Tuesday, February 27, 2018

"Princess Alice" Roosevelt

Alice Longworth c. 1919. Credit Ernest Bachrach
Here's a character I'd not come across before, but saw a mention of her and a few of her caustic quotes the other day: Alice Lee Roosevelt Longworth. I was curious to see her natal chart.

A little background from THIS WEBSITE

Alice Lee Roosevelt Longworth (1884-1980) was the only daughter of Alice Hathaway Lee Roosevelt and Theodore Roosevelt. She was born on February 12, 1884. Her mother and paternal grandmother died two days later. Her aunt, Anna Roosevelt, raised her until her father married Edith Kermit Carow in December 1886.

Alice grew up with her five half-siblings at Sagamore Hill, and in Washington and New York City as her father’s jobs dictated. An autodidact and a life-long voracious reader, Alice was intelligent, stubborn, and strong-willed. When Theodore Roosevelt became president in 1901, she made her debut in the White House. Shortly after, she entered on the international stage by christening a ship belonging to the German emperor.

Alice Roosevelt was a celebrity First Daughter known for antics like smoking on the White House roof, carrying a snake in her purse, and betting at horse races. Her parents swallowed their aggravation because the public clearly adored her. In 1905, she accompanied congressmen to Asia as a goodwill ambassador for the Administration, the first First Daughter to act in this capacity.

On February 17, 1906, Alice married Republican Representative Nicholas Longworth of Ohio at the White House. The two were leaders of Washington society, but their marriage was riven by his infidelity and alcoholism. They drifted apart politically in the 1912 election when Alice supported her father’s Progressive Party rather than her husband’s Republican Party............

Some quotes attributed to Alice:

My specialty is detached malevolence.

If you can't say something good about someone, sit right here by me.

I have a simple philosophy: Fill what's empty. Empty what's full.
Scratch where it itches.

I've always believed in the adage that the secret of eternal youth
is arrested development.


Data from astro.com, with time of birth given a 'B' rating - from a biography.
Born in New York City on 12 February 1884 at 8.30 PM

From what I've read, Alice was something a rebel, so I was unsurprised to find her Sun in Aquarius, and if her time of birth is near to correct, Uranus was close to her ascendant angle, giving even more focus to her eccentric or rebellious side. Moon in Virgo - well, Virgo is known to be critical, and she apparently was no shrinking violet when it came to criticising others:

My father always wanted to be the corpse at every funeral, the bride at every wedding and the baby at every christening.

He [Calvin Coolidge] looks as though he's been weaned on a pickle.

And: At 90, Alice Roosevelt Longworth didn’t care who she offended in this mean, funny 1974 interview

There's lots more could be said about her chart, and lots of planetary patterns to be found, but my favourite has to be this Yod: The sextile between Uranus and Jupiter is linked via two quincunxes to her Aquarius Sun - how could she possibly have been anything other than a mildly eccentric, outspoken over-the-top rebel?

Monday, February 26, 2018

Music Monday ~ Tripping Over Memories

What brought that on?

Last week I contributed this at Quora, in answer to the question:
"What was your first travel experience?"

I did travel, within the UK, a few times before 1962, but that year saw my first venture outside of Britain, into Europe - to Italy. It was a honeymoon trip. I'd married an Italian guy. It was a mistake, the marriage was short-lived and fairly unpleasant, but some details of that first trip abroad remain etched in memory.

We travelled all the way from northern England to Italy by train, without a break. First to London, then to Milan via France and Switzerland, then to Brescia where first husband's family lived, then a few days later, on to Rome.

What I remember most about the actual journey is becoming deadly tired, but unable to sleep. I recall changing trains in Basle, Switzerland, with a little time to spare before the onward train . We visited a station cafe, ate sauerkraut - an unwise choice on a nervous stomach! I’ve avoided the dish ever since.

At last we arrived in Brescia. I met husband's sister and her husband, who took us to meet husband's parents. I lacked self-confidence back then, and have to admit that I suspected already this marriage had been a mistake. Sister and brother-in law were lovely though, made me feel quite comfortable; the same could not be said about the parents-in-law! Never mind. I'll skim over the couple of awkward days, until we caught a train to Rome - where my husband had once lived and worked.

The Rome experience made all past discomfort and awkwardness worthwhile for me. Rome was love at first sight! We stayed in a tiny hotel in one of the cobbled side streets in the main part of the city. Our simple room was on the top floor - no elevator. I recall the scents and smells of those narrow, cobbled streets - baking, cooking, pizza, herbs, fruit, the noise, the voices floating up through an open window. The bread rolls, cheeses and pears husband would bring each morning for breakfast from street vendors below.

Each day we'd go out and wander the city, or visit a couple of nearby towns. So much to see : the fountains, the churches, the river, the famous landmarks - no need for detail! Among all those legendary sights and landmarks it was the Forum which most fired my imagination - don't know why, but it seemed to draw me into it.

Our time in Rome too soon came to an end and the long journey home loomed ahead. I found the trip home less strenuous - even teased husband that I was going to get off the train somewhere near Venice and not continue the homeward journey, but return to Rome! I didn't do that, of course, but I did return to Rome, twice more - before the marriage bit the dust for good. I suspect it was only the prospect of visiting Rome again that kept it from dying a quick death, even before it did.

