Monday, September 14, 2015

Ball So Hard

Among the many things in this country beyond my comprehension...
Donald Trump, the Mid-West, cats on youtube, the stock market, ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, ESPNNews... is Football. The moment I knew my learning curve was significant was when my Fantasy Football projections included Tom Brady and Tim Riggins. I'd always considered myself an athlete and a sports fan but my father's excessive fanaticism and ability to transform the television room into a war zone on Sunday and Monday evenings made football a bit off putting to say the least.  

Last weekend I attended my first College football game. Texas vs Notre Dame, apparently the two most popular programs in the league. The scene reminded me of the time I was coerced into Country Fest at Gillette Stadium where I barely made it past the tailgate. Tailgating should be considered a sport within itself - the preparation and sheer enthusiasm alone I find almost inspiring. And to think that a majority of these people don't even go to the actual game? That is dedication. 

Entering the stadium felt like a glorified weight room - potent testosterone and unnecessary grunting. The dramatic entrance of each team complete with smoke machines, cheerleaders, mascots, and a 50 person band had me outraged at every guy that ever complained about the length of my lacrosse games. Football takes 45 minutes just to get everyone on the field. Nonetheless, I did my best to follow but somewhere between the millionth down and the nonsensical explanation of scoring I found myself in the only place that seemed familiar - the concession stand purchasing a mystery meat sandwich and a bucket sized beverage.

So maybe I haven't given football a fair shot, I suppose it's still early in the season. But for what its worth.. first impression, this all seems a little overhyped for a sport that boasts world champions and world class athletes when all of its competitors are limited to one country. If you ask me Id say all of American football could benefit from a little less air in the balls. 

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Packing List - Revised

Whoever coined the term "Funemployment" was either a retired, leathery old balding man living in Boca or an ass hole trustafarian hipster in Williamsburg. The angst and perpetual feeling of being lost has not been an enjoyable one since leaving my job. "What do you want to do?" has become a question I welcome as openly as what I imagine it might be like to endure a colonoscopy. What makes this question so infuriating is that it is something only I can answer and the answer can never be wrong... WTF. It's like discovering the cereal aisle in the grocery store only to realize you've been eating Cheerios every god damn day for the last ten years when you could have had Cinnamon Toast Crunch or Frosted Flakes or fucking oatmeal! ...I digress. 

When I look around, at the ever exciting social media crazed culture we live in, it's hard not to feel like we're all just a bunch of attention seeking, achievement oriented ass holes competing for the most likes. I have come to the either extremely liberating or completely discouraging conclusion (I have yet to decide) that everyone else is just as lost I am. 

As a result of this current unrest I have found myself back home in Maine reassessing life. The longer I stay here the more acutely aware I have become of how much I am turning into my father. For example, on two separate occasions I have found myself at Best Buy making purchases that I will discuss ad nauseam. I have also developed an obsessive compulsion with knowing the weather in every location other than my own along with following local news stories with a ferocious enthusiasm. It was at this point my brother made it clear - it is time for me to make a move.

After doing the math, over the last 28 years I have moved a total of 26 times. I have come to define "Moving" as relocating all of my possessions for a time frame ranging as little as 4 days to as long as a year. This vagabond lifestyle has forced me to narrow down the important things in my life into a single suitcase. You know, the things that matter, the things that if I died tomorrow and all that was left of me was this suitcase, it would really tell people about who Meddy Hurd was... 

Suitcase Contents:
- Miscellaneous unworn Brooks Brothers shirts accumulated over 10 Christmases.
- A picnic sized cheese board set complete with two silver serving platters gifted by my grandmother for all of my... "entertaining".
- 13 "How to" books each one serving as a reminder of my eclectic array of fleeting interests... UFO spotting: New England, Australian Walkabouts in the Bush, and Jillian Michaels - Ripped (this was a seriously awkward time for me). 
- A pair of blue leather pants with a busted zipper I said I'd take to the tailor... 2 years ago.
- An embarrassingly expensive leather jacket that I purchased under the delusional "treat yoself" influence only to be rudely awakened by the Sallie Mae reality train. 

