how to get your crush to come to your NYE party

nye2009_titleIt was the end of 2009, Ke$ha’s ‘Tik Tok‘ was all over the radio, and I was hitting the peak of my college career. I was a super senior who had found my people that summer while working for JMU’s Orientation department. My O-team bestie, McKinzie, and I were throwing a NYE party and it was going to be perfect.

I was determined to snag my first NYE smooch at midnight, so I set out on a mission to get my crush to come to our party. What you are about to read is 100% directly taken from my gmail archives. This is the exact email I sent to get him to attend our party. Names have not been changed to protect parties involved because I am shameless.

Persuasive Essay by Jessica Lonett


so here are the official top “however-many-reasons-i feel-like” why you should come to harrisonburg for new years… in no particular order.


#1 there are going to be sparklers
#7.5 there are going to be yummy snacks… some of which i believe you might eat.
#43 the people currently attending are super awesome and you are super awesome too.
# -3 7/8  there are going to be disney princess waffles in the am… i don’t know if you like waffles, but if you don’t just think of  how giddy i will be eating disney princess waffles. 
# 17 this would be the perfect opportunity for you to bust out the jeff wu shirt for it’s first holiday appearance.
# 8 x 7 (aka 56) it’s not going to be a typical jmu party.. it’s going to be classy and fabulous.
# 3,890,365 i heard jess lonett is going to be there. i dont know if you know this but she’s kind of a big deal.


ok so i know those are some pretty sweet reasons and i’m sure you’re convinced, but just incase you need some amo to give to the parentals to convince them too i’ve given you some options:


option 1: you heard zombies are taking over richmond and you need to go to harrisonburg for safety!
option 2: you need to deliver some tickets for your show… which isn’t even a lie or exageration!
option 3: you want to be safe on nye and this way you wouldn’t be driving out on the road!
option 4: bruce springstein is going to be in harrisonburg and you really want to get an autograph for your dad.


feel free to combine 2 or more of these options if you don’t think one alone will do the trick.


there’s just one more thing that you could be concerned with. and that is getting to harrisonburg. i found this handy instructional video on how to teleport for you:


that might be kind of hard so you might have to end up resorting to a vehicle of some sort.


that’s it from me. if this hasn’t made mac & jess’s new year’s sparklin’ eve #1 for ringing in 2010 for andrew rohlk then i guess nothing will and i will see you on the 2nd. and if nothing else i hope you giggled a smidge.

I sent this email on this exact day, December 28th, in 2009.

This email went without a response for TWO ENTIRE DAYS. In that time frame I convinced myself that I ruined our friendship and he was never going to talk to me again.

Did Andrew end up coming to our NYE party? No, he did not, but we were dating NYE 2010 so maybe my email worked after all. Feel free to copy and paste this email to your crush this year and maybe you’ll have a date next year. 😉

For the record, the Disney Princess Waffles were amazing:
Princess Waffles



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Top 10 Albums of my Teens


I’m sure you’ve seen this Top 10 Albums from your teen years list going around the internet. When it comes to music and nostalgia there is zero percent chance that I wont participate.

Coming up with my list was a struggle because most of my teen years I didn’t listen to entire albums! This was the dawn of the Napster + mix CD era, so I primarily listened to singles. I think anyone who knew me in my teens would agree that this is a solid representation of who I was as an emo around the edges teeny bopper. #stilltrue

[Listen along here!]

Why did these albums make my list? I’m so glad you asked! Here’s a breakdown with more deets inside the mind of teenage Jess as the mind of 30 year old Jess remembers it.

1. The Click Five – Greetings from Imrie House
Favorite song: Friday Night
(Fun Fact: This was my first ringtone.)

the click five

Y’all!  I can’t even get all my feels out about The Click Five. My senior year of high school into freshman year of college I was straight OBSESSED with them. The summer between senior and freshman year of college I think my friends and I saw them live 4 times in 2 months or something ridiculous. I need to do a full post on The Click Five sometime soon because, damn, it was bonkers and I have such a happy place in my heart for this time in my life. Do I still follow all of them on social media? Yes. If you have no clue who these dudes are you might remember their biggest hit, “Just the Girl“.

