Recently Read: You Were Born For This

Born For This

The plan wasn’t to finish You Were Born For This in one sitting, but the reading just flowed.

So much of my life, certain events and themes, struggles and luck were obvious and maybe inevitable after looking deeply into my chart. What an awakening!

We all like to think that we have control over our own lives. We do to a certain extent. But luck and chance play big roles as well.

I needed this book in my twenties. But if it had been available then, I wouldn’t have had the familiarity with myself to receive it in the same way. I’ve never read a book with such ease and felt such gentleness towards me as the reader.

After reading some books, I’ve gotten the feeling that they really could have been essays. However, the writers got lucrative book deals. Maybe because they had a big audience. Then they had editors who massaged the hell out of that essay to make it into a book. But it really wasn’t a book and it did not feel genuine or respectful to me as the reader.

As a writer, Chani Nicholas is the exact opposite. While reading, I felt that she was rooting for me and thinking about how I might feel as I journeyed through my life reading her words. Nicholas wrote You Were Born For This as an act of kindness to her audience.

If you are even the least bit interested in astrology, I recommend buying You Were Born For This. I’m always one for borrowing books from the library, but this book is different. It’s more personal.

To get the most out of it, you need to download your chart from her website. Then use that information to fill in the pages as instructed through the book. You’re then guided through your Sun, Moon, Ascendant and Its Ruler. These are the three keys to a chart.

Most of us are familiar with our Sun sign. That’s the most basic part of our chart and determined by our birth date. I’m a Virgo, but that’s such a small part! The Sun represents our life’s purpose.

The Moon represents our physical and emotional needs. My Moon is in Scorpio.

The Ascendant and Its Ruler is our motivation for living and steer the direction of our lives. The Ascendant is also known as our Rising Sign. Mine is Taurus and the Ruler is Venus. Venus is all about seeking love, beauty and pleasure. I feel this deep into my bones. This blog is literally my attempt to notice the beauty all around and share it. It also feels like home to me.

But wait, there’s more! Just like with real estate, there are different houses and location matters. The placement of certain planets together in one house, near each other or opposite others changes things dramatically.

The luminaries, the sun and moon, are placed well in my chart and act together helping me live out my life’s purpose. Jupiter, trines my Sun, offering some protection and luck. As a kid and throughout my life, I’ve been good at winning contests.

Jupiter is also in the same house as my Ascendant which magnifies my impact on the world. Nicholas gives the example of “a bombastic laugh” and people tell me that they always remember my laugh.

Some of my life’s challenges I see in my chart too – a Scorpio Moon is not easy. She says that I will be called to “dig deep” and “transform … pain into purpose.” Sometimes that feels like the story of my life. Seeing my chart, it’s definitely part of it.

She says, “Scorpio deals with death, loss and transformation, sometimes having the Moon in this sign speaks to not only experiencing these issues in childhood but also having them as part of your professional interest or expertise.”

When I was a child, almost an entire generation in my family died and I remember being quite aware of the loss. Also when I was a child, the town’s grade school building had structural damage, so I attended school for a couple of years at a Catholic Parish. We had recess out in the back and quite literally played among the graves. As a freelance writer and lawyer, I’ve written about end of life issues.

I could go on and on, but if you do the work on your chart, you will find You Were Born For This endlessly fascinating and return to it over and over again. Because really, it’s all about you.

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If you’re interested in another book that I recently read, take a look here.

Time Travel With Merriam-Webster

If there’s one genre that gets me every single time, it’s time travel. I absolutely cannot resist the concept.

So I was thrilled to recently read that a physicist came up with calculations that eliminate the paradox problem. You know the issue when someone goes back in time and has to worry about changing something and destroying the present? Apparently things would all work themselves out somehow. Yay?!?!

Not only is the time travel genre fun, but it’s a great way to learn some history. I find myself wondering if certain parts of the story lines are true, so with some quick research, I’m able to find out.

Recently I enjoyed a couple of time travel series on Netflix. Since I also love foreign films, the variety of time travel shows available exponentially increases with more languages included. Back to 1989 is in Mandarin and placed in Taiwan. Live Up to Your Name is in Korean and takes place in present day South Korea and goes all the way back to the Joseon Dynasty.

So why am I bringing up time travel today? Because Merriam-Webster is playing along with the idea. They have a link you can go to and travel back. Pick the year you were born or any other year. You’ll find out when certain words were first used in print. The earliest year you can go back to is 1500, then by century and generally before the 12th century.

I went back to 1964 and it surprised me to find some of these words used so early. They seem more modern! Others are interesting in that the terms have changed and are used differently. It also makes me think about how the more things change, the more they stay the same. Below are a few.

