Monday, July 09, 2007

Why must all good things come to an end?

Yesterday evening as I stumbled onto my 3 hour delayed flight, juggling my jumbo canvas tote, overflowing with a variety of goodies including but not limited to, my shredded airplane ticket, the worst book ever written, the best book ever written, an assortment of food related periodicals, and an assortment of concealed non explosive liquids, as grubby handed babies tugged on my jean legs while simultaneously screeching in my ears, and flight attendants proved to be even more ignorant in terms of in flight happenings than said infants, it occurred to me that I was most likely in the most foul mood since the departure of Breaker High from early morning cable.

The day had started off famously. Streaming sunlight gently nuzzled me awake. I enjoyed a leisurely cup of java on the porch while perusing the Sunday paper after which I indulged in the pleasures of Maple Smoked Bacon. After a scintillating out door shower, I received an invitation to accompany our family friends in a morning of champagne and foie gras. This morning was the cherry (actually there were cherries as well) adorning the top of the perfect week. It was the week anyone would imagine if coming to New England.

It was truly picturesque. It began with early morning clamming and ended with Champagne. Not much was needed in the middle to make for the ultimate New England adventure. There were Lily Pulitzer speckled affairs in Coastal Maine, cool nights warmed by hot creamy chowder, quahogs, Beach Bonfires, Fireworks, Kite Flying, Baby Ogling, Whale Watching, Lobster, and further extravagance. It was essentially a week long J Crew ad without the requisite puppy. For one week I hadn’t a worry in the world, not a decision to make other than Red or White. And in one fell swoop all of my joy and bliss was extinguished with by the long road home.

I left behind my sun doused lazy Sunday for knuckle clenching traffic, filth covered security check points, and unsavory feelings for innocent flight attendants. I was lied to, delayed, swindled, and swarmed by other dissatisfied travelers and weary children. After 12 hours of exhausting and nerve abusing travel I arrived home. It is incomprehensible that people actually pay for this kind of abuse. Fortunately my travels were fabulous enough to compensate for the unacceptable travel accommodations, however not many people are as lucky as I am. I have sampled from the good life and I no longer want to be herded around like common cattle. If I am paying any amount of money for ANYTHING, it shouldn’t make me want to gauge my eyes out. It shouldn’t take me to a level of grumpiness that even a passing baby can’t subside. Furthermore, I am over it. Before I submitted to glum silence for the extent of my flight, my seatmates and I determined that commercial travel was no longer an option and we would in fact need to purchase a jet. I think they may have been joking, but I was not. I will continue to peruse Craigslist until this resourceful website begins to list jets, but until then I suppose with the masses I will be. Hopefully, strategically placed nearest to the beverage cart.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

A possible Hiatus

Dear Loyal Readers (Hi Mom!),

It has become apparent by my dwindling posts and sub-par subject material that my life is no longer active enough to sustain or warrant a blog. I have been trying to translate my overactive mind onto these pages, but at this point even those discombobulated thoughts are hardly blog-worthy. But put away your tissue boxes and wipe those tears away this is not the end of Marissa Brady. My life may be boring, but my love for the pen has not yet passed. Therefore, it is only natural that I move to fiction! I have decided to focus my literary efforts towards a full length novel. I will include you on the progress of this endeavor, thus this is not "Good Bye", but more closely "See you Soon".

Warmest Regards,

Marissa Brady

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Oh the Places You'll Go

I am an avid people watcher and while most people desire a night of dancing on bar tops or canoodling with sexy coeds in order to consider their night successful, I could be perfectly content to watch the world coalesce around me like an intricately choreographed ballet. However, either I am some sort of potent magnet for a pastiche of aberrant characters or 90% of this fine Nation’s population is of this sort. At first I blamed Florida (which I might add is burning down as we speak… maybe I actually am in hell??), but due to the aforementioned blaze I will cite my increased awareness as the cause of excessive saltiness.

The first encounter that led me to begin my assessment of the population was my trip to an establishment called Blue Martini where scantily uniformed cocktail waitress butler out miniscule portions of the namesake for the entirety of the night. While I was reaping the benefits of said feature, I noticed an elderly gentleman occupying the stool next to my own. “How adorable”, I thought to myself “A little couple is exploring the Southern Florida nightlife after a night filled with Bingo, Bridge, and Parcheesi.” But soon this gentleman began to appear less and less wholesome and more and more seedy after repeatedly chanting “Legs are for dancing” while putting a less than Grandfatherly hand on my knee. Then there are my seemingly straight-laced neighbors one of whom accosted my non-smoking father for hours one night begging for a smoke while drunkenly shouting obscenities at neighbors passing by and the other who told me she doesn’t like “eating”, and was last seen garishly wandering around our common gym barefoot consuming potato chips as if we were meeting in her own living room rather than a less than sanitized public gym. I would also think chips might be considered food, but I let that one slide.

There was the woman in the supermarket spilling her recent hospital troubles involving a catheter and her back to the checkout worker. HELLO! Does anyone other than me understand what “Too Much Information” means??? There is Scowling Helen, seen daily walking with her battered suitcase soon to be filled with groceries. (As a side note, I think all of Helen’s problem’s may be solved by a bigger suitcase, which I may provide as a parting gift so that she doesn’t harass any other residents for rides filled with her brackish mumblings.) There was the bird-like Aussie that labeled me a Tribal African, despite my freckled ivory mug, and informed me of my need to feel the rhythm of the universe in order to be a successful dancer. Why does everyone enjoy peer pressuring me to dance? I will boogy down when I damn well please!

I’ve dealt with thong bathing suits on wrinkly men, people with countless birds and snakes gracing their shoulders, being cut off, cursed at, flashed by a male while on I-95 (fortunately my car companion began dialing 9-1-1, which was enough to scare off the perpetrator), and generally been made to feel like I need some sort of passport in order to extend my trip further. And although I previously stated I would not attribute the lunacy I encounter to my state of residence, I do often compare the population with that of the sediment in wine. It’s as if all of the nut jobs merely sink to the bottom of this fine country to intermingle with the likes of me. The sediment isn’t really bad or harmful, but if the quality of the wine could improve with the use of a decanter, then by all means decant!

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Can I Get an Amen?

I said in a previous post that I had attended a church service in order to obtain a spiritual connection and a deeper understanding of my inner meaning. Although this may very well be true I realized today that I really just enjoy singing hymns. I am a full time slave to the man and at the end of each week I enjoy the slight release I get within the pages of a hymnal. I enjoy a few verses of the Lord of the Dance or perhaps a few bars of Eagle's Wings. I like to let loose and sway a bit in my pew as well and if I am particularly feisty I might even close my eyes to truly feel the connection with the music. I may not be a great singer, but what Catholic is? I have many memories growing up attending a variety of Catholic churches and there was nary a strong soloist in sight. But people would sing and it didn't matter how you sounded.

You see it wasn't how the song was delivered, but what it was about that mattered. The past few times I have attended mass in Florida, however I have been conflicted and muddled. I am not truly sure what the hymns are about anymore. First of all, half of them are in Spanish, which is nice, but I have a hard time anticipating how each word flows as I can barely say my name in Spanish, never mind bust out in tune with it. The other problem is that there is too much of a focus on the speaking portion of mass and too little of a focus on the singing portion, with exception to the part when the "Our Father" is sung to no apparent tune while hand holding. There I think there could be no focus on singing and more of a focus on independent mumbling.

