Friday, July 27, 2012

An Open Letter to Mercury: The Nerve!

Dear Mercury, 

I’d like to take this opportunity to complain about the current retrograde in progress. Normally I can take these periods in stride, but this one may be the straw that broke the camel’s back for me. You’ll see how unfortunately appropriate that metaphor is as I proceed further, but let me tell you that you have SOME nerve. 

I’m at work last week, minding my own business, trying to deal with a pulled muscle in my back by raising my arms above my head to gently stretch, when you decided it was a good time to stop my legs from working. That’s right; I lost all feeling in my legs and had to be helped up. I have known you rule the nervous system for some time, but I don’t think I needed as graphic an example of it as you chose to provide. But you gave me a great lesson in your retrograde energy, as I had to re-think my plans for the immediate future. 

You could have stopped there, thinking that maybe you had done enough. Oh no, you consummate motherfucker…you had to make sure that when I called the doctor’s office to see if I should go to the ER that no one would pick up. That made my decision very easy, so off to the ER I went. 

What followed were many textbook examples of the fuckery you can sow during your retrograde. In the ER, they decided I needed to have a shoulder x-ray and MRI. They told me that I’d go have the x-ray, go back to the ER, and wait for an MRI opening. Nope…not only did they have to shoot the x-ray twice due to a lack of communication between the radiology techs, neither of whom seemed to be listening to the other, but they took me right into the MRI after that. Normally that would be a good thing, but my beloved bride was waiting for me to return, so I had to ask one of the techs to let her know where I was. 

The MRI folks had a similar issue. My broad shoulders did not allow me to fully enter the machine, even though they tried to force the issue because they couldn’t agree on whether or not I would fit in it. I had to painfully move around on the gurney several times so that they could get part of me into the machine for the scan. When I finally got back to the ER, they told me the news: Three discs in my back were bulging, and one was herniated, likely causing the nerve problem that caused my legs to become almost totally useless. 

Somewhere around the time the ER got around to administering a muscle relaxant—those nerves in the shoulder I hit when I fell at the office were working fine and were shouting about their pain continuously—they decided to try and have me walk. My bride and I told them I couldn’t walk, but they handed me a walker and had me try anyway so they could discharge me. After two painful minutes in which I showed them how I still couldn’t move on my own--it took me that long to hobble about 10 feet--they put me back in bed and had the ER attending come in to see me try to walk AGAIN. Luckily he only made me stand. I thought, “They’ve GOT to admit me, because I can’t walk.” The ER attending said, “Let me make some calls.” A few minutes later a nurse came in and said, “Oh, I guess we’re admitting you.” Thank you, doctor, for telling me the news directly. 

Finally in the hospital room, I settled in for what I hoped would be a one-night stay. But you decided that I needed to re-think that notion as well. The staff told me to ring if I needed pain meds, but they didn’t tell me how often I could have them. I find out later I could have had them every couple of hours. One doctor came in to set up another MRI, which a second one subsequently cancelled; this second doctor didn’t even tell us his NAME. We had trouble getting hold of anyone to do an orthopedic consult, which didn’t happen until late afternoon on the second day. When they finally decided on the course of treatment, the only doctors who could do it were already gone, so I had to spend a second night in the hospital.  At least the chicken quesadillas were decent.

I wake up the next morning to find out that the procedure they want me to have should be done at noon, only to find out later that because they nurse gave me a small dose of blood thinner before calling anyone—like the doctor who is going to do that procedure—I now had to wait until 6:00pm that day to do what they wanted and then discharge me. What, no one told my nurses that I was having a procedure and to not give me blood thinner? And what about the more important question: How much Spike TV can one person watch without going insane? At least it wasn’t soap operas, but seriously, I must know more about prison gangs in the United States than most sane individuals by now. 

Finally I had the procedure done. Time to leave, right? Nope. All the volunteers have now gone home, so I have to wait another 20 minutes for someone else to wheel me down to where my beloved bride can pick me up. By the way, there was still some question about the necessity of the second MRI, but my ortho doc had decided that I probably didn’t need it, and we never heard back from the MRI people anyway. Since then, sometimes my nerves are working well, and sometimes they’re so-so. At least I‘m walking fairly well now, and I am very grateful for that fact.

Gratitude aside, while genetics and lifestyle play a factor in this whole affair--certainly I bear some responsibility for this situation--I lay a lot of this fuckery at your doorstep, Mercury. I know you are probably laughing your ass off. You need to sit down and talk to Saturn for a while. He’ll straighten you out. 

I will reiterate what I said above: You’ve got some NERVE throwing all this shit at me, and during a retrograde as well. I want to be able to have full control of my legs again, if it's all the same to you. 

And I really hope that the next Mercury retrograde you take it easy on me, because I am sick and tired of your bullshit. And before I forget, I am working on not one but TWO books. As I write them and try to find publishers for them, don't forget that you OWE me! 

Fuck you very much, 


PS: Thanks to you, my wife's book release was postponed a week and is now on August 4 at 13 Magickal Moons. You can begin your return to my good graces by leaving her alone as well and bringing lots of people to come wish her well, and more importantly, buy her latest book, Practically Dreaming. Its main character is Mercury-ruled Virgo Tierra, so you have a vested interest in its success. 

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Mercury Retrograde...and We're Back!

Once more into the breach...with Mercury retrograde We're only a few short hours into Mercury retrograde, ladies and gentlemen, and already things are getting interesting. To be fair, the Storm--Mercury's slowdown before the planet starts moving in the opposite direction because it can't stop on a dime--began over a week ago. That's when a lot of the shit really starts. Some of my friends actually call it the "shit storm".

