the best of my 2011

3 01 2012

I feel like I’m on a roll, and that 2012 has a LOT to live up to, as I look back on the past year. For the second year in a row, I’ve moved across the country and been widely recognized for my social media. I’ve grown as a person, learned a lot, and met a lot of amazingly important people. Beyond that, I learned how to juggle being a workaholic, but also living life for me and for fun as much as possible.  Now, I’m saying goodbye to last year and blindly walking into this year, being slightly terrified to find out what it holds for me. It’s a good terrified, though. It’s the kind where I’m so open for surprises, and as long as I’m making more dreams come true, I’m down for whatever curveballs are thrown at me. In fact- the more, the better!

Before I keep it moving, I’m going to take one more look back at what 2011 meant to me, and my best moments of the year.

The 90s Dance Parties

I brought the 90s back in a major way in College Station, and from day one of being there, I kept trying to prove that I could get a successful 90s happy hour event going every week. FINALLY they let me give it a try, and I proved that I was right. Playing games like Twister and Simon Says with listeners and friends every week was not only a blast, but a huge accomplishment in being able to say “I told you so!” It’s always fun to be able to say that.

Pool days in College Station

Okay, so this isn’t any major feat or something to be proud of, but it’s definitely something I brag about and always remember when I look back on Summer 2011. Every Saturday and Sunday morning, I’d wake up, my friends would huddle up, and we’d head to the pool for a day of partying. You tell me a better way to spend your weekends, especially when you’re not even a college student, and I’ll probably call you a liar.

Mardi Gras

One of the things I vowed to do when I was in Texas, is go to as many of the nearby cities as possible. When Mardi Gras rolled around, nothing was gonna stop me from driving the short 7 hours to see a bunch of boobs. It put me in debt and took 11 hours to get there, and there were non-stop tornadoes that kept us from seeing any parades, but it was worth it. You don’t get to experience Mardi Gras in New Orleans every year. 

My goodbye parties

My friends in Texas made it really hard to leave, and with everything they did to bid me farewell, it was even harder. I had two goodbye parties, one with the station/listeners, and one for just my friends. ALL of my friends were at BOTH parties. That would be enough for me, but they went beyond it by getting me real cowboy boots, Aggieland t-shirts that were signed, and more. They really do go big or go home down there, and I couldn’t be more thankful for it.

Moving to Virginia Beach

Part of this moving process was great, liberating, and fun… but only about 10% of it. Packing- miserable [and would have never gotten done if it weren’t for my friends coming over to help me, even if we did take breaks to pool it up and watch really bad TV “porn”]. Finding a new place to live- stressful. Having no home for over a month- uncomfortable. Getting all of my stuff stolen or broken by the moving company with no repayment- nearly life-ending. BUT! I managed to learn a lot, and the drive wasn’t nearly as bad as I thought it’d be, especially with the slut by my side. Now I know that if I ever move again, I will not be hiring a company. I’ve never trusted people to do my work before, and I’m not sure why I did this time, but I won’t do it again.

Getting a Texas Social Media Award

I wonder if they hate that I got the award 9 months into my stay in the state, and left 5 months later, but it’s too late now! I am beyond thankful for the people who stepped forward to recommend me for the award and support me after everything I asked for just months earlier during the TJ competition. I felt like a little girl in a very big world at the ceremony, but it was amazing to meet fellow social media know-it-alls and really experience a Texas life.

Starting “Why Party Today?”

When I got my green screen for Christmas, I brainstormed for the best ideas to use it as much as possible. Since I love telling everyone the reasons to celebrate, my coworkers and I decided to dedicate ourselves to daily videos that tell the world what the day’s reason to party was. It was a lot of work, and multiple hours were added on to my work schedule every day, but being able to get so creative every day was a lot of fun. Luckily most of the dates are the same every year, and we started in January… so you can keep up all over again!

Getting the job at HOT 100.5

It was a very interesting process. One day I was meeting Corey on Facebook and doing something for his show on HOT 100.5, the next day I was meeting him and his coworkers during my birthday weekend, and suddenly they were offering me a job. Well, maybe it didn’t happen nearly that fast, but it did happen in a bizarre way that I wasn’t entirely prepared for. You’ve heard it from me and plenty of other people, and I’ll say it again- the best way to get a new job is to network in any way possible.

There were a ton more moments that I’ll always remember like my birthday, helping Joplin residents after the awful tornado, several interviews, and the in-house Tim Halperin concert.
Seriously 2012, bring it on, and bring it hard.. because both 2010 and 2011 blew me away, and I’m prepared for the best now.

i’m about to get HOT on the east coast!

5 08 2011

It’s been exactly a year since I went away to NYC to wrap up the MTV TJ experience [imagine that, another big announcement on a year anniversary……..], and it’s time for something big to happen again. Sure, I’ve had a ton of little side projects within work, but I need something BIG.

…and I got it. I got a really amazing opportunity to take my career to a new level, and I’m taking it!

