Monday, April 25, 2016

Sweet Distractions Tastes Like "Lemonade"

Ahhhh, Beyonce. You'll never know how much I needed something else to focus on this week.

Her latest studio album is the official 2005-2006 Jaded Anthem Soundtrack. If I could re-divorce my ex I would, and play this album while signing my papers because YASSSSSS I AIN'T THINKIN' 'BOUT YOU (from "Sorry")



If you haven't listened, give it a shot. It's fun, it's danceable, it opens a few wounds, it heals the hurt a little bit. She did that.

MIDDLE FINGERS IN THE AIR.

Now please excuse me while I break up with all of the mens I'm not even dating, just because.

*smooches...but I still ain't sorry*
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y'all. when a woman's fed up... TELL HIM 'BOY BYE'

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Thank You For A Funky Time

Rest in peace, Prince. 

I've loved you for most of my life. I hope you knew it or felt it somehow. 

Your music made a difference in my life. 

Your art was everything. The way you approached your craft was inspiring. 

I wish I'd had a chance to meet you. 

You'll always be in my heart.

Love Always,
Raquel

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Love Is So Short, Forgetting Is So Long

Papi is dying.

And that is perhaps the hardest sentence I've ever had to write. But my Papi is dying and I'm here, again, in this place where nothing seems right and everything is unfair.

I have not become anything yet. He is leaving me before I can show him what I can become. He is leaving me before I can pay him back for giving me life. Before I can learn to be brave. Before I can learn responsibility. Before I can make it up to him and to Grandma, and I can't stop it. I have no power here.

I am still selfish. I want him here. I do not want to let him go. After him, there will be no other man that truly loves me, unconditionally. I am not ready to live in a world without him. Who am I, without him?

What happens to me on the day there is no one to respond to my pleas for bendiciones with, "Dios te bendiga, mi reina"? Do my blessings end?

I don't want him to hurt, to suffer, but I want him here. With me. So I can say, "I am here. I am yours. Don't leave me. Don't leave me."

Papi is dying and nothing seems right and everything is unfair.

I wish I'd known the last time was going to be the last time. I would have never let go.



...I would have never let go.

Monday, November 02, 2015

The Heartbreak Of A World Series Loss

Still devoted after
all these years & losses
Every year you tell yourself, "If they suck after July 25 then hang it up for the year and wait until April," but then July 25 comes and they're still kicking ass and taking names.

So you get a little hopeful. Then they clinch a spot after sweeping a hated rival and you think, WHOA, are we... will we...? Then you face and defeat a traitorous West Coast team (DEM BUMS!) and think, HOLY SHIT WE WON and it feels great.

And it keeps going on an amazing high you can't even believe exists. You haven't felt this in 15 goddamn years. It's going to be the most amazing climax of your life, you just know it. Your team sweeps the next opponent and you lose your shit. YOU'RE GOING TO THE BIG SHOW! THE TIDE IS TURNING!

You think, we must have gotten here, to this point, for a reason. WE'RE GONNA WIN! And then game after game, it all comes tumbling down when you realize the reason you made it was just so that the other team could win, and it hurts.

The hope, the devotion; you bleed blue and orange your entire life and to see it roll by Murphy's glove, soar over Familia head, slip away from Wright, it hurts. It's a physical pain that settles into the pit of your stomach. You know how hard it was to get here, how long it took to get here, and to leave without that trophy physically hurts. There's nothing left to do but accept defeat and let the tears come.

I wanted this for our Captain. I wanted to rub it in the faces of those who abandoned us (JOSE REYES). I wanted our rookies to have an Amazin' first year. I wanted to quit being the butt of NY Sports jokes. I wanted to wear my jersey to the parade. It was so close I could taste it. I saved a vacation day for it. And then... and then...

How to heal? I wish I knew. Up until the World Series, the Mets played really well. Our pitchers had killer arms and our outfielders kept going the extra (vertical) mile to block scores. Our bats could have done a better job, it's something to work on, but it was decent. So I can take some solace in the talent that exists and the power that can be developed (Conforto can be great if nurtured).

In the meantime, my jersey is in the laundry. I'll wash it and store it away with my out-of-season gear. I'll tuck my team drinking tumblers in the back of the cabinet. My cap will go back to being a decorative fixture on my bookshelf.

