Friday, February 29, 2008

ELEVEN Planets? Really?

Dude- where have I been?

Apparently there are eleven, not nine, planets in our solar system= eight regular planets and three dwarf planets: Ceres, Eris and a demoted Pluto. When was somebody going to let me know?

Geez- you stop reading the science section of the Times for five years and all of a sudden your knowledge is outdated!

*smooches...thinking I should log onto and get the full skinny on these dwarf planets*
Willkommen, Ceres and Eris!

Nerd, Jr.

Conversation with N this morning:

N: I like Fridays for two reasons- today we have science, and then we have pizza for lunch.

Me: Ah...nothing beats pizza and science...

N: I know!

*smooches...a little more relaxed today*
it's like that girl knows when I'm feeling shitty and knows the perfect thing to say to make me smile!

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Just Like Grandma Used To Make...

Conversation with K last night at the Dominican restaurant we ate at in celebration of Independence Day:

K: This chicken is good but a little over-seasoned.
Me: Let me taste...


Me: Oh, it's not over-seasoned. They just cooked it in the fish grease. It's fine.

*smooches...mad that our waitress was Mexican...*
and the morir soñandos? eh- I've had better!

Operation Bikini Body, Day 42: Moving Backwards

I have not worked out in ages. My eating is out of control. I look like I'm 3 months pregnant. I'm not getting any sleep.

I'm sure I've gained back everything I've lost and then some. And frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn.

Well, that's not 100% true, but my motivation level has deteriorated drastically in the last few weeks, partly because of my health and my job/financial situation, but mostly because I'm at an emotional low right now. And my only defense mechanism against the lows is food and mindless entertainment.

Which means I've become re-acquainted with the take-out places in my neighborhood (oh, how they've missed me) and I've been planting myself in front of my computer watching bootleg movies online until the wee hours of the night.

I see myself going to that bad place, you know, and it's like watching a movie. I yell at the screen, "Get up you lazy fuck! Wash the dishes! File your papers! FINISH YOUR FUCKING THESIS!" But the character on the "screen" doesn't hear me.

And of course my mind is working overtime with the five trillion worries I have right now, and my to-do list looks like the census report for Calcutta. Remember that movie Multiplicity? Yeah, I need like 5 more Jaded NYers to finish all the shit I have on my plate. Normally, I'm all for multi-tasking and overachieving and all that good stuff, but this is ridiculous.

I wonder at which point I will finally admit that it's all just too much, throw in the towel and cry, "No mas"?

*smooches...not really psyched about my birthday anymore*
it's not like Puerto Rico is going anywhere...there's always next year...

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

"...Try And Love One Another Right Now..."

from the DR news wire:

Border situation becoming dicey

The Dominican Armed Forces is stationing more troops on the Haitian/Dominican border due to an increase in tensions between the two countries. The heightened tensions come after a Dominican businessman, Teofilo Reyes de Aza, was seized by alleged drug traffickers while on a business trip to Haiti. According to initial reports, Reyes de Aza, a resident of Villa Gonzalez, was kidnapped while doing business in the northern Haitian city of Cap-Haitien.

The ongoing tit for tat hi-jinx at the border has included the cross-border theft of cattle and vigilante justice by citizens on both sides of the border. Army Chief Antonio Campusano told Listin Diario that more soldiers have been sent to the border with Haiti to reinforce the existing military presence, in order to prevent further violent confrontations between Dominicans and Haitians.

Hermanos, frères, please!! Can't we stop this nonsensical violence already?? How can Hispaniola ever come out from under and progress as a nation if you can't even cut out the in-fighting??

*smooches...on a mission to bring peace a mi isla*
there has to be a way to reach me out here, folks!

Feliz Dia De La Independencia, Hermanos!!!

Today is Dominican Independence day, the day Juan Pablo Duarte 'n dem told Haiti to fuck off and leave us be already! I mean, true, 20 years later we were re-colonized by Spain (thanks a lot, Pedro Santana, you punk!), but eventually we got our shit toge... Oh who am I kidding! Politics on that god-forsaken Island is a hot ghetto mess!!

Happy Independence Day,'s a bit of a history lesson for you. (NOTE: I forgot what site I got this from but it WASN'T Wikipedia so it's most likely a TRUE account LOL.)

The Dominican Republic was explored by Columbus on his first voyage in 1492. He named it La Española, and his son, Diego, was its first viceroy. The capital, Santo Domingo, founded in 1496, is the oldest European settlement in the Western Hemisphere.

Spain ceded the colony to France in 1795, and Haitian blacks under Toussaint L'Ouverture conquered it in 1801. In 1808 the people revolted and captured Santo Domingo the next year, setting up the first republic. Spain regained title to the colony in 1814. In 1821 Spanish rule was overthrown, but in 1822 the colony was reconquered by the Haitians. In 1844 the Haitians were thrown out, and the Dominican Republic was established, headed by Pedro Santana. Uprisings and Haitian attacks led Santana to make the country a province of Spain from 1861 to 1865.

President Buenaventura Báez, faced with an economy in shambles, attempted to have the country annexed to the U.S. in 1870, but the U.S. Senate refused to ratify a treaty of annexation. Disorder continued until the dictatorship of Ulíses Heureaux; in 1916, when chaos broke out again, the U.S. sent in a contingent of marines, who remained until 1924.

A sergeant in the Dominican army trained by the marines, Rafaél Leonides Trujillo Molina, overthrew Horacio Vásquez in 1930 and established a dictatorship that lasted until his assassination in 1961, 31 years later. In 1962, Juan Bosch of the leftist Dominican Revolutionary Party, became the first democratically elected president in four decades.

In 1963, a military coup ousted Bosch and installed a civilian triumvirate. Leftists rebelled against the new regime in April 1965, and U.S. president Lyndon Johnson sent in marines and troops. After a cease-fire in May, a compromise installed Hector Garcia-Godoy as provisional president. In 1966, right-wing candidate Joaquin Balaguer won in free elections against Bosch, and U.S. and other foreign troops withdrew.

