Thursday, October 28, 2010

Broken bones and NaNoWriMo.

I am an idiot.

I like to think I am an adorable, lovable idiot, but the fact remains that sometimes I do really stupid things. Like trip while running up the stairs holding a pizza and jam my foot directly into the step before me. Which is why I am now sitting in my bed, foot up on two pillows, homemade splint taped around my big toe and tears stained on my cheeks. And probably my toe is broken.


Well, since I can't move or go anywhere, this seemed like the perfect opportunity to write a blog post. I feel a little badly that I started that Fall Tour series with the intention of writing more posts on the road, chronicling the entire trip.. but that didn't seem to happen. I don't know what it was about Fall tour that was so different about Summer - I seemed to have a plethora of time for blogging during the summer. But these past few weeks have been so ridiculously crazy and fun and busy and jam-packed I just never seemed to have a spare moment to sit and write about what I was experiencing.

^ I wrote that above part a few days ago. Now I've spent the weekend going to my friend Tara's birthday party, hanging out at ZomBcon, and having a super fun Halloween party at our house Sunday night. I want to acknowledge that my time on tour with Luke, Alex, Jason, Mike and Ariana was one of the best times of my life, even if I didn't manage to write most of it down. We played so many amazing shows, met incredible people, saw places we'd never been before, and just generally became closer and had a really successful experience on the road.

In other news, after our super fun Halloween party last night, I am sitting in my living room in my footy pajamas working on my NaNoWriMo novel. I am not going to write a long post, because I am better suited using that effort to get words written on my novel, but I wanted to share a little piece of what I've accomplished this morning with you guys, since so many people have been asking what I am writing about this year.

This is the prologue to my story. It's in the POV of a ball-point pen. The rest of the story is in the POV of whoever currently owns the pen. That's pretty much the whole basis of the novel.

"I am a black ball-point pen. I’m really nothing special. I came in a pack of ten, on sale for $4.99. One of those back-to-school sales. I may not be a neon green gel pen, or write in glitter, or glow in the dark, but I’ll be the most reliable pen you’ve ever owned.
You may think my existence is a boring one, but I can assure you that it’s anything but. Okay, I mean yeah. I can’t really do much on my own, aside from just sort of sitting there. Maybe roll a little with a big enough gust of wind, or if someone leaves a fan on. But all it takes is one person: a curious child, a rebellious teenager, a single working mother; and I’m seeing the world. When you have no say in where you go, what you write, or who you belong to, you really get around. Sure I spend my fair share of time in the bottoms of messy purses, being chewed on during a particularly dull lecture, or tapped repeatedly against a mahogany desk, but it’s all worth it. At least I wasn’t left alone in a dusty cupboard until my ink dried up. In all my time here, I’ve written love letters, grocery lists, diary entries; I know facts and secrets about people you wouldn’t believe.
So here begins the story of my journey. I’m not going to say I loved any of my owners more than the next one, because what I’ve learned in my lifetime is that everyone plays a part. Everyone, even the bit characters, make up the cohesive story of your existence. You may not think you have anything in common with the man who collects your trash or the professor who bores you out of your mind on Tuesdays and Thursdays, but everyone is connected. Everyone. And sometimes it takes something as simple as a ball-point pen to realize that."

Anyway, Happy NaNoWriMo, everyone. And Happy November, if you're not into writing. I've got a few thousand more words to write today.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Fall Tour blog #1

I have been terrible about blogging on this tour. It sucks too, because there are so many small moments I would love to have recorded down from this experience, but there just has been no time.

I got myself into a pretty good blogging rhythm on summer tour because we just spent so much driving - I would get my laptop out in the car and rehash all the fun we'd had in the days before… but on this tour we planned our route a little less crazily; so that we don't have as many ridiculous drives. On the one hand, this is fantastic, because it leaves a lot more time for hanging out and for sleeping, but on the other time, it's taken away my blogging time.

But here I am, sitting in Effingham, IL with a bit of spare time while Luke's in the shower, so I am going to do my best to write some semblance of a tour blog.

