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Reading is FUN-da-MENTAL Part Deux

So, I am having some book issues right now. You know when you are reading a book that you love so much you think about it when you're not reading? You're wondering what's going on with the characters. You quote things they say or talk about motifs and themes. Yeah, well, that's not happening for me right now. I'm reading three books that are so enthralling to me that I can't even name the authors.

However, in a few days, I am going on vacation with my bestest friends and I would really love to have a book affair while we are away. So, I turn to you, my blog-o-matic amigos. Any suggestions?

Here's a frame of reference to give you an idea of what turns my page. . .


-- Savage Beauty: The Life of Edna St. Vincent Millay by Nancy Milford
-- Homeland by Sam Lipsyte
-- The Disappointment Artist by Jonathan Lethem
-- Sex, Lies and Cocoa Puffs by Chuck Klosterman
--I Could Tell You Stories, Sojourns in the Land of Memory by Patricia Hampl


-- Jitterbug Perfume by Tom Robbins
-- Written on the Body by Jeanette Winterson
-- Fear of Flying by Erica Jong
-- Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal by Christopher Moore
-- Generation X: Tales for an Acclerated Culture by Douglas Coupland
-- Tales of the Female Nomad by Rita Golden Gelman


-- The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
-- The Mill on the Floss by George Eliot
-- The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera
-- Little Birds by Anais Nin
-- Tender Buttons by Gertrude Stein
-- The Magician's Assistant by Ann Patchett
-- The Passion by Jeanette Winterson


-- Augusten Burroughs
-- The Davids: David Sedaris, David Rakoff, Dave Eggers
-- Tom Robbins and Jeanette Winterston (my literary parents)
-- Ann Patchett

-- Sarah Vowell
-- Paulo Coelho
-- Rebecca Wells
-- Paul Auster
-- Nathaniel Hawthorne
-- Dorothy Parker
-- Maxine Hong Kingston
-- Nick Hornby

-- Millay
-- Donne
-- Rilke
-- Keats
-- Arnold
-- Adrienne Rich
-- Sharon Olds
-- Lucille Clifton
-- Browning, Dickinson, Yeats, Whitman . . .

Thank you, my lovelies. I look forward to your suggestions!

link * Miss Marisol posted at 11:04 PM * posted by Miss Marisol @ 11:04 PM   |


How Very.

I feel that perhaps I have misled you.

Don't misunderstand. I have grown to adore you. It has enlivened me in such an unexpected manner for me to have come to know all of you. And I say this all with unabashed candor.

However, lately, I have received such lovely comments and messages from some of you, that my mind is heavy with concern. I worry that you have misjudged my character with all of your kind words.

You see, I have to come clean. I have to tell you the truth.

I am a misanthrope.

I cannot deny it any longer. I am a categorical hater.

No? You don't believe it. Well, I have incontestable proof. There are hundreds, nay, thousands of people in this world who, if confronted with a picture of me, would have innumerable foul words to describe me. I know this to be true. I have heard them myself.

It has seriously caused me physical stress that one of you lovely people will come to the restaurant where I work and see what a horrible monster of a person I am.

People say these things to me on a daily basis:
"Can't you just smile?"
"Why do you have to be so mean about it?"
"What's your problem?"

These same people snarkily tell one of my best friends (and underappreciated coworker), g8s, similar things:
"She's a nasty bitch."
"She's an asshole."
"Someone should fire her."

g8s, who has to love me because he is my friend, is forced to defend me. but there is no defense. i'm all out of love. . .

If you were to see me in waitressing action, you would see a nasty version of me. I scowl. I growl. Behind the counter, I mutter over and over like a possessed woman. God, I hate people. God, I need more to drink. The liquor isn't dulling the pain. I need something stronger.

And lately, it has come to my attention, that I approach every table with my arms slightly bent. My legs are spaced slightly apart, giving me the stance of a boxer. I am always ready to fight. To defend myself. Because, I don't trust anyone. I assume the worst about every person I encounter. I am not mean, necessarily, but I am certainly not kind. I often feel that there is no light left for me to give. I can't even fake it anymore.
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Today, I pay my respects to the old hags. The witches in the fairy tales who forgo the glittery promises of insincere princes and instead, choose self-imposed banishment into the dark recesses of the forest. For today, I understand why a woman would choose to find that path into the primoridal greens that cannot be retraced. To build herself a home for her cauldron and her cat, where she could live in peace and never have to suffer another fool.

link * Miss Marisol posted at 9:13 AM * posted by Miss Marisol @ 9:13 AM   |



I have one of those creative writing prompt books to get me motivated when I don't know what to write. Today's exercise: write a daydream.

Today, I walked around the city running errands and thinking thoughts. My daydream as I roamed the streets of Midtown Manhattan involved having the perfect body. I pretend my arms are muscular and taut; my legs are long and lean. My hair is shiny and reflects the late July sun. There is a message on my cell phone that a hot director is interested in optioning my brilliantly clever screenplay (his words). It is early afternoon and I am going to meet my friends for cocktails after picking up my size 2 pants from the tailor.

Occasionally, my real self would catch my reflection in store windows or mirrors for sale outside of picture frame stores. Reality reveals to me that my thighs are stout and thick and my arms are soft. My hair is unbrushed and wrapped into a hair band. Tonight, I will go to my job waiting tables and no one is interested in what I am writing yet. I have no options.

In my daydream, however, I envision myself in a cobalt blue, sleeveless dress as I maneuver traffic and dodge pedestrians. It hangs smoothly over my skin; I have no flaws to hide. In the real world, I know that my walk draws looks from men. I have been told of my “switch." However, it is not the perfect version of me that draws this unwanted attention. It is simply a woman walking alone, in an imaginary blue dress.
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link * Miss Marisol posted at 4:14 PM * posted by Miss Marisol @ 4:14 PM   |


Bloomberg Says, "Fourth Amendment, I piss on you."

