For the week starting: 1.3.2008

"What you do still betters what is done."
Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale [IV.iv.135]

Summary of the year ahead? That was last week’s introduction, in a nutshell. (Upcoming locations.)

un

capCapricorn: It was a kid, at a restaurant, a loud and boisterous Tex-Mex place, less known for haute cuisine and better known as a place to drink, eat, drink, and be merry. A family of four was at an adjacent table, mom and dad we getting their drink on, and the two children, the quietest, very patiently explained to the server, "Yes, it is my birthday today."

Little Capricorn child. Quiet. Demur. Reserved. Just wait, as I can see, about 30 years into that child’s future, he’s going to be the loudest, drunkest, most out-of-control party animal — then. But for now? Quiet. Reserved. Demur. Almost bashful and shaking his head at the "adults" who are not acting very adult-like.

Way it goes, too, for lots of Capricorn. Someone has to be the voice of reason. Perish the thought that the adults would act like adults. But someone has to be reasonable, calm, and in control of themselves. Capricorn? That’s your goal this week. Maybe not all year long, but for the time being? Act like an adult. Somebody needs a cool head when everyone else starts to panic.

un

aqu Aquarius: I was thinking about a scene, I was digging through my images to find a way to explain this. I have this picture, and it’s a little jolly Santa, just small plastic guy, really, and he’s parked on the roof of a building. It took several tries to frame the shot just right, but there was Santa, up on the roof, and next to him, the top of a palm tree.

Tropical tree. Always liked the way those two lined up. Think about Santa with his jolly red outfit, fur-trimmed hat, and all that. Look, Xmas is long over, but the spirit of the season lives on. Or, like some of my neighbors, on and on.

What this is about, though, is that original image, the Santa on a building with a the fronds of palm tree as a backdrop. I’m sure I’ve posted that picture on the website, someplace. Or maybe not. Doesn’t much matter, though, as what it evokes, the image, Santa and the palm fronds, there’s an enduring image and study in contrasts.

un

pis Pisces: it was a new logo to me, and don’t ruin it all by sending in the name of some band/corporate outfit/artist who uses this as their logo. It was a sort of a Virgen de Guadalupe, only the figure was crossed with the Grim Reaper. So it was sort of a Virgen de Grim Reaper. The adornments, and the rays radiating outward from the figure? And the dressings? Pure Virgen de Guadalupe. The death-mask skull? The long scythe at one side? Grim Reaper.

So it was an odd combination of elements, and one guy, over on the east side, had this figure etched in the back-glass of his pickup. The grim reaper is a frightful figure, but the other image that is similar is "old man time," and we just got done with his holiday, the New Year. Time to think about that, too. As the next year is unfolding at a furious pace, but nothing seems to go quite like it’s supposed to? Think about those two elements that don’t seem to belong together.

un

ariAries: There’s a young lass, a Sagittarius, actually, and she used to work at the Amy’s Ice Cream at the Austin Airport. I was flying someplace, home for the holidays, maybe, and she was working the first shift. Not many people order ice cream before noon, but I was. When I walked up to the counter, it was devoid of anyone. She rambled up, sized me up, gave me a perfunctory "hello," then she proceeded to crawl over the counter. It wasn’t the view that I was afforded, although, oh never mind, she had garish purple eye shadow make-up stuff. I’m not sure what it’s called.

She looked at me, sort of tired, then briefly explained that the trip around the counter, back through the security area, the keyed entrance, the "back door" to where she worked? Way too much trouble. It was just easier, on a slow winter morning, to crawl over the counter. Saved her hundreds of paces, maybe even thousands, and while it might not be the most sanitary, she was already wiping down the counter where she crawled over. And she was being polite enough about it all, too.

She remembered me when I told her she was still a Sagittarius with a good future in ice cream. The eye make-up was amusing, the banter was slightly brittle, and the idea of taking a good short cut? My fine Aries friend, if you would like too crawl over the counter because it saves about three-quarters of a mile? I’d do it. Just this once. Wash your hands before returning to work.

un

tauTaurus: This was really a scene from last fall, but I’m going to use it now because it matches up with the planets and all, the way this year is going to start out. There was a family, apparently a family, and they were all crammed into one side of the booth at a restaurant. Tex-Mex place, passable hot sauce, outstanding taco platter.

