For the Week starting: 9.15.2005

"My cousins a fool, and thou art another."
Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing [III.iv.10]
Mars gong slow in Taurus and check the October schedule here.

Aries: Silly season is upon Aires. While, so I've been assured repeatedly, I don't look my age, it's no secret that I certainly don't act my age. To wit, in just about every ticket-taking experience, I endeavor to explain that I'm not an adult, and as such, I should get the "child discount." Any numbers of my companions have been subjected to this form of humor, be it at the movies, the theater, wherever. More refined females just roll their eyes. At least two of my buddies jump right in, "Hell yes, that boy deserves the child price." So it's the silly season. Doesn't hurt to help enliven someone's experience, "Hey, I really should get a discount because I'm childish, just ask them...." While my emotional maturity might be right up there with a 14-year old adolescent, I have greater faith that your Aries self is little more mature than me. But that shouldn't stop you from trying to get the discount. However, like me, I do recommend that you be prepared to pay full price. It's all about being silly, but not being immature about it.

Taurus: I'd exhort my fine Taurus friends to slow down some, and I'm sure that more than one non-Taurus will respond to that. "Taurus? Aren't they always slow?" No. Especially not with Mr. Mars floating along, still moving forward, in their sign. But Mr. Mars is slowing down, and while he may slow down, there's a sort of inverse reaction that occurs in this sign: to wit, without further obfuscation, and not to mince words, things in Taurus-land are hot, and moving forward at a greater than normal pace. Or so it seems. The problem is, this is a lot like cartoon characters, your little Taurus feet are spinning around, the legs are pumping, and the feet keep moving forward. But there's no traction. It's as if another cartoon character has reached out, and that character is holding your Taurus self in one place. The movement, the forward motion is good. The traction, the apparent acceleration, though? None of that seems to be moving. At all. So you're spinning along, putting one foot in front of the other because, well, that's how it's done. But you're going to feel like that cartoon character, rapidly going nowhere real fast. Look: sometimes, when traction is an issue, instead of speeding up? Try slowing down.

Gemini: You'd just better get used to this. It ain't pretty. It's a worst-case scenario. Paint the picture. Use that Gemini imagination. Go ahead, indulge the fantasy, the end of the world, and while I quoted Shakespeare's "Much Ado" as the opening quote, I'm more along the lines of something MacBeth said, towards his end, when he was still giddy with power. Imagine that greedy, over-worked, over-wrought fellow snarling and viciously denying the fates. Or Fates. Now then, the way I see it, you can be MacBeth, snarling and arguing with the Fates, or you can be the other guy. It's a basic binary choice, but I'm going to warn you, my fine Gemini friend, what with Mr. Mars where he is, there's going to be a bit of fear associated with the coming weeks. I'm just trying to prepare you. It's how your Gemini self will try to deal with those coming weeks. Denying the fates, denying what the stars have etched out for you will surely have a tragic end. However, if you don't deny the fates, and merely indulge the fantasies? It does work out better. In the long run.

Cancer: How does a Cancer like yourself measure your progress? It's a little secret, maybe not much of a secret, but how you measure your forward momentum is an important way of marking where you are, where you've been, and how rapidly you are progressing. After a long summer, at first, fraught with difficulties, then suddenly having a good opening, wherein the second half of the summer is better than ever, being able to judge your relative progress is key to making sure you don't repeat certain mistakes. I was meeting with a client (Cancer) and the reading/meeting usually lasts an hour or more. The first half will be a long list of previous mistakes. I was trying to circumvent the vent period, I'm on the clock, the meter is ticking, it's just that there's a subtle difference between looking at past mistakes, and dwelling there. The temptation is to dwell on the past mistakes. Think of those as learning experiences. Think of the past wrongs as necessary steps to get Cancer to where she is now. Dwelling on them? At hundreds of dollars an hour? Squirt out of the Cancer shell. Get out of the rut, perhaps, looking ahead at the fall? Consider staying away from the rut altogether. It's fine to look back, but dwelling in the past is a problem.

