Sunday, February 15, 2015

Horoscopes: The Zipper Merge Edition

Pisces (2/19 – 3/20):  The poor polar bears are suffering from all manner of trouble.  First, melting ice.  Then, PCBs found in their tissue.  And now this:  the penis bone is getting smaller, and not only that, but it's weak and breakable.  I know!  This is also happening to the otters, thought to be the result of the many challenging environmental factors, especially global warming and pollutants. Sometimes horrible things, though, can  be used to propel action.  Currently, the thinking of the 56% of congressional republicans is this:  "If we acknowledge that humans have a role in global warming or pollution, then we'll have to act, and if we act, corporate profits go down.  Let's put our hands over our ears and point off in the distance to something, anything -- Obama's birth certificate, Malia's outfit, whatever we can think of!"  

But what if the understanding was, "If we don't address global warming, our genitalia will become tiny, vulnerable, and prone to breaking." If there's one thing the repubs care about besides corporate profits, it's the penis itself.  Anyway, moment of silence for all the shrunken, friable penii out there, Pisces.

Aries (3/21 - 4/19):   When you need to look up a phone number, Aries, do you:

  1. slog down the long driveway to find the phone book that some semi-unemployed person has hurled out the window of an older Nissan? or
  2. Use the internet.  

Why are they still throwing phone books at us, Aries, as if it's 1989?  My first instinct is to yell, in my most outside-est voice, MAKE IT STOP!  But now I'm wondering -- it seems so unlikely that this would be an actual job, phone book delivery.  Like, "Now hiring!  We're looking for people to deliver a tiny fraction of the internet to people who have the whole internet!  But you'll put this bit of the internet outside, down by their mailboxes to make it even less convenient than the actual internet."  

I've learned that when things are really unlikely, well, maybe there's something else going on?  Maybe it's a magic trick of sorts or a secret code?  Is that soggy phone book in the driveway actually a portal to another time or dimension?  Check it out, Aries, and get back to me.

Taurus (4/20 – 5/20)
:   Speaking of magic tricks.  It's like this:  we're on a bus, who knows if anyone's driving  -- I tend to think no one's at the wheel, but that's neither here nor there -- regardless, it's for sure not you or I in the driver's seat.  And all indications are that the bus is heading for a cliff.  We aren't certain which cliff it is:  over population, climate change, war, decivilization, ebola.  (Just kidding about ebola.)  Who knows.  But one things we humans can do, which is why I'm so grateful to be one, is make merry on the bus anyway.  Snacks, music, laughter.  It's all we've got, Taurus.  Be that.

Gemini (5/21 - 6/21):  I had this little bit of good news this week, and then it turned out to be a mixup -- the good news wasn't really for me.  It was the e-mail equivalent of someone waving at the person behind me.  But for a minute, I thought an artist was going to take something I wrote and animate it.  I felt like Cinderella, and someone called and said they wanted to make a gown for me, and I get to go to the ball.  But oops, the gown was for someone else.  It's weird, though, when I was just merrily sweeping the hearth, all was well, but then, for a moment, dreamed of the gown for my essay, and then back to the hearth, which was worse.  Oh Algernon.  I feel your pain.  And Gemini, yours too.

Cancer (6/22 – 7/21):  Sad to see that David Carr died.  He was an interesting person, and after seeing Page One a few years ago, I realized that I'll subscribe to the NYT until I die, because it feels like the right thing to do.  It feels like an act of good citizenship.  I know, that's just me.  But watch the movie if you haven't already, Cancer.  And then go out into the garden where it's all happening right now.  

Leo (7/23 – 8/22):  Speaking of the NYT, I am super excited that one of my essays will be published in the Modern Love column.  No solid date yet but it looks like March.  That's never happened before!  Stay tuned.  Might be a good time to buy a lottery ticket.  Luck seems up.

Virgo (8/23 – 9/22):   I was sad to see how many haters there are out there, Virgo.  Bleh.  But here's something interesting I learned in massage medical school:  if someone feels ticklish, have them put their hand on your arm, and the ticklishness subsides.  How does that work?  