I mean everyone gets the mass; as it is fairly consistent. The main variables are the Sermon and the Hymns. But recently all we have been singing is a few rounds of Alleluia and this poorly written and inevitably equivalently delivered song entitled “Muerte". I don't know if the choir is tight on rehearsal time or if perhaps a few members left them high and dry, but I desire a bit more variety in my hymnal line-up and I am pretty sure I am not alone. A week or so ago I saw two children singing and clapping their tiny hands at the airport and they were singing with brio "Hallelujah, Hallelujah, AMEN". It was inspiring. These kids were jazzed up! Wherever they had been that Sunday morning had been so zestful that the word of the Lord inspired two 5 or 6 year olds to re-enact their experience hours later in the confines of a dismal airport terminal. We need that kind of inspiration instilled within our own house of worship. Perhaps we can employ some sort of church consultant to explore our organizational structure and determine an appropriate playlist for future masses because if something doesn’t change I am ready to move to a land where the hymns are louder, more inspiring, and varied.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

The short story of my life

As I was relaying a short tale from a recent trip to a friend I realized that it was much more than what I initially thought, as snugly nestled within its "edge of your seat" kernels was my entire life story. Since my departure from College I have become somewhat of a jetsetter, and as such I decided to take a long weekend to visit a friend in Napa (where the aforementioned six course meal took place). I travel rather frequently of late and on each trip I hold on to that fantasy of meeting my future husband on this flight. The concept is well developed in theory as most of my business flights are predominantly well employed men and, after a ring check, seemingly single. Of course however, either the ring check fails or I am always seated next to a baby or an aged couple. Which is perfectly fine, I have no prejudices against either group (as that would be ageist and cruel) but clearly said fantasy cannot take place.

Yet each time I enter a plane and begin the quest to find my seat my mind is filled with wonder of who will occupy the seat next to mine. “Oh how glorious it will be” I dream. Our flight will be filled with carefree banter, shared cocktails, and then the exchanging of vows and rings. As I hum Pachelbel’s Canon down the aisle I am inevitably met with disappointment. This time was different. As I struggled with my blatantly over the weight limit carry on I turned to notice a rather charming lad one seat to my left. Between us was the empty middle seat. I was sure that this adorable little seat partner would soon be my husband as we locked eyes and gazed at the only empty seat on the plane that happened to be keeping us apart. I could hardly wait to begin discussing our lives and then the naming of our children when all of the sudden an out of breath, flushed, rotund man gallivants onto the aircraft and stares down our seat. No sooner than I could say “I do” he was he wedged between me and my husband.

At first I was slightly devastated. “Why me?” I cried (thankfully on the inside). But then I offered to switch seats with the oversized man as it is cruel to have a man of such girth packed into the middle seat like a trapped anchovy and it is also cruel for me not to finally fulfill my dreams of an in-flight romance. It was when he declined that I knew that although romance was out of the question we would soon be best friends. As we began chatting it up I learned he was from France, in a land unbeknownst to a geographically ignorant American such as me. He had studied in New York and loved to sun himself on the beaches of Florida, which was quite clear as he was the color of a leather handbag and it became increasingly clear that he was a charming homosexual in a committed relationship to a man named Miguel. We chatted about in-flight cuisines, New York City and Europe (he slightly dominated that portion of the tête-à-tête). At the end of our brief flight to Atlanta he presented me with two free drink vouchers for use on my next leg of the journey, which I eagerly snatched from his plump hand. That is when it hit me. Will my life forever consist of the promise of romance from a distance, only to be taken over by my penchant for homosexual men and free drinks?

I then proceeded to have a slight panic attack that was somewhat Wizard of Oz-esque involving me in a cyclone swirling around with images of bags, cats, hags, and (fittingly) Judy Garland. However, after I utilized my drink coupons and I allowed my blood pressure to decrease to normal levels, my panic attack subsided. I determined the odds are in my favor that I will at least not end up as a cat lady and that I have made some pretty tangible progress. I no longer volunteer at the Humane Society due to overexposure to the fuzzy little beasts. In addition to feeling unnecessary and bored I felt slightly repulsed on a daily basis by the thought of so many cats in such a small proximity. I am actually breaking out into a sweat just thinking about it, or I may just be having a hot flash, but either way it’s not good for the little fur balls. In the name of love if I can beat cats I can beat this! I will just take my life one flight at a time and someday soon I will find my first class fiancé.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

You are what you eat!

I was cursed at birth with the adoration of food. As a wee little lass I remember being crushed night after night when I was not allowed third helpings of dinner. Indeed my favorite time always seemed to be mealtime and in addition to being envious that my brother would in fact get the third helpings I desired he also seemed to remain string bean width. But as usual, I digress. As a child I associated special occasions and Holidays with specific items of food. My family would sit round our table eyes ablaze with desire as my mother would slice thick chunks of her famous cherry cake on each of our birthdays. We would dance with joy and glee as she pulled out a cast iron skillet encompassing our Christmas morning treat of pillows of dough weaving in and out of buttery cinnamon dusted apples. Thanksgiving to me is not about turkey, but my mom’s “stop your heart” stuffing.

To me it has always been a joy to enjoy food and use it as a focal point in reuniting with friends and family as well as an introduction to new friends and family. It serves to bind us together and connect us with the past as well as the present. I was reminded of my feelings on this matter recently when I asked for a recommendation for an Indian restaurant from a neighbor. Instead of answering that there were not any she replied that she did not know because she does not like food. This was uncomfortable for me on many levels. The first being that I had just made us dinner, also because I really wanted a recommendation, but mostly because I don’t understand how one can function without an undying love for food!

I am not saying I commend gluttony or I preach food snobbery, but how can you not hunger for a scalding bowl of chowder on a snowy day or citrus drenched shrimp after a day of hot summer sun? I then reassessed all of my close friends and family and realized they too shared my gastronomic affection. Some of the most passionate and caring souls I have met are fueled by this desire. Chefs traveling the world trying to share and convey their obsession with the finest and best, preparing pieces of their culture and upbringing in nuggets of desirable convections, pastry connoisseurs who can’t sleep unless their butter cream is perfectly piped atop culinary delights.

It is people like these, the ones that truly marvel at the power of food and want to share it that I admire. This past weekend I was blessed to share feast with true foodies. After six courses of what only can be described as bliss, paired with the appropriate wines and accompaniments, I entered into a food coma where I immediately dreamt each course was taking place once again. One of our co-diners however was so excited by the dinner that night that he claimed he could not sleep after its consumption. Isn’t that the power food should posses? The power to ignite the passion inside your soul and get your blood pumping? Of course food is nutrition, it is meant to keep one living, but shouldn’t it also make you feel alive? I think it should and though I may not be the kind of artist that can create the kind of joy I receive from food, I do intend to keep on enjoying and I hope you will join me.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Show me the LIGHT!

A recent discussion with a close friend led us to the conclusion that the year directly following College graduation is essentially the hardest year we will ever endure. Although this may or may not be true I can attest to the fact that this year has indeed been very tough on me. The transition from school to work world is a hard one. One has to manage to support oneself financially, prepare one's meals, attempt to acquiesce with the standards of corporate America, while simultaneously trying not to take life too seriously. Needless to say it is hard! I often times feel resentful that my life filled with free food, dorm rooms, and all night parties was pulled out from underneath me and replaced with never paying auto pay cable bills, spinning class, and condo association violations.

In these dark post grad times I have tried looking deep within the depths of my soul to figure out my deeper meaning. Okay I will stop euphemizing. I have become obsessed with self help articles!!! I can’t stop. It all began with a dynamic presentation by a motivational speaker at my company sales meeting. She was energetic and filled with applicable nuggets of insight on sales skills as well as life lessons. I was enamored with her discussion, which I might add is a feat in itself due to my wandering noggin. After the meeting I felt rejuvenated, refreshed, and inspired! It was like that first hit heroin (hit? Shot? I don’t know drug terminology) I keep trying to recreate that initial high. My thirst for self help has been mildly satiated monthly with my Real Simple subscription I poached off of my sister when I bought it for her for Christmas and it happened to come with a free second subscription. Don’t you feel special Caitie?? Anyway they have a pretty useful article called “Wise Words” or something which I rather enjoy reading while on the elliptical at the gym.

