Miami Carnival 2017: Taking the Plunge

miami-carnival-parade

Last Thursday’s full moon in Aries sought to imbue us with the courage to take risks and turn ideas into action. I spent the weekend celebrating Miami Broward Carnival with my cousins. At every step, I was guided and inspired by my cousin and host Stefanie Johnston, a natural hair stylist, salon owner, carnival entrepreneur— and an Aries herself.

She first attended Carnival in Trinidad shortly after opening her own salon and barber shop with her husband, Kieyn. “I remember looking at [my cousin] Nina and both of our faces were just in complete shock. We couldn’t believe it was really happening.”

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Full Moon in Aries

📸: Andrea Reiman<<<

There’s never a bad day in horoscopes.

When astrologers read and interpret planetary aspects, the harshest word they can come up with is, well, “harsh.” For example, on Sunday, October 8th, Venus will form a “harsh square” to Saturn, which will supposedly spark conflict between my financial and social lives. But let’s be real—when are those two ever NOT fighting?

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When Weekends End

Annie Spratt

There’s a bittersweet twinge to reaching the end of something you hold dear. On Fridays, the end-of-week elation eclipses any sense of the weekend’s finite nature. Somehow, when you leave the office or pack up your stuff, it’s hard to conceive of any end to that easy cruising feeling. Sunday always takes you by surprise.   

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Lessons from the Equinox

As a Leo, my ruling “planet,” the sun, transits a new zodiac sign each month. This summer, I realized that changes in my life emulated the trademarks of the corresponding season. As the fourth sign of the zodiac, Cancer is associated with home, family, and a maternal parent or caregiver. Cancers themselves are known to be complex and sentimental. In late June, I spent a week in the Midwest with my mother, and then moved into my first apartment post-graduation. To top it off, I returned to my roots in Brooklyn, the place of my birth and home to some of my extended family.

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A Pattern to Follow

Horoscopes appeal to me because they serve as a convention to measure up against. I can paste parts of myself over a generic personality profile and feel reassured when something lines up. In the absence of classes, grades, and progress reports, astrology has become an evaluation measure.

Television works in a similar way. Most of my favorite shows are an assortment of worst case scenarios unfolding in a soundstage world. The characters are walking flaws that make mistakes so I don’t have to. The other night, I rewatched the first episode of Bojack Horseman, expecting to appreciate how far the characters had come, and how far I’ve come along with them.  Instead, I was confronted by how far we hadn’t.

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Going It Alone: A Remedy for Fear

This is NOT going to be an article that relishes in the opportunity to put a demonic clown photo in between paragraphs. Below is a photo of an empty movie theater: a nostalgic and welcoming environment for the whole family. Continue to scroll freely. Mild spoilers for the movie “It” ahead.

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Felix Mooneeram

My older brother, an emblematic Aquarius, introduced me to horror movies at a young age, albeit unintentionally. The first movie to keep me up at night was The Curse of the Black Pearl, from the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise. I see now that the most terrifying element of that movie was how it taught people to pronounce ‘Caribbean.’ But at the time, I pictured the molting remains of a pirate lurking under my bed at night.  After recovering from that bone-chilling flick, I followed it up with Dawn of the Dead. Thereafter, I caught furtive glimpses of The Ring under the guise of retrieving a mid-night snack.

Here I faced a dilemma: I wanted to perform coolness and maturity by weathering the world’s terrors without flinching. However, these movies were undoubtedly fucking me up. At night, in the sleepy hours freed by my most recent scare, I brainstormed strategies for curbing my fears. From the library, I borrowed the Goosebumps series, Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, and other tales. I thought repeated exposure would acclimate me to the structure of the genre, so I could predict the patterns of things that go bump in the night.

Over a decade later, and I’m still working on that strategy. My brother and I convene for the occasional horror flick that falls within the range of things scary enough for him and not too scary for me.

“It” made the cut.

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The Great Thing About Birthdays

birthday

Today marks the end of my 22nd trip around the sun. Whether you love them or hate them, birthdays are something special—they’re memorable. On your birthday, you can actually recall what you were doing exactly one year ago. Even if you did nothing—that day of doing nothing stands out from all the rest. The only other thing that happens with is holidays, and sometimes tragedies. But a day that’s solely associated with your change and growth? That’s a remarkable thing.

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Spider-Man: A Hero for Here and Now

Spider-Man Homecoming

Like many superhero movies before it, Spider-Man: Homecoming opens in a world completely unfamiliar to me. The setup is simple: a captain leads a team of men against a seemingly impossible task. But there were no subtitles indicating the fictional Asgard or Sokovia or any other Marvel implant. Instead, the first scene drops us in a demolition cleanup site in our very own New York City.

I’ll admit, I thought I had walked into the wrong theater. The characters were busy at work, reviewing plans and signing contracts and trading words without any trace of the super-ordinary. Until we get a glimpse of what the crew is there to clean up.

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