For the Week of 8/1-7/2002

"I will bite thee by the ear for that jest."
Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet [II..iv.78]

Leo: A Texas fishing license usually runs from August to August. Now think about this, I'm taking somebody out fishing on the last weekend that the old license is good, costs about two dollars, and it's only going to be good for one more weekend. Here's the deal: failure to have that little piece of paper results in a fine of over 200 dollars. Now the way the luck is running, do you want to gamble saving the two dollars, just so you can get a new license in another couple of weeks, a license that's good for a whole year? Knowing this, don't you think a game warden or two would be out there, picking up some extra dollars? Let's take our little projections one step further. You follow my advice and score yourself a license. We're at the lake. There are no guys from the "fish and game" department. [It's the middle of the summer, it's hot, there's not a lot of big fish, either.] You're thinking that you just wasted the price of an almost out-of-date license. But if you didn't have one, knowing the way the luck's been running lately, do you really want to make a bet that you won't wind up with an expensive fine? Play it safe, stack the odds in your favor. Say "Hello," to Jupiter in Leo.

Virgo: Most of the fish I look at have no eyelids. Means they really don't do too well in the hot Texas summers, not with our searing sunlight. What I've found is that the fish like to spend the daylight hours in the weeds. Most of the reservoirs around here have this aquatic weed growing thick and problematic-like, all along the shallow "flats." Now, dragging a noisy lure across the top of those weeds, just below the surface, something like a "Rat-L-Trap," works great because the lure's noise attracts the fish and dragging that sucker right across the top of the weeds means the bigger fish can be coaxed to take a nibble. If you're fishing, you know what to do, find some noisy bait, and run it right across the top of those weeds. If you're working with metaphorical fish, then find the right bait. Then drag that bait across the top of the place where are all the fish are hiding out to escape the sun light. The right combination of temptation and gentle coaxing gets what you want. No amount of thrashing and tantrum-throwing will accomplish anything [except you'll feel better -- but maybe look a little foolish]. Find something you can tantalize with, you'll be a lot more successful.

Libra: You can never go wrong with plastic worms. Doesn't much matter where you are, plastic worms always seem to work, even when no other bait or lure seems to work at all. Those worms aren't glorious, in fact, some of them look pretty hideous. I've got one, basic brown worm with a tip that's bright, day-glo green. Last weekend, maybe it was the week before, I made a long cast, snaked the line around some tree stumps, and I was reeling it back in a big hurry, hoping not to get the line caught. I wasn't expecting that line to have anything interesting on it, other than some moss. As the lure reeled in closer to the boat, I noticed a shadow flickering behind it. It was being chased by a fish. Not a big fish, a little one. In fact, by the lake's standards, that wasn't really a fish, it was more like "bait" itself. "Go back and get your big brother," I said the fish and pulled my plastic worm up. But watching that guy chase after my cast proved a couple of points: the plastic worm, no matter how inglorious, was working. And the lake had fish. Don't be afraid to stick to tried and true methods of working. Sometimes, the old ways are the best ways. Like that one fish I could've caught, chasing my worm, you'll also get some sort of indication that your methods are working.

Scorpio: Your chart for the next few days, it looks like a long, slow slide downhill. That's not happy, but it's not that bad. there are two bumps in this slow roll down the hill. One of two things can happen with these obstacles in your downward path of progress. You can be rolling down hill, hit one of these bumps (next day or two) and catch a little air. Sort of like a comic spin through the atmosphere, bounce once or twice, and keep on sliding down hill. Or, if you adjust your body English just right, you can stomp your downward progress, and just come to rest against this obstacle. Depends on how you want to play it. If there ever was a typical Scorpio, then that typical Scorpio might come to a rest in front of that first obstacle, and never make any more forward progress this weekend, of the week after. The second bump is sometime next week, like next Tuesday or Wednesday. If you just bounce over the first bump, then you can also bounce over the second one. The other trick, the other point, the way to look at all of this, is to remember that even though you're sliding down a hill at a high rate of speed, you're supposed to enjoy this slide. It doesn't have to be bad, it could be a more expedient way to get from where you're at to where you want to be.

