Week of: August 5-11

You might be redneck if:
You think "recycling" means going home from work.
--Jeff Foxworthy

And speaking of Redneck chic, August 10th is Mule Day in Muleshoe Texas. Me? I'll be doing readings at a hotel in Austin, and I hate to miss this momentous occcasion.

Aries: I love Aries, so forthright, so forward, so "in your face." The problem we got this week is that your forward attitude needs to be a little more Inn directed, that is, work on yourself somewhat this week. Clean out the boat from the last fishing trip. Get your fishing gear in order. Get ready for some good things coming up. But be careful: if you are supposed to be working, and not fishing, don't waste the time not working. Makes sense, doesn't it?

Taurus: One quick caveat before we go any further: traditional astrology says that this is a bad week to spend money. Got that? Now, examine all them things around you, and you will find that this week starts out with your identifying more with your possessions. I'm not talking about you being materialistic, just that these items all hold special value. Bet you still have that lure which caught "the big one" back in '82 still floating around in your tackle box. Hold onto it because items like that can bring you good luck.

Gemini: Say good bye to Venus this week, and get prepared to get some hard work done. You are going into a period of time when things just don't work out like you want them to. That's the downside. The better news is that you have some lucky little breaks, like one job gets canceled, only in time for a an even better gig to come along. If you don't understand, wait until the end of the week before you fax me for help. (Kramer's fax line is always open at 512/448-0970)

Cancer: Talk about dark before the storm! The weeks starts out with a true "Monday from Hell," and lest you be worried that the week is going to continue like that, it's not! The problem is that you feel like you are wandering around in large cave, devoid of light for the first few days, and then presto (nothing up my sleeve), the Moon moves into Cancer, and there is a light everywhere. You go from emotional instability to new relationship faster than most of the drag boats which disturb our fishing. Looks good for you, just watch out for Leo's.

Leo: Stay away from old emotional Cancer's this week. You don't need to rattle their cages, except for a little fun. It's like Bear Baiting, only with a Cancer, the results are a lot more entertaining. But it isn't nice to tease the animals. So please don't. You should be in the middle of a big party, and you should get ready for some good times of the next FEW weeks, because this week is merely precursor to what's coming up with a big party headed your way.

Virgo: I hate to be sexist, and some folks have insisted that I'm more "Texist" than anything else, but this is a week for male superiors to spend more time with you, listening to your valid point of view. Doesn't get much better than that. Your boss, employer, overseer, or other person in charge of your life is more willing to be swayed by your ample use of rhetoric this week. Crank up the talk box, because Bubba, this is the week for selling your dreams. You can be very persuasive this week, if you are truly right. Which you are.

Libra: The last few weeks, months, and it's even to drag into the year category as well, have been more difficult than you would like. Of course, no obstacles is really a boring situation for you, isn't it? Anyway, there is a certain charismatic charm which you can, and do use, from time to time. Polish it up this week, because you are going to need it. And, if you polish well, there will be a reward, kind of like a Scooby Snack.

Scorpio: Have you ever thought of being of service to anyone? I guess not. You ought to consider, more than any other time, taking some of your good fortune and sharing it. The minor players in the sky are lining up and pushing you into service of some kind. If you go willingly, you will find that you are much happier. Go help Bubba clean up the boat for the next weekend. You will be happier knowing that "you helped."

Sagittarius: Every once in a while, I like to quote from great literature, especially at a time when you need some motivation. This what what Calvin says: "In my opinion, television validates existence." That in Bill Watterson's book, Scientific Progress Goes Boink (page 68). The message should be pretty clear: you are stuck between a rock and hard spot, don't know whether you should fish or cut bait, and all I can do is quote cartoons.... take a look at the lighter side of life. Don't be so serious this week.

Capricorn: Cappy's ought to feel incredibly optimistic right about now. The problem being that a Capricorn Sun in a person's chart usually indicates a certain lack of optimism. So how to resolve all these good feelings and the usual dour outlook on life? That's why the Good Lord, in Her Infinite Wisdom, created fishing. It's a good time to while away some time doing something that is both useful and fun. I suggest fishing. Just find a Virgo partner to help with the cleaning, and a good Taurus to help with the cooking.

