For the Week of 10/24-30/2002

“Spit on him whilst he lies, and lies, and lies.”
Shakespeare’s Richard II [IV.i.75-6]

I’m thinking, “I’ve got to find a new source of quotes, or maybe, dig a little deeper.” Venus and her apparent retrograde action does that. One of my svelte Scorpio friends came up with this one, “Which Shakespeare play is quoted in the movie ‘Victor Victoria’?” For a shot at an “El-Cheapo” planet profile, send the correct answer to the cat, as she’s the final arbiter of such matters. Good for one week only. Usual disclaimers apply.

Aries: I was up in Fort Worth the other weekend, one of the places on the planet that I really enjoy. Went and saw some music one night. It’s sort of interesting, no matter how I try to escape the label, everything comes back to a familiar country and western twang. What can one expect from a town with the unlikely nickname of “Cow Town”? Now, while we were all out at the cowboy dance palace, I noticed — in fact several of us notice this — a peculiar choice in sartorial splendor. It was a person who was a little on the heavier side of life, and this particular character was wearing a pair of faux snakeskin pants. The skin’s scales in some places, they were sparkled plastic. It’s not exactly an attractive look. Sure did interest one cowboy, but other than that one character, like everyone in our party, we were all choking back laughter. Fashion statements are important, and you want to make a statement with what you wear. But there’s a caution, too, sometimes, a little too much is just a little too much. It’s not like I have any room to be a fashion critic myself, but what I’m urging you to do is consider what it you’re planning to wear — or however it is that you make your statement. Shiny, snakeskin pants might not be the best idea as long as Mars is in opposite you in Libra.

Taurus: Bull riding is a popular event in rodeo. Not only that, but even if you’ve never gotten on the back of a bull in an arena, or even if you’ve never actually seen this sort of athletic activity, you can still understand that it’s an intensely popular form of sport and entertainment in my neighborhoods. Unfortunately, you’ve felt like you’ve been sitting on the back of one of these bulls, in just such an arena as of late. It’s more about Venus, and less about bull, too. The deal is, with a bull ride, you just have to hang on for 8 seconds. That’s what it’s like, most of this weekend, is like a bull ride, just hang on for about 8 seconds, and then the excitement’s over. Then there’s the style that’s important, too, and you want to make sure you’re in good enough shape for that ride. There’re points for how you ride that critter. Given that the problem is Venus, and given that the problem is what to do when the 8 second ride is over, my suggestion is you start worrying about the dismount.

Gemini: That portion of your Gemini life, which revolves around “work,” it ain’t been going very smooth, not for the last few weeks. I always get one note from one Gemini who claims I’ve got it all backwards. Other than her, however, the rest of you haven’t had it too easy at work. Not really big stuff, just lots of minor, irritating — little — problems. Relax this weekend. “I can’t relax! I’ve got troubles right up to here!” I get corrected. Those minor problems are in the process of resolving themselves in a good fashion, here, pretty quick-like. No, really, it’s getting better, inch by inch. None of this occurs overnight, but one day, after this weekend, I hope, you’ll find that it starts work a lot better at work. That formerly golden tongue you had, the way you can honey-coat troubles and make the whole mess more palatable? That ability is back, starting next week. You can get your way again. Apparently, this is important to some people. The other ability that comes careening back is that aforementioned skill-set you have, that wonderful Gemini ability to confuse us with volume wherein quantity is more desirable than quality. You can start to smooth over formerly rough spots. You can sugarcoat those difficult items and make the whole mess a little bit easier for us to deal with. Sugar might not be good for the teeth, but you’re not going to be the one chewing the troubles, not after this weekend.

Cancer: The world of “on-line-dating” is a frightening place to me. Singles, cruising around, looking for love, and probably looking for love in all the wrong places. The part about doing this sort of cruising online is that you can sometimes hear about certain success stories. Not that I’m cynical, but I expect it to be successful only one in about hundred times. Which isn’t to suggest that it’s not without some merit. Sure, let your mouse [or other pointing, cursor device] do the walking. Where Mars and Venus are right now, though, there might be some trouble. Like one of friends who has, at one time or another, achieved a remarkable degree of success with this sort of endeavor, you’re going to encounter a few blind spots, a few dead ends. Two weeks ago, my Cancer friend was describing this perfect match, found online. On paper, or rather on-screen, it was perfect. The problem? In the REal World, the magic of the computer world just didn’t make it. “Man, we pointed, but when we got together, it just didn’t click.” Might be the message for the time being, pointed, but didn’t quite click.

