The Teresa Jusino Experience

Create Like An Activist

Tag: Year In Review (Page 1 of 2)

2017 Year In Review

The word 2017 spelled out on clothespin clipped cards in front of glowing lights.

It was the worst of times, it was the slightly-less-worse of times.

I could easily talk about the scary direction our country’s been going in. I could easily talk about how angry and terrified and freaking exhausted I and others are, worrying about our future. I could also talk about the #MeToo moment. The fact that sexists in my chosen industry are, on the one hand, dealing with a reckoning, and on the other hand, might simply be laying low until this “watershed moment” blows over.

But I won’t.

This is my personal blog, and so I want to focus on the goings on in my personal life, which may or may not intersect with the goings-on in the world, but is most certainly where I’ve managed to find some joy and hope. Things we could all use going into the new year. And as I look back, a lot more good happened than I remembered! So, here we go…

Previous Years in Review:
200420052006200720082009201020112012201320142015, 2016.


The thrilling experience of the historic Women’s March on January 21st was surrounded by lots of connecting with the women in my life. Looking at my calendar from January 2017, it’s chock full of hang-outs with friends like Ally, Aurora, Cheryl, Ruthi, Helenna, Heather, Rachel, and Monique. I started having regular “writing dates” with my friend Adam, where we’d get together to each individually work on whatever writing projects we’re working on, just to light a fire under our asses to get stuff done (I also helped him move). I was also in the thick of my Intro to Judaism class, which ended up changing my life.

Trump got inaugurated as President, and that put a pall on the first half of my year. Seriously, I felt like I was walking around shell-shocked for the first three/four months. There was a lot of fight, then a lot of feeling burnt out, then a lot of fight again. There were some conflicts with family. And yet, I also managed to tend to my relationships (and mend family fences), study a new faith and culture, and generally hold on to my sanity. I call that a win.

January Highlights: seeing La La Land with Adam, seeing Hidden Figures with Ada, Heather’s birthday chill-fest, visiting the set of NBC’s (sadly canceled) Powerless for work, Rikki’s postcard brunch (where we wrote our congresspeople, and also had eggs), participating in the “Rant and Rave” storytelling event.

Laurie Hernandez gymnast


It was on February 2nd, 2017 that I started taking action to deal with my compulsive overeating. Spoiler alert: it’s not just about food. It’s about how I deal with life and my emotions, and in February I really started to delve into all of the things, learning better habits, confronting certain issues and flaws. I am so grateful I was able to find the willingness to accept help and take direction. I started 2017 at 295 pounds, and I’m ending 2017 much, much lighter.

February Highlights: writing group pot luck, interviewing Suzy Nakamura, dinner/drinks with Rachel, hanging w/Monique, attending the YouTube/Geena Davis Foundation #ShesGotDrive event, girls’ night at Allison’s, babysitting Mairghread’s son, seeing Get Out with Heather, escape room with Ally, FilmPowered mastermind brunch, sound mixer brunch with Ada, Intro to Judaism shabbaton, Moonlight took the Oscar after all whaaaaaat!

Max Greenfield New Girl Judaism


My Intro to Judaism class ended in March, and after taking the class, I fully committed to becoming a Jew by Choice. I’m so grateful for our teacher, Rabbi Adam Greenwald, for creating such a wonderful, inclusive and welcoming curriculum that made Judaism feel like a family I could be a part of. I’m also grateful for Ikar, the shul at which my wife and I are now proud members. As of March we’d been going regularly for about a year, and it was then that it truly started feeling like home.

March Highlights: celebrating my wife’s birthday, seeing Logan, Purim at Ikar, interviewing the cast of Orphan Black (except for Tatiana Maslany, dammit!) at their PaleyFest event, interviewing the cast of Westworld (except for Evan Rachel Wood, Thandie Newton, Jonathan Nolan, and Lisa Joy, dammit!) at their PaleyFest event, Cuties Queer Carnival.


April will always contain the anniversaries of my parents’ deaths. That’s just always the way it’s going to be. This year, however, I did something that I hadn’t done in previous years. I took those days off work. And I was glad I did. I hadn’t before really given those days the respect (and myself the care on those days) that they deserved, and really marking those days by doing things to remember my parents felt right. I will likely be doing that for the foreseeable future.

However, I also got to spend time with my new family through my wife. We went to the DC area to spend Passover with her mom and to visit her dad. So, even as I was thinking about the family I’ve lost, I’ve also found a lot of love in the family I’ve gained.

April also found me beginning to take action on a new focus that you’ll be hearing me talk a lot more about this coming year: working to end homelessness in L.A. (and everywhere). It was also a very eventful month, and it was when I applied for Honeymoon Israel! (Spoiler alert: see December)

April Highlights: going to Wondercon, seeing Colossal and interviewing Anne Hathaway and Nacho Vigalondo, celebrating Passover in Frederick, Sandra’s “dorm room” party, Renee’s annual Titanic screening, volunteering at breakfast service at Covenant House, volunteering at dinner service at PATH, taking Alexandra’s awesome distribution class, going to Marina’s for #WeAreWITI, attending the Artemis Film Festival.

Aya Cash Gretchen You're the Worst


In May, I had a break-up of sorts. After over a year of working with her, my therapist Tannaz moved on to another job, and I had my final session with her. It was hard, as I’d come to really, really appreciate the way she worked with me. But all good things must come to an end, and I started up with a new therapist, Sarah, who has become a wonderful partner-in-crime in figuring out my brain. Things may or may not be continuing with her due to scheduling conflicts, so stay tuned…

May Highlights: interviewing directors for new Incredible Girl footage, seeing Manifesto with Ada, seeing Megan Leavey with Caroline, seeing 47 Meters Down with Heather (the movie suuuucked, but Heather and I had a great time getting drunk and making fun of it), Queers Coffee and Donuts, hiking with Dana, Jason’s b-day BBQ, celebrating my first Shavuot with Ikar.

Arts Out Loud logo


In June, I started two important relationships with two organizations with which I started working intensely as I started to really put energy toward the causes that matter to me. I had my first conversation with Jennifer Heastings, the president and founder of Arts Out Loud, an organization that aims to provide scholarships and mentorship to LGBTQ youth in the arts. That conversation led to me joining my first Board! That continues to be a rewarding experience.

The other relationship I started was with L.A. Family Housing, an advocacy organization for those experiencing homelessness in L.A. It’s basically a hub that serves the homeless population, providing everything from housing, to food, to job placement, and everything in between. I got to know the organization through their L.A. Family Housing Week, during which I got donations of supplies they needed for their residents, and volunteered in their kitchen. I plan on working with them a lot more in the new year.

June Highlights: seeing Wonder Woman!!!!, Cuties Queer Bazaar, L.A. Dyke Day, volunteering at Union Station Family Center’s dinner service, going to Julia Kaye’s art show, Trans Pride, Ikar Pride Shabbat, casting our leads for Incredible Girl, seeing the play Why We Become Witches (directed by Kate Motzenbacker), hiking with Adam, participating in the “Back Story” storytelling event, dinner and games at Sam’s, interviewing for Honeymoon Israel.


July was all about travel and connecting with the people nearest and dearest to me, as I went on two big trips this month. First, to Portland to celebrate the wedding of Ada’s (and my) cousins Adina and Caitlin, which was so much fun. My birthday happened to be the same day that we were flying back to L.A. from there, so I celebrated my birthday in the air. Actually, I celebrated my birthday the following Saturday, with brunch, the beach, dinner, and Baby Driver.

And then there was my trip to New York at the end of the month, where I attended my 20 YEAR HIGH SCHOOL REUNION (why yes! I AM that old!) which was way more fun than I was expecting, and had my yearly re-charge with my best friends during our annual “Shady Pines Convention” (Liz even made commemorative shirts!). Got to see family and dear friends. It was an awesome visit.

And in between all that, we shot some new footage for Incredible Girl! That footage is currently being edited.

July Highlights: Portland, New York, my birthday, dinner with Ada’s dad when he visited L.A., shooting new Incredible Girl footage (missteps, drama and all), celebrating Renee’s birthday.

Kristen Wiig, Maya Rudolph "Bridesmaids"


As you may or may not know, when my wife and I got married in December of 2016, it was a bit of an “emergency wedding” that we threw together in two weeks, with most of our loved ones needing to livestream it in order to witness it. Trump had just been elected, and we wanted to make sure to make it legal before his inauguration.

However, I was not yet Jewish, and we wanted to have a full Jewish ceremony (which we didn’t the first time), and have a “real,” larger wedding that our family and friends could actually attend. So we started our planning in earnest in August and began looking at venues. We currently have our venue, DJ, and photographer all picked out, and we’re going to continue with the rest of our planning after tomorrow. The big event is scheduled for July 2018!

