Monday, December 23, 2013

Be Easy

The holidays can get crazy. Family WILL drive you crazy. Friends and their end-of-the-year happenings will make you crazy. Folks are out here mainlining capitalism + consumerism, capable of cutting your throat for the last doll-of-the-year left on the shelf. It's CRAZY.

I try not to get caught up because listen, ain't nobody got time for the bullshit. If the line at Target is down the block well then, shit, I'll come back another time. Besides, being a recovering Catholic means I can still claim to celebrate the Feast of the Three Kings and send out gifts late. Or just say "fuck it" and only give you a card for Christmas with lots of good cheer. FIGHT ME.

If you don't mind, I'll be over here, chillin', with a normal BP, eating grapes and watching cheesy holiday movies with my babies.



You're welcome to join us.

*smooches...while chillaxin in my jammies*
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I might also go swimming; the stress-free possibilities are endless

Thursday, December 12, 2013

The Definition of Crazy

"What's that saying? Why do I keep hitting myself with a hammer? Because it feels so good when I stop." -Meredith Grey, "Grey's Anatomy"

I understand a lot of what I do is to my own detriment. I also understand that it makes me insane. I accept that. But the pull to habitually be unhappy is strong. STRONG. Like, magnetically strong. Trying to do better is honestly the hardest thing I've ever attempted.

Now please excuse me while I hoover down a whole bag of "organic" popcorn.

*smooches...bedazzling my hammer while watching Netflix*
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I mean if I'm gonna beat myself with it, might as well make it cute.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

"Fool For You" Dance Break

Even though I'm on a self-imposed man break, I miss the days when I was crushing on someone. Those honeymoon days, before you or s/he ruins the relationship, are so magical, you really do feel like you're floating on a cloud. Like nothing can touch you and your honey-bunny. Like there's nothing in the world you wouldn't do for them. Kind of how I feel for Netflix.

"Any mistake you make I, I just might forgive..."



Get into it!

*smooches...grooving deep in my seat*
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last time I saw Ms. Smith live she blew my mind; can't wait to go back!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Germaphobe?

(A conversation that transpired with a friend; we were discussing Terrence Howard's latest nuptials and why anyone would marry him so fast. I say money, friend says "dick too bomb." The thought of Terrence Howard's penis made my stomach turn...)

ME: Ewww. I imagine his dick is too yellow. Almost white. And white peen frightens me. It looks undercooked. Like I'm gonna get salmonella from it.

FRIEND: Let yourself out.

ME: *sigh* Fine

FRIEND: And for the record, light-skinned penis is great. They fuck like they have a point to prove.

ME: LMAO!

FRIEND: I've said too much.

*smooches...not too experienced with light-skinned penis*
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but please, feel free to share your tales of Yellow Snake Sex.

Monday, December 09, 2013

The Jaded Christmas List

I didn't write a Friday post because I said Fridays were reserved for inspirational posts, and I'm fresh out of inspiration. I got nothing. Go do whatever the hell you want- be happy, be miserable, eat babies- I no longer care. Instead, I will drown myself in capitalism and see how that works out. Why not? I have already tried Catholicism, drugs, alcohol, sex, exercise and a Paleo diet. None of it helped. Or maybe I'm being dramatic. WHATEVER, I WANT TO BUY ALL OF THE THINGS SO SHUT UP.

Here's what you need to get me for Christmas to help me on my capitalism journey:

This new wardrobe, ALL BLACK EVERYTHING.



This sneaker, and all its cousins. I'm a size 10.



This house in Azua, Dominican Republic (so I can finally leave this hellhole).



This poster for my bedroom wall.



This man for my bedroom...bed.



That is all.

*smooches...trying not to be too greedy*
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this is a real list. for real. buy me something!

Thursday, December 05, 2013

Defending "Snooki & JWoww," The Reality TV Show

Listen, I know trash TV is the downfall of good writing on the small screen. HOWEVER, it is successful for a reason. And people like to think that only the dregs of society are watching shows like "Keeping Up with the Kardashians" or "Love & Hip Hop" or any of the "Housewives of..." shows, but that's a lie and you know it. In fact, I'm a known and unapologetic trash TV watcher. I enjoy it, I look forward to it and it makes me laugh.

Recently I found myself having to explain why I still follow the lives of two former "Jersey Shore" cast members via their spinoff show, "Snooki & JWOWW," and the fact remains, "Because I like them." You will not find two more REAL people on any reality TV show, in my humble opinion.

These girls aren't trying to be anything they're not. MTV is throwing loads of money at them to just live their lives on screen and they're running with it. No pretenses, no posturing, no faux-elitism. Besides the fact that they've grown up a lot since the Shore days, Nicole and Jenny are the same down-to-earth girls they've been since day one, and, plastic surgeries aside, I appreciate them for that realness.



Now, if you don't mind, let me go catch up on this season.

*smooches...reveling in guilty pleasures*
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except I don't really feel guilty about it.

Wednesday, December 04, 2013

Thoughts On Infidelity

I just watched Things Never Said, a film about a spoken word artist struggling to find her voice. In it she's married to a man who hits her and barely cares about her poetry. There are more layers to their relationship but I'll only give you that tidbit for now. Over the course of the film, the woman meets another poet and begins an affair with him. Again, there are more layers to this cinematic version of what infidelity looks like, but I won't go into more details because it was a pretty good movie despite the annoying messages (and spoken word poetry featured), and maybe you'll want to see it.

I'm only using it to set up the point I want to make about infidelity, which is this: Things Never Said tried to convince me that the way this woman and the poet she cheated with became involved was complicated and difficult and there were grey areas that contributed to her infidelity. But I'm calling bullshit on all of that, because infidelity is very black and white. You either cheated or you didn't. There's no grey area about that plain fact.

In the face of challenges and obstacles and plain ol' everyday life, we have choices to make. Do we run out of the house without breakfast OR make breakfast and be a little late to work? Go to bed early and finish your paper in the morning OR pull an all-nighter and sleep in the next day? Sneak some extra cookies during snack OR obey your mom when she says you can only have two? And each of these choices have results and consequences: eat poorly at lunch because you skipped breakfast OR hear it from your boss because you were late? Give up those precious extra moments in the morning to finish your work OR deal with the ramifications of skipping class the next day? Get your rewards now OR lose your mom's trust?

When people say things like "I didn't have a choice" what they really mean is "I made the choice that benefited me at the time" or "I made the choice with the easiest path according to my id."

Infidelity is a choice you make to appease whatever basic need you perceive yourself to be lacking, and it's WRONG because you're making this choice at the expense of two other people--the person you've pledged fidelity to and the new person who thinks they're going to get all of you. Cheating is cheating is cheating. I don't care if your partner abuses you, ignores you or just bores you to death. Cheating is cheating is cheating. And if your partner is so awful then LEAVE** already.

