Local Legends Festival – Coming to RickeyFarm in NJ this weekend!

Something EPIC is coming to the tri-state area this weekend. If you love music (especially local artists), camping, and cultural experiences you’re not going to want to miss this one!

localLegendsFest

This weekend marks the inaugural Local Legends Festival. Brought to you by Monroe Legends Entertainment, this festival identifies itself as “a sanctuary for musical and artistic experiences.” Created out of the infamous backyard bash “Trevboozle,” that drew more the 500 music lovers to backyard shows in NJ, this festival aims to maintain that intimate feel by “breaking down the standard spectator/performer roles by direct interaction and camping,” causing event attendees to “feel right at home with our local community of friends.”

In addition to two full days of music (Friday & Saturday) featuring 80 of the area’s most popular artists across four stages, you’ll also find a craft vendor market, live art demos, many of your favorite food trucks, and a Super Smash Bros tournament with cash prizes! Yes, you read that correctly, CASH prizes!

The event is being held at RickeyFarm (442 RT-94) in Vernon, NJ from 9AM Friday, June 10 through 12PM Sunday, June 12.

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Get more details from their Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/1285894511426053/

I’ll be there & I hope you will be, too!

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Unrealities – In Pursuit of a Life Outside My TV Set

"We shouldn't have to rely on television or movies to show us fantastic things and fantastic stories." 
- "Mind Games", This American Life.

As I sat in my regular seat, on a regular day, on my regular bus into the City, I paused when that line played through my over-sized Sony headphones.

I rely heavily – almost desperately – on television. The way some people love books, I love my shows. I crave the intimacy felt after joining a family for 6+ seasons and living through their trials and tribulations. I’m literally hungry for the way I connect and cry tears of sadness and joy along with my favorite characters.

Many people have many escapes from reality; television is mine.

But, as I sat on my bus, this line made me pause, rewind, and listen again.

We crave the extraordinary and television (or movies) are an easy way to fulfill that craving and secure that high. To acquire that fantastical life that we want more than anything in the world. If you claim not to want it, you’re either lying or luckier than me.

I dream of fantastic things – I dream of applying/kicking grad school’s butt, I dream of killing it as an exec at one of my all-time favorite companies in a state far away from here, I dream of traveling to foreign countries and doing things so incredible that I can’t even think of them.

I’ve already achieved so many of my dreams – and every time I achieve a dream, it just necessitates that I dream bigger. Sometimes it’s hard to dream bigger; it seems like the simpler option would be to fall into a routine, causing myself to get stuck and accepting that I’m destined for a lazy life.

Whenever that happens, I find comfort in my shows, and I hope you find comfort in yours. But it’s important not use these “unrealities” as a crutch, and while it’s one thing to visit your favorite characters for a few hours, I hope you’re able to come back, refreshed, and ready to create your own fantastic adventures.

Never stop seeking out your own fantastic stories.

What Podcasts Should I Be Listening To?

The post may have Serial Season 1 spoilers, read at your own risk.

Lately, I can’t get enough of podcasts.

My fascination started somewhere in the range of 4 to 6 months ago. After exhausting all of my favorite Sirius XM radio stations I decided to finally check out Serial.

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Within the first 10 minutes of season 1, episode 1 I was hooked. Getting into the game late, I was able to listen to the entire first season at my leisure. Sarah Koenig instantly became a constant on my commute. I found myself entranced by the mystery of Hae Min’s death, and with Adnan’s part in it or lack thereof.

After finishing season one, I was incredibly sad. No, sad’s not the right word. Empty. I hated the lack resolve and I was hungry to know what Adnan’s future held.

I tried getting into season 2… but Bowe Bergdahl’s story didn’t resonate with me as deeply. Maybe because it was so separate from my own world, whereas the mystery of Hae Min is something that I *could* have experienced… but really, who knows? I made it halfway through Serial season 2 before giving up and taking a step away from podcasts until the Adnan updates started coming… but then they stopped, and again, so did I.

Recently, I found myself sick of my iPod’s shuffle, and hungry for something new to do on my commutes.

