Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Horoscopes: The Going to College Edition

A friend mentioned something the other day about trying to cram in all the important life lessons in before her son goes to college.  I thought I'd try to figure out what the bare essentials are for being a grownup, so here goes.  

Pisces (2/19 – 3/20):   Everyone going out into the world should know how to chop and saute an onion.  Here's how:  just do it!  Wear goggles if you must.  Or, wad up a piece of bread and stick it under your upper lip when your chop. Pisces, the main point is this:   never avoid real tears, because connecting with our tenderest parts is what makes us human.  And that is why we're more likely to starve than eat our loved ones.  (And do avoid chemical exposure to the eyes.  When's the last time anyone talked about macular regeneration?  The reason?  Because that's not a thing!)

Aries (3/21 - 4/19):  I went to look at property for someone recently; it was really cheap because the owner died inside the house, went unnoticed for a week, and her cats ate her.  I know.  I can't promise I wouldn't do the same -- if I were locked in a cinderblock house for a week, hungry, well, maybe I'd eat my imaginary pet rabbit named Geoffrey after he died of natrual causes.  (Though I don't know if there's much nutritional value in imaginary pets.)  Adulthood requires this, Pisces:  If you'd like to live with a non-human, get a dog!  They may eat you after death, but will leave your face alone, unlike the felines.  (Wait, maybe we don't care about our faces after death? I'm unclear on this, like so much else in adulthood.)  

Taurus (4/20 – 5/20):   The real question is why should you chop and saute the onion?  Here's why: everywhere that's worth going, culinarily, begins there.  The sauted onion is the building block of flavor, the core flavorful sweetness of anything worth eating.    Soup? Stir fry? Omelet? Mirepoix? Please don't let the young people leave home without knowing how to build flavor.

Gemini (5/21 - 6/21):   Have a solid opinion about time travel.  Do you think it's impossible to travel back to a time before you were born for physical reasons, or because it's a paradox?  Do you believe in the kind of time travel where the word "yet" is key?  As in, no time traveler has prevented the holocaust yet.  (Though, of course, there may be other atrocities that were prevented; we just don't know about them.)  And so on.  Be able to defend your position, if needed.  (And, if you go time travelling without me, leave a note, Gemini!)

Cancer (6/22 – 7/21): I stayed in a weird hotel in Tumwater recently where the sweet young desk clerk said, "Yeah, Tumwater is the hub.  I mean, if you're going to the ocean, it's on your way.  Or Portland - it's on your way?  Or Seattle.  Or, if you're going to Chelan, this would be on the way."  She kept going on and on with all the places, and they got increasingly far-fetched, although I don't think she was trying to be funny.  I wanted to play too, and add, "Or Paris!  It's on the way to the moon as well!  And Cairo, for sure."  But I didn't.  Adult Skill:  Know where the hub of your own life is.  Is it Tumwater?  A relationship?  A spiritual practice?  

Leo (7/23 – 8/22): People who lie will lie to you too.  A man who cheats on his wife, for 
example, will lie to everyone else, even about the smallest things.  Try not to judge; it's the only way he knows.  Summon compassion, because his life will be tangled and lonely, and he wishes, more than anyone, that he could tell, and more importantly, live with the truth, but he doesn't have that particular muscle.  Feel pity, not anger, Leo.  The liar needs forgiveness more than you know, but do keep your distance.

Virgo (8/23 – 9/22):  There are two troubling large giant blobs in the ocean.  One is a band of warm water 1,000 feet long, and 5 degrees F warmer than the surrounding area.  The other is the Great Pacific garbage patch, which is maybe 270,000 square miles, a unit of measure that's also known as, "about the size of Texas."  Which brings me to the point, Virgo.  Every adult should know where they stand on using states as units of measure.  I fall on the side of using square miles or meters for area, and furlongs for distance, but that's because I don't really know how large Texas is.  Or even a football field.  

Libra (9/23 – 10/22):  You should know the origin and insertion of the sternocleidomastoid, and what each of the major organs in your body is responsible for. Ok, you can probably get by without that.  But here's something important:  don't resolve issues via The Silent Treatment.  You'll look like an emotional midget, and on that day that happens once a year when peoples' physical size is altered to match their emotional size, you'll slip unnoticed into a crack in the sidewalk. (Wait, is that really a day that happens every year, or is that merely a dream I had? And while we're at it, is library book amnesty day a thing?) Instead of silence, speak your truth kindly and directly.

Scorpio (10/23 – 11/21):  NEVER run out of toilet paper, olive oil, coffee or half and half.  Why put yourself through it?  Oh, and this:  keep prawns in the freezer.  If you already know how to saute an onion, you can instantly whip up a simple yet delicious dinner for a drop in guest.  Staples, scorpio.  Know your staples and keep them on hand.  Be sure to cultivate friendships with people  who eat prawns, or the whole thing falls apart.

