Oliver Hibert Tarot Interview

A couple weeks ago I interviewed The Golden Thread Tarot. This week, I sat down with another of my newer decks- The Tarot + The Secret Arcana by Oliver Hibert.

Tell me about yourself.
VIII of Swords
I balance the intellectual and emotional to find the best path forward. Every trap has an escape if you look at things from a different angle.

What are your strengths?
As an Aries, we’ll go horn to horn sometimes. But I’m aggressive and thorough in my search for answers. I’ll paint stories through multiple cards on your one-card pulls.

What are your limits
VII of Pentacles
Sometimes I’m impatient and easily frustrated. I can get bored and go for the “quick win.”

What are you here to teach me?
VII of Swords
Not to run from challenges or darkness or good things or love. But also how to navigate the false motives of others. Trust yourself. Expect others to trust themselves first.

How can we best collaborate?
The Scream
Quiet your own voice and listen. Really listen. Not with your ears. With your intuition.

What’s the potential outcome of our relationship?
Ace of Cups
You’ll build stronger intuition and trust your inner power. We’ll also develop you creatively. I’ll inspire new projects, thoughts and mediums.

As feminine and open as the Golden Thread was, that’s how difficult this deck felt to me. Very foreign and puzzling. Neither feminine nor masculine. I had to sit with the cards for a while to figure out what they wanted to tell me. Many of the answer cards felt contradictory to my questions. I suppose that makes sense giving their mind-bending psychedelic artwork. To add extra challenge, I drew TWO cards from the Secret Arcana, which really tells me how unique this deck will be. I’m glad I shuffled them into the deck. Until now I had kept them separated, but that didn’t feel right. They need to be a full story.

Which reminds me… there is one card missing. Hibert released a new card with a 10 part experience. Magic. And I bought the whole thing just to get that card. I feel itchy that this deck is incomplete. Maybe that’s why it was so temperamental. I’ll revisit our interview once the final card arrives.


Sunday Stats

Sunday Stats

*Since my family first got an NES, I’ve had a controller in my hands. Exploring new worlds, meeting new characters and experiencing stories… in some ways, I’ve just connected better with the world through games. However, it’s also very important to me to be present in my life, to improve myself, to go out and MEET the people I’ve connected with online and to expand my knowledge. I spend hours in games; how do I level myself up?

In this weekly series, I’ll chronicle how I’ve improved my “stats” with completely arbitrary scoring.*

+1 Intelligence – How did I make myself a little smarter? What did I learn?
Did you know that IBM developed the UPC bar code? This display at HQ drew me in because I can’t look at a can of Campbell’s tomato soup and not think of Andy Warhol. An IBMer invented the first UPC code, which looked like a bullseye and then evolved it into the bar code we’re used to. Bar codes are vertical bars so that in case of extra ink, the bar code gets taller, but is still readable. In 1974, a pack of Wrigley’s gum became the first item to be scanned with a UPC bar code, which became the standard method for inventory tracking. It’s awesome to know I work for a company that has revolutionized the retail industry, and so many others- and will continue to revolutionize the world.

Campbell's Tomato Soup Cans with IBM UPC Bar Codes

+1 Charisma – How was I less awkward or more beautiful?
I found a new way to embrace my awkwardness! When I used to get picked on in school and called “weird,” I’d respond with “at least I’m not boring.” I’ve evolved that mantra for my adult awkwardness. Whenever I do something embarrassing or say something nonsensical, I shrug and say, “it’s all part of my charm.”

-2 Strength – New workouts, breakthroughs, challenges.
I was sick the first half of the week and then threw my back out Tuesday night. So healing has taken precedence. I noticed a pattern in my gym behaviour where if I skip on Monday, I go to spin class on Tuesday and maybe Friday, but I don’t make it any other weekday mornings. I’m rectifying this next week by forcing myself to go on Monday morning. I have GOT to get myself into a steady routine.

