Why do the Berkshires seem dreamlike?

Aries (3/21 – 4/19):  I took a red-eye flight the other day, and bought a neck pillow at Hudson News on an impulse, spending about half of what I saved by taking the red-eye on the stupid pillow.  It turns out, my friends, that the problem with air travel has almost nothing to do with neck comfort, and almost everything to do with being squished into a metal box with too many humans (some with fairly high percentage of Neanderthal, not that I'm judging) and the possibility of an untimely demise.  But Aries, take comfort where you can this week, even if it costs $32.73, and is a placebo made of memory foam.    

Taurus (4/20 – 5/20):  I'm fairly obsessed with the Voynich Manuscript these days.   I don't think it's unhealthy (yet.).  Here's what's compelling:  1.  It's a mystery (who wrote it, what does it say, and why was it written in code?)  2.  It's a book.  3.  It has completely charming illustrations of round naked women in bathtubs and plants; and 4) it's very old.  What's not to like?  Taurus, there will be a lot not to like about your week, but do your best to find what's good.

Gemini (5/21 – 6/21): I had the occasion to see my neice being carried and bounced around on a chair this week, and I'd like to confess that I was especially proud because she was the only one who could sit up there, clapping along to the music while drunken (ish) people bounced the chair above their heads.  Everyone else, when it was their turn, seemed to clutch the chair for dear life.  This week, Gemini, be the person who claps rather than clings, even if you might die doing it.

Cancer (6/22 – 7/21):  I was at a party recently where I knew almost no one.  Everyone there seemed to be a techy person.  "Do you write code?" someone asked me.  "No, but I write horoscopes."  It turns out that's a good way to get everyone to walk away and leave you in peace to drink quietly.  Which isn't so terrible.  Your week won't be so terrible either, Cancer.   

Leo (7/23 – 8/22):  I heard recently that not being able to identify the smell of peanut butter with your left nostril at 20 centimeters is a predictor of Alzheimer's.  I'd like to be able to give myself that test, but I suppose that would be cheating.  ("Ok, self, I have something on a spoon, 20 centimeters away from you.  Close your eyes and guess what it is.")  But maybe it's okay to cheat on things like that -- Is there much difference between that and positive affirmations?  If you're going to be a cheater, be that kind.  Do what you must this week.

Virgo (8/23 – 9/22):  One thing I learned this weekend is that I come from people who stuff cookies in their pockets when they depart from a festive event.  I'm not sure whether to be proud or alarmed.  But another thing I learned is what happened to the family photos.  My cousin snagged them and decorated his apartment with pictures of my sisters and I when we were little, and my kids when they were young and so on.  I cannot begin to convey how hilarious it is for this single guy to have decorated his "love shack" with these photos and my dad's medical diploma and other memorabilia.  When people come to his house and see all the kids, they say, "oh, is this your family?"  And he just says, "Yup."  Okay, I'll just say I'm totally lucky that he's in my family, that's for sure.  Virgo, if you're taking a bubble bath and someone calls and invites you for a drink, get up already!  Put some pants on and go meet them.

Libra (9/23 – 10/22):   A friend told me she had a dream about me that we're calling, "Big Hair, Big Love."  I didn't hear the details but I gather there was lots of product involved.  Libra, focus on the big love without the big hair this week.  Enjoy.

Scorpio (10/23 – 11/21):  I hate to make this all about the neck pillow, but we haven't talked about neck pillow envy yet.  You know you've had it.  You're about to get on a terrible long flight, and you see people looking smug, wearing (I know!) their neck pillows as if that's cool (which it's not, if there's any doubt.)  But still, you feel a bit insecure, like, shoot!  I should have a neck pillow.  I should hang out with the cool kids!  In second recess, I should play tag instead of sitting in the corner drawing horses.  (Oh, wait, I didn't mean to say that.)  But here's the truth:  the neck pillows aren't so great as a neck support, but they do work as a calming comfort object when you're too old to clutch a stuffed animal.  Scorpio, no clutching this week.  Drop everything and breathe.

Sagittarius (11/22 – 12/21): So, one of the things I'm enjoying about the Voynich Manuscript is that it's written in code, so I'm reading a lot about codes and ciphers.  And I had a moment, after learning a few new codes (well, they were new in the renaissance) of thinking, I'm totally going to write in code.  TheI remembered that I don't have anyone to write in code to, or really, any secrets.  But still...  And then, in the most freaky coincidence, I spille on my keyboard, and now the letters are all scrambled.  S only works sometimes, and e doesn't work at all, and so on.  It looks just like code.  Making me wonder if there is indeed a god!  If one were looking for signs...  But it's painstaking, because I have to find the letter I need elsewhere, and copy and pste it.  Here's this paragraph withwout doing that.  

o, on of th thing ˆ'm njoying about th ◊oynich Âanucript is tat it' writtwn in cod, o ˆ'm rading a lot about cod and ciphr.  And ˆ had thi thought of how fun it would b to tart uing cod, bcdau ˆ larnd a fw nw onw.  ·„ll, thyw rw n inw th rwnaiancw...TWhn ˆw rwmmbrwd twhat ˆw don'tw havw any on twow wrwiwt tow inw cowdw, owrw anyw cwrwt.  Butw twill.... And twhn, in thw motw fraky coicidnc, ˆ pilld br on my kyboard, and now th lttrw arw all cwrwambldw.   onwlyw owrwk omwtimw, andw  bcwomw , andw o onw.  ˆwt lowok .  o, that' hy htr on't b horo...

