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Sunday, March 30, 2014

Spring Follies Part Deux

Every Spring I feel refreshed, renewed, and excited about a new season. This Spring is no different. Here are some things I am crazy about in Spring of 2014:

  • Sarah Jessica Parker's New Shoe Collection- I have always been an avid lover of SJP from her Carrie days to her old films like Hocus Pocus. The fact that the most fashionable and fabulous woman has a shoe line makes me sort of flat line.....and come back to life to browse and buy!

  • Kelis's Cooking Show and Sauce Line- What do you do when you're a badass singer with a funky sense of style? YOU CREATE A LINE OF SAUCES!  I've  loved her music for years, I loved her cooking show (hopefully it becomes a series), and I am totally here for her sauce line! Bring on the Feast!

  • Tomato Sauce- ever since I hit up the Market Mobile Pantry, a mobile sort of grocery store that provides a host of goodies for $10.00, I have been creating some of the best marinara ever! I get so many tomatoes, I might as well create the zestiest, tastiest, and fabulous marinara sauce in the world. WHY NOT?

  • Business ventures- I have been steadily trying to venture into the business world, but my fear of transition has stifled my progress. Well, those days are over. Now I am merging my love of weight loss(and fierceness) with business and I plan on making LOADS OF MONEY!

  • My Jobs- I never thought in 1 million years, that I, Oriel Martin, would enjoy teaching. My personality and life force is that of a spicier and creative type, so to teach just never registered with me. Thank God those days are over. Teaching and mentoring means to pour into others what I wish for them to be. The thought is humbling and the experience has slowly, but surely changed my life. I am grateful and terrified yet I want more...

  • Traveling-nothing new here folks, I just live for a journey and since my Jamaica trip was so brief, it is time for yet another amazing trip filled with shenanigans and lots of pictures. Argentina, hello my love...

  • Pretty Dresses- some things never change. I will never be a girl who does not rock a dress. Long sleeved, short sleeved, turtleneck, backless, thigh length, floor length, it simply does not matter: I LOVE EM! However, there is something particularly alluring about a backless, floral frock (yes I am talking to you my new, Diva boutique love of my life). Spring is here!

  • Sports Events- I have never been a "sporty" girl though I admire and love the hard work athletes put forth in their work. I have long since, stopped participating in sports yet lately, I have been to baseball games and basketball games. For me, this is a stretch! Who knows, maybe I will be on the 40 yard line watching some touchdowns take place...WHOA Nelly! Maybe a nice game at home should be my start for the upcoming football season. 

  • Poundcake- it is decadent, slightly underwhelming, and calorie filled cake that is a staple down south. Poundcake always reminds me of my sultry southern days as a youngster. My friend Gwen has been serving up the poundcake goodness lately and I cannot say no. Damn those cupcakes!

  • Holistic Health- my recent diagnosis of health concerns in the last few years has made me a far more focused and proactive person when it comes to my health. I am trying everything from Monolaurin (raw coconut tablets), Daily vitamins for skin and hair, acupuncture, and oxygen therapy. I refuse to go down without a fight. I must have a super body. 

  • Jazzhole-This band is not new by any stretch of the imagination and yet I crave their music! I love the acid jazz world and I am here for this type of slow and seductive sense of beautiful melodies and harmony. Sometimes, I truly adore Pandora! 

  • My New Radio Show- Life is about action. I must be active in life to be successful. This radio show is going to be different from the previous one because I will have a little assistance...stay tuned....

Monday, February 24, 2014


You should always rely on your birthday being an incredibly special day and when it is not, there is something very wrong with this. I for one, always treat my birthday as some sort of holiday in my own mind. Regardless, I do put forth a gallant effort to show others that their birthdays matter just as much. If I have ever not done so, I apologize to those people as I would never want them to feel completely overlooked or hurt by my actions. 

I realize now more than ever that words sting. They last and leave quite an impression on people. This is why we should use them carefully because recovery is always a matter of words and actions. I am not into saying "I'm sorry" for the hell of it. When I say it, I want to mean it. I truly am sorry for all the birthdays you've felt ignored, unhappy, or mistreated. 

