Friday, February 26, 2010

Beware The Lure Of The Jaded...

I don't know about y'all, but some of my best, most earnest and thought provoking conversations have taken place after midnight. I think my brain works better after 12:01am- who am I to question it?

On Wednesday night, after my second trip witnessing the fabulous stage presence and vocal stylings of Ms. Laura Izibor, I hung out with one of my buddies to catch up and discuss all the bullshit that continues to consume our lives. Inevitably the conversation turned to relationships, or rather our lack thereof.

Besides him being blown away at the concept of me having actually been in love with someone AND being too chicken to approach someone I like (my Jaded-status was in serious jeopardy that night) we also surmised that I have what is known as the kavorka, the lure of the animal.

Why? Well, you know I'm not a particularly conceited person, only in jest. If you've been reading this blog long enough you know I drown myself in low self-esteem, body-image, trust and daddy issues, and suffer from a raging case of depression. But the facts are the facts, and it seems that long after I've told an ex to go fuck himself he seems to still try and worm his way back in. And when I say I've told exes to go fuck themselves I've said JUST THAT, and still they come back and try to gain my favor again.

As in, just last week one such ex invited me to stay with him in Puerto Rico during President's Week while my girls were away. I can't make this stuff up!

Dude stood there and asked me, "Damn, Raquel, what are you doing to these guys?" I really, truly wish I knew. I'm not particularly affectionate with men. Sometimes I'm downright stank and attitudinal and rude. I show very little regard for their feelings and am somewhat...okay VERY... bratty and spoiled. I hardly see how that can prompt one of my exes to think, "I wonder what she's doing? I miss her." Unless of course I seem to be dating the same masochists over and over.

Even Ms. Smarty Jones has been known to ask me what I bathe in to have dudes throw their pride aside for me (it's Dr. Bronner's peppermint soap and/or jabon de cuaba from DR, by the way) after I've been so shitty to them. Seriously, hell if I know.

That's where guy friends come in handy. Over some not-too-great-but-not-too-bad Buffalo wings my friend said, "...I'm not trying to gas you up or give you a big head or anything..." and proceeded to list the different things that these guys are probably (still!) attracted to. I don't think I need to explain that on top of all of my other faults another is that I don't know how to interpret and digest a compliment, so I'm not 100% convinced by what he said to me but it was a great peek into the mind of men. I'm sure he broke 1,001 man-laws by divulging this information but apparently I have that affect on him, too.

What it added up to was a damned if I do, damned if I don't situation. I have this kavorka bullshit and unless I can find some Latvian Orthodox priest to give me the full recipe for the antidote I should expect to keep getting invitation to travel out of the country, sperm offers and random text messages that read, "I wonder if you'd be open to giving us another chance?"

One would think this isn't a REAL problem and I should just shut the fuck up and bask in the glory of the attention, but when it isn't coming from THE guy you want it to come from, you might as well not be getting any attention at all.

*smooches...wondering how to rid myself of this catch-22*
did I ever mention the old family tale that my great-grandmother had a curse put upon her way back when, rendering all her female descendants single for life? *sigh* how can I possibly fight some otherworldly shit like this??

Thursday, February 25, 2010

It Was Just A Steak Knife!

Me: (putting cutlery away)

K: (backing away) I don't like how you grabbed that knife...

Me: Wait- how did I get the reputation of "Scary Girl With A Knife"?

K: The day you said, "Hey guys, I found this really cool knife on the internet today..."

*smooches...amazed at how very much like me my daughters are*
little boys everywhere just got a weird chill up their spines and don't know why...

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

You Need More Culture In Your Life

Consider yourself truly blessed that I'm in your life. Who else but this Jaded NYer keeps you informed of all the coolest shit going on in the City we all love so much?


Through February 26th, you can visit the Caribbean Cultural Center for the Marvelous Color exhibit.

This show features six of Marvel's African/African American comic book superheroes. Now, I'm not a big comic book person, but I am a fan of David Medina, fellow Dominicano, Alfred U. alum, killer DJ and artist extraordinaire, and muralist for this exhibit.


Are you familiar with my favorite little British jazz/pop musician, Jamie Cullum? No? Well here are his latest singles:

Niiiiice, right? Well you're in luck because he will be in NYC all next week. And of course I'm trying to be front and center in at least one of his NYC shows. You're more than welcome to be there with me.


If you like Shakespeare as much as I do, mosey on down to the Brooklyn Academy of Music to see As You Like It and The Tempest (through March 13th), both directed by Sam Mendes. Again, you are more than welcome to accompany me to any or both of these wonderful plays.


Besides Jamie Cullum, I've been grooving to some Marsha Ambrosius lately. LOTS of Marsha Ambrosius. I just cannot get enough of her voice. DAMN that girl can sang. If you want to experience some REAL music in your life, head on over to Eb the Celeb's site and download Marsha's latest mixtape. You'll thank me. Trust.


I've always toyed with the idea of getting all dressed up and going to the opera. I mean, I'm in NYC dammit! The opera is a MUST on every city dweller's bucket list. So I decided that sometime between March 19th and April 18th I'm going to the New York City Opera to see Madama Butterfly. Who's coming with??


SAVE THE DATE: I have two successful literary readings under my belt. The weekend of March 20th will find me hosting a third. Those of you who keep apologizing for missing out have another chance to NOT incur my wrath.

I kid, I kid.

Not really.

Seriously, though, I love your support, both verbal & physical. Mark your calendars, okay? If you can't make it feel free to spread the word to your friends and family.


Know of anything else going on? I'd be really good eye candy...just saying...

