Fishing Guide to the Stars For the Week of: 5/27-6/2/2004

“Men are mad things.”

    Shakespeare’s The Two Noble Kinsmen [II.ii.126]

Aries: I’ve had the same set of bathroom scales for over a decade. I don’t worry too much about my weight, as I know where I feel okay about myself, and I just use the scales to judge where I am. Since I’ve owned the same device for such a length time so that scale no longer really has much to do with reality. But it’s a great measuring device because the numbers on it mean something to me. Summer time is approaching, and I’ve been through some lean times. One of my friends spotted the bathroom scales and hopped up on it, then let out a little shriek, “I’m fat!” Well, not according to what I could see, and not according to what I know, but the largely “not based in reality numbers” seemed to leave that one lass perturbed. Consider what measuring stick you use for yourself. Consider what baseline you’ve got set up for yourself. Weight is a fickle thing. Most of mine gravitates to my hips and thighs, but I’m a Sagittarius, that’s where the excess is supposed to go. Since we’re dealing with two planets of importance, more or less, maybe even three, your Aries self is liable to hop up on my bathroom scale and shriek. That’s my measuring device, not your Aries measuring device. Your mileage is going to be different, but be extra careful about using some other way of weighing where you are. Those numbers are true for me, but I’m pretty sure, they lie about you.

Taurus: There’s a local diner that I frequent; I’ve been going there for years. It’s not so much about the food, which is okay, it’s about the location, which is close (but not too close), and the fact that it’s relatively quiet — neutral ground — to meet clients. Friendly, attentive staff, decent chicken-fried, and excellent vegetables. I was sitting down to do a reading, and I watched as the Taurus girl looked over the big menu. “Broccoli or Chicken Fried Steak?” See: in Texas, CFS is an art form. The presentation in this one diner is excellent. The grub itself? It’s a decent. Not quite as good as that truck stop I know, nor, for that matter, as good as that one place in El Paso. But good enough. Perhaps it’s a function of Austin’s roots, or the restaurateur’s roots, but at that one place, the vegetables just flat-out rock. However, any decent Texas Taurus will always try the CFS before moving on to other menu items. Stay with what’s dependable. While the broccoli is really good, served “al dente” with a little butter, I think the CFS is still the way to go. Besides, it’s safe and dependable. Stick to what’s safe these days. Dependable.

Gemini: One of my buddy’s, not named “Bubba,” came up with a funny joke. “The thing that’s great about this? You can use any two bands or artists, you know?” He continued, “Sure, [insert band/name here] sucks, but it doesn’t suck as much as [insert band/name here].” In a broader sense, this can be applied a number of situations. I was thinking about astrology terms, too. Sure, it sucks having Venus Retrograde in your sign, but that doesn’t suck as much as having Pluto in Sagittarius. When I was reading this out loud to the cat, she loved it. Doesn’t look as good in print, and that makes for a horoscope that does suck. Comparisons are what are important. What two items you put into that list, what two pieces you choose to contrast each other, that’s the important part. Given that Venus and Sagittarius, plus Mars/Saturn are conspiring to add some pressure to your lifestyle, using a pejorative term like “suck” is really most appropriate. Slight digression: when did that word actually enter our quotidian speech, I mean, when did it become okay to use such words? Never mind. The week doesn’t have to suck. But I’d suggest that you come up with valid comparison points so your Gemini self [selves] understand that it’s not as bad as it could be.

Cancer: My interpersonal relationships are a subject of much debate and speculation. “Girl in every town,” is a common phrase I hear. Not exactly true, but it certainly makes for interesting rumors. The things I hear about what I supposedly did, oh my. The story goes, “I saw him leave the bar with three girls.” The end of that tale? They slowed down when they passed Shady Acres and told me to “Tuck and roll, bubba!” See how the myth and the reality seem rather far apart? Between Saturn and Mars, you’re feeling a little bit like me. The stories are certainly a whole lot better than the reality of the situations. Mars does offer some consolation, as you finally have a chance to address certain issues that sorely needed addressing by your darling Cancerian self. The problem? Some of those issues, and some of that extra Martian energy comes along when the rest of the world is asleep. When I post links in the web’s scopes, I save my “after midnight web browsing sessions” as an excellent source for weirdness. Likewise, find a suitable outlet for your late night work. That issue? Good time to look at the problem. But like my late night sessions, maybe you just want to save everything and review it later. I’m also pretty sure that there are some fairly good fictions being presented about that’s going on in your life. That’s not all bad, you know?

