Monday, December 31, 2007

My First Full Year As A Blogger

Last year at this time, my review of the previous year was a breakdown of the month-to-month craziness of my life. So of course, anal-retentive, OCD Raquel was at the ready with a note pad and a pen, prepared to take notes and do the same for 2007. And then I thought "GOD! Will I ever stop being that freshman year Brooklyn Tech nerd?"

Slowly, and without sudden movements so as not to upset the voices, I put the notepad down, tucked the pen behind my ear and decided to wing it.


So yeah, 2007, WOW... lots of crazy stuff...

OH MY GOD who am I kidding! I just developed a rash on my left hand at the thought of not going in chronological order...

JANUARY: Bloomberg "wows" me with his PlaNYC announcement and almost makes me want to vote...but then I came to my senses. One of my exes stops by for dinner and a movie and it's just that- dinner and a movie- and WOE IS ME, Uncle Sam cuts me out of the will.

FEBRUARY: Mari convinces me to get back on MySpace and I do because, you know, I need ANOTHER distraction to my To-Do list, but I do manage to finish my thesis by the 28th, I think, despite the new/old obsession with profile layouts and songs.

MARCH: I'm in full-blown-vow-of-celibacy mode and I feel really good about that. But then I see a video of these poor dolphins being slaughtered by Japanese fisherman and I almost fall into a coma. But THEN I discover Naked Juice and feel a little better.

APRIL: This was a big month-- I go on one of many really bad dates, and then one of only two good ones. Imus loses his damn mind (that HO!) while I take more baby steps towards total media domination, and have a brush with my first stalker. I re-embrace my inner tree-hugger and try to become the Dalai Lama, much to Jack's chagrin.

MAY: I SEE VELVET REVOLVER IN CONCERT FOR MY BIRTHDAY. Nothing else that happens this month even matters...

JUNE: This is a bad emotionally charged month, according to the chart I keep hidden on my computer (there goes that nerd girl again), whose cause has yet to announce itself. I just remember being sad. A lot.

JULY: Party, party, tattoo, party, EEK! A MOUSE, party, and an ex tracks me down via Google. This was July.

AUGUST: Ahh, the last days of summer... Let's see, what happened in August, gee, I can't remember, hmm... oh yeah, that's right, I FREAKING GRADUATE and become THE MASTER OF FINE ARTS. Oh, but then on a scary note I am offered- and witness people snorting- cocaine at a party *shudder*, and then try to build a relationship with my brother (one of them, anyway) using MySpace (which, by the way, doesn't work at all).

SEPTEMBER: I go back to Montauk after a super-long hiatus (ahhhhhhhh) and have my thesis panel (ahhhhhhh X 2) which results in a week long graduation celebration as only Raquel could do it (yes, of course alcohol was involved). I finally FINALLY see Sean Paul LIVE (can I just have his babies already?) and have many a revelation regarding my life, my hair (I got bangs, y'all!) my goals, writing and why I'm just not ready to have a man. Especially the kind with narcolepsy.

OCTOBER: NINA!!!!!! 'nuff said.

NOVEMBER: This month is also a particularly crabby one, according to the nerd girl mood chart, but this time it is attributed to a really, really bad date. I guess it could be considered the date that broke the levee. Or the camel's back. Yeah, it is a bad date. *OOF* it's bad!!! So bad in fact that I lose my goddamned mind and actually go to a doctor!! But Thanksgiving is fun, so I guess it isn't all bad.

DECEMBER: This month flies by so fast that all I remember is "An Inconvenient Truth," Pajama Christmas Weekend and the fact that I break a promise to myself and go to see a shrink. But in my defense, it was either see a shrink or kill the staff assistant at my office. I think I make the right choice. I think...

Phew! A whole year of Jaded bliss: Gilmore Girl marathons. Trips. Boys. Drinking. Netflix. Ex-boyfriends popping up out of nowhere. Penzo's multiplying like freakin' rabbits.

I don't know 'bout y'all, but I'm soooooooo over it.

Where the fuck is 2008 already??

*smooches...anticipating another year full of kisses from me to you*
it's been a real trip, y'all, and I'm so honored that you all came along for the ride. even if it was just to point and laugh. because I know you were laughing WITH me, right? right?

In Defense Of The Tiger...And Other Musings

Friday's Nausea Brought To You By Lady Estrogen
I had plans. Good plans. FUN plans. For the first time in WEEKS. But noooooooo... The Lady had other plans. SO I had to stay my ass home and pass up a possible bump-in with famous people and free drinks with new friends. I hate my girl parts, I really do...

Cleaning House, Pt. 1
Among the other million trillion reasons to love my annoying little sis, she came over this weekend and helped me tackle the wild jungles of my messy apartment. It's hard to believe that such a small space can be such a HazMat target, but me and my girls have special mess-making's a gift, I can't explain it.

In Defense Of The Tiger
I'm sorry for the Sousa family's loss, but the tiger didn't belong in captivity, and was only acting instinctively. AND, I'm not a betting person, but there were allegations of the teens perhaps taunting the animal... Survival of the fittest, I always say.

Normal? That's What You Called Me For?
I don't know about you, but when I get a phone call from a physician's receptionist stating that the doctor "needs to" see me, of course I'm assuming that it's something important and crucial and just can't wait. NOT, as the case was with my wack-ass foreign doctor (yes, that is important to the story), just a call to say that my blood test and urinalysis was normal. I hate doctors even more than I hate my girl parts...

I Can't See His Face
So I'm watching a Gilmore Girls marathon this weekend, right, and one episode has a character listening to a self-help tape on finding your true love. Part of the tape had an exercise in visualizing the one you love, and asked the "reader" a series of questions like: Who's the person who'd make your vacation more enjoyable? Can you see [his] face? When you have good news, who do you most want to share it with? Can you see [his] face? I tried to play along and you know what I came up with? BUPKISS!

You know who makes my vacations more enjoyable? My friends and family. You know who I call first when I have good news to share? My friends and family. That "guy"-- THE guy...he just doesn't exist...

Cleaning House, Pt. 2
Hey, Chef, SVA Guy, and all your colleagues... it's been real, it's been fun, I've got enough stories and escapades to last me a lifetime. But this is the end of the line for you. This is your stop. This is where you get off and go home. And stop calling me. And forget you ever met me. As of January 1st I shall be doing the same.