Podcast-RSS

Not knowing where to start, I’ve just begun downloading single episodes from podcasts at the top of my charts on my free iPhone app. I’ve been listening to Pop Culture Happy Hour, This American Life, Ask Me Another, NPR politics (because I know nowhere near enough about this election, but don’t hate me – I’ve got CNN on now and am trying!), and I’ve got What You Missed In History Class, and Beautiful/Anonymous episodes in my queue.

Here’s where you come in, friends. Do you have a podcast you can’t get enough of? Please share it with me in the comments! I love entertainment (tv, movies, music), lifestyle stories, and learning new things. There’s so much content out there just waiting to be consumed, and so I’m putting out an official SOS because I need help figuring out where to start.

Always,
Julia

Missed you.

To the one or two people who are brought to my blog daily according to my analytics, welcome. Sorry, I haven’t written in a while. I was losing that whole battle with the future for a bit. Who knew transitioning into “adulthood” would be so difficult?

I’ve missed writing here, and I hoping to start posting here regularly again. Things have changed tremendously from the last time I was here – except, not really.

People have come, people have gone. I’ve had my heart broken to the point where the damage felt irreparable. I’ve fallen very deeply for someone brand-new, wonderful, and who is basically the human equivalent of starshine. Friendships I thought would last forever came to sad and unexpected ends. Friendships I know will last forever continue to get stronger everyday. I transitioned through several jobs, and am currently in a position where I don’t mind my not-so-awesome commute because I get paid to come in and do what I love.

What hasn’t killed me has made me stronger. After a truly and unforgettably awful 2015, 2016 has been back with a vengeance – and that means I am too.

People of the internet, if you’re reading this, I hope things have started getting better for you too. I hope you are doing things that make you happy, while surrounded by people who love you, build you up, and support you.

I’m excited to fight the future with you.

But Really, Are Potential Employers Reading Your Tweets?

Posting on social media (or even on this blog) can cause me immense anxiety. I have so much that I want to say, but so many fears about saying it. Are these song lyrics going to prevent me from getting the job of my dreams (even though I’m just sharing them ’cause they’re totally stuck in my head)? Is this opinion going to result in a future employer thinking less of me?

I probably delete around 20% of my tweets within the first two minutes of posting them, just because I don’t want my words to be misconstrued.

Honestly, part of the reason social media makes me so nervous because I don’t want my personal thoughts as a user of the internet to influence my professional standing, especially at this pivotal time in my life where I’m applying to full-time positions. I’d like to think that I generally don’t post anything that would make one think less of me as candidate, but how can I be sure?

69% of employers have rejected a candidate as a result of what they’ve seen on social media. Maintaining one’s social profile is almost like holding down a second full-time job as one’s own Public Relations team.

I guess the simple solution would be to stop using social media so actively, but it’s a double-edged sword. I love what social media stands for and what one can do with it. I love communicating with others, interacting with people I wouldn’t normally have the chance to interact with, and the myriad of other affordances different social networks allow. I love having relevant news and information at my fingertips (..though I could live without the companies running the sites mining my profile for data.)

Here’s a cool infographic produced by Reppler about ways that employers are screening applicants:


How much thought do you put into creating your social presence? Will this data influence your posting habits? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Music Monday: Ho Ho Hopefully // The Maine

This is the first December 1st I’ve actually spent in a foreign state. This song feels even more relevant than usual while I’m out here in California.

West Coast Rush

December 1st, I’m in a foreign state, I’m running late, I’m all alone wishing I was home with you baby

It’s December 1st; I had to do it. This will always be my favorite Christmas song and it will be on repeat for the rest of today. Enjoy.

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What I Wish I Learned In School

“Back in school they never taught us what we needed to know – like how to deal with despair or someone breaking your heart.” 

And okay. Maybe no amount of education could prepare us for that sort of stuff. But there are a lot of things that schools can and should prepare students for. I think that whenever education reform occurs again instead of creating overly complicated ways to do math (yes, I’m looking at you Common Core), we should instead worry about ensuring students are being taught to be thoughtful, critical thinkers who are educated about the world they live in. Here’s how:

1) Media Studies
Okay, so I studied media as an undergrad. I may be a bit biased, but think about it: how much of your life is on the internet – paying bills, shopping, developing relationships, updating your social media presence(s), catching up on TV, streaming music… that’s just the stuff I’ve done in the past three hours. I really believe that when students are in 7th grade (or maybe earlier because, let’s face it, – many kids as young as 10 years old are on social networking sites) should be taught about privacy, protecting their identities, and how representing themselves can affect their future. 90% of teens have used some form of social media – shouldn’t we be showing them how to use it correctly?