Leo: I was riding with a buddy of mine, and his name is not “bubba.” We’d been out for some dinner, oddly enough, some local Tex-Mex cuisine. Not longer after he pulled his truck out onto the road, a local cop car started following us. My buddy, whose name was not “bubba,” his registration was not up-to-date. He didn’t have a current insurance card, and the inspection sticker on his truck wasn’t valid. That’s three strikes. He was telling me about these sad facts of life, just about the time the cop turned on his lights. My buddy, whose name is not “bubba,” turned to me, “I can taste my own fear.” “No way,” I replied. “Afraid so.” The cop car pulled out and zoomed right past us, lights flashing. That tangy, metallic taste of fear, I’m sure, was still buried in my buddy’s throat. He has an unnatural fear of incarceration. This fear is, no doubt, based on movies, TV, and suppositions about what happens to prisoners in literature — as well as pop culture. You’re going to face-to-face with a similar scene. You taste your own Leo fear. Then the cop car pulls out to respond to a real emergency. What’s the lesson? Maybe think about getting all that paperwork up-to-date?

Virgo: I was eating at a normal, South Austin kind of place. One of the restaurants I frequent. The waitress was new, at least, she was new to me. I asked; she was Virgo. Means I didn’t have anything to worry about. Which I didn’t. When the bill came, I passed over a credit card, paid for my time with a generous tip, and since I was in the middle of a reading, too, I just held onto that Virgo’s pen. It was a sleek little pen, not unlike the Virgo waitress, but unlike anyone I know, the pen looked like a rocket ship. I was illustrating points about an astrology chart, stabbing in the air, using the pen like a conductor’s baton. Worked for me. As I wrapped up, I was pretending to make off with that Virgo’s pen, because I liked it so much. Sort of thick in the middle, a little color and striations to resemble some “retro” look, good balance for a cheap pen, attractively packaged. I tried to make a show of walking out with the pen, only to suddenly remember and return it. “Oh, I was hoping you’d keep it. I’ve been trying to lose that one for weeks now,” the waitress told me. Just when your Virgo brain thinks that you’ve finally cut loose with some item you’ve been trying — vainly — to unload, that nice astrology guy comes back and hands it back to you.

Libra: I was working on some new definitions of the way astrology works, and I came up with this idea. A metaphor, really, and I was trying to figure out if I could call the planets nouns. Maybe consider them verbs. Better yet, how about adjectives? Adverbs? Grammar is certainly not one of my strong points, and I haven’t diagrammed a sentence in a very long time. Way long time. I can’t remember how to do it. Anyway, with the noun, adverb, verb description, there’s a lot of energy working on your poor Libra brain case. Or the planets you have in Libra. The other planets are attempting to modify some of your Libra behavior. How much you let the planets’ influences modify what you do is the question. First item, consider taking all criticism under consideration. Listen attentively. Take notes. Now, those planets who are acting like modifiers? What are going to do about that? Let them modify you? You can. If you choose, follow that line. But what I’m suggesting, given that Venus is still working her way backwards? Consider the planets are descriptions of possible case scenarios that might be worth considering instead of letting the planets modify what you do. You’re actually in charge.

Scorpio: Not everyone will agree with me, and I realize that there are vegetarian and vegan Scorpios who will fail to understand the intent of this message. For those guys, try it on an allegorical level. For the rest of you? Try the healing powers of barbecue. BBQ has miraculous curative and restorative qualities. The way I understand it, it’s the charcoal. The carbon on the exterior of the various farm animals is supposedly good for the liver. I don’t know, maybe it’s all spooky, metaphysical stuff. Or maybe it’s scientific fact. I never bothered to look it up. But there’s something remarkably restorative about sitting yourself down to a plate of pork ribs, brisket, and some chicken parts, all covered in a thick, syrup-like BBQ sauce. So go with that idea. When the going gets tough, as it will this week, when the problems all start to mount up, and when you’re sure that no one understands your — very valid — Scorpio point of view, then think back on this scope. Think about a plate of BBQ. Wonder about how many farm animals you can fit on the plate. Consider the better BBQ sauces. Consider the art of the guy who runs the pit, the smoke master. Or cook, or whatever they’re called. Might not be on your diet, but later in the week, a little bit of something just like this will help ease you through the problems. You’ll emerge, a little better off, and that Scorpio point of view? After considering it for a little while, you’ll understand how better to package your message.

