Friday, July 30, 2010

"Esa Negrita Sabe De Todo"

Ahhhhh, tis my last "musical" post for a while and it has been FUN, no? This week I wanted to go out with a bang, only featuring salsa and merengue GREATS, and I'm sorry I didn't do this all month because I had to exclude so many amazing songs. Maybe next year.

So this post is brought to you by one of my most favorite songs by one of my most favorite artists, la difunta Cubana Celia Cruz (RIP, negrona bella!). Why? Because this song reminds me of parties the likes of which I haven't seen since I was a kid and my grandparents still lived at 68 Patchen Avenue (BROOOOKLLYYYYYYNNNNNN STAND UP!). And because now that I've dove into the publishing game, working hard to keep my promise to myself (published by 2011 OR BUST!!), all I can think of is the AMAZING book release party I will throw once it's all said and done.

Picture it:

I will rent out a place like Gustavino's or maybe even Sofrito or fuck it- BEMBE. I will have Mami & Titi Gloris cater it. Forget those bourgeoisie pastries and cupcakes EVERYONE has at their events; I will serve pudin de pan and dulce de coco and arroz con leche and habichuelas dulce. The main course will consist of chivo and lechon and all manner of shit I don't even eat but screams SANTO DOMINGO. Five kinds of rice with as many kinds of beans. Pastelillos. Papas rellenas. Chicharron de pollo. Mofongo. The bar will only have Brugal, Barceló, Mamajuana and ice cold Presidente. If you don't like alcohol we'll gladly make you a morir soñando or some ice cold Malta morena or refrescos.

Tables will be set out all around with copies of the book on display for you to peruse. On one wall will be slides of all the accolades and positive reviews I will receive from Publisher's Weekly and The New York Times Book Review. I might even invite that heffa Oprah.

My dress? A Nicole Miller original. My shoes? I'm not wearing any (my party, my rules!). My hair? Running wild with curls. And my makeup minimal save for some dark red lipstick.

I will ask my favorite DJ- DJ Medina- to spin all the songs he knows I like, so be prepared to be entertained by a plethora of classic salsa, merengue, timba and samba music all night long. And about an hour into the party, I will have him play this song for me to walk out to:

I will situate myself in front of a podium and read from the first chapter of my book. My guests will be listening attentively. When I finish, everyone will reward me w/a thunderous applause, and then swarm the podium to congratulate me and ask me to sign their copy of my book. I will graciously hold an impromptu book signing for all my adoring fans.

And it will be grand.

You're all invited.

*smooches...devoting a lot of positive energy to this dream*
it's about time, no?

Just make sure you RSVP because the list will be enforced at the door by five really big dudes and the gift bags personalized.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

"Recuerda Se Ven Las Caras Y Jamás El Corazón"

Remember in the film Mean Girls, how badly Cady, Janis and Damian kinda really wanted to infiltrate the Plastics? And who could blame them? Those girls had power, were attractive and could always be found at the center of COOL. From the outside looking in, the Plastics were the bees' knees (c) School of Rock.

But upon closer inspection, they were riddled with low self-esteem, eating disorders, misdirection and inner UGLY. When I first saw this movie I thought how lucky I felt that Brooklyn Tech didn't really have this sort of division amongst the student population- it's kinda hard to act tough and cool at a school for nerds. (Negro, we ALL KNOW you took a test and passed it to get in here. We KNOW you be studying. Ain't no future in frontin'!!)

Little did I know I'd encounter these stereotypes as an adult. Isn't that sad? But yeah, I found myself caught up in their plastic world, just like Cady. I was blinded by the glitz, caught up in the glamour, enamored with their image and lifestyle, until I finally snapped out of it.

My awakening began last year and continued into this summer. I just woke up one day and realized a lot of these people are full of shit. They don't really care about anyone but themselves and LIVE to judge and put down, dangling their imagined and supposed popularity and notoriety as a weapon instead of recognizing it as an opportunity to do some good. Basically, they were fake-ass fakers and I HARDLY have the time or energy to deal with them as a whole.

Sure, I met many a genuine person through this ordeal, some whom I consider friends. But the rest of these mofos can kick rocks. Don't invite me anywhere if it means I have to schmooze with you. Feel free to say hi and air kiss me when we see each other but know that I will not ask you how you are because I don't care how you are, just like I know you don't care how I am and probably relish at all my misfortunes and sit at home wishing poxes upon my houses (but that could just be the vanity speaking LOL).

Hopefully the day will never come when you will need something from me. Surely my sense of right and wrong and retribution will be tested: do I behave like a vindictive little brat and turn you down, relishing in the fact that now I have something over YOU? Or do I just avoid any negative karma and help you? UGH! That will be tough.

And yes, I do understand that like the Plastics, many of these folks are also scared of not being liked, and their behavior is a way to cover that up. I get that. I feel for them. I wish they'd been hugged more as children. Told they were pretty or handsome. Praised for the things they do well and corrected when they went astray. However I can't be everyone's mother or shrink. If you're an adult, grow up. I empathize with your inner child's hurt and anguish, but I don't have to put up with it.

Not at all.

So I won't.

