It’s Fun To Be Foolish

Steve Martin has no problem whatsoever acting like an idiot.Steve Martin

He once said — to Oprah, if I remember correctly– that it does not bother him when someone says, “Who’s that fool with an arrow sticking out of his head?

In fact, Martin went on to say that he presents himself intentionally to prompt laughter and that it’s irrelevant if the laughter results in the fact that others understand what he is doing or is the result of people thinking he’s a jerk.

I love that about him.

Humor has always held a high position in my personal “hierarchy of needs.” I’d give up a lot of things that hold value for me — art, gardening, a nice car, Ben & Jerry’s ­– as long as I still had a sense of humor. Life is hard, and if you lose your sense of humor it becomes even harder.

This past Saturday I had one of the best experiences EVER:  along with the 8 other people in my class, I presented a stand-up comedy bit at a local theatre. Family, friends, and comedy lovers from the community came out on a beautiful spring day to support those of us who’d worked like dogs over the past seven weeks to dig up the funny bone.

….Out of the Box….
Stretch your Boundaries…
……….Try Something Different…..
…Meet New People….
….  Expand Your Horizons….

Saturday’s performance was all the above and more. Supported by our wonderful teacher Tim Ferrell, the experience created a bond among us that will continue to nourish and inspire me. It was one of the best things I’ve ever done for myself.

Fun, terrifying, energizing, and did I say fun? Here’s the link to the video, I hope you enjoy it.

On this April Fool’s Day remember that, however it may happen, making someone laugh is just about the best thing you can do for them and for yourself.

Jeanne Fiorini TarotWorks http://www.tarotworks.comJeanne Fiorini is available for your next meeting, fundraiser, retreat, celebration, or gathering. No joke.

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Super Bowl Hangover

SuperBowlFoodLike most Americans, I watched the Super Bowl yesterday.

The whole thing was kind of a non-event since my Patriots weren’t in the show, but their absence from the festivities made me realize how most other football fans from the past decade have spent Super Bowl Sunday: having forgotten the fumbles, foibles, and troubles of the past 5 months and already setting sights and pinning hopes on “next year.”

We Patriot fans have been spoiled in this regard, but not this year.

We gathered nonetheless at my neighbor Margo’s house as we have all season long — me and Margo and one of Margo’s friends who still cannot believe she’s gotten sucked into the football vortex so late in life — for one last fix before the post-season doldrums set in.

Stockpiles of food and beer are requisite for a Super Bowl party, as if we were mounting a siege against Margo’s 55” TV screen in an epic battle of wills. But before halftime we already were laughing about the fact that most probably we were noshing on the most healthy Super Bowl buffet in the state of Maine, if not the entire Patriot Nation.

It began with fresh guacamole and corn tortillas … and gluten-free pretzels … and organic carrots and pea pods … and Nut Thin crackers (also gluten-free). After the appetizers came Margo’s homemade vegan broccoli soup accompanied by “chicken salad” from a local health food store. (One can only imagine what ingredients compromised that little delicacy.) The banquet was topped off with a flourless chocolate torte whose primary component was chick peas.

Hey don’t laugh! That stuff has 3 grams of fiber and 6 grams of protein, with only 10 grams of fat per slice. It’s chocolate, it’s good for you, and tastes yummy to boot. I’ll post the recipe if anyone’s interested.

I did maintain the traditional Sunday football custom and had a few beers during the first half of the game. Meanwhile, Suzanne sipped her spring water and Margo eventually made herself a cup of tea.

There were four beers in the fridge but I just couldn’t go there; turns out all that fiber is very filling.

So we hooted and hollered and commented on how nice men’s butts look in those black Raven spandex and wondered how Shannon Sharpe might look if he was somehow caught on camera in the shower — that’s what everyone else does, right?

I’m pretty sure, though, that we feel a lot better today than do most other folks who watched the same game.Super BwlCheese

But there’s always next year.

