Thursday, 31 December 2009

Highlight of 2009

Well, excluding being with my family (because that is so obviously the highlight of my year), I think I'll have to say the highlight of my year was seeing Janis Joplin's car:

Of course, I took note of the time! And have a look at the chart above. There's the Sun cj my Mercury and have a look at me and Janis' opposing suns being transited by the Moon's Nodes!

Anyway, I wish you a very happy new year! Here's a special triple conjunction of Neptune, Jupiter and Mercury joke:

God, grant me the senility to forget the people I never liked anyway,

The good fortune to run into the ones that I do,

And the eyesight to tell the difference.

Friday, 25 December 2009

Recovering

It's taken me a full week to recover from this hectic term! I'm just about to the point where I'm ready to venture out into the world!

While I've been recovering and NOT thinking about school, I've been writing a novel. I'm very pleased to say I've reached 55,000 words and am very near to completing the first draft. I'm also preparing a talk for the Lodge and re-working my MA dissertation, having been inspired by my friend Darby. It's so much more fun than teaching teenagers to appreciate random chunks of Shakespeare chosen for them by them by the good people who also insist on inflicting inspections on teachers because that makes teaching such a joyful profession.

Anyway, I don't want to complaing about work on Christmas day! I want to share the joy of having good, spontaneous friends who pop in for tea on the way home from a hard day of busking! Here's a photo of my friend Sebastian who did just that. He even had a special song for my cat, Mr Bubbles and his magical spacesuit. Here's the photo:

To celebrate spontaneous moments, here's a spontaneous moment that marked the beginning of the tradition for putting an angel on top of the Christmas tree. Let's call it Saturn in 6th for when there's a bad day at work.

One Christmas Eve, Santa was having a very bad day. Firstly, his best elves came down with swine flu and had to be replaced with less experienced elves who weren't as quick as the other ones. So Santa was feeling the pressure of falling behind schedule.

And then Mrs Claus announced her mother was coming over for Christmas dinner and this really upset poor Santa.

And then three of the reindeer escaped. It took a good while to round them up, making him even more late.

And then, as he was loading the sleigh, the bag ripped and toys spilled all over the place. So he had to pick them up but discovered the address tags had come off. It took some time to sort this out.

By this time, he was so late, he thought it wouldn't matter if he took a few more minutes to get a quick shot of rum from indoors. He was in such a rush that just as he got the bottle opened, it slipped from his mittened hands and crashed to the floor.

Just then, there was a knock at the door. Furious, Santa went to answer it.

A little angel stood there with a Christmas tree in her little hands. "Merry Christmas, Santa," she said cheerfully. "I have a Christmas tree for you. Where would you like me to stick it?"

Thus came the tradition of the angel on top of the tree.

Friday, 18 December 2009

It's behind you!

Every year my school puts on a Christmas Pantomime--which displays the very bizarrest of British humour.

I'm so worn out, I don't think I'll be able to hold up my wine glass to make a toast to the end of the term.

Oh wait, I seem to be getting my strength back. . .

Thursday, 17 December 2009

Bad Daughter

On top of everything else I've forgotten, I've left me mum out. Sorry mum. Love you and happy birthday.

Here's a photo of us on the reservation:

To celebrate having a great mum (just look how I turned out!), here is very special, very clean joke Saturn in the 4th house joke just for her:

The "head" of the household and his wife were experiencing problems assembling their computer system. Finally, they gave in and decided to ring a technician. When he answered, the technician gave them instructions in unintelligible computer jargo.

Frustrated, the husband said: "Look just talk to me like I'm a four-year-old."

"OK," said the technician, "Can you put your mommy on the line?"

Wednesday, 16 December 2009

Six more lessons to go. . .

I took a little break from writing yesterday so I could attend the Lodge's Christmas party--and gosh, am I ever glad I went. It is soooo nice to be relieved of Lodge duties for an evening. I had a great chat with my buddy Claire Chandler and her hubby Russ, John Etherington and I shared a few Christmas jokes. And, wait for it, Darby Costello and I swapped Mercury stories. Sometimes, you just got to relax with friends. It bolsters the creative process, right?

Anyway, I had to look through some old photos and I found this one of me and Richard Tarnas:

I though Richard was great--and I was especially pleased that he remembered me at UAC a few years later.

Here's a very speical Saturn conjunct Neptune with a trine to Uranus conjunct Mercury joke for teachers who get annoyed when their pupils ask: "Can't we have a fun lesson, Miss?"

A teacher was frustrated when a pupil feel asleep and started snoring as the class read "The Canterbury Tales." The teacher spun the book across the class and bounced it off the pupil's skull. Startled, the pupil asks: "What was that?"

The teacher answered: "That, was a flying Chaucer."

And no, you can't have a fun lesson!

Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Solstice Greetings a little bit early

Things have been busy over these past few weeks, not helped by the crazy transits in my chart. In a few months I will have Uranus transiting my Saturn in the 10th (Saturn also being the handle of my bucket shaped chart and at the same time Transit Saturn will be exactly opposite to transit Uranus AND my progressed Moon will also move into Aries!). So I wonder who's going to be changing jobs soon?

I never thought I'd say it but I'm pretty fed up with teaching and I'm thinking of leaving to do other more satisfying things like writing a novel. So I've been doing just that, writing a novel which I'm really enjoying and find very satisfying. And guess who got landed for cover AGAIN today??

In other news, the Astrology Quarterly has been done and will be distributed later this week. One of the featured articles is from John Frawly who did the Carter Memorial lecture. I dug up an old photo of John and I taken at Oxford FAS Summer School:

Why couldn't I find this when I needed it? Anyway, there we are looking relatively sober.

And now for the joke! I'll call this a Saturn in the 9th house jokes and it's dedicated to pissed off teachers everywhere:

Shortly after prayers in public schools were banned, a new teacher was interviewed for her first teaching post. After the interview and after an explanation of the duties that would be expected, the prospective employee said:

"Let me see if I got this right. You want me to go in the classroom and inspire the pupils to love every second of their learning and I'm supposed to encourage them to appreciate their ethnicity, modify disruptive behaviour, observe them signs of abuse and even censor their T shirt messages and dress sense. You want me to wage a war on drugs and sexually transmitted diseases and check their backpacks for weapons of mass destruction and raise their self esteem. You want me to teach them patriotism, good citizenship, good sportsmanship, and fair play and how and when to vote, how to balance a chequebook and how to apply for a job. I am to check their heads for lice and maintain a safe work environment, recognise signs of anti social behaviour, offer advice, write letters of recommendation for student employment and scholarships, encourage respect for their elders, and future employers and I'm to commincate reguarly with parents by letter, telephone, newsletters and report card even though some are more anti social than their offspring and have threatened to "sort me out" even though I have given on honest appraisal of their child's progress based on the data I have painstakingly collected. And I'm to do all of this with a board pen, a computer that takes ages to log on, a few books, a BIG smile and a salary that qualifies my family for food stamps. You want me to do all of this but you expect me not to pray?"

