Jealousy

 

Jealousy is a complex emotion that encompasses feelings ranging from fear of abandonment to rage and humiliation. It strikes both men and women and is most typically aroused when a person perceives a threat to a valued relationship from a third party. The threat may be real or imagined.

 

Recognize your jealousy.

 

Learn from your jealousy.

 

Let it go.

 

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Why is it that our strongest emotions are our most unattractive?

 

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Is jealousy a sign of love?

 

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We learn to control these compulsory feelings. To protect our egos, to protect our pride, to hide our sentiments.

 

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Living With An Invisible Illness

As most things in life go, writing about some topics is a bit more challenging than others. I was diagnosed with a rare (likely autoimmune) condition a little over a year ago and haven’t found the voice to share what life has been like since.

More recently, I’ve noticed that taking the time to write how it feels to live with a chronic pain condition can sometimes be helpful to more than just you. Support groups, and blogs, and forums about my condition have provided patients who are facing similar problems a place to come together, relate, and share tips on what has helped them improve their quality of life.

Nowadays, I find myself reading through forums and support groups to hear what other women (and some men) are going through with their symptoms. I say mostly women because as many of you probably already know, 80 to 90 percent of autoimmune patients are women. This phenomenon has not been explained scientifically, but it is one of the reasons that I believe my condition is an autoimmune disorder.

Interstitial Cystitis

I suffer from Interstitial Cystitis (IC), also known as Painful Bladder Syndrome, which is an inflammation of the lining of the bladder that leads to painful urination, a constant urge to use the restroom, tightened pelvic floor muscles, and other symptoms depending on the person. The symptoms feel very similar to a bladder infection or a urinary tract infection (UTI).

There is no cure for IC and the last FDA-approved medication was released in 1995, called Elmiron. Most IC patients don’t take Elmiron because it doesn’t always help relieve the symptoms and side effects like dry mouth or hair loss make it unfavorable.

One of the biggest challenges of living with IC is the process of diagnosing the disease. Many patients seek help from several different healthcare professionals before a doctor is able to accurately diagnose their disease. IC costs the United States over $100 million annually due to direct healthcare costs and loss of worker productivity.

Once you are diagnosed the treatment options are limited. Most people suffering from IC today achieve remission or a lessening of symptoms by following a strict diet that limits acidic foods, MSG, soy, and more. “Trigger foods” vary depending on the person, which makes it especially difficult to settle on a diet that is best for your pain management.

Most doctors recommend using a food diary to keep track of meals and to journal how certain foods affect your pain levels and other symptoms. Like a lot of other health conditions, there just isn’t enough research out there to provide patients with a treatment plan that works. In fact, doctors haven’t even pinpointed what causes the condition. Fortunately, there is a lot of current research underway to find some answers.

One study that I’ve been keeping my eye on, and am excited to see the results of, is testing the efficacy of bladder instillations. This is a common treatment type for patients with severe IC where the bladder is filled with a solution that helps reduce inflammation in the bladder to provide pain relief. The study also tests the effects of oral gabapentin, which has been known across forums and pelvic pain blogs to have helped many IC patients find relief.

Primary Biliary Cholangitis

Another autoimmune disorder that affects my family is called Primary Biliary Cholangitis (PBC) or Cirhossis. PBC is a progressive liver disease that attacks the bile ducts of the liver. As a result, bile seeps out into the liver which then attacks cells and worsens the condition. As time goes on, the liver scars and weakens, leading to liver failure known as cirrhosis.

Like IC, there is not enough research out there to successfully treat PBC. The only FDA-approved medication for first-line therapy is called ursodeoxycholic acid (UDCA or Ursodiol). Approximately 40 percent of patients who try this therapy don’t respond, and 5 percent have such poor side effects that they have to stop treatment.

Obeticholic acid (Ocaliva) is approved by the FDA for second-line therapy for patients who don’t respond or have an inadequate response to UDCA. Unfortunately, 50 percent of patients don’t respond to this second line of therapy and some even experience a worsening of symptoms.

