Monday Morning Bus Jam: Week of November 2

Ok I’ll admit I was hooked on this song mostly for the music video… Nappy Tabs killin’ it yet again!

A Long Distance Royal on World Series Eve

Undoubtably one of the hardest parts about living abroad is the communities you remove yourself from. The ones that can’t be replicated in your new habitat are always somehow the same ones that came so easily to you at home.

Everyone in America has a general idea of who The Jayhawks are, The Royals, The Chiefs. People have heard of them, at the very least, and if they haven’t they’re the weird ones. Everyone in the tri-state area cheers them on, some more enthusiastically than others, but they’re on your side. Those who go to school with you, grew up a second or third generation fan, or simply love rooting for the local boys live and die by it. So there’s all levels of enthusiasm up for grabs. You can choose your watch party a la carte, because everybody knows all of the local boys. You grow so accustomed to sharing interests with everyone around that you simply expect it to continue wherever you go.

And then suddenly, you’ve dropped yourself into this Alien landscape where the only language they speak is Rugby instead of football, Cricket in place of baseball, the occasional NFL and NBA, but heaven forbid we discuss college sports because “they aren’t all stars.”

It’s the same feeling as when I’m trying to explain the internet to my grandma, or desperately trying to find a comparative love to show my roommates that equates to my need for new shoes. The party I’m trying to convince neither understands nor desires to in the slightest. They’re vastly uninterested and slightly confused by my entire thought process. And in the same way, I am baffled by their lack of loyalty.

A jersey is not a fashion statement, its a contract outlining your allegience. A baseball cap is meant to have a rounded bill, and don’t you dare wear merch from opposing teams at the same time.

These are golden rules, respected unwritten commandments passed down by generations of sports worshippers. A tiny part of me dies every time I see someone in a Lakers jersey with a Chicago Bulls hat.


As the national media continues to focus on all of the great things about Kansas City (for the first time possibly ever), and specifically on the Royals dream run to win the pennant and play in the Fall Classic for the first time in a generation- I find it bringing a tiny bittersweet edge to this amazing sports miracle that I’m witnessing.

When the Royals won the Wildcard game, people in Lawrence were spotted “sprinting to the hawk.” When they swept the Angels in the ALDS the team tweeted about the victory party location and then Eric Hosmer spent over $20,000 on an hour-long open bar for fans.

My watch parties are at 11am on a Monday (time difference problems) with my co-workers staring awkwardly at me as I squeak in response to every strike while maniacally typing in a spreadsheet . My conversations about batting order and Bullpen decisions come from twitter interactions. My celebrations consist of a beer or two in my kitchen after work.

Its a different life I lead now, and its why I have a newfound respect for those who voluntarily chose to move away from their tribe- weather its sports related or sorority sisters, a new language or a new cultural experience- we’re all just trying to find someone who “believes” right alongside us. 

We are Long Distance Royals

We are Long Distance Jayhawks too, and Long Distance Chiefs Fans. We’re long distance cheerleaders who define the opposite of being on a bandwagon. In other words, we’re this guy:

Blindly plugging away, preaching our message of hope and unrelenting optimism for the team that nobody knows about. The one that hasn’t been to the World Series in 29 years, the one that no one buys a jersey for “because its popular.” The one that doesn’t boast a huge payroll, or a long list of celebrity supporters (but props to you Paul Rudd, Rob Riggle, Jason Sudeikis, & Eric Stonestreet for being there through the good and the bad years).

The best example of this Long Distance KC Love of course, is seen in SungWoo Lee, the Royals Korean Superfan, turned fan favorite, turned in-person good luck charm. He is returning to the K for game one of the World Series(followed by a documentary crew led by Josh Swade of  the greatest 30×30 ever produced:”There’s No Place Like Home“). I have no doubt he will be met with a hero’s welcome at KCI this morning. The last time he was in town, the Royals swept the Giants.

So here’s to you, Long Distance anti-bandwagoners. The illegal online sports streamers, the late night/crack of dawn early game watchers, the ones who force everyone they know into their fandom, who bet on their team even when the chips are down, and publicly mock those wearing clothing branding the opposition’s logo (I’m looking at you random boy in a Cards hat).