*smooches...gettin all ballsy now that I submitted my 1st story*
I wonder what will happen if I actually get published?! sheeeiiittttt, I might just go around calling people out their

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

"Seré Un Sueño Que Si Se Cumplió"

Today is an epic day, my loyalest of loyal readers. Are you even ready for it? Are you?

I sent out my very first story submission to a literary journal. Like, FOR REAL.

All last night I edited this story, making sure every paragraph was as tight as possible, checked the spelling on all the Spanish words, wrote a bio, a cover letter, printed it out, addressed the envelopes and then, today, I MAILED IT OUT.

LAWD I cannot express how nervous I was throughout the entire process. It's my very first submission and, I mean, what are the chances that the first one will be accepted. Sure, I know my stories are awesome, and y'all know my stories are awesome, but will the editor of The Dos Passos Review think my submission is worth publishing?

Whatever. I can't be concerned with that. I'm just going to relish in the fact that I popped my submission cherry, and that from here on out it should be old hat to send stuff out, right? Bottom line is I've sat on my hands long enough with this writing career. I want my book on the shelves ASAP. Grandma isn't around to see what I was able to accomplish, but I really want to share this with Papi. It's only fair, seeing as they have always been my motivating force.

Next up? Gival Press and the Room of Her Own Foundation. My stories WILL be told. Bitches.

*smooches...feeling almighty & powerful all of a sudden*
"who gon' check me, boo?"

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

"Tu Eres Una Bendición"

As "music month" begins to wind down here at The Jaded NYer [dot] net, I wanted to take a minute to thank you guys- my loyal readers- who come here everyday to see what craziness has deemed itself appropriate enough to have oozed out of my brain and onto the page.

Some of you live for my rants, others for the interactive posts. Then there are the ones that probably wish I included social and political commentary on a more regular basis, and of course the guys who keep checking in hoping TODAY will be THE-DAY that I post more risqué photos of myself. Well, too bad, so sad; you'll have to be satisfied with my profile pic instead.

Whatever the reason, I'm just glad that you honor us with your presence.

So this post is just a big ol' shout out to you all. You, over in: Canada, Tennessee, DC, California (buenas tardes, Femi), Kansas, The Cayman Islands, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, the UK (heyyyyy Muireann!), Alabama, North Carolina, Australia, Florida, Massachusetts (big up to Cathi and Nina!), Texas, Virginia, Georgia, Louisiana, New Jersey (Mami? Is that you?), Australia, Maryland and BROOOOOOKLYYYYYYNNNNNN! Sitemeter informs me every week on your visits, and I heart you for it.

More often than not, this site is the only thing that keeps me out of the psych ward of Bedford Hills; Gracias!

And what kind of hostess would I be if I didn't offer you a lil gift*? How about:

1- A free book from my private library for the FIRST comment describing why Dominican Bloggers are awesome
2- A free package of EXCLUSIVE, not-yet-available-in-stores Jaded Greeting Cards for the THIRD comment describing why Dominican Bloggers are awesome
3- A free Jaded Tee for the FIFTH comment describing why Dominican Bloggers are awesome
4- A *side eye* Jaded Mug for the SEVENTH comment describing why Dominican Bloggers are awesome
5- A free, hot-off-the-presses, not-yet-available Jaded NY 2011 mini-calendar for the TENTH comment describing why Dominican Bloggers are awesome

And don't be rolling your eyes, either. My blog, my contest, MY RULES!

Ready? GO! (no cheating- you can only enter ONCE!)

* vain it should be illegal
and if your love for me can't be expressed in words, don't forget to RSVP for Blog Cafe 2.0!!

*winners will be announced next week

Monday, July 26, 2010

"Ojala El Otoño En Vez De Ojas Secas"

Last week, while surfing the 'net, I came across an article in Time Magazine about the baseball academies in the Dominican Republic, "Struck Out By Beisbol" that I just HAD TO get my hands on. I actually skipped lunch, went to the library and PAID to photocopy the article so that I could read it on the train later that day. That's how bad I wanted it. (You can click HERE for a sort-of follow up to that article posted on Digital Sports Daily)

It did not completely disappoint. Meaning, it didn't really tell me anything drastically new. A few months ago over on SistaSports I reviewed the movie Sugar, which I saw at the theaters on a whim. And just sat there, jaw on the ground, as the truth behind these academies was portrayed on the big screen for me. I never knew. I swear I never new.

I started to wonder if Manny Ramirez went through all that and maybe that's why he's such an asshole- those kinds of thoughts. So the deplorable conditions at these "schools" were not a shock to me.

What bothered me more was, yet again, being slapped in the face with the reality of the conditions in DR as a whole that makes it so easy for these academies to pluck young men out of school and dangle the hope and promise of a MLB contract in front of them and make them believe it. And it's not like I don't know the island is poor. I've SEEN it with my own eyes. Slept on a cot in a shack w/a tin roof in a shanty town, complete w/dirt floors and a latrine. We had to get water from a well up the road for chrissake! I KNOW they're poor.

What this article did was remind me that the game I love so much is so tainted. And the country I long to live in is so corrupt and desperately backwards. And the place I currently call home is such a USER.

And maybe I need to shut the fuck up the next time I can't afford to buy the moisturizer I want from Clinique, because in exchange I have food in my cupboards, a real roof over my head, electricity and modern plumbing. I don't have to pull K out of school and send her to live in a slummy apartment and made to work like a horse on the baseball diamond just to keep us fed. But more importantly, I won't have to see her return home, defeated, uneducated, unskilled and depressed, because the goddamn Yankees didn't sign her.

