Wednesday, December 31, 2014

A Recap of 2014

Hey everyone, Dana here. A few weeks ago, I did a music review on my favorite local band, Logan's Room. Since today is the last day of 2014, I might as well recap some of the most important events that happened this year. I usually make a status about it on Facebook, but I feel like making a blog post about it instead. I hope you all enjoy it.


Aside from the massive amount of snow, it was a pretty uneventful month. My life consisted of working part time, job hunting, band practice, sewing, and many matches of Mortal Kombat with Eddie, Brendan and Evan on the weekends. One of the things I remember vividly is driving home from work during one of the snowstorms, and it took me an hour and a half, when it usually takes only twenty minutes to drive home. The only other somewhat big thing that happened was that I finally got my final grades from my last semester of school, and I was waiting on confirmation of getting my diploma.


February was another quiet month. I didn't care about the Seattle Seahawks, the Denver Broncos or Bruno Mars, so the Superbowl party at Eddie's consisted of watching the Puppy Bowl and listening to fun music. February was a good month for music too; February 2014 marked the 20th anniversary since the release of Dookie, and remembering the 50th anniversary of the Beatles first visit to the U.S and appearing on the Ed Sullivan Show. My band played at The Hub in Island Park, but because there was a dusting of snow, it was an extremely quiet turn-out. The highlight of February? This:


A lot of fun and amazing things happened in March. First, my good friend Brian asked me to fill in on bass for his band's show, and it was a really great turn out. I hung out with and ran into so many familiar faces. Although it felt so weird to be playing the bass on stage without Eddie and Brendan by my side, it was a lot of fun to play something different. Since I'm quite small, and pants tend to be a little too long for my legs, I taught myself how to hem pants without using a sewing machine! I even traveled back to the 1950's for my friend's 50's themed 25th birthday too! But the one thing that happened in March that still leaves me starstruck was this glorious moment:

That is Michale Graves, former lead vocalist of one of my favorite bands of all time, the Misfits. It was such an honor to meet him; let alone share the stage as him.


April was an interesting month. For the first time in my life, my April Fool's prank worked! I made everyone think I got fired from my job. My good friend Melissa and her boyfriend came back to NY for a visit and I reconnected with friends of hers that I met for the first time, or friends that I made at her going away party four years earlier.  I saw the "Bears" movie/documentary with Eddie, and our movie tickets went towards the National Park Foundation. I discovered a new passion for shopping at thrift stores and learned how to use a sewing machine! Oh, and my birthday was at the end of April. But my favorite highlight was this wonderful moment: receiving my diploma!


Like every May since 2012, May was a very emotional month for me. I started the month off right by celebrating my 23rd birthday at my house instead of Eddie's house over the years. Since the weather got warmer, I was able to ride my bike for miles on my days off; usually ending up lying down on a blanket reading a book at the private beach located a couple miles from my house. Those were the happy moments. But, like I said earlier, it took an emotional turn, for I remembered the loss of my dear friend Casey who passed away two years earlier. May was also rough with job hunting; I spent every night applying to jobs, but I either got no response at all, or the automated "we will contact you only if we feel you're a good fit for our company" email responses. Needless to say, those were turbulent nights. But it wasn't completely miserable. I saw Godzilla, and celebrated Eddie's birthday with multiple cases of Mountain Dew Baja Blast! My favorite moment of May was when my band opened up for Insubordination, a punk band from Virginia! 


This was one of my favorite months this year. I went on two job interviews (neither of them worked out) and played many shows with my band. First, we played at Even Flow and met a cool photographer who bought us chicken wings after our set! Later that weekend, we returned to Mr. Beery's to play with awesome bands like The Cavalry Is Us, The Best Lies and All New Episode! A couple days later, we  played at Revolution in Amityville! Our drummer quit right after our set. It was stupid of him to quit when we still had a show lined up, but we adjusted. And then just a week or two later, we played a set at The Hub in Island Park. It wasn't our best set since we had a literal last minute drummer play with us, but it was a good turn out. I then discovered Logan's Room; their debut concert that left me in awe. Unfortunately, that was the night we discovered our drummer dumped us to be the lead vocalist for another band. It's okay though, he got kicked out 3 weeks in, and we're great friends with that band anyway!♥ In short, I met so many awesome friends in June. Here's a couple:


