Thursday, July 31, 2008
NYers (and those who envy us)... it's that time of the month again... FIRST SATURDAYS at the BROOKLYN MUSEUM! And this month, lord help me, the theme is centered around the West Indies!!!!!
And you know what that means... the dance party at the end of the night will be chock full of REGGAE!!!! Roots, dancehall, dub... you name the reggae style and it will be played! So come on out, enjoy the evening's festivities (which includes steel pan music at 3PM, a film, arts and crafts, a dance troupe) and watch me make a fool of myself on the dance floor. SOBER! :-D
Now back to my ailments...
You ever get something and say to yourself "This mess only happens to me?"
While I was living in Riverdale, I'd get these terrible dizzy spells where it felt like I was riding a sit n spin on top of a water bed. Something as simple as looking to my right would make the room turn and turn. It made me so nauseous I couldn't stand it.
I finally went to the doctor... and of course I walked my dizzy ass the 6 blocks over there instead of asking my ex to drive me, because I'm stubborn like that, being very careful not to move my head from side to side and taking slow, steady and calculated steps. I must have looked a hot ghetto mess.
When I get there, my very stern and efficient German doctor (oh how I miss Dr. Schumann! she was no joke; all business, no coddling, just here's the deal, here's what you need to do about it, now goodbye!) ran a series of weird "tests" where she made me sit up, grabbed my head and then very quickly made me lie down and asked if I was dizzy.
HELL YEAH, BITCH, DAMN! Warn somebody before you do that mess!
Next she turned my head from side to side really fast and asked the same thing. Then she asked me to lay down and grabbed me again, this time making me sit up quickly and forcing me back down again. I was seriously thinking to myself, "This woman has lost it! What the hell is she doing? And WHERE did she go to Medical School? Nazi Germa... oh... never mind..."
Finally she sits me up carefully and says in her uber thick German accent:
"You have vertigo. Take this for the nausea. Don't work until you are feeling better."
And sent me on my way.
Vertigo! Like in the freakin' movie. Can you believe that mess?
At the risk of getting snatched up again, I asked her what causes it, and she said an inner ear imbalance, perhaps tiny crystallized whatevers loose in my inner ear, banging around in there, cause me to be all helter-skelter. And no, she couldn't go in there and get it because the inner ear is oh so delicate and the whatevers were so teeny tiny... there was no way. Sonofa...
A few months later, the whole vertigo incident behind me, I felt something strange in the back of my throat. Something like food that was refusing to be swallowed, as if my throat was not allowing it.
I tried everything- brushing, drinking different liquids- hot, cold, fizzy- but nothing would get rid of whatever was back there.
Finally, I took a flash light, tried to keep my gag reflex in check and went to investigate. Right there on the right side all the way in the back of my throat... some unidentified white spots. I immediately freaked out- Cancer? VD? And if it's VD will the judge show leniency after I kill my ex for giving it to me?
(Because of course I was looking for any reason to prove he'd been unfaithful and gave me something, so that I could make out like a bandit in divorce court...)
I was in a total state of panic, but for some reason, I went in there with the back part of my toothbrush and started poking at the white spots. AND ONE OF THE "SPOTS' BECAME DISLODGED AND I ALMOST CHOKED ON IT!!!!
Talk about freaking out! A voice in my head was like "Oh my god! We swallowed VD!!!"
Again, I went to Dr. Schumann, who also went in there with a tongue depressor and dislodged a couple of the "VD spots" (that's what The Voices and I called them) and said:
"They are calcium deposits stuck in pockets of your tonsils. Go see this ENT to be sure."
The ENT confirmed it- I had these deep pockets on my tonsils that would ocassionally collect these calcium deposits. WHAT THE HELL? He said all I could do was let my throat muscles dislodge it naturally or do it myself as I had done at home with a tongue depressor, etc.
"Can't you seal up the pockets or something?"
"No, the area on your tonsils is too delicate and have many tiny capillaries. You could bleed out if I try to suture it."
"Well, then, can you just take out my tonsils?"
He starts laughing this pompous little laugh that made me want to give him a swift slap across the face.
"No, no, we don't remove tonsils anymore."
Right at that moment, I'd be lying if I didn't tell you that I contemplated a quick trip to Santo Domingo, where they have NO PROBLEMS removing your tonsils and hell, why not, even your inner ear!
I tell you, man... this nonsense only happens to me...
*smooches...wondering what fresh hell my 40s will bring*
my twenties were all about ENT trouble and my thirties is looking like the decade of the reproductive organs. next up, I guess all that will be left is for my left eyeball to just pop out of its socket and dangle around my nose.
but they won't be able to fix it, you see, because the area around my eyes is much to delicate and might bleed out. And they don't *do* those kids of operations in the U.S. anymore...
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
Jill Scott - Comes to Light (Everything)
Oh, Sen. Stevens... you little scamp, you... why you did this for, homie?
Just greedy for no damn reason, I tell ya...
So listen up McCain, Obama; you better either come with it or hide it VERY, VERY well, bury it, even, because in this information age EVERYTHING comes to light. For real.
*smooches...wondering when people will learn*
feel free to shout out your favorite "Honest" politician... I wanna hear ALL about it...
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
"I'm at the new Spanish place on 23rd...does it matter? They're all the same..."
Cubans are not Dominicans
and Dominicans are not Puerto Ricans
and Puerto Ricans are not Belizeans
and Belizeans are not Costa Ricans
and Costa Ricans are not Salvadorans
and Salvadorans are not Guatemalans
and Guatemalans are not Hondurans
and Hondurans are not Nicaraguans
and Nicaraguans are not Panamanians
and Panamanians are not Argentinians
and Argentinians are not Bolivians
and Bolivians are not Chileans
and Chileans are not Colombians
and Colombians are not Ecuadorians
and Ecuadorians are not Paraguayans
and Paraguayans are not Peruvians
and Peruvians are not Uruguayans
and Uruguayans are not Venezuelans
and Venezuelans are not Mexicans
and hardly ANY OF THEM are Spanish, not anymore. We haven't been Spanish for a hot minute.
Maybe a long, long time ago, some Spaniards came over to what is now known as Latin and Central America and the Caribbean, and took over some lands owned by the Mayans or the Incas or the Arawaks, brought some Africans and a few Chinamen over with them, forced a new language/culture/religion on them, and maybe all those territories share that little tidbit of history with one another, but that's where the similarities end.
So I'd thank you kindly to not lump us all into one group, as if each unique heritage means diddly squat; as if you can exchange one for the other with a flick of your wrist and it wouldn't matter.
I don't know the first thing about what it's like to be Uruguayan...
However, I'm sure I can speak for all of "US" when I say maldita sea tu madre, cabron!
*smooches...glad I was able to maintain my composure on the street*
I mean seriously? for REAL? that's what you think of us? you are so lucky I have some sense; that whole scenario might have ended differently...
Monday, July 28, 2008
My Braid Game Needs Work!
Babies left with their dad again, so I had to make sure their hair was on point so that they are not embarrassing me all over Rockland County (OH LAWD.. I sound like mami...), and it literally took me over 4 hours to braid N's hair.
I've lost my magic touch! I mean yeah- she's got a lot of hair and it's crazy long, but DAMN! The style wasn't even that intricate or anything, just braids, and it took me FOUR PINCHE HOURS.
Now just imagine what's gonna happen when it's time to take those bad boys out... coñaso!! That's not gonna help my carpal tunnel AT. ALL.
The Wackness Is The Dopeness
Saw the movie. Loved the movie. Highly recommend the movie.
Except... well... the dude that played Luke (the Josh half of Nickelodeon's Drake and Josh) has this thing he does... when he's waiting to deliver his line, he lets his mouth hang open. And it was kind of annoying. I was fully expecting saliva to start falling out. For real.
