Eyre Affairs

Reader, welcome to my life.

My Photo
Location: New York, United States

Friday, January 27, 2006

"I ventured forth..." ~ Jane Eyre

We are celebrating Mozart's 250th Birthday today!

I am celebrating my 28th Birthday today!

This week I have been listening to programs about Mozart's music and his genius when it came to composing. I learned that what makes him rank with the likes of Shakespeare is how he constructed his pieces. It wasn't about reinventing something new. It was more about taking various music styles, juxtaposing them, and creating something horizontal musically.

I think one's life should imitate Mozart's music: a conglomerate of all different styles and backgrounds coming together to create something lyrical. Repetition is boring, and Mozart knew this. He ventured forth in his music as an innovator, and I have ventured into my 28th year as an innovator. I am fortunate that there are so many various facets in my life that make it as beautiful as any of Mozart's concertos.

The prominent being all of the wonderful experiences I have had with my twin sister, who I share this day with. Although at many times she and I play different clefs, we always come together and make one fantastic duet. Happy Birthday, Sis.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

"My spirits were depressed..." ~ Jane Eyre

What Depresses Me:

1) An old person eating alone. I feel like this old man has some great stories about serving in WWII or what it was like to grow up in the Depression or this old woman has great stories about going out in New York in the 50's. It is a shame our communities don't do more recreational activities for the elderly.
2) All of the postings on www.petfinder.com; those sweet dogs that need adoption.
3) That this government can't figure out a way to stop the baby boomers from taking away Social Security from me and my peers.
4) New Orleans today.
5) The fact that summer is still 5 months away.
6) The home lives of some of my students.
7) The experiences of my grandparents during the Armenian Genocide.
8) All babies in the NICU, every hospital - every where.
9) The homeless of New York City.
10) The fact that the Plaza is no longer open.
11) Many Sarah McLaughlin songs.
12) When daylight savings ends.
13) Coming home after a great weekend getaway.
14) Saved emails that once meant something which mean nothing anymore.
15) Insincerity in others.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

"Then you will not yield?" ~ Jane Eyre

We can't even agree on a painting.

A few weeks ago at the Guggenheim, I beckoned you to come look at this painting as we walked through the Russia exhibit.

I like the painting because the woman is a confident sophisticate.

You don't like the painting because the woman is an obnoxious brat.

"I don't understand," I said. "What don't you like about the painting?"

"She is looking down at me," you said.

Maybe that is because she knows you are a Republican, I thought.

Weeks later, we come to this evening and spend over an hour arguing about the release of Jill Carroll, the reporter for the Christian Science Monitor. A half hour into it, it is serious. An hour into it, I am ready to cry.

"We cannot be so inhumane!" I argue.

"We cannot yield to terrorists!" you argue.

Then, I throw in the cheap shot: "What if this was ME? What if I were there working as a reporter for an education publication to report on the educational system there? What if I got captured and you were a General? What would you do?"

You never falter. You wouldn't release the female detainees, but you would order a search and rescue operation. While I appreciate that, I wonder how the hell you are ever going to find me.

I start to pout.

The battle ceases after an hour's worth of "are you kidding me?", "how can you say that?", and "I can't believe you are saying this!" in the canon of the dialogue. It ends with some joking; we chalk this up to a healthy debate where both sides are respected for his/her opinions. Nothing we say about politics effects our friendship, nor has it for five years.

When I think of you, I think of the color Yellow. You and I work with two different palates of paint. Your canvas is filled with black and white lines, brush strokes rarely intersecting. My canvas is one, big, grey line.

Ironic, because you are part of the long, grey line. There is nothing grey about your thinking. You are stubborn and impassioned: two qualities I respect more than anything else about you. Say what you will about politics, vote for the Republican party, and argue points of view that upset me.

I will never look down on you.

