Sunday, December 18, 2011


So the Quiet One and I have been together for just over 7 months now! It's gone by so quiclky and yet there have been moments that have gone by in slow motion.

The tree at Rockerfeller Center...

If I don't see that tree every year, I feel incomplete. The tradition of that tree in the city has probably been around longer than I've been alive. Maybe I've seen too many holiday movies, or perhaps I am an even mushier romantic during Christmas, but I always had a fantasy about what going to Rockerfeller Center with a boyfriend would be like. I always imagined seeing the tree, the two of us making goo-gooly eyss at each other. Then we would embrace, kiss, and hold each other as if no one was around. I imagined us having an original New York pretzel, maybe a hot chocolate, and looking at the store front windows that are SO fantastic at Christmastime!! I just wanted a memory like that seared into my brain to take with me when I should ever go into a senior home when I turn 90...

Sure, I've gone to see the tree with past boyfriends. My fantasy was never played out. They would take me there, and they would take the "mandatory" photo of us, and next thing I knew I was on my way headed home. And they would say, "What? You saw the tree, you got the picture - what more do you want?"

Last night the Quiet One and I went to see the Tree at Rockerfeller was probably the only night we could do it together since I didn't have a show. We decided to park in a lot, because if you've never been to New York City, the parking signs are SO confusing that you will most likely receive a ticket. We walked down 49th Street and all the excitement was there - the children ooh'ing and aah'ing - taking pictures with second-hand costumed Mickey Mouses, SpongeBob's and the like! Right across the street from Radio City were the gigantic Christmas balls in red, silver and a King Kong sized display of multi-colored Christmas lights. Police were EVERYWHERE directing traffic, PEOPLE traffic, not just cars. As we got close to the tree, the Quiet One said, "You ready, baby? We're almost there!! Ready..." And there is was. As grand and as large as it can be! The happiest place in New York City is right there. Of course we could barely even walk, but it didn't matter - we were there, and he was wonderful about it! He asked to take a picture of me in front of the tree, and we took one of ourselves - after all, it's our FIRST Christmas together! And then, he stayed there. I couldn't believe, he didn't say to me, "Okay, let's get outta here - it's too crazy!" He wrapped his arms around me, and just like the movie, I exhaled. We kissed, yep, right shame. Then he bought me roasted cashews & a pretzel, and we held hands..and although it was cold, I felt warm. We watched the MOST beautiful video display that is given on the side of Saks Fifth Avenue...God bless the person who thought of it. It was SO gorgeous that I cried. The Quiet One asked if I was alright,and I told him I cannot come here and not feel overwhelmed with the beauty and magic of Christmas here. He hugged me tighter, and we began walking away - one whole entire big, block away, when he asked me, "Did you want to do anything else?" I did, but I thought we'd already walked too far...that one block took us almost 10 minutes to walk because of the mass of people that had collected. So, I said, "Well, kind of, but that's okay...we're too far now." "Tell me, what did you want to do?" "Well," I confessed, "I wanted to see some of the store windows on 5th Avenue." "Okay." And without hesitation, he took my hand and to 5th Avenue we went. I thanked him...I still don't think he understands how much that meant to me. I'll cherish it forever!

Then he met my father and his wife a couple of months ago...Words that can describe my father would be: strong, opinionated, stubborn and old-world I had no idea what would happen. We were at dinner, my father telling stories of what I was like as a child, and there they were, smiling at one another. A moment that will stay with me forever was one I saw in slow motion. As my father was trying to get out of the car, I saw the Quiet One, come over, hold the door open and gently helped my father up. My father, now 80, doesn't feel 80, I'm sure...but his knees remind him, and it's painful for him to push up. The Quiet One did it in a way that was kind, but appropriate. He made my father feel good about it, not weird. I was very proud of him. My father is an EXCELLENT cook, and he made both of us flan (Spanish style custard)...but the Quiet One HATES flan! Not a good's like going to an Italian's house, and telling them you hate pasta! But the Quiet One was honest with my father, and later, my father admitted he liked his honesty. Cool.

Next test to pass: Dinner at my mother's with my three brothers, sister and three nieces. As soon as he got to my mom's house, my mom asked him to put something up for her. He was kind, eager and very helpful the entire day. Dinner at my mom's with my whole family is always a lot of fun, because there is so much laughter, chaos and friendly dysfunction. We were all sitting there...and the Quiet One is, well, sometimes, very quiet. He's a bit shy at first...but he does fine all by himself. When dinner was over, he was immediately washing dishes, collecting dishes...he's just the BEST! Later on, when I couldn't find him in the kitchen, he was playing with my nieces and they were giggling...he is a father already but he's a natural with children!!! I caught myself wondering what it would be like to be married to him, and wishing I met him so long ago!!

All I have EVER wanted for Christmas was to meet the man I'd like to spend my life with. All I have ever wanted was to feel TRULY loved, respected, and wanted. All I ever wanted was to KNOW that I can trust who I'm with - that I don't have to second guess myself...All I have ever wanted for Christmas was a REAL GOOD MAN!! It won't really matter what presents I get this year. For the first time in such a LONG time, I am H.A.P.P.Y!!! I am at peace. I realize that in the past, my past boyfriends were like a drug addiciton - not knowing if they would cheat or not, kept me awake at night. I was addicted to the drama of it...and I waited for the next high, and they would mess up, and I'd go into withdrawal. Couldn't sleep, couldn't eat...

This kind of love is peaceful. It is a calm I've never experienced before. I'm not used to it, but I sleep like a baby every night. This kind of love is reassuring, it's makes me feel like I am a complete person, and I have more than enough to offer a man. This kind of love is a real's from God, I"m sure...All I want for Christmas is the Quiet One's wonderful love!!!! I know you're sick with my corny, mushy stuff...but I swear, it's SO awesome, and SO worth it!! And for Christmas, I wish you the very same: a love that lifts you, that loves, you, that respects you, that honors you, that makes you feel worthy of everything good!!!

Monday, November 28, 2011


I had a show in Philadelphia the night before, November 4th. It was a great show, but a long night. On my way upstairs I asked my road manager for my music that he left in the car. He didn't want to go back downstairs: "Judy, they already have the showtape for tomorrow, so you don't need it." I argued, "Yes, David, but if something goes wrong, I need back up." He didn't budge, and I admittedly was feeling too tired to argue with him. I arrived home from the show at 3am. I already knew I would be sleep deprived because I had to be up at 8:30am in order to arrive at my soundcheck on time. Walked through the door, took off my still sweaty clothes, wiped off the tons of black mascara from my eyes, threw on a t-shirt and went to bed...

Almost 10 minutes later, just as I began to have my first dream, my house phone rang. Who the heck would be calling at this ungodly hour? It was my road manager, "Yo, Judy, you gotta call the the driver..." He was ranting with incomplete sentences. "David, what happened?" "The driver left me." What do you mean 'the driver left me'?" "I mean...the driver stopped for gas, and I told him I would be right back. I went into the store, came out...and yo, he was GONE!" I immediately got on the phone, called the limo company's owner and told him what had occurred. Wow, I thought, that driver is probably almost at David's house...without David. The owner called me back, and told me, "Hey, Judy, Mike knows about David, and is on his way back to the gas station." And then it happened -

A little gurgle of laughter began to rise out from my stomach...

I could just imagine David standing there...This very large, muscular guy coming out of the store with some sort of food in his hand, and then with his mouth agape...thinking, "Oh s...t! Where's the freaking limo?" LOL.

I called David back to let him know that the driver was returning to his rescue. LOL. I began to laugh...and I didn't stop for almost ten minutes...I'm not exaggerating. I would be severely sleep deprived now, but damn, that laughter was ALL worth it! Everytime I thought of him standing there in complete disbelief that the driver was there, I lost it. Then it hit me. That's what he gets for refusing to get my music back to me. Karma is funny.

I got back to my bed. Closed my eyes. Ten minutes later - screaming coming from the park down the street. She was screaming as if she was being hurt, but then when I heard the screaming followed by her laughter, well, I didn't find it funny at all. The immature teen kept me up. It was 4:30 when I finally fell asleep. Oh, well.

I woke up, and out of sheer determination (and excitement - The Quiet One was going with me), I woke up with tons of energy. Or was it adrenaline? I arrived at the Taj Mahal in Atlantic City a little early, so the Quiet One and I decided to play slots for a minute. And in about two minutes of playing with just $20, I was $60 richer. Cool. We went to the theater for soundcheck, and there was Aby, Tony & Angel, formerly of TKA, on stage doing their thing. It had been a long time since I'd seen them on stage. Afterward, I see a red-head on stage, and for a second I wondered, 'Who is this girl?' And in just 5 seconds of her first song, I was catapulted back to the 80's, and instantly realized it was 80's teen heart throb, Tiffany! She began singing, I Think We're Alone Now, and I had a smile on my face. And then The Quiet One turned to me, and innocently asked, "Who is she?" There are times when I don't realize our 12 year age difference...and then there are times like these, that I think, "Oh, my God...I am SO much older than he is!" So I briefly educated him...and she began to do her next song, "Could've Been". I cried. Yep, right there during her sound check. I cried because, to be completely honest, I have not heard a voice sound as pure as hers in my life!! Take out Could've Been if you still own it on a 45" and give it a listen one more time. Her vocal range, power and tone are simply amazing, and I just could NOT believe that I was witnessing this with my own ears, in person. Sabrina, a member of the Cover Girls, had the same look on her face, and I took comfort in knowing I wasn't alone in my sentiment.

Well, it was showtime, and I was excited...and I was tired. I honestly wasn't even sure I would have a voice to get through the show. If I don't have enough sleep, I simply don't have enough voice either. But I took a nap before the show, drank something like 3 cups of coffee and three cups of tea & sucked on lozenges like a woman dying of thirst. I got to watch Tiffany perform again, and I just felt like, 'I have to meet this girl!" I went on right after Tiffany...and I was just elated at the thought that I could say, "Yes, I peformed with Tiffany...I even went on right after her." To me, that was a highlight of my career!

Funny little story. I was truly stressing about what I would wear for this show. I ended up purchasing a leopard print, one piece jumpsuit. It was simple, but it was comfortable, and I thought it was flattering. As long as I dressed itup with a lot of cool accessories great shoes, it would work. When I was getting ready for the show, and The Quiet One saw me, he asked me something he had never asked before: "Um, is that what you're wearing for the show?" "Um, YES, why?" "Well, it kind of looks like something you would sleep with looks like something you would have worn in like the 80's." I was too nervous to even take in the comment. But just before I went on, I thought it would be useful for the show.

