Be Passionate

Do you have a bucket list?
I do..I’ve had it since I was 14 years old. I even remember where I was when I made it..I was sittin’ in the backseat of a car, leaving Kansas for the last time and moving to a new life in Arkansas. Since that day, my bucket list has been to a lot of places and been through everything with me. It went to boot camp, Korea, Jamaica, several weddings, a few funerals, Disneyland, Katrina relief, my tumor debulking surgeries, chemo therapy and even Relay for Life.
When I became sick, it became my mission to get as much checked off as possible. Some of the things on said list are a bit silly, as I made it when I was 14. But at this point, I think it’s fair to check some of those off. heh. Here are a few that I have marked off..
I’ve swam with Dolphins. It was well worth it

Went to the Metropolitan Museum of Art

Meet Mariah Carey

Hey..go big or go home, right?? haahah!! Don’t judge me…we all know you are secretly humming “Always Be My Baby” in your head riiiiiggghtt now..hehe

Toured Washington, D.C.
To include Arlington.
That. was. tough.

I’ve recently added a few things to the list. I do this every now and then. I like to think of it as my immortality magic. I mean, if I still have stuff to do on the list, then I can’t die. Good theory, huh.
Here’s a few things I added recently:
Surf in Australia
Skydiving (just to spite my horrid fear of heights)
Rocky Mountain Climbing
do 2.7 seconds on a bull named Fu Manchu
(Okay okay..maybe I didn’t really add that last one, but it’s a fun thought. I did add see Tim McGraw in concert, though. )

So tell me..What are YOU passionate about?
Be passionate about SOMETHING. ANYTHING. Whether it is knitting, completing a silly list, or just your political opinion. If you’re not passionate about something, you’re just a wasted bag of flesh and water; a zombie. Unfortunately, I know a few of these. Good thing I’m well prepared for the zombie apocalypse…
Hugs and Sunny Surf,
Jessica & Gertrude

Baby, You’ve come a long way

I’ve not had the motivation lately to update here, but this weekend was a bit bittersweet for me. This is a day that will live in infamy. One year ago today, I was placed on a ventilator and admitted to the ICU. I was lying in a bed, sedated and dying. People aren’t going to like reading that, but that’s how it was. Sometimes the truth just sucks and talking about it doesn’t always get you a seat at the cool kids’ table for lunch.
I’ve had people say I’m inconsiderate, I joke too much, I need medication, how can I take things so lightly, I need therapy, blah blah blah. I won’t apologize for anything that I have said, did or thought that pissed someone off. I’m done doing that. BUT I’ve also had people say I inspire them, that I give them hope, they admire my strength and they got out of bed because of how I coped. I’m not strong, I’m not prolific, I’m not amazing or anything else one could conjure up. I did what I had to do to survive, just like anyone else would. But for every dumb, lame statement I hear about my coping methods, I hear five amazing, smart and sassy ones. The latter make it all worth it. If one woman gets out of bed, puts on her make-up and marches into her chemo session because of my story, mission accomplished.
I’ve been through a lot of crap in my life. Two divorces, Katrina Relief, bootcamp, the death of friends and loved ones, and other things that I’m not going to get into on here. However, this past year has been THEE most difficult one of my life.
This past year, I was diagnosed with stage 3c ovarian cancer. I almost died a few times and all of my dreams were ripped out of my hands, to include the one of marrying the person I thought was meant just for me.
One of my friends asked on her facebook page if I would rather go back ten years or jump ahead five. Without a moment of thought, I stated go back ten. After all my little mind, body, heart and soul has had to deal with, I’d do it all over again. I am the woman I am today because of everything that happened; most of which happened this past year. I’ve learned to accept me the way I am. Although I struggle every so often with self image, (comon…what woman DOESN’T??) I am happy with the woman I’ve grown into. I know what I want from life now, and I refuse to settle for less than what I deserve. I’ve learned there are people in this world that love me just the way I am; sass, tattoos, morning breath and all. I’ve watched my closest friends grow into some of the strongest women I know. I mean, they not only juggled their family and careers, but stood by my side throughout the whole ordeal. Even if it was something as simple as bringing me a Sonic Coke while I was stuck at my final round of chemo, they were there to laugh and cry with me. I’ve watched my family struggle to laugh with me, even though I know they often just wanted to cry. (Although I have to admit, they often drive me crazy. BUT that doesn’t change the fact that I still love them all, no matter how pissed I may get at them. I’m sure they get mad at me, too. heh.)
So, while I may be struggling to buy new yarn for my next knitting project and can’t seem to get a leg up on a career move right now, I’d say I’m a pretty lucky girl to be surrounded by so many supportive and amazing people. It was the worst year of my life, but oddly enough, it was also the best year, too. It turned my whole world around…and I kinda like it.

