Eyre Affairs

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Location: New York, United States

Saturday, December 29, 2007

"You will fly, too..." ~ Jane Eyre

This year felt like I was going high speed on subway car - the time flew and I cannot believe that next week I will be making mistakes on checks and office emails by writing 2007 instead of 2008. I liked that my good friend Charlie took the time to reflect on the year with his favorite moments on his blog, and I think I am going to borrow that concept and present it here with 29 of my favorite moments from 2007 since I turn 30 in 2008:

The Twenty-Nine Best Moments of 2007:

1) Typing my resignation letter and leaving the building I taught in for seven years for the very last time.
2) J. Sarah's wedding and all of the moments of preparation.
3) Meeting the beau on March 24th for the first time at Novita wine bar.
4) Any and every moment I have spent with Jack; each time he hugs and kisses me, I always get teary when I get a hug or kiss.
5) Fishing with the beau and eating crabs caught in a pot thrown into the canal of his parents' backyard on the Great South Bay of Long Island.
6) D.R. graduating Ranger School.
7) Meeting all of my new girlfriends at work: they are fun, sassy, and have already shown a lot of loyalty.
8) Staying with Cassie at her house in Carmel for a few days in October.
9) My Tiki Party in the summer and setting one of the tables on fire with defective citronella candles.
10) T.R. bar nights with my crew from Summer Rec.
11) Seeing Bruce Springsteen live at MSG.
12) Day trips to Brooklyn with the beau, such as going to Smith Street and drinking all night or visiting the MTA Transit Museum. (see photo above)
13) Sister dinners with Missy and Robin that are lovingly crashed by my brother-in-law.
14) The Fourth of July party at the beach with the beau and his family.
15) Happy Hour Fridays with my new colleagues at The Peddler.
16) Seeing Mary Poppins on Broadway with my mommy, my sisters, and my grandma.
17) Registering for my first Library Science class.
18) Summer Sunday afternoons at Meades Gastropub.
19) My visit to Lime's in Virginia back in October for a weekend and her teaching me how to make earrings.
20) Dressing up as Captain Hook when Jack was Peter Pan for Halloween. (Robin was Tinkerbell and together we equaled two crazy aunts)
21) St. Patrick's Day in Long Beach with Charlie and having fun for the entire day with random strangers.
22) Going away to Gettysburg with the beau and being on the battlefield itself.
23) All the Jewish holidays with J. Sarah and her family.
24) Getting my huge desk at work and fixing it up nicely.
25) My new boss calling me in to his office for "important" matters for an hour: checking NFL scores and fantasy football league standings.
26) Cooking dinners for friends and family.
27) Jackson Heights food crawls that included UFC: Korean fried chicken.
28) The Caribbean-style BBQ I had with Moo this summer and all the cooking we did together after our hike at Sands Point.
29) Wine tasting with Robin on the North Fork - we both played hooky from work and just went out to enjoy ourselves.

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Thursday, December 27, 2007

"The fact is, I was a trifle beside myself; or rather OUT of myself, as the French would say..." ~ Jane Eyre

I am dealing with post-holiday blues tonight with all things French. Because what makes you feel better than something that is Francais? I made a croque-monsieur for dinner (no bechemal, very little cheese, cooking spray instead of butter but it was still tres fantastique) and am sipping a Cabernet Sauvignon. I am catching up on French gossip pages and reading about Sarkozy getting cozy with a new Italiano mistress. I am looking at French recipes for my thirtieth birthday getaway weekend to the North Fork at the beginning of February. Savory crepes? Coq au vin? I told J.Sarah that I want to make brandade just because I saw Jacque Pepin make it and it looks so good. This afternoon, my brother-in-law made reserves for tomorrow night at Artisanal for my sister, my boyfriend, and me so we can have a big pot of fondue. Nothing like drowning the blues away in a big pot of melted, hot, bubbly cheese.

