that should be exciting. There are also two different publishers now interested in speaking with us so that should be cool. And the branding project is also out there spinning. So all said, we will return to the states not having really lost any money on this trip. If anything the coffers might be a bit fuller for it. And we will be having a good time, hopefully, working on new and interesting projects. I surely do not need to reinvent any wheels. And we should have a settlement too by summer. So that is the hope, in any case.
I really have to get a handle on my writing schedule because I have been delayed. I want to make sure that I hit all the marks in writing the next round of books and also I have to start working on the written elements of the collection. The good thing is that I’ll be in branding mode, hopefully, if this fashion project comes to pass. I also need to step up my own profile with this very Blague. I do believe it is time to make a go of that. Not having to reinvent the wheel but to certainly represent to the people what this day might be about for the next several weeks and really get a starter kit going based simply on that very thing. Why do any more than muse for a couple of days on what we have said and then spend ten days writing new thoughts as they arise. The process will need to be underway, soon, in any case, and this could be a healthy way to get the ball really moving. That is one idea anyway. I do believe there might be some great benefit in this process. I never ever want to feel that I am behind and so I will try to speed the plow as best I can toward some sense of accomplishment in this. I don’t ever want to get caught off guard. The starter kits alone provide a great amount of information. I will put on my list to review the process I already began on that score and we will work very hard to make that kind of thing happen. I don’t see why I can’t spend an hour a day on this process. In fact I know that I really should. It will also help me in the long run when I sit down to come through everything I have. That is the true purpose of the process. I mustn’t forget anything I’m saying. I think if I just stick with this program everything will go according to plan.
Paris, Day Forty One of Sixty. And Day Thirteen of Bikram. I went by myself and had Queta as a teacher. Cool name. Class was very good not as hard as Martine’s whose I will take with S. and A. tomorrow (ouch). I came back and got a little bit of writing done. S. had done all the shopping, really. And then A. arrived and we all had a little coffee then walked to lunch at the Little Café. Cote d’agneau. S. had cod. A. a steak and salad. They shared a soupe au marrons. But I just felt weirded out at the idea of three people sharing the steak. Yesterday’s Super Tuesday results plus Chris Matthews resigning, plus the political nightmares plus the virus concerns: it just feels so depressing and dystopian and nearly apocalyptic. And I can tell S. is even more disturbed than I am. We strolled and bought some water and wine then we came back and worked for hours and hours and really made major headway and had certain ideas sorted out, or at least addressed, and we will soon have everything pretty well mapped out I would imagine. Very productive. And then we headed, taking a long wet walk, to the 6eme to some fragrance shop on the rue Bonaparte, then to one of our old 1980s watering holes La Palette for Aperol spritzes. Things got very cranky because the Uber wasn’t showing to pick us up; and we had to walk in the rain; and S. was being a bit urgh. We found a cab but she didn’t like the driver but we had to take it anyway and he was all bent out of shape. I just asked for him to end any conversation which he did. Then we got back to the appt. and I started to make dinner and otherwise put all the hors d’oeuvres and other goodies on the table. Griet showed up slightly early and she and A. got along like a house on fire. I wish I understood that expression. We had lovely radishes and hummus. Then salade with dill and salmon and sautéed tomatoes, followed by a bunch of cheese and chocolate. We started with some champers A. sprung for then moved through many bottles of red wine. G. was so very funny, retelling stories from her early modeling days and we laughed like crazy. After she left, S. went to bed soon after and A. and I stayed up for a bit talking about her private life.
I remember thinking I’m just one of the girls in a way. Sometimes I don’t even know if there are such things as genders. It is way harder to make connections with other men. There is always so much posturing that occurs. Gay men can be different. Straight men have to have a something to bond over. We are both into this sport. We are both like this kind of music. We do this activity. Or some such. It’s quite odd. Otherwise they themselves are folded into what is essentially a matriarchy anyway. Anyway I have some odd musing to do. And none of this will make sense to you but you’re not really here anyway. Estate 7. Libra. Cardinal Air. Light. Scales. Balance. Music. Apollo. Astraea. Evening. Venus. Pink TK. Swans. Laurel. Lyre. White Poplar. Prophesy. High Priestess. Daphne. Order. Peace. I haven’t had a stroke. I’m working through some ideas. And I have come to the conclusion that the original way I perceived this won’t really work. We should tell the story of each estate and then underneath list all the associated items to date. Even those we have yet to do.Perhaps. O. ElementalsSignature Chain : [description]Suit(e) Chain : Staves (fire), Coins (earth), Swords (air), Cups (water)Stellium KeeperAster : the twelve-pointed star.Orb: crystal elipsed by gold band studded with (begs a question) Precious Stones by Estate. Botanical Wand Charms by Estate. Sign Charms by EstatePlanet Charms by Estate
Paris, Day Forty Two of Sixty. And Day Fourteen of Bikram. I woke up at the crack after really only three hours of sleep but I felt energized so I quietly cleaned the kitchen and packed my yoga bag. S. got up. Actually she wasn’t sleeping apparently but when she saw me writing agent back she came through where A. was sleeping in the second salon. A. can apparently sleep through anything. We had some coffee and set off for yoga, where Martine was the teacher. Martine is the hardest teacher but I think I also like her the best. It was surely difficult and I am struggling as I edge up to the halfway point in my thirty classes in thirty days challenge. But you just have to cycle through it. I am pretty much doing all the postures now. I am only backing off on standing head to knee because it could be a trigger for injury. When I go tomorrow I will tell the teacher I’m just about at my limit which I am. We now have three publishers interested. I heard back from the branding project and I think I budgeted too much. So we will just dial it all back and see what’s what. I had a feeling that I might have been asking for too much but S. thinks it’s best that I have set that precedent but we shall see. After class I did some writing. It is now clear to me that my neck, ear, throat issues are all the same thing and that the yoga is really bringing it all out. This is a good thing. I really have to sit down and figure out when I’m going to be able to do what. I’m going to have to move up the branding work and take something off the schedule. I would also like a weekend to go through all my receipts and see what’s what. Also I think I need a couple weeks off, now, to be honest. I’m going to redo my calendar and work on other stuff. I think we are having second thoughts about being in London give the virus scare. It really is quite a huge thing. S. is having dinner in the hood with Griet; I did some water and wine shopping and I’m just sitting here wondering what to do with my time. I will go around the corner then have dinner by myself at La Fronde because I haven’t eaten enough raw meat apparently. I really need to rethink what I’m doing with all of this but it’s okay. I will sit down and look at the calendar.
It’s stupid to sit here in any case and struggle to think of things to say. I’m much better off getting on with things another way. I brought these French books here but haven’t read them. I think I will try and stash them somewhere in the house. Otherwise I’ll just pack them up and bring them back. I do think I will have more stuff now going home. And I would like to do a little shopping. We shall see. I’m so sad to leave and yet at the same time I’m worried about getting stuck here. I’m looking at my school note book and on the first day of class I wrote: “Maybe you can start a totally new course and have your fee go to that,” in reaction to S. thinking she was too advanced for the class which it ended up she wasn’t. Une grotte is a cave in nature. Une cave es ten dessous de la maison. Rencontrer is the first time you. LLL is writing me. I think Se voir apres the premiere recontre. Words with tion endings are always feminine and words with ment endings are always masculine. I was reading this today:
Paris, Day Forty Three of Sixty. And Day Fifteen of Bikram. I went alone today and had Jeanne as teacher. S. went off to meet Dr. Kimberly who is here from Milan express to discuss all social media concerns. When I got back from class I was pretty wiped. I had a bit of spicy soup and then we went food shopping which is one of the funnest things to do in France; I mean that sincerely. Especially when it involves cheese. I still have a lot on my mind and I’m feeling kind of unsettled. Apporter and amener are about “venir” or bringing, people and things respectively. Emporter and emener are all about “aller” and thus taking people and things, respectively. A bouquin is something one reads for pleasure and is something informal. A livre is more formal. The verbs are lire and bouqiner. Anyway, we then went for a café at Terre and got a text that G. was at La Fronde. We headed over and I got a weird vibe from the staff which is typically much more friendly; and all I could think was woops did I get weird there last night. I hope not. I had dinner alone and drank a bottle of wine myself. I was so exhausted I didn’t even remember ordering dessert until a copy of my receipt jogged my memory and then of course I did. I came upstairs and crashed out completely I didn’t even hear S. come back from dinner with G. who was supposed to be too busy to hang out today. It was her last day of work but they sort of kicked her out of the showroom as everyone but the press office people who live in Paris had gone back to Antwerp and the ones based here wanted to close up shop for the weekend. So G. came upstairs and wrote her sales orders by hand; and I unpacked all the groceries and cleaned the kitchen and did a little bit of work.
