Monday, September 28, 2009

Ford Fiesta: Super Sombrero Man Tows Car Again!

Based on the success of our first crazy car-towing adventure, the relentless Brad decided to do it again, but this time as a fundraiser for Habitat for Humanity, which as you may recall, we supported last month.

Join us next Sunday on Flagler Street downtown for the season's last Miami Bike Day. At noon, Brad will attempt to tow the car once again, this time even further! You can't miss us, as most of downtown will be closed to car traffic. We'll probably be somewhere under the Metrorail bridge on Flagler, next to Museum Plaza. Look for the magenta car with yellow flowers.

The amazing facts:

Fiesta Curb weight: 2250 lbs.
Sombrero Man: 210 lbs.

Brad is pulling a car over 10 times his weight!

Heh, that's not even including Maria's weight ... and you know how much her big Cuban ass has been discussed on this site!

Pulled last time: 2,561 feet .49 miles
The goal this time: 3,402 feet .64 miles

Pledge a penny to a quarter per foot of towing or more and whoever donates the most gets to sit next to yours truly in the passenger seat.

Heh, that's adding even more weight! Better yet, pledge your weight in dollars! The bigger you are, the better! Let's make Brad sweat!

Any donor, personal or business, of over $100 gets a sign on the car.
Any donor of $500 or more gets a sign on Brad!

All money raised goes directly to Habitat for Humanity.

Donate anything you want, or what the heck, just show up to cheer us on! If you can bring your bike and enjoy a nice ride downtown -- even better. Bike Day (9 am - 2 pm) is completely free! Come on down and join the street party, even if you don't have a bike.

To learn more about the event and to donate, visit Soul of Miami/Life is Art -- our faithful friends and supporting crew.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

My Heart? Liars Need Not Apply!

bed yellow wallpaperNo woman should ever feel like this in the morning.

Deep breath ...

I haven't hinted about my love life on Sex and the Beach in a long time, at least not since my last post in '06 about Mr. Thinks He's Huge, Fractured Mannequin.

There's a reason I created a persona, because I don't believe in airing out my dirty laundry and I highly respect the privacy of others. But sometimes, a story is just too good to be tucked away on some dusty shelf of memory. And besides, this is a single woman's guide to chronic living, isn't it? I owe it to my single gals out there.

So here ya go, ladies, fasten your seatbelts ...


Unless you were literally born yesterday, the story I'm going to tell you is something you've heard before. Boy meets girl. Boy is a player. Boy lies. Boy uses girl.

Because you see, this story isn't just about how I met a man who was one adverb away from being a pathological liar, but also about how impossible the dream of real intimacy seems to me right now.

This man, who hailed from another city, came recommended by a friend. Everything was perfect: chemistry, personality, wit and intellect. We hit it off smashingly and couldn't wait to see each other again. He returned to Miami and after a wonderful time together, I came to find out he was still married; he'd hidden this fact brilliantly from the world, especially from my unsuspecting friend, a trusted person who would have never condoned such an affair.

But one morning, without even looking for proof of anything amiss, Twitter, Myspace, Youtube and Google lay it all out before me. All his seriously fucked up lies started to make sense. The manipulation and craft was brilliant. Earlier I mentioned the word player, but this guy was a top performer, worthy of an Oscar.

I'm not naive. I'm not a prude. I'm not a floozy. I'm not a doormat. I'm not a player. So how the fuck could something like this happen to me? It's embarrassing and humiliating to admit, but I have the courage to speak my mind, God damn it, as I always have. I am not gonna fucking lie: I was used. I hate it. And most importantly, I never deserved it.

Every single of my female readers knows EXACTLY how this feels. It sucks, but we have to own it and move on.


Being single gets old, folks, especially if you're in your 40s, never been married and childless. I'm tired of the jibes, the pressure and the jokes about being a cougar or a spinster. What? Because of my status and age I have to be either a penis-hunting whore or a zero to the left of plus one? Why can't I just be a regular Jane who wants some honest good lovin' and a decent man to grow old with?

Well, you know what? I'm not out to fuck younger men and I don't particularly care about signing a paper that means I get a break on taxes because there's a penis in my life. What I do care about is living an authentic life and sharing that with someone who is not a lying sack of shit.

I want love. I want intimacy. I want great sex. Why the hell not? And the only way to achieve that is with a man who not only doesn't lie, but also understands what it means to be authentic. This is not about the size of a man's penis, this is about the size of a man's heart.

Did he really think he could pull the wool over my eyes for much longer? This isn't the first time a married man has tried to get into my pants, but at least the others were honest and respectful of my boundaries.