By choosing to cheat, you're denying your significant other the full scope of your relationship and not allowing them to make an informed decision as to whether or not they want to be with you. You're being 100% selfish and cowardly.

My stance during my marriage and even after it ended has always been "If you feel the need to cheat, just leave." Clearly you no longer love or respect the person you're with if you think it's OK to break their trust, and I don't know about you but I don't want to be with someone who doesn't love or respect me. Just leave.

Besides, what kind of person starts a new relationship with drama and unpacked baggage? Don't be that way.

Also, movies and TV shows that glorify this shit make me so...GRRRRRR! Yes, even "Scandal." I want to punch Olivia and Fitz in their stupid faces SO DAMN MUCH.

*smooches...trying to make sure y'all get into heaven*
-----------
last I checked adultery was still a sin, dawg.

**Please note this post deals with infidelity. Obviously I know some people can't leave a relationship for many reasons. I'm saying if you're in it, you're in it, and cheating is still cheating no matter how you paint it.

Tuesday, December 03, 2013

Race Relations

FRIEND: How come when I look up "multiracial family holiday dinner" in Thinkstock, the minority wife always looks like the help?

ME: Because white dudes always marry help-looking black women. And vice versa. How's that?

FRIEND: That'll play

ME: I must admit- it's extremely rare that I'll come across an interracial couple that doesn't look like what we've described

FRIEND: LoL!

ME: And when I do, the black woman is bi-racial herself. You know what this made me think about?

FRIEND: what?

ME: I've noticed that I'll give a pass to dark-skinned black men who aren't that cute because of their dark-skin. Like I'll still be attracted to them. Is that racist? But let a light-skinned dude be average. I'm all "DO BETTER!"

FRIEND: lmao! Ma'am...

ME: It's reverse for black women. I think Massa has programmed me to think as such...

FRIEND: prolly. It's all Massa's fault

ME: How do I deprogram so I don't end up married to some creature from the black planet (dot com)? I need to see ugly for ugly, and not skin color. I'm too cute to date a creature!

FRIEND: Agreed. I'm programmed to want to physically violate attractive dark skinned men but only want to have the children of light skinned men so I can have brown babies.

ME: LMAO! Ma'am

FRIEND: What? It's true.

ME: We bofe need deprogramming

FRIEND: I'm extra careful every time I sleep with a dark skinned dude. "You gotta wear a condom AND pull out."

ME: I need you to leave and never come back

FRIEND: That's my truth.

*smooches...realizing my friends STILL ain't shit*
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but I guess we'll be ain't shit together

Monday, December 02, 2013

Deep End, Grown Folk Sh*t

But before we get to business, you know how we do...



Sometimes I'm loud and in your face, to cover up the silent screams in my head. Sometimes I'm quiet and pull away, to mask the trumpets of chaos that surround me. Sometimes I'll smile to keep from crying, and other times a scowl holds back my tears.

It's all a great deal of effort, being the person in charge. Being the keeper of secrets. And when all the food in all the land fails to fill that void that I-don't-know-what-or-who is supposed to sate, I suppose all that's left is my voice.

And, I guess, this blog.

So hello, again. Brace yourself for another bumpy ride.

*smooches...with two steps forward and ten steps back*
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ain't life grand? I'm expecting a heart attack any day now.

Sunday, December 01, 2013

Jaded Photographs: December 2013 Edition

"Ride Or Die"

There's very little else that matters.

*smooches...trying to exist in a different space*
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how y'all been? miss me?

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Because Bad Credit Isn't Embarrassing Enough

Tonight I met the most beautiful man.

Wait- let me back up a bit and go on a tangent.

Recently, I decided I was done dating. I don't really like myself right now and I REALLY don't like other people, and the thought of a first date makes me want to burrow INTO my sofa instead of just laying on it. And TMI but it has to be said, I don't enjoy sex. It's messy and my fibroids make the act rather painful. The thought of having to fake it YET AGAIN with someone new is too much for me right now. I don't want to. So I decided to just be done with dating because I know how you men are; no sex is a dealbreaker, right? Right.

On another tangent, having to deal with Ks tuition bills and my own suffocating debt has forced me to really face the music about my finances and crawl out of this broke-ass sinkhole once and for all. I have a great job that pays me super-well. There's no reason why I should be emptying out piggy banks at the local CoinStar machine just to buy groceries. At work, I heard about a free service offered by the City to meet with a financial counselor one-on-one and I jumped at the chance. FREE is my favorite word these days, and frankly, all I can afford until I snag up three more jobs like the third cousin twice removed of the Hedleys.



This is where both tangents meet up and give birth to the first sentence of this post.

Tonight I met the most beautiful man. He was tall, brown skin, bearded, fit, smart, well-groomed, funny, charming, and possessed the sexiest pair of lips I've seen in a very long time. He plays football, y'all. FOOTBALL. He owns his own home and other properties. He's so "good on paper" I'd sign off on a myomectomy so fast, just so that I could give him a million babies.

People, he was EVERYTHING in my imagination, at least.

Tonight I met the most beautiful man. But, because my life is a motherfucking sitcom, that man just happens to be the person who is now privy to my atrocious credit score, terrible spending habits, and irresponsibly out-of-control debt.

Touché, Jesus. I see what you did there.

*smooches...losing miserably at life*
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I've never really been good at chess but I do believe this is a checkmate situation, no?

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

This Is What Depression Looks Like, Too

ME: (self-medicating, again) I want Thai food but I also want nachos. UGH. Why don't they sell nachos at the Thai place?

N: (from her room) ...

ME: I CAN FEEL YOU JUDGING ME!

*smooches...waiting for one of y'all to come get her*
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there's a funny dynamic between us these days; a good one, though, so don't be alarmed

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

All The Feels

"Feelings are just visitors, let them come and go." -Mooji

I don't know who this Mooji dude is (actually I used the enemy AKA Google and so I DO know who he is), but I don't like people all up in my space. I can count on one hand the people that have been to my place (outside of family, of course. You can't keep those fools out!). I don't care for visitors; probably one of the main reasons I keep such a tiny, uninviting place. And I definitely don't want FEELINGS all up in my business, too.

My real problem, though, is that only the bad feelings seem to come more often and rarely, if ever, go.


Now, I'm going to write something here because this is my blog where I share my truths, and ask that you please, PLEASE, take several chill pills. Don't send me referrals to doctors or be glib or anything. I know this is my problem and it is I, Raquel Penzo, who will solve it. Please just accept that this is something I need to write for ME. This is where I vent. I need to release it.

