For the Week of: 2/12-18/2004

“I did never know so full a voice issue from so empty a heart.”
Shakespeare’s Henry V [IV.iv.69]

February 13 is the Feast Day of St. Abragus, the patron saint of Soothsayers.

Sometimes, Valentine’s Day, and its ensuing holiday, all seems like so much fun. Other times, there’s a sense of doom, frustration, and despair associated with it. Your mileage may vary.

Aries: it’s all about sex, isn’t it? That’s too bad, too, as it can take an otherwise wonderful time, and reduce it to a biological drive, maybe nothing more. Kind of a problem, that. This doesn’t have to be all about that one topic, it could cover a wide variety of items, any number of combinations, but it all points straight back to the pleasure principle. Therein is the problem. Too much of a good thing is still too much. Too much chocolate makes one’s tummy upset. Too much saccharine sweetness from greeting cards hardens one’s sensibilities. Still, Venus is floating along in the middle of Aries, and she’s making everything seem a little nicer. Plus, she’s making the Aries I know feel a little lazy. That’s a problem. Might want to skip the Valentine’s cards this year, but then, that sort of lazy behavior also results in attention, “What! No card again this year?”

Taurus: I watched as one Taurus buddy approached a female, and did his best to chat her up. Didn’t work. His selection of topics was particularly poor. In order, he talked about his work, his truck, his last fishing trip [with me], his child support payment he was behind on, and then, how the last girl he dated was psychotic. To make matters worse, he did so without ever lifting his eyes from his conversational target’s chest. This is a studied, verifiable example of how to do everything all wrong. I may not be a sensitive guy, but at least I try to note the eye color, the hair color and the texture of her outfit. Then I ask questions about her. Besides, the way I see it, I’m pretty boring, so talking about my last fishing trip isn’t that interesting. There are a lot of targets on the Taurus fish finder sonar screen. That’s good news. How you chat these folks up? That’s up to you, but I’d implore you to be a little less concerned with impressing, and a little more concerned with acting concerned. Goes a lot further.

Gemini: It’s another Halloween costume contest in Gemini land. In verbal delivery, I’ve often mistaken Halloween and Valentine’s. Not like it bothers me too much. One is a time when you get all dressed up and hope to act a favorite fantasy. The other is a harvest festival. Easy to get confused. Combining the best of both, it’s time for a costume contest in Gemini. It’s not what you are, it’s what you want to be. It’s about picking a favorite animal, character, person, place or thing, and acting out that role. Remember, Mars is in the sign that comes before you; therefore, your actions are best when they resemble entertainment. And entertainment is an action taken for the amusement of others.

Cancer: I looked at your chart, and I had one thought go flying through my mind. It was a pop jingle, not very long, and it exited one ear almost a fast as it entered. Just sort of floated through my head. As it ricocheted around the room once or twice, the cat stirred from her morning nap, took note of it, and promptly fell asleep again. Wasn’t much of a big deal, not to the cat. I will not repeat the jingle here, as it’s embarrassing to admit that I even know this song, much less it would date me, and most folks would find it abhorrently cloying. But its inherent message is clear, there’s a great day on your immediate horizon. No, this is not an end to all the troubles you’ve been having, nor does it satisfy that recurrent Saturn influence. But it does suggest that there’s a chance, an opportunity, a little window of time wherein you can start something new. Might not be a big deal, not at first, but at the risk of invoking tired clichés, you know, “the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step” type of expression? It’s time to think about taking that first step.

Leo: Roughneck construction crews are interesting for me to observe. I never did get the whole “manual labor” thing, after years and years, I figured out that a keyboard was as close to manual labor as I should get. I was watching some guys work on parking garage, going up near downtown. Lots of arcs from their electric torches, cascading showers of sparks, really, kind of pretty in a strange way. As I was watching, I noticed that the welders would stop at one point, get out a little hammer, and bang on the weld. What they were doing was twofold, one, removing “slag” the detritus from the act of welding, and two, testing the weld to see if it was solid enough to pass. Everyone’s got a little welding in their life these days, but only the Leo’s I know have the right hammer to gently knock that stuff away. Look around, test what you just did, is it strong enough to hold? If so, time to move on the next joist. If not, maybe hit with another lick of hot, heavy metal, just to make sure.

Virgo: I was looking through some scopes coming up and I made a terrible discovery: blank sign. When working through the usual material, somehow, I’d managed to leave out one particular sign’s weekly forecast. What a terrible mistake on my part! Since it wasn’t my favorite sign, I wasn’t too worried about it. I hammered something together rather quickly, and all was okay. It just added a few extra minutes to the rest of the day. That was time spent not answering the phone, nor replying to copious email, sort of an interruption in the normal flow of a morning around here. I had to stop and cast a quick chart for the week in question. I could’ve wasted a lot of time, trying to figure out why no one had caught the glaring, missing scope, but that wouldn’t do. Would’ve taken even more of the morning, trying to stop and assess a little blame. Besides, here at the office, the only person really in charge is me. Know the feeling? You can do lots of things this romantic, holiday weekend, but when a work-related problem crops up, just fix it. Other wise, you might spend an inordinate amount of time trying to “get to the bottom of the problem,” and miss all the fun parts.

