For the Week starting: 12.22.2005

“For now sits Expectation in the air.”
Shakespeare’s Henry V [II.chorus.8]

Aries: A special friend of mine was cleaning out her closet, near as I could tell, and she dropped off close to a dozen cheap and tawdry paperback books. Not exactly what I’d call highbrow literature. “Hey, I was just getting rid of junk, and I found these. When you’re done with them — they’re great airport reading — just recycle them. Library or used bookstore.” Apparently, each one of the novels had been read. There were murder, mystery, thriller and detective novels represented. Not big-name authors, but one or two best-selling authors. For me, in my line of work, I get real busy, shortly after Xmas. New Year and all that. Which includes travel. Which includes long lines at train stations and airports. Which means I’ll need and want those cheap books. Nothing too intellectually engaging and when I’m done? Pass the book onto another friend, or abandon it, along the way, doesn’t much matter. With the onset of Capricorn, there’s an indication that my Aries friends need both parts of this equation. There’s the part where you carry some kind of a cheap book to read, just in case, and then there’s the part where you find yourself burdened with crap other folks are tossing out. To me, that stack of books was a like a minor treasure. To my friend? She was just unloading unwanted stuff. Win-win. Work it out so Xmas is win-win for Aries.

Taurus: It was a gray day. Low clouds, and I’m reminded of the opening lines from Shakespeare’s Richard III, about clouds being lowered on head, and so on. Basically, a blue time. Or gray time. Or a time when the weight of the world seems to bear down, despite the holidays. I slid a little-known singer/songwriter (from the Gulf Coast area) CD into the player. He started to sing about summer days, and how that’s just up ahead, and everyone will be smiling again. Then I stuck my head out the door of the trailer, and it was all cold and gray again. In my little domicile, such as it is, life was okay. I can play a little music and escape to a better place. “Anywhere the sun shines….” Mars is picking up speed, and as such, should be making you a little happier. However, Mr. Mars faces off against Mr. Saturn, and that’s not exactly a happy place. There’s still some clean-up from the Mars Mess. Look: Capricorn started today. Means it’s getting better, if only in an incremental fashion. Slip a little music on, something that helps ease the tension.

Gemini: Hey. HEY! Pay attention here: Capricorn just started. That means, okay, you’re not going to notice it, but the days are going to get longer. If only by a matter of minutes. Maybe just seconds, but each day, henceforth, is offering — in theory — a little more sunlight each day. That’s good news. There’s still a pesky and recurrent theme playing havoc with your Gemini brain, but that’s going to ease a little bit. Of course, I heard — many times — from a Gemini buddy named Bubba, and he was all worked up, fourteen times over, about certain issues. None of the issues, I might add, does this particular lad have any control over. But he’s still fretting about those problems. Here’s a hint, see, there are a lot of actions that help other people, and in doing so, you feel better about your Gemini selves. Now, that usually means someone is fishing for an Xmas gift. That’s not it. It can be helping a little old lady out to her car on Xmas Eve, so she can have an easier time of getting the crap she just bought loaded up. It can be helping that same little old lady across the street. Or, it could be letting someone cut in line, in front of you. The solstice marks the sun moving into Capricorn. Means the sun is out of Sagittarius. Means you’re less likely to get to rebuked for offering a hand to someone who needs a little extra help. Cold be something as simple as reaching for an item on the top shelf for someone shorter than you. Ain’t no big thing, but you can make someone’s holiday a little more merry like that. Plus, it doesn’t cost you one thin dime.

Cancer: I wandered down to the shoreline seeking inspiration. Recent rains washed a load of (mostly) organic debris into the river. Leaves, branches, whole trees were floating by. On one log, I watched as, I don’t know, I’m guessing here, a cattle egret sat on the log, floating along, and the bird was cleaning itself. Or scratching an itch. Or doing whatever it is that birds do when they have their beaks tucked up against a wing. As a cat person, I took it to be the bird cleaning itself. I’m not sure it was a cattle egret, but it was white, kind of like a small heron, and that bird was just floating along, resting on the log, perhaps it has just finished a holiday meal. As long as it didn’t eat any of my friends, it’s all good. Imagine that you’re like that bird, floating along on some driftwood, maybe scratching an itch, maybe keeping an eye out for tasty morsels, some freshwater sushi or something. Stop and take stock of where you are, what your destination might be, and then sit back to relax and enjoy the ride. Those crazy planets are little less crazy now, so you can enjoy a moment’s reprieve.

