Life My Travels

Stay Strong, Boston Strong

This past Summer I had the pleasure of having an internship in the wonderful city of Boston. This city is full of history! Whether you’re talking about the history of our country, the history of art, the history of architecture, the history of the 80s sitcom Cheers…or perhaps the history of Mark Wahlberg. It’s all there! Boston has been the scene of several key events in our country’s history including the Boston Massacre, the Boston Tea Party and the Battle of Bunkerhill. Boston is also the home of  the United States’ first public school (1635) and the first subway system(1897). And, though I am a Detroit Tigers fan, how can we forget the year the Curse of the Bambino was broken, when the Red Sox swept the St. Louis Cardinals in the 2004 World Series! All of these events of history have played a part in our lives, whether it was in joy or pain.
One year ago today Boston experienced it’s most recent pain, the Boston Marathon bombing. At 2:49 pm EDT, on April 15, 2013 Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and other social media outlets broke out in fear alerting others of the tragedy. Three people were killed and an estimated 264 others were injured that day. The bombs exploded about 12 seconds and 210 yards (190 m) apart, near the finish line on Boylston Street in downtown Boston.

Boston Marathon Memorial
Boston Marathon Memorial

Boston Marathon Memorial

Arriving in Boston in June of 2013, I found that the pain and fear had turned into courage and faith, with a community of support and remembrance. A beautiful memorial was created where the incident occurred. There were fences, trees, benches, posters, and more decorated with everything from flags, hats, shoes and clothing to stuffed animals, books, ribbons and notes. Though an unfortunate and an awful happening, it was amazing to experience the togetherness of a city. Everywhere you looked someone was wearing or selling a “Boston Strong” t-shirt. Companies, organizations and individuals all over the city were displaying the blue and yellow ribbons of their Boston Strong support.
A breathtaking photo series was released last week where “Survivors of the Boston Marathon bombing send messages of hope…” Please check it out, it’s truly inspiring. It’s events like these that remind us to be thankful for everything we have, everyday, even if we don’t think it’s much! We are lucky to have our health, our family, our friends and the opportunities that we do!
My thoughts and prayers continue to go out to all of the those affected by this tragedy. Stay Strong, Boston Strong!
Boston Marathon Memorial

Boston Marathon Memorial

Lists Musical Monday

Musical Monday: My Current Top 10 Shower Songs

Sometimes… I sing. I sing in my room,  in the car,  at work, when I walk to class,  when I ride my bike, when I’m at the bar, when I’m at a concert and also, like many, I sing in the shower. Music is a huge part of my life, I was around thirteen when I realized how much I loved to sing. My mom got a karaoke machine that I slowly began to take over. When I was in eighth grade I sang in the talent show and performed “How do I live” by LeAnn Rimes, I won second place! In twelfth grade I finally had to the time in my schedule to join choir, where I developed my skills as an alto singer. My freshman year at Purdue I performed “Beautiful Disaster” by Kelly Clarkson in Residence Hall’s Got Talent. My sophomore year at Purdue I was in the All Campus and Community Choir.
Though I am not a part of a choir right now, my love of singing has only grown since then. Whenever karaoke is available I will participate. I know the lyrics to an uncountable amount of songs but I have a few favorites I like to sing. Songs make the favorite list for a few reasons, either I like the meaning of the lyrics, the song fits my range, the song pushes my range, I like how the song makes me feel, the song reminds of something or someone or it is just a cool or fun melody to sing.
I have this speaker, the HMDX – Jam Wireless Portable Speaker, that as you can see here is a little smaller than a squirrel (ha..don’t ask me why that was a chosen comparison)  it connects to your phone’s Bluetooth and you can listen to any music that comes from your phone. It works very well for parties, barbecues outside, tanning on the beach, and well, the shower! So here are the top 10 songs I’ve been singing and that my roommates are probably tired of hearing:

1. I Was Here by Beyonce

Best line: “I wanna leave my footprints on the sands of time”
Why this song: This is on Beyonce’s album called 4 that I had purchased because of the song “1+1”, one day I listened to the whole album and this song stuck out, I was inspired by the lyrics, so I then listened to it on repeat until I knew all of them.

2. Burning Bridges by OneRepublic

Best line: “There’s no filling up your spaces with fictionary places, Imaginary faces they don’t work at all”
Why this song: This was another accidental discovery. I bought OneRepublic’s album, Native because of “Counting Stars” and “Feel Again” but I heard “Burning Bridges” and became addicted to it.

