Friday, August 30, 2013

Adventures of the Morning Commute

Most days my morning commute to work is quiet without incident. I usually have my routine of the elderly lady that loves to talk to me at the bus stop, panhandlers on SEPTA and the occasional "I got hit on at 8:30am story." I was hoping after using my last Dunkin Donuts coupon for August that me and my latte would have a quiet venture into work. The Market-Frankford EL proved to be quiet and uneventful. But that all changed when I reached my stop.

I'm pretty tired and very lazy in the morning. So when I depart the EL, I like to look out for the trolley that literally carries my lazy ass about three blocks from work. I get to work faster, I don't arrive a sweaty mess and I get to just sit for a minute. However, the trolley is typically full of characters for it services a stop which is near a methodone clinic. Ergo, I usually can't ride the trolley without an incident.

I got off the EL this morning and was so happy to see the trolley parked and letting on passengers. It is usually quite the joy to see the trolley waiting on the street. However, recently due to construction further down the transit line, the trolley has been replaced by a bus. The trolley can seat about 50+ passengers easily. The bus accommodates about 35 and that is with every seat being taken. I only ride this thing for about four stops so I don't mind standing near the doors or in the aisle. The bus I take to get to the EL is always packed in the AM so I've grown accustomed to maneuvering back and forth in the aisle to let people through.

Welp. Trolley/Bus was PACKED this morning and as soon as I stepped on I regretted my decision to be lazy. I took a stance in the aisle, carefully cupping my Dunkin Ds cup because it was dripping condensation and I wasn't about to drip all over someone. While trying not to back my ass up in anyone's face or drip Dunkin dew on passengers, I got a little too close to one set of passengers.

Let me clarify. My purse which is not heavy nor protruding barely tapped an elderly man on the shoulder. His daughter sort of wrapped her arm around his shoulder and gave me the most hateful death stare I've ever seen. I'm like, "Really lady? You're going to give me a death glare because my bag grazed your dad's shoulder? Is he injured? NO. So turn your shade off and leave me alone." I didn't say that but I wanted to.

I decided to take the one empty seat by some guy who was covering his ears as if to prevent the voices from being heard. A group of ladies behind the dad/daughter duo gave me side eye for sitting down. They were sitting, I don't know what I did to deserve that but whatever. A lot of hate on this trolley.

Approximately one stop later, a woman gets on with a kid and a stroller. The stroller is compact but its slung haphazardly over her shoulder. As she attempts to sit she actually smacks me with the stroller wheels. Like, I would be eating stroller wheels if I hadn't blocked my face and let it roll along my nice clean arm instead. For real? Daughter chick is giving me hate glare for tapping her dad's shoulder with my bag and this lady just ran her effin stroller along my arm! No apology nothing. I could be that person that cusses her out or gives her a DEATH glare but I was in a reverse pay it forward mood so I wanted to stop the progression of morning hatred. I sat silent. I did however muse what would go down if stroller lady innocently hit grandpa's arm with the stroller. I bet daughter would go ballistic.

Finally my stop came but stroller lady's friend was blocking my exit and clearly had no intention to move. So I attempted a back door exit which failed. The back door was blocked by three people, two of which were rather large women standing on either side of the door. They did not move. I said a nice "excuse me ladies" and they made a poor attempt to suck in their bellies so I could get through. There was a point in this treacherous exit where I was literally sandwiched and stuck between two ladies in the door. It was a Mary Anna sandwich. Finally with some quick maneuvering I managed to squeeze out of the sandwich and plant my feet on the forgiving platform below. One of the large ladies gave me a sympathetic "Sorry mama!" Once again, to end the hate cycle I replied "No problem. Have a nice day!"

The walk from the trolley to work was successful.

That was wayyyy too much physical contact for me this early in the morning. I need a shower.

Until next time...

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

A Year Older But Probably Not So Wiser

MA's epic birthday weekend was a success. I've yet to have a bad birthday in Philadelphia (not that I want one). Every year I do something different with a new group of friends. I sort of copied off of my plans from last year but it turned out to be pretty spectacular.

I started off birthday morning by biking to a free yoga class near my work neighborhood. I signed a wavier to allow me to participate and told everyone it was my birthday. haha The Yogis were excited for me. After that I biked to kickboxing and then to Reading Terminal for some watermelon and fresh squeezed orange juice. By the time I got back to my apartment, I was exhausted and it wasn't even 12pm yet. I will say this, while biking around the city, people talk to you a lot. They ask you where they can find coffee shops, or yoga places, or just say good morning. It is very interesting.

