Don’t forget to prep for the apocalypse

2012 is upon us. And if the apocalypse doesn’t happen in 2012, chances are it will happen in 2013.* Statistics (and mystics) don’t lie.

<--- you'll be hardpressed to beat my parents on the prep level. I once asked a Red Cross Volunteer what the difference is between a well-stocked pantry and an earthquake kit is. She said confidently, "An earthquake is packaged to go." I've given my father this feedback multiple times, but he refuses to listen. I can only pray for his safety. * come on, you must know that the Mayan calendar predicted that the world would end in 2012?

Gus and Shawn

The best part of my day yesterday was how adorable our two cats, Shawn and Gus were.

Shawn moved in last summer and gave the Guster a hell of a run for his money. At one point I resorted to consulting a pet psychic (old family secret for dealing with pet woes) to know how to deal with their frequent disagreements and the ensuing cat mess on my bed.

It turned out that Guster didn’t feel safe using the litter box because Shawn would attack him. What a little rascal! Gus resorted to my bed because my bed is shaped like a litter box and it smelled like me and the smell of me makes him feel safe. What a compliment!

Well, we’ve come a long way since that house divided, and these photos are proof:

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on the function of psychics

Aristotle was a strong believer in the notion of every organism having a function unique to that organism. A flute-player has the function of playing the flute; plants produce oxygen… It goes on and on. Everything has a function, the function of a human being (generally) is to be eudaimon, or, to Aristotle, something along the lines of perfect. Let’s leave that particular notion behind. My query is into what the function of a psychic is, and how then, I am to relate to them in my life.

I met a few psychics during my sojourn as a traveling salesperson. There’s always a psychic booth at the fair–except in Puyallup, WA, because they’re far too conservative. As the Puyallup Fair was my last fair, and I had yet to get a reading, I felt a dire need to get one during the fair just before: the California State Fair. But the psychic booth was unconvincing, and I was therefore unconvinced.

I was mulling it over during my boring job selling Nail Jazz–they’re nail polishes with microtips so you can do all your own designs at home–when a fairly ugly, hairy lady came up to me attempting to get free stuff. It turned out she was a psychic, and she really wanted to trade me a free reading for a Natural Nail Care Set (retail value $11, but we give them away for free all the time). My bosses were distracted so I let her pocket the demo set, and took in exchange her phone number and address. She said I could come get my reading at any time, even though I warned her that I work til ten, and it’d have to be late. I didn’t know when I was to go there, but I figured I’d fit in. I was meant to have this psychic reading!

Little did I know, but meanwhile my cohort was making arrangements for us to trade mops for readings from the psychics that had a booth at the fair. Much more convenient! This, then, must be the reading I was meant to have!

Among what the psychic told me:
1. My ex is not my soulmate. But if I am still unconvinced, she’ll provide me a compatability assessment for $85–no! not for me, for me–only $75!
2. I’ll have three children.
3. There was a woman in my life with brown hair and blonde streaks that would throw me off my path for two to three months.

Now, I’ve always planned on having two kids. But three wouldn’t be so bad. Or so I’ve come to consider since this reading. But if the psychic had never mentioned it?! Then how many kids would I have wound up with? One can easily draw the conclusion that some sort of accident would have left me with three anyway.

But, here’s the is the kicker: A few days previous, I had met a woman with brown hair and blonde streaks that offered me work selling the EuroSteam: Wonder Iron from Italy!

I had spent the days consequent grinning and smiling with dollar signs in my eyes, looking so forward to selling this $200 iron with a simple demo requiring no Diet Pepsi or paper towels. They sell like hotcakes! It really is a good iron–retails for $400. And you can iron your clothes while they’re on their hanger. Seriously. And you’ll never burn yourself or your finest fabrics–the steam won’t even pop a balloon!

We all need a EuroSteam. I need a EuroSteam.

So what was this bullshit from the psychic?!! A path?! Who needs a path!! I was so shaken up following the reading I drank two beers in the dark of my sleeping motel room.

To no avail. The psychic had me so upset for days that I never called the woman with the blonde streaks, nor her boss, who calls himself “Swerve” (a coincidence, however relevant to our metaphor).

And now I have a job. And no EuroSteam. And you too, will have to live life without one.

So where is this woman who was to throw me off course? Did I avoid the diversion?

If so, then the function of the psychic cannot be to tell the truth about one’s future. Or that truth must be so transient that one can only accept a psychic’s word for a matter of minutes.

Which means my ex could by soulmate.

I often wonder where I’d be if I had instead taken a reading from the first psychic who offered her services.

“Step on up folks. I’ll show you how this works.”

who you gonna call?!

In the event that I lose my job as BART train operator, I’ve decided to pursue a career as an office machine psychic.

Young Susie J. was once quite impressed by the effectiveness of a pet psychic at mending the relationship between two fiesty cats. It turned out that Smudge, who invested hours grooming herself, was offended by Moondance’s dirty paws, leading her to behave in an aloof and dismissive manner. Poor Moondance felt demeaned and inferior, but she really did have some damn dirty paws. There’s a bit of a hole in my memory as to how this information was actually implemented in our lives, but I do remember never having cat fights in the house again. Really, the most impressive part of this pet psychic lady was that she didn’t even have to meet the cats! She did it all over the phone, only knowing their names.

But office machines don’t always have names, so I’ll make house calls. I’ll target those companies with really, really troublesome office machines. I’ll be their last resort, solving only those problems even the best repair people couldn’t solve. I’ll come in, charging 350 dollars per hour, as if I were a bigshot divorce attorney or some shit. Dressed in long, flowing skirts, hair scarves and wearing ever so much jewelry, I’ll be the picture of psychic prowess. Or, maybe I’ll dress bus-pro, just for kicks. Depends on the job, maybe.

Anyway, let’s say I’m called in cause the big old copier in the vault is making wheezing sounds and acting up sporadically. I’ll make a big production of listening to every side, opening each cover and looking inside. I’ll push different bits of paper through to assess the problem. Then I’ll ask to be alone with the office machine.

Now, it doesn’t matter what I do here, cause I’ll be alone with the office machine. But, since I’m a genuine machine psychic, I will genuinely communicate with the copier. I’ll channel it’s innermost being, if you will. And you know what its innermost being will say?

That it’s the typewriter’s fault. I’ll dramatically conclude that if they want their copier to work, they had better get a new typewriter. It turns out that copier is still holding a grudge cause the typewriter wasn’t initially very welcoming, since it had been around since the beginning and had seen copiers come and go. I tune in to the typewriter, and all its energy suggests that its just “too tired of the rotating copier game.” Can’t argue with that.

So, let’s say they take my advice, and get a more sociable typewriter. Then the copier is still having problems! They’ll call me back–especially since I was ever so effective the first time–and I’ll put on the same show. And I’ll dramatically conclude that the reason for the copier’s continued misbehavior has to do with the abuse of a wayward technician long ago. It feels violated, and is having trouble moving on. I suggest that they call my friend, Deseree, the office machine counselor, and I’ll give them her card. Normally, I say, Deseree is able to work through an office machine’s problems–no matter how deeply rooted in its psyche–in only two or three visits. And, I point out, she’s cheaper–only $250 an hour. Everyone knows counselors make less than psychics.

Yes, I think this is a very good plan. Fool-proof, even. I just need a couple of good references.