Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Mari Speaks On...

...her decision to no longer follow a vegetarian diet:

"I give not a sliver of an eff about a cow's feelings or a pig's emotions, and frankly I need their protein. So BOOM."

*smooches...shocked at her confession*
I never thought I'd see the day when Mari joined us carnivores again, but here it is!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Le Sex Talk

As raunchy and outspoken as I am, there are topics I won't address in an open forum and sex is one of them. I may joke about it, make sarcastic or crazy comments for shock value, but when it comes down to it I don't really talk about sex and pretty much cringe whenever one of my friends decides to over-share.

(People need to understand that I have a VERY VIVID IMAGINATION so when they pelt me with stories of large penises inserted into their areas I CAN SEE IT. And I love you and am very much a voyeur but I DON'T WANT TO SEE PEOPLE I KNOW HAVING SEX IN MY HEAD.)

I don't really care if this makes me repressed or prudish (I prefer to say I am discreet or modest), but I don't need to see a Venn diagram about exactly HOW your guy or gal rocked your world. A simple "Oh my god it was awesome" will suffice. I will believe you. I mean, I've done my fair share (and probably YOUR fair share) of ratchetness, but I don't feel the need to advertise it. That shit is private. If I wanted everyone to know the ins and outs of my cervical cavity, I'd be Kat Stacks.

Last night I was asked to be a panelist for a roundtable discussion where we'd be answering questions by men as they attempt to better understand the female brain. (FELLAS- I can tell you right now: you will NEVER understand us and we will NEVER understand you. The sooner we accept this the sooner we can live together in harmony and have amazing sex.)

These questions ranged from the benign "What do women want?" (EVERYTHING!) to the crazy "What if your guy asked to sleep with your friend?" (Ummm, put up the PEACE sign, of course!) There were also some questions about the importance of penis size and our willingness to participate in threesomes and whether we'd help our partners out if they were getting their ass beat in a street fight (HEEELLLLLLLLL, NO! But I'd call 911 for you, boo!).

While I enjoyed myself there was a level of raunch I wasn't really prepared for and for a spilt second thought to myself "what the hell did I sign up for?" The hosts were great, though, and I never felt pressured to answer anything, and as the questions came up I began to feel a bit more comfortable answering some here or there, may have even done a bit of over-sharing my damn self. But seriously, I'm not cut out for the sex talk.

I've helped out a male friend decipher the crazy bullshit their girlfriends do in the past and this roundtable was akin to that, except these were strangers broadcasting to lord knows how many folks. I had a good time and I think the show went very well, but SHEESH if I never again have to talk about sex in a public place it will be too soon!

It's just not me.

*smooches...still living under the Catholic veil*
I swear...quitting the church is soooooo much harder than kicking heroin...not that I've ever tried heroin- that shit scares me MORE than Catholicism- but I've watched Intervention and it seems to be a pretty hard habit to break. Like Catholicism.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Joshua I – Beloved Friend And Confidant

Not much good came out of my stint at the Waco School for Girls, but there were some highlights. Like the friendship I cultivated that is still going strong even though there are 3,000 miles between us, and the realization that I was in a shit marriage with a shit man. And, of course, Joshua I, the Dell Dimension 4700 desktop computer I invested in with my fabulous new private school salary.

Prior to Joshua we had the crappiest computer Rent-a-Center had to offer (UGH!) and when this sleek Dell came into my life a choir of angels sang Prince songs to me. Shit like ADORE and DIAMONDS AND PEARLS and fucking LET’S GO CRAZY. Angels, dawg, ANGELS!!

Basically I was really excited to get this computer. Even though the school supplied everyone with Macbooks, I was in love with this computer. I even had it custom built; told the Dell customer service dude everything I needed it to have and had it made just for me. I was ready to take over the world with Joshua as my sidekick!

The name was a no-brainer: it was to be N's moniker had she been a boy (taken from the computer's name in War Games...yes, I'm that much of a geek. Shut up.), but she was born with a vagina and was to be our last child, so the computer became the son I never had. It was cherished beyond belief. I put so many restrictions on others using it that sometimes, no one else would WANT to use it at all. And often, whether people were around or not, I'd talk to it and say things like, "Come ON, Joshua, please just work for mommy! I'm trying to find a job!" or "OK, Joshua, clearly you're tired and want to go to sleep. We can watch ER tomorrow." It was a tumultuous but loving relationship.

There was that one time in 2007 when it wouldn't power on and swallowed my thesis whole. BOY WAS THAT A FUN WEEK! And then there was the time in 2009 when the DVD player started opening and closing on its own for no apparent reason. THAT WASN'T CREEPY AT ALL. Joshua has been around since Day 1 of this blog and seen so much fuckery that well, if he could talk I'd be in jail. We survived chatrooms, illegal downloads, porn marathons and stank emails back and forth between me and my ex during the first few months of our divorce. I honed my Photoshop and Quark Xpress skills on Joshua; discovered YouTube and Twitter with Joshua and finally, created much literary magic with Joshua.

Unfortunately, he's just a computer. One born in 2004 and used to death everyday of his life, not unlike The Giving Tree. And now, he's a tired stump that just wants some peace.

I write all this so that you truly understand the heaviness in my heart right now as I inform you that Joshua I is no longer with us. Whatever virus has taken over the motherboard is stronger than we can battle with our limited resources, and I wanted to keep fighting for him because I'm not the type to just replace shit on a whim, but after more than a year with severe computer problems in this very computer-dependent society, I had to finally throw in the towel.