Jeanne Fiorini TarotWorks http://www.tarotworks.comJeanne Fiorini is a professional Tarot reader and teacher http://tarotworks.com , a personal organizer http://shesneat.com, and a rabid Patriots fan. Is she “diverse in her interests” or out of whack? You decide.

I Need To Get Out More Often

My friend Margo has been testing out the local comedy club scene lately.
Portland Maine offers lots of venues for artists of all kinds, I suppose I wouldn’t have a Tarot business at all if this area wasn’t amenable to various sorts of
self-expression.

I do know Margo to be funny. We watch Patriot football together on Sunday afternoons and her comments on the players “outfits” keep me amused:  “I’d never root for a team that wears those ugly pants” or “Who designed that helmet with that tiny bird on the side, what were they thinking?”  This and a few beers goes a long way on a cold November afternoon.

Last night was open-mike night at a local bar, and since Margo’s been looking for a new place to strut her material in the future, we headed out. (Aside from having opinions about the fashion choices of the NFL, she has taken comedy classes locally and is a member of Toastmasters International, so she does have some sense of what she’s doing up there.)

We arrive around 7:30pm, the event scheduled to start at 8pm. Aside from the bartender, we’re the only ones in the place. Margo quizzes the bartender as to how many people usually attend, since this “Open Mike Night” is on their weekly schedule, and he assures us that 40 or so people will soon be walking through the door. We get a drink and stake out a table in the back row of the front section near the mike.

The small dark space does fill up by 8:30 or so. Margo and I are front and center to the comedian on stage, all the other patrons and participants sit or stand in the shadows behind us. We don’t yet realize it, but Margo and I are sitting ducks.

Six or seven comedians take their turn at the mike. There are a few laughs from the crowd, but mostly it’s painful. Ten minutes can be a very long time when all eyes are on you and you’re supposed to come up with something witty, pithy, raunchy, timely, hilarious, or otherwise entertaining. Most of what we had observed up to this point was wrenchingly protracted.

Contestant #7 arrives at the mike, beer in hand, shakes his head and says, “OK, I’ve got to ask… what are you two doing here? What, was knitting class over early tonight? Are you in here trying to justify the choices your children have made: ‘Oh well, as least little Amanda didn’t become a comedian.’ What gives with you two?”

It was then that I realized a few things:

  1. We were the oldest people in the joint. Everyone else was in the 20’s-30’s range and mostly dressed in black.
  2. Most of who was in attendance were comedians themselves, awaiting their turn at the mike. There might have been some friends and onlookers amid this gaggle, but for the most part, whoever was there had been there on a weekly basis and they all knew each other.
  3. I really didn’t like being called “old.
  4. I wanted to get up there and show them how to do it!

For instance, during her monologue an attractive red-headed woman touched on the name-branding of condoms, Trojans specifically, as a misnomer, since the famous Trojan horse spilled its manliness all over the place and created a big chaotic mess. Then she dropped it. This was a perfect opportunity to go into what does make an effective brand name for a condom, since the possibilites there are endless.

She also seemed to think that simply using the word “vagina” would get some laughs. I would have taken that ball and run with it: “That’s no vagina, that’s my love canal; my stairway to heaven, baby; my pink Cadillac; this here’s a man-eater; my tourist trap; my penis squeegee; ET: the  Erection Terminator. Look out, here it comes!” Hip movements and wide-eyed facial expressions would be mandatory.

Old knitter my ass.

I’m not putting these people down, mind you. I give them tons of credit for getting up there and exposing themselves in this way. It’s just that they could learn a thing or two from two old broads like Margo and me.

 

Jeanne Fiorini is now looking at ways to blend her new career of stand-up comedian with her passion for the Tarot. Visit the TarotWorks website to see how Tarot can bring integration into your life.

What a World!

If you live long enough, you’ll find that all sorts of weird and interesting things can happen.