What blows my mind is that my little sordid tale happens all the time ... and what does this say of relationships and intimacy in general? Seriously, on a very deep, human level, what does this say about trust, if even lovers can't trust each other?

The trust that two lovers share creates a chain reaction outside of the bedroom. The kind of disrespect I have experienced is profoundly disturbing not only because it affects me personally, but because it also reflects the state of humanity.

Of course, you bet your ass he didn't get away with squat. I called him on it privately. He gave me his bogus apologies. Whatever.


Freud once asked: "what does a woman want?" That's simple, guys: a woman needs to be able to trust. Break that trust and you're also breaking her heart. Break her heart and she will never spread her legs the same way again with you, even if she fakes her orgasms.

In truth, I feel sorry for him. (Oh, and terribly sorry for his wife and whatever other women he has manipulated.) Tapping into my compassion, I've forgiven him on a human level, but as a woman, forget about it. I'm no sucker.

It's a good thing I found out so soon, before I got more tangled in his duplicity. I really thought I had done enough spiritual work to avoid manifesting an asshole like this, but I guess the universe had some unfinished business for me.

So like I said, ladies, this is a story you've heard before, but there's always room for more caveat emptor. Like chronic living, you can't exactly give up on loving, can you? But when it comes to dealing with men, be very honest with yourself about what you really want. Be on your guard, without being bitter. Open your heart, but don't play victim. Love takes courage, and as shitty as I felt the day I found out he was married, I'm still only joking when I say I'm going to star in the next edition of Golden Girls.

If not, you'll see me and my gray-haired cougar spinster divorcée goddesses living together in some house in West Palm Beach ten years from now. We'll be twittering about hot flashes, the best lube for our dried-out vaginas and tossing coins about who gets to fuck the poolboy.

But I haven't lost hope -- not yet.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Ford Fiesta: Habitat for Humanity Team Build

Our August Ford Fiesta mission was probably the most rewarding one yet. Brad, Habitat for Humanity staff, a group of volunteers and myself met in Liberty City where we helped build a home for Nancy Bonise.

Nancy is a working mother of two boys and full-time student at FIU. On the day of our team build, she was already making the house her own by lending a hand in the construction process. It's only a matter of time before she can move in and turn it into a cozy home.

"The boys can't believe they're each getting a room of their own," she said laughing. "They're going to have to get used to so much space. They'll even have a yard that they can play in."

The home itself was a lot nicer than I thought it would be. Located next to a vacant lot, the spacious three-bedroom, one-bath property was already landscaped but still not wired for electricity or ready for kitchen appliances.

I recruited a couple of volunteers on Twitter, including TheTinyJewelBox, but also met a few great folks at Electric Pickle during a Miami New Times tweetup in July who were more than eager to join. Most of these tireless volunteers spent the hot, sweaty summer day hammering away on the roof. Others painted and spackled, while still others helped install closet shelves and doors. A project foreman instructed all of us on what to do.

In attendance were also other future Habitat homeowners. Part of their payment, in addition to a low-cost mortgage, is contributing volunteer hours for "sweat equity." The Habitat for Humanity model is really quite perfect. Most people might think the organization gives homes away for free, but that's not the case. Mortgage payments, which are based on the owner's income at the time of application, go towards the organization and building of more homes. With a low-cost mortgage, any financial prosperity a family enjoys can help with other important expenses in life, like college educations.

In this era of crazy foreclosure numbers, the whole thing is kind of ironic. Most people, actually -- not just impoverished folks -- could really use help with housing. And I want to emphasize again that Habitat for Humanity homeowners are hard working people. They're just buying a decent home at a very reasonable cost, which is something they would otherwise never be able to do without getting in over their heads under some crappy loan terms. And in this entire process, they're also giving back to others who will someday need the same break.

Prior to the team build day, I had toured a completed Habitat for Humanity neighborhood in Liberty City called Scott Carver. Each house looked different and displayed its owner's particular curb style, so it wasn't exactly cookie-cutter. It was simply amazing to see what can rise out of an otherwise vacant piece of land in a run-down part of Miami. It's not just homes that are being built, but better lives and the opportunity for dreams to come true.


On the team build day, Brad and I handed Habitat for Humanity of Greater Miami a $500 gift on behalf of the Ford Fiesta movement.

The organization can always use cash contributions, but giving of your time and labor is probably one of the most rewarding things you can do -- you're literally making Miami-Dade a better place to live for your neighbors. I strongly encourage everyone to get involved. One great way to do so is to contribute cash and volunteer hours as a corporate team.

