Pisces 24° (March 14)

I’m a bit side effected. But I don’t think too too bad. It will take another day for my body to adjust to the vaccine as well as the time change. I will crash by eight and then be up by midnight and lull myself to sleep once again.  Lunch will be lovely flounder leftovers; and for dinner I will make salmon, turnip and kale (and finish the ginger and green tea ice creams), I put on Romeo and Juliet last night to fall asleep to, which was wonderful. I will watch the second half today and all of Funny Girl, only to check out Facebook and be met with first post by Buddy Walder whose understudy I was in that play. The most amazing occurrence of the day will be the fact that David wants us to be his godparents. So nigh on his eighteenth birthday we are going to fulfill these roles. It really effected me emotionally I must say, and somehow inspired me as well. I have to reach out to Dr. Burke tomorrow and also to S+S. Today is day one of sorts and so here I am at one seventy nine which is shocking. This is the first day of the long light and yet it squalled like a mo fo. The poor chicken that the sadist farmer has left out in the cold I fear will be a goner in the morning. We shall see. Woody Allen is definitely a criminal and Diane Keaton is for sure on the wrong side of that equation. Mama Mia meanwhile is emerging as something of a saint. You wouldn’t see vain Keaton in Darfur or Chad or anywhere getting her hands dirty. She is too busy making the next worst film imaginable. I fear I am no longer a fan—never really was. And Annie Hall is overrated. I much prefer Hannah and Her Sisters. If I had to choose, which I do not. I am done with Woody. The way he said “and I’m going to make them stick,” when Mia says “you are making allegations that I’m an unfit mother.” What a sick, sadistic man that is. I hate cance culture but cancel Woody forever please.

The following blocks of text are exceprts from my Blagues, nos. 1731-1735. 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.

Paris, Day Nine of Sixty. 
Didn’t hear my alarm go off. Luckily S. had hers on. We had just about half an hour to throw some kiwis down with a cup of coffee. I took a quick bath and don’t even remember now if I emptied the tub. Uber took no time to Gare de Lyon and we didn’t have to wait more than a few minutes before we could board the train, which is where I am right now, for the next ten hours, heading to Venice. As I type I see the Rhone and Lyon rising from the fog. I need to write a couple of completed text boxes So here they go:

Mother Myself: The Sixth Astrological House of Virgo is associated with our habits and behaviors, health and healing, how we “work”, that is to say how we operate and function, and the ways in which we best “serve” ourselves, and by extension, our environment and humanity as a whole. This goes a long way toward explaining why it is that, of all the signs, Virgo woman, especially, is the most interested, if not obsessed, with Self Help on every level—by contrast, Virgo man tends to be downright hypochondriacal. The sign’s symbol Virgin, holding that spicaof grain, may well be considering its gluten content and what effect it might have on her. It is a snapshot of the many ways in which Virgo overthinks, analyzes and navel gazes. As a native of this sign, you have read more than enough personal-development books, attended more than your fair share of workshops and seminars, and visited enough healing practitioners, psychics and sages, to last you a lifetime. So, we are shutting you down. You must take at least three months off from any form of self-help other than this book, your regular exercise, and maintaining a balanced diet. And with all that time and energy this will save you, we prescribe an actionable challenge: You are going to take all your self-help experience to date and create your own mini (or maxi) self-help treatise, weaving together all the myriad modes you have explored over the years, either through study or practice. We don’t want you to cut and paste your influences but to synthesize all you’ve gleaned over the years into a clear and concise composition of your own making. In the process you will foster self-reliance and keep in-check any surplus outsourcing of authority.