* so ready for the next year*
what's worse? that I can't see his face or that I don't care that I can't see his face? sometimes I wonder if I'm even human...

Friday, December 28, 2007

Reason #71,269 Why I Love NYC

I just witnessed a Chinese shop-keep with very limited English skills talking to a South American man with very limited English skills about a job opportunity in his store.

And they actually understood each other, made a deal and shook hands on it.

It took all I had not to burst into a fit of laughter right in front of them!!

* awe of immigrants' ingenuity*
that's why their children will own this world and us American-borns will be begging THEM to hire us!

The Jaded NYer Goes To The Doctor, Pt.2

Actual conversation with the receptionist at my doctors office after I walk in out of the cold last night for my f*$#ing test results:

Bitch-Ass Receptionist: Hi...Dr. Incompetent is not here tonight

Me: (astonished) told me to come tonight, though

B.A.R.: (shocked) I did? (looks down in her book) OH Yeeeeaaaahhhhhh.... I should have called you. The doctor isn't here tonight.

Me: (pissed; trying not to strangle her) Okay, so when should I come back?

B.A.R.: Come back tomorrow. But call first to make sure he'll be in.

Me: Well can you tell me what he wanted to see me about?

B.A.R.: (semi-whispering) Your blood results. Okay? (louder now) Okay, see you tomorrow.

Me: (grumbling under my breath) Yeah, whatever...

*smooches...vowing to NEVER EVER AGAIN deal with physicians that aren't Caucasian*
can I get some props for not gettin' ghetto with this bitch??

The Quest For Mental Health, Pt.2

I went. Yesterday.

After work I had my first session with a licensed clinical social worker in an effort to quiet the voices that keep telling me to shove the weekly status reports down the staff assistant's throat until she stops breathing if she steps into my personal space zone one more freakin' time.

And lets not forget the other voices that INSIST I lay on the couch watching Gilmore Girls reruns instead of, oh, I don't know, FINISHING MY THESIS.

So I went and she asked me all these retarded questions and I gave her all these pathetic, whiny-baby answers and she agreed that I needed to keep coming, and more often than the Empire BC/BS allotted 12 visits/year. I swear I saw dollar signs over her eyes...

But it wasn't 100% terrible, so I'll give it another 4 sessions before I decide if that stupid pity face she gives me is really annoying or only annoying to Lady Estrogen, who happens to be in town for the next couple of weeks...I'm gonna start charging that bitch rent...

*smooches...trying to get over the fact that a STRANGER was all up in my business yesterday, AND THEN I had to pay her...*
my co-pay is officially WACK!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

I Didn't Know You But...

...for some strange reason, your passing made me feel really sad.

Assassinations are just so scary! Just the thought that someone can penetrate security and take out someone like that... it's like a rug has been pulled out from under me and my vertigo has kicked in and I'm all disoriented. And I didn't even know you existed until I saw the headlines about your death.

(In case you live in a news vacuum, you can read the article here)

*smooches...spilling a lil liquor for my sister Benazir*
and why did this news make me all nervous for Hillary all of a sudden?

The Vatican Is Pissed. Surprise, Surprise!

Last week it was reported that the Vatican was calling for a boycott of the film "The Golden Compass" (which is completely unnecessary since the movie is a stinker) because it, and the books it is based on, is anti-Christan.

I don't know about you, but I'm getting pretty tired of the Vatican and frankly, I find their boycott to be anti-Atheist. So there.

What's next- are we to boycott Hanukkah because it's anti-Christmas? Or Ramadan because it's copying Lent? Hey Vatican, do me a favor: get over yourself!

(Read the article here).

*smooches...dodging bolts of lighting like a mo-fo!*
in other news, it's T minus 9 hours until I get my test head hurts...

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Pajama Christmas = Sport Eating

Thanks to everyone who sent me beautiful Christmas cards via snail mail or email...they were all super cute. Also, sorry there aren't any pics, but I was feeling rather lazy...

Hello, hello, long time no see, how are you? Me? Well, let me tell you...

I spent the super long weekend at my mom's in what we were calling Pajama Christmas Weekend '07, and it's basically what it sounds like- five females in a large studio apartment lying around in their pajamas watching The Food Network and eating their weight in rice, platanos and cheese.

I go home and pay the nanny (ouch, my wallet!!!) We have takeout for dinner and veg out in front of the TV and I let my mom know that I won't be over at her place until's too cold to travel at night.

We clean up the apartment of all food stuff in preparation of being gone from the apartment over the break, and order Mexican food as a treat. The girls and I have soooo many bags with us that I ask my sister to swing by and pick us up on her way home from Virginia. The ride to Queens takes twice as long thanks to traffic, but we make the most of it by singing along to the radio really badly and loudly. When we show up at mom's with our 35 trillion packages, she gives us the side eye...

Mom and I go on Jamaica Avenue to buy a few things (plus some Jamaican patties from that stand on 165th Street...mmmmmm). We feast on a lentil and turkey stew with rice and ice cream.

Mom, Mari, K and N head to church; I go to the Queens Center Mall (YIKES!!) to do some last minute shopping. Best Buy and Target stress me out so much I buy another caramel macchiato from Starbucks and am surprised that it didn't cost $6 like in Gramercy Park. It tastes that much better knowing I saved three bucks.

My mom calls and asks me to rush home...N is running a small fever and says her ear hurts. I pick up some Tylenol and, at Ns request, cookies n cream ice cream. There's a veggie and tofu stir fry, plus tilapia n veggies waiting for me when I get back. Then K and I brave the sideways, windy rain and head out to shop on Jamaica Avenue some more...because I'm glutton for punishment... K convinces me to buy more Jamaican patties, and we enjoy them under the awning of the Nine West.

I was supposed to go to my hairdresser's at 5:30AM, but that damn snooze button... instead I washed it and blew it out myself. K & N & I meet up with my ex to see the Christmas Spectacular as we do every year, and then went to Lord & Taylor's to see the windows. Saks was a madhouse, as was the skating rink, so we stayed away from those tourist traps. We feast on my mom's very very delicious yellow rice with corn and turkey bacon (you have to taste it to understand it; at my house it's called a locrio), baked chicken thighs, plus Mari's black bean and corn salsa and new to our table: the green bean casserole. Plus lots and lots of tostones (fried green plantains) with melted cheese on top.