Aquarius: "He was like an exchange student from Uranus," is what Mick says in Count Gieger's Blues (Bishop, Michael, p. 41), and that sums up this week because that's what you feel like, and exchange student from Uranus. There's that odd, otherworldly feeling that you carry around with because there are such odd things going on. It's a pity to equate you to popular culture, but I'm sure you feel like Bill (or was it Ted) who said, "Strange things are afoot at the Circle K."

Pisces: The good news is that you are full of many excellent ideas this week. The bad news is that no one wants to listen to you this week. What to do? Write all those ideas down, as if you were going to stuff them all in a real suggestion box. It ain't going to happen because you couldn't win a debate with a dead fish this week. But you can store these wonderful ideas for later use. Remember: as much as you want to, it isn't a good time to argue because you almost assuredly can't win. This week.

Week of: July 31-August 1

"A great many people think they are thinking when they are merely rearranging their prejudices."
--William James

And, to add insult to injury (I always did like old Bill James, even if he was way too long-winded), he's another quote from the Bard that needs a play, act, scene number, and character to win a free El-Inexpensive-o report, FGS style.

"But, O, how oddly will it sound that I
Must ask my child foregiveness!"

Alonso in The Tempest, (V.i.198-9)

Aries: Aries have all been a little upset with me lately because I keep telling them how wonderful everything is 'sposed to be, and they keep making one fatal mistake right after another, and this compounds the situation. In other words, quit stumbling over your own feet. Or tongue, as the case maybe. I don't have any cute little homespun homilies which will make you feel better, but this is a good time for you, if you can just stay out of your own way.

Taurus: Well, my great Taurus friend, there is a problem with a pride this week. You will probably feel like you are face to face with some problem that offends your good-natured sensibilities. The solution is none to easy: you need to stick out it and fight for what you feel is the right thing here. Could be a matter of taste (you're always right in that scenario) or it could be a work problem. Whatever the case may be, you will feel like you don't have the reserves to make a stand, but you do. Go for it!

Gemini: This is the last of the good summer weeks for social butterfly Gemini. You need to get out this week and play hard. I would definitely warn you to day away from that party animal, the Leo, this week, because your combination (Leo is fire, Gemini is air) would have a tendency to set a Leo off. On the flip side of the metaphor, though, the Leo's always have the best of parties, so you might want to go just for that. Remember, though, you need to keep it light this week. You hare favorably disposed towards romance and social interaction this week.

Cancer: Okay, the deal is this: the little red one, Mars, is now firmly in your sign, albeit just in the early degrees. What this means is that you, as a Cancer, will be inclined to take more risks than usual. In true Cancer style, that might mean a new outfit for fishing, or some new bait, like maybe a newfangled plastic lure (instead of tried and true live bait). It's a good time for CALCULATED risk taking. It's bad time for just doing stupid things for the sake of doing stupid things. Let the college students handle that for us.

Leo: I know how you Leo types are, but I should really warn you about this one: there is full Moon this week, which should make for some really wild times. The problem is that the full Moon is at the opposite side of the zodiac, and that can make for some tough party scenes this week. I know, I know, it's your birthday and you certainly deserve a better horoscope. Well, the good news is that there will be a big party, and it will be just for you. Just exercise caution when getting ready for the annual birthday bash.

Virgo: The good news is that Mercury, your ruler, moves into Virgo this week. Of course, being the ever cautious Virgo that you are, you will find that you need to exercise even greater caution than usual with this astrological influence. Since it's been such a good summer for fishing, I would bet that you need to be very careful when cleaning the fish this weekend. Sharp objects, be they either a knife or a wit, can really hurt right now. Don't say I didn't warn you.

Libra: There is a major planet blocking you right now. I'd like to warn you that this isn't a good week to engage in gambling activities. In fact, if you do win the lottery this week, you can laugh at me all you want. But I would bet that you would have a tendency to over extend yourself a little too much -- in fact, make a that 3 to 1 call on that bet, and look out for long shot opportunities, too. While like betting on the underdog, I'd wager that you wouldn't do too well with it this week.