*smooches...conquering depression by leaving this SAD apartment*
I wish there were a pill I could take to...oh wait...never mind

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Living In The Parenthetical

parenthesis: \pə-ˈren(t)-thə-səs\ noun; a remark or passage that departs from the theme of a discourse; digression

I remember being a little girl and wanting nothing more from life than to live inside the television. I wanted to water The Magic Garden, ride on that cool train through Ricky Stratton's living room and attend the Eastland School for Girls. Nothing existed for me outside of that mystical box that took me away from the four walls in which I was contained. Outside was not real to me because it was not something I was really allowed to aspire to. I wasn't a prisoner, and as a family we went on many trips to the beach, amusement parks and the slick Manhattan streets, but after each excursion it was back to the four walls. Television and I became best friends.

As I got older and my relationship with other writers' imaginative worlds progressed, and I expressed interest in a life in entertainment, I was gently nudged towards more "lucrative" academic endeavors. Math. Science. Or anything that would lead towards a job in education and the top spot in my family's eyes. Art was a hobby, nothing more. I had that subtly drilled into my head. So I used my intelligence to garner favor, pursuing the good grades that would keep me on a pedestal, acing the tests I needed to ace to be the golden child both at home and at school.

But as I did all of the shucking and jiving necessary to stay on top, my muse was being stifled and silenced and oppressed. I still had television, but at that point I watched it with envy and hatred and resentment. Why do they have everything and I can't even go outside and sit on the stoop? Instead, I wrote in secret, in a small blue diary with a busted lock. I told the most ludicrous tales- 30% fact and 70% fiction- in order to keep my soul alive. This diary became what TV used to be, and I lived withing its pages. From age 9 until I graduated high school this blue diary was all I had keeping me sane.

As a young adult, something in me finally snapped and I floundered. I had no direction and very little guidance. What I thought I wanted was, in a sense, stolen from me, and what I did have was no longer sacred- sullied by my mother's prying eyes. I filled out those college applications for programs that would further bury the real me: science, geology, math. I never even bothered to see what the English departments had to offer. Art was just a hobby. I didn't recognize it as my true calling until it was too late and too costly to start over. My plans to live inside the television took the longest of detours.

I am three months away from my birthday, and I find myself thinking about the twisty road to 35. I think about how badly that little girl needed an outlet for her thoughts, thoughts that later turned into Voices. She needed someone to say, "It's okay to write it out. It's okay for your life to be about words" but never got it until one single, solitary high school English teacher, and later a Spanish literature teacher, noticed a dim, far away light of creativity.

Sometimes I wonder if it's too late to move into the television set and some days I think, I'm already there. I often hate the pause button I kept allowing others to push in my life, and then shake off the regret. They all meant well. No one meant me any harm. They didn't know any better. And I suppose the silver lining is all the stories I have built up inside of me; they're slowly but surely pouring out of me when I least expect to hear them. I've let my muse loose. She's running amok in my head while I shower, walk to the store, attempt to sleep and breathe in new air. She demands to be heard; she's untethered for the first time in a long time. As if someone finally picked up the remote and pressed play.

Better late than never, right?

And just in time, too- I hear it's a buyer's market on Elm Street...

*smooches...convincing myself that it's not too late to be me*
I just have to find me some patience and I'll be A-OK. So..."whatchu got on my patience, homie?" *deebo voice*

Monday, February 22, 2010

"Don't Sweat The Technique"...And Other Musings

Tales from a NYC junkie...because I know you crave it so!

If You're Married And You Love It...
I have some good news and some bad news. The bad news is that I will not be able to Ustream my radio show tonight because my apartment has THE poorest lighting I've ever seen. The good news is that The F$%k-It List and Brother Omi are still going to co-host... IN PRIME TIME!

Tonight on Monday Musings we will be discussing The State of the American Marriage- everything that's good about it, where it can go wrong and most importantly how and should we try to salvage this "sacred" institution. Tune in, suckaz!

This Time I Had A Mic
Saturday's reading at Bluestockings went really well despite a lot of anxiety and fear and just plain ol' AAAACK feelings. In the end I was super pleased with everyone's performance, the location and the support and feedback from the audience.

Can I just take a moment to thank Brother Omi, Juju, Gia Shakur & Ms. Eb the Celeb who got up on the mic and did her thang. SOBER! I'm so happy I was there to witness that moment. I knew she had it in her:)

I'd also like to extend big, warm, Jaded hugs to everyone who came out to support, including fellow writer Fikriyyah George (@fgeorgewriter on Twitter) who was ready to pinch-hit/read when I thought one of my writers was a no-show, and Ms. Capitella, my third grade teacher from Our Lady of Bedford Stuyvesant (that was the bootleg name of the school before it became St. John the Baptist School). YES. Third grade teacher! She found me on Facebook and came to the reading and, well, it was just a great feeling to hear her say she was proud of who I became. Even a Jaded NYer likes to hear that from time to time.

Don't Sweat The Technique
This should actually be titled, "Reason #1 Why You Need To Move To NYC" because mannnnnnn, shit like this only happens here.

So check it- Eb puts me on the list at SOBs to see Vaughn Anthony perform which is cool because y'all know how much I LIVE for live music. I'd never heard of this cat but was like, umm, free concert? R&B? I'm there. Turn out dude is John Legend's little brother. And John Legend was there. SITTING. RIGHT. NEXT. TO. ME. He even got on stage to perform. The night could've ended right there and been great but *record scratch* it got better.

