Friday, August 29, 2008

Before You Head Out For That 3-Day Weekend...

...Let me just tell you a few things:

1- Tropic Thunder is a funny ass movie and Robert Downey, Jr. is a straight FOOL!!!! Man, I haven't laughed so hard at a movie in a real long time!!

Yo, J, man, we're two for two- first The Wackness, and now this. I say next one should be either Blindness or Eagle Eye. Your choice, my treat. But if you suggest Space Chimps ONE MORE TIME, the friendship is OVER!

2- We're adding another soldier to the Girl Army in January; Celia's baby officially has TWO, count them, TWO X chromosomes!!! WOOO HOOO!!!! And people said those candles I bought from the santero last month wouldn't work. PSH!

I also want to give a special shout out to my mom's friend D who just had her baby girl on the 16th; I saw her last weekend and she's the tiniest, cutest, snuggliest lil bit... I almost stole her!! Welcome to the fold, Ladies!!

3- It's 2:29 AM as I type this sentence... just 20 minutes ago a naked white man was creeping on the street a block away from my spot as I was walking home. I peeped him but, you know me, just kept it moving, minding my own business. Then he scurried over my way... to show me his pasty white ass. Actually stopped a few feet ahead of me to squat and show me his ass. And I'm not sure because I did not look directly at him, but I think he had his finger(s) up there, too.

Whatever... I had my knife in hand so I wasn't scared, but can my neighbors PLEASE control their crazy kin? What if the babies had been with me?? I'm too through.

4- I see all over Twitterland and via text messages from Jack that Obama gave a great speech Thursday night. That almost makes me want to hear it. But I can't really bring myself to listen to yet ANOTHER politician talk shit out his ass about how he's gonna make it all better when really he's got his own agenda to follow and ego to feed. I wish him and his peeps well, but I just can't be bothered.

5- I'm not posting anything until Tuesday, taking full advantage of the three-day holiday, taking my babies to a Brooklyn Cyclones game, cooking a nice big pot of turkey chili for them (because I know they've been missing their mommy's food!) and then getting them ready for school.

It's back to business as usual as of this weekend, so Irene and I will be doing it up at The Chip Shop in Brooklyn Heights tonight... my "Farewell to Freedom" dinner...

*smooches...ready to get back to parenting my girls full time*
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truth be told, I had fun this summer but it's kinda nice when they're around. only kinda nice, though, 'cause that mommy shit gets old real fast! lol

enjoy your labor day weekend... and save me some BBQ chicken & mac n cheese, will ya?

Thursday, August 28, 2008

OOPS!!

I'm not 100% certain, but I think there used to be a car here:



I mean, it was there when I came home that evening... If you ask me, the Wigger Council had something to do with it...

*smooches...sad to see that crime visited my block*
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but one car theft in two years is actually pretty good for Brooklyn, so let me not complain

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

In Syndication Five Times Over!

So this, ladies and gentlemen, is the 500th post of The Jaded NYer.



*APPLAUSE*

At first I wasn't going to make a big deal out of it, but then I figured it would be fun so why not? I even figured I could do a tiny give-away, which I've been discussing with the entire Cast of The Jaded NYer* for a while now. No better time than the present, right?



So let's get on with the extravaganza...

First, for all the newbies (and the-not-so-new but oh-so-nosy vets), I'm willing to take a page from the other blogs I've read and open myself up for questions**- TWO EACH TOPS, okay? nosy-ass mo-fo's... and I promise to answer it 100% honestly; The Cast will make sure I'm not lying.

Next, I'm gonna test your Jaded NYer trivia skills... for the first person to list my four celebrity crushes correctly in the comments, I will send you this, hot off the presses... drum roll, please......



The Jaded NYer TShirt!!! Yeah, bitchez, I finally broke down and made myself a shirt, and one for readers/fans/cast members. My shirt looks like this:



The graphic is a wee bit stretched out on my shirt, but what can I do? It's a blessing AND a curse...

Then, for the fifth person to leave a comment, I will send you this... hot off the presses, too, The Official Jaded NYer Academic Calendar, complete with gorgeous photos of MY New York- not the one you see in the movies.



Why an academic calendar? Because that's the kind I use... you got a problem with free shit? The nerve...

Finally, for the next three runners-up to the Name My Celeb Crushes question... an autograph picture of yours truly!!!

*crickets*

What? You don't want it?? Why I oughtta...

*****

So now a time for reflection on this whole blogging game...



I first became aware of them through Irene- she introduced me to LiveJournal and we each had an account and I think I wrote like 5 entries and then gave up. Then I couldn't remember my login information- this happens to me a lot- so I never went back.

Then I read a peculiar news item about a woman in California who was fired for writing about her job. Today we know her as DOOCE, AKA Heather B. Armstrong, and she's still my favorite blogger of ALL TIME! To me, she's like the Don Corleone of blogging. *bows down to Don Dooce*

At one point I discovered blogger.com and started a blog in '04 that I recently deleted. At first it was just silly things like I have here, but then I found myself using it as a release during The Break Up Heard Round The World, so there was some real raw shit over there that I was reluctant to delete at first. Sometimes I would go over there and read it and applaud myself for getting through it all without slitting my wrists. Not that I'm that weak of heart, but you get my drift.

Here are excerpts from the first post:

What's the worst thing that could happen to a City girl like me? You guessed it- I'm moving to Jersey. Wait a minute while I puke...

I don't mean to hate on the Garden State (hey, that rhymes!), but blech! Never in a million years...

It's not even cool jersey- it's farm country jersey. BLECH BLECH BLECH!! On a side note, I've made this one, keen observation: all of my down-home peeps are like "ewwww, Jersey", and all of my Caucasian co-workers are like "oh, the country, I'm so jealous. You'll love it. It'll be so great for your kids" and I just want to smack them. You know what will be great for my kids? To see other kids of color in their classrooms. To be enriched by the glorious wonder that is NYC. Not to live next door to cows. No, literally. The property next door has cattle...

...Today's goal: find what died in my bathroom and get rid of it.




Then an ex convinced me to get on myspace (yes, the same ex from The Break Up Heard Round The World, and no it's not my ex-husband) and I started blogging on there. It was fun; I really started to develop my style over there, but then I had to leave. Because he dumped me and I didn't want to have to see his PUNK ASS on myspace all the time. Because OF COURSE I was stalking his freakin page. WHAT?

At this time I was also working at a horrible place my co-workers and I called The Basement, and so I started a blog where we could bitch and moan about it. Except I ended up being the only one writing; they CLAIMED that they'd rather read my rants. Mhmm... SIDE EYE to all my Basement Co-Workers!

Finally, with my myspace gone and the two blogger accounts on the D.L., I started this blog, called it Not Just Some Sniveling Girl, labeled myself The Queen of Brooklyn, and began sending updates to my friends and close family members.

I also started Stranger Than Fiction and another spot where I keep track of my writing samples (articles, stories, BAD poetry), but that was mostly for my own benefit and not really something I advertised. Sometime last year I switched this spot over to the new URL, The Jaded NYer, since that's what I was calling myself anyway, and here we are today.

At the 500th post.



What have I learned during all this?

1- The blogoshpere is JUST LIKE a John Hughes teen flick, where everyone is in a little clique and pretty much stays there without venturing out too far. And god forbid you have a falling out with someone in the inner circle... talk about domino effect of childishness... Hey, I do it, too! And it's real easy to get caught up in some bullshit if you let yourself, so just remember- none of these fools out here, me included, pay your bills, so fuck all the haters.

