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I'm Psychic... with Carol Kolb

I had a can of champagne to try to loosen up, because during my last reading I got in a little trouble.

Carol Kolb is the head writer of Onion News Network on IFC, as well as their online video series. And she used to be my boss at The Onion, and she's now my friend, which means I get to hear her humour in its natural form. Carol once wrote me an email telling me she had seen a woman at her regular bar reading a pamphlet entitled, "How to Grow Hair". I still laugh when I think of that. Another time Carol saw an old gasoline-soaked towel by the curb. We were on our way to some fancy restaurant, to meet the guy she was dating, who is now her husband. Carol said, "I will give you $20 to wear that towel on your neck." We also… well. Enough. On to the tarot card reading, shall we?


VICE: Oh, hi Carol. I just called you. I mean our calls must have crossed.
Carol Kolb: It's that psychic connection.

Actually that's very common. I want to tell you, I had a can of champagne to try to loosen up, because during my last reading I got in a little trouble. I was too tight.
I've never even heard of champagne by the can.

It’s from Sofia Coppola, or something. It’s that winery. It’s actually good. Anyway, I can do a love reading, a general reading, or a work reading. Or if you have a specific question, I can answer that.
My love life's pretty set, so do one of the others.

I’ll do a general, and it may turn out to be about work. So if you could just flash openness for me.
Any particular tips on that or just… I'll just sit here.

[Shuffling. Laying out cards.] 
I'm back in the writers’ room, you know where the paper has all their jokes on the wall. But I won't read them. I'll just sit here.

[Long pause.]
I smell meat right now. There's some sort of meat smoke coming in through the window. I hope that doesn't futz with the reading.

Nothat won’tsorry. I’m just…
Come on, cards. Bring it home for me.

OK, so it looks like this is about your work. 
Lay it on me, sista.

At the centre of the reading is the Page of Cups, which I take to mean there has been some news of a change. Overlaying that is the Ten of Wands, which can be read a couple different ways. It can mean oppressionlike you are really busybut it also means success coming out of hard work. Given the rest of the cards herewhich are all extremely positiveI take the latter meaning. So in short it looks like you have an opportunity.
Well, there's definitely a lot of change going on at The Onion. There's this weird thing where the business guys, the CEO and everyone, want to move everyone to Chicago, like the writers too. They want to consolidate everything in Chicago. So it's been this whole big thing for the last couple months. I mean, our TV show wouldn't move, but I don't really know if we'll get another season and I do video for the website the other half of the year. I mean, I'm not going to move to Chicago, so yeah, things will definitely be changing for me.


The root cause is the Eight of Cups, whichjust like the Ten of Wandshas two meanings. It's kind of a card of "leaving the rat race." It can mean weariness
God, am I weary.

But it can also reflect hard, consistent, good work. The list in my little book of adjectives says, "mildness, honour, modesty". To sum it up, it's feeling a little weary of a situation, being ready to leave it and seek something better. The cards call it "a deeper truth".
Huh, OK.

In the "things to let go of" position was the Page of Wands, reversed. I don't usually read reversed cards, but this one, as I was starting to reverse it, I had a funny feeling.
You know, I don't usually read reversed cards, either.

Ha. So I'm going to go with the reversed meaning, which'd be that you think this newsor opportunityis bad, and the cards are saying that you're wrong, it's good news.
Yeah well, I tend to be a pessimist. Full of fear. I don't like change. I go to the same weird southwestern restaurant in my neighbourhood like five nights a week. There's cow skulls and Christmas lights on the wall and they put broccoli in the quesadillas and it looks like it would be in a mall in Iowa but I go there like every night just ’cause it's familiar.

In the position of what you want is The World, which is a great card. It means achieving your heart's desires, or making your dream come true. And in the next position, the near future, is The Sun, which is the most positive card, just the card of confident creative expression, and manifestation of what you can doso the cards are saying, "Yes, that's right, you should do that."
I don't know if I want the world. I'm not very ambitious. I set the bar pretty low. I just want to work on stuff I actually think is funny with people who are fun and not assholes. But actually, in a way, that's hard to find.


The next card, which is how you see the situation, is actually a negative cardbut again it's saying you're wrong. It's the Five of Pentacles, which is two beggars out in the snow. In particular it's a card of material troublemoney worries. 
Um… Well, let's see. I keep getting these bills from the health insurance company. I went to get a checkup and they sent me for what's it called, “blood work”, and I got this bill for $1300. For just nothing – just a regular checkup. And that's just one – there's other bills too. And they just fill me with rage. But I've just decided, I'm not paying them. I mean, I'm just not going to. So maybe that will come back to haunt me.

Actually, it’s true though. For the first time in my life I've actually started to think about getting old. Like, shit, I better actually get going and save some money or I'll be fucked when I'm 60. But the good thing is I don't have kids, and don't want any. I have a dog but they live only 15 years. So I have it in the back of my mind as a sorta escape plan that when I get old I can just kill myself. I feel like I don't have have to plan too much. My husband's then years older than me, and bad hearts run in his family, so I don't even have to worry about him missing me. He'll be dead too. So really, I'm set.

For the next position, your environment, I got a card saying I had to do a small reading, and for that one I got the Queen of Swordswhich I mistook earlier for "female sadness".
Ah yes, female sadness. I know it well, Amie.


But I've read it more and now I think it's more like a writer's sadness. The other card is the Page of Swords, and that card is saying, "You're a rational person, Carol, so don't get emotional NOW." The cards really want you to think clearly, I think. The third card is the Three of Swords, which is the card of separation. 
I am a rational person. My ethnic makeup is basically 100 percent German. I'm rational and pale.

Their advice to you is the Ace of Wands.
The advice is to get a wand?

No, the Ace of Wands. I was just reading up on these. When you get an Ace, it's telling you that there's an opening or an opportunity for you, and you should grab it. The Ace of Wands has two meanings, basically, creation and fortunemoney and creativity. "The beginning of enterprises." So…hmm. It seems like it's telling you that it's time to do your own thing.
Yeah, I think that's good advice. I know I have to, I've been making moves toward getting new stuff going, but I am lazy. Lazy and fat.

You’re not fat! And it says the outcome is you'll be happy. It's the Six of Cups, which is just like a very simple happiness cardlike the happiness of a kid. It's one child giving another a golden cup with a flower inside of it, on a sunny day, in a happy village.
Well, I certainly want to live in a happy village. And be handed a cup. That's great news. I feel like I could use some luck, some good news.

Previously: I'm Psychic… with Carrie Brownstein