Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Child Care

MARS IN CANCER
The combination of the most passionate planet, Mars, in the nurturing sign of Cancer is going to show an increase in mothering instincts and critical natures. This may seem like a contradiction, but looking to our own mothers, they were probably the most nurturing and critical influences in our lives. Keep in mind that people are looking out for your best interest and not intending to shoot you down.

I've noticed an odd trend through my nights at work. As I work until midnight or 1am, I end up taking the bus across town, no easy feat when the bus tends to take forever just to arrive. That being said, while I stand there awaiting the bus, I notice an unbelievable amount of children, especially ages six and younger. They're on the street and on the bus. Okay, they're not random children wandering the streets of New York; this is hardly a production of Oliver! or anything. They're usually accompanied by an adult, but still, what in the world are children doing out in New York until 1am? I'm watching them fall asleep on the bus. They have to be carried off the bus and taken home.

There was even an incident at my place of work where, during a performance, the sister-in-law of one of the performers showed up with a gaggle of children. While he was onstage, she dropped them off, said they were his responsibility and left. We had a number of young children with nowhere to go and no one to look after them. Who does that?

Honestly, do we care about our children anymore? As my mother always said, "You didn't come with an instruction manual." Still, aren't there certain ideas that just seem like common sense? I realize that there are extenuating circumstances that might require one to bend things for children every so often, but they shouldn't be the norm.

I believe the children are our future. Teach them well, but don't let them lead the way because if they have their way, they'll stay up late!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Radio Debut!

MARS IN GEMINI
Gemini, the sign of communication, is playing host to Mars, planet of ambition. People will be developing a stronger and more passionate method of communication. Arguments may develop (Mars was the Roman god of war), so be careful.

I have the distinct honor and privilege of being Mark David Gerson's guest on his blogtalkradio show: The Muse and You. Details are as follows:

Show time:
12 Central (1pm ET / 10am PT)

Call-in #: 646-595-4478

All friends are welcome to call in (same number as you'll be using) with questions. If you have a blogtalk radio account, you can also log in and ask questions through the chat room. Listeners can also tweet their questions (@markdavidgerson.com); he will be monitoring his feed throughout the show.

Information on Mark David:

Mark David Gerson is an internationally recognized author, speaker, mentor and coach whose inspirational writings are read in more than two dozen countries.

Through more than 15 years of classes, workshops, coaching and consulting, Mark David has guided groups and individuals to connect with their innate wisdom, open to their creative power and express themselves with ease.

Poets and playwrights, novelists and educators, amateurs and professionals, people who don't believe they can write and people with a compelling call to write — all have benefited from working with him, as have nonwriters seeking to move through life's challenges and awaken to their highest potential.

Mark David is author of the award-winning novel, The MoonQuest: A True Fantasy, and of The Voice of the Muse: Answering the Call to Write, a book and companion 2-CD set of writing inspiration, instruction and practice.

He recently completed a screenplay adaptation of The MoonQuest and is at work on the first of two projected sequels to the book.

Hope you tune in! Looking forward to hearing from you!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Revival

URANUS IN PISCES
Uranus, planet of eccentricity, appears to be going backwards (retrograde) through the sign of illusion and spirituality: Pisces. We may see a revival of faith in a unique way. With faith as such a personal aspect of life, it may not be revealed so overtly, but a chance conversation may open unusual doors.

Speaking of unusual doors, I slipping behind one last night into another world. I was present at what turned into a full gospel revival. For those who have read previous posts, you may be asking yourself, "Why would you attend such an event?" Well, I was actually working the event as a server, so I wasn't quite there as a guest. However, I wish I had had a notebook for the night. There were so many moments that I lost due to lack of note-taking.

Growing up in the Jewish religion, and not incredibly observant, I have had rare religious experiences that approach the level of last night. There was one instance in Indiana where I went with friends to their church. They were so excited about it that I couldn't resist. It was fascinating and somewhat uncomfortable. I have to admit that it felt a little cult-esque.

Last night, however, was a truly new experience. The stage was set for all kinds of performances and they appeared. There was an opening benediction and a few prayers that went with that. Everything was blessed in the name of Jesus and every song was dedicated to the Lord. There were Jesus songs, Jesus poems, Jesus comedy. People everywhere were praying, laughing, dancing, stomping, singing, crying. The entire room was filled with "a joyful noise," a cacophony I had never witnessed. My customers were in various stages of zeal. I saw a man dressed completely in pink pajamas dancing across from a 6'5, 350 lb. man, stomping and clapping.

It was complete immersion into another culture. I felt like Alice in Wonderland, where all of the rules are different, and you're trying to find your way. Everything made sense to those who knew the rules. It was incredible to see the bond people have with each other, almost tangible faith.

Definitely a night to open the mind and take a walk in someone else's shoes...or on water.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Twisted

NEPTUNE IN AQUARIUS (RETROGRADE)
Planet of illusion, Neptune travels seemingly backwards through Aquarius, the sign of originality and eccentricity. Unusual experiences may occur in unexpected ways. Twists and turns of life shall surprise, sometimes delighting and sometimes depressing, but all surprise.

Illusion and twist is a fascinating part of human existence. We are fascinated by it. We crave it. We are seek it out: in books, in movies, in television. We are not always happy to see it in life, but we are conditioned to expect it. Things are not always what they seem. Humans rely on such and often are able to tell that something is up. It's called a sixth sense.