Sagittarius (11/22 – 12/21): You should know why Greece is in so much trouble. I know, you don't care, but you should, so it doesn't happen to you!  Here's a quick tour:  
  1. Greece hasn't done a good job at collecting taxes.  The government collects only half of what it should.
  2. Greece used to borrow money from Germany and other wealthy nations, but  there were terms and conditions that kept borrowing in check.
  3. When everyone switched over to Euros, Greece had way more borrowing power, because they were suddenly on Germany's team.  Germany, in a sense, was insuring Greece's debt.
  4. Let the good times roll!  Greece kept borrowing and borrowing, but not having a way to pay it back.
  5. Germany finally said, um, guys, you can't borrow any more money until you go on austerity measures and make a plan to get things under control.
  6. Austerity never works.  (Have you tried it?  It sucks.)
Capricorn (12/22 - 1/19):  When you get offical-looking stuff in the mail, open it and deal with it.  Things that come in official envelopes never improve with time.

Aquarius (1/20 – 2/18): Never swerve for revenge, as William Stafford said.  Let people who disappoint go without a fuss.  They're doing the best they can with the tools they have, and it won't serve you to retaliate in any way.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Horoscopes in Microdoses

Pisces (2/19 – 3/20):   Feeling a little down, Pisces?  Maybe micro-dosing is the answer.  There is no downside to a procedure that causes you to say, at the end of every day, "Now that was a good day.  Find us the hook-up, please?  Anyway, let's all meet in downward dog.  

Aries (3/21 - 4/19): Does anyone know for sure what a "guest internet" is?  You know what I'm talking about:  the one you use when you're lurking in the bushes near your neighbor's house because your own internet isn't working.  It's labeled with their last name plus "guest".  Is that like the guest towels that you save for company?  Meaning, you don't use them to mop up the goo when the washing machine fails and water gets all over the laundry room floor?  Do people do that with their regular internet?  Please explain, Aries.  Your week will be full of guests, in the best way possible.

Taurus (4/20 – 5/20):  I've had a terrible infestation of houseflies lately, maybe because the top to my garbage can is damaged and has cracks in it because it flew off during a windstorm once and by the time I found it, a truck had driven over it.  I resorted to getting fly paper, which is horrible in so many ways.  But when I bought the fly paper ($3 for four rolls), the lady at the hardware store scolded me a bit; said fly paper was  disgusting [I know!], and I should get this other thing, a little fly rectangle that cost $9.  I was sort of shamed into it, but it's basically the same deal:  a sticky box for the flies to die a miserable death on.  But the old kind of fly paper caught way more flies.  Taurus, eliminate suffering in every way this week.

Gemini (5/21 - 6/21):  As you know, I listen to many podcasts, and they advertise things for people who don't get out much, which always causes me to wonder.  But the latest is the Caspar bed, which is surprising in at least two ways:  

  1. It's a mail order bed!  It ships in a box, directly to your door.  
  2. There are no choices.  At first I thought that was weird, but after mulling it over, I'm a big fan.  I want a new bed.  I don't want to leave the house and go practice sleeping in a public place.  I don't want choices.  I want one thing, a good night's sleep.  
The plan is to work a bit more, come up with some dinero, and order the bed.  Oh, and the third surprising thing?  Duh, it's a bed named after a friendly ghost.  What could be finer, Gemini?  Your week will feel like a friendly ghost is always at your side.  Don't be frightened.

Cancer (6/22 – 7/21): Those killers on the loose in upstate NY have reminded me about a family vacation I went on when I was 12.  There was a killer on the loose, also in the in the Adirondacks, where our family had planned to go on a backpacking trip, but due to the killer, we switched to the much safer alternative, a canoe camping trip.  Because we all know that crazy psycho killers couldn't get to an island.  Duh.  But what I remember most was that helicopters were flying overhead, blaring out messages to the killer, asking him to surrender.  Nothing like a relaxing week in the woods, I always say.  Cancer, it's almost your birthday!  Start thinking about cake.

Leo (7/23 – 8/22): I saw my neighbor the other day, something that doesn't happen in the winter, and he asked if I was still planning to cut down a few trees on our shared property line.  "Yeah, I did that last fall.  Five trees."  
"Oh, I hadn't noticed."  
The conversation turned to how unseasonably warm it's been.  Yawn.  But I mentioned how it's already the time of year when we micro-adjust the dial on the shower, because the water we use, which is from the lake, is warm.  And then I thought, yikes, it's come to this.  Me, explaining to a man I hardly know, a man who doesn't notice the removal of five giant trees, that I've dialed back the mix of heated versus unheated water in the shower.  Right?  Boring-ness happens, Leo, but I do think micro-dosing could help. Are you in?

