Monday, December 31, 2012

How 2013 Will Be Different: A Year In Review...Sort Of

Every year brings such hope and promise, right? It's a time to start anew and make necessary changes, yes? Bull. The fact is EVERY SECOND we're alive and breathing and capable brings hope and promise. Every minute is a new blessing. Every hour brings an opportunity to do better; you don't have to wait until the next day or week or month. This is the one thing I've learned in the past year, and probably something I've known all along but was too afraid to admit.

Right now, I'm focusing on me and mine, and hope to carry this on moving forward. Listen, I had fun in 2012: learned about my health, traveled, rocked some great hair, but I didn't do a lot of the important things I wanted to accomplish. My goals for 2013 are simple, and will surely help me accomplish so many positive things. I haven't sat down and planned my attack yet because I just want to let my brain get there naturally and on its own time. The only thing I'm certain of at this moment is that, for the rest of my life, all I want to do is:

  • Put family first
  • Write
  • Dance
  • Be outside
  • Love my body

All the rest will fall into place.

*smooches..wishing you all a happy, healthy and prosperous future*
---------
yes, I still have a thing for the number five. shut up.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Love Letter To The Night Sky

very similar to what I saw last night
You ever look up at the moon and think you're looking at a film starring the moon? The clouds pass over it slowly, then quickly, and it's as if you're watching one of those time-elapsed videos online. Except it's real and happening right outside your window.

You get moments of bright moonlight right in your eyes, and then shadowy shapes engulf your neighborhood. You almost expect to hear a wolf howl in the background, and every strange noise made by your refrigerator or the next door neighbor makes you turn around suddenly, expecting a monster to appear from the closet and face you.

It's a thrill, then a moment of zen, when you realize that, at two in the morning, everyone in your building is asleep, and most likely everyone on your block is in bed, too, so it's just you and the moon and the thrill and the zen. The thrill and the zen. The thrill and the zen. You can almost reach outside of your window and grab that little glowy orb from the sky and place it under your pillow.

Sweet dreams would surely follow!

*smooches...gifting you a late Christmas treat*
---------
go ahead and tell me how AWESOME I am :)

Thursday, December 27, 2012

It's No Longer About Weight Loss: A Healthy Jaded Update

I've been to see another holistic counselor. It's not cheap, but I'm choosing to see it as a necessary expense in my quest to find peace in this skin.

I realized the error I made with the others: I was focused too much on losing weight. "I want to drop about 20 more pounds" would always come before "I'd like to do something non-surgical about these fibroids." With this new counselor I did the reverse. I told her in no uncertain terms that I care not about weight loss anymore; I just DON'T want to go under the knife. I want to not have these things pressing on my bladder and colon. I want to feel better!

After a couple of sessions and a plan of action, I feel confident this will work for me. Of course, it's requiring a lot of discipline on my part, and you already know how rebellious I can be. More than anything, though, I'm working on wrapping my head around the lifestyle change I have to make for the long haul. I can no longer avoid it. Forty is creeping up on me and before you know it HERE COMES FIFTY!

Of course, once menopause sets in the fibroids cease to be an issue, but in the meantime I'm in a battle for my health. If, as a side effect of living cleaner, I happen to lose a few pounds here and there, well goody for me.

*smooches...working on being a better me*
---------
again.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

How I Feel About Life And Writing

"I hold my breath when I'm here and I can't breathe when I'm not. But at least when I'm dancing I know what to work on. There's a way to fix things." -Tara Webster, "Dance Academy"

*smooches..realizing what's been missing this year*
---------
I haven't been writing, y'all. I haven't been writing...

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

From My Home...

...to yours.

Happy Holidays from The Jaded Familia

We're so gorgeous!

*smooches...wishing you lots of love and family*
---------
how are you spending the holidays?

Monday, December 24, 2012

A Jaded Moment In History Presents: Diva Behavior

The best part of going to my Mami's house is hearing about our childhood. Today's story revolved around ME and how much of a princess I was as a little girl.

Mami used to work for a preeminent music and entertainment magazine, Latin NY, and her gig came with backstage perks and access to the salsa and merengue stars of the 70s and 80s. Which meant that I had access to these folks, too.

As Mami tells it, when Bobby Rodriguez came out with the single "What Happened?" I was completely obsessed with it, so much so that I would cry when the song would end. Mami said it was a mad dash to find the song playing on another station to get me to stop crying, but remember back then Latin music wasn't in heavy rotation on the airwaves. Also, the album hadn't dropped yet, so she wasn't able to buy it for me, either. I was told I was inconsolable!

Finally, she contacted to record label and got a copy of the album, BEFORE it was released. Because her little princess needed to listen to "What Happened?" over and over again.



And in case you don't believe in my privileged childhood, let me tell you about how Mami told Bobby Rodriguez that I wanted to play the flute like him (a Pita-Bobby as I called it) and he sent me one. Marinate on that.

*smooches...flipping my hair back and forth*
---------
ahhhh, the good ol days...

Friday, December 21, 2012

Still Here

Listen- if you live every day to the fullest, being the best you possible, then rumors of an alleged apocalypse should not phase you. "We're here for a good time, not a long time."

This year I've really worked hard to teach myself not to stress over things I cannot change. If the earth decides to implode upon itself what do y'all expect me to do about that? I can't freak out! I have to press on and act as if I have all the time in the world to watch the rest of "Dance Academy" on Netflix.

And I don't want to hear about signs of the apocalypse in the form of national and international tragedies. I refuse to spend the rest of my days in mourning (except for Grandma because SHE'S GRANDMA, DAMMIT!). I want to LIVE LIVE LIVE and then LIVE some more.

So y'all can BOO HOO about sad news and the end of days all you want. I'm and still living, and too cute to worry about all that nonsense.

Now that that's all settled... WE DANCE!



*smooches...grateful for everyday*
---------
I try and celebrate every day I get with music, which I'm sure you already knew...

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Just For Fun.

In case the rumors are right.



If you need the lyrics, it goes:

mfnvrougb bh hg igrigj nggjgjnmo bhjwgnh naoja j gburgiarg voihrgwigna aihgwignwpig  iajgrpawgn ]K HJ 9HNHJBNUOB iehgbnebne'b sgkngnpingag b a jjwgjwogma rjgipwnwgnkb aknaignak kangab fi hwnrJ[0r joejOJ LEONARD BERNSTEIN!

Everybody sing along!

*smooches...okay with whatever happens*
---------
in the end, I have control over none of it. So...brunch on Sunday...who's in?



Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Sorry I'm Not

A few weeks ago I found myself at BOOKOFF in Manhattan, and purchased Ani DiFranco's "Not a Pretty Girl" CD, finally. In case you're wondering, this brings the count of Ani CDs I own up to 15, and there are still so many more to be had. Her discography is expansive, folks! It's the musical equivalent of Samuel L. Jackson's filmography.

In any case, "Not a Pretty Girl" contains one song in particular that really helped me come to terms with the fact that in order to be happy (or at least on the road to happy) I needed to hurt a lot of people and end my marriage: "Sorry I Am."



While listening to it again for the first time in a while, I remember that feeling of forgiving myself for having to put me first. Isn't that a funny concept? Apologizing for putting myself first? Well, that's what I have to do sometimes in order to be OK with me, because I was raised to always think of others first:

"Papi gets to serve himself first at dinner because he's the man of the house."
"You have to come home right after school and take care of your sister."
"No more partying for you; you're pregnant."
"No application to Oxford University until you no longer have to worry about your custody agreement."

