Eyre Affairs

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Location: New York, United States

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

"Your unpolluted memory..." ~ Jane Eyre

I listened to the coverage of Mardi Gras today on NPR.

There were many stories on this Fat Tuesday coming from Nawlins. I am grateful that Sarah and I saw it in 2004; I know when we both return it will not be the same city. We are even talking now about heading to Jazzfest in May. Over pad thai and curried tofu in the Village last week, I said that it is going to be a bittersweet trip if we go. Sarah knows. Still, we are drawn to going to a city we both had an amazing time in.

As a little girl, my parents left my sisters and I with the grandparents for a week while they headed to Nawlins for Mardi Gras. I remember them coming home with beads for us, not quite certain of their significance. My mother talked about mint juleps, my father about zydeco. I had no idea what the terms meant. Now I now that they are a part of one of the best cities on earth.
It is my father's passion for the Big Easy and its jazz that perpetuated my excitement when Sarah and I got tickets to fly there in 2004.

The voices I heard on NPR today were filled with pride and pain. Rather than lament what is lost in this post, I want to celebrate what was gained when I went to Nawlins with Sarah in June of 2004. It is rare that I get choked up when writing, but I feel the tears welling up right now.

The Highlights of Nawlins...
* Eating BBQed alligator and drinking Abita Purple Haze at our first meal in the city
* Feeding Sarah cake in the middle of Bourbon Street as onlookers smiled; I saw the cake man on Foodnetwork once and was ecstatic when I saw he was selling his slices of cake on the street.
* Being at Preservation Hall and hearing "When the Saints..." Cliche, but oh what a wonderful cliche.
* Getting soaking wet on the Steamboat Nachez with Sarah. We wanted to take a tour of the Mississippi River, and although it was sunny when we left the port in the Big Easy, the clouds came marching in and we got rained on.
* Drinking Pimm's Cup at the Napoleon House (aka Sarah's House!).
* Eating popcorn and sipping a drink whose name I don't want to say in conjunction with Nawlins anymore in the garden at Pat O'Brien's.
* J and J sneaking us into the Ritz Carlton Club Room for pre-dinner champagne and cigarettes before our meal at Jaque Imo's.
* Being drunk the entire Sunday we were there (we started with mimosas at brunch at Commander's Palace that morning and just didnt stop).
* Sarah being told by our waiter at Commander's Palace that she was "skinny like a worm" and needed more whiskey cream sauce on her bread pudding.
* A man asking me for a light while we were watching the Yankees play at Lafitte's Blacksmith Bar: "Hey Peaches, ya gotta light?"
* Pre-coffee coffee at the Dauphin Hotel's breakfast area
* Sarah taking a morning jog down Bourbon Street and a random woman screaming back at her, "Girl, what is the hurry?"
* The elephants at the Audubon Zoo.
* Shrimp Baritaria at Petunia's.
* Walking through the Garden District.
* Dancing on top of benches at the Maple Leaf Bar when we saw Rebirth Brass Band play there on our last night...

I do hope we make it Jazzfest. I also hope that one day I go to Mardi Gras as well. I want to take my father back there one day, and I want to be able to one day go back and have it be the same as when I last left it.

In the spirit of the city, Let the Good Times Roll...

Friday, February 24, 2006

Today's visit with Mary and Anna!

Thursday, February 23, 2006

"Mama used to teach me to dance and sing." ~ Jane Eyre

My visit with Jack this afternoon turned into an Armenian dance workshop.

Ali gave Jack an Armenian Children's Music CD for Valentine's Day, so Missy put it on before she ran an errand. I scooped up Jack, who was wearing a striped brown shirt from Baby Gap and khaki-colored cargo pants, and placed him on my hip. The music then came on...

I figured I would start Jack off slowly with the line dancing. After all, being six months old is still a bit young for all of the complicated line dances like the Tamzara. I didn't want to overwhelm him with intricate dance maneuvers, so I began with the ever-popular yet non-authentic Michigan Hop.

