Monday, January 24, 2011

Some Monday Notes

Just a few things I want to say real quick and then I'm outta here:

1- The homie Super Dave VanBuren of Baby Daddy Diaries sent me a sample of his homemade BBQ sauce, and despite the fact that he didn't send an ingredient list and/or the nutritional information (I just hope it's low in sodium and does not have Soylent Green as one of the top 3 ingredients), I made a couple of dishes with it- a turkey meatloaf and a small batch of turkey burgers. The sauce is yum, and pending that ingredient list it gets the Jaded Seal of Approval from me and the babies.

2- My sister from another mister, Muireann from Bangs and a Bun, is running in the Paris Half Marathon in a couple of weeks and could really use your support. She's come together with a dozen or so other runners to raise money for a shelter for women escaping domestic violence situations, which I feel is an amazing cause and you should, too. Visit her site to see what you can do to help!

3- I will be reading this Saturday in Manhattan at Space on White as the New Voices Reading Series starts up again, and you can click HERE for more information and to get your tickets. Yes, tickets. We would really appreciate your support.

4- Something something something, space holder blah blah blah so I can have five items in this post. Shut up. You know the drill.

5- I'm taking a blog break. See you when I see you.

*smooches...with not a whole lot else to say*
things have been pretty quiet over here so what better time to chillax?

Friday, January 21, 2011

Dating Profile Copy

"I like my men not crazy and a little stupid."

-Alex, The Refined Ghetto

*smooches...adopting this as my mantra*
honestly, as I get older these seem like the perfect qualities to look for in a man.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

No Moon Redux

Long ago and far away, I wrote a short story titled "No Moon" based on some friendships I'd made and coveted the one time I went to sleep-away camp. I had lofty plans to turn that short story into a novel, but that was back before I realized MTV, drugs and their cronies had forever killed my attention span.

However, every once in a while something will jar my memory, pulling me back to this coming-of-age story I began writing at the ripe old age of 13, and this time that something was Jason Mraz.

Say what you want about this White boy, but he can SANG. And he's a damn good songwriter, too. His song "I'm Yours" made me think- what if the main characters met up by accident in a dive bar where the leading man was performing this song that he'd written for the leading woman, someone he hadn't seen in 20 years but still loved?

And then Mraz's duet with Colbie Caillat, "Lucky," made me think- what if this is a song the leading lady had written with her then boyfriend, the leading man's dead brother, but he still remembered it and called her to the stage to sing it with him, and she did so with tears streaming down her face?

It was all very Lifetime: Television for Women and of course I can't use the actual songs in a novel, but I'll know to tone it down when it comes time to put pen to paper. It's just nice to find inspiration when you least expect it.

Thanks, Jason!

*smooches...balancing this weekend's ratchetness with calm*
music two days in a row? you love me. admit it.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Let Me Start This Year With Some Closure.

We met through mutual friends.

It started off rather salaciously and scandalous and slowly became more. I fought it, denied it, tried to ignore and reject it, but yeah, I developed feelings for him. Sue me.

So I let go, went with the flow and all that jazz. The L word was dropped (by HIM in fact). Breakfast was made. During a particularly rough point this summer, I freakin CRIED in front of him and I NEVER cry in front of ANYONE. EVER. And he was there to just quietly hold me and just let me and it was good. So good, in fact, that I never blogged about him or our relationship or anything. I didn't want anything to jinx it.

I thought to myself: He's not really anything from my "list" but he's good people and he's good to me and we have similar goals for the future and he was being an awesome cheerleader for The Jaded Empire. Dude, he complimented my writing and meant it. That's an INSTANT win for him.

I in turn was being all domestic and girlfriendy and starting to be okay with that role, that "traditional" role with which modern women aren't supposed to be okay. Not different; still Jaded, but the kind of Jaded that's beginning to act and feel like her grandmother before her, a woman raised in a time where men were men and women held them down.

Then, well, I'm not sure where and when it imploded. A week went by without any communications, and then another followed. When I finally reached out to see what was going on, I got the cold shoulder. It was like a slap in the face. I won't lie and romanticize it all: in the back of my mind there were still a lot of things that made me hold back from him. Things I'd rather not put out on Front Street, but little gnawings that just made me reticent about a full-blown anything. Our quiet little existence was enough for the time being. At least for me.

