- “To say nothing, to do nothing, to know nothing, and to have nothing, is to be a great part of your title, which is within a very little of nothing.”
- Lavatch the clown to Parolles Shakespeare’s All’s Well That Ends Well [II.iv.23]
Here’s another tip: local “energy” company, Valero, their gas stations all offer free coffee when the San Antonio Spurs win. Free coffee. Not catch. I was in one store, putting gas in a rent car, and I grabbed a cup of coffee, medium size, then headed to the counter to pay. “It’s free!” The clerk explained, “Spurs won (again)!” I blinked, as in, nothing is ever free. Other than this horoscope to the Cancer birthday people, my people. “Go back and get a large!” Okay, I didn’t realize that the employee was so energetic. Might’ve had a large coffee herself. But whatever.
It’s a special birthday time for Cancer-flavored Moon Children. Yes, Mercury is retrograde, but not much longer. Feels good to be feeling good again. Several places offer birthday deals. Exploit that. “Go back and get a large!”
The (mighty) Leo: The more complex the systems, the greater chance for errors and malfunctions. While it’s not a great quote from some famous author or analyst, not even from literature, it is wholly original, in delivery if not in content. This is a special message to one Leo in particular, as that one Leo? Does a fair amount of technical work, and understands the importance of keeping it simple. Do you?
I’ve built web pages for dozens of years. I’ve experimented with designs. I’d suggest I’m more a stylist and tinkerer, when compared with heavy-hitters. I have discovered that simpler, less complex, is far more effective. We’re getting closer to a time when the light shines on the mighty Leo, the best sign in the zodiac (I am a professional — I know these things). We’re not there, yet. Chill. Think less complex. Fewer moving parts. Fewer things that can break.
Virgo: Part of my father’s legacy to me, I wound up with one of his Mont Blanc fountain pens. He carried that religiously, up to his death. I’d count it as a treasured heirloom, and to that end, I had it “refurbished” by the factory. After a few months, it started to leak. Fountain pens are notoriously messy, anyway. I have pitiful handwriting, the pen leaks, and I’ve replaced it with a “sharpie.” For a year or more, some clients received hand-addressed envelopes with shaky, leaking addresses. These days? I stick to what is cheap, tried, true. Works best. Doesn’t cost at lot. Is readily available. The fancy, heirloom pen? I still have it, in its special holder, on my desk. I just don’t use it. I washed it out. Something I’ll save, maybe pass on, but use? Not so much. For everyday use? Cheap, reliable, accessible.
Libra: Some years back, I became a fan of certain cases for phones and gadgets. The first one, this is more than a decade ago, the first one was a cool (and expensive) titanium case with a rubber mounts for the gadget. Folded up. Wasn’t waterproof, but it was “car proof,” as in, a car could run over it. Devices, phones, the odd electrical leashes come and go, and as soon as there’s a new device, there’s a new case. Lately, what I’ve liked best are the brand of cases that have two plastic pieces, then a rubber wrapper. Not quite waterproof, but can protect against ocean spray or summer rain well enough. Slightly bulky, but the protection is worth it. One sales guy, to prove his point, pulled out his expensive smart phone and dropped the case on the floor, something I would never do voluntarily. Is the bulk (and price) worth it? I have very little emotional investment in my device, but I’m thoroughly wedded to its data. Then, too, replacing a device would be costly. So the case is worth it, to me. I got to looking at fancier, cooler, slimmer, more stylish cases, but I realized, reading the sales slip, those fancy cases? “Protect against dust and scratches.” Not full-scale protection, and essentially worthless drop-kicked (and/or against a concrete floor). Choose: pretty (worthless) or strong protection (might be ugly).
Scorpio: I was drinking a cheap, off-brand “sport drink.” It said, “Orange Flavored!” What it didn’t say was, “All Natural,” or any similar claim that was, near as I could tell, patently false. Hot summer day. I guzzled about half the bottle before I checked the little ingredient list. Nope, no orange in it. Some “natural flavors,” but most of it was water and artificial stuff. I swigged at it again, with its slight citrus aftertaste, and the sweet but not sweet sucrose analog. I looked at the bottle, the contents, as there wasn’t much left. Because it was an orange color, probably an artificial, chemical dye, and because it was “orange flavored,” my mind told me that it was orange-flavored. How close it was? I never claimed to be objective so I can’t say. My silly Sagittarius brain kept saying, “Orange. It’s orange flavored. It’s orange.” It did slake my thirst. As a Scorpio, you need something to help with the current series of events. Cheap, off-brand sports drink? With analogs of orange flavor? Maybe just an orange color? Works just fine.
