"Eat when excited..." ~ Jane Eyre
One of the more poignant scenes in Sex and the City is when Charlotte breaks down in front of Carrie, hysterical crying after Carrie calls her out on a fear she has. She can hardly speak through her sobs, but she manages to say that life is too good, too perfect, and too wonderful right now and something has to go wrong...how can one be so blessed with such happiness? Carrie reminds her that she has been through enough pain in her life, and its time to enjoy the joy. And in the end, Charlotte does.
I think the movie addressed the issue that it is possible to have your cake and eat it, too. The etymology of that statement is an interesting one. It dates back to 1596 as a metaphorical idiom for what is impossible - you cant eat cake and then have it because you already had it! Still, what we think is impossible in our daily lives may be possible. Its a simple kind of hope that is as plain as a vanilla cupcake, but also as sweet as one.
I feel like Charlotte in this moment - I am so thankful for all of my blessings, but at the same time I fear having it all because life is seemingly perfect right now. I expressed that to my cousin, Steph, the other evening. The eve of my thirtieth birthday was one of the darkest moments of my life, and everything seemed impossible to obtain and turn around and fix both personally and professionally. And then, as if it were the exact moment I made my wish on that piece of birthday cake, the impossible became possible and my dreams were sliced like a cake because they soon became the best reality.
And so, readers, there is a moment in Jane Eyre where Jane leaves her career in education for good and comes into her own wealth as she looks towards her future with Rochester. This is the moment where I leave education and move on to making real money in a new job. I have a new career, I have my Prince, I have the best family and friends, and I have been given the ingredients to make a cake that I am going to have and eat, too. As tempted as I am to cry like Charlotte and worry that this will all be lost, I remember that this was not given to me. I worked for this, just like I will work to make this cake and sweat over it until its ready for the taking, and will enjoy the sweets of my labor...
Reader, welcome to my life.
- Name: ThursdayNext
- Location: New York, United States
Friday, August 29, 2008
"Eat when excited..." ~ Jane Eyre
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
"Of white grapes and vine-leaves..." ~ Jane Eyre
The above images were taken at a small, unassuming vineyard on the North Fork of Long Island called The Old Field. Amidst all of the larger, more corporate wineries there lies this true gem that J. Sarah's parents took the Prince and I to this past weekend. They were gracious to have us out for the day on Saturday, and what a perfect summer day it was.
Our day began when the Prince and I picked up a late breakfast/early lunch to eat in the car en route east. As I sipped on my vanilla flavored iced coffee and he ate tuna with fresh tomato on whole grain bread, he set up a great playlist on the Ipod for some great music to cruise to. We opened the sunroof to my Mercedes and the first song we blasted was Clapton's Layla. Ironically, I feel the prince has turned my world both upside down and rightside up all at the same time.
We arrived at the house half past noon and greeted J. Sarah's parents and, much to the apprehension at first of the Prince, my former high school principal and his wife! J. Sarah's mom is an English teacher where we attended high school. It was great to see all of them, and as soon as we arrived I knew it was going to be one of the best days of the summer...and I was right.
After arriving, we all got into the car and drove out to Greenport. Greenport is quite an old community on Long Island and its ports used to be used by rumrunners during prohibition when ships would smuggle in alcohol from Europe. The town is lovely and we walked the streets going in and out of shops and art galleries. At one point I stopped at a small cafe for some gelato - coffee flavored - and it was most delicious. We walked to the docks and the cool breeze off of the water was as delicious as the gelato.
Once we toured most of the main street in Greenport, we went to the winery for some tasting. The photos show an oak barrel, ripe grapes ready for the picking, and an old corn crib on the premises. The wine tasting area was outdoors, set up on rickety tables with little jars of mustard out next to the menu for wine flights. Small plastic cups were used for the tastings, and we chose an entire flight of whites and reds. The grounds were beautiful, and the Prince and I walked through some of the rows of grapes, for I had never seen them right before they were ready to be picked and turned into wine. The Prince bought us two bottles to take home. One is a table red called Rooster Tail that we are saving for a night we get pizza (it was listed as a pairing and we totally agreed) and the other is a rich and fruity 2002 Merlot that I think will go well with some eggplant parmigiana.