Another interesting month in 2014. We started off by returning to The Hub to play an acoustic set on a rainy 4th of July show, but we networked with other bands and enjoyed spending time with them. My band spent most of July auditioning new permanent drummers and playing shows with fill-in drummers too. But the search came to an end when we auditioned Dillon, our long-lost little brother. After the session was over, I turned to Eddie and Brendan and said "I want Dillon in the band. I don't care about the others." From that moment on, Dillon joined the Bending Over Backwards family, and it was the happiest moment of 2014.


Like May this year, it was fun, but emotional. We played our first show with Dillon at Sinclair's Pub in West Babylon. About a week later, I took a tumble down a hill while on my bike and strained the muscles in my right arm. It took about a week and a half to heal, but it was one of the most painful injuries I've had since I sprained my ankle in 2010. How I managed to walk way with just a bruised arm and no broken bones is beyond my wildest dreams. Two days later, I had a job interview that went really well. That weekend, we played a show at a bowling alley with our good friends in Logan's Room. Another awesome moment in August was when the channel FXX ran the "Every Simpsons Ever" marathon; the longest running animated sitcom in television history broke the record of airing the longest running marathon in television history. Fantastic. Unfortunately, just a few days later, I got the call from my potential job that they decided not to offer me that job. I was heartbroken, but I didn't let it ruin the rest of my summer. My band played a house party, I finally read Greg Sestero's memoir The Disaster Artist, and of course, going to Rockaway Beach with these awesome people:


This was the first September in 18 years that I wasn't enrolled in some sort of educational institution. Boy, did that feel weird.Preparing for the super busy month ahead at work took up most of my days, but it wasn't all work! I had some pretty awesome times in September as well. I returned to Rockaway Beach and enjoyed my last hot summer day before the first day of Fall. My band played at an awesome record store in Sayville, and I watched the Simpsons/Family Guy crossover episode. My favorite moment of September? Being front and center at the Social Distortion concert at the Paramount with Eddie and Brendan!


Oh man, October was literally the busiest month out of every month I lived through in 2014. Because what happens when you work at a costume shop during the month of October? i.e Halloween? Work, work, work, work, WORK! I barely had any time to rest, eat, write blogs, or practice with my band. I managed to squeeze in some fun by playing Beatles monopoly with the band, going to a wedding, and pulling other non-work shenanigans, but I racked up over 40 hours one week, and then worked 10 hours a day towards the end of the month. But it was all worth it in the end. Remember the job interview in August? Remember I didn't get the job? Well, they called me back for a different position in another department, and I GOT THE JOB! I put my two weeks notice in at the costume shop, and got a chance to celebrate Halloween! Look how awesome me and Eddie looked as the Joker and Harley Quinn!


It was a very eventful month. I quit my job at the costume shop and started my new one at Kravet. I never worked at a corporate 9 to 5 Monday through Friday job before, so it took a bit of an emotional toll on me. But after being there for a week or two, I started adjusting to my new schedule. It's not bad at all, and my life didn't change either. My anxiety lead me to believe that I would never have a social life again, I'd have to quit my band, yada yada yada. But that was not the case at all. I saw Dumb and Dumber To, played board games such as Clue and Scattergories with my friends, took a trip into the city to celebrate my friend Kate's birthday, and of course: played shows with my band and other wonderful bands.♥


And here we are in December. Working at my new job and adjusting to corporate life, spending the first few Fridays at Brendan's house by watching movies and ordering in take-out and sleeping in on the weekends. I watched Logan's Room open up for Tantric at the Emporium in Patchogue, and even though Eddie Brendan and Dillon couldn't make it, I still had fun hanging out with everyone else who showed their support! Tantric put on a good show, but I had to leave early due to work the next morning. Another glorious moment in my life was waking up to find out that not only Joan Jett FINALLY got inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, but so did Green Day! My two favorite bands got inducted together! And of course, finally, Ringo Starr as well.♥ I guess my rant about Joan and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame earlier this year finally paid off. They definitely saw it and finally listened to me! (haha...) I also received my very first jury duty summons, celebrated Christmas, and played a show at Revolution again! My favorite moment? Making a look-alike of the rag doll featured on Korn's album, Issues.