When my cousin was diagnosed with PBC it put my chronic pain condition into a whole new perspective. Although I too suffered from daily pain, at least my condition wouldn’t lead to major organ failure someday. We have found support in one another, and in the hope that before we are middle-aged women there will be more research released on our conditions that can help treat them more effectively.

One interesting PBC clinical trial is testing the efficacy of a new drug called Seladelpar. It is an investigational therapy used in patients who didn’t have adequate results or couldn’t tolerate UDCA treatment. They are in the third phase of the study, and so far the results have been positive.

Invisible Illnesses

Whether you’re an IC patient or a PBC patient, it can be difficult for your friends or family members to understand how you feel because your symptoms are not visible to those around you. Our community has categorized our illnesses, and many others, into a group of invisible illnesses. Which means that you are chronically ill but your symptoms are not apparent or do not seem as severe as they feel.

When a person’s illness isn’t easily visible, it can be difficult for outsiders to grasp the challenges he or she faces. This can be extremely frustrating, especially for patients who feel pain daily or constantly on an area of the body that isn’t comfortable to talk about regularly.

Family members and friends who are supporting a patient with a chronic pain condition or an autoimmune disease should read this article on invisible illnesses to better understand and approach the situation.

Aurora City Guide: Places To Eat, Getting Around & Fun Things To Do

map of aurora

Just east of Denver, Aurora is yet another Colorado city where locals love to live and tourists never want to leave. The city is known for being the gateway to the Rocky Mountains and offers a wide variety of outdoor attractions and things to do in the city. From good eats to date nights there is something special for everyone in Aurora, here’s why.

Dining and food

Come to Aurora hungry and certainly bring your appetite. The food in Aurora is so scrumptious, it’s been featured on TV shows such as Man vs. Food and Diners and Drive-Ins. There’s no shortage of pickings depending on what you’re hungering for—pubs & breweries, fine dining, German-inspired, American fare classics. Headed to Rosie’s Diner for an Aurora spin on 1950s diner-style eating complete with milkshakes and root beer floats. Wine Experience Cafe and World Cellar is the quintessential choice for wine lovers and for a date night or nice dinner. Sip craft brews at Bent Barley and wander to any number of the markets—Azteca Ranch Market, Europa Grocery, Bombay Bazaar.

The arts

Not only are there a wealth of eateries of varying styles but in Aurora visitors can experience a slice of the artistic and creative life. Get tickets to hear the Aurora Symphony Orchestra play musical masterpieces, watch a dramatic performance at Vintage Theatre Productions or the Aurora Fox Arts Center. For the art lover in you, stroll through the Aurora Cultural Arts District where murals and other vibrant street art is plentiful. To learn more in-depth about the arts scene as far as visual artists living and working in Aurora, take the R Line Public Art Tour. The tour takes art enthusiasts to nearby Denver to check out spots where artists are leaving their literal mark on the city.

Popular travel must-sees for tourists

If you’re in Aurora, there are several must-see landmarks you can’t afford to pass up in within truckable driving distance.  Being so close to the Denver Metro Area, it’s no surprise this city is teeming with outdoor activities. Find easily accessible hiking trails less than an hour away or try something more adventurous like rock climbing or mountain biking.

Love horseback riding? Venture out to the 12 Mile Stables over a sprawling 3,300 acres and 27 miles of riding trails. For history lovers curious about how the city of Aurora came to be, there’s the Aurora History Museum. The museum, considered to also be art and cultural center, features three exhibits total, one that is permanent and two that change frequently.

Getting around

If you don’t have a vehicle of your own, the car market in the Aurora area is awesome. If you’re not ready to take the plunge and buy a car there are plenty of Uber and Lyft drivers in the city. Or you can get around Aurora quite inexpensively on the RTD. Featuring both bus and rail services into and out of Denver proper, riders can either opt for a day pass, a 3-hour cash pass or load as they go directly from a debit or credit card. Other passes and ticket books are also available for purchase. Fares start at $3.00 and increase from there. For more details on RTD visit here.

