For the week of: 12/17-23/2001
“‘Tis the mind that makes the body rich
And as the sun breaks through the darkest clouds
So honor peereth in the meanest habit.”
Shakespeare’s Taming of the Shrew [IV.iii.170]

‘Twas the week before the night before Xmas, and all through the trailer… never mind. But keep in mind, as the winter solstice approaches, there’s a strange little quirk in humor that starts to take place. Laughter is sometimes the best form of holiday cheer. We highly recommended: Robert Earl Keen’s Holiday Book.

Aries: Hope you’ve been a good boy or girl all year long. After looking at your chart, I wonder if you’ve really been that good, but I guess that’s not too important right now. You know you’re a fire sign, right? And the archetype of flame is the best use of your energy. In computer slang, “flame” means one thing, but I thinking along a slightly different line, more like what a BBQ grill looks like before the coals are ready for a slow-cooked-goodness. So you’ve got a hot situation which will cool off some. This isn’t all bad, see, it’s like the BBQ metaphor I’m so fond of: the hot flame becomes a slow, simmering set of coals, and those glowing embers are fine for slow-smoked goodies. So even if the tempo doesn’t quite match your expectations, the end result is still something quite tasty. Slow down, and enjoy the process some.

Taurus: Ever watch fishing shows? They can really be pretty boring, unless you have specific interest in what’s happening. I know, I’ve tried to engage my neighbor’s interest since he’s the one with cable TV access. If it’s not football, he’s not going to watch. But there’s always something reassuring about watching other fishing guides working their way along a river front, along a lake front, some place besides my home turf, and watching them as they miraculously reel in huge fish after huge fish. What they don’t tell you is that the 23 minutes of video footage was shot over a three-day span. In other words, these guys don’t just sit there and catch something on every cast, they only record the best of the best. You never see the small fry fish, the ones they throw back. Now, this next few days is like one of those shows, you’ve got a few high points. And if you were filming it, you’d get about 20 minutes of great clips, real high points, and some winning fish. The problem is there are several less than wonderful moments, which are not picturesque, as well. Just turn the Taurus tape off at those times, save the good stuff, and don’t worry about the stuff that needs to be thrown back.

Gemini: Somebody had to nag you, and I’m sorry it was me who got stuck with the job of being a pest, but if you were listening (reading), then you got the hint about work, and as this week slowly gets older and older, and as we march towards that big holiday, you’ll notice that work starts to reap some real rewards. See? I told you so. I realize that hard work has this theoretical quality about it, and I’m sure you’re like me, you understand the theory just fine, but you’ve never had a real interest in putting this hypothetical stuff into the real world. But hard work does see some rewards. Soon. I’m hoping before the end of the week, just like you’re hoping. In fact, I’m hoping for you. My wish for you is surprise Xmas bonus, like a little envelope you almost throw away, it seems like it’s too small to contain anything more than a mere slip of paper, and that mere slip of paper, why, what do you know? It’s fat check of an Xmas bonus. Too bad I have no Gemini employees here at the office, otherwise I’d have to make good on my promises.

Cancer: “Weekends were made for…” I can’t suggest that an old advertising jingle is what works best here. But it’s not a bad idea. See: the weekend promises to be much fun — it’s just the intervening week that’s a problem. If you were another sign, like, maybe if you were a Gemini, or even Virgo, then being in two places at once wouldn’t be a problem, but you’re a dear, sweet Cancer. It’s hard to figure out what works best, and there seems to be a more than annoying sentiment yanking hard on the the old Cancer heart’s strings. Here’s the hint: work first, then play. In as much as I like to reverse the way I do that, I’d do the work stuff first — for a change, then plan on playing. Since the weekend looks good, that gives you plenty of time to get ready. Get the hint? A couple of days of labor, then a couple of days to play. In that order. Won’t do anything for my popularity poll, but I’m more worried about you having a good time. Get the order straight, and everything falls nicely into place.

Leo: What’s life without a decent obsession or two? And what would the holiday’s be like if you didn’t have a semi-mythical wish list? So get out your trusty tablet of paper, and that Number Two Pencil (what happened to the number one pencil? Isn’t that what a Leo should be using?) Grab all this stuff, and think about what it was you saw last week, last month, last year, that one person, place or thing that you really, really wanted. Make note of it. Now, you know and I know, that whatever ruling force there is in the universe, what ever guiding hand that might exist, this should deliver your number one item on the wish list to you. Of course, there’s a cautionary note, too, see: if you really got what you wanted, you might be a little unhappy with the results. Careful what you wish for, you might just get it exactly like you wished for it. I wouldn’t be making noise about this if there wasn’t something coming along — during the next few days, wherein you get what you want. Or you get what you need, and I’m pretty sure that works out better than getting what you wanted. Trust me.

Virgo: I walked into a store, one of those ubiquitous shops which sell a lot of stuff, none of which seems to be very important. Cute stuff, smells nice, looks pretty, but ultimately, I don’t need another candle holder in some artistic shape. I don’t need more scented candles with their special artificial floral smell. “Just like nature!” the label exclaims. Right. I don’t need any colorful swatches of cloth, of varying degrees of texture with strange patterns, imported from lord only knows what third world country. “Oh but this is the latest and greatest….” Bless those people who work retail during this holiday season. Bless their souls. I did that once, and I ran screaming from the store, never to return. Now, what’s this got to do with your astrological week? You’re going to be face to face with a customer just like me. Maybe you don’t really work in retail, and maybe you don’t really have to face a customer just like me, but you’ll hit on some situation which is familiar. Be nice. Try to be as kind as possible. Do your Virgo best to help. See, all that nice stuff? It pays off about the time the Sun slides into Capricorn, a little later this week. Promise.

