Saturday, May 31, 2008

A Pre-Summer, Mental Health Hiatus

Yo, my peoples, what it do?

Me? I'm hella tired! Do you know I've been writing on here non-stop for like two months straight without a real break? That I've posted like 450 posts since I came on here? I didn't know it would be, but this daily writing bullshit is exhausting.

Not only that, but I found myself getting a lil too attached to this world, letting things in the real world break down and fall apart, and taking it a bit too personal when, recently, there was a "disturbance in the force" out in blog land.

That whole mess was like being in the next room while your parents were arguing, and then having to sit at the dinner table with them and act like you didn't hear the fight... hesitant to ask Mom to pass the green beans because you're afraid she might throw the whole dish in Dad's face. And you just knew divorce was just around the corner. Then one day, you come home from school and there's only one parent there waiting for you... the other has already moved out.

I tried to not let it bother me, but bother me it did, disrupted my peace of mind even. And maybe it was all heightened for me because it's PMS WEEK at Casa Penzo, I'd stopped meditating, had too much on my plate, was getting zero sleep and because I have this NEED in me to fix things, be a peacemaker and make everything OK, but it actually stressed me out when I realized I couldn't do a thing to fix it... I wonder if this is how my kids felt when C and I split up? No wonder K & N are so CUH-RAY-ZEE!

I don't know... maybe I'm just too damn sensitive this time of the month... or those damn pork chops I ate at Nina's are fuckin wit' me still...

Anywayz, that's when I knew it was time to step back and chill in the cut for a bit. Concentrate more on my fiction, my thesis, my journals, hell, maybe even clean my bathroom before the sink up and walks out in protest! And let's not even get into whatever that shriveled up green thing with all that fuzz on it in the crisper of my fridge USED TO be... I believe shit is *actually* mutating in that there crisper... and I think it said something to me in Swahili!! I was kinda shook...

Soooo, The Jaded NYer is taking one of her famous mini-breaks. I think last time it was two weeks, right? Yeah, two weeks sounds about right. I know that last time it was a full-on nervous breakdown, but please be assured that this time it's just a cup of needing to get other shit done with a dash of mental exhaustion. Nothing to write home about.

A moment of silence for my extensive TO DO list and fragile psyche, sponsored by Ms. DiFranco...


...and we're back!

I will probably post pictures from tonight's PAR-TAY at Moe's tomorrow, but after that, you won't hear from me- on this blog or yours (if you have one)- for a good two weeks. That almost seems like blog suicide, right? But it's either that or take to a clock tower somewhere, and my hair hasn't been looking right lately so I don't feel like being on TV. *smile*

Besides, I'll be too busy lounging on the sandy beaches of the cyber equivalent of Tahiti to care. You know I love y'all like Amy Winehouse loves crack, but The Voices and I need some time to regroup and just, oh, I don't know, LIVE ;)

Peace n Hair Grease!
The Jaded NYer

*smooches...looking forward to the silence*
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I'm always reachable via email, so if you absolutely NEED to reach me and I don't already know you in real life: rpenzo@thejadednyer.net

PENZO OUT!

"...just show me a moment that is mine
it's beauty blinding and unsurpassed..."

Friday, May 30, 2008

What It's Like To Have A Good Relationship With Your Ex

This seemed fitting, seeing as lately all around me there has been some hostility between ex-lovers, husbands, wives, etc. And it all seems so silly to me, especially when there are children involved. Not to be all holier than thou and what not but damn- why can't people learn when to just let shit go?

I guess I just wanted to show that it doesn't have to be a bunch of hateration and game playing (NATE!) and using kids as pawns (Puta Face, I'm looking at you...), that there can be a light at the end of the crazy divorce or break-up tunnel, and I know because I'm so there!

My marriage was BLECH- you know this, I know this, hell HE knows this. And when it ended I think we both saw it coming a mile away but were too passive aggressive to actually make a move. Of course, not to put anyone on blast *wink wink*, but the solicitation of WHORES via Craigslist will put an end to any relationship... in my humble opinion. (Ok, that was mean but whatever... ain't neva said I was perfect...)

But after the initial blow up, which found me in a lawyer's office off Jamaica Avenue and him yelling at me over the phone, "Why is the computer password protected all of a sudden?" we agreed to meet over coffee to decide on the terms of the separation and subsequent divorce, so as to make everything fair, quick and as painless as possible.

Which basically means I got everything I asked for and he signed on the dotted line.

And y'all must be like "What a fucking punk!" but no- he was very smart. Actually, we both were; the divorce was the smartest thing we ever did, and seeing as we both had deep, deep academic backgrounds we approached this with reason. As in, he agreed to all of my terms because he is a reasonable man and saw that my terms were reasonable, too.

(No, I will not disclose them here! Damn! Mind yo bizniz!!!)

For us, the bottom line was the well-being of the kids above all else- above our comfort level, pride and personal problems. Whatever disdain I still felt for him the fact remained that he was not going anywhere, so I could choose to be bitter about it or make some sweet ass lemonade that I could sip on the wrap-around porch of life.

Of course, he and I had a decent foundation; deep down, beneath the hurtful words and infidelity and trust and communication issues, we were friends once. We liked the same things, had similar goals for ourselves, our respective families and the babies. We had the same sense of humor and appreciated a lot of the same wide array of life's gifts. Without that foundation we would have *surely* been a Jerry Springer episode... me with my firey Dominican temper and he with his laid backedness (you like how I just made up that word?) that made me just want to shake the shit out of him! Oh what an episode that would have been. Big Steve would've had to restrain me for real!

So what's it like? Like this: Today, we sit down with our calendars and plan out the visitations with total consideration for each other's schedule. You'd be so proud of me!! Whenever something is up with the girls, good or bad, I notify him. I make sure he's cc'd on any and all school communications. He has a say in punishments even if it's taking place in my house.

Once in a blue moon he'll call to tell me something funny he just read, watched, heard, and I'll do the same. We still know how to share a laugh. Just the other day, when he dropped the babies off, I forced him to taste this nasty-ass Toffuti Ice Cream that's "supposed to" taste like butter pecan, but actually just taste like vanilla-flavored freezer frost. Because that's the kind of people we've always been, and it really doesn't matter that we aren't together anymore- that hasn't changed.

I'm totally comfortable calling or texting him at any hour of the day for help with useless pop culture trivia questions, because he's good at that kind of stuff and my memory is forever damaged thanks to all that acid I dropped in the 60s.

Every year, without fail, we take the babies to see the Rockettes in the Radio City Christmas Spectacular, and it never feels weird, as if this is the way it should've been from jump.

Not to say that, when the babies are gone and out of earshot, I don't clown him with my friends. Shiiiit, I'm only human after all! But ours is a very civilized and friendly arrangement. Even if Mari claims that we "work" ONLY because he's afraid of me...

...who'd be afraid of lil ol' me??

*smooches...hoping that all my efforts will save me from a lofty therapy bill for the girls*
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it is my wish at this time that everyone who finds themselves in what seems like impossible situations with an ex find the peace of mind I have found, that they and/or the other party involved finally get that it takes a lot more effort to stay mad than to just make some damn lemonade already. I could use some company on this here porch!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

On Blame...

"When you blame others, you give up your power to change."-Robert Anthony

Explain to me when it became okay to pass the buck? Point fingers? Blame everything and everyone for our problems and shortcomings except the person in the mirror?

A little while ago I wrote about my inability to be affectionate, and Irene brought up the point that who we are today is a direct reflection of the people who raised us. And I was reluctant to accept that for the whole time after she wrote that comment.

I don't ever want to blame someone else for the shit storm I've created in my life; I'm a grown-up who made conscious decisions knowing full well what the consequences would be. How could that be anyone's fault but mine?

But the more I meditated on it, the more validity her comment had. It especially hit home after a discussion I had with Minnie one night about our moms. I won't go into full details here, but I suppose I had one of those Oprah "light bulb moments" during our talk and came to the conclusion that yes- part of the reason that I cannot show or accept affection, is that my mother didn't show me any affection after a certain age.

