My Twitter Had To Die

Hey, sometimes I’m not sure if I should be using this blog because it comes up when you google “Jessica Cabot” or if I should be posting on my Medium because it’s connected to some kind of network that might expose my illustrious posts into the mainstream.

Since I haven’t made up my mind yet, here’s a post that I posted on Medium initially that I think is pretty great and you should check it out to see how amazing I am at writing. Also delete your twitter!!!

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My Twitter Had To Die 

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9/11 Memorial

After election 2016 I went to New York City to visit friends in an attempt to heal my wounds.

I was touring the city with Ilenia. Ilenia was, or I suppose still is, my “host sister”. When I was in high school I wanted to get away from Los Angeles to figure out if my burgeoning depression was just a result of my surroundings or something that was inherently wrong with me, so I did a study abroad program in Italy to find out. I was assigned a family in Sicily, and that’s how I came to live with Ilenia and her family for a month and a half of my life when I was 15.

I hadn’t seen Ilenia in over a decade, so when she told me she was going to New York City on vacation and asked if I would accompany her I agreed. I figured she might need an NYC tour guide, and I know NYC only second to LA.

One of the things we did together was visit the 9/11 memorial. I was internally against the idea, but she wanted to go and tickets were included in a tourist guide pack we had bought.

The first thing we visited were the two black square fountains in the ground that outlined where the original buildings had stood. The energy in the place was eerie. There was a heaviness hanging over us, and it was palpable. It made the trauma more real.

9/11 happened when I was 13, in 8th grade. I remember feeling pretty numb and nearly indifferent the whole day. I certainly wasn’t sad or scared, more just uncertain how I was supposed to feel. I don’t remember exactly what was said about it but I remember my history teacher, Mr. Giambra, explaining the horror and significance of what had just happened. When I got home the TV, even Nickelodeon, was not showing normal programs. I wondered how long that would go on for. I went on “Neopets” instead but all anyone was talking about there on the chat boards was what had just happened so I got off the Internet. I didn’t think the adults were overreacting, but the events were also so far away and I was so young that I couldn’t really comprehend. All I knew was that we were safe in California.

When Ilenia and I went down the escalator into the actual memorial or “museum,” I felt like I was descending into one of the scariest places I had ever been in my life. When I was 13 everything had felt so surreal and far-away, but being in the actual location of the fallen towers in December 2016, only a month after another American tragedy that had effected me directly, the events of 9/11 no longer felt so impersonal. Instead I felt like I was there on the actual day, which I suppose is the point of the museum.

I did my best to look at the artifacts and to honor the memories of those who had lost their lives, but I started to have a panic attack instead. I was sobbing. I felt overwhelmed, and all the emotions I was unable to feel in 2001 when 9/11 happened came to the forefront. I was finally grieving what I had been unable to as a kid.

Ilenia saw me being a mess and I tried to explain to her. Ilenia speaks pretty good English, but somehow there still seemed to be a disconnect in our communication, which had less to do with the words themselves but more how different our life experiences had been. My unbearable sadness wasn’t just because of the museum, though it was that too. It was how real all this inescapable horror was. I wanted to leave. I just wanted to be above ground and get some air.

Ilenia tried to comfort me, but also attempted to explain that this was not just an “American” thing but rather the history of the world. Horrible things had always been happening in Italy and Europe, apparently. I felt like her message to me was essentially, “get over it, you aren’t so unique” though she never actually said this. What she did say was, “If Americans want to help make the world a better place then they don’t have to learn other languages. It’s fine for them to only know English. But they should know what’s happening in the rest of the world, and read other news, read other history.”

I thought her words were wise. She was asking me to put something in perspective. I kept thinking about the election of 2016, and how awful it had been. I felt like this was something Ilenia, and for that matter a lot of Americans, didn’t seem to understand. I felt like no one fully understood how traumatic, awful, and dangerous it was that Trump had won. Everything was at stake.

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I saw this which only made me cry more. I felt like America was being tested again, and I hoped that the fabric of our democracy was indeed as strong as this wall and that it could withstand the Trump presidency, which still felt as surreal and unreal as 9/11 had to me when I was young.

Ilenia and I walked into a room of the museum that had images and worst of all audio phone calls from people who were trapped in the building and trying to connect with 9/11 victims on the actual day. The room itself was super crowded. I started to feel faint and overwhelmed, and so I left Ilenia alone in the room and sat on a bench for the rest of our visit. I just physically couldn’t take anymore in, even fifteen years later the place still felt like death.

I asked one of the volunteers who worked there how she did it. She was like a nurse to me, someone who deals with unspeakable pain and trauma on a daily basis but somehow manages for the greater purpose of healing others.