More and more I find that I don't have the courage to leave my apartment. That's the best word that I could think of to describe what I'm lacking, or what I feel I'm lacking. And I find that the sofa has become this safe haven where nothing can hurt me, when in fact it's the thing that's hurting me the most. That I'm eating, not for nourishment or even pleasure, but because I don't know what else to do. That I lose myself in TV and movies because the real world has become too much. That the only thing that keeps me from shutting down is that I'm responsible for two other lives besides my own that require me to hold down a job and run a household.

That every morning when the sun shines in my face, my first thought resembles this meme:


But eventually I get up. I do things. I paint on a smile and I let words escape my mouth. I crack jokes at work. I put on makeup and comb my hair. I answer phone calls and participate in silly Twitter conversations. I write irreverent blog posts and then, when it's just me and my thoughts and my sofa and my Netflix, I'm free to feel things without judgements. Even if those feelings stay too long and tell me I'm stupid and fat and ugly and useless and lazy. I just need to feel them. In private. Without witnesses.

And then, in my own time, in my own way, I can let them go. Like Mooji suggests.

*smooches...trying to live through it*
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"trying" being the operative word

Monday, September 23, 2013

We're All Women. It's Science.

You heard it here first, girlies.



*smooches...trying to erase the claymation vag-to-penis transformation from my mind*
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although it was kind of funny

Friday, September 20, 2013

If You Want It You Got It

"Here is the thing. Yoga is not about bliss, but about honesty. Spirituality is not certainty, but the longing of the heart. Enlightenment is not ‘letting go’ of bad feelings, but understanding them, what they’re doing to us, and how they are expressed in the body." -Karin L. Burke

I'll be giving it a go again this weekend. Clearly I was in the wrong mindset before. Maybe this time it will stick.



If Lenny Kravits was my yoga instructor, though, I'd NEVER quit again!

*smooches...not so much inspiration for you but for me*
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I mean, it IS all about me anyway, always, every time

Thursday, September 19, 2013

And That's Why She's Walking Around With A Black Eye

ME: (describing my fake alter egos) ...and then there's Maritza- she's a high school drop out, is loud, carries a razor tucked away in her mouth and will cut you if you even think about looking at her man...

N: Wait- how does your alter ego have a boyfriend but you don't.

ME: ...

*smooches...putting a 13-year-old up for sale on eBay*
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I mean the absolute NERVE

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

"Kind Naked Feet Pic: Bitch Please, I'm Dominican!"

Let me tell you what happens when you press the statistics tab on blogger: you find out the weird and fabulous ways people end up on your site. Someone actually looked up "kind naked feet pic" and was directed to my site. WHY? I hate feet- everyone knows that. I don't like looking at them, I don't like mine, I don't even like to measure things in "feet"!

Another bunch of crazies typed "bitch please, I'm Dominican" and was directed here and, umm, I don't recall ever writing something like that. SkyNet has clearly developed some sort of technology that reads minds via keystrokes. CLEARLY.

If you ask me this is more proof that Google has waged war with me because I know it's already become self-aware, and that the Robot Apocalypse is near.

I'm on to you, GOOGLE. You won't win. YOU WON'T WIN!

*smooches...thinking that my meds have stopped working*
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oh wait, I'm not taking any meds...

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

"Ain't Nobody Got Time For That!"

You know what people love to tell me and other singles, in general? "Relationships take work."

We've been married a gazillion years but it's not been easy, it's a lot of hard work.
To have a happy relationship you gotta put in the work.
If you work at it, both you and your partner will have a happy life.

Bitch, WHAT? WORK? As in MORE WORK THAN I ALREADY DO EVERY MOTHERFUCKING DAY?

Running a country is hard work. Changing a tire is hard work. Staying in love with someone long enough to not want to stab them in the face while they sleep should be a piece of cake! I shouldn't have to clock in and out of my relationship. Or look forward to vacation days away from my boo.

Love shouldn't be work. Love should be my refuge from all that nonsense out in the world. And now I'm to understand that the thing that's supposed to complement my life until the end of days ALSO takes WORK???

Nah, I'm good. Y'all can keep all of that. I think I'll go ahead and buy that Golden Girls house me and the homie Tiffany have been talking about; I got dibs on being Dorothy!

*smooches...ready to STAY single and fabulous, exclamation point*
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maybe after I retire I'll be ready for a relationship again

Monday, September 16, 2013

My Bad, Did I Forget To Say Bye?

First, for old time's sake, some welcome back music:



OK so listen, I took another impromptu break. Whatever. Don't get all fake-upset. You clearly did just fine filling your days without me popping up in your inbox every day.

So what's new with me? Let's see...I'm still single (yeah, baby!!), K's off at college (one down, one to go), I've gained more weight and give no fucks about it, and I've finally decided to put myself on a real budget (which I really had no choice about; paying for college is a BITCH!).

N and I are settling into our non-K existence just fine so far, and I've been keeping busy trying to make my literary life bigger and better and more well-known throughout NYC. And of course, I've been ruining my eyesight and killing braincells watching TV and movies until the wee hours of the night. Writing? Yeah, not so much. But soon. SOON.

Meanwhile, it's Latino Heritage Month; be sure and hug a Mexican today or something.

So, what y'all been doing?

*smooches...only posting to keep my online fame active*
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unfortunately I need you fools to make shit happen. UGH. I hate needing people...

Friday, August 23, 2013

I OK, As Long As De Music Plays

I had a rough week.

A lot of plans blew up in my face and other things are threatening my patience and my sanity. Times like this I have no choice but to shrink away so I can find a solution or nurse my wounds.

When I heard about actor Lee Thompson Young ("The Famous Jett Jackson," "Rizzoli & Isles") committing suicide, I was sad, but mostly thankful for a coping mechanism for my own woes. "There but for the grace of god go I." There's always something or someone to bring me back.

And I always, always have music.



I can always bury myself in the arts and come out of it reborn. When you feel yourself falling down that rabbit hole, find that "thing" that anchors you. That anchor will save your life.

Trust me.

*smooches...hoping you're OK, too*
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I learned that "anchor" thing from watching "Teen Wolf" on Netflix. Get into it.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

I Swear I Wrote This BEFORE I Saw "The Matrix"

Cover art where my baby dwells
As my part of my now-defunct thesis (let's just call a spade a spade- I don't give two shits about finishing that shit), I wrote a short-short, "On a Blue Day," about a girl and her penchant for uppers and downers who moves back home to attend a funeral. It was just a small experimental piece that was part of an assignment I had at FDU where I had to mimic the writing style of an author I can't remember right now.

But the gist of the assignment was repetition. There had to be an element of the story that kept repeating every few lines, if not every line. So there's a lot of mention of the red uppers and blue downers throughout the barely-two-thousand-word story.

