The Weather

Astro Guide: October 14 – 18

Libra (24 September – 23 October)

Your NEA grant proposal to fund “exploration of certain Jungian trends in the SnapChat community” will not be rejected until the government reopens (i.e. sometime during the next transit of Venus). In the meantime, stop reading Jung, using SnapChat, and applying for grants. Read Don DeLillo’s Libra. Date a goth. Play Mad-Libs with the obit section of the New York Times. Light eight Newports and then extinguish them on your inner forearm in a Big Dipper formation. Small pleasures, Libra—you get the idea.

 

Scorpio (24 October – 22 November)

Your niece, a counselor at the VA, has lost her paycheck during the government shutdown because, you know, mental health among wounded warriors falls pretty clearly under “nonessential services,” at least according to some flag-pin-repository from Iowa who got elected on the strength of having punched a homeless person. That homeless person? Actually your soulmate! Drive to Mapleton, IA, retain the bridal suite at the Extended Stay America, and let the freakiness commence.

 

Sagittarius (23 November – 21 December)

A bridge in your home state that has needed repairs since the Ford administration will collapse beneath your tires as you drive to work. You drown very un-telegenically (swollen eyeballs, blue-ish tongue, the works) and are reincarnated as a single tear on the cheek of John Boehner. Resolute even in death, you persuade the Speaker’s tear-ducts to go on strike. Your battle-cry—“fuck this lachrymose little tangerine”—does not reach the burning ears of the Speaker, who complains merely that, “I think I’m retaining water. Do I look bloated to you? I look bloated to me.”

 

Capricorn (22 December – 20 January)

During indefinite furlough at your federal job, you take on part-time work as a phone-sex operative. Soon, it becomes clear that your clientele are exclusively House Republicans with remarkably consistent fantasies about Ayn Rand, “but, like, early ’60s Ayn Rand, back when she was really something, you know? With those legs, and all her teeth?” Rejoice! This is your chance to perfect that Russian accent and abuse Rep. Marlin Stutzman (R-IN) for being a “veak, veak little man.”

 

Aquarius (21 January – 19 February)

It’s the dawn of the age of Aquarius! Just kidding—it’s midnight in the garden of Unclean Continuing Resolutions. Keep that free-lovin’, Aquarian head down. Under no circumstances should you retell the story about “that one time [you] almost went to Burning Man.”

 

Pisces (20 February – 20 March)

Say it with me, Pisces: “This week I’mma live a little.” Take an Amtrak to Washington, DC. Behave as though closing the World War II memorial is more disgraceful than freezing benefits for impoverished retirees and Veterans of Foreign Wars. Don’t forget that most of your constituents call WWII “the second Germany thing.” Remember: the GOP isn’t “dying”; it’s merely senescing.

 

Ares (21 March – 20 April)

“Ares? Yes, one moment—let me ask each member of the committee to open the copy of Edith Hamilton that sits before you. Ares, Ares, Ares… right, here we are. God of destruction, war, zipless sex, and scorched earth. Mmm yes, we’ll most certainly continue to fund Ares.”

 

Taurus (21 April – 21 May)

This week brings nothing but dire news, as Obamacare gets stripped of provisions that indemnify snowboarders against brain and neck injuries. Have you tried skiing? Or those little short skis with the upturns on both ends? Those look fun! There’s also telemarking, which is so totally nineteenth-century but doesn’t it just make you think of Scott Fitzgerald and Lausanne? No? God, snowboarders are the worst.

 

Gemini (22 May – 21 June)

Listen carefully, Gemini—accept the subterfuge and civil war that mark your inner life! Go, launch your own Crossfire-style local access TV show, in which you debate yourself on the Beltway issues of the day. With luck, nobody will notice that both of you are shilling for the discount mattress emporium where you work.

 

Cancer (22 June – 22 July)

You have your flaws, Cancer, but nobody would claim you’re not doing your part to reinvigorate paisley. Frankly, we’re just surprised you went for the face-tattoo.

 

Leo (23 July – 22 August)

Seeking to commune with your spirit animal at the National Zoo, you discover that the zoo is shuttered. But lo! you hop the fence to offer a rallying oration on the virtues of leonine civil disobedience. After a brief, uncomfortable pause, a female elder denounces your politics as “Marxist” and your body is torn apart by wild beasts. All of this would count as tragedy, if in your final moments you didn’t rejoice at finally being able to use the adjective maenadic.

 

Virgo (23 August – 23 September)

You will thematize a set of satiric horoscopes around the essentially humorless notion of the government shutdown, forgetting entirely about the 12,000-word chapter you owe your book editor. After rending your garments and sewing them back together, you decide that perhaps being torn apart by wild beasts is easier than writing a book. It has been two weeks since the full moon. Eat more vegetables, drink less caffeine, and stop watching MI-5 on Netflix.

 

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Ted Scheinman is a culture reporter based in Chapel Hill. He has written for the Oxford American Quarterly, the Los Angeles Review of Books, Pacific Standard, Slate, and various other screen- or print-based concerns. His first book of nonfiction will appear via Faber in late 2014. He once gave Sam Shepard his autograph, and Tilda Swinton once served him coffee. (We're really not kidding — click here!) Follow him on Twitter: @Ted_Scheinman.