Monday, November 17, 2008


I'm steaming my eyeballs tonight.

It's okay; they're still in my head. My eyes have felt very dry lately, even when they're not. Eyedrops don't help, but sticking a mug of hot water under my nose and blowing to force the steam into my peepers is quite soothing. The guys at work must think I have a bladder of titanium, given how much of today I spent looking like I was just in the middle of a sip.

Writing in the early morning is still proving to be an effective habit, although I'm a bit worried it's to blame for the sore eyeballs (Ah hah! You can be allergic to mornings!)

Hmm. I feel like splattering some personal stuff here tonight. I suspect that's why I sat down to blog.

This has been a bit of weird day, and not in a good way, and I'm going to use that to jump off on a weird tangent.

I gave a lab exam this morning, and one of my students came in and gave me...I'll just call it a thoroughly acceptable reason for not being able to write the test. I don't want to give out any of her details, but it involved two deaths in her family since I saw her last. The poor kid looked like she was hanging on by a thread. Then tonight, I found out about a death in my extended family, one that has some worrisome implications for other family members.

This morning I had a mild feeling of dread when I said goodbye to my husband. I'm a bit of an anxious person, so I didn't pay much attention to this, but here's where I veer off on my tangent.

My family's supposed to have a bit of the "sight", as in second sight, or psychic ability. I've always been of the opinion that I didn't get any of it.

Now, before I really get rolling here, let me back up one step. As mentioned, I tend to be anxious, and I have a frolicsome imagination also, so as a child, I was acutely terrified of the world. My brain was quite willing to picture ghouls and aliens and nuclear bombs coming to get me.

When I got older, I discovered the The Skeptical Enquirer, and it really was a liberating experience, because it gave the more rational parts of my brain ammunition to use against my imagination. Now I could now say, "Okay, that's bullshit" to a lot things I'd not been sure of before. It helped me feel a lot braver.

And for the most part, I still think the majority of evidence in favour of the paranormal is bullshit. Usually, these things are either self-delusion or con artistry. I do still count myself as a skeptic. If you tell me you believe in tarot cards or astrology, I will mock you.

So it's a bit odd--and possibly pathetic--that now I'm older still, and I've made a truce with the fact that, y'know, maybe I did get a bit of the family ability? I can rationalize that I'm really deluding myself, but if I listen to this inner detector that is too random to properly test, the statistics don't work out in favour of it being self-delusion.

El Husbando and I tend to not answer our phone during the day because it's usually a telemarketer. However, every now and then, I know it's someone we should talk to and I jump at the phone. I'm not always right, but I usually am. I have been the last four times.

When we were in London recently, my brother called to say his plane was delayed and he didn't know when he'd be joining us at the hotel. El Husbando and I settled down to watch some TV. A time later, I got the strong feeling that I should go down to the lobby and check for my brother. Rationally, I kept thinking, "No, there's no reason why he should be here yet, and even if he is, you'd probably miss him in the elevators." At the same time, I could picture myself finding him in the line-up for the check-in counter.

As I said, I've kind of made peace these hunches. I quietly slipped out and trotted downstairs. Waiting in the line-up for the check-in counter was exactly where I found him.

Walking to the room, my brother asked how I'd known he was in. Embarrassed, I shrugged and said the ol' family psychic ability had given me a tingle. He just nodded and said, "Yeah. I get those too."

My experiences are pretty mild stuff. Here's some of the freakier family stories:

- My dad once looked up from his reading and answered a question my mom hadn't asked yet.

- My grandfather once woke out of a sound sleep, then woke up my grandmother, and told her one of their neighbours had died. It turned out the fellow had, that night.

- That same grandmother dreamed of an almost-car-accident my mom had on the same night the almost-accident happened. The dream upset my grandmother enough she had to call my mom to make sure she was alright.

- My brother once fell asleep in an exam, and woke up when the bell rang. His test was complete. His teacher said he saw my brother put his head down for a minute, but then my brother sat up again and continued writing the exam. The questions my brother remembers answering, he got wrong. All the ones he answered while asleep, he got right.

Like I said, whatever I've got, it's comparatively pretty mild. I can't guide it (it didn't help me in Vegas last time I went), and it's not always correct. It's also often the sort of thing that could just be my subconscious picking up on subtle clues I didn't twig to.

Basically, it's just not very testable, which annoys the scientist in me, but it's bad science to dismiss something as imaginary just because you can't figure out a test for it. Of course, the real reason I'm accepting the hunches at face value these days is I feel like I'm cutting off something important inside me when I try to believe they're not real. Plus, there's little harm in this, because I don't even think about it until I get the "tingle". Hunches do not rule my life, and I do not walk in fear of the uncanny.

Now, how to sum up a post like that? I should have gotten this up in time for Hallowe'en! Goblin LOLs at herself. about like this: When I signed on with my agent, she expected a quick sale, and I hoped for one too.

But I had a feeling the book wouldn't sell anytime soon.

Guess what? :-/

Pageloads since 01/01/2009: