For the Week of 12/19-25/2002

“Time and the hour runs through the roughest day.”
Shakespeare’s Scottish Play [I.iii.147]

If you’re around my family, then you understand why Xmas can be the roughest day. Yes, we’re all aware that it supposed to be uplifting, but after the last couple of weeks, you know, a little holiday sarcasm never hurt.

Aries: I love Aries. Make no mistake about that. But as the rapidly approaching weekend draws to a close, you’ve got to figure something out. Simple message, “If it ain’t done by now, then it ain’t going to get down.” Don’t belabor a point. Don’t push yourself past the point of exhaustion, past the point of no return, past the point where you’re doing anything useful. That was a quite a mouthful. Remember when the shopping malls used to be the most crowded, those days right before Xmas? The pressure, the crush of humanity, the screaming children wired on sugar? Or in my case, the older folks, wired on super coffee drinks laced with exotic flavors and way too much sugar? You know what that does? It creates a “fried” look. I’d like to help you avoid the “chicken fried” look. That means, if you can get it out of the way this weekend, then do it. If it your goals are not accomplished by then, though, then it’s time ot move on to something else. You could use a little time for some rest and reflection. The days before the big holiday, right after the actual solstice, slow down. If it hasn’t gotten done don’t worry about it — you can always blame the holidays, the same as I do.

Taurus: It’s really sort of familiar scene around these parts: a guy fondling a BBQ grill. I’m not talking about a silly, little portable job, either. I’m talking about one of those big, hulking, serious looking type of BBQ grills, the kind with a tank attached to — holds enough [clean burning] fuel to power a third-world country. The last time I saw this, remember, it’s in the middle of the pre-Xmas open-season shopping time, the guy was lingering and looking longingly, and even fondling, this big grill. In a clandestine manner, I casually observed while he ran his fingers across the bars of the grill’s surface, his other hand caressed the utilitarian stainless steel flat work surface. I can only imagine what was going through his head the time, seeing the piles of hamburgers on plates, the big chunks of steak, hearing the accolades in his ears, the utter joy of it all. That’s some serious BBQ “horsepower.” You’ve got the same longing in your eyes. The same lustful looks. Granted, it might not be a BBQ Super Grill that you’re looking at, but there’s something you really, really want. Is this the time to make that purchase? I know you feel like you deserve it. I’ll even agree that you deserve it. Is now the time to BUY it? No. Delay a few purchases for yourself; you can thank me in about a week or so, when that item goes on sale.

Gemini: Xmas literature is a good source of inspiration. Especially now. Especially with the holidays upon us. Even more so for Gemini. Think about the Xmas stories you’ve heard as a child. Think about the miracles that are supposed to occur on Xmas Eve. Now, even if your traditions doesn’t involve Christmas, or the Solstice, or even if you’re morally opposed to crass commercialism, think about the message of the literature, all those stories, and I’m not going to list them all here. it’s about a feeling. It’s about being together. it’s about doing whatever you can, making a little sacrifice for the greater good. As this weekend is upon us, our Gemini selves are a little conflicted between “not enough” and “too much.” Let me help with your conflicted state. Do nothing. The point is, there’s nothing that you can’t put off until next week. Shipping is too late. Can’t order much online, either. Credit cards are in a state of disarray. Slow down for a minute. Think about it. There is a clear, easy path of least resistance but it won’t be clear until next week. THen, all of a sudden, everything gets a little easier. it’s like those Xmas stories, a miracle occurs at this time. Before the next scope is available, you’ll have your Miracle in Gemini Land.

Cancer: I was reading a local newspaper the other day. It had an article about “sexual attractors” and it included a section on what smells were most erotic. In another forum, I used to write a horoscope column, under a pseudonym, about love, sex & romance. Apparently, or at least according to scientific research, one of the most erogenous aromas is a home cooking. Home baking, that sort of thing. As long as Mars and Venus are lined up next to each other [in Scorpio, visible before sunrise], consider what you can do to take advantage of this planetary arrangement. It’s great for doing creative little projects that engender that feeling akin to romance. Might not even be real romance, might just be a one, some or all of your friends stopping by on a holiday lark, and when they walk into your Cancer trailer, they all smell those Xmas cookies baking. or maybe it’s Mom’s Meat Loaf. Then again, it could be something else, too. But the idea is to find the right holiday scent, and use it. Comfort food is useful for yourself as well as your guests.

