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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.

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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.

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?

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/01/24/dining/24note.html?pagewanted=1&_r=1&th&emc=th

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.

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.

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.

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.

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??”

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.