Eyre Affairs

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Location: New York, United States

Friday, June 30, 2006

"How people feel when they are returning home from an absence, long or short, I did not know: I had never experienced the sensation." ~ Jane Eyre

This morning I left delicious key limes and arrived home to a sweet big apple.

I am not sad that my vacation is over. I am smiling because it happened.

Highlights from the trip include drinking Key West Sunset Ale at Sloppy Joe's as my dad drank margaritas, seeing part of a coral reef in a glass bottom boat ride and having a baracuda approach my window, taking photos of my papa in Papa H's writing room, catching butterflies in the butterfly conservatory, and sitting in the same bench that poet Robert Frost loved to sit in, located in front of his cottage.

The photos I took shall help me give much more detail, in future posts, in describing the wonderful trip with my "papa" to Papa Hemingway's old stomping ground.

In the meantime, it is nice to be home in my fish-patterned pajama bottoms from Old Navy, drinking a Blue Moon, catching up on emails and blogs, and cheering my Yankees as they play the Mets tonight in a subway series.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

"She would give us a large piece of cold pie..." ~ Jane Eyre

The next four days will find me vacationing in Key West. I am looking forward to visiting Hemingway's old stomping grounds, drinking frozen drinks poolside at a tiki bar, and, of course, eating Key Lime Pie. I shall return this Friday the 30th with anecdotes from the trip!

I feel very fortunate to be going away, and for those who are not vacationing this week, it is my hope that you will do good things for yourself to celebrate the first full week of summer. My to-do list for you includes: eat Italian ices, go buy new flip flops, sit outside at night after the sun goes down to watch the twilight, and go pick up some charcoal for a BBQ. I hope that when I return, I publish comments that indicate one summery sundry from each person. Cheers!

Thursday, June 22, 2006

"Rest during the hot hours..." ~ Jane Eyre

My favorite lines about the heat of summer come from Harper Lee in To Kill a Mockingbird: Ladies bathed before noon, after their three-o'clock naps, and by nightfall were like soft teacakes with frostings of sweat and sweet talcum powder.

As I sit here, eating cooling off on coffee ice cream on the first full day of summer, I am thinking about moments in the summer that are the most pleasurable aspects of the season. There are so many, whether it is sipping iced tea from the bagel store in a huge white styrofoam cup, burrowing under layers of blankets while the air conditioner blasts all night, sitting in Yankee stadium on a midsummer's eve sipping beer, or watching fireflies in the backyard after a walk around the neighborhood.

My favorite moment of summer that is most pleasurable is taking a shower after a day at the beach.

I love the moment of entering my apartment after a day at Nickerson Beach.

My hair is usually in a tight bun, still doused with tons of conditioner left in from the early part of the day. I slip my flip-flops off; there is still a sprinkling of sand on top of my feet despite trying to rub most of it off back in the beach parking lot with talcum powder. The gleam of my colored toenails is usually lost in the abrasive wet sand; a small price to pay for such a beautiful beach day. I place my beachbag down by the door, careful not to bring any sand into the apartment. I immediately head to the shower, carefully placing my swimsuit on the towel rack to be washed out later of all the sunblock that it absorbed. I turn the water on and wait for the temperature to become warm.

The initial moment of stepping in the shower is my favorite. The taste salt on my upper lip for the last time as well as smell the coco butter from the sunblock; both reach a crescendo. Within a few moments, both dissipate and are gone. The salt which flattened my hair drips down the drain, along with the sand that was stuck in the thick pockets of it. My curls then revive, and the thick scent of a lavender body wash becomes overpowering. The last of the sand from Nickerson is scrubbed off of the tops of my toes, and I begin to notice how dark my olive skin has turned despite wearing spf 30.

I like to stay in my bathrobe for a long time after I exit the shower on beach days. I turn on the air conditioner, lie on my couch, drink a beer, and inhale aloe moisturizer. Sometimes I nap, other times I grab the book I was reading at the beach that still has sand stuck in its pages.

There is an outdoor shower at J.Sarah's family house in Sag Harbor which I am always too chicken to use when I stay out there. I love the main bathroom in the house; its completely white. Showering after beach days in Sag are favorite moments, too, because sometimes we dressed up afterwards to go out to dinner at places like Almondito or the Palm, showing off our beach glows and drinking cold cocktails.

I know showering sounds like an odd choice for a favorite moment of summer, but I am sure there are other favorite moments that others have that are unique and pleasurable that I would enjoy hearing about...

