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"Knowing I lov'd my books, he furnish'd me,
From mine own library with volumes that
I prize above my dukedom."
Prospero in Shakespeare's The Tempest [I.ii.195-7]

Taurus Taurus: Stop. Pause. No, full stop. Complete and dead stop in your tracks, just for a minute. Please. Just stop.

Where were you, what was happening, what was your situation, ten years ago. To the date. Ten years back. One decade ago? Planet Earth we use a year as a marker for time, one lap around the sun. Mercury moves a lot faster, closer to three, four times as fast. Venus? About two-thirds, Mars? Maybe two years to our one year. Jupiter? 12 years. Saturn? 28, and so on.

So using the completely arbitrary number of ten? Ten years back. One whole decade ago, where were you? What was the situation? What was happening, who was what and where, and what was important to you?

We have to stop, in Taurus, long enough to look back at a turning point, a time when everything changed, ten years ago. That's how we plot a course forward. Before we can move into what's happening this week, get a grip on what happened a decade ago.

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SkyFriday.com Gemini: "Quetzalcoatl" is derived from two words in the indigenous language of Meso-America. It means "Plumed Serpent," and it refers to a god of the Aztecs. Azatlan. "Quetzal" is the name for a bird with a long, plumed tail while "Coatl" means snake.

Half serpent, half bird, all deity. Pretty good, two things combined as one. That's the Gemini goal, now, two as one. Not the reverse. What does some pagan god have to do with Gemini stars? Maybe nothing. Maybe a lot.
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"Rogue, thou hast lived too long!"
Shakespeare's Antony & Cleopatra [II.v.74]

That's Cleopatra addressing the messenger with his bad news. Original source of "Don't kill the messenger." Might've been a Mercury Moment, as the littlest planet starts to unwind from its retrograde pattern.

Just missed "drinko de gringo." Not an original term, but it certainly applies around here

HumbleOils.com Taurus: At the very end of this horoscope, the day it is over? From that point, forward, all good, all the time, in Taurus. From May 13, 2010, onward and upward. The hardest part of the scope of this scope is getting Taurus to that date. While it's warmed up considerably here, there's still an urge to sleep late. Still cool in the morning with the window letting gentle spring dampness saturate the air with, well, it's a wet cold. Good weather to be snuggled up, under that winter blanket, leftover at the foot of the bed, just for the time being.

Good weather to have a fat cat as a house mate, warm and cuddly, not real interested in getting up at the dawn's earliest light. Much to be said for this. Regrettably, I doubt you can spend the next week hibernating in bed. If you can? I'd suggest it. If you can't? Then use more than the usual amount of caution. Realize that we've got a seven-day window to get through. Then it's good. What can you do between now and then to make sure it's good when it gets here?

astrofish.net Gemini: The University of Texas is credited with having an excellent Business School. I was in a coffee shop, and I noticed a recent UT Business T-shirt.

"Business School: No Buses, Bridges or Beakers." Never thought of that as a selling point, but it did make good advertising. As did his companion's T: "Three letters MBA, BMW." I liked the first one, better. I liked it a great deal. No Buses, Bridges or Beakers.
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"His complexion is perfect gallows."
Gonzalo in Shakespeare's The Tempest [I.i.27]

The comment is even funnier in context of the whole play. Sinking ship. Mercury is retrograde, oh why do I bother?

Taurus Taurus: I was listening to an iPod, factory earphones, volume low as I was traversing busy downtown streets and I wanted to be careful, not oblivious. The bass response on those isn't that great, and like I said, the volume was down, buds loose in my ears. I heard familiar rim rhythm, the drum's opening lines in ZZ Top's "La Grange."

Yes, it's classic rock, and yes, it's been done to death, and yes, it's still good. As a native Texan, I don't have a choice but to respect the Top. The opening licks are more than familiar with anyone born in the last half of the last century. I suspect those refrains will be valued into the future as well. It's a lick we all recognize. That's a "name that song in three bars" type of lick. Riff. Musical phrase, call it what you want.

This isn't about the song itself, though, it's about that opening thirty, maybe forty seconds of music. Guitar, funky little tap-tappity-tap, rimshot kind of rhythm, and the anticipation. The rock and roll is on its way, about to rock out. Blues, garage band from Houston that did well with three chords.

