Album Review: “Dropped Again” by Brick + Mortar

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“Dropped Again” is a new album that was released this spring by the indie-rock, psychedelic band Brick + Mortar. I happened to discover this band/album by stumbling upon a music video for “One Little Pill” on my Facebook feed. After sampling the album (and noticing it was on sale) I decided to give it a shot!


A track-by-track breakdown:

1. “Train”

5/5 stars: The first track is very catchy and sets a captivating tone for the whole album.

2. “Staying Gold”

5/5 stars: The chorus has a strong Pink Floyd vibe, which I really enjoy.

3. For Yellow Walls

3/5 stars: Totally experimental track which may have to grow on me a little more.

4. Hollow Tune

5/5 stars: I feel a lot of intense emotions in this song.

5. Move to the Ocean

4/5 stars: This extremely muffled track is quite repetitive but filled with fascinating lyrics.

6. Dark Skies

3/5 stars: This track didn’t really stand out to me, for better or worse.

7. Brighter Than the Sun

4/5 stars: A fast-paced track that makes you want to move around and clap your hands to the beat.

8. One Little Pill

5/5 stars: Here’s the track that first attracted me to the album. Its vibe is a beautiful mix between classic and experimental.

9. Great Escape

4/5 stars: The deeply authentic lyrics deserve more attention than the melody, which is very all-over-the-place.

10. Move to the Ocean (Remix)

5/5 stars: I really like the way they re-arranged the tune: much stronger.


OVERALL: 5/5 stars

Some tracks are better than others, but overall, this is a really unique and talented band that deserves its proper recognition. I would highly recommend this album to others, especially those who are into alternative music.


BIG NEWS!

I recently accepted a job offer at the Bucks County SPCA! I will begin in 2 weeks. I am very excited for this opportunity. I remember being 12-years old and learning about the ASPCA and hoping maybe someday I could get involved and help out this organization… ten years later and it’s actually happening!

Along with that, I will be moving into an apartment in July, located in the same town I went to college. It’s a very nice town; not your typical “college town” since DelVal only consists of 2000 students. There are many recent grads/young adults living there as well… in fact, there’s many people of all ages. Of course I am very familiar with the area since I basically lived there for the past four years. But this time, I will be really living there.

I’m really looking forward to this new chapter in my life. My time at college was so stressful, hectic, and ever-changing. I was still partially living at home, traveling back and forth during school breaks. It kind of felt like I was living on the road. I can’t wait to feel settled in.

I still wonder where the future will take me and how I will get there. But for now, I’m taking it step by step…

Little Shelter

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I have been working at Little Shelter for a few months now. Hopefully, I won’t be there for too much longer. It has been a fun experience but I am ready for something more challenging. Also… I’m moving back to PA! 🙂

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We recently received a “shipment” of 30+ dogs from Texas. I have absolutely fallen in love with this 3-year old pup named Little Foot. I am typically not a fan of little dogs (I like them large) but this little precious has stolen my heart. He is extremely nervous; his body shakes and his eyes are full of fear. But today I really bonded with him (and gave him one too many treats) and now he perks up and wags his tail every time he sees me.

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Another favorite of mine is the pup in the photo above, “Sonji.” Sadly, he was adopted yesterday before I got a chance to say goodbye! I’m happy he has found a wonderful home.

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If you can’t tell by the photos, I have a thing for blondies. I know, I’m totally biased.

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Harley is another cutie. She’s still here but I’m sure she won’t be for long. I like to refer to her as “Harley Quinn” in my head.

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Last night I had a dream about a chihuahua named Vinny who had just arrived at Little Shelter around the same time that I started working there. He was adopted a few weeks later. I had a dream I was playing with him and cuddling with him. He was one of my favorites, and after the dream, I realized how much I really adored that dog. When you work with animals, you form relationships with them. It both hurts and heals my heart to meet these little souls and become attached to them as soon as they get adopted. I won’t lie, some dogs are total brats and I can’t wait to see them leave. And then there are those few dogs that I can’t help but fall in love with. It feeds my soul.

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Angelo… Why so serious?

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Last weekend was very hectic. I’m in the process of looking for jobs near Doylestown and finding a place to move into. Meanwhile, I am still living at home in NY while working at the shelter. I’ve been having a lot of interviews.

On Monday, I visited Del Val with Kevin for the first time since I graduated. The college looks completely different than it did when I left it in December. Everything looked so green and alive. It was Finals Week for the students, so many people there were in the process of moving out. Of course I was excited to be back on campus because I missed it a lot.

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I remember many times in college when I wasn’t sure if I would make it to graduation. In my head, I pictured myself driving down “the road of life” and looking back at Del Val in my rearview mirror. It feels peaceful to finally put that part of my life behind me.

I’m still not sure where I’m going. Every day is full of anxiety and confusion. Now it finally feels like things are slowly coming together. However, I still worry that things won’t work out the way I’d like them to. One moment it feels like I am in total control and the next moment it feels like I know absolutely nothing.

Movie Review: The Love Witch

“The Love Witch” is a horror-comedy that was released just last year. The most captivating aspect about the movie is that it seems like it was filmed and released back in the 60s. As I began watching, I started to wonder if the film was supposed to take place in current times or from a few decades ago. It wasn’t until DNA testing was mentioned, when I knew it couldn’t have taken place in the 60s or 70s. But I really love the vintage vibe.

