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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.

gs2012

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

January

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.

February

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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!

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. 🙂

10 Minute Musings #4

6/7/12
30 minutes

Okay, so here’s something they don’t tell you about being a bridesmaid: you really need to remember to get a dress (and a date) more than a month before the wedding. This week, I panicked and realized that my original date couldn’t go to a wedding with me at the end of the month, that I still needed to find a strapless knee length black dress (easier said than done!), that I needed to find strappy black heels for my size 11 feet, and that I hadn’t lost the 10 pounds I had wanted to lose before the wedding. Oops.

Being the dear friend that she is, the bride-to-be helped me brainstorm a list of people to ask to be my date. She also inspired me to create a Pinterest account to make my dress searching easier, and she suggested places and websites to order shoes from. Still… I started panicking. Realizing you’re The Single Lesbian Bridesmaid at one of your best friend’s weddings makes you feel quite a bit single, awkward, and have a miniature quarter life crisis. (This is only further emphasized when you are stressing about meaningless grad school assignments, don’t know where you are living in the Fall, and are trying to find some source of income for the summer.)

Lucky for me, I decided to blow off my school-related responsibilities and be productive this morning before class. I scheduled an appointment with David’s Bridal, printed out a list of my favorite dresses from their website, and got to the store 15 minutes before my 11am appointment. (Little known fact: David’s Bridal opens at 11. There’s no need to worry about running late. -__-) When the doors opened, somehow or another the woman who greeted me THOUGHT I WAS THE BRIDE. It didn’t say that on the paperwork for my appointment so I don’t know what she was smoking. Anywho, she really thought I was a bride coming to the store to pick out dresses for my wedding. She started asking me when the wedding was, where it was located, etc. and I could see panic creeping up on her face. Luckily, the worker who was assigned to me understood me when I said “I’m here to buy a bridesmaid’s dress for my friend Taylor’s wedding.” She found me DOZENS of dresses that fit the criteria, and I imagined myself as a princess on “Say Yes to the Dress.” She was really helpful, snarky, and said exactly what I needed to hear. After only an hour, I found a dress that was perfect, didn’t need to be ordered, and something that got complete strangers in the store to say “Wow, you look really cute in that!” (That’s always a super duper feeling by the way.) She also found me the PERFECT bra to wear with it, which, when you have boobs like mine, is really important.

My dress. Blonde chick not included.

I thanked her profusely, went out to my car, and realized that I only had to do two more wedding things: find a pair of heels that wouldn’t turn my 5’10” self into godzilla, and find a date. Size 11 heels are hard to find, but somehow that task seemed easier than finding a date. I was brainstorming all the way to class this afternoon, and when I turned on my macbook and saw my poefy’s face on my background it hit me: Poefy should be my date! She’s pretty, I’m pretty, we make an amazing fake couple, and she’s one of the few people I could tolerate in a long car trip. (Backstory: Poefy= Ladina, my amazing friend/ Poetry Wife from poetry class. I heart her.) Sooo, I sent her a facebook message because I didn’t have cellphone reception in my basement classroom, and then proceeded to tweet her like crazy from my GingerSass twitter account. (If it looks like a Z-list celesbian is asking you out via Twitter, how can you say no???) Well, over twenty tweets and a trending topic of “#whyDinashouldbemyweddingdate” later, and her responding to each and every reason, SHE SAID YES! I’m so elated to be going to Taylor’s wedding with one of my favorite people in the world, and to not be the dateless bridesmaid at the wedding. I didn’t know appearance mattered to me so much until I realized I might be going to the wedding alone. Sometimes you just need a friend who can tolerate Taylor Swift (who, by the way, is who I’ve been listening to and resisting the urge to sing and dance along to this entire writing time), weirdness, and is really sassy and amazing. I’m so glad I have that in my poefy. (And I feel like an idiot that I hadn’t thought of her before today.) Seriously, I love Dina for saving my life and being my better half when I need her. She’s the best.

Poefy & I. Follow her on Twitter at @L_W0rd

Now the only thing I need to do is find a pair of strappy heels to go with my dress. I think I’m going to go shoe shopping in between a meeting and class tomorrow. I feel so relieved to know that everything is finally coming together… I can only imagine how Taylor feels planning this whole thing! Oy. For once, I’m happy to say I’m “always the bridesmaid, never the bride.” I’d freak out if I had to plan a wedding on top of doing everything for grad school right now too. Taylor, you get soooo much credit girl. You deserve to kick back, relax, and bask in the sun on a glorious honeymoon after all this madness is done. I’m so proud of you for putting this whole thing together while balancing senior year of college, applying to doctoral programs, and being a RA. You really are a wonderwoman, and I cannot wait to celebrate you becoming a Mrs. in 3.5 weeks!!! 🙂

It only seems fitting that Taylor Swift’s “Mine” just came on my itunes. To kill time for the rest of this writing exercise, I’m typing up the lyrics. <3

You were in college working part time waitin’ tables
Left a small town, never looked back
I was a flight risk with a fear of fallin’
Wondering why we bother with love if it never lasts

I say “Can you believe it?”
As we’re lying on the couch
The moment, I can see it.
Yes, yes, I can see it now

Do you remember, we were sitting there, by the water?
You put your arm around me for the first time
You made a rebel of a careless man’s careful daughter
You are the best thing that’s ever been mine

Flash forward and we’re taking on the world together
And there’s a drawer of my things at your place
You learn my secrets and you figure out why I’m guarded
You say we’ll never make my parents’ mistakes

But we got bills to pay
We got nothing figured out
When it was hard to take
Yes, yes, I thought about

Do you remember, we were sitting there, by the water?
You put your arm around me for the first time
You made a rebel of a careless man’s careful daughter
You are the best thing that’s ever been mine

Do you remember all the city lights on the water?
You saw me start to believe for the first time
You made a rebel of a careless man’s careful daughter
You are the best thing that’s ever been mine

Oh, oh, oh

And I remember that fight
Two-thirty AM
Yes, everything was slipping right out of our hands
I ran out crying and you followed me out into the street
Braced myself for the goodbye
‘cause that’s all I’ve ever known
And you took me by surprise
You said, “I’ll never leave you alone”

You said, “I remember how we felt sitting by the water
And every time I look at you, it’s like the first time
I fell in love with a careless man’s careful daughter
She is the best thing that’s ever been mine”

You made a rebel of a careless man’s careful daughter
You are the best thing that’s ever been mine
Do you believe it?
Going to make it now
I can see it
I can see it now

Gosh I love Taylor Swift.