Drawing Dallas • 02.10.12

JaQuanFNL_2Lanky dreamboat LaQuan Brown is the ideal Valentine

MARK STOKES  | Illustrator
mark@markdrawsfunny.com

Name and age: LaQuan Brown, 18

Occupation: Student

Spotted at: Target Cityplace

At 6-feet-5, slender, romantic dreamboat LaQuan catches eyes everywhere he goes. A creamy blend of two cultures — his mother is of Dutch descent, his father is African-American — LaQuan certainly stands out in any crowd. His exotic and handsome look recently captured the attention of a modeling scout for Krave magazine, a fashion, lifestyle and entertainment publication for men of color; he was recently selected to model for an upcoming issue.

This intelligent and contemplative Scorpio was born in Oak Cliff and raised throughout Dallas. He enjoys outdoor sports of all kinds, including (predictably) basketball, but also running and taking contemplative walks. He’s also talented at freestyling, and can rap about any subject on the spur of the moment.

LaQuan’s career goal is to obtain a doctorate in psychology, and eventually become a therapist/counselor for at-risk teens.

—  Kevin Thomas

Starvoice • 10.21.11

By Jack Fertig

CELEBRITY BIRTHDAY

Seth MacFarlane turns 38 on Wednesday. The creator of Family Guy, American Dad and The Cleveland Show has also been a staunch gay ally. He outed Family Guy character Stewie as gay in a 2009 interview with Playboy. Recently, he’s gone in a different direction, putting his usual cartoon voice to song in his debut album Music is Better than Words released in September.

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THIS WEEK

Mars is in Leo, trine Eris and sextile Saturn, helping to focus the recent surge of strong competitive energies. Knowing that you are being watched should help you to apply yourself better and to be more gracious in competition.

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LIBRA  Sep 23-Oct 22
The first step to solving financial worries is to stop tripping about the future. Deal with the present and discuss with someone who has a good grasp of larger issues.

SCORPIO  Oct 23-Nov 21
You’re feeling chatty and friendly, but rude remarks slip out causing a lot of trouble. You won’t reach your goals without your teammates. Being ambitious can help draw love your way.

SAGITTARIUS  Nov 22-Dec 20
What people say behind your back is good. It’s because they know you have a good sense of humor. Someone looking out for you will make herself known.

CAPRICORN  Dec 21-Jan 19
Needing to conquer the world isn’t unreasonable, but don’t overplay it. Sexual divertissements help you relax and be efficient. A deeper metaphysical context for your goals is also helpful.

AQUARIUS  Jan 20-Feb 18
Friends and family are eager to promote you. Your kindness and generosity will boost theirs. Focusing too much on your work can be tough on your partner. Save energy for your sweetheart.

PISCES  Feb 19-Mar 19
Future opportunities look brighter. In the real world, making those advances take hard work and thoughtful partnership. Working hard and feeling accomplished helps you look sexy.

ARIES  Mar 20-Apr 19
Know that you can excel at what you love. Focus your energy, wherever your passion is. That will sustain you through everything else.

TAURUS  Apr 20-May 20
Talk to your partner about domestic problems that have been bothering you. The next month can be all about clearing the air and building a stronger relationship. Single? Flirt like crazy.

GEMINI  May 21-Jun 20
Resolve whatever problems you have with colleagues. Remember you’re all on the same team. Being tactful is challenging at first, but it will get easier. Give a little and you’ll get a lot in return.

CANCER  Jun 21-Jul 22
Push yourself to be as resourceful as a drag queen on welfare and encourage others to step back and take the long view. Don’t worry. You can do this.

LEO  Jul 23-Aug 22
You are not your home, family or community. It can be a challenge to let others be themselves. The value of your milieu is that others have different perspectives that you can learn from.

VIRGO  Aug 23-Sep 22
Meditation calms that busy brain, but not your motor mouth. You need to share, but it’s way too much information. Find a good listener among your most caring friends.

Jack Fertig can be reached at 415-864-8302 or Starjack.com

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition October 21, 2011.

