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Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Virginity Speaks

I never remember being a virgin. It’s sad, but very true. From my earliest memory I remember feeling like someone had taken that from me. I remember being aware of body. There was a nagging bunch of sensations from between my legs. It made me want to rub on things, pillows, edges of beds, hand held shower nozzles. I knew that some men or boys would touch me or rub me in places and that something would happen to them. It all seemed very matter of fact. Worse than me being aware of those sensations and my body was the fact that others were aware of my body. It did not slip by the boys in my neighborhood that I was developing sooner than the rest of the girls. My mother was never a source of valid information when I was entering puberty. When I was a very little girl she taught me a quick, good touch bad touch. She told me my body was mine and not for someone to do anything to. She told me, when she noticed me rubbing enthusiastically against a broom handle, that there is a time and place for things and that what I was doing was private. She didn’t explain what she meant by any of that.

I remember going to a basement party in Flatbush with my older sister. She was 14 so I had to be 8 years old. It was dark and most of the boys at the party were about 14-17 years old. She had left me on a sofa while she went to dance (or whatever) with someone in the dark music filled space of the basement. A boy came over to me, started to tell me how pretty I was and how much he liked me. He was probably 15 or 16. He was obviously not popular with the other girls, and saw me as an easy target. He asked me if I wanted to dance, which I saw no harm in. We were dancing to reggae and his hands were all over me. I looked around feeling a little panicked and it seemed to be the way it was supposed to go. So I went along with it. Even with the uncomfortable feeling in my stomach telling me that it was not supposed to be happening like this. He kissed me and licked my neck, and I allowed it to progress because I had no idea what part of that was wrong or unnatural, even with the lurch in my stomach with every pass of his hands on my skin. He was grinding against me, I could feel his erection, and I knew what that was.

By the time I had reached 14 distant uncles, family “friends” and cousins would say, “Wow, look at you, all grown up.” - While staring at my breast. I felt awkward and noticed. I tried hiding under baggy shirts and sweatpants, tee shirts to my knees and nothing remotely clingy. But it was all to no avail. I recall an event when a friend of my uncles came up behind me in the kitchen and stood very close, I could feel his hot breath on my neck, thick with the smell of beer. “Ay look at you, practically a woman and all grown up, you must make all the boys at school happy.” My stomach turned, when I looked up at him I could no longer see the man that used to go to family picnics and play volleyball with all of the kids. But a threat, a dangerous predator that would harm me. Sadly most males became a threat, a source of potential danger and harm.

I wish I could say that this was a really unique life experience. But a lot of women I know bear the scars of sexual abuse. My scars manifested themselves as a fundamental lack of judgment, a complete disconnect with my sexuality and me not owning my body or the rights to by who and when it can be used. I was molested as a small child, raped as a teen and victimized (by others and myself) as a young adult. I gave away the rights to my body readily without complaint or question because no one told me that I was too valuable and too special to do otherwise. I didn’t enjoy being sexual, I felt no power. I felt, in all honesty, like a dumping ground or a toilet where men or boys could come, do their business, and keep it moving. Sex held no intrigue or allure for me. I didn’t think I would ever enjoy my body in a sexual capacity. That just seemed to be the way of the world.

I had a close friend in HS and she used to talk to me about guarding her virginity, keeping her legs closed and not sharing herself with anyone but the true love of her life. I could not relate. That feeling left a gaping hole in me. I wanted to know what it was like to have that “gift” to share with someone you loved and more importantly, chose.

Admittedly I was not in a headspace to realize that it was much more about valuing yourself then it was about some magical gift that would make everything was right in the world. It took me many years to get to the place where I could say, I love me and my body.

The first step for me was when I was in college. I met a girl named Sabina, she was German. A freshman, like me she was piled into the same all-female dormitory I was in. She was soft spoken and very matter of fact about things which made most of the other girls uncomfortable, but made me curious. See would frequently be seen walking from the bathroom to her bedroom with nothing but a towel on her head and a toothbrush hanging out of her mouth. Most of the girls in my dorm were horrified by this. But she did it anyway like nothing in the world could be more natural. I asked her once how it was that she could walk around like that, “…aren’t you embarrassed?” She was sitting Indian style studying on her bed and I was lying on the floor. She looked down at me with a sad look on her face and said, “Why would I be? It’s a human body.” She proceeded to tell me that in Germany there was nudity in a lot of places; people just did not get hung up over it. Her parents were nudist and she was raised to embrace the human body as what it is not this shameful thing we see it as. I asked her if she was exposed to a lot of sex where she was from since there was so much nudity. She told me that it was almost the complete opposite. She was a virgin but not because she was saving it for some magical experience that she thought would happen culminating in marriage, she just hadn’t found anyone she want to be sexual with yet. She also did not feel like wasting her time with someone and not having a satisfying sexual experience. I sat there flabbergasted. Satisfying sexual experience? What is that about? You mean there is something besides the laying there awkwardly and letting someone lick and grope you till they came and then get off and ignore you till you (or they) left? I had no idea. Then she looked at me, with a half smile and said, “You do masturbate don’t you?” I am certain that at that moment I was 45 shades of red. I could not get my 17 year old self to point where I could even respond. The honest truth was, I didn’t know the first thing about masturbation. I had seen women rubbing themselves and moaning in “Cinemax After Dark” movies, but I just thought it was the prelude to a sex act that would actually bring about the orgasms I never had during intercourse.