Maybe I miss the quizzical environment of school or it is the uncertain period of my life, but I like anything that results in a lesson learned. I enjoy take-aways, conclusions, and bullet points. I took Philosophy 101 in college; needless to say I did not stay on for 102. My attention withered after the meditation on whether or not I truly knew that I had hands and the fact that I could feel them was not considered as a factor. The articles in Real Simple on the other hand provide me with tangible illustrations of how to better my life and understand the world around me. There is even a handy column on the left with bullet points! But once I have read the articles for the month I yearn for more. “More questions, more answers! How do I create the life I want and deserve? Tell Me Now!” I demand from my podium on the elliptical.

I mean really when does all of this come together? There is no answer. I have been thinking that the people that seem to have the most peace within are people that have a strong faith in God. Unfortunately I was brought up Catholic which resulted in a strong harboring of resentment and hatred towards said fellow through most of my childhood. But due to my recent ambiguity about the state of my life and future I figured it can’t hurt to have something solid on which I can rely when the going gets tough. Despite all my moans and groans things are pretty great. What will I do when I am actually faced with adversity? I was thinking I could turn to God.

On Easter Sunday I threw on a sweater set and my rosary bracelet and I headed over to my local church for some spiritual refection. And I have to say I was disappointed. I am used to intellectually opposing most of the cornerstones of the Catholic faith, but I am not used to the utter clown act that the priest put on for the congregation. I felt that feeling of shame and embarrassment like an audience member at a poorly attended and executed comedy act. He fumbled through the order of the service and at one point asked us to vote on whether he should “sprinkle the holy water or just skip it”. But worst of all was the sermon. I will paraphrase it here. “Easter is about new opportunities”. I felt good about this message and could not wait to see how he would apply this to our lives and the current state of the world or at a minimum the community. Unfortunately, the remainder of the sermon was merely a slew of the words new and opportunities repeated over and over again until I became so enraged I almost had to excuse myself to avoid rushing the alter and drop kicking the alleged "Priest". Needless to say, I was not inspired, but I did get sing a few hymns, which I always enjoy. I guess I did learn something. Looking for inspiration is like watching the water boil. It doesn’t work and it will make you crazy in the process!

Sunday, April 01, 2007

moderation what?

The past two weeks have been the truest test of my strength and independence since my move to the bottom of the country as I have had to endure both my very first company sales meeting as well as my first sales trip as a Sales Manager respectively in that span of time. It was there that I was forced to grapple with serious life issues such as the definition of "resort casual" dress and what the appropriate etiquette is for a business lunch. With the assistance of others as well as a little fancy footwork with Google I was able to somehow get by without being called out as the impersonator I truly am. Somehow nobody publicly pulled back the curtain revealing that in actuality I am not a seasoned hospitality professional, but really merely an overgrown student shaking in her boots.

In these past weeks I have gained skills pertinent to my career in sales as well as my life happiness. I learned how to craft an effective presentation, how to resolve objections, as well as overcome obstacles, and how to enable a safe environment to conducive to buying behavior. The most important step in my growth came after a very hard day with my boss after I came to the realization that I was completely ill prepared to begin handling the accounts given to me on my own. I spent the night feverishly preparing making myself sick with worry for the appointments I had set the next day. Four hours of sleep and three semi productive appointments later I was feeling weary. I had decided that I would forgo the standard take-out in the frigid hotel room evening and I would treat myself to delicious meal at a well regarded restaurant.

Initially I was unsure if this would cause me more strife or provide me with the release I needed after my emotionally straining days in the recent past. Would I feel awkward dining alone in a restaurant described as “cozy and romantic”? Would I cause other diners to feel sorry for me and my single status? Should I bring myself a book or my laptop? After contemplating these factors I opted to go for it bringing nothing at all, ready to forget my sorrows and focus all of my thoughts and energy on the savory treats I was about to enjoy. Driving to the restaurant I felt strong and empowered. “I am a single independent woman and I will enjoy this dinner for all that it is worth”.

The warm scent of seasoned meats and vegetables welcomed me as I was led to the only table for two in the small 30 person farmhouse-esque restaurant. It was by the window and I was surrounded by jovial families and intimate couples. As I perused the menu it immediately became clear that I would need to order the oyster appetizer. The oysters were lightly poached in a creamy broth with pancetta, Napa cabbage, topped with parmesan and then braised and garnished with a dollop of caviar. They were heavenly to say the least. The oysters were soft and fresh. They were healthy and plump like little sea angels. They melted in my mouth like golden nuggets of joy. With each slurp and slither my stress dissipated into the back stacks of my mind. I stated to myself dreamily that everything that had gone wrong in the past few days was worth it since I was able to eat these oysters. In addition I chose to order what I thought was an entrée composed of lobster, chanterelle mushrooms, and fingerling potatoes, but was actually almost entirely Charr, a delicate flavor fusion of both salmon and trout. When my entrée was presented, my heart sank. Instead of the rouge claws and tail I desired there was precariously balance a blackened piece of fin fish. Although it was tasty and well prepared (although a bit dry despite the shellfish emulsion) it rapidly displaced my residual euphoric feelings from the oysters with feelings of over overindulgence and guilt.

I feel that the most important lesson I learned in the past two weeks is two fold. The first lesson I learned is that you should never feel wary of dining alone, especially if you are an avid people watcher and food fan. But more importantly, I think I finally now grasp the idea of moderation. If I had only ordered my oysters I would have walked away from my restaurant experience in a hazy fog of absolute food obsession. Since I ordered more than what I absolutely needed and desired I left happy but somewhat food logged with food memories slightly muted. Though to some this may seem small, I think my lesson to be an important one that I hope is lasting. And I now I extend this lesson to you, Happy Eating!

Saturday, March 17, 2007

I just have a lot of feelings

I have recently realized that I am relatively uptight and therefore have initiated a crusade to become a more sentient, present being. I have been going to yoga classes to try and balance my mind and soul and also become a more peaceful person. But as you are all aware I have trouble turning off the time bomb that is my brain, thus the yoga has failed to make me balanced or peaceful at all, but rather sore and sleepy. That’s when I realized that I just have a lot feelings. I am not really that uptight, but extremely emotional. The way you might feel when you experience the loss of a pet is how I may feel due to the loss of an earring. This is a mild exaggeration, but I use it as an attempt to put my hypersensitivity into perspective.

After assessing my internal imbalance I have been diligently working to make amends. I have now embarked upon a journey to desensitize myself. For years I have avoided sad movies, books, poems, and situations in general since I become too emotionally involved. To again help you empathize with this hardship consider the following; while a sad film may effect your night, it will ravage my thoughts from anywhere from a week to a month. For years I have tried to avoid these feelings, but as a result have allowed myself susceptible to more potent feelings of pain when emotional situations are unavoidable.

Therefore, “Mission: Desensitization” is in full force. I have been logging in hours of “Law and Order” “Criminal Intent” and “Special Victims Unit”, and my new personal favorite “Intervention” in an effort to mute my currently hyperactive feelings. If you haven’t had a chance to watch the latter, each week includes a unique account of a new person facing extreme addiction. The footage is raw and deeply disturbing and the final scene includes an emotional interaction with the addicted individual’s family offering an ultimatum unless the person seeks recovery. I have watched several episodes including those focused on an alcoholic so severe her children aren’t allowed to see her, a bulimic so excessive she has to strip to pay for her ice cream that she only throws up, an opiate addicted son who steals from his mother to buy Oxycontin, and everyone’s favorite crack addicted uncle. It is my dream that I will one day become so accustomed to addiction, death, and deception that when I lose that earring I don’t wallow in self pity for hours, but will be able to handle my emotions in a rational and calculated manner.