The family was slightly sunburnt, the dad and son were wearing "sportsmen shirts," as was the wife. I glanced over, pulled the napkin down in my lap to cover my bare legs — I was obviously wearing shorts — and the dad figure looked over me. "We were just down at the coast, fished this morning, even, and this booth is right under the AC vent." He smiled. I smiled. We chatted about coastal bay fishing. Their food arrived. They stayed, huddled on one side, while eating dinner. It’s a kind of togetherness, but it’s not exactly foisted upon you in the manner you’d like. Like huddling for warmth under the AC. With a sunburn. From coastal fishing.

un

gemGemini: It was rather warm the other afternoon. I’m sure, since I was sweating, that a few people had the AC on in their cars. Defrost in the morning, AC in the afternoon, then the heater at night. Not all that unusual. Get used to it. South Texas weather. I passed a car, long, low, lean sedan looking kind of a car, expensive and expansive, too.

It was buzzing. Humming, really, or so it sounded to me. Maybe I was just addled by the heat. Such noises, like a cooling fan working overtime? That usually doesn’t bother me much. Doesn’t usually fall into my observation, but on a day in late December, just last year, it did catch my attention.

My immediate family, they all drive "hybrid" vehicles. So I’m used to odd noises, or no noises, coming out from under the hood. On that luxury boat of a sedan, though, it just struck me as a odd. Especially at this time of the year, but we had a few warm days.Like that car, though, the four-door version of Gemini needs its little cooling fan. You need to cool off, even though you are already — to an untrained eye and ear — at rest. Mars dictates you need a little cooling off before you jump to conclusions. Or overheat.

un

canCancer: I was noticing, after talking to this one guy, he was fishing from a kayak, that most of the guys I know who fish, they all have two or more wives. First wife never takes. Second or third wife, those seem to be doing much better. I’m not sure why this is, either. I have my own theories, but my notes are based on astrological data, and the signs, rather than choices fishermen make in mates. Or the women who choose fishermen as mates.

Maybe, too, it’s more like fishing, you know, with relationships, have to try a few variations before we all hit that right combination. Right attraction factors, strong enough to endure, light enough to be fun, it’s all matter of finding the right gear. Or the correct mate. And when Mars does what he’s doing? That’s like a snarled fishing line.

The true measure of a fisherman is how he behaves when that happens. Me? I’m inclined to patiently unsnarl the knotted mess. Unless there’s a lot of action, and at that point, I’m more interested in getting another line out, so I’ll put off the patient work until a little later. In Cancer? The way the year is going to start? I’d be patient, now.

un

leo Leo: I’m unsure of how close you pay attention to what is going on. I’m not sure you look back over the archives to see where you’ve been. I’m reminded about one singer/songwriter, from around here, actually, a little west of here, but not too far west, and he was lamenting how he always got in trouble.

Every time another singer/songwriter was performing, there was always a fight. Wasn’t either guy, but always happened around them. "Yeah, the boys are back in town," only, this isn’t a cheap trick, it’s the observation by the wistful local singers. How trouble just seems to follow them around.

The fact that the guy was on stage with a guitar, and out back was a tour bus? I kind of lose a little empathy, there. But it makes for good stage banter, even if the tale isn’t too believable. Which is the problem, here in Leo. The tale, either you’re telling it, or you’re listening to it, but the tale isn’t really that accurate. Maybe it is true, but a lot of us? We’re just taking it at entertainment value, only. I’m not saying that there isn’t a shred of truth, but be a little more alert, to the broadcast of such stories. Real or imagined.

un

vir Virgo: "Hey, sounds like a TB clinic in here!" A Virgo was visiting, and I’d just gotten done with a major sweeping up of the place. So dust was, literally, hanging in the air. I was coughing. A neighbor was over, and he was choking on the dust, and partially, in disbelief that I was actually cleaning. So it did sound like a TB clinic.

Only, when was the last time I heard that expression? Not a common form of allusion, not anymore. Sort of out-of-date. Weird, even. A little history and few older films and I can get stuff like that comment. But even I will find it a tad odd. As will anyone who’s ever been to my place, I’m neat, just not particularly tidy (not a Virgo). So the dust flying is appropriate at time like this. For me, it was an annual cleaning. A jump on the spring cleaning. For you? Call it what you want, but the idea is to hurry and start the new year correctly. Which is hard with Mars backwards. You can do it, I know.

un

lib Libra: The air freshener, it was part of an assortment, all the same size and shape. But the one that caught my eye? There was a fragrance called "cowboy." The fragrant aroma of a cowboy, I’m not sure that’s what I want a car to smell like. A truck? Sure. But then, trucks, at least around here, the trucks tend to smell like work trucks in the first place.