August Highlights: first Arts Out Loud board meeting, game night at Sam’s, brunch with Adam and Caroline, seeing our friend Erica rock it out in an experimental play, attending that month’s WIMPS (Women in Motion Pictures Salon), seeing Professor Marston and the Wonder Women (brilliant!), choosing our wedding venue, attending the Half Foundation short film festival.

Bella Heathcote Luke Evans Angela Robinson "Professor Marston and the Wonder Women" Toronto International Film Festival


As I mentioned above, I thoroughly LOVED Professor Marston and the Wonder Women, and was grateful to get to do press for the film for The Mary Sue. What I was not expecting was for Annapurna Films to fly me out to the Toronto Film Festival to cover the film’s premiere! Swank hotel? Check. Press junket where I got to interview the cast and director? Check. Attending the world premiere of the film after having already seen a private screening? Check-check. Also, I got to finally go to Canada, which I had never done before. Sadly, because it was a work trip, I didn’t get to see much of the actual city, but I had a great time, and was happy to support such an awesome film however I could.

September Highlights: traveling to Toronto, seeing and covering the press junket for Battle of the Sexes (and getting to do a one-on-one interview with Natalie Morales!), celebrating my first Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur as an almost-Jew, hiking with Adam and Caroline, helping Heather move.


And theeeen….there was the car accident. Thankfully, Ada and I weren’t hurt, but the car we share was pretty banged up when, on the way to a tax prep appointment (we’d gotten an extension. Yes, I know it’s October) we were hit by a twentysomething who didn’t slow down when other cars did as we were turning into the parking lot, because she was looking at her phone. That was not a fun experience, and the car was out of commission for a while, putting a financial strain on us we didn’t need. But, it all worked out in the end, and thankfully, the rest of the month didn’t suck quite that badly.

October Highlights: attending that month’s “Writers Who Love Writers” meet-up, presenting my “Create Like an Activist” workshop for the first time for the San Gabriel Valley Women Writer’s group, celebrating Sukkot, coffee with Alessandra, working on my first freelance video game writing gig, guest-hosting on Supergirl Radio, discovering Star Trek: Discovery (and loving it!), celebrating Simchat Torah, finally seeing Diani and Devine Meet the Apocolypse (and loving it!), including my teensy cameo!

Honeymoon Israel


So, remember back in the spring where I interviewed for Honeymoon Israel? Well, Ada and I were accepted! That meant that we would be going on a 10-day, 5-star trip to Israel (heavily subsidized – we only paid about $1800 for both of us!), and November was when we first met all the couples with whom we’d be traveling at a Honeymoon Israel brunch!

November also marks the official beginning of my journey as a Jew, as I had my first meeting with my sponsoring Rabbi, Rabbi Nate at Ikar, who’s walking me through the conversion process. Yay, Judaism!

November Highlights: seeing Thor: Ragnarok with Ada, Adam, and Caroline, Lexx’s baby shower, choosing our wedding DJ, crowdfunding for Arts Out Loud scholarships, working on our Incredible Girl pitch with Aurora, Geena Davis Institute panel with Dawn, game night with Josh and Lindsay, Honeymoon Israel orientation.


Our Honeymoon Israel trip this month changed our lives more than I could ever express in a blog post. We made 34 new friends who are all wonderful. We shared the experience of seeing an amazing country. We had lots of feels. We were exhausted and rejuvenated at the same time. Traveling to Israel was not only the highlight of my December, but quite possibly the highlight of our married life so far. It was a wonderful way to celebrate our first year of marriage and our fifth year as a couple.

December Highlights (other than Israel, if that’s possible): hanging with Helenna, starting my relationship with the producer of Homeward L.A. (a theater project I’ll be co-producing, which you’ll be hearing more about next year!), celebrating my Paper wedding anniversary with my best friend, celebrating Hanukkah in Israel, attending the first WIMPS of Color salon, fully observing Shabbat for the first time, ending the year 70 pounds lighter than when I started it.

And now, I’m off to ring in the New Year with my wife and some good friends.

I’m so glad I did this. For all that we’ve been saying “2017 sucked” on auto-pilot, the truth is: a lot of good happened to me this year.

Here’s to a 2018 full of joy, peace, and hope for all of us. Wishing you all a very Happy New Year.

2016 Year In Review

In large part, 2016 was a shit sandwich on garbage bread. HOWEVER, that doesn’t mean that wonderful things didn’t happen, too. We’ve lost a lot of brilliant weirdos and amazing artists this year. We’ve also lost the United States to an orange demagogue whose administration may well mean the end of many hard-won liberties for several marginalized groups.

But hey, the Cubs won the World Series, amirite? Was all the rest of this the trade-off? #justkidding

As for me personally, looking back on my year, I realize a lot of good happened! I mean, I started off the year newly-engaged, which isn’t a bad way to start. So, let’s look back at what 2016 bestowed upon me.

And this is a long one, so strap in!

Previous Years in Review: 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015

The Election

The 2016 U.S. Presidential Election was the event that colored everything else this year. After an over a year-long campaign that laughed in the face of unapologetic progressiveness, and then laughed in the face of anyone who thought it possible that a woman could win the White House, Donald Trump became our President-elect in the most devastating election to happen in a long time.

Some have said that this is no different than when other Republicans have won elections and will dismiss opposition to the election’s results as “sour grapes.” Were it any other election, they might be right. But I’ve been on the losing side before. I volunteered for both the Gore campaign and the Kerry campaign. I know what it’s like to work hard and have your candidate lose. This was not that. This was not that, because unlike George W. Bush, whose politics and administration were abhorrent to me, but who nonetheless had been the Governor of a state before and came from a political family, Trump was not only completely inexperienced and ignorant of the duties of the President, but he was, and continues to be, vocally racist, sexist, and xenophobic. He’s appointed an actual white supremacist, and equally inexperienced members to cabinet positions. He ran his campaign with a sexist and anti-LGBTQIA candidate in Mike Pence. He’s out and out talked about the ways in which he plans on chipping away at our civil rights in the press. That is, when he deigns to talk to the press at all, as opposed to shutting them down with an eye on taking away their power, too. Oh, and then there’s the fact that Russia hacked us and manipulated our election, and yet Trump is totes BFFs with Vladimir Putin, who lives to quash freedoms in his own country.

This loss was very different, because it not only had to do with Trump winning the Presidency, but that far too many people in this country turned a blind eye to his hatred, either because they are openly racist, or tacitly allowing racism by prioritizing corporations and the economy, as if issues of social justice and economic advancement aren’t intertwined. As if an economy can thrive if the lives of members of the work force are restricted because of their identities or beliefs.

What was especially infuriating was the idea that people in marginalized groups don’t care about things like jobs, insurance, and “putting food on the table.” As if the very things that cause them to be marginalized aren’t also the things keeping them from jobs, insurance, and “food on the table.” So, what Trump voters are saying, in essence, is that jobs, insurance, and “putting food on the table” only matter if they’re going to the right people. They might not “mean” to say that, but that’s what they’re saying when they say that they voted for Trump “not because they’re racist,” but because the economy and jobs are “more important” than things like civil rights. You might not consider yourself racist, but you just did a racist thing. A homophobic, transphobic thing. A sexist thing. I won’t put a label on a person, but I sure as hell will put a label on an action.

This election cut me to the core, and I wasn’t the only one. I spent most of November depressed, as it felt like much of the country had turned its back on people like me and my wife: women, LGBTQIA people, Latinx, Jews, those riding the poverty line. I sit at the intersection of all those things, and that intersection was obliterated in a single day. People insist that I should “get over it and move on.” It won’t get that bad. And yet, with every passing day, it’s already getting worse, and he hasn’t even officially been sworn in yet.

I can’t understand the mentality of people who could so easily overlook Trump’s abhorrence enough to vote for him, and so yes, this has affected my relationships with people. Even some people in my own family. These are people I don’t want to lose. And at the same time, I can’t look at them without thinking, You cared so little about people like me, and hell like us (Puerto Rico is suffering under the thumb of corporate greed, and yet some of my family members have no problem supporting an opportunist like Trump because he’s managed to convince them that he speaks for “the common man”), that you voted for Trump because you were scared about putting food on your own table. I was fighting for us, and you were fighting for you. 

That’s the difference.

And so there are a lot of people I don’t look at the same way. Even if we’re still talking. Even if we’re friendly. Even if we make polite conversation. I don’t look at them the same. How can I, when they’ve made it clear that I don’t matter to them? That my wife doesn’t matter to them? That my life doesn’t matter to them?

And so in 2017, I’ll be a woman on a mission, fighting the only way I know how. Through my writing, my ability to communicate. And I will do my best to act from a place of love.

From “The Fiancee” to “The Wife”

Speaking of love, 2016 began with me being proposed to…and ended with me getting married! That’s right, The Fiancee became The Wife this month, and I’m so, so grateful. Now, this wasn’t the original plan. We were planning on having a long engagement with a wedding ceremony in 2018, but when the Cheeto-elect got elected in November, and the possibility of an administration like his having four years to chip away at freedoms for women and LGBTQIA folks, we decided to fast-track our nuptials to ensure that we were legally wed before the inauguration.

