Still Not My Year

on Friday, February 08, 2008

Rats! It's not my year. It is the Chinese Zodiac year of the Rat. Although technically, squirrels and rats are both rodents, so it is kinda my year, .......sort of, .....so to speak, .......technically. However, it is also not my year cause I was born in 1962 which was the year of the Tiger.

"What's this?", you say. "A squirrel, a rat and a tiger?" Well, I would very much like to explain it all to you but this requires a fairly extensive understanding of Chinese history, culture and religions. Unfortunately, I am a banana. Yes, a banana. A banana is slang for a Chinese who knows more about Western culture than Chinese culture and language. Still don't get it? A banana appears yellow on the outside but is white inside. Anyway, this banana tried to do extensive research for this post but merely got confused and went bananas. What little kernels of information I could figure out is recorded for you below.

1. The Chinese calender appears in cycles of 12 which are represented by animals and is in the following order; Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Sheep, Monkey, Rooster, Dog and lastly, Pig.

2. It is claimed that there was a competition before the Jade Emperor between the animals to decide the order. The story attributes the Rat with cunning. He fooled the tiger into thinking the competition was on another day and during the race, he rode on the back of the ox until just before the finish line and then jumped ahead of the ox.
(Personally as a squirrel, I would say that all is fair in love and war. As a Tiger, I am disgusted that the Rat was not disqualified for lying to a fellow honorable contender. As a banana, I protest the idea of praising the Rat for cheating.)

3. It is believed that a person's character, choice of mate and pre-dispositions are determined by the Zodiac year of birth, together with certain modifiers. The first modifier is Yin and Yang. The second modifier is the five heavenly elements, wood, fire, earth, metal, and water. Finally there are combination elements too.

4. This year is the year of the Yang Earth Rat. Some people refer to it as the year of the Yang Earth fire Rat.

5. Me? I am a Yang Water Gold Tiger.

6. What does all that mean? I don't know cause I am a Banana.

7. Summary: I am a nutty-squirrel-Water Gold Tiger- Yellow and White Banana.

No such thing? I enter as evidence, a picture of a Tiger-Squirrel which apparently is Princeton's mascot.

And How about the Year of the Rat? Will it be a good year? I cannot tell but if I know my distant cousin, the Rat, he is going to be unbearable to live with this year. He will be living it up and will expect to be fed meals three times a day.....thank you very much.

27 comments:

mago said...

I was born 63, so it makes me a rabbit :) That is Deshnoke in the picture? That Banana-joke is pretty tough.

Sincerity said...

I'm a horse, although I feel my personality matches more closely to the sheep.

Ah well. Maybe I'm both! :)

leslie said...

Ew...that picture of people feeding the rats is gross! Why do they do that?

riseoutofme said...

I'm a horse so another 6 years to go before I can party then?

Hope the menu is a little more imaginative than for the rats.

meggie said...

I am married to a Rat. I hope he has a good year this year, because he has been rather morose of late. He is a Leo also, so needs plenty of praise & admiration. A sunless Leo is not happy.
I am a shy Aquarian Sheep. Goodness knows how we ever got together! haha.
I too, fail to see how they can worship such carriers of disease.

blackcrag said...

I was born in 1972, which, I believe, makes me a Rat!

In my particular case, I am a mountainous rat or maybe just a mountain rat. But I believe that leaves me a very big rat either way.

I know nothing of the modifiers of Chinese zodiac, as I am a peeled banana.

squirrelmama said...

LGS, I am a Horse and, at the same time in the western Zodiac, I am a goat. Horses and goats are often stabled together as good companions, so I guess that is a good thing.

As far as being a Banana, well, at least you know you have a-peel...among us readers.

Happy New Year!

jmb said...

I'm a yin wood rat and I don't know how to do the water or fire bit. 1935!
You've got my head spinning here LGS.