And so it was...

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Saturday & Sundry Mostly Useless 'Porphirical' Facts

Porphyry. What does that word mean to you? I'm imagining an apathetic shrug coming from my passing reader. I'm vaguely familiar with one facet of the word's meaning: it's the name of an astrological House System. More on that in a mo.

Wikipedia's page for 26 February lists that date as a Christian Feast Day in honour of
Porphyry of Gaza. Hmm, thought I, can't see a venerated and sainted Bishop of the Greek Orthodox Church lowering himself to play around with astrological houses. Saint Porphyry was bishop of Gaza from 395 to 420, known for Christianizing the recalcitrant pagan city of Gaza, and demolishing its temples. He died on February 26, 420.
(See here)

It was another Porphyry - Porphyry of Tyre - who gave astrologers another House System to play with. He was a prominent Neoplatonic philosopher who flourished in the late 3rd century CE. He is primarily known as the student of the founder of Neoplatonism, Plotinus, although he was regarded as an important philosopher in his own right in Late Antiquity. He occasionally made references to astrological doctrines in his philosophical works, and there is at least one surviving text on astrology that was attributed to him: an introduction to Ptolemy’s Tetrabiblos, which mainly consists of a series of definitions of basic astrological concepts. Most of the definitions were copied verbatim from a lost work of definitions by Antiochus of Athens.

In the House system known as Porphyry, each quadrant of the ecliptic is divided into three equal parts between the four angles. This is the oldest system of quadrant style house division. Although it is attributed to Porphyry of Tyre, this system was first described by the 2nd-century astrologer Vettius Valens, in the 3rd book of his astrological compendium known as The Anthology.
(See here)

Ooooh kaay.

But Porphyry is more - much more.

The term porphyry, from Ancient Greek, means "purple". Purple was the color of royalty, and the "imperial porphyry" was a deep purple igneous rock (formed through the cooling and solidification of magma or lava. ) with large crystals of plagioclase. Some authors claimed the rock was the hardest known in antiquity."Imperial" grade porphyry was thus prized for monuments and building projects in Imperial Rome and later. (See here)


In Greek mythology, Porphyrion was a giant, one of the sons of Uranus and Gaia. After the Olympian gods imprisoned the Titans in Tartarus, Porphyrion was one of twenty-four anguipede giants who made war on Olympus. During the Giant's revolt on Olympus, Porphyrion attempted to strangle Hera. An arrow from the bow of Eros inspired Porphyrion with lust for Hera, and he tore her robes and would have forced her, but an enraged Zeus shot him with a thunderbolt.

There's more.... there's

Porphyrius the Charioteer (also known as Calliopas) who was a renowned Roman charioteer in the 5th and 6th centuries AD. In the time of Porphyrius, Roman chariot-racing was at its height. Charioteers were celebrities, and Porphyrius is famous for having seven monuments built in his honor in the Hippodrome. These monuments serve as a glimpse into the history of the time, and into the life of Porphyrius. The age of Porphyrius is often referred to as the age of the Byzantine Charioteer.
(See here)

Still more...it's an island!


Porphyry Island is an island in Unorganized Thunder Bay District in northwestern Ontario, Canada. It is the last island in a chain stretching south west of the Black Bay Peninsula in Lake Superior. It is located about 6 kilometres (4 mi) from Edward Island Provincial Park, 13 kilometres (8 mi) from Sleeping Giant Provincial Park, 14 kilometres (9 mi) east of Silver Islet, Ontario, and 42 kilometres (26 mi) east of the city of Thunder Bay.
The island and nature reserve take their name from the characteristic quartz and feldspar crystals, or porphyries found in the volcanic rocks. (See here).

Friday, February 23, 2018

Arty Farty Friday ~ Vale Rob Gonsalves

When I wrote about Rob Gonsalves, one Arty Farty Friday in December 2010, I could find no information on his date of birth. Mr Gonsalves died in June last year. I was shocked and saddened to recently come across news of his death, more so when I gleaned that he had committed suicide. An obituary stated that
"Rob left this Earth on his own terms when he took his own life, calmly and deliberately on a beautiful day in June." A Facebook note: "Rob Gonsalves battled the dark but succumbed June 14th. Rob's window into the magic of the universe was closed by his death."

Rest in Peace.

Date of birth of Rob Gonsalves is now available at Wikipedia. He was born on 10 July 1959.
I'm re-posting my earlier blog with his natal chart following, noting how close, or otherwise, my speculations about his astrology had been.

FROM 2010

Rob Gonsalves is a Canadian painter, born in Toronto, Ontario in 1959. I can find no more birth data than that. If a passing reader knows his date of birth I'd be very happy to hear from them via comment. [See below]

It's tricky to categorise Rob Gonsalves' art precisely. It's surrealistic, yet it isn't truly surrealism, because it arises, reportedly, through a process of conscious thought rather than from dreams or from the subconscious.

Magic Realism is another art label we might attach, but that doesn't quite fit either. His subject matter is mainly everyday scenes and situations turned ...well...surreal. Personally (maybe not accurately) I see Magical Realism as dealing more with mythological figures and situations, as depicted in the art of Michael Parkes (here).

