The Teresa Jusino Experience

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2010 Year In Review

It’s time for my annual Year In Review post; an ongoing tradition since 2004! If you’d like the Cliff’s Notes on my life, feel free to revisit that year, as well as 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, and 2009!

So, here are the highlights of my 2010, broken down into categories this year, because…well…why not?

TERESA’S 2010 YEAR IN REVIEW:

The Writing Life:

** Um, I STARTED THIS BLOG! That’s right, tomorrow is the one-year anniversary of The Teresa Jusino Experience! There will be celebrating! Don’t know how, but there will be.

** Started writing for Tor.com! (and still doing it!)

** Started a column at Examiner.com (not still doing that…)

** Wrote my short story, “December”, which didn’t win me the NYCMidnight Short Fiction contest, but it DID get published in Crossed Genres this year! That makes this my first piece of published fiction, which you can check out in Issue #24, their Characters of Color issue.

** Submitted a proposal for a Doctor Who story as part of Big Finish’s 5th Doctor/Nyssa contest. Alas, t’was not meant to be…

** Did my first and only podcast for Sci-Fi Pulse! (Hello, Ian!) Podcasts are fun! However, I don’t know if I’ll ever be not-crazed enough to do one regularly. If you’d like to listen to the episode I was on, click here (listen to the whole show, or start at around 43:55 to just hear my section)!

** Left my PR job in June to devote myself to freelance writing. To supplement my writing, I’ve worked at a learning center in Flushing, and now babysit a wonderful little boy named Caleb and work at a NYC comics shop. It’s difficult as hell, but it’s the best decision I’ve ever made.

** Wrote my first spec script (for Castle) and submitted it for consideration in the NHMC Writers Program. Did not get accepted. Ah, well.

** Released my first chapbook of short stories, On The Ground Floor!

** Started writing for ChinaShop Magazine, which has been awesome so far!

** Started reviewing comics for Newsarama!

** Started a Facebook Fan Page. Because I have fans, dammit! 🙂

** Had an essay commissioned to be included in the upcoming anthology, WHEDONISTAS, which will be available in March 2011!

** The Pack is officially on indefinite hiatus. However, there is every intention of bringing this story to you somehow. In one medium or another.

** NYCC! Attended to cover it for Tor (not that I wouldn’t have gone anyway!) and had an official press pass! Not that it helped when it mattered (Um, no reserved press seats for the Walking Dead panel? Thanks a bunch.) Met Jason Aaron (seemed grateful when I wanted to talk about Scalped! Nice guy!), Marjorie Liu (awesome! Love that she geeked out over SGU!), Robert Kirkman (he’s getting an email from me soon!), and Bob Fingerman (who recognized my name from the byline of my Tor Doctor Who articles! Eek!). Got to ask James Marsters a question during his panel (the only Caprica-related question in the room), and caught up w/the crew at Roddenberry Productions, for whom I volunteered at the 40th Anniversary Star Trek Vegas convention years ago. Also, I played D&D for the first time…and liked it.

** Got to interview some pretty cool people for Tor, Pink Raygun, ChinaShop, and PopMatters this year: Tara Reich (awesome designer who not only ended up making me a dress for my Caprica photo shoot, but is also making me a Dalek dress for Robyn & Jerry’s wedding!), Paul Cornell (awesome, hour-long conversation where we seemed to talk about everything. Apparently, I managed to ask him a couple of questions he’d never been asked before, which was awesome. *pats self on back*), Steven Moffat (he’s every bit as funny, smart, and awesome as you think he’d be), Sasha Roiz (after months of Twittering and one failed attempt to interview him when he was in NYC promoting Caprica, I was finally able to get in on a conference call interview with him, wherein he recognized my name from Twitter and addressed me as if we go way back, thus making me look like a rock star in the eyes of the world. Or, at least in the eyes of other interviewers. Ended up writing the best interview I’ve ever written), and Bear McCreary (super-awesome guy whose love of music is absolutely infectious! This was a really fun interview).

