You’ve heard the news by now. A group of Minnesotan astrogeeks with impressively large telescopes have called out astrologers everywhere by reporting that the stars have moved since the Babylonian concept of the zodiac was born. Thought you couldn’t help your Leo need to be adored by the masses? Guess what. You are actually supposed to prefer solitary walks by the beach and are just an ass.

Welcome to the MAE*.

 

Ophiuchus: Nov. 29 – Dec. 17
The newly resurrected Ophiuchus sign represents a man wrestling a serpent and shares traits with Imhotep, a 27th century BCE Egyptian doctor – not to be confused with Mummy Imhotep, the still-juicy High Priest of Osiris who terrorized Brendan Fraser to the transitioning squeals of prepubescent male audiences everywhere. Like Dr. Imhotep, Ophiuchus is a healer of men and a doctor of medicine or science. And, like him, you insatiably seek higher education and are perfectly comfortable being the only person in your continuing ed class sporting a set of trifocals and a wad of extra absorbency hanging low in your trunk. You are expected to achieve a high position in life, regardless of how long it takes. As an addendum, you will also spend a lifetime trying to pronounce your new sign, regardless of how long it takes.

Sagittarius: Dec. 17 – Jan. 20
The Sagittarius makes for the classic dot-bomb era entrepreneur. You’re adventurous, optimistic, and you love those trendy little hipster companies that encourage jogging breaks and offer 6 weeks of fully paid paternity leave. You also love the idea of learning. This is not to be confused with actually learning. Your biggest challenge this year is going to be putting down the latest Seth Godin book to actually write that white paper.

Capricorn: Jan. 20 – Feb. 16
If you’re a Capricorn, you don’t need a horoscope to tell you what to do. You’re already driven, motivated, and probably have a highly detailed Excel spreadsheet filled with the necessary steps to get from point A to points B, C, and subsequently, D. Your biggest challenge is refraining from judging everyone else around you for not having such a detailed life roadmap and from repeating the words, “Really? Really?” when confronted by the average non-Capricorn. As a matter of fact, the only star sign you fear is the new and improved Super-Scorpio (see below), who you suspect in Column T, Row 46 could throw a potential kink in your Grand Master Plan to Take Over the World by eating your heart directly out of your still-steaming thoracic cavity with a shrimp fork, should you cross them.

Aquarius: Feb. 16 – March 11
For those of you who come to this sign as former Pisceans, the Age of Aquarius has literally only just dawned. What you need to know in your new star sign: #1 – You are easy going and a fabulous networker; #2 – You are lazy and slothful by nature; and, #3 – Unlike the Broadway show Hair**, life is not a musical and you will need some extra motivation to spur yourself into action.*** The good news is that of all your non-Aquarian friends, you stand to have the highest connection count on LinkedIn if you choose to apply yourself. Good luck with that.

Pisces: March 11 – April 18
Al Gore’s migration from Aries (Active, Demanding, Determined, Effective, Ambitious) to Pisces (Depth, Imagination, Reactive, Indecisive) explains a lot about how he was able to invent the Internet.

Aries: April 18 – May 13
If TNB had a star sign, it would be Aries: adventurous and living for the writer’s dream.****  What you need to know if you are a newcomer to Aries: you are a doer and not just a talker. The flip side of that is that sometimes you dive in too quickly without thinking through the consequences. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

Taurus: May 13 – June 21
Well, former Gemini, now you’re a Taurus. Big whoop. You’ve always known you’ve got at least two personalities in there, so you might as well take the bull by the horns. Also, now you’re the same star sign as Mark Zuckerberg. (queue Simpons-esque “ha-ha”)

Gemini: June 21 – July 20
Turns out David Hasselhoff is actually a Gemini. Who knew? What you choose to do with this knowledge is entirely in your hands.

