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Mercury Is Ass Over Teakettle

17 Feb

Everything is all screwed up. Not in any serious way, but just in the kind of way where I’m breaking everything that I’m touching. Today alone, I’ve dropped my phone, fallen on the steps, stained my dress, dumped tomato juice all over the floor, misplaced my wallet, and detonated a nuclear missile. Okay, maybe not the last one, but if I had the kind of job where that were possible, it would’ve happened. In addition to these misfortunes, my car has been acting up in fun new ways and my landlords have been giving tours of my apartment without notifying me. (Oh, hi, prospective tenants. This is totally clean laundry that I’m folding and not just dirty laundry that I transferred from my floor to my bed so you won’t know that I’m a slob.) Also, while I’m confessing my sins, I had questionable motives when I mailed a letter last week. 

This envelope is full of cocaine. How much will that cost to send?

This envelope is full of cocaine. How much will that cost to send?

So what gives? What is causing all of this crap? I’ll tell you what: Mercury. Not the shiny, toxic element found in thermometers. The damn planet. Mercury is in retrograde, which is a thing I only remotely understand and do not care to learn more about because I know enough about it to use it as an excuse, ergo I know enough. In layman’s terms, this means that, from our stupid planet, the equally stupid planet Mercury looks like it’s going backwards because its orbit slows down and yadda yadda yadda science. I think. On earth, this means that everything sucks. Mainly that your stuff breaks and you communicate with people as if through poor Asian translations.

Shut up, moon.

Shut up, moon.

I am not the only one. My housemates are evidence of this. Exhibit A: Housemate 1 lost everything on his external hard drive. Exhibits B and C: As I was writing this post, Housemate 2 appeared in my room with a huge bandaid on his finger, apparently having sliced it open this weekend–when he was home to see his doctor after the accident that totaled his car. I managed to clear both housemates out of my room by reminding them that Mercury is in retrograde. See? Poor communication, Exhibit D. I may only have one friend who’s on board with me, but I don’t care. It’s real, okay? So I’ve got a proposal. Let’s all agree to blame it on Mercury. Floor fell out of your car? Mercury. Tripped and broke your tailbone? Mercury. Called your friend an entitled jerk? Mercury. Felt offended that someone you often ignore didn’t respond to your text? Mercury. Ate that whole jar of peanut butter? Mercury. Slept with your coworker? Mercury. Got a drunken call from your ex? Mercury. Drunkenly called your ex? Mercury. 

I miss you and I can't stop thinking about you. Also, planets.

I miss you and I can’t stop thinking about you. Also, planets.

You see? It really works. It is a catchall explanation for every awful thing that happens as long as those things happen within designated periods of the year. And don’t forget about full moons. You can blame those for minor incidents and so long as you can go for a few weeks at a time without being your usual, bumbling idiot self, you’ll do alright, kid.

There ya go, sitting at your desk, not screwing things up. A+

You may have noticed symptoms of Mercury Retrograde in your own life. Long unheard-from friends call you up to tell you their own tales of woe. You write a blog post, or perhaps a letter of questionable content, without editing. (You want the world to know your thoughts, don’t you? Of course you do.)

So, disregarding the fact that the weirdness in my life started at least two weeks before Mercury fell off the wagon, I’m going to establish some resolutions for myself. Anyone who wishes to join the Cult of Mercury (is that name taken?) can do the same.

5 Simple Retrogresolutions:

-Set a voicemail and autotext response on your phone notifying your contacts that Mercury is in retrograde and that you apologize preemptively for any miscommunications that may occur over the next few weeks.

-Leave anything of value at home. If you have to wipe a thick layer of dust off the things you love when all of this is over, it’s for the best.

-So distraught that you’re about to tell your boss all about your fish’s tragic death by fungus? How ‘bout let’s not do that.

-Be wary of your family.

-And finally: If you have to ask if you should, you shouldn’t.

I do miss my fish, though...

I do miss my fish, though…

If you’re wondering, supposedly there are positive effects, as well. It’s a really cool time to be somber and reflective, if only because that’s the best way to avoid impulsive decisions and other people. You can read more about it elsewhere.

Dear Diary, I have been ignoring calls from my mother for three days, but I am nearly out of food and I fear I may need her assistance. Alternatively, it may be wisest to starve.

Dear Diary, I have been ignoring calls from my mother for three days, but I am nearly out of food and I fear I may need her assistance. Alternatively, it may be wisest to starve.

