Friday, July 29, 2016

Letters To Saturn: Making an Impression

Dear Saturn,

Your last letter left me unimpressed and a little annoyed. I can appreciate the whole "world gone mad" thing because I think that's true myself. I also enjoy writing in pencil from time to time, although less so because of my so-called "serial killer handwriting"--my beloved wife's words, not mine, of course. But what I did not expect is the shade you threw my way about hurting your precious reputation.

My desire is to educate, and I don't hesitate to tell people the truth. Yes, you can be a total prick. Yes, you can ruin the lives of many at least temporarily. Yes, the ancients thought you were an unmitigated, depression-inducing, authority-driven, limitation-having pain in the balls. And even in spite of your attitude, I do try to work with you as best I can. So what do you do? Travel the world wondering how badly I might have trashed you?

You make no bones about taking me to task, but as one of your chosen, let me do you the courtesy and dignity of doing the same.

You are the one who is supposed to keep shit from happening. You're the one who is supposed to impose control of the lives of others. These days, I do not see much of it, and I lay this on the ground at your feet and at the feet of your malefic motherfucking brother, Mars. Don't think I don't see that you two are coming together in a few weeks. That's a truly horrific combination, and it makes it incredibly challenging to find dates in August and September when people can do things. Nobody wants to be around you two. Hell, no one wants to be around either of you alone, but at least Mars gets shit done in a timely fashion. Yes, your ways are much more "dignified", and you don't break shit, but timeliness is not your strong suit.

I have been especially careful not to bash you for several months, and this is the thanks I get? You should know better than to fuck with me, Old Man. See you when you get back. Hopefully you will have also returned to your senses!

Yours Truly,


Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Meeting of the Astrological Minds: The Outer Planets Meet Again!

Neptune: Hi Urnie! What's going on?

Uranus: Nep! It's great to see you! What gender are you identifying as these days?

Neptune: Who knows? I can hardly keep up. It depends on what vibe I'm getting that day.

Pluto: Dude, you can be over there connecting with the all but what the fuck are the rest of us--read: me--doing here?

Uranus: Self-promotion, Pluto.

Pluto: Come on! Not this shit again. I'm more into self-destruction!

Neptune: Yeah. Heavy. Like, I totally feel you, Pluto.

Pluto: For the last fucking time, no, you don't "feel me", you delusional hermaphrodite hippie! For fuck's sake, I AM PLUTONIUM, DAMMIT!

Neptune: [GASP] That's mean! I'm just trying to be nice! You couldn't have any possible idea of how I feel! And what's wrong with hippies?

Uranus: Neptune, don't let him bother you! Pluto, I'm not talking about hostile takeovers or anything.

Pluto: Well, shit! Then I go back to "Why the fuck am I here?"

Uranus: People don't get us, Pluto. And this time, our intrepid blogger friend is not helping.

Pluto: Don't fuck with John, Urnie. I told you that before. He's one of mine. Do you fucking listen?

Uranus: I do, but can't you see how he's causing problems for us? Or do you not want to see it?

Pluto: He doesn't ignore us, Uranus. We just don't get to rule signs in his world. That doesn't mean we're not important.

Uranus: On the contrary, my nuclear brother! He's taken that from all of us. Don't you want it back? And you SAY he's one of your people, Pluto, but does HE feel the same way about you?

Pluto: I've known this kid a long time. Have you seen him lose his temper? He's mine, all right. I'm not foolish enough to think he's ALL mine--my name isn't Saturn or Mars, after all--but my influence is being felt in his life right now. I've been playing ping pong with his rising sign over the past few years, and his employment situation keeps changing. So he might not belong to me all the time, but I'm working it there. What's your damage?

Uranus: I liked being the planetary ruler for Aquarians. I did. And until 5-6 years ago, John believed I was their ruler, too. Now...not so much. And time marches on and all, but I've gotta wonder if there's a way to get him back on our side. He has students he can influence!

Neptune: John never left our "side", Urnie. You just don't have as much influence, or so you think. But influence is an illusion; I'll be the first here to tell you that.

