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A Woman Left to Her Own Devices

Day One of my vacation in my own apartment.

My Live In Long-term Soon to Be Ex-Boyfriend, heretofore known as LIL S'BEB left at four a.m. to fly out to San Francisco where he will be for a week. I helped him into a yellow cab and stumbled up the three flights of stairs to my very quiet apartment and fell asleep alone. And in silence.

What does a woman do alone in her own apartment for the first few hours that her LIL S'BEB is gone?

If she is me, she dances around in her underwear for a few minutes. Turns on NPR in the living room and David Bowie in the bedroom. She drinks a whole pot of coffee brewed with cinnamon which her LIL S'BEB hates. Makes herself scrambled egg whites and eats half of them. She then goes out and rents a large stack of horrible movies to watch as she falls asleep alone later tonight. (Classics like "Four Weddings and a Funeral" which would make LIL S'BEB dry heave in boredom.)

Now if you'll excuse me, I am going to put on some heels, smoke a joint and do some sit-ups while listening to Janet Jackson's Control.

link * Miss Marisol posted at 2:43 PM * posted by Miss Marisol @ 2:43 PM   |


Is This Thing On?

"If you don't post, I don't know what's going on in your life."
-- A Friend of Mine

About one thousand times over the last week or so, I have sat down to write something and ended up grinding my teeth together and staring out the window counting the yellow cabs that whiz down Ninth Avenue.

I started this blog as a means to express myself a little bit each day, but now that someone besides g8s reads these words, I feel some pressure to produce something beautiful and meaningful and funny every day.

I'm not going to sit down and make a laundry list of my every day life. I could tell you that my live-in-long-term-soon-to-be-ex-boyfriend is going on vacation to San Francisco for a week tomorrow and that I am ecstatic to have the apartment to myself. I could tell you that I have broken down in tears twice in the last week at work because I am losing my mind. But, really, who hasn't? I could tell you about toxic relationships and reaching my limit of compassion.

I have started many many times to write about every little thing that has popped up in my brain lately: why we haven't impeached Bush over the Valerie Plame case, how many glasses of champagne I can drink in an hour, the themes and motifs of the screenplay I am writing, my opinion on chestnut cream crepes.

But, the only thing I can seem to feel or hear right now is static. The sun is shining, but it looks like rain to me. And as much as I want to write something beautiful for you all, the only thing I can seem to grasp is silence.

link * Miss Marisol posted at 1:02 PM * posted by Miss Marisol @ 1:02 PM   |


View From The Top

If I were a painter, I would live in a world of rain.
I would never choose the sun.

link * Miss Marisol posted at 4:25 PM * posted by Miss Marisol @ 4:25 PM   |


Do You Know the Way to San Jose?

I don't have a television in my home for many wonderful reasons. But because of this fact, I often miss things from our televised Zeitgeist.

That's why I have you guys! Kirsten alerted me to this bit that was aired on CNN. In it, a reporter goes around the streets of America and asks folks what country we should invade after Iraq. No, wait. It gets worse. He also asks some of these folks to mark the country on a map of the world. We've secretly switched Australia with another country. . .let's see what happens. . .

Go here and see it for yourselves.

** Bradley Egel pointed out, it's actually CNNN (Chaser Non-Stop News Network), an Australian satire network. Thanks, Brad!

File under:

link * Miss Marisol posted at 11:10 AM * posted by Miss Marisol @ 11:10 AM   |


Fatty Boombalatti

Veronica Sawyer: Heather, why can't you just be a friend? Why do you have to be such a mega-bitch?
Heather Duke: Because I can be.

-- "Heathers," 1989

This has been too frequent of a topic here at Miss Hag., but I write about what's going on. So. Blame the universe.

I have a request to women of the world. A request and a theory.

Last Friday night, I had a very bad experience with a woman. It angered me and then it made me very sad. It, in fact, made me cry. I am writing about this simply to set up my train of thought on this topic. I am not throwing a pity party. And, I sincerely appreciate how wonderfully kind and supportive you all can be when I am feeling down on myself. However, I must emphasize that I am not writing about this topic because I want you to tell me you love me just the way I am (though I thank the heavens that you do). It is not necessary to comment on this aspect of my post.

