julie wilde

Brian Gougeon started counting the purple spots on his legs in the spring of 1987. He consulted a doctor in Chicago about it, just as he did a few weeks later when thrush reappeared on his tongue and tonsils. If the doctor was piecing together a diagnosis, either he wasn’t telling him or Gougeon chose not to tell his friends.

It had been months since we last spoke. He had stopped returning my phone calls, saying long-distance bills were outside his budget. Instead he answered via ornately decorated postcards, devoid of personal news. Then, just after his birthday in July, Susan Wild, a mutual friend from college, called to say he’d been admitted to the Illinois Masonic hospital with pneumonia and toxoplasmosis. “He asked me to come help him get to the hospital,” she said. “He wanted to take a shower first, but didn’t have the strength—he’s so thin, David, I had to help him. He was embarrassed and apologizing the whole time. When we got to the ER, they ran tests and diagnosed pneumonia. They put him in the AIDS ward.”


I had been waiting for, and dreading, and hoping against, this moment since AIDS first surfaced, when we were invincible twenty-two-year-olds, chain-smoking and reading the Times with Ray-Bans balanced smugly on our noses. I wanted to race to see him, but Wild said Gougeon had requested privacy. The toxoplasmosis left him somewhat confused. But he did want my advice. She read from a list of his lab results, a portrait in acronyms and ratios. He was very sick. I answered what I could and promised to research the rest. Most pressing was whether he should take AZT, which the physician had ordered. Given his low CD4 count and the high doses of pentamidine, I said I thought it was a good idea.


“He’s going to need money,” I added. He could be hospitalized for months, and unless he had savings he risked losing his apartment. I offered to pass a hat among his friends in New York and she accepted reluctantly, not focused on anything so long term. I spent the next week planning a gathering of his New York friends. The work gave me a feeling of usefulness. That Saturday, three dozen people convened at my apartment with small sums of cash in envelopes, a little over $800 in total. Someone brought a bulky camcorder and we wished Brian a speedy recovery through the newest technology.


When the videocassette arrived in Chicago along with the emergency funds, Susan Wild called to say he wouldn’t be watching it. “I guess he’s blind,” she said. “It happened so quickly. He was talking to his mother yesterday and said, ‘Norma’—he calls her Norma—‘Norma, would you turn on the light? We shouldn’t have to sit here in the dark.’ But of course, it was the middle of the day. Sunlight was streaming in. When they figured out what had happened, and that the blindness was irreversible, he was really scared. He said to Norma, ‘I’m a blind artist. What good is a blind artist?’ And she said to him, ‘Sculpture, honey. You could be a great sculptor.’ By the time I talked to him, he had already begun to adjust a little, and I just cried.”


His jar of AZT, delayed by shortages and high demand, arrived almost two weeks later. By then he was in no condition to take it, having slipped into a coma from which he never returned. He was twenty-eight when he died.


That call from Wild was the most devastating of my life. I’d spent six years gathering esoteric information, investigating every medical lead, ingratiating myself to scientists, doctors, activists, and patients. None of it made a bit of difference. Nurses gave Wild the chance to bequeath his unused AZT to a recipient of her choosing, but she suggested they just give it to the next person in need.


The Roman Catholic service was private. Norma Gougeon laid her second-youngest son to rest at the Holy Cross Cemetery in Alpena, Michigan, with six of his brothers as pallbearers. She kept the cause of death a secret from her priest and the local paper, attuned to the possible consequences. A memorial gathering for his friends in Chicago would take place in a few weeks.


I was back at ACT UP a Monday or two later. Like a wedding chapel or a movie theater, it was a place where you could cry without causing alarm. A man sitting to my left silently rested a hand on my rocking shoulder for a few moments. I was grateful for the stranger’s gesture.

