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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!

An ode to Elsie Marie Car-ma, and the story of how I was offered $100 for my seat covers

This is me in April being vain in my zebra-print car.

This is a story all about how
My life got twist-turned upside down
And I liked to take a minute and sit right there
And tell you how my car got hit on by a pimped out billionaire.

In central Jersey, born and raised
Driving down ’27 is how I spent most of my days
Chillin’ out, maxin’, pretendin’ to be cool
I knew my Saturn Ion was lame, I was no fool.

When I was ‘bout to turn 22, like I knew that she would
My mama asked what I wanted for my bday, that I deserved somethin’ good
I got in one lil’ fight, sayin’ I really didn’t care
“I want zebra seat covers, and a pet unicorn!” I declared.

My car’s now all pimped out, it’s all zebra and queer
It even has matchin’ floor mats and flowers in the mirror
If anything I can say this Saturn Ion is rare
It even causes billionaires to stop and stare

I stopped at a red light
When a big ol’ guy came running out of his car
Ran to my window, threw $100 down
He asked me if he could get my seatcovers some place in town.

I told him no, I didn’t think so,
but I got mine on Amazon, ya know?
He said he wanted ‘em for his BMW,
and I shrugged, said “Good for you.”

I pulled up to the bank,
rolled up to the atm
but who should appear?
My good ol’ friend, the pimped out billionaire.

“I hope I’m not creepy, but I really need to know…
What is this Amazon thing, explain it real slow!”
I wrote down directions, gave it to my friend
He said, “Thanks babygirl, I’ll give it to my girlfriend!”

I chuckled as he left and I got my cash,
this guy was an oddball with a bit of class.
I honked as I left him and he nodded to the air.
I was sitting on my throne, my pimped out Saturn Ion, and speedin’ outta there.

Hitting milestones with my baby: A tribute to Elsie Marie Car-ma

A few weeks back, I hit a huge milestone with the longest relationship I’ve had so far: Elsie Marie Car-ma and I have been together for over 5 years, and we finally hit our 30,000 mile mark. After 5 years and 4 months, we hit the big 3-0-0-0-0!

Many people talk about their first car with fond memories. For me, Elsie is more than that. Elsie has seen me through some of the best (and worst) times of my life. She was with me when I was working my first job at the local grocery store. She drove me, my brother, and his girlfriend to school every day my senior year. She carried me through my Grandpa’s death, and she was the vessel in which I drove my Grandpa’s relatives to the store in the nights surrounding his funeral service. Late nights driving home from work Senior Year gave me the opportunity to think, uninterrupted, and attempt to wrap my mind around my petty teenage problems, the death of my beloved Buster (Grandpa), and try to accept my sexuality.

Five years have passed since my senior year, and dear ol’ Elsie has been through a lot: a few accidents, Grandpa’s death, the start of college, coming to terms with my sexuality, 4 different jobs, becoming a RA, one relationship, quite a few day trips, a roadtrip to Massachusetts with my poefy, a scattered assortment of first (and last) dates, late night Wawa adventures, acceptance into Grad School, a friend’s death, zebra print seat covers, graduating my undergrad, the start of my teaching career, an assortment of musical obsessions ranging from hard rock to musicals to Taylor Swift to Melissa Etheridge, and so much more.

Elsie has been a constant in my life. Even after being in a few fender-benders with her, she’s come through them. She’s a huge part of my life, and an odd source of comfort when the going gets tough. Aimlessly driving to clear my head has saved me from going crazy so many times, and I am eternally grateful for Elsie Marie Car-ma.

I know Elsie is getting up there. She’s five years old, and little things are starting to go. the driver’s window leaks when it rains. My radio sometimes shuts off on its own. There’s a certain jiggle I have to do when Elsie is overheated and I’m trying to take the key out of her. Elsie is starting to go through what I’ve been calling car menopause, and it terrifies me. I know she won’t last forever, but the thought of not having her in another 10 years scares me. Elsie is reliable, sharp, quirky, simple, and everything I could ever ask for in a relationship. I trust her to support me through no matter what life throws at me, and I’m so, so grateful for her.

Here’s to you, Elsie Marie Car-ma, and the next 30,000 miles!

<3
One of our first photos together. <3