As architecture is seen in many of Rob Gonsalves' paintings I'd expect Saturn to feature prominently in his natal chart, as well as Venus (art) and Uranus (the unexpected and eccentric). I notice how the Moon features often in his work - as it did in Paul Delvaux' paintings, shown in last Friday's post - I'm pretty sure that the Moon or its sign Cancer will be to the fore in his natal chart too.

Anyway, a few more facts about Rob Gonsalves from either Wikipedia or a Facebook page available via Google:
During his childhood, Gonsalves developed an interest in drawing from imagination using various media. By age twelve, his awareness of architecture grew as he leaned perspective techniques and began to do his first paintings and renderings of imagined buildings.

After an introduction to artists Dalí and Tanguy, Gonsalves began his first surrealist paintings. The "Magic Realism" approach of Magritte along with the precise perspective illusions of Escher came to be influences in his future work.

In his post college years, Gonsalves worked full time as an architect, also painting trompe-l'œil murals and theatre sets. After an enthusiastic response in 1990 at the Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition, Gonsalves devoted himself to painting full time.

Numerous individuals around the world, corporations, embassies, and a United States Senator collect Gonsalves' original work, and limited edition prints. Rob Gonsalves has exhibited at Art Expo New York and Los Angeles, Decor Atlanta and Las Vegas, Fine Art Forum, as well as one-man shows at Discovery Galleries, Ltd., Hudson River Art Gallery, and Kaleidoscope Gallery.

He won the 2005 Governor General's Award in the Children's Literature - Illustration category for Imagine a Day.
He is also an accomplished guitarist.

A few examples of his painting follow. These especially appealed to me. Note the presence of the Moon - surrealist-types do seem to like their Moons, don't they!?

I wrote, in 2010, without benefit of knowing his date of birth:
As architecture is seen in many of Rob Gonsalves' paintings I'd expect Saturn to feature prominently in his natal chart, as well as Venus (art) and Uranus (the unexpected and eccentric). I notice how the Moon features often in his work - as it did in Paul Delvaux' paintings, shown in last Friday's post - I'm pretty sure that the Moon or its sign Cancer will be to the fore in his natal chart too.

I guessed correctly about the
Moon - he had Sun in Cancer, sign ruled by the Moon.
Saturn was in its home sign of Earthy Capricorn and in harmonious trine to Venus and Pluto in Virgo - another Earthy sign...and Saturn sextiles Neptune (imagination, dreams) too
Uranus was conjunct his natal Mercury in Leo.

I'm giving myself a gentle pat on the back for that.

Dang, though - it is just so, so sad to have lost such an artist so soon!

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Of Neptune

Modern ruler of zodiac sign Pisces is Neptune. Before 1846, and discovery of Neptune, both Pisces and Sagittarius had been ruled by Jupiter.

Enquiring minds would like to know exactly why Neptune was so called, who decided on that name for the new planet, who defined the characteristics allocated to it, and why it was decided to assign to it rulership of Pisces. Skyscript offers some information on the question of naming this planet, but it doesn't completely satisfy my annoying need for clarity.
Partial answer, according to Wikipedia:
After Neptune was discovered, the Bureau des Longitudes proposed the name Neptune and the familiar trident for the planet's symbol.
Another source (here) offers this:
The naming of Neptune couldn’t follow the cosmogony of Greco-Roman myth because Uranus, the planet inside Neptune’s orbit, was named after the father of creation so astronomers chose to name this newest member of Sol’s planetary family after the ruler of the sea.
Elsewhere we are told that Neptune's symbol, or glyph, represents, rather than Neptune's trident, "the crescent of personality pierced by the cross of matter".

I'm tempted to respond petulantly: "Whatever!"

How Neptune came to represent the list of characteristics/keywords we regularly trot out remains just another of astrology's little mysteries - appropriately Neptunian. For the most part it works out quite well. "Ours not to reason why"!

Neptune takes around 165 years to circle the Sun, and will remain in each zodiac sign for around 14 years. Its significance, then, is generational rather than individual. How Neptune links to the faster-moving personal planets (or not) is key to whether Neptunian characteristics might manifest clearly in a personality.

Ingrid Lind in her little book Astrology and Commonsense, long out of print, had this to say about Neptune's role in a natal chart:
Like Uranus, this planet has no traditional sign rulership but has affinity with the sign Pisces. Keywords: nebulousness, impressionability.

As keywords suggest, Neptune is unreliable and elusive. In a strong chart, where its contribution is disposed of by an otherwise steady and forceful personality, much benefit may be derived through the prominence of the Neptunian quality in such matters as charm, personal magnetism, poetry, inspiration or spirituality. In an otherwise weak chart, or one lacking in "roots" or commonsense, even a well-aspected Neptune must be read with distrust as it will tend to manifest in sensationalism or escapism. It really takes a strong and sane man to control the Neptune in him. Where people of genius are excused the uncontrolled exhibition of artistic temperament, in the lesser men it is usually regarded at least as a bore.

Neptunian qualities show clearly in musician or actor as sensitivity of interpretation and sense of audience. In fact, the subtle difference between genius and technician lies in the former's power to use this elusive element in his makeup.

