Meeting Twiztid Again

Yesterday I ventured to the Warped Tour, the final Warped Tour ever, but I will make a separate post at a later time because right now I want to talk about meeting Twiztid again. I think I might have to rename this blog “the Verklempt Diaries” because I had another verklempt moment last night (I had many of those moments).

Twiztid’s meet and greet was for 5:40, but they were a bit late and I was middle of the line. I had to wait about 45 minutes, but it was totally worth it. I brought my Polaroid camera to get a photo with them and they could sign it. They graciously were cool about it and signed it. However, this was the most magical part of the meet and greet:¬†Twiztid was so happy to see me! Both Mono and Jamie smiled when they saw me, then extended their arms out for hugs. Both Mono and Jamie gave me big hugs and said they were so happy to see me. I should also hang out more often. I wished Mono a happy birthday, he smiled, said thank you, gave me a bear hug, then Jamie gave me a hug before I left. I was fangirling and I still am. I love both Jamie and Mono.

The signed Polaroid went into my Happiness Box. I handed my phone to another Juggalo and he took the digital photo.


The set they put on was amazing as well! I was blown away; it was a great way to end the evening and a great way to close out the Warped Tour.

Thankful Thursday 12 July 2018

I’m still thankful for the good health news on Monday and while I’m not out of the woods yet with my liver, I am keeping positive. I’ve been in touch with my cousin who is a physician’s assistant and I’ve been open about my anxieties. She has been a pro in relieving them and I am so thankful for her. Words can’t describe how thankful I am.

Tomorrow I am heading to Vans Warped Tour and I can’t bring my DSLR since it’s considered “professional.” I sold my point and shoot camera for Canada, then the other one died last July, and I didn’t really want to use my phone for photos since I wanted to save battery power. Two people really listened and I am overflowing with point and shoot cameras right now. Aunt Kathy lent me one of hers and my co-worker, Kathleen, let me borrow one of hers. Kathleen’s camera is smaller, so I am going to use her camera tomorrow (I think I will bring both as a backup, then my Polaroid… those should all pass security, right) and then I’ll use Aunt Kathy’s on Sunday for Turk’s Head. I am grateful for both of them.

Cecilia, one of my co-workers from my full-time job, invited me to her engagement party in September! I was so surprised and it made me feel verklempt because sometimes I feel like my dietary restrictions are a pain and that they are a buzzkill to others. I guess not since people invite me to do things with them and it touches my heart. I am thankful for the invite and can’t wait to go.

What are you thankful for today?

Weekends Needed To Heal Your Soul

I had my appointment today and my MRI was normal. However, since my liver phosphate numbers were still elevated, I have to go for a biopsy to rule out the other autoimmune disease and rule out other complications from thyroid disease. I am keeping positive; since I am clear from PSC, I am hopeful that I don’t have PBC either. In my daily positivity mantras, I will continue to speak, “I have a healthy liver” into existence.
I also have to go for an endoscopy. Since I am responding so well to the gluten-free diet, she wants to see if it’s celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivity. Blood tests don’t always indicate celiac disease, but an endoscopy does. An endoscopy doesn’t diagnose non-celiac gluten sensitivity, but cutting out gluten entirely and seeing results is what diagnoses that. I am gluten sensitive for sure. I’ve started adjusting to a gluten and dairy free lifestyle.
I’d like to think that spending time with my aunt and Claire this weekend also helped. On Saturday, Aunt Kathy and I went to the Museum of the American Revolution, then lunch and ice cream (I had vegan ice cream) and we had a blast.
I am thankful for Aunt Kathy and all that she does for me. It felt nice to laugh and catch up. It felt nice to be understood and accepted.
On Sunday, dad dropped me off at Claire’s house in West Chester. I have started making time for friends and family this year and I was excited to spend some time with Claire. I made a delicious gluten and dairy free lunch – gluten-free fettuccine with zoodles and a red pepper sauce. Claire loved this, as she loved the gluten-free blueberry bundt cake I made. Before we cut into the bundt cake, we sang Happy Birthday to one another. She turned 29 in May and since I turned 29 last week, I thought it would be nice. We both laughed.
We then sat outside and caught up. We also had fun taking photos, but what brought us the most joy was when I shared my scrapbook so far of Happiness Box 2017. I have only until mid-July 2017 finished and as Claire was reading my happiness/gratitude, she was smiling. She was feeling happy reading what made me happy. I also wrote a lot about Canadian immigration and when she read about some frustrations, she turned to me and said, “I’m sorry that immigration was frustrating at time.” There was something special about sharing my scrapbook.
Yesterday was special and I am so glad I could spend time with Claire. It was much needed for me too.
This is what my Happiness Box looks like so far:

Thankful Thursday 5 July 2018

First of all, I want to thank everyone who reached out to me yesterday. I know I am still young and I have a lot to accomplish in five years, you are all right: things always change and it’s best to take things one day at a time and be patient. People at both jobs said the same thing; I am thankful for all of you.