What would a real "cowboy" fragrance be? Part horse manure, part cow manure, some hay, maybe aromatic sheep by-product, in certain areas. Rope, usually manila rope, worn leather, old motor oil and spilled beer? All that plus some more delicate fragrances, mixed in, like snuff, or chewing tobacco, coffee, bourbon, it all adds up. But once again, I’m not sure that I want an authentic cowboy smell.

As I was working on this, though, I wonder, could it be an air freshener strong enough to cover up that cowboy smell? Maybe. But I doubt it. I think the stuff, I didn’t buy or sample it in any way, I just figure that it was more about the romance of the cowboy smell. But not the real thing. As the year starts to unfold, make sure you’re on top of the scenario. Like that cowboy fragrance, real? Or are they just selling the dream?

un

sco Scorpio: It was a little before Xmas when I saw this sign, it said, "Taxidermy – Game Processing." Underneath the sign, there was an Xmas banner that read, "Fur and Leather Gifts on Sale now." I’m not sure what the connection was, but I was thinking about Scorpio, with the recent movement, or in some cases, lack of movement, of the planets. And to be honest, none of the planets ever really stand still, they just slow down, relative to us.

Those two signs, though, I was wondering if the folks who came in for game processing, if they realized that the trimmings left over from their processed game, maybe that material was finding its way into other products? I’m not saying that this is the case, I never stopped to investigate, as I don’t have any game that needs to be processed.

I don’t aim to have any, either. But as a good Scorpio, and you’re reading this, so you are a good Scorpio, I want you to think about how you can combine elements from two worlds, and run them together. It’s about foraging, and making the best of what’s left over. Like taking some of those cast-off, otherwise known as biological waste, materials and putting them to good use. Like fur trimmings for coat collars. And maybe work gloves. Or something. I didn’t bother to investigate the idea — but I’m not a Scorpio, either.

un

sagSagittarius: The waiter was passing, and I asked for some more of the special sauce. It was burger night at a local place, not quite fully a dive and yet, not quite fully am over-priced chain. "Hey," I asked, "more of this. And just what is this stuff, anyway?" He grinned and returned with another small tub of the condiment.

"Chipotle Crack Mayo." One taste, and you’re hooked? I can’t say for sure. As I rolled the taste around in my mouth, I started to get visions of what it really was, like, Miracle Whip, with cayenne and a dusting of chipotle salsa. Smoky, strong and potent, yet mild, too. That smoked-flavor from the jalapeno, enough heat to be interesting, and yet, smooth, too, with that silky essence of mayo.

I’m not saying that this new year is going to be like this smooth, smooth, silky and yet, just enough spice to be interesting, but it certainly could happen. The problem is this next couple of days? It’s like my favorite "chipotle crack mayo," it’s really good stuff. But it’s also highly addictive, and the real secret? That suer-secret restaurant ingredient? You don’t want to know, it’s something like Miracle Whip.

un

All Rights Reserved
copyright (c) 2007, 2008 Kramer Wetzel, for astrofish.net

< !DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.01 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/html4/loose.dtd">



1.3.08

banner

Fishing Guide to the Stars
By Kramer Wetzel
(c) 2007-2008 Kramer Wetzel for astrofish.net
For the week starting: 1.3.2008

"What you do still betters what is done."
Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale [IV.iv.135]

Summary of the year ahead? That was last week’s introduction, in a nutshell. (Upcoming locations.)

un

capCapricorn: It was a kid, at a restaurant, a loud and boisterous Tex-Mex place, less known for haute cuisine and better known as a place to drink, eat, drink, and be merry. A family of four was at an adjacent table, mom and dad we getting their drink on, and the two children, the quietest, very patiently explained to the server, "Yes, it is my birthday today."

Little Capricorn child. Quiet. Demur. Reserved. Just wait, as I can see, about 30 years into that child’s future, he’s going to be the loudest, drunkest, most out-of-control party animal — then. But for now? Quiet. Reserved. Demur. Almost bashful and shaking his head at the "adults" who are not acting very adult-like.

Way it goes, too, for lots of Capricorn. Someone has to be the voice of reason. Perish the thought that the adults would act like adults. But someone has to be reasonable, calm, and in control of themselves. Capricorn? That’s your goal this week. Maybe not all year long, but for the time being? Act like an adult. Somebody needs a cool head when everyone else starts to panic.

un

aqu Aquarius: I was thinking about a scene, I was digging through my images to find a way to explain this. I have this picture, and it’s a little jolly Santa, just small plastic guy, really, and he’s parked on the roof of a building. It took several tries to frame the shot just right, but there was Santa, up on the roof, and next to him, the top of a palm tree.