Leo: One Leo hates me. Not “strong dislike” but she has virulent hatred for me. I’ve gotten to the point where I’m amused by the weekly diatribe sent in. I started to regulate all the mail to the cat, as she displays a more philosophical attitude about Leo flame mail. The cat rolls over, puts one pay over her face, and goes back to sleep. She ignores most of her mail. The deal you’ve got, and what’s going on, it wouldn’t hurt you to listen to my cat, or, better yet, follow the cat’s actions. Just put one Leo paw over your eyes, roll over, and go back to sleep. Rest yourself. Like me, someone you want to listen to you is not listening. That’s a problem. To make this worse, yelling, hollering, and caterwauling will avail you no discernible results. It’s really a Venus issue, not much more than anything else. Instead of making noise, imitate the cat and pointedly ignore the problem.

Virgo: A while back, someone tried to break into a trailer here by cutting a hole in the screen. A few days latter, more holes appeared in some other screens. At first, this was thought to be the work of local drug addicts, cutting the holes for breaking and entering. Subsequent investigation revealed that these were not holes for B&E, but someone was using the actual screening for something. Again, the suspicions fell on local thugs, probably using the little patches of screens for their crack pipes and other combustible materials. The screen on trailer is usually eye level or even higher. What the real culprit turned out to be was some hungry and ingenious squirrels, gnawing their way to harbored foodstuffs. Now that the real culprit had been ascertained it made the control and containment process a lot easier. Call up the wildlife division of the parks department, not the overworked [and underpaid] local police. One resident here, though, got a little confused about the whole issue of screen, drug addicts, thugs and squirrels. He was sure that the squirrels were high on drugs. Now, while Venus is still getting straightened out, be careful about what you assume. “The squirrels are smoking dope?”

Libra: I get exposed to a lot of different musical types. It’s part and parcel of living where I do. Not so long ago, I ran across something that was definitely different, it was a DJ sampling, rendering, mix of various Latino/Conjunto/Tex-Mex musics. Looped back on itself, like a technotronic dance mix, only the source material was all Spanish, all Latino, all Tex-Mex stuff. To be fair, I’ve always wondered why the current crop of Country and Western stuff doesn’t pay more homage to some of the roots, the various forms of Latin music. This one CD, though, it did. It covered just about everything. Pretty strange mix. A little flamenco, the brass, the strings, and even a sprinkling of steel drums. Don’t even ask me how all this stuff fits together. Whoever assembled the mix did a masterful job of pullling all that disparate material into a single, coherent sound. It had a hard, driving beat, probably running around 130 beats per minute. Mars is doing the same to you that the music did to me. I was hopping around, humming the tune, listening as the stuff repeated itself over and over, realizing that I should recognize something…. But I was never able to put a finger on what it was. You probably won’t be able to identify the stuff you’re hearing, or what it is that’s moving you, but move you must. It’s Mars, and he’s motivating you to action. Take action. Listen to that dance beat and move.

Scorpio: What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever gotten in the mail? I realize that this can be a tricky question, and it does have some ominous overtones, but I was thinking about this very subject. Strangest thing to ever come across the ubiquitous “in” box at Fishing Guide to the Stars World Headquarters [and bait barn] was a package with nothing but duct tape in it. Strange. I’m not sure what the message was supposed to be about. Stick to it? Patch something up? Was this a symbolic gesture? Was this a literal message? To this day, one of the rolls of tape is still here, and I wonder about it. This was long before the time when obscure packages in the mail were all suspect. So let’s take this on a metaphorical level rather than a literal level. You’ve got something you’ve just received, and you’re not sure what to do with it. Instead of worrying about the stuff, instead of trying to decipher the message — remember that Venus is still messing with your cerebral cortex — think about a practical, everyday application for this strange cargo. And what is the strangest thing that’s ever come on your Scorpio doorstep? Better yet, how did you put that weird load to work? Your answer is the best answer. Put whatever it is that shows up, make that thing work for you.