Uranus: It's just that I get the urge to rebel, to push back! Why should we accept the status quo? We need to have more influence and make our lives better!

Pluto: Look, John's evolved over the years, which is my territory. He's interested in a lot of cutting edge stuff, and he's an astrologer, which is your territory, Urnie. And we've seen that when he puts his mind to it, he can be creative, and he's also a psychic, which Nep handles. Check out his Erin Condren planner and you can see it for yourself. But I don't think you're going to get anywhere with this. John is many things, but when his mind is made up, it's made up. You're important, but you're not a sign ruler in John's world.

Uranus: I guess you're right, Pluto. It's just hard for me to accept where I am; it's not in me to give up.

Pluto: No, and you shouldn't ever give up. But do what I do: Have your meltdown and make some changes. Then see how the shit comes down.

Neptune: And maybe some meditation!

Pluto: Fuck that shit, Neptune. OBLITERATION is the best feeling in the world. I'm an obliterator, and I wish more people embraced me.

Neptune: Hmmm. Embrace you, huh? I guess you don't do yoga, Pluto? No sun salutation? Reiki? How about a little feng shui? Sun gazing? Journaling? A private moment for reflection? Anything at all?

Pluto: None of that horseshit! No. No fucking kale or caffeine colonics. No seaweed wraps or fucking hot stones. None of that free range, bohemian, connecting with the Divine, fair trade, save the seals, kum-ba-yah singing songs and drum circles fucking bullshit!

Neptune: You'd be so much less enraged if you did, Pluto, and more people might embrace your influence. Tell you what, though...I'll send some positive thoughts your way. I've got more suggestions on my phone. [goes into next room]

Pluto: [To Neptune, in a low voice] Stick your thoughts and prayers up your ass, dipshit. [To Uranus] Are we done here?

Urnie: Yup, I guess this meeting is over. Come on. I'm buying the first round.

Pluto: Urnie, "mineral water" doesn't count. But since I don't want to shell out money for drinks, I'll do what I normally do: Tell Neptune it's his or her or its turn to pay, whatever the fuck he/she/it calls him/her/itself at this given moment in time, precious as it is. And then Neptune pays, and I conveniently forget it's my turn and do the same thing next time since he/she/it assumes I'm right and won't question it just to be polite! Watch how well this works. [Raising voice] I paid last time, Nep!

Neptune: [From the next room] Well then i
t's my turn to treat, I guess. Zombies for everyone! Let's go! 

Uranus: [To Pluto] You're kind of a dick.

Pluto: [To Uranus] Yeah, but you still kind of admire me.

Uranus: [PAUSE] [whispers] I'll never admit it publicly, but maybe occasionally. [To Neptune, loudly] Can't wait!

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Saturn: Dispatches From Retrograde

Dear John,

I figured I'd send along a letter during my retrograde trip. While I won't presume that you are "missing" me or my influence, it's just common courtesy to let my people know what I'm doing.

Being out here in the world, I've become convinced that the world has gone mad. If Mars were here, he'd probably say everyone is "whack," if I used the current vernacular, but I leave such plebian phrases to him and Mercury, who I'd call a half-wit if he weren't so damn smart. 

No one seems to have the most basic of respect for anyone else anymore, and that pains me. No one appears to have any sense of proper boundaries. I'm sure if I was on social media more, I'd feel that to a greater extent. As it is, I only use Quora, and only to answer questions about Saturn, of which there are sadly not that many. 

By the way, I'm happy for you that Quora lists you as one of the top ten "Sun Sign" experts on the site, but I expect you spend a lot of time telling people why they would or wouldn't get along with a given sign. There's so much more than that; the Sun sign is only the introduction of an enormous tome. They could just pick a sign at random and go with it, or they could just get to know the person. It seems like we don't do that anymore, either.