Sunday, 22 November 2009

Feelin' Mighty Fine

I have a lot going on at work but I love it!
I'm also lovin' it that my girl, Susan Boyle, is doing so well!! Go Susan!
To celebrate Susan's success, here's a little Retrograde Mercury square Saturn joke! (And thanks to my little sister Rachel for sending it!)
A man feared his wife wasn't hearing as well as she used to and he thought she might need a hearing aid. Not quite sure how to approach her on the subject, he called the family doctor to discuss the problem. The doctor told him there is a simple informal test the husband could perform to give the doctor a better idea about her hearing loss.
"Here's what you do," said the Doctor, "stand about 40 feet away from her, and say something in a normal conversational speaking tone see if she hears you. If not, go to 30 feet, then 20 feet, and so on until you get a response."
That evening, the wife is in the kitchen cooking dinner, and he was in the den. He says to himself, "I'm about 40 feet away, let's see what happens." Then in a normal tone he asks, 'Honey, what's for dinner?"
No response. So the husband moves closer to the kitchen, about 30 feet from his wife and repeats, "Honey, what's for dinner?"
Still no response. Next he moves into the dining room where he is about 20 feet from his wife and asks: "Honey, what's for dinner?"
Again he gets no response.
So, he walks up to the kitchen door, about 10 feet away. "Honey, what's for dinner?" Again there is no response. So he walks right up behind her.
"Honey, what's for dinner?"
"Ralph!, for the FIFTH time, it's CHICKEN!"

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

Name that butt, part 2

Oh god, my whole year group is having Uranus transiting their natal Saturns!
In celebration, here's a little Uranus transiting natal Saturn joke!
A first grade teacher had a small number of children gathered around the table for reading group. After the story she gave the children a work sheet to complete. She heard one of the little girls say "Shit!" under her breath.
"We don't say that word in school," scolded the teacher.
The little girl looked up to her teacher with big, wide eyes. "Not even when it's all fucked up?"

Friday, 13 November 2009

Now where's she been?

Since I last wrote, I've moved house THREE TIMES, been through a mini (snort!) ofsted inspection at my school, unpacked several hundred boxes, organised my new library by the Dewey decimal system (OK, this is slightly exaggereated) and played "last post" on my trumpet (a significant achievement). So I've been a little busy! But now my school is once again letting me blog from the school's computer (shhhhhhh), hopefully I can make up for my silence.
Another signifiant achievement is that I managed to chair the AGM for the Astrological Lodge of London in a record 26 minutes! Oh and I was re-elcted to the council. So I am a lot more chuffed these days than I was a few weeks ago.
So anyway, I had planned for a few more festivities from the AA Conference, including the wonderful game of "Name that Butt" (which Prudence Jones did not think was even a little bit funny but Caroline Gillet and I spent about half an hour tee-heeing over). But it seems I lost my chance. Or did I? Alright, alright, I can tell when readers want to play.


Here's the first butt: Name that butt!

And now for the joke! I'm going to say it is Mercury retrograde conjunct Moon in Taurus:

A man walks into the doctor's office. He has a cucumber up his nose, a banana in his right ear and carrot in his left.

"What's the matter with me?" he asks the doctor.
The doctor says: "You're just not eating properly!"

Tuesday, 29 September 2009

Yes, it really DID happen. . .

As John J Dunbar (of Dances With Wolves fame) once said: "The strangeness of this life cannot be measured." And so was my thought when not only did Gloria Gaynor begin pouring from the speakers but people actually jumped up and started dancing to it! No names will be mentioned but here's the proof. . .I cannot convey how surreal this was but anyway. . .maybe it was something in the sirloin we had for dinner.


OK, OK, I hear you say: "But Alex, I don't recognise anyone!"

And to that I might say: "How about this!"



Well, maybe Nick was celebrating after winning the monkey competition--but he was definitely dancing to "I Will Survive!"

In honour of Nick, who has proven--to me anyway--that he 1) has a sense of humour and 2) is definitely a good sport, here's a very special Saturn, Jupiter and Neptune triple conjunction in the 5th house just for him (and everyone else to laugh at!)!

A modern Orthodox Jewish couple, preparing for a religious wedding, meets the rabbi who is supposed to perform the ceremony. The rabbi asks if they have any last questions before they leave. The man asks, "Rabbi, we realize its tradition for men to dance with men and women to dance with women. But, wed like your permission to dance together."

The rabbi answers, "No way! "Men and women always dance seperately!"

The man then asks, "So after the ceremony you mean I can't even dance with my own wife?"

The rabbi replies, "Its forbidden!"

The man asks, "Can we finally have sex?"

The rabbi replies, "Of course! Sex is a mitzvah within marriage, to have many children!"

"What about different positions?" asked the man?

"No problem," says the rabbi, "Its a mitzvah!" "

Well then, how about a woman on top?" the man asks.

Rabbi replies, "Its mitzvah!"

"How about Doggy Style?"

"Another mitzvah!"

"On the kitchen table?"

"A mitzvah!"

"Can we do it on rubber sheets with a bottle of hot oil, fluffy handcuffs, a leather harness, a bucket of honey and a porno film?"

"Its all a mitzvah!"

"Can we do it standing up?"

"NO, NO, NO!" cries the rabbi.

"Well, why not?" asks the man.

Rabbi answers, "Could lead to dancing!"

Saturday, 26 September 2009

AA Conference, part 2

The AA conferene is also a great chance to catch up with old friends--and yes, we do miss our friends who for whatever reason couldn't make it. Here's me and my Irish friend Frances Clynes at the Sophia Centre reunion , er, piss up:

In honour of Frances, a PhD student whom I love dearly, here is a very special Saturn in the 9th house joke just for her:

One day, Bernard Eccles, Deborah Houlding and Nick Campion went out for a walk. They were old buddies from the Sophia Centre and they were together for a reunion.
For no apparent reason, they went into this zoo and passed a monkey. Being in the same business and from the same college, there was a little bit of a peer competition going on between them - they couldn't resist testing themselves against each other.
Bernard said to the others: "Why don't we prove who is the best among ourselves?"
“Why not?” said Deb and Nick.
Bernard said: "Let's have a test. Whoever makes this monkey laugh, employs the best astrological techniques.”
By mutual agreement, Bernard took the first turn by saying: "I'm an unashamed sun sign astrologer so I will say my sun is in the sixth house today--ruling small animals--and I think I can make the monkey laugh by telling jokes based on the position of the sun." So Bernard told his joke. The monkey stayed still, looking somehwat bemused at the trio.
Then it was Deb's turn. She consulted the ephemeris and constructed a chart of the moment. She judged that Mercury was in it's detriment and therefore the monkey would not get verbal jokes. So she tried to make funny gestures... No good, the monkey stayed put...
Now, came Nick. He whispered something into the monkey's ear and it burst out laughing at him.
Bernard and Deb were astonished. How did this jumped-up academic manage to beat them? No way were they going to accept defeat so easily!
So Deb said: "OK, let's take another test. Let's make this monkey cry!!"
So there they went again, applying the same methods as before.
Bernard narrated sad stories based on star signs and Deb (after constructing another chart and making another judgment) mimed sad gestures. They failed again...
Then Nick whispered something into the monkey's ear and lo and behold, it started crying and patting the academic lecturer’s shoulder!
Bernard and Deb just could not believe their eyes!
So Bernard said: "OK, you've won twice. If you can win just this one, we will bow to you. Let's make this monkey run."
So Bernard barked at the monkey and ordered him to run. Of course, it stayed where it was. Deb, true to her type, constructed another chart and made a judgment. She pushed and prodded the monkey-- still no go.
So... here comes Nick again and whispers into the monkey's ear. The monkey just takes off! It runs and runs as fast as it can, as if it was scared to death!
Bernard and Deb surrendered, saying: "OK, we give up. You're the best among us, and your techniques are the best of the three. But please, please tell us your secret."
"Well", said Nick. "The first time I made it laugh, I said I was an academic astrologer. The next time, to make it cry, I told the monkey how little I get paid despite working so hard...so it started crying. And then, to make it run, I told it that I was here to find more PhD students!!!”

