Day 8: Make Your “About” Page Irresistible

Today’s assignment: Create an About page, or revisit and improve the one you have”

My old/first RKB (Roe Knows Best) “About” page:

 “June 2013

My name is Rosanna O’Brien.  I am a Ramapo College alumnus – Class of 2013.  I have a B.A. in Music with dual concentrations in Music Industry and Music Production, a minor in Information Systems, and a certificate in Business Essentials.  I’m a music/culture geek, Star Trek nerd, and accomplished singer-songwriter (see my current Song Shop project).  I’ve recently gotten back into the swing of reading and am on a huge Oasis kick.

I started this blog much to the encouragement of my dad. We were driving one day and talking about a dream I had. He said, “Why don’t you write it down? Why don’t you blog about it?” to which I replied, “Well, I’ve thought about it. But no one would ever read it, so why bother?” He exclaimed, “Well what if the grass felt the same way every time someone cut it down?!” which led us to discuss that great Joseph Campbell parable.  I realized I shouldn’t be pessimistic and act so defeated when I haven’t even tried yet, ya know?  Like the grass, the nature of every human being is to keep striving and growing until we no longer can.  I have always believed in the importance of writing things down – What’s going on, how I feel about it, etc. Sometimes it comes down to mustering up enough courage and self-discipline to push through; That’s the hardest thing of all.  Once anyone gets over that, they’re golden.

So here I am.  I have something to say. Let’s talk about somethinganything, everything.

See my new “About” page here.

Day 7: Do Some More Personalizing

Today’s Assignment

Yes, I know – My blog looks a little less awesome now that I changed around the chic Matala theme. Well it’s still the same theme, it just doesn’t have the cool visual header and title bar.

Just think of it as an rough draft/attempt to personalize my blog a little bit more; Some days aren’t gonna be pretty.

Today is one of those days.

I do like how I incorporated my signature on to the header though. Maybe in the future if I can make it a little bit smaller it would really do the trick. That is my real signature, by the way. I worked that -ish out when I was in middle school, so I’m very proud of it and consider it to be very endearing.

After much trial and error testing out other images and solid colors, I decided on lined notebook paper as my background. Main reason being I feel like my life is an open book right now; The pages are empty and fresh, just waiting to be written on. Roe may know best, but she is still surfing that tidal wave – still figuring out the ever-changing contours. She is focused on bettering herself so she may know “better”.

And that’s all for today. I probably should keep working on my upcoming 24/7 track for the remainder of the night. Listen to the ones I’ve done so far if you have a moment!

https://soundcloud.com/roemusics/sets/24-7

Day 6: Publish A Post That Includes A New Element

Today’s Assignment

http://rd.io/x/Rl5c2wArbwzI/

I’ve had this song on repeat since this past weekend.

You know when you stumble across something you’ve listened to hundreds of times before and all of sudden in that moment, in that exact time in your life, you become awash with transcendent emotion because it all makes such perfect sense in ways it never did before? Now I know I’ve already posted in this 30 day challenge about Saves The Day and how much they mean to me, but I need to talk about this song and why it’s so important not just for me, but maybe for you other 20-somethings out there who are in need for a soundtrack to accompany your predicament and your just-blossoming life. Music is therapy – always.

That melancholy, apathetic opening guitar tone is like a blanket that I don’t know whether to curl up in its promising comfort or cry in its lonely, dark-encompassing emptiness. I let out a sigh of sadness as Chris Conley’s longing vocals come in, “And I’m gonna get to the bottom of this, gonna peel back my skin and look at myself shaking and shivering“. Existential crisis confounds us all. You can try to ignore it, but it will never go away. These are the years to ask all the pressing the questions we couldn’t make time for throughout our years of schooling; There’s this desperate rush to figure it out, to understand when we’ve been trying to understand everything else our whole lives. But these fundamental questions of “What is life”, “Who am I?”, “What am I doing here?” “What is my purpose?” seem more important than anything else we’ve ever asked ourselves because this is the root. And we turn inwards, trying to figure ourselves out and even though that’s the first step, we are scared and confused beyond recognition.

There’s still longing for something else, something felt but not seen or heard that one can only feel within. And though we know it is so, the search never seems to end. The lyrics from a literal point of view paint this quasi-suicidal picture of wanting to just end it all because it’s such a terrific burden and the journey, seemingly aimless. And though that may be so, metaphorically it is all rebirth because what must live must eventually die like a snake sheds its skin. “And as my skin collects in a pile on the ground, I’ll radiate heat and turn off my head and just pretend that I don’t exist. Then, I’ll see clearly to the end“. We strip away our body to see what’s really inside our minds, our soul, trying to shut out desire and fear and just be. But it’s never easy; We sometimes feel prisoner to this existential quest, but we must come to peace with it somehow.