Catching a game

Aurora being a smaller town means that unfortunately if you’re a professional sports lover, you’ll have to journey into Denver city limits to see your favorite team play. There’s the Denver Nuggets for basketball, Denver Broncos for football and Colorado Rockies for baseball. Once you do, however, If you’re less of spectator and want to get in on the action yourself, Aurora has a variety of golf courses to practice your swing and improve your golfing game. Choose from Heather Ridge Golf Club, Murphy Creek Golf Course, Heather Gardens Golf Course and many more.

Shopping

Whether you’re shopping for one-of-a-kind unique finds or want run of mill looks from your favorite department store, Aurora has either in store. Aurora City Place is a local favorite with more than 45 stores, some big box and others local, to choose from. Southlands is another shopping center in Aurora, but this one on the southwest side of town. For more of a local flair, stop through Old Havana Street, lined with local shops, cafes, and eateries to unwind after a long day of shopping or ideal for starting the day off with ease.

Southwest USA Road Trip: Adventuring in and Around Salt Lake City

salt lake city outdoor recreation

Antelope Island — Davis County, Utah

Utah is a beautiful place with so much variation in its natural geography — so much that it’s hard to believe every state and national park here belong to one state. From the snow-capped peaks of Park City to the burnt orange canyons of Zion National park, life in Utah always has a beautiful backdrop.

With so many interesting outdoor attractions to see and explore, my road trip to Utah seemed to be the obvious option for my next adventure. The state isn’t home to any infamous cities that never sleep, but there are plenty of places to kick back and hang out in Utah. Salt Lake City is one of my favorites, here’s why.

Big city with a relaxed feel
Salt Lake City is a great place for big city lovers who are looking to experience a more laid-back feel without losing metropolitan amenities. Salt Lake City has all you need from a city (sports teams, malls, public transportation, performing arts), with nearly year-round sunshine, and quick getaway access to the waters of the Great Salt Lake, or to the mountains of the Wasatch Range. It’s like if Boston and Seattle merged, but with better weather. Salt Lake City’s nightlife scene is also worth noting, as the city center is extremely walkable and home to many bars, pubs, nightclubs, shopping malls, and a variety of highly rated restaurants of all sorts cuisines.

Perfect for outdoor excursions
As mentioned, Utah is your ideal place if you want to be a stone’s throw from dozens of different outdoor recreational opportunities. If you’re into off-roading and have a 4WD, there are several noteworthy destinations right near Salt Lake City. Some popular examples include Squaw Peak Road, Mahogany Mountain, and Israel Canyon. If you’re into fishing, rafting, or boating, Utah Lake is a great place to visit.

The best part is, if you’re staying in the city you can do plenty of outdoorsy things within day-trip driving distance. You and your group can choose from a variety of nature preserves, recreation areas, and state parks that are less than an hour away. Two of my favorites include the Great Salt Lake State Park and Antelope Island State Park. These places won’t be as popular as the iconic parks like Arches and Zion.

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In Utah, you’ll find the perfect fusion of outdoor recreation and city life. Which is perfect for an adventure lover like me who enjoys the nightlife of a city. Plus, there’s no better way to end a long day of climbing, biking, or hiking somewhere close to town than with a full body massage at one of Salt Lake City’s massage studios. I booked a discounted 90-minute massage through this local travel resource and was able to get in for an appointment next-day. No matter where your next outdoor trip takes you, this trick is worth trying.

When it comes to Utah, it doesn’t matter where you visit. There will be an abundance of outdoor activity and tourist attractions worth exploring. There are more warm-weather hiking spots than one knows what to do with and if you’re more into the winter sports, there’s plenty of that too. From hiking, fishing, skiing, and camping to rafting, zip-lining, and off-road trailblazing — you will never run out of space or things to do in Utah’s natural playground.

Celebrating 100 Years of Grand Canyon Adventures

grand canyon

100 years ago this week, the Grand Canyon was established as the 17th National Park. Covering nearly 2,000 square miles of incredible desert wilderness, the Grand Canyon is consistently among the most visited parks and is recognized globally as a true wonder of the world.

