New apartment

It has almost been a full week since I moved into my new apartment with Kevin. It has been an awesome adventure so far. Our studio apartment is a bit small, but I see it as a deluxe dorm room, which makes it feel huge. Although it feels like a big change, in some ways, it doesn’t feel all that different. I have been (sort of) living in Doylestown for a few years now. Since college, I’ve been adjusting to living on my own and handling my adult responsibilities. The apartment complex seriously feels like a much nicer dormitory hall. It has a gym, a library, a post office, and a main lobby with free Wi-Fi. The main difference is that most of my neighbors are seniors in their 80s, instead of college kids. The seniors are much quieter. I have spotted neighbors who are around my age, although they are rare.

We still have some more work to do. I have a few boxes left of stuff that needs to be put away. It’s so hard trying to figure out where everything should go. We also need to get Internet, still. We put it off because we were unsure of what type of package to get. The hardest thing I’ve had to adjust to this week is not having Internet access. The free Wi-Fi in the lobby is nice, which is where I am now. Without cable or Wi-Fi, trying to relax and watch a show has been our greatest struggle. So far we are surviving on DVDs. I think we’ll manage…for now.

I was very worried about my kitten (who turns 1-years old next week!!!) adjusting to such a small space. She is doing better than I thought. She is a very social cat and simply enjoys having company. We let her out on the porch a few times, but we had to put her on a harness/leash. Unfortunately the way the porch is designed makes it easy for her to run away or even accidentally fall off. I would love to get a better harness/leash for her and take her hiking!

Looking forward to settling into the apartment and exploring new parts of Doylestown. I will be sure to update my job situation in an upcoming blog post…

Ocean Grove 2017

Every summer, my family (parents, siblings, cousins, aunts, uncles, etc…) gets together for a family vacation at the Jersey Shore. When I was a child, we rented a beach house. As the house became more crowded, we switched to hotel rooms. Then, just last year, we switched back to staying at a house. Our new beach house is right across from the beach for easy access. It can feel hectic at times, but it was really great to see everyone!

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Sadly, it was the first OG since Cliff has passed away. There was a collage of his pictures posted on the front desk in memory of him. It must have been very hard for Gram. She stayed strong but we certainly all missed his presence.

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Kevin was able to visit me on the first day. Unfortunately he had to go back home that night because he was house-sitting/pet-sitting while his family was in Canada for a wedding. This was his third time visiting OG. We swam in the ocean for hours.

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My cousins Matt & Kathryn’s babies are no longer babies anymore. Annie is already 5-years old and she is becoming so independent. She walked into town for lunch with my parents, my aunt, my grandma, and me without being accompanied by her parents or her grandparents which is pretty impressive! Little Sammy is 3-years old and this was the first time I saw his personality truly flourishing. He was running around the house and talking to everybody. For the last few nights, he chose to sleep with my brother Scott who he called “scary” (in a good way, I guess?) Annie & Sammy are absolutely adorable!

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One of the highlights of my week was going to Asbury Park with my cousin Silla, sister Julie, aunt Debbie, and Mom for breakfast. We had no luck finding restaurants that serve breakfast mimosas, so after we ate, we headed to the beach bar. I had a “pineapple express.”

Until next time…

Album Review: “Funk Wav Bounces Vol. 1” by Calvin Harris

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DJ Calvin Harris just dropped a new album that sounds like the perfect summer anthem. “Funk Wav Bounces Vol. 1” is indeed funky, wavy, and bouncy. I’m really hoping there will be a volume 2 (maybe 3, 4, 5…) to this short, 10-track collection. I first discovered Calvin Harris in 2012 when I heard “Feel So Close” and “We Found Love” on the radio. I continued following his career and especially enjoyed “Thinking About You” and “I Need Your Love” which features Ellie Goulding. This past year, Calvin Harris has really switched up his style. His music used to feel more choppy (in the best way possible), and now it feels much smoother and calmer. I liked his old style but I’m really happy he made the change because the music was starting to sound so repetitive. His new album will make you feel like you are sipping a pina colada on a tropical island. It’s full of good vibes and will totally make you want to get up and dance.

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1. Slide (featuring Frank Ocean and Migos)

4/5 stars

“Slide” sets the tone for the entire album. It is instantly catchy, feel-good, and smooth. The rest of the tracks have the same themes without feeling repetitive. It’s a great party song.

2. Cash Out (featuring ScHoolboyQ, PARTYNEXTDOOR, D.R.A.M)

4/5 stars

Another great party song, the lyrics begin with “party like it’s 1980.” I mean, it doesn’t get anymore party than that. “Party like the 70s,” they say later on. Even better.

3. Heatstroke (featuring Young Thug, Ariana Grande, Pharrell Williams)

4.5/5 stars

I was initially bummed when I saw Ariana Grande featured on the track because I’m really not a fan of her, but her voice sounds really good on this track. His songs sound better with a female voice.

4. Rollin (featuring Future and Khalid)

5/5 stars

Awesome beat with a really great flow.

5. Prayers Up (featuring Travis Scott and A-Trak)

4/5 stars

The beat is very similar to the previous track and just as awesome. But the flow is somewhat lacking.

6. Holiday (featuring Snoop Dogg, John Legend, Takeoff)

3/5 stars

It’s a good song, although it doesn’t really stand out to me. Snoop Dogg always has a good flow but John Legend did not meet my expectations.

7. Skrt on Me (featuring Nicki Minaj)

3/5 stars

I don’t really mind Nicki Minaj in small doses… she should have shared the song with other singers.

8. Feels (featuring Katy Perry, Pharrell Williams, and Big Sean)

5/5 stars

Love it! Best track on the album! Katy Perry sounds wonderful because she her voice has that beach girl vibe which fits the theme of the album. Pharrell Williams and Big Sean do not disappoint.

9. Faking It (featuring Kehlani and Lil Yachty)

5/5 stars

A little depressing, but fun and uplifting at the same time. It’s about trying to get over a breakup but instead of making you cry it still makes you want to dance.

10. Hard to Love (featuring Jessie Reyez)

5/5 stars

Really awesome lyrics. It’s coming from the viewpoint of a girl who breaks hearts because she would “rather be hard to love than easy to leave.” Poor Calvin Harris, must’ve been inspired by one of his exes…

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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?

Alumni

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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.