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Dec. 13th, 2010 @ 04:03 pm Viva Glam submission
Current Mood: contemplativecontemplative
I wrote the following piece as a contest entry for a (gay friendly) Viva Glam makeover. When I was done writing I realized that while the piece itself is about why I want a makeover, I want to continue it. I somehow managed to write the evolution of my sexuality and gender, and I'll be honest, I'm kind of impressed with myself. The writing may be simplistic, but I think I got my point across. Because it was for a contest I had to end it with a "here's why I want it" paragraph, but I think I'm pretty sure I'll be taking out that paragraph and adding more.


Once upon a time there was a little Jewish girl named Jessica. Jessica was a good orthodox Jew and wore ankle-length skirts and long sleeves year-round, despite the fact that she hated them and wanted to wear pants. “Screw skirts” she said, “I want to wear a suit like my dad!” But mom never let Jessica have a suit, and so she grew up never wearing clothes that made her feel happy.

 

And then Jessica went to college and put on a pair of jeans. Shortly thereafter Jessica became Jess and walked out of her stuffy closet, but alas, she didn’t know how to dress! Jess experimented with performance fleece, tight and loose jeans, button-up shirts and even (gasp!) goth clothing. Despite the experimenting, she always seemed to end up with t-shirts and jeans, which, while comfy, never quite seemed to be her.

 

As Jess grew older she still had a closet full of t-shirts and jeans. Even though the t-shirts were funny, the closet was still sad. Jess didn’t quite understand why her closet was sad, until one day this year she realized it was because she was still in it. Jess always knew that she wasn’t supposed to be a girl, but it was always a terrible secret, and she didn’t know that there were others out there who felt the same way. It took Jess a long time to even peek out of her second closet, and she’s still halfway in it because her family is afraid of how she looks. Jess’s family doesn’t understand that she can be a boi and still look good and be Jess. They think that if she doesn’t dress like a girl she will never get a job. They are afraid of Jess and for Jess.

 

If Jess had a Viva Glam makeover it would help her family to see that it’s possible to look good while still being true to herself. It would also help her present a more confidant and professional appearance to potential employers. A Viva Glam makeover would be the best thing Jess has had in a year full of pain and doubt. And maybe, it will help Jess come all of the way out of her closet so it’s not so sad any more.

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Devil Ducky Reads
Dec. 6th, 2010 @ 04:53 pm Yeah, about that short break
Current Mood: busybusy
It's been over a year since I've updated, life really sort of got in the way of things. I got married, got pushed out of a job and am now considering bankruptcy. It's been a wild ride.

I'm not going to update with anything that's really been going on. I'm here because I'm having trouble writing a cover letter for a job and Lea suggested I write it like I would an LJ entry. So here I am.

Here's the job posting:

We are a large catering and event design company that is looking for an energetic and creative person to assist the Director of Catering in sales, daily administrative functions, event set-up and execution of events. This is a great opportunity for someone wanting to get into this business and eager to learn! While experience may not be necessary and positive attitude and outgoing personality is a must! Must have a flexible schedule and be willing to work long hours if need be. We are looking for a go getter than can follow directions well and can hit the ground running. We are a quirky group so someone not afraid to work with us and be alittle quirky at the same time would fit in well!

Qualifications:

Great Customer Service Skills
Highly Adaptable
Strong Ability to Multi-task
Great Computer Skills (MS OFFICE SUITE)
Excellent Communication Skills

Compensation:
The office hours for this job will average around 20 hours a week and this person would be expected to want to work the events as well which would provide an additional number of hours per week (5-10 hrs).

To Apply:

Please email me your resume WITH a cover letter that tells me alittle bit about yourself and why you would be interested in this type of position.


Based on the informal tone of the ad and the request for a quirky person my letter shouldn't be stiff business formal, so here goes.

I'd like to be the assistant to your Director of Catering. I am an energetic jack of all trades who not only possesses the skills you are looking for but also has a passion for the catering industry and a thirst to learn and become more involved.

I grew up around a catering business. My mother ran a small private catering business out of our kitchen when I was a child and for as long as I can remember I helped her cook, maintain a schedule, and set-up and serve at events. Recently I've been cooking and serving for the Boka Truck, a small business that provides lunch truck and catering services. While working for the Boka Truck I quickly came to realize that my favorite events were the catering events. I loved talking with clients to determine what they needed and relaying information to them about how to book us. Working on the Boka Truck gave me enough experience to know that I want to be more involved in the catering industry.

