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.

Spring-chronicity

DSC00871A few weeks ago I became a student in a local comedy class. It’s always been a terrifying fantasy of mine to try stand-up, and since I’m turning 60 this year I figured now to be as good a time as any to get on it.

We’re now in week #7 of class, with our “Graduation Show” coming up this Saturday. I am prepared and yes, duly terrified.

Early on in the writing of the material to be presented in the final presentation, I’d included a bit about how much I love and appreciate gardening. Aside from the emotional benefits of playing in the dirt and creating beauty, it is truly amazing how much fruit a single tomato or bean seed can yield.

With this thought in mind, I’d written something like,

“It’s so satisfying to toss a few seeds into the dirt and get results months later. I threw a dozen eggs into the garden last fall and I’m really looking forward to having chickens this spring.”

That bit got ditched — I have much better stuff now for the final show! But, an interesting thing happened today.

It was the first day in the garden since last fall. The garden gate had to be pried loose from the ice pack holding it shut, but once I was in, it was heaven.

Steady March sun warmed me and the earth as I worked to clear a place for the peas. (It’s a personal tradition dating back to childhood to plant peas on Good Friday, whenever on the calendar that day might occur.) Even though snow had to be shoved around, green shoots of onion and strawberry were ready to take off their winter coats.

Although this is the 6th year I’ve tilled this particular garden plot, new and foreign “stuff” still shows up in the dirt. Last year I found an intact glass bottle from a well-established local pharmacy, and there’s always more shards and rocks and marbles and nails that have wiggled their way up, around, and about to the surface of the soil.

GardenChicken

But lordy, look what I found today! The thing is metal, about 2” high, probably from the 50’s or 60’s given the style of painting:

All I can say is, someone has a sense of humor.

 

Jeanne Fiorini loves it when nature conspires to amaze and amuse.

TarotWorks http://www.tarotworks.com
She’s NEAT http://shesneat.com

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.

“You Read Tarot? But You Look So Normal”

FortuneTeller Jeanne Fiorini Tarot Reader blogI’ll bet this is something other metaphysical authors and practitioners have encountered….the first-time meeting with someone when your “reputation has preceded you” and lo and behold, you turn out to be a normal person.

No high oblong forehead. No pointy ears. No unnatural skin tones. No elongated extremities.

People don’t expect this: they think if you read Tarot for a living or delve into the mysteries of consciousness that you’re probably going to look like a character from a Whitley Strieber novel or have just come directly from the Na’vi screening room.

Or that you’re inaccessible and weird. Or that you don’t have a sense of humor. Sometimes I think I was given a pleasantly-average physical appearance to help make my work as a Tarot reader more palatable.

Another thing I find amusing is how befuddled people can be when they find out that I spend most of my Sunday’s from mid-September until early February watching pro football.

Somehow, attending to metaphysical pursuits AND avidly watching grown men bash into one another are incongruent activities in the mind of some people!

My friend Margo and I, during one of our Sunday afternoon soirées with the New England Patriots, will often laugh out loud when we realize we’ve been chatting about archetypes and symbolism and the significance of the Tarot, happily noshing on our chips and dip, and then are, in the very next moment, hollering obscenities at the screen due to a missed field goal attempt.

Sorry to disappoint, but for the most part Tarot readers and their ilk are just regular folks trying to make sense of this life.

Jeanne Fiorini TarotWorks http://www.tarotworks.com

Yup, pretty normal. Jeanne Fiorini is among those folks just trying to make sense of this life. If you’d like a little clarity and insight along the way, why not contact Jeanne for a Tarot reading? Or give one as a gift this holiday … it’s so corny, but a Tarot reading is a gift that really does keep on giving.

Yard Sale Documentation Project: 11-10- 2012

Let’s see, where did we leave off?

October 20th

Rained out. Just as well, I was feeling uninspired i.e. lazy.

October 27th

We’re at the point in the season where the “just wander around and look for signs” approach is no longer effective. This is now a targeted effort. And while the number of sales in the classifieds for this Saturday is down to a mere 22, there are some tempting listings.

Although there was quite a bit of stuff out there today, I didn’t come home with much, and for two very good reasons:

1.  The “I really don’t need that even though it’s totally cute” mantra that still is cycling through my head.
2.  Severe price delusions by young’un’s who think granny’s stuff is valuable just because it’s old. They’ll get the message when the end of the day comes and they’re faced with a mountain of old pine and rusty tools and outdated junk.

But I did score a new stick vac (I don’t need a sincere vacuum since I only have throw rugs at my house) and a set of “Three Little Pigs and the Big Bad Wolf” finger puppets for little Ms. Vera.

Total outlay: $6, plus I was home in time to ready the house for hurricane Sandy who is supposed to show up on Monday. We had an earthquake here in Maine a few weeks ago; what gives, Mother Nature?


