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. 

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Verb loss

I dreamt there was a word I needed to use, but couldn't remember it.  I had been told once, but voosh, right out of the brain.  It was a new verb, like skype or snapchat, but it involved shooting up into the sky, loose, without a ship or anything, to meet people.  Not like going to heaven, just regular transportation.  The way the cool kids get around, I guess.

Anyway, I was supposed to meet someone via this new verb, someone I missed terribly, and was walking around asking people, "Do you know the new verb I'm supposed to be doing right now?  Do you know it's name, first of all, and secondly, how to do it?"

And people looked kind of sad, and I wasn't sure if that's because they didn't think I could do that verb, or if it was more like, wow, she is so out of the loop.  Like, bipedal motion, sistah!  We've been doing it forever!  Keep up!

Friday, April 17, 2015


I just woke up from my first nap in about two weeks, which might be a record.  I attribute this strange turn of events to two things.  Although this list seems to have more numbers than two.  I don't know how that works.
  • I put up a hummingbird feeder.  I did that because I had a little bit of excitement recently, and it left me exhausted.  I realized that you need to build up to excitement; too much all at once is like a couch potato running a marathon.  I thought back over the last 10 years or so, and pretty much, the most exciting thing that's happened is seeing a hummingbird.  Like, "oh wow! Look, a hummingbird!  Oh, it's gone." So, my training program for the past decade has been tiny, short bursts, separated by looooong rests.  I'm not saying nothing good or interesting has happened, just that nothing exciting.  Now  I watch the hummingbird feeder, and I'm like, OH! A HUMMINGBIRD.  Another one!!.  And so on, all day long, getting stronger, bird by bird.  
  • With this workout program, I've gotten pretty excitement-worthy, and can usually last through the whole day without a nap.  Until today.  I got a tiny consulting job this week, and by tiny, I mean it's about two days of work.  It's a great company, and so they have a lot of requirements, which is fine.  So they wanted proof of insurance, and a UBI number, and a bunch of other paperwork and signatures and on and on, and me, strong from my hummingbird feeder training, just march march marched on through all the paperwork, and finally, the nice man said, "Great, you're good to go!"  And I was feeling all grown up, like, "I know.  Someone hands me wads of hoops to jump through, I just keep at it until I'm done."  And then he said, "Oops!  One more thing!"  And sent a form that requested my safety plan, and proof of current CPR, and a pdf of last year's taxes, and on and on.  False summit.  You can see why I needed a nap.
  • Here is my safety plan, if anyone needs it for their records.  All future inquiries will be directed here:  If I'm working alone in the woods (which is what I do, btw) and harm befalls me, I will stay put until a turkey vulture or other large predator draws attention to my decaying body.  

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Water Hook Up

Yesterday, I was talking to my son on the phone.  "Can you guess what that noise is?" I asked.

"No.  I give up."

"It's the sound of me mopping the floor."

"Wow, Mom!  I didn't know we even have a mop!  Good for you."

But we do have a mop, and I used it. I filled up the bucket with warm water and put vinegar and a tiny bit of dish soap in there, and swished everything around on the floor for a bit (what's the deal with mopping, anyway?  Does it seem vastly ineffective and weird to anyone else?), and when I wasn't talking to R. I was listening to loud music.  I tried not to walk on the floor, but that only lasted for about 5 minutes, so there are a few insignificant muddy footprints here and there.  Overall, though, it's a vast improvement.

It had gotten so sticky everywhere in my house, as if a toddler lives here, and the reason for that is bees.  Spring is the time for my bees to start building up their population so that there are thousands of bee women by the time the big honey flow happens.  They need to put lots of people I mean bees on the job of pollinating and gathering nectar.  But right now there isn't a lot to eat out in the wild, so I make sugar water, which involves spilling and stickiness everywhere.  (I know.  I am my own toddler.)  A few bees have figured it out and hang around inside to clean up -- like having my own, six-legged house elves.  But their tiny little tongues pale in comparison to the vast stickiness at hand, so I carry them back outside to be with their people.  I mean bees.

The other day, I was going through my hives, which are on an upstairs deck.  I was wearing my bee suit and holding a clipboard, because where there are bees, there's data, and where there's data, there should be clipboards.   In the midst of all this, I heard a voice calling my name, and it wasn't even in my head, it was out in the world.  And there was a man walking up the driveway, about 10 steps in, calling out, "Hello?  Betsy?  If I come closer, will I get stung? I need to turn on your outdoor faucet."