Not all, of course, who have Neptune strong show artistic or literary talent, let alone genius; but occupations to do with the sea, liquids, drugs, anesthetics and entertainment (providing sensation for others) offer the Neptune quality a wide range. It is interesting to note that all these occupations involve danger or harmfulness in excess.
The outer planets have gathered individual and specific interpretations as a stone gathers moss. Most seem to fit pretty well. However, I often think that, because outer planet cycles are so long, and natal charts of humans or other entities (for example, national charts) receive a significant visit/transit from each quite infrequently, if at all in a lifetime, or in recorded history, that when such a transit does occur it will inevitably be a signal for something special, something noticeable. These transits could also be expressed simply, and possibly more accurately, as indicating "change of some sort", without recourse to the specific interpretations that particular outer planets have gathered.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

WORDS ~ Foreign Feelings Following "I read the news today, Oh boy!"

As Arika Okrent wrote in her 2016 piece titled How to Tell Whether You've Got Angst, Ennui, or Weltschmerz, familiar words in the English language sometimes just don't hit the spot. The piece begins:
English has many words for the feelings that can arise when a good, hard look at the state of the world seems to reveal only negatives. Hopelessness, despair, depression, discouragement, melancholy, sorrow, worry, disconsolation, distress, anxiety …there are so many that it would hardly seem necessary to borrow any more from other languages. But English never hesitates to borrow words that would lose certain subtleties in translation, and angst, ennui, and weltschmerz have made their way into English by offering a little something extra.

The article is fairly brief, but if it's still TL;DR (= too long; did not read)- nutshell:

Are you dissatisfied and worried in an introspective, overthinking German way? You’ve got angst.

Are you tired, so tired of everything about the world and the way it is? Do you proclaim this, with a long, slow sigh, to everyone around you? You’ve got ennui.

Do you have sadness in your heart for the world that can never be and sensible shoes? You’ve got weltschmerz.

I'm trying to diagnose my own state of mind - I'm swinging between weltschmerz and "I've no more f..ks to give" - I wonder if there's a foreign word for that?

Monday, February 19, 2018

Music Monday ~ Country Prejudice

A few words I wrote at Quora last week, in answer to the question "Why do people hate country music so much?"

I wonder if people do care enough about country music to actually hate it - it's a genre that is just not to everyone’s taste - and that’s fine.

As it happens, I’m a country music fan, but I do not fit any of the labels regularly attached to those who enjoy the genre. I’m British born (so no roots in the southern states), I’m left as left can be politically, in no way conservative, and I’m neither racist nor sexist.

I discovered country music back in the late 1980s and 1990s, not in the USA but in a vacation resort in the Spanish governed Canary Islands, which lie off the west coast of Africa, and it was being sung by a Londoner! Hows that for a mix?

I fell in love with country music. Back home in Yorkshire I began collecting albums, buying country music magazines, and learning what I could about it, from wherever I could.

It has to be said, however, that the current style of country has veered away and is not to my own taste. When I say I love country music, I love the styles of Merle Haggard, Waylon Jennings, Patsy Cline, Keith Whitley, Kris Kristofferson, John Conlee, George Strait, and their likes - Garth Brooks just manages to scrape in to that group!

The fact that I eventually found myself living in the USA, and in a state where country music is part of the wallpaper, was coincidental - I think!

There is some prejudice against country music in the USA, whether it descends to the level of hatred is doubtful; it is routinely ridiculed and derided by music snobs, however. I found country music in a place where prejudice against it didn't exist - and that made all the difference. Stock answer as to the prejudice against country is "it's white, it's racist..blah blah". If Charley Pride, Darius Rucker and other black country singers were open-minded and enlightened enough to breach the perceived divide, then there is, and should be, always hope, but progress is slow. Prejudice and division are what The Powers That Be want of us, it distracts us from giving more attention to their ongoing dastardly deeds.

Here's Gene Watson, another of my favourites, and one I've actually managed to see performing live! This song says it for me - but still doesn't go far enough, for as well as spreading from "sea to shining sea" this music has crossed oceans in several directions. The song ought to be better known. I haven't found anyone other than Gene singing it - why? And why is prejudice so hard to dislodge? Even this song's lyrics were hard to find online. I eventually found them, but only with chord notes added for guitar players - had to clean it up before posting.

This country's Bigger than Texas
Recorded by Gene Watson
Written by Hugh Prestwood
Standing on a corner in Manhattan
I finally flagged a taxi down
And as I climbed into the back seat
I heard a more familiar sound
From the radio came gliding through
The sliding Nashville pedal steel
And as the driver took me riding
His fingers danced upon the wheel.

This country's bigger than Texas
It's bigger than Nashville Tennessee
It reaches border to border
It stretches shinning sea to sea
This country’s got no boundaries

A redneck farmer out of Macon
Met a lady lawyer from LA
They did not have a thing in common
Or at least it seemed that way
And then the jukebox started playing
Just your average country song
And both their bodies started swaying
They danced the two step all night long.

This country's bigger than Texas
It's bigger than Nashville Tennessee
It reaches border to border
It stretches shinning sea to sea
This country’s got no boundaries
This country's got no boundaries

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Saturday & Sundry Watchables

We watched, via Netflix, two movies one after t'other one evening during the week, and they unexpectedly turned out to have similar themes. Both movies had female leads - gals who, uncharacteristically, decided to take the law into their own hands:
Miss Meadows, and
I Don't Feel at Home in this World Anymore.