Thank you for being a very good visitor and I'm am going to try to do better here. I put you on my blogroll and bloglines feed today, so hopefully that will work.
regards,
jmb

Lone Grey Squirrel said...

mago,
Just a year between us. That is indeed Deshnoke, my well learned friend.

sincerity,
Horse, sheep and/or cat. You have identity issues....same as I.

leslie,
It's at a temple in Deshnoke, India. It is believed that the deity there spared her followers death by temporary transferring their souls into rats as an intermediate step before reincarnations. Therefore the rats are revered as holy followers who had died previously.

Lone Grey Squirrel said...

riseoutofme,
My sister's a horse too. You are exactly half way through your 12 year cycle.

meggie,
Does your husband know that you call him a rat? Just joking! Haha. I hope we all have a good year. That would be nice. See explanation I gave to Leslie on why the rats get fed.

blackcrag,
You are indeed a Rat! A mountain Rat is someone I want on my side when walking down a dark alley!

Lone Grey Squirrel said...

squirrelmama,
Ooooo! You are adept with the puns, I see. Haha.

Jmb,
Thanks. I am honored to be on your blogroll. I thought you were at least a three year veteran blogger and was surprised that you have only been doing it for a year.

Tai said...

Yes indeed! I'm a RAT! Can't wait to see what this year has in store for me!

(Love the tiger squirrel!)

eastcoastdweller said...

The squirrel in tiger pajamas made me almost fall out of my chair laughing.

You poor banana, you. So what kind of food would a Westerner who knows more about China than Western culture be?

MedStudentWife said...

Time for a banana split !!


I'm a rabbit :)

Hubs is a monkey.

Claire said...

I'm a dog! I had an LOL moment with you calling yourself a banana. Why are you a banana? Is it because of your European education? I know some black people refer to other blacks as 'oreos'. I always thought that was a fairly rascist thing to say, but I'm whitey so what do I know.

my backyard said...

That Tiger Squirrel is adorable.

I am a horse, too. Funny how there are so many horses among your readers.

Lone Grey Squirrel said...

tai,
I believe this will be a great year for you.

ecd,
I don't really know the answer to your question but i could suggest a hard boiled egg cause it is white on the outside and yellow inside.

msw,
I already knew that Fidel was a monkey.......you had that picture of him in his flight suit!

Lone Grey Squirrel said...

claire,
Actually, you are right. Terms like "oreos" and "bananas" in this context is meant to be derogatory. However, I accept that I am a banana. Not because I regret getting a wider, if western education, but I regret neglecting my own cultural roots when I was younger. Learn about as many cultures possible but do not neglect your own.

my backyard,
Yes, strange there are so many horses, some dogs, rabbits, the unavoidable rats and even one monkey but apart from me, no other tiger squirrels!

Ruth W. said...

it seems I'm an ox, but not sure what that means..lol. better study up on it.

Odat said...

aahaha..banana! Tiger squirrel...leave it to you squirrels!
(I'm a snake)

Peace

Jocelyn said...

I was actually hanging in there until that last photo.

Now I'm in therapy.

Lone Grey Squirrel said...

Hi Ruth,
I'm not sure either but i am kind of guessing an Ox would be strong, reliable, confident... a bit head-strong and other such generalisations! :)

Odat,
My wife is a snake too. But when we first met she said she was a rabbit, the snake!

jocelyn,
now, now.....surely you are not prejudiced against cousin Rat? As part of your treatment, you are required to watch the movie "Ratatoie", 50 times.

citizen of the world said...

Hey! We're the same age! I always thought the Tiger was one of the cooler ones to get. That's a great photo of the tiger squirrel (Tuirrel? Squiger?) But , the rats give me the heebies. Where's my snake? He'll take care of them.

citizen of the world said...

Oh, just rad your answer about the meaning of the rats - oky, then, I will be a little more compassionate.

Lone Grey Squirrel said...

cz,
Tigers rock.

Open Grove Claudia said...

ahahahahaha.... I am a water rabbit, born just before the year changed. D is a dragon. It's supposed to be a poor mix, but it works for us. Us rabbits know how to avoid the flame.

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