Thanks a lot Mercury

The other day, after I had such a time with the airline, and my camera broke… I got a comment from Heidi who said:

As an astrologer, I feel the need to point out: Mercury is retrograde. THAT’S what you can blame the whole mess on. (Okay, maybe the airline is run by people with brains the size of walnuts, but besides that.) Anyway, it’s not unusual during a Mercury retrograde period to have challenges with travel, communication, and technical hoo-hah.

Well, that certainly could explain a lot. Although, have you noticed that really, doesn’t it seem like Mercury is in retrograde a lot? Every time something happens to me like this someone says it’s Mercury, and really, I love the way that Heidi says “challenges” instead of “problems bigger than the stash of knitting book writer” – but I am really starting to hate Mercury and it’s stupid retrograde. (In looking to see when Mercury might come out of retrograde, I learned that this may especially annoy me because I am a Gemini. I am particularly annoyed, so there might be something to all this.) So far my challenges have included: The doomed first flight, the broken camera, a delayed flight (in an airport with a bar but no bank machine, Mercury, thy name is airport) and then a late arrival to my hotel and a bit of a scramble to the event at Fox Tale Books in Woodstock, just outside of Atlanta. That means that I’ve had trouble with travel, and technical hoo-hah (as Heidi so aptly puts it) but I seem to be unscathed in the communication department, which is awesome. I was wondering when that one might lower its boom on me, while I was charging around getting ready, trying to find some clothes that were reasonable and a way to beat my hair down into submission, when a loud argument burst out in the hotel room next to mine.

I’m unclear on many of the details- despite the volume, but it would seem that a man named Jason and his female companion were experiencing communication difficulties on my behalf. Apparently Jason “doesn’t understand” a whole lot of things, and his female companion has “had it” (although this did not prevent her from trying to communicate with Jason further.) The entire argument culminated, seconds before I left for the event, with the lady (and I use that term loosely) screaming at the top of her lungs, that Jason needed to “choose between me and Jesus!” I left smiling, thinking… essentially… “Good luck with that Jason.”

I headed down to the waiting cab, thinking that I had now seen trouble with travel, trouble with technology and trouble with communication and feeling that certainly, Mercury was done with me. I had an hour to get to an event 20 minutes away, my cabbie was a charming guy, Jason was taking the Mercury thing on for me, and all was well in the world. I took out my knitting and had a little chuckle, because really, it was starting to be funny. I mean, c’mon – at some point you just have to have a wee giggle when you’re being a ball in the billiard game of life. I knit on my sock, feeling like the curse was lifted, until 40 minutes later, when it occurred to me that it was odd that I was getting a LOT of knitting done

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(Sorry. Camera still broken. Bad picture of the Niagara sock from the Eclectic Sole, and C*eye*ber Fiber sock yarn.)

and then it further occurred to me that it was also it was also a little odd that I was still in the car 40 minutes after the beginning of a 20 minute ride. Turns out that dude is lost. Totally lost. We call the bookstore and find out that not only are we lost, we are another 20 minutes away from the event ,and that means that I’m going to be late, and I tried hard to stay calm, but I hate being late, and I really hate hating cabbies, on account of they’re only human, and it’s probably not the cabbies fault anyway… I mean, Mercury is in retrograde for him too and it’s gotta especially suck to have travel “challenges” if all your days are travel. I knit more, I took deep breaths, I remembered that this tour is just like this, and that fighting it will only make it last longer, and I arrived at the event 5 minutes late. The FoxTale people and The Whole Nine Yarns people were kind enough to pretend that they didn’t care at all (aren’t they sweet?) and I used the loo, shuffled paper for a minute, and walked out to see some of Georgia’s finest knitters.

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See? They don’t even look angry about the lateness. (I’m hoping that Mercury made some of them late too – so maybe they didn’t even notice.) I kinneared the nice lady explaining about kinnearing

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I met them up close, I saw their first socks and took remarkably good pictures, considering the screwed up screen

(Click to embiggen)

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(my apologies for not having names… that communication thing may have finally caught up with me and I took leave of my senses and thought – get this that I would remember their names without writing them down. What was I thinking? I crack me up.) I even put knitting needles in the hands of a baby…

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Who didn’t even wake up for the occasion. (I think it might have meant more to her mother and I. Babies care nothing for tradition.)

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I saw the great Whole Nine Yarns yarn car and I enjoyed a nice dinner with some lovely knitters before they drove me back to the hotel. I was thinking then, that it had all gone so well that maybe the curse on this was lifted. That maybe it was all over, because really, there’s only so long Mercury can mess with you before you’re just done, when on the way back to the hotel…

We got lost. I apologized to them. Clearly, these poor knitters were just caught in the crossfire between me and Mercury. They kept saying “It’s not your fault, don’t be silly… we got bad directions” but these are competent knitters. There’s no way someone who can run a yarn shop and knit the shawl she was wearing would have gotten lost if it weren’t my fault, so I’m not letting her take the heat. It’s me. I know it.

