For the Week of: 8/7-13/2003

“Be not lost so poorly in your thoughts”
Shakespeare’s [Scottish Play] [II.ii.70-1]

Show your support for the Fishing Guide to the Stars: Austin, weekend of Aug. 16 & 17 — El Paso, weekend of Aug. 23 & 24. Details here.

Mercury, Mars, just about everything is headed into disarrary, or is already there. Before that last hurricane blew through town, I was watching as the offshoots of the weather came creeping up the waterline. On the lake’s surface, it appeared that the stiff breeze was from the South-Southeat. On the bridge far overhead, just south of downtown, it sure felt like the hard wind was from the Northwesterly direction. Confusing? Either way, it spells trouble, unless you’re a seasoned sailor.

Leo: You’re surely looking at this scope and wondering, “Are we having fun yet?” That’s the way it goes, the part about being unsure whether or not this is fun yet. It should be, or, at best, it could b a little more fun than it feels. The key point is to understand some of the dynamics at work, between Mars making your Life of Leo a little uncomfortable and Venus trying to make you happy. Then there’s Jupiter, and I’ll get cussed by one Leo because it’s as if I personally conspired to make all this happen like this, Jupiter marching forward and Mr. Mars marching backwards.

Not me. I didn’t do it. I didn’t plan it. We were stringing a cable connection from one trailer to another the other day. I wouldn’t want you to think that we were doing anything illegal, it was just one resident helping the other out with a little extra wiring. So the Leo from the Leo trailer looks up, face covered with grime from poking into the nooks and crannies of a particular trailer, trying to make the fat cable wire look innocuous. “Are we having fun yet?” he asked. You know this will take a little bit of work, but the payoff, hundreds of entertainment channels, that’s worth the effort — as long as you don’t get caught.

Virgo: One of life’s little pleasures on hot summer days in Texas, one of the greatest of joys, is a simple dip in the water. Whether it’s a pool or creek, or even one of the area lakes’ recreational areas [Hippie Hollow comes to mind]. I was slipping over the fence around an apartment’s pool the other day. Just easier, you know? Sometimes, I can snake a pocketknife’s blade into the gate’s lock, and slip my way in. Seeing as how I’d forgotten a knife that day, I just figured it was easier to hop over the fence itself. It was one of those largely decorative iron barricades, the type with the pointy ends at the top.

Getting over was no trouble, as I had my shirt in hand. But going out was a little more difficult as I was cooled off, and I’d temporarily put my shirt back on. Then along comes the manager, “Hey! You don’t live here…” I jumped for it, and that stupid wrought iron caught the back of my shirt, tearing a nice slice out of it. Better the shirt than my hide. I did a quick verbal two-step with the indignant manager, claiming I was supposed to meet some resident who lived on the third floor. I got off with a stern warning and tear in the back of a shirt. Not really a big deal. So you go out to partake of a little pleasure that is slightly dubious in terms of legality. Nothing wrong with that. But when it comes time for a hasty exit? Better make sure you’re not hooked on those long, metal spikes before you jump.

Libra: I remember when it happened the last time, when Mars was like this. I was reconciling my checking account, and I noticed that the bank had failed to credit me for a deposit I’d made. Better yet, it was deposit that I walked into the bank to make. I could even recall which teller I made the deposit with [a Leo, as a matter of fact]. See? It pays to ascertain the sign of someone with whom you do business. The bank lost my money. Which was okay because I had plenty of money at the time, and I wasn’t worried about a paltry little sum like that, but I was worried that the bank actually misplaced my funds. I went around and around with the “customer service” personnel, and I finally got my amount credited to the proper account, my account, and I promptly closed that account.

I moved everything to a different bank. I’m not sure that the company misses me, a nearly destitute astrologer with a past record of occasionally floating a check or two, no I’m not sure that they miss my business. However, the walk-in tellers probably do miss me. Except that one Leo. I’m afraid I might have caused some trouble because I’m compulsive receipt saver. It was numbered, stamped, and all that, showing that I was right. When I was dealing with the customer service folks, I made effort to be polite, trying to match their unctuous attitude with smiles and an occasional joke. I knew that Mr. Mars was doing his best to confound everyone, and I’d like to suggest that you follow my example. Someone is going to mess up on some paperwork. I won’t promise that it’s a bank, but someplace, as long as you have the slip of paper proving that your Libra self is right, you can win. But you’re going to have to be nice about it. Facts, not fiction, are your allies. Remember, if Mars is backwards for you, it’s backwards for them, too.

Scorpio: I’ve tried this sort of direction with you Scorpio’s in the past, and I’m stuck with doing it again. Look: I know you’re right. You know you’re right. The rest of the folks you’re dealing with? That’s the problem. The way you express yourself, that’s what’s so important. A little restraint goes a long way in making you a happier Scorpio. What I’m warning you about, instead of looking back, and thinking, “If only my Scorpio mouth hadn’t said that….”