(and I would just like to add that I'm very thankful that the haters have not made their way to The Jaded NYer, or if they have, have kept their e-tongues in check. I'd really hate to have to e-cut a mo-fo...)

2- Every one has their own definition of TMI, and that definition changes from post to post. At one point I didn't want any pics of my kids on here. Now, since they're a little older and whatnot, I'm a little more lax. I still won't put their government out there, but one or two pics here and there have been okay with me so far.

And I used to talk about my dates (good and bad) but then decided that the dudes didn't really give me permission to do so, plus I had a tendency to be a bitch or jinx my own situation, so I stopped. From now on, you'll never know if I'm taken until you come over here and see the post title: The Jaded NYer Gets Married. HA HA HA HA!! Yeah, right... don't hold your breath...

3- The male bloggers have A LOT of female readers and the female bloggers have A LOT of male readers... hmmm... is Blogger the new craigslist?? Am I in the middle of a meat market and didn't know? Is that why some people flood their pages with pictures of themselves?

4- Blogging can easily take over your life, which is why I force myself to take breaks, regardless of the stank phone calls and emails I used to get from Mari. Sometimes I feel like, "Damn, I have loyal readers and I owe them something interesting to read," and then other days I'm like, "Fuck all you hos..."

5- I've been more open to trying new things JUST BECAUSE I can blog about it after I do it. So in a way I'm conquering a few fears and getting out more by having this blog. Like bungee jumping at Six Flags New England. Or being nice to my ex's new girlfriend. Not too shabby at all.

6- Be careful what you write; if you don't want it to come back and bite you in the ass don't push that "publish" button. Me? I stand by every word I've ever written. It may not be how I feel today, but it's how I felt when I published the words, and I'm not ashamed of any of it. Embarrassed, maybe. Ashamed? NEVER!

7- Some of y'all got some potty mouths and X-rated shit on your pages! TSK TSK!! What would the Baby Jesus say?

8- I'm not as well read as I thought! Some of the blogs I read and lurk around be schoolin' me sometimes (Brother Omi, I'm looking at you...). Sometimes I refuse to visit certain pages because the level of information I might take away with me will make me pass out. But seriously, keep it up, 'cause when I do visit I can just feel myself get smarter. And that makes this Nerd Girl very happy.

9- There are more good writers out there than I initially thought. Some of them are even super talented. And dammit- with all y'all out there how am I supposed to get my shit published? Haven't you heard that The World Needs Ditch Diggers, Too? Go dig a ditch and stay out of my way, dammit!!!

10- If I ever decided to close up shop, I would actually be missed. That's an awesome feeling, and I'm really, truly appreciative and humbled by the love I feel from all of you in the blogosphere.

Here's to another 500 posts!



*smooches, besos, bacioni, bejus, bisous, and all that good stuff*
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*cast members? Yes, cast members; the people featured here on a regular besides the babies and me: Jack, Lani, Mari, Minnie, Irene, Cathi, with special guest appearances by Nina, Celia, Marcin, Mami and John Cusack.

**questions disclaimer: I reserve the right not to answer any question that I feel would infringe on someone else's privacy. so don't even ask it!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Sign O' The Times

Remember a time when your milk was delivered by a friendly milkman every morning, the butcher knew exactly how you liked your steak trimmed, and the bag boy at your local grocery store offered to bring your purchases to your car?

No?

Me neither.

Because the New York I grew up in is the kind of place where you can toss your own salad (he he he)



right across the street from the place that will help you kill your evil liver for only $3.00 a pop (boo-YAH!).




Yes, I know, I'm soooooooo immature. Like I care...

*smooches...wondering what took me so long to post these pics*
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I pass by those signs everyday, and everyday without fail I chuckle like a little girl at the hidden meaning of one and candidness of the other. Ah, New York... how much do I love thee...

PS- make sure you tune in tomorrow... you don't want to miss the giveaways... oh yeah, I said giveaways...

Confessions Of A NYC Public Library Addict

First let me say that I *admit* to having an addictive personality: when I encounter something new that I like or enjoy, usually in the food group, I'm all about that one thing. For example, the chicken empanadas and mango shakes from Sophie's Cuban Cuisine, or the mini turkey burgers and sweet potato fries from The New York Burger Co.

But on the rarest of occasions that addiction can be inclusive of things like Fiestaware dishes (which I used to collect), cameras (also, another tiny collection), old typewriters, of which I have two, and of course, books.

When I was married my ex and I had soooooooo many books that it was almost criminal! Add in the tons of books we bought for the babies and we could have opened a small, special interest book shop!

But of course, when I moved into my 6sq.ft. apartment, many, many, many books had to go bye-bye, and I enacted a strict policy on the acquisition of new reading materials: for every 1 book purchased, 2 had to leave. OUCH! How to decide? I found me a lil loophole- BORROW FROM THE LIBRARY!!

In July I decided to start reading more, dusted off my library card and began borrowing books again. And at first everything was cool- I snatched a couple of books, some CDs to upload and a movie or two. It was all very tame and casual.

Fast forward to mid-August: I visit the Epiphany Branch Library EVERY. FREAKIN. DAY. I check for new CDs that I may have missed and any new movies that people may have returned the day before. And everyday I say to myself Do not get any more books! but some new title always catches my eye.

Like the two Walter Mosley books I picked up two weeks ago. Or the latest John Edgar Wideman novel, Fanon, that I just couldn't seem to leave on the shelf last week. OOOH, and I'm very proud to announce that I've recently read (and enjoyed!) my very first Garcia Marquez book (Chronicle of a Death Foretold), Hemingway (The Old Man and the Sea) and Kafka (The Metamorphosis).

And, um, don't tell anyone, um, but, um... I kinda picked up one of those "urban" lit books... It's one of the Omar Tyree titles. I figure: it's a NY Times bestseller... how bad can it be??? Besides, I feel like I judged that genre unfairly based on the horribleness that was Angel Hunter's Sister Girls. *shudder* UGH! That book was terrible, and it actually pains me to think people read that book (i.e. my nanny) and was like, "OH MY GOD you have to read this- it's the best book EVER!" Even worse? There's a Sister Girls 2 running around out there... *DOUBLE SHUDDER*

But back to the real books... oops! Does that make me a lit snob? Really? Ask me if I care...

To date, I have 13 books and 4 movies checked out, and only about 3 hours a day free to read them, and no free time to watch any damn movies. You do the math. My only consolation for this latest in a long list of addictions is that this one is free- I always return or renew items on time (because I learned my lesson after not being able to show my face in any Brooklyn Public Library branch for a verrrrrry loooooooooong time... something about 26 overdue library books that they never saw again...).

But I'm pretty sure, no matter how much I try to talk myself out of it, I'll be there again tomorrow, checking the stacks for stuff that was returned that morning.

Is there a 12-step program for this?

*smooches...wondering what new addictions September will bring*
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hopefully it will be something free or inexpensive...

...or come with a size 9 penis. I'm just sayin...

Friday, August 22, 2008

Some Free Advice For You

Courtesy of your friends here at The Jaded NYer and The Rolling Stones:

The Rolling Stones - You Can't Always Get What You Want


Words to live by, trust me. Once you accept that, everything else is gravy!

