For the Week of 10/31-11/6/2002

“Men/Are as the time is.”
Shakespeare’s King Lear [V.iii.31]

Happy Halloween. Going to be a long weekend, what with the weird stuff going on, and it being All Saints Day, and so forth.

Aries: Times have sure changed a lot. Used to be, what I looked forward to on Halloween was a chance to put on some sort of costume, and then see how much candy I could accumulate in a bag. Seemed like that was the big deal, just how much loot I could gather up. I never did like the candied apples, I failed to understand what was so attractive about them. For that matter, just an apple, slathered with sticky, caramel coating, and dumped into my trick or treat bag usually gathered up a whole host of other goodies, all stuck to it. That was a serious detriment. To this day, I don’t like candied apples. Mars works a lot like that candied apple in your trick or treat bag of loot: it’s a large, sticky orb, and everything, which you don’t want to, is sticking to it. I guess the real trick is to handle that sticky apple — and Mars — with a degree of caution. You’ve got a situation that demands some attention. Play it right, and you don’t wind up with a sugar-coated mess. But if you’re not careful, that caramel coating winds up all over everything.

Taurus: Got a couple of astrological problems right now. Got a new moon “just fixin'” to happen, just opposite you. Then there’s that pesky Venus action — or lack of action — as the situation might demand. I’d plan on having some kind of fun, but I’d also be looking at patching up an old injury, too. I’d suggest that there’s some kind of emotional pain you’ve been caring around for a while, and while that moon is dark, it would be a good time to take care of that problem. Patch up something that needs to be patched. While I was figuring this was more along the lines of an emotional wound, it could be a little more physical. Driving old trucks is a lot more desirable to a new vehicle. New cars require new tires whereas, my old truck? I can get a whole set of good, used tires for it, for the price of one of those new car tires. So when it comes to patching something, since this is old stuff, maybe see what you can do that doesn’t cost a lot. Maybe a set of good, used tires is better than one new one. Sometimes, the way to fix something that’s broke, occasionally, throwing money at the problem isn’t the best answer. See what you can do to affect a cheap fix. You’ll be surprised at what you can do with a simple patch.

Gemini: I was privy to a certain Gemini while she tried on various costumes. I got to see: Little Bo Peep, The Devil, An Angel, a Cowgirl, and some character from the musical “Cats.” I think the best part was watching while the various costume changes included vocal renditions to accompany each new outfit. That’s a lot of work, and I was tired by the end of the evening. So you’re trying on a variety of identities; the problem being that none of these new skins seems to accurately fit what you want portray. You’re not quite getting your message across. The scariest costume I’ve ever encountered is, of course, a three-piece business suit. To top it off, get those little Italian shoes with the tassels on them, and add a briefcase just o make sure the ensemble is complete. That’s scary. After trying on, literally, dozens of various outfits, that one Gemini opted for jeans and T-shirt — being too tired to really effectively pull off any other costume. Likewise, you go through a lot gyrations, only to wind up being yourself again. I just hope that you have the same appreciative audience that my Gemini friend had.

Cancer: You’re going to surf around on the web and look at a couple of horoscopes. Some of them are going to suggest that this is a decent time for some romance in your life. I’m going to buck the trend because I’m not a computer-automated delivery system. I’m going against the other portents here. But Venus is firmly moving backwards, and Mr. Mars is also in an air sign — not one that you get along with especially well. That spells out trouble. Now, let’s look at the tone of the times, and it’s a party weekend when everyone can dress up as their favorite fantasy. Great idea. It’s a fun time to fall in love with an idea, a fantasy. It’s great to fall for that guy or girl dressed as a cowboy or cowgirl. Only, at the end of the night, or the weekend, or at the end of the week, when that person takes off his or her costume, and dons traditional work clothing, you might be a little disappointed. Don’t let outward appearances fool you — unless you like being fooled for a short amount of time. Doesn’t matter what your fantasy is, as it gets acted out, go ahead and enjoy it, but remember that this is a short-lived period for this type of “make believe.” In the dark of the moon, sometimes, it’s best to understand that some things just aren’t as they appear to be. [Doesn’t mean you can’t have some.]