We headed out around seven thirty taking Etienne Marcel all the way through the Place des Victoires and down Richelieu and Moliere to Cibus where Cricket was taking us for dinner. I love places like this when someone else is footing the bill. It reminds me of Dave back in the day except for the fact that Dave had disgusting food and this place was really quite yummy. But it’s all smoke and mirrors nonetheless. The Napolitano chef Elio is quite a character who comes around and basically tells you what you’re going to eat. Or rather what he has on hand for you. The appetizers are all easily assembled trattoria style stuff, and really quite good. I had a sea urchin pasta which was exactly that: a plate of plain pasta with one tiny sea urchin on a shell. It didn’t quite mix in and though the pasta was perfectly cooked store bought variety, it had zero zing to it. The place was filled with weird fancy folks, strange sort of mafia feeling couples speaking Italian and young, loud fashion types—bearded straight guys I’d say although who can tell in France. It was definitely a scene, at least in the minds of the other patrons. It was really fun and we played along. But again, if I were just out for the night with S. on a date I wouldn’t be able to work so hard to stroke the ego of the owner who never shows a menu but certainly shows up with a bill. In short it is the kind of place that could only exist in the 1ere arrondissement of Paris and nowhere else. Even though the place would have opened in 2002, there was something completely 1992 about it. We sort of got to talking about business but then again not really. I’m going to have to be really blunt and say something like this, oh dear:
Thanks again for a fantastic evening—it was so much fun. So to confirm what all we discussed: I have managed to switch things around and I can focus these next two weeks on getting the words moving for the branding and press. I’m envisioning a number of blocks of text on the themes I originally outlined and will be using a guide. Of course there will be a singular bio. There will be text that speaks to your/company’s philosophy and then there will be text focused on the actual product itself which would be pretty much informed by whatever imagery you simultaneously come up with for the brand packet. We will also address the store and the curation angle.
I think it all needs to be beefy enough to start and, depending on how you see this—as a folding item or as a loose-leaf package of pages that can be clipped or fastened or even tied with a ribbon—that is for you to decide. We had talked about your collecting any collateral from other designers and such that you thought might be inspiriting. If you have things like that you want to scan and send me it will give me an idea of what your planning for the overall package and how words are incorporated into the overall design. And again, when it comes to the nutsy boltsy bits focused on the clothes I will write more mood and descriptions with those images in front of me so that the words and images connect. I will also draft a first press release on the store. So gather your thoughts and any collateral you have to send and let me know your budget for this so I can plan the work (and work the plan!) with that clearly in mind.
Paris, Day Forty Four of Sixty. And Day Sixteen of Bikram. So I have reached the summit of my thirty day challenge. So the trick is to not die or injure myself during the next fifteen days and to make this part of my lifestyle. I didn’t get enough sleep last night so I’m a little wonky. Got up at dawn and cleaned up and made some soup and got some necessary wording drafted and so forth. We have another publisher interested (which isn’t really that interesting to us) and I know it is making us feel like why so much interest in this go round while we didn’t have any to speak of in the last. It’s always the more meh places that are the most high maintenance I feel. And we still will get to the bottom of the Harper fiasco, that is a promise I have made to myself. I wrote this last night in response to an editor asking what we’ve been doing since we last published a book.
Since the publication of our last book, we have focused on our private international clientele. Due to the economic downturn a decade ago and the general purging of horoscope columns from magazines, we decided to focus on areas of our business where decision making about us was 100% determined by us. We would appear on TV and radio (most notably as recurring guests on Chelsea Handler’s show) and we wrote and performed our own shows at Joe’s Pub at The Public Theater, at A.R.T. in Cambridge and other places. Stella got a Masters in Psychology, Quinn started a non-profit performance festival. We began publishing our own yearly horoscope guides and otherwise focused on our work, theories and study. We wanted a new book idea to bubble up organically from our work with clients, and thus bridge into personal development. We have seen our private consultancy thrive and are now based in Paris as well as the U.S.. We are also in the process of fully launching a fine jewelry collection (which originated as a capsule creative concept a decade ago). We decided to publish our Haute Astrology ebooks under our own steam while we have seen the sales of our first two books grow in the recent past (as astrology has become more popular in the zeitgeist and a younger generation of writers/astrologers credit Starsky + Cox for having ushered in this new “mysticore” and “now age” movement. We have been credited with inspiring Eleanor Catton, specifically, in writing her Booker Prize winning novel, The Luminaries and there is another work in the pipeline from a major author who will also be crediting us. Recently, Starsky + Cox have been approached to consult a major TV production company in the creation of a new scripted show, their second book Cosmic Coupling being optioned in the process.
Mostly, I’m going to super back off today. I will do my yoga, have a caviar omelet (annoyingly the guys at the produce stand failed to put chives we bought into our bag and I really wanted that flavor in my omelet). We will have a salad in any case. And then we are going to put on sneakers and head out for a long, long walk to the 7eme where we can end up having a little something at the Cafe du Marche, if they are open today that is…..I’m picking up the thread! I found some chives on the way home from yoga. I think the word is ciboulette, so that will be the word of the day. I am not going to give up the momentum of being here on this side of the pond. We came back and had those omelets with a salad and then got ready to head out. The trick is always avoiding some of the larger, more crowded parts of town, like rue du Rivoli and also anywhere around Notre Dame or Saint Michel. So we are going to go east to go west and cross the Ile St. Louis near Pont Louis Phillipe and come out at Maubert and take St. Germain to rue Bonaparte and then rue de L’U. all the way to Palais Bourbon and then get onto St. Dominique. As we enter the old hood I get such a Proustian wave it is incredible. It has of course often happened when I’ve revisited this primal place in Paris for me. I immediately taste Dunhill cigarettes inside my head. Our gorgeous old hotel is no longer itself—it was the Hotel St. Domenico and now it is the Saint Dominque and has no flavor. The same with our once favorite of all restaurants Thoumieux which has been redecorated and has a Michelin star and looks just awful. They had these super seventies rooms in the hotel upstairs—the bar as you entered the restaurant doubled as the place to leave and get your keys, typically from the matronly hostess (who was probably the mother of) or the owner M. Bausselert, forever wearing his leather waistcoat. Anyway the rooms were probably the equivalent of eighty euro and now they are five hundred a night. That is almost what one would pay at the Meurice or something. Ridiculous. Otherwise the quartier has changed very little. We head direct to one of our favorite places, the Café du Marche on the rue Clerc. The food is good but mainly it is just the most weekend-people-watching place you can imagine. Meanwhile, starting on the Boulevard St. Germaine I said to S. that I feel like everyone looks like a Diane Arbus. And once I said it we both kept noticing how this perspective was unfolding, taking hold. It culminated, once we crossed passed Invalides, at a corner café-tabac where there were two big elderly ladies with bright red hair, twins no doubt, dressed in brightly colored multilayered outfits, with hats, they’ve certainly have had since the late seventies or eary eighties. Walking down our old rue, just passed our old hotel and fave Thoumieux, a vintage red sportscar pulled out onto Saint Dominique and it was the same one we spotted, and which I photographed, back home here in the Marais two weekends ago (or was it last week) with the same young driver tearing along. At that moment, my iphone sort of vibrated in my hand for no apparent reason and it was exactly 3:33, which is our familiar and constant magic time and number. Not sure what message we were being sent, exactly, but the number represents the muses who number nine—it is also the triple goddess in triplicate—all of them being female archetypes of the current sign of Pisces, ruled by Neptune with its trident.
I suppose I can finish this blow by blow tomorrow…..