Now if I could just get back out to California…everything would be perfect. ;)
Hugs and sunny surf,
Jessica & Gertrude

Special thanks to:
First of all, Myself. Noone ever gives themselves credit for their accomplishments and I’m putting an end to that. I rock. ;)
Dr. Kris Ghosh
Dr. Stephen Rosenfeld
Dr. Randall Hightower
the Tri-City nursing staff
Highlands Oncology Staff
Elvis (my puppymonster, not the King.)
Helen Olds
Kim Brannon
Ryann Thornton
Stephanie Reid
Lori Karis
Jen Rooney
Tyjanna Bourgeois
Troy Blakely
Jen Baker
my entire Paralegal class at USD
University of San Diego
Jessica Louise
Mike Chung
David Chen
Loc Nguyen
Diem Nguyen
Julia Nguyen
the Nguyen family ;)
Ivan’s meat Market
Crystal Davis
Tina Newport Yeager
Kelly Erickson
Arinn Westendorf
MSG Scott Baranek
MAJ John Decker
Dianne Hupp
RJ Grijalva
Kirt Reynolds
Trik Photography
Jessica Miller (Dunk)
Frederic Leclercq (Love you Kromoze!!!)
Nhung Lien
Tri Huyhn (sorry dude! I can’t remember how to spell ur last name. But miss your face!)
Camille Berry and Mattie
My military family and fellow soldiers
Glenn Sweet
SG community (and the members who were amazing and sent me good reads and blankets when I needed them the most
Anthony Bourdain (hey. No Reservations got me through many a chemo session)
Tom Cruise (hey…so did Risky Business and Cocktail, okay?? Cut a girl some slack here..)
Tony Maristela
Charles Park
Brian Pond and family
Tom Morris and family
A.J. Cates
Tianna Priest and family
Cody Renegar (especially for making me feel beautiful without hair and for creating the most Euro-trashtastic mohawk before buzzing my head!)
Adrian Salazar, my nuudleface BMFF (thats best male friend forever)
Rooster at Prick Tattoo in San Antonio
Eli Roth and Quentin Tarantino (my chemo sessions were long, peeps.)
My grandparents
Kendra Reynolds
Hobby Lobby
Best Buy
all my favorite musicians and authors
Shyaporn Theerakulstit (God I hope that is spelled right..)
Jay Thornton
The Collective Bias family
Anthony Waits
Jerry Murry
The entire Warburton clan
Robert Baker
Rick Yeung
The Relay for Life family and everyone who has supported me with that
Bryce Warburton
and finally,
Mike Warburton and Vickie Warburton
Most importantly, all you amazing LWG readers!! this would be a wasted effort without y’all. ;)
That’s a long long list, so if you don’t see your name, I’ve not forgotten you. There’s just been so many along the way that I can’t possibly name them all. I love you all so much!!! and Baby, you’ve come a long way.

Dear Airport

Dear Airport,

I love how utterly difficult you’ve become to maneuver these days. Or rather, maybe this should be entitled Letter to a terrorist..but, it’s not so we will just talk about you, airport.

