Adorable All Day

up and onward


This is my end-of-summer-beginning-of-fall-but-I-still-wish-it-was-the-middle-of-summer mix.  All these songs put me in a good mood and get me pumped for what I’m about to do.  Usually that is driving to work, but sometimes it involves more exciting things like going to the mall to get your make up done and buy false eyelashes with your bestie just because you feel like.  Even though the air is becoming more crisp, if the sun is out and these songs are blasting through my car speakers I still feel the warm and fuzzies of summer.

I’m not against autumn and the things that come with it. (Except everyone going crazy for pumpkin flavored things, especially the coveted pumpkin spice latte and pumpkin beers. That I am definitely against.) I do love getting to wear layers, bonfires, and hockey season.  This mix helps ease the transition between the two seasons. It’s like wearing a cozy sweatshirt with a pair of shorts, my favorite outfit combination.  There is a very brief juncture for this combo, so it’s crucial to capture it while you can.


Smallpools – Dreaming and Over & Over |  I’m kind of obsessed with Smallpools.  After a friend suggested them to me I listened to their 4 song EP on repeat.  These songs probably make me the happiest when they come on.

Grouplove – Way to Go | The first time I heard this new single from Grouplove I wasn’t into it.  I don’t know what changed, but now I love it.

Youngblood Hawke – Stars (Hold On) | I can’t get enough Youngblood Hawke after seeing them at Firefly.  I desperately want them to tour Pittsburgh. PLEASE?!


Seasonal Moxie: Autumn ’13

Hey there!  Remember that time I like to make seasonal goals and stuff?  Well, I kind of just let summer happen.  There was a lot of adjusting to a new job(!) and checking out live music, and visiting friends.  I am officially ready to take on this fabulous new season.  I’m mostly excited because fall TV is back and that means more Leslie Knope life lessons.  I’m also excited because this is my first autumn being in Pittsburgh since high school, but I am not excited to deal with football season and obnoxious Steelers fans.  That’s the price you pay for living in Yinzer country.

Anyway… let me reveal what I’m attempting to accomplish this autumn.





  • Embrace PGH: at least once a month discover something new in the city
  • No gas station treats*, Sheetz, I’m looking at you.  Seeya later Foodles.  It’s been real. (*Unless traveling, as in a long trip, not the drive to work.)
  • Blog revamp: super top secret and exciting things that I’m excited about and no one else really cares about which is why it’s awesome
  • Exercise. Every other day. No. Excuses.
  • Actually fucking do it:  this is just a mentality I would like to use all the time in life and probably the only good thing I got out of working at Clear Channel.
  • Go one day a week internet & computer free
  • Stop hitting the snooze button.  For serious this time. If i am able to achieve this I hope someone will make me a trophy or ribbon or something, because man oh man is this a daunting goal that is going to require all self control I can muster.  Do you want to volunteer to make me a trophy, ribbon, or something sparkly to reward me?!  I would love you forever and you might know that you were a main factor in my greatest accomplishment in life so far.
  • Organize a family garage sale.  This is probably a stretch goal, but I’m going to put it on here anyway because I think it would benefit the entire Lonett household.  Family togetherness, yo.


*NSYNC obsessed

After I watched the brief *NSYNC reunion from the VMAs I started to reminisce about my *NSYNC memories from oh so long ago.  Over the years I seem to have blocked out the intensity that surround my love for *NSYNC.  This recent reunion was the spark that set off a vivid, and slightly terrifying, journey back to my middle school years.

To say that 14 year old Jess Lonett was obsessed with *NSYNC might be an understatement.

My friends and I learned all the moves to the live performance of “I Want You Back”.  One of our 5 person group dropped out and couldn’t make it to the youth group lock in that weekend and we had to find a replacement.  This set back wasn’t going to prevent us from delivering a flawless choreographed routine.  Enjoy this visual representation of this moment in my life:timberlake nsync_dance7 nsync_dance5 nsync_dance4 nsync_dance2 nsync_dance joey_fatoneflip 2012_12_30_20_38_04group_poster

You’re a lucky girl when in your group of friends you get to be Justin Timberlake.  These photos don’t quite capture the details in all their glory though.  The amount of time it took to replicate the hair styles of the guys was quite the process.  We curled my hair and I rocked Timberlake’s signature bandana, obviously in baby blue.  Bishop had to have her hair sprayed red to match Joey Fatone’s.  We crafted some black and white braids for Hannah, so she would be an authentic Chris Kirkpatrick.   The duct taped 8×10 photos of our designated *NSYNC member might be my favorite part of our wardrobe.