The emcee who introduced me was AMAZING! He gave me such an incredible introduction that the crowd was on their feet!! Wow! I wish I remembered it because I would have thanked the man myself! The crowd was ON THEIR FEET and I didn't even walk on yet. It's so exciting, so exhilarating and So SCARY!!! Now, that I have them on their feet, I somehow have to keep them standing! Pressure! I walked on with a smile that no one could ever erase! When you see the people standing, looking with hope in their eyes, you have to smile! These are moments that will be ingrained and burned into my memory for the rest of my life, so it has to count! So I began to sing and the dancers of T.R.U.E. dance company came on and joined me. They are simply amazing and determinged kids, for whom dance is such a passion! One of the dancers, Gia, stole the show! I was doing my chest pump dance move, and as the dancers were clearing the stage, she remained there, tapped me on the shoulder, and totally out-danced me...and then another dancer came back on stage, and literally picked her up and took her off stage. I heard the crowd laugh and applaud, and I thought, 'yeaaaa! She did it!' The crowd cheered, applauded so loudly, I got chills!! Didn't want to get off, but there were more people to be heard, lol.

My girl, my friend, the woman I look up to, Lisa-Lisa, was up next. As I was passing her on the stairs, she appeared upset. "Lisa, you ok?" I asked her. "My's just not there today." I want to take a moment to share something with you. If you are not a singer, most people say, "Oh, just drink some tea with honey & lemon." LOL Yes, tea with honey and lemon aer helpful, but sometimes it's not the cure-all you think it is. There is nothing more depressing and anxiety inducing for a singer than knowing your voice is not up to par. And when you are performing at a HUGE venue, where people have paid LOTS of money to see you sing JUST LIKE THEY REMEMBER, you feel like a failure before you even step onto the stage. My heart broke for Lisa-Lisa. I cannot tell you how many pep talks she has gifted me with throughout the was my turn to give back to her and help out. I asked her, "Would you like me to help you?" "Yea, what ever, mama!" She had such a look on her face, one I'm all too familiar with. It was that - Oh, my God-how-the-hell-am-I-supposed-to-do-this - face! I asked the sound guy, "Do you have an extra microphone you could give me? She needs help." I stood backstage and anytime I thought she may need help with the higher notes, I sang along...if I could harmonize with her, I did...anything to help. When she came off stage, she thanked me, but she had tears in her eyes. To be 100% honest, she did GREAT! The crowd was with her, and I felt it in my heart that the audience sang with her, for her, to her...they just wanted to SEE her! I told her she did great...I just hope she believed it.

I eagerly watched the rest of the show, and then the Quiet One said to me, "Hey, Judy, I think that's Tiffany right next to you." I looked at him, and squinted my eyes, "Are you sure?" "Yes." I slowly turned my head as to not act like an idiot too much. And yes, that was her. I introduced myself, and she was THE BEST!!! She was totally humble, sweet in nature, and we talked a lot. I told her I had seen her on The View..and next thing I know she was asking me if I had a Facebook page. Suddenly, Slick Rick went on stage, followed by Vanilla Ice...and I really didn't care that they weren't freestyle was just nice for me to feel EXACTLY what the fans are always telling me that they feel - I was transported to an earlier time, a happier, more care-free, and innocent time!! It was a GREAT night!!

Monday, November 21, 2011


Anytime I perform in Chicago, I always feel a certain excitement. Next to the energy of New York City, I would say Chicago comes in second for me. Chicago is a beautiful city, and to call it the Windy City is indeed an understatement. But I woke up SO sick. Oh, my God! I couldn't move. My back was aching, and so were my joints. I woke up sweating and my throat felt as if I'd swallowed glass. How am I supposed to do a show all the way out in Chicago, and fly home the following day to sing on a ship in NYC?
I took my temperature. 100.5. Yep, low grade fever.

I had to be at the airport by 9:30am. So I rushed with my road manager, David, to the doctor's office. It would be open at 8:30am. So I was there at 8:15 am, begging the doctor's assistant to see me soon so I could catch my flight. My doctor laughed when he saw me. "Ha, you're sick? What happened?" He gave me a shot and two prescriptions...I ran to Rite Aid and begged the pharmacist to assist me in leaving on time. I was in the car at 9:28 am. Excellent. There was word all over the television of a winter storm warning for New York the following day. Yeah, sure.

As soon as I got to the hotel, I slept. I slept for about 2 1/2 hours - no where near what I needed. But it would have to do. I was picked up at 11:30pm...and I was excited. On Facebook, I get a lot of, "Judy, when are you coming to Chi-town?" I can honestly say I've never had a bad show in Chicago. So when my ride picked me up to go to the show, we overheard the promoter talking about rival gang members trying to get into the club. Oh. I forgot about that. Many times when I perform in Chicago, especially in certain areas, gang activity is a given. Although, thankfully, I've never had a personal negative experience, I have done shows for example Congress Theater, where a fight will break out. Whenever I ask what's going on, I'm told in one word: gangs.

Freestyle music is very much music of the Latino streets, so I am not surprised that our fan base also includes many in prison and in gangs. But it saddens me that going to a show to hear someone perform, which should be a FUN thing to do, sometimes turns into a tragic event. Music is supposed to bring people together, NOT be a preface to a battle. And so, the word was there were gang members trying to get in. Next thing I know my road manager is saying things like, "Be sure you stay close to me, and if something goes wrong, you go out this way...." In my almost 25 years of performing, I've only experienced three shows where there was extreme violence: one was a shoot out, the second was men & women with razor blades slicing each other, and the third was when my limo taken with ME in it - but that's a whole other blog.

Anyway, it was time to perform and dammit, I wanted to sing in was a new place for me: Buzz Bomb! I have to say the second I got on stage, the welcome was, well, it gave me the warm fuzzies all over, lol. From the second I got onstage, the stage was not too stable...and when you're wearing 4 inch heels, and the there's a potential for being recorded and put on youtube the following day if you fall, well, it's not a chance I was willing to take. Enter...the chancletas. Slippers are my best friend lately...they're black and they sparkle. So cute. I summoned my slippers and the promoter brought a chair on stage. Okay, dude, it's not THAT bad. LOL..I'm not that old, not yet. And so the show continued... and in spite of singing with a sinus infection, I think everything panned out just fine.

There was a man in the audience with a 12" of No Reason to Cry...he was waving the thing like a proud American would wave his flag. I asked if I could borrow it, and talked about the old days with 12 inch records and 45's and such. I gave it back to him. He was over excited - perhaps he was even drunk...and he became so rowdy that the bouncers removed him. I begged for them not to throw him out, but it was done. All I wanted to do was sign the album for if anyone knows who he is, please forward me his name & address...I'd like to be sure he gets it.

What's my favorite thing about performing in the Windy City? The people. The people in Chicago, those who come to see me perform, are the MOST affectionate people I've met. Every single person tells me a story, hugs me, and I feel their sincerity. That kind of affection from your fans is quite unique. I stayed afterward to take pics and sign autographs - an hour and a half later, I was ready to return flight to return home was so early that as soon as we returned to the hotel, it was time to pack my bag and head to the airport.

My flight was at 7am. I had to return & I wanted an early flight because I had a show that night on a ship in NYC. WE took off, we landed, (Thank you, God, for a safe flight)...and we arrived to rain. The Quiet One picked me up and had a cup of coffee ready for me (he's thoughtful that way :) ) and next thing I knew it was snowing...HARD!!! For the first time, New York was far colder than Chicago...

Monday, November 14, 2011


In less than two weeks I performed in three cities: Miami, Chicago and Atlantic City. My schedule beginning at end of October into November is BRUTAL...and it all began when I went to Miami. I'm sure people think it's all very cool to jet set all over the country - and it is a blessing, don't get me wrong, but allow me to give you an example of what it can be like.

First, I fly coach. LOL. I don't do first class. It would be nice, but let's face it; I'm not Lady Gaga. And I was sitting in the middle to two large men...and I'm a big girl too. I admit it must have been a funny sight. I land in Fort Lauderdale, a half hour away from Miami. We drive to the hotel, and I'm already sleep deprived from the day before because when I know I have a flight, I become anxious that I'll miss the alarm clock when it fires. So I take a nap...about an hour and a half. I wake to several messages and emails about the upcoming show in Atlantic City. I get picked up for the show around 11:30pm. I go onstage at 1:30am.

The Club at the Renaissance was the venue. The crowd was a good one. Scratch that. They were GREAT! I don't do Miami too often so I know the people who showed up really came to see me. AS I performed there were three men in the audience who were starry eyed. I rarely ever see men look at me that way. But something was different about them. Couldn't put my finger on it. As I performed, with each and every song, the energy from the audience expanded, and then I felt it. Euphoria. It's true happiness. And it is SO contagious. I feel it. The people feel it. And it is just the best natural high a person could have. When I sing, Please Stay Tonight, there is a small segment of the song where I move my hips right, left and as I do that, I lower my body. And then boom. I spring back up. Then I usually make a little joke about it. I say something like, "Ah, you didn't think I could get myself back up, huh?" Then the audience laughs, and so do I. So, there I was lowering my, hello? Oh, shoot!! I can't get up! LOL LOL LOL. Oh, my God! Seriously, I'm stuck. It may have been the shoes that were higher than usual, but for some reason, my legs just didn't have the oomph to pull myself up. So there I am, just squatting there. I have to sing in like 3 seconds. So, I did what we all have to do sometimes in life: I reached out for help. And two of the three men with starry eyes helped me up. I received great applause - I really had fun onstage!

Now it's about 2:15am. I have a flight at 7:40am. I need to get back to the hotel and get sleep. But I can't because there are people just outside the door of the dressing room, waiting for pictures. I firmly believe in meeting the fans, taking pictures and chatting with them. They deserve that. If they took the time to get dressed up to come see the show, if they take the time to wait on line to meet me, the least I can do is give them that time. Besides, I confess, I LOVE people. I love that we all come in different shapes, sizes, colors, attitudes, races, creeds...and I love to try to connect with each person - even if for a second. And so, I take a moment...get a couple of sips of water, and the door is opened. By now, my feet are usually hurting...but I put on my chancletas (slippers) and just keep going. There are always a few people who challenge me: "Judy, you don't remember me, do you?" Um. Hm.

When I'm in a good mood and I'm not too tired, my response will be, "No, I'm so sorry. Where did we meet?" or "How do we know each other?"

When I'm in a bad mood, or exhausted to the point I may cry, my response is, "No, I'm sorry." Period. What else can I say? But in my mind, I'm thinking, 'Um, hello, if I remembered you, you probably wouldn't have to have asked me.' But I know how rude that sounds in my mind, so it never gets released from my mouth.