Clearly, I have been like a hoarder, carrying around an assortment of shit that I have no use for. As I eliminate many of the "things" in my life that I have either outgrown or just never needed I get confused as to whether it was all of this stuff that has made me who I am or kept me from it, I suppose it's a bit of both.  Nonetheless, as I prepare for the next chapter of my life and what will be my 27th move Im taking a more critical inventory of my packing list and embracing the less is usually more. 

Friday, June 8, 2012

150 Degree Nightmare

Anyone that knows me knows that I hate and I mean HATE blood, seeing people in pain is just something I cannot do (I am including this in my next pageant speech along with solving world hunger). It is something that makes me violently angry. So Saturday morning I was in for quite the treat when I went to my local YMCA.

It is interesting to observe the small upgrades in a neighborhood trafficked by baby strollers. Overpopulated by three foot tall stumblers, this new community offers enough baby extracurricular activities to start a Univiersity for tots. My casual F bombs are suddenly met by scolding mothers who's ginormous bellies lead me to believe that pregnancy may in fact be contagious. So when my local YMCA said they had a sauna, steam room, swimming pool, Pilates and even offered towels! TOWELS! (whether these are sanitary really doesn't matter, the fact that they are offered and offered in such abundance just.. well, it warms my heart) I knew that not all Y's were created equal in New York City and that children were possibly the key to these upgrades.

While exploring this new YMCA's lavish ammentiies, I came upon the sauna, a very very very strange place. It is a tiny room where total strangers sit together naked or nearly naked to sit and sweat. It's disgusting and therapeutic all at once. I remember the first time I was introduced to this insanity. I was 12 years old on an exchange trip to Japan. We got off the plane, met our host families and then went to a hot spring where we were to sit in pools... naked. I was 12!! Anyway...

So, on this particular Saturday morning I sat and listened to the usual banter about which daycare is best, where you can find the best gluten free, vegan, organic, free range, paleo friendly baby food. The girl sitting next to me walked out. Through the steamed doors I saw her sort of stumble and then SLAM her head onto the ground. I jumped up, "Oh my god! I think that girl just fainted!" I ran out and yes sure enough the girl was incoherent on the ground, head streaming blood. Oh my god... I had no idea what to do, I sort of picked up her limp body and started dragging her out of the doorway into the locker room. All I could say over and over was "Im reaalllllly not the best person for this, Im reaalllly not the best person for this" probably the WORST thing someone can hear when they're at risk.

So in between my gagging from the blood and not knowing what the hell I am supposed to do, and feeling awful leaving an unconscious body alone while I try and find someone to help me. I find the receptionist towel woman and do my best to calmly tell her the situation. After realizing she is just giving me a strange concerned stare and shaking her head, she starts saying something in Spanish and I quickly realize we aren't speaking the same language. So I just start saying the words "MANAGER" and "HELP" interchangeably and pointing at the door. I run back to see if the girl is okay and hoping that maybe someone has stepped in to help her too. When I return the girl has finally come to so I told her what happened, that she was in the sauna and she fainted. She insisted on getting up, that this happens "all the time" and no need to get anyone. I was totally confused she stood up and walked over to the mirror, I said she may just want to sit a few minutes longer. She waved me off saying she was sorry and she was totally fine. So I stood there, I mean what are you supposed to do in these situations?!

Next thing I know the girl slams her head on the mirror falls to the ground AGAIN. Blood... more blood everywhere.. Jesus Christ!! I run over and keep saying "I am realllllllly not good at this" wondering where the fuck is Maria the towel woman receptionist! FINALLY after what feels like an eternity and after asking some women to go and check whether help is coming. Maria returns! THANK GOD! But when I see that Maria is 1. Strolling in with ZERO pep in her step, no urgency! and 2. has in hand no first aid, NO emergency phone, no help!! I. am. PISSED.

What does Maria have? Maria is carrying a stool and a fucking BRIGHT orange cone.... what in god's name are either of those two items going to do in this situation? I sit there staring at her praying this is some sort of eagle scout trick where you give a boy a toothpick and floss and they build a fire and bring a baby bird back to life. Maria sort of pushes me out of the way and starts trying to maneuver a totally incapacitated body onto a thimble of a stool then puts the cone down in the middle of the room! WHAT in gods name is going on here?! I grab Maria's face with my hands, "GO GET YOUR MANAGER!!!" I think we understood each other at this point.