Paris, Day Forty Five of Sixty. And Day Seventeen of Bikram. Time is really flying. Anyway I’ll get more into my feelings in just a bit. But let me finish telling you what I was telling you where I left off yesterday…
So here we were yesterday at the Café du Marche and the parade of Arbus characters never stopped. I had long ago articulated my feelings on her work and how she managed to capture something so extraordinary, which was the ordinary becoming the grotesque. Her work happened at a time when you would walk around and on the streets you would encounter mostly older people still hanging onto an outmoded way of dress and overall self-presentation. Her subjects so often were like moldering dolls or marionettes forgotten and found in a truck in the attic. The world was in transition and the relics were still about, walking around, zombie like, unaware that time was almost finished leaving them behind. Well I think what I learned on our walk from the fourth to the fifth to the sixth to the seventh whereupon we installed ourselves in our favorite market café was that: we are in a point in our history where this is all happening again. It makes me want to grab my camera and return on this walk at the exact time next week and see what images I might capture. That part of the seventh is filled with aging folks (makes one think there might be some available apartments coming up—I’m just kidding—not really). I didn’t take any pictures yesterday, though, weirdly. I guess I wasn’t in the head. I mentioned passing these two red-headed older twin ladies dressed in an eccentric style, part Colette, part Vivienne Westwood. I did ask S. if she thought it was polite to go back and ask to take their photo—she said I could make it a flattering gesture—I don’t think I had it in me to be nuanced and not invasive so I chickened. Out. I like the word gesture suddenly. I used to like reading Gertrude Stein. Her words made me happy in their spare absurdity.
Invading thoughts: It might be a good idea to go back to the very beginning of my Blagues and this might be something of a brilliant idea: actually let me put this into words others might quite understand. Hello All. I don’t know if you know this but: I have been writing a daily blog for the past five years. It is called the Cosmic Blague (blaguemeans joke in French) and it was originally intended as a catalyst for drawing out stories from my life, which has been filled with extraordinary synchronicities, so-called coincidences, indisputable divine interventions and, yes, moments when I seem to have been the butt of the Universe’s joke, all such experience which Kate Bush tunefully called the “strange phenomenon.” I began writing my Blague with the start of thenew astrological year, on the Spring Equinox, 2015, a time when I was feeling more than a bit kicked to the curb by the Cosmos. I wanted a daily ritual of accomplishment and I wanted to tap my well of storytelling but I had a hard time starting. So I gave myself some specific inspiration. In astrology, each of the twelve signs encompasses thirty degrees of the Zodiac adding up to 360 degrees of this cosmic circle, corresponding (close enough) to the 356/6 days of the year. Some time ago, an astrologer and a seer channeled what are called the Sabian Symbols to express the individual nature of each of the Zodiac’s 360 degrees. So, year one, I mused on these symbols, to inspire thoughts I could type down, not only on the symbols themselves but also as a trigger for the personal stories from my experience that I wanted to relate. That was year one. In the years between then and now the Blague took on many forms and expressed a number of purposes. Sometimes it inspired incredible creative flow. Other times it made me feel super locked up and I would find other ways to keep going, including using it as a personal journal, a platform for other writing I had to do—shows, book proposals, articles, branding concepts—or as a way to vent and even gossip about people, places and things, though disguised for the most part—sometimes I would accidentally name folks (woops, that wasn’t good, especially when I got called out). There were spates when it just got really deconstructed and a bit Dada, but I kept going. So here, as I start the sixth year of daily writing I have decided on another way to trick myself into being prolific enough: I’m going to start reading my Blague entries (which I’ve never done) five a day—If I read that many I will have read them all by the end of this next year—and I’m going to cut and paste the best bits for each day’s entry, while writing new thoughts that stem from doing just that. Let’s call it taking inventory of my thoughts to date and “development” of any work that might warrant it. I have a great deal of other writing on my plate this year and won’t have a lot of free time for my Blague (sometimes I would spend hours a day on this); and so if I get really in the weeds with other work, these simple cut and pastes can function as re-runs with a little introduction by yours truly. This has been a really worthwhile process for me and, in typical woo-woo fashion, I will say: I think that by keeping on writing as I have done, mainly, for myself, even though other writing gigs or deals mightn’t have been forthcoming, that I created a magnetic force field to attract other opportunities to me. Because, as I say, it is going to be a busy year. That said I have not promoted this Blague at all, hardly. At first I was posting my postings to a Facebook page, but I stopped doing that. I may again; who knows. Anyway, just letting you know what’s what and hopefully, as I distill the Blague this year to highlight what I perceive to be the “best of” what I’ve done in the past, it might warrant other readers beside myself!
That was a long invading thought…so I think I will stretch the original story about our walk on Saturday into tomorrow’s Blague entry as well. Such a Saturday it was….
Paris, Day Forty Six of Sixty. And Day Eighteen of Bikram. Nearly two thirds the way through! Anyway I wanted to get right back to where I was on Saturday, sitting with Stella, at the Café du Marche, which has these red tables. We shared some red wine and sparkling water, in a red bottle, and she was wearing a poppy red shirt. I was seeing red in the best way. No Saturday has been this pure a Saturday in distant memory. Remember Saturdays? I don’t think I’ve felt like this since the early 1990s and I’m not so sure I didn’t have preoccupations then that would have prevented the purity of emotion on this day. We had done our exercise, we had eaten caviar omelets, we had walked three or four miles through Paris and now we were seated, in the late afternoon sipping wine and water and ordering some soup and frites and fried nuggets of fresh cod. As mentioned, the people watching was epic. Everybody was an Arbus who lived in the neighborhood, wearing clothes from forty years ago, and walking their dogs, grabbing last minute alimentaries from the market, some in slippers. We had p’tit cafés and set back out and strolled to Avenue Bosquet and down toward the river. There was this sort of designer hock shop with an Hermes section. We didn’t go in but it was duly noted. It felt a bit warmer out. We turned right onto rue de L’U and strolled the greige world of old and new buildings that characterizes this bit of the quartier. There is the Erik Satie center and some consulat that are modern and respectively (and sometimes at once) very cool and an eye sore. We zigged to the quai and zagged past the American Church and strolled across the pont des Invalides, noticing how flooded the Seine was—two boys were trying to ride their bikes through it—later on the TV news we would see an emission about it warning people about getting washed away by the current—hope they were ok—I suppose we might have heard if not (then again we don’t really watch or read the news).
It was more than just warmer we decided. It was suddenly the return of the chaleur of Spring, for real. There was no more chill in the air. As we crossed the river coming upon the Petit and Grand Palais, and through gardens that were connecting this last bit of the Champs Élyssées to the Tuilleries, it suddenly dawned on us, in a field of flowers and blossoming trees, that we had indeed turned that corner. We crossed the Place de la Concorde and diagnaled toward the carousel in the twightlight to take some pictures and out of the garden, crossed Rivoli, up Castiglioni, making a right onto St. Honore. It had been apparent how empty everywhere is. It was Saturday night and there were hardly any people or cars and even strolling on this narrow, usually crowded rue, it was sparse of humans and the prevailing sound was that conversational birds who seemed to be saying good night and celebrating this sense of returning Spring all at once. We had an easy time slipping through the gallery at Palais Royale and through Place des Victoires down Etienne Marcel. We thought maybe we’d go up toe Bretagne and Barav, so we did another diagonal northeast along Tiquetonne, but it actually parallels Etienne Marcel and empties out on Turbigo just where it meets Sebastapol. Here though, between that large road and rue Beaubourg, we did a little exploring—rue du Bourg Abbé, across Saint-Martin, then Montmorency over to Temple and down to get some wine and water and crackers at the fromage lady. And so we had a picnic: celery and radish and taziki and cheeses and fruit, a delicious organic Sancerre and a usual red. It was pretty heavenly. We fell asleep watching Grace and Frankie which is the worst TV show but the best sleep aid. And after being awakened by outside noise and upstairs creaking, I fell into bed and slept until seven thirty, enough time to slowly get ready for a nine o’clock Bikram with Martine, the smiling torturer, in a very difficult class. After that we grabbed some fish and a few veggies and came home and had (second day in a row) caviar omelets with chive and crème fraiche and a green salad, and I continue to get my soup moving. I wrote through a great many thoughts here while making a fresh spinach soup. And by that time I was ready for a nice little stroll. To be clear Martine’s yoga class was yesterday. Not to be confused with the one taught today by Marine.
I woke up today feeling as if all this exercise is working on me deeply, not just physically but emotionally as well. Last night ended on a tetchy note with a day-long conversation about the failing internet being too much for me to continue. I made a lovely salmon with avocado and roasted tomato and salad, a spinach soup that we will eat today, and a pear compote that I put on yoghurt this morning. We did a bunch of shopping for supplies, water mainly, which we are drinking by the gallons as the hot yoga continues. I keep saying to myself that I will take it easy in class but I never do. I had this urge to look up Gertrude Stein and found that the Salon is on rue de Fleurus. We will have to have a Gertrude Stein day. Tonight we have a rezzie at Le Mazemay on rue de Montmorency, after a California client and chat with potential publisher Hachette. I still cannot believe that Anna has not been in touch with us. Or Jackie for that matter. Something is truly amiss here. Anyway not my problem. I’m going to be doing a great bit of self promo as time unfolds and I’m going to let all the answers come in today. I’ve initiated a plan to go by Merci as I have yet to go there. We will do so after a lunch of soup. Which we did. We didn’t buy anything but we had a citron tart and some coffee and then went to Maison Plisson for some vinegar, oat milk and wine. You know, the three major food groups. It is the Supermoon today and things feel very odd outside. I’m going to stop here and tell you more tomorrow.
