Friday, June 28, 2013

What A Conversation We Had

We shared a stolen glance;

In a ball gown and black tie room,
a crowd of diamonds and stilettos
and champagne,
our eyes found each other
and smiles followed
yours with slight dimples and creases
mine with sharp edges and adoration.

Silky whispers caressed our ears
a meshed chatter fluttering by
nodded at, ignored

Only your laugh lines hold on to me;
their aged wisdom traveling from
lip to chin, across your brow-
and your smile, I fall into it
like Alice down the rabbit hole

I follow your smile
floating and weightless;
I am airborne in your presence
I can be anywhere, anything
transformed and reinvented

The air kisses my cheeks
chilling the curves of my skin
ruffling the layers of my dress
and when I touch ground it’s
your smile that envelopes me
holds me like a warm blanket
in winter, plush and comforting
and soft—I wrap myself in it each
subsequent night

And then I am on the Sears Tower
looking down at you waiting for
your smile to catch me
I want to fall again
I want to stay in your glance

Across a ball gown and black tie
room, with champagne glasses
and stiletto steps
our eyes found each other and
smiles followed.

And you noticed me.

*smooches...wishing John Paul Cusack the happiest of birthdays*
next week we'll go back to inspirational Fridays. promise!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

She Gon' Learn Today!

An email I sent to N's principal, vice principal and the parent coordinator of N's middle school, along with the text of the email I sent N's science teacher. Both speak for themselves. Names were removed because I felt like it.


Below is the text of an email I sent to Ms. _______, N's science teacher, this morning, regarding an incident that occurred in the science classroom yesterday. I rarely try to interfere with another teacher's classroom tactics and discipline methods unless I see that it's not constructive. This is one of those instances and I wanted to bring it to your attention.

Thank you,
Raquel Penzo

Ms. ________

I hope this note finds you well.

N spoke with me about what happened yesterday in your class, and I found it very upsetting. While I understand that she was disruptive in your class, and she's been told to apologize for that, you handled it poorly first by shaming her instead of disciplining her, and then by speaking to her in a dismissive and rather catty manner.

Making N sit apart from the class and not allowing her to take notes because she tried to be funny in class seems excessive and unnecessary. All you manage to do with punishments of that nature is shame a child. This is NOT what I send N to school for. But I would have overlooked it had you not then gone a step further and made a snippy comment about being surprised that N didn't raise her hand when you asked that class who'd still take up smoking even after seeing the side effects. What was the purpose of this, besides hurting N's feelings and making her cry?

What you didn't realize with your carelessness, and what I can only assume was a desire to get one more dig in to the student who disrupted your class, is that N's paternal grandmother, whom she was very close to, died last spring from cancer that was caused in part by smoking. She was very upset about what happened in your class when she came home.

I expect that you'll make this right with N today and apologize for being mean. There's no need for that. I've been an educator and have had to run a classroom full of students with learning and attention challenges, and I know that getting them focused takes hard work. But it never calls for shaming.

Please feel free to contact me to discuss this further if you'd like.

Raquel Penzo

*smooches...telling bitches off in the King's English*
she's lucky I didn't just roll up on her and act a fool; my momma raised me better than that.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Just Because...

"Until these bitches pay you,
you pay these bitches no mind."

And that's how I'm approaching my days from here on out.

*smooches...because life's too short*
and I'm really not here to please anybody but me. according to me.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Tuesday's Random Thoughts

Fireflies still amaze me. Walking down the street, suddenly coming across a FLYING LIGHT, still takes my breath away. I want to catch them and have a private light show in my hands.

I am just a couple of really good freelance jobs away from financial calmness. That's what I call not being worried about making rent!


Soca artists are so SCANDALOUS, and I'm here for all of it, every minute of every day! (watch clip until at least the 3:00min mark!)

There are so many cool, free events happening in NYC this summer that I'll probably only end up doing NONE of them.

I very rarely miss people who miss me, and that made me feel a little guilty yesterday...for about five minutes.

Hot sauce makes everything better.

Yelling makes everything worse.