I'm actually sad about it. I understand it's a machine and it's just a material possession, but it was one of the first things I'd ever bought with my own money that was just mine, and it played a huge part in my becoming more and more independent.

Joshua, my good (and sometimes annoyingly infuriating) friend, you will be missed.

*smooches...getting kinda weepy over a machine*
I never thought my analog self would see the day that I shed a tear over a fucking machine...SkyNet has won. Abandon all hope. The end is near.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Classic Fridays, 2011: Bruce Lee

Every once in a while, I like to do something a little different, like choose themes for random months and challenge myself to stick with the theme throughout. For this month, I'm taking y'all back. WAY back. To when Jaded was a little girl, stuck indoors while other kids played outside, attempting to stay sane by drowning in music, television and books.

I have a vague memory of Papi taking me to a small dingy movie theater near our house to see king fu movies. Whether or not this is a real memory, I don't know (maybe I'll ask him this weekend) but I recall sitting in a theater and being introduced the amazingness that is/was Lee Jun-fan AKA Bruce Lee.

(I should also note that back in those days there was something called DOUBLE FEATURES, where you saw two films for the price of one. While at the movies with Papi to see Bruce Lee beat someone to a bloody pulp, I also had to sit through a horrible, nightmare-inducing film called "Motel Hell" that put me off jerky for the rest of my life. Rent it and you'll see why. Oh jesus I get the creeps just thinking about it!)

This little powerhouse of a man came on screen, kicked some ass and stole my little Dominican heart. Even now, as I try to write this post about someone with whom I totally fell in love, only to find that he had died before I was even born, I get a little misty-eyed.

The way he moved across the screen was not unlike a dance. Everything was choreographed to the tiniest detail and when put together it was all such a treat for my brain. I wanted to be that effortless in my movement. I wanted that power behind my fist.

I thank WPIX-11 and WWOR-9 for all the kung fu films they showed on the weekends (you know, while you all played tag in the park and I wasn't allowed outside?) and a special shout out to Papi who, unknowingly, introduced me to my first crush & a secret desire to be a fierce warrior, dancer and philosopher. Even in my most stressful moments, I try to remember Bruce's advice, and I promise I only exact the proper revenge when someone causes me to bleed my own blood!

Isn't/wasn't he just the dreamiest? His wife was so lucky...

*smooches...reminding myself to purchase Bruce's filmography*
I used to have it on VHS, but YOU-KNOW-WHO got it in the divorce *side eye*

Thursday, August 25, 2011

New Age Bitches.

In this age of Twitter and Facebook, a new phenomenon has emerged among the penised species, which one eFriend promptly labeled "New Age Bitches."

Here's the thing: I reveal a decent portion of myself on this blog and on twitter, so I suppose those on the receiving end of my tomfoolery might get the impression that we're homies. Sir... listen here and listen good- just because we exchange some jabs or harmless flirty comments here or there does not mean A) you will ever see me naked or B) you can talk to me any old way. Shit like that will get you eStabbed in these eStreets.

And frankly, unless we've met in person or someone I know can vouch for your character, you're no friend of mine and therefore not to be trusted. Point. Blank. Period. (c) Tamar Braxton

Where the BITCH part comes in is the behavior exhibited by these "men" when they are called on their BS. Straight up tantrums & pouty-like nonesense that I barely even tolerate from my 11-year-old daughter. SIR... please go THATAWAY ------> with all that, because no one here at the Jaded Empire has any fucks to give.

I bring this up because recently one twitter follower "took all his toys and went home" after I called him out for being inappropriate in my DMs (direct messages, for you Twitter virgins... it's like a private chatroom/message space). Listen, I know I'm inappropriate, too, but there are limits. There are lines that shouldn't be crossed. And in my opinion, he crossed it. Fuck his couch!

There are no regrets on my part; he's just one less fool to distract me during the day. But I write this to warn all of you about New Age Bitches. They're out there. They look & sound just like everyone else. They're funny and knowledgeable about some obscure stuff that you thought no one knew but you. You almost feel like, "Hey, if you lived here we could grab a beer and make fun of hipsters on the block."

But as soon as you lightly graze their ego their true nature rises to the surface and you realize: THAT'S WHY they're single and use social networking media...they're one of THOSE...

*smooches...hoping this isn't a pot-kettle situation*
I don't throw eTantrums over trivial stuff- do I? at least not real ones, right? RIGHT?

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Save The Date: Five Year Jaded Blogiversary

I'm letting you know now so there are no excuses. If you're in NYC on September 15 I expect to see you at Franklin Park Bar and Beer Garden... OR ELSE!

I've never felt the need to celebrate the anniversary of my first blog post in the past because it seemed dorky, but can we all agree that FIVE YEARS in the game deserves, at the very least, a shot of Jameson straight to the gullet?

Get there by 7PM for a celebratory (NOT complimentary...y'all know I'm broke. Don't act brand new.) toast to the blog that has (hopefully) kept you entertained for the past five years.

RSVP today, sucka!! I may or may not have goody bags and prizes to raffle off. Allegedly. You'll never know unless you come out. Oh, and if you show up in a Jaded Tee or Tote there will definitely be a special treat for you. All others will be assed out! ::evil grin::

*smooches...looking forward to such an awesome milestone*
five years. YEOW! That's a lot of rants! lol

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

It Ain't No Fun If The Homies Can't Have None: A Healthy Jaded Update

This year I decided to get my fat ass off the couch and finally finally finally get healthy. It was the best decision I've ever made, despite the costs, injuries, frustration, etc, because I know I'm doing the right thing, especially now that both my babies are following suit.