So after the epic triple threat workout, I got a shower and took a birthday nap. Around 4pm, I went to pick up my best friend David from 30th Street Station and begin the evening portion of birthday fun. We went to my favorite bar, Wrap Shack where I ate delicious birthday wings and even got a birthday discount.

Happy from the feast, we went to Citizen's Bank Park for the Phillies game we had planned for the evening. I got my tickets at Will Call and went up to the gate. The gate guy asked me if I was turning 21 again. (I was wearing a pink fluffy Birthday Girl tiara). I laughed and said, "something like that." He said "Well I don't want to see you get thrown out of here." He was joking but I assured him I was 26 and that wouldn't be an issue.

We checked in at the birthday table so I could have my name in lights after the 4th inning and went to visit a coworker who also works at the stadium. After that we got some cider and took our seats. We were practically on the field! Front row of section 107. It was pretty great.

When I went to get a second cider, the girl who carded me said, "wait, isn't today August 24th?" She apparently missed my birthday tiara and sticker. haha It was funny.

The game went into 18 innings but we only stayed for 13. However, around the 12th inning, my long time dream of getting face time on the jumbotron finally came true. We were spotted by the camera man in the other section and he zoomed in on me and these girls next to me. I got to be on the Jumbotron! It was a great moment and it is officially crossed off of the bucket list.

After inning 13, we left the ballpark and headed to Ray's Happy Birthday Bar for my free birthday shot. We ended up staying for a round or two since it was so vacant. It was great and a bit inexpensive thanks to a potentially blitzed bartender.

We were hungry again after Ray's so we went to a 24 hour Dunkin Donuts and got breakfast sandwiches and then took a cab and headed home.

Everything was perfect from the fitness to the interactions to the weather and the adventures. I had an excellent 26th and looking forward to the year ahead.

Until next time...

Monday, August 19, 2013

That Icky Sicky Feeling

Right off the heels of one of the most fun weekends I've had in awhile, my body has decided it wants to shut down. It is like my body is saying "You had too much fun. Time to die."

Not really die, just be incapacitated for a few days.

Friday night I saw Goo Goo Dolls and Matchbox 20 in concert in New Jersey and it was amazing! It was an epic concert with some great people. I loved every minute of it. I then crashed on my friend's couch, woke up, and we went to graduation dinner which consisted of all you can eat, all you can drink, Brazilian Steakhouse style food. I ate my fill of meats, meats, and drank unlimited alcohol. It was pretty epic! I had a blast. Saturday night I returned to my humble abode where I watched Netflix and digested all the protein I consumed.

When I woke on Sunday morning my throat was scratchy. I'm a mouth breather when I sleep so I figured I dried out my throat with the A/C and fan on. I drank hot liquids all day as I completed my weekend chores and errands. I felt fine last night, going to bed early (for me) but had trouble falling asleep. So naturally I took some Zquill. I figured I had beat the dry throat inconvenience with my hot liquids.

Yeah. No. Woke up this morning and I have that I'm about to be sick soon feeling. Fortunately when I get sick I rarely IF EVER get a fever or vomit. I'm typically plagued with sore throats, sinus congestion, runny noses, and headaches. My throat has that scratchy feeling. My voice is still shot (a symptom I thought was due to my concert singing and screaming but should be fixed by now). My head is starting to engage in some pressure points. I'm getting sick. :(

Of course I'm at work because I wasn't sick enough to call out. I can still talk and swallow and I have my handy bottle of Dayquil which I'll chug every 4-6 hours. This shit better run its course ASAP. On one hand I'm grateful I got hit at the beginning of the week. On the other hand I'm terrified this will last and I'll be SICK ON MY BIRTHDAY SATURDAY!

This can not happen.

So I'll be drinking liquids, taking it easy, working, hand sanitizing, avoid breathing on coworkers and drinking my Dayquil with the hopes I can nip this in the butt before the 24th. Let's hope it is just a baby cold and will pass within a few days.

I hate being sick.

Until next time...

Friday, August 16, 2013

Sometimes Espresso Is My Ritalin

I woke up at 5:45am this morning, wide awake and well rested. Almost to the point where I considered getting up and going to work two hours early. Than I thought "nahh, I'd rather just listen to music and get up at 7." Of course the music was so relaxing that it made me fall back asleep so when my alarm went off to wake me up, I was grumpy and tired again. Such is life.

