Wednesday, September 30, 2009


During a short warning/conversation I had with the babies prior to visiting Eb the Celeb's church earlier this month:

ME: And tomorrow in church limit yourself to one eye roll

N: What? But it's a Black church! How can you only roll your eyes once?

*smooches...never surprised by what comes out of that child's mouth
cameras really need to follow her around all day everyday!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Cold. Bitten Into. Discarded.

He said it to be funny; his way of being a friend is to insult you until you want to slit your wrists. I chalk it up to his social retardation so I always wave it off, much like an abused spouse probably does. "I know deep down he loves me so I ignore it when he says stuff like that. Deep down I know he's a good person."

But this time he cut a little too deep.

HIM: You gonna finish that pizza?

ME: Your leftovers? For what? It's all cold, bitten into and discarded!

HIM: Like you...

It was like being slapped in the face with a slab of ice.

And maybe he did just mean it to be funny. Maybe in his mind I'm me, Raquel, Jaded, so of course my skin is thick enough to handle such words.

"The idea that words can never hurt you is a fallacy. Cruel words leave the deepest scars and are the hardest to heal from." (read on Twitter)

But it wasn't very funny because it hit a nerve. He tapped into the very thing my mirror says to me when I look into it.

Cold. Bitten into. Discarded.

Despite all the baby steps towards progress I've made I'm still such a long way from shedding this perception of myself. I feel this all the time. I talk myself out of it in order to push through and live my life, but it's there, lingering, whispering sweet nothings in my ear. I have a plan of action and I'm following my path and working towards my dream and all that, but the darkness is still there.

I get a daily reminder of the darkness- the bathtub I almost died in; the couch where I often collapse and give up in; the pain in my neck and shoulders and right ovaries. The Voices in my head.

They haven't bothered to go anywhere, almost as if they've claimed squatters' rights in my brain. And OH does it ever make my life that much harder to tolerate! As if this world weren't already a shit-storm to live in, I am one of the lucky few who get to live it with depression as a tag-along. Oh joy!

Thankfully I also have reminders of better, happier things, too.

*hugs all of you*

*smooches...letting you know that I know I'm not cured*
just in case you were thinking I was masking my problems again. I'm not. I know they're still there. Let's just say I've learn to deal with them better. *hides whiskey behind my back*

also... you'll notice the show link isn't in this post. that's because I have the BTR player on my page. You can listen to the show RIGHT HERE w/out going anywhere. You can thank me later...

Monday, September 28, 2009

They Call Me Ms. Penzo...And Other Musings

Hello my dearest darlings! How was everyone's weekend? Yeah yeah whatever, back to me...

Road Trip, Anyone?
My beautiful baby sister began running this year as a way to get fit, and this weekend she'll be running in her first race in DC- the Army Ten Miler Race at the Pentagon- on October 4th. So you KNOW I'm gonna be there, with a huge GO MARI! placard and, yes, bells on. Because that's the kind of Big Sister I am.

Did I mention Mami, Minnie and Mari's BFF, Carol, are all going, too? And we're all squishing into Mari's Mt. Pleasant studio apt, Dominican style? FUN TIMES!!

Who'd like to join us??

Smarty Is Jaded, Too!
Now I know this pic gonna induce all these "Where's my damn T-Shirt" comments from the peanut gallery, so let me respond to you now: Your T-Shirt is waiting for you to purchase it from the Jaded Online Store, launching on October 1st. Patience, grasshopper, is a virtue...

Black People? On TV? Preposterous!!
Tonight on Monday Musings w/The Jaded NYer & Friends, the newly-Jaded Smarty Jones co-hosts as we discuss this seasons new crop of shows and returning favorites... and their lack of COLOR on "Why You Ain't Got No Black People On Your Show?" A Look at the Fall TV Lineup.

The discussion is as old as the day is long but dammit- if we don't keep making a stink about it no one will ever fix it. Or does it even NEED fixing? Tune in tonight to add your two cents.

They Call Me Ms. Penzo
We all know how incredibly fabulous I am in everything I do, and now so do the higher ups at a certain online college that has just hired this MASTER OF FINE ARTS as one of their new English Composition instructors. YUP. ME. Back in charge of people's education. MUAHAHAHAHA.

But on a serious note, I'm truly elated by this opportunity to teach a class. Although I HATED HATED HATED my job at The Waco School for Girls back in '04, there were some fun classroom moments I still remember. And this new shot at teaching will definitely help me get some cushy professorship later on; that way I can run my Jaded Media Empire but still have medical benefits. YAY, ME!

Xtra Large Mimosas... Because I Hate My Liver
So despite the coma I fell into after downing two Benadryl's with a mudslide chaser on Friday,

I decided that, since I missed the ACENTOS Workshop on Sunday I'd try and meet up w/Eb the Celeb for brunch. And boy did we EVER.

The best part of brunch in NYC is the unlimited mimosa served with the food. But never did we expect them to be this HUGE (that's what she said)!

After about 5 or 6 of these monstrous goblets of alcoholic goodness I was DEE-RUNK off my ass. How drunk? Let's just say I barely made it off the train in time for my stop and dinner didn't get on the table until like 10:00PM. Oh, and there may have been a few inappropriate text messages sent from my phone, but I can't be sure...

*smooches...thinking of embracing sobriety again*
this drinking is starting to impede on my celibacy... NO ES BUENO!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Today I Will (9/25/09)

Remember the little self-help book Irene purchased for me? I wrote about it here? Well I read the next exercise; even made the babies participate and it was kind of cute.