AAA, black hole, carryout, colorism, condo, drink-driving, endangered, fentanyl, garage sale, gender identity, gigahertz, grandparenting, graphic novel, gun control, homophobia, hydrocodone, mack daddy, minicam, miracle fruit, mitochondrial DNA, naloxone, pants suit and pantsuit, point-and-shoot, precalculus, precooked, quinceañera, rat fink, red bush tea, retribalization, reverse discrimination, skinny-dip, slow-wave sleep, street hockey, table sugar, tostone, triple jump, xanthan gum, zip-code

If you have a few minutes, take a trip back and let me know what you think!

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Screenshot Image: Merriam-Webster

Leap Year Birthday? Get Free Kane’s Donuts!

Leap Year Birthday Donut

By now, most people have realized that this is a leap year. Especially those who have that once every four years birthday on February 29th. An early Happy Leap Year Birthday to you!

If leap day is your birthday, then you could get a free half dozen of Kane’s Birthday Donuts. Yeast donuts with buttercream and sprinkles. Yum!

Show up at any of Kane’s Donuts three locations (Boston and Saugus) next Saturday, February 29th, and bring a license or birth certificate to prove your leap year birthday.

Now how many leaplings are there exactly? Kane’s donuts often sell out quickly. And these are free. Will you need to arrive early and stand in line?

Well, as of 2019 there were around 205,000 people in the United States with this birthday. And none have been added since then. A bunch more will be born on Saturday. But you most likely won’t be standing in line competing for donuts with newborns. But who knows? Maybe their parents will want the donuts to celebrate!

Since 205,000 is the whole country, if you divide by 50 for each state, that would be about 4,100 people in each state. So actually, if you really want your donuts, that’s still a few thousand people to compete with. I’d get there early if I were you!

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Image Credit: Kane’s Donuts Twitter

Birthday Dinner at Back Bay Social on Boylston Street

Birthday cake with a candle.

This post has been a long time coming. Especially since my birthday was in September. But I wanted to make sure that I blogged this dinner and restaurant.

Two friends and one of my cousins met me after work for dinner at Back Bay Social in Boston. We had a really nice time and loved the food. A million times I passed this place and assumed it was a private club, so I ignored it.

For some reason, in my head, I added the word “club” to the end of the name. Or maybe it was there before? I have no idea. I’ve spoken to others who thought the same though, so it’s not just me.

When I was planning our dinner and I looking for places near the Prudential Center, I started looking more closely. After researching, I found that Back Bay Social is a regular restaurant and not a club. Plus, they are famous for their chicken and waffles! Who knew?

In all my years on this earth, I had never had chicken and waffles and was starting to feel it was a deficit that needed to be remedied.

My birthday dinner of chicken and waffles.

Ta da! I tried it!

Chicken and waffles do go together. The first time I heard about it, decades ago, it seemed a bit odd, but I was intrigued. This combination has lasted and only seems to become more popular with time.

I was also treated to slice of birthday cake — their orange blossom cake. Yum!

The restaurant has outdoor seating during the warm weather months and we were seated outside. It was one of those warm end of the summer nights. Celebrating with some of my favorite people. It was a really good birthday.

A Virgo Season Photo Project: Noticing The Details

Collage for Virgo season.

Happy Virgo Season! As a proud Virgo, this is my favorite time of the year.

While it’s not yet my birthday month, today is the start of the season, which goes through September 22nd. Although some things I read say September 21st and that Libra season starts on the 22nd. So my last post for the project will be September 21st.

For the season, I’ve decided to try something newa photography project on Instagram using the hashtag #virgophotoproject.

Photography has always been a hobby and Instagram has brought me back to a purer form of it than blogging. While blogging, I always have pictures, but they are not the main thing. The main thing is the story and the pictures help tell the story.

I just read the book, Humans of New York, which is based on the blog. The blog started as a photography project and grew from there. I love how starting something small as an experiment can end up turning into much more than originally expected.

Reading the book made me think that it would be nice to try a photo project of my own. But I wasn’t sure about a topic. I read a blog post on Everyday Eyecandy about 16 different types of photography projects. They are all wonderful ideas, but none of them appealed to me.

After thinking about things that interest me and that were coming up, Virgo Season immediately came to mind. Virgos are all about the details among many other wonderful things, so I thought it made sense to focus in on that for a theme to start.

It will be interesting to see what types of things I have photographed. I’m also hoping that some others will join in and contribute some pictures by using the #virgophotoproject hashtag. I’d love to see what everyone comes up with. What are traits that you associate with being a Virgo?

Federal_Street_shoe_Boston

My first Instagram post for the #virgophotoproject was this picture from the side of the building at 160 Federal Street in Boston. I have always noticed the shoe and wondered what it was about. Turns out the building used to house the United Shoe Machinery Company.

The shoe is just a small detail, but turns out it has a big significance! I hope you’ll follow the project and let me know what you think.

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