It’s Harder Than You Think Telling Dreams From One Another

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This past weekend I went back to State College for a few days, just to relive the glory days with a few friends. Boy was that worth it. It was hands down the best weekend I’ve had all summer. So I guess you can say I was pretty happy when I came to CT Sunday night. In fact, I had every intention to get home today from work and write a post to tell you all how things are finally starting to get better for me here. Then today happened…

I haven’t been on here much over the past couple of weeks because work has finally kept me a little busier than when I started. Things weren’t actually too bad. I would have my deeds at work, then come home and relax. But as I started to get busier and busier, I began noticing how much more bored I got. I think the bad thing about it is that before I had a reason to be bored, because I didn’t have anything to do but stare at a computer screen; but now I just find myself bored of the work that I’m actually given to do. It’s sad really, and I don’t know why; but everything just seems so uninteresting now. Part of me thinks that it is because I had such a shitty first couple of weeks, that it’s just left such a bad taste in my mouth with this internship and I’m beyond the ability to find comfort in anything anymore. Who knows; but one thing that I’m absolutely sure about is that I can’t wait for this summer to be over. It’s the longest summer of my life, and I’m slowly counting down the days.

So today started out with a lack of coffee due to my stomach being really sensitive to aches the past couple of days. I have a really horrible stomach, and this happens every so often. It’s pretty much when my stomach feels like saying, “Oh, you wanted to have a good day today? LAWL JOKES!” Anyways, I’m at work at 6:30 am with no coffee, and cranky as hell. To make a long story short, the rest of my day was pretty much a plethora of really awkward, sad, and confusing situations that just made me dislike being there even more. The orange I ate for lunch ended up squirting in both of my eyes, and I spilled water on my crotch that made me look like I pissed my pants in front of all my coworkers…twice. It seems like most things that happen to me are generally my own stupid fault, but that is one of the unfortunate burdens of being me, I suppose. It’s at that point where things no longer amaze me, and quite often I find myself saying, “Why am I not surprised…”

In addition to that, ever since I got back from State College Sunday night, I’ve been having these weird dreams, without going into too much unnecessary information. Dreams that seem to tell me that I’m meant to do something. That ka has planned this out for me, and that I should act. But I can’t seem to bring myself to do so. Honestly, I think I’m just being stupid; but eventually I’ll have to figure things out.

To make matters worse, I’ve been dealing with some roommate issues lately as well. Today during my nap I had a dream that he moved out of our apartment and left me paying the full rent by myself; essentially screwing me over. It has got me thinking if I put trust in the wrong person. With my life, I wouldn’t even be surprised, hah.

So on that note, I leave you with this:

Battle of the Disney Pop Princesses

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Like I said before, June 3rd is a big day; and it sure has been a big day for the Disney pop princesses: Miley Cyrus, Selena Gomez, and Demi Lovato. Let’s flashback a couple weeks, when Miley Cyrus took the stage at the 2013 Billboard Music Awards for the sole purpose of announcing her latest single ‘We Can’t Stop’. She walked up there and owned that crowd with her new BAMF look, over confidence, and snarky attitude towards Justin Bieber. It was the perfect amount of sass to come from a Disney star looking to transition into the adult career that she so desperately desires.

With big talk, you need to have the goods to back it up; and that’s what June 3rd was all about. It was much anticipated by Miley fans all around the world as she dropped her new single, ‘We Can’t Stop’, from her upcoming album. Check it out on her Vevo here:

I can’t say that it’s what I had expected  from Miley’s first single in this transition in her career. She’s spent months changing her appearance to a more exotic pop singer that reminds us slightly of P!nk, and weeks hyping up her new single to millions of fans on the Billboard Music Awards and social media. Although I said it’s not necessarily what I had expected, I must say that I am pleased how it’s turned out. It wasn’t one of those instantly-fall-in-love songs, but those are a rarity anyways. Nonetheless, after a few playbacks on repeat I was at that “hooked” stage. Miley’s ‘We Can’t Stop’ is a concoction of ‘Party in the USA’ with the elements of ‘Can’t Be Tamed’ in a manner that goes beyond her typical PG and PG-13 persona. It wasn’t the over-the-top, ratchet release that I was hoping would put here over the ledge; but it’s absolutely the step in the right direction.