This caused a lot of freaking out! Both over wedding plans (we pulled together a small ceremony in about 2 weeks) and over the fact that I didn’t have the two years I thought I was going to have to process the idea of becoming someone’s wife. However, as the day got closer, I realized this was my only choice. No matter how scared I was, I didn’t want to risk not being able to marry this woman. She’s my heart. And sure, the ceremony was rushed, but that just meant I got to marry this wonderful person faster! 🙂

We had a truncated Jewish ceremony at Beth Chayim Chadashim and were married by the lovely Rabbi Heather Miller, who was just amazing and gracious (and proceeded to marry us even though her wife had just gone into labor!), and we were lucky enough to have some very special people there even with short notice. The Wife’s mom, brother, and sister-in-law were there, as well as some dear friends of ours. Heather, Adam, Caroline, and Hal: thank you so much for being there for us! And a special thanks to our friend Lexx, a supremely talented make-up artist who made us look amazing for our special day!

The rest of our loved ones on the East Coast (and anywhere else, really) were able to watch our ceremony via live stream! The Wedding of the Future! 🙂 It meant a lot to us that we were able to share our wedding with family and friends across the country, especially since we know that they were heartbroken that our impromptu plans prevented them from coming to celebrate something they otherwise would’ve made arrangements for. HOWEVER, we still plan on having our larger ceremony (complete with ketubah signing, glass breaking and reception) in 2018, and we plan on having EVERYONE there. In the meantime, if you missed it, Douglass-Jusino Vol. 1 (as I’ve been calling this first, legal ceremony) has been archived at the BCC website, and you can WATCH IT HERE. If you don’t see it on the homepage, you can do a search for “Marriage of Ada Douglas and Teresa Teresa Jusino, Beth Chayim Chadashim.” Yes, Teresa Teresa. Because apparently I have a name that’s so nice, they had to type it twice! 😉 And yes, they spelled The Wife’s last name wrong. Just go with it, okay?

So, there was a lot of turbulence this year…but 2016 started and ended by my love and I confirming and reconfirming our commitment to each other. Bring it, 2017. We can take whatever you can throw at us.

My Family Grew This Year

Ours wasn’t the only big wedding this year! The Wife’s brother married the love of his life in a gorgeous ceremony, one at which I cried like a baby (and I never cry at weddings!). This was an event I want to mark not only because it was a beautiful (and way fun!) wedding, but because they are amazing people. I’ve gotten to know these two over the course of my relationship with The Wife, and I’m so grateful now that I get to call them family. They’re wonderful, generous, hilarious, and kind people that I love spending time with.

2016 meant that my family expanded in a beautiful way. Not only do I get to call these two crazy kids siblings now, but I have amazing parents in law in The Wife’s parents. From the very beginning, they have always treated me with nothing but kindness and warmth, and I feel so lucky that they’ve been so welcoming. With my own parents no longer around, it feels really good to know that I’ve got parents in my corner, even if they’re not mine by birth. Thank you Judi, Joe, and Bonnie! I love you all!

Speaking of my parents, I observed the tenth anniversary of my mom’s passing on April 5th, and the 2-year anniversary of my dad’s passing on April 19th. There’s so much that’s happened to me this year that I wish I could share with them. I hope that, wherever they are, they’re proud of me for being the outspoken, independent, compassionate and tolerant person they raised me to be. I’m trying.

And speaking of family (both blood and chosen), I did get home to New York this summer and got to see all the usual suspects. It was both a fun trip, and an emotionally draining trip. But I got to see my oldest niece before she headed off to her freshman year of college, had a really great conversation with my brother, and got to spend quality time with my dearest friends.

I Came Out as Bisexual, So That’s a Thing

Aubrey Plaza, Stephanie Beatriz, Evan Rachel Wood, Rebecca Sugar, me. What do we all have in common? I mean, other than being sexy and talented AF? We’re all bisexual women.

It all started when I saw Ghostbusters: Answer the Call. No, seriously. It was during a scene in which Chris Hemsworth as Kevin and Kate McKinnon as Holtzmann were interacting. I found my eyes darting from one, to the other, and back again really pointedly, like it was a Hot People tennis match. A couple of minutes in, I literally grabbed my armrest with the realization. Holy crap. I’m bi! I told The Wife, and she was like Well, duh. I told my close friends, and they were mostly like Well, duh. I told my brother, and reminded him that he basically tried to tell me this when I first told him about The Wife being trans, and he said some version of Well, duh before wanting to claim credit for my realization.

Sorry, man. But credit for that goes to Kate McKinnon. Seriously, how is every woman not bi after this?

You’d think that me being totally down with dating a woman would have tipped me off to this fact, but…well…it wasn’t. Because it’s really, really easy to make excuses or rationalize exceptions when you’re afraid to face something. Especially when it’s something that, even in 2016, people don’t quite know how to handle. A part of me feels like if I would’ve come out as a lesbian it would’ve been easier. People are certain of that box. You like women. Done. But there have been a couple of people in my life who, at first, weren’t really able to wrap their heads around what bisexuality is or means. My coming out wasn’t entirely pleasant, but I’m happy that now, my support system continues to be behind me. My friends are still my friends, my family is still my family, and all is well as far as that goes.

Plenty of people talk about “liking men” OR “liking women,” but people really talk about this OTHER thing you can be without dismissing it as being “on the road to gay,” or (usually if you’re a woman) doing it “for attention.” Even within the LGBTQIA community. It’s a big umbrella that often gives the “B” and the “T” of that acronym short shrift. And yeah, I identify very definitely as bisexual and not pansexual for reasons that I might write about at another time, but not in my Year in Review. 🙂

Growing up, I knew that I liked boys. So, whenever I found myself drawn strongly to a girl, wanting to be her friend really badly but not knowing why, I thought, Well, I know I’m not a lesbian, because I like boys, so…this must just be something that happens to girls. Girls just get really close, right? It’s different for girls. Girls are just more open about finding women attractive, right? I wish more kids knew what their options are. That there aren’t just two choices. And I wish it hadn’t taken me quite so long to figure it out for myself. But I did. And I feel freer this year than I’ve ever felt.

Building a Relationship With Judaism

This year, I’ve started doing more Jewish learning and, well, living a little more Jewishly. I’ve been going to shabbat services at IKAR fairly regularly. I’ve been lighting candles every week with The Wife. And a couple of months ago, I started an Intro to Judaism class at American Jewish University.

That class has really made a difference. First, we have a wonderful teacher in Rabbi Adam Greenwald who makes every class super-fun and interesting. But secondly, the more I learn about Judaism, the more I realize that my thoughts about religion as a Catholic were really very Jewish. Recently, I opened up my confirmation Bible, and saw a bunch of handwritten notes in the margins from when I tried to read it cover to cover years ago in my twenties. A lot of those notes are frustrated ones. Acknowledging contradictions, but wondering why those contradictions weren’t ever taught to me as the entire point, rather than something to be explained away, or ignored entirely. This isn’t to say that Catholics don’t ever question things, or experience doubt, but questioning and challenging, studying and reassessing seems to be inherent to the DNA of Judaism in a way that it isn’t in Catholicism, and I love that.

The more I learn about Judaism, the more I realize that I’ve always kinda thought like a Jew. I didn’t take the Intro to Judaism class to convert, necessarily, but it’s looking increasingly likely, as I’m feeling more and more at home in this space.

That doesn’t mean this has been easy. On the contrary, as someone who was not only raised Catholic, but wholeheartedly believed in Catholicism – so much so, that I went to church by myself from the time I was in high school, sang in the children’s choir, then as a leader of song, and eventually became a lector – I’ve been hugely conflicted. It’s not an easy thing to leave behind a system of belief and traditions that are a part of your foundation.

What’s more, just before my wedding, I had a mini-panic attack about having a Jewish wedding, because I suddenly felt like I was being a traitor to my parents, throwing away everything they’d ever believed and taught me.

Then I remembered some things:

  1. The Catholic Church wouldn’t marry me and my wife, whether I wanted to be married in the church or not, so…there’s that.
  2. I hadn’t been to church in years, not because of any big rift, but because it simply wasn’t calling me anymore. It had stopped being home a long time ago.
  3. Related to #3: I realized that what kept me coming to church week after week had less to do with religion than it had to do with community. God, to me (and I guess, to Richard Linklater via Before Sunrise), has always existed in the space between people. I had a home at St. Boniface Church, where I spent the majority of my Catholic life, where I had a church family. When I moved too far away to attend, finding a replacement seemed pointless. I found community elsewhere, and my relationship with God remained personal.
  4. Also, as I told The Wife the other day, my parents raised me to find God where I found God, and not to do things because of what they’d think or say, but because I thought it was right. I remember my mom giving me an out as I prepared for my confirmation when I was twelve, saying that if I didn’t truly believe that I didn’t have to be confirmed. That I should only make this commitment if I meant it, and that she wouldn’t think less of me if I decided not to go through with it. At the time, I was confirmed, because I meant it. Because it mattered to me. If she were to tell me that with me knowing myself the way I do now? I might have given her a different answer.

