Wednesday, January 25, 2017

my weekend at the presidential inauguration and women's march

Honestly... where does one begin when they start writing about the experiences that were the Trump Inauguration and Women's March?

I'm not one who likes history or politics. In fact- I've hated the two things my whole life. This election certainly changed that, at least in some capacity. I used to keep my mouth shut about politics because I wasn't sure if I knew what I was talking about and I didn't wanna turn anyone away from me... now I'm speaking out. There are too many things that we KNOW will negatively affect so many people that I have no problem speaking my mind. That being said- there are still a lot of unknowns. I have no idea what the best way to get rid of the debt is. I don't know what will actually bring jobs back for people who have no modern skills without hurting people who do. So... I will absolutely fight to keep EVERYONE happy when I know what's right, and hope for the best when I don't know what's going to happen.

I've written up some thoughts and a lot of pictures on both the Inauguration and the Women's March on my station blog, but this has always been a place where I share my true, unfiltered thoughts... so here we go.

The Inauguration

I was doing call ins for our sister station WMZQ, and while walking down there- was looking for anything to say. There were so few people on the streets, I literally talked about almost stepping in horse poop, the fact that Secret Service was complimenting protest signs, and assuming I was the only one late to a party. Aly Jacobs seemed to want me to talk about all the Trump supporters [because country listeners love Trump probably], but I could tell that the real story would be how empty the city was on a day we all expected insanity.

Even when I got inside, there was so much room. Like I could do cartwheels FO' DAYYZZZZ. [That's how I measure the amount of space somewhere, obviously.]

I wasn't that far away... I was in the first "square" of unticketed people... it should have been packed.

There was also a relatively even amount of pro- and anti- Trump people. I'd say the end total was maybe... 65/35 with majority being for him, but I definitely expected more supporters to be there.

It was so quiet. Chants would start.. U-S-A! U-S-A! Or a variety of others, but they'd never get very loud or last very long. For the most part, people were silent. Unless, of course, someone wanted to speak up to the protesters.

The protesters that I saw were all quiet, simply holding signs. Supporters couldn't handle it. They'd walk up screaming "GROW UP! GET A JOB!" Completely ignoring the fact that these people were dressed in fairly nice clothing and simply/calmly using their right to protest. There were also some mostly-healthy debates happening between supporters and protestors after the Inauguration, which was entertaining. It was refreshing to see a group of Millennials, who get accused for not being involved, for being lazy, all being one way, etc.... speaking their thoughts without losing their minds. I thought for sure a video would go viral from it, but I can't find it.

As for the actual swearing in, etc.... Man, that was weird. I'm still in shock this is all happening. I walked around and just looked at people. Saw some people feeling the same as me, and others with tremendous pride. It wasn't until the moment the Obamas took off in the helicopter and I watched it fly over that I lost it.

I mean, really lost it. Full on cry at the National Mall, desperately looking for someone who was having the same moment as me so we could hug each other. The weird thing is, it wasn't only because the future is...... iffy. I couldn't stop imagining this family, who lived in a crazy bubble with the biggest magnifying glass, being thrown back into the wild in an instant. It's the same feeling I get when I watch Real World or something and they have this amazing experience with each other, then have to say goodbye to it all. It's emotional. Bittersweet.

People filed out pretty quickly. They didn't stick around for the parade or anything. I guess some went to the small but scary protest that happened on Franklin Square... but most got food and took their asses home. It was as if this massive event hadn't just happened.

The Women's March

There was no doubt this would be a bigger day than the Inauguration, but it wasn't until someone sent me a picture of the super-packed Metro stations that I realized the possibility of what I was getting into. I always knew I wanted to go down and experience this, but for one of the first times in my life- I wasn't fully prepared in the spirit department. No sign, no pussy hat... just a pink sweater and a desire to be American.

The Metro was packed. The streets were packed. The moment I saw the Capitol Building and the thousands of people on the streets in front of it, I couldn't shake the goosebumps. It was surreal.

