For the Week starting: 9.22.2005

“O! me with what strict patience have I sat
To see a king transformed to a gnat.
Shakespeare’s Love’s Labor’s Lost [IV.iii.163-4)

Aries: There’s a fishing line with a trademark name of “Vanish.” Supposedly, it’s great stuff, in that it “vanishes beneath water, invisible to the fish.” Good marketing. Buddy of mine, a fishing buddy, strung his spinning reel with this stuff. Didn’t work. The only thing that vanished was his money. Every time he went to throw that line, it wound up a snarled mess. At the end of the day, looking for someone or something to blame, he was sure that it was the new line. Couldn’t have been me, nor any of the weather conditions, or the fact that fish weren’t interested in his fishing lures. Must’ve been the line. He did spend an inordinate amount of time unsnarling the fishing line, and I use that stuff as a leader, but having had the same experience, I don’t use that brand of line for a spinning reel. See, the deal with my Aries friends? You buy something that’s supposed to work one way, and the only thing you buy is something that tries your patience. Ever unsnarl monofilament fishing line? It’s sometimes worse than it looks, and the only through is to cut the mess. Unfortunately, you’re stuck in a situation wherein you don’t have something handy to cut through the mess; therefore, the only way is to patiently sit down and work through the knotted problem.

Taurus: Texas is mysterious amalgam of cultures, a curious mix of this and that, owing to its diverse influx of influences. A couple of my friends were trying to introduce me to “Cajeta y Tequila,” which, according to them, “It’s like a Mexican Bailey’s Irish Crème.” The fiery burn of Mezcal, mixed with the sweet, praline flavor, I’m sure, it’s something of a delight. Not being a drinking man these days, I wasn’t too interested in tasting the concoction. But I did think about my Taurus friend, flying low under the twin influences of Mars and Venus. Mars is in Taurus and Venus is opposite, in Scorpio. Means that there are couple of elements that need to be combined, perhaps items that one doesn’t think about, at least not at first. Like that smooth, apparently, mix of caramel and tequila. You can fight with Mars and Venus, or you can figure out that some of the combinations really aren’t that bad. Might even be tasty, if you open up that Taurus mind to new possibilities.

Gemini: A Gemini buddy of mine works at a large corporation. He’s a faceless minion, just another cog in the wheels of industry that go round and around. Stuck in a cube farm, wrangling electrons on the wide open spaces. Of course, as a Gemini, he’s got an interesting way of creating difficulties. Per his employer’s mandate, my buddy installed some software on his work system. The software, the new and improved system? It didn’t work as advertised. In fact, the new software would continually yield the blue screen of death. In true Gemini fashion, relating his tale of woe, seeking compassion, the story got the point where there were demonic voices and smoke issuing forth from the box at work. I’m a little dubious about smoke, as I’m sure that would set off a fire alarm, but the voices? That could happen. Especially to a Gemini. See, Mr. Mars is poking along in the sign that comes before Gemini, and like as not, you install some kind of a mandated update, and the installation doesn’t go quite as smooth as it could. The solution, the way to approach the problem? Get the support person to come to the Gemini cube and have that support person verify that there are, indeed, voices to be heard coming from your now-haunted computer. Nothing is going to be simple at this point, just make sure you have witnesses.

Cancer: There’s a certain brand of doughnut, not that I’m really a huge fan of these things or anything, but this one brand is highly addictive. As a gesture of kindness, I’d picked up a half a box (half-dozen) of the doughnuts for a friend. She ate one doughnut. That’s it. Fried dough, in a circular shape, glazed with a sugary concoction that’s sure to rot teeth, just looking at the glaze? One doughnut? Even me, despite my worries, I had to have at least two. Because I can be capable of great self-restraint, I did manage to resist a third one. But only through some supreme, almost super-human, act of will. Coming up, you’re going to be faced with the same temptation, and I can only hope that — after what we’ve been through together — Cancer and me — I can only hope that you find some form of restraint, like I did. Here’s my secret, I tightened the waistband on my shorts. That reminded me that I really didn’t need to add one more doughnut to the waistline. Do something to remind you that a little self-restraint is called for.

