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2012: A Year in Review

Tonight is the last Friday night of 2012, exactly one week after the world was supposed to end. A lot has happened in 2012, and I decided to highlight everything significant that happened to me this year, month by month.


It’s been one heck of a year at GingerSass.


Not much happened in January. I turned 22, which was actually a better birthday than my 21st. My friend convinced the bartender at a local bar that I should be given a free bottle of champagne because my 21st coincided with a blizzard and I didn’t get to celebrate. I received a stuffed unicorn and zebra print seat covers from my parents. I, once again, pleaded to Ellen as to why we should celebrate our birthday together and she ignored me. Ya know, the usual.


I made it onto PostSecret for the first time. Whitney Houston died and I was devastated so I wrote a poem. Ryan Murphy pissed me off so I wrote him an angry tumblr post turned into a letter, which he never responded to.


March was a very important month for me– I STARTED GINGERSASS! (All of the posts posted before March 25th were transferred from my tumblr site.) Fun fact– GingerSass was started because I was pretending to be an investigative reporter at the Sex, Love, and Dating Conference. Also, Adrienne Rich died, which devastated me. A lot.


April freaking rocked. Highlights of the month include:

volunteering with NOH8 and later being featured on their website
meeting Frank Warren at my first PostSecret event
saw an opera and a concert in one week
my Poefy (poetry-wifey) was fantabulous in The Vagina Monologues and I wrote about it


May was a good month for me. Obama came out in support of gay marriage. I won an award. I graduated college. Life was pretty awesome to me in May.


June was an interesting month. I started it out writing about suicide after finding out that the partner of my friend who had committed suicide also committed suicide. I wrote a bunch of 10 Minute Musings for a grad class and reconnected with myself. I came out to my family as a blogger, with the support of Cady McClain, aka Dixie from All My Children. I even inspired her alter-ego, Suzy F*cking Homemaker, to create an internet meme. Suzy also encouraged me to write a post on why I want to be a celesbian…so I did. I also  booked and performed my first paid poetry gig, which was pretty darn awesome.


July started off with a roadtrip to Massachusetts with Poefy to the wedding of Taylor and Mike. I basked in the glory of cheeseball goodness. (This post is still one of my most-visited posts, btw.) I fell in love with my job over the summer. I also figured out What Obama Taught Me. I indulged in Restaurant Week. Then I got serious about my blog, invested in an actually site host, got free magnets, and was overwhelmed by the idea of going to BlogHer. I also posted about teacher dress codes, which is also one of my most-visited posts of all time.


August started off with me going to BlogHer’12 and MY LIFE CHANGING FOREVER. I made so many blogging friends through BlogHer, and I’m going to (eventually) categorize them on her so you can so who I’m reading. I also won a happy hour party in August and celebrated with wings and food at a local bar with my friends. Woohoo! To top August off, I started my new job, got an apartment to go along with it, and ruminated on why Res Life will always be a part of me.


September was an emotional, crazy month. I had an awesome first week of September. I was a national runner up to be the next Verizon Ultimate Insider, mentioned on AfterEllen, and yogurt was on sale. I made it through the one year deathaversary of my friend’s suicide, and I participated in yet another walk for dead people. September was emotional, tough, and trying, but I got through it.


October started off with me reflecting on how much I love my car. I also met Jack Hanna, which was a childhood dream come true. I had a kickass lesson on bullying on National Coming Out Day and fell even more in love with teaching. I went to the Dodge Poetry Festival for the first time as an educator, and I helped my students fall in love with poetry. I met Geena Davis and she told me, “You’re changing the world to be a place I want to be in. Keep up the good work.” I saw Melissa Etheridge in concert. I survived Hurricane Sandy, was really upset that Sandy canceled Halloween, and was upset by the whole Sandy experience.


November feels like such a long time ago. I participated in NaBloPoMo for the first time and wrote about how I’m a Jersey girl, how Sandy domesticated me, and what Obama’s win meant to me. I also talked about bacon, ghosts, and just how important it was that I found my voice again by going to poetry open mics. I cut my hair, took silly webcam pics, and thought about my future. I ended my first NaBloPoMo experience by being grateful for stickers, and really having peace in knowing that I’m on the right track for what I want to do with my life.


December flew by. I think the biggest thing that happened to me this month, right before my student teaching internship ended, was that I realized why I want to teach. I arranged for an assembly for my Creative Writing students, and  it really changed my relationship with them forever. It taught one student to not be afraid to be who she is, and this, in return, encouraged me to come out to her. She then wrote me a note and made me cry. Then the Newtown, Connecticut shooting happened and it hit really close to home, as it was the first school shooting that has happened since I began student teaching. My students asked me if I would take a bullet for them, and I was able to respond honestly and say yes. Student teaching ended, and I managed to make it to the parking lot after school before crying. I got creeped out by the whole Elf on a Shelf phenomenon, but secretly loved my creepy little elf.