I’ve changed, and so has my relationship to God. Or rather, I’ve changed enough that I feel confident enough articulating the fact that my relationship to God has always been closer to this. It’s funny, I feel about Judaism much the same way as I do about my bisexuality. It’s something that’s always been there under the surface, and I’m only now mature enough to recognize it and brave enough to assert it as my identity, rather than keep it buried, or rationalizing it away.

TL;dr – My parents raised me to think for myself. I think that, if they were still around, they may or may not have been disappointed if I convert to Judaism, but I know they would respect my choice and love me regardless. That’s who they were, and I’m being as independent and thoroughly myself as they raised me to be.

And I will always be grateful to Catholicism for giving me a strong foundation in this world.

The End of My Podcasting Career (For Now), and Letting Go

After co-hosting Supergirl Radio with Rebecca Johnson for a year, I decided to move on in February of 2016. While I had so much fun doing the podcast (and developed what I think will be a lifelong love of Supergirl/Kara Danvers as a character), regular podcasting was taking its toll on my personal bandwidth.

A lot of this year was about prioritizing and streamlining. 2016 was a big year for me when it comes to articulating what I want, and also articulating what I don’t want. Career-wise, what I want is to be a screenwriter, specifically for television. So, I started eliminating things that don’t serve that goal. That might be fun, but take time away from the work I really want to be doing. Not that I don’t do things OTHER than write scripts, but if I’m going to be taking on a certain level of workload, it should be in service of the life I want.

In addition to letting Supergirl Radio go, I also let go of something else that I’d been holding onto for years. Being a novelist.

There’s a story that’s been living in my head and in my heart since I was 15 years old, a world that has only gotten bigger and more elaborate in the subsequent 22 years. I’ve been trying to write it as a novel for years, even as my writing desires turned toward scripts and away from prose. Yet, just as giving up the “actor” label to more fully focus on writing was difficult, since I’d spent years identifying as an actor, so too was giving up on the idea of “finishing my novel one day.” But this year, I finally admit to myself that, while I still need to tell this story, I don’t have to tell it in a book. At least, not right now. It might even serve the world better as a film – a female-led sci-fi/dystopia with the potential to be a Star Wars-level game-changer. Hey, you never know. Point is, the world needs more women doing big things in film. Not that we couldn’t use a more diverse cross section of women in contemporary literature, but the film industry is a harder thing to crack, and I want to go at it with a sledgehammer. So, this year I said goodbye to being a novelist. I may write a short story or two, because some stories are just meant to be prose, but I won’t be publishing a book of fiction any time soon.

And I also said goodbye to podcasting for now. Meanwhile, Supergirl will always have a special place in my heart, and Supergirl Radio has been kicking tons of ass without me. Keep it up, ladies! I’ll be listening! 🙂

Hanging on Through a Burn-Out, and Other Work Stuff

I’m still an assistant editor at The Mary Sue, and I still love the people with whom I work, and I’m grateful that I work at a place where, for the most part, I have autonomy over what I choose to write about.

That said, online pop culture writing has gotten increasingly frustrating this year, not because of my workplace, but because the environment of the internet has changed so much in the past few years.

People rail against click-bait (basically calling everything click bait, including interesting headlines and/or headlines with which they disagree), and yet don’t click on the more meaningful articles we try to publish about issues of importance.

People expect a certain level of quality, but don’t expect to have to pay for what they consume. Especially when it’s online.

People claim to be on the side of inclusion and tolerance and nuanced discussion, but they have no trouble “eating their own” at the merest whiff of “not SJW-ing correctly.” There’s no room in which to make mistakes and learn and grow, because too many people are in it for the “gotcha moment,” and not enough people are in it for the “teaching/learning/sharing moment.”

An advertiser/click-focused shift on our writing at work, coupled with the general internet environment that was already deteriorating, but was stoked by this year’s election really burned me out toward the end of the year and had me questioning whether or not I even want to do this anymore. I felt a lot of pressure, and basically wanted to throw in all work-related towels for most of the past couple of months.

I won’t be leaving The Mary Sue anytime soon, if I can help it, but my feelings of burnout have started to reinvigorate my desire to get to the writing I really want to get to. As I said above, this year has been a lot about reevaluating my priorities and putting more energy into the things I want, rather than letting that energy get sucked dry by the things I don’t.

What’s encouraging, is that this year I’ve gotten to a place where I’m actively being recommended for opportunities in a writers’ room, and I’ve had several leads sent my way that I’ve applied for. While I didn’t land any of them, the fact is that I’ve gotten to a point where I’ve nurtured relationships and accomplished enough that stuff like that is possible. I’m doing all the right things, and if this incremental progress is any indication, it’s only a matter of time before I get where I want to be, so long as I stay focused and keep doing what I’ve been doing.

And in that vein, Incredible Girl had a big year this year! We had a crowdfunding campaign, and while we didn’t reach our $50,000 goal, we did raise close to $10,000 on IndieGoGo and in doing so, built a relationship with a wonderful production company that’s been invaluable in providing us with professional expertise and advice. While they are currently not working with us directly (they were only hired through the crowdfund), they remain great friends of the project, and remain there for us in a way we truly appreciate.

Incredible Girl also represented at GeekGirlCon 2016 in Seattle, where we brought back the panel we did at Emerald City Comic Con last year, “Incredible Girl Presents: Geeks and Kink,” about the correlation between the geek community and the kink community. We were joined by popular sex educator, IG cast member, and all-around awesome chick, Sandra Daugherty, A.K.A. Sex Nerd Sandra.

We had an awesome panel, even after some people in the audience responded negatively to our screening of the original IG short film, which many of them saw as a glorification of no consent. The reaction prompted a really great discussion during the panel – one we hope will inform the show as we continue to produce it.

This reminded me of exactly why I want Incredible Girl in the world. Indeed, it reminded me of why I want to write for television at all. I want to start conversations, not just between myself and my viewers, or viewers and my work, but among the viewers themselves. I want to help people engage with and understand the world a little better. Hopefully, in my small way, I can make the world a more tolerant, open, and loving place to be through my work.

Which is why I’ve made my mantra, “Create Like An Activist.” I want everything I do, from caring for the people I love, to the way I interact with my community, to the way I approach my work to all dovetail into my desire to make the world better through my participation.

It amazes me how much 2016 has changed me and everyone I love. Deep, internal changes. Not just the usual changes that happen over time…but there’s been a fundamental shift in all of us. It’s something I feel in the air and in every conversation I have with anyone these days. Ultimately, I think this shift is necessary.

But there’s a reason why they call them “growing pains.” They’re gonna hurt.

Still, we can help each other heal and get through it, and I’m very lucky that I’ve managed to surround myself with some pretty spectacular people. I don’t know what the future holds, but I know that as long as we each think a little less about “I” and a little more about “we,” that we can get through the turbulence and find some kind of peace.

I look forward to loving you all a little better this year. Happy New Year.

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’!


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


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


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.


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


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.


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.


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.


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 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!

2014 Year In Review

Sure, it’s January 4th – but you know what? I was having fun on a holiday trip on the East Coast, so I didn’t have time to blog. Know what else? I REGRET NOTHING. 🙂 But for those who are paying attention, you know I do this every year, so I’d hate to leave you hanging. So, here we go…

Previous years: 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013.

Another year, another year to review! This year’s been a biggie, both in my personal life and for the world, which simultaneously became a little more evolved and a lot more insane. Two steps forward, three steps back. I suppose slow progress is better than no progress at all, huh?

May 2014.


I’ll likely remember 2014 as the year I started to tackle problems head-on, rather than ignoring them, and became more of the kind of person I want to be. I’ll also remember it as a year of a lot of change in my personal life, both good and bad. However, even when bad things happened this year, for some reason I was in more of a position to deal with things in a healthy, philosophical way. Sure, there were tears when needed, and there was even some full-on freaking out, but it all came from a healthy place of acknowledging my feelings, rather than trying to stuff them down. So, I’m grateful for that. Some highlights:

** It was an interesting year for employment. I left a day job I had for a little over a year that was burning me out and stressing me out disproportionately to what it was paying me. It was one of the best decisions I made all year. I got another part-time job that I stayed at for two weeks, because I realize that the amount they were paying me (barely minimum wage) did not warrant the money I spent on commuting. However, I did gain a long-term freelance writing client (which I’ll talk about in the Writing section below), and I continued on with a company that does work with background actors – a company that I like a lot, and my bosses there are pretty cool. 🙂 So, I’m ending 2014 with two long-term/full-time jobs and plenty of room for additional writing. Bring it on, 2015!


