Nightmare Before Tinsel (8 October 2021)

Apparently, there is a Christmas and Hanukkah bar that serves drinks every year from November until New Year’s Day. It’s called “Tinsel.” However, they open in September and October for Halloween. They call it “Nightmare Before Tinsel,” a play on the movie title “Nightmare Before Christmas.”

I decided to go on 8 October before my Shabbat. When I walked to the place, a Beetlejuice guy was standing outside. He piqued my interest, but I continued inside. It’s a really spooky place. I ordered a PSL type drink and they gave me a pale to keep.

Of course, I had to take pictures and I asked people to take photos of me.

I had to step outside and take a call, then I saw the Beetlejuice guy. He works for Tinsel and I asked him if I could take a selfie with him. He did one step better: he asked his friend to take our photo. His friend prepared to take the photo; then Josh, that was Beetlejuice’s name, thought a photo in front of the sign would be better. His friend caught Josh and I laughing before we moved for a photo under the sign.

His friend took two photos of Josh and I. I felt like we were being followed by the Halloween paparazzi.

I thanked him for the photos and he said, “we can take photos all night if you’d like!” Oh, Josh.

Philadelphia and the counties surrounding Philadelphia are all requiring proof of vaccination before we are allowed inside. I know everyone I meet inside and in places are all vaccinated. While I’m still safe and still mask up for medium to large sized crowds, it’s just nice that Philadelphia is following in the footsteps of NYC. It makes this Spooky season a little easier. We’re still not out of the haunted woods, however.

I’m heading to an adult Halloween at the Franklin Institute on Thursday night. Before I go to the Franklin Institute, I’ll stop by Nightmare Before Tinsel again, dressed as Harley Quinn. Can’t wait! I hope to see Josh again!

I Got My Booster!

I believe health is a major part of happiness – they have a symbiotic relationship, as your health depends upon happiness and happiness depends upon your health.

I know I’ve been a bit MIA. I finally got my cycle after two years. I was never a regular gal, and after tests not figuring out why, I think I know why. The why may not solve the whole issue, but nonetheless I am happy it came, even if it was a shocker (total Halloween mode too… of course, I had nothing and neither did people in the office, oh well). I believe leaving a job that was toxic to my soul and starting a new job that aligns with my soul has made the difference. Sorry if that’s TMI. But, I wanted to share that tidbit because joy relieves stress a bit and when stress is low, your body can function normally.

My job had a vaccine clinic today. I got my flu shot a few weeks ago, but I was eligible for the Modern booster. I got my booster today. So far, I’m not sore like the 1st and especially the 2nd dose, so I’m hoping I won’t go sick. It feels great to have the booster.

It was nice seeing so many people attend the vaccine clinic. Philadelphia and many counties surrounding Philadelphia are now requiring proof of vaccination. My guess is it’ll eventually include proof of booster. Regardless of when the booster requirement takes place, I’m prepared for the long winter ahead. Here’s to a happy and healthy Jessica!

National Coming Out Day

It’s National Coming Out Day! Reminder I’m ace, demiromantic and use she/her pronouns. Please remember, asexuality just means the person isn’t sexually attracted to someone else. They’re not prudes, immature, child-like, or robots. Asexuality is a spectrum, from ace to gray ace to demisexuality.

Sex positive aces will have sex, as do aces with a libido, and sometimes they will compromise with partners.

Then there are sex neutral aces who don’t really care about the act, and some may have it, and some may not. Sex averse, doesn’t care what people do, but they definitely don’t want to be touched. Where sex repulsed aces don’t like hearing about people talking about private details and they definitely don’t want to be touched.

I’m somewhere between neutral and averse. I’m not sexually attracted to anyone and I will not compromise for anyone. What makes this different than celibacy is, for me this isn’t a choice. I have never been sexually attracted to anyone. I’ve always seen people as friends.

However, since I do develop crushes if there is an emotional connection, I am demiromantic rather than aromantic or alloromantic (allo simply means they are sexually or romantically attracted to others). I do develop crushes, but any relationship would have to be platonic. That’s why I mostly stick to friendships.

Even though I am on the aspec (asexual spectrum), I am not a robot. I still love hugs, I still love cuddling up to people, and I like affection. I still feel love.