The Personal Life:

** After 7 years in The Revolving Door Commune for Itinerant Artists, I had to move. First, I spent two months staying with the fabulous Robyn and Jerry. Now, I have a great apartment in Brooklyn from which I can wreak havoc. There was a good couple of months where I was having a heart attack every other day, but things are finally starting to settle. Well, as much as they can settle when you’ve chosen an unsettling path.

** Had a couple of big scares with my Dad’s health, and for a while there we thought he didn’t have long. But Christmas brought a miracle, and now he’s out of hospice care having unexpectedly bounced back! Woo hoo! Still in a home and still suffering dementia, but still. Healthier.

** Went to my first Fashion Week party! I know, right? But seriously – ChinaShop threw a do that I was invited to because I write for them. It was a lot of fun to infiltrate a scene that isn’t really mine, and once my friend Olga showed up, we had a blast! Even as we were fending off unwanted advances from a dude that couldn’t take a hint.

** This was a year of fancy parties, as I also attended Molly Crabapple’s launch party for her Dirtee Hollywood line of t-shirts at Atrium in NYC. Again, I felt like I was crashing a scene, but it was lots of fun, Molly’s so sweet, and there were lots of awesome mini cupcakes. Also created a professional relationship between Molly and my friends (and production folks extraordinaire) Alex & Liz, who filmed/edited a promo piece documenting the party and the window installation she created (you can even see me at around 2:09-2:10). I love it when I can bring talented folks together!

** This was the 4-year anniversary of my mother’s passing. It seems like a hundred years ago, and it seems like just yesterday.

** The high school girl I mentored for the past two years, Mariah, graduated from high school and began college! I was so proud! And now, we’re friends on Facebook. Of course.

** A friend of mine from France, Amaury, came to NYC for the first time. Spent a good 2 weeks showing him around, and marveling at how wonderful my city is all over again.

** Was randomly stopped by cops for fare-jumping in the subway, which I wasn’t doing. Like, at all. Like, not even remotely. So it was a bit frightening, as for a while there it didn’t seem to matter that I’d done nothing wrong, which is ten times scarier than getting called out for something you have done wrong. Because there’s nothing you can do about it. In the end, though, it was resolved.

** Witnessed a lunar eclipse that happened on the winter solstice. It was a gorgeous, sobering sight. When’s the next one? December 21, 2094. See you then!

** Dona Juanita passed away at 94. She was a long-time family friend, particularly of my dad’s, and I went to pay my respects on his behalf as well as my own. RIP, Dona Juanita.

** Spent Christmas with good friends, but a huge blizzard kept me from spending it with family. Still, I spent Christmas Day at a fun get-together at my friend, Mary’s place, where we drank lots, watched the Doctor Who Christmas special, and played drinking games and Bop-It. 🙂 Also, my friends Cathy and Angela are in town, and I’ve spent much of the Christmas season (and will be spending New Year’s Eve) with them and our friend Olga.

** No men of note. Then again, my life was so crazy this year, there was no time to meet men of note.

NEW FRIENDS THAT I’VE MET IN PERSON/OR GOTTEN TO KNOW BETTER THIS YEAR: Olga, Kristin (@geekgirls), Jill (@thenerdybird), Sylvie (@syllver), GeekGirlDiva (@geekgirldiva), Dale (@daleochase), Sarah (@dracona1031), Risa (@lachendwolf), Beth (@wndrwmn), Kristin (@kristenmchugh22), Janna (@dreamyeyed), Liz (another one! the current roommate, not the aspiring editor, nor the condiment) , Jesse, and Maureen. I’ve also gotten to know some pretty awesome people via the intarwebz, whom I haven’t met IRL yet, but hope to in the near future. I’m grateful for all of you, and I hope that we get to hang out more in 2011.

BOOKS I’VE READ THIS YEAR: Song of Solomon, Breakfast of Champions, Chicks Dig Time Lords, The Sparrow, Certain Girls, The Invisible Bridge, The Hunger Games, Catching Fire, My Sister’s Keeper, Fables Vol. 3, Great House. Total books read in 2010: 11. Currently reading: Wild Nights! (Oates) and Mockingjay (Collins) Favorite book read in 2010: The Hunger Games.