Perspective, man. It made me cry on the subway.

*smooches...starting out the week being thankful instead of bitter*
besides, it's probably my perpetually stank attitude that has caused my foot to act up. At least that's what WebMD says...

Friday, July 23, 2010

"And I'll Take You There"

HIM: I just seen a chick almost as bad as you...straight PYT!

ME: Impossible. There's only one Raquel and you already have her.

On the real, though- the world couldn't handle TWO of me...

*smooches...experiencing a rare moment of vanity*
it happens occasionally.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

"But All We Wanna Know Is 'Where The Party At?'"

It's time again for all my stalkers readers' wet dream: Blog Cafe 2.0!!

Where Bloggers Meet Readers!

Who: Bloggers and Site owners
What: Networking event for bloggers/site owners and their readers.
Where: PS 450 450 Park Avenue South (between 30th & 31st streets)
When: Wednesday, August 11th, 2010 6pm-9pm
Why: Because sometimes we can all use a little break from our Macs and PCs to network and mingle in person.
(Free gift bags provided by some participating bloggers)

Please come out and show your support!

Space is limited RSVP is required

And sorry, young'uns, but Blog 2.0 is a 21+ event. Brang yo ID, punks!

*smooches...looking forward to a little schmoozing*
this is one of the few events I'm attending this summer, so come out and chill with me!!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

"There Was Always Something More Important To Do"

You know what I've been thinking about lately, but not in a sad and tear-filled morbid way? My Grandma.

Okay, let's be real. There were a little bit of tears, but not a lot.

Anyway, she's been on my mind a lot because of all the family that has come back in my life lately: the uncle who left her house angry and didn't look back; the cousins who have nothing but fond memories of her food and love; my Papi who's back in NY, looking thinner and older than I remember him.

And when I think about how preoccupied I am playing around on Twitter, hustling to find work, partying like a rock star, dating, etc, and how more often than not I put my family on the back burner expecting them to just wait on me, it makes me sad. Like I didn't learn my lesson from the last time I failed to keep in touch with a loved one and then she DIED.

It has to stop. I need to make it stop.

I'm stopping it. NOW.

Nothing is more important than my family.

I don't know about y'all, but I don't want any(more) regrets in my life.

*smooches...not sweating all the events I'm missing*
nothing beats snuggling w/my babies anyway. Except Prince in concert... I will abandon these heffas for Prince in concert!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

"The Dog Days Are Done"

OH MY GOD, you guys!!! My baby turns 15 today!!!

Who said she could get bigger and grow up n shit?



Happy Birthday, my sweet little baby girl!
Mama loves you!

*smooches...just for K on her 15th birthday*
and before you say anything SHE picked the song. the end.

Monday, July 19, 2010

"And Like A Ghost I'll Be Gone"

Never in a million years did I ever imagine that a crazy-ass, annoying Beyonce song would be included in one of my "music months" but thanks to some drunk dialing by Mr. Baseball, well, here she is in all her spandex bodysuited glory.

Friday night, at around 1:30AM my phone rings. Now, I'd just walked into the apt about 10mins prior from Minnie's house, so I thought it was her calling to yell at me for not letting her know I'd gotten home safe. NOPE. There he was on my caller ID. And I know automatically one would assume booty call but actually, since we met, we've been speaking at odd hours of the night (I'm an insomniac/vampire, he's a computer/tech/whatever dude working for finance companies out of London and whatnot, so both of us keep weird hours).

I answer with my usual- "What's up?" and he's all, "Are you free?" to which I immediately roll my eyes. "Dude I just got home. I'm going to bed." And of course he tries to entice me over and I'm like, "NO. I'm home. I'm going to bed."

Then it begins:

HIM: You like me, don't you?
ME: Sure.
HIM: We like each other, right?
ME: Yes. What are you getting at? What do you mean?
HIM: I mean like, as in enough to be in a relationship.


To this whiny ridiculousness I had to respond: "That's not us. That's not what we're about." And it's not. We met in 2006 and have been on-again/off-again ever since. Three months ago we went out for drinks and had a serious talk. I told him I want the whole enchilada- marriage, more children, etc. He waved my statement away and was all, "Stop it. You don't need more kids!" So THEN I said- "Well then I guess we'll just never be a couple."

Clearly he either forgot or didn't believe me, because on Friday he was playing on my phone, not understanding why I didn't want to be in a relationship with him. And so I went into really serious, sound and definite reasons why he's too late. His rebuttal? "But you like me! And you like baseball! And I play baseball!" And that's when I realized, I'd just been drunk-dialed.

*deep sigh*

Listen, I'm not going to act all innocent here. For the longest time I told him I didn't want a relationship, never wanted to get remarried and couldn't wait for my kids to leave home. But that was years ago and I've changed. I realized that I would love to be married again- this time in LOVE w/my husband!- and more kids would actually make me happy. I'm not in love with him but he's been the one constant in my life since my divorce and I figured I'd start with him. We knew each other well. I could be happy and satisfied (maybe perhaps not really but maybe) with just him for the rest of my life. Our babies would be beautiful little athletes!

