Horoscopes: The Gum Wall Episode

Can you even see the gum?  

Aries (3/21 – 4/19):  We have a new attraction in our town, The Gum Wall.  It's not nearly as impressive as the one in Seattle, but it makes me strangely glad each time I walk by these five pieces of gum in the alley.  (I can say, "the alley", because there's only one. Oh, unless you cross the street, which I rarely do.)  Can you even see the gum in that picture?  Every big gum wall starts just like this, I hear.   The other thing about this picture: there's a shadow!  We know what that means, Aries.  The end of the dark times.  Not a moment too soon.  Enjoy.  (And, add some gum if you get a chance.  Wouldn't it be cool if there were six, or even seven pieces by next week?)

Taurus (4/20 – 5/20):  RIP, Booth Gardner.  I only had one occasion to meet him, and it was all rather awkward.

A friend of mine, who was a major donor to the Audubon Society, invited me and my then-husband on a special field trip that was a treat for the dozen top donors.  I am not those people, in case there's any confusion.  Just about everyone except my friend was famous in the environmental world.  -- Aldo Leopold's daughter Estella, and Booth Gardner, and people like that.   An expert ornithologist was flown here from Cornell to lead a birdwatching trip, and there was a fancy lunch at a restaurant on pilings, and so on.   Anyway, long story, but the key details are that the day before, R., who was two years old at the time, had hurled a dense cardboard map tube across the room, which accidentally hit me in the eye.

The field trip happened to occur on Superbowl Sunday of the particular year when there was much ado about the high incidence of domestic violence during halftime.  (Or was it toilet flushing during halftime and domestic violence during the game?  I forget.)  To make a long horoscope even longer, my then-husband and I ended up seated for the fancy lunch at a table for four with Booth and his lovely young companion -- it was unclear if she was his gf, daughter, or nurse.  It was super awkward for all the normal reasons, plus other ones (like, what had he been up to in the 2 years since he was governor? And who was the woman? Should we ask?)

After eating in uncomfortable silence for a while, I said, "So, about my black eye."   They had to be wondering, and perhaps assuming the worst of my ex, right?  "My son threw a map tube at me, and while I laid there, stunned from the impact, he walked over and said, 'Did you see something big and brown coming at you like a buffalo?"

Booth replied, "Oh."  We finished the rest of our four course meal in silence.

At any rate, he did much good for our state, especially his work on the Growth Management Act.  May he rest in peace.

Gemini (5/21 – 6/21):  Speaking of resting in peace, I took a nice walk around a cemetary last week with M., who remarked that she rather enjoys finally having an at home mother.  Even though she's 22 and doesn't live at home, and it's not like I'm an actual shut in (Is that term misleading and creepy?  Stay at home mother?   It probably be  "driving around all the time mother.").  But this grave stone broke my heart a little bit more than it already was.  Maybe because I'm reading "The Heart is a Lonely Hunter".  Gemini, don't be a lonely hunter this week.  Hunt in packs.  Count me in.

Cancer 6/22 – 7/21:  I listen to many podcasts every day.  In the middle of the night, I've been strangely compelled to listen to, "Dial a Stranger", where a woman calls random people and asks how their day was.  I can't explain why I'm so hooked on this.  It ranges from the mundane to the tedious to the ultra-boring and occasionally, hilarious.    But that's not exactly your horoscope, Cancer, although we're getting close.  Another podcast that catches my attention (which really isn't very hard to do) is "Love and Radio." The episode titled "Dirty Balloons" had me in such hysterical laughter that I wondered if it was normal.  Lying in bed alone at 3 am laughing til tears run down your cheeks?  We all do that, right?  Anyway, it was about a young woman who was broke and needed money, so she replied to a Craig's List ad looking for women to participate in balloon popping porn.  Did you even know that was a thing?  I tend to think of a balloon popping as kind of a buzzkill, but apparently I'm way out of the loop.  If you find yourself with a lot of time on your hands, recuperating from something, this may help pass the time.

Leo (7/23 – 8/22):  I was listening to the news this morning about the new anti-abortion laws, and the basis for some of them is that a fetus can feel pain.  Arrgh.  Guess who else can feel pain, North Dakota?  An unwanted child, born to parents without the maturity, resources, or desire to hurl themselves at an unconditional effort that lasts for years.  Leo, may you have a pain-free week.  Can I go off on a little rant, though?  Wouldn't it be easier if we teach our young people about sex and how it works, have them practice the difficult conversations, and make contraception safe and legal and accessible and not so annoying?  Maybe Bill Gates is on the right track.

Virgo (8/23 – 9/22):  Last week, I was driving in to town when a friend called.
"Why are we on the phone together?" was the first thing he said.
"Um, I'm not 100 percent on this, but I'd guess it's because you called?"
"Oh, did I?  I guess that means we should have dinner.  Are you free in 10 minutes?"
Of course I was free in 10 minutes.  There should be more of that in the world, Virgo.  More butt dials that end with someone buying me dinner.

Libra (9/23 – 10/22):  A friend sent me this article, which is both sad and hilarious.  Mostly sad.  Um, anyway, solar flares, mercury not in retrograde, blah blah blah.  Isn't that how horoscopes go?  Here:  Libra's are usually so balanced.  Not so much this week.  Prepare.  