To sum it up lamely, this tour has been so amazing. There have been very few low moments and sometimes it really just feels like I am on a very extended vacation with my best friends. Every show we've played has more than exceeded our expectations on attendance, awesomeness, and enthusiasm. Completely.

We started out the tour in New York, where we played at the Sidewalk Cafe and got to hang out (albeit briefly) with mememolly and Caitlin Hill, spent time with my author friend Robyn and YouTube friend Rosi Halse, and ate some delicious pizza. Sammy G was with us for this portion of tour as well, and we had a hilarious little party at her house that night (which included a creepy panda mask, glitter EVERYWHERE, and too many pictures).

The next day was the real first day of tour, and we piled all our stuff up in the van (currently only sort of named 'Velocidad' as per Jason's suggestion, because nothing better has come to us) and headed out to Philly. Our show there at the Milkboy was probably my favorite show of tour so far. We packed this little cafe, met a ton of awesome people, and the energy was just so high. Also, this was the show where a group of fans got into a car accident on their way to the show, and rather than going home, they brought the broken headlight from the crash to the show for us all to sign. I think this is also the show where Mike signed someone's turkey sandwich.

My favorite part of this show was during the "World of Warcraft" song; a fan handed me a foam sword onstage when Luke wasn't looking, so during the second chorus I pulled it out and we started swordfighting onstage during the song. It was hilarious, mostly because he wasn't expecting it, but also it's always fun to make the shows different and exciting, and this one definitely makes my top five list for that reason.

Next was our show in Boston, which was totally awesome. We played at the Lilypad, which was fun for me because I saw Hank Green play the same venue two years ago at LeakyCon. We also got to hang out with Brittany and Joey of WinterSpringPro, which was a blast because our whole tour party is in love with them. We also packed our third venue of tour, which is a great feeling.

Unfortunately we had to leave Sammy in Boston that night, since that's where she goes to school, so we were down one person in our van. But this started the beginning of the actual 6 for Triple Rainbow Awesome Tour, which was okay too.

The next night was kind of special for Luke and I, as lame as that sounds. We were playing at The Space in Hamden, CT, which was the first venue we ever played at back on summer tour. I mean, that wasn't very long ago (I think it's about about 4 months), but it was kind of cool for us to compare how much we've improved as a performing band since that show. Many of the fans that were there were also at the show back in June on Roflcoptour. We had a great time, and the show was just as large as it was in the summer.

Our show the next day was a little different in nature. We weren't able to secure an all ages venue in Washington DC, so we just had a meetup near the National Mall. It went over so much better than I would have guessed. We showed up and there was a huge circle of fans already there waiting for us, doing ice-breaker games with each other on their own. We played a few acoustic songs per band, had an ironic t-shirt competition, and watched Mike try to solve a Rubix cube in under 2 minutes (like his song "Hey Molly" claims he can).

One of my friends from high school named Adam stopped by the show (he's studying at Georgetown right now) and it was a strange experience having him see what my life is now compared to when we were in classes together 5-6 years ago. Especially since his little sister is a huge fan of me and the other guys on the tour, and was texting him the entire time begging for pictures of Jason hahaha.

After that we were en route to Pittsburgh. I don't think I have ever been to Pittsburgh before, and I think going to brand new cities is always exciting. One of my best friends from my childhood named Heather has been going to school in Pittsburgh since we graduated HS so I was really stoked about this show (as this was also the first time she was going to be able to see me perform at all). We played at this weird little venue called the Shadow Lounge that looked really shady from the outside, but as Alex put it, looked like the Bronze on the inside. Apparently it was actually a hip-hop venue most of the time, which is pretty hilarious for a bunch of nerdy/pop/dance bands to be performing at.

Our favorite little 5AG fan Noah (the young boy who I ran into at the HP theme park this summer who has more energy than our whole tour combined and pretty much has all of our 5AG videos memorized) was at the show, and was bouncing off the walls talking to Hayley and I all night. I had him come onstage for "Don't Unplug Me" and let him sing a bit of the chorus with me, which I think made him almost faint in excitement. It was adorable.

