Friday, December 31, 2010
I was broke, unemployed, miserable, almost evicted. I met a guy; it went well for a bit and then it ended. Didn't get to travel, canceled my radio show, deleted some negative people from my life.
In between all that I saw a few movies, hosted a few readings, wrote a few stories, read a few books, shared a few laughs and saw PRINCE in concert.
I'm not putting much stock in 2011. All I ask is that Jamie Cullum play a show in NYC that I can attend, N get into the middle school of her dreams, "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2" be awesome, I get a story published in a literary journal, K has a nice sweet sixteen party and somebody, somewhere employs me full-time as a writer of some sort so that I can pay down my debts.
Everything else is just whatever.
*smooches...with good cheer and all that other bullshit*
and blah blah blah, something witty and snarky, blah blah.
Thursday, December 30, 2010
So this takes place where most of my vivid/crazy dreams take place-- my grandmother's apartment on Patchen Avenue in Brooklyn. Apparently I killed a man for talking sideways about my mother. He sorta looked like the uncle from the Harry Potter films. I just straight up choked the shit out of him with his own tie- saw him turn red, sweat, struggle to breathe until he died.
When the cops come looking for me (and Mari, who wasn't there for the actual murder but is somehow an accomplice), we use magic to turn ourselves invisible. Invisible.
We keep that up until Mami finally busts us and convinces us to go to the cops. I am all NO and then POOF!! my powers were gone. I couldn't turn invisible anymore.
Then I woke up. And went to the mirror to see if I could make myself invisible just in case. <---That part wasn't a dream. I really stood in front of the mirror and tried. Listen- the characters on Heroes got their powers after a lunar eclipse. I'm just sayin'. Now about this dream... What the fuck??
*smooches...not sure what's going on in my head*
and actually kind of afraid to find out
Wednesday, December 29, 2010
think about Ms. More's words next time you feel defeated by life
Tuesday, December 28, 2010
And that's hard for a control freak like me to admit.
Like, first off, National Grid, Cablevision AND my landlord don't give a shit that my temp job hasn't been paying that much lately because I've been sick and the government holidays and closings have affected my check. Don't be surprised if Jaded starts off 2011 with an overdrawn bank account. It's real in these streets, son!
And second, this fucking snow. THIS. FUCKING. SNOW. I know I live in New York, in the northeast, and we have winters. Yes, I get it, our seasons change. But THIS. FUCKING. SNOW.
How do you even prepare for it? Plows don't come out to South Brooklyn, elevated trains are all fucked up, buses abandoned in the middle of the street... don't y'all have plans for this? Where are the maintenance crews? WHERE ARE MY TAX DOLLARS GOING?
"Either they don't know, don't show, or don't care about what's going on in the hood."
Lastly, I have cramps so I hate every-damn-one and every-damn-thing. The End.
*smooches...ending the list at THREE on purpose*
it's been a helluva day so only the devil's number will do. Fuck you, Beelzebub! And you, too, Global Warming! Don't think I ain't seen you over there SHITTIN ON THESE HEAUXS...
Monday, December 27, 2010
ME: Really good sex only exists in Harlequin Romance Novels.
ME: "She took his quivering member into her eager mouth..."
FRIEND: quivering? LOL
ME: HAHAHAHA yours doesn't quiver? *shrugs*
FRIEND: It hasn't yet. But I have to wonder if I would consider presenting a quivering member. I mean...it doesn't SEEM like the greatest of ideas...why is it quivering? Am I scared?
ME: I think it quivers with anticipation of this most awesome mouth or vagina, belonging to some saucy vixen who, just prior to this moment, was unattainable.
(I read too much...)
*smooches...ending the year in the same ratchet fashion it began*
the day I behave properly is the day you know the pod people, or the Christians, have gotten a hold of me.
Friday, December 24, 2010
To All My Lovely Readers!!
*smooches...from one heathen to another*
from all of us here at The Jaded Empire, have a safe & happy holiday season.
Thursday, December 23, 2010
Shortly after I watched the film, someone wrote a letter to the Brooklyn Public Library stating that, according to state law, there is supposed to be a flag flying outside of each branch building.
