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 fiancĂ© 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.