I got up and got my gear together and starting spazzing out because despite my tiredness I was WIRED. I had a billion thoughts circulating in my head at one time. I'm also very excited because tonight I'm going to see Matchbox 20 and Goo Goo Dolls in concert with my best friend. I haven't seen my best friend in a long time AND I haven't been to a concert lately. Both are exciting things to look forward to. Then tomorrow, I've got best friend's graduation party at a Brazilian Steakhouse in the burbs. All you can eat meat. All you can eat smoked salmon. All you can drink open bar. All paid for. Yeah, it is going to be dangerous. I'm trying to drink plenty of water and monitor my sodium consumption to keep it at a minimum until tomorrow's meat eating fest. Its going to be great.

So sometimes when I am going 1000 MPH, I still drink coffee with espresso. This morning I got my Dunkin Iced Coffee with a Turbo Shot. Occasionally it works like Ritalin, helping me slow down and focus. It is usually a 50/50 shot that it will work in the manner I want it to. Well, not today. I'm more hyper than ever. In fact, my first client this morning told me "Ms. Mary Anna, please take your time, sit down." I hate making people wait so I thanked her for the offer but continued to buzz around like a frantic bee. I then brought my breakfast to a meeting which fortunately got cancelled. (I was legit going to be like 'I'm sorry but I have to eat my oatmeal while we do this or I'll pass out).

Next weekend is birthday weekend. Best friend and I are going to a Phillies game birthday night. We scored 100 level seats for a decent price in right field. I'm going to get my name on the Jumbotron again and we're both going to focus so we can get a picture of it this year. Then we're going to Ray's Happy Birthday Bar for my free birthday shot and see where the night takes us. Good times.

Then BAM school starts up again. I'm taking Magazine Writing and Communication Law. 4 classes to go and I'm DONE with my MJ. Can't wait!

Until next time...

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Sometimes I just have to Stop, Hang My Head, Smile and Laugh

I swear to you that I am not bipolar. Even though, yesterday I was cursing out a frying pan and today I'm laughing my ass off. Much to my chagrin, the cosmos/fate have turned my frown upside down and today has been exponentially better than yesterday.

I went in late to work by choice because I didn't want to get up and was met by a beautiful crisp breeze, akin to fall weather, on my way to work. Alas, I got to work and was not a disgusting sweaty mess. This was a refreshing change from my daily grind. Oh, and I think my bus driver said "good morning, baby" when I boarded.

I threw myself into work to make up for the fact I did jack shit yesterday. I cleaned my office and it is now immaculate. I cleaned my desk off so it is now a functional work space. I got materials for my class today. (I teach school age kids problem solving skills and emotional recognition once a week). Today we made bagged ice cream in teams and it went very well. No big problems, the kids had a blast, and from what I hear the ice cream turned out great. Note to others: use half and half NOT milk, it works better.

I returned to my clean office, ready to complete goal #3 of the day, filing the mountain of paperwork into resident case files when I stop to look at Facebook. Now, I mentioned before that my Facebook "friends" are getting engaged, married, and popping out kids at a crazy fast rate but I saw a few more engagement announcements today and one surprised me.

You look at someone who is doing well for themselves, someone you've known for awhile back in the day. Someone who you wouldn't expect to be putting a ring on it and BAM that person is engaged. You have to stop, smile and laugh. It is a good, belly laugh of sorts that is followed by genuine congratulations. YOU are engaged to a beautiful person and I am a Lifetime drama of failed relationships. Karma. But I'm not bitter, I'm happy for that person. I'm just so amused and maybe even a little bit amazed you're beating me in the game of Life. haha (ok, not really because all games are different depending on the person BUT still).

So this instant turn around made me stop, see things clearer and realize something. I mentioned my horoscope said I'd "gain insight" about some stuff today. I guess it is true. My vulnerability and insecurity comes down to one thing: TRUST. I don't TRUST things will work out. I don't TRUST I'm in the right position. I don't TRUST enough. I thought it was my past experiences that caused me to "air on the side of caution." In a way, that is true but it comes down to TRUST. Trusting other people. Trusting fate. Trusting God. When you have no option but to wait and see what cards are in your next hand, you can't get anxious about it. You can't control it. You can't plan for it. You just have to TRUST that those cards are the ones meant to be dealt to you all along and regardless how epic or how awful the hand is, you're going to play it and you're going to be all right.

Laugh. Just laugh.

Until next time...

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

What Do You Do With Anger?