Cancer: July 20 – Aug. 10
Thanks to that hard shell of yours, you-who-are-now-Cancers are well-equipped to deal with the change. Of course, you are now also are equipped with a set pincers, which means you’re going to have a hard time letting go of your former Leo-hood, where you were loved openly and without restraint by panties-throwing masses. You now have a choice: insist on being worshipped, or embrace your new sign and practice a little love and nurture for your inner circle of friends. No, the person in the mirror doesn’t count. It’s going to be tricky. You may want to seek counseling. And, if you were born before July 22 and hung on to your former sign into the MAE*, well, you are one hell of a Cancer. Go. Surround yourself with people you trust and be productive in your venture. *pinch*

Leo: Aug. 10 – Sept. 16
Yes, we adore you. Yes, you mean the world to us. No really, we mean it. Also, as a point of information, Kenny Rogers, who was once a Leo, remains a Leo post-MAE – which is kind of cool, since he genuinely looks like a Leo. Kenny Rogers, we salute you. No really, we mean it.

Virgo: Sept. 16 – Oct. 30
You need to spend less time on FaceBook. No, seriously.

Libra: Oct. 30 – Nov. 23
Hey, former Scorpio! Great news! Now that you’re a Libra…oh, who am I kidding? You don’t give a shit about your new Libra horoscope. Chances are, you’re not even reading this right now because you’re so pissed off that somebody would dare to change your sign. I could type the lyrics in their entirety from “When the Doves Cry” for this star sign because no former Scorpio will ever, ever read it. It will sit here in digital purgatory for generations to come, completely ignored. “Why do we scream at each other? This is what it sounds like…” There, there. Put down the axe.

Scorpio, AKA “Super Scorpio”: Nov. 23-29
Yep, you read that right. Newcomers to this fine planet of ours have exactly one possible week to be born a Scorpio now. This means that everything you know and fear about Scorpios: the passion, the revenge, the murderous intent – shall now be compressed and concentrated exponentially for this highly evolved group. It’s like melding Milla Jovovich in Resident Evil with an açai berry. Founding CEOs who are born under this sign are to be feared, and possibly eventually incarcerated.

 

* Minnesota Astrogeek Era

** You know you want to sing it out. “Aq-uar-iuuus!”

*** Helpful hint: Try Red Bull

**** Otherwise known as the vocational version of the Slip N’ Slide.

 

This horoscope originally appeared in my brand-spanking-new magazine: SCREE Magazine (shameless plug). It’s been adapted for TNB.

 

A Gemini Interviews Her Other Mouth

 

Gemini: I suppose you remember what your mother told you about Geminis…

Lidia: Yup. She said, in a thick southern drawl, “Well, you know, being with a Gemini is like being in a room with 50 people.”

 

Gemini: So which you are you today?

Lidia: The Lidia that just picked her kid up from school on her way to the grocery store before she washes clothes.

 

Gemini: Ah. The domestic Lidia.

Lidia: Correct.

 

Gemini: She’s fucking boring.

Lidia: Gee, thanks. But you are dead wrong.

 

Gemini: What’s not dull about domesticity?

Lidia: Gee Gemini, lemme make a list. There’s the fact that our bodies generate, oh, I don’t know, ALL OF HUMAN LIFE, we are the other side of masculine action in terms of reflection, repetition, cyclical experience and generative practices, we make a place of comfort and grace for a body to come home to—

 

Gemini: Busted. You are the worst housecleaner I’ve ever met and you know it. Forget dust bunnies. You’ve got dust godzillas…and I know for a fact there are year old underwear and socks under your bed.

Lidia: I’m not talking about housekeeping. I’m talking about how a woman makes a compassion home of not only her body, but any environment she comes into contact with. Even you do with your bitchy, fierce, chaotic, electric body.

 

Gemini: Oh Jeeeeeeez…..I was wondering how long it was going to take you to get to talking about bodies. That took like 15 seconds. What is your DEAL with bodies? COW is crawling with them.