While the canyon layers were formed long before dinosaurs roamed, fossils of ancient marine animals are often uncovered – some dating back 1.2 billion years.

The Great Unconformity refers to a gap in the rock record between Cambrian times (~550 m.y. ago) and the pre-Cambrian (anything earlier). An unconformity is a surface in the rock record, in the stratigraphic column, representing a time from which no rocks are preserved — a geological mystery of epic proportions.

Meaning 250 million-year-old sediment layers can be found right on top of layers holding those very same billion-year-old fossils. What happened to the millions of years in between? Nobody knows yet.

Of the many unconformities observed in geological strata, the term Great Unconformity is frequently applied to either the unconformity observed by James Hutton in 1787 at Siccar Point in Scotland or that observed by John Wesley Powell in the Grand Canyon in 1869.

These are both exceptional examples of instances where the contacts between sedimentary strata and either sedimentary or crystalline strata of greatly different ages, origins, and structure represent periods of geologic time sufficiently long to raise great mountains and then erode them away.

Carved over hundreds of millions of years by the Colorado River and measuring 277 miles (446 km) long, up to 18 miles (29 km) wide, the Grand Canyon is a major natural phenomenon, but it is also a place of deep historical mysteries and oddities as well.

It’s days like today when I feel the most grateful to live where I do and to be able to appreciate so much of the great outdoors. To be able to climb and hike rocks that have existed for hundreds of millions of years.

Best SUVs for Winter Driving — 2019 Edition

Between cold temperatures, adverse driving conditions, and excellent holiday sales on new vehicles, the winter season is a great time to start looking at a new SUV. Sport utility vehicles (SUVs) have become increasingly popular over the last few years thanks to their versatility. Whether you have a dog that needs covered trunk space or haul goods that can’t risk getting wet in the bed of a truck, SUVs are often the best vehicle-type for the job. 

With more and more SUVs coming out on the market, there are plenty of new and used options to consider. A few months back I wrote a post about a variety of car types that handle well in the snow. I decided to do an SUV-focused refresh as the coldest and snowiest months are finally here. As the temperatures drop, the days get shorter and the roads become icy and snowy, it is important to have an SUV that is up to the task. Check out this list of winter-ready SUVs that are ready to tackle ice and snow for years to come.

Honda Pilot

The Honda Pilot is a mid-size SUV ready for any type of adventure you can throw at it. With seating for up to 8 passengers, the Pilot is the perfect choice for someone looking to haul their friends and family up to the mountain for a day of skiing. The Pilot is available with all-wheel drive and Intelligent Traction Management, both of which can help get you through even the worst of conditions.

Dodge Durango

Looking for something that is powerful, capable and practical? Look no further than the Dodge Durango. Like the Pilot, the Durango is a mid-size SUV with seating for seven passengers. The available V8 offers lots of power for steep mountain passes. Depending on whether you choose the powerful V8 or efficient V6, buyers can choose between 2 incredibly capable all-wheel-drive systems helping to ensure safe travel through rough winter road conditions.

GMC Terrain

Smaller than either the Durango or Pilot, the GMC Terrain still packs a powerful punch. Available with GMC’s turbo-charged diesel or gas motors, the Terrain is a joy to drive, even in snowy conditions. GMC includes StabiliTrak and hill-descent control as standard features, both of which offer drivers peace of mind. All-wheel drive is available on higher trim levels for drivers who are looking for the best winter performance possible.

Subaru Crosstrek

All new for 2019, the Subaru Crosstrek comes from a long line of winter-ready vehicles. Subaru has a long history of producing some of the best performing vehicles in snow and ice and the Crosstrek is no exception. Using the company’s incredibly proven and reliable symmetrical all-wheel-drive system, this compact crossover is a beast in the snow. And with a spacious cabin that seats eight, this is a great car for skiers and snowboarders looking for safe and reliable transportation.

