For the Week Starting: 11/27-12/3/2003

“How fooling grows old, and people dislike it.”
Shakespeare’s 12th Night (I.v.111)

Of note for the ages…

Sagittarius: It used to be that retail was a noble pursuit. It used to be that retail meant something. These days, it’s a lot different. Retail is one heck of battleground, of sorts. It’s ugly out there. Last time I tied to get some “customer service,” my entreaties were met with a rude and abusive assistance, I’m not even sure I got assisted, either, I think I was just shown the back door and told to leave.

Don’t feel sorry for me, I’m used to this sort of behavior, especially times being what they are. It would be nice if we could all return to that time when clerks were hired to help customers, instead of the current crop of surely individuals. However, in their defense, if you had to deal with a group of rude folks, each with a particular problem, you might start to get a little surly yourself. Few Sagittarius types work in retail, but that doesn’t mean you’re not dealing with some of the same flavor of energies. Do something different, act nice. That’ll shake the other person up. Sure beats getting tossed out the back door of the store like I was.

Capricorn: One of my regular clients isn’t really a Capricorn, but in that natal chart, Saturn lines up exactly with the Sun. Makes for a special, sly and sardonic Capricorn flavor in the chart. What exactly is the Cappy flavor? It’s a bit bitter and brittle these days, not exactly in the best of form. Sure, Venus is in your sign, as well as Mercury, but that doesn’t add enough to make it all balance out too well. And therein lies the challenge: balance.

You have things you want to do (like go fishing) and you have things you need to do (like go to work) and unless you can package this all up in a good way, then you’re stuck with a somewhat brittle attitude because–and this obvious to folks around you–you don’t want to be here. Doesn’t much matter where “here” is, it’s not where you want to be. My suggestion? Just because you don’t want to be here, that doesn’t mean you can’t engage some of that Venus inspired influence and enjoy wherever it is that you seem to find yourself.

Aquarius: Mystical revelations come from many different sources. It could be a divine, apocryphal experience. It could also be a something a little more mundane. I started keep track of what tacqueria served the best breakfast tacos. One place that I found, it’s not there all the time, and it’s not open all the time, because it’s a “deals on wheels” kind of a restaurant, was just a trailer parked on a busy street corner. The hired help didn’t speak much English, which usually made for an interesting transaction, as the hand-lettered sign outside the mobile kitchen included “Huevos and Bacon,” or, as I would ask for it, “Huevos y Bacon.”

I’m pretty sure that “Bacon” is not a Spanish word. A street-side vendor peddling breakfast tacos isn’t the usual source of spiritual enlightenment. But bare with me, on one of those warm afternoon in the Texas sun, your Aquarius butt parked on milk crate while sitting outside of just such a place, watching the traffic go by? You’d be surprised just what you can learn. Some of the greater messages are in the little details. At the very least, you might find a truly delicious and affordable breakfast taco.

Pisces: One of my fishing buddies was telling me about, “Bait that bites.” I was amused, so Looked this stuff up on the web. At first, the only I could find was plastic versions of the critter he was describing. Then, a little further, digging around in a search engine, I can across a link to the biology department at the agricultural & mechanical university, and there it was. Pictures of this larval form of Dobson fly, and those were some mean looking pincers on those larvae.

My buddy went to great length to describe what his experience was like with that form of live bait, “It’ll draw blood. No, really it will.” My buddy went to tell a story about friend who had a friend who actually used that kind of bait. Seems that the little pincers on the end of the larva would, indeed draw blood. Nasty stuff. I suppose that could be an episode for daytime TV, “Bait that bites.” My suggestion? You might not be fishing for big bass, but I would definitely look out for bait that bites. Or bait that bites back. Or bait that is certainly more dangerous than the fish itself.

Aries: Rolling a scope out on Turkey Day is a little weird for me. The day, since it’s an American Holiday, is lost in the global schematic. It’s not a holiday based upon the seasons, or the movement of the planets, or anything useful and timely such as that. Plus there’s the problem that no readers outside of the Sates really understand T-Day. As an Aries, you’re starting to think in such global terms. It’s been a gradual process, not like you woke up one morning, and realized, “Those poor souls in Europe and Australia, they don’t get to sit around, stuffed with Turkey, and watch bowl games (American Football), all afternoon, surrounded by friends and family. ‘Tis a pity.”