In 1978 the army suspended the counting of ballots when Balaguer trailed in a fourth-term bid. After a warning from President Jimmy Carter, however, Balaguer accepted the victory of Antonio Guzmán of the Dominican Revolutionary Party. In 1982 elections, Salvador Jorge Blanco of the Dominican Revolutionary Party defeated Balaguer and Bosch. Balaguer was again elected president in May 1986 and remained in office for the next ten years.

In 1996, U.S.-raised Leonel Fernández secured more than 51% of the vote through an alliance with Balaguer. The first item on the president's agenda was the partial sale of some state-owned enterprises. Fernández was praised for ending decades of isolationism and improving ties with other Caribbean countries, but he was criticized for not fighting corruption or alleviating the poverty that affects 60% of the population.

In Aug. 2000 the center-left Hipólito Mejía was elected president amid popular discontent over power outages in the recently privatized electric industry, but in May 2004 presidential elections he was defeated by former president Leonel Fernández (1996–2000). Fernández instituted austerity measures to rescue the country from its economic crisis, and in the first half of 2006, the economy grew 11.7%.

*besos...orgullosa aunque mi gente sean unos locos viejos!*
feel free to send gifts and throw me a is always acceptable...

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Cuba, The Sequel??

Someone please school me on what has crawled up Hugo Chavez's ass and died? Everything I've read about him paints the Venezuelan prez as a Castro wannabe.

His latest antics include allegedly shutting down an Alejandro Sanz concert in Venezuela. Sanz recently spoke out about Chavez's attempt to block a recall referendum against his presidency, and is now, apparently, paying the price.

BUT- Chavez had better watch out! Sanz has some big star power supporting him. A petition, submitted to the Venezuelan government by Sanz's publicist has been signed by Shakira (who collaborated with Sanz on a few tunes), Penelope Cruz, Ricky Martin, Jennifer Lopez, and even British hottie David Beckham!
I wonder if supermodel/phone-thrower Naomi Campbell, who's been recently tied to Chavez romantically (BLECH!!), has been asked to sign the petition?? didn't hear this from me, but that pic of Hugo with Fidel looks Photoshopped...I'm just sayin'...

*smooches...hoping this isn't the beginning of catastrophe in Caracas*
how long has this dude been in power? dammit! now I have to go and research this mo-fo...

Monday, February 25, 2008

A Bit Of Housekeeping

Hello Readers,

Just wanted to discuss the happenings over here at Jaded NYer Communications, Inc, and bring a few things to your attention.

1. I will soon be incorporating that name, so please please please don't steal it. If you love me, you won't steal it. If you don't want to die a horrible death at the hands of my local santero, don't steal it. That said, can anyone offer help, advise, etc on how to get that done quickly and in the least expensive fashion possible? Thanks!

2. From time to time, I may use this blog to vent and decide that I don't give a rat's ass what your opinions are on my vent. So I will most likely disable the comments. Don't take it personally; you know how temperamental us artists are...and you know I love you like Clinton likes getting blow jobs!

3. There's a cool new feature that Google is offering that I'm testing out... see that "Call Me" button? Well, it's so that you can CALL ME! Isn't that cool? What you do is click the button and type in your number (there is an option to keep your digits private). You will get a call on your phone from my answering service where you can leave me a voicemail. Coolness or WHAT???

Obviously this is just for people who don't have my actual phone number (i.e. Mari- don't use this feature just to annoy me, please!), or for people who'd rather leave a VOICE COMMENT. I can download the message and post it (with your permission, of course)!!!

I'm in love with Google...

4. I may go a couple of days without posting from time to time without notice over the next few weeks while I take care of some stuff on the home front. But I expect to go back to full-posting-mode by mid-March/early April.

5. I'd love to know what y'all think of my lil Jaded logo- hot or not? And before you answer that know that I designed it myself from blood, sweat and tears because I have a piece of shit Dell computer that doesn't respond well to having the shit kicked out of it. Yes, that lil bitty logo took blood, sweat and tears...that's what happens when you have a Dell...

*smooches...proud owner of my very own domain name...did you notice it?*
I wonder if this is what the Jefferson's felt like??

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Girls' Night, 2.23.08

Even though I'm in the middle of a pretty bad mental, emotional and spiritual downward spiral, I agreed to meet Lani at her friend Kelly's apartment for girls' night.

At first I was really not into it- I was sick, I'd been crying all afternoon and Lady Estrogen was due in the next couple of days- but when I sent Lani a text saying that I was bailing, she sent me a text so full of guilt that any Jewish grandmother would have given her the thumbs up on it:

Lani: You're messed up...Kelly wanted to meet you. She's the one I told you that reads your blog every day.

How am I supposed to say no to that? So I went. I didn't bother to comb my hair- just placed a bandanna over the dreadlocks I had forming on my head- but I made sure to wear the cleanest clothes from my hamper and deodorant. I even added a lil blush to my cheeks AND some mascara to my lashes. They really should be honored- I don't do that for just anyone!

So after the cab ride from hell, I finally made it. I shoveled some taquitos and grilled shrimp into my mouth and downed three margaritas. I dished with the girls, dogged some men and listened with awe as Kelly commented that she owns nearly 1200 books. AND AND- I had a Jell-O shot; my first since college!

I do regret that I was too much in my own head to remember anyone else's name (SORRY!) but I did have a lot of fun.

I especially enjoyed making fun of Heath and the Olsens with you ladies, prepping one gal for her dreaded brunch with her new stalker, and am seriously considering that invite to another gal's place on Saturday to help myself to the unopened booze, food and tea lights she won't be taking with her to South Carolina.

I suppose, in the end, even with the cab ride from hell, it beats a night of crying and watching Gone With The Wind. I'm saving that for this afternoon.

*smooches...glad to be back in my flannel PJs*
ladies, it was my pleasure...hope to see you again soon.

An Open Letter To USA Express Car Service

Dear Cab Driver(s),

Hi. And welcome to America. I'd like to teach you a popular American phrase that you might want to get acquainted with:

"Three strikes and you're out"

Normally this phrase is used in reference to a popular American sport by the name of baseball-- you might have heard of it in whatever sand dune you just crawled out of to come here. But sometimes it's used to describe a situation where one person has given another more than enough chances to prove their worthiness, loyalty, friendship, competence, etc, and it just didn't work out.

