Fishing Guide to the Stars
    By Kramer Wetzel
    (c) 2008-2009 Kramer Wetzel for astrofish.net
    For the week starting: 2/19/2009

"A coward, a most devout coward; religious in it"
Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night [III.iv.369]

    Viola is in disguise as a page, a guy named Cesario, and Fabian is telling Sir Andrew about the boy. Girl. Boy playing a girl playing a boy.

    Confused? It’s a good play.


bcl Pisces: I was reading the instructions. "Vary the speed and retrieve of your top-water lure. Whether you take long pauses between pulls of your rod tip or rip your lure across the water surface with erratic action, top-water lures will call up fish in almost any condition. You just have to find the speed and cadence that will turn them on."

While this is liberally copied from the back of a package for a certain brand of top-water lures, I got to thinking about Pisces. There’s some really good instructions, right there, in the short form taken from a brand of top-water lure that I use.

It’s all about changing the pace, the changing the way you present and operate the same kind of material. Sometimes, it could be as simple as the gait in your walk, slow and roll to a troll. Been known to work wonders, no matter what you’re fishing for.

bcl Aries: I learned a new trick, from one of the guys. We were discussing gas station hot dogs and I was inquiring about the best of the local ones. "Valero, used to be Diamond Shamrock, they always have the best." Down the street. The trick, so it seems, was to pick up the hot dogs, two for a dollar, and slide them out, add chili and cheese then slide the mystery meat tubes back into their respective sleeves. Worked like a charm.

"The girl, she’ll look at you, but they didn’t see, so it’s like a chili-cheese dog upgrade." I did mention that the chili and cheese was there, next to the hot dog grill, for making nachos? The chili and cheese product were for making nachos, not the hot dog grill. One of those tubs of mystery, cheese-like yellow stuff. Chili resembling stuff, too. Not sure of the source. However, as an idea for road food, as a way to get by, or just as a slightly on the sly upgrade? The idea has merit.

Now, I’m just repeating what I’ve observed, or what I heard, I’m not admitting that I ever did this myself, but consider some idea. Consider if you can get away with the hot dog upgrade. Or whatever it was that you were thinking about.

bcl Taurus: Buddy of a mine, a young Taurus, had a great solution to a problem. Phone solicitations? Have phone sex with them. "No man, it really works," he was saying. "Soon as they start with a pitch? Counter with ‘what are wearing?’ and just take it from there."

As one might expect from Taurus, he give a visual demonstration about how he was going to coo and moan into a figment phone. It was a good act. Maybe that’s why the idea was a good idea, at the time. Sounded good. The added visual effect of him, cavorting, caressing, and otherwise comforting an imaginary phone receiver? The audience, there were a couple of us, we all liked it.

I could easily imagine attempting to perform the same actions, next time a I get a sales call. The problem is, for one, I don’t get that many sales calls, and I don’t think I can do the same delivery that the Taurus had. He made it sound sexy — and uproariously funny — all at the same time. Sexy and funny. Taurus. That works. Doesn’t work for a non-Taurus person like me.

bcl Gemini: As a Gemini, you can thrive on the soap opera version. Listen, a friend explained, "Tune in on Monday and Friday, Monday is the new stuff, and Friday is a weekly recap, all you need. Monday and Friday."

So, as Gemini, you need to the soap opera version of the story. Might try explaining it that way, too, just the digest. Enough drama to make the story and plot believable, in as much as a soap opera might be believable; however, the précis needs to just cover the facts. Which is kind of what’s going on this week, just do the soap opera version of the story, Monday and Friday.

Monday is new problems and Friday is recap. Keep it short. Doesn’t sell a lot of air time in between, but then, as a Gemini, you understand that the shorter version, just the Soap Opera Digest, you grasp how that is better.


bcl Cancer: Cold winter night. Last month, no, really, there were some really cold nights. I was up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom. Not an uncommon experience for anyone. However, there was enough ambient light streaming through the high window, I opted not to turn on the regular light. As I sat in the cold, I wondered about a heat source, besides myself. If I reached up and flipped on the light, it instantly felt warmer in the bathroom. The bulbs in the fixtures, I use the low-energy things, so there really isn’t a perceptible, measurable temperature change. However, if the light floods the bathroom, the emotional sense is that it gets warmer. Has nothing to do with the real temperature, it’s all an emotional, psychological event.

