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 so that the room hovers between 37 and 42 degrees.  Pile on many heavy blankets, have an abundance of very good pillows, and breath cold fresh air from your warm nest.  Don't leave until you're absolutely ready.  It's best to eat heartily before you take to your bed because a person can get hungry in a dozen or more hours.  Also, it's time to buy new pillows.  Did you know that half the weight of a pillow is dead skin, mucus, and dust mite feces?  Not really.  But still, they do get gross.  Anyway, connect with your inner-ursine.  Put on a layer of fat and take to your cave.  


Taurus (4/20 – 5/20):   Speaking of facts, I learned recently that 15 percent of all internet traffic is related to cats.  I think my fave is the existential cat.  Which means two things:  one is, I hope this blog isn't counted in the 15 percent.  I forgot the second thing.  So sorry, Taurus.  

Gemini (5/21 - 6/21):  One thing I'm especially grateful for at this cold clear time of year is the astronomists who came before us.  Aren't you, Gemini?  When I look up at the sky I think, wow, I could look at this for 50 years and not figure out the first thing about how it works.  It would still just be an amazing array of magic white sparkles on a black sky.  It wouldn't occur to me to note movement, name the particular stars, or distinguish one kind of shiny orb out there from another kind.  Which may seem a little strange for a fake astologist to confess -- like, "yeah, I don't know shit about the sky, I just write about how it's movements, which I don't actually notice, affect your life."  It's like I'm an celestial racist or something -- all the stars look alike to me, I can't tell one from the other.  (Oh, I hope that isn't inappropriate.)  Gemini, notice movement this week.  It's happening!

Cancer (6/22 – 7/21):  There's this basic conflict between the two categories of advice we recieve about how to live a better life:  one is to strive, work hard, don't waste your very short time on the planet.  The other is to be present in the moment, appreciate what you have right now.  Do these seem at odds with each other?  I'm going with the wu wei approach, and honing it to such a degree that I mostly lie in bed, thinking, and waiting for something to occur to me.  So far, nothing, but if I wait long enough.... Cancer, this year is bound to be better than last.  Travelling mercies.


Leo (7/23 – 8/22):  I learned of a new trend, that of reducing one's calves through surgery.  We're talking about the human leg, not a baby cow.  The reason?  Because people can't fit into their fashion boots!  It's would be like this:  "I made you a pair of super cute pants!  Oh, they don't fit?  You should totally have chunks of your body lopped off so that you can fit into the pants!  Because they're super cute!"  Love the body you're in, Leo. And I speak as someone with a healthy-sized gastrocnemius, the sort that will never fit into slim little fashion boots, but could carry me through the Scottish Highlands if I were ever so lucky.
Before (L) and after (R).  OMG, the humans.  The fastest sperm
for billions of years lead to this moment, the moment in which
the leg on the left is determined to be so unsightly that it requires the knife.... 

Virgo (8/23 – 9/22):  Yesterday I was in the little grocery store in town -- by little, I mean it's the kind from the 70's before stores got all fancy.  But it has all the things you need, even garam masala and a bathroom (which is through the swinging doors in the employee area).  So anyway, I was walking down the aisle and heard someone talking, muttering loudly, so I turned around, and I guess he was talking to me because I was the only one in that aisle.  "There isn't even enough food in here to make a meal.  What kind of store is this?," he was ranting.  Ok, stop reading right here, Virgo.  What did the guy look like?  What kind of shoes?  Wrong!  He totally looked Stoessel-Creekish, and I mean that in the fondest way.  Carhart jacket, deer blood on his pants, bag of weed hanging out of his pocket.  Ok, not the weed, but you get the idea.  I asked what he was looking for, and he got all huffy, "FOOD.  I'm looking for FOOD," in a super irritated way, so I left him alone.  I'm not sure what the point is, Virgo.  I'll tell you the point:  I don't think I've been getting out enough to assemble decent horoscopes.

Libra (9/23 – 10/22):  I was at a party the other night, and started to apply a rating scale that I've been developing to rate conversations.  I'm always wondering how to get to the downlow, as Starlee Kine says -- how to get a conversation off the mundane, and into interesting territory.  So the scale goes like this:  1 = your basic clerk transaction.  "Thank you! Have a terrific day!"  10 = super intense, there could be weeping involved (though this top end of the scale was questioned by pretty much every man at the party, who claimed to have never wept in a conversation.)  Ten is for conversations about death -- death of a relationship, human, beloved pet, or the end of a long nap.  I think there's a sweet spot for party chatter, somewhere around 6, where there's a nice mix of emotional vulnerability and interesting content.  See what you can do this week, Libra.  Get it going whereever you are.

Scorpio (10/23 – 11/21):  Speaking of garam masala, I ran out of it recently since I go through that stuff like coffee, mostly because I put it in the granola I make.  I know, that  makes me sound way crunchier than I am, but yum, it's SO good.  I'm NOT CRUNCHY, people!  I get the flu shot, fer goddsakes.  At any rate, it was the day before christmas, and all through the store people were clogging the aisles and buying things, and a woman was right in front of the spices, and I was trying, with my dim little eyes, to read the tiny labels, and she turned and asked what I was looking for, so I told her, (without the whole bit about my most excellent granola or how I had my children vaccinated.)  So she starts really looking for it, as if she worked there and really cared.  Me, I had kind of moved on.  I can be the opposite of persevering when it comes to looking for garam masala, it turns out. Anyway, she looked in the alphabetical order spot for the three different spice groups, didn't find it.  Oh well, was my attitude.  But she was really focused, seriously focused for about 10 minutes on it.  Which is when I noticed that she too seemed kind of stoned.  Eventually, I was able to talk her out of looking for it, and she said, "Oh, there's a new indian store.  You should go there!"  
"Cool.  Where is it?"
"You know that road?  That one, it kind of goes straight, and then sort of bends?"  She was using hand motions to show the slight bend.
"Um..."
"You know the one!  The one with dogs sometimes walking around?  That one?"
"Oh, that one!"
Yep, the one with dogs walking around.  That totally geolocates it for us.  Anyway, Scorp, the legalization of marijuana is making the shopping experience more interesting, I'd say.