AA Conference part 2

Well, now that my FAS papers have been posted, I have no idea what to do with myself which probably means I can do productive things like keep my blog up to date!



The AA conference is one of the social highlights of my year--I can hang out with friends, attend a lecture if I fancy it and er, drink loads of lager. Here's a picture of me and the very dapper Simon Posner at the Saturday night "gala" dinner (yes, I really did have to steady his head to get a decent shot!):

One of the great things about the dinner is that you can hear all sorts of snippets of conversations. Someone might be talking about their next book or lecture, there's always someone worried about a scary transit and always, always, always, someone who over does the vino and makes a total twat of themselves so the rest of us can feel that--odd long grey pony tail aside--we are a respectable bunch of people. So thank you very much Barry for eliminating any guilt we may have felt!

In honour of Gala dinners and our good sport friend Barry, here's a little Neptune conjunct Jupiter and Chiron in the first (the very triple conjunction in the chart of the start of the AA conference!)--with a quincunx to the ruler of the 6th house, the Moon in the 8th.

A man in a state of excessive inebriation rolled up at a fairground rifle range booth and threw down the necessary money. The booth operator at first refused to let him have a turn, considering that his inebriated state would endanger the public. But the drunk insisted and was given a gun. He aimed unsteadily in the general direction of the target and after tying to focus, pulled the trigger three times. The booth owner, on inspecting the target, was astonished to see that he had scored three bullseyes. The star prize for the evening was a large set of glassware, but the showman was certain that the drunk wasn't aware of what he had done, and gave him instead a consolation prize, a small, live turtle.

The drunk wandered off into the crowd.

An hour or so later he came back, even more drunk than before. Once again the showman tried to put him off, but once again the drunk insisted, and once more scored three bullseyes and was given another turtle.

Eventually the drunk rolled up again and insisted on a third attempt. Once more he picked up the rifle, waved it around in the general direction of the target, and pulled the trigger three times. Once more he had scored three bullseyes. But this time there was an onlooker with good eyesight.

"That's fantastic", the man said. "Hasn't he scored three bulls?"

The showman, cursing his luck, made a show of going over to the target and inspecting it closely. "Yes, sir!", he announced to the crowd. "This is fantastic! Congratulations, sir, you have won the star prize, this magnificent 68-piece set of glassware!"

"I don't want any bloody glasses", the drunk replied. "Give me another one of those little crusty meat pies!"

Sunday, 20 September 2009

It's been a hectic few weeks due to an unexpected house move and another house move on the horizon and school starting up again. And there's the not-so-little matter of me finishing off not one, not two but three FAS exercises (this is my real excuse for not blogging for so long).Oh and another Q is out! here's a pic of me with my "babies":Don't I look just like a proud mother??

Or perhaps that manic grin is a sign that I'm a little stressed these days?? Transit Uranus is on my progressed moon and it's been very hard on this territorial (Moon in Leo) Cancerian! To make things just that little bit extra awful, the tranist is in the 10th house--and I have to teach in 11 different classrooms. I can't decide if my school is flattering me by deciding I'm so flexible that I can handle anything--or if they're trying to get rid of me! I've been feeling like a refugee and my temper--normally quite under control--is bubbling under the surface.
Enough of that. Let's talk about something fun!! The annual Astrological Association's Astrology Conference has been going on all weekend and what a blast it's been! Pics to follow over the next couple of days. . .Frank Clifford, be very afraid! Wendy and Deb, haha, you guys are such a blast. I'm expecting traffic to my blog to pick up. . .
I leave you with the Beer Prayer (Jupiter conjunct Neptune)
Our lager,
Which art in barrels,
Hallowed be thy drink.
Thy will be drunk, (I will be drunk),
At home as it is in the pub.
Give us this day our foamy head,
And forgive us our spillages,
As we forgive those who spill against us.
And lead us not to incarceration,
But deliver us from hangovers.
For thine is The beer, The bitter and The lager.
Barmen.

Thursday, 20 August 2009

Home Again

After a week at Saugeen, I'm starting to feel human again! Just in time to head back to London. . .
So here I am, back in the Big Smoke, still a little jet-lagged and feeling nauseous from the flight. As I'm not looking forward to getting back the grind, here's a little Neptune in th 6th house joke to sustain me and keep me smiling as the days close in:

John woke up after the annual office new year party with a pounding headache, cotton-mouthed and utterly unable to recall the events of the preceding evening. After a trip to the bathroom, he made his way downstairs, where his wife put some coffee in front of him.

'Louise,' he moaned, 'tell me what happened last night. Was it as bad as I think?'

'Even worse,' she said, her voice oozing scorn. 'You made a complete ass of yourself. You succeeded in antagonizing the entire board of directors, and you insulted the president of the company, right to his face.'

'He's an idiot,' John said. 'Piss on him.'
'You did', came the reply. 'And he fired you.'

Well, screw him!' said John.

'I did. You're back to work on Monday.'

Saturday, 15 August 2009

Few words required. . .

No jokes today in honour of great traditions that need few words. The Saugeen Reservation, where my ancestors eventually settled several generations ago, hosted their annual pow wow. These images are copyrighted so please don't copy them without asking for permission first. I've taken a few liberties as it was my extended family who was hosting the pow wow and it was a public event but if you're not a card carrying band member of the reservation, you should ask for permission before taking photographs (let alone posting them on the internet): Chi Megwetch for an unforgettable day!

A few fries with your ketchup?

So I spent last week in Canada (my excuse for being behind on my blog!), on the reservation beach, with my Ojibwa relatives. No, we didn't spend the morning eating fish but we did spend the morning imitating them. We worked ourselves up into a hunger so we went to Bob's B-B-Q to have what could have been the best breakfast ever. When I looked up from my omelette to see what by brother in law Dave was eating, this is what I saw:
Take a good look at his plate!

In honour of my new-found bro-in-law (who is one hell of a guy!), here's a little ketchup joke just for him. The significator is a challenge but I'm going to call it Venus in the 8th for the times when you have to sweeten up the difficult stuff:

An enthusiastic door-to-door vacuum salesman goes to the first house in his new territory. He knocks, a real mean and tough looking lady opens the door, and before she has a chance to say anything, he runs inside and dumps cow patties all over the carpet.He says, "Lady, if this vacuum cleaner doesn't do wonders cleaning this up, I'll eat every chunk of it."

She turns to him with a smirk and says, "You want ketchup on that?"

The salesman says, "Why do you ask?"

She says, "We just moved in and we haven't got the electricity turned on yet."

The one that got away. . .

I don't regard fishing as a sport--any more than I would consider it a joy to go out and slaughter any other animal to who can catch the biggest one. Nevertheless, my dad is a fisherman and I'm one hundred precent certain that an awful lot of my Native American ancestors were fisherman. We don't prolong the agony of the fish and we certainly don't catch more than we can eat. We're also careful to use all of the fish, be it as food or as compost for the garden. My grandmother (the Ojibwa one) taught me how to prepare fish for cooking and how to fry them to perfection and I had an uncle whose career was based sole-ly (geddit?) on filleting fish for tourists. What can I say? I watched carefully. So when my dad offered to take my daughter fishing on the shores of the mighty St Clair River, I though it would be a great experience for her to learn where the fishcakes come from.
Anyway, this was the monster they caught (do be prepared to scream!):
And here's a close up:


Needless to say, he was a little small to filet and fry and we watched as he swam away. Little did we know the other dangers of the river. . .


