How to become a successful psychic

BOO!

Since it’s Halloween, I thought this might be a good time to share with you the secrets of becoming a successful commercial psychic. I’m sure some of you have genuine psychic abilities so please understand I am in no way mocking those with this tutorial.  Today I am speaking to those of us without any real psychic powers but who are looking for a spooky way to make a few bucks.

It’s fun and easy to learn to be a psychic:

 1. Adopt a persona. People expect psychics to be a bit eccentric and other-worldy, but don’t go overboard. Just a few odd touches that will also serve to distract the client a bit from what you’re actually saying – crazy hair perhaps, held up with binder clips; or some old, large and peculiar piece of jewelry; or just some really sparkly piece of clothing.

2. Anybody with some basic observational skills can be a good psychic. If you weren’t already interested in people and what makes them tick, you wouldn’t even be considering a career as a psychic.

3. Begin by telling the client basic things about themselves that are flattering and generic enough that everyone will be astonished at how accurately you’ve read them. Tell them they are wise old souls that have had to learn the lessons of life the hard way. No one will ever disagree with that statement. Tell them you sense a special talent or gift deep within them that hasn’t been given the opportunity to be nurtured and used to its full potential. Tell them they are very loyal to those important to them, but that this loyalty has not always been repaid. You get the idea. Just go on like this for a few minutes and they’ll be primed to believe anything else you tell them when you move into the “seeing into the future” phase.

4. People who visit psychics want to know about 4 basic topics: health, money, career and love life. You know this because you’re psychic and so will talk about these topics without them having to ask.

5. It’s a pretty safe bet to tell someone they’re concerned about a health issue. Everyone has, or knows someone close to them who has a health issue. Say, “I sense some anxiety about a medical problem – does that mean something to you?” Always prompt them with this type of question because it will give you good clues on how to move forward. Most people will say “yes”; some will elaborate. Tell them that the positive strength they have within them will help them meet the challenge of this illness and/or help their friend/loved one with their illness. Whatever you do don’t promise them anything and make sure they understand they still need to follow medical advice. You don’t want to get your ass sued.

6. Everyone is also concerned about money. Say, “Money has been on your mind a lot lately. Is there something special you need to know?” They might tell you or they might just want to know how their money situation is going to be in the future. Tell them it’s not going to be easy and it’s unlikely they’re ever going to be rich. (They waste their money on stuff like psychics, afterall) But, assure them that they’ll always have enough to be comfortable if they tap into their inner financial wisdom. (Always turn whatever you tell them back on to them with an “if” statement like that).

7.  Ask them if they’re happy in their jobs. Most will say no or not really. Cut them off before they finish and say, “Of course not! How could you be when you’ve been so undervalued by your superiors. They have no idea what you are really capable of, do they?” Tell them they’ll have to stay put for a bit longer but that you see a significant career move for them within a year. Say, it looks like it will be something in the arts. Most people who go to psychics also fancy themselves artistic.

8. Love life. This one is tricky but somewhere along the line you will have gotten clues as to whether or not the client is involved with someone and how happy they are in that relationship. If not, you can prompt with questions like, “Relationships haven’t always been easy for you, have they?” or “I see a dark/fair-haired man/woman, does that mean anything to you? (Adjust adjectives accordingly) or “I am getting a sense that there is someone who loves you very much.” Then go on to tell them that this person is either, a) their current partner; or, b) someone they already know but haven’t seen in a romantic light yet; or, c) someone they will meet very soon. (Depending on whether or not they’re currently involved and happy).

9.  Save some time to throw in some messages from the dead. Everyone likes to receive messages from the dead. Best bet is to announce that, “Someone who has passed  wants me to ask you to forgive them. I can’t see if it’s a man or a woman, but they can’t rest because they treated you poorly when they were on earth and need to apologize.” This will freak the client out as he/she tries to think of who this might be. The older the client is the more likely they are to have someone both mean and dead in their lives.

10. Finally, in order to give yourself an unassailable reputation of integrity, every once in a while, when a client comes in that you don’t particularly like, become very agitated as soon as they sit down. Breathe deeply a few times while staring at them, then look away, ostensibly to hide the horror in your eyes. Jump up and say, “I’m sorry. I can’t do a reading for you. You have to leave NOW. Here’s your money back.” And then hustle them quickly out the door.

