The Teresa Jusino Experience

Create Like An Activist

Tag: Birthday

37TH BIRTHDAY PLAYLISTS!

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!

Uptown

THE BIRTHDAY PLAYLIST

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

drake-one-dance-live-0

THE ‘STILL ALIVE’ BIRTHDAY PLAYLIST

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!

Veruca Salt: The Concert I Didn't Even Know I Needed

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The GF is a huge Veruca Salt fan. Eight Arms to Hold You “got [her] through high school.” So she was super-excited when she heard that not only has Veruca Salt’s original line-up gotten back together, but they have released a new album (the awesome Ghost Notes – my current fave: “Laughing in the Sugar Bowl”) and were going to be playing in LA!

On my birthday. 🙂

The GF was torn – she wanted to go to the show, but she was also prepared to defer to what I wanted to do on my birthday, and if that didn’t include Veruca Salt, then so be it. So, of course, I said we should go to Veruca Salt on my birthday. I wasn’t about to deprive my boo the chance to finally see one of her favorite bands in concert. Meanwhile, I love live music, no matter what it is – and they’re the band that does “Seether” right? I remember that song. Oh, and that other one that goes like…you know the one. It’s about Spider-Man? 🙂 I wasn’t a huge Veruca Salt fan, but they were a female-fronted band from the 1990s, and I thought it’d be cool to see them live and see how their stuff holds up almost 20 years later.

We got the tickets a couple of months ago, and as I was brushing up on my Veruca Salt catalog, I realized two things:

1) Veruca Salt is awesome! Why haven’t I been listening to them all this time? and

2) I was so painfully mainstream as a kid.

I grew up during grunge. During Riot Grrrl. During a really great time in indie rock. But you’d never know it from what I listened to. I was a Top 40 girl through and through. I mean, I listened to those grunge/punk/rock songs that managed to make it onto the radio, like Nirvana, or VS’s “Seether.” The most “alternative” thing I listened to was Fiona Apple – but that was also at a time when Lilith Fair artists were popular, and songwriters like Fiona Apple were mainstream. I’ve never been the kind of person who was a geek about music. I’ve never been the kind of person to seek out my own stuff. I listened to the radio and relied on recommendations from people I know. I absorbed music when I was a kid, I didn’t seek it out. It was through literature and film that I expressed my tastes, not music. And so a lot of great stuff passed me by.

Talk In Tongues - El Rey Theatre 7/11/15

Talk In Tongues – El Rey Theatre 7/11/15

However, as fate would have it, whereas most people get more conservative as they get older, I’ve gotten more liberal – and in some ways, more radical (thought I’m still a moderate most of the time). And I’ve started to appreciate the music from my youth that was a little more alternative and rebellious. Don’t get me wrong – I am UNASHAMED of having listened to The Spice Girls and TLC. But that’s the great thing about music – or any art, really. It’s always there for you when you need it, even if you need it almost 20 years later.

The concert had a great first opening band in Talk In Tongues. I dug their sound from the moment they got out on stage. And then, I fell absolutely in LOVE with The Muffs, who were the most punk band I’ve ever seen.

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The Muffs – El Rey Theatre – 7/11/15

It was once The Muffs got on stage that I realized why this concert was so important to me. When I say that The Muffs were “the most punk band I’ve ever seen,” I mean that bassist, Robbie Barnett looks like Bill Nye, but plays like Dee Dee Ramone. I mean that lead singer and guitarist, Kim Shattuck uttered the phrase “I’m a grandma, but I don’t give a fuck” before launching into her next song where she proceeded to scream like a banshee. That is punk. A young person being all “down with the establishment” and “I’m a non-conformist” ain’t no thing. That’s kinda part of the job description. But if you can carry that attitude with you through the rest of your life. Holy crap, that’s amazing. That’s what I aspire to!

Veruca Salt - El Rey Theatre - 7/11/15

Veruca Salt – El Rey Theatre – 7/11/15

The awesomeness continued as Veruca Salt took the stage. Having never seen them play live before, I was totally transfixed by them. Everyone’s musicianship was on point, the vocals were amazing, and the energy – oh, the energy. I felt older than they are as I started whinging about having to stand for so long. Meanwhile, their energy never flagged. They brought the same in-your-face, feminist rebelliousness of their youth, but also brought all the wisdom they’ve acquired in the subsequent seventeen years of breaking up and getting back together. It was inspiring.

I needed this show right now. I needed to see women older than I am rocking the fuck out. It inspired me and reminded me that it’s more than OK to not “settle into” getting older, but rather, come into it kicking, screaming, and screeching. Happy fucking birthday to me!