With this change in lifestyle often comes the pulling away from certain people who aren't on the same wavelength because, frankly, you're a recovering [insert vice here]-aholic and they couldn't give one single solitary fuck about your new way of living. Luckily I haven't had to experience any of that because my friends and family are awesome sauce, but I have come across some who are also thinking of or attempting to get healthy, too, but are unsure of where to start.

Enter Healthy Jaded. She's all about helping you achieve your fitness goals because frankly, she doesn't want to be the only one. It's much better to run around in a crew of hotties than to stand out, at least for me. That way I won't be sitting across from you and your plate of steaming waffle fries while I nosh on some wilted lettuce. That will only end in bloodshed, my friend.

So here's the sitch: I am going to give away THREE fitness prizes in honor of my Five Year Blogiversary next month- two separate boot camp deals (10 sessions in BK or 5 sessions in lower Manhattan) and one Pilates deal (in Mahnattan)- to my NYC-area readers who need a little push in the right direction (in the form of FREE fitness classes).

I know I've denounced boot camp classes on this blog before, but the fact is those monstrously hard sessions did give me a head start on my fitness journey and it might just be what some of you need, too! And y'all know I love me some Pilates so I definitely want to share this lovely treat with all of you.

All you have to do is EMAIL ME at and write FUCK YO' COUCH! in the subject line. Then tell me in 1 - 3 sentences why you should win over all the other hos entering the contest. You have until 11:59 pm EST on Thursday, August 25 to respond. There will be up to THREE winners.

And in case you need another incentive just remember, since I started working out I've gone from THIS disgusting 197.3 lbs:

to THIS more tolerable 179.1 lbs:

Good luck, bitchezzzzz!

*smooches...waiting for you to get on board*
listen, let me just be frank- once I get fitter I'm gonna refuse to hang w/you fatties so get yo shit together!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Tits On Toast

Despite the debilitating cramps that threatened to end my life (as usual) I had an amazing weekend!

On Friday I took the babies for our annual splurge: dinner at The Four Seasons. It's part of what I like to call Preparing The Babies For The Good Life. I don't want them to ever act like country bumpkins if ever faced with fancy-schmancy dinners somewhere, so I save up all year for this one event, just so they know how to order, eat and act at "upper crust" restaurants. They had a blast:

Saturday the babies and I got up pretty early, donned our workout gear and headed across the Brooklyn Bridge to participate in Summer Streets. First of all, walking the bridge is not fun anymore. The walkway is too narrow for all the tourists, runners, walkers and cyclists. However, you cannot beat the views and photo ops:

At Summer Streets N shot some hoops, grabbed a bunch of free sample goodies, fell in love with the Vibram Five Fingers shoes (BLECH) and joined me on a hike AND up the rock wall. K was a little mopey because we weren't able to rent bikes (they put a 1-hr limit on the rentals. BOOOOO!) but was a trooper and enjoyed some free samples PLUS the shopping we did at a vintage shop on 1st ave up the street from her fave eatery: Atomic Wings.

AAANNNNNDDDD we met Brother Omi's oldest son and Omi's sister & I plotted on how we can become in-laws in about six or seven years. At the very least, the kids got along so we planted the seeds LOL!

Then came Sunday. Oh glorious, glorious, friend-filled, fun-filled Sunday. I joined the homie Tiffany for brunch (wherein she almost fought some old biddies for eyeballing her the wrong way) and we were finally able to catch up. It had been WAY too long since we'd hung out and we toasted to being able to meet up more often. After we parted ways I met up with Eb in Harlem because she FINALLY FINALLY FINALLY agreed to introduce me to R&B singer Joe. I mean for nearly three years I've been in her ear tryna get to that man and she was being stingy! But Sunday was THE day and I was ready- 'fro extra big, breasts on display...just full on groupie mentality.

Joe and I shared a moment, y'all. I planted the seeds. He went home thinking about me; made a mental note to hit up Eb next time he's free to ask about me. I know it. No one can resist the 'fro/tits combo. No one. Even the gays fall victim to it and unleash the "GIRL you are wearing that dress!"

We topped off the evening with a quick bite at Moca (Hi, Malik!) and then went to the Mixtape Comedy Show for Anthony Anderson's birthday. Had there been an after party I don't know if I'd still be standing right now. But there wasn't so I was able to go home and SLEEP (perchance to dream...about my hug & kiss with Joe... oh, you thought I wasn't gonna go in for a kiss? Sheeeiiiittttt...).

So despite the crazy man on the train who was mad at his mom for waking him up late for work, and the shopkeeper who asked me out while I bought some sanitary napkins, it was, indeed, the FUNNEST. WEEKEND. EVER.

*smooches...still on cloud nine*
seriously, though, if I'm this elated from meeting Joe, imagine what will happen when I meet John Cusack!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Classic Fridays, 2011: Lois Duncan

Every once in a while, I like to do something a little different, like choose themes for random months and challenge myself to stick with the theme throughout. For this month, I'm taking y'all back. WAY back. To when Jaded was a little girl, stuck indoors while other kids played outside, attempting to stay sane by drowning in music, television and books.

Sometimes, while locked away in my ivory tower, I would shut off the TV and radio for a minute (well, maybe not the radio) and escape into a good book. Back in the 80s and 90s, the Brooklyn Public Library didn't put any borrowing limits on books and I took full advantage of that, grabbing as many as 20 books at a time on each visit to the Marcy or Dekalb branches.