I left there reluctantly, partly because both the bookstore and the yarn shop had been so lovely to me, and partly because I was worried about what Mercury had planned for me next. I limped off to the airport, and lo and behold

all that’s happened to me is that I got even more knitting time. No trouble with the airplane, no trouble with the airport, no trouble getting to the hotel.

I think the curse is lifted, but don’t you think Jason probably took one for the team?

Today I’m in Fairhope Alabama, going to speak/sign tonight at what’s reportedly a lovely independent bookstore here, Page & Palette. Thanks to Jason, I bet it’s going to go great. I wonder what he chose?

144 thoughts on “Thanks a lot Mercury

  1. when a whole whack of knitting gets done, even with all those challenges, the scales are tipped in your favor :^)
    enjoy the rest of your trip

  2. I love reading about your travel adventures and mishaps. I don’t travel much myself, so I’m living vicariously through your experiences. Thansk for the fun.

  3. Easy choice, Jason. Jesus doesn’t yell at you in hotel rooms.
    Poor Harlot, things will get better. The stress doesn’t seem to have affected your knitting skills–love the green sock!

  4. I don’t know astrology, but I do know Robert Burns, and the line where he talks about plans “Gang aft agley,” which does seem to suit your travel tales. Or, as otherwise said, “Man Plans And G-d Laughs,” or the gods laugh, depending upon your particular brand of theism, if any. Certainly if one is unable to partake of adult beverages during long and stressful travel delays, there is some sort of curse a-working. Good to see that it might be finally wearing off.
    As for Jason, well, I’d hope he’d pick neither, but go off happily and explore life on his own, unencumbered. Although somehow I think some of the communications problems must have been involved in the “we got bad directions” issue.

  5. You and Tove at Needles and Knits are on my “do not travel with” list. Oh, and my friend Neff who thought she could go to Florida with a faxed image of her Health Card only. Seriously. and she did, but that was 10 years ago.

  6. Unfortunately, Mercury is in retrograde a lot – because it’s closest to the sun and has the shortest orbit of the planets. The worst thing you can do is be cranky with him as he has an evil sense of humour and will mess with you more. I hope he’s nicer to you for the rest of your tour!

  7. I think even as a dyed-in-the-wool agnostic, I would have chosen Jesus. Like Violet said, Jesus doesn’t yell at you in hotel rooms. I’m kind of hoping things with Mercury work themselves out soon… I sort of have a trip planned this weekend ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. You totally had communication issues–you Twittered them. The Spanish coffee thing, and didn’t you say your comments got spammed? All communication. I’m a Virgo, and I think Virgos are ruled by Mercury, but honestly I can’t tell anymore when things are running smoothly versus not. I’m also losing my voice. That’s communication too, right? And clearly, I can’t leave a coherent blog comment.
    Oh, Mercury.

  9. Too funny! And now I’m wondering how I’m going to get my car painted all cool-like and yarn-like too. It’s ten years old and the kids are in their 20’s so it won’t have that same wonderful embarrass-your-teenager cachet, but still…

  10. So I can blame Mercury on all MY crap too? Seems it’s hit your friend Lene as well – WHEN is this over?????

  11. Don’t you think it’s interesting — or ironic, or something — that Mercury is the winged messenger, and your travel has, shall we say, not been going overly well?
    I’m a Virgo and Mercury is my “ruler” (whatever that means), so this is supposed to be a bad time for me as well. Fortunately, I’m just staying put. You have my sympathies!

  12. Woo hoo!! Glad to see that our Knit Witch picture turned out pretty good. I thought we took the picture after you signed the shirt though – oh well, my memory is fading I suppose.
    PS – I emailed you an article about the medical benefits of non-bra wearing!! ๐Ÿ™‚

  13. Can I blame Mercury on my daughter’s passport STILL not being here? We leave on Tuesday and I feel a panic attack coming on.

  14. Poor Jason. To have to choose between everlasting hell, and no sex… He probably chose the woman.
    That sock looks great, and I have that book. I don’t actually have a queue, but I might get to it, someday.
    Glad the trip is getting better. I was feeling bad for you.

  15. I guess this is where you don’t want to hear that Mercury Retrograde happens three times a year. Except this year, where we are blessed to have FOUR!
    Might want to look at retrograde dates vs. tour dates.
    I try to hide in the bedding during those weeks.

  16. I bet Jason chose Jesus, just because Jesus doesn’t scream at the top of his lungs in hotel rooms. Just saying… (And I’m Jewish!)