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

"Yes, you are dripping like a mermaid..." ~ Jane Eyre

'Thou rememberest
Since once I sat upon a promontory,
And heard a mermaid on a Dolphin's back
Uttering such dulcet and harmonious breath,
That the rude sea grew civil at her song;
And certain stars shot madly from their spheres,
To hear the sea-maid's music.' ~ Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream

Oannes was worshipped by the Babylonians around 5000BCE. Early images of Oannes show him as a man wrapped in a fish cloak, but later the image evolved into the half-man, half-fish form in which he became more widely known. A civilizing force for the good, and light and life to his people, Oannes represented the positive values connected with the sea.
Oannes' goddess counterpoint was Atargatis (or, Atergatis, or in Greece, Derketo) a Semetic moon goddess who became the first official mermaid, being depicted with a fish's tail; fish were sacred to her. She and Oannes were said to be the parents of the legendary Semiramis, an historical queen of Babylon. Atargartis was an important fertility goddess, also representing the darker, night forces of love and their potentially destructive power. As Dea Syria, her cult reached as far as Britain; the migration of the ubiquitous mermaid had begun. Later this goddess became identified with Aphrodite...

My goal this summer is to swim like a mermaid.

Aside from her origins in Greek Mythology and lore from mariners, mermaid tales do not interest me since society has trivialized them. I never did like the fairy tale, I certainly disliked the animated film, I find the sexual symbolism trite, and I find many images of mermaids to be in poor taste.

The true beauty of a mermaid is her simple form; she is both a piece of the ocean and a piece of the earth.

A perfect balance of both.

To be completely submerged in water is dangerous; there is no sense of balance amidst the risk of tempests. To shift from wave to wave becomes pointless and banal; to constantly float is depressing aimlessness. To be completely on land is dangerous; there is no sense of flow to daily life and there is a risk of burnout. To jaunt from rock to rock becomes tiresome and frustrating; to constantly search for an oasis without the chance of finding one leaves a soul barren.

To swim like a mermaid means to enjoy the waves as they flow, but to seek dryer land when she sees a tempest approaching. To swim like a mermaid means to understand the importance of staying grounded and rock solid, but to indulge in an oasis as often as she can. To swim like a mermaid means to feel the balance of both worlds of the depths of the ocean and heights of the land.

Hence, my goal this summer is to swim like a mermaid...

Friday, June 16, 2006

"Thank you, Mr. Rochester, for your great kindness." ~ Jane Eyre

Dear Bloggers Of the World,

I, Jack Krikor, aged 9 months and 14 days, would like to take this opportunity to thank all of you for humoring my Aunt Amy in her shameless display of my extreme cuteness here on Eyre Affairs. (Personally, I prefer the affairs of Elmo.)

These photo that my Auntie loves so much were taken yesterday by my awesome mommy, Missy. She dressed me like my cool daddy, Ed, complete with preppy pink polo and khackis. I look like I could be playing the U.S. Open right now along with Tiger, except that I can't walk yet. Or crawl. Or stand. But I sure know how to whack! I just whacked Aunt Amy in the face earlier this afternoon as we were blowing bubbles with bubble juice. I also pulled her curly hair; she told me that I shouldn't pull it because I have enough of my own.

Anyways, thank you for your nice words about my charming and chubby personage! I hope you all enjoy this Father's Day Weekend. My family will be doing a big shrimp and lobster boil as I sit and eat mushy veggies. Sigh...when will I ever get more toofs? Aunt Amy is all excited to break out the kiddie pool for me on Sunday...little does she know how great of a splasher I am already. Muahahahahaha!

With a "goo" (my favorite word),

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

"But Georgiana entreated me to stay..." Jane Eyre

I have lost a great deal of faith in this school where I teach English.

Apparently, my Chairperson of the department has not lost faith in me.

This morning we had a tete-a-tete, and he handed me a teaching schedule for next year on a silver platter. He shared with me the history of his career, which was laden with moments of needing a break and taking breaks. He told me he wants me to be happy, and he handed me the best schedule in all my six years of teaching.

My head began to spin. I had American Lit Honors. It meant honeyed moments teaching The Secret Life of Bees, ethical debates whilst teaching The Scarlet Letter, and some good political conversation during literary discussions of Slaughterhouse Five. These thoughts were as refreshing as iced tea with fresh mint being sipped in the shade on a summer day.

