Fishing Guide to the Stars starting 11.22.2012

“Cudgel thy brains no more
About it, for your dull ass will not
Mend his pace with beating.”
Shakespeare’s Hamlet [V.i.53-4]

    (It’s one gravedigger to another, as they exchange riddles.) Sagittarius: Port Aransas, TX is built around the Aransas Pass. Started almost two centuries ago, it wasn’t until just the last century that the pass was fully functional as a deep-water port. Took some dredging by the Army Corps of Engineers to finalize a project that had been attempted by state, local, and national concerns, both public and private.

To this day, it’s still one of the safest deep water ports and hosts an ever-burgeoning business. Took the Army to dredge it out. Mercury stops its backwards slide this week. However, it’s, there’s, see, well, it feels like Mercury is doing just what the Army Corps of Engineers did to Aransas Pass, dredge up eons of muck and sediment. Better? Now it is, from a commercial point of view. What that first time was like? What we feel like, this week in Sagittarius, Mercury is dredging up the muck, clearing the way. Capricorn: I had a little too much fun with the opening quote and link. It’s that scene from The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, the one that’s done to death because it has the skull bit in it. “Alas poor Yorick, I knew him well…” Turns out that’s the second most quoted bit of prose, with “To be or not to be,” coming in first. Same play.

My fun stems from using material that’s close to a familiar quote, passage and scene, but not the exact line that everyone is used to. As a Capricorn, you appreciate the deft hand at work, the sense of play required. There’s a sense of merriment that’s required. There’s also a profound sense of the absurd that is required. I was working on this stuff while Halloween was going on. Nothing strains credulity quite as much as that holiday, from its antecedents to current versions and religious answers to the holiday, which was a religious holiday to begin with, albeit from a different religion. Stop. This gets to cyclical. Stop going in circles. It will be some time before Mercury stops unwinding, like, another three or four weeks? So until then? Stop driving yourself mad. Like Hamlet.

Aquarius: I got an invite to participate in “Speaker’s Workshop.” The tag line was something like, “Learn from the professionals about how to be an effective speaker from the podium.” I’ve studied acting and public speaking, but the best way to learn effective communications? Write. Write, and teach. Do it frequently. Often. Practice makes perfect. I try to have a current joke or two on hand, to help lighten the message, but the best class I ever took? Wasn’t a class. I learned by doing it. I get butterflies in my stomach. More like gas, but the sentiments are similar. I will be nervous, but that’s part of the show. The best way to learn to do this stuff? Do it. Classes? I took acting classes. I’m not a good actor. Haven’t been, won’t be, not an issue. However, I can speak about a topic that I have a depth of knowledge about, or occasionally, I can pontificate with no background knowledge. It can be done. As Mercury unwinds? The best way to learn a skill? Isn’t a class, isn’t something that can be taught. It’s best learned by doing.

Aquarius: it is best learned by doing, not studying.

Pisces: “Mmm, good idea.”

Nod appreciatively. Repeat.

“Mmm, good idea.”

Don’t say anything else. Don’t jump up. Don’t say, it’s a good idea and you will help them implement that good idea in the very next day. Don’t promise to vote for that idea. Don’t promise you will do anything. Nod. Make sounds that sound like you are being — emotionally — supportive. Don’t volunteer. Don’t do anything!

“Mmm, good idea.”

See how well that works?

“Mmm. Good idea.”

Aries: I missed the whole Zombie craze. I’ve seen, I was stuck in an empty motel room in West Texas, the oldest of the zombie movies, I think. I’m not sure I watched more than a few minutes while I was channel surfing. Not really a big deal. Just stone acting, stoic players, and I’m unsure of what the plot line was. I was working on all of this before Halloween, why I was thinking about zombies.

Zombies don’t scare me. Ask any man who’s been married more than once, no, zombies aren’t frightening at all, nor are any other versions of the undead. Ask anyone who’s been married more than once. Want to scare me? Creep up when I’ve been silently working for an hour or more, and once I’ve had just a little too much coffee. Loud noises, like a bang, or bark, or a boo. That will make me jump, but that jump is less from fear and more from just be startled, and perhaps, if the caffeine content is a little too high, that could be the cause of the startled condition. Not fright. While Mercury is still unwinding this week? As the Moon sails through Aires this weekend? Something might make you jump? Fear? Hardly.

Taurus: One of the toughest lesson I’ve had to learn is about effective “Customer Service.” The lowest common touch-point with customers is frequently where the system breaks down. I have, on occasion, been rude to my clients. Or potential customers. Catch me at the wrong time on the wrong day? What I’ll do is snap. I’m only human. Since there is no longer a big office, a building with my name on it, a sign, a secretary and “boys in the back room,” monitoring the hardware, since there’s none of that? I’m the touch-point.

Two quick lessons? One, if I’m snappy, or inclined bite back? I don’t answer the question then. Two? If I can’t be cheerful, I don’t answer at all, not yet. Wait. It’s written up elsewhere as a case-study, but a girlfriend bought a car at place because the first dealership — the courtesy shuttle driver was rude. Lowest guy on the chain, caused the biggest mistake. Problems, problems abound in Taurus. Stop. Don’t answer anyone, not now. Wait them out. You have powerful patience. Use it.

