exploring vulnerability and transparency one bath at a time

Tag: Stability

Andrew and Liz

Andrew and Liz


Date of Interview: November 11, 2016

Names: Andrew and Liz

Ages: 29 and 31

Pronouns: He/Him and She/Her

Location: Washington, DC


How often do you bathe or shower?

Liz: Every day.
Andrew: Whenever necessary. As infrequently as possible.
L: Sometimes I have to ask you to do it.
A: It never occurs to me. To shower. So I usually have to be told. So I’m not thrown out by society ::laughs::.

How does it feel to be in a bath?

Andrew: This is nice.

If you were an underwater creature, which one would you be?

Andrew: Crab. Because I’m crabby.
Liz: You are very crabby. I think I would be a sand dollar. They used to be all over the place where I grew up in Maine and now they’re being pushed out by climate change. You never see them. Now, when I see them it’s this treat.
A: When people see you it’s a treat, because you’re rare? Is that the idea?
L: Sure, that’s right.

What are you passionate about?

Andrew: I’m passionate about music, about art and politics. I am passionate about playing music, writing music, performing music, listening to music. I’m passionate about other people’s art, art that is interesting, art that speaks to truth. Art that revels to me a truth that I had previously not known.
Liz: Being a part of a community that is improving the world. And I do that in a few different ways. I feel very passionate about the DC arts community. I also care immensely about social justice issues. We have so many opportunities to improve other people’s lives. I see it as my obligation to open people’s eyes however I can, through writing and photo and video, by putting stories out into the world to help people understand how simple it is to help other people.

What are you afraid of for the world?

Andrew: Letting fear dictate policy. Letting ignorance dictate policy. Lack of empathy.
Liz: Yeah, lack of empathy is a big one. There’s so many people who lack empathy and we’re so fundamentally disconnected right now. I’m really scared of how I feel disconnected from this huge portion of my country. With the work that I do I meet people who are really struggling. I’m terrified about that lack of empathy continuing to grow and grow and grow.

Do you feel, as creative types, that the two of you have created a world that you can thrive in?

Liz: Absolutely.
Andrew: That’s the goal at least. And it’s good. About 90% of the time.
L: I think that’s one of the reasons why we found each other and connected as a couple. We both have a world view where we want to contribute…
A: …in a positive way.

What do you think of relationships? Platonic, sexual and otherwise.

Andrew: They’re necessary. They’re absurd. They’re messy. They’re chaotic but they’re 100% necessary. We need each other.
Liz: They make you grow. They bring you joy. They bring you sadness and sometimes that’s a good thing. They push you in directions you don’t expect. You wind up in new places. I’m about to go on a ten-day trek through the wilderness literally at the end of the Earth, and it’s because of my relationship with a lady friend. She was like “hey you want to go do this” and I told her that I’ve never even considered that, so, okay, let’s do it.
A: I think one of the reasons I love music is because it allows you to form relationships with people that would be extremely difficult otherwise. You can connect with people who you’ve never met before. As a performer, connecting with an audience. As an audience member with another audience member sharing a passion over an artist. Or an audience member connecting with a performer. One of the great things about it is you can connect with people across social boundaries. Across race or across gender or whatever, that’s one of the things that excites me so much about it. Is the ability to connect other people and form relationships.

What is something that you struggle with?

Andrew: Excessive self-analysis ::laughs::. That’s something I struggle a lot with.
Liz: Being comfortable with the unknown. I’ve had a lot of movement in my life. I moved every year or two until I was in high school. As an adult I’ve continued that lifestyle. I think sometimes I get a little freaked out when I don’t have a plan. Or my plans get changed.

What is something that brought you joy today?

Andrew: Going to an art museum and seeing art that was interesting and from a perspective that I don’t often see. That brought me joy.
Liz: We were on our way to the art museum… just flying down the street on our bicycles and the wind was in my hair … it just felt so good. We were on our way to do something we love. And in that moment, I felt really happy.

Meredith Scherer

Meredith Scherer

Date of Interview: August 23, 2016

Name: Meredith Scherer

Age: 26

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

Location: Chicago, IL


How often do you bathe or shower?

Not often enough… Sometimes I’ll shower when I don’t swim in Lake
Michigan. Usually I swim in Lake Michigan after work so I don’t feel
the need to shower when I get home.

What are you passionate about?

I’m really passionate about sustainable agriculture and making good
food accessible to people everywhere, especially in large cities like
here in Chicago. I think that produce, a lot of times travels sooooo
far that it loses its nutritional value. For example, when you pick
things fresh, the vegetables have natural omega 3s that dissipate
within 48 hours so really, you get the best nutrition from plants when
you eat them in the first 48 hours. And with all of the science coming
out now with nutrition health and avoiding big pharmaceutical
companies and food as medicine, it’s more and more important that
people get their food from fresh places and I don’t want local food to
be something where only rich white people can afford it. It needs to
be something everyone can afford and we need to figure out systems to
take the unused space in our cities and use them as growing power to
feed people and have healthier life styles.