—  David France, How to Survive a Plague: The Inside Story of How Citizens and Science Tamed AIDS (2016), Pt. 3, Ch. 3
The Midheaven: How You Will Be Remembered

The Midheaven (MC) is commonly thought to describe one’s career path. Although this is a decent indicator of one’s overall path, it can be hard to relate to a specific career so early in one’s life. So, if you don’t relate to your Midheaven like, “Oh, you have a MC in Aries, so you’re probably going to be a police officer, solider, or athlete" then maybe try thinking of the Midheaven as how you will be remembered or what you are generally associated with. (Always trust your dominant sign to describe you the most- *a post similar to this coming soon)
✨No matter what career you decide, you will be remembered by your peers, co-workers, friends, and family by traits from the sign, aspects*, and planets* bestowed upon your 10th House.✨

♈ Aries MC: will be remembered for their courage, boldness, intimidating/unsettling nature, and/or originality.
(ex. Stephen King, Meryl Streep, Kanye West, Joan of Arc, Bill Gates, Angelina Jolie, Madalyn Murry O'Hair, Pablo Picasso, Rachel Maddow, Will Smith, Franz Kafka, Tyra Banks, Aleister Crowley, Tina Fey, Francisco de Goya, Julia Roberts, Chris Farley, Joseph Goebbels, Marvin Gaye, Iggy Pop, Kate Moss, Alfred Hitchcock, George Wallace, Hank Williams, Ayn Rand, Rob Zombie, Alexandre Dumas, John Steinbeck, Anne Frank, Twiggy, Jack Black, William Blake, Celine Dion, Galileo Galilei, Al Gore, Emmylou Harris, Las Vegas-Nevada, Manhattan-New York)

♉ Taurus MC: will be remembered for their extravagant style or possessions, their values, and/or “diva” attitude.

(ex. Henry VIII, Andy Warhol, Marilyn Monroe, Tina Turner, Pope Francis, Jackie Robinson, Selena Gomez, Drake, Donald Trump, Freddie Mercury, Agatha Christie, Muhammad Ali, Frida Kahlo, O. J. Simpson, Justin Timberlake, Marlene Dietrich, Malala Yousafzai, Christopher Columbus, Michael Bay, Luciano Pavarotti, Nicole Richie, Woody Allen, Marilyn Manson, Maya Angelou, Martin Scorsese, Bernie Madoff, Ringo, Josephine Baker, Andrew Lloyd Webber, Sarah Palin, Josh Groban, Chris Brown, Mary Kate & Ashley Olsen, Norway)

♊ Gemini MC: will be remembered for/through words (writing, phrase, acting, thoughts, speech), their cleverness,
and/or mental/emotional detachment.

(ex. Jean-Jaques Rousseau, Albert Camus, Madonna, J.R.R. Tolkein, Donna Summer, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Chelsea Handler, Alex Trebek, Kurt Cobain, Julie Andrews, Oscar Wilde, Jay-Z, Richard Nixon, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Tom Hanks, Kris Jenner, Walt Disney, Miss Cleo, Mark Zuckerberg, Steve Jobs, Hugh Hefner, Lizzie Borden, Jane Austen, Charles Dickens, Kathy Bates, Winston Churchill, Melissa Ethridge, Ernest Hemingway, Margaret Mitchell, Paul Simon, Greece, Tokyo-Japan)

♋ Cancer MC: will be remembered for their emotional impact, sensitivity, and/or parental care/control.

(ex. Beyoncé, Matamha Gandhi, John F. Kennedy, Venus Williams, Britney Spears, Arthur Rimbaud, Elizabeth Warren, Denzel Washington, Jeffery Dahmer, Sun Yet-sen, Bob Hope, Stevie Wonder, Anderson Cooper, Cat Stevens, Anna Nicole Smith, Joe Jonas, Rock Hudson, Alice Cooper, Woodrow Wilson, Barbara Walters, T. S. Elliot, Coretta Scott King, Albert Schweitzer, Ted Cruz, Monica Lewinsky, H.P. Lovecraft, Anaïs Nin, Katie Couric, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Carole King, Neil Diamond, Harper Lee, Giacomo Puccini, Sidney Poitier, September 11 attacks, United Kingdom)

♌ Leo MC: will be remembered for their theatrics, arrogance/vanity, power, and/or regality.

