Me 36 and a half years ago. I was way balder then.

Me 36 and a half years ago. I was way balder then.

I turned 37 today. 🙂

Last year, I did something really fun. I created two Birthday Playlists on Spotify.

The first, which is just called “Birthday Playlist,” contains the #1 song for every year I’ve been alive. This year, I had to add the #1 song for 2015. You can check out which one that is in the playlist below!

The other list, called “‘Still Alive’ Birthday Playlist,” has all the #1 songs on the actual day of my birth for every year I’ve been alive.

Enjoy the ever-growing soundtracks of my life!



1979 – “My Sharona” – The Knack
1980 – “Call Me” – Blondie
1981 – “Bette Davis Eyes” – Kim Carnes
1982 – “Physical” – Olivia Newton-John
1983 – “Every Breath You Take” – The Police
1984 – “When Doves Cry” – Prince (RIP Prince. And he’s still not on Spotify)
1985 – “Careless Whisper” – George Michael
1986 – “That’s What Friends Are For” – Dionne Warwick, Elton John, Gladys Knight, Stevie Wonder
1987 – “Walk Like an Egyptian” – The Bangles
1988 – “Faith” – George Michael
1989 – “Look Away” – Chicago
1990 – “Hold On” – Wilson Phillips
1991 – “(Everything I Do) I Do It For You” – Bryan Adams
1992 – “End of the Road” – Boyz II Men
1993 – “I Will Always Love You” – Whitney Houston
1994 – “The Sign” – Ace of Base
1995 – “Gangsta’s Paradise” – Coolio
1996 – “Macarena” – Los del Rio (Bayside Boys Remix)
1997 – “Candle In the Wind (1997)/Something About the Way You Look Tonight” – Elton John
1998 – “Too Close” – Next
1999 – “Believe” – Cher
2000 – “Breathe” – Faith Hill
2001 – “Hanging By a Moment” – Lifehouse
2002 – “How You Remind Me” – Nickelback
2003 – “In da Club” – 50 Cent
2004 – “Yeah!” – Usher ft. Ludacris, Lil Jon
2005 – “We Belong Together” – Mariah Carey
2006 – “Bad Day” – Daniel Powter
2007 – “Irreplaceable” – Beyonce
2008 – “Low” – Flo Rida ft. T-Pain
2009 – “Boom Boom Pow” – Black-Eyed Peas
2010 – “TiK ToK” – Ke$ha
2011 – “Rolling in the Deep” – Adele
2012 – “Somebody That I Used to Know” – Gotye ft. Kimbra
2013 – “Thrift Shop” – Macklemore ft. Ryan Lewis
2014 – “Happy” – Pharrell
2015 – “Uptown Funk” – Bruno Mars



1979 – “Love You Inside Out” – Bee Gees
1980 – “Coming Up (Live At Glasgow)” – Paul McCartney & Wings
1981 – “Bette Davis Eyes” – Kim Carnes
1982 – “Don’t You Want Me” – The Human League
1983 – “Flashdance…What A Feeling” – Irene Cara
1984 – “When Doves Cry” – Prince (RIP Prince. And he’s still not on Spotify)
1985 – “Sussudio” – Phil Collins
1986 – “There’ll Be Sad Songs (To Make You Cry)” – Billy Ocean
1987 – “Alone” – Heart
1988 – “The Flame” – Cheap Trick
1989 – “Good Thing” – Fine Young Cannibals
1990 – “Step By Step” – New Kids on the Block
1991 – “Rush Rush” – Paula Abdul
1992 – “Baby Got Back” – Sir Mix-a-Lot
1993 – “Weak” – SWV
1994 – “I Swear” – All-4-One
1995 – “Waterfalls” – TLC
1996 – “Tha Crossroads” – Bone Thugs-N-Harmony
1997 – “I’ll Be Missing You” – Puff Daddy ft. 112/Faith Evans
1998 – “The Boy Is Mine” – Brandy/Monica
1999 – “If You Had My Love” – Jennifer Lopez
2000 – “Be With You” – Enrique Iglesias
2001 – “U Remind Me” – Usher
2002 – “Hot In Herre” – Nelly
2003 – “This Is The Night” – Clay Aiken
2004 – “Burn” – Usher
2005 – “We Belong Together” – Mariah Carey
2006 – “Promiscuous” – Nelly Furtado ft Timbaland
2007 – “Umbrella” – Rhianna ft. Jay-Z
2008 – “I Kissed A Girl” – Katy Perry
2009 – “I Gotta Feeling” – Black-Eyed Peas
2010 – “California Gurls” – Katy Perry ft. Snoop Dogg
2011 – “Give Me Everything” – Pitbull Ft Ne-Yo, Afrojack & Nayer
2012 – “Call Me Maybe” – Carly Rae Jepsen
2013 – “Blurred Lines” – Robin Thicke Ft T.I. + Pharrell
2014 – “Fancy” – Iggy Azalea Ft Charli XCX
2015 – “See You Again” – Wiz Khalifa Ft Charlie Puth
2016 – “One Dance” – Drake, Wizkid, Kyla 

