My beloved grandmother is gone from me physically, has been now for a decade, and for a while I struggled to feel her presence. But I see her face in Ns face sometimes and it gives me goosebumps. And when I need an extra boost of courage and OOMPF I wear her ring. And I still have Papi and Titi Gloris and Mami and Minnie and Mari and my sweet, sweet babies, and although it's not the closeness we used to share I still have them all in my life. Plus I have my extended family in MA, and my BFFs for life: Jack and Irene and Evy and Lani and Celia and Cathi and L and E. There really is no need to ever feel lonely in this world.
Even with a few bumps in the road, I have to say I have been so honored and yes, BLESSED, to have some of the best blog friends, many who've turned into real friends, and some that I even consider like family. You all support my crazy shenanigans, real or imaginary, and in a pinch I know who has the machetes at the ready to cut some fools down. I love that we're a part of each others' lives and I really want this Jaded Media Empire to take off and succeed just so I can bring you all with me! You think Hammer had a big entourage? Shiiiiiite, you ain't seen nothing yet! (except, I'll be smarter with the money- I'll put my momma, the Christian accountant, in charge of payroll!)
I've been having a love-hate-love relationship with writing, but I have to admit- it's what keeps me sane (don't laugh- this IS me sane!) and centered and alive. I fought it for so many years in high school and college, studying things that were supposed to be more profitable and employable, but I've come to accept that it is my life. Sometimes I wish I could sing, and lots of days pass when I wish I'd never quit dancing, and sure- I could've put more effort into the clarinet, trumpet and flute- but writing... that's mine. And I love that I have this outlet. Not just the blog but the ability, the talent. Mostly, I love that I've been able to pass it down to my babies, who are growing into such creative beings I can almost cry!
You may laugh at what I'm about to write, but I am thankful for this body. This bag of bones that I've neglected, mistreated, malnourished, lumpy, jiggly, soft body, if for nothing else, for it's resilience. It has taken everything I've thrown at it and still bounced back victorious. I cursed my curves (or lack thereof) many times but you know what? They're mine and I joke about it but I'd never surgically enhance them. This is the body of a mother, writer, daughter, Dominican-York/Brooklynite; it has fought the good fight many times and is still standing, walking, dancing, breathing, being. I wouldn't have it any other way.
Since I admitted to myself and the world that I lost my faith for good this summer, I've yet to really get it back, but I can honestly say I'm at peace with me right now. This might be the PMS talking, the calm before the storm, but I am slowly coming to a place where I'm not letting myself get frazzled that easily, where I'm taking the Zen approach, and not sweating the small stuff. I'm also getting some much needed sleep, which may have something to do with it, and it feels damn good. I no longer believe The Universe is out to get me. I think it's only trying to keep me from getting too comfortable in my routine. Touche, Universe, Touche... I am most definitely up for the challenge.
*smooches...curious as to what you're thankful for* ---------- I also want to add that I'm thankful for Titi Gloris' bacalaitos (codfish fritters) and if she don't make them for Thanksgiving I'm gonna be salty all night!
...I have a few official business items to bring to your attention.
1- The Jaded Bodega has been open for a couple of months now... why aren't you shopping? Oh I know why, because you're too busy asking ME for free shit! Mhmm, you know who you are. I know I willingly offered prizes in the beginning, but that was then and this is now and some of y'all are acting like straight-up leeches at this point. You know I don't have a job, right? Okay, just checking. (Much love to Celia who helped herself to a Jaded mug. Besos!)
2- The deadline to submit the first round of "Letters I'll Never Send" is December 18th, and I know you all have a bunch of things you need to get off your chest. Especially with the holiday's coming up. Trust me when I say a letter is a GREAT way to do that. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with your submission or for more information.
3- On Monday Musings next week we're discussing the book, "In Cuba I Was A German Shepherd" by Ana Menendez. Some of you are all, "I don't have the time!" but it's a book of short stories and I really think you will enjoy it. Visit your local library or Strands or Barnes and Noble to get a copy today- it's an easy read, trust!
4- Writers, guess what? I was thinking that I don't have enough shit to worry about so I decided to organize a literary reading in January. I'm looking to feature FIVE writers- poets, too- up on a mic, sharing their gifts with a smallish audience of friends and literary lovers. I invite submissions from Latino/a writers at this time at: email@example.com on the theme "The Latino Family." And of course, you can interpret that any way you'd like.