Leo: A while back, I stumbled, almost literally, across an artist's recordings. He's a Texas singer/songwriter. Maybe some point in the previous decade, he'd made the trip to Nashville, and he'd been packaged as a "Hot Country" performer. Had a CD or two released, but he never made the big-time. He drifted back to Texas -- and Oklahoma -- and he went back to what he knew. His recent canon is alluring, but defies normal taxonomy. He's not exactly country, as there's a little too much rock for that term. Then, he's not exactly rock, as there's too much twang for that. Owing to his Oklahoma/North Texas roots, almost literally, roots, he's classified as a "Red Dirt Rock." It's a new term, one that I wasn't familiar with, but it draws from North Texas landscape, and it's a little bit more than silly, twangy Nashville music, and a little less than hard rock. Someplace in the middle. In the land of extremes, finding an art form that carefully, probably unintentionally, straddles the middle ground is good. What my fine Leo friends are looking for? Something that covers the middle ground. Instead of trying to hammer a solution into a single slot, instead of trying to fit that proverbial square peg into a round hole? Perhaps it's time to create a new genre that fits the Leo sentiments --- and Leo solutions to problems -- a little bit better. It's frustrating, but you'll be happier.

Virgo: Happy Birthday darling Virgo. Click. Click-click. I've worked on computers, with an associated pointing device (a.k.a. "mouse") for years and years. Track pads, track balls, one-button, two-button, forty-three-button devices. All of them little guys all have the same tasks, to point and click at something on the computer's screen. With certain screen representations, a single click is all that is required, with other screen shots, a "double-click" is required. Some buttons on the mouse are set-up to double click with a single click. There's the "right click," and then there's the "left-click" thing, and it's all pretty confusing. Computers are a great source of information, but alas, these wonderful machines can also be a great source consternation. One click? Two clicks? Mash the button down and just hold it? Sure. Any and all of these apply. It's also a function of the underlying software, one click, two clicks, or just touch the computer's screen and mash the button yourself? Problems? The computer is not fast enough, and the mouse thing doesn't click correctly, or maybe, you just needed to click once, but you kept hammering at the button, and that's created some trouble. Stupid machines need time to think about your decisions, and that's the problem. I'm not sure it's a "one-two forty-two" problem with your pointing device, but scale back your expectations. Even moving at the speed of light, the stupid machines need time to think. Not everyone is up to the same Virgo speed that you're at.

Libra: I was proof reading next week's scope. Right, I know, I should've been working on this week's scope, but I was trying to get on top of some of the chores associated with writing a weekly message. I corrected one passage, and after I read the corrected passage, I switched it back to what I'd written before. Then I changed it again, because I was sure that I was breaking a grammar and usage rule. Not that breaking usage rules ever really bothered me, but I was trying to hammer the words together in such a fashion so there was flow, you know? It's that constant indecision about grammar. What's right, and what not right, but sure looks good? Or sounds good, even though, it might not be, technically speaking, absolutely correct? If you play fast and loose with language rules -- or any other rules -- you're going to get caught. There's always a Virgo-type personality who will call your Libra self out for breaking some rule. Especially now. But if you adhere to the strictest, most stringent rules, like grammar and punctuation? Then that personality might snarl, or, at the very least grimace, but your Libra self doesn't get in trouble. Fast and loose is fine by me, but I'm not noted for proofreading ability.

Scorpio: I was starting out to lead a workshop, and I have a fair amount of experience with this material. First words out of my mouth? "Yes, if you're Scorpio, you can just leave now, because it doesn't matter what I say, I'll piss you off." Experience is a tough professor, but I've been down this road a time or two, and I know that my presentation of the material I held in my hand was probably going to irk, irritate or downright piss off one, or more, of the Scorpio folks present. One left. Another hung around. You know what? I did piss her off. Pretty good, too. And think: I was even trying to be nice, but it didn't work. Now let's pretend that I have some Scorpio in my chart, too, and let's pretend that I'm listening to me make a presentation about matters astrological, and let's go further with this hypothetical situation, and look at where Mr. Mars is. In Taurus. Slowing down. Almost not moving. It might not be some smart-aleck astrology guy, it could very well be someone else, but that person, despite the warning shot, is going o irk, irritate, or downright piss you off. Best solution? Get up and leave. In fact, with a little challenge at the beginning, that's hint that it's high time to "exeunt," stage left, stage right, or just jump. But get out of the way. Don't let irksome individuals, especially a particular smarmy-mouthed astrology types? Don't let them get to you.

