May 19, 2009

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?

Posted by Stephanie at May 19, 2009 12:49 PM