(Everyone else fret not- the next reading, in February or March, will be more inclusive. This first one, however, is being sponsored by my Latina Writers Workshop, hence the theme.)
5- I don't really have a five; I have OCD tendencies about lists ending in multiples of 5. So there you have it. DEAL WITH IT.
*smooches...wondering how long before it all pays off* ---------- I need Mama Oprah to throw a windfall my way for real! Soooo many ideas in my head and no loot to see it all materialize... AACK!
I'm writing to you today in the hopes that you will finally help me in putting to bed the whole myth of Eve being the fall of man. Pope John Paul would not heed my letters during his reign, er, service to the Church, but you seem like a reasonable man.
Here's the issue- for as long as I can remember, I was told that Eve, the first woman made of Adam's rib, fell prey to the serpent's trickery, ate of the forbidden tree of knowledge, and then offered Adam some, too.If I recall the story correctly, when God approached the pair, it was Adam who was quick to drop dime and be all "Eve did it," correct? That's the malarkey y'all have been passing down from generation to generation, right? Right.
Well I'm tired of it, and I'd like you to set the record straight.
Please let the people know that it was actually Adam who first tasted the fruit of the tree, that is was Adam trying to exert his bravado and superiority over the serpent that caused the rift between God and man, and that Eve, being the ever loyal and dutiful Ride Or Die bitch was asked to take the fall.
I'd like all Christians to hear from your wrinkled, lyin ass homophobic lips that all Eve did was support her man as she was asked to do by God. She was obedient and true, and when Adam approached her and just BOLD FACED LIED about where he got that fruit from, she believed him. Eve had no reason to doubt that shady ass motherfucker and, God help us, from the apple she did bite. Then, as she wept, Adam had the audacity to be all, "Baby listen, if God asks, it was you who ate first. He'll be easy on you because you're the woman."
And poor, gullible Eve, madly in love with Adam as she was, agreed. So when God approached them about the fruit, she let Adam blame it on her. You know it's the truth. You KNOW it.
Considering that Adam fucked women over, because we both know God was a lot harder on us (um, hello, CHILDBIRTH) than he was on his golden boy, Adam, the very least you can do is exonerate us, finally, and let the truth be known.
If I have to hear one more clueless asshole blame Eve for the state of the human world, honestly, I can't be held responsible for my actions. Do you really want that blood on your hands? Do you Benny? Do you? Because you know, blood no longer bothers me. I've been dealing with it since 1986.
Do the right thing here, and nobody has to get hurt.
*smooches...figuring, I'm already going to hell..." ---------- ...might as well have a fun flight, no??
Men In Uniform Apparently, I get my penchant for servicemen from my mom. She was like a school girl asking for our picture to be taken with these dudes after Mari's Army 10-mile race back in October!
And clearly, even Colonial Uniforms are a turn on, too.
This Cake Never Stood A Chance... ...against two PMSing females and a 9-year-old with a bottomless pit for a stomach. Exhibit A:
was baked on Saturday night. The photo above is what it looked like on SUNDAY AFTERNOON. Help Us!
Football For Dummies You all know that I am an avid beisbol fanatic that dabbles in football in the winter. But I have to say, I don't really understand the ins and out of the latter. I could easily step in for any umpire during a Mets game, but ask me to make a call during a football game and you'll hear crickets. So I figured it's time I get schooled on this game, since I find myself yelling at the computer monitor during game days.
So tonight on Monday Musings, blogger and compadre 12kyle of The 12th Planet will co-host seeing as he eats & breathes football like his life depends on it. (Quietly, I think it does!) If you don't want to be left out, make sure and tune in!!
Get A Haircut, Hippie! I posted this pic on Twitter to both A) show off my locks and B) solicit sponsorship for a much needed visit to the hair salon for a haircut.
My ends are looking cat-raggedy... it refuses to hold a curl and gets all frizzy at the slightest hint of humidity... won't anyone sponsor a Jaded NYer today?!
Is There A Doctor In The House? I know these Halloween pictures are mad tardy for the party, but better late than never, heifers!
The Happy Hour Ladies
Dr. Penzo and Eb the Gladiator
"Gimme that night fever, night feverrrrrrrr... we know how to do it..."
*smooches...staying too busy to realize I'm unemployed* ---------- What's going on in your world, suckazzzzz?!
Here we are once again with another exercise from the book Irene bought me: Enjoy Life and Be Happy in 30 Seconds by Alex Lluch. To recap for the newbies, she bought me the book as a joke and said, "blog about it." I started to make fun of i until I realized, hey, these exercises aren't that bad.
