Thankful Thursday 10 June 2021

So, today is a special day. Why? 13 years ago today I graduated from high school and 3 years ago today I officially came out as ace and on the arospec during Pride 30. I was surrounded by loving people at Pride; total strangers hugged me and shrouded me in love. I then came out to friends and started acting true to myself. It was a freeing day.

I’m grateful that it still continues to be freeing, although there are still some difficulties. After what happened on 7 November 2013, I still fear it at times, but I embrace those fears and I do protect myself too.


Me in 2018, after the Pride parade ended.

I was going to write a gratitude rap, almost like what Melissa VillaSenor did on Saturday night. However, I didn’t get a chance to and I might work on it on Sunday. I’m grateful Pride is going smoothly so far. I missed my Synagogue’s Pride Shabbat last Friday, but they continue to hold Pride events (online). I am grateful that my Synagogue welcomes LGBTQIA+ families and that the one Rabbi is allowed to be one as a Lesbian. It’s beautiful when a religion is so welcoming.

I’m grateful that Pulse is going to me a landmark that is memorialized and I’m grateful that Pride is slowly getting back again. I’m glad that celebrations are still online.

We had nasty storms last night and it was cloudy this morning. I went out for a walk at 5:30 AM and while I didn’t see the full ring of fire because of clouds and trees, I was able to see the lighting. So beautiful and I’m grateful for the experience.

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

Melissa VillaSenor | 5 June 2021

I saw Melissa Villa Senor on Saturday night and had a blast. Her comedy show had me in stitches. The opening acts were funny, but I loved Melissa’s wholesome comedy. Comedy that made me feel good while laughing. I wasn’t allowed to take photos or videos during the show, but I took a selfie beforehand and I printed out the digital ticket for my Happiness Box.

I’m thankful for the older couple I met while waiting for the trolley to go back to Center City to catch the bus home. The couple said, “you would be safer getting off where we get off and catching the 48 to 13th and Market. We’ll wait with you.” Sure enough, they did, made sure I was safely on the bus too. I’m incredibly grateful for their kindness.

Best Friend Day 2021

I didn’t realize it, but today is Best Friend Day. Thanks to Kermit and Fozzie, I was set right this morning!

Most of us choose our friends based on similar interests and hobbies. However, some of these friends don’t turn into best friends. Why? How come our best friends become our best friends? They tend to be by our sides through thick and thin. We can count on our besties and they can count on us.

I’m grateful for my best friends and I’m sure all of you are too! I am thankful for Christina, Anna, Chris, James, Mary, and people that are slowly but surely becoming friends in the groups I’ve joined.

Spring Shabbat with RSJ Philly | 4 June 2021

For Friday’s Shabbat, we ate sea bass with asparagus and I brought gluten-free challah. I love the RSJ Group and their new resident is from Sheepshead Bay, which is near Brighton Beach. I mentioned I was going there this summer (still have to make reservations) and we chatted. She was really nice.

Also met David, a musician originally from the Ukraine. He’s a copywriter that travels the world. So, I spent a lot of time chatting with him. David is also a musician and he performed a Russian song for us. He called it, “Little Worm Vasily.” I would love to learn Russian some day; I might have to ask him to teach me.

I was so happy that my group agreed to a Shabbat selfie for the Happiness Box. I’m getting it printed for my Happiness Box, but I’m thinking about ordering a copy for framed collage I’m making for my room.

Thankful Thursday 3 June 2021

June already?! Where has this year gone? Today has been a year since we had that derecho that brought down two trees and knocked our power out for 3 days. Mom and dad were away, so Aunt Marie let me stay until our power came back on. Mom and dad came home early, she invited them too, but they stayed with the house. I’m still grateful for Aunt Marie.

Now, 3 June 2021 gratitude. Today is Christina’s 30th birthday and I’m so grateful for her friendship. Once it’s safe to meet up again, we’re going to do so. She’s been having an amazing birthday and I’m so happy for her.

I’ve started listening to WRTI again and radio host Josh Jackson has grown on me. He welcomes e-mails like Gregg, but doesn’t respond. Maybe one day! I’ve been listening throughout the day and I’m glad I got back into my WRTI groove. Josh doesn’t read the sunset times like Gregg did, but maybe one day. Maybe I’ll ask him. I’m a member of the station after all…

…yesterday, Kevin Gordon played my classical request. Midsummer Nocturne by Copland and I was so verklempt that they played my request! I didn’t get a chance to make the jazz request, but jazz is from 6pm-6am, so I don’t listen to jazz that much. Maybe next week I’ll request some Ella Fitzgerald.

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

Philadelphia with Mom | 30 May 2021

On Sunday, mom and I ventured into Philadelphia to go to the Franklin Institute. I treated her to IDEAWorks, which runs until the end of July. Mom and I had fun trying the different activities.

After IDEAWorks, we bonded in the Planetarium with the Astral Almanac show, and ended our day with Adam and Fox’s demonstration.

We took Lyft to Chinatown, as it was a rainy and miserable day. 49 degrees too. Before we went into Pho Cali, we took a selfie in front of the Arch and also under the beautiful flag: “Love, Chinatown.” We love Chinatown.

Mom’s first time eating pho and she absolutely loved it! We can’t wait to visit again.

We ended our day at the Reading Terminal Market, where we did some shopping. I saw all the foreigners take photos, so I decided to take photos of the Reading Terminal Market as well.

We had such a fun day and we can’t wait to do this again in the autumn. Philadelphia is a very hot city, so once it’s cool again, we’ll go.

Happy Pride!

Today is the start of Pride. This month is still looking different, but some places are starting to get their groove back.

