The Twelve Posts of Christmas, er, New Year’s #2: “She’s Just Smart and Has No One to Talk To”

You’d talk to me, WOULDN’T YOU?!

Yeah, yeah. It’s a bit late for these. But I was sick through Christmas and, well, busy with awesome people who are more important than this blog through New Year’s. ๐Ÿ™‚ So there. But far be it for me to deprive you of stupid stories from my childhood! And so, my Twelve Posts will continue.

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I wasn’t exactly a quiet child.

I know. You are totally shocked. Try to contain yourselves.

While I’m not an only child, I was the only child growing up in my parents’ house. My older siblings were already into their twenties when I was in elementary school, and they were off earning Master’s Degrees, going out on dates, and generally leading grown-up lives. My parents, while wonderful to me, also each worked, and between that and keeping the house in order (or socializing elsewhere, in my father’s case. He was definitely the Social Butterfly of the two), I was often left to my own devices. Not that I minded. I had a glorious imagination, and could often be found on the couch, pretending it was a boat going down a river (after an African Queen-inspired episode of Muppet Babies); or outside making piles of leaves I’ve picked off plants, because I was on a deserted island and had to forage for sustenance. I was a solitary kid, as I first grew up in Queens, which meant that traveling around the neighborhood on my own was out of the question. Since I relied on my parents or older siblings to take me to visit friends, and they were all often so busy, I spent a lot of time playing on my lonesome. So much so that, even when I was playing with friends – and I did have friends – I often had a whole other game going on in my head that I was playing by myself.

Hell, I still do that.

There are two responses to being a solitary kid growing up. Some people become very quiet. I guess they get so used to turning inward for company they stop looking for it elsewhere.

Me as The Tooth Fairy one Halloween. Yup, that’s a toothbrush wand.

And then, there are kids like me. Kids whose brains are so filled to the brim with ideas and feelings and imaginings that they might burst. They need an outlet – desperately – and so whenever they’re around other people, they’re constantly making noise to make their feelings known.

For example, I got “in trouble” my first five minutes into kindergarten. Ask me why.

It was my First Day of Real School. I’d gone to nursery school, but this was different. This was school. Like, in a real building. A building with fifth graders in it. A school so big that my kindergarten class had to be escorted up several flights of stairs in two lines from where we’d lined up in the schoolyard to our classroom. When we entered my classroom, I was amazed. It seemed huge! An entire wall just for our coats! We each got a cubby! Each of our desks opened up so we could put our stuff in them, too! Toys and games everywhere! And how did I express my amazement? I whistled. That whistle that pitches up and slides down in a way that says, Whoa. This room is friggin’ huge! Apparently, it was loud. I thought it’d be drowned out in the low murmur of all the other kids having similar reactions, but nope. My teacher (whose name I forget – I remember my nursery school teachers, and all my teachers from 1st grade on…but for some reason, my kindergarten teacher’s name escapes me) looked right at me, shushed me, and said, “Excuse me! We’re quiet in school.”

Um…you’re quiet in school, Lady.

In kindergarten or 1st Grade – I don’t remember exactly when, but I was young enough to sit in a circle for Story Time – I was, well, sitting in a circle for Story Time. Now, I loved Story Time, because I loved stories. I loved listening to them, and I’d started to enjoy making them up. So this particular story must not have been interesting, because while it was going on, I became obsessed with the velcro on my sneakers.

Ffffrrrrip! *press closed* Fffffrrrrip! *press closed*

My friend, Cynthia, was sitting next to me and was very amused by my velcro-plying. She, too, had velcro closures on her sneakers – hey, we knew how to tie our shoes by then, OK? We just had better things to do! – and she started fffffrrrrip-ing right along with me. Then, she randomly asked me how that Madonna song goes. You know, the one about material? And I totally knew, because I had a big sister and a big brother who kept me in the know. So I started singing it. We are living, in a material world, and I am a material girl…YOU KNOW that we are living, in a material world…

“TERESA! BE QUIET!”

I looked up, and my teacher was not happy, which scared the crap out of me, because I was totally the teacher’s favorite. Or, one of them, anyway. I was a gifted student and I never misbehaved. I just couldn’t shut the hell up. Though, to be fair, that time was totally Cynthia’s fault. She talked to me. What was I supposed to do? Not show her how much I knew about Madonna songs? Please.