Sagittarius: It’s getting towards that time of year when I have to make a forced switch from sandals as my primary form of footwear to boots as the preferred form of walking attire. The cool nights necessitate this drastic change. Going from flat footwear to something with high heels is a challenge for a graceful yet inherently clumsy Archer type, especially for one like me. I’ve been known to trip on the boots from time to time, until I get used to walking in them. It’s like a brand new, learning experience, all over again. Happens every autumn, just about now. I usually trip myself a few times before I get used to the seemingly new things on my feet. I’ll stumble around the trailer for a bit, until I’m used to the idea of walking in shoes again. The cat sees the boots, takes a perch on the futon, and decides not to try and tangle with my feet for a while. She’s smart like that. Not everyone will as smart as the house cat [“office manager” is her tax title]. Look: with those boots, or whatever it is that’s causing you stumble a little? Take it easy. There’s a little bit of a learning curve as you reacquaint yourself with something that’s not exactly new, but then, it could feel new. Like me and wearing shoes of any kind, you might have to get used to the idea before you’re ready to be seen in public.

Capricorn: I had a brief flirtation with certain, “classical” forms of music. No, I’m not referring to opera, or classical music, I was thinking more along the lines of “Hair Metal” from the 1980’s. It’s an interesting genre, strictly from a sociological point of view. More hype than music, more style than content. At least one astrologer I’ve consulted with seems too feel that way about Capricorn, too. I can’t say that I usually agree with this other astrologer, either, not about Capricorn, at least, not usually. However, given with what Venus and Mars are up to, you can come across as having a lot more style than most. The flip side of that comment is that there’s a lot less substance than most. That’s a problem. Style and flash are great. Content, though, that’s important, as well. Now, there are going to be some less than friendly non-Capricorn folks who are out to suggest you’re all bang and no buck. I know different. The problem is that trying to prove this to them doesn’t seem to work, not given the planets’ dispositions. You can make a big noise about this situation, but that’s all you’re going to do. All noise, nothing to prove. The deal is you look great, but precious few folks appreciate that. Therefore, sense no one seems to be appreciating your content, do your best to look good. Sometimes, the way you present yourself is important. Sometimes, it’s more important to look good than to feel good. Go ahead, look good, and see if you don’t wind up feeling good, despite what others say.

Aquarius: I was in a cowboy bar the other night. I was there for the dancing and the way the female form looks in those tight western jeans and cowboy boots. It’s what works for me. I checked my own attire, to make sure I was properly clothed, in the uniform, as it were: boots, jeans, belt, yoke shirt with [fake] pearl snaps. Long tresses cascading down and over my collar — halfway down my back. That’s usually a problem for me as my hair’s way too long to belong in such a place. Then there was something I forgot: hat. Before you head out to the cowboy discotheque, make sure you’ve got everything that you’re supposed to have. Maybe you’re not even heading out for cowboy, western bar, maybe you’re off to a business meeting. Make sure you’ve got the right clothing on, the correct uniform. Appearance is a consideration as this week sees the Venus thing going on, what you wear can help keep you out of trouble. I could have avoided spurious stares and a few uncalled for comments if I had just remembered to wear a hat. The way you pitch yourself over the next couple of days is important. Make sure you’re dressed for the part, all the way: remember the hat.

Pisces: My accent varies with time and place. After I’ve been in portions of west Texas, I tend to drawl and twang in a much more pronounced manner. It’s just a matter of place. After running around with a collection of girls from the Northeast, my speech pattern gets a lot more clipped. Less drawl, more direct and too the point. Now then, your Pisces speech pattern is starting to take on the local color, and I mean that in a big way. If you’ve been in West Texas, then you’re going to be drawing out those vowels, and certain expressions that are usually one syllable long suddenly have a few extra beats inserted in them. “Well, yes,” becomes, “Waaaaaa-lll, yay-es….” What this amounts to is that you’re giving someone a go-ahead, a definitive, affirmative answer to a question. The local accent, though, that might draw out your answer. What is supposed to be a quick and simple affirmations, a simple and direct verbal command becomes more of a statement. It could sound like you’re vacillating a little. It could sound like you’re not too sure. It could sound like you’re drawing out an answer in order to buy some time. As lyrical and poetic, as musical as I find a decent West Texas drawl, I’m not sure that your counterparts will understand this sort of idle chatter. Get to the point. Cut to the chase. Instead of one of my usual, “Well, yes, Ah reckon so…” you might want to try a more succinct, “yes,” as the answer to the question.

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

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