Sure, there are countless tales in the family archives of us being attached at the hip way back in my toddler days, but I don't remember any of it. In fact, the only time I remember her embracing me for real for real was that time, while she was still pregnant with Mari, that my puppy ran off and I was so heartbroken all I could do was cry in her arms. And she let me.

And I suppose I didn't think I needed it, applauded her brand of tough love which in turn made me into this tough cookie you see before you today who is independent and strong and knows how to get through each day. Besides, I was shown affection by every other member of my family, so I figured I had enough of it. Except, I guess, from the person I needed to get it from.

I can't say if I'd be me if I *had* been hugged everyday by my mom- you know how much I hate the shoulda woulda coulda's of life- so let's not even go there.

But here's what's what... it feels weird when people like me. Or when they touch me. I keep waiting for the other shoe to drop. This feeling also extends to my kids.

And I don't want it to feel weird when K or N hug me; I want them to come to me when they're sad and whatnot, seek my advice on things, lay their heads on my lap when they've had one of those days.

I'd like to one day, when I meet a nice gentleman, not treat him like shit just 'cause I can. Because I have some twisted mentality of "I'll screw you before you screw me and then I can save face when it all falls apart." Because god forbid I show any signs of possessing any actual emotions! OH, THE HORROR!!

Maybe let him open the door for me without handing out a side eye; accept a gift without a sarcastic remark; and oh, who knows, maybe one day even say "I love you" and mean it... wouldn't that be nice?

Maybe even not want to die from humiliation because *gasp* someone saw me cry.

(Even as I type this I'm shuddering at the thought of all that yucky mushiness, although part of me wants it.)

So I've realized- there's no time machine to fix all the past mistakes. I can't do anything about the issues my mom had that made her who she is, that in turn made me such a harsh person.

All I can do is make it right from this moment forward.

*smooches...and hugs and love and good cyber-vibes*
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this evolution shit is HARD! why can't I already be the person I want to be?? Life... you're giving me agita...UGH!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

I Have A Weak Spot For Rastafarians

I don't know what it is about them, but Rastafarians have always made me swoon. The dreads, the accent, the beards- I can't explain it. And of course, living in Brooklyn I'm surrounded by them (holla!).

I tell you this as a preface to the third and last installment of the birthday festivities in New England.

Sunday morning, er, afternoon, Tia (Nina's mom) fed me well! Homemade beans, rice, con-con (that's the crunchy part of the rice at the bottom of the pot... whatchu know about that? huh?), spaghetti (only in a Dominican household- rice AND spaghetti) salad, maduros... and pork chops.

Now, I don't eat swine no more, not for a long time now. But my Tia was up all day cooking something, and I knew Nina didn't eat meat, so... I took one for the team and ate it. My stomach hated me for it, but I ate it.

A few hours later we were headed out to hear a reggae band at Mike's Harborside in Newburyport. That place was hella crowded but soooo much fun. And your girl here was scooped up within a few minutes of being there. True, dude looked like that alien baby on "V" (remember that TV miniseries with Marc Harmon and dude from the Freddy Kruger movies, Robert Englund?) but dancing is dancing. And no, ain't no pictures of that fool... I have to draw the line somewhere.

Here, instead, is a cute pic of me, my Lava Gina tshirt, Nina, and some of her drunk friends:



I feel like a giant in this pic LOL!

And on the sly, I did tape 21 seconds of this drunk woman dancing... she stayed cracking me up the whole time we were there:

video

OH and chiiiild!!! We saw this one black chick- just pretty as can be, nice shape, tall, could probably get any man she wants. You know who she was with? Some old-ass white dude. Can you say, Anna Nicole? And yeah, I'm hatin'. So what??

I also have pictures of the cute, Rastafarian bass player in the band (Hot Like Fire- who actually lived up to their name!). My girl out in LA has already stated her opinion- he looks a hot mess- but she also despises dreadlocks, so I don't pay her much mind.



And Nina was nice enough to get him to take a picture with us. 'Cause I was too chicken to ask myself. Yes, me. Chicken.



After the show we went up to New Hampshire to, what? Meet up with Cathi! So I never got to go to Maine but I did get to see my girl! Plus, her dear sweet boyfriend agreed to watch her babies while, what? We PAR-TAY next weekend!! Man, if Celia weren't with child, I'd fly her up and reunite The Rowdy Girls fo sho!



We met up at the Portsmouth Brewery, which was pretty much like the Harvest Brewery, where we had snacks, desert and a beer sampler. Plus loads of laughs! Nina even found a cute bolero at a quaint lil shop... for TEN DOLLARS! There was a matching fedora, but Nina has a shopping addiction, so I really couldn't allow her to purchase it in good conscious.



All in all, I had a blast. Monday morning Tia made me a typical Dominican breakfast (platanos, salchichon, fried eggs w/onions... no cheese though... I told her it was cool...) and then we scurried to catch my 1:00PM crazy Chinese bus back to NYC. My lovely city... want to know how it welcomed me back?

"Ladies and gentleman, we're sorry for the delay. We're being held here momentarily because of a sick passenger at Smith and Ninth Street. As soon as we get the signal we should be moving shortly. Thank you for your patience..."

Bitch-ass F-Train...

*smooches...wondering what THIS weekend will bring*
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okay... now that that's done, can anybody explain to me WHY I'm hearing reports of thunderstorms for Saturday?? BOOOO to you, Mother Nature! BOOOO!

And thank you to Tia and Nina for putting me up, driving me around and feeding me :) Love you guys to bits!!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

"I Swear The Alarm Never Went Off"

So... part two of the birthday escapades, which I will subtitle, "The Jaded NYer Misses Her Ride To Massachusetts...TWICE" goes as follows.

But first- I'm a lil salty because wack ass Foodtown was out of Oatmeal Teddy Grahams... is it too much to ask for those fools to, I don't know, actually have FOOD on their shelves? I mean, really!

Second, y'all know I have a mild case of OCD, right? Well, I left out two pics from yesterday's post, right, and a normal person would just let it be, because they weren't even that important to the story. But I have a mild case of OCD. So I almost added them in after the fact. But I fought that shit off, man. I will not let OCD take me down! Just thought I'd share.

Third, my professor is still tryna get me to go to Ghana... what the hell?! He's offering to wave tuition for me and offer free or inexpensive housing in Accra if I can fly myself out there. My head sooo wants to explode. I can't think about this right now...

Now back to the post.

You've read about my experiences with the crazy Chinese buses to DC already. But did you know that there are vans that leave from Washington Heights to points north where Dominicans have settled en masse? Like Lawrence, MA, for example? No? "Well if you don't know, now you know, ni**a..."

Yes, Lawrence is a town full of Dominicans like you wouldn't believe. So much so that people from Washington Heights go up there and say, "Damn there are a lot of Dominican's here!" And of course I gots family up there (cause, you know, we're ALL related LOL).

But anyway, I was scheduled to be on the 7AM van to Lawrence, which costs a lil more than the crazy Chinese buses, but is worth it because they leave you right at the doorstep of where you are going.

I got home from hanging with Lani at 3-ish, and decided that I'd not go to sleep. See, it takes about 1.5 hours to get to Da Heightz from my house, and I had to be there at 6:30, so I was going to leave at 4:30. See how sleep didn't fit in there?

Except that the alcohol was weighing me down, plus the fact that I'd only had 3 hours of sleep the night before, and that's when I came up with the bright idea of the hour and a half nap.

[insert hearty, sarcastic laughter here]

At 6:30 the people from the van company called to ask if I was on my way, arousing me from the sweetest nap ever. I asked if I could take the 9AM van instead. He was reluctant but said ok. If I left right then I'd be able to make it... except I fell back asleep for another 40 minutes or so. And did I mention I hadn't packed yet? No? Well, I hadn't packed yet. Or showered. There went the 9AM van...