Activity #2: Today I will use visualization techniques to improve my outlook.

This exercise challenges you to already see yourself at the finish line. K said she saw herself as a successful author of young adult novels and I think N said something about being in charge of a Nino Brown-esque empire, but I can't be sure...

For me, I saw myself with a more muscular body (not crazy bodybuilder looking, more like Beach Volleyball athlete looking) being more diligent w/my meditation and yoga practice and becoming outdoorsy with my kids (CORRECTION: K does not approve of outdoor physical activities so never mind); running a successful media empire that includes a magazine, film & TV production company, record label and of course this blog and everything else that was born of (from?) it.

I visualized myself as a highly sought-after freelance writer and public speaker on all things media, especially when it comes to publishing. And lets not forget... you'd be able to get my books at Barnes & Noble- I don't know WHY B&N is the end all/be all for me but it is. I just want to walk into the store and see my book on the shelf, and not the discount shelf either. The regular shelf where they put literary fiction. That's where I want my book.

And did I mention that is this visualization I'm married? With two more kids? No? Oh well then forget I brought it up...

*smooches...kinda liking this book after all*
it's still kinda silly but a "useful" silly

and I hope I didn't need to add in there that I'd still be living in Brooklyn, because y'all already know I can't seem to break up with this borough...

Thursday, September 24, 2009

"Call Your Parents"

That's what the manager of my local supermarket kept saying to the young lady (and I use that term lightly) whom he'd caught shoplifting. A petite, meek-looking Indian/Muslim girl from the neighborhood.

"Please, sir, PLEASE!" She kept pleading with him. She wanted him to give her a pass, claiming she'd learned her lesson for real and her parents need not be involved.

"I don't care. You need to learn a lesson. Call your parents."

And then she said something to the effect of, "I'm trying to learn. I'm trying!" (At least I think that's what she said.)

But he wasn't trying to hear anything she was saying. He wanted to speak with her parents. "I don't care," he said again in his thick Haitian/African accent. "Call your parents."

I had to go into the subway at this point in their conversation, even though I desperately wanted to follow them into the market to see how it all unfolded, so I can't tell you what happened next. But that didn't stop me from imagining how this MIGHT have played out.

Would her parents be called? And, knowing Indian/Muslim families the way I've come to know them since moving into this neighborhood three years ago (and gauging her fear level) would they beat her at the store or wait until they were behind closed doors? This is America after all, as I'm sure they've been made painfully aware, and the few Anglos scattered on the block are the type to call the police while us colored folks wold likely stand around watching, some even offering leather house slippers or belts for the cause.

Or would the manager take pity on her? Fall for her tears and accept that she has, in fact, learned her lesson? And what, if anything, will she take away from this scenario? To not steal or not get caught? Will she learn to respect authority figures or develop a misplaced hatred/mistrust of Black people?

But more importantly, I found myself wondering over and over as I rode the F into the city: What made her steal in the first place?

Readers- I'm trying to understand this mentality, especially because I have a new teen and in order to stay out of Riker's I've been analyzing a bunch of "gone-wrong" kids and what made them "go wrong" in the first place. I'm trying to prevent a meth-addicted K or a prematurely sexually active N.

I believe their father and I have given them a good foundation of expected and tolerated behaviors, and instilled in them the tools and encouragement and support to be successful and happy. But I'm sure Whitney's mother thought the same thing, and the Houstons even had GOD in their lives, which my daughters do not, and still Whit-Whit was hittin' that pipe something fierce.

No one wants to think it will happen to THEIR child but there are millions of kids doing drugs and sleeping around and joining gangs and DYING of self-destruction all over the country. What's to say it won't be mine (besides my belt, of course)?

Maybe I just need to stop watching Intervention every damn night...

*smooches...trying not to get too anxious about this*
but seriously- LORD help these heifers if they don't stay on the straight and narrow. LORD. HELP. THEM.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The Stories That Became A Novel

As many of you know, my MFA thesis, the creative part anyway, is comprised of various short stories and a script for a short film. For as long as I can remember, although I devour novels like extra hot Buffalo wangs (yes- WANGS) with blue cheese dressing, the short story has always been my preferred method of storytelling. My reasoning was always something along the lines of, "I have Adult ADHD and it won't allow me to concentrate on anything longer than a short story."

But on Monday one of the women in my Writing Workshop called bullshit on my whole plan and said the thing I've been avoiding forever and ever and a day: "These aren't short stories; these are snippets of a novel."

What. The. Fuck.

As soon as she said that to me, with a little smirk and a glimmer in her eye, I knew she was right. This is why the stories weren't coming together the way I wanted them to. The details were jumbled. The flow was off. The meat and potatoes of it needed more sazón. All because I was trying to keep them apart when CLEARLY they belong together. Enfermos is not a collection of short stories, it's a *GASP* novel. So I need to start treating it as such.

This epiphany, for as much as it solves some key problems in the stories, creates a whole new set of issues: Which story goes first? How do I mesh them? Do I have to pick only ONE narrator or can I have many?

*pulls out hair*

Should I go in chronological order or take the reader on a crazy ride into the past, then to the future, before letting them settle into the present? And my script, I suppose, needs to part ways with this new incarnation of my tales. A divorce of sorts. Learn to stand on its own 25 minutes.


