Thursday, September 29, 2005

Nothing surprises me anymore

This past weekend I went to Orlando. On Greyhound. There are two things one can always guarantee seeing when you travel on Greyhound: Mexicans (which everyone knows I LOVE! : ) -so this is fine with me), and scary greasy people. When you board the bus, you also see little grease patches on the windows from when people sleep and lean their heads against the windows. I told Marsha about this, and she laughed so hard she almost went to the bathroom in her pants. You also see this on planes, but not as bad. The trip actually wasn't that bad this time... not like the previous time when there were newly released convicts sitting right next to me. (How did I know this? #1-their jail bracelets were still on and #2-I saw their release papers). The bus going to Orlando left at 530 AM so all I did was sleep and listen to my walkman from 10-1130. I was scared that the bus station would be scary at 430 AM when I had to get there, but surprisingly, it was packed. And I was relieved when I saw a security guard there too.

Fast forward to Saturday night after the wedding (see previous post where I mention the wedding). I went out in downtown Orlando with one of Mo's friends. She works for a radio station there, and so we got in free to some places, skipped the long lines, and got some nice drinks. I swear she knows EVERYONE in that city! : ) Well, at this one bar called Knock Knock, it was so crazy and I loved it (I had been there many times before too when I visited Mo over the past few years). It plays great music, and there is a guy who paints in the corner (he sold this one piece he was doing that night for over $1,000 I think). There is a swing that hangs from the ceiling, and the only way to get on the swing is to stand on the bar and kind of jump into it. This one girl was swinging and holding the chains with only one hand, and I thought she was going to fall (keep in mind that the swing is about 7 ft. off the ground). People were dancing on the bar too, and the bartender (who Mo's friend knew) was hitting a huge gong a lot. I wish I took pictures. Girls were doing body shots off each other too-one girl would lay on the bar and the other would lick alcohol off her belly. Then, one girl took off her shirt AND her bra so she was totally naked on the top, and her girlfriend started licking places on her chest..... yes, this was all happening out in the open. I just love how people are so uninhibited and different-it's a breath of fresh air and a reminder of my days roaming the Commons in liberal Ithaca (which is NOTHING like Tally, mind you). I just have to smile when these things happen-good for them for having fun! I am just not surprised by anything anymore. I think that is a excellent thing, because this world needs more tolerant people. My message for the day: appreciate differences, because it makes the world a fascinating place to live in.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

People suck

Over the past few days, I have just been dumbfounded at what my friends and family are telling me about things that they either witnessed or heard from other people, and things I have experienced too. For example, my brother went to the Bills game on Sunday. Bills fans are always crazy (I remember one time when my dad and I went to a game years ago in Buffalo when the Bills played my favorite team the Cowboys, and Bills fans were throwing stuff at me b/c I was wearing an Aikman jersey. They asked my dad what went wrong when he raised me haha... keep in mind I was a teenager and that was actually pretty scary when people were harassing me), but what happened this day was a BIT over the edge. He said that around 30 people in his section got thrown out of the game b/c of being rowdy. One person even got stabbed. STABBED! AT A FOOTBALL GAME! What is wrong with people?! Obviously alcohol (mixed with anger and hot tempers when your team is losing) is a huge factor in violence at sporting events. This is nothing new of course, but my brother said it was actually kind of scary. Yes, to say the least, I said.

This weekend I was traveling on Greyhound to Orlando for my friend Mo's wedding (a post will come later about my weekend there), and one of the bus drivers started yelling at this cute little old lady for no reason. I guess she couldn't speak English, and was confused about what door she should be at to board her bus. "Do you speak English?" She shakes her head no. "You have to read this on your ticket and you will know what to do!", he says. Like she understood that. Then her motioned her away with his hand. I don't know why he had to be so mean-why couldn't he have just gotten someone that spoke Spanish (like you can't find that in Orlando), and helped her?