In about 90% of my life, others come first. When I decided to end my marriage I thought of me first, and Ani helped me be OK with that. Buying this CD brought back all those thoughts and reminded me that it's OK to be OK with some selfishness, even if it comes with an apology.

What do you (need to) apologize to yourself for?

*smooches...not sorry anymore*
---------
in the end, an unhappy wife makes for an unhappy life, no? I did that man a favor!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Today I Will (12.18.12)

(The history behind these activities can be found here, and if you click here you will see all the previous posts I wrote on them. Thank you to Irene for having the forethought to buy me this book for blog material.)

Activity #13: Today I will pick a room in my house and organize it.

"After you have removed some of the clutter in the room, find a place for everything... Once...the room is arranged in an organized fashion, you will feel much more relaxed and happy."

Sweet Jesus. This particular activity is a long time coming for me. About seven years long, actually. You all know I've been in this apartment forever and am still living as if this place is a temporary arrangement; a dorm room; a room in my momma's basement. Although if I had the latter I would not be allowed to be so flippant with its tidiness.

Anyslobs...all the rooms in my tiny, Brooklyn cubby need organizing. ALL OF THEM. My bedroom is a disaster. The kitchen is blah. The bathroom, front room, hall closet, kids' room...all a hot mess.I do acknowledge that the mess and chaos affect me mentally and physically, but I've not been able to unblock the thing in me that is preventing me from making things better.

So you guys decide. Pick a room or space in my apartment and I will start there and not stop until the whole place looks like something out of a broke Martha Stewart Living magazine. The most votes win. And of course I'll post before/after pics of everything. Why not. You've seen my mess before.

Leave it in the comments!

*smooches...ready for action*
---------
and it only took a silly book and seven years to get me motivated.

Monday, December 17, 2012

My Hair Is LAID...

Found my old HS ID card. Of all the things I did this weekend, coming across this card in an old wallet was the only thing I saw fit to report on.

The photo, ladies and gentlemen of the internets, is freaking AWESOME. Look at that blazer, son! And the silver hoops? You couldn't tell me SHIT.

Back then I was BIG on wearing silky dress shirts, men's sport jackets and baggy jeans, loads of silver jewelry and big Dominican hair. WHATCHU KNOW ABOUT THAT??

That's a FRESH Dominican blowout, my dude!

Get into it!

*smooches...curious about your HS pics*
---------
feel free to share some with me :)

Friday, December 14, 2012

Memorize This Choreography

It will be on the final exam.



Also, I want to be this little girl when I grow up...

*smooches...enjoying the soundtrack of my life*
---------
but for real, learn this dance. we've already started over here

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Prologue

Once it is in your veins, once you have tasted its taboo sweetness, once you have basked in its afterglow, you are hooked.

In this haze, this pleasurable, orgasmic euphoria, nothing else exists but you and it. There are no bills to pay, no kids to feed, no deadlines to meet. Only a cool buzzing in your ears and a tingling in your limbs; a smile on your lips, a glaze in your eyes.

In this haze your mistakes are erased, the space-time continuum tears open and lets you revise yourself, become more of who you think you should've been had you made different choices.

Out of the haze, you realize, had you made different choices, you might have never known the pleasurable orgasmic euphoria of it. Had the space-time continuum really allowed you to revise yourself, you might not have become the kind of person who succumbs to it. And it's a gamble whether or not it is a better or worse existence.

So you need more, and more, and even more of that sweet taboo. You need it to help you forget the past, avoid the present and postpone the future. You need it because with it you are made new, and part of you really likes the high.

And when you are forced to face your addiction, the stark realization of how much you depended on it, how much of yourself got lost to accommodate it in your life, buries you into a black hole of misery and fabricated memories. You forget what was real and what only appeared because you had it in your blood.

And you struggle to stay off the horse in every minute of every day, which would be easier if you did not live across the street from the barn. All you can do is cross that street and come face to face with it in every minute of every day, and wait for what will happen next.

A buzzing high? Or a passing phase?
Depends on where you've hidden your reins...

*smooches...finding this still relevant in my life*
---------
don't ask.


Creative Commons License
Prologue by Raquel I. Penzo is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Good.

It's about 10 minutes before this day is supposed to be done, this 12.12.12 that everyone was making such a huge deal about. I didn't feel any different today, though, but I can tell you that:

1- I got my period, rather quietly, and I'm wondering if the cramps are planning to attack me tomorrow or Friday, or if my uterus has finally noticed the white flag I've been waving since 1986.

2- I pitched an idea for this summer campaign at work and the client liked it and it's a go. I have my first "creative" meeting to flesh out the concept on Friday. This is it, folks; this is where I show the good people I work with just what I'm made of.

3- The IT department at work threw the kickin-est holiday party ever! I mean food, XBox, karaoke, live band- EVERYTHING! I must get them a very nice thank you token; perhaps some of this new batch of coquito that I plan to conquer.

4- Our new "standing desk" was installed today- WOOHOO! Never again will I have to suffer an entire day in the office SITTING. I can alleviate my back, calves and make sure my blood is circulating and still get work done. Standing desk for the mother-fucking WIN!

5- I watched "Hart of Dixie" this morning and SPOILER ALERT: Wade & Zoe are an actual couple now. YAY!!!!! Now, let's hope the writers don't fuck it up...

It's rare that my day rock so awesomely, especially when I didn't even want to get out of bed this morning. Maybe the 12s were working for me after all.

*smooches...hoping all of your days are memorable*
---------
what did you do today?

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

The Great Coquito Experiment

Sometimes I get an idea in my head to make something I've never made before, just because. Last week I decided I wanted to make a coquito (Puerto Rican eggnog) for a holiday party I was attending. ::sigh:: So here's what happened.

I don't know anyone who knows how to make this drink, and I've only ever had it once in my life at a Midtown-east restaurant. So of course I google-searched a recipe that I thought looked "right" and "authentic" and got to work.

First of all, there were too many liquid ingredients for the blender I was using, and I'm not very good at improvising things like that. Already I'm starting to panic. Then, I didn't have any cinnamon. WHAT IS EGGNOG WITHOUT CINNAMON? I thought I could use ground cloves instead. ::double sigh:: While all this disaster is happening in the kitchen, I'm starting to get the shakes because STUPID ME decided that a spoonful of condensed milk would be a yummy treat and would not affect me negatively at all. It was as if I were on a suicide mission...

Finally, the drink mix is "done" according to the recipe, but it's not thick like eggnog and the cloves were overpowering the life out of that drink. Also: RUM. The recipe called for only a cup of rum but honestly, it tasted like a gallon. Or maybe I'm just not used to drinking anymore. Whatever the case: RUM.

I waited for an independent taster (Irene) to give me her verdict and she didn't seem impressed, but it had RUM so she kept it. The portion I brought home I gave to my ex (who said it was good but maybe he was just being nice) when he dropped the girls off; I tried drinking it and my stomach yelled "RUM" and "CONDENSED MILK" and quickly asked the beverage to LEAVE the same way it came. Hot. Mess.

But you know what, I won't be defeated by this drink. I looked up a different recipe (this time I'm using one written by Daisy Martinez) and am going to try it again this weekend. It WILL be tasty. I will NOT eat a spoonful of condensed milk. I WILL make sure there is cinnamon in the house. People will come from miles around to have some of The Jaded NYer's FAMOUS COQUITO (with a little help from Daisy Martinez) and once again my plan to take over the world will succeed I will be a master of the kitchen.

Now all you have to do is invite me to your holiday party.

