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Table of Contents Letter from the Editor Community

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A Silent Epidemic Feature

4 Ending the Cycle of Abuse Feature

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At the Movies with Marcos

HOW IT WORKS

Film

The Curbside Chronicle employs the homeless population of Oklahoma City.

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Game Day Grub Food

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Robert’s Recipes Recipe

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Meet Bennie

Vendor Highlight

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Potential vendors attend orientation

Vendors receive 15 free magazines

Hoboscope Fun

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Contact

Director: ranya@thecurbsidechronicle.org Media: kcrocker@homelessalliance.org 1724 NW 4th St. Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73106

YOU PURCHASE THE MAGAZINE for $2

Vendors sell their magazines on the streets of OKC

405-415-8425 www.thecurbsidechronicle.org facebook.com/CurbsideOKC twitter.com/CurbsideOKC instagram.com/CurbsideOKC cover photo by Trace Thomas layout by Whitley O’Connor

Vendors purchase more magazines for $0.75 each

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We help vendors find and finance housing!


Letter from the Editor

Proposed Ordinance Poses Threat for The Curbside Chronicle Dear Curbside Chronicle readers and supporters, I want to thank you for making these past two years the most meaningful years of my life. Words cannot adequately express the impact that your support has had on the lives of our vendors, and in turn, my own. When we first started The Curbside Chronicle, we weren’t entirely sure what to expect. We had big dreams. We had big expectations. But we also had apprehension and fear. We were a completely new concept in the state of Oklahoma. Yes, our model had been proven effective in dozens of other cities and countries worldwide, but was that enough? How would our community react to our cause? Could it work? And was our city ready to embrace such an idea? We’ve always believed that homelessness is a community issue, and that it takes community action to end it. There is no one nonprofit, business, or government agency that can solve homelessness in its entirety. It requires collective effort and, to a large degree, is dependent on our willingness as a community to support innovative solutions. The Curbside Chronicle was born out of the desire to provide a positive alternative to the problem of panhandling in our community and to offer employment opportunities to our community’s most vulnerable individuals. Our goals are simple. (1) Provide an achievable and sustainable employment opportunity to the homeless and at-risk population of OKC. (2) End panhandling in OKC by providing a positive alternative. (3) Give a voice to the homeless and provide a platform for community dialogue on local social issues. (4) Increase community awareness of homeless issues and change perceptions of homelessness. (5) Build community and bridge the gap between homeless and non-homeless individuals. And thanks to YOU, we’ve made strides in all of these arenas. Vendors like Lanitra (issue 8) have moved out of homelessness and on to further employment; Robert (issue 9) is housed and just started college; many of our vendors feel confident enough, for the first time in years, to interact with non-homeless individuals without feeling embarrassed about being homeless; over 200 men and women have been trained; and formerly homeless individuals pay their rent and utilities using their income from sales. On page 24 of this issue, you’ll read about Bennie who for the first time in nearly 30 years has hope and is working towards goals he never thought possible. Because of you and your support. Unfortunately, all of this is being threatened. On September 15th, the City Council is planning to propose an ordinance that will make it illegal to solicit from the median. The goal of this ordinance is to reduce panhandling in our city. And because a majority of our vendors sell from the median, this ordinance will have a significant impact on their income and stability. Curbside Chronicle vendors will no longer be able to sell directly to motorists from the median, which will limit their sales to public sidewalks. Unlike other large cities, Oklahoma City does not have enough high foot-traffic areas to support the growing number of Curbside Chronicle vendors dependent on our magazine for employment. We fear there will be many unintended consequences to an ordinance like this. It will increase the number of homeless in our community, starting with the numerous Curbside Chronicle vendors reliant on magazine sales to sustain their housing. It will make it more difficult to house and employ people who become homeless because of the ordinance. Individuals in poverty who choose to continue to solicit on the median will be issued hefty fines, that many will be unable to pay, leading to jail time for their offense. Misdemeanor convictions, unpaid fines, and outstanding bench warrants are a significant barrier to securing housing and employment for people.  This ordinance will add to that burden making it harder for people to find jobs and get into and sustain housing. Finally, it will likely increase panhandling in downtown and in Bricktown, in parking lots, and other places where people walk. Most importantly, this ordinance provides no real solution to the problem of panhandling in our community. It merely attempts to hide it. While the Curbside Chronicle does not support panhandling, we do support the establishment of a positive alternative for those in need. Once the ordinance is introduced, the council will schedule a public meeting to get feedback. We hope you can attend and feel empowered to reach out to your City Councilperson and voice your concern about this ordinance. Street papers like The Curbside Chronicle have been successful in eradicating panhandling in other communities. But their success was contingent on the support of their city government and the community at large. We can successfully combat panhandling in our community! But this ordinance is not the answer. We hope you’ll join us in opposing the passage of this ordinance. Your support is greatly appreciated! Sincerely, Ranya O’Connor Editor

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A Silent Epidemic by Jaclyn Cosgrove, reporter for The Oklahoman photography by Trace Thomas

Warning: Strong Language


There’s a point that Kristie Mitchell often makes when speaking to groups. “Domestic violence will only rise to a level that a community is willing to accept,” the YWCA chief programs officer regularly tells crowds. “And so just like with the issue of child abuse -- it was perfectly legal to be physical with your children, and finally, the community decided, only up to a certain point. And then we started holding people accountable.” Mitchell is part of an advocate community that argues: Oklahoma needs that same kind of accountability focused on domestic violence because at this point, the state is willing to accept a lot. Oklahoma has the third highest rate in the U.S. of women killed by men, according to the Violence Policy Center. In the majority of those homicides, the victim knew the person who killed her. In a little more than half, the victims were wives, commonlaw wives, ex-wives or girlfriends of the offenders. Outsiders often ask why victims don’t leave their abusers. But when a woman decides to leave, she is faced with countless barriers. For one, where will she stay? An estimated 63 percent of homeless women have experienced domestic violence in their adult lives, according to the National Network to End Domestic Violence. Once they leave, survivors of domestic violence have both short- and longterm housing needs. Immediately after leaving, survivors need safe housing away from their abuser. But ultimately, the family requires access to safe, stable and affordable housing. For low-income families, that can often mean waiting months, if not years, for a Section 8 federal housing voucher. The waiting list is often thousands of people deep, according to the Oklahoma Housing Finance Agency. Mitchell said these barriers are even more profound if the woman has children. “For victims across the state and even nationally, one of the biggest barriers is leaving safely with your children,” Mitchell said. One of the barriers that a domestic violence survivor in Oklahoma often might face is the consequence of family court. It’s not uncommon for the perpetrator to get joint custody, sometimes even sole custody, of the children, Mitchell said.