Monday, January 16, 2006

"She is so ill, St. John." ~ Jane Eyre

I have no choice but to write this early morning, since I am unable to sleep. I am battling a fever and find myself unable to move my neck. For me, being sick as an adult is an extreme inconvenience. While others may admit that on some level they enjoy an excuse to be in bed all day, I find this completely irritating. I ignored it yesterday, cooking and doing things around my apartment, which is probably why I am feeling a great deal of pain in this moment. After 27 years, I suppose I am foolish for thinking that I have a chance of winning the battle with my body.

Although becoming ill as an adult are times I wish never existed, my sick days as a child are amongst my favorite childhood memories.

My mother became excited when I got sick, even in my last days at home before college graduation. I know it sounds ironic, but it really isn't. She is the best caretaker, and this always gave her an opportunity to shine. It was her moment to do what she does best, and I was one admiring fan, let me tell you.

There was a routine when I became sick as a child. Usually I would wake her up in the middle of the night and explain to her my maladies, and she would bring me downstairs to administer anything I needed in that moment, such as Tylenol. She would become adamant and insist that I not go to school the next day, which was usually music to my ear-infected ears. Eventually I would fall asleep again, and revel in the fact that I was able to sleep while everyone else in the house was getting ready for school and work.

Illnesses requiring a doctor's visit were not the best of sick days. I was usually had pain in my ear, as I do now, and felt horrid. On those days my father would come home early from work, though, so that was always nice. When I was really young and in pain, my mom would hold me and sing to me a song she made up involving Sesame Steet characters. My mother has been singing songs to Jack lately that are made up; I love it.

Illnesses not needing a doctor's visit were always the best of sick days. I would sleep late and emerge from my room in the late morning and walk down our spiral staircase. My mother would usually be in the kitchen, and when she saw me she went into mommy-mode extreme. She spoke to me with her best "sing-songy" voice, touching my forehead and then setting up a plan for recovery which she verbalized to me.

The plan for recovery usually involved her setting up pillows on the couch in the den with a side table for all food and liquids. I was tucked under a blanket and given the remote. I watched re-runs of I Love Lucy or episodes of Sesame Street. My mother would always make me tea, which I never drank back then and had no idea why she tried each time to have me drink it, and make me toast. For lunch there was homemade soup with saltines. Sometimes she would sit with me, and when I was really ill, she would insist that I go back to sleep.

My mother called me three yesterday to see how I was feeling. She was in vintage mommy-mode, with sing-songy voice and all. She offered to come over last night when I was beginning to get worse, but I told her absolutely not. She has to watch Jack this week, and I do not want my nephew sick. Of course in the future when he is inevitably going to get sick, I have a feeling that my sisters, my mom, and I are all going to get in each other's way as we take care of him, my mom doing what she does best and my sisters and I emulating her. Poor Jack: he will have ten pieces of toast in front of him, there will be cups of piping-hot tea everywhere he turns, there will be enough blankets to cover an army, and fights over who will administer his bubblegum-flavored medicine.

Addendum/5:04pm: My mother is upset that I won't allow her to see me since I am contagious and on medication after a doctor's visit; true to her form, she left homemade soup, a big chocolate chip cookie, a get well soon card, and an Elmo balloon on my stoop. Its nice to know that after 27 years, my mother still treats me like I am 7 years when I am sick. I have the best mother.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

"There's sense in the suggestion..."~ Jane Eyre

Sounds I love:
~ New York City at 5pm on any weekday
~ coffee percolating
~ the bell indicating that my ninth period class is over
~ the chubby Robins chirping in my yard
~ Jack's slurping as he drinks formula
~ the pop of a champagne cork
~ any foods that I simmer on my stove
~ pouring rain before I sleep and as I wake up
~ any Yankee's bat when it makes contact with a ball that is a homerun
~ the hot water running in my bathtub