I danced around the living room with Jack, and he giggled and smiled and drooled. The faster I went, the more giggle came out of his cute little mouth. We did this for a few songs, circling around the room listening to the sound of Armenian voices singing. I thought about my first dance classes in the basement of St. Sarkis before all the weddings in the family. I thought about nights at the Armenian Artists Ball and the Thanksgiving Dance in the basement of the Cathedral. I thought of Pat helping me learn by telling me the dance moves while on the dance line, and I thought about Missy and Ed's wedding and how much the older Armo folk loved watching us bring back their traditions.

Eventually, though, the more Jack giggled, the more choked up I got and the more tears welled behind my eyes through my smile to him.

If I could steal two moments in my life and bring them together, this moment of dancing with Jack would be one. The other moment I would steal is when both my grandpa Krikor and grandma Anoush were alive. I would put these two moments together, because I don't think there would be a moment filled with any more joy than this one in my life or theirs. I think that my parents are amazing grandparents and carry their spirit, but oh how I wish I could see my grandparents with him. I can just picture my Grandma Anoush overjoyed that he eats so much and my Grandpa Krikor spending time playing and chatting with him.

So as Jack and I danced, I prayed from deep down in my heart that somehow...somehow...they were watching us, smiling and crying at the same time, just like me and Jack did today.

Monday, February 20, 2006

"I saw each girl taste her food..." ~ Jane Eyre

Last night Chaz came over for dinner. I opened up a bottle of red, had brie and crackers out when he got here, and we relaxed on the couch either reading or watching Curb Your Enthusiasm. I made dinner, too, and am sharing a great recipe for meatloaf from the Barefoot Contessa herself, Ina Garten. My advice is to use two cups of onion instead of three! I served it with garlic mashed potatoes and broccoli. Enjoy!

Individual Meat Loaves
1 tablespoon good olive oil
3 cups chopped yellow onions (3 onions)
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1/3 cup canned chicken stock or broth
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 1/2 pounds ground chuck (81 percent lean)
1/2 cup plain dry bread crumbs (recommended: Progresso)
2 extra-large eggs, beaten
1/2 cup ketchup (recommended: Heinz)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Heat the olive oil in a medium saute pan. Add the onions, thyme, salt, and pepper and cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, for 8 to 10 minutes, until the onions are translucent but not brown. Off the heat, add the Worcestershire sauce, chicken stock, and tomato paste. Allow to cool slightly. In a large bowl, combine the ground chuck, onion mixture, bread crumbs, and eggs, and mix lightly with a fork. Don't mash or the meatloaf will be dense. Divide the mixture into 6 (10 to 11-ounce) portions and shape each portion into a small loaf on a sheet pan. Spread about a tablespoon of ketchup on the top of each portion. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, until the internal temperature is 155 to 160 degrees F and the meat loaves are cooked through. Serve hot.

"Take this advice..." ~ Jane Eyre

I love my parents. Here is some random advice they have given over the years...

20 Things From My Dad:
1. The best man to ever live, besides your grandfather, was Abe Lincoln.
2. They don't make anything like they used to.
3. Johnny Depp is the best actor around these days; these other hot shots don't have any talent at all.
4. Grandchildren are meant to be spoiled. Rotten.
5. No one can cook like your Grandmother Anoush did.
6. Don't spend a lot of money.
7. Be independent and be "a tough kid."
8. Eggs benedict is the best breakfast out there.
9. Read this. And this. And read this book, too.
10. New Orleans is the best city in the world.
11. Don't tell your mother anything.
12. Modern art is fine, but classical art is better.
13. Bix Biderbeck was probably the best jazz musician.
14. Your sisters have a better eye for a camera (my dad is a photographer).
15. Jimmy Buffett is a great lyricist.
16. You will always be "my pal."
17. Be practical!
18. Don't be so picky.
19. Stubbornness is an excellent family trait to have inherited.
20. It is better to give than to receive.