2) Current Events
I feel like the last time a teacher covered this in a class I took it was paired with Social Studies in the 7th grade… or maybe even earlier. In high school is when we should really be talking to students about the news. Soon these kids will be able to vote, and we should be working to produce educated citizens who not only care about the world they live in, but see the impact they can have on it. That’s not to say we should shove any opinions down their throats. Instead, we should be teaching students  how to access news (explaining that not every mainstream source is unbiased) and helping them to understand hot button issues that will always exist. Show them how what’s going on the world affects them and ultimately trying to help them develop their own well-educated opinions about what’s happening in the world.

3) Personal Development
This may be more of a college-level idea, but I think high school is an aspirational time when kids are really starting to figure out not only who they are, but also who they want to be. I’m not sure if there’s a way to teach this sort of thing in a safe setting that would be taken seriously, but wouldn’t it be cool if there could be a sort of What Would You Do? class where teachers talk through the tough stuff and help kids figure out their stance on any variety of issues (this may sort of overlap with my current events topic, but I like to think of it as a preemptive strike). Instead of waiting for something bad to happen before tackling an issue – i.e., discussing race in the wake of everything that’s happening with Ferguson – talking about the subject before that. Maybe if we can get to students earlier we can help shape the way their minds work and how they think about certain topics.

I acknowledge that similar classes may already exist in some school systems, but I believe these courses should be required in all schools. I use Facebook and Twitter a helluva lot more than I use any of the chemistry I learned junior year.

TL;DR: We need to add classes that help students better represent themselves, while also helping them understand the world they live in.

What do you think? Are there another topics you think students should be educated about? Let me know in the comments.

Until next time.

Always,
Julia

Does Posting About Diverse Interests Prevent Follower Growth?

I’m a gal with a lot of interests. Since I’ve started this blog (less than a week ago) I’ve written about topics varying from marketing/loyalty programs to my guilty pleasure reality TV addiction. And I’ve got to admit, I’m sort of worried that no one will want to follow me because they can’t necessarily count on me for consistency, at least not in terms of the kind of content I’m producing.

Of course this makes me really curious: is there only room in the world to build a following if your posts are always targeted? For my sake, I sure hope not.

This sudden fear also stems from a recent desire to really take advantage of everything that Twitter has to offer. Unlike other social networking sites, I feel like Twitter’s primary affordance is that it gives you the opportunity to connect with people across the globe who share your quirky niche interests, but who you don’t necessarily know in real life. As cool as that is, and as much as that’s what draws me to the site, I’m sure 15 year old pop punk teeny boppers won’t always share the same interests as fancy shamncy marketing specialists who decided to follow my twitter.

The things is, as much as I really would like to build a network of individuals I can connect with about each of of my passions, I don’t want to have to split myself into multiple personas. I don’t to want to have to run multiple blogs or multiple twitter accounts to feel as though I’m allowed to interact with a particular group of people. What I do want is to be respected no matter who I’m interacting with.

I feel like most people must struggle with this if they share my goal of developing some sort of following. We, as people, are multi-layered individuals. We have a variety of passions, interests, and things we care about. So why are we (the collective we, all people), as followers, only interested in following people who talk exclusively about whatever topic stems our interest. Why aren’t we more interested in getting to know people on a deeper level?

A quick example: when I first started using Tumblr I maxed out when I hit about 100 followers on my blog, but when I decided to create a niche blog with content that was exclusively water color and art themed my number followers sky-rocketed to 3,200. If I still used that account I’m sure that number would be higher, but it’s exhausting to only embrace one side of yourself; it forces you to ignore all the other little things that makes you who you are.

