I had the ability to celebrate Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in a new way this year. The nonprofit I work for had their annual Day of Service event. Typically, I am in Boston for MLK weekend dressed up in costume, running around a hotel with some of the most interesting people I have ever met. This was the first time in 6 years I have not attended Arisia and I’m okay with that. Instead I helped move supplies and people in and out of LaSalette Shrine’s conference center so that we could host speaker Joel Christian Gill of Strange Fruit Comics, as well as a variety of artists who gave their time to show forms of expression to the community. The event went very well and I was even featured in The Sun Chronicle’s article.
I think one of the things I like the most about celebrating the life and the legacy of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King is the fact that it gives everyone the opportunity to discuss empathy. What does it mean? How do you exhibit empathy? The best way to explain it is through this video.
Empathy is not something everyone has but it’s important. Just see the definition.
1: the imaginative projection of a subjective state into an object so that the object appears to be infused with it
2: the action of understanding, being aware of, being sensitive to, and vicariously experiencing the feelings, thoughts, and experience of another of either the past or present without having the feelings, thoughts, and experience fully communicated in an objectively explicit manner; also: the capacity for this
Empathy is being able to relate to someone/something’s feelings. We at times may not be able to understand our own feelings, let alone be sensitive to someone else. But for those of you reading this, I believe you have the capacity for this. It can be as simple as taking a breath before you say something to someone else and really think about what they said. To immediately rebut whatever they just said with a similar experience of your own may not be right. You’re trying to relate to them through a comparable but is your experience comparable to theirs? Could you be making light of their feelings in that experience?
In regards to Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. I don’t just see him as a civil rights activist or a dreamer. I see him and his work as that of an empathetic person who’s encouraging others to have empathy as well. When we give ourselves the full ability to understand someone else’s feelings we realize that their feelings aren’t the important part of the exchange. Their feelings are just the method of communication and a reaction to that of a larger problem. It’s typical that people don’t react until they are directly effected by something. By having empathy for others, we are allowing ourselves to be directly effected by the same experiences as them. It is my hope that we would all take THAT, that important information, and do something about it. This is where the civil rights or human rights activism takes form. I don’t need to have an experience with racism to understand that it’s wrong and probably doesn’t feel good but when I empathize with a person in America who is not white, I am compelled to do everything in my power to make sure that I have no part in the hate. I am determined to fight against hate I encounter with more love and understanding than I can muster. This is where the term “bleeding heart liberal” comes from. I always thought it sounded negative, like a bad word. But after reflecting on my time as a social justice warrior (another hot word right now) and the legacy of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. I can honestly say that I’m proud to have a heart, a big heart, bleeding for every single person I meet everyday and the future I dream for us all.
Happy Birthday Rev. Dr. King, Jr.
Have you ever thought about when you’re injured and you don’t have Facebook? There’s no status bar to update with your gripes. You have to reach out to individuals to share the news that you’ve pulled your groin walking back from the bathroom at work. How dignified. It seems stupid to share that type of information with people who aren’t the closest to you, like your mom or your best friend. So ultimately your left lying there with a bag of ice on your groan and no one to give you sympathy. So what do you do, nothing. You take Advil and you go to bed. You hope tomorrow it won’t be as bad because a groin injury is like a pain in your ass. (Well…it’s relatively close.)
FYI this happened the other day so I’m okay and you don’t need to show me any pity.
Have you ever taken a personality test? 16Personalities.com has it for free. My temporary roommates were taking it and talking about it during breakfast so I took a moment to do it. Here were my results.
I’m not surprised. Extraverted 100% – I love people (especially you reading this.) Intuitive 72% – This is energy. According to 16Personalities.com, this is the most important because it focuses on how a person sees the world.