Sagittarius: "Look, man, I know I'm going to piss you off, but I just don't 'get' Zappa." I was listening to a musically inclined gentleman, and he was going on and on about rather diverse musical tastes. His. Mine. Meeting of the minds, so to speak. Zappa was a Sagittarius. While me and this one guy, we did agree about a number of artists and genres, we were clearly split on the Zappa issue. I'm not, like a huge a fan or anything, but I respect the canon of work. I respect the volume, the artistry and the musical playfulness employed. I wasn't go to press home the point, but the guy went on, "See, I didn't come to Zappa until it was too late. The mould had already been cast. Just not my style." I can easily respect his point. It was well-argued, and about matters of tastes, like music, there are some items that just don't "do it" for certain folks. I let the issue drop, because, frankly, I'm not trying to slam the guy's musical tastes. Besides, there were a great number of areas where we agreed, and that wasn't limited to musical elements. There is a time and place, and I'm sure a few well-chosen musical pieces could have enlightened the lad's point of view. However, my dear Sagittarius, there are times when it behooves us not to push home our point. Just nod, realize that there are divergent opinions, and move onto the next topic. Or, more plainly put? Let it go, you can't win every argument.

Capricorn: I stopped into a familiar place to get an evening libation, just a little, single shot of espresso, just a light beverage to carry me home through the gathering September dusk. The little barista is a Capricorn. "Usual?" she asked. I nodded, and she started the grinder, then all the steps required to pour a single shot of near boiling water pressurized and forced through tightly packed, finely-ground coffee beans. She had that world-weary look about her, and she politely inquired, more like a mumble, "Howyadoin'." I noted that she looked a little worse for wear and tear, and the ensuing conversation let me know that she'd been at work for more than 12 hours, and she was beginning to resemble a coffee bean, a dark, double-roasted espresso bean. Apparently, she felt like she'd been ground to a fine powder, too. She endeavored, with Capricorn patience, to be polite and upbeat, but the corners of eyes, the sides of her mouth, and the lines on her face, plus the shrug in shoulders suggested she was worn out. I'm sure that your Capricorn self understand this feeling, the sentiment. Worn thin. Even funny (looking) customers can't really bolster your sagging spirits. It's going to be good, it's just that the next few days are like that double-shift. You're feeling like you've been on your feet since sun-up. Is it worth it to persevere? Sure. I tipped her an extra buck; although, not all folks are going to be as generous as an astrologically aware individual.

Aquarius: It was a torrid affair, an evening that involved a number of elements that don't belong in a regular column. Use your copious imagination. Alcohol, controlled substances, uncontrolled behavior, firearms, law enforcement officials, yes, it was ugly. Fill in the blanks with your own imagination. Just trust me, it wasn't pretty. Got a good mental image going about the troubles? Good. Now, imagine me and my buddy, I did mention that it was all his fault? He started out by suggesting a place to dine, and it's not the best of places, and from there? All downhill. The good news? Didn't actually wind up in jail. Praise be for small miracles. It's that Sagittarius luck. However, the next day, I called my buddy up -- incidentally, his name is not "bubba" -- and he just suggested that, "We never speak of last night. Ever again." We all have nights like that. As a suggestion? To my excellent Aquarius friends? Let's paint a little picture here, a buddy calls you up and suggests you and that buddy head out for an evening of fun? It's September, the nights are cool, the moon is full, sure, sounds like plan? No. I'd suggest that you take it easy, maybe consider just staying at home. Or a little closer to home. I'd hate for you to have one of those nights, "We will never talk about. Ever again." The flip side? It sure was fun, until the cops were called.

Pisces: I was looking at the chart for the Pisces week, trying to get a handle on what was shaking loose. My e-mail beeped, someone forwarded me a joke. It seemed to fit, so I'm retyping the joke, and just passing it along. I'm sure this one belongs to someone else, but we can all modify it was we see fit. At least, I hope the good Pisces folks can modify it. See, there's a guy, and he's sitting there, and up pops a genie. "You're lucky day, bud," the genie says, "I can grant you one wish. You can either have unlimited wealth or unlimited mental ability. What will it be?" The guy thinks for a minute, weighs the options carefully, then opts for unlimited smarts. Poof, the genie waves its hands. His buddy (told you I'd screw up the joke somehow) asks him, "So? What do you think?" The guy looks back at his buddy, and he says, "I think I should've gone for the money." So it wasn't very funny, at least, not my version, but I have an aversion to just copying and pasting a joke right into the scope. But stop and think, Pisces, what would you do? Enough brain power, and you can make unlimited wealth. Won't solve everything, not right away, but there are some solutions.

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.