Me giving my nursery school VALEDICTORY speech, because I was a super-genius. ๐Ÿ™‚

My mother was called into school to speak to my teacher once when I was in elementary school, which was weird, because as I said – I never misbehaved. I was the kind of kid teachers liked, and so my parents never saw my teachers except during Parent-Teacher Conferences once a year where my teachers fawned all over my adorable, brilliant little head. Anyway, when my mom asked what the problem was, the teacher apparently started by telling her how much she liked me, how smart I was, what a good girl I was, and how I was such a great student. Then, she dropped her complaint. “But your daughter just won’t stop talking. It’s non-stop. She talks to the other kids, and it’s very distracting.” My mom apparently told her, “I’ll tell her. I know she has to stop. But she does that because she gets so excited. She doesn’t have children her age at home, so she comes to school and wants to talk to everyone. She’s just really smart and has no one to talk to.”

My mother told me this when she got home, and I thought it interesting, even then, that she told me the entirety of her explanation. She didn’t just come home to reprimand me and say “You have to learn not to talk so much in school.” She told me that she told my teacher that she understood why I talked so much. My mom wasn’t giving me permission, exactly, but she was also letting me know that there has to be a balance. That rules aren’t meant to be followed blindly. That sometimes, the people who make the rules need to understand that there have to be exceptions. She was also letting me know that she saw my talkative nature as a bit of a positive; a sign that I had so much creativity and intelligence floating around in my head that I couldn’t help but let it out.

Yes, I know that there are plenty of people who talk incessantly who aren’t brilliant and creative. ๐Ÿ™‚ But I like that my mom thought the best of me. I like to think that maybe what she thought about me is true.

The Twelve Posts of Christmas #1: “Go to the Bathroom, Get a Tissue, and Don’t Do That Again.”

Once again, I’m stealing a page from Paul Cornell’s playbook (because it’s fun!) and doing a series of Christmas posts, starting today! Last year, The Twelve Posts of Christmas were pretty ecclectic. This year, I wanted them to have a theme…

Christmas, in addition to being a religious holiday, is generally a time of year when we stick close to family and friends, reminisce about the past year, and find comfort in tradition. Christmas always makes me feel a little nostalgic, whether I’m doing something Christmassy or not, and so for this year’s Twelve Posts, I’m going to recount some of my favorite (or, most notorious) childhood memories. Because, while Christmases growing up were great, the other 364 days of the year were pretty epic, too. ๐Ÿ™‚ These will all be memories from my early childhood, pre-teen and younger. Prepare to laugh – and be slightly embarrassed for me…

Can we start by talking about this weird semi-mullet? I mean CAN WE?!

“Go to the Bathroom, Get a Tissue, and Don’t Do That Again”

Back in the mid-2000’s, when I was working at a job in corporate sales, I remember talking to my coworkers about what the title of my potential memoir would be. After much thought, I burst out laughing and said, “Go to the Bathroom, Get a Tissue, and Don’t Do That Again.” Why? Because I realized upon thinking about my childhood that this phrase, or variations on it, was kind of a common theme.

Yes. I got told that more than once. Usually by my sister. (Why she was always the lucky one catching me doing weird stuff, I have no idea.)

1) Here’s the thing. Kids pick their noses. The second a kid realizes that his/her finger fits in that face-hole, there’s no stopping it. They will, at some point, stick their finger so far up there that they practically touch brain. Now, there’s a logical progression here. There will come a point in that kid’s life when he/she wonders what his/her snot tastes like. If you say you never wondered this as a kid, YOU ARE LYING. I mean, how could you not wonder? Picture it: you’re about 5 or 6, sitting there picking your nose – I mean, really going to town, right? All of a sudden, you feel something more solid than usual. It’s clogging a very major breathing passage so you, of course, think, I need to get this out of here. So you dig and pull, dig and pull, until finally, there’s this big glob of greenish-clearish-yellowish stuff on the end of your finger. Whoa, you think. That was in my nose! And you stare at it, marveling at the colors. And you know you weren’t supposed to pick your nose in the first place. After all, your mom has already reprimanded you and/or slapped your hand away several times. But what she doesn’t understand is that, sometimes, the tissues are way over there. You can’t be expected to just get up from watching She-Ra, can you? I mean, come on! Pick and wipe, knowwhatI’msayin’? ‘Cause I got TV to watch! But sometimes what you pick out of there is too big to wipe. And so you stare at it. And it looks squishy, and is of a consistency you’ve never really seen before. It kinda looks like a gummy bear.

