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The New Phrenology.

Something Funny Happened On the Way to the Theatre . . .

Yesterday, I went to meet Betsey and Patrick to see an off-Broadway show about a family band that is really a family and a band. It's called Cecilia in the Living Room and it was a great show.

I walked to the theatre because it is only 15 blocks from my apartment. At the beginning of the walk, there was a light mist falling that turned into an all-out rain within 7 blocks. Needless to say, I got a wee bit dampened.

For those of you who don't know me, I almost never wear a bra. On me, a bra is usually just an exercise in futility. However, I can see where they might come in handy, because my shirt yesterday became rather clingy with all the dampness abounding. However, it never occured to me just how revealing bra-less-ness can be . . .

As I dashed the last couple of blocks to meet my friends, a couple came walking towards me on the sidewalk. The man was in a suit and tie and looked to be in his mid to late 40's. He had his arm cuffed around the woman's neck like she was holding him up for support.

The man looked directly at my boob-al area, pointed his finger sternly at me and declared loudly,

"She's a liberal!"

damn your eyes . . .

link * Miss Marisol posted at 4:51 PM * posted by Miss Marisol @ 4:51 PM   |


Nihil Sine Labore (Nothing without Work) (Part 3)

Confused? This is Part 3. See below for Parts 1 and 2.

The thing about breaking up when you live with another person is you can't always extricate yourself from the relationship in a physical sense.

That day in South Station, Jason and I agreed that we would break up. But there was the matter of the dinner we were having with my parents. We also promised to go to his dad's house to get our stuff from storage in his basement and to meet his mom for lunch.

It was not like a break-up in high school when you just find other routes to your locker so you don't see each other between classes. Breaking up with a long-term, live-in lover is complicated. There are shared objects, shared finances to consider. There are dinner parties and future RSVP's to consider.

We decided we would still attend to our individual parental obligations together, but then I would return to the city and he would stay in Maine. We decided we would figure it out as we proceeded. We set a "break-up date."

Fast forward to this past weekend, a whole two years later.

Jason and I are driving down a long country road, heading towards the Wagner Vineyards, a winery and microbrewery on the east side of Seneca Lake. According to the thermometer on the dashboard, it is 95 degrees Farenheit outside.

We drive slowly and sing along with Jimi Hendrix, "There are many here among us who feel that life is but a joke. But you and I, we've been through that and this is not our fate . . ."

By the side of the road, there is a large worn wooden sign that reads . . .

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"Cheese? We should get some cheese to go with all that wi--"

Car lurches to a halt.


Jason executes a perfect u-turn and turns into the driveway that leads to this farmhouse.

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A man pushes open the screen door and steps out on the porch.

"I'm sorry," I say in my polite customer voice, "We just noticed your sign for cheese."

"Sure, yeah. Come on in!"

I turn to look at Jason. I give him the Is he a serial killer? look. He seems all right. We enter a makeshift back room with a washer and dryer and a standing fridge with sliding glass doors.
A stout woman with very smoothe skin greets us warmly. She is rinsing plain white plates in a sink.

"Hi. Uh. What kind of cheese do you sell?"

"Well, here you go. We can sample some if you like." The woman grabs a cheese knife and waddles towards us.

Doris, we learn, is renovating her kitchen which is two room away. There is a partially knocked out dark wood wall in the next room. That's why thing seem in disarray. She takes out three large slabs of cheese from the standing fridge. They are perfect. Creamy and clean.

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We buy all of her triple cream bergenost and she takes us on a tour of her old kitchen.

She motions around the air in large gestures, "I'm going to have an island here. And a peninsula!" She giggles heartily like how Mrs. Claus would laugh.

"I'm getting a sub-zero freezer!" She squeals.

"Well, we'll definitely come back when we return to this area."

"I sure hope so," she says genuinely.

We drive carefully away and continue on to Seneca Lake.

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I turn to look at Jason and talk excitedly.

"I'm so glad we stopped. That was so amazing! I love that we did that!"

Jason's gaze focuses far down the road. He is serious, "Well, I just want to make sure you have a good time."


