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Monday, January 1, 2018

2018 - The Year Of The Dog

Happy 2018!

The year 2018 is the Year of the Dog (Inu) for those of you who are interested in the Japanese zodiac (Jūnishi, 十二支).

The Japanese zodiac (based on the Chinese zodiac), is divided into 12 repeating units, with each of the 12 years named after an animal based an animal, with only the Dragon being a mythical creature. I think.

I am a Dragon, and I think I am real, therefore I am (don't wake the Red King, though).

My name in Japanese is phonetically in katakana: An-doh-ryu (Andrew), which translates (using kanji I specifically picked for myself) to: "Peaceful-Leader-Dragon".

I gave myself an extra long "dooooh", rather than the typical "doh", just to get that "leader" kanji.  

My surname of Joseph (Jo-se-fu) further translates to: "Help-World-Walk."

Idealistic, to be sure... but between 1990-1993 when I lived in Japan, I was living the life of Riley... I was Ferris Bueller... I was one lucky sonbeeyatch who was forever farting rainbows.

I was invincible. I was the Dragon. I was also a Scorpio... I still am the Dragon and a Scorpio, but I've learned I am no longer invincible - which sucks, because you only learn that with age.

I don't know why, but the concept of a zodiac fascinates me. Does it mean that every 12th person is just like me? I guess... if you think of it in those terms... if so, the world would be a much better, if not ego maniacal place, and I'd probably hate a lot more people.

Here's something about Dragons (me):

Dragons like to embrace challenges and take risks. Jobs that allow them to test themselves are good choices. Some good careers include: journalist, teacher, inventor, manager, computer analyst, lawyer, engineer, architect, broker, and sales person.

I've been a journalist, a teacher, and a sales person. I was going to be a lawyer and even aced my LSAT (law entrance exam), but thought I might actually find it boring (what with all the long hours)--besides, my university marks sucked enough where I wasn't going to get in anyway; and really dig architecture even though I don't know why... well... I suppose because it's a good career choice for a dragon.

Oh... and East is supposed to be a very lucky direction for me... and considering that's where Japan is (relative to to Toronto), I'd have to agree.

Still... it's kind of fun, when you learn about each sign and what it represents... and when you apply it to yourself, you tend to see yourself as being a fit for the description... at least I do.

It doesn't mean it's right... just that it's right for me. People see what they want to see, I suppose. It's like how we can stare at a pattern in the stucco ceiling, and see faces or objects... MY wife is also a Dragon, but only a Sagitarius, and she has not followed any of the career paths I did or those best suited for a Dragon... which may also explain why she's looking for a job now. Or not. 

Anyhow... to me, it's fun... and like most things, I want to believe.

For all you Dog lovers out there, 2018 is your year... if you were born in: 2006, 1982, 1970, 1958, 1946, 1934, 1922, and 1910. I suppose the 1910 year is no longer an option for anyone on this planet... which is kind of sad, when you think about it.

Still... rather than be too much of a downer, everyone of us has a bit of someone who was born or lived in 1910, inside of us. So blame them.
This is a photo of me (left), Tin-Tin, and my dad around six decades (!!) ago. The shirt I'm wearing features the Peanuts dog Snoopy claiming that the "Moon is made of Canadian Cheese". My son saw the photo, and was surprised that that was me, realizing we do look similar (or did)... while I developed my father's good taste in wearing sunglasses whenever I go outside.

For those of you who are Dogs (and aren't we all, just a little bit), you are supposed to have all of the fine qualities of human nature.

You possess a sense of loyalty and duty, are extremely honest, and are always willing to to do their best in any relationship with other people.

You Dog people are also supposed to inspire confidence in others, and are particularly adept at keeping secrets... which if you think about it, perfectly describes a real dog... canine, that is.

Nothing wrong with that. Did you know that my last dog... a chocolate lab named Buster Brown, would sometimes eat his own poo? I would force feed him Listerine breath strips. Never had that problem with any of the other dogs I had... three cocker spaniels (two American and one English blue roan) and four medium-size rottweilers.

The past four-plus years or so I have been without a dog... the longest period in my life... my wife wants another dog... but I am enjoying having a backyard where I can play catch with my son without stepping in that "missed" pile of poop. I also don't think we can afford one... and yes, I am not the little fru-fru type of dog owner. Nothing wrong with those dogs... they just aren't my style.

Then again... I'm on my third cat since I started writing this blog in 2009. Sigh.

Type of Dog Year of Birth Characteristics
Wood Dog 1934, 1994 Sincere, reliable, considerate, understanding, and patient;
Fire Dog 1946, 2006 Intelligent, hardworking, and sincere;
Earth Dog 1958, 2018 Communicative, serious, and responsible in work;
Gold Dog 1910, 1970 Conservative, desirable, cautious, and always ready to help others;
Water Dog 1922, 1982 Brave and self-centered, even seemingly selfish; well-versed in dealing with financial issues;


The Luckiest Things for Dogs

  • Lucky numbers: 3, 4, 9, and numbers containing them (like 34 and 49);
  • Lucky days: the 7th and 28th of every lunar month;
  • Lucky colors: red, green, and purple;
  • Lucky flowers: rose, cymbidium orchids (the photo above - I love these flowers!);
  • Lucky directions: east, south, and northeast;
  • Lucky months: the 6th, 10th, and 12th lunar months;

Unlucky Things for Dogs

  • Unlucky colors: blue, white, gold;
  • Unlucky numbers: 1, 6, and 7;
  • Unlucky direction: southeast;
  • Unlucky months: the 5th and 8th lunar months;
And, because I am sure you are all curious, the other jūnishi"years", in order of appearance, are:
  • Boar (Inoshishi): born 2019, 2007, 1983, 1971, 1959, 1947, 1935, 1923;
  • Rat (Nexumi): born 2020, 2008, 1996, 1984, 1972, 1960, 1948, 1936, 1924;
  • Ox (Ushi): born 2021, 2009, 1997, 1985, 1973, 1961, 1949, 1937, 1925;
  • Tiger (Tora): born 2022, 2010, 998, 1986, 1974, 1962, 1950, 1938, 1926;
  • Rabbit (Usagi): born 2023, 2011,1999, 1987, 1975, 1963, 1951, 1939, 1927;
  • Dragon (Tatsu): born 2024, 2012, 2000, 1988, 1976, 1964, 1952, 1940, 1928;
  • Snake (Hebi): born 2025, 2013, 2001, 1989, 1977, 1965, 1953, 1941, 1929;
  • Horse (Uma): born 2026, 2014, 2002, 1990, 1978, 1966, 1954, 1942, 1930;
  • Sheep (Hitsju): born 2027, 2015, 2003, 1991, 1979, 1967, 1955, 1943, 1931;
  • Monkey (Saru): born 2028, 2016, 2004, 1992, 1980, 1968, 1956, 1944, 1932;
  • Rooster (Tori): born 2029, 2017, 2005, 1981, 1969, 1957, 1945, 1933;
  • Dog (Inu): born: 2030, (and as above).
For all of you people born in The Year Of The Dog - enjoy your year!

For the rest of us, Happy Festivus.

Woof... you know what I mean,
Andrew Joseph
PS: I'm writing this two weeks before it is published, so hopefully this isn't one of those "ghost" blogs from beyond the grave. No... I'm not dying or anything... despite the cryptic sounding writing I did above... but fair warning, because who the heck knows. I hope it's a happy 2018 for all of us!
PPS: The photo of the dog at the top was my dog, Buster, a pretty nice Chocolate Labrador.

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