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Ask Aunt Pythia

August 24, 2013

Peoples!! Peoples!!

I know you came for Aunt Pythia (thank you very much!) but today I must insist that, first, you go read my new hero’s advice column, Dear Miss Disruption, who has been quite the twitter celebrity this week.

Written by a law student named Sarah Jeong from Oakland, Miss Disruption has super awesome advice for the budding entrepreneur – or, in fact, anyone at all. She even took on my favorite topic, namely how people lie when counting their previous lovers! Here’s a tasty excerpt:

I sympathize. You and I both know, learning to code is the best way to pull oneself up by one’s bootstraps. Hell, look at me. Other than my affluent Orange County family, my Stanford bachelor’s degree, and the $10 million that my uncle invested as seed capital for my innovative advice column start-up, I have nothing but my ability to code.

I’ll admit that Miss Disruption is a tad more sarcastic than Aunt Pythia, but she’s super funny and smart just like Aunt Pythia, so I know you guys will love her.

After you go read her stuff, please come back here, read my stuff, and, by all means,

Submit your question for Aunt Pythia at the bottom of this page!


Dear Aunt Pythia,

I am 26, and I presently work in education. I studied history as an undergrad, but I would like to pursue a master’s degree in statistics. I need to learn some lower division math and programming. There are online courses and resources out there. Would it be better to pursue the courses with instructors and peers to the extent possible, or do you think it makes little difference?

Depressed in the Burbs

Dear Depressed,

It depends. In terms of what you might learn, I could see it making very little difference. But you have another goal too, namely getting into a masters program in statistics. It might be more convincing to the admissions people to see an official set of courses in math and programming with official grades than for you to tell them you learned it on your own, although perhaps online courses do offer quasi-official grades, and also it might depend on the masters program – some of them are just cash cows.

But then there’s also the issue of sticking it out and being invested. Have you considered taking these courses at some kind of extension school or community college? The community part of it might end up helping a lot.

Good luck,

Aunt Pythia


Dearest Aunt Pythia,

A beloved friend of mine recently came to visit and spent two sweet days singing with me, laughing at nothing/everything, gorging ourselves on waffles, and otherwise squandering time in shared luxurious idleness. In sum, fun was had.

The day after she left, I discovered a fat wad of cash underneath my pillow, which she hid there for me to find in a characteristic act of willful generosity. The thing is, I did nothing to earn this money and in fact feel quite indebted to her for her lifelong friendship and general camaraderie. My dilemma is: should I keep the money or send it back? If the former, how can I possibly thank her for her disproportionate magnanimity? I’m verklempt over here.

Grateful Gal Pal

Dear GGP,

Money is a funny thing, especially between friends. But sometimes it actually isn’t. Here’s my wild guess as to the circumstances.

Your good friend was incredibly grateful for your sanctuary and your luxurious idleness, which is exactly what she needed at that moment and perhaps even saved her sanity and her life, and was in particular an almost offhand bounty naturally stemming from your lifestyle. She wanted to give you something in return that was her kind of offhand bounty that she thought might help you with your life – at the very least to sustain you for some time in the heaven in which you currently reside.

So ask yourself this: is this an amount of money she can afford? Can it give you pleasure in some small way? If so, then please accept it as it was meant, namely as a thank you and a gift, and go buy ingredients for some more waffles.

Love always,



Dear Aunt Pythia,

I had a very weird dream today. I dreamed that, to support Snowden, all couples in the world made a porn video and uploaded it in the Internet. Did I already surpass the limits of madness?

Crazy Lazy

Dear CL,

I for one think Chelsea Manning is hot. That’s what I got for this question.



Dear Aunt Pythia,

I have recently discovered my partner of 2 years had sexual relations with his aunt not long before we began our relationship. He claimed to be a virgin when I started seeing him and now I know he lied. I love him and we have children together, I would like some advice and opinions thank you.


Dear A,

First of all I’m getting a bit confused thinking about how you can have multiple children together given that you have only been together 2 years. I’m guessing you got started quick and you had twins, or you got started immediately, squeezed out a pup, and then immediately got pregnant again, which is super unlikely.

Or you made up this whole thing, which is always a possibility that advice columnists need to consider. It’s probably even more likely given the incest theme. But whatever, I’m almost out of questions.

Second, I think it really depends on the circumstances. Was he a kid? Was it sexual abuse perpetrated on him by a trusted loved one? If so, by all means forgive him immediately, but also have him seek counseling if he’s willing.

The tough one is if he was an adult when he got involved with the Aunt. I’m no expert on human sexuality but I’d guess that someone who doesn’t have taboos about incest with Aunts might not have taboos with other kinds of things either. That would creep me out as the mother of this guy’s kids.

In any case, my advice to you is to go seek counseling yourself with an expert on sexual abuse.

Good luck!

Aunt Pythia


Please submit your well-specified, fun-loving, cleverly-abbreviated question to Aunt Pythia!

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