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ARIES (March 21-April 19): What you do to help a cause will raise questions. Take care of personal responsibilities before offering your services to outsiders. A relationship will take an emotional turn. Speak up and air your concerns, but don't make an impulsive move.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Opportunities are present, but you may misunderstand what's expected of you. Do not make a commitment. You are better off learning all you can and developing a plan that will enable you to handle whatever situation you face with ease.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Put your best foot forward. Ask questions, and take on new projects. What you offer will be greatly appreciated. A change will occur in the way you follow your plans if you lend someone a helping hand.

CANCER (June 21-July 22): Emotional matters will lead to arguments if you aren't careful about how you deal with others. Take a deep breath, and get involved in something you enjoy doing. Avoiding sticky situations will give you time to think matters through and regroup.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): Get moving. The more mobile you are, the happier you'll be. Taking on domestic tasks will help improve your surroundings, comfort and attitude. A partnership looks good, and you can peruse details regarding how to move.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): Before making a decision, listen to what's being offered. An impulsive move will turn out to be costly. Love is in the stars, and romance will set the mood. Children will play a role in a decision you make.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): Don't overdo it at home. Too much to eat or drink will result in physical or emotional problems. You are better off going to a destination that makes you feel relaxed or spending time with someone who brings you comfort and joy.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): Get together with someone who brings out the best in you. New ideas will result in changes that will encourage you to live better. Ease stress by addressing emotional issues. Take care of personal business, and move on.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): Getting together with a colleague you used to work with will spark ideas that can lead to new opportunities. Share your insight and experience, and you will change the way people view you. A change at home will bring you emotional satisfaction.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): Expect to face some opposition along the way. It may annoy you, but showing anger will not fix what's wrong. Back away until you have a better idea on how you want to handle this situation. Focus on love and romance.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): Go over your personal papers, and look at your financial situation. An old idea used in an updated and diverse manner will help you bring in extra cash. Use experience and physical endurance — you will excel.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): Get out, mingle, offer assistance, and go where the action is. There are deals to be formulated and money to be made. Don't let a change in partnerships slow you down. Opportunity doesn't linger. Make your move, and don't look back.

Rejected Sam Spade:

• She looked like a tasty dish, all right; but I knew better than to bite, like a blue-light special from a red-light district.

• "Now, that's a dame," he thought. "Legs that go all the way up. Too far up. Freakish, really," he mused as he walked into the all-night diner. Haunted by what he'd seen, he settled in for his usual breakfast, a coffee and two Lucky Strikes.

• Later, who knows how long, he came to with a splitting headache and no idea where he was. He rolled over and tried to sleep it away. Later-er, he came to without the headache and finally realized he was in the backroom of Jimmy the Rat's ginger water joint. "Damn," he thought, "Jimmy probably had aspirin."

• "You should stop by and … see me … sometime," she cooed with all the subtlety of Molotov cocktail to the crotch. "But call first," she added, "just to make sure I'm not screwing someone else that night."

• He was everything Franchceska desired — and she knew this was the man that would change her life, get her out of Mason City, show her the world and all its wonders and charms — or at the very least, mooch a dinner and waste her evening — yes, he was everything Franchceska desired, which left her panting in anticipation while at the same time questioning her life goals.

Andrew R. Juhl thanks Matt Larson and Chris Okiishi for contributing to today's Ledge.

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