—  Michael Stephens

Starvoice • 08.26.11

By Jack Fertig

CELEBRITY BIRTHDAY

Phil McGraw turns 61 on Thursday. The former Wichita Falls resident has used his talk show Dr. Phil to address LGBT issues regarding youth and same-sex marriage. He recently spoke to CNN about the damages of ex-gay practices in the wake of Michelle Bachmann’s presidential campaign.

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THIS WEEK

Mercury in Leo stimulates creative thinking, but also a lot of self-promotional BS. While in Leo he’s agitating the Pluto-Uranus square, leading people to take their notions way too seriously, but those aspects can trigger bits of revolutionary genius. The trick there is to not challenge everyone around you, but to challenge yourself.

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VIRGO  Aug 23-Sep 22
As naughty fantasies come inside your head, explore them safely there. Putting them into reality could be delicious, but be careful! However you explore them, you learn a lot about yourself.

LIBRA  Sep 23-Oct 22
Everyone wants an argument. Can’t they just be nice and agree with you? There’s nothing wrong with sticking to your guns. Shooting them off freely drives away people you care about.

SCORPIO  Oct 23-Nov 21
You may feel hassled by an overbearing boss. Bite your tongue and take it all in as feedback to help you do your job better, no matter what the tone. There’s always room for improvement.

SAGITTARIUS  Nov 22-Dec 20
Your idea of playful banter can really upset some people. That could be a good thing when done in the right time and place. In any event, there will be a price to pay, so make sure it’s worth it.

CAPRICORN  Dec 21-Jan 19
Capricornian brilliance at sex is one of the zodiac’s best-kept secrets. The more it stays that way, the better off you are. Keep that info on a need-to-know basis.

AQUARIUS  Jan 20-Feb 18
If you can’t avoid debate, keep one eye inward to see how your arguments reflect your deepest fears and insecurities. Keep a friend nearby with whom you can have an honest talk about that.

PISCES  Feb 19-Mar 19
Taking a cut in pay might be a necessary strategy for long-range benefits. Don’t get taken advantage of. If money gets tight, you have the creative resourcefulness to make it through.

ARIES  Mar 20-Apr 19
Your idea of fun and good humor upsets some people. In the right time and place that could be a good thing, but think ahead about consequences and whom you can afford to piss off.

TAURUS  Apr 20-May 20
Arguments at home reflect and exacerbate your insecurities and doubts. Reflect on childhood patterns and how they affect you now. Probably best to do that on your own.

GEMINI  May 21-Jun 20
Your mouth is getting even further ahead of your brain than usual, and your libido is somewhere inbetween. The brilliance of your ideas depends on how much you challenge yourself.

CANCER  Jun 21-Jul 22
Hiding financial problems from your partner will make the situation worse. It may be time to renegotiate how you deal with bills and expenses. Explore ideas now, but don’t make decisions.

LEO  Jul 23-Aug 22
Others admire your brilliance nearly half as much as you do, but a good showman always leaves the audience wanting more. The ability to listen makes you more popular than the ability to talk.

Jack Fertig can be reached at 415-864-8302 or Starjack.com

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition August 26, 2011.

—  Michael Stephens

Starvoice • 08.05.11

By Jack Fertig

CELEBRITY BIRTHDAY

Michael Urie turns 30 on Monday. The actor became a hallmark queer TV character as Mark St. James in Ugly Betty. The Plano High School and Julliard grad has kept up his theater roots. He received the Lucille Lortel Award for lead actor as Mattachine Society founder Rudi Gernreich in The Temperamentals.

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THIS WEEK

The sun makes hard aspects to Uranus and Pluto, bringing ego and power-struggles to a dangerous head; but Sol moves quickly into a grand trine with Eris and the North Node, offering routes to reconciliation.

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LEO Jul 23-Aug 22
A few well-chosen words stimulate discussions you’ll learn a lot from. Opening up to challenging new ideas can dramatically change the ways you work and play.

VIRGO Aug 23-Sep 22
Creative angst is a good thing. You are trying too hard for something entirely new and different. Go back to your roots and see what neglected treasures inspire you to innovation.

