Turn it up, Monday morning: Mandolin Orange

Week 45: Mandolin Orange

This week I return to my homeland with a North-Carolina based duo, Mandolin Orange, who have been playing together since 2009 out of Chapel Hill. Such a beautiful blend of vocals and string. I feel pretty comfortable classifying them in the bluegrass spectrum, but I don’t think you have to like bluegrass to like Andrew and Emily’s music. “The House of Stone” is their most well known; but you can hear a pretty great cover with Roseanne Cash of “Bury Me Beneath the Weeping Willow” or, my favorite, “Life On a String.”

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I live in a World Series city.

If you turned on a television in the last week, you maybe knew that the Boston Red Sox were playing in the World Series.

If you turned on a television in Boston in the last week, you knew every detail. Without choice.

As an avid baseball fan, one of the reasons that I was most excited to move to Boston was the sports culture. Boston has one of the highest concentrations of professional sports teams–and the idea that I would live less than a mile from one of the most historic ballparks? I was ecstatic.

Mind you, I wasn’t a Red Sox fan though.

Born and bred Braves girl.

Could name all of the players. Knew all the stats. I’ve quite literally been a Braves fan since birth. And Braves fans don’t like the Red Sox.

Total Braves + Atlanta girl at heart.

Then I actually moved to Boston.

And man, am I ever still a tomahawk-chopping crazy; but I found that the Red Sox were pretty fun to cheer for too. It’s a team and a ballpark with incredible history.

I despise the Yankees.

There are at least two players with Braves connections (Saltalamacchia started with the Braves and Stephen Drew’s brother J.D. was an Atlanta favorite).

The American League is totally separate from the National League–I mean, the only time the Braves would be seriously challenged by the Red Sox would be a World Series. And in that case I would, of course, pull for the Braves.

It was decided.

I could be both a Braves and a Red Sox fan.

So I jumped in. Two games (one of which was the crazy AL East clinching game) and a hat later, I decided I was excited.

Roommate + Red Sox Love.

So, when they started making a World Series run–I was pretty captivated.

As a Braves fan, we’re used to the postseason. That’s not very special (for shame, I know). But when there was a pennant and then an actual World Series potential–you had to watch every game. You had to get near Fenway.

On one special night, the Series opener, I went to Fenway to put together an iPhone-captured montage. Phones can do great things these days. It was posted for BU News and while it was great to be outside of Fenway, I really would have loved to be inside.

For some reason, I feel like the city of Boston accepted from the beginning that there was no alternative other than winning the whole thing. I never doubted that they wouldn’t win. It just seemed like a given.

So it was weird joy (I was still wishing it was the Braves) that I wore some support last Wednesday.

I looked super professional that day at work. I blame the "Wear Red Sox gear to work or else" email that I received.

I looked super professional that day at work. I blame the “Wear Red Sox gear to work or else” email that I received.

Instead of watching game six at a bar, we opted for a friend’s who lived practically shouting distance from Fenway. Any of you who watched will know that the game wasn’t that exciting and it was evident early on that Boston was going to close up the series. But there was still a decent excitement in the street.

Given the recent marathon bombings, it seems the city is wary to security in general. It was quite evident with the 50-motorcycle police brigade outside our friend’s apartment. And then again evident with the number of police barricades.

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A night full of blue lights.

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Boston was bursting with Red Sox pride.

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Everyone wanted to get as close as possible. The reward was at least a first-hand view of the fireworks and the sounds of the crowd in Fenway.

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More people, mostly singing. No fights were seen; instead mostly high fives, whoops and hollers; and even some tears.

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Meanwhile, my people were working. Life of a journalist.

We were still able to get out and film a little after the game–and while it was exciting, I was a TINY bit disappointed it wasn’t more crazy.

Still.

Pretty friggin’ awesome baseball season to move to Boston.

Now. 2014, Let’s go Braves.

Turn it up, Monday morning: Zoe Muth & The Lost High Rollers

Week 43: Zoe Muth & The Lost High Rollers

I’ve missed the last two weeks, eek! I need to stop drawing attention to when I’m underserving this blog–but part of me feels like that’s some accountability to step it back up. Zoe Muth was pointed out to me this weekend (credit to Andy)–and they’re pretty great. Reminds me a little bit of Americana like Gillian Welch, but also with some ties to old country like Johnny Cash and Patty Griffin. Definitely par for the type of music that makes me feel at home and the same music you know I love so dearly to share with you. I like the one above, “I’ve Been Gone,” but also like “Heart Like A Wheel” also. Now I’m in a very country mood, hope you are too–Happy Monday.