(ex. Grace Kelly, Prince, Isaac Newton, Adolf Hitler, Katy Perry, Charlie Chaplin, Aretha Franklin, Sigmund Freud, Jacqueline Onassis-Kennedy, Stanley Kubrick, Courtney Love, Mark Twain, Chaka Khan, Napoleon Bonaparte, Kathy Griffin, Jim Carrey, Alfred Nobel, Eric Clapton, Annie Oakley, Martha Stewart, Divine, Louis Pasteur, Robin Williams, Ludwig Van Beethoven, Chuck Berry, Vladimir Putin, Clint Eastwood, Missy Elliot, Frank Sinatra, Mel B, Edgar Allan Poe, Los Angeles-CA)

♍ Virgo MC: will be remembered for their scandals/controversy, never-ending toil, physicality/health and/or attention to detail.

(ex. Hillary Clinton, Bruce Lee, Kim Kardashian, Ellen DeGeneres, Brad Pitt, Nelson Mandela, Bette Davis, Justin Bieber, Elvis Presley, Erykah Badu, Jimmy Page, Eartha Kitt, Leonardo de Vinci, Bob Marley, Joan Crawford, Margaret Thatcher, Eminem, Friedrich Nietzsche, David Lynch, Chaz Bono, Marlon Brando, Björk, Ozzy Osborne, Emily Brontë, Bernie Sanders, Georgia O'Keeffe, Diana Ross, Kahlil Gibran, Russia, United States)

♎ Libra MC: will be remembered for their inner/outer beauty, adaptability, and/or desire for or appearance of stability.

(ex. Elton John, Jane Goodall, Malcolm X, Coco Channel, Kylie Jenner, Ronald Reagan, Princess Diana, Michelangelo, Oprah Winfrey, Bob Dylan, Winona Ryder, Jimi Hendrix, Mother Teresa, Elizabeth Taylor, Cristiano Ronaldo, Angela Merkel, Tom Brokaw, Alan Watts, Charles Darwin, Brigitte Bardot, Patti Smith, Chuck Norris, Linda Lovelace, Ray Charles, Lionel Messi, Eleanor Roosevelt, Lewis Carroll, Noam Chomsky, Lucille Ball, Venice-Italy)

♏ Scorpio MC: will be remembered for their physical attractiveness, taboo activities/topics, and/or natural talent.

(ex. James Joyce, Billie Holiday, Taylor Swift, Barack Obama, Carrie Fisher, Jim Morrison, Selena, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Queen Elizabeth II, Ariana Grande, Marie Curie, Anthony Hopkins, René Descartes, Nina Simone, Willem Dafoe, Paul Newman, Mariska Hargitay, Thomas Jefferson, Ray Bradbury, Joseph Stalin, Larry King, Duke Ellington, Joan Jett, Buddy Holly, Megan Fox, Johnny Knoxville, Daniel Day-Lewis, Gwen Stefani, Francis Ford Coppola, Sophia Loren, Marcus Aurelius, China)

♐ Sagittarius MC: will be remembered for their joviality​, reckless/wild free spirit, sense of humor, and/or philosophy/spirituality.

(ex. Al Capone, Deepok Chopra, Shia LaBeouf, Audrey Hepburn, Harvey Milk, Johnny Cash, David Bowie, Bettie Page, Pablo Neruda, J. K. Rowling, Christina Aguilera, Michael Jackson, Henry David Thoreau, Adele, Janis Joplin, Maximilien Robespierre​, Ellen Pompeo, Whitney Houston, Paul McCartney, Evel Knievel, Bruno Mars, Jimmy Fallon, Peggy Lipton, Karl Marx, George Takei, Ryan Gosling, Whoopi Goldberg, Vincent Price, Rio de Janeiro-Brazil)

♑ Capricorn MC: will be remembered for their accomplishments/legacy, conquering of odds, and/or persistence.

(ex. Martin Luther King Jr., George Washington, Rihanna, Isadora Duncan, Benjamin Franklin, James Dean, Nikola Tesla, John D. Rockefeller, Serena Williams, Joan Baez, Snoop Dogg, Alexander the Great, Barbara Streisand, Ron Howard, Stevie Nicks, Bette Midler, Joan Rivers, Immanuel Kant, Queen Latifah, Johann Sebastian Bach, Walt Whitman, Che Guevara, Liza Minnelli, Amelia Earhart, Mariah Carey, John Lennon, George Lucas, Donatella Versace, Louis Armstrong, Pakistan)

♒ Aquarius MC: will be remembered for their rebellious nature, involvement in a social organization/group​, and/or unpredictability.