Gemini: The pictures are taken in one of two locations. Like that? I’m kind of a one-trick pony. Either San Antonio or the The Texas Gulf Coast. Every once in a while, I catch the image in Austin, but this late in the season? Not a chance. The pictures are flowers, big, bold flowers. One kind that I tend to favor: the hibiscus. Why? They are so common and exceedingly photogenic. Easy pictures to grab and there’s just something about a delicate shade or ruby-red heart of a white flower, or the amazing yellowish, ochre faint (feint) orange of one kind with its white-hot center. It’s not the only flower I take pictures of, but for years, it’s been the most common target. While not a native plant, it does flourish well in South Texas, hence the preponderance of the plants, like, all over the place.

Cancer: Are you familiar with the term, “Hair trigger?” Means that a firearm, the actuating device, e.g., the ‘trigger’ mechanism, the trigger is set to operate with the lightest of touches. In a more general sense, it applies to a person, or thing, that is sensitive to the lightest of touches. I figure, looking at it like I do, that you, as a Cancer, you have a hair trigger this next couple of days. Most near a week this goes on. Bad? Hardly. Apt to react quickly in a direction you might later regret? Yes, and so? What’s the point? I’ve alerted you to your hair trigger. Doesn’t mean that you won’t react, or start to react, but maybe, just maybe, you remember what I said and leave the safety on that Cancer firearm. Go easy. Either leave the safety on, or see a (Cancer) gunsmith about adjusting your trigger.

Leo: This really should be for one in particular, just one Leo, but as general advice, for all of ya’ll? It’s marked, “Wet Paint.” Means if you touch it, you will be marked with a smudge of paint. The server just said, “Hot plate, don’t touch.” If you touch it, your fingers (Leo paw) gets burned. There’s a brick wall in front of you. One Leo, I’m not singling you out, but one Leo will bang her/his head against that wall, wondering why her or his head hurts.


“Don’t touch” means just that. Don’t touch. For once, can you just follow the warning signs?

Virgo: I had this great idea, for Virgo, for the rest of this week. One word: proxy. Think: like a stand-in? A stunt-double Virgo? The last of the Mercury mayhem is happening. It will be over soon. It’s going on in place where it is playing havoc with your ability to communicate. One perspicacious Virgo will ask, “Wasn’t it like this at exactly this time last year?” Yes and no. It was, but it started on T-Day last year and it’s over on T-day this year. Until we suffer through the fall-out, the sheer inanity of the public, and the apparent stupidity that seems have caught on, until that’s over?

Subcontract. That simple. Hire a stunt-double to handle the dirty work, and to suffer the slings and arrows of the last of the Mercury Mayhem.

Libra: Approximately seven months after Shakespeare married Anne, Susanna Shakespeare was born. You do the math, I’m not too good at those kind of numbers. Marriage of convenience? Arranged to cover up a peccadillo? Minor problem with numbers and normal gestation that takes, I’m guessing, an average of 38 to 41 weeks? Again, I studied literature, so I can’t say about those biology things and numbers, but it looks to me, anyway, this is old history.

This is also the kind of cover-up that a typical Libra would pull, right now, as the last of this Mercury mix-up time-frame hits home. Some days, it’s not the best decision, as it seems like there is no “good decision to be made.” Sometimes, it’s the best you can do at the time. Mercury is unspooling in Scorpio. There’s a decision that can’t be put off, what’s the best solution? As a Libra, the best solution is the best one you can come up with at the time.

Scorpio: Pralines are a common theme in my world. From the candy shop/BBQ place in Dallas, to the candy corners on the streets of Laredo, from Deep East Texas to the far-flung corners of the Texas Panhandle, this is a dietary staple. Elements and combination vary. Can be, usually, it’s pecans. But I’ve seen variations with walnuts, hazelnuts, and even peanuts. Usually brown. Can be variations, and I’ve even seen pralines that were done like little Mexican flags, green, white and orange. The usual place is the counter, by the register, at Mexican (TexMex) food places, from the simplest tacqueria to the fancy, high-dollar “New Mex” places. The main components are nuts, caramelized sugars, and something like butter, or cream, to hold it together. It’s good. Some places are better than others. Used to be a place in Dallas, of all places, that made the best. The current champion, in my book, has to be Mi Tierra, in San Antonio.

I was looking for a simple solution to a complex Scorpio problem. Best thing I could think of? At the check-out counter at the Tex-Mex place: praline. Stick one in your mouth and chew. Sugar, fiber, flavor, and best of all? Keeps your Scorpio mouth occupied during this tail end and sweep-up of Mercury’s final pass.

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 Nov 22, 2012 @ 11:18

    Muck? Yuck!

  • jose quinones Nov 22, 2012 @ 15:37

    Is there an astro theory about how many gemini friends a libra can have? Or better yet how many they can put up with?

    • Kramer Wetzel Nov 22, 2012 @ 20:51

      With Gemini? I suggest you collect the whole set. (I’m a big fan of Gemini, in all their many facets.)