“Who seeks, and will not take when once ’tis offer’d,
Shall never find it more.”
Shakespeare’s Antony & Cleopatra [II.vii.77-8]
Capricorn: It could’ve been the cold, windswept moors of Wales, with an Atlantic gale punishing green turf in and amongst the rocky terrain. It was really just the edge of a golf resort here. I was riding shotgun, with a fishing buddy. I observed a single golf cart, a lone figure in the rain, whacking away with what appeared to be a driver. Or a wedge. I think the atmosphere itself was a water trap. “Look at that fool, huh,” I said, “just plain crazy.” My buddy rolled his eyes, looking at me while driving and keeping his eyes on the road. “You ever fish in the rain?” “Yeah,” I explained, “but fishing is different from golf.” Is it? Is it really? Just because the only weather deterrent for me is electrical discharge from the sky, hurricane (for real), and ice? That’s not the same as golf. No way. That guy playing golf in the rain? That’s stupid. Fishing in the rain isn’t stupid; fishing is obviously more important than golf. The point I was trying to make, it’s about the importance. My buddy? He doesn’t care, not either way.
Aquarius: Don’t you just hate being that guy, walking home alone on a cold, winter’s night, with a brown bag, from the liquor store? All alone, walking home, the headlights flashing in your face as you keep your eyes looking down. I’d imagine there should be a sprinkling of snow on the ground, but here, it’s just dead, brown leaves, skittering in the cold January wind. I know you hate being “that guy.” There is a solution. Walking, alone, at night, or right after work, from the liquor store. Looks bad. Feels worse.
What I’d do to keep this from being your scenario? Drive to the liquor store. Maybe there’s something upbeat on the radio. No need to be all that down. Venus is still by your side. Things are looking up!
Pisces: “Someone secretly loves you!” Best advertising come-on line I’ve seen. Didn’t work on me, but I have to admire the outright, well, for lack of better terms, the outright balls of that advertiser. It’s not a gray area, it’s an outright lie. Trick, a heinous misrepresentation, to get a potential customer to click on the advertising. It was a “psychic” who promised to reunite lost loves, see the past-present-and-future, plus, had good news for you, for a mere $999. I think I’m cheaper but I make no such claims, I don’t see things that aren’t there, and I can’t bring myself to use such blatantly manipulative tactics, not to mention the ethical and legal question. I suppose it’s possible to get away with just about anything on the inter-webs, depending on what the fine print claims. I’m warning you about something that is up and coming. It isn’t bad, not as long as you DON’T succumb to the temptations of patently false advertising.
Aries: BBQ joint, not far from here, County Line BBQ, if you have to know, I was passing by, and there was a cowboy. Normal, in my world. He had on faded Wranglers, tucked into a pair of Tony Lama’s. Light tan boots, pretty scuffed up, rounded toe, steep and angled riding heel, and the boots sport Xmas uppers. Bright green leather, tooled with even brighter red stitching, all done up in a patten weaving its way across the boots. He was talking, a dusty and beaten cowboy hat was on the table, and his buddy was similar in appearance. Looked like they had, literally, just ridden into town on horse. This was right before the New Year celebration, what, a little over a week ago?
As an Aries, pay attention, the dusty, dirty cowboys taking time to BBQ break? In from a suburban ranch, but still in work clothes? Think about it. You would like to take time and change out of the work clothes, but after a short break, you are, literally or figuratively, going to saddle back up and head off down that trail. More energy spent working, less energy spent worrying about what you look like? Better off that way.
Taurus: I was reading a techie comment on a website’s forum, “Each and every computer has its own personality and setting.” I loved it. About half right, as each computer has its own settings. Personality? It’s a machine, and its data eventually resolves to a nothing more than a zillion ones and zeros. That’s all. Personality? My machines tend to take on my flavor, but that’s because I customize those settings, and then, there are little touches, too. It’s usually easy to see when I’ve been using a computer, as I move the mouse around to the left side, which, it’s awkward with some devices and computers, but that’s how I work. I tend to tweak the settings in a way that conforms to my personality and my working habits are reflected in my idiosyncrasies. Choices, it’s all about choices. I love it when machines and mechanical devices are imbued with an anthropomorphic trait, like a personality. It’s a machine. “Don’t try and make them human, they just hate that.” I did have one computer that was balky, but the problem, as it turned out, was the power supply. Again, trying to infuse a device that clearly is an inanimate object with a sense spirit, doesn’t always work. As Jupiter warms and pushes though Taurus? Does the machine have a personality? Or are they merely setting, which can be adjusted, to modify the machine’s personality?