 One last bit of advice – never do parties, people will compare notes. On the other hand, if you can have a shill at the party who will feed you information on the guests, then go ahead. Good luck in your new career.

Oh, and I am available for psychic readings via email. Send your questions to: urbanpedestrian@gmail.com

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I’ll give you something to think about

In Ontario, in order to graduate high school, you have to have logged a minimum of 40 hours of volunteer time. So, one of my projects when we moved to Ottawa was to find some interesting places for my daughter to do some volunteer work.

One thing I found was a community centre near our place that offers an after-school-program for elementary school kids who were looking for volunteers. “Go volunteer,” I tell the kid at the beginning of last year. “Whyyyyyyyyyyyy?” she whines. “I’m only in grade 9 and I don’t need the hours for 4 more years.”

Oh, short-sighted one, I tell her, get the mandatory hours out of the way now because in the next 3 years you’re going to want a part-time job and won’t have that much time to volunteer. Plus you’ll be able to rack up a whole pile of hours here and then have lots of time over the next 3 years to get extra hours. (Also, there’s some sort of scholarship in Grade 12, I understand for kids who have put in a lot of volunteer time and we need all the help we can get to pay for university since Ordinary Joe isn’t pitching in anytime soon). Plus plus it’s good for you.

Plus plus plus,  if you play your cards right, they might hire you next year. It would be a great job. Close by, no weekends or holidays and the possibility of summer work when they run their summer camps.

So, off she trudges to volunteer 3 afternoons a week. Before the year is even over they offer her a part-time job after school. So now she already has tons of volunteer hours, and she’s working there 4 afternoons a week for nine bucks an hour.

This summer I signed her up for a leadership course run by the city. One month, every weekday – the idea is to train up some teenagers to qualify them for summer day camp positions run by the city. They get their CPR certification and some other kid supervision certificate thing. It cost over 500 bucks for 4 weeks, but they got a swell t-shirt, too.

 “Whyyyyyyyy do I have to spend half my summer there?” the kid whines. “Here’s your bus pass. Shut up and go,” I say.

She ended up loving it, making lots of new friends, wishing she could go for another month and everyone cried and hugged and exhanged Facebook names when the camp was over.

So now the people who run the leadership camp are developing some other camps for younger kids and they’ve asked some of the teens from the summer if they’d be interested in working there next summer. They’ve both emailed and sent a letter to my kid.

I’m excited for her. “Did you tell them yes?” I ask. “I told them I’d think about it,” she says blithely, waving me off.

THINK ABOUT IT?????  THINK ABOUT IT????

“Well, I’ll probably just stay working where I am now. It’s closer.”

PROBABLY? Has she had a firm offer from them for the summer? No. Does she have any idea how freakin’ lucky she is at barely sixteen to have not one, but TWO very good possibilities for summer employment for jobs that not only pay pretty well but are fun and relatively easy where she doesn’t have to work nights, weekends or holidays?

“What?” She says.

I spent my teenage summers like something out of Grapes of Wrath, with my head up fruit trees. Sticky, hot, humid days outdoors from 6:00 am to 6:00 pm, covered in sour cherry juice, peach fuzz, bugs, twigs and pesticides; climbing up and down ladders, strapped into an itchy harness attached to heaving baskets of fruit.  And I’d get paid by the basket, not by the hour.

Wednesdays and Saturdays I’d get up at 3:00 am to help load a truck and drive two hours to market where I’d stand all day out in the sun hawking fruit. And a few nights a week,  I’d go babysitting for fun. And, I’d come out of the whole summer with enough money to maybe buy a new pair of Earth Shoes for back-to-school.

Kids.

stress-free xmas shopping

Shopping Frenzy
Diana Ong

 

Well, since it’s looking bleak and horrible Christmassy out today we might as well start thinking about the upcoming capital expenditure festive season. I don’t know about your neck of the woods, but in these parts, the day after Halloween (this Saturday) is the official start of Christmas Shopping Frenzy.