As always, you can figure out the soundtrack to your life over at the Billboard website. Or you can use Wikipedia. Either way. Enjoy! And happy birthday to anyone else celebrating today.

Yay Cancers!


Wanna Read My Novel In Progress…In Progress?

One of many notebooks in which I'm writing my future masterpiece.

One of many notebooks in which I’m writing my future masterpiece.

I’ve been on the DL about it this week, but I figured now would be as good a time as any to share!

As you may know, I’ve got a Patreon page where you can become a Patron of my work for whatever amount you like (though there are a couple of perks and whatnot), both supporting my public offerings (my blog, podcasts, etc) as well as Patron-only work! Well, I’ve been working on my first novel, and for the past week I’ve been sharing it with my Patrons over at Patreon, 250 words at a time!

Why 250? Well first, my hope is that this becomes something that Patrons enjoy reading every day; a short, serialized story that will eventually be a novel, but can also keep readers engaged and entertained daily.

Second, I need to get my ass in the chair and find time to work on this if it’s every going to get done. It’s difficult between The Mary Sue and trying to work on my scripts. But I was tired of this being the thing that always got dumped on the back burner, so I figured out a word goal that I could hit every day without breaking a sweat. That’s 250. Some days I write much more, but I never write less.

If all goes well, by the end of 365 days I’ll have a 91,250-word manuscript to tear apart! 

Wanna read as I write? As of right now, I’m on Day 5/365 and at 1,281 words! Want a new excerpt in your email every day? Head on over to my Patreon page and become a Patron! Remember, you can set a monthly cap so you don’t go over-budget, and you’ll still have access to this work.

I’m looking forward to sharing this with more of you!


I’m With Her?


I was waiting for California.

Despite the irresponsible journalism on the part of the Associated Press, who declared Hillary Clinton the presumptive Democratic Presidential nominee THE DAY BEFORE the final big primary day during which some of the most populous states (including my home state of California) would be voting, despite friends in my Facebook feed saying that Bernie Sanders should just concede already (again, A FULL DAY BEFORE MY STATE EVEN GOT TO VOTE). Despite the fact that people have been saying that Bernie Sanders should concede for months.

I was waiting for California.

When the AP defended their reportage of Clinton as the presumptive nominee, Senior VP and Executive Editor Kathleen Carroll said:

AP concluded that Hillary Clinton had enough delegates to clinch the nomination after a painstaking but very straightforward exercise.

We counted.

By Monday evening, 571 superdelegates had told us unequivocally that they intend to vote for Clinton at the convention. Adding that number to the delegates awarded to Clinton in primary and caucus voting to date gave her the number needed to be the presumptive nominee.

That is news, and reporting the news is what we do.

Nothing in that discourages or prevents voters in six states from exercising their right to go to the polls today and cast their ballots.

Technically, she’s right. Technically, it’s true that nothing about reporting this fact keeps people from exercising their right to vote. Except that, as a professional news outlet, she knows all about how media narratives shape how people think, how they feel, and whether or not they take action. It’s her job to know that, and if she doesn’t know that, she’s terrible at her job. So she was either being clueless, or disingenuous.

Either way, that AP story was simply the most recent example of Clinton’s victory being proclaimed “inevitable.” News outlets had been saying that for months in countless opinion pieces and opinion pieces disguised as actual articles. Then individual bloggers, and even those who do no writing at all began parroting that “fact” all over the place. She’s going to win. Of course she’s going to win. It’s inevitable.

And then I would see friends of mine in my social media feeds saying things like “I’d vote for Bernie, but he has no chance of winning.” And I’d say, “Of course he has no chance of winning if people like you who support him don’t vote for him.” Even during the times when Sanders was winning states and catching fire at rallies, people who supported him were saying over and over again that, while they support Sanders and would vote for him if “circumstances were different” (if circumstances were different, we wouldn’t need him to win so badly!), they didn’t want to “waste their vote” when it was inevitable that Clinton was going to win, not just the primary, but the General Election.

