10.23.2003

For the Week of: 10/23-29/2003
“[You are] less valiant than the virgin in the night.”
Shakespeare’s Troilus and Cressida [I.i.11]

Scorpio comes in with an interesting start… Not right away but around the corner, there’s “something up” in Scorpio land. The rest of us would do well to heed that Scorpio warning, apply need be.

Scorpio: Maybe it was last week, I’m not sure, but it was one of those days when the October weather was rather summer-like. I stopped off after a walk around the lake, to fetch up a bottle of water from a convenience store. Small, family-run business, the kind of place I like to frequent as there’s often a bit of stray gossip, or a casual and friendly response instead of the blank stare of a corporate drone.

I grabbed a bottle out of new cooler in the back, the bottle came from one of the lower rows, and after I paid [and exchanged a “hello”], stepped out the door into the afternoon sunlight again, as soon as I opened that bottle of water, tiny ice crystals formed on the surface. I took a big, cool, refreshing swig of slush. I thought it was just too cool, you know, the ice floating on the surface of that water, just cold enough to freeze, if only momentarily.

It was one of those unexpected delights on a hot autumn afternoon in Texas. Look: you might live in the frozen north, for all I know, and you might not find frozen water crystals as an endearing treat in the middle of your afternoon. Doesn’t much matter, though, you’re going to have the same emotional type of response to a set of stimuli over the next few days. Whatever refreshing actions gives you a little tingle, a small chance to see that your own Scorpio world is better place, you get a break like that. In hot climates, those water crystals were just the neatest little break from an arduous afternoon.

Sagittarius: Ah sweet, sincere, bumbling Sagittarius! Ever have one of those days when everything–and I mean everything–you touch just turns bad? I commented on how nice a particular young lady looked in her new outfit, and I was called a “sexist pig.” Which, truth be told, is probably true, but at the time I was just trying to be nice.

I offered to help an elderly neighbor here at the trailer park, and I was rudely rebuffed as a “meddling and weird neighbor.” Some days are like that, you try to be nice and it just gets thrown back in your face. You’d figure, on day like that, with two strikes out, I wouldn’t bother to try a third a time. Never underestimate the Sagittarius ability to see good where there doesn’t seem to be a lot of good.

However, if you’re like me, and you strike out twice in one morning, I’m not about to suggest we try a third time, not on that particular day. The odds aren’t good. However, don’t let this interfere with your own good-time, happy-go-lucky, everything-will-be-alright attitude. There’s a promise that all your efforts will be eventually recognized as the do-good person that you are. Problem being, it might not happen this week. Might not happen for a few weeks. That’s okay, just because other folks don’t understand why we can maintain an almost manic like optimism in the face of adversity, that doesn’t mean all is lost. Just realize that some people aren’t used to folks being nice to them. Especially us Sagittarius types.

Capricorn: “You on vacation every day.” It was the kindly lady at the corner convenience store, independently owned and operated, not some giant chain or anything. She was commenting on my appearance, and the fact that she frequently saw me with wet hair, especially during the summer months, me having just taken a dunk in the creek or trespassed into a neighboring pool. While I might have the appearance of the joyous and easy lifestyle, looking like I live on easy street, it’s not nearly like that all. I have stress, problems, balky bill collectors, just like everyone else.

The point is about choices. I can be troubled about this sort of stuff first thing in the morning, or I can scrape together some change–enough to buy a paper and stop in the corner store with a smile on my face, a shirt slung over my shoulder as I make way off to meet a client or go to an important meeting. Or go and sample coffee someplace. All part of the day’s work. Halloween is around the corner. Time to play some. Doesn’t mean you can shirk your responsibilities, but you can try that style that I use, and you can look like you’re on vacation every day.

Aquarius: Ever see one of those sights that just seems to defy logic? I was skirting along the northern border of a local park, and I watched as a little dog was furiously chasing a squirrel. Or maybe the little rat terrier-looking thing was chasing bird, I’m not sure, I came upon the scene about halfway through the chase. Whatever the object of the chase was had secured itself up a tree. Now, that little terrier-appearing mutt would back up and bark up the tree, then take a running start, and that canine managed to get about halfway up the trunk of the tree.

