Thursday, July 9, 2015

Our weekend with Martha

Over the 4th of July holiday weekend, a veritable gaggle of us traveled to Martha’s Vineyard so WALK THE MOON could play a benefit show supporting the local YMCA. The band performed at this event two years ago (I wrote about that trip here), and we were all super excited to make our triumphant return. 

The island did not disappoint; MV continues to be magical. I never expected to make it there period, let alone twice—it’s really expensive, and getting to the island is a complicated ordeal. We flew from Cincinnati to Boston, rented a van, drove two hours, and barely caught the last ferry out of Woods Hole (everyone was stress-buying provisions in case we didn’t make it over). It’s a world removed in so many ways, and a truly beautiful corner of our country (as all of my friends on Facebook/Instagram have already seen many, many times—sorry, not sorry).

Now, you may have paused at the end of the first sentence thinking…MARTHA’S VINEYARD needs a benefit show!? (Because that was my first thought.) The answer is apparently yes. As you might imagine, the wealth gap between folks who live and work on the island and those who seasonally vacation on the island is enormous. I felt lucky to hitch a ride and tag along (again!) in support of such an important event. I’m proud of the boys for contributing their talents—you can read about Stars + Stripes Festival here.

So, the show was on Friday...what did we do the rest of the weekend?

Eli and I took a long walk down to the beach in Aquinnah and were blown away by the clay cliffs (and a bunch of butt-naked sunbathing dads).

The hospitality in Menemsha was top notch yet again (I cannot recommend Beach Plum Inn enough), and we shared many beverages with our friends by the pool.

We spotted some celebrities and watched fireworks explode over the water.

Most of all, I repeatedly had these three thoughts in this order:
So much of touring isn’t as glamorous as people think.

This weekend was a beautiful exception.

I am grateful.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Settling in

After every blog post, I think: “Writing stuff down feels good. You should do this more often, champ. You should do this like three times a week….ha ha! Just kidding—maybe you could manage three times a month. Yeah, that sounds doable.” Then, satisfied with my resolution, I pick up a magazine or pet my cat or text my friends about something on Netflix and I forget. 

Days turn into weeks until something reminds me that I have a blog, and I fall into a shame spiral: “Come on, Alex! How will you ever reach your big goals if you can’t even manage this super low-pressure personal writing goal?!” Then, I write an entry that begins with some version of this: “Hey. Long time no write. I wish I was better at this thing.”

Because it’s true. Maybe I’ll set a weekly phone alarm.

But while I’m here, let me tell you about my life, okay? 

Things are going well. 

April and May were filled with grad school wrap-up, tons of traveling (including a couple weeks on tour, my Grandpa's 92nd birthday party in northwest Ohio, and a rad weekend warrior trip to Pittsburgh), and general anxiety about finding a job/THE FUTURE. Memorial Day Weekend felt like a big, deep breath. It was the first weekend I had spent at our house in over a month, and it was b-e-a-utiful. By now, I've settled back into this 9-5 thing. Days are varied enough, and my office has a window. When I worked at Children’s Hospital and Community Action Agency, I had interior offices with no windows; I’ll never again underestimate the importance of natural light. I’m still freelancing too, but I feel like my workload is pretty manageable which is an important change. I live my life in constant pursuit of balance and, at the moment, I feel pretty even.

Eli and I celebrate 6 years of hanging out together this month. Relationships of all kinds are difficult, but it’s much easier to work on one if you’ve got a solid partner. And dude makes me laugh, which is hugely important. I’m glad he’s around more this summer.

Hmm, what else?

Recent fun: Bunbury & Cincinnati Fringe Festival.

Upcoming fun: 4th of July travels—expect a photo blog entry (some interested person--hi Mom!--please hold me accountable).

And…let’s hang out! New job means less travel / more time for Cincinnati adventures. 

Can’t wait to see you.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Alex gets a job!