Individuals with the Intuitive trait prefer to rely on their imagination, ideas and possibilities. They dream, fantasize and question why things happen the way they do, always feeling slightly detached from the actual, concrete world. One could even say that these individuals never actually feel as if they truly belong to this world. They may observe other people and events, but their mind remains directed both inwards and somewhere beyond – always questioning, wondering and making connections. When all is said and done, Intuitive types believe in novelty, in the open mind, and in never-ending improvement. (Credit)
I’ve always been a dreamer but in high school Mr. Kaminski taught me to dream big. I continued to fantasize of what was possible, what I could do and how to make it happen. When I see an obstacle I always questions why it is that way. I know this makes many people mad at me. When wedding planning my mom would always say “that’s not what people expect.” Why did I have to do what people expect? Why couldn’t I do it the way I envisioned it. I have always looked for a place where I belonged and finally found it in improv. The idea that grown adults could play pretend and it was a performing art form, made me gleeful. Learning that the Empire Revue and musical improv existed brought tears to my eyes. I’m great at making observations of my surroundings and people but as an AV nerd and event planner I’m constantly wondering why they did it that way or how it works. How do I get behind the scenes so I can learn more about it? I also do believe in never-ending improvement. This is found evident in my desire to continually improve and better myself as a human being. Feeling 76% – I believe in having all the information you need to make a good decision but I’d be remised if I didn’t state that I am strongly swayed by feelings and listening to my gut. An example of this can be see in the purchase of my house. You can read about it here. Judging 78% – This one is funny. Judging is decisive and organized but prospecting are good improvisers and nonconformist. It makes sense why I would have a bit of that but due to my jobs, I have to be organized, otherwise I wouldn’t get things done. I can see the prospecting part of me picking up the slack for my lack of preparation sometimes. I’m not sure I like one side better than the other, I kind of wish this was more 50/50. There’s always room for improvement. 😉 Assertive 83% – As for my identity, it has taken me a long time to get to the place I’m in now where I feel very self assured as to who I am and what it takes to be me and accomplish my dreams. I know I’m a confident smart ass but I care about people, don’t forget about that part…that makes me less of a jerk than most.
Overall at the end of this quiz’s assessment it shows you other Protagonists you might know. Look at who the first two are.
I know my temporary roommate A was very jealous cause she loves President Obama. If I can be half as great as Obama or Oprah, I’ll be happy. Maybe I should change my name to Ojax. What did you get for your personality type? I’ll leave the comments open below so you can share your results.
Batman/The Dark Knight and Unicorn Jax will be living in Attleboro come February 1st. HiJinx to ensue. You have been informed.
Marketing the good word of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
After sitting at the kitchen table for more hours than I wanted, I got a message from Batman/The Dark Knight. DoubleACS had time for me to pop over and film a PSA for On Common Ground and the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Committee of Greater Attleboro regarding the Day of Service event on Saturday at 12:30pm at LaSalette Shrine. This event is intended to bring the community together for an inspirational speech by Joel Christian Gill of Strange Fruit Comics and a potluck lunch along with family friendly arts and craft activities. I’ve been on the event committee due to my role as Marketing Manager at On Common Ground. The position is voluntary and works hand in hand with my Fundraising Coordinator role. I’ve been helping to spread the word. This video was part of it. It will play on Attleboro’s public access channel, their youtube, and I believe the radio. (I should probably double check on that.) Batman/The Dark Knight urged me to use the teleprompter which I usually don’t do because I rather be able to say it like a BOSS in one take. He was doing me the favor so I complied. It was interesting watching the words scroll as I talked. Not as cool as karaoke but I got through it in 4 takes. The last being the most energetic because really if you don’t put some umpf into it, what are you doing. Take a look and a big thanks to DoubleACS.
Another cool thing about the event on Saturday is that my altruistic friend Todd aka Zombie Leader will be painting live a portrait of MLK Jr. for attendants to admire as he works. I’ve been very proud of the immense progress Todd has made painting on a regular basis. We were trying to think of other ways we could incorporate more art into the event and Todd was texting me at the time. So why not take him up on his generosity once again? Todd was thrilled and I look forward to seeing the result. I have been blessed with two originals from Todd. One of me as Dazzler, the other a unicorn with blue eyes. You could say it’s me in my true form but you’d have to ask the artist.
