A few months ago I wrote a rondeau about how driving to “the 609” makes me feel.
On Friday night, V drive us down to the 609 for my friend’s 30th birthday celebration.
I took this picture as we were on the Parkway, and I realized (once again) how much I love going down to the ol’ 609.
There’s something about the air in SoJo, something about the magical feeling of seeing a WaWa every other block that makes me feel at home. The air is cleaner, the stars shine brighter, and the country music plays louder.
South Jersey is a different world, and I love it, a lot.
I also realized that the simple things in life, like going on a 2 hour drive to a different world with your gf, are sometimes the best moments in life.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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!
Okay, so today is apparently the start to the weekend (I barely know what day of the week it is anymore), and with that, it’s a NaBloPoMo free write.
Most of my posts/tweets/Facebook updates lately have been me coping with the aftermath of Sandy, and, well, you’re just going to have to freakin’ deal with this.
In case you didn’t know, Election Day is on Tuesday. Before Sandy, I kind of felt like I couldn’t tell who was going to win the Presidential election. Although I was all gung-ho Barack Obama in 2008, this time around he really only had his support of gay marriage, his Obama-care plan (I NEED healthcare people; this lets me stay under my parents’ insurance until I’m 26!), and Michelle Obama’s arms going for him in my eyes.
Let’s be real. Her arms are running for this Presidential election.
Joking aside, I’ve been a hot mess this week. I’ve been lucky enough to walk away from Hurricane Sandy with no injuries, no losses, and no family suffering. I’ve been very blessed, and I don’t take that for granted. This week has shown me how to appreciate what I have. It’s also shown me to expect the unexpected.
For example, I found myself gaining respect for NJ Gov. Chris Christie this week. I think it’s admirable how well he’s handled the hurricane aftermath, and, dare I say it, I’ve even found him likable. This has been a mind blowing realization to me, but I give credit where credit is due. Despite my previous hatred of him and his hatred of me (teacher/gay/registered Democrat/middle class worker), he has done a really good job of helping keep Jersey “Jersey Strong.” It’s also been really incredibly amazing to see Gov. Christie and President Obama put aside their differences and work together.
I never thought I’d see the day where these 2 would be working together, or where I supported Christie in any way, shape, or form.
(I also kind of think Obama has an edge now. People are seeing him as a badass again. You can’t mess with a President who is kicking a natural disaster’s ass.)
You know what I find ridiculous about the election on Tuesday? That people are still expected to vote in the effected areas. Towns have been DESTROYED. People are living in shelters. There is a fuel shortage in New Jersey to the point where there is a state-mandated gas rationing system in place. There are still people without power, water, or heat, and a Nor’Easter is expected to hit all of these people on Tuesday or Wednesday. So, no, I cannot even begin to understand how people are expected to vote on Tuesday.
What do you think? Is it illogical to expect those whose lives have been turned upside down to vote on Tuesday?
Right before I hit “Publish,” one of my friends posted this article from NBC. Apparently displaced voters in NJ will be able to vote via email. Ya know, because they all have electricity and internet access right now.
Now, after reflecting on it, I’m changing my call a bit.
I am inviting you, my followers, to enter my Halloween costume contest/ raffle. Given the circumstances of my home state following Hurricane Sandy, this one’s going to be a little different. Instead of awarding a prize to the raffle winner (because, honestly, I’d be a terrible judge for picking a winner and I don’t want to waste time asking people to vote), the prize will be a donation to the Red Cross and Hurricane Sandy relief in the winner’s name, along with my name.
**YOU DO NOT HAVE TO SUBMIT A COSTUME TO ENTER**
As an added bonus, mainly because my paycheck just went through and I want to give back to those of you who have touched me so much this week, I’ll be putting together a Jersey Girl (or Guy or other self-identified label) gift package for the raffle winner. I’ll send you a package of some of my favorite things from the Garden State, and thank you for being Jersey Strong!
You also get a Jersey-themed prize pack, which includes this hat. I ordered one for me, and one for the winner.
When I posed the question “If I ran a Costume Contest on my blog, & the prize was a donation made to the Red Cross/ Sandy relief in the winner’s name, would people enter?” on Twitter and in the BlogHer Facebook group, the response was overwhelming. Many people DM’d or messaged me saying they’d participate, and I also received quite a few messages asking how people could contribute to the prize.