Virgo (8/23 – 9/22): I was driving across Lake Washington the other day, shortly before the rock and roll marathon, when I saw planes flying around dragging encouraging notes for runners and for some reason I almost had to pull over to weep.  An airplane, the biggest fastest way we locomote, cheering on people going the old fashioned way, going the way we've been moving since humans first wanted to get away from the lion.  The sheer sweetness of that took me down.  Virgo, your week will involve lions and tigers and bears, but don't run.  Just watch and learn.

Libra (9/23 – 10/22):  I saw a jar on the counter at a little store in town with the picture of a super sick man.  Pale, hooked up to medical machinery, in a bed.  The jar is a means of collecting money for his kidney transplant.  I think there was a bit of change in the jar, but not much.  There must be a better way, Libra.  If I need to go on a jar, please just do me in.  And use the jar for something good, like honey.

Scorpio (10/23 – 11/21):  I saw this in the alley the other day; it appears to be a rib.  A mystery!  I hope it's from a pig and not a person, but one never knows. Speaking of mysteries, last week I found an earring on an island.  Which as all the makings of a great plot.  A bit later today, with any luck, I'll put a little clip about that mystery right here.  Check back!  I know, the suspense.  It's killing me too, Scorp.

Sagittarius (11/22 – 12/21):  I've talked about this before, how people post death and funeral notices on the window at the post office.  But this week, I noticed a sign where the death notices usually are that says, "I love you Bob! We miss you!" It was written in lipstick on the window.  Apparently, the dead continue to get their mail at the PO, but not in the regular boxes.  Just lipstick on the window.  Take note.

Capricorn (12/22 - 1/19):  I was thinking I should get some sponsors, do product placement here in the 'scopes, and earn big money.  So, sponsors, feel free to contact me.  It's fine if you offer me the item to use so I can genuinely endorse it.  I'm down for the Casper bed, a newer econo car, fly paper, and gutters for a house.  I'll sprinkle endorsements throughout the astrological signs.  Oh, but Cap, your horoscope:  You'll find everything you need at Zabars!

Aquarius (1/20 – 2/18): I was at the Farmer's market yesterday, looking at produce, when I noticed a couple nearby.  The man said, "Wow, look at the giant fava beans!  Let's get some."
And I looked too, and thought I should buy some as well.  Even though they're kind of a pain in the ass to cook.
But the woman said she can never eat fava beans.  "Reminds me of Silence of the Lambs where Hannibal said, 'I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice chianti.'"  Then she noticed my look and said, "It's okay, you can eat them alone."  So I did buy them, in an act of defiance.  And I'll eat them alone, maybe today.  Do something bold yourself, Aquarius.  

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Super Powers

I was in the field today when I accidentally walked into a hornet's nest, and got stung four times.  Not a huge number, but I wasn't sure how I'd react so I went home.  All stings were on and near my left boob, and were getting swollen and kind of itchy and painful.  I sprayed some liquid Benadryl on the area, and laid down for "a few minutes".

Three hours later l woke up.  I know.  There's almost no evidence of any stings -- just four tiny red marks, no pain or swelling, which seems exactly like something that would happen in a fairy tale or comic book.  Do you think I got inoculated with my super power?  I do too!  I can't tell what it is yet, though.  So far I don't seem able to fly or pass through walls, but I'm about to go test out some other things.  Let me know if you have any suggestions.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Crickets: a gateway bug

Pisces (2/19 – 3/20):   I know there are people who think crickets are just a gateway bug for me, but that's not so.  It's possible I'll get an ant colony someday, but that's a long way off.  And Pisces, is it so wrong to want a little companionship, anyway?  Speaking of which, will I ever see you?  Make it happen!

Aries (3/21 - 4/19): It's time to review the rules of what not to talk about, Aries.  I've added a few more.  The original seven:
  1. Route talk
  2. Period talk
  3. Aches and pains
  4. How you slept
  5. Dietary needs
  6. Dreams
  7. Money
And a few new ones:
  1. Detailed descriptions of procedures that the listener will never need to perform.  
  2. Detailed descriptions of a movie, book, or video that the listener hasn't seen.
  3. What day it was when something happened.  If you don't know, just say it was Tuesday.  DON'T STRUGGLE TO FIGURE OUT IF IT WAS TUESDAY OR WEDNESDAY UNLESS YOU'RE BEING INTERVIEWED BY THE POLICE.
  4. The weather, unless it's super dramatic.
Ok, there are more but I'll leave it there.  Let's get some cards made up and leave them around, shall we?  There's nothing wrong with a bit of silence.  We don't need to fill in all the gaps, Aries.  If you have gaps this week, fill them with your brilliance!  We need more of that.
A crematorium in upstate NY, and
site of a famous Fata Morgana
Taurus (4/20 – 5/20):  It takes a village to do a crossword puzzle.  An intergenerational village.  But that's not your horoscope, it's just something I've noticed.  But here we go:  I was talking to an efficiency expert the other day, and it was remarkable -- he got right to the point the quickest way.  But we want more than that in our lives, Taurus.  We want getting to the point the most interesting way.  We have time.  