20 Things From My Mom:
1. Wash your hands three times with hot, soapy water.
2. Chocolate is a food group.
3. I don't care if the person is an axe murderer: if the person is Armenian, than the person is good.
4. Dogs and grandchildren are meant to be spoiled. Rotten.
5. Writing is a special way to express oneself.
6. Always send a Hallmark card.
7. DooWop is the best music in the history of types of music.
8. Always be a goody two shoes.
9. Drive sloooowly.
10. If its on sale, than you have to buy it.
11. Cats aren't likeable animals.
12. Be an empathetic and sympathetic person.
13. Take care of those who are ill.
14. Get plenty of sleep.
15. Don't walk around barefoot: wear slippers.
16. Take your vitamins!
17. Never, ever eat fast food.
18. Don't eat sugary cereals and don't drink sugary juices.
19. Love your children deeply, and your grandchildren even more deeply.
20. Your talents are special, so use them!

Friday, February 17, 2006

"Rochester had given me but one week's leave of absence." ~ Jane Eyre

Those who are not in the world of academia may assume that teachers or professors take their vacation time for granted.

This teacher does not.

I view my upcoming week off as a delectable sweet that needs to be lingered over while sipping coffee and reading the newspaper.

At the end of this week, I am exhausted. While I love my work and students, this is draining. Having a student teacher has been exhausting; I did this as a favor to my chairperson since a fellow colleague was unable to handle the pressures of it after she requested one. I had aCST today on a student who I banned from my classroom because his oppositional behavior is out of control. As a member of the Health and Safety Committee at school, I find myself running around the building more and more during the day trying to take care of items pertaining to that role.

Dealing with the various personalities during the day is probably the most draining aspect to the job, and ironically it can be colleagues in addition to students! I feel that parents play less and less of a role in their children's lives these days, and we as teachers are the substitutes for that. I knew that coming into this career and don't mind the nurturing, but being a mother to 100 kids a day makes me sleepy!

So, what are my vacation plans? Here is what my BLOGBERRY looks like:

Tonight I am seeing Kris and Sil for dinner. It has been a while, so I am excited to see them. We are doing Houstons. I am all set for some chardonnay and spinach and artichoke dip. Oh, and tons of Yankee talk with Chris. I love going to games with them. Kris's comments and shouts are always hysterical. (Note: For once I am not on the same page as Steinnie; I think its great that Damon, Jeter, and A-Rod are taking part in this worldwide baseball competition. )

Sunday is a given: Amy, pajamas, pot of coffee, bagel with yogurt butter and melba jelly from the Hamptons, NPR, and The Times. I hope that this week's time is extra thick and fat and brimming with long articles. I just want to spend the entire day on my couch with newspaper print all over my hands.

On Monday I am dining out with my cousin Irene. She is an elementary school teacher, and I share a special closeness with her on many levels, teaching included. We are able to empathize with each other. We go out for the "three c's": cosmos, carbs, and conversation. She and I like picking a different restaurant each time we meet. Last time it was West End, this time it is Grand Luxe. Talking to Irene is one of the greatest comforts in my life; we are on the same wavelength when it comes to work and the pressures we face there.

Tuesday night is sister-sister night. Robin and I are going to happy hour together at Metro Loft. Before that, we are getting sushi at Haru, as per usual. Sis and I have become partners in crime when it comes to eating sushi. Missy is still not past her damn teriyaki phase in the world of Japanese food, so its the only sister I can truly enjoy it with. Well, and laugh at my other sister who called edamame "pea pod thingies" this past week when we ordered from Sushi-Ya.

I am picketing with Sarah at NYU on Wednesday. The administration at the University is treating its grad students abominably, and I am looking forward to standing with her in solidarity. Today the University stopped paying the grad students, which angered me a great deal. I have been wanting to go stand by her side since this started, and I am glad to have the chance to do so this week.

