For the Week of 11/21-27/2002

“Courtesy itself must convert to disdain
if you come into her presence.”
Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing [I.i.112-3]

Aries: As a child, never mind that some folks would still suggest that I still act like a child, when I was growing up, and when I heard Ma Wetzel use a my full, legal name, I knew I was in trouble. When I went across the border, not long ago, the official looking at my passport used my full legal name. I had that same, trembling fear that I was six years old, and I had been caught red-handed, doing something I knew I ought not do. These are like childhood flashbacks. Sometimes, this is pleasant. Other times, it’s not so pleasant. Last time I flew through Houston’s international airport, I flushed briefly when I heard my full legal name. Next thing I knew, I was in the line for people who have to go to the small room to have everything looked at. I barely made it to my flight to Austin. These days, I live so honestly that I have to jaywalk, just so I can feel like a little bit of rebel. I wrote down complete list of everything I had with me, none of it was even close to being illegal. I didn’t have packages of “duty-free” stuff. None of that. Memories and digital images are free. But when you’re faced with someone using your full legal name, and when you flush a little — don’t be surprised if you get the full treatment. I know you’re right. I know you’ve done absolutely nothing wrong. That’s not going to stop them from wanting to have a little talk with you about some items you’re carrying.

Taurus: I was fishing with a buddy. He was in the back of the boat, playing Captain [it was his boat, so I suppose that’s allowed]. I would salute, in the early morning, predawn light, “Permission to come aboard, sir!” Now, on this morning at the lake, he was catching all the fish. In a moment of pique, I made a comment that his luck was based on the fact that he was in the back of the boat. We swapped positions. He continued to catch fish. I continued not to catch fish. Apparently, my bait, my lures, the way I was tossing the line in the water, or maybe it was my planets, but something wasn’t working for me. The same magic that wasn’t working for me, worked for my fishing buddy. “You’re good luck, what are doing tomorrow morning?” he blithely questioned me. “I’ll be in my own damn boat, without you, and I’ll be catching fish,” I snapped back. I believe he snorted a laugh at me, something along the lines of, “yeah, right.” I was not offended by my fishing pal. I was offended by the fish. Now, your chart suggests you’re just like us in that boat. Which one are you going to be? The lucky guy getting all the fish? I’d suggest it’s possible. What happens if you’re just like me, bad attitude and all? That’s going to get you no where in a big hurry. Change your attitude, if your luck isn’t working, change the way you look at this, and you’ll start doing better. Or swap for that lucky seat in the back of the boat.

Gemini: One of the greatest joys about being a writer is that I can stare off into space for minutes — or hours — at a time, and I can call what I’m doing “work.” Unless you have a job like mine, though, you might want to spend a little less time staring off into space and a little more time, at least, looking like you’re working. My main office manager is the cat. Having a feline boss like is wonderful because she more than understands my need to stare off into space at times. In fact, she becomes positively obsessed at time with a spot on the wall. A blank spot. She can stare at it for hours. So when I’m seeking my muse in a cloud overhead, staring out the trailer’s window, she doesn’t criticize me. Unless, of course, her food dish is nearing empty. Your boss is not as easily pleased as mine. Look like you’re working. Act like you’re working. Heck, maybe even actually work for a spell. You’ve got a jolt of energy and a sudden inspiration, but that doesn’t mean you don’t have to work.

Cancer: If you were careful and if you followed all my advice to last letter of the instructions, then you didn’t start any new romance in the recent past. That’s Venus, and she’s not going to be backwards anymore. But she’s still being a little difficult; however, she’s a lot less problematic, starting real soon now. Or just about any day, real soon now. All this “real soon now” talk should be getting you excited. It’s about time something nice happened. I can’t promise it much before Thanksgiving, but it’s just directly around the corner. That’s a good thing. It’s going to be a good time for you — at least, for most of you. I’ve always got this one cranky Cancer person who gets ahold of me, just to let me know how wrong I am. But before you pick up that poison pen, before you go off on your astrology fishing buddy, take it easy. Reach out from underneath that carapace where you’ve been hiding. Open and shut a claw of yours, just to test the atmosphere. See? It even feels better, from where you’re safely hunkered down. Told you it was going to be okay. It’s getting better, minute by minute. Crawl on out a little and enjoy the good stuff.