Our Christmas breakfast consists of homemade hot chocolate, homemade apple cinnamon silver dollar pancakes, mangu (mashed plantains) with fried white cheese, BBQ spare ribs for the meat-eaters, fresh squeezed orange juice, some really sweet cantaloupe slices, shrimp cocktail, and some hassleback potatoes with the salsa from the day before. Minnie and my ex come over to eat, too, and presents are opened and OOHS and AAHS commence. We're forced to watch High School Musical II and Mari and I take lil naps.

After K & N leave with their dad, Mari drives Minnie and I home, and mami comes along for the my aunts house. And what do you think is waiting for us there? MORE FOOD!

So we eat again: arroz con gandules, chicken, potato and beet salad, green salad, pasteles, cheese bread, broccoli quiche, grilled veggies, roasted turkey...

Finally, I get back home with my trillion and one packages, week's worth of leftovers, and enjoy the quiet of my empty apartment with some leftover chicken quesadillas, a mint tea, some OJ for the tickle in my throat and 1 and 1/16th (I fell asleep) movies: The Brothers and Last Tango in Paris.

*smooches...hoping my arteries survived that food marathon*
of course, all this binge eating was my way of trying to forget that on Saturday, I got a call from my doctor's office saying he "needs" to see we go...

Friday, December 21, 2007

"Here's Your Christmas Card"

I'm not organized enough to remember to send out cards. The thought of it all just stresses me out. This is as close to a Christmas card from me that y'all gonna get.

Bask in it.

Scene from Seinfeld episode with Elaine's "nip slip"

Click here for the Best Christmas Song EVER! But you might want to lower your speakers.

Santa's gangsta...just like the Easter Bunny!!

Some of you have already seen this, but it's still cute as hell. Me and my kids- We're Elves!

*smooches...wishing you the best holiday season*
now I can go back to making believe I'm working...

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Kickin' Ass And Taking Names...

Don't hate on us, is not your color...

From the DR newswire:

Dominican volleyball women shine
The Dominican women's volleyball team has finished undefeated at the women's pre-Olympic tournament being held in Monterrey, Mexico. The team's winning streak will guarantee them a final first place in Group B of the tournament. The DR is considered the only team strong enough to beat out the Cuban team for the last remaining spot in the 2008 Olympic games in Beijing.

Polanco honored
Dominican ball player Placido Polanco was named Defensive Player of the Year for the Major Leagues by more than nine million fans. Polanco, who plays with the Detroit Tigers, didn't commit a single error during the 2007 season and established a new record with 888 attempts without an error. His last error was recorded on 1 July 2006. This is Polanco's second post-season award as he won a Gold glove for his 2007 play.

This news totally makes up for this foolishness, made by some country-ass Dominicans I'm sure, that Evelyn sent me from YouTube:

*smooches...eager to add my name to that list of GREAT Dominicans*
and you know, the star of that women's volleyball team? yeah, she's married to my uncle...


These few lines of text were all I could muster today... I got hit in the head with someone's heavy-ass blueprints this morning on the subway and I can barely put together coherent sentences.

My job is annoying me (what else is new), Christmas is stressing me out (I'm not sending out any damn cards so just suck on that!) and the season finale of Degrassi Junior High made me cry and gave N. nightmares (she's afraid of fire).

I wish I were a bear, and could just find a quiet cave somewhere and sleep until spring.

*smooches...looking forward to 5:30 like never before*
let's hope I don't fall over dead on my way home... is it normal to hear a ringing in one's ear? It's not my phone; I already checked.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

In My Dictionary, Pt. 2

The second in an ongoing series to help my readers fully understand the extent of my insanity...

1. Cornivity: (noun) the next level of corny; corny to the tenth power; originally coined by Evelyn at The Chip Shop in Brooklyn Heights.

How to use it in everyday conversations:

Sure he was good looking and had an awesome body, but his cornivity was so prevalent that I didn't even want to be seen walking down the street with him!

2. Boogerific: (adj): awesome and stinky; alternate definition: Raquel's essence; coined by Mari via Google Chat on Monday night.

How to use it in everyday conversations:

I was so confused about solving for X, but my tutor was totally boogerific and cleared it all up for me!

Use it in good health!

*smooches...realizing that maybe I'm crazy because my FRIENDS are crazy*
what's even funnier is watching the spell check go all wonky at the sight of "cornivity" and "boogerific"...oooh, wonky...that'll be in the next vocabulary posting...

The Quest For Mental Health, Pt.1

So I've accepted that listening to Guns n Roses' "Welcome to the Jungle" just does not cheer me up like it used to. Which means I'm officially depressed; I can no longer deny this dark, dark sadness that has taken over my psyche. It's out of control and destructive and no amount of french fries and 80's metal can make it go away. And trust me when I say I've tried!!

Jack (and a certain DOOCE blog post) has convinced me that okay, it's not just a temporary thing, it's something that's building and building and getting uglier than Flavor Flav with every passing minute. And that I need the help of a professional.

Of course at first I was like NO NO HELL TO THE NAW. I hate doctors. All kinds of medical professionals. They killed my grandma (yes, they did and you can't convince me otherwise) and had her hooked on a pharmacy of pills all her life and I don't trust them. But lately I don't trust me, either. Not that I'd take any drastic moves- I'm too vain for that- but I could see me being all passive-aggressive about shit and letting things happen so that I can wallow in sadness the rest of my days. I don't want to be like that.

So...I made an appointment with a Social Worker (as apposed to a psychiatrist or psychologist who'd probably greet me at the door with a prescription pad in hand) for next week after work. Of course it remains to be seen if I will keep said appointment, and if Empire BC/BS will just let me see this doctor without being a total pain in my ass, but the appointment has been made nonetheless.

*smooches...crazier than a mofo, for real for real*
should I send the doc a link to my blog? or is that a guarantee of a first class ticket to bellvue??

I Got Me A Shrink Just In Time...

WARNING: The link in this blogpost is rated XXX and not safe for work. You've been warned!