Tropical tree. Always liked the way those two lined up. Think about Santa with his jolly red outfit, fur-trimmed hat, and all that. Look, Xmas is long over, but the spirit of the season lives on. Or, like some of my neighbors, on and on.

What this is about, though, is that original image, the Santa on a building with a the fronds of palm tree as a backdrop. I’m sure I’ve posted that picture on the website, someplace. Or maybe not. Doesn’t much matter, though, as what it evokes, the image, Santa and the palm fronds, there’s an enduring image and study in contrasts.

un

pis Pisces: it was a new logo to me, and don’t ruin it all by sending in the name of some band/corporate outfit/artist who uses this as their logo. It was a sort of a Virgen de Guadalupe, only the figure was crossed with the Grim Reaper. So it was sort of a Virgen de Grim Reaper. The adornments, and the rays radiating outward from the figure? And the dressings? Pure Virgen de Guadalupe. The death-mask skull? The long scythe at one side? Grim Reaper.

So it was an odd combination of elements, and one guy, over on the east side, had this figure etched in the back-glass of his pickup. The grim reaper is a frightful figure, but the other image that is similar is "old man time," and we just got done with his holiday, the New Year. Time to think about that, too. As the next year is unfolding at a furious pace, but nothing seems to go quite like it’s supposed to? Think about those two elements that don’t seem to belong together.

un

ariAries: There’s a young lass, a Sagittarius, actually, and she used to work at the Amy’s Ice Cream at the Austin Airport. I was flying someplace, home for the holidays, maybe, and she was working the first shift. Not many people order ice cream before noon, but I was. When I walked up to the counter, it was devoid of anyone. She rambled up, sized me up, gave me a perfunctory "hello," then she proceeded to crawl over the counter. It wasn’t the view that I was afforded, although, oh never mind, she had garish purple eye shadow make-up stuff. I’m not sure what it’s called.

She looked at me, sort of tired, then briefly explained that the trip around the counter, back through the security area, the keyed entrance, the "back door" to where she worked? Way too much trouble. It was just easier, on a slow winter morning, to crawl over the counter. Saved her hundreds of paces, maybe even thousands, and while it might not be the most sanitary, she was already wiping down the counter where she crawled over. And she was being polite enough about it all, too.

She remembered me when I told her she was still a Sagittarius with a good future in ice cream. The eye make-up was amusing, the banter was slightly brittle, and the idea of taking a good short cut? My fine Aries friend, if you would like too crawl over the counter because it saves about three-quarters of a mile? I’d do it. Just this once. Wash your hands before returning to work.

un

tauTaurus: This was really a scene from last fall, but I’m going to use it now because it matches up with the planets and all, the way this year is going to start out. There was a family, apparently a family, and they were all crammed into one side of the booth at a restaurant. Tex-Mex place, passable hot sauce, outstanding taco platter.

The family was slightly sunburnt, the dad and son were wearing "sportsmen shirts," as was the wife. I glanced over, pulled the napkin down in my lap to cover my bare legs — I was obviously wearing shorts — and the dad figure looked over me. "We were just down at the coast, fished this morning, even, and this booth is right under the AC vent." He smiled. I smiled. We chatted about coastal bay fishing. Their food arrived. They stayed, huddled on one side, while eating dinner. It’s a kind of togetherness, but it’s not exactly foisted upon you in the manner you’d like. Like huddling for warmth under the AC. With a sunburn. From coastal fishing.

un

gemGemini: It was rather warm the other afternoon. I’m sure, since I was sweating, that a few people had the AC on in their cars. Defrost in the morning, AC in the afternoon, then the heater at night. Not all that unusual. Get used to it. South Texas weather. I passed a car, long, low, lean sedan looking kind of a car, expensive and expansive, too.

It was buzzing. Humming, really, or so it sounded to me. Maybe I was just addled by the heat. Such noises, like a cooling fan working overtime? That usually doesn’t bother me much. Doesn’t usually fall into my observation, but on a day in late December, just last year, it did catch my attention.

My immediate family, they all drive "hybrid" vehicles. So I’m used to odd noises, or no noises, coming out from under the hood. On that luxury boat of a sedan, though, it just struck me as a odd. Especially at this time of the year, but we had a few warm days.Like that car, though, the four-door version of Gemini needs its little cooling fan. You need to cool off, even though you are already — to an untrained eye and ear — at rest. Mars dictates you need a little cooling off before you jump to conclusions. Or overheat.

un

canCancer: I was noticing, after talking to this one guy, he was fishing from a kayak, that most of the guys I know who fish, they all have two or more wives. First wife never takes. Second or third wife, those seem to be doing much better. I’m not sure why this is, either. I have my own theories, but my notes are based on astrological data, and the signs, rather than choices fishermen make in mates. Or the women who choose fishermen as mates.