(to read previous installments click on the TODAY I WILL tag)
Activity #4: Today I will make a heartfelt apology to someone I have wronged.
Of all the assignments so far, this one has proven itself to be incredibly difficult. Not because I don't know how to apologize, but because I don't know who I've wronged. Listen, I'm not saying I'm a saint because I'm not, but I honestly can't think of someone I've done dirty who either A- wasn't asking for it or B- I didn't already apologize to. And yes I know the grammar just then was sucky but you've read the papers from my students...their ignorance is catching up with me!
You people know how I am. It drives me crazy to know someone is mad at me so chances are I've already made amends with any and all injured parties. But in case I missed anyone... I'm sorry. Sometimes I get caught up in my own selfish emotions that I forget you have feelings, too. It's not something I do on purpose and believe me when I say I'm trying to change. This whole year has been one of self-discovery and self-improvement, and I'd be remiss if I didn't let you know how truly bad I feel for hurting you. Please accept my apology; I know it may seem generic but it is from my heart.
Do you have anyone that needs to hear an apology from you?
*smooches...thinking, "that should cover it!"* ---------- but seriously, if I have wronged you and didn't know or forgot, just let me know. I'm not unreasonable; I would totally apologize!
The news has been verified- I officially don't have any work for the rest of 2009 at the PR firm. That means making rent this month will be hella interesting. It also means that me + going out = NOT GONNA HAPPEN. No more hanging out spending money on drinks and appetizers like I have an expense account. It's time to get reacquainted with my four walls.
I suppose this is The Universe's way of saying:
Hey Raquel, girl, wassup? That's great. So listen, I been meaning to tell you, your apartment is a disgusting mess and I'm pretty sure the three-inch layer of dust that has settled there has more to do with your allergies than your neighbor's cat.
Also, you might want to do some laundry before the New Year; I'm kinda tired of seeing you in those same two outfits over and over and over.
And don't even get me started on the writing projects you need to finish, not to mention all the stuff you have in the works for your Jaded Empire. You need to get on that, Missy, or you'll always be working for the man.
SO don't forget- while you're all over the internets looking for work to keep your family afloat... take care of some of that shit. I just got you a sweet mini-vacation. Do something more with it than eating hot hings and watching porn. That is all.
xoxo, The Universe
*smooches...chasing that silver lining for all it's worth* ---------- I will not let this beat me, I will not let this beat me, I WILL NOT LET THIS BEAT ME!
Just a summary of a few happenings that you missed out on because you're not me:
Nina Was Here! And yeah, she looks all innocent...
...like a nice, sweet person...
...and then she convinced Irene to chug a triple shot of tequila and THIS happened:
People, please, be very, very careful whenever you hang out with one of MY relatives. You think El Generalissimo is bad? Pssssh! You just haven't met enough of my family yet. MUAHAHAHAHA!
La Casa Del Mofongo Listen here, folks. I'm gonna need for you to keep an open mind about this dish I'm about to recommend to you, ok? Please know that I would never lead you astray *dramatic pause as I read the paragraph above* OK maybe I'd steer you wrong with drinks just for kicks, but not with food. I take food real serious.
I found this restaurant in Washington Heights (aka Little DR) on St. Nicholas, La Casa Del Mofongo, and I HAD TO GO. Let me explain how delicious mofongo is... some of you NYers have had mangu before, I know- it's the breakfast dish with mashed plantains that is usually served with fried cheese, Dominican sausage and eggs w/red onions (and if you haven't GET SOME!!). Well mofongo is fried plantains mashed up with garlic and other tasty seasonings, in a wooden mortar and pestle.
Then it's filled or topped with a plethora of yummies: chicken, seafood, veggies, pork, beef, you name it. Even spaghetti. Yes. Spaghetti.
Here's a little known fact- Dominicans eat spaghetti with their food, even if we already have rice. A plate of white rice, beans, spaghetti, stewed chicken, fried plantains and a green salad with avocados and beets? A typical dinner at my house when I was but a wee lass. I dare you to wonder why I have so many food issues...
Thug Boogie Loves Lupe For those of you who tuned in to the show on Monday, you may remember me saying how much N likes Lupe Fiasco. Here's proof:
That's her jam, okay? She took the time to play it over and over and learn all the lyrics and god help me if the song comes on and I try to skip it...