Scorpio: There has been this effect in Scorpio, remember what the last few years were like? Not that I like to dredge up the past, but that effect is back. Or at least, it's close. I realize that you've been waiting on some good news, so here it is: you still have a great ability to see into other peoples' minds. In other words, you understand THEIR motivation. Makes it a lot easier for you to get ahead when you understand what makes them tick.

Sagittarius: You're week starts out with a phenomenal bang, but then begins to fizzle just a little as you enroll in your next class: vegetable canning for fun and profit. Sounds a little pedantic for a Sag, but I would heartily consider this class, just for you, just for this week. It's a continuing education thing, and lord knows, you can always do with a little more school.

Capricorn: I've warned you about "get rich quick" schemes. I've warned you about multi-level marketing. I've warned you about "next generation" marketing scams. In fact, I've warned you about just the whole gamut of ways to make money except for good old fashioned hard work. Any other sign might be afraid of hard work, but you've got the ability to to take it, if only for short duration.

Aquarius: The week starts out great and only gets a little bit better as things go motoring along. It's like this: you get one of those trolling motors, the electric kind, and hook it up i the front of your bass boat. If you don't have a boat, then work with me on this, and do this allegorically. Anyway, trolling is way of silently sliding into place where the big fish are lurking, and that's the secret this week, sneaking up on the big catch, whatever that catch might be.

Pisces : Pisces are such wonderful creatures, I would hate to bore you with too much reality, but there's an ongoing deal where you are face to face with the money making bug a boo thing, and reality keeps insisting that it be inserted into your life. Don't fret, dear Pisces friend, this isn't really too much of a problem, and you will find that you can go back to regularly scheduled dream land in a little while. And, hey, good luck with work!

Week of: July 22-28

"I think we are in rat's alley
Where dead men lost their bones."
-- T.S. Eliot's "The Waste Land" (lines 115-6)

Howdy, Bubba, and welcome to the ASTRONET home of Kramer, Fishing Guide to the Stars. It's time to party on, dudes. The sun is firmly establishing itself in Leo, and the moon is ready to create mischief. Speaking of which, T.S. Eliot is the proper American poet to consult on a hot and sultry summer day. It's a good summer for baked goods. 'Course, that's how many of us feel these days.

Ever get the feeling that impending doom is hanging over you like a bad hair day? Perhaps that's why you feel like turning up Prince's "1999" loud enough to bother the neighbors and worry the dog. Problem is, not everyone shares your devil-may-care attitude, especially the neighbors. Imagine being stuck all day in a fishing boat with a sour partner. That's you, sourpuss. Even the fish are scared.

Today's word is: mental. You are mentally challenged, mentally, in several areas of your mental life. While that may sound like a mental handicap or something, it means that your mental thinking cap will be tested. Mentally. My mental thinking cap is a ratty old canvas jobber (looks like a gimme cap) that says 'C. Garcia "Plucky" 1957' and depicts a vintage fishing lure. One time I got a fishing lure stuck in my nose, and my father went so mental I thought he was going to leave me out on the lake. Don't try to defend ineffective thought patterns. They'll think you're . . . ah, never mind.

The last romance window is closing. Venus and Mars have done their thing in your sign and declaring they'll try to remain friends as they go their separate ways. It's a split for the record books, really, because the two planets wreaked more havoc in your fertile sign than Van Halen could ever do to a hotel room. Your physical stamina and activity have attracted a new lover. Here's where you don't want to get your golden locks caught in the window, Rumplestilskin: The party is over at the end of this week. Remind me to tell you a joke about Gemini.

Mars storms into your sign at the end of the week, and that means renewed vigor and some open hostility. Being a little aggressive isn't bad, just make sure you're not caught in a boat all day with someone who keeps trying to drown you. It could be ugly. The Coast Guard may become involved. Or worse, the local sheriff. Be careful about water skiing this week. Despite your extra dose of energy, being extra careful that you don't overdo it, whatever physical activity "it" is.