2. Ashlee Simpson – Autobiography
Favorite song: Surrender


This photo is right before we all piled into my Chevy Lumina, Lela, and drove downtown for the Ashlee Simpson concert. (BTW this was the first time I discovered The Click Five, they were one of her openers!) I unapologetically still love this album. I loved the Ashlee Simpson show, she seemed so fun and spunky and just edgy enough for my rule following high school self. Honestly, the number of times I’ve copied Ashlee Simpson’s hair styles over the years should be embarrassing, but I just don’t give a fuck. My friends and I listened to this CD on repeat on the way to the Jersey Shore one summer. 17 year old bitter and single high school me really identified with these lyrics from Autobiography “right now I’m solo, but that will be changing eventually.” 😂

3. *NSYNC – No Strings Attached
Favorite song: Space Cowboy / It Makes Me Ill


Obviously *NSYNC had to make the list. You can see more about my *NSYNC obsession in this previous post I wrote. No Strings Attached is the album that made me decidedly TEAM *NSYNC in the war between *NSYNC and Backstreet Boys. This was Justin Timberlake’s best hair phase IMHO. This album showed us that *NSYNC wasn’t going to continue to be taken advantage of by Lou Pearlman and taught middle schoolers everywhere about cyber sex. What more could you want?!

4. Relient K – mmhmm
Favorite Song: My Girl’s Ex-Boyfriend

This is right before a Relient K show at Club Laga before it closed. We were in the very front row and Dave smiled at Ashley (left in photo) with a toothpick in his mouth. It was a very exciting moment for high schoolers. I’ve seen Relient K live more than any other band and they’re still a go-to when I’m having a bad day. Confession: I actually hated Relient K originally, but they won me over. I would still totally date Matt Theissen, who I like to think of as the blonde Adam Brody.

5. The Killers – Hot Fuss
Favorite Song: All These Things That I’ve Done
the killers_albums
This album came out my senior year of high school and my bestie Shan and I used to listen to it when she was tutoring me in AP Calc. I owe all those C’s I got to her 💜. A friend of mine recently made a post on Facebook that said, “Mr. Brightside by The Killers is the best rock n roll song of this millennium. Fight me.” and I can’t say that I disagree too much. This album is still so so so good. Walk the Moon covered “All These Things That I’ve Done” on their most recent tour and I lost my fucking mind. (Seriously do yourself a favor and watch it here.) I really think they should have considered using my expert level album art…

6. Jesse McCartney – Beautiful Soul
Favorite Song: Get Your Shine On
Senior year of high school my bestie, Ida, and I were OBSESSED with Jesse McCartney.  My dad took us to NYC when Jesse McCartney was on TRL and we stood outside with this poster we made out of 4 poster boards taped together. It was February and cold AF, but we laminated our poster and everyone was jealous of us because their posters were ripping.We were in the same graphic design class together and every project was based on JMAC. The shirts we’re wearing we made in that class. They say “I’d Come See Your Big Modern Loft Any Day” and they are based on this shirt that JMAC wore. I also dabbled in some really sweet photoshop in our graphic design class like this work of art: me and jesse black and white
7. Justin Timberlake – Justified
Favorite Song: Like I Love You
Obviously Justin Timberlake was my favorite member of *NSYNC so his solo album was an instant favorite. I went to the Justified Stripped tour featuring Justin and Christina Aguilera during her DRRRRTY XTINA phase and it was amazing! I remember driving to the movies to see The Ring and I made sure to have this CD in the car. I only had my permit so my dad was present along with my friends and crush, that boyband haired soccer player pictured #noshame. For the record my crush got really scared during The Ring and held my best friends hand instead of mine. It’s fine.

8. Simple Plan – No Pads, No Helmets… Just Balls
Favorite Song: I’d Do Anything


This album was so perfect for my teenage angst. There’s no one who knows the struggle of high schoolers like a bunch of Canadian early 20-somethings. We listened to so much of this album on band trips or in the car on the way to practice. Many songs from this album were AOL away messages and made it on mixed CDs when I was feeling sad about boys, which was always.  Simple Plan was also featured in the Mary Kate and Ashley masterpiece, New York Minute, which I was very into and currently own on DVD.