Leo: I’m embarrassed to discuss the first time I saw “Asleep at the Wheel,” it was that long ago. Makes me feel really old. I don’t think I was old enough to be in bar, much less to be drinking. Such rules, though, never affected me. Now jump forward many years. I appeared briefly on a radio program, and the keyboard musician at the time was Floyd Domino, one of the founding keyboard players for “Asleep at the Wheel.” Neither one of us could remember that bar’s name, years gone by. I run into this particular musician from time to time, all over town. The record store, the grocery store, lunch time, playing in clubs. Now, a few weeks ago, I was in Fredricksburg, a little burg west of Austin. We stopped for coffee and ice cream at a parlor on Main Street, and who did we run into? None other than Floyd. “Hey-ey,” he said, “and how’s Bubba?” Referring, of course, to a mutual friend. Seeing a piano player, even a famous one, isn’t that big of deal. Having mutual friends isn’t a big deal. Running into such a person of peerage in an unlikely place like a little town west of your normal stomping grounds, while it doesn’t mean you’ll actually make any money at the deal, you will feel better. You’re going run into Floyd in Fredrickburg. It’s something like that which will bring a smile to your face. Just because Jupiter is backwards doesn’t mean that it’s uncomfortable or unusual. Okay, unusual, but not bad.

Virgo: You ain’t going to like me this weekend. Pretty simple, I’ll be the top of the list of folks you don’t like. And it’s going to be a long list by Friday afternoon. However, come Monday, that position is changing. Not like I’m not used to catching the ire of a Virgo or two — I seem to be an expert at that. But keep that ire to yourself. I know that goes against what the therapists suggest, but try keeping your righteous indignation to your sweet Virgo self. There’s method in this madness: it’s going to change. Next week. Soon as the weekend is over. Instead of being mean to that sales clerk, even though that person obviously made a mistake on Friday afternoon, be kind. That way, when you carry yourself and problem back in to the clerk, a solution presents itself, quick, easy, no hassle. No problem. Next week is good. Getting through the weekend without causing damage is a chore.

Libra: Pa Wetzel, archetype Libra at times, and me — we put up some special Xmas lights one year. In fact, those lights are still standing. Or hanging, I guess. They’re still in front of the old homestead, up yonder in North Texas. I wasn’t clear about the travel plans for this year when I was working on the scope, but I was sure that those lights are still up and running. Likewise, you’ve got some “interior decorating” you can be doing; consider the longevity of the project you’re about to undertake. What was originally supposed to be s a seasonal display turned into a festive, albeit slightly tacky, permanent point of entertainment. As you’re facing some aesthetic decisions, consider the longer term view, and the consequences, of those decisions. Maybe shoot for something that’s a little less seasonal, like those lights tyhat have withstood the test of time [much to Ma Wetzel’s dismay].

Scorpio: Mars and Venus are pretty much in the middle of Scorpio. Take a lesson from my cat on a cold December morning: nudge gently with your forehead. She sees me buried in the covers, very asleep, and she determines that there is no food in her bowl. Her antics start about “first light” in the summer time, as soon as the Sun’s rays hit the eastern window of the trailer. But on a cold December morning, she’s more likely to let me sleep until almost noon. Then she shows up on my end of the bed, purring, and banging her forehead into me. First it’s my hand, then the arm, then she’s up in my face. The message is pretty clear, it’s a loud “Oh baby, I love you, and by the way, would you hurry up and put some food out for me?” This cat, she’s got claws. This cat, she’s got a shriek loud enough to curl your toes. But on cold winter mornings, she uses another approach, that [I think she should trademark it], “I’m so cute, and I’m worried about the fact that there’s no food available….” Save your Scorpio claws for other occasions. Yes, Mars is there, and yes, you could use those Scorpio talons with a great deal of efficiency. But like the cat, on these cold mornings, the best way to get what you want is to be cute, maybe a gently nudge with your forehead.