I never want to be a contributor of your sorrow or despair especially on your birthday. You are someone I would never want to let down in that regard. I feel fairly certain that your birthday is quite possibly the best thing that has ever happened to me because you were born which is something that I am so grateful for. Had you not been born, I would not have the fortune of being able to make your acquaintance, be your friend,  and know what  family truly is. 

On your birthday, of all the days, I just wish you happiness, peace, and prosperity. If any of that does not come to you that day, I pray it comes very soon. I could never wish for anything more because you mean just that much to me. On your birthday, I wish you well with or without me because I love you just that much. 



Sunday, January 26, 2014

On the Television

As I sit here watching The 56th Annual Grammy's I had a thought? Look how far we've come. The we I am referring to someone that needs no formal introduction because he knows who he is. He is brilliant, ambitious, and a motivating factor in my passion for large scale success. This man and I met some 8 years ago on the streets of Lankershim and Magnolia boulevard in North Hollywood, California when I was just finishing my first year of theatre school at The American Academy of Dramatic Arts and he was into his first year of his internship at Universal Records. The rest is history. 

As he sits at the Grammys and I sit at home contemplating going to the gym, I just have a fantastic amount of relief. This amazing man's artist is nominated for 3 Grammy's. I could not be more proud if I tried. I want to think that people like him enter your life for a reason. Perhaps to teach you an invaluable life lesson that even life itself could not teach you correctly. Today, I believe he taught me to never give up on my goals, dreams, and aspirations, and to soar to the highest heights possible. 

He inspires (indadvertedly) me to never give up in life and fight the good fight until the end. He pushes me to make changes and make sacrifices I normally wouldn't make. He also encourages me to go for my dreams and not to worry because I do that all too well. This incredible man is not only my friend, but a delicate portion of my spirit and soul. I want to keep him right there because this is a place that is more than just in my heart, but embedded in my DNA. A life without him is truly petrifying, so I won't entertain the thought, I will simply continue to ask God for his blessing and pray that 2014 is the beginning of the rest of us....

Monday, December 23, 2013

Don't Look Back!

I said I wouldn't look back.......I did. Did it get me anywhere great? Not sure, it is too early to tell, but I have a feeling I should just keep looking ahead. Ahead is so much better than behind. Behind is where all the hurt, embarrassment, resentful, hopelessness, and inability to be strong lies. I cannot be there. I have too many important things to be do and I must continue to be who I say I am: regal, strong, and legendary. 

These are the thoughts that ran through my head in the recent weeks. It has been plenty of hell and lots of heaven. My 2013 has been anything, but predictable yet I am happy to say I have prevailed and lived through the rough parts. If I can manage to do that, I know I can conquer a new city, state, and chapter in my life. 

Like every year, my new years resolution stays the same: I wish to be an overall better person. Well, it may be an ambitious goal, but it is difficult because change is uncomfortable, stressful, strange, so many words, but easy. Regardless, I have to do it. No matter how much I want to give up and give in. In the end, God would be proud of my choice and so would the people who matter the most in my life. 

The greatest lesson of 2013 is stop giving more than those unworthy of your light. My sister, a very wise person, once told me that "You have to show people how to treat you in order for them to know. Stop accepting things that are less than your worth." I firmly believe she is right. 

It is time out for "trying." When you truly want to do something like show someone you love them, finish school, travel, write a book, learn a new language, there is no excuse, you find a way and do it. Ambition deserves a certain level of attention and focus that is much higher than simply "desiring" to do something. It takes a level of intensity that is much bigger than words, but merely actions because only actions prevail. Anyone can talk, but who is listening?

Personal growth is never simple. If it were easy, we will all be the perfect people with perfect behaviors and attitudes. Clearly that is not reality, so it takes work. More work than simply "talking." Again, you simply must do whatever it takes to prove that you want to accomplish the goal, achieve the dream, or receive the blessing you have been waiting on for so long. 

Along the many bumps and thumps of 2013, there were so many peaks. I got to see my very best friend get married in JAMAICA (see first travel blog), one of my favorite cousins got married, I got to further work on my writing, I applied for my first graduate schools, I witnessed history at Present Obama's last inauguration, became a manager, created the outline for my television show, completed 3 cleanses, back to back with great success, and began mapping out my future plans before 30. I have so much to do and so little time to achieve this, but I will make it happen because I am determined. 

