Austin Eavesdropper is written by me, Tolly Moseley.

I am half writer, half aerialist.

Austin Eavesdropper has had many guises over the years, but these days, it’s mostly a place to share stories from my life, from exhibiting shockingly poor table manners to a secret artist I once met named Ray. I also trot out bizarre little thought experiments from time to time, like thinking about my personal relationship to clothing, thinking about the benefits (and drawbacks) of broadcasting your life on the Internet, and thinking entirely too much about my cat.

Basically, it’s a very random blog.

I am married to a music school teacher named Ross, whom I am utterly crazy about:


Ross & Claudia.

In between writing and aerial, I also teach yoga at my home studio, at Four Elements in downtown Austin, and sometimes at Travaasa Spa in the hill country. I received my yoga certification from my hands-down favorite studio in town, Dharma Yoga, and would love to tell you about it if you’re thinking about becoming a yoga teacher (and if you live in Austin, you probably are thinking about becoming a yoga teacher).

As I write this, May 2014, Ross and I are getting ready to welcome a human being that we made into the WORLD. How crazy is that? (Statistically, not very.) We are terribly excited, somewhat naive, and very hormonal. I have no doubt I will bombard the blog with pictures of this creature, though I promise to try and keep it within reason.

Other facts about me?

I co-host a culture podcast at the Austin American-Statesman called “Statesman Shots.” I’m a big dork for books, and have undergone my female-over-the-age-of-30 rite of passage by joining a book club. I am an English PhD dropout (case in point: had to Google “dropout” just now to see if it needed a hyphen). I never use emoticons on my blog and confess to judging those who do, but, my text messages are littered with more emojis than a sugar-addled, 12 year-old schoolgirl. I am a total Austin stereotype in my devotion to both kombucha and Whole Foods; an Austin reject in that I suck, hard, at gardening. As well as biking.

I have a thing for Wayne Coyne. I usually dress up as men for Halloween. I have no Texas accent but will defend to my death the usage of “y’all” as a proper English language contraction. And I am very happy to have you here!

1. Where did the name “Austin Eavesdropper” come from?
Mostly because I am always embarrassing my husband by listening to other people’s conversations in public. So in a way, it’s semi-autobiographical.

2. I’m reading your blog’s tagline. What is “The Violet Crown?”
This is a lesser-known nickname for Austin that’s gotten more popular in recent years. O. Henry, who used to live here, wrote this in one of his short stories:

“The drawing-rooms of one of the most magnificent private residences in Austin are ablaze of lights. Carriages line the streets in front, and from gate to doorway is spread a velvet carpet, on which the delicate feet of the guests may tread. The occasion is the entrée into society of one of the fairest buds in the City of the Violet Crown.”

Now isn’t that lovely? The Violet Crown is also the name of one of my favorite local movie theaters.

3. How did you and your husband meet?
We were both teachers at an alternative education school here in town. He was the kids’ music teacher, and I was their yoga teacher.

4. Where do you write?
The Austin American-Statesman, CitygramSalon.com, and most recently for TheAtlantic.com on their health section.

5. I want to be a freelance writer too! How do I do that?
I’ve got a post on that topic here, but to summarize: Write for free (at first), hone your beat, gather clips, leverage smaller writing outlets for bigger writing outlets.

I should also say that freelance writing for a living is (for me) part journalism, part copywriting. Which I know doesn’t sound as sexy as straight-up magazine/newspaper writing, but is freaking wonderful (again, for me). I truly do love helping people find their textual voice, and have serious geek affection for a good pun.

If you have a need for a copywriter / copyeditor, write me. For examples of my work, check out my professional writing website here.

5. Wait. What the hell is an “aerialist?”
An aerialist is a dancer who performs on any number of rigged apparatuses, from silks, to rope, to static trapeze, to chains. My main apparatus is aerial silk (some call it “fabric” or “tissue”), though I’ve also performed on aerial hammock and have just started training on lyra. I’m dying to try rope!  (I’m not dying to try chains.)