When I got to college and saw more actual fully nude pornography without the cheesy editing I was still not seeing the process of masturbation accurately. From what I was seeing it was this magical insertion technique that you had to have to climax. I heard about a magical place, “the G Spot” that was located somewhere up in the nether regions of my vagina where if I could get my finger into the proper position as to tap this, could cause mind blowing orgasms. Being of not the tallest stature my finger are equally short and I always felt that this was going to be the beginning of a futile venture.

I am and have always been a very logical person. I wanted to know how this worked, “first hand” - pun completely intentional there. So I began the scientific method of discovering how and why this worked. I knew I had these feelings of excitement if I was kissing someone intensely, an uncomfortably pleasant sensation if I watched a sex scene in a movie, but in retrospect, I guess I never owned those feelings as resulting in my pleasure in any way. I just felt like they were steps getting me closer to offering myself to someone else for their (typically quick and chronically unsatisfying) sexual use. Almost like shaving my legs or buying new underwear. I felt excited and ready, but never for me and never with the intention of feeling positive about what was about to happen.

But this time was going to be different. I was going to be alone, and I was not going to do this for anyone but myself. In typical “J” fashion, I read copiously about masturbation and orgasm. An ancient and dog-eared copy of “The Joy of Sex”; a random “Penthouse Letters” magazine my then boyfriend had and a copy of the book “Storyteller” were my resources. Not the best selection of reading. But it was good material for getting into the headspace for masturbation. The copy of “The Joy of Sex” that I had obscure pencil drawing in it that were not helpful in guiding me through the process. I was also not finding any information on the finger technique or specific location of this “G Spot” I hear friends tell me about. I was beginning to think this was some sexual chimera that was being dangled in front of my nose to get me confused on my quest.

Now came the time for the actual physical experimentation - oddly, I was not excited about this part at all. First I had to figure out what position I was going to start in. The drawings in the book were one woman almost sitting straight up and another of a woman laying face down on her arm. That second position just looked counter-productive. The first position looked reasonable and so I decided to start on my back. I remember being in my dorm room, wearing a sweatshirt and bra, socks, and no bottoms. After securing my door and being sure to stuff a towel under the door least someone hear me making whatever noise I was about to make, I sat up in my bed, knees bent like I was about to have a pelvic exam and began feeling around. Almost immediately I realized that at first I felt embarrassed which intensified to shame. I didn’t want to do this. I felt like everything was wrong with what I was about to do.

I wasn’t brought up particularly religious. Given long talks about the wages of sin or told to never do these things. My mother did not fill my head with the virtues of virginity or tell me to never do these types of things. I just always shut down when it came to anything that was remotely stimulating to my body. It was when I would zone out and stare at the ceiling or count the freckles on my partners face. I was not engaged and experiencing I was just attending.

I sat up, paced my floor for a moment while I cried. Yes, I cried, streams of tears for feeling such a disconnection with my body. I felt like a little girl. This was not a big deal, I was alone and safe, no one was there to see me or hurt me and I had to actually come to terms with those fears. Once I calmed down I was resigned to complete my mission. I was locked alone in this room and I was going to escape victorious over my sexual block.

I went back to my bed, made myself comfortable and thought about things that made me feel happy, beautiful and sensual as opposed sexual. Images of a girl I kissed in high school came to mind. The softness of her lips, her hands like little birds gliding over my skin, I felt relaxed and began to feel excited. I attempted the “insertion” method with very little success. I was at it for a good 25 minutes and not so much as a tickle. However, on my way to that method I noticed this small area that was particularly shocking to the system to touch. I decided that I would return there if the first method did not work out. I began stimulation in this area and a world of sensations washed over me. My thighs were tingling, the bottoms of my feet were numb “…was I doing this right?” I was feeling short of breath…my chest was warm and my fingers were tired but I didn’t stop, it literally felt like a moment more and my head would go flying off. I was getting nervous, what if I had a heart attack and they found me here, pant less, hands between my rigor-mortised thighs? What would my parents think? Would the local news be here “College freshman diddles herself to death… story at 11.” I stopped!

I sat up in the bed, flushed and panting. Feeling like I had ripped myself back from the clutches of death, a mixture of adrenalin and lactic acid coursing through my body. Emotionally I was feeling much less shame, although I was still embarrassed by the entire idea. I curled up on my bed trying to calm myself, carefully avoiding my self created wet spot and actually allowed myself the pleasure in basking in my “afterglow.” After about 20 minutes I realized that I was giddy, I felt flush and giggly. I realized that this was my first attempt at this venture but would not be my last. I also felt a significant vibration though my body which made me feel so much more connected, not only to my womanhood but to my entire body. I felt ok with touching myself, not entirely dirty or strange. Although I did have moments when I questioned if this was a desperate act, since masturbation was frowned upon by my peers.