Jack and I have a date Thursday morning. I insisted that his mom go out on tons of errands and make salon appointments. My nephew and I have very important things to do. We have books to read, songs to sing, dancing to get done in the kitchen, and smiles to exchange. That night Cassie and I are partying it up in the city. Cassie and I were together for the best party night of our lives - The Hard Rock Hotel in Vegas. But, that is another entry for another time...

Kel is having a wine/appetizer/dessert party on Friday and I am SO excited. I plan on making a recipe from the Lidia cookbook Chaz got for me as a present this week. I think I will bring a bottle of white because most appetizers will be vegetable related I think. We are doing a recipe share, too, so I am excited to learn about some new dishes. If I can get my hand on Helen's mom's spanikopida recipe, I will be thrilled. Cousin Amy K may come for brunch that morning. Two Amy K's are trouble, but the good kind of trouble.

Sunday is a BIG family dinner at Missy and Ed's. I think there are twenty of us that evening having an early Sunday dinner. We are getting together with the cousins. I am sure Jack will be passed around like a hot potato...he is quite the celebrity these days! These are my second cousins on my mother's side. They might as well be our first cousins because we are so close. It will be the perfect way to end the week.

For all of you teachers reading, enjoy your week off because you deserve it. For those of you working this week, you deserve a vacation as well and I hope you take one soon!

Cheers everyone!

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

My 2006 Valentine. :) Isn't he the cutest little truffle ever?

"What makes you say he does not love you, Jane?" ~ Jane Eyre

The origins of the true Saint Valentine remain a mystery.

According to the History Channel, there are three different figures with three very different stories about who St. Valentine was and what he did for humanity.

Personally, I like the St. Valentine who lived in the third century and went against Roman emperor Claudius II, who banned marriage because he thought single men made better soldiers, by marrying couples in secret.

There are no mysteries in modern times when it comes to Valentine's Day. Standards include flowers, chocolate, and Hallmark cards. Staples include romantic dinners at fancy restaurants and jewelry given during those dinners. It becomes very repetitive and always predictable.

There is nothing mysterious; it is spelled out for society since most seem to lack an imagination.
I am not against Valentine's Day at all, and it disappoints me that so many people are. There is so much hatred in this world, so any reason or excuse to celebrate love is always a good one. Instead of a diatribe on how commercial the holiday is and how aghast it makes you, maybe take a moment to pause and figure out a creative way to make a holiday that celebrates love special and meaningful in your own way that doesn't involve the canon of Valentine cliches. If an opportunity presents itself to you to pop open a bottle of champagne with someone you love, why don't you? Please don't get me started on the bitter single women who bash the holiday because they are "alone." That makes for an entirely different entry, now doesn't it?

As for me, I am celebrating Valentine's Day in my own style. After all, Plato lists three different kinds of love in the Symposium, so I will take one of the three and just go with it - Philia. Good sushi, good white wine, and good company (my sister). I love eel and avocado rolls, I love Riesling, and I love my sister.

As for the romantic aspect of the holiday, I will toast to the man tonight, whoever he may be, who gets to share a creative, imaginative, and meaningful Valentine's Day next year. In the meantime, pass the chocolate and enjoy the spirit of the day, everyone.

Monday, February 13, 2006

"You will be missed because your seat will be empty..." ~ Jane Eyre

* I missed the blue light of my cell phone which illuminated my entire bedroom when you called in the early hours of the morning. I missed the words of the man at that time, uninhibited by neurosis and spiced with a warmth that I didn't want to believe could become plain and cold. The irony is you are skilled in languages, yet all that you said which was rich and vibrant to me turned into a vast emptiness of nothing. I had to change my ringtone after that; the tone didn't ring my ears so much as it gave a rhythm to my heart hope in my veins. Now, I give rhythm to my own heart and my own hope to my veins. Thank you for teaching me rhythm.