The next act? Rakim. RAKIM!!! It was Lord Finesse's birthday and RAKIM was performing. RAKIM. Technically if you were there for the first show you're not really supposed to stay for the second show. Well, I was in the cut so no one bothered to escort me out. And I got to see RAKIM on stage.

Sooooo, is anyone going to explain to me why he still looks so damn good? Like, why aren't these old hip hop dudes aging? What the fuck?

Speaking Of Only In New York City...
On my way home Saturday night, dealing with the FUCKERY that was the MTA and its bullshit shuttle buses and switch problems at York Street, I got hit on by a young lad at Canal Street. I was just minding my own business, grooving to some Marsha Ambrosius one minute, and the next thing I know dude is serenading me. On the subway platform. In front of everybody.

Poor guy. He wasn't terrible, but he didn't blow me away. And no, his "game" didn't impress me, either because A)he was 26 B)he was 5'4" if he was an inch and C) he was busy impersonating LL Cool J with the lip-licking thing. Ummm, how 'bout no? I'm too old for this shit...

You Didn't Call Me.
I wrote you an entire blog post practically DARING you to ask me out and you didn't call me. You also didn't go to my reading. That one hurt more than not getting asked out. I'm starting to think that you don't have ESP and are not picking up on my ultra-covert and subtle hints on how swoon-worthy I think you are. I had a great time cutting up with Eb after my reading, but on my way home I kept thinking, "If he'd shown up there's nothing I wouldn't do to make it work."

Your loss.

*smooches...putting my shields back up*
I can't spend ALL my days waiting for him to get a clue. Who's next?

Friday, February 19, 2010

Tomorrow At 7PM, Bitchez!

It's here, another reading sponsored/organized by yours truly and the lovely ladies of La Pluma y La Tinta:

I think I'm getting more comfortable with this whole reading thing because I have not been obsessing about what I'm going to read. In fact, I haven't even chosen something yet. That's how GOOD I am- I will be winging this mofo!

(You know I'm lying, right? You know I have like 10 versions of all the stories I've ever written to choose from, right? OK, as long as you know...)

That said, please expect what I read tomorrow to be a tad bit scandalous. Why? Mami won't be there. She has a previous engagement and can't make it. "All together now: AWWWWWWWWWWW..." Bring on the stories about drug addicts, whores and murderers!!

I kid, I kid.

Not really.

Either way, I hope to see some of your smiling faces in the audience. If you show up I promise you big, sloppy kisses. If you don't, expect to come home one day to find your puppy boiling in a pasta pot in your kitchen!

*smooches...not above murder to fill up the seats*
and lets not operate on CP Time tomorrow, either, OK? This joint is run by earthy, crunchy white folks. How 'bout we don't give them yet ANOTHER reason to talk shit about us?

Thursday, February 18, 2010

You're Going To Ask Me Out On A Date.

You're going to pick up the phone and call me. You will call under the guise of just chatting until you work up the nerve to ask me out. And I will say yes.

You will choose a nice local place where we can wear real clothes, like grown-ups. You will pick me up at my place, park the car and ring the bell. I will come downstairs, ready to go, in a dress, heels, make-up & hair done to casual perfection.

On the ride over there will be some nervous chatter, some witty banter; we will try to act as if this is just another date and not something we're both looking forward to. At the restaurant our table is not ready, so we sit at the bar for 10 minutes and wait. I consider flirting with the bartender, as I'm wont to do, but decide not to out of respect for you.

We have a drink; I forgo my usual Jack and Coke for a glass of wine; tonight is not a night for drunkenness. As soon as the wine is poured, the hostess informs us that the table is ready. We move over to the corner, an intimate spot, and I'm tempted to slip her a $20 for such foresight. All of a sudden, I feel more relaxed. We will not be on display tonight.

As the waiter tells us the specials and makes sure we're settled, there's a moment of awkward silence. Inside, I begin to panic. I don't know how to break the ice and search the napkin on my lap for an answer. After all this, I have no idea how to speak to you. I hear The Voices fretting about losing cool points and sweat begins to accumulate on my brow.

Then I take a chance and look up for a moment and you're looking at me, too. And you're just you. You're not larger than life; this date will not decide the rest of our lives. Wars won't be fought over it and history books will not include its occurrence. We're just two people on a first date hoping that it will go really well.

Because we genuinely like each other.

And right when I've finally thought of something clever to say, you speak first. You pull no punches, go right in for the kill, aim directly at my heart taking no prisoners. You want this to be the first of many dates and after those three excruciating minutes of silence you say so.

"I really enjoyed your story."

*smooches...expecting that call any day now*
and if you're thinking this was directed at you, it probably was.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Whatever Happened To...

...chivalry, that lost art where men performed tiny acts of kindness for a woman just because? Acts like opening a door, standing when she enters a room, removing his hat indoors, giving up his seat on the train, letting her on or off the elevator first? The only time I've experienced this is in the presence of old white men or my landlord, an older Middle Eastern man. Is that it? If I want to experience chivalry I should hang out with old Whitey or move to Baghdad?


...getting your money's worth? A 50-cent bag of potato chips used to be 25-cents, and the new 25-cent bags contain FIVE chips. It costs $2.25 to hear the train conductor say "we're are experiencing train traffic ahead..." and make you late, and a dirty water dog is damn near $3 but skinner than an anorexic white girl. How does this make me want to spend what little I have?


...quality, scripted programing on television? I know I can easily be trapped into a marathon of Celebrity Rehab and For The Love Of Some Washed Up Nobody, but where are the original shows that make us laugh, cry, think, feel? Why are we so concerned with the lives of others to the point that we follow them around with a camera and put real actors & writers out of work? Where are the shows like Barney Miller, M*A*S*H*, Cheers, The Cosby Show... what happened to them?