This period of pure hell (or, okay, minor annoyances) ends on the first of March, but if you ever need to know whether you should be cursing Mercury or not, you can always check the website that is dedicated to exactly that purpose. Let’s have a toast—a toast being one drink, lest you turn up uninvited on someone’s doorstep. Here’s to March 1st. May you make it there in one piece.

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Beer Is Not a Grocery Store Purchase

27 Jul

Today I was in the supermarket, standing in line with my two items: peanut butter and English muffins. Because I needed cash back, and I was hungry, and I’m really susceptible to those end-of-the-aisle displays. I waited behind a guy with a curly mustache which I’m realizing now I was staring at blatantly. I try not to judge anyone for his silly facial hair because if my past haircutting and dyeing experiences are any indicator, I would probably have rocked a silly mustache if I were a man. I try not to judge, but I don’t always succeed.

handleblagh

You’re thirty, dude. Can’t you just grow a respectable beard or something?

While I waited, my eyes wandered to his craft beer (ooo, what a daring and unusual choice, Mr—oh, whoops, there I go again), and suddenly, I realized the real, divinely-planned, subconscious reason I had come to Hannaford’s: I needed beer. I haven’t bought beer in a while for two reasons: 1) because I’m broke, and 2) because I’m living alone and what kind of sad piece of work do you take me for? But, today, I decided to treat myself because 1) I got a long-awaited, yet somehow still measly paycheck, and 2) I’m getting behind on my mission to try all of the beers. I need to try all of the beers because words like “hops,” “ale,” and “mouthfeel” (ew) mean nothing to me, so I’m compiling a comprehensive list of beers that I like. That way, when I get a beer somewhere, I can shamelessly pull out my list, compare it to the restaurant’s/bar’s, and find a beer that doesn’t taste like someone drank it once already. The only risk is ending up with something inappropriate for the meal/season/available real estate in my stomach, but that’s a chance I’m willing to take.

Mmmm, nothing says “It’s July” like a chocolate stout.

Mmmm, nothing says “It’s July” like a chocolate stout.

I grabbed a six-pack of Roscoe’s Hop House Amber Ale because it was the cheapest craft beer they had and I was not about to be outdone by Mr. Mustache. Then I walked up to the register, and this is where things got hard. For some reason, even though I have been 21 for over a year, I am still 17 every time I go to buy alcohol. Which is ridiculous, because when I actually was underage, I would practically tip my hat to the police officers on my way out of a busted party. I guess it’s not necessary to seem self-assured when you’re no longer breaking the law.

So now, at a seasoned 22, I sheepishly approach the check-out counter dreading the inevitable “BOB TO 11” because no matter which aisle you pick, it’s never the one with the person who is authorized to check licenses. He appears solely to perform this task, then evaporates into the ether until another 20-something needs to be shamed. And so Bob did come to 11, and Joanne (I’m making these names up, it’s all a blur) passed him my license and said, “It’s out of state.” At that point, I was starting to feel like I’d crapped myself in the aisle and everyone had to wait while Bob came to clean it up. Joanne was eyeing me critically with growing conviction that the sweaty, makeupless creature in front of her could not possibly be the smiling woman in the photo. (What, as if I’m the only one who gets a little dolled up for the picture I’ll carry in my wallet every day for the next five years?) It probably wasn’t helping my case that I couldn’t make eye contact with anyone but the front-page face of Khloe Kardashian. The woman in line behind me with her kid said smugly, “Uh-oh, probably underage and out-of-state?” In retrospect, I kind of want to tell her to piss off, but at the time, I was just sorry I’d crapped on the floor. Meanwhile, Bob was flipping through a book of licenses to figure out if mine was legit, because apparently only Bob is qualified to use The Book with large color photos and detailed descriptions. “Yup, looks fine to me.” But it did not look fine to Joanne, who continued to scrutinize it for another 10 seconds or so after Bob had left. For a moment, I was afraid she would snap it in half with a victorious cry of “THIS SHALL NOT STAND,” but finally she passed it back to me, clearly still furious that I had gotten away with this shit.

I will find you. And I will kill you.

I will find you. And I will kill you.

I’m a Taylor Swift Scholar.