Halloween crap disappears from store shelves with lightening speed to be replaced with equal rapidity by Christmas crap. Decorations go up, canned carols echo through malls, the round of office parties begins, craft shows abound, the school pagents start getting thrown together and the shopping revs into fifth gear. All the gates of hell open up and we get sucked into the fiery vortex of Christmas shopping anguish, torment and lamentations…

make a list I need a list where’s my list I need 25 gifts and I only have 23 what do I get dad there aren’t enough tickle me woody allen dolls they’re all sold out sally will be so disappointed christmas is ruined my visa’s all maxed out I have no more money christmas is ruined I only spent $500 on billy and $550 on all the other kids I need another gift what about dinner who’s coming for dinner I need to shop for food are the stores open late I can’t find batteries where do I park the lot is full I don’t have enough wrapping paper the bows don’t match our decorations are out of style we can’t find a tree the trees are too expensive should we go for artificial  christmas is ruined I don’t have time to decorate when will we put the rudolph on our roof I need to find something for the secret santa party for the office I have two holiday concerts to go to in one night what do I do I have no time i haven’t done my baking yet christmas is ruined i have 12 parties to go to and nothing to wear first thing new year’s i do on a diet how many teachers do I have to get mugs for this year what about the hockey coach does he get a gift the mailman the garbage guy my hairdresser the boss my secretary

Of course some people enjoy this. If you do, go for it. Knock yourself out.

I don’t.

If you don’t, here’s one word of advice: Internet

Yes, for the last five years or so I’ve done all my Christmas shopping on the Internet. I sort of phased it in during the five years or so before that; buying some gifts online and some in person. I know it’s nice to touch stuff, see what it really looks like, try it out, smell it, check it over, etc., etc. But, weighed against the freedom from mall horror shows, I can live without it.

Pretty much everything is available online. Most of it can be shipped to you or anywhere else you want it to go within a couple of days. And most places ship free if you order enough. Or you can pick it up yourself if the store is in your area. And, you’ve still got time to check things out and return them if it’s not exactly what you wanted.

No lines, no crowds, no traffic snarls, no parking problems, no weather issues, no impulse shopping and you can do it all in your pajamas in front of your fireplace with a steaming mug or sparkling glass of something holidayish in one hand.

They even gift wrap if you want, so you can be just as surprised on Christmas morning as the person receiving the gift.

Best things to buy via Internet? Books, magazine subscriptions, toys, electronics, hard to find/rare/unusual gifts, personalized stuff, gift certificates – anything really.

I know, you’re thinking it sounds so impersonal, right? Well, Christmas is kind of an obligatory, generic, gift-giving time anyway. It’s mandatory to buy a gift or gifts for certain people in your life at that particular time. That already makes it impersonal in my books. Also, going insane is not my idea of a fun time and most of the Christmasmaniacs I know are more or less insane by December 25th.

So, I try to keep myself out of most of the craziness and save my personal shopping for other times when I’m relaxed and maybe happen upon something I think someone might like and am thinking only about that particular person and not ticking them off a list of dozens of other people I have to buy for.

Happy shopping!

10 Things You Need to Know Today

 

1.  Celine Dion in on Oprah today! The world’s two most annoying loved people together in one room talking and stuff.

2.  There’s a winter storm watch in effect for Ottawa and outlying regions. With any luck our TV signals will be down for the day.

3.  The Urban Dictionary defines XUP as: “an alternate to sup, or wassup. (e.g.:yo dude, xup witjoo? i had a wikkd night man!)”

4.  Ontario is thinking it might be a good idea to ban the use of cell phones, Blackberries and GPS devices while driving. GPS devices?

5.  Scientists have genetically engineered purple tomatoes containing shitloads of “anthocyanins” which help fight certain kinds of cancers and other age-related diseases. Usually anthocyanins are found in blueberries, cranberries, purple grapes and other darkly pigmented fruits. Oh ya, that should work out well. Couldn’t we just, um… eat blueberries? And what happens to that lycopene stuff that’s so good in tomatoes? Will they maybe have to re-engineer bananas to include lycopene then?

6.  Sears is recalling the “Cool Touch” toaster because it’s a fire hazard. Bwah-ha-ha.

7.  Roy Pearson, a former district administrative judge, is suing a Washington dry cleaners $67 million for losing his pants. “It’s not about the pants,” says Pearson. The law suit says he’s suing because they lost his pants. I have trouble following all the legalese here. I also have trouble envisioning 67 million dollar pants.