I am not sure why I get post-holiday blues. Its not that I don't see my family each week; sometimes we even see each other each day. I suppose it has more to do with a spirit and feeling more than anything else; Christmas is a time that takes you the closest proximity back to the memories of your childhood and a time when you were with the ones you loved who are no longer alive. It was a time when my sisters and I still lived together under one roof; as much as we share now, you couldnt help but share more when living together in one home. We work so hard to pay it forward to Jack and ensure that he experiences the same blessings we had from our parents on Christmas and each day of the year, but I know that it will never be exactly the same. Its all very Le Petite Prince, mais oui?

Its nights like this when I know I need to think pink: La Vie En Rose. I have Edith on the CD player and am thinking about procrastinating even further tonight (I have so much on a to-do list right now) and looking into flights to Quebec in February. Even the idea of waking up in a city where hot croissants and cafe au lait is the only way to go for breakfast makes me less blue. I may head out tonight to the bookstore because I realize that Jack has yet to read Babar, and we all know that French elephants make the best of children's stories. Though as great as it is having the memory of an elephant, I do wish I could forget the past a little tonight and be less bleu.

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Wednesday, December 26, 2007

This is Master Jack in his Christmas attire, taking a pot out of the cupboard after seeing us begin cooking the meal and wanting to "help."

Master Jack doing what he does best: looking cute.

Master Jack stole Aunt Maimy's camera and proceeded to take some "self portraits." This one is my absolute favorite! I love the look on his face and how the Christmas tree is angled in the background.

Playing the harmonica and imitating the hobo from his favorite new movie, The Polar Express.

Master Jack received a baby grand piano for Christmas. All he needs is a powdered wig and a candelabra...

Or a tip jar?

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Tuesday, December 25, 2007

"The world-redeeming creed of Christ...." ~ Jane Eyre

Christmas Present: Stealing a few moments at the computer. The Yule log is on tv. I am still in pajamas after making breakfast for my parents - sunny side up eggs with bacon and toast with lots of coffee. Last night's revelry at my boyfriend's parents' home was lovely: warm, cozy, and festive. I made a stuffed shrimp dish that everyone finished, which made me happy. My favorite gift was the beau's Christmas card to me, even above the teal blue Ipod Nano he gave me, which was an amazing surprise. Robin called from England and was eating the minced pies she made with our family friends. D.R. called from Iraq and is serving dinner to his men today as they celebrate the holiday in Baghdad. Jack called this morning and gave me a "concert" on his new baby grand piano. After that "conversation", I am trying to locate ear plugs for tonight's big dinner. We are having ham, potato gratin, creamed corn, and biscuits. A change from our usual lamb dinner. Dessert is the present cake from Williams Sonoma, a pumpkin cake I just whipped up last minute and is in the oven as I type, peanut butter and jelly cookies I made, and pignoli cookies that the beau and I made. (*All recipes and photos of the dishes will be on epicurean escapades tomorrow*) I am making peppermint hot chocolate and waiting for this cake to finish so I can get ready for another lovely evening celebrating this special, holy day.
Merry Christmas to All!

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Sunday, December 23, 2007

"I am only too thankful..." ~ Jane Eyre

Dear She aka K9,

Thank you for creating the most lovely CD cover for me! I love last year's, but this year's has that extra special element, now doesn't it? The above photo is of an ornament on my tree that I have had for at least ten years when my Cleo was alive. It meant a lot that rottiepooch was back this Christmas in spirit, just like Cleo. I hope you are having a lovely Christmas Eve eve and relaxing after all of these amazing covers:http://sparringk9.blogspot.com/
You are an amazing talent and I am so excited to view all that you create and read all that you create in 2008.

With love and deepest thanks,
Lady Jane

PS This week there will be cookie posts on Epicurean Escapades with photos, so check out the recipes!