This world has officially gone mad. Not only has the white-trash Spears' family announced yet another daughter's hot ghetto mess all over the media (thanks, Perez), but I find this craziness in my inbox from Evelyn:


Do you understand what they are selling here? They have BOTTLED the scent of a woman's na-na. In a bottle. For you to whip out and sniff whenever you want.


Is there really a market for this? Wouldn't your girlfriend's panties stuffed in your briefcase suffice? I didn't even check to see how much it costs because I just know it's something ridiculous that will send me over the edge.

I mean yes, I watched Boomerang like everyone else, and I laughed when Strangé wanted her perfume to smell like, well, her. But that movie was a COMEDY. As in- don't take it seriously- comedy!! As in- don't go out and actually develop this product- comedy!!

I can't... I can't even finish this blog post I'm so disturbed... I need a drink...

*smooches...rethinking that whole "move to Europe" idea I was toying with*
seriously, would it be wrong to have a drink right now? I mean, we're talking vaginal scent in a bottle; if something EVER called for tequila before noon I'd say this was it...

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Paging Dr. 90210

I used to think I had a great rack, until this morning when N, who I so graciously let sleep in my bed with me last night, informed me amidst a cackle of laughter:

"Wow. Your boobies look like they're spilling off the side of your body."

Thanks. A lot. That REALLY helps my self-esteem tons!!

I mean it's not like I sacrificed my great bod in order to feed and nurture your ungrateful ass or anything...

*smooches...launching a new anti-breast feeding campaign ASAP*
can you tell she's my daughter?

Monday, December 17, 2007

Dear Peter...And Other Musings

My weekend in four parts:

It's Got To Be Depression
I'm sleeping like it's my job; my stankness is extra-prevalent; I'm putting things off that should be on my "urgent" to do list; food has become my best friend and worst enemy; and matters of the flesh no longer interest me. Usually I can crawl out of the dark on my own, but for some reason my usual tricks just aren't working.

This might require professional help...

This Is Why I Left The Ghetto
First Minnie tells me of the two guys who tried to key into her Bed-Stuy apartment WHILE SHE WAS HOME, and then while visiting a friend in Crown Heights this weekend, the po-pos lock down the whole block because someone got capped two buildings over. My neighborhood may be boring, and my landlord may just be part of an Al-Qaeda cell, but at least since I've been there the worst thing I've seen happen is some vandalism (graffiti) on the wall of the Foodtown.

Dear Peter:
I'm gonna ignore the in-my-face approach you took to try and get me to care about voting and politics, etc, because I know some people are just really passionate about stuff like that (but please understand I'm just not), but- and I could be wrong- I kinda got the feeling you were mocking my choice in PhD programs and my potential ability to master Latin because I did a poor job of describing it. So here's the official description:

The CUNY Comparative Literature Program offers training, leading to the M.A. and Ph.D. degrees, in the theory of literature, in methods and history of theory and criticism, in the comparative analysis of texts, in rhetoric, and in the theory and practice of translation. The Program stresses comparative relations among the major and classic European literatures: English, French, German, Italian, Russian, Spanish, Ancient Greek, and Latin, as well as Arabic, Catalan, Hebrew, Polish, Portuguese, Provencal, and Serbian-Croatian-Bosnian. Interdisciplinary studies are encouraged in literature, film, and the arts. Cooperation with the Theatre, Music, and Art History Programs, and with such interdisciplinary programs as Medieval Studies, Women's Studies, Cultural Studies, and Renaissance Studies, is an important part of our curriculum. The Program offers students and faculty frequent opportunities for arranging and participating in colloquia on themes and problems of contemporary critical interest.

When I graduate I'll invite you to my party.

Anal Sex and Liquid Crack
A conversation I overheard:

Ghetto Dude: [on the phone] Girl, you know I love you. I love everything about you and everything you do for me, from licking my asshole to everything. I mean it!

That was something I could have gone my whole life without every hearing. And the memory of it is what drove me to buy a grande Caramel Macchiato at Starbucks on Sunday, even though caffeine make me jumpy and physically ill, and after I promised myself that the one I had with Evelyn on Saturday would be my last...

*smooches...officially convinced that romance is dead*
and mind you, that ghetto dude was on the phone with a different female tryna make a booty call (no pun intended) before he made this statement to the supposed love of his life...I need to get a new iPod to drown out the City...

Friday, December 14, 2007

We's Comin' Up In Da World

So I'm on my way home from Lord & Taylor's (free gift with purchase at the Clinique counter, y'all!), passing by Bryant Park, and what do I hear?

Fucking BACHATA! I swear to god!!

I couldn't see what kind of party was going on under the tents, but the DJ was PUMPIN' some Aventura like a mofo!

The shock on my face caught the eye of a doorman on the block, also Dominican (I can spot my peeps from a mile away), and we just shrugged in unison.

Since it's Friday, I will leave you with the song- and video- of what was emanating from the chi-chi Bryant Park, just so that you can understand why I had the "WHAT?" face on when I heard it:

Obsesion by Aventura

And in case you don't understand what's so wrong with this music being played in Bryant Park, you know, that fancy park off Fifth Avenue, right next to Lord & Taylor's and its fancy Christmas windows, where tourists flock to like it's their jobs, here's a video that depicts how you're supposed to DANCE to a bachata:

Music: Dos Locos by Monchy y Alessandra

*smooches...wondering what it will be like when Dominican's finally take over the world...*
for you non-Latinos, bachata is Dominican music from the rural countryside; couldn't you tell?

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Mi Pobre Isla

Don't tell me global warming is a sham...

from the DR newswire:

Santiago low areas under water
Latest reports indicate Santiago is the province most affected by Tropical Storm Olga. The damage was caused by the opening of the Tavera-Bao Dam floodgates, probably to prevent a dam break, at midnight without warning those in the path of flooding. This released more than 5,000 cubic meters/second of water and caused a major swelling of the Yaque del Norte River. As reported in the Listin Diario, the governor of Santiago says at least seven people died after being caught unaware. There was major flooding in low areas of the city of Santiago.

President Leonel Fernandez is expected to visit Santiago this afternoon.

COE first report
Tropical Storm Olga did not realize that the hurricane season had ended on 30 November, and came at the Dominican Republic with torrential rains and strong gusts of wind. The Emergency Operations Committee (COE) reports in its first bulletin on the storm that 6,000 persons were evacuated and 24,595 persons had to be relocated due to the flooding, especially in areas near rivers in Santiago and northern and southern provinces. COE estimates 5,000 dwellings were affected by the storm.

