Pisces (2/19 – 3/20):  Usually I'm an early to bed, early to rise person, but I've made new rules, one of which is that if it's dark out, it's okay to be in bed.  As you know, it's dark from about 4:30 pm to 8:30 am around here, which means I miss a lot of stuff, but I am keeping up on the 68 podcasts I subscribe to.  I'd like to recommend sleeping through the dark times, Pisces.  A little dormancy never hurt anyone, and in the case of bulbs it's essential.  It's not time to bloom just yet.

Aries (3/21 - 4/19):  As you know if you've ever e-mailed with me, one of two things is true:  I either have a cousin in Uzbekistan who needs a new kidney, or I've been hacked.  You decide.  The worst part of all of that is that my entire inbox was wiped out.  I'm not a hoarder of things, but I do hang on to the e-mail.  It's better than a diary -- you can oflook back and see what was going on a year ago, for example.  And oh, how I love words.  They arrive in little tidy packages, and don't take up any space, and sometimes are just lovely.  And, I lost the chocolate cake recipe!  I know!  It seemed dorky a week ago, but I actually thought about printing e-mail out and putting them in a little notebook, kind of a lazy-person's journal.  Then I decided that was a dumb waste of trees.  Now I wish I had.  I know, I'm supposed to be excited about the blank slate of it all, but I'm not there yet.  It's not quite like the relief I'd feel if my house burned down.

Taurus (4/20 – 5/20):  What I really want to do is create a tiny diarama of the Catalhoyuk site.  Little skeletons under tiny little beds, and ever so miniature people sitting on the floor trading skulls.  Arrgh.  How I wish I were doing that right now.  I'd decorate the tiny little cave walls with bad cave art, and it would bring me great gladness.  I have the gene lurking in my dna from my grandfather who spent his retirement creating what I call "situations", like a blacksmith shop with a very tiny bellows that really worked.  Taurus, just writing your horoscope made me want to go draw a bull, so I did.

Gemini (5/21 - 6/21): I went with TG (The Gangster) to get salt this week, and we went through the border four times, and I didn't even panic once, even though TG kept saying, "where's your passport?" as if it were missing, just to freak me out because she knows I have border anxiety.  And there, at latitude 49.0000 (gasp!), I waded up to my waist in the cold dark ocean, the same ocean where the titanic is.  Ok, different ocean, but still, filled with danger and ominousness.  Even with ocean warming, it was inhospitably cold.  But the point of this is that after making, like, 17 trips into the water with my pitcher to fill up the jug, the water spilled in the car on the way home.  I have some sort of weird thing with water that I'm spending my whole life on.  I've always been a spiller. I wreck stuff -- I'm not very good with things.  I see other people take care of their possessions, and it's oh so lovely, I wish I'd do that too, but I forget, and I get in a hurry, etc.  I do try to take good care of the people, even though it doesn't always work out, but I slow down and listen.  Wait, where were we?  Oh, right.  I was explaining how cleaning a trunk filled with saltwater is a good gangster skill.  Substitute body for saltwater, and it's the same process.  Anyway, Gemini, peace lives in your heart.  Listen.

Cancer (6/22 – 7/21):  If I were a hacker, getting into other people's e-mail accounts, rather than wiping the email out, I think it would be fun to just write to their friends.  Maybe work on some troubled relationships, and enjoy the good ones.  Rewording things carefully so they go down a little smoother, keeping in touch with people that the owner doesn't have time for, deepening with aquaintances.  Wouldn't that be fun?  Kind of like a dog-walking service, but completely different.  Cancer, offer your own version of a dog-walking service.  Oh, I see that you are.

Leo (7/23 – 8/22):  Speaking of dogs, I almost got one this week, or at least came seriously close to giving the nod on that idea.  Because what's not to love about a dog?  But alas, the poor dog would be lonely lonely lonely, so I can't do it.  I even had a name picked out.  (Kerberos, sort of an outside joke.)  In my imagination, I have a super-well-trained dog that can go with me everywhere, but I know better.  And, I still hold out remote hope of finding companionship within my species.  A companion with thumbs.  Is that too much to ask, Leo?  

Virgo (8/23 – 9/22):  Khortnee got a letter! 
Dear N'3lvra, 
If you accidentally ignore a leaking roof for several years and then discover that an entire section of your house has dry rot, and you're in the middle of trying to sell it.  Can you tell your friends that the William-Sonoma Mushroom Logs are very nice, but you were doing a home-made version of that years ago? 
-Pablo Magnifico
Dear Pablo,
Oh, you bring up all kinds of TRAUMA for N'3lvra, involving a rotting house (but not just one section) AND the mushroom logs, if you can believe it.  The rotting house, and the horrible breakup that involved someone hurling the mushroom log at her.  Sheesh, I'm not even making any of this up, sadly. I guess houses and mushroom logs are over-rated.  What's the deal on the gutter repair people, btw?  Do those people not even have phones?  Oh, wait, your question?  Yes, of course, boast about your DIY rotting house!  You're ahead of the curve, Pablo.  But you knew that.  Thanks for writing!
- N'3lvra (pronounced Khortnee, the three is silent)
Libra (9/23 – 10/22):  I was at a party recently and walked over to a small group of people chatting. As soon as I arrived, the person I actually wanted to talk to walked away, and it took about three seconds to understand why -- I had arrived in the middle of what is possibly the most boring story in the world.  It involved a child, a rash, and a mis-diagnosis.  (Not athletes foot at all!  Instead, excema!)  But it took about a week to get there, and it turns out this whole thing happened more than a decade ago, and didn't pertain to anything else.  (Like, this wasn't a holiday party for skin doctors or anything.)  Anyway, my point is, tis the season, people.  Try to be a little interesting.  I deeply believe (doesn't that phrase sound weighty?!) that if we took as much time preparing for party converstations as we do fussing over food, housecleaning, and cute outfits, the world would be a better place.  Crime and war would cease, ebola would be cured, the turkeys would get along better. Make it so, Libra.