But other than that, the movie rocked. And the soundtrack? Fuggetaboutit!
My Radio Debut
Don't know how many of you listened, but I had fun. I think it went well although I kinda refused to listen to it at first on account of me HATING my voice and all... But when I did listen I liked myself on the air. Reminded me of my WALF days with Celia...3AM to 7AM, while pregnant, spinning the tunes for all the drunk frats and sorors on campus... ahh the good ol days.
I'm even entertaining the idea of hosting my own show. Can you imagine? Jadedness coming to you LIVE once a week? Can you handle it?
Shout out to Irene for calling in and taking some pressure off, 'cause you know your girl here was trying real hard to keep her stage fright under control, right?!
And special thanks to the host, Classy Deeva- girl, I had fun, and I will be tuning in from now on! If you missed it, you can listen to it here.
Muslims Smoke Weed?
DUDE- you are sooooo busted! Why even TRY and act like you were not just on the front stoop tokin' up with your buddy? Don't you know how that smell likes to linger?
And do you think I didn't notice how quickly you and your buddy high-tailed it off the porch as soon as you saw me approaching? Just how dumb do you think I am?
Wait 'til I tell your uncle...
Sergio Vargas And I Need To Have A Love Child
I don't care what anyone says...
I LOVE HIM. WE NEED TO MEET AND FALL IN LOVE. AND HAVE MANY BEAUTIFUL DOMINICAN BABIES.
When he sings, the whole world disappears and nothing else matters except that voice.
And I apologize for giving y'all vertigo with that video clip, but when Sergio sings I cannot stay still!!
"DUDE! My Kids Are RIGHT HERE!"
That's what I had to say to Joey the Yankee Fan who was seated behind me at Friday's Mets game and kept trying to kick it to me. For real? In front of my kids? Yo- that's GRIMY!
I mean really, who does that? I'll tell you who: an old enough to know better PRican from the Bronx. That's who. He was attractive and all, but his approach was ALL WRONG, so he got two thumbs down... from me AND K, who by the way thought it was hysterical that I was being asked out... what's THAT supposed to mean? HMPH!
*smooches...looking to get into some new trouble while the babies are away*
meanwhile, I was serious on the show when I said the man who shows up at my door with a maid to clean my apartment gets me for life. For real. So hop to it, gentlemen... I ain't gettin' any younger... there's a home-cooked meal made with love by yours truly for the first one over here...
Sunday, July 27, 2008
That's right- you read correctly- I wrote WIGGERS. Because that's exactly what they are, a bunch of wack-ass, posin', frontin' wanna-be-down, rap music blastin', weed smokin', going nowhere wiggers.
Did I mention that these were the same mo-fo's playing beer pong in the middle of the block party last week? Until ALL hours of the night? Yeah, they did. I *almost* had to come out my face.
Saturday night there's a minor altercation between the head wigger couple and members of their wigger council, or posse, if you will, that were all confined within the safety of their Honda. At one point someone in the car says to the dude half of the couple, "Control your ho," because, you know, his ho was outta control apparently.
Then the dude half of the couple says, "Control your ho? Word? It's like that? Yeah- you real funny." And I look over because DAMN they are so loud and annoying and just ridiculous! Why must they live on *my* block? And then his ho wanna look over at me with this attitude, like I'm intruding on her peace and quiet and not the other way around.
BITCH, are you STUPID? Who the hell are you looking at like that???
The dudes I can ignore 'cause this is BK and they are ALL OVER the place, posturing something fierce. I can't fling a cat without hitting a white dude who's hard pressed to be down with the brown. But the chicks, man... if ONE MORE of these bitches gives me the eye as I'm minding my own business, there's gonna be consequences and repercussions, okay?
'Cause we all know... THEY want to be down until it's really time to be down... then THEY want to be calling the cops like a bunch of pussies, all of a sudden speaking the king's English and whatnot... like THEY wasn't asking for it...
I've never had to reduce myself to that level and jump into some street fight like the dregs of society, but I'll tell you what- let ONE MORE of these bitches test me. Just ONE MORE...
*smooches...old enough to know better but fuck it! bitches gotta learn...*
and they have a lot of nerve trying to act all hard when every last one of them live with their parents. EVERY. LAST. ONE.
Saturday, July 26, 2008
*smooches...blaming my memory loss on Jack Daniels and LSD*
see, I'm not the only crazy one in my inner circle. I swear I'm not!
Friday, July 25, 2008
So guess what? The very beautiful and talented ClassyDeeva has invited yours truly to be a guest host on her internet radio show on Blog Talk Radio, "Say What Now" with Classy Deeva.
The show is THIS SUNDAY the 27TH at 6:00PM. How cool/exciting/freakin' awesome is that?
Oh, but it gets better. GUESS the topic for this segment. Guess. You'll never guess...
LOVE! What it is, how to weather the storms and how to "keep things fresh."
Go ahead, crack your jokes. I'm a big girl; I can take it. As long as you tune in and call in! That's right you can CALL IN and put me in the hot seat... well not really, please don't do that. I was just playing.
Mira- don't think I won't cuss you out on internet radio, carajo, because I'm not above it!!
*smooches...resting my voice for Sunday*
I'm hella nervous, but whatever! full steam ahead, man, and whatever happens, happens... I promise to keep my New YAWK accent to a minimum LOL
(You know, the prayer that one day I'll find a hair product that will help turn my dry, frizzy and knot-proned hair into the beautiful loose soft curls I know it can be.)
And here it is, ladies and gentlemen, sent from heaven: MIXED CHICKS!!!
If you suffer the same hair woes that I do YOU MUST BUY THIS!!
I came across the products when, on a trip to Ricky's, looking for the product line Kinky-Curly that I read about on Muze's page, I found Mixed Chicks instead. The women on the pamphlets looked like I could be related to them. We had the same hair and hair issues. But the price tag kept me away.
The cashier, let's call him Paco, offered up some samples instead and I gladly took it. When I tried it at home I didn't like it because, being the cheap-o that I am, I only applied a lil tiny pea-sized drop to my massive locks, as if a pea-sized drop of ANYTHING could ever tame my hair EVER, and it didn't work (DUH!). My hair still had me looking like Liono the very next hour.
Fast Forward to last week. I was still hunting for that damn Kinky-Curly stuff; I'd been to like 5 different Ricky's and everybody was out! Finally the one on 34th Street had it. While there the girl behind the counter, let's call her Tamika, said to me, "That's not for you, right? Your hair isn't kinky. You should use this," and then handed me samples of the Mixed Chicks leave-in conditioner again.
"No, I already tried it and it didn't work."
"You sure you used enough? Use the whole sample size next time."
Something about Tamika made me think she knew what she was talking about, so I took the samples. I finally tried it Tuesday morning, emptying the contents of the sample onto my damp hair, and
This shit is amazing! Y'all know that normally my hair looks a HOT GHETTO MESS when I wear it natural and don't blow it out. But guess what, bitchez? With Mixed Chicks, I can now rock the curls with confidence!! (did that just read like a commercial or WHAT? They should really pay me. NO- actually, they should send me some free products... that stuff is EXPENSIVE!)
But here's the best part- IT LASTED ALL DAY LONG AND INTO THE NEXT! I'm officially in love...
Now about the Kinky-Curly products; I bought it for my daughters, because I want them to appreciate and love their hair without ever wanting to chemically relax it, and I figured if I showed them how awesome it could look they would no longer desire straight hair.
And let me tell you- it left K's hair so soft, and her tight curls were so cute! Now mind you, I still need to learn to style it in it's natural state, but once I get the hang of it, my babies will be walking around like the two BEAUTIFUL Nubian/Taino goddesses that they are, without the need of that blasted flat iron.