Leo: Stop what you’re doing. Stop it right now. Before you try to tackle that same old task with the same old [now tired] Leo energy, just stop. Think about it. My computer — the one I was using most frequently for work, has a strange, non-recurring anomaly. In real computer guy talk, it’s a bug, a flaw in one of the programs. Maybe a memory leak — it’s not like its memory is the only leaky one around here. When the web browser is running a java script, and the e-mail and webcam hit at the same time, plus I open the word processor and the astrology chart program, all in the right combination, then call up a certain chart, the machine freezes me out. Nothing offends my Leo sentiments more than being ignored, and that sure is what it feels like — that machine is patiently ignoring me. It’s actually a flaw in one of the programs, but in order to replicate the error, I have to remember what the exact steps were. Was it the word processor first? Or was it the astrology program? See the problem? Can’t quite remember which came first. Life is like a computer, and you can spend an inordinate amount of time trying to replicate the flaw, or you can skip it all, turn the machine’s power off, reboot, and start all over. I lost exactly three words last time. I guess I didn’t need them. Stop what you’re doing that doesn’t work. No need to try and recreate the flaw, just try a slightly different order, and you’ll have no problems.

Virgo: I like to ravel. I like to experience all aspects of Texas. I’ve spent a lot of time on the astrology trail, starting out by lugging tomes of astrological lore, then replacing those real books with power book computers, crossing the vast reaches of Texas — and beyond — to read charts for people. I consider it, at its best, a time to meet and greet, a time to “press the flesh,” as the saying goes. I’m a little skeptical of astrologers who don’t spend anytime considering personal charts and yet posit themselves as great thinkers or observers of human nature. There’s just something about sitting down to a one-on-one interaction that can’t be beat. It’s necessary to put words into action, so to speak. Given the way you’ve been treated by heavenly influences, or maybe they were more earthbound influences, you’re wondering about this. However, now’s the time to get out and meet the people. Might not be today, might not be Friday, but as Venus turns herself around, this indicates that this is a good time to do just that. Shake hands. Sign autographs. Say, “Howdy,” to your adoring Virgo fans. Bet you didn’t know you had so many adoring fans? If you don’t get out, if you don’t circulate, then you’ll never find out about us.

Libra: Venus and her apparent forward motion is good. Mars is also good, as long as you don’t let yourself get too excited too quickly. One of the expression I swiped from another astrologer defined Libra as being, “An iron fist in a velvet glove.” Nice turn of the phrase, apt description. But it’s a little too tempting with this planetary influence to be an iron fist. All fist, no glove. That doesn’t work. Doesn’t work for you, doesn’t work for the party on the receiving end, either. Got the picture? Your ability to be nice is called into question. Instead of being strong, instead of forcing people to see your point of view, go a little easier. Slow down. You may think that you’re merely reiterating a point, trying to say someone with your dazzling rhetoric. What comes across is a harangue, or it sounds like you’re preaching. There’s a difference between diplomacy and coercion. Normally, you’re really good at the diplomatic approach. Seems like your lines of communication aren’t working both ways yet. Give Venus a chance to sort herself out. Give your own communication skills a chance to sort themselves out, too.

Scorpio: Where I live, Austin [Texas], is a bird sanctuary of some kind. There’s a very typical urban problem with a certain species of blackbird called “the grackle.” Since you can’t hunt these birds, any number of anti-bird techniques and devices have shown up on the market place to drive the pests away. One place used the recorded sound of hawk, dive-bombing its prey. Another place used a loud bang to scare the obnoxious pests out of their trees in the parking lot. I watched the birds and their behavior, and I have an alternative solution. I’m sure you’ve seen the fake owls, a plastic replica of one of nature’s coolest predator? After watching the cat’s reaction, and her mere presence around the trailer, and the lack of grackles here, I’m suggesting my cat as a poster child for an anti-bird [grackle] device. Just get a life-sized lump of plastic like the cat. She doesn’t actually do a whole lot but her mere image seems to scare away the undesirables. Something around the house, something sitting right in front of you, some obvious solution to a problem, it’s right there. All you have to do is stop long enough to be observant. Be still for a moment, imitate the action [or inaction, as is usually the case] of the cat. Sometimes, your mere Scorpio presence is all that’s required.