I’m proudly open about my orientation. I’m proudly open about my journey. Like many others in the LGBTQ+ community, acephobes may try to “correct” the person. Many times an ace person isn’t believed. “Oh, you just haven’t met the right person!” Or “I can change that for you!”

Almost 8 years ago, someone tried to “correct” me. Their act didn’t really change my identity, however, they have made me loud and proud about who I am. Okay, okay, not right away. It’s been a journey with a lot of therapy, and it took me a long time to be okay with myself. I am who I am and I am proud of who I am.

I learned about myself when I became an ally at WCU in October 2011. I never knew “asexuality” existed and once I learned about it, it sounded just like me. I’ve been out since 2018.

Happy National Coming Out Day, y’all! 🙂

Thankful Thursday 7 October 2021

Happy October! First Thankful Thursday in October; and 24 more days until Halloween. I can’t wait! Halloween brings joy before the really difficult anniversary.

Yesterday was dad’s birthday and they left for the Poconos until Saturday evening. Dad took me to work, so I was able to give him his birthday card. I also sent him a birthday comic; both the card and comic were by Mark Parisi.

The card:

Inside: I hope your birthday is on a roll.

I’m so grateful dad loved both of these birthday greetings. He especially loved the Blob. The Blob is one of his favourite movies. I’m also grateful that dad took me to work.

Today as I was waiting for Lyft after work, I ran into the DA. He knows who I am and he asked me how everything is going. I told him I love my job, I love the people I work with, and it’s really up my alley. He smiled and said, “I’m so glad to hear!”

I added, “I’m also thinking about eventually getting a paralegal certificate. I graduated with an English degree with a concentration in writing and it would be a great pairing.”

He gave me a big smile, nodded his head in agreement, and added, “you work with a bunch of great writers.” We parted ways, but I am so grateful that my boss is nice, and I work with a bunch of nice people. I truly love my full-time job and I’m grateful and blessed that I was paired with this.

I’m also thankful for friends, family, and my library co-workers. What are you grateful for today?

Aunt Kathy’s Birthday Tea

October is Depression and Anxiety Awareness Month and since both of these conditions hit home for me and were the reason why I started this project in the first place, I want to highlight some entries where what I write about has helped me cope with my depression. Yes, I do take an antidepressant and I do attend therapy, but my personal treatment involves self care, doing things I love, and spending time with people I love. I need medicinal help, but that alone doesn’t solve everything. Mind, body, and spirit along with pharmacological.

Last Wednesday, Aunt Kathy turned 60. On Sunday, she decided to hold a tea party. It was Aunt Kathy, Aunt Marie, (cousin) Maureen, her daughter Samantha, Aunt Peg, mom, and I. Just the gals. Aunt Kathy made me special gluten-free and kosher sandwiches and snacks. Mom bought Aunt Kathy a beautiful cake from Clay’s (unfortunately, it wasn’t gluten-free, and sadly Clay’s doesn’t bake gluten-free… that was my favourite place before the diagnosis) and Aunt Kathy was so surprised, delighted too!

Everyone was happy to hear about my new job and my conversion process. Such a lovely afternoon filled with stories and laughter.

Aunt Kathy was grateful that we could celebrate her milestone with her. That’s all she wanted for her birthday – not the gifts, not the cards, but the love and warmth of family.

I wrote about this for my Happiness Box Project and I’m waiting for some of the pictures to arrive.

Thankful Thursday 30 September 2021

Wow! It’s the end of September already! It’s hard to believe that there are only three more months left of 2021. This year really has flown by like last year.

I’m still going to be less active for a while. Work, religious conversion studies, and everything else that goes on in life. I’ll update, but I won’t really be reading. I’ll catch up once busy-ness dies down. I’m not complaining – I love being busy.

Happy 1 month! Everything is going well. I like my coworkers and I’m starting to make friends. Security guards introduced themselves yesterday, so I’m on a first name basis there. Then since I’m always going to the Courthouse to run errands, I’ve made friends with some of the deputies too. We were laughing today and the two made a bet to see how many trips I’d be taking today. Only 3. 😂Gosh, I love my new job. It truly is a fit.

What are you grateful for today?

