Thursday, June 28, 2007

Never Go to Church Hungry...

...because the preacher might actually start to make sense!
I took my girls to church with my mom on Sunday. And of course I was running late. So we didn't stop for breakfast- just went straight into the sanctuary and sat down just in time for the sermon.

Sunday's lesson, complete with chalkboard and PowerPoint presentation, was on the spirit. Now, the pastor meant the third of the Holy Trinity, but while my stomach began to devour my other organs in desperation and the dizziness set in, I interpreted his message as spirit in the general sense. And taken that way, what he had to say was...wait for it...RATIONAL!!

I know. I was frightened, too.

He drew this diagram:

And explained that those who do not "believe" operate solely to appease the body and the soul. They are called "celebrities" LOL- just kidding...couldn't resist...but you get the drift. These non-believers allow "worldly" influences to dictate their actions.

However, those who believe and allow the "spirit" to influence the body and soul IN SPITE OF the other "worldly" and outside influences, well, those folks are complete.

Complete. It's not the word he used, but it's how I imagine one must feel when everything in their life is in perfect equilibrium.

Now, if he had stopped right there, I would have signed a membership card and agreed to return the following Sunday right on the spot. But this is the problem a lot of preachers have- they never stop while they are ahead.

He continued his lesson with some "points" that are necessary in order to be a good Christian. At least I think that's what he was getting at. I can't remember because at that point I was seriously considering eating my own hand to appease the grumbling in my "soul-less" tummy.

And for the most part I agreed with him:

1. one needs "spirit" to feed the body and the soul

2. say kind words to one another

3. be thankful

4. submit to one another

But then, here it came, the part that keeps me from church every Sunday like a fat kid from P.E. class:

5. obedience

And he actually said- I kid you not- that obedience was FREEING! The obedience was a form of freedom because it affords us the luxury to NOT HAVE TO THINK. All the decisions are ALREADY MADE FOR US in the bible. And all we have to do is follow them and OBEY.

Really? Oh. How nice.

In that case, why don't I just sell my free will on eBay?

*smooches...laughing at a preacher's loose definition of freedom*
And when that fog horn blows
you know I will be coming home
And when that fog horn whistle blows
I got to hear it
I don't have to fear it

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

The Both of Us...In A Handbasket!

Me: I just stood someone up for lunch bcuz when I saw him in the diner from outside he was uglier than in his pic- and fatter- and ape-like. So I kept walking like nothing.

Was that wrong?

Jack: We don't date apes. Carry on.

*smooches...stocking up on SPF 5,000*
I am walking on the bridge,
I am over the water,
And I'm scared as hell
But I know there's something better.

Friday, June 22, 2007

It's Today, It's Today, It's TODAY...and Other Musings

Thoughts running through my head as I procrastinate at work...
I Miss the Basement
I'm absolutely, 100% grateful to have a good job where I'm appreciated and respected and the people are normal and the computers work and all that. But as with anything, there's a downside: I have to wear business attire. Me. Lil Miss Overalls and Birkenstocks. In heels and A-line skirts and pinstripes. Sometimes I look at my outfits and want to cry. I want to wear jeans and flip flips and dammit, why not- my pyjamas...

I'm Finally Going
I can no longer ignore my gazillion trillion ailments. Yes, folks, believe it or not- I'm going to the doctor. I've picked out a PCP and an OB/GYN, and I'm setting up appointments for the first week in July. My hands are shaking at just having to type these words. Lord- please don't let me freak out in the waiting room.

It's Today, It's Today, It's TODAY!!!
1408 comes out today, and I couldn't be happier for my sweet boo! I'll be checking out the 7:35 show at the Court Street Stadium 12 in BK...I can barely contain my excitement. Now, I am nervous about how good the movie will be- rarely is a Stephen King adaptation related on the big screen successfully- but I have no doubt that Johnny boy will be brilliant in it, just as he is in everything he does.

What do you get when you mix an ex-husband, a crazed 6-year-old, and five 11- and 12-year olds in an empty Rockland County college dorm with The Jaded NYer for a weekend in July? an episode of COPS waiting to happen...stay tuned!