I thought this was a solid amount of people... I hadn't turned the corner yet.
Once I got to a huge crowd, I just kept reading signs and taking pictures. I had a goal of making it to the rally, but I was so amazed by everything I was seeing, I didn't feel the need to walk. Everyone else around me was moving, the March was starting two hours early because of so many people, and I just wanted to observe. I saw a group of people on a trailer roof who offered to help me up. After taking some quick pictures, I sat down with a man from Argentina.

This man came to the US for this event. He said he couldn't miss it. Sure, he'd explore more afterwards, but he came over to witness this history. It was another moment of putting it into perspective for me.

We sat down for a couple hours, just watching all the signs go by. Looking at the variety of people. Old, young, male, female, gay straight, every color under the rainbow... and the LOUD chants. Most of which included "This is what democracy looks like."

There was such a variety of signs, too. It wasn't only about women's rights... It was about climate change. It was about creepy tweets. It was also just a straight up hate-fest on Trump.

Because I'm being unfiltered here, I'll say it did bother me that some signs and people were so hate-filled for Trump. As much as I hate the fact he's in that office and about to make decisions for us, there's nothing we can do about it now. I mean, we might be able to get him impeached, but then we have Pence in the big chair and for the love of this country, we really can not let that happen. Maybe people wanted to bully the bully, but there were much more productive ways of speaking your mind on what you want than just calling out his idiocy.

I still don't know how to really explain what I saw or felt. The worst part- I don't have a picture that really captures it all, either.... but here are some that I will always remember.

People were climbing trees, traffic lights, anything to get a good view.
A few ambulances had to make their way through the masses... I was amazed by not only their ability to part the sea, but get through rather quickly.
An entire street, several blocks away from the rally, crowded in to watch the speakers on a screen.
As I'm leaving.... I've walked four blocks or so AWAY from the official March, and there are still this many people.
So the girl who hates history was a part of it. The girl who hates history also hates the idea of seeing all of this in my kids' history books later. Well, lemme rephrase that. I'll be hella proud to talk about the March and show that even in a world of social media and such, we got off our asses, headed into crowds, and spoke our minds. I won't be proud of the actual news coverage of the events, and the Inauguration/election as a whole. Heyzeus, what will the historians even say in the books?!?!

And to the people who live in DC and didn't witness any of this first hand- what the hell is wrong with you? I was kinda nice about saying that to some of my friends, but seriously- why would you ever sit at home when you could witness this in your backyard? When you do have kids, are you gonna tell them the truth of being too cool to go down and at least see what was going on, or will you be like "OMG YEAH I LIVED IN DC BACK THEN IT WAS CRAZY!"? You don't wanna be a liar to your kids... Plus- haven't I said this enough?: Never turn down the opportunity to experience something.


Thursday, January 19, 2017

video: truth or dare with sabrina carpenter

It seems like it was a year ago that we found out Girl Meets World was a thing and I started a very enthusiastic countdown... but now it's coming to an end after three too short seasons.

I'm glad that before it comes to an end, I was able to talk to Sabrina Carpenter about the impact of the original show, and the truths of the new cast.

In the best version of Truth or Dare, she has to answer questions about her cast, and if she doesn't- complete a dare.

To be honest, I'm surprised it was such a simple, silly question that made her go for the dare! Maybe she was just intrigued.

And as for Sabrina herself- she's a star... and just like all the current Disney stars, she has multiple talents and is an incredible singer. Beyond talent, she's humble, smart, genuine, and basically everything great that I can say about an artist besides "knows how to drink" because she's too young for that. She's not gonna disappear, that's for sure.

If you wanna see more of a formal interview, she sat down with Toby Knapp in the studio. 

Now.... can we maybe stop with all of the shows coming back? GMW did it right, but now we're all heartbroken again. Fuller House is good.... but we don't need to be doing all this other nonsense.

Whoa, never thought I'd say all that.


Thursday, January 5, 2017

photos, videos, interviews and more: jingle ball 2016

HOT 99.5 Jingle Ball. It's the biggest night of my year. It's like prom, or maybe even a wedding. MONTHS of planning. MONTHS of outfit picking. LOTS of dollars spent... for one day... that you pray goes smoothly, but rarely goes according to your assumptions.

