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Monthly Archives: January 2011

Now that we’ve all had time to freak out about the supposed shifting in astrological signs that turned out to be misleading, let’s all breathe a sigh of relief. We are actually still bound by the stars to the same personality attributes and compatibilities we’ve grown up knowing. (And anyway, who would wanna be known as an Ophiuchus??)

I’m a Cancer, and although I’ve never liked the whole crab persona attributed to my sign, I’ve got to admit that the whole hard-exterior-covering-up-all-emotions and loving all things domestic is a pretty fair assessment. So I thought it would be a fun exercise (in nerdiness, I admit) to sit down and analyze past and present relationships, romantic as well as non-romantic, for any astrological ‘patterns’. I literally wrote out names and signs (I’m really good at remembering birthdays, even if I just knew you in grade school) and went from there.

Lo and behold, I discovered that the guys I’ve gotten along with best have nearly all been Water signs (Cancer, Pisces, and Scorpio). I also get along really well with female Water signs, but my closest of close girl friends have usually been a Fire sign (Aries, Leo, and Sagittarius). And as far as friendships gone sour or romantic crash-and-burns, well, let’s just say there’s been a noticeable trend too… So what does that mean? Perhaps there’s something to be said about all those books like Linda Goodman’s “Love Signs” after all?

Of course, we can’t base future relationships on past ones anymore than we can count 100% on supposed compatibility laws when deciding who our friends are. After all, we have to make our own choices, not read our horoscopes every single day before setting out the door, making sure that Mercury didn’t rise on the wrong side for us (or whatever, I totally made that up). Still, it never hurts to find out your rising sign–it’s not the same as your actual sign and depends on when you were born within your sign’s spectrum. (I was born really early within mine and so my rising sign is the same. I’m a crabby, sensitive Cancer through and through, gosh darn it!)

And sometimes when the guy or girl in your life is acting beyond comprehension, sometimes a little read into the stars can make for much better understanding than any other type of psychoanalysis!

Do you think your sign describes you to a T? Do you date or make friends (or enemies) with the same signs over and over again?

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I came across this YouTube video this week [via Glamour magazine’s Smitten blog]. Ah, Facebook chat! (Not to mention Gchat, MSN Messenger, Yahoo, etc.) Makes it so easy to hide…

Sadly, this totally rings true these days for much communication between the sexes, don’t you think?

It’s not just the perpetual second-guessing and searching for the perfectly detached responses (i.e. furious backspacing) that typifies potential and existing romantic relationships during the lovely uber-social mediafied age we live in. Sometimes even the most innocent remarks can be misconstrued. Reading between the lines can be exhausting…and despite your best efforts, you still might guess wrong.(Yep, speaking from experience!)

Although face to face talk is ideal, it’s not always possible. (Especially for all you Hampton Roads residents with loved ones deployed overseas!) I keep in touch with lots of people transcontinental style. The funnest is with my relatives. Not only do I not get the added plus of visual cues, we communicate in person in Bengali but on Gchat/Facebook in English, which feels completely unnatural and stunted. Imagine the room for misinterpretation there! Luckily, family is family. But when there is a level of attraction between you and the person on the other side of the interwebs, well, a bit of careful attention to detail is a must!

So to that, I say err on the side of TOO much info. Don’t let’s go the way of Jane and James, shall we? And if in doubt about how your quipping remark will be received, well, inserting a wink never hurt anyone! 😉

Have you ever gotten into a misunderstanding  (or hit backspace a gazillion times to totally change your response) when chatting online?

The same age-old adages have translations in nearly every language: Love is blind. Love makes the world go round. Love is never having to say you’re sorry. All you need is love!

Yes, the world over we agree that love is grand indeed. But the many rituals surrounding love are quite distinct, as I had the awesome fortune to witness firsthand during my two-week trip to India for a family wedding.

No, it was not an arranged marriage, but rather, a “love marriage”, which is much more common nowadays. Leading up to a Hindu marriage, the engagement is just the beginning of a long line of significant events that are part of the whole tying-the-knot process (I’m pretty sure there’s no translatable equivalent of that term, by the way). A wedding is several days long with lots of pre- and post-ceremony events of import, and the bride and groom are going through separate preparation rituals at their respective homes during much of it, with families and loved ones attending all the while.