I thought I remembered someone on my bus writing a line from the “Pop” video in my year book.  This is where a more accurate portrayal of my *NSYNC obsession became clear.  The embarrassing things I discovered on those 8th grade year book pages is out of control.

Here’s the “Pop” message I originally remembered:

Please enjoy these other gems I discovered after I found that one:

yearbookyearbook4 yearbook5



I was also determined to incorporate *NSYNC into any holiday possible:
A dude working the Relient K merch table kind of resembles Justin Timberlake?  I’ll take a picture with him:
My bedroom walls were absolutely covered in magazine photos and stayed like this until the summer after freshman year of college.
Don’t worry I continued this trend in my freshman dorm room.
For awhile I was always number 1 1/2 on  jersey’s because of this:
My voice mail on my phone also ended with “I might call you back, if you’re cool” up until I was graduating from college and looking for grown up jobs because of this.


I don’t know how I suppressed the extreme level of *NSYNC obsession that was ingrained in my life.  I’m glad that *NSYNC was back for a brief moment so I could appreciate how far I’ve come from these days.  It gives me hope that if I can completely forget how ridiculous a time middle school was, by the time I’m 35 my 20-something shambles will be a blurry memory that is only brought to the surface through a to-be-determined event in the future.


I think this most clearly explains how everything above happened:

1787: the year that changed my life

I’m very much in a soul-searching-figure-out-my-life phase right now.  In other words, I’m your average 20-something in the year 2013.  I’ve seen a variety of posts on facebook about JMU freshman move in and all the glory that is 1787 August Orientation.  These posts came from both students who are still at JMU, as well as, alumni like myself.  It sparked that little place in my brain that keeps my sentimental feelings locked up, safely away and out of reach of my day-to-day thoughts.  I’m now inundated with nostalgia of 1787 and the way it has changed my life.


This fantastic photo is from my first 1787, as a college freshman.  It’s kind of blowing my mind that this was eight years ago.  How did that happen?!  Anyway, these are the lovely ladies in my Frog group, who lived in good old Hanson Hall, on our way to an orientation activity.  The things I remember about 1787 as a freshman was doing some scavenger hunt that involved running all over campus and just getting really sweaty, going to Jimmy’s Mad Jam and experiencing some college a cappella at its finest, and getting into a car with strangers at the gas station at the top of Port Republic to go to a party (sorry mom!).   I had no idea how hard it would be for me to adjust to college life or the wonderful people I would meet throughout the years, I just knew I was ready for this phase of my life and to move past high school.  Oh, and I thought it’d be really easy to meet dudes.  Obviously math wasn’t my strong suit and I had no idea what the JMU 60:40 ratio looked like in real life.

little bro move in

2007 my brother was going to be a freshman at JMU.  I was pretty stoked to have him going to the same school as me.  Us Lonetts struggle a little bit at the adjusting to college thing.   Both of us were pretty slow go get involved in our early years.  Being out of state students was a difficult thing that you don’t really think about until you’re surrounded by NOVA kids in your dorm who already have a built in circle of friends from high school to hang out with.  I really enjoyed trying to help the little bro adapt more quickly than I did.  I don’t know if I was successful or not, but at least we had some great late night Taco Bell trips and intramural sport teams.