There are so many stories in my head at once, and the only way to shut them up is to write or numb myself. That urgency to get them all down will kill me faster than my shady, pot-smoking neighbors!

I don't know why it surprises me that good things happen when I work hard for them. Must be all the acid I dropped in the 60s.

*smooches...letting my mind wander*
I do this more times than I care to admit.

Monday, June 17, 2013

The Case For "Something New"

On Sunday, while meeting with the ladies of my writing group, the conversation turned to relationships and one of the ladies said of her openness to date a white man, "I would like to date someone who hasn't experienced the burden of slavery." And while we all burst out in hysterical laughter at her comment, her statement made so much sense to me.

Every guy I've dated has had some remnant of our oppressive past on his shoulders, just sitting there, waving to me from across the table. And you know what? It does get exhausting after a while. Why can't things just be easy? Why can't we just be and live? Oh, right, because The Man is systematically keeping us down. Crap. I almost forgot, but thanks for reminding me as we wait an extra 15 minutes for our table to be ready.

Still, Sunday's conversation had me thinking about my friends who are married to white men, and how those men don't have the defeated aura hanging around them like a clingy ex. They grew up with their dads. They've never been profiled by the cops. They didn't try to get some sleep under a hail of gunfire. Must be nice. I'll just add this to the list of things I won't ever have a chance to experience, like climbing Mt. Everest or running a 5K.

This doesn't mean I've changed my position on dating a white man...I really just don't find them that attractive. But listen, my writing group buddies made a very good case. It's a much more carefree life when you're with the unoppressed, and who doesn't want a carefree life? I get it, ladies, and I promise not to mock you when I see you arm-in-arm with a snowflake.

Me? I'm still waiting out Johan's and Slash's marriages...

*smooches...content in my singlehood*
listen, you don't have to tell me that I'm not going to find my chocolate Adonis. I already know and I've accepted my fate.

Friday, June 14, 2013

I'm No Fool...I'm Just Upside Down

The hardest thing to be in this world is different.

Different makes people uncomfortable. When you can't be put on a shelf and labeled, all hell breaks loose. And when you realize YOU are the different one, a panic sets in that makes you want to lay low so that no one will know you're different. So no one will judge you. So no one will try and force you to be un-different. (Yeah, I just made that up. DEAL.)

I am different. I see the world differently and I handle things differently. I don't do it to get attention or to stand out; the last thing I want to do is stand out. I just want to be left to my different-ness. I don't want a smartphone because it doesn't work for my budget and I didn't like how attached I was to my Blackberry when I had it. I don't take pain meds because my body knows how to sort itself out. We were born with the ability to heal ourselves. If it means I'm uncomfortable for a little bit, well, what's a "little bit" in the grand scheme of things?

And I don't want to see a shrink because that kind of "help" doesn't work for me. That's not how my brain operates.

Sometimes I regret sharing things on this blog, because I keep revealing my different-ness and then I feel the need to go into damage control. It's very "public relations" of me (I've been in this industry too damn long!) but that's what happens. I never want to feel like I have to explain anything to anybody; I like to respond with JUST DEAL and keep it moving. But occasionally I have to break it down so that I can finally be left alone.

I'm not getting a smartphone. I'm not stocking Aleve in my medicine cabinet. I'm NOT going to see a therapist. And I most definitely won't apologize for any of it.

Think about what sets you apart from the crowd and cherish it. Embrace it. You don't have to be like everyone else, even if they try to beat it into your head. If you walk when everyone else runs, so be it. People don't have to understand you and you don't have to explain why. Your opinions matter and, as long as you're not infringing on another's life and choices, continue to bask in being different.

*smooches...letting go*
now that THAT'S out of the way, we can start to get crunk again!!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

A Dedication To Me, Myself, and I... And All The Other Voices, Too

I've been mistreating my body, mind and soul lately, feeding it all sorts of crap and not letting it have any fun or giving it room to breathe.

I heard this song today and sort of renewed vows with myself.

Back in Love Again - LTD

From here on out, it's a celebration of my love for me; NO SHRINK NECESSARY.