On a deeper level, this story touches upon this girl's continuous habit of self-medication, which at the time was reflecting my own way of handling a crisis- that crisis, of course, being my grandmother's death, which was still painfully fresh in my mind in 2005.

Well this poor baby had been rejected from many a flash fiction contest. I would read it over and over and think What aren't people getting? This is a good fucking story! But alas, editors from here to LA didn't feel the same, until I met a young woman named Hannah Clayman who ran a zine for women in Brooklyn, You Should Be Here. She encouraged me to submit something and, with a few hours left until deadline, I sent off the story. I think she wrote me back the next day to say they "loved(!)" my story, and I was all FINALLY! SOMEONE GETS IT!


So now I can finally add another credit to my name: I've self-published a book on writing, I've been interviewed for a prominent Dominican news source online, and I've published two short stories--one online and one in print.

I say that deserves some fucking Shake Shack and Haagen Dazs this weekend!

*smooches...trying not to rest on my laurels*
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there's still so much I need to do, but I'm enjoying this journey so far.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

I'm Just Going To Stop Wishing

"...the devil doesn’t come dressed in a red cape and pointy horns. He comes as everything you’ve ever wished for..." -Tucker Max, Assholes Finish First

*smooches...still wishing a motherfucker WOULD, though*
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I could never give that up

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Six Minutes

I've never seen Vision Quest in its entirety, but this clip was pretty good, a little something that was delivered to my inbox courtesy of Circuit of Change.



There are a lot of Six Minutes throughout my day that I waste away. Might be a good idea to take them a bit more seriously.

How are you making the most of your day? Any tips? I'm asking for a friend...

*smooches...trying to be a more productive citizen*
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it doesn't always work, though. I blame Jesus and Obama.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Thirteen Years Of This Bundle Of Energy

I decided to have a second baby for two reasons. One, I was unhappy and thought another cuddly baby would solve all my problems; and two, I firmly believed (and still do) that every child needs a sibling. My first experience as a mom was a breeze-K was such an easy baby-that I just knew the sequel would be just as fun. Enter N.

A sister or brother is seriously a friend for life
She's always been a rough-and-tumbly kind of baby, climbing up on kitchen counters, eating sugar and baby powder when unattended, hanging precariously from monkey bars and speaking out of turn. Just a pure thug. I learned early on not to let that little face fool me.

There was one instance while we were potty training her, where she pooped on the floor and then kept it moving like it wasn't her. Seconds later K stepped in it because HELLO, who expects to find poop in the middle of the floor inside the house? Oh my, did that little thug laugh her ass off...she gave no fucks about poor K's poopie foot. She'd done her business and was moving on with her day.

And that's pretty much how she's YOLO'd her entire existence on this earth. It's been 13 years of What Will N Do/Say Next?

Giving no fucks at her Guela's birthday party

Giving no fucks about chicken pox

Giving no fucks about website photo shoots

Giving no fucks about not knowing how to swim yet

UV Rays? She gives no fucks
And I've enjoyed every minute of it.

Now she's this huge, almost-young-woman who plays sports and builds things out of nothing but pure imagination and scraps of whatever she can find, who has opinions and knowledge of stuff and grown-folk underwear, and I'm all HUH?! Where's my squooshy baby?!

Giving no fucks about empty calories, either

Still, I regret it not.

HAPPY (Belated) BIRTHDAY, 
SCHMOO-PIE!

*smooches...just for N on her birthday*
-----------
let's see if I still feel this way next year...

Friday, August 16, 2013

We Will Always Share, Nuh Care How Meager The Meal

When I decided to become a writer, I knew that my life would not include traveling down the easy road. I knew that I would not be swimming in money. I knew that the arts is something you undertake for the sake of the arts. And I'm OK with all of that.

This life, however, can wear people out, especially for the unlucky ones who have to wonder where their next paycheck is coming from. And yes, it's PURE LUCK that a writing position opened in a marketing department at a non-profit I believe in and is very close to home so that my commute doesn't involve the annoying yuppies of Park Slope. So much luck was involved, especially because this job helps me grow as a writer AND allows me the freedom to still work on my personal projects on the side.

Around me, though, are those who haven't found that balance of a job that pays the bills and also nourishes them. I think this helps fuel me in my endeavors, though, because I know there are a slew of talented and amazing people that would be perfect additions to The Jaded Empire, now that I'm actively working toward making that dream a reality.

Please believe that those who've been down with me from jump have a home with me, and if not, I'm here to help you find your calling if you need me to. Because what fun will it be to live my dream if my homies are still mired in muck? No sir! As I lift myself up, I'm gonna work to keep y'all uplifted! I mean, y'all have to put in work, too, but this is war, son, and I don't leave anyone behind (unless, you know, it's PMS Week and you've pissed me off...).

Most importantly, get those positive vibes and energies flowing. Yesterday's mistakes are yesterday's mistakes. You wake up every day with the chance to make it right.



I hear the brighter side of life is just more fun and productive, you know?

*smooches...wishing you a life with no moss*
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now, go forth and prosper over the weekend!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

I Read At Barnes & Noble Yesterday

There's really nothing else I want to tell you. If you missed it, you missed it.

How fitting... "The Natural"

But here's how cute I looked staring down at my "sheets of genius words" for dear life.

Yup, I'm a star...

...so I don't have to look at you
This time next year, y'all will be saying "I used to read this cute little blog that Raquel used to write...now she's too famous..."

*smooches...still on a high*
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I'm psyched, too, because these stories are really coming together beautifully!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Staying In The 90s

I think it was comedian Jerry Seinfeld who joked about older people and their way of dressing, stating that it appears his parents selected a decade and just decided that's where they'd stay. I laughed so hard at that joke and today realized: it's true. Why? Because I'm living it. I've decided that most of what has happened after the 1990s--whether it be music or fashion--is all well and good but for the most part, it's not for me.

Given a choice, I'll always prefer baggier cuts of pants (oh how I miss my Osh Kosh B'Gosh overalls!) and flannel shirts and Doc Martens. I mean, you already know I STILL own and frequently wear Docs. And today's music... I could take it or leave it.

Or maybe it's that the 90s represent the funnest, most carefree times of my life, before kids, debt, physical ailments and these extra 30lbs (she wrote while eating cheddar-flavored Sun Chips).

I still long for my dark, matte lipstick, chokers, bangs, baby doll dresses...basically Brenda Walsh's entire wardrobe from the first two seasons of Beverly Hills, 90210.

Can I get all of these in a size 12? Thanks!

Can we go back there??

*smooches...reminiscing about better days*
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look at that, my calendar says this post is right on time! now let me go buy some feminine napkins...

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Message!