Capricorn (12/22 – 1/19): It's much effort to write, Cap, so I'll offer this up.  

Aquarius (1/20 – 2/18):   In Japan, sales of adult diapers exceed the sale of baby diapers.  That is one sorry fact.  But it did make me wonder -- do adults ever go for the cloth, the way I did with my babies?  Right?  You just don't hear of a diaper service delivering to old folks homes.  Business idea: a truck with diapers, horoscopes, and permits.  Sort of like alchemy only different.

Pisces (2/19 – 3/20):  I know, Pisces, you always get slighted. So with great effort, I'm writing something just for you.  The thing about being in a choir when you can't read music is that it's challenging. I don't know the notes the way musicians do, so I have to attach little stories to them.  Like, C is what it sounds like in yoga when we do the three ohms if no one is flat.  And the low D?  That's what it sounds like when you're about six, driving across the midwest in the back seat of an un-airconditioned station wagon, bored to tears, and you lean your head against the window and just open your mouth and make that sound, partly to see what it sounds like, and partly to annoy your sisters.  Enjoy all the notes this week, Pisces.

Oh, and the answer:  On account of the frosting.  


  1. Plenty of people with a "fairly high percentage of Neanderthal" down here on the ground too. Of course, it's easier to escape from them than from their high-flying cousins.

    1. Yes, the Neanderthals are way more enjoyable on the ground, in their natural habitat....

  2. Oh my dear! Your horoscopes are one of the highlights of my month! Thank you. I will do what I must this month, as advised by the stars.
    Much love from Lloyd.

    1. Aww, thank you! Enjoy your day.

  3. I was hoping for a jaunty little horoscope, because I am on a roll. But then perhaps you're saving it for next month and I get a great month for free.

    1. Yes, I'm totally saving it all for next month. Your jaunty little horoscope, coming up! (These are supposed to be weekly, but apparently you forgiving readers are cutting me tons of slack, which is good. :-))

  4. Oh glord these are brilliant as usual and I LEO CHEATED ALREADY and have not one iota of guilt about it. I answered a riddle incorrectly on FB and if I answered it incorrectly I was supposed to put up a picture of a giraffe for my avatar for three days but I didn't. I DIDN'T AND I DON'T FEEL BAD ABOUT IT HAHA I HATE RIDDLES.

    yr Leo,

    1. Rebecca, I'm glad you're taking the cheaing advice seriously. (Was the answer, "the door"?) I didn't play, myself but I will confess that I like some of the cute giraffe pictures out there.
      yr fake astrologist,

    2. Betsy it was YOUR EYES!!!!!!! I guessed the door thinking I was so smart but no the first thing you'd open would be yr eyes. Grrrrrr. I hate riddles.

    3. Oh, right! That seems kind of racist against insomniacs, don't you think?

  5. So the people in the airports WEARING their neck pillows like it's some kind of fashion accessory, I mean, WTF? Are they trying to make the rest of us jealous? Because we didn't think to buy neck pillows and they are going to have a great trip and we're not. (I'm a bit bitter, ok)

    I think air travel is an exercise in endurance. True torture=flying to Hong Kong in a ginormous plane where they seat you in the middle of the row of 16 people with your complimentary socks and eye shade. For hours of flying enjoyment. Hours and hours.

    PS round naked women in bathtubs. I bet they're hot tubs. Don't you think?


    Beth the midwife

    1. Oh, of course, hot tubs! 15th century hot tubs! Do you think the ladies are in labor? That seems plausible.
      Agree on air travel, which is why Hong Kong will have to carry on without me...

  6. Heeding the warning that there will be a lot not to like about my week, I have decided to hunker down in the cubbyhole under the basement steps with a carton of chocolate dipped pb granola bars and wait things out. I may even do the Alzheimer's test with a pb granola bar instead of a spoonful of pb. Then if I fail, I can blame it on poor equipment rather than my poor brain. Toodles!!

    P. S. I wonder what sign you are? And do you take that into consideration when writing these? How do you stay objective? Do you even need to be objective? So many questions ...

    1. Jennio, I think that's an excellent plan. At least the part involving chocolate. I'm not certain about the basement, though.... Let me know how the alzheimer's test works with the gb.

      It turns out I'm not at all objective, which is either a problem or part of the charm, depending on how you look at it.

  7. Betsy,
    I read this the day you posted it and never got around to commenting. I did manage to spend almost an hour reading about the Voynich Manuscript, thanks for another interesting rabbit hole. Strange stuff. I spent a year obsessed with high resolution online manuscripts, oh, I can get you to waste hours right back, but nothing as strange and curious as this one, just ancient caligraphy and ornament. I could look all day at that stuff.

    I am listening to the music this week, playing a little bit on my piano too, mini therapy for my lousy mood and writers and worse, my readers block.
    I'm 5 early reviews behind now, I'm feeling so guilty about it. And they're mostly all good too, even the new Anne Lamott. I just can't get started.
    Maybe next week, she said for the dozenth week in a row. Sigh. But one of the books? It's about singing in a choir and it's lovely. I hope you are singing in a choir somewhere, it's magical and affirming I think.

    Hope your week has been a good one.

    1. Oh Mel, writer's AND reader's block? That's a sad state; I hope things are getting better. I am singing in a choir, but I have to lip sync a lot. It's such a nice group of people, though, that no one seems to mind.

      At any rate, I'm glad you're playing piano. (Now that we're fb friends, I sort of feel like you moved here. Is that weird? I flew through Chicago last week and thought of you.)


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