Gemini (5/21 - 6/21):  I just finished reading a memoir about a woman who grew up with hoarders as parents; it was pretty grim.  And it made me think how grateful I am that I don't have that particular malady.  The hoarders form strong attachments to objects and feel grief about the prospect of getting rid of them.  I, personally, have a great deal of trouble caring about objects.  I often wish my house would just burn up, poof!  No more stuff!  I would start over with just one pillow, a sleeping bag, a small acorn bowl, and a spoon.  Sigh of happiness.  And bees.  And crickets.  That's all I need, as Steve Martin said.  (When's the last time you saw that movie?  Go do it!)

Cancer (6/22 – 7/21):  One of my sisters is thinking of starting a blog called, "What Makes You Think My Sister Has Crickets?"  I don't think that's such a great idea, Cancer.  No one ever really thought that.  I hope.  But whatever.  If she starts it, I'll let you know, Cancer.  Meanwhile, your week is going to be delightful.  

Leo (7/23 – 8/22)It seemed like for a while, maybe a month, every time I listened to the news, they'd mention that they're about to get to the sentencing phase for the Boston Marathon bomber.  Now they've done it.   And no one asked me, but I don't think taking another life advances us, as a culture, towards greatness.  What advances us toward greatness, Leo, is forgiveness and compassion.  Do what you can this week.

Virgo (8/23 – 9/22): Write for one minute.  Play solitaire for 5 minutes.  Watch crickets for 7 minutes.  Write for one more minute.  And so my life goes by.  But you have to admit that the crickets are pretty damned interesting.  And beautiful.  Dare I say appetizing? 

Libra (9/23 – 10/22): It turns out that we each have a genetic chronotype, and even though you already know yours, there's a test, and it turns out that the humans love tests! It turns out I'm a lark.  Getting the worm isn't all it's cracked up to be, Libra.  See if you can sleep in once in a while.

Scorpio (10/23 – 11/21):  I did what's called a "walkaway split" of my hives.  The real way to do it is to take a bunch of frames from a strong hive and move them into a new empty hive and then walk away for a month.  I didn't do it exactly that way because I'm not good at walking away.  I have two character flaws involving extreme missing (if it's a person) and extreme curiosity (if its something else).  So, I took a few frames, including one with a couple of queen cells, and put it in a new empty hive with some honey, some bees, and some capped brood.  And then looked in there way too often, and added more brood if it seemed like the bees looked lonely, or just not super happy -- if one can tell such a thing about another being. I didn't look every single day, because I have a tiny bit of restraint. There are two kinds of people, Scorpio -- the "out of sight, out of mind" sorts, and the missers.  We know which kind I am. But the good news is that the other day, I found newly laid eggs, which means that either there's a laying queen, or the workers have given up and they're laying drones in a last ditch effort to get their DNA out into the planet.  Time will tell, Scorpio.  In the meantime, I urge you not to give up.  Believe good things until you're forced to do otherwise.  

Sagittarius (11/22 – 12/21):  Speaking of attachments to things, I've been looking at this book, which consists of pictures of what people would save from their burning house.  I honestly don't know if I'd save anything.  I'd walk away and try not to do a little jig, because that would make me seem guilty, like that woman who pushed her rich bf out of the kayak into the Hudson River, and then went to sing karaoke.  If you like podcasts about karaoke, btw, here's one I've been enjoying.

Capricorn (12/22 - 1/19):  They've added signage on a local roadway to show us how to do the zipper merge: stay in this lane, merge here, take turns.  I wasn't surprised to see the new instructions; I know the Zipper Merge is all the rage these days.  But what did surprise me, and kind of choked me up, is that no one follows the instructions.  It turns out that sign or no sign, we tend to think it's the behavior of an asshole to pass on the right, and we won't do it.  I don't know precisely why it actually brings a lump to my throat, but I think it's because people taking a stand.  Even if it's a stand for something tiny and insignificant.  We, the people of the valley, aren't for line cutting.  We'll rot in traffic before we take up the damned zipper merge!  Displays of courage and conviction always cause me to weep just a little bit.  Did you see that movie Pirate Radio?  Like that.