1787 2k8, the year of the Maniacal Laughing Frogs, or MLFs for short.  After helping the little bro adjust to JMU life the previous year, I really wanted to do the same for the incoming class of JMU first years.  I applied and was accepted to be a First YeaR Orientation Guide (FROG!).  My fellow MLFs are some of the raddest people I have ever met.  This experience changed my entire perspective on JMU and made me love it more than I already did.  I have so many memories of this week.  Meeting my first years in McGraw-Long, eating dinner at Dhall with my students for the first time, getting proposed to via post it note at one of our activities that included a check yes or no box, being completely exhausted, but continuing on until the wee hours of the night just to get up bright and early for another day.  One of my most vivid memories from this week was a conversation I had with John Nettles, my Orientation Peer Adviser.  He’s the dude in the purple shirt up there.  We were walking through Hillside field, he casually asked me how my first day was going and then I just started bawling.  We sat down and chatted about my feelings.  You guys, 1787 makes you have a lot of feels, it’s not my fault.  Also, I think us MLFs are more sensitive than most, we’re criers and it is totally 100% ok!  I felt like my first year girls hated me and they weren’t participating in activities.  He worked his Nettles magic and gave me advice and a hug and I was fine.  Turns out he was right.  The girls started to be more involved and I ended up becoming good friends with a bunch of those girls!  We stayed in touch throughout their 4 years at JMU and even now that we’re all alumni!
tookas2k9, the year of the Tookas.  After having the experience I did as a Frog, I wanted to become an OPA to support the Frogs during their 1787 experience.  When I was a freshman, five years earlier, during my Summer Springboard, my mom leaned over to me after the OPAs were introduced and said, “I could see you being one of them one day.” I appropriately rolled my eyes and muttered, “I don’t even go here yet,” in A+ form of the typically angsty teenager.

Flash forward to 2009 and my mom was right.  I didn’t know a group of people could have this much of an impact on your life.  I honestly can’t even put into words the things I experienced while a part of this group.  There’s not one specific sitting-in-a-field-while-I-cry-about-my-feelings moment to go back to, even though there definitely were some of those.  We lived together, ate Dhall 3 times a day together, swam in President Rose’s pool together, had late night discussions in the estate together, we volunteered on the farm together, we went tubing on the river together, we played yee-haw together, we tried to figure out who we are as individuals and as a part of  the team together.   This experience kind of just embodies the person I was at this time.  I think I’m starting to really understand what “I am because we are” means.

I’m not sure I fully comprehend how significant 1787 has been to my life and the person I am today.  I’m still trying to decipher it as I continue on my soul-searching-figure-out-my-life phase.  All I know is that I am grateful for each 1787 I was a part of , the people that I have been fortunate enough to be surrounded by throughout each and every one of them, and the person I am today because of all of it.  Dumela.



drum beats | summer heat


Hey y’all! Who doesn’t love a stellar summer mix?!  I know they are always my favorite and the ones I have the best memories associated with.  This one is no different.  I’ve pretty much been listening to this on repeat in my car since the beginning of June.  If I’m not listening to this mix I’m most likely listening to one of the artists on it.

These songs sound way better when you’re rocking your favorite pair of sunnies and driving down the PA Turnpike. Ok, maybe not the PA Turnpike because no one really likes driving on the PA Turnpike, but for me it always means I’m going somewhere fun and exciting and I’m mostly likely meeting up with friends I don’t get to see as often as I’d like.

Listen to this mix; it will make you happy, or you must hate summer and all things that are wonderful like froyo with rainbow sprinkles, getting swamped at Sandcastle, sangria, and rompers.  Ok. these might just be my favorite things about summer, but you get the the idea.


Loretta Lynn ft Jack White – Portland Oregon |  I just really dig this collaboration a lot.

Donora – Champion |  This is a local Pittsburgh band that I discovered on WYEP and they’re super fun and I’m hoping to catch them live sometime soon.

Miike Snow – Animal |  I don’t know what it is about this Miike Snow song, but it gets me pumped every time I hear it while driving.  It makes me want to put the windows down and fly my hand through the wind.

Youngblood Hawke – Forever |  After Firefly I’ve been obsessed with the entire Youngblood Hawke album.

That photo is from when I was 3 or 4 ish.  I’m on the right and my cousin, Rachel, is on the left. If that outfit appeared in my closet in my size right now I would definitely be wearing it the next chance I got.

Listen on Spotify here!

firefly day three.