I am a pretty patient and peaceful person. I'm the person that lets little old ladies cut in line at the grocery store. I hold elevator doors for mothers with strollers. I say "thank you" to my bus driver every morning. When I get angry 7 times out of 10 it is at myself. Sometimes people or circumstances grind my gears but it usually takes a lot for me to reach that point.

But when I do get angry, its a chain reaction that sets me off into a downward spiral. When I get angry I also am anxious. I get mad at inanimate objects for no reason. I throw things. I kick things. When something simple doesn't go my way I lose it. One time I was having a really bad day and an egg fell off my egg shelf in my fridge onto the floor. I cleaned up the mess and somehow knocked the egg shelf again and ALL my eggs fell onto the kitchen floor. I flipped the F out. I cried, I screamed, I jumped up and down. I cried some more. It was eggs. $1.79, 10 minutes of cleaning, no big deal. But to me at that moment, it was a big deal.

Today is like that. I didn't accomplish a damn thing at work. I had some touchy conversations. I left work and one person rubbed me the wrong way on my commute. Then I got to CVS to run an errand and I started losing my patience. Then an ignorant person defied my personal space and I wanted to dropkick her right in the store. I stormed home, errands done. Then I find a shirt I ordered but cancelled right after ordering arrived and I was charged for it. So now I have to go through the hassle of returning said shirt to get my refund.

After watching a show and eating, I planned on dying my hair. As I did dishes I began to lose patience with the pot I was washing. Then I got angry because the paper towel barely ripped off. It is little things culminated with my pent up emotional frustration about things out of my control. If there was ever a night to have my own personal punching bag, tonight would be it. I'd rage so hard I'd probably want to pass out with exhaustion. But I can't kick or punch anything legally until Thursday and by then I'll be ok.

I'm impatient. I'm frustrated. I'm angry. I finished my bottle of wine (like half a glass), started on a beer and I still feel like a ticking time bomb. I'm in a mood I'm rarely in. It is the kind of mood that if someone held me up at gunpoint I'd stare the barrel down. You're supposed to give them what they want and try to escape but I'm so fed up I'd just stare without blinking. No I do not have a death wish. I do not need therapy. I am just in my HULK mode and you do not want to mess with me.

So I'm not dying my hair. I'm not in a good place to be dealing with chemicals and such. I'd probably botch the dye job and spill shit everywhere. I should wait until tomorrow for that, maybe I'll be in a better frame of mind.

Until next time.....

Pure Talent. Pure Love

So I'm sure if you read Thought Catalog or the news or any kind of quirky website that highlights personal stories, you saw this:

Meet Neil Hilborn. He has Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. He found a woman who he fell in love with so much that she helped him without even trying. The video is viral at this point but his use of words, his talent, his raw emotion reminds me that new talent is born everyday. Neil's story is not a happy one, for his girlfriend became overwhelmed by his disorder and left him. The most captivating lines of his spoken word are "I leave the door unlocked. I even leave the lights on."

Now whether Neil actually leaves his door unlocked in case his girl comes back, or leaves the lights on so she knows he is home is a mute point. He probably doesn't because his disorder won't let him. However, those final lines of the poem just hit home. You can hear people's reactions as the "aww, wow." He found a way to express his longing, use his disorder, and convey through words exactly how he is feeling. As if his love for this girl overrides the ticks of his disorder. And it very well may.

Love is that powerful.

It was worth sharing. Talent is everywhere and can manifest from anything. All you have to do is channel it.

Until next time...

Monday, August 12, 2013


My horoscope for today:
Your detached approach won't be enough to get you through the day. You need to experience the uncertainty that goes with expressing the raw emotions that evade logic and rational thought. Any attempts to sidestep your truth will only cause more trouble down the road. Your mind is active, but you must avoid the temptation of reducing complex emotional networks into overly simplistic statements of fact. Feel your way today, instead.

My horoscope for the week:
This week you might have a breakthrough when it comes to matters of intimacy. Perhaps you harbor anxious feelings from past experiences that prevent you from getting too close to someone now -- even if you're in love with this person. If so, on Wednesday a sudden insight about what's holding you back from truly revealing yourself will help you push past this fear. The Moon in your 5th House of Romance will help foster this awakening this weekend, especially when it touches Pluto on Saturday.

What does that even mean? I have to experience the uncertainty that goes with expressing the raw emotions that evade logic and rational thought? Um...I do that every freaking day. Every day there is anxiety and uncertainty about many things, including the things most important to me. Every day I dream big elaborate dreams about others, myself, life in general that completely evade logic and rational thought.