Some of the Fiesta movement volunteers loved the work so much, they went back the following week to help finish the roof! I want to thank all of you who volunteered with the Ford Fiesta team. You guys rock!

Follow Habitat for Humanity Miami on Twitter and visit Habitat for Humanity of Greater Miami for more information.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Back to Miami, Part 3: The Greyhound Experience

A retrospective series on how I missed my trip to San Francisco and found my way back to Miami from Atlanta, traveling as a single woman alone, using only public transportation to visit friends and do some backyard tourism in Florida.

greyhound busPhoto courtesy of germeister on Flickr. Yeah, my trip did make me think about Midnight Cowboy's Miami ending.

It certainly is ironic to have lunch at the Ritz-Carlton Atlanta, followed by a six-hour trip to Tallahassee on a Greyhound Bus, but life is rich in so many ways, isn't it?

Other than private tours, I had never taken a bus in my life, ever. Nowhere. Not in Miami and not even in Europe. I wasn't quite sure what to expect, but in my mind I thought it'd be very riff-raff with supersize me people watching Jerry Springer on TV. (Oh gosh, that was just awful for me to say, wasn't it?) But in reality, it wasn't bad. After my experience at Atlanta-Hartsfield, taking a bus to my future destinations was actually more relaxing than the crowded cluster fuck that is a major metropolitan airport.

Yeah, it's the way po' folk travel in this country, but so what?

Seriously. Seats are no more tighter than your usual coach cabin, which is a can of sardines as far as I'm concerned. And though my bus rides were longer than flights, it was no more tedious than an airplane and at least we never had to deal with turbulence. Also, I couldn't say I missed the subpar customer service of airports these days. Bus travel had no frills, but heck, for the price, at least what I saw is what I got and I didn't have to deal with all the homeland security bullshit. I guess Greyhounds aren't prime targets for terrorists.

And it's quiet -- God bless America shhhhh! like the last refrain of Amazing Grace -- quiet. On one leg of my trip there was a baby on the bus that didn't even cry.

The drivers were great too. The first one, a brickhouse black woman whom even Mr. T wouldn't mess with, gave us a polite school marm schpiel that basically translated as: "No noise, no loud talking, no funny business, no bullshit, no cellphones, no booze, no hanky panky. Shut the fuck up and let me get you to your destination safely." Wouldn't it be awesome if this was part of a flight attendant safety routine?

The drive, which included stops at wayward bus stations I would've never seen, was quite peaceful. I enjoyed just going with the flow and observing everything that was not Miami.

And not having wifi or a internet access on my cellphone? I guess it was actually a good thing. It gave me time to stop and think, to sit with myself, to meditate on the bus, gather my creative energy, before I could write a little again. It forced me to be patient. It made me be in the moment. And that's what this trip was all about, really -- just being in the moment.

Plus, I met some really interesting folks.

One guy, a Latino Jesus freak who didn't speak a lick of English, was on his way to a Sarasota religious meetup. He tried to hook me. He so insisted on getting my phone number to convert my sinful ass, I thought he should be teaching pick up techniques in South Beach rather than preaching the good word of the Lord. And I thank God for this exercise, because I have never gotten rid of such a well-meaning leech in such a polite way. Sorry, amigo, but there was no fucking way I was going to give you my phone number! And good call on squeezing next to my seat after nightfall when the lights were out.

The passenger behind me on the way to Atlanta was a beautiful, plus-sized woman in her mid-thirties who was so big, she needed her own two seats. She had, however, the face and gaze of an angel. At first, I thought she was obnoxious because she kept on talking about taking percocet. But when I heard her story, I understood why. She had legitimate health issues and had been on a bus for 68 hours, coming from North Dakota, trying to start a new life with her relatives on the gulf coast after a horrific and ridiculously unjust custody battle with her ex. She opened up to me like rain in Miami thunderstorm. I do hope she gets her daughter back and God bless.

I took advantage of the $5 priority seating at each of my stops, which no, didn't mean I had saved up for my Greyhound lifestyle to get mimosas and warm hand wipes before departure. It meant I got first dibs for seats at the front of the bus. I was genuinely worried I'd end up sitting next to some smelly creep, so this was good. I know it sounds really snooty, but trust me, just like air travel, why wouldn't you pick the most comfortable seats if you could -- for only an extra five bucks?

Each leg of my tour cost less then $40, so my total Atlanta to Tallahassee and Tallahassee to Daytona bus adventure was less than $100.

