For the Week starting: 11.17.2005

“What tongueless blocks they are!”
Shakespeare’s Richard III (III.vii.42)

Aries: I forgot, but I think the lyrics to that one song? “I know every trail in the Lone Star State because I drive them in my ford V-8….” Does that sound right? I think it was more a blues tune than a country song, which made the lyrics that song much more amusing, a lone cow-hand from New York. New York City. Lots of room for humor here. I’m pretty sure that a hamburger is the closest cow-material that’s going to be found in New York City. I’m not complaining, just pointing out the humor of the song. Maybe it was intended that way. May be. May not be, too, and that gets us back to what you’re going to be doing with the current situation. If I were more Aries-like, I like Aries, but I’m not one, I’d be more patient. Wait this one out. Wait out this one song, and don’t worry that no one’s asked you dance. Might not really be a song you want to dance to.

Taurus: I was up pretty early the other morning. Sun doesn’t come up as early as it used to. It was still dark out, with a faint, orange glow just visible over downtown Austin. I went through the morning wake-up steps, ground up some coffee beans, dropped some tuna in the cat’s bowl, and set water on to boil. I grabbed a handful of vitamins, and started popping them, one at a time — conveniently color-coded, one red, one purple, one green, one big white one, and one yellow capsule. I looked out of the window at the water’s level, made a quick judgment call about conditions and decided to let the sleeping fish lay in their watery beds. After looking at the inbound mail, I went back for a second cup of coffee, and I tried to pour the coffee in the dark. I figured, I’ve done this maybe a hundreds of thousands of times, I should be able to do this in the dark. I can’t. The brown elixir poured over the edges of the coffee mug and splashed into the sink, generally making a mess of everything. Some messes are fun, but this wasn’t one of them. I’d taken a small shortcut, skipping the “turn the kitchen light on” part of the routine, a second time. My oversight, under sight, or maybe it was just a bad call on my part, resulted in a waste of coffee, a few extra minutes required to clean up my mess, and some creative language not fit for publication. Trying to skip just one step in the process? Cost me many extra minutes clean-up time. Skipping just one little step for Taurus? Like forgetting to turn on the light? Is the short-cut worth the expense?

Gemini: There’s a little creek inlet, or discharge, a place where a creek dumps into the lake here. Right around the corner from me. Shallow creek, more a drainage ditch than a creek, and there’s a little sand bar, built up over the years, with the effluvia. A number of my neighbors wander over there to feed the swans, the ducks and the geese. Plus, there are a few savvy turtles who clamor for free feed. Add to the mix, a couple of perch, and there’s veritable feeding frenzy of nature. I was watching, just observing, rather than fishing, and there was even one wily young black bass, he’d dart up for the bread crust, faster and leaner than the other critters. Fun to watch the lean and mean bass outdo the other denizens of the deep. That feeding frenzy, usually brought about by a kindly (Gemini) neighbor? That’s what you feel like you’re stuck in these days. Turtles, both red-ear and snapper, perch of many varieties, plus water fowl, and then, there’s that one, lone Black Bass, just like the odd Gemini out. Bide your time. Let others make a big fuss and tug over some of the offerings. No need to run out and try to get everything. If you’ll just wait, in the shadows, you’ll get a perfect opening.

Cancer: Sagittarius is going to kick into gear, in the next week or so, and that’s going to make life more interesting, in a fun way. I know you could use a little dose of fun, unrestrained, uninhibited, just ordinary fun. We all could, but Cancer, my dear Cancer friends, you guys get the break. The planets are still wandering around in evil disarray, but that doesn’t stop life from being more interesting than usual. Now, about the fun? It’s not where you expect to find it. I was on my way someplace, and the flight I was booked on was running late. Not too much of surprise, not with the approach of the holidays. I was prepared, like I usually am, with a fat paperback of the thriller-mystery-fantasy genre. I ran into a client, she was heading one direction, her flight was late. Then I encountered an old friend, he was early for his flight, and this all lead to an impromptu party at the airport bar. Not exactly where I was looking for fun, as I was prepared to settle in, all by myself and read a trashy novel. Instead, I spent an hour with friends, promises to get together soon, an extra holiday invite, plus all manner of good will and good cheer. But it wasn’t where I was looking for a party. As we all ease on into Sagittarius, it isn’t where you’re looking for it to happen, it just happens. Enjoy.