I read this today.

"No, no, no, no, no, no, no. No."

Fervently, absolutely, unapologetically. No.

Submitted for your consideration, a memory:

During my senior year of college, several items of paraphenalia and about one gram of marijuana were confiscated from my bedroom. I lived in what was called a "Living/Learning Housing Unit" on campus. My school did not, thankfully, have a Greek system. However, different campus organizations could petition to have a house on campus independent from the dormitories. In return, we had to host "cultural" events periodically.

I lived in the Asian-American Students Association (ASA) house. More stories on that later.

During holiday breaks, I often stayed on campus since flying home to Maine from Michigan did not always fit into my budget. On Christmas break of my senior year, I was the only one left in my seven bedroom dilapidated house. It was winter, and my breath hung like poofs of white laundry in the air. I was to fly home the next day for Christmas, but in the meantime, I had stayed on campus to work at my catering job for Marriott. For $5.50 an hour, I donned a fake tuxedo and created banquet tables out of white tablecloths and baby carrots.

That morning, I was loosening my bow tie and climbing the stairs to the house when I noticed the front door was ajar. At first I figured I had just forgotten to lock the door and the wind pushed it open, but as I pushed the door open, I heard voices murmuring over my head. My first reaction was to run, but to where? The campus encompassed about one city block and my options beyond the red brick streets of academia were limited to the Munchie Mart gas station.

Then it hit me.

You know how your guts constrict when your anxieties catch up with your reality and you suddenly realize you are in for a shit storm? Like when you get pulled over while driving and you know you have had enough to drink that your sobriety is questionable?

I knew that the open door had everything to do with a little plastic, single-chambered water paraphernalia perched in my windowsill.

The bong was a gift from a beautiful boy. S. embodied everything I thought I wanted: charming, cute, pants that hung just so off his ass. He was a wonderful flirt and he lived with the campus drug dealer. It was an ideal partnership for a teenage college romance.

A few weeks into our courtship, he showed up on my doorstep with his two foot, plastic purple, single gauge water bong. Sheepishly, he told me that he already had too much paraphenalia in his tiny dorm room and maybe, since he spent so much time smoking in my comparatively spacious cooperative housing bedroom, I would like to have it. He acted like it was not a big deal, but, he knew what it would mean to the heart of that 20 year-old cynical girl.

It was a grand romantic gesture, and I gladly accepted. I may have even swooned a bit. Defiantly, I left the water bong out on my nightstand in a window that faced the main street of our private liberal arts college.

As I walked into the house that December day, I knew I would soon be punished for my cockiness. I saw congregated on the stairs various campus authority figures wearing heavy coats and grim expressions. Their disappointment carried inevitable sentences like heavy boats into the harbor of my ears and I knew from that day, my life would be altered inexorably.

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They had turned over what they confiscated to the local police department and told me that I would have to face a student commission hearing after we returned from the break.

Nothing happened to me, and here is why.

You see, at that time, I actually sat on the Board of the Student Commission, which was comprised of faculty and students. I smoked pot with two of the four other students on the board. When campus reconvened and the small student body heard about what happened to me, it caused a little stir. One of my professors sent me a letter in my support and told me that she still smoked once in a while. Nothing was going to happen to me.

Yes, I had to face the commission and was sentenced to 40 hours of "community service" which I served out smoking joints with the head of the campus recycling facilities manager. He was on old hippie who I followed around a few days while he "ran his errands." The charge held little merit on our liberal little school campus.

However, I was terrified of what would happen with the local police. The Dean of Student Housing told me I would have to go down to the station and deal with the consquences.

Nothing happened to me. Here's why:

After doing a little research, I found a lawyer through the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML). He practiced in the town where I went to school and even taught at my college at one point years earlier. Initially, after I explained to him what happened, he laughed.

"Sorry. I don't mean to laugh at you, but I usually deal with clients who get caught with hundreds of pounds, not one gram."

He told me that if that police contacted me, which he said they very well probably would not, all I had to say was, "I spoke with a lawyer and I do not wish to comment on this situation." Or something to that affect.

He said, "If they pressure you to confess to something, just call me and I will send them a letter. They'll leave you alone. The only way that could press charges against you is if you go down there and admit guilt. Otherwise, they have no case."

What happened to me was an illegal search and seizure. I was not present when they searched my room and I did not consent to a search. It was against my constitutional rights.

Sure enough, I got a phone call one day from the police department. I stammered out what I was told to say and that was the end of it.

Anytime I read about marijuana seizures now, I still get upset. We at Miss Hag. are not about condoning. This is not a "Do As I Say And As I Do" kind of blog. Yes, I have been a pot smoker for 15 years (half) of my life. I believe in decriminalizing marijuana laws, but I do not insist you do the same. I am not saying I was not guilty of smoking and possessing marijuana and paraphenalia.

But, that does not justify what happened to me. And what will potentially happen to non-violent lawbreakers in New York.

For those of you outside of the city, next year is an election year for the Mayor's office. Bloomberg is coming under a lot of pressure (namely from Senator Hillary Clinton) regarding the lack of surveillance cameras in NYC subways and other technology to combat terrorist attacks as in London. There is a lot of corruption and bloated paychecks amongst the higher ups leading New York's Metroplitan Transit Authority.

This move is simply smoke and mirrors to make it seem that they are "cracking down" on potential acts of violence. But the real victim in this scenario is our civil liberties.

