Thankful Thursday 22 July 2021

Today is the last day of Cancer Season, and we only have one more week in July. I can’t believe it. I’m ready for August, however. July, so far, has left me a lot to be grateful for.

Wow! Reddit really knows how to surprise a gal! Reddit Arbitrary Day Secret Santa did a great job, just like my Pride Santa last week. Santa’s note to me really pulled at my heartstrings.

I’m really verklempt. When I went to work on Tuesday, I asked the librarian if I could find books about calligraphy in either the adult’s or children’s section. Laura suggested the children’s first and I found a book in the writing section. I used to write calligraphy in high school, but I had calligraphy pens and I’ve never used a feather pen before. It’s also been 13 years since I last wrote in calligraphy and I need a refresher. I’m grateful that the library had books and I’m grateful that Laura helped me.

For the past few days, haze from the Western wildfires have extended not only into Canada, but the Midwest and the East Coast. The skies have looked like something from a horror movie. It broke today and the weather cooled. It went up to 79 today, will drop to 63 tonight, and we’ll have a few days of reprieve before the temps shoot up again. Thankful for the beautiful weather and easier breathing today.

I’m also thankful for friends and family. What are you grateful for today?

Swimming Self-Care

One of my library co-workers has a pool and she knows how much I love swimming. A few weeks ago she told me I could come over and swim anytime, I’m always welcomed at their home.

On Friday I decided to go swimming after work (full-time job). It was 90 with a real feel of 99 and swimming felt so good. Cannonballing and swimming for two hours felt great.

On Saturday evening, we had violent storms (Saturday was 95 with a real feel of 110) and yesterday was much cooler. Although it was only 75, I decided to go back to the pool yesterday. The water was much warmer than the air and it felt good to stay in the water, do some laps, swim around and cannonball.

My co-worker took me home on both days and sat with me for a little bit. Swimming cheered me up, but that wasn’t the only thing that cheered me up. I am loved and appreciated. I love and appreciate myself.

The anxiety has melted off and I decided that I am going to dial it down. There’s no need to be anxious about one of the things I was worried about. I am myself. I am enough. I am kind, I am caring, I am empathic, I am worthy. I am liked for being Jessica and there’s no need to be anything else.

Can’t wait to swim next weekend! 🙂

Oh, it’s a special anniversary today! It’s Calvin and Hobbes’s first Inkday! I can’t believe it’s been a year already! They still look great; Marz did such a great job last year.

Thankful Thursday 15 July 2021

Wow, can you believe we’re halfway through July already!? Once July is over, we’re past the halfway mark of the year. Please slow down a little 2021!

Today marks 11 years since I became a nose pierced beauty! 2021 has the same days as 2010, which means I became a nose pierced beauty on Thankful Thursday! This is my favourite piercing by far and I’m thankful mom took me to Main Line Tattoo and Piercing to get it done. Happy 11th anniversary, nose piercing!

Yesterday I received a package in the mail from my Reddit Gifts Santa. It was from my Pride Santa and it was a healthy sized box. I carried it in and brought it downstairs and ripped it open:

This really was a Happiness Box! This was a much needed surprise yesterday.

I love the shirt and can’t wait to wear it. Ace and full of love. The love I carry for myself and others during Pride and beyond. I’m also demi about romance and carry love for anyone I vibe with.

The worry doll is coming in handy; I’m in an anxiety spiral now and I’ve taken a break from Facebook to control that spiral. I’m writing, I’m journaling for the Happiness Box, and I’ve started talking to the worry doll.

I can’t wait to use the tea towels when I cook and I can’t wait to hang up the rainbow! The socks and scrunchie will come in handy not only for roller skating, but ice skating in the winter too! Thank you so much Pride Santa for making my day so bright!

I’m truly verklempt. This week I am grateful for my friends and the community. As I mentioned above, I’m experiencing an anxiety spiral; I’m thankful for my friends who have listened and haven’t judged me. I’m also thankful for family.

What are you grateful for today?

Atlantic City | 5 July 2021

Last Monday I took a day trip to Atlantic City. I was off from both jobs and I decided to take an impromptu beach trip for my birthday. The weather was a beautiful 79 degrees, full sun. However, the waves were really rough. I enjoyed them, however.

I met some young ladies and hung out with them for a little bit. They poured me some champagne and toasted the 4th of July and my birthday. They invited me to the Tropicana’s pool, but I decided to stay beach side. It was nice chatting and sitting with them for an hour.

