When I worked in film production, I used to say, “If it weren’t for miscommunication, I’d be out of a job.” Often, a huge part of my days were spent disseminating critical pieces of information, from double-checking the footage needs for the film stock order, to making sure the PAs remembered to take the replacement cell phone batteries to the producer. Many times, little things would get lost in translation and I’d have to figure out how to un-do the bad info and replace with the good.
I grew up in two very groovy places where it was not uncommon to consult an astrologer for auspicious dates or patterns in your stars. Twice in fact that I can remember, my mom sent me off to her astrologers for full birth chart work-ups, and this was before computers, they were all hand done! Because of this formative enlightenment to the world of astrology, I knew at a young age what it meant when the planet Mercury goes into a retrograde pattern a few times a year. Simply put, it crinkles up communications, negotiations, transportation, logistics and commerce. Many astrologers would even advise avoiding signing contracts during a retrograde period, but since that is simply not possible for most of us today, we are now warned to be patient and re-read and know that if something does get screwed up, it is probably because of Mercury.
Without fail, the craziest snafus would happen while working on a show causing huge irritations and disruptions. When I realized they were happening in clusters of repetition I remembered pesky Mercury, and got my mom to send me a Mercury Retrograde calendar from The Ark Bookstore at home in Santa Fe. All of the sudden we had some reason for the cluster of fuck-ups and could now plan ahead with patience and prudence when the inevitable happened. I felt like a genius.
Anyhoodle, it’s that time again: Mercury went retrograde on August 20th and stays that way until September 12th. Here is my list of muddles this time:
1. Dropped my BlackBerry on Friday, August 21. I drop it ALL THE TIME. Only this time, it cracked the screen and splintered. I patched with Scotch Tape, but now it is even harder to read the NY Times.
Fastrak transponder did not read through the toll at the Golden Gate Bridge. TWICE. Those things never not work.
2. Two of the high speed ferries are out of service since August 20th leaving us with only one, the one boat with only one door. That is a mere six feet wide. It takes about three times as long to load and unload. And has terrible seat configurations. Argh. The other ferries are slow boats.
3. Had to arrange a last minute conference call for the Board of Directors, seven men with widely varying and very crammed schedules as it is. To my surprise, the call booked quickly. But then, OF COURSE Mercury, one of the members put the time down wrong by a half hour and I had to scramble to find him while all the others waited on the live call, their precious corporate minutes ticking away. Fun times. (He was totally embarrassed, but I did not mention Mercury.)
4. Duke keeps peeing in the kitchen. Oops, probably not related but highly annoying!
So my friends, the key is to stay cool, be patient with yourself and others, and know that some wacky shit will likely befall your phone, emails, computer, car, or general communications. This can actually be a very productive time if you just know it’s all going to be over soon.