36th Birthday Playlists!

veruca salt

So, The GF is taking me to see Veruca Salt tonight at the El Rey for my birthday, and I’m very much looking forward to it! I don’t see nearly enough live music anymore, and their new album, Ghost Notes, is really good.

But this got me thinking about the music I grew up listening to, and I decided to put together a playlist of the #1 songs for every year I’ve been alive. Because it’s my birthday, and I. LOVE. LISTS.

So, join me in a trip down memory lane while listening to the soundtrack of my life. Here’s my Birthday Playlist on Spotify!

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 (Dammit! Prince isn’t 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

After putting that together, I realized that if I were to create a Birthday Playlist listing the songs that were Number 1 on my actual birthday every year I’ve been alive, it’d be a very different list. So, of course I had to figure out what that’d look like. Here’s my “Still Alive” Birthday Playlist on Spotify – chock full of summertime jams!

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 (Dammit! Prince isn’t 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

This was fun! 🙂 If you wanna figure out the soundtrack of your life, the Billboard website is super-helpful. And to bring things full circle, I’ll leave you with Veruca Salt – the band I’m seeing play tonight – doing a cover of the Number 1 song the year I was born, “My Sharona” by The Kinks. Enjoy!

My 36th Year On the Planet

Silly headshot 1 - green shirt - WEB READY

I’m 36 today. That’s weird. It’s weird, because 40 is only 4 years away, and I don’t feel remotely old enough to be 40. I’m not saying that 40’s old – I’m saying that it sure decided to speed it’s way over here, and I still feel like a college student half the time! Slow down, 40! No rush. Damn! 🙂

But 36 feels good. I have so much for which I’m grateful, and my life has really taken off in surprising ways in the past couple of years, making me, at 36, about a BILLION times cooler than I was when I was 26.

Things That I Have Now That I Didn’t Have 10 Years Ago:

  • a girlfriend
  • an apartment in Los Angeles
  • a full-time staff writing job for an awesome outlet
  • a savings account (with actual money in it!)
  • all the friends I’ve made in L.A.
  • my youngest niece
  • my girlfriend’s family, that feels like family to me
  • a podcast I host regularly
  • a body of work in the form of screenplays
  • plans and schemes beyond writing
  • the directing bug
  • an appreciation for my own body
  • a more laid-back attitiude about things
  • an assurance in who I am and the things I believe in

Silly headshot 2 - green shirt - WEB READY

Now, life isn’t a bed of roses, and there are things that I don’t have, or that are still problems for me even at 36. So…

Things That I Don’t Have or Are Still a Problem at 36:

  • still fat, and at this point I think I’m bigger than I’ve ever been
  • still have debt
  • don’t have my parents
  • don’t have a car
  • don’t have a driver’s license (though I have an appt in Aug that’ll take care of that!)
  • don’t have kids
  • don’t have my immediate family, or my oldest friends within walking/driving distance
  • don’t have a novel published
  • still get bored/distracted way too easily
  • still a procrastinator

And then there are the new, age-related problems and issues, like lower back and hip pain (due to the weight, most likely), annoyance with “going out” (unless it’s to a quiet pub with, like, 3-4 friends), being an Old Person who perks up whenever Old People Music comes on (ie: the soundtrack of my high school existence…from the 1990s, which ended SIXTEEN YEARS AGO), and a different vision for what my future should look like than I ever thought I’d have.

Oh yeah, and my 20 year high school reunion will be in two years.

Silly headshot 3 - green shirt - WEB READY

Still, life is good overall, and I feel very lucky. I’m lucky to have the people I have in my life. I’m lucky to be the recipient of so much love from so many different sources, and I’m lucky that I have so many opportunities to love in return. I’m lucky that my Dream Career actually feels possible, and that I’ve been able to consistently plug away at a career in the arts long enough to know what failure looks like, what success looks like, and that I’m doing all the right things right now. I’m lucky that whenever life’s thrown something at me to knock me down, I’ve always managed to get back up. I’m lucky that I can not only move forward or backward, but I have the ability to pivot.

36 years on this planet has taught me a lot, and I’m grateful. Thanks to all of you for coming along for the ride.

(photos by The Headshot Truck)

 

Overdue Birthday Post

7-11 gives out free slurpees in honor of my birthday! How nice! ;)

7-11 gives out free slurpees in honor of my birthday! How nice! 😉

On my 35th birthday this year, the day started out feeling like all of my first choices for things to do were being crapped all over!

