The Teresa Jusino Experience

Create Like An Activist

Tag: New York

2015 Year In Review (and Happy Sixth Blogiversary TJXP!)

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.

Previous Years in Review: 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014. (I’ve been doing these for over ten years. Dang.)

Let’s get crackin’!

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My first day on the job, posing with my very first TMS post. Because I’m cheesy like that.

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!

supergirl radio banner

SUPERGIRL RADIO

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.

The Future Residents of Shady Pines.

The Future Residents of Shady Pines.

NEW YORK

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.

Sis, bro, and me. July 2015.

Sis, bro, and me. July 2015.

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.

Rebecca Sugar and Me. NYCC 2015.

Rebecca Sugar and Me. NYCC 2015.

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!

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

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

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…

Me and The GF

Me and The GF on my birthday.

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….

Gaby Hoffmann and Me. Summer 2015.

Gaby Hoffmann and Me. Summer 2015.

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.

Me as Cupcake Dominatrix.

Me as Cupcake Dominatrix.

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 GF and Me during our Third Anniversary wine-tasting trip to the Santa Ynez Valley.

The GF and Me during our Third Anniversary wine-tasting trip to the Santa Ynez Valley.

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!

Teresa Homecoming 2014: So Lucky to Be So Loved

My favorite flowers in the middle of Park Avenue

My favorite flowers in the middle of Park Avenue

Despite the reason for my travels, my trip home to New York wasn’t all doom and gloom. In fact, much of it was fun, and exactly what I needed in the face of grief. Here are some of the highlights in no particular order:

Me and Adeline

Me and Adeline

** BABIES

Oh my God, SO MANY BABIES. It seems that I can’t go back to New York without there being new people to meet. 🙂 On this trip, I got to meet three new members of my friend tribe: Eli (my friend Robin’s new son), Emma (my friend Liz’s new daughter), and Adeline (my friend Jean’s new daughter). They are all such amazing babies. Eli is super-chill (except of course when he needs a nap), and Emma is SO enthusiastic about life I can’t even believe it! Adeline is still very much a newborn, so she’s not much of anything yet, except very, very cute (and tiny!). Children always manage to come into my life when I need them most, and these three were no exception. Eli and Emma kept me smiling at my father’s wake, and holding Adeline when I went to visit Jean in Croton on Hudson reminded me that even in the midst of horribleness, there’s always rebirth and hope and happiness (and so much cute!). Welcome to the world, kids. We’ll try not to wreck the world before you’re old enough to do anything cool.

Me and my sister

Me and my sister

** FAMILY

The Boy and I had an awesome afternoon/dinner at my brother’s house in Staten Island and he, once again, impressed my brother and sister-in-law. 🙂 I also realized that The Boy and my brother are very similar in many ways, which is likely why they’ve gotten along so well the couple of times they’ve met. We had an awesome conversation about religion, Neil deGrasse Tyson, the entertainment industry, and everything in between. I also got to see my lovable nephew, William, and my brilliant niece, Hannah, who is an absolute firecracker.

Oh, and the show Girls was filming a couple of blocks away, so I was thisclose to ditching everyone and going to hang out with Lena Dunham. But I chose hanging out with my family and partner instead. Because I AM A GOOD PERSON.

My accommodations at my sister's house. I rocked that Dora the Explorer quilt SO HARD. :)

My accommodations at my sister’s house. I rocked that Dora the Explorer quilt SO HARD. 🙂

After The Boy left (I stayed in NYC an extra week to decompress after the funeral), I had a fun overnight at my sister’s place, where I got to hang out with her, her husband, her visiting mother-in-law, and my awesome nieces. There was a tinge of sadness in the air – my brother-in-law’s father recently passed away, and I happened to be at my sister’s on his birthday. My sister’s mother-in-law bought a cake to commemorate the occasion. So there was a lot of thinking about dead fathers, and my sister’s house has felt a lot of loss lately.

But later in the evening, the nieces and I got together and watched the movie Frozen, which I’d never seen, and which they’d seen a million times. I really enjoyed it! But I just need to say…you can’t just TELL people that you took wedding vows. That’s why these things have witnesses. /grownup overanalyzing

I have to say, though, I wasn’t prepared to be emotionally affected by this song from the film. But as it’s partially about siblings needing to carry on after the death of their parents, can you blame me? Here’s Do You Want To Build a Snowman?