I look out the window at the long stretches of grass. They all lead to a steep hill in the distance, covered in thick evergreens. Once in a while, a farm passes like a Norman Rockwell painting zooming through the atmosphere. I have seen vistas like this many times. I love the city too much to become a farm girl right now. But, every once in a while I see something in the landscape that grabs me. Something I could love. Completely.

"All along the watchtower
The princess kept the view
While all the women came and went

Bare feet servants too
Outside in the cold distance
A wild cat did growl
Two riders were aproaching
And the wind began to howl . . ."
-- Jimi Hendrix, "All Along the Watchtower"

link * Miss Marisol posted at 1:53 PM * posted by Miss Marisol @ 1:53 PM   |


In Vino Veritas, In Hi-C Very Bad Stuff (Part 2)

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Marisol's Word Tattoo -- Photo by Patrick Burlingham.

In July of 2002, Jason and I began one year of endless summer. We left New York at the end of the summer. Spent the fall and winter in Key West. Traveled around Thailand for two months in spring and returned to New York for the first week of July.

This is not about that journey.

This story begins with the day we got back.

Imaginably, we were tired. We were cranky. We had been traveling for over 24 hours by plane and boat and car. Our flight from Bangkok ended in New York, but we no longer had an apartment in the city. We ended our lease before we left for Thailand.

Instead of hanging out in the city at one of our friend's apartments and decompressing, we got off of a 17 hour flight and boarded the next departing 6 hour bus ride to Maine, where both sets of our parents reside.

The bus from New York City to Portland, Maine always results in a stopover in Boston. This wouldn't be so terrible, except that the stopover is sometimes an hour and a half long. This is the same amount of time it takes to drive from Boston to the little town in Maine where Jason and I grew up.

So, you end up sitting in a bus station that is located an hour or so from where you are going. The same amount of time it takes to get to your destination. This is one of those frustrating truths about travel sometimes. You surrender control.

Picture it.

Two weary travelers wake up one day in Bangkok. The night before they had taken a boat from a tropical island nearby. That morning, they take a car to the airport. They take two flights to get to New York. They take a shuttle bus from the airport gate. They take a subway to the bus depot. They ride a bus for over 4 hours.

It is some ungodly hour of the morning. They are tired and they smell like an unplugged refrigerator. Their shoulders are raw from the straps of heavy backpackers packs. Their hair is uncombed, their teeth are fuzzy with neglect.

There is pain in muscles they did not know exist. They are tired of each other.

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There are limited options for food in the South Station in Boston, Massachusetts at 5 a.m. That morning, our two weary travelers chose red plastic bucket seats underneath the humming glow of the bright yellow arches. She tells him she wants to go to the bathroom to wash any body part that will fit in the sink.

He says, "Go ahead. I'll order. What do you want to drink?"

She says, "Iced tea."

She returns from an unfulfilling journey to the ladies room to find him perched over a tray with a McSandwich of some sort. The skin under his eyes sags like the tits of an old hippie mother who breastfed 12 children.

She sits down across from him and reaches for her drink. The translucent lid reveals a faint orange color, but she doesn't think much of it until she touches the plastic straw to her tongue.

It is orange soda.

"What is this?"


"This." She shakes the drink. "This beverage."



"Yeah. Hi-C orangeade or something."


"But, I said iced tea."


She looks at him and starts crying. He chews his food silently and states something obvious.

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There are moments in one's life when the weight of truth become unbearable and unavoidable all at once. Like when you are caught in a lie. Information compresses within your skull until it becomes almost solid. It is an epiphany that reveals, not joyful buoyancy, but excruciating gravity.

It occurred to me in that moment in the Greyhound bus station that I could not be with a man who thought that I would drink orangeade at 5 in the morning in front of a McDonald's after traveling for 24 hours straight. I felt like anyone who could not inherently know these simple things about me could not possibly love or know me.

The trip was supposed to bring us to a new understanding of what we wanted to be. As a couple. As individuals. But, it turned out that everyday tasks only revealed even more significant questions. Suddenly, we had an answer.

We broke up on the spot.

But, what does this have to do with wine???