Aquarius (1/20 – 2/18):  If you've somehow missed this video, go watch it.  Ok, in 1969, my sister and I had a club called The Peace People.  Our main activities were creating science museums in the basement, solving mysteries, sending away for free things from the back of the Saturday Review, and making floral collages on old meat trays. I'd like to get that going again now, if anyone's interested.  And speaking of mysteries, this might be my new favorite podcast.  Check it out, Aquarius.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Horoscopes in Times Square

Pisces (2/19 – 3/20):   I took my kids out to my new fort the other day.  They were my first guests; we sat and drank coffee, which was was exciting.  The best part about forts is making them.  But what you think about while you're working on it, and tell me if this isn't true, is 1)  bringing other people there, and 2) bringing food and drink.  It doesn't feel like a real fort until you've eaten crackers in it.  So it was lovely that the young people indulged me.  It's situated so that one can keep an eye on the swarm trap, which is still empty.  A swarm trap is sort of like a crab pot for bees.  No, it's more like one of those sign that says, in bee, "If you lived here, you'd be home now!"  Pisces, make time for your own fort this week.  Build it, then eat crackers.  

Aries (3/21 - 4/19): The 24 hour mite count on my hives was: 10 in A, 13 in B, zero in the new split.  That doesn't sound too bad until you consider:  if this were your home, and there were ten blood-sucking creatures, that would be way too many.  But bees don't have regular blood like the humans because their liquid (hemolymph) isn't tasked with carrying oxygen to tissues. Instead, honeybees have little tiny openings, spiracles, direct conduits from the air to the tissue that needs it.  Efficient!  I know, Aries, you're thinking jeez, let's get back to my horoscope already!  Here it is:  Spiracles are the reason that you never see a bee panting, which I'm sure you've been wondering about.  It is also why you never see a bee wearing pants (they would cover up the spiracles).  Aries, see if you can grow some metaphorical spiracles.  (Two shots of tequila, then say "metaphorical spiracles" 10 times. It's going to be that sort of week.)

Taurus (4/20 – 5/20):  I grew up in a town that had a noon whistle. I forgot about it until the other day when I heard a similar sound, and then I wished for that again.  Lunchtime for a whole town.  Put down your shovel, open up your metal lunch bucket, and crack out your baloney sandwich -- everybody's doing it.  I may start wearing a whistle around my neck and just blow it at noon.  What do you think, Taurus?  Noon whistles, quaint or annoying?  This week, Taurus, listen for whistles.

Gemini (5/21 - 6/21): Someone said I should rename my blog, "What makes you think I have crickets?"  But um, that just hits a little close to home.  Me and the insects.  And seriously, I don't think someone could look at me and know that I'm an actual cricket rancher. Gemini, the crickets are magical, and if you have a little bamboo cage I'll set you up.  

Cancer (6/22 – 7/21): My friend suggested I stop planning to eat the crickets, and instead, develop a cricket circus.  I don't think that's a thing, but she thought I could train them to do tricks, wear clothes, and sing little songs.  Maybe bring them to yoga so they can learn a few poses.  But Cancer, I think being a carney for a cricket circus is weirder than being a cricket farmer.   Although both could be considered exploiting the poor insects, I think one has a more legitimate purpose.  Cancer, follow your legitimate purpose this week.  Don't join the flea circus!

Leo (7/23 – 8/22): I was impersonated twice on Facebook last week, which seems creepy.  I can't imagine what the point is.  Why would anyone want to get my particular news feed?   Right?  To see cute pictures of the children of my friends, learn what various people are eating, and see the same old memes and reposts from a different source?  But I'll try to take it as a good thing, as if there's a human on the planet thinking, "wow, all the cool kids are cricket farmers, I should impersonate her!  I will pose as someone who lives alone with 80,000 bees and 35 crickets.  How cool is that?"  Anyway, I should probably find that person and be their actual friend.  But back to you, Leo.  Mars is in Gemini, and you know what that means.  (Me neither.  But I think it's good.)

Virgo (8/23 – 9/22):  Have you ever noticed how men's names are often verbs, but women's names rarely are?  Rob, Jack, Bill, Bob, Chase, Grant, Mark, Wade, Foster?  The only woman's name I can think of that's a verb is Hope, which, though it's a lovely name, isn't the strongest verb we know of. Live like a verb, Virgo.  Just do it. 