Meet Suzy! Finally got a new printer. Wanna Meet her? Here she go:
Her name is Suzanne, Suzy for short, and she's WIRELESS, y'all. She was named after one of my TV idols, Suzanne Sugarbaker of Designing Women. I think I'm suffering from a weird affliction that makes me crave Southern things. I blame it on my friendship with Smarty Jones!
Brooklyn, We Dance Hard Especially when no one else can here the music but us.
*smooches...thinking, these are the moments that I live for* ---------- and I doubt I'll be needing that Windex for anything other than cleaning the mirror in the bathroom. What? Oh no, honey, I don't do windows...
It breaks my heart to know that people in this country, land of opportunity and a trillion and one resources, there are grown ass people who can't put together a measly paragraph or two.
After reading some of these papers from the godforsaken English Composition class I teach online, I just want to curl up into the fetal position and cry myself to sleep.
Observe Exhibit A:
Sacrifices are greater for women then men when becoming a surgeon. Women elect to wait longer than men to start their personal lives started. Marriage and having children are among a few of the reasons why women wait to start their personal lives (Phend, 2009).
Data shows women make greater sacrifices on average than men. Women indicate a greater value for maternity leave than men, and would prefer a greater availability of part-time hours in order to spend more time with their families (Phend, 2009).
Females complete the same requirements as men to become surgeons but do not receive the same respect during or after the process. The challenges faced by women throughout the academic and training process can be more difficult and demanding than for men. For example, men are more likely to be accepted into some programs than women, and because of the poor judgment that some women, it has made it more difficult for the majority of female surgeons (Kowalczyk, 2007).
Somebody come get me...
*smooches...hoping I can get a good final paper out of these students* ---------- I wonder if my stankness for their illiteracy is translating through my comments on their papers?
(I'm hoping that title will get picked up on Google search and then all his syzzurped minions will leave nasty comments on my blog, like, "You're a hater" and "Let's see you spit some rhymes" and then they'll start calling me all manner of bitches and tell me I'm old and ugly. To which I will reply, "And?")
Last season on Monday Musings, I featured parts one and two of The Evolution of Hip Hop to rave reviews. (What? The Voices told me the shows were fuckin' awesome! Shut UP!) If you missed those segments be sure to catch part one here and part two here.
Oh yes, I'm taking it there... calling out His Majesty the King Of Fraggle Rock himself because, you know, he's gangsta. And if you didn't know he'll be sure to mention it at least 20 times within the first 10 minutes of you meeting him. Because he's gangsta. But no worries- the whole show is actually not about the Fraggle-meister but rather the era of Hip Hop that followed gangsta rap: the trendsetters and such that popped up and either stayed or faded away after the whole east coast-west coast feud was LITERALLY buried (RIP Biggie & 'Pac).
My guest host tonight is MC K~Swift of the New Rap Order/Universal Zulu Nation, so make sure you tune in, ask us a bunch of questions, or just call in with your favorite hip hop memory from the late 90's to today. All the cool kids will be listening...
*smooches...eagerly awaiting the fraggle stans & their comments* ---------- and don't forget to weigh in on the poll... did lil wayne kill hip hop? Or is El Generalissimo an old fuddy-duddy hater who still rocks out to Nice n Smooth?
Scrambling to find another main source of income seeing as I fucked up a project big time and it looks like the end of the line for me with my former-boss-turned-client.
And I've looked and looked and looked for lucrative freelance gigs but no one is looking to pay me what I need because, well honestly, besides this blog my writing clips are few and far between.
So just fuck it- I suppose it's time to swallow my pride and go back to answering phones and shit, huh? Those jobs pay handsomely and even have benefits. The freelance life was nice while it lasted, I guess. Got to hang out with friends, attend some nice shows and events, slept in late, spent time with the babies- it was almost like a mini vacation from life.
But now my cupboards are bare, my bank account has cobwebs and unless I turn tricks or rob a bank, my landlord might just be getting an IOU come December 1st.
Why am I telling you this? Because I don't want you to be surprised if the next time you're buying sweet tea at McDonald's you see me there asking you if you'd like fries with that.
*smooches...tired of selfishly chasing a pipe dream* ---------- it's not fair to the babies; I need to get a real job already...
Here is a paper one of my grown-ass students handed in:
The “Black Sox Scandal” is about the 1919 World Series and the Chicago White Sox fixing the game.