LIBRA Sep 23-Oct 22
Friendly advice about your home and relationship is malicious japery, but is there anything in it? Whatever the source, dissect it for seeds of truth and opportunities for self-improvement.

SCORPIO Oct 23-Nov 21
Speaking out of turn at work ruffles feathers. Open up new ideas. Irritating (or irritated) as your boss may be, keep calm, respectful and focused on your company’s success.

SAGITTARIUS Nov 22-Dec 20
Your impulses for adventure tests your rresourcefulness. You’re clever enough to do what’s necessary more economically than it first appears. Trust your instincts and go it alone if you have to.

CAPRICORN Dec 21-Jan 19
If parental voices chime in at the worst times, relax. Take time to meditate and listen to those voices, if only to get where they’re coming from, to talk back and dismiss them.

AQUARIUS Jan 20-Feb 18
It’s no news that your mouth makes trouble. Just keep your brain ahead of it and do not reveal your partner’s secrets. Thinking ahead is what you do best. Apply that foresight in the present.

PISCES Feb 19-Mar 19
Worries about health and money are exaggerated. The future looks tough for everyone, but don’t let your imagination make it worse. You can still thrive. Hard work is the answer, but don’t burn out. Set a goal and do your best.

ARIES Mar 20-Apr 19
What you think is brilliant and clever is threatening to authorities. Think ahead: What battles can you win? Who are your real friends? What do you need to learn to succeed?

TAURUS Apr 20-May 20
Fights at home are displaced frustration. Be careful not to say something you’ll regret later. Whether to head off the fight or to heal the wounds, open up to your partner about your anxieties.

GEMINI May 21-Jun 20
Dare to be shocking and bold, but don’t be surprised if you scare off friends. Are you stronger with fewer friends who agree with you or more friends with more diverse thoughts?

CANCER Jun 21-Jul 22
Feeling underappreciated is more about you misunderstanding what your virtues really are. Job reviews and criticism from your partner hurt, but take them as cues to clarify your strengths.

Jack Fertig can be reached at 415-864-8302 or Starjack.com

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition August 5, 2011.

—  Kevin Thomas

Starvoice • 07.08.11

By Jack Fertig1299179798-64

CELEBRITY BIRTHDAY

Michelle Rodriguez turns 33 on Tuesday. The San Antonio born actress scored big with roles in films like Avatar, Machete and Fast Five playing the tough chick roles. In 2007, Curve identified her as bisexual, but while she has openly appreciated her queer fans, she’s been clear that she is neither bi nor lesbian.

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THIS WEEK

The sun in Cancer deepens our sense of identity with family and tribe. Sun squaring Eris, however, can increase tribalism and factionalism. Being with people is important; against others, not so much.

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CANCER Jun 21-Jul 22
Nobody succeeds on their own. Stay clear on your goals and dedicated to your hard work, but knowing where you come from is essential for getting ahead in any endeavor.

LEO Jul 23-Aug 22
Temptations to arguments come out of inner doubts are better confronted. Worthwhile challenges are the internal ones. Creative expression in any mode helps you gain insight.

VIRGO Aug 23-Sep 22
Some of your friends have a better idea how sexy you really are. See what they see. Your sign is about detailed appreciation and utilization of material facts. That alone offers immense erotic skill.

LIBRA Sep 23-Oct 22
Great opportunities pull you away from the one you adore. Make your baby a partner in your success. Be sure to reciprocate. Start by sitting down and talking about it.

SCORPIO Oct 23-Nov 21
Sharpen your mind, not your tongue. Branch out and learn more about your field, new and different techniques or philosophies. Focus on priorities, even if it does slow down your sex life.

SAGITTARIUS Nov 22-Dec 20
Good sex is not about being the best there is, but being authentically who you really are and accepting your partner in the same authenticity. Developing technique doesn’t really hurt either.

CAPRICORN Dec 21-Jan 19
Family members mean well trying to help your love life, but the best they can do is to butt out. Time alone is the best thing to get clear on your needs in a relationship, existing or hypothetical.