Also Hayley surprised us and came to our show that day, which always makes for a great time. The amount of real life time I get to spend with Hayley, in general, is disappointingly low. So I was glad to see her. That night, after we all went out to dinner and had the most amazing mac 'n cheese in the world, we got a small block of hotel rooms and had the most fun we'd had since that first night at Sammy's with Rosi. Tour!

Last google search: 'my little pony'
Chipotle burritos: 21

Friday, October 1, 2010

Salmon and clothing.


I just finished watching Jo Rowling's interview on Oprah. I need to meet her, someday, just so I can be one of the thousands of people to tell her how much she's changed my life. It's one of those things that probably wouldn't mean much to her in the grand scheme of things, but saying those words to her would mean everything to me.


I wrote that on Friday and never got around to writing anything else about it to make a complete post, so I figured I would leave it at that.

I've been walking around all week with a proverbial red countdown timer over my head, ticking away the minutes until I leave for tour. I leave in twelve hours and my suitcase is only half packed, my to-do list is long, and I've spent more time organizing my shoes and Magic cards than figuring out what I really need to bring on a 3 week trip.

You would think, after traveling as much as I have, going on trips pretty much every months for the better part of the last three years, that I would be awesome at packing by now - but I am just not. I mean, I rarely forget anything, I know the essentials that n00bs leave behind (shaver, deodorant, tweezers, the right amount of stuff to do on the plane) but that frantic last minute scramble to make sure you have everything ready before you leave? It never goes away. Ever. In fact, I almost feel like it gets worse with each passing trip.

And packing for fall tour is so much harder than summer. It was easy, in July. A whole duffel full of shorts, tan ktops, and sandals. Done. But with temperatures ranging from 50 to 70 degrees, chances of rain nearly everywhere - the amount of boots and sweaters I find myself packing is outrageous.

But the good news is, I have the bag with ALL CAPS merch packed and ready to go by my door. That was easy. :)

I've been talking about packing now for well past the accepted limit of interesting-ness, so I am going to switch gears here. Aside from working on the new ALL CAPS album and filming our launch day music videos, I have had a tiny bit of time for good old fashioned recreational fun.

On Saturday I drove out to my home town to see my little brother play trumpet in marching band for the last time (as he is a Senior in high school this year). My parents were feeling a little nostalgic about it, since for the past ten years they've bundled up and dragged their lawn chairs to see either myself or Nick playing our instruments in the parade. It's weird to think they don't need to go anymore, or that if we do go, we'll have no one to clap for (or embarrass, in my case. I think I've yelled "NICK HORNER IS SO CUUUUTE" as he goes by every year he's marched xD).

I didn't stay at the fair very long afterwards, but I did stay long enough to eat a chicken teriyaki skewer, an ear of roasted corn, a scone with raspberry jam AND hum bao. Don't judge me. I walked around with my parents for about an hour and then met up with my friend Austin (whom I went to school with but only really got to know each other lately because of YouTube, haha) and his friend Danielle, and I hung out with them for a little while.

It's funny, but my town is really big on Salmon. We were required to learn about the Salmon cycle in school (I think I've drawn pictures of the egg/alevin/fry/smolt/adult/spawning circle at least 3 times in my life as homework). We call our annual fair "Salmon Days" and we have a Salmon hatchery right in town where you can watch the fish returning up the streams to spawn. We spent a good twenty minutes over at the fish ladders, cheering with the rest of the crowds every time a salmon would make the leap up to another level of the ladder. I also learned that Salmon don't feel pain the way humans do, which I thought was quite interesting. They can have half their face ripped off (which happens often, since they fight against the current for miles) and it only feels like pressure. It also never heals. Poor fish.

Yesterday Ariana and I went shopping for tour and bought a bunch of cute clothes that I am very excited to wear (including a silver sequined fedora that was an impulse buy if I ever saw one). I feel like I can briefly return to the topic of clothes because my entire last paragraph was about Salmon. Right?

I should get back to packing. Here's to tour, and to the new ALL CAPS acoustic album coming out today!

Last google search: '"kicker" mtg'
Chipotle burritos: 20