Wednesday, October 11, 2006


Birthday Snow & Stars

Today's my birthday. Winter has descended upon central Minnesota with a great whip and a crash. That's how it goes here - summer one day, winter the next - or very near that anyway. We're used to the weather's manic-depressive cycle. It keeps us on our toes.

We had snow flurries and rapacious cold today. I can remember this happening on my birthday once, maybe twice, before, which means that snow in mid-October is a rarity in Minnesota (despite what you may have heard about constant winters in our great state.)

Upon hearing the forecast, I spent yesterday evening cleaning the yard. When winter hits, I like to be prepared. Forlorn rakes and spades, a stiff, serpentine hose that threatens to split, a glass jar in a trench - these are not things that ought to spend the winter buried under snow. So, I scurried around in the cold half-light, putting things away and generally tidying up. I'm ready to become house-bound and cozy, with irregular shoveling and snow-shoeing forays.

Because this is my birthday, I've been mulling an astrologically-related idea. Eleanor Roosevelt (one of my heroes) and Elmore Leonard (sorry to say, I've never read his books) share my birthday, along with a gal in the next block and a gal in my son' s class.

I was deep into astrology when I was a teenager, figuring out astrological charts for me and my friends. I still have my first astrology book, which has most of those charts recorded in it. (No small feat for a person who thinks writing in books is a sacrilege.) I even spent $11 to order a professionally drawn personal chart. This was not a small sum at the time. The overall gist of this chart seemed to indicate that I'd be a late bloomer creatively. I still have the chart, though I haven't looked at it in ages.

Now, I like woo-woo mystical stuff as much as a lot of us human beings do, but I'm also attracted to science and want to come up with ways to either prove or disprove some of this stuff. Because astrology tries to attribute personality types to the movements of the planets, it might stand to reason that those born under the same sun sign might share the same taste in aesthetics. Those born on the same day at the same time might be even more similar in taste. So far, astrology has been deemed a load of bunk, but has anyone taken the time to see if there is a statistically significant relationship between taste and birthday?

What has me wondering is that my neighbor who shares my birthday and I happen to be crazy for the same band. If a band with a large following could survey the birthdates of its fans, might a statistical relationship become obvious? Hmmm . . .

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