It’s not that I’m ancient (nearing 59 but really still 14), it’s just that sometimes things happen and I think, “In what kind of universe does such a thing happen?” Take for example, Richard Simmons in his shiny red and white striped gym shorts. Or chocolate covered bacon. Or doggie Halloween costumes. Or the fact that next Wednesday I launch my own radio show.

Honestly, I’m not even sure how I got to this place of reading Tarot as a chosen profession. I mean really, who does such a thing? It’s been over 20 years and yet, when making opening remarks at a lecture or event, the words sound in my head like a confession at a 12-step meeting: “Hello, my name is Jeanne and I’m a professional Tarot reader.”

What a world. I’m not complaining, just observing; and musing on how/why it is that I’ll be broadcasting my words, thoughts, and impressions on the world wide web for the next several months…through October at least.

It is a great comfort to know that it won’t be my voice, but the voices of others that will really make the show. We’ll be doing an hour-long show with live on-air readings …  talk about “being in the moment!”

To be a fly on the wall in the presence of someone else’s reading is really a wonderful opportunity to learn a bit about the Tarot system, to understand the  complexities of the Tarot reading process, to witness the challenges which other people face, and perhaps gain some insight for yourself. It is this combination of experiences that the radio show will bring to listeners.

As with all programming, this show exists for the listeners — and in this case, the callers. So as an incentive to tune in to the first show (Wednesday July 11th at 3pm EST), I’m offering a FREE (and private) half-hour phone reading to whomever is the first caller on July 11th’s broadcast.

Here are the particulars — I do hope you’ll tune in. The whole thing promises to be interesting, informative, and FUN!

CLIC TAROT with JEANNE FIORINI 
http://www.w4wn.com   (All you do is click the link and you’re there!)

Wednesday afternoons  3:00 pm EST beginning July 11th

To Be On-Air with your question for Jeanne and the Tarot:
telephone 561-422-4365 or Skype to w4wnradio

BTW, CLIC stands for Clarity, Insight, and Confidence — three things Tarot can bring into your life!

Yard Sale Documentation Project 6-16-12

It’s nearing the height of the season. The weather has been cooperating, and there are as many unadvertised sales as there are published notices for where to find a “Mega Yard Sale”, a “Cleaning Out Sale: 30 years in the Making” and a sale where “Everything must go.”

This is also the time of year when friends are apt to join us for the Saturday morning adventure. I really enjoy sharing the event with a newcomer, but I also feel the pressure of wanting to make sure they have a good experience, enjoy their morning, and come home with at least one prime score.

My friend of 20-years Janice was with us this week. She’s long heard the stories and admired the objects that have landed in my home over the years of my participation in this addiction …. I mean hobby.

On Thursday, when I asked her what she needed in the morning to be ready to go, she mentioned what fun it would be to go out to breakfast for eggs and home fries before heading out. Obviously I had not been clear that the bus leaves at 7:45am and if there are home fries to be had, they’re on one’s plate by 6:30.

“You are one serious yard sale mama.”

But, my friend Janice knows how to suck it up. Here she is having her breakfast(sans home fries) on my porch at 7:30am, all perky and ready to go…

… sort of.

Niether one of us are chirpy happy in the morning.

Janice was impressed by the quality neighborhoods we visited during this morning’s excursion. Yes, the home seen below can bring tears of joy to a yard-saler’s eyes but there is a catch: if you live in a house like this, your idea of a bargain might be vastly different from mine.

Although Kate and I each did pick up a few things here, Janice experienced this gap in perception around the value of a metal planter. Hard to imagine that a buck or two either way really makes a difference here, but apparently it does.

Also this morning we also had the dubious pleasure of exposing Janice to one of the perennial yard sale folk, “Bike Guy.”

While it is honorable that this guy spares the planet his gas emissions by riding his bike throughout the 10-mile radius in which he can be spotted on any given Saturday, the guy has the personality of a door  knob, not bothering to look through the things in a person’s sale but going directly to the owner with the same repetitious, flat-toned words every time. “Do you have any CD’s, DVD’s , records?”

