The fish with arms

Pisces (2/19 – 3/20):  I have a huge crush on Oliver Sachs because he's brilliant and generous and creative.  The only obstacles between us are that he's gay, old, and dead.  So I must content myself with reading Gratitude, which has lead me to remember how much I love the periodic table.  And how little I really know about it.  That is about to change, Pisces.  

Aries (3/21 - 4/19):  I'm still thinking about the chemical footprint that we leave everywhere we go.  I'm working to make mine as pure and positive as possible.  If I think I'm likely leave bad juju around the planet, I promise to hole up in a tiny bunker for a while, breathing and and thinking and listening to just the right music until I'm safe to go out again.  What if we all kept to ourselves when we couldn't be completely awesome?  Let's do that, Aries.

Taurus (4/20 – 5/20):  The other day a lady called, and here's how it went:

Lady: Did you call me?
Me: Um, if I did, I was returning a call. I got a few messages that I replied to earlier today.
Lady: That's not my question. DID YOU CALL ME?
Me: Well, I can't tell for sure while I'm on the phone with you. Did you call someone about wetlands? Because if so, perhaps I called you back.
Lady: Please answer the question. DID YOU CALL ME?
Me: Not on purpose, I guess.
Lady: Are you saying you called me as a wrong number?
Me: That's possible.  I did return a few calls today.  If you think I called you, I suppose I did.
Lady:  Would you swear that it was a wrong number?

And so on.  I kept waiting to see where we were going with it, but it never really went anywhere.  A few days later she called me about a wetland thing, so I think she started it, but I didn't wave that in her face.  Because that would create bad juju, and I'm working hard to minimize that.  I really  don't want to go in time out right now because it's so lovely out.

Gemini (5/21 - 6/21): I've been reading books about the holocaust for 20 years now, mostly about rescuers:  people who risked their own lives to protect Jews.  Their values got tested in such a practical way.  They always say they'd rather have died than live with themselves if they hadn't done what they did.  I often wonder if I'd be that person.  But right now, I'm wondering if enough people will vote to keep us from having an angry, volatile, self-centered asshole for president.  If everyone votes, we'll be fine.  Do it, even if you don't get to vote for your first choice.  Because, Gemini, that's what maturity is.  It's about not getting the piece of cake with the pretty frosting flower, and being content, grateful even, with the lesser middle piece.  It's about getting a job that's good enough -- it isn't saving the world in an obvious way, or offering fame and fortune or maybe you don't even get pleasant coworkers.  But it pays the bills, and lets you breathe pure-ish air and drink clean water every day, so you show up and give it your best shot, and try to be a pleasant coworker yourself, and try to make things better in the ways that you can.  That's what its about.  It's about being that person, willing to vote for your second choice because second choice is better than letting the country go down in flames.  That's not selling out, it's grace.  

Cancer (6/22 – 7/21):   I've been trying to slow down on my sudoku playing, because jeez, life is short and how much do we need the humans to be filling the boxes with one through nine?  Don't click on that link, btw.  You will never get anything done ever again.  I have strategies:  the freedom app, and trying to remember that duh, how we spend our days is how we spend our lives, and fitting 1 - 9 into a grid shouldn't be the main plan.  I've also gone back to the Khan academy to do math.  When I left a while back, they were giving me calculus problems, but for some reason, they've put me back at 4th grade math.  I get a little bored, even though I win a bunch of hit points and badges and have clearly demonstrated that I can tell time.  Is that any better, though?  So now I've moved to Coursera, where I can take free online chemistry classes.  Can you even believe how lucky we are to have the internet, Cancer?

Tiktaalik (ish)

Leo (7/23 – 8/22):  Why that picture, you ask?  I know.  It's a childish representation of Tiktaalik, thought to be the link between fish and amphibians.  A fish with arms!  I'm reading a book about that, super interesting, and it made me want to try to draw it.  I put it up here, Leo, even though it looks like a 7 year old (six?) drew it, because creating is about creating, not about outcome.  Writers write, painters paint.  If we stop making stuff, even for a day, we lose a bit of soul.  Make stuff, let it turn out how it turns out, and enjoy.  Just like your week!