When I came to him with this? He shot me down. So what the fuck- I'm supposed to not move on with my life?

Well, negro, you've had four years to make me yours and you've done nothing to move this along. I can't help you now. You're too late. I'm over it and have placed my focus elsewhere. "If you liked it then you shoulda put a ring on it..."

"The audacity of some bitches!" (c) Tiffany Jackson

*smooches...really hoping he finds happiness. Elsewhere.*
I mean, a girl can only wait so long before she gives up the ghost...not my fault he missed the bus, right?

Friday, July 16, 2010

"But What's Puzzling You Is The Nature Of My Game"

I belong to a writers group in Brooklyn that recently provided me with a great prompt, which in turn gave birth to a fun story. I've been vehemently developing this tale ever since.

We were asked to, without dragging religion into it, write a piece that features a main character having a conversation with "the devil" in whatever manifestation of "him" and in any style and genre we saw fit.

I was immediately reminded of the TV series Buffy, the Vampire Slayer (don't roll your eyes, I have a great correlation here; just be patient!) and how at every turn, Sarah Michelle Gellar's Buffy was forced to have many conversations with beings deemed pure evil. Writer Joss Whedon showed his genius by being able to intertwine humor with crises of the heart and temptations to be "bad" and that's what I wanted to invoke for my piece.

Another vision (so to speak) of the devil was that of Dabney Coleman offering Suzanne Sommers the gift of eternal thinness in the TV movie, Devil's Food, more so the idea of a "contract" for one's soul. Finally my brain was reminded of The Picture of Dorian Gray (Johnny Depp's biography LOL) by Oscar Wilde, and a movie I'm kind of ashamed to have liked, Tuck Everlasting.

All of these cultural references and images danced in my head in the 12.5 seconds it took me to get started on the written assignment. Not some horned, fanged, enflamed goat-man being scaring the bejeezus out of me, but rather a handsome and charming man, the likes of which you can't help but be attracted to, the kind that awakens in you a simultaneous desire and repulsion. This was the devil in my story. He was Louis Cyphre, John Milton and Viggo Mortenson's version of Lucifer in The Prophecy.

And even though we were asked to keep religion out of it, he was also Satanael, Ha-satan, Semjâzâ, Iblis and Mara (my liberal arts education just paid for itself RIGHT THERE with those references...Intro to World Religions was my most favorite class ever!), and his only reason for being was to tempt my main character into going against the natural order of things and offering her that which she held so dear: her youth.

Can you tell I'm excited to be working on something new?

How about you? What would you conversation with "the devil" look like?

*smooches...working towards that Pulitzer every damn day*
shout out to the homie Tiffany Jackson whose writing prompt is sure to be my next great work of art :)

Thursday, July 15, 2010

"Haven't You Always Wanted A Monkey?"

One of my students at the language center needed to practice using the Conditional structure, especially the Present Unreal and the Past Unreal (it's okay if you don't know what this means. Not everyone is a grammar geek. Let me stop... I had to look this shit up, too!! lol).

I thought a pretty good exercise in the Conditional would be to make up our own lyrics to the Barenaked Ladies song, "If I Had a Million Dollars" and we actually got a bit of a chuckle with that one. So, why not try it here on the blog?

Now I know, in this day and age, especially in this economic climate, a million dollars is hardly anything to write home about. The American dollar just doesn't go as far as it used to. I know this. But let's pretend we're 5years old and a million dollars seem like an infinite and unfathomable number of bills.

I will start.

If I had a million dollars (*singing* If I had a million dollars):

1- I'd pay off my debt in it's entirety. That should leave me about enough money to buy a celebratory happy meal at McDonald's.

2- I'd buy a house in Azua, Rep. Dom. so fast...sheeeiiitttt...

3- I'd throw the biggest party on the nicest yacht, complete with a half-nekkid waitstaff imported from all manner of Caribbean islands.

4- I'd put a down payment on a BK brownstone...because you know them bitches cost like $5mil, right? Right. OK.

5- I'd make Nicole Ari Parker an indecent proposal for one night with her husband. Shit, they ain't working and they got kids to support...they might just go for it!

So? What would YOU do? Bonus points if you'd buy me something nice from the Mont Blanc store :)

*smooches...kinda mad that $1mil barely means anything anymore*
when did THAT happen? America, we gotta do better!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

"Why Did Those Days Ever Have To Go"

I wish I turn the clock back to October so I could warn Past Raquel NOT to buy the Blackberry Tour. "Girl, you don't need all them gadgets and options. Just buy a regular phone and get the hell out the sto'!!"

I wish I had a more inviting + appealing apartment. Actually, no, I wish I could AFFORD a more inviting + appealing apartment. As it stands, I'm embarrassed to have people over here. Good thing my family loves to visit me despite my crappy abode!

I wish I had the power to smite people who litter and then complain about how dirty the City is. Bitch! Did you or did you NOT just toss your candy wrapper in the street?!

I wish I could erase people from my memories, like in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. A lot of you mofos would be soooooooo added to the "forget them hos" list!

I wish this economy would turn around and print magazines would start thriving again and I could get a bushel of new clients, so that I can avoid being chained to a desk this fall. Me + office work just aren't BFFs anymore.

