My Second Job at the Local Record Store

Naturally, if you love music as much as me, you want to be surrounded by it as often as possible. Although I am teaching myself to play bass and frequently attend concerts, they alone aren’t enough to fulfill and balance my hobby with my student life at school. So I got a second job… again.

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This isn’t the first time I’ve held multiple jobs at once. I already know how overwhelming it can be whilst trying to balance a course load and a social life… which is why I really wasn’t looking for anything. But when an opportunity basically falls into your lap, it feels like blatantly ignoring fate to deny it.

“You’re here every day anyway… would you be interested in a job if I told you it involved free music and dogs?”

After visiting my local record store so many times and becoming a valued customer, the owner picked up on my communication skills and music knowledge (AKA I can talk to people and I know a lot about music made before I was born.) Now, where my paycheck was once being drained has been replaced by free records for a few hours of labor and an the company of an adorable store dog named Chewbacca.

My music addiction is being  supported and my heart feels free. I have a little less free time, but it never feels like work. Finding old pictures and notes hidden away in our store’s books and sorting through other’s vinyl collections to decide what to keep is endlessly interesting. Music and novels are such a personal journey, and working with a diverse group of people’s belongings all day feels like I get to take peeks into other’s hidden worlds.  (And now I get dibs on Record Store Day Deals, bless.)

Find what you love and chase it friends.

Lessons Danny Clinch taught me indirectly

It takes a very certain type of person to inspire me. Usually, it’s someone who doesn’t intend to be inspirational at all, but rather someone who leads by example and lives with zeal. That’s why when I visited Danny Clinch‘s gallery in Asbury Park, and felt passion in the room the same way cigarette smoke lingers, I knew I would walk away with something meaningful. And I did. Here’s some things I learned from Danny just through observation:

  • We’re just ordinary people

*Humming- “we don’t know which way to go”*.  Danny Clinch has probably photographed you, your mom, and eclectic uncle’s favorite musicians. Seriously- the list is endless. Yet, despite the obvious cool-factor of listening, playing, and photographing music he gives everyone the same attention. Whether you’re Grammy-award winning talent, or a weirdo fan from NJ, Danny remains professional and kind. He seems to see people for what they really are, which is probably why some very well-known people can consider him a friend.  This showed me the value of character and being humble no matter where you’re at in life.

  • Harmonicas are a badass instrument

I seriously didn’t recognize this until I saw Danny go to town.

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I wish I could upload this snapchat
  • Hats are cool

Self-explanatory. Went out and bought my own in less than 24 hours of taking this picture. (I’m convinced it’s made me a better bass player?)

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#invisiblejazzcigarette
  • Kindness is the new black

Honestly, Danny didn’t have to give me the time of day. But he joked with me, signed his book for me, and made me feel like an old friend. When I told him I wasn’t going to be able to attend his band’s sold-out show, he even offered to try and help get me tickets (which I politely declined when I saw how insanely busy he was.) Between juggling two shows and a gallery at the same time he was still thoughtful. That really resonated with me. If you are capable of making someone’s day a little better, why wouldn’t you? The golden rule people… it’s still alive and well.

  • Follow Your Bliss

I don’t think I need to elaborate on how difficult it is to make it in both the music and art worlds. Our society discourages most from even trying at least three times a day. As someone who plays bass and paints for fun, seeing Danny’s happiness and his dedication was the reminder I needed to follow my heart. When you love a hobby that hard, it’s going to love you back. This re-affirmation to avoid wasting my life couldn’t have come at a better time.

Thanks for the reminder to chase what I love even if it’s not easy Danny… you’ve probably just saved me a ton of “what ifs.”

 

Stay gold,

The weirdo music fan from NJ

 

 

My Weekend in Jersey City: Why I Believe it to be a Growing Hotspot

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So I’m totally stashing Jersey City (certain parts) under places I need to visit more frequently. Here’s why. Entering my twenties soon, which is so weird to think about, I’m trying to find as many places as possible that will create an abundance of young and fun memories. Not necessarily bar scenes, but just places that will feed my artsy soul. There’s already Hoboken and Morristown that I have been to many times, so when I got an invitation to my dear friend’s birthday party to a new spot I couldn’t resist.