And eggplant parmigiana is exactly what J.Sarah's dad - the good doctor - made for dinner that night back at the house! I have had it before, and it is probably one of the best dinners I have eaten. The family refers to it as EPP over Spag (eggplant parmigiana over spaghetti) for short. J. Sarah's mom is the best cook I know, but her father is also excellent. We got back to the house and sipped on a Channing Daughters white called Envelope and snacked on goat cheese and bruschetta that I prepared as an appetizer. The crowning culinary moment was the main course. As the Prince said, its not often you have the best dinner ever, so you need to get the recipe! Thankfully the good doctor sent it over the next day, with a request it appears on EpicureanEscapades soon! I told him to wait for next Thursday when the NFL season kicks off as my Giants play their first game.
The day felt like the hours flew by. Before we knew it, it was already eight in the evening. I didn't want to leave such perfection. What made the day perfect was not the food or the activities, but the company. J. Sarah's parents are my second set, and spending time with them and having them spend time getting to know the Prince made the day quite special. The beauty of the day was knowing that more days like it are to come...
Monday, August 25, 2008
Labels: Mute Mondays
Thursday, August 21, 2008
"He went to India..." ~ Jane Eyre
This past spring I was on Wall Street and walked into the Hermes store there to browse when I saw the most beautiful scarf in the world. Hermes introduced a line called "Indian Fantasies" this past year, and for those who know me well, that is where my fantasies now lay.
The silk scarf in reference is detailed here, though it comes in two colors, and the color pattern I loved is muted shades of lavender and melon that remind me of the colors of the sunsets in Goa that the Prince set me pictures of. There are others in the Indian series, filled with gorgeous images of elephants and henna patterns, but the pattern of this particular caught my eye. Of course it is not a pattern for the pocket squares- it is only available as a large, $300.00 scarf that shall never grace my body as an accessory. Even if I could afford such a luxury, I would perhaps not even wear it - I would frame it as a work of art because I love looking at it so much.
A couple of weeks ago the Prince and I were in the bookstore and I grabbed books on Goa from the travel section. We have talked of going there, and I have been doing daydreaming anytime I click on this website for a hotel there that looks nothing short of spectacular: http://www.tajhotels.com/Leisure/Fort%20Aguada%20Beac
h%20Resort,GOA/default.htm. Aside from Goa, I would love to see the rest of India with him - his India - and look forward to going one day. Though I admit that Goa is first on the list, for staying in an old Portuguese rampart and watching those sunsets with the Prince would be fantasy coming to life.
Dating an Indian man has been a blessing, for I have loved learning more about the culture and learning about the similarities between our Indian and Armenian backgrounds, whether its musical instruments or ceremonial practice rites or even types of food. Even Armenian researchers and cultural anthropologists have commented on the influences. http://www.tacentral.com/mythology.asp?story_no=3 The irony is that his kitchen smells like the smell I remember in the kitchen of my father's parents house, mainly with the faint scent of cumin lingering so deliciously below my nose.
Of course I grew up with Indian friends who introduced me to aspects of the culture even so early as elementary school. I remember two girls in particular showing of their amazing dancing skills and performing Bharatanatyam dance at cultural events hosted by my third grade teacher. Images of shiva and temples in the house were at that time foreign to me in a fascinating way. My first introduction to Indian food was late - high school - when J.Sarah and her parents invited me to her birthday dinner in the city and I tasted the goodness of samosas, nan, mango lassi, and tandoori chicken for the first time. Of course now I joke that those foods are for the lightweights, for there is nothing better I love than saag paneer and any kind of spicy vindaloo.
Life has gotten in the way of me undertaking the Indian cooking I have set out to do as a project, though soon I am confident that I will have more time for that. The main Indian supermarket in the metro New York area is called Patel Brothers: http://nymag.com/listings/
stores/patel_brothers01/. J.Sarah has one by her house, and the Prince and I have one by hours. Going in there for the first time was exciting. It was crowded and abuzz with families shopping, with huge barrels of Indian snacks being dug into and freezers filled with all different kinds of kulfi. J.Sarah helped me find the dal and garam masala that I needed. The Prince took me to the one closer to us in order to get ingredients for chat papri (www.epicureanescapdes.blogspot.com) and I was unable to keep my kulfi in its package before reaching the register; I felt like a young child snacking greedily while the parent was food shopping! I have been back there on my own since for the main purpose of stockpiling kulfi in my freezer. I tried fried lentil snacks the other day at the Prince's and need to head there next week to buy some bags of it for myself.
