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Tai Chi. Chai Tea.

Since my brother's recent hospitalization, it has been all about Project Healthier Living here in my little world. I have quit smoking . . .uh . . . y'know. . .everything. I have stopped being a faux vegetarian and recommitted to a vida sin carne. Except sushi. Come on. I quit smoking doobies, you gotta at least give me the spicy tuna hand roll. No more fried foods. No junk food. No more handfuls of lard scooped into my greedy open jaw.

Additionally, I have stopped donating $60 a month to Mr. Total Bally Fitness and started actually going to the gym. Again. Yippee.

Last night the LIL S'BEB* and I agreed that we would wake up early and try the new Tai Chi class together. We had the best of intentions, really.

In the span of two blocks that we traverse between our apartment and the Total Fitness Club, we managed to get pissed off with no less than three pedestrians and two vehicles. We grumbled. We mumbled. Not very Tai Chi. But, the class succeeded in alleviating our mutual grumpiness. But, not because we opened our chakras or anything.

The class consisted of four other people, a spry middle aged man, two senior citizens named "Charlotte" and "Lily" and Charlotte's nurse, "Fabiane." The moment our instructor greeted us, I knew there was no possibility of my being able to take this woman seriously. She is one of those exercise instructors who insists on speaking in some bizarre voice appropriate only for kindergarten teachers and tour guides at Disney World.

She somehow managed to cram extra syllables into every word that came out of her mouth:

Normal Person: "One" Crazy Tai Chi Instructor: "Huh-wuh-uh-uh-uh-unn-nn-ah"
Normal Person: "Intestine" Crazy Tai Chi Instructor: "Insansianstlknatnelainelenatonatin"

Both LIL S'BEB and I lost it, though, when we went ahead and greeted all of our body parts, thanking them and telling them we love them while vigorously patting them down.

"Hello, knees. Thank you, knees. I love you, knees."

I have always been a poor fit for spiritual, low impact group exercise. Yoga makes me tense because it just proves to me how inflexible I am. And, now, I see I am far too immature for Tai Chi. I guess I'll stick to the Stairmaster.

Happy Wednesday to you all. Ohm Shanti in the panty.

*Live-In Longterm, Soon to Be Ex-Boyfriend. (LIL S'BEB)

link * Miss Marisol posted at 5:46 PM * posted by Miss Marisol @ 5:46 PM   |


Desperately In Need of Comic Relief. . .

Click on the above for a wonderful video from Safe Kids, Strong Kids. Not entirely safe for work. Unless you work at a preschool.

Huh? You'll see.

File under:

link * Miss Marisol posted at 8:12 PM * posted by Miss Marisol @ 8:12 PM   |


Wheel in the sky keeps on turnin' . . .

Me and Dan, 1978.
(Notice we have the same haircut.)

Almost every day for the past three weeks, I have been riding the same bus from New York to a hospital just outside the city to be with my brother, Dan. Not since I lived in Coney Island with The Boys have I spent so much time on public transportation.

Then, I spent several hours a day riding the subway from the last stop in Brooklyn to various points in Manhattan. My hour or so morning commute afforded me enough time to create exciting and different looks every day. I could apply a full face of makeup that often included gluing fake jewels around my eyes and a bindi on my forehead. I could twist my hair into tiny bundles and bind them with multi-colored elastic bands. I was 23. I could get away with it.

The long subway ride also gave me the chance to do a variety of luxurious activities. I could read whole chapters at a time. I could eat a full meal in one sitting or listen to an entire mixtape. It was donated time. Free time. I had no choice but to do interesting things to pass that great span of traveling time.

The bus ride I take now takes about a half hour, but it gives me something I haven't since the days of Coney -- designated free time. Sometimes I read a bit or listen to my iPod.

But usually, I just look out the window and think.

Also during this new quiet time, I get to scan a vastly different vista from my normal reality. There is a span of northern New Jersey thrown up from the dark void that snakes from the middle belly of Manhattan -- the Lincoln Tunnel. One of the most exhilirating views of the city is just beyond the first bend out of the tunnel. And every time, I point to a spot between the new Hearst Building and the Worldwide Plaza and gleefully say to myself, "That's where I live!"

The landscape just beyond the tunnel is generally industrial and rundown. A place where T.S. Eliot would be orgasmically inspired. I get to see hints of places that before, were only names on a map: Secaucus, Hoboken, Newark.

The skyline of New York City rests comfortably just out of reach, assuring me of my home. A home that, in the event of severe disaster, I could walk to if need be.

Me and Dan, 1979
(Note: We will have the same haircut for another four years.)

My brother, Dan, is a pilot and one of the bus stops before we get to the hospital is Newark International Airport. The first few days that I rode out to see him, I closed my eyes as we drove through the airport. It hurt too much to consider that I might never again get to sit in a cockpit next to my brother as he confidently negotiates the magic of flight. I thought I would never be able to look at a plane again without wanting to weep.