I had a three-hour layover in Jacksonville on my way from Tallahassee to Daytona because the bus we were supposed to take had broken down. This was no worse, however, than being stuck at a friggin' airport. In fact, Greyhound gave us some meal vouchers for the station cafeteria.

The only drawback for the single woman traveler here is that bus stations can be in the skankiest parts of town -- you need a plan B if you get stuck. But in Tallahassee, for example, the station is right next to the local bus station and mere blocks from the capitol, close to hotels. This was a blessing, because my friend, the general manager of The Governor's Inn, had arranged for me to stay there upon my arrival. The streets of Tallahassee were dark but I only had to walk four blocks to the cobble-stoned and quaint street, where an open pub awaited me for refreshment.

Ditto in Jacksonville. You're right next to the city's above-ground rail system. And thankfully, when I thought I'd need to spend the night over in Jax if the bus didn't come, there were brochures for a concierge service I could call for orientation and hotel recommendations. We don't have anything like that in Miami, which is crazy, right? Why doesn't Miami have uniformed city ambassadors like they do in Atlanta and Jacksonville?

But yeah ... when I finally made it to Daytona near 11 pm, I ended up at a very unsavory part of town and God forbid I would've ended up staying there alone. Some stations close at night, even though buses make stops at them after hours. These stations are utterly deserted except for a few homeless people sleeping on the pavement and other sketchy characters. This wasn't pretty, gals. While I would totally do the Greyhound thing again, you really have to watch your ass if you're traveling alone, especially at night.

In Daytona, there were taxis there waiting for passengers, but my friend Doug from Miami Beach 411 -- who generously welcomed me to his home in Deland for a couple of days -- picked me up right away.

For the rest of my trip, I depended on the kindness of friends to pick me up or drop me off at Amtrak, tri-rail and only had to take a taxi once. I can assuredly say I made it from Atlanta to Miami without flying and without my own car. More on that later.

Next up: lazy days in Tallahassee, Deland and Fort Lauderdale.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Ladies Night: Marlins Baseball and Hot Firefighters OH MY!

Last Friday I attended the Florida Marlins Baseball Ladies Night. Now, y'all haven't ever known me to be a sports fan, have ya? But it just so happened that the hunks from the South Florida Firefighters Calendar were going to be there, so I figured this was one case where the NOL (National Ogling League) could support a spectator sport.

And you know what? I really actually enjoyed myself and could totally get into going to a baseball game again. Me, who had only been to one baseball game ever, and in that isolated case there was a lot of beer involved!

Kudos to the Marlins for hitting it out of the ballpark with this one. First of all, for 40 bucks per person (plus $10 parking per car) ladies get their own exclusive happy hour, which includes a free drink, DJ, chance at a raffle prize and more -- all at the club level, which is pretty swanky and air conditioned. Let's just say it doesn't smell like popcorn and stale piss up there. Seats are at the bullpen at the lower level, but that's fine too, just no a/c or Smirnoff.

Obviously there have to be vendors and at this particular event, some of them were particularly groovy. I met Yesenia Vargas, a fabulous makeup artist and some teachers from Elemental Studios, a pole dancing fitness outfit in Broward.

Marlins players made an appearance to say hello and so did the Manatees, an all-male dance revue team. The Marlins Mermaids may be cute, but these guys are something else! Even though they're just "regular" guys with day jobs and beer bellies, they can sure bust some serious hip hop dance moves on the field. Later, I was able to confirm this with my own eyes and ears.


Holy shit. A great example here of why the term "firefighter" is extremely ironic. These two might start a few under some skirts if you know what I mean.

As you can imagine, though, the big estrogen-inducing moment was the appearance of the firefighters, which was a special treat for this particular Marlins Ladies Night.

In true Miami style, the DJ announced the boys with reggaeton pounding in the background. As each calendar boy strutted in and ripped off his shirt, the ladies swooned in hysterics. The last time I saw women acting like that, I was at La Bare on 163rd street, had vodka shots spilled all over my cleavage and needed lots of change for a Benjamin. (If you can't guess what La Bare is, you shouldn't be reading this blog.)

And who can blame these women for having paroxysms of pleasure? Jesus Mary Holy Mother of God, I have never, ever in my life seen such a collection of amazingly sculptural male bodies in one place. They are true works of art, worthy of beholding and eliciting the most sacred of feminine secretions. Seriously. I went to Milan and saw the Statue of David in person. Sorry, Da Vinci, but that boy is a sissy compared to these guys. These firefighters whoop David's ass!