I was totally fretting over this Monday night and all of Tuesday; I got very little sleep and have been irritable to the nth degree. I've lost all desire to eat, leave the house, think, write, breathe. All because my stories have evolved without me, because I still see them as stories and really, all they want for me to know is that they've metamorphosed into a novel while I was busy not paying attention.

Maybe I'm feeling a little betrayed by my words, that they would reveal themselves to Theresa and not to me, their mother. Perhaps this is what I need to come to terms with before I dive in and restructure the entire thing?

Whatever it is, I'm warning y'all- this shit right here? This is worse than PMS. Take cover.

*smooches...overwhelmed but ready to do the work*
I feel like my stories are teenagers, asserting their independence and shit. maybe I should give them the "THIS HOUSE IS NOT A DEMOCRACY" speech I gave my babies...

and I dare one of you heifers to talk shit about my writing tools... DARE. YOU.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Single & Fabulous... Exclamation Point?

Before I get going on the blog post du jour, please take a look over to the right-hand side... there's a mini-BlogTalkRadio player- ON THE BLOG- for your convenience. So you can listen to the fellas from Brothers' Blog & The F$%k-It List chit-chat about the ins and outs of maintaining a relationship without having to leave my site. GENIUS, right? You know you want to listen so just freaking click it already.

Now... back to the show...

It pains me to be the one to tell y'all this so early in the morning but I, The Jaded NYer, have been afflicted with... baby fever. That's right- ever since the weather warmed up I've been seriously craving another child! And not just another child, get this... y'all ain't ready... A HUSBAND! But wait- it gets better... not only a baby and a husband... but I'd be willing to be... THE STAY AT HOME PARENT!!!

Go ahead and take a Xanax or twelve because I did when I had to finally admit it to myself (and to Smarty Jones, who by the way admitted that she, too, was very open to being a housewife!!) one balmy summer morning.

I'm not really sure where this is stemming from because LORD KNOWS my wandering eye is worse than Casanova's; I'm ALWAYS looking for the greener grass. But lately I've been thinking this whole monogamy, husband + wife + new baby thing might just = what I want. KUH-RAY-ZEE, right??

It could be those new gray hairs I found while blowing my hair out, or the fact that I'm surrounded by cute couples and adorable babies everywhere I go (Park Slope, I HATE YOU!). Whatever it is, it has me looking at dudes in a whole new light.

After my divorce, my only concern was CAN YOU GET ME OFF AND THEN LEAVE ME THE FUCK ALONE? Seriously, that was my mentality. Then I gave a relationship a try and it failed so I moved on to CAN YOU BE AT MY SEXUAL BECK AND CALL, BUT ONLY FROM YOUR PLACE SO I CAN HIT IT AND LEAVE?

Then when that blew up in my face in the form of back-to-back dudes who straight up LIED about their relationship statuses and had their significant others blowing up MY phone like *I* was some home-wrecking hussy, I gave it all up and took a vow of celibacy. Which was working for a good long while until it wasn't.

Which brings us to today.

I feel like- I've gone this long w/out doing the bullshit casual thing that I don't even want to go there with someone unless it's going somewhere. And drunken, whorish behavior aside, I've been able to hold onto that (for the most part anyway... y'all don't have to know ALL my GD business, sheeeit!). So when confronted with someone new not only am I wondering if I want to rip his clothes off after a night of literary discussions, I'm wondering if I can tolerate him in the long run. (And of course I meant to write "tolerate" dammit! Have you forgotten whose blog you're reading?)

I see new dudes and wonder if his idiosyncrasies will drive me to crack-cocaine or if I can live with it forever. I wonder if he's "man enough" for me, if I can see him around my kids, if we'd make beautiful babies together. And if there's a NO in any of these categories I gracefully bow out and place dudes in the FRIEND box.

Basically, while I don't mind my current state of meeting new people and dating and socializing, I'm actually looking for that dude that will make me want to settle down already. As is Smarty Jones (LOL!)

My only concern is that one day I will end up 45yrs old with tons of "friends" and no new husband or baby.

Actually I'm not too worried about not getting my baby... I can always get my Tia in DR to arrange a quickie adoption for me if need be. WHAT?! I'm just sayin...

*smooches...picking out baby names already*
and THIS time I want to name her something traditionally Spanish, like Altagracia or Zoraida or Caridad or Xiomara. Something real Washington-Heightsy... she's gonna be a DOLL, watch...

Monday, September 21, 2009

CLEARLY I'm No Expert On Relationships...

...but I'll play one on the [BlogTalk] radio tonight on Monday Musings w/The Jaded NYer & Friends. That's right, tonight's topic is "Mars Vs. Venus Part 2: We're In A Relationship...Now What?"

After the fierce Jerry Springer-like segment we did earlier this year, I decided a Part 2 was needed. I mean we fought over all the bullshit men and women have to go through just do have a steady partner, it's only fitting that we discuss what to do once you have that partner.

My co-hosts include NYC Blogger The F$%k-It List and representing the CHI are the homies from Brothers' Blog... this should make for an INTERESTING episode...

And trust that I will be taking notes during the show so maybe I can land me my next ex-husband/baby daddy before I turn 40...

*smooches...currently taking applications for the next Mr. Penzo*
what? see y'all think I'm playing but I'm not...

Friday, September 18, 2009

Side Eyes Start Early In These Here Parts

My sweet'ums Celia recently relocated back north from Key West, and although I know she misses the sun & surf Irene and I were VERY HAPPY to have her back in the Empire State and finally meet her adorable baby girl, the newest addition to my Girl Army, Miss Eden.