For instance, they are claiming that this procedure will be executed in a "reasonable" manner and that there will not be racial profiling. But, I would not want to be an "Arab looking" person with a backpack starting tomorrow. Air America News just reported that anyone who refuses search of their bags will not be allowed to ride the subway.

This is insanity.

Submitted for your consideration:


The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures shall not be violated, and no warrant shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the person or things to be seized.

If you live in NYC, I urge you to contact the Office of Mayor Bloomberg. This is an unacceptable violation of our constitutional rights.

In the meantime. . .

Practice this statement,
"I do not consent to a search of my person, belongings, home or vehicle. I retain my 4th Amendent Rights, and all other Rights under the US and State Constitution."


Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg
City Hall
New York, NY 10007
PHONE 311 (or 212-NEW-YORK outside NYC)

FAX (212) 788-2460



link * Miss Marisol posted at 2:50 PM * posted by Miss Marisol @ 2:50 PM   |


Manada (Copyright pending.)


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Betsey channels Marilyn. Photo by Patrick Burlingham.

A little over a year ago, Betsey's brother, Ben, who is straight and has a PhD., told her that he wished all men were forced into one place to just work all their problems out so that we could have peace in the world. She told this story to me and Patrick as we were picnicking in Sheep's Meadow in Central Park.

There, we hatched an idea that has since grown into a full fledged way of life. It has taken on such complete scope, that Betsey, who works for the Humanitarian Response Unit of the United Nations, has even proposed the idea at UN meetings:

This is how it works.

Residents of Canada will be relocated to whatever destination they want in the world and given wonderful severance reimbursement for their troubles. Realizing that this may cause a logistical nightmare, keep in mind that this whole project has indispensible finances from which to draw upon. This newly evacuated land to the north of the United States is renamed, "Manada."

Henceforth, all male born babies in the world are sent to Manada to be raised after spending a few years care with their biological mothers. During their younger years, the boys spend time living off the land and learning about nature. This will foster a greater appreciation for the environment and the planet and also teach basic survival skills. As the boys mature, the focus becomes on relationships within society.

This new world allows all men to explore their sexual feelings in a nurturing and accepting environment. Any boy who has any sort of homosexual fantasy or tendency (which will probably be every boy) will be allowed to explore his desires with other boys without fear of being beaten and tied to a fence. We recognize that if males are all raised amongst each other that a majority will realize they are, in fact, gay. This is fine. The lowered number of heterosexual males in the general population will be an asset to controlling the world's overpopulation as there will be fewer procreators.

The core instruction and guidance in Manada will be executed by Amazon lesbians. There will also be a panel of gay men and straight women who will judge the progress of boys. They will teach everything from language (multilingualism will be required) and industrial arts to table manners and aesthetic appreciation. The Amazon lesbians will be loving and caring as needed, but also strict and demanding with the boys demonstrating a need for more discipline.

Those boys determined biologically heterosexual will be allowed periodic visitation with females as they mature. There will be training in things like, "How to Speak and Listen In a Mutually Beneficial Manner" and "How to Treat the Clitoris."

(It's NOT number 5.)

However, the thrust of this idea is not just about superficial benefits. Manada is a means to a peaceful future. The state of war is a product of men. As Betsey states herself:

"Armed conflict is characterized by men. Men fighting other men. I heard a wonderful quote the other day by a humanitarian worker. He had been talking to a Palestinian woman and had asked her when the conflict would end. Her answer: 'As soon as Palestinian men love their children more than they hate Israelis.'

Armed conflict contributes to: increased rates of HIV, decreased or no
access to health facilities and life saving care/medicine, maternal mortality, child abduction, trafficking of women and children, sexual exploitation and violence, including rape, food shortages, breakdown of family structures, poverty, health, nutrition, psychological concerns, loss of state and citizenship, and countless other issues, which we, largely, do not even have to think about."

Yes, I know what you are saying, women are not perfect. Women could benefit from a little programming as well. This is true. However, with Manada in place, the rest of the world will be predominatly female. Countries and nations will be lead by women. And, barring the influence of men in their lives at critical stages, it is expected that the female of the species will be freed of the insecurities and neuroses that impede their existential evolution.

The ratio of male to female humans will be in flux depending upon the rate of progression through Manada into the outside world. It will not be a case of constant separation of the sexes. Each boy will be re-released to the general population at different ages, depending on his individual progress. However, each will have the opportunity to see family as necessary.

And for those of you wondering, there will be males of the species who will not be helped by Manada -- truly homocidal, maniacal men. These men will be banished to what will then be called, "Manarctica."

(I am posting this today because a new book came out this week called, "Man Camp," which takes a chic-lit approach to our idea and focuses on a sort of "Straight Girl for the Sraight Guy" approach to Manada. People are constantly stealing my million dollar ideas, so. . .well, now you know the truth, dearest Miss Hag. readers. Mwah!)

(Also. . .to all my straight male readers. . .you know the Hag. loves you just the way you are. Right?)

What I Spent Today, Sunday, July 17, 2005:

$1.00 -- Daily News
$11.00 -- Cab ride home from work. (I know, I know...stop with the cabs. Save some money)
$1.00 -- Tylenol PM (Yes, buy a big bottle of it already.)
$36 -- Half hour back massage and 10 minute foot massage at my favorite Qi Gong spot.
$20 -- Tip to my massager.
$3.50 -- Medium soy latte from Fluff cafe.
$1.00 -- Tip to barista.
$6.84 -- Crappy salad from the Amish Market.
$9.00 -- Cab ride to work. (Yes, I know there is a subway in Manhattan.)
Total -- $89.34

What I Spent Today, Monday, July 18, 2005:
$0.50 -- Daily News
$9.00 -- Cab ride home from work.
$9.25 -- Egg white omelette with tomatoes from the Renaissance. Take-out, including tip.
$9.00 -- Cab ride to work.
Total -- $27.75

What I Spent For One Week -- July 11-July 18 ---------> $388.75
$57.00 -- Cabs
$14.00 -- Subway cards.
$122.50 -- Food, Beverage and Tips
$195.25 -- Other, non bill items.