In New York City, they are having virtual events and some in-person events, but the parade at the end of the month is still up in the air. It will be virtual, but officials are waiting to see if it would be wise to have it in person as well.

In Philadelphia, the parade won’t be until September, when hopefully it’ll be a bit safer. Some restaurants are having drag shows and other events; my synagogue is having a Pride Seder this month. One of our Rabbis is a lesbian and I’m so thankful to be part of a Synagogue that accepts everyone.

Be loud and be proud! Be proud of who you are.

Thankful Thursday 27 May 2021

Woah, the last Thursday of May?! The last Thursday before Memorial Day?! Woah! Time sure is flying! Please, please slow down! Yet, despite it all, I have a lot to be grateful for.

I’ve been dogsitting since last Saturday. I’m here until this Saturday evening and everything has been going mostly smoothly. After some AC issues that I fixed, things went swimmingly until last night. We had storms yesterday and as I was sitting in the hot tub, the electric went out. It was 9:27 PM. I left my phone downstairs and had to use my Fitbit to see myself downstairs. Once downstairs, I lit a few candles, got the flashlight and turned on my phone. Fortunately, the power was out for 20 minutes.

The dogs stayed close, even when the power came back on. I’m thankful it was out for only 20 minutes instead of 3-4 days like last year. Now I see what Nan meant when she used to say, “I love when you’re here when the electric goes out. It’s intimidating when you’re alone. I’m independent, but there is something about not having electricity that makes one feel vulnerable.

Anyway, I’ve been going home for lunch to see my Boy and my parents. I think mom was a little sad when I said I would be eating (and cooking for myself) at Aunt Kathy’s this week, so I decided I would visit at lunch. On Tuesday I mentioned that the Mr. Coffee and Dunkin blend Aunt Kathy has is lousy and I would be walking to Panera that evening to get my free coffee. Dad said, “No, I’ll pick up Starbucks for you.”

On Wednesday, dad picked up my Starbucks coffee for me and yesterday he let me take the Keurig up to Aunt Kathy’s. This morning I had my Trader Joe’s blend in the Keurig and it was much better. I’m verklempt and thankful for dad.

Tomorrow I’m leaving a few hours early from work and I will be seeing a movie in an independent theater in Philadelphia. I’m seeing a documentary that I’m excited for. This will be my first time back in a theater since March 2020. I am remaining masked anyway, but most places around here are mandating masks. Ritz 5 is mandating masks and they have a capacity limit. I’m seeing the moving at 3pm, so I think it won’t be that crowded. So grateful the Exponent posted a review about this movie.

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

Happy 2nd Inkday, Wraith!

It’s hard to believe that two years ago today, Christina and I ventured to X-Treme Ink in West Chester to get my 1st tattoo, Wraith from Insane Clown Posse’s last joker card. This album means a lot to me.

I remember the lead-up to the tattoo like it was yesterday too. After throwing bullseyes at Kick Ax several times, I thought that in 8 weeks I’ll be turning 30, I’ve always wanted a tattoo and I thought that I would get one in my thirties.

I was texting back and forth with Christina and Anna. They thought, “why not? It would be fun.” So, I kicked around some ideas with Christina and a week later, I settled on what I wanted and I would get it on Memorial Day weekend. Christina was surprised with how quickly I decided. No regerts, or so the commercials and jokes go! Christina suggested X-Treme Ink and she would go along with me.

The day before I went to Atlantic City for the day and before I headed home, I texted Anna that I was a bit nervous about it and if she had any advice for me. She told me that it wouldn’t be the worst pain I’ve ever felt, take a deep breath in and then out.

Anna was right! Wraith didn’t hurt at all. Before my appointment with Antman at X-Treme Ink, I said, “just one! One and done!” Christina, Anna, Ms. Ernestine, and Shetana laughed at me. “Right, one and done, right!” Needless to say, they were right. On this two year anniversary, I now have three tattoos and as the Andrea True Connection likes to say, “more, more, more” and DJ Khaled: “another one!”

I baked a delicious gluten-free cake and made St. Louis Style brisket with spinach and sprouts. I had a celebratory feast. Happy 2nd Inkday, Wraith! Here’s to a lifetime more!

Today is also another special day. Today is James’s birthday. I’m thankful for 13 years of friendship and I can’t wait until it’s safe again to have lunch with him.

I also want to take a moment of silence to remember Margaret Schneider, who passed away on this day four years ago at the age of 105. Remember Always.

All Put Together / Lovely Afternoon in Philadelphia

A brief trip to Old City/South Street on Saturday. I lost two piercings and NoKaOi Tiki Tattoo and Piercing fit me in for an appointment since Infinite Body Piercing is booked until the end of June (I have to cancel the appointment I had… I’m glad I went today, the helix was closing).On my way to the piercing place, I ran into Rob, owner of Crash Bang Boom and we chatted for a bit. It was nice chatting. 😁 I love that store and the owners.

After, I wandered around Old City and ended up at Reading Terminal Market before I went back to my aunt’s. Dog sitting for a week. Bought a Cornish hen, chicken fat for my gluten free Matzo balls, and brisket. This feast only cost me $15!

That night, I rendered the fat. My first time making schmaltz. Tastes like chicken soup and I’ll use it for soup. Next week I want to go back to get some more chicken fat along with the skin, and make the schmaltz for GF matzo balls.

Reddit’s Judaism sub gave me some good advice for the next time: maybe only a tablespoon or two of water, and let the onion sweat render the schmaltz. I can’t wait to give it a try. And I can’t wait to have matzo balls in the broth I made.