Don’t get me wrong…I love that you get me to where I want to be fairly quickly and much more safely than driving across the country alone, however, there’s a few things about you that just irk me and I think you should know about them.

For starters, what the hell is this crap of charging me for having luggage?? I already paid half a grand for the stupid ticket and obviously I’m not going to wear the same stuff everyday for a few know how nasty my underroos would be?? Get real.

Also, I wear a headscarf because I had a medical issue. Has nothing to do with my religion whatsoever, you ignant mofos!

All my love,


Okay, now that we have that out of the way, as you can see, I’m on a much needed vacay. I’m hangin’ with a friend and we are roadtrippin’ it in a  few days! Remember how I’ve said one should get out and do the things you want because life is seriously just too short not to? Well, that’s exactly what I’m doing right now! I may not have a whole lotta mooooolah for this, but thatis’ aight. I got great peeps to see and be with and a terrific attitude about it all. Nothing a digital camera can’t fix, holmes. hehe.

I fully plan to see my Kirtface and Rick while in NYC. I’ll also have to get ahold of a few other people I know up there, as I absolutely owe them a personal thank you for all their continued support with my recent triumphs in life. (Tianna, that means you girl!)

Charles and I plan on doing all the typical NYC touristy stuffs like, standing in line overnight with our Starbucks and muffins to get tickets to the Jimmy Fallon Show, crying at Ground Zero and pissing off the “Soup Nazi.”

I know this is a short update, but I wanted to get it out there. I’ve got some funny ideas and some great content to come and I promise, I’ll get to updating a bit more. I’ve been pretty fail as I’ve been trying to cope with the bullsh!t life handed me the past few months. Of course, I’ve done my best to keep the positive thinking going and I think it is paying off.  I’m a fan. Posi thoughts for the win.

So…soon I’ll be bringin’ you Gertrude live from DC, Philly and NYC, bitches! MOre to come in the next few days! I promise!

Keep doin’ what you do, ya’ll because YOU DAMN DESERVE IT!

Hugs and Sunny Surf,

Jessica & Gertrude

P.S. I want to send a special thanks to a few people.. First off, the folks at Ivan’s Meat Market in Rogers, AR..THANK YOU!!! I LOVE the gift coupon y’all sent me for mah barfday!!! wooooT!!!

and, to Mr. Glenn Sweet and his wife. I can never thank you enough for everything y’all have done for me and I promise to continue to pay this forward in every possible way that I can. I love y’all!


Some time has passed since I explained why I mispell the word canSer, so I’m going to clear up some confusion and misplaced awesomeness again here.

See, I’m a huge fan of respect and I firmly believe that respect is earned, not given.  Most of y’all also know that I never ever EVAR say “my canSer.”

So, here’s the scoop, peeps. You ask why I mispell canSer…I ask why YOU take ownership of it!!  I mean, WHHYYYYY??? Why do you poke the bear??? Don’t encourage it. Do NOT take ownership of it, for cryin out loud.  Show it absolutely no respect. Don’t even call it “canSer” when possible. Call it “it.” Don’t capitalize it, don’t placate it, don’t let it control any part of your life and don’t even spell it right! (Props to Kris Carr and her book, “Crazy Sexy Cancer Tips” for that one. )  That tip has definitely been one of my favorites.

I mean, last time I checked, I didn’t own anything I don’t like; credit card debt excluded. Take a look around. Do YOU own things you don’t like? If I’ve had things I didn’t care for, I busted my butt to get rid of them…

canSer included.

Well, my little Gertrudians, that is all for now. I’m tired. Must sleep.

HOWEVER..stay tuned! I have some big BIIIIIIIIGGGG news that Imma let slip out here soon.  Just waiting for the right moment. Don’t want to do it too soon because I don’t wanna jinx myself. But really!! Keep checking back..had some crummy happenings the past couple days, but they were beat up and kicked out from under the bed by some way rad-shaped happenings! Check back in a few days and you’ll see what I’ve got in store!! teeheeheeeeee

And remember…No one is going to give you permission to live. So get goin already!