And that’s when you wonder. Hmmm. I wonder what this would taste like…

Long story less long, I ran the greenish-clearish-yellowish globule across my tongue. And immediately. Started. Crying. It was fucking gross. Also, salty.

My sister walks into the living room as I’m standing there, mid-cry, with a big ol’ bugger on the end of my finger. Well, slightly less of it now that some of it was in my mouth. I remember her being very calm, but also giving me a look like What the fuck is wrong with you? She was in her twenties, and I was in elementary school. And that’s when she calmly said something to the effect of “Go to the bathroom, get a tissue, and don’t do that again.”

You’d think I’d have learned to not stick my finger in holes in which they don’t belong…

OMG, seriously Mom? Bowl cut?

2) Here’s the thing. Kids like sticking their fingers in things. Generally, because their fingers are small and fit into a lot of things. I mean, why wouldn’t you? Kids also have amazing imaginations. It’s sad, actually, how much imagination most of us lose as adults. As a kid, you can easily imagine things like having a robot arm…or being in the jungle while buried in pillows on your living room couch…

Or your finger being a pencil.

So, my sister is an artist, and growing up, I remember her having art supplies all over the house, including a pencil sharpener for her drawing pencils. It was one of those plastic ones with a clear cover on top for the shavings, but it was slightly more fancy because she got it at Pearl Art Supplies and not at, like, Woolworth’s, right? Anyway, so I had her sharpener – I forget why – when I suddenly, and for no reason at all, wondered what would happen if I tried to sharpen my finger.

I imagined my finger coming out of it looking like a flesh-toned colored pencil, and I thought that was cool. I remember holding my index finger up and looking at it, wondering if I’d be able to draw with it once it was sharpened. Apparently, the logistics of skin and fingernails and bone hadn’t yet sunken in by the time I was 6-ish.

I stuck my finger in and turned the sharpener. Hard. And immediately. Started. Crying. It hurt like a mo-fo, and suddenly, under the plastic cover, there was a long curly-cue of skin that looked rather like a pencil shaving, but not, BECAUSE IT WAS MY SKIN.

Once again, my sister – who I’m realizing is truly the tragic figure in all of this – walked in on me in the living room as I was crying. This time, though, I had something of hers. She told me to take my finger out, and I cried that I couldn’t, so she helped me. I don’t know what she did with the sharpener after that, or what ended up happening with that curly-cue of skin, but she said it again: “Go to the bathroom, get a tissue, and don’t do that again.” I did.

I don’t remember very many incidents of me randomly sticking my finger in stupid things after that.

But that just left me wide open to be involved in all manner of other stupid shit.

And for the next eleven days, you’ll hear all about it. ๐Ÿ™‚ Merry Christmas.

Twelve Posts of Christmas #12: Rags To Riches

I was debating what to close with for the Twelve Posts, when suddenly I had a random memory of a show that I used to love when I was a kid that sadly never found a DVD release here. Thankfully, the show found a DVD release in Germany, and plenty of Germans, as well as Americans who saved their VHS copies of it, loves them some YouTube!

Before Glee. Before “Once More With Feeling” on Buffy. Before Cop Rock. There was a show that was everything a television musical should be. That show was Rags to Riches.

Rags to Riches (1987 – I was 8 and 9 during its two-season run) was a musical dramedy about a food industry millionaire (played by Joseph Bologna!) who, in order to project a family-friendly image and secure a business deal, takes in 5 orphaned girls with every intention of returning them to the children’s home as soon as his goals are met. He inevitably comes to love them and ends up adopting them. Taking a page out of Diff’rent Strokes’ culture-clash playbook, Rags to Riches found its conflicts not only in the fish-out-of-water element of these poor girls suddenly living in the lap of luxury, but also in the fact that each of the girls came from a different background and/or had a different set of experiences. There was the Black one (played by Tisha Campbell!), the half-Asian one, the blonde one, the little one. The half-Asian one was also the socially conscious one who also happened to be emo, before emo was a thing. The blonde was, of course, a sort of “Valley Girl” who loved big accessories and shopping.ย  Yes, it was a cheesy show (what show wasn’t in the 1980’s?) that traded in stock characters, but it was also an opportunity for a diverse demographic of girls to see themselves in a television show.