Libra (9/23 – 10/22):  I found myself near a pet store the other day, and thought it was as good a time as any to purchase my crickets.  I went inside and asked the employee, who disappeared into a back room. He returned and handed me a small plastic bag with 35 crickets in it, and asked, "So, what are you feeding?"  
I didn't have an answer ready, and tried to think quickly -- would they be for a pet chameleon?  Or a snake?  But what if I made something up and he asked more questions?  And I'm a terrible liar. So, after a long, awkward silence, I said, "Humans."

He didn't miss a beat, and said I might want to be careful because they 'plump them up'.  I asked what that was, and learned that the pet store injects crickets with vitamins to increase their nutritional value before they're consumed by a snake or lizard.  That seemed especially sad -- one creature being cultivated as a vitamin for another creature that's being used as a pet for a human.  At any rate, I left the store with 35 live crickets and a plastic terrarium with a nice snap-on breathable lid.  So much for no plastic, Libra.  But, if all goes well, I'll be eating home-grown meat that doesn't get plastic wrapped in Arkansas and shipped here in a truck.
Scorpio (10/23 – 11/21):  Good work, NYT.  I've always thought it was inappropriate to go have a non-english-speaking stranger wash my feet and paint my toenails, though I have done it a few times.  But I'm glad of this journalism, and I hope the whole pedicure thing goes out of fashion as something unethical, like wearing fur coats.  Scorpio, do what you can about this.  Although its sandal season, don't succumb to the pedicure thing.

Sagittarius (11/22 – 12/21):  I killed  8 crickets today (although I prefer to say "harvested." Side note:  why isn't Harvest a man's name?)  I gently extracted the insects from their little habitat, scooped them into a plastic (again!) yogurt container, and put them into the freezer; I'll do this every week until I have a cup.  Which could take a while.  I think their last days were better than they could have been -- in a little area with plants and soil and little tiny bits of watermelon, potatoes, and pineapple to eat. Freezing must be preferable to being chased around a cage by a hungry venomous snake.  The crickets are sub-social, meaning they'll hang out with other crickets but don't need them; they prefer some alone time.  I might be subsocial myself.  Oops, I didn't mean to say that aloud.  Sag, there's nothing wrong with preferring some alone time.  One thing I will not do, though, is post a picture of myself lying next to the dead crickets like that one lady, Sag.  

Capricorn (12/22 - 1/19):  There are some great recipes available, but I think I might go off on my own.  How about Jimminy Croquette?  Although Cricket Pad Thai and Hoppin' Good Cricket Fried Rice do sound yummy.  Picture this:  Food Truck in Times Square.  Capricorn, be careful out there this week.  Did you know that Capra is the term for a male goat, while Capella is the term for a female goat?  Capellacorn has a nice ring, although it sounds edible.  

Aquarius (1/20 – 2/18):  Speaking of pants, I have a vague idea for a massage gown -- sort of a one-piece pants suit with slits and openings so you could discretely extract the body part you needed without all that complicated draping business.  Any ideas on that, Aquarius? 

Wednesday, May 6, 2015


Pisces (2/19 – 3/20):   If your needs are within the bell curve, it's reasonable to expect them to be met in a group setting, but if they're in one of the tails, not so much.  Manners for the 21st century, according to me, dictates that if you have challenging food restrictions, you manage it on your own to the best of your ability, and don't expect the whole world revolve around you and these particular needs.  Pisces, I believe I'm correct on this.  Your week will involve you being correct about all manner of things.  

Aries (3/21 - 4/19): I'm grateful that I don't have a serious illness, but if I did, I think I'd want one of these cards. (Tuck that away for future serious illnesses, Aries, just in case).  But back to you: aren't we all so lucky you're on the planet?  A resounding yes! This week, look out at the moon and stars and remember how much you love space.  And then take up more.  Breathe big!

Taurus (4/20 – 5/20):  I've been trying to understand my attachment to the little honeybees that live outside my bedroom window, three little hives, each with 60,000-ish bees.  Ok, two hives with lots of bees, and one that's the bee equivalent of young adults that just moved out on their own.  (As in, light on decor, heavy on joy.)  Thing number one that I love:  the noise and activity.  A constant, busy little hum in the day that fades into stillness as the evening comes on.  Taurus, don't fad into stillness!  You are not a bee!

Gemini (5/21 - 6/21): Speaking of manners for the 21st Century, there are people in the library using their outside voices.  Here's a rule of thumb: If you look up and see a ceiling, 65 decibels max!  If you look up and see a ceiling, and look straight ahead and see books, 30 decibels max.  If you don't know how big a decibel is, it's smaller than an avocado and larger than a thrip.  But don't worry about it; just get the app.  This week, let's help the planet quiet down just a bit.  What if, the way Jerry Brown did with water in Cali, we were all required to cut our decibel useage by 35%?  I know.  Sigh of contentment.  If only.

