Stop going backward, Mercury.

Asking whether Mercury is in retrograde — it is — may be only a slightly more ridiculous way to ask what the hell is going on and why is everything so screwed up, but it works for me. Let’s run down the woes, shall we?

Plane crash in San Francisco
Train crash in Quebec
Massacre in Egypt

And so on. My car required a heart-clutchingly expensive repair to the steering. On a bike ride last Saturday, both my partner and I got flat tires. Everyone I know is falling off ladders or bonking their heads on open cabinet doors. The dog was in a lather all day, begging to go outside. Where it was a mere 88 degrees with tropical humidity.

I had no ride to pick up the car, but I did have a bicycle (flat fixed). An enormous storm was building in the southwest, so I set out to get there as quickly as possible on an extremely unpleasant route through a bike-hostile suburb. Which I hate. But I made good time, paid the heart-clutching bill, threw the trusty bike in the back and thought, you may not be the best way to get around town in January, but you haven’t cost me $1,700 lately.

All of which adds up to: I am tired. So not much from me tonight. Kate and I saw “The Kings of Summer” tonight, an uneven but sweet film about three boys who run away from home and move into a house of their own construction in an Ohio glade. The Plain Dealer newspaper boxes and Berea fire trucks identified the venue as northeasterly, but a climactic scene with a copperhead had me rolling my eyes — I don’t think they’re found anywhere near Cleveland. That’s one of those things an Ohio girl knows: There’s very little to fear in the Ohio woods, although once a DNR photographer was killed by a rutting buck, who gored him.

So, bloggage?

The look on this woman’s face as she listens to the Indiana governor is simply priceless.

The new Google Maps app ad was shot here. Our crazy town.

Five theories for why Justin Bieber hates Bill Clinton.

And with that, I head for the sack and hope Thursday is a bit less expensive.

Posted at 12:30 am in Detroit life, Same ol' same ol' |

36 responses to “Stop going backward, Mercury.”

  1. susan said on July 11, 2013 at 12:45 am

    Well, there are copperheads in the woods near Cincinnati. I saw one slithering in the poke and blackberry plants.

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  2. Deborah said on July 11, 2013 at 12:50 am

    I saw my first rattle snake on our land in Abiquiu this weekend, a young one who came out after the rain. I hope my daughter, Little Bird, doesn’t read this or I’ll never get her to go out there again.

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  3. nancy said on July 11, 2013 at 5:23 am

    I’d think Cinci would be the northern limit of their range. They’re southern snakes. But with climate chang, maybe I’m wrong.

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  4. Basset said on July 11, 2013 at 6:40 am

    Probably right on that, and the same with water moccasins – northern edge of their range is supposed to be western Kentucky but I’ve seen them in Martin County southwest of Bloomington.
    How’s the new pup doing? I expect Kate bonded with him pretty quickly when she got home.

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  5. Suzanne said on July 11, 2013 at 7:31 am

    Everything is falling apart here, too. Kids having crises, brakes took a nosedive on the one vehicle, fan dying on the other. Is there a break in some cosmos?

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  6. Pam said on July 11, 2013 at 8:01 am

    Climate change? Well, my garden is looking particularly Amazonian this summer, considering this is central OH and all. When we first bought this house in ’79 and started paying attention to things like planting zones, we were considered to be in zone 4. Now we are definitely zone 5 and potentially, heading for 6. Seriously, we are beating back the plants this year with machetes.

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  7. Mark P said on July 11, 2013 at 8:09 am

    Climate change may very well change things like the copperhead’s range. Armadillos have been around south of where we live for many, many years, but only recently have they begun to rival possums in the road-kill count in our neighborhood. In fact, they are now the clear leaders in that respect.

    There’s nothing like an obvious “that-isn’t-where-it’s-supposed-to-be” moment to pull me right out of a movie. For a long time, every place in TV shows looked like Southern California, even Georgia. And then suddenly, everything looked like the Canadian Pacific region, even Georgia. Hmm. Must be climate change.

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  8. coozledad said on July 11, 2013 at 8:10 am

    You have to work at being bitten by a copperhead. In my experience they try and steer clear of humans. The ones I’ve seen seem lethargic, even in in the heat, but even in a torpid state they can make a redneck shit his entire self out of his ears.

