Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Planet Manola: Of Madames and Spinsters

Random news, commentary and photographs. Updated at least once every menstrual cycle, if not more frequently.

photo by shveckle Have you ever been out on a date and felt exactly like this? Photo by Shveckle.


A forum member at Talk Night Life posted a link to my Raleigh Runway Caper piece and inspired a little discussion, mainly about tourism. One member, however, expressed his opinion about Sex and the Beach:
that blog is pretty lame.

ohhhhh south beach, i love you i hate you i love you i hate you i blah blah blah
I realize this opinion was meant as negative criticism, but that second line is brilliant! Actually it made me laugh my ass off and I hope it gives my regular readers at least a good chuckle. Enjoy.


Just when you thought Lincoln Road's Chabad bus synagogue-on-wheels was quaint, another bus comes along that gives whole new meaning to local culture, and by culture I don't mean the seat stains on the 25 cent South Beach local!

Nope, if you've seen that big-ass limo bus tooling around town, you've spotted a movable feast that would put Hemingway's debauchery to shame. According to The Herald, we now know for whom the bus blows:

Undercover Miami Beach detectives Sunday busted a brothel-on-wheels, which charged $40 admission and offered sex for sale inside.

On board: prostitutes, fully stocked bars and the bus' madame -- Christine Morteh, 29, of Miramar.

Cops have charged Morteh with engaging in, directing others to and deriving support from prostitution, as well as operating a business without license.

Oh for pete's sake! What took so long for this cult of fellatio bus to arouse erections instead of suspicion?

In an unconfirmed report, one male tourist arrested for soliciting prostitution on the bus claimed he was confused by false advertising. "Me no speak English. Me thought it was Duck Tour! D-U-C-K. Duck like quack quack, yes?" [via 411]


In the movie Baby Mama, Kate (Tina Fey) has this interesting exchange with her mother, Rose (Holland Taylor). Rose doesn't understand why her daughter wants to be a single mom.

Rose: "Now, we have all adjusted to your alternative lifestyle."
Kate: "Mother, being single is not an alternative lifestyle."
Rose: "It is when you are 37 years old."

Ugh. Whenever I tell people I'm single, most react incredulously. "How's that possible? Why have you never been married?" And I quickly reply: "Because I avoided two divorces." That usually shuts them up.

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Monday, June 16, 2008

Hurricane Season Boyfriend 2008: Hope Blows

amazing boner driftwood miami
Actually, hope floats on Biscayne Bay. Look it, I don't make this shit up! This extraordinary piece of driftwood was just lying there during low tide, ok? Taken at Matheson Hammock Park by yours truly.

Since June 1st, I've been thinking about whom I would choose as this year's Hurricane Season Boyfriend. In seasons past, I've chosen men for their ability to perform duties around the house who would also be able to service me, in spite of the fact that hurricanes are an instant buzzkill. Yes, after the beer gets warm and the ice costs more than a gallon of gas, even the most rambunctious penis could shrivel up and become one sweaty, cranky bastard.

In 2006, I was so moved by the prodigious size of Colin Farrell's schlong (readers, do you recall that endless, obnoxious editorial?) that I thought of choosing him until the unfortunate tragedy of Katrina reminded me that Harry Connick Jr. not only made me swoon because he croons, but also because he could help save a city in all his shirtless pectoral glory.

Yet there's one thing Harry darlin' couldn't do and that's cook, which is why I chose chef Robert Irvine in 2007. Any pair of biceps that can whip up a bearnaise sauce on the sterno and hold me up for a good hump against the fridge is a priority item in my list of hurricane supplies!

This year, though, I've drawn a blank. Well, maybe -- a remote maybe -- Brad Pitt. But he's so busy making babies and building environmentally-friendly homes in New Orleans that in all fairness I don't think he'd be able to shuffle his time between Angelina and Manola.

No, no ... I'm afraid that this year I've drawn a real blank, a complete and utter emotional, libidinal blank. I've gone numb and I'm not even taking Prozac! Perhaps it's the fact that I'm 40 and that I don't give a shit about hurricanes anymore, much less that other heavy drop in the barometer -- the social pressure against all things single. Plus, I'm tired of that constant "preparedness" cycle. Think about it: you work so hard at even getting to a relationship and then the storm blows over and your happy ever after becomes an aftermath.

And you have to wonder, what happens after the aftermath? That's where the true test lies. Most women wouldn't want a hurricane season boyfriend; they'd want a man for all seasons -- one who could bear those stings and arrows of outrageous weather patterns.

As in hurricanes, so in relationships. You don't just have to prepare for the bad shit. You have to prepare for the bad shit after the bad shit.

Oh heck. As a Miami native, I've come to the conclusion that hurricanes are just like bad cramps. I have a rare genetic mutation that spares me from PMS and makes me forget I am a menstruating organism for most of the month until my boobs get bigger and start to hurt. I've been going through this seemingly endless cycle since I was nine years old and yet every single time my body signals menstruation a little voice in my head says "Oh really? This again?"

So that's how I feel about this year's hurricane season. "Oh really? This again?" And no, a more pronounced cleavage is hardly a gauge for tropical disturbances in the Atlantic.

I've been doing this hurricane thing on my own for so long that I don't think I'll need any help this time around. Let's take things easy. How about dinner and a movie first, before we start hammering up shutters? And how about you get to choose your own name, instead of being baptized randomly A to Z by the National Weather Service?

And besides, I already had one torrid, traumatic relationship with a storm, which is kind of groovy. My life's story since August 1992 has always been expressed as B.A, A.A. (before Andrew, after Andrew). I never say that about any of my ex-boyfriends! I've also never assigned categories to men, no matter what their wind speed.