I wish Buffalo wings were healthy and promoted weight loss. Actually, it doesn't matter. I will eat them regardless. That and fries. And Haagen Dazs. And anything my mom cooks.

I wish I could jump into movies like West Side Story or Carlito's Way and Rosemary's Baby and warn people about all manner of shit: "Chino didn't really kill Maria!! Don't be stupid, Tony!" "Pachanga is a traitor, dude, Do NOT let him know where you're going!!" "Chiiiillllddddd, don't trust your neighbors! They're Devil Worshippers and they PLOTTIN!"

I wish SOMEONE *cough*YOU*cough* would buy me a new mattress. One of those pillow top ones that feel like you're sleeping on a stack of cotton balls. Aaaaahhhhh, I'd never ever ever get out of bed ever...

I wish I could move to DR for six months. That's actually a major goal of mine. I want to live there for six whole months, intern at my aunt's PR firm, improve my Spanish, learn more about my ancestry right from the horse's mouth and watch a REAL beisbol game.

I wish Prince Charming were real, except not white, blonde, etc. I want him to be chocolatey. But he should still swoop in on a gallant horse and make all my troubles disappear.

*smooches...wishing on a star every night*
oh wait, that's not a star...that's a plane departing from JFK, without me, to exotic places that I will never see...

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

"Es Alla Donde Tengo Mi Familia"

In spite of all the bullshit that has been plaguing me lately a big ray of sunshine called FAMILY has managed to burst through to keep me sane. (Even though crazy-ass Mari is trying her darnedest to drive me bonkers while she's in NYC for the month!)

I've mentioned before how, slowly but surely, through Mami's exceptional Facebook sleuthing skills, we've been able to reconnect with many long-lost family members from the Ortiz clan, and honestly, it's almost as good as having Grandma back in my life. Most of these people are the faces I grew up with on Patchen Avenue. These were the people who came to my crazy elaborate birthday parties and ate at my grandmother's table. Most of them had their own bed at Grandma's, too, just like I did, and many a summer were spent in that railroad apartment eating food and watching TV.

This weekend I went allllllllllll the way to Suffern (SUFFERN, people, is HELLA FAR from Greenwood, OK?!) to help celebrate my cousin Will's daughter's 7th birthday (and YES, Dominicans have made it to Suffern, so y'all might want to warn the mayor...) and it was a blast. Especially because K and N were there to bond with a piece of their family history, too.

On Sunday I went alllllllllllll the way to Washington Heights (OK, maybe not as far as Suffern but STILL...HMPH!) to celebrate my cousin Jason's birthday. My sweet little Jason! I remember holding him when he was just born; teaching him his multiplication tables (he really got the concept of "zero" pretty easily!) and watching him and Mari bond as the "second generation" of Ortiz cousins. To see him all growed up is rather surreal.

And both times my cousin Rob, whom I haven't seen in ages, was there, too, and I got to meet his new girlfriend, Melinda, who's a complete doll. "Bienvenidos, Melinda!"

I suppose the best part was just reminiscing about the good ol days on Patchen Avenue. And then the good ol days on Inslee Place. And my Grandma's cooking. And how all the kids were raised together.

Actually, no, the best part was twofold: 1- hearing K exclaim how great it is to meet new family members and 2- listening to the story about how my grandparents met & fell in love. I swear I almost cried. It will for sure be my next writing project because it is a story tailor-made for the movies, you'll see!

But if we're really, really keeping it real, the best part hasn't even happened yet... my Papi is due into the City sometime today and I'm already anticipating running into his arms as if I'm eight years old again, yelling, "Bendición, Papi..."

*smooches...loving my family more than ever*
I can't help it. We're the shit.

Monday, July 12, 2010

"Everybody's Got Their Dues In Life To Pay"

I'm not sure what's going on in my subconscious, but I was having the weirdest dreams last night. Maybe you dream enthusiasts can help me out here.

In the first one, Mari & I were in London for school. Don't ask me why we'd EVER be taking the same classes overseas but whatever. In the dream we decide to go on an excursion through the city with the intention of being back at a certain time for our class. Well, something (which I can't remember right now) made us extremely late and I went on a RAMPAGE in the dorms- slamming doors, thrashing my bag on the walls, stomping in the halls, screaming at the top of my longs. Just this manifestation of so much anger the likes of which I've never seen. What was THAT about?!

I woke up from that dream greeted by some severe cramps, so maybe that was the cause? Who knows!

In the next dream, I was in my old apartment on Greene Avenue in BedStuy, the last one we lived in on the 3rd floor, and there were these guys who kept coming through the apartment criticizing everything I was doing. At least I think that's what they were doing because it's about 9AM right now as I type this and the dream happened about three hours ago. Mari was in that one, too, and she was all, "What's the matter?" And I said, "These assholes keep coming in here with their stupid opinions that NOBODY cares about!!" and then she aligned herself with me to get rid of them.

What the hell??

1- I need Mari to stop being such an attention whore that she's appearing in my dreams, and


Someone, please, feel free to tell me what all this means!

*smooches...wishing my brain would shut up sometimes*
and you can tell I'm all verklempt this morning because my list only has TWO items. I may not make it to this evening in one piece :(

Friday, July 09, 2010

"The Time Will Come One Day"

I've been hit in the face with a few setbacks in the last few weeks, the kind that make me want to throw up my hands in defeat and scream NO MAS. I QUIT. YOU WIN. And just take any old stupid job, become another cog in the wheel, if I may.