My initial reaction was WHO THE FUCK CARES? Especially with so many other serious things happening in the world, why is this person making such a hubbub- contacting the media with an open letter on his website- about flags?
Then it dawned on me: it’s a diversionary tactic. And I extrapolated it to what I think the entire tea party is doing to us right now, strategically making noise about bullshit, meanwhile someone is sneaking in through the old coal chute in the corner of the basement.
Our mistake was thinking that they’re dumb rednecks who hate democrats and colored people. From what I've seen they're cunning, organized and have a very strategic agenda. I don't pretend to know much about politics, either- this is just a layman's observation from the outside looking in.
And I don't know about you but I'm kind of scared at what that will mean for us as a nation. Y'all keep fuckin' around and next thing you know: President Palin is killin' moose all up and through the White House.
*smooches...rethinking this whole "Black President" thing*
I guess we weren't ready 'cause people done lost their god damned mind since Obama took office. damn shame, too. just a damn shame.
Wednesday, December 22, 2010
Currently, regardless of what people are willing to pay, I am worth a pretty penny on an hourly basis. I mean, not as much as a hooker (those bitches make sooooo much more than I do...got me rethinking my life choices n shit) but still, a good lot o’ dough. These writing mills (Demand Media Studios [although Demand now offers SOME per-hour writing opportunities], Suite101, etc) claim to offer writers great opportunities but if you ask me it’s somewhat of a legal scam.
In my experience the jobs up for grabs on those sites, at most, pay you about $25 per article. Total. At first you think, “Ooh, I can knock out four articles this week and make a cool $100!” Then you realize, had you really itemized the expenses you incurred for writing said article, you end up losing. Besides, I made way more than $100 PER ARTICLE freelancing for Batanga Magazine and PCI Journal. Even working in The Basement paid $100/day, and that was one shitty ass job. How can I afford to take such a huge pay cut?
Even the best writers need at least 3-5 hours to produce a good article. This includes research, fact-checking, interviewing, writing and editing. For argument's sake let’s say you can create a really good piece in five hours...what have you to show for those five hours of your talented time, wear-and-tear on your computer, electricity, internet service, time away from other opportunities or family and friends, maybe even ink and paper if you’re the type that can’t read off of a screen for too long? $25 lousy dollars. That breaks down to $5/hour— LESS than you’d earn in five hours at McDonald’s. WRITING MILLS ARE PAYING YOU LESS THAN MCDONALD’S! If this was Gone-With-The-Wind, Georgia, sure, take the $5 and run. But my name ain't Mammy. You're gonna have to pay me a real, 2010-2011 living wage.
Sure, there’s the argument that some money is better than no money, and in this crippling economic climate we have to take what we can get, but that’s what writing mills are counting on. They hope and pray and KNOW that a lot of us are broke, in debt, young, stupid, starving artists, and are exploiting us. They are telling us we’re worth less than $5/hour. “Fuck your degree, your experience, your connections. Take these seven pennies and get the fuck outta here!” I don’t take too kindly to that kind of disregard for my hard work.
Hookers know what their vaginae and mouths are worth, especially for bareback encounters. Why should us writers settle for less?
*smooches...refusing to compromise*
you let ONE writing mill walk all over you, next thing you know you're working around the clock, producing all this collateral for them and you're still broke. Fuck that!
Tuesday, December 21, 2010
If I had the money, I'd go again.
2010 wasn't that great for me, but this...this kinda made up for all the bad shit.
*smooches...for Irene and her most thoughtful gift*
now, if anyone knows where my beloved Prince will be staying when he does his shows on the 29th and on January 18th, holla at a playah...
Monday, December 20, 2010
Tonight on Monday Musings, Mari, Chris and I talk up the Best and Worst moments of 2010: what made us sit up listen? What movies blew our minds? How did politics affect us? What personal goals did we set or meet?
It'll be a blast, so make sure you're there on time.
*smooches...thinking of my lists as I type*
not sure what I'll have to contribute...this year has been a total haze...