In the 1919 World Series it was the Chicago White Sox against the Cincinnati Reds. Wight players on the Chicago White Sox were accused of Throwing the game. In 1919 the White Sox had played better than every other the team but they were still an unhappy team, because they were paid so poorly. Most people believe if it were not for Charles Comiskey being so stingy it probably would have never happened. Comiskey would constantly make promises he did not plan on keeping. He told the players that they would get bonuses if they won pennant. After they won they got cheap bottles of Champaign instead.
People familiar with the case agree Chicago’s first baseman Chick Gandil was the ringleader. He told Joseph Sullivan, a small time gambler, that for $100,000, Gandil and several of his teammates would make sure the White Sox would lose. Gandil then went to get cooperation of his teammates. He knew he would need 2 of his pitchers Ciccotte and Williams.
Ciccotte had his own grudge against Comiskey. Comiskey had promised him that if he won thirty games he would get a $10,000 bonus. Ciccotte won twenty-nine games then Comiskey benched him. Saying he needed to rest up for the pennant games and since he only twenty –nine games he never got a bonus. Williams was interested in the money along with the other teammates who went along with it.
The players were told they would get $20,000 for throwing the games. Chicago lost the first game 9-1. They did not receive the money they were promised. They agreed to lose the second game if the money came the next day. They lost 4-2. After the game, Gandil looked up Abe Attell ,another gambler involved, to collect the $40,000 owed him and his teammates for throwing two games. He received only $10,000. The players were upset and began to have second thoughts about continuing to lose.
Chicago won the third game and many of the gamblers betting on individual games lost a great deal of money. It was Attell's turn to feel betrayed and he refused to pay any more. Sullivan came up with $20,000 before the fourth game and at least some of the traitors were still willing to lose. Cicotte made several errors, and the Reds won 2-0. Chicago lost game five, as well, with a final score of 5-0.
By now the gamblers had missed another payment, and the players had decided there was no reason to lose. At least if they won the Series, they would collect $5,000 each. Chicago won the sixth game 5-4 and the seventh 4-1. The players all seemed to play to the best of their abilities, and the national championship was within their grasp. Unfortunately, any chance of winning was ruined by Arnold Rothstein. Instead of betting individual games, he had bet on Cincinnati to win the series. With his investment at risk, Rothstein sent one of his henchman to visit Williams, who was pitching in the eighth game. He explained to Williams that Rothstein wanted the Series to end the next day. He threatened Williams and his wife. Chicago lost 10-5.
Can you please understand my pain and suffering now? And buy me a big ass motherfucking drink???
*smooches...kicking myself daily for taking this job* ---------- at least it will all be over in 5 weeks!
Each day, my psyche hangs in the balance. I stand on the precipice of "valued contributing member of society" and "bed restraints and padded rooms" at any given moment. I know it, you know it, and we joke about it all the time: "Hahaha, Jaded's crazy." But, no, really, I am.
I suppose the scariest part of that revelation is that I see myself going crazy. There's this sane part of me that stands outside of myself and watches the crazy part of me slowly lose it. During this descent I'm powerless. I can't do anything to stop it. I can only sit there and I watch as I go crazy.
And I suppose the real question in my mind is... how much longer before the crazy takes over the sane and there is no more "functional" me left?
I don't want this brain anymore; it's defective.
*smooches...wondering why Wednesdays make me so melancholy* ---------- this blog post was brought to you by the fact that Sancocho Wednesday had to be canceled because my job sucks big donkey dick.
As if I don't already bare the contents of my soul for you every week, I decided on this post after seeing it as a trending topic by a twitter friend (@BKPhever). I wasn't in the mood to participate at the time, but when I woke up the next day it popped back into my head.
And you know I have no choice sometimes but to oblige The Voices. Those bitches know how to get their way one way or another...
So here it is- a few truths about me to file away in your mental Rolodex and use during your testimony in my competency hearing:
1- I talk to myself. A lot. And not just little conversations with myself on things I need to get done like normal people, but actually speaking to invisible people, having full on conversations, cracking jokes and the whole nine. I've done this since I was a little girl; Minnie can vouch for me.
2- TMI ALERT: After jungle-tastic activities, I'm usually the one who falls asleep. I know that distinction usually goes to the fellas, but this Jaded heifer right here? She's out for the count afterward. So... if you want me to shut the hell up so you can watch the game or play Madden Football? You know what to do...