Domestic Violence in Oklahoma

I grew up surrounded by verbal and physical abuse... that’s what every relationship I saw looked like. You just think, ‘this is what love is.’

Additionally, an abused woman can be subject to prosecution under Oklahoma’s “failure to protect” law because she knew her children were being abused but did not “protect” them, even if she was being abused herself at the same time. Currently in Oklahoma, a woman who leaves her abuser must interact with several state systems, and these systems often put up barrier after barrier, making it more difficult for the woman to find help in a prompt and helpful way, Mitchell said. “It’s only until they respond appropriately and safely for her that victims will begin to find safety in leaving,” Mitchell said. “Because if those systems get it wrong, it could ultimately contribute to the barriers to her safety...We have to get serious about not accepting domestic violence. Otherwise, it’s going to continue to be an issue in this state.”

Cathy’s Story Sitting in a bed in a small, dimly lit hotel room, Cathy Myers often thinks about what a future with her children will look like. For now, it feels more like a dream. Cathy, 39, moved to Oklahoma in December with the help of her brother in hopes of starting over. But since that time, she has faced barriers and frustrations in trying to make her new life a reality. Her new life -- a life where she’s safe and happy and reunited with her children -- has been put on hold largely because Cathy cannot find safe, affordable housing on her limited income. In October, Cathy lost custody of her children after the man she was dating beat her. This wasn’t the first time that child protective services intervened, and it wasn’t the first time police responded to an abuse call at Cathy’s home in Washington. But this is the first time that Cathy was able to truly get away, and Oklahoma has been her first shot in a long time at starting over. “My kids are the most important thing in the world to me. Losing my kids was a big wake up call in my life… it was a blessing in disguise. I never would have been able to get away from my abuser without CPS intervening,”

Cathy reflects. “When I had kids, I said I would never let anyone abuse me in front of them. And I failed. And now I have a second chance. We don’t always get a second chance, but I am.” For the past 20 years, Cathy has been in relationships with men who were physically and emotionally abusive. After going through counseling, a domestic violence awareness course, and a course to help her understand how trauma affects a person’s life, Cathy can now see patterns in her life and the abuse. “I grew up surrounded by verbal and physical abuse. It was my whole life, and I thought it was normal. That’s what every relationship I saw looked like,” Cathy said. “You just think, ‘this is what love is. This is all I know.’” Cathy and her siblings grew up in Washington and were raised by her grandparents. And in that household, the adults fought a lot, both verbally and physically. “There was a lot of tension and fighting between my grandma and grandpa, and they took their frustrations out on us too.” When she was 12, Cathy’s grandparents found her mother. Cathy moved in with her, hoping for a life she had dreamed of as a young child. “My whole life, I just wanted my parents… when you don’t have your parents for so long, and then all of a sudden, they appear somewhere, you just want that chance to have a relationship with them.” But living with her mom didn’t feel like home. Her mother was largely bed-ridden because of a serious car accident that left her disabled, and her stepfather was verbally and physically abusive towards her. So, at the age of 15, Cathy moved into a foster home. When asked about the effects of verbal abuse on her as a child, Cathy shares, “I think verbal abuse is worse than physical abuse. It is the most traumatic. I’d rather have somebody hit me because those scars go away. Verbal scars don’t go away. When you hear negatives all your life like ‘you’re worthless’ and ‘you’re a piece of shit,’ that’s the way you’re gonna see your whole life. You begin to believe that you’re never gonna be anybody, so

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When I would stand up for myself, the abuse just got worse. It was easier to just sit back and take it.

your self-esteem is crushed your whole life growing up. And things just get worse as you get older.” At 17, Cathy had her first son, Thomas. Cathy and Thomas lived in the foster home together. But when Thomas was 1, Cathy decided to give up custody. “He had been with the foster family for so long, and he was so much better off there. I was so young,” Cathy said. Cathy felt like her life was over. Thomas had been her life. She spent almost every moment of that past year with him, feeding him, playing with him, loving him. And then he was gone. And that’s when Thomas’ father began taking his anger and emotional pain out on Cathy.

Thomas’ father was Cathy’s first real boyfriend and first glimpse into intimate partner violence. They started dating when she was 15. “Everything was fine until we gave up custody of our child. That was when the abuse became physical.” Cathy says that her relationships always started off happy and full of love, but six months to a year down the road, things started to change. “There were signs that things were going south, but I just ignored the warnings in hopes that things would change.” Jealousy and insecurity have been a common theme in her abusers, as well as the struggle for power and control over her life.

“When they feel like they’re losing control of the relationship, that is when the abuse happens. They want to know where you are going, who you’re with, what you’re doing, and where you are at all times. The constant blowing up my phone with texts… It got to the point that I didn’t want to go anywhere. I just wanted to stay at home. I was constantly accused of cheating when I was alone. I had to start asking permission to go somewhere or to do something.” Cathy began the routine of going to work and immediately coming home. This isolation became a tactic that Cathy’s abusers used to keep their power. “They would threaten to kill me if I told anybody, and I thought I didn’t have anyone to tell.” A common question posed to domestic violence victims is, “Why did you stay?” When asked this, Cathy explains that there are multiple reasons that go into answering such a complex question. One being money. “Money is a huge reason. In my situation, it was my house that we lived in. But once you allow someone to live in your house, they have rights to it too. Doing an eviction takes time and money.” Despite Cathy’s name being on the lease for the house, her boyfriend had lived there for years and established residency, even receiving his mail there. She was scared of how he might react to being kicked out. “Unless you pack up and abandon your house and just leave everything, you’re kinda stuck.” Afraid of the eviction process and to financially leave everything behind, Cathy remained in her home. Another reason Cathy explains is fear. “When you’re in an abusive relationship, there’s a part of you that’s scared, knowing that you could die. That’s a fear that you hold onto. When I would stand up for myself, the abuse just got worse. It was easier to just sit back and take it… And you’re always hopeful that they’re going to change. You think they might get better, especially when they apologize and ask for forgiveness.” It wasn’t until Cathy’s children began to notice their mother’s abuse that she knew things had to change. One abuser choked her while she was pregnant. Her children watched as he slammed her against the wall. Most


