Being Proactive and Changing Perspective

Awesome building around Washington Square Park my friend Steph and I passed this past Saturday on the way to Dojo. Can some one identify it for me please?

My bad. My resolution to blog more regularly unfortunately has been placed on the back burner.  By far this has been my busiest semester, but as a whole I’m more content and self-aware than I have been in a while.  Between my capstone course working on a campaign for Pajama Program, doing media outreach for Long Island Children’s Museum, interning with Independent Film Channel, getting my fill of post Cold War Eastern European and Russian Cinema and Literature, developing PRestige Agency, delivering epic (if I do say so myself) speeches in Public Speaking, working on an independent study about the strategic thinking of Google for New Media, having adventures in NYC and spending quality time with my best friends – life is pretty good.

Everything seems to be coming together almost too beautifully – maybe I finally realized in my head I need to enjoy the time I have now, because nothing is constant.  Life is going to change once Graduation Day approaches.  Tonight I spent time with one of my best friends Maggie talking about how we were freshmen year and how everyone we knew has changed so.  Tables were turned slightly in that while I talked about my fears of the unknown, she talked about how one has to look forward to the future with excitement.  Every situation one finds themselves in is always subjective and in “the eye of the beholder.”  One’s perspective is the overall deciding factor on whether one is having a favorable or unfavorable experience.  It’s not worth wasting energy being negative – you miss out on seizing opportunities.

So if you are going to take anything away from this unexpected bit of optimism from yours truly (not that I am a Negative Nancy by nature – I’m truly a relatively positive person – but I do run the risk of having moments of cynicism – doesn’t everyone?) here is advice:

– Time and energy spent being stressed and sad is time and energy wasted – there must be something else  you can use that energy constructively on.

– Stop drinking coffee after noon, it is not an “elixir of life”, it’s a death sentence that leads to stress.  I speak from experience, my name is Reb and I am a recovering caffeine addict.

– If there is something you seek, something you must accomplish, take it upon yourself to figure out the right answer.  No one is going to deliver all of life’s answers on a platter.

– Acknowledge what you have, stop thinking about what you have left to acquire.  Figure out what it is that makes you unique and an asset and own it.  Never be ashamed of how you are.

– My mother (who you can call for now Barbara, my friends can call her “Mommy Carlson”) once used this metaphor on me and it has helped me more than I expected.  Imagine that you have a pitcher full of water and a table of glasses before you.  You can only filled so many glasses with so much amount of water.  Would you rather have many glasses barely filled, or a select few filled to the brim?  This is how you should look at the projects you invest yourself in.  Never stretch yourself too thin.

– Get your just rewards.  If you feel you aren’t getting the recognition you deserve, get it or let it go.  Demand the attention you deserve.

– It’s worth spending time finding the things that inspire you and ignite your creativity.  On better days I am able to start my day “combing through” the Internet looking through my Tumblr, RSS feeds, the news, etc. to find something interest and innovating that I can think about throughout the day.  Today’s great find courtesy of Kickstarter was a couple of rough sketches by The Museum Proper of their plans to create a 12-foot tall puppet.

I have a long night of homework and tasks ahead, and then it’s back to the grind in the morning.  However, instead of looking upon it in contempt, I have to admit it’s become characteristic of me to always be busy, always be thinking, always taking part.

A Few of My Favorite Things #3

Bear Hands

Bear Hands
Bear Hands at Mercury Lounge during CMJ Music Marathon 2009

I started listening to Bear Hands in anticipation of last fall’s CMJ Music Marathon.  “Golden” and “What a Drag” are my favorites.  Bear Hands is definitely an example where the lyrics matter more than over-complicated musical stylings.  I can’t go further into explaining why I like them, I just do.  That’s the way music is.  It’s something you just “like”, without having to write a long analytical essay defending its merits.  I am also a big fan of how one can download Bear Hands tracks  *FOR FREE* by going on BearHandsBand and sharing your email.  You then receive a message with a free download link and info about news and their upcoming shows.  Bear Hands also has available through their site a white 7″ vinyl for purchase, because we all know that vinyl is making a comeback.