I met many interesting and intriguing people especially one particular man who showed me that I have to remain truth to myself despite hearing what sounded good at the time. Thank you for the life lesson. It was not a wasted experience and the outcome will be even greater! Mounds of responsibility have been dumped on these, small shoulders, but I refuse to let it stop me on my path to legacy because road blocks are the stepping stones to success: I must embrace them. 

One day these words and thoughts will be a way of life instead of simply "hopes" and "dreams." Potential is for losers and I am not a loser, so my potential means nothing unless I fully use it for good and make my life exactly the way I want it to be. In my mind, 2014 is the year of the possible. And anything is possible once you set your mind to it. With that said, I am ready for a new year because like wine, I can only get better with time. Cheers to 2014, I welcome you with open arms. 

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Second Time Around

It is my firm belief that a movie sequel is always seeking to accomplish what the first film did: captivate an audience. However, this feat is rare and almost impossible to do. Most of the time, sequels do the original film a grave injustice by being bland, completely predictable, and over the top. Fortunately, there are a few films that seem to deliver the goods and recreate the magic the original film presented: The Best Man Holiday is one of them. 

Set some years later, after many marriages, kids, and career improvements/changes, the college friends reunite for the Christmas holiday weekend. Though it is not all smiles and sunshine, the beauty of their reunion warms the heart and excites any Best Man movie fans. The original cast returns with the perfect dose of humor, charisma, ensemble ambience, and tear jerking scenes that make every person in the theater question their faith, loyalty, and ability to forgive. 

With each and every scene, you are reminded why the first movie worked so well: the cast! Everything in the cast just blended flawlessly with slapstick humor, the tender moments of truth, and the hypnotizing way each character discovers a new layer of themselves. That in my humble opinion is what a sequel is all about. 

There is something wondrous in knowing that with each scene, your favorite characters from one of your favorite movies divulges of themselves, something you didn't see before. It is exciting, endearing, and the reason we go to the movies. The Best Man Holiday never disappoints because it does not stray too far from the formula for a great film: entice, invite, reveal, and leave the audience hungry for more. 

Director Malcolm D. Lee felt so confident in his work that he left the film with an ambiguous cliffhanger that begs the question: will there be a Best Man 3? And judging by opening weekend numbers, I know I am not alone in my desire to see a trilogy. When and if another film comes to theaters, I will be there, on time, with tissues in hand, preparing to see yet another extension of the fantastic cast who I grew to love so much way back when.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Horror Head

Yesterday, my co-worker stopped by my desk to chat and noticed my screen saver (see photo to left) and said, "I never imagined you to be a horror film lover." I don't blame her ignorance because she doesn't truly know me. Anyone who knows me, knows how much I adore horror films! Some might call it strange for a girly, girl such as myself to be obsessed with the latest slasher, gore

 infused, or creepy ghost story to hit the theaters, but it is only natural to me. My first memory of my "horrification (entrance into horror films)" was when I was 4 years old and my parents rented Child's Play. I tried my best to watch it without flinching, closing my eyes, or freaking out: I didn't last 10 minutes. Unlike most small children who would have endless nightmares and loss of sleep, my curiosity with horror grew. I decided I wanted more: more horror, more scares, and more terror. 

Sadly, my opinion of the genre has only grown with adoration. I love horror films more than any other genre of film. In fact, I am such a huge fan that I don't wait until the movie is available at the theatre: I see my horror films at 10 pm the Thursday before their worldwide, release (in the states). I have never been a patient person which is what I attribute my insane desire to see the films sooner than later. I have become so engulfed in the genre that I cruise different websites, looking for the latest horror releases to rent and watch. October is a great horror movie month. 

Consequently, I look forward to watching The Shining, Friday the 13th, Halloween, and Carrie (the remake). Horror will always be my favorite genre of film. I don't why I love the thrill of being spooked or creeped out, but I do. I believe the main reason why I love horror films is because I know those crazy things don't normally happen. However, when I got my very own, apartment in LA, I got a crash course in "too much scary is not good," when I started watching real life horrors on shows like Dateline  on ID. 

