Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Voy A Reir, Voy A Gozar

So listen. This writing life gets more frustrating by the minute. I keep thinking I'm doing something amazing, and then the support is not there.

I just re-read that line and it sounds like a refrain I've sang before. I have sung this song before! I must be crazy thinking, "This time will be different. This time I will get them to come out and support. THIS TIME FOR REAL."

And then nothing.

I don't even know what I'm doing wrong. Except maybe expecting too much from the same group of people that have already proven to not give a rat's ass for what I do. I need a new song.

That said, I truly appreciate those who do make an effort to support me. I see you! I barely remember what I had for dinner last night but I will always remember who was there for me and who wasn't.

And this isn't me putting a gypsy curse on anyone, this is just me speaking my truth.

*smooches...dancing my troubles away*
I wish it was last year and I was at Wolf Trap with Mari waiting for Marc Anthony to take the stage. that concert was everything!

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Another Friendly Reminder

Today is the release celebration of my reading series' anthology at La Casa Azul Bookstore in East Harlem.

I'd love it if you could all join me!

*smooches...still unsure of what to wear*
nothing fits and this weather is booty. don't be shocked if I show up in pajamas.

Monday, April 28, 2014

"The Importance Of Kindness"

Sometimes my honesty, disinterest, or introvert-ness is mistaken for unkindness. I promise you, I'm not as mean as you think I am. But in any case, I am consciously thinking about being a kinder person. I haven't tried it yet, but I'm thinking about it.

Here's a jumping-off point for all of us.

One day, I may even think all those pictures you post of your dog are cute. Or actually want to give someone proper directions when they interrupt the soca fete going on in my head on the subway. Or one day, I may actually acknowledge that my ex-husband is a human being with feelings that deserve to be cared after. Or not--let's not go completely crazy here!

Still, maybe a little kindness on my part will bring good energy back into my life. It can't hurt to try, right?

*smooches...thinking tomorrow I might say GOOD MORNING and mean it*
or not. I have my period, so, you know...

Friday, April 25, 2014

Why Yes, I Am Very Proud Of My Babies

In another episode of "Raquel Is a Better Parent Than You," below is an email K sent to N's vice principal. It brought a (thug) tear to my eye. Pay special attention to the bold portion; that's where it is evident that she is my child.

Hello Mrs. [Vice Principal],

My name is K. I am N's older sister. I am a freshman at [fancy school that costs LOTS of money] studying Electrical Engineering and Sociology.

When I turned 18, N was very excited because she wanted me to chaperone one of her school trips. However, when I asked about her senior trips, for the only one she will have, chaperones must be over 21.

I don't understand why this age requirement is so high given that I am legally an adult now and I was hoping you could explain it to me. The only reason I would think it would be a problem was if alcohol was involved but this is an eighth grade trip to [typical local senior trip-type place].

I was also hoping that despite it, you would allow me to chaperone the trip anyway. I am very responsible and kids younger than me tend to obey me, so there wouldn't be an issue with that.

I also think that N deserves this, given the amount of ostracization and semi-bullying she has had to put up with for the past three years. I know N really wants to go on this trip but I fear just how much fun she will have when she is constantly excluded from any group activities. She deserves and should have at least one person to have fun with her, who wants to be with her and not just a buddy she's been paired up with. I can be that person since I will be home by then. This will be one of her last memories of this school and I want it to be an excellent one.

N told me that it was the Chancellor's rule though she couldn't explain; I understand if it may not be possible to allow me to chaperone but I am pleading with you to make this one exception.

I apologize for sending this email so late. I am in the last two weeks of classes before finals and as I'm sure you know, it gets very hectic around this time.

Thank you for hearing me out,

P.S. I cc'd my mother on this as well. She knows about this situation and will probably want to know what I said.

*smooches...resisting the urge to 'reply-all' with: SHE TOLD YOU!*
after years of witnessing my "letters to corporate" K really went all in for her first one!

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Dance Break!

Ever met someone who actually likes their job? I mean, putting aside the fact that they make me wear non-pajamas and leave my house in order to earn a paycheck, this gig I have, well, dare I say, I care about what I do? How many people can say this? I realized I felt this way, just now, and it made me want to dance.

