Thursday, May 24, 2012

United Astrology Conference: Vicarious UAC #1

Astrology and Voodoo Everywhere

© 2012 by Joyce Mason
All Rights Reserved

My trip to New Orleans from Sacramento was a lesson in how not to let a bad day go downhill. I was having one of those personal Mercury Retrogrades—glitches that could demoralize or derail a less seasoned traveler on the journey of life. Left my glasses in the car. (My husband had to drive back to the airport after he’d already hit the highway.) That put me late at the security checkpoint, where I had to put up with what my malaproppin’ mama used to call a lot of “rigamarow.”

Since I have sleep apnea, I have to travel with my CPAP breathing machine. It uses distilled water. (Tap water ruins it.) Never knowing if or when I’ll find a place that I can get to easily which sells distilled water (other distilled liquids flow freely in NOLA), I always take a small plastic bottle of my special water, clearly marked. Since it violates the 3-ounce liquid rule, the TSA team has to test it to be sure it’s what I claim. More delays.

My layover in Las Vegas was a cheap thrill, thanks to a nickel slot machine at the gate where I tripled and lost the same dollar. That 15 minutes of fun was worth the buck. On the plane, I noticed someone reading an ephemeris, said “you must be going to UAC” and introduced myself. That moment UAC finally felt real!

One last glitch could have been a true disaster. I opened my wallet to look for something else and noticed one of my credit cards missing. Oh, expletive! (Did I say that out loud?) Fumbling with too much luggage, paper, and fears of having to call in a missing card and its financial fallout, I blessedly got a grip. I remembered the restaurant where I’d used it the night before, called them, and they had it. (Whew!) They’d keep it safe till my husband could pick it up. Best of all, it wasn’t the credit card I planned to use this trip. (Triple whew!)

A lucky Jupiter transit enabled me to come to UAC. I wanted to share the experience with you, especially those of you who couldn't make it. It's fun for me to relive the excitement in the telling!

Once I hit the ground in NOLA, it got more real as I bumped into Doug and Polly. I’d met them last year when I spoke at the Arizona Society for Astrologers (ASA) in Scottsdale. I tingled with excitement about the best part of this kind of conference--meeting up with wonderful people from around the world. Though I rarely see many of them in person, they feel like soul family.

Soon, Sara Fisk, my UAC roomie and NCGR-Sacramento Area’s graphics girl and web wizard, had landed from her alternate route (Sac to LA versus my trip via Las Vegas). Best of all, she landed with a smile and a hug. We corralled our collective luggage onto the Airporter van where I was thrilled to see Demetra George after many years and other conference goers.

Room without a view?
A day that could have gone from bad to worse just kept getting better. I bumped into Arlene, whose home was my hospitable haven on that same Arizona trip last year. Sara's and my “small” room that wasn’t supposed to have a view (that costs a lot extra) turned out to be more than sufficient in elbow room. Our non-view is wonderful! The bridge, the Mississippi River, the local Harrah’s nightclub and other interesting French Quarter architecture. Internet connection has been spotty, but if you’re reading this, it worked when I needed it most.

Pisces with Taurus Rising at Red Fish.
Dinner at the Red Fish Grill on Bourbon Street was classic New Orleans. After cocktails (a strong pineapple Mojito for me and a jazzy cajunesque Bloody Mary for Sara), we shared some lovely appetizers and dishes: shrimp toast (more a confection than seafood) and barbecued shrimp with cream cheese grits and fried green tomatoes. This was all much lighter than it sounds, especially sharing half portions, complimented by salad and fresh spinach. We had room for the dessert invented in the Big Easy, Bananas Foster. It was a big easy for a Taurus and Taurus Rising to savor it to the last bite.

Sounds like a Pluto transit.
We tripped on voodoo shops, street musicians, and every kind of club and biz imaginable. I bought my husband a beautiful, artsy New Orleans jazz t-shirt at Bayou Threads. The very local-color shopkeeper (love that accent!) told me how he "happened" to meet someone that day with his same birth date. I told him I was an astrologer, part of a convention in town, and urged him to learn all he could about his birthday twin and why it could be important to him. He sounded jazzed! And I was jazzed to find this synchronicity and opportunity to turn someone onto the stars. When we got tired, a CVS Pharmacy rose up out of the night sky on Canal Street in lights and signage that made me think of a mini-Mormon Tabernacle. It drew us in for any necessary supplies—milk for Sara’s coffee and the magical distilled water for my CPAP.

When we got settled and sunk into our comfy-cushy beds, I slept like a baby, woken by the bright morning light through our window. I said good morning to the Mississippi—and Sara, whose eyes opened not long after mine at 6:30 am. I didn’t even notice that it was 4:30 am at home … and look forward to telling you all about Day 2 tomorrow.

Wish you were here!


Photos by Sara Fisk, a roommate made in heaven. She likes to take pictures and doesn’t like to blog. I’m the vice to her versa, and vice versa, I’m sure. We're at the Red Fish in this photo (the restaurant's namesake must be a Pisces with Aries Rising). We look a little Neptunian to me. That's where our photo-blogging adventure was born on May 23, around 7:30 pm. (What time zone is this?)


Here are links to all the Vicarious UAC Posts, if you want to read the entire series:

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