November 3rd
I worked this day, co-facilitating a Jung and Tarot workshop. A great group of inspiring and enthusiastic participants made it so that I only thought a couple of times about what I might be missing in YardSale Land on this sunny Saturday.

November 10th

The Portland Press Herald’s classified section declared on Friday that the yard sale season has ended.

I beg to differ. Despite clumps of snow and chilly temps, people were selling and people were buying on this second weekend in November. And, by some sort of fortuitous yard sale telepathy, several decent sales were clustered around a well-to-do area in neighboring Scarborough.

This “well-to-do” aspect can work in your favor and sometimes it bites you in the butt. Sometimes it means there’s high quality bargains in them thar hills; sometimes it’s a pre-cognition of the relativity of money and that the realization that the word “bargain” means different things to different people.

Kate and I operate under “the 10% rule.” If the yard sale price is 10% (or less) of what the item would cost new, a purchase is worth considering. Much more over that constitutes price delusion and we’re apt to be headed toward the car mumbling and grumbling.

It was amusing to me, but not surprising, to see again those same young’un’s referred to on October 27th, still tied to their imagined value of grannie’s junk. I picked up a pair of dessert dishes, marked $2, and asked the girl if she’d take $1 for them.

“Yes, $1 each,” with a glare she replied.

I could have done without the attitude. Back on the shelf they went, and I hope she enjoyed packing them up at the end of the day.

At a different sale, I observed a man drop $100 cash on two different piles of art prints. Both the seller and the buyer were thrilled with the transaction, and I have no doubt that the buyer got a good deal there; the prints were authentic and lovely.

As I said, money means different things to different people.

When it was all said and done, and it was done fairly quickly today, an eclectic and useful mix of things did come home with me. Here’s the tally:

1. Two funky cookbooks (I love that title, Lode of Vittles!) for my brother Bill who owns a B&B in the Adirondack Mountains, white Pfaltzgraff bowl, and two small notepads …. from the “Free” pile
2. Fisherman’s cross-stitch for my other brother Mike    …..$2
3. Five pieces of arty-crafty materials, always useful for my New Year’s Intention Map Workshop and the upcoming “Make your Own Holiday Ornament” event …..$1
4. Tall glass vase and Waverly Garden mug ……$1
5. Garden Scissors and heavy brass pine cone (from a coo-coo clock?) ….. $1
6. Three yards of burlap… any gardener knows you can always use burlap. …..   $1
7. Biographical fiction about the life of the Renaissance painter Sandro Botticelli, dated 1914 …..$1

Total expenses for the day: $7

Stay tuned for the final installment of the 2012 Yard Sale Documentation Project coming soon, where the full season’s accounting will be posted!

How much did she spend? What did she buy? Was it worth the time and effort? Does this woman need a new hobby? Does she need an intervention?

See you next time when you can decide for yourself.

 

Jeanne Fiorini is a Tarot professional and a yard sale addict who can stop any time she wants. Visit the TarotWorks website to see what Jeanne does when she’s not rummaging through other people’s stuff.

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.

New Age Fluffering

Maybe you’ve heard them, those words and phrases “enlightened” folks use these days to take the badness out of other words and phrases, words which they perceive to have negative connotations and need to be cast on the junk heap.

I’ll go on record in warning you that if you ever use these expressions in my presence I’m apt to fake barf.

The first time I heard such turn of phrase was many years ago when some colleagues were presenting a day long “playshop.” This was a self-development sort of event, with lots of introspection, journalling, role playing, sharing, and other methods of inner and outer dialogue.

Having done my share of personal growth over the years, I can say with certainty that this kind of activity is hard work. While I do understand the conceptual shift they were trying to accomplish with the word switch,  it made me wonder what had happened to give “work” such a bad rap.

When did “work” move from productive effort to “unwelcome repression?”  It reminded me of the Ike and Tina Turner version of “Rollin’ on the River” … workin’ for the man every night and day, the voice of the downtrodden and hopeless, that sort of thing. Nothing appeared to justify such an extreme reaction as far as I could see, but I suppose you never know.

In addition to the “aren’t we clever” factor of this particular word switch, labeling this event a “playshop” makes light of the sincere and strenuous effort it takes to effect personal growth; I found the attempt at being groovy to be offensive.

On to the present day. This week, someone asked me to make a “love offering” to help offset a business expense she made which might benefit a workshop (yes, I said it) we are facilitating together.  I wanted to say, “You mean like canned goods or something?”

Barf barf barf.

This phrase is such a misrepresentation of the facts. It is not coming from the love in my heart nor is it an offering if you have to ask me to give it to you. IT’S A FEE. IT’S MONEY. What she really meant to say was, “I want you to give me some money to help pay for one of my business expenses.” Dirty ugly money.  We all need it desperately and yet there are so many ways by which we couch the notion of getting it/having it/keeping it.