*smooches...looking for more guinea pigs tasters*
---------
just humor me; this too shall pass

Monday, December 10, 2012

Scared And Sad Mortal

I'm a little embarrassed and ashamed to admit that, at my grandmother's funeral, I was THAT GIRL who, had Mari and Mami not held me back, almost threw herself at the coffin. It was like Logical Raquel had stepped outside of this body and just left me with the wackadoos, and the wackadoos convinced The Voices that my grandmother was unable to breathe in such a small box, so we needed to free her from it. That was me. High marks in biology and chemistry; dissected a fetal pig without blinking an eye; watched countless videos of women giving birth without flinching; made up slides for an art professor of an autopsy book for her class. I still managed to believe that my dead grandmother could not breathe in her coffin, and I was the only one who could save her.

In the midst of PMS Week, undoubtedly the lowest time for me mentally, physically and emotionally, I'm forced to face my own mortality via some very real situations claiming--or threatening to claim--lives all around me. And I don't want to make this about me because there are folks mourning a whole lot deeper and stronger than I am right now for what's happening, but I don't like to be reminded of death. I suppose it's not really anyone's favorite topic, but me especially. And I really don't like it when it hits close to home.

When K was little she would say how she wanted her whole family to all live in one house so that we'd always be together and no one would ever leave. What a beautifully naive thought--no one ever leaving. How my little baby used to cry her little heart out whenever we had to leave someone's house, or the movie credits began to roll (because the movie was "leaving" her), or someone said goodbye. It's like she knew: this could be the last time I see you. Every time could be the last time I see you.

And that's a frightening thought.

Don't let the last time you see someone you love be unmemorable.

Every time could be the last time.

*smooches...trying to be at peace with the circle of life*
---------
kiss someone and mean it; hug someone and mean it; say I love you and mean it. every-damn-time.

Friday, December 07, 2012

Carnival Is A-Comin'...

It's been a few years now since I was introduced to Trinidadian soca fetin' complete with jumping and waving and winin' my waist, and I must admit it's still my number one obsession. Don't ask me about the latest salsa or merengue hits, because I don't know. But the 2013 carnival season soca songs? I'M ON IT!

Here are some I'm enjoying to get you pumped up for all the parties next year (culminating on the Parkway in the fall, which I might do again):










(This is the same riddim as Machel's song I think; the producers behind the Precision Productions are like soca geniuses or something!)

See ya in these soca streets!

*smooches...deciding that soca music cures all ills*
---------
I think that's why I'm so drawn to it; it counteracts my depression

Thursday, December 06, 2012

Because I Forgot To Post On Thursday

...I'm sneaking in on Sunday night to pre-date something real quick. I know I said I would stop doing that but alas, blah blah blah, excuse, excuse, excuse.

So here's my fake-Thursday-but-really-Sunday blog post: the Three Amigas on Thanksgiving (seeing as I didn't do a Thanksgiving post this year).

L to r: Crazy Mari, Lovely Me, Crazy Mami
What did we eat...hmmm, I remember there was rice and turkey, oh and Mari made a shrimp scampi and butternut squash soup. OH!! And Mami attempted and was successful at making some tostones cups. CHILD! They were the hit of the night! We all agreed that she needed to make them again (and again and again). And I made a pumpkin souffle that I didn't care for but everyone else enjoyed. It was an all-around good and yummy night.

Especially fun? Mami needing to go to bed after half a glass of white wine. Not so fun? Besides the bickering, realizing that the neighbors (renters!) are letting their nasty ass dog shit in Mami's yard. REALLY, THO? None of us went over there to say something because we couldn't trust any of our stankness levels to be low enough to be polite.

I was also low-key nervous about starting a feud with people BOLD enough to let their dog shit in my mom's yard like that. Who knows if, after I tell them off and then return to Brooklyn, they try to harass or harm my mom? Nah; couldn't take a chance.

How did y'all stuff your faces this year?

*smooches...really loving my hair in that pic*
---------
I'm getting better at styling it

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

A Lesson From My Blog Break

First- MY BAD that I forgot to greet you all when I came back from my blog break with some crunktastical tunes like I usually do. What a terrible host I am! Rock out to this and we'll call it even, yes?



So. I took a random two-week break from blogging, brought on in part by some natural disasters, as well as my need to reassess what is important in my life and what isn't.

IMPORTANT: My family and close friends//My well-being//Writing//Living my life like it's golden.
NOT IMPORTANT: Everything else.

One thing I have discovered during my break is that I cannot do everything. I cannot fix the world (at least not by myself). Also, I cannot help someone who is not open or ready to receive my help (you can lead a horse to water and all that good stuff). And I especially can't, or rather shouldn't, help someone who did not request it. This revelation alone will lift so many weights off my shoulder.

Y'all not about to have me out here going crazy trying to make your life better while fibroids the size of Mount Kilimanjaro continue grow in my uterus due to adrenal fatigue because I'm allowing myself to get stressed with your bullshit. Nah, son. Those days are over.

I wish you well, I really do, but not at my own expense. PEACE.

*smooches...chillin' like a villain*
---------
heart disease runs in my family, too, so I can't fuck around with my blood pressure

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

All Dem Questions

I saw this on The Frenemy's Tumblr site and it looked like fun questions. There were 26 in all but I chose the ones I felt like answering and bolded them in a large font for your reading pleasure. I keeps it real like that. Indulge me for a few minutes...


A. If you could legally punch somebody in the throat ONCE, would you do it because you were watching a TV show and this person did that light but constant coughy thing the entire time? Walking slow in front of you? Or for some other reason? THE COUGHY THING! I hate that shit! When the girls are sick with a cold and are coughing all up and through my house, OH MY GOD I get so annoyed.

B. What is your favorite piece of clothing in your closet and if your blood got you drunk would you sometimes drink it?

C. Would you rather go to a party where you know nobody and make small talk for two hours or watch that piece of shit movie Savages with Blake Lively two times in a row?

D. This guy wants to pay you ten thousand dollars to show a three minute clip of you having sex at his next dinner party. Ten people will be there. One of those people will be somebody you know, but you don’t know WHO. You do that, or what? What kind of sex would you be having? It would be a tape of me making love to my sofa, also known as falling asleep on the sofa after too many wings while watching a bad "African American" film on Netflix. Like Money Matters or Rain.

E. You can bring five foods/drinks to a desert island. What are they? Or, if you’d like another food question, describe the cupcake that a bakery has named after you.

F. Rihanna will read a tweet you direct at her. What does it say? GIRL, BYE!

G. Tell me your best possible Sunday, if you could have it go as you choose.

H. If you had a robot that could do only one thing, would you make it imitate Robert DeNiro and call him Robot DeNiro or what? You got a fucking better idea? What is it?

I. Would you say you hatefollow more people on Tumblr or Facebook? Give a brief summary of the person you hatefollow the most on Facebook.

J. If you were remaking a liveaction Disney movie, who would you cast in it and you can’t cast Darren Criss. Ooh, Snow White with Rory Gil... errr, I mean Alexis Bledel in the lead. Or Aladdin with that girl who played Taina on Nickelodeon as Princess Jasmine.

K. Tell me three texts you would send if the people receiving them wouldn’t remember them the next day. Not the person they are for, just the texts themselves here.

L. Create an American Girl Doll. Mine would definitely be an Anne Boleyn one and her head pops off.

M. What do you think would be the most perfect gift somebody could give you? Sometimes I think of these great gifts for myself and wish people would give them to me. A house--in Brooklyn--equipped with a maid, chef and a personal trainer.