"Shame is a shackle. Free yourself." -The Humans by Matt Haig

*smooches...thinking of living a shame-free life*
----------
also, there are too many books to read and never enough time to read them all. WHAT IS THIS LIFE?!

Monday, August 12, 2013

Hello Brooklyn.

Your eyes do not deceive you. This is a photograph of a shopping cart, filled with someone's earthly possessions, parked in the bike rack.

Really, though? Okay...

Just another day at work.

*smooches...thinking your Monday couldn't have been better than mine*
-----------
how was your weekend, though?

Friday, August 09, 2013

I Awake Each Day With The New Sunrise

So yesterday...yeah, man, I was going to post something but nothing seemed good enough. See, it was the anniversary of my grandmother's death and, well, you already know.

Then today I'm on The Twitter and scattered all over my timeline is the aftermath and remnants of an ugly mess (that had nothing to do with me) playing itself out in public. This happens at least once a month on #BlackTwitter but it doesn't make it easier to swallow each time. At first I let it suck me in because c'mon, I'm human. Shit like this is tasty and I tend to be greedy. But then it wasn't. Then it was giving my bubbleguts. Then it was leaving a bad taste in my mouth. Then it was reminding me to mind my own business and not frolic among the negative energy.

My grandmother didn't come to this country, watch other people's kids, take in other people's laundry and basically make herself sick taking care of us for me to sit at a desk watching someone's life being dragged through the internets.

Earlier this evening, after a feast of Buffalo wings and waffle fries (OH YEAH) I took K to get her very first tattoo. When we parted ways so she could go with her dad for the weekend and I could go home to be lazy, she ran to hug me and said "I feel like I should stay; I just got my first tattoo with you. It's like postpartum depression or something!" and let me kiss and squeeze her cheeks while using baby talk. In public.

This is what I should be concerning myself with: my family. Hugging them, kissing them and treating them whenever they deserve it and I can afford to.



Blessed is this life...never forget it.

*smooches...celebrating being alive*
-----------
I don't think grandma would be happy about the body art, but she'd be happy about the togetherness.

Wednesday, August 07, 2013

When Twitter Catchphrases Get Real

An exchange between me and Mari during my Penzo Grandmother's birthday party...

ME: (saying something catty and/or snarky)

MARI: WHO HURT YOU?!

ME: This is the wrong place to ask that question...

At the scene of the crime

*smooches...finding the humor in my dysfunction*
-----------
you have to be able to laugh at yourself, folks!

Tuesday, August 06, 2013

And Now The Real Work Begins: A Healthy Jaded Post

So remember around Christmas when I hurt my back and found out it was because an angry, toothy alien was residing in my spine and was manipulating my body like a puppet master? And I had to go to physical therapy and not work out on my own?

Right, so I decided to use all of that as an excuse to gain back a whole bunch of weight and eat a bunch of bad-for-me foods while not giving an iota of a fuck. I went from being in the low 170s to almost back in the 190s. It's truly a sad state of affairs.

Obviously there are other factors at play here that are hardly any of your business, but the fact remains that I'm a whale. A WHALE. A MOTHERFUCKING WHALE. And it's all my fault (although seamless.com, Domino's pizza and Netflix had something to do with it, too).

So I had to go back to basics, the things that worked for me the first time around. Enter my former personal trainer, Bryan Ortiz aka the Brooklyn Bad Ass, and his special brand of torture-disguised-as-fitness.

While I cried for Jesus, Bryan pointed & laughed & took pictures.
There's a long goddamned road ahead of me. I'm going to be stank, bitter, irritable and just downright nasty for at least six weeks as I retrain my brain and my body to embrace a healthy lifestyle again. And then I'm going to whine and cry and mope and overturn your desks and coffee tables in frustration. But eventually, I'll get back to normal. Whatever that is. Maybe.

You might want to steer clear of me until sometime after Halloween. Or Christmas, 2014.

*smooches...dreaming of pizza and cookies and gummy bears*
-----------
OH MY!

Monday, August 05, 2013

La Doña Turned 90

On Saturday, the babies and I (and Mami, Mari and Mari's dad) trekked up to Cypress Hills to attend the celebration of my Penzo Grandmother's 90th birthday. Now those that know me and have been reading this blog for a while know that I'm not close to my Penzo family; nothing personal, really, I just wasn't raised with them as closely as I was raised with my mother's family. I never formed a tight bond with them as a whole, although I do care for some of my aunts and uncles and cousins very much. So you can only imagine that the thought of that many Penzos in one room at one time was just too much for me, and I didn't want to go.

But listen, part of being a grown up is not just "doing whatever you want" as I previously mentioned, it's also doing what's right. This lady turned 90. How many people get to do that? If all she wanted for her birthday was to be surrounded by her family, then I needed to set aside my own comfort level and gift her that. Perhaps in the end what I wanted to do was make an old lady happy.

Besides, she's never been mean to me or my babies. The least I could do was swing by and say "hey!"See, it's not that I don't like her, I just never had or took the time to get close to her. I respect her gangsta, you know, so even though the babies were extra stank and it was a $30 cab ride away, we went.

And I'm glad we did. She seemed truly happy at her party, and I'd like to think that in some tiny way I helped make that happen by just showing up and wishing her a happy birthday. I really hope it made her night to look out at the reception hall and see all the children she has begotten. It's not something I will ever experience (seeing as I only have two kids and she had, like, a baker's dozen!) but it was kind of special to witness it first-hand.

This is what 90 looks like in my family.

*smooches...wondering what my 90th bday bash would look like*
-----------
alls I know is, I'd better still have enough teeth to enjoy some Buffalo wings when the time comes!

Sunday, August 04, 2013

Jaded Photographs: August 2013 Edition

"Never Stop Fighting"

*smooches...appreciating the message on the street*
-----------
we could all use a reminder as the summer begins to wind down

Friday, August 02, 2013

When I Do It I Don't Look Back

Rarely will a Beyonce song move me. OK, that might be a lie. I think I can name at least five Beyonce songs that I've shaken my ass to over the years. Or more. Whatever, shut up. Let me just give you this week's inspirational message in peace, OK? Sheesh!

Yesterday, I mentioned my lamentations about having thrown myself into the position of Head of Household, and how the experience shook me. That was October of 2005. Right now, in this glorious year of our lord Jesus Christ (2013), I walk around making no apologies for any of the decisions that I've made.

Oh, I left you while you were at your lowest point in life? Too bad, so sad. I turned my back on the possibility career in the sciences to pursue the arts? That's how I roll. I'm happily SINGLE AND FABULOUS, EXCLAMATION POINT yet you can't understand why I just won't get a man in my life? Bitch, have a seat.

I'm a grown woman. I can do WHATEVER I want.



