Tag Archives: Love

A Visit to Pulse, March 2017

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I woke up June 12, 2016 and was scared. After a quick scan through my social media, I found out about the shooting at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando.  The first thing that came to mind was a good friend and if he had been present that night. I knew he went out to some of the clubs in town and I hadn’t heard him mention it directly, but it was a possibility.

Thankfully, I sent a message and heard back pretty quickly- he was ok, but 49 fellow LGBTQ+ community members and supporters were not ok. This hit me hard.  The terrorist attack in Chattanooga in 2015 happened (one of the locations) 3 miles or less from my front door, the attacker lived in my in law’s neighborhood, but Pulse hurt so so so much more. I was close with someone who could have very easily been there- I found out later he only went Wednesdays. I am so thankful for this.

This month, I finally made my pilgrimage. I planned a visit to my friend and get shown the lay of the Orlando land- honestly I knew way too much about new building permits and roads that I’d never seen, so it was time to finally make it happen. On the top of my list was visiting Pulse and paying my respects to all of those taken too soon.

The trip finally came around and Orlando won my heart. Head over heels won my heart. Part of that is the community that I felt. On a Friday night, we planned to visit Pulse. As we drove through downtown, we went past the hospital and my friend pointed out the ER that people were taken to. My stomach was in knots. We drove a few more blocks to an area I’d seen on the news, that is until I couldn’t handle it anymore and had to turn the tv off the year before. We parked the car and as we walked towards the club’s parking lot, I told him “I might need a hug in about three minutes”.  He simply responded that we both would.

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As we walked up to the fenced in building, I was surprised that I didn’t cry. There was no one else around at that point but there were candles burning, freshly lit. People had left many mementos of remembrance and sorrow and love and celebration. All along the fence were pieces of art that had been created specifically for this place. Visitors had written all along these and left messages of hope.

One of the things that sticks out so much to me is the speech that Lin-Manuel Miranda gave at the Tony Awards in 2015, which happened to occur on the same evening as the early morning attack. Lin gave an eloquent speech with the memorable sentiment of “Love is Love is Love is Love is Love”. I remember watching this speech as he gave it live on tv, tears streaming down my face.

On the top of one of the tarps, my friend pointed out where it had been written in large letters: “Love is Love is Love”.

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I had painted a pride flag and carried it 500+ miles to find where I it felt it belonged. I placed it on top of a podium that had pictures of the fallen on the base and their names listed on the top. It was hard to read but their faces did enough talking.  My friend came over and pointed out where the door in was and where the bathrooms where that people hid out in. I knew I was really there but I didn’t feel like I was really there, just on the other side of that fence.

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My friend hadn’t been even past the club since before the attack. I felt bad dragging him out there, but in hindsight, I am so glad that he was who I went to this place with. We hugged and held hands. I tried to somehow squeeze some sort of relief to him through hugs, but I’m not sure how well it worked. I do know that I was a lucky person to be able to support of a friend I care so deeply about in a moment that was harder than I will even ever know.

As we walked around, I took a few photos of the things people had left to honor those beautiful people that we lost. I couldn’t bring myself to take a photo of the club’s sign, though. I had seen it so many times on TV and photos and refused to take yet another image of it. I felt like if I took a photo, I was simply a tourist and seeing it simply because I was in Orlando. That would have bothered me more than anything else.

After about 20 minutes, a handful of people showed up (a Friday around 10 pm, mind you) and we decided it was time to move along. I made sure to tell my friend multiple times thank you for taking me to this place and for helping me go through the emotions I had, even from so far away.

It took some time to reflect on our visit, but I realized the next night, sitting by myself, looking at a lake at a Disney World hotel, what it left me with. Seeing the candles lit, people coming by to pay their respects and all of the words of encouragement and hope that had been left, it was about LOVE. Love and Hope.

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We live in a world where bad things happen and people ban together sometimes afterwards. The feeling and everything I saw in Orlando is one of unity. One of the things my friend told me that night was how much the city totally came together when this terrifying act occurred. There were insanely huge crowds at the city wide memorial at the Dr. Phillips Performing Arts Center to celebrate these lives last June. I saw the photos. I didn’t start to get the monstrosity of the size of things until I was riding through the area. I will never ever know the full monstrosity of these events, but I look forward to joining the Orlando community, being an ally, showing loving and doing whatever I can to make it a better place. I have felt if from afar, I’ve seen it felt by someone who is part of it and I hope to never forget what happened but remember and celebrate these lives and all of those they touched.  

 

First Fall Weekend!

 

It’s Finally Fall, Ya’ll!  We’ve been crossing our fingers the weather will finally stay below 70 and leaves will start falling some more and this weekend it finally happened (no comment on the fact that it’ll get up to almost 80 again tomorrow).

The weekend commenced with a little movie night at the in-laws on Friday evening, my yearly viewing of Ichabod and Mr. Crane having happened now, and come Saturday morning, it was cool, clear and just perfect. Loss came home with some good news from work around 8:30 and we decided it was a great day to hit the town. First stop?

Starbucks.

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My first real PSL of the season!

By the time we ran around some, we made it to Rembrandt’s Coffee Shop downtown and needed another coffee, plus some sweet photos, because, why not?

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I usually have to pull teeth for cute pics together =)
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Typical Losson.
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Lots of cool walkways

We then saw the view of the Tennessee River we had to ask ourselves why we didn’t go down the road a few miles and enjoy the view more often?  Loss and I have both pledged to try and spend more time downtown and enjoy the beauty that is just down the road.