She was just the cuddliest, chunky, doll-faced angel bear and I really wanted to sneak her into my bag and bring her home with me. Especially after I snapped the cutest photo of her EVER:

Check out that side eye!! Isn't it just the right amount of snark, stankness and femininity?? I feel so proud to know her... she's ahead of the class already!!

*smooches...looking forward to watching her grow up*
my friends just have the cutest kids, y'all don't even know...

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Right Now I Want...

...someone to come over here and handle this messy apartment for me. You ever have a mess so grandiose that you couldn't even fathom where to begin? That's where I am right now.

...Josie to come back to NYC and help me make some sense of my unruly tresses. You guys... I got so desperate I... I... I CUT IT MYSELF!! It was very traumatizing!

...more tango lessons. I stopped at three and now I find myself craving them from time to time. I need more tango lessons in my life. wake up with all the answers I seek. I don't want to have to read any more books on the subject, or seek out any more spiritual centers, or harass the lyrics of my favorite songs to show me the way. I just want to KNOW. hear these songs:

really loud and have a man- a REAL man- take me by the hand to the dance floor and mean it. I won't ever need sex so long as I can have a really great dance for once in my life.

...for my body, mind and soul to heal itself. I'm tired of being sick all the time. And besides, the rest of me is too busy anticipating the new fall line-up on TV to worry about my health.

...a jerk chicken patty with coco bread from the food stand on 165th Street & Jamaica Avenue. Oh my goodness- I can almost taste its spicy goodness! In fact, make that TWO patties... entire carefree month in Santo Domingo, catching up with my family, lounging on the beach in La Romana, drinking fresh coconut water and ogling all the men I can't have because they might be my cousins.

...a do-over for April, May, June and July. I hate about 85% of the decisions I made in those months and would really appreciate another chance to get it right. call a truce with The Voices. I'm not sure when it was that they became my nemeses, because in the beginning we were really good friends, and I want that old thing back. I want some peace among us.

*smooches...pretty sure I'm asking for too much*
but quietly, I'd give up all these wants for JUST the jerk chicken patty. it's THAT GOOD!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Of Writerly Things...

I'm really getting into this WRITER role I've decided to finally accept. And when I say writer I mean someone who lives, breathes, shits, EVERYTHING the written word, because I had to slap the realization into myself that the only way to get better and hold onto my MASTER OF FINE ARTS title is to do writerly things.

Like joining the ACENTOS Writing Workshop at Hostos Community College in the Bronx on Sundays. And even though they are dealing primarily with poetry, a genre with which I've never been comfortable, I'm challenging myself to follow through on all the assignments. No matter how difficult they may seem. Or how crappy the poems I end up writing are.

Or the free screenwriting class I attended held by the Gotham Writer's Workshop in Lower Manhattan. Listen, I have a script and it's HAWT but it needs work. Lots of work. This class helped light a fire.

Or participating in the upcoming blogging event, Blog Cafe 1.0, a networking event on October 2nd for bloggers that is my attempt on spreading the word on MY words instead of hiding them:

Who: Bloggers and Site owners
What: Networking event for bloggers/site owners and their readers.
Where: Katwalk NY* | 2 west 35th street, corner of 5th Avenue
When: Friday, October 2, 2009 6pm-9pm
Why: Because sometimes we can all use a little break from our Macs and PCs to network and mingle in person.

The FIRST 50 guests to show up with their Business Cards will receive a gift bag, courtesy of the participating Bloggers and site owners.

Or the fiction writing group I co-founded in Park Slope that meets twice a month at a fellow writer's home, and where we help improve each others writing projects. Our goal? To produce the best possible manuscripts we can with the support of like-minded creative types.

Or the upcoming get-together with The FDU Writers on Saturday in New Jersey; my beautiful classmates and fellow MASTERS OF FINE ARTS. We try and meet once a month to chat, inspire one another and catch up on the wonderful world of literary fiction.

Or my fall project, The Artist's Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity by Julia Cameron. I've had this book on my shelf for years, and it wasn't until a fellow writer and blogger Demetria Irwin of Love Is Dope, wrote about completing the 12-week workshop that I was motivated to finally dust off this gem and try it for real.

Or the writer's group I joined in BedStuy, Write in BK, which meets the first Wednesday of the month at Brownstone Books. I've only been to one meeting so far but I really enjoyed the cool vibe from my fellow Brooklyn Literati and plan on being there every month from now on!

Or the near completion of my MFA Thesis (for the 100th time)... slow and steady wins the race, people. And you can ask Irene- these stories need WORK, as does the essay, so it's been overwhelming to get and stay motivated enough to just DO IT.

Or the book I'm asking you all to read for an upcoming discussion on Monday Musings- Beautiful Boy: A Father's Journey Through His Son's Addiction by David Sheff. One of The FDU Writers had recommended it a while ago, and Mari read it this summer. Both ladies sang its praises, and since I'm such a NERD about addictions these days I'm choosing it. You have until October 18th to finish!

Or most importantly, by the way I defended my writing talent/ability to someone who had the audacity to try and take the wind out my sails about my words. The old Raquel would have sat around for HOURS reading everything she'd ever written doubting herself something awful. The new Raquel wrote this person off as a hatin' negative nelly and kept it moving.

*does a double-tuck somersault ending in a dutty wine split*

I'm a writer, y'all. I'm a freakin' WRITER!