  17. Wow. If you’ve had this bad of a trip, can you imagine what happened to Jason if he chose poorly?
    I’d bet it’s been beer o’clock since that ultimatum…

  18. Long time lurker, first time commentor – Fairhope is one of the lovliest places you’ll ever hope to go to – the people are fine and good ‘ol Southern hospitality will be flowing. We vacation at my sister-in-law’s place in Orange Beach – just down the road an hour or so. One of our best vacation days is to visit Fairhope and spend loads of time in the Page & Pallette. Enjoy! Hope to attend your event at Legacy Books in Dallas!

  19. Ireland used to have a tradition of putting knitting needles in a babies hands…I think it was to encourage them on to great knitter-ly-ness.

  20. Poor Jason, but everybody takes one for the team now and again.
    I think his story is much more interesting if you change the emphasis and she’s demanding that he chose between her and Hay-sus. Yup, way more “daytime television” that way, haha!
    Safe travels (no matter where mercury is lolling about)!

  21. LOL Mercury in Retrograde is a real crime to us Gemini’s! Don’t feel too bad, I’m 10 days late with my first baby, I’m blaming it on the MercRetro too…. ๐Ÿ™‚

  22. If you and I were in that situation, S.P.-McPhee, I would always choose you over Jesus.

  23. I have often had trouble with Atlanta cabbies. Not surprised yours got lost at all, but I’m sorry you had such a frustrating experience!

  24. Man, I am exhausted just reading of your travel escapades. Here hoping that by the time you reach Dallas that Mercury will give you a break. See you there.

  25. Gosh, that yarn is pretty!
    And- no surprise that those knitters in Georgia were okay with the wait- they had *yarn*, didn’t they? What better way to stay calm in the face of adversity?
    ..Of course now I’m wondering if 5 minutes of adversity per knitter times hundreds of knitters is equivalent to the much more intense and prolonged adversity that you had getting there- but then, you had yarn too. (I’m getting a lot of mileage out of the idea of ‘me having knitting is a matter of public safety’, BTW, so thanks for the explanation. It helps that my husband backs up this one vigorously whenever I use it, too.)

  26. Angry about lateness??? Seriously Stephanie….not a chance…. Mercury should move out of retrograde soon, but you might have to get out of LA first, Lower Alabama that is…..
    We loved having you in Atlanta again. Next time, forget the cab. I’d be glad to be your driver. I’m much more reliable and my car is outfitted with yarn, needles, swift and ball winder……seriously it is (you can ask Amanda of the Eddie Izzard Big Arms photo). ๐Ÿ™‚

  27. Brace yourself! Mercury goes retrograde about three times a year (due to it’s faster motion around the sun than us) Just when life begins to level out, the little fella hits you again!
    I used to dabble in astrology many years ago and still check were the Mercury retrogrades are in the year to be fore warned!
    Susan

  28. You know, wouldn’t it be funny if Jason’s “lady” were a knitter and a follower of this blog? You might single-handedly be responsible for … I don’t know … perhaps helping her to see how funny the whole situation is. All I know is this — I won’t ever be yelling loudly and having communication difficulties in a hotel. Too many ears around listening!

  29. You are across the bay from my hometown, Mobile, enjoy the view of Mobile Bay and eat some shrimp for me… Wendy

  30. Mercury goes into retrograde 3 times a year for about 3 weeks at a pop. So yeah, it does happen quite frequently.
    A planet is in “retrograde” when it appears to be moving backwards in the sky. This really happens because they don’t all orbit around the sun at the same rate of speed and because we are looking at their orbits from Earth (which is also merrily orbiting with no regard at all for the fact that we humans might want some order in our darn Universe instead of random chaos) and not from the Sun. If we lived the Sun we’d have no retrograde planets (we’d also be really hot, but I digress).
    I have an inodinate love of astrology…and knitting…and your writing. You are a hoot, as always, and so good to be able to laugh (and make others laugh) at your travelling challenges. Keep on keeping on, no matter where Mercury is in the sky ๐Ÿ˜€

  31. So Mercury’s retrograding. Eeep. Hope nothing else goes wrong. *hug*
    Jason needs to get his act together and see that Jesus is the better deal here. At least He can’t yell at you if you cheat with another religion. *lol*
    And I must get that yarn later on. Looks soooooo nummy!

  32. I’m glad to hear Mercury is nearly done messing with you…do you think that’s what brought on the Steel Drums so early this morning?

  33. Recently, while on a trip to Orlando, I had three different cab drivers get lost. One of them who was taking me to a yarn shop followed the directions of his GPS, only to end up on a dead end street. Thank goodness for my iPhone. Its accurate maps, tracking feature, and directions got me where I needed to go. I LOVE my iPhone!

  34. I hope you didn’t jinx yourself by saying you thought the curse was done. Did the cabbie charge you for the whole ride?

  35. The last cabbies we had in Atlanta were both from some West African country and neither one of them could have found his way out of a paper bag. The last one dropped us off in a parking lot with a view of our hotel because he couldn’t figure out how to get there from here. Next time I’m there, I’m calling Mary Ellen at 2:10 for a ride to the aquarium.