My background has given me the ability to adapt and work with people in almost any situation. Working in the medical field gave me experience in working in a high-stress environment with unexpected complications, it also taught me to work on a deadline; you can't get much more of a deadline than someone's life. In addition, working in this field also gave me a great attention to detail from having to create and maintain patient charts. My 3 years of corporate work in a call center honed my business communication and phone skills to the point where I am comfortable with all types of people, from high-dollar clients to front-line employees. Working in this corporate environment also required a high level of multi-tasking, requiring me to work on special projects and work our e-mail queue while at the same time answering the phone and directly assisting customers.

If I am given the opportunity to be the assistant to the Director of Catering your business will obtain a fun off-beat individual who loves to satisfy customers, work hard, and be the best assistant possible.

Thank you for considering my application. I hope to have an opportunity to meet with you and discuss my qualifications.

Sincerely,

Jess Kahn
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Devil Ducky Reads
Oct. 26th, 2009 @ 07:04 pm Jinkies! A new discovery!
Current Mood: giddygiddy

I’ve discovered a new love, something that is so awesome I’ve cheerfully gotten  crazy bruises and pulled muscles, yelled myself hoarse and nearly given myself a concussion while doing it.

 

I discovered Roller Derby.

 

Lea works for the American Lung Association and they had an event on the 17th at a Richmond Derby Demons game. Awesome spouse that I am, I went with her to help out and then proceeded to spend the entire game gawking at the players and talking with one of the refs. The ref I spent the game talking with turned out to be Square Cat, one of the co-captains of the Derby Demons and he tried to convince me to come out to a practice. As I hadn’t skated since I was in elementary school and was never very good, I politely declined but offered myself as a volunteer/groupie. 

 

After the game was over we went to a local bar for the after-party and had an absolute blast. I loved all the players and they eventually talked me into coming out to a practice by telling me that it didn’t matter that I couldn’t skate, they’d teach me. They pointed out several of their players who couldn’t skate before they started doing derby, so I figured I’d give it a shot.

 

I showed up at their Monday practice and was outfitted with a full kit of safety gear, gave me a waiver to sign and skated off to do their stretches. Waiver signed and safety gear donned I realized I could barely stand on the carpet in my skates, forget that oh-so-slick gleaming wood floor. Demolition Durga very patiently coaxed me out on to the rink and pried my hands from their death grip on the rail. She went around the rink with me a few times, making sure that I knew the basics of pushing off and how to fall. I wobbled around the rink a bunch of times and fell pretty regularly, thank god for knee pads. Even though I fell a lot, most of the time it didn’t hurt, except when I tried to catch myself with the rail. The further I got from the rail, the more confident I became. By the end of the practice, while not skating fast, my form was good and I could go a few times around without falling. Everyone was so nice and encouraging, no one made fun of the rookie and the whole team was full of sarcastic smart-asses. I went home exhausted but exhilarated.

 

And then I was in agony for 2 days because getting up on skates uses your inner thigh and groin muscles far more then anything else. My legs were covered (still are) in dark purple bruises, but I didn’t care because it was sooo much fun.

 

I went back for Thursday’s practice and skated the entire 2 hours with 3 falls. It was so much fun to be able to skate so fast I could feel the air swooshing past me. All the players were telling me how much I improved and that they were really proud of the progress I’d made. They gave me the warm fuzzies, it was awesome.  At the practice I volunteered to bench coach for their game on Saturday just so I could have more Derby. I couldn’t wait another 3 days until the next practice, I wanted to be a part of the team.

 

So I bench-coached this past Saturday and we won our game, it was awesome. I got even more praise for being an awesome bench coach and when they took the team picture, they included me in it. They like me, I like them, and I felt like I belong. I can’t describe how wonderful it felt to be part of the team.

I think I’ve really found my place with the Derby Demons, I fit in with them so well it doesn’t seem like I just met them 9 days ago. I’m getting ready to buy my knee pads and am investigating a pair of skates. I want this, the exercise, the people, the team. It’s almost too awesome. I found something physical that I love doing and actually have the chance to be good at. I love my kickboxing classes, but I’ll never be anything but average unless I lose about a hundred pounds, and that’s ok, I don’t want to be a competitive kickboxer. Roller Derby is something I can be good at, where body type doesn’t matter because there’s a position for everyone. I’m built to be a blocker for Derby, and  have got the right attitude for bench coaching until my skating gets good enough. I will be a competitive Roller Derby Player.

