The Teresa Jusino Experience

Create Like An Activist

Tag: Star Trek


K, Carol. If we’re gonna get it on, I need Ad-Rock in the background…

So, I went to see Star Trek: Into Darkness this weekend, and I LOVED IT. Serious nerdgasm.

But the big thing I took away? Kirk was a huge fan of the Beastie Boys. 🙂 After all, when he stole his dad’s car as a kid, he blasted “Sabotage.” In this movie, the Beasties are in the background as he’s having sex with two alien women.

Dude loved classical hip-hop. Can’t hate on him for that. 🙂

Today’s Song of the Day is “Intergalactic” by the Beastie Boys from their album, Hello Nasty. Because I’ll stir-fry you in my wok, your knees’ll start shaking and your fingers pop like a pinch on the neck from Mr. Spock. 🙂


Birthdays and Anniversaries

It took me all day to post this, because I was out at a really long meeting, then had a really crappy internet connection for a bit. However, as it’s only just after April 5th on the West Coast, I’m going to post this video I made earlier this morning.

It’s a celebration of birthdays and anniversaries. In honor of my mother, and in honor of a good friend.

Fun With Fandom!

My Fandoms (ie: the fictional worlds I love, and that I love to explore with other fans):

Doctor Who (both New and Classic)



Once Upon a Time

Star Trek (all series, except Voyager, which is the only one I haven't watched yet)

Battlestar Galactica/Caprica (yes, equally!)


The Whedonverse

So…I came across this on Tumblr, but since my Tumblr’s so very specific, I don’t like to bog it down with fangirl squeeing (unless that fangirl squeeing has some sort of feminist bent!). But I love surveys/questions/memes like this, so I thought I’d bring it home to the blog. In a comment, choose three letters you’d most like me to answer, and I will reply.

Yay! I love answering questions!

FANDOM EDITION: Are these the kind of things you’d like to be asked? (courtesy of imafangirlnotadoctor)

A – Your current OTP
(“One True Pairing” for my non-geek friends!)

B – A pairing you initially didn’t consider but someone changed your mind

C – A pairing you have never liked and probably never will

D – A pairing you wish you liked but just can’t

E – Have you added anything stupid/cracky/hilarious to your fandom, if so, what

F – What’s the longest you’ve ever been in a fandom

G – Do you remember your first OTP, if so who was in it

H – Do you prefer characters from real action series or anime series

I – Has tumblr (or social media) caused you to stop liking any fandoms, if so, which and why

J – Name a fandom you didn’t care/think about until you saw it all over tumblr (or social media)

K – How do you feel about the other people in your current fandom

L – Your favorite fanartist/author gives you one request, what do you ask for

M – Your favorite fanart or fanartist

N – Your favorite fanfiction or fanauthor

O – Choose a song at random, which OTP does it remind you of

P – Invent a random AU for any fandom (we always need more ideas)

Q – A ship you’ve abandoned and why

R – A pairing you ship that you don’t think anyone else ships

S – Show us an example of your personal headcanon

T – If you mostly have homoships, do you have any heteroships

U – If you mostly have heteroships, do you have any homoships

V – Are you one of those fans who can’t watch anything without shipping

W – 5 favorite characters from 5 different fandoms

X –  3 OTPs from 3 different fandoms

Y – A fandom you’re in but have no ships from

Z – Just ramble about something fan-related, go go go

December 21, 2094

I hadn’t even been planning on watching it. Then tonight, I saw a reminder for a Facebook invitation I received from the Columbia University Astronomy Dept. (they have public viewings at their observatory once a month and do really cool events! Check them out!) about a group viewing. Suddenly, I became very excited about it. The last lunar eclipse that happened on a winter solstice was December 21, 1638. The next time the two events will coincide will be December 21, 2094. If I’m still around (and I plan to be – you’ll have to pry this life from my cold dead hands! Wait a minute…), I will be 115 years old.

And that’s the thing that kind of drove me tonight. The eclipse, more than being a beautiful thing to watch (which it certainly was), was a reminder of my mortality. Of our mortality as human beings. Nothing makes you feel smaller than knowing that planets and stars moved in their orbits long before human beings existed, and will continue to do so long after we’re no longer in the picture.

And more than that, that I as an individual will not exist. That’s the strangest  thing – contemplating the world without my existence in it. Seriously, the thought of me “being 115” – saying that, and knowing that I probably won’t make it to that age – sent a shiver up my spine. Not that I’m afraid of death necessarily…just that I want to know what happens on Earth after I die, and I know I won’t get to. Or, I will, but I won’t get to participate in it the way I used to. And if our souls stay anywhere near the same in the afterlife, I know that that will bother me. Because I like participating. I like being alive and doing things, and the idea of not being alive anymore to do more things… It’s not a depressing thought, but it is a sobering one.