But I won't lie. I won't make believe I remember that person. About 20 years ago, someone asked me, "Judy, you don't remember me, do you?" I didn't remember him, but I felt SO horrible because he had this hopeful look in his eye. So, I lied to please him, "Yeah, how are ?" He challenged me: "Oh, yeah, you remember me? What's my name? Where did I meet you?" I stood there like an idiot. I swore I would never lie again. Truth be told, sometimes I do remember a person's face, but not the name. It's hard. In the span of ONE evening, I am easily introduced to at least fifty people. It's really hard.

Okay, I got off the subject. Sorry. So, after a show there are always a few drunk ones. It used to bother me, but now I just find it funny that the next day, they will probably remember nothing. So as I was taking pictures the three men with the starry eyes came in. They took pictures with me and seemed tickled pink. I felt honored to take the pictures with them. There was something special about them. And then one of them, asked me in Spanish what my nationality was. I told him that my mother is Puerto Rican, and my father is Cuban. Their eyes lit if they couldn't light up any further. He announced to me that they were all from Cuba and had been in the country for just a year. I asked them what city...they were from Havana, the very city my father was born in.

My father speaks of Cuba frequently. He tells me of the white sandy beaches, the amazing music and the impeccable dancing that occurs there. My father came to this country when he was shy of 18 years old. I understand from his stories that it was a hazardous trip, and that when he got here in the winter time, the only word he knew in English was hamburger. I admire my father for his courage. To come to a land where you don't speak the language, or know the not even have a home or know of a friend or a relative who can get you started - that takes guts. And my father created a wonderful life for himself here...and later in life, he had his sister and mother join him here as well. It is a common story for many of our relatives, but it is always admirable..this country is built on immigrants. I sure wouldn't be here today if my parents had not come into this country.

And so, the three starry-eyed gentlemen began to tell me about how they would climb to the roof of their homes with antennae to desperately try and catch Power 96, a big radio station in Miami. They told me they could barely hear No Reason To Cry but they knew they loved it. Wow. Their story, told with so much passion, simply brought tears to my eyes. The idea that they could have been in trouble if they had been caught, but they risked it anyway, truly moved me. They had looked forward to this day, hoping they could finally hear me in person, meet me. So cool. I gave them pictures, I took more pictures with them and I hugged them...really, really hard. Wow. Now, that's what I call Freestyle Freaks!! Yo quiero mi Cuba libre!!! (I want my Cuba to be free)

Tuesday, November 8, 2011


Because of my career, many men have been under the impression that in order to make me happy, in order to impress me, in order to win me over, they need to wine me and dine me. Now, I admit, like any other woman, I love getting dressed up, going to a great restaurant with fine ambiance, and enjoying good conversation...but I don't need that all the time. Truth is, my best dates have been doing things unexpectedly and as long as it's new to me, and I have fun, I love it.

So, I got a phone call from the Quiet One.

"Hey, hon. It's a really beautiful day! How about we go to the cliff?"

I talk about the cliff to many people in my life, and I've even blogged about what I call My Cliff. I am happiest whenever I am around nature. There is something therapeutic about hearing the leaves being kissed by the breeze; seeing all the green all around; noticing the trees that have been in existence for almost an eternity; and the idea of a possibility of seeing the forest's creatures. All these things turn me into a little kid. I did indeed take the Quiet One to the cliff in the beginning of our relationship...all we did was stand there and talk. The Quiet One remembered. He remembered how much this little place means to me. The idea that he spontaneously suggested it thrilled me. So he picked me up, and there we were. I showed him the trails that are there - there are two. One marked with red on the trees and the other marked with blue. He spotted a turkey vulture. I looked up, waiting to see it soar. But he pointed straight ahead, and there it was walking along the woods. Cool. Turkey vultures are not exactly the most beautiful of birds, but I LOVE birds of prey. Just the mere sight of any bird of prey fills me with adrenalin. We began to walk the trail marked in red, but we quickly realized we were not wearing the appropriate clothing, or type of shoes for the rocky landscape. He suggested that the next time we came to the cliff, we should make a day of it; pack a bag, blanket and snacks, and go.

So the following week, The Quiet One picked me up. That particular day, for some reason, I wasn't really in the mood. But the sun was calling out, reminding me that soon it would be further away. Soon it would be too cold to visit the cliff...this was the day. So, he drove me there - knapsack, blanket, snacks, water and all. We had our hiking shoes on too. We chose the trail with the red on the trees. Last summer I had attempted that trail, but I was forceed to stop dead in my tracks because there was so much brush growth, it completely denied me access. But on this day, with the Quiet One, it was completely free. There was a sign posted: 440 Foot Descent. I don't know what the hell that means - 440 feet? I just know I was determined to do it. And so was the Quiet One. And so we began to walk down.

It was wonderful because for two hours we were completely alone, almost as if no one else existed. As we walked, sometimes in complete silence, we saw chipmunks, more chipmunks...and more chipmunks. We found a large rock that to me, looked like a love seat. We sat for a moment and took in the awesomeness of the forest. And then we continued to walk down, even passing the area where I was stopped last year. Finally, at the very bottom, we had reached the river. It was GREAT! It was so quiet, so private and extremely peaceful. We found a large tree and sat for a while. It was perfect. It was even romantic. And all I kept thinking was how sweet he was to do this for me. Although he's never told me, I get the feeling that nature is not really his thing. But he entertained me with something that I love, and it makes me love him that much more.

It was time to go back. Oh. I forgot. The entire return trip would be entirely uphill. Uphill onto rocky terrain, over broken trees and sometimes unsteady footing. The Quiet One was so manly - he sometimes walked in front of me to be sure I wouldn't step on something unsteady. He sometimes walked behind me, claiming he just wanted to see my butt, lol. Silly. Either way, half way up, I was huffing and puffing...and sweating. Excuse me, I mean I was glistening. He was not. Damn, I really need to get into better shape. Perhaps Zumba isn't enough. Three quarters of the way, I HAD to STOP. I needed a little break. We rested about a minute and proceeded. "We're almost there, got this!!" Aw, he's so supportive. my mind, I was thinking, "Yeah, that's easy for you to say, Tarzan!"

Just before we reached the end, the Quiet One pointed out the cutest deer. I love deer. Some people see them as nuisances on the highway, or creatures harboring lyme-disease carrying ticks, but I see them as sweet, docile creatures. In Native American folklore, they are considered to represent innocence and child-like naivete. Either way, the Quiet One saw something that he knows I love...

Looks like the Quiet One is the Good One too. I have to tell you that so far, I have nothing bad to report. As we ge to know one another, I have learned that he is easy-going, attentive, romantic, affectionate...and he can be quirky too. One of his quirks, my favorite so far, is that when he really likes a song, he will sing it passionately, but a split second faster than the tempo of the song. As a singer, it used to make me cringe, but now it makes me smile!!!! It was nice to see for once where the trail led was nice to finish what we was simply - very - nice.

Sunday, October 2, 2011


With all my recent health issues, I've been on top of everything. I've been current with all my doctors, tests, etc. So far, other than the darn chest pains, I've been doing great!

So this past Thursday evening around 5:45pm or so, I was watching television, preparing to go out, when...OW! OW! What the hell was that?! I felt like I was stabbed in my lower right side of my body. The Quiet One was with me. "What is it?" We both kind of laughed because I jumped up as if someone invisible hit me. I thought nothing of it...until about an hour later, when I began to feel throbbing, and some cramping. But there was no blood, so I just thought maybe something I'd eaten simply didn't agree with me. When I got home, the Quiet One wanted to stay with me. He knew I was in pain, and as much as I acted like I wasn't, he knew. He wanted to take me to the hospital, but I wanted to wait it out until morning. I never woke him, but I tossed and turned all night...the pain was intense enough to keep me wide awake. He made me promise to go to the doctor first thing in the morning. And that's what I did.

Friday morning.
My doctor's office opened at 11am, and I was the first one there. I was also the only one there. Apparently he was on vacation. I almost cried when his assistant, Iris, informed me. I've been a patient of his for almost 20 years now and Iris is the BEST! She immediately asked me what was wrong. I told her of my symptoms, and I also mentioned that I had an early show that evening and two shows on Saturday..this needed to be taken care of TODAY! I saw her rapidly get on the phone and call in a "favor". Next thing I know she gave me a prescription to get an ultra sound. I had 45 minutes to drink at least eight glasses of water. When having an ultra sound, apparently they want to see you with a full bladder. So I arrived at 1:30 for my appointment, anxious and REALLY needing to pee. I don't mean the typical, "Gotta go, gotta go, gotta go right now...Pee-Pee Dance" It was beyond difficult to hold it any longer. So I filled out all the necessary paperwork, handed them my insurance card (thank you, KTU) and waited. Five minutes...15...20....Oh, my God, if my bladder blows up, we'll have a new problem all together. Finally, I spoke up and told them I had to be called or I was gonna die. The woman at the desk was kind enough to say, "Okay, go to the bathroom and just let a little out." Huh? A little?! Don't she know I gotta go? Asking me to urinate just a little was like asking me to hold a door to a dam that had broken. I had visions of Niagara Falls, running water faucets - big time! Then finally, my name was called.

The ultrasound technician seemed short with me; not mean, but borderline rude. When people are that way, I remind myself that it's possible it's been a hard day for them. It doesn't mean it makes it okay, it just keeps me calm enough to not say the wrong thing. She was pressing down on my stomach with the instrument, reminding me how badly I still needed to go. Then she began to huff and puff. Then she got quiet. Uh, oh. Something is wrong. I know it. She asked me to empty my bladder and return. So I did, and once again she seemed irritated but it was different. "I have to get the doctor to look at this." So the doctor came over, and they both began to deliberate and describe all the things they thought it could be. Um, hello, I'm right here. Talk to me!!

"Ms. Torres, it is?"
"It looks as if you have a rupture in your ovary. It could be a ruptured ovary, an ectopic pregnancy, a ruptured cyst, or a tumor. But you have too much fluid & a little blood in your pelvis, so we can't really see well enough to determine."
"So I guess I won't be doing any show tonight, huh?" (always keep a sense of humor in times like these)
"No. There will be no shows tonight. I'm sending you to the hospital right now for a CAT scan. You may need emergency surgery."
I thanked them, and hugged the ultrasound technician...first time I saw her smile all day. Maybe that's exactly what she needed a hug, showing appreciation from someone!

As I dressed and returned to the waiting room, I began to make the slew of phone calls that would have a domino effect on so many people. I HATE canceling shows. I hate it. I end up letting down so many people. In a regular office job, you can call your boss, and tell him/her you're sick. A few people at work may have to work a little harder to make up for your absence, but it's okay. In the past, with my job, when I called out sick, I got threats for law suits. Calling out sick in this career, disappoints the managers, the road managers, the promoters, the clubs and most importantly- the fans. It's a big loss money-wise, and I can do nothing about it. The doctor gave me the proper paperwork, and I began to walk to the hospital a block away. I called my road manager and began to call my family, the Quiet One, and anyone else I could think of that I knew would be affected. Iris, from my doctor's office, called my cell phone to tell me she had notified the doctor on call at the hospital. I am so grateful to her. If she had not done that favor for me, and got me to take that ultra sound, I have to confess I know I would've waited until Monday so I could do my shows.