In September, I was pretty pumped that I had an outfit I loved ready to go, only missing one piece. Then, come Black Friday, I go to try it all on again and realize I actually hate it. *cue panic* I ordered a bunch of things, mostly from Boohoo, and prayed one would work. Two days before Jingle Ball, nothing had arrived. I was forced to find something else. Instead of going to any of my usual places, I hit up the Rent the Runway STORE in Georgetown, and got really lucky when they had just one sequin jumpsuit left- in my size. [I knew I wanted pants and sequins before I even began shopping.]

Damn, it's amazing what angles and a good mirror can do, huh?! 

I picked up shoes from DSW, earrings from Charming Charlie, necklace from Forever21, and prepared myself to do my own hair and make-up. I was too devastated with how it turned out last year when someone else did it for me[I don't even like linking to it in reference but here we are]. Cue the waxed-up braids, curling wand, Urban Decay smokey eye, NYX red lipstick, some failed attempts at contouring, and stila mascara and I was really diggin' my look for this year.

I ended up finishing the look with a giant SACK this year [with flask inside] and gave out some random goodies to the artists backstage.

Machine Gun Kelly was easily the most appreciative [and just the most fun in general throughout the entire night], Ellie convinced me that she might actually use what I gave her, Daya was the first to practically throw it away in front of me, and Joe Jonas was the one to call me out for having holiday leftovers. Sigh.

Unlike last year, I got some time "on the couch," in the broadcast room with some of the artists coming in for an interview. My girl Alessia had more than an interview coming for her, though. Days before Jingle Ball, the Grammy noms came out and her name was not included in any of the lists. That ain't right. Luckily, I know a place with some good and quick trophies and we made magic happen.

OBVIOUSLY I wish she would have been as excited as Meghan was, but I get it- she's gotta play it cool and stuff or whatever. JUST WASTE MY MONEY ALESSIA IT'S FINE.

Tove Lo also came in and made it real easy for my to once again just talk about her boobs and naked body.

Diplo came in to talk about holiday parties, what you need, and to receive a gift of course. I also tried to get a preview of his after party but there was no predicting the clustereff of artists that ended up being on his tiny stage that night. I have no idea how he was able to perform under such conditions. This is a real HQ video, straight from Facebook Live because #variety #allthesocials #HOT995JingleBallbeTrending.

And when you have a duo of DJ/producers who made a dumb but catchy song about a Selfie, then turned around and made the year's biggest hits there to close the show, I HAD to stop them backstage. I cornered them after their meet and greet for a very professional game of Urban Dictionary... which they definitely beat me at but I'm gonna say it's because they have more experiences with *substances.* Maybe. Probably. #DJlife

There are so many other clips that I'm gonna have to post as Throwback Thursdays or something because... well... let's be honest. It's January 5th and I'm JUST NOW getting this entire post up. I'm behind on things... but to look forward to:

  • Machine Gun Kelly's room had some nice "air fresheners" that neither of us would shut up about
  • DNCE's Cole and I had a very fun relationship, that came to a dramatic end when he asked if he could keep my flask
  • Daya definitely thinks I stalk her, or mooch off of her, like her friends who were visiting in her room
  • Ashley I from the Bachelor, who is seemingly everywhere, even made it backstage at our Jingle Ball as some sort of correspondent
  • Ellie Goulding is one of the sweetest, but coolest chics, who is great at sneaking in the subtle dirty jokes or lines
  • The girls of 5th Harmony were more separate than I've ever seen them, but now we all know why. Still- they're the sweetest girls I've ever met so I will never say anything bad about them. Especially Ally. Girl- you are a special kind of human being that I wish I could be
Finally, I wouldn't have ANY of this to show you if it weren't for my little brother. I'm sure you've heard of him once or twice. His name is Mike.

I was able to fly him in from Toledo to be my camera guy... but really, he's there to be my inspiration, my comfort, my focus-and-be-you-and-let's-make-this-great. Having him around reminds me to be myself, not focus on the camera or the fact that I'm "interviewing celebrities." I'm just a girl with a mic, genuinely interested in meeting these people who create good music and great shows. I know I won't always be able to have my favorite person next to me at big events, but it's hella nice when I can, and I'm gonna take advantage of it.

