A Tale of Two Humans

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In the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.:

People fail to get along because they fear each other; they fear each other because they don’t know each other; they don’t know each other because they have not communicated with each other.

I have many black friends whom I love dearly and I would never hope or wish the societal oppression and racism that is indeed a reality in this country. But I also have friends and family that are police officers in this country and I fear for their lives every single day. So in the interest of being unbiased for a minute, let me share two real narratives of individuals facing oppression in today’s society. I

The first, a black man who lives in St. Louis city. I don’t know him, but he posted this in a community group on Facebook. Read this description as if it were you, no matter your skin color, profession, etc. What would you think or what would you do? This is the story he shared:

So something happened after I left Twisted Ranch tonight. I was about a block from the restaurant at 7th and Soulard and I could hear a car slowing down and I could see lights coming on. I turned around slowly and to no surprise at all it was a police car on the wrong side of the street. Two officers stepped out of the vehicle, I slowly raised my arms (As I was taught to do because my parents gave me “The Talk”) and I politely asked the officers if there was an issue. They asked me where I came from. I told them that I just left a Twisted Ranch no more than 30 seconds prior and I would be happy to show them the receipt and the Facebook post I made about the place they said it was OK and I didn’t have to do that. They told me that they got a call about “A black male in a hoodie touching doorknobs.” I repeated where I came from and offered again to show my proof. They said it was OK, but asked me if I lived in Soulard. I told them no, I used to for over 10 years and I had a lot of friends who still did. I also advised them that I did spend the day with friends, that I just finished my dinner, and that I was going home; both officers started heading back to their cruiser when the driver said in a snarky voice “Well, then you make sure you get back to where you belong.”

I followed the officers instructions and I went home. Once I calmed down I called the STLPD non-emergency number. I talked to a very sympathetic woman and I explained to her my thoughts what transpired. My main thought was that the dispatch needs to press for more than a race and a generic article of clothing. I said it would be different if the description was a 6 foot tall black male wearing a cardinals ball cap and a “Saint Louis” hoodie over it. At least then that’s a slightly less vague description. She said “We get black male and an article of clothing all the time,” not in a brazen voice, but a weary voice. The voice of a person who felt helpless because she knew what happened was wrong. I said to help, maybe then it should it be the responsibility of the dispatchers to say “I’m sorry we can’t send the police out for such a vague description.” In her same weary voice she said “We tried that; too many people complained. I really am sorry sir. I know you are upset. It’s clear that all you were doing was trying to get home, you weren’t breaking any laws, and you were stopped for no reason at all. It’s not right.” I said to her “Ma’am, I just wanted to go home…” Then I started crying as I said “I didn’t do anything wrong I was minding my own business.” She agreed and told me she again told me that she thought it was wrong too, that again if she had her way no officer would be dispatched for such a vague description. I could start to hear her voice crack as well. I told her that I could hear that she was also tired from hearing similar issues. She said she was, I asked her if she could just pass my complaint on to whomever, because at least there would be one more complaint on file. She agreed to do it, but again from her voice I could tell that even she was weary from having to hear this again.

I can’t even comment on this, because I can’t even imagine what that’s like. It’s because I’m white and I’ve never been profiled that way, because “A white girl in shorts,” would never suffice as an appropriate description of a suspected criminal.

Now, another narrative from a police officer who is on the front lines every single day in the same city the above narrative was posted. Again, think about what you would have done in his situation, no matter your skin color, no matter your profession. Here’s his story:

In light of recent events in Louisiana and Minnesota my heart goes out to all parties involved. From what I have come to understand about both incidents is that the officers involved felt they had no other recourse but to use lethal force. I’m not here to Monday night quarterback either shooting. However, I can honestly say that there HASN’T ever been a night that I came to work and thought, “Hey I’m going to fight, shoot or kill someone tonight.” But after a busy 8 day work week, and a bloody 4th of July weekend I’ve had some time to reflect on a car stop that I had a few days ago.