But I was alive today! I, Teresa Jusino, was alive and watched a total lunar eclipse during a winter solstice when I was 31 years old.

And then I Tweeted and ate Devil Dogs. In a lively fashion.

I took one or two pictures of the eclipse, but I don’t have a great camera, and they came out looking terrible, so I stopped. I don’t really believe in taking pictures in museums, and I don’t believe in taking pictures of phenomena like lunar eclipses. Some things are just designed to be enjoyed in the moment, and in person.

I hope my 115 year old ass is still alive to watch the next lunar eclipse during a solstice! If not, celebrating First Contact Day when I’m 84 will have to do. My friend Adam Hunault and I have plans to meet up in Bozeman, Montana that day.

I’ll tell the Vulcans you say “hello!”  😉


I’m already running late for my first thing so that I can type this, but whaddaryagonnado? Here’s where I’ll be (ish) at the Javitz Center today:

10:45AM – The Science of Battlestar Galactica panel (1E02) Well, I’m going to try to make some of this…but I really should’ve left the house by now…I’ll probably catch the end.

2:30PM – Spotlight on the Women of Battlestar Galactica! (IGN Theater) It’s a very Battlestar kind of a day, apparently! Katee Sackoff, Tricia Helfer, Michelle Forbes, and Nicki Clyne definitely scheduled to be there. Not sure about anyone else…

4-5:00PM – stop at J. MICHAEL STRACZYNSKI signing. (Table 16)


4:00PM – Marvel’s Cup o’ Joe. It’s always entertaining to watch Joe Quesada cut down fanboys. 🙂

5-7:00PM – NYCC Speed Dating! (1A20) *gulp* Should be…interesting? If you want to go on a 3-minute date with me, sign up!

7-7:30PM – trying to catch the end of the MORENA BACCARIN signing (1c05)!

9:00PM – Roddenberry is Back panel! (1A23) I worked at the Roddenberry booth at the 40th Anniversary Star Trek convention in Vegas and got to hang w/Eugene Roddenberry and his business manager, Trevor, who will both be on this panel. It will be nice to say hey and see what they’re up to!

See you all there! I’ll be in my Jayne hat. 🙂

Caprican in a Tauron Body (or, Remembering Mom)

From whence I get my good looks! Mom in the late 50's/early 60s.

My mother, Mariana Hernandez Jusino, passed away on April 5, 2006.  I’ve been posting the eulogy I read during her wake for the past couple of years as a memorial.  This year, though, what I’ve been thinking about are my feelings about my mother and how they relate to my connection to sci-fi.

Yeah, I know.  Yes, I am that much of a geek.  Bear with me.

I actually addressed it in a blog post shortly after my mom’s death, where I talk about watching the “Sarek” and “The Offspring” episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation to help me through the grieving process.  But lately?  It’s Caprica that makes me think about my mom.  However, it isn’t the stuff actually having to do with death that does it.  It’s the Tauron elements.

But first, some back story…

Joanna, Me, and Eileen. I was about 13 here.

Some of you may have heard this one before: I was in seventh grade, and it was just after gym class.  I was getting changed, when two girls in my grade, Bridget and Myra, came up to talk to me.  This was strange, because they were “popular girls” and never voluntarily came up to talk to me.  They were also fellow Puerto Ricans.  “What are you?” one of them asked (I forget which one, as they’ve become a composite blob in my memory).  I knew what she was asking, but I wanted her to ask me outright if she was going to ask me.  “What?” I replied, playing dumb.  “What are you?” the other one asked. “I’m a New Yorker,” I said, a bit annoyed that they were asking me this out of the blue when they never talked to me before. “No!” the first one said, frustrated. “What are you?  Like, what’s your background?”  “I’m Puerto Rican,” I said.  The two of them in their doorknocker earrings and slathered-on red lipstick looked at me as though I had five heads.

With knit eyebrows, one of them said “Really?”  And the other said “You don’t act Puerto Rican.”  And then they just walked away.