Yeaux, Leo! The sun begins its month-long stay in your sign this week. A Leo birthday is profound compared to the other zodiacal birthdays. Now that you're a year older, you're going to feel like expressing yourself more loudly and strongly than ever before. Well? Go for it. If you fail to exercise this expression, you'll regret it. Just make sure you've thought about your Shakespearean soliquoy before you start foaming at the mouth. And have a stellar week!

It's not a conspiracy, really. Oh sure, there are some who think there's an "X-Files" cover-up around every corner, but not you. Except this week. I'll wager that you'll feel like you and only you -- Scully isn't here to help out -- can save the world. For some reason, you have stirred a powerful enemy, a demon from your childhood or subconscious or tech support department, and it bothers you a lot. But that's OK because a Virgo without something to worry about is not a pretty sight.

A respite from difficult money problems seems appropriate this week. Your innate sense of beauty and harmony pay off. You will find, if only for a brilliant moment or two, that you are attracting a pretty lil' thang into your life this week. Whomever or whatever, I suggest you grab it with both hands and reel it in like it's the Lost Treasure of All Time because it looks like the catch of the week.

Speaking of catch of the week . . . Are you ready for this week? It starts with a big bang not unlike the one physicists use to describe the birth of the universe, and things only get better from there. Don your emotional armor: It'll make an impressive sight as your ebullient attitude shocks everyone. Bet you like that, too. Smiling will make them wonder what you're up to.

This is a week when you consider joining the Peace Corps. Your problem is that you have a tendency to help people who don't want any of your horse stuff in their stall. They don't want your misguided charity. I pity you. Really. Here's what you do: Remain as selfish as possible. The more you try to help, the more you get in the way. Odd? Yes. But trust me on this one.

This is a week when you must restrain yourself. Try a restraining order. Or handcuffs. Capricorn is ruled by Saturn, and Saturn is often viewed as restraint itself, but that's not what I'm talking about. Your normal ability to judge right from wrong, good taste from bad, etc, is gone like Michael Irvin's chances for becoming a role model. Your good taste has gone fishing. Your ability to make judgment calls isn't too swift, either. Hope you're not an umpire. Or a judge. Rather than let this be a worrisome time, just remember let someone else take the blame. Like a lawyer.

In the good ol' days, you would have picked up the phone and spent hours talking to an operator, trying to get through to a place. Let's say Williamson County in Texas. These days, you log on to your computer and spend hours trying to connect to your online service or Internet provider. The more things change . . . Basically, it's a week of obstacles. I like the line from a Dwight Yoakam song about getting a note "From the folks over at Bell/Just to let me know for my next phone call/I could walk outside and yell.*" The problem is that you are full of ideas, just no way to get the news to the world, except stepping outside to yell.
*Dwight Yoakum, (c) 1988 Coal Dust Music

Here's good news: Nothing bad is happening this week. No work-related trauma. No family problems. No car troubles. No IRS auditors. No banks looking for delinquent sums. No ex-wives looking for past-due child support. No ex-husbands looking for affection and pity. None of the usual troubles affect you this week. Just wait until next week.

Week of: July 15-23
"Take note, take note, O World! To be direct and honest is not safe."
Iago in Shakespeare's Othello (III, iii, 378)

Aries: The good news this week, my Aries friend, is that there is a lot of coming and going happening. Lots of little details to look after, and certain feeling of "love" permeates the air. That's the good news. The bad news is that you will be tempted to work too much, and thereby letting this relationship fall by the wayside. Not always a good thing.

Taurus: The problem you face this week is two-fold, that is, you have a strong feeling of romance which is still lingering, but you aren't able to deal with these feelings effectively. That can all pose a problem or two for you. Now, to add some sand to the gears, you've got this delightfully sharp insight right now , but no way to use it. And no one to use it one, either. None of this looks too good for the old Taurus. The good news is that there are changes in the wind.

Gemini: romance is still the big one this week, with the cosmic love duo playing a game of tag in your sign. Mars and Venus are quickly slipping through, and while they are here, emotions run hot and cold. Hot from Mars and cold from Venus. Of course, given that you're a Gemini, this sort of duality is nothing new in your life. You are used to it. That romance which you have been waiting to materialize should be along just about any moment now; be ready to seize the day.