Hugs and Sunny Surf,

Jessica & Gertrude

(this photo cracks me up because it says “Air Bag Warning” above my head…get it?? get it?? BWAAAAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAAA)

(and..what are you doing still reading this right now?? Didn’t I tell you to get goin already???)  ;)

Hatin’ on

Lately a lot of things have been getting to me. Normally, I try to not do that because, well, I just don’t have the patience for it. So, since everyone needs a good gripe session at times, here’s what’s been twisting my bra strap lately.

Wal-Mart’s “Rollbacks”

(Be sure to look REEEEALLLLY close at that one…those wonderful mathematical geniuses…)  So I know you are probably thinking something like this:  “But Jess, why on earth would you not like even lower prices?”

Well, hypothetical person that is speaking to me via my personal corner of the interwebz…those “rollbacks” aren’t REALLY good buys. If one should actually pay attention to the prices in Wal-Mart, one would notice that when WM rolls back one item, they MARK UP another to make up for the cost difference. For example, my lil’ Elvis-shaped friend loves his Little Cesar’s for breakfast everyday. This particular wet dog food on “rollback” was a mere 58 cents! Then, a few weeks ago I returned to get more and found Pedigree to be on “rollback” and guess what brand was now 72 cents–Little Cesar’s.  I hardly find that sort of stunt to be a true discount. (and yes, Elvis still gets his Little Cesar’s because that’s what he likes.  I don’t eat food I don’t like so why would I make my dog?)


I hate these things so much that I’m not even putting a picture of one here nor is the paragraph going to be any longer than this one sentence.


Sure that little girl is all smiles at the moment but that is because it tickles when clowns try to suck your soul out through your nose.  Just wait until she turns around and realizes what just happened!

And check out this clown!!

Now that is scary!

(okay okay. Normally I try to keep politics out of my blog and to be quite honest, I used to really like this guy..until his brain fell out of his ear.  I’m pretty sure it is floating around in the Potomac river somewhere and some little kid is now using it for fish bait.)


My guy seems to think he is going to make me do this at the San Diego fair next year.  Good luck with that because last time I checked, people can’t even make me eat stuff I don’t want to; let alone jump off a perfectly good platform with an overgrown, mutant rubber band tied to my ankles.  Remember those paddles we all had as kids that had the bouncy ball attached to it with a piece of elastic? Yea, I’m not one of those.

Your Friend’s band

If they didn’t suck, they wouldn’t be playing in your best friend’s brother’s girlfriend’s garage, now would they?

Girls who wear Uggs in July with their shorts/mini skirt

So it is 100 degrees outside and girls wear boots that were meant to be worn in Alaska during January. It looks ridiculous with shorts. Besides that, Uggs are UGLY! I cannot figure out what the appeal is and yes, I have tried them on just to see if it had something to do with how they fit. Crocks easily fall into this same category.

So there you have it for now. These things just bug me. Something tells me that one or two of them bug pretty much everyone else, too. However, since I’m not a fan of complaining without some sort of solution, here are a few things making me pretty happy right now.

First off, Borderlands and a subscription to GameInformer

My little bro and I can’t stop wasting time on this! And what gamer DOESN’T want a subscription to GameInformer?? It’s my crack, people; especially since I just got a new PS3! (don’t hate. The boyfriend bought it for me. hehe)

End of Summer clearance sales

Seriously. I hit up Belks department store today with my gramma and scored some sandals that were 89 bucks at the beginning of the season. Guess how much I paid for them? Just guess! You’ll never guess. 15 Bucks!  I would say patience is a virtue, but the only reason I didn’t buy them when I first saw them was because I didn’t have the money. Dear Kharma, I love your face.  I LOVE these sandals! Don’t you?

My Barnes & Noble and Borders membership cards

These cards give me sweet discounts and since I’ve not had much to do, I’ve done a lot of reading.

