Monday, January 29, 2007

Officer, I Tried to Warn Them...

I’m here to warn you for the last fucking time- when I’m riding the crimson wave, especially now that I'm no longer taking Aleve, just stay out of my fucking way…

You, trying to push your way into the already crowded subway car. What do you think- I’m standing in front of the door just to greet you at the station? What the fuck do you want me to do? Sit on somebody’s lap? There’s nowhere for me to move. Wait for the next fucking train!!!

And you, taking up the sidewalk at a snail’s pace with your 50 kids and 100 dogs. Move out of the fucking way! You don’t own the block. Real people with real lives and actual jobs are trying to get to work, lard ass! And while I’m at it, let me introduce you to a little something I like to call BIRTH CONTROL…

Oh and you, missy, with the handbag, briefcase, lunchbox, gym bag, scuffed, Manolo knock-off’s in a Victoria’s Secret shopping bag, bulky coat, coffee and big-ass New York Times…must you sit next to me with all your fucking luggage? Must I smell your mocha, half-caf grossness every fucking morning?? Must I smell whatever piss-water you bought at Perfumania last week as I try to keep the chunks from rising in my throat? And can you PUH-LEESE learn to fold the paper properly so you’re not shoving the Metropolitan Diary up my nose?

And let’s not forget you- Mr. One-Night-Stand who can’t take NO for an answer. What part of “I’m not interested anymore” do you not understand? Why should I care that you’re having an affair with a married woman? Or that you have to run an errand for your mom on Long Island? AND HOW FUCKING DARE YOU CALL ME AT 4AM FOR A BOOTY-CALL??? WHAT THE FUCK???

If you all don’t just leave me the hell alone to be and breathe and find my goddamned inner peace in PEACE, I swear on all that is holy and un-holy on this god-forsaken island: I MIGHT JUST HAVE TO STAB YOU.

*smooches…with a shank hidden in my shoe*
some people wear their smile
like a disguise
those people who smile a lot
watch the eyes
i know it 'cuz i'm like that a lot
you think everything's o.k.
and it is
'til it's not

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

The Jaded NYer Goes West

Miss me? Wondering where I've been? Crying into your cereal over the lack of "updates" in your inbox?

Cry no more! I'm back and have I got a tale for you...

The Jaded NYer made her 2nd annual trip to LA for the birthday of a very close friend, L. Most of you will recall that on last year's visit, I made a "new" friend...the naked kind...

Well this year I decided to just hang out with L- it was her weekend, her birthday, and how shady would it look to hook up with someone every time I go visit her!

My flight over there was uneventful: I had a layover in Chi-town and was offered free CDs and DVDs by the proprietor of a record shop in the airport because, as he put it, I was "the most beautiful woman" he'd seen all week. Whateva, man. I promptly left the store and bought a burrito.

In LA, L and I proceeded to Empanada Place and gobbled down 2 empanada's each. Afterwards we drove to the "hood" and ate some Popeye's Chicken and Biscuits...and had to scarf our food down when a homeless man came in and started acting a fool. I was scared for my life!

We finally get to her beautiful Beverly Hills apartment and look for something to do that night. We check online and find this cool looking bar/lounge, Carbon. No cover and a DJ spinning some hip-hop and R&B. When we show up, the spot is this shady-ass looking place where we had to literally HUNT for the door to get in, and when we get in...the place is literally the size of my living room. And if you've never been to my house, let me tell you- it's SMALL!! We just had to laugh and the sheer ridiculousness of that place! And the bartender had the greasiest, nastiest looking surfer hair...and h kept shaking it out...I think something from his hair fell into my watered down scotch and soda but I'm not sure...

Needless to say we booked it out of there and went to Pancho's, a Mexican place L likes out on Manhattan Beach. It was hella fun! There was a life band, margaritas, chips and guac, and drunk white girls struggling to keep the beat on the dance floor. High comedy! The highlight of the night had to be the bassist of the band- a cross between Al Sharpton and Barry White- who made up a lot of his own lyrics, ate chips while playing his bass and stopped in the middle of a song to point and laugh at the drunk, white girls struggling to keep the beat on the dance floor.

L was twisted by the end of the night and we made it home by the grace of god! but not before we made asses of ourselves in Walgreen's...

Saturday morning we went to her job- some diversity fair they were having- and then I got my hair done in Inglewood (again- the hood). The gossip was too funny, and the hair weaves were flowin'. We ate some Wendy's and then went shopping for the cocktail party I was hosting for L's birthday. We picked up some stuff to make margaritas and some snacks and then booked it home to get dressed. After all that out-of-control eating I looked like a stuffed sausage in my dress, and L was not far behind. For the dinner out, we changed into jeans. About 14 of us went to El Torito for MORE margaritas and Mexican food (if you go, get the chicken taquitos and the medium guac- AWESOME!).