You see, for those of you who aren’t familiar, when you’re in radio and want to advance your career, you don’t necessarily get a promotion within one company or station. You move up to a bigger city. Each city is ranked based on the amount of people in the surrounding towns/that a station broadcasts to. I interned in #9 DC and #175 Morgantown, but got my real start here in College Station in the 200s.

Most of the time, when you start in the 200s, you probably aim to hit the 100s next.

I’m here to tell you that by the end of the month, I’ll be in market #43- Virginia Beach, VA. I’ll be talking to 10x the amount of people here in CS every night!

Catch that? I said NIGHT! You’re looking at the newest night jock at HOT 100.5!!!! Starting in September, every weeknight, from 6-11pm, you’ll be able to hear me on this station!

The story:
A couple months ago I began sending out my demo tapes to multiple people in the radio world for their opinions. I never want to stop growing, learning, or networking, and asking people for their honest opinion is a way todo all of that! I met their night guy, Corey, online and asked him to pass it along to the bossman. He critiqued and we stayed in touch, but they didn’t have any spots they were looking to fill. More recently, they decided that it was time to take the success they’ve been having recently and kick it up a notch. In order to make them even more kick ass than they already are, they’re moving Corey to the morning slot so I can take over his nighttime show. It’s pretty incredible what they’ve made happen, and what we’ll be able to create as a full team once I get there.

I won’t get too much into the emotions of things right now because I have so many of them going on. I’m obviously more than excited that another station has seen my talent and is willing to take a chance on me, but I’m very sad to leave College Station behind. It took a little getting used to, but I have definitely grown to love this place, all of my coworkers, my listeners, and definitely my friends. It’s going to be extremely hard to leave, but I’ve prepared myself for this lifestyle, and I can do it! Plus- I’m pretty awesome at keeping in touch.

Then there’s that whole going-back-home thing. That’s pretty awesome, huh?! [Well… not home… but to my home state! Who woulda thunk I’d be moving back to VA after just a year?! Not me, I’ll tell ya that much.]

Anyway… I’m all over the place with thoughts of trying to get ready to move, keep up with my work, excitement, nerves, sadness, stress…. This blog is probably all over the place. Like I said, I’ll write a more emotion-filled goodbye, thank you, etc in a couple weeks. Until then, my show is going to be just as hard core as it’s always been, I’ll be working my ass off as usual, and making sure I complete everything on my College Station bucket list before I leave. [What’s on it? Well… it’s in the works. If you have any suggestions, please tell me!]

Last day at Candy 95: August 26
First official day at HOT 100.5- Undecided, but probably after Labor Day.

Stay tuned for more details, my bucket list, and personal posts… Once I get my mind right. I just had to get this off my chest and out for the world ASAP.

BUT… I really can’t end this post without saying an extremely sincere thank you to everyone in the BCS area. My bosses are absolutely incredible for bringing me here and being super supportive with me leaving. My listeners are the bomb diggity for allowing me to come in and eff ish up be me on the radio and beyond every day. and my friends are just amazing. The people I’ve met in the last 8 months have changed my life forever, and saved me from a pretty awful homesick that I had for a little while, and I can’t thank them enough for that.

speaking out on a recent frustration

20 03 2011

I hate to be negative [especially “in public”] but I need to explain the lack of something that is probably expected of me.

Since Real World DC, I’ve been known for my involvement with the show and all of the seasons as they happen. My chats, podcasts, and cast scoops have brought a lot of people on board and also keep them coming back. You know all of this already.

Last season was obviously a little harder than RWDC to get the cast involved in my blog and everything I do. This season is proving to be nearly impossible. It’s evident that they’ve been told not to join in on any of my chats or podcasts.

I, along with some of the roommates, have asked their PR lady if I can talk to them, and she says no. No explanation. No “if ____ happens, maybe we can make it work.” Just straight up absolutely not.

Last season, Preston, Eric, and Ashlee did podcasts/chats without worrying about getting the approval, but no one is biting on taking the risk yet.

BUT!!! Don’t you dare think I’m going to go all “I give up on all this stuff.” False accusation. There are going to be people contacted, I’m going to keep trying, and if all of this fails, then I will have to find some substitute actions.

It really just doesn’t make any sense. Sure, I did what I did in DC, but people loved it. MTV loved my chats and my podcasts. They picked me for the TJ competition. They hosted my chats on their site. They joined me in my chats. I actually have my own radio show now. I’m better at interviews than I was a year ago. Yet other people are getting multiple opportunities for interviews etc a week.

If you’d like to help convince this lady to let this ish happen, let me know. I have a back-up plan that could totally use an army. In the meantime, keep your fingers crossed. I miss being able to do this regularly! I like big projects. I like having a purpose. I like having a theme and something for people to look forward to on schedule.

Also- if you’re anywhere near the College Station area, be on the lookout for a Real World themed announcement. Hint: It’s a party! 😉

NO ONE CAN STOP ME! They can only slow me down!

i won a texas social media award!