I don’t consider my business and the Tarot work to be New Age-y, if anything it’s Old Age: ancient, mysterious, enigmatic, steeped in tradition. Regardless, I can understand why New Agers, or anyone else for that matter, would want to distance themselves from the control freaks of the patriarchy, but sometimes it seems that the  living in “the new paradigm” just leads to different words for the same old stuff.

This new paradigm we’re all seeking requires that we be truthful, authentic, and kind. And whole. One of my favorite quotes from the iconic Carl Jung is, “I’d rather be whole than good.”  We can’t throw “work” or “money” on the junk heap if the new paradigm hopes to become integrated into our future reality.

It’s not likely that there will be a “love offering” for the ad campaign in question, but I may throw in a few cans of soup.

Jeanne Fiorini is a Tarot reader, teacher, and author with a few strong opinions on certain issues. Visit the TarotWorks website to learn all the ways the Tarot can help clarify your values, bring insight into your  dilemmas, and foster confidence for your life.

Yard Sale Documentation Project 9-1-12

I bet some of you just said to yourself, “Huh, she’s still doing this?”

Pathetic as it may sound, I’ll be out there until the snow flies or the sales dry up, whichever of those sad events occurs first.

Although, after yesterday’s outing one might wonder why. There were lots of sales, and some nice things, just not a lot that I couldn’t live without. Looks like I’m taking my own advice from last weekend’s burn-out experience of hosting a sale.

That’s the primary feeling carried over from sale-ing yesterday: the profound gratitude of being the buyer rather than the seller.  A friend of mine, while recently considering having a sale of his own to clear the house of unused and outworn goods, was discussing the prospect to a neighbor who claimed he’d “rather have birds pull my eyes out.”

Yes I was tired for days afterward but it wasn’t all that bad. I guess that’s one more notation in the column entitled “Why men don’t have babies.”

Since there was so little to account for today, I included the vase of sunflowers from the garden to brighten the scene. The Hamilton Beach processor was a find at $2, and the sweet $1 penguin drawing (5/25 print signed) makes me happy. Kate and I had a nice drive, it was a lovely late-summer morning, and I came home feeling perfectly satisfied.

So much so that I set myself on the couch and had a 2-hour nap. That yard-sale hangover is tough to shake but at least I still have my eyeballs.

Yard Sale Documentation Project Week of 8-25-12

Tuesday/4 Days Out

The race is on.

Placed flyers in the mailboxes of the neighbors, alerting them to the fact that there will a lot of people around on Saturday morning, in case they wanted to put some items out for sale. (If there was something like this happening around me on a Saturday I’d sure want a little advance notice.)

Needing to think about what size and color signage to post around the hood (you know how I feel about an effective yard sale sign!), where I can get enough tables on which to place my goods, and what sort of gizmo I can rig up on which to hang clothes, a gizmo that will efficiently display the lovelies in question without toppling and thereby smothering prospective buyers.

Too tired tonight to pull more stuff from the nooks, closets, and cupboards, but at this moment am sorely tempted to put most of what I own out on the street and see what happens.

Wednesday/3 Days Out

Wore many hats today: Radio Show host, babysitter, groundskeeper. No room for much else on this day beyond pricing a few items here and there.

Thursday/2 Days Out

In a moment of poor planning, I scheduled the annual “Pot Luck and Tarot Goods Swap” for tonight — like I didn’t have enough to do this week. At 11:00 last night I found myself in the kitchen marinating a turkey breast.

While in the shower this morning the thought dawned that I NEED to get to City Hall today and get a permit for the sale. The City of South Portland will send one of its representatives by for a friendly visit if you don’t have said permit visibly posted. That is a hassle you don’t need amidst the flurry of your opening hours.

There’s a lot to do today and none of it has to do with yard saleing: a 10:30 meeting, a Tarot reading session mid-afternoon, and the Tarot Soiree tonight.

Oh dear.

Yard Sale Documentation Project 8-20-12

Monday: Five Days Out
OK, the executive decision has been made to have a sale this coming Saturday. Since Kate starts a new teaching job in two weeks and doesn’t have the mental or physical energy to clear out the corners of her house, I’ll be the lone ranger on this one. The advanced weather report looks good, and while I’d much rather have a few partners in crime, I’m focused and ready to go.

With no clients on the books today and an open schedule, what started as a bit of house-puttering exploded into a   full-blown tear through the basement.

Items which I’d clung to retain a year ago are now easily jettisoned. I’d worried that without Kate’s cast-offs to add to the pile, mine might look like a runner-up for the “Worst Excuse for a Yard Sale” award; I needn’t have fretted.

My only problem at the moment is the sinus headache that’s been triggered by whatever has been growing in the basement during this hot and rainy summer.

The house is oozing unwanted items. Like when the aesthetician pulls the cleansing masque away from your face and you see what kind of gunk has been hiding in your pores … “Where did that come from? How long has that been there? Oh good lord I’m disgusting.”

This is what’s going on in the 1140 sq.ft. of my house.

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