Unrelated thought: wouldn’t it be nice if you could reset some of the settings on some people around you?
Gemini: “10 things to do before you die!” Ten things? Only Ten? You’re Gemini! There are hundreds and maybe even thousands of goals, dreams, aspirations, and just plain stuff to do before you die. Too much! Here’s a clue, since, you know, 2012, end of the world and everything, this week, no, now, I’ve alerted you, now, pick the one item off that list of “things to do before you die” and see about getting it done. There are a surprising number of choices that are easier than you know. For a good ten years, I always wanted to see a Robert Earl Keen show at Floores Country Store (in Helotes, TX). Legendary Texas Dance Hall. One of those recordings that I’ve found to be timeless is REK’s #2 Live, with its various names. REK, Capricorn, hits Floores three times a year, more or less, and I’ve been able to see him out there several times. Not uncommon for character of his stature, his live show includes unreleased (maybe unrehearsed) material that adds value. It’s a good experience. Take a look at your list. I’m serious, some of this can be done in this next week. Maybe not all of it, but there’s one item you can handle. I know it. After all, 2012? End of the world?
Cancer: I was doing a website update. Simple task, log in to a control panel, click here, click there, agree, accept, change, type a word, none of it is too difficult. I tend to handle “server backend” issues myself as it’s just easier. As I was tending to a routine, administrative detail, I realized that the old-school way of doing this, with various levels of bureaucracy, what I should do is delegate this to an underling. Which means I have to set up an administrative account and then, e-mail the instructions on what needs to get accomplished, maybe have a follow-up phone call to make sure that the email got through and then have them text me when it’s done. Sounds like work. Sounds like, look at all those steps, look at every place where an instruction set can get misunderstood.
Think about making it simpler.
It’s not that I’m particularly tech-savvy, or, for that matter, that I’m particularly interested in website metrics. I’m not. I like writing about the planets and their influences. However, the nuts and bolts, figuratively, as there are no real nuts and bolts holding this together, but the basic structure is not so arcane that I can’t figure it out. I can, if I want, figure it out, then hire someone to implement what I figured out. I can hire out fingers to do the typing. Still, that takes more time, and that adds a layer of complexity, which also adds more room for error. Takes longer, too. Plain and simple, like me, working on a website, this is just easier if you administer it yourself. Do it yourself and there’s almost no margin for error whatsoever.
Leo: I will be forever indebted to a buddy of mine, named Bubba, oddly enough, who did, indeed, run a fireworks stand. He appraised me of the intricacies, marketing metrics, demographics, and sales techniques — as well as the economics — of a fireworks stand. “You work twice a year, New Years and July 4th.” As The Mighty Leo, you like a steady and even delivery. As The Mighty Leo, this week is full of fireworks. As The Mighty Leo, this next couple of days has the same delivery as that “fireworks stand” economics. Boom and bust. Quick build-up, faster sell-off, and ultimately a quick close date. As of January 2, no fireworks are sold. Not for another, what, almost 6 months? Boom, then bust, pouring rain, then drought. Up and then, way down. Good, great, awful. It’s the economy of the fireworks stand, in Leo, this next couple of days. Way up and way down. While, as The Mighty Leo, you’d like a nice, even delivery system? This next week? Probably not going to happen.