As is the case here.

Usually when I travel throughout the city, I will opt to take the train or walk to my destinations, but on the rarest of rare occasions, I recognize that I live in an area with limited public transportation options and that it would be easier and faster to take a cab. Unfortunately you have proven me wrong time and again. So I am officially done with you for the following reasons:

First, last Thanksgiving, when I was trying to get to THROOP Avenue between Van Buren and Greene, you took me to Winthrop Avenue and then had the nerve to ask me, "Wait- you said Throop?"

Yes, muthafucka. I said Throop.

Then two Saturdays ago, EVEN WITH THE GPS SYSTEM IN YOUR CAR, you drove in the wrong direction as I tried to take N to her friend's birthday party in Carroll Gardens. I mean the damn machine both shows and tells you where to go in a clear voice and with bright colors. How did you mess that up? My understanding is that in order for a GPS system to work properly, you have to actually LISTEN TO IT...correct me if I'm wrong...

And now last night.

Granted Lani did give me the wrong cross streets; I will own up to that. But, when I showed up to the dispatch office and asked to be taken to Lefferts between Rogers and Bedford, you, as a PROFESSIONAL DRIVER whose job it is to know the city and how to get around it, should have known how to get there, because even though the address was actually between Bedford and Washington, Lefferts still exists between Bedford and Rogers. You should not have taken me to Williamsburg. Your first clue that this address was NOT in Williamsburg is the fact that Rogers Avenue ENDED before we even got to Bed-Stuy.

And you asking me how to get there was more than frustrating. Excuse me if I'm being naive, but is it really too much to ask for you to know how to do your job?

AND you and your dispatcher telling me that the directions I finally got from the person whose home it was was wrong because Lefferts was down by Atlantic Avenue did not help my mood. Nor was your suggestion that perhaps I was looking for the Lefferts over by Jamaica. Queens.

I know when I left your cab two blocks before my actual destination without leaving you a tip, you must have talked much shit about me and decided that the rumor that black people don't tip is in fact a reality, but frankly, you were a terrible cab driver. And your dispatcher was a moron. And telling me that he was new on the job and that you had only been in the country three months did not do anything to calm the urge I had to stab you in the neck and take the bus home.

Lucky for both of us, Jack was on the phone with me diffusing the whole situation. Otherwise we would've both ended up a statistic.

This letter serves to officially terminate our professional relationship. I mean, I don't know, maybe it's my fault for thinking I could sit back and text my friends while in the cab instead of being your navigator. Maybe it's me. Either way, from now on, I'm using the Mexicans over on Church and Chester. At the very least I will be able to communicate with them in both languages, and hopefully they've been in this country, state, city, borough for at least a year.


The Jaded NYer

*smooches...thinking that sign over by Ellis Island needs to come down already*
PS- that crazy attempt you made to slip me your card with my change was laughable, but sorry if I hurt your feelings when I told you so...

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Tears Of A Clown

A little bit ago, Lani posted a blog about how she was the type of person to always put on a happy face, no matter how shitty she was feeling, and it reminded me of why the two of us were able to pick up our friendship from where we left off after being separated for years and years.

We're so alike.

I guess I should preface the rest of this blog with three facts so that you all don't worry and think I'm in trouble (I'm nothing if not self-aware):

1. I quit therapy.
2. It's PMS Week.
3. I'm dealing with a health issue right now that I'd rather not get into but really has me down.

Now on with the show.

I've often wondered if I'm maybe an undiagnosed manic depressive, ever since my teen years when I heard that Hendrix song. Wouldn't that just explain so much?

Sometimes I'm high, just cooning it up for all it's worth, writing like my life depended on it, ideas just pouring out of me from everywhere. And all's good with the world. Then, all of a sudden, at the drop of a dime, I'm crying and I can't stop, or bringing the definitions of "sloth" and "procrastination" to new heights.

Sometimes there's a trigger- like, I'll pass by the little card I got from grandma's funeral and see her picture and lose it, or I'll hear a song that reminds me of Bed-Stuy circa 1990 and I'll miss what my family used to be and it takes everything I have to actually get up and face the day.

But sometimes I could just be in the shower and start thinking things- not bad things, just things I have to do, have done, want to do, who I've become, all that mess- and my mind will go off on tangents so crazy and vast that I get overwhelmed and I can't breathe. I mean, really, who goes short of breath from thinking?!?!

And it feels weak. It is weak. And there's no room for weakness, right? So I just force myself to answer the phone, go out with friends, play with my kids, work, breathe, eat, live. I try and trick myself into believing that losing my faith all those years ago didn't break my heart. That not having a father is no big deal, and most certainly didn't affect my way of interacting with men today. That everything will be alright and that I'm in total control...

...I almost went to confession today at my local parish. I only got as far as my computer. Because frankly, even in my lowest of lows, I still firmly believe that asking for help, even from God, is for suckers.

* desperate need of some old school metal right about now*
or maybe I'll just look at that pic of Jack wearing G's shoes...that always makes me laugh...(thanks, love!!)

Friday, February 22, 2008

It's SNOW, Bitches!

Days like this I kind of love nature, but just really really really wish I worked from home:

* from a winter wonderland*
but, um, quietly, when is it going to stop?

They Don't Have Bowling Alleys In The Hood

Last night I did the unthinkable- I let my girl Celia talk me into meeting her at Bowlmor in the City. To bowl.

I know, right?

The number of times I've actually donned those hideous (but comfy) shoes can be counted on the hand of someone missing a few fingers. Because Dominicans don't bowl. Seriously, look around the next time you go bowling and I dare you to find a Dominican!

But hey, I'm a good sport, I know how to laugh at myself, and I love my friends. So I went. And documented it all for you, of course!!

Before all the (embarrassing) fun began, I had beer, food and conversation at Bowlmor with Lani and her guy, who decided that our girly non-carnivorous food orders were beneath him and "borrowed" a burger from a nearby party.