Libra: Get the shopping out of the way. Nothing is worse, on Christmas Eve Eve, the night before the night before, nothing is worse than heading on down to the local corner convenience store, hoping to to find some kind of gift. It’s not like this is the best place in the world to shop for that one special person. It’s not like this is the best place to find something really endearing. “Here, honey, I got you some beef jerky.” Think about how that sounds. To be sure, it pleases me to no end, but I’m a special case. And in your Libra heart, you knew you should’ve started a little earlier. Get as much out of the way, whether it’s shopping for me, yourself, or that someone special, get as much out of the way so you can relax on the weekend. Got that? Do it now so you don’t have to worry about it later. Then there’s always this one Libra who reads this stuff at the end of the week, and see? I told you should’ve gotten to it earlier.

Scorpio: “Dude, you’re the greatest!” I know you’ve heard it before, and I know that you’re a little suspicious when you hear me utter those words, especially in reference to Scorpio. But I’m serious now. You’re great. You’re on top of the world. You’re in form. Your style is graceful. You’re instincts are on right on target. Can I suggest anything else which is good? No, I mean it. “Kramer is saying awfully nice things about Scorpio right now, is he okay?” Yes, I’m fine, but you’re even better. The deal is, it’s party time. The deal is, you need to have some fun. The deal is, wait, there’s no deal here. It’s just good all over the place for Scorpio. One or two might grumble some, but I’m suggesting that things are basically, actually, really, just looking up and up for you. Not everyone shares your wonderful outlook, so be a little cautious about spreading your Xmas time cheer, but you get the idea. You look better and better. No, really, you do.

Sagittarius: I’d like to suggest that I follow astrology charts pretty closely, and seeing as how I’m a Sagittarius myself, I keep waiting on this good stuff I keep predicting, I mean, it’s written in the stars, right? So if it’s written in the stars, why aren’t I getting more good stuff? But this isn’t a forum for my complaints, I keep suggesting that things are particularly good over here in Sagittarius. No, really, they are supposed to be pretty good. It’s time for a little party, and I’ve been thinking about having an office party. Seeing as how my office is either the back portion of a boat, or the dock, or the office in the trailer, I’m not sure where we are going to get all these people together. But the idea is there. Since the good things don’t seem to be happening, maybe it’s time to make them happen. If you’re like me, and if you’ve been waiting on the good stuff to fall out of the sky, and it just doesn’t seem to be happening, well then…. Well then, let’s shake the tree. And see what falls down? It’s party time, and let’s have a little holiday merriment right now. It might just be up to us — Sagittarius types — to make the whole thing happen.

Capricorn: It’s not the big things you have to watch out for, it’s the little things that are a problem. Or, since most of the Capricorn’s I know tend to be a little controversial at times, it’s not the big things which need celebrating, it’s the little things that are worth rejoicing about. It’s not the “new car” sized package under the tree, it’s the little things which are worth being glad about. A green light in traffic, a happy Santa Claus figure, the way the stars seem so bright on the winter nights (hey, it’s winter up in the Northern Hemisphere, you know), it’s the little things. If you’re getting all worked up over some big deal, stop, pause, reflect on the little things, and enjoy it. It’s not like the planets are in a particular pattern to confound you this week, and as the week gets older, you get to feeling a little younger, even though — yes, even though — you’ve got a birthday coming up soon. Enjoy!

Aquarius: Congratulations! At least, I think I’m supposed to be congratulating you, right? I did get the right Aquarius, didn’t I? You’re set. You’re done. The holiday madness is upon other people in full force, and you’re immune to it all because, like a miraculous deal, you’ve followed all my suggestions for the past few weeks, and you can kick your Aquarius boots up on the table, relax, take it easy, and you know what? There isn’t anything you’ve forgotten. Right? Right. Just as soon as you get passed that second “right,” though, you realize there is still someone on the list, a particular person, someone you meant to pick up a trinket for, and you’ve forgotten him. Or her. Or even it, as the case may be. One year, I remembered a certain girlfriend’s dog, got him a box of dog cookie treats. Made a lot of points with the dog. Didn’t do too well as I forgot the girlfriend’s gift, but hey, at least I made one tail wag that night. And it made for interesting tale telling later. In order not wind up in the dog house yourself, maybe check one more time, but I’m betting you’re way ahead of the curve this holiday, despite the other influences.

Pisces: One of the biggest events in the cowboy life, the western lifestyle some of us lead, one of the biggest deals is the annual rodeo in Ft. Worth. That’s still a few weeks away, I mean, it could be a month or more before the big event up in Ft. Worth, but in Pisces land, it feels like you’re already working out for big ride. Now, your big ride could be the more tame sports like barrel racing, or it could be something much wilder, like attempting to ride a bull. Given that Mr. Mars is giving you a work out, this could be a tough time. I realize that the January event is a long ways off, but it looks like you’re getting ready to get saddled up for this now. It’s either you’re getting saddled up, or, for one particular Pisces, you’re getting saddle sore because it seems like Ft. Worth is a long way away, and if it’s a long ride, you’ve taken it upon yourself to get headed in that direction now. Take a tip from the modern cowboy, instead of riding your horse all the way to the big event, just hook a horse trailer up to truck (or car) and pile the horse into the trailer. You’ll get there a lot faster — less sore, too. Hey, it’s Mars, he just begs for a rodeo allusion.

(c) Kramer Wetzel, 2000, 2001

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.

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