COE also reported earlier that 38 houses were buried by a mudslide in the community of Juan Lopez III in Moca, Espaillat province. No victims were reported because the families had been evacuated. In Maria Trinidad Sanchez province (Nagua), 400 families were evacuated from areas close to the shoreline. Winds from the storm knocked down trees and blocked traffic along the highway between Nagua and the Samana peninsula. Nearer to Santo Domingo, flood waters cut off four communities in Monte Plata province. The COE said that it was particularly worried about communities in the Lower Yuna River basin, a low-lying area that experiences flooding nearly every time it rains.

Twenty eight hundred people have been displaced, more than 500 houses have been damaged and more rains are in the forecast. The COE is maintaining a preventive Red Alert for the National District and the provinces of Santo Domingo, San Cristobal, Monte Plata, Santiago Rodriguez, Dajabon, San Pedro de Macoris, Santiago, Puerto Plata, Espaillat, Hermanas Mirabal, and Duarte - especially the Lower Yuna River basin.

Minimal effect in tourism areas
International airports operated as normal during and after the passing of Tropical Storm Olga, with the exception of Puerto Plata's International Airport where three flights after 11pm had to be cancelled due to the high winds. Airport operations resumed in the early morning. Some damage is reported to on the beach storefronts in Cabarete, on the North Coast and Samana on the Northeast Coast but for the most part, tourism activities are expected to resume as normal as the rains move west passing the island. Hotels are not reporting any damages. Golf courses in some areas need to wait to dry out, but regular activities are expected to resume nationwide shortly.

By 10am, all tropical storm watches and warnings for the island of Hispaniola were discontinued. Light rains continue in some areas, but reports from Puerto Rico indicate that good weather is headed our way.

Times like this I wish I had "Oprah Money" to just go down there and help with the rebuilding process...

*smooches...rethinking my plan to retire in DR*
I suppose NY winters aren't that bad, compared to losing my home in a mudslide!

R.I.P., Style 7 Driver Belt

When I was forced to move to Waco back in '04, I had to purchase furniture for the first time in my adult life. Prior to that I had lived a life of privilege (translation: my ex's job provided us with a free and fully furnished apartment).

I happily carried myself to IKEA in Elizabeth and bought the most comfortable sofa on the planet, with a very nice (beige) area rug to place in front of it in my ginormous living room. Ill-advised, I admit, but I'm stubborn. Seeing as this was my first ever furniture purchase, I cherished these items very much (demanded that I get them in the divorce since I paid for it with my own money), and no accessories were spared in sprucing them up. Including the heavy-duty vacuum cleaner I bought to clean said area rug. Never mind that it was the ONLY PIECE OF CARPETING in the entire apartment- I needed it.

Fast forward to last week.

While on the phone, I noticed that N was eating some damn Teddy Grahams on my bed- a HUGE no-no in my house- and ordered that she get the vacuum ASAP and clean up her crumbs (the nerve of that child!). So I'm on the phone and she's plugging in the machine and I'm getting the hose attachment ready. When we turn on the machine, it's working just fine until, OH NO, it's not.

All of a sudden SMOKE emits from the bottom of the vacuum and the stench of burnt rubber fills my room. N runs out, leaving me alone with the ticking time bomb, and I unplug the machine to inspect it, only to find one of my socks tangled in the roller. Curious, but nothing was on fire so I ignored it. 'Cause that's how I do.

A few days later when we attempted to vacuum my once-beautiful-but-now-grey area rug, I notice that nothing is getting picked up. Normally I'd say "fuck it" and sweep it clean, old school, but have you ever tried to sweep three heads' worth of dead hair out of an area rug with a broom? Did I mention I comb my hair in the living room?

And I guess this is where I admit that, although my dinette table looks like the US Post Office threw up on it, and my counter tops currently display every dirty drinking glass known to man, I cannot tolerate a filthy rug. My skin gets itchy just thinking about it. My nose gets runny at the sight of it. And the thought of sitting on it conjures up visuals of tiny carpet creatures crawling onto me and hanging on for dear life. I NEEDED to fix this vacuum!

I tried to replace the bag which, mind you, I hadn't changed since I purchased the machine (nasty, I know...), but still nothing. Then I turned on the vacuum and stuck my hand in it to see if the hose was working, and yes (OUCH!) it was. So no obstruction and an empty bag should equal a working vacuum, right? Wrong.

In order to solve this I had to dig deep into my repressed memories of being an engineer at Brooklyn Tech and being the "man" in my house growing up- needed something fixed, assembled, installed or hung from the rafters? Just ask Raquel! Never mind that she's a teenaged girl...- and recalled that sometimes things need to be taken apart in order to be fixed.

I pulled out the manual (I was THAT desperate to fix this damn thing), grabbed a screwdriver, and got to work.

First of all, the roller was filthy with hair and string. And I don't EVER remember having any string in my house..where did that string come from??

Second of all, the height adjustment didn't seem to want to work, and that was pissing me off. Why didn't it adjust? WHY?? I picked up my phone and called customer service. Surprise, surprise- an Indian woman answers (damn outsourcing!!!) but her English was pretty good so I let it go for the sake of my beloved Bissel. And she helped me solve the mystery of the height adjuster, ALMOST making me okay with outsourcing customer service jobs to New Delhi.

Finally, when I opened the vacuum up, out falls this ripped piece of rubber. The culprit to all my problems, apparently:

Me: Hmmm, this rubber thing just fell out, ripped in two. Do I need that?
Indian CS Rep: Um, yes, ma'am. That's your driver belt. You need that.
Me: Is it supposed to be in two pieces?
Indian CS Rep: Um, no. It's broken. You need to replace it.
Me: Oh. Okay, where can I get one?

So problem solved, store with replacement belts located on Seventh Avenue, and instruction manual detailing what to do to install the belt.

And although it still needs a deep, deep shampooing (because I refuse to get rid of it even though it's in the high traffic area right by the front door of a very small apartment) all of the hair and debris was removed from my nearly-black, used-to-be-beige area rug, thanks to my revived vacuum cleaner.

All is right with the world.