Speaking of Todd, we actually have a very full schedule of comic cons coming up. Todd has asked me to help him as often as possible. I think he realizes how good I am at the table hustle. You can’t just sit there! That being said, I will be happy to be a member of Team Zombie Leader whenever I can. I’ve asked for some fabric to design my own uniform and intend on working on my zombie makeup further. It’s sometimes too stressful to plan cosplay for each con and much easier to just go with a zombie. In previous messages you will see that I am a bit tired of cosplay. I still love it but the reasons for doing it are not the same. It used to give me a way to express myself and be outrageous under the guise of costumed play. Now I can be as garish as I want without fear. I can also wear costumes whenever I want and take photos. Comic cons are expense and are moving towards the mainstream consumer market. Very few of them are focused on community and so I rarely see my friends walking the halls. At least if I go with Zombie Leader, I’m supporting the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and my friends will be able to easily find me as I’ll be stationed at the table. I’ll be sure to add any cons I’m attending to my public Facebook events section, you can subscribe to be notified of events as well if you use Facebook. I will try to keep them up to date on my website as well.
After my camera time Batman/The Dark Knight and I finalized the paperwork and submitted to my favorite apartment. By today we were approved and by tomorrow we will have secured an awesome 2 bedroom in the heart of Attleboro. Walking distance to my temporary roommates A & C as well as Morin’s, the commuter rail, DoubleACS, the library, the skate park, and so much more. We are very excited and I can’t wait to move in an unpack my piano and sewing machine. I’m sure they miss me as much as I miss them.
Another visit to the Attleboro Public Library. I returned a few I didn’t need, picked up an audiobook I had requested, and took out 3 new ones: one about writing with a cause, one about musical theater, and one by Tim Gunn about fashion. Can you see how diverse my interests are? I love finding out where these sections are in the library. I get so excited knowing that all of this information is accessible to me. I want it all. I take the books, read them, skim the parts that don’t interest me, and process the information. I make notes in the paper journal I’ve been toting around with me everywhere I go. (Sometimes I text myself too.) Visit your own library. Feel a book. It’s real. It’s in your hand. The information in it won’t be deleted amidst controversy. It will continue to be there, present in the moment with you and in your hand, until your return it.
I had an appointment with one of my clients in the evening. It’s always nice to know that you are able to help someone, it makes it better when that person is just a pleasure to work with. This is my favorite part of being a consultant. I can take on clients who don’t want to use me but rather work together. They give me their problems and I give them budget friendly solutions to choose from. We discuss the pros and cons, make decisions and turn problems into opportunities to learn and grow.
I had received a call earlier in the day. A friend of E and I was thinking of coming to Massachusetts for a visit. I was happy to head to E’s house to watch WWE’s Raw and hang out with a friend. We all share a mutual love of wrestling and wrestling belts. E has so many belts and our friend re-leathers them professionally. I have two but one I intend to sell after it’s been re-leathered. The other one is a Tag Team Championship belt in a children’s size. I love it, I got it because it was New Day’s belt but they have since lost it. It really is perfect for me though, in size and the fact that I will always be a solo tag team champion until I meet my tag team mate. Que sera…I LOVE WRESTLING. I want to be able to go behind the scenes or see them working on the script for the match. At least when I talk about wrestling with my friends who enjoy wrestling they either answer my questions or listen to my ramblings. I’m 100% okay with playing into the story and enjoying it. It’s so campy. Wrestling is violent athletic improv and I would love to learn how to do it one day…and that day will be A NEW DAY. (I’m writing this while watching SmackDown with F. I may be overdosing for the week.)