I'd have been ravenous, too, after that heated "discussion" he had with Lani about whether or not Middle America is ready to vote Obama into the White House. They both, however, agreed that Hillary is that horrible "C" word that I'd rather not use on my site. And I suppose its that bond that allows them to fight like that and then go home and tear each other's clothes off. You can tell by the way his hand is "accidentally" on her boob in this pic:

After those crazy kids took off, I met up with Celia and her posse, and it was time to get our bowl on.

We were pumped and ready to go

And although RIGHT OUT OF THE BOX I scored a big fat ZERO, the other ladies gave the guys a run for their money.

And it was important that at least the other chicas were doing something in the lane

because these smug bastards:

...kept talking trash! I do believe I heard Elena's boyfriend say, "Oh no, even Celia is beating me!" He's lucky he didn't say that mess in the ghetto... people get cut for that mess!

And please don't be fooled by Elena's pose:

She barely beat me out, more proof that black folk just DON'T BOWL. And I'm convinced she only scored higher than me because she's half white. I'm just sayin'...

In the end, Lia managed to score the only strike of the evening (take THAT fellas!), and I, at least, managed to bowl my age.

But in my defense, we all agreed that the lane was warped or fixed or cursed! No, REALLY!!

*smooches...thinking that maybe bowling isn't that bad after all*
next time, however, I'm going to need a lot more beer...

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Wearing My Nerd On My Sleeve

K called me last night to remind me about the Lunar Eclipse, which I was so so excited about to the point that I actually hung out my window in sub-zero weather to take these pictures:

This one I took as I was slipping off the window ledge and falling off the bed...

Dude, the moon ROCKS!!!

*smooches...nerdy and proud!*
seriously, though, that sh*t was cool as all hell! There won't be another one visible from NYC for two years...I feel so honored to have seen this one!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Only My Friends...

...would forward me an email containing this image:

And that's why I love them so!

*smooches...still laughing at a 10-yr-old joke*
where is Monica today? Inquiring minds want to know...

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

The Tattle-Tale And The Copy Cat

The two kids I hated in school.

This is who Hillary and Barack have become.

I really can't bring myself to vote for either one...

*smooches...considering sitting this one out*
politics is such bullshit; I don't know if I can be a part of it all!

An Oasis In The City

I love Whole Foods. Especially the one on 2nd Avenue and Houston (pronounced "how-stun").

It has everything one could ever need: fresh food, a place to work, a place to chill, a supermarket, a "drug" store of sorts- everything!! I literally could live in there if they let me, but I hear that it is frowned upon.

PLUS- I get so much work done there!

As opposed to working in my apartment, which usually consists of me putting on "concerts" for my sofa (I can sing the hell out of Alicia Keys' "Wreckless Love" when no one is around), ordering spicy Thai food (mmmmm...curry puffs...) and watching bootleg movies online, then getting mad because I didn't get any work done.

I swear- unless someone is watching me I just goof off! I'm like a 13-year-old boy or something!

But there's something about Whole Foods that just helps me focus, and before I know it, all my work is finito!

*smooches...THIS CLOSE to getting a job application at Whole Foods*
and I'd like to thank Deborah for taking me to my first Whole Foods while we were doing a residency in Madison. It has totally changed my life! No, really!!

Can Y'all Shut Up For A Minute?

Now that my kids are gone (thank you NYC Public Schools and your mishuginah Presidents' Week/Mid-winter Recess) it's too quiet in my apartment. And you know what that means- The Voices are back.

Monday they were bitchin about the mean Ruskie that did our sonogram and then gave us a guilt trip because she had to work late. Oh yeah, and they were scaring me shitless with all the horrible things they are imagining is wrong with my right ovary. "I bet you they have to cut her open," I heard one say. "My money's on removal of that mo-fo, watch," said another. Then there's that one bitchy Voice that always has to think (and say) the worst, and she's all, "Cancer. I bet it's cancer." I hate her.

Some of them were also bitching about the S.W.A.T. dudes posted by Rockefeller Center...with assault rifles and full riot gear. "What the FUCK," I heard one Voice say. "Can't we even ice skate without being reminded of 9/11 in this bitch?" And she's right- What The Fuck? Why do we need assault rifles over by Radio City? Who the fuck is gonna come after the Rockettes?

Sunday a bunch of Voices were all mad because we slept until 5:30. PM. "We had all this shit we needed to do," they whined, "but little miss sleepy-head over here..." and I could feel them all giving me the side eye.

On Saturday the Voices were quiet during the day because someone else's Voice was being much louder- We were at Whole Foods trying to get some work done, but CRAZY (see photo) was all loud about some dude named John who stole her eggs eight years ago and now the kids are full-grown, and that he has the FUCKING NERVE to tell her she can't be their mom but she can be their nanny. AND he also has some damn nerve to be fucking Lucille and Teresa behind her back!! Bastard!

But, she kept reminding John that she doesn't want a family. They don't give her the "warm fuzzies" (her words, not mine), and oh yeah, she doesn't want to smoke crack anymore. And mind you, she's having this conversation by herself. I was the lucky audience to her rant because the couch next to her was the only one available near an outlet for my laptop.

It was like I was witnessing my future...

Saturday night, however, the hills were alive with the sound of Voices again as I took in a show at Southpaw with Lani (where some Joe Pesci look-a-like tried to pick us up) and then back to good ole Reiss for beer and conversation. It was great to see Lani again (you'd think she lived in another state; we see each other so rarely and she's like 10 minutes away by car!!) but we (me and the Voices) were a bit agitated by a) the weird short dude with the Lazy Eye who really thought he was the shit and b) Lani's man grilling us about who we're (not) dating.

Um, HELLO, McFLY?!?! I'm SOLO!! As in I come home to an empty bed every night. Thanks soooooooooo much for bringing it up in front of everyone at the bar, and for reminding the Voices of what a loser I am. They kept harping on it ALL NIGHT and it was all I could do to shut them up and make them go to sleep!!!

*smooches...not really enjoying my alone time as much as I thought I would*
but I did get to see The Kite Runner, Juno, and kick ass episodes of Lost, Degrassi TNG and Girlfriends. So it wasn't all bad!

He's Still Alive? Well Color Me Shocked...