(Now that all that seriousness is out of the way, can we please discuss this band, song and video?

1- I want Mick Jagger's haircut. I'm taking this video to Josie this winter after my bangs grow out, I'm dying my hair back to brown and getting this cut!

2- Why does Mick look manorexic? And more importantly, WHY did I see a guy dressed JUST LIKE THIS in CHELSEA, coincidentally, not too long ago?

3- Who's the weird little guy playing the congas? There's no conga player in The Rolling Stones!

4- WHERE IN THE GOOD GOD DAMN did Mick learn those "dance" moves? He looks like he's having a seizure!

5- Did you watch until the very end? Did you seen John and Yoko in the audience? NO? Go back and look, dammit! It made me kinda misty-eyed.

6- This is totally my favorite Stones tune, well besides the very obvious Symphony for the Devil... what's yours?

7- Does anyone even know the names of anyone else in the band besides Mick and Keith? Could you spot them in a line-up? And who is that pinche conga player?!?!

8- All of a sudden, I'm in the mood for some Grateful Dead. And pot.

9- Are the Stones still touring? Does anybody care anymore?

10- As good as they are [were], The Rolling Stones weren't fit to wipe Led Zeppelin's asses. Yeah, I said it... AND WHAT?!?!

Peace and hair grease... see y'all on Monday!

*smooches...rockin out as much as possible all weekend*
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babies come back in T Minus ONE WEEK... AAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHH!!

let me stop playin... I miss those baby heifers...

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Re-evaluating Priorities

Last week, Irene heard my cry for help and helped me get organized. She put together a calender with my "TO DO" items, and without it I truly think N's birthday party on Sunday would have been a hot ghetto mess. True, some things did get pushed aside and moved around and just altogether left by the wayside- hey, life happens- but I've been following about 80% of the schedule.

It feels good to have a plan (now watch the Universe laugh at me and throw a bunch of wrenches my way... but whatever, throw your wrenches. I have shit to accomplish...).

These are the items that, try as I might, just won't go away on their own and therefore I need to just take care of them already:

1- Thesis edits, scheduled for Sept. 18 thru the 21st. So please refrain from inviting me ANYWHERE during this time. We all know how easily I am distracted by shiny objects.

2- Settle remainder of debts, scheduled for the end of this month. I got rid of a bunch of them in the spring, but there is still some more damage to repair. *sigh*

3- New Budget, scheduled for the second week of September, because my tax refund had me acting like my last name was Hilton or Trump or Jolie-Pitt. I need to remember that it's Penzo, and that none of us can afford to front like we're big pimpin'!

4- Get to the gym, which isn't on the schedule but needs to be because N and I agree that I look about three months pregnant right now. Plus, last week I started taking the stairs everyday at work and now my knee is fucked up. I know it's because I'm a lazy cow who is terribly out of shape and I need to rectify that post haste.

5- Finding a new school for K, which might be hard because she's going to the 8th grade and school starts in like two weeks, but still, I have to try, because her school makes my head hurt. Besides, I hate that she has to travel to and from THAT area of BK by herself; I'd prefer that she was closer to home, especially now that I don't have a nanny.

These things I abandoned because, in the grand scheme of things, it's just filler helping me to procrastinate:

1- Netflix; as soon as I find that Iron Giant DVD I'm pausing that mo-fo for like 3 months, until I get myself under control. I've found myself watching shit just to watch it, even stuff I've already seen! I'm even considering cancelling my account altogether...

2- Blogging on weekends/reading other blogs everyday. I've had to cut back and I know some of you have noticed. I apologize, but I have to be more productive with my time, and that means that I will have to go a few days without reading other sites for a couple of days, and writing less, too.

3- Magazine subscriptions... I had to let The New Yorker and Wired and Marie Claire go because frankly, I wasn't reading them and they were taking over my life. I had a stack of magazines from last year that I hadn't even cracked open! I decided to just stick with EW, TONY, Martha, and other random ones that I need to read for freelance writing purposes.

4- Getting a license. Who was *I* kidding? That BMW was only a passing fancy, and now that I'm over it, so is my desire to learn to drive. So I will not waste another second looking up affordable driving schools in BK. I will instead continue my hunt for the perfect, affordable folding bicycle.

5- Meetup groups; I sign up for them and then never go to any of the events! On Tuesday I had to make a hard decision and remove myself from three groups that I really just lost interest in, and only stayed on with the ones that will help me A) make contacts in the literary/film world and B) meet like-minded professionals in my age group.

Getting my shit together is seriously soooo long overdue. It feels so liberating to finally have a handle on my obligations that I can't believe it took me this friggin long to do it!!

*smooches...trying to not add anything new to my list*
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and no, nowhere on my list does it say "Meet & Marry Mr. Right" because even if he does exist, which I truly doubt, I'm way too busy to even notice him.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

I'm Not A Girlie-Girl...

... I don't get my nails done. Ever. I keep them uber short



and although I buy nail polish, K & N use them more than I do, and the colors are always variations of nude and mauve. I think I have a dark blue and a black one left over from my "dark" days. My cuticles are a hot mess and often, I pick at them until I bleed. Pedicures? What are those?

... I hardly ever get my hair done.



I go like twice a year, and only because I like to get my ends trimmed and if I didn't I would STAY getting the side eye from my mom. Once in a blue moon I'll do something drastic (like color and/or cut my hair) but after the initial 2 weeks passes and I wash out the salon 'do, I go right back to my trusty ponytail and/or bun.

... I really could care less about clothes and fashion.



I used to for like 2-4 years of my 20s, but not anymore. My criteria for clothes/shoe shopping is:

1- Cost
2- Fit
3- Comfort
4- Longevity

Labels? Whatever. Trends? Give me a freakin' break! A dress? What are you- MAD? I save those for special occasions ONLY!

... I LOATHE to wear jewelry. My mom's nameplate,



my grandmother's ring, and my HS and college rings are the ONLY pieces of jewelry I wear. And lately I haven't even worn the rings. No earrings, no bracelets, nothing. I use to wear a ton of watches at once but now I wear nada. And diamonds? BARF! They are so gaudy and garish. I even told my ex NOT to get me an engagement ring because I wasn't going to wear it.

... (TMI Alert) My underwear doesn't match.



I tried to care about this. I really did; made a real effort. And then I realized... I don't. And who's gonna know but me? I doubt that if I get hit by a car and have to go to the ER, the doctor is gonna write in my chart, "Wore a hideous combination of yellow bra and purple panties!"

... Make-up for me is "optional." One day I feel the need to wear mascara, the next I really couldn't give a shit.



Lipstick? I prefer Blistex and tinted Burt's Bees lip balm. Blush? "Ladies pinch; WHORES rouge..." I will admit to the occasional dusting of eye shadow, bronzer (much to Cathi's amusement) and some concealer when I know I will be photographed, but other than that I really can't be bothered. It takes too much time and effort to apply and remove each day.

... My accessories would make those "What Not To Wear" freaks cringe. I don't really care if the surplus cargo bag I carry everyday



goes with my business casual attire or not. It holds all my shit and that's all that matters. I wear the same black sunglasses with everything. Sometimes I find my brown ones at the bottom of a bag somewhere and change it up, but hardly. Belts? Scarves? Who can remember- or even knows how- to wear these things?!?!