All Sensitive and Shyt
Last week while on a date, this fool implied that, because I listen to heavy metal and the such, and I don't hang out in Washington Heights and I wear my hair straight, I'm trying to deny my Dominicanismo. And that because I don't wear make up or more "girly" clothes or get mani/pedis, I'm trying to downplay my female-ness. That I do these things to purposely NOT be a part of the stereotypes.

WTF? Can you do me a favor buddy? Don't confuse my uniqueness and open-mindness and low-maintenance lifestyle for your history of self-hate. Okay? Thank you.

(PS- he's kinda right, but god dammit if I was going to admit it!!)

Sister Girls
Ha! I did it. I read one of those "urban fiction" books. The kind with titles like Diary of a Street Diva, Cash Money, and A Down Chic. And okay, I'm going to try and NOT be a snob about this, because it's not as if I am strict about my reading preferences: I've read the Shopaholic chic lit books and I'm an avid Stephen King fan. But these can I put's like a public transcript of The Jerry Springer Show except in proper English. And I guess that's where it lost me.

How you gonna try and be ghetto using the king's English? If you gonna be ghetto, go all the way, man. Write in Ebonics! Why not?
Anyway, there were a slew of other problems as well. Needless to say, it was my first and last. I'll post a review on STF later on tonight.

*smooches...waiting to be awed- yet again- by John's new movie*
Sometimes when the cuckoos crying,
when the moon is half way down,
Sometimes when the night is dying,
I take me out and I wander around,
I wander round.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Not Far From The Tree At All

K wrote the following; as you're reading them, keep in mind, the child is only 11:

* so filled with pride*
Be careful with each other
These fragile flames
For innocence can't be lost
It just needs to be maintained

Letters I'll Never Send, V. 1

Dear XXX,

I'm not really even sure why I'm writing this. Maybe because I dwell on shit too much, unable to forgive or forget or let things go, even when I know that what went down between us was for the best, and I'm not looking to be in a long-term relationship with you (or anyone) anymore.

But I liked being the center of your world, the most important person in your life. Okay, maybe that's a bit much, a tad dramatic, but you know what I mean. You'd drop whatever and turn your whole schedule upside down to accommodate mine. Anything I wanted, needed- there you were with it. I got a little spoiled. I warned you not to do that, not to let me get comfortable, not to be so damn nice to me.

Did I ever even thank you? I can be so selfish sometimes. I never even said "I Love You" until after it was over and we were just friends. Because it's easy for me to say "I Love You" to a friend; that's old hat, second nature. But to say it to someone I'm dating? Why would I do that? Why would I let the guy I'm dating know how much he means to me? I'd never give anybody that much ammunition against me...

So our split was right. Justified. I was closed off. You were not ready. We were a hot ghetto mess together.

But sometimes when we talk, hang out, whatever, I can still see what drew me to you. Your piercing they're looking right into me. Your energy, so bright and full of life; never a dull moment with you around. The way you still look out for me, genuine goodness and thoughtfulness...what's that about? Why can't you just be a dick so I can hate you?

But alas, you're such a dear. And I'm glad you're still in my life. My id would prefer it if you still had me on that pedestal, and my ego tries hard to re-create that experience for me everyday, but my superego understands that things worked out for the best for everybody involved.

Still, know that in a moment of weakness or drunken abandon (or really doesn't matter; any moment would do), my id would not kick you out of bed. Because on top of everything else, it was that good.

*smooches...hiding my emotions in a blog he'll never read*
Feels like I'm going in circles
You're like a maze I can't get through
Should I go left should I go right
Should I let you stay for the night
It's like a see-saw when it comes to your love
Boy when you're up this girl is down and I just can't figure it out

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

In A Perfect World...

...Polygamy would be legal, and I'd be married to all these hunky men:

Is it hot in here all of a sudden????

*smooches...with all kinds of dirty thoughts in my head*
I may not always love you
But long as there are stars above you
You never need to doubt it
Ill make you so sure about it

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

It's A Bailey's Night...

...That's the phrase I would utter to my co-worker/downstairs neighbor at the Waco School for Girls whenever my day was just too much to bear sober. We'd break out that delicious thrice distilled Irish whiskey and cream goodness, pour it into a glass of ice, and savor every drop until we no longer remembered what it was that drove us to drink in the first place.