* I missed playing chess with you online. I missed the barbs back and forth as I tried fruitlessly to get you into checkmate. You never missed a beat and always beat me. I missed good maneuvers and miss you winning. I was the most upset when you took my Queen. There is no irony here; this man is an expert at games. I don't miss your rules. I will always make my own. And, I have now read many books on how to play chess. Still, I don't miss the opportunity to beat you. I already have. Thank you for teaching me how to beat a person at his or her own game.

* I missed the nights we put on Jeff Buckley's Live at Sin-e. I missed your commentary on each of his pieces. I missed being the Tiny Dancer to your Music Man as I swayed in the audience the nights you were strumming your bass. I missed the glamorous side to dating you, but then realized you had no glamorous side. You teased me for reading Hemingway, perhaps because you never read him yourself? Some believed him to be a misogynist, but I don't believe he is. I believe you are, and that is why I don't miss the music. Thank you for leading me to better notes.

* I missed the Cheerios in the morning. Perched on a stool and laughing as you were trying to figure out how the hell to work the new coffee maker. I missed those cups of coffee, too. As WASPY as you were, you appreciated my Armenian side, and I missed cooking Armenian dishes that you so enjoyed. Those beautiful blue eyes were obvious symbolism; you were so blue. I don't miss the blueness of your being. Thank you for reminding me that the color blue is not as pretty as the color red.

These seats aren't empty. They have been replaced with something bigger, greater, and more important: my self worth, my self-love, and my self-awareness.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

"to-day were pathless with untrodden snow..." ~ Jane Eyre

A perfect end to a perfect day.

The English Patient is on HBO and I am viewing it drowsily as I sip sugar-free cocoa, eat strawberries, and brood over the fact that Ralph Fiennes is dating a woman who is 15 years older than he is and not dating me.

I got the call every teacher loves - the "tomorrow is a snow day" call - and am excited for my day tomorrow. The streets will be clear and my car is already shoveled out, so I have every intention of spending the morning at Panera, the afternoon with my nephew, and the evening doing some food shopping for lasagne ingredients.

I am smiling at the fact that exactly on the second at 11am this morning that my family and I started making the rounds of phone calls to each other. Of course we were all at home with plenty of food and doing fine, but we called one another anyway. Snow days growing up were the best. Missy, Robin, and I would get together with Mike, Joey, and Tom across the street and build huge forts and igaloos for snowball fights. We were out there for hours until my mother called us in because she irrationally worried we would get frostbit or something ridiculous like that. I remember once she sat us on the radiator (yes, it was covered) to warm up. I remember a blizzard in April once when I was very young, and it was wonderful to have my father home from work. I remember sitting in the living room in front of the fireplace after dinner with the family, just enjoying the dancing flames.

I have become used to spending snow days in solitude.

This morning I slept late, did some yoga, and then shoveled a bit. I made chicken soup as I drank a glass of chardonnay, read a great deal, and was on the phone with many of my friends. I shoveled more, took a walk in the snow, and watched a few cooking shows on both Foodtv and PBS. Chaz and I always joke about Lidia and her "man hands." Despite her huge stature, I love watching her cook and printed out her gnocci recipes. I read Glamour, cleaned my kitchen, and caught up on reading some other blogs.

Hope you enjoyed your day in the snow...

This photo was taken last week. Yes, my nephew is so handsome that he is dating an adorable, sweet, and pretty Armenian "babe" named Anna.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

"the iron sky of winter, stiffened in frost, shrouded with snow..." ~ Jane Eyre

Snowstorm Checklist:
1. Ingredients for Chicken Soup - this will keep my busy tomorrow morning as the snow piles up.
2. The Saturday Edition of the Times - I am annoyed that I won't be getting Sundays, but you make do with what you have, right?
3. Glamour Magazine - Sarah Jessica is on the cover; I adore her.
4. NPR
5. Plenty of coffee, milk, and splenda
6. A bottle of chardonnay to go with the soup
7. Books, books, books
8. Yoga dvd and mat
9. Peppermint hot chocolate and chocolate marshmellows from Williams Sonoma
10. New Calvin Klein down feather jacket, hat, gloves, scarf, snow boots, shovel, ice scraper, and SUV.