*smooches...hoping you enjoyed these words I wrote for you today*
and if anyone is interested in ANY of the activities I mentioned above, let me know and I'll send you the info ASAP, from one writer to another. After all, we have to stick together!!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Great Show + Latino Heritage Month = A Happy Jaded NYer

Soooooooooo... I'm thrilled to report that last night's season premiere of Monday Musings w/The Jaded NYer & Friends went off without a hitch! Mari & I were on point with our discussion on Latino Heritage Month (September 15th to October 15th), we had wonderful callers and as usual the chatroom was... well... y'all know how it goes down in the chatroom.

At one point Irene demanded to see Chief Justice Sotomayor's birth certificate and I almost fell out of my seat. SHENANIGANS, I tell ya!

But I want to point out a few things from the show for those that missed it (download the podcast here): we had representatives from two amazing non-profit organizations on the show that I want to bring to your attention.

First, Emerita Torres of The New Latino Movement, a grassroots organization that helps mobilize Latinos on civic efforts throughout the country.

Then we had Frank Cohn of Global Potential, a program that empowers underprivileged youths in the US by teaching them how to be leaders and entrepreneurs who bring about social change through community service.

BOTH VERY WORTHWHILE CAUSES and I urge you all to get involved!!

Next, I want to encourage you to pick up the book, Black Behind the Ears: Dominican Racial Identity from Museums to Beauty Shops by Ginetta Candelario, a fellow Dominicana that Mari had the pleasure of meeting at Cornell.

Now with that said, I want to congratulate Irene for winning almost ALL of the prizes during the broadcast, but also wanted to give you blog readers an opportunity to win stuff, too. SO- the first commenter to answer these trivia questions correctly will win a Jaded By Association Tshirt; the second runner up gets the newest academic calendar designed by your truly!

Trivia Question #1: Mexico… Cortes has a famous palace in this Central Mexican City...

Trivia Question #2: Chile… Chile is divided into regions, how many are there?

And finally, I'd like to shout out the various Latino/a bloggers (and sites) out there that I frequent, and if I missed anyone PLEASE add your blog in the comments section; I like to support my peoples:

Jack's Gay Chronicles
The Jose Vilson
Brother Omi
Earned Relevance
Quisqueya's World
Reina's Song
Rock in the Ocean
Latina Beauty Blog
Juju The Poet
Sofrito For Your Soul
Liberators of Hip Hop
Confesiones de la Loca
Latino Review
Culture Kitchen

You've got a lot of reading to do... so get to it!

Me? I have an entire 30-days of activities associated with this month-long celebration to keep me busy, so don't you worry 'bout what I'M gonna be doing... nosy-ass heifers!

Happy Latino Heritage Month!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

*smooches...urging you to hug a Latino/a from 9/15 to 10/15*
and even though I have a strict DON'T TOUCH ME policy, I won't even be mad if it's me you choose to hug...

Monday, September 14, 2009

The Latinos Are Coming... And Other Musings...

How was everyone's weekend? Hopefully fun-filled and productive.

And now that the pleasantries are done lets get down to business:

Weightloss? What Weightloss?
I went to a party for Mami's friend's baby, and although they didn't make the Brazilian cheese bread I've been craving for weeks, there was birthday cake. My absolute favorite homemade Brazilian cake.

Of which I had three heaping pieces. Lord help my waistline.

The Latinos Are Coming!
YESSSSS, people, you read correctly! Monday Musings is BACK for real, and tonight Mari joins me to start off season two same as we did last year, with a whole hour dedicated to Latino Heritage Month.

And you will especially want to tune in because throughout the broadcast we will be giving away prizes! You don't want to miss it!

Am I The Only One...
...who never noticed the arrow in the middle of the FedEx logo?

How long has that been there? And why didn't anybody tell me???

*smooches...totally excited about tonight*
this time, Mari and I will know better than to be caught talking shit w/our mics still on after the broadcast. I hope.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Today I Will (9/11/09)

I was hanging out in Barnes & Noble with Irene over the summer (because we're nerds like that) when she suggested we head on over to the Self-Help section for shits & giggles. And let me tell you guys- she was right! Some of those titles are just so ridiculous you have to laugh out loud at them.

One title in particular, "Enjoy Life and Be Happy in 30 Seconds" really made us giggle like little girls, so much so that Irene bought it for me and practically demanded I write about it.

So I was flipping through the book to see if I would get inspired to write about it and a funny thing happened... I decided to REALLY read it and participate in the daily activities instead, even if it is in my own Jaded way. Like so...

Activity #1: Today I will focus on 5 things that are great in my life.

  1. I have great hair. It doesn't always obey my commands but all in all, my hair is awesome.
  2. I know at least 5 people who, with just one phone call, will drop everything to cut someone to bloody bits of ass on my behalf.
  3. My kids are growing into amazing young ladies, all because I am a consecutive Mother of the Year award winner.
  4. I know what I want to be when I grow up, and that's more than a lot of people can say for themselves.
  5. I have a pretty good feeling that when my landlord and his family blow up NYC my little family of three will be spared.

*smooches...only taking the activities KINDA serious*
listen, one book and one church visit do not an UN-Jaded NYer make... so what are the 5 great things in YOUR life?

Thursday, September 10, 2009

I Want You To Know That...