Maybe, too, it’s more like fishing, you know, with relationships, have to try a few variations before we all hit that right combination. Right attraction factors, strong enough to endure, light enough to be fun, it’s all matter of finding the right gear. Or the correct mate. And when Mars does what he’s doing? That’s like a snarled fishing line.

The true measure of a fisherman is how he behaves when that happens. Me? I’m inclined to patiently unsnarl the knotted mess. Unless there’s a lot of action, and at that point, I’m more interested in getting another line out, so I’ll put off the patient work until a little later. In Cancer? The way the year is going to start? I’d be patient, now.

un

leo Leo: I’m unsure of how close you pay attention to what is going on. I’m not sure you look back over the archives to see where you’ve been. I’m reminded about one singer/songwriter, from around here, actually, a little west of here, but not too far west, and he was lamenting how he always got in trouble.

Every time another singer/songwriter was performing, there was always a fight. Wasn’t either guy, but always happened around them. "Yeah, the boys are back in town," only, this isn’t a cheap trick, it’s the observation by the wistful local singers. How trouble just seems to follow them around.

The fact that the guy was on stage with a guitar, and out back was a tour bus? I kind of lose a little empathy, there. But it makes for good stage banter, even if the tale isn’t too believable. Which is the problem, here in Leo. The tale, either you’re telling it, or you’re listening to it, but the tale isn’t really that accurate. Maybe it is true, but a lot of us? We’re just taking it at entertainment value, only. I’m not saying that there isn’t a shred of truth, but be a little more alert, to the broadcast of such stories. Real or imagined.

un

vir Virgo: "Hey, sounds like a TB clinic in here!" A Virgo was visiting, and I’d just gotten done with a major sweeping up of the place. So dust was, literally, hanging in the air. I was coughing. A neighbor was over, and he was choking on the dust, and partially, in disbelief that I was actually cleaning. So it did sound like a TB clinic.

Only, when was the last time I heard that expression? Not a common form of allusion, not anymore. Sort of out-of-date. Weird, even. A little history and few older films and I can get stuff like that comment. But even I will find it a tad odd. As will anyone who’s ever been to my place, I’m neat, just not particularly tidy (not a Virgo). So the dust flying is appropriate at time like this. For me, it was an annual cleaning. A jump on the spring cleaning. For you? Call it what you want, but the idea is to hurry and start the new year correctly. Which is hard with Mars backwards. You can do it, I know.

un

lib Libra: The air freshener, it was part of an assortment, all the same size and shape. But the one that caught my eye? There was a fragrance called "cowboy." The fragrant aroma of a cowboy, I’m not sure that’s what I want a car to smell like. A truck? Sure. But then, trucks, at least around here, the trucks tend to smell like work trucks in the first place.

What would a real "cowboy" fragrance be? Part horse manure, part cow manure, some hay, maybe aromatic sheep by-product, in certain areas. Rope, usually manila rope, worn leather, old motor oil and spilled beer? All that plus some more delicate fragrances, mixed in, like snuff, or chewing tobacco, coffee, bourbon, it all adds up. But once again, I’m not sure that I want an authentic cowboy smell.

As I was working on this, though, I wonder, could it be an air freshener strong enough to cover up that cowboy smell? Maybe. But I doubt it. I think the stuff, I didn’t buy or sample it in any way, I just figure that it was more about the romance of the cowboy smell. But not the real thing. As the year starts to unfold, make sure you’re on top of the scenario. Like that cowboy fragrance, real? Or are they just selling the dream?

un

sco Scorpio: It was a little before Xmas when I saw this sign, it said, "Taxidermy – Game Processing." Underneath the sign, there was an Xmas banner that read, "Fur and Leather Gifts on Sale now." I’m not sure what the connection was, but I was thinking about Scorpio, with the recent movement, or in some cases, lack of movement, of the planets. And to be honest, none of the planets ever really stand still, they just slow down, relative to us.

Those two signs, though, I was wondering if the folks who came in for game processing, if they realized that the trimmings left over from their processed game, maybe that material was finding its way into other products? I’m not saying that this is the case, I never stopped to investigate, as I don’t have any game that needs to be processed.

