For the Week of 11/7-13/2002

“This is the silliest stuff that I ever heard.”
Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream [V.i.207]

What’s so silly about Venus and her antics?

Aries: Let’s face a few facts. Tequila’s main ingredient is alcohol. It also has traces of other substances, and I’m convinced that tequila is a psychoactive chemical substance, above and beyond its inherent alcohol affects [much testing at one time, further empirical observations, as well, lead to this statement.] Bubba [Aries] has problems with females. Mix those two components in an Aries Bubba and there’s trouble. Venus is backwards [in Scorpio, no less, thanyouverymuch.] That’s the frustration with females. Mars is in Libra, opposite Aries. That’s the tequila. This is a potent combination for a number of outcomes. I tend to relax, set the pieces in motion, and let him get off on a rant, then a roll, then once he’s blown off a little steam, another [attractive] female comes into view, and the charm is back. Find a good friend, knock back a few cold ones, blow off some steam, then see what you can do about picking up the pieces of your shattered psyche. Personally, I can’t recommend — or condone — tequila myself. However, I’ve found it helps numb some of my Aries friend’s pain, and he becomes a lot more manageable. Do what you have to do, but don’t wallow in it.

Taurus: I’m rather fond of the color purple. A royal color [“Yes, and he’s a ‘royal pain,’ once you get to know him,” as I’ve heard a Taurus observe before.] So I was out shopping with one Taurus, last week, not like it was an intentional trip, we had some dinner, then stopped by a store next to the restaurant, one of those places that sells good stuff, cheap. Or questionable stuff. One of the items she plucked off a rack was a bikini bottom for a male. It was basically a black G-string for a guy. Might have been a French bathing suit for all I know. The front sliver of cloth had a purple pattern to it. “If I buy this, would you wear it?” she asked, innocently enough. Not a chance. I would not model it, try it on, or even handle it. As a pretender to belong to a sobriquet like, “Bubba,” I could not ever, in good conscience even entertain the notion that I would ever wear such a thing. In other words, I wouldn’t be caught dead even thinking about putting on such a piece of attire. No way. So it was a momentary source of amusement for the two of us at the time, and I think my response amused another shopper or two, but that was about it. Look: you have great tastes. As a Taurus you probably taste great, too. No, don’t buy it. I mean, as long as Venus is going backwards, in the other side of the sky, you don’t have make that purchase. The receiving end will never, ever wear that banana sling, or whatever else it was that you were thinking about. Your great taste doesn’t always translate to other folks — especially given the current conditions.

Gemini: Some years back a local BBQ place burned down. Out of its demise, there arose a “top ten” list of the best things about rebuilding. One of those struck my fancy, “Girls with power tools.” It’s an intriguing idea. About this time of year, I start looking for gifts for my Gemini Sister. As a good Gemini, she likes power tools, too. The best gift ever was a really good cordless power drill. No workshop is complete without a good, electric drill. Cordless, if it’s the right brand, is even better. Imagine that you’re like that, you’ve just gotten a good, brand spanking new electric drill. Think of the tasks you can accomplish! The world is your oyster! You can punch holes in just about anything now! And, and… and what? You’re tending to think in general, optimistic terms this week. That’s good. You’re also tending to be a little short on delivery. Think about power tools. Think about some projects you want to undertake. Maybe make a list of components, and new tools that you’ll need to get from where you’re at, to where you want to be. As far as actually rushing out and buying this equipment, the power tools, the raw material, the lumber and all that? Now isn’t the time. But make a list of what you think you’ll need. Maybe some nice person will give you this next month. [“But next month is so far away!” you cry. That’s why you write this stuff down, so you don’t forget what the goal was.]

Cancer: Seeing as how I’m an unflappable, but basically lazy Sagittarius, when this cute Cancer girl asked me to help with some of her home remodeling projects, I had plenty of excuses. To be sure, I wanted to help. It just conflicted with some of the other items on my schedule at the time. I had to go fishing. Or hit the trail, or work on next week’s column. I don’t remember, but I was busy at the time with something or other. Looks like you’ve undertaken some project. I’m not sure that you’re actually painting the living room, but you do have something going on, and you sure could use some help. Lazy Sagittarius astrologers make wonderful [and amusing as well as entertaining] companions in most cases, but when it comes to actual work? We have tendency to disappear when you need us the most. You might want to rethink your ideas for those home improvement projects — the person or people you were counting on might not be as available as you were hoping. Don’t blame us — you knew, before you enlisted our assistance, that we might back out at the last minute. Now that you know this, you can plan accordingly.