All those people. Deciding not to cast their vote for a candidate they believed in. Creating the very perceived inevitability that concerned them.

If you think that mainstream media coverage of Hillary Clinton’s campaign had nothing to do with that, I have a bridge to sell you in Bernie Sanders’ Brooklyn.

But I was waiting for California.

And it was a long wait, because I voted early by mail:


As I waited, I had people insinuate that the only reason I was voting for Sanders was because of ingrained sexism. Never mind that I’m a media-savvy feminist who writes critically about female representation in media images for a living. I had fellow liberals tell me that I needed to make sure to examine the reasons why I was so anti-Clinton. Because it was probably ingrained misogyny, and I needed to check that.

But my feelings about Hillary have nothing to do with her being a woman, and everything to do with the fact that throughout my voting life, I’ve been feeling her forced on me. As an inevitability.

I’m a native New Yorker, and I was living there when she and her family bought a house in Chappaqua, New York to set up residency so that she could run for the Senate. When, as a First Lady twice over she moved to a state she’d never before lived in to run for office and be that state’s representative. That didn’t sit well with me.

It was one of my first elections (I turned 18 in 1997), so I’ll admit that I wasn’t terribly knowledgeable about much of anything. But I couldn’t help but think, “Why doesn’t she run for senator in Illinois, or Massachusetts, or Connecticut, or Arkansas?” Later, I learned that the Democratic Party urged her to run in New York, and somehow that made it worse. Now the party had pushed someone who had no experience with our state to run for senator and represent us. It was a decision made by committee.

I didn’t vote for her. Twice. She won twice. And then she voted for the Iraq War.

And that was before I knew that she’d served on the Board of Wal-Mart for six years. That was before I realized the extent of her ties to corporations. Actually, that was before I really started to care about such things. Before I started to really understand how broken our system is. Before any of that, I was already uninterested in having her be the woman to represent me for anything.

Fast-forward to 2008. Here was Clinton running for president the first time, and for the first time, I was conflicted. Because in addition to possibly having the first female Presidential nominee, we also had a chance at the first black President of the United States. I, as I’m sure many women of color did, felt torn. Is it more important for me to see a woman’s face, or a brown face leading my country. But Obama voted against the Iraq War. And Obama started from the ground-up politically in Chicago, working at the grassroots level before working his way up to becoming an Illinois senator. When I heard him speak, he reasoned the way I did. Saw the world the way I did. At the time, I joked that Obama was a black, male, Harvard-educated me.

I became a proud Obama supporter. Because it’s possible to see yourself in someone who’s not the same gender you are.

Two Presidential terms later, Clinton is back, running for President again. At first, I started out a Clinton supporter, for no other reasons than 1) No one else was prioritizing campaign finance reform and income inequality to my liking, and 2) I had become even more of a feminist, and since my true first-priority issues weren’t being addressed much, my secondary priority of electing a woman would have to take precedence. Even though this was not the woman I would’ve picked. Even though this was the same woman I had already not voted for three times.

And then came Bernie Sanders.

And he was actually talking about the things I wanted to be talking about after Occupy. After Ferguson. After Baltimore. After so many acts of police brutality and miscarriages of justice. After thinking that no one in the political establishment cared about any of these things, this senator from Vermont was not only showing he cared but that, as I later learned as I did more research, he’d always cared. Suddenly, there was someone daring to talk about these issues out loud. Daring to expect that we could do something about them as a nation. Daring to suggest that, as President, he would prioritize these issues of inequality specifically as the biggest threat to getting anything else done.

I became a proud Sanders supporter. Because it’s possible to see yourself in someone who’s not the same gender you are.

That’s something that I’ve come to realize. That while Clinton is a woman, I see nothing of myself in her, and I see nothing of her in me. There’s a gulf that I don’t know how to bridge. I’ve been trying and failing to bridge this gulf for sixteen years.

So, I waited for California.

And today was a difficult day. Sanders didn’t win my home state, nor did he win the second-largest state delegate-wise that was voting yesterday. While there’s an extremely slim chance that he could convince the over 300+ superdelegates he’d need to change their support from Clinton to himself, his loss in California forced me to acknowledge his defeat.