Janice maybe thought we were exaggerating the lack of couth on this one, but she had the opportunity to witness the monotonous and somewhat rude speech not once, but at two different sales. Same approach, same missed opportunity.

In contrast, and I’m kicking myself for not taking her picture, we met a most gracious woman who allowed Janice and I to ogle and aahh over her adorable, well-preserved 1920’s bungalow. We were in a modest seaside neighborhood when the woman, catching my friend and I peering through her open door to see what beauty might be resting inside, invited us inside to share the joy.

Original woodwork, a stone and brick fireplace built by the home’s first owner, perfectly proportioned windows, all with  a sense of spaciousness and grace matching that of its current owner — original, authentic, and beautiful.

This is the sort of thing “Bike Guy” will never experience.

On to the haul for the day. Janice did go back to New Hampshire with some new valuables and rated her South Portland sale-ing experience as an “8.”

In addition to the things pictured here (a new pair of Merrill shoes, a pair of decorative shoe clips from the 40’s which will more likely serve as sweater closures or a scarf clasp — the things have serious teeth!– a book for Vera, a humongous pillar candle for use on the front porch, a small picture stand, and a mirrored hook for the bathroom) there are two “honorable mentions” from my stash.

The first is the mirror seen here, already in position between my dining room and living room. It’s said that mirrors in a dining space increase the sense of abundance at the table, and even though this one is high above, it makes a nice statement and is a lovely addition to the room.

The final object du jour is this painting by a local artist, Rick Hamilton. This is the second “Hamilton” to come into my home, Hamilton the First hangs in the kitchen, whereas this one found its home in the dining room. I just love the shapes, the colors, and the simple happiness this painting conveys. And it’s nice to support local artists, even if it is in the yard sale venue.

  So there you have it. Total cost for the day’s purchases: $17.50. And while Janice gave the day an “8” and I’m glad she was happy with it, I’d call it a “7.”

I don’t want to shoot the moon too early in the season.

BIG NEWS: Jeanne’s Tarot Radio Show Coming in July

Woo- Hoo! 

Starting on Wednesday July 11th at 3pm EST, I’ll be hosting my own radio show on the Women 4 Women Network, live on internet radio.

The show is called “Clic Tarot,” Clic being an acronym for Clarity, Insight and Confidence. And despite the name of the network, the show welcomes listeners of all genders.

I’ll be doing live readings for call-in listeners, we’ll be learning about the Tarot and how this system of symbols tells its story, we’ll be talking about life and love and work and metaphysics and having an all-around good time on Wednesday afternoons!

Here’s what the radio ad will tell you about Clic Tarot:
Are there places in your life that could some clarity? Are you uncertain about the direction your life seems to be headed? Are your relationships truly meeting your emotional needs? Could you use some insight into an important matter in your life?

Tune in to Clic Tarot with Jeanne Fiorini every Wednesday afternoon at 3:00pm EST, when Jeanne and the Tarot will offer clarity, insight, and confidence about what matters most in YOUR life.

My lovely and talented friend Deirdre worked with my lovely and talented friend Larry to put together an inspired piece of harp music for the background music for the show, the perfect accompaniment for what I hope to accomplish with this project: a sense of clarity, insight, and confidence for individuals and a greater understanding and appreciation for the Tarot.

Mark your calendars for July 11th at 3pm EST, put a star on Wednesday afternoons, and tune in to the perfect way to bring fun and enlightenment into your week.

Woo- Hoo!

Yard Sale Documentation Project: 4-21-12

Today is not going to set any records in the annals of yard sale history. Although the predicted-rain held off until much later in the day, this was a day where we all might have been better off sleeping in.

Today we had some guest salers with us, one of my daughter’s friends from high school and her sister. Kathy was searching for baby items for her June arrival, and her sister was looking to decorate her new office. Sadly, the only one who got anything today was Vera, and she didn’t even bother to make the trip. (She’s only 18 months old so I’ll cut her some slack.)