I also had joy chatting with the lifeguards. They agreed to a selfie and I had my eyes closed because the one behind me said something funny and I was laughing when I took the photo.

When I went to get changed, I decided to leave my stuff on the beach. I wanted to come back to take some photos. Well, after I got changed, I decided to try my luck on a slot machine. I tried two penny machines, put $2 in and didn’t win. I don’t gamble, $2 was enough and I walked away. I wasn’t impressed.

I went back to the beach and the tide had risen so much that half of my beach blanket and one of my towels was soaking went. I had to move my set-up back. I was a good 3 feet away in the morning and by 4pm the tide had risen that much. Fortunately, the waves didn’t take my stuff back into the water and fortunately my camera was okay.

Before: earlier in the morning
After: high tide

I took a few photos in the rising water, packed up my stuff and went into the Tropicana to charge my phone before having dinner at Rain Forest Cafe. Charged my phone for the hour, then had a nice gluten-free dinner.

Atlantic City is always a fun time and last Monday I made some wonderful memories.

Last Tuesday I had to take a photo of the beach-wrecked blanket and towels. It looked like I brought home a good portion of Atlantic City.

Thankful Thursday 8 July 2021

As the birthday ride comes to an end, I am feeling blessed. I may not be monetarily wealthy, but the love from family and friends makes me feel rich. I’m wealthy in other, more important ways.

Here are the lovely cards I received in the last few days, mixed with the cards my parents, my lovely neighbour, and my aunts gave me on my birthday. Such an outpouring of love that I placed right into the Happiness Box. Of course, I printed out Crush’s birthday wishes, so they are right there with the cards.

Sarah and Bernadine are my UK friends and their card made me verklempt.

On Tuesday I put up my display at the library and last night I took a photo. Sangeetha had me make a new sign and she did take a photo of it today, but I’ll take a photo of the new sign next week. Here are the photos from last night, with the old sign. I’m really grateful for this opportunity.

I’m also thankful for friends and family. What are you grateful for today?

32 Candles: Picture Yourself at Jessica’s Birthday Celebration (4 July 2021)

can’t believe we’re already half-way through 2021 and my birthday seems to mark the half-way point of the year.

This weekend I did something I haven’t done since 2012 – I had a birthday weekend and I was super hype. On Friday, I decided to go the Philadelphia Film Society—I renewed my membership and wanted to see AsiaAsia was a favourite in the Israeli Film Festival and it was in Russian and Hebrew. I was thinking of seeing Zola, but Asia was at a more convenient time. I may see Zola next week. Anyway, I took a break from roller skating and decided to treat myself to dessert before dinner. It’s my birthday weekend and I can eat dessert before dinner if I want to!

Asia was playing at the Bourse theater and I decided to go to the Bourse food court. They didn’t have much there, most places were still closed due to COVID-19 restrictions. Scoop Deville was opened and I ordered a gluten-free vegan root beer float. I chatted with a family visiting from Columbus, OH and I gave them some suggestions for Philadelphia on the 4th. Their son was in first grade and since he just learned about Philadelphia, they decided to take a trip. They appreciated my suggestions.  I mentioned it was my birthday and when I was younger, I used to visit Philadelphia all the time on the 4th. They wished me a happy birthday.

I was the only one in the theater for Asia. Interesting movie that was ridiculous in some parts, weird in others. I laughed at the ridiculousness and I’m glad I was in the theater alone.

When Nan and I used to watch movies, we would chuckle at ridiculous ones. I remember I once rented Pride and Prejudice with Kiera Knightley and we both hated it. Her reaction was too funny: “I’m going to get the wine! I can’t sit through this movie without wine! Would you like a soda?” I would reply, “yes, I need soda to get through this movie!” The things one remembers…

…After, I treated myself to a nice gluten-free pizza meal at Snap Kitchen. I was glad they were still opened at 9:15 pm.

4 July, my birthday, a wonderful day. Aunt Peg had a small get-together and it was wonderful seeing Doug, Brit, and Maddie. Doug and Brit moved to the UK in 2019 to pursue her MBA at the London School of Business. They are back in the States now. The last time I saw Doug was when I was visiting Brighton Beach in July 2019 and he was living in Brooklyn at the time. It felt good seeing both Doug and Brit again.

I hadn’t seen Maddie since Hanukkah/Christmas 2019. She lives in Washington State, her husband is in the Navy and is deployed until 2022. I think in the fall, I’m going to plan a trip to Bremerton, WA to visit Maddie for a long weekend. I’ve never been to the West Coast and I think it’ll be nice to keep Maddie company for a few days. She’s a physician assistant who was very busy during the pandemic; it was really nice seeing her again too.