During those visits, I fell in love with one author in particular- Lois Duncan. Her books "Stranger with My Face" and "Summer of Fear" awakened my fascination with the occult and supernatural world(so you can blame Duncan for my Harry Potter and Buffy obsession!). From there I went on to read "Killing Mr. Griffin" and "I Know What You Did Last Summer" which weren't about the occult but OH MY GOD the suspense kept my attention throughout.

After that I quietly made my way through all of her books, and besides the titles previously listed, the following Lois Duncan tales get the Jaded Seal of Approval:

Locked in Time- WHAT? This book was the shit! Read it!
Daughters of Eve- oh how I wanted to join this secret society...
Down a Dark Hall- SO GLAD my mom never sent me away to school!
Ransom- riding the school bus was TOUGH after this one
They Never Came Home- Suspense. Drama. READ IT!
Duncan has many others I've yet to read (YES I wrote YET. So what if they're young adult novels? I LOVE SHE!) but you can bet on me having finished them all by the end of next year.

I highly recommend ANY Lois Duncan book to the young and young at heart. They are truly DIVINE!

*smooches...reminded you to pick up a book and READ*
I never tire of pushing books on you!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

This Is Why She's Called "Thug Boogie"

What other babies do YOU know pose like so?


*smooches...just for my baby girl today*
now everyone say happy birthday to N. Or she'll cut you!! lol

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Suddenly You Realize- Jaded Is 12-Years-Old.

Last night I finally saw the last installment of the Harry Potter film series, The Deathly Hallows, Part 2, and let me tell you it was BLOODY BRILLIANT!

As a faithful reader of the books (YES, I pre-ordered them from Barnes & Noble. YES, I read them cover to cover right away. YES, I own all seven books in hard back with the original cover art. YES to all that.) I want to commend all the screenwriters, directors and producers who brought J.K. Rowling's mesmerizing words to life on the big screen without compromising the original storyline. Rowling should definitely be proud of all the work done by the cast and crew of all eight films. We, the fans, are pleased.

I remember the first time I picked up a copy of The Sorcerer's Stone. I was working as an assistant for this woman who worked for Children's International in Riverdale, and I had to organize this crazy-messy office of hers. There were books and papers for DAYS in all languages, and among all the journals that focused on children's rights was a brightly-colored paperback with a little boy on a broomstick flying through the air; a book I'd been reading about in all the papers lately. Umm, hello? A tale about wizards and magic?! Yeah, I had to skim through it!

It was love at first paragraph. That whole workday was shot to shit because I sat in that office and read half the book over a plate of greasy Chinese food, then hunted the shelves for the next installations. At that time, only four of the seven books had been published (three of which my boss had and I "borrowed") and waiting for that fifth book to be released was not unlike Chinese water torture for me. That's how much I loved them. In the meantime I took my hard-earned money and bought the first four in hardcover to begin my collection.

Then the film was announced and I was skeptical until I found out 1- Rowling was going to be involved, 2- they announced there would be a movie per book and 3- I saw the cast. If ever there were three kids to perfectly play Harry, Hermione and Ron, Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint, respectively, were IT (them??)! Watching these kids grow (at alarming rates) into their roles was a pleasure for me as a viewer and they should be excited to know they'll forever be a part of our collective cultural history.

But more importantly I want to say this about my decade-long love affair with Harry & company: never has there been anything that brought me and my children together than our love for this fictional world. Well, maybe except for Buffy (but that's a whole other discussion). We bonded over our discussions about the films and books and anticipated every film release together.

And YES, we are already plotting to buy the DVD box set whenever it becomes available (Christmas, maybe?) because it was truly THAT awesome!

*smooches...rereading the books, for fun*
I got closure with that last film but now I want to relive it all over again. yeah, I'm a dork LOL

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Being Good To My Feet: A Healthy Jaded Update

Growing up in a naked house and not being allowed outside to play, I hardly ever wore shoes. I've been a bare foot kind of girl since forever. Don't get me wrong- I love a good shoe and at one point I had more shoes in my closet than money in the bank (FOR SHAME!) but I'm only truly happy when barefoot.

Last year, when my feet started giving me problems, I panicked a little. Of course I figured I MUST have cancer of the pinkie toe or something and I'd lose my feet. See, I'm what's known as a life-long pedestrian. I have zero plans to get a license or car so my feet are my vehicles. If they break my life is over.

That's how I felt when I got my plantar fasciitis diagnosis in the spring: MY LIFE. IS OVER. I let myself get so fat that my feet could no longer support my body, and something as simple as walking to the bathroom caused me excruciating pain. Of course, it also doesn't help that throughout my life I've worn shoes like this:

and this:

and their equally bad for you cousin, this:

So the podiatrist advised me to get fitted for some really good sneakers and invest in some orthotics, and also suggested some stretches for my foot. She also prescribed some heavy-duty pain meds (which I only took twice and then gave up on) for when my foot was acting a plum fool. And act a plum fool it did, especially during and after boot camp classes. At first my new Asics felt as if they were sent from heaven. It was like walking on clouds. But then they started to feel heavy and ineffective. My feet were still in pain and now my shins were starting to hurt, too.

First thing I did was QUIT boot camp (I already covered that here). But to take it a step further, I now need to replace my heavy, ineffective sneakers with something that will actually make my tootsies feel good. As I started to read more about a Primal lifestyle, I noticed they were recommending people build up the muscles in their feet and go barefoot or wear one of these dorky-ass motherfucking shoes:

I hate them. HATE THEM. They look dumb and I cannot tolerate anything that requires my toes to be separated from one another. THEY BELONG TOGETHER! But then, while participating in Summer Streets with Mari, we came across the PERFECT shoe to simulate being barefoot without looking like a hipster doofus: the Merrell Barefoot Pace Glove.