We do hope our little guy--who was snagged by his dorsal fin--safely swam past this impromptu parade of geese!

In honour of the ones that get away. . .here's a little joke pimped up by me, especially for you. It's a Jupiter in the 12th joke, a reminder of our big sky. . .

The Lone Ranger and Tonto went camping in the desert. After their tent is all set up, they fell sound asleep.
One hour later, Tonto wakes the Lone Ranger and says, "Kemo-Sabe, look towards sky, what you see?"
The Lone Ranger replies, "I see millions of stars."
"What that tell you?" asked Tonto.
The Lone Ranger ponders for a minute, then says, "Astronomically speaking, it tells me there are millions of galaxies and potentially millions of planets. Astrologically, it tells me that Saturn is in Leo so hair styles will feature the long and bushy look. Horologically, it appears to be approximately a quarter past three in the morning. Theologically, it's evident the Lord is all-powerful and we are small and insignificant. Meteorologically, it seems we will have a beautiful day tomorrow. What's it tell you, Tonto?"
Tonto is silent for a moment, then says, "Kemo-Sabe, you dumb ass. Someone stole tent."

Monday, 3 August 2009

Oh Lord, won't you buy me. . .

Whilst poking around the Henry Ford Museum in Detroit, I came across the "Guitar and Cars" exhibition. I had just about recovered from seeing the ZZ Top car used in their videos when I heard the familiar wails of my beloved Janis!! With my heart in my throat, I rounded the corner and nearly fainted when I saw her car! My daughter looked at me and said: "Mum, you're crying!"

I said: "But it's Janis!!" Needless to say I made a bit of a spectacle of myself but I don't care. Someone handed me some tissue and I continued fawning over the very car Janis had driven. here's a better view without me in the way:

And a bit closer to see the detail. . .Remember, this is where the goddess herself used to sit!!



I still can't believe I got to see Janis' car! And the funny thing is that I didn't even know it was there--I just bumped into it.

To celebrate Janis Joplin and her Mercedes Benz, here's a very special Saturn conjunct Uranus in the 2nd house joke:

A highly successful young executive received a promotion and decided to reward himself with a new car. When the dignified, dapper and impeccably groomed businessman arrived at the Mercedes Benz showroom, the salesman looked at his expensive suit and shoes and suggested the Executive Model.

"Yes, I like it," said the executive, after looking it over. "I'll take it today. I have a business conference in another state. I have just been made vice president of finance."

"But sir!" said the salesman. "We can give you so many accessories and extra options! I'm sure it is worth waiting a few days. After all, CARS have personalities! We do our best to match the CAR to the DRIVER, sir! This car has only the basics! I CANNOT sell it to you without the all of the fine..."

"No, no," said the executive quickly. "I like the car as simple as possible. Nothing extra. I insist! ONLY THE BASICS! NOTHING! And PLEASE do not argue with me!"

"Very well, sir," said the salesman, but he shook his head and sighed.

The executive drove out of the showroom and soon he was on the interstate. He was enjoying the luxury of his new car, when, out of nowhere, he heard a voice a mocking voice but he was ALONE in the car!

"Are those Brooks Brothers shoes you're wearing, pal?"

"Who said that?" The executive nearly hit the roof with surprise.

"I asked you a question! I'll bet those shoes cost five hundred dollars, huh? And are those SILK socks? Mighty fancy, mister high and mighty executive! A little TOO fancy for me!"

"They cost seven hundred dollars and yes, they're Brooks Brothers and yes, these socks are silk. What am I DOING?! Am I losing my MIND?!" said the executive.

"Well get rid of 'em - NOW. There no place for shoes and socks like those in HERE! You think you're special, don't you Pinstripes?" said the voice.

"Who ARE you?" said the executive again.

"Mind your business. Get barefoot!" said the voice, growing in strength.

"I will NOT!" snapped the executive angrily. "Leave me alone! I--I AM going insane! I'm arguing with my CAR!"

"Yeah - well, you might you say YOU are MY DRIVER!" snapped the voice. But the voice kept up the harangue for an hour, yelling and mocking so that the executive could hardly think or drive. He found himself in a losing battle...

"I am an executive. I am wearing a business suit! I am on my way to a conference! I HAVE to wear these shoes!" he cried.

But the voice mocked and yelled. "It looks like I'm gonna have to DRAG you off that high horse, Mister SUIT AND TIE! Even if you come off kicking and screaming" said the voice. And he continued with a barrage of insults.

Finally, after an hour, the beaten down, exhausted executive yelled: "I can't stand it anymore! You win! You want me to go barefoot? FINE! Then BARE FEET IT IS! Anything to SHUT YOU UP!" And he untied and pulled off the brand new polished black captoe shoes that he had bought that week and had shined that morning, and then peeled off his silk socks. Without slowing down, he stuffed the socks in the shiny, expensive shoes and threw them out the window on the highway. "That's $750 that just went out the window! Are you satisfied?!" yelled the executive.

"There!" said the voice. "Now don't you feel better without those stupid shoes on?" said the voice cheerfully.

"No!" said the executive angrily.

As he rested his bare foot on the accelerator, the voice said: "Now let's talk about that necktie... Hermes? Or is it Armani?"

"Oh no!!" whispered the executive. "Not again..."

"Well?" snarled the voice. "No fancy silk neckties in THIS car! And are those cufflinks?! With a monogram! And a Rolex?! And I'll bet you're wearing suspenders under that suit, huh? Well!"

"Yes" said the executive reluctantly. "YES! Why do you CARE?"

"You think you can dress like THAT in this car?! I think NOT! Now get that necktie off. NOW! NOW!" The harangue began again. An hour later, the window opened, and one by one, the desperate and bewildered executive threw out his $150 tie and the matching pocket square, his monogrammed cufflinks, his braces, his Rolex and his tiepin. "And is that a cashmere overcoat in the back seat? With a silk scarf? And what about the briefcase?!"

"No! No!" cried the executive. "Why are you doing this to me?! Let me alone!" But soon, the overcoat and scarf were thrown out on the highway, followed by the $1500 briefcase, which opened, throwing papers everywhere.

For a moment there was silence - then: "Now for that nice, dapper pinstriped BUSINESS SUIT you've got on, Mister Big Shot Corporate High Flyer!" said the voice.

"Oh, no!" gasped the executive. "Not my SUIT! This was made for me in London by Savile Row! It cost $2,500!!"

"Well, and who do you think YOU are?!" said the voice in disgust. "That smart suit has to GO! No suits in this car. Period. Never. And that white shirt. Is it starched. And the underwear . . . designer shorts I'll bet! Everything has to go! Lose those spiffy PINSTRIPES!! NOW, Mister Hotshot!"

The harangue went as the executive begged. Finally, he saw a barefoot derelict along the highway. He pulled over and called out to him: "Will you swap my suit and shirt for your clothes?" Within minutes the shaking and frightened executive was wearing the rags of a bum.

"OK!" said the voice. "Quit that high-paying, high-class job and sell your condo and your stocks...and no arguments!"

"Quit my job!" said the executive. "Please...I just got a promotion."

"And give away all those fancy suits and ties and shoes you have back in your closet. And don't tell me you don't! I KNOW the TYPE! Call a charity NOW! Give them everything! Even the tuxedo and the patent leather pumps you were going to wear to the corporate black-tie dinner!"

"How...how did you know...." gasped the executive. The executive, now a broken man, barely kept his hands on the wheel as the voice yelled and bullied him to come down off his high horse. He called his office and told his stunned boss he was quitting. Then he sold all of his assets and gave the money away. Then he gave away all his clothes.