  36. I hope the cabbie ate the extra miles and didn’t charge you for them. I’ve really enjoyed your tweets, btw.

  37. All I know is that Jesus doesn’t yell at you.
    I hope Jason is having a nice day.

  38. jason,
    go with Jesus
    way better choice ๐Ÿ™‚
    peace&blessings all ๐Ÿ™‚

  39. Hehe, I didn’t think you’d remember my name~ I’m the one on the far right. Hopefully Mercury is too busy getting other people lost in Atlanta (an easy thing to do) then worrying about you!

  40. Got this link from a friend. I believe in yarn more than I believe in astrology.
    But oh, man, I’m a Gemini, and I’m having such a crap couple of weeks that I have to believe there’s something to it:
    Laptop fried- that’s communication and technology zorched in one.
    PDA fried soon after- ditto.
    So, without my scheduling gadget and my working-in-transit-gadget, I have come unstuck in time. And am now embroiled in a snafu with the postal service, having tried to reschedule delivery of my new tech gadgets, only to have them attempt to deliver when I wouldn’t be there. Twice.
    And yes- it does seem like Mercury has gone into retrograde a whole bunch recently.
    Dear Mercury- pull your damned socks up and get it together. – Me
    Sorry for the rant, I feel much better now, and hope your luck turning around.

  41. As one of the people involved in the whole bad directions thing, I have to promise you that was not you. Really. Once the driver in question called me because she thought her direction-thing was lying to her.
    Maybe you could sort of explain to the publishers that you are not going to travel when Mercury is in retrograde. Would they buy that?

  42. We all have times like these when one “bad” thing happens after another. It can be frustrating. But oh, how sweet when things perk up! We really begin to appreciate something just going smoothly!!!
    Sorry you’ve had so much trouble. I hope your nerves get some much-deserved rest…
    And that a new, gorgeous camera falls into your lap out of the blue!

  43. Could one of you astrology bloggers please give us a heads-up on when future Mercury retrogrades will be? I never know until we are in the thick of one (like NOW). Thanks.

  44. having lived in the metro ATL for 14 years, it’s easy to get lost. I swear it’s the bermuda triangle of the USA. And the craptastic traffic doesn’t help. When you said you were still in the car after 40 minutes, I figured you had run into the legen- wait for it — dary Atlanta traffic.
    Mapquest and google maps has helped finding places but it’s pretty amusing to look at a museum, store, park, etc. directions online and see the line DO NOT USE mapquest.
    But did you get to see all the flowers? I do miss the azalea bushes in full flower.

  45. I’m sure sorry that Mercury has it in for you, bit I’m awfully glad you didn’t give up and go home. Because….I’m leaving the house in a few minutes to drive to Fairhope and see you. I’ve been reading you since the original Knitlist (you must have been in high school then) and I’m looking forward to finally meeting you.

  46. Of all the times you’ve been to Atlanta, this is the first time you’ve had travel issues? Count yourself lucky then. =)
    That’s Brittany & Wayne from KnitWitch.com in the far left photo. Awesome yarn bowls!

  47. Wickedly thank you!! for explaining why the vast majority of things in my world suddenly became craptastic recently (for which word I believe I owe you too…)
    glad to know that you and Jason are on the front lines for us all!–and that it will be over soon

  48. What with that lady screaming at him in the hall and all, I’m pretty sure he chose Jesus. That’s who I would have picked in that situation.

  49. My mother uses the word “slogging” in situations like you’re in. Good on ya for continuing to ‘slog’ for those of us who want so much to see and hear you! Hope the necessity for slogging abates… ;]

  50. Hmm. Mercury in retrograde. That *does* explain everything so clearly (not really, but I do appreciate the attempt).
    Poor Jason. As a recovering catholic, even I would have chosen Jay-zeus at that point.

  51. If you got lost in Atlanta, Peach Tree Street had to have something to do with it too… Mercury goes direct on the 30th. Hang in there!

  52. With a weekend at my job in a birthing center that involved a mandatory double shift, all the pregnant women in town deciding at the same time that their water had broken (or if it hadn’t, it WILL!), preterm twins, and the fact that my lawn is 2 feet high due to much rain and the lawnmower decided to eat the string thingy that starts it, reading your blog put a smile on my totally frazzled and tired face.
    In true Harlot fashion, you soldiered on, knitting in hand. I, too, have my sock in progress with me everywhere……sure was tempted to take it into the nurses bathroom with me though….

  53. When I go get our car painted like that one, I will smile at hubby and say,
    “But honey, the Yarn Harlot posted this pic and I thought it was so great. I was inspired and had to do it.”
    So there may or may not be an angry Calgarian calling you at some point in the very near future.

  54. Of course the knitters weren’t mad at you for being late – they had their knitting with them and were all getting on contentedly with their projects!

