Friday, August 31, 2007

The Dissolusionment of Love

Is it love that I'm feeling? Or incontinence? Every woman ought to know the difference!

Yes, that's a new word I coined: dissoluble + disillusioned = dissolusionment. I think I can retire now, thank you. What woman shall cast the first tampon? What woman cannot relate to this? Drawn at The Abbey, Miami Beach.

Disclaimer: this cartoon in no way whatsoever pays homage to Hugh Macleod. I've been drawing for donkey's ages, long before I met this man. I can't help it if he likes to draw on business cards and Lord knows I can't control myself if a legal pad, tablecloth, firm ass or other surface amenable to my scrawls just happens to leap at me when I have a pen in my hand.

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Flat Manola

Self-portrait inspired by geek blogger dinner featuring Hugh Macleod et. al. at a pizza joint in Miami. Just in case you were wondering if my compulsion to draw was spurious, here is an actual specimen that has been crinkled up in my purse for nearly four weeks. I'm not guaranteeing that this will be the last cartoon I'll ever draw on a greasy paper tablecloth.

Hell, I'll draw on the truffle-oil stained embroidered napkin handed to me by the sommelier, thank you.

I'll even draw on your ass if it's firm enough!

I've always labeled myself as an artisan of words AND images. It's a strange feeling to want to capture the moment both verbally and visually. I suppose the art of cartooning satisfies, but it relies heavily on le mot juste and the punctum. Brevity is key. A light bulb lit. A flash of something -- then all is gone.

OK, screw the big fucking words. It either works or it doesn't. And when you can laugh at yourself, you know it does.

Manola was born from a time in my life that wasn't particularly pretty or funny. Actually, it was depressing, inconsolable and ugly. All those laughs we've shared? They sometimes came to me because there was nowhere else to turn.

And so it is. A blessing, blessedly in disguise. Being funny isn't easy, but never laughing is so much harder.

Two years ago, I hadn't even hit rock bottom yet. Yet Manola knocked hard against the eggshell and I nurtured her fledgling existence. The support was mutual; she also nurtured me. Sometimes I don't know if I would've survived without Manola's obnoxious sense of humor. In some ways, the character I created saved me.

I've carried this woman with me for nearly two years (come October). It's just dawning upon me, the weight and responsibility of keeping Manola alive.

And you know what? It aint so bad, my friends. I'll be celebrating my fortieth birthday in November. I've never looked forward to a milestone in my life such as this -- proud, happy, hopefully healthier and above all, truly funny because it's coming from a place where both Manola and I can thrive.

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Thursday, August 30, 2007

Apple's New Heartpod

Oh my! I haven't written about sex in so long, I forgot where to put my pasties!

Check out my new groovy holter monitor! How cool would it be to have an iPhone, iPod and holter monitor all in one? Steve Jobs needs to call me!

Seriously, got fitted today for a second round of monitoring since I first returned home from the hospital due to a recurrence of palpitations and some rapid heart rate. But nothing nearly as serious as my experience in July. Just checking the ticker, that's all.

Thanks to all of you for your emails and comments. I'm still gathering energy for a future full of bawdiness with Manola, Dr. Annie Steelclit and maybe even videocasts with Professor Manola Finlandia! In the meantime, expect a few cartoons. I'm in a drawing mood lately.

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Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Just Passing By

Marían was an old friend of mine who dropped out of my life for no reason. I say no reason, but of course there's always a reason why we cross each other's paths, fall in and fall out or stay put.

We are all teachers and students of the one constant that needs reminding: compassion.

Marían and I had traveled together to Spain twice and our families were close; she had asked me to be a bridesmaid at her wedding; she had a key to my apartment in Miami; she was the kind of friend who'd show up with a cold bottle of Chardonnay if she'd had a fight with her man; my door was always open, my heart available to console.

On this day, we wandered the forest near Miraflores de la Sierra, an area north of Madrid where she had spent many blissful summer childhood days. We had just eaten a wholesome, filling lunch at an inn where she had shared the same plate of beans, the same asparagus and the same cool wine with her mother. It’s as if a still life had remained fresh, without getting stale or dusty, the memories of a meal rising once again from the garlicky broth and fragrant vegetables.

After lunch, we walked. She told me the story of her mother's passing and how the rustling sounds reminded her of peaceful, childhood strolls. She had held her mother’s hand. They had picked berries.

The mountain air was gentle, touching the leaves of trees much in the same way one would touch and lullaby a baby -- at least this is how I felt about the mountain air, so unused to as I am to such precious ether, living here in Florida.

Although I had never met my friend’s mother, I knew she was there, walking quietly in the forest.

Then, slowly, out of the thicket, this horse approached us gently. The beast was quite docile and lovely, indulging our hands in a few caresses of its juvenile mane.

Marián laughed, predicting what I’d say, knowing so well my twisted sense of humor: "If only men were so tame."

I ask myself today, if only friends were so faithful. I'll admit it's often harder to forgive the passing of friends who haven't yet physically died, than it is to let go of the folly of men.

Do I love my friend any less? Of course not. I hope she is well, enjoying the peace and happiness she felt here, wherever she may be.

Photo by yours truly. See more of Spain at Flickr. Read more Spain travel stories at Meridian.

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Clipped Wings

But mommy, if you're wings aren't clipped, then why can't you fly?

If you can't have Manola, would you enjoy a little Maria? Here goes: I am writing and drawing again but in a totally different vein, no pun intended. Let the words fall where they may. I'm not going to start a new blog just because my style, tone and content aren't always Manola. Honestly, does it really matter? Please indulge the growing pains. And above all, thank you for your faith and love. Drawing by yours truly. See more on Flickr.


Sunday, August 12, 2007

Greetings from Mayami Beesh

Drink to me only with thine eyes. Life is good when nothing is taken for granted.

Hello everyone! Thank you for your kind inquiries with regards to the state of my health. Although Maria is still on hiatus from Sex and the Beach, correspondent Manola Finlandia has volunteered to report.

Maria is working on her tang and spending time with frengs ...

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