"Fine!" snapped the voice. "Hey! There's a KMart! Go in and buy a sixpack of white socks and three pairs of overalls. Get movin'!"

The stunned executive followed those instructions.

"There's a help wanted sign! Get yourself a job as a garbageman, and make it snappy!" said the voice sharply.

"A garbageman! Me...." Exhausted, disoriented and stunned, the executive took a job as a garbageman. Two months later, the former exec arrived at the Mercedes showroom to return the car because he could not afford the payments. The salesman did not look surprised when he saw the formerly dignified, confident and impeccably groomed executive reduced to collecting trash and dressed in overalls, and he showed no surprise when he heard the strange story.

"What did you expect? I TRIED to warn you! Look at the name of the MODEL you bought!"

And the garbageman looked at the bill of sale: "Mercedes Benz - STRIPPED-DOWN EXECUTIVE MODEL"

Friday, 31 July 2009

Rodeo!

After an exhausting year both professionally and personally, I'm starting to unlax and rewind. All I can say is thanks, I needed this! I'm spending time with my family and friends in the USA (where I was born) and I'm enjoying just being still. As I said, I really needed this as I know come September, we'll be off the starting blocks once again and we'll have to hang on tight until the end of July. . .again! As John Fogerty once said: "Sometimes I think life is just a rodeo. The trick is to ride and make it to the bell. . ."
Despite being American born, I have never been to a rodeo. So my friend Chris took me to a 4H fair to the annual festivities. As horses can't talk, I'm not sure how they feel about rodeos but judging by their reaction to their riders, I think the pretty safe assumption is that they enjoy having a good kick and throwing cowboys on their asses. This got me thinking about all manner of metaphysical philosophies like wondering if the gods enjoy watching we humans taking a beating. I began wondering if they place bets on who's going to bite the dust the hardest and stay down and who's going to get up, brush themselves down and get back on the horse that threw them. I guess we'll never know if they really do take bets but I think it's a safe assumption that an audience really does favour the guy that takes a bad fall, limps out of the corral and then shows up a few minutes later for round 2 (or 3 or 4). As I say, I have a bit more time to philosophise these days. I'm going to look at biting the dust in a whole new light from now on.
In honour of holding on, here's a Saturn in 8th house joke to mark the special occasion:
Two cowboys were sitting in a bar when one asked his friend if he had heard of the new sex position called rodeo. His friend says no, what is it? Well you mount your wife from the back, reach around and cup her breasts with both hands. Then say, "Boy, those are almost as nice as your sisters". Then see if you can hold on for 8 seconds.

Monday, 27 July 2009

Re-united

Well, here I am again, back in the good old US of A!!

It's been quite a week: I finished school, got the Astrology Quarterly out, got into--and out of airplane--had a family reunion and my 25 year high school reunion! How did I get so old??? Above is me at my, er, best. What can I say?? It's as good as it gets!!
I do have Transit Uranus conjunct my natal Chiron and to be honest, I was a little worried about this one. I mean, I've had enough unexpected pain in my life, right? Right? But this transit reminds me that past wounds do heal. On my reunion night, I met the young man who made sure I understood exactly where I stood in society all those years ago: he made sure I didn't forget I was a half breed, dirty Indian in shoes that weren't Nike or Reebok, that I didn't play tennis nor was I pretty (or thin enough) to be a cheerleader or clever enough to get to the Ivy Leagues where everyone knew he would end up. Nope, I was destined to be no one of particular interest. Twenty-five years after he made this so abundantly clear, I bumped into this boy at our class re-union. He was fat, not so attractive, had a big old pot belly and was still just as obnoxious and unpleasant as he been all those years ago. In other words, it seemed the lessons the rest of us had learned about being nice, playing fair and learning to live within limitations had completely washed over him. "Oh, I lay floors for a living," he boasted to me, "I have a company worth several hundred thousand dollars." He didn't show enough interest in me to ask what I did for a living but I told him anyway:
"I live in London England," I started.
"Oh my God!" he interjected. "I'm a major fan of Paul Weller! Do you know Camden Town?"
"Know it?" I said, "I live there."
"Do you think I might be able to come over for a visit? I need an address. It's always been my dream to meet Paul Weller!"
At that moment, it would have been really tempting to stick the boot in, to laugh in his face and tell him how glad I was that he never lived his dream. But I didn't. Instead I told him about how I got to London, how easy it was and how glad I was that I did it. Yeah, he's an asshole but there's no reason for me to stoop to the same level.
In honour of learning from the past, here's a little Saturn opposite Neptune joke. . .just to keep reality in check!
A man took his wife to his high school reunion. He thinks to himself that although she isn't the best looking woman in the room, they've at least had a fairly successful marriage. Then he reminds himself that he had a very successful career, they had four fairly bright children and though neither career nor children are anything to boast about, at least the mortgage is nearly paid off. He then remembers his house: well, it's okay as far as houses are concerned--at least they had never been without a roof over their heads. As he looks around, he suddenly realises the other men in their far more expensive suits...and their bulging stomachs. Proud of the fact that he weighs just five pounds more than he did than when he was in high school, he says to his wife, "Hey! I'm the only guy here who can still wear the suit he wore when he graduated."
She glances at the well-dressed crowd, then back at him, and says, "You're the only one who has to."

Saturday, 11 July 2009

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. . .

It's so good to be home!

I'm just about hanging in there. It's that time of year again--when I start falling asleep at the dinner table (you know I'm tired when that happens!) and feeling too tired to blog.

OK, if you've been following and checking in, then you must be dying for a joke. Here's a special Jupiter conjunct Neptune in the 9th joke for all frequent fliers everywhere. . .

A Mormon was seated next to an Irishman on a flight from London. After the plane was airborne, drink orders were taken.
The Irishman asked for a whiskey, which was promptly brought and placed before him.
The flight attendant then asked the Mormon if he would like a drink.
He replied in disgust, "I'd rather be savagely raped by a dozen whores than let liquor touch my lips."
The Irishman then handed his drink back to the attendant and said, "Me too, I didn't know we had a choice."

Saturday, 30 May 2009

Go Susan!

I don't watch a lot of TV but I do plan on watching Britain's Got Talent. It seems that this has been a particularly interesting season, thanks to our Susan. I'm a little bummed that Gregg didn't get through last night but I'm pleased as anything that 2 Grand are through to the finals. I don't think they'll win but they'll certainly give us something to feel good about.

I don't want to say anything bad about any of the contestants. Except I hatesaxophones. Being a trumpet player has made me permanently repulsed by woodwinds who use spit-sodden reeds to play their instruments! And I especially don't think saxes are musical instruments--they're toys! You just blow through one end and wiggle your fingers. No skill involved!
Anyway, enough of that!

GO SUSAN BOYLE!!

Oh and here's a little sax joke. Let's call it Neptune conjunct Saturn:

Before the 2001 inauguration of George Bush, he was invited to a "get acquainted" tour of the White House. After drinking several glasses of iced tea, he asked President Bill Clinton if he could use his personal bathroom. When he entered Clinton 's private toilet, he was astonished to see that President Clinton had a solid gold urinal.

That afternoon, George told his wife, Laura, about the urinal. "Just think," he said, "when I am President, I could have a gold urinal, too. But I wouldn't do something so self-indulgent!"

Later, when Laura had lunch with Hillary at her tour of the White House, she told Hillary how impressed George had been at his discovery of the fact that, in his private bathroom, the President Had a gold urinal.
That evening, when Bill and Hillary were getting ready for bed, Hillary smiled and said to Bill: "I found
out who pissed in your saxophone."