for housing, but often times, in the Oklahoma City metro, those waiting lists are thousands of people deep. For the past eight months, Cathy has had to try to parent from 2,000 miles away. Her children miss her. She talks to them at least 4 times a week and remains hopeful for their reunion in the future. Now that she is safe, Cathy wants more than anything to be an advocate for other women experiencing domestic abuse. Cathy bravely shares her story in this article as a beacon of hope for others in similar situations. While her story is emotional, it exhibits the long-term effects that domestic abuse can have on a person and a

family. Leaving is the first step in breaking the cycle of abuse, but the effects of domestic abuse reach far beyond the physical and often create long lasting barriers for survivors. Cathy encourages women to not wait before they seek help. “You lose everything slowly but surely in an abusive relationship. I let a few men take everything important in my life away from me because I thought I deserved it. Please do not make my same mistakes. If someone lays a hand on you, please go. Just leave.” If you or anyone you know needs help, please call the 24-hour Domestic Violence Hotline 405-917-9922.

recently, a man she was dating hit her in her head, leaving her with a head injury and an overnight stay in the hospital. Her son was screaming, and the neighbors called police. Cathy lay in the front yard, bleeding until the ambulance arrived. Cathy thinks a lot about that, what impact the abuse has had on her children. How hard it was to leave. How hard it was to shield them from the abuse, the abuse she thought she deserved. “When you’re being told for so long in your life that you’re worthless, that you’re a cunt, that you’re a bitch, that you’re stupid, that you’re all that, then you tend to believe that,” Cathy said. “And then it affects every aspect of your life -- how you raise your kids, how you see yourself, what you choose to do with your life because you think you’re not worth anything more than what you’re given.” Cathy’s biggest fear is that her children are going to grow up living the life she’s lived, continuing the cycle of abuse that she’s experienced. Even though Cathy misses her children, she is grateful for Child Protective Services taking them away from a dangerous environment. “My kids are my motivation. I don’t want my kids to be the next generation involved in domestic abuse. I will do whatever it takes to make a different life for them.” Cathy was finally able to leave Washington after her brother helped her move to Oklahoma. She left everything she owned and walked away. For the first time in Cathy’s life, she finally feels safe. Though her safety comes with sacrifices. Cathy left everything behind when she moved to Oklahoma and financially is trying to start from scratch. Currently Cathy bounces between motels and living in her car. Cathy tries to save money, working two full-time retail jobs. She often works more than 80 hours each week, but it still isn’t enough to cover child support, her car payment, and an apartment for her and her children. “I barely eat,” she said. “...I’m contemplating looking for a third job.” The state of Washington requires that Cathy find a home that’s safe and affordable before being reunited with her children, and because she moved outside the state, there are some federal housing programs that Cathy has been told she doesn’t qualify for. Meanwhile, she’s on a waiting list

You lose everything slowly but surely in an abusive relationship... Please do not make my same mistakes.

Data from YWCA Oklahoma City

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Ending the Cycle of Abuse by Jake Bollig, @ibejakeb photography by Trace Thomas

issues of power and control, beliefs that promote domestic violence, and tools for healthy relationships. “One of the pieces that we are convinced of these days is that there is a lot of learned behavior, and that behavior is about power and control,” said Phil. “Growing up in a dominant household where the power is important, the offenders have usually learned it and they repeat that behavior. Contrary to belief, drugs and alcohol are not the main factor in abuse. When it feels like the control is slipping away is usually when the abuse occurs.” Phil noted that 85% of the people who complete the 52-week Batterers Intervention course notice a significant difference in the way they handle

themselves. And nearly 75% of the clients who began the Batterers Intervention program in 2014 succeeded in graduating the program. Phil believes that abuse can be reformed, and the cycle of abuse within generations of a family can be healed. He added that they have hundreds of letters and stories about the impact the program has had on the lives of the graduates. He has one former client who proudly wrote, “In the past, my kids would run to their rooms when I would come home, and now my kids run to the door to greet me.” Everyone has the ability to change, but the first step is admitting that a problem exists and seeking help. Something that reformed batterer, Zachary, shares in his personal story.

Domestic violence is a major societal issue with 1 in 4 women and 1 in 7 men experiencing domestic violence in their lifetime, according to the National Domestic Violence Hotline. The lesser-told story of abuse is that of the abuser. What causes a person to step into the role of an abuser? Is it a learned behavior? Can it be prevented for future generations? And what does a person’s life look like after they have rehabilitated their harmful characteristics? According to Phil Altes, Director of the Batterers Intervention program at Family Builders in downtown Oklahoma City, there is hope for reform. The Batterers Intervention program maintains approximately 130 clients each week, who are broken apart into 11 different groups. 10 of the groups consist of men and 1 group is made up of women. Most of the clients are there by way of court order or the Department of Human Services. Topics include personal responsibility and the effects of violence on others,

Growing up in a dominant household where the power is important, the offenders have usually learned it and they repeat that behavior.


Zachary Crutcher spent much of his youth affiliated with gangs and following in the footsteps of his father. “It started when I was six years old,” said Zachary. “My dad took me along while he was drinking, selling drugs, pimping females. I was raised around so much negative that I thought it was normal. I got so used to it that I accepted all the violence and all the disrespect. I just thought it was normal. I didn’t know how to show (my dad) that I could be a better person than him, so I just followed in his example.” Zachary was one of nine children in the home and was frequently abused by his father and often witnessed his father’s violence towards his mother. Zachary remembers once having to pull a gun on his father to protect his mom. Another time, his father had him take a hot bath and then beat him with an extension chord until he had welts all over his body. As a way to cope with the abuse, Zachary tried to emotionally disconnect himself from the world around him. “I bottled it up. But it was explosive, and it was dangerous.” When Zachary started dating, he began to mimic the relationships he had seen in his childhood. “My first unhealthy relationship was when I started being in relationships.” The abuse would start out verbal but would escalate to physical over time. At a young age, Zachary was told that, “The best way you can get to a woman is chop them down like a tree with your words. You don’t ever have to put your hands on them. Just chop them down with your words.” These words guided Zachary’s unhealthy actions moving forward. When asked why he abused, Zachary shares, “I didn’t know how to deal with the pain I was experiencing, I was inflicting it on other people to feel better as a person.” Zachary’s decisions eventually forced him to confront his own personal demons. His mandatory sentencing, brought down by the Department of Human Services, introduced him to the Batterers Intervention program and opened his eyes to a problem that he had been ignoring since his youth. At first, Zachary admits that the hardest part is the change.

