Adieu, gum wall

Aries (3/21 – 4/19):  So, the gum wall was removed.  Well, the wall is still there, but the gum is gone.  Disappointing.  I'm trying to summon all of the compassion I can for the poor guy who doesn't appreciate it when an actual attraction happens in his very own alley.  Removing a gum wall is not unlike book burning, wouldn't you agree?  So, he's obviously living in his own kind of hell.  A butterfly lands on his nose and he swats it with a billy club.  Wrong in so many ways. Aries, summon compassion where you can this week, even when it's hard.

Taurus (4/20 – 5/20):  My mom recommended a movie to me recently, Stone Reader, which is by a guy who loved the book "The Stones of Summer," and created a documentary about hunting down the author.
"Oh," I said, "maybe I'll read the book first."
"Don't do that," my mom replied.  "You'll spoil the movie."

Is that a real thing, Taurus?  Spoiling a movie by reading the book?  I fell asleep watching it a few times, so I guess I spoiled it in my own way.  It was slow in an okay way, which is precisely how your week will be.  I'd tell you more, but I don't want to spoil it.

Gemini (5/21 – 6/21):  Someone recently told me that I'm pretty awkward.  I know!  This is not news.  But it started me wondering how non-awkward people behave, and in particular, what they talk about.  I get the, "hi!" part.  But after that, I'd prefer to talk about causes for Neanderthal extinction or colony collapse disorder, which isn't always what the other humans are interested in.  But I spent an evening this week with someone who spent a good deal of time talking about medical issues with his testicles.  I was curious and fascinated for a while, but after a long time, maybe 45 minutes, I wanted to say, "I'm not exactly sure where you're going with this, but my interest in your testicles was minimal to begin with, has vanished entirely."  I think if it's not already written down, there should be a rule, or at least a guideline:  No one will ever be as interested in your testicles as you.

The small town, tasteful gum wall before it was removed
Cancer (6/22 – 7/21):  Seriously, who would take down a gum wall?

The garish unhygenic gum wall in Seattle

Leo (7/23 – 8/22):  Speaking of sad things, here's something.  This woman is conducting an experiment in which she is "living on light" which is another term for starving herself to death.  On camera.  Her idea is that we would free up so much time and resources if we didn't need to eat.  Right?  How does one get to be 65 and think, even for a minute, that the humans don't need food?   It's one of the saddest things ever.  She thinks this "experiment" can last for 4 - 6 months.  She announces her weight and girth in each video, and I just want to say, Hello!  You see the trajectory here, right?  THIS IS NOT SUSTAINABLE.  Science, people!  There are some things we already know, and one of them is that food is a basic human need.  Leo, don't forget that this week.  Eat well.

Virgo (8/23 – 9/22):  Speaking of food, I had my third breakfast yesterday with some lovely people (because it's such a great meal, you should partake as much as possible.  Oh, and Rule Number 6:  When invited to eat with other humans, always say yes.).  Among other things, we talked about someone's visit to a nudist colony.  One of the images I was left with, and I'm sorry to pass it on to you, but pendulous breasts resting on the dinner table right next to a pan of lasagna.  Virgo, for that and other reasons (like the climate) I wouldn't recommend you join a colony just yet.

Libra (9/23 – 10/22):   I went to a wedding recently, and among the vows the couple exchanged were, "I will not be subject to disappointment."  I don't know what that means, or how to pull that off.  I will not be subject to gravity, myself, but it's not going so well.  Libra, act well through the disappointment.  This week will give you lots of practice.

Scorpio (10/23 – 11/21):  I'm not a big follower of the Miss America pageant for the obvious reasons.  Like, for example, what does a bathing suit have to do with anything?  Oy.  But I did watch the clip this morning of Miss Utah.  It is painful.  That woman, my dear readers, was deemed the third most worthy of the pack, and awarded a $15,000 scholarship.  Which proves once again that just showing up with a ton of eye make-up is really all it takes.  Cleavage helps too, I think.