Leo: I stumbled through the trailer the other morning, and I answered an e-mail message before I’d had any coffee. To be sure, the cat was fed, as that’s a priority. But I hadn’t really awaken yet, so I looked back, and I almost felt sorry for that person receiving my reply to a query. I joked about not enough minions to do my bidding. I’m sure, though, that this is no joke for the fine Leo folks. “Not enough minions, feh.” Sure does seem like a problem. How serious is this problem? There’s a little astrological event, a minor detail, really, and that suggests that your Leo self is going to be stuck, at the last minute, without enough outside help. Your secretary or manservant, your child, pet, or similar form of “Leo bonded indentured servant?” That person, or people, the local minions you count on to get the dirty work done? They are all going to bail out during the next couple of days. At the worst time. The one time when you’re arriving at a hotel with more suitcases and packages than you can carry? The bell-hop is on break. Or worse, helping some other sign when, clearly, the Leo needs assistance. It’s not bad, but this leads to a slightly frantic time. Relax, because that “minions local 813” will be back on the job, before too long. Like, next week.

Virgo: I hate product placement, ands I abhor the idea of doing so with my horoscopes, but I was looking at some fishing gear, and I got to thinking about how to make a Virgo scope make some kind of sense. There’s a “jig head” that I’ve grown accustomed to using, it’s an “Oldham’s Weedless,” and I tend to prefer a quarter-ounce or three-eighths ounce version. (Caution: this product contains substances that are known to cause cancer in California.) The term “weedless” refers to a little loop of wire that extends from the head of the jig and protects the hook, presumably from weeds, although, in my case, it’s also branches, snags and leaves. When setting up a piece of tackle like this, I have to be careful with the hook’s barb, if that little weedless wire gets caught on the barb, that can prevent the hook from actually catching a fish. There’s just one little point in my tale of tackle, and that’s when you’re setting something up, could be an Xmas gift (some assembly required), or it could be a well-meaning social engagement. Make sure the parts all work correctly. Make sure that Virgo weedless arrangement doesn’t prevent the intended action.

Libra: BY the time you get to this horoscope, all I can suggest, if it ain’t happened by now, don’t force the issue. It was really a slightly different message, but that seems so tasteless, I’m not sure I should run it. But if you haven’t got that one, last Xmas gift by now? Skip it. Don’t waste your time or dollars. Ain’t worth it. Think about folding some dollar bills over into a card and sending that. Better yet, think about just holding onto that cash, unless you’re thinking of sending some to send me. Otherwise, either spend it on yourself, or maybe, just maybe, save that precious resource for a later date.

Scorpio: Venus and Mars are not all right. Everything else is good, but Venus and Mars? That’s where your trouble stems from. Or so it would seem. I know, it’s the holidays, and you want nothing but useful and happy information. That’s what I’d like to throw at you, too. So relax, it’s not nearly half as bad as some folks would have you believe. Without our developing Venus situation, life in Scorpio is absolutely fabulous. That little Venus problem? It’s matter of taste. Or a matter of tastes, like your Scorpio tastes. Like, maybe your tastes aren’t as sharp as they used to be. Or maybe they’re not up to snuff. Or maybe, you shouldn’t be making any decisions about color, décor, design and fashion. It’s that simple. One year, I gave my dear sweet (Scorpio) Ma Wetzel some rather tacky attire. It was a jacket with pink flamingos on it, sort of tasteless-looking pattern. Lo and behold, that jacket shows up, on her, a few days ago. Personally, I thought it was kind of tasteful. That should be the first clue. Venus is creating a tension angle as she begins to slide backwards — Ma Wetzel thought the jacket was tasteful, too. Second clue. Third clue? That’s up to you, my excellent Scorpio friend, but with matters of taste? If I like it? Might be a little suspicious.