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Downtown Chattanooga: Coffee, Beautiful Walks, the River & lots of Bridges

After some trekking around and picking up a birthday gift for my marvelous mom, we headed to Warehouse Row to visit Anthropologie for said present shopping and a visit to my new favorite place in town:

Two Ten Jack!

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To say I am in love with Two Ten Jack is an understatement. You guys know of my love of all things Japanese (except mochi) and this place is an izakaya and ramen house. REAL Ramen. I finally had REAL RAMEN. It was amazing for date night the Friday before, so we decided to head back for lunch on Saturday.

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Bento Box!

We were both planning on Ramen again, but when we were explained the menu by the great server Matt, our minds were changed. Loss and I both went with the bento box with the JFC (Japanese fried chicken), green salad, chicken meatballs and rice with fried brussels sprouts and a fantastic sour cream (?) based dip. Oh man. Guys, this was great. The brussels sprouts were the most exciting part, much to my surprise. We were both so happy we went with a bento, since we wouldn’t normally be out for a lunch menu. I’m sure there will be another post or two of my Two Ten Jack ramblings soon- I’ve fallen hard for them.

After lunch, we ran a few more errands, came home and took a nap. It was only what could be called a Fantastic Fall Saturday!

The icing on the cake? Celebrating my mom’s birthday today, having lunch together and taking a hike afterwords. Of course, now it’s very much time to hit the sack.

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We’re so proud of our fall outfits!

So here we go back to a week of 80 degree highs and here’s to our next big fall weekend adventures!

xoxo

Jenny

Netflix Review: “Love”

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Gillian Jacobs & Paul Rust are adorably awesome in “Love”

Judd Apatow has got me hooked again.  I’m pretty much in love with “Love” (sorry for the cheese).

The new series on Netflix came out earlier this week & is a real & funny show that I’m 7 episodes in & can’t wait to devour all of the 10 episodes. The series covers events in the two characters lives, Mickey (Gillian Jacobs) & Gus (Paul Rust), as they individually happen & then intertwine.

The series is set in LA & has some rad locations they use (I adore Mickey’s house) & includes some of the area’s stereotypes (and a killer Andy Dick cameo in the episode simply titled “Andy”). Also while the show is set in this place that is known for extravagance & fiction, the show keeps it relatively real. Being just a few years younger than both main characters, their lives don’t seem to be too terribly over the top & they seem like folks I would be friends with. Gus lives in a lonely apartment & drives a Prius & has a decent job as a set tutor for kids on tv shows but really wants to be a writer. Mickey has a roommate , goes on a furniture rearranging & purging binge one night when she’s frustrated & shows up late, or not even at all, according to a friend. I dare say I can relate to this even more than I normally do the Apatow produced “Girls” on HBO (which I do love as well).

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Gilian Jacobs is it. Love her as Mickey.

I quite enjoy the exploration of Mickey & her sobriety as well. This is something that is often touched on in these more “real life” shows, as I think of them, but it’s not generally a large focus. The way that Jacobs plays the character of Mickey is just a great- she (and also the scripts by Apatow, Rust &  Leslie Arfin   ) show the side of this tough girl that she wouldn’t normally show to the world.  Seeing Mickey learn to be good with herself, her history & being sober while dealing with a new relationship is just good. I can’t think of any other words for it but it just seems real & good & I have even more respect for Gillian Jacobs as an actress after this series.

I can’t wait to finish binge watching the series (probably tonight) & I’m going to say probably rewatching it again at some point.

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Hubba hubba, Mr. Rust ❤

Also, I must confess, moppy haired & big glasses Paul Rust in this show has hit the top of my crush list. This is my type of guy, to a t. I mean, he takes a date to the Magic Castle- where he is a member… Makes my heart go pitter patter. Reminds me some of the hubs & his love for comics & conventions…

xoxo

Jenny

 

An Ode to my Valentine

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June 13, 2015: The day we leveled up

Valentine’s Day is upon us & I have to say I have no clue what to do or get for the hubs. Thinking on it some, I decided that I should just write on it here. (Warning: It’s probably going to get mushy)

We’ve been married 8 months today (wow!) and it’s been an adventure so far. If you’ve seen my posts lately, you’ve read how much the “adulting” has been going on & how it’s been kinda stressful, but knowing we can work together & it will work out is a very comforting thing to remember. I know that we can get through the rough stuff & it will be okay in the end.

And not to get lovely dovey gross, but Losson has some amazing qualities & has done some awesome things to make life easier & just plain better for this undeserving girl. He consistently has dinner ready when I get home from work, he was supportive to leaving my job of 5 years when I was at the ultimate burn out phase, he’s supportive of my Disney habit & even enjoys a good chunk of it himself. Those are just a few things.

We’ve still got some things we’re working on, such as our communication at some moments & our organization skills, but it’s a process & we’re getting there. That’s ok, we’ve got time, honestly.

But the best part of it all is when we just lay in bed & talk & giggle & are silly. Last night we got talking about something just ridiculous & spent 30 minutes giving Siri stupid requests on my iphone. We were cracking up & having the best time. That’s one of my favorite things we ever do; quality time is something that we try to make happen as often as possible & it makes my life so much sweeter.

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A “vintage” photo of us from 2012

I love you, Loss. Glad we’re together forever.

xoxo

Jenny