January 23, 2007

Surfing Solo.

I mentioned in an earlier post that Earl is out of town on business this week. He’s in the beautiful city of Indianapolis. I am resisting all urges to drive out and visit him after I finish my classes for the week on Thursday. It’s not really that realistic for me to hunt him down and barge in at the high point of his presentation to the corporate ladder. They’d probably poo-poo that sort of thing.

When Earl is out of town I’m usually on call for work, but since I’m unemployed and relatively caught up with my schoolwork, I’m finding myself with a lot of time on my hands. I decided to venture out into the snow and eat and surf at our local Panera. It’s rather deserted tonight, most likely because of the weather. There’s not a lot going on to entertain me, but I’m enjoying myself nonetheless.

After standing at the empty front counter, waiting for someone to appear out of thin air and take my order, a young woman walked around from the bakery area and asked, “would you like something?” Doing my best Bea Arthur imitation, I asked when the next Irish jig on the counter was to start. Being a redhead and all, I’d like to join the troop.

She didn’t find the humor in the sarcasm.

Everywhere you look in this restaurant are banners proclaiming the return of the “Chicken Bacon Dijon Panini”. Wickedly unhealthy, I decided that I would give this a whirl since I hadn’t tried it before it left.

“Oh, we’re all out of that,” was the curt reply to my request.

I settled for the hot turkey and artichoke panini. It’s rather good and doesn’t have any hints of microwave involvement, though I suspect there’s an Amana crankin’ around here somewhere.

I’m terribly lonely tonight. I’m thinking of going back home and getting a jump on the homework that’s due next Tuesday. I have to draw a survey map of the college campus. The instructor recommended that we wait until daylight to make the initial assessment but I’ve found a crystal clear satellite image online. There’s enough information available for me to get the basics, then I can fill in the fire hydrants and other small stuff later. I must be a really big geek or a really good student, because I’m looking forward to doing the assignment. It’s what I’ve wanted to do all my life.

Now if I could just get a heart stopping Chicken Bacon Dijon Panini with an Irish Jig on the side.

She Sees Green.

Early this morning I drove Earl to the airport for his latest business trip. Since it was well before dawn, I turned on the radio for the drive home in an effort to stay awake and to make the drive a little more interesting. Not in the mood for the thump, thump, thump of XM 81 (BPM- a dance channel), I tuned in a rerun of Anderson Cooper’s 360 on CNN. The show was originally aired last night.

One of the segments that caught my attention was regarding the recently found missing teen, Shawn Hornbeck. What I found interesting about this story is that Shawn’s parents consulted with psychic Sylvia Browne on a 2003 episode of Montel Williams. Sylvia is a frequent guest on Montel, offering her psychic insights to audience members. She also offers her services to those willing to pay about $700 for a half hour session and is the author or co-author of a number of books. It doesn’t hurt Montel’s ratings either.

During this episode of Montel, Sylvia told the Akers, Shawn’s parents, that Shawn had been abducted and killed by a hispanic looking man that had dreadlocks and drove a late 1950s or early 1960s car that had fins like the Chevrolets of the time. She said he had been buried near a group of jagged rocks. With the discovery of Shawn Hornbeck, it’s obvious that Sylvia Browne was dead wrong on this.

I’m not surprised.

First of all, I’m going to say that I believe that there are countless dimensions and all sorts of other stuff like that out there. I firmly believe that there are those that can contact those that have passed on and I believe that those that have passed on are able to contact us via dreams and visions, as long as we are ready, willing and able to accept these messages. I truly believe that Sylvia Browne has a gift. But that’s where my faith in Sylvia stops. I believe her gift has been clouded by greed.

I have read many of Sylvia’s books. If you’re ever interested in doing the same, you can usually read a small fraction of the books that she’s released because it often seems like she “cuts and pastes” from one book to another. On the other hand, some of her books are wildly contradictive to one another and to themselves. For example, Sylvia tells us that we all plan our lives before we are born. This is inline with my believe in reincarnation, however, she says that our family here may or may not be significant. We chose our parents ahead of time, and we agreed with our parents and siblings that we would make up a family and learn whatever we had to learn by doing so. That’s basically as far as the family unit goes. We may or may not like one another, it depends on the lesson that we have to learn. She also says that there really isn’t a genetic connection between being a psychic and being family members; it’s not really a trait that is passed down. Then she tells us that her psychic grandmother passed on and has reincarnated as her granddaughter, who is also psychic. She has two sons, one is psychic, the other isn’t, and by the way if you want a reading but can’t afford Sylvia, you may be able to afford Chris (her son).

I find this whole representation of what can be a wonderful gift kind of sad. As I said before, I truly believe that Sylvia has a psychic gift of some sort, much as I believe that John Edward can talk to those that have passed on. Unfortunately, it seems that Sylvia has either become very greedy or she has built such a large corporation that she needs to amass tons of money to keep it running. So now she’s appearing on Montel and whereever else she can, regurgitating book after book so she can make more money that way and also charging huge fees to help those that are in some sort of spiritual need contact whomever they’d like to contact, but then rarely does. To many, it seems like she’s preying on those that are at a particular time in their lives. I’m sure she’s not offering refunds when she’s wrong.

It’s sad that Shawn Hornbeck’s parents were told that their son was dead. It was callous of Sylvia Browne to state that with an absolute certainty on national television. The Akers should have gone in knowing that this is not a science by any stretch of the imagination and everything told to them should have been taken with a grain of salt. On the other hand, Sylvia shouldn’t seem so pompous and arrogant that she can make these predictions right there on national television and be spot on. Is she “cold reading”? Did she get a “wrong number” when she was dialing a prayer? I guess only Sylvia knows what she saw and how she came to the conclusions that she announced.

It’s a shame that she won’t take the offer to scientifically prove her abilities. I wonder what she has to hide.