No, really. I swear. You won't find hotter men than these in South Florida. Not even at Score night club on Lincoln Road, which, after the Amoco gas station, is the next best place in South Beach to grab a six pack before midnight.


But you know what? It really isn't all about looks. (And by the way, they did keep their pants on. They were perfect gentleman.)

The firefighters in the calendar volunteer for the effort and are honestly passionate about the causes they support, which include: Here's Help, a substance abuse treatment program for teens and young adults; Local 10 Care Force, which is an all-purpose community outreach effort for families in need; Safe Haven, which helps desperate parents drop off unwanted babies, no questions asked; Habitat for Humanity; and more.

Ladies, do yourself a BIG favor and go visit these guys at one of many calendar signings coming up locally. For $16 you can get yourself some cheap eye candy of the highest photographic quality. You can also meet and greet the hotties up close and personal.

Believe me, this was so much better than meeting Ron Jeremy at Exxxotica. You can feel good about the whole thing because you're supporting some truly great causes and getting some awesome titillation at the same time. Do you think your boyfriends are doing such good work whenever they jerk off to a titty mag on the john? I DON'T THINK SO!


Club Level was kinda empty. Better than the nosebleed section though.

But back to baseball. Yes, baseball actually happened! The Marlins played the San Diego Padres and the Marlins lost. The stadium was pretty empty, which is kind of sad. It was a Friday night in August and in spite of that, the weather was pleasant.

Nevertheless, I was really surprised to see the variety of women at this Ladies Night shindig. There were young girls, teens, adults and even some grandmas. Mothers and daughters. Nieces and aunts. Women of all ages. It was a great gathering of gals.

One group told me they'd left their husbands at home because this was their special night at the ball game. And one particular fan, a young woman in her twenties -- wearing a t-shirt with every Marlins player's name handwritten on it -- told me she just loved the game and that this was a great chance to hang with her home girls. They come to as many games they can with half a dozen big homemade cheering signs in tow.

Most of the Ladies Nights gals -- at least those who didn't have season tickets -- ended up sitting behind the bull pen on the lower level, as per ticket requirements. Because I was on a media pass, I got to hang around club level, but I eventually moseyed on down there. Sadly, though, as I mentioned above, the stadium was so empty, I think I could've sat just about anywhere I pleased.


I did spend some time cracking jokes on twitter about baseball and sex. They ran on an order like this:

"Damn those outfielders have such a good grip on the balls it's like Velcro sex."

"Baseball is a lot like sex you only know something is happening if you look up after there's yelling or moaning."

But here was the best one:

"If sex were as slow as baseball lots of women would be really happy."

To which, my twitter buddy @joelkodner replied:

"And if getting it was as easy as getting Marlins tickets, lots of men would be happy."

Yes, baseball is really slow. A lot of twittering can happen if you're sort of hanging out by yourself. But sitting on the lower level was fun. I enjoyed the energy of people around me, which was guys and gals and kids all getting into the game. It says something that I, who didn't really know squat about baseball, actually paid attention. I found the experience very relaxing and can see doing this with some gal pals surely more than once a season.

As for food, well, after ordering a $16 cocktail, I asked the bartender where the best hot dog was and she looked at me funny.

"Do you like yourself?" she asked.

"That bad, huh?" I asked in return.

"It's skinny and little," she said, scowling, lifting her pinky up to her mouth.

"Geez," I replied. "I don't like my men that way."

"Neither do I," she concurred.

God. I love honesty.

But on the way back home, inspired by Carlos Miller and Burger Beast, I stopped at Royal Castle and got three sliders for three bucks; they satisfied the craving for some greasy ball park type food. Mind you, I don't recommend for a Cuban American honky princess like myself to hang out here late at night. There were so many pawn shops on 27th avenue I could've sold my vagina in Broward and gotten it back fifteen minutes later by Dade.

But heck I really wanted those damn sliders so there you go. Those sliders were so damn good and hit the spot. Fires weren't put out, but you know, they sorta hit the spot that gets hit when you don't hit the spot. Every woman in the world knows exactly what I mean.

Northwest 27th Avenue is a great way to go, by the way. Forget the turnpike. This was fast and had no tolls.

I want to thank the Marlins for a great night at the ballgame. Don't be surprised if you catch me at the stadium again soon. And ladies, don't knock the sport, just because you haven't tried it. Unlike crazy adrenalin-pumping football games, baseball gives you the time to sit back and relax, even if you're not into sports. You might actually find yourself amazed by what's going on in the field.

And really, if you're going to see any guys playing the proverbial field, this is the way to go.