Paris, Day Forty Seven of Sixty. And Day Nineteen of Bikram. So picking up from where we were yesterday, we strolled back from the Boul. de Beaumarchais and worked until we met with an L.A. client by Skype. This client is someone who has been struggling so she has been our tithing client this year, which always feels nice to do. Then we had a talk with an editor from Hachette which we felt went really well—fingers crossed. We then set out to this restaurant which didn’t look that great. We hovered outside debating before finally going in. They asked us if we wanted an English menu. The place was empty ‘cept for two American couples, one of which didn’t know how to order wine. We were sure we weren’t going to stay but asked if there was a bio wine in any case. This threw the waitress for a loop. I don’t know, she said, I don’t drink. Great. We got out of there. She was really weird. We ended up at a waaaay overpriced but delicious Lebanese place. It was the Virgo “Worm” Supermoon and I forgot to look up. The prosepect of writing a book, while fantastic (if paid well) is also really daunting given our present projects. But it isn’t impossible. I just need to speed some things up and slow others down. That is also okay. I’m not sure we should be launching anything risky until the world stabilizes a bit in any case. We were laughing really hard. There was a skinny couple in the corner exhibiting their love for each other. It was fairly revolting. I have to calm myself down even further. Don’t even remember my head hitting the pillow last night. It was “annoying French person day” yesterday. Also a result of the Supermoon, je quois. People at class and on the streets wouldn’t fucking move out of the way. It was like, hello, other people. I feel really alienated from folks back home, something else I will need to work on. There is so much on the plate right now it’s crazy. I want this TV thing to happen quicker than it is. Calm, patience. It’s not easy.
I must remember to look at the moon tonight if they skies are clear. We are definitely going to stay in. Woke up today with a frog in my throat. And with an increasing need to get back out to the stores and get in some supplies. Maison Plisson has those ready to eat weird jars of very French, mostly Southern, food like Cassolet. I asked S. how Dr. Kimberly got back to Milan. She didn’t. She and her boyfriend went to the Canary Islands instead for two weeks. Italy is on total lockdown. I do feel like we are living in some sort of movie version of life. We are going to Monop’ before yoga class to get in some supplies. I have a haircut appointment today. That will feel good. We will do a big shop on Rambuteau. I still feel terrible about losing the Burberry plaid shopping bag. I need also to look at the schedule and decide on doing more with Tim. There was an email this morning from Hachette saying we are the real deal and wishing we could write the book faster. Give me a book deal first before you start asking these kinds of questions please. We could be leaving Europe with a book and TV deal. That is if they let us leave Europe. If we can’t “get out” for some reason I will just go to the south of France until it blows over. We could then take the train from Marseille to London just in time for a flight. Anyway we are here for another two weeks so I’m going to try and enjoy it and make a menu of things we might need. We might think about freezing some meat or fish if there are any more threats of things closing. I think that would be quite wise.
Michael taught yoga today and it was the hottest class yet. For the first time, I found myself hiding in postures. For some reason Susan Goldberg telling me how R.L. used to purposefully have unsafe sex with young guys with the aim of infecting them came up in my savasana. What a horrible thought and what a horrible being. Every artist I’ve brought to Provincetown, it seems, has been appropriated by either his low-life band of miscreants or by the likes of J.D. (West), including those I once labelled best friends. It is also those so-called best friends “fault” if that’s the word you wish to use. It matters so little now. First I do think karma is a bitch and those who have cancel-cultured me will feel the burn at some point; and anyway they have freed me from having to even be remotely emotionally responsible to them. Anyway this has all become so increasingly irrelevant it isn’t even real. After yogues, we came back and ate some delicious soup. Usually the cleaner comes today but she’s sick (uh-oh) and Alex from the agency had said he was going to drop by while she was here for “two minutes” to do something for a client (which was vague). We were here when he arrived with two other people!!! He was showing the apartment. It was very odd and were weren’t super happy about that, but we didn’t show it. Still, it won’t happen again. I then went for a hair cut which was also super odd. When I say that I was in and out in fifteen minutes including getting my hair shampooed and blow-dried I kid you not. S. didn’t even have time to go and get a coffee. We then went to BHV in search of aprons we never found, but we did get jelly insoles for our shoes. We headed to Terre and had a coffee and then to the produce guys for fruits and veggies, the butchers for a roast chicken, Bacchus for wine and to Mme. Fromage for everything else. There wasn’t much time between unpacking all that and our call with yet another interested publisher. We have now had two conversations. The Hay people buggered off which is fine. I hope someone out there can afford us. The Cricket thing got sorted. We are still waiting on the TV stuff. All in all it is a creepy day. We are increasingly, day by day, being spooked by the virus thing. I don’t know what to do or think about it any more to be honest.
Paris, Day Forty Nine of Sixty. And Day Twenty-One of Bikram. Woke up on the sofa thirsty as hell and guzzled some water and fell back in an actual bed. Woke up around eight o’clock, Stella already made coffee, and the first thing she tells me is about the menace’s speech and his new travel ban. What the actual. Having him as president is like growing up with my sister. They share the same birthday. As does Boy George and the accountant we just fired a couple of days ago. Anyway, this will be the topic of conversation all day to the exclusion of pretty much anything else: Should we try to leave early. Should we try to stay in Paris longer. Should we go to London as planned. All of it. I hate this president more than any other person, living or dead, I have ever known. It is not spiritual to wish ill on anyone so I will stop short of that but I have to say that I do not see a very rosy future for this subhuman menace who found his way into the ultimate spotlight. Imagine being that famous, having that much attention, and only ever, increasingly, day after day, being famous for being more and more hated. He is a drug addict. He is the most dangerous of sorts because he hates himself so much and is so bankrupt and desperate a person that he will think nothing of taking all of the rest of us with him. I search my feelings on all of this and I just think I don’t care. I am not afraid to stay in Paris. I’m not even afraid of getting the virus. I just want to stay strong and healthy and keep my face (and throat and chest) in the sunlight. This is probably the weirdest day yet of the trip because you get the sense that everyone on the planet, practically, is thinking about the same thing as you. I do think it is the beginning of the end but not for us; for this president and for all the criminals with whom he keeps company, starting with his sick family. We are not going to stand for this sort of handling of a dire situation. Anyway it is one of the most surreal days of my over half a century.
Went to yoga as planned. Kirsten taught the class. She is really old-school and smooth and never leaves the podium and I truly love her class (maybe more than anybody elses?) it’s possible. We came home after and had a mache salad and some chicken lefties. I am in social media battles with the Bernie or Bust people. And the poison is being leached. This one guy from Provincetown whom I run from if I see him coming lest I get hijacked for hours listening to his monotonous monologues that always hinge on poverty consciousness—you know how some really boring people have this knack for not letting you get a word in edgewise and manage to keep you captive for upwards of an hour? Well that would be this guy, who spokes way too much pot and doesn’t know his own uninterestingness. Well this douchebag went for me on social media today accusing me of being obliterating toward Bernie bros when all I said was that, unlike every other Democratic contingent, the Bernie-or-Bust crowd never gets over their bratty loses to the point of refusing to vote for other candidates when you don’t see this from any other Democratic group whose candidate loses or pulls out. I had this one guy, Martin Belk, who fancies himself a playwright, already go for me, gushing obscenities onto my page. I invited him to instead unfriend and block me which he did. These Bernie brats are effing ridiculous. Bernie isn’t even a Democrat. And he has the worst voting record in the Senate. Anyway, I’m stepping away from all that. Macron delivered a speech last night and basically Paris is closing up shop and we have to figure out what it is we are going to do. I suppose I’ll look on the Americans in Paris FB page and see what’s what. I am guessing we won’t be having that dinner party next week. Or will we? Everything is so up in the air. I think we will find out which stores are or are not closing. I might take a walk around the neighborhood. I’m glad we got out and went to museums and dinner the other day. We have to keep pounding liquid and try to get some work done. Everything will be delayed. We are so fortunate that we have a little resource right now. We have to be a source of strength for other people.