To be continued . . .

link * Miss Marisol posted at 11:25 PM * posted by Miss Marisol @ 11:25 PM   |


In Vino Veritas, In Aqua Salus . . . (Part 1)

A couple of years ago, both Betsey and I were living on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. It took approximately 7 minutes and 38 seconds to casually stroll betwixt our apartments. While living there, Betsey introduced me to something I have come to love passionately: Love My Goat red table wine from Bully Hill Vineyards.

Betsey also introduced me to the Vintage New York wine store on Broadway and 93rd Street. There, in the pale golden wood cellar, you will find only New York wines for sale. In the back of the store, there is a short bar with simple leather stools. For a dollar, you can drink a heavily poured sample of any of the wines in the store.

We spent many afternoons in the back of Vintage, becoming slowly and enthusiastically drunk. I told her, "If I ever go missing, check here."

Soon, Jason became equally enthralled with Love My Goat. It is a simple, drinkable wine. It is full of fruit, but not syrupy. We always have a bottle in the wine rack. It was soon decided that we would venture to the quaint town of Hammondsport to visit the place where Love My Goat was first born.

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The Gods of Time and Scheduling worked together and afforded Jason and I a brief amount of time to take a quick journey up to the northwestern corner of New York known as the Finger Lakes wine region. Our motto was to "Just have a good fucking time." We had one primary goal; to visit Bully Hill. Otherwise, we would be spontaneous and relaxed. We would have a direct route there, but we would navigate home with just a road map and follow secondary routes. Scenic routes.

We even came up with a fail-safe measure to reduce squabbling (one of our fortes). Anytime one person felt irritated by the other, the irritatee would respond by whispering their grievance. Then, it wouldn't seem like arguing.

"Sweetie, are you sure we don't want to take this exit?"

Whispered, "Darling. I have reviewed the map several times. Please don't question my navigational skills."

"Okay. I was merely clarifying the directions."


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Taken at a mall photo booth in Binghamton, New York.

The Finger Lakes did not disappoint. There are a dozen glacially formed freshwater bodies running on the north-south axis, all less than 2 miles wide. At the sourthern end of Keuka, Seneca and Canandaigua lakes, one can find several wineries. You become distinctly aware of your grounding in regards to elevation as you enter the area of the Finger Lakes. The land is marked by steep, stately hills and hanging valleys, the humbling reminder of former walls of ice.

We stayed in Corning, a twenty minute drive from the Finger Lakes and home of the Corning Museum of Glass.

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The first morning, we woke up early. Excited about the visit to the motherland of our favorite wine. We arrived at 9:30 a.m. to the visitor's center. They were still mopping the floor.

A portly man with a mop smiled at us and said, "Uh...we'll start the tour in 10 minutes or so. In case. Anyone else. Uh. Shows up. This early."

I beamed. "That's fine. I'm just so excited to be here," I gushed in my cheerleading voice.

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The full story of the founders of the Bully Hill vineyard, Walter S. Taylor and his family, is complicated and troubled, like an soap opera or a Bronte novel.

The story is highlighted by a controversy in 1977 when Coca-Cola sued Walter S. Taylor for the use of his name on the bottles of wine produced by Bully Hill. Walter and his grandson were fired from the original Bully Hill Wineries by the other shareholders.

Before Prohibition, the Keuka Lake wine industry, led by the Taylor family, recorded an annual production of champagne, wine and grape brandy worth about $5,000,000. To the dismay of other shareholder, the Taylors fought to maintain true to the wine recipes handed down through four generations of winemakers. The Taylors fought for "integrity and honesty" in wine making and labeling.

They disagreed with chemical fortification in wines and felt that, at the very least, consumers should know the content of the wine composition by reading the label. Famously, Walter S. Taylor designed all of the original wine labels. His art is dense and colorful, like what you might imagine if Sargent Pepper opened a museum after quitting the Lonely Hearts Club band.

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Click to enlarge.

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The Taylors built a new vineyard that is marked by a sense of maverick individualism. Having lost the rights to use his name, Walter S. Taylor hired a bunch of local kids to come to his vineyard with a glass and a black marker. They went through each bottle and blacked out the Taylor name while imbibing on free wine.

Taylor is quoted in his New York Times obituary discussing his favorite goat, named, "Guilt Free,"

“They have my name and heritage but they didn’t get my goat!”