Today, I had a conference call to talk about the memo about the cover to the TPS reports, and did I receive it, because my last TPS report didn't have a cover and should they send me another memo? No. That's okay. I don't need another memo. I got it: ADD COVER TO TPS REPORTS FROM NOW ON. Done.

Next, I have a conference call to discuss blah blah blah for the next issue of blah blah blah and how we can blah blah blah the blah blah.

After work I have a meeting with a client to go over a possible increase in my involvement with his business venture, a print publication as opposed to the online one for which I already write.

I was also going to pick up my pre-ordered Chrisette Michele CD from J&R Music World down by City Hall, but then I realized that at home I have to:

1. Do something about K & N's hair. They're looking like extras from The Color Purple these days, for real!

2. Wash some clothes. By hand. Because I haven't the money nor the time to walk the 20 million blocks to the nearest laundromat and pay $50 trillion to get the enchilada stains out of my pants. Don't ask.

3. Prepare meals for the next two weeks so that I don't have to rush home to feed these girls every night.

4. Take care of a few pending freelance assignments so I can get PAID.

5. Plan all the details for K's sleepover next month.

And last but not least, stop by the liquor store and pick up a bottle of Bailey's Irish creme.

Because it's only Tuesday, and it already looks like it's going to be that kind of week.

*smooches...hoping to be drunk off my ass by 11PM...liver be damned!*
Acércate que a lo mejor
no te das cuenta que mi amor
no es para siempre
porque hay noches que se apagan cuando duermes

Monday, June 18, 2007

Over Yonder, There's the Light...

What I'm looking forward to as the warm weather approaches:

Outdoor concerts in the city, like this one I attended on Saturday (Chrisette Michele in City Hall Park):

My girl L coming out (finally!) to hang for a long weekend...New York ain't ready...

The movie 1408 starring the incomparable, unforgettable, master thespian, Sir John Cusack (with some other people that are not that important). I knighted him myself.

The new bedroom furniture I'm buying from Ikea:

Three weeks at Stacy's Boot Camp (prospect park) beach body is right around the corner...

Salsa classes in BK with my homies

A long weekend in Montauk with my babies before school starts up again in September

A summer without kids...aaaaaahhhhhhhhh

A weekend yoga retreat in the Catskills. I've not given up on inner peace, even if it has given up on me.

The New York International Latino Film Festival

The Latin Alternative Music Conference


Shitloads of freelance work. YAY!

The beginning of the great Debt Pay-Down. I've finally begun that journey.

Time to myself. To perfect my stories. To launch a magazine. To enjoy my family and friends. To pamper myself. To become the best Raquel possible.

*smooches...finally ready to take on the world*
And we are so fragile
and our cracking bones make noise
And we are just breakable breakable breakable girls and boys

It's Good to Know I'm Not the Only One

Aaron: What are you doing?

Me: Trying to ignore the voices in my head. You?

Aaron: Listening to them.

* color short of a rainbow*
are you still on my back after all these years
chasing me out of hell and my nice veeners
i don't know how you stand when you've got no floor
or how you can breathe with your hands on boards

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

So Two Weeks Ago...

...I sort of disappeared off the face of the internet. I'm sure after seeing the state of my raccoon-eyes, you can all understand my leave of absence. I wish it were only lack of sleep that was plaguing me: my mom was recovering from her surgery, I had to baptize Miss Olivia, my grandfather was rushed to the E/R, and I was obligated to be a part of a wedding for a good friend- with a huge smile on my face- even as I was falling apart at the seams.

Today I'm a little better but just barely. I'm still sleep deprived and exhausted, but there are no obligations on my plate for at least a couple of weeks, and neither my grandfather nor my mother are in grave danger. I'm even getting to bed before 2AM.

All that craziness put aside for the moment, I can update you on what you've missed because I've been too weary to even log on to

Who, Me? Do I Renounce Satan?
At first I was a bit apprehensive about going to a church and making sacred promises that I knew I wasn't going to keep. But then I figured, if going through the motions of a Baptism will keep Irene's husband's family from driving her insane, then it was my duty as her friend to be there. I've lied in church before; I'm already on a first class flight to hell; what was one more act of defiance against Christianity?

During the mass, I tried to get into it, tried to see if I could return to the church and stop being so angry, jaded, bitter, etc. However, as soon as the clergy-dude began with his, "without baptism this child will go to hell" schpiel, I knew that it was impossible.