“It is sad,” she admitted. “I was fortunate enough to not have any family or friends effected, but I’m a life long New Yorker and I will always remember the day.”

It seemed she had some distance to bear her job but not enough to not feel like she should avoid the work she was doing.

When we finally left I was so grateful to breathe the cold air. Ilenia patted me on the back as I finished crying. I hugged her.

“Thank you for being my friend all these years,” I said, and meant it. I tried to explain to her how cool I thought our friendship was, that we were helping each other to heal in ways, and that she had come back into my life at a very meaningful time. Ilenia had always been in love with America, and I had always wanted to be less American. She knew more about America than I did. She knew that we were the only country in the world to advocate for the “pursuit of happiness,” which was something I didn’t know. Not that we pursued happiness, because god knows I have, but that we were the only ones. She was helping me to know and understand my own country.

I didn’t leave the museum feeling better about anything, mostly more horrified, but I also felt more aware of the gift that life is, because that’s what death will do to you. I left the museum thinking about the great slurry wall, and the foundations that endured in the face of unspeakable trauma.

A Blog Post A Day / Little Kids

A few years ago, I embarked on an experiment of writing once a day in this blog. I kept it up for maybe 13 posts. Let’s see if I can’t break that record.

Today I was walking Rita and these people had their door open and this little white poodle looking dog ran out really fast. I wasn’t sure what its motivations were. Maybe it was just curious to check Rita out and sniff her butt. Instead, this little asshole started growling and nipping / possibly thinking about biting Rita.

I was like, “hello! We’re just passing by asshole. Leave us the fuck alone.” So I kind of shooed it with my foot.

Then this aggressive shit kept at us, still going in for a bite. So I stomped my feet and yelled, “HEY. SCRAM.” I was intense about it because I was pissed off at this dog. Leave us the fuck alone, we are just passing by.

I was also feeling tense about a lot of other things. My life feels like it’s in limbo. I’m on edge, so if a little white poodle dog tries to get into it with me I’m not gonna hold back. I’m going to make my message very clear: go back into your house fucker.

The dog does. Rita and I continue forward. Unfortunately, there are two cute little kids riding their scooters and they witnessed my whole dog fight.

“That little dog was just scared,” the little boy, about age 5, offers me with a smile.

“Yeah, you’re right.”

The little girl, probably 3, comes up to agree with the little boy.

“That dog lives close to us. It does that sometimes because it’s protecting its house.”

“Yeah. You guys have good points. I should have gone easier on that dog. I’m sorry I was like that.”

I feel embarrassed and also in awe of these children. They are so peaceful, happy, and non-judgmental. They aren’t offended by my transgressions, they just want to share their peace with me.

“I like your unicorn necklace,” I tell the little girl, because I do. She looks at it.

“It’s a unicorn necklace,” she tells me.

“Yes it is,” I say.

“We have a dog! Her name is Lola. She’s white and black,” the boy says conversationally.

They are being so nice to me. Their gentleness keeps putting my overreaction to a poodle in stark contrast. Yes that poodle was a little shit, but I probably didn’t need to act like it was a bear about to tear our heads off. I probably could have just kept walking or picked up Rita if need be.

“Oh Lola? That’s a pretty name,” I say, still ashamed of how I acted in front of kids.

We exchange a few more pleasantries, then it seems Rita and I should be on our way. The little girl scooters off.

“Have fun,” I say to her.

“I am,” she knows.

I don’t know how to have fun, or be as present as they are.

“They were nice,” I think as I walk off. “Ugh, I might want kids.”

I don’t want to want kids, but of the kids I’ve met in my life they always seem to help me more than I actually feel like I’m helping them. It seems like a good idea to have them around.

I walk home with Rita, feeling like I’m going to have to be nicer to snippy poodles if I want to cultivate more inner peace.

A Review of the Audience I Saw “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” With

Due to varying changing life circumstances – my original plans to see “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” had fallen through. I was originally supposed to see “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” with fellow fans, in 3D, on “pre-opening night” (12/17), at the Arclight in Hollywood, which is like, the place to go see movies, I’m told.

These fallen through plans had left me depressed. Tickets were probably already sold out, at this point, and it seemed I’d have to wait like one of those losers who say they’ll go see it when “the crowds die down”. I won’t call those people complete morons, but I also won’t not call them that. Yeah, yeah, I get you. It’s just a major pop-cultural event that doesn’t come around very often (like every ~20 years?!) that brings people together and creates a unique energy of anticipation and shared experience with fellow humans and it doesn’t even seem like we’re going to be disappointed this time, so, sure, you’re going to WAIT FOR THE CROWDS TO DIE DOWN?!

