Should I settle for the usual methods of monetizing this blog, like t-shirts and mugs, or should I go straight for premium subscriber rewards like personalized card readings? I could just bash together one of those neural net things, feed it a few terabytes of "genuine psychic wisdom" I scraped off the web, plug it into Patreon and turn it on.
But until then, here are today's cards: the Ace of Swords and the Three of Wands.
I don't even know where to begin with that Ace of Swords. It's a sword, but it's wearing a crown, but the crown is more like a planter for some hanging vines? And I think the sword is supposed to be on fire, but the artist didn't have time to finish, and all they got done were a few little yellow splotches? And the hand that's holding it is coming out of a cloud somehow, and it's this huge massive apparition floating above a desolate, craggy mountain range? Then you slap "Ace of Swords" on the bottom like it's an album cover for a Motörhead tribute band. (Metal fans: you can already hear it, right? You're looking at that card and reaching for the volume dial.)
And as soon as I say "music concert," the plight depicted on the rightmost card should be instantly familiar.
The concert-goer on that card came prepared for the full Ace of Swords experience: a larger-than-life psychedelic guitar-shredding power hour that was going to blow out their mind as well as their eardrums. But they only paid for the cheap seats. And now they're stuck way off on a remote hillside, so far from the stage that the band is nothing more than a few violently-bouncing dots. You don't even get chairs back in the cheap rows. You get a few poles to lean on.
So the message is: manage your expectations today. Facebook is trying to sell me a shiny new board game, and while it looks like it might be fun to play with some little plastic Batman miniatures, it's probably not "a couple hundred dollars" fun. Especially if I have to paint the miniatures myself, because who has time for that? And I'd just mess it up and Batman would look like some confused guy struggling under a soggy blanket.
You know what won't be a disappointment? The cardamom tea I get to have as a reward for finishing my blog. I get to play with the mortar and pestle and kettle and strainer like some kind of tea alchemist, and then I get to drink the tea and I will be warm and happy.
Heck, maybe our Three of Wands concert-goer is thrilled to be where they are. Maybe they love being off in the back row. Maybe they have fond memories of sharing the cheap seats with friends, and they'd hate being up in front with the thick brusing crowds. They get to see the Ace of Swords live, which is always better than the albums, because everyone knows the Swords give a great show. Plus our concert-goer didn't have to take out a mortgage to buy tickets, so they had enough cash left over for a t-shirt (which you can't see under their robes, but you just know it's bad-ass).
I guess the trick is to know what makes you happy. To know where you're really headed, so that you're satisfied when you get there.
See you next weeks, folks, and may all your Batman miniatures look amazing.