For the Week of: 1/15-21/2004

    “[Your] business is becoming a nullity.”
    Shakespeare’s Two Noble Kinsmen (III.v.51)

Aries: The opening quote from Shakespeare has a lot to do with Jupiter and almost nothing to do with Aries. Or everything to do with Aries, sort of depends on how you want to play it out. And play it out is exactly what you want to do. Ever watch a dog as it’s about to lay down? Bubba has this one critter, a huge half Rottweiler, half “I don’t know what” thing. I wouldn’t even call it a dog, it’s more like some monster. He’s taken to buying scraps from the local grocery store in order to feed the behemoth beast. Funniest aspect to that dog? He’s about as gentle as a lamb, unless he’s chewing up the couch. So when that big dog goes to stretch out, he circles three times. You’re like that, first you need some good steak bits, then you need to circle three times and only then can you relax. And just like that sleeping dog, you can see him twitch in his sleep, you know that he is in doggie wonderland where steaks grow on trees, and the squirrels are easy to catch, a delightful mouthful of fur as a snack, and that’s just the nicest little place for doggie dreams. Or Aries dreams. But Mr. Mars makes you twitch and growl in your sleep. And just like Bubba’s big dog, it takes you a while to get situated to go to sleep, like circling three times. If you’re not careful, Mars will make you seem as ferocious as that dog looks, too, never mind that you’re both just as sweet and as kind as little lambs. Unless there’s a squirrel involved.

Taurus: One of the routes that I used to favor, a portion of the hike and bike trail in Austin, runs alongside Interstate 35. That section of trail is merely the sidewalk alongside the great concrete corridor that starts in Laredo and winds to Minnesota. Or Chicago. One of those places north of Oklahoma. I cam recite this portion of the trail in my head, too, going south on the sidewalk, usually the western side, turn off at the footpath that skirts “dog park,” then up onto the sidewalk down to the convenience store, hang a left down behind the apartments and the big buildings, under the bat bridge and from there, it’s a short haul on to Shady Acres. I was on that south-bound sidewalk, the other afternoon, right before rush hour, and I noticed that I was moving faster at my casual pedestrian rate than some of the vehicular traffic on the frontage road over the bridge. In fact, I advanced in a forward motion while a great string of cars and trucks all just stood there, emitting foul exhaust fumes and exuding foul tempers, no doubt exacerbated by the fact that some guy with no shirt and long hair was scooting along fast than any of them. Only one item made me a little unusual, I didn’t have a cardboard sign that read, “Need Help, God Bless.” Although, maybe I should’ve. Nothing feels worse, I’m guessing, than to be passed by a pedestrian while you’re sitting in car that is designed to go hundreds of miles an hour. That vehicle probably cost a lot more than the pedestrian’s footwear, too. Irritating, isn’t it? You can get your Taurus self all worked up over this, but it’s a pointless exercise. Next time? Think about following the same route I follow, the pedestrian route. Might get you there faster, and it’s a lot healthier, too.

Gemini: I’d run this as a trivia question, but the answer would far too easy to find. It’s lyric from an old pop song, “you’ve got the dreamer’s disease….” Source? I know, but frankly, I don’t care if you look it up or not. I’ve got at least two Gemini friends who can name that song, artist, album title and track number from the CD right off the top of their Gemini heads. Not much point in trying to make that a valid question, now is it? Yes, you do have the dreamer’s disease. You’re spending a little too much time in an altered state of reality, some of us prefer to call this Gemini Land, and that mythical place seems very real to you. If it weren’t necessary for you interface with the rest of the 11 signs, then this wouldn’t pose a problem. Regrettably, the world is not just chock-full-o Gemini’s. My world is, but that’s because I love the entertainment value. Plus the occasionally encyclopedic knowledge of obscure pop hits from the last decade. So get ready. Something’s storming into your world to shake you out of the dreamland you call reality. Look: this isn’t always a disturbing event. It has the potential to be quite good, like and unexpected raise, bonus, or acknowledgement that you do, indeed, have an encyclopedic knowledge about some arcane subject matter.