Gladiolus and Magnolias

They’re just so pretty. I want a Magnolia tree in my backyard…/looks at boyfriend with puppy eyes

Funny Yoga positions

Eagle Pose

But I think “Pink Flamingo Pose” is much more appropriate

Happy Baby Pose

I like it’s alternate name of “Dead Bug Pose” much better, but tomato tomahto.

I’m not really sure what this one is called, but I would like to recommend “Flying Eagle Pose.”  I’m also pretty sure that the BF will be excited that I can do this pose.

That is all.

Hugs and Sunny Surf,

Jessica and Gertrude

Free Whiffy

I CANNOT get enough of this band lately. Probably not everyone’s cup o’tea persay, but I LOVE this stuff! Gives me energy and reminds me I’m alive.  Nothin better than a healthy dose of metal.

I also have a lot of respect for this band as their lyrics are almost always political in nature but at least they were there. (They are mostly Armenian and lots of their songs relate to the genocide and warring there.) Unlike OTHER bands who talk a lot of crap but lived in places like Irvine, CA (in Orange friggin County) and don’t donate to much of anything but try to get others to…or were privileged most of their lives…

In other news today,

A good friend of mine from ye olde schoole days was in town this past week. I attended a relaxing BBQ at her family farm where she proceeded to tell me quite possibly THEE funniest story I’ve heard in quite some time. I asked if I could put it here and she quickly replied with an “absolutely” without any sort of hesitation.


Her mom pulled up to a popular deli place drive thru and ordered up a sandwich. When she got her order, she became very distraught over not receiving her “free whiffy” that was advertised on the windows and signs. (Having trouble figuring out what “whiffy” is?  Yea, I did too at first…until my friend told me to think about what was on pretty much EVERY restaurant, Starbucks and Barnes & Noble sign…NOOOWWW  do you get it?? free whiffy?? heeehehehehe)

By this time, I was laughing so hard I almost snorted coke out my nose. (the soda type, not the powdery substance that is controlled and hit its popularity peak in the ’80’s) Her mom came in and proceeded to tell us about how she got fairly irate with the kid at the drive thru window because she didn’t receive her “free whiffy” in the bag with her order. The guy shook his head and slammed the window closed in her face. She decided it was just better to leave at this point.

I seriously LOVE my friends and their families. Luckily, they all have this fairly uncommon ability to laugh at their mistakes and own craziness and I think that is a very important quality for anyone to have. (I mean, comon…if you can’t laugh at yourself, you really must lead a pitiful existence on this planet. Lighten up! You’re reading the blog of a girl who wears purple hair and makes it her sole mission to crack up her Oncologist when visiting the office for puppies howlin sakes..)

Hope that lil’ bit brightened up your weekend like it did mine.

And for those who are still scratching their heads and thinking “what the hell is free whiffy?”

Free Whiffy = Free WiFi

Hugs and Sunny Surf,

Jessica and Gertrude

We did it!!

dooojadodododooddododoooojaa wanna scooch on over herrreee…i will nibble your eaaarrrrrr

I can’t stop listening to this song lately. Not really sure why. Maybe because it reminds me of the laid back surf atmosphere of the San Diego area that I fell in love with in 2003 and still love very much to this day. Nothing beats that sort of lifestyle. I can’t even describe it…one just has to EXPERIENCE it. Take it in. All of it..the crisp, salty ocean air, the coconut-laced breeze, the taste of the street tacos from the little dude with a cart that are three for a buck, the feel of the warm, golden sand between your toes and in your crack and the ever tantalizing, fruity scent of your favorite surfwax melting into the floorboards of your brand new car. This might sound not so good to some, but to me, it is better than ice cream with Oreos mashed up in it.