What did I learn from all of this? Well, I learned how to “ring the bell” first of all. Not that day or the time after, but eventually I was able to make it happen with ease. I learned that my body belongs to me, sensations and all – before I share me with anyone I had to learn to share me with myself. Finally, I learned that there is a value to virginity. Allowing oneself the time and the space and more importantly the headspace to explore their body and learn what is pleasing and what can be left out is a beautiful thing. The best sex advice I ever got, did not come out of the mouth of an older experience cousin, the loose girl on campus or a sexual partner, but the mouth of a Virgin.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Bus Stop Ovservation

Why do old Latin people feel the need to pray for me? Or sing me hymns like I need extra help in the salvation department. Of course, I ask this rhetorically since I basically know the answer. It's the
tattoos and/or my style of dress. They associate my body art and somewhat revealing attire with a wanton lascivious lifestyle. I am certain, that if any if these people found out that I am an Ordained
Minister that takes that title to heart and tries my best to offer guidance and assistance to all who come seeking it, and that I pride myself in the fact that I live a life of service to others, they would be shocked. That is if they believed me at all. While I admit I am no saint ( I never suggested I was mind you) I will say that I don't kill kittens on my free time or snort lines of coke off the backsides of male strippers. What saddens me the most about the stares and grumbled prayers or the pitiful glance and hymn combo the woman next to me in the bus stop just gave me is not that they
want to share their beliefs with me. I welcome any blessings that are born of true affection and a desire to share. It's more about the judgment and assumptions that come with the glances. They never ask about me, my life, my beliefs or practices. They just make a rush judgment that puts THEM in line ahead of me at the pearly gates.

I have only this to say, I hope they are right. I hope that judging strangers, dismissing anyone that shows any form of individuality or thinking that you are better because of your lack of body art and ultra modest clothing choices works out for you. I hope that all that time you spend grumbling prayers and singing hymns, not from a place of love and glory but from a place of judgment, proves useful.

I, on the other hand, am going to spend my time reaching out to those different than myself and learning from them, teaching what I can and living my life now, serving, loving and believing that it's our differences that connect us, curiosity challenges us to step outside of our lives and try on otherness.


Tenderness and kindness are not signs of weakness and despair, but manifestations of strength and resolution. ~ Kahlil Gibran

Today, in the wake of yet another story about the loss of a young man, I was moved to write this. While I realize that I am not “old” I feel a distinct disconnect from the people of the younger generation. I can’t quite put my finger on the when or the how but there has been a systematic decline in humanity, empathy, sympathy and general kindness. I am sure that people who lived and enjoyed the 60s and 70s have probably felt that way about my generation. That we were an angry lot, rowdy music, ripped clothes, but there was always an undercurrent of community and fellowship. We cared about one another and about life, we wanted to live. He had hope! From my general observations most young people today don’t really care. Not about their families, friends or the world as a whole but most sad is that they don’t care about themselves. I don’t know if it’s that the younger generation seems fearless to a fault or careless beyond comprehension. They engage in high risk behaviors, use “designer” drugs that are more potent and potentially fatal than ever and will take a life, their own included, without hesitance. It’s frightening, but more than that it’s sad.

I first noticed this trend when I befriended someone that was 10 years younger than I and I noticed how she interacted with her friends that were her age. Their jokes were cruel and crude. They spoke to one another in a way that I could not imagine speaking to anyone I knew, even people I disliked! Their ideas of cool pranks and jokes seemed dangerous and thoughtless and I was stunned. That was probably the very first time I realized how much older I was and how much of a difference there was. It’s evident even in the way young people date. There is no actual “dating”, only “hooking up”. Young people speak to each other in a manner that is neither affectionate or respectful and when there is a break-up they resort to some of the most vile and outlandish manners to exact revenge.

Maybe some point a finger to technology and media. It’s been said that music, reality television and raunchy cartoons have ruined our youth. I don’t agree with that. I think that there has always been suggestive music or off-color satiric television. But what I think we had that most young people now do not have is parental buffers. Maybe we work too many hours, maybe we are allowing the television to raise our youth, but something is amiss. Where I do blame media is that young people have learned that they can get their 15 minutes of fame by pulling some awful prank or uploading a video/photo or some unfortunate soul, never taking the time to think that those actions could cause a ripple effect and harm another person. Social networking has made us less social and more brazen in passive aggressive guerilla tactics. People have been bullied and verbally eviscerated and rarely have I seen someone tell a person who post vitriol all day that they should handle their personal affairs personally or “offline”. The thing is when one handles their differences in person; the most impactful part of it is that you realize that you are dealing with a PERSON. Another human life is affected by your words and actions. Online it’s all smoke and mirrors so you can say it and forget it. But when required to look into another person’s eyes, what’s seen is a complex network of emotions or thoughts, a beating heart, and a reflection of your own humanity that could temper harsh words or actions.

As an aunt, a friend, a community member and a Reverend, I ask this of parents; take time to unplug your children and give them the gift of compassion. Try at any opportunity to donate time to charity, community service and humanity. I know it seems like a lot to ask, but it will pay in spades. Community service teaches us to love one another and the value of our lives as they exist now. Scale back on things and take time to give experiences and memories. Connect to your children. You had them, so love them, and let them know it’s not shameful to love or care about their fellowman. It’s not a sign of weakness that you can give of yourself, it’s a sign that you have more than enough. Keep your money in your pockets and take some time from working so much, part of providing for your children has little to do with money and much more to do with time. It’s not too late for you and maybe just maybe we wont have to lose another young person because of a lack of humanity.

Friday, December 15, 2006

What is the new MUST HAVE items for the kid that has everything?!

So you have purchased the latest game system and all of the coolest newest clothes and you even managed to slip some bling in there. So what more could you get?

How about these things: A global view, the understanding of the value of a dollar a sense of social responsibility, and the satisfaction of helping those less fortunate.

This holiday season why not sit with your child and express to them how fortunate they are to have a roof over their head, food to eat, a loving family. Not in a nagging – “You should be thankful…” way – but in a way that helps them understand that their world is bigger than the living room and the yard and the neighborhood they live in. Show them how Christmas is celebrated in the country of your heritage, or other countries around the world. Let them see that what we call Christmas in the United States is a capitalist hyper-commercialized bastardization of what was once a religious holiday. Encourage them to look for cultural traditions that add to your Christmas celebrations. Make your Christmas celebration about family and traditions.