“When you’re comfortable with something or used to something, you can do it without any hesitation…I learned that you have to be openminded and have resources. You can’t be afraid of change.” Over time, Zachary learned his triggers and how to deal with his issues

head on. The overall theme that often plays throughout those who abuse is the need for power and control. “Power and control is one of these things that Family Builders emphasizes, and I learned that you have to be in control of who you are as a person.”

Zachary’s Story

It started when I was six years old. My dad took me along while he was drinking, selling drugs, pimping females... I got so used to it that I accepted all the violence and all the disrespect.

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Recognizing the cycle of abuse in his life, Zachary only wishes that children had access to domestic violence information earlier on. Zachary proposes that schools integrate classes on domestic violence into their curriculum. “I think it would be really good to help others growing up in the situation that I came from…They need to put it in a way that kids are able to understand. That way they can recognize if it’s a problem in their home and have a better outcome.” When asked about his future, Zachary stated that he is confident in his reform. “I’m thankful that DHS put me in these classes so I can be a better father

to my children…I am going to continue coming to Family Builders even though my time is done. Everybody has a story and everybody connects and everybody bonds up here, so we can push each other in the right direction.” “I have learned a deeper level of understanding about myself and theability I have to control myself. The biggest truth I have learned is the myth of losing control… It’s gonna take one person at a time to break the cycle of abuse. I’m proud to be one. “ Help is available for those in need. If you or someone you know is an abuser, please reach out to Family Builders’ Batterers Intervention Program and call 405-232-8226.

Zachary’s biggest motivation for change is his children. “I’m 30 years old now, and I’ve got five kids. I want to raise my kids better. I want to be a better father. I want to be an example for them. I have a lot of people expecting me to be the person I was before… But I have the power to change. It’s a choice. Every decision you make is a choice, and there’s a positive or a negative outcome. I want to choose positive.” By learning and studying who he is as a man, Zachary has been able to address his past mistakes. Looking back, Zachary feels ashamed of his actions, sharing that, “You can’t minimize, blame, or justify what you did. But you can change.”

I have learned a deeper level of understanding about myself and the ability I have to control myself… It’s gonna take one person at a time to break the cycle of abuse. I’m proud to be one.


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by Marcos Powell, The Curbside Chronicle vendor

Sci-Fi Classics My love for Sci-Fi started when I was a kid. I would watch Lost in Space on T.V. at home. But it wasn’t until I was introduced to Star Trek that I became a true Sci-Fi fanatic. The thing I love about Sci-Fi movies is that they show you what the future could be. They encourage you to dream and imagine what the world could look like in years to come. In many ways, the Sci-Fi genre is very inspiring. A

lot of inventors say that different SciFi props helped inspire the actual creation of certain technologies. For example, the tablet, flip phone, Bluetooth headset, and floppy disk all resemble devices showed in Star Trek long before their actual invention. SciFi has the potential to be predictive of the future. When I look at a Sci-Fi movie, I wonder 10, 20, 30 years from now, will we have something like this?

Could this technology really exist? Maybe it won’t happen by the time the movie predicts, but maybe in 2055 or 2100. Maybe it needs more time to become a reality, but it is still cool that the idea exists long before creation in these movies. I think Sci-Fi is the best movie genre for dreamers. If you’re looking to get into Sci-Fi movies, here are some Sci-Fi classics that you definitely must see.

The Abyss (1989) The Abyss stars film legend, Ed Harris, and Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio. It is about a U.S. search and rescue team working to recover a sunken submarine in the depths of the ocean. While searching for the cause of the submarine’s accident, they encounter underwater aliens. I really loved the special effects in this movie, especially in regards to the aliens. The aliens have the capability to take the form of a human face but entirely made of water. My favorite scene of the movie is when Ed Harris goes deep into the depths of the ocean and interacts with the underwater aliens, which has some pretty cool special effects and lighting for its time.


Starship Troopers (1997) Starship Troopers takes place in the 23rd century, and Earth has begun colonizing other planets. The story follows a futuristic military unit in their attempt to colonize new planets. While on their mission, they encounter the alien species Arachnids that resemble giant bugs. This starts a war between mankind and the alien bug Arachnids. My favorite part of the movie was the detail and animation of the bugs. It was nominated for Best Visual Effects at the Academy Awards in 1998. There are three sequels to this original Sci-Fi movie: Hero of the Federation, Marauder, and Starship Troopers: Invasion.

The Brother from Another Planet (1984) Joe Morton plays “The Brother,� an escaped slave from another planet taking refuge on Earth. He finds himself on the streets of Harlem in New York trying to blend in. Though he looks like an ordinary human, The Brother is actually an alien with psychic powers. However, he is mute and cannot communicate with humans on Earth. As he struggles to fit in on Earth, two agents from his home planet come to capture him and bring him back to slavery. This was one of Joe Morton’s first movies, but he went on to be in other Sci-Fi classics like Terminator 2: Judgement Day.

Flash Gordon (1980) Flash Gordon is a great movie with an even better theme song by the rock band Queen. This movie is based off the original comic strip Flash Gordon. It features the character Flash Gordon, who is a football player for the New York Jets, and his fight to save planet Earth from Ming the Merciless. Ming is the evil emperor on the planet Mongo, who plans to destroy Earth with a series of natural disasters. Flash and his friends have to find a way to stop Ming and save Earth. The costumes in this movie are awesome. There is a tribe of bird-like Hawkmen who live on a floating city, and I think the creativity behind their tribe is genius. The plot is your classic hero vs. villain story, but it is carried out with a creative and unique flare. It also features Timothy Dalton before he became the 4th James Bond, which is a plus.

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Tron (1982) You might have heard of its sequel Tron Legacy, which was released in 2010 and a huge success, but I definitely suggest watching the original Tron too. Tron had groundbreaking visuals for its time. It is considered to be the first movie to use computer animation and won an Academy Award for its technical achievement 14 years after its debut. Tron is about a software engineer played by Jeff Bridges that tries to hack into a computer system and ends up transported into a digital world. In order to escape, he must interact with various computer programs and survive. Tron has amazing costume and set design. If for no other reason, you should watch it for its place in cinema history.

