For the Week starting: 9.27.2007

"Though I am not naturally honest,
I am so sometimes by chance."
Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale (IV.iv.647)

    N.B.: Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale was probably based on a previous romance written by Robert Greene, called Pandosto. Upcoming events, information is here. Austin, Las Cruces, El Paso, Seattle, Portland. Austin, TX — Las Cruces, NM — El Paso, TX — Seattle, WA — Portland, OR.

libLibra: North and slightly west of El Paso, along the east-west interstate corridor, there are stockyards, abutted up against the highway. Smelly, redolent in that aroma only detected in and around cattle. I traverse that route, a couple of times a year, and each time, the smell of the stockyard reminds me that it is there. Then I’d forget about it until the next trip.

The last time through, though, I got to thinking about all that beef on the hoof, all that hamburger, and all that hay, partially digested. Blood and guts. Is it a smell that’s totally disagreeable? Or is it somewhat disagreeable? Or is it palatable, in a weird way? The last time, I had the windows down on the truck, as it was a warm afternoon, and the breeze wafted through with the smell. For some reason, perhaps it was the ground beef enchiladas the night before, the dried beef mixed with eggs and peppers that morning, or a stick of beef jerky on the truck’s seat, but something made me think about the whole process. From cow to dinner, breakfast and snack.

The smell became less and less disagreeable, and there was almost a sweetness to aroma. Of course, I was passing by at a few miles over the limit, and the stockyard was gone in matter of minutes. The cow pens were replaced with dry desert. The smell reverted to sand and dust. I’m not saying you’ll pass aromatic stockyards, but there’s an aroma, or just a smell, and it is supposed to be repugnant to your delicate Libra senses. But is it really that awful? Or is it all part of the process?


scoScorpio: I’ve got a client with a recurring part on a TV drama. Personally, it’s not a show I would watch, tending towards the "soap" portion of the phrase "soap opera." The advantage to a role like that, though, is that it is regular work, and it’s not too tiresome. Long hours on a set, make-up, bright lights, fifteen minutes of work, and one scene, from what I understand, took something like two-dozen takes to satisfy the director. The client noted, too, that it was the first or second take that made it on TV. So that’s the downside, as the first take is usually the best, but that doesn’t stop the creative types from trying all kinds of different arrangements, just to see.

So here is a Scorpio with more than his share of fifteen minutes of fame, although, to be honest, I seriously doubt any kind of spin-off would ever be planned. It’s not that big of part. As I was looking at the Scorpio planets and influences, though, I kept thinking about that one role. While it’s only a minor bit, it is regular work, and the work itself? It’s not much of a challenge. Which, to me, seems like a good job, if you can get it. While you’re not getting much face time, you are getting some attention. And it’s regular work. I’d take regular, dependable income over a brief star role, anytime. Like I said, good work, if you can get it. And, you being Scorpio? You can get it.


sagSagittarius: As a Sagittarius, I’m hardly one who should pass judgment about style. I was boarding a commuter flight, back to Austin, and I noticed another passenger. Couldn’t help but notice. Yellow cowboy boots. Matching yellow belt, and a cowboy hat that was the same color: safety yellow. The boots were some kind of lizard skin, or maybe alligator, but I’m guessing lizard of some kind because there was a ridge that ran from top of the instep to the very pointy point. Double ridge, horrendous color. The belt was fashioned from the same animal skin — or so it appeared.

An outfit like that doesn’t so much make statement as it screams. I demurely tried to keep from giggling. But the man wearing the yellow accessories, he moved with a self-assurance that bespoke of comfortable status. This wasn’t something he just threw together at the last minute, it was all about status, and more so than just wearing fancy piece of jewelry, or an expensive watch.

With my occasionally loud shirt, I’m not one who can suggest a more tasteful approach is better. And in his native culture, perhaps that outfit was considered tasteful. If there had been a real emergency, no doubt he would be easiest to find and identify. Maybe that’s what was important. Make it easy for us (Sagittarius) to be identified. We can use a little more safety yellow in this week.


capCapricorn: I was chatting with a friend, she’s a movie critic. Not so much a paid critic as she just does it for fun. Yet, from our interaction, I’ve learned a few points about film criticism. The next time I’m watching a movie, I’m a little more alert to the way my emotions are manipulated, up, down, catharsis, loss, gain, and then, what I like, "happily ever after."