It's almost weird to even look back at all of this because it all happens so fast, you can't process it at the time. We're sprinting to the stage, then back to the hall to catch someone, then sitting and waiting for something to happen for 45 minutes, then sprinting again, losing something, forgetting something else, hitting record, and suddenly stepping out in front of 16,000 people. It's a rush that I never wanna lose the ability to feel, that's for sure. 

So in 2017, my goal is to keep the rush alive. Create more opportunities to feel it. Share it more with you... and what I preach to you and myself every day: stop making little excuses for why you can't do something or why it can wait. Don't let anything wait. Don't push anything off. Live in the today and the now and make things happen. 


PS: Never thought I'd get a sweet gif of myself and the Grinch on a huge stage at the Verizon Center but that's my life now.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

eb takes europe: my paris photo diary

A month has passed and I'm still pretty sure a clone of mine was the one in Europe taking some pretty cool pics because it doesn't seem real that I went... especially to Paris. I've never had much desire to go there... the city of romance and art and fancy and also rudeness.... yeah, not for me. 

I was being reeeaaallll ignorant. Paris was so much better than I expected. [This is why you should always keep your expectations low, kids. Keep ya happy!]

All that anti-romance, fancy, etc being said- HELL YEAH I was gonna be cliche AF if I was gonna travel all the way there! First thing on the agenda was a date night [insert extremely wide-eyed emoji here] by the Eiffel Tower, at a place called Monsieur Bleu.

Since you know I don't just go halfway with anything, I got dressed up in a black maxi [from boohoo] with a big ol' slit, and the table was stocked with French wine, baguettes, and one of the most delicious meals I've ever had- lamb chops. The entire time I got to watch the tower light up and sparkle through the window and... it was stupid. Like the good kind of stupid.

...until our server dropped a bomb on the beautiful city IIII call home. Homegirl had the nerve to say she had just visited DC and " was.... boring. There's nothing to look at." How dare her.
The next day was really the first day of the whole trip I had a FULL DAY to explore, and there was a lot of it. First stop: Notre Dame Cathedral. [The pic at the very top of this post was taken from the very top of the Cathedral... amazing.] I was greeted by a bird lady that I couldn't say no to. GIVE ME ALL THE FLYING RATS. PUT THEM ON ME.

I totally forgot that they had an attack a couple months ago [I'm oblivious, y'all... stop acting like you're shocked] so when full on Army men are walking around with machine guns and other craziness that I don't even recognize, I'm pretty sure I'm living in a movie, again.

Speaking of living in a movie, dramatic photos in the Cathedral are obviously a must.

From there, it was a lot of walking around the city. Anywhere that looked like a big deal on the map, it had to be seen. I have no idea how many miles were walked but why take a taxi or a train or a bus somewhere when you could walk and take in everything you pass? [Like the huge billboards for some clothing store called REDSKINS, that had nothing to do with the football team.]

Because I have the knees of an 80 year old woman thanks to thinking it would be fun to tumble and land on my knees instead of my feet growing up, resting was necessary... and might as well help the pain with some alcohol. There's something about drinking a hot, mulled wine in a park on a sunny day.... 

Actually, I'm pretty sure I was just in awe with the fact that I actually had time to sit, observe, and think for more than 3 minutes without checking my phone or getting work done or stressing about something. There was a peace that I felt in all the parks in Europe and it may have been the best feeling of the entire trip.

The Louvre... which Facebook friends advised me to avoid going inside, waiting in lines, and being disappointed by the Mona Lisa. I appreciate you for that. Seeing this sweet, glassy pyramid was enough art for me.

Arc de Triumphe... the architectural detail was neat, but a fact we learned later was even crazier: Cars are not insured for any damages that happen within this traffic circle. It is the craziest traffic I have ever witnessed, so I'm not surprised. People on those scooters are zooming in and out of cars, there are no lanes, and people have the balls to just keep going. You look away/down/blink and you're likely hitting someone.