(ex. Miley Cyrus, Tim Burton, Voltaire, Mick Jagger, Carl Sagan, Rita Hayworth, Neil Armstrong, Amy Winehouse, Pamela Anderson, Carlos Santana, Edward Snowden, Leo Tolstoy, Mae West, Orson Welles, Charlie Sheen, Eva Peron, Miles Davis, Bruce Springsteen, Johann Kepler, Suddam Hussein, Ruby Rose, Gerard Way, Helen Mirren, Howard Stern, Arthur Conan Doyle, Mary Shelley, George R. R. Martin, Kristen Stewart, Jean Piaget, Ronda Rousey, Willow Smith, Florida, India)

♓ Pisces MC: will be remembered for their delusional optimism, supernatural success, and/or they are often idolized
.
(ex. Vincent Van Gogh, Albert Einstein, Irene Cara, Cher, Salvador Dalí, William Shakespeare, Edie Sedgwick, Fidel Castro, Lady Gaga, Dalai Lama XIV, Steven Spielberg, George Michael, Marie Antoinette, RuPaul, Judy Garland, Michael Phelps, Sally Ride, John Cena, William Faulkner, Victoria Beckham, Lee Harvey Oswald, Douglas Adams, Jean Renoir, Buzz Aldrin, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Farrah Fawcett, Osama bin Laden, Sam Cooke, Michael Jordan, Switzerland, North Korea)

8 Books About BFFs

Whether you’re celebrating National Best Friends Day or enjoying a quiet day in with your bestie(s), we recommend picking up 2 copies of these books about BFFs and having a mini book club! 📚💕

1. The Lovely Reckless by Kami Garcia

Frankie’s the kind of girl who has more than one BFF! So be sure to share this thrilling romance with your whole crew.

2. This Adventure Ends by Emma Mills
Another friend group full of shared secrets, love, loyalty, and just a bit of drama. (But really it’s all about Sloan and Vera!)

3. Tonight the Streets Are Ours by Leila Sales
Get yourself a bestie who will drop everything and take an unsanctioned road trip with you to meet the guys who just might be the man of your dreams.

4. Queens of Geek by Jen Wilde
BFFs who go to conventions together, stay together.

5. Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
We ship Kaz/Inej/Nina/Matthias/Jesper/Wylan, TBH. What a dream team.

6. Cinder by Marissa Meyer
Cinder and Iko are pretty much friendship goals.

7. Meg & Linus by Hanna Nowinski
If you and your BFF love Star Trek, drama club, and/or coffee, this is probably the book for you.

8. The F-It List by Julie Halpern
Alex and Becca are always there for each other, no matter what, so if that sounds like you and your BFF, give it a read!

I READ FOUR BOOKS IN JULY!!!! I’m so happy, the last few months it’s been either zero or one. They were all great books too. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory was a reread. I have non spoiler reviews on my blog for the other three books all of which I loved! What books have you been reading lately?
⭐️The Names they Gave Us 5/5
⭐️Charlie and the Chocolate Factory 4/5
⭐️My life as a Hashtag 4/5
⭐️Queens of Geek 4/5

lmao I still can’t get over the fact that in JP’s mind it makes total sense to pitch a spinoff where Caroline teaches kids magic (because how many kid vampires are there, like how does that even happen?) and potentially ends up in NOLA when you have Bonnie ‘finally got the hang of this witch thing and am traveling to new places for self-discovery’ Bennett right there.

like don’t get me wrong, I don’t want Bonnie or Kat Graham anywhere NEAR a Julie Plec and I’m glad she got the hell out of Mystic Falls, but if that isn’t the perfect capstone to a history of Caroline being illogically shoe-horned into plots that Bonnie naturally fits because putting some blonde hair on it is worth the sacrifice in logic, idk what is.