Looking at these figures just makes me feel kind of sick. Like when you crave some sort of junk food and then realize what a waste it really is. But then, that other voice takes over and I think...Oh, fuck it. What's it all worth, this counting (pennies and calories)?

link * Miss Marisol posted at 3:51 PM * posted by Miss Marisol @ 3:51 PM   |


An Ode to Summer . . .

The days of summer are bright, indeed,
But the days because of Summer, are inexplicably sublime.
Splendidly orgiastic.
It humbles this simple Hag to be in her accord.

Yesterday, I received the greatest gift, literally and figuratively, from my friend over there in the Midwest who is, most definitively NOT A HAM SANDWICH. Dear Summer.
Photo of and by Summer.

The beautiful, Miss Summer sent me a box o' wine. And, by that, I do not mean the wine that comes in a box. I mean a box with two bottles of wine made in her neck of the woods, where the deer and the antelope play.

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Now, I am in the role of pleasure delayer. In addition to the lovely "Three Dog White" and "Drake Port" from Summer, I still have 18 bottles of Bully Hill Wine and 2 bottles of Bully Hill Champagne that sit waiting to be supped by me and my friendly imbibers.

Also, yesterday, Jason and I went to see Tim Burton's, "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory." (No spoilers to follow. You know how it ends, anyway, silly goose.)

Tim Burton and Johnny Depp (and Helena Bonham Carter, for that matter) are maniacally fantastic. The pundits yell, "Why? Why remake something so perfect?" "It's like trying to re-do the vodka in a screwdriver! It's impossible!" I say, "Pooh."

Just as the inherent moral degradations of society have taken on a wholly new macabre level of ill, so has this tale of a young boy's innocent optimism obtained greater acumen into our modern shortcomings. Burton and Depp have a deft hand with the seedy underbelly. Theirs is a whole new telling of a wonderful story, with just enough honor to the original to buoy even the most fervent "Charlie" lover into a new galaxy of Wonka wonder.

However, what I would like to discuss is something else entirely.

Recently, Miss Summer, a.k.a. Goddess of Bestowing Wonderful Wine, wrote a particularly resonant post about an annoying experience at the movie theatre with teenagers. She did what most adults would do, she confronted some bratty teens with their annoying behavior because it affected her moviegoing experience. It left her feeling like she had crossed over to the "old fogey" side of the line.

Annoying people are the major reason I hate to see movies in the theatre. Usually, if I go, I sit in the very last row in the middle. I become very anxious with people sitting behind me. However, I also do not like people to sit in front of me, for that matter.

Ideally, I would have a great big movie theatre with about 5 seats for me and a few of my friends. There would also be an open bar. The snacks would be fruit and cheese plates or escargot.

But, I digress.

Jason booked Reserved Seating tickets for the Lowes Cineplex in midtown Manhattan. For those of you not familiar with this phenomenon, you can pay $6.00 extra to have a reserved seat (bringing the ticket price to a whopping $16.00!). The chairs are wider and a little bit cushier and they have their own little table stands between them for extra snack room. You get to have an usher escort you to your assigned seat and one of them takes concession orders while you sit so you don't have to get up and wait in line. It's all very bourgeoisie.

However, these primo seats are located closer to the front, in the center.

Amidst the crowds of teeming people. Completely surrounded by moviegoers.

Not long after we sat down, Jason grabbed my hand and instructed me to do some deep breathing exercises.


"Let's try not to get into any fisticuffs, okay?" Jason channeled the Zen master.

"I can't make any promises, honey."


"Just breathe. Try to create an aura around you so people will not annoy you."

Inhale. Exhale. Inhale. Exhale.

I thought to myself. I can do this. I can make it through a whole movie without fiercely judging the people around me and silently plotting their deaths.

The previews started and people were still chatty around me. This is fine, I thought. It's all part of the fun of it, right? The trailers passed along quickly and I was feeling very proud of myself. I was getting submerged into the experience. I was transcending the clutching talons of my fervent temper.

And then, it began.

The opening credits.

Everyone silenced themselves and settled. Everyone, except the two girls behind me.

"Oh my GAWD! I can NOT believe he, like, SAID that to you and you were all like Oh my GAWD, right?!"

"Right? My GAWD! And THEN, he was like . . ."

And so on.

Inhale. Exhale. Zen Master. I thought to myself, "It's just the credits. They'll shut up when the movie starts.

The movie starts.

They do not stop.

"Are you FUR RE-ALL? No WAY!"

Shhh. SHHHH. SHHH. ssshhhh. ssssssssssssshhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhssssssssssssshhhhhhhhhh.

The chorus of shushers began around them. I looked back and gave my evil, "Don't start none, won't be none" look. The woman sitting next to the girls spoke sternly to the loudmouths. She gave what I considered to be the warning shots. Depth charges.

The girls acted indignant. They gave each other the, "WHAT-EVERR" affirmations.

Inhale. Exhale. Inhale. Exhale.

Three minutes into the movie. I cannot be the Zen master.

I turn around and firmly tap Girl A. on her bouncing crossed leg.

"Hey! Can you shut up?"

"Ex-ka-yooooze me. WATCH who you are hitting because I wasn't even talking. SHE was talking to ME."

"Well, then can you move so I can hit your friend and make you both shut up?!"