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Thursday, December 20, 2007

"Is she in a day-dream now?" ~ Jane Eyre

Daydreaming about my ultimate Christmas wish list:

- lessons with a top sushi chef on how to make my own sushi
- daily deep tissue/aromatherapy massages
- lifetime supply of Kona coffee
- a warm, fuzzy bulldog puppy
- the opportunity to meet Bruce Springsteen
- the opportunity to meet George Clooney
- a Porsche Boxter
- women ruling this world because there would finally be peace
- a house with a fireplace in each room
- a kitchen that takes up half the floor of a house that is equipped with state of the art everything
- Hollywood making movies like they used to
- time in the day to take ballet classes again
- hearing Beethoven's Ninth Symphony performed live
- more nieces and nephews
- my own library that is open to the public but is private because I own it
- a chance to ride with any of the Captains from The Deadliest Catch when they go out for King Crab in the Autumn
- to be introduced as a new character in sequels to Sex and the City as Carrie's sister, "Becky"
- to direct Shakespeare in the Park ( I would choose Antony and Cleopatra)
- a trip to France
- five golden rings...each with a different diamond/gemstone
- making Jane Eyre mandatory reading nationanwide for all students

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Monday, December 17, 2007

"I may make shift yet to behave..." ~ Jane Eyre

Dear Bloggers O'The World:

I, Jack Krikor, aged two years and three months say ho ho ho to you! I have been a perfect little boy this year and can't wait for Santy Claus to come see me through my chimney. Though I must admit that it would actually be cooler if Bert from Mary Poppins came down the chimney flu. No offense to Santy, but Bert has a chimney sweep I can play with.

Anyway, there have been lots of fun things I have been doing this Christmas season. I decorated the tree with my mommy and daddy this past weekend, and one of my ornaments is a little plush snowman my Aunt Maimy got me at the Fortunoff Christmas Store last week. I saw it in the store and he was so cute, so I hugged and kissed him. Maimy then hugged and kissed me and got me the snowman for my tree.

Maimy and I also made a gingerbread house together. Well, I made it and she just kind of supervised. You can read all about it at: www.epicureanescapades.blogspot.com and get some good details about The Great Sprinkle Debacle. (ahem) I had a great time creating peppermint disk stacks and throwing the unused ones around the kitchen. I mean, they are shaped like frisbees, just smaller.

Lately I am watching The Polar Express on dvd and loving the choochoo. My favorite scene is when they serve the hot chocolate to the little kids riding in the passenger car. Maimy tells me that she held me in her arms when I was a few months old and as I slept, she watched a few of the scenes. She also tells me it was one of her favorite books as a child, and she remembers getting the book from my grandparents and it included the bell. I love ringing Christmas bells. Aunt Maimy tells me one day I am going to watch a movie about a bell ringing and an angel getting his wings.

My Aunty wanted me to remind all of you that Christmas is about loving a special child. So, remember that despite all of the commercialism and craziness of the holiday. Nothing is as pure as the love of a child and the love for a child. So, please keep that sacred this Christmas and hug your children and nieces and nephews and thank God for their presence in your life this Christmas.

My Aunty says I am the greatest gift ever....even when I throw sprinkles all over the floor during gingerbread house making!

With love and blown kisses,
Jack Krikor

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Sunday, December 16, 2007

"And mug in the middle of each tray..." ~ Jane Eyre

Tonight I am drinking cinnamon hot chocolate. I take big gulps and small sips intermittently out of this red mug and think about my soul. I want my soul to always be like this mug of chocolat. Rich, spicy, warm. I am trying to keep myself awake so I can watch the film Waitress, which I have been longing to do, but the cocoa is making me sleepy. Does that mean my soul is sleepy, too? I cannot go to bed yet since I need to do the following: finalize the cookie recipes for this week, check my work email, douse myself in body lotion, and read sections of the Times online since I didn't get my paper today. My soul always has things to do - it is a neverending list of one passion after another. I got an idea for a series of short stories this week after days of formulating it in my mind. I am hesitant to put them down on paper, lest I become too attached to the words and want them published. I wonder how many artists are out there with great work that will be unknown because they are too timid, like myself, to even attempt trying to show their work with the public. I have listened to Beethoven's Ninth three times this early evening and think about excuses. He was deaf and still wrote so his music could be heard by the world. What excuse to I have? I am too busy drinking hot chocolate?