Sagittarius: It’s no secret that I’m inordinately fond of my own sign. Clumsy but cute, occasionally tactless, but still one of the nicest signs you’ll ever encounter, that’s us Sagittarius types. Just in time for the Old Sun to go crawling into our sign, no sooner does that happen then Miss Venus decides to correct her errant ways. Venus doesn’t really get revved back up to speed, but the most dire consequences of her backward action is now over with. That’s supposed to be some good news as Sagittarius starts this weekend. I, for one, feel like we should all get and celebrate at some point. Never mind that there’s a national holiday for my birthday — although that’s some sort of coincidence that I can’t pass up. [Happens every few years, as the calendar goes.] That tail end of Scorpio, the beginning of Sagittarius, and Venus no longer being backwards — it all adds up to some pretty good times for us. One caution: that Venus thing? See, it’s not really over with entirely, and there’s going to be a problem or two associated with her action. Never hurts to tread a little more softly, use a little less sarcasm, and make a little more effort to be polite. Until the worst of the Venus stuff gets wrapped up, until she gets back up to speed, there are still a few lingering problems [romantic problems], and those deserve a little extra care and consideration. And have a good birthday week, next week.

Capricorn: Of course, you’re happy because Venus is going to get herself moving in much better direction this weekend. Sure, that’s a good thing. You’re not entirely happy with everything else that’s going, though. I suggest you borrow a page from my notes, and enjoy the minute amount of fun stuff that’s happening now that Venus is starting to move in direction we all like. It’s been a bumpy road, these last few weeks, one that’s not been without a few pitfalls. Pitfalls or was it pratfalls? One of the loveliest characteristics of Capricorn is the wonderfully wry sense of self-deprecating humor. It’s one of your more endearing qualities, at times. That humor, though, has been tested a little more than you’re comfortable with, especially these last few weeks. Your good nature has been brutally assaulted by one too many scenes that don’t go according to your tastes. Nothing we can do about that. But after looking at the planets in your chart, I know that the next couple of days are going to start feeling a lot better. It’s still a long haul from here to there, it’s like that drive I make a couple of times a year, going to West Texas. Getting there is all the fun, but between “here” and “there,” it’s a lot of empty spaces. Don’t be afraid to slide some good music into the truck’s stereo, sit back, and enjoy the vast expanse of nothing. Whatever is going inside your Capricorn brain is infinitely more amusing. You’re getting there, it just looks like you’ve got about four hours of nothing but open road. Why not enjoy the ride?

Aquarius: “Nothing ventured, nothing gained,” is the cliché. That’s also your attitude, especially through this coming weekend. Problems? Venus, the phase of the moon, and so forth. If the was just a touch more Aquarius in my own chart, I’d be plotting ways to take over the world, slay the competition, or, at the very least, render them ineffectual. Regrettably, I don’t have any more Aquarius — but you do. Now is not the time to act. But this weekend, next week, from this day forth, it is a time to think up new ideas. Want to plot a course around some sticky politics at work? Great time to put some of your considerable mental horsepower to work on this task. Want to overrun a competitor? Couldn’t be a better time to figure out how you’re going to do just that. Looking for a fresh start, only you’re not sure where you should be starting? Again, it’s a good time for that. You can truly outthink most other signs right now. Why not go ahead and work with that? Why not take some of this incredible mental agility you can display, harness it, get it to draw up plans for, dare I suggest it? Total world domination. Personally, I figure a world a run by an Aquarius like you would have far more benefits than the present administrations. Think about those plans.

Pisces: The movement of Venus relative to your chart is predictably good. The movement of the rest of the little planets is also relatively good. The problem is that not everyone is a sweet Pisces. Rather than fall into a trap of, “It’s us good Pisces against the world,” I’d rather suggest that there’s away to help the rest of us. You can lead us, as it were. Now, I’ll share something from military training: the best way to lead is to set an example. [Don’t ask me to do this myself.] As the wheel in the sky keeps on turning, you’ve got a chance to lead by setting an example. Be the envy of all your friends this weekend. Next week, be the envy of all your friends and enemies. I’d like to think that none of us have any enemies, but the sad truth is, we’ve all offended a few people along the way. Instead of making this a bad situation, try my Pisces method for the next few days. Live well. Do the right thing. Be the envy — by being the best — of everyone you come in contact with.

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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