Leo: Next week just can’t get here soon enough, huh? There’s an air of expectancy, and I can’t make next week — and Sagittarius — get here any faster. Would that I could, I would, just to be of service to the Leo contingent, the most important sign there is. Since I can’t move time and space any faster, I can make a tiny suggestion, should your imminent and wonderful Leo like to think about it, consider that one particular planet, okay, two planets because one planet won’t stop a Leo, is getting in your way. If it were just Saturn or just Mars, then this wouldn’t be a focal point for trouble. But it’s both planets and they’re just not treating your regal self the way you like to be treated. Now, as I was twisting and advancing the planets on their proscribed course, I noted that focus becomes a central theme — in Leo — the best fixed fire sign — next week. There’s a not-so-subtle line up that give great clarity to the Leo encampment. That’s good. It’s next week. That’s bad. In the meantime? I don’t have a lot of suggestion other than rash action is certainly not called for.

Virgo: I’d like to think that every Virgo is the same, predictable, in a Virgo-like manner. Even-handed, sage, with an endless stock of forgiveness. It’s a nice image, and one that would normally apply. That last bit, about the forgiveness? Therein is the problem. You get a weird kind of communication, maybe an instant message, or text message on the cell phone, or you look at the caller ID on the phone at home, and realize that you recognize the number, but you’re not sure from where, and whoever it was didn’t leave a message. Me? I just call them back. I’ve got a special trick that I use, though, I use my dormant fax line. That way, if the person tries to call back, all that call-back gets is white noise. It’s my way of ducking cold-calling sales agents, scam artists and their ilk. How do you distinguish between a valid call to return, that weird message seemingly from out of the wild blue, and how to differentiate between what’s a strange connection, maybe a friend of a friend, and the general marketing hype you encounter? Filter. That’s the important point. Filter those weird messages.

Libra: I was doing a “coastal run,” and I stopped in Karnes County for some late lunch. Or early dinner. Middle of a fall afternoon, the usually lush landscape was a little dry in places. A few gray clouds, sailing in low from the coast, I wanted a cheery place to dine. Human companionship after a couple of hours of driving. Grabbed a table and had a seat, whipping out paper and pencil, full-well expecting something weird to happen. At the table across from me, another set of travelers wandered in, had a seat, and when their food arrived, I’m guessing it was chicken-fried steaks, the family (assumption again) stopped and bowed their heads for a quick prayer to bless the food. I was touched by the display of faith. Unlike what I usually, do, I just mutely observed the other travelers. That simple, uncluttered example of a rock-solid belief system, something that means much to that family, is an important component in their lives. Some kind of spiritual touchstone. I have a very old St. Christopher medallion in my travel gear. After I paid up for my meal and departed, I took a few extra minutes to regard the medallion, and thank my lucky stars that St. Chris (he’s no longer a saint, I think) was with me to help make my travels safe. Good luck charms, omens, and some kind of quiet faith, whatever it is that you believe in? Trust it right now.

Scorpio: “Thwap-thwap-thwap — SNAP!” It’s the sound of a graphite-core fishing pole being inserted into a ceiling fan. I was rigging a lure, a special, “Let’s try this” kind of a set-up, and when I was done, I turned to answer the phone and the pole was still in my hand. Usually, I’m pretty good about fishing poles indoors. Usually. Hey, in my defense, this is only the second (third) pole that’s been victimized by that fan. It’s a little fan, with a lot of fan blades, hence the rapid destruction of the tip of the fishing pole. My loss of a fishing pole, it’s not really lost, the pole is now a specially modified “short” pole, useful for specialty fishing, I suppose. I don’t know what I’ll do with a five-foot, three-inch fishing pole, other than to note that I’ve got a matched pair of poles that have been suitably modified for short work. My dear little Scorpio friends need to watch out for overhead obstruction, like that ceiling fan. It’s easy to make a little mistake, like turn to answer the phone, with a pole in hand, and suddenly, the 7-foot pole is modified. I don’t want any Scorpios cut down in their prime, too.