At the hospital, I had a deja-vu. Last time I was in this emergency room, I had optic neuritis, went blind in my right eye, and spent a week in the hospital before finally being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. I prayed so hard, "Lord, thank you for putting me in the right hands. Thank you that we now know something is wrong, and whatever we need to do to fix it, will be done. But please, I don't want surgery. Please." The feeling of uncertainty was just too familiar in that moment. The Quiet One was rushing to get to the hospital, and my relatives kept calling to see if I was okay. In the meantime, I did what everyone does in the emergency room: wait, wait, wait all the while in pain, pain, pain.

I was called into a room where my vitals were taken. My blood pressure was through the roof - something that had NEVER happened before. No fever. And I was brought immediately to a room and asked to undress & put on a gown. The room was freaking freezing, with an enormous spotlight hanging from the ceiling. All sorts of unknown instruments were sitting on the table, and it was a bit scary. After almost 20 minutes a nurse walked in, set up an i-v & took urine and blood samples. Ten minutes later a doctor came in and did a quick pelvic exam and told me we were going to set up for a CAT scan.

Twenty minutes later, I'm transferred to a different room, where I'm given a nasty orange concoction, and told I have to drink the entire thing. "You have to have a full bladder when you go for the scan." AGAIN? I have to hold it AGAIN?! Ughhhhhhh!!!! But I nodded my head. The Quiet One arrived, looking so handsome. I wonder if he knows how great it was to see him. I hope I made it clear. He's a good man. Here it is, Friday night...he could be anywhere but in the hospital. He is so supportive, kind, considerate and he makes me feel tremendously loved. About 10 minutes later, a gentleman came to let me know he'd be coming to get me for the scan in ten hour and fifteen minutes later, I was desperately searching for someone to permit me to use the bathroom. I finally found a nurse, who gave me a look with major attitude, "Oh, no you're NOT using the bathroom!" I looked at her like, "Oh yeah? Watch me!" I won. She laughed and said, "Okay. But I didn't give you permission." I was finally brought to the CAT scan room, where I was asked to drink more Ghetto-Chemical-Tang again! Hey, you have to do what you have to do.

I was brought into a room that gives the Alaskan temperature competition. I was injected with iodine, contrast, I had been asked to drink chemicals that probably made me glow in the dark. I had been poked and prodded, I felt like an animal...just about. But I have to say that everyone was kind to me. Forty-five minutes later, the doctor came to let me know that the good news was I won't need surgery. He told me I had a ruptured ovarian cyst, and because it had already ruptured there was nothing left to do but bear the pain (he gave me meds) and allow my body to heal itself.

It was raining outside. It was close to eleven at night. I was in the hospital for about eight hours! The Quiet One brought me home. My stomach was throbbing, and my insides were distended... or should I say it appeared extended out to the next corner. So, a small ovarian cyst came into my life, ruptured, and made my life for the last 72 hours painful, uncertain and scary. The Quiet One said that God poked me, and is trying to tell me to slow down. Hm. Now there's a thought. God poking me. LOL. He poked a bit too hard, I think. But perhaps he's right. I've been running around taking care of everyone, worried about everything and neglecting my well-being. So, thank God! I didn't need surgery. Thank God the promoters were not angry and the fans understood. Thank God it wasn't more serious. Thank God I have a wonderful family, the Quiet One, and great friends who were all ready to do whatever necessary to be by my side. Thank you, Lord, for poking me...did you have to poke so hard? A ruptured cyst...who would've thunk it? Wow...a small thing gave me a big pain in the...

The lesson, ladies and genlemen, is that when you have pain, listen to your body. That small pain that pokes, prods, throbs, stings, trying to tell you that something is simply not right. Listen to it, and don't make God poke you!!! LOL. Heres' a link in case you'd like to know the symptoms for future reference:

Sunday, September 25, 2011


A few months ago, I received a call I never thought I would. It was the Lobster's ex-wife. She wanted to know if I would tell her why I had broken up with the Lobster.

It's been three years since I broke up with Lobster. It was an almost six year relationship full of high highs and humiliating low lows. After almost six years of extremes and hollow promises of marriage and a future family, I had had enough, and I stopped the nonsense. So when his ex-wife called me, I was actually happy about it. I had wanted to speak to her for years, but Lobster had pretty much villianized her, and had me believing she didn't even want to speak to me. Okay, so we began to talk, and I told her EVERYTHING I could remember, anything I could think of and I asked her a few questions myself. And in one flash, it all came together. Boom. Bam. Pow. I felt like I was watching 20/20 with Barbara Walters or Diane Sawyer. I could imagine the female voice over in my head: "...They were together almost six years. They met, they fell in love. There was talk of marriage, and then a sudden move and she was excluded from it all. But why?...and in one phone call it all made sense." The Lobster's ex-wife and I were able to put all the pieces of the puzzle together, and we discovered together that almost the entire duration of my relationship with the Lobster, he was with her. And that's when the female voice over says: "...and he was leading a successful double life."

Although I broke up with him three years ago, and although I had been over him for a long time, I always KNEW there was someting WRONG in my gut about him. I recall he had gone with me to a counseling session, where I had told the therapist, I KNOW there's a big secret he's holding onto because nothing makes sense. Nothing. He swore on his life he had no secrets, and I was just insecure. Take this as a lesson: when your gut tells you something is "off", you don't need further proof. You need no proof. Your gut just knows. Period.

And so, she and I had a very long overdue conversation. We learned that we were both taken for fools, both used, both good women who simply believed in someone we loved. We wished each other well...and I hung up, feeling relieved, feeling like I finally got the closure I was looking for, and feeling f#$ng pissed off!! And then my chest began hurting...and it hurt every single time I had an "Oh, so that's why he..." moment. So I did what I thought I needed to do. If I was having a chest pain, I figured it made sense that I needed to get something off my chest. And so I picked up the phone and called him. "Lobster (I wanted to call him all sorts of names but I held my tongue) by now you know that I've spoken with your ex. All I can say is that karma is a REAL BITCH and I hope you know what you're doing, because it will all come back to you. So, God bless you when that time comes. In the meantime, I thought you were the love of my life, but you were the LIE of my life." And I hung up. I could do no more, because the truth is you cannot vent to someone like that. It would be wasted breath to say everything, when I knew he would deep down have a smug smirk on his face. He's just not worth it. Really, and truly.

I'm so glad I moved on. I told the Quiet One all about it, and he surprisingly was VERY supportive. He listened to me bitch, cry, question, and the whole time, he held me, and told me it would be alright. He actually told me somethings that made me feel healed from it all. Any man would easily say, "That's your past, forget about him. It's us now." And any man would be right to do that. But the Quiet One, I believe, understood this incomplete issue in my life, and he was kind enough to entertain it for amoment, but he wouldn't allow me to feel sorry for myself. He showed me how all these events happened for a reason. And the best thing was that he said, "I'm glad it didn't work out, otherwise, I wouldn't have met you now. I'm so happy he's in my life. I'm happy. I feel that God has rewarded me for no longer tolerating crap in my life....The Quiet One is also the Noble One, the Good One, the Honest One! He's quickly become the love and light of my life.

Fast forward to last week. I have had to see a cardiologist because the chest pains have never left. They happen now for no reason at all. I shouldn't say it's pain as much as it feels like someone is sitting on me and won't get up. I've had an xray, an ekg, an echo-cardiogram, and a stress test..all normal. My doctor says anxiety is a diagnosis of exclusion. In other words, before he says the chest thing is due to anxiety, he has to rule out everything else first. Now the chest discomfort comes for no reason at all. I could be sitting, resting, thinking about nothing at all, and it comes on suddenly. Sometimes it sits with me for days, sometimes it drives me crazy. I was talking to a friend and I told her that I don't think it's unfinished business because I forgave him a long time ago. I won't allow the jerk to rule my life like power to him, hell no. And then she said the most profound thing. She said, "Judy, I know that you forgave him already. But have you forgiven yourself?" And wow. I was stoppped in my tracks. I could't refute it, I couldn't argue, debate...she was right. I haven't forgiven myself. I haven't forgiven myself for having been so stupid to believe his lies, to not pick up on the clues, for allowing myself to be mistreated, neglected, to be second...ugh. How do I do that? I have forgiven EVERYONE for EVERYTHING that has ever been done to me...but how do I do that when I wasn't even aware that I was mad at myself? It's a great thought. I have to chew on that for a while...Oh, by the way, if you ever find the Lobster, you have my blessing to throw him back in the ocean, or just simply broil it.

Thursday, September 22, 2011


I was so looking forward to performing at the Hoboken Italian Festival, Friday, September 9, 2011! I love singing outdoors at free concerts...there is just a different vibe of joy in the air. Maybe because it's free? No. Because people love to gather and celebrate with music. I was specifically looking forward to it because some of the cast ot the Style Network's Jerseylicious were hosting the show: Anthony - hairstylist & "everybody's uncle", Tracy - beautiful hairstylist and Olivia's nemesis. I wish they would just stop fighting, but I admit it's somewhat entertaining to see them just hate each other. (Psychologically, I think they see in each other what they despise within themselves, but that's a whole other blog), Gigi -the most adorable hairstylist whom everyone just loves, and Doria, make up artist and part of my Chunky but Funky club..she sees things as they are. She celebrates her curves and I love it! I am a deeply intellectual woman who loves dramas, documentaries and anything pertaining to the spirit, however, watching Jerseylicious is my absolute guilty pleasure - I'm so hooked!

The Quiet One (who's still in the picture - we just celebrated our four month-iversary!) was going to come to the show, but he'd gotten back from work too late so he passed. But I was expecting some of my classmates from Zumba class, including our instructor, Jeannine Severino. As soon as I got there, the fierce enemy of all women's hair began it's attack on me: the Humidity Beast! It began its full-fledged attack on my hair a soon as I walked out of the limo. I immediately saw Cynthia, George Lamond and Fascination. Performing with them is like performing with family. I always know it's going to be a good show because we're in good company. I saw a man who looked familiar. "Heyyyyyy!! How are ya? What's going on? You look good," I yelled out to him. Then I realized, I feel like I know this man, but from where? Duh. Duh. It was Anthony from Jerseylicious, lol. That deja vu feeling was from seeing him on the show. I felt like an idiot calling out to him as if we were best buddies, but he took it like a champ. Anthony proceeded to tell me how much he loves my music and how excited he was to introduce me on stage. We took a couple of pictures together, and then I was introduced to Tracy, but I didn't see Gigi...I know I sound like a stalker, but it's all good. I have no shame. Tracy was very graceful, actually, she was far kinder than she appears on the show. I secretly wished she would fix my hair as I began to look more and more like Chaka Khan as the night grew.