Sights I love:
~ the NYC skyline at the moment I am driving on the LIE right before the tunnel entry
~ the view from the dining table in the Sag Harbor house - the cove
~ a full moon
~ the Vermeer paintings hanging in the MET
~ my old house; I still drive by it in East Williston en route to Missy. I lived in a Tudor growing up and it reminds me of a house in Shakespeare's time.
~ shish kebab on the BBQ
~ the Planting Fields arboretum Rose Garden in June
~ the streets after a snow storm that are not plowed yet
~ Jack Krikor Arsenian
~ my Christmas tree in December

Tastes that I love:
~ the salt on my lip when I am at the beach
~ any alcoholic beverage that I have when out with Sarah
~ peppermint hot chocolate
~ the granola from the Yogurt place by work. I bought a pound of it from them two weeks ago and its almost gone
~ any berry
~ chicken lo mein when I am in on a Friday night
~ Ellen Dee's matzoh ball soup
~ my Grandma Anoush's rice pilaf; no one will ever come close
~ Starbucks lattes and mochas on cold winter afternoons
~ olive oil infused with rosemary

Smells that I love:
~ Jack's head; it smells like new baby
~ my new car smell at the moment
~ the smell of chocolate in the air when Sarah and I visited Hershey last week
~ pine trees
~ anything I slice that is citrus
~ maple syrup
~ cocoa butter on the beach
~ Ahava skin care products from Israel
~ the inside of any Armenian Church
~ fresh number 2 pencils newly sharpened

What I love to Touch:
~ any fuzzy puppy
~ my satin pajamas
~ any base of my cooking knives
~ the wheel of my car
~ sand at the beach
~ soap bubbles in the bathtub
~ pages in a book
~ my paycheck
~ my curls; sometimes I twirl them
~ hot towels from the dryer

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

"What are you musing about?" ~ Jane Eyre

A vast array of musings...

~ If the city taxed just $1 per resident a year, that would be $8 million dollars to eradicate homelessness. I don't understand how this is not in effect, nor do I understand how those who claim to be civilized will live in a city where human beings don't have a home and think that driving around the narrow streets of the city in a large Lexus SUV makes a person noble.

~ While I am not one to be ungrateful for a day off, I really think that students should be in school on MLK jr. day and have special programs that are mandatory, such as viewing the "I Have a Dream" speech and having panels to discuss racism in the community. It is a day off to them that means nothing, and it should not be that way.

~ I am beginning to think how holistic approaches to healing are not to be taken lightly and that more people in the western world need to perhaps perpetuate it more.

~ I don't understand when a parent calls me to ask how their child can perform better on the verbal section of the SAT and is dumbfounded when I tell them that they need to subscribe to The New York Times and have his/her child read an article a day, read a chapter of an outside reading book each evening before bed, and spend a half hour a night working index cards for vocabulary. "But that is just too much reading!" Um, exactly what do you think your child will be doing in college?

~ I love my nephew so much that if given a choice between dining out at Morton's Steakhouse for my birthday with my family (the proposed idea at the moment) without him there OR sitting with him at home eating chinese take-out, I would say bring on the lo-mein. Hopefully, we can dress him up and take him to his first steakhouse experience for a very early dinner. Its nice having my own personal little cupcake this birthday.

~ Once my English MA is done this year, I am thinking of applying for this program.

~ Random strip searches were done yesterday at the high school where I teach. Found on students were knives, hammers (yes, the kind they sell in Home Depot), and be-be guns. See previous musing!

~ I can't decide what to make for dinner this evening. I would like to make something elaborate and fancy for myself. I want to food shop at HMart after work, so perhaps I will make something with an Asian flare to it.

~ As good a cook as I am, I cannot cook rice. I always mess it up, except for the time Sarah was there to help me. This article made me feel better about my poor rice cooking skills:
http://www.nytimes.com/2006/01/11/dining/11mini.html Maybe I should make one of these for dinner...

Monday, January 09, 2006

Sunday, January 08, 2006

"Croquant chocolate confits..." ~ Jane Eyre

I still smell like chocolate.