The girl finally comes to AGAIN, blood still gushing from her forehead. I am trying to figure out what the hell to do in these situations?! Thank god for House, Grey's Anatomy, The Babysitter's Club... ANYTHING that I have possibly seen to cue my medicinal instincts. For some reason it takes more than common sense to put a towel on a head wound. Finally, Maria returns once again, and I ask where the manager is, awaiting some caped superhero that can magically bring this girl to life. The manager appears sans cape. I tell her the situation and that the girl is really bleeding and she fainted twice, she may need to go to the hospital? The Manager says "Yeah, we've got it under control, Iv got a Capri Sun here and we've got some string cheese coming so she will be alright"....

What? You have a Capri Sun and string cheese?! I am furious! Isn't there some protocol here? Capri Sun, string cheese, a stool and an orange cone?! Isn't this a health and wellness establishment?! Shouldn't there be some sort of first aid everyone is beyond well versed in?! And where was any help from the women walking by? Aren't most of you mothers?!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Professionally Unprofessional

Oh review week. Time to evaluate my less-familiar professional self. While evaluating year one at my current employer, it got me thinking about my extremely, ah hem, valuable experience thus far. Way back when, I graduated college and put together my resumé. I was trying to milk absolutely *EVERYTHING.

*Babysitter turned into “Professional care taker”, a mere honorable mention to Deans List turned into full blown “Athletic Scholar candidate”, A sabbatical around the world turned into “World Traveler with mission to broaden a unique perspective through cultural immersion”.

It was safe to say that upon graduating I had a lot of catching up to do. After four year’s of fumbling through the work force, each said experience has taught me some significant and crucial life lessons.

Meredith Hurd
Brooklyn, NY

Bartender, Bob’s Bar & Grill, Kailua Bay, Hawaii
Experience: My regulars took excellent care of me, tipping me with Poke lunches, Bonnie Rait albums, $10 bills rolled around joints, even home garden grown veggies and flowers. One of my favorites was Uncle Alvin (NOTE: any male of middle age not related to you is considered an ‘Uncle’ in Hawaii). He was a 93 year-old leathery native with blue eyes. Uncle Alvin arrived every morning at 10am and stayed for the entirety of my shift, everyday, without fail, whilst perpetually drinking, wearing a hat that read “My two favorite Buds” with a picture of a Bud bottle and pot leaf. He said that the key to health was “red wine, ketchup, mustard and mac salad”. Uncle Alvin was a wise man.
Lesson: The day shift at a local dive is not pretty - not even in paradise.

Cleaning Lady, Beach Rental Cleaning, Lanikai, Hawaii
Experience: The cleanliness of my own room served no relevance as to whether or not I was qualified for this job. However, I was pretty desperate when Bob’s Bar was beginning to take its toll and my regulars either decided to get sober or go bi-polar on me. I mean I guess you have to be happy when someone doesn’t feel like a Jaeger bomb every morning. Anyway, my friend Jaclyn and I took up cleaning beach rentals. Looking back I wish I had been the one lounging in Kimora Lee Simmon’s beach bungalow rather than scrubbing her floor, dancing with a mop and huffing Murphy’s oil and bleach.
Lesson: It is better to be famous than a cleaning lady when you are 22.

Babysitter, Kailua Nursery, Kailua Bay, Hawaii
Experience & Lesson: 10 dirty diapers + 10 crying babies = An important form of birth control.

Nanny, The Cash Residence, Melbourne, Australia
Experience: When presenting myself to the Cash family as a responsible guardian for their son Lochie, I experienced flashbacks of me (mere months prior) in my senior year at Sportsway Café singing “Don’t Stop Believing” and dancing so aggressively I had to be dragged home by my friends and thrown into bed fully clothed. However, on the outside I was convincing them that I am not only responsible and caring but above all - I love children, this is only a half truth. Love children? I mean yes, children? Adorable! Children? The future of our world (cue Michael Jackson’s music video “Heal the World”) but actually wanting to be around them 24/7?! Me? Good god no, I might kill one. But there I found myself, reassuring this mother that I was the best fit to care for her only child. So she yelled for Lochie to come meet his new Nanny and in came five year old Lochie stark naked singing “If you want my body and you think im sexy”… oh. My. GOD. . The next day Mrs. Cash asked me to go for a test drive in their car as I would be driving Lochie and doing errands. She said to pretend like she wasn’t even there. I was more nervous than the day I took my drivers license. But I tried my best to calm myself that it didn’t matter that I barely knew my rights and lefts let alone under pressure and it was just a simple adjustment that they drove on the opposite side of the road in Australia. So I got into the car put on my seatbelt, checked the mirrors, adjusted the seat and took a deep breath. Mrs Cash tapped on the window from outside and pointed at Lochie sitting in the grass OUTside of the car as I completely forgot to even put him in the car.
Lesson: Never lie about loving children.