I don’t aim to have any, either. But as a good Scorpio, and you’re reading this, so you are a good Scorpio, I want you to think about how you can combine elements from two worlds, and run them together. It’s about foraging, and making the best of what’s left over. Like taking some of those cast-off, otherwise known as biological waste, materials and putting them to good use. Like fur trimmings for coat collars. And maybe work gloves. Or something. I didn’t bother to investigate the idea — but I’m not a Scorpio, either.

un

sagSagittarius: The waiter was passing, and I asked for some more of the special sauce. It was burger night at a local place, not quite fully a dive and yet, not quite fully am over-priced chain. "Hey," I asked, "more of this. And just what is this stuff, anyway?" He grinned and returned with another small tub of the condiment.

"Chipotle Crack Mayo." One taste, and you’re hooked? I can’t say for sure. As I rolled the taste around in my mouth, I started to get visions of what it really was, like, Miracle Whip, with cayenne and a dusting of chipotle salsa. Smoky, strong and potent, yet mild, too. That smoked-flavor from the jalapeno, enough heat to be interesting, and yet, smooth, too, with that silky essence of mayo.

I’m not saying that this new year is going to be like this smooth, smooth, silky and yet, just enough spice to be interesting, but it certainly could happen. The problem is this next couple of days? It’s like my favorite "chipotle crack mayo," it’s really good stuff. But it’s also highly addictive, and the real secret? That suer-secret restaurant ingredient? You don’t want to know, it’s something like Miracle Whip.

un

All Rights Reserved
copyright (c) 2007, 2008 Kramer Wetzel, for astrofish.net









< !DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.01 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/html4/loose.dtd">



1.3.08

banner

Fishing Guide to the Stars
By Kramer Wetzel
(c) 2007-2008 Kramer Wetzel for astrofish.net
For the week starting: 1.3.2008

"What you do still betters what is done."
Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale [IV.iv.135]

Summary of the year ahead? That was last week’s introduction, in a nutshell. (Upcoming locations.)

un

capCapricorn: It was a kid, at a restaurant, a loud and boisterous Tex-Mex place, less known for haute cuisine and better known as a place to drink, eat, drink, and be merry. A family of four was at an adjacent table, mom and dad we getting their drink on, and the two children, the quietest, very patiently explained to the server, "Yes, it is my birthday today."

Little Capricorn child. Quiet. Demur. Reserved. Just wait, as I can see, about 30 years into that child’s future, he’s going to be the loudest, drunkest, most out-of-control party animal — then. But for now? Quiet. Reserved. Demur. Almost bashful and shaking his head at the "adults" who are not acting very adult-like.

Way it goes, too, for lots of Capricorn. Someone has to be the voice of reason. Perish the thought that the adults would act like adults. But someone has to be reasonable, calm, and in control of themselves. Capricorn? That’s your goal this week. Maybe not all year long, but for the time being? Act like an adult. Somebody needs a cool head when everyone else starts to panic.

un

aqu Aquarius: I was thinking about a scene, I was digging through my images to find a way to explain this. I have this picture, and it’s a little jolly Santa, just small plastic guy, really, and he’s parked on the roof of a building. It took several tries to frame the shot just right, but there was Santa, up on the roof, and next to him, the top of a palm tree.

Tropical tree. Always liked the way those two lined up. Think about Santa with his jolly red outfit, fur-trimmed hat, and all that. Look, Xmas is long over, but the spirit of the season lives on. Or, like some of my neighbors, on and on.

What this is about, though, is that original image, the Santa on a building with a the fronds of palm tree as a backdrop. I’m sure I’ve posted that picture on the website, someplace. Or maybe not. Doesn’t much matter, though, as what it evokes, the image, Santa and the palm fronds, there’s an enduring image and study in contrasts.

un

pis Pisces: it was a new logo to me, and don’t ruin it all by sending in the name of some band/corporate outfit/artist who uses this as their logo. It was a sort of a Virgen de Guadalupe, only the figure was crossed with the Grim Reaper. So it was sort of a Virgen de Grim Reaper. The adornments, and the rays radiating outward from the figure? And the dressings? Pure Virgen de Guadalupe. The death-mask skull? The long scythe at one side? Grim Reaper.

So it was an odd combination of elements, and one guy, over on the east side, had this figure etched in the back-glass of his pickup. The grim reaper is a frightful figure, but the other image that is similar is "old man time," and we just got done with his holiday, the New Year. Time to think about that, too. As the next year is unfolding at a furious pace, but nothing seems to go quite like it’s supposed to? Think about those two elements that don’t seem to belong together.