Is it just me, or has anyone wondered if Fidel Castro is even still breathing right now? According to Yahoo News, he just resigned as "president" of Cuba, leaving his brother Raul in charge. But has anyone really seen Fidel lately? All of his messages have been via video tape or a written release...Hmph! That's mad shady!!

And what will this exchange of power mean for Cuba? Will I finally be able to visit the island without having to execute a covert operation??

Oh- and stupid-ass President Bush was all like, [insert mocking voice here] "I hope the people of Cuba will soon know the blessings of freedom..." blah blah blah you moron. Just shut the fuck up!! Every time you speak you embarrass us!

* wondering- Puerto Rico or Cuba in May?*
can you imagine the rip-roaring good times I could have in Cuba?? They'd better never lift that embargo or I might lose my damn mind...

Friday, February 15, 2008

I Defer To You, Ms. Universe

How does that joke go: If you want to make god laugh, make plans for tomorrow? Yeah, well god is having a rip-roaring HI-larious time today for sure, because my much anticipated trip out of NYC was brought to a screeching halt.

There were signs here and there that it wasn't going to happen, but I tried to ignore it; didn't want to face facts and all. Because I'm hard-headed like that and tend to throw tantrums when things don't go my way.

First, taking the cheaper bus into Boston was out, but I pushed some money around and took on an extra assignment this week and was set to pay the extra fare required to go directly into Springfield.

Then N had a birthday party in BK on Saturday. I originally had coverage for that but then she bailed (*gives Minnie the side-eye*) and my ex was unable to make so many trips back and forth into the city. But then we found a back-up plan, so I thought it was all good.

Then my hostess comes down with whatever it was I had last week; I could hear in her voice that she was on her deathbed. I still wanted to party but let's be honest- if she sounded like the walking dead on Thursday, there was no way she'd be 100% by Saturday. And I need her healthy for Puerto Rico so I figured MA was out, maybe I'd go south and visit my baby sis.

Only Mari already had company whom I suppose is all of a sudden more important than me, so DC was out as well. My out-of-town-ness was looking bleak.

THEN- LANI TO THE RESCUE! She suggests Montreal, which I get super excited about because I haven't been to Canada since that time I... um, well lets just say I haven't been to Canada in a while, and it was about time I made a reappearance. And THIS TIME, I have a passport, so there would be no repeat of that nasty border issue...

BUT THEN the Universe said, "HA! You ain't going no-where, child. Check your bank account..." And when I did, I swear I think I heard crickets. I forgot about that hefty Verizon bill that was being paid out directly, added to the hefty hefty hefty student loan bills (did I mention they were HEFTY??) coming due on the 20th, and well, I guess I'm stuck here for the long weekend. Again.

Me and the stupid crickets.

*smooches...sick and tired of my four walls*
for the next few days I will be the newest resident of Stankonia, so you might want to tread lightly around me...I plan to take my frustrations out on the Precor machines at Bally's...

Thursday, February 14, 2008

The Jaded NYer Goes To The Doctor, Pt.3

It's inevitable... the dreaded visit to the OB/GYN. A necessary evil, or so I am told.

Well, I'm going tonight. A new doctor, so I expect to be sitting there, having to dish on my entire medical and sexual history (YIKES!).

And then... the stirrups, the speculum, the breast exam, and of course, the subsequent sonogram when I fess up about the pain in my side. You know, the one I've been ignoring for damn near three years. I can't WAIT to see her reaction on that!

My last doc was a sweetie; she was the one who delivered N all those years ago, and I actually miss her. Why oh why did she move her practice to Rockland County? WHY?

Dr. Solomon!! Why hath thou abandoned me?!?!?!

I'm rambling, I know. It's because I'm scared. Doctors make me so anxious... I need fries!!!

*smooches...thinking of skipping the entire thing*
I mean really, do I HAVE TO GO???

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Today, I'm One Of Them

I just realized that I have way too many gigs for one person. Something's gotta give!

*smooches...missing the TV shows of yore*
seriously though, I hope I don't work myself into an early grave!

The Best...

...threats to keep your kids in line.

A lot of you don't have kids. One or two of you have very young kids. Heck, some might even have some grown ass kids. Trust when I say that no matter the age of your kids, you *always* have the ability to put the fear of god in them.

And if you are child-less... I hate you! (just kidding... but not really...)
A few things you should note before using my tips, however:

1. It's best to start early. It might be too late for some as your kids may be older and set in their bad-ass ways, but the fact is the only way to keep kids in line is to show them who's boss from day one.

2. I only have about 24 years of experience dealing with kids, so I'm not an expert expert, but I've never had a kid act a fool at the Wal-Mart, so you might want to pay attention.

3. It helps to be a little crazy (or in my case, a lot) and have your kid(s) know this to be true

4. Be prepared to follow through and stick to your guns; kids can smell fear and like to see what they can get away with on a daily basis.

And now, the threats...

>>For when they're making a ruckus and you ain't tryn' to hear it-

"If you don't cut out that noise, I'm gonna cut out your tongue and feed it to you!"

>>For when they're fighting over some random ish-

"Fight it out; whoever is left standing can have [insert what they were fighting for] and seconds at dinner."

>>For when they question your authority-

"You musta forgot who you're dealing with..." [note: this threat needs to be followed by the grabbing of the belt, slipper, switch, etc]

OR my personal favorite, "If you don't like it, get the f*ck out! Peace!" [and put up the peace sign as you leave the room]

>>For when they don't want to get their hair combed (can work for both sexes)-

"No? Really? Well then let's just shave it off!" [and reach for the scissors/clippers]

>>For blatant disregard of the rules and/or all-out tantrums-

"You might want to start calling 9-1-1 now..." [as you go medieval on that ass...]

After a few episodes, your kid(s) will catch on and start acting right, you'll see. Otherwise, just call me... I'll straighten them out...

*smooches...proud mother of two kids who know better and act as such*
I should really teach a class on discipline...I'm at the point where I hardly need these threats anymore- one look from "crazy mommy" is all they need to cut out the bullsh*t.

The Good And The Bad Dominicanos

Random news from the motherland...