There are a lot of things not-quite-right with me at the moment, but I'm working on not dwelling on that. Not saying it's going well--you know how I love a good woe-is-me session--but I'm working on it. So for now I'm going to focus on the fact that I love my job.

In September, I will have been here FOUR YEARS, copywriting and editing the shit out of things and getting paid for it. That's the longest I've worked anywhere. Look at me, being a grown up!

What's your favorite "happy dance" song?

*smooches...white-girl dancing all over your computer*
I don't drink anymore, but if I did, I'd demand this song at a dive bar tonight while throwing back a few cold ones!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Somehow We Got This Bad Rep...

ME: But now I also have to get cute for your wedding O_o

FRIEND: Lol it might be in DR. Can we stay at your family's house?

ME: What the...? Is she Dominican?

FRIEND: No. Destination wedding! After knowing you I can't date Dominican women.

ME: LOL wait, what?? What did I do?

FRIEND: You're a special kind of crazy.

I'm not sure if I should be insulted, or proud.

*smooches...with plans to crash the wedding anyway*
who gon' check me? if they try to stop me, I'll have my uncles shut that whole shit DOWN! lol

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Did You Hear About The Blogger Who Cut Her Hair?

She went from these rich, silky waves brushing her collarbone

Cute look, but done to death!

to sleek strands hugging her jawline

So Fresh & So Clean

And she fell in love with herself all over again.

Shout out to Nina's stylist Katy for making me look brand-spanking-new. Y'all might want to keep your husbands on a tighter leash until my hair starts to grow out.

*smooches...looking in every mirror, everywhere*
now to make my body match my sassy new look

Monday, April 21, 2014

Friday, April 18, 2014

Mari Speaks On...

...her recent trip to Buffalo:

"If depression were a place, it would be the downtown Buffalo bus station. It's #turrible. Imagine a place where the Boulevard of Broken Dreams meets the drop off spot for meth recovery center grads, who stumbled upon some crystal a few hours ago."

*smooches...glad I've never gone to Buffalo by bus*
although part of me wants to witness this slice of Americana firsthand

Thursday, April 17, 2014

We Want Each Other Oh So Much...

...why must we play this game?

Don't care where we go
I don't care what we do
I don't care pretty baby
Just take me with you...

Sorry, y'all... I just had a Prince moment. He comes over me (nasty!) from time to time and I'll become obsessed with one of his songs to the point that I drive everyone around me insane.

I don't care if we spend the night at your mansion
I don't care if we spend the night on the town
All I want is 2 spend the night together
All I want is 2 spend the night in your arms

Recently it was "Take Me With U" by Prince.

(I had to post this Janelle Monae cover because y'all already know Prince ain't OK with his stuff being on YouTube!)

Damn that was a good song!!! Deny it, I dare you!

I have it on iTunes AND I have the vinyl; that one I play in my room when the babies are gone and it's just me and my thoughts.

Just take me with u
Oh wont u take me with u
Honey take me with u

I'm missing His Purple Majesty's pre-Jehovah days... did you know he won't even perform "Darling Nikki" anymore? Pure sadness.

* a sweet, funky groove*
dare I ask: what's you're favorite Prince song? Or maybe top 5 because who can choose just one?

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Another Day, Another Published Book


And listen, it's not as hefty as I wanted it to be--people just weren't submitting stuff--I love it. The cover is so snazzy (thanks, Marcin!) and the stories and poems within were hand-picked by ME, so you know it's awesome!

I'm having a book release party on Tuesday, April 29, at La Casa Azul Bookstore in East Harlem.

You should be there for the following reasons:
1. I'm awesome and you love and support me and everything I do.
2. There will be wine.
3. Some truly talented people contributed to this book.
4. There will be cupcakes.
5. You're going to want to take a picture with me + my red-red lipsticked self.
6. There will be wine + cupcakes.
7. My autograph will be worth MILLIONS soon; get it now for free (with the purchase of a book).
8. You can get drunk + eat cupcakes for two hours.
9. My short, "Erasing Cedrick," will rock your socks off.
10. Alcohol + Sugar already RSVPd.