If I felt my way today, I'd allow myself to be angry, hurt, sad, and hopeless. But I didn't feel my way today. No, I cooked dinner for the residents at my work and they loved it. I put my energy into feeding others and getting through the work day. Now I'm about to go kick some ass at kickboxing despite the fact I'm dead tired. My mind might be active but focusing on the now is a lot better than over analyzing every interaction in my life.

As for the weekly outlook? Yes, I do harbor anxious feelings from past experiences. But I don't think they prevent me from getting close to people. I think it prevents me from smothering people and makes me air on the side of caution so I don't get my heart taken for granted, ripped out and destroyed which happens damn near every time I want to give my heart to someone. I look at the facts and yes, try to predict the future so I can spare myself the heartbreak now and just be somewhat prepared for impact. Because logic and rationality is what can prevent running, jumping, flying, falling and crashing. Facts are facts. The sooner you convince yourself of their existence the better off you'll be in the long run.

Go home, Horoscope. You're drunk.

Until next time...

Sunday, August 11, 2013

I Just Need A Second. Ok I'm Good.

I almost did a terrible thing today. I ALMOST regressed into the state of paranoia that I used to experience whenever I saw mass quantities of people getting engaged and having kids on Facebook. Yes, there was a time when I was actually worried that I wasn't keeping up with the Jones' and doing everything backwards. But, then I did a lot of soul searching and reached a nice and cozy point of self-acceptance that what I'm doing right now is what is right for me. It might not be right for most of my peers but it works for me and I am happy.

But damn, I almost relapsed. A slewwwww of people got engaged this weekend. One or two announced their pregnancies. It is funny, many of my friends up here in Philly are amazed that I know so many people getting hitched and popping kids. They are sometimes dubious that I can find out about seven engagements in one weekend with four of the individuals being younger than me. But for realsies, it happens all the time. I'm at the point, thankfully, where I'm either like "OMG I AM SO FREAKING HAPPY FOR YOUUUU" which I am or "Hmmm, that is interesting" or "already?" Despite any given reaction, I still do the obligatory Facebook *like* to let them know I care. 

Whew that was a close one. Congratulations kids, I am very happy for you!

On an unrelated note, I think I smile more at dogs than I do at small children when I'm walking. Now, that might mean something is wrong with me. haha

Until next time...

Thursday, August 8, 2013

This is What MA Did at Work Today

Today I spent a large portion of the day cutting out giraffe heads/necks/bodies. This is my tailless giraffe, aka tonight's Family Literacy Craft as we read "Giraffe's Can't Dance." I hope my program will have many attendees for I feel I could have spent more time doing actual work and less time cutting out giraffe heads.

Yesterday I built a bike. I stayed late at work to use my office as a work space and assembled a genuine 26" wheel women's mountain bike BY MYSELF without help. Of course the chain popped within 3 minutes of riding but that was already installed therefore I don't blame my handiwork for that one. I think it is just a matter of tweaking the chain and learning how to gear shift correctly. I haven't had a bike with functional gears since college.

Speaking of college, I called to update my contact information for this epic alumni directory thing. Yeah...that costs over $100 for the stupid hardback book. I'm all for nostalgia but I am one stack of shit away from an episode of Hoarders. Ergo, I bought the book for networking reasons. They're listing where everyone works and how to reach them so I can stalk media people from any class year (if they call in and buy the book). Networking is expensive these days...

This weekend I've got bike rides, yoga, kickboxing, and a hair appointment on the books. Got to stay busy and stay motivated. I'm trying to read my "Telling the Joke" stand-up comedy book each day because my goal is to perform in an open mic night by October. I'm sick and tired of dreaming and dreaming and just letting those dreams be dreams. I've got the charisma and the talent to succeed in local stand up comedy, regional writing competitions, and I believe entrepreneurial journalism.

One of the five or so reasons for this ambitious/motivational drive is the realization I wasted the first half of my summer watching Netflix and eating entire pints of ice cream by myself. While these activities proved to be enjoyable they were also toxic to my health. So I've taken to writing every day and reading new and interesting things and cooking new recipes and building bikes and working out in various avenues. I'm sticking to Skinny Cow Ice Cream and limiting my Netflix viewing to a few hours a week. Summer is coming to a close and school grind is about to pick up. This is my last year of graduate school so gotta tackle the bull by the horns with renewed energy.

Until next time...