I would suggest it just sort of gets you right here, and then I make a gesture towards the center of my chest. That gesture, it could imply one of two things, either this is a heartfelt and sincere feeling of sorrow and pity, or, it could also imply (this is a cultural gesture) that I’ve got heartburn. If something tugs at your “heartstrings” long enough, especially during our American Holiday season, be careful that it doesn’t develop into “heartburn.” Watch out for an excessive amount of emotional sympathy that develops into a stomach ache. Or headache, from feeling too sorry for those souls who don’t have a T-Day. Or for feeling sorry for those of us who have to spend it with family.

Taurus: The last hardcore set of statistics I looked at suggested that 50% of first marriages ended in divorce. When face-to-face with a family holiday like T-Day, that can make for some confusing, and ultimately difficult arrangements. Don’t know where to turn to, which family member is supposed to be where, that sort of problem. As a Taurus, you’re busy thinking about baking and cooking, only, this presents another problem: the seating chart for the family dinner table. Which couple is supposed to be here this week, compared to which couple is going to be with their other set of parents, and you see how this rapidly becomes a nightmare, as you’re unsure about who is going to do what, right?

I feel your Taurus pain. I sympathize. But as I’ve got a couple of ex-wives I will probably never, ever see again, and Sister is happy with her single relationship, then life, for my family, is okay. Not everyone is so lucky. Managing family arrangements, or just try to control who is going where and doing what with whom is a big chore for your Taurus self. The less you try make everyone else happy, and the more you just look after what you know how to do best, the happier this holiday season will be. I know it might offend your delicate Taurus sensibilities, but when an extra couple of mouths show up, expecting to be fed, grab some paper plates you thoughtfully set aside. You can accommodate everyone, it’s just matter of being prepared.

Gemini: I’m reminded of a slice of Texas History when looking at your chart. It was a late April afternoon, in 1836, and the terror of South Texas, the dictator of Mexico, Santa Anna corned Sam Houston and his motley assortment of irregulars in a bayou at San Jacinto. While the Mexican forces were confident, having overrun most of South and Central Texas, and while they were taking their afternoon siesta, the Texas forces, avenue of retreat cut off by water, snuck up and reduced the opposing army by nearly one half in a battle that didn’t last very long.

T-Day begs for a little siesta, too. However, if you take a nap, you might just miss some brilliant military opportunity. Personally, I’m all for the plucky band of motley Gemini irregulars. Always have been in favor of them. Doesn’t hurt your motivation to be tuned to the absolute best pitch possible, a little hungry, a little angry, and most of all, a little cornered. Sure helps with the motivation. If you rest on you past accomplishments at this point, you might get overrun and defeated. But stay aware and alert? I’ll promise a scintillating Gemini victory.

Cancer: Two planets bear consideration. One is, of course, that long-term miser, Mr. Saturn, now backing through Cancer. The other is Venus, that darling little planet, now arcing her way through Capricorn. I’m seeing this, especially for that one certain Cancer, as a time of certain, important, aesthetic decisions. One of my Cancer buddies, no, I don’t fish with the guy, he’s just a passing acquaintance, is one of the sharpest dressed hombres I know. He has a certain knack for pulling together a shirt, trousers, and a tie, to make himself look like a million bucks. He’s got sales job, so yes, dress is important. He still manages to pull it all off, and he looks studiously casual although he’s dressed for making the big bucks.

What’s his secret? Thrift stores. Goodwill, Salvation Army, and Austin’s host of “second hand” stores, places like St. Vincent de Paul and New Boehemia down on South Congress Ave. Take a page from my buddy’s book about Cancer tastes and the problems with Saturn (and Venus), look in nooks and crannies where you don’t usual go. While price doesn’t always have to be a consideration, given the times and Cancer’s astrological climate, a little bit of the cheap stuff, done appropriately, goes a long way. Never can tell when you’ll pick a decades old tie that is currently fashionable.