...boleros like

and R&B songs like

that made you FEEL the lyrics and the melody deep down in your soul? The kind that made you look forward to the minute when your significant other would come into your line of sight so you could embrace them, breathe them in and fall in love all over again and never let them go? Instead of just telling you to take off your clothes because they invented sex?


...real writers dominating the New York Times Bestseller List? I almost cried real tears when I heard Lauren Conrad (and if you ask "WHO?" I'm gonna kiss you right on the lips and profess my undying love to you forever and ever) had her SECOND book on the list. That is depressing. Am I to understand that, along with scripted programming, real books written by real writers have become obsolete?

***** and me? Holding hands and butterflies whenever our eyes met? Stolen kisses and secret notes? Are those days really gone?

*smooches...feeling a bit nostalgic*
unemployment affords you lots of time to sit and think. especially when you're avoiding housework.

and YES, I know the Jackson 5 did that song before Troop covered it, but it was Troop's version that moved me...

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Fuck The Police, But Only In Theory

I am not naive to the corruption that exists in police departments across the U.S., especially here with our very own Boys in Blue. They do have a tendency to be mean for no reason, have a penchant for racial profiling and on many occasions have been a little too fast with the baton and the gun. I get all that.

I can also understand that being a police officer includes a level of stress that many of us will never have to experience. You and I go to the office and at most we have to deal with that bitch in accounting who likes to talk your ear off or the guy in sales who is a total pervert or your boss, the idiot, who wouldn't know a personality if it bit him in the face.

A police officer goes to work everyday, much like a soldier in the armed forces, with the knowledge that it could very well be his last, because that's the nature of the beast. "You live by the sword..." then dammit, that might just be how you meet your maker.

Keeping that in mind, I find it hard to understand those people that feel it is appropriate to pick a fight with a cop. Regardless of what the officer did or is doing, how does one not realize that going up against an armed officer is going to end well for them? Where is the logic in that? I'm not advocating for being a punk and allowing yourself to be a victim, but there are proper channels for handling an out-of-pocket police officer, and getting in his face while he's questioning you is probably NOT the best time.

Exhibit A: I knew this guy, we'll call him Urkel (inside joke), who was sort of woo-ing me pretty hard until one day he told me a tale that turned me off for good. He was leaving a family member's house, walking towards his car in the late night to head to work and was stopped by a patrol car. Now this was a few months ago so the details of the story are a bit choppy in my Swiss cheese brain, but what I do remember is that he sassed the officers from jump. And this isn't me making a judgment call; he admitted to having an attitude because: "I didn't like how disrespectful they were when they approached me, so I don't think I needed to show them any respect." Oh REALLY?

I don't know about you all, but if a police officer stopped me because I fit the description of a criminal they are looking for, the last thing I'm going to want to do is give them a reason to haul me into the station. I'm going to ask what I'm being questioned/stopped for and I will furnish them with identification, but I will NOT become aggressive or flippant or roll my eyes or challenge them, and I really don't think this is something a grown ass man should have to be told.

If you already know cops are trigger-happy assholes, why give them a reason? Why raise your voice? Why the attitude? Seriously, for all those cops know you ARE the criminal they are looking for, and that duffel bag you're carrying isn't your work uniform but rather a sawed off shotgun or your ex-girlfriend's chopped up remains. The point is police officers are probably taught to expect the worse every time they stop someone, so YOU'RE stank-ass, righteous indignation isn't going to make the point you think it's going to make. Chances are those cops went home and told their buddies about some stupid ni**er that tried to come out his face when stopped for questioning, and how they almost had to kick his ass. I'll put my rent money on that.

So while Urkel is telling his story- getting angrier by the minute and YELLING through the phone at me- I'm seeing this side of him that is NO BUENO. I try to calm him down (well what I actually said was "First of all you're gonna watch what tone of voice you use with me..." because I keeps it real!) and explain to him the other side of the story, seeing as I have police officers and military folk in my family and circle of friends, but he continued to go off on his rant.

And again, I get it, I understand. It's hard to always be seen as a criminal and stopped and questioned and made to feel like shit because of your age or skin color but DAMN. That is no excuse to lose your fucking mind. Or your life.

Blog fam- talk to me. What are your thoughts on this?

*smooches...confused by crazy troll logic*
he seriously was not trying to hear my point of view and refused to see where he played a part in having this turn from a simple questioning into an all-out incident. Right then and there I decided-RED FLAG- and stopped taking his calls...

Monday, February 15, 2010

Promises...And Other Musings

Good weekend? Yeah? Me kinda, too.

New Favorite Product
Two weekends ago Eb the Celeb DRAGGED me to a speed dating event. Yes, DRAGGED. Y'all know me- that's not how I roll. But she's my girl and was supporting her friend Kel Spencer so I couldn't say no to that. We're all in the struggle and I'm down for helping. After the event (no...I didn't meet anyone with whom I cared to keep in touch) we got goody bags that included samples of shampoo & conditioner, a brand I had never heard of called Perfect Results.

On Thursday I washed Ks hair with it and OH. MY. GOD. It made her hair so soft and shiny. Even SHE noticed the difference. I didn't get a chance to press it so I don't know what it looks like when completely straight, but blown out it was amazing. Now, we've only used the shampoo & conditioner so I can't speak on any of the other products, but next time I'm at Ricky's I will be looking for this line of hair care, for sure!