The picture of well adjustment: new friends.

The past two weeks FLEW by.

On any given week so much is happening. It’s incredible.

I’m in a constant battle to stay on top of school work. Like right now? I should be doing at least three things for class, but instead I’m blogging. But part of that is because any free time I have I’m working on Boston relationships. I’ve been really blessed so far with some freaking wonderful people up here.

Part of me can’t be surprised, since that was something I prayed about before the move. I had to say “see you later” to so many incredible people in North Carolina. They’re undoubtedly irreplaceable. But I was excited for some new friendships, as well.

Things are going great with the new roommates. While we rarely see each other; it’s really a pretty solid living arrangement. And I really want to make it a point to try to spend more time. I’m missing Sarah quite a bit right now. Need to work on some more shared time. We started a new roommate puzzle last week. Not even kidding. I love it.

Program friends are emerging. It’s so nice to spend so much time with people who care about the same things you do. It’s been a while since I’ve been surrounded by so many people so passionate about sports-–and it’s making me realize that I let myself get a little rusty in the last year or so. It’s been nice to watch so many games and so much SportsCenter. Feels like I’m fully being myself again!

Not sure who took this? Alex? Glad Katie could meet new friends on her visit.

Not sure who took this? Alex? Glad Katie could meet new friends on her visit. I’m mostly in love with Katie+Ashley love in this photo.

Every single weekend is something.

Half of the week days are something else.

There’s constantly someone to grab a beer with or an apartment to be at. There is always something fun. It finally reminds me a little bit of my Winston crowd and the constant “doing” that I love.

Two weekends ago, me and new friends Alex, Adam, Natalie and Andy all piled in Alex’s car and headed to New Hampshire for a Brews Fest. It was last minute plans for me; but so much fun.

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So much better than my last beer fest, thank goodness.

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Adam, Andy, Natalie + Me. Don’t we look happy.

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What a great October Saturday.

We’ve been hanging out since, really, the beginning of October––but already so comfortable. I’m really thankful for their friendship already; while it DOES make for hard times focusing on getting school work done.

So, to that point I spend a lot of time with these faces.

Even more time with Andy.

Enough time for me to break my high-and-mighty post earlier this summer (ha) about not writing about relationships.

After all, that same post quoted:

“In the wise words of J-Biebs, ‘never say never.'”

Suffice to say, I’m adjusting as perfectly as possible to Boston–including finding a guy that I can’t stop talking about and spending time with. Andy’s just the best.

But that’s all you get for now. It’s still early, friends. And while I’d love to go about why the last month has been freaking awesome, I would get embarrassed and awkward. And I’m pretty sure if he knew I posted about it–he would be embarrassed too. In the meantime, I bet he makes more of the photos that get posted. And maybe with some time I’ll get more brave about writing.

A good segue to Halloween though? More fun. More friends. More missed sleep. More memories.

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I was a Brady. Can you tell which one? Iris, an angry bird.

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Paper towels a giveaway? Andy + Me.

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Still haven’t gotten it? Maybe I should’ve had my hairbrush out. . .

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Marcia + Tom Brady. Haha. I just realized that. And am now giggling. Too easily entertained. PS: That is a size-12 dress I altered the hour before. Home-ec victories!

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A League of Their Own player, Marcia + Legends of the Hidden Temple Contestant. Love.

We’re at Landsdowne Bar. The street is still a mess from the World Series WIN (another post about that later) and I’m walking around bare foot because my heels were killing my feet.

We had so, so much fun. Drinks. Dancing. So much dancing.

But the most surprising part of the evening was how few words my Boston friends knew to “Wagon Wheel.”  I immediately missed home and felt a giant responsibility to ensure that they all learned the lyrics as soon as possible.

Love them.

Last photo of friend love, stolen from Jeanna. November Project continues to be a happy spot of friendship & butt-kicking.

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Gotta love the no make-up, October already paleness.

These faces are all ones that are making sure that Boston feels a little more like home. And granted, it’s not that it needed that much help.

Dear North Carolina friends though, don’t be alarmed. You’re certainly still irreplaceable. And happily, I can say with certainty what date I’ll be home and expecting to see every single one of you. Mark your calendars, December 14th through January 6th. Better see your face!