Horoscopes: The haplodiploid edition

Pisces (2/19 – 3/20):  I ran into someone last week who questioned whether I'm a real astrologist.  Really?  I hope it's clear, Pisces, that I consult the stars, the planets, the retrogrades, the alignments, and the various houses of mercury and cards before I make this stuff up.  

So, back to bees.  They're haplodiploid, which means that the males only have half the genetic material that females do.  Union of egg + sperm grows into a female bee, and unfertilized egg grows into a male bee.  The male bee (drone), of course, has the ability to fertilize a queen. (Alas, the act ends in death for the drone, and a lifetime of fertility for the female, so being a drone isn't all it's cracked up to be.)  

Infertile females (workers, not the queen) can lay eggs that grow into drones.  If you think about that for very long, Pisces, it gets confusing.  (Or is that just me?  Once again, I feel like Algernon.  I know there's something interesting here, but it's just beyond my ability to grasp.)  But a few things that I do get:  a male bee doesn't have a father.  A female worker bee can create sons but not daughters, while the male can create daughters but not sons.  The queen can create either, of course.  But what about the gene pool itself?  Does it seem like it would get smaller?  Does this strategy make bees less able to evolve in response to changing environmental conditions?  And, I dunno, there's something else that bugs me here, but I can't quite pinpoint it.  More later if it ever comes to me.  

But what this all means for you, Pisces, is that it's going to be an interesting week.  Be curious, as we say.  Especially about that little bumblebee nest outside your front door.  Maybe, if you're very very lucky, it will be Bombus occidentalis!  I know!

Aries (3/21 - 4/19):  You're probably wondering how it's going with my whole hotplate life.  Here's the progress so far:  the other day, I looked on the Internet and found that Sears has online scheduling for repairs.  I poured myself a bowl of not homemade granola, (grr), and proceeded to schedule.  First available date is June 17.  Really?  Even for hotplate woman, that's mildly unacceptable, Aries.  Especially because I know it will involve a whole lot of ick, phone calls, and dollars spent.  Next week, though, I'm really gonna hit it hard and climb my way, even claw my way back to the land of the cookers.  I even have a volunteer who will come with me to the appliance store, because we all know how this will end:  I'll go through the hassle-y motions of getting it repaired, but will ultimately learn that I need a new range (I still don't know what that word means, because I AM NOT AN APPLIANCE SAVANT.)  Aries, I am saying out loud here and now that by June 18 I will try my best to be eating homemade granola again.  Make your week awesome like that.  Like, YES, in THREE WEEKS, I'm going to kick a little ass, and GET STUFF DONE.  May it be so.

A souvenir from my journey to the mental hospital
Taurus (4/20 – 5/20):  Overheard in coffeeshop:  
E:  What does passive aggressive mean?  
H:  Well, it's when, rather than telling someone what's bugging you, you go into their underwear drawer and stretch out one leg of every single pair, rendering it useless.  

Taurus, do all you can to eliminate cruelty to the underwear (which seems not to have any real advocates, btw).  Be direct, kind, sincere.  Mean it.

Gemini (5/21 – 6/21)
:  I'm super excited about a new little series of writing things I'm offering, read all about it!  The first one is for parents.  If you are one, I hope you'll consider it, not because you need it, but because you deserve it.  Claim a chance to relax and think about how you want this gigantic wonderful art project you're working on to turn out.  There will even be yoga nidra!  (I know, Gemini.  You've been wondering: house of retrograde, Venus, mars, star star star water sign blah blah blah.  FER CRISSAKES, WHEN WILL THERE BE YOGA NIDRA?)

Cancer (6/22 – 7/21):  One of my poppies popped this week and I skipped yoga to stay and watch it for a while.  Then I said, sheesh, hotplate woman, get a hold of yourself!  Life goes on, you absolutely must not get distracted by this gorgeous flower, because there is IMPORTANT STUFF TO DO.  So for the rest of the week I carried on as if there weren't a fading miracle happening in the garden.  Don't do that, Cancer.

Leo (7/23 – 8/22):  I was trying to find the word to describe the particular color of the poppy, which, duh, lead me, the way everything does, to the Internet, and I can't find it (the color), probably for at least three reasons, Leo.

  1. My screen doesn't have great resolution because I poured water onto yet another computer, and I'm using one of the old ones from Under the Bed, where I have a graveyard of computers in varying states of decay.  Under the Bed should not be confused with Under the Matress, where the riches are stored.  (Spilling water on a computer, which used to be a big deal, is not anymore.  Apparently, it's just how I roll.  And, I'm painfully, inexplicably loyal to Apple, which is ridiculous if you  have to buy a new computer every few months.  Luckily, I'm extremely wealthy, which may explain my insomnia (lumpy mattress).
  2. Every web page I click on has ads for appliance repair on it, making me feel a little downcast.  Really?  Internet?  What the hell is so wrong with being a legitimate hotplate woman?  I am so buying briquettes, tinfoil, and a shoebox this week.
  3. It's not a color you see much.  If this color were a movie, it would have a tiny but devoted cult following.

Virgo (8/23 – 9/22):  Yesterday someone asked if I have any interest in doing a silent retreat, where you go for some amount of time, maybe a weekend, without speaking.  Um, I think I call that being at home.  Which suddenly made me realize that my life is one long retreat.  That's good, right?  Virgo, this week, consider an advance.

Libra (9/23 – 10/22):  I'm taking an acroyoga class next week, which is flying therapeutic partner yoga.  It freaks me out (I always pick invisibility, not flying, for my super power).  But I was asked to do it by a friend, who said his wife isn't comfortable with the idea of him doing partner yoga with all the young lovely yoginis, and he can only take the class if I'm his partner.  (Um, that's a compliment, right?)  Libra, learn how to fly this week, and also, take everything that comes your was as a compliment.  What's the downside?