** In the Tackling Problems Head-On department, I put a greater focus on three areas of my life: my health/fitness, my finances, and my emotional well-being. While I’m nowhere close to “perfect” or “done” (no one ever is), I have a better handle on things than I ever have before. In the realm of fitness, I discovered Daily Burn, which allowed me to work out more than I ever have before. I tried Orangetheory, and may be inspired to go there more regularly in the new year to work out (I’m also considering Nerdstrong and the local YMCA). I did some Couch to 5K (which I eventually stopped, because I realized that running is the most boring activity ever – to me), and I started riding my bike more, both to commute to my job, and to get to other things. In health news, I got Medi-Cal! Yay! So, now that I have some sort of health insurance, I’ve been going to doctors right and left – found a general practitioner, found a dentist (which I desperately needed after a horrible toothache ruined my experience of seeing Guardians of the Galaxy!), gyno, podiatrist…there are a couple of super-minor issues to take care of, but my physical came back completely clean, which I was really glad to hear. Especially given my family history of diabetes, cancer, and heart trouble. Whew! In my financial life, I started taking a closer look at ALL of my debt (which I’d been ignoring for years), tracking my spending, and keeping better track of the money that comes in. I’m starting the new year with a bit of an increased income (thanks, freelance clients!), and a better idea of my budget. Lastly, there’s the Emotional Well-Being front, which pretty much just means that I’ve been making time for myself to really sit with my feelings and process what I’m going through, rather than just rushing through life. Time and space are key, and I’ve been loving myself enough to give myself both in 2014, which has helped tremendously.

Dad the lifeguard

** April was a difficult month. On April 19, 2014, my father, Ramon Jusino Jr., passed away at the age of 78. This was difficult for obvious reasons. The only father I’ll ever have is gone. The parent with whom I shared the most character traits and common interests is gone. Yet it was also a relief in many ways. My father suffered from dementia that seemed exacerbated by my mother’s death in 2006. His health deteriorated, and we had to put him in a nursing home. In short, he hadn’t been My Dad for a long time, and while I miss him being on this planet, I also know that, as proud as he was, he likely wouldn’t have wanted to be seen as a helpless invalid for very long.

So, thanks to the help of my friend, Heather, and her wonderful mom, Lauren, who works for an airline, my partner and I were able to fly to NYC for the funeral. I was touched by the outpouring of support from friends and family. Friends I hadn’t seen in ages, like my friend Nippa from high school, came to the wake to show solidarity. Adam organized a dinner for me to celebrate my dad and “his greatest achievement” – me. (Those are Adam’s words, not mine) Long-time friends made it a point to be there for the wake, the funeral, and the burial, which was a military burial, to honor my dad’s Air Force service. And I took two weeks in New York to surround myself with loved ones and give myself time to grieve properly. I’m grateful for everyone who showed me love during that time – particularly Joanna and Chuck, for giving me a place to crash – and I’m glad that my mom and dad (and my dog, Scarlett, who watched over them when I couldn’t) are all at peace and together now.

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

** I celebrated my 35th Birthday in July and had a great, warm night with friends. Jason and Mairghread came out with my partner and me for sushi at Midori, and more friends met up with us at Sardo’s later in the evening for beer and karaoke! It was a great time – and I was bought a lot of birthday drinks, including one from a generous guy from out of town. My little crew ended up closing the place down! Not a bad way to celebrate my mid-thirties!

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

However, my birthday weekend had another, more ill-advised component. I’d always wanted to go camping in Joshua Tree, so my partner and I drove out to camp overnight. It was beautiful, to be sure, and quiet (the quiet was what really astounded me), but between the insane heat (even at night!), the mosquitoes, and the uncomfortable car sleeping situation, we were really glad to get back to civilization! Next time, I won’t make the mistake of camping in the desert during the off-season. IT’S “OFF” FOR A REASON!

** I’ve always tried to do what I could to work toward equality in all areas for LGBT folks, but this year, with transgender people making themselves increasingly visible – what with Laverne Cox all over EVERYTHING, Transparent on Amazon Prime, and the impending blockbuster Jupiter Ascending (directed by Andy and Lana Wachowski) – it sunk in for me how often the “T” in “LGBT” has historically been either ignored, thrown under the bus, or misrepresented/despised both within and outside the LGBT and feminist circles in which I so happily travel. So, I’ve been a bit more vocal on that score. This year has ended with the tragic suicide of Leelah Alcorn in Ohio (and the subsequent removal of her Tumblr, which contained her suicide note and hopes for other transgender teens), emphasizing the fact that there’s still so much more work to do on this front – and I hope to use my platform to amplify trans voices in addition to feminist, minority, and gay/lesbian voices.


** SDCC 2014. UGH. I’m grateful that I had a press badge, and that Jason and Mairghread were willing to share their hotel room with me, but on the whole, I could’ve done without the whole experience. There were a handful of cool moments: interviewing Nicole Perlman, meeting up with my friends Tara and Daniel, finally meeting my friend Janice IRL at the Grimm panel after years of commiserating over the demise of Caprica and the career of one Sasha Roiz, and going to SDCC’s first-ever transgender comics panel, but I spent most of the con hot and tired, standing in line, and just generally crabby about how long it took me to walk everywhere in the crowds. I’m in no rush to go back. Though I did end up at a party with George RR Martin. That was pretty cool. 🙂

2014-10-11 00.45.49-1

** The fall was all about going to see live music, and I got to see two of my favorite acts live! My partner and I went to see Pomplamoose at the El Rey theater in October, followed by going to Amanda Palmer’s book event for The Art of Asking at the First Unitarian Church in November. Both events were amazing for entirely different reasons. I’d never seen Pomplamoose live before, and going to see them makes me appreciate them SO MUCH MORE as musicians. They put on a really fun, kick-ass show, and if you ask me, I think the money they spent on their tour was money well spent! The Amanda Palmer event was amazing, because the musical performances were so intimate, and the evening was full of insightful, revealing, and nuanced discussion between Amanda, her guests, and the audience about what it means to be an artist and ask for help.

** Oh, and by the way, my boo and I celebrated our second anniversary in December, and we flew to the East Coast and spent a wonderful two weeks with our families for the holidays. It was a great way to end the year!

Chicks Dig Gaming cover illustration by the squee-worthy Katy Shuttleworth.

Chicks Dig Gaming cover illustration by the squee-worthy Katy Shuttleworth.


** I was published, like, a crap-ton. 🙂 My first national print interview came out in the May 2014 issue of Latina Magazine, I had my first piece published on Jezebel in March, and an essay of mine is included in Mad Norwegian Press’ latest pop culture anthology, Chicks Dig Gaming, which was released in November! In addition to that, I was hired to write a pop culture column on a great site called Beacon, on which readers can subscribe directly to journalists whose work they love. While I’m no longer writing on Beacon, it was a great experiment, and there are several pieces up there that I consider some of my best work. Check it out!


** One of the biggest things in my writing life also happens to affect my personal life, too. My friend and writing partner, Adam Hunault, finally made the big move to L.A, and I’m really happy about it! Not only because it’s really awesome to have one of my favorite New York peeps in town with me, but it makes such a difference in the way we work on our scripts and are able to pursue our joint writing career. To date, we’ve written two hour-long pilots, one hour-long spec of an existing show, have entered most of the major writing fellowships (getting none of them, but whaddaryagonnado?), joined a TV writing group and the IAWTV meet-up, sat down with two professional TV writers to discuss our path, and are currently in the process of writing our third hour-long original pilot. 2015 is going to be a huge year for us as we tackle Los Angeles together, and I’m very excited to get to it!

** I started my job as Blog Editor for HotPixel Post-Production at the beginning of 2014, creating content for the blog as well as managing their monthly newsletter and throwing in my two cents re: their communications/marketing whenever I’m asked. It’s a really cool gig, as HotPixel is a steady, reliable client that allows me to write about an industry I enjoy. My boss, Art, is a really cool guy who shoots straight with me and makes sure I’m taken care of. Meanwhile, as I write about the independent film scene, I’m learning a lot that I will likely apply to projects I work on. I’m looking forward to doing even bigger and better things with HotPixel in the coming year. Check out the HotPixel blog often! (and if you ever need post-production services for a project of your own…you know where to go!)


** Work on Incredible Girl, the 10-episode digital series I’ve written based on Aurora de Blas’ short film of the same name, has kicked into high gear this year. We’ve spent this year in hardcore planning mode, working with our director, Sabrina, to hone our voice for the show itself, as well as the marketing/branding surrounding the show, we filmed teaser footage of the first two scenes, which we hope to use to raise funds for our pilot, we held a small fundraiser, we’ve done outreach into our target audience, we’ve built relationships with sponsors, and we’re slowly and intelligently building the team and the resources we need to move forward in 2015. Check out the show’s website, then “like” us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter! Trust me, you want in on this. 😉

** In addition to the networking done with Adam, this was also a big year for personal networking for my solo writing work. I joined a rather large collective of women writers on Facebook that has continually provided resources, job leads, and opportunities to support each other’s work via live events and on the web. I’ve also formed relationships with two professional writers this year, one of whom has stepped up into a formal mentorship capacity, which I’m super grateful for. I’m looking forward to working with her in the New Year on the kind of projects I want to pursue in film and television!

