For the Week starting: 12.15.2005

“Sell when you can.”
Shakespeare’s As You Like It [III.v.60]

Aries: It was an Tuesday night, and me and Bubba had saddled up to our respective plates of BBQ. Aries waitress, with an attitude. But the Q was good. He got the “no carb – all meat – all you can eat” while I demurred for my usual Tuesday Two-Meat platter. The ribs were excellent, and the brisket was a little dry, but there were some choice end-cut pieces, just covered in crusty, smoked beef flavor. I finished up my plate and Bubba signaled the waitress for another helping. “I want one hotlink and a pork rib.” I added, “and one slice of brisket.” He looked momentarily befuddled then caught onto the game, “Yeah, and once more slice of brisket. What he said.” What arrived was a plate similar to his first plate, heaped tall with brisket, about half a rack of pork ribs, and three hotlinks. Whew. That one extra slice of brisket was for the cat, and I was just going to tuck it in napkin, and offer it up to my mistress as need be. What I left with, instead, was a whole to-go box stuffed with BBQ. Good stuff. See, when the planets are like they are? Some mistakes occur. But considering that the extra platter of food was enough to last me for three days? Some mistakes can go in your favor.

Taurus: It was raining the other afternoon, and I was sitting here, inside, looking out the window, then looking at the fishing pole then looking out the window. Fishing theory suggests that rain is, indeed, a good time to fish. And, in the proper time of the year? I’m all for it. However, I’m also a bit of wimp when it comes to cold weather. Plus, as lightening streaked across the sky and there was gentle peel of thunder, even though I’d be under bigger trees, I just couldn’t help but wonder if a wet fishing pole didn’t appear like a lightening rod. I had a choice — you have a choice. I stayed inside where I was cozy. I made a pot of tea. I stretched out on the couch and listened to the rain on a tin roof while the gentle winter storm rolled right on through. I didn’t go out, I didn’t fish, I didn’t even think anymore about fishing. I put it out of my mind and tended to certain businesses that needed attending to. I’d like to suggest, in the ongoing holiday crush? Take it easy for an afternoon. Or just one evening. Clear the schedule. Or, like with my schedule, which was interrupted by rain? Take that as a sign from the heavens that you’re not supposed to do what you originally intended to do.

Gemini: “OMIGAWD – IDUNNOWHAT – IMGOINGTOBEINTEXAS” Like this is a bad thing? Apparently, according to my Gemini friend, it is a bad thing. She was a little freaked out, okay, from the sound of it, majorly freaked by the thought of being in Texas — with family for the upcoming holidays. Since leaving Texas, she’d made a nice home for herself. She’d found her way in the world. She was settled, once she was removed from family dynamics. The holiday season throws little extra stress into the Gemini life. Might not be going home to see the family, but the way the planets stack up, you’re going to experience a similar type of stress.

Cancer: It’s the holiday season, and I’m stuck on BBQ. No particular reason, just like the idea. A couple of weeks ago, I found myself with an extra hotlink, a leftover from some Two-Meat plate, and I decided to nuke the hotlink to make it more appealing. Kill anything that might have grown on it, too, can’t be too safe with everything that’s in my ice box, catfish bait and all, you know. So I poked a few holes in the link, and popped it in the old microwave for exactly 33 seconds. Many years of trial and error have revealed, to me, that the perfect nuke setting for a hotlink (Elgin Hotlink, Southside Meat Market, Elgin, TX) is a very precise 33 seconds. Warm all the way through, not too hot to eat, and it doesn’t fry it to the point that it looks like six-week summer’s old “roadkill jerky.” That’s what a minute of radiation does. 20 seconds is too short, not really sufficiently warmed up. Even 36 seconds is too long, as the ends start to get that beef jerky look. I doubt you’re using my nuke to warm up your hotlink. Don’t even go there. But there’s a good chance that you have s special understanding about some task at hand, and only you know the correct sequence. The right paper plate, the paper towel to control the splatter, and then, the exactly correct amount of seconds to heat. Or cool. Or whatever the arrangement. Whatever it is, stick to what you know works perfectly. In our imperfect world, 33 seconds for a hotlink is a good deal. Apply your knowledge, the trial and error part, to get just what you want, just how you want it.

Leo: It was a Leo waitress, pretty young thing, and she was serving us breakfast one morning. Evening. It was dark outside, but I think that time, it was breakfast at, like 8 in the evening. I engaged in my usual Leo-centric rhetoric, and I inquired about her significant other. That Leo waitress allowed as how she, boyfriend — a Taurus — and her, they got along beautifully. “He does everything you tell him, right?” “YES! Exactly.” That’s the simple key to a good Leo and (insert sign here) relationship. Me and that Leo’s boyfriend, we understand this. That’s two of the non-Leo people in the world who grasp the concept. However, unless you run into either that boyfriend or me, the problem is no one gets it. Got that? Two folks you encounter in the next seven days are willing to play fair, and those two people, probably me and that waitress’s boyfriend, we understand the basic ground rules for the happy Leo relationship. Otherwise? Be prepared for sloppy, shoddy service from surly, uncooperative non-Leo people. Holidays fray nerves. Two of us get it. Look for those two people to keep your life happy for the holidays.

Virgo: I was out the other evening, and I met this one female whom I found particularly stunning. Other than a slight disdain, she seemed to be a wonderfully witty conversationalist, she parried my every attempt at conversation with a brilliant riposte. I was shot down before I ever got out of the starting gate. Virgo. I asked. Cut in half before I even had a chance to tender my tenders. Which was too bad, as I got a call not long thereafter, and it was the same Virgo, coming to me for some professional advice. She wanted to know why she kept having problems attracting suitable males. Obviously, I’m not in that category. Not that I’m worried about it, either. But that slight disdain, and that ignoring any plea for attention is part of the problem, all wrapped up in one. Be nicer to the oddball weirdo types, like me, and see if that doesn’t change your luck elsewhere. The planets are weaving a weird web around and through Virgo, and believe it or not, the next two weeks are good, it’s just, that the next couple of days are still a little rocky.