... Perfume makes me want to scratch my nose off. If someone walks by me or sits next to me smelling of this overpowering shit I gag. Audibly. And then move away from them. My scents consists of: peppermint soap,



powder fresh Suave deodorant and Palmer's cocoa butter. Once in a blue moon I may indulge in some Midnight Pomegranate from Bath & Body Works, but I've had that bottle for almost a year and it still looks brand new!

You got a problem with it? File a complaint; I'll be sure to place it in the circular file...

*smooches...inspired by the women who apply make-up while riding the F-train in the morning*
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and for at least half of them it really did NOTHING to help their situation...

I must admit, however, that whenever I go against my norm I *do* feel more feminine. How stupid is that?!?!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Sense Of Entitlement

NYC subway car. F-train. Rush hour. You're tired 'cause you stayed up to watch the Olympics and then didn't sleep very well after watching Nastia Liukin get robbed of the gold. Again.

You're getting on at Roosevelt Avenue in Queens and aren't departing until West 4th in The Village. All you want is to sit down and read your trashy magazine all the way into work. Maybe even take a quick nap.

But as soon as you get on you see a bunch of people standing up and this:





Ain't that some shit??

*smooches...glad that I got on at Parsons Blvd, when the seats were plentiful*
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and I kept waiting for all the new passengers on the train to get on and react to his blatant disregard for the rules... I chuckled all the way to work this morning! Thank you, rude man, for easing me into my day :-D

Monday, August 18, 2008

She Actually Pushed Herself Out

Roughly nine years ago in November I decided that, with K turning 5 soon, off to kindergarten and whatnot, and my "marriage" on the skids, I'd ditch my BC pills and give K a sibling.

Now mind you, I didn't even want ONE kid, but once I had K I knew I would have another in five years because 1- only children just seemed WRONG to me and 2- I had read a study that said siblings that were at least 5 years apart did better in school academically than those closer in age. By the way, so far, the study was right.



Let me explain to you just how fertile The Jaded NYer is. I went to my OB/GYN and told him I wanted to get pregnant. He advised me to finish the pack of pills I had already began and then discard the rest, that the hormones should be out of me completely after another cycle and then, since I was a healthy 24-year-old, after that month was up I should be good to go in terms of getting pregnant.



I was pregnant within a week of stopping the pills. Ask Irene, she was outside the bathroom stall as I took the damn test.



During this time I was living in Riverdale, working part time at a Senior Center and spending my entire paycheck on ebay and at Loehmann's. Hardly in a position to have another kid. But I was gonna do it anyway because I'm just that hard-headed.



I couldn't find a mid-wife this time around, but I found an awesome lady doc who worked out of Columbia-Presbyterian- HELLO! Jackpot! (For you non-NYers... it's like THE best hospital to give birth in)



For the most part, I was more excited about this baby, even if it was a month ahead of schedule, I was excited. See, I had somewhat of a void to fill- Grandma had just died three months prior to conception and I was in such a downward spiral that honestly, the only thing that kept me alive is knowing that another being lived off of me and therefore I NEEDED to stay alive.



And in my dreams, Grandma would visit me and make all this food and feed me. She never spoke, just went about her chores and cooked heaps of food and fed me. Like she was getting me ready for the baby. Like maybe she already KNEW the baby, and that this particular baby would need lots of food for some reason. I never questioned any of it. I just ate whatever she served me and told no one (until now).



We kicked around names like Julia for a girl and Joshua for a boy. The old ladies at the Senior Center would rub my belly on a regular and one even crocheted the CUTEST little hat for the baby. And want to know something funny? For a while I would get a stink eye here and there from the old biddies, and I couldn't figure out why. These old Jewish grandmas would be talking Yiddish about me because I heard my name and I'd picked up a few Yiddish words here and there. I mean really- you don't live in Riverdale all those years and NOT learn some Yiddish!



Finally one overheard me say something about my husband, and she says, "Oh, you're married?" And I was like, no this bitch didn't! But I couldn't be mad- I never wore my ring so I can see how she'd think I was having a bastard child. "Yes, I'm married. We've been together for like 5 years now."

"Oh so you were HS sweethearts?"
"No, I met him in college."
"College? How old are you?"
"24. Why? Florence, how old do you think I am?"
"OH MY GOODNESS, honey, we thought you were 17 or something."

After that, they all loved me again... crazy old biddies...



N was due right around the time C was supposed to go away for RA Training but opted to stay home and let the RD handle it on his own. Smart move, because as soon as the bus pulled away and I stepped out of the shower (again with the shower! Apparently when I shower it induces labor!) and began to towel off, I felt some weird leakage coming from "there."



I was like, "Um, hon, I think my water broke." And he's all like, "WHAT?!?! How?" And I'm like "Dude, I don't know, but something is leaking and it's not PEE!" So I shoved the towel between my legs while he called campus security to get a transport to the hospital. And yes, I know, EWWWWW @ towel between the legs. But what was I gonna do?



By the time security came to get me it was a very slow leak so I got dressed and left the towel behind while he sped- over every freakin bump along Broadway- to the hospital. Once there, this wack-ass male nurse decided that, after testing the fluid I was leaking that NO, I wasn't in labor nor had my water broken so I should go home.



"I'm not going home; my water broke. Test it again," I told him with the stankest of attitudes. So stank, in fact, that he got someone else to take care of me. And lo and behold... my water broke. If I hadn't been carrying those extra 25 pounds in my belly I would have jumped out of the bed and yelled "IN YO' FACE!" to that male nurse. But I gave him the side eye instead. He got the point. I'm sure of it.



The next few hours were pretty crazy. My mom was there, C was there and K was there. My amniotic fluid was completely gone but I was not fully dilated. You know what they do to women who've run dry but aren't dilated? They get this sadomasochist drug called Pitocin, which makes your cervix dilate.

V-E-R-Y ********** P-A-I-N-F-U-L-L-Y.



It was a pain like nothing I've never known. Not menstrual cramps, not hitting my head on the radiator as a kid, not giving birth to K, NOTHING hurt like FORCED LABOR. N-O-T-H-I-N-G!!! I was hell bent on delivering naturally again but this Pitocin was making it a really hard choice.



I was losing oxygen. I was crying. I think I might have swung on C and cursed him out. But no one could convince me to get the epidural. For all his faults I have to say, C can be really smart sometimes... he went to the waiting room and sent my mom in.

"Raquel, what are you doing? Get the epidural. No one will blame you. Just get it."

That was all it took. She left the room and I cried. "No one will think any less of you," my beautifully beautiful OB/GYN said to me. I cried and cried and FINALLY said ok. The epidural guy was there the whole time on stand by.



Um, did y'all know that to get an epidural you have to sit up and bend forward so they can stick the needle in your spine? YES, with a nine month old belly- IN LABOR- I had to bend forward and get a shot in my spine... that hurt EVEN MORE than my contractions. But hell if that shit didn't feel like heaven when it kicked in... all of a sudden the world was beautiful again.



Until it wasn't, because OUCH!!!!!

"The epidural wore off. I need another one."
"No you don't sweetie, it's time to push."
"NU-UH! But I can feel it. I thought I wasn't supposed to feel it!"
"Oh no, the epidural just relaxes you; you still feel it."

Then WHAT THE FUCK, lady?!?!?!



But there's no arguing with Mother Nature or obstetricians. It was time to push. But then it wasn't.