Get Ready To Take Notes Tonight
It's been a hot minute since we've had a Parenting 101 segment on Monday Musings so what better time than the present.

On tonight's show we will focus on siblings, your child's/children's education and of course, discipline. Bring your notebooks and your questions; this WILL be on the final.

Once when I visited Mari in DC, we went to see the Jim Henson exhibit at the museum and I picked up the cutest little book, It's Not Easy Being Green.

I only sort of read through it until this weekend and I came across a quote that spoke to me:

"I guess I was wrong when I said I never promised anyone. I promised me." -Kermit

Friday I explained to you about my issues with follow-thru and this speaks to that. I usually only finish something if someone else is counting on me, but when it's for me I slack off. My thesis, my novel, getting my money in order, organizing my apartment, getting in shape, being open to new dating experiences, abstaining from certain vices- all promises I made to myself that were laid to the wayside just because. Sad but true. This is something I've decided to work on during 2010 for sure.

I've really got to learn to put myself first sometimes. It's so hard for me but if I can enforce my "NO" policy a little bit more when asked to do something for others I think it can happen.

Someone Take My Gmail Away
While watching last week's episode of The New Adventures of Old Christine, in which she asked her ex-husband for his sperm in order to have another baby, I got the BRIGHT idea to ask C the same thing.

1- I'd like to give a huge side eye to all my Twitter friends who did NOT stop me from sending such a crazy email and

2- I especially want to give The F$%k-It List the side eye for claiming that C is still in love with me. HE'S SO NOT!

That said...he agreed to it. And yes, I died a hundred deaths when I received his reply.

Let's clarify. What I asked was:
What if on the brink of menopause I wanted another baby...would you donate your sperm? That way all the kids have the same parents. Yes? No?

And he replied:
I guess I would. I mean I still care about you and would want to help out if that was something you wanted. I'm sure it would lessen the anxiety the girls would have.

So I don't think he's in love with me...he's just a good friend. Right? RIGHT?

LORD if his fiance didn't hate me before...

*smooches...wondering how much it costs to freeze my eggs*
let's face it, folks, it's not such a crazy idea. think about it- my kids would all have the same dad and I won't have to worry about what the kid will look like and I already know he's a good dad. wait- did I just talk myself into it??? *dead*

Friday, February 12, 2010

A Week And A Day

That's how long before the next scheduled reading sponsored by La Pluma Y La Tinta. This time around we've secured a performance space at Bluestockings on February 20th, located at 172 Allen Street, and it would be really freakin' awesome if:

A) you'd show up and support,
B) you helped me spread the word and

It turns out the other two women in my writers workshop are not available on that day, so I will be the only one there representing us. Given that I will already be HELLA NERVOUS with having to read and handle all the administrative stuff, it would be truly blissful if:

A) you'd show up and support,
B) you helped spread the word and

I've said it before but don't mind repeating- the theme for this reading is: The Life. The Struggle. The Experience. Readings are expected to be kept at five minutes, or as close to five minutes as your muse will allow.

This is a huge step for me, you know. I mean, I'm not sure if you're aware of this but follow through is a real struggle for me. I'm full of great ideas that hardly ever get executed. Just ask my MFA thesis or my party planning business. If I can get through June with six successful readings under my belt...well, you just don't understand the level of joy that would bring me.

And if I had all my readers/blog buddies there in the front row cheering me on, well that, my friends, would be heaven.

Otherwise, I'm gonna start killing puppies. Starting with YOURS.

*smooches...hoping this guilted you a bit*
I fully expect this post to yield me some writers and some audience members. Get on it PRONTO!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

I'm A Blogger's Blogger, Your Favorite, Ain't I?! Ain't I?!

Excuse me a minute while I sing my own praises...

...and rant about something that's been on my mind for a minute. I just need to spell some things out for a few people.

I started blogging regularly in 2006 BY REQUEST. A few friends decided that the world needed to be exposed to my crazy meanderings so I gave it a try. A measly three and a half years later if I take a small break I get complaints. COMPLAINTS. Emails that say, "What am I supposed to do all week if you're not blogging?" Written in jest, I'm sure, but laden with some truth, too.

When I went private this summer, some people panicked and were like, "BITCH WHERE'S MY INVITE?!" And that was an actual email I got from someone...I won't call you out; you know who you are.

I don't pander for comments or ads; I do this because I like to. I haven't changed this layout is GOD KNOWS how long and nan one of y'all have said a word. I'm often told I should make this a cash cow but beyond The Jaded Bodega I have zero interest in that. The donation button on the right is probably as far as I'll go.

I gots homies in GERMANY reading this shyt. Germany! My shit is international, yo! Whatchu know about that?! (OK, that was rather pushing the boundaries of cockiness, but bare with me- there's a point I'm trying to make, I swear!)

Some people take this blogging for dollars business too far but I'll tell you what- I read a lot of blogs and I've YET to click on any of the advertisers on anybody's site. Not even DOOCE and she's my blogging hero. So what am I gonna waste my time with that nonsense for? Worrying about SEO words and who's on the blogroll and whatnot... Fuck I care about all that?

You come here for words. The words of a NY writer, born of immigrant parents from Santo Domingo. A divorcee with two young daughters and a crazy group of family and friends that provide her with enough material to blog until her eighties (I'm looking at YOU Mari, Irene and Jack!).

You come here to read about her ups and downs and side to sides. You wait for the funny shit her kids say and the pictures of what her wild ass 'fro is looking like this week. You hope that she'll let you read some of her creative work but are satisfied with tales of what she did on Saturday night, even if all she did was lay on the couch and contemplate death.