9. Jet – Get Born
Favorite Song: Rollover DJ / Get Me Outta Here

This was another album I used to listen to with Shan. “Get Me Outta Here” was basically our anthem for senior year. We were sooooo over high school and all the bullshit. Because, like, finding a date to prom is fucking exhausting.

10. Skye Sweetnam – Noise from the Basement
Favorite Song: Tangled Up In Me / Hypocrite

big modern loftsHere’s some more album art I created. This was a Skye Sweetnam + Jesse McCartney mashup. I honestly can’t tell if I made this in photoshop or MS paint which feels equally problematic and amazing. Skye Sweetnam was so much girl power and I love it. She was rebellious, but approachable. I really identified with her lyrics like, “Nerd, geek, super freak I’m a movie of the week.” 😂 This album was definitely about embracing who you are even if/especially if you’re different. Early 2000s “edgy” pop is the best.

Thank you internet trend for this nostalgia spiral that led me to this happy music-filled place. I’m a pretty big fan of Teen Jess and her musical tastes.

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My One Tree Hill Re-Watch: Season 1

I finally caved and decided to re-watch One Tree Hill. I have been putting this off for so long because there are 9 (!!!) seasons. I also tend to get a little addicted to binge watching.

This tweet is still 100% true. One Tree Hill is early 2000s perfection. The high school memories just flooded back with every moment of the show. And damn, so much happens in season one! Like, all the things I remember about One Tree Hill happen in season one.

Not going to lie, I got a little teary watching the opening credits for the first time.

The technology from 2003 is so fucking hilarious.

Selfies on a polaroid, because Peyton was the best prime-time punk rock princess ever.

Screen Shot 2016-05-15 at 12.21.42 PM

Doing a quick little Internet Search, y’all.

Screen Shot 2016-05-18 at 7.26.59 PM

Nathan snapping a 0.3-megapixel photo of Haley and Sheryl Crow, because even back then they knew that pics or it didn’t happen was the rule.
Screen Shot 2016-05-18 at 8.47.06 PM

I don’t know what is more retro about this photo, the classic Nokia phone, that Brooke is actually calling, or that it is titled “Brooke’s Cell” because they all still used their home phones too.

Screen Shot 2016-05-18 at 7.22.32 PM

These “Street Style” headphones that he was probably using with a discman.  Screen Shot 2016-05-14 at 7.08.25 PM

The early 2000s fashion is also so perfectly captured.

This random extra on the basketball team who is only in this episode. His hair + necklace combo and, maybe eyeliner (?!) is so much emo perfection.

Screen Shot 2016-05-15 at 12.17.14 PM

The entire cheerleading squad wearing different track suits.


The quotable moments from the show are killer. This gem is my favorite:

“I guess I’m just a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside a bitch.” — Peyton Sawyer

Oh and the soundtrack is beyond amazing. I’ve compiled my favorites from season one in case you’d like to stroll down a very emo memory lane. So many of the songs from this TV show were the ones on the mix cds my bestie, Ida, and I made.

I am so glad I’m re-watching One Tree Hill in all its glory. Season 1 gets a 10/10 in my book. Did you watch One Tree Hill back in the day? Are you a Brooke, Haley, or Peyton? I’m obviously a Peyton 😉

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10 Things I Would Tell My Freshman Year Self 10 Years Later

Last week JMU announced that incoming freshman found out their room assignments. It feels like just yesterday that I was chatting on AOL instant messenger with SummerLife4Ever, my future roommate. We would share Hanson Hall room 204B, had similar taste in movies, and obviously we were going to be besties. After seeing a tweet about the pros and cons of each hall I realized that 10 years ago I was an incoming freshman and I felt old. I mean, there’s been talk of a Seneca Valley 10 year high school reunion for months, but something about starting college TEN.WHOLE.YEARS. ago felt way different. Nostalgia took over and here I am. I’ve compiled a list of 10 things I would tell my freshman year self now, in no particular order.


1. Learn names. If you forget the girl’s name who sits next to you on the second day of your economics class reintroduce yourself then. It’s a lot easier to do that than desperately trying to decipher the name at the top of the test on opportunity costs and demand curves mid-semester.

