Monday, August 31, 2009

Calling All Readers, Old & New

Hello, Hello, HEL-LO!

How are you on this FINE Monday morning? Good? Relaxed? Ready to tackle this week and make it your bitch? AWESOME.

So, um... you know why I'm here, right? YUP. You guessed it- I need stuff.

1- Someone who can record & edit a few vlogs for me, like 5 of them. I have a dope concept in mind and need a semi-professional who doesn't mind being paid in big hugs and home-cooked meals.

2- A smashing good tattoo artist... I can wait no longer for my next tattoo but I need someone to draw it for me 'cause I can't draw for shit.

3- A brizziliant artist in general who can take my branding of The Jaded NYer (merchandise, etc) to the next level. (for payment, see #1)

4- *drumroll please* co-hosts for.....



And I cannot do it without you. Yes, YOU, my co-hosts. Plus topic ideas. New and upcoming artists to feature. Events to promote. Amazing new books to discuss on the air. You know how WE do it...

Last season we had a bit of a tumultuous relationship: many of you forgot to tune in or the show ran too late for you and some of you even bailed on me when it came time to co-host. But the past is the past. It's a brand new year and all previous indiscretions are forgiven. How could I be mad at you? Y'all are like, my lifeline n shit.

Plus we did have a wicked good time. Remember my show w/Jack on internet dating? Or the amazing discussion on Junot Diaz's novel, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao? How about that tribute we did for National Poetry Month? Or the VERY CONTROVERSIAL Mars vs. Venus segment that lit up the airwaves?? Remember??

We can have that old thing back, only better. OK?

So don't be shy; email me at for your chance to be my co-host(ess) with the most(ess) or to be a part of my MEDIA EMPIRE in general.

*smooches...getting back on track with my media domination plans*
don't you wanna come along for the ride?

Friday, August 28, 2009

If Polygamy Were Legal...

...and we were allowed to ALSO wed people of the same sex, my list would look like so:

And I know what you all are thinking... HUH?

But keep in mind- these are people I'd marry, have in my harem, if I may be so bold. Meaning I'd have to deal with them on a daily basis. And while beefcake and sexbots are good to look at, I need a mate with substance.

So if you think about it, my list makes perfect sense.


*smooches...wondering why all my hos are white-ish*
that may be something to explore in therapy... who's in your harem?

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Sisterhood...And Other Musings...

...There's nothing sadder to my loins than seeing a fine, sexy, chocolate brotha...pull out a cigarette and puff away on it like it's cool. It's so not. Right then and there any and all fantasies that were on queue in my mind are shut down faster than a new sitcom starring Latinos on CBS.

...I know age shouldn't matter, but I have a real problem messing with dudes younger than my 25-year-old sister. In fact, when you think of it, any dude under 30 would be hard-pressed to grab my attention for anything more meaningful than a quick grope at the bar or a make-out session at my front door.

...Sisters, we need to make a serious effort to cease all hateration towards each other! I came to this decision a few months back after reading "Black Women Behaving Badly" in Essence Magazine, and it was reinforced by THIS well-written blog post by my Twitter pal, ReinaDeNYC. A light bulb really just went off in my head. We need to uplift one another, OK? I mean, c'mon... we got a Black president, lets see if we can finally get a woman up in this piece!

...I have found the secret to losing weight. All you have to do is be in tune with what your body needs vs what it wants. Honestly. I remember losing crazy weight while hooked up to IVs in the hospital. Why? Because my body was only getting the nutrients it needed vs the ones it wanted. You know what controls the "wanting" part? Your evil brain. That bitch will have you eating Oreos at 3AM because that meth addict on Intervention chose not to go to the rehab facility (don't you worry about why I was watching Intervention at 3AM; worry about you, OK?). As soon as you learn to IGNORE YOUR BRAIN, you will be able to listen to your body.

*smooches...just plumb full of thoughts*
and how are you on this fine Thursday?

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Blissful Ignorance

Those of you who follow me on Twitter and Facebook are probably tired of me singing the praises of the film Adam (read my Jaded Review here), but I have to mention it one more time because it inspired this blog post. Bear with me, OK?

So I'm watching Adam (after Nina & I got rained out of our reggae beach party plans... Damn You, New England weather!) and without spoiling too much of the film for you, one character discovers that the person they admired the most is a fraud. But not so much a fraud as much as they are flawed.