N. What would be the song you want to hear before you die? Wotless.

O. What would be your Jeopardy tidbit you told Alex Trebek when he does that little “tell me about yourself” thing after the commercial break?

P. Congratulations, you’re a Real Housewife. What would your intro quote be in the credits? (I.E. I may be short but I’m not short on cash or prescription pill addictions) This is so funny because I was JUST discussing this on The Twitter recently. I think I might have settled on "I'm from Brooklyn; I ain't got time for the bullshit."

Q. What is the thing you always hope these Questionnaires will ask you because you want to answer it? Go ahead and just answer anything because I know you want me to ask you a specific question, probably about a crush.

R. What’s the meanest thing you’ve ever said to somebody? I DO.

S. The song you dance to the most in your bedroom is... Slow Wine.

T. Who do you think, at this point in your life, is most likely to murder you? K.

U. You have a choice: watch ONLY romantic comedies for a whole year or no movies for a whole year. What do you choose?

V. Cancel one television show RIGHT NOW BIG RICH MOTHERFUCKING TEXAS!! I don't like the hold it has over me...

W. What, if any, is the Cosmopolitan sex tip you actually use?

X. You’re a Food Network executive. What would be the show you pitch to the network? Mine is called Trough of Love, a show where reality stars eat nacho cheese with their hands tied behind their backs, hosted by Guy Fieri and Nick Lachey. I've actually thought of this before: a cooking show for broke-ass college kids. My tuna casserole is KILLER. Right, Celia?

Y. Cast and name a television show about yourself, on NBC. The Jaded Chronicles starring Maya Rudolph as me, Zoe Kravitz as K and Amandla Stenberg as N. Mari would have to be played by Rosario Dawson regardless of the age difference because JESUS LORD THE RESEMBLANCE.

Tell me I'm lying...
And Mami would just play herself; trust me. The rest of y'all, feel free to cast yourselves (except you, Cathi; Ali Larter already won the role.).

Z. What revenge would you take on the last person who broke your heart? I don't need to; he's probably fat and bald by now anyway.



Feel free to answer any or all of these in the comments. I've got all day.

*smooches...lightening the mood around here*
---------
also, why y'all so quiet? it was only a 2-week break!

Monday, December 03, 2012

Meet Me On Sunday.

If you're dying to experience the awesomeness that is the great author-ess Raquel "The Jaded NYer" Penzo, here's another chance:

"Meet your local author day!" at La Casa Azul Bookstore
Sunday December 9, 2pm - 5pm

The shelves of La Casa Azul Bookstore have books written by over 80 local/Latin@ authors. Join us for a special event in which book lovers will have the opportunity to meet THIRTY of them!

This is a perfect opportunity to buy books for everyone on your list --- books make great gifts!

Who will be there? Check out the FULL author roster online.

La Casa Azul Bookstore
143 E. 103rd Street (between Lexington & Park Ave)


*smooches...trying to get back in the swing of things*
---------
how am I doing? do I sound enthused?

Sunday, December 02, 2012

Jaded Photographs: December 2012 Edition

"Why Kids Get Beat"
Can I nap in PEACE?

After I spent my money and my time to take this ungrateful heffa all the way up to Boston to visit colleges she had THE NERVE to disturb my most sacred of rituals: daytime bus sleeping.

And I'm sure her sister giggled her bony ass off as the picture was being taken. Rude ass kids... I mean, she's lucky to still be alive after pulling this stunt!

*smooches...unafraid to show my ugly sleeping face*
---------
it's not like y'all have to wake up next to me or anything

Friday, November 16, 2012

Occupational Hazard

From the moment I rise until I begrudgingly pull away from social networking sites at 3AM, I'm in front of a computer typing articles for work or snarky Facebook statuses. It's all taking its toll on my brain (you read this blog, right?), back (I can barely drop it like it's lukewarm these days) and sadly, now my wrists.

See Exhibit A:

The writer's life

I guess it doesn't help that I also sleep ON my arm in the fetal position...

*smooches...fucking it up for myself*
---------
one day I'll get it right. allegedly.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

How I Can Give Back

I'm just going to admit right now that I did not make it out to Far Rockaway or Coney Island to assist with any Post-Sandy clean-up efforts as I said I would, and my only excuse is that I suffer from a debilitating mental block that keeps me from wanting to leave my apartment most days. Especially if I'm leaving to mingle with new people. But you already knew that about me.

I will attempt to help out this weekend again (after I take N to basketball practice and maybe even surprise K with Ani DiFranco tickets), but in the meantime, check out my author site for details on how you can help by purchasing a copy of my book. Yes, it's a little self-serving...okay, maybe a lot self-serving. However it is a good book and the money will go to a great cause: getting this City back on its dysfunctional feet.

That is all.

*smooches...doing what I can*
---------
I get tired of just talking about stuff; it's now a time for doing. now all I have to do is conquer my fear of social situations and leave my house this weekend...

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

TRUTH.COM

DAUGHTER: There should be a pill you can take to make love go away.

MOTHER: Why would you want to make love go away? It's hard enough to find it in the first place.

*smooches...hoping you find love every day in every thing*
---------
and all that other bullshit...

(dialogue is taken from the remake of the film The Women starring Meg Ryan)

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

More Jaded Facts For Your Case Files

I'm feeling generous; here are some more facts about yours truly, in case you were DYING to get to know me better:

1- I'm not a picky eater, but if you put eggplant or salmon on my plate I will fight your face and go on a hunger strike. My grandmother used to cook eggplant and force me to eat it even though the texture reminded me of phlegm. The trauma of it all remains with me always.

2- I abuse every bit of power ever placed in my hands; because of this I've agreed (with The Voices) to never run for any kind of office. If you put me in charge I will be mean and rude and make everyone working for me cry or feel true fear.

3- I looked up my name on iTunes (I also google my name often) and found these songs. Yes, I'm super-vain like that. And look, they're both love songs, because everybody loves me and I'm so loveable men are moved to create songs about me telling me of their love :)





4- During a consultation with someone I sought alternative treatment from, I admitted out loud that I stay up late at night because I'm not ready to accept the reality of the next day, especially if I haven't done anything productive. It's like "Oh look, nothing from the TO DO list is done. You can't go to bed until you do these things because tomorrow you won't have time." Next thing you know it's 3AM and all I've done is watched clips of those hens fighting on "The View."

5- Much to my chagrin, I'm very in tune with my body, and I know the millisecond it's not going to feel well. I can also feel almost every aspect of my reproductive cycle, especially when I'm ovulating from my right side. And let me tell you, it's quite painful. It's also scary as hell; reminds me too much of my own mortality. But on the plus side, if I ever want another baby, I know to wait until I'm ovulating from the left side a.k.a the non-retarded ovary/fallopian tube.

*smooches...wondering what will be left to say in my memoir*
---------
oh who am I kidding; I leave so much out I could fill TWO memoirs! now tell me 5 things about you :)

Monday, November 12, 2012

Learn You Somethin'!

On Saturday I went to my very first event at the 92nd Street Y ever and I can't believe I've lived here my whole life and never bothered to partake of their happenings. But anyway, I went and now I can cross that off my fake bucket list.

I was a mere FIVE FEET AWAY from Oliver Stone (and some other folks I've never heard of before but were very cool and funny) as they discussed the contents of the new book by Stone and Peter Kuznick, "The Untold History of the United States."



