Tag Archives: shipping

Episode 1080: What’s In Store

“If there’s been a crisis somewhere, I don’t know anything about it.”

Natal astrology, also known as genethliacal astrology, is a practice based on the tedious idea that you need to calculate the positions of the stars at the time of a person’s birth in order to understand their personality and future path in life, instead of the usual way of doing this, which is just watching the person and seeing what happens. Natal astrology is one of the four main branches of horoscopic astrology, along with mundane astrology, also known as political astrology; electional astrology, also known as event astrology; and horary astrology, which doesn’t have another name, because how are you gonna compete with horary.

The first thing that you need, if you’re planning to commit natal astrology, is to determine the exact time, date and location of your victim’s birth. People don’t usually know the exact time of their birth, because the birth process takes hours, so it’s hard to nail it down to the minute. They usually say it was around four in the afternoon. This is helpful, because it allows you to click your tongue and say, oh dear, that makes things a little more difficult, and then you can jack up the price.

Once that’s done, the astrologer builds a birth chart, showing the exact position of the sun, the moon, the planets, the ascendant, the descendant, the midheaven, the lower midheaven, the conjunction, the sextile, the semi-sextile, the square, the trine, the opposition and the contraparallel declination. Then things get a little complicated.

The next step is chart weighting, which involves classifying the predominant signs as masculine (fire and air signs) or feminine (earth and water signs), as well as their quality (cardinal, fixed or mutable). Then you create the chart signature, based on which element and quality has the most signs, and combining them to calculate the signature. If there isn’t a clear signature, then the position of the ruling planet of the sun can cast a deciding vote. This is perfectly normal, and nothing to be ashamed of.

Once you’ve done that, you move on to chart shaping, which involves examining the placement of the planets, and determining the aspect patterns between them. The main aspect patterns are the Stellium, the Grand Trine, the Grand Cross, the T-Square and the Yod, which is two quincunxes joined by a sextile, which indicates restlessness and irritability, especially if you’ve been talking to an astrologer for a while.

You have to make up a lot of words when you do astrology, because it encourages people to stop asking questions and hand you money. The best way to keep people from inquiring any further is to use the word genethliacal, which I looked up in a dictionary and it doesn’t mean anything.

Continue reading Episode 1080: What’s In Store

Dark Shadows Comic Strip, part 3: The Bite of Love

“At last, after thousands of years, I shall be in the presence of the soul of my beloved!”

I’m traveling right now, so instead of writing regular episode posts, I’m doing a special two-week series on the 1971 Dark Shadows newspaper comic strip, because it’s easier to write these on planes. You might be wondering if having a book of vampire comic strips in one hand and scribbling sarcastic jokes with the other hand would excite comment among one’s fellow passengers. The answer to that question is yes.

But the interesting thing about the strip so far is that Barnabas has been a passenger too, riding shotgun on a storyline that was entirely about other people. He coasted through the magazine publisher warlock assassin story, which really could have worked itself out without him. Basically, he had one cool villain fight scene where he was temporarily enveloped in fire-retardant fire, and besides that, it was mostly thinks monologues. For Jonathan Frid, it’s hardly been worth showing up at the newspaper for work, really.

Continue reading Dark Shadows Comic Strip, part 3: The Bite of Love

Episode 800: Sitting in a Tree

“Maybe nobody took it! Maybe wherever it is — it wants to be there!”

When Aristede reaches the rendezvous point, his supervillain boss is already waiting for him.

“Why are you late, Aristede?” Victor grumbles. “You know that waiting always makes me fretful.”

This is something of an understatement. When Aristede admits that he doesn’t have the magical artifact he was sent for, Victor lashes out, smacking him across the face three times. “You are stupid! And incompetent! And clumsy!”

Aristede cowers, and makes excuses. Quentin was supposed to bring Aristede the Legendary Hand of Count Petofi in exchange for a cure for lycanthropy, but Quentin said that he lost it.

Victor thunders, “And you believed him?”

“Yes!” Aristede squeaks, as his boss pulls him close and glares at him. “Well, there’s no reason for him not to give me the Hand!”

“Yes, there is,” Victor sighs. “He has a brain in his head — something which you, who have nothing behind that lovely face of yours, can not possibly understand.”

So… hold on. Did he just say that Aristede is lovely?

Continue reading Episode 800: Sitting in a Tree

Episode 346: The Shipping News

“Enter Julia Hoffman, bearing flowers.”

INT. JOSETTE’S ROOM – DREAM.

Vicki, wearing a bride’s veil, is staring at herself in the mirror on the vanity in Josette’s room. Barnabas walks in, and tells her that she’ll be a beautiful bride.

Hesitantly, Vicki asks, “I will be a bride… won’t I, Barnabas?” He says that she will. She asks where Burke is, and Barnabas says, “He’s here, Vicki. Right here. Look on the bed.” She turns, and sees Burke’s corpse on the bed, covered in a shroud.

Which raises the question: What is the purpose of “love” in an open-ended narrative?

Continue reading Episode 346: The Shipping News

Episode 257: Bachelor Party

“If you feel it… sit it.”

Here’s how you know you’re not making a hit with your fiancee’s parents: When her mother opens the door, she immediately shrinks back and murmurs, “Oh,” as if she’s just stepped in something. And this is Elizabeth Collins Stoddard, a woman who literally has not left the house in 18 years; you’d think she’d be happy with any new faces who come along.

But Buzz Hackett is an acquired taste, I guess. Liz says that she’ll tell Carolyn that he’s here. Buzz says, “Hey, can’t I come inside?” Liz says “No,” and shuts the door in his face.

Continue reading Episode 257: Bachelor Party