Actually, I've had some major setbacks all year but whatever, those are major ones that are never ending. I'm specifically talking about some new ones that decided to creep in and really mess with my head.

First, you all know about the ex and his foolish decision to quit his job. That was a major blow to my patience. A whole lot of me wants to beat his ass, but the side of me that's afraid of jail is keeping me calm.

Then, work dried up. Not at the language center- that's going well. It could be better but eh, I'll take what I can at this point. But freelancing for the PR firm (which I hated anyway) is at a standstill and new projects? What new projects? Because I can't find any paying gigs in my field. I should have stayed in the sciences because this writing bullshit is just that- bullshit.

But the latest in a long line of GRRRRR moments was and is that my little writing group, La Pluma y La Tinta, has fallen apart; my Letters I'll Never Send blog ceased getting submissions, and my Jaded Takes On “web series” seems to be on permanent hiatus. And I'm frustrated. It almost feels like everything I create just turns to shit. And yes, that may be a little dramatic but that's how I feel right now.

It is extremely hard to be my own cheerleader. I'm just not that peppy GO GET EM type of gal. And when I start something with the expectation that there will be others to help keep things moving along (as opposed to just me doing everything) and suddenly I'm the only one's just really disheartening. And it's making me want to just shrivel away into the obscurity from whence I came. I already have issues motivating myself- if those around me are ALSO unmotivated then shit will just never get done.

Same as it's not getting done now.

In the meantime, I'm trying so hard not to crumble. So if y'all don't mind, cease from asking me how anything is going these days. This post is to tell you: IT'S NOT GOING WELL. I DON'T KNOW WHEN MY NEXT READING IS SCHEDULED OR WHEN THE NEXT LETTERS POST WILL GO UP. I DON'T KNOW WHEN I WILL BE ABLE TO FILM ANOTHER SPORTS SEGMENT AND IF YOU ASK ABOUT MY THESIS OR JOB PROSPECTS I WILL KILL YOU.

The End.

*smooches...truly sick of all these reminders of my failures*
and please don't try to be funny in the comments. I'm being serious. In fact, I'm closing comments because a lot of you don't know how to act...

Thursday, July 08, 2010

"Just Watch Your Mouth Or I'll Sit On You"

I fell off big time, y'all. I though maybe I'd gained four or five measly pounds, something low like that, pretty easy to get rid of but NOPE. It seems like just yesterday the scale read 168lbs and I was so happy to be well on my way to my 160lb goal weight. It was right there. Attainable. Within my reach.

I was supposed to go to the gym and handle those last 8lbs like it owed me money.

Instead, I bought cookies. And ice cream. And buffalo wings. Oh, and did I mention that I visit my local halal food cart so often dude has my plate fixed before I get there? Yeah. So naturally, now the scale reads:

And I understand that it's a far cry from this fat bitch (who apparently was also unable to tame her motherfucking hair at 211lbs):

But I DON'T LIKE IT. I can curb my eating but the exercise...LAWD THE EXERCISE...

You can sit there and say DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT but the fact of the matter is I'm one of those people that needs someone else yelling in my ear about exercise or I won't do it; that's how much I hate it. I need a trainer. I need that dude or chick by my side yelling, "Come on, Lard Ass, 10 more reps!" or it's just...UGH...I'm just... UGH UGH UGH! The thought of exercise makes me cringe and vomit and contort my face in all manner of stankitude.

So I need a trainer. One who understands I have bad knees and a bad back and so many knots in my shoulder and neck area it's ridiculous. One that will be ok with me hating his/her guts and yelling all kinds of profane statements during my session. And one that is not afraid to snatch me up whenever I try to stomp away mad like someone done stole my damn bike. (c) Darius Lovehall.

Most importantly, I need one of y'all to pay for it *blank stare* WHAT? Y'all know I ain't working right now... stop acting surprised.

Don't make me have to start posting pics of my jelly belly again. You know I ain't got no shame!

*smooches...squeezing into clothes I got no business squeezing into*
Can we please discuss how fucking hysterical that Weird Al song parody is, STILL?? LMAO!!

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

"Without Me Your Pimpin Ain't The Same"

You might find this hard to believe, but even a JadedNYer like myself is still amazed at people behaving like assholes. Yes, I know. Shocking.

But honestly, I don't see the point in that sort of behavior (anymore. Yes, I acknowledge that I was a total asshole to my ex-husband the whole time we lived on campus at Waco. I've already admitted to this. Why y'all gotta be bringing up old shit?! Dang! Can I live?!) And why anyone would choose to be that way.

I bring this up because it was brought to my attention that a guy I used to talk to is a complete asshole. This information was related to me by two different people, unrelated to me, him and each other, thousands of months apart. I can only assume it's true.

Except he was never an asshole to me. Well, maybe towards the end he was, but that's because it was ending, however during I can't say that I ever experienced any asshole tendencies from him. He was sweet, considerate, giving, fun- all that shit, so when these two people regaled me with their tales of his assholery I was honestly dumbfounded.