And now that it's New Year's Eve, I'm going to be celebrating it with some really great people tonight. I can honestly say that 2014 was a really great year, despite the frustrations with the job hunt. I met some really incredible people this year, I got myself a full time job, and finally got the permanent band lineup I always wanted since day one. One more thing: exactly one year ago today, I quit my job at CVS. Happy New Year, everyone. I love you all!♥

Monday, December 8, 2014

A Review of Logan's Room

Hey everyone, Dana here. Last week, I wrote a motivational blog post about job hunting and rejection letters I received upon learning of my rejection. Tonight, I've got something fun. Earlier this year, I reviewed Event Horizon's CD. However, this particular band doesn't have anything recorded just yet, but they will in the future. I'm reviewing a local hard rock band that hails from Long Beach, NY: Logan's Room!

From left to right: Matt Capitano, Jordan Klinger,
Michael Giordano, David Kaufman
The current lineup consists of Jordan Klinger as lead vocalist and rhythm guitar, Matt Capitano on lead guitar, David Kaufman on bass, and Michael Giordano on drums and backing vocals. Their influences include, but not limited to, Rage Against The Machine, Nirvana, Metallica, The Beatles, and Alice In Chains. I can hear a lot of their influences in the music they've created. When I'm watching them on stage, I feel like I'm back in the 80's and 90's again. 

Their songs range from kickass, rockin' songs that have me headbanging, to slow ballads that almost bring tears to my eyes. I love a band that can write a wide variety of songs. There's nothing more disappointing than listening to a band/album that have songs that sound like they're getting played on repeat five times in a row. Logan's Room is the antithesis of that. Their influences are so different, and I love hearing songs that pay homage to those artists. And their covers? Don't even get me started on their cover of "Killing In The Name Of" by Rage Against The Machine. It's incredible.

Speaking of incredible, they've been together for a whole six months, yet the chemistry and talent these four guys have leave me at a loss for words. I saw them at their first show on June 29th, 2014 at The Hub in Island Park, and saw them last night at The Emporium in Patchogue. I can't even begin to describe how much they've grown in the past six months. Oh wait, I can.

When I first saw them after my band, Bending Over Backwards, played our set, we stuck around to listen to the other bands who shared the stage with us. I was immediately drawn to Logan's Room, who played right after us. I noticed they were missing a bass player, but I didn't think anything of it because my band didn't have a proper drummer for our set; we were incomplete too. But when I talked to Matt the next day, he told me that was their debut performance. I was completely blown away. I was speechless. But then, I immediately thought this: If they're this good without a bass player, and never set foot on stage prior to last night, I can't even imagine how great they'll be years from now, let alone months from now! Here I am, nearly six months later, and they're a completely different band.

Logan's Room has opened up for artists such as Kellen Heller, Affiance, and most recently, Tantric. They are currently in the process of recording their debut album, LBNY. When it's released, I'm calling shots of getting the first copy that's sold! These guys have great potential to go far, and they have my 100% unconditional support.

Thank you all for taking the time to read my review of Logan's Room, and I hope all of you check them out on Facebook for more information on future shows, and their album release. I'll be writing again soon, my friends. Have a good night, and enjoy the rest of your week.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Job Hunting and Rejection Letters

Hey everyone, Dana here. A few weeks ago, I did a movie review about Dumb and Dumber To. Tonight, I'm changing it up. I'm not reviewing anything, I'm not putting my two cents into anything viral or trending online or in the news, and it isn't any other observation. I'm here to share my experience of applying to hundreds of jobs, and out of the hundreds I sent my resume to, I either got the automated "We will contact you only if we feel you're a good fit for our company," or rejection letters. I'm here to let you know that you're not alone and you will find your place. Let me tell you about all of the rejections I dealt with...