So, see you there?

*smooches...gearing up for bigger things*
I'm like a shark; if I stop moving I die!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

FML: A Healthy Jaded Update

So real quick because I'm SICK of my body being sick... the latest BS my body is putting me through is a vitamin B12 deficiency, which is baffling my doctor because I eat animal protein all day, every day, and supposedly that's where we naturally get this particular vitamin from.

Y U No - Body y u no absorb b12?

Of course I look up what could happen if I just WELPSIES this information away, and WebMD was all

Apparently a severe deficiency can lead to deep depression, paranoia and delusions, memory loss, incontinence, loss of taste and smell, and more, according to this article. CHILD, why am I ALREADY suffering from most of those things?!?! I swear, someone is playing a cruel, cruel joke on me...

Next stop on this crazy train I call the Jaded Health Express: an upper endoscopy. More on that hot mess later.

*smooches...wondering how long 'til BETTER*
it has to be soon, right?

Monday, April 14, 2014

Alien Abductions Are Real



The Lonely Shoes (c) 2014 The Jaded NYer

*smooches...getting my aluminum foil hat ready*
this is not a drill, ladies and gentlemen!

Friday, April 11, 2014

Who Gives A F*ck?

YO! Why did my coworker introduce me to this song? It's a wrap, now, dawg. Come at me with any mamsy-pamsy problem, and I will start singing this in yo' face!

"I don't use the car anymore so I have to use public trans to take N around all weekend..." ::points to video::

"We're out of snack foods." ::points to video::

"I never get to see you anymore." ::points to video::

"Can we send this email out today?" ::points to video::

"Is it too late to sign up for the reading you're hosting tomorrow?" ::points to video::

You get the picture. MAN OH MAN it's gonna be a great spring at Casa Penzo...

*smooches...with no f*cks left to give*
I feel so ALIVE, y'all!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Throwback Thursday, 4.10.14

So there's this thing that Instagram users have been doing for a while now called Throwback Thursday, where you post a pic of yourself from back in the day. Well, I don't have an Instagram account, but I love to share old pics and reminisce about the old days (while sitting in a rocker sipping some ginger tea). We're gonna give this thing a try over here in Jaded-Town, okay?

Here's a photo of Little Mari and my cousins Vanessa and Jorge Luis. If you squint your eyes and look in the back, there's me (in the big ass pink socks) and Nina, sittin' all fancy like we own the park.

Acostas in full chill mode.

I can only imagine this was taken shortly after I first met Nina; I think I was 14 or 15. Socks and watches were my thing--don't ask me why because I couldn't tell you. My mom sent me to Lawrence, Massachusetts to, I suspect, get me away from a certain boy I was low-key dating. It was supposed to be a punishment but SURPRISE, I made a BEST FRIEND FOR LIFE in Nina, and her mom is one of my favorite aunties.

Also, please look deep into Lil Mari's face. You just KNOW she was up to NO GOOD that day!

* love with memory lane*
can I live here forever?

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

The Best Movie Ending Song EVER

If you haven't seen Dazed and Confused, you're a loser, because it's one of the funniest, funniest, funniest movies of all time! OF ALL TIME!

But I'm not here to talk about the movie (maybe later if I decide to start reviewing films again), I want to talk about the soundtrack: chock-full of classic rock, baby!!

I've been known to really get into a groove when "Rock n Roll Hoochie Koo" plays, and please, if you don't drop what you're doing and sing "Cherry Bomb" whenever it comes on, I truly have to question your reason for living. And I mean who hasn't written tear-stained diary entries to "Love Hurts" once or twice?

But this song, this goddamn Lynyrd Skynyrd song that just penetrates my soul and takes a hold of me every-fucking-time, is the absolute most perfect song to play while a movie is ending and the credits are rolling:

Tuesday's Gone - Lynyrd Skynyrd

Don't get me wrong, I like my films to have substance and be witty and well-written, acted and directed, but if it can ALSO have a bangin' soundtrack? Sheeeiiitttt that's the holy grail right there!


OK, OK, stop begging! I'll post a clip from the movie already. SHEESH!