10 Apr

Lately, I’ve been feeling pretty old. Actually, I’ve been feeling pretty old since I was 12, so 10 years later, it seems like a great injustice that I can’t yet claim senility as the cause of my odd behavior. For the first time in my life, I’m relating this thought to my friends and it’s being met with “I know, right?” instead of “Uh…”

Aren’t I supposed to have written my early work by now? Or been to a warehouse party? Or at least learned that if I don’t do the laundry on weekends, I’ll end up wearing the rainbow underwear, inside out, because wearing them once wasn’t enough to shame me into action?

I spend so much time alternating between thinking I need to be this:

keats

and also this:

kesha

that I’m never able to commit to either.

This is how, today, in my car, Taylor Swift came to my rescue. Having forgotten my iPod at home and therefore not being able to listen to The National discography on repeat (Yes, Matt Berninger, all the wine is all for me), I defaulted to top 40 radio. This is when I discovered Tay Swift’s song, “22,” in which she describes “feeling 22.”

I suppose now would be the time to explain my unnecessarily complex feelings about Taylor Swift. I think I was probably the only person in my graduating class who made it to college without hearing her music. Then I got there (shout out to Bridgewater State. Go, uh… Bears?) and realized that a surprising number of women in college have some sort of minor post traumatic stress which causes them to listen to songs that imagine high school as a series of charming romantic encounters rather than a cloud of Axe body spray that thought quotes from Donnie Darko were the access code to their pants. Or maybe they were already trying to misremember college. Whatever the case, I was not impressed by this singing curtain of perfect tresses. I was not buying what she was selling. I was not even torrenting it.

During this dark period in my life, I played Weird Al with “Love Story” and “You Belong with Me,” because apparently writing things no one would ever read was more important to me than studying or partying (Wooooooooooooo college!). I wrote “You Belong to Me”, a song about a delusional high school girl who has convinced herself that her crush’s girlfriend is a ferocious bitch, mainly because I’m still pretty sure that’s the premise of the original song. There is no way that a guy with a girlfriend this intolerable would continue to date her if there were an attractive girl with a good voice who wanted to make out with him and also hear his fart jokes. A sample:

You’re on the phone with your girlfriend ‒ she’s upset.
She’s going off about something that you said
’cause she doesn’t get your humor like I do.

And you’ve got a smile
that can light up this whole town.
I haven’t seen it in a while
since she brought you down.

You say you’re fine. I know you better than that.
Hey, what you doing with a girl like that?

Yeah, what are you doing with a girl like that? Dump her, man. Give that cute blonde a call. Unless…

Standing by and waiting at your back door.
All this time how could you not know, baby?
You belong with me.

Whoa, Tay-Tay. Is that a metaphor or are you really waiting at this guy’s back door? Is it nighttime? Do you have a lock of his hair? I’m starting doubt your reliability as a narrator.

If anyone wanted this song to be plausible, they should have written it about how incompatible this guy and his girlfriend are.

You like sci-fi
She likes fantasy
It’s not gonna work
Cause you can’t share a TV.

Sorry.

My point is that I found her music to be ridiculous, even while my obsession with Murder by Death and O’Death and probably several other bands with “death” in the name fueled an envy of her perfectly-paired Western-style dresses and cowgirl boots.

Conveniently for me, and much to the chagrin of anyone who wanted to believe Romeo and Juliet actually ended with Juliet’s father witnessing and consenting to their hormonal, adolescent love, Taylor Swift has become just a little bit jaded (a weeee teensy bit). This coincided with me reaching some sort of plateau in my development, and now several of her songs really resonate with me. There’s part of me that suspects she might be the same kind of crazy I am, which is 80% of what anyone is looking for in their music (another 10% of that is talent and the remaining 10% is availability on Spotify because who pays for things anymore?).

Now that Juliet is out of high school and Lord Crapulet has accepted his limited control over his daughter’s life, it turns out that she and Romeo don’t get along so well. They are never, ever, I mean like I will put my iPhone in a blender before I talk to you again, getting back together. Judging by the looks of this music video, Romeo’s best strategies for coping with disagreements were turning “I have so many feelings” into “fuck this, I’m getting schwasted” and wearing a quilted vest as if he’s desperately trying to score a job at Gander Mountain.