I looked at the results first thing in the morning and immediately felt disappointment like a punch in the gut. I had a sinking feeling before going to bed last night, but now it was certain. I’ll admit it – I was near tears. As I talked to people on social media, I couldn’t put my finger on why I was so upset, until a friend of mine insisted in one of her statuses that we should accept that Clinton won, even if we didn’t vote for her, and just celebrate the fact that we’ve achieved such a huge milestone already. Keep in mind that we’d all only just gotten the results. I said the following in this person’s comment section:

I’m thrilled that we have our first female candidate for president. I’m sorry it’s her. I’ll vote for her, I might even volunteer for her as it gets closer to November because #NeverTrump, but it will be difficult to be truly enthusiastic. At least, it is today. I’m trying to be happy about it, and I just can’t. Because today, what I learned is that as much as I’ve tried to give this country the benefit of the doubt, it will only be ready to elect a woman or elect a person of color as President at the expense of changing a broken system. The US can apparently only have one or the other. It can’t have both. And we will always choose safety and sameness (and yes, I know a female President is a HUGE change, but I’m talking about how she will govern), and that is frustrating and disappointing. My only hope is that the judges and senators that we elect through this primary have as much fight in them as Sanders has.

I’m really not trying to rain on anyone’s parade, but there’s are legit reasons why many people are disappointed today. It’s not just “because sexism.” It’s not that simple. And I think this feeling is important for Clinton and her campaign to remember. Because these feelings are not going to go away. It’s not just about Sanders as an individual, but about what his supporters want from our country.

And it’s not even just what we want from our country, but what we need and expect from our country now.

Still the “just get over it alreadys” and the “thank God, now we can move ons” and the snarky “Superdelegates don’t vote until July 25th ORLY???” comments continued to be bandied about. Finally, I posted this:

I was irritated that one of the very reasons I haven’t been a Clinton supporter since 2000 – that she is beholden to mainstream, establishment politics and interests – was now manifesting itself in my social media feeds. Demanding party unity from me the freaking day after the primary. The Great Political Machine working through my friends.

I’ve spent a very long, very difficult day trying to come to terms with this loss. Trying to come to terms with what it says about our country. And in spite of that, trying to find joy in the fact that WE COULD HAVE OUR FIRST FEMALE PRESIDENT IN NOVEMBER. Which despite everything I’ve said up until this point is something I’m hugely happy about.

And I want to make this ABSOLUTELY CLEAR. While I’ve never supported her as a candidate until now, I have always had the utmost respect for her and everything she’s accomplished. It’s not easy to be a woman in any male-dominated field. I can’t even imagine what it has been like for her to not only navigate politics, but do do so entirely in the public eye thanks to the scrutiny placed on her because of who her husband is. The fact that she has come through all of that, achieved so much, and is now thisclose to the Presidency is astonishing.

As I said above, I WILL be voting for Hillary Clinton in November. There’s no question about that. You got me, Machine, OK? You got me. YOU FREAKING WIN. “Uncle!” Whatever. I will be voting for Hillary Clinton not simply because a Trump victory would probably start the Apocalypse, but because Clinton and I DO agree on many issues. We’re both liberals, and we’re both women, and there are indeed values we share.

I’ve become a Hillary Clinton supporter. Because it’s possible to see yourself in someone who’s not the same as you are.

i'm with her


Hey there, Loyal minions readers! After months in a cocoon, I’m now emerging as a beautiful, blogging butterfly!

As a pop culture writer, I’ve acquired a LOT of swag, from review copies of books and graphic novels, to DVD/Blu-Rays, to key chains, buttons, and toys. They’re cool, but I don’t have the space for everything anymore! So, I’m looking to share my swag in the TJXP: Share My Swag Giveaway!

This weekly giveaway will be announced every Monday (hopefully earlier than I’m posting this now, but WHATEVER!), where I will give a weekly challenge. Everyone who follows that challenge is entered to win a prize pack containing THREE items randomly selected from my swag bag that will be sent to you. Want to find out how to enter? Watch the video above!

Now, this is the first time I’ll be trying something like this, so be patient with me as I work out the kinks. 🙂 Thanks! And GOOD LUCK!

Two Years Later: The Road to Failure, in Itself an Art

Dad and Me

Losing my dad two years ago today was both harder and easier than losing my mom.

It was harder, because I wasn’t there. I’d already moved to Los Angeles at that point, and I found out that he’d passed away on a phone call. Whereas with my mother, I got to be there when they pulled the plug on her life support and say goodbye (she wasn’t conscious, but still), I couldn’t be there for my dad, and that hurt. It still does.