2014 was a big year, full of ups and downs, but 2015 is going to be even BIGGER. I have huge plans, both personal and professional, that I’ll be telling you all about right here at The Teresa Jusino Experience! So stay tuned! And I wish all of you an amazing and fulfilling New Year jam-packed with love, fun, and good people by your side!

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.


** 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. 🙂


** 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! 😉


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!


My 2013 According to WordPress!

Once again, here’s WordPress’ summary of how The Teresa Jusino Experience did in 2013. Not bad – even with my lazy patches! The most popular post this year was my Valentine’s Day post filled with love songs dedicated to good men – Because Boys Deserve Love Songs, Too (A Playlist), followed by my post on fat being The Last Acceptable Prejudice. The top three was rounded out by a post I wrote last year about Katniss Everdeen (probably because Catching Fire came out this year). Check out the complete stats below…

And thank you so much for reading! I hope that 2014 brings you all everything you want for yourselves and more!

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 46,000 times in 2013. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 17 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

Looking Back On 2012, Looking Forward to 2013


First of all,  JANUARY 1ST, 2013 marked the THIRD BLOGGIVERSARY of the Teresa Jusino Experience. It came and went with little fanfare, as I spent my New Year’s Day enjoying the company of friends hosting an all-day New Year’s Day Brunch-a-thon with my roommate. Still, it’s kind of cool to see how this blog has grown in three years. Here’s hoping the upward trajectory continues!

I’ve been doing a Year In Review post since 2004 (you can stalk keep up with Teresa History by checking out 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2011.)

This year, I’m keeping it short and sweet for reasons I’ll make clear later in the post.



  • I’m still a writer at and PopMatters.
  • I gained a new outlet by being taken on by Al Dia, a Spanish-language newspaper based out of Philly. Expect more from me at Al Dia Cafe in the coming year. (You can check out the pieces I’ve already written HERE.)
  • I gained another job when I started writing about comics for, but found out on New Year’s Day that they can no longer use my services. Bummer, but them’s the breaks. Still, you can check out what I’ve already written for them HERE.
  • I’m still a writer on RETCON, and have been helping to produce the pilot. We had an IndieGoGo campaign this year, where we raised enough money to shoot the pilot, which is happening this month! Very excited about that, and about the possibilities for the show after the pilot’s done. I’m very much looking forward to writing episodes for the actual season!
  • Tumultuous, but ultimately successful trip to GeekGirlCon 2012 in Seattle. Tumultuous in the getting there and getting back (I’d rather not rehash that story, but it involves being stranded in Oregon). Successful in that my panel on “Moffat’s Women” in Doctor Who was filled to capacity and I got so many compliments from strangers on it afterward. Thanks to Miley Yamamoto, Alan Kistler, and Natalie Reed for being such amazing panelists!
  • I was published in two Doctor Who-related anthologies: Chicks Unravel Time (Mad Norwegian Press) and Outside In (ATB Publishing). Very proud of the pieces I wrote (both about Classic Who), and loved the editors I got to work with. Both books are on sale now!
  • Started a Grimm spec, and started talking to a friend about a possible pilot we’ll be writing together, but my tumultuous living situation this year made it difficult to focus on writing that didn’t pay me, so my TV stuff was sadly very much on the back burner for much of the year.

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  • I’ve actually been dating this year! Fancy that. What’s more, I’m seeing someone now. And for the first time in the ever-ever, I had a date on New Year’s Eve. If I didn’t know any better, I’d say the Mayans really were right about the end of the world. Or, at least about pigs flying or snowballs in Hell.
  • I’ve met even more wonderful people in my new city. I constantly marvel at the caliber of my friends, both old and new.
  • 6-year anniversary of my mother’s passing.
  • Visited New York over the summer for the first time since moving to L.A. Had an amazing time with friends (and pulled off an epic birthday surprise on my bestie!), but also confirmed that moving to L.A. was a good decision. At least for right now. I still get really nostalgic and homesick for New York and the people in it, but I know that moving here was the right thing. Shout-out to Matt for flying me out there! Would never have been able to visit home otherwise last year.
  • Celebrated my 33rd birthday in San Diego attending my first SDCC. The cast of Grimm – Sasha, Bitsie, and Reggie in particular – totally made my SDCC experience!
  • Had a tumultuous year financially and with regard to my living situation. After a little over a year spent couch-surfing or staying in people’s spare rooms (or that one time where I THOUGHT I had a permanent apartment, only to have it pulled out from under me four days in), I finally got a permanent apartment with a friend in October. We signed a two-year lease, so for better or worse, I’m living in Hollywood for a while! It’s nice to have a permanent address…and now, to work out my finances.
  • Got a new day job through a good friend. It’s the most flexible job I could’ve asked for to make rent when writing doesn’t. Great environment and I’m working with really good people. Also, it often involves going to events and getting free food, which is a plus! 😉
  • After a year of working for the best jefa ever, Chastity and I both decided that it’d be best if I leave my assistant position with her. Eh, I’m happier to have her as my friend rather than my boss anyway. 🙂
  • Devoted ALL of October to the Obama campaign in this year’s Presidential Election. You’re welcome, Mr. President.
  • As for The Fray Project, I focused less on that than I might have liked. Though, I have lost weight this year, and I have shifted my thinking and the way I do things, it was more gradual and less structured, which overall might be a good thing. It means things are actually sticking.
  • Had a great Thanksgiving week in Denver hosted and attended by wonderful and inspiring friends. Shout-out to Cathy and Matt for flying me there for the holiday, and shout-out to Angela, Heather, Lauren, and Joel for being awesome!
  • Became Molly Bloom in December. Said yes.
  • Was sick through Christmas, but had a wonderful and relaxing end of the year. Except for that rough patch at the end there. But for the most part, yes. Relaxing. And wonderful.


And that’s that. My report on the year. And I’m keeping it simple for a reason…

Something that’s been hit home to me a lot this year is that I have a tendency towards huge gestures. Like The Fray Project on my blog, for example – pretending that I “need” to talk about things publicly to give myself motivation. The truth is, all of my Big Plans are just me procrastinating. Procrastinating….and a little bit me getting scared of what might happen whether I succeed or fail. I know “aspiring,” but I don’t know getting there. I feel like a part of me focuses on the big pronouncements of plans for things, rather than on the actual getting to the hard work, because I’m afraid of seeing things through. Why? I don’t know, but I don’t want to be afraid of that. I want to see what happens! So, this year is gonna be a lot of me keeping my head down and just doing the fucking work. I can make big pronouncements when I have something to announce, and I shouldn’t worry so much that people will forget me or about what they’ll think of me if I’m “too quiet” about what I’m doing. This year, I want to talk about what I’ve DONE rather than what I WILL do.

And standing here at the beginning of 2013, after a year of being scattered in the wind, I finally feel grounded enough to do just that.

Here’s hoping that all of you reading this find whatever you wish for yourself this year. Happy 2013 everyone!

My 2012 According to WordPress!

I have to say, I love that WordPress does this – calculates my most popular posts, etc – every year. I like to know what posts elicit the biggest responses. Apparently, you all got riled up about my post on Katniss Everdeen and the one about KONY 2012. Check out the full picture below. (And yes, I’m working on a Teresa’s Year In Review post right now!)

And thank you so much for reading! I hope that 2013 brings you all everything you want for yourselves and more!

Here’s an excerpt:

4,329 films were submitted to the 2012 Cannes Film Festival. This blog had 47,000 views in 2012. If each view were a film, this blog would power 11 Film Festivals

Click here to see the complete report.

L.A. Year One: 2011 Year In Review

I couldn’t believe it when I looked back and realized that I’ve been doing a Year In Review blog post since 2004! You can look back at that year, as well as 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, and 2010! You know, if you want to geek out about me, or something. 🙂

2011 has been the most tumultuous year for me to date both personally and professionally. Mostly good, but a lot not-so-good. Here’s the recap:


Whedonistas! Top (l-r): Nancy Holder, Jenn Reese, Katy Shuttleworth, Kelly Hale, Racheline Maltese. Bottom (l-r): Jane Espenson, Lynne Thomas, Deb Stanish, and ME!


** Whedonistas was released, thus changing my writing life forever. My first published work in a book available in bookstores, it led to me doing a string of readings, both personal and as part of a larger group of Whedonistas. It also allowed me to meet some pretty amazing (and well-known) women in sci-fi/fantasy. I was thrilled to be a part of such a wonderful project with such talented people.

