Fishing Guide to the Stars for 3.31.2011

“O shame, where is thy blush?”
Shakespeare’s Hamlet [III.iv.83]

Hamlet, addressing Gertrude, his mother. Mercury, in apparent retrograde motion. See listings for details. Neptune enters Pisces. But Mercury is still Retrograde. Aries: As a side-project, I started publishing digital images of San Antonio (Bexar County) TX as a daily photo weblog. Started as an amusement for myself. Spun off into a truly strange world. The images themselves, some are years old, from decade-long service in and around Texas, to include San Antonio. The basic assumption is that I’ll publish one picture a day. Enter Mars unto Aries, adding a level of fire to an already hot mix, i.e., Retrograde Mercury, Sun, Jupiter and Uranus. Adds a level of impatience. Now isn’t really soon enough. The way that side-project works, the images appear at whatever time I get around to posting them, once within the 24-hour period. Doesn’t occur at the same time, and there’s no rhythm, which can further infuriate an Aries. No schedule, loose rules, nothing but a simple guideline, all sort of annoying. Here’s the hint: learn to bend with our ways. Either that, or keep compulsively clicking to see if/when the site’s been updated. Usually occurs between six in the AM to ten in the PM. Sometime in there. Taurus: Austin’s world famous SXSW (South By South West) Music, movie, and so on? The weather is usually good for part of the week. However, during the middle of the week, or at one end of the week-long spring-break festival, sometime during the event, it will rain. Cold, gentle, spring rain. Didn’t one year, but that was a drought year. The year it didn’t rain, natives were fine, but out-of-town guests suffered with debilitating heat. Summer arrived early that year. However, rain during the week is a safe bet. With the line-up in the sign in front of you? “Rain” is a safe bet. Doesn’t mean it will really rain in your neighborhood, but it does mean that there will be an upset, there will be a delay, there will be heavy weather, something, some event that upsets the finely tuned Taurus expectations.

The rain to me, is always amusing as it’s one of those weather events that happens at the same time, every year. Predictable patterns are what astrology is all about. The predictable pattern here? Delay, whether it’s really weather or something else, there’s going to be a cause of consternation. How bad? Up to you. Me? I just take a light windbreaker/raincoat. Be surprised how well that works to insure a modicum of harmony.

Gemini: I used a certain brand of advertising that placed contextual ads alongside the horoscopes. The problem with advertising like that is I only see revenue when an ad is clicked on. There’s also “click-per-action,” which means not only does the browser have to click, but some kind of action, like a purchase, it has to be made. The contextual adverts were — and continue — to be amusing for me. One ad featured a “Mercury Retrograde Spray,” a blend of 11 herbs and spices guaranteed to ameliorate the effect of retrograde Mercury on the body. Back Flower Remedies, ancient lore, and probably a certain degree of hokum. There’s a botanica (Mexican Herb/Holistic Healer) shop, down the street. In fact, there’s a strongly latin influenced grocery store here, too, carries this same stuff: Florida Water. Either source is good. While I’m suggesting not buying the expensive spray, the Florida Water, it’s a universal cologne, I am recommending it. Maybe some in a little spray bottle, keep it handy for Gemini. The computer acts wonky? Spritz it with Florida Water. Cell phone acting up and dropping calls? Spritz it with Florida Water. Mate talking nonsense? Spritz with Florida Water. It’s the perfect Mercury Retrograde spray. Cheap, too. Bottle should last all three weeks, costs about a dollar. Astrologer not making any sense? Spritz him with Florida Water…. See how this goes?

Cancer: “Those people who think they know it all? They really offend those of us who do know it all.” I’d like to suggest, in essence, it’s an Oscar Wilde quote, although, I can’t lay my hands on the correct attribution at this moment. It’s a good quote for a Cancer, astrological times being what they are, what with the major confusion going on in Aries. The problem is that the Aries confusion leaks into Caner. Sort of like a stew pot, spilling over, and then the spilled stuff burning up on the flames underneath the pot itself. Causes a burnt dinner smell, and whoever overfilled the pot first? This bodes to be a long — and testing — Mercury Retrograde for Cancer. I know you’re smart. You know that. I know you’re capable. You know that. I know you’re able to deal and cope. You don’t feel like you’re able to deal and cope, and herein is the crux of the problem. A simple solution is to accept that Mercury is Retrograde (alongside a direct Mars, Sun, Jupiter, Uranus, and even the Moon) in Aries. Causes pain, frustration, heartache, frustration, indigestion, frustration and more frustration. How frustrated you get is up to you. If I had more Cancer in my chart, I’d learn to duck. Quack quick.