  55. Well, that explains why my computer DIED this weekend. There is no way that I will purchase another until the 30th. My temporary fix seems to be working, just fine.
    By the way, I need a MacBook Pro pre “Intel inside” (wouldn’t be nice to have a computer from another knitter )
    Good news: trip to Saskatchewan should be trouble-free and Mercury-free!
    So 43 weeks out of the year, Mercury simply travels along without a retrograde… that explains a lot when you think about it!

  56. I am unbelievably jealous that you are in Fairhope, just spitting distance from my Dad (He’s in Gulf Shores just a bit further down the SE side of Mobile Bay). It’s most unfair that you’re breathing in that lovely salty Gulf air (and good grief- look how NOT hot and NOT humid it is there today? argh).

  57. Jason, I can’t help thinking that if she was the one, she wouldn’t make you choose.

  58. Mercury is retrograde an average of three times a year, so yeah, it happens a lot. I just do my backups and leave some extra time if I can.

  59. This blog is the reason why I do so love reading your blog! Taking Mercury, Jason, lost cabbie, you roll it all together into a coherent yet inimaginable mix that ends up making sense while being totally out there. You may lament airports, hotels and suitcases but by golly, woman, they evokes the creative juices that fire up your engine! Maybe the next book could be written in an airport, nestled up to a coffee machine, next to a bar…..what do you think??

  60. You know, saying “I think it’s over” is a lot like saying “how can it get any worse” – there’s always something. Just duck your head and pretend you don’t notice.

  61. well, I’m just glad it should be out of retrograde or whatever by the time you get to Austin, because I have just finished my first socks, and am desperate to show them off, even if it will be 90F here and they’re lovely soft warm wool.

  62. Yeah, Mercury retrograde…makes sense.
    I’m a little worried about Jason though…isn’t chosing between her and Jesus a death threat? *shudder* Hope not.
    Glad things are looking up for you. ๐Ÿ˜€

  63. I don’t know what “Mercury is retrograde” means. I know what Mercury is. Mercury is moving backwards???? Like it’s decided to change the direction in which it revolves around the sun??? What????
    But whatever the reason, I’m sorry that travelling down south has been hard. *sends good vibes and happy thoughts*

  64. Didn’t you have another Mercury issue a couple of years ago? You need to talk to your publisher about scheduling these trips at a more appropriate time ๐Ÿ™‚
    Good luck with the rest of the trip.

  65. My apologies to Rachel H but Lady P, I just have to ask…how can a CD of steel drum music EVER be categorized as “easy listening”?

  66. I’m so sorry to hear about your crappy week. I think it must be in the air or something. If it makes you feel any better, I got a flat tire, broke my toe and was “accidentally” towed by my church. Here’s hoping your streak is over and it’s all happy trails!

  67. Mercury will be in retrograde until May 30. That’s the bad news. The good news is: knitting helps.

  68. heheheh, I’m a gemini too and I think Mercury is messing with me by making me decisively indecisivec these days! Oh yeah, and procrastinatorial (it is so a word, what do you mean communication is messed up?) and um, causing my dishes to multiply. (well, ok, maybe I just threw that last one in there – it was a shot)
    Now you’ve got me obsessed thinking about Jason, wonder how his mercury retrograde is playing out right about now…

  69. Mercury in retrograde’s communication issues might explain the neighbor in the apartment across the way from me. Very similar situation to yours, girl screaming at 2 am bloody murder, stomping, talking about she’s not putting up with Ben’s s*#% any more. Asking to let her come inside and how she’s going to kill him.
    I think she’s outside and drunk and hassling some poor bloke in his apartment. Turns out she’s in her apartment alone. As we discovered when some of the other neighbors finally figured it out and asked her to stop.
    She thought nothing was wrong, and didn’t know why we were bothering her.

  70. ohai, ya so, did your dog ever think the ball of yarn attached to the half made sock was HIS BALL? when you aren’t home?? almost as bad as when the cat eats it you can only recover it when it comez out the other end. No kidding. I’d rather he ripped up the trash. Now I have to remember to put the knitting up on the fridge, with everything else!

  71. I wonder if Jason knows how famous or rather infamous he has become quite by accident……..Probably not. He is a good sport, by the way, to take some of the mayhem on your behalf even though he is completely unaware.
    It is like “paying it forward” in a kind of strange way……I think I am thinking about this way to much ๐Ÿ™‚

  72. I hope you enjoy your visit to this beautiful, small town. Watch out…you might just go back to Canada saying, “Y’all” and “ain’t.”

  73. This post made me smile. My husband is a magician with all things computer related. It seems every time he has a problem that takes him much longer to fix than thought, we find out that Mercury is in retrograde. I just told him as I read your post and he laughed and said “It figures”.

  74. steph, you are hysterical! LOL
    my friend just had her knitting needles taken away by the French airport security in Paris- meanies!!! Although that pales in comparison to what you’ve been through. Thanks for sharing.