Miss Meadows has Katie Holmes as a young teacher with perfect manners, old world style, but packs a punch and a dinky firearm in her little handbag. She carries said bag a la Queen Elizabeth II, it's on her arm at all times. The story unfolds in both predictable and unpredictable ways.

In the film with the unwieldy title I Don't Feel at Home in this World Anymore Melanie Lynskey is Ruth, who is sickened by the human indecency around her. Her home is burglarized, the police are disinterested, so she teams up with her neighbor (Elijah Wood) to find the burglar and deal with him. It's complicated though. Things rapidly become far more dangerous than the pair ever expected.

Both movies belong to the genre 'black comedy'. Black comedy is a strange genre - I suppose a tag line for it could be "if we don't laugh we'll cry". There are a few wry chuckles available in these two films, about the characters themselves, rather than their actions, which is testament to the excellent direction and performances by all involved.

AND... for something completely different:

New on Netflix this month is Queer Eye, It's a re-boot of a 2003/4 show, back then titled Queer Eye for the Straight Guy. I remember seeing episodes of the old 2003/4 show on TV, in England before I left. We've now watched the first few episodes of the re-booted version. The show now has a new cast, five different guys, but the mix of personalities is similar. One of the five is very camp - fun, lovable; the others are less overtly gay, all are charming. In the 2018 version we have diversity, this was missing in 2004. One of the new five is black, another is British and of (I think) Pakistani background.

As well as making over their subjects' personal styles of dress and grooming, and their homes being given an attractive uplift of new decor, there's an added psychological element. This, for me, is especially interesting. Lack of self-confidence is tackled in the first episode, and in the second episode the subject is a police officer. He has a touchingly candid conversation with the black member of the five guys, about....well you can guess. It's affecting, especially so at the end of the show as they all bid farewell.

Critics might judge Queer Eye as just another tacky reality makeover show, but it has more potential than that - and so far, for me anyway, it is living up to that potential.

Friday, February 16, 2018

Arty Farty Friday ~ Allegory of Bad Government

Around this time last year I wrote an Arty Farty Friday post on Carrie Ann Baade an associate professor in the Department of Art at Florida State University. Now, a year later I'm going to feature her again, but focus on one of her paintings, for reasons which will not be especially difficult for any stray readers in the USA to appreciate. The painting is titled "Allegory of Bad Government."

Before posting the image, a word to explain that it was inspired by Italian painter Ambrogio Lorenzetti’s 14th century moralistic civic mural cycle titled The Allegory of Good and Bad Government. This consists of a series of three fresco panels, six different scenes, painted between February 1338 and May 1339 in Siena's Palazzo Pubblico—specifically in the Sala dei Nove (Salon of Nine), council hall of Siena's nine executive magistrates, elected officials who performed executive, and some judicial, functions. The paintings have been construed as being "designed to remind the Nine [magistrates] of just how much was at stake as they made their decisions". The 14th century was a turbulent time for politics in Italian cities, due to constant violent party struggles; governments were overthrown, and governments were reinstated.
See Wikipedia HERE.

Carrie Ann Baade's painting "Allegory of Bad Government" inspired by Lorenzetti, and also by The Mad Hatter's Tea Party from Alice in Wonderland, depicts figures as guests who embody traits such as Cruelty, Greed, War, Hate, with echoes of the seven deadly sins: Pride, Greed, Wrath, Envy, Gluttony, and Sloth. Tyranny’s cape is the tablecloth. The painting is both political critique as well as commentary on our internal states of mind.

Click on image for a clearer, larger view.

I shall point out all the gnashing greedy teeth, the waste lying around below, and...look to centre back of the painting: a pair of eyes with tentacles of yellow hair above...remind you of anyone? I shall now leave it to any passing stray readers to relate further allegorical inferences to....well, ya know!

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Woman & Man

Yesterday's hike in the red rose and heart-filled card market has receded for another year. With Valentine's core idea still in mind, here's something I came across the other day:

"A woman without her man is nothing."

Huh? Not exactly!

This example of what a little colon and comma can do has made the rounds on the internet for a while now. Never mind, it hasn't seen the light of day here, so -

As the story goes, a professor told his class to correctly punctuate the sentence.

The males in the classroom wrote:
“A woman, without her man, is nothing.”

The women in the class wrote:
“A woman: without her, man is nothing.”
With just a simple change in punctuation, the entire meaning of the sentence was changed in an instant.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018


The Day of St Valentine is here once again. Daft, commercialised and a tad trite as it has become, it's basically all about love and good feelings...that could never be all bad.

No sloppy luv and kisses here, just a poem I especially like, dedicated to any and all whose words help in keeping me sane in this mad, mad world.

William Stafford's
A Ritual to Read to Each Other

If you don't know the kind of person I am
and I don't know the kind of person you are
a pattern that others made may prevail in the world
and following the wrong god home we may miss our star.

For there is many a small betrayal in the mind,
a shrug that lets the fragile sequence break
sending with shouts the horrible errors of childhood
storming out to play through the broken dyke.

And as elephants parade holding each elephant's tail,
but if one wanders the circus won't find the park,
I call it cruel and maybe the root of all cruelty
to know what occurs but not recognize the fact.

And so I appeal to a voice, to something shadowy,
a remote important region in all who talk:
though we could fool each other, we should consider--
lest the parade of our mutual life get lost in the dark.