This made me think about something my mom told me once about Grandma during one of her many, "Let's Kill Raquel's Self-Esteem & Sense of Worth" sessions. Mami said that Grandma, upon learning that Mami was pregnant, kicked her out of the house and disowned her, that everyone wanted her to NOT have me (including herself, remember? From Monday's post?). And when she first said that to me it stung real bad. Grandma was my world; how could she not want me?

But as a kid (smart one that I was) I decided, you know what? Grandma has been nothing but AWESOME to me. Whatever happened then happened between the two of them and it's none of my business. Grandma remained steadily perched on her pedestal.

Then there was the time I witness Papi beat the crap out of my uncle, whipped him like a slave LITERALLY, leaving huge welts on his back. Mind you, Papi hadn't (and still hasn't) ever raised his hand in anger or punishment against any of us girls (well, except Minnie & Nancy, but they were asking for it) so to watch him be so ruthless was a shock to my little brain. Again, however, I rationalized it- Perhaps my uncle did something so terrible that it warranted a whooping of that magnitude. Surely Papi wouldn't do that just for kicks?

So this begs the question: At what point do we see the people in our lives for who they really are rather than as how it best suits us? Is their image forever tarnished in our memories? Or do we love them regardless? Is it our place to forgive wrongs that had nothing to do with us? And how can we continue to worship these heroes, flaws and all? Or did I just answer my own questions right there?

*smooches...loving when a great movie inspires great debate*
so speak on it people- what say you about tarnished heroes??

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

What It's Like To Be A Writer (Like Me)

Sometimes, it's a simple sentence that will resonate in my head, that will fascinate me so much that from it will arise a paragraph. And from that paragraph, a scene. And I'll sit back with that scene, playing it on a loop over & over again in my head, until somewhere along the fifth or sixth take The Voices will get it right.

Sometimes, it's a dream so vivid that I cannot deny its existence. The dream begs to be written down with its bizarre circumstances and troubling cast of characters. Whether it's the Mob chasing me or Grandma overfeeding me (right before I became pregnant with N, mind you) my dreams explode onto the page almost completely out of my control, hands cramping and stained with ink.

Sometimes it's a memory that won't go away. A wrong that I cannot right unless I deliver it to FictionLand. A memory that gets so twisted up in my head that I cannot recall if it's true or made up. Within the story I am relieved of my guilt, I can be the White Knight and all is right (whether or not it needed to be righted in the first place).

And sometimes A story is born from the what ifs that linger in my mind. What if I'd done that line of coke with those Klan Alpine brothers? What if I'd lost my virginity at 13? What if I'd never moved upstate and attended St. John's as an undergrad instead? Who would I be? What would I be doing? All of this serve as fodder for my creative meanderings.

That is the point when pen meets paper. And so ferociously so that I cannot ever have enough pens nor enough paper by my side.

My journey from concept to completed tale changes daily. It's like taking a different train every day to get to Times Square. Sometimes I may even use a writing prompt (because even MASTERS OF FINE ARTS could use a little push in the right direction) and sometimes I'll read and read or watch hours upon hours of movies & scripted television programming until I find my inspiration. Sometimes, being around other writers will do the trick.

But in the end, all roads lead to genius, as evidenced here. It is why you keep coming back, Monday thru Friday, to see what else I could possibly have to say. It is why I haven't stormed out of my meager job even though I loathe it. And it is why I cannot give up this dream: you WILL see my books on the shelves and you WILL be lining up to get your copy autographed.

"So it is written, so shall it be done."

*smooches...wondering why I let you in my brain so much*
maybe it's because it sucks being the only sane one in here... these damn Voices are NUTS!

Monday, August 24, 2009

How Shall I Find [Its] Where?

That's a line from Bram Stoker's Dracula, which I've been reading this month (YES, MONTH! Because that shit is a BITCH to get through... the writing is so dense, yet beautiful. And the suspense, even though I know what happens, is brilliant. I'm so in love with this book I don't want it to end EVER!) that has stuck with me the minute I read it: How shall I find [its] where?

In the book, obviously Van Helsing is talking about looking for that dastardly count, but for me it meant something else. I mean, I'm reading this book, right? And these men + Mina Harker are determined to rid the world of Count Dracula in memory of dear, sweet Lucy, whose soul almost didn't make it to the pearly gates. And it made me think- would I work that hard to find anything for anyone, ever? And THAT made me think- the only thing I want to find that badly is whatever it is that makes me feel, well, for lack of a better word, bad.

