Horoscopes: The Merit Badge Edition

Aries (3/21 – 4/19):  So, that "Go Left" post that never really appeared?  I wrote something and put it up here for about five minutes and then it just seemed kind of odd.  It was about how when you hug people, you should always go left.  Some people, I've discovered, don't know the rules of the road, and you're going left, and they're going right, and it's just awkward.  And then I learned some good things about going right, but sheesh, really?  Who wants to read a blog about that?  But here's the other thing:  horoscopes are a way to write about what I know (my tiny life) but make it about you, which appeals to me.  But the problem is twelve.  Right?  I can't just write one little thing, I need twelve little things.  It takes a while for twelve things to happen in my life, even the tiny things I write about here.  And by the time I get up to seven, for example, I've forgotten the first three.  So "Go Left" was an idea I had about just writing the one thing, and posting it.  But it didn't work.  So.  I might have to just do the four elements.  Aries, let's see if we can improve all of our memories this week.  I hear this book is good for that.  Let me know how it goes.

Taurus (4/20 – 5/20):  I was telling a story to a few people the other day, and someone joined the group after I'd started.  "Wait," she said.  "I missed the beginning.  Is the guy who wears the camo blood pressure cuff all the time someone you're dating, or a customer?"  Taurus, I wish it were way more obvious which category that person falls into.  But anyway, have you checked your vitals lately?  It might be time. 

Gemini (5/21 – 6/21): I just finished this book.  It was a sweet and predictable little read, but the gimmick that made it more fun than the "girl meets boy, drama, disappointment, she's blind to what's in front of her but then realizes, followed by eventual happily ever after" is that they communicate with flowers, each flower with it's own precise meaning:  betrayal, passion, remorse, etc.  It made me want to make up a language of my own and incorporate it into the planting plans I make for people.  Right?  Secret messages in mitigation plans?  The guy who lost a son and has a deep sincere gentleness that seems carved out of grief: cedar.  For the guy who, as soon as his wife left, told me his secrets and showed me the backhoe he built from scratch:  cedar.  That anxious woman who calls every day because she wants to get her remodel done before the baby comes:  cedar.  Oh wait.  I guess I'd just give everyone cedar anyway, because it seems like that's what we all need more of.  At least I do.  Gemini, western red cedar is probably the best thing we have going here, and that's saying something.  Enjoy it even more than usual this week.

Cancer (6/22 – 7/21):  I've heard that some of the young girls are soaking tampons in vodka and inserting them.  Um, is it just me, or is that really, really sad?  "Hey, don't mind me, I'm just getting drunk in the privacy of my own vagina."  Cancer, for the most part, I don't think we should regulate what goes on in women's vaginas, but I will cop to wishing for better things than that.  

Leo (7/23 – 8/22):  A friend of mine was reading a 1965 edition of the Boy Scout Manual the other day and reminiscing, and it caused me to wish we could still work on merit badges.  Remember that?  How about this for a business plan:  Merit Badges Aren't Just For Kids.com  We'd list out proficiencies, and you'd get your neighbor or your cat to sign that you did it, and there'd be an actual badge, or probably an e-mail that you could sew onto a sash.  Leo, are you in?

Virgo (8/23 – 9/22):  Here's the deal.  It could be a way to develop apocalypse skills.  Maybe Cabellas would advertise, making this a very lucrative endeavor.  I explained this to R., who said, "You know what you just invented?  xBox Achievements.  You accomplish things, and then get prizes."
"But R, there are no prizes! That's the big difference here."
"Ok.  So you know what you just invented?  Every video game ever."
"But there is no video!"
"Do you see my point, Mom?"
Virgo, your week will be about trying to see the point when everything looks pointless.

Libra (9/23 – 10/22):  The badges could be for things like fire starting, snaring rabbits, catching crabs and squid, making salt, making friends.  Basic survival things that we don't know how to do anymore.  