The photo at the top of this article is the sight that sends a yard saler’s heart into a twitter: THE PILE; the mound of possessions on someone’s property just waiting to be plucked. Such potential … which on this day was unrealized.

You’ll be seeing many photos of yard sale signage over the course of this season’s blog. Having a good sign for your sale is like having a smile on your face when you’re on a first date.

I wish I had taken a picture of the meager attempt to draw customers into one of the better-off neighborhoods, a pathetic 8” x 10” brown cardboard sign with black lettering on a 1’ stake on the opposite side of the road from where we needed to turn. COME ON people, give us something to work with here!

And then there’s this:

No address to locate, no arrow to point the way, no Pile in sight. No help at all.

Today’s doldrums did, however, spurn the clarification of the categories for which we will be casting votes during the current season. Here they are:

  • Best Dang Yard Sale of the Season
  • Best Over-All Day of the Season (Last year this was the day Kate’s college friend Whitney from Connecticut was with us…hope she doesn’t expect a repeat performance as a matter of course. Seriously — we needed two cars to cart home all the stuff we’d bought that day.)
  • Worst Excuse For a Yard Sale
  • Biggest Price Delusions of the Season
  • Best Signage of the Season
  • Most Fab Sighting of the Season (Refer back to the 2011 sighting of a woman mowing her lawn at 8:30am while sporting hair rollers and a nightie.)

So while it wasn’t that great of a sale day out there this morning, it’s always good to spend a few hours with my daughter and get an early start to the day.

For the record, here’s what I picked up for Vera: some Melissa & Doug wooden puzzle boards and a new book. Total cost $1.25.

Why The Beatles Were The Fab Four

This is a revisit of one of my favorite articles, hope you enjoy it:

Last October John Lennon would have celebrated his 71st birthday. For those of us who grew up on a steady diet of Beatles hits, who suffered our growing pains along with the roller coaster of their career, this is a hard thing to imagine; both in that we’ve gotten this old and that John Lennon has left the building.

The Beatles were as much a part of my adolescence as was the color of my bedroom. Black and white 8X10 glossies of each of them hung on my closet door and I regularly, faithfully, bade them goodnight. Special headphones were purchased for my stereo system so that I could play Beatle albums at a deafening volume without driving the rest of the family to murder. John Lennon’s voice was as familiar to me as my father’s.

People who’ve taken Tarot classes with me have heard me say that part of what made the Beatles an archetypal force in our culture is that they were a quaternary, a “foursome of totality,” just like the four directions or the four elements or the four seasons, the four chambers of the heart or the four parts of the orchestra. The Beatles were the most Fab of Fours.

As part of this particular quaternary, each individual within the group had their own distinct personality, energy, and voice:

  • John: Intelligent, outspoken, spokesman for the group, the AIR element
  • Paul: Sweet-faced, dreamy, romantic lyricist, the WATER element
  • George: Quiet, reliable and stabilizing force, the EARTH element
  • Ringo: Flashy, free-spirited percussionist, the FIRE element

Of course these are only my attributions; valid arguments could be made for many other combinations. The point is that four specific individuals came together to create a phenomenon. I’ve often wondered if they would have been so “big” had there been only three or even five members of the group, instead of four.

I looked online to see if anyone had published a Beatles Tarot deck, but couldn’t find one. This, too, is hard to imagine! I’m not going to do any big research or strain my brain on this, but here’s what we’ve got to work with, just off the top of my head:

