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A new playlist to spark new beginings

It's not just my Birthday last Wednesday giving me itchy feet (in that "Let's get out of here!" sort of way). There's something magical about spring finally springing and tonight's New Moon in Aries. I've compiled some songs to celebrate the light, the dark, and the creating of something brand new. 

 

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On The Road With The Feral Folk: Bastion Brewing Company

 

We’re not exactly your traditional travel bloggers, but since Jeff, Nick, and I get to visit some extraordinarily wonderful little places off the beaten path, I thought it would be nice to share not only our stories, but our experiences of the places themselves.  It’s always been one of my favorite parts of this job that I get to a) go on road trips and b) try delicious things. Thanks to traveling with my music, I know where to get good coffee, beer, cocktails, wine , and food in towns you didn’t know you wanted to stop in.  Since we just played a show and Bastion Brewing Company last Saturday, that seems as good a place as any to start.

When we first pulled in to the parking lot for Bastion Brewing Company I briefly wondered what the hell I had signed us up for. On one side an expansive golf course rolls eloquently off into the see-able distance, one the other a distinctive and surprising building sits nestled next to a gas station pump. It was apparent immediately, Bastion wasn’t like other breweries we had played.

 

As you enter Bastion the first thing you realize is that quite brilliantly they have separated the food counter from the beer counter which is pretty dang brilliant if you think about it. How many times have we all had to wait behind someone ordering multiple appetizers, a few dinners, AND multiple drinks.  Creating counters for each cuts down on crowding and speeds up everything substantially.  It also allows the evening to flow more organically. Someone coming in for a drink at 5 doesn’t have to know in advance that they will be hungry at 5:45, then seek out the wait staff, look at a menu, and wait for someone to come around. Instead, they can just walk right up to the food counter. The nice folks there will give you one of these nice table number things and bring your food around when it’s ready.

 

Some of you may not know this but Jeff actually brews beer (and Nick actually has a culinary background) which undoubtedly influences some of the venues we go out of our way to reach out to.  Here, Jeff is enjoying the Oatmeal Stout which was on Nitro. When I asked him about it later his response was an emphatic “I would go back for that any time”

From a musical standpoint, Bastion is one of the few places we’ve played outside of Seattle that has an honest to goodness STAGE.  We can only practice and do our best on stage, and poor sound proofing or out of date equipment can decrease the quality of the sound with little we can do to improve it, which is why we are EXTREMLY EXCITED when it’s clear that a venue has invested a little bit of money to ensure that the performers sound as good as possible.

All in all, the whole evening was a wonderful experience. We’d certainly love to come back any time and would recommend it as a surprising and delightful destination or as a stop on your way to the San Juan Islands or Bellingham.  We only ask one thing. As you’re relaxing with your beer and food, remember the nice folk band that pointed you so surely towards a good time.

Until the next adventure,

Allie LaRoe.

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The Magic of Resiliancy

When I’m feeling freaked out by life and all of its insecurities, I have a secret weapon that resets my inner monolog: Witchy Smut. (Paranormal Romance if you prefer).

 My favorite authors have mastered the creation of indomitable characters who juggle demon slaying and rent paying with wry wit and unshakable courage. They get knocked down, beaten up, suffer defeats, feel the pain and just keep trying. Whatever I’m facing in “the real world”, I’m able to reframe it as part of my adventure. After all, conflict is part of every great story and I’m the kind of girl that isn’t satisfied unless that’s what I’m living.

Right now, I have a lot of freedom to restart my life for the first time in years and it is simultaneously exhilarating and terrifying (and sad, but I’ll go into that more in another post).  I’m not tied to any location, or job, or person. I know who I am and what I want in a way I haven’t in the past, and I have a good idea of the kind of life that would make me most happy with plenty of space to make that a reality. I also need to find a place for Smokey the Cat and I to live (can’t couch surf forever) and in order to do that I need to once and for all master the monster that has been beating me up for years: Money.

About five years ago, Money completely KO’d me. I had to move out of a place in disgrace unable to pay any bills or feed myself, convinced that I was a terrible person and deserved to be hated by everyone.  To say that I am terrified of that happening again is an understatement. I think that’s why I avoided this re-match for as long as I could.  I have personal experience with things not working out. I hear stories of artists unable to make ends meet more often than I hear of success stories. It feels preposterously cocky to even set myself down this path again at 30 years old.

My favorite heroes always grow from their mistakes and then they try again, over and over, until their monsters are slayed, their rent paid, and their love interests laid.  Maybe fantasy always works out smoother and faster than reality, but there is a magic to resilience. It communicates to the world "even as unprepared and vulnerable as I am, I believe that there is a different way to experience my life and I will sacrifice my immediate comfort to get there.  The trick is, you have to genuinely be willing to let go of all the assurances and safety that you know. You've got to trust that you will be transformed and not consumed.

Here I am again, on the verge of a break through or a breakdown.   It’s not repeating the same mistakes and expecting a different outcome (like my judgmental ego voices keep saying) because I’ve learned from the last time I was here. This is the pivotal cross roads between laying the foundation for the life that best suits me or tumbling along allowing myself to be shaped by the world.  Whatever comes next, I choose sovereignty.

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