Monthly Archives: October 2015

Thanks, I needed something to Blog about

There’s a small green grocer in Salem. I’ll refrain from naming it, but since it’s the only one of it’s kind, sheer triangulation will probably lead you to guessing it. Ordinarily, I never have a complaint about this place, but today was special, apparently.

I only wanted one item: Coffee milk.

There was only one employee at the counter and a customer ahead of me who was ordering a sandwich. Fine, I can wait. But mid order, the employee calls “Maggie” to ring out another customer… not me though. Did she think I was waiting to order a sandwich too? Maybe she could have said, “Excuse me, sir, I’m calling someone out to ring and I can see you only have one item. Would you like to go to that register so that you can be out of here quicker?”

This didn’t happen. Instead, I go to the line where Maggie has gone to ring and there’s another customer ahead of me. Okay, that customer only has a few things, so I guess I can be patient.

“Can I grab one more thing?” The customer asked.

“Of course,” Maggie said, ignoring my presence.

So the customer went and grabbed something. And another thing. And some more things. The employee rang up her purchases and she went to grab more items. Her order was spreading out on the counter like Greek fire and finally, I just returned the milk to the cooler and left. I should have left the milk on the shelf of snacks next to me, as it would have served them right to have it go bad in the time that it took for them to acknowledge their mistake. It’s not like they would have known it was me who left it there, since I apparently didn’t exist in that moment.

A Pleasant Reminder

As I was walking along side Collin’s Cove the other day, I was wearing this familiar shirt and I encountered another woman who was wearing the same thing.

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It reminded me of yet another thing I enjoyed doing since coming to Salem. Something that had nothing to do with tarot cards, or psychic fairs, and it made me look forward to March once more.

Maybe We Don’t Have a Hoverboard Yet

Gee, I wonder what this post is inspired by.

Back to the Future Part 2 was probably the most watched movie in my house. At least my parents preferred that to the other movie I watched a lot: Terminator 2.

What I think is important to remember is that Back to the Future was not a prediction of things to come. Like most stories about the future, it certainly projected a lot of things based on the predictions of the day, but ultimately it was one man’s fantasy. I’m going to discuss more of this in my other blog. Here, I want to remind everyone that even if we don’t have the hover board and the power laces, there are some other great things that we do have now.

Maybe our cars can’t fly. But they do come with features that protect us during a crash, and help us get to where we want to go safely and efficiently.

Maybe we don’t have hover boards, but we have phones that allow us to watch movies, pay bills, communicate with friends in other parts of the world, and allow us to actually see the International Space Station.

Maybe Max Speilberg didn’t produce Jaws 18, or whatever, but we can see Great White in 3D, on an IMAX sized screen.

The future is here and it’s pretty cool. Sure there are problems now, but there were just as many problems in the 80’s, and it didn’t stop us from waking up the next morning. And I don’t know about my readers, but even if Doc Brown doesn’t pull up outside of my house and offer me a lift, I’m content to arrive in the future in my own time by waking up tomorrow.

For The Last Time, that Boat has Sailed

In the five years since I moved to Salem, I realized that the biggest moments when I truly felt like a part of the community had nothing to do with what I originally came here for. In fact, the only tarot readings I have ever done were for friends or roommates, and the only time I have been in with the psychic community was more about socializing with actual people than any remaining interest in pursuing tarot as a career.

That ship had a limited amount of time in the harbor. If I really wanted to continue making money from tarot, I could have remained on Church Street in Burlington, sitting at my little table and enjoying the waxing and waning success I was slowly accumulating. But unfortunately, I came to Salem thinking it would be easy to dip my ladle in the cauldron and get my bowl of soup. The people who have been at this for far longer and got here before me made that impossible.

What’s amazing is that I came to that conclusion ages ago. Almost literally at the end of my first year, I realized that tarot reading was likely not going to be in the cards. But recently I made the mistake of being friendly and sociable with a well known psychic in the Salem area, who is a friend of John’s, and even has a photo in one of his books.

She was nice enough. But when I mentioned the reason I came to Salem, I was saying it by way of conversation, because she asked. I didn’t seek her out. She was a guest in our home, so Hindsight Detectives may keep that in mind when they ask me why I would even bring it up if I didn’t expect her to start making suggestions.