On my birthday on Sunday, Mark and Marsha took me out to BW3 in Tally (sports bar) for some after dinner drinks (where we met Heather Tom last year!!). There were police all around when we got there and we wondered what happened. We ended up finding out that a fanatic football fan had a blow horn there and refused to stop blowing it. When the manager asked him to stop b/c it was so loud and rude to the other customers, he got belligerent and started pushing her around (she is like 90 pounds too). Then the BW3 staff called the police.

I love people, and I love learning about them, but I also cannot stand them at the same time for reasons like these!! If people weren't so self-absorbed and actually made efforts to get along with people and understand them, maybe this world would be a better place.

Thursday, September 22, 2005


That is my personality type according to Myers Briggs. Erin, Marsha, and I were so into this the other day that we all decided to post about it. Marsha predicted my type with 100% accuracy! I guess my friends really do know me well. If you would like to take the test, here is the link.

My strength of preferences are as follows: 67% extroverted, 25% intuitive, 75% feeling, 67% judging. All of them are distinctively expressed except for the intuitive part which is moderate. According to, "in general, ENFJs are charming, warm, gracious, creative and diverse individuals with richly developed insights into what makes other people tick. This special ability to see growth potential in others combined with a genuine drive to help people makes the ENFJ a truly valued individual. As giving and caring as the ENFJ is, they need to remember to value their own needs as well as the needs of others." ** This is totally true. ** "When faced with a conflict between a strongly-held value and serving another person's need, they are highly likely to value the other person's needs." **YES, and I guess this goes along with the fact that I am a Libra and love balance and harmony with no fighting. **

According to, "The Idealists called Teachers are abstract in their thought and speech, cooperative in their style of achieving goals, and directive and extraverted in their interpersonal relations. Learning in the young has to be beckoned forth, teased out from its hiding place, or, as suggested by the word "education," it has to be "educed." by an individual with educative capabilities. Such a one is the eNFj, thus rightly called the educative mentor or Teacher for short. The Teacher is especially capable of educing or calling forth those inner potentials each learner possesses. Even as children the Teachers may attract a gathering of other children ready to follow their lead in play or work. And they lead without seeming to do so.
Teachers expect the very best of those around them, and this expectation, usually expressed as enthusiastic encouragement, motivates action in others and the desire to live up to their expectations. Teachers have the charming characteristic of taking for granted that their expectations will be met, their implicit commands obeyed, never doubting that people will want to do what they suggest. And, more often than not, people do, because this type has extraordinary charisma. The Teachers are found in no more than 2 or 3 percent of the population." ** This might explain my desire for the Ph.D., the majors I have done, and my neverending quest to study people, peoplewatch, and figure out why people do the things they do (especially things you wouldn't expect. **

According to, "ENFJs are the benevolent 'pedagogues' of humanity. They have tremendous charisma by which many are drawn into their nurturant tutelage and/or grand schemes. Many ENFJs have tremendous power to manipulate others with their phenomenal interpersonal skills and unique salesmanship. But it's usually not meant as manipulation -- ENFJs generally believe in their dreams, and see themselves as helpers and enablers, which they usually are. ENFJs are global learners. They see the big picture. The ENFJs focus is expansive. Some can juggle an amazing number of responsibilities or projects simultaneously. Many ENFJs have tremendous entrepreneurial ability. ENFJs know and appreciate people. Like most NFs, (and Feelers in general), they are apt to neglect themselves and their own needs for the needs of others. They have thinner psychological boundaries than most, and are at risk for being hurt or even abused by less sensitive people. ENFJs often take on more of the burdens of others than they can bear.
TRADEMARK: "The first shall be last"
This refers to the open-door policy of ENFJs. One ENFJ colleague always welcomes me into his office regardless of his own circumstances. If another person comes to the door, he allows them to interrupt our conversation with their need. While discussing that need, the phone rings and he stops to answer it. Others drop in with a 'quick question.' I finally get up, go to my office and use the call waiting feature on the telephone. When he hangs up, I have his undivided attention!" ** Again, no need to explain here-everything makes total sense. **

Famous ENFJs (again, include Presidents Lincoln and Reagan, Sean Connery, Elizabeth Dole, Gene Hackman, Diane Sawyer, Johnny Depp (YEA!!), Oprah, Ben Stiller, Peyton Manning, Matthew McConaughey, and Pete Sampras (YEA!!). Apparently I also make a good advisor (gee, I must be in the right field), neighbor, and tribesman (among others).