Toaster Girl, Toby’s Estate Coffee, Sydney, Australia
Experience: I wish I could say that I gallivanted off to Australia, became a “barrista”, learned all about sophisticated coffee and used terms like flat white and long black because I’m just really that cultured. But no, instead I was the toaster girl… also I should probably add here that this was not even really a shop per se, this was a… kiosk… in an office building (I’m literally cringing right now). And yes, again, I was the toaster girl. I should also note that it is unclear whether I was fired or that I quit. I am not sure which came first. It happened somewhere in between my gremlin boss (who resembled Shrek quite closely and referred to every customer as “boss, chief or champ”) one day decided to call me fat and retarded because I completely fucked up cutting the baguette and gave a woman peanut butter and jelly rather than “jahhm with buttah” (it’s Jelly, NOT Jam, Ass hole).
Lesson: Again, it was unclear whether I was fired first or quit, but the lesson learned is never to be a toaster girl. Ever, ever again...

Sales Associate, Sunglass Hut, Williamsburg, Virginia
Experience: I hate retail. But you know what I hate even more? Oakley customers and their absurd product knowledge. What do I look like to you? A sales associate that actually knows any information about the actual product being sold? No, you don’t impress me with your photochromic, hydrophobic, plutonite M frame supercalifragalisticachespealedoscious language!
Lesson: I will never associate with anyone that wears Oakley’s. It will just never happen.

Sales Associate, Yumi Kim, New York, NY
Experience: Did I mention I hate retail? Working for an Asian designer (otherwise known as tiny people) when you’re 5’10, you wind up with 100 bazillion dollars worth of silk dresses that barely cover your ass.
Lesson: My ass looks better covered than not. Invest in clothes by Swedish designers.

Waitress, Papacito’s, Brooklyn, NY
Experience: Please reference for a recap.
Lesson: Don’t work at really bad taco restaurants.

Waitress, Carino, Brooklyn, NY
Experience: Pretending like I actually know what I'm doing and slaughtering the Spanish language.
Lesson: Don’t work at ridiculously good taco restaurants. It’s doing your thighs no favors. Also – and this is important - learn Spanish.

Intern, Marek & Associates Photography, New York, NY
Experience: So I took an unpaid internship with a photography agency which found me on the UWS frequently delivering the weather report and doing grocery shopping for one of the photographers. Glamorous.
Lesson: Trying to claw into the fashion world with a History degree, and a resume of waitressing, retailing, toastering and nannying is really not very impressive and even far less so when you’re battling with Pratt and FIT students who popped out of the womb rocking McQueen and stilettos and willing to work for nothing.

Casting Assistant, Ernest Represents, New York, NY
Experience: My internship with the photography agency landed me an opportunity with a casting director who needed an assistant for a couture bridal runway show that was being featured on Women’s Entertainment. It’s funny how critical these people are of these young total knock out youthful models. The 10 chosen girls were…well..girls. It’s funny - I thought bridal wear should worn by someone who could legally be wed? Most of these girls walking the runway were…16?
Lesson: I’m 25 now and probably missed my window of looking slamming in a wedding gown. DAMMIT.

*Edits by Jaclyn Little

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Zen and the Art of Meddy's Life

I’d been sleeping on my brother’s couch wondering how long it would take for me to blend in just enough to disappear. It’s funny how you can hold yourself hostage to feelings, camp out until you have talked yourself into an oblivion of self pity. Until one day you realize it’s not serving anyone, not even yourself.

Iv taken up reading books, anything I can get my hands on. Books have a funny way of diverting your attention while at the same time drawing many parallels to your life. It’s kind of therapeutic.