\”What a Drag\” – Bear Hands

Urs Fischer

This image of Noisette alone along with a recommendation to examine the “wall paper” on the third floor makes me desperately want to see this Urs Fischer exhibit at the New Museum on 235 Bowery, New York, NY.  “Urs Fischer: Marguerite de Ponty” is Fischer’s first solo show and is the culmination of four years work.  The wall paper “turns the Museum’s architecture into an image of itself—a site-specific trompe l’oeil environment. Each square inch of the Museum architecture has been photographed and reprinted as a wallpaper that covers the very same walls and ceiling, in a maddening exercise in simulation.” (New Museum) The exhibit is finished on February 7th so I need someone to commit to seeing it with me NOW!  The New Museum knows you are a broke college student, that’s why we will pay $8.

The Kandy-Kolored Tangerine-Flake Streamline Baby by Tom Wolfe

Author of The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test Tom Wolfe writes glimpses into lesser known American lives.  The first chapter, “Las Vegas (What?) Las Vegas (Can’t Hear You! Too Noisy)” makes one think of the infamous Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. My favorite are the chapters about life in New York along with sketches of New Yorkers in the chapter titled “A Metropolitan Sketchbook”.  If you find yourself rolling your eyes at the élite high society of New York, or you simply are not one of the natives and enjoy being cynical, this book is for you.   I’ve becoming a fan of anthologies that you can pick up every once in a while for a second read and not feel guilty about reading some stories more than others.  And just because it’s a recession is no excuse to stop reading.  Be good to the Earth and buy a used copy.

Kurt Vonnegut was a fan, saying it was an “excellent book by a genius who will do anything to get attention.”

IFC’s Web Series Getting Away With Murder

Gilbert John, the actor playing the main character Seth Silver in Getting Away With Murder, is cute and delightfully awkward as he works as a cold-blooded hitman but still lives with his mom.  The series itself is a hilarious take on the blood and gore plots that are gaining popularity (Dexter, Law & Order, CSI).  Getting Away With Murder also has the well-known theme of one of life’s ever eternal conflicts: keeping your personal life and your career separate.  Besides that, the characters are outrageous and the dialogue smirk-worthy.  It reminds me of the independent films (cough student films cough) that my friends and I have been involved with the past few years at Hofstra.  I may be biased (I’m a public relations intern for IFC), but all the IFC Web Series are gems.  I spent an entire night during Christmas vacation watching the entire series and sincerely feel I am a  better person for it.


There you go.  You now have a new band (Bear Hands) to talk about with the cute whatever at the bar this weekend, where you will also talk about the new book you are reading (The Kandy-Kolored Tangerine-Flake Streamline Baby by Tom Wolfe), take said cute whatever to that cool new art exhibit (Urs Fischer at New Museum), and then snuggle up on the couch with the cute whatever watching the awkwardly cute Gilbert John (Getting Away with Murder).  Ta da!

Now turning off Belle & Sebastian and going to Paddy’s Power Pub in Merrick to watch co-workers sing karaoke.  Have fun this weekend and I promise to have more entries soon.

All I want for Christmas

Here you are family and friends, My Christmas List.  Or a list of items that define my personality so much so that if having never met me and  saw all these things thrown into a drawer, you would understand me to my inner core – or at least have a good guess of my interests. Some you should take more seriously than others.

  • iTouch – smartphones are on the rise.  I have  many statuses on social networking platforms to update.  I love Verizon Wireless too much to give it up.  My iPod is finally on the fritz.  I’m hoping wherever I land my first job, a Blackberry would automatically come my way.
  • Black Hill’s Gold Jewelry
  • Books – anything by Roald Dahl, Infinite Jest , Word Virus: The William S. Burroughs Reader, Last Exit to Brooklyn, Googled: The End of the World As We Know It by Ken Auletta (need for an independent study next semester)
  • Movies – Royal Tennenbaums –  Wed Anderson,  Woody Allen – Manhattan
  • Piano player/singer of White Rabbits Stephen Patterson.  Dear Stephen, Locking eyes with you at the Wicker Park Fest over the summer…I can’t, I can’t, I just…ugh I can’t even…marry me.
  • black tights by the truck load – I will be damned if I walk around looking like some hobo hipster.
  • “Ugg Repellent” – If I never see a pair of Uggs again, it would be too soon.
  • knitted hats – I’ll be damned if I get a cold this winter.
  • Adobe Suite – best to buy while I can claim student status
  • Black hardcover sketchbook 8.5 x 11
  • membership to Underground Library Project
  • an appearance on IFC’s “Food Party”
  • oil pastels
  • that my shoes will stop falling apart
  • that i will learn that all the walking I do is not worth ruined shoes and I should just spring for subway fair.