I know that when you are standing online with that fancy new PS3 you think you are doing your best by your child. But you are not. Giving them such expensive gifts trivializes the value of a dollar. Their overall appreciation for the gift is lost if you spend thousands on them every year. Instead begin a matching program – for every dollar they make; you match and then go with them to purchase their new really expensive gift. Show them that working plus saving equals attaining the things you want. Who knows by the time they save enough the price will almost certainly have gone down. Also, I can guarantee that they will have a newfound reverence for the PS3 once it’s their money. Who knows? They may not even want it anymore.

Plan to volunteer as a family in a shelter one Christmas or to donate to a different charitable organization. Spend Christmas with your family and the families of those less fortunate. Let your child or children see how such a small sacrifice can mean so much to others. Encourage your child to save some money during the year to donate to a charitable organization of their choosing. There are so many that are out there and the $20 that they give could change the lives of not one child but an entire family.

Also, after you unwrap all of those fancy gifts, why not encourage little Johnny or Jane to go to their rooms and make room for their new fancy stuff by taking un-used or gently used clothes, toys, cd’s and other items that may be appreciated by those less fortunate and donating them to your local salvation army or other charitable organization. Get your kid the newest i-pod? I am sure someone would love their old walkman. Just clean it up and take your items for donation. It’s not a lot but what little we can do makes a difference. It’s sad how we as a nation throw away clothing that could be used by others in this country and others.

These are the only Christmas gifts that will last your child a lifetime. So be generous…

Friday, September 29, 2006

Birthday Drama!!!

When I think about writing I sometimes feel as if I have to have a master plan…a profound catalyst that will help me get all of the creative juices flowing so I know I will get maximum impact from my writing. But then I realize that some of my best writing ever has been free writing and that most times when I go back, I may need to clean something up here and there but for the most part it comes out just fine. I have wanted to write for the last month about the incident that took place on my birthday but I wanted it to be more powerful and effective. So instead of just getting the feelings out, I have done nothing. Which really sucks, because that is the only way I have found that I can let go of things that really hurt me and bum me out. So here is the rub…the “incident” which is not really and incident but more a ridiculous comedic tragedy…

Well, the beginning of this year had been filled with unfortunate events including the passing of my mentor and hero my Tio Henry. So I was bummed for a while over that stuff. I was really letting all get me down a lot. Not that I am not saddened by it anymore, I have just developed a better way of coping and I have also been able to turn that sadness into motivation to get myself together and start living my life the way I should be instead of being a spectator.

Basically I wanted to make my birthday special by being surrounded by those people I feel closest to. Enjoying myself and reminding myself why life is to be lived and enjoyed. I woke up on my birthday, got a manicure and a pedicure, the around noon I my homie Miggy V came and we went to get tattoos…My tattoo is awesome by the way! After which we went to Sunset Park and chilled on a bench and took in the beauty of the NYC Harbor like you can only do from Sunset Park! So far, perfect freakin day…right!

Ok so I went home, showered, put on my birthday gear, did up the do and put on my tiara! You know I was the birthday diva. So here I was, ready set in diva style. Little by little all of my wonderful friends began to show up and we were drinking and having a great time. We moved the party to a local bar and had more fun. While we were there one of my “friends” showed up and made a scene and then left! How rude! And even though I took it in stride it hurt me. But I have come to realize that if you have to work extra hard to be friends with someone. Then they are not meant to be your friend.

I tried for 15 years to be the best friend I could. But in the end, being myself and standing my ground and not allowing this person to monopolize my life and dictate my happiness was what brought this façade to a crumble. How sad. But I will say this.

My life is richer for it. Not compromising what I felt was right made all the difference. I would not change what happened for all of the money in the world. I am prouder of myself and the fact that I did what was right instead of what was easy. At the end of the day you realize that its not the quantity of friends you have, but the quality. We all have that one person that makes us nuts and we don’t even know why we still talk to them. My reason was pity. I felt sorry for this person. I felt that they needed someone to love them unconditionally. So like a parent with a spoiled child I gave that love. Everyday for years and years, I went above and beyond for that child in the hopes that someday, somehow that child would see the err of their way. But in the end, the child was spoiled and I was placed in a position of choosing what was right and what was easy. In the past I chose easy. Now I see that was to my detriment and the detriment of this person.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

A Letter I wrote to My Dear Tio ~ RIP

To My Dear Tio ~

Too many times in our lives we leave things unsaid. It’s amazing to think that in this family of yappers there are a lot of things that have not been said. But there are. We leave things unsaid because it seems like a fleeting thought or a passing feeling. But good or bad we should say what we are thinking always. Because that is the best way to express our love for one another, being truthful and open at all times. I have seen you so many times in the past year and wanted to say certain things to you but felt that I was being negative by doing so. But the fact is these are things I want you to know, no matter what happens in the future.

1. You are my hero – I mean that. I always looked up to you, because you are the one person in my life that has been truest to himself. Love me or Leave me has been your motto and I love you. You faced obstacles in your life and took them all in stride. Whether emotional, mental or physical your spirit has persevered and that is the very definition of heroism. There have been many points in my life that I wanted to give up and I looked to you for the motivation and the courage to continue. Thank you so much for that.

