Posts Tagged ‘Chinese Zodiac signs’

We had a little black board next to the door to the “shop” that was built on to the house I grew up in. The black board was the source of our daily instructions and a medium for amusement.

The first “for instance” I can think of is Chinese New Year’s. We’d wake up and stumble into the kitchen for breakfast, and scrawled on the blackboard in our father’s clumsy left-handed print were the words:


Personally, I thought he made that phrase up. He insisted it meant “Happy New Year” in Chinese, but it was too funny to be real… wasn’t it? Turns out, he was as close as he could be. You can write it several ways, but it means (roughly): “Best wishes and Congratulations. Have a prosperous and good year.”

My best friend used out chalk board to post messages of anarchism. She signed her notes: KRAZY KAT

My dad often left notes to KRAZY KAT.

My best friend obviously had no natural fear of my dad, because she replied, often with the most outrageous answers. He couldn’t ground her for weeks on end. (Not that he would have – he loved his give-and-take with Matilda.)

I was thinking about that New Year’s Greeting earlier tonight as we are on the eve of The Year of the Wood Goat/Sheep/Ram (they can’t seem to make up their mind on the ovine nature of the eighth sign of the Chinese Zodiac: is it a goat? or a sheep? It can be a ram either way.)

My father was born in the Year of the Dragon. How cool is that? to be a Dragon? Besides the horse, the Dragon has to be the coolest Chinese Zodiac signs, ever. Dragons are lucky. (Segue to The Neverending Story and the Luck Dragon, possibly the dorkiest animation ever – but I still cry every time Atreyu dies…)

My brother was a Water Snake. I’m not sure what that means, except I remember summers of catching water snakes. “They have tremendous sympathy for others and would like to take actions to help ther <sic> fellow human beings. They are determined to accomplished their goals hate to fail.” Travel China Guide

Possibly why he does Search and Rescue.

My little sister (and my friend, Matilda) was born in the Year of the Pig. “People born in the Year of the Pig are honest and frank, chivalrous and gallant. They have a calm appearance and strong heart. They do whatever they want with their strength. They are tolerant and optimistic, but not until they become your friends can their virtue, advantages and fidelity to friendship be appreciated.” – This would be Mat, to a “T”.

They are quick tempered, but hate arguments and quarreling. They are kind to their loved ones. They treat friend <sic> sincerely and they do not tell lies unless they have to.” Uh – my sister was a pathological liar. But that is another story. And, boy, howdy, was she quick-tempered.

My husband was born in the Year of the Rooster. “The rooster is almost the epitome of fidelity and punctuality. For ancestors who had no alarm clocks, the rooster’s crowing was significant, as it could awaken people to get up and start to work. They are deep thinkers considered to be honest, bright, communicative, ambitious, capable and warm-hearted. Strong self-respect and seldom relying on others are their basic characteristics.”

Um – yea. That’s my husband.

My oldest was born in The Year of the Rat: “People under this sign are usually smart and wealthy and will work for success. They are sanguine and very adaptable, being popular with others. They are also by nature thoughtful, sensible, judiciously and curious.”

Pretty much.

My son was born in the Year of the Tiger. “Tolerance, loyalty, valor, being respected are their nice characteristics. They like challenges and speed and they are active and good at expressing themselves. In their middle age, their fate may be uneven, but afterwards will enjoy a bright prospect. Tigers usually tend to show off before others. They are given to deep thinking and capable of great sympathy, however, they can be short-tempered without interest with long-term endeavor. Sometimes, they come into conflict easily with the seniors and people in authority.”

Our youngest was born in the Year of the Sheep/Goat/Ram (I love how the Chinese can’t decide if it is a sheep or a goat, but they are certain it is a ram). “People born in the Year of Sheep are tender, polite, filial, clever, and kind-hearted. They have special sensitivity to art and beauty and a special fondness for quiet living. They are wise, gentle and compassionate and can cope with business cautiously and circumspectly.” This is also the only page on the web page I have been browsing that turns “cutesy” with a little anime-style goat on it. That is so appropriate for Chrystal.

Our grandchildren are all: Rat (2008), Ox, Tiger, Dragon, Snake, and Horse.

You may have noticed that I skipped myself. And my mother. This is because our Zodiac falls on the sign of the ONE animal in the Animal Kingdom that I truly, wholly, and utterly despise. I can handles snakes, spiders, scorpions, and a whole mess of other creatures, but this one animal is one I consider to be truly evil. I despise it.

My mother and I share the ignominy of being associated with monkeys. I refuse to discuss it any further. Monkeys are vicious, cannibalistic, and just.plain.evil.

It is at this point that if I am to believe in astrology at all, I revert to the “normal” Zodiac. Mom was Aries and I am Scorpio. If you believe that stuff. The mere fact that I am associated with a monkey is enough to discourage me from buying into it at all.

Isn’t enough to just say GUNG HAY FAT CHOY, eat Chinese food, and celebrate another culture for one day? Enough of all this trying to define a person based on the date of their birth. Chill out. Don’t take it seriously. Fate is certainly a lot more that the placement of the stars or the twelve animals of a Zodiac.

I miss the old blackboard in the kitchen. I miss my dad, the Dragon. (Fire-breathing, if you had asked me).


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