For the Week starting: 8.4.2005

“You may suspect him to be no true man.”
Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing [III.iii.49] Check the schedule for upcoming shows’n’stuff.

Aries: I got in fight the other afternoon. I was fixing a fishing reel that a friend of mine had hopelessly snarled the line around the bail. Spool. One of those parts. I sat on the couch with the fishing reel all in pieces, and gradually put the parts back on, according to the diagram until I finished. It should’ve taken me about 20 minutes. It took the better part of three or maybe even four hours. How long you think the task is going to take, and how long it really does take? The projected time allotted to obtain a given objective, and the actual time it takes to get “there” from “here?” I’m not saying you’re going to take apart some piece of equipment that a friend has hopelessly rendered useless, but if you do? Or whatever it is that you’re undertaking at this point? Just be prepared for a twenty-minute fix to take several hours. The point? Once I get this thing fixed, I’m not lending him my fishing gear any more.

Taurus: Even though Mr. Mars is getting warmer in your sign, Taurus is still most associated with Miss Venus. You get to make a choice, and it sounds like I’m invoking pagan deities, but I’m not really. You can choose, for the time being, whether you want to serve Venus (generally accepted as the ruling planet of Taurus) or Mars (generally accepted as the god of war). It’s simple and binary, which planet do you feel most closely aligned with? Probably Mars, right now, or Mercury. But which planet would you prefer to be of service to? Probably Venus. So looking at the chart, I’d suggest you adapt a much more Venus-like outlook. That outlook won’t mitigate the problems associated with hard-driving Mars, making all kinds of trouble, but you can overcome that energy with your basic Taurus sensibilities.

Gemini: Mercury in apparent retrograde motion is just matter of celestial mechanics. It’s not a mystery, and it’s certainly not the end of the world. However, I have at least one Gemini buddy who tends to believe that the sky is falling whenever Mercury is like this. It’s all doom and gloom. Another Gemini buddy, one I hadn’t heard from in about forever, contacted me while Mercury was backwards. Email is such weak form of communication because none of my sardonic, sarcastic wit gets communicated properly. I’m afraid that I come across as an unlettered and unwashed individual. Which might be the case, but never mind that now. It’s just that Mercury will bring about rather diverse reactions from different Gemini personalities. One might see the glass as nearly empty with no hope for liquid refreshment ever again. The next Gemini person might get to digging around on the inter-web, and discover long-lost friends, in far-flung locations. It’s all about what your willing to spend you time doing. It’s all about what’s important and what’s not important. Plus, a little latitude with your attitude will help.

Cancer: I had a rude awakening the other day. Along with my dining companion, I’d wandered into a favorite eatery at noon. Noon, straight up. High noon. 12:00 PM. The place was packed. In recent years, due to my scheduling and the way I tend to use local restaurants as office space, I rarely, if ever, venture into such a place before 2:00 PM. Makes my life a lot easier. The lunch crowd is gone, and I’ve got a good two hours before the happy hour crowd starts. The lunch crew is wrapping up and cleaning up, doing side work, so I’m left alone, unmolested, for hours. Works for me, works for other folks. The problem is, I get used to places that are cavernous in size and yet fairly devoid of patrons. So wandering into such a place when the crowd is at its peak is unusual. “I thought this was going to be cozy and private,” she asked. I didn’t properly adjust for time changes, is the simple answer. I didn’t anticipate that the lunch crowd would be so busy, or, for that matter, so many. Blame Mercury and his mercurial ways if you must, but what it amounts to, in my opinion, is a serious lapse in judgment. In the example, it was a lack of forethought on my part. In the life of you Cancer self? Stop and think before book that appointment. It might be more crowded at that time than you anticipate.

Leo: I was running through some Saturn material with a particular Leo client, and as far as that one client is concerned, yes, she’s The Leo. I was explaining that Leo personalities are particularly easy for me to deal with because I understand the basic nature. Plus there’s always that Leo allure. I’m incapable of resisting it. The problem with Saturn, is that the Leo allure doesn’t seem to be working on most folks. It still works on me — that’s not even a question. The problem is that usual Leo presence, I’d be remiss if I even had to mention the Leo’s regal presence, that doesn’t seem to be what it used to be. This is a function of Saturn. In history, mythology and literature, there are numerous examples of a regal person, a character of inherited or earned rank, taking time to change his (or her) appearance and wander amongst the common folks. Imagine that Saturn is doing that to your Leo self. Don your Saturn disguise and join the rest of us to see what we’re thinking, saying, and doing. Maybe even lend a hand in getting some task finished. But plan on your regal presence being ignored.