Leo: I’d saddled up to the table in on the patio of a local restaurant, and, seeing as how I was hungry, I asked — really, it was just a rhetorical question — what the queso was like. A beleaguered, overworked, under-tipped [until I came along] waitress gave me one of those world-weary stares. “It’s like, liquid cheese. You know, melted cheese, basically.” It was not a good selling point. It wasn’t what I expected, either — an honest answer. “Great, I’ll take some.” My dining companion and I had to let that server know that it was the best description of queso ever heard. The stuff is a Tex-Mex favorite around here, just about every place sells it, some places, it’s dressed up with lots of additives, other places, it’s just runny, yellow cheese in a bowl, maybe a little “pico de gallo” on the side, or on top. When folks from out of the country ask about it, I just reiterate that it’s, “Texas Fondue.” Adds a splashy name to universal dish around here. You’re going to be asked a question, pretty soon now. You’re tired, you’re tired of waiting on Jupiter’s good luck, and you’ve been busy. Answer honestly. Tell the truth. Don’t mince words, and don’t coddle your response. A short, brief, accurate description is what is called for. “It’s basically melted cheese.” To your dismay, you win big–with a short, tired answers.

Virgo: Just around the corner, down the trail a ways from Shady Acres, there’s a city park. Typical South Austin city park — it has a statue of Stevie Ray Vaughn. There’s also a fountain, a little east of that statue. I was passing by on a clear, cool fall day, and I noticed there was a rainbow in the fountain’s spray. A play of the light, a trick of the atmospheric conditions, some of that South Austin magic I adore, or the real answer, it could be that I was just more observant of minute details that particular afternoon. Instead of looking for the big deals, instead of seeking the message in the billboard, or the big headlines, look into the smaller events, something as quotidian as the spray of the fountain. It’s not always the big deals. Sometimes, where you least expect to find it, there’s a little patch of natural beauty. Doesn’t cure all the problems in the world, and you’re Virgo mind will always find trouble, but there’s a moment or two of rest, relaxation, and even pure pleasure to be derived from observing some of the small details. You get a chance to examine something like a local fountain, and I’ll bet you can find rainbow–if you look.

Libra: I was trying to get handle on what was going on in your chart, so I called up my average Libra for a quick chat. Nothing beats doing a little research on the phone. To be fair, this particular Libra is not that average, I mean, Libra’s all tend to be better looking than most. As the astrologer, though, I was quickly called to task for a little bit of weight she gained, even though I assured her that it looked good on her, and I was also called to task for being responsible for her credit card bill from last month [no charges to me, though]. She seemed a little worried about several areas, and frankly, from looking at the chart, it’s really not that bad. I would even go so far as to suggest it’s not that bad for every Libra. Whatever vice you enjoy, whether it’s shopping or eating, or whatever, it looks like you’ve overindulged a little too much lately. I’d suggest you curtail that activity for this weekend. You’re also going to find that Miss Venus suggests that you stay home whereas Mr. Mars suggests you go out. That’s a call you have to make, as to which one is more important. However, in astronomy [not just astrology], Mars is further away than Venus. Therefore, I’d suggest he has less influence — right now. But as a tip to that one Libra, if you do go out, like you probably will, this isn’t a good time to buy home furnishings.

Scorpio: Your birthday times just haven’t been what you had hoped they would be, now have they? And, of course, I’m going to get blamed for this one. As the guy who reports that “Venus is retrograde in Scorpio,” I get treated to an undue and unreasonable amount of scorn, ridicule, and sometimes, just some outright hateful remarks, especially from the Scorpio camp. I didn’t plan this, I certainly wouldn’t have picked it, and it’s not my doing. Nor, for that matter, would it be my choice. But there you have it. Right in the middle of the Scorpio celebration time, there’s a little planet making life more uncomfortable than you like. What are you going to do? Since Venus is going to trash your finely tuned sense of taste, and probably cloud your judgment, let me make a suggestion: this is the best time to look for tacky, tawdry, gag gifts. There’s a holiday season rapidly approaching. Given the recent economic climate, though, it’s time to think about the fun stuff you can do. Part of that is the gag gift. Inexpensive baubles in poor taste. As long as your taste is adversely affected by Venus, why not take this to its limit? Look for the funny stuff. Find the sick and twisted humor in a certain situation, and exploit that — to your own end. You can never go wrong trying to underestimate the taste of others.