+3 Defense – Where did I consciously avoid or deflect negative energy?
I’ve been working on a big project for work this week that will be shared with very important people. I got some feedback that I wasn’t putting enough of my own originality into my work and seemed to just be dictating the words of my managers. Because that’s exactly what I was doing. Because, I realized, in my previous role, if I didn’t do the work EXACTLY like the manager wanted, it would be my ass. I’d have to do entire projects and decks over and over again, working late and weekends, just hoping to get it “right.” I recognized this in the moment and told my current managers that Yes! I realize that’s what I’m doing and that I know I need to work on it. AND that I appreciate them calling it out because now I feel liberated to be the smart, creative, talented strategist I am.

+1 Luck – Something good that happened this week
I renewed my Beer Freak membership at Coney Island Brewery and the wonderful staff there let me keep my 2017 stamps! I signed up late last year, but I really want to earn the exclusive growler. Now I’m only 8 stamps away and already have a February event on the calendar!

+1 Wealth – How did I save towards my goals?
This week was exceptionally hard. I was initially panicking that my spending was out of control because I did buy some books, tickets to a couple shows and events, subscription boxes, a gift for Ryan since his Eagles won the NFC Championship for the first time in 13 years, and preordered two of every dinosaur from the upcoming Funko Jurassic Park line. Ok that does sound a little out of control…
BUT! Because of my company’s pay schedule, I haven’t been paid since the 12th. So I’ve been trying to stretch this check over almost 3 weeks instead of 2. Still, my bad habits lately haven’t been helping.

I’m still on track with my savings. AND to help create better spending habits, I’m creating No Spend February (#nospendfeb). The challenge is to (obviously) not spend ANY money, except on essentials (again, obviously- I can’t just NOT pay my rent and bills…). So next week, I’ll have an update on that. I will probably be in tears because this is going to be really fucking hard.

Game Updates: Splatoon 2

I’d love to go pro in Splatoon eventually. Now that I have time to practice, I’ve joined a clan! Great group. Killer players. I get to practice regularly, perfect my strategies and master stages I h-a-t-e-d before. Sometimes I even try out other weapons – trying to become more versatile in my arsenal proficiency.

I’m a Siren!


My W/L ratio remained stuck at a pretty even scale for a while, but now? NOW? I’m crushing it. And only getting better. Tonight, this divide will grow even greater!


And it’s not just my ratio that’s improved. I’ve ranked up almost everywhere. Clam Blitz has been slow going with randoms, but I actually really enjoy that mode even though I’m pretty sure I’m the only one who knows how to play. Most games I’m playing offense, defense, jammer, goalie AND slayer. And I still win.


S rank is within my grasp! See you out there, squids!

Your Love Won’t Survive a Nuclear Apocalypse, but These Guys Will


Each year, I support wildlife conservation and self love by naming a cockroach after an ex for Valentine’s Day. It’s cathartic, tax-deductible, and includes chocolate! Seeing that all my heartbreakers have been roached already (and my Ryan remains in good standing for the time being), there was only one glaringly obvious choice for the 2018 naming honor. Donald J. Trump. Middle initial and everything.

Here’s what I wrote:

Donald J. Trump
You disgrace the podium & everything this country was made on.
You’re not worth the Cheeto dust this roach trails through.
You won’t reduce me from a 6 figure salary to just a 6 on a good day.

Now that it’s out there, I kind of hear Eminem rapping it in my head.

The Bronx Zoo has been doing this wildlife conservation donation drive for years and I truly love it. With the near-daily threat of nuclear winter, your roach could be the only legacy I leave behind. They offer a few different donation tiers that come with various treats. This year they really pulled out all the stops with the add-ons. The top tier treats include your name certificate, a pin, roach SOCKS, and chocolate roaches. Yes, please!

Seriously, how CUTE are these?? Look at those cocoa creepies! 🐜

If you just want to donate and get a digital certificate, it’s only $15. Of course, you can mix and match the add-ons or buy just one of them. It’s such a cute and creative little Galentine’s Day gift for yourself (or a friend). All for a good cause and your own levity. And chocolate 🍫.

Sunday Stats

Sunday Stats

*Since my family first got an NES, I’ve had a controller in my hands. Exploring new worlds, meeting new characters and experiencing stories… in some ways, I’ve just connected better with the world through games. However, it’s also very important to me to be present in my life, to improve myself, to go out and MEET the people I’ve connected with online and to expand my knowledge. I spend hours in games; how do I level myself up?