2. When I was little I thought you were the coolest person on earth – And I still feel that way today. I look back at my youth and think about how fortunate I was to have you as my “Fairy Godmother” - always exposing me to new foods, music and the arts. I must have been the only 10 year old that knew the musical score to 10 Broadway musicals. But you invested your knowledge in me. Planting a seed that would grow into my own passion for music and art, for foods and travel. I was not always certain that I was cool enough to be around you, but you never pushed me away. Thank you for that also.

3. Although I ebb and flow in and out of your life with time you are always with me. Thousands of miles could not keep us apart because I carry you in my heart and mind. There is not a day that passes that I don’t use one of your pearls of wisdom. Small things like trivial facts about music and Mexico or big things like our family history. I get them all from you. Thank you for that also.

4. Beyond all of the music and the culture you have given me a love and a pride in my heritage that I don’t think would have been possible without you in my life. Your direction and guidance has shown me that there are so many facets to Latino culture and to being Puerto Rican specifically that I feel a swell of pride just to think about it. You embody the essence of a Latino; you’re educated, loving and passionate in both your professional and personal lives. You are this way with out reservation or apology. You really are the most magnificent person I know. Thank you for being you.

There have been plenty of times that you and I have spoken for hours, but I don’t think that I ever told you how much I thank you for choosing to be a part of my life. You could have done what most of my aunts and uncles did and treated me like accessories to the twins and Aida. But you didn’t. You made me feel special. You helped me to embrace my beauty, inside and out. You gave me the gift of your heart and mind. I wish there were other words that I could say besides thanks you. They seem so worn out and old fashioned, but they are the words that are used to express gratitude.

I love you so much and these are the things I needed to say to you and I wanted you to hear them from me. Regardless of what happens from this day till the end of time, I love you and thank you with all of my heart.

I wrote this a year ago...Ha Ha...

The reason that I hate working here is not that I necessarily hate the people; it has more to do with the fact that I really hate working in any office and I do not want to continue to work this way.

My dream is to be able to work in a creative field with creative people that are not only book smart but also have something of a visionary quality that allows them to see beyond the black and white of life. I need to be around people that see the colors of the world and create based on that vision.

If I had my own way, I would choose to work in a place that offered me diversity and would allow me to have a chance to speak to different kinds of people. The reasons I want to become a stylist is first, I love hair and I love how it changes the way a person looks, feels and presents themselves, I also love people and helping them achieve all they feel they need to in order to become who they ultimately want to become. Although hair seems so superficial, it is a big part of who we are and how we interact with others. I could be a lawyer or a doctor if I had those goals but I don’t. I want to do hair. I really feel that is what is going to make me happy in the long run.

Sometimes I am on the train and I see a girl with purple hair and a leopard print bag and I think to myself, I want to be that girl! I want to be me all of the time and dress funky, go to parties and enjoy myself. I want to schedule all my appointments for early afternoon and evening so I can get home and spend time with my significant other. I want to spend my day laughing in a salon and talking. I want to help a woman break out of her cocoon and become the butterfly she always knew was there.

But I am not, I am here and I hate this place and I hate myself for relegating myself to this place. I wish upon all wishes that I could break out and go to someplace else. I promise myself that I am going to do it all of the time but I am such a coward I never do. I know that once I get the balls to do this I will be ok and moving in the right direction. Till then, I am going to be a great big loser.

Alright here I am again, looking at the clock waiting for the moment when I can just leave and go home since I have begun typing this, six minutes have passed, two minutes was spent getting JIG a bottle of water and the other four was spent playing SPIDER, a form of solitaire that I have become addicted to. Of the 200 games I have played I lost about 3 and those were games that I gave up on because I am sick of doing the same thing. I don’t want to play the game but I cannot stop playing the game because it has entranced me. I still have 20 minutes to go and there is not way that I am going to make it out of here with my mind right because right now I am listening to a conversation between JIG and GAF and some title closer and a borrower about millions and thousands of dollars. There is no way that this is right. How can you get so much and do so little during your lifetime. I don’t even know why I come to work, there is really nothing that they need me for here, I am just taking up space and using valuable resources. I need a nap and I wish that there was a way that I could sleep and that I could get some rest before I made my way to Brooklyn. There isn’t and so I have to drag my cooch to the train and then get to Brooklyn and walk from the station and then up the millions of stairs before I can get to my house.