Your fine Scorpio self is not so terribly disposed towards restraint and self-discipline at the first of this month. I’m not saying that you don’t usually have a lot of restraint and self-discipline, after all, you are my favorite Fixed Water Sign. You are normally quite reserved and quiet about such matters that require a modicum of discretion. What’s going on is that your ability to keep your mouth shut about some of this stuff isn’t working so well. Or it’s working too well. In either case, a little restraint is in order. Makes you a much happier person. Now please, no angry e-mail, or flames, or anything like that. As I’ve said before, I know you’re right, but how you express your correctness is what needs a little dose of quiet.

Sagittarius: My trailer sits on the edge of the Colorado River. Actually, it’s really the flood-controlled waterfront, it’s an area, a portion of the river with a dam at both ends, and it’s called Town Lake. When we get summer rains, one of my friends has a nasty habit of calling me up to check and see if I’m floating away yet, or if the water has risen to the point that it’s dangerous, or something like that.

He’s really just jealous because I live next to water and he doesn’t. “Glad you up on blocks, ain’t ya?” he queries. “Good thing your trailer’s airtight, huh?” Yeah, whatever. It was cute the first time. It was amusing the second time. After a couple of years, though, this sort of taunting ceases to be really funny. It stops being amusing and starts to be a little annoying. Unfortunately, there’s no real way to stem the tide of the Mars-related chiding. While your friends may intend this as good-natured ribbing, your poor Sagittarius feathers are apt to be ruffled along the way. Since I’ve never come up with a good way to avoid this sort of chatter, I can’t offer some sort of advice about how to deal with the teasing of others. Just figure that they’re jealous of your location.

Capricorn: Everybody makes jokes about trailer life. Yet something like 10% or 12% of America lives in mobile homes, or, as some folks refer to them, “fashionable pre-manufactured mobile dwelling unit.” Another observed phenomena — really an old wives tale and urban myth — is that certain forms of aberrant weather is attracted to mobile home parks. It’s just not true. We don’t attract tornados, but it sure seems that way. There was freak tornado in England, some years ago. Guess where it landed? Guess what it tore up? That’s right, an RV park of some sort. Just weird how that happens.

I couldn’t ever get the useless piece of trivia out of my mind, so it’s here. Does this mean that your going to be hit a tornado? I seriously doubt that. But this does imply that your home is going to get a little shaken up. I was got off thinking about the tornados and mobile homes because the weather’s been a little weird lately, and nothing is impossible, although, strictly speaking we should be done with our twister weather here in Texas. I figure there’s something coming along, and it’s going to shake the foundations of your Capricorn trailer. I don’t figure that this is going to actually shake your home, but I would suggest that you get prepared for a little, almost inevitable shaking of your foundations. Doesn’t have to be a big one, just a gentle rocking that suggests maybe shouldn’t have placed all those knickknacks on the shelves.

Aquarius: It was a hot summer’s day, like this unusual in Texas? I rolled into a local Tex-Mex place, noted for its especially sumptuous, if not exactly healthy, cuisine. Hot, spicy, tasty, plentiful. They have a special dish, it’s three ground beef enchiladas, smothered in cheese, “con carne chili sauce,” and topped with two friend eggs. I was hungry. I had my quart-sized “bucket of ice tea,” I was halfway through the chips and particularly piquant hot sauce, when my Straight Plate [as it’s named] arrived. I tucked into that plate like there was no tomorrow, eventually ordering up an extra handmade tortilla or two to help sop up the remaining grease. Between the chips, the hot sauce, the extra tortillas and everything, I was stuffed.

Happy, satiated. Close to comatose, too. Not a big deal, really. One of my buddies jokes about this sort of meal, “Yeah, you can hear them warming up star flight now [local helicopter coronary care ambulance].” As comfort food goes, that Strait Plate can’t be beat. Nothing works quite as well as three beef enchiladas smothered in fresh chopped onions, greasy melted cheese and rich meat chili sauce. Topped with a couple of fried eggs? Who are we kidding here? Is this comfort food? Or is this kind of food more along the lines of a death wish? What works as comfort might not be in your best interest. However, I’m still suggesting that a meal just like that will help ease you over the rough patches. In my case, though, I was thinking, after a meal like that, I need a good nap. Whatever works, right? Anything to ameliorate the effect of Mr. Mars.

Pisces: San Jose, California. Home to, shoot, I know next to nothing about San Jose. San Jose Sharks, maybe? They used to have a great motorcycle shop there, but that was some time ago. Airport maybe? I’m not sure. Been there a time or two. Anyway, one of my sources suggested that she’d actually seen–and get this: tasted–San Jose Banana Sea Slug Ice Cream. [And your Pisces self thought I was joking last week?]

