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.

the best of 2010

20 12 2010

It’s been a while since I posted on this page, but I’ve been brainstorming and now I’ve figured out interesting ways to keep you updated with me in 2011. [Considering the point of me starting this was to talk about the search for a real job… and I got it a few weeks later.]

But it’s been a pretty crazy year for me. Both 2009 and 2010 brought me incredible life changing opportunities and it’s only right that I reflect on the past 12 months in a way that I’ll always be able to look back and remember.

These are my top 10 moments of 2010.

10. Getting my stilts

I’m not lying when I say these things are my favorite thing that I own. They’re epic. I was doing my radio show when they arrived and couldn’t wait to try them on. I had been wanting these suckers for 5 years or more and finally I was going to be able to flip around and do cool tricks….. Or so I thought. We all know how it ended:

9. MTV TJ commercial

When the TV is on in the background as you work and you suddenly hear your name as a front-runner of the competition you’re working so hard at, you’ll probably think it’s a dream. My friends started texting me saying they were crying from excitement, and it hadn’t even sunk in yet. Then it happened again. I can’t even explain in words how I felt as I rewinded and  played it again and again. I was ecstatic, of course, but I was also terrified. It meant I had a lot to live up to and I couldn’t let my momentum or success fall. I couldn’t let it jinx me…. but man, the butterflies were goin’ hard in my stomach.

8. Raini and Rico in studio

I’m a HUGE fan of Modern Family, so when I found out that “Manny,” AKA Rico, was from my new home, and his uncle was my taxi driver, I did everything in my power to get him in studio the next time he was in town. I was successful! It was my first in person, big time interview and they were both awesome. We played my new favorite thing to do- Truth or Dare, and even ate some crickets.

7. My goodbye party

My friends in the DMV know better than anyone that my motto is “work hard, play harder.” I wasn’t going to leave town without an epic bang. One night was spent at my favorite place- McFadden’s. I practically owned that place. [Or so I’d like to think.] The next day everyone I knew came to my house for a crazy daylong party that lasted well into the night and ended with people passing out all over the house. As fun as everything was, it was more about the amount of people that came by to see me off and remind me of how brave I am for making such a big move [still don’t know how I grew the cajones to do such a thing, but I’m pretty freakin’ proud of myself]. I have some of the best friends a girl could ask for.

6. Flying out for an interview in College Station

Before April, I had never been further west than Morgantown, WV. I had never traveled further than Florida, and that was less than a handful of times. Beyond that, I had been applying for jobs all over the country for almost a year, with no real bites. I had a feeling from the moment I saw the ad for the job that this would be my new home. I knew it before I even had the interview. The night after my interview and everything I did to meet everyone at the station, I walked along University Avenue alone, just taking everything in and preparing myself for the move. Sure, I didn’t know for a fact that the job was mine, but like I said, I had a feeling.

5. The MTV TJ Finale

Never, ever will I forget the journey that MTV took me on this summer. I’ll never forget the other 19 people who ran by my side or the hundreds of you that supported me. The finale gave me closure with the whole competition, but also allowed me to meet so many amazing people from all over the country [and Sway!]. The show was beautiful and just knowing I was a part of it, even if I wasn’t on that stage, was amazing.

4. The rejection

Well, I never really got a call to let me know that I didn’t make the top 5 of MTV TJ, but just like with my job here, I had a feeling it wasn’t meant to be for whatever reason. When all of us figured it out the night before, I sat in my bed crying, video chatting with the other rejects, drinking a bottle of wine [that I woke up to empty in my bed the next morning]. It was the most severe heartbreak I have ever felt in my entire life, and it’s actually pretty hard to relive in my head right now. The next morning was pretty hard considering the headache I had and the official announcement that confirmed everything, but it was my boss here that made everything better. By the end of the day my desk was covered in balloon animals, and I couldn’t help but smile.

3. Live Chat on MTV

After working my ass off on everything Real World: DC related, and hearing all these great things people at MTV were apparently saying about me, it was incredible to finally see it all publicly recognized on as I hosted a live chat right there on their website. More than 900 people came in to chat with me and all my fellow RWDC gurus and cast members. The high after the success of the chat was so great that I had to go out and get a Slurpee to let it all sink in. Chris Wiggins and I thought we were practically about to take over the world after that.

2. The MTV TJ call

I had been in Texas for one weekend. That’s it. Then I get a call that I had dreamed of getting my entire life, offering me a shot at my dream job with MTV in NYC. At first, I didn’t think I was going to be able to do it. What the heck would I tell my new bosses?! [Thankfully some industry friends talked some sense into me.] Just as I thought this would be a rather slow transition into a new town, I had to break the ice and dive in head first thanks to someone at MTV thinking I was a little entertaining.

1. The call that I got the job

The biggest, most life-changing call I have ever received happened as I was on my way to the station in DC after leaving my job at the restaurant. It was so matter of fact. “You want the job?” “Sure!” “Okay, see ya in two weeks!” Literally. That’s pretty much how it went. I immediately pulled off the highway and started texting all my radio friends, crying happy tears. When I had to make the call to the boy and my brother, the tears turned to sad ones. It was the craziest mix of emotions I’ve ever had. I had prepared myself for the move, but not this moment. There was no way I could have. Thankfully the excitement outweighed the sadness as I told my parents I was finally making their dreams come true and becoming a big girl, and my dad replied with “oh no.”

As always, I wish I could go on and on about my year and all the amazing things that happened, but that would defeat the purpose of “Top 10” lists. Plus, why waste my time if no one cares enough to read a word of this? I’ll just leave myself and all of us with a slideshow of my favorite pictures from the year. And also with one final thank you of 2010. Thank you for being my rock, my motivation, my everything. Without any of my blogs, I don’t know where I’d be today. And if I didn’t have you, I wouldn’t have my blogs.