Solo SiloGray is the color attributed to the sign of Virgo, a nod to the sign’s mutable-earth assignation, which translates to clay. This is in keeping with the archetypes of the sign who include the potter god, Hephaestus, and the idealized Pandora (with her own ceramic jar or box) whom he sculpted from that gray matter. As a Virgo woman, you embody the potential to patiently mold yourself into the best version of yourself. However, on the flipside, another interpretation of your sign’s signature color speaks to your propensity to get stuck in neutral, lost in the gray area of inertia. This is less an issue of indecision than it is of reluctance, if not fear of making the wrong move—dread at being hurt, rejected or disappointed. So you will deliberate, and not bedeliberate, considering every angle and possible outcome. And you do go on: sounding others out, sometimes ad nauseum, in the process; just as, if you do meet with disappointment, you will beat that dead horse, complaining and lamenting, feeling perpetually, and near pathologically, wronged by people. But you can turn this trademark Virgo pitfall into empowerment: We propose you make an inventory of all your litanies, arguments, complaints, grouses and grudges—write them down on separate bits of paper and then put them into a (preferably ceramic) jar or box, and then bury them somewhere. This ritualizes letting go, getting heavy weights off your mind, and out of your emotional body; and whenever old, stuck feelings arise, you can visualize them in their darkened container, lodged in the earth. Knowing you, you might need a number of jars and boxes.

Europe, Day Ten of Sixty:I woke up way to early and was still wearing some of my clothes. I sent S. an email to say I’m awake and that I needed the charger as my phone is dead. She popped by on her way downstairs and I followed suit and we had a coffee together and chatted before she decided to head upstairs to do some work. I went up tool, after a few bites of egg and sausage, and went for a walk to the piazza San Marco where I thought maybe I could find something fun. Took some pictures of the Café Florian and otherwise bopped around, came back, showered and worked for another hour, sending all I needed to send to our agent before we all headed out for the day. We went for a stroll across the grand canal, stopping at a few paper and glass stores, and we had an Aperol spritz at some hotel bar (I will write it in here once the LLB’s tell me where, S. thinks maybe it was called the Sina Hotel); then we headed to the contemporary art museum, which was closed, and ended up at the Peggy Guggenheim, which was simply amazing—what a great body of work. After that we had a very interesting pizza lunch. I have never not finished a pizza in my life. I think it was called Pizzoke or something, on the other side of the other Island. What was incredible was the theme of the thing. Two things came to light, the first being that we really are going to make this collaboration with Eve work. For sure. The other thing that came up was the commitment to the characters and the brand. I definitely want to make that the main thrust of things in the coming days. As the brand grows these sorts of collaborations can be really great. We then went at four-thirty to Ca’ Rezzonico which was only opened for another half hour but we got to breeze through none the less. We then headed off to the Gritti for a pricey couple of rounds of drinks. I’m now sitting back in the lobby of the Flora and catching up a bit. We will head to the St. Regis in a bit for more cocktails then onto some weird restaurant where I will have liver and polenta. I was seriously concerned that this would come back to bite me, but so far so good.

I have a grand todo list on my mind. I have to painstakingly go through all the process of the jewel-making. I have to slow things down a bit. I have to find a way to fill the coffers and need to touch base on the cricket stuff. I want to go through every person I know and let them know what’s happening. I should do a little news letter perhaps on that score, which would include the consultancy (card). I should probably go through my entire list of contacts. And now begins the real process of putting together press release, all the “speak” for all the pendants, what everything means. I also need to follow up on seeing Fresh and write down the minutes from our meetings in Paddington and Venice on that score. I also told Tim that I would be sending him a note and that is somewhere in here. I sent a draft to S. of that so that is underway. I will make a list of press people coming through Paris and contact them about the jewelry, consult and also let them know about their book (or offer to send them one). I also want to put it out there on the Czars page that we are looking for someone great who does jewelry PR. I also need to get this Sabian Symbol thing going and make a list of all our book ideas that we could next put out there. Also we need to get the massage therapist information from Jimin. And I need a way to find out my Seaman’s balance online. Or maybe I can do that from an ATM. I’ll try that first. I will put together a list of viable acts for festival. I will write Jesse with a color story. I will check in on the budget for doing this sort of thing. I will find out from April E. what her show might be about. I will take inventory of who I am as a writer. I will reach out to Peter Davis. I will find a way to contact Tim Blanks. I will put that consultancy card on Instagram. I have such a list. I need to schedule a time to put the document together for Marilyn. The list keeps growing and growing.