...and so Anthony introduced me and there I was, frizzy hair and all. I brought my 80's goodie bag to show the audience. The bag was filled with Aqua Net, Drakkar Cologne, a Sony walkman, a cassette tape along with a no.2 pencil and of course, the prehistoric 12" record. The crowd loved it and I continued to sing. It was SO hot and humid on stage that I was distracted. All I kept thinking was, 'Oh, my God, it's so freakin' hot! Ugh, I can't even breathe, I can't hear myself either.' And then I could bear it no longer and removed my light jacket. The crowd howled - don't know why. I guess they enjoy seeing the wings of fat under my arms or the cute little love handles across my back, lol. Either way, it was a fun show.

Afterward I was invited by Jeannine & my zumba friends to go have a drink. I could have attended the afterparty,but honestly, my feet were killing me and I just wanted to sit. On our way to find a bar, a fan asked me to sing Stay to her. I was in a good mood, so I sang it to her, and she was so appreciative. It was a very sweet moment. And then I heard a very loud voice, "Judyyyy!! Girlfriend, you better not leave without saying hello." To my surprise, it was Doria from Jerseylicious, my chunky but funky new friend! She was SO cool. We talked about being plus sized and the challenges that come with it. And then she said, "Girl we need to get together and talk. You know that new show called Big Sexy? We need to get our own show, hello!!!" She was smart, sassy and I really liked her - we exchanged numbers and texted each other for an hour. Very cool. So then my zumba friends and I searched different places in Hoboken and finally ended up at Texas Arizona, a local Hoboken bar. There were about 6 women and 2 men from class and we all were talking. At one point, I looked around and we were all laughing. I just felt a real sense that I had made new friends. I love my close circle of friends, but it is always good to step outside of your comfort zone.

My one-drink-promise with them had been made, I was tired and I needed to get home. I had called the Quiet One to tell him I was stopping for a drink with my zumba friends and that I'd call him when I got home. A ride home was offered to me by one of the guys from class - he lives nearby me so I said okay. While he was driving me home, he asked me if my boyfriend would mind a man driving me home. And I said, "No, he would be fine with it...he's not the jealous type." At least that's what the Quiet One told me. When I got home, I called the Quiet One - it was almost 2 in the morning. I told him of my adventures and he listened half awake. The next day, when he was more alert, I told him everything, including the guy driving me home. He was fine. He was fine with it all. He told me, "I trust you, Judy. I will only get jealous if you give me a reason. you have the right to your friends, to have fun, to hang out with them, and you shouldn't have worried about getting home late. It's fine. We all need that sometimes." Wow. I realized that I have grown accustomed to the "Where the hell were you? Who were you with? Why didn't you ask me if he could drive you home? Why did you get home so late?". I realized almost once a week that I'm still shedding myself of my old baggage. I just remember laying my head down with a smile on my face. Life is good.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011


Because of a wonderful woman named Irene, I cannot blog about how GREAT it was to perform my last show in My Big Gay Italian Wedding, with Lainie Kazan & Nikki Blonsky. I'll never again have hair 3 feet high, or be able to "tawk" with the accent. I was just getting comfortable with the character, and Ms. Irene came along and blew it away. Hurricane Irene ruined everything, but when I see that I made out without losing power; that I had no flooding; that I experienced no damage or loss, I realize I have NOTHING to complain about. Hurricane Irene did give me one interesting thing though: an entire weekend with the Quiet One. It's been over due, but I guess I've wanted to be sure this was real, and not some summertime fling that we all read about.

It appears the Quiet One has quietly come into my life to teach me so many things about myself. And especially to "unteach" me about some of the concepts I had learned as a young girl. The Quiet One has me thinking a lot about the things I was raised to believe and about what I REALLY believe about myself.

When real love shows up, what the hell is it supposed to look like? What does it feel like? And if it does show up, what the hell do you do with it? I know you're thinking, 'girl, if real love showed up at my door, I'd be ALL over that!' But I can tell you firsthand, that when your youth is full of drama, you are indirectly instructed...and I've paid a LOT of money in therapy (yes, surprise I was in therapy, lol, many years ago) to learn and understand my childhood.

When you come from an alcoholic and abusive home life, you are mistaught things. You learn that you do what you have to in order to survive. And that means being "a good girl" no matter what, blaming yourself for things that are not even your fault. You learn that you have to walk on eggshells. When you have witnessed your mother being horrifically, unspeakably abused - right in front of your eyes - and she repeatedly takes the stepfather back, you are taught the wrong thing. You are taught that if you want love, it's supposed to hurt. You are taught that you are not a queen that is adored - you are a peasant, a slave, to be walked on. AND, when you grow up in that environment, you learn that no matter how bad he treats you, you grow up believing that if you wait a little longer, he just might you HAVE to take him back. Oh, I learned so much about dysfunction - I'm almost an expert! My mother eventually did have the courage to leave, she apologized to us for all we'd gone through - for that I admire her tremendously, but years of seeing that stays with you for a long time...the pictures, memories, sounds of screaming and such are etched forever into your brain - and so that's what I learned.

With my father, because our relationship was on and off, throughout the years and I really felt that my father favored my brother over me, I worked very hard to try for his attention and his affection. And what that taught me was that with men...I was not first...I was second. If I wanted love, I had to fight for it and I didn't need to be a priority as long as I was in the picture at all. So what did I end up with? Dysfunctional men who never put me first, who were abusive, neglectful and quite frankly, really messed up.

Oh, the horrors I allowed myself to endure with love. The men who've stepped on my heart. And though I was never physically abused (I made sure to promise myself that NO man will EVER hit me), I was indeed emotionally abused, neglected, cheated on, yelled at, forgotten about, stood up etc....

So I did all the work in therapy to learn all of the above. I have prayed to God for EXACTLY what I wanted from a man emotionally. It is important to me at 43 now, not to make too many more major mistakes. I have cried myself to sleep, yearning, aching to have a man by my side who loves me, adores me, needs me, enhances my life...who treats me with respect, who honors who I am and what I stand when it shows up, what does it look like? I don't know...because as a child I never really saw my father or my stepfather LOVE my mother, show her affection or tell her how pretty she was...I didn't have an EXAMPLE to follow.

So the Quiet One walks into my life - a different nationality, 11 years my junior. He was so quiet...he's not quiet anymore, by the way, lol. But here he is, quietly loving me, talking to me, listening - truly listening to what I say. He does things for me before I need to ask. He repairs things, he cleans for me, he cooks for me...he may not be rich, but he makes me feel like royalty!!! Here is the word that best describes him: genuine. He's genuine - he's the real deal. He's already met the family & 2 of my 3 brothers have requested him on Facebook, lol. He has rubbed my feet, even if I don't ask. He is affectionate, considerate, and he was a PRINCE to me when Grace died. His number one question to me was, "What can I do for you?" One time I was upset with him about something, and I brought it to his attention (I no longer stay silent and say 'nothing'). With my exes, they probably would've said, "Oh, my we go! Then he would've told me I was overreacting and we would argue. What was Quiet One's reaction? "I'm sorry, hon, tell me what I need to do to make it right." Que, que??? What? I almost fell - I thought I'd died and gone to heaven. LOL. Now perhaps men would criticize him but he's not a wimp at all. I've seen him when he's assertive & aggressive, and I can promise you, he's all man, lol!

So now I have all I want in a man, and I don't know how to accept it. I don't know what I'm supposed to do. It sounds strange, but I'm so used to being second, being mistreated, I have it...and it feels great, but EXTREMELY scary. It's like when I'd lost 63 pounds - I was SO excited...for the first time I almost weighed less than 200 lbs. And then this extreme panic set in, I still don't know why, and before I knew it, I self-sabotaged myself and gained some of the weight back. I won't do that way. The Quiet One and I have reached a new level in our relationship, and well, I'm struggling with whether or not I should give it a shot or not.

So when love, real love, comes around...what does it look like?
Could you handle it?
Would you know when it comes around?

My mom used tells me all the time, "Real love doesn't hurt...real love isn't difficult...real love doesn't have drama." And here I am with real love. No hurt, easy, no drama. I really hope this is it...that he's the one. I don't want to get hurt again...and that is what scares me give myself & my heart to someone who, God forbid, won't cherish it properly.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011


It all began with an email from my friend, Kim Sozzi, telling me all about her role as Aunt Toniann in the highly acclaimed off Broadway show, in its second year, My Big Gay Italian Wedding. I responded to Kim in an email, praising her for such a great accomplishment! I know how hard it is to stay visible in this very challenging music go, girl! Next thing I know, thanks to Kim and whatever she may have said about me, I received an email from the playwright, Anthony J. Wilkinson, asking me if I'd like to fill in for Kim as Aunt Toniann in the following three weeks. OH MY GOD!!!! YES!!! I am a firm believer that all our experiences in our lives prepare us for new ones later on...and I was immediately brought back to my high school & college days, when I lived and breathed musical theater. I LOVE musical theater, always did. Always will. It's been more than 10 years since I've done any musical theater, but dammit, I want this.

With less than two weeks to prepare, I went to see ths show, and while I laughed out loud with tears in my eyes, I left the show in a panic. Lots of lines to learn, two songs and two the hell am I going to do all that?? When I heard from the stage manager, I would have one musical rehearsal, one dance rehearsal and one stage rehearsal - I felt even more unsure. Wow. But I kept convincing myself that God wouldn't give me more than I could handle...I HAD to handle this right. The most challenging thing for me would be learning the NY Brooklyn Italian accent. I learned quickly, thanks to my many Italian friends. Oh, my Gawd!! Finally, I was able to have a friend over to go over my lines with first time rehearsing at all, and I received the call from my sister, Gina, that my sister Grace was in the hospital...and it was that day, that my beloved sister, Grace, passed away.

There was a lot to do to prepare for my sister's memorial service. There was a lot of drama going on in my family, and I desperately played the role of mediator and comforter, and it was impossible to focus on the show. But the day after my sister's memorial service, I had no choice but to work on the I didn't really get an honest opportunity to grieve her. In a very strange way, I would cry at the strangest times: parked in my car in the supermarket parking lot, in the elevator, and right in front of the theater before the show. There are no such things as accidents...and I believe God gave me this show as a distraction so I would be forced to look forward. Besides, I know my sister would have been angry with me if I just sat at home. And as they say, the show must go on...and it did.

