Internet pal Cecily asked a bunch of people if they wanted to spend 10 free minutes on the phone with a psychic. "OH HELL YES", I replied, with a zeal that prompted me to reply in all caps, a practice I normally abhor. Because I sorta believe in the Spirit World, since Beth and I used to live in a Haunted Apartment. This was years ago, when we lived in one half of a duplex; seems that a few years before we moved in, someone had hung herself in one of the closets in the other half, and her ghost chose to hang out after shuffling off this mortal coil, the duplex being a beachside location, close to some fantastic restaurants and shops...I didn't tell you this? I must have. Things being moved around, cold spots, the feeling that someone was in the room with us...no? Remind me to tell you about it sometime. Suicide ghosts. They bring some Freaky Shit.
So yeah, I'm decidedly agnostic when it comes to such things. Because really, who knows. We think we have it all figured out, and then someone reels in a coelacanth, "discovers" a Lost Tribe living in the Amazon, or realizes, hey, there might be a new giant planet in the Solar System. I figure if noted physicist Brian Greene believes that parallel universes are possible...well, he's infinitely smarter than you or me, so I'll keep an open mind.
The site is Psychic Source. It's a clearing house, of sorts; you can scroll through the profiles of psychics and pick one that suits you: tarot readers, astrologists, clairvoyants, clairaudients, clairsentients (what do they call people that are clairvoyants and clairaudients and clairsentients? ClairAlls!), mediums, empaths, spirit guide readers, and at least one member of the X-Men. Per the website, the Psychic Source folks have a rigorous screening process (I envisioned the phone interview: "Hello?" "Hi, is Joe the Psychic there?" "Yes, this is Joe the Psychic, to whom am I speaking?" "Well, Joe, you should've known. Sorry." Click.) And Miss Cleo and Dionne Warwick are not in the lineup.
Ha ha ha. Yeah, I was having a bit of a laugh, reading through the website, but when it came time to call, I was a bit nervous. Because my wife had gotten the same deal, and the results were somewhat fucking creepy. So I picked out a Psychic who looked interesting (she apparently came from a long line of psychics, and had gotten good reviews from callers - the site's like Amazon for paranormals). After I told her my name (when she asked, I was this close to saying "Zuul"), we got down to brass tacks. And honestly, much of what she told me was vague, and really reinforced what most people believe about "psychics" - that they're excellent at reading into what people tell them, making guesses about people's lives that are vague, yet specific enough to give people the impression that the psychic has the ability to divine information about that person's past, present, and future.
There were a couple of things that got me. The first - her telling me, without any clue or prompt, that I worked with engineers, and that I worked by myself, usually from home. The second - that I would be taking a "big work-related" trip, in about a month, to a convention where I'd meet a bunch of influential people. Yes on both - I do work with engineers, I have a home office, and as you know I'm presenting at both SXSWi and Mom 2.0. Was that a wild guess on the psychic's part? Or did her tarot cards or crystal ball or tea leaves or pigeon guts tell her these things? Who knows. I tend to scoff at religion, and a belief that some Higher Power exists and calls the shots, but at the same time, it'd be kind of cool if there were people who had some sort of power to tell us what the future holds, what pitfalls await us, and what rewards we can expect. At the very least, we'd save a few bucks on movie tickets.
There were some other things she told me. She advised me not to pick Duke to win it all this year. Oh, and it turns out I've been dead since last September. Which explains a lot, actually.