Horford: Athlete of the Year
The Dominican Sportswriters Association (ACD) has named Atlanta Hawks basketball star Al Horford as this year's basketball athlete of the year. The award comes as no surprise to fans who have watched Dominican-born Horford develop into a great talent on the NBA's hardwood.

Horford, who is the Hawks leading rebounder with nine boards per, was also named to the NBA's all- rookie team for next week's All-Star festivities. Horford was very appreciative of his award and said he hopes to play for the Dominican national team in international competitions.

Other athletes of the year include Placido Polanco, Mendy Lopez and Heriberto Rosario in baseball, Joan Guzman and Argenis Nunez in boxing, Wendys Cruz in cycling, Jhonatan Fana in soccer, Santo Rivera and Yudelkis Contreras in weightlifting and Angelo Mota and Sulmira Brea in wrestling.

Poultry producers on warpath
Dominican poultry producers have announced that they will be holding more dramatic protests to draw attention to their plight as a result of Haiti's import ban on chicken and eggs. The president of the Moca and Licey Poultry Producers Association, Ambiorix Cabrera, announced a march on the Presidential Palace on 13 March unless the government steps in and purchases the resulting surplus of poultry and eggs. The producers rejected the price offered by the government as a "bad joke" and said that if the government does not come up with a better offer, they will march on the Presidential Palace on the 13th. If that does not work, the poultry farmers will try to shut down Moca and Licey on 20 March.

The difference between what the producers want and what the government is offering is not more than one peso per pound. However, the farmers' plight has also brought transport unions into the fray, as well as the Catholic Church. Blas Peralta of the Fenetrado union told reporters from Diario Libre that, "if we have to shut down the ports across the country, we will do it."

US withdraws extradition requests
The United States has withdrawn extradition requests for 19 people who were being sought by the courts for cases involving drug trafficking, robbery and murder, among other crimes. According to a report in El Caribe, the withdrawal comes as a result of changes in the circumstances in the judicial process. The news will be sent to the Penal Chamber of the Supreme Court for final disposition, and so that the arrest warrants for these individuals can be withdrawn.

Another Grammy for Juan Luis
Singer and songwriter Juan Luis Guerra has won yet another Grammy, after a haul of five awards at last November's Latin Grammy Awards ceremony. This time he won the Grammy for the Best Tropical album, "La llave de mi corazon" (The Key to My Heart) during the celebration of the 50th Grammy Awards. This is the second Grammy that Guerra has won as leader of his group 4:40; he won a Grammy for his Bachata Rosa album back in 1991.

*smooches...happy and sad and happy again*
this Haitian chicken ban is getting crazy! when will it end??

Ode To Amoxicillin

What type of fool was I
To scoff at your powers
The one who so selflessly
Brought me back from death
The one who cleared my head
And throat
The one who returned my appetite
Safe and sound
What type of fool was I?

*smooches...very clear on why I DON'T write poetry EVER*
this doesn't mean I like doctors. it just means the antibiotics worked.

Friday, February 08, 2008

Operation Bikini Body: The Supplemental Edition Pt.1

So with the recent weight and 2-inch loss, I decided to get ahead of myself and look up a few swimsuits for my Puerto Rican holiday extraveganza.

And why not? I have every confidence in myself that this year is the year I take my health a lot more serious. Mostly because my mami's current list of illnesses scared the bejeezuz out of me, and partly because I have a 7-year-old that seems to be fueled by Energizer.

Now I know this initiative is called Operation Bikini Body, but when I looked at the suits Victoria's Secret had to offer, I realized:

1- I can't wear that ish! I'm somebody's mami (with the scars to prove it)!!
2- I hate halter tops, and 95% of their separates were halters
3- No matter what I will weigh in May, I'm not going to want to draw attention to myself. A bikini, in Puerto Rico, by a large-breasted Dominicana might just draw unwanted attention my way.

So I looked at these instead:

And then this bikini top IF worn with the proper bottoms and cover up:

What say you?

*smooches...not trying to come back pregnant from Puerto Rico*
right about now, you're all realizing that I'm a bit of a prude when it comes to showing my body. blame the Catholic Church; they did this to me!

Operation Bikini Body, Day 22: Two Inches Thinner

I don't know if it's the improved eating habits or the recent liquid non-diet that was forced upon me, but this morning my navy blue khakis were a little less snug. So I pulled out the measuring tape and *gasp* my waist is two inches smaller.

Go me, Go me, Go me, Go me!!!

As soon as I can get full movement on my neck and not feel fatigued from just getting out of bed (damn germs!!) I'm going to take this gift from the flu gods and run with it- literally! I even found my resistance band and Pilates DVD in my knitting basket (don't ask- I have NO IDEA why it was in there) and plan to start adding in some strength training with my new cardio "regime." And by regime I mean chasing N around the b-ball court yelling, "You're cheating! It's my ball. IT'S MY BALL!!!"

I always used to joke that the best way to lose weight was to go on the "Ultra IV Diet" and what that entails is getting an illness that requires at least 5 days in the hospital and being fed via IV. Trust me, it works! Back in '98 I was hospitalized twice, back to back, and had to be "fed" intravenously, and let me tell you, the pounds just disappeared! None of my clothes fit right and my baby belly was all but gone! I highly recommend it!

But back to reality: I'm happy for this loss, happy that my pants are no longer extra snug, and happy that I'm able to get out of bed without feeling like I just got off that Himalaya ride at (what used to be) Coney Island!

*smooches...Puerto Rico, here I come!!*
and I promise to post a photo of the newly recovered me as soon as I feel better, with hair combed, face washed, color in my cheeks and pep in my step :)

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Hey There Number 57...

...why don't ya come up and see me sometime?

That Johan Santana has just brought sexy back to Queens, and goddammit if I'm not getting a TV and cable service just to watch my boys kick ass this year with this gorgeous new pitcher at the mound.

Oh yeah, I said it; we're going all the way. Even Santana knows it. He said he came on board 'cause he wanted to win the World Series. Damn that's cocky... ME LIKEY!!

Well, Señor Hottie, welcome to New York. If you need a tour of the City, or my bedroom (after I air out all the germs that have settled in there and boil all my sheets), all you need to do is ask!