  • The Fool: The Fool on the Hill
  • High Priestess: Let it Be
  • Empress: Lady Madonna
  • Hierophant: Dr. Robert
  • Chariot: Baby You Can Drive My Car
  • Hermit: Across the Universe
  • Wheel: Revolution
  • Hanged Man: I Saw Her Standing There
  • The Devil: I Am the Walrus
  • Tower: Helter Skelter
  • Star: Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds
  • Sun: Here Comes the Sun
  • Judgment: Hey Jude
  • World: Imagine
  • Knight of Swords: Paperback Writer
  • Three of Wands: I’ll follow the Sun
  • Ace of Pentacles: Penny Lane
  • Ace of Swords: Maxwell’s Silver Hammer
  • Four of Pentacles: I Me Mine
  • Five of Cups: Yesterday
  • King of Cups: I’m Just a Jealous Guy
  • Five of Pentacle: I’m a Loser
  • Nine of Pentacles: And Your Bird Can Sing
  • Four of Cups: Nowhere Man
  • Nine of Cups: I Feel Fine

And that’s without even trying. If you like this game, the Aeclectic Tarot website has a fun link to more: http://www.tarotforum.net/library/62/2003-10/matching-beatles-songs-lyrics-or-title-to-tarot-cards-20031030.shtml.

All the lyrics, the flashpoints to the past, all the intangible emotions that are attached to these songs stick with us because the archetypes never grow old. They may change shape and color and outline but the symbolic energy within them remains constant, whether they show up in the images of the Tarot or in popular music.

It would be lovely to see the archetypes of the Tarot and the cultural archetype of the Beatles come together (whoa, an inadvertent pun!) in a Beatles Tarot deck. Even though the copyright wrangling would be an impossible nightmare, and even though John Lennon himself “don’t believe in Tarot,” a Beatles Tarot would be a wonderful thing to behold.

Yearning for Yard Sale Season

It’s a stormy, snowy day here in Maine today. Those of you “from away” might think this happens all the time in Maine, but that’s not been the case this year. In fact, today — March 1st —  is the first time this year that the kids in our school district received the ever-anticipated notice that schools were closed due to “current weather conditions.”

Dang! Just when I’d begun to think warm fuzzy thoughts about the upcoming yard sale season. Just when my daydreams were turning to visions of  the treasures that could be hidden among the castoffs from another person’s life. Just when the bargain-hound in me was awaking from its winter hibernation.

While the thought of getting up at the @** crack of dawn to rummage through other people’s belongings may give some of you the heebie-jeebies, this activity is one of the few things in the world for which I will get out of bed before 7am. If you’ve ever been to my house, you know why: the place is filled with one-of-a-kind items brought together over the course of many years to create a truly wonderful environment. Like they say on the Nate Berkus show, “I’m house proud,” and at the foundation of it are my yard sale finds.

Let me share some of my finds with you:

Everything in this photo is from yard sales.
The print is one of the best finds ever, a
30″ X 40″ art poster from the 1930’s
in its original frame. Cost to me: $30                                     

                                                                                                  Each piece here also from yard sales, including the Rookwood pottery and the hand-carved
wedding gourd.

Oh I do love my art prints, and pottery…
and real paintings…..
and did I mention pottery?                                 All sorts of home decor:
pillows from Pottery Barn,
Japanese wall hanging,
torchiere lamp… all adopted.

 And here’s my best find yet:                                                     an original oil painting that I snagged before I’d figured out where in my house there was a wall large enough to hold it. I can’t tell you how much it cost because it doesn’t do justice to the artist. It’s enought to know that I don’t go out sale-ing with more than $40 in my pocket.

Mind you, all this doesn’t happen in one weekend. It takes years of patient poking and sifting and discriminating between the wheat and the chaff in order to bring such a nice collection of unique items into your home. (Sometimes my daughter will say to me, “How did you manage to come out of that sale with something good?”)

It takes a good eye, a vehicle able to cart home your sometimes  w- i – d – e  assortment of goodies (you may come home with a piece of furniture, a good book, an unused ball of twine, and a new set of wrenches.) It also take a good measure of luck and timing.

GOOD LORD I can’t wait to get out there!

Program Note

Program Note: I’ll be on Project Freedom Radio today 4:15 EST with Tarot talk and live readings:http://www.projectfreedom.ws

Check it out!

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