Cancer: “What happened to the days when guitarists were gods?” (Subtitled interior monologue from the cult classic, low budget, epic thriller, “El Mariachi,” a Robert Rodriguez film.) I’m sure your Cancer self can really identify that feeling, the one that you’re supposed to be on top of the world and yet, the whole world seems destined to make sure that you’re not on top. In fact, the way things are stacking up in your life, you’re sure that everyone is trying to keep you down. Go and watch that movie. In fact, read a little of the movie’s history, it’s a great story. Plus the film itself is a good tale. Mistaken identity. One bad move after another. Then, there’s this image with the turtle, and that turtle is about as close as you’re going to get a Cancer type of creature in the film–the shell and all–you know–symbolism. I’m not sure that the “tortuga” (Mexican for “turtle”) was even in the original screenplay. But like that film, and its tale, you wind up winning in the long run. Or doing okay, anyway. The only problem, and I don’t know how to avoid this, but the end of Hamlet and the end of that film are remarkably similar. Lots of blood. Many dead bodies. Much sadness. Of course, celluloid sadness doesn’t translate into real-world sadness. There’s bound to be a little real–or metaphorical–blood-letting over the next couple of days. Remember, at the end of the week, like at the end of the movie, good triumphs, i.e., you win.

Leo: Oh honey, slow down. Just take it easy. Life isn’t really that bad. I know, Mr. Mercury is hitting you hard at work, I realize that some of the fools at your workplace just don’t get it. I know they fail to realize that your doing a better job than anyone else, they just need to blame someone and the lucky Leo is probably their target. Go easy. It’s just a Mercury thing. Then there’s that little lift you get from Mr. Mars. That’s good news. Nothing would be better than to crawl up onto the couch, curl up with a good book, and forget your troubles. Around here, the days are getting just tad bit longer. I know it’s supposed to be winter time in Texas, but there’s been a subtle shift. Now listen up, work “issues” are weighing heavy on your mind. Think about it this way, you’re only paid to be there 8 or 10 hours a day. At the end of the shift, at the end of the “work” day, your time is your own. No need to trouble yourself about work when you’re not there. Got that idea? There’s a bunch of new books out, and I’d recommend one or more of them. A little solitary escape from the real world–and the media–will do your self a favor. You’ll feel better.

Virgo: This is weird. Just plan strange. I know, a forward thinking Virgo is already worrying about Valentine’s Day, at this point, more than a month away. You’re also worried that I will succumb to my usual cheap jokes about bulk-mail valentine cards and using the same card over and over. Perish the thought. I’ve used those references too many years in a row. Besides, looking at the charts, it’s plain to see that there’s something, new, fresh and different headed your way. Not the usual, same-old thing for you. I know, I get tired of the same dozen red roses I get each year. Yeah, same roses, same thing, year after year. What’s up with that, anyway? Until I did some historical digging, and I found the real story behind the “Yellow Rose of Texas,” I thought that maybe yellow roses this year would be nice. No such luck. Instead of roses, though, and instead of the same old thing, start working on something new, different, fresh. There’s a planet push coming your way, and that’s going to give you a bunch of new ideas. Like Yellow Roses.

Libra: Pert tomatillo sauce–salsa verde–is a dietary staple around here. In my non-culinary oriented mind, I find that the green sauce is usually a lot hotter than the red sauce. It’s not a tried and true equation, so on many occasions, I opt for the Xmas mix, red and green sauce, just to see. I once worked with this particular Libra guy, and he was so amusing because the hotter the sauce, the hotter the fire in the pepper, the more he wanted. I showed up breakfast tacos one morning, and two little containers of rather strong green sauce. I watched as he complained, ached, then his face flushed, he drank about two quarts of water, and kept shoveling that green sauce onto the taco. “I love this stuff, I can’t stop myself,” he told me, “I get ulcers in my mouth for days afterwards.” I couldn’t understand it, myself, if it hurts so much, why do it? I love that hot stuff, too, but it doesn’t burn me like that. It doesn’t cause complications. I can say “no” to the hot stuff that’s just too hot. Might do your Libra self some good to figure out what you can–and can’t–do these days. My Libra buddy? I just know that I don’t show up with that hot sauce for tacos anymore–I look out for my Libra friends. Not everyone will be accommodating as me, though. Think about that before you heap some really acidic hot sauce onto your breakfast taco. Or whatever your weak spot might be.

Scorpio: Many years ago, I was working on a motorcycle outside the shop where I was marginally employed at the time. Late in the afternoon, usually a time reserved for Happy Hour, a scooter [motorcycle with a liter-sized engine] rolled in, needing a back tire. Quick as I could, I had that scooter up on a milk crate, the back wheel off, changed the tire, and a few minutes later, I was outside the shop, cinching up the rear axle bolt. Just about then, Pa Wetzel rolled by on a city bus, headed home. “Yes, I saw you out there, head down, fanny up, working away,” he chuckled, weeks later. Motorcycle shop is long gone. My interest in getting dirty with wrenches is long gone. My interest, other than academic, in motorcycles is long gone. So are my tools, for that matter. But the expression has stuck with me, along with its merry chuckle, “head down, fanny up.” Okay, my fine Scorpio friend, I want you in the same position. Might be a little hard to assume that position in a cubicle, or while working at a computer, or doing whatever else it is that you do to generate income, but “head down, fanny up” is the key expression for the time being. You might be late for a social engagement, but you get chance, you have an opportunity to do some extra work that pays off. Weeks later, someone might noticed that you went the extra distance to get this done. It pays off, and probably, eventually, with a merry chuckle.