I is a publishing phenomenon!

OK, my parents always told me it was wrong to boast but I'm going to do it anyway!

After the most hair-raising few months ever, I finally got the Astrology Quarterly out! Here's some photographic evidence that yes, I am the editor:
And, buried in this very issue is also my own article, complete with an editorial mistake that I did on purpose just to get a bit more attention (OK, that last bit is a lie).

Also, I am now an international writer because I appeared in ISAR's latest edition! Ya want proof of that too, I can feel it:Wow, if only I got paid to do this!

OK a few Jupiter jokes with maybe a Saturn connection or two. . .

Q. How many editors does it take to screw in a lightbulb?

A. Only one; but first they have to rewire the entire building.


Q. How many managing editors does it take to change a lightbulb?

A. You were supposed to have changed that lightbulb last week!

Q. How many art directors does it take to screw in a lightbulb?

A. Does it HAVE to be a lightbulb?

Q. How many copyeditors does it take to change a lightbulb?

A. The last time this question was asked, it involved art

directors. Is the difference intentional? Should one or the other instance be changed? It seems inconsistent.

Q. How many proofreaders does it take to change a lightbulb?

A. Proofreaders aren’t supposed to change lightbulbs.
They should just query them.


Q. How many writers does it take to change a lightbulb?
A. But why do we have to CHANGE it?


Q. How many publishers does it take to screw in a lightbulb?
A. Three. One to screw it in, two to hold down the editor.

Wednesday, 13 May 2009

Still lovin' Susan!

I haven't gone off the Boyle but another Britain's Got Talent act has caught my eye: Gregg Pritchard. Just as I was wondering if Gregg really was a Castrato, I realised he reminded me a bit of my favourite fallen idol Boy George who was released from prison this week. Thank you HM! I still hope I get to meet Boy George in real life--he was the reason I moved to London after all. Not really. OK, it's true. Viva l'amour.

Which kind of brings me to my joke. You know how French nouns can be masculine or feminine? Well, I was thinking English should do the same! What fun! Let the gender identification for English nouns start right here!

In honour of getting confused about whether or not an item is a boy or a girl, a few helpful Venus conjunct Mars jokes to help:

FREEZER BAGS: They are male, because they hold everything in, but you can see right through them.
PHOTOCOPIERS: These are female, because once turned off; it takes a while to warm them up again.They are an effective reproductive device if the right buttons are pushed, but can also wreak havoc if you push the wrong Buttons.
TIRES: Tires are male, because they go bald easily and are often over inflated
HOT AIR BALLOONS: Also a male object, because to get them to go anywhere, you have to light a fire under their butt.
SPONGES: These are female, because they are soft, squeezable and retain water.
WEB PAGES:Female, because they're constantly being looked at and frequently getting hit on.
TRAINS: Definitely male, because they always use the same old lines for picking up people.
EGG TIMERS: Egg timers are female because, over time, all the weight shifts to the bottom.
HAMMERS: Male, because in the last 5000 years, they've hardly changed at all, and are occasionally handy to have around.
THE REMOTE CONTROL: Female. Ha! You probably thought it would be male, but consider this: It easily gives a man pleasure, he'd be lost without it, and while he doesn't always know which buttons to push, he just keeps trying

Wednesday, 22 April 2009

Susan Boyle: Saviour of the Modern World!

Like the rest of the world, I’ve been fascinated by the hype surrounding Susan Boyle, the 47 year old sensational singing spinster/AKA the “hairy angel”. An antithesis of the music industry has taken the world by storm and helped us to realise how sick we are of everyone looking so goddamned perfect. Susan stood in sharp contrast to Amanda Holden who couldn't even raise her botoxed eyebrows in surprise. Instead, Amanda showed us her pretty armpits. I wonder if this is a side-effect of botox??As I rarely watch TV, I missed the original broadcast on Britain’s Got Talent but saw it on youtube. I can’t remember how the story caught my attention or why I felt I needed to see it for myself (as I rarely take interest in these talent shows) but I’ve been hooked on seeing Susan’s performance and willingly take responsibility for at least a couple hundred (out of the 100 million) youtube hits. I’m addicted. I have to admit, my heart plummeted when I heard Susan say she was going to sing “I Dreamed a Dream”. The way it was all set up I think one can be forgiven for expecting some sort of joke interpretation. And IMHO, it’s too beautiful a song for that. It’s a song of pain and regret sung as a solo by Fantine in Les Miserables. She’s an abandoned single mother who has been forced to turn to prostitution and sell her child into slavery. I couldn’t bear to see this song turned into a comedy.

Well, I shouldn’t have been worried.

From the moment she opened her mouth, Susan Boyle was a revelation and, as they say, the rest is history. She has the je ne sais quoi lacking in so many of today’s musical performances. Just what might my thoughts be on this je ne sais quoi? Why I’m glad you asked because I’ve been doing some thinking (uh-oh) about Susan’s success. . .

First of all--and don’t hate me for saying it—it was not a perfect performance. The line “when the tigers come at night” was too low for Susan’s vocal range. In fact, I think her vocal range is quite limited. She also didn’t quite have enough breath to sustain “So different now from what it seemed” so she is going to have to work on the breathing.

I don’t think her performance was amazing because it came from an unexpected source either. All this “we were expecting hamburger but got steak so we’re happier than what we expected” business is nonsense. I wouldn’t watch it again and again to relive the “surprise” if that were the case. No, I watch it again and again because I’m handed a pretty damn perfect interpretation of how Fantine really felt: I really felt her pain and anguish. As much as I admire Ruthie Henshall’s voice--or any of the other "divas" who have sung the part I don’t think Fantine would deliver such a perfect, pretty performance at the end of her life. When Susan belted out “So different from this hell I’m living,” I just lost it. Just what kind of hell can Ruthie relate to or make us believe she had been through? I really believed Susan had connected the audience to the composer’s intention far closer than anyone else ever had. Divination at its finest. It's the feeling she puts into the performance--and that can't be taught, coached or paid for. Susan Boyle has proven to our disbelieving eyes that quality doesn't depend on the packaging. For this reason, Susan Boyle just may be the saviour of the modern world.

Do I think Susan can be a Broadway star? To be honest, I’d hate to see her wasted that way. I think if she’s trained like a monkey, she’ll deliver performances exactly like all the other singing monkeys on Broadway. She’ll lose the edge she has and she will never equal what she did the other week. I hope she does do a record before she starts up with the “professional” singing lessons.

Do I think she’ll win Britain’s Got Talent? Well, there is a chance the Susan Boyle hype will continue but it’s going to be quite a lot to sustain in order to win what amounts to a popularity contest. I couldn’t care less if she won a stupid contest—I just want her to keep on singing. And don’t go changing. . .
BTW, wikipedia was giving Susan a birthdate of 1 April 1961 at 9:50 am, Blackburn West Lothian Scotland. This gives her a Gemini ascendant--very apt for someone who claimed we were only seeing one side of her! This data shows transit Pluto opposing her Venus in recent years. We haven't seen the last of Susan Boyle!
In honour of Susan's long hidden but permanent fame, here's a little Venus in the sixth opposing Pluto joke:
One day a man was driving along when all of a sudden 'thud' 'splat' he hit a rabbit who had hopped out in front of him. He stopped the car to see if it was still alive but it was just a limp, lifeless creature in his hands. A blonde woman saw what happened as she was driving by and pulled over to see if she could help. The man explained what happened and she said, "Don't worry I know just what to do". She runs back to her car and comes back with a spray can and proceeds to spritz the entire contents onto the rabbitt. Suddenly the creature springs to it's feet and starts hopping down the road again. It goes about 50 feet turns and then waves it's paw at the two humans.....hops off again, goes 50 feet and waves......hops off, goes 50 feet and waves. The bewildered man asks the blond what it was she sprayed onto the rabbit? She hands him the can which reads, "Restores life to limp, lifeless hair. Adds permanent wave."

