The Happiness (ish) Edition.

The view from CV Cemetary
Pisces (2/19 – 3/20):  I've been looking online to see about getting foot surgery in a far away land, because it's cheaper, and of course, there'd be a fun trip involved.  If you call it fun to go to a foreign land and go under the knife.  Strangely, the particular surgery I need doesn't seem to be held in other countries.  The Surgery-tourism trade seems to involve bunions, gastric bypass, and liposuction, which I don't need yet...  At any rate, since it doesn't look like I'll be going on a surgery-tourism trip, I'd like to offer myself up as a companion if you need surgery.  I don't speak any other languages, which may rule me out, but gimme a chance, Pisces!  I could learn the words for "painkiller", "stop!", and "OWWW!" in many languages if needed.  And, I believe it's been well established that I posess superior skills in assisting the vomiting humans.  Pisces, may you not need those skills this week.

Aries (3/21 - 4/19):  I signed up for a Happiness Tracker, which I have to say is bringing me great happiness in itself.  Several times during the day, I get a text asking how happy I am, and then it asks a few questions about my day and what I'm up to.  For the most part, it makes me laugh because of how surprisingly nice it is to have someone ask how my day is going.  And it turns out that moment by moment, things are usually going alright.  Aries, let it all go this week.  Well, not everything.  But track your own happiness this week, and try with all your might to have something to track.  Say "yes, I'm doin' awesome!" when asked, and make it so.

Taurus (4/20 – 5/20):  I went to visit the CV cemetary the other day, because it had been a while since I'd been there.  The reason for that is that, unlike most cemetaries, this one is all bodies, no markers.  Well, I think there's one or two markers, but there are 40 bodies in there, according to an x-ray.  I totally want an x-ray machine, if you can look around underground like that.  Taurus, do what you can to not end up like Mrs. Pingway and the Two Ruddy Children.  

Gemini (5/21 - 6/21): Today, Gemini, is one of the few days that I don't like having a job that puts me outside all the time. But here's how it went down.  This, strangely, is what I do for a living.  I am the orange dot, crashing around in the trail-less woods in the torrential rain, looking for wetlands, hanging flagging, stopping periodically to tell my happiness tracker how awesome things are going.  Gemini, don't be that dot.  Be slower, be less tail-chasing, less like a hamster and more like the lovely human you are.  (Really?  Is that actually how it goes, looking around for wetlands?  YES.)

Cancer (6/22 – 7/21):  The thing my happiness tracker doesn't ask about is the little stuff, though, like when it turns out that my favorite bowl and my favorite mug both arrive clean at breakfast time, and I get to eat tiny bits of granola out of the little acorn bowl that a dear one made while drinking coffee from the perfect color mug that's just the right weight.  Or how I wrapped some Abies grandis sprigs in wool and I heat it in the microwave and stand on it I wash the dishes and it feels warm and smells christmassy and I imagine that my bones stop hurting.  If you want me to be a happiness tracker for you, Cancer, I'll do it, and I'll ask about the little things.

Leo (7/23 – 8/22):  Anyway, I really want to work for these guys.  I think I'm perfectly suited to it, for no particular reason but that I have a thing for the Rosen/Plotz family, and how fun would it be to visit and write about odd places around the globe?  So I must begin with a first post.  Any ideas on what I should document?  Suggestions please.  And Leo, I read something about you guys this week that stunned my but I can't remember it! I think it was really good though.  

Virgo (8/23 – 9/22):  I spent a lovely day with The Teacher this week, and I got to speak to her students about blogging, which made me realize how much I enjoy it [blogging], and how much shiny sparkliness is out there amongst the young people, who are starting all manner of blogs.  Blogs about music, guns, fashion, dogs, and one blog about a fish that's only found in very deep secret sacred water off the coast of Viet Nam.  But the best part was just doing sort of a ride-along on The Teacher's day, seeing her in action as a great teacher, and most especially, watching her presentation about Antarctica.  Shackleton's Cabin with a splayed out penguin, still on the table!  Yikes, Virgo!  

