1.29.2009

Fishing Guide to the Stars
By Kramer Wetzel
For the week starting: 1.29.2009

    "Hell is empty
    And all the devils are here."
    Shakespeare’s The Tempest (I.ii.214-5)

The quote is Ariel — a spirit — quoting another character, when that character was abandoning the ship in a tempest.

bcl Aquarius: Happy birthday, my fine Aquarius! Mars enters. This is like slamming on the brakes, and pitching the steering wheel to one side. Since just about every vehicle I drive these days is "power-assist" steering, some of the impact of the metaphor is lost. More fun when it’s like really wrestling with a steering wheel, and the rear-drive wheels break loose first, and the back end drifts around towards the front. Like on the ice last night.

In its time, a controlled slide was true piece of artful driving. But in this modern age, with anti-lock, anti-lock-up, anti-skid (anti- "having-any-fun") smart-cars with onboard sensors (onboard fun censors), all this makes the analogy lost. There’s a generation of drivers who’ve never experienced driving an older vehicle that took a deft hand and strong understanding of physics. Maybe you see this in movies, that’s the last time I saw it. Big, fish-tail slide.

That’s what this is all about. Big-bodies car, slewing sideways, almost out of control, or, at the very least, appearing out of control. That’s Aquarius. If you grasp the physics? If you understand how the force is exerted? You can control this slide. Which is what I’d suggest. Steer into it.

buck

bcl Pisces: At the end of this scope, like, early next week? Venus moves from Pisces to Aries. However, for the duration of the scope? There’s the "X" factor. Source for the energy could be the aforementioned Venus. Could be Saturn opposite Uranus (and Pisces in general), could be the natural entropy associated with Mercury’s apparent backward motion, or just the relative position of the Sun and the Moon. All that stuff in Aquarius, too.

Which one is it? Call it what you want, there’s a little bit of free-floating anxiety and tension. This "angst" or really, to me, it looks more like "angst-light," the free-floating sentiment is looking for a place to take root. The trick, the awful trick of the planets in their relative positions? The idea is to not let this free-floating emotion take hold. Don’t give it a chance. Don’t invite it in, have it sit down, make itself comfortable in your sign, in your Pisces psyche, no, that free-floating material can go on to take root with other signs.

It’s matter of realizing this when the material pops up, in your mind, like that nasty little voice, saying it’s something you should be worried about? That’s this floater, looking to take root. Don’t nurture it. Not now. While this might only be "Angst-Light," it can lead to harder stuff, like full-blown guilt. I wouldn’t let this worry you.

bclAries: I was walking home from the post office, the other afternoon. A skateboarder was languidly cruising down the sidewalk, on the opposite side of the street. Going the same direction, which means, in a moment, he rolled past the point where we would be even. I glanced up from the stack of mail. Ball cap, black jeans, t-shirt, chain-drive wallet, knock-off Chuck Taylors, typical.

The kid, I couldn’t tell his age under a shock of uneven black hair, did an attempt at an axel-grind then flip. He failed. Landed flat on his butt. I didn’t giggle. I was still across the street, so I didn’t see the exact details, but I wasn’t laughing at a skater who just fell on his butt. He just kicked the board back over on its wheels, got up without so much as a shake, didn’t bother to dust off his pants, put a foot on the board and pushed off with his other foot. Didn’t miss a beat.

Fell flat on his ass, didn’t phase him a single bit. Take a lesson from that skater that I was watching. Try something tricky? Expect to land on your butt. And even if you do land on your ass? Pick yourself up, don’t look back over your shoulder, and put a foot back on the board and push off again. Easy.

bcl Taurus: I quoted Shakespeare’s Tempest, a couple of days ago, then I added, "The Tempest, first written around Sixteen Ten, I think." The guy looked up at me, glanced at his phone to see who it was trying to reach him, then glanced back at me. "No way. Tempest was Atari, early eighties."

Clearly, we’re addressing different issues here. The Tempest I was referring to was a play written by William Shakespeare late in his career, and the play was heavily influenced by, and never mind. The uncharted land in the play could very well be the "new world" but again, that’s a tenuous literary and historical note. The other Tempest was a stand-up video game, with some, at the time, highly advanced vector graphics and a surprisingly adept game package, again, for its time. These days? Just looks cheesy. But at its time? "State of the art." I also think, in context of the conversation, the point made by the Taurus was supposed to be irony, fully aware that I was quoting a play by an Elizabethan era playwright, and the game was different.