"You need to stop pushing for a minute."
"Okay"
"Sweetie, I said stop pushing"
"I did stop"

So why did N come out anyway? 'Cause that crazy bitch clawed her way out. Ripped me nice and good, too. After she (and that bitch-ass placenta) were out they took a helluva long ass time trying to stop the bleeding. I swear, I saw my final hour for a minute there. Especially when I heard my doc "whisper" to the nurse, "I can't seem to stop the bleeding. It just won't clot."



But of course she fixed me 'cause I'm here to tell the tale, but that shit put me off babies for good. I mean really- what kind of devil child CLAWS their way out of the birth canal to the point of killing you?



The cute and snugly and cuddly kind, apparently.





*smooches...wishing N a happy eighth birthday, with a touch of Jaded snark, of course*
----------
and she's still a little spitfire; she eats like her stomach has no bottom, has the stamina of 300 Energizer bunnies and is 52 lbs of solid lean muscle. for real. she kinda scares me sometimes...

and for those who want an update on the party, there was no drama. I'm so disappointed... but it was super fun and N had a blast. As I gather the gossip from the friends and fam, I'll see if anything is blog-worthy LOL!

Friday, August 15, 2008

GONE FISHING...

*Regular blogging will resume on Monday, August 18th*




Smashing Pumpkins - Today


UPDATE: Since Dejanae called me out for being lazy with this "bootleg" post...

So, I'm listening to "Today" by the Smashing Pumpkins on Pandora and I'm getting all nostalgic for the 90s and for the days when MTV still played videos and whatnot. So I visit my trusty YouTube to watch the clip.

Is it just me, or were the fornicating couples NOT in the video back in the day? I really don't remember that. My memory is bad but c'mon! I think I would have remembered that shit. Was MTV censoring videos? WTF?

What other videos have I only seen the edited version of? Damn those MTV and FCC bastards! Who do they think they are?

*smooches...with a weekend too busy to be blogging*
----------
Pink ribbon scars
That never forget
I’ve tried so hard
To cleanse these regrets
My angel wings
Were bruised and restrained
My belly stings...

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Grace Under Pressure

  • I feel like it's my last days at this job. Just a feeling deep in my bones. Not that I can afford to be unemployed right now but I can smell something afoul in the air.

  • My ex is bringing his girlfriend to N's birthday party on Sunday. It doesn't really bother me except now I have to be all polite and graceful n shit. Now I have to actually comb my hair and press my clothes. Dammit!

  • Sallie Mae is hella pissed at me. She keeps sending me angry letters. But what can I do? Contrary to popular belief, there is no money tree in my backyard. She needs to settle for what I can manage or kick rocks!


  • My apartment looks WORSE than a bachelor pad. I can honestly say that this is the absolute rock bottom of disgusting messiness and filth. But every night I come home and just PLOP on the couch and do nothing.


  • My TO DO list resembles a scroll that can extend from Brooklyn to Cleveland and I can't, for the life of me, clone myself fast enough to get it all done. And the two clones I did manage to make last week absconded with my savings and went to the Cayman Islands. Rat bastards...


It's all I can do to not curl up into a little ball and cry inconsolably. But of course, it's not on my TO DO list so I can't even think about falling apart.

HOWEVER... I truly do surround myself with the best people... just when I'm ready to give in to the stress and the tears and the binge eating, J sends me the Leela James CD I asked him to send me a few weeks ago.

Like, how did he know I needed that shit RIGHT THIS MINUTE?

Leela James - A Change Is Gonna Come


*smooches...hanging by a thread, though you'd never know it unless I told you so*
------------
I'm not certain how much longer I'll be able to "SMILE AND NOD" my way through life. I'd hate to be the person sitting next to me on the F-Train when I finally snap...

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Reason #79,530 Why I'm Going To Hell

Recent text conversation:

ME: (responding to a particularly naughty text message) There you go again! You need Jesus...

HIM: Me? Lol. I didn't see your face on the picture of The Last Supper either...

ME: I was in the kitchen getting more bread... who you think cooked that shit? I didn't see J-Money up in there slaving over a hot stove!

HIM: No comment. Lol. That is blasphemy. *enters into priest booth* Father I ask that you forgive her for the J-Money reference.

ME: Lol! You know that shit was funny.

HIM: *traces outline of a cross in front of my face and chest*

ME: God can't help you now, I've got plans for your soul...


***********

Mari has N for the week down in DC, and she let me know that my baby is obsessed with the Olympics. But apparently N is annoyed that the U.S. men keep winning gold medals and not the women.

So then I get this email from Mari that quoted my little schmuckin-face as saying:

"I wish I could swim so I could go to the Olympics"


followed by the Jaded-esque comment

"But what if I got to the Olympics and finished last like that guy...Oh boy, Katie Hoff is swimming, I bet we are gonna get SECOND place"

Why am I BEYOND proud right now?

*smooches... with just the tiniest dash of MUAHAHAHAHA*
-----------
sometimes I sit back and take in some of the shit I say and approve of and wonder what number SPF I should take with me to the afterlife...

and yes, Mari, I jacked your WHOLE email for my blog. and what? lol

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Dreaming That You're Pregnant...

...does not mean you are or that you want to be, according to the three different dream analysis sites I consulted in a desperate fury upon waking last Wednesday morning (with the previous night's visuals of me in my third trimester cooking dinner still vivid in my head):

For a woman to dream that she is pregnant could be her subconscious telling her that she is actually pregnant. If you're not worried about pregnancy, a dream of being pregnant symbolizes an aspect of your personality or personal life that is growing and developing, but is not yet ready to be talked about or acted upon. It represents the birth of a new idea, direction or goal.

And this makes perfect sense... I gots mucho things in development right now. Yes, this makes much more sense than ME wanting more KIDS. HA! That's a laugh...

*smooches...wiping brow with MUCH relief*
-----------
and no, unless it's another immaculate conception, there is no way that another mini Jaded NYer could possibly be on its way.

was that T.M.I.??? well too freakin bad! it's been a loooooong, dryyyyyyyy summer...

PS- went to see Jill Scott, hung with The F$%K It List and FINALLY met up with Eb. I'm sure those ladies will write something so I won't inundate you with it, except to say I LOVE JILL SCOTT...

Monday, August 11, 2008

Dilemma

Help me out here because I'm having a crisis of conscience and I'm absolutely torn as to what to do...

In the house next door, upstairs, lives this Indian (Bengali? not sure...) family with various small children, all under the age of 10.

EVERY DAY WITHOUT FAIL- and I'm not exaggerating- I hear one or more of those kids crying. At first it was annoying and I was like, "Ugh! Can those fucking kids just shut the hell up?" K and I even had a running gag of: "Kids are crying next door? It must be 6 o'clock..."

But a tiny Voice would always say to me what if the mom is beating them? You might want to report it.

I try to ignore that Voice because far be it from me to tell someone how to run their house, and I really don't know the situation before or after the kids start crying. Kids cry for a trillion insignificant reasons. However I can no longer deny that sometimes those cries aren't the annoying, whiny type but rather the OMG I'M IN DISTRESS type.

Again- this is all speculation. I've never seen a bruise or cast on any of these kids, one of which plays with N sometimes. Maybe I watch too much Law & Order: SVU or something; I don't know.

I guess what prompted this post is that on Sunday, around 5:30PM, I hear one of them crying AGAIN. Actually screaming crying. Then I hear the mom yelling and repeatedly hitting the already crying child. Hitting that child in anger. I believe in spanking, I've spanked my kids as punishment in the past, but this did not sit well with me. She was hitting that child in anger, and even though I don't speak her language there was no denying her tone.