It is three weeks later and Dan has cleared some seriously scary hurdles. His health has improved enough that he has been put on the list for a heart transplant. We are holding on to the outside hope that his heart will continue to strengthen enough that this won't have to be the route to go. However, even if it is, I have learned to hope for the best because the best is always possible.

We will be having a low sodium, low cholesterol Thanksgiving dinner in the hospital this year and I am thankful for that. I am thankful, in fact, for every moment of donated time.

link * Miss Marisol posted at 4:13 PM * posted by Miss Marisol @ 4:13 PM   |


Breaking The Girl

"I am a man
Cut from the know,
Rarely do friends
Come and then go.
She was a girl
Soft but estranged.
We were the two
Our lives rearranged
Feeling so good that day
A feeling of love that day . . ." -- RHCP"

Thank you to all of you who have reached out to me in this uncertain time of my life. My brother's health changes from moment to moment and my family waits through this holding pattern. He has generally improved over the last two weeks, but there are still many hurdles to cross as we all face the reality of the situation--that he will probably need to receive a heart transplant. I appreciate any good thoughts you can send this way as we can use all the positive energy you can spare.


In my late tween years, I met this amazing girl who told me that she liked my handwriting. She didn't know it at the time, but this admiration was the highest of compliments to me. I used to spend hours squirreled away in my bedroom, practicing different types of penmanship. Trying out different capital "E's" and lower case "J's" in cursive and print. This was on the cusp of the personal computer age and my obsession would eventually evolve into a love of fonts.

When we reached driving age, she and I spent a lot of time tooling around in her cream colored Saab listening to Red Hot Chili Peppers, They Might Be Giants and the Beastie Boys. Fueling ourselves with Mountain Dew and Oreo cookies, we drove aimlessly along the back roads of Maine. Going nowhere. They are some of the best memories of my early life.

Well, this amazing girl is now an amazing woman and she has a newfangled blog designed by the beautiful Miss Maddie from Girlie Bits. I cannot promise that I will be involved in blogland so much over the next while. However, I can vouche for LL Coolbeans and I highly recommend you check her out here.

link * Miss Marisol posted at 4:45 PM * posted by Miss Marisol @ 4:45 PM   |



"Fer·ma·ta: The prolongation of a tone, chord, or rest beyond its indicated time value."

I hate hospitals. For all the reasons that people usually give -- the smell, the lights, the constant threat of misery. There are, or course, other things -- things that are specific to human existence, things that unite us all in our inevitability.

I hate the impotence of watching someone I love suffer. I hate being surrounded by machines and gadgets that I cannot control. I hate the constant reminders of our mortality, and the fact that it forces me to consider capital L, Life. And this forces me to think about God.

My relationship with God, like most of my long term relationships, is predictably dysfunctional. I am the once fiercely loyal girlfriend who never broke up officially but gradually lost contact and still feels strong regard, who always gets wasted on tequila when crisis strikes and makes sobbing drunk and dial phone calls to God begging for mercy and undeserved miracles.

Basically, you know, a Catholic.

Lately, almost all of my internal conversations turn into desperate prayers.

I feel as though I have been living a half life. Wandering through the motions of my usual life, I cannot help but feel sadness because of the ever present knowledge that my brother is fighting to recover in a hospital. My own life seems to be presenting me with evidence to the contrary that goodness and God are prevailing. (See here for one blatant example.)

And even in those moments of ease that I try to maintain, the lightness seems dulled.

Even the small pleasure of sharing my thoughts and reading your thoughts seems to offer me only shame right now. For, I feel like I cannot truly be happy during this time of uncertainty. And, I find it hard to think of anything beyond the immediate needs of my brother's life.

So, I bid you all well as I take a pause from this blog. As I muddle through this unplanned fermata.

Masterful pieces of music reveal true greatness, not just in the sheer force of melody, but in the disparate divinity of silence.

File under: .

link * Miss Marisol posted at 10:59 PM * posted by Miss Marisol @ 10:59 PM   |


Dear Brother. . .

Be careful with your heart. . .

From what I have seen tonight, there are machines that can operate on behalf of the heart. Pumps and tubes and beeping screens that can move the blood through the muscle of any heart -- even a damaged heart. A weakened heart.

From what I have felt these past two days, there is little you can do to make a heart unhurt. Nothing that will fix the heart's makeup, make it look as though it has not been crying. Convince it not to break under the weight of such sorrow.

Be careful with your hearts, my friends. . .

Let not grief, sorrow, neglect, or worse, regret temper the steady beat of hope.

link * Miss Marisol posted at 6:01 AM * posted by Miss Marisol @ 6:01 AM   |