We watched a bit of news last night and none of it is really all that good. We will have to decide whether or not we go to London as planned a week from Monday, for a week, or if we should stay here for at least that long. I am going to suggest that we try to go week to week and not rebook the Eurostar until such time as we know what’s happening here. It is so easy to imagine one is ill at times like this. I have a dull headache and my digestion is a bit flukey, which are symptoms mostly of everything else besides this virus, but there you have it. I redid my schedule yet one more time but I’m not sure if I will even be able to stick to that. We are in such a state of flux it’s difficult to know exactly what to do. Anyway it looks likely we will stay put for the next two weeks and just power through and get things done. If we happen to get ill in that short amount of time we will try to stay healthy enough so that we don’t take anything too hard. I am sure that Pesky and Edie will not come to visit. I wonder if even Yvan will come to dinner. We did manage to have a fun time tonight in spite of it all and I suppose I’m grateful for the solidarity we are experiencing. I am super done with certain people places and things in my life and that’s not a lie. I must remain strong in my resolve to hit all my marks. My hope is that we will have some word back from someone about something this week. Meanwhile nobody is working in their office and everything will be pushed back. So long as we live this will work fine for us.
Paris, Day Fifty of Sixty…(or Sixty Seven). And Day Twenty-Two of Bikram. I have been having the weirdest anxiety dreams. Last night I awoke to our slipping into a beautiful warm and tropical sea only to realize the current was so strong it was zooming us out to sea. Bing. Awake. My heart pounding. I was aware of a vague sinus headache on left side of my face, over my eye, which I still have some ten hours later while writing this. S. didn’t sleep well either. Had we only known we would have just stayed up and talked instead of taking to the separate corners of our abode. We are really trying to figure out the itinerary in light of all things closing in Paris and whether or not, if even, Bikram is a good idea. But we go anyway and Rachel is teaching and she is tough. After yoga we decide to go to Miznam for lunch but it looks a bit dirty to be honest so we head to the Little Café but aren’t feeling that, really, either. So we take the long stroll to our sure fire spot, the Café de la Nouvelle Mairie where things never go wrong. It is a beautiful day and we get there in twenty minutes flat which is some kind of record. It is sunny and airy and we need this. We past two young blond identical twin girls sitting at a café on the Ile Saint Louis and then as we cross the second bridge into the 5eme a musician on electric piano is playing le Chanson des Jumelles. But of course. We climb Mont St. Genevieive and settle into a banquette. I’m having velouté of celery and saucisse avec pois blancs. S. has radicchio with anchovy followed by morue. We share some cheese and a Gaillac and gazeuze. We are trying to forget what is going on around us. We are trying not to be totally freaked out by life. It is Friday the 13thand we are already a bit spooked.
I woke up this morning to someone telling me, in answer to my questioning what he would do if I posted the obscentities on his wall that he posted on mine. And he said he would decapitate me. Isn’t that nice? It’s very quiet on social media just as it is on the street. I am making a fresh chicken stock and otherwise trying to keep the mood light and lively. It’s good that we don’t have to do very much tonight. We won’t even have to do any more food shopping until tomorrow. By Monday it will be a different world here and we will just go from there. The big question is should we try to get out now or should we stay and wait it out. I for one think we should stay put. Even if we don’t go back until May I’d be fine with that. By then it will be warm and the worst will probably be over. I don’t know this for a fact but it is my feeling. There are now many options on the table. Anyway we did end up going out for little bits of stuff like some frisee and blue cheese and caviar and and crackers soaps and stuff to fill in. Dinner was basically cheese and chocolate. I thought I bought crème de marron awhile back but it turned out to be puree de marron which I can use in a soup. We watched the news which is all bad and then some Friends reruns again just to keep our spirits light and lively. None of the deals finalized by this Friday 13thand gosh oh golly but things are looking bleak. We are getting pressured by family and friends now to leave Paris. Just as everyone said just a day ago we were probably better off staying. I don’t know what to believe anymore. All I know is that I am truly, truly sad to leave Paris.
Trying to take stock of where I am, cut losses and look on the bright side. More Bernie brats coming for me. But so many more people agreeing with me. It doesn’t matter. People are going to be dying from this virus while everyone bemoans the fact that their individual performances are being cancelled. All I want is for people to be safe and to understand how to get through these sorts of things: Together. That is the only way. Young people will feel immune to this and make very few changes, not caring all that much about who they might be affecting/infecting. I’m so glad we packed in as much as we did so far this trip, because it will not be ending on that high a note. Pesky and Edie will not be coming. There is no social gathering of S., J., S, J. for tattooing (which is a small grace). I guess they will still go on their holiday. Would be great to say hey we can go but probably not the best idea. What will we do on the Cape, I wonder. I am so over being there on a social level, though I still find it dreamy when it comes to natural environment. All will be one big long taking stock over the next couple of days as info trickles in.
Paris, Day Fifty One of Sixty…(or Sixty Seven). And Day Twenty-Three of Bikram. Today was another challenging day. Neither of us know what to do. No work is being done because all our energy is going into figuring out what to do (which we never manage to do). We just go moment to moment. I made two soups in the morning then we headed off to Bikram class, which was harder and hotter than typical. There was this weird guy in class who went around telling people not to talk to each other. It was very strange. After class I made some caviar and chive omelets with a radicchio salad. And then we went for a stroll up to Barav to buy some organic wines. The news keeps changing. There was this announcement that the orange menace was adding UK and Ireland to the banned list. I don’t know what we are going to do in regard to travel. We have a flight scheduled in two weeks from Heathrow to Boston. It seems we can’t just extend our stay. We’d have to commit to being away another month, which means another five weeks. I’m actually fine with that I think. Anyway we had some snacks, crackers and Hercule, and a beautiful honey-flavored white, watching our favorite show, with a lovely salad of frisée with an anhovy dressing and this amazing blue cheese. Then we heard that all shops were being closed as of tomorrow but for food shops. So we went back out and got even more vino de vino as we only want to drink the unfiltered, bio kind and we are not sure how long Barav will be closed. We came home and ate some chocolate mousse with crème fraiche. That’s what happened. Meanwhile there is this backdrop of the unknown and uneasy. As if I’m not creeped out enough.
Saw this video of Billy who is still wearing clothes I gave him, which is also super creepy. I don’t know how or why it is people are so damned sketchy, they just are. V. has been writing to S. about the whole virus and where to be thing. I am going to keep a very low profile after once again being burned by a member of the local gentry. I just came upon a photo of myself from 2013 and was I ever thinner. Wow. I had no idea. Definitely going to pin that photo up somewhere as a reminder of how I really used to look. For inspiration not to beat myself up. I’m really saying any old shit today because all feels like whistling in the graveyard to be honest. I am trying my damnest to not only survive but to thrive through all this uncertainty. It aint easy I’ll tell you. We will hear from J. that if worse comes to worse we can stay in her London house which truly comes as a comfort. Nobody wants to get this thing. One thinks she might have it? I sincerely hope not. I do think there is a mass hysteria in the U.S. unlike here where everyone is being remarkably calm. It’s fine. I just want to ride through and if I do get sick just get mildly so. There is no reason to freak out. All one has to do is take some paracetamol and drink plenty of liquids. If I have to drink hot water and vinegar I will do that. We are laying very low and getting lots of rest. That is the trick to this thing. Otherwise there is no real point in anything. What started off as such an active and rosey time really has dissolved into nothingness. I spooked yself out for the first time going back to our stay in Shoreditch two months ago, when I lost that plaid bag I had brought with me from home. Something about that incident started this snowballing spookiness. And then we went to Italy where we were surrounded by Chinese people and already on hight alert. That was over six weeks ago but not soon after Italy was hit truly hard and I feel we dodged that particular bullet just in time. And then when we got here there was a certain abandon that has long since, now, been abandoned.
I feel the need to express myself and talk myself through all of this. I feel altered but I don’t think it is because I am infected. I think it is because my nerves are so on edge and I’ve done twenty-three days of Bikram yoga and, at this point, as they announce all these closures, I am guessing that the studio won’t be open tomorrow. I think that this can signal a turning point on any number of levels. Amid all this chaos and ignorance people are still fighting and name-calling and all that sort of thing. True colors really do come out. Anyway it does weird me out that people don’t have a clue about kindness and what it means.