I've had one or two people ask what I'm doing, or look at what I'm writing, in my travels, but since most people can't read cursive, my dispatches back to HQ may as well be in Cantonese or Twi. At least I can claim all the postage on my travel voucher; I sometimes forget how much I enjoy the simple pleasure of putting pencil to paper.

Anyway, I hope that you're taking this time away from me to take a serious look at your life and make some changes. 

I also fervently hope you're not running around with your phone out like an idiot! Several people have nearly run me down trying playing, I guess you'd call it. Sounds like absolute chaos to me! People dashing to and fro, "catching" imaginary "monsters" to fight them in imaginary "gyms" and take them over for their "team"? RIDICULOUS!

At least when you play your games there's sometimes--let me stress the "sometimes"!--something to be learned. I'm guessing by now that Offworld Trading Company has been kicking your behind. Good! That will teach you to wile away the hours colonizing Mars. 

And of all the planets to pick, you had to go to the brute! You people have some kind of weird, sick love affair with that bully of a planet that I just don't understand. He's loud, he's rude, and lacks the decency and manners of the common dog. 

Even given your propensity for wasting time, I'm glad you're at least limiting your silliness and frivolity to a home computer where no one can see you, and not running around like some empty-headed moron wasting time flocking to historical landmarks catching bizarre creatures. 

Speaking of your home computer, I've seen your office...hope you're doing some work in there, too, because my sources told me before I left that you needed to declutter in the worst way. How can you operate a business efficiently in that mess? This is a reminder to take care of it, post haste.

I hope you've taken the time to take some pot shots at me in my absence. I'm pretty cut off when I'm in retrograde and I only write in my reports to the Sun on paper. So I don't take the time to read your prose while I'm away. I'm sure you expect that by now. I guess I'll find out when I return how much damage you've caused to my reputation. 

I think that's all for the time being. You may now return to your likely underhanded attempts to be the most profitable company on Mars. Just because your opponents want to stoop to the level of cyber attacks, inciting worker strikes, and setting off nuclear bombs underground to limit access to natural resources doesn't mean you should do it, too. Win with honor, or don't bother. Actually, don't bother. 

I look forward to seeing you in a few weeks. 

Very truly yours,


Friday, July 22, 2016

Meeting of the Astrological Minds: Mars In Scorpio Intensity

Sun: Welcome back, everyone! I hope you're enjoying the summer. It's been a rough one so far, so let's get right to it. Mars?

Mars: I'm in the last degrees of Scorpio now, sir, and everyone knows that those degrees are either ruled by the Old Man, or by me. Not that I miss the miserable old fucker, because I don't...but when is he going direct again?

Sun: Mid-August, young man. But let's not change the subject. Can you explain the spike in violence we've seen?

Mars: I just said it, sir...these last degrees of Scorpio are a shit show for me. What the fuck do you expect? And Why not ask Pluto? He's a Scorpio ruler too. Why point the finger at me?

Pluto: Big muscle girly man over there can't take a little heat? HAHAHA! I'm stunned over here...really I am.

Sun: While this was another unsuccessful attempt to start yet another conflict, Mars...your point is well taken.

Pluto: And your actual point is...?

Sun: Do you have any explanation for all of this craziness, Pluto?

Pluto: I'm a do or die kind of planet, sir, but heavier on the "die", if you get my drift. I'm sitting in Cappie right now, so the Old Man is giving me fits. He's not even direct right now, but a lot of the angst is government/authority stuff. Typical Capricorn bullshit. So glad I'm not him.

Jupiter: Look, what I think what my colleagues fail to realize is that when anyone's takes an ideology too far, people can decide that violence is justified to further the ideas.  I think that's where we are now. I wish we weren't there, but it is what it is. 

Venus: I agree with Jupiter. People seem less willing to get along, and that's a bad thing. It's been a contentious year and I hope it smoothes out, and I'm trying to stay hopeful, but I don't expect it.

Mars: KICKASS! Bitches are riding with me, baby! They're handling conflict in a TOTALLY PRIMAL WAY...with metal weapons!

Mercury: Based on what's happening these days, that's not a statistic I'd be citing, Mars.