2. Go to orientation events instead of parties the week before classes. Really cool events take place then, Matt Nathanson plays a concert and there’s late night breakfast, but a lame apartment party is happening every weekend from now until forever.

3. Peanut butter pie day is the greatest joy on earth. Treasure every bite of that peanut butter pie and the candy-colored D-hall plate that it comes on. Add rainbow sprinkles. The amount of times you have easy access to peanut butter pie as an adult is dismal.


4. Don’t have a crush on the first boy you meet. I know you think college is going to be a chance to meet dudes that are way more awesome than the lame guys from your high school, but these are just lame guys from other people’s high schools. Focus on developing your own interests and make some kickass friends. I promise you, you’ll meet some boys who think you are neat-o and you’ll hold hands and be in love and junk. Just don’t worry about it so much and stop trying to force it with every boy who has good hair and looks charming in the color green.

5. Don’t pose for pictures like you’re a badass. You’re not fooling anyone.


6. Talk to your college algebra teacher after you miss that test. I know that your high school teachers all tried to scare you and said things like, “Your college professor won’t blah blah blah”, but professors are people too and they aren’t that scary. You can at least explain your situation instead of taking a zero. She seems like a pretty understanding woman. You might not be able to get a re-do, but without asking you end up having to retake college algebra again as a senior to replace the D on your transcript and help your GPA out.

7. Don’t do shots in your dorm room. Or at all for that matter. The sooner you realize shots are never a good idea the better. If you have to be drunk to enjoy being at a party where all the lights are off and everyone is playing beer pong maybe find something else to do.


8. Major in something else. You get there eventually, but if you start out as a SMAD major you’ll save yourself the hassle of a dual degree and 18 credit semesters. Oh, you’ll also avoid the tears that two accounting courses cause. Maybe at least visit Career and Academic planning for some guidance. This could potentially prevent a quarter life crisis and I can’t tell you how much 25 year old you would appreciate this.

9.  Be patient with yourself. Freshman year isn’t your entire college experience. Don’t be so scared of being yourself. I know it’s harder than you anticipate being an out-of-state student since all the in-state kids seem to know everyone and even have upperclassman connections. It basically takes you the full year to adjust and that’s ok. Psssst, join WXJM — those are your people

10.  Make sure you are packed before your parents come to move you out. If your dorm room is a mess when Peggy arrives she is not going to handle it well. She doesn’t understand that you needed to play sand volleyball with your friends last night instead of packing. You’ll prevent tears from both sides and it will make leaving a little easier.


You are going to think your freshman year flew by. The next three (or four) years are going to go by even faster. 10 years later you still know that you are the person you are today because you had the experiences that took place on that campus and in that tiny town in Virginia with some of the most incredible people you have ever met.

ILY forever, JMU.

P.S. Embrace the skinny jean trend when it comes along. They are way better than the ill-fitting flare jeans from Hollister you are rocking. Embrace yoga pants as pants too. I know the sorority girls are doing it and you’re judging them, but they are onto something and your life will get exponentially better after accepting this.

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*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:

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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.



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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

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canceling netflix: the dawson’s creek effect

I can check off one of my Seasonal Moxie goals as complete!  There are a few reasons I wanted to cancel my Neflix account.  The main reason I got Netlix was because I didn’t have cable for the past two years, but now that I’m living at home and my parents have cable it seems silly to continue to pay for this when I can walk downstairs and find something mindless to watch on TV if I have the urge.  House Hunters? The Real Housewives of Wherever?  That 70s show?  At any point in time during a 24 hour span I am certain one of these options is available.

The more important reason is what I am going to refer to as “The Dawson’s Creek Effect”.  I just finished watching all six seasons of Dawson’s Creek.  Pegs wouldn’t let me watch it when it was originally on, so I had only ever seen random re-runs here and there.  I knew the general story, but wanted to watch the entire thing.  Plus, I had visited Wilmington, NC,where filming took place, this summer and thought it’d be neat-o to see where I had been while watching.

