Eyre Affairs

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Location: New York, United States

Sunday, September 28, 2008

"Then they seemed so familiar with French names and French authors..." ~ Jane Eyre

MUTE MONDAY: F IS FOR FRENCH (Je suis une francophile)

Jane and Adele (Rochester's ward)
Les Miz (I feel like Cosette these days and the Prince is my Marius)
La Boum (first movie watched in high school French class)
Babar (favorite elephant)
French Soap (mmmm)
Napoleon (have the complex)
Versaille (my dream house)
French chocolates (does it get any better?)
French wine (yeah, it gets better)
Gigi (J.Sarah and I love this movie and have watched it together often)
Pepe Le Pew (my favorite Looney Toon)
Monsieur Van Gogh (going to see his night exhibit at MOMA soon)
Champagne (even better!)
Fifi (sadly, she sports a Palin doo)
Brie (love it en croute)
Escargot (with lots of garlic...yum)
Sarkozy et Bruni (I love them)
Le Petite Prince (A favorite book)
Jacques Pepin (A favorite chef)
French Kiss (Among favorite moments with my Prince)
French Roast (I need coffee right now)
Eiffel Tower (one day soon)
Insulting Frenchman (Best part of Holy Grail, people)
Parisian Cafe Art (I need coffee right now in a French cafe)

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"I remember it now, and I know that it was the effluence of fine intellect, of true courage..." ~ Jane Eyre

The conversation about character ensued once again yesterday between me and the Prince. The Prince told me he was rethinking my placement, and expressed to me that perhaps I should also be in Gryffindor since...well...there is a lot of Hermione in me. At first I scoffed at this. Me? But then realized the fact that my Friday nights spent in the Hofstra University library studying was not going to help me in this argument. Nor were the facts of my bookish ways, sense of confidence, and corrective ways when it comes to instructing others. Still, I thought I belonged in Ravenclaw, so I took four different Harry Potter personality quizzes online this morning to confirm that. It confirmed something, all right.

I am Hermione.


Last night the Prince and I decided to stay in and watch the first film, and after we got off the phone I had some ideas in my head to surprise him with and make it a special evening. First, my goal was to have butterbeer and pumpkin pie for dessert. Then I started thinking about how fun it would be to decorate a bit and use plates and napkins as part of that. Then I started thinking even more about decorating, and this is what I did:

- put a black light in my floor lamp

- lit candles everywhere

- placed spider tablecloth on table along with matching spider plates and cups

- decorated table with fake eyeballs

- purchased clear skeleton mugs for butterbeer

- got Griffyndor scarf and Harry glasses to put on the Prince as a surprise

We decided to get comfort food from our favorite local pub as takeout - burgers and spinach and artichoke dip. I had Beck's Oktoberfest beer and Smutty Nose Pumpkin Ale in my refrigerator. I also had gone to the liquor store to get Butterscotch Schnapps to make butterbeer. When he arrived, I closed the door so he couldn't see what I had done and told him to close his eyes. I led him in and then placed the scarf and glasses on him and had him open his eyes. It was a wonderful evening and I am excited to continue our plans to read the books and watch the films together. As for the butterbeer, we both loved it: one part butterscotch schnapps on ice to four parts vanilla cream soda. Mmmmm.

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Saturday, September 27, 2008

"Raven-black, and so becomingly arranged..." ~ Jane Eyre

A few weeks ago the Prince and I made a pact to re-read the entire Harry Potter series together and then watch the films together after each book and discuss. We have completed Book I and are into Book II and shall watch the first film together this weekend. One of the conversations we already had was what house we would be in if we were Hogwart students. There is a small song sung by the sorting hat in chapter seven of the first book where the hat describes the characteristics of the students in each house. My Prince would certainly be placed in Gryffindor by the hat: "You might belong in Gryffindor, Where dwell the brave at heart, Their daring, nerve, and chivalry Set Gryffindors apart." Well, I refer to him as my Prince and knight-in-shining armor for a reason, and he would certainly be a part of that house without question. (Of course there is a little Slytherin in both of us, but that is what makes for fun in a relationship.) We then discussed my placement, and it was agreed that I would probably be a student in Ravenclaw: "Or yet in wise old Ravenclaw, If you've a ready mind, Where those of wit and learning, Will always find their kind."

