Showing posts from January, 2015

Horoscopes: It's the Law!

Pisces (2/19 – 3/20):  I read about Benford's Law in my Grapes of Math book, which says that the leading digit in a number is most likely to be one.  At first I thought duh, you have to get through the ones to get to anything else -- you can't have two of something before you have the one of that thing.  But that's just me, not understanding Benford.  Here's what it says:  in any set of numbers, say, the population of all US cities - about 30 percent will have one as the leading digit, half as many begin with two, and so on, so that nine is the least common first digit.  Crazy!  Why do we care about this, Pisces?  I'm not sure I can put it into words, but we do!  I mean, there are applications -- detecting fraud, for example.  But what makes me so happy is that there's this invisible force that directs how numbers act.  Right?  Do all the US cities have to get organized to make sure their population fits in?  NO!  It just works out that way.  I guess I love the…

To Nap or Not to Nap....

Dear Advice Columnist,

I have a friend who was wondering -- if it's late afternoon, and I feel (I mean, she feels - this is for a friend) tired and kind of unproductive -- is it better to take a nap or just power through til bedtime?  She goes to bed really early, so it's not really very long of a time.  I'm sure I don't have to elaborate the pros and cons.

Thanks for your help.  I almost wrote "yelp".  I don't know why.

Helpful Friend

Dear Helpful Friend,

I do indeed know the pros and cons.  There is nothing worse than slogging through the last several hours of the day without the proper amount of joy.  No gasps of delight, no interesting thoughts, just the blah blah blah, plodding, one sluggish foot in front of the other like those people chained together marching up to Camp Muir, eyes looking at their boots, even though they're on one of the most beautiful spaces on the planet, with the absolutely bluest sky and invigorating lack of oxygen i…

Horoscopes from Vacation!

Pisces (2/19 – 3/20):  I'm on vacation, which involves packing a tiny overnight bag each evening, and walking across the hall into one of the vacant bedrooms where I sleep without a care in the world.  Because that's how it is on vacation, people.  It's really fun because it's like travelling to a far away land without all the hassle of sunburns, language barriers and air travel.  I do have to go home to use the bathroom, as someone pointed out, but it doesn't seem like home because the route is different.  I may even leave a chocolate on my pillow tonight, who knows!  Anyway, the thing that makes it especially fun is packing the little overnight bag, planning what I need, and putting it ever so tenderly into my tiny tiny overnight bag.  (Turns out all I ever need is a book.)  I'd recommend this, Pisces.  Take the Staycation concept to new lows.
Aries (3/21 - 4/19):   Does the word, "repurposed" sound pretentious?  I know, Aries, but we must accept and…

A problem involving the felines

Dear "khortnee",
I have a problem. I actually have four problems. Well, to be honest, I have a lot more than that, but for purposes of this letter I will confine myself to four. The four problems are my four cats.

Now, I realize that since you are the alter ego of Betsy, who "gotnocats", you might also "gotnocats", and cats may be the last thing you wish to think about.  However, I am desperate. My cats are ruining my life. We started out with two cats, brothers raised from kittenhood. One got sick and died. The other was lonely. So we got another cat to keep him company. All was well. Shoulda stopped there.

But then we took in our daughter's cat because, well, it's a long story, but that's what you do, isn't it, when your offspring love their cat but can't keep it? And this cat cannot be trusted with the other cats because he is huge and powerful while they are (1) a scaredy cat (talk about stereotypes!) and (2) a lame and overweight …

Problem #1: The hero's journey

Well, it doesn't seem right to wait all the way until Tuesday when people have actual real problems.  So, here goes.

Dear Fake Astrologer,

I'm trying to make plane reservations for next summer for my daughters and myself and the SITE WON'T LET ME. I'm talking about significant money here. We're going to the UK. The site just says nuh-uh, try later or try a different type of skill, like juggling. I don't like juggling or hacky-sack either, even though I went to Evergreen-go goeducks!

Or call the 800 number and you know how that is. About 30 minutes of horrible crackling 'music' until you hit the 'end' button. Then you look for travel agents who can help you but it's after 5PM!!! And anyway, who uses travel agents? Old people? People who want to go on a cruise?

So Honorable Seer of Fortunes-what gives?? Is it a message that I should forget it and visit Whidbey island instead? Or I need to do some sort of penance before the spirits will permit me t…

New Feature! Fortune telling...

Ok, a new year, a new feature.  You write to me with a question, problem, or anything at all.  You can write specifics of your situation, your favorite color or fruit, or something that happened to you on the way to the market.  Every TUESDAY, I'll respond to one letter with something -- a horoscope, fortune, forecast, tarot reading (as soon as I figure out what tarot really is -- I think it comes in a bag in the snack aisle?), or other.  (I like to pretend that I'll be selecting from a vast array of letters, when the fact is that I may have to make something up myself.  But that's okay -- I'll do it if I must.)

You may wonder what my qualifications are -- can I actually see into the future?  Of course!  Okay, I have no qualifications at all.  But I have these random circumstances that may help me seem semi-believable:

1.  I live on top of a major earthquake fault.  This leak into the center of the earth allows deep knowledge to flow directly into my kitchen.

2.  I k…

We're IN the future!

Pisces (2/19 – 3/20):  Inspiration is for amateurs, they say, so here we go, forging into the new year, ready or not.  Kicking off with a recommendation: the bacon and egg sandwich that Heather just served me is one of the highlights of my gastronomic year.  Perfect crispy bacon, just the right amount of mayonnaise, a toasty english muffin and most surprisingly, a pretty good tomato for January.  I'd eat another one in a jiffy but I won't.  Anyway, Pisces, the year ahead -- think more about stonehenge and the neolithic period in general.  Why not?  Stonehenge wasn't built by the druids!
Aries (3/21 - 4/19):  I've been sleeping a lot lately, more than usual, even, because there's no time like the present.  (OH WAIT.  We're in the future!  It's not the present any more!)  But still, if you're going to sleep 12 hours a night, you've got to get cracking.  Or get napping, anyway. Anyway, here's another recommendation:  keep your windows open at night …