Archives for the month of: March, 2016


yeshi cake

Baked by our housekeeper , Yeshi.


It was my birthday on Tuesday.

One of things I most appreciate about my birthday is that I share it with a cousin, in fact I was famously born during her first birthday party. Starting from sixth grade we were at the same Indian  boarding school  and  she and I were even in the same class, so from my 12th to my 18th birthday we always celebrated together.

I am  desperately uncomfortable in the limelight .(In fact I hate being photographs so much  that Sarah and I are only in like 3 photographs together on facebook) so having a shared birthday was always a HUGE relief, specially during those awkward teenage years when you are secretly convinced that no one could possibly actually like you. My cousin and I settled into a celebration routine  that included us ordering a cake each and giving one away to the “class boys.” ( Yes, I went to a school with sex-segregated birthdays, tres sheltered I know but that is a whole other story).

When I went to college in Australia I tried ( with some success) to continue the traditions of joint birthdays by convincing two of my friends with March birthdays to do celebrate together.

joint birthdays

Joint birthday dinner at a Greek restaurant the year I turned 20

Since then birthdays have  been awkward, worse so in Bhutan now that I have moved back . I have few friends I feel comfortable inviting and the local tradition is that the birthday person brings a treat for everyone else . One year I spent a weekend making packages of cookies to give out to people at work but that was exhausting and so I have more or less given up on celebrations beyond the family. I usually make an effort to see my cousin on our joint birthday but we haven’t had a joint birthday party since high school.

Then two years ago another cousin’s son was born on our birthday! Can you imagine that? Three of us with the same birthday  in the same family? This year was the first year that all three of us celebrated together.


Cake my cousin’s sister-in-law brought to dinner. I loved that it has 3 stars for  the 3 stars of the night!


And you know what it was the best birthday I have had in years!


Here is my favorite cake of the day, with all three of us on it. Baked by my sister and painted by my brother-in-law.


panda cake






So a friend of mine owns a bar where he mostly serves friends and relatives.He has good cocktails, a nice relaxed vibe and far too few customers. So on a whim I came up with a promotional event for the bar that I hoped would bring in some new customers. I would give a free tarot reading to anyone who bought a cocktail. (Now I have never charged for a tarot readings so  my tarot readings are always free but lets not get all technical here!)  If you know me, you know that this was not completely a “goodness of my heart” type offer. I love reading tarot and am always looking for opportunities to read for people.  So really it was set up to be something that was good for both my bar-owning friend and me.

My brother made us a lovely image to use. We made a facebook event and watched with delight as people committed to coming.  My friend brought more olives.


And then it was the 12th and my sister and brother came with me to sit up a table in the corner of the bar, with a fun lamp. I started at 8 pm with my first reading and didn’t take a break until midnight after friends had repeatedly come by the table to ask ” Are you okay? Do you need another drink?” I was so engrossed I hadn’t noticed  how long I had been sitting there. I did notice a small fight when one group of vocal girls started to get pushy about whose turn it “really” was.  By the end of the evening I had done readings for nearly 30 people. I had reassured people about their love lives, their career transitions and their business plans. I got lots of hugs and free cocktails. For the first time I actually didn’t just enjoy doing the readings and talking to people but I actually felt like I might be good at it.


I loved being tarot queen for the night and would totally totally totally do it again in a heartbeat.




I bought my first deck of tarot cards nearly 6 years ago after an expensive and unsatisfying reading by Mrs Rita, a Tempe tarot reader with a HUGE sign outside her house  and a song by the Gin Blossoms. I left the reading thinking ,  ” I bet I could do better.”  Six years later  after a lot of practicing on myself, my family  and anyone else who would let me,  I am not sure if that is completely true. Learning to read tarot is challenging and I wonder if I will ever master it well enough to charge someone a cool $50 for a reading. But I have come to enjoy the on-going  reading and researching and practicing that is learning to read tarot.  I have grown to love the complexity of trying to balance between remembering the symbolism and meaning of each of the 78 cards  and trying to tap into and trust my intuition. I get a thrill from the energy of a good reading, few things feel as good as good reading.

I have a standard spiel I give people before I read for them about my belief that I am not predicting the future, I am mostly just reading the tension and opportunities of the present. I tell them that they have the power to shape their own futures.

Recently a friend of my sister decided to stop dithering and take the plunge and take up an arts fellowship type  opportunity because of something I said in a reading. He just came home and brought me this lovely stationary set as a thank-you. It made me so ridiculously happy.  So maybe I will never be paid it cash but perhaps I can start charging in stationary. Either way I look forward to my on-going tarot journey because the rewards are so much in the process and I love that, I really really love that.