So its a damp, rainy, and lazy Autumn Saturday afternoon and I am sipping coffee and eating chunks of fresh challah bread and browsing Harry Potter-related websites. First I look for scarves - a website sells scarves with the crest for all the houses, Ravenclaw included in lovely dark blue stripes. When we watch the second and third movies, I want to make recipes from the book to eat and drink as we watch. Some recipes I found included ones for pumpkin pasties and butter beer. Pumpkin pasties are basically savory pumpkin hot pockets and the main interpretation of butter beer is butterscotch schnapps and cream soda. I must admit that some of my favorite descriptions in J.K. Rowling's books are when she talks of the feasts and banquets at Hogwarts. Dumbledore is a man after my own heart, for at the end of book II, he calls for a feast to celebrate with a mentality I share: We came, we battled, we won...lets eat!

Of course we are also counting down the months until 2010 when The Wizarding World of Harry Potter opens at Universal Orlando. I already know I am going to start working overtime to save for that trip and make it special for the Prince after he finishes his LLM and the exam that goes along with it. I have been on the website frequently and must admit that the restaurant descriptions there excite me just as much as the attraction descriptions!




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Sunday, September 21, 2008

"The Sunday evening was spent in repeating..." ~ Jane Eyre

Sunday nights have gotten harder and harder. Its not that I dont want to go to work, because I do. I haven't had the Sunday night blues since I stopped teaching, but lately I realize that Sunday night blues sometimes don't really have anything to do with work. Honestly, I am blue tonight because there is nothing I want more than to be in bed with the Prince as he watches Sunday night football and I fall gently asleep with my head resting on his chest. (Unless of course the Giants were playing in which case I would be wide awake, screaming at Eli as if he could hear me coaching him, and making cups of coffee laced with some Frangelico so the Prince and I could stay awake to watch the Giants completely decimate the opposing team.) Alas, I am off to bed alone, feeling a tad blue, but not entirely sad because I am so happy to love someone so special whose absence makes me blue on a Sunday night...

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Tuesday, September 16, 2008

"His figure was enveloped in a riding cloak, fur collared and steel clasped..." ~ Jane Eyre

As I stood on the train platform this morning admiring the sunrise, the dreaded words came over the loudspeaker at the station. I would rather face a dragon than hear that the train was going to be late...very late...on my second day of work. If it were any other day I would have called, but not today. Its bad enough the market has had dragons breathing fire on it since yesterday morning...I needed to get to work on time. I felt horrid knowing it was so early in the morning and the Prince would surely still be sleeping, but as a damsel in complete distress, I dialed his cell phone. Thankfully he picked up, and within ten minutes my knight-in-shining armor arrived and whisked me away to the train station on the next branch line, just making the targeted train, and I got to work on time. I cannot express how grateful I was this morning to have him there. Seeing him that early really made a difference for me, and I do wish sometimes I was kissing him goodbye each morning before work. I still felt bad that I had to wake him, but I feel good knowing that we are always there for each other no matter what. Even his presence calms me, and I found myself caring more about my fingers playing with his hair as he drove than making the train as we drove down the main road. He is my knight-in-shining-armor, but I am glad he wasn't wearing a helmet this morning! As for this princess...well...sometimes days like this made me wish I was so I could stay up in my tower and sleep-in late with the Prince and then wake up together listening to alternative fife music as we drank mead, played chess, and discussed how the barter system wasn't following all of the King's compliance laws lately...and then go back into bed!

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Monday, September 15, 2008

"Such a wealth of the power of communicating happiness..." ~ Jane Eyre

Today wasn't exactly the ideal time to start working for a bank on Wall Street. I dodged reporters as I walked past the stock exchange towards the building where the Forex trading floor I am working on is located. Despite it being an unfortunate day for many involved in the financial industry, it was a fortunate day for me. I am working for a bank that is secure at the moment and didn't let the days downward ascension affect my upbeat mood. It may not be a day that was booming on Wall Street in the 1980's, but I still felt the surge of the East River running and enjoyed being in this silver city that rises above each and every crisis it faces.

So I arrived in a new outfit indicative of a woman working for a bank - black pants, blue button down shirt, black shoes, and a cool messenger bag and enjoyed my first day. Yes, I enjoyed it. Orientation was bearable and informative, my lunch at Au Bon Pain was yummy, meeting my new team was cool, and being a New York City working woman was just awesome. Albeit I am anxious to adjust to this new routine of work time and commuting, but I know a week or two from now those anxieties shall dissipate and I shall get a good grasp of this. The work, thankfully, is none I shall have to ever bring home (like I did when I was teaching) or have to give up weekends and nights (like I did when recruiting for the University)...and I get OT for every second I stay past my 35 hour work week. I already learned my immediate team puts family and personal well being first, so I know they are going to be a good family to me. My new boss is so hands-off; its nice knowing my intellect and work ethic is already trusted.