I am also thankful for the birthday party yesterday; while some questions were awkward, it was still nice that they did that and my aunt made a gluten-free salad just for me. As a good friend at the full-time job told me this morning, “I know you are depressed, but your family still loves you and you should be thankful that they took the time out of their day to have a party for you, especially since they special ordered gluten and dairy free food you can eat.” She is right, but I won’t beat myself up over it.

Today we had a going away party for Shonte. She starts a new job next week and I am thankful I was invited. Shonte works at my full-time job. We had a great time and she was totally surprised.

What are you thankful for?

29 Candles: Picture Yourself at Jessica’s Party

Today I turned 29 and I’ll be honest with you, I’m dreading turning 30… hence why I don’t look happy. Part of it is worrying about immigration – most countries want people under 35, also partly health, but mostly I feel like I have wasted my 20s.

Maybe I shouldn’t feel that way because I did get a degree, I did self-publish a few books, I’ve travelled and made friends on my travels, but I am still not in a career I like. I’m working toward what I want to do, though, it’s taking longer than I had hoped. I am working towards moving away, but that is a process.

My aunts and uncles were making a big deal about me turning 30 next year and I said, “please stop. I am not looking forward to 30.” My one uncle asked, “why? That’s not old.” I told him my fears and he said, “Jess, you still have a lot of time. You’re still very young and a lot can change in 5 years. Please don’t worry.” After talking to some friends when I got home, my uncle was right. I shouldn’t fear an age and even if it feels like I’ve wasted my 20s, your 20s are still a time of learning and growth, which is important for the rest of your life. I should enjoy my last year in my 20s.

My uncle opened the pool and I had fun swimming. I can’t wait to spend the rest of the summer swimming! Come weekends, I will swim… Friday evenings will be for skating and Art Museum, Saturday and Sunday for swimming. Mom also ordered me a gluten-free cake that was delicious. I had a good birthday.



Pre-Birthday Celebration at Work

Yesterday, people at my full-time job surprised me with gifts, cards, and a pre-birthday celebration complete with gluten, dairy, and soy free cupcakes. I was verklempt at the kind gestures – they truly made the day before my birthday special. Even the people at my part-time library job gave me hugs and well-wishes.



Since today is my actual birthday, I will try to post photos of the celebration today. For my American friends and followers, I hope you have a great Independence Day!

A Pretty Awesome Friday (and Happy Canada Day)

First, I want to wish my Canadian friends and followers a very happy Canada Day! I celebrate myself; as someone who is working towards moving and getting re-invited for permanent residency, I have celebrated for the past two years. I found a video of singers singing both the Star-Spangled Banner and O Canada! before a Maple Leafs game – to me, the video is symbolic of our countries’ friendship to one another and my hope for this Canada and US Independence Days is that our nations can still remain BFFs despite the Trump administration.

canada flag with mountain range view
Photo by Daniel Joseph Petty on

On Friday after work, I decided to go roller skating. It was 94 degrees and only managed to skate for 25 minutes – it was way too hot to skate for long. I ended up overcoming my fear and riding the Ferris wheel. Thank goodness that the awesome operator didn’t stop it at the top – that is my major fear: heights and getting stuck or falling to my death. The operator took my anxiety into consideration and it was a pleasant experience. Next time I will try it without telling anyone about my anxiety.

After skating, I went to the Philadelphia Museum of Art for Final Friday. This month’s theme was the Jazz Age and they had a burlesque show. I have never been to a burlesque show, but I thought why not? It was the art museum and it would be tame. Not really, but it was so much fun. Apparently, Friday was the day I overcame anxiety because during intermission the performers wanted volunteers. I volunteered and I had to do a striptease, involving only taking off my shoes.

I have a lot of social anxiety and I get anxious in situations where people can make fun of me. I was bullied and taunted a lot in middle and high schools (I am big busted, people always made fun of me for that). It’s hard to be “sexy” taking off your shoes and the other two volunteers were comical as well. The audience clapped for us, and I took off my socks as well – the emcee said, “oh, folks, we have someone being adventurous with their socks!” They all clapped and it made me feel great.

The volunteers won free admission to a burlesque show; I might check it out, but I would go to the gay guys one. Josh was my favourite and he was entertaining. After, I had the chance to meet him and another performer (I forget her name). I introduced myself to everyone and they were all really nice. I enjoyed talking to the performers and found them down to Earth. I find some of the more controversial performers are actually the kindest of people.


On Friday, when I returned from my evening in the city, I had a package from Talbots waiting for me. Confused, as my order had already arrived, I opened it and saw a red box with a note attached. I pulled off the plastic bag and opened the note first, then the box.

Turns out the saleswoman from Talbots who sold me interview outfits four years ago and helped me pick out work clothes a few weeks ago sent me a gift -a charm bracelet. She remembered I was a writer when she worked with me in 2014, then we caught up a few weeks ago about looking for a new career and working toward my goal of moving to Canada. What a lovely gift! This made my day even better. Verklempt doesn’t quite describe it.