My two rehearsals were CRAZY!! Thank God for my friends who helped me with my lines because the rehearsals were quick, they were blunt..not too much explanation, and well, it left me feeling just so unprepared. I wanted to complain. LOL. If this were MY production, oh hell no, I would demand two 5 hour rehearssals at least. But it's not my production, and I'm damned lucky to be in the show at all...especially this one. So it's best to eat humble pie in these matters. Shut up, buckle up & drive. So everytime I began to get upset, I just nodded my head and smiled. The cast reassured me that everything would be okay, and no one would let me fail...

It was July 15th. I woke up so nervous. Oh, I know most of you are probably wondering about the Quiet One! Duh. I'm sorry. LOL..He's GREAT!! He has really been my rock during my sister's passing. He's hugged me, cooked for me, massaged my feet, reassured me, and read my lines with me over and over and over again. In spite of it all, I was still excited and terrified all at the same time. I had butterflies from the second the Quiet One asked me, "You ready for today?" I went over my songs and my lines one more time. And then I was off to the theater. They allowed me to practice my songs once more on stage, which helped. I walked into the dressing room where my castmates were extremely supportive, promising me it would be fun and great. I began to put on my costume for the first act; I applied my make up, and prayed VERY VERY hard. And then, the stylist put my 3 feet high wig on (thanks, Kim), and just like that, in an instant, I laughed so hard. The butterflies went away, and I got it. I understood exactly who Toniann is, and what I needed to do. I received flowers, a mass card someone sent to me in honor of my sister, and an attorney I used to work for sent me an envelope backstage saying, "I'm here...break a leg." It was all so exciting..."FIVE MINUTES EVERYONE...PLACES!!!"

There I was, stage right, waiting for my cue...and I walked out with my first line..."Oh, my Gawd!! The traffic ta-day. Angela, ya got any cawfee perkin??"...and that was it. I was acting. And I was welcomed with applause...and it felt wonderful. There was a lot of impromptu improvisation with the actors, and I'm happy to say that I was able to keep up...and I even got my own applause after making up some insult to my brother-in-law in the show. During the second act, I was overwhelmed & had a hard time remembering where I was supposed to stand, lol. One of the girls walked over to me saying, "Toniann, how are ya?" Then she whispered in my ear...'you belong on the other side.' LOL...The cast was right, they supported me and I was extremely grateful. The show was over, with thunderous applause, and I was EXHAUSTED!!! I had so much make up on I looked took me a day and a half to entirely get that lipstick off, but it was so worth it. I did the show again the next day, and realized I was bit by the acting bug again. THIS is what I want to do with my life...

There was an intimate cast party afterward, and I stayed for a drink. All my friends had shown up to take me out to dinner so I couldn't stay long. I thanked Anthony, the playwright, and I even made new friends (Hey, Chad!! LOL). I walked away secretly wishing it wouldn't be over.

That Monday, I received a call from Anthony asking me if I could do THREE more dates, including one in Atlantic City where I'd be on stage with Nikki Blonsky and the legendary Lanie Kazan!! Holy (bleep)!! I said yes right away, called my management with the dates and begged them to be sure I had no conflicts in my schedule. It all worked out...If you haven't seen the show yet, I'll be on this Friday & Saturday, August 19th & 20th in NYC & the 27th in Atlantic City...I hope you'll come. It is a great way to laugh out loud & celebrate family, life, love & marriage equality!! LOL!! You know what I always say: "The Hiya the hair, the closa to Gawd!!"

Sunday, August 7, 2011


So it's been over a month now since my last blog, and by now, most of you know why...

It was July 6th...

It was my oldest brother's, Pete's, birthday. I called him, left him my annual personal birthday song on his machine, and wished him well.

And then for the first time I was going to rehearse my lines with a friend...I was to make my debut as Aunt Toniann, in the successful, Off Broadway play, My Big Gay Italian Wedding on July 15 & 16th. I had a lot to do: memorize my lines, learn 3 dances and 2 songs...all in a week!!

It was a beautiful afternoon...I was indoors practicing my lines, and the sun was shining brightly, reminding me that it would be so sweet to allow the sun to beam on my face. My friend came over as promised, and we rehearsed for about an hour, when I got a phone call from my older sister, Gina. "Judy, Grace is in the hospital...she was having trouble breathing...I don't know what's going on..." Since I'm in New Jersey and it would take a little time to get there, I suggested to her that she call me when she got to the hospital and let me know what's going on. I hung up the phone...and then I called back. "Gina, if it's serious, let me know and I'll drop everything and go to the hospital...either way I'll be there tonight." I hung up and continued going over the songs and my lines. Gina called back. "Oh, my God, Judy...get here quick...they had to revive her and they said it doesn't look good."

I threw whatever on, and ran out the door. Got in my car. When you know it's serious for some reason it seems everything and everyone is moving so slowly. I was speeding down the turnpike, telling myself not to drive too fast so I wouldn't get into an accident or get a ticket. And two exits before the George Washington Bridge, I got a feeling in my gut. She's gone. I know it. I knew it. How does a person know these things? I'd heard the stories on tv before, but I swear I felt her gone. And my cell phone rang. It was Gina, my sister. "Judy. She's gone. She's gone. She's dead."

I wanted to pull over, but I kept driving. Oh, my God...did I hear her right? Grace is gone? One moment she was here...bam, she's gone - just like that in the span of 2 phone calls. Holy...I just kept thinking, 'Grace is gone?' There was so much to do. Oh my God...I have to call my brother and tell him on his own birthday that Grace is no longer with us?! I called him, I told him, and ironically, he said he knew it too...he got the same feeling I did. He was recovering from hip surgery so he couldn't even get to the hospital. And then I had to make a very difficult phone call. I had to call my father. I had to tell him that his first born child was dead. How? He was just shy of 80 years old...

For reasons I cannot understand or even explain to you, the one detail that made it most difficult to tell him was that he and Grace had not spoken in YEARS!!! I have struggled with telling you this big detail because it is very personal, because I don't want anyone in my family feeling like I am exploiting them, and because I don't want my sister's memory tarnished in any way. We have different mothers, Grace and I, and I don't want her mother upset either. BUT. But, I feel very strongly about people learning from others' circumstances, and if I can help people make up with relatives through this story, then so be it.

"Papi, how are you? I don't know how to tell you this, but I have very bad news. Gina called me a few minutes ago, and told me that Grace has passed away."
More silence.
"Who?" "Gina?"
"No, Papi, Grace."

My heart was in my throat and my stomach was killing me.

"What happeneed? Should I come to the hospital? Where is she?"
And I heard a vulnerability in my father that I never knew existed. It was the voice of a father who wished he could hold his daughter. I told him I was on my way to the hospital. I asked him for time. I told him once I had all the information I would tell him. And I hung up and got to the hospital.

I had guilt. I wondered if I should have just tried to get to the hospital sooner. She died alone...none of us got to her in time. Ironically, it was just like her - she was indeed a loner. Don't know why, but she was a woman of solitude. And then I went through my memories with her. They were all good ones. I just wish we'd been closer. she was a bit of a loner, but she was tough as nails, stronger than any heroine in a novel I'd read about. I loved her. I love her.

I got to the hospital. I hugged Gina and my nephew, Joshua (Grace's son left behind) and then we went to see her & say goodbye. I have to admit, I cannot stand seeing someone who's passed. I'm sure no one does actually, but to me, the person is NOT there anymore. Why even look at the body if the soul is no longer there to bring it light? But for some reason, I touched her hair, and it was so soft. Rest, Grace. Rest, more pain for you, no more torment, no more grief, no more drama, no more sickness, no more disappointment...just light, God's light, God's love..and that gave me comfort. But I cried...I cried.

I had to pick up my father and his wife, and by the time we reached the hospital, her body had already been moved to the morgue. No one should see anyone in a's just so clinical, so was not good. But he wanted to see her, and I felt he had that right. I warned him, but he didn't care..he wanted to see her, to touch her. And I won't say more...I want to respect my family's privacy, but the thing that bothered me was that there was an odor that was with me all night: in the hospital, in the car, on my clothes. It wasn't the smell of death - it was the smell of a whole bunch of stuff that tries to mask that there is death and I think it was just as bad.

After the storm, the sun will ALWAYS follow.

It's been a month and one day since Grace's death. Her memorial service was beautiful - we released purple balloons for her & I gave a little speech. You see, we aer not human beings having a spiritual experience; we are spiritual beings having a human experience. And while we are in this school called Earth, we are tested, we have trial and tribulations...and when we pass, we graduate. I explained that we should see Grace's death as her graduation back home to heaven with God. And then we released those balloons and I felt hope. We all did.

I'm happy to report that my father and my siblings have all apologies have been Grace didn't die in vain at all. In fact it was through her passing, that there was some healing in my family. I am so proud of them, and Grace, I love you always!!

Time is SO short, it really is. I know we say it so much, we are immune to the words. But oh, my God, really, in one phone changes, and suddenly someone is no longer here on this earth. So please, if there is someone who you are not speaking with...the anger is nothing compared to the guilt you may feel if you don't fix it NOW. Don't allow pride to keep you angry. It doesn't have to be perfect again...but try. You can what? Just do it. Please. Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound! I love you, Grace! Watch over us, please, we really need it!!!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011


The only constant in life, the only thing that will never change, is change. Change is inevitable. One day it's sunny, the next day it's cloudy. One day you're rich, the next day you're saving every penny as if it's your last. One day you're safe, stable, sure of where you are and what you are doing....and the next day you're on shaky ground.

Today, I am that: unsure, shaky, future completely unknown. No one really knows their future for sure, however, I usually have a clue in which direction I am headed. Not this time. I feel a bit weird - a bit homeless. For 24 years now, I have sung to crowds of thousands in arenas, nightclubs, stadiums and have had songs on the radio. I've worked on a radio station for 14 years...feeling rather invincible. But today, I don't feel that way at all. If anything, I feel like Superman exposed to kryptonite..weak and unsure. What happened?

Today I signed a legal document. I picked up the pen that felt like lead. I signed my name, remembering that most of the times, when I sign my name on any dotted line, it's usually to celebrate good news. For almost the entire span of my career, I have been signed to a label. First I was signed to Jackie Jack, an independent label that existed for just a few months...but that label signed me for my first song, No Reason to Cry - a success! Then I was signed to Profile Records, a major independent label that signed artists such as Rob Base and Run DMC! On that label I had GREAT success - 2 albums, 1 video and 5 singles all receiving national radio play - No Reason to Cry, Come Into My Arms, Love You Will You Love Me, Please Stay Tonight, Love Story. In the interim between then and now, I recorded a few indpendent works where I was not signed officially to any label. And most recently for the last 6 years or so, I was signed to Robbins Entertainment, another independent label, but the most successful in the country! Ironically the president of Robbins Entertainment was also the president of Profile Records...and it has always made me feel like he believed in me from day one. And it was on Robbins Entertainment, that I had success with my remake single, Faithfully. For the first time in 16 years, I had a song on the radio again...and I felt like I made a comeback! But as LL Cool J says, "Don't call it a comeback!"