Thankfully, I know that my brother and sister will always wanna build a snowman with me. 🙂

Karaoke at The Watering Hole in NYC

Karaoke at The Watering Hole in NYC

** BIBLE STUDY (AND OTHER SURPRISES FROM MY OLDEST FRIENDS)

I’ve known Eileen and Joanna since I was 5 going on 6 and they were 8 and 4 respectively. They knew my dad almost as long as I did, so it made sense that the first thing I did when Joanna picked me up from the airport was go with her and Eileen to “our spot,” Uno’s. 🙂 We talked (and cried) about my dad, and then we talked about other stuff going on in our lives, the way we always do, because no matter how long we’re far apart, we always pick up right where we left off.

I stayed at Joanna’s new apartment, and that was a bit of a trip, as 1) it’s her first apartment away from her parents, and 2) it’s her first apartment with her new hubby, Chuck! They were both so gracious to let me stay without the slightest hesitation, making it so much easier for me to grieve without having to worry about schlepping my stuff all over town. One of the most interesting parts of staying with them was that I got to be included in what religion means to them, individually and as a couple. They have both been baptized as Seventh Day Adventists, and while that’s not my particular bag, I do appreciate the fact that they’re both so devoted. We said grace before meals, I helped Joanna at a soup kitchen at church one Sunday (which was a great experience, and I met some lovely people), and both The Boy and I were included in their weekly Bible study that Joanna hosts every Friday night. Eileen was there, as were a couple of their brothers and other friends I’d gotten to know growing up, with one or two new faces as well. I loved how laid back it was, and how much they all were invested in learning more, questioning more, and digging deeply into the text. It was interesting, too, when The Boy (who’s Jewish) was able to remind them of names and stories from the Old Testament. 🙂 They were very impressed with him! I, on the other hand, have the memory of a goldfish.

Luckily, I got to be in town for Joanna’s birthday, and her family had one of their traditional birthday BBQs on the first Sunday I was there. I was so glad, not only because I was able to be there to help Joanna celebrate, but it was also really nice to be around this huge, bustling family that has always been like family to me at this time in my life. It reminded me that I couldn’t ever be alone even if I wanted to! 🙂

Me, Vanessa, and Eileen at Martha's Country Bakery in Astoria

Me, Vanessa, and Eileen at Martha’s Country Bakery in Astoria

I got to see another old friend, too – my friend Vanessa, whom I’ve known “since the womb.” Over time, our contact has gotten more and more sporadic, but it’s always great to see her when I do! She, Eileen, and I ended up having dinner one night, and it was a wonderful night of conversation. They schooled me on the ins and outs of pregnancy (Vanessa has one child, Eileen has two), which was pretty much the most effective form of birth control ever. 🙂 We talked about relationships. And we also each talked about our plans for the future, and I ended up being hugely inspired!

Lastly, Joanna, Chuck, Eileen, their brother Carlos, Lindsay and I all went out to karaoke on my last night in town, and it was the perfect way to end my trip. We basically took karaoke over. The host loved us, and we had a blast singing everything from The Beatles to Pharrell. (Yes, I sang “Happy.” And “Roar,” which is super-hard. And Joanna, Eileen, and I teamed up to sing “Man in the Mirror.”)

These people are my foundation, and I love them all more than I can put into words.

Adam and me

Adam and me

** THE BEST WRITING PARTNER (AND FRIEND) EVER

It’s a crazy thing, but Adam has been right there for me for all of my major deaths. We were roommates when my mother died, so he was there for a lot of random crying in the living room. He came to the wake/burial/after-burial lunch, even though I’d only known him two years at that point, because he knew it was important to me. When my dog, Scarlett, died, he was there when it happened, and he helped me get it together enough to figure out what to do when I was a basketcase. In the end, so I wouldn’t have to put her out on the street, he gave me the money to cremate her when I couldn’t afford it, and even though he’s someone who’s not much of a “dog person,” he patted her head and called her a Good Dog before covering her with a blanket. And he was there for me again on this trip when I lost my dad, not only coming to the funeral and the burial, but organizing a dinner with many of my friends “to celebrate your father’s life and his greatest achievement, which as far as we’re concerned is YOU.” (that’s from the email he sent) I was so touched that he thought to do that, and was so grateful to see everyone at my favorite pizza place in Astoria, Alba’s.

Many members of my tribe at Alba's (l-r): Matt, Olga, Me, Liz B, Talitha, Holly, Caroline, Adam, Deb, Lori, Robin

Many members of my tribe at Alba’s (l-r): Matt, Olga, Me, Liz B, Talitha, Holly, Caroline, Adam, Deb, Lori, Robin

Our friendship has been all over the place over the years, but it’s never been closer than when we decided to start writing together last year. Suddenly, our dynamic made sense, and I know we’re going to create some amazing things from here on out! However, it was really great to spend some time with him just wandering around Central Park or grabbing milkshakes and talking about stuff other than writing. Because no matter what we end up doing professionally, he’ll always be the guy who helped me bury my dog.