Nina and I agreed that instead of calling to reschedule yet again with the van people, who by now probably thought I was some air-brained loser, I should just take the crazy Chinese bus into Boston, and she'd pick me up on our way to Cambridge to have dinner with some of her friends.

This actually allowed me to comb my hair, because otherwise I was gonna show up at her door looking straight rasta!

I arrived in Boston without incident- the crazy Chinese bus apparently only causes trouble when heading south- I met up with Nina and we went to Cambridge.

Oh wait- side note- before dinner we stopped in the mall. I bought some undies at Vickey's with my gift card (thanks, E!) and still had loot left on the card. And Nina gave me the iTunes gift card I had hinted at...I've already got like 10 new songs on my play list.

Here's one of them for you now. A free gift from me. Thank me later.

We ate at the Cheesecake Factory, and here's where I tell you that I've never been to this fine dining establishment, so I was not aware that the plates were twice the size of my head. Color me shocked when my dish came...

The best part of that meal? Nina's friends thought I was turning 19, maybe 20.

*blushing*

But, uh, *side eye* for Nina's friends... If y'all thought I was 19 WHY did you let me order a martini?? Hmph!

I know, I know, you're all like, "Enough with the yapping! Where are the pics?"

I only have a few from that night. It was during and after our stay at The Greatest Bar in Boston, where the Celtic fans were in full effect, the hoochies were booty-shaking in their undies and ripped fishnet stockings and the DJ poured a free shot of I-don't-know-what down my throat. The same DJ who flashed this on the big screen after the ball game ended:



And why did I "woohoo" that?? I need Jesus...

This one of Nina and her new fiance, Papi Smurf (I swear to GOD- he had that tattooed across his chest; said his grandmama used to call him that!), an aspiring ball player who said he'd probably fall back on "pharmaceutical sales" if he couldn't make it in the Italian Basketball League.



Nina and I were of the thought that perhaps, just maybe, he was already in pharmaceutical sales. Perhaps.

And this one is of me with the most awesomest sign in the world:



I just HAD to own it! Just picked it up off the street and took it with me without missing a drunken step. Silly me left it in Nina's trunk, but she promised to keep it safe for me.

But trust that I didn't need any help in the "drunk" department:



I was already there!

Since Boston is NOT NYC, everything was closing by 2AM, so we headed home... shortly after I danced with the tallest bouncer in the history of bouncers. I think I've actually found someone who was TOO TALL and I didn't think that was possible! Basically, if I'm gonna get a crook in my neck just to look you in the face? You're too tall.

Learn something new everyday.

*smooches...saving my tale of love and loss with a rasta bass player for tomorrow*
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in other news, I haven't watched my Soul Food DVDs in a hot minute... I'm craving me some Boris Kodjoe like you wouldn't believe!

Monday, May 26, 2008

"It's A Celebration, Bitches!"

So much fun packed into such a tiny vacation... I might have to do this in three parts. I'll see how I feel as I type on...

So FRIDAY I met up with Lani at Diablo Royale over at the "nexus of the universe"

(it was on the corner of W4th and W10th, and when I saw the address I was like, "How is that even POSSIBLE for those two streets to intersect when one comes after the other?" you know how? Because Lower Manhattan was designed to confuse the HELL out of people. I'm sure of it. Check the fine print of the city planning blueprints from back in the day. I bet it says, "Watch me confuse these muthafuckas...")

where we loaded up on Mexican food spicy enough to paralyze my taste buds, not to mention the spicy mango margarita I had. Tasty, but damn was my tongue on fire!

And as a side note, please let me make this public service announcement:

Dear moms of young, impressionable babies,

If you do not want to subject your child to my and Lani's conversation about how funny it would be to add "necrophilia" and "S&M" as an interest on one's resume, then, you know what? Save your little attitude and side eyes and shit and DON'T BRING YOUR FUCKING BABY TO A FUCKING BAR!!!

Love Always,
The Jaded NYer


After the Mexican joint we walked over to the LES, saw this weird, out of place, building:



Of course it must be owned, operated and occupied by some crazy ass Dominicans *sigh* because WHO ELSE would bring such atrocities to Manhattan??

Then we found some random bar with WiFi so that Lani could try and figure out which one of her new beaus she'd been texting all evening, and who was due to meet up with us at any minute. Yeah, beaus with an "s". She got it like that.



Before the bar, though, we passed by this graffiti-ed wall, and I just HAD to do the "jail pose"



Don't act like I'm the ONLY ONE who has/had family and friends incarcerated... like you're not familiar with the jail pose... don't EVEN...

When we finally met up with the beau (after he took three years to get there) we moved on to another bar: Lava Gina. I'm gonna let the name of the bar marinate in your brain for a minute...

...
...
...

Got it? Cool. Let's move on.

Now, about the dude... I guess I'll be nice because in my drunken state I gave him the address to my blog. I'll just post his pic and let you draw your own conclusions:



He was hella cool, though. Not intimidated at all by my and Lani's brand of crazy. Anyone who can keep up with us is okay in my book, even though he refused to do shots with us (THUMBS DOWN!!)

Lava Gina was nice- I had fun. They played world music, MY FAVORITE, so of course I was grooving in my seat (yes in my seat; I don't always have to shake my ass wherever I go), making a mental note to come back real soon! Not too crowded, drinks not too pricey, AND the owner played this video on the wall:



I was instantly hooked and just HAD to look them up on YouTube; they're my new favorite. I'm practicing those dance moves for my party on Saturday; that alone should make you all want to show up at Moe's next week LOL!!!

Before I left the bar OF COURSE I had to buy this shirt:



A birthday gift for myself. The icing on the cake? This photocopy pasted all over a wall out on the street:



HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA!!!! Beware the LES PERVERT!! HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA!! You gotta love New York! Only here can you post some dude's face all over a wall and really make some one's (mine's!) day!!! LMAO!!!!

And of course, no evening is complete without the after-alcohol snack fest:



Quesadillas and fries at 7A at like 2AM. Life is good...

On our way home, I decided that I wouldn't sleep- just stay up until it was time to catch the van from Washington Heights to Lawrence at 7AM. You know, just sleep in the car and be all refreshed for when I get there.

But when I got home, I thought, "One lil nap can't hurt... I'll set my alarm for an hour and a half from now."

Famous Last Words...

*smooches...ending the story here for dramatic purposes*
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tomorrow: part2- "The Jaded NYer Misses Her Ride To Massachusetts... TWICE"

on another note... I missed you all! I had a fun time away from my computer but I totally missed my cyber peoples!!! Is that sad??

Friday, May 23, 2008

"Estas Son Las Mañanitas..."

TADA- Today's my birthday! I'm 33! YAY!!

Usually I don't make a big deal about my birthday, but something about 2008 makes me want to. I even let the girls in my office know it was my birthday- and y'all know I STAY hatin on the office birthday wishes (they just feel so FAKE!).

Anyways, I was thinking, 33 is kinda old; I don't subscribe to this "30 is the new 20" mentality, because if 30 was the new 20, then my back wouldn't need BenGay nor would I have to squint at the page when editing an article.

But supposedly, with old age comes wisdom. *snicker* So here are a few things I've learned in my 33 years on this here earth that I'd like to share with you:

>Sisters...


...are a thing of beauty and a source of strength. They are your solace, a shoulder to lean on, a loving ear, a helpful hand. Sisters are a forever friend.

>A messy house...



...is not the end of the world. It's only a problem if it bothers you. If you're okay stepping over that pile of papers then by all means, keep stepping over it!

>It's just hair...



...and it will always grow back...



...so try not to cry when Tyra and Company are offering you a free makeover on America's Next Top Model.

>Acid washed denim...



...was NEVER a good look. And if someone attempts to bring it back, knock them the hell out.

>A good marriage...



...is a real possibility. It's rare, takes a lot of work, love and understanding, but is so very worth it in the end. Your kids will thank you for it.

