Getting to Know Marilyn

Marilyn Tuzzo, Volunteer Extraordinaire, started working with The Coffeehouse Project after observing the effect the music had on her mother during one of John’s Somerset County Senior Wellness Center programs. With her background in teaching and peer leadership facilitation and her fancy dance moves, it made all kinds of sense for her to join the team for Second Story Sessions. She focuses on choreography and team building and we can no longer imagine how we were ever running the program without her! Marilyn has also assisted The Coffeehouse Project with senior programs, after school programs and as a CHP representative at several community events.

We thought it would be a great idea to let you get to know her better so we asked her a few questions. Here’s what she had to say…

What’s your “super power”?  Nothing very practical; I can buy a roomful of furniture without measuring and it fits. I also play a game when I am at Homesense and the like – is this “Made in Italy” ceramics or the “Made in China” facsimile.  I am usually right but, I do admit, sometimes the “Made in Portugal” pieces mess me up.

What is your favorite quality in a person?  KINDNESS!

What is your biggest personal challenge?  This sounds like one for a therapist’s office – LOL – I would say perfectionism, which often masquerades as procrastination.

What’s your dream job?   I would want to be an angel – no time/space restrictions and you can help a lot of people simultaneously. On an earthly level – something fun and creative.  I’m trying to figure out what that means in this next stage of my life.

Your idea of happiness?   Inner peace.  Love.

Your idea of misery?   Human suffering.  And being around anything that contains mayonnaise – I have a visceral reaction.

Where would you like to live?  The UK or Montreal or the beach.  If money were no object, I would just live in different places for a year or two and try to learn as many languages and customs as possible and then move on.

Your favorite song now?   I haven’t heard much right now that affects me deeply. The last one that still sticks in my brain is 100 Years by Florence and the Machine. There is a little vocalization that reminds me of Siouxsie.

Your favorite song as a younger person?   That changed every time I bought an LP.  How young????  The one that I can sing in its entirety with no prompts is “Wish You Were Here” by Pink Floyd.

Who’s your favorite fictional character?   The Cat in the Hat – I like rebelliousness, the playfulness, and the magic he brings into the children’s lives.

What do you enjoy about volunteering for CHP?   The variety of wonderful people I’ve met as a result of my involvement with CHP. Everyone has an interesting story to share. I love to be around such lovely individuals with a variety of gifts and abilities.

What was your favorite concert that you attended?   It’s a tie. One was more of at a small club in Montreal and cost $5 (Canadian) – but it’s the best live performance I’ve ever seen- Dibondoko.  I met the lead singer at a coffee shop on a previous trip – he was the barista and singing one of my favorite Jack Johnson songs. Turns out he had a basketball scholarship for Seton Hall but quit to return to Montreal and music. The next time we went up to visit my friend’s son at McGill, we took a bunch of his friends to go see the band. They were amazing musicians, and high energy performers. One of the musicians had been in Prince’s band. And Ramon was really happy to see us again. They were so good that  the college kids were impressed that we knew this band and they didn’t! Eventually Ramon ended up on the Quebecois version of The Voice – but it did not showcase the immense talent that he is.

And the other was March 17, 1982 – The Ritz, NYC.  Can you guess who it was? U2! It was the October tour – in support of their second album. Back when Bono still had a mullet! I was dating a guy who had a Ticketron in his store so that was our second date. Great show and I remember thinking that this band was going to be MASSIVE because their live show was as good as their albums, if not better.

And, now, for James Lipton:

  1.  What is your favorite word?      Susurrus
  2.  What is your least favorite word?      Salmagundi
  3.  What turns you on?     Lots of things – sense of humor, tenderness, passion, enthusiasm, intellectual curiosity
  4. What turns you off?     Rudeness and intentional meanness
  5. What sound or noise do you love?    OHM
  6.  What sound or noise do you hate?   I don’t know
  7.  What is your favorite curse word?    “I can’t be arsed” is my favorite but I think I use a lot of curse words that can precede “it” much more
  8.  What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?   Actor/Drummer/Traveler/Healer
  9.  What profession would you not like to do?  I appreciate the people who can do jobs that I cannot do – the one that comes to mind is bathroom attendant.  I will leave it at that.
  10. If heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the pearly gates?  Welcome back
Photo of Marilyn, Jason and Andrew.
Marilyn with Jason (left) and Andrew (right)