Tag Archives: summer

The Crickets Spread the Rumor

29 Aug

CharlottesWeb

 

“The crickets felt it was their duty to warn everybody that summertime cannot last for ever. Even on the most beautiful days in the whole year – the days when summer is changing into autumn – the crickets spread the rumour of sadness and change.”

~from E. B. White’s Charlotte’s Web

Charlotte’s Web made my list of 10 books that stuck with me. Find out what else did here.

Read a quote I selected from E. B. White’s Trumpet of the Swan here.

One Swallow Does Not Make a Summer

22 Aug

AristotleNicomacheanEthics

“One swallow does not make a summer,
neither does one fine day;
similarly one day or brief time of happiness does not make a person entirely happy.”

~Aristotle in The Nicomachean Ethics

Find my other posts on Aristotle here.

Friday Links: Summer 2014 Reads

20 Jun

WP_20130913_001

When I was a kid I used to participate in the summer reading challenge at my local library. I think I need to challenge myself to do something like that again. I want to spend a lot of lazy hours in Central Park with a book and some fancy French lemonade.

I decided to check out what’s on everyone’s summer 2014 reading list and share it with you:::

NPR came up with 12 summer reading lists by category — including a miscellaneous one about “drugs, dragons and giant peaches”

Goodreads is a good place to find good reads for summer

Flavorwire offered 10 Must-Read Books for June

Modern Mr. Darcy released the 3rd annual summer reading guide

The New York Times offered A Critic’s Survey of Summer Books

Or you could always take a cue from J. P. Morgan’s Summer Reading List

A summer 2014 reading list from TED

Add your own list in the comments section!

 

 

Kalo Mina! August 2013

1 Aug

400122_10200220737743484_402115136_nThis is me at the beach. In December. In Florida. I haven’t been back to the beach since.

Kalo mina! Happy first day of August!!

Can you believe how fast the summer is flying by? I’ve been so busy I feel like I’ve barely even begun to embrace summer.

A few years ago, I read Laura Vanderkam‘s 168 Hours: You Have More Time Than You Think after hearing her read at a Mediabistro party. I’ve written before about how I was inspired by her suggestion to create a list of 100 Dreams and also by the idea of trying to do something twice a week instead of having all-or-nothing thought patterns. Another concept she writes about in her book is how we often squander our time by not planning ahead. She writes specifically about how entire weekends can fly by without us feeling like we’ve accomplished anything, feeling like we rested, or feeling like we had fun. She suggested it’s better to pre-plan and schedule even things like going to the park in our calendars so they don’t fall to the wayside.

With this in mind, I created a Pinterest board called “Summer in the City.” It’s partly a mood board of images that remind me of what I love so much about New York City summers. Outdoor concerts in the rain. Sculpture gardens. Fresh corn on the cob. Wine tasting on Long Island. It’s also a bit of a to-do list. It’s so easy to get caught up in work and errands and writing and blogging and this and that and then fall comes and wonder what happened to the summer. So, I created a visual inspiration board. I would have a spectacular summer. The only problem is I spent more time creating the Pinterest board than doing the events! I forgot Vanderkam’s golden rule to pencil the activities in. Now I’ve taken the initiative now to reach out to various friends and start living out the summer I want to have.

Here’s a few of the items I’ve already checked off my Summer in the City to-do list:

  • Move — Done and done. Yeah, I actually kinda sorta moved twice. It’s a long story.
  • Attend my college BFF’s wedding in Dallas — I’d missed her and her family so dearly. It was lovely. And, now I can say I’ve been to Texas.
  • Attend my sister’s wedding — There were lots of wedding festivities.
  • Go on the Crown Maple Syrup tour — Sooo much fun! And delicious!
  • Watch Before Midnight — I love this trilogy so bad, and this particular movie was filmed near my house in Greece so I had to see it. I saw it at the Angelika, my favorite theatre in New York.
  • Attend Howl Festival — I can’t believe I’ve been remiss in blogging about this. I went by myself and had an awesome time.
  • Check out the exhibit Punk: Chaos to Couture exhibit at the Met — I went with a friend who wrote a punk novel, and we had a good laugh at the CBGB installation.
  • Picnic in the park — My publishing friend treated me to a picnic of baguette and cheeses and wine in the Brooklyn Bridge Park, where we watched a Shakespeare production.
  • Eat fresh fruit from the farmers market — A friend made me dinner in Brooklyn one night and served up fresh Southern peach slices. Afterwards we went and danced in the rain.
  • Read in the park — I wrote instead.
  • Attend BEA — Always enjoy this.
  • Listen to the orchestra play in Central Park — Went with two friends and had a magnificent time.

Okay, so looking over the list, I realize I actually have done a lot this summer. Maybe I have high expectations, but I want to do so much more. Like eat a cronut.

What’s on your summer bucket list?