Libra (9/23 – 10/22):  For a while, the motion sensor light on my back porch didn't work, and then it randomly started working again, but no matter how I adjust things, it only stays on for about 3 seconds unless there's a new motion.  What this means, Libra, is that when I have a guest departing in the evening, I have to stand on the back porch and wave goodbye furiously, kind of like the Clampetts would.  At first I was kind of self-conscious about that, but now it seems sweet, to really send people off with a lot of waving.  Try it, Libra!

Scorpio (10/23 – 11/21):  My bees have been out a lot lately because it's been so unseasonably lovely, and I cannot begin to describe how glad it makes me.  All those little insects, buzzing around, looking for life and finding it, carrying pollen around on their little bee legs.  Here's what Aristotle believed about bees, 2,300 year ago -- wow, that's a long time -- but anyway:
"The honey is what falls from the air, especially at the risings of the stars and when the rainbow descends; on the whole there is no honey before the morning rising of the Plieaed.  The bees do not make honey; it fetches in what falls from the air.  .  .  (Historia Animalium, V XXII)
Jeez, that's beautiful.  Will someone draw that for me please?   

Sagittarius (11/22 – 12/21):  I'm always kind of amazed that so many of the anti-vaccine people are fine with getting tattoos.  Right?  Tattoo ink: contains mercury, lead, arsenic, and phthalates, among other things.  If that stuff were in the tiniest trace amounts in our food, we'd be picketing or something.  But sure, go ahead and inject it directly into the body!  Let the white blood cells spend the rest of their days chipping away at it, and carrying the color, bit by tiny bit, directly to your liver where it will stay forever, and wreak it's own havoc.  But god forbid we try to prevent disease outbreak by injecting a carefully developed, regulated vaccine.  Oh, Sag, I'm sorry, that was kind of a rant, and not a real horoscope.  Here's a horoscope:  The stars are all lining up for you this week! Carpe the diem, as they say.

Capricorn (12/22 - 1/19): I was cc'd on an e-mail rant to The Powers That Be, I'm not sure why, but the rant was about a traffic/behavior issue on a  particular stretch of road. Here's the deal:  the road has a stretch that goes from one lane to two lanes and back to one.  Most of us obedient folk stay in the same lane, because we know we'll end up there eventually, and getting in the right lane for a short stretch seems weird, rude, cheater-ish.  But there's been a lot of emphasis on promoting the Zipper Merge lately, which says that all lanes should be used for as long as possible, and then we should politely alternate at the merge point.  In reality, in this  particular road stretch, people get irritated by the right-lane passers, and don't want to let them back in, but they're usually in a giant white truck and they muscle their way in anyway.  But I've been wondering if we should all zipper merge more.  (OMG, it's tiring to be me sometimes.   Seriously.  I spent about 6 hours thinking about this, making little models, trying to figure out how to make the little video.  All just for these two shaky, amateur, inconclusive videos.  And I know while I'm doing it that there's so much more to life than modeling traffic on the kitchen floor, but I can't stop).  But the results are: it takes 3 times as long to travel that stretch of road when people use the right lane.  I wish I were smart enough to figure that out without building a whole traffic jam on the kitchen floor, and wasting a bunch of daylight at it.  But, I feel like there's something in there to learn and I can't quite put my finger on it. Something about how we don't need to take up all the pavement all the time, which might be a metaphor for something about living life.  If you figure it out, write that book.  Don't forget me when you're rich.  And, stand strong with data in the face of the zipper merge lecture.

Watch the orange car.  (You knew it was a car, right?) 14 frames.

And here, it takes 29 frames for the orange car to get through.  I was going to draw
trees and stores so you'd know what was going on but sheesh, I would NEVER waste my time, 
that's fer shure.