"..and dispatched an invitation." ~ Jane Eyre

Sarah, Dee, and I were drinking beers and eating guacamole (aka "crackamole") in the yard in Sag this past August when I asked, "If you could have a dinner party and invite anyone, dead or alive, who would it be and why?"

Sarah chose a dinner party, Dee a cocktail party, and I chose a brunch. I don't remember all of the names, but they are in The Book of the House since I wrote them down that hot and sunny afternoon. It makes me sad that the book only had one summer of records; I had hoped for decades, and I am so saddened by it.

I remember smiling and laughing as the three of us discussed our guests. We broke it up into gender - 4 men and 4 women. I think we established that Dee's cocktail party would be the craziest party of them all. When I see the lists again from that day, I shall reprint them here.

In the meantime, I was thinking about who I would want stuck in a house with during snowstorm for hearty food, hot chocolate, and conversations by a fireplace. We are supposed to get a blizzard tomorrow night, so the idea entered my brain this morning. This is what I came up with...

The Women
1. Maureen Dowd - I enjoy reading her column in the Times and I think that she a talented writer. Although I sometimes don't agree with all of her opinions, she and I are usually on the same wavelength when it comes to politics. I would love nothing more than to make a fresh pot of coffee and discuss the latest happenings in D.C.

2. Queen Elizabeth - Talking to strong women is always inspiring to me, and she would be no exception. Sure, I would like to know the tactics used in defeating the Spanish Armada and what Shakespeare was like as a person, but I also want the more juicy details of her life. I hope she would confide in me about her affairs, especially the Earl of Essex over a bottle of wine.

3. Jane Austen - I would love to have tea with Miss Jane and talk about her writing style. I would ask her how much of herself was put into my favorite heroine of hers, Anne Elliot, of Persuasion. I would then possibly chide her for getting the hopes up of millions of women everywhere that Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy could possibly exist in the world somewhere...and he doesnt! Still, I would show her the 6 hour BBC version of Pride and Prejudice; I am sure she would agree that Colin Firth was perfect as her Darcy. Mmmm.

4. Martha Stewart - Martha and I would not sit down to drink anything. Instead, we would go into the kitchen and she would be my guide through a very long and very thorough cooking lesson. She can be as stuffy as she wants. She is Martha. We would sit and enjoy a meal afterwards, and after a few glasses of wine, I hope she would give me some details about her love life at Camp Cupcake.

The Men

1. Ernest Hemingway - Papa Hemingway and I would be drinking lots of Hemingway cocktails. I would ask him questions about his penis complex and find out his reasons for insulting Fitzgerald's penis in A Moveable Feast. I could see Hem and I listening to Jimmy Buffett, downing booze, and talking trash about Gertrude Stein.

2. Abe Lincoln - Abe and I would sit by the fire and we would talk about all of the aspects to Shenk's book. I would explain to him that everyone thinks he is the most amazing president ever, and I would make him a nice pot of chicken soup while we talked about his internal conflicts during the Civil War. A few weeks ago when I was out to drinks with my dad, I asked him that if he could have dinner with anyone dead or alive who would it be? My dad said Abe.

3. Teddy Roosevelt - Teddy and I would have a few pints and talk about his adventures with the Rough Riders. I would try and explain to him that he wouldn't be very popular with PETA today, but that I do love his room of animal skins at Sagamore Hill regardless.

4. William Shakespeare - I would probably have a list of one hundred questions for Will, to which I would completely forgo if he offered to do a sonnet writing workshop with me. No drinking with Will; this is strictly business.

Who would you want to get stuck in a house with during a blizzard?

Some websites for you to peruse during the snowstorm:








Wednesday, February 08, 2006

"I and my pupil" ~ Jane Eyre

"Hi Amy Teacher!"

This is my weekly greeting from Connie as I walk in the door, remove my shoes, place on slippers which have a Burberry pattern on them, and follow her into the kitchen.