I perform with an aerial company called Rapt Aerial Dance, which was founded in late 2013. We are dancers for hire, and have performed for everyone from Willie Nelson to Mack Brown, wedding parties to church congregants. We also offer aerial champagne bartending!

I got into silks in 2011 as part of a New Year’s resolution, and started taking classes at Blue Lapis Light. I became completely obsessed, and hope to perform for a really long time.

6. What camera do you use?
A Canon Rebel XS. It’s the perfect entry-level camera once you’re ready to graduate out of pocket-sized digital minis, and very affordable as far as grownup cameras go. I also own a Polaroid that I keep meaning to use more often, but I’m very bad at remembering to buy film.

7. You used to do blogger get-together parties, right? Are there anymore on the horizon?
It’s true! From 2009-2010, I organized and co-hosted four “Bleet-Up” parties (i.e., “blog” + “meet-up” = “bleet-up.” In retrospect, we probably could have picked a different name). They ranged in attendance from 100 to 700 people, and were held at various Austin locations from The Mohawk to the rooftop of Whole Foods Downtown. But then I decided that event planning was really stressful and I stopped.

8. I’m visiting Austin for the first time. What should I see and visit?
Citysearch once hired my friends and me (along with a surprise celebrity guest!) to answer that very question, and here is what we said:

9. Who designed your blog?
Amanda Johnson of Freckled Nest.

10. Hey, didn’t I see you on YouTube?  The Hungry Channel?
You did! I used to co-host a show called “Hungry In,” a show about local eating in New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Austin. I was the Austin host and you can watch my episodes here and here.

(Unless, um, you saw a happy birthday video I made for my friend Kathryn.)

11. I’m interested in sponsoring your blog. How can I do that?
You’re awesome. And, there’s info on sponsorship here.

  • Julie @ Sugarfoot Eats

    Hi Tolly!!  I just discovered your blog as I’m moving to Austin in 2 weeks & reading local blogs.  Love the 10 Ten Things to do in Austin VLOG.  So cute!

    • http://www.austineavesdropper.com Tolly Moseley

       Hey Julie, welcome!  (To my blog and to Austin!) You will love it here.  Where are you moving from?

    • http://www.austineavesdropper.com Tolly Moseley

       Hey Julie!  Welcome!  You will love it in Austin.  Where are you moving from?

  • http://kuhmillion.com/ KuhmillionBeth

    Tolly! That video is so adorable! Love it. Great suggestions, too! : )

    • http://www.austineavesdropper.com Tolly Moseley

       Thanks Beth!

  • ChelleLynn

    Random question: do you believe that your MA in Lit has helped you in your career? Would you do it again knowing what you know now?

    • http://www.austineavesdropper.com Tolly Moseley

      Hey Chelle, those are excellent questions.  Even though I’m not in academia anymore I’m inclined to say yes to both.  Here is why:

      1. My MA has definitely made me stand out at interviews, even when job was only loosely connected to literature / the humanities.  I think it demonstrates to employers that you have “topical endurance,” i.e., are able to focus on singular projects for long stretches at a time.

      2. I was a TA all through grad school, and taught intro. composition to freshmen students.  That DEFINITELY helped me become a better public speaker, a skill I’m just now able to appreciate. 

      3. Full disclosure: The biggest reason I would do it again was that I had a full ride. For which I am extremely grateful. I had a tiny teaching stipend and lived with two roommates to make it work financially, but it was two years of my life that someone was paying me to live in California.  I got to visit San Francisco every weekend, work at a magazine in Sacramento, make the most amazing friends … these things have nothing to do with my studies, but they’re the reasons I would do it again in a heartbeat. 

