Saturday, February 25, 2012

Dark Lady

The fortune queen of New Orleans 
Was brushing her cat in her black limousine… 

 I went to New Orleans once, in 2004, before the hurricane. I’m not sure I’d miss it if I never went back, but it is one of those things that I can cross off and say, been there done that.

We had a good time. Tried new food, saw some things that most likely won’t be seen again and absorbed the atmosphere. It was exciting, but in a dark, almost evil way. Not everything, of course, but when there is a warning not to go past a certain street, you do wonder.

I was there for a conference, and Alan came with me. We stayed in a hotel directly across from the convention center. I’ve looked at maps and I can’t tell if the hotel is there now. It was a tall building with a lot of glass, but I don’t remember which chain. I’ve stayed in so many hotels and cities in the past ten years they all sort of run together. Anyway, we were within walking distance of Bourbon Street and several other ‘must see’ attractions.

Being a Texan, I couldn’t help but compare Bourbon Street to Sixth Street in Austin, which I’ve visited many times. To me, Austin is a lot cleaner and it certainly didn’t smell as bad as Bourbon Street. As far as sights, it’s the same type places and people. Bums and street people, the sexually confused, and plain people (tourists) out for a good time walked the paths and filled the shops and businesses. Liquor flowed freely and people carried their beverages with them in the open air. That doesn’t happen in Austin, but the rest was quite similar.

A friend of mine had taken a historical walking tour of the area and as we walked around he told us the facts he remembered; where someone lived, what was haunted, who was killed there and other assorted tidbits of the area. We ate at a haunted restaurant but the ghost was apparently busy because none of us saw her that night.

One day Alan and I were walking across a market area when I made eye contact with a lady who read palms. I’ve always had a curiosity for such things, even though I’m not convinced there’s any truth to it. Also, I’m a little scared in case there is! We were talking about whether I should or shouldn’t do it and what the cost would be, etc. She knew what we were discussing and told us a price. I thought what the heck; I’d just see what she had to offer.

I have to say she did surprise me. She told me some things instead of suggesting things. I know a bit how this works, or at least how they told us it worked, from my psychology classes. The statements are usually about general personality traits, personal validation statements that give the impression they are specific to a single person but in reality could be applied to everyone. These generalizations are known as a “Barnum statement” after the circus showman P.T. Barnum. He argued that a good statement could be applied to about eight-five percent of the population.

What happens is the fortune-teller, or palm reader or whatever they may call themselves, will say something that’s ambiguous and even contradictory and the person hearing the statement rationalizes that it fits their personality. For instance, telling a person who has a wedding ring that their spouse is a very important part of their life, will most likely not prompt a denial. Often, after such a statement the listener provides information that can be used later in the conversation.

I let her touch my hand and she began. Instead of saying something like I feel there’s a child in your life, she said, you have a new grandson. Well, that kind of took me off guard because there was nothing that said we had a grandchild at all, much less a grandson. I acknowledged but I didn’t say anything. I wasn’t going to help her out. Next she told me I had been having some trials with the boss at work, but it would work out and I would outlast him. Well, maybe her cousin worked in the store where I asked if I could have a voodoo doll of my boss to poke when he was ugly and they talked so she knew. Well, probably not. And yes, I had discussed some issues with him before the trip. Also, he’s gone…I’m still there. By the way, voodoo is not a joking matter there.

She threw in that I was married to a good man. What could I say to that? He was right there and he was the one who gave her the money so she was impressed! Seriously, he is. But that to me is a Barnum statement. Anyway, there were a few more things, including some statements that were truths. She didn’t ask me anything. Of course there were several general statements thrown in. I was consciously not answering though, just acknowledging with a shake of the head, in order to not give her any information. All in all, though, it was a bit unnerving. There were some specific things she couldn’t have known.

I thanked her and we walked on across the square. Alan asked what she’d said and I told him some of it. I turned and she was watching me. We headed to our next destination and before we were out of sight I glanced back again. She was still watching. I got a chill.

Did she predict my future? I don’t think so. It was more like she told me what was happening at that time, or about things that were bothering me. She told me I’d have a long and happy life, probably her general closing statement. I wonder though, what she didn’t tell me.

Dark lady played black magic 
Til the clock struck on the twelve.
She told me more about me 
Than I knew myself...

When I was in Charleston, South Carolina last year, I had the chance to go to a local yarn shop. Instead of going to lunch at the meeting I just took off and found the yarn store that was in walking distance. It was called Knit, and was a nice little shop in a converted house. The store was very welcoming. There were places to sit and knit and yarn and sample items were artfully placed throughout. It was there I found my first Thomas Kvist yarn.
Knit in Charlotte, SC
Converted house.
Chair seat 'upholstered' in knitting.

Comfy place to knit.
The first place I found Thomas Kvist yarn.
Later I found Thomas Kvist yarn on Facebook, and ‘liked’ their page. They are based in Sweden. Thomas ran a contest in December and every day the ‘Christmas Moose’ asked a question. The answer was on their web page. I decided to enter.

Usually I’m not too lucky. But I won! Since the contest was every day in December, I asked if I could enter again. Thomas said I could enter every day if I liked. So I did. And guess what? I won about six times! Well, I was beginning to feel a little greedy after the third or so time so I shared the contest news with my LSSK friends. I think every one of them who entered also won.

Lin 1.0, Summer Breeze, Lambada, Oh Mercy Me, Colina
It takes a long time for things to get to Texas from Sweden, but I finally got my yarn! The package was in pretty rough shape but I checked with Thomas and nothing had fallen out. He was so generous! I got a lot of yarn. And as much as there is here, I’m waiting for just a little more! It was a fun contest and even more fun to get such a nice surprise. Thank you Thomas Kvist! 
What a haul! :)
Be sure to look at Our Creative Spaces to see all the great things people are creating this week! As for what I’ll make with my new yarn? I might have to go to New Orleans to find out!

Dark lady laughed and danced 
And lit the candles one by one… 
Danced to her gypsy music 
Til her brew was done.


  1. I remember that conference...and enjoyed the touristy stuff in NO. I went back one more time when Terry's sister was married there. Had more fun that time, and it seemed like every time Terry walked through the casino, he walked out with $100-$400 more than when he walked in! Don't really have any desire to go back - 6th St. works just fine for me!

  2. I think we even had dinner together on the river boat. Yes, the good old days...and Sixth Street is fine!

  3. A new song to add to the iPhone!!! I too am always interested in the paranormal. I've always been tempted to have my palm read, but have never had a REAL opportunity to have it done. New Orleans has never been on my list of destinations to visit. Give me 6th street anytime!!!

  4. Would love to go to Austin! Been to NO maybe late 90's - and I would never get my palm read! I lived with a ghost once and I just don't want to know! Great post!

  5. One trip to NO I was walking down one of the side streets back to our hotel & this woman pointed at me & started speaking in a strange language & gesturing at me. She did not like me at all. It freaked me out so much that I caught a cab the rest of the way to the hotel. The driver said she'd put a curse on me.

    Enjoyed the read as always!

  6. Patty, come on down!!! Would love to hear about your ghost sometime. And it's doubtful I'll ever get my palm read again!

  7. scary! That would have freaked me out for sure. Don't you wonder what it was that set her off? Yikes!!!

  8. Crazy! I've been tempted to do that before too, but I guess a little scared of what it would be like. I know you're right - they are mostly Barnum statements, but it is still crazy what they can say. Plus, I believe in spirits and ghosts and all that, so I wouldn't want to stir anything up.