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.
: 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.
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?