Keep on keeping on. Keep on cheering for KC. Keep on living the dream, wherever you are ♥

Monday Morning Bus Jam: Week of October 20

Gin Wigmore has been one of my favs ever since I stumbled across “Devil in Me” about a year ago.

Check out “If Only” if you’re feeling dramatic.

Monday Morning Bus Jam: Week of October 13

Brb, throwing on my cowboy boots and dancing around the house in my bikini.

#LivewithKatieMo

Hello potential Roommate/Flatmate/House-sharing Person!

Congrats! You can stop looking now, because you’ve found the best possible roommate for {insert address here}.

I’m Katie from Kansas, I like kangaroos and alliteration. Obsessed with American Sport (watching not playing)I’m 25, professional, non-smoker, non-drama, looking for a place to share (private room only- no room shares please). I love living with other people because I love being around other people, but I also know everyone needs their own space. I cook a lot, I keep common areas clean, and occasionally have been known to bust out a dance move or two.

I come with a little kelpie pup named Moose, which is why I’m looking for a place with a yard!

But don’t just take my word for it! When former Roomies (both male & female) were asked about their experience living with me, they replied:
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What I’m looking for:

-my own private room
-A yard
-a bathroom- shared is fine
-a kitchen, with an oven
-10,000 bonus points for a dryer
-Roommates who don’t mind listening to the tales of my pathetic attempt at a love life
-rent < 400/ wk with bills included
-move in date ASAP
-wifi (will pay extra for this)
-A television

If this sounds like something you think you could roll with- message me at 434 082 578. Mention the hashtag #livewithkatiemo so I know where you got my number from.

RIP Big Red

Big Red
Jeep Cherokee
1997-2014

“More than a car, an American icon.”

It is with misty eyes we announce that our beloved Big Red Lottino has passed on to the tailgate in the sky otherwise known as Jeep Heaven. Born in 1997 in Indiana, Big Red was passed through the hands of many valiant Lottino’s who all loved him dearly. But his heart was eventually stolen by the littlest Jayhawk in the family: Lauren, in 2011. (This makes sense as Jayhawks are well known to be irresistible, & Lo was no exception).

After moving from Indiana, Big Red lived out three glorious years in LFK, where he called both the Ellsworth and Alpha Delta Pi parking lots home. He was known for his generosity, offering anyone who needed one a lift home. A giver at heart, Big Red also took part in many adventures- Big & Small- in service to the sorority and Ronald McDonald House Charities. He trekked through snow and ice, flash floods, and the dead heat of Kansas Summer- often in pursuit of fast food for famished females. Always a true gentleman, Big Red offered his services to any and all without transportation. He never objected to substitute drivers, although Lauren would always remain his favorite.

He was befriended by locals Edna, Leo, and Safe Ride. Towards the end of his time in Kansas, BR began to have night terrors, sometimes shouting out in his sleep at seemingly random hours of the night (to the dismay of his concerned tri-delt neighbors). He spent the remaining year of his life galavanting around Denver, CO where he once again followed the love of us life, Lo. The higher elevation of Colorado eased Big Ref into a peaceful sleep which he passed on from in August 2014.

Big Red is survived by his final soulmate- Lauren Lottino. He is mourned by many others in Indiana, Kansas, and Colorado.

When asked to recall their favourite memory involving Big Red, there were varied responses- not all appropriate for the internet, but one in particular stands out:

“We were driving Big Red the day we met Bill Self. That’s pretty momentous”
-Kay Riedl

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{Photos generously provided by Ashley Benson}

 

Staying in Syd

I was hoping to wait until my Visa information was more solidified to announce this, but due to some extenuating circumstances- its coming out now. So here it is: I’m staying. I’m staying in Sydney, in the city that’s stolen my heart, my soul, and a small portion of my tastebuds.

About a month ago I made the decision to try to find a job in my field that could also sponsor me on a more permanent stay in Sydney. This is such a great place to start a career in social media related jobs, and I knew I couldn’t go home without giving throwing every part of myself into it at warp speed. I told a limited number of close friends at home, but I wasn’t looking to jinx anything. The whole process was slightly daunting, as I only had six weeks left on my Working Holiday Visa, and deportation was looming. After a few interviews, and more than a few sleepless nights in the fetal position, I received an offer, and have accepted a job as a Community Manager with a company located on Darling Harbour.

