8.21.2003

For the Week of: 8/21-27/2003

"I think the devil will not have [you] damned, lest the oil that's in [you] should set hell on fire."
Shakespeare's The Merry Wives of Windsor [V.v.35-6]

Just in time, for your reading pleasure, Fishing Guide to the Stars: Fishing for Love thru the zodiac [ISBN: 1-4116-0156-4] is now available: http://www.lulu.com/astrofish.

Virgo: Starting next week, we have two big events. We have Virgo birthday parties, and Jupiter slamming headfirst into Virgo. That's a big deal. Sooner or later, you will feel Mr. Jupiter's benevolence. That's good. The problem is that this isn't an easy time, not yet. There are several unsettling events occurring, and they all seem to be timed to put you off your feed, as we say around here. Jupiter opposes Uranus for a little while, and that's very unsettling.

I've watched this sort of event unfold before, and rather than make dire predictions, though, I'll just explain that it is unsettling, but not bad. Just different. What's that curse? "May you live in interesting times"? Yes, well there you have it. It's going to be interesting. With Jupiter, and I'm sure I'll get into this over the next year, but with that old gas giant of a planet, it's important to remember that you have to let the funds clear the bank before you start spending whatever it is that he's bringing along. At least one Virgo will get lucky, starting this weekend. You know the drill, if you do win the big lottery, all I'm asking for, after the check clears is 1%. Mars is still stirring interpersonal relationship problems, so don't sweat it if that luck doesn't involve romance just yet.

Libra: Somebody honked at me the other day. I know, you're thinking, "That's no big deal." Except see, it was a hot afternoon, I was wearing shorts that double as swimming trunks, and I was not wearing a shirt. Texas, August, it's rather warm. Some of us are used to the heat. Makes us sweat. Except the "ladies," as anyone should know, a female of Southern Extraction doesn't sweat, she "glows." Not being a female, I was sweating, wiping self-generated moisture off my brow with my shirt. And then there's this honking. I look up, and I see car go by, somebody, I think it was a she, and I think the car was four-door, and I think it was dark colored.

It's the best description I can give, and I might have it all wrong. "Like two ships, passing in the night...." Skip the poetry, it was someone who shall forever remain anonymous now, gone. Saw her [him?] briefly as I was wiping sweat from my overly large brow. Like my chance encounter, though, you have a similar experience. Someone passing, your Libra self is recognized, and that other person honks, waves, and you don't have clue as to who it is. What are you going to do? Me? I'm not going to do anything. I was sweating like someone who's just hiked about seven miles in searing sunlight. I'd grin, but that took too much effort.

Likewise, you want to conserve that precious Libra energy, and you want to concentrate on what seems to be most important. While my perspiration was heat-induced, I'd suspect that yours is more along the lines of "work" induced. Hard work shouldn't frighten you, either. As long as Mars is backwards, you can expect a little bit heavier workload, too. You might be mopping that Libra brow, but for a slightly different reason. And those chance encounters? Try to at least wave. Least you can do, even if you don't recognize the person. Never hurts to be friendly.

Scorpio: For the last couple of summers, I spent a lot of time on the Town Lake Hike and Bike trail. Convenient exercise, panoramic vistas, and in August, it's hot. Or, as one British friend observed, "It's bloody hot." One fixture on the trail, one image I got really used to seeing was a "RunTex" truck, parked close to the SRV statue. Your ever-observant Scorpio mind will realize that this was very clever marketing on the part of the store, less than a block away.

On the backboard of the truck, every day, there were big water coolers full of water, sports beverages, and a ton of paper cups. Various bicyclists, runners, marathon trainers, triathlon aspirants, joggers, or in my case, walkers, along with the odd tourist, would gather and partake of the cool beverages. It got to be, on my way back to Barton Springs and home, I would just expect that truck to be there with cold water. Sometimes, late in the afternoon, the water would be a little more tepid, but it was wet and clean, that's all that mattered, right?

Problem was, one afternoon, for whatever reason, 1] I was really counting on a drink of water and 2] the truck wasn't there. No water. Sure, there's the dammed up portion of the Colorado River, but most of downtown drains into that, and I'm not sure the water is safe to drink. No truck. No water. Thirsty boy. Not a good combination. Deal is, over the next few days, you're going to run into a similar situation. No truck. No water. Something you're used to counting on won't be there. Freak out? If you want. But you know, that truck? It was back the next day. Besides, this was service provided for free, it's not like I had a right to complain about the free service not being there.

Sagittarius: I was looking at the Sagittarius astrology chart, and I got to thinking about this and that, and then I got to thinking about the cute little girl who works at the corner convenience store, a regular stopping place for me. Then I got to thinking about the big, tall, over-sized cup of ice and a carbonated beverage therein, and finally, after perusing our charts, I figured it wouldn't be bad time to purchase a lottery ticket. A couple of days later, I got around to checking those lucky lottery numbers. No luck. The interesting point, though, was how close those numbers were. I was so close to a winning combination, with five of the six numbers off by one digit, or in one case, the numbers were reversed, I had a "13" on my ticket but the winning combo included "31".

