Another year bites the dust, and January 1st, 2016 marked the Teresa Jusino Experience’s SIXTH Blogiversary here on WordPress! Whoa. Looking back at old Blogiversary posts, I realize that I’ve been off on the count some years (when I remembered to acknowledge it at all), but 2016 does mark six years of bloggitude. You can check out my very first post HERE. Thank you for joining me for the ride!
2015 contained some of the biggest changes in my life since I made the decision to move cross-country. I’m going to do my best to capture it, because I like to document stuff, but it might not be terribly thorough. Broad strokes. Partly because much of my year was more internal than external, and partly because I’m writing this with a bit of a cold, and I can barely think for all the congestion going on in my nose right now.
Let’s get crackin’!
THE MARY SUE
One of the biggest changes in my life this year is that I became a full-time writer for the first time. In March 2015, I became an Associate Editor at The Mary Sue, and it’s the first salaried writing job with health insurance I’ve ever had! I’m grateful that I get to write for a living, and about stuff that I find interesting and fun! Now, this hasn’t been without its ups and downs. I needed to overcome my freelancer mindset and get used to writing quickly and prolifically, and things were bumpy in the first couple of months. However, I think I’ve found my rhythm, and I’ve written some pieces I’m really proud of – as well as some pieces that have generated either controversy, or just straight-up trolling. Either way, it’s been an interesting ride so far, and I’m looking forward to seeing where TMS takes me in 2016!
2015 was also the year I got into podcasting! An acquaintance of mine posted on Facebook that someone she knew was looking for a host for a new podcast about the upcoming Supergirl show on CBS. That someone was Andy B, host of The Flash Podcast, who wanted to expand his DCTV empire by jumping on a podcast for Supergirl! I threw my hat into the ring, and ended up being chosen for the gig along with my fabulous co-host, Rebecca Johnson. Thus, Supergirl Radio was born! Since the end of January 2015, Supergirl Radio has been posting new episodes every week. Season Zero focused on educating listeners on Supergirl in comics and other media, while Season One has been focused on Season One of the new show, which we love! Working with Rebecca has been amazing, and I really feel like, with all the Superman family knowledge and work she puts into the podcast, she’s the real star. I’m just the person who shows up giddily shooting her mouth off every week! And Andy’s one hell of a podcast producer. Supergirl Radio is part of Andy’s larger DCTV Podcasts network, which you can check out HERE.
Supergirl Radio has deepened my geek knowledge about an awesome female superhero, as well as made me some new friends. It’s been pretty rad.
I got to go back home to New York to visit twice this year. Once for two weeks to celebrate my birthday in July, and the other to go to New York Comic Con for work. What made this visit different than my previous visits home is that, for the first time since I moved to L.A, thanks to my new full-time job, I could actually afford to enjoy myself. I was able to book myself Air BnBs, so I didn’t have to crash on people’s couches. I was able to eat out, go places, and have fun without too much fuss. It was nice to be able to visit home like an adult for once.
I got to get away with some of my best friends for a Girls’ Weekend out on Long Island. We rented a suite near the beach and enjoyed each other’s company in a way that’s not always possible with spouses/partners, kids, work, and distance keeping us apart. We laughed, we cried, we drank and ate a lot. It was very necessary, and I hope that we Future Residents of Shady Pines make it an annual event.
Got to hang out with other friends and family, too, and that was pretty rad. Sadly, I didn’t get to see as many people on the work trip as I did on the summer trip, but hopefully if I make the trip to NYCC this year, I’ll be able to make it a longer trip so that I can see more people.
In addition to some amazing interviews with great creators I got to do throughout, as well as seeing some acquaintances I never get to see except at conventions, it seems, the absolute highlight of NYCC this year was not only getting to meet and chat with Steven Universe creator, Rebecca Sugar, but having her do a sketch and autograph a copy of her latest book, The Steven Universe Guide to the Crystal Gems, for The GF. Steven Universe is one of Our Shows, and the GF is obsessed, so I was so delighted to be able to bring this home for her. She loved it!
MY 36TH BIRTHDAY
Before my trip to New York, however, I spent my actual birthday with The GF, and we spent my 36th birthday seeing Veruca Salt play at the El Rey Theatre. It was an AMAZING show, which I wrote about HERE. What made it doubly wonderful was that it not only made me feel better about getting older as a woman, but it was the night The GF wore a dress in public for the first time. 🙂 The evening encapsulated femininity at its most badass. Speaking of…
SHARING THE GF WITH THE WORLD
The GF had come out as trans to her family (and I told my family) at the end of 2014, 2015 was when she decided to come out to the world (at work, on social media, etc), and I finally got to shout it from the rooftops that I have a girlfriend! 🙂 I wrote about the experience at The Mary Sue in a post about how grateful I am for the depiction of Nomi and Amanita’s relationship on the Netflix show Sense8.