Libra: I was watching a real estate agent (Libra) work with a recalcitrant client (non-Libra). It’s not that the client wasn’t buying, he just wasn’t buying the usual Libra charm. She worked and worked, pitching it this way, then that way, resorting, at last, to rather suggestive flirting. That non-Libra wasn’t buying any of it. Simple solution to this problem. Instead of charm, just reach into your deep Libra pockets and produce a wad of cash. When some says, “Show me the money,” show that person the money. Note: I said “show” not “give.” What was so funny, to me as an impartial observer, was watching all the usual Libra tricks fail. The usual, diplomatic, polite, kind, loving, flirtatious, polite, and unfailingly gently correct mannerisms you normally employ might not work. Here’s a tip: try pitching it from our, non-Libra point of view. Make it look like a sacrifice for yourself. Make it look like you’re not only doing us a favor, but this favor will come at some cost for your Libra self. Hint: I didn’t say it would actually cost you anything, just make it look that way, you know, “Not everyone can whitewash a fence….” [With apologies to Mark Twain.]

Scorpio: The other weekend was rather warm out, overcast, damp, but not too cold to fish. Sure, I’ve got some friends who will use a bass boat as an icebreaker, just to get out and fish. Sorry, I’m not that hardcore. Fish weren’t biting, not for me. I finally emulated the actions of my buddy, and I even tried to use the exact same kind of lure he was using–to no avail. Feel my pain? Okay, not yet? So anyway, I was pretty dispirited about the whole “non-fish-event” until my buddy reminded me that it was great day to be out on the lake, the motor was running fine, the cloud cover was nice enough so we weren’t sweating, the lake was devoid of most of the usual Saturday activities, and the whole scene was serene. Plus he got to see me skunked. He was right, you know, all-in-all, it was a pretty good day. BBQ in Elgin–hot links and a Big Red. So what if I didn’t catch any fish? No big deal, I mean, I would throw them back anyway, right? Right. Mars is frying through Taurus, opposite you. Mars can leave you a little upset because you don’t catch the fish you wanted to catch. Doesn’t mean it’s not a good week, though. Adjust our Scorpio attitude and see if that doesn’t help some. A Big Red goes a long way to solve a lot of the problems, too–washes away any bitter aftertaste of being skunked.

Sagittarius: “Funky old but cute” was the tag line to an ad campaign that I was peripherally associated with. Me and the guy running the campaign had a good laugh about that one, too, “Is this for the building, or is this for you? Or me?” He decided that I wasn’t old enough to qualify, and out of me being a nice guy, I suggested he really didn’t qualify for the old part. “Funky”? Depends on the definition, but here in Austin, we all qualify for that term at least, part of the time. Working with me, just by association, that, in and of its self, that should be the first warning sign. Besides, I thought the line was pretty cute. The real trick in that advertising campaign was to push a particular building that was a little older, a little odd, and ultimately, really darling, but still, just tad bit strange. It was not an ad for the owner or myself. We joked, we laughed, we cajoled each other, but we never made that joke to the prospective buyers. It’s not a good time to advertise yourself, even if the phrasing seems to describe you. Stick to business. Doesn’t mean it can’t be fun, but stick to what it is that you’re selling.

Capricorn: Life has a way of playing little jokes on us. I was in a town in “fur” West Texas, and I was listening to the proprietor of a small beer joint. Not uncommon, he had a long list of trials and tribulations that culminated in him owning a little beer stand out on the prairie. [Actually, it was more like desert, to me.] He was at once celebrating and dismal. “You know,” he was holding forth, “when I got this place, I could finally buy beer at wholesale prices. Finally, a chance to buy really cheap beer. Then my doctor told me I had problem with my liver, and if I had one more beer, then that would be my last. What are the odds? Negotiate a price for wholesale beer and then can’t enjoy it?” What are the odds? Not like this sort of event hasn’t ever really happened to you [yes, it is a true story.] Not like the big holiday weekend isn’t going to feel something like this kind of an event, too. Some good, some not so good. Hey, at least he was still alive and he wasn’t consuming his main product.

Aquarius: Saturday is the big, cosmic joke day. Enough said. Romance has been problematic in your Aquarius world, as of late. Like either, not enough, or quite possibly, too much. Neither scenario really fits with the way you want it to. I can’t make a square peg fit in a round hole. Actually, I can make that peg fit in the hole, I just have to use a big hammer. However, me and my hammer might not be the correct tool for you and your peg/hole scene. You’re in a situation wherein you can apply brute force and lots of Aquarius muscle, or you can try a different tactic. What I would consider doing, stop and think about this for a second, look at that peg, look at its destination then think about the effort that the hammer requires. Lots of work, no? I usually carry some kind of pocketknife. Look at the peg again. Just shaving down its sides might make it easier to fit that peg in the hole. Take a little bit of craftsmanship–Aquarius craftsmanship–and a handy little instrument with a blade, but that sort of effort makes all of this fit together a lot easier. Pare away at what needs to be removed to make this week fit a little better.

Pisces: Life’s little lessons can occur in the strangest of places. Usually, my fine Pisces friends are tuned into this sort of symbolism. Sometimes though, the obvious intent of the symbolic gesture is lost. Don’t miss an opportunity because the message isn’t clear. I keep seeing a mentor of some kind come along. Putatively, I’m the fishing guide therefore I know where, and how to fish better than the client. Right? Right. Mostly. Some of the time, anyway. But like the astrology business, I’ve learned that clients can sometimes be the best teachers. What might appear to be a mistake, in this case, it was a lure that a client selected, turned out to be a big hit–with the fishes. I always figured, on this one lake, a dark purple “devil’s tongue” wasn’t very good because the water was kind of murky and the fish (Micropterus salmoides floridanus) aren’t noted for their good eyesight. So when the client picked that, and insisted that he use it, well, sure, whatever. Two fishes in one hour, not much to brag about but he was doing better than me. When fishing, results count. Results like that speak volumes. Learning from one’s clients is also important. So, are you a teacher? Or are you willing to learn from what your students show you?

About the author: Born and raised in a small town in East Texas, Kramer Wetzel spent years honing his craft in trailer park in South Austin. He hates writing about himself in third person. More at KramerWetzel.com.

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