We attempted the same morning routine from day two. Apparently the Wawa couldn’t handle the demand of festival goers.  They were out of eggs and bagels and other breakfast treats!  People were pissed that there were no cinnamon raisin bagels left, it was getting serious.

We remembered to take specific note of where were parked our car this time so we could avoid wandering aimlessly in the parking lot for 30 minutes.  They were being a lot more strict with checking bags this day and I was concerned they were going to confiscate my spray on 100 SPF sunscreen that had been saving my life the past two days.  Luckily, I made it through inspection!


Before going to Firefly, I had been listening to a playlist on Spotify that had all the artists playing the festival on it.  The Last Royals were a band I discovered through this playlist.  They were the first band playing at the Porch stage today, so I headed over there as soon as we got into the grounds and I got a front row spot!  A light rain started before they came out on stage.  The festival security had to cover the speakers with huge plastic sheets.  They only have the one album, Twistification, so they played all my favorite songs including “Good Day Radio“, “Crystal Vases“, and they closed their set with my absolute favorite, “Only the Brave“.  I mean, you obviously know Katy Perry is going to play “Teenage Dream” because it’s a single, but with smaller indie bands I usually have no idea if they’ll play the songs I dig most.  I loved that during one of the slower songs, “All Over Again“, the drummer was singing along.  I think it’s pretty adorable when band members without a mic sing to themselves.


I met back up with Tyler and Jithu to check out the end of Haim’s set.  They both decided they’re a less pretty, girl version of Hanson since they’re three sisters.  I might have agreed with them.  They were intense live. I liked it and was simultaneously terrified.

We didn’t stay for their whole set so we could go check out LP.  She was such a tiny human in an equally tiny blue three piece suit with big hair and a powerful voice.  I had only listened to her a bit before Firefly, but I was really impressed with her.  Also, during her set it decided to downpour for a few minutes.  Luckily for LP, she was under the protection of the stage, and we were not.  She did have some wise incite on our perspective though, “This is better than being in a fucking port-a-potty.”  You were very right, LP, it was definitely better than being in a fucking port-a-potty, unless it was one of the ones by the Porch stage, because, let me tell y’all, those ones were spotless!  While LP was closing with “Into the Wild“, we headed over to the Lawn stage for Matt and Kim.


Holy moly, you guys!  Matt and Kim are nuts live in the absolute best way  possible!  Matt introduced Kim as his partner in crime and partner in sex.  The entire time Kim was drumming she looked like she was having the most fun ever!  She would get super into it and stand on the bass drum while hitting the symbols or snare.  They had confetti sticks and balloons they threw out into the crowd to have tossed in the air when the the beat dropped.  It was pretty rad.  It was still rainy during the beginning of their set.  Matt teased “Daylight” on his keyboard and the rain pretty much stopped.  When they ended up actually playing “Daylight” later in their set it was an awesome afternoon dance party.  At one point Kim was crowd surfing, only she was walking on the people’s hands and dancing the entire time.  I would have been terrified if I were her, but she is fearless.  Matt and Kim are spectacular performers and definitely worth seeing live!


The Lumineers ended up having to pull out of the festival for health reasons and I’m kind of glad they did.  Looking at the line up I was torn between seeing The Lumineers or Capital Cities, so after removing The Lumineers the decision was made for me!  Capital Cities played at one of the smaller back stages and they ended up being one of my favorite bands from the festival.  All the guys were rocking matching Capital Cities jackets in the same style as the Pink Ladies from Grease.  They had simple choreographed hand motions that went along with their song “Chartreuse” and later taught the crowd the Capital Cities shuffle.   Their trumpet player adds a lot of character to their live electronic pop sound.  All their songs have a quirky charm and you can really see that the guys love what they’re doing and take it seriously even though they’re singing light hearted songs like “Farrah Fawcett Hair“. The crowd went crazy during “Safe and Sound” and then they ended their set with a cover of Madonna’s “Holiday“.   I am on the prowl for when they (hopefully) tour Pittsburgh.