** Did my first Whedonistas convention panel at Gallifrey One (February)! After having raised money to make the trip online (thank you to all of my generous supporters!), I flew out to L.A. in February for Gally. On the panel were moderators (and Whedonistas editors) Lynne Thomas and Deb Stanish; artist Katy Shuttleworth; contributors Nancy Holder, Jenn Reese, Racheline Maltese, Kelly Hale; and Jane Espenson, who has an exclusive interview in the book. After the panel, which went really well, we had a signing, during which I had someone come up to me excited to read my essay because, based on what I’d talked about during the panel, she thought that my piece would speak to her experience. I was floored by that. Later, the Whedonistas and I all went out to dinner, and I not only had the opportunity to sit next to and get to know one of my professional role models, but I got to know fellow female writers and lovers of genre with whom I have a lot in common and with whom I’ve since been becoming friends.

** While I was in L.A. for Gally, I also organized a reading on my own at a cute coffeehouse in Venice called The Talking Stick. It went well overall, though I definitely learned some dos and don’ts for future readings. While the crowd I started with wasn’t particularly large, by the end, so many had walked in and stayed that I was reading to a full house. My short story didn’t go over too well, but my Whedonistas piece went over a lot better. That, and I had some wonderful friends out to support. Namely, Heather, Alex, Amy, Julianna, and Josh, as well as Mike from ChinaShop who came out to interview me and photograph/cover the reading! That was so sweet. It was a great night.

** Back in New York, I also organized a Whedonistas reading at The Way Station in Brooklyn (March). Again, nerve-wracking, because I’d organized the event myself, but it went swimmingly and we sold several copies of the book. I was joined onstage once again by Racheline Maltese as well as Priscilla Spencer.

** I began to focus more on feminism in relation to my pop culture criticism, and wrote two articles for – Moffat’s Women: Amy and Her Skirt, and a two part review of the film Sucker Punch – that taught me that the internet is a double-edged sword, full of intelligent people and less-intelligent trolls.

** My second Whedonistas convention panel was at Geek Girl Con (October)! That was a bit more nerve-wracking in that I had organized and would be moderating that panel myself. It turned out rather well, however. We “played” to a packed, enthusiastic room, and as I was walking to another panel afterwards, I had several strangers stop me to tell me how much they enjoyed it. Jane Espenson and Nancy Holder joined me again, along with Mariah Huehner, who is awesome. Earlier that morning, we had a signing and we SOLD OUT all of our copies of the book! Next year, the bookseller won’t under order! 🙂 I was amused by how many people assumed that I worked for the bookseller at whose table we were. I had to keep telling people, “I’m sorry, I can’t help you with ringing this up. I’m actually in this book.” One day, people won’t make that mistake. 🙂 Also, if you’re ever going to bring Jane a baked good, do not bring her cupcakes. Cupcakes are wasted on Jane Espenson. Bring her pie instead. Wonder at how she manages to lead a normal life with such a warped view of cake.

** While 2011 had a lot of positive things happen for my writing career, there was also some negative. I got rejected from an anthology, a sci-fi fiction website, two TV writing fellowships, and the Emerging Writers Fellowship at the Center for Fiction in New York. I also was told by the blog editor at a major entertainment blog that he was interested in my work, only to have him reject all the pitches I sent him. Just goes to show, you can’t expect success without a certain level of failure! What you need to do is keep trying!

** I left Newsarama after a little over a year of writing comics reviews for them. It wasn’t anything bad or scandalous, and I actually really enjoyed my editor and the Best Shots review team. However, I made the decision to not do anymore unpaid writing work that wasn’t my own, and so my decision to quit was in support of that. But thank you, David, for being an amazing editor, and thanks to the Best Shots team for being a lot of fun on email chains! 🙂

** I became Geek Girl Traveler! First with a series of articles at ChinaShop, then a Facebook page and a Twitter feed, then a blog. You’ll be seeing more of her in 2012. 🙂

** After a while of figuring out what I wanted to do with Tumblr, I finally figured it out and created The Gender Blender. As I post stuff there, what I’m working on in relation to my novel becomes clearer.

** Discovered the website, Cowbird, and was accepted to join this small storytelling community. Immediately became obsessed!

** My Geeks and Kink article at ChinaShop Magazine not only popped about the internet both in kink circles and blogs like the Boston Magazine blog, but it also won me a contributor contest, netting me a cash bonus and a new Flip Cam!

** Had the pleasure of interviewing: Jane Espenson (several times), Cheeks, Rachael Yamagata, Kevin Smith (to post in 2012), Simon Pegg, Ian “Enable” Wyatt, Jeryl Prescott, Jessica Mills, Candis Phlegm and Lyndsey Doolan, Eric Laden (never posted), Whitney Sorrow, Tony Trov and Johnny Zito, Cecil Castillucci (to post in 2012), and Sasha Roiz (again!).

** Was a guest on two podcasts! A roundtable discussion of Doctor Who S6.1 on 2 Minute Time Lord, and an interview along with Pendard re: Geeks and Kink on Polyamory Weekly. Apparently I’m an expert on geeks and kinky sex or something. 🙂 There are worse things at which to excel…

Me, Amy, Heather, and Elena celebrating Life Day!


** Sadly, no men of note. It was a slow one for dating. There was this one time where I thought I was being flirted with at a wedding, but that turned out to not be the case. Then there was this other time where I thought I had game at a geek singles event. But that was just men thinking I make a really good friend. *sighs* That’s how the cookie crumbles.

** 5 year anniversary of my mother’s passing.

** I turned 32 with little fanfare, but spent a fun night with Joanna and her brother, Carlos, at a really gorgeous spot in Queens on the East River that I’d never been to before. Had my first Four Loko. 🙂 Also, managed to get a free slurpee at 7-Eleven.

** After Gally in February, I made the decision to make moves toward moving toward Los Angeles! At first, I was going to move to Plano, TX and save up money while living with my friend, Angela. However, another friend, Maritza, offered to let me live rent-free with her and her husband in Santa Monica in exchange for babysitting, so a plan was created for me to move out to Los Angeles toward the end of the year!

** Everything after that decision felt like prep for that. Everything I did became “my last ____ in New York.” I stopped babysitting for Caleb and Toby (whom I loved), and after my lease was up at my apartment in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn, I spent a month at Maria’s while catsitting, a couple of weeks at Robin’s, then my last few days in New York at Liz and Alex’s. Hurricane Irene didn’t stop my goodbye festivities, and after planning parties for myself, I was surprised by another party thrown by my friends that had been planned since June. I cried. A LOT. I visited my mother’s grave one last time, saw my dad one last time (for now), and said goodbye to my family. Leaving New York was the biggest, most life-altering thing I’ve ever done.

** On August 31st, 2011, I left New York on a jet plane. Don’t know when I’ll be back again. 🙂 I had been given letters written by some of my closest friends that I was instructed to read on the plane. After Robin and Joanna escorted me to the airport and waited until I got all the way through security before leaving, I got on the plane and started reading my letters. As the plane pulled off the runway, and I saw the skyline of my hometown fade into the distance behind us, I cried. And the letters I read were beautiful.

** Once I got to L.A. I was immediately greeted by lots of social people, and also lots of financial difficulty. I started out at Maritza’s, but that fell through for various reasons, and I had to move out. I lived for a little over a month with my friend Theresa and her husband Alan, until that fell through for various reasons. Now, I’m living where I should’ve lived in the first place, with my friend Heather and her boyfriend, Alexis. I have my own room, have been contributing to food, and will begin contributing to rent this month. I’ll be here until I save up enough for a car and a security and first month on my own place. It’ll be a while, but this lease isn’t up for two years, so…I’m a Valley Girl now. 🙂 My first few weeks of living here were filled with parties, events, coffee meetings, and getting-to-know-yous…

** And then the doldrums set in. L.A. winter (which consists of rain, clouds, and temps in the 50s) was a mite depressing. So was the fact that I’m broke and stopped being able to afford being as social as I wanted to be. There was a period of a couple of weeks when I was actually rawther depressed. I’m much better now. 🙂

** The Occupy Movement has become a big part of my life, and when I first heard about it going down at Occupy Wall Street, I really regretted not being in NYC to be a part of it. But then, I got involved with Occupy L.A. My friend Mike and I camped out at Occupy L.A. on the fourth night (and got interviewed by KTLA the next morning). While I haven’t been able to get there since then (no money for bus fare, no car), I’ve been spreading links and writing my face off about it. When I traveled to Seattle and San Fransisco this year, I visited their Occupations and took pictures. I will post them eventually. If you’re not outraged, you haven’t been paying attention.