The teacher's contract we received four years ago no longer allows a leave of absence for professional reasons, just medical ones. I found this out yesterday afternoon.

So, this choice was taken away from me.

I have to have faith that this path chosen is going to work out for the best. It is still difficult in many ways, and I am certainly not convinced that this will be my only career in life. The game plan now is to do this the right way; to stay here and get another Master's in a content area that would land me a position in a job much more easily.

Now the choice is, of course, what MA program to apply to! I am thinking Curatorial studies. I still want control over a DaVinci painting. It will just happen a bit later rather than a bit sooner.

This also means that I can perhaps relax and enjoy the summer a bit more without having to worry about interviews and such. More time for the beach, more time to plan Jack's first birthday, more time to do yoga, more time to regroup myself.

And eat lots of ices from Ralph's.

In the meantime, Miss Thursday Next remains English Teacher Extraordinaire, with chalk on her pants, red pen on her fingers, paper cuts from grading papers, and a sense of peace I find in the works of literature that I teach.

It took Odysseys twenty years to get to Ithaka, so I think I can manage another two years to get to somewhere like the MET.

Monday, June 12, 2006

The mad lady, who was as cunning as a witch..." ~ Jane Eyre

If Ann Coulter were a character from literature, she would be Lady Macbeth.

If only Miss Coulter would jump from a Dunsinane turret.

Whilst I loathe giving this boorish, boney bimbo any more press, I think that she is extremely amusing and her words can provide hours and hours of laughter.

Yes, I called her a bimbo. She is not a woman, she is definitely not an intelligent woman, and she is certainly not a lady.

Above all else, she is not even a conservative. There are quite a few conservatives whose words and ideals I respect and admire. I repeat, she is not a conservative.

She is a Fascist.

Miss (and I mean Miss with the utmost of sarcasm) Coulter seems to think she is one superior Queen, as is she is a blond haired, blue eyed racist. Is it just me, or does this statement echo the Raven monologue of Lady Macbeth’s?

“Earth is yours. Take it. Rape it. It's yours.”

Without any reverence for the environment or any concerns about global warming, we can indirectly blame Miss Coulter and others with her pathetic attitude for Hurricane Katrina.

Just like Lady Mac, Miss Coulter has no respect for other women. Miss Coulter would have cheered the death of Lady MacDuff. It seems that Miss Coulter wishes that she, just like Lady Macbeth, could be unsexed and transform into a body that was man-like. Except, of course, Miss Coulter already looks like a man. Her lack of food intake makes her flatter than Yao Ming and her big eyes look like Giambi’s when he was on steroids.

"I think [women] should be armed but should not vote...women have no capacity to understand how money is earned.”

I wish I could be armed. I would knock on her door immediately.

Women like Pamela Harriman and Patricia Duff are basically Anna Nicole Smith from the waist down. Let's just call it for what it is. They're whores."

As opposed to you, Miss Coulter, you who are a media whore? You who are nothing better than the Howard Stern of politics? A shock hock? You know, the kind of hock that exists on a jackass?

Miss Coulter is too stupid to see the irony of the statement she made about the Constitution:

"Frankly, I'm not a big fan of the First Amendment."

If it weren’t for that Amendment, I assure you that Miss Coulter would be in jail for scathing hate speech. Clearly in her sick world, only she is allowed to speak. The rest of us should perish for what we think:

“My only regret with Timothy McVeigh is he did not go to the New York Times Building.”

Yes, we can clearly comprehend that Miss Coulter has no appreciation for our Constitution. She cares little about freedom, and she certainly thinks that American citizens are expendable. Miss Coulter seems to be quite an advocate of blowing up buildings; a philosophy she shares with the Al-Qaeda.

Miss Coulter has no respect for soldiers or veterans, just as Lady Macbeth has no respect for her true King, Duncan. Clearly Miss Coulter has not studied the Vietnam War in terms of tactical operations. Then again, she is too dense to understand. I am surprised she didn’t tell WWII vets that, “because of soldiers like you, we didn’t win the war sooner.”

"People like you caused us to lose the war." (to a disabled Vietnam Veteran)

While I would never take anorexia or bulimia lightly, Miss Coulter enjoys tormenting women who suffer from these disorders. Then again, I think that she has a disorder.

"Anorexics never have boyfriends. ... That's one way to know you don't have anorexia: if you have a boyfriend."