I want you all to know this is more about following your true path and less about singing a little diddy by a card-carrying member of the Illuminati (although it is a damn good song, Mrs. Carter). This is definitely about believing in your own ability to make shit happen for yourself, regardless of who is in your corner and who isn't.

You're going to make mistakes. You're not going to have all the answers. You're going to hit more than a couple of brick walls. But the stories you'll be able to tell along this fantastic journey, well, shit, isn't that what it's all about? The fantastic journey?

Do yourself a favor: be grown. Do whatever you want.

*smooches...memorizing that choreography*
----------
this would be a good song to play at the gym, or right before I take the mic at a reading...

Thursday, August 01, 2013

On Divorce...

"The hardest part is realizing you're in charge." -Helen Bishop, "Mad Men"

I'm heavily into this show right now, years and years later. That line spoke to me like no other.

When I split from my ex, I knew it was the right thing to do. Still, I'd been accustomed to someone else always taking the reigns in my life. It was a bucket of ice-cold water to the face to check the Head of Household box on my tax documents. Dude, I was the decision-maker. Me. Moi. If it went well then YAY for me. If it failed there was no one to blame except Jesus, Mary and Joseph.

When people ask me for advice about ending their marriage, I always tell them to really think it through. Not only because I strongly believe you have to try everything to save your relationship before you walk away (quitters never win!) but because the aftermath is something only the strong will survive.

*smooches...counting myself among the strong*
-----------
I consider not shacking up with someone shortly after my divorce as winning. take that statement however you want to take it.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

My Friends Ain't Shit

My homie--who lives with a baby momma he cannot stand at all--responded to my request, asking for a ride to the airport tomorrow, like so:

Reckon i cain't seein how massa say Iysa gonna b in de hotbox all week onna counta I came in real late last nite, and imma doit again 2nite...

I just wanted y'all to know I'm not the only one in my circle that's missing a few marbles.

*smooches...appreciating my empty bed tonight*
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there but for the grace of Obama go I...

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Lost In Translation: The Don Lemon Disaster

So as I understand it, Black Twitter has ousted CNN personality Don Lemon from The Club because of some recent comments that have deemed him an Uncle Tom (a diss I don't fully understand because I never read the book. I've currently pulled it off the shelf at work. I might read it unless one of you can give me the Cliff's Notes.). At first I cared not even one little bit. Not even a smidgen. I used to have a crush on Lemon but as soon as he came out as gay I moved on. I don't believe in fighting that fight, y'all. I know how good penis can be; there's no way to turn a man who likes penis.

But everyone and their momma kept talking about it (even created a hastag on the Twitter--Don Lemon Logic--about it) which made me finally read an article about Lemon's comments to see what was so bad about it. In a nutshell, Lemon agreed with something that Bill O'Reilly said about "...high levels of crime in 'black precincts'" and the "'disintegration of the African-American family'" and also discussed "...the 'gansta culture' pushed by the entertainment industry." Specifically, Lemon listed five ways we, as black people, could do better in life:

  • Respect our communities
  • Finish school
  • Pulling up sagging pants
  • Eliminating the n-word
  • Addressing the issue of absentee fathers [source: The Daily Caller]

Honestly, folks, this isn't a bad list. If I have to see another young man's underwear without my consent, I'm going to scream. If I have to see another couple get pregnant accidentally on purpose and not take responsibility for the life they create, I'm going to hurt someone. But these things aren't only in the black community, so maybe that's why y'all are mad at Lemon?

I mean, that list is a very good start to fixing a bunch of serious issues within many black communities. Where I think maybe Ol' Don lost y'all was in laying this out as THE plan to fix everything, without addressing certain facts of modern life that are designed to keep the same groups down in the muck so that those with power ALWAYS have power.

I don't know; I'm not seeing why his remarks lit y'all all the way up, is what I'm saying. Maybe y'all didn't understand what he meant or he didn't express it properly? There just seems to be a communication breakdown somewhere, because I can see where he's going with this and let me tell ya- it's not a bad place.

Feel free to tell me I'm wrong so I can ignore you in the comments.

*smooches...ready to beat his ass if it's warranted*
-----------
y'all know I'm all Black Panther-y now. just say the word and that jive turkey's ass is grass!

Monday, July 29, 2013

Lianne & I Had A Date On Saturday In The Park

And it was everything I imagined it would be and more. She's amazing.



On July 13, I was on a bus headed home from taking K to orientation at college, and I kept Lianne in my ear on repeat. Just let her soothe me after a nice weekend of family time and introducing my child to her future. Then I received a bunch of texts about that damned verdict and my chill turned to sorrow.



I hate that Lianne is associated with that terrible day. But seeing her live...I can only imagine this is what communion is like for the faithful. She's not that verdict, after all. We shared a moment, and in that moment I was truly happy.



This concert reminded me why I write, why I create art. It takes people away from the misery and the bullshit, and instead shows them the beauty and the possibilities.



How was your weekend?

*smooches...still in a groove*
-----------
no one has moved me this much in a while

Friday, July 26, 2013

Working On My Shit

Shortly after writing a small paragraph on how writer's block is nothing more than me seeking an excuse for my procrastination, I decided to keep procrastinating. On EVERYTHING. And it made me sick to my stomach.

I've been meeting with friends recently about plans for our future, stuff we want to accomplish, and let me tell you- it's not going to happen while watching "Orange Is the New Black" on Netflix until I pass out (although that show is really good and maybe you should check it out).

But I need to take advantage of this time: K is about to be out of the house, N is super busy with sports, music and Algebra. Now is when I should be plotting the next phase of my life in preparation for her departure in five years. And there are so many awesome things on my list, whittled down from a GINORMOUS tome that used to include Become A Health & Fitness Expert/Advocate (fuck the fatties!) and Have A Baby With My JHS Crush (my uterus said NO), and it's exciting.

I'm all about that hustle & grind right now: who can I connect with to get to that next level? Where else can I get a byline? Oh look- computers are for more than just watching twerk videos at three in the morning!

I shall be the Queen of Everything Literary, and you will all bow down to my word prowess like the peons that you are.



Or, you know, come visit and say hi.

Make sure you're using your time wisely, folks. Chase your dream everyday in every way. Act like the rent is due (which it is, on Thursday!) and you're still short by ALL OF IT. Light that fire under your ass and invest in yourself before you wreck yourself...

Did that make sense? Whatever, my brain is too busy planning moves. MOVES, SON!

*smooches...getting this work*
-----------
yes, I'm currently obsessed with this song. and so is N. so what!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

One Angry Duck!

Donald tried to kill me!
So I had this dream this morning, during my 7AM nap, that N and I found this dying duck outside our door. But it wasn't really our door as this whole dream took place in a cross between my old apartment on Stuyvesant Ave and Halsey Street and my grandmother's old railroad apartment on Patchen Avenue in Brooklyn.