Scorpio (10/23 – 11/21):  I've had about three men from The Past recently contact me to say they were so sorry for their behavior.  My sister thinks that's good, like, wow, who does that, you must have really made an impression.  Me, I think it's kind of hmm, what's the word? to be the apologize-ee.  They're all about the same:  "I'm so sorry I lashed out at you x years ago, I acted poorly and you didn't, and I'm in a great relationship now, I learned a lot from you, so thanks."  I could probably start a very tiny museum of apologies.  Which isn't really such a bad idea for a museum, but it's tiring to be in the role of museum curator.  Scorpio, this week apologize when you need to, but more importantly try to accept all apologies with grace.

Sagittarius (11/22 – 12/21):  Oh, there could be an apology merit badge!  Some of the elements of a good apology:  
1.  It never has a "but" in it.  "I'm sorry for being a jerk, but ..."  Yeah, that's not gonna fly.
2.  It's best if you really mean it, and don't find yourself apologizizing for the same stuff again and again.  Although sometimes, that's the best we can do.
Sag, see if you can get through the whole week without a need to apologize.  Be kind, be strong, be funny when you can.  I heard that on the radio the other day, and thought it was a good motto.  Funny when you can, Sag, not funny at all costs.

Magical salt lamp
Capricorn (12/22 – 1/19):  Last week I had dinner with an old friend whom I haven't seen in 20 years or so, and it was fun and within moments we were laughing as though not a minute had passed.  But she told me that her mother, who suffers from a bunch of maladies, things like lymphoma and gout, is always saying, "I'm so lucky!  I've never been sick a day in my life."  So I guess denial isn't so terrible if you're the one in it.  I keep thinking it's a good practice to be as honest and vulnerable as is humanly possible, but denial looks like more fun, in the short term anyway.  

This is the most beautiful hand made lion
puppet from the best local puppeteer.
Aquarius (1/20 – 2/18):  I had this day, maybe a week ago, when I kept getting gifts out of the blue.  It wasn't even my birthday or anything.  But someone gave me this lion puppet, pretty much for doing nothing, and someone else gave me the magical salt lamp (which I only have licked a very tiny bit).  I have no idea how I got so lucky.  But here's another merit badge:
The Empathy Badge, where you learn humane ways to kill your mother if needed.  I mentioned this to R., who said, "I could take you out right now.  Just say the word and I could choke you to death."  
We'll want to be sure the merit badge develops the skill of knowing that it's absolutely the right time.  Aquarius, speaking of the right time?  This is it!  This week is your time!  Enjoy it.

Pisces (2/19 – 3/20):  I was at my booty call work job today, and as soon as I arrived, E-bro offered to poke me with a sharp needle and tell me my blood sugar level.  Of course I said yes.  I know.  Yes!  Please do minor surgery on me for no reason at all, because I'm curious what my number will be.  Turns out it was 92.  That's your lucky number for this week too!  See if you can do 92 of everything.  Or maybe count 92 blessings.


  1. The troop leader's daughter always had the most merit badges and I've never gotten over that so yes, I'm with you- let's do merit badges. Finally. A chance to catch up. I think I'll start with empathy toward old blind dogs. I believe I've checked off all the requirements.
    I already got the one about the mother-death thing. Yeah. I just need to sew it on my sash.

    1. Yes, I think you've already earned a bunch of merit badges! All you need now is a sash! How easy is that?

  2. I got completely sidetracked by the lion puppet. It's beautiful. Needle poking seems like a Piscean activity, for some reason. Part novelty and part pain. Hmm. And definitely a merit badge for poking.

    1. Oh, the poking merit badge! Hmm. Let's think about that a bit.... But yes, it is a gorgeous puppet. (And, as someone pointed out, now I actually DO have a cat...)

  3. There was a lady in my dad's nursing home who had Alzheimer's, and she was adamant that she had never had a cold in her life. Even right after she had a cold. She was quite pleased that she'd never had one.

    I love that puppet, too. Who wouldn't?!

    And you have perfectly covered what a good apology entails. Even the failure part. That's important, too. Because sometimes, despite our best intentions, we fail.


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