Well, it’s me the big loser from Loserville. I am just so annoyed at myself because I realize that somewhere there is a rewarding career for me to partake in and that for some unexplained reason, I don’t. I want to be happy and creative and have a nice life, I just must love the pain of this life that I have right now. This week I have been working here, miserable and just hating life. I want a better life, I want to be happy, I miss being happy. As of late I have been a miserable crab and that makes me worthless to be around. I asked about my raise today. Not a firm ask, more of a punk, “Uh, have you spoken to the Accountant about my raise?” - ask that was really useless, because in response I got a, I’m a big fat liar response, “Yeah, I have to call her, I will do that today.” LIKE I DON’T KNOW WHEN HE IS LYING… What the hell does he think that I just sit around with my finger in my ass and don’t realize that the world is going on around me???? All of the spirit and love that I had for this job and career has been stomped out of me by this man. I HATE this job now. I never believed that I could feel this way, but I do. I HATE THIS JOB. Sometimes, I would rather jump in front of a moving train than to come to work. That is really sad. I wish for a broken leg so I can avoid coming here. The crazy thing is that it’s not the work. I don’t mind the work, I actually miss the work. Captain Avoidance tries to do as little as possible and so I don’t do anything of substance. I don’t even get to finish most of the projects that I start because he would rather have them languish than get the work done. It really is that lack of appreciation, the annoying side bits that I have to do, the listening to the same crap over and over and over again. It’s maddening. There have been times that I look at his face and want to start screaming at the top of my lungs, SHUT UP! SHUT UP! SHUT UP! SHUT UP! SHUT UP! SHUT UP! SHUT UP! SHUT UP! SHUT UP! SHUT UP! SHUT UP! SHUT UP! SHUT UP! SHUT UP! SHUT UP! SHUT UP! SHUT UP! SHUT UP! SHUT UP! SHUT UP! SHUT UP! SHUT UP! SHUT UP! SHUT UP! SHUT UP! SHUT UP! SHUT UP! SHUT UP! SHUT UP! SHUT UP! SHUT UP! SHUT UP! SHUT UP! SHUT UP! SHUT UP! SHUT UP! SHUT UP! SHUT UP! SHUT UP! SHUT UP! SHUT UP! SHUT UP! SHUT UP! SHUT UP! SHUT UP! SHUT UP! SHUT UP! SHUT UP! SHUT UP! SHUT UP! SHUT UP! SHUT UP! SHUT UP! SHUT UP! SHUT UP! SHUT UP! SHUT UP! SHUT UP! SHUT UP! SHUT UP! SHUT UP! SHUT UP! I don’t care what you think or what you have to say, it all means nothing to me. But I don’t. That is probably why I am so depressed.

I actually gave this to Vanessa to read, how sad that is. I am willing to admit to another person how crappy I feel here, yet and still I have not scraped my ass off of this chair to ask for my raise.

Well I got my raise. As many times in my life before, I got it too late and so I am so far behind that I am gasping fro breath to try and make a difference in my finances. Somehow I think that if I can just keep rolling with the punches, I can get by, but that is not always the case and I have this innate fear that there will be a date when playing fast and loose if you could call it that will bite me in my ass. I know that not everyone can afford the lives they live but I was kind of hoping that I could get by.

Now is the Summer of my Contentment

I sometimes feel as if I don’t have enough angst in my life. Like I am not pissed off about more things that have to do with me and how I relate to the world. I am, for all intent and purposes, generally happy. I have bad days, we all do. But I can tell you that none of them are as bad as they used to be.

I really have developed this profound love for myself and all those around me. I don’t know if it’s the Buddhism or the lessons I learned from my uncle and the impact his death, or rather his life, had on me.

I just feel so beautiful and empowered. I feel that there are things that have not happened in my life yet and that is ok. Maybe those things were not for me. I also feel that there are good things in my future. Why? I don’t know. I guess this feeling of enlightenment came over me at 30.

I recall my 20’s clearly, what a miserable time that was! I don’t know if it was that way because I was living my life in the pattern of other people; or I was confused by the inner struggle I felt between what was me and what was good and accepted; or that I felt like I was not achieving enough. Or ultimately if the reason for my unhappiness was that I was on Long Island which is a place full of freaks… To this day I am not sure. But one thing I am sure of is that I was unhappy. With everything! I felt like a loser, I was fat, working a dead-end job and hanging out with people that were like me. I hated my life.

So here I am, 32, living in Brooklyn, still fat, working a similarly dead-end job ( it really is , I mean the only promotion available is Lawyer….) and still I hang out with people like me, but its different. I love myself and I am content with my life. I have a wonderful home and amazing family and friends that are priceless. I am so fortunate. And I do love my body and my face. It hasn’t really changed; I just love it more now then I did then. Ok I could get another job. But that I haven’t is not such a bummer to me anymore. Its just a fact of life…You know how it is…you take the good, you take the bad…you take them both and there you have…The Facts of Life….(I slay me…)

I guess the naked truth is that your twenties are truly just an extension of your teens. Only it’s much worse because there is more pressure to keep up with higher stakes. Your friends are getting theirs at their own pace and you at yours. But what people never tell you is that everyone’s happiness is not the same. What makes me content and what makes the rest of the people on that I know content is not that same. I had to learn that. But it took a long time to get that through my thick skull…

I don’t want to be Jane Q. Public with the minivan and the 2.5 children and the dog named spot. I don’t want a house in the burbs with phony neighbors and PTA meetings. I grew up in that shit so at one time that was what made sense to me. But looking back, wow! Am I glad I did not do that to myself? YES SIR….

That is not me. Not that its wrong, Its just not me. I am an artist, a dreamer, a child, a star, a diva and a lover of people. I am tumbleweed. I am a beam of gas. I am like a stream of mountain water, moving through rock and making my own path. I am beautiful and fluid, refreshing and life giving. Not in the conventional birthing way, but in an existential soul filling way. I give life through my words and my actions. I give life through my love and my support. When I weep it is with compassion and for the love of all humanity. I don’t think I am a wonder-being. These are just my sentiments.

About a week ago I was in Union Square. While there I saw a woman sitting on a bench reading a book. She was older, probably 50, silver and white hair cut short in a faux-hawk. A small cute pair of earrings, she had on jeans and a purple tank top with a pair or worn-out green chucks. She had a bag from whole foods next to her on the bench and a backpack between her feet. What made this woman stick out in my mind is the beautiful ornate tattoo she had on her left arm. It ran from her shoulder to her elbow and it was amazing looking. I must have stared for a good five minutes because she looked up slowly at me and smiled like I was a weirdo and then went back to her reading. And although I was blown off as a kook by this lady I realized that she was what I wanted to be. Well, not her per say, I don’t know who or what she is. But that is the older woman I want to be. Not a conventional granny type with yarn and mothballs. I want to be a tough old bird with tattoos and a faux-hawk. I want to eat healthy and read in the park. I want to be me without excuse or reservation. I want to be young at heart and in mind and spirit.

