Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Failure to Blog

The last time I hung out with Baby Clare she pointed out that my blog entries are always about how I suck at blogging. (A thing about me: I often feel like a failure for various real and imagined reasons but I’m trying to kick this habit.) So, let's skip all that this time. I offer no excuses for my absence (except for all of the below...).

Here’s a bit about what’s been going on in my world separated into bolded categories for folks who'd prefer to skim (like my mom-- I swear she reads every 5th word).


I still love my job although lately the work (and the amount of it) has been emotional and tiring. I fall more in love with my supervisor every day. Sometimes I feel I show her (on accident) the worst parts of myself yet she continues to offer support and encouragement. I have been #soblessed in this department over the years (that goes for supervisors AND coworkers). Good people make hard things less hard and happy things even happier.


I started a book club with a few friends. Last month we read Ernest Cline’s Ready Player One and had an interesting discussion over beers, snacks, and two large pizzas (shout out to Matt who called bullshit on my “light refreshments”). This month we’re reading Never Let Me Go by Kazou Ishiguro, although I admit I haven’t started it yet. A few of my Twitter friends are reading along with us which has been really fun. I get so sick of all the negativity and stupidity on the Internet, so I started tweeting about our book club and my impressions of our October selection and people started tweeting back with their own questions and comments. One of my forever goals is to read more, and in person/Twitter book club has been helpful so far.

I also read Home Is Burning by Dan Marshall last month. I met Dan through my friend Doug a few years ago during one of the most fun and memorable nights ever. It was such a random, magical time. The mix of personalities felt comfortable and conversation was easy. While eating late night pizza on the street, we were recruited to attend a stranger’s bizarre and really low-key (to the point of sad?) bachelor party…and we hopped in a cab and went. I remember confusing Berklee in Boston with UC Berkeley at one point and everyone forgave me and probably even bought me another drink. We ended the night around 5am with beers on the beach in Santa Monica. But anyway, Dan’s story is a true, very sad one told with much heart, humor, and many expletives. I think most of you would find it to be charming (but definitely skip it if you’re offended by the four letter word that starts with F and rhymes with duck).

(Please note that, although I feel pretty good about the above caption, I am pretty terrible at responding to the actual Words with Friends game. Please don't start a game with me. Sorry, Mom and Dad, for accidentally forfeiting all the time.)


I didn’t eat a single piece of Halloween candy this year. Eli and I walked over to our friend Erica’s open house, ate homemade chili, and watched cute kids parade around the neighborhood dressed as animated movie/video game characters I didn’t recognize (no Elsas or Olafs, sadly...but seriously though, when I was a kid you were a ninja, a cowboy, a cheerleader, or Dracula—the end.) I did this all with a medium-sized dog on my lap. It was a very wholesome experience. Then we met up with some friends for the Malice Ball in OTR which was also very fun. I don’t want to say it wasn’t wholesome but there were definitely fewer children in attendance.


Eli once told me that it’s not about being perfect, it’s about being better. I am trying every day to take this to heart and have come up with a few goals for the coming weeks (in addition to reading more).

1. Drink more water—I am making a habit of filling a large mason jar with water every morning / repeat when empty. I am averaging two times per day but am hoping to graduate to three very soon. For some reason I feel like being super hydrated will solve all of my problems. Please leave me to my ignorance in this matter.

2. Resume hot yoga—I try never to do hot yoga during Summer because it’s freakin' miserable, but during Fall it’s actually kind of nice. I personally do not find it to be a zen experience (because it's consistently hard for me), but there is a sense of calm and accomplishment post-practice. In wheel pottery, you first have to center the clay (trust me, harder than it sounds). If it's not centered properly, whatever you make will be lop-sided, will inevitably crash, and you'll have to start over. I'm always trying to get (and to stay) centered and exercise certainly helps.


So, what have you all been up to? What goals are you working on? Read any good books lately?

Until next time...

Sunday, September 27, 2015

The VMAs

...was a month ago. And I went. Allow me to reflect. 

On August 5, Eli sent me a sweet email (from Japan, I think) asking if I'd be his date to the VMAs on August 30. Before the email, I'd never considered going. I'm not sure why; it just didn't occur to me. Things have been kind of crazy as of late with work and travel so getting to LA in August wasn't even on my radar. But OF COURSE I said yes and that we'd discuss in person in Minneapolis August 21-23 which (I think) is the next time we saw each other. Looking back, August 5 to August 30 seems like a lot of time, but it truly felt like 4 days notice. Because, what the hell was I going to wear, you know?

That's where my ladies came in. The whole "look" talk was fun but stressful too-- the most I've ever talked about one outfit in all my life. I went to try on dresses two times-- the first time I bought one and the second time was full of second guessing that first choice (y'all know the drill). I was open to wearing a variety of things and (you can ask Harper) I basically tried on every dress in Cincinnati one Tuesday night, but it was really important to me that I still look like ME, just fancier. Anyway, it all came together--- many peeps in my lady posse contributed text opinions and support which I really appreciated. Even now I am feeling lame writing so much about this outfit, but it is the #1 question I was asked when people found out I planned to go (lol #askhermore) so maybe you're interested? I bought a long dress and leather wrap belt from Anthropologie (shout out to the super sweet sales girls there for being so kind and staying open late!), Sam Edelman shoes on sale, some cheap gold bangles from Charming Charlie, and I borrowed BEAUTIFUL vintage gemstone pieces from my friend and talented collector Tonya. I loved wearing the ruby rings especially-- they were so fun and pretty and definitely dressed up my flowy getup. 