Snow was falling gently as Sarah and I ascended the hilly roads that led us to the Hershey Hotel late Friday morning. Stepping out of the car, one could smell the chocolate in the air. We were greeted with smiles and big chocolate bars at the front desk.

The perfect start to a perfect weekend.

Settling into the room was lovely. The hotel has a Victorian feel to it, and our room was cozy and comfortable. I always sleep best in hotels, and this bed was just right for long sleeps: puffy pillows and a pillowtop mattress.

We both had spa treatments in the late afternoon, so we took a walk down to the fitness area and spent some time on the treadmills. The windows faced the gorgeous garden at the hotel, a garden I would like to see when in bloom sometime. Still, even in the midst of winter, it was beautiful.

Arriving at the spa at 3pm, we were greeted and given our robes and a tour. The women's locker area wasn't exactly a locker room. The lockers were all wooden, the sinks were porcelain, there were high mirrors, and there were plenty of luxurious products at our disposal. There were three rooms in which we could wait in and relax in inbetween treatments: the quiet room, the silent room, and the aromatherapy room.

The quiet room was the main waiting area. There was coffee, tea, water, fruit, muffins, spice cake, and, of course, hot chocolate. The room had a fireplace and lots of big armchairs. There were plenty of magazines to read as well as copies of The Washington Post. The silent room was for meditation, with a small fountain. It had a beautiful window in the shape of a cross with frosted glass; I loved sitting in there. The aromatherapy room was my favorite room. The scent all weekend was creme brulee, which was filtered in by air ducts into a garden-type setting.

My first treatment was the rain shower. A blue mosaic-tiled shower is filled with many faucets all over, and there is a technician there with a hose that sprays onto your muscles. In my chocolate-colored swimsuit, I was under water for twenty minutes. It was not relaxing; it was work! I felt at times like I was drowning since the above showerhead was directly over me, but in the end I centered myself and just pictured myself somewhere under a waterfall.

A massage was next. It was an excellent massage; I heard one of my favorite Enya songs play during the experience: Caribbean Blue. My tension goes to my left shoulder blade, so feeling the knots being worked out was quite a relief. Afterwards was my reflexology treatment. I am so glad it was just my feet being worked on by this particular technician because he was a male; a very cute one! His name is Brennan and I didn't enjoy the treatment as much as I enjoyed our ten minute conversation about football! He had just been to the Orange Bowl, so we had a long discussion, which included his upset with T.O. and the Eagles. He wished me and my Giants luck, which was actually sincere to my surprise!

Back at the room, Sarah and I changed for dinner. We decided to head into Harrisburg to a Brewery called ABC: Appalachian Brewing Company. (www.abcbrew.com) We had some excellent beer. I had a wheatbeer called Water Gap Wheat (I ended up bringing a six pack home!). After dinner, we went back to the hotel where we both fell asleep fairly early!

Saturday morning was for more spa treatments. We woke up and decided to go to the spa early for breakfast. Sipping coffee and munching on muffins, we got great lounge seats in front of the fireplace. Both Sarah and I were schedule for baths that morning, so we went down together and though we had separate rooms, they were adjacent to one another. My bath was a whipped cocoa bath and hers was a noche azul soak. The aromatherapy candles on my tub were "peppermint pattie" scented; so I felt like I was in the middle of a York. Unfortunately, the bathtubs were not made for petite ones like Sarah and me, so later on we both agreed that we had a hard time getting comfortable. We headed to the sauna for a bit, but I stayed in for a short time because it was just too much for me! We both waited for our next treatments: Sarah had a massage and I had a coffee body polish.

The coffee body polish was the first spa treatment I ever had where I felt like chatting with the technician. She was really nice and we both discussed our coffee addictions. The scrub smelled so good, and the entire experience was refreshing and relaxing. Afterwards, I went back to the silent room for a bit before leaving the spa.