>Little girls...



...need their daddies. Anyone who tells you different is a stone-cold liar. If you're a father to a little girl, oh my god- I can't stress this enough- treat her like a princess! She needs it. Trust me.

>Motherhood...



...does have its rewards. It's hard and I hate it 99% of the time, but that one percent is enough to make me want to be a better person. Just for them.

>Naked babies...



...are happy babies. Don't force them into anything- not even a diaper- when they're at home. That should be their safe-haven, where they can be free; just watch how the creativity just oozes from them when they don't have a bunch of restrictions!

>Birthday parties...



...are important. Especially when you're a kid. Balloons, cake, games, prizes, music, laughter- all of that makes a difference in a kid's life. Whether they have one guest or twenty, do not deprive a child of a birthday party.

>Pregnant...



...does not equal fat. Ladies, I know it's hard because we want to look good, and in this society looking good means being skinny, but if you're with child, shiiit! That's a free pass to let all those hang-ups go and just let your body be.

>Good friends...



...are so hard to come by. Cherish the ones you have...



...let them know they are important to you...



...and that without them you really are just not as happy.

>A Montauk sunset...



...can make all the difference between a really shitty day where you are two seconds from jumping in front of the F-Train, and total peace with the world around you.

*smooches...honored to be alive another year, and to share my life with all of you*
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...and now that I've gotten all the mushy stuff out of the way... LET'S GET FUCKED UP!!!

On another note: thank you for all your cyber-well-wishes; my friend is going to be just fine. More than fine, actually, and it's the best birthday present a girl could ask for!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

One Day Left: Minnie Has Some Screws Loose

So my prima-hermana, Minnie, ain't right in the head. I'm just gonna let you know that from jump. And she's going to read this and call me odiosa but WHATEVER, GUR- you know it's true.

Well never has her not-right-in-the-head-ness been more apparent than with her recent actions on two separate occasions.

1- She called me a few weeks back, a little distressed, talking 'bout, "You know the mom from Married With Children? They just found her dead in a hotel room."


ME: Wow, really? Hmm, maybe she was still depressed from that time she lost the baby?
Minnie: Oh, she lost a baby?
ME: Yeah, I read about it in an article
Minnie: Oh... and it's weird because now they're showing CSI, too...

*crickets*

Oh. Never mind.

ME: What?
Minnie: It was an episode of CSI. Never mind. Bye.

That's right folks... she was watching an episode of CSI, guest starring actress Katey Sagal. And thought it was a news report. I can't make this stuff up! This is a blood relative, too, on my MOTHER'S side! *shudder*

2- Last night she calls to relay a funny story, which she knows is dangerous because anything you say or do in front of me WILL end up on this here blog, ya hear? But anyway, her story...

She's helping her friend R with something, and they are on a three-way call with a customer service rep. A Canadian customer service rep.

So when this poor CS rep says the word "about" (pronounced ABOOT in Canada) Minnie gets all giddy and interrupts a business call to tell this CS rep how she and I would watch Degrassi Jr. High as kids, and how much we loved the accents, especially when the characters would say ABOOT or OOT.

Apparently the CS rep was barely tolerating the interruption and finished conducting the business at hand.

THEN, my nutjob cousin, without first verifying that dude had hung up the call, proceeds to tell her friend R in a sing-songy way: "Did you hear him, R? He said OOT and ABOOT. He said OOT and ABOOT." Until the CS rep interrupted her with a "Hello?"

Minnie: um, hello?
CS rep: Hello ma'am? Uh, we're just waiting for you to hang up
Minnie: Oh, um I was just going to get the soy milk... *click*

"I was just going to get the soy milk"??? WHATINTHEHELL? Who says that? And why would he care, seeing as you just proved his theory that NYers are rude and arrogant? What planet is this child from, anyway?

*smooches...waiting patiently for her to read this and then curse me out*
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I take my job of "annoying little sister" very seriously...

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Two Days And Counting: Deep Cleansing Breaths

Mid-week report... hot off the presses...

Money, Schmoney
I have to wait until May 30th to get my tax refund. I'm stank. Why come when the IRS wants their money it has to be NOW NOW NOW, DO NOT PASS GO, DO NOT COLLECT YOUR ECONOMIC STIMULUS CHECK, but when they owe me I have to wait 10 business days? Bitches, man, all of them.

(just kidding... don't audit me... love you guys... wonderful job you're doing there...)

And I was able to settle with two of the credit card people. Just two more to go. Yes, FOUR, okay? Don't act like I was the only one. And that AU Perkins Loan will soon be a thing of the past... bringing my new student loan debt down to a mere $73,000. Piece of cake. No problem.

*wonders how many shifts at Scores she'll have to pick up to pay off Uncle Sam*

Go North, Young Lass
Cali was a no-go, and Cathi's offer to relax in Maine was not the kind of devilish, paganistic raunchiness I was looking for for my birthday/holiday weekend. Enter Nina. Ahh yes, the Queen of Debauchery herself. She always tries to downplay it like we're just gonna chill at this lounge or that, grab a bite, hang out, catch a show, but the next thing you know I'm at the Canadian border hoping they won't shine the flashlight directly into my eyes. Sounds like fun, right? Fighting with border patrol?? Yup, that's why I'm heading to Massachusetts for my birthday.

Good thing I have a passport!

FUH-LEET WEEK, BITCHEZ!!!
Oh lord... who can stay mad about some stupid Ghana trip with all the HOTTIE McHOTTIE SAILORS all over Lower Manhattan? Thank everything holy on this earth that I no longer have a nanny to cover for me in the evenings, otherwise I might've ended up pregnant by Friday!

And don't even ask me what Fleet Week is, okay, cause you're just gonna piss me off with your sub par knowledge of NYC. Google that shit.

Oye Hermanas!!
Cool link about a Latina Blog Tour; I hate finding this shit out after the fact!!

Let's try and be included up in that bitch next year, mmkay?

If You're In The Mood To Party...
I finally settled on what to do to celebrate my old age in the city. If you live here, you're more than welcomed to come out. If you'll be visiting the city next weekend, absolutely stop through. And this goes for readers & lurkers alike. You know you want to experience this Jadedness up close... you ain't got tah lie, Craig, you ain't got tah lie..."

Just be at Moe's in Ft. Greene, BK (80 Lafayette) anytime after 10PM on May 31st and chances are you'll see me in there acting a fool on the dance floor and trying to keep from bursting out of my top (every year, man, never fails... sigh...). Email me if you need more info.

*smooches...putting on a happy face whether I want to or not*
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oh, and everybody go peep Mari's awesome "I Am" poem over at Stranger Than Fiction. It runs in the family... don't hate...

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Three Days And Counting: Ghana Can SHOVE IT!

You can probably guess from the title... I didn't get the scholarship. Found out Monday afternoon in the same instant that a friend emailed me about getting into the grad program that she applied to.

So of course I was going to post about how angry and pissy and hurt and disillusioned and whatever other feeling I was feeling about not going to the Literary Forum in Ghana, which by the way- the scholarship was all-expenses paid...

But the Universe checked my pity-party-throwin' ass and reminded me that it is not the end of the world. This Ghana thing was a long shot; I would've had to have either quit my job or taken a leave without pay in order to attend. Plus there is always next year. So I was sad for like twenty minutes, even went to have a small cry, ranted to Jack and Mari, and now I'm done.

So don't bother with apologies or condolences and stuff like that because instead I'd like you all to take all that love and positive energy and direct it towards a really good friend of mine who needs it more than I do.

She's the sweetest, most awesomest friend ever who deserves nothing less than everything and I love her to bits. She's going through a bit of a stressful situation and I just want her to know that no matter what she rocks and that will never change. So I'd appreciate the favor.

Love you girl. Everything will be okay.