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ariAries: There’s a young lass, a Sagittarius, actually, and she used to work at the Amy’s Ice Cream at the Austin Airport. I was flying someplace, home for the holidays, maybe, and she was working the first shift. Not many people order ice cream before noon, but I was. When I walked up to the counter, it was devoid of anyone. She rambled up, sized me up, gave me a perfunctory "hello," then she proceeded to crawl over the counter. It wasn’t the view that I was afforded, although, oh never mind, she had garish purple eye shadow make-up stuff. I’m not sure what it’s called.

She looked at me, sort of tired, then briefly explained that the trip around the counter, back through the security area, the keyed entrance, the "back door" to where she worked? Way too much trouble. It was just easier, on a slow winter morning, to crawl over the counter. Saved her hundreds of paces, maybe even thousands, and while it might not be the most sanitary, she was already wiping down the counter where she crawled over. And she was being polite enough about it all, too.

She remembered me when I told her she was still a Sagittarius with a good future in ice cream. The eye make-up was amusing, the banter was slightly brittle, and the idea of taking a good short cut? My fine Aries friend, if you would like too crawl over the counter because it saves about three-quarters of a mile? I’d do it. Just this once. Wash your hands before returning to work.

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tauTaurus: This was really a scene from last fall, but I’m going to use it now because it matches up with the planets and all, the way this year is going to start out. There was a family, apparently a family, and they were all crammed into one side of the booth at a restaurant. Tex-Mex place, passable hot sauce, outstanding taco platter.

The family was slightly sunburnt, the dad and son were wearing "sportsmen shirts," as was the wife. I glanced over, pulled the napkin down in my lap to cover my bare legs — I was obviously wearing shorts — and the dad figure looked over me. "We were just down at the coast, fished this morning, even, and this booth is right under the AC vent." He smiled. I smiled. We chatted about coastal bay fishing. Their food arrived. They stayed, huddled on one side, while eating dinner. It’s a kind of togetherness, but it’s not exactly foisted upon you in the manner you’d like. Like huddling for warmth under the AC. With a sunburn. From coastal fishing.

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gemGemini: It was rather warm the other afternoon. I’m sure, since I was sweating, that a few people had the AC on in their cars. Defrost in the morning, AC in the afternoon, then the heater at night. Not all that unusual. Get used to it. South Texas weather. I passed a car, long, low, lean sedan looking kind of a car, expensive and expansive, too.

It was buzzing. Humming, really, or so it sounded to me. Maybe I was just addled by the heat. Such noises, like a cooling fan working overtime? That usually doesn’t bother me much. Doesn’t usually fall into my observation, but on a day in late December, just last year, it did catch my attention.

My immediate family, they all drive "hybrid" vehicles. So I’m used to odd noises, or no noises, coming out from under the hood. On that luxury boat of a sedan, though, it just struck me as a odd. Especially at this time of the year, but we had a few warm days.Like that car, though, the four-door version of Gemini needs its little cooling fan. You need to cool off, even though you are already — to an untrained eye and ear — at rest. Mars dictates you need a little cooling off before you jump to conclusions. Or overheat.

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canCancer: I was noticing, after talking to this one guy, he was fishing from a kayak, that most of the guys I know who fish, they all have two or more wives. First wife never takes. Second or third wife, those seem to be doing much better. I’m not sure why this is, either. I have my own theories, but my notes are based on astrological data, and the signs, rather than choices fishermen make in mates. Or the women who choose fishermen as mates.

Maybe, too, it’s more like fishing, you know, with relationships, have to try a few variations before we all hit that right combination. Right attraction factors, strong enough to endure, light enough to be fun, it’s all matter of finding the right gear. Or the correct mate. And when Mars does what he’s doing? That’s like a snarled fishing line.

The true measure of a fisherman is how he behaves when that happens. Me? I’m inclined to patiently unsnarl the knotted mess. Unless there’s a lot of action, and at that point, I’m more interested in getting another line out, so I’ll put off the patient work until a little later. In Cancer? The way the year is going to start? I’d be patient, now.

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leo Leo: I’m unsure of how close you pay attention to what is going on. I’m not sure you look back over the archives to see where you’ve been. I’m reminded about one singer/songwriter, from around here, actually, a little west of here, but not too far west, and he was lamenting how he always got in trouble.

Every time another singer/songwriter was performing, there was always a fight. Wasn’t either guy, but always happened around them. "Yeah, the boys are back in town," only, this isn’t a cheap trick, it’s the observation by the wistful local singers. How trouble just seems to follow them around.