About a year and a half ago, people were going nuts over the original "Love Lock Bridge" being torn down... Which, yes. Even as someone who has never known anything about Paris, I knew about everyone making their relationship a forever one by putting a lock on the bridge... but I didn't realize that Paris is basically full of Love Locks. EVERYWHERE. On fences, gates, even simple chains surrounding a torch... I think the one above is the fullest one, though. It was fun to look at all the different types of locks on there. Look at that white one! And the huge iron heart! 

Let me tell you about some guy frantically trying to get a lock off! Poor guy probably got his heart broken, was pissed off the world would read about this phony relationship, and needed it to be thrown into the river stat. I don't actually know if he succeeded in picking it, but if he did, hopefully he video'd himself destroying that to send to the ex-lover to prove how nuts he's been going.

The Pantheon- Some relatively average sized doors, and tons of people sitting on blocks right outside of it. The university was nearby so it seemed like their casual hang-out/meet up place. Little bit different scenery than Morgantown, WV.
The Army Building- The top of this building actually took my breath away. LOL I actually just typed that AND am leaving it there... but it was so gold, so big, so shiny, and I saw it from a half a mile away. No matter how many pictures I took, nothing captured it in the way I remember it.
Have I reached full gross yet? Just in case I didn't, let's make sure we cross that line. 

Before we caught our ride to the airport to head to Dublin, there was one more thing I wanted to do. 
Me: Let's get a bottle of champagne and drink it on the green next to the Eiffel Tower!
Me: Buys $5 bottle of room temp champagne
Him: Pops bottle in the park

Then we drank right out the bottle as a woman in front of us grabbed her kid and left.

If you happen to be going to Paris any time soon, some more things that I did that I would be sure to have on your list as well: 

  • Go to Caveau de Huchette, a "cave bar" that has a jazz band playing every night and people swing dancing.
  • Getting a crepe pretty much anywhere... but not a plain one. I'm talking a loaded one with eggs and ham and goodness. 
  • Walking along Avenue des Champs Elysées to see the fancy shops. When I was there, they were setting up these little huts that would become DOZENS of little Christmas shops with tons of decorations. I'm so sad I missed it but it looks as beautiful as I imagined it would be in pictures on the world wide web.
Yeah that's actually all I got... I'm no Parisian champion. I couldn't even speak more than three words in French. Because of that, I had to awkwardly excuse myself from a cute little cafe because I was about to break down in anxiety tears trying to understand what a woman was saying. 

Another huge thank you to everyone who gave suggestions on my Facebook/social media, though! It really made a difference in Paris, where I felt completely lost at first. 


Wednesday, November 16, 2016

eb takes europe: my london photo diary

I went to Europe. That doesn't even seem real. It's like I'm going through all these photos from somewhere else or something, I'm not sure.

It's true though. A year ago, I found out the Redskins were playing in London and laughed when someone said we should go. Then I realized the timing was perfect, and if I could convince someone to make the journey with me, I needed to make it happen.

On Halloween weekend, I headed straight to England, or Great Britain, or the UK.. or WHATEVER THE EFF THEY WANNA BE CALLED, to start a weeklong journey that would eventually end in Ireland.

Where the hell do I even begin?

The flight was 7.5 hours and so much easier than I anticipated [maybe because of the free booze and movies, I'm not sure], and once we got to the city and arrived in Brixton, where we were staying, there were people dressed up everywhere. They were more spooky than in the states, though. Make-up seems to be a bigger deal than the costume itself. It was 10:00 and the streets were rowdy... so I was quick to change into my costume.

Hi, I'm Britney's comeback. Duh. Not only did I GET TO MEET HER, but she's had such an amazing year. One side is the night she cut her hair off, one side is her Billboard Awards performance. It may not be the most well-done costume I've ever done but the fact that I got it done and got it to London is a feat within itself. [Shout out to my Mommom who helped me sew the main parts together so it would stay!]

By the time we got out, though... it was sloppy. In fact, the main impression I have of London is the first impression I had in Brixton- people smashing bottles everywhere, not being able to walk but being completely alone in the middle of the street for some reason, awkward fights, and lots of cigarettes. Unfortunately, I've since learned that it's not the best place to stay, but ya live and ya learn. 