*smooches...sending more love and good vibes than I've ever sent before*
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if you don't mind, I'm going to close comments. just keep her in your thoughts for me.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Four Days And Counting: If The Shirt Fits...And Other Musings

I miss doing my lil weekend updates... ever since I started posting every day I've forgotten that one of the things I like best about blogging for you guys was saving up all the juicy details from Friday-Sunday for the Monday morning post. So here goes...

Hellooooooo, RUM!
It was raining like the dickens on Friday but you know what? NOTHING was coming in between me n my liquor, know what I'm saying? My week was HORRENDOUS, topped off of course by my Papi's loss AND not being able to go to Cali for my birthday *sniffle*

So Irene and I went out on a much overdue "reunion" of sorts, and we fell back into step- shootin the shit, drinking, snacking (although not as much as before... she went and got all healthy on me...hmph!)- as if the tension from this winter was just a bad dream. I'll go with that. It was a bad dream; we fucked up, it's passed, we pick up where we left off and will make sure to not let it happen again.

So did I mention there was RUM involved?? OH YEAH... sweet nectar of the gods... with pineapple juice... the memory of its intoxicating goodness is still fresh in my mind... I feel like I haven't had a drink in forever as opposed to just a month ago! But I haven't had RUM in a hot ghetto minute, so yeah, it was a reunion for me and it, too.

And Irene spilled her drink, so yeah... just like old times...

Found My Groove, But Not The One You Think
I was really, madly, truly going to get shit done Saturday morning- I'd signed up to help clean up Brooklyn Bridge Park, and I was going to get some writing out of the way, etc... but you know what? Season Three of Soul Food was just sitting there by the computer, taunting me, calling my name, reminding me that the first episode of the season features a shower scene with BORIS KODJOE. So guess what I did all morning?

After that I watched The Squid and the Whale- a terrible, terrible film and I'll NEVER EVER get my two hours back, dammit, but hell if I was gonna get off the couch and shut it off- I was too comfy for all that, found the groove in the couch that fit my lazy ass perfectly... I was home, yo- no kids or nothing! Just me, the sofa, a movie, big ass water bottle by my side and a bowl full of oatmeal Teddy Grahams and peanut butter. I live the good life.

Sancocho For The Soul
Finally, though, I showered and dressed because SOON SOON SOON it was SANCOCHO TIME at my aunt's. And lookie here:



I ate two hot, heaping bowls of it AND brought half of it home in the biggest Tupperware known to man:



I hung with her for a while, caught up, watched a Flavor of Love season 1 marathon (Hoopz was too cute for him... what the hell?!) and confessed about my tattoos. "Oh no, Rocky! Why would you do that to yourself??" Sorry, Titi; I like body art... what can I say?

To Party Or Not To Party
The Haitian sends me a text, which I responded to, but then nothing jumped off. I don't know why I keep messin' with that fool, but I do. I'm only human, dammit! But all was forgiven, though, when I got this video from him:

Mexican 300

OMG I've never laughed so hard!! Dique "tonight we dine in San Diego"

HA HA HA HA HA HA HA!!!!!!!

And on the same site, I saw THIS:

Slutz Home Pregnancy Test

tears...down...face...can't...stop...laughing...must...breathe...

THEN I was promised my birthday gift from a certain someone who does not like to be talked about on this here blog, but you know what? I'm gonna talk about you... because you never called me back and now I'm salty. So there! And the longer I have to wait, the more inclined I will be to post "transcripts" of our conversations. You've been warned. You've known me for a long time, buddy... you know I'll do it...

So instead I was gonna go out and look for trouble like I used to but I was filled up to my esophagus with sancocho and decided, you know what? Sit your ass down and chill. So I did. Logged on to Netflix and started to watch The Orphanage... but I had to shut it off... HELL NO I'm not watching a flick that scary while the lights are out and I'm by myself... did I mention that Greenwood Cemetery is like RIGHT AROUND THE FREAKIN CORNER?? Yeah, I shut that shit off and went to sleep... under the covers... times like that is when I need a man in the house, you know, to throw at the monsters while I get a head start out of the house...

If The Shirt Fits
So a few days ago Q posted about her body issues, which is actually her family's body issues, which as a fellow Latina I can totally relate to. And on Friday, while talking to Irene I heard the most awful words come out my mouth: "If I could just go down one dress size I'll be good." WTF? Someone should have slapped me right then and there...

Irene calls me Sunday to say she's trying on her old clothes (she's recently lost a lot of weight so naturally, right? I do that shit, too) and I decide to go into my closet o' spring/summer clothes and see what damage I've done to my waistline over the winter.

And everything fit. Perfectly. Better, even. Well not that skirt from Olivia's baptism, but that shit never fit me from jump... I was kidding myself with that there skirt. In fact Mari- you can have it if you want.

So why am I all like, I need to drop one dress size?? Fuck that shit! I look damn good, okay, and if you don't think so then don't fucking look at me. And by "you" I mean The Voices that like to call me gorda n shit- fuck y'all!

I still want to go to Bally's on the regular, because it's no fun to get winded climbing the stairs or chasing N or dancing, but I'm not keeping track. And I threw out my scale, that's it, it is NOT welcomed in my home anymore. I don't want my girls weighing themselves like crazy anorexic bitches. It's OVER!

Because as long as my "Spicy Latina" t-shirt n seersucker shorts still fit me well, I have no worries at all... now, where are my Teddy Grahams??

Fuck You, Capital One
I done told you- you will get your money, okay? Can you STOP SWEATIN ME?? I don't want to have to say it again. And I don't take too kindly to threats- I'm from Bed-Stuy, BITCHEZ, I WILL cut you...

Don't make me angry. You wouldn't want to see me when I'm angry...

*smooches...still kinda scared 'cause I just watched the rest of The Orphanage*
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thanks Q, for posting that post, btw, because sometimes we try and keep up with bodies that are not like ours and we need to just STOP. It kept resonating in my head as I tried on my clothes and realized I was being too too hard on myself, too.

besos, chica!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Five Days And Counting: What It's Like To Not Sleep...

My girl out in LA calls me at 11:30 (my time) sometimes and is already yawning, talking about, "Girl WHY are you still awake?!" To which I respond, "GURL why are YOU so sleepy??"

It's been the running gag for a while now- Raquel, like the City, never sleeps. You can see it in my raccoon eyes.




As a kid, I didn't have a bedtime. Mami said I could stay up til whenever, just to be sure I got to school on time everyday. I suppose that's where my bad habits started.

I've tried many tricks to get myself to sleep, even forced myself into bed at a certain hour but alas, The Voices always have their own agenda. And when they're up there chattin' it up, talking about me n shit, how am I supposed to get to sleep?

My body is tired, no doubt. But The Voices never get tired; they are always awake, always working, thinking out loud, throwing raves, tap-dancing, moving furniture and singing opera. These are the things that keep me up. Until about a month or two into a "no sleep" cycle when I crash for a day or make myself so physically ill and am FORCED to sleep.

Even if I fall asleep, I never stay asleep. A bit ago I tried just putting my ass in bed by 11 with some chamomile tea and it would work... until The Voices decided that, what they needed to do at 3AM, was play a rip-roaring game of Spades. So like clockwork, I was up at three.

Way back when, I used alcohol. Yes, you read correctly, alcohol. It was back in my Riverdale days, we'd just come back from an awesome trip to Montauk (remember, ladies? the time Jessica and Mirna came out, too?) and I had all this leftover liquor... when C would go to sleep and the babies were tucked in I'd drink until everything got blurry, and then go to sleep. Nobody knew, so I suppose, as Usher would say, "...this is my confession..." But I was never cut out for alcoholism; it's just not for me, so it only lasted about a month or two. Got some good sleep, though!

I know a couple things that helped make me tired as hell- like working out in the early AM and, well, um, "activities" before bed- were usually good to get me to sleep but again, I never stayed asleep.

I always get the "Girl, go to bed already!" advice from people, but I just can't. Let me see if I can illustrate it for you. Picture it: Sicily, 1948... nah, just playing! HA! Sorry... I couldn't resist it...