He's one of the construction people working on replacing our water line, which, by the way, I'm super excited about because making coffee with tonic water has gotten old over the years.

"No, the bees won't bother you," I say, but he stands motionless, the way you were taught in third grade to behave when there are stinging insects around, so I unzip my veil and go downstairs to meet him.

A few bees got caught in the folds of the veil, so they came with me.  I greeted him near the door, me and half a dozen disoriented honeybees.  To my credit, I wasn't carrying the clipboard.

He stood way back, and said, "Maybe I could use the hose on the other side of the house?"

I wish I could have said yes, because there is a hose over there, but this thing happened that I don't really want to explain to him.  I'm reluctant to even get into it here, because this is already a post about nothing much, but anyway.... One night this winter, I woke up and thought, jeez, it's cold.  I knew that because I sleep with the door and window wide open, and there was frost inside everywhere.  I remembered that a hose was still connected to an outdoor spigot, so I crept outside in the cold darkness to remove it, but it was stuck.  Maybe it was frozen, or maybe misthreaded, or maybe it was just too dark and middle-of-the-night-ish for me to be successful.  I knew that if I didn't do something right then, I'd forget about it until the pipes burst, so I went inside, got some pruning shears, and cut off the hose.  Right?  It might seem crazy, but isn't that what we do?  We travel through this life trying our damnedest to minimize loss where we can, and meet it head on with grace and kindness where we can't.  The loss of a hose seemed bearable.

"I think it's best if you use this one," I replied.

The construction guy was still keeping his distance, and he's looking at me like I'm a freak and a half, I guess because of the bee suit.  (But I have to say, because it's the women's bee suit, it does have the cute embroidered bee on the ass.  Grr.)  The bees were pretty occupied with something sticky they found on my suit; they were happily enjoying a ride-along and Construction Guy had nothing to worry about, but he didn't know that I guess.

The faucet is situated just above a gap in the porch that provides access to the crawl space -- it's kind of a weird 2' x 3' opening that things fall into.  I handed him a hose, and after examining it, he said there was a missing gasket, and water would probably drip into the crawl space when he turned it on.

"That's fine," I said.  "Oh wait.  Let me get my shoes out of there first."  Because, and I didn't explain this to him, but the shoes had fallen in a couple of weeks ago, and I was just happy to know where they were.  (I know.  You're thinking, "wow, I wonder how her house got so sticky, with all this thoughtfulness going on?")

So I fished out the shoes, some yellow raingear, and a bicycle pump while he looked on, aghast.  I thought it made me look pretty solid, actually -- all that useful stuff, and I knew right where it was.  But he suggested that I do the hose myself, and walked away.  I would say he backed away slowly, but he didn't.  Just normal walking down the driveway.  I know what he's thinking, he's thinking I'm sketchy, but I'm so on the up and up you wouldn't even believe it.

I'm pretty sure he grouped me into the same category as the sweet young adult who walks around our neighborhood barefoot, playing the ukulele, with a homemade basket strapped to her back.  But that's so not the case.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Horoscopes: The Plot Edition

Pisces (2/19 – 3/20):  There's a problem with my manuscript, which is the same problem I have with my life:  there is no plot.  I wander around each day from thing to thing without some of the key bits, namely rising action, climax, resolution.  On a good day, I set the timer, write for 15 minutes, ding ding ding, go wander around in the woods, and take a nap before yoga.  If we want a plot to our lives, we need a plot to our days, Pisces. I think Annie Dillard said that.  So good news -- we're all getting plots this week!  And you, my lucky ones, get "hero goes on a journey."  Make it worthy of you, and send me a postcard!

Aries (3/21 - 4/19):  This morning as I was skimming my FB news feed (you see what I mean?), I saw a link to an article with the trick for getting away if your hands are duct-taped together. Is that a real problem?  Of course I clickedBut anyway, in case you're in that position, you put your arms over your head and swing them down with force.  Oh, Aries, I'm so sorry I brought this up.  I think we have enough to worry about without imagining situations involving duct tape.  Even at it's best, duct tape is the symbol for brokenness.  How about if your plot involves restoration, or rebirth?  Good things are ahead, Aries.

Taurus (4/20 – 5/20):  I think if I had a goal, it would be easier to have a plot, so I thought about goals today. It turns out that my goal is to have a plot.  So I've been researching plots on the internet, and two of the big ones are:  man on hill, and man in hole.  So many questions, Taurus.  How did man get into hole?  Was he pushed?  Did he crawl there?  Does man in hole ever meet man on hill?  What if man thinks he's on hill, but it turns out to be an ant hill or something, at the bottom of the hole?  Can there be a mid-plot correction from man on hill to man in hole?  Taurus, why don't you try rags to riches this week.  Enough about the hole.