Friend-Related Awesomeness That I’m Particularly Happy About:

** My BFF that I’ve known since 5th grade, Robin, got engaged to her boyfriend, Matt. Matt is wonderful, I’m going to be a Maid of Honor for the first time, and my dress looks fabulous!

** My other friend named Robyn also got engaged to a fabulous Englishman named Jerry. I’m going to be officiating their wedding, having become a minister in the Church of Online (or the Universal Life Church) in the Virgin Islands next year while wearing a Dalek dress. Holla!

** My friends Katie and Aaron had their first child, Nate! Nate was long-waited for and hard-won, which makes his arrival all the sweeter!

** My friend Vanessa, who is my longest-running friend (I’ve known her since I was about 3 or 4), got married. I was invited, but my life was so insane and tumultuous at that point that I…um…forgot. It’s probably my biggest regret of the year. But I am grateful that this year caused us to be more in touch than we ever have been. She’s also pregnant! So, 2011 will be a big year for her, too!

Geeky/Pop Culture Happenings of Importance:

** We said goodbye to David Tennant as the Tenth Doctor on Doctor Who, and I was mighty sad about it. Then Matt Smith became Eleven, and I was all “David Tennant, who?”

** Caprica became my favorite show on television, and then became canceled. The cancellation sucks, but it also brought about lots of good things, like giving me writing fodder for Tor.com; making me feel like part of the sci-fi community; introducing me to the work of some brilliant actors, including Sasha Roiz, who is now one of my favorites; reviving my interest in writing for television; and inspiring me to take on a fun project I’ll be announcing in a week. Thank you, Caprica.

** I fell in love with Ke$ha, Nicki Minaj, and Florence and the Machine. Also, with Cee-Lo’s “Fuck You.” It was an awesome year in music.

** Katheryn Bigelow became the first woman to win the Best Director Oscar for The Hurt Locker. This made me squeefully happy.

** Mark Millar totally likes my photography. 🙂

** Was one of the first people in the US (along with the pirates, I guess) to see the first Doctor Who episode of the 6th series when I attended the premiere screening in NYC at which Steven Moffat, Matt Smith, and Karen Gillan were in attendance. I ended up sitting in the same row as Matt Smith’s sister and explained to her boyfriend what a chameleon circuit is! I also attended the Doctor Who event at the Apple Store in SoHo, where the three were in attendance as well. 2010 was a very Doctor Who year for me, it seems! Also, men need to leave Karen Gillan alone! Yes, she’s beautiful. That doesn’t mean you get to talk to her like a thing, rather than as a person. The Q&As I attended showed me the worst aspects of fanboys as far as she was concerned, and it made me angry.

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And, I think that’s it for 2010! Thank you all so much for stopping by this blog over the past year! I hope to make 2011’s entries even more interesting and full of cool things. Do come along for the ride!  And HAPPY NEW YEAR!

2009 Year In Review

Since 2004 I’ve been doing a Year In Review post.  It’s a great way for me to look back on both the good and the bad of the past year, and it’s a great way for anyone reading to get a brief glimpse into the awesomeness that is my life!  🙂  If you’d like to stroll further down memory lane than this post will allow, feel free to check out my past Years In Review: 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008.

And now….*drumroll*  TERESA’S 2009 YEAR IN REVIEW:

** began 2009 having brunch with some wonderful people, then fooling around with a cute boy in his car and, later, in my empty house.  Haven’t hung out with said cute boy again, but still, quite a way to start the year! 🙂

Me and Mariah the day we met!

** 2009 was the first full year I had mentoring Mariah through iMentor.  It was, and continues to be, a really cool, rewarding, challenging, interesting experience.

** OBAMA OFFICIALLY SWORN IN AS PRESIDENT! Was finally rewarded for my campaigning efforts and activism.

** Saw In the Heights, which has since become one of my favorite musicals!  Met Lin Manuel Miranda afterward…he’s such an inspiration.

** MET JOSS WHEDON with Adam! You can read about the experience here.  🙂  He was at the Apple Store in SoHo promoting Dollhouse, which premiered this year.  I enjoy the show, but don’t consider it Whedon’s best work.  Am hoping 2010 brings more interesting projects from him.