Then came the slap (not an actual slap; please don't get crunk in the comments). I should be used to it by now, right? Right. But it took me by surprise a bit. He really had me fooled, FOOL being the operative word here.

Things ended in September and I'm now ready to say, "Okay. This happened and it was good and then it wasn't, but that's life and I won't dwell over something I cannot control. He did what he did for whatever reasons he had, and I will just continue to live my life as planned." As in, the walls are back up, moat refilled with vicious piranhas, armed guards in place and heart placed gently back in the vault.

*smooches...battered but not broken*
I come from good stock; it takes more than that to really break me.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Literary Greats My Ass!

J. D. Salinger sucks. There. I said it.

Bret Easton Ellis? Also sucks.

And I've come to this conclusion after only reading one of each of these authors' books.

Sue me.

sometimes an author's writing style is so obnoxious I can't appreciate the substance.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Folks Shouldn't Be Palancin' After The Age Of 34...And Other Musings

It's been such a long time since I've given you a rundown of my weekend, but this one was so eventful, I must.

A Penzo Family Gathering
My cousin had a baby shower this weekend that I was trying to avoid, but after a threatening-ish phone call from Titi Gloris, I trudged out there. And of course, as I feared, William R. Penzo was there trying to play Big Poppa. Bitch. Boo. Bye.

Let's just get to the jokes. A) My mom is straight questioning the paternity of one of my brothers and this boy who showed up talking about he's my dead uncle's grandson. *side eye* Like Mami said "At the next party, I'm cotton-swabbing everybody!" B) I don't understand why there was a DJ. Was I at a club or a church rec room? C) This woman was up in there with a strapless, animal-print spandex outfit. Somebody's grandma. Weighing wayyy too much for her outfit. D) The Jets' game was on. During the shower.

Bank Of America Shamed Me
I didn't have time to pull out some cash from the bank, so I had to swipe my card for everything. Then came the email from Bank of America: suspicion of fraud activity. I was so frustrated because I JUST had someone scamming on my bank account. But when I called, the list of purchases...were all mine. "We just flagged it because of the unusual activity." Yes. Thanks for reminding me that I'm a broke loser that hardly ever goes out.

Folks Shouldn't Be Palancin' After The Age Of 34
My bff was in NYC from LA for her birthday weekend and LAWD are these old bones TIRED. We went out Saturday AND Sunday, dancing like we're still young enough to be moving our bodies in such a manner! I won't spill too much of what went on (What happens in NYC during L's birthday weekend, STAYS in NYC during L's birthday weekend!) but here's the song that was at the center of all the tomfoolery:

It's my new favorite song. Don't play it around me unless you're ready for all 190 pounds of me to mash up de place.

...And Of Course Now My Body Hates Me
I had to pop two Aleve this morning and drink my weight in water. Like for real, who the hell do I think I am, a dancehall queen or something? Basically look at this video:

That was me, minus the skimpy outfits and the booty. Now my knees, thighs, back and arms are all, "So it's carnival, huh bitch? I'll show you carnival..." Ouch. I get it.

The Things Left Behind
With all this partying and the MTA being a dickwad with the whole shuttle buses replacing my train nonsense, two very important items never got covered on my to-do list: meditation and writing. I didn't skip meditation on purpose but I was running around so much I just plumb forgot. Apparently I was only able to get it done during the week because I have a pretty set schedule. Come the weekend I'm a hot mess. And my creativity level, child, I don't know what's up with it. And seeing as I have a reading scheduled for the end of the month, SIGH, I need to get it together. *sad face*

*smooches...good and tired.*
I'm actually looking forward to a quiet and regimented week. I need structure in order to function. fuck my free spirit!

Friday, January 14, 2011

And There It Is.

ME: she tells me that my aunt was hospitalized, her life on the line, due to complications from a nip and tuck! I'm gonna need for my family in DR to STOP getting plastic surgery.

Alex: Or at least stop getting it at the bodega!

* you evidence as to why I love him*
I laughed so hard at this shit...just sooo hard...

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Memory Is Mostly Perception, No?

A bit ago Mari bought me this great book, Room to Write, and it has oh-so-many writing prompts to get your creative juices flowing. Of course, because I'm the awesome person I am, I decided to share its contents with you, hoping it will light a fire under your writer's block.