13 03 2011

A couple months ago I was told I was nominated for a Texas Social Media Award. After looking at the website, I really couldn’t figure out how serious it was, how much it meant, how I could win, what I would win, etc… All I knew is that if people commented and made me look good, that was probably a good thing.

A couple weeks ago I found out I won! And that on March 10 [my two year Twitterversary!! NOT a coincidence.. EVERYTHING good that happens, always happens on the anniversary of something else good!] I’d be going to Austin for the ceremony and to find out if I won “the big award.”

Obviously, March 10 was a couple days ago. I didn’t get the big award, but I did realize that being one of the 25 people honored that night is a big effin’ deal. I was sitting beside a crazy variety of social media pros- fashion bloggers, people who give out free beer, a massive Austin blog, a nationally popular game/app, a teachers’ organization, an author, a cancer survivor, and freakin’ WHOLE FOODS.

Yeah, when you’re hearing others’ credentials being over a million followers, over 150,000 Likes, more than 300 Twitter accounts… you have no shot. Whole Foods took the cake.

It was at ACL [Austin City Limits] Live, which is a beautiful theater, hundreds of people were there, they had food and free beer for us, and people were mingling. At first it was hella awkward to introduce myself to randoms who are all in their own cliques, but once the ice was broken, I really met some fascinating people.

We each received our award on the stage and the only thing I could think of saying as I walked across was “Wow, this is really awkward… like graduation or something.” People laughed. I think it’s because they felt my pain. Afterwards they tried to get all 25 of us in one picture at the same time. Yeah, right. I did my best to direct the crowd to get together, but I’m pretty sure I was the youngest there. It worked for about 3.2 seconds.

Anyway, they had some bands perform after the ceremony, people mingled, and I met a guy on my way out that seemed to have some awesome connections/opportunities for me and the future. I don’t want to jinx them, so I’ll keep it quiet for now, but it feels good to make some connections with someone in Texas. It’s been a lot harder to do so here than in DC and it’s really bothered me. Let’s hope this works out!

There’s not much else to say, really… Besides thanks for helping me get the award by commenting, and thanks to the Statesman for picking me as one of the best social media peeps in this gigantic state. It was a way cooler experience than I imagined upon initially getting nominated. Networking= always key in furthering your career. You’ll get nowhere without the ability to do so.

The pics:

The entrance. I think this is the moment I realized, “Woah, this is a big freakin’ deal.”

The stage! It was totally intimidating, but definitely legit.

More of the stage/room.

Whole Foods guy, the overall winner, giving his speech! Glad I didn’t have to do that.

Some of the winners! I think even in this picture you can tell the diversity.

They had a girl there shooting pictures Photo-booth style. I totally loved it, but I swear I didn’t mean to be flicking off the camera. Woopsies.

Most of these pictures are stolen from the Statesman, Austin360, and Annie Ray.

i have to thank you all… and remind you of one thing

13 03 2011

Last week was National Write A Letter of Appreciation Week, and though I’m a little late in celebrating, it’s better late than never, right?

You see, I won a Texas Social Media Award on Thursday! I’ll tell you all about that in a sec, but first I owe everyone a huge thank you. Without you, I wouldn’t have gotten it. Without my readers, followers, listeners- I’d have nothing. Thanks for putting up with my ridiculosity. Thanks for pretending I’m interesting. Thanks for the compliments on the nominations page for the award, and most importantly- Thanks for keeping me going day after day!

Another thing I realized- If I hadn’t had the crazy, random idea of “stalking” the Real World DC, I would have nothing that I have now. It’s really scary to think about, actually. It was such a simple, random, sporadic idea that came about when I was bored,  and next thing I knew- people knew who I was, my following increased more than 10x, and I felt like I had a chance in doing something with my life.

If I hadn’t made those videos, I wouldn’t have had a guest spot on Kane’s show. I wouldn’t have gotten over 1,000 followers overnight. I’d only have about 250 people looking at my blog a day. Candy95 wouldn’t have hired me or thought I was some cool internet vlogger. I wouldn’t have been selected for the MTV TJ top 25. I wouldn’t have this Texas Social Media Award.

I probably would have given up on my blog by now out of frustration [terrible to admit, but true.] I’d still be fighting with my parents every Wednesday night. I’d be working at some no-fun job, doing a radio for free on the Internet with the hopes of someone finding me. I’d be stalking Toby Knapp begging him to get me a job somewhere.

I’d be miserable.

It’s insane to think about how one spur of the moment idea honestly shaped the rest of my life. So many people told me not to do it. That it was way too weird. I’d get in trouble. They’d hate me. But I couldn’t be more thankful for the fact that I did it, and it just makes me want to remind everyone one thing:

If you ever have an idea, no matter how crazy, dumb, simple, ridiculous etc. it sounds- act on it. Immediately. Worry about the results/reactions later. Wondering “what if?” sucks. Listening to people who say “you’re freaking crazy” is dumb. Tell them to suck it, sit back, and watch you have fun and do something awesome.