*smooches...showing off my DIY muscles*

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Joshua Hates Gmail...And Other Musings

My weekend, the whole unadulterated lazy-ass weekend...

I Can Turn It On As Needed
Yes, I am the Jaded NYer, and YES, I am ultra-mega-to-the-tenth-power independent, RARELY asking for or accepting help from anyone, but every once in a while I have to throw on my "damsel in distress" voice. Like this weekend, when I needed to find a solution to the dead vacuum in my living room. And when I needed that ride to and from the Penzo Cousin baby shower.

It's a gift. I didn't ask for it, but I appreciate and respect its power.

Why Is HR Fucking With Me?
I thought we were past this, ALCOTT GROUP. Yes, I am calling you out, bi-atches, for getting my check wrong AGAIN! Seriously, what kind of Mickey Mouse operation are y'all running over there? Here's a tip: don't play with my money. Like my boy Big Worm said, "Playing with my money is like playing with my emotions..."

My Mom, The Queen Of STANK
On her birthday, Her Majesty took off from work and then ignored all phone calls. So the flowers I ordered for her had to be cancelled because I was unsure of her whereabouts, and I left messages which she did not return.

Finally I hear from Minnie that Her Majesty was upset, that she felt alone even though she has family. Well, my dear, if you'd stop isolating yourself when family and friends are trying to bring you some cheer on your special day, maybe you won't feel so alone... I mean really!!

Now you see where I get it from...

Procrastination Is Contagious
How funny was it that this weekend Mari, Jack and another friend in LA were ALL procrastinating on school projects that were due right away? And no one wanted to do the work! And they want to give me crap about my thesis edits...pu-leese...I ain't even tryna hear it! It'll get done when I get it done! HA!

Joshua Hates Gmail
A lot of you have not met Joshua, my Dell desktop (yes, I named him Joshua...don't ask...), but let me tell you- he is a MOODY BITCH! Remember all those great Gmail features I was going on and on about? Well I can't use them on Joshua because...well who the fuck knows! AND, I had so much trouble using Yahoo Messenger, too! My smiley's aren't smiling and my audibles aren't audible. And really, what's the point of Yahoo Messenger if there's no Sock Puppet audible?

The Penzos Weren't The Problem
So the baby shower... now don't be mad- I didn't take any photos. Just plum didn't feel like it. But I can report that, although I've always thought the Penzos to be a pretty ghetto-fabulous bunch, my cousin's husband's family and friends (as well as my aunt's church friends) took ghetto to the next level!

You tell me: who wears a tight-ass revealing leather dress to a baby shower? Or five inch stilettos in a dress that shows your *gasp* panty-line? And who *WHOOP WHOOPs* shower gifts as if you're at a basketball playoff game? Call me snooty if you want, but I really just cannot associate myself with country-ass Dominicans anymore...

Any gossip, you ask? Well, my one boy cousin is hooked on the ganja (according to what I heard his mom whispering to my mom) and a girl cousin- 18 years old- is 5 months PREGNANT! Child...I tell ya: If it's something a Penzo is known for is havin' babies. And doin' drugs.

*smooches...trying to mask the fact that I still didn't call my doctor*
but in my opinion, if something serious was wrong, he would've called me...

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Lunch Time Texting

Me and Jack, circa October 2006

Jack: New Rule. Slutty=having to plan a shower between partners.

Me: Is there a story behind this rule? Slut!

Jack: Um. If the shower isn't PLANNED then = no slut

Me: Accidental sluttiness...the new craze sweeping America!

Jack: Oops

Me: I was minding my own thing I knew his penis was in my mouth...don't know how that happened.

Jack: And then this other one fell into my hand...I'm confused

Me: What was I to do? I didn't want to be rude...

Jack: Obviously I did what any polite person would do...I said Thank You

Me: And put them BOTH in my mouth. There was no time for a shower...

Jack: And next time I won't do that on a crowded train, officer

Me: I promise this time for real

Jack: Excuse me, officer...are those real handcuffs?

Me: Cool! I only have the pink furry ones. Hey! Is that...your PENIS?

Jack: LOL!

* longer wondering why my Verizon bill is through the roof*
this is pretty much how ALL my conversations with Jack go...

No News Is Good News

That's the stance I'm taking in response to not hearing from my doctor yet about my test results. Why ruin my Thursday, which so far is not going too badly? Gmail introduced a whole bunch of new features (AIM chat, colored labels) and it's really made my email experience so much more enjoyable this morning. What will they think of next?

Plus my boss is out of the office and I don't have to make believe that his anecdotes are the least bit amusing, or that I care about pension rights or our clients. And I gave the staff assistant the BACK THE FUCK UP face in hopes that she will not violate my personal space today. It's 11:34AM and so far, no violations.

AND I'm feeling this sense of RELIEF at how clear my calendar is of social obligations for the month of December... for the past 11 months I've been out and about a little too much, letting myself get pulled in a trillion different directions, but this month is all about ME. I'm not going anywhere. Except that baby shower for a Penzo cousin on Saturday because those events are usually golden gossip opportunities and I hate to get the scoop second-hand from my mami. But after that, I'm not going anywhere. So don't even ask me!

And yes, if I don't hear from my doctor by the end of the day I'll call him myself...

K had me rent The Day After Tomorrow from Netflix. she's gonna regret it...

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

In My Dictionary...

Even though I haven't finished my thesis edits and my MFA diploma case remains empty, I'm still THE MASTER OF FINE ARTS, and as such, I have the right to coin new phrases and change the meanings of words at my leisure.

This month's phrase: a truffle nigga/bitch

Definition: You know those stupid heart-shaped boxes of chocolate you find at Duane Reade during February with the assorted fillings? The more popular chocolates, in my experience, are always the cordial cherries, nougat, coconut and caramel.
The ones that always get left behind like the red-headed stepchild of the heart-shaped box of chocolate is the truffle-filled. And you're always fooled when you choose it, because from the outside you could SWEAR it's the caramel-filled...your taste buds are all excited, you start to salivate and then...TRUFFLES! BLECH!!!

Similarly, a truffle nigga or bitch is a male or female, respectively, who fools you with their perfectly delicious looking outer shell, but when you look inside- personality, beliefs, intelligence- it's all BLECH!