Toyota RAV4

One of the most popular crossover SUVs on the road, the Toyota RAV4 is a great vehicle for anyone searching for something that handles well in the snow. With 6.1 inches of ground clearance, the RAV4’s low center of gravity helps the vehicle stick to icy roads, while still allowing for it to plow through deep snow banks.

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Each of the vehicles on this list includes qualities that will help make your winter driving experience safer and less stressful, but your vehicle is only as capable as your driving abilities.

The Dawn of Electric Cars

 

Electric cars may seem to be the latest line of trendy vehicles, but their concept and design date back nearly two centuries and are actually older than gas-powered automobiles. It wasn’t until gasoline became more readily available that people shifted away from the electric model. As we begin to face climate change, electric cars are on the rise again and may become the future of transportation.

The Original Design

In the mid-1800s, electric cars were developed with on-board acid batteries. The design was nearly impossible because the batteries were huge. The size shift in these new batteries allows them to power regular-sized vehicles we use today. In the 1880s, electric vehicles were beginning to see use in France, the United Kingdom, and Germany. Personal use was uncommon early on. Many electric vehicles were used inside mines for coal transport. They are powered without consuming oxygen, which is much safer for miners. The biggest limitation for personal and commercial use was poor infrastructure. Most roads were made for horse and buggy and therefore were not easily maneuverable for motorized vehicles.

At the tail end of the 1800s, electric cars became more widespread in Europe. Electric taxis showed up in London before the turn of the century. Gasoline-powered vehicles with internal combustion engines also appeared on the market but were quickly associated with the bitter smell of gasoline so they weren’t as popular as electric vehicles. As electricity became more widely available, particularly in America, electric cars were also more accessible and grew as a commodity. Early electric cars suffered from lower speeds, in comparison to their gasoline and steam-powered counterparts. They were marketed as cars for women because they were so simple to operate.

Outpaced by Gas Cars

Electric vehicles fell out of style and behind in affordability in the 1900s, when gasoline became more easily accessible worldwide. Gasoline-powered engines were more economical to use and had greater range and speed. This made them a better option than electric vehicles. Now the reality of our climate crisis is receiving attention, leading engineers to rethink how we can efficiently power cars with a renewable resource.

When Henry Ford began mass-production of his vehicles, gasoline-powered cars were exceptionally cheaper and electric cars quickly fell out of widespread use. Roads were being developed with motorized vehicles in mind, so the limited range and slow speed of electric vehicles became a liability for the increasingly mobile public.

The motors that powered these old electric cars saw other application in the 1900s. Plenty of short-range vehicles were products of the electric car decline, including industrial equipment like forklifts and leisure vehicles like golf carts. Eventually, the first vehicle driven on the moon was an electric battery-powered Lunar Rover. On Earth, the electric car was still a niche concept.

Recharging Electric Cars

It wasn’t until the 1990s and early 2000s that the interest and development of electric vehicles restarted. The energy crises in the 70s and 80s paired with various environmentalist movements led to mass criticism. Many started to argue that our heavy reliance on gasoline would be a nightmare in the future. Between the effect of greenhouse gas emissions and the fact that gas will eventually run out, it was time for a new plan.

Larger car companies began developing hybrid electric and gasoline cars to scale back pollution and cut costs on gasoline. There was a push, particularly in California, to shift to cars with zero-emissions, which led car companies back to electric motors. However, public interest is still in the direction of larger, sport-utility vehicles (mostly in America). Which only makes marketing electric and hybrid vehicles even more difficult and costly.

Another energy crisis in the early 2000s brought hybrid and electric vehicles to the forefront of the public again. Models like the Toyota Prius were marketed as energy efficient, and as neighborhood electric vehicles were used as town cars, the concept spread internationally. These are still fairly common outside of the United States as low-speed and low-cost alternatives for city travel.

Modern Electric Cars

The rise of modern electric vehicles started with Tesla in 2004, when they produced the first highway-legal electric vehicle, the Tesla Roadster. Since then, other large auto manufacturers have produced electric vehicles of increasing speed and charge duration. One of the largest limitations electric vehicles face hasn’t changed — they are slower and have less mobility range. However, advances in batteries have improved these restraints, even in affordable models like the Ford Focus.