Lindsay and Me

Lindsay and Me

** CHAMPAGNE BRUNCH

There’s a reason why New Yorkers freaked out when they thought that bottomless champagne brunches were going to be no more. Bottomless champagne brunches are the cornerstone of good stories and anything interesting happening on a Saturday morning. My brunch with Lindsay and The Boy was no exception. We went to a place called Aged in Forest Hills. The food was bleh, but the champagne just kept on coming – in pitchers, no less. (Hey, I never said it was classy champagne) Let’s just say that we got up to some champagne-fueled shenannigans and leave it at that. 🙂 I had to include it in my highlights, because it was an amazing time. It’s always a pleasure to hang out with my favorite Lindtball, and she and The Boy got along super-well. It was a fun way to end my time with The Boy in New York before Joanna, Chuck and I had to drive him to the airport later that day.

Brian and Me

Brian and Me

** DINNER IN HARLEM

It’s always touching when people reach out to you unexpectedly. When I put it out to my friends on Facebook that I wanted to see everyone, but was in no mood/condition to think about planning and scheduling, my friend Brian was one of the first people to text me, inviting me to dinner in his newly purchased apartment in Harlem. It was so great to hang out and chat with him, his place is super-cute, and he made me a wonderful dinner (complete with a great red wine he got through this wine club he’s part of). Also, I got an added bonus when he got my friend Robyn (whom I knew from New York, but who now lives in NC with her family and daughter) on Face Time for a group chat! It was so great to hang with them and relive our zanier days. 🙂

You know what wasn’t great about that day? THE FUCKING RAIN. It was torrential downpours all day that day, so I was soaked to the bone. Thankfully, Brian was able to put my sneakers in his dryer so that I wouldn’t have to leave with soaked shoes!

Holly and Olga at Alice's Tea Cup

Holly and Olga at Alice’s Tea Cup

** ALICE’S TEA CUP

I got to spend a great afternoon with my friends Olga and Holly (one of whom was off from work, the other who was playing hooky from work – I won’t say which did what!) in Manhattan, and we had a tea service at Alice’s Tea Cup, which is one of my favorite places in the world to get scones. It was a surprisingly girly-type lady day for the three of us – we’re none of us particularly girly – and a lot of fun. Tea was followed by wandering the streets of the UES aimlessly. It was the kind of lazy, aimless day with good friends that I desperately needed.

Robin and Eli

Robin and Eli

** WATCHING ROBIN BE A MOM / WATCHING ALEX BE A DAD

I’ve known Robin since I was 10, and I’ve seen her go through many ups and downs. We’ve seen each other go through a lot of sad shit, and a lot of stupid shit. 🙂 But the most amazing thing to watch during this trip home was Robin being a mom. We hung out several times over the course of my stay, one evening at her house on Long Island, and I was constantly amazed by how calm and centered she is now that she has Eli. There’s this zen quality about her now, a purposeful energy that I never noticed there before, and it was so cool to see. Watching her with her new son, I was so proud of her, and so glad to see her so at peace and happy. Eli is a lucky boy to have both her and her husband, Matt.

Meanwhile, The Boy and I went to visit my friend Alex, Liz’s husband, when Liz went to Houston on business and he was home alone with Emma for the first time. That was another revelation. Alex is such a loving, doting dad. He, like most of my tribe, is also an artist – a filmmaker, to be exact. Now, it’s difficult to be an artist these days, and life sometimes gets in the way. However, rather than using Emma as an excuse as to why he can’t make films, she’s inspired him to do the opposite. She’s lit a fire under him to create, because he doesn’t want to be the kind of parent who says coulda, woulda, shoulda. He wants his daughter to have the example of someone who did. I was proud of him, too, and he and Liz are also amazing parents.