Sagittarius: I live in South Texas, mostly. I’m here because I like the climate, both political and weather-wise, plus there’s an abundance of fishing available. So when a friend delineated the problems she was having with a boyfriend, I found it odd. Not entirely out of place but mostly so, “He’s breaking up to follow,” and she named band. Think of the Grateful Dead, her boyfriend was going on the road as a camp follower. I like the music, saw them live in Austin one time, but I wasn’t about to follow (band’s name) around the countryside. Breaking up so he could be free? Good move.
With the planets where they are? He’ll be back, but in the meantime? She’s free to date. Mercury, like this? Two take away points, one, freedom comes in several guises, and two? It’s hardly permanent, given the position of Mercury.
Capricorn: I like Marcus Aurelius. His ‘Meditations,’ with the subtitle, “Living, Dying, and the Good Life,” have long been a fount of inspiration for me. I needed something to hang on Capricorn besides a droll bit of Shakespeare wit, like the opening quote. I turned to the stoic writings of Marcus Aurelius, “To stop talking about what the good man is like, and just be one.” (Book X, #16) Rather than me trying to paraphrase that comment, as a good way to get by in the next few days? I’ll just offer that as a simple, guiding principle for my Capricorn friends to follow. The trick with the phrase, while I doubt that was part of the original intent, the part that probably most important? Be quiet. Mercury — retrograde — is opposite you, joined by Mars. Be quiet and lead by example, not by talking about it.
Aquarius: The last couple of decades, I’ve always lived near water. On the river, in a trailer park, in South Austin, then backed up along the acequia, in San Antonio. In both locations, there’s a “high water” mark. One spot is marked with a plaque. The hundred year flood crested at that point. It’s the exact altitude, a marker on the shoreline, the indicator of where the last devastating flood ended.
The high water marker.
This week holds a similar high water mark for the flood of issues and problems, mostly Mercury-motivated, for the water-bearer, Aquarius. Before too long, the areas recede. Before too long, this isn’t as intense as it’s been. Before too long, you’ll thank me. Look for that high water mark, coming up. It’s due, this next few days.
Pisces: if you don’t show up, the you’ll miss the magic when it happens. Very simple message directed specifically at my Pisces brothers and sisters. There is an amazing sense of wonder, the genuine glee of a child-like response that makes everything all right. Sure, Mr. Mercury’s creating little ripples in your pool. Sure, at least one of those ripples looks like a giant, crashing wave that will sweep you away. It take you out. Hold your breath. You go under. Hold your breath. You pop to the surface like a little, floaty toy, bobbed by the current, swimming and swirling in the valley between waves. Still afloat. Getting along just fine. More than surviving, you’re getting closer to your goal. Another big wave? Hold your breath, you pop back up on the far side. None of this happens, if you don’t show up and look for the magic. It’s right there, just show up, and the magic happens.
Aries: Shakespeare’s All’s Well That Ends Well is a bit of a problem play. It jangles the nerves, too raw to be a comedy, too comedic to be anything else. It’s not exactly black humor, but as precursor to the genre, it could be seen as such.
I’ve seen it done as a broad comedy, and while it wasn’t an epic fail, it did miss a little. I prefer the snarky version. It has always been rich in material for me, as a curator of quotes, but the overall timbre of the play is sometimes difficult. All depends on the interpretation. Likewise, there’s some attempts at broad comedy afoot in Aries. Problem: it doesn’t read quite right. I’ll find your humor engaging and intellectual, but as an audience of one? That’s all you’ve got. Might tone it down, for now.
Taurus: When there is a communication breakdown, what is the best way to proceed? Plug it. More than likely, the problems are with verbal communications. Just a guess, but it’s an educated, calculated guess. To match that? Shut up, dear Taurus friend. Just zip the lip. “But I have to speak,” or, “I have to present this week,” or what’s the excuse. In corporate settings, it’s the dreaded dog and pony show. The mind numbing presentation with two nuggets of useful data buried under a load of fertilizer. If the normal form is speaking, and that’s problematic? Do a slide show. If it is a Power Point type of presentation? Show a movie. If is supposed to be verbal? Shut up and use pictures. A picture is worth a thousand words. A communication breakdown? Isn’t it always the same?
Gemini: It’s almost backwater history now. “1936 — Joskes in downtown San Antonio became first fully AC store in Texas.” That location is now a shell of its former self, awaiting the right urban renewal and historic appreciation.
This summer, it’s a long, hot summer in Texas, the idea of stores without AC are just an anomaly, almost archaic. I was thinking about the architectural historical footnote, and Gemini. This current synodic Mercurial period is about some Gemini footnote, you thought it was forgotten.