Sarah and I got lunch at a Panera after our treatments and then went to Chocolate World, where we walked around a bit and saw a video on how chocolate was made at the Hershey plants. It was interesting, but the best part was the end when we were given chocolate: Take 5 bars. Mmmm. We went on to visit the Milton Hershey museum. This man was phenomenal. He failed twice before creating his company. He was an amazing philanthropist as well.

When we got back to the hotel, we drank red wine (Channing Daughters Fresh Red), read, listened to NPR, and then got extremely drunk. We went to the Iberian lounge and ordered martini cocktails, and then ate at the bar in the fountain cafe and I had a beer and Sarah had more wine. Needless to say, at the end of dinner, we tried walking in a straight line down the hallways of the hotel. It didn't work. Instead, we did silly walks and arabesque leaps.

This morning we woke up rather quiet; none of us really hung over, but certainly feeling the effects of the alcohol we consumed! Sarah got us coffee and we read for a bit and listened to NPR. She then went to the fitness center on the treadmill, but I opted to do my exercising outdoors; the garden was practically a track. We checked out by noon, and we had the most amazing brunch in the Circular Dining Room. It was a buffet, which I had no idea about until we got there! It was delicious. The highlights of the meal included poached eggs with a charon sauce (I got the recipe for it from a very nice server), brie and fruit, some roasted lamb, and key lime pie for dessert.

Coming home was hard since the weekend was so relaxing and enjoyable. Despite being tired, I dropped off the souvenirs I purchased for my family. I got to see Jack for a bit, so that was nice. For some reason I never fully enjoy being away because I always end up missing my family and call them at least once during any trip. The nice part is that Sarah is a sister to me, so it was nice to be on vacation with someone I consider family...

I hope you go get some chocolate to eat after reading this entry. My favorite Hershey chocolate product will always be the Reece's Peanut Butter Cups.


Tuesday, January 03, 2006

"Miss Ingram was a mark beneath jealousy; she was too inferior to excite the feeling." ~ Jane Eyre

Cassie [7:34 PM]: I'm still upset about the whole Matt Damon thing-
Cassie [7:34 PM]: so unfair
Mermaid [7:34 PM]: yes, it wont last...if a man truly respected his new wife, he would take her on a proper honeymoon
Mermaid [7:34 PM]: they never went on one!
Mermaid [7:36 PM]: he took her to the city he was filming in...cheap!
Cassie [7:36 PM]: AND.....she was pregnant
Cassie [7:36 PM]: but still.....
Mermaid [7:36 PM]: wait a second
Mermaid [7:36 PM]: SHE IS PREGNANT?
Mermaid [7:36 PM]: DID I MISS THIS?
Cassie [7:36 PM]: YES!
Mermaid [7:36 PM]: ARE YOU SERIOUS?????
Mermaid [7:36 PM]: what?
Cassie[7:36 PM]: 3 months
Mermaid [7:36 PM]: now i am depressed
Cassie [7:37 PM]: this is what I'm saying
Cassie [7:37 PM]: now you see why I'm depressed all day
Mermaid [7:38 PM]: ugh i need a drink...wait, no bar references...i need ice cream...wait, no pregnancy craving references...(sigh)
Cassie [7:38 PM]: lol
Cassie [7:38 PM]: it is maddening
Cassie [7:40 PM]: I'm jealous about Luciana....Matt was my boy
Mermaid [7:40 PM]: and she isnt even pretty
Mermaid [7:41 PM]: her face is wide
Cassie [7:41 PM]: that's what is so infuriating...not pretty- with an overbite and a kid and a resume listing bartending??
Mermaid [7:43 PM]: are we doing something wrong?
Cassie [7:43 PM]: must be
Cassie [7:43 PM]: to quote the SATC episode I was just watching.....
Cassie [7:44 PM]: "are you really out there?"
Mermaid [7:45 PM]: if a wide faced, love-child bearing, non-educated dope like her can get matt damon
Mermaid [7:45 PM]: than we ought to get a god
Cassie [7:46 PM]:
Mermaid [7:46 PM]: i want to put this conversation on my blog :)
Cassie [7:46 PM]: lol
Mermaid [7:46 PM]: its like Plain Jane landing Rochester!