On Tuesday, November 13, you can go to the Union Square Barnes & Noble and see Stone & Kuznick promote the book, even get it signed. I must add, this is the first time I've ever wanted to actually buy a book about American history. Yes, because Stone is behind it, but does it matter? It just takes that one ounce of curiosity to open up a whole new world.

He's using his star-power for what appears to be good. No history teacher (other than my Western Civ instructor back in college) has ever made me want to learn more about old, dead things. And let me tell you, the conspiracy theorists in me is HUNGRY for something new, even if Stone said there's no "smoking gun" in the book. For someone who never bothered to learn this stuff in the first place, it's all new information.

Can't wait to see what I uncover!

*smooches...a bit nervous to dive into this world*
---------
I'm afraid of the things I'll learn that can't be unlearned and may kill my spirit; wish me luck!

Friday, November 09, 2012

I Have A Juicer...

...so now I can stop acting as if I like y'all and we're on the same level. Unless, of course, you're a member of a CSA or the Park Slope Co-op, in which case OF COURSE we're BFFs!! How else am I going to get my hands on the best, locally grown, organic fruits and vegetables I need to juice myself toward optimum health?

In the meantime, feast your eyes on my new baby, gifted to me by a sweet co-worker who cares about my well-being:


I'm calling her Betty. Betty the Breville Juice Fountain. HATE ON ME HATERS!

*smooches...getting way too big for my britches*
---------
I'm going to blame it on the Republicans; they're this month's villain du jour!

Thursday, November 08, 2012

"Nothing's Gonna Change My World"

I have a certain way that I like to live, certain things I like to do. And while I understand that change--good or bad--is inevitable, it doesn't mean I can't fight it in the face to the death.



*smooches...taking a break from growing and learning*
---------
this week I think I'll just be an obnoxious, stubborn brat.

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

There's A First Time For Everything

Normally, when I go on a random hiatus from blogging, I pre-date some entries real quick and act like they've been here the whole time and you just missed it. Well, I had to have a conversation with my OCD and explain that the stress of worrying about whether or not I had a Jaded Photograph for November up on the blog was one of the reasons our liver was acting up.

MY OCD: BUT WE'VE MISSED SO MANY DAYS WORTH OF BLOG-POSTING!!!

ME: Do you WANT to die? Because that's what will happen if you don't learn to chill the fuck out.

So here's me (us!) posting on a Wednesday evening, watching the snow mock me from my office window, and willing myself not to care that I've not updated you guys for over five days. The Rockaways were pummeled to death by a hurricane; I think my OCD will survive this minor (non)tragedy.

We do hope you and yours are doing well and haven't lost anything that can't be replaced. I once had an entire basket of childhood photos RUINED by water damage and cried myself to sleep for days afterward. I know it's all material stuff but it still hurts. Watching the coffee table your great-great-great-grandmother brought over from the old country, that was handed down to you, wash away in a flood hurts. Do not be afraid or ashamed to mourn the things you've lost, especially if what you've lost is your sense of security.

And please, if we're friends or know each other in real life, and you're cold or hungry or displaced because of Sandy or even this stupid, rude, audacious snow that is falling outside my office window, please do not hesitate to contact me. My place is small but I have a comfy and warm-ish couch plus some yummy vittles with your name on them. We can gorge on cheesy Netflix movies all night!

*smooches...slowly trying to get back to normal*
---------
if it's even possible...

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

During An Emergency...

...you always discover new things about yourself and the people around you and what they mean to you. During this crazy storm I was incredibly worried for my mom out in New Jersey, but all she lost was part of her chimney. I was nervous about this precariously lean-y tree threatening the walls and roof of Mari's studio, but everything is still standing. I missed my babies, and hoped their dad was assuring them of their safety in my absence, but they were fine (minus cable and WiFi). And all my friends in Long Island and along the coast, especially those who are part of the City's emergency response teams- I eagerly awaited word from them, hoping everything was OK.

But I also discovered that I can, in fact, share my airspace with someone else and not want to kill them in their sleep with a dull machete soaked in vinegar and bleach. And it was just like in the cartoons- a light bulb popped up over my head, out of nowhere...



(Click here for the remix featuring Ludacris- clearly the better version of the two. I love me some LUDA!)

*smooches...admitting to nothing and everything at once*
---------
SHUT. UP.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Learning To Not Be A Loner

First off- how is my blog family doing in the wake of Sandy? Check in if you can! Now, on to the show...

I want to take this time to apologize to each and every one of you if, in my funky-mood-induced tendency to isolate myself, I've ever made you feel as if I didn't need you around. Quite the opposite is true! But it was recently brought to my attention that while I'm busy hiding out and moping in my cubby, people who've been ignored and cast aside are feeling helpless, useless and insignificant. My bad!

See, when I'm feeling especially sad and miserable, my first thought is "I don't want to spread this around" and proceed to slowly pull away from social situations and put on my game face. Next, I mainly focus on just feeling bad- crying, cursing myself out, etc- so that I'm not suppressing anything that will later manifest itself in MORE physical ailments (I think we can agree I've had quite enough of that!). During this time, the last thing I want is to be around people and let them see me cry. OH MY GOD THE HORROR! Finally, I get to a point where I begin to formulate a solution to my problem, and that makes me feel better, which in turn makes me more able to be around people.

However this whole process might very well take two weeks, at least. And I do agree that expecting someone to wait two weeks without knowing what's going on can be a lot. Clearly, I need to work on my verbal communication skills!

Most importantly, I need to learn to let people in. I was already advised that giving folks the URL to this blog is NOT enough and DOES NOT COUNT as letting them in (side eye for The F$%K-It List) so I've made note that in the future I need to actually say the words, "I'm feeling crappy and I don't want to bring my dark clouds your way. Can we touch base in a couple of days?" Or something like that.

It will be tough and it will not happen overnight, but I will be working on that for the future. Promise. Allegedly.

*smooches...continuing my quest to be a grown up*
---------
I hear they serve Buffalo wings in the green room at Grown Up Land; hope it's not a rumor!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Stay Safe Today!

This is The Jaded NYer reporting LIVE from a remote, secure location, wishing you all a safe next couple of days while this Sandy bitch tries to take us out. I have water, food, good company and have charged all my crap. Am I missing anything?

Now, don't get all macho and stupid and put yourself or loved ones in danger, but remember- you are from New York. NEVER GIVE UP, NEVER SURRENDER.

And groove to this while you still have power...











What are you all doing to prepare for the unpredictable weather?

*smooches...wishing you all the best*
---------
I'll keep updating as long as Google and ConEd allow it!

Friday, October 26, 2012

My Kids Are Not My Whole Life

So, news broke today about a nanny who allegedly stabbed two kids under her care in the family's Upper West Side apartment. While reading the article online I made the dire mistake of reading the comments/reactions to the story, and let me tell you...a lot of these judgy motherfuckers need to go somewhere. In particular the folks who are BLAMING THE MOTHER for having the audacity to hire a nanny in the first place.

Have several seats and a large tumbler of shut the fuck up. Please and thank you.

It does not matter if I have all the money in the world or barely two nickels to rub together- if I want to hire someone to help me take care of my kids, OR RAISE THEM FOR ME, that's my damn prerogative. The nerve of people to think this woman deserved to have her children murdered because she was what they perceived to be a spoiled, kept woman who handed off motherly duties to the hired help... WHO DOES THAT?

Do people really think that giving birth means your entire existence has to revolve around your kids now? Moms & dads can't have outside, non-kid interests? It's just house arrest until the college years? Fuck outta here with all that noise! If that were the case, do you realize how many parents would kill the kids themselves?

