The Teresa Jusino Experience

Create Like An Activist

Tag: Veruca Salt

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!

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!

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