Two ways to see this sort of combinations of digits, and two ways to see this sort of combination of planets: either you're loser--like me--or you're very, very close. Again, just like me. You can look at the next few days just like that. This weekend, especially, as there's a lot of very interesting planetary alignments going on, but our Sagittarius selves are not in the middle of it. We're right next to it. It's like that lottery ticket. It's ever so close, but it's not quite right -- not yet. But it's close. One digit off, either way, maybe a few numbers are transposed. What are you going to call it? Wad the week up and throw it away, and bemoan how the Fates have dealt you a sore hand? Or call it close, and do like I do, hop on down to the store, and buy another ticket?

Capricorn: "That's some crazy stuff, huh? You know what? You ain't even begun to see the weird stuff yet." It's not an actual dialogue, but it could've been one. Or I might be tripping in time, and a few days later than it really is. Maybe that's a conversation I'm about to have with one of my Capricorn friends.

For the longest time, on Monday, I would go walking with my one Capricorn buddy. She liked it, I pushed her to get a little more exercise than she would otherwise get, and it was a lot more entertaining to hit the trail with me. I take detours, shortcuts, we've wandered far a-field from the beaten track, and it's usually pretty entertaining. I don't guess that it's a good sign that I know a few of the homeless folks along the trail, too.

So next week, might be too hot for a hike, at least for her, but I can still imagine us having that conversation. It could be caused by a scene from wildlife, as in some kind of bird life doing something, or it could be like the time we stumbled onto the "Stonehenge of Austin," which was nothing more than a few piles of rock, in a creek bed. And you know what? You haven't even begun to see the weirdest of this kind of activity in your Capricorn life. Just wait, it's going to get to be even more interesting. Bad? I seriously doubt that. Weird? Sure, no problem.

Aquarius: I was listening to a friend of mine do the usual litany of complaints about men, she was a bit bitter at the moment--she's not always like that--but a recent experience had left her a little more cynical than usual. "Worry about men finding me? They can't even locate their keys when the keychain is sitting right there on the coffee table. What's up with that?" Yes, indeed, what is up with that? Know the feeling? One bit of wisdom I've often pondered is how the best place to hide an object is to leave it out in full view of everyone.

Works like a charm. The problem, you're facing in your Aquarius chart, over the next few days, is that there is something that is plainly obvious to your Aquarius self. It's right there on the table, directly in front of you. You can see it. No one else can fathom how you can actually see something so clearly though. Just because there's a very clear solution to a problem, and even though you can discern this abundantly obvious solution, right there, in front of everyone, right there, on the table in front of you, just because you can see this doesn't mean everyone else can see it, too.

There's another theory that says a big stick works well when you're trying to get someone's attention. Okay, the blindingly obvious solution? The answer you can see and no one else is able to even begin to understand? Don't bludgeon us with your answer. Be patient. Make note of the solution, then bide your time while the rest of us catch up with you.

Pisces: Folks are going to throw three tons of living crud at me for the next few months. I can feel it already. I know what's happening, and it's not my fault. But if I don't write something nice, then all the sweet little Pisces folks get upset. And when I do write something nice, they all get upset when it doesn't come through. As long as Mars does his backslide in your sign, it augurs no good. Doesn't mean that it all has to be bad, but conventional wisdom, or something else that seems to be in short supply these days, common sense, hey, try a little of that stuff.

Let's say, you're involved in a situation that is "iffy" at best. In other words, you're doing something that if you were one of your friends, you'd be telling that friend not to do. "But that's advice that I would hand out, not advice I have to take for myself," your Pisces self complains [usually to me]. If you want to complain to me, that's okay, my standard rates apply, and I'll listen. But I have a better idea, why not try and use some of your own advice on yourself? Look at that situation objectively. See, ask yourself what you would tell you to do, if you were another person. Being a little more objective at time like this would really help. Especially in Pisces land.

Aries: The movement of Mr. Mars--more like the relative movement of Mars to our location here on Planet Earth--has a lot to do with the way you're going to see things these days. It's really less of Mars moving backwards, and more of his close proximity to another planet, that would be Uranus. Weird stuff. No two ways about it. One of my fishing buddies jokes with me about me fishing in the river that runs in front of Shady Acres. It's really nothing more than a drainage ditch with a dam at either end, more like a holding pond for downtown runoff, than a river.

However, look at it on a map, and it's called the Colorado River, or Town Lake, and either name is appropriate. He jokes about the kind of fish that might come out of the river. Between pesticide, herbicide, weed killer, automobile emissions, and everything else that drains into the river, including Barton Creek, there's no telling what kind of permutation and aberration of nature might pop up on the end of a fishing line.