This marks a huge new chunk of my life, and although I won’t be starting with an entirely blank canvas, the final product is an entirely different picture than what I had in my head. “A year abroad,” I thought, sounded adventurous but not out of the ordinary. I thought it would look good on a resume, allow me to live in summer season for almost an entire year, and be a great story for the grandkids. 365 days seemed like an eternity at the time (and for a while at the beginning I thought it just might take that long), but then suddenly I found myself at the end of July- and I’m not ready to go. All I’m ready to do is stay.

There are so many things that I will miss about Kansas, and of course my beloved LFK*. But while they don’t have cheddar cheese here, an appreciation for college basketball, cowboy boots, or BBQ- they do have many things we don’t have; Waterfront views from the office, 70 degree “winter” days, public transportation that can get me anywhere, a ridiculous amount of whiskey bars, and lets not completely breeze over the accent. So for now, I’m not coming home. The truth is, after only ten months Sydney has become yet another place I will forever see as home.

Olathe will always be my hometown, where I met my little brother, learned to ride a bike, marched in the parade and danced my heart out, full of Friday night lights and friends I would never forget.

Lawrence is where I got to make my own mistakes, and bounce back even stronger than before. It’s where I fell in love for the first time, where I Rock Chalk chanted, ADPi snapped, and Brickhouse sang “All I Want for Christmas is You” year round.

Sydney has a life all its own. It’s clean and bright and full of an energy that’s pushing me forward, and turning me into the person I’d want to see live my life, on my own rules.

I love you Kansas, you know I do. But I’m afraid it’ll be a while before I can drag myself away from this adventure, its proved just too tempting to leave behind.

*expect a full post on Larryville and all its beautiful details later

Golden Birthday

//Golden// def;

lustrous, shining : of a high degree of excellence : superb : prosperous, flourishing : radiantly youthful and vigorous : having talents that promise great success

Birthdays are one of my favorite thing to celebrate. This year was a golden one for each of my roommates; Kay turned 22 January 22, then Lauren turned 21 July 21, then I turned 23 on May 23. (Sorry Big Jack, only 3 more years until yours).

As far as celebrations go, this year was no exception. The difference for me was I spent it entirely with people I had never met- Hell, I’d never heard of- on my last birthday.

Thursday night I went out for a quiet dinner full of laughs, smiles, Margaritas, and LOADS of Mexican food. A perfect Country Road present, and I finished my night ready for my actual bday.

Friday morning I was greeted by birthday songs from Ivan & MC, a birthday banner and all of my packages from home. I was so incredibly touched by all the friends and family who took the time to send cards, candy, assorted Kansas memorabilia, and of course- BBQ sauce.

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I spent a few hours at the beach, listening to music and inhaling sour straps at warp speed. I got so many special shoutouts, texts, and one video message with a special birthday song that brought a tear to my eye. Then that night, I went out with friends from Base Hostel. Playing Goon Pong & dancing on sore feet at Frankie’s.

Saturday the boys had planned a surprise trip to my favorite beach- Bronte- complete with Barbeque and a chilly dip in some 10-15 foot waves! We went out again that night, this time to Scruffy Murphy’s, and ended the night with a walk to “Maccas.”

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Sunday Ivan & MC hosted a BBQ for me full of family, friends, and neighbors. The boys drank all their wine, when I left for a date. My night ended with a motorcycle ride across the harbor bridge during Vivid Light Festival (google it, it’s amazing).

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What a perfect birthday to start my golden year. I truly believe with all the little shining fibers in my heart that this is the year. Last year was full of new beginnings: graduation, mom’s wedding, moving overseas. These 365 days are for taking flight. A “radiantly youthful” time to explore the world and myself. So cheers to “talents that promise great success,” to patriotic acts, sparkly dresses, cheering on Bill’s boys in blue, falling in love & crash landing, reading new books on the train, solving mysteries, killing huge bugs, singing in my car with the windows down, and importing every amazing new person I meet into my circle of friends. Clinking all around to this lucky year ahead.