Virgo: Venus is wending her way through your sign. That’s supposed to be good. The problem is that it makes you a little lazy. Or a lot lazy. Or, Miss Venus will inspire you, but also make it hard to follow up on that inspiration. Summertime: I got up really early to go fish. Important work there. The night before, I’d made my “best estimate” as to what would work, and checking the conditions first thing in the morning, my guess looked right, but some time between coffee, and getting dressed, I failed. I didn’t make it out the door before sunrise. Instead, I wound up typing on the keyboard. First, it was reply to an email, then it was an idea for a horoscope, then it was looking at the weather, which naturally leads to glancing through some headlines. Suddenly, the morning was gone, and I was busy. I didn’t fish, I didn’t actually accomplish anything of note, other than hammer out a couple of scopes, and I was feeling rather good. Venus does this. Venus is doing that to the dear Virgo contingent. Whatever your guilty pleasures are? That’s what you’re doing. At least, it’s what your supposed to be doing.

Libra: I found this one slot machine, in a casino in New Mexico, and that one evening, that particular slot machine coughed up a lot of quarters for me. Buddy of mine, who lives close to that casino, he told me that, “You hit this one big three times, then it stops.” I kept that in mind. I went from $20 to 600 quarters in about fifteen minutes. Then all of that money dribbled away. I walked away, $20 poorer. I cycled back to the machine and hit it again, turning another $20 into 600 quarters. Then I cashed out with a bucket full of quarters. I pulled another $20 out of my pocket and repeated the process. That’s how to make money when gambling. My friend was lost on a video poker machine, so I stuck another $20 into that one machine, and I did it a third time. I also stopped, cashed out, and called it a successful night at the machines. A little like work, figuring odds, and fishing for the right machine. We went back the next week, only, this time, that machine didn’t pay anything. I got to looking at the numbers on the machine, and as near as I could tell, they’d switched the machines around, There were four, in row, and the one in the middle was paying the big bucks. I suppose it’s like tithing to the gambling machines, or the casino, but I’m not surprised to hear that four identical machines, one set really loose, gets switched around. Changes the pace up. Makes a lot easier to drain winners of their excess cash. In other words, the casino has to make money. Which, I’m sure, they do. Libra dear, follow this advice, if you’re winning, walk away when you’re ahead. If you’re losing, stop. There’s always another night.

Scorpio: There’s an odd rule in poker, and not being a card player myself, I’ve never tested this theory. But the way I heard it, a Colt .45 beats four aces. Perhaps it was a myth from the lore of the old west. Perhaps it was different kind of sidearm. But the point is clear, no matter how careful you play you Scorpio cards during the next few days, no matter how much strategy you employ, none of this matters. You’re going to wind up in a situation where, even though you might be technically superior, i.e., you have a better hand of cards, the forces that be (Mars) have a stronger position. Like a handgun. No, I don’t think you’re going to be facing down the business end of a real firearm. But I do find that you have yourself backed into a precarious situation. While you might really be right, like you’ve got a stronger hand, the person on the other side of this metaphorical poker table has a weapon that will surely triumph. No Scorpio likes being beaten, but look at the odds, the situation. You may be — technically — more correct, or the winner, or whatever, but the other person, due to the Scorpio treatment of Mars, is in a stronger position. Best solution? Leave you cards on the table and back away slowly. Run away to fight another day.

Sagittarius: I keep a weird schedule, lots of valleys and peaks in my timing. Especially when Mercury is doing his backwards bit — plus there’s that event with Saturn just moving into Leo. There’s “back to school” and “back to work” and summer vacations are pretty much over with, and while I wasn’t busy in July, happens in my line of work, this month looks like it’s going to kick into high gear. Starting with a Mercury Retrograde, and then, looking at the position of Saturn, relative to our Sagittarius selves? We’ve got some work ahead. What kind work? Most of it has to do with career goals. Objectives. Items on a cosmic kind of to-do list. Maybe not the day-in and day-out stuff, but on a grander scale. Mountains we would all like to climb. Places we’d like to visit. Paying for those trips. That’s the problem. Usually, I’m willing to load and go, in fact, I keep a suitcase packed, just in case a short trip presents itself, I can be ready in less than half an hour. Alas, that suitcase should be gathering dust, the quick-depart case. Doesn’t look like my “dash off on a romp and adventure” section of life will be fulfilled now. Looks like there’s a plenty of work, but the long-term dreams and aspirations? Those all need to go on hold for a bit. I mean, it’s fine to dream, the problem comes from spending too much time in the dream world, thinking about adventures, and not spending enough time to looking after the day-to-day running of the business. The old truck motor needs oil. Before you can undertake some large task — or travel — remember to service the engine.