Greek Goddess Skin with Korres Pomegranate Toner & Korres Pomegranate Mattifying Treatment

4 Jun

Thanks to Persephone eating those seeds of the pomegranate, we now experience the changing of the seasons, according to Greek mythology.  Now that spring has sprung and summer is around the corner, modern Greek goddesses are spending more time outdoors and less time caking on makeup.  These warm months are all about catching free summer concerts in the park, vineyard hopping in the Hamptons, and stalking the Coolhaus truck without worrying if your makeup is sweating off.     

The Korres Pomegranate line is perfect for baring your skin this season.

I really love how gentle the Korres Pomegranate Toner is.  I have delicate, sensitive skin and so many toners are just too harsh.  The Korres Pomegranate Toner feels like water—mythical water.  There is absolutely no stinging sensation, and my skin doesn’t feel tight after using it.  Even though it doesn’t feel icy or tingly, I’ve been able to see from my cotton ball that it is working hard to remove impurities.

According to Korres, the Pomegranate Toner:

_Helps purify the skin’s surface by removing excess dirt, oil and impurities while minimizing the look of pores and helping to reduce the appearance or look of redness
_Leaves skin feeling fresh, and looking smoother and more matte
_Formulated with skin conditioners to leave skin feeling soft

It also happens to have a fresh, youthful aroma–unlike most toners, which tend to smell like rubbing alcohol.  Korres Pomegranate Toner has a sweet and invigorating smell.

Even better smelling is the Korres Pomegranate Mattifying Treatment.  However, this product takes about eight weeks to work.  The benefits are impressive, according to Korres:

Breathable, oil absorbing formula to minimize the look/appearance of pores and redness and leave skin with a smooth, matte finish throughout the day.

KEY FEATURES & BENEFITS
_Instantly fills in pores to create a smooth, even skin surface texture.
_Clinically proven after 8 weeks to significantly reduce the visibility of pores (94% of subjects), the appearance of redness (84% of subjects), and improve the overall appearance of skin (88% of subjects)

I’ve been using it only for a few weeks now, and even though it’s probably the best-smelling face-care product I’ve ever used, my skin was shiny as ever in the photos snapped for my MFA graduation and the Mediabistro event I attended. I think my foundation actually rubs most of the product off when I apply it, though, so through trial and error I’ve learned to make sure the Korres Pomegranate Mattifying Treatment is completely dry on my face before applying any face makeup.  (Beauty tip: Apply the Pomegranate Mattifying Treatment all over your face or t-zone, and while it’s drying apply your eye makeup to save time.  It should only take about 20 seconds to dry, and then you can apply foundation.  However, even then, pat your face makeup on gently because if you rub it, the mattifying treatment will come off in the process.)  Even so, the Korres Pomegranate Mattifying Treatment seems to work better for days when I’m not wearing any other face makeup on top of it.  And really, in the summer I don’t want to wear a lot of makeup anyway.

Neither of the scents linger, which is a positive for skincare, but if Korres offered a pomegranate perfume I’d be the first in line.  It’s the perfect daytime scent for summer months.

Greece’s fastest-growing natural skincare company not only draws its inspiration from the flora of Greece, where pomegranates have grown for centuries, it also is committed to eco-friendly practices.  The sleek and sophisticated packaging for Korres Pomegranate Toner and Pomegranate Mattifying Treatment is recyclable, and neither of the products are tested on animals.

So go ahead and channel your inner Greek goddess this summer, knowing that you don’t have to wear a lot of makeup to look beautiful.

MFAism: Hosting Summer Writing Workshop

22 Jun

Even though the MFA writing program is officially on summer break — whoo-hoo! — some of us from the creative-nonfiction writing workshop decided we were having so much fun (or something like that) that wanted to keep on meeting.  Last Tuesday we had our first informal workshop.  It was so nice to catch up with everyone and to chat about our writing.

As I’ve alluded, everyone in my classes always recommends I read David Sedaris when they find out I write about growing up Greek American.  I do get a kick out of David Sedaris, but it’s his sister Amy Sedaris who captured my heart with her book I Like You: Hospitality Under the Influence. There’s just something about us Greek women — we love hosting and feeding people.  I barely had anyone over during the semester so I was super-excited to volunteer hosting the writing workshop in my apartment.

Since my classmates have been giving me feedback all semester on the Greek American memoir I’m writing — and since I’m the Queen of Theme Parties — I of course prepared Greek meze for them.  I served feta cheese (imported from Greece!  I’m stimulating the Greek economy!), sliced tomatoes with sea salt, pita, red pepper & eggplant dip, dried apricots, and almonds.  The other writers graciously brought delicious homemade (!) scones and sumptuous red wine.  I pretty much gorged!

We had a great conversation about nonfiction vs. fiction writing and talked about the role of blogging in our writing.  Then we spent some time critiquing each other’s works.  I got helpful feedback on a short reflection I’d written about my experience at the 2011 Gabby Awards.  I really enjoyed reading their new pieces too.  Everyone has such interesting stories to tell!