It hurts especially, because of my parents my dad was the one I felt really understood me. We were the same in so many ways. My mother was amazing, of course, and I loved her so much. But my dad and I shared so many things, and they weren’t always good, but they were ours. We were both writers who were (and are) always late to things. We were both social creatures who were extremely stubborn and loved to debate a topic into the ground. We both loved travel, and music, and art of all kinds. We valued our dreams, and thought them as real as anything in “real life.” When I say “I’m my father’s daughter,” I mean it. There’s no one else’s I could be.

But in many ways, it’s because of all this that losing my dad was easier than losing my mom. Whereas my mother died with her mind in tact, and her passing felt more like a sharp tearing away, my father started petering out long before he died. As his mind started to go, shortly after my mother passed away (and apparently, she’d been covering for him in various situations, so we couldn’t tell it had already started happening), he was less and less the person I knew. My dad had entirely defined himself by his mind – talking about the value of education, reading The New York Times and doing the crossword puzzle every day, taking me to all sorts of educational places when I was a kid, and being the happiest for me when I did things like go away on Model UN trips, or go away to Dublin to study for a semester. Whereas my mom always cried, or worried out loud, if my dad worried at all he held it in. He always wanted me to know that it was okay to leave, because leaving meant learning and growing. Leaving meant change, and he never wanted me to feel guilty about that.

And that person started leaving us in 2006/2007, so that by the time he passed away in 2014, we’d already said goodbye a thousand times.

And even though I couldn’t be there, and even though I was so deeply sad that one of the people who understood me best in this world was gone, a part of me felt relief. Because knowing him so well, I knew that he would never ever want to be seen that way. My dad definitely had a lot of pride, and when he was in his right mind would never want to ask for help. So often, I wished he would. But in any case, to go from that person to the person who needs to be bathed and dressed and fed like a child…if he were himself, I know he would’ve hated it.

So, maybe it was for the best that I, of all people, wasn’t there at the very end, to see him on a hospital bed taking his last breath, looking more weak and frail than he’d ever been. He probably would’ve hated that, too. I got to see him looking more dignified. Made up, and in a suit. I got to say goodbye to him when he was more presentable. I think he might have preferred that.

Pretty much everything I do creatively, I do for my dad. (Yes, even Incredible Girl! Did you know that my father wrote a play in the early 1990s that involved a husband who wanted to engage in BDSM with his wife? Yup, he did! The apple really doesn’t fall far from the tree, I guess) Everything I achieve professionally, or pursue artistically, I do it with him in mind. Because for a million reasons he never could.

If you’d like to help me honor my dad today, plan a trip to somewhere you’ve never been or an experience you’ve never had! You can also read the eulogy I read at his wake, or give a donation to your local chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association.

And lastly, enjoy this poem from his short collection of poetry called Pillars of My Strength. He wrote these when he was only 23 and in the Air Force stationed at George Air Force Base here in California (which closed in the 1990s), and a lot of these poems are trying way too hard. 🙂 But this one, called “Tomorrow,” totally captures my dad’s personality – his drive, determination, and yes, stubbornness – in a way that remained true for him the rest of his life. It also shows that he knew what his failings were, but could never bring himself to stop fighting:

Failed have I, and well I understand, 
That in my undertakings, pride has played the greatest part. 
The road to failure, in itself an art, 
Was further enhanced by my stubborn stand.
However, even as a sun retreats unto the night
And a baby bird will try until he flies, 
So will I on prophecy rely
When a tomorrow with success will prove me right. 

I miss you, Daddy. And I hope I can be your Tomorrow.

Ramon Jusino Jr.
September 7, 1935 – April 19, 2014

Ten Years Later: Things I Remember, Things She’ll Miss


My mom died ten years ago today. Ten years. Sometimes it feels like only yesterday. Other times it feels like a million years ago. I’ve come so far and my life has changed so much in the subsequent ten years that it’s often difficult to remember what life with a mother was like.

I can’t just think of her face anymore without help from a photo. What I find myself remembering most are her hands. Watching them as they worked on something, or the way they felt when she’d hug me or hold me.

I remember her laugh. It was big, and raucous, and contagious. I remember that she had a great sense of humor, and that she talked about flirting with the male nurses in the hospital when she was sick. 🙂

I remember how she cried when I moved into the dorms at NYU, and how I thought it was so silly, because I was only 40 minutes away from the house. Now, I know those tears meant that she loved me so much. I knew that then too, I think, but I was too busy being an independent college student to focus on that.

I remember sitting with her in a hospital room toward the end, and asking her “Don’t worry about hurting my feelings or anything – I know you love me, and Kenny and Janette, and Dad – but if you could’ve done anything else with your life, anything at all, what would you have done?” And she stayed quiet for a long minute and then said “No one’s ever asked me that before.” And she couldn’t come up with an answer, because she’d never really thought about it. But I think she was glad to have been asked and made to think about it.