I can imagine how a delicate Pisces would recoil in horror at the thought of “Banana Slug Ice Cream,” but think about it. Mr. Mars, doing his backward tumble in your sign, apparently, and some sort of weird California ice cream, named after a slug, no less. But the ice cream itself, it tasted pretty good, according to my source. And Mr. Mars, he’s making life appear to be uncomfortable, but once you get passed the idea that things look bad, it’s really not to terrible. Sort of tasty. Like banana sea slug ice cream. No, really, give it chance. It doesn’t have to be all that bad — although, for my money, I’m not sure I’d really be interested in tasting that stuff. But as always, I’m willing to be wrong.

Aries: Good stuff, bad stuff, medium stuff. You never can tell quite what it’s going to be. Might be a little of it all. Might also be a lot of trouble. It all depends on where you are with the “Mars is backwards” thing right now. Put that in a good place, and you’re set to enjoy some mighty fine times over the next few days. But if there’s any problem there, if there’s any question about where–and what–Mr. Mars is up to, then there will be trouble.

This would tend to be something from the past, a previous problem that you failed to properly attend to, and that particular situation will be back. Back with a vengeance. Back like nobody’s business. I’m not picking on you, but the planets are conspiring to make sure that you’ve got your tasks in order. As long as you’re working with what’s there, and as long as you’re doing exactly what you’re supposed to be doing, this little task, or set of tasks, should be pretty easy to accomplish in the next few days. But if you’ve strayed from the chosen path, if you’ve meandered from the marked trail, if you’ve taken one of my shortcuts, you’re going to find that Mr. Mars opens up a can of you-know-what.

Taurus: One of my friends from Dallas was down in Austin, and I always enjoy the Northern perspective, “Austin’s great, I don’t have to wear a bra!” That comment, in and of itself, isn’t too bad. Could be interesting. It’s just that it reminded me, the last time I heard it, about something my own mother said, after I’d given her a T-Shirt, “Oh good, it’s black, I don’t have to wear a bra with it!” That’s frightening, to me, as her middle-aged son. Not something I want to know, hear about — or see.

Of course, I want my dear sweet, long-suffering Scorpio mother to be comfortable. But there are some aspects of her life that should remain, well, a little less public. A little discretion on your Taurus part would help a lot. While certain comments are almost always welcome, maybe this isn’t something that you need to broadcast to the world. Even if you claim that you have nothing to hide, no secrets that you’re worried about anyone finding out, no problems whatsoever, I still would suggest that a little perspicacious discretion is an operative word for the next few days. Think about, you can never tell what will wind up in print on some web site, and all I’m trying to do is save you the embarrassment.

Gemini: Life’s little luxuries take on different flavors. For me, a hot cup of espresso with some frothy milk on top of it, either as a floater or mixed in, that’s one of life’s little, guilty pleasures. I may have my facts wrong, but a single shot of espresso isn’t supposed to be that high in its caffeine content, as I recall. Some of the morning coffee I brew is stronger. More potent, even more wicked, by some standards.

I can use the jolt in the morning, to get me cranked up and at work. In the afternoon, that mild espresso drink is a pleasure, not a serious cup of “get up and go.” The deal, sometimes there are guilty pleasures that help move events along in your life. Considering that every other sign seems to be dawdling, meandering, or just taking life super easy, and seeing as how you’re still cranked up and rarin’ to go, I suggest you take a break.

Consider setting aside a little time for that guilty please, whatever form it takes. Better yet, try a guilty pleasure that has added value, like a little extra shot of something in the afternoon to make your own, Gemini mind work better. Best yet, take along one of those folks who doesn’t seem to be moving quite as rapid as you are, see if that doesn’t help them get up to speed with your Gemini self.

Cancer: I sat down with one Cancer girl, about two years ago, and I mapped out where planets were going to be in her chart, over the next few years. I placed a lot of emphasis on Mr. Saturn and how he brings work. Plus there’s a minor amount of depression. You get a weird [strange, bizarre, unaccounted for] sense that there’s some kind of assistance you will receive at a time like this, though.

The next couple of days see that you can see there’s a way out. A pathway becomes more clear. “There’s a light at the end of the tunnel.” Sure, you might not quite see it that way, but there’s a feeling you get, a sense that you can intuitively grasp that there is that light at the end of the tunnel. I doubt you’ll be able to actually see the way through this mess just yet, but there’s a way to deal with it all. Troubles? Sure, you’ve got a few. I told you to squirrel away some extra cash a while back. If you did, then you’re fine. If you didn’t, then there’s trouble. I hardly see this as big trouble, more like you’ve got to cut a few expenses these days, a few luxuries that you can do without.

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 KramerWetzel.com.

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