For it is important that awake people be awake,
or a breaking line may discourage them back to sleep;
the signals we give--yes or no, or maybe--
should be clear: the darkness around us is deep.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018


Zaria Gorvett's article "You are surprisingly likely to have a living doppelganger" is a good read. It begins:
It’s on your passport. It’s how criminals are identified in a line-up. It’s how you’re recognised by old friends on the street, even after years apart. Your face: it’s so tangled up with your identity, soon it may be all you need to unlock your smartphone, access your office or buy a house.

Underpinning it all is the assurance that your looks are unique. And then, one day your illusions are smashed.

The piece had me recalling something from an old post of mine:
Facial features can be arranged on a human being in a limited number of ways, so it's surprising that we don't notice more look-alikes. Outside of family resemblances, which are to be expected, there aren't too many people with facial likenesses strong enough to confuse us. There are a few though, I came across an instance recently. In an episode of Boston Legal, we couldn't decide whether one of the characters was being played by an actor we knew from Eureka. "He's broader", I kept trying to convince myself..."the Eureka guy is slimmer built, but...erm - he could have put on weight for the part".

Colin Ferguson who plays the sheriff in Eureka, and Mark Valley of Boston Legal, Human Target - and Fringe were the two who originally had me confused. There's a third guy who could be added to this particular look-alike list: Joel Gretsch of The 4400.

From the top: Colin, Mark, Colin, Mark, and Joel.


Astrologically, appearance is said to relate mainly to the rising sign - though I would guess that Sun and Moon signs, or any sign heavily emphasised or strongly placed on an angle, could also influence looks. I've personally come to recognise a limited number of astrology-related facial/physical features in people I've met. Gemini:wiry or skinny, bony face; Capricorn/Aquarius/Saturn: a definite look with regular features (hard to describe in words); Cancer: round face, tending towards chubbiness; and of course the famous magnetic Scorpio eyes, and the lustrous Leo hair.

Without times of birth, without knowing rising signs and Moon placement for the three guys mentioned, it's not possible conduct a proper investigation into whether astrology has any bearing on their facial likeness.

Colin Ferguson - born 22 July 1972, Montreal, Canada.
Mark Valley - born 24 December 1964 Ogdensburg, NY.
Joel Gretsch - born 20 December 1963, St. Cloud MN.

I've compared 12 noon charts for the three and can find only one point of (almost) convergence between 28 Sag and 2 Capricorn: Colin Ferguson has Jupiter at 00 Capricorn, Mark Valley has Sun at 2 Capricorn and Joel Gretsch has Sun at 28 Sagittarius. If their rising signs were somewhere around that area it'd be amazing!

There's a non-astrological possibility for the likeness too, though I've no evidence to support it: Scottish ancestry. The look they share has a definite Scottish flavour.

Monday, February 12, 2018

Music Monday ~ This Week's Highway Earworm

Watching a movie deposited this earworm into the shell-like of your friendly neighbourhood blogger. Movie in question: Our Souls at Night, available via Netflix currently. The movie stars Robert Redford and Jane Fonda both in their (ahem) twilight years, and both, amazingly enough, even older than me! The Roger Ebert website has a decent review HERE.

The film is set in Colorado, it appears that the characters actually live on the flatter eastern side of the state, but in part of the story they take a camping trip to the wonderfully scenic Rocky Mountains area further west. As they drive along scenic highways in a truck this number is played - I hadn't heard it for years, used to love it. Now it's in my head - and I don't mind one little bit.
Willie and Kris are still with us, sadly Waylon and Johnny are not - and yet, as the song reminds us, they really are!

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Future Present?

Granny Weatherwax didn’t hold with looking at the future, but now she could feel the future looking at her. She didn’t like the expression at all.
(Terry Pratchett in Wyrd Sisters)

Art or Inebriation? New Exhibit Allows You to Absorb Alcohol Through Your Skin
by Kate Federici, MSW.
....Alcoholic Architecture, a pop-up bar installation in London, England. Visitors enter a room and become immersed in a gin and tonic cloud of vapor, which has been pumped through a high-powered humidifier. The vapor is absorbed through the skin and eyes. And because the alcohol bypasses the liver and goes directly to the bloodstream, the intoxication is very intense and immediate. This is why the maximum amount of time allowed in the vapor area is 50 minutes, which is equivalent to drinking a very large gin and tonic. As far as safety goes, visitors are required to wear a poncho, leaving only their hands and face revealed because exposing too much skin to the vapors is dangerous. However, they are allowed to bring in an alcoholic beverage with them as they enter the breathable alcohol area of the bar and are encouraged to “breathe responsibly.”

Why is this appealing to people?

This method of consuming alcohol provides less calories and makes it easier and faster to get intoxicated. But even more than that, it’s a novelty experience...

Sci-fi movies love to show us flying vehicles scooting around skyscraper dense cityscapes. I've usually considered encountering one of these as unlikely as ever meeting one of those egg-headed wide eye-socket alien beings. However....

Up, up
and away
It's more than 100 years since
the Wright Brothers. But humanity
has never stopped dreaming of flying
free like a bird

Humanity has always dreamed of flying. Leonardo da Vinci sketched out his idea for a “helical screw” flying machine in the 15th Century. But it wasn’t until Orville & Wilbur Wright made the first successful powered flight in 1903 that the dream showed signs of becoming a reality.