I’m so proud of The GF and how far she’s come. She’s become so much more social and confident this year, and I’m thrilled for her. Her coming out publicly also meant that I could stop holding in the secret I’d been holding in for two years! That was nice, too. It’s really hard for me to keep my mouth shut. 🙂
Oh, and speaking of trans/queer friendly shows on streaming services….
THAT TIME I WAS NAKED ON TRANSPARENT
2015 was also the first time I was naked on a TV set when I got to be a background performer for an episode of Amazon’s Transparent, which is one of my favorite shows. I wrote about this at The Mary Sue, too! (Apparently, TMS is becoming like my blog away from blog!) It was an amazing experience that I was really grateful for, despite the severe heat and the fact that I came home after each shoot day covered in a thin layer of greasy sludge that was part sunscreen, part desert dust, and part dirt from the woods. If you wanna catch my naked butt in a scene from Transparent, check out Episode 9 of Season Two called “Man on the Land.” I’m in the crowd watching the Indigo Girls play. Actually, do yourself a favor and watch the whole show. It’s good, and the second season makes the first season its bitch.
INCREDIBLE GIRL CONTINUES
This is gonna be one of those things where Incredible Girl will eventually, finally be a thing, and we’ll all be able to laugh at how long it took for us to make our dream a reality, etc, etc. But I gotta tell you – it’s hard when you’re going through it. We’ve experienced some ups and downs….BUT, we’ve also begun to rebuild an all-new team that’s amazing.
We’ve also done some incredible events this year, like doing a panel on Geeks and Kink for a standing-room only crowd at Emerald City Comic Con in Seattle, and hosting opening night ceremonies, taking part in various performances, and providing a spanking booth in the vendor area at L.A’s Dom Con! Incredible Girl and Cupcake Dominatrix were working HARD this year trying to rustle up grassroots support for the series. I’m pleased to say that the kink community seems to dig what we’re trying to do: represent them (ourselves) accurately, lovingly, and without stereotypes.
The thing I’m proudest of now? The new script. We decided to create this as a half-hour show so that we could pitch this to streaming services like Hulu and Amazon, and so I had to start from scratch, scrapping the ten episodes I’d written for a web series and writing a completely new, half-hour pilot. Aurora and I sat for hours building the story anew from the ground up, really getting at the nitty-gritty of these characters, their histories, and their motivations. Once we figured out a stronger foundation, the script just flowed through me. It’s the most confident I’ve ever been about something I’ve written, and – whereas other versions of my IG scripts have gotten extensive notes, this one has been so well received by everyone I’ve gone to for notes.
I can’t wait for you all to see this. 🙂
THE END OF THE YEAR (AND NEW BEGINNINGS!)
The more I write here, the more I realize that much of my 2015 had to do not only with my own goings-on, but with The GF and my growth as a couple. We had our share of ups and downs this year, too, but love prevailed, and we joyously made it to our third anniversary in December!
On the evening of our anniversary, we made our annual pilgrimage to Mother Dough where we had dinner on our first date. That weekend, we went away to the Santa Ynez Valley – about two hours away from where we live – to spend the weekend in wine country. We got this $40 Winter Pass from the Santa Ynez Wine Association that allows us to have free tastings at fifteen different tasting rooms! In two days, we made it to ten of them. (Those remaining five are getting a visit from us in January before the pass expires!) We also saw a random rockabilly show at Maverick Saloon – the Crown City Bombers – after meeting their female lead singer while wine tasting earlier in the day when she was hilariously and charmingly tipsy and invited us to the gig. They were awesome! When we weren’t eating, drinking wine, or seeing random rockabilly shows, The GF and I were holed up in our comfy Air BnB in Buellton.
New Year’s Eve brought another big change for us (and those of you who follow me on social media already know about it!), but you’ll have to wait until tomorrow for the whole story! 🙂
All in all, 2015 was a positive year for me and during which I felt more freedom, joy, and excitement than I ever have before. Recently, after I spent a good five minutes complaining about problems, my therapist asked me “OK, so what would it take for you to have the happy life you want.” My response? “Love and safety at home. Creative fulfillment and excitement in my work.” And when I really thought about it, I realized that I already had it! For all that I only see what could use fixing in my life, the fact is that the ingredients for my “happy life” are already there! And I’m so, so grateful.
As for New Years Resolutions, mine is really simple:
I will be kinder to myself, and to others.
Simple, but not easy, and it encompasses so much. However, I do put myself first in that statement. Because just like on an airplane , where you have to put on your own mask before you can help anyone else, I need to treat myself well and fill myself with kindness before I’m equipped to give any away.
What were some of the highlights of YOUR 2015? What resolutions will you be trying to keep, or what are you focusing on this year? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below!
Lastly, I wish all of you an amazing 2016! May the New Year bring each of you exactly what you’d like for yourselves. Thank you for joining me here!