8.  Gerard Damiano, director of the movie “Deep Throat,” died yesterday at the age of 80. That was one freaky movie. And it set some pretty high/low/unrealistic standards for fellatio.

9.  A woman in Japan playing the online game, Maplestory, was furious when her virtual husband divorced her. So, she logged into the game using the man’s ID and password and “murdered” his character. She has been arrested and faces up to five years in prison. “I was suddenly divorced, without a word of warning. That made me so angry,” she said.

10.  Celine Dion in on Oprah today! My god people! What sort of sick, twisted mind organizes stuff like this?

Sex, Lies & Friendship

So, a friend of mine was in town for a conference and we met up at his hotel for breakfast on Saturday. As we get to our table I see, Tom[1], the husband of a very old friend of mine, at a table across the room with an attractive, considerably younger woman (not his wife).

I think nothing of it at first glance thinking they’re at a conference, too, and get up to go say hello. Then I notice they’re sitting right next to each other instead of across from each other. “Hmmm,” I think, making my way over to their table.

Maybe they’re waiting for other people or other people had been there and left already. But they’re in the middle of their meal and there are no other place settings. Then he picks her hand up in his and starts licking the inside of her palm in a distinctly non-work colleague kind of way.

“Hi Tom,” I say, with a look on my face that says, “please hurry up and tell me this isn’t what it looks like.” Tom is all jovial…. Fancy meeting you here…. How’s it going…What’s new?

“Hi,” I say pointedly to his breakfast partner. “I’m XUP, a good friend of Tom and his wife.”  She, at least, has the grace to look a bit sheepish and flashes a worried-looking glance at Tom. “Oh ya,” says Tom and flings his arm around the woman and says, “this is Megan” and then adds, “you know…” and winks at me!!!

“I don’t believe you,” I say lamely (but with disgust) and go back to choke down some breakfast with my friend. I look over now and again and see them rubbing noses and exchanging spit. Their breakfasts don’t get eaten because their hands always seem to be under the table somewhere.

All weekend I’ve been wondering what the hell do I do with this information?

POINT:  If I were Tom’s wife I sure as hell would want to know, if for no other reason than to protect myself against possible diseases.  He was so damn cocky, this can’t be a one-time thing, right? And, I would be very pissed at my friend(s) if she/they knew and didn’t tell me. Especially, if that friend was me, who’s known both of them since before they even knew each other. Me, who was Best Chick at their wedding.

COUNTERPOINT:  I’m not Tom’s wife. She may not feel the same way. They got married very young and he was quite wild at the beginning of their marriage and she forgave him a lot. We all thought he’d settled down. In fact, not too long ago at their 25th wedding anniversary party, several people commented on what a good husband and father Tom had eventually turned out to be. In fact, Tom’s wife was one of the people who made that comment. Also, Tom seemed pretty confident that I wasn’t going to say anything or maybe even if I did, his wife wouldn’t believe me. Knowing her, he could very well be right.


[1] Not his real name, of course, and neither Tom nor his wife read my blog or are even aware that I have a blog as far as I know. They don’t live in Ottawa.

Pollyanna Takes a Picnic

I got an email the other day that said something to the effect that my blog was always so mean and sarcastic and why don’t I ever write anything nice. Sooooo, today I’m going to write something nice.

Four of my coworkers and I, escape force ourselves to go out each Friday at lunch to bitch about work unwind at a local eatery/drinkery. We try a different place each week, anything from diners to pubs to ethnic cuisine to vegetarian buffets. The goal is to try something new every time and have a few pints laughs.

Today was such a gloriously beautiful day and, we figured, perhaps one of the few remaining gloriously beautiful days for the next few months, (birds singing, sun shining, leaves crunching, temperatures still hanging in at the double digits). So, we decided to have a picnic today instead of going to a restaurant.

We planned all week.

Lululemon Boy[1] brought his tiny BBQ, his ghetto suburb blaster and a stunning variety of tunes.

Nigel[2], our resident chef, and mascot, brought a tub of mayonnaise-free potato salad and a paper plate which he tried to convince us was an English frisbee.