Paris, Day Fifty Two of Sixty…(or Ninety Five). And Day Twenty-Four of Bikram. It’s my mother’s birthday. It’s the Ides of March. We have decisions to make about staying or leaving. I am up too early and I don’t know if there is yoga today. S. hears me stirring and calls to me and she is upset and homesick and we decide to stay awake and figure this out. I know a great part of her wants to pack and go to the airport. I am not of that mind at all. We have some coffee and talk it through and decide that we are probably going to stay in Paris. Outside the flat we see Jose Antonio coming out of a voting center so we ask if Bikram is shut down and it is. Waaah. Today is meant to be day twenty four. He suggests I do it at home in any case. And I think I will definitely do that. Well, my mom did give a little sign already today and I don’t want to lose the momentum so I will make time before dinner today to do my own session and ring the bell that way. We get to the pharmacy just as it opens and I have a way of getting my medication sent here. I will write my doctor Monday morning I also need a way to cancel a hospital appointment. Maybe I will write a letter. I tried the email route let’s see if that yields. So we then grabbed a shopping bag and set off to buy some fish and chicken and veggies and so forth—the butcher lady speaks to us at length about making sure to get all the provisions we need. People are walking around with tons and tons of toilet paper. It isn’t quite yet the panic we are seeing in pictures coming from the states. And the weather will be warming up here a bit. I just feel that there are ways to avoid this and stay ahead. If I were to get it I would probably already have it from going to Bikram for twenty-three days straight. Then again maybe that’s what’s been keeping the virus at bay. Nan writes to say that only supermarkets are going to be open moving forward. She didn’t mean that. But it sends us back out into the streets. We buy more fish to freeze and go to Picard for some frozen burgers and shrimps and vegetables. I now have a pretty solid list of food in the house that will last us, I’m guessing, about twenty days. I’m going to write out a menu of what is currently here in house.
Sunday 3/15 Lunch: Chestnut Soup. Dinner: Salmon w/capers, mashed potatoes, frisée/radicchio salad.
Monday 3/16 Lunch: Caviar and Chive Omelet. Dinner: Poulet Roti, potatoes, peas + onions
Tuesday 3/17 Lunch: Celeriac Soup. Dinner: Ratatouille w/ rice.
Wednesday 3/18 Lunch: Salad and cheese. Dinner: Chicken and lentils
Thursday 3/19 Lunch: Celeriac Soup. Dinner: Risotto (mushroom? shrimp? pumpkin?)
Friday 3/20 Lunch: Salad. Dinner: Fish and vegetables
Saturday 3/21 Lunch: Caviar and Chive Omelet. Pasta (vongole or red sauce or Carbonara)
Sunday 3/22 Lunch: Soup. Dinner: Chicken
We would still have frozen cod, burgers, veggies and frites which would add up to three or so meals.
Anyway, my focus is on spiritual concerns today. I may address that more tomorrow. Here are some posts I put up in the last little while. They should work here in this context.
I see so many artists going through such pains with the cancellations of their shows and all the collateral damage this sort of thing entails. Remember this next time you back out of a contract last minute for no good reason, especially leaving a non-profit entity in the lurch and holding the bag for all they invested in you (knowing full well nobody has the time or resources to recoup losses from you). If we can learn anything from this experience, we can learn compassion, dignity, follow-through and common courtesy for our fellows in the artistic community who all work hard, in various capcities, to further the efforts of artists who are emerging, exploring and evolving. Feel this moment and let it make you a better, kinder, fairer, humbler and a more upstanding member of our community.
I don’t have any pictures of my mother (or my father for that matter or even of my younger self)—it’s a long story—but a few moons ago my spiritual sister Bonnie Lauton sent me a couple of snaps from the 1960s. My mother was and is a pretty powerful Pisces and I’m invoking her guidance today as we find ourselves abroad at this scary and confusing time. I know if I ask her for a sign she will send one! Happy Birthday in Heaven.
An etymological note on the word Kindness. It’s more than being nice. It’s understanding how we are Kindred, what Likeness we all share, and (the proverbial) Doing Unto Others…I have been shocked these past days by others’ rude and crude and cruel behavior. Those who consciously add to others’ unhappiness, especially in times when focus should be on coming together and compassion, just seem to be the most evil of beings.
Paris When It Sniffles: With all the travel bans in place and what I suspect will be a privitization/monetizing of people’s misery in the form of for-profit quarantine facilities, contracts for which to be given to the usual greedy, sociopathic monsters as are running the concentration camps at the southern border where children are still in cages, we think it best to stay put, here, in a place that prioritizes civic wellfare over profiteering in the face of a pandemic.
Paris, Day Fifty Three of
. So needless to say I didn’t do Bikram yesterday and I’m hoping to set up for it this morning in the next twenty minutes, meaning I’m going to write now for fifteen. We cannot get through to Airlines to change our flights which is absolutely ridiculous. I do think things will slow down with the airlines but for the time being they will not return texts or messages which is adding to the daily frustration. I’m having weird pains in my hoo hoo area which I’m sure are pulls from Bikram. I have to do two in one day this week which is fine. I spent a lot of time with my mother in my dream last night and awoke to a picture of her plopped on my FB page by a family friend whose mother was very close with mine and who lived in the same town as we did. We used to go to their home every New Year’s Eve and they would make whisky sours for the kids. Why? I don’t know but they did. I am going to make the most of all of this and get all the provisions we need in house on a daily basis for as long as I am able to do so. I am only going to write for another ten minutes. There is so much sadness that is beginning to surface as a result of all of this and I am feeling at a loss but the trick is not to feel personally persecuted. We must be a source of strength for folks. We might even do a few days online of quick and dirty readings but I know that won’t go over well. I have to call my Dr. in Boston and make sure they contact me. I also need to reinstate my My Account. I suppose I could have someone else do it but it doesn’t cost all that much to phone from here even though I don’t have a plan. At least I got online to pay my Verizon bill. Today I will get caught up on all my finances and receipts. This is all a great investment and so much is already coming from the work we are doing. I will also move into plotting the planets for 2021 and smooth out the opening narrative of the Aries chapter. Why not! I put out the following on social media: Sixty…or Ninety Five. And Day Twenty-Five (minus One) of Bikram
Hello from Paris. It is becoming quite the ghost town here, which is a good thing. We need to get it into the heads of younger people, especially, that their congregating is a selfish act and that the entire population isn’t as strong as they are in the face of this crisis. But it is starting to happen and we suspect there will be more rules and regulations and curfews imposed here. Paris is a Virgo and therefore both a germ phobe and highly organized and functional when facing an emergency. Of course there are challenges being in lockdown no matter where we are, but I plan to make lemonade from the situation as best as I/we can. We have to stay connected—how fortunate we are to live in a time when we can be in touch with so many, electronically—and we must encourage one another, especially those of us for whom isolation can trigger depression, fear and deep loneliness. What we cannot afford is the luxury of negative expressions of social experience—the trolling, the gaslighting, the cancel culture or any such crap designed to make others feel bad or less than on any level. Now is a time to be an uplifter of the first order and to show and give Love at every turn. Besides staying healthy and safe and sane, we can use this time to be creative and to ask for help and to take it. I for one am here for anyone who might be having a rough time with all of this. Reach out and message me if you need any emotional support at all. I will be checking my social media accounts constantly and I do have a couple of decades under my belt as a consultant of the cosmic kind. It benefits me as much as it does others to see through to the silver linings which are always there! Be calm, be creative and be in touch!