Listen up because I'm about to break it down for you.

YES, when you decide to have children, those children are your responsibility. You have to think of their best interest and arm them with the tools they'll need later in life. But do you know what's in a child's best interest? To have happy parents. Parents who've had enough respite to deal with whatever fresh hell the world (and their kids) will throw at them each day. Sometimes that means finding someone to mind the kids while pursuing a rejuvenating activity or some adult/nekkid time with your partner (don't forget your partner, ever; that's a sure-fire way to end up in divorce court. Trust.), away from the stress of diapers and whining and Nick Jr.

So let's focus on getting justice for these two children and not hate on this woman because she was able to afford an Upper West Side life, okay? I mean, two of her kids were just KILLED, for chrissake! She's a human being with feelings!

I swear, man, that keyboard courage be a bitch sometimes...

*smooches...vowing to never again read comments on news articles*
---------
now that all that's been said, can we please address the fact that this nanny is Dominican? UGH, BITCH, UGH!! Just ruining life for the rest of us!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Excerpt From "On A Blue Day"

She couldn’t remember if the red ones were the uppers or the downers. Only that she wanted one.

Today coffee was not enough.

Today she needed something other-worldly and fast acting to help her forget what she had to do and where she had to go.

Her black Nicole Miller hung on the back of her bedroom door. Fresh from the dry cleaners. The plastic bag thrown casually on the floor.

Maybe the blue ones were the uppers?

In the carved mahogany mirror, her reflection was someone unknown to her.

Oh my God! Is my hair red? Since when?

A stray strand of red curl twirled in the path of the fan on the vanity where she sat. An antique vanity she had flown in from a shop on Melrose Avenue during her last visit to LA. Lifestyle perks of a young, rich widow.

Red--the red ones for sure.

The curl continued its dance across her right (left?) brow. It seemed to plié at her reflection. Its leaps and turns graceful. New York City Ballet graceful. Better even.

The curl held her attention until the door opened and her dress floated out of sight.

“Tea, miss?”

The curl took a bow and froze in place. It became angry at the interruption.

“I said don’t bother ME!” How easily the fan crashed into several plastic chunks, leaving dust on her dress. Maybe now she wouldn’t have to wear it. Instead maybe they’d let her hide out in her room all afternoon. Just her and her pills and her dancing red curl. She’d already been to one funeral that year. Two was just unfair.

But when had she dyed her hair red?

And what day was today, anyway? Tuesday? Her reflection offered no explanations. Why didn’t anybody wake me up? Tell me what was going on?

Maybe it’s Wednesday. Wednesday is definitely a red pill day.

She swallowed three of them, dry.

*smooches...digging up a long forgotten tale*
---------
it was buried for a reason, though...


Creative Commons License
On A Blue Day by Raquel I. Penzo is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Wherein I Complain About The Election

I'm going to make this quick because I'm making myself physically ill worrying about what's happening around me, and the last thing I need is another reason for my liver to stop working properly.

As a rule, I don't trust politicians. Most of the time, they're in the business of getting or staying elected and rarely have time to actually keep their empty promises. I voted in the last election because I was beyond done with what Bush and his cohorts had done. I didn't particularly care for Obama but McCain was just more "Bush" and I couldn't get behind that.

This time around, and in the last four years, the climate in this country has been an embarrassment. The campaign season has been filled with kindergarten-style antics and finger pointing on both sides and I'm done. But what's really troubling is the BLATANT attack on a sitting president because he is Black. And don't come at me and say I'm being too sensitive or it's not true. I call BULLSHIT on all your reasons and excuses.

Whenever I hear a Romney supporter say they're ready to get "a REAL American and a REAL patriot" back in the office, all I see is "GET THAT FUCKING NIGGER OUT OF THE WHITE HOUSE." It makes me so angry that I can't even describe what comes over me except that I can't focus and my breathing becomes labored and without even realizing it I clench my jaw and ball up my fists.

This can't be the same America I used to be proud to be from! For a trillion years it's been OK for a White man- who doesn't represent ME- to hold the office, but now that it's a Black man who doesn't represent "them" it's World War III. Well kiss my ENTIRE ass.

Either man the fuck up and say what you really mean, or swallow this bitter pill and have a seat. Either way, know that I'm on to you. I can read between the lines and decode your hidden agendas.

I'll see you at the polls.

*no smooches...that is all*
--------
really considering whether to "love it or leave it"

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Something To Consider

"We waste so much energy trying to cover up who we are, when beneath every attitude is the want to be loved, and beneath every anger is a wound to be healed, and beneath every sadness is the fear that there will not be enough time." - Mark Nepo


What are you covering up?

*smooches...working on being my true self*
---------
let's see how long this takes.

Monday, October 22, 2012

172.6: A Healthy Jaded Update

I wasn't going to write this post until after I met with the GYN surgeon about my fibroids, but why wait for depressing news when we can discuss my great news instead?

For about a month, I've been meeting with a personal trainer twice a week. Coupled with this GOD AWFUL detox cleanse I've been on for the past two weeks, it appears that, while my uterus situation hasn't changed, I've dropped almost 10 pounds!

That's right, folks- even though I've cheated on this cleanse here and there, and I've yet to get to the gym except for the training sessions I have with Señor Evil Trainer Meany Face, I managed to get oh-so-close to the 160s, which is my fitness dream come true. I mean, you guys can't even imagine how excited I am to be at the precipice of dropping a dress size and some inches! But let's not get ahead of ourselves...lets just relish in this 172.6 reading from the Stupid Idiot Scale that I found hidden in my room (I thought I had thrown it out months ago!).

What has helped: clearly the training. Not only is it forcing me to stay on budget (read: cut back on takeout since I can no longer afford it) but having that one-on-one help from Señor Evil Trainer Meany Face has really maximized my time in the gym. It's also taught me that

a) crying is OK, but it's not going to sway Señor Evil Trainer Meany Face one bit. He will still make you finish all your reps and not even offer you a tissue!

b) when you work out so hard that you feel vomity, trainers think it's funny.

c) my body can do so much more than I give it credit for.

d) my core? It's weaker than a motherfucker. And

e) thirty minutes feels like thirty hours when you're balancing on a Bosu ball while lifting weights and squatting. But these new sneakers helped!

Great support AND a Vibram sole!

Other things that have helped:

a) wanting to look good naked. Who doesn't want this?

b) fear of the diabetes that killed my grandmother (this fear has fueled my motivation).

c) Cathi's upcoming wedding; I must look FLY for my Boston White Boys!

d) eating better. I can't deny it; it helps. And

e) knowing if anything is wrong with your insides. I'll explain--

I was told that my liver enzymes were a bit elevated and that I was Vitamin D deficient; this is a direct result of a poor diet, which I'm working on. I was also informed that I have a slightly deviated septum AND that I still have my adenoids (you're not supposed to have them anymore as an adult); this means I have to be sure I'm using my neti pot every night AND that my environment is clean as a whistle.

Once you get these results from the doctor you can't UN-know them, and you are pretty much compelled to do something about it and take better care of yourself. Which is what I'm doing.

No six-pack or Kardashian booty, but MUCH improved!

And the results have been FAB!

*smooches...inches away from wearing a carnival costume to work*
---------
you know I will...