Leo: Be direct. Be forceful. Be honest. Okay, so I’m not too good with the “honest” part because I’d rather hear nice things, and the term “forceful” has some problems, too, as it has an inherent tone that could indicate you’re trying to force something on someone. But make a serious effort to be direct. Quick, concise and to the point. You’re trying to communicate a lot of information, and sometimes the message isn’t getting across. With the current state of Venus troubles, I’d suggest that your normally silky purr has taken a vacation. Instead of trying to win folks over with candy — always a popular move at this time of the year — you might try another route. I want you to be happy, so try being direct. Sometimes a simple “yes” or “no” answers the questions in a much better fashion. I can hear you now, “Yes, but don’t you understand there’s this…” See how that problem, one that would be easier if you just answered “yes” or “no,” how that would be better if you didn’t try to double-guess, outguess, and overestimate the question? Certain occasions call for fewer words, not more words. While it may not be what everyone wants to hear, the right words, at the right time, can sure make your Leo life easier over the next couple of days.

Virgo: A little bit west of Austin, an unscrupulous real estate developed bought up a bunch of “bottom land,” acre after acre of land that was in the flood plain for the river. Of course the sections were dirt cheap. Periodically, the river swells and that topsoil gets washed away, only to have something from further upstream replace it all. In addition to the dirt exchange program, there’s usually a tangle of branches and weeds, stuff that gets cleared once every two or three years, depending on the weather patterns. The so-called “development” that was planned for those “bottoms” had a beautiful brochure, lovely artist’s renditions of a planned community. Buried in the accompanying fine print, there was a clause about flood insurance. Loopholes are like that. Loopholes abound in your life. Before you buy any land that might be in a flood plain, check the details. Maybe seek some outside advice. Better yet, ask the local people about the deal before you just sign it all away. Halloween is a great time to play, but sometimes the line between reality and the unreal is a little fuzzy. Don’t confuse good fun with that question, which requires a simple answer.

Libra: A while back, I helped a neighbor whose trailer was right on the edge of a main thoroughfare here in town. It was fun, on that one Halloween, as revelers from the various restaurants close by, the kids in the trailer park itself, and any number of people from other neighborhoods came by. Seeing the merry [or scary] jack-0-lantern on the front steps, that trailer was a target for kids of all ages. We were well-armed, with about two metric tons of candy. As the night wore on, the costumes knocking on the door changed. Or maybe it wasn’t so much that the costumes changed, it was the apparent altitude of the kiddies. Right after dark, they were all really short. Some of the kids couldn’t have been much more than two or three years old, but as the night wore on, the apparent age got closer to the legal drinking age, and in some cases, well beyond that. Not that the costumes varied, everyone was certainly disguised. We got our last knock on the door pretty close to closing time for the bar next door, a little after midnight. Instead of a customary “trick or treat!” we were greeted with, “Give us some candy!” What are you going to do? Stay home, and enjoy the sights as they roll past your front door. And this advice extends well beyond the usual time limit for All Hallows’ Eve, too. The next couple of days are a good time to spend time at home, being entertained by various creatures knocking on your door.

Scorpio: What you’d never thought you’d hear in Texas, “Shakespeare for $100”: “Yond Cassius has a lean and hungry look;/He thinks too much: such me are dangerous.” It’s a quote from Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar [Act I, scene ii, around line 192 or so]. Yes, you know the type, the sort of people who spend too much time thinking about it. Don’t forget what happened to those two characters, a little later in the play. It’s not a happy ending. I’d like for this birthday time for Scorpio to have a happy ending. Don ‘t think too much. That’s simple enough. If you’re not careful, you’ll find yourself obsessively worrying about certain details that you have no control over. No control whatsoever. Don’t think about it. If you can’t get it to work the right way [your way — the Scorpio way], then don’t fret. Let it alone. Let it works itself out however it wants to. Other than that, and despite the way Venus is treating you, you should get out and enjoy this holiday time. Dress as something really scary, then imply that it might not be costume at all. Let them guess, not you.