Sagittarius (11/22 – 12/21):  When B. got laid off from the job we both used to do, he said, "You know what this is like?  It's like you were dating a mean fat girl, and she broke up with you!.  And you're bummed about it, because you'd like to keep going out with her."
I had the occasion to text B. this week:  "Booty call from mean fat girl.  I said yes.  Try not to judge."  So, at least there will be some material.  Bad for the soul, good for the blog.  Your week, though, Sag, will be good for the soul.

Capricorn (12/22 – 1/19):  There's a robin nesting outside my kitchen door, but there's something off about it.  There's only one bird, and she flies up every time I go out that door, which I try not to do too much.  But I forget, and I feel bad about it, because there she goes, flying up, wasting calories on flight when she should be sitting on eggs.  And I'm not here to judge, but I've never seen or heard any babies, and I've never seen shells on the ground, and I've never seen her fly back with a worm in her mouth or anything.  She's been doing this for about 3 months now.  I believe it's a hysterical pregnancy.  There's something about it that makes me sad, but I can't quite put my finger on what it is.  Your week, Capricorn, will be nothing like that.  Happy happy happy all the time.

Aquarius (1/20 – 2/18):  Speaking of material, The Great Sandini asked to talk to me when I went back to the office.  We go into this giant conference room with a table that seats 30 people.  "Do you think this room will be big enough?" I asked.  "Yes," was all he said.
He starts shuffling papers nervously, the way he does, and showed me this multi-page spreadsheet of all the work that hasn't been done,.  Anyway, I was trying to pay attention, I truly was, but I was distracted by the fact that he had a bandaid around the middle joint on each of his fingers.  I stared at his hand instead of taking the tour of the spreadsheet with him.  I got the gist -- we've been tracking the work but not doing it -- and now you're here to actually do the work; let's see if we can change some of the red cells to green.  (Do I sound bitter?)
"Where you in a fight?" I finally asked?
"Yes.  With an angry, machete wielding woman.  My wife."
I decided to stop asking questions at that point, and just focus on making the red cells turn green.  Stay away from angry machete wielding people this week, Aquarius.  Try not to marry them (if you have a choice).

Pisces (2/19 – 3/20):  One of the problems in Washington State these days is that the weed sniffing dogs are unemployed or in a retraining program where they learn other useful stuff, like "grab robber's pants" and so on.  Pisces, once again, you get gyped on the horoscopes.  I didn't really have many ideas to begin with, but I was trying to just show up the way Chuck Close recommends.  Do that yourself this week!  Oh wait.  I thought of something.  I was in Seattle last week, and a woman I didn't know came winding her way through a throng of people, directly toward me.  "Do you know where the gum wall is?" she asked.  I know!!  Of all the people she could have asked.  Like I exude some gum wall vibe, which I won't think too hard about.  I escorted her directly to the wall, wandering our way through the crowds, and she gave me a piece of gum for my trouble.


  1. I'm Libra and....when you're right, you're right.

  2. Aries, here. I was in the car with my 11 year old granddaughter. Ahead of us a bumper sticker, "Non-judgement day is here." I explained the implications of judgement day to her; it was a new concept. She rolled it around in her head and then asked "Is that why you didn't blow your horn or yell at that car you said should not have pulled in front of you?" Good for me.

  3. Again, you delight me. As a Leo, I am so very happy to be told to eat well and I will rob from Virgo, as well, by eating breakfast tonight. I went to a Waffle House last Friday (do you know about Waffle Houses?) and I got two eggs and I am so used to my own hens' eggs that when I broke the yolks on my over medium eggs, their pale color shocked me. They were like lemon-yellow, but not that yellow whereas my sweet chickens' eggs are orange like the sun. But you know what? They tasted fine with the grits so it was all right. Still, tonight I am going to cook two of our eggs and I am going to eat them with tomatoes I picked from the garden today and that's a completely different sort of food and is directly linked to the sun and so I will get to eat something delicious and still, in a way, I will living on light and air. And dirt, of course.

