Mercury in Retrograde

So my departure is delayed a day due to my car apparently needing two days worth of work ๐Ÿ™ Not the most auspicious start to a journey. My friend Shauna warned me that things would go wrong until Mercury was out of retrograde and it’s not the best time to start a trip. Did I listen? Noooooooo
Never go into the mechanic and say “I’m going on a 20k mile trip, please change my fluids and see what you think I need.” But it’s all stuff that my car would probably need about now anyway – shocks/struts, brakes, and apparently an axle housing. I hope they aren’t taking me for a ride. I know they have fixed things in the past even the dealership couldn’t figure out.
I spent most of the day getting my buddy Dan’s blog at least looking presentable: You may recognize the theme ๐Ÿ˜‰ That was the deal – no way I could spend the time to learn a new theme. And he liked my blog so that works. He really likes this blog though: So I am hoping at some point we can get him something that fits his needs and showcases his video better, which I think is a strong point of his blog – possibly with some help from my friend Mia, who has this very popular blog: She is an influencer and incredible resource for me on all things social, content and internet marketing.
It was blog central around here today until about 6, when I finally started the task I’ve been dreading – moving my stuff down to storage. I got most of my stuff packed up in 6 hours – not bad. I only packed the easy decisions though (storage, give away, throw away, recycle). And no dishes, they stay. Still it’s incredible how many boxes, bags and containers one closet can fill up. I still have a ton of tough decisions on what to pack in the car. I figure I will bring too much, organize on the road, and give/throw away a lot of things. I need more small clear containers and clear zipper bags though. You can never have enough of those.
Oh yeah I have a renter now too! Confirmed yesterday. Maybe Mercury in Retrograde isn’t all bad.
A couple fun packing moments:
#1 – I was going to go to the Container Store. But then I realized I could kill two birds with one stone and get some clear plastic containers at Target. Brilliant!
After I got them home, as I was pulling the top container off of the others in the stack – I was thinking to myself, “I wonder if this is strong enough to fill with books?” At that *exact* moment the plastic next to the handle cracked wide open – literally just from me lightly pulling on it trying to get it unseated from the container below it. Way to go Target. Hope you saved 1ยข per unit cost on that flimsy plastic.
In LA, grocery stores have to charge 10ยข for plastic bags now. And you know what? They’re the nicest plastic bags you could imagine. So much thicker and stronger than what we got before. Just how much cheaper were those other bags? Sheesh. I feel like a cartoon hobo millionaire twiddling my bow tie, walking into the grocery store “Excuse me good sir, I’ve recently come into a small cash windfall, and I’d like to acquire 10 of your strongest, most luxurious plastic bags. Spare no expense. Only the finest will do.”
After the law went in, I was kicking myself for never remembering my bags and having to buy new ones. But then at some point I realized it’s just 10 freaking cents – not worth the level of psychic stress that apparently it would take for me to remember my bags every time. I don’t really want to be dreaming about forgetting my bags the way I still do about missing finals in college or jumping into a pool with my iPhone in my pocket (not sure where that one came from).
Funniest thing is seeing grown adults who live in million dollar houses trying to delicately cradle 10 items walking out of the store – not really thinking of what they’re going to do with no hands free when they get to their car – all to save 10 cents.
And hey – now I have a ton of really good quality plastic bags to take on my trip. Nothing comes in more handy camping and on road trips. When we were in Patagonia in April, I would have killed for a sturdy plastic bag. No bags in the whole freaking region. I finally found one on the street and wept with joy. My fellow travelers didn’t understand my glee. Yes, well maybe you would if I hadn’t given you the last tote at the grocery store out of the goodness of my heart (*cough* Danny *cough*).
So anyway, yes I can always drive back to Target to return the plastic containers (another one broke from the abhorrent abuse of me trying to push it along a carpeted floor) and wait in the Target return line at Christmas (aka 9th circle of hell) to get my $11.98 back. Eh, no thanks. Duct tape to the rescue.
[UPDATE – 12/19: I went back to Target tonight and bought more clear containers – because it was on the way and the Container Store was clear across town. Apparently the containers I bought last night were specifically for Christmas ornaments – which explains the flimsiness – and the red and green colors. DOH!]
Funny moment #2 – I was packing up a bunch of big coffee table-sized books – just grabbing a chunk at a time. At some point I thought “Maybe I should be looking at the titles to see if there’s one I want to bring. But what are the odds of that?” At that *exact* moment, I look down at this:
Well played universe. Well played.


  1. We love your blogging, Matt! Good to hear the universe seems to be blessing you for this amazing adventure. Your plastic bag story In Patagonia reminded me of the kind of mini miracle I received after I had shopped for souvenirs to send home from Prague in 1991 but no one had boxes anywhere for shipping. Much to my glee as I was walking back to my dorm room, there on a corner was the perfect empty discarded box in perfect shape. Eureka! We will be thinking of you at Christmas Eve festivities here. Please call if you can. โค๏ธ

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