The transition from education and academia to corporate is not as severe as I thought it would be. I feel taken care of already in so many ways, and as big and formal as the world is, there is already a lot of warmth I have experienced today. I am proud of the years I dedicated to helping our youth, but I have realized that this new career is going to help me support myself in getting to the point of being able to have a family of my own and earning enough money to save for a family life in the near future with the Prince.

As for the Prince, I could not have gotten through this day without him. His whisking me away for a small getaway before all of this was an amazing gift, his words of encouragement about this new job are words I have been blessed with, and his aura motivates me so very much to work hard for a life that is going to be beautiful together. As much as I wish I was coming home to him tonight physically, I know I am metaphorically, and that is what makes this day worth it all.


Sunday, September 14, 2008

"Seemed to swim round me..." ~ Jane Eyre

For over two hours this past Friday, the Prince and I had the pool and jacuzzi at the Simsbury Inn to ourselves. It was a quiet day at the Inn, and though my plan was to relax in the jacuzzi the entire time, the Prince had other plans for me once he found out that...well...

I was never formally instructed on how to swim.

Granted, we had an above ground pool growing up in my house that was no more than four feet and I went in, underwater even, with goggles and loved being in the water. However, I was never given formal training and could no nothing more to truly stay afloat than a simple paddle. I am not always comfortable in the water - there has always been fear on some level and I have never truly been a risk taker in the water.

So with his perfect combination of patience, encouragement, and ability to tune into the best way I learn - detailed verbal instructions - he taught me the first basics of swimming, including how to truly float. I never thought twice about trusting him as he held me, and I never doubted his intuition of when to let go of me and allow me to do it on my own. After a while, I was able to not only float in the water, but thanks to his tutelage, navigate myself as I floated. He also taught me how to use my hands in the water when I swim and where to position my legs as I kicked. Granted, I shall never be Dana Torres, but I look forward to the next time I am in a pool.

Sometimes after a weekend or a getaway, the Prince asks what my favorite part of it was. As we grow together, its always harder to pinpoint a specific moment. This getaway is case and point. I loved each and every minute of it with him, especially in the pool together. With slight embarrassment but complete confidence he wouldn't tease me about it, I told him a story when we were in the pool together about how, as a young girl in my pool, I would daydream that I was a mermaid in the water, waiting for my Prince to come. Of course daydreams never truly are like reality, because my Prince is a better Prince than this mermaid ever dreamed up.

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Wednesday, September 10, 2008

"But it must be ready the moment we return..." ~ Jane Eyre

I smiled when I looked at the cover of my
New Yorker yesterday evening when I returned home. The date of the issue is September 15th - the day I start my new job in the city - and the title of the cover is "New York Moment."

As a young woman, I always daydreamed about a New York City romance, and in a few short months it becomes a reality when the Prince returns for his final year in an LLM program. As hectic and busy as our schedules will be both professionally and socially, I am looking forward to the moments where we get to steal some time and meet after class and work in Greenwich Village - whether it is for naninis at the Indian Bread Company (oh how I crave those again) or chocolate martinis at the Fat Black Pussycat (something the Prince introduced me to a few months ago there). I want us to also have drinks at one of my favorite bars that will now be a few minutes away from my building, Meade's Gastropub, and I want to do a power dinner with my Esquire at
Delmonico's one evening. I know we are going to make this it an Isle of joy as much as we possibly can, just as Ella sings it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cCxkUPZ4ZhI

Though for now, dear readers, we are off to the country. The Prince, in all of his goodness that I am thankful for, is taking me away tomorrow to a country Inn in Connecticut as a getaway for us to relax before I begin my new professional life on Wall Street. Our plans for the next three days include nothing more than ordering room service, wearing big, fluffy bathrobes, drinking lots of Prosecco, and venturing to a local museum or two.

Until then, dear readers, have a lovely few days and remember to live each moment passionately and make it a charmed life...

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Tuesday, September 09, 2008

"There is some difference between living..." ~ Jane Eyre

There is some difference between living for the next moment and living in this moment, grateful for all of the love and beauty in life. When my father's father was dying of cancer, I was in the middle of being a high school production of Our Town. Always remembering Emily Webb's passionate plea to the Stage Manger about living life as you live it, the Stage Manager responds perhaps saints and poets do...maybe. The rest, no. Well, I consider myself a poet...and I try each day both here on this blog and in the life I lead to savor each moment because I know as long as life is, it shall not last forever.