Europe, Day Eleven of Sixty:Went to breakfast and then I changed rooms and fully unpacked S. and I went for a nice long walk this morning into the area near San Marco. The we came back and headed to the Accademia with LLB. It was fascinating. He’s like Sister Wendy on speed. I keep making fun of the fact that he walks really fast ahead of us giving us art-historic information we can never hear. We then met in the Campo Stefano (ironic given the character that has been annoying me lately) it was barely noon but someone was already ordering Aperol spritzes. I had another coffee and went back to fetch my sunglasses as it was getting really glare-y. We did some shopping. S. bought a nice orange leather bag. We then went to the Rialto bridge but didn’t cross it, after trying to make contact with jewelry artist who works with beads whose shop looked like she was just there a minute ago. Being foodies, which the LLBs admittedly are not, we were a little bummed at first at our choice of lunch space which felt like the tourist equivalent of a rest-stop cafeteria. It wasn’t great but it was clean and it didn’t much matter in the end. I had pasta fagioli and a ham and cheese sandwich—the former was egg noodles floating in a sort of gravy, the latter was exactly as it sounds on white bread. After lunch we went to the department store, which was called something Tedeschi, and then we took a gondola which was really fun and funny. When we were dropped off the gondola there was a lady in her window whom we waved at—she then opened the window ant talked to us and asked about where we lived in America. We went back to the jewelry lady and en route S. bought some shirts at a gorgeous shop. (Even though this was only yesterday I might have the sequence of all these events completely out of whack). They were inside the shop of jewelry lady, who mainly works in beads, so I went for a short walk in the area and it was incredibly sympa with artists studios and workshops. They were headed to the American Bar, said the text S. sent me, when they couldn’t find me. But there I was and as we headed back we decided not to go to the American Bar but to the Café Florian instead.

The Café Florian was actually a bit bizarre. First of all the girls had to pee and when we got there we were ushered to a table in a far room, and it was crowded, the wait staff all in formal attire; but S. and J. tried to go to the ladies’ room and there was a crazy line. We were seated next to the corona virus set and quickly moved to the window once a table freed up. S. tried again but no dice, this time alerting the maître d’ to what might be a problem with the ladies. I had a Spritz Florian (a more bitter version of the Spritzes I’m already o.d. on) and the LLBs had Gin Fizzes and Stella had some Barolo. There was a couple nearby and the man, who was much older than his partner, came over with an apologetic air and asked if S. was an actress. She said, no but I wanted to be one. Because, he said, my wife is convinced that you are an actress, so please, “are you Nicole Kidman.” So funny. Because, although Stella does look beautiful and famous she doesn’t really look anything like Nicole Kidman. After Florian we went for a little stroll and happened upon a couple of restaurants, Osteria San Marco, one of which looked quite trendy with sort of Saarinen table which a giant dome light. J and L. told me today they thought it was just okay. I thought it was amazing. I had this truffle carbonara and pork cheeks which was divine. I don’t even know what L. ordered for wine but it was delicious. We had three bottles I know that much. And then we went back to the hotel lounge and had another one. The LLBs went up to bed and S. soon followed suit. So I took the opportunity to take another stroll out of doors and soak up some local color.

I heard this singing once I crossed over the tiny bridge en route to San Marco. It was an amazing female voice so I followed it into the hotel bar lounge which was like a tiny Joe’s Pub and this young woman really was singing like a bird. I was fairly in my cups at this point but got the feeling that the tiny bit of house she had was comprised of close friends who were there to cheer her on, including this young male couple. I spoke with her and talked about how interesting it would be if she could add some story to her show and maybe use the space. Because she really lacked any kind of sparkle other than what came out in song. I gurued her a bit more than I probably would have had the night not been so preloaded but I do think I might have made a tiny difference in her thinking about what she’s doing. And I did give her my email address and invite her to be in touch with me. You never know. She was South American and didn’t speak much English and barely spoke Italian, but she sang perfectly in English so there was that. When I got back to the hotel there was a locked metal gate in front of the door and for a moment there I was like uh-oh. But an older man I haven’t seen before was the front desk man, which is a funny thing to be at such an old age.

Europe, Day Twelve of Sixty: This was probably my favorite day in Venice thus far. Jax actually joined us for breakfast the first time, though barely, and at the very tale end. And only after Lars had brought her up a coffee. It seemed potentially a bit colder out today so I wore my large Commes jacket under my coat and we set off for San Marco and, though I realized you’re not supposed to take photos a bit late in the game—two guard-attendants got onto me—I did take a lot of snaps of the floor especially. When you look closely at the structure it really is a bit weird and wacky and wonderful and it has many Arabic traits, the more whimsical of which are these kind of flourishes, like little twirly bits, on top of the roof and spires. Lars says all the columns are different from each other as the whole structure was basically salvaged. San Marco’s relics, which, legend has it, were stolen (back) from the Egyptians, are lodged here. And inside the church you see signs for these “treasures,” which we didn’t pay to see. We did pay to go behind the alther and witness this sort of gold wall depicting saintly figures punctuated with giant precious stones of all sorts which was pretty mind blowing.