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Not a real goat.
Stay tuned for more pics from the road, the results of the Whisper Method of Confrontation and to learn if anyone's goat gets got . . .

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Click for a bigger picture of my alcoholism.

link * Miss Marisol posted at 5:58 PM * posted by Miss Marisol @ 5:58 PM   |


Welcome Back, Mr. g8s. Get proud!

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My blogging partner is back home in NYC, Mister g8s.

Just in time for . . .


Or, as Patrick describes it; "A bunch of screaming fags standing around applauding a bunch of screaming fags walking by. It's redundant."
Perhaps. But, it certainly is colorful. Plus, it wasn't so long ago that Patrick donned one of my lavender mini-dresses and a purple wig and was one of those screaming fags walking by.

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Betsey, Patrick and I. Chicago Gay Pride Parade - 1998

Most of my boys have passed on from their halcyon days of donning multi-colored robes and proclaiming their self-glorification. They host the alternate "Gay Remorse" parade, which usually takes place in a dark bar not near Christopher Street. It involves far less spiked leather collar wearing and condom throwing. But, it is still quite glorious to behold.

I will be absent for a few days, as the straight boyfriend and I are driving upstate to the Finger Lakes to explore New York's fine vineyards. Expect photos and wine-inspired diatribes soon.

link * Miss Marisol posted at 7:50 AM * posted by Miss Marisol @ 7:50 AM   |


Sunrise, sunset . . .

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Originally uploaded by Miss Hag.
New Jersey gets a bad rap. It's an easy target. (Just ask Groove!)
Plus, it's shaped like an armpit.

Although, I would probably never choose to live there, most of my family abides there. Instead of sending me to summer camp, my parents sent me to stay with the family in New Jersey. Everyone else came back to school talking about canoe trips and merit badges. I came back with progressively bigger hair and stories about boys I met at the mawl.

Now, I can always see New Jersey. Over there, across the Hudson.

I must say, whatever combination of air pollutants that combust in the sky betwixt Manhattan and New Jersey, they create the most beautiful sunsets.

I have been working on my boyfriend's computer since mine has been ill with the flu. Because of this, I have been enjoying his westerly view of this glorious daily occurence.

So, to begin this week. I give you a series of completely unaffected views of that wondrous vista . . .

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It would be eerie if it wasn't so damn pretty.
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Even the other buildings enjoy the view.
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I had to go to the roof to see it unadulterated by windowpane.

link * Miss Marisol posted at 8:56 PM * posted by Miss Marisol @ 8:56 PM   |


Virgin Voyages

Everyone starts somewhere.

Brandon over at One Child Left Behind, wrote a wonderful post about that first time. You know. That special first moment. That day you decided. It. Was. Time.

The first blog entry.

He wrote, "When I visit a blog for the first time, I head right to the archives, to that very first, er, entry." And he goes on to describe the different voices that he typically encounters. There is certainly a tentative nature to dipping one's toe into the vast weblog pool. You wonder if you should really expose yourself. You ponder your central conceit. So, you hesitate.

Then, you realize, there are millions of these things. No one reads it but me. I can say whatever I want.
You get bold. You write about what you want.

And then, it happens.

As Tequila Mockingbird puts it, "Then, lo and behold [well, more lo than behold, really] there came a comment from someone who was not my friend. and it hit me: holy crap, this interweb thing is, like, available to the public!"

Initially, it was just g8s and I, posting to entertain each other. And then, I started poking around other people's worlds. Reading other people's journals.

In the last year, my central goal as a writer has been to develop relationships within the writing community. I started by joining some creative writing forums at the Gotham Writer's Workshop.

Still, I felt I needed more daily feedback. Something that felt immediate. I decided to maintain a weblog to force myself to work everyday. To put something out everyday. To meet other writers, and connect within a web of creative people.

I had no idea what it would become.

When I discuss happenings with my non-blogging friends, I describe you all as people in the world that I have come to know, if only marginally.

I say things like, "Oh, Lauren's reading an Ann Patchett book. Summer's going on a road trip. Matt's job hunting and Freddie's wooing a younger man. Jessie's moving and Deni's at a gig in Florida. Jackie wrote the funniest thing about her co-workers. Amanda said the same thing I did about Tom Cruise!"