Lidia: Well, you already know my DEAL with bodies…I love them. All of them. I think they are pretty much the coolest thing in ever. I wish more of us could love them with abandon. The book is a bodystory, and I told it in the hopes that other people might think about their own body stories. I think the body is a metaphor for experience and an epistemological site. And having carried life and death there, I feel like I am in a good position to speak about the body.

 

Gemini: Man. Talk about a buzz kill. But since we’re on the topic – why didn’t you tell in your book what your daughter’s name was?

Lidia: Lily. I couldn’t make a sentence big enough to hold her.

 

Gemini: What’s the one sentence in COW that matters to you the most?

Lidia: “Love is a small tender.”

 

Gemini: That’s not even a grammatically correct sentence.

Lidia: Fuck grammar. It’s fascist in its need to shape experience away from bodies.

 

Gemini: WHATEVER. Again with the bodies.

Lidia: And language. What sentence matters the most to you?

 

Gemini: I think it’s a cross between “This is your daughter leaving, motherfucker,” and “Even angry girls can be moved to tears.”

Lidia: I can understand that. Your you and my me have a lot in common—two sides of a girlbody.

 

Gemini: Why does the body matter? I’ve been throwing this body at life forever and it’s a wonder it’s still functioning…isn’t it the brain that saved us? Isn’t it the brain that makes pretty much everything matter?

Lidia: Well I don’t buy that old Cartesian Dualism thing. There is no mind body split. But the mind is more culturally valued and sanctioned than the body, and the body is more objectified, abjectified, and commodofied in this culture. Like Whitman, I am interested in the mindbody that is closer to energy and matter and the whole DNA spacedust universe shebang.

 

Gemini: Oh I see how you are. Now you are trying to be grad school mouth Lidia. OK smarty girl, how would you define “edgy?” Isn’t that what you are trying to be?

Lidia: Actually, to be honest with you, I think I’m just trying as hard as I can to be precise. Not edgy. I guess I’d define edgy as twitchy and confused. Tweakers and Republicans come to mind. I think when people call certain kinds of writing “edgy” they probably mean it made their brains itchy or something…but in COW I tried to be exact is all. Emotionally, linguistically, physically, lyrically, exact.

 

Gemini: By the way. I know why you refer to The Chronology of Water as COW. And it ain’t bovine.

Lidia: True.

 

Gemini: You wanna tell em, or should I?

Lidia: Go for it.

 

Gemini: “COW” is the euphamism Gertrude Stein used to refer to …

Lidia: Spanking twinkies.

 

Gemini: Which is your favorite bodily fluid?

Lidia: That’s easy. Cum and tears. Because they are salty like the ocean. Although Andy and I did have a good run with breast milk.

 

Gemini: Speaking of bodies and women and language, rumor has it on the cyber streets that you like to sometimes give readings wearing a special outfit.

Lidia: Occasionally.

 

Gemini: Did you ever worry that the “outfit” might embarrass your husband and son?

Lidia: I don’t know…hold on a minute and I’ll go ask them…

 

Gemini: HEY! While she’s out of the room lemme tell you some secrets about her…she likes to wear wigs, in her thirties sometimes on airplanes she’d adopt a foreign accent and invent a name, she plays clarinet, she once peed on the steps of the Capitol, and she once broke into someone’s home and stole all their stuff so they could collect the insurance. Luckily it was a long long time ago. Oh. Crap. She’s back…

Lidia: So I asked Andy and Miles if my reading outfit embarrasses them. Andy said, “Well, sort of it must, because I kind of get a stomach ache when you do it and I think to myself, oh Lidia…” And Miles said, “No, you just look more like you.” Why do you have that shit eating grin on your face? Have you been telling stories about me?

 

Gemini: Absolutely not. So here’s a question that’s been bugging me.

Lidia: Shoot.

 

Gemini: Why is your COW book all …. You know, choppyish?