Let me set you the scenario: I observed a silver [car] with heavy tint going a little over the speed limit, so I decide to run the plates. After running the plates my computer inquiry revealed that the plates didn’t go back to the vehicle. I activated my roof lights and siren to signal to the driver that he needed to pull over, and he did just that. I call over the radio and give the specifics of the stop and they dispatch an assist car. I then approach the vehicle and put myself in the best position possible to see the driver as he rolls his window down. I asked him for his ID and insurance card and I informed him that I stopped him for his plates not going back to his vehicle. He tried to reason with me as he started looking around his vehicle for his ID and insurance card. While doing this the driver informed me that he had a firearm in his vehicle. All of a sudden I felt my heart rate was elevating and my adrenaline pumping through my veins, and a calm focus over took me. He then proceeded to reach for the glove box. Without drawing my weapon I commanded him to stop, turn off his vehicle, and to step out of the car. I directed the man to the back of his vehicle to pat him down. 
After that I told the driver to place his hands behind his back. He complied with all of my commands. I told him that the cuffs can come off as easy as they went on.

It was at this time that my assist arrived. After he was cuffed I was able to retrieve his ID from his pocket. I then searched his vehicle and located his insurance card and his .45 silver and Springfield semi-auto pistol with a fully loaded 13 round clip and one on the chamber. Where I located the gun is what has me analyzing this car stop because it was between the driver’s seat and the center console. I seized the gun, made it safe. As I walked by the driver he informed me that he had a couple of warrants for his arrest. I then asked if he has had any prior felony arrest and if the gun was legally purchased. He said that he has never been arrested for a felony and that he purchased the firearm legally. So after walking back to my patrol vehicle I ran both him and his firearm. He had three warrants for prior traffic violations, no prior felonies, and the gun was registered to him. So, I finished the stop by putting his firearm where I found it, magazine in the glove box, and the round that was in the chamber I placed in his pocket. I took the handcuffs off of the driver, I told him to call and get new court dates for his warrants, and sent him on his way.

Now comes the fun part where everyone puts their two cents in about what they would have done. But riddle me this what would happen if he thought he was going to go jail and he had other planes, what if he made a movement towards the gun which at the time I didn’t see. I very well could have ended up on the national news as another officer killed by gun violence, and would have been quickly forgotten by the general public a few weeks later. And my family would be left to pick up the pieces. Or the reverse could have happened. I could have shot and killed this man and I would have been another bigot officer just keeping the black community down who indiscriminately shots innocent people. I would be a villain. And this mans family would be left wondering why an officer killed him over just a couple of traffic warrants.

But lucky for me and him that both of us treated each other with respect, and in doing so we both got to go home to our families that night.

Wow. I couldn’t even imagine what that’s like either. What it would feel like to know someone is armed — maybe not dangerous, but armed nonetheless — and there’s been some recent history to support that maybe I should fear for my life… Because I sit at a desk every day. I don’t put my life on the line. I don’t go to my job every day knowing that there’s no one else to protect and serve me in case anything goes awry; that I’m responsible for making sure that it doesn’t.

Everyone is scared right now. Black men and women are scared because it is a reality that they face racism, prejudice, and stereotyping every single day. And now they’re scared that if they make the wrong move (or even if it’s just suspected that they could make the wrong move, regardless of whether or not it actually does), it could end their life. And now police officers are scared. They’re wondering if they don’t make the right call (whether it’s right or not, because we’ll never know what could have happened), that someone else could take their lives first.

If we learn to respect one another, communicate with one another, and make an effort to know one another — truly empathize with all parties, maybe, just maybe, we’ll stop fearing one another. Maybe we’ll be a little less fearful, and maybe we can work to put an end to all of this violence. We all have families. We all have people to go home to each day.

At the end of the day, there is no winning or losing. We’re all already losing. We’re losing progress, control and worst of all, innocent lives every single day. I think once that we’re all the same — we’re all human — then, we can move forward… as a human race.

In case you didn’t know, it’s 2016. We should be progressing, yet we’re setting ourselves back 60 years. In case you forgot, here are some words that are still ringing true, 53 years later:

“We must live together as brothers or perish together as fools.”
“Darkness cannot drive out darkness: Only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: Only love can do that.”
“That old law about ‘an eye for an eye’ leaves everybody blind. The time is always right to do the right thing.”

And my favorite, “I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.”