So some of you know that a while back I watched (and re-watched) this film on Netflix, Something is Killing Tate, and it hit kinda close to home; so much so that every time I watched it I always walked away from it with something new (you can read my Jaded Movie Review here).

Basically the lead character, Tate, is depressed and suicidal (sound familiar?) and during the course of the film has to face his demons or lose his will to live for good. After about the third or fourth time watching it, I came to the conclusion that Tate and I had the same problem:

I'm not sure I know how to love or be loved or show love or allow love into my life. Not for real anyway. I know how to go through the motions and say all the right things at the right time to feign love. But real love? What the hell does that even mean?

And you all know this to be FACT because I've said so, on this very blog, MANY, MANY times. Hell, I even got this nifty T-Shirt to prove it:

You know what else I concluded? How hard have I been fighting against the cliche that part of the reason I'm fucked up is because my father abandoned me, only to find that goddamn it, it's true?

How many times do I need to fall apart and become self-destructive after things blow up in my face before I accept the fact that William R Penzo did have a huge impact on my life, the likes of which not even Papi's love and guidance could protect me from?

And how long before I admit that all I ever wanted was for him to want to be in my life? To want to be my dad? To want ME? Like for real, people, WHY DOESN'T HE WANT ME?
To add insult to a hurt little girl's injury, (and here's where I reveal something that would probably make my mom disown me, again) do you know that when I was younger, my mother told me she didn't want to go through with the pregnancy but didn't have a choice and HAD TO have me? What did she think that would do to me? Why would you ever tell a little girl- who doesn't even have a daddy's love- that you didn't want to give birth to her? Who does that?

It's no wonder I'm a fucking mess of a human being.

And I'm not here to villainize (yeah, I made up that word. AND?) anyone or point fingers. Everything happens for a reason, and William and Mami must've had their reasons for doing what they did. And along the way I made certain choices down the path of no good that I could've avoided and blamed it on my fucked up childhood so I'm not all innocent.

But still, I really just had to stop lying to myself and admit that YES- what happened to me as a child affected who I became as an adult. All the blame is not mine, only about 65% of it. Because how can one be expected to make the right decisions when one isn't armed with the right tools in order to do so?

Good thing for me I'm soooo self-aware, and still young enough to try and repair the damage (how's THAT for a backdoor compliment, huh?). Do I look forward to confronting my parents? Um, hello... did I not mention that they're DOMINICAN? I fully expect a chancleta across the face for even bringing it up. But still... shit needs to be said. I'm just saying...

In the film, Tate gets to speak to his younger self; what I wouldn't give for one more shot at mine. I feel so mad and useless because I couldn't protect Little Raquel from all this and make her life better.

*smooches...vowing not to watch that film again for at least a year or two*
it's almost like I was looking for a reason to drink the Windex...

Friday, August 21, 2009

I Was Bored, Then Vanity Ensued...And Then I Woke Up

Believe it or not I sometimes come to a point during the week when I realize I've been on autopilot for like TOO LONG and will just plop myself down on the floor and be quiet. And not meditation quiet because I've been really bad with remembering to do my 20mins 2X a day, but just sitting down nearly comatose wherever I am and just being quiet so I can hear what the fuck The Voices are talking about.

On one particular day, after a long, hot afternoon celebrating my baby's 9th birthday in NJ, I retreated into Mami's room to watch The Iron Giant and could no longer fight gravity. Turns out, though, I missed the bed by a few inches and ended up on the floor in front of the mirrored closet doors. With Roscoe (my camera phone, fools! Keep up!).

Next thing I know, this happened:

because I was really feeling my sideways ponytail and that little piece of grown out bangs on the side. Then I was like, "ooh, check out my bod":

because I haven't really stopped to take inventory of how much better I look and feel at 15lbs lighter. Then I wanted to see how long my hair has gotten since my last haircut in January so I took it out of the ponytail:

and although the ends were split and cat-raggedy my 'do was looking cute in this pic. Then N scooted over and decided to join in on the impromptu, lazy-ass'd photo shoot:

We call that photo "Thug Life, Bitchezzzz". (Notice the side-tilt to her birthday tiara, the peace sign & the stankness of her face. I cannot with this child...)

