Week 19: An Audacious Easter

Week 19: An Audacious Easter

Church. A building for public Christian worship. A building I’ve been avoiding at all costs since I was confirmed and my parent’s told me I was old enough to make my own decisions. Truth be told, you have a better chance in getting me to attend Sunday mass at the Wat Mongkolratanaram (Thai Temple), because at the very least they have incredible food.

But it’s Easter Sunday and as you’ve probably figured out by now, I’ll follow Ryan anywhere. If he wants to go to an Easter service, we are going to an Easter worship service. Besides, it will probably make a better meatball chronicle. I’m up at 5:30 AM to drive my parents to the airport. They’ve been visiting for a full week and surprisingly I wouldn’t mind if they stayed just a few hours longer, so that my dad could go to church with Ryan and I could stay home with my mom. My mom says that you don’t need to go to church every Sunday to be a good person. I couldn’t agree more and while the meatball chronicles are quite crude, I can assure you my life outside of them is much more balanced.

Ryan and I had every intention of attending an Easter sunrise service at Curtis Hixon Park overlooking the Hillsborough River but it started at 8:30AM and I needed sleep much more than I needed some so-called “calling”… especially after that red-eye airport run.  Our backup plan thoroughly intrigued me: Relevant, a Non-denominational Evangelical Church. Having never been to one, all I could picture was that scene in Borat where he finds Mr. Jesus (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vrTWJo7a9l0).

The service started at 10AM and let me tell you, if this place existed in Massachusetts, my dad wouldn’t have had such a terrible time dragging me to church. Growing up, it was a constant struggle. I was set in my ways and didn’t appreciate others telling me what I should believe in. The boredom associated with church was unbearable and with a strong appreciation for food, I found myself critiquing their communion.

But the service at Relevant was SO different. I can honestly say I had an amazing time and there was even a complimentary café with coffee, juice, muffins and bagels. While I left believing in nothing greater than the power of the human race, I did find their message embedded in my brain: Be Audacious. Be extremely bold and daring, be recklessly brave. We need to live every day fearless, and take risks, even if that means sacrificing something of your own to help someone in need. For me personally, last year my audacious act was chopping off 13 inches of my hair and giving it to childrens cancer for wigs. While some may think the sacrifice was the actual hair, it wasn’t. The sacrifice was a period of lonely months and being mistaken for a lesbian countless times. But I get it; that just isn’t enough. You gotta be more than that…you have to challenge yourself to do more.

I’m positive I didn’t walk away with the full message they wanted to convey, but to me being audacious also includes remaining strong to your beliefs, even when others tell you you’re wrong. Unfortunately for them, I’m a realist in the purest form. The only supernatural thing I’ve ever believed in was the curse of the bambino. Oh, I also learned that if you are trying to convey a powerful message, do it with strobe lights, 6 flat screen televisions, two jumbotrons, a violinist, a rock band and a choir of tiny children– give the people something they can’t ignore. While they may not have succeeded in making me one of them, and I still find it extremely humorous to call Easter “Zombie Day, I can truthfully say I’ll be back; I really enjoyed myself.

Anyway, while this is all a beautiful revelation on how we need to help others, there’s a time and place for that and the present is for meatball chronicles. Don’t think for a second that just because I stepped foot in a massive room of believers I’m going to lose my roots. We are now at the Hard Rock Casino dressed to the nines. The smell of pumped oxygen, antibacterial, Brut, a nursing home, and a distant buffet encompass me.  The Hard Rock hotel and casino has an establishment called Fresh Harvest, an all you can eat buffet consisting of 7 separate mini-restaurants. It’s is only $20 per person and worth every dollar.

Our waitress is pregnant and although she’s barely showing, her belly button is bothering me. The thought of being pregnant and creating an army of nuggets excites me but I don’t want that weird belly button. Can’t someone invent a flesh colored band-aid with an optical illusion of a normal belly button to just keep that thing under control?

I know this is not your traditional Easter per say but I couldn’t wish for anything greater. I love the spontaneity between us and I get a kick out of our non-traditional ways. Ryan is out-eating me. I ravaged the sushi bar and their tiny wonders called “shrimp balls” but as always, Ryan is taking everything to the next level. I watch him get waffles from the breakfast station, and then fried chicken from the “American” station and create a monstrosity of chicken and waffles buried in sausage gravy and syrup. I love him and if he exits this world early by heart attack at least I’ll know we had one hell of a ride. It’s no different than my dermatologist asking me if I want skin cancer. Well no doctor, I don’t. But I will tell ya one thing: I’d rather die with a nice bronze complexion than one of a red head.

As Ryan attacks several more stations, I’m left eavesdropping on the couple beside us. The girl has a huge Belgian waffle in front of her and her boyfriend says “So what makes those waffle’s Belgian? Do they speak a different language!?!” That was hilarious guy, really. Frigan hysterical. To my disbelief, she dies laughing. You two asstards are meant for one another.

In just two stomachs, we fit sushi, waffles, stuffed French toast, bacon, bbq ribs, eggrolls, lo main, fried chicken, peel n eat shrimp, raw oysters, smoked salmon, shrimp dumplings, potato wrapped shrimp, shrimp balls, lump crab meat, oscar egg benedict, sausage, chicken marsala, salami, smoked gouda, pistachio cannolis, mini reeses pieces, carrot cake, a chocolate easter egg stuffed with white chocolate mousse and last but not least a macadamia nut chocolate tart. OH and a mimosa and a bloody mary to take the edge off.

Instead of leaving and immediately falling into a food coma, we decided to hit up the slots. It’s a good thing we did because we won $100. Our winnings paid for our gambling fun, our drinks, our food and that nice donation Ryan made to Relevant Church this morning. This has been the best Easter ever. Although gambling Easter Sunday away is probably not on the Lord’s agenda, thank you Relevant for further inspiring me to live audaciously.

Fresh Harvest at The Hard Rock Casino on Urbanspoon

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