In 1989, Joanne Palmer left a publishing career in Manhattan and has missed her paycheck ever since. She is a mom, weekly columnist for the Steamboat Pilot & Today, and the owner of a property management company, The House Nanny. Her new book "Life in the 'Boat: How I fell on Warren Miller's skis, cheated on my hairdresser and fought off the Fat Fairy" is now available in local bookstores and online at booklocker.com or amazon.com.

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In 1989, Joanne Palmer left a publishing career in Manhattan and has missed her paycheck ever since. She is a mom, weekly columnist for the Steamboat Pilot & Today, and the owner of a property management company, The House Nanny. Her new book "Life in the 'Boat: How I fell on Warren Miller's skis, cheated on my hairdresser and fought off the Fat Fairy" is now available in local bookstores and online at booklocker.com or amazon.com.

Joanne Palmer: Zodiac change makes me wobble

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Joanne Palmer

Joanne Palmer's Life in the 'Boat column appears Wednesdays in the Steamboat Today. Email her at jpalmer@springsips.com

Find more columns by Palmer here.

— I was the victim of quite a shock last week. While speed-reading news headlines online I spotted a tidbit about a 13th Zodiac sign. According to an article in the Minneapolis Star Tribune, “the moon’s gravitational pull has made the Earth ‘wobble’ around its axis, creating about a one-month bump in the stars’ alignment.” Another account in the New York Times declared the wobble shifted me from a Scorpio to a Virgo. This rogue 13th Zodiac sign is called Ophiuchus, the snake holder.

What?!

A warm feeling — the kind I get when my car starts to skid and I narrowly miss sliding off the road — swept through my body. I sat up straight in my chair as I contemplated this mini identity crisis. Me, a Virgo? Impossible. I have friends who are Virgos. They are wonderful people, and I love them dearly but some are compulsively neat. They do odd things at the dinner table like straighten, align and adjust. They arrange salt and pepper shakers so they are at right angles to the dinner plates. They fold and refold their napkins. Mine always is a crumpled ball. I could not possibly be a Virgo.

I am a Scorpio.

I am a loyal Scorpio. I don’t care how much the Earth wobbles, I am hanging onto my sign. So there.

Let me clarify. I am not a Nancy Reagan-style astrology nut that plans my week’s activities based on planetary alignment. But I do like to glance at my daily horoscope to see if it’s going to be a one-star or a five-star day. Today, for example, is a five-star day. Furthermore, my horoscope advises a change and to rely on my intuition to make that change. Good to know.

Scorpios are intense, passionate people. They root for the underdog. They are not content with what lies on the surface. They must scratch, sniff and dig beneath the surface to be sure. They are loyal to a fault and will be a friend forever unless you do them wrong. A Scorpio does not tolerate being double-crossed. They can hold a grudge like a pit bull with a bone. Don’t even get me started on the time a high school friend tried to steal my boyfriend away from me. That was almost 40 years ago but I remember her shenanigans as if it were yesterday.

Apparently I was not the only one who reacted to this news. According to the New York Times, “William Duvendack, a St. Louis astrologer on the board of the Astrological Association of St. Louis, said he had been inundated with questions.”

“It’s been a lot of damage control,” Duvendack told the Times. “I’m having to reassure them that this is all factored into astrology.”

Acting like a true Scorpio, I started researching and reading only to discover there are two Zodiacs. A CNN blog described it this way: “the tropical Zodiac — which is fixed to seasons, and which Western astrology adheres to — differs from the sidereal Zodiac — which is fixed to constellations and is followed more in the East, and is the type of Zodiac to which the Minneapolis Star Tribune article ultimately refers.”

Two Zodiacs. Who knew?

A Scorpio, that’s who.

I predict a five-star night of sleep tonight.

Note: My column last week referred to an incident in which my mother was repeatedly given the wrong medication during a past hospital visit. Some readers inferred that the hospital in question was Yampa Valley Medical Center. It was not. The medication mix-up occurred in spring at a hospital in Illinois. I apologize for the confusion.

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