Leo: I was walking along the pedestrian bridge, crosses the Colorado River, and there was a merry lad approaching. Probably close to my age, in reality. I had my shirt in hand, being a warm summer’s evening, and the sun was down, gentle breezes kicking up along the river’s bottom land, through downtown, and this one guy, he looks up at me, smiles broadly. “Man, when I win that lottery? I’m going to buy weather like this!” The speaker in question? Must be a hopeful, ever on the sunny side of things, up-front, in-your-face, Leo. Just a guess, though. Except for a very narrow margin of the sign of Leo, there’s a degree of hope that should pervade your senses. Lots of rain clouds hanging over your head, not much hope of winning the lottery this week, and all that sort of mental garbage, floating through your magnificent Leo brain? Shut up. Just tell it to be quiet. I’m not suggesting that a particular Leo will win the big lottery these next few days. But you can plan. And you can consider that kind of an attitude, too. “When I win the lottery, I’m going to buy me some weather like this.” Be a little more hopeful, it ain’t all bad.

Virgo: There was a big flap, couple of weeks back, some patron in a local eatery saw the face of angel in the cream gravy atop his chicken fried steak. Deal is, I’m pretty sure, it’s possible to see the face of an angel, Our Savior, Mother Mary, or whatever other symbol rings true for you, I’m pretty sure good cream gravy can be sculpted into whatever it is that you’re looking for. Especially gravy that’s been cooking down for a few hours? Good stuff for plugging arteries and as an artist’s palate. I tried the place, and I’m not sure, but I think there was really just a satanic message in the cream gravy. “Forget that one Virgo birthday?” the gravy seemed to say. Could just be me, and it might all be in my imagination. Never can tell. But you’re like me in that you’ve got one little message that you’ve forgotten to deliver. Whatever it is? Time to get after it. Thick, cream gravy on top of a chicken fried steak is not exactly required as a medium, but around here? Works pretty good.

Libra: I was one my way from point A to point B. I don’t recall the details, but I was riding with a friend. “I’ve got to stop and feed the kittens.” Seems as how my friend had turned into a temporary animal rescue person with the advent of two kittens, barely a few days old. The pair of kittens were mismatched from a color and pattern point of view, but with their tiny paws and eyes still closed, it was that most heart-rendering sight. Two, tiny life-forms, without help or any way to survive in the cold, cruel world, rent asunder from their maternal unit, still unfit to negotiate their way. “I had to stop and pick up baby formula, and right now, they have to be fed about every two to four hours.” Yeah, tiny, baby kittens. One of them was particularly active, less about mewing and more about trying to explore its world. Even though its eyes were closed. Plus, by the odd twist of fate, this pair of new-born cats had landed themselves in the hands of my friend, a caring place. Likewise, I’m seeing this kind of a situation unfolding for your Libra self, especially after the last week or two, landing yourself in a friend’s caring care.

Scorpio: Sarcasm is a rather useful tool. I employ it as often as I can. Some folks think that I have a somewhat bitter outlook towards the world, after hearing a few of my more sarcastic, snide asides. Yeah, well, walk a few miles in my boots — or sandals — and you’ll understand, right? This kind of preface for my dear, much downtrodden Scorpio friends is just a little warm-up for you. Miss Venus is floating along in Scorpio, making you feel just fine. Mr. Mars is opposite you in Taurus, making you feel unsettled. Those two planets will face each other before too long. The good, the bad. Not everyone is bright enough to understand that rapier-like Scorpio wit. I appreciate a finely delivered verbal riposte, the quick turn of the blade at the end of the of the line, which only serves to dig it a little deeper, driving home the point. In fact, I’ll applaud just such a finely delivered bit of wit. Unfortunately, I’m one in a very few, very small, very select group who will go, “Oh yeah!” (sotto voce) — after your finely-tuned turn of a phrase. The problem is that 99% of the world, 99% of the people you deal with? They won’t get it. At all. Just a fair warning. Maybe sheath that rapier-like wit for the duration.