Sunday, 29 March 2009

Singing for their suppers

Whilst out and about in Surrey, we met an intrepid trio of singers known as Ed, Will and Ginger who were walking their way around Britain. They literally sang for the suppers (and other meals). We were treated to a round of traditional English song when they happened to visit the very same pub where we had treked with the llamas. I found their story incredibly moving. They forage for food and make temorary lean-tos as they visit villages. Their website can be found here.

In honour of Great British tradition, I offer a Mars conjunct Mercury joke:

There once was a little old lady who wanted a parrot all her life. Finally, one day she spots a good deal on a parrot for sale in the newspaper. She makes the call and arranges to pick it up the next day. In the meantime, out she goes to the pet store and buys the very best cage for him that money can buy.The next day the little old lady brings her parrot home and puts him in the cage. She watches him excitedly as he looks around his new surroundings and asks, "Do you like it? Do you like it?"

The parrot says, "nice f...n’ cage".

Well!!! The little old lady's hair stood straight up! She opens the cage door, grabs the Parrot and shakes her finger at him.

"There will be no language like that in my house mister! The next time I hear language like that out of your mouth, there will be SERIOUS consequences!" Upon which she promptly throws the parrot back into the cage and slams the door. A few days later, the little old lady was thinking about the incident, and she felt terrible. After all, they were still getting to know one another; maybe she came down too hard on the poor parrot. To make it up to him she goes to the pet store to buy him a present. There she found a beautiful perch - top of the line - the very best perch that money could buy. She rushes home as fast as she can and puts the perch in the cage - looking expectantly at the parrot; "Do you like it? Do you like it?"

The parrot looks the perch over and says (dripping with sarcasm) "nice f...n’ perch".

WELL!!!!! The little old lady opens the cage, grabs the parrot and marches into the kitchen. "I told you the next time I heard language like that out of your mouth there would be serious consequences". She promptly opened the freezer door and threw the parrot in, slamming it shut behind him. An hour or so goes by and she thinks he's probably learned his lesson. Opening the freezer door, the parrot cames toddling out, clearly traumatised by the punishment and says, "One question; what the f..k did the chicken do?"

Faculty Day 2009



Well, I finally got my certificate from the Faculty of Astrological Studies. This was about 10 years worth of work, a few decades of life lost due to the stress and many thousands of pounds. . .So enjoy the photo of me and Claire Chandler, left. If anyone wants to say that these astrological classes are for rich old women with nothing better to spend their time and money on, they can kiss my, er, certificate. Claire recieved both her certificate and her diploma on the same day--a feat I once aspired to--so you can just imagine all the time, effort and money she invested in it.



My (very handsome) buddy, Bernard Eccles, gave the lecture on the day and, as always, he was thought provoking. He reminded us that now that we have the nuts and bolts of astrological knowledge, it was now time for the real astrological education to begin. And you see, that really is the beauty of astrology: you will never be able to say you know everything about astrology. Should you meet someone who says it all, I suggest you make your excuses and get the hell away.

Above is me finally collecting my certificate. . .I make the time about 3:16pm, 28 March 2009. Pardon the blur. . .Nick took the photo. Who would have thought Bernard is so much taller than me??

In honour of astrology students everywhere. . .a few non astrological studies jokes. Let's call these Mars conjunct Uranus in the 9th. . .

"If there are any idiots in the room, will they please stand up" said the sarcastic lecturer. After a long silence, one freshman rose to his feet. "Now then mister, why do you consider yourself an idiot?" enquired the lecturer with a sneer.

"Well, actually I don't," said the student, "but I hate to see you standing up there all by yourself."

And one with Mars in the 9th square the sun:

Finding one of her students making faces at others on the playground, Ms. Smith stopped to gently reprove the child. Smiling sweetly, the Sunday School teacher said, "Bobby, when I was a child, I was told if that I made ugly faces, it would freeze and I would stay like that."

Bobby looked up and replied, "Well, Ms Smith, you can't say you weren't warned."

Congratulations to all FAS graduates 2009 (yes that's me outside the pub called Perseverance!)!

Llama Mama

So. . . a few Venus in conjunct Jupiter in the twelth house jokes. . .

What do you get if you stand between two llamas?
llamanated

What do you call a very fast llama?
a llamagini

What's a llama's favourarite film?

Llamadeus

What's the difference between a plush toy llama and a spiritual leader?

One's the Dalai Lama, and the other is a llama dolly.

A polka-dotted llama walked into a bar. After serving her, the bartender remarked, "You know, we don't get many polka-dotted llamas in here."
The llama rolled her eyes in disgust. "If you had any idea how many times I've heard that today . . . . "

Now you may well ask: what's with the llamas??

Me!! On Mother's Day, I was treated to a llama trek. It was, bar none, one of the most surreal things I've ever done in my life! Walking a llama was a bit like walking a big dog. They were happy walking next to you and every now and then, blew into your ear (these llamas don't spit!).

Here's some odd llama facts you might not know: Llamas have weird feet--they're not hooved but have two big toes. Llamas don't like to get their feet wet--they'll push you into the puddles to they can keep dry. Llamas don't like their backs touched--they like you to stroke the front of their necks.Seriously, I think I found my life's calling. Yes, I want to be a llama mama!!

If you'd like to go llama treking, have a visit to the Surrey Hills Llamas!

PS: My llama was named "Omar," Jess' was "Louie" and Nick's was "Pandu"

International Astrology Day

On the 21 March, the world celebrated International Astrology Day. We of the Lodge decided to do something completely different and so headed to our local pub. Which was closed! So we headed to our stand-by pub which was open and serving delicious food and drink for hungry and thirsty astrologers. Of course, it is knowledge we hunger and thirst for. Of course!

So above left to right are Simon Posner, Pete Watson, Sonal (sorry can't spell the last name!), Adam Smith, Jessica Adams and Kim Farnell toasting another new start of the astrological year. Yours truly was taking the photo. . .and yes I do wish you a very happy equinox!

To honour getting together, here's a little Mercury in the 8th house joke for all you astrologers, er, getting together. . .


After Sex Comments by Sun Sign:
Aries: "Okay, let's do it again!"
Taurus: "I'm hungry--pass the pizza."
Gemini: "Have you seen the remote?"
Cancer: "When are we getting married?"
Leo: "Wasn't I fantastic?"
Virgo: "I need to wash the sheets."
Libra: "I liked it if you liked it."
Scorpio: "Perhaps I should untie you."
Sagittarius: "Don't call me--I'll call you."
Capricorn: "Do you have a business card?"
Aquarius: "Now let's try it with our clothes off!"
Pisces: "What did you say your name was again?"