Some can't wait for her to find HIM and others hope she never does, because the MR. WRONG tales are much better than the MR. RIGHT ones.

She's shown you her over-sized belly and her naked baby photos. She's told you her inner most secrets while withholding others, and through it all you check in every day to see what's new.

And listen- I'm not trying to be boastful. You like Jaded. She's funny, smart, friendly, bat-shit crazy and on occasion a lil bit sex-ay. Hey, I like her, too. But, I, Raquel, just wanted you to know that I know why you keep coming here, and it ain't for Google ads (nope, not here!) and it ain't for the flashy layout (black n white n red...oooh, FANCY!) or the name dropping (again...don't have any of those).

I know you come here for Jaded's words. And trust me, she knows a lot of them and she's not afraid to use them.

It's pretty safe to say that's what you'll always find here; if it's not what you came for, please, allow me to show you the way out... *grabs machete off the wall*

*smooches...with a mega-dose of realness, as usual*
you don't come here for the know I DON'T DO cuddles unless I've given birth to you, and even then it's a crap-shoot!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010


Last night I took Frick 'n Frack ice skating in Prospect Park; of course yours truly had no plans to get on the ice but I enjoyed watching the babies enjoy themselves.

On our way home the snow began to fall and all I could think about was WARM COUCH + NETFLIX so I put some pep in my step all the way to Minna Street.

Except, when we walked in, K informs me that the lights were out. As in NO ELECTRICITY. I struggled to come to terms with that for about 30 seconds because no one else in the house or on the block was in the dark, just us. So of course my first thought is: ConEd shut me down.

After months of regretting the purchase of my Blackberry, I found its purpose. I was able to go online and get a number for ConEd to call and curse them out for cutting my power without notice. As I'm gathering the information and K & N struggled to make our one measly flashlight work, it also dawned on me that:

1- I never received a phone call or letter with a "Final Shutdown" notice and
2- My account was not in arrears because ConEd is paid via my bank account automatically every month. As a daughter of the earth, I have paperless billing with all my utilities, and I'd already received the alert from BOA that payment was sent.

So the ConEd rep confirmed what I already knew- they hadn't done anything to my service; the problem was most likely internal. "Have your landlord check the fuse box," he suggested. Great. You mean the same landlord to whom I still owe the rent? Awesome. How was that going to look? "Hey I know I still owe you a heaping sum of money but can you check the fuse box for me? Thanks!"

But I needed electricity. I had perishable food I needed to save; babies who were kinda scared; and a newsletter I was supposed to be editing for work. I sucked it up, got the landlord and wouldn't you know it? The lights came back on ON THEIR OWN before he even came upstairs. Everything except the outlet where my computer was plugged into was operational again.

After it was all said and done (and I had a tiny conversation with my landlord in which he waved me off with a "don't worry, I understand, it's okay") I assessed that I am ill-prepared for emergencies. I mean, there's only so much one can do with a machete and birthday candles! We had no non-perishable/canned goods (I stopped buying them because of the sodium content), bottled water (I have a Brita pitcher- who needs bottled water?), extra batteries for my other flashlights (have you SEEN how much batteries cost these days?) emergency candles, a first-aid kit, extra blankets, a transistor radio (do they still make those?) nor a plan of action.

What kind of mother am I?

Then this morning K wakes up with the same tummy bug I had on Monday and again- I have no type of meds or foods to help her along. Of course Mami did not miss a beat in reminding me I should always have something in the house with which to make soup...YES, thank you for that after-the-fact advice. But who thinks like that? "Oh let me buy some celery, onions, vegetable stock, etc, in case I need to make soup." HUH? I never think there's a reason for me to make soup! If I want soup I BUY soup- see how that works? I want, I buy...except, I suppose in the middle of an emergency, like, say, a snowstorm when I can't get to a store and my kid needs soup...OH SHUT UP! I get it!

No, really, I get it.

I need to finally put batteries in the smoke detector. Or, you know, BUY a smoke detector. I need to buy one of those "ladders" they sell for people on upper floors to escape a fire via a window. I need at least 2 more fire extinguishers (I do have ONE in the kitchen; bought it when I started teaching N how to cook JUST IN CASE) and an entire trunk o' stuff for blackouts, snowstorms, floods, earthquakes, etc.

So do me a favor, all you cub scout graduates that know about this stuff- in the comments, please let me know what it is I need to have in my apartment in order to be ready for certain emergencies that would likely occur in Brooklyn/NYC. Or leave me a link to a site that has such a list. Because I'm great at many, many things, but apparently emergency preparedness is not one of them.

*smooches...kinda scared to turn any lights on right now*
yeah I switched the lights off! Only thing on is the fridge & this here desktop. I'm SCARED, OK? I've never had to deal with this on my own before, HMPH!

Tuesday, February 09, 2010


Good weekend? Not for me. But alas, I keep on keeping on. I don't have a choice...

The Belly Is (Sorta) Back
I've been stress eating. I think I've gained 3 pounds but I don't know for sure because I hid my scale this summer and now I don't know where I put it. Don't roll your eyes at me- three pounds doesn't sound like much to you, but all three pounds are currently residing in my belly, where it threatens me with a fatal heart-attack daily. Why couldn't they have gone to my ass, huh? That's where I need it! NOT in my belly, dammit. Hey, fat cells- get outta there! There's no room at the inn, carajo!

How My Body Keeps Equilibrium
As soon as I think I'm gaining too much weight, my brain sends a message throughout my body asking it to SHUT DOWN operations, as seen with yesterday's stomach virus cancer bug thing. I no longer have an extra three pounds lingering around my midsection; I threw it allllll up yesterday.