The thing with The Dawson’s Creek Effect is its potent combination of nostalgia and easy access that traps you before you’re even aware.  The late ’90s early ’00s fashion, teen angst, and relatability of a twenty-something you didn’t have when when you were watching the first time is all right there.  You can now identify with the college years your high school self couldn’t. All of these things rope you in and before you know it you’ve just spent your Saturday watching 6 episodes of Dawson’s Creek and haven’t had anything to eat or drink besides the coffee you made before you hit “watch next episode” the first time.

I knew if I didn’t cancel my subscription now The Dawson’s Creek Effect would get me again in the form of One Tree Hill or Buffy the Vampire Slayer.  For now if I am craving some of that nostalgic TV I will just re-watch The OC or Gilmore Girls I have on DVD.  I mean changing the discs at least makes you question how long you’ve been watching compared to the next episode will start in 15 seconds feature Netflix uses to exploit your self control.


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throwback playlist: college mix

I recently helped Andrew’s little sister move into her dorm at JMU for her freshman year.  That dorm just happened to be my dorm from eight years ago when I was a freshman.  As I walked across campus I felt an odd sense of calm.  I didn’t wish I was starting my college experience all over again, but I was really excited for what was in store for all these little babies moving in.  I was also pleasantly surprised no FROGS mistook me for a freshman.

Last week when I was driving back from a long weekend in Pittsburgh I busted out some old mixed CDs I keep in my car.  I popped in the one titled “College Mix” and I was instantly taken back to Hanson Hall fall 2005.

Warning slightly to extremely embarrassingly mix follows:

After listening to this mix I realized I was a lot more emo than I remember being.  I swear I had a great time my freshman year, but I do remember how difficult my transition was at the beginning.  I vividly remember talking to a friend from high school while sitting on the steps outside my dorm during a fire drill trying to explain why I didn’t feel like me.  I was also reminded of all the times my roomie and I danced to Love and Memories.

I love how so many memories are tied to this little mix I made during my first semester freshman year.  I love seeing how much I’ve grown and changed since then.  I think that’s where my sense of calm came from while walking across campus.  I appreciate my time at JMU for what it was for me at that time and who I’ve become because of it.

** The photos are from freshman year.  I’d like you to have a visual of  19 year old Jess Lonett of the past to picture listening to this mix.  You should also picture her listening to this mix on a pink discman.**

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significant shirts.

Over the years there have been many significant shirts in my life.  Some of these shirts go back to high school, so please buckle up for this nostalgic journey down memory lane.  It might be worth your while, but probably only if you’re super bored or if you, too, have worn one of these shirts in your life.

The first shirt, or shirts, are my SV Pom Pon t-shirts & hoodies.  I remember practicing for try outs before my freshman year of high school.  The two main reasons I wanted to make the squad my freshman year was because one of my friends was going to be a senior so this was the only chance of being in the marching band together, and the other reason was that I wanted the shirts with my name on the back.  I didn’t care about the sequined uniform and white boots.  I wanted the t-shirt with my name on the back.

The Frog shirt is a JMU icon.  For those of you who aren’t lucky enough to have gone to JMU, a Frog is a First Year Orientation Guide.  Those yellow shirts are remembered each year by incoming students for the way they swoop in and help carry in all the mini fridges and the Frog dance.

The next shirt is the older sibling to the Frog shirt, the Orientation Peer Adviser polo.  Please see the above photo of the striped polo.  That was the polo used for years previous to the year I was an OPA.  They switched to a new polo and there had to be a team meeting about it.  People were not pleased with this change and there might have been tears involved, I can’t remember.  We eventually got over the switch and learned to love our new polos.

My Rocktown Rollers jersey is what inspired this little trip down memory lane and all the significant shirts that have come before it.  Again with the name on the back like the SV Pom Pon t-shirt. I had to wait almost a year and a half after joining the Rocktown Rollers to put that jersey on and officially go by Clarissa Pains It All.

When I got to wear my jersey and play in my first bout with the team in May I felt like the shirt is what made me an official part of the team.  Then I thought back to a conversation I had with my OPA, the dude in the striped polo photo.

Me: I feel like I have this power to be a super hero when I put this shirt on.
OPA: You don’t need to be wearing the shirt to have those powers.  You already had them before you put the shirt on.

All those years I thought I was working towards getting the shirt so I could have the power behind it. In reality the shirt doesn’t hold the power, I already do.



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