Try it some time, with the light on, it feels warmer. Similar to what you can do this week. Turn on your Cancer light bulb. You and I both know, in our Cancerian heart of hearts, that the real difference has nothing to do with outside influences. The actual temperature gradation, the way it really doesn’t go up a verifiable, can be registered on instruments, amount? But the emotional component? That’s where the secret is. I figured this is out while sitting in a dark bathroom, just so you don’t have to sit in a dark bathroom, all alone, and cold. Just turn on the light. The real and perceived changes? Makes all the difference.

bcl Leo: It was a cold, gray day. As one local singer puts it, "Nashville suicide weather," but I wouldn’t be so bold as to borrow liberally from Robert Earl keen (Jr.) Or I might. But the weather was relatively cold, gray, and not even the barest hint of sunshine. In south Texas, that means I should be wearing long pants. But I wasn’t. I was in shorts.

There’s a kind of stubborn denial, a point where a body knows, in its bones, that’s it’s not going to warm enough for shorts, but there I was, in complete and utter denial. One guy took a glance up from his desk, "Man, I get cold just looking at your feet." I just nodded, might’ve shivered a little, but I was moving too fast too worry about it. I was bound and determined, in the face of uncertain odds, that I was going to wear shorts because it was, for sure, going to warm enough to justify my decision.

Never did. I just looked stupid and cold. Little white chicken legs, freezing my ass off. Who’s fault? Mine? I could blame the weather men, because, I’m sure, one of them predicted sun. But that’s the problem with the Central Texas weather guys, and, for that matter, the weather itself, too hard to predict. However, I will predict, in the next week, you’re going to imitate my actions, and in the face of freezing, sleeting and otherwise cold weather, you’re going to try and wear shorts. (I didn’t say it was smart move, but The Leo must be humored.)

bclVirgo: Curl tail on crawdads.

Not straight.

That’s all I got. The problem being, it’s such a cryptic note, I can’t even figure out what I was trying to convey. I seriously doubt that a six-word message will properly convey all the necessary data; however, it was worth a try. If anyone was going to tease out the meaning, I’m sure it would be a Virgo. I’m pretty sure that this had to do with two items. One, all the plastic baits I buy, the crawdads all have "curly tail" as part of the package. Then, as I got to looking at crawdads served in a big old heaping pile, a local Cajun/Louisiana favorite, I noticed that the little critters, after they are boiled, they all have curled tails. ‘Course some of that spice they use? Strong enough to curl anyone’s tail. Not the point.

Or was it?

bclLibra: There’s this one Libra I know, she’s a lovely young lady. She’s also got a huge tattoo that spreads up one arm and across her back. It’s variations on a theme, and what I saw in it the first time was sort of a "green man" motif. Or leitmotif, really, the way I saw it. Had to do with the color of her olive skin and the shape of the figure’s face, and the way it was hidden in the leaves, and all in all, a remarkable piece of skin art.

Just good art, but on flesh made it better. Added a certain kind of a sense of being alive, as an extra level of meaning to the green man. Or green woman, I suppose, as the face was sort of androgynous, could go either way. Which is why I was thinking about that artwork. Then, too, there was her reaction, the first time she showed me the tattoo.

Permanent artwork, rather well done, but she was no longer in love with the artwork. Or the idea of tattoo that weird old guys like to look at. The real point was about a tattoo, while I liked it, she no longer was enamored of the artwork. Kind of tough, too, can’t just erase a tattoo and certainly not one that expansive. The first time she rolled up her sleeve, she had a kind of resigned note in her voice. Careful about making decisions that might not last as long as the results of that decision.


bcl Scorpio: I was shopping the other afternoon. Big sporting goods store, local chain, sort of. There is an aisle dedicated to soft plastic baits. Rubber worms, what it looks like, in all colors, Watermelon Seed and Chartreuse Pepper Flake are some of my favorite, Pumpkin and Bubble Gum, are up there, too.