Lidia: You mean why is it written in fragments and out of order?

 

Gemini: Yeah. Like I said. Choppy.

Lidia: Because I was trying to mimic the way memory works in biochemistry and neuroscience terms. Pieces of things brought together in a resolving system.

 

Gemini: Look at the big brain on the lid. Gimme a break.

Lidia: Seriously.

 

Gemini: Yeah I KNOW. Isn’t this partly why no agents will touch you? Because you have to “do things” to your stories? Every thought of telling them like a normal human being?

Lidia: I am telling them as precisely as I know how…I am telling them the way they feel to me, as true as I can get the language to go strange.

 

Gemini: Yeah yeah yeah. Tell the truth but tell it slant. Dickinson.

Lidia: Yup.

 

Gemini: Look how much action that got her. No offense, but she was kind of an isolate. Definite bummer at parties. Not a very snappy dresser either, I might add.

Lidia: Well, I am quite fond of isolates. And I used to have to breathe into a brown paper bag at parties in the bathroom. And my fashion sense is questionable.

 

Gemini: I’ll say. Ever heard of this thing called a “haircut?”

Lidia: I think you got all the social genes…and I’m guessing I have you to thank for all the unusual undergarments?

 

Gemini: Bingo.

Lidia: And rule breaking? And un-ladylike behavior? And anger? And propensity to fuck up? And a wide variety of boots? And potty mouth? And sexual excess? And drugs and alcohol and…

 

Gemini: Do you have a point, oh miss big breasted faux mother goddess?

Lidia: Yeah. I have a point. Let’s throw a lip over it and drink to it. My friend Karen Karbo gave me a bottle of Ardbeg, and my friend Chelsea Cain gave me a bottle of Glen Livet. Choose your poison.

 

Gemini: Sure you wouldn’t rather brew a nice pot of Jasmine hippie tea?

Lidia: I’m sure. I’m the one who let you into my lifehouse, my bodyhouse, my wordhouse…we are only me together. Cheers.

 

 

I thought you OD’d.

Is that a question?

 

I mean, I keep hearing rumors that you OD’d –- what’s up with that?

I‘ve heard those rumors, as well – apparently, fans and others can’t understand why I would choose to lay low in New Orleans as opposed to whoring out my celebrity status after White Zombie broke up, so therefore I must be dead. I must say I appreciate the rock’n’roll ending they’ve given me, up there in the company with Hendrix and Joplin with the whole OD thing. It’s especially amusing since I never did any hard drugs, ever. In the past fifteen years I’ve had to respond to the question “Are you dead?” at three different points. It’s always an interesting phonecall to receive, and perhaps next time I will say “yes” just to see what happens.

 

It’s been fifteen years since White Zombie broke up –- why a book on your days in the band now?

It was in reaction to going through my storage room two years ago – I found about ten boxes labeled White Zombie, and began to open them up for the first time since I packed them and shipped them to New Orleans in 1996. This was because our management had contacted me for tidbits for our upcoming boxset at the time. With dread I went to dig through my boxes. What had ended as a bad memory suddenly exposed itself to me for what it was –- an amazing, triumphant adventure in an era that not many people know about, unless they were there. The whole story of us coming out of the ratty, arty Lower East Side and becoming a huge 90’s metal band is ridiculous in itself, but those bands, the intensity and extreme testosterone-driven music – it just brought back a whole world that is so distant now. I felt the need to share it.

 

Do you consider this a coffee table book, or something else?

The book did start off as a coffee table book, filled with my photos from backstage, passes and tickets, flyers and other ephemera. As I began collaging pages, certain flyers or photos would remind me of what happened that night, and I started adding written stories. As I did, people started saying “More of that!” So I wrote more and more, enjoying it a bit more as the details came out of the woodwork. It felt as though I was making a director’s commentary on a movie made in the distant past. I think the book is a hybrid – part autobiography, part documentation of the 90’s in rock and metal, part coffee table book.