AQUARIUS Jan 20-Feb 18
Keep a clear eye to the future. That requires going back and brushing up on old skills, or learning new ones to remain competitive at work. Heed advice from your partner and colleagues.

PISCES Feb 19-Mar 19
Hone your skills at games and/or arts, just don’t expect to win any prizes right now. Being your best is the way to get ahead; trying to be better than others distracts you from that.

ARIES Mar 20-Apr 19
Rushing to defend your family is necessary, but don’t circle the wagons. Your greater challengeis to take on a more expansive view that sees your tribe in a more global connectedness.

TAURUS Apr 20-May 20
Revealing your deepest secrets is scary. It’s also necessary for your well-being. Holding onto all that tension undermines your health. Find a professional counselor.

GEMINI May 21-Jun 20
Be careful not to get sucked into competitive spending. Relationships are built on shared values and a vision of the future, not rounds of drinks and flashy baubles.

Jack Fertig can be reached at 415-864-8302 or Starjack.com

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition July 8, 2011.

—  Kevin Thomas

Starvoice • 06.03.11

By Jack Fertig

CELEBRITY BIRTHDAYjoan-rivers-pic

Joan Rivers turns 78 on Thursday. The comedian and TV show host seems to be more famous now for her plastic surgery than her punchlines. She scored a hit with the gays though, with her newest show The Fashion Police. She leads a panel of B-listers in catty talk about celebrity fashions and faux pas.

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THIS WEEK

Mars in Taurus aspecting Eris in Aries cranks up competitive urges. Be open and flexible. Goals may need adjusting as conditions change.

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GEMINI May 21-Jun 20
Your friends wear you down. Maybe you’re trying too hard to be the star of the party? Enjoy being on the sidelines now and then, or just take some time out. Your real friends will understand.

CANCER Jun 21-Jul 22
Friends and colleagues are eager to see you succeed, but they push you a little too hard. Keep an eye open to your larger goal, but the trick is still to stay focused on the job at hand.

LEO Jul 23-Aug 22
Use your indoor voice. The smart actor knows that whispers can get attention where screaming gets ignored. You will be noticed no matter what, but what do they see?

VIRGO Aug 23-Sep 22
Long, hard and deep is how you should think about sex. How does it serve in your life? To pursue satisfaction? To forge a deeper bond? The real question: How does it bring you home?

LIBRA Sep 23-Oct 22
You don’t win or keep a lover by being the best in bed. Open communication keeps love alive. Focus on the small details. Being the best mate you can be is not a competitive sport.

SCORPIO Oct 23-Nov 21
Pace yourself with your colleagues, don’t drag it out so far ahead that you pull the team efforts out of whack. Pushing too hard can also be bad for your health.

SAGITTARIUS Nov 22-Dec 20
Pushing too hard at sports or exercise is asking to get hurt. The trick in pushing for a personal best is to expand your limits, not to ignore them. Yes, even you have limits.

CAPRICORN Dec 21-Jan 19
Getting involved helps you clarify where you really belong in the world, what you’ve learned from elders to pass on to future generations, and what you could be doing for the kids.

AQUARIUS Jan 20-Feb 18
Arguments with your family help you plan better for your future. Don’t be shy about speaking up. Sibling rivalry can spur you to better work, but don’t let it affect you too deeply.

PISCES Feb 19-Mar 19
Spending and arguments get out of control. Old habits mire you down, interfering with your success. Keep a clear focus on your goals and act as if your next boss is watching you.

ARIES Mar 20-Apr 19
You make a lot or spend a lot. The competitive urge drags you either way and even making money is more strain than it’s worth. Work as hard as you reasonably can.

TAURUS Apr 20-May 20
It’s not easy being the strong, reliable one. All the more reason why you need to take care of yourself. Take a break. Relax. You’ll hold up better and accomplish more in the long run.

Jack Fertig can be reached at 415-864-8302 or Starjack.com

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition June 3, 2011.