Sagittarius: The other evening, I was dining out and talking with a client. The serving person was a Sagittarius. “Dude, we’re like, the coolest, aren’t we?” The waiter had the nicest name, being from Texas and all, his first name rang with a degree of historic authenticity. Since I was really working, not just having a meal, I was using the interaction with the waiter to illustrate a point or two about Sagittarius [why we are to be avoided at all costs.] “Yes, we like bright, shiny objects,” he said, “until we’ve tried them all, and then there’s nothing but a barren wasteland with no bright, shiny objects in it.” That sort of nihilist attitude isn’t typical of Sagittarius; however, on certain days, we just feel like that. In the dark, on that restaurant’s patio, as the encroaching cold seeped into everything, I could certainly understand him. We were right next to a busy diner, but the patio was devoid of customers. I liked it that way, a little privacy. The poor Sagittarius waiter was not pleased with his lot in life. It’s Halloween. You can try a lot of things on for size, maybe a costume or two, but the waiter’s attitude most accurately reflects your despondent way of looking at things — at this point. The deal is, as the weekend gets closer, your section of the sky begins to fill up. While Halloween itself might be a let down, the weekend, and then on into next week? Your attitude changes. Who knows? Maybe a nice astrologer — or client — will leave you a big tip.

Capricorn: My Capricorn clients are a never-ending source of amusing tales. Miscues, misfires, stuff that doesn’t line up quite right, it all adds up to stories, which, when told much later, always seems to have a slightly dry, rather amusing bend to them all. It’s more the effect of the planets on other signs, but this next couple of days is going to yield some more funny stories. It might be the one about wearing your costume to work on Friday. Or wearing the clothes you were normally going to wear, and having them mistaken as a costume. Something like stings a little at the time, but in the long run, it makes for good copy. Good fodder for tale telling. Realize that your Halloween weekend is going to be full of the usual misunderstandings, and that all of this is severely comical, a little later. That might not stop you from getting upset, but a little perspective never hurt. This is the time of the year when folks tend to act out fantasies, real or imagined. Go ahead and play along, and you’ll find you’re a lot happier.

Aquarius: I never ran the statistics, and relying on my memory, I can’t say that this is 100% true, but I think I’ve advised my favorite Fixed Air Sign [Aquarius] about taking a day off from work, I’m pretty sure I’ve suggested this before. Used up all the sick leave? Take a vacation day. Used up all the vacation? Call it a mental health day. You need a break from work because you’ve got a boss, client, employer, supervisor, tub mate, or even a computer network who is not complying with your wishes. I know how bright you are, I’ve said that many times. I know you’re absolutely correct in your direction at work; I know that you’ve got the tiger by its tail. And I know you’re right on track. Unfortunately, due to the little disturbance caused by Miss Venus, you’ve got one person up the chain of command from your position, and that one authority figure is being, well, I can’t think of anything nice to say about the situation. Or that person. Matter of fact, you can’t think of anything nice to say about them, either. My mother always admonished me, “If you can’t say anything nice, then don’t say anything at all.” Great advice. Doesn’t always apply in a work situation. Try this one, “But I did come to work that day, I was in a costume, I came as the Invisible Man, didn’t you see me?” It was a great costume.

Pisces: When I work at public events, I frequently get paid in cash. We like cash. Cash can’t be traced. Cash is king. Cash is cool. One of the most painful events in my life was the first time I had to make a large cash deposit at the bank, after a particularly fruitful weekend. All that money, going right into the banking system, right into the astrofish.net account, and then the checks for servers, computer lines, the network stuff, the web design guy, the girl at the front desk, all that stuff had to be paid out. My investment portfolio, such as it is, is really a little roll of $1 bills, stuffed in an envelope, and tucked behind the couch. My thinking is twofold on this location: Guard Cat and Kitty Cam. Surely the cat would be a menace to anyone who tried to disturb her perch on the couch, and the even if that happened, surely the perpetrator would be caught on the Web Cam, right? It sounds good. It looks like it might work. To be honest, I think my “investment portfolio” doesn’t have much more than $20 in it. Know the feeling? Look: Jupiter is in your “work” corner of the Pisces heavens. Make him work for you. My way of squirreling away cash? That’s not a good idea. I may have several security systems in place, but I’m not sure that my systems will work for you. To be honest, I’m not sure that the systems work for me. Most of the money was gone last time I checked, and all that was left was the remains of a pineapple, jalapeno and anchovy pizza. There’s only one person in this trailer who would put pineapple on her pizza, and it’s not me. Double up on the efforts at work so you can keep all your cash.

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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