Scorpio (10/23 – 11/21):  What does it mean, to prepare conversationally?  Okay, you're going to a party.  You can either spend your time listening to old yarns about skin rashes, or you can bring something to the table.  Let's practice, shall we?
Boring Person:  So one time, in 1998, my daughter, she was 7 at the time.  Well, anyway....You:  OMG! 1998?  That's the year that George Michael got arrested for indecent behavior!  (Then start singing - "wake me up before you go-go cause I'm not planning on goin' solo..."  Hopefully you can veer things off before you have to sing, "You put the boom boom into my heart.")  But, you'll do what you must, Scorpio, to keep things vital.

Sagittarius (11/22 – 12/21):  Seriously, though.  That's not a good conversation either, George Michael.  Scorpio just hijacked the conversation but didn't take it anywhere good.  Party foul!  That's like hijacking a plane and going to Detroit.  But it creates enough of a conversational gap that someone else on your team can get the ball.  (Do you like how I'm using a sports analogy?  I know!  I was going to take it a little farther, but I'm not sure what you're supposed to do with the ball once you have it.) Anyway, Sag, it's your birthday season!  How lucky we are for this time of year, when you arrived. Arose.

Capricorn (12/22 - 1/19): One reason I like studying massage is that there's no room for bullshit.  It's either true or not.  I can talk myself into thinking the whole wetland biz is worthy, and at moments, sure, a tree gets planted or something, but  a lot of it is paper and rules and so much blah blah blah.  Touch is as real as it gets.  But that's not your horoscope, Cap!  Be well in the dark times.  May it be so.  

Aquarius (1/20 – 2/18):  One of my pet peeves is when people get all blame-y in a passive aggressive way, like, "Someone left their shoes in the middle of the floor and now I tripped."  Instead of saying straight up - "Yo, I tripped over your shoes!  Grr!"  It especially bugs me when people blame others for colds.  There are germs in the world, people!  None of this, "I was fine, but I went over to Mabel's house -- she didn't seem sick but next thing you know, I have a cold, so she must have had a little something..." Or whatever.  As if the cold orginated with Mabel.  Anyway, I've been doing this thing to amuse myself -- I live alone, of course, and lately I passive aggressively talk to myself in a blamey way, like, "someone, and I don't know who, used the last of the coffee."  And then I laugh out loud for like, three reasons, but then I quickly silence myself because it seems kind of creepy and Sybil-esque, you know what I mean?  And there's lots to blame myself for because as a roommate, I kind of suck.  Anyway, Aquarius, may all be will with you.


  1. I have no idea how to comment on this, yet another genius piece of work from you, except to say that at parties I often (haha! as if I often go to parties) find myself saying the most inane things while my brain is screaming at me, "Shut up! Shut up now! You've already gone too far with this inanity!" Either that or I start swearing like a sailor and dissing Jesus to church people.
    I'm not good at parties.

    1. Ha! Yes, the perils of party talk. It's so complicated, being a human. Do you think it's this way at the dog park? Me neither.
      Enjoy the season. xo

  2. Have you changed your font or has my bad blood finally started to affect my eyes?

    1. It's just the font, Ebro. Your eyes are fine.

  3. I'm so sorry about your hacked and disappeared email and your lost salt water, and fascinated by the Catalhoyuk link. A society with equality for the sexes! (or matriarchial, depending on which interpretation you believe) My asthma may not have liked those enclosed rooms with open fires, though, equality or not. Is it just me, or do other people think about how short their lives would have been in previous eras, before safe(r) childbirth and asthma puffers? My line would've died out LONG ago. Wonderful post, as always, Betsy.

    1. Thank you! Yes, isn't it amazing that from a pile of bones they can tell it was matriarchal? Amazing!

  4. Just had to tell you that your art takes my breath away. It always does.

  5. Wonderful post! Except that as a libra, I have to come up with good conversation if I get invited anywhere. Not likely. But I do think my Ancestry.com DNA testing was interesting. Maybe not to anyone else though.

  6. Chock full of stuff I still have to digest. Yes, my birthday is the shortest day of the year, but I brought longer days during the lowest mood.

  7. The lost emails are genuinely awful if you lost the addresses, too. Ten years of governmental emails off in the ether didn't bother until I realized the young fool of an auditor of state technician lost the addresses, too. He could not leave my office quickly enough.

    1. Oh, frustrating! I still have the addresses though. Phew!

  8. Here's the thing. Not that I talk to myself but if I did, I could rehearse interesting conversational tidbits so I wouldn't be a crashing bore at any holiday festivities I might find myself at. I could write key words like 'penguin' or 'medulla oblongata' or 'Kon Tiki' on my hand as prompts. Barring that, I could take off my shirt and shake my boobs in people's faces. Or not.

    I'm sorry I didn't mention your lost emails to you today. Although for one glorious moment I thought it might be true and you were in Lithuania (or wherever the hell) and I said to myself, 'That Betsy!! Full of surprises.'

    your devoted pal,


    1. Yes, now there's a good idea, party tattoos, with prompts!

  9. Best horoscope column in the world. I wonder if I can manage attending a party where you are a guest. That would be freakin' awesome. Also, I wish you would hijack my email acct for a day and write to everybody; just send them excerpts of this piece, please.


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