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NaBloPoMo 2012: November 9th– Guilt Complex

Today’s prompt reads

Friday, November 9, 2012
If you could change one thing about your life right now, what would it be?

Well, this is a tough prompt to respond to.

I currently feel a lot of guilt for things beyond my control. In the past few weeks (and months) I have felt guilt for having things I have worked so hard for. I have a college degree. I have a job. I have a beautiful studio apartment as a part of that job. I have a car in great condition. I have family filled with good health, love, and support of one another. I have a great set of friends. I’m working towards my Masters in Secondary English Education, and I have a really supportive, amazing cohort. I have had a really rewarding student teaching experience (so far, knock on wood). I have a dog who thinks he’s a drag queen and may or may not be an alien (sorry, I’m sharing this post with you all as much as humanly possible.) I didn’t lose anything or anyone in Sandy, and I’m even fortunate enough to be holding a fundraising raffle for the hurricane victims.

So why do I feel so guilty?

Simple: I have what others don’t. I have always been extremely lucky in my life. Even in times of trial, even when I have been the underdog, I’ve managed to come out on top. When the going has gotten reeeeeally tough, I’ve somehow managed to have everything work out in the end.

Even with a farmer’s tan, frizzy hair, and poor clothing choices, I even managed to come out on top (of a mountain of books) in high school.

If I could change one thing about my life right now, it would be my guilt complex. No matter what the scenario, I always feel guilty about what I have. Instead of feeling guilty, I need to learn to feel grateful and count my blessings. So many people have lost so much these past few weeks, and I need to learn to be grateful for what I have instead of feeling bad about it.

The Pleonastic Life-Folk Sneakernet Wedding!

I’m finally (almost) caught up in my blogging!

As I mentioned in my Roadtrippin’ post, I recently drove to Massachusetts with my friend Dina to attend the wedding of my dear friends and fellow bloggers, My Pleonastic Life and Folk Sneakernet, aka Taylor and Mike. I’ve known Taylor for about 2 years now, since she joined the ranks of my fellow RAs, and in the past year, she has easily become one of my best friends. She’s snarky, funny, amazing, and simply one of the best people in the world. (Mike is pretty cool too.) A few months ago, I was honored with being asked to be part of their wedding party. Taylor actually took me out on a date and bought me coffee to get me to say yes— like I would say no! (Although bribery is always a good form of influence.)

The wedding took place at the Stockbridge Public Library in Stockbridge, Massachusetts, which, as I mentioned in my earlier post, is a lovely little town reminiscent of Stars Hallow, Connecticut (where the show Gilmore Girls took place) with no cell phone reception.  The wedding was the first one the library ever experienced, and although the library had its quirky, old charm, it wasn’t an easy feat to set up! We had to move chairs, heavy tables, and put together a chuppah…while in skirts and heels, I might add. In the end, the chuppah turned out beautifully, just like the library!

Building a chuppah is hard, yet elegant, work. Especially in a library.

The ceremony itself was beautiful. The sun was shining (which didn’t matter since we were inside), the library was beautiful, and everything came together nicely. Taylor has spent her last night as a single woman with me and Dina, and despite the copious amounts of tequila we had drank, the middle of the night moments of panic, and last minute running around to find cups that we actually didn’t need, everything came together beautifully.

The ceremony was an eclectic mix of Jewish traditions, Bible passages, and just plain awesomeness. I found myself crying like a baby at the alter, and regretting my decision to not purchase waterproof mascara. I had a lot of thoughts going through my head during the ceremony, most of which involved me being so overwhelmed by emotion, falling in love with the look of love Taylor & Mike had towards one another during the ceremony, and never wanting to leave the beautiful library, until I remembered I didn’t have cell phone reception.

Oh, moment of interruption– I just wanted to interrupt myself to say that Taylor is the most put-together, calm, amazing bride ever. She never had a bridezilla moment. As a bridesmaid, I was told to just get a strapless black dress that went to my knees, and to find strappy black heels. For this, I will be eternally grateful.

Here’s a glimpse of me walking down the aisle! I have a strict no-exploiting-people rule as of this post, hence all the monsters and masquerade ball attendees at the ceremony.

The reception was probably one of the most amazing DIY experiences I’ve ever had. It might be Taylor’s training as a RA, but the elegance demonstrated by every last detail blew me away. Whether it be the lighting (thank you Nicole, the maid of honor, for her stagetech expertise) to the centerpieces, everything was perfect. The reception looked nothing like the community center reception I had envisioned in my head.

The reception!

I promise I was not trying to capture the DJ’s butt on camera, although I did just that.

This sums up their relationship.

A more romantic glimpse into their life together

Isn’t this gorgeous? This is every bookworm’s dream.

The food was tasty too– in lieu of wedding cake, Taylor and Mike got probably the most delicious baklava EVER.