These were true tales of women who were murdered, men who vanished without a trace, dead children, and so many other, creepy, REAL LIFE SITUATIONS! Now that scared me into sleeping with every light on in the house. Funny how a movie is fine, but real life is too much. Regardless of the content, I remain an avid horror fan and hope to maintain my stance on the genre. With that said, if this new, Carrie remake isn't up to snuff, there will be one, pissed horror head in Phoenix! 

Saturday, September 21, 2013

The Place You'll Go....

I am a natural born traveler. Been that way my whole life. My father was in the Navy for nearly 15 years, so I spent many of my formative years being a transplant in new cities and places. As a young person, this can either make or break your personality. Thankfully, it made mine! My love of unusual experiences and the unknown has only grown over the years. And as I get older, I travel more, and discover new pieces of me. 

My most recent journey took place on the gorgeous island of Jamaica. I have heard many stories of the good, the bad, and the ugly about Jamaica, but nothing prepared me for the journey that awaited on this joyous occasion. It is not everyday that your best friend gets married, but whenever they do, you must be in attendance, so off to Jamaica I went!

The journey to Marcel's home country started for me on September 5th. After spending several hours on different  planes, I landed in Miami, my first stop. While there, I managed to enjoy a few bites and fabulous conversation with my friend Rachel. This was Rachel and I's first time meeting since we were technologically introduced by a mutual friend. Like most people, we wanted to hit the Miami strip and enjoy a little fine cuisine (sarcasm) and conversation. This consisted of Wet Willies and talking about our futures, family, and the men in our lives.

After dinner and the beginning of a fabulous relationship with Rachel, I went to my great Uncle's house and stayed the night. He has lived in Miami for over 35 years, so whenever I go, it is  must that I see him! We got caught up on each other's lives, he prepared a feast for me which I happily devoured, we watched a completely, ridiculous film about genetically altered, alligators (Aunt Ruby's choice), and drank rum and cokes all night: it was awesome. The night came and went and finally it was time for Jamaica. 

I could not wait to get on the plane, slouch down in my seat, and let my mind drift away thinking about all the adventures to be had. After several conversations with my fellow "flightees," the plane landed. I got off, went through customs, got a very expensive taxi ride (20 American bucks!) to the shuttle I was supposed to take and still missed it! 

Being the ultra resourceful person I am, I found a lovely yet slightly disgruntled bus boy to walk me over to the "bus station" and ride the city bus. I hopped on the city bus wearing a flirty, floral print frock, chocolate mousse and hot neon ankle strap heels, a Louis Vuitton carryon, and the curliest, blonde head of hair they ever saw: I definitely fit in.

The bus ride was unreal. The curves, turns, and twists had my stomach in knots, but I relished it. When was I ever going to be riding the city bus with locals dressed like a total tourist and completely unsure of where I was going exactly? Probably never again, so I better enjoy it while it last is what I thought. The bus conductor managed to fall completely in love with me during the 3 hour bus ride. He was actually a very nice, young man from Montego Bay who helped me out tremendously: he transferred my American money into Jamaican money and got me cab before I got whisked away by one of the many boisterous taxi drivers dying for a customer. 

After catching a ride, I managed to get to a destination that had many other Americans: The Salvation Army. Since my best friend is a member of the church, I felt at ease with the relative strangers. I became reacquainted with Marcel's good friend Steve and his new wife Solivi and met some other new friends. 

The rehearsal dinner had me tearing up over everything. The decor definitely screamed WE'RE IN LOVE! The colorful, floating candles, surrounded by crystals, bright orange and blue table cloths, and a soothing water fountain made the craziness of my journey to Kingston a distant memory. I knew I was among friends, best of all my best friend.  

The heartfelt speeches and tender moments shared between the couple almost helped ease the pain of being a single woman at a wedding as well as being a hungry one. Being a vegetarian in Jamaica is not the easiest. Many of the dishes that do not have meat still have animal stock. Plus almost every major meal has rice as a side. Though not a bad pairing, rice can only be prepared so many ways, before you start longing for the age old, safe plate: a salad. 