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

This song is so beautiful and perfect it makes me want to cry

All Of Me

What would I do without your smart mouth
Drawing me in, and you kicking me out
Got my head spinning, no kidding, I can’t pin you down
What’s going on in that beautiful mind
I’m on your magical mystery ride
And I’m so dizzy, don’t know what hit me, but I’ll be alright

My head’s under water
But I’m breathing fine
You’re crazy and I’m out of my mind

‘Cause all of me
Loves all of you
Love your curves and all your edges
All your perfect imperfections
Give your all to me
I’ll give my all to you
You’re my end and my beginning
Even when I lose I’m winning
‘Cause I give you all, all of me
And you give me all, all of you

How many times do I have to tell you
Even when you’re crying you’re beautiful too
The world is beating you down, I’m around through every move
You’re my downfall, you’re my muse
My worst distraction, my rhythm and blues
I can’t stop singing, it’s ringing, I my head for you

My head’s under water
But I’m breathing fine
You’re crazy and I’m out of my mind

‘Cause all of me
Loves all of you
Love your curves and all your edges
All your perfect imperfections
Give your all to me
I’ll give my all to you
You’re my end and my beginning
Even when I lose I’m winning
‘Cause I give you all of me
And you give me all, all of you

Cards on the table, we’re both showing hearts
Risking it all, though it’s hard

‘Cause all of me
Loves all of you
Love your curves and all your edges
All your perfect imperfections
Give your all to me
I’ll give my all to you
You’re my end and my beginning
Even when I lose I’m winning
‘Cause I give you all of me
And you give me all of you

I give you all, all of me
And you give me all, all of you

Looking forward to September 3rd when his 20 song album drops. I bet the rest of the album will move me too.

Until next time...

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Eye Tracking & Brain Tracking

So you know when you're watching a fast paced event, like a hockey match or something? Well, your eyes dart back at forth, attempting to track all of the movement which is taking place. I'd like to think that your brain does that in an attempt to track all of your thoughts at any given time. But when you're thinking 1000 things and feeling at least seven different emotions at once, your brain feels like it might explode.

That sums up my current state of affairs. I've got a bike coming in that I'm going to be assembling by myself and hopefully riding by the weekend. I have various gifts to buy people. I have school starting up in three weeks. I turn 26 in 18 days. I'm entering a manuscript poetry contest which has a deadline in less than a month. My Twitter has been poppin for reasons unbeknownst to me. I'm writing almost daily. Things at work have been changing rapidly.

Also, I'm questioning whether our careful precautionary movements regarding Yemen and the Middle East/North Africa are strong preventative measures or interpreted as weakness in the eyes of the enemy. Al Qaeda probably feel like a bunch of smug puppies since their serious and credible threats are enough to shut down U.S. Embassies and clear all Americans out of Yemen. Of course I am for the safety of the American people. But I can't help thinking how this looks weak. Sure we send some drones over the "badlands" and knockout a few operatives but I would be willing to bet that despite, this Al Qaeda feels pretty strong and pretty threatening.

Lot's of thoughts. My heart is somewhere else and my brain is functioning at 56% capacity. Such is life.

Until next time...

Saturday, August 3, 2013

I've got Cilantro, Lemons and Limes....Now What?

Today was a day of mini adventures. The first being my resolve to get up very early and truck on down to NoLibs for a free outdoor yoga class. The class ran 9-10 and I had kickboxing 10-11 and the two exercise venues are in adjacent neighborhoods so I thought, hey...let's do a double workout.

I did. It was hard and it rained the whole time. I did yoga with over 60 other people in the Piazza, in the rain. It was pretty awesome. I don't mind yoga classes where instructors creep up behind you and next thing you know their hands are on your hips positioning them in a direction you didn't want them to go. That happened several times. Downward dog hurts when you're doing it on mat and yoga towel and all. Also I got really acquainted with my knees and decided I didn't like how they look. They're pudgy and full of cellulite. Got to work on that. Anyway, after having raindrops land in my ears and eyes and everywhere else, 10:02 rolled around and we didn't seem to be anywhere near Shavasana. The instructor kept telling us to "stop taking ourselves so damn seriously." I thought yoga wasn't a laughing matter so I'm pretty sure I had an angry/concentrating face on the whole time. She was setting up for "Boat" pose and it looked like something I didn't want to do/would hurt. So I decided to pack up my gear and book it to kickboxing. Adjuster/Instructor smiled at me as I left, and I mouthed "Sorry I have to go." I managed to tell her "thanks" and commit to attending next week before leaving.