Me? I love the music. But that's not what this is about, it's about the anticipation -- like the first 30, 40 seconds of that song? That's going to stretch out all week, the drums beating an expectant beat, expectant Taurus beat.

astrofish.net Gemini: "I am so out of here like a dirt shirt!" Little girl, maybe, middle-school aged, I don't know, she was proudly proclaiming that. Her parental unit corrected her, "It's 'Off like a dirty shirt,' honey." The younger woman protested vehemently, citing examples of dirt shirts, and why that was a preferable expression.

I'm good either way.
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"Ungracious wretch,
Fit for the mountains and the barbarous caves,
Where manners ne'er were preached!"
Shakespeare's Twelfth Night [IV.i.43-4]

Poor Toby Belch, getting reamed.

    Fishing Guide to the Stars
    by Kramer Wetzel
    For the week starting: 4.22.2010

Taurus Taurus: I listened to a riff, music was on an iPod, routed to speakers, so I reversed the direction of the music and listened to the riff again. I tried to imagine my fingers , making that noise, it was fast, and yet, it sounded casual. Finger tips here, here and here, in rapid succession. The riff sounds deceptively easy, and yet, it's almost impossible to duplicate.

For me, it's not almost, it's very much impossible. I can't even hum the notes that fast, much less play them on a piano, or, for that matter, vocalize the notes in any way, shape or form that even approximates the tune. Part of a classical piece, just a short section, maybe a handful of notes, and I used the little scroll wheel to slide the tune back and forth. Felt like I was scrubbing the notes, in my vain attempt to figure out the keyboard pattern. Never did.

There are skills I don't have. One of them is musician. I can appreciate the art, I can applaud the effort, but I can't figure out how to do it. Not an issue, either, not with me.

But I know what I can -- and can't -- do. I spent a few moments marveling at the keyboard skill of that one musician. Keep in mind this was just one riff, not even the whole piece. I didn't give up, I just decided that the effort for me to play music was greater than the reward. I think that's a good idea on how you get around the Mercury problems.

astrofish.net Gemini: I suppose that it is both cultural and local. I was in the "Feed & Seed" store. South side of town. I didn't really want anything, I was just passing through, there's something homey to me about a "Feed & Seed" store, the smell of fertilizer and fresh oats, all laced with a thin patina of motor oil. Sawdust on the floor, maybe the smell of fresh-cut planks of pine.
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"I have seen better faces in my time
Than stands any shoulder that I see
Before me at this instant."
Shakespeare's King Lear [II.ii.88-90]

It's Kent, trying to explain why he dislikes Oswald, steward to Goneril, Lear's evil daughter.

    Fishing Guide to the Stars
    For the week starting: 4.15.2010

Mercury starts a retrograde pattern in Taurus, this next few days.

astrofish.net Aries: Ever watch a series of comedians? One after another? If the show has, say, three in a row, the first one, the warm-up warm-up guy, warm-up person, he's usually got some edge and the least amount of time. The second person, I always like the "Give it up for my good friend, and all-around funny guy, (headliner's name)!" Good friend, always introduced as a "good friend."

That warm-up act, be it a band, or the example I was thinking of, a comedy act, it's always amusing to watch how there's nothing but warm welcome, and applause and displays of affection.

I wonder about that. There are a few birthdays left over in Aries, but those are going to wrap by the end of the weekend. This next few days is like that warm-up act, you're just warming up for the headliner. That's Taurus. I know you don't like to be billed as the second, but be grateful you're not the first act, just the last one before the headliner.

Then, too, you're actually funnier than the headliner. Louder, better, whatever the gig is, you're more. The trick? How to handle this week? Use that expression, "Please let's give warm welcome to my good friend," and introduce your headliner.

Taurus Taurus: Yeah, happy birthday coincides with Mr. Mercury going Retrograde in your sign. Bit of a cosmic joke. Mercury being backwards doesn't spell big trouble. Mercury being backwards -- in your sign -- spells little trouble.

That's trouble with a small "t." Not a big "T." Little troubles aren't so bad, really, and it's not like this has snuck up on you.
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