Finding a place to charge up can be a challenge for these car owners. Charging stations, particularly in the United States, are much more difficult to come by than a good old gas station. Luckily, the popularity of electric vehicles appears to be growing. Especially as green and affordable alternatives to gas-powered vehicles become crucial. Although they suffer from modern equivalents to their 19th-century ancestors, they ride the road to a more sustainable future.

What’s a Bassnectar?

Bassnectar, more commonly known as Lorin Ashton, has greatly impacted my life over the last five or six years. He caught me with a good set but kept me with his strong commitment to fighting for what he believes in. Now we may not always agree politically but the way he presents his mission behind his music is inspiring. Not to mention he puts out banger after banger.

One thing we can both agree on is how unethical the USA Patriot Act is. If you’re interested in learning about how our privacy was stolen, check out my article on the Odyssey.

My dream car?

A Ford Mustang.

Ford’s Mustang is a timeless, American classic. The chic, four-wheeled racer is so flashy drivers continue to love it, old model or new. With horsepower that never quits and a mean grill, it’s no surprise the Mustang is my dream car.

The Ford Mustang is more than a car, it’s an icon. It has been listed on Car and Driver’s esteemed 10 Best Award list ten times and won the J.D power award numerous times. In 1974 and 1994 it was the Motor Trend car of the year – a true testament to its quality.

Even movie directors have noticed potential in the Mustang’s sleek appearance. We all remember Steve McQueen’s car chase in Bullitt, that 1968 390 V8 Ford Mustang GT Fastback burning rubber. That chase was both sexy and dangerous and has been inspirational to those looking to get behind a Mustang of their own.

Aside from the Mustang’s role in American culture as a powerful, horsepower-injected, muscle classic, how does it fare in a more practical scenario. Let’s say, day to day ownership? I’ll start by explaining that the Mustang is more than collector’s item. This is a vehicle you can be proud to bring to the mechanic, and it is easy to affordably maintain. It’s also one of the best cars for your daily commute — not to mention the road trip you’ve been trying to take.

Designed to dominate wide, open roads

I can only imagine the good times and endless roads ahead after I purchase my first Mustang. Whether it’s a 2017 Ford Mustang GT, with the top down, or the Shelby GT 500, zooming along winding paths. As with any vehicle, your Mustang should be in tip-top shape before hitting the road. Check tire pressure, oil level, and remind yourself where the registration and insurance are located. This might be the time to consider purchasing a AAA membership.

Performance boost and price drop

One of the best parts about the Mustang is its affordablity. I mean it’s no Toyota Corolla but compared to other top-line sports cars the Mustang is cheap, doable for middle-class consumers. Plenty of enthusiasts out there like to dream of a Ferrari 575M, hitting 0-60 in about 4.2 seconds, but the chances you can shell out $246,000 for a car are slim. Luckily, the Mustang is, and always has been, a real value when considering cost, resale price, and the respect you get from fellow car fanatics. 

For example, the 2016 Ford Mustang has a suggested retail price of just under $24K (the convertible model is about $6K more). It’s rare to see such a high-performance vehicle at such a reasonable price. Plus, the 2014 Ford Mustang won Kelley Blue Book’s 5-Year Cost to Own Award for the sports car category, beating its closest competitor by nearly $1,000. But forget the price for a minute and let’s consider cost of gas. A Mustang beats the majority of its competitors in fuel-efficiency too, especially if you have an EcoBoost model. These machines are getting up to 31 MPG on the highway.

The wide variety of Mustang models brings a plethora of different safety features. The Ecoboost mentioned above comes with tons of helpful safety and entertainment features, like the Ford MyKey system. This allows guardians to limit top speed and stereo volume. 