Turns out there’s a formula for all of this, get the predictable parts in the proper places, and I’m just being used like a puppet on a string. Not much art in that, now is there? I’m not saying that all of movie-land is a waste-land, yet, I’d urge a little more than usual circumspect Capricorn attitude as the weekend arrives.

Someone, might not be a movie, could be a person, is trying to establish control over some emotion of yours. Then, too, that control over the emotions extends to the Capricorn wallet. Are you going to let this happen? Whatever for? One of the admirable qualities of Capricorn is that you can defy convention. Which I would heartily suggest you do. Fly in the face of what is supposed to be. Eschew the obvious manipulations. Shake off the shackles and be free.


aquAquarius: Plausible deniability is an excellent way to get through the next few days. I’m not saying that someone else will find fault with your action. I’m not suggesting that you really will need an alibi, but it never hurts to have one on hand, just in case.

You and I both know you didn’t do it, and I’m unsure of what you’re being accused of, just yet. However, having a ready-made excuse, plausible enough to show that you were indeed, out of town, on the road someplace else, or that the questionable situation? It doesn’t fall in your Aquarius purview. This is not all about you. Or maybe it is. It’s matter of deflecting the attention elsewhere. Let someone else shoulder the burden of proof. I was wandering in and among the parts of the Aquarius chart, and what caught me was that opening phrase.

In the long-range way of looking at this week, especially this weekend, you’re not really guilty of anything at all. But in the shorter, more limited scope of other people? They will question you. Which leads us back to that opening phrase, key for you, "plausible deniability."


pisPisces: I threw the poles in the back of the truck, and I set the tackle-box on the seat beside me. To be honest, I didn’t throw the poles, I laid them there carefully. In the early morning fog, and me, bereft of coffee, another car went scooting through a clearly red light. I slammed on the brakes, and the tackle-box went head over heels onto the truck’s floor.

After appropriate cussing and gestures, I ceased to worry about it. No big deal. Not until later. When I got to the lake, I was fishing from the shoreline that I favor, I discovered that everything was in complete disarray. The little tumble was like a blender, and all the fishing gear, mostly just terminal tackle, was jumbled. Badly so. More bad words from me.

Then, I fished around in the gear, found a hook, found another with my fingertip, then got a pole rigged and bait in the water. Then I opened up the tackle box completely, and I started to sort out the confusion. I didn’t catch any fish. But I did discover that I’m going to be a lot more careful next time, and I’ll probably just leave the tackle-box in the back of the truck’s bed, next time. As you unravel this week’s mess, like my tackle confusion, think about a way to make easier, next time.


ariAries: There was a promise of cooler weather, a celestial hint that the forces of nature might let it cool off in Central Texas, even if it was only for an evening or two. There’s something delicious about a night when it’s cool enough to sit outside, a day when one doesn’t perspire heavily, a time when there’s almost a crisp feeling to the air. Alas, around here, it was an illusion.

The fish still haven’t cooperated in a meaningful manner. I was hoping, as the sun moves into Libra, that there would be a little more cooperation in the fish department, too. Libra is all about getting along together. The fish seem to sneer at my every effort. Least, that’s the way it feels.

Me? I’m not too down with the relative paucity of game fish. Out, on the lake, down at the coast, it’s getting nicer. It feels a little more enjoyable. While, like Aries, I’m not actually catching anything, that doesn’t mean that there’s not a few high points. Take heed, follow my action, sometimes, just getting out and practicing fishing is better than sitting around bemoaning one’s fate. Doesn’t much matter what you’re angling for, either. Practice helps.


tauTaurus: I go through cycles with clothing. The accessories, as any good Taurus will explain, are important. I have a pocket knife in a leather sheath, then there’s a multi-purpose tool, in a leather pouch, a phone clipped on, and a flashlight, more like a penlight, but it’s handy, too.

By the time I get all this stuff strapped to my belt, I’m beginning to look like a certain comic super-hero, noted for his utility belt. Then, after a few days of wearing entirely too much hardware, I’ll shed some of the accessories, trimming what I’ve got to have when I set off for an afternoon — or a weekend.