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Thursday, December 13, 2007

"Following the stream..." ~ Jane Eyre

Who is your muse? Whom do you recite incantations for when you need inspiration to write? I always found the concept of the muse intriguing. When I think of a muse, I think of a marble statue made in Ancient Greece of a goddess sitting in the MET, but in my head she doesn't have any arms; she has a chipped nose and cracks in her feet- perhaps from the difficult move to get her from Greece to New York City back in the early 1900's when she had to ride over in a boat and not a plane. It is not at all surprising that the dominant paradigm for inspiration to artists is a figure in the female form. Shakespeare himself pulled muses into his sonnets and gave them their rightful place in his art. If Shakespeare were alive today, I would stalk him. I would beg him to come to my apartment for a dinner of cheddar cheese and beer fondue, making the gruel thick and slab, and we would talk about his characters as we stuck our forks in bite sized pieces of french bread and dunked them into the bubbly pot. I would ask him questions about his sources for inspiration - about his own personal muses - because you cant write lines in Hamlet such as these and not have a woman in mind when you write: Doubt that the stars are fire Doubt that the sun doth move Doubt Truth to be a liar But Never Doubt I love. Note: I remember reading those words as a young girl of eleven and vowing I would marry the man who ever recited those words to me. Hence, I am almost thirty and unwed. Some men are as emotionally witless as the Prince of Denmark is. Still, I believe that in my stack of cards there is a man who will be more like Prince Hal (though I do not condone his treatment of John Falstaff). It is nights like this when there is a snow storm and I am all cozied up in my apartment that I wish I had a dog, perhaps even a Great Dane. I don't know where the dog would fit, but I would love to own an animal that was my height and that I could keep in the house. There are lots of things I dreamed of when I was eleven that I thought I would have by now: a dog, a diamond, a daisy garden. Tonight I have a 91 point glass of Merlot, sparkling white lights on a Christmas tree, and diamond passed down as an heirloom. I am half interested in writing and half interested in getting my tarot cards read online right now. I have no idea what question to ask tonight. Will there ever be an heirloom tomato in my future that I like? Will I ever travel to Denmark? Will I ever again feel as romantic towards life as I did when I was eleven? In eleven days I am going to be on vacation - I cannot wait. I am off for eleven days. Aside from the revelry of Christmas and New Year's, I shall revel in the time away from my beloved desk. I plan on watching Amelie for the eleventh time in the past two months. The character is a must of sorts for my soul. Tout est parfait en cet instant.


Thursday, December 06, 2007

"Her thin face, her sunken grey eye..." ~ Jane Eyre

When Charlotte Bronte juxtaposed Jane Eyre and Blanche Ingram (Rochester's intended romantic match), she ensured these two female characters differed in physicality. In 1847, Blanche was the prize. She had sloping shoulders, thick dark curls, and curves. Plain Jane was not only homely, but thin. Her lanky stature made her unattractive based on the mores of the times.

This week has been disheartening. I normally do not follow the media items on celebrities, but it was hard to ignore the story about Miss Jennifer Love Hewitt. The lady has been enjoying her very recent engagement to a Scottish man who loves her for who she is, curves and all, and the media has marked her with a red letter. Instead of an 'A', the media has marked her with an 'L', incessantly writing that her weight is unacceptable and that she appears "large."

My thoughts turn to Miss Marilyn Monroe, Miss Betty Grable, and Miss Sophia Loren. Ah, Miss Sophia Lauren who once said her beauty secret was to have a "spaghetti night" once a week where she ate big bowls of pasta to maintain her attractive figure. These women were not even a size 2 like Miss Hewitt, but probably a ten added to that number for a size 12. These women have all gone down in history as the most attractive and sexiest of women. If they were all 30 years old today, they would be ridiculed and belittled by the media as fat women who lack any attractive aura. Can you imagine the nerve? I cannot, because men of history attest to their stunning beauty.