Cancer: The Sun and the Moon start this week out, making it a particularly good week for you. Really. Although your emotions seem to be turbocharged (remember the blower we put on the truck?), you calm down towards the end of the week as the Sun moves on into Leo. Then things really start happening for you. Look for some foreign correspondence to bring you a bit of good news. Now work with me on the definition of foreign, here in Texas, New York is foreign as they get.

Leo: Birthday time! Birthdays start this week as the mighty Sun rolls into Leo. I've been waiting patiently, and so have you, for this auspicious time of the year: Month of Leo. With all that has been going on, you are at a three year peak in you life when there are any number of good things that can happen to you. Work is supposed to be a proverbial piece of cake right now, and the more important social connections are also supposed to be good right now. Great, in fact. Careful that your mouth doesn't get you in trouble.

Virgo: Dear sweet Virgo. Oh dear. Oh. Looks like this is a week that money problems which you had successfully wished away are back. In a big way. The deal is this: there are two planets in a tight configuration making life very difficult for your pocketbook right now. The good news is that these two planets will go on their merry way soon enough. Now, what are you going to do about it? fortunately, worry can be your middle name, so if I were in your boots right about now, I would worry a lot. In reality, you have no control over the events and the stellar tides shift in your favor, just not this week.

Libra: My poor Libra friend, it seems as if all the weights of the worlds are resting upon your shoulders. The biggest problem you face this week involves a concept foreign to me: earned income. Work is the problem this week. The good news is that the problems will go away. The bad news is that it is going to take a certain degree of effort on your part. The best thing to do is to isolate yourself in fishing boat and experiment with new fishing lures. Shoot, try live bait. anything new and different that you do alone, even though this requires extra effort on your part, will pay off. That's the good news. Don't expect immediate gratification, that's the downside.

Scorpio: There's a funny thing happening this week to Scorpio: you feel both elated and depressed at the same time. The problem is that everything seems to be motoring along quite smoothly right now. Better pay close attention, Scorpio, because while everything seems to be going along fine right now, it probably won't last (but you knew that), and it's a good time to get those details in order so that the good fortune can continue.

Sagittarius: Tofu-loving Sagittarius people write me letters and claim that there is such a creature. In fact, I usually call Sagittarius the sign of "cold pizza for breakfast" because most of the Archers are less than concerned about what fuel they put into their bodies. Leftover Chinese food is also good--the spicier, the better. The deal is this: you are face to face with getting some nutritional advice this week. Listen to what the advisors say; it might do you some good.

Capricorn: Capricorn is not a sign one would traditionally associate with an ability to dream. Not that there aren't some visionary Sea Goats out there, just that it's not a the usual; sign for such activities. But right now, the dreams are in the forefront for you. Go ahead and have a few wild fantasies about money--it will do you good. What was that character's name in turn of the century American literature who slept on bed of money?

Aquarius: Everybody else is under tremendous pressure right now, at least that's the way the world looks to you. To be sure, you feel some of this pressure yourself, but there are still certain changes you need to consider making, just for yourself. The problem, or as we say in modern astrology, the CHALLENGE, comes from allowing your stubborn side to see that there are some benefits to the upcoming changes. Consider trying new bait. If you've never used live bait, give it a shot. Or whatever other change is required to shake up your steadfast routines.

Pisces: If anything, this is a good week for nesting. If you are a Pisces with a home based business, then things couldn't be any better right now. Bet you are enjoying life to the maximum. That's the good news. Other prognostications include a sudden upturn in business this week. And to think that I get a huge volume of mail from Pisces who complain about what I say about work. I get the impression that Pisces don't like work too much.

Week of: July 8-14
"Rare words! Brave world! Hostess, my breakfast come!/O, I could wish this tavern were my drum!" Falstaff in Shakespeare's Henry IV, Part I (III.iii.205-6)

Aries [3/23-4/20]: Bang your drum slowly, my dear Aries friends because week that starts out with the Moon in Aries on Monday is good sign. And the way work looks like it is stacking up right now, you could use all the good fortune coming your way that's possible. Just be careful that your emotional demands don't wear your neighbors thin.