They are not paying me to say this (I WISH!) but I tried on this shoe and jumped around in it and OH MY GOD my feet were sooooooo happy! I can just imagine how much lighter on my feet I'll be in my boxing class with these bad boys. And Zumba and Socacize will be more enjoyable for sure.

As with everything else that's good for you, these shoes are AT LEAST $100, but they're machine washable and durable and can be used for running, jumping, and even climbing trees! If you buy yourself nothing else this year, I recommend getting these sneakers. Your feet would be so grateful!

*smooches...saving all my pennies to invest in my feet*
these puppies and I have a loooong journey ahead of us; might as well be comfy!

Monday, August 15, 2011

What It's Like To Suffer From Dysmenorrhea

It's not an uncommon diagnosis. In fact, dare I say, it's a catch-all term for the myriad of symptoms associated with menstruating- from severe cramping to back-aches, nausea and in some, depression.

Yours truly is lucky enough to have all of these symptoms every month, along with breast tenderness, weird food cravings, bloating, excessive thirst, fatigue, migraines and just for kick, sometimes even acne likes to join the party. Let me give you an exclusive sneak peek into the life of someone who has dysmenorrhea.

It all begins two weeks before my period is due: I start to feel a bit bloated and my cravings for salty foods shifts into overdrive. I want to eat things like chicken fingers, fries, potato chips and lunch meat, the latter craving being super annoying given that I don't even LIKE or EAT lunch meat. Just the thought of all those nitrites in my body...BLECH!

My mood starts to shift, too. I begin to say and do mean things just because. I can't really control it, it just escapes me before I have a chance to catch it and bury it away. People's feelings usually end up getting hurt. Phones are hurled across the room. Babies are punished. Tantrums are thrown. I become increasingly annoyed with everyone and everything, and the slightest bump in the road will reduce me to angry tears in 2.5 nanoseconds. Then my face starts to break out, which just makes things awesomer!

In the week leading up to Doomsday, the bloat is super obvious and the skin breakouts have me super depressed and not wanting to leave my house. Then comes the headaches- random and out of nowhere- that threaten to shut my whole life down. THEN, as if I haven't suffered enough, I get really, truly, absolutely depressed. I mean 100% struggling to find the strength to keep going. I don't want to do anything, talk to anyone or even breathe.

Finally, on day one of that cursed day of menstruation, the pain. No, excuse me, it should be written as such: THEEEEEE PAAAAIIIIINNNNNNNNN. It is not unlike a thousand dirty bombs going off inside my uterus in one-minute intervals. I'm actually reduced to doing my Lamaze breathing while curled up in the fetal position to get through it all. By day two it has calmed down some (I will not discuss the heavy bleeding...not even I have the stomach to really go into all that), but on day three my period is all, "YOU THINK YOU BIG TIME?! WELL YOU'RE GONNA DIE, BIG TIME!!!" and it's not lying because I do pray for death. I stare at my kitchen knives and think, "I watched all 15 seasons of ER. Surely I can remove my own uterus without a problem..."

Day four and five brings some relief and my sanity returns, even in the face of lingering nausea. I no longer want to stab things, but my back gets incredibly achy so I become annoyed with life because I can't find a comfortable position in which to sit or sleep. And then ::cue choir of angels:: day seven arrives and I'm one day away from a whole week and a half of sweet, sweet freedom from my hormones' control over my life. Birds chirp, everything seems possible, flowers smell great!

People have said to me, "Once you have kids the symptoms will stop," or "Once you get in shape/fit, you'll see that the cramps are a thing of the past." To that I say LIAR!!!!!!!!! I've had TWO kids and still, the cramps rule my world. I've been working out since March and you know what? YUP. CRAMPS. RULE. MY. WORLD.

The only way to deal with this is to accept it as a fact of life and make accommodations to keep from annihilating small villages and/or jumping off the clock tower in downtown Brooklyn. So far I've found that sleep, Netflix and homemade ginger beer from Cheryl's Global Soul help. A lot.

* the homestretch, anticipating August's Doomsday*
hide ya kids, hide ya fried chicken...

Friday, August 12, 2011

Classic Fridays, 2011: Telenovelas

Every once in a while, I like to do something a little different, like choose themes for random months and challenge myself to stick with the theme throughout. For this month, I'm taking y'all back. WAY back. To when Jaded was a little girl, stuck indoors while other kids played outside, attempting to stay sane by drowning in music, television and books.

Before I learned to speak English, Spanish was the only language in my world. Mostly because Grandma and Papi raised us while our mothers worked, but also in part to what was on television while we were home. Telenovelas.

I challenge you to find a Latino household that doesn't partake of this guilty pleasure! When I was little eight o'clock could not come fast enough, because that's when they aired all the juiciest shows: Cristal, Las Amazonas and Karina (these were all on TV at different stages of my life, but remain among my favorite shows).