What has happened? I do not know. All I know is that Jane Eyre would be a supermodel in today's world, which would ruin Charlotte Bronte's story and completely eradicate the nature of the relationship between Jane and Rochester. Marilyn Monroe would have to turn into an anorexic before being chosen for a part, and Sophia Lauren would be forced to give up her beloved pasta if she wanted to be seen on the big screen. What is worse is that perhaps the United States would never have won WWII if we had the attitude towards a woman's body then like we do today - Miss Betty Grable would never have been America's pin up girl; where would the motivation for the soldiers come from? Kate Moss?

Weight has never been an easy issue for most women, myself included. I see women who think being thin gives them some kind of advantage in life, and I am perplexed as to why. Being stick- thin doesn't mean you are special. It doesn't get you a degree, it doesn't get you a soul mate, and it doesn't get you a fulfilled life. All of those triumphs rely on spirit and inner passion. As a former teacher, I watched so many girls starve themselves to the point where they were jeopardizing their future because of their fixation on being a size zero.

I sat tonight sipping a chardonnay with my two female friends from work. None of us are size twos, but we aren't twelves either. We are in between, and we drank wine and nibbled on nachos as we discussed Miss Hewitt. We agreed she has the last laugh here. She is engaged to a man who loves her for who she is...he knows that real women have curves, and that sexiness comes from within. And while we agreed we were meeting on Monday at the gym for a total body workout class and discussed a schedule for racquetball during lunch, we also agreed that we would rather be in the same class as Miss Monroe and Miss Loren than the same class as Nicole Richie.

Because a woman with class is more important than a woman being a size zero, my friends.


Sunday, December 02, 2007

"And glared white..." ~ Jane Eyre

It is the first snow of the season and I have two layers of socks on beneath my Ugg slippers. There is a plethora of pine trees outside the window of this apartment, and I love how the snow falls in the pockets of branches on each one. I am sipping coffee from an earthenware mug and anxious to trim my Christmas tree after brunch today with my family. Among the ornaments are two porcelain latte cups from Starbucks and plush maroon Ugg-esque boots that say Alaska on them.

My tree skirt is not on yet, so the pile of wrapped presents and stuffed gift bags is in a corner. There is one bag with a big, smiling snowman on it that contains a snowman making kit for Jack. I think this is the age where he will be interested in snow, so I am awaiting to see if he will talk about it at the brunch table today since the restaurant has bay windows circling the room except for the area by the fireplace.

I linger at my desk now, writing the final list of friends and family to send Christmas cards to. A bee is usually in my bonnet about Christmas cards ~ I always feel that they need to be mailed out on December 1st. Yesterday I stamped over 34 pieces with the holiday knits stamps and sent the cards on their merry way. Jack's card got two stamps, because its a huge snowman card that needed a little more postage! I believe that cards and trees and lights and decorations should be savored way before the final two weeks before Christmas, otherwise there is no time to enjoy and savor it all.

Savoring holiday moments with Jack is a priority this year, so I have taken a personal day on the 10th to do nothing but holiday activities with him...making a gingerbread house included. I am brainstorming ways of recreating him somehow outside of the house. I suppose it must be in cookie form, but I am not entirely sure how to capture his curly hair - I don't want it flat on a cookie...I want it more three-dimensional. My sister got him Grinch pajamas, so I am hoping that when we have breakfast on the 10th, he is wearing those since that is his Aunt Maimy's favorite holiday story. There are at least three different ornaments of the Grinch to be placed on my tree today.

My white tree lights are on, the snow is still falling on the pine trees outside, and I wonder what kind of sweater Jack will wear this morning (I hope it is the one with a train on it). As heavy as my heart tends to feel in certain moments, the light of the tree and the light snow and the lightness of my nephew's heart make everything shine for me this season.