But seriously, imagine- you've had a full day of shit to do at work and at home, and all around the neighborhood you sense it's bedtime, but to you, it would be the perfect time to mop the floor or shred all that junk mail from The League of Women Voters or PETA, or it'd be the perfect time to catch up on last week's TV shows that you didn't get to watch. Or *damn* you need to hurry up and watch the movie you rented from Netflix in order to get your next DVD and get your money's worth.

Or you know what? Your file cabinet is stuffed to the gills with shit you don't even need... it's real quiet now- perfect for going through files without kids all up in your face. And don't forget that pile of clothes that needs to be sewn, or *GODDAMMIT* don't forget to send out your student loan payment!!! And did you remember to pay National Grid? It would really, really suck to have the gas cut off because you can't get on schedule. OOH- that's what you need to do- put your calendar in order! then you won't forget that *SHIT* you still owe that freelance assignment, don't you? You forgot, didn't you? Well pause the movie and get on that!!

Next thing you know it's 3:30 in the morning, you haven't really done anything, except now the floor is wet, you have papers and files strewn about, and you wasted 30 minutes trying to find the cutest and most functional calender template from microsoft.com, and you haven't been to bed yet and it's all TOO MUCH to deal with right then so now you're hella tired! So you take the hottest shower possible and drink some tea and force yourself to sleep, because it will soon be time to get up again.

See there? See how easy it is to not sleep? To me, night time has always meant: "DO SOMETHING"... problem is, daytime means the same thing!

And don't even get me started on how much extra food I'm consuming by being up so late...

*smooches...thinking "I'll sleep when I'm dead" was written by me in some sleep-deprived trance in another life*
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now you can sort of get an idea of what brand of "crazy" you're dealing with... in case you didn't already know... but I hear it's the crazies that make the best authors...

I'm gonna be RICH!!!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Six Days and Counting: Just Reflecting

So... my Papi's wife died on Thursday; the Big C took her out. I never met her, spoke to her maybe three times the whole of her marriage to Papi, and, in the beginning, even hated on the fact that she was in Grandma's house siting on Grandma's sofa sleeping on Grandma's bed with Grandma's man. But after a bit it was like, "Okay, I suppose he deserves to be happy..."

But how is this better- surviving TWO marriages? How much more can this man take?

And how helpless are we, not knowing what to do or say to make it right?

Death scares me straight, man, I'll tell you what... it also makes me feel like all the bullshit I complain about on here- money, men, computers, kids- don't amount to a hill o' beans and I should just shut the fuck up, because right now, someone just lost his wife, and another just lost his mother, and that little girl that my daughters both agreed, after their trip to DR, was the most annoying little girl they'd ever met EVER, just lost her grandma. And I *do* know what that feels like. I'm lucky to have had mine for as long as I did.

Death just puts everything in perspective: aw man, I paid twice for this bus ride by mistake (whatever, you could be dead right now); dammit- I'm out of olive oil (you could be out of breath, so stop complaining); why is this internet connection so freakin slow (do you know you could just drop dead right now?)... just... just appreciate what you have, man, cause who knows what tomorrow brings...

So, no more woe is me-isms... I gotta step it up and get my shit together, because I have to help the family take care of Papi, point blank, no bullshit, no playing around anymore!

*smooches... trying to be a grown-up for once*
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this circle of life bullshit is for the birds!!

Friday, May 16, 2008

Seven Days And Counting: Tagged Again!

Dominicano extraordinaire, Brother Omi, tagged me, and only because I feel like we're compadres (really- that Island is so small it's quite possible that somewhere down the line we could be related) will I comply. Except I won't tag anyone, lest I be tagged again :)

So... y'all know the rules... six quirks. I think last time I did six FACTS instead, you know because I'm a rebel like that, but this time I'll play by the rules:



Six Things About Me That Will Make You Want To Call Bellvue On My Behalf:

1- When I eat, I need to have on my plate, something hot, something cold, something bland, something spicy and/or salty, something soft and something crunchy. If all of those criteria aren't met, I feel like I haven't eaten anything. A sample meal would be something like rice (bland, hot, soft), turkey chili (salty, spicy, hot), cole slaw w/out mayo (cold, crunchy) and avacado slices (bland, soft). Damn, now I'm hungry.

2- I adjust my accent/way of speaking depending on who's talking to me. It's kinda weird! I'm like a speech chameleon... like, I'll have a Southern drawl or a West Indian accent, and then of course at home it's straight Spanglish, and at work I have my "white voice"... although lately, since I've moved back to Brooklyn, I noticed it's been more ghetto than not!

3- As a kid, I assigned genders to each letter of the alphabet and each number as such:

FEMALES: A,B,D,K,P,R,S,V,X,Y,Z & 2,4,6,7,8
MALES: C,E,F,G,H,I,J,L,M,N,O,T,U,W & 0,1,3,5,9

We had those letter and number refrigerator magnets, (remember those?) and I'd play with them as if they were dolls or characters (no pun intended)... if I recall correctly, S and T were related, 5 was a casanova, and Z was a nun... don't ask...

4- NO ONE IS ALLOWED TO TOUCH ME BELOW MY CALF- NO EXCEPTIONS. It was hella hard to get a tattoo on my lower leg because of it; it was even harder to get that pedicure with Irene last year, too. I have an aversion to being touched, period, but especially there... as a kid I had crazy skinny legs, and my ankles were like non-existent. One day I looked in the mirror and thought to myself: Oh my god... my ankles are too skinny! How are they even holding me up? They're gonna snap!! As irrational as that may sound, I can't get that thought out of my head, so touching my lower leg is like nails on a chalkboard to me, and WILL earn you a right hook to the jaw!

5- As I type, if I make a mistake, I have to erase everything that came after the mistake and start over, even if it means going back to the beginning of a paragraph. I cannot physically bring myself to let a typo go, and LORD NO I cannot drag the cursor to the error, fix it, and pick up where I left off- that's blasphamous!!! It's like, if I erase everything that happened after the mistake PLUS the mistake, then it never happened and I can still believe myself to be perfect. CONFESSION: because of this, sometimes it takes me at minimum two hours to write even the tiniest of blog posts.

6- The last thing I drink everyday has to be water... I don't like to have the lingering flavors of whatever I just ate or drank in my mouth- it drives me insane. So I'll chase a candy bar with water, a glass of orange juice with water, anything; it must have a water chaser!

So there you go, 6 quirks. Make sure you took good notes; this will be on the final...

*smooches...pretty sure my crazy beats your crazy any day of the week*
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what you gotta say about that? huh?

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Eight Days And Counting: The Devil Takes Many Forms

I'm not a big believer in the devil; I know that the evil in this world is created by man because that is our nature, truly. We put out all the negative energy that is felt throughout the world daily.

I'm up (at 5:23AM... damn... I swore I'd stop looking at the clock, but there it goes again... 5:23... WHY do I keep seeing that particular time???) after a fitful nap that followed a frustrating evening, where I attempted to start making changes and upgrades to my site. Only to have it "disappear" from the World Wide Web for nearly three excruciatingly painful hours.

It took everything I had in me to:

1- not throw this damn computer out of the window,
2- not press the "delete" button on my Blogger dashboard and just rid myself of this shit, and
3- not throw a full-on tantrum, complete with kicking, screaming, crying and vase smashing.

It took everything I had PLUS Jack on the line with his very calm voice to say "sleep on it" in the same breath that he went on to explain what a deal he got on his new bed.

So there I was, locked in my bathroom, crying and pouting like a 5-year-old, listening to Jack tell me how he'd made out like a bandit at Ikea, while the web consultant I "hired" REFUSED to leave until he found a way to fix the problem.

And obviously he fixed it because here you are reading this post just fine and dandy. But let me tell you that for a split second there, I played out my life without this blog and had already resigned to it- the extra time I'd have in my day, the freedom to just check my email and then "be out" and of course, the bonus of not having to deal with computers.