Friday, October 19, 2012

This Is What Happens When I Can't Sleep (12.10.06)

i crave detachment

i want you to swoop in,
take what you need from me
and leave
i don’t want poetic mutterings
or lingering kisses
i want harsh roughness,
the kind that leaves a mark
on my soul

i want you to pick me clean
of feeling and emotion
leave me shaken,
alone in the vacant corners
of the room
with nothing
of comfort or peace
for miles

i want you to rape my mind
and yank tears
from my eyes
i don’t want the shelter
of your arms
or whispered promises
i want lies and betrayal,
the kind from which I won’t
ever recover

i want you to love me fiercely
and then throw me
away
laugh in my face
and tell me I’m nothing,
nothing, nothing
until all I can hear
is the sound of your voice
saying it


*smooches...remembering a particularly bad time*
---------
I'm surprised y'all never had me committed!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Album Shout Out: Maroon 5's "Hands All Over"

I know, I know, this album came out EONS ago, and they've already released a new project, but I love Maroon 5's "Hands All Over" so much and I want to tell you so! I mean, what better way to get me off the couch and away from Netflix than with an album I can play from beginning to end without skipping one track? It's a rare artist that can accomplish this feat.

Here are some of my favorites:











It has such a dance-y, fun vibe to it; very reminiscent of disco. Yes, DISCO. I don't care if that makes me seem old and/or it turns you off, but many of these songs make me want to put on some roller skates and rolllllllll to the beat.

I love this CD so much I'm adding it to my "Cheer The Fuck Up" and "Shake Yo Ass" playlists.

You should do the same.

*smooches...moving like Jagger all over the place*
-----------
music helps. a lot.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Not Just Gang Members, Human Beings

This weekend I watched the documentary Crips and Bloods: Made in America, and let me tell you...I cried. I'll explain.

See, I'm of the school of "Don't give the cops a reason and you'll be FINE" and have never really put any credence in the ghetto mentality of The Man keeping "us" down. I grew up in the ghetto in the heart of the crack era and it didn't keep me down. I always joke about The Man, but I've never considered him a real threat.

Enter this fakakta documentary.



I was sitting there listening to these former and current gang member discuss their experiences and world views and you know what? I get it. If I had been told, at any point in my life, that I couldn't do something just because of the color of my skin or because of where I live, I would be bitter, too. If I had been stopped by the police everyday just for not being in my own neighborhood, I'd be angry, too. If my neighbors and kids were being gunned down in the street everyday while the cops did nothing to really prevent it, I'd feel hopeless, too. And if my environment offered no opportunities to better my situation, I'd give no fucks about life, too.

And if there was no one around to tell me about my options, offering me a way out, and only found comfort and protection from a local gang, I'd see no problems with making violence my way of life, too. I'd barely feel human!

These are young men and women being born into and growing up in a culture of constant harassment and poverty and depression, contained by invisible walls. And just outside that wall is freedom and happiness, but god forbid you cross the wrong street.

One former gang member said it best, when discussing the Watts and LA riots, stating that the police and National Guard didn't scare them because they were used to a cycle of guns and violence every damn day. The riots were just an extension of that. I couldn't even imagine that kind of life. I could hold back my tears no more.

The documentary did highlight the grassroots efforts afoot to help get these kids off the streets and out of the cross-hairs of the LAPD, and it did offer some hope, but without the backing of city, state and federal officials and funding, it's barely a drop in the bucket.

Toward the end, one former Crip, in an effort to reach the young gang members, looks into the camera with tears in his eyes (so of course by now I'm inconsolable) and says:
"Your reward for gang-banging is to be crippled, lamed, for life. Your greatest reward is life, plus forty years. Your ultimate reward for gang-banging is death. And you don't come back from that."
But after watching the documentary, though, I have to ask...what if death is better than what you have to come back to? Wouldn't gang-banging be a walk in the clouds?

*smooches...finally getting it*
---------
also, fuck the PO-lice!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

What Would You Like To Do If Money Were No Object?

I spoke briefly about this video and how it inspired me before speaking at career day at my high school over on my author site, but I wanted to share it with my Jaded folks, too.



While I am already living a pretty good life as a writer, there's still so much I'd like to do. If money were not a driving factor I'd still have a job, but not a full time one. I'd have more freedom to pursue a slew of creative endeavors that are currently on the back burner because I have somewhere to be from nine in the morning to five in the evening, Monday through Friday. As it stands, everything I want to accomplish has to move at a slower pace than I'd like, but maybe it's a good thing. Maybe it's teaching me patience. I mean, I got the tattoo, might as well try to embody it, no?

So how about it, folks- what about you? What would you do if money were no object?

*smooches...looking to have a passion-filled week*
---------
there's so much weighing on me right now; gotta make my own happiness while I can!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Tales From The Motherland, Part 3

From my travel diary, the ramblings of a Jaded NYer in her homeland:

Smizing with duck lips
Tuesday, my last day [in Santo Domingo]. I wanted only to see my grandma and eat some sugarcane. The rain and Papi had other plans. I don't know why we couldn't go to the cemetery besides it being far. It was one of the main reasons I went [to DR].


Lil Miss N

I know the girls were also disappointed that we were cooped up in the house all day with nothing to do, except go to the bodega and spend our pesos. At least we had dominoes and the mini-dance party we had after dark.

Papi & K


I mean, I guess I understand- Papi is of limited means. Next time I'll come better prepared and go see grandma first before anything else. Five days was not enough. Also, Papi's house requires you to make your own fun. Also: beware mosquitos!





The night we left it rained so hard I didn't think we'd make it to the airport in one piece. The car taking us was basically held together with duct tape and, of course, we were booked on some god-awful 2 AM flight. It seemed like a good idea at the time. I hadn't been to DR in over a decade and still, traffic lights and proper driving rules? Nonexistent. At one point someone on a bike rode out in front of us and I swear I saw my life flash before my eyes. Then I began to fear those predators who purposely get into a wreck to rob you. As if I had AMERICAN stamped on my forehead.

It made me sad to leave my Papi behind in this place, but honestly, he's like the mayor of Los Minas. Which makes me the daughter of the mayor of Los Minas. Royalty in the ghetto. I guess it ain't so bad.

*smooches...still reliving the memories*
---------
as winter approaches, I get more excited about going back

Friday, October 12, 2012

True Dat!

"What was the reason you got married?"

"Oh, when you love somebody and you know it, what else do you need?"

"Yeah, but how can you know that?"

"How can you not?"

-Mike Seaver discussing cold feet he felt about his impending nuptials to Julie, the nanny, with his grandparents, on the TV show "Growing Pains." Realer advice was never given out by a fictional character.

*smooches...getting closer to the answers*
---------
sometimes you need a reality check; sometimes cheesy 80s comedies can be that reality check.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Tears Of A Clown

Here's another post where I remind you that I suffer from (seasonal, situational, PMS-related, etc) depression. Where I wake up thinking "UGH. Another day." and then feel guilty because so many others didn't get this gift. Where I crumble in the face of every thing (and every one) for which (and whom) I'm responsible, and then remind myself that people everywhere have "lots to do." Where I try to understand why I feel so shitty, and then diminish my own reality by labeling myself as hormonal or whiny or lazy.

And I understand that somewhere, a family probably just lost their home, and maybe the kids have to be sent to live with family or strangers or worse- in the alley with their parents. Somewhere, someone was diagnosed with Stage 4 something-or-other, or has to wait for someone else to die in order to get a life-saving organ transplant. Someone just lost a parent/child/spouse, and someone's HIV cocktail has stopped working. Someone just got slapped across the face for just looking at their spouse wrong, and someone was just stabbed for the $12 in their wallet. And none of those things apply to me.