Next door to Patel Brothers is an Indian clothing store that has gorgeous saris in the window. As much as I would love that Hermes scarf, it is not as important to me as one day wearing a ceremonial sari. And donning that one day is not a fantasy at all. Rather, it is quite the absolute opposite in my heart and soul...
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
"Seasons of that region..." ~ Jane Eyre
The prince is a man for all seasons
Oh, yes he is comparable to Moore in that he is an amazing scholar, philosopher, and intellect, but I mean in the literal sense that he is a man for all seasons.
For the first time in my life I don’t mind that summer is ending, or that cold winds shall come, or that darkness will be abound in hours that were once light. So far in the six months we have been together, three seasons have passed, and the experiences became as unique and special as he is. Its not the activities in the seasons that make them meaningful with him, it is just being with him that is most significant.
Although it could be winter forever and if I was with him it wouldnt matter, I must admit that I am most excited about autumn with him - the only season we haven't shared yet. We cheer for the same football team, and I look forward to breezy, cool Sundays in front of the television, wrapped in a blanket and eating bowls of hot chili topped with cheddar cheese and crispy tortilla strips as the Giants work to clench another kind of bowl in their particular season. We decided to read all the Harry Potter books before the next film comes out this fall, and I am looking forward to our discussions about how Hermione and Ron are perfectly imperfect for each other before bundling up in pea coats and hats to go see The Half Blood Prince. The Prince's birthday lies in November, and I cannot wait to shower him with all the gifts he deserves and make him the cake of his choosing. He was a football player in high school, so I hope to rouse him and get him to play touch football or at least throw a football around as our feet make crunching noises on the fallen leaves. I want to go apple picking with him and search for the perfect pumpkin together.
I want to make him all kinds of pies - sweet potato pies and shepherd's pie from my oven that serves as another means to heat my apartment when the weather turns cool. I can't wait for weekend getaways and nights we just stay in watching movies and sipping spiced cider. Hopefully he will celebrate Halloween with us as we indulge Jack in all of the excitement of the holiday and I cook for the family that night. Annually, its been individual meat loaves with mashed potatoes and green beans with tons of candy for dessert. I requested we do a Star Wars marathon together - watching the original three films in one day...though truthfully it is always about Empire. I look forward to wearing thick, plaid skirts again with tights and rubbing his leg underneath the table inconspicuously as we dine out and drink red wines instead of summery whites.
Of course summer isnt over just yet, but it is no matter because I feel like each day is a beach day when we are together...carefree, blissful, and perfect.
Monday, August 18, 2008
"To glory..." ~ Jane Eyre
The small footprints next to mine in the sand belong to Jack as we go by the shore and I write his name with my toes in the sand and we giggle together as the water washes it back into its vastness and I hold the little King high above the waves because he is too royal to be beneath them even swimming...out children should lead us, we shouldnt be leading them...they know what is best, even if that includes eating tons of snacks in a beach chair at age three years old, rotating mini bags of popcorn and goldfish crackers. We build castles together in the sand and I hope that I have enough power one day to build him better castles and protect him always...always. My sisters in the sand appear as an oasis to me as their images are intertwined with my parents - just as mine is - as we pass on all the glory of a day at the beach to the child. Robin's patience as Jack tries to play frisbee with her and her boyfriend and my sister's reassurance to him when he shows doubt echo as loud as the ocean breeze in my ear of past family excursions to Jones Beach. The moment where Robin and I hold him at the shoreline as the waves crash is one of bliss, because our love for him as his aunts is stronger than all the oceans ever washing across all of the lands of this earth. We spend hours here and I never want to leave...he doesnt want to leave, either. If I could send a message in a bottle on this day to someone I would say in my note that life is glorious...live the life...viva la vida. No money, stocks, gas, oil, war, athletic competitions, elections, or celebrities have anything to do with the purity of this moment on this day, and we forget this too often. I see other families smiling and laughing with their children around us and I have faith and hope that the earth will heal itself with the love we have for our future children. Their potential is as vast as the sea and we need to let them rule our hearts... and not let them be ruled by the tyrants that have turned this world into a tempest...