I am feeling so full. My Commes coat used to hang on me but not it is tight to button. Another uh-oh. When I get back to Parigi I have to immediately start making changes. After the church we head back through the neighborhood S. and I enjoyed strolling through yesterday morning. It is very stop start. The girls (and Lars) are stopping to buy things—gloves, hats, glasses—but eventually we make it up and over the Rialto bridge. I am thinking that it is going to be super touristy, this bit; but once on the other side it seems more authentic. I know Lars is jonesing because it is six minutes after noon, and we come to this little square where there is this place called Bar Al Marca’, this little wine bar where locals are  drinking their “ombra” (so named for when Venetians pop out for a quick glass of wine in hottest summer, in the shade). This place is heaven: a cross between a biologique wine bar and a kind of ballsy place catering to a macho mix of marketeers, gondaliers and other workers. They look to have the best chiacetti here as well. We order four Aperol spritzes and this time I don’t believe they put any prosecco in it at all, just soda water (unless the gun the water comes out with is mixed with prosecco but I’m going to say no). Next door was the best cheese shop in the world. We press on and S. and I take detours to look at the fish market and the spice shop and taking atmospheric photos. We are are world away from our hotel neighborhood with it’s Chanel, Prada and Gucci. And soon we are at J. and L.’s favorite lunch spot.

Just when I thought they were diehard unfoodies (admittedly, on their part) they surprise us with this spot that disproves this theory about themselves. We started with baccala and another Aperol. I then had spaghettini with a spider crab sauce and the grilled fish, which was seabass. S. had a crab salad and john dory. I don’t recall if we had dessert. Lars over ate. From there we walked to the Danielli for, you guessed it, more drinks and then on to Harry’s for, yep, even more. I was now alternating Aperol spritzes with Negronis–honestly this has got to stop. I suddenly get the idea to open my own bar called Il Betty Ford. We are doing a great deal of laughing now that I recall. We take naps (not me) and then meet back in the Flora bar for even more drinks and then off we go to a church, of all places, to see a concert of Vivaldi which was stupendous. Although there was this young couple—the girl was the instigator—who were really distracting because they were talking and laughing through it. At half time I gave them what for and the managed to behave. We went back to Vino Vino where we went the first night and I had a bowl of pasta with muscles and clams and a curry sauce. Why? And I think I had some kind of cake. And more red wine. Oh god, what must I weigh. Jax and I are soul siblings for sure. We have all the same ailments, even, it’s crazy. I really have to get these appetites in check. We go back to the hotel and Lars orders another bottle to take up to the room, although he promptly falls asleep, and the three of us try to sing harmonies.

Paris, Day Thirteen of Sixty. The day started off a bit tense. S. noticed that our train tickets back don’t go from Santa Lucia. I am summoned downstairs and she’s obviously upset and trying to communicate with the desk clerk who is, on the other extreme, making everything seem like not at all a big deal. He said Mama Mia several times in a condescending way while not understanding S.’s questions about whether the train actually originates at Santa Lucia and at what time. He and thus she decides that it does looking at the train schedule I am not convinced. We finish packing and have breakfast with Lars and Jax and she isn’t at all well. Apparently we poisoned her and it had nothing to do with all the gins they drank and the fact he took a bottle of wine up to the room and promptly fell asleep—ha! Anyway I feel bad she feels bad. We have a lovely last few moments with them and it was so nice of them to get up and dressed and everything (when I know they are going back to bed). We decided to splurge on a Riva taxi and we get picked up at the hotel and led down a small alley to wear the boat awaits, passing the most perfect pink house. The ride is exceptional and it only takes ten minutes as opposed to the water bus which takes a half hour. We get there and of course our train does not originate at this station. S. is incredulous. I am aware that this train listed going to Milan and the one going from the Mestre station are just one digit off being the same number train. So she and the clerk thought it was the same train. No harm no foul we will buy cheapo tickets for a euro and a half each to get to Mestre which is ten minutes away. And we’ll still have fifty minutes to spare. Still she is incredulous. I am trying to ignore this. We get to Mestre and the train isn’t posted—yet. And then it finally is and we are seated in first class and on our way. Soon, much to S.’s delight, we realize that this isn’t the same path we took coming, which was quite ugly and industrial. This journey takes us passed lake Garda—which S. has always wanted to see (and plans to visit)—and we are now in Milan and switch stations there as well, as we did on the journey to Venice. Soon we are on the TGV on which nobody ever checked our ticket, not once, the whole way to Paris. And even when we got to Modane, nobody checked my passport!