      Are you thinking of applying to grad school, Chelle?  If so, my biggest piece of advice would be to apply somewhere that seems like a fun place to live.  This is probably unorthodox counsel for would-be grad students, but when I was applying, I wanted to try living somewhere outside of Texas and I’m go glad I did.  It’s incredibly hard to get a job in academia and I did become very jaded while I was there about the true purpose academia serves in our society (which is why I left early and stopped at the MA, rather than finishing my PhD), but I think the EXPERIENCE of going to grad school can serve you in an infinite number of ways. If I had to kill myself paying for it, my view would probably be different.  But as for me and my personal circumstances, the answers to both of our questions, I believe, are yes, and yes.  Emphatic yes’s.

      • ChelleLynn

        I really appreciate your honest advice, Tolly. Many of the reasons you gave for continuing on to grad school are major deterrents for me right now: I have no financial assistance, no freedom to choose which school I might go to, and no faith in the program at the only university available to me at this time. No one seems to count things like life experience and happiness as important factors to consider, but they certainly are. Especially without a specific career goal in mind, graduate school is seeming more and more like an experience that might best be left for a another time. 

        Thanks again! 

  • Sandra Rodriguez

    Hi Tolly, Where did that Matthew doll come from? I have a friend from out of state that would love it!

    • http://www.austineavesdropper.com Tolly Moseley

       Hey Sandra!  Austinite Allison Hoffman made it for our segment.  You can check out her blog here!: http://craftyiscool.blogspot.com/

  • http://twitter.com/metroseeker MetroSeeker.com

    Hi Tolly!

    Your blog is awesome and has been nominated for the MetroSeeker 2012 Best City Blogs award by one of your readers! Nominations are going on until October 1st! All the rules and info is available here: http://metroseeker.com/blog/item/announcing-the-2012-blogger-awards
    Congratulations on your nomination!
    -The MetroSeeker Staff



    • http://twitter.com/metroseeker MetroSeeker.com

      Oops! Here’s the right image! :)

      • Tolly

        Oh that’s so nice! Thanks guys!

  • Pingback: Drawing a blank | * * * * *

  • brian

    Tolly your “Ten Places to Visit in Austin” was so well done. How uplifting to listen and watch your gracious presentation and especially well done considering your cohost (or is it co-host) Mathew. Austin, Ross and Ricco? are lucky to have you. Carry On!

    • http://www.austineavesdropper.com Tolly Moseley

      How kind, Brian! Thanks so much for dropping by!

  • brian

    Tolly, I traveled to Austin to visit Regents School and to enjoy your lovely city. Before coming I had the distinct pleasure of watching you and Mathew share your top ten in Austin…. Thank you so very much for the video. I am so not a gruppie sp? but if you were a band I would follow you around and cheer everytime you got to speak or sing or even do your silks. Hope I’m not sounding like a stalker :)

    Anyway I really enjoyed many of your top tens and also enjoyed camping on a dock at your Lady Bird Lake, staying a few nights in the Youth Hostel on the lake and renting a bike to circle the lake, see the city, see the Bats of Austin, visit the Driskill and watch Intersteller and eat at THE SAME TIME at the Draft House Cinema… Also interesting fact about Austin is they have to shut down the bars at two AM and police encourage the folks to go home from horseback EVERY THURSDAY, FRIDAY AND SATURDAY NIGHT (which really is the next morning…)

    Austin is a jewel of a city and you are it’s princess. Your man and your child and your city or blessed to have you!

    • http://www.austineavesdropper.com Tolly Moseley

      Brian! (Are you the same Brian as below?)

      This made my day, and I am so happy you you got to experience Austin so magically. You did it exactly right! Hope we get to have you in our fair city again. xx

      • brian

        I don’t know exactly why but at this moment, thinking that I “made your day” with a comment really makes me smile. So true though every word :) And yes, I’m the same Brian from Reno… teacher for ten years and window cleaning company owner… wait I think it is the other way around, that is my biz seems to “own” me half the time when I don’t have my kids.

        • http://renosparkswindowcleaning.com/ Brian E Mick

          Thanks again Tolly, you r the best!