Until finally, I came to my senses, realized I've never been the kind of girl who stares at herself in the mirror for millions of hours being vain and shit, and went back to being just me:

which is still pretty vain but not about looks; about intellect. And talent. Go and read for yourself.

*smooches...thinking, it's OK to feel "pretty" every once in a while*
I should really practice it more; if Maria can do it, why not me?

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Ay, Brooklyn! Why You Gotta Make Me Talk About You?

Lets take another quick break from ME-ness to talk fashion. More specifically BAD fashion. And even MORE specifically, bad fashion at Wingate during the Robin Thicke/Jazmine Sullivan concert a few Mondays ago.

First, let me add that although I'm am slowly trying to get back to my "happy place," my apartment still reeks of depression, sadness and mental illness with it's balled up Kleenex's everywhere, trashed bathroom and empty fridge. I need to work on that. But in the meantime it was nice to get out of the house and do something that did not include tears, Netflix or my couch.

Second, I bring you this commentary on fashion because although these nuggets of wisdom come from The F$%k-it List, she was unable to keep notes due to the hysterical blindness she suffered, caused by copious amounts of exposed back-fat and ass-crack. So I said I'd write this for her.

And finally, I need a new camera. To think of all the visual aids I could not get for you because all I had was my LG phone... it just tears me up inside. So if you're looking for a way to cheer me up, think: DIGITAL CAMERA. At least 10megapixels. And pocket-sized. Thank you and good day.

Now for the commentary, as dictated to me by a blinded blogger & her best friend:

1- Black women need to collectively go on a diet; invest in some Spanx, lettuce... and conditioner (for all that GOD AWFUL HAIR we had to witness)

2- Fellas: sparkley shirts paired with floral-print shorts makes you gay. Especially Ed Hardy gear.

3- Ladies: if you have 7 stomachs you should not wear a vest.

4- Fake Gucci is a waste of your time. And ours.

5- Old dudes should not wear see-through shirts.

6- Linen suits. NO MAS.

7- Silk shirts in the park. NO MAS.

8- Girls: Your bra should be covered by your shirt. And if they are visible, the straps should not be filthy.

9- Dear Ice Cold Water Man: Perhaps you'd sell more water if you didn't tell the "big girls" that they're "big" and look "thirsty." Just a thought.

10- This shirt:

is bad for everyone, everywhere. Netting is just BAD FASHION.

*smooches...feeling good about writing like the old Jaded*
I know this is cyclical and I'm not fooling myself about this good feeling right now. But still, it feels good.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Back In The (Twitter) Saddle Again

Yeah, yeah, yeah... I went back to Twitter. What of it?


Seriously! I have way more fun on Twitter than I do on FB. Sad, I know. I should be having way more fun outside or in my bedroom (CHEA... riiiiiiight!) than I am online but fuck it- it is what it is (UGH! I swore I'd never use that phrase...). Plus that Mafia Wars bullshit... Look, I SUCK at all and every video-type game I've ever attempted in my life. I don't know WHY I thought Mafia Wars would be any different. So yeah I had to stop playing.

I'm being smarter about it, though, because I DID NOT add it to my phone and I WILL NOT add it to my phone. So basically if I'm not at a computer you will not "see" me on Twitter. It has helped my addiction recovery tremendously. My productivity still sucks ass, but that's a post for another day.

My return was not uneventful, though, and because of it I am thoroughly and unequivocally convinced that Twitter is manned by ROBOTS. Evil, human-hating, plotting, Al-Qaeda ROBOTS! You heard it here first!

Case in point:

When you cancel a Twitter account, the ROBOTS inform you that should you choose to return there is the possibility of reactivating your deleted account. Sounds cool, right? WRONG!

If, like me, you reactivate your account, ALL HELL BREAKS LOOSE. First, it asks you to change your username & email attached to the account, so I did it, but I really wanted to keep mine so then I changed it back.

Then after a couple of days I noticed all my followers & the people I was following disappeared. I figured AWESOME! I GET TO START FROM SCRATCH!

WRONG AGAIN, Col. Sanders... As I went about the business of re-adding my peeps a strange thing happened... I got locked in at following 26 people and only 15 followers. Meaning I was not allowed to follow more than 26 people and no matter how many times I approved new followers no more than 15 were being let through. WTF, TWITTER?