I almost lost hope when I graduated college and didn't have a "real job" lined up. I spent endless nights crying my eyes out and wondering why they didn't pick me, why they didn't give me a chance to get interviewed, yada yada yada. But after almost a year of editing my resume, sending into human resources offices of said companies I applied to, I finally landed somewhere; and you will too. If you're feeling discouraged, hopeless, or just plain down in the dumps because you've been rejected by multiple job opportunities or any other big step in your life, please remember that it's okay to feel sad. You don't have to explain that to anyone. But don't lose hope. Something will come your way. I promise.

Let's start with the first rejection (aside from asking a person out on a date) a person deals with when applying to places: college rejection. Before I graduated high school, I applied to SUNY schools and CUNY schools and I got rejected by all of them except for Nassau Community College. Why? Because my SAT scores were trash. I went to Nassau Community College for two years, got kickass grades, and earned myself an Associate's Degree! Yay, right? Wrong! Take a look here:

See that? When I was 20 years old, Queens College rejected me when I was about to graduate from Nassau Community College in 2011. I sent them my college transcript, high school transcript, and every other paperwork they asked me to mail them. Because I got a D in Math 101 at NCC, Queens College refused to accept me into their school. I was on the verge of giving up because the colleges I applied to didn't accept me. But I didn't give up. My future was on hold, and I wasn't planning on giving up without a fight. Much to my dismay, I returned to Nassau Community College after I graduated to re-take Math 101. I spent my summer studying the one subject I couldn't stand. It was the worst summer ever. But it was either suffer with math for two months, or don't go to college. I survived math and got accepted to Queens College. I even graduated two years later. But believe me, it was NOT an easy two years. I applied to dozens of internships, and I either got the automated "we will contact you only if we feel you're a good fit," or the following rejection letters:

Out of all of the internships I applied to and got rejected by, I only got accepted by ONE. But guess what? It didn't even work out for me. I didn't get hired afterwards either because they promoted the other intern to be a full-time employee over me. Guess what else happened? I didn't get paid for it; I didn't even get college credit for it, so I didn't graduate on time. I had take an extra semester during my senior year. I was horrified, but I didn't let go. I then decided to stop looking for internships and start applying to real, paid jobs. I started with the banks and credit card companies, but take a look here:

You'd think that a girl who has poor math skills would stay as far away from banks and using numbers, right? Well, I was desperate for a job following my college graduation. I was looking for ANYTHING. But despite my qualifications of having an Associate's Degree and having a lot of experience with customer service, I STILL got rejected. I'm a stubborn girl and kept trying. I then decided to take a different route: apply to jobs via temp agencies. But that didn't even work out:

I couldn't even get hired as a temporary employee. And the worst part about all of these rejections is that I didn't even get interviewed by any of these companies. I literally got rejected before they even got a chance to hear my voice or see my face. Because they didn't like the way I looked on a piece of paper, they dismissed me before they even got a chance to know me. The company I currently work at even rejected me the first time because they felt another candidate was a better match for them. But guess what? They called me back for a different position, and I got the job offer less than an hour after the interview took place. 

For the past two years, I've learned that for every bad thing that happens in life, something good and better will come out in the end. I don't mean to throw in movie quotes, but "If you put your mind to it, you can accomplish anything." Rejection is a heartbreaking thing to go through, but all it can do is make you stronger. Yes, it's discouraging. Yes, it will make you want to give up and throw everything you accomplished away. Yes, it's okay to feel that way. But don't actually lose hope. You'll get through this. 

Thank you for reading, everyone. I hope my experience has given you the strength to keep going with whatever struggles you have so far. The future is a scary thing; hell, I'm even still afraid of it. But I'd like to end this blog with a quote by Doctor Emmett Brown from Back To The Future Part III: "Your future hasn't been written yet. No one's has. Your future is whatever you make it. So make it a good one."