But the truly great thing about Rags to Riches was that it did a musical television show right. It’s one thing to write an entire musical for one episode of a show (like Buffy), or have a show be an original musical, but not commit to its own musical world (like Cop Rock), or have a show be a musical that’s built on the latest pop hits and stretching the story to make them fit the songs instead of the other way around (like Glee), but what Rags to Riches did was commit to a sound (60’s doo-wop), use the familiar melodies and choruses of songs with which people were already familiar, but have original lyrics that had to do with what was actually happening to the characters. It had exactly the right balance of sing-a-long-ability (from the familiar oldies chosen) and new material (new lyrics to learn!) to make a successful television musical.

I remember Eileen, Joanna and I loving this show when I was a kid. I remember “playing Rags to Riches” with them and other friends. I’m sorry it only had two seasons! If anyone feels like letting me create a similar show for today’s audience, I’d be happy to take a crack at it. ๐Ÿ™‚

I’ll leave you with EPISODE 2 of Rags to Riches! I would’ve left you with the pilot, but the pilot didn’t have the really fun theme song! ๐Ÿ™‚ You can find the pilot and all the other eps on YouTube, too.

I hope you’ve had and continue to have a wonderful Christmas season, have a fantabulous New Year, and that 2012 brings us all Rags to Riches-style changes for the better!

Twelve Posts of Christmas #11: 7 Questions

You’ll be hearing more about my plans for the New Year once we get closer to New Year’s Eve. However, I came across something interesting today that will serve to help prepare my brain for the rest of the stuff I want to accomplish. Thanks to Gala Darling, I came across this great little article that lists the 7 Questions to Ask When You’re Not Sure Who You’re Becoming. Here are my answers, as completely honest as possible:

1) What am I freakishly good at?

I’ll reluctantly say writing. Reluctantly, because I don’t think I’m necessarily freakishly good at it. It’s something I do well, but there’s always room for improvement. Then again, the article follows up by asking What are the things that come so naturally to me, they donโ€™t even register as legitimate โ€˜talentsโ€™? Writing has always been something that a lot of my non-writer friends “can’t even understand how I do what I do.” The same way my mind reels when I notice how good some of my friends are at math, or visual art, or knitting, or cooking. It seems to me that those skills require one’s brain to work in a way mine just doesn’t. Apparently, some people feel the same way about the way I write. So, there’s that.

But what else am I freakishly good at? I’m kinda The Child Whisperer – able to get any kid, no matter how shy, or surly, or crabby, or frantic, to simmer down, trust me, or fall in love with me. ๐Ÿ™‚ It’s a gift I’m proud of. I’m also good at mediating conflict. Generally, even if two people I know are fighting with each other, they don’t ask me to choose a side, and I’m usually pretty good at navigating that and either getting people to talk to each other again, or convincing them to be civil enough to each other around me. Lastly, I think I’m really good at putting myself in other people’s shoes. Just call me Atticus Finch. ๐Ÿ™‚ But seriously, I’m good at fostering an environment of acceptance and tolerance, because I don’t judge people based on appearances or social awkwardness or intelligence or lifestyle. I think people generally pick up on that about me and feel at ease. These aren’t things at which I excel all the time, but they’re the things at which I’m best.

2) What do I geek out about?

Geek Culture. I would say that I geek out about comics (though I haven’t read any in a while, because I’m broke), or sci-fi television, or sci-fi stories in general, but the truth is, I geek out about geekery. I love the culture that has come up in the past few years around all of this other stuff I love.

I geek out about anything related to language: English grammar, etymology, spoken word poetry, learning new languages (if you love me, you’ll buy me Rosetta Stone for French, Japanese, Arabic, and Swahili – it’s a Bucket List goal of mine to speak 5 languages fluently before I die.), slang, etc.

Lately, I’ve been geeking out about activism. Not just about one cause even, but about methods by which we can become more involved in the world, and ways in which I can get people to do so.