(this is the classic Matthew McConaughey "Wooderson" scene)

*smooches...taking a break from soca*
I need a bit of something new for a while now that Carnival season has died down

Tuesday, April 08, 2014


ME: (threatening N): Mira te voy a tirar este zapato en la misma cara, coño...!!!

N: (scared eyes, running) CARA MEANS FACE!

*smooches...still giggling*
who can stay mad after that?

Monday, April 07, 2014

My Friends Bring Me Peace

Yesterday afternoon I actually left my house, put on a dress and a full face of makeup, took my hair out of their Celie braids, and celebrated the book release of my homie and Fake Dominican sister, Blu Daniels. Her novel, Misconceptions, has been a long time coming, went through a trillion revisions, crossed many agents' and editors' hands and is FINALLY in book form. I'm so proud of her hard work, diligence and determination, and we look so cute when we step away from the computer and clean up for photo ops:


I must admit, at the time of the party, I'd only read a few pages of the book. People, I have ZERO TIME for luxuries like reading, sleeping, breathing... but last night, after N went to bed I figured, eh, why not? Let me step away from the computer, put my Spotify on shuffle, and see what the hell this book was talkin' 'bout.

I fell asleep shortly after, but then I woke up at 3am (the lights & music were still on), went to pee and thought, eh, might as well keep reading.

This is how I live my life these days. As if sleep is this annoyance that isn't necessary in my life. Sometimes I swear I need a hot slap right across the jaw.

Anyways, sometime around 7am I had to stop reading to get N ready for school, but for about four straight hours I wasn't checking my email, FB or The Twitter; I wasn't watching natural hair videos or "Golden Girls" reruns on YouTube; I wasn't stuffing my face with non-Paleo bullshit. I was just propped up on pillows, under the covers, reading a book.

It was a beautiful thing.

Thanks, Blu, for that much-needed moment of zen (even if I did crash at 7:30 this morning and was very late for work).

*smooches...just for Blu and her new book*
in other news, I look like someone's fat auntie in that pic. no more photos until I drop a dress size. that is all.

Friday, April 04, 2014

Back In The Saddle Again: A Healthy Jaded Update

I was tempted to not label this a Healthy Jaded update, because I'm anything BUT healthy. As I type this, my chair is struggling to hold up all 200lbs of me. Yes, 200lbs. Remember when I was so happy to have finally reached the 170s? It feels like eons ago that I wore a two-piece for the first time since my teen years. And now, now I look as if Mari and Irene should be throwing me a baby shower next month.

How did I get here (again)? So many little reasons that basically add up to: I have no healthy coping skills for stressful situations and life's disappointments. For me, it's always food that soothes me, and that can be as addictive and dangerous as whatever the drug du jour is that kids are stockpiling.

I've been here before. 200lbs is always my "rock bottom" where I realize that this could easily double if I don't do something right this minute. I don't want to be featured on "My 600lb Life" or have to show my gut on "The Biggest Loser." I think it really hit me when a certain gentleman caller asked me out and I told him I was too fat to be seen.  Ridiculous, right? But this is where I am.

So now it's time to take action before I end up as the obese, bitter, crazy old lady at the end of the block that kids try and mess with on Halloween. I'm a bit more limited in what I can do physically these days, but my favorite activities are still okay, like dancing and swimming. Yoga...well, my PT was on the fence about yoga, and that made me sad. However, if I can strengthen my core some then MAYBE I'll get the green light to go back in the studio and downward dog my stress away.

In the meantime, I will take advantage of the people around me who live, breathe and eat FITNESS and WELLNESS, and start back on a better path. Forty is too close for comfort; I can't greet it with this fake baby belly.

*smooches...hoping this is the last time I start over*
my poor body can't take much more abuse!

Thursday, April 03, 2014

I Saw My Ex's Wedding Video On YouTube

No, not my ex-husband--don't nobody give a rat's ass about that marriage (which, by the way, is already over!). But rather the ex that launched me into the blogosphere in the first place. The one I dated the minute after I ended my marriage. The one responsible for The Breakup Heard Around the World.

