THE Year of the Green Wooden Horse is turning out to be an auspicious animal sign for me, although I don’t believe in horoscopes. I’m proud to say that we Capricorns aren’t superstitious.

“Really?” uncle Gustav said sarcastically.

“I thought you were Sagittarius, uncle Obz,” my niece Joy said.

“I don’t really know my birth sign,” I replied.

“That’s impossible! Everyone I know, knows his or her birth sign,” my niece Joy said.

“Uncle, I am a Scorpio,” my niece Krystal said.

Pannon boasted, “I know my sign; I’m The Bull and that’s why I like the Chicago Bulls.”

“Me, I’m Cancer,” my aunt, Tita Blitte said.

“And me—I am getting out of here,” I told them.

I switched on the television and suddenly Pannon appeared at my side. He looked cute in his cotton pajamas.

“Yipee, Phineas and Ferb, please, extra scoop,” the boy cheered me on so I would obey him.

He likes the triangular-shaped face of Phineas and the head of Ferb, which resembles a pineapple.

It’s Jan. 31 as I scramble to finish this week’s journey of madness (as in, a mad dash to the finish line), email it to Sun.Star Cebu and then go out with my aunt to buy some foodstuff for the Wooden Horse’s feast.

The morning is still young. I am about to make myself a cup of coffee, but just then my aunt appears with a pot of freshly brewed elixir of the sleepy.

“I made some herbed French bread, some with cheese and the others with a combination of cheese and ham,” said my aunt, who loves to cook.

Between bites of herbed bread, Pannon kept clapping his hands in appreciation of Phineas’ genius. Imagine, making X-ray glasses using tons of carrots! Not bad. I mean, the herbed bread.

I toyed with the idea that maybe I should suggest the technology to the Philippine Bureau of Customs. It’s what they need in making their job easier, faster.

Pannon asked me to switch to Ultraman Mebius and I groaned.

Kris Aquino was still wowing and ah-ing and ang-sarap-ing the food she was tasting at some restaurant. Her side kick in today’s show is actress Erich Gonzales, a girl of few words, but then she may have been overshadowed by the presidential sister’s grand and loquacious ways.

Today, Mebius is fighting off an alien whose carapace is made of some shiny synthetic fabric, and swaggers around the studio set, burning down buildings. He could look threatening to a kid like Pannon and to an adult like me, he looks funny. I laugh and Pannon gives me a look that says “this is serious matter.”

In fact, herbed bread sandwich made with omelet and cucumber aside, the actors in the kiddie show looked serious too. But not as serious as Detective Conan, which Pannon insisted that we watch.

We were now surfing channels between commercials. I was starting to wonder whether the boy got the thread of the three different stories. But I remember that Facebook was started by a teenager, and so I didn’t worry anymore.

The Year of the Wooden Horse is a good sign because it opened a channel for me. Maybe I can adopt it as my own. Or maybe I’ll take the Dragon, which is said to be the strongest sign in the Chinese zodiac unless you’re talking to a Scorpio, who says the clawed icon is the strongest in the occidental zodiac.

Anyway, the fried tikoy that my aunt placed on the table tasted good. It will help me keep my mouth shut for a long time.