 

Do you feel that using the word “chick” in your subtitle is self-deprecating and/or sexist?

No. I’ve never had any problem with that word. Who ever says “chick” in a bad way? It’s a funny and silly word. It’s the female equivalent of “dude”, and nobody has a problem with that being sexist! Those were the tags in the metal scene, and that is what the fans called me, in a very sweet way. I was officially dubbed “the chick in White Zombie” by Beavis and Butthead. They also loved the Butthole Surfers and Iggy Pop, so I am more than happy to claim the title from such arbiters of good taste!

 

When did you join the band?

I hate that question! I never joined the band; I helped form the band. Nor did I ever leave the band; we broke up. Ever since my ex decided to take the band’s name as his last name, the world has been led to believe that Rob Zombie is White Zombie and vice versa. This could not be farther from the truth. Rob and I started White Zombie, and while I was doing the graphic layouts and typography, he was doing the illustrations. While I was writing riffs, he was writing lyrics. In the first five years I did all of the booking and handled all of the expenses and business, due to Rob being extremely quiet and anti-social. It was a true band and family, and although Rob and I did most of the work, everyone worked hard and contributed.

 

You’re familiar with the worlds of music, art and design — did you find starting something new like writing to be difficult?

The realm is familiar to me, although I’ve never tried my hand at it before. My father was a writer and my mother helped him with all of his research and editing. (He wrote five definitive Hemingway biographies and became president of the Hemingway Society before he passed away.) Growing up with two English professors for parents definitely got me used to the whole process, and combining so many of my photographs with short stories definitely took away the intimidation of completing an entire book. My publishers, Soft Skull, were also extremely helpful by letting me structure and design the book however I wanted, and making it as long or short as I wanted.

 

Between your photography, design, music and now writing is there one area you would like to focus on?

I would love nothing more than to do one thing, and do it really well. Unfortunately, as soon as I start working on new music, I get an idea for a photography show. As soon as I start that, I get an idea for my designs. Classic Gemini behavior, I suppose. Since I can’t I manage to pick one, I can only hope that as I put more and more years into all of these fields perhaps each will become more refined.

 

What are you working on now?

Besides book tours? Writing with my New Orleans band, Rock City Morgue, preparing to record with my new band Star&Dagger, developing new items for my home décor line, and prepping for a new photography show. Now that Mardi Gras is over I might actually get some of this done. It’s not easy living in the Big Easy; lots of party demands.

 

Last words?

Have a good time, all the time.

 

 


Just in case you happened to be wondering: no, dressing up like a Marilyn Manson fan is not, in fact, an effective deterrent for jury duty.

I’m going to blame this one on the fact that I’m a Gemini. Allow me to explain.

I hate to lie. As a matter of fact, I can count the number of times I have lied blatantly to somebody on one hand.

Lying isn’t really my schtick. Instead, I withhold. Occasionally, I spin. Sometimes I give two completely different answers at different moments of the day. One of my twin halves pops up and what she says out of hearing of the other seems completely reasonable at the time. This can occasionally give the appearance of lying. It can also be just really, really ridiculously frustrating.

———-

Exhibit A

Random interviewer: “Do you like violence?”
Me: “Put me in the ring. Bring it.”

 

That conversation could have just as easily swung another direction at another given time:

Random interviewer: “Do you like violence?”
Me: “Why can’t we all just get along?”

———-

 

I could see how this might be confusing. But I don’t feel that I am being dishonest as it’s happening. I simply have a different opinion in a different moment – depending on whichever of the twins is in control of my gray matter in a given moment.

But what about another ugly tendency I – OK, “we” – have: the one involving giving an incomplete picture and/or withhold information? In other words, this is where I send one of the twins underground with a roll of duct tape and tell her to shut the hell up under threat of a smackdown.