Libra: I was watching a demur lady as she was cruising along in the mall. She had on low-rise jeans and tiny high rise sweater, and one of those little mid-riff tops that left an open expanse of flesh between the jeans and the top. She also kept tugging at the top, trying to pull it down to cover that expanse of flesh. One, we were in mall with a climate controlled environment, and two, it’s not like it’s really going to be that cold in Texas in the winter. Didn’t seem to be, to me, anyway. What was odd was the gesture about tugging down on the clothing to hide that exposed flesh. I understand the movement, but why, in the first place, did this particular female wear clothing that revealed flesh that she didn’t want to reveal? This is a judgment call, based solely on my observations, but think about it. Why expose something you don’t want exposed? Why advertise something you don’t want advertised? It’s a simple message and in the media barrage of holiday messages, maybe thinking about what you’re saying — and how you’re saying it — that might be important. The observing part didn’t bother me, but then, I’m fond of looking at lovely Libra forms.

Scorpio: I will not be accepting any e-mail from Scorpio corners of the sky this week. Sorry, the complaints, threats, and weird messages will all have to wait. And, instead of sending me the message, why not post it along to someone else? I know I’m not the only one who dearly loves and appreciates the fine Scorpio traits, the tenacity, willingness, and tenacious ability to get the tasks done, but I also realize that ya’ll have some weird energy floating around. I can’t fix that. I can’t make it all better with a wave of my hand. Would that I could. You have to know, deep in your Scorpio heart, that I would do everything in my powers to make the planets line up better. But I can’t. There’s fortune awaiting you, soon enough, but unless you’re buying a look at next year from me? Maybe play those credit cards like a poker player with a good hand, close to your chest.

Sagittarius: We were sitting in a bar, listening to a band, surprisingly good for the surroundings, as that band sawed their way through the standard country fare. I’m — perhaps — a little spoiled since most of the local bar bands are usually rather accomplished. Austin’s recognized for its musical prowess. What surprised me, with this one band, they dropped into a version of “Money Guns and lawyers” that was surprisingly “country” and also surprisingly, even lovingly, well-done. Cure for our holiday problems, and the way things are? Send money, guns and lawyers. Nothing that can’t be cured by one of those elements. Another solution? Like I suggested, it was a song that I wasn’t expecting to hear, and the way the band worked their way through the anthem, it was obvious that the band played that one song quite a bit. It also showed that the band worked together as a cohesive whole, wherein the sum of the parts were greater than the individuals. As a Sagittarius event starts to unfold, think about that band, working together. Or, think about the song’s lyrics. One of those.

Capricorn: Cactus attacks. “Sounds like a movie or something,” I said. “No, really, I won a bet on this one, there’s a kind of cactus that attacks.” The ensuing research and discussion revealed that there is a kind of cactus, I think it’s an AZ species, and yes, it does attack people. It’s a form of prickly protection. Your time — Capricorn time — is rapidly approaching, but until such time gets here, until the Sun rolls over that spot in the sky, the shortest day of all, until the big day arrives? Two things: don’t be like that cactus that attacks and don’t run into any of that cactus that attacks.

Aquarius: Amarillo. Everyone’s heard a song or two about that town, I hope. Or perhaps, the Cadillac Ranch, just west of Amarillo on the Interstate. So I was flying into Amarillo, probably for work, and as the plane banked in low over the landscape, on the final approach, I was noticing a stock tank. Then two. Winter rains seemed to be filling up the holding ponds. Be my guess, anyway. I knew it was trouble when I was looking at the small bodies of water, and I found myself wondering about fishing there. Maybe pick up a cheap fishing rod, and head on over to the local stock tank, just to see. Work has away of interfering with all the fun stuff. So on that final approach, after the tray tables and seat backs have all been returned to their upright and locked position, but before the wheels hit the landing strip, I had this momentary reprieve. Then I had to hit the ground running, and Amarillo has a little section of historic Route 66 that passes through town, and then I had to meet the clients and the road really does go on forever. But think about that little pond, the one that looked so inviting. I’m figuring that local weather patterns probably dry out that stock pond every year or three, so there might not be any fish. But it was a pleasant thought.

Pisces: I was at a coffee house, a little place around the corner from here, and I’d ordered my one coffee drink for the night. I settled into a reading, looking over a Pisces chart, to be precise, and we got carried away. Might’ve been the late hour, might’ve been the caffeine, who knows? Around 11 that night, the client asks if I want another drink, so I ask for a little shot of espresso. Maybe a double. Excellent brew. Except, at that hour? We wrapped up the reading and I ambled on home under a cold and dark winter night, grateful for the last shot of espresso that was warming my innards. Except. Guess what the problem was? I got home and I was still wired. All dressed up and no place to go. Too cold to fish. Too awake to sleep. A little too restless to read a book. I put new fishing line on one reel, liked the way it turned out, so I put new line on another reel. Then I sprinkled cleaning powder in the shower stall. Then I sorted through the bills. I woke the cat up and brushed her. I watered the indoor plants. In short, I was a busy body, and none of that delightful caffeine went to waste. Around 3 or 4 in the morning, I hit a point where I was too tired to be wired, and I stumbled into bed. I’m not much of an “after midnight activities” person, but that one evening, I took advantage of the extra few hours to get a number of minor tasks out of the way. Just because you can’t sleep? That doesn’t mean you can’t do something useful.

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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