I am writing this because I want to make a request.

I had been running around the restaurant last Friday. Being a waitress. Dropping off food, filling water glasses, etc. The restaurant is small. When it is busy, there is very little space between people and tables and chairs.

As I passed through a set of tables, I brushed up against a woman's chair and she announced, loudly and pointedly to the people at her table, "Eww. That girl is too fat to get through."

Now, any sensible person (male or female) would and should be angry about this. I certainly was. But that's not the point of this post.

The point of this post is simply this: Ladies, stop. Let's just stop.

My theory? I don't know who or how or why such behavior has perpetuated, but we still inhabit a society in which women consistently view each other as enemies. As competition. As The Evil Other Woman. And we treat each other viciously.

It starts in school and it continues in business and life. Have you ever noticed that so many successful women always insist that they were "tomboys" and that normally only have "guy friends." That is because these women view other women as a liability to their own trajectory.

Women get dirty. We tear each other apart. And to a degree, such competitiveness can be motivational. Maybe even inspirational.

My only request is, let's agree that certain punches are simply unnecessary. If you want to challenge another woman's work because you disagree with her viewpoints or if you want to motivate another woman to expand her intellectual horizons. . . Fine.

But, let's drop the catty, petty blows about each other's appearance. If we continue to sum each other up by the value of our visual worth, than we will continue to lose opportunities to be more than just pretty faces. Or thin bodies. We will perpetuate ridiculous standards of beauty.

And if you must be so judgmental, then continue to think what you want about another woman's appearance. But, keep it to your damn selves, will you?


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link * Miss Marisol posted at 3:38 PM * posted by Miss Marisol @ 3:38 PM   |


Welcome to a New Hag.

"The difference between us and the animals is our ability to accessorize." Steel Magnolias

Chicago Jackie introduced me to the fabulous Miss Maddie and her wonderful design business Girlie Bits.

Thanks to her, the Hag. has this fabulous new outfit. Me likey. It's fall, darlings, go find yourselves a nice new template to match your new autumnal malaise.

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link * Miss Marisol posted at 7:33 PM * posted by Miss Marisol @ 7:33 PM   |


Bad Girl...Uh...Beep Beep!

"Subjects of God's government must avoid activities condemned by God."*

So, I'm all for condemning shooting up heroin, but, apparently God also condemns:

-- Standing alone in a corner
-- Any sort of disco revival
-- Kissing a wax statue of Elton John whilst wearing white pants and a cowboy hat.

Sheesh. So many rules.

*From "You Can Live Forever in Paradise on Earth" (1982).

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link * Miss Marisol posted at 9:33 PM * posted by Miss Marisol @ 9:33 PM   |


I Know You Little Libertine

"Spitting in a wishing well
Blown to hell
I'm the last splash" == The Breeders, "Cannonball"

The other night, I went up to Six Six, our security guard, who is so named because he is six feet, six inches tall, and said, "People are such assholes to me."

He said, "Damn, girl, you come at them hard! Someone gets out of line and, BOOM!, you're like a cannonball."

I laughed and walked away, but the comment came back to me tonight as Jason and I were crossing the street. We walk, as New Yorkers do, with purpose. Weaving through moving traffic and walking with the lights (not necessarily with the "Walk" lights, natch). As we crossed between two cars parked at a red light, I looked up to see the bumper of a tiny sedan catch Jason in the legs, pushing him slightly off balance, but not knocking him over.

Still, I glared into the windshield of the car at a little smudge of a boy, barely out of his teens. He smirked and nudged the car up another inch to try and hit me, too.

This went over poorly with me, as you can imagine. Jason later said he was just going to keep walking. But, he heard me start cursing and yelling, so he turned around thinking, "Uh-oh, I better get involved in this."

You can imagine it I'm sure.

Bitchy Filipina girl stands in city street, calling out young man to step out of his car and take it like a man. Much taller, white boyfriend tries to keep her from breaking a young man's nose. Of course, the light changed and the moment passed. The boy's girlfriend leaned out the window and pleaded, "No one said anything to you, we didn't do anything."