Well, maybe I’m the complete moron, because it seems I would have been just as well off waiting for the crowds to die down. Which is depressing as fuck.

At the last minute I was surprised when a good friend invited me to come along to the Arclight on 12/17 to see Star Wars. Granted it wasn’t going to be in 3D like my original plans, but I don’t really give too much of a shit about 3D to be honest. That’s fine. At least I’d be with the crowds of true fans, the people who make such an experience as a rare Star Wars trilogy opening extra magical because they know when to clap and laugh and applaud at the right times so that the movie comes to life. I mean when I was 9 my uncle dressed up as Han Solo and we waited in line for at least four hours at the Grumman’s Chinese theater for the Phantom Menace, and everyone made a big deal over that shitty movie AS IT SHOULD BE. And again, we all knew this movie wasn’t even going to be bad this time.

I give the audience I saw “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” with one star. Light smatterings of applause upon the opening credits. No “whoops”, “hollers”, or “general cheers”. Important, devastating moments happened in the film, AND NO ONE REACTED AT ALL EXCEPT FOR ME. The entire movie going experience felt like an echo – in which the only noise other than the movie were my own claps and laughs being reverberated back to me in what was otherwise a vacuous silence. Important characters returned – ie. Han Solo, and the audience acted like they couldn’t give two shits. It’s fucking Han Solo it’s not like it’s his character in the Age of Adaline. Have some GODDAMN RESPECT AND CHEER. Also, several times I laughed out loud – loudly – and immediately realized I was the only one. I wasn’t even laughing at inappropriate moments like I sometimes normally do. This time it was just goddamn funny. Fucking laugh, assholes.

To this audience – DO YOU NOT HAVE SOULS!? Why did you even bother getting tickets for “pre-opening night”!? So you could sit judgmentally in your cool Hollywood seats and find criticism in everything and refuse to just let yourself enjoy a goddamn good traditional American blockbuster film?! WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH YOU? Do you even like Star Wars? What are you doing here? Why did you insist on ruining the experience by not participating in the experience? Were you just a bunch of people who were going to wait for the “crowds to die down” who at the last second decided “what the hell” and bought tickets? For what? To personally spite me? That must be it, because you kind of blew it for me. I can’t imagine I’m going to have another chance like that. I mean I do plan on seeing the movie again – certainly – but by then it’s like, I’ve already lost my “The Force Awakens” virginity. I can’t get that back. Man, fuck you.

Actually, forget the one star. No stars!!

 

An Open Letter to Pitbull and Ne-Yo

Dear Pitbull and Ne-Yo,

I’ve listened to your newest song, “Time of Our Lives” numerous times and as such feel compelled to address some of your concerns.

First, I completely relate to the troubles that you describe. I too, have worked my ass off and yet still fall short of rent each month. It is a difficult economy, and especially for those of us, like yourselves, pursuing a creative field, it is common to work very hard but to fail to receive financial gains for our efforts. It’s a shame that we live in a world that doesn’t necessarily value monetary compensation for our art. In this sense I find your strife highly relatable.

However, I am concerned by the manner in which you’ve been dealing with your (again, understandable) stress. You have just enough to get up in this club? Are you sure this is the best manner in which to spend the limited income you have? I personally, am not. While I fully endorse living a well-rounded life that includes time for extracurricular activities, I am not sure that “the club” is the best use of your time and money, especially since – again – you are falling short on your rent.

To start, while I again agree in the notion of “having the time of our lives” have you considered that there are numerous free activities that are not only highly enjoyable but also spiritually and physically rejuvenating? Examples that come to the top of my head are, the beach, hiking, volunteering at a local animal shelter, etc. This is a great way to get out in the world and even give back to the community.

I also feel, that if you do have a little extra cash which you are currently spending on “the club”, that perhaps you would be wise and better off to financially invest in your own future. You seem interested in a music career, from what I can tell. You are obviously talented, so perhaps you would be better off to use your “last $20” on producing music tracks which you could upload to SoundCloud? This way you’ll have material to show people who might be interested in developing your career further, at which point you will hopefully then have enough money to “get up in da club” AND pay your rent!

I am also a little unnerved by what I might consider to be a bit of an alcohol problem. While I am certainly no prude or square myself, I have seen how drugs and alcohol can distract, interfere, and otherwise destroy the lives of young creative artists who otherwise would have a very bright future indeed. I think you’ll find that, while difficult, it is possible to overcome these addiction demons, and that the efforts are well worth the promise of your future. It might be a simple matter of drinking less, in which case you’d both save money to pay for your rent and open up some creative space in your head to really go for your true dreams. This club business honestly seems like it is a cause of the problems you are having – in which you can’t pay your rent and are struggling to make ends meet. Life doesn’t have to be such a struggle if you just channel your energy and efforts into more productive means.