Ever notice how you'll sit around reminiscing with friends and family about certain events and they look at you all funny and say, "That's not how it happened." Doesn't that just make you sit back and wonder if your whole life has been a lie because of your faulty memory skills? I mean, I've come to terms with my Swiss cheese brain (Kids: Just Say NO To Drugs!!) but it can still get pretty annoying.

This next exercise is geared towards accepting and deriving creativity from what you DON'T remember.
Goldberg suggests,
"Non-memories may involve parts of the past you have difficulty recalling [and] may include what has been absent from your life."
Ready? Play along with me...

Room To Write Activity #3: I Don't Remember

This time, begin with the phrase "I don't remember" and fill up a page...
I don't remember when it was that I got my first TV. I only know that it allowed me the freedom to disappear from what I considered to be an overbearing life. I could escape to the Eastland School for Girls or be a nurse during the Vietnam War or marvel at the luscious beauty of Sophia Loren during the late-night viewings of foreign films on Channel 13. I watched TV until programming would go off the air- back when television stations took a break from programming- with little-to-no regard for my mind and body's need of rest and relaxation. I watched The Mets play, I watched ABC Afterschool Specials, I gorged on Channel U68 for doses of Swan's Crossing, Degrassi Junior High or Video Music Box. This picture box became more important to me than family, schoolwork and sleep. I don't remember when this TV came into my life, but I can trace the downfall of my productivity and ability to maintain healthy interpersonal relationships to its arrival.

See? Piece of cake! Now you try- leave it in the comments or keep it to yourself. Either way, happy writing!!

*smooches...hoping to inspire a writer or two today*
wouldn't it be nice if we ALL got published? then we can be the snooty members of The Jaded Empire!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The Voices Present: Wednesday!

The things we think about when Jaded is asleep, busy with deadlines or otherwise occupied...

~You know who is a great writer? Joss Whedon. And not just because he was the mega-genius behind "Buffy, the Vampire Slayer," either. He wrote for "Roseanne" and if you enjoyed Disney/Pixar's "Toy Story" then guess what? You're a Joss Whedon fan.

~It's so easy to approach the dudes we don't really want aka The Unfuckables (homies, marrieds, gays). The ones we really like leave us dumbfounded, confused, insecure and fumbling for the right things to say.

~In other news, we don't like engaging with ugly dudes (gollums!) in the club, lest the cuties think we're already taken. We hate being bitches about it but DANG can you take three steps to the left so that the chocolate Adonis by the bar can see us?!

~The bar has been raised for Jaded's literary readings. Which is a fancy, roundabout way of saying she'll be charging admission now. It's a necessary evil since the venue charges a fee per hour. Stay tuned!

~We'd ALLLLLL like to be J. Cole's groupies. Now, someone lend us an age-reversal machine so we don't look like Madame Cougar Tasha Mack up in these streets.

~We watched "The Game" last night. In real time. On a TV! It was nice but what were those smaller, nonsensical 30-second shows they played in between scenes about cars and such? We were most confused.

~Jaded still wants another baby, y'all. We tried to talk her out of it but just the other day she was googling pregnancy after 35 n shit.

~Kevin Smith is alright with us. Even after "Jersey Girl" which actually wasn't as horrible as you think. We won't discuss "Cop Out," though. We just won't.

~One thing we learned so far this year: we're horrible at marketing and public relations for The Jaded Empire. Is there a Learning Annex class we can take to fix that?

~We have been uninspired lately. We think, quite unexpectedly, we're grieving for Monday Musings and everything it could have been and wasn't. Eventually we'll focus on other opportunities, but for now, we're grieving.

*smooches...loving this opportunity to shine*
Jaded is so stingy with her brain AND her blog! she hardly ever lets us come out to play :)

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Vedic Jaded, Part Deaux

Long ago and far away, I began to study Vedic meditation. For three months I spent 20 minutes each morning and on my evening commute on a journey to better health, happiness and interpersonal relationships. Then I allowed a bump in my schedule interrupt that journey.

A year and a half later, I'm a hot holy mess.

So of course when I got an email from the meditation center announcing a refresher course for those who've let go of their practice, I RSVPd. And in typical Jaded fashion, when the time came to go I tried to find excuses to stay home and skip it. But I'm not THAT person anymore. Well, I AM that person but I'm aware of how destructive that person is...or rather I've ALWAYS BEEN AWARE of how destructive that person is and am finally attempting to put my foot down with her. NO MAS.