Then, after much discussion about how to transport the aforementioned outfit, I folded everything up, threw it in a suitcase, and crossed my fingers for access to a steamer on the other side. I flew to LA after work on Friday August 28 and crashed on Jesse's couch (thanks again Jesse!) so I could be there first thing Saturday morning to connect with Eli who was flying in from Vegas early Saturday morning (poor guy). We met up at a fitting, then there was promo, VMA practice, and a show on Saturday night. We explored the red carpet which was actually not red but these colors: 

Eli performed in a fuzzy coat we bought at the Farmer's Market in Minneapolis the weekend before and we posed for this picture. I am told there was free Taco Bell but I did not experience that firsthand. 

Call time on Sunday, VMA day, was at 10am. For me, the day was mostly spent in a trailer outside the Microsoft Theater where we all got ready. HUGE shoutouts to Bethany Johnson and Sarah Dougherty who hooked us all up with professional hair and make-up. That was probably the thing I was most stressed about possibly having to take care of myself (because in real life, if I wear mascara it's a good day). I was so glad to be in the care of these lovely and talented women. Here's what some of us looked like!

At 4:45pm we walked from the trailer to the red carpet and watched the boys absolutely slay their performance on the pre-show. Here we are on TV-- thanks to whoever sent me this screen shot. I didn't watch the recorded performance until I visited my parents weeks later. The little arrow is covering up Sway! 

After that was the VMAs itself, which was some of the best people watching I've ever experienced. I felt somewhat out of touch because I didn't know a lot of the artists sitting around us / walking the carpet. Then, Kanye did his Kanye thing-- first there were literal minutes of silence while we all stood and clapped, and then-- finally-- he spoke. I was alternatingly like-- these are good points-- and-- oh my god WHAT. His speech, more than anything else, inspired the most interesting post-VMA conversations and maybe that's why he's a genius. We're all still talking about it. 

Okay, then some other stuff happened....honestly it's hard to remember now. At the end, the boys collected swag bags which were actually mid-sized swag suitcases full of things like rum cake, liquor, slippers, and a card good for five days in Thailand (?) which obviously we need to find (!) and look into. 

More than anything else, I was so glad to be with Eli at such an important professional event. WALK THE MOON has worked so hard, and I am so very proud. I love Eli. I love the band. 

Here are a some more pictures. The end. 

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Oh, hey.

Hey y’all.

It’s unlikely that anyone has been waiting with bated breath for a new blog entry (except for maybe my mom—hi mom!), but just in case I’ll offer an excuse as to why I’ve been so delinquent. I’m in the middle of a five week stretch of life in which I travel every single weekend and work all of the days in between. Everything is really good—the travel is all for fun stuff and I love my job most days, but winding down (and sleeping enough) has felt really tough as of late. Plus, Eli’s been out and back lately and every day he’s home feels like a weekend so we’ve been going out together and seeing friends on work nights and I have the bags under my eyes and pimples to prove it.
Two weekends ago I flew to Minneapolis to spend time with my cousin Lynn and meet up with Eli who was flying there to play a show directly after tour dates in Japan/The Philippines. The bad news: WALK THE MOON escaped not one but two typhoons in SE Asia and made it to Minneapolis just in time for their show to get rained out. The good news: WALK THE MOON escaped two typhoons, AND spending time with my cousin Lynn was awesome. Lynn, whose full-time job is to bore college kids with economics lessons, has been bugging me to visit for years and I enjoyed eating my way through Minneapolis with her. I don’t get to see anyone in my extended family much because I’ve always lived a few hours away, so it was nice to connect about our parents and grandparents and just be with one another outside of the annual holiday gathering.
Here is a photo of Lynnie and I, a photo from a dope sculpture park she took me to, and a musical wall Eli and I encountered on a morning walk.

Last weekend I flew to LA for the VMAs.  That’s a whole separate entry that I hope to write in the near future. For now, I will tell you that I totally used the VMAs as an excuse to extend a freelance deadline by one day (which was a hilarious email exchange—if you’re reading, thanks again JW!). Can’t use that excuse again anytime soon. But seriously, my goal is to get it together enough to dissect my VMAs experience and let you all know if Kanye is getting my vote in 2020. Stay tuned.
Since I’ve been flying a lot, I’ve been digging into some quality media (and maybe you guys want to bond around media?). I’ve been reading When Nietzsche Wept by Irvin D. Yalom. It’s about a fictional relationship between Nietzsche and Josef Breuer and it's full of digestible psychotherapy and philosophical concepts (this may be of particular interest to my therapist friends). Also, I listened to a few episodes of this podcast—Call Your Girlfriend—which is basically just conversations between long distance besties Ann Friedman and Aminatou Sow. I found it to be funny and comforting.
So, what’s up this weekend?
Deep Creek! (Previously Deep Creep, future-ly Deep Fleek—read my entries about this annual friend trip in years 2012 and 2014). Eli is an exciting addition to this year’s boat posse.
And now, the real reason for this post—I write tons of notes to myself in my iPhone (seriously, I have a list of possible book titles for just about everyone in my life should any of them decide to write a memoir, a future baby name list, and about 454 grocery/packing lists that need deleting) AND I recently found this happy note I wrote to myself (apparently) on May 24. I’m pretty sure the last bit is a writing idea I was fleshing out and promptly forgot about, but you get the gist.

I was happy find this note. I hope it inspires you to take a minute and reflect when things are good and save those positive vibes for a rainy (or, in this case, random) day.

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.