...and so today, I signed this legal document, releasing me from the record label. And that means that when I am introduced, I am no longer, "Robbins Entertainment Recording Artist, Judyyyyy Torrrrressss!"...I'm well, just Judy Torres.

There are benefits to being signed to a label. One of the most important benefits of being on a label is knowing that you are financially backed by a label. It costs money to record, pay for a studio, pay a producer, pay for photos, promotional materials, videos, can put a HUGE hole in your pocket. Now, if you're on the outside looking in, it appears the record label pays for it all, and all you have to do is be talented and show up for the recording. Not true. A record label (and I mean this in the kindest way) is a fancy alias sometimes for a loan shark. Truthfully, the label will give you all sorts of thousands of dollars in advance money. But when the song/album is released, you had BETTER make all that money back, and then some...or you pay it ALL back. That's pay them all back! So if you don't have all the funds it takes to get heard, it is virtually impossible to get your music heard. Nowadays, however, thanks to the internet, there are other ways. Everything is political nonetheless...I think you know that.

My point is that we all need to feel like we belong. We know what country we are from, our family name, what company we work for...we associate our value with who we belong to...and although I have a GREAT and LOYAL fan base, wow..I feel like I'm out at sea with no life vest. I'm not drowning. I have excellent management, and I have talents to do other things, lol, but not belonging to a label makes me feel unwanted, undesireable and old. It's not like there are labels banging down my door. You probably would like to know why I signed the release to begin with...the answer is simple. I just don't think we fit each other...what they want, and what I want I believe is different. So rather constantly not being able to mutually agree on things, I just asked for a release. There was no drama, no fight. It felt a little like when you break up with don't REALLY want to break up, but you're not happy. So you tell them it's over, and you secretly hope they will beg you to stay. But there was no begging.

Being unsigned to anyone may be a blessing in disguise. I am an eternal I believe it is God's way of clearing a new path for me. I have to believe that God has a plan for me, that I would not otherwise be able to explore if I was still signed to this label. So now, either I go label shopping, or I decide to dive into something completely new. I know I love writing, songwriting, acting, offering advice, etc...I'm sure there will be new opportunities coming. I just have to remain open-minded to receive them. And who knows - with my role as Aunt Toniann in My Big Gay Italian Wedding (a VERY successful off-Broadway show here in New York) - the door of acting may be reopened to me. Musical theater has always been a love of mine. And being cast in this show has earned me an Equity card - the union for Broadway actors...which means I can now audition for REAL Broadway!! A dream of mine since I've been in high school!!

So although I am sad, and feeling a bit off, a bit afraid, a bit unstable, a bit lost...I know that one day, I'll write to you how this decision ultimately made me happy, very ON, braveer, stabler and found again! Change is inevitable...but how I react, how I respond to the change is what defines me. We'll see.

Friday, June 24, 2011

HE'S GOOD WITH HIS HANDS TOO? Oh, my!!! (Blushing)

Looks like my career may be at a crossroads for the first time in a LONG time. The next blog will most likely be called "Changes"...major changes it looks like. But I don't want to blog about it, until I have certain questions answered. If I don't have the answers, I surely will not be able to answer the ones you'll be left with as well. career is GREAT nonetheless and I'm excited to see new things develop, and very curious to see how I will be proactive about things in my life!

So the Quiet One and I went out on another date. We were invited to one of his friend's barbeque. We arrived and the sun was BLAZING!! It can always be a little awkward when you go to a party not knowing a soul. The tendency is to cling on to the date who brought you there in the first place. But thankfully, I am normally a bit of a social ladybug, and I enjoy breaking the ice.

At the backyard barbeque there were about twelve people or so, and you could tell that everyone knew everyone else. I began introducing myself to everyone and gave the hostess orchids - orchids last 2-3 weeks longer than a bouquet of roses, and are exotic too...nice!! I ate right away because I hadn't eaten since the morning, and we all began to make small talk. For the most part, everyone's eyes were sincere, and I was VERY grateful that no one treated me like "Judy Torres"...but there was one young woman there who gave me a strange "vibe"' not a bad, catty one, just a vibe.

As the day progressed, I played a little psychology game that I learned in college, and I find it to be a GREAT way to have people laugh, especially in party situations. I did discover later on, that the woman who gave me the strange vibe actually has had a crush on the Quiet One for many years. I can't blame her, if I just kew him as a friend, I'd have a crush on him too. After a few hours, I began to get a headache, and I think it was due to lack of sleep and too much sun beating my brow! So, we left and when Quiet One walked me upstairs, he noticed how warm it was in my apartment - yes, he came in, lol. You naughty-minded people, it wasn't like that. Anyway, he asked me about my air conditioner.

Ah, that one little thing I had been procrastinating about. Last year I purchased an air conditioner large enough to cool off my entire home, and it took three men to install it for me. For obvious reasons, I could not possibly put it back into the window alone. He asked to see it, so I placed the air conditioner on a towel and dragged it to him. Yes, I know, I is a ghetto thing to do, but hey, it was remarkably heavy and I didn't want him going into that room, lol.

So I helped him lift it to the window sill, and he told me he'd handle it from there. And handle it, he did!!! I watched him not just install it, but he was quite the perfectionist about it. It was more than heavy, and it was SO hot. The beads of sweat began to trickle down his forehead and down his back, and I watched as he meticulously placed, and pushed until it was perfectly set. He screwed it in (pun intended - just to make you smile & NO it's not what you think) - But hey, I am human...I do have my own thoughts and fantasies...a girl can dream, right? I thanked him profusely. It was wonderful and such a relief to know that I didn't have to sleep one more night in humidity.

Fastforward one week later...
The Quiet One heard me complaining about my printer. I told him I needed to get it fixed. Of course he wanted to take a look at it. And of course, I didn't fight him about it either. He was on the floor, removing parts of the printer, getting black ink on his hands...and not even 10 minutes later, he said, "Okay, print something." And I heard the musical sounds of the printer telling me it was back in business.

Yes, yes, I sounds all so simple. To you, perhaps you may think 'that's what a man is SUPPOSED to do', but to me, first of all never take anything for granted, and secondly, I live alone. Anything and everything that needs to be repaired, replaced, purchased, lifted, put away, always up to me. And it has been hard. I've lived on my own since I was 19. I'm 43. You do the's been a long road, lol.

Dating the Quiet One has made me rethink so many things about my life, what my ideas about dating are. Dating him has made me wonder if I've been a bit wrong about what I thought I needed versus what I really need. I've looked back and thought of the men in my past - the dazzling smiles, the suits, their charisma...yes, it was all good looking and loud...but for the most part, it was fake. It was temporary. It was only for show. It was only so they could gain what they wanted. Yes, we all put our best feet forward in relationships, but how much of it is essentially who we really are.

Watching the Quiet One put up my air conditioner and repair my printer has been a real eye opener. He's made me see that all I really want in a man is for him to CARE about what I NEED to be happy. And I'm not high maintenance...if I want a purse, I'll buy a purse. If I want shoes, I'll buy shoes...I need a man to LOVE me, to ADORE me, to LIFT me up...I need to feel like someone's favorite person. That's it. And so far, the Quiet One does that for me. He's got a gorgeous smile that is so freaking sincere, even if you smacked it off him, it would still be there. His eyes are genuinely sweet, his voice is soothing and he's just a real guy. I think of Sex and the City..and I think of when Carrie was dating Aiden, the furniture designer. He was handsome, sweet, sincere...he was a relationship guy. He allowed Carrie to be her ritzy self, but he never tried too hard...he just was there, ready to love her. Okay, let me stop...I feel like going to On Demand and watching a few episodes.

You know when you have something wrong with your home...something very small and because it's not major, you allow the problem to continue? You know that little stain on the carpet, or that small crack inte ceiling. Well, I have had a little problem with my bathroom door not closing all the way. Since I live alone, it's not a big deal, right? But when people come over, suddenly I remember, damn, I gotta get that fixed. Well, The Quiet One obviously noticed this and two days ago, he came over - tools and!!...and fixed my door. I went inside and closed the door. And I had tears in my eyes. I know, I know...I'm a sensitive one, I really am, but wow...that door was an issue for a LONG time.

We've been dating just over a month now. The Quiet One has stepped into my life and put up my air conditioner, fixed my printer and repaired my door...he's also made me feel special and seems to be fixing my ideas of what I'd want in a partner. He is GREAT with his hands...watching a man fix something is very very sexy! What can I say? Oh, have I mentioned he's a great kisser. He lets me be me. The Quiet One is the first man I've worn the least amount of make up with. He says I am sexy no matter what I wear, make up or no make up. I hope he really means that because there are mornings I wake up looking like some indigenous creature raised in the jungle, Unga Unga!! So, if you're single, take a second look at what you THINK you want and ask what it is you may find your answers VERY surprising! there anything else I can find that needs fixing?? LOL...Thank you, Quiet've been such a blessing!!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011


Lots of wonderful things happening in my life lately. Last week we announced the arrival of my newborn niece, Kassidy! I was offered a role in My Big Gay Italian Wedding, which I am SO excited about because theater is a secret passion of mine that not too many know about! The role literally landed on my lap, thanks to Kim Sozzi...don't know what she said, but I think she's a little angel in my life. And the song I recorded with Tony Moran, I Wanna Spend My Lifetime Loving You, is just about ready for release....and looks like the Quiet One is also a gift.

It was Memorial Day Weekend, and he asked me out on a date for Saturday. He showed up with a very pretty bouquet of flowers (that's a sweet, gentleman thing right there, and they are still alive today!) I let him know that I generally am the type of person who loves doing new things, trying new things, and I love nature. It was a gorgeous weekend...and so when he came to pick me up, we decided to drive to "my cliff". It's not really mine, but it sure feels like it. It's a small scenic view on the Palisade Parkway...but if you are willing to walk far enough, you can literally walk to the edge of a's my favorite spot in the world. It allows me to feel like I went somewhere, even when I can't afford the time for a vacation. I love the beautiful view of the Hudson River, the height of the cliff and I love that if I go at the right time - I can see the hawks scout their last meal of the day.

