I can’t believe we’re already more than halfway through the month! I don’t feel like I’ve put J.T. to the side at all, and yet I’ve only got a few posts for the month of August to show for it; so much is just as it was in 2014 for yours truly, and yet so much has changed.

In two days, J.T. turns one! As such, there will be just a few more modifications to The L.A. Storyteller. But in the meantime, I can update my people with a little bit of what’s been going on!

For one, I picked up some additional work to pay the bills over the next few months. In fact, I had my first day as a barista at Starbucks just today! And it was a pretty groovy first day; I got to try all the pastries, and it was such a treat (especially since I only had time to bolt out of the door without breakfast this morning).

I was ready to go through five hours of training without anything in my stomach, but my manager came to the rescue! She told me that we get to try everything on the first day, and then proceeded to slice out a flurry of scrumptious Starbucks snack items for me (which I’m definitely endorsing from now on, both on and off work)!

She’s definitely one of the nicer people I’ve met on my first day working anywhere, so it’s a great sign of things to come if I can appreciate it, which I do; the thing is, as much as mama might support my little projects in the arts, she’s definitely more at ease when she sees I’ve got some steady work. Starbucks is definitely steadier than my writing and photography gigs, so mom has a little smile on her face, which always just makes things just generally better.

Of course, everything has its time, but I’m excited to savor the moment alongside those following J.T. Like everything else, work is an adventure, and though I’m sure Starbucks will have its challenges, I’m also confident I can find a way to make something special out of it!

Apart from the new job, I’ve also found myself spending more time with the Beautiful Gate in Los Feliz. I value the power of faith to bring people together, and as a faith organization, the B.G. is doing some great things I’ve never seen at church before, like hosting break-dancing competitions, open mic nights, and so much more!

And yesterday, I had the pleasure of introducing two members of my ole gang to the Beautiful Gate. It was a lively time, where old friends met new friends, and where a number of us inspired each other enough to disagree on a few things, and even to actually say so! We talked about religion, secularism, and the different philosophies guided by these things, and got into some pretty heavy thought experimenting as a result.

What was even more powerful than the discussions themselves, however, is that while a number of us differed on on our respective beliefs in faith and science, all of us accepted each other enough to embrace our disagreements as viewpoints of contrast rather than as hopeless differences.

This was an achievement in my eyes; in a world where so many differences between people are exploited as barriers of separation, the moments I shared with the different people of my community at ‘church’ yesterday were beautiful, multicultural ones of recognition and acceptance.

And at the end of the day, I think whether we work as baristas or general managers at Starbucks, or whether we follow the teachings of Jesus Christ or Neil deGrasse Tyson, what we can feel more than the world changing, is when the world recognizes and embraces us for who we are: the children of God, or the universe, or any other name we call the powers beyond us.

And I suppose that today, for recognizing and accepting this in my own life in a way I couldn’t just yesterday, not only can I see change for J.T., but I can embrace it, and share it for all of the world to see, and love it!!

With more soon,


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