Leo: When I was last shopping for a pickup truck, looking for a good (used) vehicle, I noticed that the prices for trucks in Texas were substantially higher than anyplace lese. A pickup truck is some sort of statement, I reckon. Or required. I’ll wager that most of the trucks see very little, if any, real use. Heck, I use mine to carry groceries, but that’s about the only time the back of the truck ever gets used for its intended purpose. Maybe tow a boat from time to time, but once again, that’s not really a task that requires a truck. Still, it’s almost a point of pride to have such a vehicle.

My tastes run towards older models, one with a little wear and tear, maybe a seat cover that has big hole punched from where the tool belt from the previous owner wore on a spot. Old trucks are a finicky lot, too, as they require a little roadside maintenance from time to time, quite unlike a new vehicle.

With one brand of truck, I used to carry a $3 “voltage regulator” in the glove box. Seems that this one little electrical part would go out at the most inconvenient times. Screwdriver, pliers, and about three minutes, and the problem would be fixed. Then I’d return the dead part, get the core exchange, and spend maybe $1 on a new spare. After a while, it quit breaking so frequently.

Look, sometimes it’s not a big deal. Being a little extra prepared, like having the right spare part with you? That goes a long way in making this holiday time better. I’m just warning you that there might be a tiny delay due mechanical problems. Like the oven isn’t hot enough for the turkey, you know, it takes an extra hour to cook it. Or you didn’t get enough propane for the turkey deep fryer. Just be ready for little problems–not big ones–to interrupt the holiday flow. It’s not bad, it’s just a reminder that there will be a few little–hopefully comic–delays.

Virgo: Appropriate Shakespeare quote this week, huh? While it was really intended as much for me as anybody, seeing as how this is a birthday week for me, I couldn’t help but wonder if I’m the only one who’s feeling like this. After closely perusing your chart, I came to the conclusion that I wasn’t the only one. The fun and games with the holiday, and its concomitant family fallout is a little tiresome. You can only take so much of the togetherness, and you can only take so much of the family’s predictably bad behavior.

Which cartoon character was it who used to say, ‘I’ve had all I can stands and I can’t stands no more”? Sure, it’s not a grammatically correct sentence, but you’ve had about all you can take of the fooling around, and most of the Virgo types I know don’t suffer fools gladly. (To be honest, they do suffer me, but I’m not an ordinary fool, I’m a Fool’s Fool, according to what I’ve been told.) So? Take it easy on the rest of us, it’s party time, or it’s supposed to be. You might practice your “rolling the eyes” movement, just so you feel better about your sweet Virgo self. Some of the rest of the signs are going to be pretty silly.

Libra: Deep-fried turkey, sure is good. However, in my many exploits with my own family, I’ve found that it often times best to steer away from the turkey on the big day. Do something different. While traditions and traditional fare is a okay, the best solutions are often found by working around the outside of the problem. On the periphery, as it were. Instead of tackling the big problem straight on, look around the edges to see if there is a flaw, or a weakness that can be exploited.

Like I suggested, doing something different is sometimes better. One year, I had very rare tuna for T-Day. Almost like sushi, and we were along the coast, so it was an excellent dish, fresh from the sea. Another time? Baby-back ribs. Again, this is not usual fare, but why be limited by convention? Working along the edges, seeing what else is on the menu, making a few substitutions, you’d be surprised just what that will get you. Don’t tackle that big feast, or whatever the problem is, by going straight into with the rulebook. Around here, I tend to look at rules more as guidelines rather than absolutes. Try that. After all, a lot of this is open to interpretation.

Scorpio: Times are tough for a lot of people. Not much I can do to make that better, not immediately, and it’s not my fault. However, I can make a few good suggestions about what you can do with your personal Scorpio life instead, to make your life easier. While that won’t solve any world problems, that will help some in your world.

T-day leads to Black Friday, and that lends itself to shopping. To thoroughly twist up a cliché, how about “Shop smarter, not harder”? Did I use this one yet? I might have, but I doubt it. It doesn’t apply to just everyone, either, it’s targeted straight at Scorpio. You’re a little more creative as you can display a mental adroitness usually reserved for more acerbic astrological signs. This is good. Put this mental presence to work for you by “shopping smarter, not harder.” Use that extra cranial capacity to make events turn in your favor. Mantra for the week, “Smarter, not harder.”

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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