Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Of Crushes and Dreams

Remember when you were a teenager and had a crush on the cute guy (or girl) and your world was suddenly centered around that one person? Remember how you thought that it was the truest of true love and that nothing would ever make that love wane? But then, slowly but surely, it did wane. The next time you had a crush on someone, you would think that the last one was just a silly crush, but this time, it's for real.

I was just thinking about the number of times I thought that way. I cannot clearly remember the faces of most of those guys. There were a few on whom I didn't just have a crush, but felt something stronger based on a solid foundation of friendship, and those are the only ones I really remember. But, at that time, it was very hard to say which ones I would remember and which ones I would think back to and laugh at how silly it all seems now.

(Don't get me wrong, I'm happily married, but I do still remember some very good friends for whom I once had feelings. Because those are memories of experiences that have been happy and sad and confusing and have taught me a little bit more about myself and what I actually need in the person I eventually end up with. They all got me one step closer to being able to choose the right kind of guy to settle down with.)

Now think about other kinds of dreams that you had or still have. Maybe you dreamed of being on TV. Flying a plane. Opening your own restaurant. Some of that stuff seems silly now, and some of it, you had to give up because you weren't quite as good at it as you first thought you were. Some of it, you may still be thinking about and may not be completely sure yet. But, once again, you can't quite tell when you're dreaming a dream if it's the one that's quite right for you or if it's one that you'll be laughing to yourself about a few months later. How do you tell them apart?

The only way to be able to tell is to actually go ahead and give it a serious shot. Not once, not twice, but as many times as it takes for you to be completely convinced. This way or that. If this is what you're looking for or if it's just a passing fling. That's the only way to actually find your calling, to be where your heart is.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Winter Blues

I remember the time when I went to Manali with my friends from the office about two years ago. There was a day of travelling to Solang Valley in rain and snow. It was a lot of fun, but it was certainly really cold. Later that evening, I had a little bit of rum to warm myself up.

It's been a crazy winter which makes me think of that rum just about every other day. I arrive at work chilled to the bone, although I've been out in the open only for about ten minutes - that's how long it takes me to walk from the train station to the office. But a significant portion of those ten minutes is spent in an area that's not shielded by buildings on either side. It is actually right where the Charles river meets the sea. So it's open to sea breeze. Breeze is actually a very mild term for winds gusting up to 40mph on an average day, and even 80 mph on a bad day. I have seen the river freeze over in other areas, but even in mid-January, this part wasn't frozen and I figured it wouldn't freeze because it was so close to the sea. But it did. It froze, then thawed, then froze again, and thawed again. The parts of the river farther from the sea, however, stay frozen and accumulate snow and you cannot tell where the river bank ends and the river begins.

I grew up in a place where daytime temperatures hardly ever, if at all, went below 10 C. Out here, if the temperature begins to approach that figure, the weather service announces that we're going to have "mild" weather and people ditch their jackets. Even I felt like doing that this evening, but discovered that it was more comfortable to wear the jacket without zipping up the front than it was to carry it. I actually saw a guy standing right next to the river wearing shorts.

Every four or five days for the last six or so weeks, the weather service has issued a winter storm warning and predicted eighteen or so inches of snow in our area. Pretty accurate predictions most of the time. At one point, I was sure that if we had a little bit more snow, I wouldn't be able to see out of my windows. The snow on the ground had come just a little higher than the window sill and the icicles hanging from the roof had come down as low as the window sill.

But it's not the crazy amounts of snow that really bothers me, though this winter has seen really crazy amounts of snow even by New England standards and people who have lived here a long time are also rather tired of it now. What I find difficult to get used to is the variation in temperature we see from day to day. One day, we have a high of 23 F. The next day, we have a low of 33 F. And the third day is a high of 17. It's crazy. You have to check the weather just about every day to really know how many layers to wear.

But I am relieved to see almost two weeks pass by without any major snowfall, and quite some snow melting. The sidewalks in the city are almost completely clear now. Our driveway is almost dry, though there is still over a foot of snow in the yard. A foot of highly compressed, very heavy snow. But it's slowly melting. And spring is on its way. Fingers crossed.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

If Tomorrow Comes

This book by Sidney Sheldon is another one I'd been meaning to read for a while, but just did not get around to it. Actually, I'd always meant to try out at least one of Sheldon's books and never actually got to it. This was a recommendation from some friends for a good book to start with.

This book is not like anything I've ever read before. I'm told that Sheldon's books are rather similar to each other in many ways, though, but I've never read any of those.

The main character, Tracy Whitney, is a woman wronged by a lot of people and determined to get even with them. Her initial attempt at revenge against the person responsible for her mother's death lands her in even deeper trouble and ignites within her an even stronger desire to retaliate. And retaliate she does. From then on, everything she does is well thought out and carefully planned. She leaves nothing to chance and no reasons for anyone to suspect that it was her doing.

There are certainly other, fairly interesting, characters in the story who do leave a mark on the reader, but none quite as impressive as Tracy herself. A very intriguing heroine who keeps the reader wondering about her next escapade. A brilliantly crafted plot, or series of plots, makes this book an engaging and difficult to put down read. It definitely takes an extremely intelligent mind to come up with something like this, to create a character who never fails to impress or surprise. She's someone who crosses over to the wrong side of the law, but still has you rooting for her and cheering her on because she is so real, so much a person you can relate to even though you may never have done anything like what she does, or thought about doing anything like it.