 

Time for practice J

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Devil Ducky Reads
Aug. 31st, 2009 @ 01:08 am There is no Jess, only wedding
Current Mood: tiredPunchy tired
Current Music: For the love of a princess - The Braveheart Soundtrack
A metric butt-ton of stuff has happened since the last time I've written in early June. The highlights are as follows:

* I had major emergency surgery to remove my gallbladder at the end of June. I was out of work for 2.5 weeks.
* Lea and I decided that we are going to be responsible for my youngest brother because my parents refuse to.
* I received my first ever written warning at my Job. I've been working for almost 10 years and have never received one until last month.
* My job changed drastically to the point where all of my colleagues in the same position are unhappy.
* I have set a goal to be in another job by the end of this year.
* I have stepped the holes in my ears up to an 8-Gauge.
* I started kickboxing at the end of July and have already begun to lose weight.
* I got my hair dyed red and had a large amount of it chopped off
* I had my stag party at Floating World (Huge fetish convention) and found an awesome play partner who lives in the Baltimore area.
* I teched for the White Elephant Burlesque Society at Floating World and averted a disaster that almost made the show not happen.
* My laptop got a malware infection so bad it corrupted every executable file and the CD drivers so no fix could be loaded, Lea's dad is fixing it.
* Did I mention I'm getting married in a week?

My brain has been eaten by the wedding. My psyche has turned into some sort of demented wedding channel, all wedding, all the time. Even as I write this I'm listening to music to make the ceremony prelude playlist.

I'm getting married in a week. Everyone asks if I'm nervous about getting married and about how my relationship will change. Truth be told I'm not nervous at all when it comes to that. Lea and I are all but married anyway and I have absolutely no qualms about pledging my love to her. The thing that I'm nervous about is what sort of horrible thing my mother will try to pull.

My mother is the most self-centered person I have ever come across. Example: Today she texted Lea and I to see if we had time to take my brother shopping for khakis. Now really, would you ever ask someone 7 days away from their wedding to get your son some khakis because you didn't want to ask your husband?! I left a voicemail for her asking if she really meant to send the text to me. I'm still angry with her and so is Lea. This is the sort of shit that she pulls all the time and the reason why most of our family gatherings end in screaming fights.

So yeah, I'm totally excited about the wedding, but not so much about my mom.

The ceremony prelude music is actually done now, I'm quite proud of it because it includes the Bond theme song and "Ride of the Valkyries" among others.

It's now 1:08 AM and I started writing this at 9, I think it's time for bed.
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Devil Ducky Reads
Jul. 29th, 2009 @ 01:31 pm Please to help the mes!
It seems like we've been asking for help a lot recently, I'm not proud of it and I'm sorry to ask for help again, but is anyone available to pick Lea up from the airport tonight?

Her plane gets in from Atlanta at 7:47 and I have my first ever kickboxing class at 7:30 so I can't go get her. My dad is volunteering tonight so he can't do it, and I hate to ask you guys for help, again, but I got nothing else.

I hope all of you know that Lea and I value your time and friendship, and that when you need help we will be there for you just like all of you have been there for us.

Please let me know on here, or you can text me if you've got my number.

Cross-posted to chez_luguvalium 
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Devil Ducky Reads
Jul. 9th, 2009 @ 11:34 pm Because the naked ladies told me to . . .
Current Location: Couch B, Geeks Unlimited
Current Mood: pensivepensive
 . . . I took the belief-omatic quiz thing.

This quiz has been around since I started college in 2002 and I took it in the beginning of 03 when I first started blogging. When I took it back then, my views solidly aligned with Judaism with conservative being the top contender. No surprises there, because while I was still orthodox, by that point in time I was starting to question.

Now, my beliefs are reading as Neo-Pagan, Unitarian Universalist, which correctly names the way I identify myself, a Jagan-UU. I think it's really interesting how accurate the quiz was, and even more interesting to compare the beliefs of college-me to now-me. I'm always amazed at how much I've changed since then. It's been 6 years since I was a freshman; 6 years is not long, but I'm so different I almost can't relate to the person I was then. I feel like the time has been one big chrysalis phase, and now I'm fighting my way out to become something different, something more. What that is, I don't know. Hell, I don't even know what kind of job I want, even ideally. But whatever, the universe has a way of aligning my life properly and doesn't appreciate much medling from me so I'll sit back at let it come.

The top score on the list below represents the faith that Belief-O-Matic, in its less than infinite wisdom, thinks most closely matches your beliefs. However, even a score of 100% does not mean that your views are all shared by this faith, or vice versa.

Belief-O-Matic then lists another 26 faiths in order of how much they have in common with your professed beliefs. The higher a faith appears on this list, the more closely it aligns with your thinking.