Our tutoring sessions never begin with work. They begin with food.

I have worked with Connie for a year and a half now, and I can honestly say that it has become more than just tutoring. I know I have become a mentor to her, and its a responsibility that I am honored to have. She has come to rely on me for advice, and her trust is something I value a great deal. I trust that after she graduates high school we will maintain a kind of special friendship that so many students share with their mentors.

Connie's parents are hard working immigrants who came to the United States from Korea about twenty years ago. They both own businesses and are rarely home; I have a great deal of respect for them both.

However, because they are not around I have become an absentee parent of sorts. During the December vacation, I picked Connie up with coffee in tow for both of us and took her to the MET for the first time in her life. I needed her to see all that we spoke of as far as Renaissance paintings, but I also thought that seeing the Asian Art Wing was also very important. It was an enjoyable day for me because I know she enjoyed all that she saw and it was fun to pontificate all of the facts that my mentor at that age, my father, said to me.

Last year, Connie and I worked on a research paper that compared the Medieval knights to the Samurai, so my favorite part of the visit with her was when we roamed the Arms and Armor section. Our work came to life, and it was great to be excited over a part of the museum I never would have been excited over if it weren't for her and her deep interest in the Samurai.

I had actually never been to the Korean Art section in the MET, so our roles reversed for a half hour and she was teaching me about various aspects of the culture and its language.

After the museum I took her to sushi because, well, there is rarely a time now when we aren't together where we don't eat! I treated her to Haru and we shared a huge plate of sashimi deluxe.

I think that last year when we first met, Connie was surprised to learn my love of Asian cuisine, and since then I have been gracious to receive all kinds of amazing foods to try. At first I thought that she was just being polite, but now I realize I am the guinea pig for her food experiments on Saturdays! Its an honor, let me tell you! Aside from trying various foods in sushi rolls and eating onion pancakes, there are times we also eat cake from Taipan bakery, Korean tea biscuits, and pockee.

Everything about our session is delicious. She is so smart, and although she is exceptionally bright, she is so down to earth and very quiet and sweet.

But I know better than to trust that polite and demure exterior.

She has a wicked sense of humor that makes me spit out my barley tea at times.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

"Were all busied in the game..." ~ Jane Eyre

The air outside my door smells delicious.

All along my block there are various scents emerging from windows: cookies, meats, sauces, and even the smell of a barbecue since the weather is so mild. The supermarket was packed, but it was fun shopping amidst all the excited folk who are getting ready for the big game.

I, too, am excited for the Superbowl and am cheering on the Steelers. Though I wish my Mighty Giants made it this far, I am still ready to get immersed in the game and enjoy myself.

I am also hosting this afternoon/evening and am very excited about the company coming! It will be cozy watching from home instead of being in a sports bar, especially since the rule today is that no one can dress in anything fancier than sweatpants and t-shirts.

The menu today is Italian-style tailgating. In addition to the typical spread of asiago cheese and crackers, nuts, and fruit, I am preparing spinach and artichoke dip and meatballs with cavatappi. This will probably be the first football game ever in which I will be drinking red wine instead of beer, so this will be a new experience for me. Hopefully it doesn't make me rowdier than I already am during games. :)

I am definitely the woman in that Tostitos commercial who goes to find her groom because he is late for the wedding and then sits with him to watch the game, asking how the defense is doing. I love watching sports, and I always am perplexed as to why more women I know don't enjoy it. These athletes are amazing to watch, the games themselves are exciting because they take such precision and skill, and there is no better way to spend a summer night than at Yankee Stadium. Sunday afternoons in the fall scream food and football, too.

To all those celebrating Superbowl Sunday (if I were the Prez, this would be declared an official holiday), enjoy the game and GO PITTSBURGH!

Saturday, February 04, 2006

"With My Whole Heart..." ~ Jane Eyre

This photo was taken on Thursday. Each day he grows more and more special, and more and more chubby! We read four books the other afternoon; what a smart little cookie he is.