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CHEERS to an amazing 2011, and the unknown craziness it will bring!

the mtv tj’s take new york city

10 08 2010

This summer has been insane and one I will absolutely never forget. It may not have turned out exactly how I hoped it would, but I must say I’m okay with where I am. In fact, I’m happy with where I am and what I’m doing… and I couldn’t be more excited to find out what the next adventure will be.

I have this past weekend to thank for this closure. As most of you might know, I went to the bright lights of New York City to meet my fellow MTV TJ’s, both rejects and top 5ers, and watch the finale of the most exciting opportunistic journey of my life.

**Before I tell you all about it, I have to give a special thank you and shout out to my absolutely amazing boss Big Daddy Downs for making it possible for me to go. He helped fund the trip that could have put me into a nice debt if I didn’t have his help. I can honestly say I work for the best company in radio [that I know of, anyway].**

Because of my budget, and the others’, we decided we needed to find a place in the city that would cost us no more than $100 total for the entire weekend’s stay. You may think this is crazy and impossible, but I’m a bargain shopper! We found a place in the Lower East Side that could sleep 10 of us [if we squeezed and brought air mattresses]. One by one, day by day, more people showed up and by the end we were one tight little family in our Jesus apartment. [Seriously… We even had a Jesus sculpture and paintings all over the apartment.]

I won’t get too much into what we did each night, because I’m saving that for a video series that I will cleverly call “The Real World: TJs.” Expect a few episodes with hilarious videos of us all.

What was awesome: We only went out one night. The other two we spent on the roof of our apartment that had an amazing view. Just about all of the TJ’s made it up to our roof party on Saturday night, including four of the top five. We toasted to “making surreal things real” as we met each other- the small avatars from all across the nation that were used to “TJ’s After Dark” being a tinychat chatroom. Now we were in the flesh proving that our online personalities were in fact our real ones. We meshed so well. We were a tight family from the minute we hugged hello. We had a blast and stayed up talking until the wee hours of the morning. We also decided to get matching bracelets with handcuffs on them. We were once handcuffed to MTV, but now we’re handcuffed to each other. 😉

We were there for reasons besides meeting each other: Making something of ourselves, exploring the city, and seeing the finale.

Though I’m sad I have to say that we didn’t get a tour of the MTV headquarters or tickets to the VMAs, we did make the most of our time in the city and I achieved one goal: becoming BFFs with Sway and giving him a hug. The night before the finale X posted a video from Sway that had me all giddy inside. The next night Sway himself told me I was crazy and persistent. Duh, Sway.

The finale was absolutely beautiful. Luckily we got to sit right in the front by the stage to really support the top 5 and experience this with them as much as possible. They did great. They showed the world why they were picked, and definitely handled defeat better than some of us did.

In case you happened to still be living in a cave, I’m happy to say @gabifresh is officially @MTVTJ! I dropped a bunch of hits that I wanted you to choose between her and X, so I’m glad that one of them won! I’m not going to lie though… Dannielle really proved herself and had me dying laughing at the things she did and said. She woulda rocked at that job just as much as the other two. As for Jose– I know he’s got something great coming to him too. I’m so upset by the way his elimination happened, but I hope he doesn’t let any of this upset him.

I freaked out for days trying to figure out what to wear to this finale and how I’d present myself to these people who already knew me so well. Somehow I wanted to make them think “We want this girl on the MTV team pronto.” We had about ten minutes to do this while meeting Brett from Oz, our producer, and other MTV TJ peeps. I’m not sure if I had them wanting more, but I really hope I did. Either way, I will prove it more and more as days go by.

That being said, this chapter of my life is officially being closed. I really wanted to do a formal thank you/wrap up of the entire experience, and hopefully I still will, but know that I couldn’t be more thankful for you, all of my followers, readers, family, friends, mentors, and most importantly- The MTV staff that made this possible. I couldn’t have done it without a single one of you and I hope you know that.

To my TJ’s- We’re destined for greatness. Each of us has a spark that can’t be denied, it’s just a matter of finding the place that can handle the brightness. I can’t wait to see the journeys we all take and keep reuniting.

Now I shall end my cheesiness, tell you that I mean it, and get back to making sure I give you the content you want. Thanks for sticking with me through the blogging droughts, but it’s time to get wet again.

…That sounds awkward.

i took the trapeze class in DC!

30 07 2010

All last summer I kept asking all of my followers if they wanted to try the trapeze class that’s in the middle of DC… No one ever seemed to think I was serious.

I was. 100%. And I finally found someone to go with me while I was home for the weekend- My big sister.

In just two hours, they expected me to be able to hang upside down and and be caught by a guy 6 inches shorter than me….. What?!

Yes, I made it as cheesey as possible with the video, and I’m okay with that.

Because I like to show off my accomplishments, check out some sweet pictures, too!

I wanna go back and learn some more tricks! Maybe I can holler at the one in Austin or something.

Have you ever done it!?

what’s a plogerpalooza?

21 07 2010

Two weekends ago, amidst all of the MTV TJ challenges, I flew home to Virginia for the annual Plogerpalooza party at my house.

What’s a Plogerpalooza, you ask?! Well it’s a party at mi casa, with all my friends and family, my dad’s band plays, we have rocket car races, a moonbounce, the pool, volleyball, and plenty of alcohol.

And this year we even have someone rushed to the hospital one hour into the party, and another surprise after 3 hours.

Here’s a quick sum-up video…. Even though I was slackin’ on my video-taking that day.

The one rule we have: Don’t let the crazy come out til after the sun goes down. 😉

Please oh please let there be a next year, Dad!