In this weekly series, I’ll chronicle how I’ve improved my “stats” with completely arbitrary scoring.*

+2 Intelligence – How did I make myself a little smarter?
I’ve been watching the Netflix docuseries Rotten on my work-from-home days. Each episode is a fascinating tale of true-crime or controversy in various areas of the food industry. I’ve always been somewhat food-conscious. Growing up at the beach, I’m a seafood snob and never buy farmed fish or seafood at all if I’m not within an hour of a coastline. But it’s fascinating to learn about how deceitful the food industry is. All business is about making a buck, above all common good and decency.
The honey episode was particularly interesting since I use a lot of it and always trusted it came straight from bees. Now I know that’s not the case with store bought honey. Whenever I can, I buy local honey because dosing myself with local pollen via a spoonful of honey keeps my seasonal/locational allergies in check. I’ll definitely be making more trips to the farmer’s market now.


+2 Charisma – How was I less awkward or more beautiful?
It was a terribly awkward week. One of these week’s I’ll have a “less awkward” update, but this is not that week. I’ve been slowly adding habits to my beauty and wellness routines. Typically, I can shower, dry my hair and do my minimal makeup in about 20 minutes because I kind of see makeup and beauty as a waste of time. It takes Ryan three times as long to get ready because he loves to preen himself. Lately I’ve changed my thinking that it’s not about being beautiful; it’s about feeling clean and confident. After showering all week, I slathered myself in a healthy palmful of Kiehl’s Creme de Corps. I love it because it smells nice and hydrates the fuck out of my skin and also sounds like Corpse Cream.

+2 Strength – New workouts, breakthroughs, challenges.
I hit my longest streak closing all my Apple Watch rings, which means taking stand/walking breaks each hour for 12 hours out of the day, doing at least 30 minutes of exercise, and burning at minimum 500 calories. On gym days, this is easy. On work from home days, I sometimes have to jog around the block with Muldoon at 11:30pm until I hit 500 calories. The little fireworks show I get on my wrist when I hit all three goals is maddeningly motivating. And sometimes I’ll win badges for streaks or doubling my goals. Some people are food driven; I’m motivated by tchotchkes.


Pretty, shiny achievements!

12 day streak complete as of Friday night.

+2 Defense – Where did I consciously avoid or deflect negative energy?
I typically spend Saturdays at home by myself while Ryan works. Sometimes this is an amazing luxury. Sometimes it’s sad and boring and I spend too much time sleeping. Because my apartment is so small, I often forget that I enjoy having people over OR that it’s even an option! This week, I had one of my best friends over to play Splatoon, do chocolate face masks and make an olive oil cake like the glam bitches we are.

+1 Luck – Something good that happened this week
One of my good friends got a bonus at work and celebrated by taking me on a lady date! We hit The Nugget Spot and then had a couple drinks at The Belfry and Beauty Bar.

+1 Wealth – How did I save towards my goals?
On average, I spend $12 on lunch PER DAY. With shifting schedules, Sundays have become more about adventure than bumming around so meal prep hasn’t been on the menu (HAHAHA zing!). Ryan bought groceries this week, so I used that budget to sign up for Mealpal. Several friends have recommended it and it cuts my lunch spending in HALF. At least. Sometimes I can get 2 lunches out of one pickup. As a bonus, it’s introduced me to a lot of new lunch spots in my work nabe.

However, I spent FAR too much money on other things this week (two new subscription boxes, books, adventures…). This will be severely curbed in the coming weeks.

Golden Thread Tarot Interview

Now that I’ve amassed a healthy collection of tarot decks, I figured it’s about time I really get to know their personalities and differences at a deeper level. I’ve been using some of them for years, but others are still fairly new to me. Through an interview spread, I asked my newest deck, The Golden Thread Tarot, to tell me more about itself.

Golden thread tarot cards interview spread

Tell me about yourself.
IX of Pentacles
I’m all about leisurely indulging in life’s pleasures. Let’s make it rain and swim in a glittering Moroccan pool of liquid gold. I’m confident and free. That confidence and my patience mean I always persevere through the work knowing I’ll get to revel in the wealth of accomplishment later.