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The main character, Elaine, is such an enchanting character that you really want to like her when you know that you shouldn’t. Elaine is witchcraft practitioner who uses spells and whatnot to find true love. However, her spells work too well, and she ends up somehow killing every man who falls for her.

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This film is not exactly a ha-ha comedy, although some parts will make you laugh, don’t expect to be smiling the entire time. It’s also not your typical horror film; there are a few graphic scenes, but nothing that will give you nightmares. The film mixes a bit of comedy and a bit of horror to create its own unique genre.

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The 2-hour film takes it time to tell the story without rushing everything so you don’t miss a single detail. (Another characteristic of old films – not too fast-paced.) The plot line is quite interesting, but it would be nothing without the remarkable film style that makes you feel like you have truly entered another world.

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Because the movie revolves around witchcraft, there is also a great emphasis on the medieval and Victorian eras. I absolutely adored the makeup, costumes, and scenery setup. This film is a piece of art.

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Overall rating: 5/5 stars

Anxiety

I’m feeling really anxious now… about the past, the present, and the future. It is quite difficult to explain this feeling through words, but I’ll try my best. It feels like I am right on the edge of something terrible happening, but that terrible thing never actually happens. It’s like that feeling you get before going on a roller coaster ride. You’re panicking as the fear beings setting in. But you never actually get on that roller coaster and the fear never fully sinks in.

Imagine being tied to a chair and watching a spider inch closer and closer to you. I helplessly sit in my chair, absolutely terrified of the spider that is coming my way. But the spider never actually lands on me. I’m on a time loop: just when the spider gets close enough to touch me, the scene repeats itself and the spider continues walking towards me all over again.

They say that anxiety happens when we don’t let ourselves fully feel our fear. Waiting in line to go on a roller coaster ride is scarier than actually being on one, just like watching a spider walk towards you is scarier than finding one that’s already crawling on your body. What we imagine in our minds is a million times scarier than what is actually happening in real life.

Lately, all I can do is imagine. I have big, overwhelming dreams I am trying to chase yet I’m standing a thousand miles away from where I want to be. I look at other people’s lives, people who are around the same age as me, and it makes me even more anxious. I can’t help but think, “What are they doing? Why are they wasting their lives?” and then I look at myself and I feel like I’m also wasting my life. There’s too many obstacles in the way.

It certainly feels like my life is on pause right now. I’m trying my best to make myself feel like things are going forward, but everything seems to be going backwards. I don’t need a vacation, I don’t need a break, I don’t need more patience… I need a “play” button.

Anxiety is a part of life. And just like stress, we need a healthy amount to keep us alive. It is not necessarily a bad thing to feel anxious. Because everything seems to be going backwards, my anxiety is hurting me. But once things finally feel like they are moving forward again, I can transform my anxiety into excitement.

 

Nobody wants to be attacked by others for their lifestyle choices

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I’m a “vegetarian.” I don’t like labels but that is the simplest way to explain that I don’t eat meat. The reason I don’t like labels is because they come with a lot of baggage and people make so many assumptions about who you are when you attach yourself to a specific label.

We all have certain lifestyle choices that are different from the norm. One great example of a lifestyle choice of mine that is “out of the norm” is vegetarianism. People ask me why I’m a vegetarian and what exactly sparked me to be this way. The truth is that I can’t give you one single answer to that; there are many reasons why, and the most straight-forward answer I can give is that I am what I am.

It’s true that there are vegans and vegetarians out there who preach, preach, preach and act like they are better than everyone else. But it’s wrong to assume that I am that way. There are also omnivores who preach, preach, and preach about their meat-eating habits and assume that their diet makes them better than everyone else.

I understand why some meat-eaters spew hatred against vegans/vegetarians. This is the same general concept as spewing hatred against anyone else who lives a different lifestyle than you do. The reason that they attack is because of one thing: fear. They do not understand the other person’s point of view. They are scared of being judged. But most of all, it makes them question their own lifestyle choices, which is terrifying.

But guess what? You can actually support another person’s lifestyle choices without agreeing with them yourself. My boyfriend absolutely loves meat; his favorite meal is a juicy steak. And… here’s the shocker… he still supports my dietary choices! He tells me how he likes the fact that I’m a vegetarian and tells me I’m going to probably live longer than most. In which I reply, “eh… maybe, who knows.”

Did you know that I strongly dislike PETA? Did you know that I avoid telling others about my vegetarianism because I think it’s irrelevant? Did you know that when I watch vegan propaganda and enjoy it, I’m still aware that this is propaganda? Did you know that being a vegetarian for almost ten years makes me happy, but I am aware that it might not make others happy?

This is how I see it: I don’t like it when people judge me for being vegetarian, therefore, I don’t judge others for being omnivores.

So next time you feel the need to attack others for their lifestyle choices because you believe they are wrong, put yourself in their shoes. How would you feel if that person started attacking you for who you are? Instead, acknowledge the fact that humans are unique and we all make different choices. Feel confident enough about your own choices to realize that not everyone has to think the same way as you. Imagine how boring the world would be if it were that way!