In which I review a few things, and call them horoscopes.
Sagittarius (11/22 – 12/21): Oxytocin. This is the hormone that's released during sex and breastfeeding that promotes bonding and feelings of well-being. Here's something: rats that have never had babies eat baby rats whenever they get a chance (the way you do), but after being injected with Oxytocin, they tend to and protect young, even if they aren't related. The oxytocin effect of caring for young lasts for their whole lives -- once that form of generosity is activated, it never goes away. Shysters purchase oxytocin spray on the internet and spray it in the air when they want to close a deal. Can you even believe that? Now you know how Einstein felt about the a-bomb. But maybe, just maybe, there is some backwash with the spray, and everyone gets a douse of good will and generosity and the instinct to protect and defend the vulnerable. Maybe goodness actually wins, and can't be misused by hucksters. That's possible, Sag. I'm giving Oxytocin 5 stars.
Aquarius (1/20-2/18): Gritty. Gritty is 7-foot tall hairy mascot for a hockey team in Philadelphia, the Flyers, that has somehow captured the hearts of the residents. I don't understand what a sports mascot role is in the world but I do like it when a whole town gets behind something. I'll give Gritty 4 stars. Oh, and in my research, I learned that some heavy metal bands have mascots too. I guess everyone else has known that since Iron Maiden was big, but not me. I'm just telling you so you'll know that I'm catching up!
Pisces (2/19 – 3/20): Vacuum Cleaners. Before I had a dog I would vacuum once "every so often" and by that, I mean never unless someone was coming over. Then I got this big yellow dog and a new bagless vacuum cleaner and began to really enjoy vacuuming because I can see the equivalent of another small dog getting sucked off the carpet every few days. Speaking of evolutionary failure -- what's in it for dogs to devote so much energy into hair production, only to let it fall off everywhere? Not to mention that it's nearly impossible for them to be stealthy at a crime scene, leaving their DNA all over the place. Anyway, the vacuum lasted two years before it died, and I took it to a vacuum repair place and very briefly fell in love with the repair man because he was so quirky. He looked like a combination of the guy from the Detectorists (the one with the baby), and the shoe salesman in You, Me, and Everyone We know. (There, I got in my two favorite things to watch!). The look is a skinny, hungry, homely look. The main draw was his soliloquy about vacuums. He has more passion for the vacuum cleaner than anyone I've met. "It's gonna be a couple weeks," he said, "because every day, people pull up, and bring out a vacuum, and then another and another, like some clown car full of vacuum cleaners, and I'm like, bring it on, I love this stuff." Anyway, he promised that he'd fix my vacuum and it would be like brand new and I left with so much hope. Our 15 minutes in the repair shop, with him explaining all of the places where dust can escape from my particular type of vacuum, is the longest relationship I've been in for oh, maybe a decade.
But then he called and said he couldn't fix it, and could I pick it up and dispose of it because he has no need for it. Just like that, I guess we broke up. Someone younger probably came along with a Miele. So I spent a bunch of time on the internet where we all live now, researching the best vacuum and then I gave up because research is infinite, like the universe, and you just have to cut it off at some point and buy whatever-the-fuck vacuum is convenient to buy.
So I went to Costco, which is a big act of courage, and I looked at the choices and picked one, the way we used to do before the internet. Remember that? When we used to just select from the choices at hand? So I put it in my cart, and I'm not kidding, like four people came up to me as I wandered through that giant warehouse full of stuff, and said, "Ohh, so exciting! A new vacuum cleaner!" I wasn't feeling it myself but I tried to get excited. I brought it home and assembled it and noted that it has a bunch of attachments that I guess will sit on my coffee table until they get lost, because there isn't a spot for them. I'm really not into attachments (well, except for my brief imaginary love affair with the vacuum repair main. For about 9 minutes, I was attached.) But I'm not the kind who's like, oh, how can I get the dust particles out of this particular spot? I think I'll stop what I'm doing and seek out an attachment and take the vacuum cleaner apart and reassemble it in some other way. I'm mostly like, "what's the minimum cleaning necessary to keep dog hair out of my food and drink."
I'll give vacuum cleaners 2 stars.