    1. I know nothing about waffle houses, and very little about grits. Keep living on light and air, plus all the other stuff. Like food! :-)

      I'm envious of you having ripe tomatoes. I built a half-assed tomato house to try to bring enough heat into the situation that they might actually ripen before October. It's touch and go.

  4. You know, your horoscope posts are like twelve posts and I could make at least twelve comments, but I feel that would be hogging the comment space. So the thing I most want to say is that not everyone does the social chitchat thing; some of us, maybe a lot of us, especially the ones of us who have found your writing, we would so enjoy getting together with you because you have a fascinating take on everything and I do mean everything.

    Hey ... getting together to chat ... that's kind of what we're doing, isn't it?

    1. Oh, how lucky I am that you've come along. And comment space is infinite, just like the universe and love. So thank you, as always, for reading and taking a moment to write!

  5. So help me, I'm going to cave in and make another comment even though it's probably not good blog etiquette. I just wanted to say that I think you CAN spoil a movie by reading the book first, and I KNOW you can spoil a book by watching the movie first. So now I just try to pick one or the other, usually the book, because life's too short and I'm running out of time to experience the good ones. For what it's worth :)

    1. Yes, that's true! Why not just watch the movie! I tend to fall asleep either way, but I guess I make more forward progress with a movie...

  6. Oh Betsy, this is a delightfully rich horoscope. You have a rare gift and you make me laugh and think every time I stop by. I wrote this long comment but it was all scattered and wrong and I'm so fragile and frazzled that I just deleted it and started over and this is what I came up with. You amaze me. I'd love to skip from hi to every topic you mention, especially Neanderthal extinction, which fascinates me even more now that I've had my DNA tested...that's a whole other post.

    And that movie, I think I've already watched and forgotten it, and still haven't gotten around to the book. And that gum wall? Just another vanished cultural touchstone. Sigh. And that not being subject to disappointment clause? I'm just about there, I'm done apologizing for being who I am. I'm just too old to have that kind of luxury time. Speaking of time, you're back to work? How odd must that be, except for the paycheck part, but oh the material - the stories, the humanity...

    Which makes me remember how much I love rule Number 6, which is so related to the adage in my head: you have to be a good friend to have good friends... very hard for the awk crowd to dial that one in, especially in real life. Relationships take so much work, it's no wonder I'm exhausted.

    I'd be your friend any day though. We'd have the best conversations. :)

    1. OMG! You had your DNA tested? That is so cool. Yes, details please!
      I read about 30 pages of that book, but I think I'll bag it. I did finally finish the movie, though. It kind of bugged me that there were no women in it at all except for that guy's mother, as if the only readers are men. Grrr.

      I'm sorry you're so fragile and frazzled and exhausted. I know that feeling. But the days are long and my yoga teacher says this is a powerful time, so that's good, right?

      Yes, I'm only back part time, no benefits, no future. The workplace equivalent of booty call. Super weird, but will pay some bills.

      Thanks so much, Mel. XO


  7. Betsy, there are forces in the world that hate. Especially they hate gum walls and anything having to do with wearing clothing while sitting next to the lasagna. Just let me serve you another little slice of light on your plate and you will feel so much better, much more radiant......

    1. Oh Meg. I'm not sure if hate is involved in the naked lasagna, or if it's more fear? And bring back the light if you can. It's gone dark again!

  8. as a scorpio, I'm feeling shortchanged lately by your horoscopes. This is at least two kinda not-there horoscopes in recent posts. should I read into that that I shouldn't be trying to get horoscopic guidance? or maybe that's just where scorpio fits into the batting order - a refreshing pause from the rest of the zodiac signs? I can't decide. at any rate. sorry about the gum wall.

    1. I think you should read into it that you're all set, you've got what you need! And /or that I'm a little lazy and out of ideas. 12 ideas at one sitting is a pretty tall order for someone like me. . .

    2. excellent. keep plugging away!

  9. Where is the Seattle gum wall? I mean, hell, I'm gonna get me some gun right now and start chewing so I can add to the festivities.


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