So far I have openly wept for at least 75 percent of each episode of “Intervention” and I change the channel when things get too heavy to handle on L+O, but I think my progress will soon become apparent and I will be enjoying even and stoic emotions in no time.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Get out the crackers, I'm done!

This morning I woke up to a sky filled with the majestic glitter of sunshine nary a cumulus nor cirrus in sight. I could hear the distant angelic bellows of the neighborhood feathered friends and could feel the moist warmth of the sea air. I shot out of bed, slid into my suit, and in moments I was ready for a day at the beach. After selecting a couple of glossy reads and filling my travel mug with some sweet caffeinated nectar I was on the road.

To say the least, it was a breathtaking day. The water was clear and warm, the beach selectively sprinkled with sunbathers, and the sun full exposed to bronze my skin. Unfortunately, today, much like every other day, I failed to remember that the sun has not once bronzed my skin. It does not kiss my cheeks, nor cause me to glow. Mr. Golden has not once given me a brownish hew, but more varying shades of fuchsia. But once again today I lay on my pink towel and basked in its glory waiting for the result I desired.

I could smell the banana boat oil drifting amongst the salt particles in the air. It brought me back to my youth when friends would use said oil to tan their skin laughing and flirting with hunky beach goers, while I miserably applied SPF 45 and huddled underneath my parent-required umbrella. Today as I was free from all judgment and apparently not enough SPF, I could hear the skin sizzling underneath the ebb and flow of the tide. I could feel the heat on my back, but I wrote it off, as merely the warmth of the sun’s rays, not the charring of my flesh. The warmth sent me into a blissful afternoon’s nap calmed by a blanket of ultra-violet rays. I left the beach warm and happy, hair tousled, and skin taut with sea salt. It wasn’t until I was home that I realized the sun hadn’t merely warmed me at the beach and allowed me rest, but had also scorched my nearly porcelain skin.

Once again I left the beach, not with the sun kissed glow I desired, but more of a lobster type look that I prefer more in my dinner than on my dermis. Someone clarify some butter, because I’m done, dinner is served!

Friday, March 09, 2007

Am I concious right now?

I remember having a conversation with a friend once and though the subject matter and participants are forgotten, I do remember the tagline. A friend said to me, "Marissa I just feel like you can't stop thinking. You just can't let go". At the time I was okay with that. I mean thinking is a good thing right? If you can't think well, then you can't do a whole lot I would say. I believe that the memory of this conversation resurfaced due to the fact that I have recently realized that I am uptight. Sure I like to enjoy life, being with people, laughing, and having a good time. But it still remains true that I have a hard time turning off the thoughts that ransack my mind. I really can't let go and I have a hard time living in the present moment. Each night I fall asleep reliving moments past or filled with anticipation of upcoming events. I am sure this is true for many, but I never simply savor each moment for what it is and in Buddha like fashion achieve harmony with the present. This makes it rather hard to get things done because during each task I am thinking of the next or daydreaming about the fun things in my life I have to look forward to, spiraling me into hours of procrastination. Fortunately I also I enjoy making to-do lists, which allow me to get back on track. This affinity for list making does sometimes cause me to include menial tasks on there that I know I have to accomplish just so that I can cross them off. For example a typical to-do list make go as such:
1. Wake Up
2. Make Coffee
3. Get Dressed
4. Call Bob
5. Finish project

Before two shakes of a lamb's tail I can cross off items one through four and I feel I accomplished enough to let my mind begin to wander. So anyway, I have been thinking a lot about how life is too short and how I should enjoy every moment of every day and flow with the wind and all that jazz, but my mind will just not comply. I have been successful in somewhat numbing my brain via excessive television watching, however once the tube is off I am on my own compulsively making lists and getting lost in my thoughts.

So since I have pretty much turned into a lunatic, I decided that today would be the day I get my life in order and I start living in the moment. Instead I spent the day perusing looking for love in all the wrong places. After editing my profile, winking at two strangers, adding an additional picture that the founder Jim claims will increase my chances of finding true love, and then determining that I hate, I was spent. There was no way I could start living in the moment until after 5 pm. I decided that I would give yoga another chance to help me become more present. So I gathered up my mat, put on some spandex and my giant Cornell Tee and headed to the gym. I felt weird and out of place without my sneaks and my intense spinning face, but I figured to be worth it to feel calm.

My instructor whisked into the room like a ball of serenity. Even her hair was free, curly and uncultivated, her karma oozing like molasses. She told me to focus on my third eye. So I did that. I could really get into this I thought. The sitar was crooning in the background, the lights dimmed. But then suddenly I also had to tuck in my abs and straighten my back as if I were going to shoot through the roof. Within moments this was just as bad as a day in the life of me. I had to twist, while remembering to keep exhaling, while simultaneously curling my foot around my ear! Lady you lost me at the twist. After 45 minutes of twisting and tightening, and exhaling I was told to flip my legs over my head and exhale. Finally, my head was clear. Everything was fading away. Who cares about the work? Who cares about anythingggggg…. As I drifted away to where the birds were chirping and waves were crashing, I realized that I was not breathing. As I flipped upright the instructor was informing us that we were to do this two times a day for six minutes each, but she did not have to deal with the issue of stomach fat smothering her nose and mouth. I decided I would rather lie on my back for 12 hours a day than smother myself for 12 minutes. So that’s it, I still can’t relax. I guess I am forever uptight. But at least I’m conscious and at least I know I have a brain. And I think I will return to yoga, I feel I am growing some arm muscles from all that twisting, and who knows I am pretty sure my third eye sensed some heterosexual males in the room, which may nullify my need for my recent move to match!

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Feel my beat

As a Freshman in college I formed a series of friendships and by the end of my first two semesters these friendships melded into one group with whom I spent enormous amounts of time together between class and socialization. It became somewhat humorous to me to pretend we were a gang. Slow moments in class would be filled with doodles of the "Hotelie Ballas" wearing the popular ghetto runway boots "Timbs", picking fights in bars with Grill (rapper fabulous diamond studded teeth caps) bedazzled smiles, and scuffed up features. To relieve stress during study breaks we would often host free style battles during which we would huddle outside laying down beats and coming up with humorous rhymes and insults. I found these sessions especially humorous when wearing pink sundresses with ribbon decorated hair to clearly illustrate the disparity. To this day the “Ballas” are enormously close, but our free styling sessions have dwindled due to the fact that we have spread ourselves thinly across this fine country. Since I am feeling particularly inspired and I like to find new and interesting mediums to poke some good-natured fun at my surroundings, I feel quite strongly it is time for my “Hotelie Blogger Free Style Debut.”

"Deep fry me something now before I wrestle you like I did that there gator"
-by Marissa
Yo Yo Yo I got the ill flow,
I live down South, I don’t like Techno.
I miss my ballas throwing down beats
To find good hip-hop, gotta search the streets
These Ladeeda peeps got the sun in their head
Listen to Reggaetone to up their street cred.
Despite my distaste for their musical style,
There are some things that make me smile
The beach is hot, the gators wild
I ate em deep-fried, got my buds all riled
Up so much I had to take a deep breath
And cool em down with a chilled bev
All this good food to my ribs they stick
I spend most of my time at the Publix .
The age is 71 but so is the temp
There are no hippies, the look is unkempt
But there are mullets, bullets, and silicone
I’m on vacay, this aint home
I voted blue, made the rednecks shout
When I’m gone y’all will miss me, but please don’t pout
You can visit me wherever I go
Where the age not temp is 30 or below.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Order in the Court!