All of this parent-watching totally confirmed my desire to have a kid. Or rather, made me want to be given a kid. Whether I’ll ever want to actually pop one out myself is still up in the air. 🙂

The Tribe in Croton: Liz M, Charlotte, Robin, Eli, Jean, Adeline, Katie, and me on the floor

The Tribe in Croton: Liz M, Charlotte, Robin, Eli, Jean, Adeline, Katie, and me on the floor

** AFTERNOON IN CROTON

I was so thrilled when my friends Katie and Liz organized a trip to go visit Jean in Croton (which is about an hour and a half outside of NYC). I had yet to see her new home (she lived in Forest Hills when I left New York), and I was excited to see her and her new baby, Adeline, as well as her daughter, Charlotte, who just turned seven. The house and the town are both beautiful, and also very Jean. She, Liz, Katie and I took Adeline out for a stroll, and we stopped for coffee at The Black Cow, then for ice cream at The Blue Pig (apparently, they love their colored animals in Croton). We marveled at the fact that, despite being in our mid-thirties and despite three-fourths of us being mothers, we were still talking about hugely inappropriate things loudly in the middle of a coffee shop. 🙂 When we returned to the house, Jean’s husband, Kevin, and Charlotte were back after having gone out, and I spent a good portion of the afternoon hanging out with Char, who is such a sweetheart. She showed me her “science lab” in the backyard, and when Liz presented her with a Big Sister sash in honor of her new sister, she decided to make a speech for all of us about how glad she is that her mommy had Adeline. 🙂 Too cute. Robin, Matt, and Eli joined us later, and it was so great to have all of us together in one spot after so long away. Not just me, because I live on the West Coast, but now Jean lives far from the rest of them, and everyone’s lives get so busy. These are also ladies with whom, no matter how far I go or how long we’re apart, I can always pick up where we left off as if nothing happened.

However, the biggest thing I realized when I was away in New York was that I actually don’t like being without The Boy for very long. 🙂 I was glad I took the extra week for my own grieving process, but I began to really miss The Boy about halfway through it, and was thrilled when I got back to LAX and he pulled up in his car to take me home.

Oh, and did I mention I ended up flying home in first class on my Delta flight when on standby? Cause I did. And it was awesome. 🙂  And exactly what I needed.  (BIG thanks to my friend Heather, and her mom, Lauren – who works at Delta – for getting me set up with a flight. I wouldn’t have been able to say goodbye to my dad without them)

I am so lucky to be so loved.

2013 Year In Review

It's been a great year!

It’s been a great year!

It’s that time again, kids! Time for my annual Year In Review post written for the three of you who care about reading a recap about my life. 🙂

Previous years: 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012.

I have to say that, in spite of a couple of negative experiences, this was the best year ever, and that has just about everything to do with amazing people who have come into my life that have brought with them love, kindness, and opportunities that have made my life so much better. I am so grateful for 2013.

The best part of 2013.

The best part of 2013.

PERSONAL LIFE:

** Yes, the best part of 2013 was The Boy. We celebrated our first anniversary this month, and he was a part of most of my joyous, wonderful memories of this year, including my very first Valentine’s Day With a Date. He also comforted me through the difficult times, and introduced me, or strengthened my relationships with, amazing people that I now consider some of my best friends. He pretty much rules. 😉

** This was, on the whole, The Year of the Upgrade. There are things that I thought I was “losing” at the time, but now realize were being set aside for better things. I had to leave my apartment with Hollywood, but that made room for my happily moving in with The Boy. I pulled away from producing Retcon, but that made room in my life for Incredible Girl (and an awesome new friend in my producer, Aurora). Some relationships in my life ended, but that made room for not only new friends, but better relationships with people I’d initially thought would only be acquaintances. Life’s made of peaks and valleys, and you need one to get to the other. 2013 taught (and delivered) me that.

** After a four-year hiatus, I dipped my tootsies back into acting for a bit, doing background on Coffee Shop Squatters S1, and performing a small role in the short film, Watching, Waiting, which is now making the rounds at film festivals. It’s been fun, precisely because I haven’t been trying to make a career out of it. 🙂 2014 will see me acting a little more, as my producer on Incredible Girl thought it a good idea that I play one of the supporting roles that “sounds like [me].” Sure! Why not? I’ve missed this.

Lurve. 2013-style.

Lurve. 2013-style.

** I celebrated my 34th birthday with an amazing 4-day birthday weekend filled with friends, fun, and love. Probably the best weekend of the year. Granted, it caused me to get lazy about my discipline in several areas of my life…but I wouldn’t change it for anything.

** I became a mentor with the organization WriteGirl! While I haven’t been paired with a weekly mentee yet, I’ve already met so many wonderful girls at their monthly events, as well as several wonderful women writers that I’m enjoying getting to know. It’s a great organization, and if you’re looking to start your 2014 with volunteering or donating to a worthy cause, definitely check them out.

** I also celebrated my 2nd L.Aversary with some great friends by having a picnic and game day in NoHo park and getting drunk on boxed wine. 🙂

Hanging with the bride before her big day!