I wanted to go to The Waffle for breakfast, but when The Boy and I got there, it was under construction. What was worse? The sign up outside said “We will re-open on July 11!” My birthday is July 11th, and judging by the size of the hole in the ground, it didn’t look like it was opening any time soon. So, I was disappointed that my birthday was starting out so, well, disappointingly. BUT, we ended up going to Larchmont Bungalow, which I also love, and I had the best. Quesadilla. Ever. So that turned out all right.

THEN, we attempted to go to this spa place where we’d found a Groupon for a couple’s champagne/rose mani/pedi! $55 for 2 people including free champagne and a cupcake! WHAT?! So we went there, and of course the spa was all booked up. I’d been REALLY looking forward to that. We tried to go see a movie, but there was no movie that we could see that would let us out in time for my birthday dinner in the evening. Grr.

So, we ended up going home, getting my birthday slurpee (my birthday and Free Slurpee Day are the same day), putting whiskey in it, drinking and watching Before Sunset, which I’ve seen (and LOVE) but The Boy hadn’t. So…that turned out all right, too. Neither one of us has seen Before Midnight, so we’ll be seeing that soon, too.

But yeah, after a morning of running around, an afternoon watching one of the most romantic movies ever with the love of my life over honey whiskey (and slurpee) was pretty darned awesome. 🙂

Mairghread and Jason think me being an old lady in my mid-thirties is HILARIOUS.

Mairghread and Jason think me being an old lady in my mid-thirties is HILARIOUS.

Things started picking up steam at my birthday dinner at Midori Sushi. My friends Mairghread and Jason came out and I ate my body weight in sushi. We had some great conversation, and it was a good time!

Me and Heather (and my birthday flowers from her and Alexis!)

Me and Heather (and my birthday flowers from her and Alexis!)

The night got even better once we got to Sardo’s for karaoke! At first, I was worried no one was coming – I booked a table for 9:30, and my first guests arrived at around 10 – but once they started they didn’t stop, and in the end, I had a great group of some of my favorite peeps together to celebrate! Songs were sung, beers were swallowed, and a good time was had by all – despite how LOUD their sound system was! (Seriously, it was loud) One guy (who ended up knowing Heather) did an amazing mash-up to a karaoke track, calling it a “work in progress.” Another dude did a killer Bowie (Ziggy Stardust). And one guy sang the shit out of Melissa Etheridge’s Come to My Window! Seriously, I think Sardo’s is my new favorite karaoke place, because the people who sing here MEAN BIDDNESS. And I love that kind of atmosphere! Laid back and friendly – but taking karaoke fun VERY seriously. 🙂

DSCN1365

Ashleigh, Me, Heather, Alexis, Lindsay, Josh, Adam, and Eddie.

Ashleigh, Me, Heather, Alexis, Lindsay, Josh, Adam, and Eddie.

And of course, my friends were all about it. Ashleigh and Eddie made me squee with their version of Dammit, Janet. And Alexis was hilarious singing Somebody’s Watching Me. But, of course, the biggest Karaoke Slut of all was me!

Also, I think I had the most drinks purchased for me that night than I ever have on any birthday! The Boy and his bro got me drinks, natch, but then so did our waitress, who took a Blue Moon off our tab for me, and a random dude at the bar who was visiting L.A. and heard it was my birthday! Needless to say, by the end of the evening, my karaoke was FEARLESS. We closed the place down, and I had an amazing time!

My favorite photo of the night. Heather took this of me and Adam when I wasn't paying attention. Lurve.

My favorite photo of the night. Heather took this of The Boy and me when I wasn’t paying attention. Lurve.

The final part of my birthday celebrating was The Boy and me going to camp overnight in Joshua Tree (at the Indian Cove campground). It was a very different experience for both of us, which is precisely why I wanted to do it!

Nothing but desert surrounding the campsite.

Nothing but desert surrounding the campsite.

We camped in The Boy’s car, and there was a picnic table and a fire grate as part of the campsite. We spread blankets on the ground by the fire so we could hang out and lounge under the stars.

Campsite - blanket view

Campsite – blanket view

 

Campsite - picnic table view

Campsite – picnic table view

 

Sleeping arrangements.

Sleeping arrangements.

The thing that amazed me most about the desert? The QUIET. I’ve never been anywhere so quiet before. It was so quiet, that when we first arrived, I kept swallowing, thinking that my ears needed to be popped! But there was just nothing to hear. It was so quiet that, when we were leaving our payment for the campsite (through a slot in the wall at the ranger’s station, because there were no rangers!), the sound of the rope slapping against a nearby flagpole was SO LOUD. It was so quiet that whenever a bird flew overhead, we COULD HEAR THEIR WINGS FLAPPING. It was amazing, and several times we just sat for long chunks of time listening to the silence.