Gemini (5/21 - 6/21):  This week, wake up and think of the tenderest, sweetest thing you can imagine.  Even if it's just a sip of perfectly clear sweet water.  And let the plot be metamorphosis!  Yes, my dear ones, you get to descend into a cocoon, become watery slurry, and emerge as a butterfly! Flap your little wings as you go by.

Cancer (6/22 – 7/21):  Here's something.  The other day, I saw a woman walking down the street with a baby on her back, holding hands with a toddler.  They were moving at the achingly slow pace set by the toddler, whose legs were about one fourth the size of an adult leg.  The mom didn't seem in a hurry, she was just walking that slowly.  I don't know what your plot is for sure, Cancer, but take it slow, enjoy every possible moment.

Leo (7/23 – 8/22):  I went to Seattle the other night to feed some homeless teenagers; a few adults and I took a few homed (is that a word?  What's the opposite of homeless?) teens; we made a bunch of food and it could have been super fun but it wasn't as fun as it could have been, mostly because of one person who values rules before kindness, which will probably be a whole blog post one of these days.  I think his plot might be vengeance, which I am not for.  But meanwhile, Leo, see if you can do something plot-ly with identical twins.  Haven't we always wanted a twin?

Virgo (8/23 – 9/22):   I went to the Senior Center for dinner the other night with some lovely friends -- it was the annual steak dinner and cake auction.  We like to think our being there was funny/ironic, but it's really more like foreshadowing.  The way life is flying by, I will be elderly in about 5 minutes.  (Possibly before I finish this blog post, because it's taking me forever.  Did you see that squirrel? Ding ding ding, nap time!)  The dinner was the sort that's rare these days because it involved overcooked vegetables from a can and steak that was probably treated badly as a cow.  The only conversation was the auctioneer, taking about cake. The whole thing makes me look forward to catching the bus to that very senior center one day to play dominoes (that happens every Friday @ 12:45).  Virgo, your plot is aging gracefully.  Keep it up!

Libra (9/23 – 10/22):  The plot for you, Libra, is Stranger Comes to Town.  I believe there are only two plots, hero goes on a journey, and stranger comes to town, which is actually the same plot from different points of view.  But I'm outnumbered by the internet, which lists so very many plots.  But be on the lookout for the stranger.  Sure, take the candy from him, get in the car.  Do what you must so that something will happen.  Why not?  

Scorpio (10/23 – 11/21):  The weird thing is that I've been sitting here thinking about plot, and it's almost been too noisy to think.  Then I was like, wait a second. . . why is it so loud around here, in the middle of the quiet quiet country where I live?  And it was because of gunfire.  Right?  I'm looking for a plot when a shot rings out?  Multiple shots, in fact?  Of course!  Your plot:  Use everything that's on the mantel on Monday for good, not evil.  Just to move the story along.

Sagittarius (11/22 – 12/21):  Then I realized, why is it always a gun on the mantle?  Couldn't it be a chocolate cake, or a man in a hole who thinks he's man on a hill?  Here's the plan, Sag:  Put some cool stuff on the mantle in scene one, and then just go for it!  Enjoy.

Capricorn (12/22 - 1/19): Alas, you get the Type C literary plot:
Type C: The Literary Plot  It doesn’t matter what decision the hero makes (to sacrifice or not to sacrifice); he or she is led inextricably by fate toward a (likely tragic) end, i.e. a conclusion that leaves the reader feeling as though life has no meaning/we have no control over our actions/the gods are toying with us like rubber duckies in lukewarm bathwater. Source: WriteWorld.org
But, Cap, don't live the rest of your life in a lukewarm bath!   See if you can live a simple plot with a happy ending.  Happy happy happy!  Smiley Face! Enjoy the ride.  Why not?  At the very least, add hot water in the tub.

Aquarius (1/20 – 2/18):   Sometimes, when I get stuck, I look to see what people are searching for on the internet.  Guess what the most searched for chemical element was today, Aquarius?  Hydrogen.  Is everyone busy making bombs?  Number two was silicon.  (Do you see why I get nothing done?)  Silicon is in breast implants and  That makes me sad for some reason, or maybe I started out a little sad and it didn't help.  Breast implants and oven mitts?  But here's this happy bit:  the astronauts left a silicon chip on the moon inscribed with tiny messages of peace in 73 languages.  Space travel, Aquarius!  There's your plot!