In that woman I saw a mature Tinkerbelle enjoying a moment of quiet. That’s what I aspire to be. I want my life to be filled with more experiences than things. I want to know more people than names of actors and tv shows. I guess that is where I differ from most. I love to drink in the diversity of the world we live in as opposed to living in sameness.

I guess this all reads rather disjointed and crazy, but that’s ok too. I am perfectly imperfect…

I really do love you all - in my own way….


Life is short. That is too true. Sometimes we rush though things and don’t realize how brief a time we have on this earth. Everyone has done it. I am equally guilty of the rushing through life – rat race thing. Too busy, must earn more, must get more, and must do more. As New Yorkers, we don’t usually stop and enjoy a moment. When was the last time you allowed yourself to sit in a park? Just went without plans? Nothing to do, no cell phone, and no rush; just enjoyed the smell of the new grass and leaves. When was the last time you sat and had a conversation with a child for an hour? Asked advice of an elderly person and sat and listened for a few hours? If you are anything like me it’s been a while. When was the last time you watched a squirrel or a bird with rapt attention?

Here is the question that I pose to you…What’s the rush? What difference does it make in the end if we are wearing designer jeans or sweats… Life is so short. When I was young I felt that I had forever to finish doing all of the things that I wanted to do. Now I realized that I don’t. Time is passing by and I am not getting any younger. But still in all, that is not a reason to stop appreciating the world around me. It does not give me a reason to not spend time watching the water or a sunset. Why is it so hard to make time for the little important things? It’s good to feel close. It’s good to love, even if it’s for a moment. I have been watching a beautiful strong wonderful man fade from this world for the last few months. I sometimes wonder as I look into his speechless face how many of the images he sees in his mind are about the things he was in a rush to acquire or if they are the beautiful simple moments he spent sitting in a park or enjoying holding his partner’s hand? How much of the hours he spent working and the commuting and paying bills does he recall? Can he remember the smell of the ocean, the feel of sand on his feet the sun on his chest? With all of my heart I hope that he does. I hope he can recall the taste of a freshly made taco and a cold Modelo. I hope that the sounds of a mariachi band on the streets of Mexico City are playing in his head. Images of the vejigantes on the streets of Puerto Rico at carnival dance through the day. Memories of Summers on 116th street, fresh accapurria and ice cold malta. I hope that all of our small moments together, an shared inside joke, singing a song or doing a dance together are with him as well. I wish for him that his last memories are not filled with regrets but with joy and recollection of the small things.

From this moment on, promise yourself to take time, to take time. Schedule doing nothing if you must, with no plan and no direction. Get up, leave your home and go nowhere in particular. Talk to anyone you meet. Sit on a park bench and think about silliness. You have forever to work. You can work until you die. But don’t put off life.

Anais Nin Quote: I Love Her...

I do not want to be the leader. I refuse to be the leader. I want to live darkly and richly in my femaleness. I want a man lying over me, always. His will, his pleasure, his desire, his life, his work, his sexuality the touchstone, the command, my pivot. I don't mind working, holding my ground intellectually, artistically; but as a woman, oh, God, as a woman I want to be dominated. I don't mind being told to stand on my own feet, not to cling all that I am capable of doing but I am going to be pursued, fucked, possessed by the will of a male at his time, his bidding.

Bi Life My Life

I guess I am writing this because I don’t usually think about my sexuality in the concrete. Although I do not take issue with my bi-sexuality and I have not been untruthful with any of my partners, I have to also say that I don’t like the negative references that I hear from people when they discuss bi-sexuality. I always thought of my sexual preference in terms of being a people person or of not restricting my choice of mate by gender. Not so much being greedy, but as seeing beyond the physical of a person and loving who they were inside. Although it’s true that you have to have some kind of attraction to a person, I believe that attraction should not be limited to hair, eye and skin color. Sometimes I am not sure that I am attracted to someone for their gender or for their appearance or maybe just who they are inside.

Ok, so I don’t sound like I am trying to be this existential snob. I see a woman like, Salma Hayek, and I think…Damn!!! she looks amazing! But that is usually not enough for me to feel an attraction to someone. I like people that make me laugh. People that can see the beauty in small things, people with the ability to love others and animals and nature, because it is right, even if it’s not cool. If you can do a silly voice or a dance and you can still discuss the big important things with an opinion, even if it is in conflict with mine, we can chill.

I like to kiss girls and boys. So what! Is there something so wrong with that? Is there something wrong with having the capacity to love beyond the physical? Feeling a bond with humankind that transcends all other things? I know there are a lot of people both gay and straight that cannot understand. On this platform both groups are united and we “bi-sexuals” are on the outside. But if you have never felt these feelings you will never understand what it’s about. At times I feel more “hetero” than “homo” and at times I feel the reverse. But I know this…I have always felt this way. I have always liked boys and girls. I have always been true to myself and when I was involved with someone, male or female, I was with that person only and always with great pride. I guess I just had to say this. Maybe it will help some to understand better. I can hope right?

Why is it that with people with the crappiest headphones and the corniest play list are always the ones blasting their i-pods?

It has seems to be a phenomenon since the i-pod became popular. Cheap Headphones + Crappy Playlist = Annoying Morning Commute.