That is, when we weren’t getting drunk and silly. 🙂

The other thing that amazed me about the desert was how brightly the moon lit up everything. I was concerned that, even with the fire and the little lantern we brought that we might not have enough light. But it was a Full Moon, and it was huge in the sky, and it was so bright. It was so bright, I wasn’t even scared to take the flashlight and go across the way to the nearby outhouse in the middle of the night! (I’m not The Dark’s biggest fan. Especially out In Nature. But this was a piece of cake!) It was beautiful.

I loved being able to just talk with The Boy without other distractions. I loved the quiet. I loved the moon. I loved the beauty of the landscape.

What I didn’t love? THE FREAKING MOSQUITOES AND OTHER FLYING INSECTS THAT WOULDN’T LEAVE ME ALONE NO MATTER HOW MUCH INSECT REPELLENT I PUT ON! Between the moths swarming our lantern as we tried to play a card game at the picnic table, the mosquitoes biting the hell out of me, the big-ass ants keeping me from getting fully comfortable on the blanket I spread, because I was afraid they’d climb into my clothes…Let’s just say, next time I go into Nature, I’m gonna be Queen of the Citronella Candles. I’m surrounding my campsite with them. Oh. My. God.

However, the other lesson I learned, is that it was a DUMB idea to go camping in the DESERT in FUCKING JULY. There’s a reason why summer is the “off-season.” It’s because it’s hot as BALLS in the desert in July. So, I might have been able to cover up more and protect myself from the flying, bitey insects, but I couldn’t, because it was SWELTERING, and even having my long, loose, cotton pajama pants on made me feel like I was gonna DIE.

Yeah, we were planning on going on a hike the following morning, but after not sleeping well due to the heat, the bitey insects, and the uncomfortable car seats, the last thing we wanted to do in the morning sunshine was hike up a freaking hill. We woke up early, and skeedaddled to find some food in town, then sped out of there and back to civilization. 🙂

Still, it was worth it for the quiet and the beauty. Next time, though, I’ll be better prepared, go at a better time of year, and do it RIGHT.

A photo can't do that sunset justice, but I'll carry it around in my memory. It was gorgeous.

A photo can’t do that sunset justice, but I’ll carry it around in my memory. It was gorgeous.

The Gift Of Impact

Me. 35 years ago. :)

Me. 35 years ago. 🙂

I turn 35 tomorrow. 

Crazy, I know. 🙂

Anyway, I’ve had a couple of people ask me what I’d “like for my birthday.” And while I appreciate the gesture, and I’m touched that people are thinking of getting me anything at all, I also REALLY LIKE SURPRISES. Honestly, I prefer getting gifts I have no use for but that are surprises to gifts of stuff I need but that I ask for. Surprises are gifts in and of themselves! Even if I never wear the ugly sweater. 😉 But usually, people are better gift-givers than they think. Chances are, if you know me at all, whatever you get me will be something I enjoy.

Then again, I never expect anything for my birthday. Times are tough financially, and not everyone has the time to make something. I know there are several people I care about very much that I haven’t been able to give a birthday gift in a long time, because money, because time, because I live so far away…so, I don’t generally expect anything. Usually what matters most to me around my birthday is spending time with close friends or family…and getting to be entirely lazy and self-indulgent for a day (or a weekend).

After all, it’s the only time when it’s legitimately OK to totally celebrate ME! 🙂 So that means only fun things that I want to do, or quality lazy time.

That said, I know there might still be some of you who want to do something to help me celebrate the occasion. For that, I am grateful. If any of you would like to help me commemorate my 35th year on the planet, I would love it if you could send a donation to any of the following organizations: 

National Alzheimer’s Associationhttp://www.alz.org/
American Diabetes Association: http://www.diabetes.org/
National Autism Association: http://nationalautismassociation.org/

If you choose to give to one of the national organizations, look up your state’s (or city’s) local chapter and give to them! Your donation will have more direct impact if it doesn’t have to trickle down through the national organization.And here’s the Birthday Present Part: When you’ve made your donation, email me a copy of your receipt at theteresajusinoexperience@gmail.com! I’d love to take screencaps of them to make a gallery that’ll show how much of an impact I’ve had on the organizations I care about! 🙂 (I’ll likely be posting pictures and shouting you out on Twitter – #TeresaBday) Please email them to me by this Sunday, July 13th at 11:59PM. 🙂

That’s it! That’s all I really want for my birthday. I mean, I certainly won’t turn down a thoughtfully picked-out gift. 🙂 But if you’re struggling to think of something, or if you were looking for an excuse to make a donation to a worthwhile cause, here you go!

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