Being my natural self, I had to get a slice of the Jamaican night life, so we had to go out! Since it was Marcel's last night as a single man, it was more like an impromptu bachelor party. We ended up at a club that focused on style much more than dancing. Sure there was dancing, but there was much more "watching" of others fashions, lack there of, and of course body parts. Derrieres seemed to be the body part of choice to "observe." For this very reason, I almost got kidnapped for the 4th out of nearly 10 times in Jamaica that night. 

Side note, from my own, personal female observation, Jamaican men are extremely aggressive in their pursuit of a female. Whether it be grabbing your wrist and leading you to the dance floor, whistling, or creating a song that gives you their phone number, they are heavily after the opposite sex. It is an overwhelming yet empowering feeling that can make any woman feel irresistible and self conscious. You've been warned....

Whenever I go out, I have a ritual that I hardly ever break no matter where I am: I always eat early morning nosh. Jamaica was no different. There was not a Denny's or IHOP who happily served up the early morning calories to late night partiers, but there was a Pita Grill. Pita Grill was definitely the healthiest early morning nosh I ever had in my life. As we reminisced on all the damage we did to the dance floor, I munched on my curried, chickpea and potato pita wrap with a side of cheese fries (The American in me) and an extra sweet Sprite (foreign soda is naturally sweeter): IT WAS DIVINE!!! 

Finally, the wedding came. It was a day filled with emotion and deep thoughts. I thought about the countless conversations me and my best friend had over the years about our "future spouses," how we would never forget about one another, and how we would ALWAYS be friends. Now more than ever, I hope those words were genuine because I surely cannot fathom my life without Marcel Moore in it. 

I did shed a tear and I prayed right then and there that I would find someone who I felt I could not live without. It is a scary thought too intense to comprehend yet I look forward to the day it is a reality. Fact: Jamaican weddings are naturally gorgeous because of the glorious beach breezes that fill the church, the ocean is only a few feet away, and the lush greenery sends your mind into a permanent state of peace. It is surreal. 

The reception was especially great because I finally had some red pea soup. Side note: red pea soup does not actually have red peas in it, but red beans. I learned this from my uncle upon my return back to Miami. I didn't care what it had in it, I simply loved that it was vegetarian and delicious! At the reception, the night was definitely danced away and more emotions clouded the room. Mine, his, and every guest in the room who seemed to wear theirs on the beautiful dresses and suits they owned (a grown man cried like a baby when giving his speech to Marcel). 

After dancing my fabulous feet off (BCBG is the best place for wedding shopping), I managed to find time to relax in my hotel room for a few hours. Within this time, I had a mini photo session on the balcony (I am that girl), ordered a Ting (had to have one) from room service, and bought a few things online. The resort was especially fabulous. I felt like I could have gone out an found any guy in the lobby, grabbed him, and married him just to say I did so at a hotel so beautiful! If you are ever in Kingston, I highly recommend The Knuftsford Court Hotel....bellissma! 

The wedding weekend ended with a fun, witty conversation about travel, culture, and life with Marcel's friend Keith and his wife taking me back to Montego Bay from Kingston in their rental car. We had a blast! We laughed, ate some yummy fun at The Island Grill restaurant (very vegetarian friendly), got a few souvenirs, and formed an incredible bond. I will forever be grateful to them for taking me back and making sure, a single, traveling woman, got on her plane safely. The Grahams are magnificent in my book! 

Finally, it was time to get back to Miami and then Phoenix. They say, the places you'll go change you as a individual over time. This is definitely true in my opinion. Though only there for a weekend, I felt a shift in who I was before. I realized, that the adventure of a journey is sometimes the best part, money is not everything, and faith is crucial upon travel. It was my faith that allowed me to travel to a foreign country without fear of being attacked, taken, or worse. Faith is everything. 

My devine faith allowed me to see the many lovely places that Jamaica had to offer. I will carry this same faith with me when I go back which should be very soon. I love a journey, hopefully that will never change. If sitting next to a 60 something year old ,college professor at ASU who splits her time between Germany and America on the plane ride to Miami had assured me anything, it's that you're never too old to travel or have the adventure of your lifetime!