Like any normal human being I went to the HELP section to try and find answers, sent in a help request and waited patiently. I DID THIS FOUR TIMES AND GOT THE SAME AUTOMATED RESPONSE EACH TIME WHICH DID NOT HELP ME AT ALL.

Finally, out of ideas and with nowhere to turn, I had to say goodbye to my Twitter account- and all 13,000 updates- for good and open a new one. A completely new one. Blank slate n shit. All past genius just dust in the wind.

And for what? Because a bunch of DAMN ROBOTS wanted to teach me a lesson about impulsivity and temper tantrums and thinking my decisions through thoroughly before executing them? Well FUCK YOU, TWITTER ROBOTS! I'm onto you and your evil plans of world domination... don't think I'm NOT!

*deep cleansing breaths*

In the meantime, if you USED TO follow me please be aware that you do not anymore. I have a new account. It's the same name ( but a new account nonetheless. It's not that I'm being "quiet" it's that you're not following me. Feel free to re-add me and if I like you I will approve your request.

If I don't... hey, wait a minute... how'd you even get access to this blog? SECURITY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

*smooches...trying to have patience w/social networking sites*
seriously, tho- how BORING is facebook, huh?? HUH??

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

"She's Got A Smile That Heals Me..."

I had to bring the song lyrics out just one more time this year for my sweet baby girl, because it's her birthday!

This one right here is going to drive me to smoke meth, I know it, but she will do it in such a cute & adorable way you can't help but love her for it.

I adore her energy and lust for life and yes- even her thuggish ways and smart-ass mouth. I mean, how can I not when she's nothing more than a reflection of me?

Show my baby some love, good people; she turns NINE today!

*smooches...only for N today*
and if you so desire, feel free to send her gift certificates to Build-A-Bear because that is her most favoritest place on earth. Besides being in my arms :P

Monday, August 17, 2009

Out From Under __________

What a peaceful, lazy-boned, movie-watching, party-having, event-attending week I had sans blogger (and many a night, sans underwear- YO! I've heard it say that Hell is Hot but CLEARLY you've never been to my apartment in August. CLEARLY. It's clothing optional up in this bitch FOR REAL).

I can't say it was particularly productive because it wasn't. I am, however down a few more pounds so that's cool. I'm even seriously considering going back to the gym to ride this weight loss head start all the way to the finish line, which happens to be a mere 5lbs away. YUP. You read correctly: I'M 5LBS AWAY from where I want to be, so all I have to do is lose 10lbs and then build up muscle mass, improve my cardiovascular health and overall endurance/strength. Sounds like a plan, right? I thought so. Don't hate.

But I can say that I haven't shed a "woe is me" tear since before Boston so that is progress, no? I mean I did cry per se but LISTEN- I dare you to watch someone's dad breakdown into sobs during an intervention and not cry... cold-hearted bastards...

And how have I managed to not sink deeper into the depths of despair, you might ask? Easy. By getting text messages like these:

JACK: "You're a great person, Deidre, but you're an asshole." -lesbian fight outside bar

ME: LMAO! And what did Deidre say?

JACK: "I know. I know." -Deidre


JACK: lololol. Deidre wanted to drive away but was too drunk. Her friend kept yelling, "Get your ass back inside" but Deidre wouldn't go in.

JACK: "You're the one who wanted to come here!" she exclaimed "So what can I do to make it up to you?" asked Deidre. GET THE FUCK BACK INSIDE!

JACK: Deidre is now code word for: big ol' lez. "Oh Ellen DeGeneres is such a Deidre."

*smooches...getting by with a little help from my friends*
and Deidre... lets not forget Deidre...

Friday, August 07, 2009

Regarding "Macho"...

...the dude I, along with these people here:

found guilty of manslaughter back in June...

Judge gave him 8 years. His entire 20s spent behind bars off of some bullshit and a really bad decision (on his part).

Not that I'm comparing my 20s to being locked up or anything, but they were rather stifling. I didn't do anything amazing or groundbreaking or brave. I towed the line and played my part and stuck to the status quo. A complete and utter wasted decade just sitting back while the world passed me by. So I know what it will be like for him (minus the anal rape n shit) to be stuck in a prison for his entire 20s...

At the same time that I sit around and curse the day I ever knew the name Fernando "Macho" Claudio, because I've traced my psychotic break back to those two grueling weeks of jury duty and hence why it got so bad so fast after YEARS of successfully faking my sanity, I'm appreciative for the reality check. I would have hated to have gotten to my 80s, looked back on my life and realized I faked my way through 95% of it. That's no kind of life.