"My name is Marissa Brady and my hobbies primarily center around buying and selling marijuana. I have strong distrust of the police and the judicial system as a whole." That should surely win me a ticket out of jury duty I thought to myself as juror after juror introduced himself and listed his hobbies to the court. It was my first time with jury duty and earlier in the day after the Pledge of Allegiance the Court Personnel had instilled within me a strong sense of pride and excitement to be on jury duty. I was contributing to the unique judicial system that makes us American! It was mere moments into the day before I was swinging the flag, singing Yankee Doodle, while simultaneously reciting the Gettysburg Address. But by 3 pm when I was seated in front of Mr. Dewey, on trial for possession of marijuana, I realized that the judicial system is not so much wonderful as it is boring. I had enjoyed my moments in the lunchroom eating my Lean Cuisine watching the Anna Nicole trial with my co-jurors, where we shared some petty conversation and commiseration. But at a certain point I realized I would much rather be outside enjoying the sunshine than locked up inside the Broward County Courthouse with the dredges of society. Unfortunately, it was as I was contemplating this that it was my turn to introduce myself and the following pitiful sentence projected from my lips, “ My name is Marissa Brady and I enjoy reading, writing, beach activities, and cycling”. As soon as my turn had passed I had turned from cool and confident to scarlet with shame. “Could I have come across as a little bit MORE law abiding??” I do not think so. I am sure everyone in the Court Room nicknamed me Suzy Suck Up within an instant. I am fairly certain I even saw a raised eyebrow from the Honorable Judge. After my turn to speak I was sick with worry that I would have to endure another day of order and procedure. Why couldn’t I have just mentioned the fact that I hate cops and think marijuana should flow through the streets like beads at Mardi Gras??? It would have been a small task that could have easily ousted me from my juror seat. Perhaps I could have simulated a Turret’s attack or perhaps initiated a drug deal from within the walls of the courtroom. But instead I had to practically come skipping out in my habit and rosary with a picnic basket housing a puppy in arms. Perhaps it was this behavior that encouraged GOD to look out for me because as it turned out I was not selected. I have never felt a joy as pure as the moment the last juror was selected and I was not selected to serve on the case. I was free and am now untouchable for at least 12 more months. As promised by the Court Personnel I did drive away from the experience with a good feeling, but it was not so much warm and fuzzy as enormously relieved to not have to return the following day. I may not have truly contributed to the outcome of the trial, but at least I got home before sunset and in time to watch the first of many episodes of Law and Order.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Remember when I dissolved the duck?

My mom recently alerted me to the fact that she would rather I be dating a little blue doll than being a single independent woman. Meet Pierre! This endeavor was much more successful than the grow my own rubber ducky as I learned the dolls' preference for tepid rather than boiling water. Note Pierre's well defined abs and his flexible nature!

Saturday, February 10, 2007

I'm Lovin' it

Late yesterday evening I found myself hungry and on the run. A typical meeting that, under normal circumstances, should end after an hour and a half came to a creeping, sputtering halt after about 4. This was mostly attributable to the fact that the client with whom we met harbors an obsessive dependency on crack cocaine, which caused him to speak at the speed of light for about 95% of our demonstration turned one-man circus. As we left the meeting in a hurry, to get my boss to the airport for his flight and my co-worker and me back to a civilization based on less speaking and more boozing, we realized we were all extraordinarily hungry.

On any typical day my diet consists mostly of vegetables, lean meats, legumes, and whole grains in a strong and purposeful effort to avoid a literal meld into the couch. This becomes increasingly more difficult when you are in Key Largo and apparently the only dining option for those quick to escape is a McDonald's "Express". I use quotes here to signify the humorous use of the word express, as I am fairly certain the employees of this establishment drove to Miami and back in rush hour in order to provide us our meal. However, it was after this feat was accomplished on this fine day I found myself enjoying the American treat known as the Big Mac. Initially I was only going to eat half, but with every Lucifer inspired bite I became more infatuated with this succulent chaotic assemblage and huffed it down in its entirety faster than you can say Kokomo.

It is not that I truly believe this sandwich to be a good one. Clearly the bread is soggy, the lettuce wilted, the meat most likely not meat at all. However, I have to admit, it was the most delicious thing to grace my tongue in a long while. I don't know if it is due to the recent caloric restrictions, the four hours spent in Satan's sand box, or that I was contributing to the ultimate symbol of a questionably moral American Capitalist society, but it just felt so good to be so bad. It was like sneaking out past curfew and getting caught. I knew it was wrong and I would have to pay for it later, but even as I spent 2 hours on the elliptical to repent for the detour off my path of nutrition nirvana I could still taste that special sauce on my lips and it tasted just as sweet.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Just when you thought I couldn't get any more lame

As I was recently reprimanded for a lack of present blogging I have been thinking about on which subject I can blog. What infinite possibilities. The new and enthralling changes in my life are too plentiful to count. The new people I've been meeting, the swank parties I've been attending, the revelations I've been making.... while meditating on these gems of progress, it hit me like a bad dream that in fact nothing is new in my life at all. Not only are none of the aforementioned examples of good fortune my own, but I am also scraping closer to the bottom than ever before.

In my previous life, when I actually had one, whenever I was sad or lonely all it took was a little baby or a puppy to walk by and all of my previous embittered emotions would dissolve instantly. These tiny, illiterate creatures were somewhat of a prescription painkiller for me, with fewer side-effects (other than temporary memory loss they were minimal). Anyway back to the point. As of late, the sight of these little cherubs doesn’t even fight to improve my contentment. For a few days I even considered not having children! It is as if nothing can lift my mood, not even the innocence of the ignorant and infantile. That’s when the real revelation occurred (actually right this instant).

The reason babies haven’t been making me happy lately is because… THERE ARE NO BABIES! I used to love walking around downtown Ithaca and watching all the hippie families with their patchwork pants and pom-pom hats, with tiny clones in toe. Laughing babies on shoulders, in strollers, swinging from swings. Some families doubled my pleasure by hanging tight to a Grateful dead leash which happened to be keeping a scruffy little mutt at bay. I love watching families at the beach playing Frisbee, twirling on tire swings, or engaged a round of Marco Polo. How uncomplicated and beautiful life is. No thought of tomorrow or the future unless an impending trip to Disney is in the works.

In truth, the average age of Broward County is 71 (yes this is the same age as the only man to approach me in a bar in a flirtatious manner. I know he was 71 because he told me). I am not embellishing this fact, this is no fillip, but a solid statistic provided to me by the car insurance company in explanation of the fact that my car insurance is astronomically high. Due to the elderly population there are no babies for me to ogle over. Therefore, I am pretty bummed on a consistent basis. This morning I woke up singing my special Birthday song thinking it was late June. Upon the realization that it is in fact still February and that I have somehow entered some sort of time vacuum from which there is no escape I began to silently weep.**

**Now that WAS overstatement, and there is no cause for concern, just bring me a baby or toddler and I will be as good as new. If you bring me that freak of nature from the Volvo commercial however, run for your life. If you still have yet to view this haunting advertisement consider yourself lucky and avoid TV at all costs in case of its appearance.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

I think I have a problem

A few days ago I was speaking with a friend and she mentioned how she never makes time to go to the grocery store. She said she barely goes once a week as evidenced by the nil contents of her fridge. In addition to having little time to spend at the store she finds it an overwhelming task and thus typically avoids it at all costs. I laughed and was about to offer as a consolation that I too never have time to purchase my groceries. That’s when I realized it. Not only do I have the time to go food shopping, I go ALL the time. I am there nearly every single day.