Scorpio (10/23 – 11/21):  The other night I dreamt that I was in a class with Emily Bazelon.  We were both students, learning how to can dairy products with actual cans.  While I was pouring some half and half into a can that she held, I told her that I have a huge intellectual crush on her.  It was super awkward, and she was all, "Um, yeah, let's just focus on the dairy products, shall we?"  Dream big this week, Scorpio.  Try not to dream of awkward moments around revealing a platonic crush on a Yale law professor.  That's just unnecessary. 

Frankensleeves around a Japanese fishing float
Sagittarius (11/22 – 12/21):  I traded some Frankensleeves for a haircut yesterday.  My young friend has been cutting my hair since she was twelve, which is now a decade.  Her moving away for a while is what lead to the whole, "drink a glass of wine, watch a Youtube video on how to cut your own hair, get out the scissors" situation, which I thought was going okay until JJ mentioned that it had been going on long enough, and it looked pretty sketchy.    At any rate, it was a a lovely visit, and she was happy with the sleeves and I was happy with the hair.  That's what your week will be like, Sagittarius:  all good, with a few useful trades.

Capricorn (12/22 – 1/19):  I was sitting on the top of Rattlesnake Ridge today, looking at the beautiful view and all of the decomposing detritis from prior picnickers when my science fair project finally came to me.  How long does it take for a banana peel to decompose?  What are some of the variables that affect that?  How about an orange peel?  I know!  I can hardly wait.  But Capricorn, here's something you'll find interesting.  There's a space capsule orbiting the earth with the digitized genome of Stephen Hawking, Stephen Colbert, and Lance Armstrong, among others. (Have we ever discussed the Oxford comma?  Pro?  Con?)  The information will be stored in the Space Station in case of calamity. Quite a plan. It actually sounds like the set up for a joke: Three guys walk into the space station...  I guess no girls have genes deserving of immortality.  This week, see if you can develop the joke there.

  Aquarius (1/20 – 2/18):  At 6:30 one morning last week, on my way to yoga in the pitch dark and pouring rain, I saw a light in the road, and I couldn't figure out what it was: bicycle? Dog walker?  It was truly pouring buckets.  As I got close, I realized it was a hitchhiker, a young man in his late teens.   "Yeah, I know you," he said.  I took him at his word, due to my facial recognition disorder.

He was soaking wet and smelled like stale cigarettes and other sour things.  In fact, he smelled a lot like Joey.  I asked where he was headed, and he replied, all cheery, "I've got to catch the 7:22 bus to Seattle for rehab.  It's my second day!  If I do all 30 days, I'll get a voucher towards tuition."  He was super earnest and eager, and was glad that only about 10 cars (!?wtf? that's half the neighborhood!) passed him before I stopped.  He chatted happily all the way in to town.  As he got out, he said, "Wish me luck.  I have to do a psychological evaluation today."

Aquarius, the point being, see if you can make the best of stuff.  And be glad that on this day, you probably don't have to do a psychological evaluation.  Be cheery with whatever's going on.

Pisces (2/19 – 3/20): I wrote about that hitchhiker to a friend who asked if we are cheered or depressed by the story.  Cheered! Definitely cheered!  Because at this moment, he's full of hope and opportunity, and that's as good as it gets. It will turn out shitty, of course, but that will come later. He'll drop out of rehab on day 18, not because he isn't trying, but because he'll oversleep twice, not get a ride in time, and miss the bus.  As a result, he'll get kicked out of his parents house.  After years of knocking around, he'll have a disfiguring welding accident.  His heart will be broken by a woman he meets at the bowling alley where he works passing out the shoes.  (He won't realize it at the time-- awareness of his heartbreak will occur to him much later, after she's moved to Cleveland to care for her elderly mother and work at the coat factory.)  He'll end up old and and unemployed and alone, living in a 1974 Econoline van that an uncle gave him.  But even through all of that, he'll be happy, because there will be lots of good moments -- his weekly poker game, a series of good enough girlfriends, usually enough to eat and drink, and he'll decide to focus on those things. He doesn't know about his future yet.  At this moment, he anticipates it being ultra-bright:  steady job, nice apartment in Centralia, Ford F350, well-trained spaniel that he can hunt with in the fall, reconciliation with his sweet gf -- it's all going to work out swell.  The thing with feathers.  Keep that this week, Pisces!


  1. Glad to hear the rest of the Libras are going to be as unbalanced as I am lol.

    1. You're awake! :-)
      Maybe just go napping this week.

  2. I never say this to bloggers but...I really wish we could have lunch.

  3. Replies
    1. Yes! We wouldn't be awkward, unlike Booth Gardner!

  4. I'd willingly knit a whole outfit if I could trade it for a decent haircut. You've hit the jackpot in one of the most important areas of life, Betsy!

    My horoscope for you is: HOLY COW, be careful out there picking up yon hitchhikers!! Although ... we did benefit from it, with that lovely bittersweet piece on hope. Thank you for reminding me of that poem.

    Have a good week, Betsy :)

    1. Yes, trading things for haircuts is a good thing.

      About hitchhiking -- my little neighborhood still has a hitchhiking culture. It's not quite like the rest of the world. It seems to be a prime mode of transportation for my neighbors, so it's a little different... But I appreciate your concern!

  5. I'm so happy Pisces didn't get short shrift this time I almost swooned. And the thing with feathers is a bobcat in a tree over one of Seattle's biggest dog parks. She hung out all day and then was gone the next. Wild animal sightings are a blessing from the animal gods.

    The lesson for today: Stay in the tree when there are dogs below. Leave after dark. Be utterly gorgeous.

    1. I am staying in the tree! And Pisces is not going to get shortchanged on my watch...


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