3. The Great Escape by Pink

Best Line: “‘Cause the passion and pain, Are gonna keep us alive someday”
Why this song: Once again, I bought an album for one song and was pleasantly surprised to find another. “The Great Escape” has quite the message.

4. Oh Darling! -Across the Universe Soundtrack

Best Line: “Believe me when I tell you, I’ll never do you no harm”
Why this song: I absolutely love the movie Across the Universethey definitely put a twist on The Beatles’ music.

5. Let Me Be Your Star – Smash Soundtrack

Best Line: “The music starts playing, It’s the beat of her heart saying…Let me be your star.” Why this song: I’ve always been intrigued by musicals and what it would be like to perform on Broadway, this is why I liked the show Smash.  Smash aired for two seasons on NBC with Megan Hilty and Katherine McPhee, who performed this beautiful song that was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Song Written for Visual Media.

6. Save Rock and Roll by Fall Out Boy feat. Elton John

Best Line: “I will defend the faith, Going down swinging, I will save the songs, That we can’t stop singing”
Why this song: When Fall Out Boy came out with a new album I was ecstatic, then I saw Fall Out Boy and Elton John…how can you not be intrigued by that?! I was again, pleasantly surprised.

7. Lovin’ Touchin’ Squeezin’ by Journey

Why this song: I love me some Journey. I can’t say I really relate to the lyrics but it’s a fun song to sing with some attitude. I sing this on Karaoke a lot…and maybe once on Youtube:

 8. 1+1 by Beyonce

Why this song: I heard a girl audition for a talent show with this song and thought it was a really beautiful song so I looked it up and added it to my repertoire.

9. Don’t Rain On My Parade – Glee Soundtrack by Lea Michele

Best Line: “But whether I’m the rose of sheer perfection, Or freckle on the nose of life’s complexion…”
Why this song: When I heard Lea Michele sing this song on Glee I just fell in love with it!

10. Hand in My Pocket by Alanis Morissette

Best Line: “I’m brave but I’m chickenshit”
Why this song: This was the first song I sang at Purdue, they had karaoke at the Purdue Memorial Union during Boiler Gold Rush (our freshmen orientation week). I love Alanis’ lyrics.

Have a Musical Monday! Don’t be afraid to sing out loud!



Twenty Two, the Hidden Milestone

On Monday, I started a new year of my life. At first glance, there is nothing special about being 22. It isn’t really a milestone birthday, but all of the sudden it sneaks up on you, this is an important year full of important decisions and events. In the next two months I am finishing a senior design project, I am looking for a full time job, I am graduating from Purdue, I am saying goodbye to college friends, I am moving out of my apartment and I am going to Europe…that is just in the next two months! If this isn’t a milestone year, I don’t know what is!
The year a person graduates from college is always a big year, it is the time you enter the “real world”. You are about to become a tax payin’, loan payin’, 8-5 workin’, “real person”.  It isn’t always year 22 but that is how it worked out for me, so I have to make it count (like Jack and Rose…minus the whole iceberg thing).
I recently decided Chicago is where I want to go after Purdue, decision made, yes! I had an internship there in the summer of  2012 and fell in love with the people, the architecture, the sights, the festivals, the churches, the art…it was a culturally stimulating experience and I barely brushed the surface of the things to do there, so the Chicago exploration will continue. Though if I don’t get a job first…I may just have to look into street performing (joking but not joking).
Before that adventure can begin I have to finish strong at Purdue. Two weeks from today I have my senior design final presentation. I won’t lie to you, senior design has been a more than challenging experience, then again group projects usually always are. They’re kind of like arranged marriages. And then you have this ‘baby’ of a project that you have to raise together.
I’ve learned a lot from my project, my class in general has prepared me for what it might be like working with all different kinds of people at my future place of employment. No matter how this project ends up, I’ve grown as a leader and as a person from this project, so that’s something.
From there, it’s turning in projects, taking finals, packing up the apartment and walking across that stage. Followed by a thirteen day European tour through eight countries! On June 4th I’ll come back…hopefully to a place to work and place to live…
It’s going to be a busy, and kind of scary, year all around, but I’m excited for what ever else 22 throws my way!