And then come April I'll dust it all off and get back on this ride and see where it takes me. Next week, when my tears have dried, I'll purchase my opening day tickets.

LET'S GO METS.

*smooches...trying hard not to break down at work*
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this seriously feels like a death in the family

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

The TaTas Are Gonna Be Okay: A Healthy Jaded Update

Hello my darlings!

This random post is brought to you by my recent slew of doctor visits to make sure I didn't have breast cancer. Yeah, man, you read that correctly. Thankfully, everything is cool: there is no cancer in my breast meat and therefore no tough decisions need to be made. I just needed to write this out and release it from my brain. I guess that's why I maintain this URL--am I right??

Annoyed beyond belief.
But mostly scared
Anyways... so I had my very first mammogram shortly after my 40th birthday, and it wasn't so bad. They didn't squish me up as terribly as I imagined and the appointment didn't take too long. I thought it would be weird to have my breasts manhandled in that fashion, but you know what? I've been seeing an OB/GYN since I was 18; I'm used to having my parts manhandled by now.

After the exam, the technician advised me that I might be called back for a second mammogram, but that it's common so not to worry if I get that call. Of course, I got the call. My boobies were too "dense" so I needed an ultrasound + a second mammogram to see better. Annoying but I knew it was essential.

On my second exam, which consisted of a long ass wait and repeat visits to the mammogram room and an ultrasound, the doctor says, "There's a few spots we can't identify. We're going to need to do a needle biopsy. This is common and I'm sure it's nothing." CHILD. I hate when medical professionals say that shit: I'm sure it's nothing. Like, maybe to YOU because this is what you do all the live-long day. But this is all new to me. Save the platitudes for your momma.

So then came the needle biopsy last week. It's exactly what it sounds like (especially if you have your MD from TV dramas like I do): the doctor goes in through a tiny incision with a needle to biopsy whatever the spots or masses in my breasts are/were. There was Novocain involved. I was awake. I felt nothing and everything. It was preceded and followed by a few additional mammograms. I was cold, annoyed, and on the verge of tears.

The other women in the waiting area with me were split between survivors and women just there for routine mammograms. I just didn't want to be there among the women who'd lost their hair to chemo, and maybe even lost some parts to cancer. It was all too much. I can't even imagine what I would have done if it had gone the other way.

I started thinking about my breasts a lot. About how much I've defined myself by them. How their size has always been a running gag among family and friends. How the insecure teen in me always thinks that's the only attractive part of me: whatever my size I can always count on them to bring the boys to the yard.

And MY HAIR! I didn't want to lose not even a strand of my beautiful, messy, greying hair! It's just as much of an identifier for me as my breasts are, and it was breaking me down to think I could lose both. And then I started to feel petty and stupid and beat myself up for thinking of such trivial things in the face of cancer. But you know, it's not trivial. These things ARE important. These are MY breasts. This is MY hair. And it's not fair to lose it to stupid ass cancer.

Fast forward to now, I can count myself among the fortunate who are breast cancer-free. It doesn't run in my family and my mom and aunt had already reassured me that they've also had needle biopsies that turned out to be nothing more than calcium deposits or something like that, so there was an excellent chance I would be fine, too. But there's always that lingering doubt when you have an important test like that.

And you know, looking over all this I just read, I realized that none of my worries included how I would pay for any of this, because I have great insurance. My doctors are amazing. I can see specialists whenever for whatever for free. But what about women who can't afford private doctors? How can our elected officials think it's OK to defund such an important institution like Planned Parenthood, when those offices are sometimes the ONLY resources women (and men!) have for annual screenings?

I don't know, I'm rambling at this point. I'm just feeling a lot of things and I wish I had a bigger platform to spread awareness and encourage women to get annual checkups and look after their whole self: mind, body, and soul. Maybe one of you reading this have that kind of platform. Maybe you can spread the word on my (our) behalf. Keep your doctor appointments. Take care of yourself. Take care of your sisters. You're not alone.

*smooches...with a set of healthy breasts, thank goodness*
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and now I can proceed with dressing inappropriately while I re-learn to appreciate my fun bags. OWWW!