Only a few hours after it’s release, ‘We Can’t Stop’ hit #1 on the iTunes charts; ahead of both ‘Heart Attack’ and ‘Come & Get It’, as well Daft Punk’s phenomenal ‘Get Lucky’. So far, it’s been a pretty good day for the young pop princess Miley, and a lot is due to her clever tactics. Let’s evaluate: Miley hyped up this single for weeks on social media, and events like the Billboard Music Awards. On the day of the release, the song was practically available instantly after the radio premiere on both Vevo and iTunes. Pop stars, take notes…that is how you release a single. It allowed for Miley fans to spam those available media all over the internet, and is probably one of the main reason why the song has been so successful on it’s first day. But how long will that success last for Miley? Who knows; but she better have something spectacular planned for her upcoming album to knock it out the park. As much as I love ‘We Can’t Stop’, if that song defines the album I will be rather disappointed. So maybe it wasn’t the best lead single to come from the young star, but it sure as hell makes the perfect summer song. Perhaps that’s what she was going for…

So where does that leave our two other young stars? Well, on the same day that Miley’s ‘We Can’t Stop’ surpassed ‘Come & Get It’ on the iTunes charts, Selena released the audio for her upcoming single ‘Slow Down’ on her Vevo.

Coincidence?…I think not. Selena was the last on my list of the Disney stars, because I will never understand how such a mediocre song like ‘Come & Get It’ has become her biggest hit to date. But the Cataracs’ production of ‘Slow Down’ has the potential of pushing her up to that top spot in anticipation of her upcoming album. And I must say, I love her rendition of “ITTTTTT’S THE CATARACS” that was practically owned not too long ago by the biggest flop in the pop industry in the last decade, Dev. Could Selena be the new Dev? She seems to be going in that direction of electronic dance and dubstep that is the Cataracs, while Miley heads more to the hip-hop side of pop.

So where does that leave the beautiful Demi? Demi’s album is absolutely phenomenal, but unfortunately there’s nothing to compare it to yet since both Miley and Selena haven’t released their albums yet. However, what I can say is that Demi’s album has so much potential. She’s announced her second single from her latest album to be ‘Made in the USA’, which happens to be my least favorite song on the album. But after some deliberation with a friend of mine, I’ve come to the conclusion that ‘Made in the USA’ is another perfect summer song, and thus a wise move for her to release it. Although I had really hoped ‘Really Don’t Care’ would be her next single, trying to top ‘Heart Attack’ could potentially be a disaster in itself. If Demi wants a chance to fight for the top, she’ll have choose carefully the order in which she releases her next few singles after ‘Made in the USA’. And I better get ‘Really Don’t Care’ as a single eventually, or so help me God…

So there you have it, the three Disney pop princesses fighting their way to the top. It’s going to be an interesting battle, considering that all three of them have done extremely well for themselves as of lately; but in the end only one of them can come out on top. Who will it be?

The 3 Weeks Rule and the Fate of a Jelly Spotter

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June 3rd is a big day. It marks 3 weeks since I’ve made the big move up here. It’s also the day my roommate finally moves in. I’ll probably end up pulling one of these:

But in all seriousness, I have this theory called ‘the three weeks rule’. Pretty much, the end of the third week in a new situation defines how the rest of the time in that situation will be. I know some of you may think of this as silly, but it’s worked for me time and time again. So here we are at the end of the third week, and I can’t really say that much has changed. I’m still the same miserable mess I was when I moved here 3 weeks ago. This state still sucks, this community is still a ratchet wasteland, and work is still another mess entirely. I feel so cut off from everyone here, like I’m in an entirely different world. I want so desperately for things to change, but I feel like every time I find a sliver of hope, it slips away.