So this duck was nearly dead, y'all! Its feathers were replaced with this leathery skin and its breathing was labored, so with 15 seasons of ER under my belt, I assessed that the duck was dehydrated and needed to be put in water ASAP. We grabbed a white painter's bucket, filled it with water and yes, put a grown ass duck in the bucket. The effects were immediate. Feathers seemed to reappear and the duck was breathing better and even frolicking in the water. I felt confident enough to leave N in charge of its care while I went off to do some dream-like things.

Cut to N running into the room to inform me that the duck escaped. So I ran around the house looking for it with her, because all of a sudden it was so important we find it. And when we spotted it in the kitchen, IT ATTACKED US. As we tried to coax it back into the bucket it pecked at us and tried to bite us and was flapping its wings angrily at us. I was all, "What the fuck? I just saved your fucking life!"

But this duck would not let up, and my dream self yelled at my real self to wake the hell up; this bird was coming for blood and I wanted out! And then I woke up, relieved.

What the hell, y'all? I haven't eaten duck in nearly two years. Why was this thing trying to cut my throat up with its beak?

UPDATE: So I shared this dream with my co-worker and we decided that K is the duck. So much to think about right now...

*smooches...resolved to never eat almonds before bed again*
-----------
I mean, what else could it have been?

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Mari Speaks On...

...colorism and romance, without meaning to.

In all our dark-skinned glory.
 MARI: Um so this guy I am dating just told me that I am not light-skinned and am brown. He is a keeper! LMAO!

ME: O_o!! Then I'm definitely chocolate.

MARI: Right. Like he is so serious. That single comment boosted his daily ratings.

*smooches...basking in our joint delusions*
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listen, I own a mirror. I know what I look like. just let me live...

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Tunes Always Work

In the midst of one crazy-ass emotional roller coaster, I downloaded a CD--"Ella" by Brooklyn rapper ScienZe--that featured the homie Kit Luxx, just to show my support. It's what I do for other artists, you know, because I know how hard it is to create and release it and hope people get it. I was just going to save the playlist in a file and listen to it whenever, but something told me to actually listen.

And wouldn't you know it? I loved it. Every song. There's no need to skip a track. Ever. In fact, the 20-song CD ends too soon, if you ask me.



My favorite song is "Steam Boat" but I couldn't find it anywhere to play it for you. You'll just have to download the CD and hear it for yourself. But I warn you--once you do you'll never want to listen to anything else.

It feels good to know that good music is still being made out there.

*smooches...while on an imaginary steam boat*
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also, you ain't heard this from me, but old boy ScienZe? he FOINE.

Monday, July 22, 2013

United Colors Of Benetton

Whenever someone says "I could never raise kids in the City" I look at my babies and I know that those people are wrong. The City is the BEST place to raise my daughters. Not only are they surrounded by people who look like them, they're also exposed to so many other cultures. What better way to learn about life? Case in point, K and her friends:


After such an amazingly difficult and heart-wrenching week, it was pure bliss to see these kids together, laughing, talking and eating all the damn food like teenagers are wont to do having a great time together. They have the world at their feet and so much potential waiting to be tapped. I'm excited to see where they end up in life, and equally upset that world events will try to sap their greatness. But at least I have their backs. Whatever it takes and by any means necessary.

I will continue to fight for days like this, where we're surrounded by friends and family who love us and make us happy. I will continue to fight for my babies' future. Anything, just to keep these smiles shining bright.
My baby is 18, y'all!


With her Guela, sis and auntie


K has always been the oldest of the cousins!


Good times all around!


How beautiful is my family?!


What did you do with your Saturday?

*smooches...still on a party high*
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it was such a perfect day...

Friday, July 19, 2013

You Get What You Need

My babycakes turns 18 tomorrow. That little bit that barely fit over my torso is now a full-grown, able to vote, adult. WOW.

Look at those cheeks!

We started her coonery lessons early.

I didn't crop this pic on purpose; K w/her Celia. They were BFFs!

Where the panda obsession began.

K the baby model. (c) 1995 Celia M.

I want to tell her that the world is hers for the taking, that nothing can stop her, and whatever she wants in life she can manifest, but this past week has made me doubt this advice is true. At the very least, I speak into the Universe that my baby get what she needs.



This advice is as much for me as it is for her. To say I was at the precipice of a downward spiral in college is an understatement. Having a kid, for real, straightened me out (a little bit). Having to be a role model and caregiver and nurturer and nurse and educator and guardian and nutritionist and enforcer got us both through these 18 years with minimal scars: only one of us had to go to therapy! (Hint: it wasn't me.)

During her college orientation. COLLEGE!!!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MY LOVE. 
YOU'RE MOMMA'S SPECIAL PRINCESS. 
NEVER FORGET IT.

Partners in crime for life!
And a special shout out to everyone who helped me raise her. You guys rock my socks!

*smooches...just for my boog-schmoog*
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how adorable was/is my baby???

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Laughs & Truths

So once again I want to point out that my favorite podcast, The Read, needs to be your favorite podcast, too.

This week's episode is full of the usual shenanigans, but also discusses the Zimmerman trial (and in case you're all "Ugh, I'm tired of hearing about this stupid trial!" well guess what- I'm tired of our black sons dying necessarily and the law saying it's OK. So there's that.).

And one point in particular, made by @Crissle during her read, stuck out to me the most: the idea of respectability politics, which can be defined as "a deliberate concession to mainstream societal values" in order to gain favor with the perceived "majority." I'll let you listen for yourself; start at 55:38 for Crissle's read and get your life.



I've been there, siding against my brethren regardless of the details just to keep the eyes off of me and not become a target myself. And mostly because remember, I denied my blackness for a big chunk of my life. Whenever blacks were portrayed negatively on the news or, you know, EVERYWHERE, I distinctly remember thinking "well that's not me because I went to a good school and I follow the rules and I do what I'm supposed to. Plus, I'm Dominican; I'm not even black!" Knowing damn well my black-ass was black.

So I connected to what Crissle was saying, and I understand both sides of the coin, but still, my black brothers and sisters: I urge you to wake up. Let's not turn against each other.

Amen and good day.

*smooches...growing and healing*
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reflecting on my own black guilt during these hard-as-fuck times

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

10.01.97

behind my lids
images of dancing tree limbs
and tumbling leaves
flow through like silent films of
Autumn

i watch, serenely, smelling
the breeze, feeling the scents
on my cheeks, waiting for the intermission
trying to remember
where the concessions were being sold

*smooches...just trying to make it through the week*
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I figured you wouldn't rightly care if I posted a fall message in the middle of a heatwave

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

The House Negro Diaries, 2013

The Blogger Formerly Known As Smarty, aka Tiffany, told me this weekend that me and my beige counterparts are always the most militant Negroes, and I agree. At least for myself. The evolution of my blackness saw me first DENY it (I'm Spanish/Hispanic/Dominican, not black!) and then slowly come to grips with it (deal with my 'fro, bitches!), culminating in this past weekend when I was ready to join the new Black Panthers or something.