Instead of adding to the accessory pile, consider, under the benign influence of Saturn (in Virgo), think about subtracting material from what you would normally carry. There are occasions when less is more. I know, it’s like a riddle, but think about it, sometimes, you don’t need so much.


gemGemini: Mars slips right on out of Gemini, in the next day or two. That’s going to spread some relief. The frantic pace dictated by Mars is over. But that doesn’t lessen the effect of the planets. This movement of Mars will give you a chance to stop and reflect, maybe not this weekend, but by next week, you get a chance to think it over. You get an opportunity to understand what the frenetic pace you maintained, particularly for the last few weeks, you get a chance to focus on what you did. Why you did it. What it means.

At least one Gemini will have the usual doubts, and I’m sure he’ll come up with the lame excuse, "I don’t know why I did it, just seemed like the thing to do at the time, you know, ah, forget about it." Inherent problem is the other people involved might not want to forget about whatever it was that you did. I doubt you can tell them that it was "Mars inspired," either. But now that the pressure is off, or it will be soon enough, think about what you did. This is a momentary pause and reflect period. By casting your mind back over what you did, you get a chance to figure out what’s coming up next.


canCancer: One of the common mistakes I make is that I shoot off my mouth with a wild guess, and then I hope I can back it up, somehow. Which, given my ability to recite the location and inclination of various planets, I can usually do. Usually. Mars is heading your way, my fine Cancer friend. Mars is like a "hot button item" on your list. Mars will also make you spout off some kind of statement, and perhaps, you’re going to want to corral that mouth.

That wild proclamation you’re about to make? Best you consider what you’re saying before it leaves your mouth. Engage a little bit of Saturn’s recalcitrant energy, too. Perhaps pretend that Mars is merely inflicting a minor aberration, and let Saturn’s good sense rule the day. I’m not suggesting that you be too quiet, it’s just that there’s a tendency to make vague promises, a tendency to make wild claims, and tendency towards assertions that might be — or might not be — entirely valid. Temper the Mars mouth with a fraction of Saturn’s good sense.


leoLeo: I hopped into a familiar cab, on the way to the airport. To be honest, I didn’t recognize the cab’s number, but the driver, she recognized me. "Saw your trailer’s number come up on the request, so I hurried over to get you," she said, "you’re that musician." Yes, well, there you have it. The myth is in place.

But I’m not a musician. I can’t carry a tune in bucket. I can’t do much of anything, musically. Not that it bothers me. Being called a musician does bother me a bit, but not too much, and by now, with that Austin-legacy in place, I just have to accept moniker and label, like it or not. I’m used to it, or I should be.

Like me, you’re going to be called by a label, a branding of sorts. While it doesn’t actually fit, the label is sufficiently royal enough that it doesn’t hurt. Could be worse, you could be called some of the other names I’m called, which certainly aren’t fit to print. But let’s leave my personal life out of this, okay? This is about title, a way you’re addressed, and as such, even if the title, the label, that moniker, even if it doesn’t really fit? Don’t you like be treated like a rock star?


virVirgo: it’s about taking time to observe the immediate surroundings. I was traveling along the highway, my version of commuter rail, really. The train passed a field, fresh fall harvest, probably hay, and there, up in the air, was a Red-Tail Hawk. The sun was just rising, must’ve been 9 or 10 in the morning, and the light behind the hawk showed its tail colors. As often as I’ve seen this kind of bird (raptor), I’ve never before seen the tail feather illuminated thusly. Pretty spectacular.

If I hadn’t been idly staring out the window, facing the rising sun, and if the sun hadn’t been in the right spot, and if the field hadn’t just been mowed, then I would have missed it all. It was visible for only the barest fraction of a second, the backlight on the hawk. And it all could be a trick of the mind, a function of the window pane’s reflection, or some other fervid illusion.

There is a gradual shift, and it’s like that single point I experienced. Mars moves into Cancer, Mercury into Scorpio. Saturn is complacent in your sign. Patient observations will reveal much. It could easily be the harbinger of glad tidings, or, like me, just a personal moment that seems to signify something of greater meaning.

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

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