...NYC females love big black cock at 42nd Street

...99% of the time this is my POV

...Brazilians go ALL OUT for their Independence Day

...K's been walking around with wind in her hair all week

...Dead homies are still honored in the hood

...Harlem churches, and the blood of Jesus, hate Obama, too

...Flava Flav rides the subway with all his belongings in a shopping bag

...I saw your uncle pushing a speaker down the street

...And most importantly, I look sexier in Black and White

*smooches...becoming one with my camera phone*
but only because all of my other cameras have died. Feel free to send me a replacement!

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Eyes Wide Open, Pt. 3: The Four Obstacles

(This should be the last of it. I think. We'll see how it goes... basically I read a good book & heard a good message at church & began to REALLY re-evaluate my life, for real this time.)

For those who never read The Alchemist (or did and found it BLAH), you're probably wondering what about it touched me so deeply? Well, it really spoke to me from the introduction. And I never read the introductions in a book- I find them pretentious and unnecessary. But for some reason I read this one. And right from there I KNEW this book was for me.

Coelho spoke of four things that keep people from following their dreams, all of which I fall prey to:

1- We are told from childhood that our dreams are impossible (CHECK)
2- Love for others keeps us from following our dreams because we don't want to hurt those we love (CHECK)
3- Fear of the defeats waiting for us during this dream journey (CHECK)
4- Fear of realizing our dreams (CHECK)

I was four for four and convinced that this book was written for me and me alone. And that's why I read it and that's why I've been in this euphoria ever since I finished the last line of the novel.

So here I am, face to face with these four obstacles and a list of things I want to do in my lifetime and I'm struggling to make sense of it all. Like, how do I hush The Voice that sounds a lot like my mom putting me down? How do I stop caring about what others think of me? How do I battle fear of success and the unknown? How do I FINALLY quit letting things happen to me and MAKE things happen for me?

This is what I've been thinking about since Saturday.

One thing I hate about all this introspection? There's no quick fix or easy answers and above all else I need to do and learn, having more patience is at #1. "Slow and steady wins the race" right? RIGHT?

And I feel like I have armed myself with some good information, some well-placed angels and motivators and a will to succeed that has long been dormant and is slowly rubbing the sleep from its eyes. I can see this path that I want to take (I got that lil tidbit from The Wizards of Waverly Place Movie... don't judge me- it was chock full of messages that mirrored The Alchemist's message, too. I'm telling you... "there are signs everywhere" [that line I got from Fools Rush In LOL]) and the steps necessary to get there.

It is a long, arduous road with many, many steps that may very well take years. However I can not afford to be afraid to commit to it, to trust myself and what it is I want. I need to get a hold of some Patience In A Bottle. STAT.

Only thing now is to actually define what it is I want. I mean really, really want.

(It might be time to put aside that one dream of having Buffy, The Vampire Slayer back on the air, seeing as the series finale of Angel pretty much destroyed any chance of that. But I won't, however, give up on that dream of having magical, supernatural powers. I won't. I know they're in there somewhere. I just KNOW it. I'm gonna keep that on my list.)

*smooches...kinda scared to move forward, but more scared not to*
in the meantime, can someone please come over here and clean my apartment? I think I'd be able to think more clearly and find my Personal Treasure if my apartment were clean...

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Eyes Wide Open, Pt. 2: They Weren't Checking For Me

(When we last saw The Jaded NYer, she'd just finished reading The Alchemist and had attended church on a Sunday, and it made her realize some shit. Now you're all caught up. Read on.)

I picked up The Alchemist expecting only to be entertained. Actually, no I didn't because the last Coelho book I read, Veronika Decides to Die, was a big disappointment to me. I hated it.

I read the book during my MFA program and when I wrote an annotation on it saying everything that was wrong with the story my mentor, the very talented & insightful writer Thomas E. Kennedy, wrote back: Maybe you didn't get what he was doing? That was an omen that I didn't listen to. But all in due time, right?

Clearly back then I wasn't ready to read a book about a woman who attempts suicide and instead wakes up in a hospital and there discovers a reason to live. But after this summer, after facing those very same feelings of nothingness, I'm thinking I owe it to myself to read this book again with a fresh pair of eyes. I still may not like it but I have to try.

But anyway, I expected not to get anything important out of The Alchemist and OHHHH was I wrong. This book honestly gave me a glimmer of hope towards something to believe in, some real-life faith and shit.

And by faith I don't mean some Judeo-Christian, patriarchal, dogma-laced BS institutionalized faith. I mean the kind of faith that was promised to me at Our Lady of Bedford Stuyvesant (yo- I'm not joking about that name... my school was truly called that BEFORE they switched the name to St. John the Baptist!) all those years ago but never delivered. Faith in a purpose for my life, faith in the goodness in people, faith in the power & realness of love and most importantly, faith in myself and my destiny.

I watched The Wizards of Waverly Place movie with my kids (a movie that SURPRISINGLY also dealt with following your destiny... ugh, these signs are trying to kill me!) and in it the siblings need to find this "stone of dreams" via this treasure map. Well this faith I seek is my stone of dreams. I long for something to believe in, some guidance, more than I want my novel on the New York Times bestseller list. And this book + the message I heard at church on Sunday is like my treasure map. I still don't have the code cracked, but I have the map. Isn't that the first step?

So The Voices are all abuzz with these things now and I know that Coelho and this random Harlem preacher were placed in my life at this time to help me realize some important things.