Me and Neil Gaiman at Housing Works bookstore

** MET NEIL GAIMAN! I’d been familiar with him since reading Sandman in 2004, but for some reason his work resonated with me this year more than it ever has, and I began devouring everything he’s ever written.  I met him for the first time at a reading he did at Books of Wonder in NYC that I attended with Adam, then several times at signings after that.  A talented and really sweet human being.

** DISCOVERED AMANDA PALMER! I’d vaguely heard of The Dresden Dolls ages ago, but it wasn’t until this year when my following Neil Gaiman led me to the solo music of Amanda Palmer.  Turns out, she’s not only a talented songwriter and a kick-ass live performer, but she’s inspiring in the way that she pursues art relentlessly, uses the internet to its best advantage, and works so hard to stay connected to her fans.  One of the best discoveries I’ve made this year.  Saw her perform live and met her twice.  Also a very cool, thoughtful person.

** Saw Eve 6 in concert for the second time at Mulcahy’s with Robin, Matt, and Sam.  They’ve still got it!  By the end of the concert I was drenched in sweat and felt energized and alive.  It was a good time!

** SAW STAR TREK!  Great, great movie.  So great, in fact, that I saw it in the theater about six times!  🙂  God, but I love JJ Abrams.  Also love Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto!  Rrrawr!  😉

** Met and hung out with Jasika Nicole and her awesome girlfriend, Claire, before they followed Fringe to Vancouver.  Not only is she an awesome actress and a fabulous artist, but she’s a sweetheart and makes killer Rice Krispy treats!  🙂  Had a lot of fun at her going-away party, and I was also happy to meet her amazing cadre of friends.

** Attended Dr. Ruth Westheimer’s 81st birthday party/book party/documentary screening at the National Arts Club, NYC.   I have to say, it felt strange to not only be one of the few people there under 50, but also one of the few people there other than the people working the party that makes less than $40,000 a year.  Still, it was a nice time, and there was some good, fancy food.

Me, Liz#2, and Adam at the Highline Ballroom after the Girlyman concert

** MET GIRLYMAN for the first time at their show at the Highline I attended w/Adam and Liz#2.  Liz#2 got her boobs signed by the whole band.  A great show, and they couldn’t be cooler people.

** Signed up on OKCupid, and had only one correspondence end up in an actual date.  The date wasn’t successful, but the guy was nice enough, and I was happy to get my first online date out of the way.

** Went to Wizard World Philly to volunteer at the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund table.  The con itself was boring (except for when I got to MEET EDWARD JAMES OLMOS, who was the coolest dude ever, and signed my sketchbook in Spanish), and I was really annoyed/disheartened by the level of cynicism displayed by the people with whom I was volunteering (why work with the comic book industry at all if all you’re going to do is look down on the people who enjoy them?), but I was staying with Lisa and John of Pink Raygun fame, and I had a great time with them! They introduced me to a whole bunch of cool people by bringing me to an awesome clambake party…and I ended up hooking up with a friend of a friend of theirs.  🙂  That was a good, fun night.

** Was asked to be a comic reviewer for PopMatters.com.  Wrote a couple of reviews, blog entries, articles for them, had a lot of fun doing it, and really enjoyed working with the editors.  However, I stopped writing for them after a while, because it was too much work to be doing for free.  I made the decision that, other than Pink Raygun, I’m not going to write for any other websites unless they pay me money.

** Met a lot of cool friends this year, including – but not limited to – Lori, Emily, Ellys, Mary, Matt, Sam, Trisha, Laurie (in the UK), Janice, Sonia Aurora, etc.  If I missed you, I’m sorry! I’ve met a lot of people this year!

** Speaking of cool people, I interviewed artist, MOLLY CRABAPPLE, for Pink Raygun, and since then have become friendly with her, and been to her fabulous Dr. Sketchy’s live drawing sessions several times. Have also met her boyfriend, fellow artist, Fred Harper, and her frequent collaborator and friend, John Leavitt.  Attended the release party for Molly’s new graphic novel, Scarlett Takes Manhattan, and had the pleasure of introducing myself to Gala Darling, one of my favorite bloggers.  Would love to get to know all of them better in the coming year!