Monday, August 11, 2008
Labels: Mute Mondays
Saturday, August 09, 2008
"While such honey-dew fell..." ~ Jane Eyre
Its Saturday night and I am listening to "Honey, Honey" from the Mamma Mia soundtrack, keeping up with my latest ABBA kick since Wednesday night when I saw the film with sis Missy. I am totally thinking of the Prince as I sip a cocktail made with vodka and valencia/mango juice in a blue martini glass and am singing along to lyrics such as "Honey honey, how you thrill me, ah-hah, honey honey..." He is on his way here soon, and as the song goes, I feel like I wanna sing when you do your thing.
Life is as sweet as honey lately and as thickly rich. I was cruising in the car earlier with the sunroof open, blasting ABBA, looking at the blue skies, sipping the bottom caramel layer of an iced caramel macchiato, and totally enjoying the moment of bliss because I feel the most relaxed and the most secure than I have in a great while.
So far, thirty has been the best year in my entire life, and I am so excited for the rest of the year to unfold. I wouldnt trade this moment for anything, and I wouldnt go back to my twenties if I had the chance. I was a dancing queen at seventeen and loved that time until college ended, and then I feel like I wasted a lot of emotions in my early twenties. I love that I am able to take a chance on me once again and change my lifestyle these days. Indeed, lately I give myself credit for being a super trooper and forging ahead despite some hard obstacles. I can spend more time doing things I love, like reading historical fiction that recounts the moments in the battle of Waterloo. In the end, I think I have figured out the name of the game, and I have never been happier because I am the winner taking it all.
So, what's your favorite ABBA song and why? :)
Tuesday, August 05, 2008
Sunday, August 03, 2008
"Sweet paintings of butterflies hovering over..." ~ Jane Eyre
It is eight o'clock on a Sunday morning and the sunroof to the Mercedes is wide open; the wind it creates sounds like waves crashing on my roof as I drive down the Meadowbrook Parkway. The local rock station is hosting its weekly Breakfast with the Beatles and I sing along to "Eight Days a Week." For the first time in my life, I understand what the song truly means. I sing thinking about the Prince and how seven days aren't enough to contain all the love I have for him, and how my passion for him is infinite. I cross over the first ramp and turn onto the Loop Parkway, staring at the sailboats in front of me, wondering if there is some kind of regatta this morning. I am slightly over the speed limit, anxious to get to the shoreline and walk all morning with seafoam at my feet. Once I arrive to the shore, I breathe in deep and test the waters - August ocean temperature on Long Island is perfect. I take my bottle of water out, set my small speedometer, and begin walking east on the shoreline, dodging pockets of seaweed and an occasional jellyfish along the way. The waters are as calm as my soul this morning. I stare into the horizon and see more sailboats and finally spot my favorite boat - a shrimp boat - puttering along the water. Wondering if there are any sharks out there, I feel sad that Shark Week is over on Discovery Channel not just because I love watching the programs, but because each night this week I was with the Prince watching them with him, dubbing it all "shark porn" and sharing root beer floats and Swedish Fish as we saw Great Whites chomping on raw tuna. He promised one day when he makes partner we will fly to South Africa and do cage diving with the Great Whites, and I smile thinking about that future adventure with him and how hot he will look in a wet suit. At one point on my walk, a butterfly crosses my path and flies all around me at the tip of the shore, creating a beautiful striking contrast of the aqua water in its background and its stark orange colors in the forefront. I walk along and contemplate going swimming - the water is just perfect - but I am still too timid to go in after the tragedies of last week on the shores of New York. Eventually I end my exercise regime and place a towel on the sand and lay down for a nap, dreaming of a place I am most relaxed. Ironically, it used to be the beach, but now when I close my eyes and picture where I am at perfect relaxation and bliss, I think about his bed instead. The seagulls are squawking more loudly as more beach goers arrive with breakfasts of bagels or yogurt parfaits or fruit salad. I remember I cant stay long because I have to go home and frost my homemade Smores cupcakes for a barbecue this afternoon, and I smile because I am so excited for the feast. Its me, my sisters, and our significant others along with Jack. I grab my backpack and pack up my towel, breathing in some more sea salt before I venture back to land...
Labels: A Day at the Beach...