I’ve started listening to the audiobook for The World According to Mister Rogers. Like the Oprah audiobook, this book is so positive. Mr. Rogers’ an amazing human being. I will write more in depth about this once I finish it but from what I heard, there are so many wonderful quotes in it. I’m trying to think of who you could compare Mr. Rogers to these days but really there is no one like him. I want to be like Mr. Rogers. I want to encourage people, provide them with hope, and make their days better. If I had to write a list of the people I wanted to emulate myself after it would be: Gwen Stefani for style and courage to speak the truth of her feelings, Mr. Rogers for his ability to find what is special in everyone and celebrate it, Pee Wee Herman for his child like sense of wonder and fun, and Martha Stewart for her patience and resourcefulness. If I could be like all of these people but in my own way, I would be happy. I guess that’s what I’m striving to do.
In regards to writing, this is only a portion of the past two days and it’s taken me about two hours to write. I’m tired and content to relax with F, her two cats, and watching SmackDown. Until next time…
For 2017, I made a commitment to myself to not use Facebook personally. I made this decision because I found myself too often staring at it scrolling through the thoughts, shares, photos, videos, and more for my over 900 friends and pages which I’m a fan of. The amount of time I was wasting wasn’t helping me be more productive or my mental state. The term “Shit or get off the pot” constantly floating in my mind. And don’t for one instance lie to me and tell me you don’t look at your phone while you are in the bathroom. I’m happy to report my pot sitting time has decreased immensely since the start of this experiment. On January 1st I wrote my “goodbye” and posted it on my personal Facebook and on my blog. I intend my blog to be my Facebook, or Jaxalogue, if you will. It is a place where I can write whatever I want and share it with the entire world/internet. By dialing JaxAdele.com you are getting a direct line to me. No need to log in or endure ads (other than what my free WordPress may issue.) Just visit and browse. As I become more consistent I intend to add search features to allow you to access the type of information you are looking to acquire from me. But to start, I just want to share my week.
The Parent Trap
Ever find it fun to watch movies from when you were a kid and evaluate how you felt about them before to how you feel about them now? I do it all the time and with Netflix ever rotating their lineup, The Parent Trap was recommended. This 1961 movie was later revamped by Lindsey Lohan but the original role was played by Hayley Mills. The stop motion intro/outro sequence along with the original songs make me long for the old movies before things were outsourced, CGI, or done for marketing reasons. I will always remember the words to “Let’s get Together.” Even the simple camera tricks they use to have Hayley Mills play both roles, makes me think I CAN have a conversation with myself fairly easily in a future YouTube episode. It also made me think of the MEMEs I saw so frequently on Facebook where a character would talk to themselves, one good, one dark. That being said, I screen grabbed this.
The subject of divorce is something I always ponder. Having been divorced I find it interesting to find comments of divorce in my childhood entertainment. I figure everything had its influence on me. The understanding even in 1961 that eventually everyone is going to be divorced is just sad. Moving on…
Another bit which caught my eye was the fact that Sharon/Susan’s grandmother didn’t like her short hair. She called it “hoydenish.” This is one of my greatest joys with closed captioning. I can read everything they are saying because hearing fails me at times. (I had some scaring from an ear infection as a baby which has hindered some of my hearing through out life.)
My thoughts on gender identity are fluid. Why does it matter if she is identifying as male or female? How does hair effect her gender? Obviously, we understand what the grandmother is getting at, being 1961, but THE GRANDMOTHER HAS SHORT HAIR. Is she trying to be a boy? Why doesn’t she make up her mind. The reason for the haircut plotwise is that she’s not Sharon but rather her twin sister Susan pretending to be Sharon. So rather than having a conflicting gender identity crisis she’s having an actual identity crisis. Grandmother should be asking “Who is she?” instead. Hayley Mills face is priceless and I can totally relate to this scene. If you were wondering,
Hoydenish or hoiden
I watched Hello Dolly. Have you ever seen this movie? It’s a musical from 1969 directed by Gene Kelly, starring Barbara Streisand and Walter Matthau. Immediately I realized Dolly’s ingenue towards entrepreneurship. She knows everyone and can help you get anything done. I thought it was funny that I could relate to these characteristics seeing as how I am a consultant or Jax of all Trades to the small businesses I help. Upon further inspection, I came to find Dolly to be manipulative and conniving. Dolly is the star of this movie but not a role model in the slightest. This musical is degrading to women and the songs aren’t that great. There are large dance numbers which I felt were overcompensating for the costume and music. The early 1900s were not a period of fashion I particularly like. The way songs are delivered are so showboat-y that they eliminated the ability for feelings. I never felt that I cared for any of the characters at any part during the movie so whether they succeeded for failed was moot. I did watch it until the end just to be sure. I am ever intrigued as to why so many people are in love with Barbara Streisand.