** Attended my first NY Liberty game w/Emily, Liz#2, and Adam.

Me filming a scene from "The Pack"

Me filming a scene from "The Pack"

** SHOT 3 EPISODES OF THE PACK.  Originally, The Pack was created as an entry for an NBC digital shorts contest.  NBC turned their noses up at us, but we’re continuing with the project.  Liz, Alex, and I hope to buy better equipment and I hope to write better, tighter scripts.  However, shooting those three episodes was A LOT of fun, and taught us SO MUCH.  It also established the fact that once we organize ourselves and get the equipment we need, we can’t fail, because we’re working with an AMAZING cast and crew.  Everyone involved in this project is so talented and passionate about what they do.  We are very, very lucky to have them all.

** CELEBRATED MY 30TH BIRTHDAY! You can read about my fabulous, 30s-themed birthday celebration here.  It was a great night, and I have to say that, so far, my thirties kind of rock!

** Midnight showing of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince with Robin, Matt, et al.  I thought it kicked major ass.  Robin disagreed.  Vehemently.  🙂

** Star Trek Convention in Parsippany!  🙂  A lot of fun – but it would’ve been more fun had people come with me.  Conventions are always more fun when attended with friends.  Still, I MET LEONARD NIMOY, albeit very briefly, so that’s really all that matters!

** Raised over $1,000 for the RDC “Fallen Comrade” Fund to help Liz#2 with expenses incurred because of her broken leg.  I have to say I was very proud of myself for being able to pull that together, and I was so glad to be able to be of some concrete help.

** Was a housesitter extraordinaire – first for Jean and Kevin as I watched their pets while they were away (and I somehow got some kind of throat virus in the process), then for a friend of my friend, Elizabeth’s, in Larchmont watching HER dog.  I have to say, I really like housesitting.  It’s good to get away from communal living for a bit.

** KATIE GOT PREGNANT! That didn’t happen to me, obviously, but I was SO THRILLED about it, it had to be included.  She’s due in March…

** Saw Burn The Floor with Lori.  GREAT show!  I wish I could move like that.  Developed a crush on a German dance couple.  🙂

** Saw The Bacchae with Merle in Central Park.  Boooooring.  Still, Jonathan whassisface is hot.  🙂

Eileen, Vanessa, Joanna, and Me at Martha's in Forest Hills

** After reuniting at my 30th birthday shindig, Eileen, Joanna, Vanessa and I had an epic, old-school hanging out session.  Did I mention this was EPIC.  These are my oldest friends.  I’ve known these ladies since I was knee-high to a grasshopper (I’ve known Vanessa since I was about 3, and I’ve known the other two since I was about 5).  I thought it so cool that we’re all still friends – that we’re even BETTER friends now than we’ve ever been before!

The Cool Kids Table at the post-wedding brunch: Jessica, Nicole, Mrs. Zalas, Lindsay, Andie, Adam, Dana, Me, and Justin

** Trip to MICHIGAN w/Adam followed by ALANA AND ROB’S WEDDING in Chicago.  It was so cool seeing so many people that I don’t get to see nearly often enough.  Became better friends w/Adam’s mom, Joan.  Got to know his dad, Bill, and his stepmom, Kris better.  Got lost for 5 hours in Pyramid Point park with Adam, but made it out alive.  Met family and family friends of his that I’d only ever heard about before, including the infamous Donna!  Also, met Whitney and Casey who are really cool, and got to hang with Carsen, Sasha, Ruthie, Dana, Justin, Lindsay, as well as the Couple of the Hour.  The wedding itself was SO MUCH FUN.  I could’ve done without the threesome going on in my hotel room, but now I know to choose my roommates better on the next trip.