Mars: Come on, fact boy! In English, por favor?

Mercury:  I know barbarian Neanderthals didn't exist, but if they did, Mars...

Mars: YEAH?? Go on, you little shit!

Mercury: [SIGH] It's not worth it. Why should I even bother with this vulgarian?

Sun: Actually, Mercury, you probably shouldn't. I'm figuring we should probably table this meeting until Saturn gets back. That way we won't have to repeat ourselves.

Moon: And speaking of repeating ourselves... 

[The door opens, and Neptune walks in]

Neptune: Sorry I'm late, good people! What did I miss?

Mars: Oh, nothing, Nep...just the entire meeting, that's all! Moron! 

Neptune: Damn, I'm sorry!

Sun: No need for pissiness, Mars. Luna, is there anything else that can't wait for Saturn's direct motion?

Moon: [pages through Erin Condren planner] Nothing that I can see, sir. And our startling lack of productivity ensures that there are no notes to share with you, Neptune. [BEAMS]

Sun: And with that, we're adjourned. See you in a few weeks. Thankfully, Mars, you'll be in Sag by then and perhaps in a less aggressive frame of mind.

Monday, July 4, 2016

The Sun Also Rises: Working Independently

[Mars walks into the Sun's office suite]

Mars: Sir...are you here?

Sun: [SIGH] Yes, Mars, I'm here. You may as well come on back.

[Mars enters the Sun's office]

Mars: Sorry to bug you, sir...

Sun: It's OK, Mars. I'm here, but I'm not getting much done. You?

Mars: Well, now that I'm moving forward again I feel pretty fucking great! 

Sun: How was your time off?

Mars: Kind of rough, sir. Paris got seriously flooded.

Sun: Yes, I saw that! Did you manage OK?

Mars: Yeah, I spent some time outside the city and then got back in time to grab some of the Euro 2016 matches. Gotta admit those Frogs are kicking ass and taking names!

Sun: I was glad to see them end Iceland's Cinderella story. But what happened to the Brits?

Mars: Dude, that place is going nuts. They lose to an island even smaller than theirs, and then they decide to get the fuck out of the EU? I don't follow all that political bullshit, but it sounds crazy. Soccer-wise, though, they have some serious work to do. If you can't score goals, you're not going to win...simple as that. 

Sun: I hear you. Saturn has been writing me like crazy about the political stuff. I'm going over some of his reports on the Brexit now. He's not exactly optimistic about what's going on there, and his handwritten reports are hard to read in mechanical pencil.

Mars: No disrespect, sir, but what the fuck do you expect from the Old Man? 

Sun: Fair enough, Mars. [PAUSE] I hate to kick you out, but I've been in Orlando, and the paperwork has piled up...

Mars: No problem, sir. I gotta jet. I'm helping John out today, anyway.

Sun: Oh? He's not working today, is he?

Mars: No! He went and worked out this morning and this afternoon he's going to attack a new situation, and he needs my motivation. Merc's going to be there, too.

Sun: [arches eyebrows] What are you two getting up to?

Mars: Sir, John's trying to cast an astrological chart by hand. I'm helping with the drive, it being a holiday and all, and Mercury's helping with the calculations. 

Sun: WOW. I remember when astrologers had to do it that way all the time, before the dawn of computers. What a bitch and a half.

Mars: Yeah, he fucked up all the houses on this one he did last night. But you'll be happy to know he got all of us in the right places at least, including Lady Moon. 

Sun: That's pretty good for a first attempt, though. Finding those house cusps can be tricky. 

Mars: Merc's helping him with those. My math skills are...well, they're just not. But at least I can cheer at the right moments. 

Sun: Well, I never knew John as a masochist, but if he wants to do it, then I hope he's successful. 

Mars: That boy is a stubborn bastard, sir. We'll make sure he gets it. Eventually. Well, I'm off like a prom dress. Have a great day working! AMERICA FUCK YEAH!

Sun: Thanks, Mars! America fuck yeah, indeed.