For the Week Starting: 10/30-11/5/2003

“The world is still deceived with ornament.”
Shakespeare’s the Merchant of Venice [III.ii.74]

Coming up, next week? Austin. Last chance to get out and catch a quick chart reading in Austin.

Scorpio: This is going to be a good Valentine’s Day. To be completely honest, we should all be thankful that Valentines Day falls right in the middle of Scorpio. It’s a time when, according to the old belief systems, the veil between the two world, the spirit world and the reality that most of us share, that line of demarcation is thinnest. Hence the obsession with ghouls, goblins, and outlandish costumes. In the old world, the spirits would come out at night. The nights are longer, and the encroaching winter crosses several cultures. There’s “All Hallow’s Eve,” “All Saints’ Day,” and a personal favorite around here, “Dia de las Muerte [Day of the Dead].” Can make for a long weekend, too, if you’re not up for it.

But your Scorpio self is up for it, and it’s time to play and party some. Starting next week, Miss Venus slips out of your sign and into the next. Plan on getting out and having some kind of fun, and go ahead, indulge a little bit. Go over your limits. Venus, the Sun, Mercury, they are all pushing on you, so you might as well enjoy it. Then, next week, plan on a little extra time at home to recuperate from the excess. It’s all in good fun, and one of the holidays is bound to line up with Scorpio calendar pretty well.

Sagittarius: Halloween is some kind of a big deal in Austin. It’s also, in deference to my basic pagan orientation, a holy day. In fact, it’s one of the few surviving holy holidays that’s still being observed. So much for the religious history point. For the past few years, thousands of revelers have adorned themselves in a variety of ways, and these revelers, plus thousands more of spectators, throng the downtown streets, and this becomes an impromptu parade of sorts.

The folks in costumes usually tour the street in a clockwise fashion whereas a number of spectators sit back and enjoy the show while standing, or sitting, on the curb. [Legendary 6th Street is closed off to vehicles for this event.] Sure, it’s fun to get out and get into a costume, but the best Sagittarius money is bet on just being an observer. The show is great, and it’s one that I’ve gotten accustomed to. Much more fun to observe than actually participate. That’s our Sagittarius clue for the times. Watch. Look, observe, enjoy, but we are best off being observers at this time, not as actual participants.

Capricorn: One of my good Capricorn friends work in a beauty parlor. As a hairdresser, in fact. She’s the only person who was allowed to get near my hair with scissors for the longest time. So this next couple of days are going to be extra busy for her. She’s got the usual list of people who want to be made beautiful by her magic touch plus there’s the extra load of folks coming in for those special fantasy hair pieces, part of the costume for the weekend. Any way you look at it, this all means more work. Lots more work.

The trick is to keep up with the scheduling changes, the way she keeps having to work in more than one person, at the last minute. Sort of drag because she’s going to be too tired to properly enjoy the holiday itself. “Oh, my aching feet,” she’ll say, as she props her feet up on my coffee table, “now look at my chart and answering about [insert sign here], my latest boyfriend….” She’ll still be wearing her black smock from work, probably with a hairpin and hairclip still dangling from the smock’s lapel. There will be that ever so faint aroma of chemicals, the stuff used to fry, frizz and color hair.

A few minutes will go by, and there’s a good chance she’ll nod off on the couch, too tired to worry about boyfriends and other outside interests. Stick to work. May be wearing you out, but it’s a lot more important than other extracurricular activities at this point.

Aquarius: Ever have one of those days wherein you’re just on top of the Aquarius world, everything is sailing along great, and then, “Wham!” Something hits you that just knock your very feet out from underneath you? This weekend looks to be rather promising. Then, next week, something comes along that just shatters your world. To an outside observer, it would appear that you’re about to–or have–entered a manic phase. The good news is that this is temporary situation.