And then there are those saints like Heather, as you see in the photo above, whose lives are tragically cut short by cancer. Although her friends and loved ones refer to her as Heather, she was also known as Dr. Vonbergen. This woman was brilliant, and before she died she was working as a psychologist that was of late working to improve the lives and mental health of recent veterans from Iraq, among all the other things she did to help others.

I am posting this for my sister, because it has pained me to see her in so much pain. There is a link below to a collage her friends made from Cortland, where she and Heather were roommates their freshman year. There are photos I will post at later dates of Heather with us at my sweet sixteen and Heather with my family in New York City for the first time. My dad called her Jazzy Heather - and she began signing her name that way to my parents in cards - she loved jazz music. So, I am posting a classic jazz song for everyone to listen to today...enjoy life, call your friends and loved ones to tell them you love them, and please just take five minutes out of your day to donate money so that future lives can be saved from this terrible form of cancer.

http://web.me.com/scottcd/Tribute_to_Heather_Vonbergen/Heather.html (a tribute)

http://www.curesarcoma.org/ (please donate)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FSfduB-0lss (a charmed life - some jazz for Heather who lived one until the end)

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Monday, September 08, 2008

"I saw a bee busy among the sweet bilberries..." ~ Jane Eyre

Mute Mondays: B is for Bee!

Honey bee, "No Rain" bee, bumble bee, Star bee plane, bee cake, Queen bee, bee honey jar

Bee here - its an huge favorite of mine and inspired this take on MM: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qmVn6b7DdpA


Saturday, September 06, 2008

"Light from the hearth showed..." ~ Jane Eyre

I have been feeling down these past few days for the obvious reason, so yesterday I decided to sit down and watch some HGTV and indulge myself in some telly and couch time...something I haven't done in a while and was glad to partake in.

It just so happened I turned the television on at the right hour where America's Top Ten Most Amazing Kitchens was on. Did anyone else see this? If not, get on in now. http://www.hgtv.com/dc-design-kitchen/tour-the-top-10-amazing-kitchens/pictures/index.html My favorite was number *seven*.

Basically, it was all kitchen pornography - spreading out ten hot kitchens in the course of one hour. One great aspect to the selections were that they were all different in style and genre - modern, rustic, green, traditional, Tuscan - to name a few! I realized whilst watching kitchen porn that when it comes to the most important room in any home or apartment...my classicism goes right out the door. Forget a classic kitchen - the two I didn't like on the show were designed after French Colonial and Victorian designs. No, thank you. My kitchen needs to look like a kitchen, NOT a museum piece.

So this prompted me to start browsing around the internet for photos of dream kitchens. I am a big fan of red highlights in a kitchen. Cooking is sexy, so red toned environs just add to the culinary experience. I like modern because I suppose in the end it has to do with fantasies of being a chef in a utilitarian kitchen. Still, I didnt want anything too modern or cold to highlight as what would be my ideal kitchen. And then, voila! See the photo above! The floor is classic 50's, the cabinets are uber feng shui, and the classic black countertops are awesome against the hot red paint. This would be an ideal kitchen I would enjoy cooking in, though I would want the island double in size, two stoves, and a custom made spice cabinet by the stove.

The Prince and I discussed kitchens earlier today. He is a fan of the classic, quite the opposite of my desire for modern red splashed kitchens. Still, I think it will not matter what kind of kitchen he and I share one day. As long as there are plenty of nights of me cooking up his favorite dishes and sipping wine, it makes no difference at all. Its the people in the kitchen that matter the most when you cook for loved ones, friends, and family.

Take a peek at the top ten and when you comment, I would love to know your favorite one?

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Friday, September 05, 2008

"All your sisters have done for me..." ~ Jane Eyre

As sad as the past few days have been, it is important to remember the essence of life and celebrate that. This photo of my sister's and I with Jack was taken at his birthday celebration last week; the Prince took this one and its my favorite one of the four of us. I have glanced at it dozens of times already, and I always smile as wide as I am in the photo. The only thing I dont like is that I had my hair straight for the day - this shot would have been perfect if my curls were in it as well...matching everyone else's! What you see on my nephew's face is a face painting of...what else...Thomas the Tank Engine!