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An Ode to Em

I met Emily Riches because I had no other friends. That’s a fact. I had just moved to a new part of the city, a lot of my friends had gone home, and anyone who was left was too far or just couldn’t be bothered to see me anymore. Emily had lots of friends, both permanent and transient. She didn’t need any more. Which is why when I met up with her and went out for “pudding” (ice cream), I was a nervous wreck.

Do I look ok? What do I smell like? God if she’s even halfway normal I might just cry of joy.
(All Thoughts that ran through my Head)

What happened next was our whirlwind best-friendship. Em & I spent almost every day together up until she left just over 6 weeks later. She was there for me when I wanted to go rage, when I didn’t want to text a certain boy back, when I inevitably did text him anyway, when I freaked out because he didn’t answer me for a week, and when I called her the day he decided I was worth his time. 10,000 screenshots and 2567 Facetimes later- she’s gone back home to England and I am writing this post still in Oz. As promised, this is my ode to Em.

She has two speeds, fast and faster. Em doesn’t slow down for anything. Even when we’re laying around doing nothing but watching movies we were having full conversations + movie commentary + texting other people + skyping her gran + stuffing thai food in our faces + telling our life stories to each other. When she rarely sleeps, its only because her body has forced her into shut down mode.

Because of our newfound friendship, the little girls we watched also became fast friends. H & A chased each other in circles around Emily’s living room, while Em & talked ourselves in circles about our plans for every upcoming weekend. Every weekend was something different. I don’t think we ever did the same thing twice: Boat Cruises, Family Dinners with the Boys, Bronte Beach, Kangaroo feeds, a night at opera bar, Anzac day at The Wild Rover, Scary Canary, Easter brunch, pizza making, nights out in bondi, the south african rugby team, leaving IDs at home, Sex & the City marathons, Randwick Races, picnic in the park, King’s Cross, and ten thousand other things I’m no doubt forgetting.

What an amazing selfless, fun, smart, mature friend I had gained.

In the end, Emily didn’t need me to be her friend. She would have had the time of her life in Sydney without me. In the end, I needed her more than I ever could have known. So thanks Em. Thanks for saving my ass. I’ll see you soon.

xxxx Katie

Like Jamari Loves Reese’s

I’ve always been told not to measure my wealth in what a man says. And everyone knows that money isn’t everything. But what about your value as decided by your friends? Oftentimes, they do more to define us as people than anyone else. Family will always be there for you, but your friends are the family you choose.

My friends have brought so many wonderful things into my life. Whenever there’s a concert in town, I have at least one person who would love to see them. Kay will come to the country shows, Will for anything hipster, Hillary for the Hip Hop, or Lucy for Quiet Corral (RIP). When I don’t know what to wear, Lauren will style me- and then later I can wear the same thing around different people and pretend it was my idea. When I don’t know what to say, or what to do, there’s always someone there.

But what happens when one of them falls out of the picture? Well when you’re at home, you turn to the others. You meet new people, and you get over it. It stings, but it doesn’t burn.

When you’re somewhere else, far from home, what’s the etiquette for that? Because when you start over, you have one BFF for everything. Music, Makeup, Boys, Food, they do it all. You find yourself befriending hybrids of all of your home friends. Someone who loves dogs like Danyelle, but also knows basketball like Ashley.  Someone else who sings like Jackie & designs like Brenna. So when one goes missing, it feels like your heart has fallen out of your chest and into your stomach. Not one ventricle, a fully sized aortic pump is missing. And there’s no transfer in sight.

The loss of a friend will hurt no matter what the circumstance. Whether it is due to geography, physical health, betrayal, social climbing, or replacement. But to me, it hurts the most when you have nothing, and no one else there to help you put the pieces back together. I’ve had to learn to put them back together myself, which is something that I didn’t think- and sometimes I still think- I had the strength to do.

But at the end of the day, even if I can’t hug my friends with the force of T-Rob right now, I can love them as much as Jamari Traylor loves White Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups & I can hope that will always be enough for them. Because it’s enough for me.

 

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