Mercury in Retrograde

Mercury is in retrograde, and so is my patience.  

What is a planetary Retrograde? 

Picture the planets orbiting the Sun like an old-fashioned mechanical racetrack. Each planet has its own track, a different distance from the Sun, traveling at different speeds. A retrograde happens when Earth passes a planet, making that planet appear to slow down, stop and then go in reverse. This optical illusion is similar to passing a car that’s going slower than you — as you pass it, it seems to go backwards, but it’s still plugging along at the same speed and in the same direction. During a ‘reversal,’ the areas of life that the retrograde planet rules will feel askew until it catches up to Earth again. Each planet exerts influence over certain aspects of life. Mercury rules communication, for example, so when it’s in a favorable sign, your communication abilities are stronger and more effective. When a planet goes retrograde, the effects of its influence are reversed. During a Venus retrograde, don’t expect love to come easily. Interestingly, the reversal of your response to these planetary movements is across the board. So if you’re usually awkward during conversations or if you hate public speaking, Mercury retrograde can actually work in your favor. You’ll suddenly feel much more at ease, and the words will flow smoothly.

What happens when Mercury retrogrades? 

You miss appointments, your computer equipment crashes, checks get lost, you find the car you just purchased during Mercury retrograde is a lemon. (Or, you hate your haircut, the lamp you bought shorts out, your sister hates her birthday gift.) There will be countless delays, cancellations and postponements–but know these will benefit you in the long run. Don’t fight them, although your frustration level and feeling of restlessness will be hard to cope with at times.

All machinery and things with moving parts–such as computers, VCRs, camera equipment, garbage disposals, and so forth, will reveal any weak links now. It is critical that you back up your data system and be more careful and vigilant than ever. Projects will demand more time and money than anticipated this month.

When are the Mercury retrogrades in 2008?

January 28-February 18
May 26-June 19
September 24-October 15 

So, back to my story.  The Mercury Retrograde started on Monday, January 28, and it’s going strong.  Monday, the first day of the Retrograde, my boss came into work with his laptop.  He could no longer sign onto it.  He also gave me his ID badge, which suddenly stopped giving him access to the building.  I initiated a help desk ticket, which brought the computer ops cops, conveniently located on our floor, over to pick up the machine and research its problem.  Later, we received an e-mail from one of the two ops cops saying the machine needed a reinstallation of the OS and the software.  The second of the ops cops asked my boss who’d been “messing” with the machine, and boss wrote back, “No one.”  I had been seconds away from hitting the send button to everyone discussing the Mercury Retrograde reason; however, due to the fact that I’d given that explanation to my boss upon hearing of his two mechanical breakdowns, and instead of a “Thank you, Helen,” got a roll of his eyes, I decided to keep my valuable knowledge to myself.  And the ID card?  Somehow, in the computer security system, the number assigned to his ID card changed and no longer matched his.  Just like that.  Thank you M.R. 

Tuesday night, I went outside to work with Baby on some obedience routines, and wouldn’t you know it?  I flipped the back yard light on and nothing happened.  The darn light burned out!  So we missed a valuable night of practice. I don’t remember much of the rest of Tuesday night being I started drinking the very delicious bottle of wine given to me by my friend from dog obedience club.  Perhaps I should mention here, and possibly in another post, that Baby (the 10-and-3/4-year-old Queen Mother of Fort Doberdale) and I (over 10 and 3/4 years old) are entered in an AKC obedience trial both Saturday and Sunday this weekend.  It’s the first serious competition – that means off-leash work – I’ve entered in over 15 years.  More on that, I hope, in another post.

Back to Mercury and his retrograde.  Wednesday, as I was wrestling with my printer to acknowledge the jam I’d cleared 15 times was indeed cleared and to stop giving me an error message, a co-worker came from down the hall with the news that his fax machine was holding onto his fax in memory and would not print it out.  Interestingly, after telling him about the Mercury retrograde and getting the same eye-ball rolling response, I told him the problem I was having with my printer.  He tried and was able to clear it after two attempts.  Hmmm.  We then went down to his fax machine where I was able to reciprocate the favor and coaxed his machine to print his faxes.