Aquarius (1/20 – 2/18):  You know the trajectory of a joke, how it's funny, and then, when repeated a few times, not funny anymore, but sometimes, if someone keeps picking it up and batting it around, it gets funny again?  And then, maybe even hilarious?  Only sometimes, though.  I think it's like that with disappointment, which, if batted around enough, turns into gratitude.  I've pretty much given up on romantic love, financial stability, and companionship, which are kind of big.  I've learned not to yearn.  But I've finally gotten to the point of noticing the big chunks of time to study things like the zipper merge, and of course, to take naps.  


  1. Betsy, I'll make merry on the bus with you anytime. :)

  2. Betsy!!!!! I did a wee happy dance just now because I bet I know which essay Modern Love is publishing and I get the NYT every Sunday because, well, I do and I'm soooooo happy for you. We'll have to celebrate with beers or something. My date became a non-date but you'll have to hear about it in person. And the sipper merge was, um, so YOU. (does that masquerade as an insult in real life?) I watched both tiny films and I must admit, I'm now confused. Changing lanes always scared me a little, probably early childhood trauma.

    Love and kisses forever,


    1. Oh, thank you for the wee happy dance! :-) Yes, let us celebrate! I'm afraid of changing lanes too, driver's ed movies embedded in my head. One of my jobs is ending soon, so perhaps we can go on a hike! In March! March Forth!

  3. I can't think how the Clampetts would say it, but Lord, girl, you are a genius, and funny!

  4. I think Pisces is really on to something. If politicians dicks are getting smaller it will impact their thinking ability. We have seen this already.
    Modern Love, like the David Bowie song? Cool!
    And I'm glad I'm not a Capricorn because I have to drive at least 80 miles in any direction just to practice merging. Maybe some day when my tank is full and my mind isn't. I find inner peace and happiness through napping. It is an art form I intend to perfect. I know now that I am not alone on my journey.

    1. That's a good life you're living, Jono: all naps, and no merging. Enjoy!

  5. Since I just woke up from a nap I'm a little slow here. That's not a joke. Did you think it was?
    HURRAY FOR YOU AND YOUR ESSAY! Jeez. Talk about not forgetting us when you're rich...
    This excites me so much.
    I always just want to tell you I love you. And then I do. Thus- I love you.
    I call that Clampett thing the Southern Goodbye. We have to go out to the car and stand there and talk awhile and then eventually the leave-taker gets in the car but immediately rolls down the window so we can keep talking a little bit and also, so that the person not leaving can lean in and kiss the person who is and so forth and this takes quite awhile sometimes. I think there may actually be a required number of times to say, "I love you," before the person can actually drive off but we do not KNOW that number, we just feel it in our bones and must carry on until it's been fulfilled.
    Yep. That is the way it is around here.
    Sometimes it's easier just to not go at all.

    1. It brings me such joy to think of all the napping that everyone's doing! I love you too, Ms. Moon, and I think the southern leave-taking sounds good. But yeah, I already have a thing where I don't really know how long to stay anywhere, and when to leave, so that would make it even harder.

  6. Congratulations on your essay! Please do a PSA when it's published so we can go check it out!

    People have already joined the polar bears and otters - the plastics with which we love to surround ourselves give off chemicals which mimic estrogen, and it's affecting male genitalia development and sperm production (and triggering puberty earlier in girls). I don't see anyone except a precious few scientists getting worried about this. More's the pity. So I'm thinking your advice for Taurus is pretty much all we can do - eat, sing, have fun while the bus rolls onward ...

    1. Yes, it does seem like there's little attention paid. But I think sexual dimorphism in fish sounds like scientific blah blah blah, but the polar bear -- now there's an upright mammal with external genitalia -- it seems like it might hit a little closer to home....

      Thanks, and will do on the PSA!

  7. I effing LOVE the description of the Southern Goodbye. I know it! I do it! I love our Mary Moon for being part of our tiny blog world. And you, of course. I can't wait for a hike in March although I hope we aren't actually marching in March. You see my dilemma.


Explaining the afterlife to my dog...

 The other day, my dog asked me what happens when we die.  Gulp. I look at Jasmine and think dammit.  I didn't think dogs knew about mo...