Sunday, 1 March 2009

Eastern Orthodox pow wow

On 16 February, we headed to our friend Jadranka's (she serves on the Lodge's committee too) to celebrate the life of Simeon, the saint best known for his ability to abstain from both food and drink for inhumanly long periods of time. Interestingly, the day was celebrated on the 3 February but because of the calendar change, it is celebrated on our Gregorian calendar day of 15th Feb. I'll have to ask Jadranka why we were celebrating on the 16th rather than on the 15th. . .
Anyway, it struck me about half way through the festivities that this was very much like the Indian pow wows I'm used to: there's lots of food, dancing--and someone always opens the fridge, sees all the beer and shouts: "Heaven!".
In honour of tradition, abstinance and Kronenbourg. . .here's a little Saturn in the 5th joke to sustain us during this holy time of Lent!
Old man Murphy had worked down at the brewery for years, but one day, he just wasn't paying attention and he tripped on the walkway and fell over into the beer vat and drowned. The foreman thought it should be his job to inform the widow Murphy of her old man's death. He showed up at the front door and rang the bell. When she came to the door, he said, "I'm sorry to tell you, but poor old Murphy passed away at work today when he fell into the vat and drowned."
She wept and covered her face with her apron and after a time, between sobs, she asked, "Tell me, did he suffer?"

"I don't think so," said the foreman: "He got out three times to go to the men's room.

I deserve a good spanking!

Arrrggg. . .where does the time go? My bad. I've been neglecting my blog to do the synastry exam for the FAS (I'm getting there). In my own defense, my last blog was a difficult one to beat! Who just might be able to outdo William Lilly?

Step forward please, Mike Edwards.

At half term, me and my better half sauntered (snort! you should have seen all the engineering works on the tubes!) our way to Mike's house in S. England. We were warmly welcomed by him and his lovely wife, Marie Angelo and we spent a perfect Valentine's day sharing wine and food and conversation. On Sunday morning, I looked outside the window and saw this (photo to the left)! Talking about walking the talk! In case you don't know, this is a square astrology chart favoured by our predecessors. I'm not sure why or when we started using circle-shaped charts but I was inspired to find out when I saw this! Mike and Marie also have a beautiful stained glass front window which I won't share here because I can't possibly convey the sense of awe it brought to me.

This was also a celebration of my appointment to a permanent middle leadership post at my school! I had been a little nervous about applying for this post as I had been in the acting role for nearly a year and I have Transit Uranus quickly approaching my Natal Saturn in the 10th (BTW my Saturn is the handle of a bucket-shaped chart)--the very last thing I expected was anything involving "permanent"! As they say with Uranus transits: "don't get too comfy." So although I should be feeling very pleased, I still feel quite edgy. But hey, who ever said we could predict the future???

In honour of all things unpredicatable, here's a little Uranus in the fourth house joke for all you happy families everywhere:

One Sunday morning William burst into the living room and said, "Dad! Mom! I have some great news for you! I am getting married to the most beautiful girl in town. She lives a block away and her name is Susan."

After dinner, William's dad took him aside. "Son, I have to talk with you. Your mother and I have been married 30 years. She's a wonderful wife but she has never offered much excitement in the bedroom, so I used to fool around with women a lot. Susan is actually your half-sister, and I'm afraid you can't marry her."

William was heart-broken. After eight months he eventually started dating girls again. A year later he came home and very proudly announced, "Diane said yes! We're getting married in June."

Again his father insisted on another private conversation and broke the sad news. "Diane is your half-sister too, William. I'm awfully sorry about this."

William was furious! He finally decided to go to his mother with the news. "Dad has done so much harm. I guess I'm never going to get married," he complained. "Every time I fall in love, Dad tells me the girl is my half-sister."

His mother just shook her head. "Don't pay any attention to what he says, dear. He's not really your father."

Sunday, 1 February 2009

Alex Trenoweth Meets William Lilly

Oh my God!!

I thought it was great to meet Rob Hand, I though it was great to meet Desmond Tutu. But they were left in the shade when William Lilly came to the Lodge to see what we were up to! He was much shorter than I thought he would be. . .

All right, I'll admit it, it's just me being clever (pffft) with photoshop now that I'm the new acting editor for the Astrology Quarterly.

We were treated to a lovely evening with Deb Houlding who not only looks better than William, she undoubtedly smelled better than William would have. I even suspect she's smarter than William but perhaps that's a sacrilege. Deb is the webmaster of Skyscript and if you haven't been for a visit, I suggest you make it your mission sooner rather than later because no astrological education is complete without it. Deb took us through the finer points of "Christian Astrology" and the intricacies are both numerous and amazing. (And left is a photo of me and the lovely Deb.)

Here are a couple of William Lilly quotes:

"After my mistress was dead, I lived most comfortably, my master having a great affection for me. "

"I believe God rules all by his divine providence and that the stars by his permission are instruments."
In honour of resurrection, here are a few eighth house/William Lilly jokes. OK, they're more like 8th house jokes:

When Mozart was exhumed, he was found frantically rubbing out his music. Startled, the observers asked: "
Herr Mozart,what are you doing?"

He answered, "Why, I'm decomposing!"
_____________
First guy proudly: "My wife's an angel!"

Second guy: "You're lucky, mine's still alive."
____________

The difference between sex and death is, death you can do alone and nobody laughs at you.

(left is William's (get used to it--we're on a first name basis) monument at Waltham-on-Thames Church. The Lodge visits every summer at the end of July)

The Alchemical Journey

On Monday the 19th of January, we at the Lodge took an alchemical journey with John Wadsworth. Personally, I had only seen John as the great scholar (we did the MA in Cultural Astronomy and Astrology together), never as John the amazing actor. So I was as surprised as anyone to see John leaping about from star sign to star sign, revealing aspects in each that I had never noticed before. He even made me jump out of my skin when he burst out as Aries. Although many of us in the audience were aching to join him, we are very much an organisation that likes to keep the collective bottoms on the seats. We seem to like the speaker at the front of the room, behind the podium and referring to the screen. How wonderful it was to have a break from that.

Oh and John Wadsworth has holes in his socks. I didn't quite get the photographic evidence but take it from me: John's socks are well and truly ecclesiastic and sanctified (they're HOLY,geddit?) but at least he had the guts to take his shoes off in the first place. Don't worry, we're learning to embrace barefoot astrology.

In honour of John's religious socks, I have a very special Saturn in 12th house joke just for him:

A young couple decided to wed. As the big day approached, they grew apprehensive. Each had a problem they had never before shared with anyone, not even each other.

The Groom-to-be, overcoming his fear, decided to ask his father for advice.

“Father,” he said, “I am deeply concerned about the success of my marriage. I love my fiancĂ©e, very much, but you see, I have very smelly feet, and I’m afraid that my future wife will be put off by them.”

“No problem,” said dad, “all you have to do is wash your feet as often as possible, and always wear socks, even to bed.”

Well, to him this seemed a workable solution.
The bride-to-be, overcoming her fear, decided to take her problem up her mom.

“Mom,” she said, “When I wake up in the morning my breath is truly awful.”

“Honey,” her mother consoled, “everyone has bad breath in the morning.”

“No, you don’t understand. My morning breath is so bad, I’m afraid that my new husband will not want to sleep in the same room with me.”

Her mother said simply, “Try this: in the morning, get straight out of bed, and head for the bathroom and brush your teeth. The key is, not to say a word until you’ve brushed your teeth. Not a word,” her mother affirmed.

Well, she thought it was certainly worth a try. The loving couple were finally married in a beautiful ceremony. Not forgetting the advice each had received, he with his perpetual socks and she with her morning silence, they managed quite well. That is, until about six months later. Shortly before dawn, the husband wakes with a start to find that one of his socks had come off. Fearful of the consequences, he frantically searches the bed.

This, of course, woke his bride and without thinking, she immediately asks, “What on earth are you doing?”

“Oh, no!” he gasped in shock, “You’ve swallowed my sock!”