I haven't mentioned my horoscope calendar since February, but it has spent the entire year hanging on a nail over my toilet, giving me such great advice as

August 26: It's a weekday, but many Librans in love might get engaged or married. If you're already married, in-laws might be difficult and look for ways to stir up trouble.

September 28: You might decide to quit your job under tonight's Third Quarter Moon. On the other hand, it is a good day to stay late and finish a project at work.

October 31: It is a favorable day to take a trip with your sweetheart or family. If you are in town, you might have out of town guests.

November 25: Happy Thanksgiving! Invite relatives and friends over to celebrate the holiday. It's also a favorable day to break bread at the home of a friend.

Go! Stay! Love! Hate! The stars say there is something for everyone!

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Today's seasonal grammar lesson: The word 'tis means the same as the word it's. Both are contractions of it is, and in both cases the apostrophe replaces a missing letter i.

When they both first appeared around the 16th century, 'tis meant the same thing it does today, but it's was originally used as the possessive form of the gender-neutral third person singular it. After it's gradually became its (for unclear reasons), it's replaced 'tis (for unclear reasons). Now, if you erroneously type it's when you mean its, someone will snidely correct you in your comments section.

While we're on the subject, 'twas means it was and 'twere means it were, neither of which anyone ever contracts anymore, but I'm starting to think we all should. On the other hand, I think it wise to let 'tbe remain an unwhispered word.

Interestingly, both 'tis and 'twas appear with appropriate apostrophes and modern definitions in the 1806 first edition of Noah Webster's Compendius [a. ſort, brief, conciſe, ſummary] Dictionary. Comparatively, it, its, and it's are entirely omitted. (At least *I* think that's interesting.)

By the way, the only time you can get away with dropping the apostrophe from 'tis and 'twas is if you're playing Scrabble®, but that's because The Official SCRABBLE Players Dictionary© recognizes tis as the "the seventh tone of the diatonic musical scale" and twas as meaning "two." Sorry, Scrabblers, but twere is still not a legally recognized play.

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It's observations like this that make Clark Kent the <em>Daily Planet</em>'s ace reporter.
from "The Canine and the Crooks," Superman #19, November/December 1942

You tell 'em, Superman!

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Movies are escapism! Let's get away!

137. (1996.) Skidoo (1968)
If you're familiar with Dragnet 1967, you know how it was often a square's hostile misinterpretation of hippie drug culture. This movie, made about the same time, tries to do better, like it was made by a well-intentioned but out-of-touch grandfather. It's worth a peek for being Groucho Marx's last movie (and you get to see Ralph Kramden on acid!), but the best part far and away are the mock commercials in the opening scene.

138. (1997.) Pillow to Post (1945)
A very light screwball romantic comedy. So light, in fact, that I already barely remember it.

139. (1998.) That Way with Women (1947)
Also a light comedy, though this time the protagonist — Maltese Falcon heavy Sydney Greenstreet as a competent and considerate automobile magnate — isn't directly involved in the romance he's helping to set up. Fun.

140. (1999.) The Loveless (1981)
First film for both Kathryn Bigelow and Willem Defoe, and it's all atmosphere. Think The Wild One without any narrative and the point is that the "outsider" bikers are the sane/moral ones and "civilization" is a lie. I liked it.

Drink Coke! (The Loveless)
Too cool for school? Drink Coke!

141. (2000.) Lust in the Dust (1984)
This parody Western is Tab Hunter's version of a Jon Waters' film. It has its moments, mostly courtesy Divine, whose bonkers performance is exactly what the material deserves.

More to come.

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Chronic kidney disease is no joke

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I recently heard that 12 months after getting a new dog, owners claim to be happier than they were before. That's obviously true. After a year, the worst of the puppy behavior is in the rear view mirror. I expect to be happier this time next year, too.

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The view of the sky on the way home from Henry's first vet visit:

Orange sky at night... something, something, something

(Ok, not actually his first visit. We know he'd seen a vet at least twice before he came to me: once for theoretical puppy shots and once to stitch up a hole in his gums where he chewed on a fishing lure and got dragged around the yard on the line by a cruel golden retriever. But those vet records were contradictory and confusing, and it's not entirely clear what shots he did or did not get. So my vet started over at the beginning. Henry didn't seem to mind.)

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If UGA wins a title without you going to any games, you kinda have to never go again

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Meet Henry.

He's a dog of few words

I told my family I was in the market for an adult female rescue standard poodle. My aunt found a 7-month-old male. But he is a rescue standard poodle.

One-out-of-three sounds like my kind of odds. I think I'll keep him.

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Meet Henry

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To be continued...