Horoscopes: The Small Town, We're All Gonna Die Edition

Aries (3/21 – 4/19):  Today is the annual parade, which, against my better judgment, causes me to weep, because it's so extremely hokey that it comes around and turns into one of those ridiculous stands of good cheer that is just lovely.  What gets me is this:  half of the town walks down the middle of the main street with a group, essentially saying, "Look!  I'm in a group, and I'm really proud of it!"  And the other half stands on the side and waves, which says, "I see you!  I see that you're in a group!  I'm waving at you and your group!  March on, You!"  How crazy is that?  But it's like everyone is just flipping mortality the bird, saying, dammit, we know we don't have much time.  And this is how we're going to spend it, by god.  It's incredibly sweet and I can hardly even type about it because it makes tear up.  March on, Aries.  We see you.  (Not in a creepy way, of course.)

Taurus (4/20 – 5/20):  I was talking to my sister the other day and I told her I want to learn to draw.  The first thing she said, no kidding, is "I guess that's okay if you can't collect clouds."  Right?  How I miss her every day.  Her point is that it's good to look at all the different kinds of clouds and think about them, and that's way easier than drawing and you don't even need a pencil.   But in our area, it's often just one big cloud, so we're forced to draw.  All I draw is Julianne Moore though.  If she were to drop by, she might be a little concerned, seeing her likeness taped up all over the house.  But odds are slim on that, right?  Taurus, let your week be not one big cloud, but lots of collectibles.  Bring a pencil.

Gemini (5/21 – 6/21):  Oh, my dear birthday people.  How to celebrate.  Oh, I know:  with cake!  And a bike ride!  And a picnic!  Right?  Let's do it!  Because the humans have a few things going for them:  1.  opposable thumbs; 2.  Love of cake; 3.  Ability to weep and laugh and yearn and remember each other's birthdays.  Gemini, celebrate all month long.

Cancer (6/22 – 7/21):  Every time I sit down to write, I end up googling the Neanderthals and learning something interesting about them.  I don't know why I do that.  Is it another actual disability?  Did you know that at their peak, the Neanderthal population was only 15,000?  What that means, Cancer, is your numbers don't have to be very large in order to make a significant impact 40,000 years later. That's good, right?  But that's not your horoscope!  Here it is:  I have a rice bag that a dear Cancer made for me about 20 years ago, and it's one of my best relationships ever (both with the Cancer and the rice bag).  I've been thinking lately that it would be good to have a whole rice outfit. Some rice pants and a jacket that I could heat in the microwave and slip on after gardening.  Would a puffy, steamy outfit look good with a gin and tonic?  Do these rice-filled pants make my butt look big?  Who cares!!  Maybe something in seersucker?  This might be the idea to doggedly pursue, Cancer.

Leo (7/23 – 8/22):  Speaking of weeping, a friend told me recently that she was sobbing uncontrollably about, well, I guess you could say she was sobbing about the fragile beauty in the world.  Someone looked at her with alarm and said, "Are you okay?"  It was too hard for her to explain at the time, but here's the deal:  first the weeping, and then the wings!  Wing buds, Leo!  When weeping happens, think wing buds!

Virgo (8/23 – 9/22):  Grr.  I had this dream the other night where I got a lucky number, and I tried really hard to remember it because I wanted to give the number to loved ones.  But it was six digits.  I spent the whole night clinging to that number.  (You know the deal:  dreaming I'm a chicken, 643212, now I'm in math class, haven't studied, 643212, now I'm slurry under a table in the library but it's closed and I didn't bring snacks, 643212, now I'm a waitress in a diner at the Jersey shore and a drunk person is throwing up in my station, 643212.  All night long.)  Then I woke up, and poof.  Just like that, the number was gone.  And now I feel skeptical that I fell for it.  Who's ever heard of a lucky number that's in the hundred thousands?  Shouldn't a lucky number be one digit, like six?  Oh Virgo.  You don't even need a lucky number.  Your week will be lucky without some sham of a prop that nearly came to a fake astrologist in an elusive dream.

Libra (9/23 – 10/22):  Last week, the Washington Ghost Society visited the coffee shop and offered to reveal the unwritten history of the building.  I was so excited, and apparently they've researched other buildings in town, and apparently, the place is haunted.  Not too surprising.  My wish, Libra, is that someone with an older house will contact them and have the seance or whatever.  They use actual microphones, that apparently detect noises that the human ear can't hear!  And the ghosts are saying stuff.  Anyway, invite me to the seance, please.  I'll even chip in if it costs money.

Scorpio (10/23 – 11/21):  I'm still working on the gum wall, calling myself the curator (though I
Photo by Cake Boss (I know, my
toes should be pointed. Next time.)
have also been called the perpetrator.)  My vision is that there will be street performers and buskers hanging out, and the gum will grow and people will carve little stamps out of potatoes to impress on the wads of goo.  Come get your picture taken!  Count the gum, play the ukelele, do a hand stand, juggle!  We're all going to die anyway, right?  Why not at the very least, be part of something amazing for a minute first?  

Sagittarius (11/22 – 12/21):  I was in the Grill the other night with two of the loveliest young people, and we were looking around thinking that everyone looks familiar, and we could name at least five facts about several people.  The beauty and the peril of a small town.  But then there was this couple, the quintessential, "stranger comes to town" thing.  She, wearing a silk suit and pumps, and he also in a suit, but a cheesy one that made him look skinny.  You could see from a mile away that he was way more into her than she was.  But the sad detail, and that's where the story always lies, in the tiny details, is that he had wheely luggage and a big laptop case with him.  I know.  (Like, "Hi!  Oh, sure, I'd love to spend the night.  In fact, I don't even have to go back to my car, my luggage is right here!  I've brought my pajamas, and my blow dryer, and vitamins..."  I had a pretty bad feeling about it.  Sag, this week, don't get carried away.  Keep your luggage in the car.