Future-gazing city planners always envisaged flying cars and planes - life in three dimensions. In Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World (1932) his genetically “pure” overlords rise vertically into the sky in their flying machines..........

Friday, February 09, 2018

Arty Farty Friday ~ Censorship?

Why have mildly erotic nymphs been removed from a Manchester gallery? Is Picasso next?
Jonathan Jones

I'd ask the same question! This is a Pre-Raphaelite painting by J.M. Waterhouse, depicting a tale from Greek mythology. Hylas has fallen in love with the water nymphs. He is not about to rape or sexually harass them. Where's the objection to this -it surely cannot be bare breasts? Dang, some of the gowns worn to the Golden Globe Awards showed off almost as much - and more voluptuous versions. What about Venus de Milo and countless paintings of Venus naked or nearly so? Females as sexual objects? Yep, that happens, but not in this painting. Caa-ahhm on!

I've always loved Pre-Raphaelite art, and in 2005 on my last trip to England, visited the Manchester Art Gallery specifically to see their fine collection of paintings by the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood. I looked upon this very painting then. How anyone could see it as being objectionable, I cannot imagine.

There are several archived posts touching on Pre-Raphaelite artists and their work, accessible from the Label cloud in the side bar by clicking on "Pre-Raphaelites" there.

Another, rather more understandable, censoring of a painting was under consideration on this side of the Atlantic, at the end of last year, at The Met in New York:
New Yorkers launched a petition demanding that the Metropolitan Museum of Art remove a 1938 painting of a young woman with her underwear exposed due to the “current climate around sexual assault” — but the Met refused.

The piece, “Thérèse Dreaming” by French artist Balthus, “sexualizes” the girl by depicting her lounging in a skirt with her knee up on a chair, according to the petition, which was posted on the website Care 2.

I'm not a fan of Balthus, but this is not one of his most objectionable works, at least to my eye - but then I'm a female, sight of knickers does not excite me. An archived post of mine covers Balthus here: Shock Art.

I hope that these attempts at art censorship will prove to have been isolated instances, rather than forerunners of a coming pattern. What would follow - could it be the burning of books? Unchecked, we'd then be heading for something akin to Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451.

Thursday, February 08, 2018

Modern Liberals

I seldom, these days, find political articles I can read all the way through without heaving a big sigh, or grumbling under my breath " Wha-aa--aat - you must be kidding!" Caitlin Johnstone's writings are the exception. She always, for me, exactly hits the spot. Here's a link to her latest piece, from yesterday:

Modern “Liberals” Are 1950s Authoritarians

Tuesday, February 06, 2018

Performing Sweatily ~ One of the Avant Garde

In yesterday's post I remarked that a modern movie and TV drama requirement (well, it appears to be almost a requirement - in order to get "bums on seats") is for characters to get into bed naked and perform sweatily for the camera. That reminded me of an archived post from 2009, when I wrote about a star who was one of the avant garde promoting these kinds of scenes (as well as scenes at several levels more questionable!) Here it is, followed by comments received in 2009 and 2012.

Linda Lovelace's claim to fame came from her performance in the 1970s pornographic movie "Deep Throat", a few other porn movies and her three autobiographical books.

Linda, real surname Boreman, was born on 10 January 1949 in Bronxdale, NY, at (according to Astrotheme) 6.23 am. Her father was a policeman, her mother reputedly strict, the family Roman Catholic. Linda attended Roman Catholic schools, and earned the nickname "Miss Holy Holy" - so apparently not a sexpot from an early age! However she was pregnant by age 20. Her mother had the child adopted much to Linda's dismay. She later married a violent a controlling husband who, it seems, led her to make her film debut. Wikipedia states that:

"Boreman was soon performing as Linda Lovelace in hardcore short movies. She starred in a 1971 bestiality film (titled Dogarama), and later denied appearing in the film until several of the original 8 mm "loops" proved otherwise.
In 1972, Boreman starred in Deep Throat, the most financially successful pornographic movie ever made."

She divorced her first husband, married again, had two children, and became a prominent member of the anti-porn movement. In 2002 she died in an accident, after losing control of her car.

"As the first woman to become famous purely for having sex on film, Linda Lovelace was at once a sexual fantasy for millions of men and a social pariah to millions of burgeoning feminists—until she joined their ranks with the publication of her third autobiography, Ordeal, in which she claimed she had been beaten and coerced into a life of pornography and prostitution." (Link)

Sun and Jupiter in Capricorn = sexpot? Unlikely - there's more to it!

What I'm looking for in her chart is the trigger for her pornography success, which was quite probably unsought for by her. I doubt it was her chosen profession, but she must have displayed some natural ability to achieve the success she did.

Sun and Jupiter in Capricorn lay in first house, with Mars and Mercury conjoined in Aquarius. While Capricorn isn't overtly sexy, it has a nose for business, and after her movie success Linda showed her business acumen by making sure she capitalized on her experiences by pedaling three biographies, two pro-porn, and one ("Ordeal") anti-porn.