3- I have a knack for the Romance languages, even now as an adult. I started out speaking Spanish, then studied Italian in school. When we lived in Elizabeth, NJ I started to pick up Portuguese, and in a pinch I can decipher French even though I've never studied it. It's loads of fun to experience the way my brain has to work in order to translate words.
4- Besides the millions of reasons there are to give The Vatican the side eye, I decided to leave the church because of two things: their treatment of me & K after I had her and their stance on homosexuality. I could not see myself belonging to a group that looked down on me for choosing to be an unwed mother NOR could I support an organization that made homosexuals feel like lower-class citizens.
5- I always talk about looking for a sexy, dreadlock rasta who stands at 6'4" and has the smoothest dark skin and swoon-worthy accent but honestly- I really look for someone who's company I enjoy. Someone who makes me laugh, who has a brain, who commands respect and has a kind spirit. Sometimes that means the guy is my height and light-skinned. Sometimes that means he's Indian. And who knows, one day it might mean he'll be *GASP* white. I mean of course physical attraction is always what will grab my attention first, but looks only keep mattering in fantasies; I need a more complete package in real life for the long run.
What are some truths about you?
*smooches...wondering why I tell you so much about me* ---------- just promise me one thing- if I'm ever institutionalized, you'll come visit me at least once a month...
Welcome to another week at the Jaded Insane Asylum. Don't come complaining about how I've ruined your brain and all that mess... you came here voluntarily. That said, here's what you need to know for this week:
The "Immature Media" Tried To Eat Your Babies Here's the deal- we all know the phrase "sex sells" and we see that phrase in practice selling everything from eyeshadow to Doritos. You and I can laugh it off or ignore it, but what happens when your kids see the same advertisement? Or how about if they happen to catch Fox News and their hate campaign against the current administration? OR what if they're watching ANY news channel and have to see bloody image after bloody image of the violence happening around the world? How do you keep this negativity from ruining your perfect child?
Tune in to Monday Musings tonight as Brother Omi and I try to walk you through it. Make sure you tell all parents to listen and participate tonight. Or not. The world needs ditch-diggers, too, I suppose...
This Friday... The World ENDS!!! -cue ominous music- YES, it's true. This Friday the film 2012 premieres in theaters nationwide. Since my boo-honey-lover John Cusack is STARRING IN IT I shall be there front and center, and I'm taking some people with me. I've already recruited three folks (one of which is Nina. Yes NINA, the crazy chick who happens to be related to me) but we'd love to see a theater full of our blogger & twitter friends. Email me for the details!
Soon, I Will Rule The WORLD Kitchen! If you follow me on Twitter (@thejadednyer) Wednesday will be fun, as I am live tweeting Titi Gloris teaching me and the babies how to make SANCOCHO! Finally, after all these years of waiting for others to make this delicious soup for me, I'm going to learn to make it myself. Exciting, right? I live for these moments- the handing down of the family recipes/traditions- and it's even more exciting that I get to share it with the babies. And yes, they're as excited about it as I am!
I only need to learn a few more dishes and them POW- Queen of the Universe! Watch!
*smooches...happy to have things to look forward to* ---------- it's weeks like this that keep the straight edge away from my wrist! what's your week looking like??
You know I'm stressed. I know I'm stressed. But for some reason I cannot stop adding things to my TO DO list. I can't stop the world long enough to catch up to the next great idea that someone suggests or pops into my head, and trust me- there's no way to PAUSE the ideas. Except this time, I'm taking you with me.
1- It's NaNoWriMo time once again, my lovelies! That's right- November is National Novel Writing Month, and just because last year I only made it to 3,000 words does not mean I can't try again. I have a story idea and outline in my head and two paragraphs written. It's scary and exciting and just everything I love about writing, because I'm pushing myself and just letting all The Voices create a story. This year I'd like to complete the 50,000-word challenge, but my own personal goal is 10,000 words. Are YOU up for it? If so add me as a writing buddy- my username is RaquelP.
2- I attended this panel discussion on the image of Women in the Media (featuring our very own, Ms. Eb the Celeb) last month and while listening to the women on the stage I got the volunteering bug again. I realized that, while I'm not yet the Dominican Oprah I'd like to be, I'm still doing well for myself considering the deck was stacked against me. Then I thought, "How many other little girls (and boys) in BedStuy are in my same predicament, but probably won't make it out of the 'hood?" Yeah... stay tuned for how I'm addressing that (don't want to jinx it!)