Mom, dad, and I had a nice dinner at Bonefish Grill and then came back home for gluten-free birthday cake. It was a chill birthday and for that, I am glad. I had memorable experiences and I’m going to make some scrapbook pages for Happiness Box 2021.

On Saturday, I had Synagogue service and Rabbi along with the congregation all wished me a very happy birthday. Towards the end of the service, I mentioned that I was going to Atlantic City on Monday and Rabbi gave me some gluten-free glatt kosher restaurant suggestions. I made reservations for Rainforest Café already, but I made a kosher lunch for me to enjoy. 😊 

I had a wonderful birthday weekend and I can’t wait to fill you all in about Atlantic City.

Thankful Thursday 1 July 2021

Happy 1 July! Happy Canada Day! We’re six months into 2021, six months into the Happiness Box Project. There’s only six more months left of 2021, 182.5 notes until Happiness Box 2021 is finished. This year is truly speeding by, but there’s still a lot to be grateful for.

Life is really good right now and I’m very thankful for that. I’m thankful for the people in my life – friends, family and colleagues. I am blessed to have them.

What are you thankful for today?

Philadelphia Orchestra

After roller skating, Wawa’s Welcome America was hosting a free concert. The Philadelphia Orchestra was performing! The jazz singer was amazing!

I sat next to this one woman and we struck up a conversation. She was happy I was still wearing my mask; she was continuing the mask wearing especially now with the Delta variant. I told her I’m fully vaxxed, but I am not going to take my mask off when near a crowd of people. She was in the same boat.

It was wonderful to enjoy the show with my new acquaintance. We discussed philosophy, religion, and classical music.

It felt great seeing the Philadelphia Orchestra again!

Your Disco Needs You

On Friday, I went to the Blue Cross River Rink and decided to have my own person roller disco. I put on Amazon’s Disco playlist and to my liking, the playlist played a lot of Donna Summer. Here I am skating to “On The Radio,” which then turned into “Hot Stuff.”

I also found that Andrei Cerbu and Shut Up and Kiss Me made a cover of “Hot Stuff.” I loved their rendition!

“I Will Survive” was also a cover:

I will have to see if Millennium Roller Rink offers a disco night. It was fun grooving to the music and I’ve always wanted to roller disco. Looking at the video, I do like the song that was playing. I like Dua Lipa.

Pride Story Time | 26 June 2021

A few weeks ago, mom mentioned that she saw the library was having a Pride story time for children. That piqued my interest and I asked Laura if I could attend. It would be no problem, so I marked my calendar for 26 June.

26 June came and I was cat sitting for Terry. I was walking to the library (5 minute walk) and I was wearing my Pride skirt. A lady walking warned me about the protesters, I explained to her the last time there was a protest in the city, and she recommended the back route. I took her advice. I’ll be honest, I don’t have patience with bigots. I will scream, I will shout, and I will dox if I have to. There’s no room for hate in this world. I didn’t want to get into it today; these bigots weren’t on the same level as the ones in Philadelphia.

I’m thankful for that recommendation, by taking the back way and avoiding the protesters, I went into the reading with a peaceful state of mind. Parker, a recent high school graduate, set up this event and day. He read two stories and did a wonderful job reading to the children. One of the books about a transgendered child taught the young ones, “we are who we are and we should be proud of who we are.” That was a verklempt moment. We are who we are and we should find pride in ourselves.

Lucy, a lovely Queen, read Pride 1,2,3 and I think I might have met them at Pride 2019. Lucy did a great job too. They explained some of the parade to the children and also what it means to be an ally.

Parker and the GSA (Gay Straight Alliance) set up a Pride path around the playground. People could walk around and read about all the different identities.

Representation matters. ❤️🧡💛💚💙💜🖤🤎🤍

So thankful for this path that explained every identity. The more we know, the more accepting we can be of others.

I was so happy to see the ace and demi signs. It took me a long time to accept myself and be proud of who I am. We are who we are and being proud is beautiful.

I talked to Parker and thanked him for doing what he did. A recent high school graduate and already making an imprint on the world.

When I left, I took the backway again and the protesters were still protesting. What sad lives these bigots must live to protest those who are happy with who they are. Then again, what sad lives racists must live too. I thought about the hatred not only for the LGBT, but the aphobia against aces and aros. I survived violence due to aphobia. My eyes teared a little and I shook my head, “no, these protesters will not win! Love is love and life is too short for nothing but love!”