Truth is, I’ve felt like this. And I think it’s normal to feel this way at one point or another. There are days I make my peace and there are days filled with uncompromised anxiety. Life is ups and downs and it would not be Life without them; There would be no downs without the ups and there would be no ups without the downs. It’s emotional gravity. This song is important to me because I feel it aligns so much with what I’m currently going through, this kind of aimless wandering trying to find my niche. Sometimes it feels like the world doesn’t want me and it weighs me down. But I always know the next day will be better and waking up in the morning facing a new day is the restart button I seek sometimes. And some days I feel I have nothing figured out but after I close my eyes and attempt to center myself I know one day I will, and this is the first step out of many in figuring out who I am and what I’m going to do with the rest of my life. It’s a daunting thing that no one wants to fuck up. And even if we do make a mistake, chances are it’s only temporary but most importantly, normal.

I know these feelings will eventually go away, but sometimes it’s nice to wrap yourself up in that blanket and hide away for awhile or rightly so, let out a good cry. We’re only human after all.

Day 5: Love Your Theme

I changed my theme today. I really didn’t wanna do it at first, but I did. I was using Retro-fitted for 8 months so I guess it was time for a change…but I don’t like change. I’m not sure if anyone truly does, but sometimes we just have to bite the bullet and do it. Sometimes it can feel good! It did today.

The assignment for Day 5 was to try out 3 different themes, even if it was different from what you’d normally choose. I ended up choosing Matala (as you can see). I love the color and the beautiful imperfection of it all. It looks like someone was painting over an old wall. (Shoutout to Matt Mullenweg for creating this!) That strip of paper as the navigation bar is cool too. I like that. I feel like it represents who I am in a way – Organized, yet slightly scattered and partially flawed…but still enduring…still in progress. I guess I could customize it more if I wanted to, but after a freak lentil incident (I dropped cooked lentils all over my kitchen floor and dining room carpet. You can call me Miz Butterfingers) I am pressed for time and still have a lot I want to get done before the day’s out! Maybe another day I’ll get to adding my own personal flair you know, when I have more time and patience and all that.

The other themes I did try but didn’t like were Chunk and Sight. Sight was nice but wasn’t really the look I was going for. I felt it was devoid of personality and color. I also didn’t like how small the tagline was and how it wasn’t under the title. I did like how it looked on tablets and smartphones though; It has what’s called a responsive layout. (You learn something new everyday!) Chunk was okay, but I didn’t like how the navigation bar was backwards from what it’s always been; “Home” was the last button and “Twenty-Four / Seven” was the first. The Matala structure is more along the lines of Retro-fitted but definitely shows a lot more personality and creativity (IMO). It was worth scrapping the responsive layout to have something more expressive.

That’s all for today, folks! I’ll be back tomorrow 🙂

Day 4: Explore The Neighborhood

Roe_brook

Today I spent a leisurely Sunday afternoon grabbing iced coffees with one of my dearest friends and because of the warmer weather we had today, I suggested we stroll over to the park. She snapped this picturesque photo of me (and my behind). Look at that sky! So many people were out today with their kids and dogs, taking in what they could of the fresh air before we are plummeted back into the freezing temperatures typical to a northeast winter.

Though I did literally (yet unintentionally) “explore the neighborhood” today, I wanted a post to go along with my challenge even though it wasn’t required I do one. I had to follow five new topics and begin to find blogs/bloggers I like.

Well, I definitely followed more than five topics (I followed 11) and the readers I ended up following appeared when I connected my Facebook/Twitter/Gmail accounts. As to following other readers, we’ll have to wait and see; I’ll have to take some time to explore the blog landscape and see what I like and who I feel inclined to follow. What I will do now though is go through the topics I followed and list why I did (in case you were curious) ;).

Zerotohero – It’s the name of this 30 day challenge and the tag that brings all us participants together to view each other’s work. The post suggested I follow it in order to easily connect with others. Can’t hurt!

Joseph Campbell – I’ve gone on about Campbell before in some of my musings and I’ve read many of his books. If you don’t know about him, the abridged version is he was one of the greatest American thinkers of the 20th century. His written works and lectures span comparative religion and mythology as he found a common thread between all world religions and myths linking it to the world at large, our inner individual psychology, and how we relate to it. He has transformed my thinking so much and although it’s only been two years since I got into him, I will go as far as to say I would be lost in life without his guidance. He died before I was born, but I really wish I had a chance to meet him. He discusses really great stuff and I would suggest him to anyone seeking purpose or direction in life. Reading his words you will come across small epiphanies in every paragraph, and it is a wonderful and enlightening thing. I love connecting with other Campbell-ites, so I definitely want to stay in the loop at all times!