*smooches...wondering if I'll ever go back to straight hair*
anybody want to buy some rolos or a hair dryer? how about a super-powered blow dryer? I don't think I need mine anymore...
and don't act like you don't know tonight is Merengue Night at Shea. GUESS WHO will be there? my other LOVAH... Sergio Vargas!!!! YAY!!!!
Thursday, July 24, 2008
In my head, it's like that.
I have the best, and the worst, of both worlds. It's a constant struggle trying to straddle two cultures, trying to honor and be true to both.
I went through phases where it was DR IS THE BEST one day to I COULD NEVER LEAVE NY EVER the next. It's still this way.
When someone asks me my favorite song it's hard because I'm like, "In English or Spanish?" Who can choose between Fernandito and Prince? Not me, that's for sure.
Growing up knowing that your people went through hell and went without and made so many sacrifices just so that you could be born HERE... that shit weighs heavy on your shoulders. That makes you think HERE is better that THERE, but then they also tell you not to put too much stock in HERE, to settle THERE with one of THEM, and, hey, guess what? Don't worry about funeral arrangements... you see this slot here in the family tomb? That one is yours. Gee. Thanks.
There's pressure... you're the GREAT WHITE HOPE because you've managed to figure out how to be HERE and play the game like a native; you're like a spy. Except that every little mistake is scrutinized and thrown back at you.
"My mother didn't come here and take in people's wash so you can play around and flunk out of college."
I know she didn't. That's not why I flunked. Please just let me breathe. If I could just be allowed to breathe I'd be fine.
If my professors would stop stressing my occasional use of Spanish in my stories, if my elders would let go of the fact that YES, I date Black men and my friends are Black because HELLO, MCFLY, you raised me in a Black neighborhood, if I didn't have to choose between Team DR and Team USA in the World Baseball Classic... then maybe I could breathe.
If I didn't get the side eye for my gringa ways from Dominicans, and another side eye from Americans for my chancletas and rolos... too Latina for the Americans, too American for the Latinos... then maybe I could breathe.
Yes, the U.S. fed me, but DR made me. Why do I have to choose? How can I possibly choose between what gave me life and what nurtured it? And are they really that different after all?
The babies don't speak Spanish. I know. I'm sorry. You think I don't know? Calling me to complain about it...wasting my daytime minutes on a TransAtlantic call to ask why? Are you for real?
And they are darker than YOU'd both like. I know this, too. But I'm still not going to relax their hair so both of YOU, stop asking. Really. Stop.
I want to be a good daughter, I do. I want to make YOU proud. I really do.
But how? Tell me how to please YOU and THEM and still have a moment left for ME... to BREATHE...
*smooches...opening a vein for which there is no real band-aid*
and just so you know... from now on I will NOT be italicizing the Spanish I write. to hell with those who don't know what it means. I know what it means...
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
And thanks to The F$%K It List for providing the info on some of these- good lookin' out, girl! And no, I won't hold missing John Legend in concert against you, in case you were wondering... I should've kept checking the site like I meant to...
If you want to know where to find me over the next few weeks, I'll be here:
Wingate Field (BK):
Erykah Badu Aug 4th
Jill Scott Aug 11
Caribbean Night Aug 18
East River Park (NYC)
Willie Colon July 31st
Jackie Robinson Park (NYC)
Slick Rick Aug 13
Marcus Garvey Park (NYC)
Big Daddy Kane Aug 14th
Mahoney Playground (SI)
Chubb Rock Aug 6th
Red Hook Park (BK)
Jungle Brothers Aug 5th
Now, this one ain't free:
Marc Anthony, Aventura, Alejandro Fernandez, @MSG Aug 21st
...but I DESPERATELY need to see Marc Anthony live in concert, because his voice is so damn good- I have have have to hear it live for myself! And Alejandro is quickly becoming one of my favorites- his voice is almost as good as his dad's- no lie! Aventura, eh, I could take 'em or leave 'em, but I'm sure they put on a good show.
So... WHO'S COMING WITH ME??? Preferably someone cute, who can dance and will not be embarrassed when I sing along... off key...
(If you weren't aware of how much I LOVE LOVE LOVE this play/movie, go here. Then visit Bangs and a Bun where she also wrote of her complete love for the same film! It's like we were separated at birth or something!)
Arthur Laurents, the writer of the original book, is working on it and get this: IT WILL BE BI-LINGUAL!! Dare I hope that this time around Maria will be played by an actual Puerto Rican? I'll even take a Colombian or a Venezuelan, hell ANYONE who's parents came from a Spanish-speaking country would make me feel good! And according to this NY Times article, it looks like I will get my wish. No offense to the movie cast because I do love the movie, but those accents were a little janky... I'm just sayin...
So come 2009, us lovely ladies will kindly carry our chorus-girl-wannabe selves to The Great White Way and ogle at that masterpiece in person. I. CAN'T. WAIT.
*smooches...loving NYC more and more every day*
and can I just say how SICK I am over the fact that I missed Johnny Pacheco on July 9th in a free outdoor concert? And then John Legend on Monday!!! *sigh*
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
Monday, for dinner, we went along 7th Avenue for some book shopping at Barnes and Noble (for the babies; N got a Chef's kit, K got the latest Coldplay CD), then some very delicious Italian grub at Tutta Pasta (stuffed mushrooms, seafood ravioli), and finally, our favorite frozen treat- Haagen Dazs (cookies n cream, butter pecan and cookie dough).
Ahhh 7th Avenue... how could I have ever talked so nastily about you, when I love you so? Even if that Brownstone I've been drooling over is $2.6 million...
Plus the Miracle Mets are in first place :)
Now I know you haters are gonna dis my boys in the comments, but nothing you say can bring me down off this high!
I feel so good that I'm gifting this "feel good" playlist. No need to thank me. Just play it and feel good :)
*smooches...with T minus 4 days until MERENGUE NIGHT @ Shea*
in other news, I went to the 25th Anniversary of Video Music Box on Friday in Central Park, and SPECIAL ED took the stage looking just as FYNE as he did when he first came on the scene... is The Jaded NYer gonna have to stalk Special Ed?
Monday, July 21, 2008
Back in May I expressed interest in trying to make money off this site, ala DOOCE.COM. But after looking into it I decided, NAH, I like this site the way it is- ad free and full of my rantings, ravings and discreet shots of my fellow F-Train commuters. And, like the Highlander, there can only be ONE dooce.com and she's fabulously fabulous so I'll leave her to it.
Especially after that whole debacle where, for three terribly long and tantrum-filled hours, my entire blog was erased from cyberspace; I'm just gonna leave well-enough alone.
HOWEVER... with the help of my very talented (I hope) web designer (that's right- I hired a web designer. and WHAT?!?!) I will soon launch my online portfolio/resume, a site where The Voice that is capable of functioning in society so that the rest of "us" don't have to live in an alley in a cardboard box can display her skills, talents and writing clips for potential employers.
So far the concept we've discussed is the HOTNESS so please- I ask that when it launches you all refrain from kicking yourselves for not having a site as cool as mine. Remember that we're all special in our own ways. But soon you will be able to see for yourselves just how great I really am... you thought my blog contained good writing? SHIIIIT! You ain't seen nothin' yet...
As for this here blog... I like the looks of it. I like my logo, I like the colors; the layout could use some tweaking, and I'm sooooo overdue in updating the blog roll. That's all on my to do list. I promise!
But also, mid-August, be on the lookout for a huge milestone post. I'm excited and you should be, too, 'cause it's gonna be fun AND feature some PRIZES! That's right- P-R-I-Z-E-S! And no, a date with me is NOT one of them, sorry! Hope that doesn't cost me any of my male and lesbian readers...