Sagittarius: I was working on this material, getting the points I wanted to cover, ahead of time. It’s the rigors of publishing and trying to stay abreast of all the events, planetary and other. So last month, I was doing a lot of dock fishing, just standing by the side of the river, flipping a jig into the water. I was trying to balance real work (writing these horoscopes) with make-believe work, fishing, and I was looking for a balance point. Try one lure. Write a horoscope, try another lure, write another horoscope. Symmetry. Balance. All is well in the world. Of course, I’d complain that the fishes were none too compliant, but by now, I’ve caught most of those guys a time or two, so I don’t have a lot to really complain about. However, even though Sagittarius is getting underway? There’s that little problem with our balance. It’s not what it should be. Got too cold to really spend too much time by the edge of the river, and these days, it’s a rare day when I can dash over to the river’s edge wearing just shorts. So the balance isn’t balanced. Therein lies the difficulties, too. More work. Less fishing. Plus, it seems like some of the work lacks the appeal it did before. Doesn’t mean we should be any less vigilant about the tasks at hand. That balance will be back shortly, promise.

Capricorn: “I’m not coming back here no more.” I was listening to another passenger on one of the gambling boats that dot my landscape. Or river-scape, or ocean-side, one of those places. If I recall rightly, the person complaining had just lost a wad of cash, to the tune of several hundred dollars. Kept chasing after that big win, and it never happened. Or it happened early in the cruise, only to release all that cash back to the casino operators. Luck is like that. And Capricorn, dear Capricorn? There are two lessons that can be garnered, maybe even three, from that one desultory complaint. First off, if you do win? Pocket the cash, and sit back and enjoy the rest of the ride. Two, if you you’re not winning? Stop. That simple. Just stop. Some days, the way the roulette wheel rolls, the way you want it to be? It just doesn’t work out. Finally, I guess that’s three, now, consider the grammar. Let’s work on diction a bit, too. Not coming back no more is a double negative. That’s tantamount to saying I am not not coming back here. I understand the feeling, though. If you’re not ahead? Just stop. There’s more fun and games, just up ahead, and you’re going to be winner, yet. Some times, this takes time. Also be careful with what you say, it might come out wrong.

Aquarius: It was a warm, Scorpio night, a week or two ago. I was still in summertime shorts, and a Hawaiian shirt, sandals. Warm enough for proper attire, even after the sun had set. We opted for some delightful “al-fresco” dining, on the patio at one restaurant. I was with an Aquarius, and the server was an Aquarius, so the Aquarius mind is thinking, “This is all good.” It was. As we were arranging our seats, my little Aquarius friend was making sure that I could sit where I faced the door. “You’re like (friend’s name here) who always has to sit where he can see the door. It’s that cowboy thing — never has his back to the door.” Then there was an exaggerated roll of the eyes. Superstitions vary from place to place and from person to person. I was never a gunfighter, and I don’t worry about sitting with my back to the door — I’ve got plenty of friends, who were gunslingers in former lives, and I let them cover my back. Besides, at that one patio? There is no “front” or “back,” as it’s patio on three and half sides. Sort of makes “sitting with your back to door” a difficult proposition. As far as I’m concerned, I’m less worried about my back to the door and lot more worried about exit strategy. At that one patio? All I would have to do is vault over the railing. Pretty hard to call a seat with a “back to the door” if there are no walls. I like being thusly accommodated, as does your Aquarius self. But don’t count on being thusly accommodated these days. Just sit down, and enjoy the fact that there might be no way to sit with your back to the wall.

Pisces: In the fall, I’ve got one fishing buddy who keeps trying to get me to sign up for a bass fishing tournament. During September and October, there’s one almost every weekend. But fishing competitively, even though there’s the promise of a great payout, that doesn’t appeal to me. Pretty much takes the fun out of fishing, if you must know. That’s when it’s less along the lines of “fish might bite,” and more along the lines of “I have to catch fish.” Plus the weigh-in, at the end of the event? Takes all the wind out of my sails about what I did and didn’t catch. Real, certified scales? That’s when five pounds becomes three pounds of fish flesh. The upside, and I’ve cashed in on this before, about week after a tournament, wherever the weigh-in was done? All those fish were released right there, back into the lake. Great fishing. It’s just matter of picking the right place and the right time. That’s the problem with competitive fishing, too, imagine, one afternoon, just as the fish are starting to stir, whip the top of the lake into a feeding frenzy, the tournament is over, you’ve got to race back to the weigh-in. Nope, not me. If there’s a chance to raise yourself to a more exalted and professional level? Even if there’s a promise of more money? Think about it. Make sure whatever the endeavor, make sure that it doesn’t abrogate the Pisces fun.

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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