sarahgrand

Month: March, 2017

Personal Goals for the Next Year

By 3/31/18…

  1. Finish designing NYC poster
  2. Submit NYC poster to contest
  3. Fabricate NYC poster
  4. Sell NYC poster
  5. Design and look into fabricating Fruits! notebooks
  6. Make a band poster
  7. Re-design and clean up my design website!!
  8. Move to NYC (I’m commuting to work from NJ now)
  9. Go on a New Mexico roadtrip!
  10. Start planning my trip to Thailand
  11. GROW LONG HAIR

WILL FOLLOW UP NEXT YEAR.

FAVORITE ALBUMS (as of March 2017)

A couple weeks ago, I was out with a friend, and we somehow got on the subject of music. He asked me what my “top albums” were, and in that moment, I basically FORGOT LITERALLY EVERYTHING I KNEW and couldn’t even come up with anything! 

Over the past couple weeks, I’ve given this question some legitimate thought, so that next time I’m asked, I’ll ACTUALLY KNOW WHAT TO SAY (and it will be accurate). So, here it goes… in no particular order, here are MY FAVORITE ALBUMS AS OF MARCH 2017:

1. We are the 21st Century Ambassadors of Peace & Magic — Foxygen

This album is gold. Currently OBSESSED. I first discovered Foxygen on Spotify — my friend suggested I listen to this song called “Lady, You Shot Me” by Har Mar Superstar (also good), and after checking that out, I clicked on Har Mar’s Related Artists. Foxygen was wayyyyy at the bottom of the Related Artists list, but the name intrigued me so much that I actually clicked on it (kudos on the band name I guess?). The first Foxygen song I listened to was “Shuggie.” INSTANTLY HOOKED. I think I had it on repeat at work for like 3 days straight. Once I got over that obsession, I checked out the rest of the album, AND MY LOVE ONLY GREW! My favorite songs are probably “No Destruction,” “Oh No,” and “San Francisco.” Can’t say I’m a big fan of Foxygen’s latest album Hang (it’s a bit too theatrical for me), but I saw them perform the whole thing live last Friday, and I definitely have more of an appreciation for it now. I’ll give it another listen and maybe it will grow on me! 

2. I Love You, Honeybear — Father John Misty

My friend Lauren suggested this album to me. Obsessed. LITERALLY OBSESSED. I think I could listen to “Chateau Lobby #4” on repeat for the rest of my life and be kind of ok with it. Now, I have to admit, for some reason, I pretty much despise the song “True Affection.” But that’s ok, because everything else on this album is sooooooo freaking good! I actually saw Father John Misty this past October at the New Yorker Festival. It wasn’t a concert—it was a “talk” with him—but he did end up singing “Holy Shit” at the end. His voice was so angelic and true to the album that it was honestly chilling. YOU COULD BASICALLY FEEL THE CHILLS REVERBERATING THROUGHOUT THE AUDIENCE. I would love to see him again live, but I think tickets to his show in Brooklyn this Spring are $80? We’ll see. On another note, I wonder if FJM would make fun of my overzealous use of the word “literally” on this blog (and in conversation)…oh well, I USE IT FOR EMPHASIS.

3. Melody’s Echo Chamber — Melody’s Echo Chamber

This album is PERFECTION, and I think it’s so underrated! I feel like everyone always freaks out over Tame Impala, but to me, THIS IS BETTER THAN ANY TAME IMPALA ALBUM EVER (…even though I do really like Currents). (For reference, in case you don’t know the connection, this album was produced by Kevin Parker). Ok, so, favorite song from this album is “I Follow You,” but a close second is “Mount Hopeless.” I love every single part of every single song on this album, and I’m excited for Melody’s next album, which is coming out next week!

4. Oracular Spectacular — MGMT

Gonna throw it back to junior year of high school and include Oracular Spectacular on here. This album is not only so good, but it’s also so nostalgic. I don’t know what it is about “Time to Pretend” but it honestly MAKES ME SAD because it’s so damn nostalgic! I used to think the whole Oracular Spectacular/nostalgia thing was just me, but I’m starting to realize that this album DOES THAT TO BASICALLY EVERYONE. EVEN MGMT THEMSELVES. In this one MGMT interview I watched, Andrew and Ben said “Time to Pretend” makes them sad too (so it’s basically totally a thing). Favorite songs from this album are “Time to Pretend” (obvi), “The Youth,” “Weekend Wars,” and “The Handshake.” Also, this isn’t included on the list, but honorable mention to Congratulations. I know some people who weren’t crazy about it, but I actually really like that album too, especially the song “Siberian Breaks.”

5. Miracle Mile — STRFKR

STRFKR is probably my favorite band. I like pretty much everything by them, but I’m going to go ahead and choose Miracle Mile for this list, cause it’s currently my favorite of the favorites. I love STRFKR not only because of their music, but also because the guys in the band seem so DOWN TO EARTH and chill and friendly. Like, just watch this interview and TRY NOT TO FALL IN LOVE. Ok??

6. Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix — Phoenix

Ok, so I’m not super obsessed with this right now, but I went through a hardcore Phoenix phase a couple years ago. It was honestly pretty hardcore. I think I listened to this album on loop for like 3 months straight. Of all the wonderful albums on this list, I think this one takes the cake for being the most CLEAN AND EFFICIENT. Every song on this album just flows together, and it all just MAKES PERFECT SENSE. Another reason I love this album is because it’s really inspiring for my graphic design work, since the songs feel really colorful and punchy (which is pretty much exactly my aesthetic). This isn’t mentioned on the list, but honorable mention to Phoenix’s latest album Bankrupt! (and basically everything else by them). I’m hoping to get tickets to their Philadelphia show for this June! This will be Phoenix’s first time touring in the US since 2014! I’ve been waiting years for this!

7/8. Vampire Weekend & Contra – Vampire Weekend

I knew I needed to include something by Vampire Weekend on this list, but I couldn’t choose between Vampire Weekend and Contra, so I’m going to include both (I also love their latest album, Modern Vampires of the City, but I guess not as much as these two?). Ok, so you know how I said Oracular Spectacular makes me nostalgic? Well, both of these albums make me really nostalgic too, but in a really specific way. They almost make me nostalgic for something I DIDN’T EVEN EXPERIENCE….does that make sense?? All the references to Massachusetts, and campuses, and the fact that they all met at Columbia, and their preppy image, make me nostalgic for that time I went to college on a big campus (which literally never happened). DOES ANYONE ELSE FEEL THIS WAY?? On another note, I’m really looking forward to new stuff by Vampire Weekend, but I’m also a little worried I’ll be let down, since Rostam left the band. Apparently, he’s still contributing though, so maybe it won’t be too different.

So, there are my current favorite albums! There are so many individual songs that I love that are not included on these albums, so maybe I’ll do a separate post on my favorite songs one day. I love discovering new music, so let me know if you have any suggestions! 

In Love…SHOULD YOU FOLLOW YOUR BRAIN OR YOUR HEART?

I’m almost 25 years old, and I’m starting to get to that “special age” where people (extended family members, older coworkers, random people at the dental office, etc.) are asking me if I have a boyfriend.

When I tell them that I don’t, they oftentimes share words of reassurance with me, and offer to set me up with someone such as their “nice nephew with a full time job.” Now, I get that these people are just trying to be nice and help, but whenever something like this happens to me, it honestly really freaking bothers me. Because it feels like these people are pitying me, and acting as if the only reason I don’t have a boyfriend is because no man on the planet likes me. PUHLEASE, if I wanted a boyfriend like your nice nephew, I could probably have one.

I say this with total confidence because I know of a few extremely nice, intelligent, caring guys that have recently expressed genuine interest in me. My brain tells me that these guys are complete catches, and I should probably go out with one of them before someone else snatches them up. But I just can’t bring myself to do it, because my brain and my heart never seem to be on the same page.

As you can see in the diagram I made below (I have a life I swear…), my brain tells me that I should go for a nice, hard-working, successful guy with similar core values. My heart, on the other hand, tells me I should basically go out with a rock star. Unfortunately, Dave Grohl appears to be the only man in the universe in the intersecting part of the Venn Diagram, and he’s ridiculously famous, married, and has three children (no biggie).

It seems my brain and heart have been on different pages my entire life. Like most young girls, I always seemed to have a thing for the “bad boys” at school. But now, unlike most girls my age, I haven’t seemed to fully outgrow it, and at almost 25, I’m not sure if I ever truly will. I want someone that satisfies both my heart and my brain, but right now, looking at all the people I’m meeting, it feels like I have to choose one or the other.

The question is: do I follow my brain, and try to date someone nice, and see if I surprise myself? Maybe it won’t feel like settling after all? Or do I follow my heart, in the hopes that my own Dave Grohl exists somewhere in the world, waiting for me? PLEASE ADVISE. (ALSO, IF YOU KNOW WHERE I CAN FIND PPL IN THE INTERSECTING PART OF THE DIAGRAM, PLEASE ADVISE ON THAT TOO. KTHXBYE.)

The Fun I Never Had in College

I have always been, and always will be, a “good girl.” But as my friend Bryan likes to say, I can easily be pushed over the edge to my more “wild side” by the right person…

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I’ve never really been the type to have a big group (or shall we say “squad”) of friends, but growing up, I pretty much always had one really close best friend at any given moment. 

“Best friend” means different things to different people. To some, a best friend is someone you can always rely on, someone you can tell all your problems to, someone who is always there. While I of course look for these things in any friendship, my best friendships haven’t necessarily been characterized by qualities like loyalty or dedication, but rather, by laughter. What has separated my best friends from simply my friends in the past has been how weird, silly, and hysterical we get together. 