Cancer (6/22 – 7/21): You know that thing when you're about to offer someone a ride to the airport and then you learn that they need to leave at 3:00 a.m., and thankfully, you haven't opened your mouth yet?  Me neither.  I don't know that thing at all.  Tips:  1.  buy a Rolling Stone for the plane.  People will think you're hip.  2. Don't bother with the ridiculously overpriced neck pillow.  3.  Enjoy what you can.  Traveling mercies, my friend.  

Leo (7/23 – 8/22): One of my favorite radio journalists has a podcast now.  Or maybe he's had it for a while and I'm late to the game. But sheesh, he's brilliant.  And so are you, Leo!  May this week be full of your shiny open heart.  Off leash.  Let it go!

Virgo (8/23 – 9/22):   I'm about to order my crickets from the internets, and try to make some high protein snacks.  I know, it seems a little cruel, but it seems like I should try to kill my own meat.  The mammals I've killed in my life time:

  • 9 roosters, Amarillo, Texas, 1981.  
  • 1 deer, east of Duvall, 2010.  Accidental.
  • 9 chickens, Carnation, 2014
Oh wait.  Chickens aren't mammals.  But they do have a face and a family.  I've eaten way more than that, and it seems like I should woman up and start eating protein that I kill.  Are you in, Virgo?

Libra (9/23 – 10/22):  Here's the plan:  order a bunch of crickets.  Feed them some organic grass or something that they like for a few days.  If possible, see what they'd like.  Maybe use rosetta stone to translate.  Freeze them.  Because isn't that how we all want to die?  (Or is that just me again?)  Roast in the oven.  Grind into flour.  Make food with it.  Come over for some brownies soon!

Scorpio (10/23 – 11/21):  I was listening to my podcasts, the way I do, and realized how much the advertisers cater to shut-ins, and then I realized, uh oh, that could me me.  Mattress delivery?  Bagels?  Razors?  (Right?  Who orders razors from a podcast?)  What do you need, Scorp?  There are people hovering outside, ready to bring you stuff.

Sagittarius (11/22 – 12/21):  It's a little hard to get honest feedback on a massage, because no one is like, "Wow, that was a bad free massage.  The part where you were working on my back?  Creepy."  No, no one says that, so we must look for clues, like deep breathing or snoring or, if it's going badly, wincing.  Sag, look for clues in your own week.  They're all over the place.  Don't wait to be told the truth, because it's hard for the humans.

Capricorn (12/22 - 1/19):  There are about two or three people on the planet that I'll miss forever, not just because I like to think we understand each other that feels rare, but because there's a particular brand of brilliance that I don't get a chance to interface with, and missing is just the way it will go because it's irreplaceable.  But when a friendship is a one way street, and the other person is enduring it politely but didn't ask for it and doesn't want it, it's best to try let it go with as much grace and humility as you can summon, and not be that pain in the ass person who clings and doesn't get the message.  Message received.  Blessings, Capricorns.

Aquarius (1/20 – 2/18):   Did you realize that the age of aquarius is like, 2600 years?  Me neither.  You get a long turn, my friends.  Make good use of it!  It doesn't even seem like they hold elections, you're just in.  Forever.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Horoscopes: the no plastic edition

Pisces (2/19 – 3/20):   I'm trying to participate in a project, "100 Days Without Plastic".  A week into it, yesterday, and I woke up to find a creature that I'll call a large mouse in the toilet, dead.  Suicide, I guess  -  I saw no evidence of foul play.  Anyway, that's the kind of incident that makes me grateful for plastic.  I had an old bread bag that I had squirreled away and I was able to wear it as a mitten while I fished the creature out, and then turn the bread bag inside out to form a little tomb.  Rest in peace, large long-tailed rodent.  I wish you'd been able to find the help you needed. Oh, and Pisces?  This is our life.  Time is getting short.  Live well.

Aries (3/21 - 4/19):  I can't wait to read this book.  Mostly because I want to learn more about Maeve Boyce and Edna St. Vincent Millay.  Isn't it strange, Aries, how most of the people you know who read or write are women, but most of the famous authors are men?  Let's change that up.

Taurus (4/20 – 5/20):  Ok, while we're on that theme, I just started this book by Megan Daum, which is excellent.  "People who weren't there like to say that my mother died at home surrounded by loving family. This is technically true, though it was just my brother and me and he was looking at Facebook and I was reading a profile of Hillary Clinton in the December 2009 issue of Vogue."  
That's how life goes.  All these potentially momentous moments, but we sleep through them or play solitaire, or god forbid, read about Hilary.  Taurus, focus focus focus.  Try not to miss a thing.  