Sagittarius: It was a different package delivery person, a certain girl in a uniform, dropping off something I’d ordered. She took one look at the name on the package, “Kramer Wetzel,” and she looked at me, my hair down, me only wearing a pair of long shorts, and she merrily said, “Kramer Wetzel? Sounds like a rock star name.” I’d just set down my coffee, to answer the trailer’s door, so I was awake and coherent. Matter of fact, I couldn’t recall ordering anything, so I wasn’t sure who was knocking. I’m guessing I had that amused look on my face, and I was certainly tickled by the “rock star” comment. But I’m not a rock star, nor do I ever plan to be one. I can’t carry a tune in a bucket, much less with any kind of musical instrument. Appearances can be deceiving, if I had to hazard a guess. I’d also like to think that I looked different from other trailer park residents, but I’m not so sure that’s the case. There is a musician who lives next door, but I doubt I was confused with him. When our Sagittarius selves least expect it, when we’re not looking for it, we get a comment, a compliment, a little uplifting moment, and in my case, it was delivered right to my door. Plus, there was the package itself. Made it seem like Christmas.

Capricorn: Happy birthday! Happy Capricorn time! All those Xmas-Capricorn birthdays, this week. Reminds me of sitting in “twin sisters” restaurant, in San Antonio. It was a fall day, and the wan sunlight was streaming in the east-facing window, early in the morning. I was off to work in San Antonio, why I was there, eating in Twin Sisters. Or Two Sisters, some similar name. The seat behind, now, my back was to the sunlight, but the booth right across from, a couple came in and sat down, the guy noticed the sunlight was too strong, and he suggested they move. Another couple entered, sat down, and the woman complained about the sunlight, and they moved. A girl, alone, came in, sat down, shifted to the other side, still found it too hot and moved. Four different folks tried to sit there, and four different times, they all moved. It’s a Capricorn thing, you understand, all that bright sunlight, shining down on you? To me, it looks nice. To others? Looks nice, but might be too warm. You’re call, but I’ll bet you’re busy shifting position, trying to get away from the sunlight.

Aquarius: A week, maybe two weeks ago, I don’t recall, there was a lovely day here in Central Texas. The sun was out, it warmed everything up nicely, and I passed a couple of guys fishing, just before the early sunset. I stopped to inquire, as is my wont, just to see how it was going. They had a half dozen big catfish rods stuck in the ground, long, heavy-duty lines anchored in the river, and little bells were attached to the top of each pole. The pair were munching on, what looked like, beef ribs. Life was good. I asked about bait, they were using crawdads. I suggested shrimp, and they agreed, but not until after dark, as the turtles, the big snappers, tend to get snarled up with the shrimp in the daylight. All a matter of form, I suppose. I don’t know if they had any luck that day, but on balmy, almost spring-like winter’s afternoon, it sure seemed like I was doing something wrong because they were fishing (and enjoying BBQ) while I was just headed to the post office, between seeing clients. But as soon as the sun set, it got chilly, and I’m not sure that pair lasted far into the night. Nor, for that matter, do I figure the fish were really biting. However, for an afternoon’s reprieve, it sure seemed like the way to go. Venus is going to make nice with you. Maybe you could try shrimp, just after sunset, and see what it brings in. Or try something a little different, anyway, and try some typically summer pastime, and see if that doesn’t make this whole holiday mess seem a little easier. Like fishing for catfish. Weird, but think about it, it might just work.

Pisces: There was a band playing last week, a group I’d wanted to see. It’s one of the nice attributes of living in South Austin, good music, most near every night. But it seemed kind of cold, that one evening, and with the holiday business, and what seems like everything else, tugging and pulling at my time, I just didn’t have the energy to get up and out the door. So I missed hearing that one group sing their funny songs, amusing ballads, and occasional political barb. (It’s an Austin thang, I’m sure.) I just couldn’t be bothered. I was reminded of that kind of that “I just couldn’t be bothered” feeling when I looked at your upcoming chart and transits. I know you’ve got a lot on your Pisces Plate. I understand. I have a lot of sympathy for you. But I also know that sometimes, I get this, too, sometimes, you can’t be bothered to go and listen to band. Or some other form of entertainment that you normally enjoy? Can’t be bothered. Takes too much time. Typical of a band, they were scheduled to start at nine, and I’m pretty sure they didn’t get on stage until well after ten. By then, I was immersed in a late reading.

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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