I do let my fear of what others think of me stop me from being me and doing what I know will make me happy. I do base my standards on others' standards. And I do ignore that little voice inside of me that warns me about and pushes me towards certain paths. I am not really working towards what I want because of fear. And I don't believe in myself enough to make things better for myself.

A lot of what fueled my breakdown this summer had to do with "other people" that I made a bigger part of my life than they deserved to be. They weren't checking for me but I behaved as if I needed them in my life. Meanwhile the people that I did need in my life were being pushed aside and neglected. I've always tried to be liked, or tried to make others happy even in spite of myself. I see now that I took it too far and it became a problem.

-- to be continued --

*smooches...looking for a spell to rid me of fear*
I really want you to not judge me for watching The Wizards of Waverly Place; it's a really good show. Really. STOP LOOKING AT ME LIKE THAT!

Monday, September 07, 2009

Eyes Wide Open, Pt. 1: "I Love You But I'm Over You"

(I'm making this a multi-part post because I have a lot I want to say but I know attention spans on the web aren't the best. See how much I love you?)

Now readers, I want you to brace yourself because I'm going to share a bit of shocking news with you. Ready? OKAY.

I went to church on Sunday.

And it wasn't like: Mami called and guilted and/or tricked me into going to church with her. I received an invite to attend church with Eb the Celeb... and accepted. Of my own free will. Could you just die?

Before you all decide to stage an Intervention (although if you did that'd be SO AWESOME 'cause you know that's my show!) let me add that I accepted the offer because I took this random, out-of-the-blue invite from Eb as a sign. An omen, if you will. And I interpreted it as such because I'd just finished reading The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho, a book suggested by another (former, honorary) NYC Blogger, DollFace, and it did something to me that I can't explain. On Twitter, I described my experience after reading the book as such:

Those of you who read my blog know that I've lost my faith, but this book... I feel like I know now how I can get it back.

And I'm tearing up just thinking about how great it will be to believe in something again. I should've known the answers were in a book...

Anyways the book, for those of you MTV, ADHD fools who can't sit still long enough to read a menu let alone a book, is about following your dreams and listening to your heart without fear; knowing that there is a "Personal Treasure" waiting to be uncovered by you. And in the book the character is often told to follow the omens that the world sends his way because they are leading him to his destiny. Why? Because "it is written."

YO- that shit right there fucked with my head so much! (PS- you can also thank this book for adding ANOTHER tattoo to the list of tattoos I need in my life: the Arabic symbol for maktub...)

So I've just read this book and I'm all moved by it and ready to buy multiple copies of it and study it like the info contained in those pages will be on the final, at the same time that I'm looking to get into some trouble. It was Saturday night after all.

(Here's the part of the story where you may blame Nina for not coming to NYC... had she been here none of this would have taken place. Then again, her not coming was like another omen... I can't ignore that shit!)

But instead of finding trouble, Eb suggests me & the babies trek up to Harlem, watch movies all night, sleep over and go to church with her in the morning. Random, right? No one, besides Mami, who'd love nothing more than for me to join Evangel Church, has ever dared to say to me, "Hey, Rocky, let's go to church tomorrow" so I took it as an omen. The Universe was trying to tell me something. I sent out an S.O.S. this summer and it was being answered via a book and an invite. How could I say no?

And here's the part where you get just as creeped out as I did. The sermon on Sunday? It was about following the path god made for you, being true to yourself, putting your life in order, HELL, LIVING YOUR LIFE w/out fear of what others were going to think. At one point he had the congregation turn to their neighbor and say, "Neighbor, I love you but I'm over you." How fitting...

Go ahead and die three hundred deaths because I surely did when I heard it.

Was I being punked? I honestly (and unbeknownst to Eb and her roommate, who was sitting right next to me) had to fight back tears because it was like he was speaking right to me and no one else. It was scary to swallow so much truth like that. The omens were right and I was right to follow them: I was supposed to be listening to this preacher speak these words right then and there.

-- to be continued --

*smooches...planning on reading EVERYTHING Coelho ever wrote*
and y'all know I'm a semi-professional stalker... I follow his ass on Twitter AND have his blog bookmarked. I ain't playing w/Paulo...

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Jaded Photographs 2009: September Edition

"A Day In The Life"

*smooches...feeling so proud of K's side eye*
lord help the future of this world... my offspring are on the loose. y'all ain't ready...

Friday, September 04, 2009

Mari Speaks On... recording all of her soundbites for my blog:

"All these quotations are just smearing my name so that I can't win the presidency in Uruguay. CAMBIO!!"

*smooches...wishing you a glorius 3-day weekend!
and if you're in NYC, hit me up... there be many parades, festivals and par-tays to hit up this weekend, and you know you love to see me drunk off my ass...

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Would You Like A Beverage For Your THIRST?

The other day on Twitter I expressed that I used to think thirsty broads were the worst... until Sunday when I met the THIRSTIEST dude in the history of being parched. EVER. HANDS DOWN.

So I went over to Minnie's for an impromptu BBQ w/friends and family, and one of her co-workers, lets call her CeCe, was there w/her beau du jour. Lets call him THIRSTY.

Oh my god he... I... words... cannot...

Wherever CeCe went, there went THIRSTY right behind her like a poorly trained puppy. As if that weren't bad enough he proceeded to kiss her on her shoulder and neck- ALL IN OUR FACES- despite CeCe's cries of, "STOP. Can you stop for like five minutes? Can you leave me alone for like five minutes?"