Anyway, I'm feeling some of the effects, and while I did write a blog a while back on some of the standard Mercury retrograde problems, real-world examples are always better.

Today, I went to the gym. At the front desk as you check in, a screen indicates what movie is playing in the "cardio theatre" each day. Yesterday's was "The Goonies", which scrolled constantly across the screen. There is also a write-on/wipe-off board where the staff writes the day's movie title. It read "Eye of the Beholder", whose case was on the counter in front of me. When I pointed out to the attendant that the screen was wrong, he said, "Oh...yeah. I don't even know how to use that thing! I'd rather be watching 'The Goonies' anyway."

Last night, I tried to access a document on my iPad during my Witchcraft class. I wasn't able to get it--the iPad just kept saying "Loading..." for like five minutes. I came home and accessed the document without a problem. It wasn't corrupted in any way.

I tried to order takeout through my iPhone from a national chain restaurant. I placed the order and hit send only to find that the restaurant was "offline". When I finally got to the restaurant and ordered food, I explained what had happened. They weren't even aware there was a problem.

Keep an eye out for communications problems of all kinds, and if you can, take along a piece of paper or two as a backup plan. Also, remember the RE- in retrograde: New projects begun during this time are likely to be re-done or re-tooled in some way once the retrograde is over.

Hope you have a smooth retrograde!

Saturday, July 7, 2012

An Interview With Jupiter

Hello name is Jupiter! Of course you have heard of me. I'm the happy-go-lucky, expansion planet of the astrological universe, and since John's been kind of a slacker lately and hasn't been writing, I figured I'd help him jump back in with both feet. Since he's been trying to take it easy before he starts teaching again--one of the areas that I rule, which is TOTALLY AWESOME!--he's been away but he'll definitely make a splash with me since I rule publishing as well.

Incidentally, John just realized last week that in his astrology chart, Neptune is not the only planet to have an opposition with Old Man Stick-Up-His-Ass, also known as Saturn. I am ALSO opposed to Saturn in John's chart. That explains why John was so boring as a kid; he just didn't know how to embrace me yet. Thankfully he got over that problem with the help of his wife and friends, but now that  Old Man has to deal with us both. My money's on The Great Deceiver and I any day of the week, especially with me in Sagittarius, the sign that I rule. Did I also mention that my planet rules gambling? :)

So let's get it started!

Jupiter: So, tell everyone about what you've been doing with your free time!

J2B: Well, it hasn't been exactly free time. I've kept busy; I just haven't been teaching.

Jupiter: I hear you've got a novel you're working on. Tell me about it!

J2B: There's not much to tell yet. I'm up over 20K words on my novel, and tarot plays a major role in it. Otherwise, that's all I'm going to say for right now.

Jupiter: Holy Pluto, that's a lot of words. Are you keeping Saturn under the heel of your boot, where the bastard belongs?

J2B: Saturn hasn't bothered me much lately, Jupiter, so I'm using him to try to keep me on a writing schedule. But you're not helping at all. You're always putting new video games in front of my face, and I've gotta focus.

Jupiter: Come on! Everyone's gotta cut loose every once in a while!

J2B: Dude, seriously. Two new games I had to have in less than a month? Luckily I wasn't teaching classes where I had to correct homework.

Jupiter: But you were teaching recently, right? You know you were!

J2B: Of course, man. Thanks to your influence, teaching is like a drug for me and I have to keep doing it. I taught an 8-week astrology course for my school, the Tradition of the Witches Circle, and I'm starting up with Witchcraft 301 next Friday. I am SO looking forward to getting back in the classroom.

Jupiter: That's so good to hear, John. I RULE.

J2B: Better get off your high horse or I'm going to start calling you Saturn...

Jupiter: Get the fuck out of town!

J2B: I'm serious, Mr. Planet of Excess and Extravagance.

Jupiter: [GRUMBLES] Fine, fine, fine. Any vacations planned?

J2B: Not at the moment. Jen's got a new book out at the end of the month. It's called "Practically Dreaming" and the book release is July 28th at 13 Magickal Moons.

Jupiter: And I heard it's astrology-based? Tell me the main character is a Sagittarius! AR-CHER! AR-CHER! AR-CHER! That will be AWESOME!

J2B: Actually, Jen went with a Virgo lead on this one. But it's a fantastic book that people of all sun signs will be able to enjoy.

Jupiter: Hold the phone. The main character is...Mercury-ruled? BOOOOOOOOOOOOORRRRRING!! That one will be a sleeper. It'll hold my attention for as long as it takes Mercury to deliver flowers to someone! HAHAHAHA!

J2B: Dude, what the fuck did I tell you when I agreed to this interview? I believe it was 'Stick to the questions or I let Saturn write the blog for a full month.' Is that what you want?

Jupiter: Shit no. But that will hurt you more than me; you won't have anyone reading it then.

J2B: We've got time for one more question, and if you continue to fuck around, then I remind Saturn of the money you owe him and he writes for a month. I'll even name it "50 Shades of Self-Discipline". My beloved wife is also Mercury-ruled, and I'll sic her on your ass, too. The ball is in your court, Jupiter.

Jupiter: Please, man, don't do that! I've been ditching his calls for months! The thing was a sure bet at 40 to 1. How could it lose? [PAUSE]. Whatever. I heard a rumor that you let two thin guys out-eat you the last time you went out to the all-you-can-eat wings and fingers place. Say it ain't so, man. One of them weighed like 90 pounds. Don't you have any pride?

J2B: I'm not answering that, Jupiter. This interview is over. Next time, learn to shut your trap, you tactless ass wipe.