Tidbits of Advice Part 1

The following list are tidbits of advice derived and compiled from lessons I have learned throughout my life, either from the vast experiences I have had (in 21 + years).

  1. Always try to return phone calls and text messages.  No one likes to feel ignored.
  2. Eat breakfast.  Every day.  Within an hour of waking up.
  3. It’s never about how nice you are to your superiors.  You can only be considered a genuine person if you are nice to senior citizens, children, and animals.  In fact, if you treat any being from within the three groups terribly (remember I don’t hold grudges)   you are a truly terrible person in my eyes.  Actually, when some one else is talking about a person they greatly dislike, and which I agree to, I always say “yeah, and I bet he/she kicks puppies.”  So brake for animals, be nice to kids (though you’re allowed to be sarcastic to them, they rarely catch on), and help out old people when they ask  – especially if they are a stranger to you and are standing on a sidewalk by themselves and you are their only hope to get home/cross the street/hail a cab.
  4. If you care about some one, write a letter and mail it to them.  Letter writing is an art.  A text message? Those get deleted eventually.  Phone calls?  Always appreciated and well deserved, but how do you keep them preserved?  I keep two boxes in my room in my parents’ house.  One is labeled “0-10” and the other “11-20”.  In those boxes are cards and letters that I have saved during my life, with the numbers obviously corresponding to my age at the time of receiving said letter or card.  Therefore, I have the ability to read through the letters my grandmother sent me before she died, cards my family members have sent throughout the years, valentines from grade school crushes, etc.  No matter how advanced technology gets, no communication will ever be better than that similar to the contents of those boxes.
  5. If some one makes you something as a gift, you better appreciate it – especially the more personal it is.  This is most important for relationships.  Dear next boyfriend:  I won’t be able to buy you a new Ipod for your next birthday, but I will bake you cookies.  I know you understand this shows more love than an Ipod ever will. I dated a guy who claimed to not like vegetables, and I drew him a cartoon of evil, angry vegetables as a random gift to give when I met up with him for a date.  He understood it’s value.
  6. Don’t drink more than 4 caffeinated drinks a day.
  7. The trick of sleeping for only three hours to get you through the day doesn’t work after the first time.
  8. Try to see as many of your favorite bands live as possible.  Get in the mosh pit as often as you can.  Push to the front of the stage when it really matters.  Crowd surf at least once.
  9. Live in at least one region other than the one you were born in.  Pick up a bit of the accent if you live somewhere for over a month.  If you are lucky like me, you will eventually have a wonderful voice containing a medley of attractive accents.  It is something I have been complimented on, from friends’ mothers to creepy truckers who call in at WRHU.
  10. Having a good sense of humor will get you far – especially if you can utilize it in any awkward situation.  If some one doesn’t get your humor, or maybe lacks some themselves, be rid of them.  It is a waste of your time and theirs.

Holiday Break Woes

I find when I come home I lose all track of time – a sort of vacuum in the sales tax free state. I had no idea Christmas eve was Christmas eve the day of, but I have to pat myself on the back for spending only one hour shopping for my entire family at one store. the gifts were stellar if I do say so myself – antique jewelry for my sisters and my mom and an antique Kodak pocket camera for Dad

While in the vacuum, I feel cut off from the outside world. you never realize how dependent you are on Hofstra’s free subscription of the NYT’s until you are without it. All I do when boredom hits inside the vacuum is make lists.

– watch Will Smith’s I Am Legend at night in the dark by yourself.
– get sucked into the same chick flick on HBO all weekend (P.S. I Love You – I HATE YOU FOR MAKING ME CRY!)
– forget I do NOT watch football. I’m waiting for the right guy to come along and only then will I feel obligated to watch football for hours on Sunday afternoons.
Books to Ready Before Going to Italy :
Let’s Go Italy 2009
The Ugly American
Rick Steve’s Best of Europe 2009
1984 (it’s been 6 months since I started)

“Top Albums of the Year” (according to Pitchfork) I need to acquire:
The Walkmen – You & Me
Portishead – Third
Gang Gang Dance – Saint Dymphna (if you have never seen them live it’s an out-of-body experience)

Top Places to See People from My High School Whilst At Home:
Borders Books & Music
Anywhere on Main Street in Newark


insomnia is lame.
apologies for the lack of entries the past few weeks – very lame on my part.
the end of the semester kind of spiraled out of control, what with finals and wrapping up last minute meetings to plan next semester. I’ll only have a few weeks and the craziness will enfold again (sigh).