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Thursday, September 04, 2008

"And to be in danger of dying..." ~ Jane Eyre

About a month ago I posted the eulogy I gave at my grandfather's funeral years ago. Although my focus was on his life, I am taking a moment to speak of his death. He died a slow and painful death of sarcoma in his left arm. It was two years of suffering, both for him and for his family. In the end the decision was made to bring him to Calvary Hospice, where cancer patients go to die here in New York. They say its a hospital where terminally ill cancer patients can die in dignity. As wonderful as the doctors, staff, and facility was, there was nothing dignified about it. I drove two hours after work to the Bronx three times a week during his last days, in a haze of despair and grief.

He was incoherent soon after he was brought there, feverish and hallucinating. Eventually more morphine was given to him and I barely was able to get him to open his eyes, wondering if he even recognized me as I sat in the quiet room, as he sat on the brink of death from cancer, never getting used to his violent shakes from the morphine dripping into his body. His arm was triple in size, and the cancer attacked his heart.

It attacked my heart as well.

In the end, watching my grandfather die was not the most traumatic aspect of having to be in Calvary Hospital. There were waiting rooms where patients who were not on their last breaths could go with family, and I will never forget a man in his thirties in a wheelchair, thin and gaunt, being wheeled around the floor by his two parents to get him out of his room for a small while.

A parent should never have to bury his or her child. That is all that kept going through my head as I watched the sad and depressed faces try and muster courage for the sake of their son. I, too, became depressed.

And I am depressed tonight...my sister's voice filled with tears on the phone earlier make me morose tonight. Her roommate from college died - a woman with a PhD, a big heart, and a gentle nature - of sarcoma of the leg at age 33.

Cancer does not discriminate...it can attack anyone at any time at any age, and I am so grateful for the unity this Friday evening: http://su2c.standup2cancer.org/ Donations can be made on the website or during the program. Although a wonderful place to donate is, indeed, right here (please make a gift if you can):

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Wednesday, September 03, 2008

"Know the sweet homage given to beauty, youth, and grace..." ~ Jane Eyre

Cafe Angelique sits on the northwest corner where Grove and Bleecker intersect. I sit in a chair with a rusted metal back, the one you see in the photo, by the counter where an entire display of mini cheesecakes, petite fruit tarts, and small chocolate mousse cakes are just out of my reach because its only eleven o'clock in the morning. This place is a French-style cafe with photos of Venice on each wall and ran by Israelis. Hence, I say "to-da" to the woman instead of the English thank you when she brings me a homemade croissant with damson jam and an iced cappuccino with a perfect foam amidst the ice.

This place is as eclectic as the city it lives in, and as if I were in a movie with obvious symbolism, Billy Joel's New York State of Mind begins to play. I smile and enjoy one of life's perfect moments of sweet irony.

In less than two weeks I will be commuting to the city as an assistant on the trading floor of the Foreign Exchange of a prominent and stable investment bank on Wall Street where I will be utilized for my critical thinking skills, writing skills, and people skills. I sit in the cafe after my processing that occurred in the morning, ordering with ease and comfort since my salary is starting at more than I was making as a teacher when I left after seven years. I am excited for this new chapter in my life, for I get to still do what I love to do all day: read, write, and problem solve. I spent my twenties doing for others, and now its time to do for myself. I am finally doing some investing of my own in my well being and my future, and although I joke that I have gone from Sesame Street to Wall Street, I am really proud of the transition and change. I am even contemplating an M.B.A. since the company will pay for it.

So today I officially resign from the education field, ready to relish in the sweetness of my new career and new adventures. Forget life being like a box of chocolate - right now it feels like an entire case of sweet pastries...

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Tuesday, September 02, 2008

"Children can feel..." ~ Jane Eyre

As I looked at Jack, now three years old, during his birthday party on Sunday afternoon - a beautiful day filled with friends, family, and loved ones - I noted that this birthday party was, by far, my favorite of the three thus far. The reason? Because he is old enough now to be aware of it and enjoy it! I am so proud of the little boy he has become, and I love how much more we are sharing now that he is older. The weekend was a wonderful celebration. I decided to call it Jack Fest from now on since the party lasts all weekend long! So, Jack Fest III was a success with Thomas the Tank Engine being this year's theme for the party.

I must say that one of my favorite moments of Jack Fest III was Saturday when the Prince and I took him off my sister's hands for a bit so she could prep and the Prince treated me and Jack to a big breakfast at IHOP. The Prince is so good with him, and even this morning my sister told me that Jack was telling her on his own how much he likes him. Though when the Prince and I kissed goodbye before I took Jack back home, Jack yelled at us saying "no kissing!"

Sigh...indeed, he definitely IS the quintessential three year old boy now! He isnt even really wanting kisses from me!

Happy Birthday, Jack Krikor! *Kiss*

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