So the Quiet One and I stood on the cliff and talked literally for a few hours...originally I thought we'd walk the trail, but it seemed pretty natural to stay there...and that's the most striking thing about him...he's very easy going and it feels natural to just "be" with him. We brought a couple of slices of pizza with us and found a rock because when we first arrived there was a couple there using my cliff to work out an issue in their relationship. I figured I'd let them borrow my cliff. Once they left, it was literally ours and ours alone...not one human showed up for hours, and when they did, it was just to take a photo and they were gone as quickly as they'd shown up. We talked about our past relationships, our mistakes, our desires...and he'd told me about some unfinished business in his life. Unfinished business can really make it difficult for a relationship to really have a chance. So we decided we'd take things slow...slow is always good. If you go too fast, you miss the details.

Afterward, we decided to go to the movies and saw the Hangover II. It was the first time I had heard him laugh out loud, and I loved listening. Laughing is a release, it's letting it all out...and listening to him laugh was adorably cute. I found myself laughing out loud pretty hard myself, and I realized it had been ages since I'd seen a comedy. I am a drama-suspense-Oscar Nominated-movie kind of girl, lol. We held hands the entire time, and he was stroking my knee. Normally that would irritate the crap out of me, but it was wonderful. In fact so wonderful that I had to have him stop, Too soon for those kind of feelings.

We ended the evening with dinner at one of my favorite restaurants, and I have to say that the Quiet One has wonderful and intelligent things to say. He's not so quiet. I guess he was right when he said he is only quiet when first getting to know someone. I really love the tone in his's very soothing, and he's got the most innocent smile. And you know in every relationship there will always be a challenge, right? Okay here's our issue... Correction. Here's MY issue.

I asked him, "By the way, how old are you?"
"Why? How old are you?"
I told him I was 54...and he was silent for a second and then I laughed. I thought if I said 54 first and then told him the truth that I was 42, it wouldn't hurt so much, lol.

I'm older than he is.
He's younger than I am.

Ah the age old question: "Is it okay for an older woman to date a younger man?" As long as he's of legal age, the answer is simple...YES. It is just fine. However, because I'm in this wonderful music business that is forever trying to tell me that I'm old, longer marketable, age is, well, on my mind. If a man is older than a woman, no one even thinks to say anything about it. But if it is a woman dating a younger man, well, heads will turn! And before she can even speak, she's being called a cougar. I know your question: Well how big of an age difference are we talking about here? Okay. Ready? 12 years - I am 12 years his senior. (No pun intended). 12 years older than him. I have 12 years more life experience, 624 weeks, 4,380 days older than him. So, does it bother me? If I were 35, perhaps not. But I'm 42, turning 43 on June 13th...does he realize how older I am? I just found my first gray hair on the left side of my head a few months ago, and I had NO NO NO NO idea that the pubic hair can go gray too!!! OH MY GOD!! Whyyyyyy????!!!!

We had a long discussion about it. I told him that in a few years I will be in hot flashes, vaginal dryness etc...I will not be able to bear children....and that eventually my boobs are going to give in to gravity...does he realize what he's signing up for? In addition to that, because I have multiple sclerosis, I would have to plan having a child if that's what we wanted to do. And then it really hit me. Holy crap!! He's the same age as my youngest brother...he could date my sister!!! Oh, I need to sit down!! What was his answer? "Your sister is not you!" The Quiet One insisted that he does not care at all about the age difference. I informed him that I don't have a problem with him being younger than me; I have a problem with me being older than him. I also told him that if this were to become serious, I'm looking for the one...not Mr. Right Now. I told him that I don't want to worry about pressure to look younger to ensure that he won't have some torrid affair with a younger woman years down the line. He just laughed at me. Yea, I'm sure I sounded pretty ridiculous, but those are my genuine concerns.

He walked me to my door. He told me that he thinks Im' beautiful, sexy. He told me he doesn't care about my age. I should mention that he is divorced with in that aspect he has more life experience on me, lol. The Quiet One also told me that he feels there could be something very special here, and he's okay with the age difference. He said he wants to be with a woman who will make him happy...and he kissed me. And it was wonderful...very wonderful. Too wonderful. Whoo. Okay, stop. Good night. The Quiet One is a wonderful date...and a good kisser!! And I seem to have "Demi-Moore-itis!"

Tuesday, May 24, 2011


If you read my most recent blog, you will know that I had my first date in almost 7 months! I have named the man I met at Euro Lounge, The Quiet One. He simply had a quiet nature to him, and sometimes because of all the "noise" in my life, that is what I can be drawn to.

I never get my hopes too high because in my past, I have been stood up MANY I now always have plan B in case the date falls apart. The plan was to go to the movies if he canceled. So we had textedback and forth and had a couple of conversations and then one day, I received a text: "...I liked that you had a good time & that i was a part of your blog. Pretty cool!"


He read my blog???? Damn. I had no idea - not too many men even follow my blog, lol. I don't think I told him about it. Either way, that meant that he knew about my panic attack when I thought he was leaving without asking for my number. Quiet One told me he didn't ask because he assumed that everyone asks for my number. Remember the show Odd Couple? Oscar told Felix in one episode, "Never assume anything - because when you assume. You make an ass=(out of) u + me!" I never forgot that line...never. It struck me for a second that perhaps that's why no one asks me for my number. Do other men think that about me too? Hm, wonder.

Saturday had arrived & I was performing in my current hometown, Jersey City for the Everything Jersey City was going to be a long day because I sang with Mirage for a wedding the day before until 1am. I knew I would be tired and was a little concerned about the beating my voice would be taking, but the show must go on. So I woke up Saturday, went to Zumba class. Did I mention I'm obsessively addicted to it? I am. Love it! Okay, so I went to zumba. Got home, had a cup of coffee and a croissant. Took a shower. Went to the festival. I went on about a quarter after 5=Latino time - which meant I was scheduled to go on at 5pm sharp. I had a lot of support at the show. My best friend, Brenda, filled in as a road manager because my road manager, David, was away on military leave. Three of my zumba classmates showed up, Vickie Deleo & Leslie Guttenplan - regulars on my facebook page and MAJOR supporters of my career were there too. I knew it was Leslie's birthday the next day, so as a gift I gave her my one & only pair of designer sunglasses (Versace, sigh)...I wanted to give her something meaningful, and believe me...they were the only designer anything I owned - so they meant a lot.

On stage, I was very happy! I am mostly happy onstage. I cannot describe this well, but since I talk so much, I am going to try. Looking out into the crowd, I know there are people in the audience who cannot afford to go see a show, so something like this means a lot to them. And I can almost tell which people they are. And then I see the children's full of if I'm a magical creature...and I always see it as an opportunity to remind them to go after their dreams. And then there are the smiles. Scattered smiles in the crowd: some of them are just enjoying the show, some smiles are proud smiles and then there are the ones I cannot interpret, but I feel like I'm receiving hundreds of silent blessings at once.

After the show, there were so many people wanting to take pictures and get autographs. There wasn't any order at all, lol. So I made an announcement: "Okay, this is the deal. I will take pictures with EVERYONE. I will not leave until the last person is done. So please be patient and don't trample each other, ok? Children first." And that was it...a VERY mature crowd...I really was proud to see that in my own neighborhood. I took pics, signed autographs, talked to people...I was there for about another hour.

And then I flew home to get ready for my date with the Quiet One. He was actually at the show, but I didn't see him...and I knew it was his first time seeing me perform (another plus because he had no pre-conceived notion about me). For the first time, I didn't invite "the new guy" in my life to come with me to a show. I think I let them in far too early. Then I end up feeling used in some way or another that I exposed the most sacred part of my life to someone not deserving of it. Oddly enough, I think he's the one I should have invited, lol. We had agreed to meet at a certain time...and then while I was in the shower...Oh, shoot! I forgot to give hime the address. LOL...he can't pick me up if he doesn't know where he's going.

When the Quiet One picked me up, he was standing outside his car. It was then I realized that, wow, people do look different in day light. I met him in a dark lounge. I want to be clear about this. He is still handsome in daylight and in the nighttime, lol...I just didn't realize the crystal blue eyes! Nice! By the way, I'll get this out of the way now. Yes, I'm older than him...but NO NO NO...I am not a cougar. LOL. Promise. (He's not in his 20s - let's put it that way.) As we were on our way to go eat, he made a wrong turn and in trying to get back on the highway, he accidentally pulled into the parking lot of the Red Roof Inn. Uh, ahem. LOL. We both laughed about that NOT being the place for our first date, and we were off.

The weekend had been so crazy it was nice to sit and relax. Our conversation flowed very well, and he let me order whatever I wanted at my leisure. I ordered not one, but two margaritas. I REALLY wanted to have a drink. But I stopped after two. On a firet date, NEVER get drunk. When dinner was done, we decided to go for a ride...and then we went for a walk. He is a good listener - I appreciated that about him. And he was just so genuinely sweet. We both discussed what we are looking for. I told him I have no desire for a fling. I am looking for "the one." I'm on my own since I was's time. He claimed that he's looking for a relationship - no flings. Good because fling ain't my thing.

He was wonderfully adorable, sweet, polite...and seemed not to be holding anything back. As we walked by the water, we found a bench and sat down to talk some more. It was great. Weather was perfect. Good company. Good conversation. And I noticed it. Quiet one is apparently a shy one too, lol. I observed that he had a bit of a hard time with eye contact. Normally I would conclude that he was a dishonest man. The eyes are the window to the if you can't look at me, what is it you don't want me to see? But I could tell he was just shy. He apologized and we continued to talk.

A VERY intoxicated woman walked by - very angry with a man. She had a favorite word: f#$k! In fact she made the word her own...very colorful indeed and full of LOTS of emotion. Finally, it became so funny to me, that I told him I'd give him a quarter for every time she used the word. I believe we got to $3.75 in under a minute. What was my favorite moment of the night? I asked if I could put my head on his shoulder. And he said yes, and then his arm found the courage to enfold around me. It was very nice. I felt comforted. I think I needed it...don't know why. He has a wonderful shoulder!! Strong shoulders are often overlooked.

As we arrived at the doorstep to my house, I thanked him and he asked if we would go out again. Of course. yes. And then it happened.





Que??? What?

I was speechless. Every first date I had ever gone on in my lifetime always ended either with a tap kiss, a make out or me declining a kiss. But I cannot say with confidence I had been hugged good bye. I felt mildly tortured. LOL. In fact I had never left a date not knowing where I stood. So I called. Shouldn't have. But I did.

"Um, I'm a little confused. Did you not want to kiss me?"

(You see,people? even I have my insecure moments.)

"Yes, of course," he replied. "I respect you. I wanted to show that I respect you. Don't think I didn't want to."
"Oh, okay," We said goodnight...and I thought about it.

Initially I felt slightly rejected, but in the end I felt extremely respected. And I thought to myself, he's a gentleman. Good. Thank you, God, for placing a kind man in my path. So, I went to sleep and finally bhe non-dating spell had been broken!! Woohooo!! be continued.