I find myself recently thinking about the past. Thinking about the people I want to be with. Thinking about where my future life is going. Everything seems so unclear now. And as I dive further into my past, I start realizing all the mistakes I’ve made. The things that I could have done differently. I guess my life hasn’t been spot on to what I wish it was. Do you ever just want to go back and change how you lived your life? I know I’m still young, and I have my whole life ahead of me; but how many mistakes can you make before you’re lost forever? How many wrong paths can you take before you lose your way back? How many people can you hurt and push away before you have no one left? I guess I’ve never admitted this to anyone before, but I don’t really like who I am. I have this idea in my head of who I want to be – or I guess, wish I could be. But I can’t just change things about myself that have been a part of me for as long as I can remember. Who was it that said the rabbit hole leads to Wonderland, because all I’ve found is an empty abyss. All decisions come with a price; and there will be a time when those ghosts will come back to haunt me. The question is, will I be able to face them? I guess if I really think about it, I don’t have a choice.

Tomorrow starts my post 3 week period. Here’s to hoping that my theory is wrong; because let’s be honest, life really isn’t what you make it. I hope my roommate doesn’t think I’m weird. I’ll have to put on a different facade tomorrow, and hope that he doesn’t find this blog, hah.

Laws and Theories Among the Common People

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I guess it’s fair to say that the scientific community has not done so well in constructing its jargon vocabulary. That being said, it’s actually kind of sad how little people know outside of the scientific community, but are so prepared to argue for or against topics that they don’t know much about.

I came across an article today that talks about the discovery of a new dinosaur, from which birds may have evolved. You can read about it here: http://www.cnn.com/2013/05/29/world/asia/dinosaur-discovery/index.html?iref=allsearch

I always like to scroll through the comments just to read what others have to say about the topics I’m reading; but reading these comments was worse than nails on a chalkboard. Before I go on, I would like to point out that this post is not about whether or not the Theory of Evolution is true, but rather attacking the arguments that those outside of the scientific community make to justify their points. Here are just a few of the comments that I read on the article today:

“Technically reality itself is a theory.
We cannot prove conclusively that we are not all just programs running inside a big virtual reality machine.”

“[S]o is gravity, for that matter. whoops, dropped my drink, wait no I couldn’t have, it’s right here on my table in spite of the evidence of broken glass and water on the floor because it’s just a theory.”

Yes, technically it is a theory, because it has not been (and probably cannot absolutely be!?) proven – but the evidence is overwhelming, and its a lot better than the fairy tales that other people chose to believe.”

Just stop for a second and read those comments. Can you figure out what is wrong with what they are saying? All of them seem to be under the impression that a “theory” is something that can’t be proven, hence why we can argue that it doesn’t exist. Before we distinguish what a “theory” and a “law” is in the scientific community, let’s consider what society seems to think they are. The biggest misconception is that a theory is a guess; a hunch of some sort. Such as, “My theory is that she jumped from her bedroom window, and wasn’t pushed.” That, according to the English language, is indeed a theory; a guess (whether educated or not) as to what had actually occurred. In the scientific community theories are FAR from educated guesses, or a hunch. The next misconception is that theories are not proven, and thus they are not factual. The last main misconception is that once a theory is proven, then it becomes a law; so only laws are scientific fact.

FALSE. FALSE. FALSE. So let’s set the record straight.

A scientific law is a description of an observed phenomenon. For instance, let’s take a look at Newton’s Law of Universal Gravitation, that states that every mass in the universe is attracted to each other by a force that is directly proportional to their mass, yet inversely proportional to the distance between them squared. Or in more visual terms:

F = G \frac{m_1 m_2}{r^2}\

This law describes how point masses will interact with each other by the force of gravity. It is a physical observation of the phenomenon. It tells us that the apple will fall from the tree to the ground, and gives us a means of calculating that, but it doesn’t explain why the apple will fall from the tree to the ground.

