For the Week of: 4/22-28/2004

“We coldly pause for thee.”
Shakespeare’s King John [II.i.53]

Aries: “You know, I was passing one of those guys stretching, he was pushing against a light pole,” one of my buddies was telling me, “and so I thought, ‘why not stop and tell the guy [pushing the pole–or stretching] that I have a chain in the truck?’ We could wrap the chain around the pole and pull it down.” But then I thought, “Why’s he want to push over that pole, anyway?” Funny guy that one bubba. As an Aries, you’re going to find that you have similar thoughts and analysis of certain situations. Problems? Unlike my buddy, when you see that guy stretching by pushing on a pole by the edge of the lake, you might just halt the forward motion of your Aries truck, hop out, offer the throw your chain around the pole and help pull it down. In fact, you might just do that, while the runner looks on with shock. “Hey, man,” you tell the guy who was stretching, “why did you want to push that pole over? In your way or something?”

Taurus: A bumper sticker saw while I was sitting in traffic the other afternoon: “0 to 60 in about 15 minutes.” I liked it, as it was on a gas conserving, fuel-efficient “older model sedan.” In my mind, the car was a classic “beater.” That car had been rode hard and put up wet a number of times. Not really good for the vehicle, but I’ll bet its internal parts worked just fine, albeit a little slowly. Stuck in traffic, while gazing at that bumper sticker, I was amused. Mercury is retrograde, backed down into Aries these days. That means you’re probably stuck in traffic someplace–real or imagined. Also suggests that you could get a little short-tempered about being where you are. Your Taurus self isn’t happy about being stuck in a snarling mass of vehicles all trying to get from point A to point B at the same time. It can get ugly. All right, suggestion? Music. Music is good. Listen to something that you’ve been meaning to listen to. Or, in my case, one of my clients does an afternoon drive-time radio program. Tune her in. Another good Taurus girl suggested, “books on tape,” although, she used “books on CD’s” instead. Or, do like me, look at that car stalled in front of you, which only has another vehicle stalled in front of it, which only has some guy in truck, stalled in front of that. Patience will help. Just remember that other popular sticker around here, “Keep honking, I’m reloading.”

Gemini: My sister, who is, on many occasions, a very typical Gemini. This is one such time. I watched, while in the span of fifteen minutes, she cycled through an entire range of emotions from heart-felt tears to reckless abandon to soaring joy. Topics? A veritable plethora. There was the situation in the Middle East, the ongoing conflicts in other places, the state of California’s governmental polices, the cruelty to animals issue, her own artistic career, and the question about the significant other. Yeah, all that. Mars and Venus are in the last section of the Gemini sky, or the middle section, depending on which chart I’m looking at, and they indicate that that entire range of emotions is available in a short period of time. Let’s throw something else into the mix: Mercury. Most of my Gemini buddies don’t like it when Mercury is in apparent retrograde motion. However, that planet’s action–or inaction–is just a fact of life. You might find yourself entertaining your astrologer-brother from Texas. You might also find that you’re experiencing a whole range of emotions. If someone–like me–just sits there and listens while you run through this full cycle, remember, we are hanging in there with you. Some of us really do understand that 1] you’re Gemini and 2] this is just part of the influence of a lot of little planet action on your chart. I realize that it’s not really going to help any Gemini’s, but anyone else dealing with you? Let’s hope they’re smart enough to read this and understand.

Cancer: If you’re going to wear a string tie (bolo tie), then I figure you’d best be wearing some boots, too. Cowboy boots. It’s a scene from a local establishment, and there was a guy hanging about a bit, and I’m sure he wanted to look like he fit in. He was wearing a delightful string tie. Looked like a small cow skull, with appropriate horns, fashioned out of a silver-looking material, adorning is neck. Cancer individual, I asked. “Nice tie,” I told him. But when I stepped away, I had to smirk just a little. I realize this makes me look like an arrogant, selfish, prideful person, but then, I probably am. The guy was wearing an obvious tourist artifact bolo tie, and on his feet were loafers. Nice slacks, pressed shirt, good cut to the sports jacket, but still, loafers? String ties, in my mind, belong either with suits, tuxedos, or jeans. And in all of those cases, the proper footwear is boots. Dress boots, casual boots, or even scuffed up ropers. Got the image? The package is a complete package, can’t just try throwing on a string tie and blending in with the locals. We catch on to logical inconsistencies.