I am currently reading Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. It’s an interesting book, one I thought might have a more abstract or spiritual tone but so far it’s quite literally describing a man’s journey across the country on his motorcycle, identifying all the issues with the actual engine. It’s funny how the author allows you to draw your own conclusions about what he is trying to convey.

I think for the first time something really clicked for me about the difference between a car ride and a motorcycle trip. A car ride is all about the destination, even in the car you are a passenger watching everything sort of like a movie, everything is passive. It’s about taking the freeways and highways – the fastest route. Whereas, a motorcycle is all about being part of the scenery, taking the quieter scenic roads, it’s less about where your destination actually is but rather the journey of getting there.

I am finding that by trying to rush through some really critical parts of my growth I’ve been somehow missing the point. I am beginning to see why it’s important to find serenity rather than judgment in my shortcomings. That it can be easier to perceive strength as weakness, and that certain situations in life continually arise not merely out of coincidence but because of some larger lesson at hand. That until they can be faced with a fearless honesty it will continually repeat itself. And ultimately, somewhere down the line do me a large disservice.

I know that it’s something about trust, following my conscience and being ok with being misunderstood, disliked or doubted.

Life lessons are really hard to learn. Sometimes I wish they weren't so difficult but then again I think it's only a reminder that life isn't something to be taken so lightly all the time. It's a really precious thing, something to be shared with special people.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Summertime in aisle 4

In an effort to beat the Winter blues and off set the pasty skin that has so enveloped my body, I decided to "Ombré" my hair. A hairstyle that mimics what the sun does to your soul in the summertime.

This can be achieved only in the months of June, July and August or by taking a relaxing vacation to any island where the sun bakes the negativity right out of you, or by eating barbecue and corn on the cob in July while playing bocce ball at the beach and somehow your face looks so dewy you could put a three month old baby to shame.
YES people, contrary to popular belief summertime CAN be bottled and you can find it in aisle 4 at Duane Reade; Feria's Ash blonde dye for $10.99.

Please follow steps 1-4 repeating step 4 frequently, Enjoy.

Step 1: Purchase a box of very cheap and very ill marketed hair coloring kit.

Step 2: Purchase a very large bottle of very cheap and very ill marketed wine.

Step 3: Watch multiple Youtube instructional videos of girls talking about their hair in an extremely obnoxious and far too passionate way.

Step 4: Sit for consecutive hours holding a hairdryer to foul smelling foil wrapped hair whilst comsuming numerous glasses of wine.

Result: Blonded ends. It's cool... I swear.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

New Year

It's January.

Secretly, I'm wishing it was June. However, that completely goes against my New Year's resolution of living in the moment so I will spare you my Top 10 reasons for loving summer and hating winter.

1. So instead I decided to "ombre" my hair. (Well, technically my friend Jackie dyed it.. please see "Summertime in aisle 4" post for instructions).

2. I moved into a new apartment with my boyfriend Brandon! Yes! SO, this month has been about interior decorating... something I am so well versed in as it has only been recently that I have removed the magazine cut outs from my walls and upgraded from a floor bed. However, my bear and blanket will stay. That is non-negotiable.
So we drove up to Maine to find some inspiration. Most was found in Brandon's mom's basement and on Popham Beach; shells, driftwood, an old stump and a lobster trap.
We also managed to find some KEY pieces from Ed's Stuff "Recycled Goods: Buy'N-Sell'N-Trade'N" an antique shop on Route 1 in Woolwich. Everyone should go here mainly for the sign on the door which reads "If you see something you like take it and leave the money in the drop box or call me 207-443-2732, I live 10 minutes down the road . - Ed" Where else can you find an antique shop (I'll use the term "antique" loosely) and leave money for your purchase in a box? Only in Maine.

3. Something that I am EXTREMELY excited about in this new year is the BEST Christmas gift I recieved from my grandmother, Mimi (a true Mainer and an even truer sweethahht). Now, I have to apologize in advance for what you are about to see is not available to purchase anymore because an item this HOT is understandably sold out....

LL Bean's Cozy Ruffled Nightgown (I know most of you will try to order this rush delivery but I am sorry to say it is sold out.)

So there you have it, some serious excitement for the New Year!