"Bitch, I got 20 pounds on you easily, I will break you."

Glare. Glare. Glare.

Pistols at noon.

Fuck the Zen Master, I channel my inner Boricua ghetto bee-yotch (and I'm not even Puerto Rican). She's a lot more fun.

Girl A. looks at Girl B. and shrugs.

"Hmph. Whatever."

The girls were blissfully silent for the rest of the film. Peace was restored to the federation.

Moral to the story: Hooray, Hoorah to women like Summer, who aren't afraid to stand up to the people who need to get shut down and whose generosity knows no bounds.
I raise my glass to you and all the silent movie goers!


What I Spent Today, Thursday, July 14, 2005:

$0.50 -- One Daily News.
$1.00 -- One package of Tylenol PM.
$3.86 -- One wholegrain bagel with scallion tofu cream cheese and sliced tomato.
$13.42 -- One fun pink bra from Daffy's Discount Designer clothing store. (That makes TWO bras that I own...I am on a roll!)
$4.00 -- Two slices.
$9.00 -- One cab ride to work.

TOTAL -- $31.78

What I Spent Today, Friday, July 15, 2005:

$0.50 -- One Daily News.
$8.00 -- One cab ride to the movie theatre. (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory! Yippee!)
$3.00 -- One Red Bull.

TOTAL -- $11.50
The Homo du Mois in fumante delicto:

link * Miss Marisol posted at 8:17 PM * posted by Miss Marisol @ 8:17 PM   |


Welcome Michele Fans . . .

I stumbled home from Mister g8s' apartment, blissfully intoxicated by a gorgeous bottle of white wine from Michigan to find that that badass butterfly amongst moths, Miss Michele, has chosen me as her New Site of the Day.

So, welcome, Miss Hag. virgins . . . Don't worry. This won't hurt a bit.

(Good Manners Turn Me On!)

link * Miss Marisol posted at 1:52 AM * posted by Miss Marisol @ 1:52 AM   |


Threesomes Are The New Monogamy!

I submit for your consideration:

From "Another Roadside Attraction," by Tom Robbins. The protagonist, Amanda, discusses her sex relationship with her husband, John Paul --

"As long as it's done with honesty and grace, John Paul doesn't mind if I go to bed with other men. Or with other girls, as is sometimes my fancy. What has marriage got to do with it? Marriage is not a synonym for monogamy any more than monogamy is a synonym for ideal love. To live lightly on the earth, lovers and families must be more flexible and relaxed. The ritual of sex releases its magic inside or outside the marital bond. I approach that ritual with as much humility as possible and perform it whenever it seems appropriate. As for John Paul and me, a strange spurt of semen is not going to wash our love away."

As I noted a long time ago, in college, I espoused notedly bohemian ideals regarding monogamy -- believing firmly that monogamy was a Puritan constraint forced on society to control female sexuality. I don't completely disbelieve this idea today, but I understand now that there is some merit to monogamy in committed relationships. However, I still can't help but wonder how many problems arise from the draconian strain that arises from forcing persons in a couple to diminish their desires to be with more than one partner sexually.

So many of our current television shows and movies seem to signal the dying gasps of traditional monogamy. Films like, "Seeing Other People," and "We Don't Live Here Anymore," at least allow the dialogue to be addressed. In every media example I have viewed, the relationships in question eventually rescind their sexual flexibility and return to the original format of tradition.

But the question remains: Is there a way to reconcile extracurricular desires within a monogamous, committed relationship?

My Sraight Boyfriend and I have frequently discussed the idea of having an "open relationship." It seems, within a lot of the homosexual relationships I know, there are immense allowances for activity outside of the romantic bond. (Blow jobs don't count, darling!) They seem to be able to forgo jealousy and possessiveness to allow their partner to indulge in "meaningless" activity.

But, heterosexuals seem to be less compliant, my own relationship included. Straight Boyfriend and I have made small attempts to be less than traditional, but it is exceedingly difficult. The key is, of course, honesty and communication. But, I have often wondered if there is a way to recondition the heart and the mind to not feel any amount of jealousy. To be completely secure and open.

So, I pose the questions to you.
Is monogamy a natural state?
Are "open relationships" realistically impossible?
Putting aside the health implications: is there a way to have another person enter the bedroom without also allowing in the beasts of jealousy, insecurity and doubt?

From the film, "Kinsey." Here, Dr. Kinsey discusses findings based on interviews ("histories) with women subjects --

"In bonobo chimpanzee--our nearest primate relation--sex is the glue of social cohesion and peace. Cleared of notions like romantic love or religion or morality, their society's behavior hangs together as a coherent unit of biology and conditioning. Based on the experiences of females who have contributed to our histories, we have observed a wide range of motivations for extramarital coitus.

At times, it is a conscious or unconscious attempt to acquire social status. In other instances, it gives them a variety of experiences with new sexual partners who are sometimes superior to their marriage partner. There are occasions when it is done in retaliation for the partner's extramarital activity or for some sort of nonsexual mistreatment.

Some females discover new sources of emotional satisfaction, while others find it impossible to share such an intimate relationship with more than one partner.

We have also encountered a significant number of cases in which husbands encourage their wives to engage in extramarital activities in an honest attempt to give them the opportunity for additional sexual satisfaction."

WHAT I SPENT TODAY (Wednesday, July 13, 2005)
$0.50 -- One Daily News newspaper.
$4.17 -- One fruit salad and one mixed berry scone from the Fluff bakery.
$1.83 -- Tip to the counter girl at Fluff.
$1.75 -- One Essential Vitamin water
$4.99 -- One pint of Ben & Jerry's Peanut Butter something or other for the Straight Boyfriend.
Total -- $13.24 (Yippee! I did well today! g8s made me dinner so, THANK YOU!)
Another photo of July's Homo du Mois, Shawn:

link * Miss Marisol posted at 4:49 PM * posted by Miss Marisol @ 4:49 PM   |

Economy of One Miss Hag.