Don’t be surprised if the point of the sarcasm, the little jest, joke, or even just bon mots? Don’t be surprised if they miss. Not the fault of the Taurus.

buck

bcl Gemini: I was doing three things at once, talking to a Gemini, balancing a checkbook, and uploading images to a website. Three things. I suppose I should include the Gemini chart with that, too, as I’m sure there was a question about that. There were long pauses in the conversation, but I know this one Gemini — I didn’t have her full attention. She was, like driving, shopping, ordering food, reading a magazine, maybe all at the same time. I worry, a little about the reading magazine while driving, but I’m not in the same city, so I’m not at risk.

At some point, we all have to just worry about ourselves. Which is what I was doing. Which is also what my Gemini friends should be doing. Worrying more about how it is, how it actually is, from the Gemini driver’s seat. I was, in the loosest sense of the word, flying copilot for that Gemini, on that afternoon, via the phone. I was on a headset, my fingers doing one thing, my brian concentrating in another arena. I managed to get the books balanced. I think I got most of the pictures put up, and I’m sure I answered a question for that Gemini. All got done, and I made it look effortless. For me, a non-Gemini, it wasn’t effortless. However, as the Gemini week ratchets up a gear? Make it look effortless. Three things at once. No, four. It’s easy. Easier once Mercury straightens out, too.

bcl Cancer: I passed an obvious tourist on the street. She was muttering to her companion, a skinny wisp of a woman, "What are you staring at? Huh!" Yeah, that showed the guy a little. I’ll guess. I tend to observe, not stare, although, I’ve been known to stare at certain items.

I couldn’t help but observe that the woman complaining about the guy staring at her chest? The outline of the sheer bra was tightly etched against the thin fabric of the t-shirt, and the outline of every detail of the stitching of the bra was plainly visible. As well as some of the underlying characteristics. Which were hard and pointed at the time, as it was a winter’s afternoon, and all she had on was thin t-shirt. Very thin. Translucent. No imagination was what she was complaining about. Plainly visible, even to a casual observer.

Even a glance would reveal, possibly, more information than I really wanted, and that’s the point. As a Cancer, you’re going to complain about something in the coming week, something really pisses you off. However, if it really bothered you? How about just tossing a light jacket, or just a slightly heavier shirt on, over the problem? Cover it up. Can’t complain if you’re advertising.

Shouldn’t complain if you’re advertising.

bcl Leo: Carpe Noctem! That’s a Latin phrase for "Seize the Night." I like because it’s a play on words, visual, multi-linguistic joke that works on several different levels, and I know that the Leo will find is amusing, even tantalizing in its duality. Carpe Noctem runs deeper, though than just its purported meaning. The (tropical zodiac) sign of Leo is associated with the Sun. And this is the time of year when the sun is opposite you, and that’s why I think,"Seize the night," is an apt phrase to adopt as a Leo motto for the time being.

I don’t think you should always "seize the might," but looking at the top-heavy allotment of counter productive material stacked up in Aquarius, I’m just saying that a little bit of different work is called for. A new way of attacking an old problem. A new way of approaching an old issue. Just a different way of seeing how to work more efficiently. Or how to have more fun. Leo is usually a day creature.

Seize the night! Or, if you’re usually a night creature? Fish during the day.

buck

bcl Virgo: "Live big or go home." It was the motto, I think it was a sports tag line, but I’m unsure of the source. Sure sounds like an advertising jingle. As much as I’d like to imagine my little Virgo friends living large, I just don’t see that happening, not exactly. There is a suggestion, though, that there will be a break. In the next couple of days.

This is not a huge break in that, it’s not like being tapped to play the star role in a Hollywood Movie with commiserate salary and options, but it is like getting a great second seat to someone great. Back seat. Supporting character. I was called in to work with a Big Name Author, and I got a smaller name, on the bottom of the book (with Kramer Wetzel in much tinier print).