Capricorn (12/22 – 1/19):  I'm pretty sure the best short story ever written is "In the Cemetary Where Al Jolson is Buried" by Amy Hemphill.  Does it seem like the horoscopes are sort of morbid this week?  No, that's not it.  But that story is just beautiful.  And your week will be too!  Read while you still have some eyesight.

Aquarius (1/20 – 2/18):  Last week I mentioned to someone that I'm considering of having a tree cut down on my property because it's leaning towards the house.  Less than 24 hours later, a woman hunted me down in the coffee shop, "I hear you want my husband to come cut a tree down.  When?"  That's what it's like in a small town.  Does it seem like our brains are a bit like a small town? Like, oh, there's that vaguely familiar thought.  Didn't I run into you yesterday?  (Uh oh.  I hope that's not just me again.)  Aquarius, your week will be like a new exciting big city on a far away continent.  Pack up!

Pisces (2/19 – 3/20):  Someone asked me today what confuses me, and I'll tell you one thing:  why don't we just put that last "g" in orangatan?   You know we want to.  Is there a shortage of the letter g?  Are we saving them up for some special word that hasn't been discovered yet?  Why so miserly with the g's?  Now helium, that's a real shortage.  Pisces, your week will be filled with bouyancy and laughter, as if helium were plentiful.


  1. Thank goodness for the federal helium reserve.

    1. I know! Although I do have to say, one of my pet peeves is the damn wastefulness of helium balloons. Really? Is that what we're going to do? Buy big things that last forever, but we only enjoy for a day, and fill them with scarce elements?

  2. And why don't they just replace the first "s" in espresso with an "x"? Expresso. It's so much more...expressive of what that little shot can do for you.
    And yeah! Orangatans are not tan. They are orange! And tangy! Like a good orange soda.
    I'm glad you live in the small town of my world. I surely am.

    1. Hmm, I've gotten used to the word espresso. Maybe because I live in Seattle. (ish.) But it's fine with me if we add an x back in. Maybe trade that for the extra R in February? Or the D in Wednesday?
      You are so welcome in my town.

  3. I would love for some paranormal investigators to check out our wee house. It's not old but I think a lot of the old things we have collected may have some residual energy attached. What fun it would be. Sure you can come.

    1. Okay, D, you're on! Residual energy fer shure.

  4. Oh lord. I had dozens of thoughts and comments while reading these beautiful, poignant and perceptive horoscopes, but I can't hold on to those thoughts long enough to capture them because I just keep reading the next one and the next. You are really on to something wonderful here Betsy, you really are.
    I can't even begin to tell you how jealous I am of your youthful handstand shot..
    And now I remember what I wanted to say - you really captured something essential about the small town parade and live in general..
    And don't get me started on stupid spelling conventions. When you have a dyslexic kid who challenges every silly or unconventional spelling you really begin to see how arbitrary and absurd written language can be, and realize how much energy a person can waste in the decoding, let along figuring out the deeper meanings...
    I am so very glad you're in my virtual small town.

    1. Oh Sweetie.
      Thank you! It's so nice that you read this.
      If you look at the handstand shot very closely, you'll see that there's a glob of what I assume is saliva (not mine) under my head. That's what it's like to be hanging around a gum wall.
      Precisely, on spelling. As far as I know (so far), the Neanderthals lasted for 150,000 years and didn't have a written language, or symbology of any kind. Right? Why is convention so important?
      Thanks for being in my town. :-)

  5. The rice bag? Is it a bag made out of rice? Or a bag filled with rice? I'm really trying to get a mental picture going here, which would help me to visualize the rice pants....

    1. Funny you should ask. While I wasn't hanging out w/ you yesterday, I was talking to someone else about the tomato house that I built, and she said, "Really? A house made out of tomatoes?" No. A house FOR tomatoes. And the bag is filled with rice, and covered with flannel. You heat it in the microwave and it's warm and moist (in a good way, not like Cleveland), and put it on your aches and pains. Most excellent.

      I'm super excited about our new club, btw. :-) Especially because the acronym will sound like we're in college.

  6. Your writing is wonderful. That parade - that's what life is, in a nutshell, isn't it? I have often thought that the world NEEDS people whose - perhaps only - talent is observing, enjoying and appreciating other peoples' talents.
    At least, that's how I justify my lack of talent ...

    Thank you for the link to that beautiful short story.

    1. Oh, thank you Jennio! Yes, it takes two kinds of people to have a parade, or, for that matter, a meaningful life. Thanks for reading. And I'm glad you read the short story! I loved that.

  7. There are so many words that have silent letters (or numbers). I think there should be space for a word with an invisible one.

    1. I'd consider you an expert on these matters. Does that mean that you're authorizing the "orangatang" pronunciation?

  8. What, you're a fake astrologer? I'm crushed and/or relieved. I have trouble with spelling as it is and then there is the spelling of hemorrhoids, I mean, WTF? What is that h doing there? Why two r's? It's an (ahem) unfortunate affliction anyway and then they make us spell it. Sheesh.

    Other terrible problematic words: gonorrhea, obfuscation, asthma, adjudicate o too many to name.

    The short story was wonderful.


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