    I’ve heard water moccasins are more aggressive, but I’ve heard it from people who say idiotic things most of the time. When I was about twelve I nearly stumbled over a cottonmouth while exploring a large culvert pipe someone had installed in our neighborhood to divert a creek. It coiled and showed me its white mouth and its fangs. I avoided it.

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  9. alex said on July 11, 2013 at 8:15 am

    Looks like the Northwest Times, at least, is on the story about the solemnization of gay unions by clergy being punishable. To me that’s more outrageous than the law punishing gay couples who apply for a marriage license.

    Don’t know if it’s Mercury in retrograde causing this shit but I’m supposed to be at a doctor’s appointment in an hour and a half and my lab results haven’t been received there yet from the doofuses at Labcorp. My health insurance offers a steep discount on getting lab work done there as opposed to the hospital. I can see why. You get what you pay for. I showed up at Labcorp three count ’em three times only to find that they didn’t have the lab request. There was no way to call in advance and talk to a real live human being to verify that they’d received the request. On the third visit, I called my doctor’s office and had them fax the request directly while I was there. That was almost two weeks ago. You’d think the results would be in by now, wouldn’t you? The hospital turns them around in a day.

    I also thought the Labcorp facility was kind of seedy and the woman who drew my blood was right out of the movie “Deliverance” had it featured the daughters or sisters or daughters-slash-sisters of the hoodlum famous for the line “squeal like a pig.”

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  10. basset said on July 11, 2013 at 8:20 am

    I suppose I say something idiotic every once in awhile, but I can tell you first hand they’re more aggressive… sitting on a cutbank fishing in a little creek and seeing one down in the water trying to bite my feet, that was my first clue. Most snakes will try to avoid you, but if you surprise ’em they will react… and a moccasin will actively come after you.

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  11. beb said on July 11, 2013 at 8:25 am

    Selena Gomez is supposedly back with the Bieb. Which, after Spring Breakers may be the best we can hope for. Maybe sassing the president is the boy version of acting in a r-rated (for nudity) movie to prove one’s adulthood.

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  12. adrianne said on July 11, 2013 at 8:58 am

    I blame Canada. The jet stream has been screwed up, and we’ve been in terrarium weather all summer. I’m with Pam on the uncontrollable lawn – we’ve thrown in the wringing wet towel and let ours revert to nature, more or less.

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  13. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on July 11, 2013 at 9:42 am

    Alex, I liked the story as much as the picture. Good reporting, and I see what they were up to now more clearly. Sigh.

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  14. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on July 11, 2013 at 9:44 am

    We’ve killed copperheads at Flint Ridge State Memorial here in Licking County. (I lie, I’m currently in Valparaiso IN, but I’ll be back home before nightfall.) Anyhow, snakes are notoriously poor readers when it comes to field guides and ranges.

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  15. Randy said on July 11, 2013 at 9:44 am

    The Quebec train disaster will provide worse news at some point soon. It appears the worst of the derailment landed on a bar with 30 or 40 people inside. These people are considered “missing”, but in a town of 2,000 you figure they’re more like “gone”.

    Arrogant senior exec from rail company visits small Quebec town – oh my, this will not end well.

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  16. susan said on July 11, 2013 at 9:53 am

    I saw that copperhead in 1964, near the confluence of the Great Miami and Ohio rivers. Something indelibly set in my memory, kind of like where one was when Kennedy was shot or when the jets hit the towers (generational stuff). Yes, all those are equivalent events!

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  17. Julie Robinson said on July 11, 2013 at 10:17 am

    It’s been a jungle here too, and the 64% humidity today is gladly welcomed.

    Google Maps failed us spectacularly several times in Detroit. It was especially bad when there were last-minute road closures for road construction or whatever else they were closing the roads for. We had to resort to the paper map we’d picked up at AAA. So I watched the commercial with great amusement.

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  18. Deborah said on July 11, 2013 at 11:09 am

    It’s 66 in Santa Fe with unusual humidity of 73%. It rained last night and is supposed to rain some more today. We need lots of it. Wish you all could send yours down our way.