Sagittarius: Worst Case Scenario — what would it be? Imagine that your Sagittarius self — me — sitting in trailer, looking at some web site, and there’s a call on the land line, “Hello? Kramer Wetzel? This is [name deleted]; I’m from [day time TV show], and I was wondering if you would like a free ticket to appear on our show?” As an audience member, I’m wondering. No, as a participant. Guest. What’s your first thought? Yee-haw! Stop. Think. What do they do to guests on that show? “I love you but I love my bother’s sister-in-law’s aunt’s cousin more….” Yeah, think about that one for a minute. Think about some part of your Sagittarius life that you’ve long since left behind. Consider that someone might try a ploy just like this to dig it up, and put your Sagittarius self right in the spot light. Or the crosshairs of the scope. Sort of depends on how you want to look at this. “We’re just here to resolve a problem” is the tag line. What they don’t tell you is that you’re also going to be a major fool on national TV, and folks in trailer parks across the nation will be laughing their butts off at your own discomfited situation. Do you really want that? Venus backs up to a point where she’s opposite Mr. Dark Lord himself, Pluto. Just when you thought it was all gone, forgiven and forgotten, the phone rings, and you say, “Bueno,” and it’s that producer. Or talent scout. Or similar lead person, fishing for a sensational story. Know what I did when they called? I told the producer that I didn’t live here anymore. “Must have a wrong a number.” Think of the trouble you can save yourself. And the embarrassment.

Capricorn: Barton Creek has a couple of spots that are perfect for spring-time fun. On hot afternoon, when the sun is just starting to reach that point called “bake,” a good dunk in the creek is perfect. I watched as a, apparently, family gathered around a newly erected rope swing. The rope was knotted, and hung off a branch, over the creek. From the shore, maybe ten or 12 feet above the creek’s edge, it was a long, almost scary, trip to the apogee, let go of the rope, and then find one’s self plummeting a few feet into the creek. This one family, see, there were three sons, or young males, and I’m estimating their ages between 7 and 12 years old, leaning more towards the 10-11 demographic spread. One of the younger ones was just the perfect Capricorn. He was a little unsure of the ride out, not confident in the rope’s ability to support him, maybe not strong enough himself to let go, and a little worried he might come crashing back into the clay bank, which was studded with limestone gravel. After a little coercion, maybe some peer pressure, he finally did it. He whooped, hollered, and made a big splash, “That was GREAT! I want to do it again!” Between several influences, some around you, some just flat out opposing you, you’re not sure. Not steady. But if you’ll just let your Capricorn self go, I wouldn’t hesitate to suggest you’ll really enjoy the ride, despite your fears.

Aquarius: What’s a decent horoscope without an occasional high-blown literary reference? When I popped the chart for Aquarius, I couldn’t help but notice that Mr. Neptune, the deceiver and bringer of enlightenment, was smack dab in the middle of your sign. I thought through a few fishing quips, but I kept coming back to Hamlet. You know? The tortured Dane? “Should I stay, should I go” guy? Yes, that guy. Confused. Crazy. Unsure of which way is up? Yes, that character. The most quoted guy in literary history. I saw a respected version of that play, The Tragedy of Hamlet, on stage, a few years back. In one of the scenes wherein Hamlet was feigning madness, the character stripped down to nothing on stage. Full frontal nudity. The deal is, the action just fit with the rest of the play. Crazy? Maybe. Maybe not. I don’t think, for one instant, that your Aquarius self will strip down at work, just to illustrate a point. But around you, even though you can see some nefarious activities occurring, attempts to bring your insight into the light of day, to call attention to what is obvious, all that might not make it. You might get labeled as a “crazy one.” Which doesn’t mean you’re not right, but if you’re wondering about how to get your message across, “the play’s the thing.”

Pisces: The spring real estate season is upon us. More or less. Means a lot of folks are looking for a new place to live. Especially Pisces folks, looking at options on dwelling units. Instead of moving, though, try a trick I learned from an old girlfriend. She would spend a portion of her weekend home shopping. She already had a nice apartment. She had no intention of moving, but she liked looking at the homes that were on the market. I think she had a secret desire to be an architect or an interior design person. I don’t know. I never did figure out entirely. But just about every Saturday and Sunday, I would get back from early fishing, hoping for a long afternoon nap, and she would try and drag me around to look at houses. I only saw one that I liked, in that period of time when we dated. It was out of town, on a secluded dirt road, backed up to a small creek, and it was really a “pre-manufactured dwelling.” Simply put? It was a double-wide trailer with no wheels. At the time, it was not more than 20 minutes from downtown, and its plot still offered all the amenities of country living. Septic tank, well water, no cable TV. Some of the land was probably leased for cattle, for all I know. Little stock tank, not far from the creek. Nice place for me to dream about. Out of all the places I looked at with her, that was the only one I remember. I do recall one neon-lighted bathroom fixture, in one of those exclusive neighborhoods, but that was an oddity, not something I’d want in my own home. Looking at those homes, though, it was a great exercise. Good time for you to shop. Bad time to buy. Try an open house or two in the next week, just to, “see what’s out there.”

About the author: Born and raised in a small town in East Texas, Kramer Wetzel spent years honing his craft in a trailer park in South Austin. He hates writing about himself in third person. More at

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