Leo: I’ve read, researched, and written about Mercury being backwards. Technically, Mercury isn’t really backwards, it just moves in an apparent retrograde motion. Means it looks like Mercury, the planet of communication, is moving in reverse, when compared to the other planets and the heavens in general. What’s weird, it’s tax time for some. Tax planning. Or tax evasions, whatever works in your vernacular. I have a good accountant. Honest, thrifty, ever-vigilant. Before I post my tax forms, he manually reviews everything, gives me a quick phone verbal consultation about what’s good, what’s not, how much, where, and current tax code liabilities. It’s a last of the old-school, a manual, visual, “once over,” and that’s what works. Takes longer. Catches possible mistakes. Gives me, as a client, a thumbnail sketch of what is, and what’s coming up. Last year it was only about 30 seconds, and I’ll get to it before too long, taxes being an issue and all. Like my accountant with his old-school once over visual check? As The Leo, you need a once-over, visual check, one last look, one last check, one last glimpse to see if anything is out of place. Can save a lot of Mercury (inspired) headaches.

Virgo: There’s this one Virgo (girl) and she intimidates me. To this day, I get around her and I’m all, “er, ah, ew, uh, huh.” Kind of funny to see someone like me lose it. It happens. There’s one Virgo and one Leo, happens to me, I just can’t concentrate. It’s the special allure. I can concentrate, just can’t seem to stay focused on whatever I was supposed to be talking about. Topic. Subject. Stay on track here. Even thinking about that one person, I drift off in reverie and get occluded with misty, mysterious eyes. Makes it hard for me to stay focused on work. Mercury is backwards, and this Mercury Retrograde pattern occurs in a very uncomfortable position. Not a lot I can do about that. What I can do, like me, around that one Virgo girl, or, like me, around that one, oh, never mind. Instead of drifting off and staring at her chest, instead of drifting off and having dreamy fantastical thoughts? The trick is to focus. Just stay focused. If that one girl does show up? I’ll stare at a spot over her left shoulder. Easiest way to keep me on track.

Libra: “Shoot me an e-mail, and I’ll run by ‘legal,’ see what we can do.” Actual, phone call from me. It was a website deal, and I wasn’t sure what I was going to say, but until I saw the proposition in print, I wasn’t about to agree to anything. I don’t really have a legal department. I know some lawyers, and a couple of hard-working paralegals, a judge, two judges, but no, I don’t have a legal department. However, note, I never said I had a legal department, I just said I’d look at the offer. I can play at being a big shot. With the planetary weather — thunder and lightening in Aries — Libra needs a break and an out. Now’s a good time to use that very line, “Let me run it by ‘legal,’ see what we can do.” It’s the perfect Libra line. A sense of fairness, an opportunity, consideration and kindness…and probably a “no.” However, you are willing to consider whatever the offer is. The timing is all wrong. That doesn’t mean you can’t, at the very least, consider the offer. Steal my line. You’ll find it’s the best available to help ease the offer.

Scorpio: In London, on its ubiquitous “underground” (the tube), there’s a single line that I ride religiously: Waterloo & City. The color, on the cute, color-coded tube map, it’s represented by a teal color. Teal to me, call the hue whatever you want. The line goes from Bank, that’s the station’s name, to Waterloo. That’s it. A train line, as the companies are organized along the lines of businesses, it’s a train line with just two stops. Bank and Waterloo. The name of the train line itself and all the associated material that goes with it? That’s longer than a quick a ride on that tube. Waterloo & City. Mercury is backwards in a position that’s discomfiting for Scorpio. Means there’s going to be a problem. Last time I was in London, I wandered down to ride the Waterloo & City line. I was going someplace and it actually worked, sort of, for my destination. However, I managed to hit the wrong the platform. Typical tourist, huh. A station keeper hustled me over to the correct departure point. I can’t get worked up over making a mistake like that, as I was a tourist, and — think — the train only has two stations — given the distance? I could walk faster than ride. Which isn’t what this is about. It’s about appearing on the wrong departure platform and being corrected. You can be embarrassed, or you can jovially accept that you’re a tourist, not from these parts, and you made a mistake.