—  Kevin Thomas

Starvoice • 05.20.11

By Jack Fertig

CELEBRITY BIRTHDAY

Pam Grier turns 62 on Thursday. The iconic actress helped defined the blaxploitation film movement of the ’70s with Coffy and Sheba, Baby. She resurfaced in Quentin Tarantino’s Jackie Brown which she followed up with her role as the fun-loving Kit Porter in the lesbian drama The L Grier1Word. She came to Dallas last year to promote her bio Foxy: My Life in Three Acts.

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THIS WEEK

Pluto and Eris, both in hard aspect to the sun, bring out everyone’s competitive streak, crank up the stakes and complicate the struggle. Communication is the key, which means you have to listen very carefully.

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GEMINI May 21-Jun 20
You’re sexy as hell. So what? You really need to buckle down to work and think hard about the future. You may not like what your friends are telling you, but they have good advice. Pay attention.

CANCER Jun 21-Jul 22
Your imagination is a trap sucking you away from much needed work, but it’s also a powerhouse to fuel your ambitions. Stay focused. Your partner is there when you need attitude adjusting.

LEO Jul 23-Aug 22
Get ready to lose an argument. Getting rid of something you’re sure of can be the best thing that could happen. Deluxe bonus: Being an open-minded good sport will be mighty sexy.

VIRGO Aug 23-Sep 22
Achieving your goals takes some shrewd maneuvering. Be careful whom you trust. Your mate has helpful insights, even if they are sneaky. Better ideas come while away from work.

LIBRA Sep 23-Oct 22
Explore new ideas to your health regimen. Competitive sports help keep you healthy. Competing with yourself counts. Keep it cheap. A library book can be better than a gym membership.

SCORPIO Oct 23-Nov 21
Verbal aggression helps you get ahead. A little creative writing —journaling, imagined dialogue or a short story — can help you find the words you need.

SAGITTARIUS Nov 22-Dec 20
If you’re looking for true love, get involved in an arts program and let go of expectations. Keeping a love you have will require abandoning expectations and working some of your creativity.

CAPRICORN Dec 21-Jan 19
You come off way too strong in a turf war. The resulting argument exposes old resentments but starts a healing process. Well, it could, but that won’t be easy.

AQUARIUS Jan 20-Feb 18
Struggle between your deepest desires and economic necessity feels brutal. A light, playful conversation with your partner  can help you find a way to afford your dreams, or find reconciliation.

PISCES Feb 19-Mar 19
A siege mentality at home will not solve any problems, and instead make them worse. Same old tactics get same old results. Keep your mind on long-range goals and entertain new ideas.

ARIES Mar 20-Apr 19
Clear the air and get something off your chest, but how you do that can make motivations look nasty and bring similar results. Confide in your partner, or look for guidance from your boss.

TAURUS Apr 20-May 20
Give yourself room to vent. Everyone’s feeling the pinch. Economic problems are everywhere, but holding the pressure in and stewing silently only undermines your ability to cope.

Jack Fertig can be reached at 415-864-8302 or Starjack.com

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition May 20, 2011.

—  Kevin Thomas

Drawing Dallas

Pet-loving Raymondo Lora is all about mind and body in harmony

MARK STOKES  | Illustrator mark@markdrawsfunny.com

Let’s get  metaphysical!

Let’s get metaphysical!

Name: Raymondo Lora

Spotted at: Pet Supplies Plus on Mockingbird and Skillman

Occupation: Health care industry

Mixed and matched: Multi-cultural Raymondo is a hybrid of African-American and Mexican ancestry. Originally from Kansas City, Mo., Raymondo has studied at the School of Metaphysics, and loves Pilates, yoga and weight training. He believes that true beauty is all on the inside: “When we get caught up in color, size and race we lose the essence of humankind.” This animal-loving Scorpio shares his life with Ginger, a displaced mixed breed dog. His future travel plans include a trip to Africa.

His philosophy: “Soy muy agradable para mi salud y la vida.” (“Give me health, I’ll make life.”)

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition September 17, 2010.

—  Kevin Thomas