Especially because during a recent PMS week I found myself missing him, cyber-stalking him, wondering what went wrong and if it was salvageable. But just when Lady Estrogen was about to cry and get all swoony, El Generalissimo came thru with a vicious backhanded slap of reality for that ass:

"You don't want him back and you don't miss him. You just hate the thought that he's not after you. You are bothered by the fact that you can't flaunt a bigger, better, faster MORE you in his face. You want to stroll down BK with a lovely Rasta on your arm just to rub his nose in it. You want a lush and lavish writing career so you can pop bottles in his face. You only want to get in shape so he can see what he missed out on. You want all his friends to say, 'daaaaamn, son! You gave THAT up? Yo, you STUPID!'

"And you want to be able to walk up to him and smile and say hello and appear to be the bigger person. But you're not. You're petty and immature and quite bitter about the whole thing. You, my dear, don't want him. You want him to want you like the vain bitch you've always been. Snap out of it!"

In one wordy monologue of real talk and tough love, El Generalissimo enlightened me about why I'm not moving forward as much as I'd like; why I can't get rid of these last 10lbs; why my love life is still ghost: I'm still too concerned with what others will think and how they see me. Not just this dude but everybody. I thought I'd licked it but I didn't.

If I'm gonna get ahead it's gotta be for me. The weight? It won't leave til I love myself enough to make it leave. My aspirations have to be pure of heart or The Universe will just continue to shit all over me. I need to let go of MY inner asshole. Only then will I get all the good stuff I deserve!

In the meantime, tho, don't let me see that fool in the street *side eye* He WILL regret all manner of thangs. And that's some MO' truth for YOUR ass, from one Asshole to another *b-girl stance*

*smooches...trying my darndest to GROW UP*
but it's hella hard, y'all... hella hard!

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

"And We Are Just Breakable, Breakable, Breakable Girls And Boys"

At first I was a bit verklempt at not having written a blog post last night in time for a 12:01am posting, but I'm glad I waited. Instead of feeding you filler I actually have something to share.

Today I participated in an all-day training at the language center where I teach that "certifies" me to work with children ages 4 to 17 both on-site and in schools. Some of you might be a bit shocked to hear that I would volunteer to work with other people's bratty ass kids but, eh, it's cool. The classes are short and (supposedly) fun so I doubt I will have too much trouble with the rugrats. There are puppets and flashcards and songs...yeah, I got this.

But another component we had to be ready for was: discipline. Y'all already know this is my forte. The last thing I will ever tolerate in this life is a child acting a straight fool while in my care. Nope. Not having it. Fuggetaboutit!

During the training, we were given 8 scenarios of behavioral issues in a classroom setting and asked how we'd handle it. You'll be proud to know I didn't answer each one with "Well I'd pull out my travel machete..." Instead I dug deep into my little bit of All Kinds of Mind training and superior child-rearing skills to find real solutions, similar to what I'd do at home except less El Generalissimo and more Super Nanny.

#sidenote: Can someone contact Super Nanny and ask her if she'd like an American apprentice? I love that show to death and am just itching to get my hands on these unruly families! #endnote

And I didn't adjust my responses to appear less mean, I really thought of the bigger picture and how best to handle the situation: I'm there to teach Spanish. This child is getting in the way of that (for whatever reason). I need to find a way to correct the behavior w/out making the other children suffer, humiliating the poorly behaved child and be able to continue my lesson as planned. Luckily, I have one of those geniusly equipped logical minds that loves to solve people problems and had NO issues w/this exercise.

My thing is this- a lot of times, kids misbehave because they are starving for attention. Even negative attention. Some are just antsy and can't help it. Others have some deep psychological problems that even I'm not equipped to handle. Whatever the case, kids are fragile. Yes, even that little bad-ass that kept kicking the back of your seat on the 6hr flight to California. Especially that one. They are fragile and need our guidance, love and understanding more than they need a swift kick in the ass (which I'm more than happy to dole out as needed).

Their lives, hell OUR lives, are nothing more than a series of teachable moments. How would you rather spend it- exerting your power over a small child like a bully or being a positive influence in their lives?

*smooches...fully aware that ass-whoopins are not enough*
Still, you know I won't hesitate to check a 4yr old, right? Okay. As long as you know...

Monday, July 05, 2010

"Listen, Yo' Ass Is About To Be Missin......"

My ex-husband C and I have these two beautiful girls that we've promised to bring up as best we can even after we split up. That was the whole point of a quick and friendly divorce.

These girls grow like weeds and need food, clothes, etc all the time. I pay more than I should for a crappy apartment because it's safe and the schools are great. I hate that I depend on child support payments to make ends meet but it's a fact in my life right now and it's for the good of my children so I swallowed my pride and told the lawyer YES, I'd like to sue for child support.

So color me surprised when my ex-husband announced he quit his job at a private university (which by the way would have paid for my soon-to-be-graduating-from-HS daughter's college tuition) and was going to move in with his fiance and look for a new job.

No new job lined up. No separate bedroom for my babies in the fiance's house. No savings. No real plan in place. Just the foolish notion that in THIS economy he should have no trouble finding something new because he has his Master's degree.


Motherfucker *I* have my Master's degree. The dude that was waiting in line behind me at the Unemployment Office? He was a CFO somewhere for 12 years, and told me of his friend with a PhD who had to move back home with his parents.