Hanging with the bride before her big day!

** Another highlight of 2013 was my trip East in October, when I visited both my old stomping grounds in NYC and the DC/MD/VA area (or The DMV) to visit The Boy’s family. It was the first time I’d brought The Boy home to meet my family and many of my friends, too, and he passed every test with flying colors. However, we weren’t just on the East Coast for those introductions. We were there because one of my best and oldest friends (I’ve known her since I was 5 going on 6 and she was 3 going on 4!) Joanna was getting married! She was my Single Buddy for so long that we were marveling at the fact that I was now attending her wedding with my boyfriend. 🙂 Well what do you know? Pigs do fly! Another wedding of note: that of my friends, Diana and Sebastien. I couldn’t go to the wedding itself, but I did go to the wedding brunch the next day, which was a lot of fun! I also got to meet Liz and Alex’s new baby, who is just as cute as can be! The entire trip was fun, and it was great seeing everyone – but I also learned two very important things: 1) 3 weeks is way too long to be in one place on vacation unless you have your own sleeping accommodations, and 2) I’m too damn old to be sleeping on a Flip-and-Fuck futon. Real beds or couches only from now on. My hip and lower back thank you.

** 2013 also saw several of my friends from the East Coast visiting me out West! Deb visited in January, Adam in February, Lindsay in April, and Robin in July. I love having guests in town!

Judi, Matt, Robin, Marissa, Me, and The Boy at Casa Vega during Robin's visit. If you look closely, you'll see that Robin features a coming attraction for 2014 in her belly. :)

Judi, Matt, Robin, Marissa, Me, and The Boy at Casa Vega during Robin’s visit. If you look closely, you’ll see that Robin features a coming attraction for 2014 in her belly. 🙂

WRITING LIFE

** The Year of the Upgrade affected my writing life, too. In 2013, I started feeling a bit “geeked out,” and after over 6 years of writing about geeky pop culture, I needed to move on. So, I no longer write for GirlGamer, Al Dia, or PopMatters…but that opened the door to my relationship with Ms. In the Biz, where I’m still a guest contributor (though not contributing regularly anymore), as well as freed me up to pursue the writing I actually want to be doing, rather than staying stuck in the niche I’d created for myself. So, you see? It all works out.

** The end of 2013 also gave me my biggest job opportunity yet. I don’t want to say too much about it yet, because I’ll be signing an official assignment agreement after the 1st of the month…but I got my first assignment from a national magazine! 🙂 Who says print is dead? 😉

Coming soon! (And by "soon" I mean whenever we finish our second draft, and an agent likes it enough to sell to someone. Details.

Coming soon! (And by “soon” I mean whenever we finish our second draft, and an agent likes it enough to sell to someone. Details.)

** One of the biggest things that happened in my writing life in 2013 was that my friend Adam and I formally decided to be a writing team! 🙂 I don’t think it’s something either of us ever thought would happen, but after having such a wonderful time completing our first hour-long spec pilot, we both think that this partnership is really worth holding onto. I’m so proud of our show, and am looking forward to all of the new things we’re going to create together (there are already a couple in discussion)! 2014 will likely find us writing more scripts and seeking out representation as a team. And he and his girlfriend are going to move out to L.A. whether they like it or not! 😉

GEEK HIGHLIGHTS

Just because I was “geeked out” writing-wise doesn’t mean I wasn’t doing geeky things! 2013 found me attending Wondercon 2013 in Anaheim, seeing Neil Gaiman read/speak at an LA Talks event in Glendale, going to see Catching Fire, and attending a Cornetto Trilogy Screening! But of course, the BIG thing this year was the 50th Anniversary special of Doctor Who, which I saw at a simulcast screening (and loved!), and the departure of Matt Smith from the show (which I didn’t love – he deserved better. Still, THANK YOU, Matt. You are “My” Doctor.). I’ve been enjoying finding the fun in geeky things again, after they became “work” for a couple of years. I’m really much happier being a fan than being invested in the reporting of geek culture, thankyouverymuch. Though, one day I hope to create something wonderful and geeky that OTHER geek writers will write about!

Well, that’s all I’ve got to say about 2013. It was a great year for me, despite some severe lows thrown in to balance things out, and I’m very excited about what 2014 has in store! After I post this, The Boy and I are going to cozy up and watch a movie before ushering in the New Year in a low-key fashion with champagne and cuddles.

I wish you all you want and need in the coming year, and I hope your 2014 is filled with love, laughter, and adventure!

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

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