A couple that looked like they just left a Broadway show stood on the corner beaming about their fortune to witness the interaction. What a story for the folks back home.

As we headed for the subway, laughing, I told Jason about the comment from Six Six and he said, "You sound proud of that fact."

And, in a way, I am. Sure, a quick temper is not always an attractive quality in a person, man or woman. But, every time I ponder confrontations I have with people, I always come to the same conclusion. At least I stood up for myself. Afterwards, I always retreat back into the coolness of reason. But not without first releasing a little rage.

Jason just laughed and said, "You're such a guy sometimes."

It's something he has intoned to me before, but usually he is referring to my approach to relationships. I am the one who hates public displays of affection. I am the one who insisted that we have an apartment with two bedrooms so we don't always have to sleep together. I was the one who called him my "roommate" for almost a year before I gave in to the word "boyfriend." I was the one who whined to my friends that my partner expected me to have emotions and talk about them. Aloud. To each other. Shudder.

The role reversal is quite common as far as I can tell. We are the daughters of the women who first benefited from the feminist movement. We watched our mothers get fed up. They donned suits with shoulder pads. They bought us mace and Erica Jong novels and aerobicized with Jane Fonda. They voted for Mondale because of Ferraro. These were the women who bore the very first latchkey generation.

Their daughters are cannonballs.

"It is undeniable that regardless of their physical impact, early cannons, with their noise, smoke, and flames, had a terrifying psychological impact on horses or soldiers who had never encountered the weapons before." -- From Wikipedia

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link * Miss Marisol posted at 12:21 AM * posted by Miss Marisol @ 12:21 AM   |


Laugh, dammit.

Me to self: "Write something funny. People want to read something funny on Friday."

Self to Me: "Fuck you. You write something funny."

M: "You're funnier when you've had a cocktail. Go get a cocktail."

S: "It's just after noon, I am not drinking yet."

M: "You're drinking coffee, just put some Kaluha in it and write something funny or people won't want to read your blog."

S: "That's stupid. I'm not going to develop a drinking problem just so people will read my blog."

Me to self starts laughing maniacally.

S: "What? What's so funny."

M: "Oh, yes, that precious. Develop. Develop a drinking problem. Yes, that's good. Write that."

link * Miss Marisol posted at 12:36 PM * posted by Miss Marisol @ 12:36 PM   |


Will I Be Pretty? Will I Be Rich?

In grade school, I rode the bus. I was shy, but brave and would often sit near the back where the cool, older kids always sat.

One day, I was sitting by a rebellious boy that I found to be very cute who was two years older than me, Michael Zuk. Mike noticed me peeling off a Band-Aid that was wrapped around my forefinger. It had been on so tight and so long that the skin underneath was wrinkled and white. It smelled wet.

I will never forget how Michael Zuk pointed at the small patch of my finger that was temporarily so white it was almost translucent. I will never forget it because he pointed to this tiny bit of skin and said, "See...you'd be so much prettier if you were white."

That's not the sad part of this memory. The saddest part is that I actually agreed with him. I even laughed along with his friend who chimed in with the offer to punch me in the nose so it might swell up and thus not be so flat.

This was before Bennetton ads and multiculti Madison Avenue. We were still enthralled with Cheryl Tiegs and Christie Brinkley. The hallways of my school were filled with blonde girls named Kristen who had Romanesque proboces and hair so shimmery it can only be recalled as flaxen. Girls who turned golden in the sun, not dirt brown.

Oh, how I longed to be a Kristen.

Of course, I shed most of those ridiculous insecurities not long after I walked away from that little hick town. My image concerns have shifted from the color of my surface to the amount and placement of fat in the layers below skin level.

Can't win for losing...or, however the saying goes.

Thanks to the internet, though, and this bizarrely entrancing Face Transformer tool I can now see what might have been if there had been a fairy godmother to grant my ridiculous epidermal wishes so many years ago. Thank god/buddha/allah/jeremiah the bullfrog there wasn't.

(Click this scary photo for versions of me in Afro-Caribbean, East Asian, Manga Cartoon and Mucha Painting)

link * Miss Marisol posted at 3:47 AM * posted by Miss Marisol @ 3:47 AM   |


Tune in tomorrow . . .