*smooches...happy to have you all aboard on this crazy train*
just think, when I'm receiving my Oscar for best original screenplay and I thank "all the little people" you can be assured that I was giving you all shout outs, and you can say you knew me when... HAHAHAHAHA!!
you know I kid 'cause I love ya, right? RIGHT?
Sunday, July 20, 2008
Til this day I'm *shocked* that she was born perfectly healthy, brain in tact, good size, no medical problems.
*SHOCKED* I tell ya...
I can't say I was happy to be a mom at 20; just ask Celia- she was there when I got the god-awful news from the midwife at the health center. To say that I "cried like Niagara Falls" is an understatement.
There went my gig teaching Catechism classes. There went my good standing in the family. There went my lofty ideas of traveling to Spain and Portugal in my sophomore year. And most especially, there went my chances with that cute Kappa Psi brother... something told me he wasn't gonna be interested in me if I was carrying someone else's child.
Why did I go through with the pregnancy? I was foolishly trying to hold on to what little Catholic tendencies were left in me; in my mind it was bad enough I'd had premarital sex, but to "murder" the baby would be much, much worse. Visions of those abortion films Sister Dorothy made us watch in the 7th grade, the ones where the remnants looked like sloppy joes with tiny skeletons in it, were dancing around my head and I just couldn't.
But that's neither here nor there. The child came along and now she's thir-fucking-teen! WOW. I feel OLD!!!
She was due on the 27th; on the 19th I decided that I should begin getting ready for my hospital stay, starting with my hair. Because I'd already been warned by mami NOT to embarrass her in the Anglo hospital with my 'fro.
C had left for work and I was alone in the entire frat house where we rented a room. In the shower, immediately after I'd finished combing the dreadlocks out of my hair, I felt a little crampy. Hmm... that was weird, I thought to myself. And then I felt another cramp. Like a menstrual cramp. I totally freaked out, thinking I was about to lose the baby because I was having menstrual cramps a full week before I was due. (Early on in the pregnancy I bled a lil and was crampy all the time, so I was a bit paranoid from there on out)
We didn't have cell phones way back then, so instead I called over to the Theta house, hoping that one of my friends would answer. Thankfully, Megan and Danielle were there over the summer and got the house mother to drive me to the hospital, sending a message to C.
So I get there all freaked out like, Dude, I think I'm losing the baby!!! but the nurses were like, um, dear... you're in labor. And at that moment all I could think was, oh shit. my mom's gonna freak when she sees my hair...
They admitted me; Megan and Danielle went home and C arrived, all flustered n shit, stressing me out with his, "Are you okay? Is everything okay?" NO, FOOL, damn... I'm about to push out your demon seed without drugs... can you STOP asking me?
It looked like I was going to be there for a while, so he went home... a good two hours before my active labor began. Ain't it grand to be the dude? Getting to go home and chill while your woman is stuffing her blanket in her mouth to muffle her screams, because she doesn't want to be THAT girl who screams when she's in labor...
Finally, when they called him back they deduced that although I was in active labor and indeed in shitloads of pain, I was still not ready to deliver. Then the nurse came in with what looked like a crocheting hook... walking towards my nether regions... all of a sudden there was no pain because all I could concentrate on was Nurse Ratched coming at me with a big-ass crocheting needle.
"Um... what's that for?"
"Oh nothing, just to break your water, help move things along."
"Break my water how? You are NOT putting that thing in me!"
"You'll barely feel it..."
"YOU ARE NOT PUTTING THAT THING IN ME."
"It doesn't hurt, really..."
At which point C finally grew some balls and told the nurse, "Ma'am, you're not going to put that in her; trust me. She doesn't want it." and the nurse left me... amnion- and sanity- intact.
Towards the end I was CRY-ING for painkillers but no... I'd waited too long. I had to continue au natural. Damn midwife... even had the nerve to ask if I wanted a mirror- a freakin mirror- to watch the birth. What. The. Fuck? Nah, lady... I'll pass. But thanks for thinking of me!
Finally, after experiencing a pain so terrible that I wanted to grab a scalpel and pull a Jesse on C just so he'd know an eighth of the hurt I was going through, K was born. They placed her little body on my belly so she could nurse right away while I tried to pass out.
Only I couldn't pass out because guess what? I wasn't done... oh no, ladies and gentlemen, it's not over when the baby comes out... you still have to deliver the freakin' placenta. And by deliver I mean you feel another set of contractions and you have to push it out as if it were another baby. BULL-FUCKING-SHIT if you ask me...
Mami showed up soon after; brought me some food and oohed and ahhed at the new lady in the family. She ended up staying for a week- cooking and cleaning and making sure I had enough nutritional food and rest to produce enough milk to feed the granddaughter she was sure would be a grandson (yeah, right, lady! you know we're cursed to forever produce females!). Mari came up, too, towards the end of the week, the proud Titi, spoiling K already.
She's still pretty spoiled if you ask me. But in a good way.
*smooches...wishing K a happy 13th in my own Jaded way*
those wishing to send gifts... feel free to send cash, care of The Jaded NYer...
Saturday, July 19, 2008
DR depends on tourism
The Dominican Republic has Latin America's highest tourism receipts per GDP.
According to the Latin Business Chronicle (LBC), 11.1% of the country's GDP comes from tourism. Costa Rica with 7.5% and Panama with 6.0% are two other countries with high tourism revenues. The report by LBC reveals that Panama has experienced the largest increase in tourist visitors while Uruguay had the largest increase in revenues derived from tourism.
The LBC report indicates that Latin America received a record total of 68.6 million international arrivals last year, an increase of 2.9% since 2006.
At first I was like HOT DIGGITY DOG! DR is the SHIZZNIT!
But then further on down the line I read this:
Studying border poverty
According to the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA), unemployment, the lack of development policies and a lack of institutional cooperation are the reasons for the high poverty levels in communities near the Dominican border with Haiti.
The report indicates that the lack of a planning process and the absence of efficiency in implementing programs that have been developed are a cause for concern. The JICA report reveals that poverty levels at the border are at 64%. The current situation has led to an increase in poverty as well as increased migration by young people in search of jobs.
Listin Diario explains that JICA's goal is to use the report as a guideline for reducing poverty in the border region. JICA hopes to reduce poverty 15% by 2015 and 50% by 2030.
"The reduction in the number of inhabitants and the aging of the local population has made the border community lose relevance at national level", says the report.
The report also states that it is the part of the country that is most susceptible to migration from Haiti. Also, the cities in the region are small and aren't sufficiently able to function as commercial centers or as access points to other important commerce markets.
JICA's report included studies on the provinces of Montecristi, Dajabon, Santiago Rodriguez, Elias Pina, Independencia, Bahoruco and Pedernales. The report calls on the government to provide incentives aimed at helping the region to become economically independent.
The study also urges the government to make the region an access point for commerce with Haiti and make the most of the good political relationship the DR and Haiti have developed in recent years.
And I'm like WTF? What about all those tourism dollars? Where is it going?
Then I came across this item:
Was it an execution?
Family members of four men shot and killed by police on Tuesday in the Villa Duarte area of Santo Domingo East say that police used excessive force and are accusing them of executing the men.
Family members say the police shot the four men even after they came out with their hands up. Carmen Batista says that police dragged her grandson Cesar Junior Rijo Batista from the house and shot him in the head. El Caribe reports that tear gas was thrown into the Rijo residence, adding that more than 30 police officers were present during the incident.
Listin Diario reports that family members admitted to the victims' criminal behavior, but said that was no reason to shoot them "and throw them in the trunk of a car, as if they were dogs." According to police, Maikel Castillo Reyes, Juan Marino Rivera, Cesar Junior Rijo Batista, Emil Santana and Victor Santos belonged to the "Lince" gang. Santos, the only one who survived the confrontation with police, admitted that he and his friends were part of the gang and sold drugs in the neighborhood.
