Moonlighters – Misa Soliz
I am a Fraud Prevention Specialist for an internet marketplace. I don’t release the name of said company because I get death threats from time-to-time and I don’t want to get sniped while eating a bagel in the park. Basically, I find people who have stolen items or money and assist the authorities with any collected data to apprehend them if necessary.
I came into this company when it was a start-up with less than 50 employees. The resources for fraud prevention were scarce, and we were still building our brand, so I had to get creative at times to make sure people got their shit back. I’ve been there for almost 5 years, and being that in touch with the known fraudsters allowed me to produce an analysis of all their fuckery and applied it to a few programs that can now automatically detect a potential threat in a new registrants information.
So, if we were to white board this, we took my brain meat and put it into a computer, just like D.A.R.Y.L. Do you know that reference? No?. Ok let’s move on then.
1. In the past 4 months, I really felt a stronger pull towards birding and bird photos.
2. I also ride bikes like a madwoman.
3. My homie Natalie at Fast Folks, Ericka (DJ I Wannabeher) and I started a Wednesday Night Ladies’ Ride. Recently, we teamed up with Food IS Free Project, and there are some things coming to your pretty faces via this collaboration.
Speaking of collaborations, have we discussed Bobby Strawberry? This is a product of blossoming friendships with some interestingly talented, yet creepy, dudes and a couple of hunnys who share the same seductively twisted ideals of comedy, with an emphasis on wigs and silks.
Our friend Justin created the Bobby Strawberry alter ego for Halloween a few years ago. Justin is really good at not breaking character, but everytime he gets into Bobby mode, we permanently lose a bit of Justin, and I fear that the lines will blur too much, and his hair will naturally curl into a Jeri.
Anyway, Avi at Keep It Local wanted Bobby Strawberry to host a Valentines party at PLUSH last year and thought it would be prime if Bobby performed a song. We all got together with our friend Kellen (Kid Slyce) and wrote Selfish Lover. We decided it was so good, we should have a video. So we wrote, directed and produced it.
My character is Carla Abdul, estranged cousin of Paula and intense stalker of Bobby. Although she is not in this video, you can check her out in the CRIBS version. Now, most of our friends have some sort of alter ego that’s involved in the Bobby Strawberry world.
Justin and I are working on a podcast about nothing and everything all at once. It will most likely ruin my life.
Right now, my hobby of choice is birds and photography. Almost every weekend, I wake up early and go into the woods with binoculars, a camera, and a taser- because there are A LOT of hobo camps and fuck shacks. I wear a neon jumper just in case I perish in the woods by the hand of a crazed hobo since our mental health care system is way out of whack. Anyway, with the neon jumper on, they should be able to find me. In the last few months, I have seen 4 species that are not common to this area and collected a lot of bones, rocks and feathers. Oddly, I also picked up a knack for identifying bird calls. I hope I don’t end up like the bird version of Grizzly Man. Bikes is always a constant since I use it as my main form of transportation. I have a car, but, meh. Bikes!
Back to breakdancing… I started Bgirl-ing in 2002/03 and I moved to Austin in the beginning of 2005. In Austin, I dedicated more time to train from 1 day a week to 4 days a week. I crewed up with some bboys and bgirls, produced a few battles, danced in some music videos and went on tour in 2008. The best times, though, are really training with your friends and driving around Texas to support different jams. Battling for me was the ultimate anxiety crusher. If I could silence all that noise in my head and do a solid 45 seconds, it was my therapy.
Back to biking for a second…
I started riding bikes shortly after and kept those two loves in balance for a long while.
Now back to birding…
The birds, though, that was a bit of a turn. During the drought of 2011, I was living in a house with a picture window and a large acorn tree in the from yard. Cardinals, Blue Jays and squirrels would come through looking for food but could barely find any since the drought affected the acorn meat. They spent a lot of time on the ground foraging, so I bought binoculars and started watching them.
Shortly after, I moved to the lower east side next to Longhorn Dam. After work, I would go down there to check out the Egrets and Herons. I saw more birds like the Black Bellied Whistling Duck and the Ringed Kingfisher. One day, I was smoking hash by the water, and a Kingfisher flew over, hovered in air for a second and dove into the water. I was intensely gratified.
My roommate, who also plays Stryker in Bobby Strawberry’s Selfish Lover, lent me her telephoto zoom lens, and now that area is my second home. I need to be there at least once a week. If I am upset or stressed, I go into the woods for a few hours. It’s like xanax- and don’t take that shit, it will give you seizures.
It isn’t a commitment if it’s necessary. I need all of this in my life. From the moment I saw breakdancing, I felt it so intensely, it was like my entire being was screaming and throwing a tantrum until I committed to it. I felt like I missed it even though I had never done it. I couldn’t deny myself, no matter how fucking awkward I looked while learning a new step or combo.
Birds is the same thing. I am not a morning person by nature. My brother and I have ruined multiple Christmas and Easter holidays throwing shit at anyone who tried to wake us. I mean, we were basically like, “Fuck Presents” at 7 years old, just so we could sleep in. Birds get me up, though.
I have never actively worked towards making any of these things a full time career but I am interested in dedicating more time towards birds and photography because I do notice an impact on the people around me. Taking the bird photos has intrigued some of my friends, and they are beginning to notice birds around town. Someone saw a Tufted Titmouse the other day and almost lost their shit. Sparking awareness in people is fulfilling enough. In a way, learning, documenting and sharing is just as important as any salary and I can never get fired.
My business cards would have me doing an elbow freeze on the back of an Osprey while zapping at fraud rings with a lazer of truth. On the back would be instructions on how to summon me, which would be leaving out a plate of cheeseburgers for me and a glass of ceviche for the Osprey.