*smooches...getting my funk on*
if you managed to stay in your seat while listening to that song, we can't be friends

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Love & Loss

"There is a reason I said I'd be happy alone. It wasn't because I thought I would be happy alone. It was because I thought if I loved someone and then it fell apart, I might not make it. It's easier to be alone. 

"Because what if you learn that you need love? And then you don't have it. What if you like it? And lean on it? What if you shape your life around it? And then it falls apart? 

"Can you even survive that kind of pain? Losing love is like organ damage. It's like dying. The only difference is, death ends. This? It could go on forever . . ." -Meredith Grey, "Grey's Anatomy"

*smooches...wondering how the writers crawled into my brain*
quotables like this is why I immerse myself in TV; at least that's what I say to excuse all my TV watching. HA!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

I Remember Yoga: A Healthy Jaded Post

On Saturday, I decided that my back was feeling well enough to finally start yoga classes again. I dusted off an old Living Social voucher and strolled on over to Dou Yoga in Clinton Hill for their afternoon open level class. As instructed by my physical therapist, I let the instructor know about my back issues and all that before taking to the mat and assuming the position.

And well, it went as expected; I haven't taken a yoga class in about a year and I've been eating like a fool and sitting on my couch woe-is-me-ing about my back. So yeah, it hurt like a bitch.

Most of the time, I had to break formation to fold myself into child pose and take deep breaths. And cry a little bit into my mat. Every part of me wanted to roll up my shit and sneak out in the middle of the warrior poses--like a BAWSE--but some heffa was blocking my path to the door. So I stuck it out.

At one point, something I did angered my back to the point where sitting up straight was rather painful, the bad kind of painful, and I knew I was on the road to Overdid It-ville. But then, THEN, it was time for corpse pose, so I stifled the tears and told my back pain to shut the fuck up, and let go.

There was a moment when everything in me that was wound up tight unraveled. I had my eyes closed, legs akimbo, arms at my side, palms up, jaw relaxed, shoulders away from my ears, and my whole body unclenched. It was so serene, so peaceful, that I didn't know how to feel about it.

In fact, it scared me so much to be without worry for even a tiny moment, that my jaw tightened immediately and my old familiar aches returned.

Still, I had that great moment. Is that what happiness feels like? I've never experienced that before. Oh yoga, I can't believe we ever had to part!

*smooches...thinking of attending another class next week*
here's hoping that yoga wasn't the culprit to my back all along!

Monday, June 10, 2013


Breaking News: I'm moving to the Dominican Republic.

The sun and surf agree with me.
On this recent trip I saw some of the more touristy sites of Santo Domingo and frankly, fell in love with the island. Hard. Like, first crush, Jake-Ryan-knows-you-exist hard, 1980s-Bobby-Brown-bringing-you-on-stage-during-"Tenderoni" hard, Lloyd-Dobbler-holding-that-damn-boombox-over-his-head-outside-your-window hard. Ever since I came home, every moment that I wake up in Brooklyn leaves me feeling out of place.

Brooklyn is beautiful, and it's home, and its 70s, 80s and 90s culture runs through my blood. But I've been feeling a pull toward something else for a very long time, and I think Santo Domingo might be the answer. I used to think I'd be buried in New York. Now, not so much. I want to live out my last writerly days under a Caribbean sun, tending to my fruit trees and herb garden. Strolling through town to say "hello" to my neighbors (yes, ME, saying hello to neighbors. Can you imagine?). Going for a swim in Las Barias on super-hot days. Dozing off to the pulsating bass from the dance hall in the town square.

I mean, Brooklyn (And NYC in general) is changing so damn fast. This new influx of out-of-towners and the City's plan to homogenize every block everywhere is leaving such a bad taste in my mouth. There's a dying culture in this place and it stinks like a week-old carcass. Don't get me wrong--change is happening in DR, too, but at a much slower pace. There's still a lot of untouched beauty on that island. Some of its ghettos remind me of Brooklyn in the 1980s and the nostalgia calls out to me.