And I was like OMG that fucking place is so crazy! Why am I trying to go live there? (And quietly, I was scanning the news on that story to make sure my uncles were NOT one of the "arresting" officers. YIKES!) But THEN I was like, "How is that different from NYPD beat downs?"
Sometimes, man, I tell ya- it's just not worth gnawing through the ropes. Know what I mean?
*smooches...realizing I have so much work left to do in this life*
so maybe it will behoove me to see a doctor about my ailments...
Friday, July 18, 2008
...if the Mexican check-out girl at Foodtown noticed that I bought watermelon twice this week, and if she's making racist jokes with her co-workers about it. But for real- who doesn't like watermelon? And on a side note of TMI- I've been peeing like a racehorse all week because of it. I should just keep a bucket by the bed.
...when I will put my health first once and for all. This month's medical issue: a crazy mean and raging headache that threatens to knock me on my ass more often than not. It could be stress, or lack of sleep. Or a tumor. But guess what? I still haven't made a doctor's appointment...
...why it took me so long to accept motherhood as a fact of life for me. Like, why did I fight it? It's not like they were gonna go anywhere, so all my huffin and puffin and pouting was for naught. I can be so dumb sometimes. *sigh*
...what will happen to me if JACK finds someone and they stay together forever and ever, thereby rendering our if-we're-not-married-by-the-time-we're-70-let's-marry-each-other pact null and void? I don't know, man; if his boo is still alive, and I'm at around age 67, I might have to make him an offer he can't refuse, Corleone style, for real.
...where the the hell is that DAMNED Iron Giant DVD I rented from Netflix last month?!?! I remember getting it in the mail and bringing it upstairs. Now it's gone; swallowed by the abyss in my apartment. Dammit! I don't want to pay for it!! WHERE IS IT?!?!
*smooches...also wondering why it took me so long to watch "Freaks and Geeks"*
and why were viewers stupid enough to let it get cancelled? if you ain't hip to this show, Google it and then catch all of the first and only season on YouTube. So far, Busy Philips is my FAVORITE! Kim Kelly RULEZ!
Thursday, July 17, 2008
J: long story short
J: We was joy riding
J: My boy noticed smoke so. Then I noticed the car basically was just rolling on its own
J: So I pulled over and parked
J: Boy said fire
J: I grabbed the ipod and ran
J: It engulfed in flames
J: A lil explosion happened
J: Fire department showed up
ME: that's prob 'cause you been buying that cheap gas from Thailand
ME: [insert ROFLMAO smiley here]
J: They put out the fire and just completely destroyed what was left of it
J: Well I was mad because I filled up on name brand gas rite b4 the fire
ME: were you smoking the pot? is that what happened?
J: No smoking
J: But we were at hunts point looking for hookers
J: I swear
J: We weren't gonna touch them
J: Just wanted to look
ME: good, because then I would have had to cancel the movie... don't want to sit next to hooker cooties
J: You're the only person I told
J: I think people know
ME: about your car or the hookers
J: Cause it caught on fire at hunts point
J: The hookers
ME: I think... hmmm... yup, I believe you just made the blog, homie
ME: [insert CLAPPING smiley here]
ME: [insert CELEBRATION smiley here]
J: Btw ironically we didn't see a single hooker
*smooches...wondering if I should cut back on my god jokes*
although nothing breaks the ice like a good god joke... so did you hear the one about god, the proctologist and the hostess at TGI Friday's...?
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
or the tourists going to Midtown
or the Dominican country hicks going to the Bronx
or the life preserver on the Irving Park Road Bridge over the Chicago River
and DEFINITELY NOT the drive-thru ATM... for the blind.
People, if you put your wackness out there anywhere near me and mine, we WILL catch you on film and then blog it. I'm just saying...
*smooches...loving this newfangled invention called The Camera Phone*
ayo, Cathi- where's my "I'm Blogging This" tshirt already?!?!
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
Are you freakin' kidding me?
STOP TRYING TO TURN MY KIDS INTO BABY PROSTITUTES!!
*no smooches...because I'm so fed up with today's bullshit, sexed-up fashion for kids!*
whatever happen to cute lil one-piece suits with little fruits on them, or sailboats, or sand castles? Who the hell lets their 7-year-old wear a leopard print string bikini? I'm so sick over this...
Monday, July 14, 2008
***Can I just add real quick what a BITCH it was to be pregnant in the middle of summer? TWICE? What the hell was I thinking... fornicating in November like some cheap harlot?
Towards the end of both pregnancies I remember wanting to peel off my skin it was so freakin hot! At one point, when I was pregnant with K, I was so ready to just go in "there" and pull her out myself. That's how uncomfortable I was.
My poor ex... we lived way up in the hills at Alfred at in the Kappa Sigma house (which was actually the old Lambda house), and I'd make him go buy me twin pops from the UniMart way down in the valley at least 3 times a day. And no matter how many he bought at a time, I'd eat them all at once and then say, "Baby I'm still hhhhoooootttttt!! I need more Popsicles!!!!"
Ahhh the good ol' days...***
K will officially be a teenager (YOU: "but Raquel, you don't look old enough to have a teenager!" ME: "Oh, aren't you a dear!")
and N will be eight. EIGHT.
My baby is eight *sniffle* and it's probably no longer kosher to carry her around and eat her belly. But I do it anyway and she lets me. So there!
In my family, elaborate birthday parties get cut off at age 10 because, in theory, the next few years is spent saving and planning for the quinceañera, so we're just taking K and some of her friends to Six Flags. But I didn't have a quince and it looks like K isn't too keen on one either. Why? She'd rather use that money towards publishing the book she's writing. My baby. Writing a book.
Stop. Hating. Green is not your color...
Her sister, however, is ALL ABOUT the party, because she knows her mommy will go out of her way to make fancy invitations, yummy cupcakes (always strawberry cake with chocolate frosting and cherries on top), and that the rest of the family will spoil her with gifts and all of her favorite foods.
This year's theme: Crazy Eights. Don't ask how I'm gonna pull this off, but so far I'm ordering these balloons,
sending out these homemade invitations,
and settled on a cake shaped like an 8 surrounded by bunches of cupcakes (god forbid there be no cupcakes!). How many in a bunch? Why, eight of course!
Because I am a birthday party FANATIC that can't be stopped!
*smooches...dusting off my old plans of becoming a party planner*
I put all my business-ownin' aspirations on the back burner for the sake of grad school and my writing, but gosh darn it, party planning is in my BLOOD! Anyone need something planned? I'll give you the friends and family discount... lol
Sunday, July 13, 2008
They're Trinidadian... and I absolutely LOVE THEM- the accents (wha gwan?) the food (hell YEAH I brought home some curry and roti) and the closeness.
Man, Island folk are the best.
And if you didn't know, now you know.
*smooches...kinda ready to trade one island for another*
in other news, I found my motivation this weekend, so thanks to everyone who kept tabs. inbox is down to 50... all is right with the world...
Friday, July 11, 2008
If you happen to see it somewhere, maybe walking the ho stroll or stealing candy from babies, maybe, can you let me know? It's kinda tall like me, a little bit darker in complexion, wears a long wig and black clothes and is usually barefoot and carrying a Sony Vaio laptop. If you see it, yeah, that one, it's mine.
Do not attempt to apprehend it yourself, though. My motivation is quite volatile. And carries a boxcutter blade in its mouth, tucked in nicely in between its cheek and gums on the left hand side. Don't say I didn't warn you...