For a split second I was like, "FUCK THIS SHIT" and decided to just sit quietly in my 9-5 prison everyday and churn out OPEDs and newsletters and give up on this whole "media empire" bullshit, recognizing that I'm not really equipped to handle the lows that most assuredly come with the highs of self-employment.

And right when Jack- sensing that my blood pressure had reached that point- said to me, "Just go over there, tell that dude to go home, shut down the computer and sleep on it," and I was on my way to do just that, dude knocks on the bathroom door to say, "It's fixed."

I didn't know what to do with that, except cancel the post I had scheduled for today and sleep on it.

I'm not sure when I'll move forward with my plans again but for right now all that shit is on hiatus. I need a breather. And a drank! Not a drink but a DRANK, okay?!?! And some of those red pills I remember from back in the day... maybe even a hit or two off someone's bong... something!

But first I need to say,

"Señor Devil, whoever and whatever you are, and whoever sent you to put the kibosh on my plans, you almost got me, bitch. You almost got me. But you know where you fucked up?? Remember in 'Buffy, the Vampire Slayer' how none of the bad guys could figure out how she survived where other slayers had failed and died? She wasn't alone. She had the Scoobies. And they always had her back.

"Someone always has my back, devil, so fuck you very much.

"And don't come back over here, neither, because next time, I might just have to cut you."

*smooches...for Jack, AND dude who ignored my tantrum and fixed my site*
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it was hard for a minute there to just accept being a quitter; I didn't want to be a quitter, but you know, it was almost midnight, I was tired, I hadn't eaten dinner yet, I had some articles to work on, and with every keystroke I heard from the living room while dude tried to find the solution, I became more and more enraged. Here I am avoiding salt at all costs, reading food labels like a sodium Nazi, when really it's life that's gonna give me high blood pressure...

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Nine Days And Counting: Out Of The Mouths Of Babes

While watching the pilot episode of "Doogie Howser, M.D."

ME: Max Cassella wasn't 16 in this episode; he's like 23 years old.
N: And he's THAT cute?

While chillin in the crib

ME: I read this cool quote in someone's blog comments; it's an Army quote- "Pain is weakness leaving the body."
K: (giving me the side eye) Sounds like something the government WOULD say...


*smooches...secure in the knowledge that my work here is done*
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my Jaded legacy will be felt far and wide... MUAHAHAHAHA

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Ten Days And Counting: Alumni Weekend... And Other Musings

The Big 3-3
So, people, only TEN freakin days left until I turn 33... for those wondering: "What do you get the woman who seemingly has everything?"

I'd like CASH.

Or John Cusack's phone number.

I don't really drink that much anymore, especially not in my apartment, so don't bother with the liquor. In fact, I STILL have a full ass bottle of whiskey crying for my attention at home. Every night I have to tell that bastard to shut the hell up:

JD Bottle: Ra-queeeeel... you know you've had a shitty day... come over here and take a few shots...
ME: Can you PU-LEESE be quiet?? I will NOT stoop to drinking alone. Again.

I thought about not having any celebrations in the city because I'll be flying out to California for the long weekend, so there won't be any time for a right proper par-tay, but then I got an email from a club promoter asking if I wanted a free birthday party. I'm sorry, did you say FREE?

*runs off to check the fine print*

Pero nadamas dime cuando y ya! I'm sure I won't have to twist any of my girls' arms to grab a quick drink at a place with comped guestlist and all (you know you want to... Lani, Irene, Evelyn... I'm lookin' at you...). And Marcin- you owe me a whole shitload of drinks, so make sure you open up your schedule. Bring your wallet. And my CDs, dangit!

Titi Gloris has already dangled the almighty sancocho in my face, so the family celebration is covered. And do you know she actually had the nerve to ask if maybe it was too warm for sancocho. Is she new? It went down like this:

Titi Gloris: Hey Rocky, Will it be too hot to do Sancocho for you for your birthday?
ME: Too hot for sancocho? NEVER! I'd eat sancocho in Santo Domingo in August if someone offered it

Attention All Bloggers of Color
...and those who love us...

Check out the navigation bar to your right and click on the Blogging While Brown Conference button. I'll be making an appearance; not presenting or anything, just going to network and get informed... one step closer to Dooce-like stardom and *hopefully, eventually* self-employment! It's the first time they're putting this together so hopefully it won't be too crazy... you know how these things have to go through growing pains before they're 100%, but I'm going, even signed up to volunteer and helped with the press releases. I have a serious problem saying no; I need to work on that!

Plus I've never been to the ATL so I'm excited about that... I'm half hoping to run into T.I. or Luda, and maybe even serendipity will reunite me with my Cali fling. The possibilities are endless!!

And I expect you Atlanta-area bloggers to show this Jaded NYer some good ol' fashioned Southern Hospitality, or I will talk bad about you on my blog. You know I will! You can shower me with gifts like your mom's homemade fried chicken and cornbread, a tour of the city, stuff like that. Don't get put on blast, OKAY? You've been warned.

Alumni Weekend? Um...Maybe
Y'all are about as tired of hearing about my thesis as I am writing about it. Part of me feels like it's never gonna get done. Another part of me says, "CHILD, you borrowed $40K from Uncle Sam to get that fakakta degree, you'd BETTER do those edits!" And yet another voice reminds me that I will not be able to send CUNY my application for the PhD program next year without an actual confirmed Master's degree. *sigh*

No need to lecture me. It's on my to-do list. And now that I've gotten this email from other FDU alums to give the heads up about the residency in August, I'm all verklempt! And speaking Yiddish, to boot! I want to go and see my friends and see them graduate and all that, but of course I can't show my face on campus until all my work is signed, sealed and delivered.

So... who wants to be a dear and finish my thesis edits for me?? C'mon... anybody?? Please??? Just name your price... I'm open to any and all offers...

Attention All Music Lovers
Fresh off the heels of my Glow in the Dark Tour adventure, I've got the concert itch again! When my FAT PHAT tax refund check comes in, after I handle a few financial responsibilities, I thought I'd treat myself to one fun thing... like the Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival in Tennessee!! WHO'S COMING WITH ME???

It's a lil pricey, and I'd have to *gulp* camp out, but hello... LUPE FIASCO, METALLICA, PEARL JAM, CHRIS ROCK, STEPHEN MARLEY... need I go on??

The link is here. Check it out, and if you're down, email me and lets get this shit together post haste!! Because with any luck Damian Marley will make a surprise appearance and I can go ahead and BLEEP him already!

On Pins And Needles
I still have not heard about the literary forum in Ghana. Why are they torturing me?? I need to prepare myself for the finagling I'll have to do with my boss in order to be out of the office for the entire month of July. Something tells me it won't go over so well.

Like maybe when I come back there'll be some NYU graduate named "Sarah" sitting in my seat who's a real hard worker and loves working in PR and actually dresses up and combs her hair for work. Bitch! I hate her! Who the HELL does she think she is, sitting at MY desk??

And I KNOW she did not try to steal my Barry the Bee Happy Meal toy! OH NO SHE DIDN'T!!! Dammit, that's it... Lani, hold my earrings...

*smooches...trying to tame the crazy so as not to scare the newbies*
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I've noticed a few new names here and there every once in a while, and probably detect the scent of lurkers... that's cool. The more the merrier :)

Monday, May 12, 2008

Eleven Days And Counting: Too Hot for DC

I'm calling this entry "Too Hot for DC" because, well, I spent probably like 10 minutes tops within DC city limits... As soon as my bus (which was too hours late and had me and my babies waiting in the rain) FINALLY arrived in town my sister whisked us off to Alexandria...

So here goes...

First and foremost, you'd think I would have learned my lesson from the last time I took the crazy bus down to DC, but noooooo! Those damn buses keep calling my name with their low, low prices. Well, those low, low prices had me waiting in the rain on Canal Street with some cast-off gay man from Project Runway for nearly two hours. Did I mention it that it was raining in NYC Friday night? No? Well it was raining Friday night in NYC. And cold. And raining.