Bill Moyers -Bill Moyers has been and is still (IMO) one of the most cutting edge journalists/TV Hosts of our time. He broke Joseph Campbell into the mainstream media by interviewing him and releasing those interviews through a program on PBS titled, “The Power of Myth“. Campbell unfortunately passed away before their release, so he did not get to witness the impact his had on millions of viewers. This six-part interview is also a great introduction to Campbell’s work; I got into Campbell through this series and his biography, A Fire In The Mind. But aside from that, Moyers is still active today with his show, “Moyers & Company” on PBS where he discusses current events and issues plaguing our nation and interviews great intellectuals, writers, scientists, and thinkers. I’ve recently seen episodes where he interviews astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, author Richard Slotkin, environmentalist Bill McKibben, and David Simon who created the hit show, “The Wire” alongside his other journalistic/creative writing endeavors. Really fascinating stuff. I always appreciate hearing Moyers’ insight and input. He has an open, intelligent mind mind and tries his best to understand whoever is sitting across the table from him.

Carl Jung – Jung was really instrumental in shaping Campbell’s writings and since reading Campbell, I’ve been really turned on to him. I had the opportunity of reading the autobiography of the famous Swiss psychologist (Memories, Dreams, Reflections) this summer and, wow. What a trip! It requires some dedication to understand Jung’s perspectives and reasonings, but when you do everything just clicks. He was the one who coined the phrase, “collective unconscious” and realized the power of dream as a means of communication by the unconscious to the conscious self; It is a way to inform the conscious of what is happening within and without. Coincidentally, I ended up reading his autobiography after having a dream about him (I’ll have to blog about that one later. I think I’ve written it down somewhere). I figured it was a sign to explore his thinking and further enlighten myself. Hopefully by following Carl Jung topic posts, the enlightenment can continue!

Neil Postman – Postman is yet another inspiring thinker and author. I read his Amusing Ourselves To Death and though original published in the early 80s, the book has never been more spot on. He discusses the decline of the printed word and the increase of images as means of informing our culture. (Hello? Vine and Instagram, anyone?) He also discusses how technology but most specifically how and why television is a detrimental medium for learning and informing a society. In his opinion it increases passivity, indifference, and apathetic moods. He dissects television news and why it must not be viewed as news but as entertainment. (Frantic theme music, a new story within a span of 20 seconds, jumping from morbid events to a heartwarming story, etc) I actually just reblogged a video of a PBS interview he did. I found by clicking on the tag, if you care to watch.

Dairy-free – I’ve been lactose-intolerant for almost 3 years so any time I can get some dairy-free cooking into my life, I’ll take it! I drink almond milk, use Daiya cheese, eat soy and almond yogurt, and buy coconut milk ice cream in the summer.

Gluten Free Beer – I don’t have Celiac’s but contrary to my doctor’s belief, I do have a gluten sensitivity. Like my mom I get intense (and annoying) muscle spasms and inflammation around my rib cage area, particularly my upper ribcage and sides when I eat bread, pasta, flour, etc. I don’t like chancing pain so I’ve been pretty strict with myself when it comes to ingesting gluten, no matter what form. I don’t have a lactase pill to fall back on like if I were to accidentally eat dairy. This began less than a year ago and although my blood results came back negative to gluten sensitivity, all I know is when I don’t eat (or drink) gluten I feel fine – but I love beer! So I figured I’d follow to Gluten Free Beer tag and get the word on what’s good. I like Bard’s, Redbridge, Woodchuck Cider, Angry Orchard, and Dogfish Head makes a nice GF beer too. But I can’t stand New Planet Ale though. BLEH. I’m looking to become more informed and see what kind of GF beers are out there. I don’t frequent the liquor store often but when I do, I like to know what I’m buying beforehand.

Job Hunting – I’m still just as unemployed than when I started this blog about 9 months ago. Well, I guess that’s not entirely true. I do have an internship now (unpaid). But still. The search never seems to end. I plan on retouching my résumé and LinkedIn and refocusing my job prospects. It’s hard out there for a non-business graduate. Feels like the world doesn’t want you sometimes – and the bastard child feeling gets old real quick.

Saves The Day – How can I not keep up on posts about my favorite band in the world? 🙂

Music Industry – As a MI grad, it’s probably necessary for me to keep up on what’s going on within my respective field. Despite all the music industry related people/companies/organizations I follow on Twitter, it’s good to check in on another social network medium.

Album Review – I chose to follow this topic because it’s something I want to get better at. I don’t think I was ever taught on how to write a legit album review. Based on the many I’ve read I think there’s a certain way to go about it, including what kind of words to use and how to describe certain sounds and genres. In any case, I just want to read how other people are doing it so I have more of a foundation how to do it myself.