Theories, on the other hand are an explanation for the physical observation of phenomenon. For instance, unlike Newton’s Law of Universal Gravitation, Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity explains why we observe the phenomenon seen in Newton’s laws. Both laws and theories consolidate a lot of research and successful testing before being categorized as such. Both can be proven and unproven. Take for instance Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity; which is a theory that was proven by predicting and observing the bending of light in an eclipse. To argue that theories are not facts is not necessarily true either. Did you know that the equations in Einstein’s Special Theory of Relativity are used in GPS tracking, otherwise your GPS would be off by a number of kilometers. If you’re ever interested, here’s an awesome read about it: http://www.astronomy.ohio-state.edu/~pogge/Ast162/Unit5/gps.html

Long story short, scientific laws are meant to describe how things behave in nature, while scientific theories are meant to explain why things behave the way they do. Theories and laws go hand in hand, such that your theory must be able to accommodate the laws that are associated to it. It is false to think that theories become laws when they are proven, because laws and theories are two different concepts. Not to mention that both theories and laws can be (and generally are) proven and challenged. Arguing against a certain theory (such as the Theory of Evolution) because you believe that theories are not proven, scientific fact just makes you look like a fool…to us science folk at least.

Stay educated my friends.

The Hallowed Halls of Ivy and the American Crisis

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During my down time at work today, I stumbled across a CNN article about a surge in the student loan rates. According to the article, on July 1st interest rates on student subsidized loans are set to double to 6.8%. If you want, you can read more about it here: http://money.cnn.com/2013/05/28/pf/college/student-loan-rates/

This article got me thinking about the education ideology in the United States and how it’s affecting the American future. The question that started this train of thought: Is it worth attending an Ivy League school? I believe that much of the education you receive as an undergraduate can be found at the same level at schools that are not necessarily Ivy League. Going off my own experiences, I remember being told in my Chemistry recitations by tutors and professors how the Chemistry curriculum is comparable – if not more challenging – than that of schools such as Cornell and the University of Pennsylvania. Although those may not be the top tier of the Ivy, they are still nonetheless Ivy status and you’ll be paying far more for an education in those schools than at Penn State. Although I think Penn State has excellent academics, there are definitely many other non-Ivy schools with the level, if not higher, of education as Penn State.

So if you’re paying that much more for an Ivy league education, are you really getting anything more than those not in Ivy? Is it actually worth it? I believe to some extent, yes; but this depends on the situation you are in. First is the name recognition. Of course everyone would LOVE to put an Ivy League school on their resume, because everyone knows the Ivy’s. One thing you are guaranteeing by attending an Ivy League school is absolutely receiving a good education; and I’m sure employers know that, so they’re are probably willing to take a chance on someone who was taught at an Ivy rather that someone who was taught at some unknown university…but still, that’s only to some extent. Call me hypocritical or not, but if I had the money (and motivation) to attend an Ivy League school I would be there in a heart beat. In the long run, name recognition is something that can only help you, not hurt you; but at the same time it still doesn’t mean that the level of education you receive is necessarily superior to that of another non-Ivy university.

I know a few people back in middle/high school who are currently attending Ivy League schools; people who weren’t (and probably still aren’t) much different than me. Does it mean that when they graduate with an undergraduate degree, they will instantly be multi-millionaires? Is it not possible for me to be at the same level, or even higher, financially and socially than they are in the future with my Penn State degree? I think it is. Let’s consider this: A friend of mine, who is also majoring in engineering (regardless of discipline) attends an Ivy League, while I attend Penn State. When we both graduate in four years with our undergraduate degree, will both of our jobs not be entry level positions? Because he was Ivy League, does he get to jump several promotions from an entry level when he first starts out? Are there specific engineering jobs that only require an Ivy League degree? I don’t think so. So it’s fair to say that if I play my cards right I can end up somewhere similar, or better, than my Ivy League friend.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying “WELL LET’S ALL ATTEND COMMUNITY COLLEGE INSTEAD!”, because now you’re getting into the quality of education. I’m saying that one can be successful without an Ivy League degree, and to the same standard; but you still need to choose your education wisely. Attending a school that doesn’t offer a very good education in your field, and lacks in recruitment opportunities is probably not going to get you very far. So my advice: Do your homework, because there are plenty of good schools out there that can take you far in life.

All that aside, I still believe that Ivy League schools have their advantage; and that comes especially in education past the undergraduate degree. When it comes to graduate school, law school, med school, or anything else past your undergraduate degree, Ivy League schools are a good route to go. I think that once you continue with your education, the jobs that you’ll be landing with that graduate degree will be looking at what school you came from. For example, a Harvard Law student vs. a Temple Law student. I think there are two main reasons for this:

1. Because in graduate school your education is more specific, as compared to undergraduate which is more general; in my opinion.