So those that follow me on Twitter might have guessed...I made up with the Dominican beisbol players this weekend as they brought the Caribbean Series Championship home again after letting Venezuela borrow it for a lil bit last year.

Whenever things like that happen I get sour about the fact that I live where I live and not in Washington Heights where they were dancing in the streets, I'm sure, flags in hand no matter the bitter cold.

And Speaking Of Dominicanos...
I was thinking as I watched all those fine ass Dominican peloteros while chillin in my crib (he he) that perhaps I have unjustly refused to date Dominican men because of two bad experiences. Well THREE if you count the AWESOME example of manhood that is William R. Penzo. Like, what if Mr. Right is from Santiago and I'm over here giving him the stink eye because his "eenglish is no very good looking" or something? I'm the one missing out, right?

So I'm gonna widen my faux search for a life partner and spend more time uptown so I can accidentally on purpose meet me a cutie from San Pedro de Macoris. Who's with me? Please note: this will require me to check my bohemian Brooklyn girl look at the bridge so it won't be easy. But who knows, right? I'm just gonna open myself up to the possibility is all. No promises.

*smooches...glossing over the fact that my crush is over*
OH, did I not mention that? Yeah, it turns out it was just that rescue fetish I have. Now that it's worn off I'm over him. Back to Jadedness as usual. Carry on.

Monday, February 08, 2010

No Me Siento Bien

I had a post ready to go up today but I'm really sick right now. And not in the "Raquel hears Voices and is acting nutty" way but in the physically ill, puking my guts out sick kind of way.

I have zero idea what brought this on: I did not drink this weekend, nor did I eat anything strange or new. But that didn't stop me from being slapped awake at nearly five this morning with an overwhelming desire to purge.

My guess is that my stress, anxiety and depression cocktail are manifesting itself in an actual ailment, or, as WebMD puts it, I have "Cancer of the Everything."

I hate that site.

If I feel better later I'll send out a notice about Monday Musings. Otherwise consider me out of commission for all of today.

*no smooches...because I probably still have vomit breath*
feel free to stop over here and pamper me; the role of Raquel's nurse has yet to be filled :(

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Jaded Photographs 2010: February Edition

Lost: Love.

*smooches...for Silvia in Poland and the stalker man in love with her*
I bet you don't see shit like this in YOUR city's subway system!

Friday, February 05, 2010

For Those Who Could Not Be There

Thanks to the homie and fellow "freelancer" Video Vix[o]n, I have for you heifers the video of my reading from January 31st. It's a sampling of everybody's performance; hope you enjoy it!

New Voices Reading Series - 1.31.10 from Video Vix[o]n on Vimeo.

And please don't forget- we are still looking for a few good readers for the weekend of February 19th. The theme is The Life. The Struggle. The Experience. in honor of Black History Month. Contact us at:

*smooches...just for Vixon today, for all his hard work*
and of course- hugs and sweet kisses to my fellow writers and poets who got up there and did the damn thang. OWWWWW!

Thursday, February 04, 2010


At the start of 2010 I was looking to streamline my site, you know, cleaning it up and making it more presentable. While doing so I decided, "what harm can it cause to add in one of those 'donation' buttons attached to a PayPal account that others have on their sites?" So I added one. Never in a million years did I actually expect people to use it. I mean, yeah, I put it there hoping, but never really expected it.

Until last month when someone sent me a donation. And then again yesterday when another donation was sent.

So unexpected, but so needed and appreciated.

I won't call anyone out and of course have and/or will thank them privately, but I just wanted to take the time out to write about something positive and beautiful and non-Jaded for once.

From the bottom of my heart, I thank you BOTH for your generous contribution to my site.

*smooches...for a couple of angels who came right on time*
again... my cup runneth over...

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

"...I'm Drunk In My Desire..."

I'm not moving fast enough on building this Media Empire. I know, I know: slow and steady wins the race, but I'm anxious and restless and tired of the struggle. How can there only be one of me? Why is there only one of me? I have so many things on deck: stories, novels, movie and TV scripts, radio segments, magazines, merchandise... the list goes on and on, and still- only ONE of me.

And can we please address how all of this is yielding me ZERO dollars? Right. My babies can't eat positive feedback, and National Grid ain't trying to get paid via blog comments (I know because I tried...the customer service rep was not amused.). But I want this so bad I can TASTE it. Where is my clone? WHERE?

*deep breath*

That said, on the weekend of February 19th, the next literary reading for La Pluma y La Tinta's New Voices Reading Series will take place, and in honor of Black History Month (which is also OUR history so don't bother turning up your lip at me!), the theme we've selected, which you can interpret in any way, shape or form, is:

The Life, The Struggle, The Experience.

If you're interested in participating and have a poem or work of fiction/creative non-fiction you'd like to read, please submit it to: Be sure to include your name and a way for me to contact you, and PLEASE- all attachments need to be MSWord documents or PDFs. Anything else will be discarded.

We've yet to secure a location and pick a final date, but it will be in the Brooklyn or Lower Manhattan area for sure. There are only four spots available so get your submission in early!

*deep breath*

OK so even though it's hard work and I'm struggling to death over here, I suppose there's nothing else I'd rather be doing, no other place I'd rather be living in...I have no choice but to work this life to death...

Someone PLEASE reassure me that the rewards will be sweet and here on earth, not in some mythical heaven?

