Mercury is a planet (and a god ;-D) like no other! When the planet Mercury goes retrograde I can always feel it in my bones before things get really crazy. Within one week of the retrograde cycle’s beginning, I can see communications and transportation starting to breakdown. Emails (my most common mode of communication) are questionable in intent and tone or they don’t communicate half of what they were supposed to. People think that they said things that they did not or did not say things that they did! The bus that I catch to and from campus most often is either super-late (as opposed to just late) or on time (which it usually never is). In the early stages of retrograde periods, I usually almost miss the bus; at it’s height, I miss the bus once or twice before catching on, as was the case for this and the last two retrograde cycles (that I have noticed in recent history). And it’s usually not just me; at least a few other regulars are late for the bus (though I doubt they know why ;-D). The driver has to stop to wait for folks who are hustlin’ up the block trying not to be left behind! As the cycle settles in for the long haul, folks adjust accordingly but it’s always an uncertain time because anything can go wrong in those coming weeks.
As Mercury prepares to release, again within a week of that date (May 28, 2010 this time around), life gets hairy again. Just today, I would have completely missed a meeting [though I had it written down one week in advance] with one of my colleagues had he not called me when I was 30 minutes late to check to see if we were still on! I did not end up getting to the meeting for one whole hour because I missed two buses and I had to wait over 20 minutes (10 extra minutes) for the one that I finally ended up catching!! Regarding communications, I teach two classes as a graduate teaching assistant. Grades in both classes (the responsibility of the professors) were screwed up though I submitted them to the professor on time and correct. In one class, one student got the wrong grade posted. I notified the professor of her error and she is working to correct it now (good luck until the 28th!). In the other class, NONE of the 36 grades posted online even though the professor entered them on time and correctly. He now has to complete 36 special forms to get the grades posted. There is no telling when that will go through – definitely not until after the 28th. Another general mercurian issue that I have faced in the last few weeks is a fluctuating internet connection. It has not been non-functional, just variably good and not so good (e.g., randomly being kicked off line only to relink and everything is fine…until the next time it happens).
Please forgive the abundance of exclamation points in this post. However, they help to convey what I said at the beginning: Mercury is like no other.