Citizen of the Month, Neil, featured a particularly controversial post several months ago about the alarming trend of emaciated celebrities. Lauren at Mindful Things wrote about the potentially damaging influence on the cultural psyche because of the absurd extremism in photo retouching.

I'm having a low body image day. Let's revisit a post I wrote in April on this very topic, shall we?

"American women, I believe actually feel the same as Hispanic women about weight. A desire for the comfort of fullness. And when that desire is suppressed for style and deprivation allowed to rule, dieting, exercising American women become afraid of everything associated with being curvaceous such as wantonness, lustfulness, sex, food, motherhood. All that is best in life." -- from Spanglish.

Recently, I viewed the movie, Spanglish ,in which the young Mexican-American girl narrating the film describes this particularly succinct observation of the female body image. This voiceover related a theme in the storyline of a Mexican immigrant, Flor Morena, and her relationship with the women in the white American family for which she is a nanny and housekeeper. Flor is shown secretly altering clothes purchased for the slightly overweight daughter in the family, Bernice. The young girl's mother, Deborah Clasky, buys clothes for her daughter in a size she knows Bernice cannot fit. Her hope is that the clothes will motivate the girl to lose weight. She tells her daughter encouragingly, "You are gonna do it and you are gonna look beautiful!"

Understandably, Deborah's "support" is not viewed so innocuously and is exposed as the ruse that it is. In an attempt to boost Bernice's self esteem, Flor takes out the seams of the clothes and encourages the girl to, "Just try it on!"

This act endears Flor to the daughter and sets her in the role of the mirror that the young girl needs to see -- one that reflects her beauty as it is, not as it might be.

Physically, Deborah Clasky is a typical portrait of the New American Mother. A successful and prestigious mother of two whose body is toned to a sculpted perfection by intensive yoga and morning jogs that involve a competitive screaming of "Left!" as she passes her fellow joggers.
Deborah represents the image of what we have recently become familiar with as the image of mother via the trend of Hollywood's mothers. Tabloid magazines splay photos of American celebrities in svelte gowns and tailored pants just weeks after they have given birth. The headlines tantalize readers with secrets for how they, too, can have postpartum perfection.

They display these women as proof that they can have their cake, eat it, and look like they have not.

It seems to me that now, it is not just that women suppress their desires for "everything associated with being curvaceous." Now, women indulge in their objects of desire, but maintain the physicality of one who denies indulgent pleasures. Notedly, certain shapeliness has entered into the modern image of womanhood due to the influence of the famous rear ends of Jennifer Lopez and Beyonce. And, of course, large breasts have always been de rigueur. However, these curves are always balanced by the omnipresent taut belly -- a potent symbol of discipline and denial.

There will always be unnecessary demands on women to obtain certain body representations. Certainly, it is healthier for the body and mind to be fit and trim. However, it is a sad state when what women are working to achieve is not a healthy body to accomplish their work as mothers, but as a means to represent a woman who looks like she never gave birth.

I promise, I'll lighten up soon...it's so Sturm und Drang around here lately...

File under:

link * Miss Marisol posted at 4:16 PM * posted by Miss Marisol @ 4:16 PM   |


Unmarried K Alum

Stop. Stop. Stop.

I cannot go any further without saying this.

I have been so fuckin' lucky. I have real friends. Moreover, I have real friendships. Real, solid, impervious, all-encompassing friendships. Unconditional. Unfaltering.

Thriving in New York is impossible without love. And I have the best love of all. Real friends. People I have known for almost half my life.

For a few years now, I have been able to enjoy my friends at whim. Hop on a subway, Jump in a cab, walk down the street. They are there. Post haste.

And now, life is changing again. As it does. As it has. I, too, have left this city that I love. For months at a time, I have chased other horizons. Our paths are diverging again. In the space of physics. In the span of time.

My little chosen family is dispersed again. He is in Indiana. She is going to work in India.

And I feel my heart stretch again -- the muscle is surpisingly facile, boundless in its reach. As she strides forward.


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link * Miss Marisol posted at 1:57 PM * posted by Miss Marisol @ 1:57 PM   |