How to use it in everyday conversations

Joe: Hey, whatever happened to that girl you met in your photography class? Didn't y'all go out?
Henry: Yeah, man, but she turned out to be just another truffle bitch
Joe: Damn, sorry, bro...

Sally (to her date): you know, I thought you were cool but you ain't nothin' but a truffle nigga!!!!

See? Easy as pie. So ends today's vocabulary lesson.

*smooches...laughing at my own sorry jokes*
but don't over-use it. i don't want it to get played out too soon...

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Al Gore Just Made Me Cry

Usually I'll put movie reviews over at Stranger Than Fiction, but I know that a lot of you don't bother to go over to that blog like ever, so this is where this post needs to be.

But if you haven't already, YOU MUST ALL SEE An Inconvenient Truth. I don't care if you're a Democrat or Republican or a Communist. See this damn movie, okay? Normally, this Jaded NYer would watch a film like this, spit at the screen and yell, "PROPAGANDA!! LEFTIST PROPAGANDA!!!" But unfortunately I don't have that luxury anymore.

This past year I've been working for a PR firm with a client that, for all their faults, have forced me to delve deep into the topic of global warming. Sure, what they have me write has to be skewed to fit the client (and trust me, the thought of that has me morally bankrupt as of late) but the facts are still before me. In order to write the articles for these clients I have to comb news articles, scientific journals, charts, speech transcripts, etc, etc, etc to get the facts. And honey, the facts ain't good.

Global warming is real. Yes, it is a naturally occurring phenomena but it is also accelerating at unprecedented speeds due to human activity. That was confirmed by the United Nation's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change- scientists from all over the world who came together to report on the issue of global warming, its causes, effects and the possibility of mitigating those effects (how did you like that SAT word?).

But I write about it everyday. And like with anything else one is exposed to too often, I've become a little desensitized to it all. Until I watched An Inconvenient Truth.

And something must be said for the fact that I've had the DVD for 5 days but refused to watch it right away. I knew why- I didn't want to know what was in that film. I didn't want to know that the effects of global warming could possibly see New York City- my beloved New York City, underwater. Or that polar bears are DROWNING because they are having to swim farther distances just to find some ice to rest on. Or that on the very protected area of the Arctic (or was it Alaska) where the Bush Administration wants to drill for oil, the ground is only frozen enough for trucks to drive across it 75 days out of the opposed to 260-something days from just a few decades ago.

I didn't want to know any of this, because you know what? Once you know this stuff, it's hard not to do something about it or act surprised when that huge tidal wave takes out the Statue of Liberty.

(I suppose the same can be said of whatever it is that is ailing me- as long as I don't know what's going on I won't have to do anything about it and just drop dead from it one day out of the blue. But once those test results are in there will be no turning back...)

But too late. Because of my obsession with Netflix, now I know. And goddamn if it isn't inconvenient!!

However, I cannot sit around and not do something, anything, to make a difference. For the polar bears. For the ice caps. For New York City. Only a few things in this world make me cry: the memory of seeing my grandmother entombed; the ending to Love Story; Ani DiFranco's song, "Reckoning". But the visuals of the disappearing lakes and rivers and glaciers, and the enormity that will be the hundreds of millions of displaced people as a result of the ocean level rising just 20 lousy feet had me bawling like a baby after I finally told K to go to sleep.

I'm usually on here ranting and raving and joking and not taking anything or anyone serious, but tonight I'm sooooo serious, like never before. I implore all of you, if you're not already, DO SOMETHING. This affects all of us. I was wrong before, and the quote was right: no man is an island. We ALL need to stop the damage we are causing our planet and stop it now.

You can start by seeing An Inconvenient Truth. And then follow it up with a visit to And then end it with an action- ANY ACTION- that will help make a difference.

*smooches...wanting to be an example for my children and their children and their children's children*
al can't do this by himself...if you won't help, who will?

Monday, December 03, 2007

The Best...

...humor on the web.

I fear that my stank ultra-mega-funky mood might get a little contagious, and that's the absolute last thing in the world I could ever want for anybody.

So here are a few rays of light for you:

Funny Sites

Peter's Evil Overlord List
Ever thought about taking over the world? Make sure that the very first thing you do is read Peter's list. It's chock full of great advice for any evil overlord in the making.

Overheard in New York
I've overheard some crazy things in this city; you can't avoid it. Especially when people are on top of you on the F train day in and day out. But the conversations documented on this site take the cake!! There's comedy GOLD in there!

Funny or Die
If you consider your comedy to be a life or death situation, then this site is for you. Just kidding!! It's 85% funny by my standards, so don't get mad if not everything brings a smile to your face. Of note: The Landlord with Will Ferrell and The Hills with James Franco and Mila Kunis.

Television Without Pity
Those of you wondering how is it that I can live without a TV, let me introduce you to my 12-step sponsor: Television Without Pity. The great people at this site recap the episodes of some of my favorite shows in such funny and witty ways that frankly, it's better than watching the actual shows.


Peek over to the right of your computer screen. See the list that's headlined: The Only Acceptable On-Line Reading? Right, that one.

Go over there and click on Leon's, Heather's (dooce), and Maddox's sites, all funny for different reasons. They will keep you in stitches.

* sorry for bringing clouds to your otherwise sunny weekends*
I promise to strive for a better balance of stankness and cheer in the future

Sunday, December 02, 2007

The Tests Have Angered The Pain

I kinda noticed it on my way home, mostly because I couldn't walk without wincing or limping, or wanting to take a machete to my own midsection.

But now, at 8:31PM, coupled with the cramps, the pain has tackled me to the ground, wrapped my shoelaces around my throat and whispered in my ear: WE ARE NOT AMUSED.

There goes my goodnight sleep...

*smooches...afraid of my own body*
wish I hadn't thrown out that Aleve last spring...

The Jaded NYer Goes To The Lab

After the Friday date from hell, and hibernating in my apartment with Rory and Lorelai and the residents of Stars Hollow all of Saturday, I actually left my apartment on Sunday to get my doctor-prescribed lab tests taken and out of the way. Even though my period appeared bright and early and right on schedule. (A bunch of people just read that last line and light bulbs lit up like the tree at Rockefeller Center.) And even though the goddamned first snow of the season had fallen while I slept an angry and bitter sleep on my couch.