Love one another. Stop the hate. Stop the violence. Be a good human being. Be empathetic, even if you know you’ll never understand what it’s like to be black person or other minority in a society full of white people making assumptions about who you are or how you should act… or what it’s like to put your life at risk every single day as a wo/man in blue. Empathy, respect and communication/conversation. These are necessary to progress. Maybe, if we focus on what’s necessary, some of the unnecessary will fade away. It won’t be easy, but we need to remain hopeful.

“We must accept finite disappointment but never lose infinite hope.”

Life’s Too Short

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It’s been a minute. I know, I know… But there’s been a lot that’s happened in the last month. Some more profound than others.

Let’s start with this: WEDDINGS. It’s wedding season, y’all. I kicked off the summer with an old friend’s beautiful wedding & I’m prepping for one of my best friends to get married at the end of this summer. Then friends getting married (and some having babies) in between. I love watching families begin and grow.

But with new beginnings often times comes sad endings. I learned about a month ago that a former classmate of mine had passed away. While I hadn’t talked to her in years, it was so tragic and shocking to learn of her sudden passing, and I felt such a sadness for her friends and family. It really made me realize that life, even though it’s the longest thing you’ll ever do, is WAY too short.

Then, just a few weeks ago, we had the worst mass shooting in our nation’s history… ever. Ever ever. 49 lives were lost. And the killing spree was targeted toward the LGBT community — an already oppressed community. The ages of these victims ranged from 18-50. They had friends, families, jobs, coworkers… lives.

Which is why this next bit of information is so important. GREAT NEWS: My former coworker and friend Erin is MISS MISSOURI! How awesome is THAT? Well, it’s even more awesome because she’s the first LGBT contestant in the Miss America pageant in history, and the first ever in Missouri. Makin’ moves, Erin. Making moves!

Here’s the downside to that. Everyone and their mama thinks that they have the right to comment exactly how they feel about that. As I sit here and pen this little blog post, I just thought I’d mention a few reasons why this topic is so very important to mention:

1. Have you ever gone to a club, or a community gathering, or a place where you’re with hundreds of people with whom you feel the safest, and witnessed 49 people lose their lives? If you’re straight and/or white, the answer to that question is probably no. No you haven’t. I know I haven’t. I can only try to imagine what that would be like, and it’s nearly impossible for me. So something like what happened in Orlando can so easily make people who belong to the LGBT community jump right back into that closet, fake who they are, and go on living their lives in fear that something like that could happen to them just because of who they are. Living your life in fear is no way to live. Didn’t I just mention how short life is?

2. Have you ever been told that you can’t do something, just because you fall into a certain race, religion, community, class, etc… just because you’re different. God, how my life would have been different had I been told that growing up, in school, on teams, or in job interviews. Unfortunately, in a lot of minority communities, that is the message. Do you know what Erin’s message is? “I became most successful when I became myself.” How powerful is that? I haven’t really known Erin as anything other than herself, and outside of her sexuality (which she’s repeatedly said she doesn’t want to be the main topic of her time as Miss Missouri), she’s awesome. One of the most down to earth people you’ll meet. Likes being outside, playing sports, eating pizza, hotdogs & Taco Bell… the things that all of my favorite people like to do.

Life… It’s is way too short to live life as anything but yourself in the way you want to do it. It’s such a sad reality that there are people who are told differently. Thanks to Miss Missouri, there are young girls out there who realize they too can contend for Miss America some day, just like there were young boys out there when Michael Sam came out that realized they could still play football some day, just like there were transgender folks that realized they could have big dreams when Laverne Cox showed up on Orange is the New Black. So yeah… This is an important message, people.

3. It’s not her platform. It could be, but it’s not. Because of the media attention she has had, she’s raising more awareness for what her platform is — which is suicide prevention. I have personally been affected by friends and family that have attempted suicide before, and it’s not something that I would wish on anyone ever. It’s important to know that someone is there for you, and she’s raising awareness for that. If this media attention helps Erin spread that message, I’d be willing to bet she’s thrilled.