*smooches...wondering where the hell is April already?!*
although I am afraid of what his super-sized contract will do to ticket prices... $137.50 MILLION dollars? the Mets front office just got JACKED! and guess who will be footing that bill?

"Like Death Warmed Over"

I'm feeling a little better. Not really better better, but I can stand without the room spinning out of control, so I ventured into the bathroom for a much needed shower. Then I went back to bed.

And then N took this photo of me for posterity:

We're calling it, "The Day Mommy Almost Died"

Just imagine what I looked like BEFORE the shower...

*smooches...realizing that the only reason I'm still alive is because the light at the end of the tunnel was making my head hurt*
Thanks so much to the chicken soup (and samosa) fairy who stopped by my apartment and brought me back from the dead... I knew we were friends for a reason!

The End Is Near

I haven't eaten solid foods because I can't swallow. I was laying under three blankets wearing a sweater over two shirts and my flannel jammies with sweat socks and still my body convulsed as if going through crack withdrawal.

My head is all "foggy" and my body hurts from the tip of my toes to that handful of grey hairs on my head. I just looked in the mirror before (BIG MISTAKE!!) and I look whiter than the whitest white person.

And it just took me thirty minutes to type this because I'm using one weak finger to do it.

I went to that stupid muthaf*cking Bengali "doctor" last night, and all he had to say- before snatching my $20 co-pay from my hand and NOT doing a throat culture- was, "gargle with warm salt water, drink plenty of fluids, take Tylenol for the fever and pain, and if it's not better in three days take this antibiotic."

Really, genius? That's your expert medical advice? Stuff I was ALREADY DOING??


* mad that I didn't get that Jewish doctor yet*
I, Raquel Penzo, being of sound mind(?) and body, do hereby make, publish and declare this to be my last will and testament.

To my sister, Mari, I leave all my shoes, even if they are 1/2 a size too big, as I know she wil find good homes for them.

To Jack, I leave all my manuscripts. Finish them as you see fit, and try to get at least ONE story published in The New Yorker.

To Lani, I leave my copy of SCUM Manifesto; every time you read it think of me!

To L, I leave my two Coach bags; I know it's all she wanted.

To my eldest daughter, K, I leave all my other handbags, as well as my Latin American literature and Joshua (my computer).

To my youngest daughter, N, I leave both my manual and electric typewriters, my Calphalon cookware, my scarves, my "Cheers" playing cards and Roscoe (my new cell phone).

Both children are to equally share possession of my extensive DVD and CD collections.

To my mother I leave my beloved couch, Sofia; may you enjoy her soft comfiness for years to come.

To my cousin Minnie I leave Grandma's cast iron pots and my antique desk; take good care of her...she's at least 100 years old and one of her legs is wobbly.

The rest of my estate should be donated to the Salvation Army, and any monies I leave behind should be divided up as such: 80% used to set up trusts for K & N's college educations, and 20% donated equally among the following: Diabetes Research, Brooklyn Tech, Alfred University and Fairleigh Dickinson University.

But, uh, don't worry about a funeral...I've donated my body to science. Just pop open the bottle of Jack Daniel's hidden away in my closet and celebrate the fact that I don't have to go to work tomorrow.

Goodbye, cruel world!!!

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Another Hat In The Ring

Thanks to Brother Omi, I was introduced to Cynthia McKinney, a presidential candidate running(?) on the Green Party ticket. Brother Omi promised I'd like what she had to say, and for the most part I do.

We both see eye to eye on the environment and the war and reproductive rights for women, as well as capital punishment and even corporate globalization issues.

It's just that...well...I had a question on her position on immigration that I need to look into. Plus I don't agree with her drug policy position, and the jury is still out on whether or not I support stem cell research, which McKinney voted for.

And I'm also afraid that voting for her won't count, take away the votes for the Dems, and then give the Republicunts (Lani's word, not mine LOL) the White House and hence, I lose my reproductive rights and our soldiers remain overseas settling a Bush vendetta.

See! This is why I never bothered to vote before! Now I have to think and research and read shit!

And NOW not only does my throat hurt (see previous post) but my head is throbbing, too!!!

To read up on Cindy (yeah, I can call her that if I want to; it's MY blog!), see the link below:

And below, is Cindy's video:

*smooches...wishing we could pick a leader using rock, paper, scissors...*
...then I wouldn't have to do anything!

The Jaded NYer Is Silenced!

Some stupid m-f-ing izm has got a hold of my throat, making it hard to swallow and even speak.

Is the Universe trying to tell me something?

*smooches...admitting defeat in the battle for my health, for once*
and trust me, Universe, I hear you loud and clear. I know why you are punishing me and I've learned my lesson.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Shifty's Turn To Speak

I'm still giving Hillary the side eye for voting with Bush on this war thing, but she kinda made me laugh in this interview with Dave Letterman.

So maybe I can forgive, just not forget. We'll see.

*smooches...afraid that a Clinton/Obama or Obama/Clinton ticket will bring snipers out of the woodwork and at the ready, aiming at grassy knolls everywhere*
I need to STOP watching so many movies

Handouts From Japan And Boycotts In The Border Markets

news from DR:

Japan completes donations
National District Mayor Roberto Salcedo has received 24 garbage compactor vehicles donated to the city by several Japanese municipalities. So far, Japan has donated 30 trucks to help the National District improve its city maintenance and beautification programs. The vehicles, which have the capacity to collect between 2.5 and 5 tons of trash, were donated through the Japanese Diplomatic Promotion Society (SPJD) and will be adaptable to any neighborhood in the city.

The keys for the vehicles were handed over by Kyoto Terada, representing the SPJD. Nobutaka Shinomiya and Kiyoshi Yashimoto from the Japanese International Cooperation Agency were both present at the ceremonies. Although Japan has donated the vehicles, which cost between US$50,000 and RD$60,000, the DR had to contribute RD$16 million towards the trucks.

El Caribe writes that once the vehicles have been used for seven years, Japanese municipalities donate them to developing countries.