When dealing with hurricanes and boyfriends, there are two very different tactical approaches and survival philosophies. Hurricanes: expect the worst but hope for the best. Men: expect the best, hope for the best but above all deserve the best.

Ladies, when it comes to those unpredictable tempests, don't listen to the hurricane experts. Every year, they broadcast the same doom and gloom: "Global warming is the culprit. We're all going to die!" But let me tell you, if you're a single gal in this city, global whoring is likelier to do more damage, no matter how many shutters you smack down on a vulnerable heart.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Slab of Beef

matheson hammock miami
Somewhere in South Miami, a better beach to have sex: no buildings, no hotels, no tourists, no attitude ... just beach.

You can take the girl out of the beach but you can't take the beach out of the girl. Had you been an iguana sunning on the shore, you may have overheard this mobile phone conversation at Matheson Hammock Park.

Manola: OMG, there are two horseshoe crabs mating!
Friend: Really?
Manola: Yeah, it's quite beautiful. Male is latched on to female and the two are gliding gracefully through the water. I can see them underwater because I'm wearing polarized sunglasses.
Friend: What? Your sunglasses are bipolar?
Manola: No, polarized sunglasses. They reduce glare on the water. Great for fishing.
Friend: So those crabs are having sex? Oh, I didn't know crabs had sex. I just thought the male spewed all his sperm in the water. You know, like salmon.
Manola: Gosh, I really don't anything about crab sex. Crabs and sex ... a friend of mine had to wash her sheets once in hot water and lice shampoo ... wait a minute! That may be true of other crabs, but these horseshoe critters like to get down and dirty. This is only one pair here now but I've seen hundreds of them before. Like a horse shoe crab orgy.
Friend: Ew.
Manola: Yeah, not that I've ever been, but I've heard it's just like hanging out a swingers club in Fort Lauderdale. All these people humping with no taste for privacy.
Friend: Well, I thought that crab eggs were fertilized by free-floating sperm.
Manola: Oh God, not the kind that squirms up your leg and makes you freak out about your period being late?
Friend: Yeah.
Me: Free-floating sperm. Gosh, if you're a sperm and don't have a good sense of direction, you're screwed, aren't you?
Friend: Yeah, but just think about it. You're competing with a lot of other dudes who don't give a shit about where they're going.
Manola: You know, come to think of it, don't guys spew all over everything anyway? If he pulls out, it's a sticky mess on your belly.
Friend: Yeah and if you give him a blow job ...
Manola: It's not Cartier.
Friend: Hell no!
Manola: I don't remember what sperm tastes like.
Friend: Do you remember that scene from Sex and the City where Carrie just wants a man to lie on top of her?
Manola: Oh yeah! She goes to San Francisco for a book signing and hopes to high heaven she'll get laid with Big.
Friend: Yeah, I think she says something like "I just want to feel the weight of a man on me."
Manola: Shit, I miss that.
Friend: (Sigh)
Manola: Crap, why can't I just go to Winn-Dixie, buy a Fred Flinstone size T-bone steak and slap it on my body?
Friend: So you want a slab of beef instead of a boyfriend?
Manola: What's the difference? It would just lie on top of me with no regard for my pleasure.
Friend: At least the beef doesn't spew ...
Manola: But the steak is warm ...
Friend: And it doesn't have crabs ...
Manola: Holy shit! This shirtless jogger dude just walked up to the crabs and tried to poke them. Can't the crabs get it on without being hassled?
Friend: Is he a hunk?
Manola: Nah, more like ground chuck.
Friend: Would you do him?
Manola: Probably. Wrapped in bacon with Bearnaise sauce.

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Sex and the City of Pleasant Living

As I settle into my new life in South Miami, the city of pleasant living, the possibility of dating again has begun to rear its ugly circumcised head. But what would I know about ugly? I haven't seen a live penis since the pre-construction phase of Stonehenge!

Speaking of the past, that's precisely what I'm determined to no longer do. I've put the past behind me. You see, before I could even contemplate the idea of ever having to gaze at another penis, I needed to develop a healthy relationship with my past.

Uh-huh. These days, I like my past. I came to terms with it. Long estranged now is that ridiculous (yet important) vow of celibacy and my fractured relationship with Mr. Thinks He's Huge.

The past is just like my big fat Cuban ass -- it's there, it supports me, it's my foundation. But I don't have to look at, do I?

I take that back. I wholly embrace the reality of having a big Cuban ass that is never going to go away. I like my ass. And you know what, sometimes I wish I could look at it more often, but I shouldn't. Such narcissistic rear-view mirror indulgence would put a serious strain on my neck!

Anyway, I can however look at the past in ways that will make it easier for me to leave my comfort zone and no, I'm not talking about all the padding on my luxury caboose. I'm talking about taking risks with an even bigger part of me -- my heart.

As I saw Sex and the City this weekend, observing the fabulous four unravel the details of their love lives, I also saw my own life as a movie in the context of the bigger picture. Not just my life, but that of many friends. How many loves lost? How many conquered?

This weekend, the very same Miss Boobette who inspired me to start this blog in 2005 is coming back to Miami for a bachelorette party. She met the man of her dreams, but he lived in LA. Move away, she did. Engaged, they got. Married, they shall be.

Damn it. At the end of the day, it seems like the most permanent memories I have of South Beach are the homeless folks scooping a meal out of a garbage can.

Everyone I cared about in the past who has found love has moved away from South Beach. It's always a leaving South Beach story. And like all good stories, the denouement always comes on the verge of a climax, in many cases with a pre-packaged carton box conclusion: "Ya know, just the other day, as I was crossing the causeway ..."

Perhaps I should tempt fate and change the description of this blog to A Single Woman's Guide to Chronic Loving. So long as I inhale and exhale this miracle of being alive, I can't help but live. And maybe, just maybe ... I can't help but love.

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