The bad news is that this is probably going to happen. Sailing along great, then all of sudden, some cloud comes along and rains, rains hard, I might add, on your Aquarius parade. Take it all in giant, Aquarius stride. Don’t let the little fellers hold you down, at least, don’t let them hold you down for long. It’s like this, you show up for work on Monday, and the boss tells you that Halloween is over, and you think, “But these are my street clothes….” Some folks just understand the Aquarius sense of style.

Pisces: There’s at least one Pisces I’m close to, and if that particular Pisces uses this costume idea, I’m not sure it will be well-received in her office space. But other than that one, particular Pisces, the rest of you might want to take note. It’s the ubiquitous “Face in a milk crate” get-up. The way I saw it best, a guy painted his face green, dyed a sheet black, and cut the front section out of a milk crate plus he made a hole in the bottom of the same crate so he could stick his head through it. Pretty outlandish costume, took some effort, but I think the results were worth it.

On the big night, it looked great, after it got dark. It was just his head, floating along in a milk crate, looking scary. The idea that your banging your Pisces head into a few walls might extend for a longer period than just the costume holiday, too. On into next week, you might be feeling like your head is still stuck in that milk crate, and without the sheet, the sight is comical for some of us. Although, for my dear Pisces friends, it’s less comical, especially after Halloween is over. That doesn’t mean that you feel any less like you’ve stuck your head into a contraption and can’t seem to get it out.

Aries: It’s raining cats and dogs in Aries land. Reminds me a good Halloween costume, “Raining cats and dogs,” which was little stuffed animals pinned to an umbrella. That’s also what it feels like, and you can use that as a metaphor for the next few days, or you can use it as a costume, or, better yet, you can use it for both. Nothing’s better than make the make-believe world of fantasy and the real world of Aries life come together. Raining cats and dogs, indeed.

When some particular person, usually a boss type of person, but it could be a client or co-worker, comes up with “just one more question about procedure here,” you can defy the superstition that it’s a bad move to open an umbrella indoors, and show that person that, in your Aries world, it is raining cats dogs already. Nothing like having a decent visual prop to explain a situation to those folks who don’t seem to understand the gravity of what your Aries world looks like at this point.

Taurus: One of the easiest culinary treats for me to prepare in the confines of my own trailer is my version of a chili pie. Or Frito Pie. Or whatever you want to call it. I stop on the way home and pick up a small bag of corn chips. I’ll have a few of those corn chips then I’ll dump the rest into a bowl, open up a can of Y2K chili, and nuke the whole mess. Almost as good as Sonic or some other drive-in. Or almost any similar location. On a cold winter night, I guess around here I have to use a little imagination, but the nights have been a little cooler recently.

While I was dumping that can of chili onto the chips the other night, I made an unexpected discovery. The “best used by” date. I had one case of Y2K chili that was off brand, and I had one case of Wolf brand. The Wolf brand chili didn’t have an expiration date on it. The only date I could find was the fact that the Wolf Brand Chili was started in 1895. I hope that can wasn’t that old. The other one, the can I used that night, it did have an expiration date, 10/2002. I did nuke that stuff just a little longer to make sure I cooked out anything that wasn’t supposed to be in there. Halloween treats are going to be all over the Taurus chart. You might want to check the expiration date before you serve something up for yourself.

Gemini: Most of the Gemini’s I hang around love Halloween. It’s time when the rest of the world catches up with the Gemini way of thinking. It’s time when an excessive amount of energy is expended on making the outward appearance look scary. Or weird. Or just plain different. Fine. Now, the problem is, you’re little Gemini self will tempted to dress up in an elaborate costume, and wear that to work. The deal is, the boss is expecting some real-world results, immediate, real-world results, as only a Gemini can deliver, and those “boss expectations” might come at the expense of elaborate costume design.

So Friday, maybe it’s not a good idea to go in your “Casual Friday” Halloween costume dress. You might want to save some of the frightening makeup for later. I’ve got one Gemini friend, and he’s spent a lot of time putting together the right parts and plastic pieces to have a meat cleaver buried in his skull, as the costume. While that might be what the rest of the week actually feels like, you know, showing up for work dressed like that isn’t such a good idea.