Sagittarius: For a while, I ran a “virtual tip” jar on the web site. Still do, as a matter of fact. The purpose of the tip jar was to collect funds in order to take care of dirty little deeds like paying for the server, making all of the collection of FGS Scopes freely available, and depending on the kindness of strangers is sort of like luck. Some weeks, the web site would actually pay for itself. Other times, that jar would remain empty for long periods of time. The Sagittarius tip jar is like that. One of the coffee places I frequent on South Congress Avenue has a similar tip jar in real life. I’ve borrowed heavily from their cute quotes in order to enhance my own presentation. You might want to borrow some of these slogans yourself. “Enlightenment begins with a tip.” “Starving students need beer money.” My fave? “Smart money tips.” What this is about is money. Cash money. You’re in a situation where some of your hard work will be recognized. That’s good. Exactly when, and how, all your effort gets this recognition, that sort of varies. It might be a lump sum showing up in your tip jar. It might one of those days when, for some unknown reason [actually, it is known, it’s Jupiter], the jar sitting on the Sagittarius coffee counter begins to see a lot of action. The problem with this sort of gift from the heavens? You can’t bet on it, you can’t count on it, and you can’t budget for it. There’s no way to predict how much, or when, it hits. But it’s coming soon, and probably starting this weekend.

Capricorn: In certain portions of the country, places not blessed with Texas weather, you might not quite understand how it is. Usually, during the first week or two of November, there’s a warm spell in Central Texas. Means the weather is balmy and pleasant, and it begs for an afternoon stroll — in my case, that means I’ll be wearing shorts and sandals, and I’ll have shirt in hand. I was walking over to the closest BBQ place for a steaming, heaping plate full of pork ribs and brisket, a perennial fave for me. I was sauntering along the hike and bike trail, then up on to the paved sidewalk, long enough to reach my destination. On the trail, I was not the only one without a shirt. No big deal. However, in the sunny afternoon [was this just last week? I think so], I was getting undue attention. A carload of young, urban youths screamed out their car’s window, “Hey, naked guy, put a shirt on!” Now, in some places I dine, shoes and short are not required; however, in deference to the other dining room customers, I usually get a little dressed for the meal. So about the time I got yelled, about the time I was about to get really irritated with impertinent youths, I decided that it would just be easier to go ahead and don my traditional South Austin shirt [obnoxious Hawaiian print]. Look: you can cause a scene, make a statement, or you can just appease the masses, no matter how misguided those masses might be. Or that carload of impetuous teenagers. If I’d been on a blood pressure machine, it would’ve registered a momentary increase, but then, the thought of that cool dining room, a plate full of comfort food, and you know? It just doesn’t matter. Bow to the masses, at least nominally, for the time being. It’s a lot easier than creating a scene — even if you’re in the right.

Aquarius: How good are you at doing the conventional thing? It’s a valid question as we all go into a weekend fraught with unconventional energy. Just about every other sign is face to face with weird romantic troubles, and yes, this should be troubling you, too, but that doesn’t mean that everything is all bad. Just the opposite. It’s actually pretty good. What’s required of your Aquarius self right now is some good, old-fashioned convention common sense. It’s like watching a scene from a scary movie. [And why are scary movies the perfect metaphor for a relationship issue?] On the screen, you see the five young protagonists all go into a haunted house. You also know that only one or two will emerge at the end of the movie. A typical Aquarius on a typical Aquarius day would jump right in, and be in the first group to explore that haunted house. Common sense, especially of the Aquarius type of common sense, comes into play here. “Dude, it’s a haunted house. Monsters. A guy with a chainsaw. No way am I going in there after dark.” Being straightforward and conventional is your wisdom that goes against the grain of what a normal Aquarius would do. Why be normal? Act conventional, use your common sense, and you’ll surprise all of us. Plus you’ll save yourself a lot of trouble.

Pisces: The other night I was out with some friends, and a comely lass joined our party. Now, the biggest problem was the fact that she was about half the age of the rest of us. Other than that, she sure did pique the interest of several males at the table. Myself included. She found out who I was, gave me her birth data, and then she started asking me questions. About her chart. Next thing you know, she’s telling me that she really likes guys who are twice her age, because she liked our “maturity.” This is a recipe for trouble. I fell for that line, and she pumped me for all my astrological lore. No sooner did she get what she wanted, when I was no longer the object of her interest. I’m not sure I even recall her name, not now. The deal is, what between Venus and Mars, some slightly unscrupulous person is bound to feign interest in you, and you know, in your Pisces heart, that this interest is just a tool to get something from you. I played along because I heard what I wanted to hear. You can play along, too, but remember than Venus is sneaky, and she might not be revealing the true source of interest. Venus might not want you for your body, she just might want you for your mind. It’s sad state of affairs, but you can’t say I didn’t warn you.

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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