Ok, so those are all the reasons why it’s positive. Here’s what I can’t stand seeing: negativity. How on Earth can anyone see this as a negative? If you “don’t care,” great – move on, don’t comment, it’s not necessary. I’ve got a lot to say about those that drop negative comments on anything, but in the spirit of this post, I’m just keeping all of that information to myself.

Last note: QUIT F*CKING BEING MEAN, PEOPLE. I just cannot comprehend why people hide behind their computers to make the most offensive, terrible and judgmental comments (not just on this, but literally on anything). And if that is really who you are, then I just feel so sorry for you. You’re the reason that there’s so much pain and suffering in this world, and that, my friend, is a burden to bear.

If there’s any message of this post, it’s that life is too short. Life is too short to be anything but yourself. Life is too short to be anything but happy. Life is too short to do anything but love one another. Life’s just too damn short to waste time being mean.

In the words of Ellen Degeneres, be kind to one another. It makes the short life we live that much better. Happy PRIDE month and congrats to Miss Missouri! Keep doin’ yo’ thang, girl!

Life Happens

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Phew, it’s been a while, hasn’t it? I had to take a little bit of a break from this here blog because, well… Life happens. And when life happens, you don’t always get a lot of free time to write about what you’re thinking or feeling or finding amusing because you’re really just trying to catch your break and catch up on sleep!

If you know me, you know my life is like a Rihanna song and all I do is work, work, work, work, work. Not just at one job, but at multiple. You know, I’ll coach soccer during the spring, or I may pick up some shifts at a gym, or something like that. Oh, and I’m still working at my full-time job, which is obviously top priority, so I’ve always got clients to take care of. What comes after work, work, work, work, work? No one knows. Same goes for life.

So after a borderline nervous breakdown (albeit entertaining to some) and the end of a super successful soccer season, I have finally been able to settle in and catch my breath, and feel at least a little bit caught up on sleep. So now I’ll catch you up.

First, let’s talk soccer, my first love. Another great NH season in the books. Man oh man, each and every year I stress out about soccer season, and in the blink of an eye it’s over and I miss it oh so very much. As always, my girls were amazing this year, and one of the most talented teams I’ve had the pleasure to coach. Though we started off a little shakey, we finished the season 11-4-2, going undefeated in our last 8 games of the season.

Next, let’s talk Shred. Remember that gym that I was going to like every other day? I work there now. Just on the weekends really, but it helps pay the billz (slash, save the skrillz). So, it’s a sweet gig. And I just like being there. It makes me feel good about myself. So if you haven’t joined yet… or at least tried it, you should. And now you have an excuse because there’s a chance we can work out together, or at the very least you’ll see me at the front desk.

Lastly, let’s talk about Captiva. Still there. Still taking care of one of our bigger, ever growing clients, so it’s typically a pretty exciting time around there. My days sure do fly by and I get the chance to experiment with developing multi-channel strategies, and actually implementing some pretty fun campaigns.

And in the meantime, I’ve been watching the Blues kick butt in the playoffs, watching the Cardinals work hard to develop their grassroots roster, and of course spending time with Eric and Lena… So yeah, life has been happening. And it’s been a struggle to keep up with this blog, but alas, I’m trying to resurrect the content. I’ll get there.

Thanks for stopping by and checking in. I’m sorry I don’t have more for you right now, but hopefully I’ll have another post for you soon!

Peace signs and hearts.
Bon

 

The Artist We’ll Always Know as Prince

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There have been two profound musical tragedies that have affected my life in some way: the death of Amy Winehouse and the death of Michael Jackson. I remember exactly where I was and who I was with on the day that each of them died. I remember the dates. I remember the feeling I had when I heard the horrible news.

Today, the world lost Prince.

Now, for me, this likely isn’t a pivotal moment in my life like the former had been. But I know that it is for many many… many many people. Why? Because Prince was just that good.

Today, I coached a soccer game and while I was there, my girls (who weren’t even born yet in 1999, for the record), mentioned that Prince had died and that they were sad about it. That’s profound. Some of these girls don’t even know who N’Sync or the Spice Girls are and they were alive for their hits!

Now, I’ve seen a lot of statuses today about “oh, great, now we have to listen to Prince music and listen to how great he was.” or “I don’t understand the obsession with Prince.” or “Since when are there so many Prince fans.”