I’ve been home in my sleepy small town and comfortably content for roughly 30 hours. I left behind in NY my cell phone, an unpaid parking ticket, and the strenuous but exciting life I’ve gotten used to for the past few years.

I was in the room that has been mine since I was born just now and was laying there (what else) thinking. I thought “for over the past 20 years, no matter how much I think I have evolved to be the person I think want to become, I always end up coming back here – and I’m twelve again listening to music and reading late in the night. I’m still imagining the story some stranger might have that is different from my own.”

Maybe it’s because I never officially moved before (save going to college), but now I feel in limbo of not quite having a place to call my own. My room at home isn’t mine – the closet is empty and the library incomplete. The jail cell of a dorm room on LI will never be fully mine – the walls are eggshell and the floors tiled and there is nowhere near the amount of space my turntable deserves. The place I truly want to call mine IS visible on a daily basis – the view of the NY skyline from my window.

I’m in layover. But normally I don’t mind a delayed flight.

This weekend I’m going to Baltimore to act as maid and jester for my sister who broke her foot.

It doesn’t feel like Christmas – despite the fact my family actually has our decorations up a week beforehand.

Everyone is doing end of the year “Top Albums List”s for 2008. I’m giving my list of sixteen random albums which came out this year and had some sort of impact. All I recommend for your listening pleasure:

In no order

Born Ruffians – Red, Yellow, and Blue
Foals – Antidotes
Girl Talk – Feed the Animals
Hot Chip – Made In the Dark
Thao – We Brave Bee Stings and All

Deerhoof – Offend Maggie
The Black Keys – Attack and Release
Fleet Foxes – Fleet Foxes
Dr. Dog – Fate
Santagold – Santagold

Portugal, The Man – Censored Colors
Hot Lava – Lavology
Islands – Arm’s Way
Bon Iver – For Emma
Land of Talk – Some Are Lakes

last Airwave playlist for the year.

Pshhh — new WRHU Airwave Producer for 2009!

Hear is the final playlist as a mere DJ!

artist song album A/C
Ladytron Ghosts Ghosts A
Her Space Holiday Sleepy Tigers Sleepy Tigers EP C
Hello Operator Chasing Satellites The Breaks C
The Decemberists I’m Sticking With You (Velvet Underground Cover) Always the Bridesmaid: A Single Series C
Black Lips Off the Block Good Bad Not Evil A
Amanda Palmer Runs In The Family Who Killed Amanda Palmer? A
Portugal. The Man Lay Me Back Down Censored Colors A
Land of Talk Some Are Lakes Some Are Lakes C
Hot Lava Blue Dragon Lavology C
Yelle JeVeux Te Voir Pop Up A
Thao Beat (Health, Life and Fire) We Brave Bee Stings and All A
Be Your Own Pet Wildcat! Be Your Own Pet A
Sally Shapiro Anorak Christmas (Piano Mix) I’ll Stay Till After Christmas Compilation (Force Field) C
Jay Reatard An Ugly Death Final Boss C
Belle & Sebastian Sleep Around the Clock The BBC Recordings C
State Shirt Time to Go This Is Old C
The Pipettes It Hurts to See You Dance So Well We Are the Pipettes A
Natalie Portman’s Shaved Head Slow Motion Tag Team Glistening Pleasure A
Miniature Tigers The Wolf Tell It To The Wolf A
Deerhoof Offend Maggie Offend Maggie C
Boy Eats Drum Machine Plants + Stars Booomboxxx C
Gangi Subject Position A C
Les Savy Fav The Equestrian Let’s Stay Friends A
Peachcake Did I Just Do That, Or Was It Jim Carey? What Year Will You Have the World? C
Times New Viking Call And Respond Stay Awake EP C
Japanese Motors Coors Lite Japanese Motors C
Women Black Rice Women C
Megapuss Theme From Hollywood Surfing C
The Blood Brothers USA Nails Burn Piano Island Burn A
Religious Knives Basement Watch The Doors C
Los Campesinos! The End of the Asterick We Are Beautiful, We Are Doomed C
Larytta Money For Pizza Difficult Fun C
Islands Creeper Arm’s Way A
Shy Child Kick Drum (feat. Spank Rock) Noise Won’t Stop A

Equally Cursed and Blessed

Today was one of just plain awfulness. Almost every aspect of the day that could have gone badly did so.
Woke up tired – hurried to finish PR Research Methods and Assessments paper before work – found out halfway through giving a tour that my school group was part of the ESL program and could barely understand English – printers were backed up in Hammer Lab – kept nodding off in PR RM’s and A’s – got charged too much for Chinese food – had my Physics teacher randomly talk about the importance of insects – got a migraine – called my grandmother since it was her birthday and she just sounded…old – tried on Halloween costume, doesn’t fit – dinner (more Chinese food) was an hour late – had two trackers sign up for my Airwave slot (thankfully both didn’t show up).