What I bought was a simple. I bought two packages of weighted hooks. And I bought two packages of a certain kind of plastic bait that I like. Magic bait. For me, this is the best bait in the world. Works in any number of places when nothing else works. It’s a combination of soft plastic with enough of tail so that it looks like it swims, and the correct jig-head to put the plastic on. Mounted up right, this is a killer combination, just have to make sure it’s the correct color. Out of that myriad of selections, and I’ll admit, there’s a "bubble gum/orange" which looks tasty to me, but out of the huge assortment, I just bought the one I know that works. Clue: stick to basics.

bcl Sagittarius: I was in Las Vegas for a friend’s wedding last weekend. The evening after the wedding and its reception, just as we were all headed out, as the party scattered to the cardinal corners of the compass, I stopped at a familiar-looking slot machine. I popped $40 in. 45 minutes later, after "working that thang," the machine coughed up $400. Good return on a less than an hour of play. Work. Play, really. Penny machine, in case one thinks I’m untrue to my Sagittarius (cheap/broke) roots.

The following morning, at Caesar’s Palace, similar machine coughed up over $800 — again — in pennies. I checked my charts, the winning streak wasn’t due until Friday afternoon. But it was a Friday the 13th. Alas, all that ill-gotten gain is gone, sadly, donated back to the same casino that made me rich. Easy come, easy go.

Winning is easy, losing with grace is more difficult. I’d suggest leaving the bitterness aside for the next few days. Monday is the day when it "all changes."

    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: I was looking at some stuff on sale, it was camouflage pattern outer wear. With pink. Be perfect for this one girl I know. Except, work with the details here, it was pink camo, sure, on sale, sure, and the sizes left? I would do an eyeball estimate and suggest that it would work just fine, but when I checked the tag itself? XXL. I can just see how that would play out, "Oh cool, Pink Camo! Wait, who is this for? That’s not even close to my size. I hope you didn’t think I would wear this?" Then anger.

In some situations, it’s better to be safe than dead. I doubt you’re in a sporting goods store where the pink camouflage is on sale. I doubt you’re thinking about picking some camo items for girlfriends. I do know, though, that the phrase, "Better safe than dead," that will mean something to you. Err on the side of caution this week. Err on the side of extreme caution, if possible.

I don’t care what I think about how cute she might look in pink camo, I don’t think it’s the right time to buy and give. "Here, this is a belated Valentine’s gift." Tiny women really don’t like receiving the opposite size. Works in reverse, too. I know, and I lived to tell about it. Are you feeling lucky?

bcl Aquarius: It’s a basic customer service issue. The point of the issue was I was, indeed, breaking the rules, or attempting to bend them, a little, in my favor. At three minutes after 9 PM, on a fateful and not really cold winter night, I needed one last ingredient for a baking project. Or rather, my girlfriend needed one last ingredient. I hastened myself in her car to the local store. It’s about a ten-minute march for me, but after dark, on a cold evening in February, I opted to borrow her car.

Three minutes, so it’s now six minutes after nine PM. The store is a high-end, downtown store, and I wouldn’t shop there, except that it’s horribly convenient. They have the good stuff, at the good stuff prices.

It was a comic scene, me, standing outside the door as the owner took one look at me, indicated the time the store closes on the window pane, and he pulled the shutters down. As local, resident, frequent shopper, paying the higher price, I wanted a little better service. Like opening back up long enough for me to grab one item. However, as businessman who’s been beset with folks asking that I work impossible hours, I understand the situation from his perspective, as well. I should’ve been about ten minutes early. There was a happy ending , but it didn’t involve the over-priced grocery where I don’t shop anymore. Which was the solution. Too much of something, too much one way or another? Just stop. Or bad customer service? Don’t go back.


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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© 1993 – 2021 Kramer Wetzel, for astrofish.net &c.

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