Then it was back to her apartment to change into our sausage casings and head out to the Rumba Room at Universal City to shake what our mommas gave us (some more than others...). We saw some up-and-coming actor (forgot his name already...I blame the margaritas!) hounded by a photog, and I think he got us in the shot. Look for us on Page 6!!

While packing for the trip I had made the mistake of thinking that I could pull off a pair of 4" shoes half a size too small...TO GO DANCING. My toes were ON FIRE, as if someone had LITERALLY taken some matches and lit my feet up. The pain eventually shot up my leg- it was serious. I thought I was going to have to get my legs amputated! And no amount of guys hitting on me could get my mind off the fact that with every passing minute I was losing another toe.

Let's just say thank god that LA clubs close at 2AM!!

Sunday was a chill day- we walked around and had brunch at The Grove, saw a HORRIBLE movie at the Century City mall (Children of Men- DO NOT go see it...) and then ate dinner at this great Cuban restaurant, Versailles.

My toes were still aflame.

It was, all in all, enough fun to last me until my birthday...IN VEGAS!!!
...stay tuned!

*smooches...with my toes STILL AFLAME*
'cuz i'm a pixie
i'm a paper doll
i'm a cartoon
i'm a chipper cheerful free for all
and i light up a room
i'm the color me happy girl
miss live and let live
and when they're out for blood
i always give

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Why Is Uncle Sam Playin' Me?

I got the most disturbing email from the government disguised as FAFSA (free application for federal student aid).

I've been filling this little form out since '93 in order to finance my BA from Alfred University. And then again for this MFA from Fairleigh Dickinson.

It never occurred to me that there was a limit. But apparently... I've reached it.

The email was to notify me that I have exceeded the allowed loans.

It also notified me that I have borrowed some $75,000 from the government to pay for school.

I suppose this solves the whole, "What's my next degree?" dilemma...

So... now I'm focussing on which countries do not have extradition treaties with the US... right now my choices include: The People's Republic of China, Brazil, Namibia and North Korea.

Who's up for a trip to Rio??

*smooches...with so much debt you just have to laugh*
welcome to
taking the good stuff down off of the shelf
and welcome to
the art of conversation with yourself
welcome to
humming an unbroken tune
all day long


So when you said come over for a movie and dinner you meant movie and dinner...interesting turn of events...

I'll have to let this marinate and ask around before I can comment...

*smooches...on the buddies"
you put a tiny pin prick
in my big red balloon
and as i slowly start to exhale
that's when you leave the room
i did not design this game
i did not name the stakes
i just happen to like apples
and i am not afraid of snakes

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

What Are You Looking At?...and other musings

Tiny updates on my 2007 so far...

BS Threshold...
I reached it about 2weeks ago when I had to write an article on a man who I believe to be a money-grubbing whore but my boss thinks is an environmental god. Then again when I had three people contact me about hiring me for freelance gigs...with no pay. And again when just yesterday, some fucking moron stood me up for a drink "thing" after work. No phone call, no email. Nothing. That's okay, though. You'll get yours.

Sometimes, I Just Don't Know, Man
So I have certain family members that...well let's just say I wouldn't introduce them to the Queen. The latest on one such relative is that, besides being heavily hooked on drugs and probably selling her body to obtain said drugs, her "boyfriend" had her front of her kids.

And now she's back with him. Crying that The Family doesn't care about her.

Sweetie, we care. We don't want to see you like this. We especially don't want your kids to see you like this and grow up to do the same. We just don't want you stealing our valuables in the middle of the night to feed your habit and getting us stabbed, too.

We all miss Grandma. It's not an excuse to do what you're doing. You made your choices. The consequences suck ass, but they were your choices. Now deal.

How Old Are You?
Today on the subway I saw a woman with two Princess Leia-type "buns," only smaller, on her way to work. Chiiild! She was 35 if she was a day, and walking around with that hairdo looking like an extra from Who-ville! Now, I rock two braids every now and again, but never to MY JOB where I'm supposed to be a grown up. Save that shit for the weekend when you're cleaning up or doing laundry! I'm sorry hun, but you looked a HOT MESS!!!

What Are You Looking At?
You, with the jeans fallin' off your ass, messy man-braids and oversized, puffy jacket with Al Pacino as Scarface etched on the back, smoking a cigarette in front of Home Depot. Yeah, you. What, on god's green earth, are you looking at? Surely not at me. You can't think that you're my type. You can't be so delusional as to think that calling me "shorty" on the street will make me moist. Or that saying, "hey mami" will compel me to hand out my digits.

Look at you and look at me.