Friday, December 17, 2010
On Wednesday I received an email from Dan Kashman at Blog Talk Radio outlining a new fee schedule to which I’d have to adhere if I wished to continue my show as is. He did offer a revised, more restricted, free account that allowed me to “conduct only one, 30-minute show per day” and “upload and store a maximum of three audio files for use during your show” but that's not something that works for me and the dynamics of my segments.
Blog Talk Radio is also taking away my ability to “schedule shows during prime time hours” or “schedule private episodes.”
Therefore I made the executive decision to just end the show. I will not heed any suggestions to find a new home or continue with a 30-minute segment instead because frankly it’s not worth it.
At most, five of you listen to the show live and MAYBE one of you will actually call in. If Monday Musings depended on ratings to survive we would have been canceled faster than NBC’s “Undercovers” (SHOTS FIRED!!). Perhaps that’s my fault for not stepping up my marketing game, or maybe I chose a sucky time slot, or maybe I’m just not as great a radio host as y’all have pumped me up to be. Whatever the reason, I don’t feel it’s worth it to continue chasing my tail with this venture.
Each week I’m practically begging for listeners, trying to choose topics of interest to you, etc, only to be disappointed episode after episode. It has become the equivalent of an abusive relationship. Every Monday I tell myself “This is the week they’re going to tune in. This is the week they will call me and ask questions and interact with me.” But I’m proved wrong every time.
And so it is with a heavy heart that I put Monday Musings to rest after 2.5 seasons. It was a nice run with great co-hosts and discussions and such. But Blog Talk Radio has, with these new changes, offered me an opportunity to stop beating a dead horse, give it a proper burial and move on.
Thank you to everyone who listened and called and co-hosted and encouraged me along the way. “I hope you had the time of your life.”
*smooches...turning my focus elsewhere*
there are still 5 episodes left (of course!); feel free to ignore those as well. we won’t miss you one bit.
Thursday, December 16, 2010
My pain, your pain- it's all the same to me.
During my junior or senior year of high school, a classmate was shot and killed at a party. I didn't know this kid at all, but watching those who did know him cry made me cry heartily. I felt like a fraud allowing those tears to roll down my cheeks, but it's not something I can control. Pain is pain and I feel all of it.
I'm hurt a lot. I think people mistake my harsh exterior for a cold heart. But I still have feelings, you know? Machete or not I am still a human being. 99% of the time I will joke it away. But at some point all that hurt piles up until I have no choice but to pull away from the world, go into my bathroom and cry in the shower.
Today is one of those days.
For the first time in my life I wish I knew how to drive. I'd hop in the car, top down, scarf and sunglasses ala Jackie O. and just drive until I reached the water. I'd have the radio up loud, sing along off-key and have a good cry behind my sunglasses on my drive to nowhere. With Jamie Cullum on repeat...
I'd forget everyone and everything and exist by myself in a painless, peaceful drive to nowhere. And when I got there I'd sit and write myself a letter that would read:
No matter what, it will be alright. You will be alright.
*smooches...just for me in my imaginary car*
y'all hoes be stressin' me out, I swear...
Wednesday, December 15, 2010
In 2005 I decided to pursue writing as a career. I figured I’d get some lowly job at a cheesy paper, magazine or website, and then on the side I’d write a few stories that I’d submit to some journals, that would in turn publish the stories and I’d have a quiet little career- writing my little articles and publishing my little stories.
While in graduate school, and especially after my divorce, I got these lofty ideas of doing greater things, like maybe starting my own magazine or publishing a book or teaching a creative writing class to inner-city youth. I didn’t really speak these things out loud because honestly, with the exception of a few people, I knew I was surrounded by Doubting Thomases and Negative Nellies, and it was just safer to dream big only on the inside.
Then I began to meet with other creative types (and the people who claimed to love us) who shouted from the mountain tops that it was okay to dream out loud and whatever ideas I had YES! AWESOME! PURSUE THEM! WE’RE BEHIND YOU AND SUPPORT YOU 100%!!!