What is wonderful to me is that I have come to know you as characters of your own writing. You have created yourselves from your own words and photos.

In the next few days, I plan to check out your Virgin Entries. Your baby steps. Like all writing, eventually, you learn to develop a voice, a style. You learn what works for you as a writer and what doesn't. Great writers allow themselves to be informed by other writers. And although, the act of blogging may seem to be completely self-serving at times, it is an act of creation. That is something that can never be understated.

So, the value in the Virgin Entry is like the value in the first line drawn of a masterpiece. You can't really tell until there is great distance between the former and the latter.

Plus, it's never too late to check out someone's first impression.

link * Miss Marisol posted at 7:06 PM * posted by Miss Marisol @ 7:06 PM   |


Lawnk Eyelind

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There was a "heat warning" for the city yesterday. Heat, as in flip-flops melting into the sidewalk, you will be cooked in the oven of the pavement.
So, my homosexual life partner, Patrick, and I threw some sarongs in a bag, rolled a joint, poured a bottle of Bonny Doon Pacific Rim Riesling into a discreet container and went to the beach.

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Patrick is an ideal beach companion. You can always count on him to say something unexpectedly gut-busting. For instance, yesterday was also quite windy by the coast. I think I ate a pound of sand. As one particularly strong gust of air blew grains of fine beach sand onto my body like a million bee stings I screamed,

"I hate this sand!"

Patrick said sweetly, "It' not sand. It's God making love to you!"

"Well, I have had enough, God, stop fucking me!"

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For $13.50, New Yorkers can take the Long Island Rail Road from Penn Station and be at gorgeous Long Beach in 45 minutes. My friends and I try to go to one of New York's fine beaches at least once a week during the summer. Otherwise, for $50, you can swim at the rooftop pool at the Holiday Inn on 57th Street.

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Or, you can just sit naked in your apartment with the A/C on, drinking a bottle of vodka and eating popsicles.

Patrick and I scurried to catch the 10:46 train. We chose an empty car and spread out over facing seats so we could read the paper and complain about the world together. Patrick was blissfully immersed in a Post that someone had left behind on the seat and I was reading a David Sedaris essay in The New Yorker when I noticed a head of white-blonde curls to my right.

A boy, about 3 years old, was standing in the aisle carrying a bright yellow beach ball covered in spiky nubs. He wore a black and red striped swimming jumper and when he laughed his eyes registered shock at the force of his whole body expelling mirth.

The boy was accompanied by two adult men. They occupied the seat across the aisle from us. One man sported a grown-out black mullet and high water drawstring pants. Around his neck hung a set of keys a janitor would appreciate. They dangled from a black strap that read "Urban Criminal."

The other man had curls like the little boy, but darker and more pubic looking. He looked like a cross between pre-Baywatch David Hasselhoff and Screech. He wore thick treaded mandals and loose fitting faux linen (flinen?)pants.
The little boy exhibited the natural glee that kids experience while watching the world whisk by outside a train window. The men were speaking Dutch, but their outfits sad Eurotrash.

At one point, the curly-haired man said to the little boy, "Can you speak any English?"

The mullet-haired man shook his head sternly.

"No?! Bugger off?"

This caused both men to laugh generously.

Mullet man spoke, "Try. Say, 'Bye-Bye!' 'Bye-Bye!'." He picked up the boy's tiny hand and shook it up and down like he was waving.

Curly man scoffed. "Yeah. Buy! Buy! Buy more!"

I'm not what you would call "patriotic." In fact, some faction of the truly patriotic might call me some sort of pejorative un-American throwaway term. I think it is inaccurate to assume that someone who does not gleefully boast about being American is also a "Freedom Hater" or "Terrorist." Although I am not shy about my disgust for the blatant rape of civil liberty that happens under the current administration, it does not mean I revel in listening to outsiders demeaning the U.S.

It's like, you can make fun of the members of your family because they belong to you. Other people should practice a bit of caution.

It surprised me that I bristled at the Dutch man's disdain for capitalism because I, too, take issue with the way that capitalism can be a degrading factor in the quality of society. But, I am a hypocrite because I appreciate the spoils of a capitalist society.