Meanwhile, my Gmail inbox is over the 100 mark and I'm. Freaking. Out. Little known fact about me- if I have more than 50 emails in my inbox I lose my shit and want to cry. It's an OCD thing; if I have more than 50 I have multiple pages of emails. Under 50 is just one page.
I NEED TO HAVE JUST ONE PAGE, OR I CAN BARELY FUNCTION IN SOCIETY WITHOUT KNOCKING SOMEBODY OUT.
The Yahoo inbox has reached a ridunculous 170... and it's supposed to stay at 25. I'm breaking out in hives just thinking about it.
Guess what I'll be doing for the next couple of days instead of blogging?
*smooches...nose deep in emails, dammit!*
let's not even get started on the amount of junk mail I have on my desk that needs to be shredded...
PS- this is my way of saying HELL NO, MY THESIS EDITS ARE *STILL* NOT FINISHED AND IT'S DRIVING ME TO EAT...
Thursday, July 10, 2008
I really saw just how DUMB the animosity with the two were when, the summer before my freshman year of college, I got a job in Elizabeth at a family-owned used furniture store. The owners were Haitian. Papi was livid.
He kept asking me if the owner tried anything fresh with me, or if they offered me anything strange to eat or drink, just silliness like that. Papi really did not want me to work there, but what could I do? I needed the money and no one else was hiring in that one-horse town!
Since then this something has been brewing in me, this desire to squash all the drama on that island. The hateration and scapegoating has GOT TO stop, I'm not playing! Enough is enough. It's a lofty goal but I'm going ahead with it and no one can stop me.
But... baby steps... I can't just stroll up into both countries and demand peace. I realized that it might help to attack the little things first, in small bunches, and eventually jump out from behind the bushes with a kamikaze maneuver the likes of which no one has ever seen, and then help unite the countries on the sly. They'll never know what hit 'em! HA!
Fast forward to today (or rather last month) when I was introduced to this awesome fledgling organization, Global Potential. Their mission- "to create positive socio-economic change for underserved youth and their communities in low-income urban neighborhoods, and for marginalized rural communities in the Dominican Republic."
Not a hand out but a hand up, as the saying goes, for both the Dominican youth and the group going there to help. A mutually beneficial arrangement geared at empowerment. What isn't there to love about that? How much easier will it be to mend the fences between Haiti and the Dominican Republic once the younger generation have been infused with the tools and opportunities to enable them to succeed in life? My plan is PURE GENIUS!
After visiting their site and reading up on what they're working towards I was like SIGN ME UP! "Whatever I can help with, let me know."
They are currently in DR, Batey #8, and reports from the road sound good so far. You can read their blog here. The report from Keisha... when she mentions that the kids have no shoes, man, right away I was like, "fuck the BMW..." It's a NICE car, I loved it, I'm over it. Because kids in DR have no shoes and that bothers me.
What Global Potential needs right this minute, right at this millisecond, is more exposure. More people to know about them and their mission which can then, in turn, generate more support, especially financial support.
So here I am, hoping that among my 20 loyal readers, some, if not all, will feel compelled to spread the word, maybe even offer up their skills and volunteer. They are based in New York but I'm certain they wouldn't turn down out-of-town help.
Maybe you know someone who could help, or have connections somewhere that could benefit the group. Not saying you have to, but if you do, that'd be super cool of you, and you'd be my best friend forever and ever! How's that for incentive?
Seriously, though, take a minute to visit Global Potential's website and really truly read over the available literature. Then let me know if you're down for the cause; although she'd like to fancy herself Super Woman, even The Jaded NYer cannot take on Haiti and DR all by herself.
Just imagine all the good we could do...
*smooches...loving this new sense of purpose*
lookit me, all philanthropic and shit... who'd a thunk it?
Wednesday, July 09, 2008
"Probably?" Make up your freaking mind, fool! Ugh, sometimes I could just SHAKE him!
Anywayz, my girl L and I joked about it, already making plans to have her be my "Plus 1" for the ceremony (if I'm invited... WAIT- I'll be invited, right? HE'D BETTER FUCKING INVITE ME!) so we could witness the hilarity of it all and exchange notes and jokes afterwards, but wow. Now it's for real.
So I'm trying to figure out how I feel... because I think I should feel something, right?
There's definitely a lil jealousy- I mean, he found someone before I did; not that there was a competition... because certainly I'm not some uber-competitive crazy nut job who was trying to live happily ever after before him with some random dude I don't even love just to prove a point. No-sir-ee BOB, not me! I'm just sayin'...
And there's some apprehension because I want to make sure that the "probably" soon-to-be second Mrs. C does NOT try to steal or hurt my babies (LORD HELP HER if she does...). Because I am their mother. Their ONLY mother. ME. NUMERO ONLY. No compromise on that there ish.
She will have ZERO say on how things go down with my babies because why? See these here stretch marks (pretend I'm actually bold enough to post a pic of my stretchmarks on this site)? She didn't put in on this, Man, and I'll be damned if she comes along after the fact trying to be Mrs. Mommy Boss Hog. Nah, fuck that. I don't like people playing with my kids!
"Raise up off these N-U-Ts, cause you gets none of these... at ease" BI-OTCH!
...yeah, but otherwise, I can't say that I feel anything, really.
[side note- how funny is it that I bitch and moan about hating motherhood, but the minute it looks like someone's moving in on my territory I'm Super Mom? Who knew it would take C getting remarried for my maternal instincts to kick into OVERKILL? I crack myself up...]
I've never wanted to reconcile with him, so there's no lingering "let's give it another shot" feeling. Maybe I'll be a little weird about calling at random hours of the day and night as I have been doing when I can't remember some odd pop culture reference, because she might feel a little threatened by my youthful exuberance (she's like 47) and timeless good looks. I mean, really, have you SEEN me?? No? Here's a reminder:
Me with dark hair
Me with lighter hair
Either way, I'm the hotness and she knows it. I know she knows it, he knows she knows it and she cries into her pillow every night knowing it.
Here's another reminder for her:
OK, that was straight craziness and hateration, but you know what? Whatever! My ex is getting MARRIED for heaven's sake! I'm not a saint; I'm allowed to be just a teensy bit petty!!
It helps, though, that I will always remember- VIVIDLY- why he's my ex. In case you're new and don't know, click here and here.
I guess I'm happy for him; either that or still in a mild state of shock. I definitely feel less guilty about the way I ended things and really hope he doesn't fuck it up again for the girls' sake. They really could do with not seeing any more divorce in the family.
In the meantime, I'm gonna go out and celebrate the fact that I'm Single and Fabulous, exclamation point, and will resist the urge to go home with some strange piece of beefcake just to boost my ego. Maybe.
*smooches...realizing that green really, truly is just not my color*
so... who wants to party and help me forget that at the end of the night I'm going home alone??
Tuesday, July 08, 2008
My girl Jerzy Jung, an UBER-talented singer/songwriter just sent me one of her new singles and I'm over here playing it on repeat because I'm so in love with it. I'm adding it here so you can be obsessed with it, too:
And here's another song she recorded a few years ago that I was totally lusting over when I first heard it:
Ain't she grand??
To hear more from the lovely Ms. Jung, visit her on Myspace.
And now... drum roll... my ode...
(but not really an ode because when it comes to poetry I suck major donkey dick)
the train conductors on the F-train
the Fed Ex guy on 5th
the construction workers on Madison Ave
the UPS guy in front of the Salvation Army
the beer guy, making deliveries to the pub around the corner
the bus drivers dropping students off at the UCP building
the police academy cadets on 21st
the firefighters visiting on the 4th floor
the Halal food stand guy, chopping veggies in anticipation of the lunch rush
you all show me so much love each and every day
some of you are even sweet to look at
my day is not complete without your "Good Morning, Beautiful"
or the honking horn and head nod
I appreciate that you've never gotten vulgar with it
and thank you for wearing those pants
*smooches...taking a moment to show some gratitude*
I have this love-hate relationship with NYC; one minute I'm plotting my escape, next minute I see all the sexiness around me and I'm all like, "awww, I love it here!"