I was 12, and I wasn’t prepared for my identity to be called into question like that.  Certainly not while I was putting my pants back on after gym class.  I didn’t say anything, and I tried to forget about it for the rest of the day, but I couldn’t shake it.  On the walk home from school, their words kept playing over and over in my head.  You don’t act Puerto Rican. I wondered what this meant.  I speak Spanish, and spoke it at home.  My mother watched novelas on Univision every day, and sometimes I’d watch them with her (Maria Del Barrio and Te Sigo Amando were favorites).  I was raised loving arroz con pollo even though I hated pasteles (“But they’re the food of your people!” my mom would say, to which I’d reply “Well, the food of my people is gross!”).  I attended Spanish-language mass with my parents… It was one of the first times my being Puerto Rican was called into question, and it wasn’t the last.

A couple of years ago, Robin and I went to Puerto Rico on vacation and stayed with my aunt Ana on my father’s side.  We visited my mom’s relatives in Guaynabo, and I nicknamed it The Place Where Everyone Looks Like My Mom.  On a day trip, Robin and I took a cab, and I chatted up the cab driver in Spanish.  After a while, he asked me where I was from.  I said “Yo soy Boricua!”  He asked me in Spanish, “No, where are you from?”  I told him I was from New York, and he said “Ah…you’re ‘Nuyorican.’ That doesn’t count!”

I’m rarely given a hard time about my ethnicity by non-Hispanics.  There was one instance in my teens when I was walking down the street with a non-Hispanic friend and when we were stopped by a cop and asked a question about a robbery that had happened near our high school, that “friend” said completely seriously, “He probably stopped us because of you.”  But usually, I just get surprised reactions from them when I mention I’m Puerto Rican.  “Really?” they ask, and I know they’re thinking But you speak so well! even if they’re not saying it.  Also, as an actress, I’ve definitely been “too ethnic” for many roles.  However, I’ve always been given the biggest hard time by fellow Hispanics, fellow Puerto Ricans.  Because for some reason, despite the language I was raised with and the food I grew up eating, despite my skin tone and a town on a Caribbean island where everyone kinda looks like me, I’m never Puerto Rican enough.

Sam and Joseph Adama on Caprica

Sam and Joseph Adama on Caprica

So on Caprica, when Sam Adama tells Joseph Adama that he’s a “Caprican in a Tauron body,” I know how it feels to have someone in your family, your culture, your tribe say that to you.  It hurts.

Honestly, the Taurons are the reason why I love Caprica rather than just like it.  I understand Willie Adama not liking the Tauron food his Tsattie makes for him (pasteles, anyone?  Ick.).  I understand Joseph Adama and his desire to be educated and successful and part of the establishment, even as he’s proud to be Tauron.  I understand his frustration at being too Tauron for some people and not Tauron enough for others.

But I also understand Sam Adama.  I understand being the youngest in a family and clawing at your heritage, desperate to hang on, because you’re the furthest away from it.  I understand being frustrated by the distance of years, and by seeing that your heritage doesn’t seem to mean the same thing to your older sibling(s).

And I understand that culture means even more to you after you start to lose family.

It’s always upset me when people call my heritage into question, because I’ve never believed that Being Puerto Rican required any one set of criteria.  “Puerto Rican” is a broad label that encompasses a million shades,  body types, interests, and experiences.

Though both my parents are Puerto Rican, I’ve always associated my own Puerto Rican-ness with my mother.  She was the one I spoke Spanish with at home.  She was the one who cooked the rice and beans, and it was with her that I watched trashy Spanish-language TV.  It’s mostly her family I visit when I go to Puerto Rico, because most of my father’s family came to New York.  So it’s especially painful to think of Not Being Puerto Rican Enough in the years after her death.  It hurts that I’m starting to lose my Spanish from lack of practice.  It hurts that I never asked my mom to teach me how she makes her rice and beans.  And it hurts that, for whatever stupid reason, my memories and the life I’ve lived aren’t enough to “qualify me” for Puerto Rican status to a lot of people.

So, let’s make a deal, OK world?  Let’s just agree right here and now that this IS what Puerto Rican looks like and acts like.  I was raised in Queens and on Long Island, and I’m Puerto Rican.  I spoke Spanish only at home, and I’m Puerto Rican.  I’m a sci-fi geek, and I’m Puerto Rican.  I’m a writer, I’m smart, I’m well-spoken, and I’m Puerto Rican.  I’m Puerto Rican whether anyone likes it or not.  I, however, happen to like it.  I’m proud.

I only wish my mom were here so that I could practice Spanish with her.  I always imagined that she’d help me teach it to my future kids.  I’ll have to do that myself, I guess.  And I will, in her memory, with lots of love.

RIP, Mommy.  I love you.

Photo from Mom & Dad's first date! Late 1950s. The inscription reads: "For Ray, Save this as a memento of our first day together. With all the care and love I profess to you, Mariana"

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