Cancer: In the good old days of travel, air travel specifically, the air sickness bags were works of art. These days? Usually nothing but a blank bag sandwiched between the in-flight magazine and “shopping in the sky” catalog. If you can locate one of the old-fashioned air sickness bags, though, on one side, it used to say “Seat Occupied,” back to the good old days when the skies were a little more friendly and you could just hop off at any stop to stretch your legs. Around my part of the country, in fact, the bag would usually say, “Occupied” on one side, and “Occupado” [or is it “occupadio”?] on the other side.

Find one of those bags, or make up your own version of one. It’s a costume idea, and one you can carry on into next week, as well. You’re going to want to use this prop as a way to explain that “you’re working on it.” Someone undesirable wants to sit down beside you? Occupied. Like the bag says. And if that person persists? Suggest that you might have to use the bag for its original, intended purpose. That usually scares them away. After all, isn’t that the point of Halloween? Scare them away? Plus, you get a chance to finish that project you’ve been working on.

Leo: “It’s too late to drain the swamp when you’re up to your elbows in alligators,” is a familiar expression usually bantered about by my Leo friend from Louisiana. I’m passing that comment your way, because it is from a Leo, and I’m also hoping that the source makes the expression a little more palatable. Careful planning is required. You can’t stop on the way home, on the big night, and hope to pick up a cool costume.

Really good costumes require some thoughtful planning to be executed properly. Didn’t get much of chance to plan this one? Then don’t worry about it. Some matters require your attention at this point in the game, and if you didn’t properly plan for one occasion, then it’s okay to skip it. Stick to what you planned out. Now, before we get too carried away with the successful execution of the plans, let me finish that thought. You lay some careful plans, then, at the last minute decide to change something. This is going to have a ripple effect, all the way to the edge of the Leo pond. Careful with making a change like that, as it might not turn out the way you expect it. Expectations about the outcome is problematic. Stick to the plan.

Virgo: A little tense are we? A little put out by the whole holiday thing? Come on, celebrate, just a little. Let go of that stuffy Virgo attitude, if only for a minute. “But I don’t have a stuffy ‘Virgo’ attitude, do I? And you’re not going to wear that out for a costume, are you?” See what I mean about the attitude? It sort of seeps through, comes in from around the edges, doesn’t hit the rest of us straight up, but it’s still there, lurking around. Skulking, even. While this is an inherent Virgo characteristic, it can get on someone’s nerves. Won’t be me, as I am forever enthralled and amused by delicate Virgo sensibilities.

Yet, what I would caution you about is playing the “good cop” too much. On some of us adults, you don’t really need to check what’s in our “trick or treat” goodies bag. We are adults, and if we want to indulge in too much candy, and suffer the consequences, you can let us do just that. The real caution comes next week, as our jeans are a little too tight, or maybe we have an upset tummy from too much candy. That’s when you really don’t want to lapse into that familiar rejoinder, even though you are right, don’t hit us with that, “I told you so.”

Libra: I was having a plate of seared animal flesh, slow-cooked over hot mesquite coals, the other evening with Bubba. The particular place, supposedly a legend among local barbecue joints, offered two kinds of sauce, regular and “extra spicy.” Bubba is a connoisseur of such culinary affectations. “This hot sauce, it’s got that typical ‘white boy’ flavor. You know, they just added cayenne until it was hot enough to burn. But no damn flavor,” he grumbled.

In his estimation, and I would tend to agree about that barbecue sauce, it was just hot. Not particularly flavorful, just high on the heat index. Didn’t add anything of value to the smoked delicacies. Halloween and beyond? Don’t be trying that one trick at the legendary barbecue joint, don’t be adding hot spices just for the sake of making something hot enough to burn and thereby covering up the good flavor. Masking some aspect of your life might not really fool a perspicacious bubba, you know.

(c) 2002, 2003 by Kramer Wetzel for astrofish.net

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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© 1993 – 2022 Kramer Wetzel, for astrofish.net &c.

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