I was standing in the café car when we stopped at the frontier. The barman shut his shutters and jumped outside to smoke, presumably. A tall thin man holding just a plastic bag got on the train and went straight for the toilet. There was already a smelly young guy installed in one of the booths of the café car who had been stopped by one of the train staff, a sort of chef du train, and ushered out of first class—I overhead the chef du train say that he didn’t have a ticket. I got freaked out by the guy in the bathroom and headed back to my seat. On the way I saw the team of border control agents checking everyone’s passports, pretty aggressively at that. As I passed one I said in English hoping to be understood—you should check on the guy in the bathroom, not understanding the irony of the situation that would soon ensue. I got back to our seats and S. said that she had been grilled by these agents, as many were, that they checked every page of her passport. I told her about the guy in the bathroom and that I said something to an agent in passing but that the agent just stared at me for a second and I wasn’t sure he even understood me. S. said and I agreed that I should go back and say it again with feeling. As I retraced my steps toward the café car I could see the team of agents swarming on someone, sort of corralling him, and I got a glimpse of a hand holding that same plastic bag. He was being ushered off the train along with the smellier guy that was already stationed in the café car booth. I took up my position at the standing table in the café car and back came the barman and I told him what happened and he had the opposite reaction to what I would have expected. He said he hates these people. I asked did he mean the agents and he did. He said they are so unnecessarily mean to these people who are refugees. And this same thing happens every day. They say things like “where is the black” and other racist remarks and (get this) the mainly white customers laugh. They grilled a black man who had a ticket and all the necessary papers for hours he tells me. They are just awful. So I say, well, I passed them twice back and forth and never once did any of this team even ask to see my passport. That’s how white I am, apparently. I felt awful that I would have tipped them off to the guy in the bathroom but le barman assured me they would have found him anyway.

I need to write to Jax and Lars and tell them what a fantastic time we had and thank them. I will do that in the next couple of days. We got a taxi back pretty easily after the first driver told us he wouldn’t take us to Rambuteau (I guess it wasn’t far enough to make it worth the fare?—who knows). We take the next one and that’s fine. We come up to the flat, newly cleaned, and I completely unpack before we descend for a bite. S. isn’t hungry and doesn’t want to go. I say I’ll go on my own. She seems not to trust this—maybe because I already had a bunch of train wine as I always do in the end. So she comes with me “if it’s going to be short” which I intend it to be. I have some more wine and a weird burger and she eats all the French fries which I’m never all that interested in. The maître d’ is this woman and she’s very fun and funny and has a great laugh. The young Asian guy who always wears a jaunty scarf was there and of course recognized me. The food isn’t great but it is a fun place to be. I’m glad it’s in the building as it is. I feel safe having it just downstairs. We are on the second floor supposedly only it is, in American terms, on the fourth floor. Things are already about to start happening.

To view the original Sabian Symbol themed 2015 Cosmic Blague corresponding to this day: Flashback! The degree point of the Sabian Symbol may at times be one degree higher than the one listed here. The Blague portrays the starting degree of for this day ( 0°,  for instance), as I typically post in the morning, while the Sabian number corresponds to the end point (1°) of that same 0°-1° period. There are 360  degrees spread over 365/6 days per year—so they nearly, but not exactly, correlate.

Typos happen. I don’t have a proofreader. And I like to just write, post and go! Copyright 2021 Wheel Atelier Inc. All Rights Reserved. Get your HAUTE ASTROLOGY 2021 Weekly Horoscope ebooks by Starsky + Cox.