The best part about novelas is that they had a beginning and an end. It was basically a very loooooooong mini-series. And the best ones came from Delia Fiallo and were from Venezuela. Those bitchez knew the ins and outs of some good ass serial dramas! All the stories were a variation of:

Poor, beautiful girl w/out parents
She meets a rich, handsome man, who also falls for her
His family is vehemently opposed to the relationship
The man is betrothed to a bitch rich girl arranged by his parents
The poor, beautiful girl finds some sort of success or financial gain
She's finally at their level, might have even found her parents
A whole bunch of other shit happens
Poor, beautiful girl + rich, handsome man live happily ever after
It's predictable but sooooo addictive and fun! I love Cristal the best. It's the only one I caught from beginning to end. Basically, Cristina is a poor, beautiful, orphan who dreams of becoming a model. She lives with two other women- the gold-digging Inocencia and the bookish Zoraida. She's eventually hired to model for Casa Victoria, run by [DRAMATIC PAUSE] HER MOTHER, VICTORIA! And she falls in love with Victoria's step-son, Luis Alfredo, but Victoria is all, "Oh no you don't, BIATCH!" and squashes the whole shit, mainly because she discovers her husband, Alejandro, is having an affair with Cristina's roommate, Inocencia. CHILD...drama!

I won't ruin the rest of the story for you, but here's a poorly dubbed clip to wet your whistle (and please bow down to Rudy La Scala and that kick ass theme song, bitchezzz. That used to be my SONG!):

If anyone knows of the box set on DVD, hook a sistah up!

*smooches...remembering happier times*
cookies, milk and novelas; that used to be my whole world!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

With Benefits

Last year, as work began to dry up at the PR firm where I had worked since 2006, I found myself painfully jobless. And amidst the huge pile of ashes from the employment bridges I'd burned I found myself with very little options to keep my fridge stocked and rent paid. Basically, I had to swallow my pride and participate in what I considered to be beneath me- I turned to Uncle Sam and demanded he give me back some of that dough I'd fed into the system since I first started working "on the books" at age 14. That's 20+ years of FICA n shit that motherfucker owed me. So I reluctantly decided to go and try to collect.

I hadn't realize the shitstorm of paperwork, degradation and bureaucracy for which I was in store. But I'll tell you this much- it opened my eyes as to how this government works and doesn't work, capitalism and it's wasteful ways, and the functionality (or lack thereof) of social programs.

Let's not beat around the bush- I applied for temporary cash assistance. I needed help with bills and rent and maybe a little with food, too. Applying for government assistance is not unlike having to undergo a full body cavity search by some really, really mean and bitter Federales. I do believe there was even a question on the form wanting to know when it was that I'd last wiped my ass. Just horribly intrusive.

In that government office, and the many others I had to visit during my six-month stint on welfare, my degrees meant nothing. I was nothing. It was, without a doubt, the hardest thing I've ever had to live through (which, if you think about it, is kind of a blessing!).

But I put up with the bullshit; I ate and cried myself to sleep every night (hence the weight gain I'm currently trying to undo) but I put up with it. I had two little girls at home who needed me to put up with the applications, mistreatment and humiliation so I did it. And when it was over (exactly one year ago) I can't tell you how deeply I exhaled (for those of you familiar with the Pilates exhale, it was pretty much like that).

New York Staffing Services swooped in and saved the day with a long-term temporary assignment that, just last week, turned into a salaried position. And I'm oh-so-thankful for this job. I'm a paid writer, close to home, with the means to be a proper head-of-household for my impressionable daughters. When I first started this gig I thought to myself, "Now I can hold my head up high again." But looking back, I really shouldn't have felt otherwise while on public assistance. I'm PROUD of the fact that I was able to fight through all of that stress and do what I needed to do to keep my tiny family afloat.

Recently, there were simmerings among Negro Twitter about the film "The Help" and its depiction of Black women as domestics, clearly implying this is something to be ashamed of. I say FUCK YOU to all these soapboxers because when it comes down to it, those domestics of the '60s, AND the domestics of today, are only doing what they have to in order to provide for their families. My grandmother did it, my mother did it and I did it. So what? It's not Wall Street but you know what? It paid us in the same green American dollars your snooty ass got paid, and it helped us live.

This experience taught me a valuable lesson about myself: I hate housework and I hate other people's kids even more. But if the thing standing between my babies' full bellies and a cardboard box in the alley was my pride, I'd actually pick up a mop and don an apron for Whitey in a second. Nothing hurts my heart more than to hear my kid say "I'm hungry" without having a way to feed her. It was the first time I'd ever felt truly selfless.

In the end, the fact that I learned to love my kids more and be a better mom helps me trudge forward, because I realize that anything I do for their well-being will never be suffered in vain. No matter how "beneath me" my education tries to convince me it is.

*smooches...finally back in the saddle*
for a quick, good read about this issue with "The Help" click HERE and HERE

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Top 10 Things Some NYers Trick Themselves Into Believing

10- Tasty-d-lite is delicious. Because it's not. It's sort of like eating frozen, blended cardboard.

9- Shake Shack is worth the three-hour wait in line. Puh-leese! You know who makes awesome shakes, no wait? My grandfather.

8- It's okay that a rat just walked by you on the subway. That's NEVER okay.

7- A restaurant with a B-rating from the health department is still safe to visit. Considering the A-rating means there were only "minimal" animal droppings in the kitchen, you might want to reconsider.

6- $2500 a month for a 1-bedroom is reasonable. My mother owns a 5-bedroom house in New Jersey that costs less. Get a clue!

5- Riding in the subway car with the conductor is safe. How? THEY might be safe behind the locked door, but you're still ripe for the killing. Get you some mace and a taser!

4- Watered down drinks that cost at minimum $12 is average. SUCKAS!! There's no way in hell I'm getting anything less than FUCKED UP for $12.

3- Going to Central Park = being out in nature. You do realize it's a man-made park, right?

2- A small coffee should cost $5. When the fuck did this become the norm?