*smooches...waiting impatiently for the big payoff*
I think maybe what I need is an intern since The Man won't let me have a clone n shit; where can I get one of those? I pay in food and John Cusack movie marathons.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Addicted To The Rescuer

So...a few weeks have passed and I'm still obsessed with my crush and I've done very little about it because I really don't think it's real. Indulge me here people, while I explain a theory to you that Smarty and I came up with: I have a "thing" for "White Knights." This crush I developed? A result of being rescued in a time of need.

It's happened before. I've found myself in a bind, any bind, and the guy who ends up helping me out of it will most likely be co-starring in any number of my romantic fantasies. In them we have these happy lives where we do literary things, have a whole mess of kids, live in a fabulous brownstone in BK- the fantasy doesn't change, just the dude.

Therefore while I appreciate all of your kind, "Go for it, you never know" advice, I fear that I will always doubt my feelings for a man until I start to feel that way without a real reason. Did that make sense? Like, I need to feel those butterflies just because they're there and he's the bees knees, not because he swooped in and saved the day. He might as well have showed up in a firetruck in uniform and everything! I might've ended up pregnant that very night...

If I were in better financial standing and had my writing career where I wanted it to be and already lived in the home of my dreams...basically if I didn't NEED him, and still felt all smooshy inside, then dammit, that'd be my man and would absolutely pursue him. But as it stands my money is not just funny but freakin HILARIOUS and the Media Empire is still in its infancy. I'm too headstrong about my self-sufficiency to just let him be my for real Captain Save-A-Jaded.

I mean sure, when I hear from him my tummy does a loop-dee-loop. And sometimes I will stare at his pictures for no reason when I should be writing. And perhaps I admitted to Smarty that in my fantasies he and I don't even have sex and she said, "because you want something deeper and more intimate with him" and then I reached through BBM and slapped her down. None of it means I love him, so stop making assumptions.

Never mind that the thought of seeing him again sends me reeling because I need my hair, makeup, nails and outfit to be the perfect marriage of fabulosity and casualness, and therefore I have tiny panic attacks whenever I know he'll be around. Never mind all that, please, because never in my life- not since we last dated- have I been so freakin GIRLY! I usually go on dates wearing my blue suede Converse sneakers (somewhere in Leeds, Muireann sensed me writing that sentence and had a little heart attack) but with him, I want to be more, for lack of a better word, feminine.

Yet...I truly, madly, deeply think I only want him because he took pity on this crazy damsel in the middle of her woeful distress.

At least that's what I tell myself as I cower in the corner, too afraid to even speak to him.

* peace with the fact that I'm a scaredy-cat*
I still have my books to keep me company in my old age. And you guys. You'll never leave me, right? RIGHT?

Monday, February 01, 2010

I Didn't Throw Up!...And Other Musings

I hope you all had a good weekend because I most certainly did!

Reading Will Get You Through The Cold
That's my tonight on Monday Musings Brother Omi and I will have a good and proper list of deliciously readable books for all of you stuck in the middle of Winter Hell with us.

We also have a special guest, author Dorian Smith of Big Apple Style who'll chat with us about her new book, Mind Games, available NOW at for you Kindle (if you have one of those god-awful contraptions...hmph!)

So tune in suckas, or I'll show up at your door and slap you with a book!

It's Dangerous When We're BOTH Single
So my sweet girl and fiance, Cathi, is newly single again, and we figured what better way to celebrate that with a trip to NYC, right? And I'm so glad she did because on top of all the fun we always have together, she was my support system during this very crazy weekend.

But back to the crazy... all I have to say about this weekend is...

Friday Night's Best Quote: "You already have your dick all up my ass, the least you could do is buy me a drink!"

Saturday Night's Best Quote: "That's my SHIT!"

Sunday Night's Best Quote: "Feel free to eat all the balls you want!"

I won't even describe the context in which we used these quotes nor who said what; I'll just leave you there wondering why you didn't join Cathi & I on our adventures this weekend!

I Didn't Throw Up!
My literary reading was yesterday and WOO HOO the feedback was really good! Apparently we all rock (which I guess I already knew) the venue was perfection and most importantly, I didn't puke my guts out before the event began.

I want to thank everybody who participated:
Judy Angeles
Jason Baumann
Rebeca Toledo
Theresa Varela
Jose Vilson

And my twitter/blog buddies and fellow creatives Tiffany of Write in BK and Vixon (who taped the whole shebang for us) of Video Vix[o]n. I also want to shout out my family that came out- Mami, Minnie and Titi Gloris, and last but not least, Brownstone Books in BedStuy for letting us use the space for our very first event.

I'm actually excited for the next one...and I'd tell you more about it here but NAH- you either have to tune in to Monday Musings tonight to hear about it or wait until tomorrow's blog.

Oh, and everybody who didn't show? Expect a visit from Lady Estrogen. That is all.

I Call Bullshit On The Grammys
1- Because I did not give Beyonce or Sasha Fierce permission to cover "You Outta Know"

2- Because Maxwell's first grammy win was NOT included during the big televised event

3- And because Slash totally disappointed me with his performance during Jamie Foxx's hot mess of a "Blame It" performance:

Don't believe me? Listen to Estranged:

Now listen to the riff he played on Sunday (at the 4:28 mark):

For some reason, that really bothered me... In other Grammy news, I outscored Smarty on the little Grammy Predictions competition we had going AND Hall and Oates didn't win for Sara Smile. Yay for me, too bad so sad for Smarty, John and Daryl.

If you ask me, poverty aside, this was not a bad way for me to close out the month.

*smooches...ready for February's fuckery*
because we all know my life is just not the same without a ton of fuckery...