  75. I wonder if either Jason or his (hopefully ex-)companion is a knitter and reading this.
    Jason, I don’t do the Jesus thing myself, but if anyone ever screams at you telling you to change your religion, dump them faster than a hot coal.

  76. It’s still happening. I just tried following you on Twitter and it gave me a page that said “something is technically wrong” try back later. Har.

  77. Jason-whether or not you choose Jesus-Run Like Hell -Really !!
    It will not get better-she(and you)will not change . Trust the readers of this blog. Do not pass go-do not collect $200.00 dollars-just run til your lungs give out-rest 10 secs and keep on running.
    As for the airlines—-My daughter was taken off a flight(having to leave her 5 year old daughter with an attendant) because her name(Amanda Morgan) was on a no fly terrorist list. This is extremely ironic because she is a United States Marine assigned to the Presidential Helicopter Security Flight Team-flying with President Bush and now with President Obama all over the world. And yes she was carrying her many credentials which allow her access to even the Pentagon. Sometimes I fear for the future of the
    world.

  78. I just want to say that my 11yod and I thoroughly enjoyed your talk in Woodstock. I was saying to my husband, how in the world would a cab driver get lost going from Marietta to Woodstock??? And he said, “Have you ever been in a cab from around here???” Um…no. Anyway, I’m sorry for your experience…could have driven you myself if I’d known! ๐Ÿ™‚ No one was mad…we were all knitting while we waited anyway—who could complain?!
    I’m glad mercury has let you go!

  79. I’m pretty sure that you started the whole thing off with communication challenges… When the airline didn’t have your name in the right spots on the ticket. I hope Mercury will leave you alone now and that you have a perfect remainder of your tour!

  80. I can’t believe you typed the words “the curse is lifted”. Isn’t that one of those bad juju things? Or is that just me? I hope the next leg of the tour goes swimmingly!

  81. Cat cancelled her talk and is going to the D.K.C.
    I’m going to Ballet with Cy. NOT my choice. Oh well, good mom and all that s**t

  82. Nancy at 8:16 – when you have pets that eat your yarn, it’s time to invest in a big metal box that locks with a key. No, it’s to put the current project in, not the animals…
    “Mercury retrograde” means that if you are watching where Mercury seems to be at night, every night, it seems to be moving backwards (because it has moved around to the other side of the sun from our point of view). It isn’t actually going backwards, it just looks that way to us. This one ends at 9:21 PM Eastern Daylight Time on Saturday May 30.
    Four this year? Arghhhhh.

  83. Dude. Got the email about when Sock Summit registration is happening. I. Am. So. Totally. Psyched.
    Hope Mercury shifts soon, because it’s messing with me, too.

  84. So if Mercury is so annoying with the travel thing, why did that florist use him as a mascot? Wonder if they have issues with that stuff?
    Poor Jason, sounds like it’s time for a new girlfriend, although I’d really like to know what brought that on – curiosity and cats come to mind tho.

  85. I have been a Girl Scout (Guide) Volunteer for many years. The descions I have made are important and effect the lives of many girls.
    Recently I agreed to become the incoming President of the local Knitter’s Guild. The first words of wisdom given to me were, “It’s only knitting.” Those words make my day a whole lot easier.

  86. hmm…that all sounded a bit like ‘Hitchiker’s Guide’. If that had been a screen play it would have been over the top. How lovely that knitters are lovely so your visits were confirming of sanity and humor. Cute cute baby too.

  87. Can only get better – good luck!THAT car is gorgeous – wonder if I dare? When are you coming to the U.K.?

  88. Don’t brag about how well things are going now – you will tempt the evil eye…

  89. be glad you weren’t downtown trying to find peachtree street or peachtree way or peachtree blah blah whatever- and btw-my sister in law met you at the atlatna airport on her way back in from paris and posted the picture of the two of you on her blog-despite mercury and retrograde-i think that’s pretty cool and it shows what a big/small world we knitters live in-what are the odds-i can’t help you with anything that happens in alabama though-it just keeps mississippi from slamming into georgia!

  90. I’m with Margo Lynn (at 1:01 pm)……. Brilliant.
    Safe rest of your travels……!!

  91. So glad your cloud of gloom has lifted! Sounds like you’re now having a grand time…hope it continues for the remainder of the trip.