It never made it all the way to the branches, but it was a death-defying display of athletic abilities, plus it made for a remarkably amusing visual image of a dog trying to scamper up into the tree to catch the prey. Maybe “death-defying” isn’t the right description, thinking about it now, it was more like “gravity-defying” because that canine was moving in such a way, I mean, it seemed like that critter would just hang in the air for a moment or two. You and your Aquarius self know that you’re chasing a squirrel up a tree and we both know that you really shouldn’t be doing this, as it is a futile chase. That’s not going to stop you from doing it, nor, just like that dog, is it going to stop you from performing amazing feats that seem to defy logic and law. What law? The law of gravity. I’m pretty sure, though, unlike that dog, you might actually catch what you’re chasing. What are going to do then?

Pisces: I was standing outside, taking in the brisk morning air, trying to wake up a little, and I probably had a cup of coffee in my hand, but I’m not sure. The sky was gray and cloudy, a little depressing, in some ways. I glanced upwards, trying to check the weather, and I saw flight of ducks? Some kind of waterfowl migrating in a westerly direction. I can’t tell a lot about the birds because it’s not an area that I’m strong in, other than there’s a Chinese dish that, for all the world, looks like “duck fajitas” to me, and I know that it’s really, really good. Tender duck, cooked up, and wrapped in a “pancake.” Looks just like a fajita to me.

I guess that’s a cultural thing, though. Anyway, enough about my culinary adventures, those ducks flying overhead were in V formation, just like something on a nature documentary. Pretty cool. I watched as the V arched overhead, then I noticed one last duck, wings flapping madly, trying desperately to catch up. Waterfowl are graceful creatures–on the lake. Airborne? Not really, although that V formation was a good trick. That one, lone duck, flapping madly, comically, almost sadly, trying to catch up with the rest of the herd? Know the feeling? That’s Pisces. The good news? By the middle of next week? You should be back in that V formation, along with all the rest of the ducks in the row.

Aries: The weekend is going to bring about some renewed relief and focus. Sort of hard to work both those into a weekend and next week, but the way it works, there’s both some astrological relief plus there’s going to be an opportunity to get your aim back on track. It’s like this, the Sun is moving himself out of Libra, which is opposite you. Along with the sun, Mr. Mercury and Miss Venus are lining up in Scorpio. That’s the renewed focus.

The good part is, Scorpio isn’t opposing you in any way, shape or form. This is good. You’re going to get a little dose of blessed relief. Then there’s another trick coming you way, as it’s a time to renew some particular project, goal, destination, one of those things that you’ve been meaning to get back to, you get a chance to pick up where you left off. That’s good. Just because your astrological life starts to feel a little easier, that doesn’t mean you can just rest on your Aries laurels, though. There’s still some work ahead, but this time, it looks like there will be adequate assistance. You’re welcome.

Taurus: I was working for a spell, really just helping a friend out because he needed some dependable person to actually show up on time every day and sit in the office, and this presented a problem. See, the office hours were just like, noon to 5:00 PM. No big deal, just a couple of days a week. Just show up after lunch, then leave at 5. Except for one little problem. Or maybe it was a big problem. Just as soon as I got ready to check out at 5, just as soon as I was about to hit the clock at 5:00 PM, there would be a phone call, a person would walk in the office, the boss would call, the bookkeeper would need me, the accountant would call, maintenance would require my presence, or something would happen.

It wasn’t like that every day, but any time I scheduled a reading for a little later, I would get caught up short. In other words, all hell would break loose, just as soon as I thought I could skate out the door. To folks used to working a regular job, I’ll just have to assume that this is a normal occurrence. Watch out. It’s happening in the next couple of days. Just when you think you’re out the door at work, even if it’s only part-time gig to help out a friend, there’s going to be that “one last thing,” which turns into a task that will require an extra hour of your time. Me? My Taurus self this week is going to leave my schedule a little more open for just such untimely events.

Gemini: One of my buddies recently got discharged after a brief stint in the Army. Maybe he was in the Marines, I could never tell. Something about weapons and firearms, and he was all gung-ho then washed out. Or sustained an injury that rendered him no longer fit for active duty. Something like that. What I got out of the deal was his military badge ID holder neck wallet. It’s not really much more than a lanyard with a slip of clear plastic for holding an ID card. Now, what do I have in it? I’ve got a decade old press pass from when I was an active member of the 4th Estate. On the flip side of that aging media pass, I’ve got my mail-order minister card.

Isn’t this ever so Gemini of me? On one side, I’m a person you should be afraid to talk to because I’m the media, and on the other side, sort of depends on how you hang the badges, I’m a minister, capable of legally performing marriages, and so forth. Giving spiritual advice. Right. Press or Priest, all depends on which piece of plastic shows through the window. You’re Gemini. You have, in one capacity or another, earned similar credentials to mine. Pay attention, because during the next week, you’re going to need both sets of ID. Here’s the tricky part, you have to determine when one set of information is a private confession and when another set of information turns out to be a breaking story. The hard part? Determining which is what. Or what’s which. Or something like that.

