Lucas Carpenter & Mark Rose at Folklore Coffee & Co.

Tonight, I got to enjoy the sweet sounds of Lucas Carpenter and Mark Rose at Folklore Coffee & Co. With a $5 cover charge, a chance to eat great food & better coffee, this was definitely an event worth coming out for.

A Pennsylvania native, Lucas’s sound is refreshingly innovative and evokes some of the best sounds from such musicians as Ben Gibbard (Death Cab for Cutie/Postal Service), the Neptunes, Will.I.Am, and others (as described further on his Facebook page.) His lyrics contain balance of poetry and lyricism, while managing to be witty and pleasantly peppered with pop culture references and not just for the Gen Y crowd. You can get a sample of the variety of his sound from his songs “Frowny Face Away Message” and his personal favorite of his new album, Evolution/Mystery, “Tumbleweed.”

Mark Rose hails from Chicago, IL and plays shows solo and with a band. The show at the Folklore was solo. His music is “a  blend of blues-infused rock and progressive pop” (Check out more about his sound here.) Mark’s online store is where you can buy his great music and some well-designed graphic tees (it is almost summer, you know…).

As to how the two ended up playing together in at Folklore Coffee & Co. — after meeting up in Chicago, the two have been touring together  for the past month going everywhere from Milwaukee to New York, where Lucas currently resides.

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Lucas & Mark can be found touring together for the next two days in:

Ardmore, PA on Sunday at Milkboy Coffee at 8PM and New York, NY on Monday at National Underground at 9PM. (You hear that my PA, NYC, NJ, and CT people?! I’m calling you out!)

For those of you who are tired of the same old stuff on your playlists and on the radio every day, you should really update your playlists with Lucas Carpenter’s and Mark Rose’s excellent music.  Really, I’m allowing you to leave the blog and check these guys out instead!


For a bonus track, t-shirt, or autographed CD from Lucas, you can donate at Feed the Muse. (Someone had the audacity to steal his equipment last Autumn. You know you wanna support the arts!) Don’t forget, Mark’s online store, as well!

Getting Past Finals Stress in 5 steps

How do you get past stress for finals?

As I finish my thesis work and my final assignments, I can’t stop thinking about when I will be done with all the stress. When will it end?

There are five  ways I use to get rid of finals stress:

1: Maintain a healthy diet– Although binging on donuts, coffee, and chocolate may get you through the 3 AM hump on an all-nighter, all that sugar and caffeine will leave you burnt out and unhealthy when it’s over.

2. Get sleep- I am notorious for ignoring this one, but sleep truly is wonderful and will leave you ready to tackle all your challenges.

3. Excercise– Getting your heart rate up and moving a bit after sitting at a computer forever and typing or reading will help you feel better. I’ve done this with everything from dancing, to playing with my friend’s dog, to helping keep my nieces and nephews entertained. Toting around 6 year olds is like a weight workout!

4. Have a plan– Have a plan of attack for all that work you have to do.

5. Take breaks– Do this in moderation, but make sure to take some time out to recover from all the work you are doing. I prefer to do this by eating healthy meals (#1), exercising (#3), and getting some moral support from friends..

Today, I fought the stress by deciding to do all my editing work at the cozy yet hip Folklore Coffee & Co. in Elizabethtown, PA (they are also on Twitter). This is how I take a break, eat healthy, and create a plan of attack (by pausing to blog and get my thoughts together). Check this out:

This feeds my stomach and my soul! (Meal from Folklore Coffee & Co. in Elizabethtown, PA) Delicious, yummy, and scrumptious with some OM, NOM, NOM on the side! And it's affordable.

I’m a published, amateur photographer!

I’m a published amateur photographer! The photograph I took is now online and can be viewed worldwide!

Falling Water in Autumn

I was selected as a Finalist in Photographer’s Forum magazine’s College Photography Contest in January. My photograph will be included in the hardcover book, Best of College Photography 2011. The house is Fallingwater, also known as the Edgar J. Kaufmann Sr. Residence, designed by American architect Frank Lloyd Wright. I must admit that I did have to use a diffuse light filter and sharpened the edges of the photo using Photoshop to get some clarity in the photo since it was misty that day. I used a Kodak EasyShare 360. The photo was taken on October 23, 2009.

To see more, visit the Photographer’s Forum Magazine website and take a look at the various galleries. Currently, they have a contest for Spring 2011.

Goodbye, my dear Car!

My car is gone. Totaled.

No one was hurt and the other car was fine, but not my car.

It was Tuesday and I was driving home from my internship. After I was cut off by someone on the highway, who then had to slam on the brakes because of stop and go traffic, I got into an accident going a mere 16 miles per hour. The damage looked minimal, but I would have to get a new bumper, new hood, new ABS system (some of the springs broke), and straighten out the frame when all was said and done. The insurance assessor declared it totaled since my car is over 10 years old and repairs would cost about $300 to $500 more than the car was worth.

I thought I would be able to hold on to my car just a little longer. I was afraid when it reached 150,000 miles, but I take such good care of it that it normally got between 24-34 miles per gallon. Without my car, I can’t get to my internship, go out dancing, or run most of my errands. Unlike, my hometown in CT, things in PA are mostly spread apart and require driving since there is no decent public transport where I live now.

My car, right after the accident. You can see the damage to the hood and bumper/grill. Doesn't look bad, but the looks were deceiving.

Yesterday, Friday, I said goodbye. The assessor assured me that the car is in good enough condition that it will probably be repaired by some company and shipped overseas for a new life or hacked for parts for more fortunate cars.

Thank you, Car. You got me back and forth to my first real job and then out to grad school. Without you, my 20’s would have been different from how they turned out.

My last picture in my old car. I had to smile a little. I had a lot of good memories and trips because of that car.

I guess I will truly have a fresh start after I get out of school.

Off the market!

One of the many updates is that I am off the market! I got engaged over Spring Break, right before my long illness. I am looking forward to wedding planning once school is done. Below is a first ever picture of The Fiancée, formerly referred to on the blog as “The Girlfriend,” and me.

Here I am with my amazing Fiancée (formerly referred to on the blog as "The Girlfriend") just minutes after I popped the question. She didn't suspect the proposal at all and thought I would do it after I graduated! I'm so glad and blessed to have her in my life.