Being in a completely different continent where they don't really love football like we do, there was no way to have expectations for how it would go... but I imagine it was kinda like being at the Super Bowl. There were all different kinds of fans there, not just people rooting for the Redskins or the Bengals. And there were a LOT of people there.

The stadium was beautiful, the people were friendly [unless they were taking extra money from me without me knowing because ya know- pounds are tough], and we had some pretty sweet seats thanks to meeting Nick Sundberg, Redskins long snapper, a few weeks before. We were a part of the popular crowd- sitting with all the players' families.

It was unfortunate that the Bengals were technically the home team, but I wouldn't say they had more fans than us... nor did they have more talent.

Oh. A freaking tie. My first NFL tie was all the way in London. I guess that just checks off one more bucketlist item, or something. We celebrated by greeting Nick and then downing a lot of pints with funny people with cool accents. Turns out- the NFL IS smart. British people really are starting to fall in love with the sport!

The fantastic Nick Sundberg!

I took the first pic when we kicked the field goal.... that wasn't good.... so.... that's awkward.

Day two in London- I learned that drinking too much of their beloved ciders while dealing with jet lag isn't smart. Migraine took over, and I didn't get out of bed until noon. THIS IS NOT OKAY. *CUE PANIC ATTACK, POP SOME PILLS, GET OUTSIDE IMMEDIATELY.*

Brixton during the day was pretty cool- a lot of markets to walk through, fun graffiti, and THE David Bowie memorial. People were stopping by with all kinds of flowers and gifts that the homeless people probably steal in honor of David.

Did you know London is a pretty big place? There's a lot to see... and not just from the top of a double decker bus or inside a telephone booth that has since been turned into a wifi hotspot/pee stall combination.

When doing my presearch for the trip, everyone kept saying to do picnics for lunch. While walking through a street market, we ordered some french food to eat in front of Buckingam Palace, which makes total sense except not really. It was neat to sit on some dirty stairs and watch people take all the selfies. It might even be my new favorite past time... just watching the possible captions cycle through in their head.

With limited time after that [damn you, Daylights Savings], a bus and quick walks over the bridges was the best option before stupidly talking politics with businessmen in an English pub. Just when I thought they'd all think we were insane for letting Trump run, they say THEY LIKE HIM. I guess that should have been my first wake up call.

The biggest shocker of London: The prettiest bridge they have.... it's NOT London Bridge! It gives you a view of the very boring London Bridge... but it's actually Tower Bridge. I forgive them for this confusion because I assume the original London Bridge that fell was extra great and because Tower Bridge was my favorite spot in London.

 As for our home in London/Brixton, it was a cute little apartment with antique pieces everywhere. It was their home that they left for a few days while we took it over, which made things a little more awkward... but with super easy access to the Underground/metro system, it was perfect. Plus, look at the keys! They actually use keys like in the movies or fantasy lands! [CLICK THEM if you wanna see more of where we stayed.

There's a lot more that I missed within the city... but it was time to move on. Traveling within the countries in Europe is ridiculously easy. It's easier to travel within their countries than it is for us to travel within states or cities. LESSON LEARNED: Don't book a train ticket last minute. Like flights, they go up in price. We got a quick train to Paris for $180, but had to sit between the cars in fold down seats. It gets better when you just go drink in the food cart the whole time, though.

The beautiful train station // Our peasant seats vs. the drink car
 As for Paris- It was so much better than I anticipated, but more on that later Mr/Miss Impatient.

Right now I wanna take the time to point out how rude it was for the beers/ciders in London to tell me I can't drink as much as the boys. How dare you.

Although.... I did say too many ciders caused me to have a migraine so maybe I should just shut up right now....


PS... is the *we* and *us* and *our* sticking out to anyone else? It's weird, but it's true. There's an us now. I still struggle with the whole talking-about-that and sharing-too-much thing because... well.... relationships will always scare the s#!* out of me. This is a big step. That is all for now. You can stalk and learn more yourself. I feel awkward right now. okay bye.