I got to kickboxing and missed the warm up but considering I just warmed up for an hour I was good to go. Stiff despite the fact I was promised "I would be standing taller today" I made it though the workout. I left Kboxing and headed to Reading Terminal Market in search of reasonably priced and delicious produce.

Iovine Produce was hopping, as it always is. So I had to try really hard not to whack people in the back with my yoga mat. I picked up a selection of fruit and some vegetables and that is when I saw it. I saw the largest watermelon I have ever seen in my entire life. I must have gawked at it for a good 3-5 minutes. I ran over all the scenarios in my head as to how I could get it home. I'm on public transit, my hands and arms and shoulders already full. There was no way me and this watermelon were going to get home without one of us getting injured.

It was so big and beautiful. (That's what she said hahaha). I had a friend that once said "If there was ever someone who would try to live off of watermelon alone it would be Mary Anna." He was right. I can eat my way through an entire watermelon by myself in one week. I love it. This giant watermelon was the watermelon of all watermelons. I saw it as a challenge. It could feed me for TWO weeks! It was only $5. Next to the watermelons on steroids sat cantaloupes on steroids. They were only $3.49 and looked more manageable in terms of transit. I needed to pick one up to smell it but the big one I wanted was wedged under a bunch of other ones. I didn't want to knock down the whole display. I considered bending down to sniff the big one I wanted but I didn't want people to think I was crazy. That's how I tell if they are ripe or not. You can tell from the scent!

After deliberating for what felt like hours but in truth was only a few minutes, I left the watermelon behind. I then went to search for lemons, limes and cilantro. I'm making a pan-seared avocado/chicken dish on Sunday and I needed a few citrus fruits as well as the potent herb. Catch 22 is, I never bought cilantro before in my life! I had consumed it, seen it, probably even smelled it. But I never picked it out of a basket of various herbs.

In the herb section, almost everything looked the same. I was thankful for my 4+ years of food service training. This allowed me to identify the Parksley. I pulled out something that looked cilantro-like and well...smelled it. It smelled like mint leaves and I only know that smell because my friend grows mint and we make mojitos with it. (You never know what experiences in life will give you lasting knowledge). I finally gave up and tapped the nice lady who was restocking the herbs and asked "Excuse me, could you please point out the cilantro?" She grunted and pointed her finger and an herb I didn't even consider to be what I needed. I thanked her, grabbed a bushel and sniffed it. It was quite potent. It was also a lot of cilantro for one person. I bought it anyway.

So after this adventure I passed the watermelon one last time, casting a longing glance at it as I walked away. I checked out and headed home. Of course the bus driver blew past my departure least I didn't have the watermelon.

I meant to put the produce away but somehow found myself in an epic death nap lasting 2.5 hours. I swear I just sat down on my couch and BAM I was out. I woke up around 3 and decided to embark on adventure #3....getting my Ray-Bans from the Post Office. But first I had to Google how to store cilantro (and avocadoes). I found a good method, cut my stems, placed them in a jar and covered the leaves with a plastic bag. After this I found my hands smelled strongly of cilantro.

Despite this I knew I had to get the Ray-Bans so I put the cilantro away and walked leisurely down to the giant post office and stood in an epically long line until I did something accidental but miraculous. I waved my pickup slip in a certain direction and next thing I know, the Postman has me jumping the line, cruising past 14 people to retrieve my package. At last, my Ray-Ban Wayfarers and I were united.

Much like my aviator adventures, I tore the box open and wore them on my way home, occasionally sniffing the cilantro smell from my hands...

I stopped at Trader Joe's for my breakfast burrito (dinner) necessities and then continued home. My hands still smell like cilantro. I now have 3 lemons, 3 limes and enough cilantro to feed a restaurant. I seriously want to Google "I've got lemons, limes and what?"  My Ray-Bans are great, but now smell like cilantro too.

Also, I can't stop thinking about that watermelon I left behind. I have decided to retrieve it tomorrow with an empty backpack to carry it home in. I get a student discount on Sunday too. The current status of my produce-packed fridge worries me. There is no room for watermelon. But where there is a will there is a way. It is happening.

Until next time...

Friday, August 2, 2013

I Have an Unnatural Obsession With Ray-Bans

If you've noticed, I have been blogging a lot more frequently lately. The first reason behind this influx is that I've been working on increasing my writing endeavors. I've been blogging, journaling and trying to find creative writing outlets which I can send my work to. The second reason is because I like writing way more than I like my job. Writing makes me happy. Thus, when I have breaks at work, I write. Sometimes I take breaks from work to write.