Monday, July 07, 2008
When this happens it really isn't a good idea for me to be alone because I'll usually get into something not so good for me. Idle hands and all... you know how that goes...
Well that's how I woke up on Saturday. Bored. But instead of being all self-destructive about it, I looked in the mirror and said, "That's it!" and headed to The Heights to my stylist and told her in Spanish, "Josie, I need something new."
She came up with this:
I'm still trying to get used to it; it's been almost 4 years since I had red hair. For the past couple of mornings I wake up, go to the mirror and get a little startled because my hair isn't brown. It's like "Whoa- who are YOU and what have you done with Raquel?" Then I remember. Saturday.
The Voices are a little bit bolder when they're Red, too- just a warning- so we should all be in for one helluva summer...
[side note: did you know that they also dye your eyebrows when they dye your hair? That cracks me up!]
In other news, couldn't you just eat her little face?
Miss Olivia makes me almost, maybe, kinda, sorta, perhaps, but not really but yes really miss having a baby/toddler around. They're so much fun at this age!
Oh lord, I think I just caught baby fever...MUST. FIND. ANTIDOTE.
*smooches...invoking a lil Rita Hayworth with every keystroke*
now all I need is a bit of a tan to go with the new hair color and I'll be good to go... the first sunny day I see I'm heading to Coney Island!
Sunday, July 06, 2008
I've finally come to the realization that YES, I am a laid back kinda girl but when it comes to my precious weekends I need debauchery. I need a pumping baseline. I need to see ignorance on the dance floor and I need to feel like my life is in danger at some point but not really. I need to hear Biggie and Luda and Mos Def coming out of the speakers, and maybe even a lil Sean Paul for good measure.
Basically, if I walk into a place and I see some uber-skinny, long-haired freak in a fedora slinging booze I'M OUT!! NO MAS!! Here's me waving the white flag.
[waves white flag]
From now on I need to stay on the Flatbush side of the Slope. Or stick to Bembe.
Actually, you know what? FUCK IT. That's it... from now on, I'm just gonna party across the bridge. That's right, you read correctly, unless I'm at Bembe, I'm just gonna schlep my ass uptown where I know I will feel right at home.
It's really, really a sad state of affairs when the highlight of my Saturday night was hanging out at a Dominican restaurant in the Heights with a bunch of drunk men watching the tail end of the Mets game and talking a lot of shit. But it was funny shit. Engaging. Almost had me choking on my sancocho.
Honestly? I really felt at home up there. And the cuties were out in full effect, flossing on the streets, in their cars. Shit, I even saw a dude in a fucking Lamborghini- NO LIE- right there on Broadway and 177th, and he tried to pick me up... I shoulda just hopped in and called it a night!
Maybe that's where I need to be from now on...
*smooches...fed up already. for real.*
so go ahead and let me know where all the beautiful black people are shakin' their asses, 'cause it sure as hell AIN'T in Park Slope!!!
I mean for chrissake! how am I supposed to meet my Mr. Right among those freakin hipsters??
Saturday, July 05, 2008
*smooches...warning the world about crazy, blind drivers*
for those hoping this was a joke, NO, it wasn't. Jack spotted this, took a pic and promptly sent it to me.
we're in the end of days for real...
Friday, July 04, 2008
And if those old, dead white guys had backed off and agreed to pay their damn taxes all those years ago, who knows if we'd even exist right now.
I especially want to shout out those in the Armed Forces and the Veterans who've laid their lives on the line for my lazy ass to be able to blog at work and talk shit about the Administration all the live long day. I don't agree with this war, but I support you all 100%.
(Visit http://bubbazartwork.com/ to see more of Ray Sorenson's artwork at "Freedom Rock," all tributes to our servicemen. He's truly a talented young man, so I felt the need to feature him real quick.)
***** ***** ***** *****
We live in one of the most expensive cities in the country and shit ain't getting cheaper. Hell, I just paid $11 for a goddamn drink that would have been cheaper to make at home...
That's why I'm here for you with the FREE-ness for Saturday.
1- First Saturdays at the Brooklyn Museum. Free admission, programs, films and a hot hot hot dance party from 9-11PM. This month's theme... VIVA AFRICA!
2- Southpaw's The Rub. Monthly hip hop party in Brooklyn that promises to send you home sweaty and tired but very very happy!
3- Bembe. Y'all know that's my spot. Know why? NO COVER and cheap drinks. Well, except for the $11 coco loco. And you're guaranteed to make out with a hottie on the dance floor. Okay, not always, but most nights...
4- New York Philharmonic on Governors Island. For all you classic music lovers. 6:30PM
5- International African Arts Festival. Friday AND Saturday, 10am–9pm. Commodore John Barry Park, Navy St between Flushing and Park Aves, in Fort Greene, Brooklyn. An annual showcase of local, national and international performers features steel and jazz bands, gospel choirs, reggae artists plus other stuff
6- Central Park Summerstage: Rachid Taha, Dengue Fever, Apollo Heights. 3-7PM at the bandstand. Algerian raï-punk, Cambodian–infused psychedelic rock, and guitar-driven soundscapes direct from the Lower East Side. What more could you ask for?
Do you have any free shit going on that I can bring my broke ass to? Hit me up if you end up at any of these events and I'll be sure to look for you.
Me? Oh, I'll be everywhere... Have MetroCard, Will Travel...
*smooches...thinking maybe I'll finally buy my bike to get around easier*
until I can buy THE CAR, a bicycle will have to do...
Thursday, July 03, 2008
He was Papi's nephew, but he and Grandma took him in and raised him as their own, so to me, that was my Tio Julio.
Julio was always in trouble; did lousy in school, repeatedly had his ass whooped like a slave by Papi. One such beating left nasty welts on Julio's back. Us kids cried and cried for him. I don't know what he did to deserve that beating, all I remember is crying, and my mom putting ointment on his back afterwards.
I hardly remember ever really interacting with Julio, but there's a photo of him carrying me as a baby. It's a sweet photo.
He married this girl, Nina, before he enlisted in the Army, this black girl from the neighborhood. She wasn't really welcomed in our home. Even as a kid I could sense the tension between her and Grandma. Not sure what went down between them, because as a kid in a Dominican household, you're not really privy to that kind of information, but they did not get along.
Then he came home after boot camp, in his uniform, looking all official. Still short, but official. He came to get Nina; he was shipping out, but I forget where... Hawaii, maybe? I don't remember. Last time I saw them, hmm, well I remember them at my 9th birthday party- last time all of us were together- and then later, after he and Nina had had a couple of daughters he brought them home to meet us. Beautiful little girls with Hawaiian names. YES, HAWAII! That's where he was.
Later he had a third girl, another Hawaiian name, and a letter postmarked from Oklahoma. A Dominican in Oklahoma. Have you ever heard of such craziness?
No more letters. No pictures of the girls. He stopped writing or coming home. Grandma and Papi moved to New Jersey and then, shortly after, to Los Minas, where Grandma died.
My Titi Gloris tried to find Julio. Let him know what happened to Grandma. I tried to find Julio; wrote to the Army and everything. And nothing.
Got a letter from the Army stating that no such person by that name and SSI number has ever been in the U.S. Army. Excuse me? What?
In my mind I played out two scenarios.
ONE- he managed to pull off the biggest scam on us just to get out of the house and away from us.
TWO- his death is being covered up.
Conspiracy theories swim through my head like a motherfucker at least once a month.