Do I look like I like to go slummin'?

Get a job!

Did Somebody Go to the Dentist?
I saw a picture of Toothless...with his tooth in place. Is this picture old or new? OLD OR NEW? The suspense is killing me. I have to find a way to find out. I have my people working on it.

Why do I care? Because he was nice and good-looking and all...just didn't have a tooth. I'll give him a second chance if the picture is new.

Can Somebody PU-LEESE Stop Calling Me?
Hoover, sweetheart, I beg of you. Catch the hint. You have not seen me in two months for a reason. I'm not online because I STAY "invisible" to avoid you. I don't have the heart to just tell you that you suck- literally and figuratively- so please just go away so I don't have to tell you about yourself!

No That Bitch Didn't!!
Jeremy Piven, star of HBO's "Entourage" had the AU-DA-CI-TY to tell reporters that my beloved John Cusack is not happy for his success, that John is JEALOUS of him. Can you believe that bullshit?

For those of you not familiar with the two, they were really good friends once upon a time.

Excuse me, Mr. Ass-Face Piven, but my boo has starred in many, many great movies. Many in which you had the pleasure of also starring. He owns his own production company and has the luxury of picking and choosing his roles as opposed to taking whatever is handed him. Plus he has my never-ending, undying affection, respect and loyalty, which you will NEVER have.

You lucked out with "Entourage." And I'm happy for you.

But don't get too big for your britches, okay pahtna? Don't be sullying my baby's name to get your name in the paper. He takes great pains to stay under the gossip radar- LEAVE HIM ALONE.

Don't make me have to tell you again.

Oooh, I Can Order It Like Take-Out?
I've just discovered Lord strike me down if I don't have the urge to create a profile!!! This whole new "wired" world we live in just never ceases to amaze me. So instead of meeting someone and getting to know them and falling in love and all that, you can just go on this site and hook up. Just like that? Hmmm...

Okay, gotta jet and order some penis to go...

*smooches...with my mouse at the ready and a drawer full of condoms*
now i am prowling through the backyard
and i am hiding under the car
i have gotten out of everything
i've gotten into so far
i eat when i am hungry
and i travel alone
and just outside the glow of the house
is where i feel most at home

Friday, January 05, 2007

I'm In A NY State of Mind

This is me, the Jaded NYer, talking to you, my fellow NYers, about something I can't help but care very deeply about: NYC.

It is no secret that I love this place, even when I'm full of bitter cynicism, jaded to the core, I love this place.

I was born here, grew up here, attended HS here. There’s no other place I could ever imagine as my hometown or where I’d like to raise my daughters; NYC is the SHYT! Hell, I divorced my ex in part because he moved us to New Jersey, so you can see where my loyalties are.

I tell you this as a preface to what I really want to say, so you can understand why I, Raquel I. Penzo, a girl who’s never given a damn about anything other than when’s John Cusack’s next movie coming out, am about to tell you this:

Recently, Mayor Bloomberg gave a speech in which he presented the results of a long-term land use study he initiated last year. In it he stated that we are headed for a major population surge- some 1 million people are expected to reside here by the year 2030. And that’s not including the 50 million tourists that will crowd Fifth Avenue annually.

With these 1 million people comes the need for more power, an upgraded transportation infrastructure, more housing, updated sewage systems and procedures in place to protect the land, air and sea around us from further contamination.

I direct your attention to this transcript of the Mayor’s speech.

When you are done reading what I think is a well-written, well thought-out list of goals towards a sustainable NYC, please log onto and participate in the “citywide conversation.”

This City is our home. It is our duty to sustain it.

Do it now; NYC is counting on you.

*smooches…cause I still love you, New York*
i won't wait for you
to wonder
i'll just tell you why
i'm here
'cause i know
the biggest crime
is to just throw
up your hands
say this has nothing
to do with me

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Subscriber Spotlight: Crazy Mari

Readers, meet Mari. A special breed of crazy more commonly known as, “The Little Sister.”

She burst onto the scene 23 years ago today to steal my sunshine. Instead she stole my heart.

It was a very rocky path to such adoration, though. I have very vivid memories of the phrase, “I hate my sister” peppering my diary, and of the initial devilish grin that came across my face as I watched her fall from my bed and hit her head…right before I came to my senses and ran to her aid (hey, I was nine for chrissake! Who leaves a nine-year-old unattended with a baby?).

| View Show | Create Your Own

I also remember the terribly, hysterically funny pranks she fell prey to at my hands: the hot spoon chase, the blonde dye job, me “dead” on the floor…there’s an endless list, and she’d fall for it every time.

But then a funny thing happened on her way to adolescence. She was no longer my annoying little sister who I had the misfortune of caring for and feeding everyday after school, social life be damned! She became cool to hang out with.