Well a funny thing is happening on the way to that big dream- some of the people who shouted the loudest turned into Doubting Thomases and Negative Nellies, and Lazy Limabeans to boot! And all the support and enthusiasm they touted turned out not being worth the price of tube socks.
I understand that my dream is mine and it is in fact my responsibility to make it happen if I wanted bad enough. I get that and am okay with that. I suppose it just would have been more helpful to know who was really in my corner and who just wanted to jump on the bandwagon once things got rolling.
A light bulb went off in my head and I started to get why there are "sellouts," and why our local creatives rarely come back to the ‘hood. Because for all the hootin’ and hollerin’ that there’s no good entertainment in the Black and Latino community, that same community is the first one to NOT support one another. I used to do the same thing, but now I get it. Now I know why it happens. Mine eyes hath seen the light!
One trillion people will break their necks to view and complain about Keri Hilson gyrating in a video, calling her all kinds of names and saying she’s what’s wrong with entertainment today, but only a handful will show up to an open mic, music showcase, off-off Broadway show or indie film screening. Shame on you. Shame on ALL of you (myself included!) who complain about shit you don’t do anything to change.
And let me just say this: I dare one poor unfortunate soul say one contrary thing about me doing business with The Others when I finish putting The Jaded Empire together. I tried working with my people but y'all are like crabs in a barrel and I can't let myself get caught in there. Talk out of place about Brad or Skip being executive VP in charge of shit and I will forget my degrees/home training and Suge Knight your ass. Trust.
*smooches...giving you some harsh truths on a Wednesday*
this, of course, does not apply to the people who DO make an effort to support independent movers and shakers. Y'all know who you are. On behalf of creatives everywhere, THANK YOU!
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
With the exception of three brave souls, the turnout was a bust, but the after party (of sorts) was a blast, complete with tator tots (I will never again doubt their awesomeness) breast talk (which seems inevitable when people encounter me for the first time) and people watching in Adams Morgan (Santa Claus is a P.I.M.P. You heard it here first).
Mari (my Marketing and Special Events Manager) and I sat down for a post-mortem of the event and have decided to try again but tweak a few things in order to garner a better response. If that doesn't work, well then I will put DC down as an official SUCKY town. There, I said it.
But really, I just want to take a minute and thank the few, the proud, the people who came out and stayed out with yours truly, and made what could have been a really crappy night oh-so-much fun.
(pictured, from L-R Super Dave VanBuren, Johnathan Tillman and Bella.)
The rest of you who stood us up can kiss my ass. And I don't mean that in a jokingly, Jaded way. I mean for real, kiss my ass, fuck off, whatever.
*smooches...burning bridges and not giving two ratty shits*
and there it is: Jaded's Breaking Point...never thought you'd see the day, huh?
Monday, December 13, 2010
On tonight's Monday Musings, we're gifting you another Child Rearing 101 segment straight from the course list of The Jaded School of Parenting: Don't Spoil Those Babies!
Resident co-host and parent Brother Omi (and hopefully Mrs. Omi!!) will be on hand to outline for you the best way to balance holiday gift-giving with raising appreciative children. Trust us- it's a fine art, especially in today's bigger better faster more era when little kids have cellphones and teenagers are carrying designer bags.
But fret not- we're here for you!
So tune in...you know you want to!
*smooches...doing my part as a member of the village*
you remember the village, right? The one 80s yuppies tried to burn to the ground?
Friday, December 10, 2010
After a few bouts of “spinny-room” I went to see my doctor. YES, back then I had a physician whom I saw regularly. A wonderful German woman, who pulled no punches, wrote no prescriptions unless I needed it desperately and had me in and out of that office in a reasonable amount of time. I miss her. And during that very weird exam where she made me lay down and then moved my head up and down and around super quickly to see if it made me sick, she determined it was vertigo and sent me to see an otolaryngologist (ENT) for a second opinion.
The ENT examined my ears and throat (I was also complaining of some weird white spots in the back of my throat that I thought to be throat cancer; it was just calcium deposits built up in the pockets of my tonsils) and also concluded it was vertigo (benign positional vertigo to be exact), and gave me some medicine for motion sickness (that, by the way, doesn't work because it makes you drowsy and useless).