Mercury and Mars in unconventional Aquarius loosened her strait-laced Catholic background, but cool Aquarius isn't famous for eroticism. There has to be more. Moon in Taurus - ruled by Venus - getting warmer. Venus in Sagittarius at 26 degrees, close to the Galactic Center, with Uranus in opposition to Venus from Gemini. Venus isn't usually thought to relate to pornography, it connects to art and beauty, but with unconventional Uranus opposing, I guess what passes for art and beauty here could be radically different!

Saturn in Virgo is quincunx (irritable aspect) Mars and Mercury in Aquarius - putting something of a damper on her unconventional, though reportedly forced, lifestyle, so much so that once freed from her controlling husband she did a complete about-turn as regards pornography. This reflects Saturn in Virgo coming into his own!

Uranus at 27.40 Gemini is is conjunct two Fixed Stars with unfortunate reputations:

Polaris *
The Pole Star Sickness, trouble, loss, affliction, spiritual powers 28° Gemini 34 Unfortunate Saturn/ Venus
Betelgeuse *
Orion's Right Shoulder Calamities, danger, violence 28° Gemini 45 Unfortunate Mars/ Mercury. (Link)

Millions of people were been born during the time Uranus conjoined these two stars, but not all would have the opposition to Venus and the Galactic Center which appears in Linda's chart. Her life, as recounted, contained violence, trouble and affliction, and, as we know, her relatively short life ended with a calamity.

Comments from 2009 and one from 2012

Wisewebwoman said...I've always felt compassion for such porn stars as Linda as they are virtually always coerced by pimps (who could be husbands or dealers) into such degrading performances either by their own co-dependency or some addiction. There is a distinct line between porn and erotica and none of Linda's performances came close to erotic IMHO.
Years ago I participated in a study for the film "Not a love story" which exploded the myths of the porn film industry and during the process we had to watch many of these films. It took me a long time to let go of the images, I was so sickened and appalled and could not complete the study. I was so glad when Linda set the record straight on her career. Coercion, abuse, rape and degradation.
Twilight said... WWW ~ I can understand how you felt in not completing your study - I had to abandon a couple of sites with sickening detail, (probably falsified for purposes of titillation), about Linda, when researching for this post.
Agreed that erotica and porn are two sides of one coin. Oddly erotica is often more potent the less explicit it is, porn relies on excess and excess of excess, until, for most mortals, it sickens.
In general I think anything two consenting humans decide to do, or one human alone for that matter, is fine - whatever floats their boats. I draw a big black line when it comes to force,

R Phoenix said...I used to know a guy that roomed w/Linda in Paris for a while. A lot of the lurid details surrounding her relationship with Chuck Traynor are real.
Did you run across her exploits w/Sammy Davis Jr. by any chance?
Twilight said... I recall reading something about Sammy Davis Jnr and LL, yes, but I think I was probably sickened and ready to pull down the shutters, at that point and didn't take much note of it. What I cannot understand is how she managed to stay with her 1st husband so long....I'd have been on the next train out of Dodge in short order! I wouldn't care about money or a place to live - heck - you can always get by, she had no kids to worry about. What was she doing putting up with it for so long, I ask myself. It's hard to walk a mile in anybody else's shoes though. I don't want to judge. I'd say she was quite a determined lady though, not a shrinking violet or timid woman who would be inclined to take orders. It's quite strange.

Wink Lady said... Very interesting post. I actually remember knowing many girls who admired Linda Lovelace for her "courage" and "free will." By the time Lovelace wrote her book, many of those girls had matured and left those thoughts behind. It's too bad she didn't have the "courage" and "free will" to come out and expressly admit how her pornography career began while she was still relevant in popular culture.
Twilight: Hello! Thanks for commenting, and you're so right!

anthonynorth said...It seems to be often the case that, the stricter the upbringing, the more liberal the values that come from the rebellion.
Twilight: Yes, that's something I almost wrote myself in the post.It has become almost a cliche that Roman Catholic schoolgirls were (are?) the wildest of all. :-) It's as though the tighter they are held in check, the farther the trajectory when they are freed!

Dunyazade said...You know, when I saw the chart, I thought:Ah, that explains it! Scorpio (sex) South Node ruled by Pluto (sex) in the 8th (and some more sex); plus North Node in Taurus (sex), ruled by 12th house Venus. I also noticed that voluptuos (sp) Taurus Moon in the 5th...Anyway, I'm still learning.
Twilight said...Yes, there's the Taurus/Scorpio element there alright. She had to have a natural ability, or inclination to do what she did, otherwise she just could not have done it at all, let alone done it with the success she experienced. It's her complete turn-around which I find so interesting. :-)

Anonymous said...(in 2012)
I'm a fan of astrological analysis..
I'd like to thank the original author for his summary of Linda's early life, though.
Her catholic background (where sex is ritually forbidden), strict parents (a policeman is known for discipline) must be the root of her explosive sexuality.
Sexual repression leads to explosive sexual reactions.
Her claims were serious after she left the porn industry, but from memory were discounted in court due to the films themselves. No physical cohersion is evident.
She appears to suffer from nymphomania, which despite popular myth, is a frightening combination of cloying emotional need and the use of sex as a manipulative act.
Regards, NB.
Twilight said...
Anonymous/NB: Thanks for stopping by and commenting. I agree with all the points you've made. Sexual repression must be at root of a lot of later problems, some similar to LL's and some quite different.

There's a post mentioning the movie about Linda Lovelace too.