The Mustang community

Ask any Mustang Club of America member, Mustang enthusiasts are a close group. Ford estimates there are more than 250 Mustang enthusiast clubs in the world. They often host shows and events all over the world, allowing Mustang owners from everywhere to join in and appreciate the classic car’s history. Not only can you find great food and fun prizes, but unlimited networking opportunities too.  Those interested in getting started, I recommend the Lone Star Mustang National show in Texas, the Granite State Mustang Grand National show in New Hampshire, or the Pony Express National event in Nebraska. 

For anyone ready to make moves and start shopping, don’t forget to ask your salesman dozens of important questions. Once you’re a Mustang owner, be sure to set up a plan with a great insurance company. This is something you’ve worked hard for, protect it wisely.

Student by day, rapper by night: Emprovyze records out of Corbett Hall

For most students, living in a dorm can be loud and space limiting. Sophomore Josh Weemes manages to fit a small recording studio into his.

Weemes started rapping last year when he lived in Durward Hall. Now he is a RA in Corbett Hall where he still records music.

His fans know him as Emprovyze, and for now his tracks can be found on Soundcloud.

“I want to record a four or five song EP by the end of this upcoming summer,” Weemes said. “That’s my goal, I hope to be on iTunes and Spotify by then.”

The newest Emprovyze track, “Oceans,” was recorded out of Corbett. Two of his other songs, “Dude…Where’s my ship?” and “The End,” were recorded in Durward.

“I have a condenser microphone, and I have like a sound proofing foam that I’ve built around it so it blocks outside noise,” Weemes said. “Then I have studio monitors, monitors are a fancy word for speakers, and I work with Logic ProX.”

Weemes pays for his education on his own, as well as the finances involved with making music. He has to buy the beats he raps to, purchase the equipment he records on and in the future he wants to get some real studio time.

“I’m a 20 year old, single dude I can take all the financial risks I need to right now,” Weemes said. “And whether or not Emprovyze blows up, I want to be able tell people that I had a dream and I went for it, regardless of what happens.”

It was only about five months ago when Weemes started recording his music. After his friends recognized his passion for the written word, they convinced him to try rapping to a beat. It came naturally and he has been hooked since.

“I love doing it,” Weemes said. “It gets me up in the morning and keeps me up a little too late at night.”

Josh Weemes, also known as Emprovyze, reviews a recording in his studio he built in Corbett Hall.

Josh Weemes, also known as Emprovyze, reviews a recording in his studio he built in Corbett Hall. (Photo credit: Veronica Baas)

When he began, he was a freshman studying journalism, living on campus and recording when he could. Zach Hussey, Weemes’ floormate at the time, said he could hear him rapping last year when they lived on the same hall.

“I could hear him recording for sure,” Hussey said. “I couldn’t exactly hear what he was saying, but I could hear a beat and hear him rapping pretty fast.”

Since then, his fan base has grown to more than just friends. He said ten percent of his plays on Soundcloud are international, and he receives fan mail and comments from people all over the world.

“I’m definitely branching out to a much broader audience, trying to break away from my friends,” Weemes said. “But your friends can start a lot too. It’s all a snowball effect.”

Currently Weemes is in the process of talking to booking agents to arrange some smaller scale shows. He hopes this will help expand his fan base and spread the music.

Freshman Josh Dorsch went to high school with Weemes before he became Emprovyze. They have grown closer since coming to CSU, and Dorsch thinks he has a good chance of blowing up.

“I’ve heard him freestyle and this kid has an act for this — he has some serious talent,” Dorsch said

Emprovyze wants his listeners to know that he cares about what his lyrics mean, and how his audience perceives them. He thinks it is important to have a purpose and a message. For example, he raps “If music is lust than my lyrics are love” in his newest song “Oceans.”

Weemes does not fit in to the average rapper stereotype, so gaining respect from his listeners has been hard. So far it seems to be working out. His new song released less than a month ago already has 400 plays on YouTube and almost 1,000 on Soundcloud.

“Josh talks a lot about how this is a huge dream for him and how he wants everyone to be able to live their dreams,” Hussey said. “I think that‘s one of the reasons he’s sticking to this, because he believes everyone should go through with what they really want to do in life.”

This article was published in The Collegian October 14, 2015.