Bi-national boycott causes a stir
El Caribe writes that Dominican chicken and egg producers are losing RD$5 million on a daily basis since Haiti imposed a ban on Dominican chicken and egg imports. The prolonged Haitian ban has led to uproar, both in the DR and Haiti, and as a result the bi-national market was closed on Monday in protest against Haiti's ban. No word if the boycott will continue, but ripples are being felt on both sides of the border.

El Caribe reports that Haitians were turned back from the border and quotes consumer Francis Jean who asked if the authorities were going to allow them to die of hunger. Police were placed in the area of the bi-national market and Special Border Security Corps (CESFRONT) director Adriano Silverio Rodriguez commented that it wasn't so much a strike as an agreement by business owners not to partake in the bi-national market.

According to El Caribe, the bi-national market provides roughly RD$50 million in financial stimulation each week. Dajabon mayor Sonia Mateo said that although the boycott was only at the Dajabon market, it could be extended to other border towns.

Steps to please Haiti
By the end of the week the DR will have completed the four requirements set forth by Haitian President Rene Preval to revoke a Haitian ban on Dominican egg and chicken exports.

Agricultural Minister Salvador Jimenez said that technicians from the International Epizootias Organization (OI) would be in the DR on Wednesday to verify that avian flu does not exist in the DR. This is one of the requirements set forth by Haitian officials. Also, both sides have agreed to set norms for dealing with each truck that enters Haiti.

Also, fighting cocks in Higuey, where the cases of avian flu were detected, will be killed. In addition to these increased measures, the Ministry of Agriculture has announced that the chicken production sector has implemented new bio-security measures.

Dr. Enriquillo Rivas told Hoy that chicken and egg exports between both countries would resume by Friday.

*smooches...too stuffed with humble pie to comment*
those poor cocks... it breaks this Jaded NYer's heart to hear about a cock massacre in Higuey...

Impress Me. I Dare You.

I decided that I will vote in this election, but not in the Primary. Why not? Two reasons:

1. I don't think my registration info went through in time (I never received a card in the mail confirming the change I made) OR I went to the wrong voting place.

2. I'm not impressed with ANY of the candidates.

Obama seems young and out of his element, like he'll walk into the Oval Office and say "Dang! This room sho' is big!" And I can't forgive Hillary for agreeing to send our troops overseas, regardless of what her plans are to bring them home now. Her shifty-ass shouldn't have voted for sending them over there in the first place!! And that Gravel dude looks creepy, like some back-alley pedophile or something.

And strictly on principle I can't even consider one of the Republican candidates because I just KNOW that given the chance they will absolutely make sure I lose the right to make decisions about my reproduction, as if they have a uterus or something.

So today I'm just going to sit back and watch the chaos ensue as the masses run out to choose the lesser evil, and wait for a candidate to "speak" to me. As is my right as an American citizen. Natural-born, not naturalized... for those of you who were wondering...

In the meantime, you can enjoy this pro-Obama video I was sent. It was kinda cool (and sexy-ass Common is in it) so I'm posting it.

*smooches...impressed with the video, not the candidate*
so changing the subject... anyone know where I can get an 18-1* t-shirt to wear when I visit friends in Boston in two weeks? HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA!!!!!

Monday, February 04, 2008

Operation Bikini Body, Day 18: 4 Down, 11 To Go


I just wanted to put that out there because I'm so happy that I stuck to my monthly weight loss goal without sticking my finger down my throat! Yay, ME!

What I haven't really done, due to financial and time constraints, is attend Bally's as much as I wanted to. And that sucks because I have this free pass that's just going to waste, plus I had a list of group classes I REALLY wanted to try. C'est la vie!

However, my eating habits have improved dramatically: I'm eating breakfast now, which I NEVER used to, and it has helped to regulate how much I eat during the day (all those nutrition experts were right! Who knew?). I've cut out the fast food and take-out, so that has also helped. And I've been making more food from scratch, so the processed and frozen foods have been cut out, too.

What I'm looking forward to this month is stepping up my physical activities. (No, not THAT kind of physical activity, JACK!) I need to be out on the courts more playing ball with N and K (you should've seen my babies trying to play handball! And that N has some fancy footwork on the b-ball court...that girl got skills, yo!) and going for walks either in the early AM (now that the sun is peeking out earlier in the day) or after I get home.

PLUS... I stopped by the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater on Saturday and picked up a class schedule. Do I dare? Oh my god- if I run into Linda Celeste Sims in the halls I might just pass out like a stupid European Michael Jackson groupie!

*smooches...fighting the urge to celebrate this four pound loss with a large order of fries!*
someone really needs to "accidentally on purpose" blow up the McDonald's around the corner from where I live...

Sunday, February 03, 2008



*smooches...fresh from the three heart attacks I suffered during the 4th quarter*
but on the flipside, I promised god I'd go to church on Sunday if we got this win... damn!! And I just KNOW that fool is gonna come to collect, too!!

Saturday, February 02, 2008

There Is A Void.

A need.

On the one hand, I love my Chicano cousins. Their words about the border, la frontera, are strong and powerful and full of life and become movies in my mind.

But on the other hand, I look around and wonder- Where are my Caribeños? Mis hermanos y hermanas de la Republica Dominicana? Puerto Rico? Cuba? Mis Latinos, Sur Americanos? Donde se fueron? Why is the Chicano voice the only one speaking here today? In a city that is supposed to be the melting pot of the world?

Where is Junot? Julia? Why didn't they represent? Where was Laura? Isabel? Mario? Donde?? Are they indifferent to it all, or have they been silenced?

Their absence stirs my Gemini sensibilities: I feel invisible yet I stand out in this crowd of pochos. My texture of hair. My shade of brown skin. The way I say, "Oye pana!" I'm invisible yet I stand out.

But silent? Not silent. I will be silent no more.

I get La Raza. I appreciate and understand the struggle. But I LOVE mis islas, underrepresented as they are. But silent? No, not silent.

It's just about time for my next bold move... to fill the void with what it needs...

*smooches...ready to make my mark in this world for real*
Post Script: I wrote this while attending two seminars at the Association of Writers and Writing Programs conference this week in the City that was supposed to serve the Latino community, but frankly, only spoke to and about Chicano authors and readers. We're Latinos, too, dammit. We read. We write. And it's about time somebody recognized that shit!