Gemini (5/21 - 6/21):  In Norway, they've been having precipitation involving earthworms, which is amazing.  For the worms, especially.  To spend most of your tiny little alimentary-canal-dominated life crawling around in the dirt, and then, suddenly, to fly.  I so wish I could speak earthworm.  Those annelids know something that we all dream about.  Do you think earthworms dream, Gemini?  Do birds dream about crawling in the dirt?  Or do they just dream of invisibility? So many questions.  

Cancer (6/22 – 7/21): That picture above is the air traffic control tower at SeaTac from the cemetery across the street, which for some very sad reason has a whole section devoted to babies and children.  There are tiny fresh graves with offerings of breast milk.  The heartache that lives in this world, Cancer.  I can't stop thinking about that breastmilk and the earthquake.  In an instant, people's lives changed and ended.  Poof.  Ride's over.  It's amazing anyone gets out of bed at all.  But keep getting up, day after day.  It's all we get!

Leo (7/23 – 8/22): About the plastic fast:  it's for the obvious reasons.  And of course, it's nearly impossible, because if you need to purchase or protect anything, there's plastic involved.  Unless you're ultra conscientious and make everything from scratch, like bread and tortillas and cheese and yogurt.  And you save your leftovers by wrapping them in organic cotton that's been painted with beeswax.

I've mostly been eating stuff that I can find around my house because I'm too lazy to milk a cow, make cheese, yogurt, crackers, blah blah blah.  Of course, I'm not going to eat Geoffrey, my imaginary pet rabbit. But he's the only meat around that isn't wrapped in plastic.  Dinner has been a head of red cabbage with chopped walnuts and artichoke hearts from a can that was probably lined with plastic. Leo, please join me in trying to reduce plastic use.  Every little bit matters, they say.  The average American throws away 185 pounds of plastic every year, and it ends up in the ocean.  Each little bag, Leo.  It matters to that starfish, which is the punchline of a whole different story.  But you get the gist.

Virgo (8/23 – 9/22):   I saw a job description today, and I would like to announce that  if I ever have to take a job that involves the keywords, "coordinate", "facilitate", or "oversee", I think I'd rather just do what that poor rat did.  Drown in a small body of water.  If it's a good job, I think the verbs used to describe it should be in the active vocabulary of an eight-year-old.  Like, "stir", "dig", "crawl", etc.  

Libra (9/23 – 10/22):  Here's why you shouldn't write a memoir, Libra.  Because, when you tell people you're writing a book, they'll ask what it's about, and you tell them it's a memoir. They'll say, so it's about you, then?  And you know they're thinking, um, what makes her worthy of a book?  So it's awkward, but you'll admit that yes, it is sort of about you.  Then they'll say, "So, is it interesting?"  And so on.  Awkwardness heaped upon awkwardness.  Be one with the awkwardness, Libra.

Scorpio (10/23 – 11/21):  Tomorrow is Poem in Your Pocket day!  You know what to do, Scorp.  Bring extra, because everyone isn't prepared, like you.  (We all wish we were, but that's a different horoscope.)  Enjoy.  And hey, check this out!

Sagittarius (11/22 – 12/21):  If I had a postage scale I would have weighed the large mouse, because it weighed a lot.  But speaking of Stamps dot com, which is the way I know to get a free rodent scale, has anyone ever actually ordered from Zabars like all the other shut-ins?  Actually, I'm more interested in ordering this, because crickets are the new kale.  (Don't you hate it when someone says one noun is the new other noun?  Me too!)

Capricorn (12/22 - 1/19): "Character," Joan Didion said, "is the willingness to accept responsibility for one's own life -- the source from which self-respect springs."  Damn, she's brilliant.  So here's more: 
To live without self-respect is to lie awake some night, beyond the reach of warm milk, the Phenobarbital, and the sleeping hand on the coverlet, counting up the sins of commissions and omission, the trusts betrayed, the promises subtly broken, the gifts irrevocably wasted through sloth or cowardice, or carelessness. However long we postpone it, we eventually lie down alone in that notoriously uncomfortable bed, the one we make ourselves. Whether or not we sleep in it depends, of course, on whether or not we respect ourselves. - "On Self Respect", Slouching Towards Bethlehem
Cap, you've got everything you need for a great life.  Live it! Treat your loved ones, including yourself, with love.

Aquarius (1/20 – 2/18):   The sweetest thing about massage school is that it looks like an orphanage drawn by Bemelmens: rows of little massage tables, made up with sheets.  Well, actually first it looks like a rag-tag grownup sleepover, as we all bring our sheets and pillows, and then we learn, ever so slowly, the names of the muscles and how to take care of them.  As if each muscle were a different kind of special pet that has distinct needs.  There's something about a twin-sized bed that argh, is so damn sweet.