7 Faces of Dr. Lao (1964) This was one of my mom’s favorite movies. She introduced me to it as a kid, and it has had a special place ever since. Tony Randal stars in this movie as the infamous Dr. Lao before making a name for himself as Felix Unger in the Odd Couple. Dr. Lao runs a traveling circus and is able to transform himself into seven different characters. Tony Randall plays each of these seven characters in the movie, showcasing his breadth of talent. Dr. Lao uses his circus to impart wisdom on the visiting townsfolk of Abalone, Arizona. It is a classic tale of wonder.

Stargate (1994) Stargate stars Kurt Russell and James Spader. Stargate centers around an archeologist and soldier who discover a gateway that leads to an Egyptian-like world. Despite being in space, this world mimics ancient Egypt and is ruled by an alien version of Ra the Sun God. In order to escape back to Earth, Kurt and James have to overthrow Ra. I really love how this movie brilliantly combines the futuristic idea of space travel with ancient Egyptian history. Stargate was such a success that in 1997 they started a TV series titled Stargate SG-1 as a sequel to the film. If you like the movie, I would recommend checking out the TV series too. Richard Dean Anderson plays one of the main characters and does a great job. There are several other series that act as Stargate spin-offs, but I would suggest starting with the original movie and TV show.


Dreamscape (1984) Dennis Quaid plays a young psychic, Alex, in Dreamscape with the ability to project himself into other people’s dreams. Thinking he is working with the U.S. government to help people with sleep disorders, Alex soon finds out about a plan to use a dream assassin to kill the President of the United States. Dream assassins have the ability to kill a person in their dreams, which leads to that person dying in real life too. Alex must use his powers to save the President from a dream assassin, played by David Patrick Kelly. I believe that Dreamscape was influential for future Sci-Fi movies like The Matrix and Inception, which also celebrate the idea of entering people’s dreams. It is a really creative idea and storyline.

Soylent Green (1973) It’s year 2022 and the world is overpopulated and polluted. The food supply is running low, and there is a new mysterious food product called Soylent Green that is being rationed for people to eat in New York City. When an executive at the rations manufacturer Soylent Corporation is murdered, the NYPD begin looking into the case. However, they soon find out that Soylent Green is not what they think it is. I really recommend this movie. I think its depiction of future world problems holds a scary level of truth. It also stars film legend Charlton Heston, who you might recognize as Moses in The Ten Commandments or as George Taylor in the original Planet of the Apes.

The Last Starfighter (1984) The Last Starfighter is about a teenage boy, Alex Rogan, with a talent for playing the videogame Starfighter. He becomes the highestscoring player and is approached by the game’s inventor saying that he has been chosen for a special mission. Alex soon learns that the video game he played was actually a representation of a real conflict going on in space. The game was designed to test players and determine who was gifted enough save the planet Rylos. Alex must use what he learned in the video game to defend the people of Rylos. My favorite part of this movie is the different gadgets that they use. They have this one translating device that allows people to hear alien dialogue in English. I think this device is really cool. I also think that the starship Alex flies is designed really well.

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The Time Machine (1960) The Time Machine is a Sci-Fi classic based off the famous novel by H.G. Wells, which popularized the idea of time travel. In the movie, H.G. Wells believes that a utopian society exists in the future and builds a time machine to see. But when he travels forward in time with his time machine, he discovers a dark and disturbing future for society. The world is filled with nuclear war and a new civilization that H.G. Wells must survive.

The Fifth Element (1997) A young Bruce Willis stars as a taxi cab driver that must save planet Earth from impending doom. Every 5,000 years a great evil appears and threatens mankind. There is only one weapon that can defeat the evil, consisting of the four classic elements and a special fifth element. Bruce Willis must find and combine the five elements to stop the threat. I really like the focus on the four natural elements throughout the movie. And the thought provoking line, “What’s the use in saving a life when you see what you do with it?”

IGUANA G R I L L

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Nothing compares to football season in Oklahoma. The start of the season is a sign that fall is upon us. Despite our busy lives, we find time to commit entire Saturdays to watching the big game with family, friends, and plenty of food. There is something special about making the trek to Stillwater or Norman and watching the game in

the collegiate atmosphere. The air is crisp, full of excitement, with a healthy dose of competitiveness. We take our football seriously in the Sooner State. Whether you bleed crimson and cream or have orange and black running through your veins, these Game Day Grub suggestions guarantee a good time, win or lose.

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The Library The Library is located just west of the OU Campus. But you won’t find any books at this library. We are referring to The Library Bar and Grill, a neighborhood favorite and Sooner institution. It is a small English-style pub tucked behind a hedge of trees and bushes. The inside is quaint with lots of woodwork and stained glass windows. The large patio feels like you are sitting in your parent’s back yard and heaters, blankets, and misters make it perfect for all seasons. They have a beer for all seasons too, brewed at their sister Brewhouse Brewery. During happy hour, get a pint of their house beers for only $2.25. Their house Irish Ale pairs perfectly with their pub pizzas, like the Tomato, Basil, and Garlic ($9.95), or their Spinach and Feta stuffed pretzel. And nothing compares to their Pot Roast in a Sourdough Bread Bowl

($8.95- roast, gravy, green beans, corn, carrots) paired with their house Stout on a cool fall football day. Boomer!

BBQ Chicken Pizza

Norman Hideaway Hideaway is a not-so-hidden Oklahoma legend serving pizzas in Stillwater since 1957. Their classic recipes have been pleasing orangewearing fans since day one and often earn them the title of “Best Pizza in the

State.” Though there are other franchised locations across Oklahoma, the Stillwater location is the original and the only location with the original owner and recipes. On game day, locals and visitors alike line up and wait for a

slice of heaven. Hideaway’s secret crust recipe is the star. Thin and crisp, it is the perfect medium for their ingredient-heavy specialty pizzas. Fan favorites include the Little Kahuna (Olive Oil & Garlic Sauce, Chicken, Bacon, Sun-dried Tomato, Feta Cheese- $16.05, M), Paradise Pie (Alfredo Sauce, Chicken, Bacon, Mushrooms, Spinach, Fresh Tomato$18.60, M), and the meat lover’s Big Country pie (Pepperoni, Bacon, Italian Sausage, Canadian Bacon, Cheddar Cheese- $18.60, M). Or get creative and build your own pizza. They even have smoked oysters! No visit to Hideaway would be complete without an order of their famous fried mushrooms to start the meal. Hot, crunchy, and perfect with their cool, creamy ranch or zesty marinara, even the non-shroom lovers will be hooked.

