Michael Bolton makes ME cry too, but not in the same way

So in the interest of moving this little "see a ghost" project along, I fired off an email to the local paranormal society. Their website said they were looking for a sketch artist, which, hey! I could probably do. I mean, all the ghosts would come out looking like superheroes, but whatevs.

They sent me an application form, and said a few reassuring things about their organization, and that I'd be working with two very talented psychics in the group. It all sounded pretty above-board and down-to-earth. And yet I was hesitant to send the form back.

I floated this latest development past hubby, just in case he had some previously unmentioned issues with the paranormal. When I got to the part about the 'talented' psychics, he exclaimed, "Omigod! As long as you're not working with Brownie Girl!".

And in that sentence, he solidified exactly what my hesitance was based on.

I met Brownie Girl when I was in university. I was majoring in Visual Arts, so I hung out all the time with Artists who did things like cast multiple replicas of their own labia. But this girl took the fucking fruitcake. She was very young, and extremely angsty, and seemed to spend a lot of time crying. She talked in a lispy baby voice, crafted hideously-painted cats out of clay and listened to the 'lite' music station at top volume in the communal studio space.

She also claimed to read auras. Now, I really do believe that human beings produce some kind of energy field, and that probably there are some people who can see them. I just didn't believe that SHE could see them.

She told me that my aura was "stressed out". I told her it would get better if she left the room.

She cried. I know, I'm an asshat, but I couldn't help it. I said it as kindly as possible, but I was trying to live my life Drama Free at that point, and she just set my teeth on edge. Anyway, the right Michael Bolton song after 3pm on a Tuesday could make her cry too, so I'm not taking too much ownership of the black hat.

I graduated and presumably she stayed on to graduate as well, and I never thought about her again other than to hope that she gained some maturity or perspective or control over her tear ducts.

Several years later, a friend of mine had a Hallowe'en party. His wife had moved here to be with him, and while she's a lovely and sensible person, she has what some people would consider rather eclectic and alternative interests. In an effort to make some new friends, she'd joined up with a local Wiccan group, most of whom were also lovely and sensible people. Most.

You can see where this is going, right? She invited the Wiccan group to the party, and in the attending numbers was Brownie Girl. Imagine my surprise.

I didn't talk to her much, other than to give her a polite nod (and hope that it didn't make her cry). Later, though, when there were fewer people and I could actually hear her rather loud conversations monologues, I realized that she was just as flighty, awkwardly exuberant, and bizarre. I escaped to the front porch, where my friend joined me and rolled his eyes.

"Uh, how did you befriend HER?" I inquired. He explained his wife's connection, and added, "She and her friend there spent half an hour earlier talking to a Brownie on top of my fridge."

"A brownie?" I perked up. Hey, I like dessert.

"No, a BROWNIE. Like a small faery-type creature. They think there's one living on my fridge. They were having a whole conversation."

I died laughing. And went back into the house to rescue hubby, whom I'd abandoned in a sea of Faery-Finding Whack Jobs.

Anyway. While I may not encounter my erstwhile studio-mate in particular, people with that brand of...enthusiasm still tend to get on my nerves. Signing up for this type of society is probably going to get me back in touch with the froot loop factor.

And I'd hate to be known as the girl who stabbed a "talented psychic" in the ear with a No. 2 pencil.

Project "I've got to be related to royalty somehow" begins. Sort of.

So after declaring my intentions to trace my family tree in my post yesterday, I suddenly remembered that my Mom had taken a course in geneaology a while back, and gathered a bunch of information. So I called her up to see what she knew, and whether I could steal it.

Because I'm lazy efficient like that.

My Mom wasn't home - she was at a drumming class or some such - so I asked Dad if she'd gotten far with it. He said she had a huge chart, and was filling in information as she went. It was probably best if I looked at it myself rather than relying on him for information. Because, as he said, he "Didn't know much, but -- "

Then he launched into a 20-minute diatribe, full of such fascinating tidbits as: Mom's side were predominantly Highland crofters who were ousted en masse by the British and migrated to Canada; my paternal great-grandfather was the seventh son of a seventh son and was killed when a horse kicked him in the head; my maternal grandfather was an orphan; much of my father's family information was lost when the family Bible was lost in a fire; and it's entirely possibly we're related to a US president.

Holy shit, y'all. I think there's a reason most people do this when they're older. They're retired. They have the TIME.

I'm starting to think "learn Japanese" would have been an easier choice from my bucket list.

Yes, generally I DO need someone to tell me what to do

A while back I saw the movie Julie & Julia with FoN. The book was very endearing, you should definitely read it. I'd recommend the movie if you really, literally, absolutely have nothing else to do. Like, your chequebook is balanced and the recycling is sorted and you've taught your dog to let himself out and take himself for a walk.

Anyway, that's not the point. The point is, if you haven't seen it or read the book (did I mention you should read the book, not see the movie?), is that it's about a blogger. A woman who cooks her way through Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking over the course of a year, and blogs about it.

(And then she turned it into a book. Sheer. Genius.)

I remember thinking back to that book when I started this blog, and thinking that I should really have something like that, some kind of challenge or 'theme'. Rather than just yammering on about nothing. Because I think Seinfeld already did that. But I never came up with a good goal, so I just started with the yammering. (You're welcome.)

The movie reminded me, obviously. And I still can't come up with a good theme. But a while back I posted my List of Things to do Before I Die, so in the interest of keeping you people entertained, I'm going to pick one and just launch into it. We're kind of broke right now, so unless you want to read a whole series of posts about fundraisers so I can go to Egypt, here's what's in the running:

#23, Learn to 'sideways stop' on hockey skates (the potential for many a bruised butt in this one. No, I won't post pictures)

#25, Learn sign language (I can already flip you off! I'm a frigging natural)

#36, See a ghost (I could get Frogmama's hubby to help me with this one)

#44, Trace my family tree (Oh holy crap wouldn't THAT be thrilling for y'all? WE MIGHT BE RELATED. Scarier than the ghost)

#108, Take over a small island in a bloodless coup. Use the natives as foot soldiers in my bid to conquer the world

(How did THAT get in there?)

or #61, Sing in a gospel choir.

And, because I'm incapable of making any kind of decision without asking the Internet first, I need your vote. I'd leave your vote in a comment, because I'll probably never get around to making a poll. Wait, will I?

(Asks the internet)

Nope. Please comment.