2. Nowadays, undergraduate degrees are too common among the young population.

I’m not going to go on about 1. anymore, because to me 2. is a more interesting topic. It’s obvious that the amount of students continuing their education, and going to college after high school has increased substantially over the past decades. With so many degrees floating around out there, employers now are requiring college degrees more than they have in the past. Nowadays, it’s as if you can’t do much without a college education anymore. College tuition is on a rise year after year, because the demand for a college education keeps increasing. Now you have those who can’t afford a college education calling for subsidies from the federal government; and as the government complies, colleges and universities across the nation increase their tuition to fight the subsidized loans instead of setting competitive rates. Then the students go out with these loans; some of them succeed, others waste their time and money studying useless majors, and some don’t have the motivation to plan their future after college.

Don’t take this the wrong way; if it wasn’t for government loans it would have been extremely difficult (if possible at all) for me to attend Penn State even with the in-state tuition, so I am grateful that I had this opportunity. But where do we go from here? How do we create a program that still gives opportunities for individuals to succeed with higher education, while weeding out the ones that won’t? How do we bring back competitiveness in a college education? As time goes on, the value of an undergraduate college degree is diminishing. Sooner or later, it will be as common as a high school education. When that happens society will crumble. Everyone will be overqualified for the jobs such as cashiers, clerks, store managers. Demand for a college education will trickle down to these jobs that, in the past, needed only a high school education to obtain full time.

I’m a strong believer of capitalism; I believe this country was formed on its ideas. We need people to work the lesser jobs in the market that don’t require a college degree, because without them society will fail. But even if you weren’t born wealthy, my ideal capitalistic views say that you can be more successful than what society has in store for you with hard work and motivation. I realize that is easier said than done, but possible nonetheless. However, our country has been far from a pure capitalist nation for quite some time, and we just keep drifting further and further away as the government takes over control. So what’s next: Communism? Totalitarianism? Socialism? Who knows; but regardless of what economic system you follow, the truth of the matter is that they never last. Eventually, they all transform into something else; whether better or worse. It’s the inevitable path of society and economics. So if I were you, I would be scared for what the future has in store; because whatever it is – either good or bad – it’s going to hit the majority of us hard.

Back to college loans, I think that those attending a college or university (especially those receiving aid from the federal government) need to be smarter about the plans they make in college. Way too many students are going in as “undecided” majors and spending more than 4 years in a university. Although college is the right time for you to find yourself, you can’t just go in there without a plan hoping that one unfolds for you; because by the time it does, you will have wasted a good amount of time. Go in there with a plan (however small), because then at least you’ll have something to go off of.

As for me, I’ve racked my a good amount in college loan debt; but I can tell you right now that I plan on having that all paid off before I’m 30. I lived off of Kraft Mac ‘n Cheese and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches as a broke college student for 4 years; I figured I could handle a few more.

How I Lost Myself to Krewella

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Krewella is one of those artists that I’ve recently become obsessed with! For those of you that don’t know, Krewella is an electronic dance music group that released their first EP, Play Hard last year.

Two of my friends have been telling me about Krewella for months, but I thought their name was so weird, I didn’t give them the light of day. One of my friends – who is usually the source for upcoming music – put their EP on my iTunes a while ago. It wasn’t until one day that I was shuffling through my iTunes library while doing some homework, that I stumbled upon their song “Alive”. I have heard this song before because it was always played at parties, and was recently getting a lot of attention; but I had no idea that the artist that sang this song was Krewella. I decided to check out the rest of their EP, and after the second song, “Can’t Control Myself”, I instantly fell in love.

About a month later I actually went to see a Krewella show in a club/venue called Levels in State College. The way this worked out was actually pretty funny. It was the Friday of Blue and White weekend at Penn State. Levels had actually announced the show that Friday afternoon…the show was set to go on the next day, so they gave us a little over 24 hours to purchase tickets for this show. I had no idea this was going on, but a friend of mine happened to check his Twitter while he was in a waiting room at the end of his 9 hour interview process for a full time job position. Levels tweeted the announced, and within seconds of my friend seeing that tweet he texted me (more like yelled at me) to buy tickets. I couldn’t believe that this was actually happening, but sure enough when I went on Levels’ website, there was the link to purchase tickets for the Krewella show the next day. Looking back, it probably wasn’t the wisest decision to make this purchase considering it was the end of the semester, and I was running low on cash; but at the time I bought the tickets without hesitation. I texted me friend images of the tickets when I purchased them, but he didn’t see it until after he got out of the interview so I’m sure it was a nice surprise.