ATW Pizza


The Mont Sooner fans love The Mont. There is something special about their Sooner Swirls and bar food that sets the perfect mood on game days. It could be the combination of college day youth with alma mater nostalgia, or maybe the large patio with plenty of shade trees, umbrellas, and misters. The building, with its vintage stained glass and bricks covered in vines, also adds to the charm. Whatever it is, you are guaranteed to find a crowd and a good time during football season. Their food is simple. They have plenty of appetizers, so order several and share. Favorites include their sausage laden Chips and Queso ($6.99), Pulled Pork Potato Skins ($7.49), as well as their Loaded Cheese Fries ($6.49). But let’s be honest, the real reason to go to The Mont is their famous Sooner Swirls; a frozen blend of crimson sangria and cream-colored margarita. Other drink favorites are their

Blueberry Margaritas and the Chi-Chi: a Pina Colada made with vodka instead of rum. Whatever you choose, you are sure to find a party at The Mont.

Chips, Queso, and Sooner Swirl

Stillwater Eskimo Joe’s No trip to Stillwater would be complete without a visit to the illustrious Eskimo Joe’s. A Stillwater institution since 1975, Eskimo Joe’s is a nostalgic favorite of alumni and current students alike. For game days,

be sure to arrive early and be prepared to wait. Grab a beer and peruse their gift shop filled with trademarked souvenirs, many of which sport Pokefavorite colors of orange and black. Though their shirts are popular,

foodies flock to Eskimo Joe’s for their world famous cheese fries. Fresh cut fries are generously loaded with gooey Monterey Jack and melted Cheddar, but the plain Joe’s Cheese Fries ($6.49) is just the beginning. You can also get Chili Cheese Fries ($7.49), Bacon Cheese Fries ($7.49), Sweet Peppered Bacon Cheese Fries ($7.99), Black and Bleu Cheese Fries ($9.29), Elm Street Cheese Fries ($9.29), which are topped with marinated chicken and sweet peppered bacon, and finally, in case they aren’t cheesy enough for you, Double Cheese Cheese Fries ($7.99). Other favorites are their juicy burgers, starting at $7.99, or Fowl Things, like their Hot Blackened Chicken sandwich ($9.49) topped with an orange marmalade sauce to offset the spicy Cajun kick. It’s sure to have your pistols firing.

Joe’s Cheese Fries

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Blackbird’s Gastro Pub If you are looking for more sophisticated pub grub, then look no further than Blackbird Gastropub on Campus Corner. Housed in a historic building, its beautiful hammered copper bar and rich leather booths

are just as captivating as its food and drink. Blackbird proudly carries over 100 whiskeys. Order them straight or craft one into one of their cocktails like the Sazerac ($7), a delicious mix of Bulliet Rye Whiskey, Kubler Absinthe,

simple syrup, Angostura Bitters, and a lemon twist. For a tasty starter, order a plate of their Smears ($9) sampler; little nibbles of Red Pepper Walnut Smear, Pimento Cheese Smear, Roasted Garlic, Bacon, and Smoked Gouda Smear served with Toasted Parmesan Flatbread. Another delectable starter that could easily be an entrée is their Pot Roast Sliders ($10), which have three Ciabatta rolls topped with tender Pot Roast, Truffle Oil Mashed Potatoes, and Fried Onions. Fans rave about their Serrano and Garlic Meatloaf ($15). This isn’t your ordinary homestyle meatloaf. Two individually baked beef meat loaves are glazed with a Spicy Pepper Glaze, topped with Fried Onions, and served with Bacon and Apple Brussels Sprouts and Black Truffle Oil Mashed New Potatoes. It is the perfect stick-toyour-ribs meal after cold games at the stadium.

Pot Roast Sliders

The Rancher’s Club Tucked away on campus in the Atherton Hotel is The Rancher’s Club, one of Stillwater’s best-kept secrets. Their rustic décor, complete with cowhide chairs, a beautiful stone fireplace, and antler chandeliers, will make Cowboys feel like they’re home on the range. The student-run restaurant boasts exceptional service right down to their warm napkins. The menu highlights some of Oklahoma’s best offerings, including local eggs, honey, and produce. Their beef, the highlight of the menu, comes from No Name Ranch in Wynnewood, just 125 miles from Stillwater. Beef cuts on their dinner menu include their exceptional 10 oz. Bone In Filet ($36), behemoth 20 oz. Porterhouse ($45), and their soft-as-butter Smoked Prime Rib ($32) and are served with a side. If you are looking for something more budget friendly give them a try at lunch. Their RC Burger ($9.50), which is a half-pound burger served on their homemade bun and topped with smoked cheddar, horseradish sauce, and traditional fixings, and Chicken

Fried Steak ($11.50), served with whipped potatoes and pepper cream gravy, both highlight the same local beef at a fraction of the price. Be sure to make reservations ahead of time on Open Table, especially on game days.

Rancher’s Fillet


Meet Donny. He is a young business professional who cares about the health and well-being of those living within our community. As an Emerging Leader, he is committed to helping improve the quality of life in central Oklahoma by volunteering and supporting United Way of Central Oklahoma. Through United Way, he knows his contributions are making a lasting impact. Call 405.236.8441 or visit www.unitedwayokc.org to learn how you can become an Emerging Leader.


When I was just a child, I would watch my aunt Johnnie and grandmother prepare meals. I was always really interested in cooking, so my aunt and grandma taught me everything they knew. I grew up with basic southern homestyle cooking -- fried chicken, fried pork chops, fried fish, chittlings, and pig feet. Later in life, I worked at several restaurants as a cook. I’ve always especially loved baking pies. The first pie I learned to make was peach. Then I graduated to lemon pies, blackberry cobbler, and finally chess pies. My favorite thing to cook is a chess pie, so I thought I’d take a minute to share the goodness with you.

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Meet Bennie compiled by Ranya O’Connor, photos by Sarah Powers

Bennie sells The Curbside Chronicle at the intersection of Northwest Expressway and Classen.

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Where are you from?

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Well, I grew up in Earl, Arkansas, but I’ve been in Oklahoma since June 22nd of ‘85. I came here when I was 19. I was raised by my mother. She basically did what she had to do to support us. I didn’t know who my father was until I was 9 years old. Came to find out he only lived 5 blocks up the street.