How did the Belief-O-Matic do? Discuss your results on our message boards.

1. Neo-Pagan (100%)
2. Unitarian Universalism (95%)
3. Reform Judaism (94%)
4. New Age (89%)
5. Liberal Quakers (86%)
6. Mainline to Liberal Christian Protestants (83%)
7. Mahayana Buddhism (78%)
8. New Thought (78%)
9. Jainism (77%)
10. Baha'i Faith (72%)
11. Sikhism (70%)
12. Orthodox Judaism (69%)
13. Secular Humanism (65%)
14. Theravada Buddhism (64%)
15. Hinduism (62%)
16. Islam (60%)
17. Scientology (56%)
18. Christian Science (Church of Christ, Scientist) (49%)
19. Nontheist (46%)
20. Taoism (45%)
21. Orthodox Quaker (45%)
22. Mainline to Conservative Christian/Protestant (36%)
23. Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Mormons) (35%)
24. Eastern Orthodox (28%)
25. Roman Catholic (28%)
26. Jehovah's Witness (20%)
27. Seventh Day Adventist (19%)


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Devil Ducky Reads
Jul. 4th, 2009 @ 12:52 pm Maybe I should update
Current Mood: calmOn the mend
 . . . But I'm not in the mood to just yet. Instead, you get a very handy link that's mostly for quietdeath who's currently involved in a sock war at work. However, I think many of you *nudgeburlesquefolksnudge* will find the merchandise on this site fun to look at, even if you're not involved in a sock war of your own.

www.sockdreams.com

And specially for those in the medical profession www.sockdreams.com/_shop/pages/socks_detail_ProductID_1585.php

Update to come soon detailing my own take on the harrowing tale of my emergency surgery and lengthy recovery, not to mention the very successful mall assault of yesterday.

Love to everyone!

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Devil Ducky Reads
Jun. 6th, 2009 @ 03:15 pm Sad panda
Current Mood: gloomyHurt
I have 4 first cousins. Adam and Jason, from my cool Tante Alene and Uncle Ron and Robbie and Christopher, from my Uncle Bill and his divorced religious-nut wife.

All were invited to the wedding (except for the right-wing, home-school-to-save-from-the-heathens, super-saved Christian ex-wife). Robbie is 21, has a job and lives with my Uncle bill because he couldn't get behind the religious-nutness of his mom and her new husband. Robbie couldn't deal with the two of them saying that his entire extended family was going to hell because they're Jewish. Sadly, when the divorce happened Chris was not old enough to understand what was going on (he was under 10), so he was brought up under these crazy religious views. Chris was subjected to crazy home-schooling (note, I'm not against home schooling), Christian-camp and being holed up in Scotsville away from the general population.

I invited Chris to the wedding because I love him and want him to be there. I didn't think that his mom would let him come, but as his dad has joint-custody and he's only 17, I figured he and his dad would work something out. I was wrong.

Not only did Chris RSVP no on facebook, he posted a lame-ass "Sorry, I won't be able to make it". No reason for why he can't or won't be attending, and this leads me to believe that it's for religious reasons. I know that there might be other reasons, so I messaged him and asked why, I haven't received a response. Because our wedding is the day before labor day, it's not like he's going to be on vacation and if he were starting college, it's on a long weekend for pete's sake.

It may have been silly to think so, but I thought he'd want to come to the wedding and I'm hurt that he won't be there. I half expected that he wouldn't be, but that doesn't make me feel less hurt.


.  .
 ~


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Devil Ducky Reads
May. 19th, 2009 @ 09:55 pm Keep your past outta my present!
Current Mood: pissed offFull of hate
Some of you may know about my family's terrible traumatic break with the Orthodox Jewish community of Richmond. Most of you probably don't know it because it's a painful story to tell. The story brings up a burning hatred in me that I've never felt for anything else and hopefully never will.

It started with my my family leaving the Jewish day school (Rudlin Torah Acadmey, or RTA) for public school. Pinina (older sister), Eitan (older younger brother) and I were all attending school there but were forced out due to the actions of the principal and the school's financial backer. The principal then used the fact that we were all in public school to pressure families into shunning us. The public school kids couldn't be trusted around the pure Jewish kids who were "on the path" (of Jewish righteousness) because we would lead them astray. Instead of trying to keep us connected to the community every orthodox Jew needs, we suddenly found ourselves without anyone to celebrate holidays with or to talk to at synagogue. We were made to feel unwanted. The girls in the Jewish high school were forbidden to talk to my sister and I, despite the fact that my sister had attended the school for 3 years and I was already friends with several of them.  We lost family friends that had been around since I was small with barely a word.