1- Times Square is better now without the pimps and hos. Guess what? With all the shit fixed up to accommodate tourists, WE'RE the hos and King Daddy Bloomberg is now our pimp.

*smooches...still in love with this City*
sometimes I'm like, WHY do I put up with the bullshit? then I remember...because we're fucking awesome and you're not. rats and all.

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Just Mean For No Reason

ME: (admiring a young woman's afro) I love her hair! I'm so jealous- mine doesn't stay up and out like that *sad face*

The F$%K-It List: (laughing) Because... How can I put this gently... (takes my hand in hers and gives me the "mom" face) You are of African decent (dramatic pause) But you're not Black!

ME: *saddest face ever*

* my friendships*
I mean, she ain't had to crush my dreams like that, you know? *smh*

Monday, August 08, 2011

There's A Reason For My Abstinence: A Sort Of TMI, R-Rated Post

I've officially been sex-free for one year this month.

*throws confetti*

Yes, bitchez, it's a reason to celebrate. No, really! After almost six years of "having fun" and bed-hopping I can honestly say I still never found what I was looking for- in or out of bed- but I sure did subject myself to a lot of heartache and headaches and assholes. So I'm thinking...yeah, I'm kinda through with the bullshit.

And you know what? Sex is not all that. At least not for me. It only confuses things and sends blood to all the wrong places so you end up stalking people's Facebook pages at 3:00 AM wondering how they had time to upload all those pictures of themselves on vacation but couldn't take five lousy minutes out of their day to call you and say hi. And THEN you wonder, "Hey... with whom are you on vacation? WHO THE FUCK TOOK ALL THOSE PICTURES OF YOU IN THE HOTEL ROOM?!" That can't be healthy!

ANNNNDDDD I don't even enjoy it. It hardly ever ends well for me (if you catch my drift) so I spend most of my time acting my ass off. Literally. Like, I should have EGOT-ed by now I'm so good at faking it! But I suppose that's my fault for not speaking up, so I shouldn't point fingers anyone else for the fact that I can count on one hand the men I've slept with that have actually made me crave them...and still have a digit left over to flip them off with. (yeah I ended that sentence with a know why? Because the other way sounds pretentious as fuck. I'm tired of pretending I care about this shit anymore, too!)

Whatever the reason, I'm over it. Blame the clarity I've gotten since I started working out. Blame my age, or the fact that I'm finally starting to like myself enough to demand better. The fact remains that the next poor sap who attempts to win my heart over had better be BFFs with his hand until I know it's an actual relationship that's going to exist for a very long time. There's no way I'm subjecting myself to anymore of that sweaty, tedious and kinda gross act unless I have to because, you know, it's my wifely duties or whatever. I'm just saying.

I mean let's be I told a friend via GChat: sex is boring...there are only so many penis-meets-vagina combinations one can try before it gets old.

*smooches...wondering how many suitors I turned off with this post*
actually, it will help me weed out the losers who just want to fuck "The Jaded NYer" from the guys who can potentially be a life partner. maybe.

Sunday, August 07, 2011

Jaded Photographs: August 2011 Edition

"Schmoo Pie"

*smooches...finally seeing the resemblance*
we're the wild-haired girls in this family. we can't stop/won't stop!

Friday, August 05, 2011

Classic Fridays, 2011: Diana Ross

Every once in a while, I like to do something a little different, like choose themes for random months and challenge myself to stick with the theme throughout. For this month, I'm taking y'all back. WAY back. To when Jaded was a little girl, stuck indoors while other kids played outside, attempting to stay sane by drowning in music, television and books.

This week I want to remind you of the fabulous Diva of all Divas, Miss Diana Ross the Boss. Don't even bother trying to deny her fabulousness because if you do I will stab your throat. STAB. YOUR THROAT.

Miss Ross is EVERYTHING, all day, everyday. She's so amazing, in fact, that I will forgive her for not discouraging son Evan from acting (LAWD that child just CANNOT act!!). I remember listening to Lite FM on Saturdays as we [read: I] cleaned the apartment, and hearing "Good Morning, Heartache" from the "Lady Sings the Blues" soundtrack and just stopping mid-scrub to close my eyes and feel that song. And OH HOW I CRIED when Richard Pryor's character died in the film. REAL THUG TEARS!!

And please tell me you were as ecstatic as I was to witness her professionalism and showmanship during that Central Park concert in the rain. IN THE RAIN! There's was a freaking monsoon in NYC and she was all "tra-la-laaa" as if it wasn't pelting her in the face! "The show will not stop! There's no reason for it to stop. It's only rain."

On many a lonely, tween-aged night, I'd listen to my Ms. Ross greatest hits double album, singing into a hairbrush, performing for my dolls and stuffed animals with all the flair and drama that Miss Ross exudes on stage. I wanted to be her! And this was the song I always sang the loudest, not even knowing what it was about:

Even today, I wish I had her voice just for the three minutes it would take to sing this beautifully sad tune. Just THREE LITTLE MINUTES!

Diana, I just need to see you perform live ONCE before we leave this world. Please and thank you!

*smooches...wondering how much her hair costs*
I want that hair, too, y'all. like, NOW. And her 1983 butt. That was a cute lil booty she was working with, no? Be sure to check in every Friday in August for another classic moment!

Thursday, August 04, 2011

According To Jaded: The Birds & The Bees

I recently gave the homie Joshen a bit of a pre-date pep talk. Here's hoping everything worked out for him and his young lady...

ME: Do we need to have "The Talk" or are you covered?