What was your childhood like? Growing up was hard without a father. I knew I was supposed to have one, but where was he? All I really knew was my mom. She did what she had to support us. She went out a lot and left us home by ourselves. We learned how to take care of ourselves that way. I have three brothers and two sisters, but we were spread out. She was only able to keep three of us. There was abuse in the home. My mother and her boyfriend would always fight. As a child, I just watched all of that. A lot of things happened in that house growing up.

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What kinds of things? One of my mother’s boyfriends almost drowned me one night because he was mad at her. He came home and she wasn’t there and he got mad. I was around 5 years old. He kept dunking me under water in the bathtub. I never said anything to my mom. When stuff like that happens as a kid, you don’t know whether it was right or wrong. I was supposed to take a bath that night and hadn’t. I thought it might have been punishment for that.

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What was your mom like? My mother and father they wasn’t very educated. My mom could hardly read. One of my brothers had to teach my dad to read. We was poor but we survived. My mom did what she had to support us. Illegal stuff. Prostitution. She wasn’t on a corner or nothing like that, but she dated a lot of men and I know she did it for money. And I had to watch that.


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Did you know your mom was a prostitute?

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I knew about it by the age of seven. She would never tell me, but when you’re there at the house, you can see what’s going on. At first, I was mad, but now I understand. She did what she had to do to provide for us. With no education, can’t hardly read, she did what she knew how.

Was that difficult for you? As I got older, I became bitter. I asked why I had to be in this family and why my mom did what she did. It was hush-hush as a kid. I didn’t want my friends knowing. One day, I invited my friend over and he found out. Then he mentioned it in front of people at school and it made me snap. I beat him up and got expelled. He was talking bad about my momma, and the worst part is that what he was saying was true. That’s why I got away from Arkansas. I knew that I had to get away from my momma. I could end up in prison trying to defend her. That’s what brought me to Oklahoma.

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What did you do when you got to Oklahoma?

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I went to Job Corps in Tulsa, Oklahoma and graduated. At the time, I thought that was enough. Now I know that’s not. When I got out of Job Corps, I got a place. Me and one of my friends had a house together. I worked at the newspaper company in the print shop stacking newspapers. That didn’t last long. I started getting into drugs and drinking. I let my friends influence me. Sometimes you get to hanging around the wrong people and doing things you’d never thought you’d do. I had a girlfriend that did drugs, and she convinced me to try them. Next thing you know, my life started to spiral. I went from weed to cocaine to PCP. My friends started breaking into stores and coming back with stolen stuff. Then I found myself going to the pen for petty larceny. When I got out the first time, I turned around and went right back. The second time, I did 6 months. The third time, I did 2 years. After the third time, I made the decision not to go back. The bad choices that I made, I can’t blame that on nobody but me. I realize that. I think I was trying to deal with things that went on at home at a very young age. Things that I didn’t understand. That I was bitter about that. I wouldn’t say that’s the right way to deal with things, but that’s what I did.

How did you make the decision not to go back to prison? I saw people keep coming back, including myself. You can get comfortable with it. I decided not to get comfortable. I didn’t want people telling me when to wake up, when to go to sleep, and when to eat for the rest of my life. You get used to it and think that’s the way your life is supposed to be. But I knew that mine wasn’t supposed to be like that.

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What was prison like? Real. One of the guys in my block killed himself. One morning he started giving all his stuff away. The next day, they found him dead in his cell… Everything is valuable in prison. A person will fight over a bag of chips. What we take for granted out here is valuable in prison. I’ve seen a lot of guys get beat up on canteen day over some snacks.

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There’s more drugs in prison than there is on the streets. Anything you want to get in prison, you can get it. It just costs way more. And the guards are the ones bringing the drugs in. The inmates can’t bring them in. It’s a profitable business. What might cost you $3 on the streets costs you $75 in prison. It’s a different world.

How long did you struggle with drug use? I struggled for 28 years with addiction. It controls you. It takes all your money. You can’t keep housing. You can’t keep a job. You get to a point where all the people you know are drug addicts. I’ve been homeless on and off again since I was 25 because of my addiction. I’ve slept under bridges, in abandoned houses, in tents. When I turned 50, I decided it was time for change. I thought to myself, “I don’t want to be homeless anymore.” Out on the streets, I see these guys who are 60, 70, 80 years old. I don’t want that to be me.

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How did you achieve sobriety? I believed that I was capable of change. I started going to NA meetings and am currently on the waitlist for a sober living facility in Oklahoma City. I’ve been sober for over 5 months now. I try to stay busy and work towards a more positive future for myself. I get up early in the morning and do my chores at the shelter. Then I’m off selling magazines for the day. Curbside really helps me stay clean and focus on my future. It’s a great feeling knowing that you can reach in your pocket and you’ve got $200 that you’ve earned. Over 5 months ago, if I had $200 in my pocket, I would have been off and running. Once you’re clean, you can see things from a different perspective. In the past, I couldn’t see what I was doing to myself. Now I’m on the other side.

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What do you want people to know about homelessness? People should get to know us before they pass judgment on us. I don’t think that some people could handle what some of us homeless have been through. How we’ve had to live. What we’ve had to do. You don’t know what brought us to this point. Some people are handed things on a silver spoon in life and some people are not. I wouldn’t blame my life on nobody else. But it’s important for people to know that some people start at the 50-yard line and others have to start at the 1-yard line.

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Bennie sits on the cement of the building he used for shelter. This is where Bennie used to sleep at night.

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What’s your favorite thing about life right now? I’m really enjoying myself. I’m getting to meet new people with the magazine and learning just how much people in Oklahoma City care. I’ve met so many nice people. It has built my confidence. I can hold conversations with people and laugh with ’em. It’s given me the opportunity to support myself. It’s bad when your sister has to come and buy you tennis shoes or a new outfit because she knows you don’t have the money. But now I can go to the store and buy myself an outfit and shoes. I haven’t been able to do that in a long time.

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What are some of your hobbies? I really don’t have many hobbies. For a long time, I was the person who went along with whatever. I was just here. It seemed like life was just passing me by. I felt like I was stuck because of my addiction. You get to the point that you don’t care about hobbies; the only thing you care about it getting high. Nowadays, I’m working on getting my life back. I like to read and lift weights. I like to go out and eat and treat myself every now and then. I like to go to the movies.