** Speaking of travel, I went to Seattle for Geek Girl Con. Money was tight, so I ended up only being able to get TO Seattle. Had to wait on a paycheck to get back. It came later than expected, so I was stuck in Seattle for an extra week, which was fine. In addition to Geek Girl Con, I had an amazing time staying with my friend, Heidi, then with a new friend, also named Teresa, and her partners, Scott and Larry, all of whom were super sweet to me. Geeked out at the Battlestar Galactica Exhibit and the Avatar Exhibit at the EMP Museum. Sat on the bank of Lake Washington. Visited the first Starbucks. Had lunch with some new friends, Jennifer and Anita. Had dinner with a new friend, Kristen. Had breakfast with a new friend, Christina. 🙂 So all my meals were covered, and I got to hang with some wonderful people in the process. Taking the train to Seattle rather than a plane made the trip that much more memorable. If you can take Amtrak anywhere, especially up the West Coast, do it! It’s beautiful.

** Traveled to San Fransisco the weekend following Seattle through the generosity of friends. Stayed with Anita and her boyfriend at their place on Valencia – it was so sweet of them to let me stay there barely knowing me. Met up with Cathy, Matt, Angela, and Heather and we walked ALL OVER. (that city is seriously ALL uphill) Fisherman’s Wharf, seals, Chinatown, Lombard Street, the Comic and Cartoon Art Museum, and it all culminated in seeing Kevin Spacey play Richard III at the Curran Theater. He was great, even if the production was a bit uneven. But the second half was MUCH better than the first. Would love to visit SF for a longer period of time.

** Went with my new friend, Judi (Deb’s sister!), to see Riverdance at The Pantages Theater, and saw Merle for the first time in years. Also saw Padraic, Niamh, Maeve, and some of the other Riverdance cast and crew I’d gotten to know in my years working for the show. So surreal! But it was good to see everyone!

** Spent Thanksgiving with my new friend Emily at the place she shares with her boyfriend, Phillip, as well as some of his family. It was a really nice night (with great food!), and I was so touched that she invited me. Emily’s a good’un. 🙂

** Celebrated Christmas with Heather, Alexis, and their family and friends at his mom, Julie’s, place. REALLY great food, and I had a Malta for the first time in years! 🙂 Met some great new people (and possibly a new personal trainer!), and was touched that Julie and Heather thought of me with gifts knowing that I couldn’t afford to give gifts this year (and even after they’d each agreed that no one was doing presents this year!). 🙂 Also got some unexpected Christmas gifts from Robin and Heather E, as well as a ton of Christmas cards from everywhere. Skyped with my family. It wasn’t nearly as sad or bad as I was expecting. I felt a lot of love. I’m a lucky person.

** Roscoe’s. Chicken. And. Waffles.

A sampling of the new friends I’ve made this year: Maritza, Bob, Emily, Amy, Anita, Jennifer S, Theresa W, Alan, Teresa G, Scott, Larry, Judi, Jared, Jenni, Jenni P, Julianna, Josh, Vicky, Shanna, Jessica M, Stephanie, Dina, Sarah, Elena, Chastity, Dino, Elliot, and several more peeps. I’ve been so warmly welcomed in L.A. it’s not even funny.

Robin and Me just before her wedding!


** My BFF, Robin, got married to the love of her life, Matt – and I was her maid of honor! 🙂 It was SUCH a great wedding. Everyone looked amazing, I danced so hard I hurt the next day, and everyone had a wonderful time.

** My friends Robyn and Jerry also got married in the Virgin Islands. I was originally supposed to officiate the wedding (I even became a minister in the Universal Life Church!), but my finances wouldn’t allow me to make the trip, and I had to back out, which bummed me out severely.

** Katie got pregnant again! Her first son, Nate, was a long-awaited gift. Now, this woman’s like a friggin’ rabbit! 😉 But seriously, I’m so happy for her and Aaron.

** New York State passed marriage equality! I put this in my “friend-related awesome” section in honor of all my friends in New York who can now get married! Now, for the rest of the country… 🙂

The cast and crew of Husbands at their premiere at Meltdown Comics


** I launched Beginning of Line in January 2011! In December, we’ve just posted our 18th story, which was our “Caprica Season 2″ finale. I’m so proud of all of my writers and artists – talented people, all! I’m looking forward to planning Season 3 and continuing to create stories set in the Caprica universe in 2012!

** Geek Girl Con was a huge success, and the best convention to which I’ve ever been. Hands down. It was so well run, I met so many amazing people and gained so many opportunities because of it. I can’t wait for Geek Girl Con 2012. I’ll be there with bells on!

** In television, 2011 introduced me to two of my favorite new shows, Once Upon a Time and Grimm. Torchwood: Miracle Day was really enjoyable (though I still have 2 eps to watch!), and the webseries, Husbands, was an adorable look at gay marriage. Doctor Who, Season 6 was really cool, if a bit confusing. Fringe had its best season ever. The Walking Dead? Not so much. And I caught up with two brilliant AMC shows: Mad Men and Breaking Bad. I cannot WAIT for new episodes of those two in 2012!

** In film, the end of the Harry Potter franchise totally satisfied me. I was one of the only people in the world who really liked Sucker Punch, apparently. Loved Super, Paul, and Friends With Benefits. And BRIDESMAIDS! Thank you, Kristen Wiig.

** Thankfully saw the Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark on Broadway once they worked out the kinks. It’s still not a perfect show, but it’s fun, and MUCH better than what it was before, from what I hear.

** Sadly, we lost Doctor Who‘s Elisabeth Sladen and Nicholas Courtney. RIP.

** In addition to Gally and Geek Girl Con, I attended Long Beach Comic Con and Comikaze Expo, both of which weren’t terribly thrilling.

** Went to the Husbands premiere at Meltdown Comics.

** In addition to Riverdance, I went to see a production of Danny and the Deep Blue Sea at the Crown Theatre in NoHo. L.A. DOES have a theater scene! 🙂

** I was named one of the Top 11 Geek Girls of 2011 according to the Chicago Tribune Red Eye’s “Geek to Me” blog! Thanks to Elliot Serrano for thinking me worthy of inclusion in such wonderful company! WOO HOO!

Got to meet: Jessica Mills, Candis Phlegm, Lyndsey Doolan, Jane Espenson, Cheeks, Sean Hemeon, Alessandra Torresani, Magda Apanowicz, Javier Grillo-Marxuach, Amy Berg, Felicia Day, Vincent Caso, Amy Okuda, Bonnie Burton, Michelle Boyd and the rest of Team Unicorn (except Clare!), Adrianne Curry, Sean Becker, and Juliet Landau. STILL have not met Sasha Roiz despite interviewing him twice, a jillion tweets and emails, and crossed communiques to get coffee when I was visiting L.A. earlier in the year. Well, Sasha – you have until the end of the world in December to make it up to me. Ball’s in your court. 😉

2011 was a huge year for me, and there are amazing things in the works for this new year. 2012 is going to PWN! And I’m looking forward to sharing it all with you!


January 1st, 2011 was the one year anniversary of The First Post on this blog. I can’t believe I’ve kept it up this long. I also can’t believe that people I don’t really know actually read it! To everyone who’s stopped by, who’s subscribed, and who keeps coming back for more…


So, I’ve been thinking about ways to improve the blog and make it more interesting and/or useful. Don’t get me wrong…it’s primarily a place for me to talk about 1) my writing, 2) my geeky interests, and 3) my crazy, impoverished, freelance-writer life. I’ll still be doing all that. However, I’d also like to give you lot something to take away with you other than me rambling on about myself. I don’t want to become a pop culture news blog – there are plenty of those – but I’d like to be more than just a personal blog… *sound of wheels turning*

So, I’m devoting this week to celebrating my little blog’s birthday by visiting posts past, talking about ideas for the future, and reaching out to you for your input on how I can make The Teresa Jusino Experience more fun/informative for people other than me. 🙂

But first things first:

The Year In Blog

The stats helper monkeys at mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads Wow.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

About 3 million people visit the Taj Mahal every year. This blog was viewed about 25,000 times in 2010. If it were the Taj Mahal, it would take about 3 days for that many people to see it.

In 2010, there were 98 new posts, not bad for the first year! There were 150 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 61mb. That’s about 3 pictures per week.

The busiest day of the year was August 18th with 3,715 views. The most popular post that day was About Teresa. (Thank you old Wil Wheaton article!)

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were,,, Google Reader, and

Some visitors came searching, mostly for lady gaga, daniel tosh, marvel civil war, teresa jusino, and lady gaga pictures.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.


About Teresa December 2009


A Completely Unsubstantive Crush Post (Beautiful, Beautiful Picspam) February 2010


Caprican in a Tauron Body (or, Remembering Mom) April 2010


Pop Goes Teresa: Loving Lady Gaga Part 2 – Camille Paglia and the Death of Reason September 2010


Teresa’s Bookshelf: SONG OF SOLOMON, by Toni Morrison January 2010

So…my readers love me, looking at hot pictures of Sasha Roiz and Daniel Tosh, reading about sci-fi and culture, highbrow literature, and Lady Gaga. Excellent. So do I.

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