Seriously, people…I have SURFBOARDS (yes, that is pluralized form…as in, more than one) in the middle of Nowhere, Arkansas, where they are quite possibly THEE most useless they could possibly be. In addition, the Arkansas summer heat has succeeded in melting the wax off of them and now I will be forced to strip them and re-wax them at some point. This process usually involves taking an old credit card or a device called a “wax comb” and scraping off the melted bubbles. Then a base coat must be applied and it takes a while to get a surf-worthy coating of bubbly wax on a board. /cry
Small price to pay for getting back to the surf, I suppose. Three months ago I wasn’t healthy enough to surf so I really can’t complain too terribly much. Heh.

Random funny-ness:
So my friend Adrian has this app on his phone that allowed us to prank call people and successfully spoof the caller ID system. We decided it would be pretty good laughspasms to call my boyfriend in Cali and Rickroll him. See, this app records the conversation and the person on the other line can’t hear us or anything in the background. When we replayed the recording, we heard Loc say “oh I cannot believe you just did that…I hate you.”
Wanna know the best part???? LOC SAT THERE AND LISTENED TO THE WHOLE SONG! I laughed so hard I literally had to get up and run to the girls room because I almost peed my pants! I’m planning a visit to San Antonio in September, so I’m sure there will be more of these calls coming. Hopefully, I can score some of the recordings to put on here to delight your ears and vocal cords as well. Laughter is definitely a drug that should be shared. Puff puff give, mofo!

Remember how I said I was raising money for The American Cancer Society via Relay for Life? Weeeellllllll everyone can still make last minute DONATIONS and keep my team in first place for the most money raised!!! Yes, that’s right!! MOST MONEY RAISED!!! Think of how many birthday beers cancer survivors will get to have because of the money raised! Now that is seriously awesome and humanity never fails me. I LOVE my readers, family and friends for making it happen! Y’all rock my socks in a huge way!! ( socks are now made of cement; the awesomeness is soo awesome..)

One of my best homies came up from San Antonio to help with the event. We totally had the chillest set up at the event.

We had our very own rednecked white trash paradise right there. We borrowed it from these people who actually lived there.

Okay okay, I’m kidding. Those are my grandparents and they came out to watch the opening ceremonies. Had I been thinking, I would have set up a good ole round of Cow Patty Bingo behind it. See, this is where squares are spray painted into the field or grass. Everyone puts in five bucks and their initials go into a square. Whichever square the cow drops one in gets the money. Only, since there were no cows around, I would have just used my Elvis dog. Heh. I can’t make this sorta crap up, people. A true redneck olympic game right there, for your laughing pleasure.

These are our luminaria. Had I been thinking when I got these, I would have gotten one for my surgeon in Cali as well; Dr. Kris Ghosh. Because, as far as I’m concerned, he fights canSer, too, and these are in memory/in honor of those who have fought or are currently fighting. Therefore, Dr. Ghosh deserves one for kicking canSer out of my body. So does my onc out here, Dr. Stephen Rosenfeld. Just sayn.

I brought sidewalk chalk and the CSI chalk body outline was by far my personal favorite. Some people gave me funny looks about it, but I really don’t care. That made it all that much more funny to me. Get over yourselves, people.

Then there were these guys. They wanted to take a picture with “the girl with purple hair.”

Later we sat and tried to scare each other with alien and UFO stories. Fun times, fun times.

And here’s my dog


Unfortunately, the event was called off around midnight due to Hell’s heat finding its way to the surface of the planet and several individuals were getting symptoms of heat exhaustion. Granted, canSer doesn’t go away when one gets sick from heat, but then again, it just wasn’t worth people ending up in the emergency room. It was still a good time and a damn good cause. As I already mentioned, keep the donations coming!! (the cut off is August 31) Keep my team in the top spot for moooooooolah raised and I won’t make you play Cow Patty Bingo with me!!!

Hugs and Sunny Surf,
Jessica and Gertrude

P.S. A few quick things…anything y’all wanna hear my thoughts on?
I also joined the Formspring movement. Ask me anything you wanna know!!! ANYTHING!!

Previous Older Entries


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 377 other followers