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  19. Judybusy said on July 11, 2013 at 11:52 am

    Compared to last year, our summer’s a dream, at least with the temps. Last year it was torrid beginning late June and pretty much didn’t let up for 7 or 8 weeks, I think. We have a few sticky days in the low 90s, but then it mellows to mid 60s at night and low 80s. We had a very wet June, but now just 3/4″ in the last 10 days or so. We did have a terrible storm on the 21st of June, and there is still lots of debris visible, as the city works to pick it up. With hundreds of trees downed, it’s taking a while.

    Nancy, if all you did was post pictures of the dog, this would still be a must-visit site for me. (Hint, hint.)

    Tonight friends come for dinner: marinated pork tenderloin and zucchini on the grill and a really good rice, corn and spinach salad doused with vinaigrette and topped with pecans. Oh, I wish that could be right now.

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  20. Basset said on July 11, 2013 at 12:02 pm

    Share the recipes ?

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  21. Maggie Jochild said on July 11, 2013 at 12:07 pm

    In the mid 90s I was driving home from work on a quiet, tree-lined residential street here in Austin when I saw a snake stretched out in the road. It was raining, had been raining for two days, so as I stopped beside it to take a look, I only rolled down my window a little. The snake immediately launched itself at my door and window for several strikes, revealing a snowy mouth (hence the water moccasin’s nickname of “cottonmouth”) and extreme aggression. I rolled my window back up, and it turned and sped into a nearby front yard.

    On surveying that yard, I saw it was both overgrown and littered with toddler toys. Seized with dread, I turned into the driveway beside it and hurried to the front door, but repeated knocking drew no response and it was dark inside. Feeling exposed on the porch, I skipped back to my car and waited a while. When no one came home, I wrote a note on the back of an envelope saying “Water moccasin in your yard! It struck at my car. — A concerned neighbor” With true courage, I forced myself back to the front door to leave it. I practically levitated back to my car.

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  22. Dorothy said on July 11, 2013 at 12:20 pm

    Maggie! How nice to see you among the commenters…and what a harrowing story! Hope you are feeling better each day.

    My knee is healing well. I only needed a partial. Still have tenderness and stiffness of course. But get more flexible every day. Glad we are getting a break from 19 straight days of rain. We lost power for 6 hours last night.

    I got to see that movie two months ago, Nancy. One of the producers is a Kenyon parent. I liked it, especially the Biaggio character.

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  23. Maggie Jochild said on July 11, 2013 at 12:55 pm

    Thank you, Dorothy. I am able to draw in a full lung of air, a new development over the last couple of days, and wow does it feel good. I am still using the BiPAP 14+ hours a day, on 3 liters of oxygen, which really I don’t mind except the mask precludes most reading, writing, or viewing. My dementia has entirely cleared and now all I have is the terror of it occurring again: I’d rather die than be permanently in that fog. Seriously. So trying to figure out what procedures to put into place, and processing with my partner what what may mean. In the meantime, Mercury has retrograded right up my ass, too, with daily hassles — right now my phone simply Will Not Work, despite replacing every piece of equipment and my internet (on the same line) breezing along just fine. Have a call in to AT&T without true hope anything will function well again until the 22nd, when Mercury goes direct again.

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  24. Scout said on July 11, 2013 at 1:11 pm

    We often run across rattlesnakes while hiking here in AZ. The scariest/funniest incident was while hiking with our (now dearly departed) dog, Maggie. She was half golden and half chocolate lab and quite the hiker. Once we got into back country we’d let her off her leash. She’d usually be out in front, but on this particular day, Pat was in the lead, then me, then Maggie. We were climbing up some steep rocks when Pat spotted a rattler sunning itself. Worried that Maggie would spot it and run up to it, she turned to grab the dog’s collar and knocked me backwards down the rocks. For the next week I would tell people that my bruises and scrapes were from a run-in with a rattler, but they should see the other guy, haha.

    I can definitely tell Mercury is retrograde. Probably a good thing I didn’t end up buying a new car over the weekend like I was trying to.

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  25. Julie Robinson said on July 11, 2013 at 1:18 pm

    It’s great to hear from both Maggie and Dorothy and to know that you are healing. I’m feeling the effects of having a doggy around while our daughter is visiting. She’s a little sweetie and hardly even has any hair, but my allergies are kicking me in the derriere. Also my head.

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  26. Jolene said on July 11, 2013 at 2:31 pm

    Was about to say the same thing, Julie. Good thoughts to both Dorothy and Maggie. Am glad to hear good news on both fronts.