I didn’t share this realization with my friend for fear of being singled out as an obsessive food shopping freak, but I realized at that moment that I might very well have a problem. It’s just that every time I feel sad, stressed, or upset walking through the food aisles soothes me. Everything is so organized and neatly displayed. I love walking through the produce section, smelling the tomatoes, squeezing the avocados to check for ripeness. I love peeling a small section of the corn on the cob to look for impurities. I love reading the nutrition information on packaged goods, the smell of freshly baked bread. I love seeing the elderly couples and wondering what they are making for dinner or if they are having Edna and Arnie over for cribbage. Its bizarre, but sometimes I will be driving home from the gym or an appointment and I will suddenly find myself not home, but rather once again at my local Publix.

Though I make nearly the same thing for dinner nightly, I love to walk around the store seeking inspiration from new and exciting ingredients. If the tomatoes are looking particularly good, it could be time to make a fresh pasta sauce or if ground turkey on sale perhaps a pot of chili fit for an army. If I didn’t go daily I could possibly miss these shipments and specials. Although it may be a rather odd hangout for a young single gal, I would say it’s a safer addiction than say heroin…

** As I am writing this post I literally am fighting the urge to go back to Publix as I was there earlier this morning and forbidden to buy wine prior to 12 pm.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

What have I done to deserve this?

I may be biased but I feel like I am a pretty decent human being. I recycle, I eat whole grains, I volunteer, and I exercise my right to vote. I have never been incarcerated and I think there are a few cardinal sins I have yet to commit. I lend an eager ear and a shoulder to cry on to co-workers and friends in need. In the scheme of things I think the karma scale should be tipped to my benefit right? I guess the whole sin thing is weighed a bit more heavily because it seems that every time I visit my little mailbox I get served.

Yesterday I ventured out to the Post Office arms filled with fabulous goodies. Valentine's with little pink hearts, glittery treats, and heart felt wishes overflowed from my giving arms. And as I returned home to check my own mail, only with hopes of the replacement ATM card I had requested, what do I find? Jury Duty and my car bill. I am sick of this adulthood bull. At college when I would check the mail there would only be cards or packages or nothing at all. Now every time I look its one more bill, fine, or duty to be served. And you know how they found me? They found me because I took the time and consideration to vote. I get no thank you, or "good for you", no pat on the back. All I get is jury duty. It also most likely does not help that most Fort Lauderdale residents achieve exemption due to the 70-year-old age limit. So in essence I get slammed for being a young voter. I wonder what would happen if I stop being lazy and envious, as well as stop voting and recylcing...

**And just so everyone knows my TV channel changer broke mid post and I somehow ended up on some cartoon show with singing and dancing vegetables, where the main message is that friends last longer than donuts. Just to emphasize the point that someone is indeed out to get me. If you are reading this please send help.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

A Mighty Fine Life

This morning was a typical morning. I woke up at around 9 am and began to browse the hospitality as well as world news headlines. As I read of upcoming development and industry progression as well as a painstakingly detailed and monotonous reiteration of last night's State of the Union address, I realized something. "This is boring,” I thought. "Why am I reading this?" I wish I cared that at 8:07 Nancy Pelosi raised an eyebrow or pursed her lips, but shockingly I could not care less. Not only were most articles boring and meatless, but they were poorly written. "With this level of urbanity, I could write for the New York Times". I was so bored with today's news that I almost had half a mind to begin scripting a letter to the editor! That’s when I saw it.

In a chimerical moment the sun gently shimmered around my computer screen as a favonian breeze lightly blew a stray hair out my eyes. “The Food and Wine” section shone like a majestic watering hole for a hungry reader. As I read on Frank Bruni made the rest of the Times' staff look like the everyday ignoramus. "Finally someone that can actually string a sentence together with a bit of finesse,” I exhaled with relief. I would urge you to read the attached article and perhaps continue to read Mr. Bruni’s article every Wednesday! I mean why not? A man with a reasonable IQ and a penchant for food, what could be better?

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

yes that is an adorable pooch sharing his bed with a fawn

I will eventually stop posting animal pics... maybe once my life stops being so lame. Who am I kidding? As long as they keep being cute I will keep posting them. Deal with it.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Its about time I found a retchid soul at the gym

I was getting a little bit freaked out by all of the friendly faces at the gym so I was more than relieved today when I found myself experiencing strong feelings of contempt towards another individual early this evening. I was innocently awaiting the start of my spinning class and soothing my pre-class jitters by browsing through an athletic magazine. As I was waiting this miniature motor mouth (whom I shall refer to as MMM from here on out) comes out of nowhere and starts babbling on to an equally miniature, but less obnoxious friend. This girl has more volume in her hair than volumes on her book shelf and she looks like is she is a children's size extra small, but I don't start to hate her until she begins recounting a recent excursion down to South Beach. Apparently MMM attended a party where the "hired help" had the nerve to hit on her.

First of all, who actually says "hired help" anymore? Is it 1930 and no one told me? Second of all, since we are dishing out judgments, the poor guy probably thought she was the hired help too and I don't think he thought she was there to serve pigs in a blanket. She continues to loudly describe the absurdity of these advances to her friend whom I have now realized appears to be a miniature mute, but I miss out on the sordid details as I decide to move away from this classist overvolumized fool. As I snicker in disgust and huff off by myself, I also secretly harbor a tiny joy. "Oh feelings of hatred and pity towards those less evolved and fabulous than me", I think to myself, "Welcome to the gym".

**You may be thinking that my feelings of superiority are equally distasteful as the feelings MMM has towards the hired help, however they are not. I use my feelings of superiority as a way to humor myself and cope with the lackluster status of my life. I also openly admit having these feelings and that they are in fact unreasonable. I feel that this admittance rids me of the incorrect nature of my initial feelings. Therefore, I shall hate on and continue my path of anger-fueled humor.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Virtual Matchmaker

Girl meets boy in a bar. Girl flirts shamelessly with boy and leaves number coyly written on napkin in lipstick. It may be the PG-13 version, but that is how the story goes right? Well times are changing my friends. Try this one on for size. Family meets waiter in a restaurant determines he is a wonderful individual. Girl determines he could potentially be the soul mate of a dear friend of the homosexual persuasion. Girl's Mother returns to restaurant and introduces this possibility to waiter. Waiter is receptive and welcomes the idea of meeting the dear friend at a later date.

This is what I like to call virtual matchmaking. After meeting someone at a restaurant whom I believed to be a great match for a friend my whole family pitched in (as I am currently hundreds of miles away) to facilitate a romantic encounter for the two we wished to match. And though they may not be engaged at this present time they have at least enjoyed a beverage and a good chat together! I am pretty sure there is some fact somewhere that a friend introduced most couples to each other. If there is not a statistic to prove it then lets just go ahead and take my word for it because it makes sense. Follow my logic. I like you, you like me (just go with it), so if I like someone else, you just might too!

People are very busy and also often times quite humble so I think I have determined my life's goal is to become a professional matchmaker! I have already made one successful match! After being an atmosphere at school where there is a large base of people with similar interests and goals as you and entering a city as large as New York for example it is hard to focus and find love matches. So it is important to take a risk and if you meet someone, even briefly, who could be a new friend for you or another, talk to him! I think I may be on to something here. See someone nice, talk to him... hmmm what a concept. It is sad that this doesn’t happen more often in daylight and sobriety. If this concept leaves you feeling queasy, leave the hard stuff to me!

**Mom I know you are reading this and probably thinking that I am taking all the credit for your hard work. This is true, but I just acknowledged it so we're cool right? I am willing to write you into the business plan, as we could probably make a pretty good team.