Cancer: I’ve got a couple of friends on the police force. Not just here in town, but in several towns. One of the questions I ask, whenever I get a chance, is for a good story that I can relate to other folks. In other words, a cop story that is purportedly true, and hopefully has some humor. Besides, I’ve grown accustomed to being friendly with officers. Sure makes for a nicer interaction.

One of the guys was telling me about a drunk he arrested. The drunk was complaining about how tight the handcuffs were. My buddy looked at the alleged perpetrator, and without cracking a grin, the cop claimed he said, “Oh, those are new cuffs. They’ll stretch out some after you wear them for bit.” Know the feeling? Which feeling? Are you the one in the handcuffs right now? Are you the cop with a sense of humor? Who will it be? Personally, I tend to regard you as that officer with the sense of humor. However, knowing the way the stars are stacking up these days, I might warn you to think about certain activities that could, either literally or just in a figurative sense, have your Cancer self wind up in a set of bracelets like that. And if the situation feels a little too tight for your Cancer comfort? Don’t worry about, that situation will stretch out with time.

Leo: I love the variety of cuisine found in Texas. In Deep East Texas, there’s spicy Cajun food, Louisiana-style seafood, and some of our own native South East Asia cuisine mixed in for good measure. Plus there’s that influence directly from the American South, deep-fried. Southern cooking itself is quite good. Mix this with the Tex-Mex in Central Texas, and then consider the various border cuisines, derivative of Central and South America, most notably, Mexican cuisine.

Quite the mix of styles and flavors. And that’s just the stuff that’s native. No need to mention all the imported brands. I was dining in East Austin, it was a quiet Sunday afternoon, and I’d stumbled into a taqueria of ill repute. Great place. Perhaps my exhaustion let my mind wander, but one of the items on the menu was “Lengua.” It’s beef tongue, and wrapped in tortilla with a piquant sauce, it’s really rather good. I ordered some. It was rather flavorful. I can recommend it for the adventuresome diner. But it’s the tongue itself that’s a little bit of problem in Leo land. See, while it’s a great menu item in certain locations, I’m not sure that you should branch out and try something like this, not now. Plus, there’s another problem, see you’re Leo tongue might be waggling a little too much these days. Best be careful, I’d hate for you to be offered up as a supper selection.

Virgo: Weird weather patterns. It gets like this in Texas, in the fall. I looked at the weather map. Made an educated guess that I could get away with shorts and a light shirt, and walked out the door, locking the trailer behind me. I traversed about 17 steps of the tree-lined gravel pathway in Shady Acres when I realized that I wasn’t wearing enough clothing. I promptly turned around, unlocked the door again, the cat looked at me like I was crazy, and I pulled on some more clothing, wrapping a flannel shirt around my waist, just in case.

Later the evening, it turned out I was correct with my choices. When I hit the door, I’m usually ready to roll. Being willing to backtrack long enough to get what I need is not my style. Some would say I don’t have any style, but I guess that’s a point best left to other avenues of discussion. Deal is, you’ve got to be willing to make last minute adjustments. Might be to clothing, might be to something other than just appearance. But there’s a willingness to make an adjustment that’s necessary. Besides, the weather in October, in Texas? Like the astrological weather in Virgo, it all sort of depends.

Libra: It’s great fun for me to “wind up a sign.” You know, pick on one attribute, then give them an unrelenting amount of grief because of that one attribute? I was fixing to do that to Libra, this week, but I decided against it, after carefully examining the chart. Yes, your sense of humor is a little frayed, and yes, it’s not exactly what you’re looking for, not from me. So I’m not going to make any sarcastic, caustic comments about “Libra and balance,” or similar jibes.

However, I’m aware of your astrological planet mix, and I know that you’re just a little more sensitive than usual. Although my comment was going to be intended in friendly jest, it would probably be taken wrong. Regrettably, not everyone will understand that, and over the next couple of days, someone is going to make a joke, probably with your Libra self as the butt of the joke, and you ain’t going to like that at all.

Try to see if from the teller’s point of view, though, and it could be funny. Maybe not the funniest thing you’ve heard, but it’s not that bad. Or is it? Go easy, and realize that you’re just a little more sensitive than usual. Don’t let the insensitive types get you all up in arms about a comment intended as humor. That’s the problem with sarcasm, it can–not that I know anything about this myself–overstep the bounds of good taste.

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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