I went. I meditated. I promised myself I'd continue for the next seven days and then check back in with the group. I have to do this like an addict- one day at a time- because I am one. I'm addicted to an unhealthy lifestyle that provides instant gratification but is destroying me in the long run. I've been on this drug practically my whole life and it will be an uphill struggle to break free.

But I don't want to die from a heart attack in my 50s because I never took care of my body. I don't want to really drink the Windex because I never took care of my mind. And I don't want to end up on the clock tower in downtown Brooklyn because I never took care of my soul.

So seven days. One day at a time. Twenty minutes in the morning and then again before dinner.

Dr. Drew would be so proud!

*smooches...getting all new-agey on your ass*
you can't tell, but this is all part of my master plan to unplug more. Take THAT, SkyNet!

Monday, January 10, 2011

End Scene.

So remember when I said I'd be ending Monday Musings on the 31st because of Blog Talk Radio's new monthly fees? Well I lied. The show actually ended on December 20th. I hope you really enjoyed that episode because it was the very last Monday Musings EVER.

If you missed it, you can listen here.

Anyway, show's over. Move it along. Nothing more to see here.

But I feel like I owe you some entertainment:

There. Now we're all squared-up.

*smooches...happy and sad to see my show go*
it was fun, but more work than it was worth. I'm surely not done with "radio" but for now, The Jaded Empire is moving on.

Friday, January 07, 2011

Inappropriate BBMs, Vol. 6

I don't know why people still engage in online conversations with me. I get that keyboard courage and it's all down hill from there. Actually, who am I kidding? I'd say this shit to your face and we both know it...

FRIEND: OMG, this lil' dude is a freak. Why is he sending me freaky text messages from the financial aid office?

ME: He's about to spend his entire refund check on you LMAO! SIDENOTE: I think I'll sign all my tweets, "Love & Balls, Jaded" from now on...

FRIEND: LMAO!!! I can't stand you for ALL of that!

ME: He gon make it rain on your vagina...

FRIEND: OK, I'm done. Dude just asked if I swallow. O_O Ni**a I don't KNOW. YOU!

ME: You don't like the taste of unknown pee-pee juice?


*smooches...unsure of how and when I became so vulgar*
I blame the media.

Thursday, January 06, 2011

Take Your Tree Down Already

The arrival of the Three Kings marks the official end of the Christmas season, so I'd really appreciate it if my uber-religious neighbors would take down the blinding lights of historically inaccurate nativity scenes by morning.

In the meantime, the babies and I will be exchanging gifts tonight, and having a yummilicious feast of stuffed shells, turkey meatballs and garlic bread. It's not a traditional celebration at all, just something I like to do for my girls. They're good kids; they deserve it.

Feliz Dia De Los Reyes!

*smooches...just for me, the babies and the homie Melchior*
that dude was straight gangsta wit it. he was all BAM- here's some gold for that ass 'cause I'm RICH, BITCH!!! and made it rain on lil Jesus...

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

The Power Of Words

More than anything else I've learned in all my days on this earth, I've learned the power behind the words we say. Like calling a kid stupid or lazy; that shit stays with them for life. Or how saying things like, "I'm fat and lazy" stays in your psyche and keeps you from doing better. I know because I live this everyday.

For a very long time (as in all my life) I was known for being to late to things- work, parties, dates, etc. Was I late because people expected it of me therefore it felt like a free pass to take my time? Or was I late because I was always unprepared, etc? It doesn't matter because I made a conscious effort last year to end all of that lateness BS and be on time to things. If promptness wasn't possible I made sure to alert whomever I was meeting. Courteous shit like that. It was just a matter of saying to myself, "Don't be late. You will not be late. Lateness is not cute. Get moving NOW or you'll be late." I've since improved so much with that mantra. Not 100% but damn near 93% for sure.

I want us all to take this example and roll with it. We're not fat, lazy, broke, incapable, bad people. Well, some of us ARE all these things but there's still time to change it around. We can get active, save our money and do good deeds. It all starts with what you say to yourself and what you allow others to say to or about you.

Words are so powerful, mightier than the sword in fact. What you say matters so much, whether it's to yourself or to someone else. It would be nice if we all took a moment to choose our words wisely.