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What are your dreams for the future? One day to own my own business. I’d like to own my own cleaning company. My mom was a clean freak. I think I got it from her. Five months ago, I didn’t have no hope, but now I have hope. I’m happy that I’m not doing the same thing. I’m not bumping my head against the same wall. I have plans to get my CDL license to be able to drive big trucks. I might like to make a career out of that. I’m trying to think of and pursue things that will benefit me in the long run. It’s never too late. I just have a desire to do better than what I was doing. I’m trying to focus on me right now. When it’s all said and done, the only person I’m going to be lookin’ at is me.

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What would you like people to know about you? I just want people to know that I’m human just like they are. That they can talk to me and get to know me. Some people think that because of my size, I should have a “real” job. What they don’t know is that I used to work construction and injured my knee real bad. I’m not trying to run game on anyone. I’m just trying to work hard and move forward in life. Just get to know me before you pass a judgment on me. I’m pretty sure all of us have some skeletons in our closet that we aren’t too proud of. I definitely do. But we are all capable of change.

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Words of wisdom? We should look out for the interest of others and not just our own. I think that will carry this world much farther.


Help us end panhandling in OKC! The Curbside Chronicle needs your help! Cut along the black lines and keep these cards in your car to hand out to panhandlers instead of cash. Together we can employ and empower OKC’s homeless!


Help us end panhandling in OKC! The Curbside Chronicle needs your help! Cut along the black lines and keep these cards in your car to hand out to panhandlers instead of cash. Together we can employ and empower OKC’s homeless!


Sasquatch Curbside Chronicle vendor, Marcos Powell, published his first short story online! 38 pages of terror for only $0.99!

Scan this code to learn more and read an excerpt!

For centuries, there have been many legends about the shy-like creature that walks and stalks the Pacific Northwest. The white man calls him Bigfoot because of the footprints that he leaves behind, but the Native Americans know him as Sasquatch. 29


Hoboscope by Mystic Milly

LIBRA You’ll be restless this month. You’re bored with the places and faces in your life—eager to explore and experience something fresh. Use those sick days you’ve been saving to satisfy your travel bug. Even more than that, satisfy your spontaneity bug. Don’t plan a vacation. Just take one. Pack a bag with two changes of underwear and a toothbrush. Roll up to the airport and take the first flight you can—wherever you can. Talk to the person next to you on the flight. Share stories. Land in foreign state or country. Eat weird food. Walk the streets. Find a place to sleep. Return home… if you want.

SCORPIO

SAGITTARIUS

I hear if you microwave a lemon, it will yield more juice. I hear if you microwave aluminum foil, it will catch on fire. This scenario is analogous to how your life can go this month. You’re going to be under considerable stress. It will bring out your best, most productive self, or it will cause you to crash and burn. Stay positive and focused to keep on track. This will help you feel capable and skilled instead of overwhelmed. If you panic and quit, the consequence could be grave. After all, when life gives you lemons, microwave them before you juice.

This month your social circle could expand dramatically. No need to post anymore “friends wanted” ads on Craigslist. (P.S. that should never have been an option. Please be smart about making friends online, Sagittarius. Please.) Instead, open your eyes to the social opportunities surrounding you. Invite the co-worker eating alone to lunch. Ask an old friend to coffee. Join an eccentric club. I know you like your core friends, but your schedule is relaxed this month. Use this spare time to invest in meaningful relationships instead of defaulting to preexisting ones and Netflix.

AQUARIUS

CAPRICORN You thirst for knowledge this month! Good for you, Capricorn. The more you learn, the more you realize you have yet to understand in the world. Dig out the library card you got in the 90’s and hit the books. You can traverse worlds of information with your fingertips. Where to start? Migration patterns of Monarch Butterflies? The history of dental floss? Implementation of the New Urbanism movement? Heck, you may figure out who Banksy is. At least you know it’s not me.

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This month your friends, acquaintances, intimate relationships, and even family members will forget what you look like, what your interests are, and what you do for a living. You might have occasionally experienced this phenomenon before with no explanation—your mom calling you by your dog’s name, your crush looking past you in the hall, the waiter at your favorite restaurant forgetting your usual order. But this month you will be extra generic and forgettable to those around you. Utilize this time to fly under the radar. You can explode on your annoying coworkers without them realizing it was you, or you can humbly serve with zero recognition. Either way, no one will remember.

PISCES If you had to be a plant instead of a human, what kind of plant you would be? Dig deep and meditate on this question. In order to choose the right plant, you will need to do some soul searching first and foremost. You also might need to brush up on your botany. In my opinion you’re adaptable, a smidge sarcastic, thick-skinned, but still emotional. All signs point to you being a barrel cactus, which rocks because succulents are so in right now.


ARIES

TAURUS

You’re tired of being an angry motorist. Luckily the alignment of Jupiter has calmed your spirit this month. While you’re not ready to pack up and move to a little house on the prairie, you are ready to ditch those high traffic areas and corporate grocery store parking lots that irritate you so. Try a corner market or a family owned movie theatre. Ride to work on a bike or take the scenic route. And if you do have to take the freeway, listen to at least two hours of babbling brook sounds before you make the drive.

GEMINI

I’m sorry about this bad news, but you will be entirely unproductive this month. It’s actually quite paradoxical. You will be so determined to be determined to be productive that you will not accomplish anything. The Struggle Bus is on its way.

You used to be cultured, but now you’re content with shallow blogs and slapstick YouTube videos. This month you will crave cultural experiences again. Search for authentic food, visit museums, and attend the theatre. You might be tempted to become a bit pretentious with all the class, but remember your humble origins and bring others alongside you—especially an Aquarius friend because her family forgot to invite her to a reunion in Santa Fe.

CANCER

LEO

VIRGO

Wow, this is crazy. Everything is going to be great for you this month. Seriously don’t sweat anything. The stars have aligned for you. Turn on autopilot and watch all aspects of your life flourish. You should consider running for president or applying to graduate school at least. Try out for a reality show. Ask for a promotion. Like I said, nothing can go wrong.

Leo, do you want in on a little secret? The stars and planets do not affect your life in any way. But if anyone asks, you didn’t hear that from me.

You’re exhausted from the daily trials of material existence and spend a substantial amount of time dreaming of transcending the physical world. No matter how hard gravity holds you down, your head is up in the clouds. Just remember that clouds are technically material too. They may look whimsical, other worldly, and ethereal, but they’re still material.

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