Anyway it is a start. I do want to be part of the solution. If we pull together we can sail through this mess rather unscathed. Let us call for the return of light and strong sunshine to disinfect this planet of ours. I dare say I think she is trying to tell us something. She needs to rid herself, perhaps of the burdens we have caused her. Then again I don’t know Gaia to be a cruel goddess who would attack the sick and elderly. We have more likely done this to ourselves. How quickly ones experience of a place can change. But this is unprecedented and we are experiencing a new aspect of the human condition than we ever have before. We are truly vulnerable but truly resilient. I want to help myself and others in the process. I want to make sure that they get the support they require and deserve. As I said I got to meet my mother in my dreams and I hope that this continues. I know that she is sending me strength during all of this. I just saw that Pornhub is giving Italians in lockdown free service. That is one of the funniest, most amazing things…wait, things are getting really fucked up again:
We went out to do more food shopping—probably have spent at least $500 over the last several days. And I have enough in house, now, for about twenty-five meals. I was just getting ready, setting up to do my yoga, when S. had a text from Alice whose assistant is French. Macron is planning a speech for eight o’clock tonight; we are sure it’s going to be about stricter measures. But what we didn’t expect was this call from Alice saying that her assistant’s sister is a Nurse in Lille and her friend works for the government and that it is going to be a two month shutdown. And so S. is already changing our Eurostar to tomorrow and we are finding ourselves packing up all our belongings. I have to call Dom and Nan and Dom is going to come and pick up my twenty-five meals worth of groceries in the pantry, fridge and freezer. This is a nightmare. I was all poised and ready to stay and now we are scrambling to get back to London, which is not comping well with this crisis at all. It costs nearly six hundred dollars to rebook our train for tomorrow afternoon. So as I’m packing I feel I’m doing the wrong thing and S. disagrees but I’m not arguing with her. We open wine to pack with and I put all the food into bags as well. Dom comes over and we drink wine and eat cheese and then help him into a car with the six huge bags and we come back upstairs and eat roasted chicken. I have a soup I made for tomorrow. Then we watch Macron and he announces that everyone must stay in their houses for at least two weeks. And he keeps saying we are at war, over and over again. And there will likely be tanks in the streets enforcing the command that everyone must stay in their house except to go food shopping or to the pharmacy or bank or newsstand, but they have to stay in a five hundred meter radius. And everyone we spoke to is saying that Macron’s words “at least two weeks” actually will mean longer. And the travel ban goes into effect noon tomorrow—noon!— so S. gets back online and changes the Eurostar again and they charge us another seventy euros, and we are drinking another bottle of wine, and we have to fall asleep soon and get up early enough to get out of here and make an eleven a.m. train. Argggggggh.
Paris, Day Fifty Four of, well, Fifty Four. I cannot tell you how bummed I am. And how tired. We woke and spoke around four fifteen and then I probably fell back around five-thirty for just half an hour. I have to dump out my entire pot of celeriac soup, along with the roasted chicken, potatoes and brussel sprouts I made last night for supper. I am packing as much as I can of the rest of the provisions but we have two heavy suitcases and a giant carry bag each that weigh tons. We both take baths to calm down. My body is in revolt and I can’t tell if I’m dealing with a pull or if I’m having a panic attack or worse. We have to get a car and we have to get to the train. We put the biggest cranky pack we can into play. What I didn’t mention yesterday was that amid all the chaos and the packing S. had contacted our friend Jo who had offered her house in London so S. texted her and said, well I think we need to take you up on this. The house is sitting empty but we will meet the housekeeper who apparently is going to get some food in as well. We turn off France Musique, which has been on constantly these past fifty-four days, and say goodbye to the flat and send our bags down the tiny lift, three trips in all. Uber said it will take about eighteen minutes to get a car and though we ask for a van they keep sending cars. And we call the driver and he says no his car is too small and we keep trying meanwhile I get the number for Dom’s taxi from Nan and we call them too. There is nobody on the street but for the rare passer by on a bike, wearing a mask. Finally an Uber big enough shows up and we cancel the taxi and head to Gare du Nord. On the way we see queues of spaced apart people lining down whole blocks to get into a local Monoprix. Maybe we are doing the right thing after all. How would we ever be able to function here? I wonder. We get dropped a the station and go through the ticket and baggage and passport check. I don’t want to say anything but I feel really odd—hoping it’s just nerves and fatigue. There are no concessions open, let alone the first class lounge. We just sit and squirt gel into our hands. And it’s time to board and there are a lot of people here but much to our surprise our car only has two other guys in it. One of them wants to chat but we are shutting that down, the other is an older English fellow trying to get back to Norway where he lives with his wife but that country has closed up shop, too, apparently. I’m haunted by the images driving to the station actually, it was amongst the most grimmest images I’ve ever laid eyeballs on. S just read that you have to have a sort of written declaration on your person if you’re outside anywhere.
I forgot to say that yesterday after shopping we saw the doors to La Fronde were open and Yuan and Vanessa and some other folk were in there cleaning out. I suppose that was why the trash area this morning was so disgusting smelling of fish. Anyway we told them that we were staying another month so I will have to find them and write them. Not that they care, exactly. Also tonight was the night that we were meant to have Yvan (not to be confused with Yuan) for diner. I was so looking forward to that, but it obviously wasn’t meant to be at this juncture. Amid all of this our book is being optioned and we are now contracted as consultants on TV show based upon it. That’s pretty exciting, no? Especially, since it’s the book we call the “other sister”. Anyway, we got to St. Pancras and there was no queue for taxis and the young driver was cool and smart and engaging and it was an easy ride to Kensington where our friends, who aren’t here, have a house and have so generously offered it to us until we figure out next steps. I feel a bit iffy but why wouldn’t I after all this travel in any case. And last night was just awful. Anyway when we get to the address, the housekeeper is here and she gives us instructions on what’s what and where. There is a swimming pool in the basement or rather the basement is a swimming pool. I’m blown away not by the luxury because it is an understated, though perfectly appointed place—I’m blown away by the kindness and the gratitude I feel for my friends. Words cannot express. We venture out in hopes of finding food and first come across a Waitrose which we enter and exit in easy measure. There was zero on the shelves. We see people carrying Whole Foods bags so we keep walking in that direction and find the place at Barclay Circle (or something like that) it is filled with shoppers buying multiples of everything and is pretty picked over but we manage to get some salad fixins and some pasta and sauce for tonight. People are all in masks and here we go again. After Italy and France now we are doing this a third time. We are in touch with our friends by text and let them know we are just going to make some food and crash tonight. I feel truly blessed.
And we did just that: Took a little swim. Bath time. Then put on jammies and slippers and made some nice spaghetti with sauce right of the jar. This is not a time for me to be an authentic Italian. Watching the news—Boris is doing updates at five o’clock each day apparently. They are not mandating business shutter their doors. And why not? Because then these businesses would be eligible for insurance money. Instead they are recommending to consumers not to go to places of businesses, which will cause shops and restaurants and hotels and such to close, but these places wouldn’t get any insurance money because it would have been there decision to close. So sleazy and so obvious it makes me sick: Boris et al protecting the insurers over the public and their welfare. Makes me want to throw things. And yet Boris is at least intelligent enough to pretend he cares unlike the mandarin blob in the White House. Good golly what a world. We need some intervention action and we do not it pretty damn quick. Never have we lived through such a scary time, all wrapped up in an already scary time these past three and a half years. I need some good news and I need some fast. So much for it being St. Patrick’s Day. I used to love this day growing up. My mother and grandmother would make Irish Soda Bread. We always had home made corned beef and cabbage. It was actually a thing. When I was old enough to play hookie I would go to New York City for the day and drink green beer. I don’t know how it is my parents let me do that. And so weird that bars would serve a fifteen or sixteen year old. Oh, I dunno folks. I know it was un-PC to have the opposite of helicopter parents. But it sure was fun and formative, having to fend for yourself. The way people raise their kids now—please don’t get me started. It is weird that they haven’t closed schools here. There is some scuttlebutt about kinds not getting sick from this. Not that they don’t get it I guess, they just remain basically asymptomatic. At least that is the spin. It is possible this thing mutates, gets stronger and kills us all.
Talk about anti-climactic. I don’t know fellas but I am feeling put through the ringer. I don’t remember falling asleep as I did in the TV room last night and it was probably like three or something when I dragged myself upstairs. It took forever to fall back but I finally did, unto six-thirty. Got up and organized all my belongings. The reality is hitting. Now that we are in England we have no idea when it is we’ll be able to get back to the States, or even if that should be a goal. I’m hoping it’s psychosomatic but I am feeling a bit more dodgy today. My gut is it’s more my gut than anything else. I have my right-thinking cap on. I really want to be rested now more than any thing else. Chances are we are most of us going to come in contact with this virus; and the trick is to be in a state of good health when that happens. We had a little breakfast and watched the news, which is much more informative here than it is at home. And Emily came around nine-thirty and we headed out to see what we could find. After a little online research we decided to head through Holland Park—well, the footpath alongside it—and up to Holland Park Avenue, our old stomping ground, where there is a very famous butcher. Turns out it’s a ridiculously pricey butcher as well. Never mind. We got a few steaks which I will prepare with an arugula salad. Also some chicken breasts and chicken sausages to keep us going for the next day or two. We are going to contact our hosting friends’ travel agent to see if they can get through to Virgin because we cannot.