Now I will be the first to admit, that the headphone that come with your i-pod may not be the best. I had to shell out $50.00 for ear buds that were comfortable and sturdy, that being said however, I don’t see why there are some of us, and you know who you are, that just buy downright crappy headphones. I don’t want to mention a brand name because I don’t know the legal ramifications, but it rhymes with Toby…. Just because they are big does not mean quality and in fact I think that the size makes them more like speakers subjecting us to your Engelbert Humperdinck trance remix. No offence pal, but please spare me. It used to be that by mercy we were limited to the amount of crap a person could listen too because you could only carry so many cd’s. But with an i-pod you have an endless supply of annoying music blasting through your cheap ass headphones. Thanks, for making my morning assault on my senses complete. I get to be pushed and shoved; smell some of the weirdest odors on the planet; see hocking and spitting and nose picking with the added benefit of listening to your crappy music. All I need is a piece of liver in my mouth and my day will truly start in the worse way possible. Do the world a favor will ya pal? BUY SOME DECENT HEADPHONES and KEEP YOUR SHITTY MUSIC TO YOURSELF!!!

Miss Kitty’s Claws are out…Believe it or not it’s about Dogs…how apropos…

So I drag myself out of bed and I am going through my morning routine. I am a morning person so most of my blog ideas come to me in the morning. However this particular morning I was so tired that I could not bear it… (Having gone to bed at 2:00a.m. which is wildly out of character for me…) I was not feeling very creative this morning. But I digress, I was going through my normal weekday morning routine, Good Day New York was on (Its just enough news to keep me informed without making me want to jump in front of a bus, and besides I have been watching it for 10 years) and they were going through their normal segments and talking about whatever while I was strolling from room to room getting dressed, brushing my hair and looking at my emails. Where is all of this going? You may ask. Here…

There was a segment about Cindy Adams, the gossip columnist from the NY comPOST… and her new book about her dogs… (I know what you’re thinking…”Jen, ease up, that’s not so bad”) And on its face, you are right its not. Then she began talking about how she loved her dogs and how they have fur coats (not their own, another animal…WTF!!!) and jewelry, they eat poached chicken from Le Cirque and that she even considered getting them their own apartment (Are you with me yet). So I am getting increasingly annoyed and Lynn Brown, who is my favorite morning personality, says “I need a mommy like you…” To which I reply “Word!” So they continue to talk about her fucking rich ass dogs and she goes on to discuss what Lynn B called “…a tragic moment for [her]” the death of “Jazzy” her dog and 3 year companion. I have lost a dog that lived with my family for 15 years; its death was a sad event. But I did not write a fucking book about it. I assumed the American public had better things to do then read about my dog’s life and death. Cindy tells her about how she sent her dog to a kennel for the first time and it died. She further goes on to discuss her outrage at the abhorrent conditions of the kennel that her dog was kept in. That and these are her words, “…this is a dog that I laid on the floor and fed poached chicken from Le Cirque, and it had e coli in its system. How do you think that happened?”

Apparently, the death of this dog apparently moved this heifer to become an advocate for doggie kennel reform and actually get a law passed. NOW AGAIN, I LOVE ANIMALS, but I am I the only one that sees that something is terribly wrong here?

This newfound doggie mania is getting to me. I hate to hate, but I gotta. Dogs are cute, but they are pets and it is not in their nature to want a Louis Vuitton jacket and Prada boots… They don’t care if it’s poached chicken from Le Cirque, Fried Chicken from Bo-Wah Kitchen or rotting chicken from the back of C-town. Instead of buying your fucking dog a fur coat of all things, how about buying some sacks of flour or potatoes to donate to a homeless shelter, giving books to a public school or giving a gross of basketballs to a recreation center. Of course that would only benefit your fellow man, why would you do that? Some may think, “hey it’s her money let her do with it as she pleases…” Fine, I can do that. But when that ho gets mugged because the schools are not turning out employable students, or a homeless man is so hungry her grabs her dog and tries to eat it, don’t say shit to me. To answer the question, “Yes, you are your brothers’ keeper.” Helping is an act of selfish selflessness. It keeps us all safe. These people would rather spend money on a disposable life source then contribute to the betterment of mankind. I don’t have a lot, but I give where I can. I am not saying everything, but if you have an extra 20K to spend annually on a dog, I think we can all agree that its expendable income. Dogs are animals; they need food, water and shelter. Finito!!! If you give a dog fresh water, a bowl of chow and a box to sleep in all of his needs are complete. As a matter of fact if you give the average human those basic needs they are doing ok also. But since you have gotten rich, and probably on the backs of the very poor you hold such disdain for, why not give back.
I can see only one solution. We have to make it trendy to have a homeless person as a pet. We can make big carrying bags with wheels and then you can take then to a spa and a salon. Feed them on the floor of your kitchen. Give them names like Zhi-Zhi and Ginger. This seems to be the only way that you can get anyone to help another being. We can pick up the homeless, clean them up and keep them in pens so the ultra rich can browse through and pick one. Here is what the copy would be like on the advertisements…They’re Warm and some are Fuzzy…Some are Crazy but take one home and they will be all yours…HOMELESS POUND PALS. Pick one up today. You get to name them, take them home and let them lay around your house while you work. Then you can have a groomer come in and style your homeless pound pal’s hair and then you can take them for a walk in the park. That is if you don’t want to carry them around in your matching stylish bag. But don’t get home too late or they may piss in your shoes or shit in your favorite Hermes bag… YOU SELFISH ASSHOLES!