Later in the day, I made sure to run to Home Depot during a break with my burned out bulb to get two new ones.  I didn’t want to be short-handed next time this happened.  Instead of the 150 watt skinny bulb, I got the 250 watt skinny bulbs, so I could really see what was going on in that back yard during our practices.  I installed the light, and that was no easy feat.  It involved a teeny screw, a glass cover and a lot of cursing.  Mind you, Luigi and Raven figured it was time to play, so there was definitely an irritation factor with them right under my little off-balance step ladder shoving at it and making me and it waddle.  I’m not good with heights.

Once I got the gosh dern screw out, the cover came off, and I won.  That battle anyway.  I didn’t use my reading glasses either even though I couldn’t see anything but outlines and blobs.  Tehehehe.  Putting the new bulb in so the light would come on, though, was not as easy.  It took several attempts of up and down on the wobbler steps, moving the bulb around, turning the switch on and off when the light didn’t go on, so I wouldn’t get electrocuted when I went back out there to try again.  On/off, on/off, on/frigging off…then I got mad and didn’t give a flying fig, and left the darned switch on.  I didn’t even step up on that rickety step ladder, and didn’t care I had my foot on Raven’s fish-shaped stuffed toy, I had my hand on that skinny light and was flipping it around – sight unseen – till the darn thing lit.  Yeehaw!  Though it seemed a little less bright than I’d imagined, I had light, and after we had dinner and I made the call to Anne Marie Sawicki, we would practice again, Baby and I.  All was well.

Ann Marie Sawicki, the animal communicator, by the way, is a monthly guest on the Cat Chat show on Sirius radio, the Martha Stewart channel.  I have never called her, but have a reason to do so now.  I was confused this morning as I was fixing dog breakfasts, though, when Tracie Hotchner announced on a segment she did on the Morning Show that Ann Marie would be on tonight, as she is usually on the first Wednesday of every month.  I was pretty sure it was Wednesday and still January, but neither of the hosts on the Morning Show said it wasn’t, and I didn’t have time to argue.  I figured I would call tonight, and get my answer, and who cares if it’s January or February.

It is January.  After timing the dogs’ dinners – slow cooked chicken, potatoes and carrots in water seasoned with garlic, ginger, and turmeric, over rice – getting it prepared and served with minutes to spare, I was so damned proud of myself.  Dogs were out doing their duty and I had my cell phone ready to go.  At 7:50, I walked outside into a star-lit back yard.  The little movement indicator must have not recognized movement, so the light stayed out.  I went inside and did what I always do in these cases, flip the switch off and on.  But instead of light, there was nothing.  NOTHING!  That #$%*& light was not doing its thing.  That $7 light.  SEVEN DOLLARS!  Mon Dieu.  I was so irked, I got up on the darn wobbly step in the blasted dark, with my screw driver, no glasses and was not getting off that thing without that bulb to see what transpired there.

The angels were with me because that screw came out and so did the glass cover.  And that bulb?  It is toast.  It’s a puffy, black and blue, burned up bulb.  Why!?  I do not know, but it and its brother are going back to Home Depot tomorrow, and I’m going to ask for a refund and a reason.  And a 150 watt bulb.  Yes, I am.  Then I’m going to stop at Frank and Sense and buy 36 candles to place and light around the yard so the QM and I can practice tomorrow night.  I am thinking something’s gotta give besides my patience.

And by the way, my computer, the broken one, is being repaired…now.  Of all times…now!  Maybe, just maybe, it will slip by Mercury’s oversight?  And maybe Raven will keep her yap shut the next time I ask her to.  Uh huh.


About Helen

I’m a Southern California living in South Florida. I’ve been here for 10 years as of October 1, 2007. No matter where I live, I’m a dog lover, and my breed is the Dobermann Pinscher of the Working Group. I am also fond of the Australian Shepherd of the Herding Group. My life revolves around my dogs, which is something those family members of mine don’t understand. So I’m an island in that respect, but have built friendships with those who are doggie lovers and respect the canine as much as I do. Some do rescue, some train in, compete in, and judge AKC trials. The common thread is our dogs are family.

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