Next Tyler and I went to the Firefly main stage to check out Passion Pit, while Jithu took a nap since she’d already seen them.  Passion Pit was probably one of the top five bands that convinced me to go to Firefly.  I was, and still am, obsessed with Gossamer.   Early on in the set they played “Carried Away” and I was happy because that was my #1 song that I wanted to hear.  Soon after that, Michael, the lead singer, told us his allergies were bad and he was struggling, but he wasn’t going to cancel this year.  He played a few more and you could definitely tell he was in pain, but he kept his energy up and kept trying.  During “Constant Conversations“, another one of my favorites from Gossamer, he completely blew out his voice.  He then went on to tell the crowd he was going to do his best to get through the songs everyone wants to hear and asked for help from the crowd to sing along.  Michael was still able to retain good spirits and energy as he went into “Take a Walk” and “Little Secrets“. He could hardly make any of the falsetto notes out for “Little Secrets” and he was trying so hard!  For the closing song, “Sleepy Head“, he just got down in the crowd and basically started a huge dance party. I seriously respect his determination to try to give the best show he could even though it was a less than ideal situation for him.


Passion Pit having to cut their set short actually worked out in our favor.  Passion Pit was supposed to end the same time Vampire Weekend started.  This gave us more travel time to get through the massive crowds and meet up with Jithu.   Sometimes I forget how adorable Ezra, the lead singer from Vampire Weekend, is. I swooned a little bit and I am not ashamed.  Another dude in their band was wearing a cowl neck sweater?!  I couldn’t really get over how that was a good choice for an outdoor festival in June, but they’re New England prepsters, so I guess that’s just how they live their lives.  I loved seeing “Unbelievers” and “Diplomat’s Son“.  They got a call and response going for “One(Blake’s Got a New Face)” and played “Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa” and “Campus” which, again, transformed me back to ’08 and WXJM.  Y’all, 2008 was a good year.  Seeing Vampire Weekend at an outdoor venue is the perfect way to experience their music live.  The only way it might have been enhanced would be if their set was on the beach in Maine.


Foster the People were the final band of Firefly.  All of us were feeling pretty neutral towards them.  We wanted to check them out, but didn’t need to try to get that close to the stage.  I had already seen them a couple years before and they haven’t put out any new albums since then.   I’m sure this happens to most people, but when I think about Foster the People I automatically only think of “Pumped Up Kicks“.  I totally forgot how much I loved the entire Torches album! Songs they played that I forgot existed were “Call It What You Want“, “Don’t Stop“, and “I Would Do Anything For You“.  Foster the People also have a ridiculous light show when they play live.  We didn’t stay for their entire set, but after seeing the bit we did I get why they were the headliners.


I  think my first adventure at an outdoor music festival was a great success!  Seeing so much incredible music in such a short amount of time has just made me love and appreciate live music more than I already did.  Firefly, I hope to make an appearance in 2014.


 Photo sources: LP | Matt and Kim | Capital Cities | Passion Pit | Vampire Weekend | Foster the People

firefly day two.

After we survived day one, we were prepared to leave early Saturday to make sure we avoided any outrageous traffic situations.  We stopped at a Wawa (sorry Sheetz!) on the way, grabbed some breakfast burritos and Red Bull and we were ready to face the day.

We arrived with plenty of time and we had prime parking close to the walkway to the festival entrance.  We got to the gates before they opened at noon which was definitely better than siting in traffic for three hours and walking four miles.


We were able to wander around some of the festival attractions like the brewery, where I had a special Firefly Ale brewed specifically for the festival by Dogfish Head.  We spun a huge wheel like the one on the Price is Right and won snap bracelets, glow sticks, and a light up wand that would have been something I begged my parents for at a Disney on Ice show.