She was hitting that child in anger.

A long, long time ago, when Irene and I lived in Hornell with a 2-year-old K, I witnessed my downstairs neighbor physically abusing his wife. She was trying to take off in the car but he jumped into the passenger seat, punched her in the face repeatedly and dragged her back into the house.

I closed my shade and turned off the light- I was PETRIFIED! Never in my life had I witnessed something like that. What if he saw me? What if he comes up here and threatens us- two young women alone in a house at the end of a cul-de-sac with a small child? I've never known fear like that ever, and I grew up in Bed-Stuy in the 80s! I never reported it, and shortly after they moved away and so did we. I've always regretted not saying something and letting my fear take over, and really hope she's okay today wherever she is.

I mean, I like living here in Greenwood and I've stayed under the radar in the two years that I've been renting in this quiet little neighborhood on this quiet little block (crying kids and wigger council aside). But honestly, I don't want to come home one day and see ambulances on my street because I didn't look out for a kid in need.

Do I risk turning this family's life upside down to alleviate my own conscience? People, I'm really at a loss for what to do...

*smooches...praying that the right decision jumps into my lap*
-----------
I'd really hate to report them and then be wrong, but I'd really, really hate to be right and not have done anything about it.

And on the flipside- why hasn't anyone else called the authorities? I KNOW I'm not the only one who hears that child screaming every fucking night!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

I FEEL Better At School

So another FDU commencement come and gone. My ADHD was kicking in during the ceremony (15 graduates! Lord have mercy! It was hard to sit still) but it's always so moving to hear everyone praise the program and the writing community to which we all belong.

Like many of the people who got up to speak at that podium last night, I, too, feel honored and privileged and YES, even BLESSED, to have been a part of it all- the writing residencies, the workshops, the student and faculty readings, dinners with authors, trips to the bar and the end of the day and the beautiful friendships that have blossomed.

(Never mind the fact that my thesis edits are not finished. You think I don't know that shit? STOP bringing it up!! Damn Voices...)

Every time I'm on that campus, at a reading or any other event, I get this bolt of inspiration. Right away I find myself with notebook out, pen in hand, ideas flowing like water. It feels so good there.

It's like when you go away on vacation, and you're IN LOVE with this vacation spot, having the best time ever, but then you come home and sleep in your own bed for the first time in a long time. The mattress still has the groove in it that hugs you just right; your duvet keeps that perfect balance of warmth and comfort; and all the night sounds outside your window lull you to sleep.

It's a beautiful feeling.

I came across this program because C moved our family to New Jersey and I could no longer attend classes at CUNY. I almost didn't get my application in on time, but my downstairs neighbor pushed me to do it: "Send it overnight mail... you know you want this MFA..." and she was right. In October of 2004 I was accepted, offered a $500 grant, and was told to show up at their Wroxton, England campus in January.

England was never on my "Places To Visit" list; I just had no interest in it at all. But then I got there and the Abbey was beautiful, my room was so perfect, and the people I met inspired me.

Excerpts from my Wroxton Diary include:

"...Module 2 with Jeff (Allen): I can't really read him yet. He had us read Borges and I- the discussion was good but as usual you have a bunch of pretentious literary snobs. But I expected that. I can be a snob sometimes, too."

"...Afterwards I discover the computer lab [cue angelic music here] and IMMEDIATELY log on to let family and friends know I am okay. And of course to see how Days of our Lives is progressing. Shawn stopped the wedding by crashing his bike through the church window, hurting Belle in the process. DRAMA!!"

"...Some young PUNK ASS BITCH BOY was all pissy because I was on the phone. What the fuck! He's lucky I didn't kick his fucking ass all up and down the street. Punk ass bitch boy. He'd better watch his step with me... Whatever, I'm talking a lot of shit. I'm not going to do a damned thing. Except do my homework like a dork."

"...I began the story Terese (Svoboda) gave as homework... it was really hard for me because I wanted it to be profound and important and prolific, but it read more like a play or one of those easy read books like 'Shopoholic' and such... And right as I was putting it down as crap, I had an epiphany-- not everything I write has to be profound! Or life changing. Or earth shattering.... Besides, good writing is good writing. And I know I'm a good writer"


So late thesis aside, I've had a great literary experience during my time at FDU, and it seems that I will continue to have that the more I come back to reconnect with the faculty and students as an alumnus. I didn't have this attachment with AU at all. I *do* so love the friends I made there, and they are still my bestest friends to this day, but I have no desire to really be attached to that school.

With FDU, however, I've experienced this sense of belonging, this sense of having a place in the world, of not being alone because there are so many others just like me.

Writers. Working writers. Brilliantly talented and knowledgeable working writers with unique voices and experiences.

I have Deborah and Elisheba and Carmen and Michael and Cindy, and awesome faculty members like Jeff and Walt and Renee and Tom and YES, even Martin (who can be nice when he wants to be), and all the new and awesome people I meet every time I go back (this time it was new faculty member Harvey and fellow students Nina and Juan{I hope that's how you spell your name!}).

But more importantly is the great vibe with which these people and this place surround me. I feel it just from being in Lenfell Hall, Hartman Lounge and at Vanderbilt's.

Even after that Claire heifer proved to be the suckiest waitress in waitressing history. Two nights in a row.

*smooches...realizing that my student loan debt is so very worth it*
----------
and congratulations to Elisheba, a wonderfully talented writer and just a really fun and outgoing person to hang with; she graduated yesterday and looked OH SO CUTE doing it! And don't worry, girl- I won't put the video of your speech on this blog ;)

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Con Su Permiso, Doña,

But kindly keep my Papi's name out of your mouth.

Don't look at him, don't speak to him, STOP gossiping about him, and talking shit about his "situation" because when all is said and done, you ain't doing shit to help; you ain't puttin' in on this, MAN.

So, hazme el gran favor de callarte la fucking boca y dejar a mi viejo quieto.

I don't care if you ARE Grandma's sister... you're *DEAD* to me, oistes? *DEAD*

Don't even let me hear that you're out there spreading venom, 'cause TRUST that you have NO IDEA what venom is. HMPH!

STOP TALKING ABOUT MY PAPI... bruja loca...

*smooches...NOT okay with Germania's shit talking*
-----------
who the hell does she think she is??

Friday, August 08, 2008

The Day I Got THAT Call

AUGUST 7, 1999: I was just home; not sure what I was doing or if it was a weekend, weekday, evening or morning, but the phone rang, and since it was never for my ex I answered.

I could barely make out what my aunt was saying. You know how I said before that for the longest time I was the baby in the family? Even after my sister was born? Well I've always felt that way, and when I see or hear "the grown-ups" crying it shakes me to my core. My aunt is tough as nails- if you think The Jaded NYer is a scary female, you ain't met my Titi Gloris...

All I could make out through her sobbing was, "Mami's in the hospital."

My knees gave out on me just as the words were processed in my brain. My head began to hurt; those four words seemed bigger than War and Peace to me. What hospital? That primitive hospital in Los Minas??

"What happened?" I asked through my own sobs. Hell, if she was crying that meant there was something to cry about, right? If you knew my Titi Gloris, you'd agree.