Then there was the boring ass music, so melancholy and joyless... is this how they praise god? How I used to do it? BLECH! THEN there was the mechanized movements and ritual (now kneel, now rise, now shake hands, now get a lobotomy...) and the "hierarchy" of who gets the "body and blood" of Christ first (excuse me- aren't we all the same in the eyes of god??). I was convinced that this whole life was not for me.

And yes, I absolutely felt like a hypocrite standing there at the alter, and I do loathe hypocrisy, but I also know that this was really out of Irene's hands and she needed someone there to be on her side. Friendship trumps morals and principles. Besides now I can be called, The Godmother *she says in her best Marlon Brando impersonation*

This Jaded NYer does believe that there is a god out there, that this world is not a crazy accident that somehow fell into place. However, that god is NOT the judeo-christian, jealous dictator that organized religion will have us believe he is...I mean, what kind of god would send a baby to hell because some FLAWED man didn't throw water on her head??

If Fear Was Your Reason, Then OK
I had assumed that my mom was upset with me somehow and that was why she had not informed me of her upcoming surgery. Turns out, she wasn't mad...just freaked out by the whole process...I guess now I know where my phobia comes from...

Still, I have to add that I'm a sucky nurse. I'm used to my elders caring for me; this whole role-reversal crap is for the birds! I actually had to bathe my mom the other day, and not that it was gross because she's my mom and all and I've seen her naked a gazillion times (I grew up in a "naked" house), but it really did mess with my head. I'm not ready to be in charge. I'm not ready for my mom to be dependent on me...responsibility gives me hives...just ask my kids!

When Papi Goes, I May Just Go Insane
It's no secret that I do not do well with death. My grandmother's passing all but killed me. That empty void in my core that I try to fill with food and sex and impulse purchases? My missing grandma.

So needless to say when I heard that my Papi was sent to the E/R YET AGAIN, I had a tiny heart-attack/nervous breakdown in my bathroom. If I lose him, too...actually, let me not even write about that right now...

Sorry, Minerva, if I leave all that hard work in your hands, but my psyche can't hang...

What Marriage is Supposed To Be
I didn't think I was going to be able to make it to Celia and Doug's wedding- the dress wasn't fitting (but then it did- thanks Natasha for the waist cincher!), my family was ill, I wasn't very travel friendly. But I made it, and although I'm so happy she wanted me to be a part of her special day, and I love her and Doug to death, I have to say that I felt like an alien observing life on a strange planet.

A planet where people love the person they marry. And stay married for over 50 years. And have family heirlooms to pass down from generation to generation. And have traditions and anniversaries and dad's that give you away on your special day.

I hardly ever let envy enter my heart, and I absolutely love my family, but watching the Keisers and the Careys and the McKenzies fill a room with their complete and utter togetherness, well, I mourned my own situation: my multiple last name and single parent infused family tree, where hardly anyone is related by both mother AND father and marriages barely last if they ever take place at all.

But I am happy I went nonetheless. Their ceremony was touching and beautiful, and moved me in a way I had hoped Olivia's baptism would. I've absolutely given up on Christianity, but love, true love, the kind that makes a man shed tears of joy at the sight of his bride as they exchange vows, well, dammit- that's something I can have faith in.

It may not be too late for me after all.

*smooches...a little less Jaded that before I started writing this post*
And you, you want to be heard
But none of us understand a word
And you, you want to be free
Then don't speak like a slave to me

Friday, June 01, 2007

What "Worry" Looks Like

My mom had surgery today. I'm sure she'll be fine. Just a gallbladder removal. Routine, right? Except I can't get over the fact that she had to be in a HOSPITAL and let a DOCTOR cut her open and remove stuff from her body.

People, I was freakin' out.

Plus I've SERIOUSLY gone off budget; I need to pimp my writing out there like never before...bitch betta have my money...

Add to that my recent kid-related stress and the fact that I've been secretly snacking on mini-snickers like it's my job- after not eating its peanut/caramel/nougat-y goodness for over a year, and you have insomnia times 50 million trillion.

I've always been a night owl, but night owl + stress=

*smooches...with luggage for days*
Now peace is so hard to find
We're terrorized and victimized
But that's when I close my eyes
And think of you to ease my mind