I mostly watched bands at the smaller stages, but we did catch a bit of the Japandroids and ZZ Ward before heading to the Porch stage to watch St. Lucia.  I knew nothing about St. Lucia before seeing their set, but Tyler and Jithu wanted to check them out and I’m really glad I did!  The sun was shining and their set was synth driven and dance-y.  It was a perfect combo for their afternoon set.  They started crowd sing-a-longs for “We Got It Wrong” and there were beach balls all over the place.  I kind of hate beach balls at shows because I hate having fun.  I mean, I just think beach balls are super distracting and I don’t like having to be on the defense to avoid being hit in the head with one. I ended up hitting a beach ball during their set because that’s how fun they were!  Tyler was giving me a hard time about my irrational hate and he tipped a Disney Princess beach ball in my direction so I gave in and hit it.  I’m a people pleaser, what can I say?  I really liked a song they played called “The Way You Remember Me” which hasn’t been released yet so here’s a decent live youtube video of it!


Next we checked out Lord Huron.  I had listened to a little Lord Huron before firefly and they totally blew us all away.  After listening to their recorded stuff Tyler and I expected it to be a more mellow show, which couldn’t have been further from the truth!  I loved seeing “Ends of the Earth” live.  I would definitely recommend checking Lord Huron out if they come to a venue near you!


At this point in the day, Tyler went to the main stage to see Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros, Jithu took a nap in the shade, and I went to check out Chvrches.  I sat in the shade towards the side of the stage and enjoyed this adorable Brit-synth-pop band.  The lead singer was super concerned about crowd surfng, “This isn’t a Limp Bizkit concert!” She exclaimed at one point and then went on to tell her story of getting kicked in the head at a Jimmy Eat World show.  She had to leave and get stitches and miss the show which is why she was so concerned about crowd surfing. SO CUTE!


To say that I’m kind of obsessed with Youngblood Hawke after seeing them at Firefly might be an understatement.  Every member of their band had so much energy the entire set!  The female band member looked like a modern day Sandy from Grease, obviously the made over Sandy at the end of the movie.  She was wearing shiny, high waisted black spandex pants, and a black crop top and had long, wavy blonde hair.  I love it when you can tell how much fun the band members are having.   The lead singer would do this running in place dancey thing, almost like he was doing high knee exercises, the entire time.  At one point every single member of the band was playing some piece of percussion: the regular drum kit, two extra floor toms, an extra snare drum, and one member on another symbol.  I loved it so much!  My favorite songs live were “Stars” and “We Come Running“. (Seriously check out this video.)  As I was listening to “Dannyboy” live, something clicked in my brain and I thought, “They remind me of Iglu & Hartly”.  I’ll let you know I’m really bad at playing the this band sounds similar to this band game; however, I’m kind of good at voice recognition.  Thanks to Wikipedia, I confirmed that two of the guys who started Youngblood Hawke were in Iglu & Hartly!  I was really into “In This City” in college and played it frequently on my radio show.  Anyway, since being back from Firefly I’ve pretty much been listening to their album, Wake Up, on repeat, and signed up for their email list so I’ll know when they’re coming close enough to Pittsburgh for me to see them again.  OK, I think I’m done gushing.


I headed over to the Garnier Fructis Salon, our designated meeting spot, to rejoin Tyler and Jithu after they had watched the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. We tagged on to a train of people as they made their way through the crowd for closer spots for MGMT.  During this process I ran into a dude who lived in Hanson Hall with me freshman year at JMU.  That was 8 years ago, which is just bonkers!

I totally forgot how trippy MGMT is.  They showed psychedelic images on the big screens their entire set instead of footage of the band playing.  At one point it looked like a rainbow sprinkles donut tunnel and another I felt like I was playing Mario Kart on rainbow road.  When they started to play “Electric Feel” the entire crowd started to dance.  It was really rad to be a part of such a huge group of people all experiencing a similar feeling, memory, or just simply creating a new one together.  No other song makes me think of Camelot house parties or WXJM quite like “Electric Feel“.  All my WXJM friends still refer to it as the most overplayed song in WXJM history.

Please enjoy the photographic evidence from this time period:


Later in their set they played “Time to Pretend“, which I totally forgot existed!  When I think of MGMT I usually automatically associate them with “Electric Feel” and “Kids“.  This is where the nostalgia got even more intense.  The first time I heard this song was at Penn State’s Arts Fest summer of ’08.  I went up to visit Ida and her friends and we basically listened to this song on repeat.  It’s so funny thinking back to how we interpreted lyrics like, “yeah it’s overwhelming, but what else can we do, get jobs in offices and wake up for the morning commute”.  At the time, we had no idea what that would mean or look like in real life, and now we’re all pretty much living some form of that concept.  For some perspective, that same arts fest we also had a dance party to Miley Cyrus’s “See You Again“.  I’m a well rounded hipster-teenybopper hybrid.