But now, I have a chance at something real. I know where my demons lie; I've come to accept that YES, RAQUEL, THERE IS SOMETHING NOT RIGHT IN YOUR BRAIN AND IT NEEDS TO BE FIXED BEFORE IT GETS WORSE. And I'm only 34 so I have a chance...

I feel for Macho. I'm sure he's changed so much already but hard time, REAL hard time, for the rest of your 20s...that's gotta do something to you.

*smooches...for all the time passing me by*
lets take a break here, kiddies. I'm tired. See you in a couple of weeks.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

"Waking Up" In New England

Do y'all remember that really annoying scene in School Daze when Larry Fishburne's character is yelling for everyone to wake up? Yeah, that's how I felt on the bus ride home after spending the entire weekend encased in this love bubble of protection and safety and understanding that both Nina & Cathi created for me. I've been in this self-induced coma for MONTHS if not YEARS and it was about damn time I woke up from it.

I've been in this haze, going through the motions like a robot- from house to work and back again- starving myself of food, human contact and life in general. It was really touch and go there for a minute.


On a particularly rough night (which I now know was a side effect of PMS Week which I hadn't even realized I was in the middle of until The Lady showed her ugly face Monday evening), one where I called her sobbing so hard she couldn't even understand me, my sweet Cathi uttered the words that quite possibly saved my life: Just come here for the weekend.

She even offered to pay for the ticket.

Without even stopping to care about anything else I needed to do that weekend I said YES and proceeded to contact Nina to see if she, too, would be free to hang out. And lucky for me YES, she was. The ticket was bought, I packed my bag and went to work the next day with such a pep in my step it was ridiculous. I was getting the hell out of Dodge and that's all that mattered.

My ride up was rather grueling- traffic turned the trip into 6hrs of sitting by the toilet (GROSS) with two really bratty and restless kids behind me (THEY GOT SIDE-EYES MORE THAN ONCE).

But when the bus finally pulled into South Station and I saw that familiar structure, knowing that Nina was just a few feet away I felt really calm all of a sudden. And when we got to Lawrence and Tia was there with some moro and spaghetti and a salad I was beyond grateful (how she doted on me so... reminded me of Grandma, of what it was like to have someone take care of me... she'll never know the GOOD those two days in her presence did me). And the bar hopping amongst the local DominiCOONS of Lawrence (which is the Washington Heights of the North) while conversing about life and such with my cousin was like... was like just THE THING I needed.

The next day Tia made me the most delicious sancocho that dragged my appetite out of its funk, and we- Nina, her brother Tito and his son, Wes- sat around the table AS A FAMILY and talked and caught up and it was beautiful. There was family gossip, beisbol stats and updates and just plain good times.

Then there was pool time fun with Tito's daughter, Daphne, who I'm totally in love with and plan to kidnap ASAP, right before we trekked down into Western Mass to visit my other hostess, Miss Cathi herself.

After some incredibly tight hugs there was more bar-hopping and drink-consuming the likes of which I haven't done in ages, and it felt damn good. It felt good to laugh and watch Nina break hearts again. It felt good to feel the whiskey go down my esophagus again. It felt good to play pool again. And yes, it even felt good to be around and embraced and manhandled by the opposite sex again... even if he was white.

Sunday was more low-key: a family BBQ for Cathi's beau's sons' birthdays followed by more quality time with my family in Lawrence. I almost didn't want to go back to Brooklyn because it felt so much like home to me, sitting there with my people talking sports and news and everything... I didn't want to go. This was why I was so hard-pressed to go to DR... this was what I needed.

However, my demons were not going to leave just because I go away; I realized that on the bus ride back to the city. I needed to come back here and face my reality- my messy house, finances, brain, life- and try and fix it.

This week I haven't bothered to make any bold moves, only tiny baby steps. Like meeting The F$%k-it List at Wingate for the Robin Thicke/Jazmine Sullivan concert, and attending a writing group meeting in BedStuy on Wednesday night by myself and not bailing at the last minute. But every little step I take makes me feel that much stronger and comfortable with living this life. Not better, still depressed, still in need of serious mental health assistance, but comfortable with this life, and ready to make it better.