I won't sit here and lie and say I was devastated or anything, but there was a sense of melancholy. I wasn't sure why at first. As I watched it I smiled and laughed and was genuinely moved by the video, but then I got in my feelings.

I don't miss him. I don't want him. And when he contacted me a couple of years ago to "get coffee" I gave my phone a side-eye and brushed him off. I made a conscious choice not to engage in whatever that cup of coffee was going to entail. Not because I was still mad or bitter but because what would have been the point? We weren't great friends or anything. Nothing was lost after we split.

Now, I will always remember that he was the best lay EVER. As in EVER. As in NO ONE I've slept with before or since him has measured up. He has the game on lock. The rest of y'all should take lessons from him. Seriously. But that wasn't enough then and now, when I really couldn't care less about carnal activities, it's definitely not enough. So it's not about him. I wish him well and hope he'll be happy with his wife (and new baby boy...yes, my stalker skills are top level).

It's more about me being in the same place where he left me--literally. Same apartment. Same financial status. Same health issues and fatness. Same attitude problems and same issues with men and sex. Watching his wedding video and knowing who he was and how much he's (seemingly) grown makes me feel stunted and unaccomplished. Like I didn't deserve the pedestal he had initially put me on. Like I don't deserve the praise and accolades a lot of you bestow upon me today. I HAVEN'T REALLY DONE ANYTHING BUT SURVIVED. And maybe that's enough for some, but it makes me feel like a failure at life.

Everything around me changes and me? I'm still here, googling shit I know I shouldn't be googling, and then getting in my feelings when I find it.

*smooches...deciding not to look up any more exes*
child if I find out that Mr. Baseball has a wife and baby you may have to come over and sedate me...

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Pretty Ni**as

FRIEND: Look at how cute this guy is:

FRIEND: The only thing is he has intermittent facial hair.

ME: I could look past that, however he looks like the type of negro that will rock your socks off BUT have 30 bitches on the side.

FRIEND: It's the thin nose and lips; untrustworthy.

ME: Mhmm. Pretty ni**as always act up.

FRIEND: Mmhmm.

ME: Don't let him have "good" hair. Sheeeeiiiiiittttttt, you'll only see him every other Thursday, talkin' bout "I'm in the studio, bae!"

FRIEND: O_o That's why I don't deal with 'em. I can't take any dude seriously who would be considered mainstream attractive. Like, if a fine dude try to holla at me, I'd catch an attitude. "The fuck you want?!"

ME: LMAO!!! yeah. I like my black men beaten, bruised and with low self-esteem. I need to be the baddest bitch in this relationship, bruh.

FRIEND: Ma'am!

*smooches...lowering my standards in the name of comedy*
or am I?

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

In Memoriam: RIP Avery Bishop, My LG Cosmos

I guess the day many of you were waiting for finally arrived: Avery gone, y'all, our ni**a dead!

Yes, after about four or five years of loyal service and impeccable performance, my LG Cosmos had to be put down. It was a crazy, hectic Saturday, where things weren't going as planned, no one showed up to my writing workshop and I was on the rag. And then, right in the middle of barely giving a fuck about teaching this class, the screen wigged out. Le sigh. Poor Avery; she tried to hang in there, still taking calls and texts, but in the end we both knew it was time to say goodbye.

I'll never forget her

"Avery wasn't the ratchet type. She never sent X-rated photos and certainly refused to accept them. Once in a while she participated in flirty texts, but her whole purpose was to bring simplicity and order into my life. Occasionally she snapped a shot of a beautiful Brooklyn sunset, or tweeted something witty on the fly, but mostly she kept me connected in the most minimally intrusive way possible. Avery, girl, we've been through it, even a freakin' hurricane, and you never lost connection or battery life. I'm going to miss you."

So, you guys, Avery wouldn't want us to shed any tears. She was a true G that way. Instead, she'd want you all to welcome her replacement, Peter "Petey" DiVoli, my new LG Cosmos 3.

Petey in his fancy grey suit

And be nice, because we suspect he has mob ties, but we were afraid to ask...

*smooches...spillin a lil ginger tea for Avery*
feel free to leave your memories of Avery in the comments