"Where did all my money go? I know I've made some."
Lifting up a shoe, "At $400 a pop, how many of these do you have? Fifty?"
Incredulous look. "Come on . . ."
"A hundred? 400 times 100. There's your down payment . . ."
"Yeah, but that's only $4000."
"No, it's $40,000."
"Forty thou--I've spent forty THOUSAND dollars on shoes and I have no place to live? I will literally be the old woman who lived in her shoes."

(Carrie and Miranda on Finances,

Where does the money go?

I'm sure you've had this issue. You can't sleep. Your mind starts to wander. You start to contemplate world problems. Your problems. You think about the future. Your future problems. Somehow, it all comes back to money.

If you are anything like me, money problems are the greatest hurdle in achieving personal creative goals. But, it's not just art. Think of any problem that exists in your life, and money probably affects that issue in some way, shape or form. Usually, the problem is a lack of money.

My money desires are not materially driven. I don't yearn for an expensive car or diamonds. I don't painfully lust after designer clothes and handbags. Though, these are all things I appreciate and would certainly enjoy to have.

My biggest desire, moneywise, is to never have to think about it.

I wish for myself and all the people I love the most to be completely debt free. I wish to have enough access to money that I can travel freely and comfortably all the time. I wish to have a tasteful and well-lit apartment in Manhattan with a view of Central Park and a terrace. (Okay, that's a bit of an excess, but, a girl has SOME material desires.)

Certainly, I am not destitute. I am very blessed to have a home and food every day. However, it seems, no matter how good my intentions, I simply cannot seem to keep any amount of money for long.

I am one of the millions of working poor in the United States. The people who have jobs and homes and some material possessions, but no real wealth. People who may have some luxury in their lives, but not so much wealth that they don't ever worry about the price of things.

This lifestyle seems specifically true in New York. Most of the people I know work hard for a living and indulge occasionally in expensive things, but don't seem to have any real liquid assets. Any real savings. But we all work. We all make enough money to live here, which is admittedly quite a lot, but we have nothing to show for it. My friends and I joke that it seems like we spend $20.00 just walking out the door most days.

So, where does the money go?

One of my favorite features of New York magazine is a regular article they run about spending money called "Economy of One." In it, they ask a person to spend the equivalent amount of some exorbitant thing to which they are somehow connected. For instance, they asked the R&B singer,Amerie, how she would spend the $66,136.95 that had so far amassed from the I-Tunes sales of her single "One Thing." They show how a famous architect would spend the amount that it cost to build a recent building he designed and grill Giorgio Armani on how he would spend what it takes to buy a custom beaded dress from his spring Atelier line ($54,375).

It's a very successful feature because it allows the magazine to both highlight interesting items for people to want to consume as well as characterize the personality of a relatively famous person. You can tell a lot by what a person wants when money is no issue.

Then, at the bottom of the page, they have the person detail what they really spent that day. This is the part that I most enjoy to read. It provides a bridge that connects an average member of the capitalist society (me) with the moneyed few (Armani). Moreover, it finally gives some clue as to exactly where the hell one's money goes.

The last time Jason and I were able to save any amount of money, I kept a computerized detailed account of where all of our money went. There is a program called Microsoft Money that let you input all of your expenses and income. Then, using this data, the program makes all these great pie charts and graphs showing exactly what percentage of your money goes to leisure and food and bills, etc. It also projects how much you can expect to save at the spending trajectory you maintain.

So, I thought I would try something similar again. In an effort to illuminate the burdening question of "Where does all my money go?" I am going to attempt an experiment for myself. I am going to try to actually keep track of what I spend for the next week and post it on this blog.

It seems, when faced with the concrete facts, it's often easier to come up with reasonable solutions to one's issues with money. Because, unfortunately, I am not at a point in my life when I don't have to think about money.

Or, perhaps, I'll just be so embarrassed by revealing how much money I waste that it'll learn me to be a better saver.

WHAT I SPENT TODAY (Monday, July 11,2005):

$1.00 -- Two Daily News papers (one for me and one for g8s)
$2.00 -- Cab ride home from work (g8s put in the other $10)
$34.00 -- Two round trip tickets and beach passes for myself and Jason to Long Beach in Long Island.
$8.40 -- One New Yorker and one Glamour magazine (One smart, one trashy...I believe in balance)
$1.75 -- One bottle of Penta water
$31.26 -- Two "Avocollossus" sandwiches (avocado, tofu, carrots, tomatoes, hummus, sprouts), one bottle of Poland Spring carbonated water, one bottle of Trinity water, one package of Tamari almonds, one bar of sandalwood soap, one bar of coconut soap.
$6.00 -- Tip to the sandwich guy at Bob's Natural Food Store.
$4.00 -- Two subway rides.
$18.46 -- Carryout dinner from Trattoria Rino. One caprese salad and one penne a la vodka.
Total -- $102.87

WHAT I SPENT TODAY (Tuesday, July 12, 2005):

$.50 -- One Daily News paper.
$1.70 -- One gallon of Poland Spring water.
$16.75 -- Laundry drop-off from my laundry service. (22 pounds of laundry)
$5.00 -- Tip for the laundry guys.
$4.84 -- Four rolls of Charmin toilet paper.
$6.48 -- One package of Japanese dental flosser thingies and one bottle of Pocari Sweat electrolyte beverage from the Japanese market.
$10.00 - One new Metrocard for the subway.
$20.00 -- 1/3 of the bill for one sushi dinner with Betsey and Patrick at Tomo.
$10.00 -- One after dinner cocktail at the Abbey Pub.
$5.00 -- One John Lee Hooker album found on the street ("I'm in the Mood")
$32.00 -- Two reserved seating tickets to Friday's "Charlie & The Chocolate Factory"
Total -- $112.27

link * Miss Marisol posted at 12:17 AM * posted by Miss Marisol @ 12:17 AM   |


Homo du Mois

I would not be the woman I am today if it were not for all the wonderful gay men in my life. They have made me into a stronger, more confident woman with a much higher tolerance for alcohol. Stereotypes aside, I am grateful to have so much unfettered love in my life.