Like me, you're going to be fishing one day, just minding your own business, and then you catch some sort of scaly, half-human monster on the end. Not sure what to do with it? I'm a "catch and release" guy, take a picture and let it go. That might be the best idea when something weird winds up in your lap, especially in the next few days. No need to hold onto it, just have a look and then toss it back. Might save a lot explaining, and maybe a little ribbing from your other fishing buddies.

Taurus: Tip: pretend you're a shy and demure person. Pretend that you blush at the slightest off-color suggestion. There's no need to let the other folks around you know that the proposition you've just received, that it's something that you've already done a time of two, and in fact, you've found a way to improve the interaction of the proposition.

In other words, not only have you done that, but you know a way to do this and that, which makes the whole event even more fun and pleasurable. Act like the proverbial "blushing bride" [is there such a thing as a "blushing groom"? I hope so.] Act like your delicate sensitivities are piqued, but almost offended at the very suggestion of whatever it is that's being suggested. The more reclusive, introverted and shy you act, the better the way this weekend turns out. Same applies to next week, as well, as time unfolds and Mars marches backwards. It's not about making your point with loud, declarative statements, it's about how you get your point across by not making a scene.

Gemini: One of my Gemini friends called me up the other day, she claimed she wanted to go the lake, you know, late summer time, cool off by taking her, the dog and going out to the river someplace? Sounds like an ideal plan. But doing this Gemini style is a little different. "First thing in the morning" became noon. "The Blanco River, the Guadalupe, the Frio," all of those options narrowed down to just hopping in the truck [remember, the dog] and cruising over to the creek.

Still, it was all good until she unveiled what she was wearing, a "Stars and Bars" bikini. For the illiterate, the term "stars and bars" refers to the Confederate Flag. For the more prurient-minded, the bikini was a standard issue, not a thong, not a string, simply enough to cover the issue at hand. With a Confederate Flag, no less. On any other sign, this might be an issue, but on my peace-loving, neo-hippie Gemini, it was a little odd. Okay, very odd.

Don't judge a book by its cover, and don't judge a Gemini by the bikini. The "stars and bars" crossed in just the right places, and it served as a good graphic. However, in the peace-minded, liberal oasis of Austin, and especially at that one watering hole, such a form of attire could be construed as a political statement of some sort, and one that could incite a, possibly strong, reaction. Fortunately, as a cute female form can often do, she was able to prevent any sort of reaction, other than the intended desires. You, my dear Gemini friend, might not be so lucky this week. Be careful. You might not want to flaunt the "stars and bars" when you're circulating around certain folks who fail to understand the intended meaning.

Cancer: Somebody, someplace, whoever lined the planets up this way, sure has a sick sense of humor. I find it a very amusing alignment. You probably don't. There's a problem happening in your chart, and it only has to be as bad as you let it be. In other words, it's neither good nor bad, but thinking makes it so [with apologies to Mr. Hamlet.] It's only going to be as awful as you let your Cancer mouth make it out to be.

See: you're going to be motivated to address a particular issue. I was sitting in the boat one morning, not long ago, and my fishing buddy was patiently listening to me carry on about a similar issue. After a quarter of an hour or more of my diatribe, my buddy looks over at me, remember, he's been patiently listening to me harangue, complain, vilify, and otherwise raise a stink about a particular issue.

Looking over his sunglasses, he gave me a very droll, two word response, "Shut up." My complaint was quite valid, but--according to Bubba--I was belaboring the point. "Man, you sounded just like my wife," he said. The deal is, you've got to get a little perspective on what's irritating you before you fire up the Cancer mouth its long list of problems with that situation. Blame Mars, blame Jupiter, blame me. Doesn't much matter, but try to cool it a little before you start the rap. I tend to think it's not really nearly as bad as you make it out to be.

Leo: Pressure is going to be relieved by the time weekend rolls on through here. Or, maybe you feel like the weekend is rolling over you. There's a common bit of Texas wisdom, bantered about on joke lists and such. But like many bits of humor, it also has a ring of truth to it.

At a four-way stop, the truck with the biggest tires and the largest firearms [in the gun rack] has the right-of-way. Look: you're feeling like you should try and argue with that other truck at the four-way stop. Ain't a good idea. His vehicle is larger than you, he has a date next to him, and it's his manly duty to [it's a testosterone thing] to be first. You can get in the way, but that causes nothing but trouble. It creates scene that you don't need to be a part of.

You're going to lose all of about two seconds. Granted, that's two seconds out of your Leo life that you might never have back again, and granted, you really are a lot more important than my neighbor with the monster truck and small arsenal. If necessary, be a little condescending. But let the other guy go first. It's just easier, and after all, the Leo life should be easy these days.