 Uma[3] (who was in a sizzling hot competition with the stuff on the BBQ) and The New Boy[4] (who was too shy at first to have his picture taken) picked out some tasty hot sandwich fixings.

 And we all purchase the required beverages. (Because it’s important to stay well hydrated when spending time in the outdoors).

I was Pollyanna[5], chronicler of the event and disguiser of participants in the photos in case there’s a trial.

Here’s everybody waiting for stuff to warm up.

Mmmmmmm, starting to smell good!

Ready. (No, I didn’t eat any of the meat products. I had something just as good, though far less photogenic.)

We watched this guy for a while in his industrial leaf-blowing machine blowing leaves around. In a park. In the same spot. For an hour.

Then everyone started to get silly and danced around a bit. Then the conversation, like most conversations in situations like this turned to tattoos, piercings, kinky sex and whether or not it would be a good idea to pitch a tent.

Ahhh. Good times!

Before we knew it, it was time to go back to work.

That part of the picnic was too sad to capture on film.

 


[1] Not his real name, we mock him mercilessly because he’s so frightfully, frightfully macho, yet is giddily in love with his Lululemon sweater.

[2] Not his real name, but his evolving new look puts us in mind of some sort of high-brow British alternative rock musician and as far as we know they are all called Nigel.

[3] Not her real name, but she is tall and leggy and blond and likes to kick ass.

[4] Not his real name, but he’s only been working with us for a couple of months so we can’t be expected to remember his real name. We think it has a vowel in it.

[5] Not my real name, but I’ve adopted it for the day to help me be nice.

Stupid Makes the World Go Around

“Money Makes the World Go Around”, sang the skinny little guy in Cabaret.

“Love Makes the World Go Around” sang other skinny little people in Carnival, Me and My Girl, and No Strings. Perry Como, Paul Anka, Madonna and Ashlee Simpson all sang about love making the world go around, too. 

Fern Halper thinks “Data Makes the World Go ‘Round”

Other opinions on things that make the world go around include: Music, Greed, Denial, Status, Kinky Sex, Credit, PhysicsPassion, Art, and even Cheese.  Cheese is pretty good, but it doesn’t make the world go around.

All of these are cute ideas, but don’t really make the world go around. It wasn’t until I read Rick McGinnis the other day that I realized what it is that really does make the world go around.

Stupid!

Stupid makes the world go around. Rick was just talking about the TV world, but it was instantly clear to me that Stupid actually makes the whole, entire, wide world go around. Consider this:

  • The legal system would completely collapse if it weren’t for Stupid: Stupid criminals, Stupid law suits, Stupid accidents, Stupid marriages, Stupid divorces, Stupid bar brawls.
  • A huge percentage of the health care system would have nothing to do if it weren’t for Stupid: Stupid accidents again, and Stupid lifestyles that involve smoking, hyper-stress, drinking too much and eating too much.
  • Big Business couldn’t exist if Stupid didn’t rush out and buy or buy into every Stupid bigger and better Stupid thing Big Business churned out.
  • Government, is of course a self-perpetuating circle of Stupid. Without Stupid there would be no government and no need for government. Government is populated, driven, funded, controlled, administered, managed, lead and spearheaded by Stupid. It is also the single largest producer of Stupid worldwide.
  • Media (the fourth estate of Stupid), thrives on Stupid. Stupid is its bread and butter. Stupid sells papers.  Media is Stupid for the people and by the people.
  • In the entertainment industry, Universal Stupid is a mandatory requirement. Without Stupid, ratings fall, music doesn’t sell, movie theatres sit empty (see Beverly Hills Chihuahua. Still number one at the box office).

Ergo, Stupid may be inconvenient right now, causing you a lot of extra work, time and money. Stupid may be making you frustrated, causing your blood pressure to spike, wreaking havoc in your life, maybe even killing your loved ones. BUT,  Stupid is essential to the grander scheme of things.

How many of you would be out of a job if it wasn’t for Stupid? 

Stupid is a vital life force. It’s bigger than the individual “you and me”. Remember, there is no “I” in Stupid.[1]   

 

 

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[1] The only known way to cope with the effects of Stupid in the short-term is to: Stop, Drop and Loll