What are your strengths?
The Moon
I specialize in psychology and can tap into your deep subconscious to both reflect on what has been and illuminate the path forward. You can’t hide from me. I can see through your darkness and shadows to reveal the light. Get ready to get real, girl!

What are your limits
III of Cups
It will take a while to get to know me fully, but we will share a strong and unbreakable bond. I’m stubborn and introverted. Don’t share me; I won’t read for anyone else. I’m your private consultant.

Golden Thread Tarot and Rose Gold Passion Planner

What are you here to teach me?
Queen of Pentacles
Think of me as your Earth Mother, Taurus. I want to help you build a cozy life of balance, independence and stability. I’ll shower you with love and support as we work toward prosperity.

How can we best collaborate?
Queen of Wands
We’re both strong and independent in our views and we can both be stubborn. Be authentic. Be bold. Express yourself with conviction with me and expect the same in return. No BS.

What’s the potential outcome of our relationship?
X of Pentacles
We’re working toward a sense of earned accomplishment. A wealth of knowledge and contentment. A strong foundation for future success.

I’m blown away by the feminine energy of this deck. Most of my decks feel so masculine, despite many of them having a more feminine aesthetic. It’s nice to have this nurturing, but tough presence in a deck. I feel confident I’m going to develop a deep bond with this deck over time. It even feels like a fellow Taurus based on its answers! I’m super excited to work with The Golden Thread Tarot closely this year and beyond.

How To Taste and Judge Grilled Cheese

Adapted from a previous version I wrote after the 2012 Big Cheesy (I miss the Big Cheesy).

Much has been written about the arts of wine and chocolate tasting. However, the most refined palates simply must learn the required method of sampling an exquisite fromage grillé. Please, allow me to guide you into the world of toasted cheese as you’ve never experienced it before.


Tasting always begins with the eyes. Note the color of the bread. Is it golden or a deep bronze? Is it completely burnt? Does the butter give the bread a wet sheen, a just-kissed gloss or a saturated spongy soppiness? What of the cheese? Is it peeking from the edges, bubbling softly or is it rolling like magma onto the plate? Lastly, pay attention to the cut. Whether your sample is a square, triangle, circle or star, it has been specifically crafted that way for a reason.

Aroma. Get your nose right between the slices and into the sandwich. What do you notice? (Did you burn your nose? Too close. Wipe that cheese off.)

Texture. Sink your teeth into it. A good toasted cheese sandwich should have a signature crunch. A great sandwich boasts a thin, yet substantial topical crust with soft bread and cheese blending in the center. Some prefer a harder crunch throughout the bread juxtaposed by the soft meltiness of the cheese center.

sweet action

Cold ales and ambers pair well with grilled cheese and cleanse the palate

Meltiness. This is a crucial factor in tasting grilled cheese. Is the cheese melted properly? There’s nothing worse than partially melted or still-solid chunks of cheese interrupting an otherwise enjoyable experience. Keep in mind, different cheeses and/or combinations of cheese melt differently.

Bread to Cheese Ratio. There should not be too much bread. Likewise, there should not be too much cheese. This is a delicate balance. In the case of stronger cheeses, toasted-cheesemongers may use less cheese with a combination of fillers like spinach, ham, mushrooms or other additions that will compliment the cheese without overpowering the sandwich.

Little Muenster Tasty Trio

A Toasty Trio by Little Muenster

Flavor. You should already know your cheeses, of course, so pay attention to the notes in cheese combinations. If there are any additional ingredients like vegetables, sauces or meats, identify them and ruminate on what they bring to the overall experience as well as how they blend individually.

Pairings. If your sample comes with a accoutrements, try them. With wine, sip after each bite. If it’s a shot of soup, try both dipping the grilled cheese into the soup and sipping the soup after a clean bite. If the sandwich is topped with a relish or drizzled with chocolate, do not brush it off. When in doubt, ask the toasted-cheesemonger for their recommendation for consumption.

Hungry? If you’re ready to put your newly acquired tasting skills to the test (you’re welcome, by the way), try some of the best grilled cheese sandwiches in New York at the Atwood’s Winter Grilled Cheese Festival.