For the record, Miss Coulter does NOT have a boyfriend and has been noted by many journalists that she loves pushing food around on her plate. I sense situational irony here; the kind that Shakespeare utilizes so well in his plays. In the play, Lady Macbeth dies without having children. I assure you that Miss Coulter will die one day childless, because no man in their right mind would have sexual relations with her. I wonder if all of her touting about Bill Clinton was jealousy because he was getting sex and she wasn’t?

The lady doth protest too much. (Ooops, wrong Shakespeare Tragedy)

Still, she sounds like a woman scorned. Maybe she had a secret crush on Bill?

Forget washing your hands with all the perfumes of Arabia, Miss Coulter.

Wash out your disgustingly dirty mouth, and go get lost in Birnam Woods.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

"Yes; though I touch it, it is a dream," said I." ~ Jane Eyre

As I have been telling people about my plans for a career change, they ask me what I would like to do for my new career. Fortunately, I believe I have many options. Still, the question has me thinking about what my true dream job would be if I had my druthers. Here are the workings of my imagination this morning:

I. Director of the Folger Shakespeare Library ~ The library in D.C. is absolutely gorgeous. When I visited with J. Sarah a few years ago, we were fortunately there at a time they were doing an entire exhibit on Queen Elizabeth I. Unfortunately, our tour guide was horrendous. Not only did J. Sarah and I know all of the information already, but we knew more than she did. I came very close to writing a letter about the horrid experience. As director, I would make sure that the exhibits were as interesting as the one I saw, as well as make sure that proper tour guides are hired!

II: A Ballgirl at Yankee Stadium ~ I think that the batboys have had enough time in the Bronx, and it is time for the ladies to take over. Of course I would be the ballgirl by third base, not first. As a ballgirl, I can support Derek Jeter any time he needs me. Of course I do realize that the times the Yanks are up at base, I will have little interaction with those balls. They tend to constantly be in the outfield or in the bleachers, especially these days, as we are first place for the East.

III: A Sommelier ~ Ok, ok. Its not that I really want the job of a sommelier. I just want to know everything about wine and wine tasting and wine pairing that there is. I would much rather be a server at one of the North Fork Wineries, but I am not sure if they know as much as a sommelier does. Still, if I was a sommelier, I suppose the restaurant I would choose would be Babbo. Thanks to that sommelier, J.Sarah and I were in a warm, happy, dizzy place the night we ate there a few Junes ago.

IV. Director of the National Trust for Historic Preservation ~ I am an advocate of taking the utmost care of historic landmarks in this country. As a child, I was fortunate enough to visit many, just here on Long Island! My favorite is Sagamore Hill in Oyster Bay, President Theodore Roosevelt's Home. My father took me there often because I loved Teddy so much, and viewing the house time after time always had me in awe. My favorite room in the house is the dining room. Each place setting has a small little lamp next to it; one for each person. According to the guide, Teddy sat down for breakfast at 8am and expected his entire family to be there on time. If they were not, they didn't get any breakfast that morning!

V. The Wedding Planner ~ J. Sarah is not a Bridezilla. However, since the announcement of her engagement, I now have the title of Bridesmaidzilla. (J.Sarah uses shorthand and just calls me BMZ.) Doing event production in college, years of watching "A Wedding Story" on TLC because of Cassie, helping to plan Missy's wedding, and meeting Sylvia Weinstock have all caused me to be this Marriage Monster. I must admit that my sister Missy IS the Emma Woodhouse of all party planners, but I am a close second. I have had excellent tutaledge.

VI. RN in the Nursery of a Hospital ~ The math and science part of my brain is past all hope, but if it were working, I would love to be a pediatric nurse and take care of all of the new, beautiful babies that come into this world. I can think of nothing more special than being around fresh little babies all day.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

"I shall do very well on the sofa in the library for the rest of the night..." ~ Jane Eyre

Noting just some of my favorite items in my apartment:

~ On one of my doorknobs is a wooden sign that reads "Cocktail Time" with a flapper holding a martini painted on it. The flapper could be any one of the young women Fitzgerald writes about in the chapter illustrating Nick's first party at Gatsby's.

~ I found a small movie poster of Breakfast at Tiffany's at the MOMA gift store a year and a half ago and since then it has been in my living room. Each time I glance that way, "Moon River" starts to hum in my head and visions of the New York Public Library appear.

~ There is a photo of my grandparents on my coffee table - their wedding photograph. My grandfather had just returned from WWII. Since they had little money, they were married at City Hall. My grandfather is wearing his uniform and my grandmother is in a simple dress with a white corsage. Their smiles are beautiful.