I remember my mom most when I find myself doing things she taught me – like neatly tying up plastic grocery bags so they’re easier to store, or beating out “Shave and a Haircut” on the side of the pot with a spoon while I’m cooking something.

I also remember her most as I live through things that she never got to see. She never knew that I moved to California, and that I’ve started to build a life and a home in the state where my parents spent the beginning of their marriage. She never met The Fiancee. She won’t be at my wedding. She won’t be around to see any kids I might have. When I go home to New York, while she remains a stop on my People I Need to Visit tour, it involves getting driven out to the cemetery.

She only ever knew me aspiring. She’ll never see me finally get where I’m going, and that makes me sad. I’m always nagged by the feeling that she died worried about me and my well-being. Not just in the way that all mothers will always worry about their kids, but because I’d chosen a less-than-stable career, and I was broke, and I was single, and I didn’t seem to be able to get anything together. I hope that, wherever she is, if she’s able to check in on what’s going on in between Heavenly massages and endless chocolate cake and ice cream that I’m okay. That I’m the best I’ve ever been. That despite the hardships, it’s all working out pretty well. It’s not perfect, but it’s good. It’s evolving in a way I like.

It always hurts a little when I hang out with The Fiancee’s awesome family and I remember that mine’s incomplete. Or when any of my friends talk about their parents coming to town to visit, or going to visit them back home. I’ll never have that, and I always try to remind them to treasure their parents while they’re still around. Even when they’re annoying. 🙂 I’m so glad that I went to go visit my mom in the nursing home, or the hospital, even when I “didn’t feel like it.” My only regret is that I didn’t do it even more.

It’s been ten years, and I miss her. There’s a hole in my life that was supposed to be filled by her that now isn’t. But I’m grateful that she was my mother. She was the best one I could’ve asked for. She wasn’t perfect, but she was perfect for me, and as often as she made me mad, or inadvertently hurt my feelings, or said something less-than-progressive and made me cringe, I also never doubted that she loved me.

She always let me know, sometimes through her words, but more often through her actions, that she loved me and was always there for me no matter what. She encouraged me even when she wasn’t sure what I was doing – like that whole “acting thing” or “being a writer” or whatever. Sure, she’d encourage me to get a “real job,” but she also never said I should give up the other stuff I wanted to do. She just wanted me to be practical and careful. And she would often surprise me. Despite those less-than-progressive things she’d sometimes say, she was equally likely to surprise me with a completely progressive opinion on something when I least expected it.

It’s how I know that she’d be surprised, but ultimately supportive of my upcoming marriage to The Fiancee. She’d love her, because I do. I just wish they would’ve gotten to know each other.
Anyway, I think my rambling’s at an end. I love my mom. I miss her. I celebrate her and the wonderful (and wonderfully complex) person she was. And I’m grateful for her.

If you’d like to help me remember my mom, feel free to go to your nearest Puerto Rican restaurant and eat a pastel in her honor. 🙂 You can read the eulogy I read at her funeral. Otherwise, a donation to your local chapter of the American Diabetes Association is always a great choice.

Mariana Hernandez Jusino
September 21, 1935 – April 5, 2006

IG Logo on Pink

Incredible Girl Teaches Us About Bathroom Pervertables

The Incredible Girl crowdfunding campaign is going strong over at IndieGoGo, and as of this writing we’ve broken $2000! If you want to help us reach the next milestone ($3000), click on and share this link: http://bit.ly/IncredibleGirl

In the meantime, please enjoy Incredible Girl’s first in a series of videos she’s done on “pervertables” – those items around your home that might have more uses than you think! 🙂

I can’t wait to bring this, and all the other colorful characters that are a part of this series to life by producing our pilot! Join the effort to make a show like this a reality!

And thank you!

IG Logo on Pink

The Incredible Girl Crowdfunding Campaign is LIVE on IndieGoGo!

FINALLY. After over two years of working on this project – and ending up with a pilot script that I’m immensely proud of – Aurora and I are finally ready to start sharing Incredible Girl with the world! And it all starts with the above video!

For more content, as well as to find out how you can help us produce the half-hour pilot of Incredible Girl, click on THIS LINK: http://bit.ly/IncredibleGirl 

If you’re compelled to back the campaign once you’ve visited our IndieGoGo page, please BACK THE CAMPAIGN TODAY! Campaigns that raise 25% of their goal on the first day are statistically more likely to succeed in reaching their goal! Help us be one of those campaigns!