But we got to DC at like 2AM where Mari was waiting for us (god bless her lil heart!). I was so out of sorts from the red-eye, I was up until almost 5AM. This insomnia is for the birds... I might need to rethink my position on sleeping pills. Either that or get a man who could put me to bed right proper. But I digress...(hi Minnie!)

Next day, Mari is all hyped to take me to her Zumba class at Bally's, which is this Latin dance/aerobics class she's been raving about for months. I tried my hardest to get out of it-- "I didn't bring my sneakers," and "I don't have a sports bra," and "I didn't bring workout clothes."-- but each time I was presented with said items; my mom lent me her sneakers, and Mari had a bra and gym attire for me to borrow. Foiled again!

Boy did that class kick my butt! I mean, I know how to dance and all but that class was like dancing with 50lb weights on. The instructor, Jenny, was this 5-foot-nothing Dominican spitfire who weighed maybe 6lbs WET, and it was all I could do to keep up with her! But I can't lie- it was fun. My arms are killing me as I type this, but it was fun. Anyway, here's me and Mari cheesin after class (I blame the endorphins):



And here's the close-up of my red and sweaty face, as proof that my lazy-ass did, in fact, work out, because I know y'all don't believe me:



Afterwards, we hung with the fam a bit before getting ready for the Glow in the Dark Tour out in Bristow, VA. And let me just say that Kanye is a DEE-VA, okay? He had so many restrictions on what you could and could not bring to the show, it was like he thought he was Prince or something!

But whatever, Mari and I were ready to go... and looking too, too fly:







And since I like to catch my sister on film acting a straight fool, here's her lil impression of B.I.G. She had me crackin' up all day with this shit:

video

At the venue I had to note that a lot of the audience members were annoying. Like the white rasta who was really pissed that he didn't get to smoke weed before the show. And why do I know this? Because he said it all loud on his cell phone. I think I was supposed to be impressed:



Then there was the dude in the "nebulous" jacket (you had to be there) and Justin Timberlake cabana hat who was such a freakin poseur that I almost threw up. And don't even get me started on the trillion sets of those stupid white sunglasses that littered the crowd, or the ladies who wore stilettos to a show to stand on the lawn. The muddy lawn. Every time we saw them, Mari and I would just say, "Now you know..."

The show was awesome, though. We missed Lupe Fiasco *sniffle sniffle* and N.E.R.D. doesn't really move me (ha ha- pun intended), but Rihanna was hot and Kanye, who's never been my favorite artist, KILLED IT, okay? Mari and I sang and danced and booty-shaked (well, she booty-shaked... y'all know I have no booty) all night long. Even though I was sore from Zumba; I took off my shoes and just partied like it was 1999.

Then Kanye performed "Hey Mama" and I fought back tears (damn you, Kanye!) but then he brought the party back with "Touch the Sky" and all was good.

Here's Mari's review (and I apologize for her Valley-girl-ese... we caught a contact high from the stoners parked next to us in the lot). It's kinda dark but whatever, I ain't a pro yet:

video

Leaving the parking lot was a BITCH, what with all 29,000 fans trying to leave at the same time, so we tried to make bets on when we'd get out. It was 11:09PM; I bet 12:40 and Mari thought 12:35... the prize was mom's left-over chili that was waiting safely in the fridge, but we both lost. We were on the road by 12:20, and according to Price is Right rules, the winner had to be close without going over.

Next morning, K ate the chili... greedy heifer... *sigh*

*smooches...trying to figure out how and when I'll be able to see Lupe perform live*
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thank you Mari; I had a BLAST! until next time :)

>PS- don't Mari's dimples look sooo cute in that car shot?? She's single, fellas, so holla if you know what's up!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Twelve Days And Counting: A Mother's Day Tribute

It's Mother's Day, y'all, so first off I want to give a shout out to all the hot mommas out there in the blog-o-sphere and beyond who are holding it down with strength, wisdom and cojones the size of watermelons!

Second, I'm going to give myself a big ol' pat on the back because, despite the HUGE, GAPING HOLES IN THE ROAD that has been my journey through motherhood, my girls, including Mari, are doing okay. For the most part.




Finally, I want to give props to all of my "moms" because growing up, I didn't just have one:

Ramona "Nenena" Ortiz-- the Matriarch of all Matriarchs, yo, this woman was HARD-CORE, okay? However badass I think I am, Nenena was that times ten... would tell a sucka off at the drop of a dime and not think twice!

She only lived with us for a small while before she moved back to DR, and she died the Mother's Day before K was born, but I'll always remember the smell of her pipe tobacco... so sweet; her long long hair, wrapped in braids around her head; how she would slip us a fiver and make us keep it a secret; the Stella D'Oro "S" cookies and ginger tea she would share with us; and all the funny/scary/creepy tales she would tell us. And if you ever crossed her... well, lets just say she had some "magic" up her sleeves for ya, okay?

For a long time after Nenena died, I would say to myself, "whoa, I've never since seen someone that strong in such a small body..." and then, N was born, keeping the badass Ortiz tradition alive and kicking, literally!

Grandma-- one of Nenena's four kids... y'all already know how I feel about this woman. No offense to my biological mother, but Grandma was the WORLD to me, still is; her death can't change that. Sometimes I'll do some fucked up shit and catch myself, saying, "Now, Raquel, what would Grandma say if she saw you acting a fool like that?"

She could cook like nobody's business, mind kids like she'd authored the manual on it, and had an open door policy for all wayward relatives. I distinctly remember one time when I asked her why she always cooked so much food if it was just us in the house. Her reply? "What if someone dropped by unexpectedly? You have to have something to offer them." Words to live by.

Most of what I push myself to do is to make sure her sacrifices were not made in vain.

Titi (Gloris)-- Another tough cookie, my aunt used to scare me as a kid so I *never* even fathomed misbehaving in front of her, but then, of course I fucked up- got pregnant at nineteen- and she called me up at school... "Oh, Rocky," she said to me, "I thought you were the smart one. I'm so disappointed." I made it a point to never again do something that would make my aunt utter those words to me. Her approval means that much.

Titi was also a bit of a spoiler, you know, the fun aunt who took you out and gave you stuff your mom wouldn't? Yeah, that was her. The running gag in the family was that I was supposed to be her daughter and Minnie should have been my mom's, because of all the immediate family, we were the only jinchas (high-yellow, for you non-Latinos). I suppose I should thank her and Grandma for this "ample bosom" as well?

Seeing as she's the oldest, Titi is the new Matriarch, keeper of the family history, maker of sancocho, truth-bomb dropper and Queen of Stank, which in my family is actually something we compete for!

Mami-- From what I'm told, we started out thick as thieves- I am named for her, after all; rumor has it that when I was a toddler and she would drop me off at Grandmas while she went out, I'd cry from the moment she left until the moment she came back. I was dubbed "crystal" by the Penzos (jealous bastards) because I'd cry at the drop of a dime if my mom left the room.

We're not TV sitcom close anymore, like I'd never share any deep, dark secrets with her, but I know in a jam she's totally there for me. She took us in after we left Waco; she bailed me out of some financial BS last year; she STILL buys me groceries and makes me lunch sometimes (yeah, Mari, I know you're jealous! HA HA HA). I can call her whenever I have no clue what to do about work or the babies or for a recipe, and she never fails to come with the bomb financial advice... whether or not I listen is my own problem...

The nameplate I wear around my neck? My mami's... She introduced me to music at a very early age, and made it a point to expose me to film and books and Broadway that I wouldn't have found on my own... and she'd never tell me to my face, because that's just our way, but she's totally my number one fan; that's something I hold on to.

This song goes out to all my moms...

The Way I Am - Ingrid Michaelson


*smooches...wondering what kind of Matriarch I'll be*
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feel free to leave shout outs for the "moms" in your life; Happy Sunday!