** Entered, and lost, the 2009 NYC Midnight Flash Fiction Contest.

** Went to a benefit screening of Dr. Horrible’s Sing-A-Long Blog at Symphony Space, featuring a Q&A w/Joss Whedon, moderated by Ira Glass, with Adam and Liz#2.  As Liz#2 was still in a wheelchair because of her broken leg, we were let into the lobby first.  Joss Whedon walked right past us in the empty lobby and said hello as he went out to mingle with the people standing on line outside.  We would’ve missed him were it not for Liz#2’s eagle eye.  As he walked by, I said “Hello, Television’s Joss Whedon.”

** Discovered the wonder that is Roller Derby!  Saw Whip It, which I loved.  Went to my first Gotham Girls Roller Derby bout between the Queens of Pain and the Brooklyn Bombshells and had a great time!  I’m looking forward to spending the whole season with them in 2010!

** Met the woman who will hopefully be my future literary agent at a “Breaking Into Publishing” seminar I went to w/Adam at NYU.

** Other fun, work-related shindigs I went to included going to the Fashion for Dummies book party and seeing Chita Rivera perform at Birdland.  Fun evenings, both!

** Saw Jonathan Safran Foer for the UMPTEENTH time at a signing for his newest book, Eating Animals.  He remembered me. 🙂  We’ll see if his book can convince me to become a vegetarian…

** Attended a wonderful event called Salon97, a laid-back classical music salon organized by my friend Kevin’s fabulous wife, Cariwyl.  Met some cool people, including a woman named Ami who works for Tor.com.  We had lunch, she introduced me to Tor.com’s head honcho, Pablo, and I’ve been offered a chance to write for the site!  2010 is going to see even MORE geeky writing from me!

** Discovered THE BEST INDIAN FOOD IN NEW YORK CITY with Ruth, Joe, and Lindsay.  I’m not gonna tell you where it is, though, because I don’t want word getting out about it too much.  If you want to go, you’ll just have to make an appointment with me, and I’ll take you there.

Me and a liter of beer. Standard fare at Studio Square!

** This year saw the beginning of the Studio Square Table – the name I gave the writing workshop started by Jean, and which includes her, me, Alex, and Adam.  It’s been great so far, and I look forward to lots more writing criticism, and enormous mugs of beer with them in the coming year!

** Officially became a Whovian! (that’s a fan of Doctor Who, not, like, a resident of Whoville, or something equally Seussian…)  Great – yet ANOTHER TV show for me to be obsessed with.  🙂

** Discovered the work of writer, Paul Cornell.  Not only do I love his work on Doctor Who, as well as his comics (DARK X-MEN!), but he participates on his blog really actively and seems like such a genuinely nice person.  I look forward to reading more of his in the coming year.

** Thanksgiving at my sister’s place – where it seemed like we’re becoming closer than ever!  🙂  Christmas at my brother’s place – also a great time even though the kids ran me ragged.  I lurve my family.  🙂  Actually, the holiday season was jam-packed with more parties than I expected!  Christmas Eve saw an impromptu Christmas party happen at my house – Sebastien and Diana cooked an amazing dinner, and we had a bunch of people over, including Ellys, Emily, Mary, Adam, Diana’s friends, Patrick, Sam, Ashley, and some other folks whose names I didn’t catch. Lots of fun, and I got some great gifts, including a very special rubber duckie!  On Christmas Day, I celebrated Jewish Christmas, and hung out w/Adam, Ellys, Emily, Robin, Matt, and Sam to go see Sherlock Holmes, then went back to my house to be met up with by Mary and eat Chinese food while watching Wet, Hot, American Summer.  Also a great night.

** New Year’s Eve spent at Robyn’s new place that she just got with her boyfriend, Jerry, who is cool as all get-out.  Partied with them, Robin and Matt, and Brian and Carl, and made new friends in Maggie, Keith, Roger, and Evelyn. It was a great time.  There’s nothing quite like standing on a roof in the middle of NYC celebrating the new year!  Also, there’s nothing quite like interpretive dance the way Robin and I do it:

Well, that’s it!  WHEW!  This has been a truly eventful year.  Thanks to my wonderful family and all my amazing friends for making it so wonderful.  I love you all. Here’s to a wonderful, exciting, fulfilling 2010 for all of us!

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