~ The cluster of body oil, body lotion, and shower gel in the corner of my sinktop. They came in a delicious package together, literally. The body oil is lemon-verbena scented, the body lotion is chocolate scented, and the shower gel is caramel cappucino scented.

~ There is a recreated painting of The Girl with the Pearl Earring by Vermeer in my library. I love that it is not a print, but an actual replica of one of my favorite works of art. I never tire looking into her eyes or staring at her ear.

~ The cat statuette in my bedroom that is a replica from one in Ancient Egypt (my bedroom is Egyptian-themed).

~ A spoon rest that is in the shape of a wine bottle that has "Merlot" painted on it. I have some kitchen towels and a rug that also depict a french wine motif. A few weeks ago, Chaz was kind enough to give me a beautiful painting of a row of french cafes on a Parisian street that I will hang above my kitchen table.

~ Guest towels given to me by my mother that are beige with a satin accent depicting various aspects of couture such as a black cocktail dress, a black bag, and black high heels.

~ An enlarged black and white photo of my "Jewish Wedding." During senior year of high school, I played the role of Tzeitel in Fiddler on the Roof. My friend Laurie had taken a photo of me in complete bride attire, at the alter with Ethan Brosowsky. It was a good thing I wore a thick veil, because all Ethan did during the scene was whisper jokes for me to laugh at.

~ The Derek Jeter bobblehead that sits on my desk in my library. J.Sarah's parents gave it to me as a present a few years ago. I love tapping D.J.'s head. Yes, he is my favorite Yankee, and yes I was upset that he hurt his thumb today! Still, it is not as bad as when I attended the Yanks/Boston game back in 2004 when they went into 14 innings on July 1st and D.J. fell into the stands and emerged all bloody. Such trauma for us ladies in the Derek Jeter fan club.

~ A mug that says "Anne of Green Gables" that my mother ordered for me when I was a child through an L.M. Montgomery gift store on Prince Edward Island. The mug sits on my bookshelf and holds all of my bookmarks. I think I must have at least 18 bookmarks.

~ A dried bouquet that I carried at Missy and Ed's wedding six years ago that now hangs on my library door. The bouquet was a big blossom of peach roses. At the time I remember being in the limo outside of St. Vartan's Cathedral and stuffing a tissue into the bouquet. It was hidden well until I started getting teary at the alter and took it out to use. I will never forget my Great Aunt Mary exclaiming what a great idea that was from a pew three rows back!

~The wine cabinet given to me last winter as a gift from my family. It is from Crate and Barrel, one of my favorite stores. Its mahogany wooden frame holds up to a dozen wine glasses and a dozen bottles of wine. Right now there are two bottles of Barefoot Merlot in it in addition to other reds. All of the whites are in my fridge.

~ A magnet on my fridge that is a poem about sisters; the magnet holds up a photo of me and my sisters at my grandmother's 80th birthday brunch back in 2000.

~ My collection of cookbooks in the kitchen, including Traditional Armenian Recipes given to me by my father. The cookbook was written by an Armenian Ladies Guild back in the 1950's, but the recipes are so good that it is still a cookbook found in any Armenian bookstore.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

"Near and deep as the thunder crashed..." ~ Jane Eyre

Its that kind of a night.

You know, the night where the sky is dark with beige undertones, ready to explode in in pouring rain and rumble with thunder as lightning flashes in between your window blinds. The kind of night you are happy to be inside, away from the outdoor steam room that is causing the weather. The kind of night where the air conditioner is on low as you lounge around in cropped pink sweatpants and a girlie white ribbed sleeveless tee from Urban Outfitters that would make Tony Soprano prouder of your look than he is of Meadow's. The kind of night where you eat Strawberry Yogurt Burst Cheerios in a small bowl for dinner because the mixture of heat and events of the week make you lose your appetite. The kind of night where you call your each person in your family to talk for a few minutes because the sounds of their voices comforts you, and you need comfort right now, which is why you are eating cereal for dinner. The kind of night you listen to Creedence Clearwater Revival and are in awe of John Fogerty's voice. The kind of night where you skip listening to "Fortunate Son" because you don't really feel like thinking about the politics of war on this particular evening. The kind of night where you know you will fall asleep early so it can be Friday already. The kind of night where you change the sheets so you fall asleep in a crisp, Bounce-smelling bed. The kind of night where you hope your dreams are good as you sleep because the day was anything but dreamy.

Its that kind of a night.