Oooh, I was too, too annoyed. And it's not like she was saying "stop" in a playful, girly way because then I'd be like, "That bitch likes it." She was truly as annoyed as I was. Heck, we were ALL annoyed, and I'm not ashamed to say we were talking about them in Spanish. THAT'S how UGH we were feeling- we were reduced to grade school shit and talked about them to their face in Spanish.

What makes someone behave that way? Why? On what planet is it acceptable to paw at someone in mixed company and continue to do so even AFTER you've been repeatedly asked to stop? Why are people so EXTRA when it comes to the opposite sex? Smothering people? Being a shadow? Tits out? Ass out? No panties? What. The. Fuck? Where's the limit?

People, I had to leave my own cousin's house to preserve my sanity, lest I come out face to someone else's man, word to Chris Brown's bow tie! I know I'm extremely guarded and would NEVER let on that I like someone, and that's the other extreme of the spectrum and not a good look, but THIRST? On a man?

Excuse me while I vomit something for this fool to drink...

I mean, I know about my own levels of insecurities and how damaging it has been in my supposed attempts at relationships, but what type of need is trying to be filled by someone that hard pressed to be all up in their partner's face? Did their mommies not hug them enough? Did their daddies not eat at the table with the family? Do I need to take up a collection to get these people some therapy, because I will!

Help me out, folks. What's really happening here?

*smooches...praying to never meet a dude like that*
before you comment, though, take a peek at this post on Brothers' Blog on the very same subject.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

The Jaded School Of Parenting: Lesson One - YOU Are The Parent

Okay, people. I know I've touched upon child rearing before on this blog and on Monday Musings, but let me tell you what has been driving me nuts since I started working from home more: MY NEIGHBOR AND HER DAMN BRATTY KIDS.

Remember when I wrote this post about my fear that she was physically abusing her children? Right. Well I take it all back. She is not abusing them; those kids are just GRADE A BRATTY McBRATTERTONS and I am seriously 2 more episodes of screaming away from walking over there, belt in hand, to handle this shit myself.

But then I had to take a few deep cleansing breaths and remember- this kid is only doing what she knows. Therefore, the fault lies with the parents. A child who acts out by screaming and crying and throwing things learned that that is an appropriate way to deal with being upset via the parent or guardian. PERIOD. Do not dispute me on this. I have many years under my belt dealing with kids. I know from whence I speak.

Don't like it? Feel offended? Well, see that little red X atop your internet browser? Feel free to press it and keep it moving the fuck on. Because I'm TIRED of having to witness so much bad ass behavior from kids who are in desperate need of parental guidance. ESPECIALLY when that behavior disrupts what was supposed to be a relaxing afternoon on the couch watching movies on Netflix.

So in the name of my sanity, I'm going to extend the lessons from Monday Musings' Child Rearing episodes onto the blog. For free. Because did I mention MY SANITY IS AT RISK HERE?

Lesson One: YOU ARE THE PARENT. That's correct. You are the grown up, the one in charge. The head honcho. Etcetera, etcetera, etcetera. When I read about kids & parents locked in a "power struggle" I get so confused because, um, who's in charge here? Why is there even a question? Why the struggle? If it gets to that point then you have FAILED as a parent already. YEAH, I said it. If your child has the AUDACITY to even dream about questioning your authority you've F-A-I-L-E-D.

This shit needs to start early. Your three-day old baby starts crying, demanding food a whole hour earlier than she's scheduled to eat? TOO FUCKING BAD, KID. Wait an hour. And shut the fuck up. I run this shit, not you, and the sooner you learn that the happier your childhood will be. Trust me.

It's really not rocket science. Really, it's not. And of course I'm not advocating being a bully; I'd never speak to a child that way. But ask my ex- even when my girls were newborns I used a stern, no-nonsense voice with them to keep them in line. Babies remember that shit. And it will resonate when they are toddlers and are testing your patience. Use the stern voice and it'll trigger a memory from when they had to sit in their own poop for an extra 20mins because they were acting a fool during diaper-changing-time.

If you take nothing else away from this post please always remember- YOU ARE THE PARENT and it is your job to regulate and raise that child to respect your authority. Kids NEED that discipline in their life. Don't let them down.

*smooches...thanking Grandma for her gift of child rearing*
because I'll be damned if someone who don't bring no money into this GD house gets to be the boss. FUCK THAT.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Justifying My Netflix Addiction

Ah, Netflix... for a measly $18 a month, you provide me with many, many hours of entertainment the likes of which cable TV could never compete with (how many times have I heard you all complain about nothing being on TV?).

This past weekend I pulled an all-nighter with the last two discs from season one of ER. How awesome is that show? And I'm using the present tense on that because although the series ended on NBC it STILL REMAINS one of the BEST dramas to ever grace the airwaves. I dare you to deny it.

Anyway, in one particular episode Dr. Benton's mom said to him, in the middle of her dementia, "Your talent is god's gift to you. What you do with that talent is your gift back to god."

Normally I roll my eyes at this sort of Jesus Freak talk, especially from old people who are CLEARLY trying to win brownie points in order to gain entrance into heaven, but at 5:30 in the morning it kind of spoke to me.

As in, maybe if I write the best stories anyone's ever read EVER, god will grace me with "his" presence, maybe give me some of that faith I keep hearing about that comforts people in their time of need.

That'd be real Christian-like of god, don't you think?

*smooches...wondering who I have to blow to get a meeting with god*
and how AWESOME is that Poison song? gosh I miss the late 80s early 90s...