To that end, I have decided I will share my lovers with you all, so we can all be one big queer family. (And by "queer," I mean strange and/or gay.)

Every month, here at Miss Hag., we will be featuring one of my favorite friends of the gay persuasion. This person will be . . .dum-duh-duh-dummmm . . .

Miss Hag.'s Homo du Mois!

Those featured will be asked the same five questions every month and get their gorgeous mug splayed all over this fine site.

One little caveat . . . Miss Hag. is NOT a dating service or a Madame for The Gays. I'm not pimping out my homo-homies. If that's what you are looking for, try Manfinder or Manhunt.

Miss Hag.'s readers will already be familiar with g8s, Patrick and Dennis. They will certainly get their respective months, do not fret . . .Today's featured fun fag is someone you haven't heard about yet. But, he personally requested I mention him here, so he gets the honor of being the very first . . .

Miss Hag.'s Homo du Mois!


I met Shawn fairly recently -- Patrick shot a screenplay that Shawn wrote and they are currently working on another project. Before I met Shawn, I heard so many wonderful things about him. Betsey even said she planned to have his babies. Surely, this must be some remarkable individual, I thought.

All the stories were true. Shawn is incredibly charming and self-assured and dirty in all the right ways. On July 4th, he hosted a barbecue in his backyard. There, we hatched the idea for the very first porno involving Jesus and the disciples at the Last Supper. Yes, we're all going to hell. But at least we'll have good company.

Miss Hag.'s Five Questions for The Homo du Mois:

1.) Who would you cast to play you and the people
most important to you in a movie about your life?

"It would depend on what time in my life the movie was set. Since I've had a pretty boring upbringing I would start around 17 to 18. So, for that age I would pick an unknown actor that resembled Patrick Dempsey. But, when it came to the present I would have to choose myself... I think I could do the challenge."

2.) Name one thing that you believed as a child.
"I believed I couldn't live up to my parent's expectations. Different now."

3.) If we were to look inside your refrigerator
right now, what would we see?

"Nothing, really. Vodka. Patrick's cheese he left me. Shanon's extra pizza box with nothing in it. A few condiments. I think that's about it."

4.) How do you think people from high school would
describe you?

"As a sarcastic asshole who had nice rides throughout high school. I ruled by fear."

How do you think people who know you now would describe you?
"Oh God, I'm not sure. Possibly generous doormat with cynical undertones."

How would you describe yourself?
"A good natured insecure dandy with an overwrought sense of sex."

5.) What do you think about the word "love"?
"I think at this moment I'm actually in it. It's beautiful."

Raise a toast to this wonderful man, y'all. And if you see him at a bar, buy him a drink . . .

link * Miss Marisol posted at 10:21 AM * posted by Miss Marisol @ 10:21 AM   |


Morning Sedition

On July 14th every year, at Restaurant Florent, there is a grand celebration in honor of Bastille Day.

There will be can-can dancers shaking their groove thing on the countertops, burlesque performances by fabulous people like Ami Goodheart and Dirty Martini (see below), and general merrymaking and ballyhoo.

And, if you are very lucky, Florent makes an appearance in full drag as Marie Antoinette and declares "Let them eat cake!" to the adoring crowd of revelers.

This Thursday, the Bastille day festivities will continue all night long and into the wee hours of Friday morning. To cap off the celebration, Air America Radio (the radio station for liberals and nipple lovers) will be broadcasting live from the restaurant. The Morning Sedition crew will be taking up post in Florent from 6 a.m. - 9 a.m. on Friday morning.

g8s and I will be ending our evening at that time, so if you are awake that early (or up that late), tune in to your local Air America station (click here to find your station) or you can listen to a live stream here. Or, if you are in the neighborhood, stop by. g8s and I will be the surly couple hovering over the espresso machine.

And don't worry, at Florent, the sarcasm and attitude are always on the house!

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


Sarcasm for the Weary

On the day of the bombings in London, I was visiting at my sister's house in New Jersey. My parents had come down from Maine for a few days. My brothers had also come to visit, so we were all together for a night. We are not all under one roof very often and it was nice to spend some time together.

NOTE: This is not to downplay the severity of the tragedy in London, this is more of a funny characterization of my mother. I just thought you might enjoy a little light humor on this dreary day . . .

We all sat around the living room television watching the unfolding of events. I had to ride the train back to my home in Manhattan that day and I knew my mother would be worried.

"Oh, you better be careful when you are riding back to the city."

"What do you mean, mother?"

"You know, you better be...vigilant...if you see someone suspicious. Maybe, you should, you know, take another train or something."

"What does a suspicious person look like, Mother?"

She sighed dramatically, "Oh, you know what I mean. Just...be careful, all right?"

In the meantime, at that exact moment, Bush's mug appeared on the television speaking from the G8 conference. He said, "...all Americans should be vigilant in the coming days..."

My mother, a dyed in the wool Democrat who let us stay home from school thinking we would be too upset the day after Reagan was reelected, reacted violently to Bush's advice.