My aunt went into some garbled explanation of a stroke and a coma. But, no, she's had strokes before. Coma? What coma? Do they know what a coma is in Los Minas? Would they know how to treat that? "She's gonna be alright, right?" I just needed my aunt to say yes.

"I don't know." And that killed me, because you know what? When she said that she sounded like a scared little girl worried about her mom, and I just knew.

Another stroke. A coma. What the hell? Then it hit me through my tears and vague knowledge of thoracic and neurological medicine- I should have spoken to her last month! Why didn't I call her back? What the fuck was so fucking important that I couldn't call her back?

My then-husband tried to console me: "What happened?"

"Nothing. My grandmother is sick. She'll be OK." I think maybe though I was talking to myself.

I needed to get busy. I needed to tell my guilt and fear to get lost- I had dishes to do. Grandma always told me not to leave dishes in the sink overnight. She also told me to never hold it in if I had to pee or my kidneys would fail, to always eat all the food on my plate, and to never close the door on family because they're all we've got.

So I started washing my dishes; turned on the stereo, popped in "Welcome to the Jungle" because at that moment only Axl's voice was going to calm me down, just as he has through a million other bad moments. I needed Slash's riffs to quiet the voices in my head.

Why didn't you speak to her last month??

"She's gonna be alright. She's been through this before and she's always fine."

You don't know that. You should have called her.

"She's fine."

How do you think she felt when Papi told her you called but didn't speak with her? Huh?

"She's going to be fine."

Why didn't I call her back?

Because I didn't want to. And the knowledge of that fact right there eats me up everyday. I didn't want to call her back. She hardly knew what year it was anymore, and she'd call me by my mom's name or ask me about school when I'd been out of school already for a hot minute. I didn't want to deal with it so I didn't call her back.

By the time I went to bed I had convinced myself that she would be fine. I made plans to take a week off from work and go visit her and not even care if she called me by the wrong name or thought it was 1984.

The next day Titi called to tell me the worst thing I could ever hear.

"Mami died." She cried and cried, but as the eldest daughter she also had to make arrangements and inform me that the funeral was the very next day* and we needed to fly out that night. I tried to process my thoughts: I didn't have any money for a last minute plane ticket. I hated flying. I hated the Dominican Republic. And I didn't want to spend money I didn't have on a plane I didn't want to be in to travel to a country I didn't want to visit to see my grandmother's dead body!!!

"I have to go to Santo Domingo tonight," I told my ex. "My grandmother died." I was all business- just stone coldness, even with tears flowing. I didn't let him come near me to hug me or even touch me, putting up my hands as if to say, "Touch me and you join her" so he just backed off and left me alone. I composed myself enough to dial that fucking number I should have dialed last month. Papi answered.

"'Alo?"

"Papi?" I was sobbing by now. Again. It was just a few months ago they were staying with Mami in Rockaway, and just a few months before that they were a tunnel's length away in Elizabeth. Grandma on the porch, Papi in the living room watching "The Serpent and the Rainbow" for the millionth time. It wasn't even that long ago...

"Si, mami..."

Now I was full on crying. "Papi? What happened?" I was half-confused and half-accusing. Underneath my question was the undeniably disrespectful implication: Why didn't you take care of her?

Then the unthinkable- Papi, the man who cared for all us kids as if we were his babies, who worked his ass off to feed and house us, who made sure my grandmother had all the medical attention she had needed throughout her life, who could command good behavior from all of us with just one word, the only dad I'd ever known- Papi broke down and cried on the phone.

"Yo no se, mami... yo no se."

I felt like shit. How could I have even thought of blaming the one person who had stood by her all these years. The NERVE of me!

He said it was her blood pressure; it just shot up and she never woke up.

Aneurysm, like on that ER episode. It just strikes and you never even feel it. I hope.

When the phone rang again later, I thought for a split second *she's fine!!!* but it was my mom.

"Raquel? What's going on? Nani called me all hysterical about Mami? What? Did she die?" I was so mad at her for saying it like that- just so crass and evil: What? Did she die? If you think me and my Titi Gloris are scary females, shiiit, let me introduce you to my mother...

But then I recalled that she was up in Lawrence with Mari visiting family; they didn't know.

"Yes," I managed to say, torn at having to be the bearer of THIS news. And THEN one thought just popped in my head- MARI! Where was she? My baby... this is going to kill her!

"What?" my mom asked, her voice doing that trembly-thing it did whenever she was on the verge of crying.

**********

In July of 1999 I had called Papi to see how he was enjoying retirement; how he liked his new house, his neighbors, if my room was ready. And how Grandma was doing.

"'Ta bien. Alli 'ta sentada afuera. Te La busco?" he asked me.

"No, that's okay. I'll call her later."

And a month later I never called and she was gone and today, EVERY DAY, I feel like the worst person in the Universe, because all my life she always gave me everything I could possibly need, and my selfish ass couldn't even give her a lousy call back.

I never got to say goodbye...

*besos...closing comments so that I can mourn in peace*
---------
Most of this was an excerpt from my memoir-in-progress, in memory of my grandmother, Rafaela Bermudez Ortiz. something I needed to get off my chest before it eats me alive. Sorry to Mari or Minnie if I opened any old wounds.

*In the Dominican Republic, we don't embalm the dead, requiring the funeral to take place shortly after a person passes away.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

F*ck You And The Electrode You Rode In On

So word around the neighborhood is that I'm a hostile patient and that's why my doctors' appointments never go well.

I say my appointments always turn ugly because doctors are masochists who have a god complex and treat the rest of us like insignificant peons.

You already know where this is going...

I had my neuro appointment, and let me start out by saying that me and The Quack do not suspect anything too serious is up; he threw around words like "pinched nerve" and "migraines" so whatever.

The part that had me ready to knock his ass out with a left hook (besides in the interview portion of the appointment when he was speaking to me in a very condescending tone), was when he was doing the EMG and stuck these needles or electrodes or WHATEVERS in my arm and asked me to contract the muscle. And I swear to you I tried as best I could but I have weak arms- I've always had weak arms. I don't lift if I can help it... I can kill someone with one swift kick because my legs stay getting a workout, but my arms not so much.

And then he felt it was necessary to explain to me what I was doing wrong, why I was doing it wrong, and what the consequences were of my wrong doing... over and over and over... SIX TIMES he repeated that shit to me like he was a Stepford Doctor and his voice box was on a loop and I was the village idiot. I've been to college, asshole. I understood you the first time. Now SHUT UP!

I was soooooooo ANGRY by this point that I started to cry- not from pain like he thought, even though HELL YES my arm was hurting like a bitch, but from pure anger and frustration. Pain I can take because I have a high pain threshold, but anger and frustration? Man, the tears were flowing like lava on my face. I just wanted him to SHUT THE FUCK UP and let me go home.

He had six muscles he needed to study. When he got to the 6th one he asked if I wanted to stop. YES. PLEASE STOP. I'M TOO PISSED TO CONTINUE.

In the end he suspects my headaches are a result of a pinched nerve causing stiffness in my neck, pain in my lower back, etc, and:

1. I do not have carpal tunnel (thank god) but
2. my trapezius muscles were hella tight (he actually said, "Oh wow, you're in knots up here!"),
3. I have a Rx for muscle relaxers (PARTY AT MY HOUSE!),
4. I have to make an appointment with a physical therapist which will then allow me to have an MRI done,
5. he gave me a list of foods to avoid in case it's migraines (so of course I'll make sure to eat extra of everything on that list!) and
6. I need to come back next Thursday to let him put those mofo electrodes in my legs.