Below I will give you two songs from the movie to watch if you want. The title song, Hello, Dolly!, is a call and response. She literally tells them what she wants them to sing to her and they comply. Even Louis Armstrong is under her spell. WITCH! Then there’s the backwards thinking It Takes A Woman. I dislike woman hating but I’m not the type of woman to like the things Walter Matthau is singing about so maybe the awful Dolly Levi actually deserves it. Either way, take it for what it is.
Oprah Winfrey’s What I Know For Sure
https://read.amazon.com/kp/card?asin=B00J6UKBPE&preview=newtab&linkCode=kpe&ref_=cm_sw_r_kb_dp_AX5Cyb45JPD2M I’ve been trying to read more and do things that will grow my brain and keep me ever thinking. With the addition to the Overdrive app to my phone (since I removed the Facebook app) I have been able to download audio books and ebooks from my local library. I have also visited the library frequently this week. While working one day at one of my less thought intensive jobs, I had my headphones on with Oprah’s book What I Know For Sure. Oprah is every positive and encouraging. It’s obvious that her book is geared towards house wives who watch her show but I still enjoyed hearing her reiterate things I already knew for sure as well. If you don’t nourish yourself, you can’t nourish others. Apply that to anything. Focusing on your self care and your impact will be greater. Oprah also brought up the idea of writing everyday 5 things you are grateful for. I probably will never consistently do that but the idea to recognize things you are grateful for is a great concept. I am attempting to put this into my everyday life.
I enjoyed listening to Oprah read her book and suggest it to you as a positive boost to your life. This book will not bore you or bring your mood down. We can all learn to be more like Oprah. Aside from her Weight Watchers investment, she’s a pretty smart woman.
Similar to audiobooks through Overdrive and Audible (which I am using a free trial for), I have been able to download radio plays. These are classic books retold by famous actors from their time and typically an hour long with cute commercials for soap or detergent. Their like vintage podcasts with a point. I’ve had thoughts of my own podcast, only because I think I talk to much, but the dramatic retelling of a form of media also intrigues me. Everything I receive, I interpret and digest. And you will find out what comes of it here.
This week I spent a good portion of it talking with my future roommate, Batman/The Dark Knight. We are looking for a 2 bedroom in the Attleboro area. Most of this weekend was spent going from apartment to apartment. It’s crazy to see the varying degrees of apartments, their prices, their lack of closet space, and what we want to live with. We found a few good ones and are preparing to submit our application for 3 of them to see what comes back. Once we know what we can have, we will make a final decision and I imagine I’ll be moving sooner than expected. Things I like in an apartment, easy access from highways and to find for guests, closet space, full sized oven/fridge, washer and dryer access, and the less creepy the better. Some buildings and hallways just don’t match the beautiful inside of an apartment.
YAttleboro is a word I came up with to organize adults in Attleboro who are between the ages of 24 and 39. Attleboro is a family town but there are many of us who are single or in committed relationships but don’t have kids. It’s my mission to find them and collect them for social engagement. In doing this, I have made two new friends this week. One through the internet, the other through a mutual friend. It’s funny to see how close in proximity these people are and I might never encounter them previously. I’m the kind of person that if I see someone in that age range sitting alone at a restaurant or bar I walk up and have a conversation with them. I usually start by introducing myself. I encourage you to try making friends in your community. Seriously, you never know who you are going to meet.