Now I’ve got to get to work on the next chapter to submit!

In the meantime, if anyone has any tips on how to run a writing workshop, please post in the comments section.

Gripster: 2011 Coney Island Mermaid Parade & Greek Mermaid Myths

20 Jun

I hit the beach for the first time this year for the 2011 Coney Island Mermaid Parade.  I’ve been going for a few years now, so I was kind of surprised when friends asked me what it is.  It’s pretty much what it sounds like.  It’s kind of like an all-mermaid version of the Village Halloween Parade.  A lot of the outfits are scandalous, but the parade is so much fun!

The Coney Island Mermaid Parade is the world’s largest art parade.  It was founded in 1983 by the same not-for-profit arts organization that produces the Coney Island Circus Sideshow.  The official website describes the Coney Island Mermaid Parade:

The Mermaid Parade celebrates the sand, the sea, the salt air and the beginning of summer, as well as the history and mythology of Coney Island, Coney Island pride, and artistic self-expression. The Parade is characterized by participants dressed in hand-made costumes as Mermaids, Neptunes, various sea creatures, the occasional wandering lighthouse, Coney Island post card or amusement ride, as well as antique cars, marching bands, drill teams, and the odd yacht pulled on flatbed.

You probably know that Neptune is the Roman version of the Greek god Poseidon, the god of the ocean.  (If you’re curious about Poseidon, check out my blog entry “Gripster: Portlandia, Hipsters, and Greek Myth.”)  What I was curious about was mermaid Greek mythology.  I always think of the sirens that the cunning Odysseus outwitted as mermaids, when in fact they’re actually half woman, half bird.  So what does Greek mythology actually say about mermaids?

According to myth, Alexander the Great’s half-sister is a mermaid.  Thessalonike was born to King Philip II of Macedon and his concubine, Nicesipolis, in 252 or 345 BC.  According to legend, Alexander the Great bathed Thessalonike’s hair in life-giving water that he retrieved on his quest to find the Fountain of Immortality.  When her older brother died when she was only nineteen years old, Thessalonike tried to drown herself.  In death, Thessalonike transformed into a mermaid, according to legend.

Mermaid Thessalonike lived in the Aegean.  She stopped ships, asking, “Ζει ο Βασιλιάς Αλέξανδρος?” (“Is King Alexander alive?”)

If the passing ship answered, “Ζει και βασιλεύει και τον κόσμο κυριεύει” (He lives and rules the world), she calmed the waters.

If the ship answered anything less positive, she caused a severe storm that would spell death to all sailors.

I took some 2011 Coney Island Mermaid Parade pictures.

I hear 2011 is the year of the mermaid trend.

Light at the End of the Tunnel

17 May

For awhile it felt like the light at the end of the tunnel was a train speeding toward me.  All the books I’d been working on at the publishing house came in at once in a raw stage, needing to be edited as fast as my eyes could fly across the type.  Meanwhile, “finals” week approached for my MFA program, and I had twenty-page papers to write and a presentation.

As if my expected workload wasn’t enough, a writing opportunity for a magazine came along that I couldn’t pass up—and I’m very glad I didn’t.

And then there were the lunches.  Usually I try to reserve my lunches for catching up on emails and doing some writing or editing.  Yeah, yeah, I know, nerdy of me, but I try to make the most of my time.  Well, right as all the big projects were landing in my lap, so were working lunches.  I had a lunchtime phone chat with my mentee one day and lunch with my book-publishing mentor another day.  I had lunch with my former editor and a writer, with whom I’d had the privilege of working with.  There were also long-overdue lunches with book-publishing colleagues who’d had birthdays or started new positions.  Each of these lunches were important to me so I found a way to pack them into my schedule.  I love hearing about all the amazing projects everyone’s working on and I get so inspired by them.

Because it was the end of the semester, I also went out after class with my fellow writers to celebrate.  I get to read such personal moments of their lives in the essays they write each week, so it was nice to sit down with them over a glass of red wine and decompress after the end of the semester.  –The end of our first year!  We’re halfway done!  Man, it goes by fast.

I’m also working on a super exciting project for Burnside, which I can’t wait to tell you about.  Soon, I promise!

So, all this to say, I’ve been a bit crazed lately but life is really good.  I love the work that I do and the people with whom I work.  I’m so thankful to my family and friends for giving me the space, encouragement, and prayers to get what I needed to do done.  And I’m thankful to all of you for reading my blog and supporting my writing.

Now, as life returns to a more normal pace, I’m actually feeling a bit anxious about how to handle my newfound time.  Do any of you ever feel like that?  I’m still in the midst of some personal writing projects, but I also have plans for long walks in Central Park, deep conversations over sumptuous meals, choosing which books I want to read.  And, sleeping.

Blogging goes without saying.

Painting I made several years ago.