2012 was a year of growth. I rediscovered my writing identity, and GingerSass became a very large part of who I am. I’m grateful for the opportunities blogging has given me this past year, and I cannot wait to see what 2013 holds.

Happy New Year, folks! What are you looking forward to in 2013?

PS I’m not sure if I’ll be able to attend or not, but if you’ll be at home this NYE, consider joining in on #Tweetin13. There are prizes, fun people, and it’s hosted by two of my favorite ladies. Get on it!

NaBloPoMo 2012– November 29th: Blogger Lovin’

Thursday, November 29, 2012
Tell us about three new blogs you found this year.

Okay, so I only got back on the blogging bandwagon in March, and I suck at following blogs. Going to BlogHer changed this for me, and it’s helped me be less terrified of RSS feed, following blogs, and feeling like I have blogging homework. It’s really hard for me to select only three blogs, but I’ll share the 3 latest blogs to show up in my inbox.

1. Life With Roozle

Life With Roozle is a wonderful blog run by Casey, who is pretty damn awesome. The blog chronicles her adventures with her ADORABLE daughter Roozle, her wife, MCB, and life in general. This is a totally sappy thing for me to say, but she’s living the life I want to live one day. I don’t think I’ve ever even told her this, but her blog gives me hope for my future, and that one day I’ll live a life filled with my own little family and love.  Plus, Roozle makes awesome plates of food.

2. The Brokins

So I discovered Jasmine and her blog AFTER BlogHer12. I’m really glad I did because she’s pretty awesome, hilarious, and probably my best Arkansas-ian friend ever. (Try to ignore the fact that she’s the only person I know in Arkansas.) I’m really looking forward to seeing her at BlogHer13 this summer, and I really look forward to her posts.

3. Up Popped A Fox

Vikki is hilarious. Most of her posts are slightly, dare I say it, random, but they always make me laugh. We met at BlogHer12. I introduced myself to her after she was tweeting about Laurie‘s boobs during a session Laurie was leading. She said she sometimes forgets other people can see her tweets, we made awkward small talk, and then I left to go get a 9,000th cup of coffee. (True story.) (Well, minus the 9,000 cups of coffee.) The bottomline is Vikki rocks, and you should check out her blog.

I’d list all the other blogs I love but, frankly, I’m exhausted. I need to sleep, as I have to get up in a few hours. You all rock.

I looooove notebooks. (And women are crazy.) [my last BlogHer12 Post]

I got a lot of free “swag” at BlogHer12. On the first day in the city, I had to buy another suitcase just so I could lug it all home!

Now, a lot of stuff were products I wouldn’t think to buy on my own normally, but I did end up with some pretty amazing things. My top pics? A purse, a $10 giftcard to Kohl’s (that paid for half of a shirt I bought the other day, thank you very much!), a banana shaped usb drive, my nails, and a lot of coupons. The dorky soon-to-be-student-teacher in me also got really excited about the notebook I got from Martha Stewart. It reminds me of the moleskins I’ve had over the past few years, but it’s slightly larger. It’s perfect.

I may be a blogger and a product of the digital era, but I still prefer pen & paper over my Macbook. (Unless, of course, I have hand cramps or forgot a pen. Then my computer wins.) There’s something magical about the smell of a new notebook, the crispness of untouched pages, the undeniable serenity of blank pages just yearning to be written on. As Natasha Bedingfield might sing, “I am unwritten, can’t read my mind, I’m undefined/ I’m just beginning, the pen’s in my hand, ending unplanned.” Blank pages are amazing, and nothing made me happier than to get the notebook from Martha… it even has perforated edges! This is bliss.

As you might be able to tell, I’m really excited about the Martha Stewart Home Office with Avery line. (And no, I’m not being paid to say this.) All of the products are really cute and perfect, and the line’s coming into my life just in time for me to stock up for the school year. I’m starting to get a bit nervous about student teaching a bunch of tenth graders, but I know as soon as I hit Staples I’ll over-buy organizational supplies. (I have a slight office and school supplies addiction.) I’m super excited for all of the cute binders, journals, and notebooks, and I know I’m going to go overboard with the desk accessories. (Have you seen these cute document storage boxes? I’m already thinking of turning them into “Homework” boxes for my students!)

The BlogHer12 loot explosion.

A lot of women who attended BlogHer12 were petty, immature, and ungrateful. It disgusted me that people could be so ungracious towards such a phenomenal experience. In the days that followed the conference, they complained about not getting enough free swag, about the quality of swag, and some even insulted NYC, the host city! I think these women all had glue guns up their rear-ends…They should be ashamed of themselves. The conference was AMAZING. I learned so much, and I am so grateful for all of the fabulous bloggers, brands, and individuals I met. It was a once in a lifetime opportunity, and I’m so grateful that I had the opportunity to attend my first BlogHer. As for those complainers, I think they just didn’t get a notebook. Notebooks make the world go round.

If you want to score some of Martha’s fabulous line, here’s a coupon she tweeted during BlogHer that gets you 50% off. Yipee!

(PS You can see my other BlogHer12 posts here.)