Also, it would just make us really happy and reassure us that we’re not just screaming into the void.  🙂

But seriously, even if you don’t think that the subject matter is your bag, check it out anyway. You may be pleasantly surprised. At its core, Incredible Girl is a story about love and finding your voice. I think those are things you all can get behind, right? 

Whether you can back us or not, remember that sharing is caring! Share the link to the campaign with anyone you know who wants to see more smart, female-led, inclusive, and sex-positive content in the world! http://bit.ly/IncredibleGirl 

And we’ll be releasing fun new content throughout our campaign! So if you’re not already, make sure you’re following Incredible Girl on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram, and on YouTube so you don’t miss a thing!

Stay tuned! The Incredible Girl adventure is just beginning!

(HUGE thanks to Jenny Doll for designing our awesome IG logo, Alec Bernal and Miguel Amodio of Inner Image Media for editing our pitch video, and Kevin Boot for shooting it!)

Ada and Me at Dyke Day 2015

SHE SAID/SHE SAID 2: Demolition Man

I know, I know! It’s been a bit. So, sue me.  🙂 The Fiancee and I kicked back to watch another movie, and this time, it was one that she selected. One of her favorites from her youth, in fact…


The fiancee’S PICK: DEMOLITION MAN (1993)

Demolition Man t takes place in a future society where there’s no crime. But the story actually starts in L.A. in the “near future” (aka the Late Nineties), when L.A. has become a total crap hole. Sylvester Stallone’s “Demolition Man” aka LAPD Sergeant John Spartan is trying to take down a career criminal named Simon Phoenix, played by Wesley Snipes, who’s taken hostages in an abandoned building.

Spartan, being the kind of cop who “doesn’t follow the rules” in movies, makes an unauthorized call to go after Phoenix that causes the entire building to explode and Spartan to be charged with manslaughter for killing the hostages (PS – they were already dead, because Phoenix is not a nice dude). But rather than going to regular jail, they put him in their new “Cryo-Penitentiary” – the idea being that inmates are frozen, and rehabilitated through chemical conditioning while in deep freeze.

Cut to 2032 (the Future!), when Phoenix, who was captured and also put in deep freeze, manages to escape the cryo-penitentiary and goes on a killing spree! The cops can’t handle it. Why? Because in the future, there’s no crime, because after the Great Earthquake “San Angeles” (the new metroplex made up of L.A, San Diego, and Santa Barbara) has become a sort-of utopia helmed by pacifist Doctor Raymond Cocteau who has somehow made anything “bad” (which incorporates everything from swearing, to fast food, to sex) illegal, causing the city to turn into this overly-sanitized place where the police have become completely incapable of dealing with problems, because there “aren’t any.”


Except of course for the poor people who’ve been forced to live in an underground sewer city that no one takes care of or cares about. Called the Scraps (and led by Dennis Leary basically playing himself), these impoverished people who’ve been pushed underground for their free-thought and their unseemliness have begun pushing back against the society that wishes them gone by coming above ground to steal food and other resources.

Long story less long, Cocteau altered Phoenix’s chemical conditioning to give him even more of his bad traits and to embed a goal in his mind – Kill Dennis Leary, er, Edgar Friendly. Spartan is unfrozen to deal with Phoenix and is partnered up with Sandra Bullock’s cop, Lt. Lenina Huxley (Brave New World reference, whaaaat?), who is obsessed with 20th Century culture. Action, mayhem, and hilarity over seashells ensues.

Why does The Fiancee like this movie so much?

“It’s just a fun action comedy. Sort of like this absurd future society where everyone is very polite, and no one commits any crimes, but it’s all just a facade. I don’t know…I like it. It’s funny. It’s mostly the humor that I like. There’s good action, too, but I mostly like it as a comedy.” 

And why does she think I should or would like this movie?

“I think you would think its funny.” 

Aaaaand there you have it. 🙂 That’s my laconic sweetie pie for you.

demolition man swearing


I had no idea what to expect when I sat down to watch this. But I have to say, that not only did I enjoy it more than I thought I would, but it was surprisingly more thought-provoking than I thought it would be.

This movie is definitely early-1990s. cheeseball action film. However, Spartan and Huxley are a great team and have awesome chemistry. You enjoy watching them navigate the case, and each other throughout. Wesley Snipes was a pretty stylized villain as Phoenix, but that’s pretty much to be expected for a movie of this type, and he looked like he was having a ball playing this part.