Leo: I’ve carried a pager for long time. Got rather used to it, called it the “Motorola Pocket Watch” because that’s what I used it for, more than anything else. When I first started carrying a pager, it was very high-tech. I remember being in a classroom, grad school, and one of the other students was sure I was a drug dealer. “Huh?” “Pager, long hair, makes sense.” No, no it doesn’t make sense. I’m an astrologer, though, and every once in a long while, I would get “9-1-1” pages on that alphanumeric pager. What happened to that pager? Under a very similar astrological influence, I was a little more clumsy than usual. I recall this experience rather vividly, too. I got up from the toilet seat, having completed my business there, and I yanked my shorts up, being in a hurry to return to previous details. In my haste, somehow, my pager came unclipped from shorts’ waistband and tumbled into the toilet. I looked at the whole scene for a moment, and I do believe, in hindsight, that the moment of pause was what got me. I plunged my hand into the murky depths and retrieved the lost electronic device–too late. After cleaning up from the mess and realizing that the pager was toast, I sighed heavily, berated myself for the clumsy action and loss, and then I berated myself for pausing for a moment too long. Might have saved it all if I’d moved faster. I seriously doubt that you’re losing something like I did, but as a hint for the next few days, when a situation presents itself, plunge ahead with all haste so you can save the day.

Virgo: The little movement of Mercury is hindering a number of important personal interactions. This doesn’t apply to all signs, but the Virgo mouth, usually a really reliable source of information, it’s like you’ve got some kind of syndrome that makes what comes out of your mouth sound rather trashy. You don’t normally talk like that, usually you’re veritable fount of good information, deemed reliable by news sources. But with the current mercurial machinations, you’re finding that your mouth is sometimes engaged in some form of discourse long before the rest of your self is ready. Incomplete thoughts, half-baked ideas, or worse, conspiracy theories that don’t hold water, all of that starts to spew forth. If you could just leave your body for a minute, and take a look at yourself, plus consider what you’re saying, you’d agree, that it isn’t really “you” doing the chattering. My darling Virgo friend, with your finely carved cheekbones, and normally flawless complexion–or ruggedly handsome Virgo gentlemen–whatever–do us both a favor? Remember it’s Mr. Mercury, and for the time being, just zip it.

Libra: One of “girlfriend-lite” acquaintances invited me out to a big soiree the other evening. It was a police community dinner, meet and greet, press the flesh kind of a deal. I show up, looking my April best, long locks flowing, and I immediately aroused suspicion. The cops thought I was a crook and the crooks thought I was undercover. Talk about being out of place! I was rather amused, as I actually have a lot of respect for the guys who carry weapons in their line of work. Damn near all the cops I’ve encountered have been genuine, nice, polite, and eager to be of assistance, within the bounds of the law. Get one of them off-duty, and get him [or her] to tell a few stories, and it can be rather amazing. Never, ever underestimate what the general public will do, or how stupid crooks can be. Which reminded me of Libra, especially this week. Let someone else do the talking. Listen, maybe ask a pointed question or two, but let someone else do the talking. At least one officer had the funniest tale, and the statute of limitations is up, but modesty, plus I like the guy, forbids me from telling the tale in public. It was one of those gray areas of the law, and what that one officer did is exactly what I would’ve done, although, strictly speaking, that action might not have been legal. See what I mean about listening instead of talking? Mr. Mercury [retrograde] makes you both a good talker and a good listener. For the sake of Libra propriety, though, listening is favored over talking.

Scorpio: Look: there’s a ton of tension in the air. It’s a planetary influence, and you can feel it in the Scorpio chart. Therein is the bad news. The good news? Yes, there’s a lot of it. Mercury is backwards, but he’s doing his thing in a fire sign. The other pressures affect air signs. Not water, nor does it affect my favorite fixed-water sign, Scorpio. The problem is other people. If you live in a cave like hermit, not that far off of an ideal these days, then you’re okay as these other influences won’t touch you. You’re good to go. But if you have to deal with any other people, any non-Scorpio signs, be prepared. We’re not having a good time. We’re having a bad hair day. We’re having a bad hair week. Some of us — myself included — are having a bad hair year. There’s an easy trick to work with us, though, and it should work really well for your Scorpio self. Leave us alone. Listen, if you must, and nod your head in concurrence with our plight. But this is one of those times when, despite your good nature, reaching out to help us isn’t always the best answer. Noble, yes, and Scorpio is a noble sign. But really reaching out to help us? Sometimes it’s best to let us stew in our own juices for spell.