After being overwhelmed by the responses, I’ve decided to create a raffle to select the prize winner using Rafflecopter.
I will accept raffle entries for 2 weeks (until November 16th). After that date, I will donate whatever has been raised to the Red Cross.
So what are you waiting for? Upload your pics, send them to me, and join in on the Halloween Costume Contest while helping others.
Friday, November 2, 2012 If you could live anywhere, where would it be?
Given the circumstances right now, only one place comes to mind: Jersey.
Actually, that’s a lie– I’d choose Jersey no matter what.
I’m a Jersey girl to the bone. I’ve lived in Central Jersey my whole life (North & South Jerseyans will tell you this place doesn’t exist; they’re wrong.), and, as much as I constantly say I cannot wait to get out of “here,” “here” is a place that flows through my blood. While I may find myself living somewhere other than 732/908 in a few years, Jersey blood runs through my veins.
In recent years, people have come to associate New Jersey with the MTV show “Jersey Shore.” I could bore you for hours by going on about how the cast is a false representation of New Jersey, but let’s be real: it’s all been said before. “Jersey Shore” DOES represent one of the common dreams of Jersey: having fun while loving your friends and family and trying to become something bigger and better than you already are. (The term “better” is used loosely in regards to the “Jersey Shore” cast.)
I’ve never met someone who Jersey who has always been perfectly content to remain the same person that they were at 18. Sure, some people do get stuck in a place of return, but you know what? We’ve all had dreams. In Jersey, it is said that only the tough survive. Your level of determination and toughness determines how you make your dreams come true, and whether you become someone or something bigger and better than you already are.
The Boss (Bruce Springsteen for those of you living under a rock or too young to know decent music) and Jon Bon Jovi (I met him once at a Home Depot on Christmas Eve!) are probably the two names that come to mind when people think of Jersey. You know who else is from Jersey? Martha Stewart. Anne Hathaway. Tom Cruise. Bruce Willis. Danny DeVito. Susan Sarandon (she went to my high school!). Jack Nicholson. Meryl Streep. Kirsten Dunst. Whitney freakin’ Houston. James Gandolfini. Queen Latifah. Frank Sinatra. John Travolta. Christina Ricci. Brooke Shields. Want some non-actor/actress/singer names? Buzz Aldrin, 2nd man to walk on the moon. Dorothy Parker, an amazing writer and poet. David Copperfield was born in the donuthole of my hometown (it’s in the shape of a donut with a hole of a teeny town in the middle). Dave Thomas (yes, that Dave Thomas.) Paul Robeson, the first African-American All-American football player.
Obviously New Jerseyans kick ass.
All of these amazing icons were born in Jersey, and, while some managed to get out, a lot of them either stayed or came crawling back. (We don’t discriminate if you choose to leave us; we just mock you endlessly for going to live in some other state.)
Are there Jersey stereotypes? Sure. (And, just to clarify, most of them, minus the ones created in the past few years, are true…especially regarding our love of diners, malls, and driving like assholes.) But you know what? YOU DON’T GET TO MESS WITH JERSEY UNLESS YOU’RE FROM JERSEY. (Sorry, the Jersey girl in me came out. Also, you’re never allowed to call Jersey “Jersey” unless you’re from Jersey. It’s kind of like referring to anyplace other than NYC as “The City…Unless, of course, you’re not from North or Central Jersey. You’re probably from South Jersey. Then you’re probably referring to Philly. I forgive you, but only because you’re from 609.) ((To make up for this 609 reference, which only Jerseyans realize could start a fight worthy of Tony Soprano, I’ll direct you to a poem a posted a few months ago, which actually pays tribute to my love for South Jersey. http://gingersass.com/908-to-609/ ))
Anyway. Back to the point of this post.
I’m a Jersey girl to the very end, and there’s no place I’d rather live than Jersey. As Bon Jovi has sung,
“I went as far as I could, I tried to find a new face
There isn’t one of these lines that I would erase
I lived a million miles of memories on that road
With every step I take I know that I’m not alone
You take the home from the boy, but not the boy from his home
These are my streets, the only life I’ve ever known,
who says you can’t go home?”
This video seems appropriate. We got this, Jersey.
Jersey is my home, and there’s no other place I’d rather be. Jersey is tough, and it’s time for us to rebuild. We’ll get through Sandy like we get through everything else– being ourselves, and not taking shit from anybody. I’ll see you down the shore in AP this summer.