Lastly, I’ve been geeking out about television writing. I used to not care a whit. Now that I want to do it, I suddenly care very much about the players and how it works. ๐Ÿ™‚ And it’s not even about the conscious decision of “I should get to know the industry of which I’d like to be a part!” but more, “An article about female writers in television…ooh!” Now that I’m learning what it takes, it looks like a really big, really fun game I wanna play.

3) If I was a horrifically superficial & shallow person, what would I really want?

To travel the world indefinitely on an unlimited budget and just experience things, and to be the person everyone considers the leader. Like, if I were in a situation like the one on Lost, I’d want to be the Jack. But better. Because I’d be better at it than he was. But you know what I mean! I want to be the person that everyone else gravitates to and just assumes knows what to do. So, yeah – to be that person, traveling the world, forever.

4) What do I want to be known for?

I want to be known not only for the things I write, but for what the things I write make people do.

5) If I had a full year off, and a stipend of {insert โ€˜how DARE you?!โ€™ amount of money, here}, how would I spend it?

Since the “how DARE you” amount of money needs to be used within a year, rather than have only a year of #3 on my list, I would use that year and that money to build my dream business that would incorporate the arts and helping the homeless. You wanna know what that idea IS, don’t you. Well, I’m not telling. ๐Ÿ™‚ (Funny how, as honest as I’m trying to be in this post, there are some things that are so naive-sounding and grandiose and embarrassing that I just can’t mention them here!) What I WILL say is that it’s an idea I’ve had since I was about 15, and I will make it happen before my mortal coil shuffles off to Buffalo.

6) Whatโ€™s going to be carved on my hypothetical tombstone?

As I’ve already told several of my friends, I’m going to have a holographic, interactive tombstone. Picture it: an enormous monument that houses my coffin. Outside, the monument will be surrounded by a velvet rope and plenty of outdoor seating. Mourners will be escorted in one or two at a time by a burly, yet fun bouncer. There will be floodlights going off as if my grave is the site of a movie premiere. And outside the door of the monument will be a big touch screen where people can start my interactive tombstone. They press a button on the screen, and a hologram of me will pop up saying “Hello! And welcome to Teresa Jusino’s grave! She hopes you enjoy your stay. For a photo retrospective of the life and times of Teresa Jusino, press one! To hear her singing her favorite karaoke songs, press two! To ask Teresa questions from beyond the grave, press three…!” That last one would, of course, require lots of pre-recorded responses. Unless, of course, I actually can come back from beyond the grave, in which case “3” will ring some kind of bell in my spot in Heaven, and I’ll just come on down. Give me a minute, though. I don’t know how long that trip is.

This was my Halloween costume in 2004. I was "A Republican." ๐Ÿ™‚

7) If my parents / my grandma / God / whoever holds my sense of personal propriety in check was GONE (poof!) and there was no one to offend, upset, or disappointโ€ฆ who would I become?

Wow. That’s kind of already true. And I kind of have already been doing that. I was actually talking to one of my best friends late last night via GMail Video Chat, and talked about the fact that I feel like, now that my mom is gone and my dad doesn’t really know what’s going on, I’m finally growing up and figuring myself out, whereas I didn’t really have a “rebellious period” in my youth, and pretty much lived my life to make them proud. Don’t get me wrong, I still want them to be proud. It’s just that now I’m less concerned with them, or anyone else, agreeing with my choices. Thankfully, I don’t have to worry about offending or upsetting anyone else in my life, because they’ve all proven time and time again that they don’t judge me and/or love me no matter what. Even if they see me/think I’m fucking up, they step out of my way and let me make my mistakes without too much fuss. I’m very lucky that way.

And that’s that! ๐Ÿ™‚ Hope that allowed you to get to know me a little better!

The Twelve Posts of Christmas #10 – New Year’s Playlist

First of all, it’s technically Christmas until the Feast of the Epiphany, which is on January 6th this year. The Twelve Days of Christmas are actually the days after Christmas Day. So, that’s why I’m still doing my Christmas posts now.

Yeah, that’s totally why.