I especially loved Huxley. I loved that she was this extremely competent cop (for her time) who was also completely earnest. I loved that she was a 20th Century geek, and I loved her attempts at 20th Century slang. She was such a sweet character, which is rare for a movie like this.

The Fiancee was right, too, about the humor. Demolition Man was pretty hilarious, and a lot of fun! (and what IS the deal with the three seashells?!)

What really struck me about this film, though, is how much it made me think, both as the movie was going on, and long afterwards. I thought about the socioeconomic issues the film’s script brings up…and then I thought about the current issues that this film unwittingly embodies.

let's go blow this guy - demolition man

As for what’s in the film, you’re definitely forced to think about what a True Utopia would mean. After all, nothing can be completely perfect unless you silence/get rid of those who are less-than-perfect, and what does that say about your civilization? Perfection means marginalizing people: the poor, the weak, the uneducated, etc. The film also explores the idea that pleasure is sometimes “dirty,” and that that’s okay and what makes us human. Touching-each-other sex? Way better than sex via virtual reality helmet.

But then, there are issues that came up for me as I examined the film through a modern lens. Like, I thought it was a shame that the “criminals” in this utopia who were sympathetic (you understand them, because they’re poor and not being treated fairly) are led by the white guy and are mostly white themselves, whereas the “real” criminal – the psychopath – was played by the black guy. Granted, Phoenix is a bigger role, and I’m glad that Snipes has it, but it’s interesting to see the subtle messaging that’s happening here. White people who commit crimes are sympathetic, because they “probably have a good reason,” but black people are just crazy.

It’s the kind of thing that, had this film been made a decade later, a savvy screenwriter might have referenced in the text and used. Alas.

Bottom line, Demolition Man is hugely entertaining, and will reaffirm any progressive values you hold.

Well, that’s it for this week! Now that I’ve taken two weeks off to get over being sick as well as some other stuff that’s happened recently, I definitely hope to get back to regular blogging here at TJXP.

So there should be another She Said/She Said here next week! (Hopefully!)

This post is supported by Patreon.


Sometimes, You Just Need to Stop DOING


Hey there, everyone!

I came out of the gate hard at the beginning of this year, and started the first week of 2016 with a blog post here every single day! It was great! It was exactly what I wanted my blog to look like!

Then I got sick. And after days of doing absolutely nothing (which I absolutely needed), I came into the following week feeling better, but needing to ease back into my routine. And do you know what? I didn’t feel bad about it. I basically did the bare minimum of what I needed to be doing last week. Worked at The Mary Sue. Went to a couple of meetings I’d had scheduled for a while. But other than that, I kept taking it easy, because I still wasn’t at 100%, and I wasn’t going to force myself to “be productive” for the sake of it.

All of this is to say that I’m feeling much better this week! Well-rested, well-planned, and raring to go! And so, here I am – back to my old bloggy ways.

Some things you should know:

1) I’m not going to be keeping up with the 52 Week Challenge here every week the way I was planning. I’ll still be doing it, but I’ve decided that I’d prefer that The Teresa Jusino Experience remain a Monday-Friday enterprise. Weekends are mine, and so I won’t be posting.  If you’d like to do the challenge yourself, head on over to Erin Dullea’s site and sign up!

2) Now would be a great time to consider becoming one of my Patrons at Patreon! Starting next week, I’ll be sharing the novel I’m working on exclusively with Patrons as I write it – 200 words at a time. 🙂 Since January 1st I’ve been writing 200 words a day of the book I’ve outlined. Which isn’t a lot – until you consider that if I do that 365 times this year, that’s a 73,000-word manuscript. No one’s waiting for this book. There are no deadlines, and I have other scripts and projects I’m working on around it. But I’ve been putting this book on the back-burner for far too long. So, rather than waiting for the big chunks of time I thought I needed to devote to it. I’m going to chip away at it bit by 200-word bit until it’s done. It may be slower, but it’ll be way more effective than procrastination, don’t you agree?

So, if you’re interested in keeping up with my progress on this, and other works I plan on sharing exclusively with Patrons, check out my Patreon page and consider supporting my efforts there by pledging at least $1 per story I create. You’ll be able to read my novel hotter than hot off the presses and follow my progress and process as I work.

Surely, that’s interesting to at least some of you, right? 🙂

3) Lastly, I’ll soon be announcing a series of giveaways I’ll be doing here and around my social media feeds, so stay tuned!

And I’ll see you all back here tomorrow!