Virgo (8/23 – 9/22):  When I bought some home made ancient grain bread at the market the other day, I asked the baker if it would change my life, and he said yes, it will, but very slowly.  I think that's the best way.  Just like enlightenment.  It isn't one moment of clarity, but rather, a slow, steady path towards gratefulness, each day slightly more aware of the good fortune we have in our lives.

Libra (9/23 – 10/22):   I decided to make my own ancient grain bread, because if you google, "bread that will change your life", you'll get a bazillion hits, and one of them might just work.  I didn't have the proper ingredients, and I'm not interested in making gluten free stuff.  So I threw a bunch of seeds and grains and gluten and all manner of life-changing stuff into the NINJA, and it came out as a gummy mass, so I added a bit of salt and honey, because why not.  Now I'm baking it at a normal temperature for a long while until it turns into a life-changing hockey puck thing. I'll dip it in coffee or whiskey and I bet it will indeed change my life.  Libra, stop by for some.

Scorpio (10/23 – 11/21):  So while I'm on this cooking kick, I made this.  it's still in progress and I'm pretty sure it won't look like the picture.  It might look more like the missing link between amphians and fish, with a bit of strawberry.  But what's so terrible about that?  Because I'm going to an occasion, and I think that if there's an occasion, you should reach up to try to make something special, and if it doesn't turn out like the picture, oh well.  You still have an occasion.  Have an occasion this week, my dear Scorpio.  (Scorpia?)

Sagittarius (11/22 – 12/21): So I'm trying to have this parade, and what makes me love our town even more is this:  I got up from the coffee shop, left my computer and stuff there, and walked over to the city office in my rubber boots and yoga pants.  When the woman at the counter asked if she could help me, I said, "Yes, I'd like to have a parade."  And she very politely said, "Let me call someone."  I wasn't sure for a minute if the someone would be a mental health evaluator or what, but it turned out to be the person to talk to if you want to have a parade.  But the main parade in our town was today, and I watched a bit of it.  There was a boy pulling a llama on a leash, and I was surprised by just how slender a llama's neck is, and also, how certain the llama was that it didn't want to march forward.  There were also chickens, and the lady who picks up the trash, and a bunch of marching bands and some kids doing cartwheels.  Not bad.  Sagittarius, your week won't be bad either!  It might even involve cartwheels. 

Capricorn (12/22 - 1/19):   Yeah buddy, it's a short life, it's a hell of a life
it's a mean old world, when you're kicked to the gutter and the firewater is the one thing to put out the flame.  What a great song.  But I think the real point is It's an empty bottle passing around when your hopes and dreams have all burned down.  Create hope.  It doesn't come from outside.

Aquarius (1/20-2/18):  Does it seem like this whole blog post is about trying, doing your best, accepting what comes, and thinking about what integrity looks like?  I know.  It's what I think about these days, wishing we'd all try just a little bit harder.

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  1. For different reasons, I am also working especially hard on the getting-to-a-better-me process this week, Betsy. Good luck to both of us.

    Beautiful drawing of the dragonfly. And the fish. You have talent, you do.

    1. Yes, good luck to you too! And thank you about the pictures. It's not talent, though -- just keep trying, keep at it. All my best to you!

  2. Leo here. The Tiktaalik looks more like a mud skipper only greener. Did you know there was never a brontosaurus? My world is shattered. Good advice to Cancer about Sudoku. I should probably cut back a bit. Did you really make a Chocolate strawberry cake?

    1. Really? No Brontosaurus? I think there was! Let's believe in it anyway, regardless. I'm not googling it. But wouldn't someone tell me if there has never been a brontosaurus? And I did make the cake! I can't figure out how to post a pic here. But it was fun and complicated and turned out not like the picture.


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