They have shut down all communication and say they will be in touch by text but never are. What a racket. As it is the greedy fuckers at the Eurostar charged us like $500 for making changes, which we needed to do twice. You would think in times of crisis that these sorts of fees would be waived but there is always profit to be made off of other people’s misery I suppose. We cancelled clients this week because we are scrambling to figure out where we are, never mind where we are going. After the butchers we found a little specialty shop, got some little cheeses and juice and stuff, and then retraced our steps back to Kensington. We did a little work and had a little lunch of salad and hard boiled eggs with pickle and some leftover smoked salmon and continued on working. And here I am right now, really. This is an interesting year astrologically in that the Astrological New Year begins tomorrow (late night in the US) but really early morning Greenwich Meantime on the twentieth.
Things patched up with Ian which is nice. Nobody needs the bad blood these days. Heard from the TV folks and super happy that’s moving forward. I am still, now, a number of days behind. Why wouldn’t I be. I still can’t believe I only got to day 23 of my 30 day Bikram challenge. Well at least I got that far. We are weighing all our options right now and will figure out just what will make the most sense for us. What a mystery that will be. Things are changing every minute here. I probably went too far in putting this out of my mind today (in other words I raided my host’s bar for a stiff whiskey at the end of the day while I was cooking the evening meal of sirloin and arugula, which was quite an easy task. We had taken a late afternoon swim which was rather therapeutic and I don’t think I was aware of how anxious and dread filled I’ve been. It was quite a trauma leaving Paris. I feel as if my life has been ripped away. I don’t suppose the other deals that we’ve had in works will come to pass. I am truly shocked by…I have no idea what I was going to say there. I got distracted by some social media posts. Lots of people I know are doing live stream performance. I see that JVB is doing one for free which is exactly right. I can’t figure out how to stream it however. I suppose it will be just a live Facebook thing. Hey, every little bit of cheer helps. I am in the process of figuring out what to do for the first day of Spring, which is the start of year six of this Blague if you can believe it. Well that’s what I’ll do starting tomorrow!
Hello All. It will turn Spring in the UK at 3:49 tomorrow morning, that’s 11:49 EST in the U.S. I don’t know if you know this but: I have been writing a daily blog for the past five years. It is called the Cosmic Blague (blague means joke in French) and it was originally intended as a catalyst for drawing out stories from my life, filled as it is with extraordinary synchronicities, so-called coincidences, indisputable divine intervention—and, yes, moments when I seem to have been the butt of the Universe’s joke—all such experience which Kate Bush tunefully called the “strange phenomenon.” I began writing my Blague with the start of the new astrological year, on the Spring Equinox, 2015, a time when I was feeling more than a bit kicked to the curb by the Cosmos. I wanted a daily ritual of accomplishment and I wanted to tap my well of story-telling but I had a hard time starting. So I gave myself some specific inspiration:
In astrology, each of the twelve signs encompasses thirty degrees of the Zodiac adding up to 360 degrees of this cosmic circle, corresponding (close enough) to the 356/6 days of the year. Some time ago, an astrologer and a seer channeled what are called the Sabian Symbols to express the individual nature of each of the Zodiac’s 360 degrees. So, year one, I mused on these symbols, to inspire thoughts I could type down, not only on the symbols themselves but also as a trigger for the personal stories from my experience that I wanted to relate. That was year one. In the years between then and now the Blague took on many forms and expressed a number of purposes. Sometimes it inspired incredible creative flow. Other times it made me feel super locked up and I would find other ways to keep going, including using it as a personal journal, a platform for other writing I had to do—shows, book proposals, articles, branding concepts—or as a way to vent and even gossip about people, places and things, though disguised for the most part—sometimes I would accidentally name folks (woops, that wasn’t good, especially when I got called out). There were spates when it just got really deconstructed and a bit Dada, but I kept going. So here, nigh on the sixth year of daily writing—starting tomorrow—I have come up with another way to trick myself into being prolific enough: I’m going to start reading my Blague entries (which I’ve never done) five a day—If I read that many I will have read them all by the end of this next astrological year—and I’m going to cut and paste the best bits for each day’s entry, while writing new thoughts that stem from doing just that. Let’s call it taking inventory of my thoughts to date and “development” of any work that might warrant it.
I have a great deal of other writing on my plate this year and won’t have a lot of free time for my Blague (sometimes I would spend hours a day on this); and so if I get really in the weeds with other work, these simple cut and pastes can function as “re-runs” with a little introduction by yours truly. This has been a really worthwhile process for me and, in typical woo-woo fashion, I will say: I think that by keeping on writing as I have done, mainly, for myself, even though other writing gigs or deals mightn’t have been forthcoming, that I created a magnetic force field to attract other opportunities to me. Because, as I say, it is going to be a busy year. That said I have not promoted this Blague at all, hardly. At first I was posting my postings to a Facebook page, but I stopped doing that. I may again; who knows. Anyway, just letting you know what’s what and hopefully, as I distill the Blague this year to highlight what I perceive to be the “best of” what I’ve done in the past, it might warrant other readers beside myself!
Actually this was my first ever entry in 2015: And I think it might be of some interest:
The beginning is as good a place to start as anywhere. Better, I suppose. Like any first attempt at something there are bound to be mistakes and I will look back on this initial go at some point and cringe. But in just a few hours we will enter the sign of Aries, it being March 20, 2015. And my plan for this “astrological new year” is to explore the cosmic energy of each unfolding day from all different angles. I don’t know what those angles are exactly yet, but I have gut inklings and they’re fun to follow. I have a few notions in mind, as well, for ancillary stories and such that I will spew here. In fact it’s those notions that inspired the title COSMIC BLAGUE which, I needn’t tell you, is a play on words; as blague means joke in French and is also pronounced blog, so, well, you get it. I’m especially out to explore the notion of synchronicity this year, too, as it relates, for better or for worse, to the universe “acting funny”. When we feel we are the butt of some cosmic joke, or when we miraculously experience synchronicity, in both cases the Universe seems to have an intelligence and a desire, even, to communicate with us. And I’ve found the more you get into that concept, the more it does try to tell you something, one way or another. So I thought I’d share some of my experiences with what I’ve come to perceive as a droll if not an hysterical cosmos. The “Strange Phenomenon” that Leo goddess Kate Bush sings about, no mere coincidence; there’s that. And then we’ve those times when we feel we’ve actually conjured things into being, which isn’t so much synchronicity, but rather, perhaps, the working of magic along these same channels or celestial avenues that sometimes “coincidentally” lead to our door. So I’ll get into all that happenstance, but I’ll stay on track, mainly, by delving into the energy of each day of the year slash degree of the celestial circle as we journey, once again, through the zodiac.
Happy Spring! Pisces 30° (that link takes you to the last Sabian Symbol post from the first year of this Blague) is one and the same as Aries 0°. Now, the Sabian Symbol corresponds to the day leading up to the degree. This is why that, at the bottom of this (and every day’s) post there will be a link from the first year I wrote the Blague that corresponds to the next degree than what is listed above with the date. We are talking about the same spate of time. Again, it’s just that 1° of the Sabian Symbol means from 0° to 1°. If you don’t understand what I’m saying I’m sorry. I’ve done the best I can. To reiterate what I said yesterday, I am reading five days worth of the first year of this Blague every day for the next year. I have already written five years of this daily Blague, so reading five entries a day means I’ll be all caught up to myself by the time we get to Spring Equinox 2021. I have never read any of my Blagues to date and so this is a way for me to review what I’ve done and maybe pull some things out that might make good content for future live shows or books or for personal use. As I stumble upon some good stuff I’m going to cut and paste it here and maybe write into it or add to it. What I will likely do is not cut and paste anything specific about the Sabian Symbols themselves (metaphysical expressions of each degree of the 360° circle of the Zodiac) because there will be a link to those entries at the bottom of each of these daily posts, taking you to year one of my Blague writing where I daily addressed the Sabian symbols. You might click back and read yesterday’s post if this is making no sense at all to you. I was pretty smooth in my expression about it in a way I feel I’m failing to be now. Clicking the link below to the 2015 Blague entry will give you specific information about the Sabian Symbols themselves. This has become bi- or even tri-directional. And I promise you it will be a lot more fun than the present tone would suggest!
So an update on what is actually happening on this day. S. and I got up at the crack and packed. We heard yesterday that our angel friend is going to fly us back home on a charter jet. We couldn’t be more grateful or more blessed. Just got to Stanstead and we are awaiting to board the Global 5000 airplane. I will tell you more about it tomorrow!
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. The very first Blague ever is here:
Typos happen. I don’t have a proofreader. And I like to just write, post and go! Copyright 2021 Wheel Atelier Inc. All Rights Reserved. Get your HAUTE ASTROLOGY 2021 Weekly Horoscope ebooks by Starsky + Cox.
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