  92. Not to belittle your troubles on the road — but here’s a question: Is it better to experience Mercury in retrograde while traveling solo OR at home with teenagers?
    Though given the length of time that Mercury’s in retrograde, I guess you get to experience both. I was trying to find a silver lining here for you …

  93. You know what I would be apt to do, if’n I were you … I’d turn around and look Mercury right in the face and say, “Hey Mercury, guess who’s in retrograde now?! Me, the YarnHarlot (that’s you, not me but you get the idea) and I am going to retrograde your a– right out of that smug orbit you’ve got yourselv revolving in if’n you try messing with this harlot again.
    Just turn the tables on good old Merc.
    That’s what I’d do, anyway.
    ๐Ÿ™‚ firefly

  94. Jason is between the proverbial rock and hard place…poor guy…
    I hope Mercury leaves you alone for the rest of the trip!
    (((hugs)))

  95. I did date a guy who picked Jesus over me. His name was Mark, though. Eventually, he must have broken up with Jesus (or they have an “open” relationship) because he married a girl named Sylvia.

  96. You have my sincerest sympathy! Being a gemini with virgo in the ascendant I seem to be pretty hard hit with the ole retrograde thing, that I have no way of knowing nor understanding much about – other than what can go wrong will go wrong. Mercury behave and new moon (or whatever it takes) COME ON!

  97. You know…if you’re ever in the Seattle Area, you may want to visit Barrish Sensei over at the Tsubaki Shinto Shrine ๐Ÿ™‚ http://www.tsubakishrine.org/
    They offer a lovely Wayfarer’s Blessing(for a donation, but it’s really cool). I swear it’s smoothed out my daily BART commute into San Francisco. *wry grin*
    Anyways, I hope Mercury takes it easy on you and that your travels go better. ๐Ÿ™‚

  98. Wow. I think you’ve had more problems than anyone I can think of with travel lately. If it were me, there would be a trail of people wondering what hit them as I vented my anger!

  99. It was last night just before I turned out the last light at almost midnight when I heard the two calves mewling from the woods and their moms on the other side of the fence wailing for them to get back into the pasture. Mercury in Retrograde or Gremlins at their best, I still had to boot-up, drive to the barn, load the feed bucket, close and open gates, and then drive to corral to gather moms and babies (they all know where the feed trough stands).
    And this is to continue until May 30? Keep your head low and hold those needles tight, Stephanie, we really want to see you here in Texas!

  100. Remember the guy that helped you get from somewhere to somewhere else in the midwestern US when Chicago O’Hare was in retrograde? iirc, he drove you from Chicago to Detroit or Cleveland or some such place. Anyway, the subject of knitting him a pair of gratitude socks came up. (So where am I going with this. Hold on, I’m almost there.)
    Perhaps Jason needs some gratitude socks, too, for taking one for the team. Doesn’t really matter if he chose Jesus or Jennifer or whatever her name was, he still deserves some socks.
    So Jason, wherever you are, c’mon down! Get your gratitude socks!

  101. Astrologer Lance Ferguson says, โ€œRetrogrades do not direct the course of your life… they only make the service slow on the boat…โ€
    Iโ€™d say not being able to speak the same language as the maid would count as a communication challenge, but clever Gemini that you are, you found a way around that.
    Mercury goes retrograde three times a year for about three weeks at a time. And yes, because you are a Gemini, you may feel it more acutely than others. I am a Gemini and so is my honey; not only that, but heโ€™s a technology guy. Hoo boy. I was awakened from a sound sleep this morning when he charged into the bedroom gasping, โ€œThe servers are down!โ€ on his race to the shower.
    Stephanie, Iโ€™d be delighted to gift you with a recorded astrology birth chart reading. If you donโ€™t find it all too weird, that isโ€ฆ

  102. I hate to break it to you, Steph, but Mercury seems to be affecting a lot of other people, too.
    Example: Neil Gaiman has been blogging about how he was doing something on his laptop the other evening, fell alseep, and woke up with the WHOLE SCREEN CRACKED IN HALF! Then the internet was awfully slow, and he looked at the router, and it has an ant’s nest in it! And another computer of his wouldn’t talk to the internet at all until it had a trip to the repairman and new parts.
    I’m sending this on the theory that misery loves company.
    If you decide to replace your camera, I’ve found that Canon cameras tend to have a very nice zoom control that lets you zoom either very fast or very slow, and all speeds in between.
    Some of the new ones also have software that recognizes faces, and will focus on the faces in a photo and make the exposure right for the faces. For example, if you try to take a photo of two people with strong backlighting, most cameras will look right between the two people and focus on and expose for the bright background. The newer Canon cameras will decide that there are two faces in the photo and that you are trying to take a photo of the faces, so it will focus on and expose for the faces, not the bright background. Read the info to make sure a camera is new enough to have these features. It’s worth a thought.

  103. This current retrograde cycle ends 5/30.
    Oh, and Catladee asked about upcoming retrogrades:
    9/6-9/29, and 12/26-1/15. Yup, Mercury goes retrograde the day after Christmas. If you are traveling for the holidays, have your plans in place as much as possible beforehand and be prepared for delays. Have an extra knitting project stashed in your carry-on.

  104. I am terribly miffed that Mercury won’t ahve gotten over it’s retrograde nonsense before the 29th – we’re about to pee our pants here in Dallas waiting for you!