Way it goes. I use that as an example so my little Virgo friends know that I know exactly how this feels. That’s the downside, no living large. However, that part, piece, role, supporting character you get to play this week? It pays better, in the long run, than the main character. Then you’re living large. Live big, and go home? Sure. Just not right now.

bcl Libra: There was a cult-favorite movie, that’s where I got this idea. But I’ve seen this concept executed in a number of different films, and for that matter, part of a novel, as well. But it works best, in my mind, in a movie. Let’s pretend that the movie is about your life of Libra. The way the cult movie was narrated, a central plot device, news and information, it was all delivered by a radio announcer.

A DJ did most of the narration in the story. As a writer, I’d find that sort of a cheap shot for getting out of trouble, or when I’ve written myself into a corner? Just have the DJ broadcast, literally, what the next destination would be. The story was natural enough coming from a DJ. Kind of spooky, just portrayed as lips and microphone. Two turntables and microphone. Could be a hit.

The idea I was looking for, what I was trying to chase up for Libra? A narrator. Someone to come along and tell the story, give hints and clues. Might want to do this yourself, sotto voce, third-person, even, maybe like a newscaster.

bcl Scorpio: I did an informal study, like, I looked at some of the books on shelf here. I didn’t really do a correct or statistically accurate sampling, but I started to think a little. Might be dangerous, in and of itself. I was noticing that a number of literary figures — characters in books — a disproportionate number of literary characters talked to themselves.

"I wonder," I said to myself, "is this a verifiable trend?" No one was around, so no one heard me. That makes it safe, right? Maybe. Or maybe this is a case where fiction is stranger than real life. Or fiction might be more true than what’s really true.

I don’t notice that many people talking to themselves, outside of the indigent and borderline personalities that are typically the inner city homeless. They do talk to themselves a lot. I was wondering if great literary creations are similar. Or, if the people, the writers, are more closely aligned with the homeless, at least, intellectually? "Might be a connection there," I thought out loud.

Actually — no, really — I didn’t say anything, but I thought it out loud, right? Which means either I’m crazy, or I’m just talking to myself.

What do you do that’s crazy? Talk to yourself? Read too many books where characters talk to themselves? My train of thought never really got derailed, but I’d watch out for that, as there’s a lingering Mercury influence. Talking to yourself? I’ll let you draw your own conclusion.

buck

bcl Sagittarius: In keeping with the web-based theme of "national write a novel month," and "record an album month," this is the time when I’m opening up the scopes — especially my own, dear Sagittarius, and it’s an invitation to write your own scope.

Instead of writing a novel (50-100K words), instead of recording an album (10 songs or 35-50 minutes of original music), all I’m asking from Sagittarius is a short, say, 200 words excerpt for the next month. For February. Four short weeks. That’s only about 800 words. Maybe a thousand, as Sagittarius, we’re a little long winded.

Couple of pitfalls to avoid: no mention of foreign travel, or even travel in general, no mention of long-lost loves, old flame, no mention of new flame, either. No mention of boss or work. Can’t promise love-money-happiness, unless, of course, it’s indicated. Easy as can be, right? So get after it.

There’s a chance to write your own horoscope and email it to me.

Two points that must be avoided: silly horoscope tropes and sad country/western songs. Both sound the same. So get after it, you get to choose.

bcl Capricorn: As Mars gradually slips out of the last, few remaining degrees of Capricorn, entering Aquarius next week? There’s one, last, a single simple point that needs to be punctuated. It’s like leaving off piece of punctuation, like, a (typical) typographical slip, in the horoscopes. Leave out a period, leave off a comma, or confuse the spelling of "angle" and "angel," and see what happens?

The meaning of a sentence, the meaning of the whole horoscope could be thrown off by a simple mistake. So there’s a simple piece of punctuation, maybe just typographical error. With Mars in this position, too, it could be a simple error of omission. That’s where something got forgotten, like, at the last minute. I left the other afternoon, I had a pager, but I forgot my cell phone. When the pager notified me of an incoming message, I reached for the phone. Nothing there. I’m sure this has happened to you before, but I’m also here to remind you, don’t forget. Check to make sure you’re not making a similar mistake of omission.

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

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