Sagittarius: One of my fishing buddies had to exchange one weekend day of "doing chores around the house for the wife," so he could have another day of fishing with me. In fact, his wife called me up and wanted to know just what I would be contributing to the chores, myself. I rather think not, as I try to stay out of other folks' domestic lifestyle choices. And I avoid manual labor whenever possible. I quipped back about the type I lure I was planning to use, and reeling in fishies was about as close as I could get to manual labor. I was hoping to use a big, old lure about the size of a trout. Heavy sucker, too. My fishing prognostication couldn't have been more right. That big lure, and the big fish on the end of that big lure, launching the boat, cleaning up afterwards, all of that was work, as far as I was concerned. So when someone tries to negotiate you into doing something that you really don't want to do, then I'm with you on this point: the answer is "no." But if someone is trying coerce you into doing something that sounds like fun, then by all means, go for. Like I pointed out, the concept of launching the boat, casting, reeling, hauling, posing for the pictures alongside the catch of the day, all of that is work. Even if you're only running the camera for someone else, it's all work. Enjoyable chores, but strictly speaking, classified as work, nonetheless. Pick and choose right now, do the stuff that's fun. You deserve it.

Capricorn: I suggest that there's a certain amount of the summer time [it is a hot summer in Texas, or it has been, last few days] that is best spent doing not a lot of anything. Last time I was down at the Texas Gulf coast, I was coming in from a hard day of bay fishing, and I was walking along the "boardwalk" [which looks a lot like concrete to me], and I noticed there were these three guys on a bench. One guy was furiously scribbling in his palm top computer, another was animatedly talking on a cell phone. The last guy was holding a shell up to his ear. Who would you rather be? In case the fancy picture is escaping you, let me take it one step further, Mr. Jupiter, that gas giant of a planet, has been opposite your sign for way too long. You get a little period of rest and reflection. Now, you can waste a lot of time and energy, trying to do "important things," like talking on the phone, or making notes in your computer. Or you can follow my advice, take it easy, maybe hold a sea shell up to your finely tuned Capricorn ear, and hear what it has to say. Pa Wetzel, the engineer, explained to me the mechanics of "hearing the ocean" in a sea shell. Doesn't matter much that it is merely an echo from your own ear, now does it?

Aquarius: It's hot [summer time in Texas, you know.] The fish really aren't biting. In fact, not much of anything is working the way you would like it to work. You can get frustrated about this, but this isn't one of the times I can use that nice line about "You look so cute when you're mad...." That sort of comment, even coming from me, is liable to earn me a quick punch. Matter of fact, just about anyone with that line, or even one that's vaguely similar is bound to irritate you even further. Now, physical violence is no answer. Physical activity, is, however, highly recommended. You can chose to get some exercise, or, if you're not careful, a little of such exercise might get chosen for you. It's like the time the truck died, out on a back road. Problem being, it was only about three miles back to the Bait Barn. Phone, a guy with a pickup, tools, and a willingness to help. I had to give the guy $20 for his efforts, but we had us a grand old time. After I walked back. It wasn't like this a planned excursion, either. Of course, I took the time as I meandered back to the Bait Barn to reveal in the glory of the Texas countryside. Scrub Oak, Live Oak, cows. Lots of cows. Made me hungry, seeing all that hamburger on the hoof. The deal is, you can either harness this energy in a useful way, or you'll wind up with an unplanned opportunity to put all this juice to work for you.

Pisces: I dated this one girl, for a little while, and she was what is typically called "high maintenance," as far as my dating experience goes. Wore me out. Always going out and doing things, the fine food, the entertainment, movies, movie stars, that sort of thing. Not exactly my cup of tea, so to speak. Nice dish, just not my cup size. Life in the fast lane. Now, I knew that there was trouble with one particular relationship when I loaded up my bags, and trundled myself off to the airport to go work at an event. I think I was headed to West Texas, at the time. I was going away for a weekend to work, me, work dawn to dusk, and into the night time as well. Get the picture? I was looking forward to work so I could get a break from the relationship. If I recall, the person I was dating was not amused by this analogy, either. Work is always a tedious topic to a Pisces like yourself, but it bears some examination at this point because there's something quite nice about it all. Work is more like a vacation, and the primary source of entertainment in your life is wearing you out. I know it's odd to go on a business trip to get a break from the routine, but try it. You'll be surprised how rested you feel when you return home.

