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 , a personal organizer, and a rabid Patriots fan. Is she “diverse in her interests” or out of whack? You decide.


Remember “Tales From The Dark Side?”

In an interesting synchronicity, the new “Tales From The Tarot Table” feature on this blog crystalized on the same weekend that a friend sent me the link to a 1980’s episode of Tales From The Dark Side.

I do have a vague memory of such a series, a psychological mystery drama a la Rod Serling’s Twilight Zone, only a bit more campy. OF COURSE such a series is going to have at least one episode witnessing the enigmatic and exotic persona of the Tarot. “Come into my pahlor, dahlink ….”

First off, the show has some great one-liners for Tarot folk. My favorite is when the main character ( young blond woman, attractive in an 80’s sort of way) is bustling around prior to reading for a drop-in client — apparently they did this a lot back then, drop in on Tarot readers at their homes– and mutters something like, “What a way to make a living!”

I feel ya’, sister.

The title of this episode is, “In The Cards.” Is that the best they could do? It appears that TV writers in the 80’s were grossly overpaid.

It also appears that all readers in the 80’s used the Rider-Waite deck. This might seem strange to us 30 years later, but the truth is that prior to 1988 there wasn’t much else to choose from. Good thing, because they’re swapping decks all over the place here.

Oh, this thing is filled with stereotypes, for sure, but I would have been disappointed if there hadn’t been at least one turbaned old woman. And pay special attention to the background music and sound effects, they are amusing and eventually, do make a point. (No pun intended here, hee hee … you’ll see.)

All this being said, if you give the episode the full 22 minutes, you’ll see that there are some significant Tarot truths hidden in the seams between the hideous set decoration and the overacting in this cornball drama.

Take what you will from it, at the very least it’s an amusing look at one more way American culture has perceived the Tarot.

Be sure to visit a place where videos are neither cornball nor overacted: the TarotWorks website where the Streaming Video Classes page has been Updated and Repriced!


I may be suffering from the onset of electronitis.  “The inflammation of my electrons.” Maybe it’s my chronological age, but my head is spinning from all the ways the computer wants my attention.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m exceedingly grateful for the fact that the world-wide web of connections allows me to reach out to, speak with, teach Tarot to, and do readings for people all over the world. I would have had to take up a real job long before now if not for the internet, believe it.

However, each day I am confronted with several “new” ways to pay attention electronically: Join our networking site! Investigate this new software program, you’ll wonder what you did without it! Check out this new way to manage your contacts! Watch our new video series!

It’s all TOO BIG and it’s moving too fast. Geez I sound like an old person.

No wonder it seem like time is flying by …. it is. Used to be we measured time by how much the corn grew that day or how many more weeks it would be before the snow came; or how many more days it would take to receive that package that was coming from St. Louis, or to finish hooking that rug. It takes about 90 days for an edible tomato to manifest itself, and that’s given ideal weather conditions. Human babies have the good sense to take a solid 266 days before making an appearance.

All this might sound like someone gnawing at the hands that feed. … like someone who ate too much at a 5-star restaurant complaining about a belly ache, or how super-models whine about people always taking their picture.

I’m not really complaining, but I am getting clear about needing to set some serious boundaries on how fast I’m willing to run in place to keep up with it all.

And then there’s the “kettle calling the pot black” thing. Here I am writing this blog in hopes of readers and comments and followers and subscribers. Guilty. “Read this, please, but be careful about what else you buy into.” Honestly? I would say to be careful what you buy into, period.

Maybe that’s the right and responsibility of people in the computer, social networking, collaborative consumerism world that is emerging at the lightning-fast speed of electrons: Be discerning. Let it inform you but not conform you. Don’t let it take over your life.

Isn’t that what they said about TV in the 50’s?

Raising Hope Raises Eyebrows

Did anyone see the “Tarot Reader” episode of FOX TV’s sitcom Raising Hope which aired a few weeks ago? I’d be interested to hear your comments and opinions if you did.

It was insulting to readers and clients alike … or was it? Although the usual stereotypical depictions of both parties were in place, by the end of the episode some good points had been made.

Let’s start with the offensive depictions, which include but are not limited to:

  • The notion that a stranger has the secret and magical answer to the dilemmas of life.
  • The depiction of readers as a demanding, rude, and abrasive lot.
  • The concept that psychics are ready and willing to accept payment (cash only, please) for bogus information.
  • The fact that beaded curtains and tacky furnishings are a prerequisite for the trade.

Granted, the clients who seek Virginia’s brand of guidance are a hapless bunch. Blindly trusting, they swallow everything that Virginia spews, all of which is rooted in her own opinion of what they should do: “Cut that rat-tail!” “Neuter your truck!” “Call your mother!” All of which opens the door to further offenses:

  • Readers are allowed to tell you what to do because they’re  all-knowing.
  • Readers tell you what you want to hear so you will pay them.

And perhaps the worst cut of all:

  • Clients who seek out the advice of Tarot readers are idiots and therefore deserve what they get.

As Virginia soon discovers, there’s a lot of responsibility that goes along with telling people what to do. Initially, she’s very impressed by this: “Now people sit up and listen [to me], like I’m a god … or Judge Judy.” But soon she sees the havoc she is wreaking by the misuse of her gifts, and as fast as that neon sign went up, it comes down. “It’s too much pressure! Too much power!” Which brings us to the “plus” side of this episode’s equation:

  • There is a lot of power and responsibility that goes along with being a reader. Both the reader and the client need to be aware of this fact.
  • A reader’s motivation counts: Is it about the power? Money? Self-importance? A lack of anything better to do?
  • Idiot readers attract idiot clients and vice-versa.
  • We all reap what we sow: readers, clients, and everyone in between.

All in all, I’d give this episode of Raising Hope a “7” on the offensiveness scale, an “8” on the net value scale, and a “9” on the entertainment/interest scale. Tarot has a lot of trouble being taken seriously, and this little melodrama probably didn’t help matters. But the Tarot, like an elusive dream, does manage to regularly float to the surface of American popular culture. If you happened to have seen the episode, I’d be interested to hear your thoughts.

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