(Just like Kimmy Schmidt!)
That’s right, folks. I’ve rejoined the ranks of the employed. I was really excited to be hired at the agency I’ve been working at this past year as an intern. I started last week and so far the transition has felt really smooth and natural. I’m still doing individual therapy with adults—I just see a lot more people now that I’m full-time.
I think I was nervous about a job search because, when I graduated from B-school several years ago, it took me months and months (like, maybe 9...I'm not kidding) to find a full-time job. (#RECESSION) I went on so many shitty interviews for jobs I wasn't even remotely interested in. I was so desperate, left wondering where all the shiny opportunities I had been promised were hiding. I worked at a consignment store to bide my time and pay for food (I LOVED it but didn't work/make enough), but I didn’t feel very good about myself. I have definitely appreciated work more since then which has been valuable perspective. Anyway, the point is, this time around was much smoother—I updated my resume, had a couple of interviews, a background check, yadda yadda—and now I’m working. Easy as pie. (I don’t actually think making pie is easy but it’s something people say, okay.) I have been fortunate to work with a number of stellar folks over the years (especially my CCHMC ladies, and sometimes I forget that Eli and I were coworkers once upon a time…), but so far I have enjoyed the actual work of therapy more than any of my previous job tasks. It feels good. 
Finally, a story about a special new job omen: 
I’m no longer sharing two different offices which is awesome in and of itself. The new office I was assigned came with a few pieces of art, a desk, and a couple of chairs. One of the prints is an Eliot Porter photograph of California's coast--- almost the exact photograph I took with my dad on a pull off of CA 1 near Big Sur during our trip a couple of months ago. I thought, "how great! what are the odds?" I remembered the view and my photograph instantly and very distinctly. I told my dad and he was like (admittedly paraphrased), “Well, Alex, it is one of the most scenic and well-known stretches of coastal highway, so it’s not THAT surprising.” It’s like, thanks for thunder-storming on my parade, Dad. Just kidding. My parents are taking me, E, and E's parents out to dinner at the end of the month to celebrate all of this good change, and I’m really looking forward to it. 
I feel thankful—somewhat excited to settle into a routine and also scared to settle into a routine—but ultimately, I feel thankful. 

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Funemployed On Tour

Eli told the rest of the band (jokingly, kind of) that I was coming on tour and I wasn't leaving until I got a job. I hopped on the bus in Atlanta last Saturday, and I'm writing to you from Austin today. In Dallas last night, Sean's mom complimented my blog (thanks Kathleen!), and all of the sudden, I remembered I have one. Hi blog friends. Here's a quick update.

I graduated! I am a master! Yesterday was my official graduation day back in Cincinnati, but I opted out of the ceremony in favor of tour and some time with my main dude. E's promised a fancy dinner on our day off tomorrow, and I'm feeling pretty good about that celebratory plan. I visited Austin for the first time last year and promptly caught a stomach bug (you can read about that adventure here), so-- knock on wood-- this year we're doing it right. The barbecue in Texas is, to use the language of our time, everything

The past week on the road has been a good one. Highlights include The Dali Museum in St. Petersburg and my solo exploration of the French Quarter one afternoon. I had never been to New Orleans and already I'm planning my return. That's one thing about tour-- cool stuff in small doses. You're left wanting more. But I'm not complaining. 

The band boys are working really hard, as usual. I've been skipping a lot of their promo to work on ending my funemployment and to catch up on some freelance projects. WALK THE MOON's fans continue to be incredible, bringing so much energy, passion, and beautiful artwork every single night. I'm blown away. 

More to come, I promise. I have to hop off now-- I'm joining a promo outing in a few minutes, and my computer cord situation is most definitely a safety concern. I hope to have happy job-related news to report soon, and to use this space to more thoroughly process my feelings around graduation. 

Thanks, as always, for reading. You're the best.

And I'm coming home soon.

St. Petersburg is covered in beautiful murals. Who knew?


Instead of getting a tarot card reading in New Orleans (which I have never before been moved to do but briefly considered), I visited a butterfly garden. I think I learned the same stuff. 

Even though Ultimate Pool frightens me, I've enjoyed several late nights-- like this one, last night-- sharing stories and beverages with this silly cast of characters.