Last, I am also a little concerned about your attitudes towards women. Certainly, it is no business of mine whether you are seeking a long term relationship or not. That is a personal journey and something you are of course entitled to decide for yourself. However, I am not sure that you need “da club” to meet women, and you might find a free app like Tinder helpful in connecting you with like-minded women who are not interested in pursuing love, as you say, but instead “lust”. Additionally, if a woman has just broken up with her boyfriend, I might suggest you be a little more cautious and considerate of her feelings. She is probably in a vulnerable and emotional state and so when you describe yourself as “like Rodman, ready on deck” I can’t help but express apprehension that you might be taking advantage of a troubled and lost soul. She probably needs support and compassion in this time, and so I just want to make sure you are being delicate in the manner in which you are proceeding with the situation. Of course two consenting adults have every right to “ride out”, but please consider the emotional consequences.

Otherwise, a very catchy song and you obviously show promise. I just hope this letter reaches you in time to hopefully make a positive impact and direct you towards achieving your full potential. I truly believe that one day you might be able to pay rent AND get up in da club occasionally, but all of this again probably requires balance and a reevaluation of your priorities.

Wishing you all the best,

Jessica

#12 – A Review Of These Shitty Cheetos®

cheetos

It has come to my attention that I am now an “adult”, and as such it seems one of my responsibilities is to feed myself. This has proven to be a considerable challenge over the past few years, and so as of late I have taken it upon myself to improve my efforts and visit the “grocery store” (if you will). 

I’ve performed a number of experiments in this vein, and being an intelligent young woman I have concluded that it is no longer a conducive choice to purchase bags of kale. As it turns out, I don’t really eat the kale. 

However, because I theoretically value my health, it is important to me to make decisions that cater to my long term well being*. This is indeed why I got this stupid shitty bag of Cheetos®. 

These particular Cheetos® suck. This bag was full of false promises. First, I was under the impression that the “puffs” aspect would provide a lighter snacking experience to again, ensure my health*. In retrospect, and after having consumed the Cheetos® first hand, I’m not so sure that this is actually the case. I was also drawn in by the word “simply”, inferring that the Cheetos® would be a fairly organic snack. Again, in hindsight, I guess they aren’t because they’re still Cheetos®. The “white cheddar” label, to me, also implied that I would be taking care of my health* by sticking to all-natural cheese flavorings. Upon opening the bag, I think they would have been more appropriately labeled “white chalk”. 

Basically, they tasted like shit. The puffs part of it made it gross, the white cheddar part was also gross, and, to top it all off, after some careful analysis, I realized the health* aspect of this snack was all in the marketing and not a reflection of the actual product. 

Will I be purchasing these Cheetos® again? No. Do I recommend these Cheetos® to anyone else? No. If you’re going to eat Cheetos® should you just go for the real deal, only slightly worse for you, toxic bright orange colored ones that are still shit but at least taste pretty decent when accompanied with a poisonous beverage like Diet Coke®? Yeah, probably. 

*low calorie count to stay kind of skinny

#7 – A Blost Pog a Day

It’s day seven of my attempt to write a blog post a day. So far, I’ve done it. Was I lacking inspiration this week? Sure. Were some of my posts a bit of a stretch for material? Yeah, maybe. Were others overly sappy and emotional for no reason? Hey, we all have our bad days.

I’d like to thank everyone who helped me get here today. First I’d like to thank my parents, for hopefully not using the computer very often and presumably not reading anything I do on the Internet. Remember, ignorance is bliss! I’d also like to thank many of my friends, for probably also not reading my blog. I genuinely appreciate you looking the other way when I post embarrassing / mediocre shit in an attempt to refine my skills, so your indifference means a lot to me. I couldn’t do it without you. Third, I’d like to thank the random Internet strangers and two close friends who probably did read my posts this week. I guess I couldn’t become a better me without embarrassing myself in front of you all of the time. Your appreciation and praise of my work inspires me to keep going, but is simultaneously difficult for me to internalize and accept, so, well, thanks I guess.

Most of all I’d like to thank the love of my life. The wind beneath my wings, my baby boo, Rita Roo.

ritaroo

Rita, your continual presence and support in my life is something I do not take for granted. You are there by my side all the time, toughing out the rough times of trying to come up with some shitty blog posts and lightening the mood by being adorable. Words can’t express how much you mean to me. We’ve been through a lot together, and I can’t think of anyone I’d rather sleep the entire day away with. You never even bark. You are just too awesome. Even though sometimes I feel lost in your shadow, because you are the best dog in the entire world and it’s hard to beat that, I am still awed by your greatness – you inspire me to try and be a better human.

Thank you.