Taurus [4/21-5/22]: Now, a lot of astrologers tend to think that the Sign of the Bull is possessive and too oriented towards personal belongings. While this is a rash and generalized statement, it does occur to you that it could be true this week. The flip side of this statement is that it is a good week to consider buying a new fishing boat. Or acquiring something else like that, say, a new vehicle or some of those new lures that smell like garlic. They do work, just check with the Salty Sucker Bait Co. for more info.

Gemini [5/23-6/21]: You get the triple - double - throw down - whammy maneuver this week from the heavens as your emotions and a new relationship seem to run amok. Buy that wedding ring! Get him or her that big diamond! Go all out! If this is a new romance, remember to bait your date's hook, especially when using Sushi as bait. Even if it isn't a first date.

Cancer [6/22-7/22]: Poor Cancer, what with this being a birthday time and all, you've been down in the dumps lately. A little midnight fishing with high powered spotlight to attract the bugs which then attract the fish is the way to do it. You'll have more luck next week, though, as the emotional trauma gets smoothed over. Since this is my editor's birthday week, let's all show our sympathy for his poor Cancer self and send him an email wishing him a happy birthday. That's "BenBubba@aol.com."

Leo [7/23-8/23]: The only problem with being Leo is that those pesky emotions tend to bubble up at uncomfortable times, like right now, and you don't know what to do about it all. Patience, dear Leo, as you time will come! You will find that you are feeling a profound degree of psychological transformation approaching. Ever consider changing the patterns that fish with? The old fishing holes seem to be depleted right now, and you should look for something new...

Virgo [8/24-9/23]: You seem to have it easy this week, but there is a dark and foreboding sense that there is something lurking under the water. Just relax and keep casting your bait out. You may not catch much this week, but the dark and foreboding feeling of dread will soon be gone. I promise.

Libra [9/24-10/23]: You will find that you are hot this week as you seem to burn with an evangelical zeal. This fervent attitude can be put to good use, but the trick this week is finding an appropriate outlet for your energy.

Scorpio [10/24-11/23]: A boomerang is one of those foreign constructs which refers to an aerial device that returns. You throw it and it comes back. And just like a boomerang, there is a relationship issue which has come back to visit you. Now, I told you a long time ago to clean this up but did you listen? I guess you don't because they're back, and it looks like they have an army of lawyers, too. I only hope that some tort reform is in action right now.

Sagittarius [11/24-12/21]: Live bait works best this week. Get yourself a live one, bait the hook well, and the fish will bite. That's a simple message at this time, but what does it mean, oh great Fishing Guide to the Stars? It means that now is the time to get prepared for some real action. Get the ducks in row, or, in this case, get your tackle all lined up and ready for a big fishing tournament this weekend. Go for the biggest Bass in the lake, that one feller who who has defied all other fishermen. You can do it.

Capricorn [12/22-1/20]: You poor dear Capricorns. I want to tell you about how things are going to be so very nice for you right now, but there is one little problem: I have an ex who is a Cappy, and now that she's reading this, I can't say anything nice about Capricorn. But for the rest of you, just watch the dream like quality that seems to lead you drifting off to fantasy world. Maybe it's just a Disney Land, but watch your step. On a positive note, try playing the lottery.

Aquarius [1/21-2/18]: Settle back with a good book, prop your feet up on the gunwales of the boat, and plan on drowning a few worms. If you are an animal rights activist, just drop a bare hook over the edge of the boat -- the only fish that strike at that WANT to be eaten. Makes it a volunteer kind of a thing -- and you experience absolutely no guilt whatsoever.

Pisces [2/19-3/22]: Concentrate on work in the early part of the week, and call you mother later in the week. Tidy up some stuff around the house. Relax some. Of course, it's an oxymoron, talking about a tense Pisces, but you should find some much needed relaxation this week. Maybe go fishing this weekend.

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