Sagittarius (11/22 – 12/21):  Oh right!  This is the future!  We are in the Back to the Future movie, in the actual future, and we walked right in effortlessly, not even wearing space suits or anything.  Because you can't live in the present forever, you know.  Anyway, I was talking to a few friends and they were lamenting that the future doesn't involve flying cars and jet packs, but just the same old stuff.  I said, "well, at least we have the Outernet!"  And no one had heard of it.  Which made me question myself, the way I do.  "Seriously, I think that's a thing.  Or did I just dream that?"  
"What is it?"

"Well, it's like a library in your pocket.  Downloading from space through a lantern."  

The more I talked about it, the more made up it sounded, and I could tell that was true because everyone was looking at me with the, hmm, "is she not quite right in the head?," and asking questions that I couldn't answer, like, um, what makes it different than the internet?  All I could say is that it's the outernet.  Look it up.

Capricorn (12/22 - 1/19):  According to Sherwin Nuland, our deepest desire is to be understood, and, to paraphrase, the more personal and intimate we are with the other humans, the better our lives are.  I believe that, which is probably why I have this blog.  Seek to understand and be understood, Cap.  And when you find people who understand you, cherish them. Understanding, being understood -- it's all part of the same coin, as they say.  Speaking of coins, one thing I love about the carwash is that it uses special currency, the carwash token.  The other thing that requires unique coinage is the shower at a state park, which is a different fake quarter from the carwash token.  Imagine what the world would be like if each thing you needed had a different type of token.  "Sorry, you need the brocolli chip for that -- I can't take your US$."  Wouldn't that be kind of awesome, in a way?  And what if you had to earn certain kinds of tokens through certain acts?  For acts of generosity, you would earn tokens for chocolate, and for acts of perseverence, you'd get coinage for protein, and for acts of courage, I dunno, whisky? And so on.  It would require that, to get the variety of things we each need: air, water, love -- that we offer a variety of things out to the world.  Anyway, have a good week, Cap.

Aquarius (1/20 – 2/18):  I joined GoodReads lately, or maybe I joined years ago and forgot about it.  Anyway, it's out of remission and I'm totally enjoying it because I get e-mails telling me what my GR friends are reading.  If anyone wants to be my GR friend, hit me up!  I will stalk your reading habits in the most loving way.

Comments

  1. Betsy- I love you. I love your writing, I love your mind. I love your sleeping and your waking and your observances and your ideas and your...well, you get the point, right?
    Outernet? Broccoli chip tokens? Calf surgery? The scale of what is and is not appropriate party conversation? Bacon and egg sandwiches?
    Happy New Year, my dear. Please continue to be part of my new year, this one and forever on into infinity. Okay? Thanks.

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    1. Oh, infinity! That's a damn long time but I'm in. Thanks for being such a kind reader. And writer! xoxo

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  2. Love this and you. i heard, when we were ridding the house of dust mites that your pillow doubles in weight in 10 years, same with carpet. yuck!

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    1. LY2, gangster, even though you beat me at arm wrestling. Grr. I did a fact check on the dust mite bi, and it's urban legend. But still. Lots of goo in the pillows, to be sure. xo

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  3. What a complicated and magical mind you have. I don't think I could live with you, too exhausting, but I could live next door!

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    1. Ha! Tabor, I think that's the same conclusion that the other 7 billion people have come to - I could NEVER live with her! HNY!

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  4. My inner-ursine was doing just fine without encouragement, thank you anyway ... And this: "The fastest sperm for billions of years lead to this moment, the moment in which the leg on the left is determined to be so unsightly that it requires the knife.... " - this made me laugh out loud. I truly do love your idea of a token-dependent life. I think it would make life fairer than the honour system we're all on at the moment.

    Happy New Year, Betsy! I'm glad you write here.

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    1. Yay on the inner ursine. But if anyone gives you a hard time, you can say you read it on the internet, that it's an actual recommendation! HNY to you too!

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  5. My pillows have a lot of drool in them.

    But wait! I just got my Medicare card. Holy shit. And I went to the Social Security WEB site to see when I can retire without penalty and guess what???? They have a calculator that will tell you how long your life is going to be!!!!!!!!! I've apparently got 21.8 more years. Isn't that exciting?

    Remember those ridiculous Jimmy Cho shoes, the super pointy ones? Women were getting their little toes amputated so they could fit into those. I read it in the NYT so you know it's true. But calf surgery/ Damn, I like my calves. They've turned many a head, I can tell you right now, missy.

    I love you and need to see you pretty soon. Otherwise, my New Year just isn't complete.

    your friend in trouble and mayhem

    PS-could you write about lenticular halos some time? Please?

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    1. I'm sure your calves have turned many a head, Dr. C. I'm excited that you have 21.8 more years, yes. I think I do too! Maybe that's the only number it knows?

      Yes, on getting together soon and lenticular halos. xoxox

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