Scorpio (10/23 – 11/21):  Speaking of taking everything as a compliment, someone mentioned that they overheard someone else talking about me: "her blog is so interesting!  You'd never predict that from meeting her!"  I know.  Better on paper, Scorp, but there's no real downside to that.  Oh wait.  I think there is....

Sagittarius (11/22 – 12/21):  My favorite Sag has been asking about podcasts, which ones I like.  I like storytelling ones best, because there's really not much more delicious than hearing a good story, well-told.  (Well, there are a few things, but let's stick to what's plausible and within reach.) Here are a few:
  • My new favorite, The Story Collider, about science intersecting lives.  
  • 99 Percent Invisible, a tiny radio show about design.  From wikipedia: "With its name taken from a quote by Buckminster Fuller where he said, "Ninety-nine percent of who you are is invisible and untouchable", the show aims to expose the unseen and overlooked aspects of design, architecture, and activity in the world."  Every single episode, I start out reluctantly (because really, could Roman Mars be someone's actual name?) but end up learning something fascinating.
  • This Week in Science, The Kickass Science Podcast.  Love, mostly.  Three smart funny people talk about research that's been published this week.  
  • Strangers (KCRW).  I think Lea Thau is brilliant and here's a good example of her lovely, generous quirky storytelling.
  • And, this might be my very very favorite, at least today.  The Truth, movies for the ear.

Capricorn (12/22 – 1/19):  I've been getting a poem a day in my e-mail and not reading them, but saving up for when I can really savor.  The time is today!  Here's a particularly lovely one.  Love and loss, Cap.  That's all there is.  Oh, and there are dogs.  

(Btw, there's a transformational lunar aspect to your ambitious sign.  Stole that from Huff post.  Sounds legit, though.)

Aquarius (1/20 – 2/18):  Speaking of dogs, my favorite dog story is of a friend who found a stray in her barn.  She located a tag with a phone number, called the owner, and while she waited for him to arrive, played with the dog.  She found him to be smart and fun, which is what we seek in companions, human and canine.  But when the dog heard the owner's diesel truck pull up, he started shaking and cowering, and when the man appeared, the dog tried to hide.  

"Sorry," my friend said, "it doesn't look like he wants to go home with you.  He's my dog now."  And so it went.  Diesel truck man drove away empty-shotgun seated, and she has a new lucky pet who's as well-loved as can be.  Don't you wish more stories ended this way, Aquarius?  Make it so this week.  Write your own endings and then live them.


  1. It is SO AWESOME that you are offering workshops from your many strengths and I would SO GO if I lived closer, especially to the one on courage. I like your way of describing it; framing my relentless treadmill of a life right now as a form of courage gives me hope. May you have your maximum of participants and may word spread about your offerings and may you become, if not extremely wealthy, at least well enough off that you can hire someone to wait at home for the range repair person to arrive, or something.

    And, with your links, you have provided me with a week's worth of good reading. I know that in advance. I have been looking for good reading and here it is all laid out for me :) Thank you.

    1. And the bee information - thank you for that, too :)

    2. Thanks Jennio! There would be nothing better than being able to hire someone to wait for the repair man. (If they cleaned the house whiel they wait, that would be fine with me. Absolutely fine.)

  2. Complement: "Your tie complements your shirt. Nice!"
    Compliment: "Nice tie!"

    1. 1 - As an Aries, I’ve often been called The Oven so I have felt some kinship when I hear yourself as Hotplate Woman. I know, different context, but still…
      2. Capricorn – Aimee Nezhukumatathil American poet from the” poem a day” link. Wow. Sweet depth. Of course I had to go look up where that name came from and found out that she has a Filipina and Malayali native background. Malayali being a term given to speakers of the language Malayalam originating in the Indian state of Kerala. And then I continued to read, link to link for about an hour. I love it.
      3. Sag – I need another several hours/days for podcasts now.
      4. Gemini – Damn, gorgeous class descriptions that beyond piqued my imagination. I think I should (shoulds always confuses me) do the judgement one because I have this reptilian part of my brain (sorry reptiles) that’s judging my writing. “you’re a 3 dimensional creator. You don’t write!”
      5. If I keep this up I would have to start another blog page just responding to your page. Not only inspiring but somehow I find it remarkably nurturing. Gracias.
      6. It seems that my lurkage is metamorphosing. At least for today. Amen.

    2. I'm glad your lurkage is embiggening! :-) And that you find it nurturing here. That's a goal. I wish my reply was embiggened too but I have to dash off to my damn job, which I really shouldn't complain about because I only go once or twice a week, and what can be so bad about that? Come to a class if you want! It will be fun. There may be snacks, even. :-)

  3. Wow! Delicious AND nutritious! Thanks for all the links. I now have great things to listen to while I knit ... and avoid all the "important" stuff, as you so astutely observed in my horoscope. No matter your credentials, you have the gift!

    1. It's good that your horoscope fit. There's no such thing as coincidence, right? :-) May your knitting be rewarding.

  4. I hope work turned out to be the best day ever and I thought you might like to know that the date for your Generosity workshop is October 5 in the blurb and September 28 in the check list.


  5. Dear darling Betsy-I'm sorry you're having stove issues. I had no stove for about a month and resorted to cooking in my toaster oven. It was, um, challenging. Basically you can cook toast in a toaster oven.

    And how dare anyone think you're not a real bonafide astrologer. I mean, really!! What, you didn't go to astrology school??

    your fan Beth


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