Aries: It was a died-in-the-wool, true New York Yankee who taught me this expression, "Botta Bing!" I'm not sure I spelled it right, and I'm pretty sure there will be a copy editor [Virgo] someplace who wonders about that word. "It's not a real word, you know." I'm not sure of the roots of the expression, but it's one that I usually only hear from East Coast, big-city types. I'm not even really sure what it means. My buddy -- he used it as an expression that meant something like, "Oh yes! Just got the deal to work! Who is the man!" I also figure the expression has something to do with the way an old-time cash register used to ring when a sale was completed. Where I'm from, I'm not sure that it's the correct expression to use, but then, I'm not sure the best expression for this type of energy is really suitable for printing, either -- even for that guy from Brooklyn. Get the hint? Something's going on. You're winning, about to win, or will be winning shortly. From rough and tough to great and good, within the next few days.

Taurus: Late summer in Texas is hell. For that matter, by my standards, we're not even at late summer yet -- we're still in the middle of it. The deal is, I have this idealized summer weight. When I weigh that much on the scales in my own trailer [with a sagging bathroom floor], I know I look good in my fishing shorts, my hiking shorts, and my swimsuit. [As an odd side note, all three of those shorts are usually the same pair.] The problem is, the only clothing that's going to fit my "Ruebenesque" figure right now is the winter clothing. By winter clothing, I'm talking about those special pants I usually wear only between Thanksgiving and New Years. This can take a heavily symbolic meaning in your Taurus life, about the weight thing, and how you're approaching the supper table, or this can take a more realistic approach. Either way, the rate you're consuming something is what's important. It's also easy to talk about cutting back, but actually cutting back doesn't work that way. It looks good on paper, but really getting around to it is another problem. I'm urging you to have a little restraint for the next couple of days. You might not see a big change right away, but there will be a marked difference by the time the week's up. We'll both be back our svelte shapes before too long. Either that, or I'm buying extra large shorts.

Gemini: So many times, I've accused Gemini of being a flakey sign. I mean that in the tender, delicious way, too. I love the way your brain can skate from one topic to the next, the way the neurons fire up alongside your brain stem, and the way you nimbly leap from idea and concept to ideals and conceptualization. To me, in this case, "flaky" means "mental agility." The problem is, I'm a lone astrologer, a guy left to my own devices in a little trailer in South Austin, along the shores of the Colorado River. I truly appreciate the way you function. I understand, even applaud. With a buildup like that, you know there's some sort of downside. Not everyone is as appreciative as I am. Not everyone "gets it." Matter of fact, most of the folks just don't understand you at this point. It's not bad, unless you're really striving hard to make a point. Then it is bad. The more you talk, the more you gesture, the more the other people just don't get it. There's an amusing scenario, when I'm doing a phone reading, I'm wandering all over the trailer's living room (all of about 8 feet by ten feet), gesturing and gesticulating away. Arms waving around, hands stabbing at the air, all to make a point. But on the phone, this stuff is all lost. Tone it down, refine your approach, and you don't have to waste any energy on this communications. It's not getting through the way you planned.

Cancer: The fact that I live in a trailer has never made me popular with the rest of my family. For some reason, they tend to regard this living arrangement as a temporary, downhill slide into oblivion. Seeing as how I've been at Shady Acres for more than a few years, and seeing as how I've got little potted plants, a makeshift patio, and all the accouterments of home, all lined up here, I've sunk [or risen] to level of existence that I'm comfortable with. There's a real, added bonus, that I've found, and it won't go over too well with your Cancer sentiment, but when a new girlfriend shows up at the door, the illusion that she might be able to cohabitant with me is shattered by the size, interior decorating scheme, and general condition of the place. What is important, though, is that my choice in living arrangements makes for an exceedingly comfortable existence for both me and the cat. You're like me, you're probably going to do something that doesn't win you any favor with the immediate members of your family. You're not making points. They might nod, and mumble that you're "Just going through a phase." But like my choices, you're making some fairly careful selections, and it has to do with how you choose to live your life. Life in the Cancer Trailer, it's not all that bad. Maybe not everyone approves of your interior decorating, but whom do you have to please? Them? Or yourself? Hey, my Cancer friend, keep looking for Number One.

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.

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