Please enjoy the photographic evidence from this time period:


Before MGMT came back out for their encore, a bunch of people started to sing the synth part to “Kids“, because they still hadn’t played that crowd pleaser. MGMT came back out and did not play “Kids” because they are pretentious mother fuckers who do not give a damn about what people expect from them.  Overall I’m really glad I got to see MGMT live for their intense nostalgia inducing songs.  There are only a few songs that I can think of that I have equally vivid memories associated with them, but I think the best songs are tied to memories you don’t remember until you’re listening to it.


Good news with not parking at a strangers house four  miles down the road is you don’t have to figure out how to get back to your car.  The bad news is when you don’t take accurate enough note of where you parked that morning and have to spend 30 minutes searching the parking lot for your car because you don’t have a automatic locks or an alarm on your keychain to help locate it.  These are important life lessons, my friends!
Photo sources: St Lucia | Chvrches |  MGMT

firefly day one.

I can’t believe Firefly was a week ago!  It seems like only yesterday I impulsively convinced my dear friends, Jithu and Tyler, that we should go to this festival the day they announced the line up.

On our journey from Newark to Dover the first day of Firefly we got up early, ate a waffle at America’s Best Value Inn’s continental breakfast located in room 115, and loaded up our cooler with Clif bars, crunchy peanut butter, and fruit snacks.  You guys, we’re grown ups!  We headed out at 11 AM.  The first band we were planning on seeing was JC Brooks who didn’t play until 1:45 and we were only 40 minutes away from the festival grounds.

We made good time until we were within 10 miles of the festival.  After sitting in the car for 3 hours, basically in stand still traffic, Tyler started to go a little nuts in the back seat.  The three of us decided to try to find a random stranger who was home and pay them to park our car in their driveway and walk the remaining 4 miles to the festival.

Jithu and Tyler walked down the street as I inched the car forward until they waved me into the driveway of Paul.  He had a sign that said “Toilet for rent” and a white picket fence in his yard.  This was legit, right?  We paid him $20, applied the SPF 100 sun screen that is essential for pale people like myself, and made sure to get Paul’s address so we could find our car later that evening  Then we began our  journey on foot.

This was probably the single best decision we made all weekend.  We were able to stop at a gas station to use their restrooms, fill up our water bottles with ice, and grab a Fierce Strawberry Gatorade.  ELECTROLYTES!!!  The people sitting in their cars were still in pretty good spirits.  We saw a person in a unicorn mask and a car with a JMU sticker and we did the J-M-U duuuuuukes motion in-synch and it was pretty magical.


Two hours later we were finally inside the festival grounds!  At 5:30, we obviously didn’t make it for the 1:45 JC Brooks set, or the 3:00 Django Django set, or Atlas Genius at 4:00.

First, we were able to see Ellie Goulding! Her set started off kind of mellow.  I’m pretty sure she was sick.  You could see her struggle in pain a bit.  Luckily for Ellie she’s a total babe and people barely noticed as she aggressively messed with her hair every few minutes.  She performed a cover of Elton John’s “Your Song” and her set picked up from there.  I loved seeing “Anything Could Happen“, which is my self proclaimed 2013 anthem.  It was rad to sing along with Ellie and the crowd to a song I’ve already belted out numerous times alone in my car.


Next, we wandered over to the Firefly main stage for the Avett Brothers.  I was seriously blown away by their energy!  I have never seen them perform before and had no idea what to expect.  You could totally tell they loved what they were doing.  There was so much passion in everything they did from crowd surfing while playing a guitar solo during “Kick Drum Heart” or getting the crowd to clap along.  The mellow songs like “I and Love and You” were equally filled with intensity.  Every friend from Virginia that has ever moved to NYC has posted the lyrics “Brooklyn, Brooklyn take me in are you aware the shape I’m in?”  on their facebook or twitter.  It’s pretty amazing to see how people relate to songs like that in a crowd full of thousands too.