Today's post is inspired by my bizarre love for Ray-Bans. I'm not really a materialistic brand girl. Yes I own a few Apple products, and yes I have a Samsung Galaxy S3. I do enjoying coveting the occasional Victoria Secret bag with the PINK label emblazoned on the front. I'd enjoy their bras more if I didn't fit the largest size they offer during the semi-annual sale aka the only time MA can afford VS bras. My jeans tend to come from places like Marshall's, Burlington Coat Factory and Ross. I refuse to pay more than $10 for a t-shirt unless its a custom made "Haters Gonna Hate" T-shirt from Cafe Press.

I was raised on the clearance rack at Kmart. I learned the value of stretching the dollar. That economical common sense lasted way into adult hood. Sure there were times when I really wanted to shop at A&F (they hate fat people btw) or own a Coach purse, but I can't justify paying a crap ton of money just for the brand name. I remember in college, a bunch of girls and I went to the outlets. One girl was in a Coach store and she held up two, nearly identical brown Coach wristlets. "They're on sale! They're only $300 a piece!"


I went though a phase where I almost bought a designer purse but I just couldn't justify spending $250 on a handbag. I could buy several cases of beer, my favorite vodka, a Phillies t-shirt, and some cute thrift store jeans and still have money left over to pay my utilities and buy groceries. I couldn't bring myself to do it.

But there is ONE BRAND that is my weakness. One brand that makes me feel invincible when I serve as a walking billboard for their product, and that brand is Ray-Ban. I remember when I bought my first pair of aviators. I got them through a deal on (Ever the thrift-saver). The typically $150 sunglasses were mailed to my dwelling (after a long and agonizing wait) at the reasonable price of $55. Yes. I paid $55 for a pair of sunglasses and I felt so grown up and proud. Gone were the days of rocking cheap $14 over-sized "bitch goggles" as an old friend used to say. I am an adult and I can afford adult things.

I wear my aviators ALL THE TIME. I also value the expensiveness of them and haven't broken them like my many cheap pairs. This is not to say that Ray-Ban is just that sturdy, because I'm pretty sure one wrong sit down accident and they'd be toast. But I care about them more because I spent so much money on them.

Which is why my obsession grew and a year later I found myself stalking deals for Ray-Ban Wayfarer sunglasses. "I just need the Wayfarers and I'll be good. Then I can switch between the aviators and the Wayfarers!" So I found another deal. This time I paid $63 for them and they should arrive today. I'm so excited. I'm like a little kid on Christmas morning waiting for these $63 sunglasses that have the tiny little Ray-Ban insignia written on the top left corner of the glasses. (Along with Ray-Ban on the arm).

I'm trying to convince myself that this is it. I can't be dropping $50 on sunglasses. That is at least a case of beer and one of my utility bills. However while shopping for my Wayfarers (classic black) I fell in love with an orange framed Wayfarer pair with blue/grey gradient tint shades. I WANT THEM. They were $122 + shipping and no deal. I can't justify my love for that price but I can stalk the shit out of them until I find another impeccable deal that will allow me to purchase them and add them to my obsessive collection!

Until next time...

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Random Thoughts on a Rainy Thursday

If you listen to 90's emo music on a rainy day, it might actually make you feel better, or at least feel like the music fits your tired and blah mood.

Sometimes I wish I worked shift work again because you would randomly get days off in the middle of the week. Sometimes I even miss dining services or basic customer service work (like my sweet job as a supervisor at W&M's Campus Recreation Center). Oftentimes I think I could actually be happier as a waitress in a backwoods diner. Not forever, but long enough to get a journalism job.

I don't think I'm ever going to be able to pay off my student loan debt, nor buy my Kia Soul I want, nor buy a house.

I wish I could buy houses in bad neighborhoods, flip them, and rent them out as the neighborhood is gentrified. There is good money in that market but I wouldn't know where to begin. That and I assume if I'm going to buy a house, perhaps it should be one I live in first.

I love Philadelphia and it is truly home to me.

I have to eat a really light dinner before I kick box otherwise the intense cardio gives me indigestion and makes the exercise a not so pleasant experience.

Reading news from different parts of the world about America is an interesting experience.

I guess that is all for now. I should probably focus on my work.

Until next time...

What if I'm not a Writer?

I've mentioned this before. My first book I ever wrote was a few chapters long. Each page was a new chapter. I was in second or third ...