Granted, since I’ve started writing here people have been following me, so maybe it is possible to live in that best of all worlds. Though, I have a sneaking suspicion a few of them are just looking for the follow back, but hey that’s cool. I can respect that, and provided your posts are in English (or maaaaybe French if you catch me on a good day) I’ll happily follow you back, read, and potentially comment on your innermost thoughts and opinions.

I guess only time will tell if interactivity will grow on this blog or on my twitter.

Anyway, let me know what you think about posting (or tweeting) about a variety of topics versus only about one subject. What about following someone who does this?

(To any current or new followers reading this: I really appreciate you and would love to connect and get to know you better. Feel free to connect with me on Twitter – @jujubeesx, and let’s chat!)

Always,

Julia

P.S. I’m sorry this post didn’t have any cute memes – I really couldn’t think of any that would mesh with this post!)

Daily Post: Grateful and Guilty

Daily Prompt: Whether it’s a trashy TV show, extra-pulpy fiction, or nutrient-free candy, write a thank-you note to your guiltiest guilty pleasure.

Dear Dance Moms,

As a former competitive dancer, thank you for giving me an outlet to relive the good, the bad, and the ugly of dance competitions. Thank you for showing me that there are 12 year old girls who dance more beautifully than I ever could, and for exposing their talent to the world. Thank you for thrusting Maddie Ziegler into the spotlight, so that mainstream artists like Sia knew she existed and could consequently incorporate her artistry into music videos seen by millions.

Thank you for the cat fights, the drama, the tears, and for reminding me every day that while it’s fascinating to watch, that life sure as hell isn’t for me. Thank you for creating a show that my mom, my sister, and I can all agree on and watch together while reminiscing on our own past experiences.

I’m very grateful you exist, even if it is slightly embarrassing to admit, sometimes.

I hope that things don’t change too drastically when Abby moves to LA because tbh I get bored any time the show doesn’t focus on the original girls.

I’ll probably still watch though. After all, you are my guilty pleasure.

Always,
Julia

P.S. I hope the real world experience really isn’t as traumatizing for the girls as it seems, and I hope that all of these lawsuits go away soon because they make me feel even guiltier for loving the show so much.

IMO: A Definitive Ranking of the Tracks on Everything In Transit

For a very long time Jack’s Mannequin was my “all-time” favorite band. To be honest, I’m not really sure why. I never really got into their second or third albums – but that first album, Everything In Transit, changed my life in the best way. It just sorta made me understand why music mattered. I think I first heard their music on a mixed cd when I was 15 or 16, and I’ve been hooked ever since.

Quite possibly my favorite album of all time.

To this day, if I’m feeling bummed and need to feel like someone out there gets me, I’ll play this album and let Andrew McMahon sing me back to sanity. It works every time.

What follows is a ranking of the album from worst least best track to best (there are no bad tracks on this album). As well as my favorite lyric or two from each, because anything I could say about each song just wouldn’t feel like enough.

Without further ado, here’s the list:

11) La La Lie 
Every scene was a sign, we made out through their meaning.

10) The Mixed Tape
This mix could burn a hole in anyone, but it was you I was thinking of.

9) Kill the Messenger 
Oh my god, this hurts like hell.

8) Holiday From Real
You are my favorite sweater, being poor was never better.

7) Into the Airwaves
It’s gonna be a hard day, so hang on – don’t panic, don’t panic there simply is no need.

6) MFEO (Parts 1 and 2)
I still live with my high school friends, some people never change at all.
You waited for me in the rain, in the parking lot. Cold hands, lips blue, clothes stuck to you.

5) Bruised
Sometimes perfection can be perfect hell.

4) Dark Blue
Have you ever been alone in a crowded room? Well, I’m here with you.

3) I’m Ready
As I’m finding the words, you’re getting away.
I need caffeine to the bloodstream, I take caffeine to the bloodstream.

2) Rescued
Don’t you think I wish that I could stay? Your lips gave you away.
I’m finally numb, so please don’t get me rescued. 

1) Miss Delaney
In no time there’ll be one less sad robot, looking for a chance to be something more than just metal.
Where’s your boyfriend? He isn’t up in heaven so why treat him like he’s dead?

Agree? Disagree? Let me know in the comments below and let’s discuss! If there’s one thing I could talk about forever, it’s this album.

Until next time.

Always,
Julia