Today’s Outlook for Thursday November 15, 2007
Assertive Mars turns retrograde today, reminding us that progress cannot be rushed. We benefit from being patient and waiting to see where feelings lead, until Mars turns direct on January 30.

Gemini Horoscope (May 21 – Jun 20)
The next couple of months bring up financial concerns as Mars extends his stay in your 2nd House of Money. You may need to reconsider a budget that you thought would carry you through the rest of the year. Keep in mind, though, that some of your concerns might be based upon an irrational fear of not having enough, rather than on the real facts.

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Yes, I think that Astrology has some merit, although I don’t know how much to believe. It does seem to ring true, though, more often than not.

In any case, today’s general horoscope and the specific one for my sign hit the nail on the head.

Lately, I have been getting on myself for not “doing more” and making more progress in my life. It seems that I have been in a resting phase ever since I stopped playing Phantom in mid-February. My, how the time has flown! And what do I have to show for it?

Well, MUCH has happened and a lot has been accomplished in those nine months, in fact. James and I tried Bisbee on for size, went through a lot of experimentation and drama and ultimately found the town lacking. (For us, anyway.) We then undertook the long process of moving to Northern California over the summer, and fixing up this place In The Woods enough to be habitable.

Along the way I have continued to practice horn, which is a very high-maintenance instrument. I’ll paraphrase an old musician saying which goes: “If I don’t practice for a day, I notice it. If I don’t practice for two days, my section-mates notice it. And if I don’t practice for three days, everyone notices it!”

This is really true. The lip muscles very quickly get out of shape if I don’t play the horn every day. So even though I’ve had very few gigs over the past few months, I have diligently practiced the horn. Sometimes I take one day off per week, which doesn’t set me back much.

Most successful musicians are truly married to their instruments. Thank god James is not jealous. He knows that it’s the way I’ve made my living for thirty-one years.

But if I were to take off a week or two….it would take that amount of practice-time to regain what I had lost.

During the past few months, I have also managed to compose a few pieces, and have done a little work on harp and recorders, just enough to improve on those instruments a bit.

My financial situation is not dire at the moment, although I do miss working regularly. Not just to earn money, but I always enjoyed the social aspect of playing in an orchestra. It’s a team effort, and musicians form strong bonds with one another. It’s an important part of making music together.

I keep telling myself that I need to be PATIENT, and make the most of my current “resting” phase while it lasts. Patience has never been one of my strong suits, however, so I am feeling particularly challenged now, especially after yesterday’s phone call.

This was from a music contractor in Sacramento, who offered me a day’s work in the orchestra backing up the group “Mannheim Steamroller”, which is giving a concert in Sacramento on December 6th. Unfortunately, this gig conflicts with one I have already accepted, with the Sacramento Choral Society.

This is the eternal dilemma of the freelance musician, being offered better work after accepting something else. Many people “play one gig against the other”, finding a sub or calling in sick for the original gig while accepting the more lucrative one, but this ends up backfiring more often than not. I definitely do NOT want to get that kind of reputation; I have seen too many musicians get burned.

So my professional integrity remains intact. I will play the gig that I originally agreed to do, which is five services (rehearsals/concerts) and pays only marginally more than the one I was just offered, which is only two services.

But over the long haul, it is better to stick with the Choral Society, who will hopefully offer me more work in the future. Meanwhile, the Mannheim Steamroller show is just a one-shot deal.

I thanked the contractor for offering me this work, and apologized for not being able to accept. I asked him to “keep me in mind” for future shows, and he responded positively.

So I take the message of today’s horoscope to mean that I need to “chill” and be patient, and not be hard on myself. And not to worry about money! I’m doing all right, at the moment at least.