Oishii Sushi

I went to Oishii Sushi and Ramen in Philadelphia Saturday night. This place was family owned and amazing! I met a couple from Puerto Rico, who are studying at Jefferson University for the semester.

We had fun chatting and dining together. What an awesome evening and another moment for the Happiness Box.

Sukkot with BTBJ | 24 September 2021

On Friday evening I went to my new synagogue and it felt great to finally go in person. I’ve been attending services on Zoom for the past year. It also felt wonderful to meet the Rabbi face to face. He leaves in December and said he’s going to help me with my journey. The service was gorgeous and the reading for Sukkot really resonated with me. I’d like to share it:

After the service, the congregation and I had dinner in the Sukkah, or the canopy/tent. Didn’t get many photos, but I was able to get a selfie with the Bar Mitzvah boy, who made his bar mitzvah yesterday. Then I loved a teen gal’s hair and she gave me some tips for purple hair while staying professional. She loved my undercut too. Ate with the Rabbi and Val and it was so nice to meet them in person. 

This is my Synagogue! These are my people! I found my spiritual home.

Thankful Thursday 23 September 2021

It’s Thursday again! I’m taking a blogging writing and reading break. My new job is going well, even with a few blips. Growing and learning pains, but they are normal. I still really like my co-workers and I’m grateful for this opportunity. Two nights a week, I’m at the library until 7pm, and things are going swimmingly there too. It feels great to have two jobs I love, I truly am blessed.

I’m also taking a break to focus on my mental health as well. A few weeks ago I mentioned that I think this September I’d feel better and help Crush along with their painful anniversary. Unfortunately, they are Former Crush now. I’m ace and demi romantic; Former Crush didn’t understand the ace portion and being young, they want to have fun. I don’t catch feelings often and I was getting jealous, so I decided to take a step back.

I had high hopes that September wouldn’t affect me, but I still feel things. The rape in 2013, but also the 4 months leading to Nan’s death in January 2013 (so remembering Nan’s final months in 2012). I will get to the latter in a bit. Let me talk about the lead up to the rape.

I knew in 2011 that I was ace, but at 22, I didn’t want to accept it yet. I wanted to feel “normal” and most “normal” young people have a significant other. Needless to say I met someone online at the end of September 2013 and ugh, big mistake, big mistake, big mistake! He was a very toxic guy in Ohio and the day of my rape, on 7 November, he told me that I was selfish, I didn’t care about him because I couldn’t help him. He threatened to kill himself and said it’s my fault if he did. When he didn’t answer his phone, I panicked.

When I panic and feel depressed, I like to eat. I’m an emotional eater. I decided to go to the cupcake place and from there I texted some friends. They didn’t want to meet up with me and I didn’t want to go home; when the rapist invited me for a drink then movies, I took him up on it.

I am very happy single. I am a loner and relationships tend to be misery for me. The one person I loved, it only lasted three months and it was drama in 2008 (fall 2008, ended January 2009). Former Crush was the first time in 13 years that I felt something. I walked away partly because of jealousy, but I didn’t want a repeat of putting myself in a bad place in 2013. While I didn’t know back then and my 24 year old self still wasn’t mature (maturity starts at 25), I can’t know what I don’t know. I am aware now and I am grateful for the insight. I’m also grateful for my therapist. I have no ill-will towards Former Crush, still have feelings and it hurt to say “goodbye,” but right now it’s for the best. I won’t share what I wrote, but therapist told me about the poem “The Dash.”

This brings me to the point about Nan. Fall 2012 was a sad period too, I was losing my best friend. I was losing my confidant. I was losing someone I loved. When she died on 25 January 2013, there was a void. 2013 was a sucktastic year and I hated how it ended. After the rape, I wish I had her. I felt so alone and at that time I couldn’t cry, so all I could feel was anger. It took me until May 2015 to cry and crying was therapeutic. Now all I do is cry, it seems, when I try to let go and heal. Crying is healing and I’m grateful that I am allowing myself to feel emotions. They aren’t good or bad, they just are.

I’m sure this is a weird and somewhat unhappy Thankful Thursday. I know there will be a few more like these in the time leading up to 7 November. I’m thankful for my readers, friends, family, and just my village in general. I’m thankful they are my shoulders and empathize.

What are you grateful for?