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  27. Judybusy said on July 11, 2013 at 2:36 pm

    Dorothy, glad it’s going well! And, so good to see Maggie here–what a story. You were very brave getting out and warning that family.

    Basset, here’s the recipe for the corn and rice salad. We use spinach instead of watercress, and have subbed about 1 1/2 cups frozen corn for the cobs called for. We’ve made it for years–the recipe’s from 2000 I think, and just love it. I just made up a marinade for the pork, so no measurements, but here’s what’s in it: olive oil, fresh orange juice (from one orange), orange zest from same, thinly sliced red onion, crushed garlic, orange basalmic vinegar (regular would be fine) and salt and pepper. I massaged it in a bit and then it went in the fridge for the day. The zucchini we just cut lengthwise, score with a fork, drizzle with olive oil, S and P and grill. Dinner’s at 7 if anyone can make it!

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  28. brian stouder said on July 11, 2013 at 2:36 pm

    …and it is always, always good to hear from you, Jolene, too!

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  29. Dorothy said on July 11, 2013 at 3:50 pm

    Ditto what Brian said! Nice to see Jolene’s name too. And thanks to all for the good wishes.

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  30. Prospero said on July 11, 2013 at 4:11 pm

    My friend, Nancy.This might help. Or maybe not. I think the very short chapter on The Dog Days in which life’s vicissitudes are defined as soul-crushing shit that happens to people that don’t deserve it while scum skates free. It’s like the best short story ever hidden in a novel, next to the Moopoly game in Cuckoo’s Nest.

    Maggie and Dorothy: Hallelujah. Maggie, use up all of the air. You can have my portion.

    I love all of you, believe it or don’t.

    I’d say, lightly steamed Kale would be good in that salade Judybusy. People that hiked the Canyon wear Tee-shirts that say Go hike the Canyon, not I Hiked the Canyon

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  31. brian stouder said on July 11, 2013 at 4:29 pm

    Further the question Nancy asks: What the hell is going on in the back of that Mercury?

    Or, alternatively, this is what is going on, today, in the shiny city on the Pacific coast that Grant and I will head for in a few days:

    The lead:

    Three high-profile San Diegans described sexual harassment allegations involving “numerous” female employees of Mayor Bob Filner who were subjected to “unfortunate and reprehensible circumstances” but refused to reveal victim identities or details of the alleged behavior.

    And one additional excerpt:

    Security at the mayor’s downtown apartment building said Filner left around 1 to 2 a.m. in the morning. He was slated to be part of a panel discussing the impact of the military of San Diego’s economy at 7 a.m. at the Midway Museum. San Diego County Supervisor Greg Cox told NBC 7 that Filner was a no-show. The last month has been tumultuous for Mayor Filner.

    On June 28, he was subjected to questions about Sunroad, his secret trip to Paris, and a variety of potential political conflicts. On July 1, City Attorney Jan Goldsmith canceled future “closed sessions” until the Mayor vowed not to harass Goldsmith’s deputies. On July 4, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported the FBI inquiries into the Sunroad dealings. And, just three days ago his fiancee broke off their engagement

    Sounds like the guy is involved in an almost Bob McDonell-style downward spiral.

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  32. Deborah said on July 11, 2013 at 7:09 pm

    Finally got the hammock and installed it outside this afternoon. Comfy. Got it on-sale too. I’ve wanted a hammock ever since I was about 11 years old, my grandmother had one in her yard in a small town in Southwestern Iowa. We used to visit her at the end of every summer. I have fond memories of being in the hammock late in the day/early evening, cooling off, reading a book and listening to the cicadas. Heaven.

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  33. ROGirl said on July 11, 2013 at 7:14 pm

    Maybe Mercury in retrograde caused me to get shingles. I’m in recovery now, and boy, it’s nasty.

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  34. susan said on July 11, 2013 at 8:08 pm

    Why would Mercury fracture my kitty’s ulna sometime last night?? That makes no sense.

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  35. Minnie said on July 11, 2013 at 8:28 pm

    Now you tell me. I have dental surgery set for next week way before Mercury goes direct. Should I reschedule?

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  36. Connie said on July 11, 2013 at 8:36 pm

    Shingles is nasty. Depending on the location I recommend lidocaine patches, the only thing that ever gave me the slightest bit of pain relief.

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