Friday, January 19, 2007

HOT Flashes

I am what would be considered a medical anomaly. At the age of 22 I suffer hot flashes so intense they make menopause seem like a vacation to the North Pole. I like to tell people this at our first meeting so that they are not alarmed when I inevitably turn maroon at some point and need to start rapidly fanning myself. Typically people respond with laughter. I am not offended. It does seem to be rather unbelievable that a young lady in her early 20s would fall prey to the evils of later womanhood. Or since I often exaggerate people feel that when I say hot flash I mean I will periodically feel warmer than most. Let me clarify for you. Although it is fine to laugh, as I will often bring about my medical condition in a humorous manner as a coping mechanism I am in no way making it up. When I say hot flash I mean that it feels as if lava is running through my veins. Hot flash as in every inch of my body burns as it would if I were in the middle of the Sahara. Sometimes I get so hot I fear that I will never cool down. Every situation warrants a contingency plan of ice packs and spritzer bottles. In fact in the middle of this post I had to break to up the fan and do a quick ice down. I have sought out medical attention but, due to my former physician’s incompetence, found no relief. I have tried to train my body’s cooling system through an intensive series of Bikram yoga. I am telling you this, loyal readers, not to seek out pity, but to gain your understanding. Perhaps I will tell you one day that I am having a hot flash and perhaps you will laugh. This is fine so long as while you are laughing you are prepared to hand me an ice pack and spritz me with chilled water.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Who's your dealer?

I have recently embarked on somewhat of a health kick. I have read I am not supposed to call it a diet or it will be deemed a failure. This change in lifestyle has required a significant amount of dedication to the gym. And it is here I have discovered a new breed of people to which I am rather unaccustomed. I enjoy a wide variety of personality characteristics with the exception of arrogance and stupidity, however especially since moving to SoFla I have grown used to a general air of indifference and often times blatant disregard for gratitude or humility. In other words I am used to being surrounded by a general public that is either mute, or just plain rude. Whenever I meet a particularly interesting or friendly individual it always catches me off guard. For the remainder of the day I linger on the kind words exchanged or actions performed. With that being said I have recently discovered the aforementioned new breed of people. And they were discovered at the gym.

After walking through the double doors leading to heavenly muscle building and calorie burning people become almost psychotically happy. I don't know whether people save up all of their joy to be used during their designated gym time or if all happy people are hoarded at the gym, but it is actually fairly frightening. I spend most of my day wanting to punch people or at the very least shut them up in some non violent way and then I get to the gym and I am supposed to morph into some hyped up speed freak?? I attended a spinning class last night and when I closed my eyes I honestly did not know if I would wake up soaked in sweat from a nightmare or if I would be soaked in sweat on my stationary bicycle. Legs were spinning so fast I swear I could see smoke rising from 90% of the knee joints in the room. There was whooping and laughing, screaming and chanting. People were high fiving and back slapping. I have never seen anything like it. I have never in my life witnessed so much energy in one room in my life.

Although I was a wee bit scared, there was part of me that felt left out. There was a part of me that wanted to join their secret happy club. I wanted to jump up out of my seat with determination rather than feeling like I may just have to tip off my bike instead. And there was a part of me that wondered is this a natural endorphin induced high or are these people a result of a chemically induced state of mind? And if it is the latter, I may just have to ask one of these days, “Who’s your dealer??”

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Everyone's a little bit racist

This past weekend I took a little trip to Coconut Grove to see a friend visiting from out of town. It was here I had a rather enlightening self-discovering moment. We went out on the town to get a few drinks and catch up. After being approached by a rather persuasive Austrian and after the bar tender alerted us to the fact that we were being anti -social, we embarked upon a journey of what I have termed “awkward bar conversation” with three gentleman. While my poor friend was being fawned over by a now very inebriated Austrian, I began an in depth conversation about racial tension in South Florida.

Perhaps it is due to my extreme whiteness, but I am utterly fascinated by issues of race in the US. I have recently become especially spellbound by what I like to call interior racism. This is when people of a particular race discriminate against others of the same background. One Black person telling another he is white washed. Another Latina telling another she doesn’t dance like a true Latina. Or that he or she should speak a certain way. Brian, one of our newfound friends is of Cuban origin. Two white parents adopted him and due to this fact he says he speaks no Spanish and claims he will never visit Cuba.

I could not believe this. What I would give to have such a culturally rich background. The food, the people, to have a native tongue different from English! I could not hide my disdain that he did not so much as speak Spanish. I tried to recover, but he interrupted to assuage my guilt by telling me he received this reaction frequently. When ordering in restaurants he has constantly had to stop waiters when they address him in Spanish. Each time he claimed, the waiter would be filled with disgust telling him he should speak the language of his ancestors. I had to also ask him why he would not want to see where he was from. Why wouldn’t he want to speak the language of his culture? But apart from his darker skin tone why would his culture be anything other than that of the couple that raised him? That became his family? And furthermore who am I to determine that any person should be any particular way? I am somewhat Scottish and a little bit Canadian. Should I dine only on Haggis? Or wear only a kilt? Should I say aboot instead of about? I do enjoy “O Canada”, but it’s not the only song I sing!

We all have stereotypes we impose upon different cultures and races other than our own, but I am interested to learn that similar and more potent stereotypes exist within the same cultures and races. Although I would love it if race weren’t an issue, I wonder if that will ever be the case. There will always be a black mother devastated when her son brings home a white fiancé and unfortunately a father that will not be able to hide his discomfort wtih a daughter’s black boyfriend. I will never be able to dance and I will blame this on my whiteness. Similarly there will always be the groups of Cubans that will shame the Cuban American that doesn’t make an effort to identify with a culture he feels should only be the past. I feel that interior racism is just as prevalent as exterior racism, if not more so. I guess the puppets from Avenue Q are correct everyone is a little bit racist and I think on some level this will most certainly be the case for a long long while.

You fine me, you die

Upon moving to my retirement community I was issued a book of rules, which I was warned if I did not follow I would be fined. "How quaint", I thought, "it's like a mini city". I found it charming how seriously these residents take their committees and even the interview they forced me to endure prior to my move I found humorous. I found two rules in particular enormously amusing. These were the ones that the community chooses to highlight numerous times throughout the 16 page tome. The emphasized rules state that no resident is allowed to back their vehicle into a parking space and no pickup truck is allowed on premise during specified hours. After many hours of discussion and contemplation I came to the conclusion these rules must have something to do with the plentiful flaura within the community. I also determined these rules would have no effect on me as I have no truck, nor to I prefer to back into my parking spots. How very wrong I was. I been fined for violating not one, but both of these rules. As I am unable to present my case in front of the fining committee, I was told put together a formal document explaining my innocence. For your reading pleasure I have included it below.

Dear Sir or Madame:

The purpose of this document is to present why I was wrongfully issued two Notices of Violation on Saturday, 1/6/07. As I will be out of town during the week of February 13th, this document should be presented to the Fining Committee in my absence. The violations will first be outlined and then refuted below.

The first violation was issued due to the accusation that a Ford Pickup truck with tag # S31-0HR, which was allegedly registered to my unit, was parked on property at 1:30 am. The second violation was issued at 7:10 am of the same day. A Ford Pickup truck with tag T06XAD was backed into a parking space, endangering the shrubbery below its monstrous exhaust pipe.

I do recognize both counts as direct infringements of policies listed in both the Vehicle and Parking sections of the Bay Colony Club Handbook. These rules state that not only are vehicles not allowed to back into spaces due to the aforementioned endangerment of flora, but in addition no pickup truck is allowed on premise between the hours of 11pm and 8 am. However, as I had no guests on the date in question, these violations are the liability of another. Upon my return home on 1/6/07 at approximately 1:00 am, I noted a red pickup truck was backed into the parking spot registered to my unit. I contemplated calling Security, but due to the late nature of the incident I opted ultimately to wait until a more reasonable hour, as I am sure Security opted to do when they did not present the violations at the time incurred. Later in the morning on Saturday, the truck had been removed. Although, the vehicle in question was illegally parked in my spot, the guest was of no relation to me. Once the records are re-checked I am sure they will reveal that no guest was registered to my unit on this evening and furthermore, if license plate numbers were properly recorded, the actual resident in violation should be revealed.