3- Remember Tuesday's "Letters I'll Never Send" and its predecessors here and here? Well, thanks to Ms. Smarty Jones and her big mouth, I decided that SHE and I are going to edit a collection of letters submitted by you to be posted online and hopefully published later on. They can be a letters to anyone alive or dead or mythical. It can be a letter to yourself or your mirror or your socks. And yes, it can be anonymous if that's what will make you more comfy. Point is, we want your letters, the ones you're too afraid to send, the ones that come from your heart. Trust me- it feels so goooooood to write it out. Email me for more info & submission guidelines at firstname.lastname@example.org
4- This month I'm asking all of you to visit your local library and pick up a copy of Ana Menendez's short story collection "In Cuba I Was A German Shephard" for the November 30th episode of Monday Musings. I've already fallen in love with the title story, which won a Pushcart Prize by the way, and can't wait for you to love it, too. Feel free to volunteer to co-host with me, mmKay?
5- And last but not least... Christmas is like RIGHT AROUND THE CORNER. Can you believe that mess? Well, it's true! And in the spirit of the holidays I've put myself in charge of planning the 2nd Annual NYC Blogging Ladies' Holiday Dinner. Last year was a smashing good time, and I'm going to make sure this year is just as great if not better. So SAVE THE DATE, bloggers (and the people who love us) DECEMBER 12th will be here before you know it! Annnnnnnd, for my dahlings in the DC area, keep DECEMBER 5th wide open because I'm invading your town for some debaucherous good times with Mari & all our blogging & Twitter pals!
*smooches...planning my way into an early grave* ---------- although in all honesty, I wouldn't know how to exist if I didn't have a million things to do at once
THIS bitch and her body make me sick! I know y'all remember that photo of Helen Mirren that was all over the internets, where she's shittin' on you hos in her bikini, right?
And I know you also remember the photo I posted of myself right under the photo of Helen Mirren that had my stomach just spilling out all kinds of ways from my pants, right?
Well... the other day I passed by the only mirror in my apartment and thought, "hmmm, I wonder if I'm any closer to that Mirren bitch yet?" and took some pictures to compare.
Now by NO MEANS WHATSOEVER am I up to her level of GOD DAMN just yet, but thank you White Jesus I no longer look like this:
And instead am on my way:
Why should I care, you ask? Listen here, heifers, because I'm only going to say this once. How can I, in good conscious, expect- no, DEMAND- that my Mr. Right have a body to die for if I'm over here jiggling in all the wrong places? It's just basic courtesy- bring to the table the very same thing if not more of what you expect to get back.
That is all.
*smooches...hoping for the motivation to finish getting into shape* ---------- will it happen in 2009? eh... maybe in 2010...
Me? I've been here missing you something awful. On Sunday I came down with yet another nasty head cold and ran out of orange juice and soup and tea, and you weren't here to get me some more. Saturday, before I went out with friends, I was having such a severe mental breakdown, similar to how I felt this summer, and you weren't here to console me. Yesterday I was feeling rather slow and sluggish from this cold and again- where were you?
Sometimes at night, when the full moon is glaring at me through the bedroom window, I am so aware of that empty space in the bed. Such a big bed with just a withering me in it. There's no way for me to position my body that will mimic the nook your body creates for mine. In the wee hours during a fitful slumber, my face seeks out that crevice your neck and shoulder forms just for me...the one that smells so clean and minty. This blanket is such a poor substitute for your arms around me, protecting me from whatever goes BUMP in the night.
I had this urge to bake you a cake the other day, but I didn't know when you'd get here to enjoy it. And I have a great recipe for lobster bisque that I know you will love- how much longer before you get here? They sell live lobsters at the Foodtown now, and I have a 5lb bag of whole wheat flour...
I don't want to be a nag; I don't want to rush you. It's not why I'm writing to you now. I just wanted to make sure you knew that I'm still here waiting for you, just like I said I would. I'm working and writing and raising my babies, and living despite this empty feeling inside me. Each day I paint on my smile and try to make it a better one than the one before. I work at loving me and life and work at enjoying the simple beauty of the trees outside my window.
I'm preparing for you everyday, or at least attempting to, but it's hard. Waiting for you has been the hardest thing I've ever had to do in my life. Sometimes when I break down and cry "for no reason," I know deep down the reason is that you're not here by my side.
But I can be strong. Or at least give the impression that I am strong, until you get here. I can work and write and parent and cook and clean and live and BE without you.