Do you think the way you were brought up impacted this awareness and passion?

Oh yeah, absolutely. My grandparents were farmers on my mom’s side and
my mom had a vegetable garden while we were growing up so you know,
one of the things I learned early on is the taste difference between
the store bought tomato and the tomato that you grow at home. And it’s
really incredible to see that and that also translates to things like
a carrot. When was the last time you picked a carrot and ate it versus
ate one out of a plastic bag. Cuz I bet you the one you just picked is
going to taste better.

What are you most afraid of for yourself?

I really hate to say this… But I am a Capricorn and I know that I
work a lot and am concerned about money… But I’m afraid that I won’t
make enough money to feed myself or put a roof over my head sometimes.
And that’s always been a really real fear for me for pretty much all
of my adult life. Like, I wish that wasn’t my biggest fear ::laughs::.
I think there’s way more things to be afraid of than something as
silly as money but it’s really real to go hungry and it’s really real
to get kidney stones from eating only beans and rice. And then have to
deal with medical bills. I live a pretty unique lifestyle that doesn’t
always provide me with the most money. Yeah, that’s my biggest fear.

What’s your biggest fear for the world?

Honestly I’ve been thinking a lot about the internet and our google
searches and our Facebook feeds and how everything is optimizing to
give us what we want to see. Instead of what we don’t want to see. And
I think in some ways, that’s true. I don’t want to see people
defending cops who shoot people of color in the street and so I’m
guilty of unfriending some people on Facebook but I think our google
searches, Google wants us to be satisfied with what we search for. And
I think that’s pushing us all into a really big internet and knowledge
bubble that we might not be able to break free of. I want people to be
able to persue information that might put them a little bit out of
their comfort zone. Obviously I don’t want it to trigger anything, but
I think that’s a different circumstance and I want to specifically say
that we need to look at information and facts that put us outside of
our comfort zones. And kind of bring us to another section of our
thought processes of our humanity.

What is your love language?

Ooooo. I think my love language is actually German. It’s weird because
I went to Germany during a time in my life where I didn’t have a lot
of confidence and I had to explore this new foreign place with a
different culture by myself and learn the language and do a lot of
things for myself and that was really empowering. And I think of
German as a different section of my brain actually. Like, I think
differently when I think in German than I think in English. And I
think that all of those positive things that happened in my life
around the time I went to Germany caused kind of a euphoric sensation
when I speak German with people, because I feel like I’m really

Is traveling important to you?

Yeah, traveling is really important to me, I actually just signed a
lease and that really freaked me out. Cause it means I have a
commitment to be in one place for a full year. But I really like my
job, so I guess that works out. But… I think that staying in one
place or even just one neighborhood in a city can kind of get you
stuck in your own bubble or own world and traveling is a really great
way to go out and reconnect with the world and reconnect with people
in a way that you probably wouldn’t at home.

Sophie McTear



Date of Interview: May 13, 2016

Name: Sophie McTear

Age: 21

Pronouns: They/Them/Their

Location: Washington, DC


What did you want to be as a kid?

Okay, this is really funny, but when I was a kid I told my dad that I wanted to be Darth Vader. Uhh, then I chose that I wanted to be an astronaut. And then for a while when i was a little bit older I wanted to be a fashion designer. For like, a long time. I had dreams of going to FIT in New York City and I watched A LOT of Project Runway. Uhh-ummm, yeah I think that’s about it.

How often do you shower or bathe?

I bathe more often than I shower, probably. Mainly since I work at Lush and bath bombs are a real thing. Every couple days usually. Maybe every other day? Yeah.

What are you passionate about?

Umm… Yeah, I mean I am pretty passionate about my job at Lush. I mean I love the ethics behind the company. But, as far as what I’m super passionate about… My art. Umm, I’ve been pretty bad lately because I haven’t been super passionate about, like, causes. I feel like I used to be a lot more when I was younger, but I think it’s that I haven’t had the time to devote myself to causes. I’m really passionate about music. Music and art are probably my biggest passions. Go figure.

Since creating work is one of your big passions, are there any projects that you’re really excited about currently?

Umm, let me think. Yeah, I mean, I did the 9:30 Club poster which was pretty cool. I got to go to the event for that at the Lincoln Theater and the executive producer shouted out my name in front of a full audience which was super awesome. umm, yeah I did a poster the other day for this band, Brnda, for a show at Comic Ping Pong and it’s actually of this photo of me when I was in Richmond last year, of me trying on pigeon head masks. And I used that picture for this template and drew on top of myself and made it a poster. Which is pretty cool. A water color pigeon head, it’s awesome. ::both laugh::

So the opposite of what you’re most passionate about. What are you most afraid of for yourself?