Speaking of sixth sense, I'm currently watching A.I.: Artificial Intelligence, starring Haley Joel Osment. I had never seen it before today. It's terribly frightening and the fascinating, not just because of the development of film-making progress used in this movie, but because of the study of human existence. Still, what captures me the most is how terrifying Haley Joel Osment's character is, though I don't believe he's meant to be. Let's face it, the kid was cute as a kid, though he has not aged well. There is nothing more disturbing than something that seems innocuous, but presents itself as much more in practice. Granted, the movie itself is supposed to be disturbing, but there is a further element in that this seeming child is, in actuality, a robot, and to see child-like reactions from a creature that is not a child strikes a minor chord in our brains.

We see this representation in numerous books and movies. The scariest enemy is the most innocent one. As I've always maintained, there is nothing that sets the searing rush of fear through my chest as a child singing a nursery rhyme in a darkened hall. Horror writers have used children for countless stories. Things associated with children have played major parts in such tales: dolls, clowns, toys. Stronger than a fear of the unknown, it is the finding of something unknown within the familiar. There is excitement and apprehension involved in the discovery of new information. We find it intoxicating. And so, no matter how many times it may hurt, there is always the possibility of it being something amazing. So we search again.

Just be ready for the twist.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Exercise Connection

MARS IN THE 2ND HOUSE
The fighter planet, Mars, blasts its way through the 2nd House, the House of Physicality. Drive and sexuality, rooted in the physical body, pushes us to discover our limits and possibly expand them.

Speaking of pushing physical limits, I've expanded mine by embarking on a new journey at my gym. Usually, I go to the gym to do cardio with a friend of mine or make a well-intentioned attempt at free weights. Sadly, though, I don't have a great deal of experience or background in exercise (unless you count dance class). Therefore, I don't know when to up the reps, the sets, or the weights. However, I do find that cardio is very beneficial and though I don't completely understand the numbers, it's nice to know that I burned 300-500 calories, depending on the session, of course.

Recently, though, I decided that I have been missing out on a huge section of the gym membership: free classes. Now, in the past, I've gone to dance class at Broadway Dance Center or some equivalent, but I simply can't afford daily classes. Fortunately, my gym offers free classes in yoga, strength training, spinning, power dance, etc. To some, that may sound like absolute misery, but I am attempting each class in hopes of toning up with instruction. Some, like spinning, leave me completely drained afterwards. Strength training taught me that I have none. Power dance proved to me that I should never attempt to hip hop. Yoga stretched me - something I needed after taking spinning, strength training, and power dance.

There is an interesting phenomenon I have noticed in my gym experiences. When I work on the free weights, I seem to be mostly, though not exclusively, surrounded by men. Don't get me wrong - I'm not complaining. Yet, the second that I set foot in a class - be it yoga, strength training, or dance - the class is overwhelmingly female. Spinning evens the score a bit, but since starting the other classes, I have been the only guy in each and every class. Brings me back to middle school days of taking ballet. Years of that can prepare a guy for being the lonesome Y-chromosome member, but somehow, I figured the New York sports scene would boast a different ratio.

Why is this? Are men (in general - careful, now, I'm not making blanket statements) more independent when it comes to working out and women prefer a bit of direction? Obviously, our body types are different and need different types of workouts. Still, do we gravitate towards what will help us the most? What is easiest for us? Why this gender divide with regard to exercise? I think each gender uses the gym as a metaphor for taking control and in their own way, each enjoys the benefit of support. Women find an obvious connection with others through formalized class; men find this connection by surrounding themselves with like-acting individuals. Either way, the bond is formed and more than endorphins, that connection creates more good feeling for when one leaves the gym. It also keeps us coming back. That's why they say having a gym buddy keeps you going.

I know I will keep going. Class dismissed.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Wedded Bliss

SUN IN LEO
The basic planet of warmth is in its ruled sign, Leo, the sign of drama and creativity. This is when the bombasticism of life comes out in spades and people show their more domineering and aggressive sides. This is also when we see the more entertaining elements of life come to the forefront. Additionally, the sun is in the 7th House, the house of partnerships. Creativity and dramatics abound in our relationships such that we might see flare ups and passionate resolutions.

This past weekend, I attended my third wedding of this year. (There are seven in total. Hmmm, seven weddings, 7th house is the house of partnerships...and 2009=2 numerologically. Gotta love synchronicity.) This wedding was slightly different from the others. Well, all weddings are different, of course, but this had an added element of being my first lesbian wedding. Not only that, but an interfaith wedding on top of that - Jewish/Christian. Strangely enough, that seems to be a theme this year. Third wedding, and all three so far have been Jewish/Christian weddings. However, where the first two were Jewish/Italian, this one was Jewish/German.

It was a beautiful ceremony and very much tailored to the interests of the brides. It took place in a synagogue (somewhere I haven't been in forever), under a homemade chuppah. The chuppah was created through the efforts of friends. Each guest was given a square of fabric to design in any way that they saw fit (within reason, of course) and they were sewn together to create the chuppah. The music was chosen by the brides and it was untraditional and very poignant. I don't think I've cried so much at a ceremony in my life. (Yeah, I'm sensitive.) They kept my favorite Jewish tradition: the breaking of the glass at the end. My favorite explanation of this tradition is that love will last as long as it takes to put the myriad of pieces back together.

There was another cup used in the ceremony: the German wedding cup. Here is the tale as written in the program:

Legend says a young noblewoman fell in love with a goldsmith. Her father, who did not approve of the marriage, made the following proposal: "If your goldsmith can make a chalice from which two people can drink at the same time without spilling one single drop, you may marry him." Inspired by love and with skillful hands, the young goldsmith created a masterpiece which owon his beloved's hand in marriage.

The German wedding cup that the brides used was also used for the wedding of the brother of one bride. It was a lovely tradition that connected the family to the ceremony. While the brides were the focus of the wedding, of course, they made sure their friends and family shared a large part of the day. We all felt included in this public declaration of love. It was unique and powerful and I am happy to have been a part of it.

More weddings to come.

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