Gemini Spurts to the Top

THIS JUST IN FROM ZODIOLYMPICS.COM

Team Gemini rode a strong showing at the PyeongChang winter games on Feb. 16, climbing to the top spot in the exclusive ZodiOlympics ranking.

Gemini collected five medals – two gold, a silver and two bronze – that brought its cumulative total to 23. On a weighted basis, Gemini leads the league table with 48 points, five ahead of Aquarius, which also ranked second on medal count.

Aires had been at the top of the ranking for several days but seems to be losing its mojo. The sign of the ram won zilch in the most recent day of competition, perhaps reflecting its moodiness and short-tempered nature. Its big haul came back on Feb. 12, when Aires raked in a dozen medals thanks largely to a strong showing in team figure skating, where dozens of awards were given.

Aquarius and Virgo have done well the past few days. Although the shy virgins are still on the outside looking in with 16 points, they ranked fifth on a weighted basis.

Congrats to Aquarius gold-winners Mattias Mayer (Men’s Super-G) and Sungbin Yun (men’s luge skeleton).

FOLLOW ALL THE ACTION AT WWW.ZODIOLYMPICS.COM

 

ZodiOlympics has its own website

Check out daily updates on which astrological signs are scoring bigly at the PyeongChang winter games.

http://zodiolympics.com

Here’s the Feb. 14 update:

Valentine’s Day was special for Team Gemini, which scooped up 11 of the 30 medals awarded at the PyeongChang Winter Games.

The big haul lifted Gemini into second place in the cumulative standings based on the birth month of Olympic medal winners.

Thought of as gentle, curious and uncomfortable being alone, the Gemini appropriately picked up six of their 11 Valentine’s Day medals in luge doubles. Social commentators can draw their only conclusions about the fact that it was luge doubles for men. Do they have mixed luge doubles?

Well, they should.

As further proof of the scientific validity of the ZodiOlympic thesis, the co-winners of the men’s luge double are both named Tobias, though Mr. Wendl (right) is 14 days younger than Mr. Arlt (left). But who has the better beard?

 

 

ZodiOlympics Day 2 Update: Pisces Breaks Through

The sign of two fishes scored its first ZodiOlympic wins with two golds and a silver in the second day of competition.

Biathaloner Amd Peiffer and X-countryman Simen Krueger won gold for the Pisces, which tied with Leo for the top score in weighted points for the day.

Their heroic victories put the Pisces — also the sign of the ZodiOlympics founder and chief statistician — in a three-way tie for fith place on a cumulative basis.

Cancer and Aires are tied for first with five total medals after two days.

On a metallurgically-weighted basis, Cancer (11) and Leo (10) are at the top of the heap.

The ZodiOlympics tracks medal wins based on the birthday of the olympians. It’s provided as a free service by the Glimpse Foundation.

Results from first day of the ZodiOlympics

The Aries have sprinted out to the early lead, collecting four medals on the first day of the ZodiOlympics.

That’s one more than Sagittarius and Cancer.  Five other signs have picked up one each, while four signs are still shooting blanks.

On a medal weighted basis, Cancer has seven points, with a gold in women’s cross-country sking and two men’s silvers in speed skating and ski-jumping. The weights are three points for gold, two for silver, one for bronze.

The ZodiOlympics is a free service from The Glimpse that strips the quadrennial pageant of nationalism to group the achievements of the athletes according to the more godly and scientific categories of astrological signs.

https://www.facebook.com/GlimpseFoundation

Missing the Moby Dick Marathon

The New Bedford Whaling Museum sponsors a great Moby-Dick read-a-thon in early January every year. I went in 2017 for the first time. Took an overnight Amtrak from Washington, DC, to Providence, RI. Hiked around the city in the wee hours looking for Little Free Libraries where I could leave copies of AutoFlick. [This was my Johnny Appleseed guerilla marketing campaign.]