Sagittarius: I was cruising around on the web, just killing time and fishing for ideas. Reading one paragraph in some online journal, I came across an interesting quote, “I hope I didn’t just give away the ending” the author was writing. Deal is, I can’t give away the ending, not right now. I don’t know how this week is going to end up. I do know that there’s a great change headed your way. I do know that there’s a little secret push to a situation, a place wherein you get a little extra effort leaning on you, or maybe, not to give the ending away, you get to apply a little pressure. I’m Sagittarius, I understand. One of the worst situations is where we [Sagittarius] cause a triumph. Could be a big win, but we’re regulated to the sidelines because–even though it was our effort–the other person gets the attention. Look: working in the background isn’t such a bad deal, not sometimes. Working in the background is sometimes the best place to be. We get to have a self-satisfied smile, knowing that we caused all the pieces to fall into place, even if we don’t get all the credit. I hope I didn’t give away the ending.

Capricorn: Emus had a long and disaster-strewn career with local farmers. It was supposed to be the “the next big thing,” and when the big-bird board fell apart, a number of gentleman farmers were stuck with leggy birds who weren’t worth a whole of money. No big, promised profits. I was shopping for groceries with a Capricorn friend the other evening. I saw a brand of salve called “Emu Blue,” purportedly a grease or some compound rendered from Emus. The copy said, “Will soothe while penetrating deeply….” I pointed the stuff out to my Capricorn friend, and she was quick on her feet, “‘Soothes while penetrating deeply’, I need case of this stuff!” Let’s imagine that Mercury is like “Emu Blue,” as Mr. Mercury promises to soothe while penetrating deeply. Might not be the cure-all for whatever ails you, but he does help with some rough spots you’ve encountered lately. If nothing else, you can imagine what kind of animated antics you can come up with while you’re out shopping with your favorite astrologer. Apparently, he doesn’t soothe or penetrate deeply.

Aquarius: I got off the plane in El Paso the other week. I was waiting for my baggage to “drop” as the handlers say. While I was waiting, I casually asked a security person what was the weirdest thing she’d seen during the last week. “Guy tried to get on board a plane with a snake in his pants.” I persisted because it sounded like a Texas Tall Tale. Turns out, according to that gate agent, and she insisted that it was true story, that some guy had tried sneak a snake past the security checkpoint. While there’s no written rule about snakes, and that’s not exactly forbidden, carrying a snake in your pants is little unusual. Pretty damn funny, if you ask me, and certainly not anything that I would even think about attempting. I don’t care if it’s a harmless snake either, the very idea of some scaly critter squirming around in my jockey shorts just doesn’t sit well with me. Chances are you’ve got a great, harebrained idea or two your self. Might not involve trying to smuggle a harmless creature onto a domestic air flight, could be something completely different. But I am going to ask you to stop and think about this for a minute. In your Aquarius mind, you’re figuring, “No one will notice that my crotch is squirming.” Be a little more reasonable about your approach. If you really want, though, I’ll bet you could tie that boa or corn snake around your waist and pretend it’s a snakeskin belt. That might work.

Pisces: I was wandering home the other afternoon, just ambling, in my typical rambling way, and I passed a trailer that houses, from time to time, a Pisces. She’s lost a little weight lately, and the t-shirt she had on was a low cut affair drawing attention some apparently remarkable physical attributes. She was flirting with me, as well, and invited me in for some ice tea, and who knows what all. She was pretty open about her invitation. Two rules that have served me in good stead for a long time: never date your neighbors. Which is a subset to another rule: never date someone crazier than yourself. Which, if you think about it, is just a logical extension of the first one. Living in a trailer park, they probably aren’t that safe to begin with. Wait, that includes me. Never mind that. I thought about this long and hard, especially after the (non) event. It was flattering flirting. It was a nice idea. I’m smart enough to understand that me and Pisces, especially a Pisces who lives just across the parking lot, isn’t a good idea. I doubt that your neighbor will be toying with your emotions, or tug at your desires. But from looking at your chart, I do know that you should never, ever try to get along with a person who is more crazy than you are. Nope, never try to date someone more insane than yourself.

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

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