"See? Even the Idiot says to be vigilant. Not that, you know, you should ever do what HE tells you to do."

"So, wait, I shouldn't be vigilant?"

"You're so difficult."

Please be well, my friends.

Image hosted by Photobucket.com

"In the shadows of tall buildings
Of fallen angels on the ceilings
Oily feathers in bronze and concrete
Faded colors, pieces left incomplete
The line moves slowly past the electric fence
Across the borders between continents
In the cathedrals of New York and Rome
There is a feeling that you should just go home
And spend a lifetime finding out just where that is. . ."
-- "Cathedrals," Jump, Little Children

link * Miss Marisol posted at 7:07 PM * posted by Miss Marisol @ 7:07 PM   |


The Sky is Falling . . .

Because I have too much respect for my readers, and too much anger to maintain decorum. . . I will not succumb to the ranting monologues rolling around in my brain.

However, I cannot let it go without being said. . .It is impossible not to consider the political ramifications of the bombings that occurred in London this morning. It is impossible not to think about who actually benefits from this unignorable act of caculated violence.

I have been looking at the blogs. Reading the reflections of people trying to wrap their brains around this morning's tragedy. Most people come to the same sorrowful cul-de-sac of questions: "Why?" "What do they think they accomplish?"

This is what I think.

Religious extremists who are almost probably at the source of these acts of violence are achieving exactly their aim -- it is an act of equalization. The more frequently random bombings occur in our every day lives, the closer we can come to understand the every day lives of people whom we can no longer choose to ignore. Fear of constant retribution is not new to most of the world. And now, we have to accept that this includes us.

There are no exceptions to suffering.

Now. How we choose to react and respond to violent attacks is far more significant than how we plan to attempt to stop them. The former is the key to the future of peace, the latter is as futile as shoveling smoke and potentially more dangerous.

And, here is what I find most troubling about the state of our lives today. Although you may refuse to definitively accept (or even mildly entertain) conspiracies that potentially incriminate the leaders of "civilized" nations; it is impossible to ignore this truth . . .Sadly, we do live in a world where those entrusted to lead us out of this world war makes choices only to perpetuate it.

Everybody knows that the boat is leaking
Everybody knows that the captain lied
Everybody got this broken feeling
Like their father or their dog just died

Everybody's hands are in their pockets
Everybody wants a box of chocolates
And a long stem rose
Everybody knows . . .

link * Miss Marisol posted at 4:28 PM * posted by Miss Marisol @ 4:28 PM   |


Reading is FUN-da-MENTAL

If you didn't gather it from the title of the blog, I am a lover of gay men. Most of the people in my inner circle are gay men. However, a lot of the people I have come to know through this blogging world are women. Many are mothers -- SAHMs and WAHMs.

They are tremendously intelligent and complex women. They have existential crises that most people never consider -- how to balance self-fulfillment and nurturing. How to do it all. How to have it all. How to have your cake, eat it and not look like you have eaten it.

Learning about their lives has helped me consider my own mother. A tremendously intelligent and complex woman who has been a friend and an enemy to me in the span of a minute. For better or worse, I am the product of her choices as a woman. And for that, I have to be grateful.

When I was 5, my mother met with the superintendent to convince the school board that I didn't need to go through the motions of grade school. She was frustrated with American academics. In the Philippines, children only attend ten years of elementary and secondary education. Most matriculate from college by 18 or 19. She couldn't grasp the concept of pre-school or kindergarten.

Somehow, she got them to agree to evaluate me. They took me to a white building with a red door and administered a bunch of simple tests to gauge my intelligence. They asked me to identify colors, the time on several clock faces, as well as my left and right side.
Next, the asked me to do simple addition. One of the teachers wrote 2+2 on a piece of paper.

"Do you know what this is?" she chirped.

I knew it was four, but I was painfully shy and afraid. I choked out a weak answer that I'm told was a barely audible, "fff-four." In my mind, it came out like a scream.

I continued on to write out things for them on command: letters, my name, 4+5, animals. I obeyed fastidiously. Only when asked to speak did I show any sign of uncertainty. To me, the sound of my voice still echoed through the room from the last time I spoke; "four-our-our . . ."

Then, one of the teachers gave me a book. She extended her long forefinger and traced the dark orange letters of the book's title, "Can you read this?"

"Leo the Late Bloomer," I reply. I know this book. I've read this book.

My mother would often relay the rest of this story to me, but I don't remember anything after seeing the cover of that book. It's the story of a little boy lion named, Leo. His father is worried because Leo isn't reading and writing or speaking yet like the other lion kids. His mother calmly and confidently assures the father lion that Leo will bloom at his own pace.

At this point, the teachers sitting around me start to whisper. They aren't convinced, thinking perhaps I just remember this story from having it read to me. That I may even be able to recite the words from sense memory.

I don't remember that. I only remember looking at the cover of the book and being really excited because I love to read. I love to read that book. I remember looking at the picture of Leo's bright orange and black striped face hidden behind yellow and orange foliage and hoping this lady will just let me read this book.

My mother tells me that she gets tense at this point because she's worried she can't convince these people of my potential, that I will become bored with their educational system, drop out, have 25 kids and die on welfare, toothless from lack of good health insurance.

Suddenly, the room is silent. I speak again.

I say, "Leo the Late Bloomer," again. Then two words that prove to change the course of my life, if slightly. I say, "That's ironic."

The deal is settled. I can skip kindergarten and they will place me in third grade reading classes. But, they worry for my social development because I am still very shy and clingy. My mother grudgingly accepts.

link * Miss Marisol posted at 7:55 PM * posted by Miss Marisol @ 7:55 PM   |