The fact that the guy was on stage with a guitar, and out back was a tour bus? I kind of lose a little empathy, there. But it makes for good stage banter, even if the tale isn’t too believable. Which is the problem, here in Leo. The tale, either you’re telling it, or you’re listening to it, but the tale isn’t really that accurate. Maybe it is true, but a lot of us? We’re just taking it at entertainment value, only. I’m not saying that there isn’t a shred of truth, but be a little more alert, to the broadcast of such stories. Real or imagined.

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vir Virgo: "Hey, sounds like a TB clinic in here!" A Virgo was visiting, and I’d just gotten done with a major sweeping up of the place. So dust was, literally, hanging in the air. I was coughing. A neighbor was over, and he was choking on the dust, and partially, in disbelief that I was actually cleaning. So it did sound like a TB clinic.

Only, when was the last time I heard that expression? Not a common form of allusion, not anymore. Sort of out-of-date. Weird, even. A little history and few older films and I can get stuff like that comment. But even I will find it a tad odd. As will anyone who’s ever been to my place, I’m neat, just not particularly tidy (not a Virgo). So the dust flying is appropriate at time like this. For me, it was an annual cleaning. A jump on the spring cleaning. For you? Call it what you want, but the idea is to hurry and start the new year correctly. Which is hard with Mars backwards. You can do it, I know.

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lib Libra: The air freshener, it was part of an assortment, all the same size and shape. But the one that caught my eye? There was a fragrance called "cowboy." The fragrant aroma of a cowboy, I’m not sure that’s what I want a car to smell like. A truck? Sure. But then, trucks, at least around here, the trucks tend to smell like work trucks in the first place.

What would a real "cowboy" fragrance be? Part horse manure, part cow manure, some hay, maybe aromatic sheep by-product, in certain areas. Rope, usually manila rope, worn leather, old motor oil and spilled beer? All that plus some more delicate fragrances, mixed in, like snuff, or chewing tobacco, coffee, bourbon, it all adds up. But once again, I’m not sure that I want an authentic cowboy smell.

As I was working on this, though, I wonder, could it be an air freshener strong enough to cover up that cowboy smell? Maybe. But I doubt it. I think the stuff, I didn’t buy or sample it in any way, I just figure that it was more about the romance of the cowboy smell. But not the real thing. As the year starts to unfold, make sure you’re on top of the scenario. Like that cowboy fragrance, real? Or are they just selling the dream?

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sco Scorpio: It was a little before Xmas when I saw this sign, it said, "Taxidermy – Game Processing." Underneath the sign, there was an Xmas banner that read, "Fur and Leather Gifts on Sale now." I’m not sure what the connection was, but I was thinking about Scorpio, with the recent movement, or in some cases, lack of movement, of the planets. And to be honest, none of the planets ever really stand still, they just slow down, relative to us.

Those two signs, though, I was wondering if the folks who came in for game processing, if they realized that the trimmings left over from their processed game, maybe that material was finding its way into other products? I’m not saying that this is the case, I never stopped to investigate, as I don’t have any game that needs to be processed.

I don’t aim to have any, either. But as a good Scorpio, and you’re reading this, so you are a good Scorpio, I want you to think about how you can combine elements from two worlds, and run them together. It’s about foraging, and making the best of what’s left over. Like taking some of those cast-off, otherwise known as biological waste, materials and putting them to good use. Like fur trimmings for coat collars. And maybe work gloves. Or something. I didn’t bother to investigate the idea — but I’m not a Scorpio, either.

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sagSagittarius: The waiter was passing, and I asked for some more of the special sauce. It was burger night at a local place, not quite fully a dive and yet, not quite fully am over-priced chain. "Hey," I asked, "more of this. And just what is this stuff, anyway?" He grinned and returned with another small tub of the condiment.

"Chipotle Crack Mayo." One taste, and you’re hooked? I can’t say for sure. As I rolled the taste around in my mouth, I started to get visions of what it really was, like, Miracle Whip, with cayenne and a dusting of chipotle salsa. Smoky, strong and potent, yet mild, too. That smoked-flavor from the jalapeno, enough heat to be interesting, and yet, smooth, too, with that silky essence of mayo.

I’m not saying that this new year is going to be like this smooth, smooth, silky and yet, just enough spice to be interesting, but it certainly could happen. The problem is this next couple of days? It’s like my favorite "chipotle crack mayo," it’s really good stuff. But it’s also highly addictive, and the real secret? That suer-secret restaurant ingredient? You don’t want to know, it’s something like Miracle Whip.

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About the author: Born and raised in a small town in East Texas, Kramer Wetzel spent years honing his craft in trailer park in South Austin. He hates writing about himself in third person. More at KramerWetzel.com.