We opted to check out Grizzly Bear on one of the back stages instead of Calvin Harris and I’m really glad we did.  I’ve never regularly listened to Grizzly Bear, but they are definitely a band you can appreciate live with out knowing much about them.  I was actually shocked at how bro-y the crowd at Grizzly Bear was!  Who knew?!  Their lighting was a lovely companion to their set as well.  We thought the jars full of lights that looked like fireflies were just a part of that stage, but they were actually the bands.  It was definitely a good decision choosing them over Calvin Harris.


We had zero desire to see the Red Hot Chili Peppers who were headlining that night.  Plus, we had to get back to our car parked at Paul’s house.  We attempted to get security at Dover Downs, the casino on the festival grounds, to call a cab for us; however, no cabs were answering.  They told us the casino shuttle could take us to a hotel that was close to the house we were staying in.  The house was’t that close to any hotels, but we hunted down a shuttle driver in front of the casino.  Jithu sweet talked/guilt tripped  the shuttle driver into taking us all the way to the house.   She has magic powers I tell you.

We stopped at Sonic on our way back to the hotel to enjoy some limeades and tots. Our first day was a total success despite the three hours of traffic and our four mile walk.

Photo sources: Ellie | Avett | Grizzly

seasonal moxie: spring edition – recap





Here’s a recap of how I did on my spring goals! Spoiler alert: NOT WELL.

In no particular order:

  • Work out 3x a week: LOLZ.  There were zero weeks all spring I made it to the gym 3x a week.  At most I got there twice and it wasn’t frequently.  I did go to a couple yoga classes during the spring which were fun, hard, and sweaty!  I may be trying to incorporate more of that into my regular routine.
  • Blog 3x a week: LOLZ. I had a planner where I was scheduling out posts far in advance and everything.  Somehow they didn’t go from my planner to the interwebz?! I did write my most viewed post to date, though, on my break up and rebound.
  • Get my living space current – things that reflect who I am right now, including my closet:  I feel solid about this one.  I cleaned out my closet and donated a bunch of old clothes to Goodwill.  I took down pictures from high school and put up prints and other art.  I added some new lighting too!  I still need to make my first ever trip to IKEA to buy a rug.  I also want to buy some plants. (RIP Suzi)
  • Redesign my portfolio site & order business cards: LOLZ!!!!  I have no comment on this because absolutely nothing happened for this.  It was a nice thought, Jess Lonett of the past, however, Jess Lonett of the present has done nothing to achieve this lovely ambition.
  • Weekly reflecting & planning: LOLZ.  This is seriously going to happen in my life. For realz. It will. I swear.
  • Send more real mail: LOLZ. I think I sent 2 things in the mail, but neither of them were for fun like I had hoped, sigh.
  • More skype dates with far away friends: I achieved this goal and I would love way more of this in my life!  Proof:andrew_skype heather_skype ida_skype laura_skype


My one little word for spring was balance: LOLZ. I was obviously overly confident when I created this list and to have balance as my goal.  Balance might be a little ambitious for a twenty-something figuring out so many variables at once.  Good thing I’m reading this.   My work schedule was a major culprit for a lot of my balance issues and missed goals.  In the winter I had just started my job and didn’t have my full schedule yet.  I also always forget how crazy the spring is.  Every year I’m like, “Oh hey, April, nice to see you again!”, then WA-BAM! I’m smacked right in the face with an overwhelming spring that I don’t know how it started let alone how it is over.  Next year, spring, next year.

riot time bound.


This mix is the dividing line between spring and summer.  The very last bits of spring and full fledged anticipation of summer sunshine, day drinking, and new adventures.  I am 100% ready for the ease that comes along with summer time.

[Fun fact: that bridge is the bridge from One Tree Hill, yes this one, in Willmington, NC.  I took that picpic on a roller derby trip last summer!]

Listen on Spotify here!