Sagittarius: One of the most challenging tasks I have ever had to face is trying to find the correct gift for the right female. Let’s just face some sordid facts here: doesn’t matter what it is that I purchase, it’s the wrong size, wrong color, wrong idea, wrong author, wrong, wrong, wrong. Now, after years of failures, I’ve found that chocolate USUALLY works pretty well. But even then, you can’t bet on that, as there’re one or two girls I’ve dated who don’t fall for that trick. However, as a rule, it usually is okay. Of course, I’ll have to list that chocolate from (insert fancy name brand here) as it didn’t work, either. “I hate that stuff.” What she said. So as a guy, I don’t have a clue about this activity. As a Sagittarius, and while we’re usually not that clueless, with the current array of planets, we’re facing a daunting, insurmountable task. Now, one girl I was buying for? Hot ticket item: gift certificates. And, to make it even better? I didn’t get her anything, just card. But I gave her daughters gift certificates to some department store. Worked like magic. “That’s so thoughtful.” Yeah, well, it was a blind stab in the dark. Not all my girlfriends have daughters though, and that was a fluke, a lucky shot. This next couple of days–non-gender specific–feels like that, like that buying gifts for females’ sentiments. You might hit on a lucky idea that works. The odds are against us, though.

Capricorn: Did you see the Moon Wednesday [4/22/04] night? Right after sundown? The tiniest little sliver of silver light, framing Mars and Venus? Lovely image. And, if you’re up before sunrise, maybe not so much anymore, but if you were up before sunrise, just before the sun pokes over the horizon, there’s Mercury. It’s all a beautiful sight. Too bad Mr. Mercury is bound and determined to make some trouble for you. It’s either big trouble or little trouble, and my wager would be that it’s little trouble. Given your basic Capricorn propensity for worry, though, you could turn that little worry into a big problem. Then this gets reductive, “I worry that I don’t worry enough,” or “I worry that I worry too much.” Don’t go there. Mercury, in Aries, in apparent RX fashion = little problems. Might’ve been that slow leak in the tire you were going to fix, only you forgot, you come out and the tire’s flat. “Dang, I meant to plug that.” Might be some other difficulty. But these are little problems, as long as you tend to them in a timely fashion. Failure you to heed this reminder? You’ll come out of a nightclub after 2:00 AM, and look down at the rear tire of the truck, and think, “I could just walk home faster than I could change that thing now.” Not that this has ever happened to me.

Aquarius: I was installing software scripts on a web server, the other afternoon. No big deal, upload a file as ASCII, make sure it lands in the right place then test the new installation to make sure it works. What’s missing? Nothing, as long as you don’t mind the occasional “500 internal server error” popping up. On that one web server, it’s tricky to set the permissions, fancy chatter for making sure all the right switches are set to all the right settings. It’s not really a maze, not after I’ve done it a time or two, and it’s not really that difficult. It is a little time-consuming, though. Then, there’s my own, hasty way of working. I’ll assess the problematic piece of code, make a handful of changes, and then expect everything to work right. Anyone who’s ever done battle with a computer understands this feeling. Permissions, preferences, the correct password in the right dialog box, it’s all about the same. The trick is, especially given where Mr. Mercury is, and given what he’s up to, as you continue onward through your week, you’re going to find that you’re running into “internal server error: 500.” Look, I can offer up a little advice on how to deal with these issues, change one thing, upload the file again and test it. If that doesn’t work, change one more line of code, then test again. One. Change one, not more than one. Those beautiful, usually accurate, Aquarius leaps don’t work quite as well given where Mr. Mercury is.

Pisces: It was rather warm out the other evening, the cool spring air is starting to heat up. I was heading home, after meeting a client and I was thinking about some issue I’d just heard about. It’s all a matter of activity, the answer to the unasked question. “Activity?” Yes, doing something. Taking some action, any kind. In my case, it was rather simple. “Hey buddy, want a lift homeward?” No thanks. The cool of the evening’s air, stretching my legs, that first quarter moon hanging low in the sky, and then, unbuttoning my shirt to catch some of the fresh zephyrs as the night-time stillness started to descend on the town. Like a lover, tussling you hair, the wind was just catching mine. Action. Maybe not adventure, or “action-adventure,” but just a little forward movement helps. From where I was, to where I was going, I’m figuring it was a little over a mile. Did it on foot. No big deal. But by the time I’d arrived at home, I’d found that my mind had settled some, and I was feeling a might bit more composed. The problems and the questions? Still don’t have all the answers but that doesn’t matter, as I’m little more settled towards a direction. I mean, a direction to look for answers–I usually know what direction home is.

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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