** My two cents: I value my friends and family more than anything in this world, and I would drop everything in a second if someone were in need or wanted to talk or share great news. Often times I would rather see other people happy than me, because then that makes me happy. I am always content knowing that people are successful in life, and have no regrets. Maybe that is why it seems that everyone comes to me for advice or want me to be their sounding board. My ENFJ personality might explain my obsession with Dr. Phil lately too. I think I should be a marriage or family therapist for my next career. Or a wedding planner.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Ups and downs

Despite the sadness in my life right now and what may have been one of the worst days of my life on Sunday(which I won't get into on here), my birthday is coming up and that is my favorite day of the year. My mom and my brother Mikey sent me this gorgeous bouquet of yellow and white roses... 28 of them for each year of my life. I LOVE yellow, and I LOVE yellow roses. I always have. Somehow, as always, my family (and friends too during the past 2 days) seems to find ways to brighten up my day.

To make myself even more happy, I changed the wallpaper on my computer screen from a picture of one of my all-time favorite shows "The Contender" (with Sergio Mora and Alfonso Gomez) to a scene I took a picture of at St. George Island last February when we took the ticos there. I absolutely love St. George. It is only an hour and 15 min drive southwest of Tally (depending on who is driving). The first time I went there, I had never seen houses that had stairs on their roofs that led to a pool or a sitting area, or houses that were built on stilts. "Florida's Forgotten Coast" is just that: as much as everyone (like me I'll admit) loves Miami, Jacksonville, Tampa, etc., no one ever thinks of the Panhandle and how great its beaches are. When you drive to St. George, you will even be welcomed by a sign that says "Welcome to St. George Island: The Uncommon Florida". Last time I went to St. George this summer, some guy caught a 3 or 4 ft. long shark (I forget what kind), and had so much trouble getting it unhooked so that he could throw it back in the water without getting bitten. I would stay at the beach there all day for days on end..... I am always so happy there. I have vases full of shells too.

The picture you see here is of some seagulls flying around after some of the ticos had fed them some bread. I just loved how the sun was shining down making the shadows on the gulls. I happened to catch it at just the right moment before the sun disappeared.

One last note: I hope, with everything in me, that this new hurricane Rita is not like Katrina. (Sorry for my randomness today). I hope South FL is spared any significant damage, and anywhere else she may go... our Gulf Coast region cannot handle any more destruction and definitely doesn't deserve anymore of it.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Blog game

Erin said there was this blog game going around, so I figured that would be a fun post for today.

20 years ago I… (1985)
1. Was in 3rd grade with a great teacher Mrs. McCabe who I still see when I visit my elem. school.
2. Was happy that Mikey (my brother) was starting kindergarten and would be in the same school as me!
3. Enjoyed playing dress-up with my friends using my mom's old dresses, jewelry, shoes, and purses.

10 years ago I… (1995)
1. Graduated high school.
2. Started college and got drunk for the first time on rum and coke in the Terraces of Ithaca College (remember Phil?).
3. Met some of the greatest friends I could ever have at IC, some on the very first day of school.

5 years ago I… (2000)
1. Received my masters degree from FSU.
2. Was looking for full-time jobs.
3. Was helping plan my best friend Jen's wedding.

3 years ago I… (2002)
1. Started classes for my Ph.D.
2. Went to Mikey's college graduation at St. Bonaventure.
3. Went to Costa Rica for the first time with the FSU program I continue to coordinate.