Maybe it was the endless hours we spent together the summer of ’94, swimming in the pool and watching Days of Our Lives with a trough of pizza and wings from Blasdell Pizza in front of us. Or our mutual hatred for OJ Simpson when NBC decided to pre-empt our show because of him. I mean, Marlena was possessed by the devil! We gave two shits about OJ!

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It could have been the way we bonded over the Radio Game *smile* and I would watch her squirm to keep up with me, never realizing that one day the student would surpass the master and *poof* before I knew it, she was winning.

We’ve managed to cram so many memories in our 23 years together, and her effect on me was the main reason I insisted on having a second child; I wanted K to have someone like Mari in her life, too.

Things that make me think of Mari and smile:
•stretch pants
•her wearing my doll’s clothes as a baby
•summers in Jersey riding our bikes by the Seaport
•the Brooklyn Babes winning their first Grammy (we live in a funky town…)
•martinis and champagne cruises in Key West
•her graduating from grade school, junior high, high school, and Cornell…I taught her well…

Things that make me think of Mari and fall out laughing:
•her falling out laughing
•the infamous Family Feud Incident
•the infamous Jeopardy Incident
•meeting Derek Jeter (Oh my god, no, I love you, no…)
•the show-down between her and baby N that summer she babysat for us in Riverdale
•her falling asleep at EVERY movie

The one thing that will make me forever love her to death that she doesn’t know about:
•being there to hold me up when the sight of grandma’s coffin being entombed was too much for me to handle, assuring me that it was just grandma’s body and not grandma that was in that metal box, when it should have been the other way around.

| View Show | Create Your Own

Today she is someone I reach out to all the time and I’d like to think she feels the same for me.

I am her older, wiser, prettier, bustier sister after all.

*smooches…just for Mari today*
half of learning how to play
is learning what not to play
she's learning the spaces she leaves
have their own things to say and
she's trying to sing just enough
so that the air around her moves
and make music like mercy
that gives what it is
and has nothing to prove

Monday, January 01, 2007

6 Weeks and Counting

One topic I only ever brush upon here is my thesis paper, and that's because I'm of the school of: don't talk about it or you'll jinx it. But I have mentioned my writer's block, which I admit has a lot more to do with the fact that I have a serious phobia to success. What I finally had to admit to myself is that my block has a lot to do with a phobia of not being in school.

If I'm not a student, with papers and due dates and meetings with professors, then who am I? I've never known life without an academic responsibility pending. And to tell you the truth, because that's what I strive for here, I'm afraid of what that life will be like. I fear that that life will be more like lunch meetings and business trips and three-piece suits and conference calls, and that in and of itself is enough to induce the most hideous nightmares I could ever imagine.

As I student, it's still ok for me to wear flannel and clogs and keep my hair in pigtails underneath a bandana as I do my homework. As a non-student I'm having coktails afterwork at one of those stupid afterwork bars full of the afterwork crowd that I like to make fun of. Or at least that's how I picture it.

What started all this? I heard from my professor today: I was granted an extension on my paper, which is good news. The due date is now mid-February... which is scary. By March I will have no more homework due; it'll just be preparing for my defense, getting my presentation ready and finding out when to show up for graduation. There will be no more residencies for me. If I want to see my classmates I have to plan special outings and such- things grown-ups do.

And let me tell you what's really hard: knowing that the School of Visual Arts is located directly across the street from my office AND they have the photography classes I've been dying to take. Plus, Baruch? Only a couple of blocks west, an they have a MA program in Corporate Communications that would help me rise in the PR ranks. These are options that jump out at me everyday, Monday thru Friday. It's like a sickness. I'm addicted to school. Is there an anonymous meeting for that?

In the meantime, I'm trying to concentrate on the problem at hand: my MFA thesis papers. One 25pg paper on the craft of writing and 25,000 words of a creative piece. And to hell with the sperstitions that have held me prisoner: My craft paper is on the immigrant novel and how the author conveys a search for identity in the main characters through various literary devices. My creative piece is a group of linked stories entitled, Enfermos, which also happens to be the title of one of the stories, surrounding one family that is strangely similar to mine, and the characters' own search for identity while straddling two very distinct and different cultures, with a little nod to magical realism thrown in...just because I love it so.

Wow, that felt good to get out.

So...six weeks...25pages and 25,000 words perfected and edited within an inch of its life in six weeks. Can I do it? There's only one way to find out.

Now if only I can keep myself from mailing out these SVA and CUNY applications...

*smooches...with a stack of re-writes on my desk*
so school is in session
get your chin off your desk
now pick up your pencil
and turn over your test
use your education and take an educated guess
about me