YES, I'm going back for another EMG... what else can I do? I need to know what's up with my broke-down body!

*smooches...with a sore motherfucking arm*
-----------
he also told me the nerves in my right arm were an "anomaly" and that I've lost some of the range of motion in my right thumb... AND? What the hell does THAT mean? ENGLISH, man, speak ENGLISH!!!

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

And So It Begins

Dear Lord,

I know we had a falling out and I talk shit about you and your peeps and all that, but I'm hoping we can put that aside for a little bit because I have a huge favor to ask.

Lord, can you please bestow upon me some patience? Not a little bit, but, like, enough for ten people? Otherwise, a certain 13-year-old will be coming home to you sooner than expected...

Do you know this HEIFER had the AUDACITY to run up my phone bill? So instead of the $120 I normally pay a month my current Verizon bill, which was at a lovely $0.00, is now damn near $400??? OOOH K was sooooo lucky she was with her father when I found out, because if she had been home... let me not even get my pressure all up about it...

DAMMIT, $400?!?! That's an extra $280 that I have to take from somewhere else to pay this damn bill! What part of STOP USING UP THE DAYTIME MINUTES does this child of god NOT understand??

And you know where that money is coming from, right? That's right- I had to cancel my plans to see Marc Anthony, Aventura and Alejandro Fernandez in concert on the 21st, and I'm wicked pissed about it!!!!!!!!!!

*deep, cleansing breaths*

So, when Miss K brings her chatterbox ass back home from camp, guess what? I gots me a new maid. That's right- she's paying me back every extra minute she was on the phone talking about boys and anime and the latest song by The Wombats she was into that week with COLD, HARD, BACK-BREAKING, CHARACTER-BUILDING LABOR.

She'll be scrubbing floors on her hands and knees, the windows, baseboards, rearranging and cleaning out closets, cleaning and re-lining the kitchen and bathroom cabinets, scrubbing the walls, ceilings, light fixtures... you name it, she's gonna do it. At a rate of $5.00/hour.

Slave wages, you say? Ask me if I care...

If anyone is gonna run up my phone bill, it's gonna be me!

*smooches...cracking the whip because I care*
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or because it's hella fun... whatever works...

on a side note, I did accrue some extra charges on the text messages. so, um, certain PEOPLE who are not Verizon customers but have unlimited text messaging, please note that I do not... and that Yahoo IM is free. So bring the damn computer to the couch and IM me Y YA!

thanks, love you to bits!!!

second side note: we took Miss K to sleepaway camp on Sunday. I'm still pissed about my phone bill, but, *sniffle* it was hard to leave her there all by herself *sniffle* I hope she has fun...

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Airing Grievences, Giving Props

Hello, hello, hello... been gone for a spell. Health issues and whatnot. I have my neuro appointment tomorrow at noon so maybe FOR ONCE a physician will be able to give me a clear answer on what the hell is going on in my head. And if he does, he deserves the Nobel Prize, okay?!?! Because lord only knows what festering horrors await for him inside my noggin...

SIDENOTE: @The F$%k It List- I see now what you meant by the dudes in "The Yard" at Wingate Park doing pull-ups and shit. I swear I thought I was in the middle of an episode of Oz. WTF?!?! Why pay for Bally's? I should just hang with these guys and *POOF* weight be gone and helloooooo muscles! For a split second, I thought I saw Melly Mel there, but it wasn't him. And, gurl, between you and me? One of those dudes- this one that had his chest all tatted up- yeah him... he coulda got it. I'm just sayin...

And now, let me tell you all about some shit that had my pressure up yesterday:

The dude in front of me at the car service, complaining that he was charged $9 for a ride that is supposed to cost $7. And wanted a $2 credit. I kid you not. Seriously went in there with a straight face and for damn near ten minutes made his case for his $2. Now, I'm not gonna say what he was, but the car service was in the vicinity of Avenue J and E16th... NYers, draw your own conclusions...

The ruskie cab driver, who did not know how to get to Wingate Park. WHY WHY WHY must I always get stuck with the cabbies who don't know where the fuck they're going? Like, isn't that their fucking job? And the more he tried to explain WHY he didn't know how to get there, the more I wanted to pull out my knife and stab him in the throat.

GOOGLE MAPS, for sending me to Midwood HS instead of Wingate Park like I asked. And no, it wasn't just my stupid ass who was out there confused. Many, many, many people were sent there by this damn search engine because we ran into them and they were all confused... it was like a conspiracy to keep us from Badu!

My landlord and his wife, for having that screaming match early Monday morning... had me scared to walk around my own apartment. I mean really, y'all old as fuck. Probably married since forever. What is there to fight about at this point? And dammit- I need to learn Arabic because whatever they were yelling about, I'm sure it was juicy!

But not to be all negative, here are a few things that get mad props from me; they should feel honored:

Ms. Badu, for putting on a good show even though I was in an ultra-mega-funky mood and was ready to break out. I realize now that it was hunger that had my panties in a bunch... I hadn't eaten since 2PM and all I'd had were two small spring rolls. My blood sugar was a bit low. My bad, but deadline week at work always makes me forget to eat!

The Webmaster, who put up with my ultra-mega-funky mood and did not let it deter his mission to stand in the presence of Ms. Badu (the love of his life). If it weren't for him and the GPS system on his phone I really would have stabbed that cabbie in the throat.

Oasis Restaurant on Rogers and Hawthorne, for hooking up the baked chicken and cocobread even though they were already closed for the evening. Maaaaaaaan, the chicken- and that jerk sauce the cook poured over it- was the fucking bomb! We ate some of it in the street like we had no home training! And it was even tastier with the yellow rice and black beans I cooked at home to go with it.

Mother Nature, for the nicest, coolest, sweetest smelling breeze that kept coming through my bedroom windows last night. I haven't slept that comfortably in a very long time. See THIS is why I don't bother to get curtains; they'll block the goodness that Mother Nature sends my way...

*smooches...fresh from some wicked awesome sleep*
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and for tonight's entertainment: oops! Rick is next week; tonight is The Jungle (the jungle) The Brothers (the brothers)... who's coming with me???

Friday, August 01, 2008

An Appeal & A Weekend Break

So on the heels of my "strange ailments" post (which was just yesterday, in case your memory sucks as bad as mine), a wicked headache has befallen me. And yes, I had to say it all dramatic like that because this pain is unlike any headache I've ever known...

My Bengali doctor, who I loathe but had to see because there's no one else, is sending me to a neurologist. So I need a break right now to wrap my head around this, pun intended, because y'all know how much I hate/fear doctors. Especially specialists.

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In the meantime, I'm gonna need for you to go to Brother Omi's page (CLICK HERE), and read about Army Private First Class LaVena Johnson, allegedly killed by her own fellow servicemen (and I'm only throwing that "allegedly" in there as a courtesy, 'cause you know I *STAY* subscribing to all kinds of conspiracy theories), and how her parents are fighting to get a Congressional investigation to solve their daughter's murder. Because so far, they've tried to say it was suicide.

But read it for yourself... my head hurts even more just thinking about that shit... and then sign the petition; don't let that child's murderers get away with it.

*smooches...looking for any distraction from yet ANOTHER health scare*
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I'll be back next week some time; prob Monday. just give me a minute to collect myself...