  105. Please don’t blame an innocent planet for the vagaries of evil airlines and clueless cabbies. Mercury is awesome. Its orbital parameters proved general relativity! It has a magnetic field and we don’t understand it! It might have water ice in the craters at its poles! It’s so hard to get there, we have to slingshot a spacecraft all the way back around Earth! This is why astronomy is way cooler than astrology. For the latest pictures of Mercury from the MESSENGER spacecraft, check out http://messenger.jhuapl.edu/

  106. As others have said, Mercury is in retrograde until the 30th. I found this out when I was having a particularly vile time this morning on top of a couple of crap weeks. Gah. And I’m Gemini rising, so maybe that explains why I always have such a hard time with it.

  107. I’m so bummed that I missed meeting you at The Whole Nine Yarns. My stars were not aligned that weekend either it seems. Maybe the next time you’re in the area, things will be smoother for the both of us. We can only hope.
    Poor Jason.

  108. Oh, that was nice of Jason! I wonder if either member of that couple is any relation to my downstairs neighbors? They take the communication trouble portion of Mercury Retrograde for me all the time ๐Ÿ™‚ Not so much of “me or Jesus” but lots of “YOU DON’T UNDERSTAND!” Glad to hear that they decided to have their blow out for an opportune time for you, doesn’t it usually happen at say 2:00am? And much more glad to hear that you were able to do extra knitting despite it all!

  109. The only thing I have to complain about…well…you are late to alot of events. How about the one in Oak Lawn, IL? No communication with that one and hundreds of knitters sat there waiting.

  110. Wow, you and Lene are both having some major issues with Mercury these days. Be careful out there!

  111. well go home write a book
    two books or something
    traveling in the states
    is just not for you
    jason did he get flecced do you think

  112. Well, on the one hand you must have taken a bullet for me, since I got to CA without indcident. On the other hand my sister’s wireless AND her Ethernet cable won’t speak to my conscientiously-schlepped laptop. Communication. (Currently on precious minutes stolen from my sister, on HER pooter.) Dammit, I’m an Aries!

  113. Suzy @6:22? Gratuitously rude, since Stephanie’s attempts to be on time are legendary — and I’m just a small enough person to respond in kind by pointing out that “a lot” is always two words. Always.

  114. Am I the only idiot to question “what is retrograde anyway?” I think poor Mercury is getting a bad rap for a pretty nice planet.
    I dropped and broke my new camera while taking my first picture at the beginning of my trip to Ireland. Took photos fine until I actually tried to uploaded them to my computer. Oh well, still have the memories.

  115. Is the first sock girl named Judy by any chance? She looks just like my college roommate.

  116. Well Stephanie if you were to read your friend Lene’s blog more regularly then you would have been warned about the retrograde thing several days ago! Didn’t you read what happened with her wheelchair??
    Oh but I wanted to tell you I love the new way of taking pictures. Very artful.

  117. You’ve come through a trooper – traveling is such a challenge but my new best friend on the road is a little thing called GPS – you can wander hither and yon and always get where you want to go …. and back again. I call mine “Maggie.” Just remember the charger … haha
    Tell Mercury to take a hike.

  118. Having a downer of a day – aging father with broken kneecap and in denial about needing help (even though can’t even get out of hospital bed by himself, let alone walk up steps at his home) – and what can I say but your wonderful recital of ‘Mercury mishaps’ first made me smile and then actually laugh out loud – thankyou.
    Please come to Tasmania, its only 20+ hours and a few airport transfers away by plane……

  119. Ah Jason, thank you for choosing Jesus. When walking in Christ’s footsteps, one doesn’t need to worry about planets and all their funny little pranks. You have lessened the load on our favorite knitter. Jason, you are such a good sport.

  120. this is the first time I everleft a comment on anything, and I just wanted to say that you are my KNITTING HERO!!!!!!! I have no one to talk to about knitting, and all my friends avoid me on the subject. Reading your books give me hope about the world, my skils, and maybe, just maybe, i will actually finish a project sometime. I started a blog, at http://www.alligotsiscomics.blogspot.com, but i’m not as loved as you. I just wanted you to kow so that on your horrible days, when you feel like the world just wants you to die, you’ll know that ur my total hero, and it would totally mean the world to me if you wrote back, or said something that let me know that you saw this. I have been going through some tough times, thinking some bad thoughts(I won’t go into it), and just knowing that you saw this would make me feel a wee bit better.

  121. Hi! This is Miriam’s mom, the sleepy baby of needle holdingness. We just got back from car-camping. Gorgeous sunny weather, but a tad colder than I expected in our tent (overnight lows of 4-7 C instead of 15-18 C.) Using “Knitting Rules” and some worsted wool, I had to knit what my husband calls a “field expedient” wool hat for her. Thank you for a wonderful event and signing, and for keeping my baby warm without knitting her a stitch!

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