Where we went, Downtown Jersey City around First Street, was chalk-full of picturesque apartment style homes and stairs that are straight out of rom-coms. There are emerging night clubs, music scenes, fantastic mural street art, parks, and some really great restaurants. It has some of everything, you can eat on the water at a beach-type restaurant or in a cute cafe that feels like you’re in the city. We went to eat at Porta, a restaurant known for its pizza that has the loveliest interior of exposed brick and fairy lights. They are popular because they tend to take all of the tables out and turn the place into a nightclub at night. Not only did I have way too much regular pizza but the Nutella pizza…

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…do you know how hard that was to resist?! I had two slices with absolutely no shame.

I didn’t get any photos of the place, but I added an awkward selfie of my outfit that did manage to happen.

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Honestly how I got a picture of that and not the streets I still don’t understand. Just living in the moment I guess.

Sorry this is a random post, I just had a fun weekend. Every city has some rough spots so keep that in mind but overall, with new and upcoming architecture and a scene that has truly developed for all ages, I would definitely add Downtown Jersey City to your list of fun places to visit to over the next few years.Where are some of your favorite places that are, dare I say, hip in your towns? I know I definitely want to travel to Portland, Oregon really soon and back to New Hope, Pennsylvania but I would love to hear where some of your top fun/artsy towns are!

XO,

Brittany

Makeup VS. Professionalism

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The other day I had to take a professional photo to spice up my LinkedIn profile. As I was touching up my makeup and taking off my eyeliner to look “more professional” something inside me started to really get ticked off. Why is makeup so frowned upon in the professional world? The photo turned out fine but I cannot stop thinking about it.

Sure, I can understand maybe not going overboard to the point of distraction but why does a little wing and a pop of color on my lips make me less desirable to hire? A small line on my eyelid will not stop me from doing a great job and communicating well with others!

I guess it’s the same idea as tattoos in the workplace, but winged eyeliner is a part of my identity at this phase in my life. I know this is a short and off topic post from my usual stuff but I was just wondering what you guys thought about this. How much makeup is too much makeup? Let me know what you think!

XO,

Brittany

Color Change and Consequences

As you may have noticed on previous posts I just recently dyed my hair. Not simple highlights or low lights but a complete and utter change. So much so that people don’t recognize me at first glance. I was told how drastic the transition would be, but sometimes you just need to start fresh in a new chapter of your life, ya know?

I digress, the decision was to go from being bleach blonde my whole entire life to a darker shade of red. Obviously, a lot has changed besides my appearance, so I thought it might be helpful to share some things that occurred as I embraced this new and ferocious color.

FROM LIGHT HAIR TO DARK; THE TRANSITION BEFORE AND AFTER

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Here are two ridiculously posed selfies of me pretending to be a model. They were taken the day before I got my hair dyed and the day after. I asked to look like Scar-Jo in the Avengers…super happy with the results.

Precautions to take;

  • You’re going to need a new eyebrow product. Try as hard as you want but the color just won’t look right with the new hair-do.
  • Re-think lipstick shades. I can still rock a red, but the shades of red have changed majorly
  • That go-to bronzer might not do the trick. Your skin will appear lighter in color and you may need to invest in something new… excuse for a makeup trip am I right or am I right?
  • Your old “color” changes- I used to look best in blue and red for everything. Although they still look decent, shades of purple tend to compliment me now
  • Your hair dye might stain towels and sheets! Be extra careful
  • Personality change- honestly this might just be me, but I found with my new color certain personality traits came to light. I’m not as bubbly as I was as a blonde, maybe it is because I’m being taken more seriously than before (the sad truth) and I can see my quirky side becoming more dominant. I love it.
  • Natural hair change- I noticed the darker color, while making my hair healthier, consequently weighed my hair down and changed its natural state. My once curly hair looks a lot more wavy now. #TeamBeachyWaves
  • Invest in color saving shampoo! Stop those beautiful locks from fading.

These are just a few things I thought important, but overall embrace your inner-beauty and know that no matter the color your lovely self will show through! Spread the self-love my friends.

XO,

The new ginger Brittany