This past Friday while were having family dinner, I discovered that the school's principal had been trying to get together a group to do the Jewish version of excommunication to us. The Jewish version of excommunication isn't really excommunciation, it's cutting the person off from the Jewish people and is considered a harsher punishment than the death penalty. I'm not sure how this would work in today's world, but I know that it would have meant we would've needed to move far away from the east cost to escape it. Pinina found out about this when she had coffee with one of her old school friends months ago, and my mother only told me about it on Friday.

During this same dinner, I also discovered that the whole chain of events was kicked off by my mother being suspicious about what the school's primary financial backer was doing with the profits the school made. Obviously the backer didn't like this, and because he was in bed with the principal (figuratively) and the principal had the power in the community, he was able to make life hell for my family. The whole thing of kicking us out of the school and cutting us off from the community was to protect the financial backer. This tells me he was guilty of something, but that's not the point. These two fuckers sacrificed my entire family to "protect the community" from my mother's "dangerous ideas." It didn't matter that my mother was the best fundraiser the school had ever had and that she created several events that put the school on the freakin' map. It didn't matter that they were ruining our lives and going against the teaching of Judaism. These people who claimed to be the religious leaders of the community used their power to decimate my family to save themselves. My mother may have suffered, but the ones they hurt the most were us kids. Their fear of my mother made them lash out at her through her children because they knew that she would fight for us. Hurting her children was the most efficent and effective means of hurting my mother and oh god did they do it well.

This new information has taken my disgust and hatred of these two people to an entirely new level. I honestly did not think that I was capable of such incredible loathing. It's a burning passionate hatred for anything associated with these people. I've written words here, but they just don't convey the pure hatred I have of these people. Wrapped up in this hatred is all of the emotions I felt as a confused 14 year-old Jewish girl in a public high school with no support. The betrayal, the sadness, the loneliness, the confusion, the alienation, it's all smashed together with my adult understanding of what happened and that what these two people did was absolutely and unequivocally wrong.

What sparked this off? I came home this evening to find a letter inviting me to the Boys' yeshiva building dedication and asking for donations. This is the same building I spent K-8 in, just renovated and re-purposed. The letter was from RTA, and it was signed by the principal.

I don't know how they would have gotten my address because I've never received any other alumni stuff and my address isn't even on facebook, nor do I have a listing in the white pages because I don't have home phone. No one in the Jewish Community of Richmond should have my current address unless they have gotten it from one of the corporate entities I do business with, so in addition to being infuriated, I am also creeped out by how they found me. But aside from that, what I feel right now is how dare he have the chutzpah to ask me for money for his new venture? I'm bad enough to toss out of the community, but still good enough that you can accept my money?! Bastard, charlatan, criminal, false religious leader, embarassment to the Jewish people! If he were here I would spit in his face and hope that I had deadly flu so he would get it too. I hope that he and the financial backer get found out and they live long enough to watch their empire crumble around them. I wish upon them all of the humiliation that my family had to go through. May they be punished in the way in which they sinned.

I don't really feel better now, but I had to get that out.
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Devil Ducky Reads
May. 1st, 2009 @ 11:52 pm Language Fail
Current Mood: goodgood
Current Music: Make Me a Supermodel (on TV)
I love the professor for my cultural diversity class. Despite the fact that I hate school, I'm enjoying this class because the professor is intelligent and does not suffer fools.

For example:

Clueless classmate: Blah Blah blah unrelated to topic, everyone is guilty of something

Professor of Awesome:
I do not follow your thought here. "Everyone is guilty of something"? I would disagree. I suppose you could have a group of guilty people, but am not sure how this relates to our discussion on stereotypes?

Clueless classmate: I feel that the word "guilty" is not always a negative word. You can be guilty of doing positive things as well. "Guilty" is not always meant as doing a bad thing but doing good things as well. So yes, everyone is guilty of doing something.

Professor of Awesome:
The word "guilty" means having committed an offense, crime, violation. It does have a negative connotation.

Clueless classmate:
Can you be guilty of doing good things? Things that are positive? Why does it all have to be bad things?

Professor of Awesome: Because that is how the word is defined.


Professor of Awesome for the win!

I love the fact that the professor corrected her. In my previous classes the professors would add a few token comments to the discussion and then ignore it. Incorrect information would be spewed back and forth because there was no one with authority to smack down the stupid people. Professor of Awesome does that, and he actually facilitates the discussions. I'm almost giddy with happiness over this professor.

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Devil Ducky Reads