In early high school, my best friend and I were so wild together that we actually got fired from our jobs as camp counselors (yes, I know this is probably shocking to most people…I was indeed fired from a job at one point in my life…but the camp let me work in the arts & crafts department instead…so it basically totally worked in my favor). In late high school, a different best friend and I were so weird together that we would write creepy love notes to this one totally random guy from my high school, and leave them at his house. We’d also do drive-bys past the house on a regular basis. What makes this whole situation even weirder is that neither of us even liked the guy. We were just having absolute, pure fun—the kind that results in uncontrollable laughter. We were so bizarre together that someone even kind of wrote a song about it. 

When I first got accepted to Cooper Union, I expected to meet a new best friend, or, if I was lucky, maybe even several of them, who I could take over the city with. I imagined getting dolled up (basically my favorite activity) and hitting up the town together, flirting with boys from ALL three schools (art, architecture, and engineering), and, of course, studying/freaking out to the point of fun delirium when it came to exam time. I thought my life would become some sort of mashup between The Big Bang Theory and Sex and the City.  

But, then, it never really happened. 

I didn’t make a best friend in college. In fact, I didn’t really make close friends in general. To be fair, there were a couple core guys I studied with, and a couple guys I dated, and those experiences were fun in their own ways. But during those four years, I didn’t meet a single girl I connected with in the same way I had with some of my middle school and high school friends. And without that close girlfriend/partner-in-crime/wing-woman figure, I didn’t take advantage of the city, or get into the shenanigans I thought I would, during college.

Oddly enough, my lack of a best friend (and the associated shenanigans) didn’t really bother me while I was actually in it. While I was in college, I was so caught up with schoolwork, studying, and figuring out what I wanted to do with my life, that I didn’t even really notice the…idk…HUGE discrepancy between my expectations and the reality of the experience. It wasn’t until after I graduated that I realized, “Shit. I just finished college, and that was it?!

I started to feel like I had this four-year window of opportunity to have fun and get a bunch of stuff out of my system, and suddenly it was over, and I hadn’t even cracked open the window. I felt like I had lost my chance, and could only make up for it by either doing something extreme, like moving to a new city (I can’t be the only person who’s ever thought that moving to London would solve ALL my problems), or doing something extremely free-spirited, like hostel-hopping in some other part of the world for an extended period of time. I figured I didn’t even have much time to do these sorts of “make-up” things either, before I would seem like a tragic cougar suffering from Peter Pan syndrome. Plus I didn’t even know if I had the guts to.

I talked to my parents about some of my frustrations, and they helped bring me back down to earth. They made me realize that maybe I was being too idealistic and romantic about college, and youth in general, and that while my college experience wasn’t perfect, it wasn’t terrible either (plus it was free). I came to terms with that, and moved on.

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About a year ago, I began looking for a new job. I was working at a big construction company at the time, as a civil cost estimator, and for reasons I can discuss in another post, it wasn’t for me. Towards the end of my college experience, I became very interested in design, technology, and entrepreneurship, and those interests kept growing in the years that followed, so I decided to look for jobs at startups.

Though I had pretty much come to terms with my college years, while applying to startups, I did have an inkling of hope that I could work somewhere fun, or at the very least, somewhere where I could meet new friends.

Last June, I started a new job at a startup called Market Realist. There are so many things I could say about the switch professionally. To keep things simple, I’ll just say this: career-wise, this switch was one of the best decisions of my life. And socially…well, I might not have had much luck in college, but here, I hit the jackpot!

After years of getting used to life without a super close best friend, I met one! At this job! And finally, at 24 years old, I’m having all the fun that I never had in college with a crazy-ass wing-woman who is up for LITERALLY anything (literally), and basically my separated-at-birth twin. I honestly feel like I’ve had enough laughs and fun in the last 9 months to make up for the last 6 years (see a small sampling of photos below), and I didn’t have to move away, or go back to school, or do anything extreme. 

During the last 9 months, I’ve realized that there actually isn’t a “window of opportunity” to have fun in life, like I once thought there was. Life can always be fun—I think you just have to surround yourself with the right people (see this post for help on that), and stay open to changing things up and trying new experiences. Even if you’re older than me, or married, or settled down, I think it’s totally possible to make small changes to do this, and it’s never “too late” (so don’t feel bad if it didn’t happen in college or wherever). This is especially easy if you live in or around New York City, where there’s live music, free museum tickets, trivia challenges, professional panel discussions (that make you feel like a corporate debutant…) and a bunch of other cool stuff LITERALLY every night. 

Last month, our startup’s developers visited from Argentina (basically a bunch of dudes), and while they were in town, we went out every night with them. One night, we sang karaoke until 3 am, and were all back in the office by 9 the next morning. I worked every day that week (and was busy AF if I remember correctly), but after it was all over, I felt oddly refreshed, like I had just returned from a vacation. But I hadn’t taken any days off, left Manhattan, or even spent much money. New York City, the city that kind of let me down in college, looks totally different to me now. Thank god I never ended up in London!