Libra (9/23 – 10/22):  I went to look for pumpkins with a friend the other day, and there's something off about the pumpkin patches.  At the first one, all of the squash plants were in flower, but there were identical little pumpkins lined up in rows near the plants.  Each pumpkin was exactly the size of my head, like some post apocalyptic GMO re-enactment of an ancient pagan ritual.  How can this be normal?  So we left and went to a second pumpkin patch, and all of the pumpkin vines were so dead they were almost, but not quite, fully returned into the earth.  But the pumpkins sat proud and fresh near the very dead plants.  How can this be normal?  What's going on in the pumpkin patches this year, Libra?  

Scorpio (10/23 – 11/21):  I was reading in the NYT about a boy with autism who befriended Siri; he had difficulty with other relationships, and Siri was patient and consistent with him, and always responded, and answered any question he asked. As I read, I started thinking it was kind of sad, that his best friend was a computer.  I didn't get to finish the article, though, because my Happiness Tracker texted, wanting to know how I'm doing.  Scorpio, 

Sagittarius (11/22 – 12/21):  Sag, it's time for taking rain gear seriously.  Get the most comfortable stuff you can find that will allow you to be outside as much as possible this winter, looking at stuff, looking for stuff, being alive among the rich mossy smell of the PNW in the darkness.  Send me the bill.  

Capricorn (12/22 - 1/19): I'm reading some of the darkest, most hauntingly beautiful short stories.  One story ends like this, for example:
"Everything that happened to her afterward -- homelessness, then a landlady who drank nothing but kefir and tried to hang herself every March but was rescued by her son -- all this adversity she considered happiness, and not a shadow of doubt or despair ever touched her." - Ludmilla Petruschevkaya
Capricorn, don't let a shadow of doubt or despair reach you.  At least this week.

Aquarius (1/20 – 2/18):  Someone commented lately that I seem to be doing pretty well, considering.  I think the "considering" part is a polite nod to the fact that I've been primarily single for over a decade, not by choice.  I replied to the e-mail, saying yeah, it's not so bad; I'm not terribly bitter that women my age are pretty much out of the running romantically; I've come to accept the reality that men my age are interested in things other than what I have to offer and tend to pursue women 10 or 30 years younger than themselves; I've decided to stop bemoaning that this is the way the world works and take comfort in the fact that my time is my own, there's no one to judge the ways I spend my money or care for my space or anything else.  I re-read my e-mail a few days later and it seemed kind of pathetic, like, "no, really, I'm cool with giving up the most human of things: love, sex, companionship, connection - because I get to have a messy house!"  Argh, one coin, two sides.  But it's more than that, Aquarius.  It's about showing up in whatever strange cul-de-sac of the planet that we end up in, and pulling out a tablecloth and a basket, and having a picnic, right here, right now.  Feast.  Why not?


  1. Regarding the Scorpio horoscope and the autistic boy whose friend is Siri - I believe this is a good news story. And not the first time technology has enriched someone's life. In fact, I know someone with an autistic child, and I'll be asking them if they know about this - so thank you, Betsy.

    1. Yes, sweet and a little bit sad, the story. The technologies are sure patient with us humans! Have a great week, Jennio!

  2. I read the autistic boy/Siri article and it is a happy story!
    Love your horoscopes...

  3. Thought I'd share some post ideas for your new job:

    Faroe Islands
    La Boqueria in Barcelona, Spain.
    Quebec’s Magdalen Islands
    Gila Wilderness
    Brazil's yacare caiman
    Landmannalaugar highlands
    The Mariana Trench
    Siding Spring Comet
    Chakras of the Earth
    Raymond Isidore in Chartres
    Chewing gum art - Ben Wilson

    1. Thanks for these great ideas! I should totally go to the Siding Spring Comet! Is it time to identify some ne chakras? The 8 chakras of WA?

  4. I wouldn't know where to start in identifying WA chakras. Intuitively I might start with Lopez as the Crown but then I wondered if maybe WA chakras might not be linearly north to south. What if they were upside down or zigzag? Oh no, or even east to west? How would you know? I bet we'd have to make it up like so many other truths. Most likely this is right up your alley, Miss Betsy.

    Oh, and how was your day?


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