Secondly, I wanted to happily announce that NICOLE GUZMAN has won my Christmas Giveaway. And as she lives in L.A, I look forward to giving it to her WHEN WE FINALLY HANG OUT! ๐Ÿ™‚

And now, for my Tenth Post of Christmas…

The New Year is rapidly approaching, and is rumored to be our last one ever! While I don’t necessarily buy into the Mayan calendar, New Year’s Day has been my favorite holiday for a long time, because it allows us the opportunity to start over, to live with purpose, to make the decision that this year we are going to be the people we want to be. While we accomplish that to varying degrees each year, the New Year allows us all the chance to make that decision again, and to see where it takes us.

On Spotify, I have a playlist I’ve created called “I Fucking Rule.” ๐Ÿ™‚ It’s a list of songs I’ve put together that both inspire me to be better and celebrate the fact that I’m already pretty fucking awesome. As the New Year approaches, I’d like to share my 10 favorite tracks from that list. Hopefully, they’ll get you jazzed, too! And I’d love for you to share your favorite inspiring songs in the comments below!

1) Airplanes, Part II – performed by B.O.B, featuring Hayley Williams and Eminem

One of the few times when a remix is better than the original. I love this song, because it speaks to the dreamer in me, and to the fact that success doesn’t come from sitting around wishing and hoping, but by taking action and making things happen for yourself. No one is going to hand you your dreams. On the one hand, it’s entirely up to you. On the other hand…it’s entirely up to you!

2) Don’t Rain on My Parade – performed by Lea Michele

I listen to this ALL THE TIME. A musical standard sung by a new talent who kicks the shit out of it. Oh, life is juicy, juicy and you’ll see, I gotta take my bite, sir! What better vibe to carry into the New Year? Nobody, but nobody, is gonna rain on MY parade! ๐Ÿ™‚

3) A Mistake – performed by Fiona Apple

A song about taking pleasure in one’s mistakes – because it’s the only way anyone really learns anything. Also, mistakes are fun – in retrospect, if not at the time! I hope Fiona comes out with another album sometime. I miss her!

4) No Love – performed by Eminem, featuring Li’l Wayne

Bad. Ass. There’s no other way to describe this song. Well, there’s no other way to describe this song once you skip Li’l Wayne’s lame verse and get to Eminem’s GOLD about 2 minutes in. It’s also the best anti-bullying video I’ve seen this year. And the message is clear: say what you want about me…because my talent makes me stronger than your pettiness. And while I’m generally the kind of person who will treat everyone with a certain level of love and respect, even people who’ve not treated me well, it doesn’t mean that I’ll go out of my way to do it.

5) What You Waiting For? – performed by Gwen Stefani

What AM I waiting for? ๐Ÿ™‚ I love this song, because it’s upbeat tough love. Take a chance, you stupid ho! That sounds like something I’d say to someone. Well, maybe I wouldn’t call them a ho (depends on the person. I know plenty of hoes, and I say that with love), but I would definitely call them out on being stupid for not taking advantage of their potential. Wasted potential, as I’ve said before, is something that pisses me off. A lot. Seeing a friend with talent squander it because they’re afraid just makes me angry. Knowing I have talent and don’t act on certain ideas I have because I’m afraid makes me angrier. So, I’m trying to not be a stupid ho in 2012.

6) 32 Flavors – performed by Ani DiFranco

This song celebrates a woman’s greatness while reminding both men and other women that said greatness isn’t a threat to anyone else’s. The dictionary definition of humility is “the quality or condition of being humble; ย modest opinion or estimate of one’s own importance, rank, etc.” You can think yourself great without thinking yourself greater than others. You can use your own greatness to encourage greatness in others. Everyone is great at something, no matter how small, and we should all be proud of our talents. And we shouldn’t be threatened by or jealous of the talents of others. We should be inspired!

7) Fireball – performed by Willow Smith, featuring Nicki Minaj

This girl is, like, nine or ten, and she’s totally a role model to me. That, and she has an a awesome rock/hip-hop musical sensibility, and she’s badass without being vulgar or acting older than her age. I love that Nicki Minaj chose to do a verse on this song, too, as she’s another woman who inspires me with the sheer force of her bravado. I also love the image of a woman in the game actually helping a girl coming up in the game, rather than experiencing All About Eve-esque jealousy. This song is made of win and makes me want to do ALL THE THINGS. ๐Ÿ™‚

8) The Show Goes On – performed by Lupe Fiasco

A song that reminds me that greatness is possible no matter what your background. Also, a reminder that once one achieves greatness, it’s their responsibility to help others do the same however they can. No matter what you see when you look outside your window; brown grass or green grass, picket fence or barbed wire, never ever put them down, you just raise your arms higher. Indeed.