Maybe I’m one of the people “those guys” are talking about but let me hit you with a few facts first:

  • Prince didn’t just write his own music, he wrote music for many other artists — some of which I didn’t even know until just now. Manic Monday, the classic favorite from the Bangels: It’s a Prince Song. ’03 Bonnie & Clyde (which was obviously my jam in ’03): Prince helped write on that. Nothing Compares 2 U, the (in my opinion) one-hit wonder from Sinead O’Conner: Also Prince.
  • He has seven Grammys and has been nominated over 30 times between 1984 and 2010.
  • He has an Academy Award for his original score for Purple Rain.
  • He had 19 top-ten singles.
  • Five of the 19 went all the way to #1.

I had a conversation with a colleague about it today, and I said that I didn’t necessarily think he was ‘groundbreaking,’ but I’m starting to see why he was. He made an impact. He bridged the gap between pop and R&B, with a little new-wave funky feel. He’s got a vocal range that’s out of this world. It doesn’t matter what song it is, if you hear a Prince song, you know it’s his. He’s Prince. Regardless of whether or not he was ‘groundbreaking’ so to speak, he absolutely was a legend. And it’s always tragic when we lose a musical legend.

Prince — wherever you are, I hope it’s a world of never ending happiness where you can always see the sun.

Music is My Boyfriend

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Anyone who knows me knows what an important part of my life music is. Aside from the occasional piano lessons, I don’t really have any musical talent, except an ear for good music and an appreciation for all music. I think anyone who has musical talent is incredible and should use it in any way they can.

Just to give you an idea of how big a role music is in my life, here are few fun facts:

  • My boyfriend and I originally connected over our mutual love for music, which…
  • Made us go on two consecutive trips to Bonnaroo (and trust me, if we can survive two years at ‘Roo, we can survive anything. Mostly the drive to and from, because while we were there… ‘peace and love, man).
  • Instead of a diary or a journal when I was younger, I used to doodle lyrics to the songs that fit most with my life at the time. I still have those “journals.”
  • I have Fleetwood Mac lyrics tattooed on my ribs.
  • I used to spend hours organizing my iTunes library so that no song or artist field was empty. I would do this for friends, too. Just ask my college roommate, Karen.

In all my life, music has been a healing power for me. No matter what I’ve been going through, whether it be family issues, break ups, graduations, celebrations of new (and past) life — music has been there for me. Music is my first boyfriend and my first great love.

So, I wanted to dedicate a post to my top favorite songs and artists, so that you and I can connect. Maybe it will give you insight to my life. Or maybe it will give you insight into who I am. At the very least, maybe it will give you a few new tunes to love. Please keep in mind that these artists and songs are just the songs and artists that I’ve got on my mind currently; no particular order.

Top 10 Artists:

  • Fleetwood Mac – Classic, influential, and paved the way for rock music.
  • Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros – Different, unique, catchy, brilliant.
  • Amos Lee – Relatable, soulful, makes your heart full.
  • Passion Pit – These guys are oxymorons – they make amazingly catchy upbeat songs with intense, rather depressing lyrics that make you think about what you’re listening to.
  • The Civil Wars – Beautiful. These voices will change your perspective on how music should be listened to.
  • Mumford & Sons – If you can make me rock out with your banjo, I’ve got to give you props.
  • Amy Winehouse – One of the most amazing talents to ever walk the face of the earth.
  • Penguin Prison – Catchy as all get out.
  • Michael Jackson – King of pop. Enough said.
  • Nicki Minaj – People will probably disagree with me on this one, but I truly believe she’s one of the most powerful female emcee’s to make music. Listen to her non-ontheradio-tunes.
  • BONUS: 98 Degrees, my first loves.

Top 10 Songs:

  • Gypsy – Fleetwood Mac
  • Electric Feel – MGMT
  • Spirit Cold – Tall Heights
  • Dust to Dust – The Civil Wars
  • Black River – Amos Lee
  • Almost Lover – A Fine Frenzy
  • Tears Dry on Their Own – Amy Winehouse
  • P.Y.T – Michael Jackson
  • Hurt – Johnny Cash
  • Give Me a Try – The Wombats

If you would ever like to chat about why these songs are amazing, I can give you all my notes, but I’d love to hear your interpretation and why you may or may not like any of these artists or songs.