That first year I was diagnosed it was seriously a problem for me. At first I cracked jokes and all (there's a film about my disease!) but picture it: Riverdale, 2001…
It’s a weekday and you begin to come out of your sleep coma and you feel like someone is moving your bed around. It almost feels like your whole world has been placed on top of a Sit ‘n Spin that you can't control. Once the room stops moving, you take a deep breath and attempt to get up, but even the slightest movement of any part of your body, especially turning yourself slightly to the side, activates the Sit 'n Spin happening in your head.
You get queasy. You don't want to throw up but you know it's near, and all you can think is, "I'm going to puke on myself because I will never be able to make it to the toilet with the room spinning like this!" It goes on nonstop anywhere from 5-30 minutes to hours, and all you can do is lie there and take it like a bitch.
Because that's exactly what I've become- my inner ear's bitch.
I was told there was no cure for this because, well, what is there a cure for these days? Like Chris Rock said- there's no money in a cure; the money's in the comeback! But HA! I fooled them! I REFUSE to take the drug and taught my body to just relax, sit still and sleep it away. And when that stops working, I will try one of these new-agey exercises I found online.
Take THAT pharmaceutical companies!!
*smooches...admitting to a tiny flaw*
and not to be crass, but this damn vertigo also keeps me from roller coaster rides and certain jungalistic activities that I used to enjoy... ol' cock-blockin' vertigo... *sigh*
Thursday, December 09, 2010
ME: You just have to learn how to isolate the muscles in your face.
K: And where would I learn that- Isolate the Muscles in Your Face class?
*smooches...ever so proud of her sassy comeback*
she's a keeper, definitely; won't have to leave her in front of the firehouse at all LOL
Wednesday, December 08, 2010
Recently, however, I’ve noticed a strange phenomenon happening in my booty region- a roundness never before seen on this body; enough to make me try on tight jeans JUST to look at my reflection in the mirror.
I should be ecstatic, right? I got my wish, right? WRONG again, Col. Sanders. See, this new gluteus maximus brought with it an equally sizable abdominal ginormous.
My idea of having a “fit” body is simple: my thighs shouldn’t meet in the middle and my breasts should be more pronounced than my stomach. At a whopping 192.6 pounds, my thighs have become kissing cousins and, well, let’s just say it’s a photo finish as to whom is winning the race between Señor Belly and Las Tetas. Pure sadness.
How I let myself get this way is besides the point because it’s not like it is New Math or anything: I don’t exercise + I eat a lot of junk = Fatty McFat-Ass Penzo. The End.
But you know it's bad when my ponk-ass landlord calls me fat. YES. HE. DID. Child, if it's noticeable, something needs to be done post haste. And well, in the meantime I will just stare at my booty in the mirror before it leaves me once again
Don't be surprised if, when you see me out, I'm only eating carrots, celery and lettuce *stank face*
*smooches...contemplating a Minaj-like surgical procedure
shooo, my aunt got one in DR; why can't I?!?!
Tuesday, December 07, 2010
See, these young bucks only see Raquel or Jaded as a stand-alone entity when in fact she’s a multi-faceted package that includes kids and a close-knit network of family and friends that nine times out of ten will come before any man. And the mood swings, LAWD JESUS you have no idea about what it takes to stay in my good graces. It's work. LOTS OF WORK. Your age might just work against you when Jaded McMooderton is around.
When younger men approach me with their little invites to go out, all I’m thinking is “I’d never want you around my kids or my mother.” Chances are that’s what they’re hoping, too, but to me it’s just not worth it. If we’re not building towards something permanent what’s the point of all the countless movies and dinners and sex sessions? The idea of dating and fucking for dating and fucking’s sake just stopped looking cute to me. It occurred to me that perhaps it was never cute and how stupid and foolish and slutty I must have appeared to have jumped from dude to dude as if they were disposable underwear.