But I'm sure you'll have NO TROUBLE looking for work.

I swear, this negro STAY testing me...

Like how many new ways will he have for displaying his lameness to me? Does he not think I don't already regret ever meeting him everyday of my life? Is that not enough? He has to go and put my children's well-being in jeopardy? I wonder if he remembers that I got laid off last year, and that I've been looking for work since June of 2009 with no luck? And that I depend on that money to help with the expenses I incur raising the kids he only sees every other weekend and during the summer break?

I don't mind pulling my own weight because I do and I can, and I'm not trying to be petty about money, but man I fucking divorced you so that I wouldn't have to pull YOUR dead-ass-weight anymore but here I am, once again, scrambling to find a way to bail MY little family out of YOUR financial MESS.

Jesus H. Christ!!! I hope he proves me wrong and finds a job by August...

*smooches...ready for that blue pill right about now*
I think it's safe to say that our friendship and/or amicable divorce is on the rocks. Permanently. The worst thing I ever did in life was fuck that man...

Sunday, July 04, 2010

Jaded Photographs 2010: July Edition

"If You Know Like I Know
You Don't Wanna Step To This"

It's #SisterSummer2010. Act like ya know!

*smooches...trying to re-learn to coexist w/my sister*
no, for real, tho. she's certifiable. I might don't make it...

Friday, July 02, 2010

"I Got A Feeling There's A Miracle Due"

2010 has been mighty rude to me so far. Just showing NO LOVE in any way shape or form. What's worse, my anxiety levels have increased to the point where I'm snacking like my life depended on it. I have the food baby to prove it. Plus my right leg is acting up- don't ask me why because if you do I'm just gonna tell you what WebMD told me: cancer & gangrene.

And don't even get me started on the nightmares. LORD the NIGHTMARES. Twice already I've dreamed about a tidal wave taking out NYC. And in this dream I just stick around on some ol' "I'm going down with the ship" nonsense while everyone else heads inland. Really, though? I wanted to punch myself in the throat! Then there's the dream I had where someone I know was upset at a person that wasn't me, but decided that we ALL needed to die and therefore had a hit out on me as well. I had to send my girls away to a secret location so they'd be safe but I stayed in Brooklyn, dodging in and out of the shadows trying not to get got.

But on my way home from the market today a little daydream played in my head, one where a certain literary journal loved my story so much it got published and suddenly my phone was abuzz with people wanting to know who this next, great, freakin awesome literary STAR was. That little fantasy totally helped me forget that I was lugging home 128oz of juice with arms that were beaten and battered by one measly yoga class. It also gave me a dash of hope. Just when I was about to quit, too, this fantasy pops up, almost as if it's in cahoots with Ms. Amber Cabral, whom I suspect wrote this post with me (or other creatives like me) in mind.

So yet again, on the brink of giving up the dream, I didn't. Dos Passos Review, you ain't ready for me...

Seriously, something good had better be on its way to me because this is NOT how I want to spend my summer: fat, anxious, depressed, stressed and running from invisible assassins. What kind of life is this?

* The Universe the side eye*
because REALLY- I think I've done my penance. can I please get my fabulous reward now??

Thursday, July 01, 2010

"The Melody Is Sad And Sweet, And The Dance I Do Is Fun"

I can't believe that JUST LIKE THAT, my blog-cation is over! Like, who authorized July to just swoop on in here and shit all over my delusions of time management?!

Oh, didn't you know? All the things I took time off to revel in & handle? Ain't get reveled NOR handled. I did go to the beach one Sunday and finally made it to yoga last night, though *checks that off TO DO list* so it wasn't all for naught.

Yeah I had lofty plans for my time away, but I let setback after downfall after disappointment shove me into a(nother) depressive funk. Just ask the papers stacked on my kitchen table, or the trillion bags of unwashed clothes, or the broken sink that I can't even bother to call the landlord about. My only saving grace is that this time I'm actually sleeping in my bed and not on The Couch.

But the babies are gone for a few weeks (I feel like I've written that before and STILL didn't make a difference; whether they're here or not I can't seem to get life right) and Mari's stank behind is here attending some hoity-toity fancy ass principal academy. I'm hoping that the combination of freedom from mom duty + being around another competitive, nerd-girl, academic will keep me motivated to do the things I need to do. Y'all know I have no self-discipline! I need consequences & repercussions!!

Now it's a race to the finish: WILL Raquel hand in her thesis before Alumni Weekend in August? WILL she actually go back to the gym? WILL she EVER EVER EVER take that bike back out in the light of day? And more importantly, WILL SOMEONE PLEASE EMPLOY THIS HEFFA ALREADY?!

Ahhh the life of a broke-ass writer...

You'll just have to keep reading to find out.

In the meantime, please everyone take a minute to wish my girl Celia a HAPPY HAPPY BIRTHDAY. She just gave birth to another sweetum-bejeetum baby girl so she's probably just home chillin, sleeping, pulling her hair out. Birthday wishes from y'all (and the Blues Travelers- one of the first bands we ever bonded over) are sure to put a smile on her face.

And now, back to our regularly scheduled Fuckery Fest...

*smooches...with soooo many tales to tell*
the material I acquired while on a break...sheeeeiiitttt... cameras should really follow me around...