Sagittarius: Shopping is always fun with a Sagittarius. We can turn the drudgery of having to go to the mall into a fun-filled, fact-finding mission. Folks who’ve ventured out at this time of the year with me have also learned to steer me away from the fragrance counters with their little bottles of testers. I have a tendency to try just about anything that’s offered. It’s an amazing effect on people around me, I think I topped out at ten different perfumes in one shopping experience. The problem? Imagine my good friend Bubba looking over at me, in the front seat of the truck, and leering a little. “Dude, you smell downright purty,” he drawled. Scary thought. Okay, so what’s this mean? It means it’s a great time to try on as many new things as you want. It’s an excellent time to fly ideas past your boss. You can even be like me, and try as many as ten different fragrances. However, expecting the outcome to work in your own favor, right away? Probably not. It works, but not just the way your expected. I was hoping to catch the attention of Virgo behind the fragrance counter. Instead, I wound up with Bubba’s sincere attention. It’s okay to try things, just don’t place a lot of expectations on how it all turns out.

Capricorn: The Winter Solstice is rapidly approaching. Happens every year around this time, the darkest day of the year, the first official day of winter, at least up here in the Northern Hemisphere. It’s also the start of Capricorn. That means events in your Life of Capricorn are suddenly getting better. Don’t try to get a jump on this, doesn’t really hit until December 21. Until then, be your usual cool, calm Capricorn self. Then, when the Sun passes that imaginary line, let the good times start to happen. It’s long overdue. A little more activity, a little better response time, life gets easier. It’s like a new dawn, and in the winter time, at least around here, it’s a lot easier to see this “new dawn” because it appears at a more reasonable time. The sun doesn’t poke above the horizon until after 7 in the morning — like I’ve suggested a perfectly reasonable time for a sunrise. Like that sunrise, it happens when it happens, and nothing you or I can do about the timing. Go with it. After the solstice, though, you’re going to find that some problems as you perceived them, aren’t problems anymore.

Aquarius: Split weekend. You’ve got two urges, two distinct, separate, very diverse pulls. One, you want to stay home, huddled with the covers drawn up around your neck, not venturing forth into the cold December days. Then there’s the other yank on your Aquarius string — “Party! Yee-Ha!” Look: Xmas is a still a few days away. You can do both things this weekend, hunker down for a spell, then get out and play. As far as any shopping or related Xmas-time [solstice, whatever tradition you like] activities? That’s what next week is for. Yes, you’ll find that you actually enjoy the crush of the crowds, that the one, last trip to shopping mall, with its throngs of people, yes, you like that one trip. It’s an adventure, nothing short of that. There’s also something kind of fun about meandering amongst the crowds of folks, and you get a good feeling — even if you don’t buy a thing. So you’re going to spend part of this next week, hanging close to the Aquarius trailer, thinking about fixing those strings of Xmas lights. Then, you’re also going to want to go out some, too. Split weekend. Enjoy it.

Pisces: I ran across this note from a fan, and it was about another fishing guide — the best setup I’ve found. This one guide, he works Washington State in the summer months and the Mexican Baja in the winter time. I’m not sure that I can top that, as close to ideal as possible. Think about it — the beautiful climate of the Mexican West Coast, the abundant fishing banks, the good food. Then, in the hot summer months, up north where it’s cool, damp, rainy all the time. In fact, plan it right, and Washington State gets about three weeks of sunlight in August. But you’ve got to plan it just right, and you’ve got to be in the right place at the right time. Next August looks like a good time. Start planning now. You owe it to yourself to look into a vacation. I know it’s the traditional time for Xmas, but in rare display of looking after your Pisces self, think about planning a vacation. If I were Pisces, I’d be looking for that one guide, and pick one of his destinations, either warm, sunny, tropical Mexico or the cool and clammy climes up north. It’s time to plan something for yourself, as much as everyone else is centered elsewhere.

About the author: Born and raised in a small town in East Texas, Kramer Wetzel spent years honing his craft in a trailer park in South Austin. He hates writing about himself in third person. More at

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