It sounds terrible for anyone to rant and rave and whine like that, but one must understand that these past two weeks of midterms have by far been the worse since starting college. What with all the Jewish holidays and the Debate, I’ve missed so many classes and put off work that I just ended up overwhelming myself. Not to mention I can’t say no to helping some one out and I’m an overachieving perfectionist (goddamn me). It is somewhat encouraging to think I can’t be the only one with constant migraines, lack of sleep, and a tendency to cry in front of the entire Marketing Department…’s all worth it in the end though, right? Character building? Maybe one day I’ll show off my bicep?

And to THINK they wanted to place trackers during my slot so I couldn’t have the ONE thing that is all mine. I am too young to have children, I have no significant other, and my family is two hours away, all I have— I spoke too soon…a tracker just walked in. GAHHHH

This was fun to find from PR week – student run agencies. The article made me think about how I want to take PRestige, call it my baby, and rework it to something better. Right now, we meet twice a week with just the main staff. I wish we could set it up more as a conference and include everyone involved with the committees. If only, if only.

Oh! and I just got Glue . What happens is that you download this application that sits in your toolbar. It is supposed to track sites you visit and take note of books, music, and movies you look at. “Friends” can follow you and track whether they have the same interests. It doesn’t work on all sites – for example, I listen to music on thesixtyone primarily. Glue doesn’t acknowledge the artists I look up on that site, but it does on Last.FM. Also, when listening to music and opening Glue, the song stops and you have to restart the browser all over again. I’m trying to be as fair as possible and not to purposely look at sites. I want to see how well Glue tracks what I look at. Hopefully in the future Glue will track what blogs and sites you visit.
what really matters is what you like, not what you are like. books, records, films — these things matter! Call me shallow, it’s the fucking truth.” -High Fidelity-

This week’s Airwave Playlist:

artist song album C/A/R
Portugal the Man Lay Me Back Down Censored Colors C
Amanda Palmer Runs in the Family Who Killed Amanda Palmer C
Boy Eats Drum Machine Planets + Stars Booomboxxx C
Arctic Monkeys Brainstorm Favorite Worst Nightmare A
Miniature Tigers The Wolf Tell It to the Volcano C
Thao Fear and Convenience We Brave Bee Stings and All A
Shugo Tokumaru Green Rain Exit C
El Guincho Palmitos Park Alegranza! C
Black Lips It Feels Alright Good Bad Not Evil A
Lykke Li Dance Dance Dance Youth Novels A
Santogold Creator —————– A
Karl Blau Mockingbird Diet Nature’s Got Away C
Hot Lava Blue Dragon Lavology C
School of Seven Bells Half Asleep Alpinisms C
Beirut Postcards from Italy Gulag Orkestar A
Deerhoof Offend Maggie Offend Maggie C
TV On the Radio DLZ Dear Science C
Pop Levi You Don’t Gotta Run Never Never Love C
Ratatat Falcon Jab LP 3 R
Rafter Sassy Sweaty Magic C
Hot Chip Wrestlers Made In the Dark A
The Heavy Set Me Free Great Vengeance and Furious Fire A
Her Space Holiday Same Song Sing Along Sleepy Tigers C
Mad Gregs White Out Big Nun C
Dan LeSac vs. Scroobius Pip Thou Shalt Always Kill Look for the Woman A
M.I.A. Paper Planes Kala A
Peter Bjorn and John Objects of My Affection Writer’s Block A
The Receiving End of Sirens Disappear The Earth Sings Mi Fa Mi A
Self Against City Record Store Pigs A
VHS or BETA She Says Equally Cursed and Blessed A
Starf*cker Myke Petyson Starf*cker C
The Mountian Goats Lovecraft in Brooklyn ——————– C
Karl Blau Make Love that Lasts Nature’s Got Away C