As a new resident in Bay Colony Club I have found the experience to be extremely gratifying. The landscaping is well maintained; guards are courteous and helpful, the office prompt in offering their assistance, and the residents friendly and caring. However, this incident does raise a level of concern that guest records are not correctly assembled. The notice of violation that I was issued states that the vehicle incurring the violations was registered to my unit, which was in fact never the case. Furthermore, the guilty vehicle was permitted on premise approaching the aforementioned illegal times. Had this been highlighted upon their arrival, perhaps this incident could have been avoided. I am hoping that this is in fact a rare occurrence rather than the status quo. I do appreciate the time you have taken to issue my violations and process my rebuttal.

Warmest Regards and Happy New Year,
Marissa Brady

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

I can't stop

Okay, I know I recently posted about my fear of becoming a Cat Lady. Since my only readers already know me anyway, there is no hiding it, I can't get enough of these little fuzzy critters. Here is one more I just want to share. This week we got a small group of cats named after Rock and Roll legends. Of course they were my faves. Of Ringo, Zeppelin, and Marley, Marley was my favorite. He had that Rasta vibe going on I feel. He did smell a little smoky as another volunteer pointed out. Anyway, here is this little furball. Don't you just want to pinch his cheeks and snuggle?? Okay so he isn't so into me taking this picture of him, but keep in mind I have this blinding flash that I cannot figure out how to tame, poor guy...

Monday, January 08, 2007

Yeah I am that girl

Today I ventured out into the world in broad daylight to enjoy what is sometimes referred to as a lunch date. This was not a lunch date of the romantic persuasion, but more of a business endeavor. However, lunch dates are not the topic at hand, but more how I manage to turn every day-to-day situation into ones of the utmost awkwardness. It all began when I met up with a fellow alumnus for a brief lunch meeting to discuss an event we are planning to host. Upon entering the sandwich/smoothie establishment we had selected, I excused myself to use the restroom. As I found my way to the back of the restaurant I should have been alarmed by the numerous boxes and cleaning supplies piled precariously around the restroom door. I should have foreseen this as a flight obstruction. However, I did neither of these things and upon my decision to exit the restroom I realized that I was stuck. Perhaps I had slammed the door with such force that it lodged the boxes into a position that barricaded the door? Or maybe a rebellious sandwich maker opted to play a nervy joke on a young lass merely looking for a midday meal?

After considering these options and reaching no conclusion I began to panic. What if no one came back to use the restroom? What was my new acquaintance whom I had met moments prior thinking being that I had been missing for several minutes? As I pushed at the door and tried to wriggle my way out of this disaster I then began to wonder to myself why these situations happen only to me. Does fate think its funny to lock me in bathrooms and try to find my way out? To lock me out of movie theaters when on a romantic date? To spill my drink in lunchrooms? To trip on rugs at job interviews? Does someone think these embarrassments and inconveniences just roll off my back? I can assure you they do not. I may laugh and attempt to play these things off as revitalizing humor, but make no mistake I am keeping score. Fortunately, I was able to escape and though I am sure my lunch date was confused, at least she was polite. But let it be known I am expecting some sort of good karma to be coming my way in the near future. And I will not rest until it is received.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

When to Call it Quits

Since College I have become progressively more lame and although I am only 22 I am pretty sure I am on the express train to becoming a cat lady. Here are a few signs that I may soon call it a day and buy a few cats:

1. There are more floral designs in my apartment than an entire Laura Ashley catalogue
2. My affinity for sheep collectibles
3. The fact that there are more stuffed animals on my bed than people in my cell phone
4. I own more cardigans than tube tops
5. I now currently spend more time in my home office than the entire world combined spends indoors
6. I am starting to enjoy the Enya part of spinning because the other parts are just too loud
7. I am getting used to being alone
8. I feel that doilies would not seem out of place in my home
9. I don't flinch as much anymore when people ask if I am a "cat" person
10. Then of course there is my adoration for precious fuzzy kitties

If you happen to ring me up and you hear any sort of meowing or hissing in the background please immediately hang up and call 911. This could potentially get serious.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Scrunchie Woman

As displayed in an earlier post I was experiencing some feelings of discontent this evening. Thus, in an attempt to better myself I proactively decided to clear my head by attending a yoga class. Apparently people do this sort of thing to feel better about themselves and find inner peace and harmony. It is here that one becomes in touch with her inner soul and maintains a balance between her own peace of mind and the karma of the world. However, while the rest of the class twisted and writhed themselves into little pretzels of Zen, all I could think about was the fact that the check in woman was wearing a scrunchie. With every backward bend and every spinal twist, all I could see was this be-scrunchied pony tail sashaying in the breeze. No one has a ponytail that actually gains this much momentum on its own. How was it swaying around with such power and force? Does the scrunchie add enough weight to cause the ponytail to have additional swing? Needless to say with the addition of tapered jeans, Nirvana was NOT achieved. After being tortured by my thoughts of disdain for scrunchie- woman I discovered that she was actually the nicest woman EVER. She told me to have a wonderful night and to take care. Due to her friendly demeanor, I was then plagued by feelings of guilt for feeling so strongly about her hair accessory. In conclusion, I think I have finally realized I am not good at yoga. As much as I try to empty my head, no matter how much I try to focus on my powerhouse or my third eye all I can think about is scrunchies. Maybe I am just not meant to be calm. Maybe I am just meant to be all worked up. However, I will keep trying, maybe I’ll pack some Nag Champa or Patchouli to increase my yoga street cred. That ought to help a bit.

Post Holiday Blues

I got the blues. I am not the kind of person who gets depressed during the Holidays or stressed before, but once that tree is down and the ball has dropped I immediately begin to plummet. It really isn't fair to have so much fun having packed into a one month span of time. And now that my Valentine's Day will be spent at the Springhill Suites in Schaumburg, IL I do not even have a pink jello shot balla affair to look forward to. I just have several months of Palm Tree laiden loneliness. I made a New Year's Resolution to be more positive about my stint in SoFla. I mean it really could be a lot worse. Obviously I could be ill, or homeless, or I could have a mob hit out on me. But as it stands I have a stable job, a cute (a bit granny-ish, but cute) apt, a swimming pool, and food to eat. I have all the essentials. Except for my friends and family. Over the past two Holidays I have come to realize just how important these two factors are in my life and overall happiness. Althought I haven't been exactly my jolly self since migrating south, it has been bearable due to frequent phoning and e-mailing to those from which I am separated. But as soon as I step off that little plane at LaGuardia its like the joy joice will not stop flowing. This past week I was shown by each and everyone of my friends and family members that not only do they love me, but they know me well enough to be there for me in just the ways that I need. My mother was always there with the essential back rub, my father the essential glass of wine, my sister, the essential "i will just agree with this girl so that she doesn't kill anyone". My brother with all of the wisdom and sage advice he can muster. I was never without the imperative ice down, olive or cheese snack, witty comment, or inside joke. And of course the fact that I had to leave this cozy oasis of comfort and joy has caused my world to once again come crashing down. Fortunately, I had two of my very best friends help me catch my flight back to the Fort because without that support I think I may have opted to spend the rest of my life on a street corner or hidden in the Met like that wonderful novel "The mixed up files of Basil sometherother" . I love meeting new people, but I have to say there is something so wonderful about being with people that know who I am without having to explain myself. I know I am too young for menopause, but I get hotflashes okay? I have a really odd obsession with small, plump, fuzzy animals. I wish I were Jewish and not Catholic. And I really love that my friends and family not only accept this quirks but actually humor them. This one is for you guys. I love you All and I hope that in time I can be there for you as much as you have for me.