Well, we ended up going to the show just as planned, and my God it was absolutely amazing! First off, the show was practically sold out in less than 24 hours. I didn’t think that it was possible, but I guess Krewella had a big enough following in State College to sell out a venue that fast. The place was packed! It was an amazing performance, and probably one of the best shows I have ever been to. By the time the show was over, everyone in the place was covered in sweat and champagne from head to toe. At that point, I was perfectly okay with that. After I left, I relived that concert in my head for the following two weeks.

What motivated this post, you ask? I stumbled upon this today!

**This is a live recording when they played this for one of their shows, so the quality isn’t that great.**

I’m hoping this is in on their new album. But for now, listen and lose yourself to that drop. If you haven’t listened to the Play Hard EP, you should definitely check it out and give it a shot!

Let your mind go to the awesomeness that is KREWELLA!

Demi Lovato and the One That Got Away

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I have no shame in saying that I’ve recently become obsessed with Demi Lovato’s new album, DEMI. I first started to like Demi’s music back when she released “Skyscraper” back in 2011. It was such a hard hitting song, and I fell in love with it almost instantly. That love was only boosted by Matt Bellis’ cover of the song. If you haven’t listened to it yet, you should definitely check it out!

Anyways, Demi’s newest album has been all I’ve listened to since I’ve arrived in Connecticut. It helps me keep my sanity since I’m going through a lot at the moment with this big move. In a way, it seems as if her songs define my life at the moment. I know that sounds weird, but every time I listen to her album it takes me through an emotional roller coaster, and makes me think about the changes that I’m going through in my life right now, and the events that led up to this moment the past 8 months. Sometimes I’ll just lie here and stare at the ceiling while listening to the album from start to finish. As depressing as that sounds, by the time it’s over it gives me hope that things here in Connecticut will get better soon.

Two of my favorite songs (which is a difficult category, since I love them all) on the album are “Really Don’t Care” and “Shouldn’t Come Back”.

This song, I believe, was written about Demi’s father. Although this song isn’t about young love, it sort of has a different meaning to me. Some of lyrics in the song (…tired of being so mad, …you’ll only let me down, etc.) has recently got me thinking about someone that I’ll refer to as “the one that got away.” I won’t bore you with unnecessary details; so long story short I had a HUGE crush on a girl back at school Fall semester. As we became closer friends, she would start to do and tell me things that in my eyes you don’t do/say unless you’re interested in the person. I guess I started to think of her as more than a friend because I thought she felt the same way too. But when I finally made the move and asked her out on a date, I was rejected (in a rather unfriendly way). It was a rough time. I became angry at her because I felt led on; and at the time I really just didn’t want her back in my life.

In the process of getting over someone, there’s always that hatred period before you and the other person can become friends again. That’s the period that “Really Don’t Care” makes me think about. After the rejection, I was so angry I practically stopped talking to her for a while. I wasn’t so much mad at the rejection, as I was the feeling of being led on and the manner at which I was rejected. I knew that she knew how I felt, so I wish she would have just told me instead of me slaving to figure things out. After some time I got over it, and that anger at her turned more into anger at myself. Anger for allowing myself to fall into such a stupid situation in the first place. I’m not usually one to fall for anyone. I live my life by myself without the need or desire for a relationship with anyone; but every once in a blue moon there comes that one person that knocks me off my feet. But all this is in the past. It’s been months since I’ve been over this, but listening to these songs brings back some memories.

Back to Demi! I truly respect her as an artist because of everything she’s been through. I find her to be an inspiration. So I’ll continue to stare at the ceiling and listen to this album as it helps me get through the next 3 months. I guess you can call me a Lovatic now, although I’ve never really liked labels…