Sagittarius: I was pulling on a stump the other afternoon. Or rather, I was puling on a fishing line (14-pound-monofilament) that was attached to a hook and worm. I really didn’t think it was a fish, in fact, I was sure the hook was caught on a submerged branch. It was. As I slowly worked the snag into the shoreline, branch, limb and all, I noticed that there was something white, bloated and dead-looking attached to the bramble. In the lake’s relatively clear water, I realized I had a branch, which actually held a previously lost piece of tackle. Probably my tackle. Well, after I got the whole mess wrestled up on the dock, and after I freed my recent snag, I looked at the bloated, dead plastic worm. All swole up. All waterlogged. Hook rusted out. Now I know what one of those special “garlic-flavor, super-salt impregnated” worms looks like, after soaking in the lake for a month or so. I just let it slid on back into the water, too, after all, that brand of worm is advertised as being “biodegradable.” I’m not sure about that, after all, after only a few short weeks, it was still intact, but it did look a little worse for the soak. That hook was imparting nutrients, too, high in iron and other neutral metals. The problem? I’m not so sure that the brand of worms really biodegrades like its advertising. In the next couple of weeks, you’re like me, you’re going to pull up an old problem (the branch) and you’re going to look at past solutions, and hopefully, you’ll wonder about the advertising. What works. What doesn’t work.

Capricorn: “Can you just be serious for a moment?” It was a typical Capricorn friend, and she had a typical Capricorn response to my typical Sagittarius flippant and errant behavior. Really, it was a comment about a comment. But her complaint was certainly valid enough, I was trying to make light of situation and she wanted to piss and moan. She wanted sympathy, not some jerk of an astrology guy making stupid jokes at his expense. Her expense. And at the expense of anything else that was around at the time. We all deal with emotional pain in different ways. Some of us get worked up. My Capricorn friends tend to worry, sometimes excessively, about certain problems. Like right now. Let’s get a few facts straight, there’s this one situation, and it looks like it is causing Capricorn pain. Bummer, dude. There is no cure for the pain, other than to embrace it, walk through it, and emerge on the other side. Hopefully, you’ll be stronger, better, and more alert. You have choice, courtesy of Mr. Mars, and that choice has to do with how you deal with this one situation. It can be quick, or it can get dragged out by yourself. Your call, my fine Capricorn friend. I’m just hoping I don’t have to listen to the same story, over and over again.

Aquarius: “Oh what foods these morsels be!” It’s a sign at a local eating establishment, I think a catfish place. It’s an obvious allusion to a line from Puck in Midsummer Night’s Eve, “Oh what fools these mortals be,” (in case you didn’t get the referent). There’s kind of sustained, in limbo, energy that is floating along in the merry sign of Aquarius. “Yeah, well, I don’t feel so merry, Mr. Smart Aleck Fishing Guide (to the Stars) astrology guy. So there.” Sure showed me a thing or two with your witty reply. What I’m suggesting is that there is some degree of comfort that can be found in an unlikely place. Personally, and despite my carnivorous leanings, I’m thinking about a particular place that serves nothing but macrobiotic cuisine. Be a great place for us to go and eat. The next six weeks is full of discomforting situations. In advance, my dear Aquarius friends need to find a degree of solace, a degree of peace and some way to look forward to prosperity. That’s why me, a carnivorous person, was suggesting macrobiotic food. It’s actually quite tasty, when done right. And it’s way out of the ordinary, for me. Looks for some comfort, and try looking some place you wouldn’t normal seek comfort. If “al dente” is your main course, try something different, try some “chicken-fried.” Or the reverse.

Pisces: Stuck. In space. I tend to see you stuck in an action-adventure film. You know, one with guns blazing, high-karate kicks, sunglasses, and lots of a slow-motion video action. The problem? You’re flying through the air with a high kick to the Pisces opponent’s face, you’re aimed squarely at the chin, with your heel, and the filming stops for the day. In other words, they are leaving you, right there, hanging in mid-air, for about 12 hours, until filming starts again tomorrow. Stuck. In space. Just hanging there. Stop and think about the mechanics of making the movie, after all, your life should be a celluloid hit, right? And you do have stories to tell, right? And to make this a box-office smash hit, we need action, right? So, in the middle of filming the action sequence, there you are, left hanging at the end of the day.

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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