One of my favorite things, other than my date lunging across countless women to catch the bouquet, was the music played at the reception. I’m a complete sucker for old, romantic love songs. Taylor & Mike’s first dance was to “You & I” by Michael Bublé. The dj also played a lot of Frank Sinatra and classic love songs. It reminded me that I tend to fall in love with the idea of falling in love, so Dina & I posed as a couple for one photo. There was a lot of laughing involved, and this photo almost didn’t happen.

I love my poefy. Even if she attacks other women to get a bouquet.

All in all, the nuptials of Taylor & Mike reminded me that love is beautiful. It made my uterus beat again (uterus = emotions = heart), and it made me feel only a teeny bit sad that I’m single. Love happens when you least expect it, and sometimes, like the case of Taylor & Michael, you find a love that is perfect, complicated, and meant to be!

Taylor & I pre-wedding. The flower girl has been transformed into a pirate and Taylor’s mom is wearing a mardi gras mask in the background because I do not have permission to exploit their lives.

Mike and I. In the photo after this, he tried to eat my head off. Literally. <3

Be sure to wish your congrats to  My Pleonastic Life and Folk Sneakernet! (You can also find them on Facebook here or here.) Also be sure to stay on the lookout for a guest post with the newlyweds in the next few weeks. We’ll be discussing the role of gender and social norms in regards to their wedding, weddings in general, and the concept of marriage. :)

Ladies on the Mic Celebrates Pride

Sooo this is a bit delayed, but in the past week I’ve started a new job, performed at Ladies on the Mic, got a mini makeover, babysat, went on a roadtrip to Massachusetts, helped one of my best friends celebrate her last night as a single woman, was a bridesmaid in her wedding, drove back to Jersey, went to work the next morning, and got sick. Thus, I am justifying the delay of posts.

This post’s theme is LADIES ON THE MIC CELEBRATES PRIDE! :D !

Ladies on the Mic was such a phenomenal event… I’m so honored to have been a part of it! I don’t even know where to begin.

I was a bit nervous about sharing my poetry with a room full of strangers. The fact of the matter is I’m very private with my poetry, unless you’re a part of my poetry cult. Even then, there are certain poems I won’t share, and I certainly don’t discuss my writing. It’s hard to explain, but sometimes my best work is the work I feel very uncomfortable sharing with others because it’s so full of so much raw emotion and oh-so-personal. I don’t mind sharing these poems eventually, but I never like explaining them.

The Hoboken Public Library is a beautiful, beautiful building. I’ve passed it a few times in my life, as it is down the street from the hospital where my cousins were born, but I’ve never actually noticed it.

Going inside the building transported me into another world. I have A Thing for older buildings, as well as A Thing for libraries, and the combination of the two sends me over the edge. I need to need to NEED TO go back to the Hoboken Library and spend the day there enjoying its beauty. It was such a lovely building, filled with art displays, old books, really neat shelving, and tons of old books. Basically, it was Heaven.

Beth, the fabulous woman in charge, was sweet and amazing. I was a bit frazzled from being a few minutes late, and she gave me a hug, told me to breathe, and walked me around, introducing me to everyone. As we were walking around, I noticed something very odd.

Nobody was clique-ish.

In my experiences, poets are like high school students– very clique-ish, particular to their specific group of friends, and very leery of newcomers. There are certain barriers that are very hard to break down in the poet world, and it was both a bit unsettling and really refreshing to be welcomed without any reservations to a new group of poets and poetry lovers.

Me getting my poetry on. Thanks for the pic, Cat!

I was the third poet up, and the final poet before Aster Phoenix performed. Beth and Kat went before me, and they were both hilarious. Beth introduced me as “the young lesbian poet she found on Facebook,” which gave me the nickname of “Facebook Girl” the rest of the night. For the first time in awhile, I was the youngest poet performing, and undoubtedly dubbed The Baby Dyke. People laughed when my lines were funny, clapped when they were more serious, and overall made me feel at home. It also didn’t hurt that the room was filled with so many intelligent, older, beautiful women. (Older women are another weakness of mine.) This made the experience even more interesting.

Aster Phoenix. Photo by the lovely Mujerzen

Aster Phoenix performed after me, and being able to see two beautiful women play their guitars and jam out in a library really made the night perfect. (Have I mentioned acoustic guitars, cool hair, and old libraries are my main weaknesses in life? *swoons*)  Afterwards, I actually had fans (?) waiting to tell me how great I was, and wanting to know more about GingerSass. It was so surreal, so amazing, and truly a wonderful experience.

I left the library feeling full of hope, optimism, and complete happiness. It was a really refreshing feeling to have had such a successful poetry reading, but even more satisfactory to know that my “first paid gig” was a success!

Afterwards, at the suggestion of some women I had met at the reading, I enjoyed delicious South American cuisine at Cucharamama, an amazing restaurant 2 blocks away from the library. Between the old library, the beautiful poetry performances, Aster Phoenix, and the delectable food, my first experience with Ladies on the Mic was probably one of the most intimate, platonically romantic evenings I had ever experienced. I would do it again in a heartbeat!

Thank you so much to Beth, the Hoboken Public Library, and Ladies on the Mic for having me! It was one experience I will never forget.