Monday, January 02, 2006

"You are like the Roman emperors!" ~ Jane Eyre

Late nights last week I was up eating pita chips and sipping some red wine whilst watching Rome on HBO.

I have become obsessed with this show, which is odd since those that know me realize that I rarely watch television except for football games and Sex and the City. I wish I had the common sense to tape all 12 episodes last week, since now I have to wait for it to be released on DVD. It won't air again for a while, but at least a new season begins filming this year.

The series has the perfect combination of dynamics that make it a show I am fascinated with. The historical aspects are accurate, as I have been checking the veracity of the plot after each episode. It has some great actors, many of them classically trained in Shakespeare. It has amazing costumes and sets, all of which are accurate for the time period as well. Oh and yes, it has lots of romance and lots of sex.

Lucius Vorenus is, by far, my favorite character on the show. I think many others would agree with me (especially the ladies). He is strong, principled, self-disciplined, conscientious, and fills out a Roman uniform quite well.

I found myself truly impassioned about the doings of each character's life, which makes me even more impressed that HBO was able to come up with a Soap Opera for the thinking woman. Forget the Sex and the City parties; once I get this series on DVD, I am having a huge Rome party complete with red wine and Caesar salad.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

"Did you hear that loud laugh?" ~ Jane Eyre

I have much to smile and laugh about on this first day of 2006.

The New Year has started off wonderfully.

I woke up late, ran out to get a peppermint mocha from Starbucks to appease my headache, came home and read the highlights of the Giants game last night when they clinched the NFC East, and made all of my New Year's day phone calls to friends and family. I think New Year's Day is much more special than New Year's Eve. This afternoon's revels at Second Avenue Deli with my best girls and their guys was filled with lots of giggles and laughs. Starting out the year with the goodness of matzoh ball soup is a good omen, indeed, for a delicious year ahead.

The Delicious Days of 2006 (what I look forward to)
1. Chocolate Spa: Sarah and I leave this Friday morning for the Hershey Hotel for a Chocolate Spa Weekend Package!

2. My Birthday: I turn 28 on the 27th, and Robin already told me that her gift to me is seeing Billy Joel in concert at MSG!

3. The Superbowl: I know my Giants are going to win this.

4. Jack's Christening: Jack will be baptized on May 21st at St. Vartan's Cathedral.

5. Yankee Games: Tickets go on sale for the games in February; I cannot wait to get sets of tickets for the season.

6. Graduation: I will receive my MA this year!

Newness of the New Year (what is NEW around here)
1. The New Car: The new car is fantastic. I smile each time I hop into the driver's seat! The new car smell is divine.

2. The New Apartment: Yesterday I got new dishes, new silverware, new drapes, a new liquor cabinet, a new area rug, and Robin installed my new dvd player.

3. New Books: I can't wait to read the new books I got for Christmas, including "Wines of the World: an Essential Handbook" and "Lincoln's Melancholy: How Depression Changed a President and Fueled His Greatness" by Joshua Shenk.

4. My New Hair: I went to the salon this week and darkened its color. The shade is called "Expresso" and its practically black.

5. New Recipes: I pulled ten recipes that I would like to try over the course of the next month. They include pasta with lemon cream and prosciutto and apricot glazed chicken. Lately I enjoy the sweet and savory, like the chicken briwats Rokhlin and I had at Zerza's this past Wednesday.

6. New Music: The new Madonna cd and the new Fiona Apple cd are all that I am listening to at the moment. Both are worth checking out.

New Year's Resolutions 2006
1. Yeah, right!