Let's just say I've since been taught to find a happy medium. Whitey doesn't necessarily HAVE TO die, he just needs to be reined in a bit. Or a lot. Whatever.

Still, this happened in the midst of all that:

ME: I got an email for career day in October. Would it be wrong to title my presentation: How to Stay Under Whitey's Radar and Live to See Your Grandbabies?

TIFFANY: O_O!!! Massa might have a problem with that.

ME: Don't he always? I'm gonna pee in his sweet tea. "I got sumin sweet for ya, alright!"

TIFFANY: Lmao! Disgusting.

ME: No lie, that's the kind of house negro I would have been, putting shit all in their food because FUCK MASSA, that's why! ...and then I'd giggle my yellow ass all the way home at the end of the day.

TIFFANY: Lmao! Your ass woulda been in the hot box.

ME: How would they know? "What's in this?" "Adobo."

TIFFANY: ROTFLMAO!!!

::opens door::

Good day, ma'am.

ME: Awww, man...!

TIFFANY: Nah, you woulda been a comfort girl 'cause you're tall. They woulda bred you with a buck to create big ol' SUPER slaves.

ME: Wait- where can I get my hands on one of those bucks though? What his mowf do?

TIFFANY: I said GOOD DAY!

*smooches...wondering what to do with this new rebellious soul*
-----------
I just want to break every rule and put my middle finger in everyone's face. but you know, I like having a job so I won't. I'll just find someplace to volunteer instead.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Obviously We Don't Matter

I'm writing this with fresh tears in my eyes for a black boy who was denied justice. Even if someone goes vigilante on George Zimmerman, it's not justice, because what I want is for THE LAW to recognize what Zimmerman did was wrong. I want THE LAW to affirm what's in my heart. And you can be mad at everyone for saying Zimmerman should have gotten off but please realize, THE LAW was on his side, and that's where our rage should be focused. We have to change THE LAW that allowed this to happen in the supposed land of the free.

I'm also writing this with a searing hatred in my heart that I'm working to quell. I can't explain it exactly, but it's like feeling an anxious indigestion in your lungs. Almost hard to breathe because of all the rage. I have this nervous energy that wants me to do bad things. I have a brand new headache that won't go away. I have a brand new Voice informing me that me and my babies and my family and my people aren't worth shit. We aren't worth tears or fairness or sympathy or even the benefit of the doubt. I can collect all the degrees I want and send my babies to all the best schools and bust my ass to make my own way in this world and never, ever have a scuffle with the law and still, I'm nothing. I don't even matter.

That's what this trial made me feel like: I don't matter. And that's bullshit, because I follow all of your motherfucking rules, AMERICA! I have a social security number; I pay taxes; I immunized my kids; I send them to school and keep them off the streets; I pay my own rent and utilities; I keep a job "on the books" and still, I don't matter. Well FUCK YOU, then. AMERICA.

And while we're on the subject, I need to address something real quick. All my white homies, pay attention and pass it on to the people you love.

When I'm visiting with either Cathi or Celia, dear, dear friends from college (more like family!!!!) who happen to be white and who live in areas where black folks are an anomaly, despite the fact that I know these women are my friends and love me and much as I love them, it doesn't diminish my hyper-awareness of, most times, being the only person of color in the room. It's something instinctual, like checking to see where all the exits are when you enter a room or making sure you're not alone with some dude on a subway car during that long ass ride from 59th Street to 125th Street on the A-Train. Just another safety precaution. I also listen intently for anything remotely racist said around me when I'm in said scenarios. Again, I can't turn it off, it just is.

This has always been my life. This is how I've learned to co-exist in a world that would rather I just go away and stop pestering it with desires of fairness and justice and liberty to pursue my happiness. I had to learn to adjust ME so as not to upset "the white folks" and I'm not kidding; this is how I grew up. "Don't be loud; don't make a scene; obey the cops" and so on, because I am the wrong shade of human to be afforded the luxury of being loud, causing a scene or disobeying the cops. It's exhausting to know I don't matter!

I'm not looking for pity or special treatment here, just understanding. We are systematically oppressed every day of our lives, on a small scale AND on a large scale. Everyday and all the time. This is why shit like this Zimmerman verdict has me flipping out and yelling RACISM. Because it is.

AND ANOTHER THING (to add to this unorganized rant). Just because you are the only white person in your group, neighborhood, city, state, dorm or WHATEVER, doesn't make you a minority in the same respect that non-whites are considered minorities, OK? The system is still on your side. You're not being ignored by your elected representatives (any more than usual). The cops aren't going to target or profile you. You can buy a house anywhere you want and no one will question WHY you got into a good school or got a great promotion.

So no, JAMES MCLELLAN, being the only white person in your county is not the same thing as being non-white in America. Shut the fuck up and enjoy your white privilege, idiot!

*no smooches today; I'm mourning my basic human right to exist in peace*
-----------
how was your weekend?

Friday, July 05, 2013

Take This Music And Use It

A while ago I read Dr. Weill's Eight Weeks to Optimal Health and in it the doctor suggests that we distance ourselves from newspapers and the 11 o'clock news, because it poisons us. And I've tried to do that since I read that, but this George Zimmerman trial has taken over my soul.

I'm not going to tell you what to think or do or anything else with regard to this trial. In fact, I'm disabling comments because I don't want anyone to act ignorant on my blog. I'm not trying to be the next person in an orange jumpsuit.

But I am accepting that the outcome of this trial is not within my control. I'm not on the jury. I'm not the judge and I'm not on the prosecution's team. I'm releasing the anxiety I feel in my soul over this whole case. I'm going to go home and hug my babies and be thankful that they're okay. And be hopeful that justice will prevail in Florida.



Take a moment and think of everything that is stressing you out right now. Is it worth a heart attack? Is it worth your tears? Will your bad feelings or bad health, in any way, change the source of your stress? Be hopeful. Let go of the badness.

*smooches...practicing my yogic breath*
----------
this trial, though, is getting on my LAST motherfucking nerve. LAST. ONE.

Thursday, July 04, 2013

Only Dominicans Will Get This

Mari told me this joke years ago. It STILL cracks me up.

What's the smelliest holiday?

Fo-fo July.


*smooches...enjoying a quiet day*
----------
who's bringing me some BBQ?