Sure, one could argue that there is a twenty-something man out there that is wise beyond his years, doesn’t live at home, can be a head-of-household and the in-house father figure to my impressionable daughters (not to be confused with an ACTUAL father, which they already have, thank you very much; so don’t come up in here thinking you’re the boss of them n shit...I digress). And if that is your argument, please, let me show you this nice selection of bridges I have for sale…if you act now I’ll throw in a rainbow unicorn and a trip to the Lost City of Atlantis.
It's become plain to me that I prefer older men. The ones I’ve been dating since I was old enough NOT to date (did I mention that when I was twelve I was “involved” with a much older man? The thought of it makes me cringe now, but back then you couldn’t tell me nothing!). I don’t know where the fuck they are right now, though; probably out dating twenty-something year-old women... but if you find one that isn’t messed up in the head about women and maybe wants one more baby, give him my URL.
I refuse to become this caricature of myself, this 'cougar' so many joke about. I'd like a real man, please. Of the grown-up variety.
*smooches...changing my 'list' everyday*
I swear the only constant in my 'list' is that I don't know what I want lol
Monday, December 06, 2010
I'd really hate for my readers to get caught out there with the yucky holiday fixins, so tonight on Monday Musings we're doing a Holiday Cooking special with the homie Darius T. Williams of Everyday Cookin'.
From a simple cocktail party to your holiday feast, tune in tonight to avoid having me talk about your nasty-ass food on my blog.
*smooches...showing my food-snobbiness*
there's nothing worse on the planet than bad food at a party. or bad food anywhere, BLECH, just don't so it!!
Sunday, December 05, 2010
Friday, December 03, 2010
-book description of Reality Hunger: A Manifesto by David Shields
*smooches...vowing to live more from now on*
I spend entirely too much time in front of the computer screen. and then I wonder why my attention span is at 4.2 seconds...
Thursday, December 02, 2010
Why would I add this stress in my life? Well, why not? I have a good story I'd like to share, and maybe I don't want to wait until the January reading here in New York to share it. Or maybe I'm hoping to gain a new audience. Or maybe I'm expecting to be discovered in DC since NY isn't showing me the love I thought it would.
Whatever the reason, I'm planning to be #PublishedBy2011, and it's not going to happen by limiting myself to the three people that come to my NYC readings. I don't believe my own hype; I need more people. And if I have to go to DC to get them, then so be it.
If you're in the area on the 11th I expect to see you. Please, I'm not in the mood to threaten you today...
*smooches...excited for this new venture*
and be on the lookout for readings in other cities, too, in 2011. I ain't playin witch'all, I'm getting published next year!
Wednesday, December 01, 2010
9- Healthy food costs more money so that poor folks will have a hard time maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Why? See number 10.
8- The Pope isn't really Catholic and he's had sex before. With multiple partners. Lots of them of the same sex AND underage.
7- Google is really SkyNet in a very thinly veiled disguise and has already begun to think for itself. The impending robot war is close at hand.
6- Obama is really a White dude with an afro wig and a tan ala C. Thomas Howell in "Soul Man."
5- JFK was not shot by Oswald. Has anyone ever looked into what old man Onasis was doing that day? Mhmm. "Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned..."
4- The graphic novel-turned-TV Show, "The Walking Dead," is really NRA propaganda. How convenient that the best way to defend yourself against a zombie invasion is with a firearm. YOU'RE NOT FOOLING ME,
3- We never landed on the moon, and if you look real close at the footage of the "moon landing" you can see the cables attached to the "astronauts" as they walk around in "space."
2- There are hidden cameras in my apartment and my phones are tapped, because my landlord is a member of some sort of terrorist cell and The Man thinks I'm a part of it. This doesn't stop me from walking around in the buff, though. If you're gonna watch, shiiiiit, I'm gonna give you a show. The SHOW OF A LIFETIME!
1- Sean Combs and Suge Knight orchestrated Biggie & Tupac's deaths, respectively, to line their own pockets with millions in record sales. Rat bastards. That's right, I said that shit. AND WHAT?!?!
*smooches...writing these things because I can*
Who gon' check me, boo?