Capricorn: I went to the movies the other evening. The movie started at 7:15 PM, at least, that’s when the lights dimmed, and the trailers started rolling. The movie itself was 2 hours and 15 minutes long, 235 minutes. Before the credits were halfway done, I was up and looking for a bathroom, and the time was after 10 PM. That’s one half-hour of trailer, advertisements, and upcoming previews I had to sit through. Plus, if I’d wanted any details about the film, I would’ve had another five or six minutes of credits to figure out who the key grip was. Or where the second location was. I didn’t bother. Wasn’t that big of deal to me. Didn’t much matter. What did bother me was all the material I sat through at the beginning, except, ever notice some films make better trailers rather than full-length works? That’s also like Capricorn’s life at this time. Instead of imagining the full-length, epic, wide-screen version of the last couple of weeks, think about the highlights. Think about the 30-second or the maybe the two-minute version, just the best parts. Put together a mental set of images that would frame the trailer for the movie for the last few weeks. Just hit the highpoints, the best of the comedy, the best of the tragedy. Stick to the high points and don’t worry about the plot. While you’d like to think of this as action-adventure, I tend to regard it as highbrow, offbeat humor.

Aquarius: The front boundary for Shady Acres has a couple of warning signs, my favorite was always the “10 MPH” speed limit sign. On the roads here? Broken bits of asphalt? Like anyone is going to try and go any faster? Most folks slow to a crawl, looking for the right address — it’s not like the numbers on the trailer spaces are clear, or easy to see. Those warning signs, though, they’re important. There’s one that says, “No distribution of literature.” That means the local Chinese Food (free delivery) place can’t go around sticking flyers in the door handles of all the trailers. Which is precisely what they do. If the maintenance guy can ever catch the flyer person, there’s usually a yelling match then the flyer guy has to go around and gather up all the flyers that were left. It’s a littering ordinance, too, and there can be a fine. Or something akin to that. I’m not up on my property management rules these days. As hard as this may seem, the chances are, coming up soon, you’re like the maintenance guy, going around, picking up pieces of paper left behind by the pizza delivery place. Or that Chinese food delivery service. Better yet, there’s a chance you can catch the offending flyer person, and enlist their assistance. Might take a little vocal maneuvering on the part of our Aquarius selves, but see: that’s Mercury. Might discover that the flyer person doesn’t speak one word of English. Or, could that person just be playing at being dumb? Can’t tell with Mercury and communications, but you’ll note that it will probably take three tries, maybe a phone call or two, in order to get this problem corrected.

Pisces: For fishing, at night, one of the most useful little tools I’ve found is a special bobber with a light inside it. Works well, at least, I’ve had good luck seeing the bobber as it floats along on summer nights, a cool red glow emanating from the bobber’s top. However, as you’re well aware, Mr. Mercury is backwards. As such, that little bobber with its cool “infrared-looking” glow? The battery on the little light-emitting thingy finally went dead. I trucked on over to the superstore and pawed through their fishing supplies, only to discover that someone else had bought up all the battery packs for the night fishing gear. It takes a special kind, you know, and not only was the rack empty, but some unkind soul had opened up the existing new ones and swiped the light sticks out of those, too. Eventually, I’m sure, I’ll find a new source for the little light thing that goes inside the bobber. Until then, much like Pisces, I’m stuck. I was considering going back to a cork bobber, and using a flashlight to keep a watch on it. Between a flashlight, the fishing pole, and a cigar, though, I just don’t have quite enough hands to get everything done. Be prepared to have to effect some kind of a “work-around” to fix exiting problems and be prepared for that solution to require an extra appendage that I’m pretty sure you don’t have. Mercury won’t be backwards much longer, so this gets a little easier in another week.

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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