And I just want to thank you all for your patience, love, well-wishes, phone calls, emails, invitations to go out, text messages, DVDs and YES, even your prayers, during this very difficult time in my life. My cup runneth over...

*smooches...hoping that it only gets better from here*
I'm also thinking that I may open the blog back up in the next few weeks after these posts have had time to get buried in the archives. no one ever reads the archives. TRUST.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

On My Way To Boston...

These are excerpts of what I wrote in my journal during the very long bus ride to Massachusetts last weekend. We were stuck in hours of traffic and I was trying desperately to not go crazy(er) so I pulled out the pen & paper.

It's rather hard not having anything spiritual in my life, especially now that I've decided to stop faking the faith. Naturally, I've been looking for signs constantly, a message from anywhere, to tell me what to do. And since I've been escaping with music...that's where I've been hearing these messages.

Like Biggie telling me to "get a grip" or Dave Navarro telling me that "there is no love left in [my] eyes" or even Alanis telling me I reduce her to "cosmic tears." (And btw, she also asked me to help her solve the world's problems. I found her fast & outta place for that one. How is putting the world's problems on my shoulders an effective way to help me find god?)

Then Nas came along to remind me that people need someone to believe in and I was like, REALLY? GOSH I HADN'T REALIZED THAT ALREADY.

Billy Joel jumped in the mix next, telling me to pace myself because I'm just like everybody else and that I cannot handle pressure. Wow. Knife. Deep. Thanks.

(At that moment I was reminded of Halle Berry in "Things We Lost in the Fire" when she tells Benicio's character that she doesn't know when she'll ever feel beautiful on the inside again, as well as the scene in "Say Anything" when Lloyd asks his sister: How hard is it to get in a good mood and stay there? UGH! I had to fight the tears real hard; didn't want the nosy biddy sitting next to me to ask if I was alright.)

Hi, my name is Raquel, and I suffer from Depression...can you all please be nicer to me?

GREAT! Why did this billboard just ask me if I was going to Heaven or Hell? Motherfucker, I don't know! Can I get to South Station first and decide later? Get thee behind me, Christianity!

The Cranberries' Delores came in with the save, though- told me that I'm free to decide, and then Santana & Will.I.Am wanted me to know that I am somebody, that I should live my life, be myself, because I'm somebody special and somebody loves my life. They said they could see me shining bright.

Can music be religion?

Finally, Jay-Z (and The F$%k-it List) told me anyone who's not feeling me just doesn't exist (those sons of bitches) right before The Sounds reminded me that regrets are useless.

And with the battery on my iPod dying and my ears ringing from 6hrs of straight music listening, I shut my book and rested my eyes.

Point taken.

And that's how I entered my weekend in New England. With all those thoughts in my head.

*smooches...still looking for a sign*
but the music was a real good start I'd say.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

My Intervention Looked Like This

You know I'm obsessed with the show, Intervention, right? Well, Cathi & Nina staged their own version of it for me, demanding I leave Brooklyn for some fresh New England air.

And it worked. Because I didn't cry once while I was there, my appetite woke up and I had a genuine belly laugh that sent me falling to the ground in the middle of the street in typical Raquel fashion.

But riddle me this: who has an intervention...with alcohol? Especially when they knew I hadn't been eating? *STRONG SIDE EYE*

Ladies- I love you so much for it. You'll never know what it meant to me to have a place to go that feels like home.

*smooches...already plotting the next escape up north*
and don't worry; I'll give you readers the full skinny on what went down eventually. I just haven't processed it all yet.

Monday, August 03, 2009

A Brief Moment Of Levity

It was kinda nice having the babies here as a distraction two weeks ago, especially as we indulged in episodes of Season 1 of ER, which prompted this mini convo when Dr. Kaysen came into the ER with heart trouble after giving Dr. Lewis such a hard time. And guess who had to treat him? YUP... Dr. Lewis:

ME: Revenge is a dish best served cold...

K: What's the difference between hot revenge and cold revenge?

ME: with a blow torch?

BTW, I think she knows I'm depressed; as N trotted out the door with her dad without so much as a goodbye, K turned around and gave me such a hug and kiss.

*smooches...just for K today*
ok, and a few kisses for N, even though that heifer just strolled on out like I was nobody...hmph!

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Jaded Photographs 2009: August Edition

"Waiting In Vain"

*smooches...mired in uncertainty*
but on the plus side, there are some really nice breezes coming through that window lately