In the spirit of Coachella this weekend, and you know… Bonnaroo, where my heart belongs…

Peace and love, man.

Always

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So, thanks to Glee, I follow a bunch of random people on Twitter that I don’t really know who or why I do, but I’m glad I do because the other day I came across this brilliant quote. It’s beautiful. It’s a mantra. I want to share it. So I am.

 

I don’t have much to say about it. It’s pretty self-explanatory. But I’ll say a little bit anyway…

I’ve always wanted to write a book. Spoiler alert, that’s the dream in my pocket at the moment. Some sort of 365-day challenge type book challenging readers to do things like this. If we took the time each and every day to make an effort to be more positive, we could do incredible things. Dare I say, change the world?

Being positive is a hard thing to do. Truly, it is. And I know this because I know how easy it is to get caught up in “venting” or joining in the latest “gossip” or falling into talking about someone just because someone else is. It’s easy to be negative when so much of our world and our news is awful and terrifying.

When you fall into that trap, and trust me, I do it too… Stop. Find that song in your heart. Pull out the dream in your pocket. Listen to your heart. Know love. And understand that this life — whatever life you’re living — it’s worth it if you can just find the good in it each and every day.

And with that, I leave you with a song I heard today that I can’t stop thinking. It’s the song in my heart right now. Tomorrow’s will be different, and maybe I’ll share that one with you, too.

Peace and love, friends.

 

Happy Blogiversary, TMB

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If you know anything about me, it’s got to be that I started a Glee blog with my friend Whitney about 5 years ago. Seriously, that may be the only thing you know, but everyone knows it. Because it… was awesome.

We started TroutyMouth.com (no longer in existence) on March 22, 2011. Same day, we started it’s twitter feed: @TroutyMouthBlog (still in existence). So, from then on, we shortened it to TMB. It was dedicated to our love for the show, and it was never meant to be anything but a fun little side project where we wrote about anything and everything Glee related. It didn’t follow a format. The content wasn’t always consistent. We probably broke every rule about blogging, ever. But, we loved that little blog.

Soon after we joined this little fandom, we started getting a small following. Two months after we started the blog, I just so happened to give myself a little trip to Las Vegas as a graduation-from-college present to myself. Ironically, at the same time, Glee was having their Glee Live dress rehearsals at the same time. Me, being the obnoxious person that I am, hung out outside the Mandalay Bay’s theater for hours with my friend Becky trying to get tickets to the private dress rehearsal screening. By the grace of God, and some incredibly nice people, Becky and I got in. Free food, free drinks, pre-screening to the Glee Live concert. Oh, did I mention, I had just started blogging? If that wasn’t the most intense blogging I’ve ever done (well, at least until a year later). And people ate it up. We doubled in following that night. Becky and I had a blast, although Whitney was a little jealous, but we started to see a little something in what that blog could actually turn into.

That same year, Whit and I had tickets to the Glee Live concert in Chicago, too. I think it was in June because I had just graduated, and this was like my “last hoorah” before I started a real job.

We went up to Chicago for the weekend with like, 22 custom made t-shirts in hand so that we could give to the cast and crew. Continuing our obnoxious streak, we tweeted the shit out of the crew — mainly Telly (sorry Telly!) — so that we could get their t-shrits to them. And we did. And it was fun. And on tumblr, someone posted this picture of Chris Colfer with his TMB shirt back stage… even though we jacked up the line and it should have read “tickle me doe face.” Whatever. Close enough.

During that time, we got more followers, some that were even trying to get us back stage with them. We met some followers because we were camping out all over that place. It was awesome how connected we were to some of these people. I felt like a Trekkie… except a Gleeie. (I guess they call those Gleeks?)

Fast forward like 4 weeks later to the end of the Glee Live tour in the US, and they were having their last show in New York. After about 6 hours of texting back and forth and me really trying to convince Whitney that it was a good idea, we booked plane tickets to New York and flew out the next day for their last US show. Somehow we managed to wrangle up two of our other friends. We had all just started our careers, so we were like “Monies? Let’s just spend it all!”