1 year ago I… (2004)
1. Had 3 weddings to attend in NY (and 3 bridal showers) within 3 1/2 months. I was in 2 of them.
2. Watched helplessly as my favorite city in the world was attacked. (Madrid, March 11) My host brother was on one of the trains, but thankfully he was alright.
3. Started planning my high school reunion and looking for people (HUGE job).

So far this year I… (2005)
1. Finished classes for my Ph.D.
2. Saw a 6 ft. leatherback turtle laying eggs on the beaches of Tortuguero, Costa Rica.
3. Went home for a wedding Mikey was in, and for my high school reunion.

Yesterday I…
1. Find out the most exciting news a best friend could ever share with me!
2. Taught my first-year experience class (it was academic day-anything they wanted to ask about majors, minors, grad school, taking summer classes, etc.).
3. Had a great workout at Curves.

Today I…
1. Am working and chatting with friends.
2. Will eat at my favorite Mexican restuarant in town-Los Compadres.
3. Am not sure what else will happen since it's only 10 AM.

Tomorrow I will…
1. Go to work.
2. Go to a goodbye happy hour for coworkers at On The Border.
3. Do laundry hopefully.

In the next year I will…
1. Take my prelim exams, and hopefully begin my dissertation (YIKES).
2. Go to my brother's best friend's wedding in July 2006 back in NY and go to Costa Rica again for the 5th time.
3. Hopefully travel somewhere new or somewhere I haven't been in a long time, and go to an ATP or WTA tennis tournament.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Scavenger hunt

It is always fun walking to work on a Monday after 'Noles and Tallahasseans have had a good long weekend of partying, especially if we had a home football game. I live very close to campus, and in a part of town where a lot of the college kids live. So, when I walk to work I see random things in the street leftover from the fun weekend. For example: Zephyrhills water bottles and wrappers, beer bottles (the most common thing I see), spattered tacos (or burritos-I really wasn't sure) from the late night munchie urges at the nearby Taco Bell, a fluorescent yellow straw, a half eaten orange, papers of all kind, a CD of Johnny (or Jonny-I can't remember) Diaz and the case next to it, plastic beer cups, various fast food items (ketchup packets, a plastic soda cover thing, Popeye's bag), a Snickers wrapper, something that looked like a battery, lots of cigarette butts, and many more things. Often times I see undergarments laying in the street-one time there was a bra, another time some guy's shorts and socks, and another time women's underwear. There is also occsionally vomit. I just want to take my class on a walk and have them do a scavenger hunt around campus and see what they can scrounge up. : ) It's always entertaining looking at the things lazy people can't throw away.

Sunday, September 11, 2005


Yesterday morning I went to Curves (like I usually do on Saturday mornings), and there were two women there who fled to Tally from New Orleans after the hurricane. One woman said that she found out that her ex-husband had walked (YES, WALKED) from New Orleans to Baton Rouge (which she said was 85 miles-I thought it was further) to escape. He had fought in Vietnam, and he said that this was worse because he had to look out for his family too and not just himself like in the war. Also, luckily, her house was not flooded, but just had structural damage. Just had to share that story.

I hope everyone has donated to this horrendous disaster. Even if you give $5 it helps. I don't think that is asking a lot. I was in MIAMI (one of my favorite world cities) visiting Novi when Katrina hit (in Kendall actually), and though it was not nearly as bad as in New Orleans and Mississippi, it did cause some bad damage which is still not cleaned up yet. The entrance to the neighborhood was flooded, trees were uprooted and tore up sidewalks and fell on roofs, debris was everywhere in the streets, and palm trees were snapped in half. I have pictures up on Snapfish, but unfortunately I forgot to save them before I deleted them and cannot upload them on here. : ( That stinks because I wanted everyone to see. Oh well... if you want to see the pics let me know. I just cannot believe that some of these trees survived Hurricane Andrew back in 1992, but not Katrina, which was supposedly a weaker storm. Amazing what gets destroyed and what doesn't. We actually drove through the eyewall of the hurricane with 70-80 MPH winds all around us coming back from Outback Steakhouse (where incidentally the power went out), and that was definitely an adventure. I had never been through anything like that before in my life. I had never seen palm trees whip around so much other than on tv. I guess I have many more hurricanes to come living here in FL so I better get used to it.