YOU ARE SOMEBODY. I AM SOMEBODY. And we can all be the greatest WHATEVER we set our minds to be.

Look in the mirror and tell yourself so.

*smooches...sharing some of positive words*
I figured I'd do something like this whenever I'm feeling shitty, to counteract the bluesy blues. but please, someone stop me if I ever add in cutesy videos of kittens frolicking or pandas sneezing!

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Ten Things I'd Like To Try In 2011

These aren't resolutions. These are things I'd like to cross off my "If I Have Time And Money One Day" list.

1- Shooting. I've always considered myself a knife gal. It's more personal to get up in there, I mean, I just think knives are pretty. Like metal art. But I've had so many people recommend I try shooting lately that, oh, what the heck. I want to see what the big deal is already.

2- Make Sancocho. Right now, if I want this tasty Dominican stew I have to ask my aunt for a batch or travel way uptown to The Heights to grab a quick bowl of it. I'd like to see if I can make one myself...even if my attempt to make habichuelas con dulce failed miserably *sigh*

3- Go Back To School. This, of course, requires funds and time and a finished MFA degree (although not really because my MFA is a terminal degree, but for sanity's sake let's pretend I need to finish it BEFORE I start school again), but I've been toying with the idea since 2007. I'd like to try that Comparative Lit program at CUNY. It sounds fun!

4- Boxing. When I had a trainer in 2004, he introduced me to kickboxing and I liked it a lot. Go figure- ME, into punching and kicking! And one of my all-time favorite films is "Girlfight" with Michelle Rodriguez. Plus I love to read Bangsy's tweets about her boxing sounds like the type of exercise I can appreciate: beating the shit out of something. I still hate the sport, but for shits and giggles I'd like to give it a go.

5- Conscious Cooking. Sometimes I sit and think about all the shit I feed my kids and get sad. I've always wanted to be more tuned into the foods I prepare for them: from where did they come? Did the farmers use harmful pesticides, etc? What was the carbon footprint of the meal I just made? I think I'll experiment with that occasionally and see if I can sustain it.

6- Write A Novel. The idea is so beyond me. I'm a 100%, bonified short-story girl through and through, but eh, why not? I got some old manuscripts I found in a file a few months ago. Maybe I can turn them into something, without the constraints of a contest or deadline or anything. Just write a lil novel when the mood strikes and see what develops.

7- Attend A Black Tie Event. I want to wear a ballgown and be fancy. Make-up, hair, nails, shoes and a magnificent, red-carpet-worthy dress. Sometimes even us Jaded Gals like to feel like a princess, you know? I'm gonna try for one in 2011.

8- Driving. Maybe. Y'all make suuuuuuuch a big deal about it. "You don't know how to drive? You're such a New Yorker!" Is that an insult? Because I wear that scarlet NY on my chest with pride! Still, same as with shooting, I'd like to see what all the hubbub is with driving. Meh.

9- Detaching From Electronics. This has been on my mind a lot. It probably isn't possible for too long, seeing as I have this blog (and others) to maintain, but I like the idea of being unplugged and off the grid, you know, so that SkyNet doesn't take over my life 100%. I'm going to toy with this from time to time so don't be surprised if you have to send smoke signals to get a message to me.

10- Falling In Love. I want to try it. I hear it's nice even when it doesn't last. The End.

*smooches...wondering how many I can get done in 12 months*
my money's on the shooting and the sancocho...'cause you know I love violence and food!

Monday, January 03, 2011

I Heard A Rumor That Sisters Are Forever

...and if Hallmark is telling the truth, I guess I lucked out with this crazy heifer right here.

She's my road dog, my #1 cheerleader and frankly, my first baby. I can count on her for anything and I hope she knows that goes both ways.

My dear, lovely, Jaded readers, take a quick moment to wish my Lil Sis and the Marketing and Special Events Manager of The Jaded Empire (a title she EARNED, not one handed down via nepotism), Mari, a fantabulous 27th birthday!!!

I love you, sis. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!

In fact, I love you so much, I put together this palylist of songs I hate (except for "Under the Bridge") just for you.


*smooches...just for Mari on her special day*
and sorry, fellas, but she's not on the market. keep it moving. nothing to see here.

Sunday, January 02, 2011

Jaded Photographs 2011: January Edititon

"The Force Is Strong With This One"

*smooches...using my kids for laughs*
what a great way to start out the year...