Why am I writing this? I read an article in the NY Times about the rising death toll in Afghanistan. I recently reconnected with a friend from school who'll be going back out there next year. I also connected with another former classmate who just ended a tour out there. And I ran across this website, iCasualties, and it made me cry. Made me angry. Made me want to scream.
19-year-olds were on this casualty list. 19-year-olds. Some one's son. Daughter. Gone before they could even legally take a drink at the local pub or rent a stupid car from Hertz.
Is this what happened to my uncle? Where can I find his name?
And what about my other uncles, out in DR, in law enforcement, life on the line everyday. And Abuelo with his guards and chaperones and stash of weapons in the house. Or my aunt, prosecuting crazy drug dealers in DR, life on the line every day. Or my cousin in Lawrence, a State Trooper, wounded in the Army, life on the line every day.
"It is well that war is so terrible — lest we should grow too fond of it." - Robert E. Lee
*smooches...feeling a little down and a little helpless in the face of all these wars*
see THIS is why I shy away from newspapers. now all I can think about is dead 19-year-olds, my uncle M.I.A., and my family in danger.
Wednesday, July 02, 2008
And I need to tell you this because usually, I loathe being in a car. Y'all know I'm not a car person- I get motion sickness, I have those anxiety attacks and generally don't trust those coffins on wheels; I prefer my feet planted safely on the ground.
And y'all know I could give two shits about labels and luxury items. I'm a laid-back person who's not into flossin' like that.
Plus, with the price of gas what it is, and the wack-ass Bush Administration threatening to drill in PROTECTED Arctic National Wildlife Refuge for freakin oil, cars would normally not be my friend right now
That was before I went on a road trip... IN A FUCKING BMW 535xi, BITCHEZ!!!
What?! You can't tell me shit about SHIT now- I NEED THAT CAR! I MUST HAVE IT!! Arctic National Wildlife Refuge be DAMNED! DRILL THAT MOTHERFUCKER UP!
You know how y'all said that one day I'll want my license, that something will finally motivate me to learn how to drive? Who knew that all it would take was one sexy motherfucking GERMAN!
And that new car smell... ORGASMIC. I tried to play it cool, like I didn't care. But the difference between this magically sent from heaven machine and every other car on the planet became more and more evident the more I sat in it.
People- the chair fucking HUGS you; and when I say hugs you I mean literally adjusts to HUG YOUR BODY. And the seats heat up. And lays back.
Is it legal to marry a car seat in New York? Let me stop talking about it... I'm getting dizzy...
Oh wait, this is supposed to be about the weekend... almost forgot... but that damn car... I had sweet n sexy dreams about this car. Still am...
OK- back to the weekend.
Friday; met up with two really cool people from a non-profit that has caught my eye. I'm pretty excited about it, but I don't want to jinx anything so that's all I want to say about it. Just know your girl is working towards the greater good, FINALLY, instead of sitting around complaining about shit.
Then I went to Modell's and FINALLY bought my Santana TShirt. Number 57 all the way. I don't care that he lost to the Yankees this weekend. He's still my boo. OOH- a thought just popped in my head... Johan, in a BMW... I might need a shower...
OK, focus, Raquel, focus.
Then I went to a bar in the East Village to watch the Yankees whoop the Mets butt. I almost cried. And why do Yankee fans have to be so darn obnoxious? Can't they just win and shut the fuck up about it? SHEESH!
When the game was over, I had to drown my sorrows. So I went to the Angelika and saw War Inc on my baby's birthday. Unfortunately, as much as I love love love John Cusack, I hated hated hated this movie. I even fell asleep during it. So disappointed.
Wait, wait... another thought... Johan + John Cusack + BMW = my dying wish... *sigh*
Got home at 3-ish, only to get up at 6-ish. Because I like playing with fire.
Saturday, 7AM bright and early, THE CAR arrives.
My new friend RC had made these random plans to drive up to MA to hang with Cathi for the weekend- he's back stateside for the first time in a while, stationed in GA, but was up here visiting his family. Funny thing is- I'm calling him my new friend RC because even though we went to the same High School and College, back then we were damn near mortal enemies.
Something about him being immature (he *just* informed me that he's two years younger than me and it explained so much) and me being a total, hard core bitch. But this weekend we were like the best of friends. I guess we've both grown up since '94!
We got there early, ate something at IHOP (NOTE- do not ever get their scrambled egg whites... they use fake eggs and it tastes like nothing mixed with nothing and has the consistency of chicken fat. BLECH!), bought some liquor and showed up on Cathi's door ready to party. She had her babies, though, so we had to pace ourselves.
Enter Six Flags New England; Cathi took the babies to the water park and me n RC (RC and I?) tackled some roller coasters. And I don't really do roller coasters anymore, you know, vertigo and whatnot, but RC dared me. Called me out. I don't back down from a dare. EVER!
That fool even made me keep my eyes OPEN on those rides. AND he made me get on that bungee ride, too, and I swore that I'd never ever ever go bungee jumping. I should've known better than to get on rides with someone who says stuff like, "Once you've ducked mortars and snipers in the desert, everything else is easy."
But I ain't gonna lie- I enjoyed every minute of it, and damn if I didn't feel free as a motherfucker flying through the air on that damn bungee cord... air through my hair, just swinging back and forth... holding onto RC for dear life... I'm not even mad that he bought one of those souvenir pictures that has me looking like a straight fool on the Man of Steel coaster.
Then we got back and made plans for the grown folks portion of the evening. We changed clothes and went to pre-game it at Jim's (Cathi's boyfriend). Don't worry- she had a sitter for the babies... we ain't that ghetto!
Jim fed us and agreed to be our designated driver/chaperone, as the rest of us tied one one. The evening included a mechanical bull, alcohol, dancing, more alcohol, and alcohol and alcohol. But not me, cause I know when to say when, (and here's where the vomit comes in)... UNLIKE SOME PEOPLE I KNOW WHO CAN'T HOLD THEIR LIQUOR (hint- I'm not talking about me OR RC).
Here's a photo slide show I put together, which was MUCH FASTER AND EASIER than adding individual photos, and had I thought of this sooner this post would have been up on Monday... D'OH!
On another drunken note, how crazy is it that, by simply flashing his military ID around town, RC got special treatment? He was all like, "Membership has it's privileges" and he wasn't kidding!
AND why did I wake up with like three bruises I don't remember getting? I didn't black out, I stopped at a decent amount of alcohol, still had my wits about me. I can't remember anyone gripping me up... strange... I wonder if it had anything to do with someone's heavy ass legs resting on me like I was part of the goddamn furniture!
Let me say for the record that I thought I knew the meaning of dead weight from having to carry my kids around after they've fallen asleep in the subway or in the car, but DAMN, after having that fool resting his passed out legs over mine like I was made to be his personal foot rest... I'm surprised I don't have permanent indentations in my thighs! He's lucky his job is to preserve my freedom, otherwise, I might've had to smother him with a couch cushion.
See? Best of friends.
Oh, but the best part? Driving around in my new LOVER with Cathi, watching people watch us... cause we were in a fly ass BMW- WOO HOO!!! That's right, RC let her drive THE CAR and I've never been so mad at myself in my life! If I had had my license already that could've been ME behind the wheel!
And of course, Last game of the Subway Series on Sunday? Mets 3, Yankees 1 (go Perez; do your thang, buddy! Viva Mexico!! lol). Then, Ahhhh... smooth sailing all the way back to New York City... all hugged up with my, er, I mean RC's BMW...
*smooches...really, really trying to get down to GA to see that car, er, I mean RC again*
I might have to rethink my anti-machine stance from now on... damn Germans...
also, new favorite show: Top Gear on BBC. I watched an episode on Sunday and am officially a fan after that one show. hope I can find them online...