So consider this my notice. I live here now, but soon (as in within the next 10 to 15 years) I'm packing up all my shit and I'm jumping ship. Brooklyn, I love you, but you've changed so much that I hardly recognize you sometimes. You barely feel like home anymore. You'll always be in my heart, and I may buy some property here just to have an anchor in what used to be home, but I think this is where we part.

*smooches...promising to say goodbye before I leave*
there will be a massive house party somewhere; I promise!

Friday, June 07, 2013

The Rain Won't Last Forever

Despite the shits and giggles I may have shared with you last week, or will share with you next week, please believe I'm in the middle of a shit-storm of emotions, mostly bad and sad ones. And before you ask, no, there's nothing you can do about it and yes, I'll be fine (I hope!), so please, as usual- DON'T ASK ME ABOUT IT.

Just yesterday, as I was leaving the house, LATE AGAIN, I was trying to make sure I had my keys, wallet, metrocard, work ID, keys, dayplanner, snacks, workout gear for physical therapy, did I eat breakfast so I can take my meds?, and then made mental notes that I needed to write a few proposals for projects I'm working on and plan K's graduation dinner and FOR FUCK'S SAKE WHERE THE FUCK IS MY CELLPHONE CHARGER?!?!--it hit me: there are too many moving parts to my life. I can't ever just leave the house after I get dressed. I can't just come home and go to bed. Being a mom gets in the way. Being a friend gets in the way. Being a responsible, law-abiding citizen gets in the way. HAVING TO BREATHE OXYGEN GETS IN THE WAY.

Are you here with me? In the crazy room from hell? Wondering where your youthful vigor for life went? Where your desire to be a part of the world ran off to? Where all of the fucks you used to give went? Let's all just take a minute to exhale.

I know everyone is busy, and I realize I blog about being too busy and doing too much quarterly. There is a method (and a schedule) to my madness. But I guess it just affects me more than others. I'm told hard times don't last. Christians regurgitate the "This Too Shall Pass" platitude every chance they get. Today, seeing as I don't have to bring N to her band practice clear across town, and I can save my eardrums from the constant loudness, I'm going to take a minute (or 50) to collect myself and my thoughts.

There is a better way to live this life. There is a way to not stress eat. There is a way to get everything done without having a heart attack. I'm going to solve this puzzle and help this pass from me.

I'd really like to live long enough to see 39.

*smooches...wishing you all a stress-free weekend*
I might have to actually work out this weekend...

Thursday, June 06, 2013

Reading These Fuck Ni**as

Readers, let me introduce you to a fabulously amazing podcast, "The Read," hosted by @KidFury and @Crissle. These two are hysterically funny as they break down entertainment news and help folks find the light of Jesus Christ. For example, episode "Say No To F*ck Boys":

It's pure perfection. I enjoy them so damn much. But the very best part of this episode is @Crissle going OFF on dudes who try to tell women what they're lacking and why they aren't "wifey" material. I almost got up and clapped, but I was listening to this at work and it really just wasn't appropriate for me to cause a ruckus at my desk.

And in case you need the transcript of the rant? Oh, @Crissle was gracious enough to put it up on her Tumblr. Wants some excerpts? Here:

I cannot stand fuckboys. I really get so annoyed by these men who act like their job is to coach women into being what they want them to be.

The other day, Joe Budden got his lightskinned ass on Twitter and said something like “hey ladies, how old would your abortion be?” Like, if you didn’t have an abortion how old would that baby be? How about Esther couldn’t even get through her second trimester because you beat the baby out of her? And that’s exactly what I said. I said “I’m pretty sure my abortion would be older than Esther’s baby.”

Don’t tell women what makes them not good enough to be wives. First of all, who the fuck wants to marry YOU? You have literally nothing! What do you bring to the table other than somebody else’s kids? Get the whole fuck outta here, bitch, number one.

I mean, was I lying??? IT'S BEAUTIFUL FUCKING POETRY! I think I love this woman. I really think I love her.

*smooches...enjoying facts and examples on the internet*
no, for real, it's amazing, right???