I haven’t been to more than a handful of American weddings, but it seems like there are just a few elaborate rituals garnering comparable detail and focus: the engagement (and the ring), the rehearsal dinner, and the wedding day (singular). Everything else goes on behind the scenes and isn’t necessarily mandatory or prescribed (e.g. premarital counseling, engagement party). Other than the Big Day, family members and close friends don’t share in as much.

There’s certainly nothing intrinsically wrong with less ritual or at least less public ritual, but witnessing an Indian wedding was such a beautiful contrast (not to mention EXHAUSTING, even as a spectator!) to weddings I’ve attended here in the States. Just something to think about!

I wouldn’t say I’m a jet setter, but my day job does require travel five or six times a year. This week, however, I’m headed to India for a family wedding, and all those work trips have paid off in the way of figuring out how to make travel super easy. I’m seriously taking just one small camera bag and a small-sized duffle bag for my two-week trip. (I am checking one piece of luggage, but only for any souvenirs or items I might wanna bring back.)

Solo travel can be a bit mundane, but the upside? Well, less baggage (= less stress).

Just pack clothes…and not that many
I don’t think there’s any reason why even for a longer-ish trip I can’t fit the necessary clothing into my carry-ons (think backpack or large handbag for personal item, and a medium-size suitcase for the overhead compartment, at the most). Don’t even bother packing anything that “needs” to be checked (like liquids over a certain ounce, or razors/sharp objects) if you’re only flying domestically–for the $25 fee per bag, it’s cheaper just to buy when you get to your destination.

Bring only enough entertainment and distraction for layovers
I’m bringing three books with me, and even three seems like too much despite the 12-hour leg in the middle of the trip. As much as it would be nice to catch up on reading while getting through the flight, with no fellow travelers guaranteed to keep me entertained, I’m betting I’ll spend most of my on-plane time with my eyes shut!

Nix the fancy-schmancies and the extras
No electronics (except the camera),  no extra purses or accessories. No laptop. If there’s no work involved, taking all those extras isn’t worth the hassle.

I’ll be back from India in two weeks!!

The holidays are over. It’s hard to believe it’s 2011—for me, that means 10 year high school reunion. Yikes.

One thing’s the same for me at the start of every year: New Year’s Resolutions. I’ve always been kind of obsessed. If nothing else, I think the very act of deciding on a few things to change/do creates momentum. I try to pick stuff I don’t HAVE to do every single day, and that don’t have to begin on January 1st.

What about resolutions for your love life? Hmm, to do or not to do. Well, I’ve  sworn not to overanalyze anymore (see previous post), and in that vein, this blog is definitely gonna shy away from any details of the goings-on of my personal life. But I figure a few “resolutions” can’t hurt. So here goes!

1. No more seeking out relationship advice. Especially from girlfriends. I’m a go-getter by nature, but nowhere can that impetuous need-results-now approach be more detrimental than in love. So no more hounding for advice. And if I must, I’ve gotta admit—women usually lead other women wrong. (Sorry friends! I know you meant well.)

2. Wear more tangerine. I have a good feeling about this color (it was on the rise in 2010 and will be quite popular this spring, says Glamour ). So…yeah. (Yes, I needed a simple resolution to feel accomplished.)

3. No more high heels.
Seriously, I can’t do it anymore. I think they’re the worst fashion accoutrement ever, and those who wear them will pay…sooner or later. Guess I’ll have to be creative when dressing up all 5 feet and barely 1 inch of me.

4. Read books on understanding the opposite sex. Really, who understands them? Not me! So far, the following are on my to-read list:

The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman

The Manual by Steve Santagati (because I loved the name and it looks really funny)

Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus by John Gray

5. Last but not least: Rename this blog!
This blog is changing direction a bit (stay tuned to find out how…you’ll know when I do), so it needs a new name! Suggestions??

Feel free to share some of your own resolutions, love-related or not!