But I also know that my troubles and sadness and stresses and pressures are still very real to me, and I can't keep living under the It Can Always Be Worse regime because honestly, this is already bad all on its own.

So here's another post where I come off as crying out for help but really I'm not, so I close the comments because I just wanted to get some things out of my head, and I really don't care for feedback- good or bad. This blog is my chosen form of therapy and I just want a(nother) day to cry into my pillow in peace.



If I get a(nother) tomorrow, I'll work harder to feel better.

*smooches...giving in to the tears, just today*
---------
and maybe tomorrow, but I haven't decided on that yet.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Mid-Week Soca Jam

Yesterday's post was so heavy; sorry about that.

Let's dance it out, bitches!











Hope that was enough to erase yesterday's uterus diagram!

*smooches...holding on to the Big Truck*
---------
what y'all have going on today?

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Some More Information On My Uterus: A Healthy Jaded Update

Let me just say, I'm not sharing all of this to gross y'all out, I promise! You just never know who is reading this stuff and if they can benefit from what's on this blog. I know I never knew a damn thing about fibroids until I had them. Never in a million years did I think anything would ever be wrong with my uterus, seeing as I've managed to get pregnant and have babies without problems (except that one time). But here I am and this is what's what.

I went to see my new primary care physician, Dr. Amazing, and she was able to break shit down for me in the most awesome of ways. I think I love her, but it's too soon to tell.

Anyway, she pulled up the medical records I brought over from the Devil's OB/GYN Office and began to paint a picture of what's going on in my nether regions. First, my uterus measures 14 x 10 x 8.7 cm. There are currently THREE fibroids claiming Squatter's Rights in there: a subserosal fibroid measuring 6.1 x 5.8 x 5.7 cm; an intramural to submucosal fibroid measuring 1.1 x 1 x .9 cm; and a subserosal fibroid measuring 1.9 cm. Below is a diagram of what all that means.


In case your math is fuzzy, one of the fibroids is damn-near half the size of my uterus. HALF THE SIZE. Just chillin', taking up room and tormenting my life. Allegedly. One of these bad boys is pressing on my bladder, causing me to have to use the bathroom not even 20 minutes after having something to drink. I also suspect one is pressing on my large intestine, but I won't go into detail as to why.

So after realizing all of this for the first time, and being assured that these are benign tumors that could very well be left alone, Dr. Amazing discussed the different surgical options at my disposal, should I opt to go that route. There's a hysterectomy, myomectomy, uterine artery embolization (the three she discussed with me briefly), and myolysis and MRI-guided ultrasound surgery (the two she did not discuss with me or shrugged off as experimental). She then referred me to a surgeon so that I can truly understand the risks and benefits of any of these procedures or of leaving shit alone until menopause (apparently these suckers will just become a non-issue and die off once my period stops harassing my life).

Y'all know I'm anti-surgery at all costs BUT it doesn't hurt to meet with this surgeon and see what she has to say. I made an appointment for the 23rd and in the meantime have armed myself with three books:

  • Fibroids: The Complete Guide to Taking Charge of Your Physical, Emotional, and Sexual Well-being by Johanna Skilling (Side Note: K saw this book and was 100% disgusted at me worrying about my 'sexual well-being' LOL!)
  • What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Fibroids by Scott C. Goodwin, Michael Broder and David Drum
  • It's a Sistah Thing: A Guide to Understanding and Dealing with Fibroids for Black Women by Monique R. Brown

I cannot go into this blind; doctors--even Dr. Amazing--can be too scissor-happy sometimes. Before I make any final decisions I need to know all the facts science can provide at this time.

Please feel free to share any experiences you or your loved ones have had with this. It all helps!

*smooches...gearing up for the long haul*
---------
there's a light at the end of this tunnel, right?

Monday, October 08, 2012

Growing Up In My House Looks Like This



*smooches...totally not making this up*
---------
also, Mami was mortified that I tweet the crazy things she says, but I feel it helps explain why I'm the way I am...

Sunday, October 07, 2012

Jaded Photographs: October 2012 Edition

"Old New York"

*smooches...fascinated yet creeped out*
---------
all these fare hikes and no one thought to revamp this particular station? I see this place and I think ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE...

Friday, October 05, 2012

Twenty-one Days: A Healthy Jaded Update

For most of October, my diet will mainly consist of this:


and this:


and then towards the end of the 21 days I'll be reintroducing these:


All in the name of getting my body right.

Jesus be an electrified fence around Atomic Wings...

*smooches...gearing up for the battle FOR my life*
---------
no more kid games; time to get really real, son!

Thursday, October 04, 2012

The Mistakes Of My Fathers

Growing up, I was pretty much in the dark about the history of the Dominican Republic. The topic wasn't taboo or anything-Trujillo didn't run my family off the island-it just wasn't something we spoke about.

Then a few years ago I read Edwidge Danticat's The Farming of Bones, which included mention of a massacre along the border of DR and Haiti, and I was in total shock. I knew Trujillo was a "bad man" but the extent of his evil astounded me.

Today, in Dajabón, and through Saturday, the two nations that share the island of Hispaniola will commemorate the genocide committed by El Jefe.

From the press release:

Courtesy of CulturalDiplomacy.org
Among the notable artists supporting and attending the gathering is author and activist, Julia Alvarez. "Many Dominicans in the diaspora and in the country have been waiting for an opportunity to acknowledge a shameful event in our past, the 1937 massacre of thousands of Haitians, ordered by the dictator Trujillo, and carried out by Dominicans. We feel compelled to do what our governments and our treaties, our accords and our conferences have not done: to express our sorrow for this shameful crime. We would also like to celebrate our many collaborations, our brotherhood and sisterhood. We look to the future and our shared hopes for this whole island and small planet,” says Ms. Alvarez. The project has the support of other leading public figures, including Edwidge Danticat, Michele Wucker, and Junot Díaz.

I met Ms. Danticat years ago at a writing conference and felt compelled to apologize to her for that atrocious blotch on our common history. She looked at me as if I were crazy but that's OK. I needed to say it, for all the years I kept a blind eye to what had happened on the island and for everything my family didn't do to put a stop to it.

I'm still a proud first-generation Dominican American, for sure. Just a little wiser and little less snooty about it.

*smooches...moving on but never forgetting*
---------
one of these days I'll have to make a pit-stop in Dajabón...

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Some Culture For Your Ass

It's Wednesday; I doubt you're doing anything more than watching TV and plotting debaucherous activities for the weekend. Why not pop over to the Fashion Institute of Technology's Katie Murphy Ampitheatre after work and see the play "Drawn From Water"? For free, and just in time for Latino Heritage Month!


*smooches...enlightening you hos one post at a time*
---------
I'm a giver; it's what I do.

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Mari Speaks On...

...Mami and I telling stories about the "exorcism" she had as a baby:

"Y'all need to keep my demon possession out y'all's mouths!"

*smooches...still giggling to myself*
---------
and yes, all of this is true.

Monday, October 01, 2012

Bilinguality With Hilarity

I grew up speaking both English and Spanish fluently, which later morphed into Spanglish. Watching "¿Qué Pasa, USA?" was like the best of both worlds for a little bilingual girl like me.

This particular episode is about Carmen's Fiesta de Quince and Joe's struggle with his culture and identity. I totally miss these characters!

Enjoy my trip down memory lane:







I wonder if Steven is still a Hottie McHottie... I'd totally do him three ways from Sunday and back again!

*smooches...thinking I'll use more Spanish than English this week*
---------
besides, I have to get my kids up to par before our next DR trip