When I got to the Peter Pan bus depot, they were cancelling busses left and right because a heavy snow storm was bearing down on the area. My bus to New Bedford was the last one out. I honestly wondered how I was going to get back. There were only four of us on the bus. Including the driver.

It started snowing on the ride there and was accumulating pretty good when we got to New Bedford. A blizzard, really. Went to the museum, a marvelous place. The reading started at noon in the huge hall where they have a replica 19th century whaling ship. Some distant relative of Melville starts the thing off.

Across the street in the driving snow to the seaman’s chapel, site of a chapter in Moby-Dick and a place Melville went to church. Back to the museum. Reading along in my heavily annotated copy of Moby, the one made famous by Rockwell Kent images. Lunch in a little Portuguese café. Snow up over the ankles. The read-a-thon plowing on.

As the sun sets, I’m losing speed … hadn’t gotten much sleep on the train. All the restaurants in town are closed. Went to my motel and ordered Chinese take-out. I had to buy stuff I didn’t want just to meet the $10 takeout minimum. Snow getting close to knee level, and the wind blowing hard. I listened to the readathon on my iPad; it’s webcast, although the streaming continuity is a little spurty.

The takeout wasn’t very good. I hung in there on the webcast until midnight but finally drifted away.

Nice complementary breakfast in the motel and then back to the museum for the last five hours of reading. The hardcore are in sleeping bags on the floor. The harbor is covered in snow. An exciting rush through the final chapters. The crowd grows steadily as the morning rolls along.  In the end, the Pequod sinks, as it always does. A hurried walk back to the bus station, where the first bus running after the blizzard takes me back to Providence and then Amtrak home.

I signed up as a reader for this year’s read-a-thon and then had second thoughts about the long train and bus rides and backed out. At the last minute, the area got whacked again by a snowstorm — this one came a day earlier (Friday) and kept many people from getting there. In 2017, most of the people were already in New Bedford when the storm hit.

I listened to this year’s reading on the webcast, kicking myself for not going.

November 2, 2002

We gently placed Martine on the bow seat. There was nothing to really secure him there, so Lee put his employer’s hands on the gunwales and looked at me.

“That should work,” I said.

“I run with you,” he answered. I took this to mean that the former long-distance runner for the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea would more or less keep pace with us by running along the canal towpath.

But before he left, Lee lit a cigar and put it in Martine’s lips.

I grabbed the tow line at the bow and walked backward into the water, sliding the canoe down the gravel until it floated free. It was badly unbalanced until I clamored into the stern.

And so I began paddling upstream into the negligible current of the Delaware River, with the wasted, smoking shell of my friend Vic Martine uncertainly perched in the bow of our family’s canoe, north toward the mountains where men and mules had dug anthracite out of the rocks and shipped it downstream on the canal so genteel folks could light their parlors and heat their homes.

After a bit of paddling, I paused and reached fore, taking the joint from Martine’s face and indulged myself in a puff before throwing it into the river, thinking that I would spend my newfound inheritance in Intel Corp. to take Elizabeth on a long sea cruise aimed at true love.

October 24, 2002

On my way out of the van, I grabbed the package Lee had given me the day before. When I got to my desk, I unwrapped it and found a dog-eared, clothbound book entitled “Handbook for the Therapeutic Use of Lysergic Acid Diethylamide-25. Individual and Group Procedures.” On the inside of the front cover Uncle James had written his name and an address in Vancouver, British Columbia.

I was so happy to have something of his in my hands that it took a moment for me to realize that this had come from Martine’s house. In halting increments of understanding, I realized. They must. Have known. Each other.

The text was heavily annotated; Jimmy underlined all over the place and commented profusely in the margins—using diverse pens and pencils. It had the look of a journal that had been referred to often and annotated over a long period of time.

It was a manual for LSD research. The authors laid out guidelines they had developed through their own work and the work of others for using the drug in psychological and psychiatric therapy. I pictured Uncle James with a white lab coat and this handbook stuffed in the pocket, watching patients rocket around inside their brains, pulling a pencil from behind his ear to scribble something he thought was important.