I sat there trying to get a handle on what I thought of our train companions when the automated train voice announced the next stop. "Train to Long Beach, next stop Jamaica."

Curly man turned to me and said, "Excuse me, could you tell me, are we going to Jamaica, Queens?"

I said, "Yes." Then I stopped. "No."

"No. Actually, we are going to Jamaica Jamaica."

Patrick and I guffawed.

The curly man looked us over and smiled uncertainly. "Well, we are going to Long Beach which is supposed to be in California, so . . ." He chuckled.

Patrick piped in, "I grew up with a kid who thought that you could take a train to Hawaii and that North was always in front of you."

This caused both Patrick and I to fall over ourselves laughing. The curly haired man just stared.

Finally he said, "I can tell why you two are so happy. I'm from Amsterdam. I have a sense for these things."

I protested, "No, we're always like this."

Patrick added, "Maybe you are not used to seeing such happy Americans. Most of this country are miserable fucks."

"We're not American. We're New Yorkers!"

Again, we erupted in laughter.

The curly haired man turned back to his companions and shrugged. He looked at mullet guy like, "I think they're high, but they might just be crazy."

I guess there are worse impressions we could have left.

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Patrick's Dance of the Seven Sarongs

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Hot sky.

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After beach cocktail hour at my place.
Greyhound fizz: Vodka, Grapefruit, club soda, lime wedge.

link * Miss Marisol posted at 10:05 AM * posted by Miss Marisol @ 10:05 AM   |


MJ Part 3.

Every New York radio station is playing a Michael Jackson song right now.

link * Miss Marisol posted at 5:41 PM * posted by Miss Marisol @ 5:41 PM   |

Taxicab Wisdom

I have incredibly good taxicab karma. I've never really been a car person. Getting a driver's license wasn't exciting to me because I could drive. It was exciting because I could leave. But, from the day that I was 15 and wrapped my parent's maroon station wagon around a telephone pole, I have been blandly disinterested in being in the world of the automobile.

Get me in a cab, though, and I am Miss Daisy without the bitchiness. I am Taxicab Confessions in reverse. I love lurching through the city streets in the back of a cab -- window cracked open, eyes closed. And, cabbies love to talk to me. Politics, philosophy, love, fast food, music, soccer teams, the etymology of interesting words. You name it.

I even have the cell phone number of a cabbie who will come pick me up wherever I am if he is within 10 minutes. Usually, he does not charge me cab fare. He said once, "It is payment enough to see your beautiful face." I have stopped calling him as frequently after the last time he drove me home and said, "Next time, you sit up front."

Although many of my cabbie conversations inevitably lead to some sort of date proposition; the men are, for the most part, courteous about my polite refusals. However, I still enjoy the rapport. I have a few stock questions that work well conversationally:

"Where are you from? Oh. You speak _____ (insert appropriate language)?"
"How long have you lived here? Do you miss home?"

I often impress my hired drivers with my educated familiarity with their place of birth. I have a generally good grasp of geography and a basic knowledge of simple cultural identifiers: major languages spoken, political current events, gross national product. However, it certainly makes me feel globally immersed to discuss world events with people directly affected by civil unrest or presidential coups. It's like having an ear to the ground of the planet.

For example this morning, I met a cabbie named, Makkhete. Makkhete hails from Senegal and spoke with a lyrical baritone that resonated like solid brass handbells.

Learning he was Senegalese, I said, "Oh, you speak Wolof?"

"Ha, haaa! Yes!" He intoned with a bright chime. "Do you?"

"Dedet. Dedet." I demured. "No, no."

"Ha, haaa! My name is Makkehte. You say it like 'Ma head'."

We then launched into a discussion about his philosophy on life. He was good-hearted and optimistic in a way that energized me. Despite the fact that I had just had an arduous weekend that involved one period of 30+hours without sleep. I was excited by his enthusiasm for life.

He said, "You know, this is how I see it. I came here and couldn't speak any English. I couldn't even go to the store and buy something because I had no idea how to ask for what I needed. I was hungry. So, I learned. I like to work hard."