Oof. I’m afraid of a lot of things man. You know, I’ve always been afraid of financial stability. I think, like, financial instability I should say. I think that that’s a huge trigger for my anxiety. I think that growing up, that’s always been the biggest sense of turmoil for my family, and I’ve had a lot of bad things happen to me because of money and it always is nerve wracking for when my bank account is really low and the fear of not being able to make it… I always do, but yeah, I guess the think I’m most afraid of is not being successful, financially wise. I think I know I’m going to do well, but it’s always hard to like, feel like you’re doing well and being rewarded fiscally for it. It’s kind of shitty that that’s what it comes down to, but to be secure and safe, you need it. So it’s always been a balance of working and doing my art and things like that.

An offshoot of the prior question, what are you most afraid of for the world?

Oh god man, Donald Trump. Umm, i mean yeah, i guess intolerance. And you know, sometimes I feel like we’re coming up and getting better as a society. You know there’s things we’re improving upon, but there’s so much more that we have to do. Look at the bathroom bill that’s happening and everyone is saying, “Oh, gay marriage is legal, so everything is fine. We no longer have to fight for LGBTQ rights.” Like, I have to fucking fight for my right to use my preferred gender pronouns. I’m also pretty scared about global warming. For me that’s less tangible, I understand it less I think, but through working for Lush I have more of a grasp on what the implications are with what we’ve been doing to the earth.

Who do you love?

Whoooo do I love…? I deeply and profoundly love my friends. I think that’s like, I had to learn a lot of ways that I’ve had to build my own family. Um, and I surround myself with people who make the most of my life and make me happy and keep me positive. My close friends, my roommate, my brothers. I also care about my brothers a whole lot. They are some of the most important people to me. They are actually who I thought of first. I have two brothers, and they are amazing and I love them very much. Yeah, I think that’s the most important.

Who loves you?

I would hope the same people that I listed ::laughs:: I also think my coworkers care for me a lot. It was really unique for me to find a place that was so caring and understanding of the things I’m going through. I’ve had a lot of jobs where I was either sexually harassed, or… things just weren’t understood, and I had to suck it up and put a smile on my face. Which is a life lesson, I guess. In some aspects, i guess. But I love working in a place where I feel safe and cared for, and respected. And my coworkers are really trying hard, every single day, to improve themselves, and like, I am too. I am looking to understand them and better understand myself, in the ways that we think and the ways that we work which is pretty cool. I also know that my family loves me, and my friends.

What do you think of death?

ohhh-hoooo, loaded question. I don’t like to think about it very much. Yeah, I mean I get really scared at the idea that things are finite and get really afraid that, kinda tying back to what we were talking about before, that what I’m going to do on this earth won’t matter and I’ll be forgotten or something like that. I know it won’t matter, I’ll be dead… Like nihilism and stuff like that. i don’t know. Nihilism always scared the shit out of me. Whenever anyone would say, “It doesn’t matter, we all die anyways.” I would say, “FUCK THAT, uncool.” That just gives me even more reason to do something, you know what I mean? We only have so much time. I guess that’s… ::soft chuckle:: I’m scared of death. I don’t like that idea. I haven’t had that many people who are close to me die, only a couple of people who really matter. The rest of the ones that died didn’t really matter. Nooo, just kidding. Uhh, my grandfather who I was very close to passed away about four or five years ago. I was really close with him, and ended up getting a tattoo for him and everything. Which, he is really the only person that I’ve gotten a tattoo for. I’ve gotten tattoos with people, but that was really a memorial piece for me. I had a couple friends from high school who have passed away. One overdosed on heroin, which was really scary and kind of like… a wake up call, I guess. In the way it can happen to anyone. It’s hard to think about, but it’s one of those things.

What are your thoughts on sex?

Sex. I love it. yeah, i like sex. Sex is great. Sex is great if you have it with someone who is supportive and very attracted to and compatible with. And I think that’s something that I’ve learned recently, is that you’re not always sexually compatible with everyone. I’ve had the worst experiences with that shit ::laughing:: it wasn’t that it was bad, like the sex wasn’t great but this guy was super transphobic. He kept calling me “she” and “her” and “lady” and I told him, “this is something that I’ve talked to you about and I don’t like being called that, and I don’t appreciate that.” He said, “Well we just fucked, and you have a vagina, so fuck you. You’re a girl.” It felt so unreal. So yeah, the moral of the story is don’t let strangers into your apartment. I guess what I’ve had to learn is that you’re not always going to be compatible with everyone, and you should be sure to take care of yourself. You’re doing things that make you happy. Things that make you happy sexually. Things that make you feel good because you feeling good is what matters.

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