———-

Exhibit B

Husband: “Do you think I said the right thing to Xavier* today when I told him to fuck off?”
Me: “I think you did the best you could under the circumstances.”**
Husband: “What does that mean?”
Me: “I don’t know. I mean, I might have chosen a different conversational path, but I think what you said fits you perfectly.’
Husband: “Right. So, you think I shouldn’t have said that?”
Me: [Shrugging]***
He: [Exasperated] “I swear, you are really, really ridiculously frustrating.”

*I know nobody by the name of Xavier. Xavier represents a completely fictional entity. Xavier is not real. He is fake. Made up. In my mind. Xavier may in no way be used against me as a “lie” as I have fully disclosed his non-existence from the get-go.

**In other words, no, I don’t think he said the right thing today, but if I look at it from his perspective, I can see why he would have said what he did. Half of me gets it.

***To be interpreted by his own conscience.

———-

So, Ladies and Gentlemen of the jury, regarding the incident at the Boulder County Courthouse:

———-

Exhibit C

When I got the letter summoning me to jury duty, I admit I may have overreacted a wee bit. I’d never actually been called to jury duty before, and I had no idea what to expect. All I knew for sure was that people generally try to get out of it and, therefore, it must be bad.

My friends gave me all sorts of advice:

“Tell them you have a tendency to always root for the underdog.”

“Tell them you hate lawyers.”

 

“Tell them you have a Ph.D. and that you are currently studying for the LSAT. Lawyers don’t like smart people who are studying to be one of them.”

“Just tell them that you have been taking care of an elderly auntie with a highly contagious strain of the E. Bola virus and that if you weren’t sitting in that courtroom, you could be getting tested for infection at the nearest hospital.”

The obvious problem with any of these suggestions, of course, is that they all involved a blatant lie. And so I decided to do what any selves-respecting Gemini would do: I sent one twin down to the basement…and brought the other one up.

All of my life people have told me that I have an innocent look. They take one glance at me and decide that I can be walked on. Shaped. Molded like Play-Doh in six fun and delightful colors. It’s not true. I have a dark side that is incredibly jaded and discerning. But I knew that those lawyers would take one look at me and insist I stay.

“The rest can go, but keep that girl in the front row there,” they would no doubt whisper amongst themselves. “We’ll have her drinking the Flavor-aid by the end of this trial. She’ll be all ours. [Insert wild hyena cackles] Plus, she comes in six fun and delightful colors.”

I wore all black, of course. Long skirt, high boots. Lacy underthings sticking out in all the appropriate places. I still looked perhaps a little too clean on the parts of my skin that were showing, but a few rub-on tattoos took care of that. Blackened up the eyes and nails. Powdered my face. Put green streaks in my hair.

I screeched into the courthouse parking lot with my Emo attitude and blasting my Emo music. (OK – I don’t really have any Emo music, so I made the best of Zombie by the Cranberries. I just had to keep reminding myself to stop singing along with it in case anyone was looking. Karaoke = very UN-Emo.)

When I arrived in the courtroom, I didn’t smile. I slouched. I flashed my tats. I stared brazenly at the lawyers, daring them to choose me.

“Come on, fuckers. Choose me.”

They chose me.

When I originally hatched this plan, it never occurred to me that it would fail. Bluff called, I had no choice to stick around. But a person can not very well just show up all rife with angst in the morning and then suddenly clear up like a sunny day after a storm. I had to keep up my persona. Not so difficult in the jury box, but that deliberation session was a bit of a challenge as I am used to my sunny twin being my normal spokesperson. Mostly I kept quiet, but I threw in a few eye rolls for effect. After I realized that nobody actually thought I wasn’t a Goth chick, I started to have fun with it. I think a couple of the guys were actually afraid of me. I started toying with them just for fun. Kind of semi-flirting and then giving them a death stare.

Heh.

———-

So, no – my plan to get out of jury duty didn’t work. On the other hand, it was really, really ridiculously satisfying.