"Everything I do, I set small goals and I try to achieve them. Everything. Everything is a goal. Right now, your goal is to go home and my goal is to take you there."

Then, Makkehte said something that was profoundly simple but very reassuring to me in that moment. He said, "Some people, never set goals. But Life sets it for them. These people end up unhappy. They blame everyone but themselves. If you do not have goals, Life will make them for you. And you may not like what Life comes up with."

Years ago, when I was in a deep depression, this same philosophy granted me renewed optimism. I reached a point in my life where I was so overwhelmed by what I perceived as being an utter creative failure that I could not bear to participate in life at all. I gave up.

After two weeks of sleeping on my brother's living room floor, not speaking or eating, I sat up. The next day, I stood up. The next day, I walked. And so on. In my journal from that time, I write about how exciting it felt to brush my teeth and change my clothes. These everyday actions felt like huge achievements.

At some point, your physical body stops growing. This does not mean you do not have to, at times, re-teach yourself how to stand or walk or become. It is not irrelevant to be proud of your baby steps. Some days, they are the truest goals you achieve.

link * Miss Marisol posted at 4:08 PM * posted by Miss Marisol @ 4:08 PM   |


I Am A Meme Virgin

Until today . . .
Only good things come from laurenbove over at Mindful Things. It's been dreary and depresssing over here in Miss Hag. land (how very un-Hag-ish). So, I set aside my rants about gulags and bad manners and homophobia for one post.
Instead, I'm going to do this superliciously cool song meme. Maybe you oughta, too. I tag . . . the world . . . bwah-ha-ha-ha-haaaaa.
And check lauren's list out, too. 'Kay.

A Soundtrack to My Life
Photo by g8s. Coney Island, 1999.
Opening song: "Charmaine" - Frank Sinatra
Waking up: "Straight No Chaser" - Thelonious Monk
Falling in love: "I Want You" - Erykah Badu
Sex Scene: "Anytime, Anyplace" - Janet Jackson
Heartbreak: "Disenchanted" - Everything But the Girl (if sad)
"Ex-Factor (A Simple Breakdown)" - Lauryn Hill (if angry)
First big argument with parents: "Invincible (Theme Song from Billie Jean)" - Pat Benatar
Rebellious song: "Ain't Nobody's Business If I Do" - Billie Holiday, "Brooklyn" - Mos Def
First time really drunk: "Drinking Again" - Aretha Franklin
Driving: "All I Want Is" - Joni Mitchell
Getting ready to go out: "Sexy M.F." - Prince
Wedding song: "Why Marry?" - The Sweet Inspirations
Dream sequence/out of body experience: "Pussy" - Brazilian Girls
Feeling Depressed: "Wish I Didn't Miss You" - Angie Stone
Birth of child: "To Zion" - Lauryn Hill
Watching a blizzard: "Don't Miss You At All" - Norah Jones
Walking in the rain: "Until the Real Thing Comes Along" - Ella Fitzgerald
Striptease song: "Rope Burn" - Janet Jackson
Buying first house: "For Once in My Life" - Stevie Wonder
Walking off a jobsite: "Army of Me" - Bjork
Moment when sun shines in room perfectly: "Fallin'" - Uncut
Falling asleep: "Dreaming My Dreams With You" - Cowboy Junkies
Funeral song: "Don't Leave Me This Way" - Thelma Houston
Closing song: "Jezebel" - Sade

Image hosted by Photobucket.com
Photo by g8s. Coney Island, 1999.
For those of you who like making mixtapes or mix CD or mix eight-tracks (you neverknow...), check out The Art of the Mix. It's worth browsing through.

link * Miss Marisol posted at 6:45 PM * posted by Miss Marisol @ 6:45 PM   |


Annoying Questions That Run Through My Mind

Calgon shot
Originally uploaded by Miss Hag.

Why is it, that no matter how much you claim to love a guy, it's so much easier to see his faults than his virtues?

Do you ever stop wishing that the person you are with will say exactly the right words that you want to hear? Furthermore, is it horrible to know exactly what you want said to you when situations arise that involve appropriate responses?

Should you just accept things about your partner that are fundamentally annoying to you, but really pretty unimportant in the grand scheme of things because it means you are loving them unconditionally?