Wednesday, June 05, 2013


I haven't been feeling well (of mind, body OR spirit) lately so OF COURSE I indulged in some heavy Netflix action this weekend. No working out, no quality time with anyone, no writing. Just me, my sofa and my computer. What was supposed to be a cleansing session of vegging out and disconnecting from the world turned into...not that. Why? Because I saw John Cusack's butt in the film The Paperboy.

It was not a cute butt. AT. ALL.

I get that he was playing a sleazeball, murderous, white trash, swamp-dwelling redneck. I totally understand that. But...his guys...I can't...

I've never said that my love for John was based on animal attraction. It was never even sexual, ever. It was always on an intellectual level. His essence speaks to my mind and it's a total turn-on. I was attracted to the person, and always just felt he was the kind of man I needed in my life. Just...a better butt wouldn't hurt. At all.

Needless to say I've not fully recovered from this yet. Oh, but the movie was good so you should watch it.

*smooches...trying to recover from this blow*
list this under the things I never wanted to see or know

Tuesday, June 04, 2013

The Birthday Dream

Today is my cousin Minnie's birthday. I won't say how old she is because she might kick my butt all over Brooklyn. But I will share the weirdest dream I had about her this morning. First let me preface this with I had spicy food and sugar before bed AND I fell asleep watching reruns of "Melissa & Joey" on Netflix, woke up at 4:14AM, goofed around online and then went back to bed at 5:30AM. That is when the following dream happened:

I got a call from my mom or aunt (I can't remember now) that Minnie took off for a week in the Dominican Republic with my grandmother without telling anybody. I got upset because how dare she plan a vacation without telling anyone, and just taking Grandma like that? THEN I got worried thinking where are they going to stay? Papi has a new girlfriend; there's going to be trouble! 

I was calling all over DR trying to find Minnie and Grandma, worried that some crazy shit was about to go down in Los Mina. The anxiety was so much that I woke myself up, crazed, only to realize that Grandma isn't alive and Minnie hates DR. But I wasn't really awake. I was still in the dream, realizing all of this. That's when I woke up for real sad as hell.

So yeah, my brain is having a meltdown, I think.

Isn't she lovely?

Still... Happy Birthday, Minnie!! Because I know what you really wanted today was another dose of my crazy. LOVE YOU!

*smooches...just for Minnie today*
I'm so tempted to tell you how old she is, though, just so she can call me "odiosa"

Monday, June 03, 2013

This Is 38.

There is this shift in my brain lately. One that won't let me participate in any bullshit or give a crap about nonsense. It's making me think about responsible grown-up things and formulate a bucket list. It's also making me slightly more depressed.

For a second over the weekend one of The Voices busted out with a "We just need to start drinking again. We never thought this hard when we were drinking heavily. Remember how much fun it was to pass out and wake up hungry, thirsty and not giving a fuck about thoughts? THINKING IS FOR LOSERS!" But then one of the newer, more mature Voices put that Voice in timeout.

I also had a few new health issues to deal with this weekend, one of which is heat edema. OH JOY. This might just be the summer I break down and purchase an air conditioner. I cannot and will not walk around this summer sporting CANKLES like some Fatty McFatterton and not even have a baby in nine months to show for it!

My Kim K. swole-ass feet. UGH!

But newer, more depressing and introspective thoughts aside, all of my vain Voices reminded me that We're still cute.

Florida seemed to have agreed with me.

And as the days move on and We become less and less interested in carnal and youthful things, cuteness is still something We own. The Voices and I agree that We've got cuteness on lock. No one can take that from Us. At least not yet.

Thirty-eight just feels weird, though. Like, We're not in that 35 and younger crowd anymore, but We're not 40. It just feels weird. That's basically all I am at liberty to say.

*smooches...walking around in a daze all confused*
I would blame the heat, but I know better

Sunday, June 02, 2013

Jaded Photographs: June 2013 Edition

"The Life"
Man that was such a great day!

This is where I want to be, forever and always, uninterrupted. How can I make this happen?

*smooches...on my way to chocolate*
I was feeling a bit defeated because I got a sunburn, but I'm better now.