So I trekked out in the -2,000 degree weather up 13th Street to the Qwest Diagnostics lab located in the Rite-Aid on 51st to get my blood drawn and have my urine tested. First of all, it's Sunday. In Boro Park. For those of you NOT from NYC, that means that the streets were drowning in Hassidic Jews. They roll like 14-deep, and H-shem help you if you get caught on the sidewalk with grandma and her 30 grandchildren- 4 in the double stroller and the rest ranging in age from 0-25, all walking instep with one another like soldiers in Moishe's Army. And they were all staring at me like some harlot from the New Testament in my JEANS and my HAIR ALL OUT for the world to see.

Second of all, at the lab, I was expected to pour my own urine into the test tube. As in I pee in the cup and then pour the pee in the tube. Myself. Now, I was a good chemistry student so I was able to do all this and not spill a drop or ruin the sterility of the test tube, but how do the lab people know that? See, this is why I don't deal with this shit- incompetence!

And when I was done, the lab guy was gone, off taking care of someone else, so I'm there holding onto my tube like an idiot. "Just leave it on the counter," he said. Just like that. Just leave it on the counter? Can you please label it and then put it in the bag with the other tubes, please, asshole? Or is expecting you to do your motherfucking job too much to ask on a Sunday-fucking-afternoon?

When that thought came into my head, I decided, "That's it. I'm done with humans." Let's face it folks- I'm a loner. I've always thought so but never said it aloud. I mean I have a decent amount of friends and I love them to death, but when it comes down to it, nothing beats being by myself. No man is an island? The person who said that was a low self-esteem having attention whore...I mean, I'm not really sure how many more people I'll have to deal with before I lose my shit all together, acquire a firearm from one of my shady Penzo cousins, and just take out all of Church Avenue.

In other news, why did I see a little Mexican boy, no older than 7, shoveling his front walk? I'm all for giving kids responsibilities and shit but DAMN! You should have seen this poor little boy shoveling his little heart out. I all but called child protective services. But then I figured they were probably illegals, and I mean, I was upset but I didn't want to get anyone deported. And I guess his parents were just being proactive and preparing him for his lot in life.

Finally, I decided to drown my sorrows in the only movie cynical enough to actually make me believe I could still find love in NYC, The Goodbye Girl, and 1,095 calories and over 2100 milligrams of sodium, otherwise known as the three-piece chicken strip meal from McDonald's, with an orange drink and Buffalo dipping sauce. A heart attack never tasted so good...

*smooches...longing for last January's optimism and good cheer*
I'm so grumpy right now that the next person who even dreams about looking at me sideways is getting punched in the face, no questions asked, just straight knocked the fuck this what depression feels like?

Saturday, December 01, 2007

We Never Asked You To Be Punk Bitches...

Lately I've been disappointed with the men I've been meeting. And 90% of the time it's because I feel like The Man in the relationship. Not that I'm trying to set Feminism back 30 years or anything, and no, I don't want a guy to pull out my chair or open the car door or bring me flowers and candy and say things like, "No wife of mine is going to get a job," but it would be nice if men would just be MEN.

Like, make a plan for the evening and follow through. Don't make a plan and then at the last minute say, "eh, I'm not feeling it" and then leave it up to me, ME- the person who took THIRTEEN YEARS to decide that maybe my ex wasn't the one for me- to make a final decision on alternate plans.

Don't be wishy-washy, either. I don't respect wishy-washy. You know what you want, right? Then fucking say so. Be a fucking man and fucking say so. Then I can decide if it's what I want and let you know my answer.

And know that I say what I mean. Maybe other women you've encountered are different, but if I say: I'm a busy person and therefore do not make any commitments, believe that to be true. DO NOT be all demanding of my time like a little bitch. And for chrissake don't BEG!!

I don't like to be chased- call me crazy but that makes me want to get a restraining order- and I certainly don't chase anyone either. What I want is to hear what you want: "I'd like to see you," or "Let's just be f*** buddies" or even "I'm seeing like 12 other females right now, so I'll call you in about a month, okay?" I can respect that 100%.

And in turn I will tell you what I want: "no I can't see you this week; I'm busy" or "I'm not in the mood to go out, I'll catch up with you next week" or even "I'm annoyed with my hair and it has put me in a funk so I shouldn't really be around people right now."

And none of these have anything to do with whether or not I like you, okay, because you know why? I MEAN WHAT I FUCKING SAY!!

Now, I realize this post has gone off on a tangent and I'm ranting and quite possibly throwing an E-tantrum, so I will stop here, and instead of going on and on about what PUNK BITCHES reside in NYC proper and it's surrounding counties, I will post part of a cute/funny/semi-true article/list I read in Men's Health. Yeah, I read Men's Health. You got a problem with that?

From, "50 Things She Wishes You Knew" by Lisa Jones. I've only posted the ones I agree with:

1. Saying "I love you" immediately before, during, or following sex doesn't count.

3. I will leave if you lie.

6. I love it when you hug me from behind and whisper in my ear.

10. I get turned on simply seeing that I have an e-mail from you.

11. I expect you to call me.

12. Only rock stars are allowed to wear leather pants.

13. I'm scared of losing my independence.

14. I'm more forgiving of you than I really should be.

23. You should never tell me what to do.

24. If I slept over, you owe me breakfast.

25. My breasts love much licking and sucking.

26. If you ask me out directly, I will say yes.

28. I'm unimpressed with a man who doesn't take the lead.

31. Women get urinary-tract infections easily, so watch (and wash) your fingers.

33. You're sexy when you're shaving, fixing things, wearing a white T-shirt and jeans, driving, eating a peach, holding a baby.

34. I need to hear how you feel about me. Often. Tell me now.

36. I want to be the best thing that ever happened to you--and for you to recognize this.

41. I love it when you're sweaty.

44. I like porn.

46. Even nice girls like hushed dirty talk in public.

47. It's cheating as soon as you're doing something with her that you wouldn't want me to see, hear, read...

48. For the record: I'd rather you break up with me than cheat.

Click here for the complete list/article.

Click here for the list of things men want us ladies to know.

*smooches...busy building up that wall again*
maybe I should look into getting some cats, that way when I'm an old spinster I can at least be the crazy old lady down the street with all the cats...