What's worse -- giving up and leaving a person because there are too many little things that annoy you about them or pointing out all of the annoying things and simple solutions you think will fix the annoying things?

If you harp on things that frustrate you about your relationship, are you slowly becoming that horrible, nasty, awful person you swore you would never become?

link * Miss Marisol posted at 12:02 AM * posted by Miss Marisol @ 12:02 AM   |


The Mighty Conch Republic

Twice in my life, I have found myself living in Key West. Both times, I was there when it was winter elsewhere in the country and I needed to get away from the "real world." I chose Key West for the warm weather and money making prospects. The income of this tiny island is based on tourism, but the nature of the place is transient. Therefore, it is often difficult for businesses to find good workers. If you have a pulse and a smidgen of common sense, you can make a decent amount of money quickly. Besides waiting tables, I shucked oysters at a topless beach and made frozen drinks next door to Ernest Hemingway's old house.

Beyond the fiduciary prospects and the gorgeous weather, there other things that have drawn me to the southernmost point in the United States. It is small and accessible by bicycle. The island is two miles wide and four miles long. Varying estimates put the resident population at 50% gay. You can wear flip-flops all year long and you can drink alcohol while walking down the street if it's in a plastic cup. Between the clothing optional bars and Fantasy Fest, there is always a reason to be naked.

It is a lovely place to lose a few months of you life. A place where chickens and six-toed cats run free and businesses offer a "locals discount." There is a tolerance and easiness that attracts all types of people to the tiny atoll. In small ways, the nature of Key West is similar to the nature of New York City, the only place I consider home. Evidence of their comparably rebellious essences is the outgoing fact that both places have tried to or at least entered into the public dialogue the desire to -- secede from the union of the United States.

However, being a New Yorker by nature, I often felt like I was missing something for the months that I spent in Key West. The former is the center of the world, the latter is the antithesis. The second time that I lived in Key West, Jason and I were working to save money so we could travel in Thailand for two months. He quickly found work cheffing and I got my old job back very easily. We found a cozy cottage with a garden for half of what we payed in Brooklyn. We were prepared to live simple and make cash.

Every morning, before going for a swim, I would go across the street and buy the local paper, The Key West Citizen. I have said before that my New York paper (the New York Daily News) is worth little but for the four pages of comics and the intermittently entertaining gossip column.
The Key West Citizen's best feature is the Crime Report.

On page 2 of the island's only paper (which is usually about 15 pages in total) they feature a "Citizen of the Day" from the local population and also a few short a stories that are taken directly from the daily police report. They are usually very specific and often very funny. Some days, little is going on and they will report that someone stole some beer or got drunk and fell asleep at the post office. Often, there are stories of drug busts and couples fighting. The locals read it to see if anyone they know got arrested.

The stories are like this one from Tuesday, May 24, 2005:

KEY WEST — At 2:52 a.m. on Sunday morning, a taxi driver contacted authorities to complain about a woman who refused to pay her $4.95 cab fare, according to a Key West police report.
The taxi driver picked the woman up at Harbor Lights bar and was asked to take her to Finnegan's Wake. She exited the cab on the 300 block of Grinnell Street and began walking. When told she would need to pay her bill, she stated that "Bill" would pay and resumed walking, the driver told police.
When the driver told the woman that he would contact the police, she said that the police would not arrest her for a $5 bill, according to the police report.
The woman told the officers who arrived on the scene that she had paid her bill; she then said that the driver had propositioned her; she then accused the driver of smoking marijuana in the taxi, police said.
After a consensual search of the vehicle turned up no evidence of narcotics activity, the woman was arrested on a charge of petit theft. The officers did not comply with her request to place the driver under citizen's arrest.

Lately, the news from the international world and my own little world have been too much to bear. It can be difficult to feel optimistic when so much seems contrary to the emotion of hope. It's often easier to believe the bad news. But, somehow, I still believe goodness prevails if you believe and keep your head above the water. And, as much I loved my times in Key West, I have always had to leave eventually because you can only escape your life for so long before it catches up.

link * Miss Marisol posted at 12:16 AM * posted by Miss Marisol @ 12:16 AM   |