With my recent move and vacation to Florida, I haven’t been cooking much, so once I was done with work for the week, and with the impending storm ahead, I took some time to buy groceries. This lead to a weekend full of marinated drumsticks, french toast, pancakes, roasted potatoes and more. My temporary roommate, C, seemed to enjoy my jump in to domestics. I enjoy cooking, especially because I get to control what is in the food. Quality over quantity. C claims he can tell that I don’t use dairy but I suspect he’s just making fun of me. Because we all know, Dairy is the devil.
I help people at my job. Often not directly as I am a fundraising coordinator and the funds I raise go to support the program which helps people, but this week I got to help someone directly. At the beginning of the week I was asked to take a friend, P, to Braintree so he could catch a bus to NH. On days when a firm schedule is not in place, I am more than happy to rearrange a few things to help a person out. I was glad I could help P make it to the train. I look for opportunities everywhere to help people in my daily life. My offers aren’t always taken up but they’re still out there.
I have no shortage of projects and things I am working on but when one of your best friends asks you to design her wedding dress and be her wedding planner, you say “YES!” Staci had asked me but this week showed progress since our phone call when I was in Florida. The date is set, the ideas are in place, and I have the ability to start working on invitations, wedsite, and dress pondering. I know Staci’s personality and her initial thoughts on her dress. I intend to have a few sketches hopefully by the end of this coming week. Stay tuned for more on this glorious June event as I hope to feature it on my blog once it’s commenced. I will share minor updates for myself but will keep the majority of the information private for the couple.
My 2017 goal is to work on a series of outfits based on a theme to be presented at a live event a la Fashion Show-esq. The theme has been decided and I will be working with Brenescoto Designs for original jewelry design. More will be announced in another post but if you are interested in supporting my efforts please make a donation here: paypal.me/jaxadele. In talking with a friend last night, he asked “how much is that going to cost?” I realized that although I could come up with a quote for exactly how much the fabric, supplies, venue rental, food, and general operating expenses would cost, I haven’t figured them out yet. It will come and my hopes is that the designs will help my portfolio, help me reach my 2017 goal, and perhaps sell a few of the designs to compensate me for my efforts. If you are interested in being a model or attending the event you can sign up for fashion updates here: Google Group for JaxDesigns or email me directly at JaxAdele@gmail.com.
On Friday, everything I had planned cancelled on me. Before I would hunker down for the snowstorm I wanted to get out. I wanted to see Hidden Figures. I had seen a few of the previews and I knew it was a story I wanted to learn more about. My buddy L said she would meet me. It was the first time I went to Showcase in North Attleboro. They require you to pick out your own seats and they are leather recliners. Plus they put in a bar so you can take drinks to your seat. I didn’t get a drink because it was already late and I didn’t want to fall asleep. The movie didn’t start on time unfortunately but that gave L and I plenty of time to talk and watch up. We even looked to see if my future roommate, Batman/The Dark Knight, was around since his movie started shortly after ours. We missed each other. But L and I enjoyed the movie. It was about the three ladies who literally fought for our country to excel in the space race. The funny thing was, they weren’t fighting the commies, they were fighting segregation and human rights among intelligent NASA employees. The obstacles these women had to face due to their gender and race, were portrayed in a relatively light sense. They were some of the more successful stories of struggle. They pioneered the way for all of us to believe in what is right and to fight for it. I think the movie was excellent and a great story. I am interested in seeing if any of those ladies have a biography available for me to read. I love stories of powerful women. I sincerely hope all the stories within the movie were true because their police escort to work after breaking down on the highway was priceless. Kevin Costner was also great but probably delivered one of the silliest lines in the movie. “We all pee the same color.” I was the only one in the theater who laughed out loud. I laugh because it’s true and because to think that people were discriminated against and forced to use separate facilities to relieve themselves is absurd and preposterous. I hope we can all remember that as trans rights become an ever current topic. Trans rights are human rights. We are all humans and we all matter.
I hope all of your have enjoyed your first week of 2017. Mine went very well. There is more than I have even mentioned and this will lead me to write more often. Perhaps video updates? I’m unsure but will work towards it. I encourage you all to be the best version of yourselves you can be. I want to see you sparkle!