Virgo: “Kramer’s Famous Wal-Mart Chili!” I’ve used this before, written about it, and it’s still good. Especially for Virgo. This week. The chili recipe started as “Mexican Flag Chili,” as I would use peppers in the color of the Mexican flag. Then it became, more for shock value than actual content, “Kramer’s Roadkill Chili.” My chili is much less about recipe and much more about process. Various meats, whatever is available, from stew meat to steak, pork sausage and game. Tomatoes, peppers, onions and garlic, all chopped and stewed together. A dash of salt, some chili powder, and it’s all good. Garnish with sliced onions and grated cheese. The chili has to stew for at least three to five hours, while overnight is best. I use my chili pot, but a crock pot or any large stew container would work. Varies.
This is about the process, as there is no exact recipe that I follow. I’ve done this chili when I’ve been a guest, elsewhere, and I modify the ingredients to match the local crowd’s preferences. Process. No set ingredient list. Sometimes, I use a single garlic clove, sometimes, I use three. Sometimes, there are tasty, zippy Serrano peppers. Sometimes, no Serrano. Depends on what’s available, what looks good, and what suits my humor. I used three Scotch Bonnets one time. I was angry. So was the chili. Depends. This is about process to arrive at a destination, not a hard and fast set of rules. Process, like my chili, process is what is important for Virgo. Just as a suggestion? Stay away from the Scotch Bonnets. Just a suggestion, though.
Libra: It’s true, there are always more contingencies. More clauses, more possible ramifications, and certainly, for the Libra? More than one possible outcome. “It all depends,” cf. Pink Cake for the source of that quote. However, that sums it up, now doesn’t it? “It all depends.” Well, maybe. Sort of. As I looked at your chart, I kept thinking to myself that there was a definite decision you reached. Only, like the New Year’s Resolution, that decision, a definite must, or must not, a definite answer? Definitive, and for sure? Have to re-think it. I kept thinking that there was one resolution that you’ve already broken. Change is good, and there is change up ahead, but are you sure that you want to redo, undo and redo (again) that promise? “It all depends.”
Scorpio: “Show me your ID. Says you have to be 21. Not older or younger, just 21.” What the sign said, “Must be 21 to buy ammo.” The clerk shrugged, as in, he wasn’t paid enough to care about the subtleties of the law or the language. There’s a similar sign, I’ve seen before, “Must show ID to buy alcohol.” No indication of age, and I, for one, once got by with that trick. Guy asked for ID, I was in a 21 and up state, and my Texas ID clearly showed me to be 18. Long story, that was then, this is now. That was also one of those moments when great knowledge is acquired. A simple gesture, a simple command. Maybe the language isn’t clear. Maybe the law isn’t clear, either, but again, that’s not really what this is about. It’s about what is obvious, and in front of you, my little Scorpio friend. Simple. Obvious. Don’t complicate this issue. Don’t complicate matters. The real image I have for Scorpio, for this week, it’s that clerk. He couldn’t be bothered to explain that the buyer had to be 21. “Must be 21.” Must be a mistake. Arguing about it? Now? Are you kidding me?
Sagittarius: I was coming out of a huge box store on the south side of town. Strongly “latin” flavor, most of the signs are in both Spanish and English. I walked a long ways to get to the car, having parked in place where I wouldn’t lose the car. After all, they all look the same to me. If it doesn’t have a remote for me to click, I sometimes have a hard time identifying the vehicle I arrived in. Part of the way, a “chollo-biker-thug” was pacing me. He smiled a toothless grin, me with long hair falling down on my shoulders, him with most of his gray hair tucked under biker-esque doo-rag. I think it was an American flag motif, and he had on a black leather vest. No colors, though.
“Wow! I can’t believe it!” He looked at me with that knowing nod, “You see all the HOT girls in there!” I grinned and nodded. I wouldn’t say that I agreed, but for the sake of time and space, let’s say I pretended to agree. It’s a South Side Wal-Mart. Not the kind of place I would go to cruise. Not the kind of place I go for anything but groceries, bait, and ammo. Perhaps it’s an ethnic divide I’m not fully aware of, or perhaps it’s too much time in Austin, or who knows what the problem really is, I just found that comment disturbing. On so many levels. I want our new year to get off to a good start. The scary comments? Just nod and grin. Save Sagittarius comments for a place far, far away.