Joshen: Hmmmmm nah I don't want to take any chances, lets have the talk.

ME: Well, when a man and a woman love each other very much they share a special hug. And that special hug plants a seed in the woman's belly. And 9mos later a product of their love is born.

Joshen: God that's how it works? I've been hugging everyone. What if we hug but I'm wearing my winter coat will the seed still go inside her? I hugged my dad yesterday. Jesus why do people let me hug them?!

ME: OMG I left out the most important part- it has to be a naked hug. Don't worry- your dad is safe!

*smooches...educating the masses, one hugger at a time*
I really must remember to lead with the naked hugging part; I freak out a lot of little kids with this "talk"

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

KSANTI: A Healthy Jaded Update

According to definitions I could find, it is "...the practice of exercising patience toward behavior or situations that might not necessarily deserve it and is seen as a conscious choice to actively give patience as if a gift, rather than being in a state of oppression in which one feels obligated to act in such a way."

I am slowly but surely learning all about this on my fitness journey because patience is a virtue I've never possessed. I don't have the patience to wait for your grandmother to walk down the street at a snail's pace in front of me. I don't have the patience to wait for your stuttering child to get a sentence out. I don't have the patience for long lines, being on hold with customer service, waiting for my seven-year-old computer to load and frankly, I don't have the patience to wait for this fat, flabby body of mine to get right.

But a couple of classes at the Bodhisattva Yoga studio in Park Slope have taught me the latter: patience with my body.

I'm taking the basic class, an instructional session where you're encouraged to ask for demonstrations and request help getting into the poses, and I must admit that it's perfect for a perfectionist like me. And as the instructors explain everything we're doing, encouraging us to listen to our bodies as we gently nudge it towards working harder than it is used to, I begin to understand what patience truly is.

It is OK to take my time getting fit. I do not need to compare myself to others who've achieved rock-hard abs in 30-days or dropped so much weight after only a couple of weeks. Their journey is not my journey and my body is not their body.

All I need to do is make good food choices- eat when I'm hungry; fuel my body; walk away from processed foods-- and practice constant movement, whether it be a fitness class or scrubbing my kitchen floor. I need to indulge in sunlight and fresh air. I need to race my baby to the end of the block and take the stairs more often than not.

I've just come off a two-week break from actively exercising: no boot camp, boxing, yoga, nothing! But I continued to eat well and walk and enjoy the outdoors as much as I could in this damned muggy heat we have in New York. And guess what? I still managed to lose weight. I lost three more pounds without hitting the gym once and allowing my body to just relax and be happy, and nourishing myself with as many whole foods as possible.

And you know what else? I found my next tattoo...

*smooches...making positive changes as often as possible*
it's gonna be a while before I'm all "namaste" n shit, but I'm getting there :)

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Twenty Minutes of Positivity

"The Power of Vulnerability"

Presented by Brene Brown

Just something nice to balance out Monday's ugliness.

*smooches...hoping this helped you like it helped me*
shout out to Brian Delmonico, founder of Circuit of Change, for passing along this video and it's inspirational message

Monday, August 01, 2011


If you search back a few years, you'll find a post or two of me at my lowest low, when I really felt I had nothing to live for, when I actually surveyed the contents of my apartment for the best way to end my life.

I can say that casually now because it was an isolated incident and well, frankly, I'm too afraid of death to invite it over. No thank you, sir. Keep it moving. Come back in about 75 years.

Now, I'm not going to put on airs and act like the fact that NO ONE knew what I was up to on that day makes me better than others who announce their suicide attempts, because in the end, had I gone through with it, I'd have given you all permission to call me a selfish bitch.

Because people who commit suicide are selfish. Point. Blank. Period. (c) Tamar Braxton

Suicides leave behind people who wonder, "What could I have done to help?" and "Why didn't I see the signs?" Family and friends blame themselves and each other for the loss and it's a pain that can probably never fully heal because those left behind never get answers. AND they have to deal with the mess-- physical and emotional mess-- left behind. It's a selfish act because the person committing it thinks their problems are so monumental and beyond anyone's comprehension, and the only way to solve everything is to die. I know because I was there once upon a time.

And it's an affront to people all over fighting for one more day on this earth. It's a slap in the face to the Universe that nurtures us and I'm glad I came to my senses.

So why this rant? Years after the fact?

I was recently privy to some tweets from someone who was posting updates about wanting to die, missing her deceased grandmother and cutting herself (and posting the pictures to prove it). I was 100% disgusted with this display. I wanted to empathize with her because hey- I miss my grandmother like you wouldn't believe, but many of her tweets were about blaming others for how she was feeling. "I blame you," read one tweet. Just like that.

Who was the "you" to whom she was referring? Not me, that's who. And not anyone else for that matter. If she feel bad, that's on her. HOW DARE SHE put the burden of her self-inflicted wounds on someone else? And then after she had her twitter followers all a-flutter trying to help her, she responds with, "I'll be fine. I'm fine." BITCH, WHAT? No. You're not fine. You just tweeted a picture of your sliced up flesh. You need help. From a professional. What you DON'T need is to be all up on Twitter blaming strangers for your depression, then dismissing their attempts to lend a hand.

I'm not trying to poo-poo her feelings or her depression. I know firsthand how crippling it can be, but her behavior on this particular day, with all this blame-game nonsense? NO MA'AM. I hope she gets help and starts to feel better about her life, but in the meantime...selfish shit like that gets NO LOVE from The Jaded Empire.

*smooches...storming back in with some tough love*
some things just need to be said.