We didn’t get a hotel, because we were like “we’re literally going to be there one night. No need.” So, since we didn’t have anywhere to stay, we flew into NY, took a car to the arena, and literally tailgated for the day. I just remember walking across the street to a deli, eating the best Philly Cheese Steak sandwich I’d ever had, walking to the gas station next door to buy beer, walking back to the parking lot, and just sitting there eating and drinking beer. I’m surprised we didn’t get in trouble by anyone. It was a beautiful day, thank God… otherwise, I don’t know what we would have done.

We went to the box office to buy tickets to the show and the front-office lady was like “Tickets? Sure, give me all your money, and I’ll put you way up high!” and so my friend Ashley and I were like “Hold up. You have NOTHING else? That price is ridiculous, my friend.” And she was like “oh look at that, these floor seats just opened up for the same price!” and we were like “SOLD!” So like $100/person later, we were sitting 13 rows from the stage dancing our asses off at the concert without a care in the world.

After the concert, we hopped into a cab to go into the city and hang out for a while. And by hang out for a while we meant for the entire night because we had no where to stay.

At about 3:30 am, we decide that we’re all tired, so we’ll go to the airport, sleep on the food court tables for a couple of hours before we hop on our 7:15 am flight out of there. And that’s what we did. And afterward, Whitney looked like this:

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When we got back, we were on such a Glee high, we never wanted it to end. So we were like “Let’s continue this obnoxious streak and see if anyone can get us in at Comic Con like.. next week.”

So we tweeted at like the whole cast, and because she’s the nicest person in the world, Jenna Ushkowitz emailed us and was like “I’ll do my best, but don’t hate me if I can’t get you there.” and we were like “Oh Em GLEE, whatever you can do, you’re the best because we only had half an expectation that this would actually work.”

Well, we didn’t hear back and we were basically like “who the F cares, that was incredible. Let’s just bask in this glory forever.”So, we didn’t really mention it again, and we didn’t go to Comic Con that year.

Fast forward to, oh about 11 months later, we get a message from Jenna. Turns out she could get us passes for the 2012 Comic Con year. UH… Is this real life?

Yeah, it was. We booked a trip to San Diego, went to a hotel to pick up the passes, and it turns out we got “press passes” into the Glee panel. We were like front row, sitting 4 seats down from Will Keck and like a row in front of Matthew Hodgson and I was just like “Who are we right now?” It did not feel real at all. Turns out THAT was the most intense tweeting I ever had to do. I was tweeting and Whitney was taking notes for a blog post recap later. I felt like real journalists. It was pretty f-ing cool.

comic-con

In this time, somehow we managed follows from Harry, Jenna, Matthew Hodgson, and Michael Hitchcock — all part of the Glee family. We felt like we were a direct extension. Almost a direct extension:)

Well, Glee wrapped up last year. But just before it did, I had one final Gleetastic opportunity when I went to LA. For some reason — maybe because he read our blog every now and then, or maybe because he thought our tweets were funny, or maybe just because he is so damn nice — Michael Hitchcock offered to have lunch with me while I was there.

So, the day I arrived, I went straight from the hotel to my lunch meeting. We talked about everything under the sun: Glee, other TV shows that we liked, what to do in LA, what to do in St. Louis, weather — naturally.

It was awesome. I was super nervous at first, but as the hour or so passed, the conversation grew easier, and I felt like I was talking with a friend.

Now that Glee is over, we don’t really do much with TMB. But it was fun while it lasted. And because it turned into something so special for us, it will live on forever… as Whitney says, “not only because it’s legendary, but also because we inked it on our bodies.” Seriously, though — we both have TMB tattoos.

tmb-tatt

March 22, 2011 will always have a special day in my heart. Just so happens that March 20, 2015 was the season finale of Glee, so it’s ironic that it ended the same weekend that we started the blog four years prior to its finale. It seems like it all came full circle.

The people, friends, connections, and stories that I’ve gained from Glee will always leave a positive, lasting memory in my mind. And who knows, maybe because of the success of TMB, I’ll turn a blog into something real on another date. The door that it opened brings endless opportunity!

Happy birthday TMB. I’ll always love you.