Still- I'd rather not.
*smooches...writing another overdue letter* ---------- and I'm closing comments if I see even ONE of you know-it-alls call me soft! HMPH!
This teaching gig I signed on for last month is the WORST idea I've ever had EVER. And when I say worst please believe I mean W-O-R-S-T! Keep in mind that I'm also the person who decided to go on a road trip to Canada while tripping on LSD in college and STILL, teaching English Composition online to a bunch of Midwestern adults? WORSE THAN THAT.
Fist of all, I know talking money is tacky but it is essential to my rant so stay with me here. I'm only being paid $1,500 for the class. At fist I thought, "Yeah; I could definitely use an extra $1,500. I have sooooo many creditors threatening my life everyday. This money will help!" (I also figured it wood look good on my resume in case I ever wanted to get serious about teaching.)
Here's what I didn't think through: I charge a minimum of $25 for my writing/editing services. MINIMUM. Meaning depending on the job I may charge more. And after my degree is in hand, oh you best believe the price will go up. Now divide $1,500 by $25 and what do you get. Go ahead, I'll wait.
... ... ...
Let me explain to you the amount of HOURS I've had to devote to this alleged part-time job.
1- I had to do this online training to acquaint myself with the software and how to access the course, etc. That took about 6 hours ($150)
2- I have to complete a faculty training practicum while I'm teaching, another sort of a teacher training. Basically I'm enrolled in a class on how to teach online and it lasts the entire term, roughly 11 weeks. That takes up about 3 hours a week ($75) for 11 weeks ($825)
3- I have to run this class of 19 students who barely know how to ensure there is a noun and a verb in their sentences for 11 weeks, which will culminate in a 5pg research paper. Every week they have a new written assignment PLUS they have to answer a discussion question PLUS respond to at least two of their classmates' answer to the same question. Mathematicians, what's that? At least three discussion posts per student PLUS the weekly written assignment is what? At least FOUR poorly written assignments PER STUDENT that I have to read and grade and write detailed comments about each week.
I won't even bother to calculate those hours for you because you get it. IT'S TOO MUCH TIME FOR TOO LITTLE MONEY.
This is not including the emails I get from these ungrateful little bastards, like the one who wrote:
I am still trying to figure out what doing a research paper on diversity has to do with an English class. Another thing i am having a problem with is finding a sufficient amount of resources because of the vagueness of the assignment. Just an overall paper on diversity in business isn't going to work becase there are too many areas of diversity. I think it is going to be the same with every other student and their papers.
My problem with the assignment is that i know how to write research papers. I wrote 15 last quarter alone. What i dont understand is what doing a research paper on diversty in our study field has to do with english comp.
Motherfucker WHAT? Are you for real right now? It's an ENGLISH COMPOSITION CLASS! If I felt like asking you to write a 5pg paper on toe-motherfucking-jam you will motherfucking do it, goddammit! And PS- notice that the genius didn't bother to spell-check his email... that's exactly what his papers look like, too... fucking bastard...
And for the record, the assignment asked students to choose a specific issue dealing with diversity in their field of study or career. So it's, what, Week 05 and this asshole still doesn't get it?
I was such a damn fool for taking this job. A FOOL. All I saw was dollar signs and FOOLISHLY took the job. I know damn well that I have no desire to be a teacher- I knew this. And I thought I already learned the lesson to never take a job simply for the money but nooooooo. I let myself be swayed by my mounting debt and empty refrigerator and took a teaching job... KNOWING that I have no business teaching anybody anything.
Teaching is not one of my goals; it has never been one of my goals. What the hell is wrong with me? I could have invested this time in a $40/hr freelance copywriting gig for a pharmaceutical company and paid off one of my debts by now but noooooooooo. I took an online teaching job, trying to get 19 monkey-ass, ignorant, illiterate sons of bitches to write a measly 5pg paper.
This cannot be my life.
*smooches...trying to survive on no sleep, no patience and no money* ---------- and now for my next trick I will see how much longer I can exist on a diet of tea, Ramen noodles and peanut butter and jelly before my body just up and dies...
on the plus side, an ANGEL visited me & agreed to help me with these assignments until the end of the term because the administrator just told me they cannot replace me at this time. I see many great rewards in this person's future!
Also, you asked for it so here it is: click below to buy my book, My Ego Likes the Compliments...And Other Musings on Writing, for just $10 plus $2.00 flat shipping rate to anywhere in the continental US.