By the way, I hope that anyone reading this appreciates the research I’ve done for this post, because the imagery in this video is like the laugh track on a sitcom. There’s one scene where Tay Swift is in her bedroom while Romeo is standing on the other side of the wall talking to her on a pay phone (a pay phone?) and fondling some other girl at a bar with a neon sign that reads “BAR.” Just in case you thought her apartment was actually set up like that, with phones between the rooms for easier communication. But I give the scriptwriters some credit, because I still haven’t deciphered the symbolism behind this:

Never.

If the stress of your relationship is enough for you to imagine that all of your stuffed animals have come to life as Wilfred-esque characters, you’re doing the right thing by ending it. Also, cut it out with the glasses already. No one believes you need those.

Okay, but now lyrics, for those of you who’ve somehow never, ever (duh duhn chhh) heard this song:

I remember when we broke up the first time,
saying, “This is it, I’ve had enough,” because like
we hadn’t seen each other in a month
when you said you needed space. (What?)
Then you come around again and say,
“Baby, I miss you and I swear I’m gonna change. Trust me.”
Remember how that lasted for a day?
I say, “I hate you.” We break up. You call me. “I love you.”

Ugh, the trap. You really could have moved on the first time if only he had a mute button. But he says he’s gonna change, and before you know it, you’re back to making pizza rolls and inside jokes together. Things start to look grim, but you might as well try to work it out, cause it’ll be embarrassing if your friend has to take you out for another cheer-up ice cream date, and all of your socks are at his place, and you’ve developed a weird, sentimental attachment to his butt which will leave a butt-shaped hole in your heart because you will never find another one like it. Let it all out. Rip him a new one (again).

I’m really gonna miss you picking fights
and me falling for it screaming that I’m right
and you would hide away and find your peace of mind
with some indie record that’s much cooler than mine.

Damn, girl, you said it. It’s like, “I thought we were gonna go get some lunch, and now we’re arguing about what to eat, but it’s really about your feelings, but you’re pretending not to have feelings, so now I look like an asshole for shouting about sandwiches in a parking lot.” Sure, there were probably a few times when you did the same to him, but whatever, he did it first. And don’t believe any of his lies. That “indie record” he keeps listening to is the Garden State soundtrack.

After that, she presumably never, ever got back together with that guy (well maybe one more time, but that was it), and moved on only to find the loser who inspired “I Knew You Were Trouble.” She suspected that New Guy might be a poor choice, but his carelessness was appealing to the rebounding songstress, and besides, everyone has a good side. Unsurprisingly to everyone but Swift, girl got burned. But when she sings about being sad that New Guy might never have loved anyone, it’s hard not to shout along to the “Yeaaaaaaah!” that follows, unless, of course, you’re around people and therefore pretending that you hate this song.

Based on the Born to Die vibe in the video, there were some pretty obvious indications that this guy was a sleaze:

Marriage material, this 'un.

“Drivin’ with my dick! Wooo!”

but since she was dating the guy from One Direction at the time, I’ll give her the benefit of the doubt and say that someone else made the wardrobe decisions.

This is Taylor Swift…

tswift

and this is a deleted scene from Trainspotting:

Adding this haircut to my Pinterest.

I’ll skip the lyrical breakdown on this one since this blog post is quickly turning into a dissertation, but rest assured, world, this is a new Taylor Swift. You saw the pink in her hair, right?

So now that you’re all caught up, that brings us to today. Today I came across “22” on the radio. Not even the guilty pleasures part of my brain thought it was catchy. But she was singing about being 22, and I am 22, so like every misguided American who’s ever listened to “Born in the USA” on Memorial Day, I was on board. Tell me, Taylor, what’s it like?

I don’t know about you
but I’m feeling 22.
Everything will be alright
if you keep me next to you.
You don’t know about me
but I’ll bet you want to.
Everything will be alright
if we just keep dancing like we’re
22

Oh my god, you’re right! I am 22! I don’t have to worry about all the things I haven’t done! There is plenty of time to still do them and be young and fun. Everything doesn’t have to be so heavy because I can literally dance my problems away (wait, why do I remember feeling this way when I was 18?). Never mind the fact that this song was probably written by some guy who’s feelin’ 44 and wishing he still had his hot young tush (I am all about butts today, apparently). Alright, Tay-Tay, you’ve restored my faith. Close us out with somethin’ nice, how ‘bout it?

It feels like one of those nights,
We ditch the whole scene
It feels like one of those nights,
We won’t be sleeping
It feels like one of those nights
You look like bad news,
I gotta have you.

…are you fuh-king serious?