I can’t blame her for “trying to help”. I can blame her for not listening.

So maybe now, a visual aid will help to spell it out. In the words of Joss Whedon, there comes a time in the course of trying to revive your dream when you have to ask yourself, “Is it CPR or necrophilia?”

So here’s my dream of reading tarot cards in Salem.

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Here’s that dream finally setting sail for bigger pastures. And I’m waving goodbye to that boat.

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All Hail the Over Thinkers

Here is the first crossover post between Confessions and the Author’s Blog.

People accuse me of overthinking. I say accuse, because it never comes in the form of a compliment. Usually, it’s followed by a litany of the things I did, presented to me in a way that I assume is meant to shame me back into my corner to think about what I have done. Unfortunately, because I’m no longer ten years old, I am immune to such shunning, and instead it provides me some small amusement to listen to the preaching of the ignorant.

Here’s an example of such shaming from an earlier post:

FWIW I don’t see your coworker as giving “opposite” directions, just an alternate path. Maybe she perceives it as shorter or for some reason has a preference. Did you ask her why she would go around the back of the store instead of the front?

You *are* over thinking things, and to go to the extent of masking a video to “prove” you are right…
Save yourself some stress and learn to filter out the small stuff.

You could easily argue that this commenter had the best of intentions. But that intention goes right out the window when she/he/it feels the need tell me how to think. As if an anonymous poster has some mystical homespun set of wisdom that is far more powerful than the coworker I had made the subject of my commentary.

Yet, my blog for all of it’s faults, both real and imagined, has readers. It’s got to be doing something right to have a fairly consistent stream of traffic regardless of how infrequent my posts. I have to believe that some of my readers, most of my readers, recognize that there are some situations where my observations were not only dead on, but informative and educational.

So what does this have to do with getting to meet Dacre Stoker? Well, here is a guy who is not only the living descendant of Bram Stoker, but has spent much of his life tracking down chronicling the life story of one of the literary giants of the 19th century. He is a school teacher and a self-proclaimed academic, and a lot of the theories he presented to us at the Ames Theater in Salem, Massachusetts had no basis more reliable than the actual research that was available.

In other words, some might accuse Dacre of overthinking things. But really, he’s just taking what’s there, applying his knowledge and experience, and presenting a plausible scenario. And sure as the sun will set, I bet there are people who have listened to or read his theories, and have also accused him of overthinking details which the accuser would have no reason to find significant.

Bram Stoker himself was an “over thinker” who applied so much of his research and experience to his own writing career. He was so good at doing his bread-and-butter job that he actually wrote and published the manual that remained in use until the 1960’s. The men and women he rubbed shoulders with were also “over thinkers”. Sir Henry Irving, “over thought” the way actors should behave, Mark Twain “over thought” human decency, and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle over thought the hell out of a lot of things.

So accuse me of over thinking things if it pleases you to do so. Just know that all you will succeed in doing is securing my membership into an already pretty popular club of over thinkers.

The Failure of Humanity that is Peeple… makes me proud of the People

For those of you who are not aware of Peeple was an app that was reportedly like a much more personal version of Yelp. Like Yelp, you could use the Peeple App to rate actual individuals, and share all of the scathing details about the people you don’t like. Or as I like to call it: Bullying: The App.

I’m giving the people behind this idea the benefit of the doubt. Though there is some speculation as to whether or not this wasn’t some big hoax just to stir the melting pot, if such an App really was going to be a reality, I doubt there was any malicious intent behind it. That’s all I’m going to say on that.

What I will elaborate on is my sudden increase in faith for the whole of humanity. The vast majority of the Internet community seems completely against this idea. Page after page of Twitter feed lambasted the app from the moment it was announced, and suddenly, it was as if the world was united in it’s hatred of what would certainly become a tool for bullies to target individuals online.

So this may be the first time in my entire life when a failure of humanity has actually made me proud… of humanity.

I Think the Moment of Silence was Invented for People Like Me

I don’t always know the right thing to say. Sometimes I think I have the right words, but they are met with frowns and disapproval. So in the times when I have nothing to add, or nothing to say that is right, and I am equally unable to take action, it is the right time for me to say nothing.