Friday, September 09, 2005

Two nights of heaven, literally

I do not know how to describe this amazing group of boys that I have attended performances of for the past two nights. The Tallahassee Boys' Choir is full of energy, spirit, joy, and dedication to music, and to think that they produce such a mature vocal sound at their ages (they range in age from 8-about 23), is simply incredible. It is no wonder that they have been recognized by Oprah, and have performed at the Kennedy Center and around Italy. In a society where we often times forget that children CAN take responsibility for their actions and their future, this group proves that good things can be done early on in one's life. Mr. Earle Lee, the director, takes pride of the fact that these boys are disciplined and respectful, and he shows us that "black men are doing more than being on the news" (quoted from Wednesday's concert). Many of the younger boys look up to the older ones, who set the example of having self-worth, academic success, and social skills. It is just a wonderful group, and I absolutely love them!

Wednesday's concert was a "Back 2 School Explosion" held at the New African Methodist Episcopal Church (Mt. Zion) on Old Bainbridge Road. This was more of a church worship than a concert per se. Singers from the Tally Police Dept. were there too, and there was a service and collection. The sermon was captivating: the guest preacher referred to Exodus 14 and the parting of the Red Sea, and compared Moses caught between the Pharaoh's army and the sea to today's society where we are caught between capitalism's realities and wanting to make money and advance in this world. Being a history student myself, I have discovered that nothing changes throughout history. Back then, people were caught between a rock and a hard place and now they are too (that was the preacher's theme). With the tools God gave Moses, Moses took the problem in his own hands and solved it, and today our success is in our hands too. Now, I am not religious by any means, and I want people to know that you do not have to be religious to understand that the Bible is the most amazing piece of history ever written. From a historical perspective, it is a remarkable piece of literature. Moses wants to be still and not do anything about his problem, but God says don't be still! DO SOMETHING ABOUT YOUR SITUATION! We have the tools to succeed, but we need to be resourceful and use them. This idea has not changed for thousands of years. The Boys' Choir certainly takes their tools (their voices) and produces good things from them.

Last night was the hurricane benefit concert at Trinity Methodist Church on Park Ave. Marsha and I brought some nice non-perishable goods for the refugees. Take a look at for her pictures-hers came out great! I am so glad she goes with me-it is so fun because she loves the group as much as I do. I'm sorry I don't have pics of her, but you can go to her blog b/c she took a lot. Last night was definitely a concert including a mixture of jazz pieces, upbeat African songs with drums, and America the Beautiful. I got shivers at some of the chords the group held-they were beautiful and echoed in the church.
We smiled at the fun the boys were having-they were dancing and singing their hearts out. It was more upbeat than at the AMEC, and understandably so since Wed. was an actual church service. Lawrence is my favorite member, and he had a few solos. He held this one high note that just rang through the church and gave me goosebumps. Marsha and I took a pic with him and the other soloist that you can see on her blog, but I have a pic of him here too.

All in all, the two performances were unbelievable. I hope people get to see them sometime in their lifetime. I plan on donating for their trip to the Astrodome to sing for the hurricane refugees. Oprah asked them to come, and she obviously knows a good thing when she sees it!

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

My first ever blog post

Well, I finally made it to the 21st century: I have a BLOG now. Thanks to my dear friend Erin Christine Cassidy Whong, I now know how to do these things. : )

Not to start the blog on a sour note, but I just got a call from Novi who is driving back down to South FL in the rains of the newly declared tropical depression, which could turn into Tropical Storm Ophelia by tomorrow. Maybe I should rethink my desire for living in Florida all of my life... okay, I thought it over. Nah. "Paradise Land" (aka Miami-so named by Mikey) is waiting for me to arrive and help all the immigrants.