Sagittarius: I was putting together a — to me, uncomplicated — fishing set-up. Girlfriend was watching. “Pretty complex, huh?” Her question. I didn’t think it was all that complicated. The reel is spooled with 8-lbs. Mono. At the end will be a swivel, then some more shock leader, a float of some kind, more leader, maybe wire if it’s coastal fishing, then hooks, weights, glass beads, brass bearings, all pretty complex looking. My own, special “trout hauler,” which includes weights and a cigar float, for coastal (spec) trout fishing. To me, it’s an assembly of disparate pieces. I don’t think any single part costs more than a dollar, those cigar floats are about three for a dollar. Pulling it all together, though, in the correct order, with the right parts, the right length of leader, the best weight for that kind of line? Balancing act. Sometimes, I get the length and selections wrong. There is no bad arrangement, just some are more effective than others. Threading a brass weight then a glass bead then a brass spacer, I thought about the “complicated” question. Parts. To me it’s an assemblage of parts, and each one of the pieces has a role. Just parts, though. Matter of sticking them together in the right order. Mercury might be backwards, but as a compatible Fire Sign? Keep sticking the parts together. We’re going to stumble into the right answers, the correct assemblage here as long as we keep sticking the parts together.

Capricorn: Some health and wellness “guru” explained that, “Five miles of vigorous walking will help even a relatively unhappy person and improve the disposition.” Five miles strikes me as an hour to hour and half ramble. Given my tourist mentality, I can stop and gawk, stop and talk, or just move slowly. Vigorous walking would have to include a stop for entertainment, along the way. (Male, I get distracted easily enough, you know, “Bright, shinny objects….” Oh, look.) Or a cool beverage on hot spring afternoon. Therein is our problem. No, that’s not the problem. The problem is that five miles a day, that long walk, I’m lucky to get a few weekday afternoons for walking. In order to arrange my schedule like that, I’ve got to have mornings and evening for work. I tend to put in ten hours a day, minimum, but that gets spread out over the morning and evening hours, so I can get that long, vigorous five mile walk. Which, I’ll admit, does improve my dubious mental health. Feel like me? Got a tenuous grasp on reality? Health and wellness guru suggests five miles a day. I suggest whatever you can work out, like maybe a half hour stroll around the old ‘hood, after work. Something to stretch it out, air it out.

Aquarius: Normally, a little Mercury Retrograde wouldn’t bother you. Normally, you wouldn’t be so unpleasantly affected by the Moon going dark. However, add this and few other ingredients into the mix? Recipe for a lot of minor irritations that are starting to get to your fine, Aquarius self. Halt. Stop. Okay, just slow down, don’t stop. No need to get all up in my grill because you’re not happy. What you’d want with my dirty BBQ grill, I don’t know why you’d want to be all up in there. It’s easy to merely blame the planets, but a truly advanced and forward thinking soul, like, say, an Aquarius? You’d make plans for ways to get around the Mercurial Problems. Back off. Slow down. Pretend to let your Aquarius commerce come to a complete stop, foiled and spoiled by Mercury’s machinations. It’s not, you’re not really stopping, you’re just slowing down to let the rest of us catch up with your pace. I kept thinking of that 18-wheeler’s mudflap, “Back OFF!” You’re darn-tootin’.

Pisces: There’s a little taco place, not far from where I live. Live in Texas, anyone is familiar with this kind of place. English isn’t the first language. The place is populated with road construction crews, various blue collar tradesmen, nurses of all stripes from the area hospitals, cops, that type of a place. The odor is strong, fried meat, corn and flour tortillas. In the earlier mornings, fried eggs and a hot griddle with bacon, and other, more culturally correct dishes. At noon, the timbre changes a little, and I was having a special “green enchilada.” Chicken, seasoned and boiled, then picked off the bone, savory dark meat mixed in with the white meat, rolled in a corn tortilla, swimming in a piquant green sauce, not too hot, but warm enough. The chicken is what this is about. Various pieces of light and dark meat, pretty heavily salted, stewed for hours, and stripped off the bone. It’s excellent food, and even better as it’s worth every penny. Good nutrition to dollar rating. The problem is the chicken? That’s been separated by hand, that very morning, in the kitchen. Sometimes, not often, but sometimes a little piece of bone works its way into the enchiladas. For flavor, essence, atmosphere? I’ll take the occasional bone fragment as possible side-effect. Just means, for Pisces, this Mercury period? Chew carefully, perhaps more carefully than before. Savor the flavor.

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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  • Sarah Smith Mar 31, 2011 @ 9:00

    Yeah, it’s a balancing act these days. Putting the pieces together, stringing the beads of necessity and experience on the threads of life, keeping them all together and enjoying the resultant patterns, designs, colors. Not always sure of the right order, but somehow it works out. Good metaphor, Kramer; right on.