9) Gives You Hell – performed by All-American Rejects

Sometimes, you need to indulge in the part of you that wants to rub your success in someone else’s face. Rather than doing it to someone in person, channel all that passive-aggressive energy into singing along with a song like No Love, or this one! I also love that this song is from the point of view of someone unabashedly living the way they want and not living the 9 to 5 grind just because it’s what he’s “supposed” to be doing. The best revenge against someone who criticizes your life choices without knowing what they’re talking about is living well. ๐Ÿ™‚

10) Pretty Girl Rock – performed by Keri Hilson

It certainly helps that I can fit my name so neatly into the lyrics – My name is Terry, I’m so very fly, oh my, it’s a li’l bit scary – but I really love this song, because it too spreads the message that one can embrace one’s awesome without hating on other people. It also encourages all women to do the pretty girl rock rather than be catty with each other. Love it.

Enjoy the rest of the holiday season, and here’s to embracing your awesome and encouraging the awesome in others in the new year!

The Twelve Posts of Christmas #9: L.A. Year One – My First L.A. Christmas!

My enormous wine glass and I celebrate the birth of Our Lord.

My first Christmas in L.A, and I was lucky enough to be welcomed to spend Christmas Eve with the Cruz Family! I was so grateful to be given such hospitality and warmth this holiday season. Also, LOTS of food. Lots of Puerto Rican fare, to be exact…

Rice and beans, pernil, veggies, and a malta. It doesn't get much more Latino than that. ๐Ÿ™‚

ย Yes, there were pasteles. No, I didn’t have any. ๐Ÿ™‚

In addition to hanging with Heather and Alexis, and getting to know Alexis’ mom, Julie, better, I also got to meet some awesome new folks. His bro, Eric, and Eric’s girlfriend, Lila, as well as his friend Kyle and Kyle’s girlfriend, Jessie. Very cool people to chat with (and get tipsy with). Did you see the size of the glass of wine I’m holding in the first photo??

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There was also a very pretty dog in a cute dress that said Santa Baby, and a very cute little dog in a shirt that said Elf-sized. Which he is. And I totally wasn’t expecting presents – I was at someone else’s family function, after all – but I got presents, and I thought it was so super sweet that Julie went out of her way to welcome me in this way.

I keep meeting super-nice people out here. I know that there are self-serving douchebags in L.A, but I haven’t met them yet. Maybe, just maybe, I can keep it that way? We’ll see.

In any case, I had a wonderful evening filled with amazing food (Heather’s first turkey rocked!), awesome people, and great conversation. Who could ask for more?

Merry Christmas, everyone! I hope that you’re finding a way to be happy today, wherever you are, and whoever you’re with.

Twelve Posts of Christmas #6: THE CHRISTMAS GIVEAWAY

As I mentioned in my last post, this year saw me going to a lot of conventions and other geeky events. You know what you get way too much of at those events? Swag. A lot of it I have doubles of, or have no use for…

So, I thought – why not give it away?

THE PRIZE PACK!

HERE’S THE DEAL! Comment on this post by 6:00PM Pacific Time on CHRISTMAS EVE leaving your Twitter handle and/or a link to your FB page, and I’ll announce a winner from a random drawing on CHRISTMAS DAY!

My gift to you! ๐Ÿ™‚

This prize pack includes:

** varied comics from Top Cow, Oni Press, as well as some indies, including a small, autographed comic called “Writerman,” written and drawn by Sheika Lugtu, whom I mentioned in my last post!

** a NYKO Playstation 3 Core Controller – wired controller w/vibration feedback!

** a Hughes the Force prize pack including an 8×10 production still and the prequel comic!

** A Battlestar Galactica iron-on patch that celebrates the 30th Anniversary of the franchise and depicts both versions of Galactica!

** A membership card for the Entertainment Consumers Association – a free 1-year membership!

** A screener of ALL of Season 1 of Standard Action (also mentioned in my last post!) which includes special commentary with Joanna Gaskell!

** stickers! And a magnet!

** and a handy red ECA bag to carry it all around in!

Share the link and comment below! GOOD LUCK!