Jimmy had underlined a passage describing the necessity for a patient to understand that his present state is inadequate and then summon the strength to get through “the difficult and painful process of coming to understand and accept himself.”

Ain’t that the truth.

James had underlined a sentence stating that the therapist cannot do these things for the patient. In the margin, he wrote, “so don’t even try.”

The authors thought there was an underlying factor that would explain the range of experiences people had from the drug. But they acknowledged that, as of 1959, they hadn’t yet come up with an explanation. They thought it had something to do with self-acceptance and the willingness to surrender it.

The LSD manual described six levels of experience with the drug, and James had jotted down initials and dates alongside these descriptions that may have referred to actual sessions he had attended. The sixth level described a richer interpretation of reality and the feeling of complete accord with it.

In the margin, James had written “light.” In myth class, we had discussed the theory that the Eleusian mystery religion of the Greeks, practiced for some 2,000 years, was facilitated by an ergot-infused drink, basically, wine laced with “natural” LSD. On my misguided little trip with Evelyn, I had not stumbled across anything remotely like an epiphany, but that didn’t necessarily mean there hadn’t been one there. Perhaps I was just too damn inexperienced to know one when I saw it. I was neither baptized nor christened, and I didn’t have a college degree. On the plus side, I had a bunch of merit badges and had at least been wedded under the watchful gaze of the holy ghost.

October 18, 2002

 

My dad, Isaac Yardley, said I should write down any cigarette throws that happen when he’s not around. For the past few days, he hasn’t been around much. He says he’s spending time at the houseboat because he can think better there and he’s got some paper to write for his anthropology class. My mom says Dad has some stuff to work out. I didn’t ask her about it, so maybe she had to say it. She took me to meeting last Sunday and most days she has been picking me up from school.

Mom and me were riding home from school when I saw somebody smoking a cigarette in a white car in front of us. Dad knows all about car models because he’s been watching traffic for 30 years or something like that, and he and my grandfather, who I never met, had this thing about catching people throwing cigarettes. I don’t know anything about cars and don’t plan to.

Anyway, I asked Mom if she would follow the car with the smoker. I had to tell her about the research project, which was news to her. So we followed the white car and it seemed to take a long time for the driver to finish smoking. But Mom kept after him and I could tell she was getting into the chase, and I realized how much I missed Dad. He has harpoons stuck in a bunch of us, and I thought how much he must miss his father.

The white car gave us the slip, and we never saw the cigarette fly into the street. I wish I could say what it looked like and what it represented in the evolution of car design, but they all look the same to me. Mom seemed bummed about it, but I told her that was all part of the research. We have to take the negative results along with the positive.

Because we were in Mom’s car, I had to write this down on a scrap of discarded script from the musical.

 

 

October 19, 2002

Elizabeth was not amused when I came home very late that night from the Beeping Sleuty. I told her I had gotten a little drunk after work and decided to wait until I felt safe driving.

“Who are you?” she asked.

“I’m still working on that,” I shrugged truthfully. “Maybe this is my midlife crisis.”

She shook her head, puzzled. “Who were you with?”

“A bar crowd. I don’t expect to see them again. Honestly, I thought of you a few times.” I reached forward and took her hands in mine. “I don’t think I’m cut out for the saloon life, but I may have to try again some time to make sure.” Elizabeth looked back, her eyes still faithful, and sighed.

She was cutting me a lot of fucking slack.

Somewhere between my trip with Evelyn and that Saturday morning, the sniper shot a woman as she was crossing the parking lot of a home-improvement store in Virginia. It was as ruthless and random as all the others, but this time there were reports of an eyewitness.

It turned out that the person had not witnessed anything. And so a couple million of us looked once again over our shoulders for ways to not be a target.

Later, Izzy follows his neighbor’s 1999 Ford Taurus all the way home, where he finds Juliana, his old high school girlfriend chatting with his wife in the kitchen.