The Elements

Fire: (Aries, Leo, Sagittarius):  The world continues to go to hell in a bucket, and yet we row.  We are in the middle of the stormy ocean in a small leaky boat, and all we've got is the choice between being consumed with dread, or rowing.  Let's row, shall we Aries?  

I think the hardest thing about right now is that I don't know for sure what rowing looks like.  Should I call someone?  Write a postcard? March in the streets?  Make a video of me explaining the state of the world to my dog?  

Water (Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces):  I've become so highly distractible that my to do lists now need to be broken down into minute detail. "Clean left ear with q-tip".  Etc.  I keep having to refer back, oh, where was I? Oh, left ear.  Finish that up. Because the internet, Taurus.  It has everything you can think of.  What's that plant?  Does facial serum actually do anything for you?  Has Nancy Pelosi moved toward impeachment yet?  Weather tomorrow?  What products are th…

Fa la la

I was thinking about this post from the archives as I reflect on just how little I celebrate Christmas, and what a welcome change that is.  It's taken a few years for all of the obligations to melt away, and I'm just left with the core of goodness -- a meal with my kids, a walk with my dog, and a few moments here and there with loved ones.

Twenty five years ago, I was creating a handmade tree skirt for the Christmas tree, and making all manner of baked goods to give out to people who were probably watching their diet, and shopping to procure the mound of gifts that everyone expected to be under the tree.  Now, I do none of that.  I haven't purchased a gift, decorated, or baked, and I'm grateful that my kids understand that this isn't about being a grinch, but rather, trying to take better care of myself and the planet than I have in the past, and being able to really enjoy the magic of this season:  time together, glimpses of sun on the dark days, the bright full …

Part 3 of 3

In which I review a few things, and call them horoscopes.

Sagittarius (11/22 – 12/21): Oxytocin.  This is the hormone that's released during sex and breastfeeding that promotes bonding and feelings of well-being.  Here's something:  rats that have never had babies eat baby rats whenever they get a chance (the way you do), but after being injected with Oxytocin, they tend to and protect young, even if they aren't related.   The oxytocin effect of caring for young lasts for their whole lives -- once that form of generosity is activated, it never goes away. Shysters purchase oxytocin spray on the internet and spray it in the air when they want to close a deal.  Can you even believe that?  Now you know how Einstein felt about the a-bomb.  But maybe, just maybe, there is some backwash with the spray, and everyone gets a douse of good will and generosity and the instinct to protect and defend the vulnerable.  Maybe goodness actually wins, and can't be misused by hucksters.  …

Review Horoscopes, Part 2 of 3, or maybe of 4.

Here we go, part 2 of 3 part horoscopes, in which I review Inflammation, the Erie Canal, and a few other things.

Leo (7/23 – 8/22): Inflammation.  Did we even have that when we were kids?  Nope.  Well, we had the kind where you got stung by a wasp and your leg swelled up, but not this secret killer inflammation where you're just sitting around thinking, jeez, is it really so wrong to have a brownie and a beer for dinner?  And then you remember about inflammation.  The silent killer turns out to be not a high fat diet, but rather  inflammation, whatever the fuck that is.  Like, there's inflammation going on in your blood stream?  Doesn't that sound phony?  This new secret inflammation that wreaks havoc and you don't even know it but pretty much everything you really enjoy except yoga and walks in the woods cause it.  I'll give inflammation one star.  Because we are not for silent killers?  Or loud killers either.  Leo, I don't know what to tell you.  I guess do t…

Review Horoscopes, Part 1 of 3

Partial Horoscopes: The Review Edition

I have a new favorite podcast, The Anthropocene Reviewed.  It's beautiful writing and brilliant ideas and exactly what I want.  So I thought I'd try reviewing a few things myself.  And I've split the horoscopes into three parts, due to the increasingly short attention spans on the planet.  Stay tuned Leo and so on...

Aries (3/21 - 4/19):  Toothpaste.  Toothpaste is pretty variable.  My current favorite is Uncle Harry's, because it comes in a little jar, no pesky tube and is a little salty, but it's not available everywhere so I suffer.  The first mass produced toothpaste arrived in a jar 1873, but tubes came out a few years later, and have stuck. The problem with tubes:  1.  if you squeeze out too much, there's no going back, and 2.  if you leave the cap off, which I often do because jeez, who's got time?  I have the internet to surf, people to stalk, solitaire to play!  I can't be bothered with putting the cap back …

Watching the world go by


Horoscopes a la Pliny the Elder

I’m reading excerpts from Pliny the Elder’s encyclopedia.That guy!He wrote a 37 volume encyclopedia of everything, from his head. His actual head.Chapters on all aspects of the universe, natural world, magic, medicine, and mining.An enormous, opinionated compendium of all that he knew.He lived from 23 – 79, back when the years only had two digits.  He wrote this all without going to the internet or even the library.It’s lovely and awkward and inappropriately decisive.About trees:
“The treasures within the earth were long hidden, and trees and forests thought of as her ultimate gift to mankind.From trees first came food, and their leaves made mens caves more comfortable; their bark provided man with clothes.Even in our day and age, some primitive races live in this manner.”
Or this, about portraiture:
“Portraiture, the medium by which exact likenesses of people were handed down through the ages, is completely out of fashion.Bronze shields are set up as monuments; they bear a design in sil…