Writer, Christian, SEO/Social Media Marketer, Book Reviewer, Deaf and Loud.

Monthly Archives: January 2014

beats-executive-over-ear-headphonesImage Credits: Beats By Dre 

I’ve always been a huge fan of music. Over the past 11 years I’ve seen at least 15-20 different shows with plans to add to the list this March when I see The Ataris in Philly. However, I have a 90 db hearing loss which sometimes makes it difficult to really hear the music especially when played at home on devices such as my iPod or my laptop. Frequently, it sounds like a bunch of garbled noise and I have to concentrate very hard on the lyrics to even be able to decipher who the artist is and what song is playing.

I heard about how headphones have changed over the years. I was intrigued by how they might work for a deaf/hearing impaired user. My main issues are high frequency and clarity. I wondered if the headphones could help to correct my issues or if they would merely amplify the sounds. I heard so much about Beats By Dre, and when I saw the high price of them I knew there must be a reason for them being so expensive.

I tried many kinds of headphones over the years. I usually just purchase cheap ones from 5 Below or Target. I preferred ones that could fold for easy storage. I tried a pair of my Dad’s Sony headphones before. They weren’t much better than my cheap 5 Below ones though. They were better for him, but for me as a hearing impaired (legally deaf) individual there was no difference.

A few months ago I reached out to Beats by Dre directly through a contact form on their website. I asked them if they knew anything about whether their product was good for deaf/hoh users but they weren’t really sure. They advised me to try them out in the stores that have them on display. I took their advice and tried all of the different models several times at several different stores.

I noticed that the most popular, cheaper options the Studio ones were significantly better than the cheap headphones I was used to hearing. I could hear sounds I never heard before. I continued trying them out and found that the Beats Studio ones, while a bit more expensive, were significantly better than the Studio ones. Well worth the extra $100 or so they cost. The Executive ones were priced the same, but I thought they had just a slightly better sound quality. One of the biggest differences between the Executive and Studio ones was the way they fit over my ears. With my old headphones I always had to take my hearing aids out prior to using them so that A. I could hear the music better and B. They didn’t make my hearing aids whistle. I was able to fit the Executive ones over my hearing aids comfortably and could still hear the music very clearly. With the Studio ones there was a slight amount of whistling though.

Today I purchased the Executive headphones for approximately $300 from Radio Shack. I know most people probably think I’m insane for spending $300 on a pair of headphones, but these were honestly one of the best purchases I ever made. I would pay $500 for them I think. They were well worth every penny I spent. I’m hearing the music in a completely different, better, more enjoyable way. I can hear every word that is sung. I can hear the bass, the rhythm, the beat in ways I never could before. I listened to Yellowcard’s “23”, a song I’ve heard about a million times t least in the decade that it’s been out and it sounded like a completely different song to me. I almost cried because I was just so completely blown away by the quality. If you’re a hearing impaired music over, then you really NEED these headphones.  You will not be sorry.

kimberly-erskine-wearing-executive-beats

Here I am wearing my new Executive Beats By Dre!

I only wish that Beats By Dre would develop a hearing aid of the same capabilities now. Being able to hear people in everyday conversation the way I can now hear my music would be amazing.

Do you own a pair of Beats By Dre? If so, what are your thoughts on them? If not, would you consider buying a pair?

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So it’s New Year’s Eve. I’m about to close another chapter of my life and begin a new one. I already wrote what my New Year’s resolutions are and about what I hope to accomplish in 2014. Now I’d like to look back on my best moments of the past year. 2013 was a pretty crazy year. It’s definitely had its ups and downs, but overall it was pretty cool and if 2014 follows a similar path I’d be quite alright with that. Here are my Top 10 Moments From 2013.
10. Meeting Casey In Real Life. 

Casey-Fraites-and-I-Rowan

This was my 2nd day with Casey, May 9, 2013.I took this picture outside of the student center by my favorite bridge. I loved showing him around and he really seemed to like the campus.

I think this can go on two lists: top 10 best moments and top 10 worst moments. Casey and I were randomly brought together in 2012 after  meeting online through my writing for Bit Rebels. We became very quick friends and I ultimately ended up falling in love with him. For awhile we dismissed having a real relationship since he’s 34 and I’m 23 and he lives in Florida and I live in NJ. However, the more we talked the more our friendship grew and we just wanted more. It started to seem possible and like it was meant to be. We made our relationship official on April 1, 2013.

We started planning when we would meet for the first time in real life. We knew it was something we had to do it was just a matter of when. Casey was an avid traveller and used to these things so the plan was he’d visit me. Originally we planned to meet for his birthday which was in July. However, when he learned that my birthday was in May he quickly changed his plans.

Casey and I met for the first time on my 23rd birthday which was May 8, 2013. We spent the next 3 days together hanging out at the mall, seeing movies, going out to eat, and I even took him to Rowan for a book signing event. We had a great time and even though we broke up a month later, it’s something I will always remember.
9. Valentine’s Day

For those of you who don’t know Valentine’s Day is my favorite holiday. In 2012 I was dating a real jerk that made things really bad for Valentine’s Day. I was single for it in 2013 and couldn’t have been happier. I had off of work and I treated myself to an iPhone. I previously only had a crappy Cricket phone that couldn’t really do anything. I fell in love with my iPhone instantly. I don’t know how I ever went without it…this phone is amazing!

Here’s the first picture I took with my iPhone…notice my candy heart earrings and heart headband…I get really into Valentine’s Day!

first-picture-taken-with-iPhone

8. Grounds for Sculpture. My mom always has off on Wednesdays and weekends. When I worked at Walmart I had off every Thursday and that was about it. One week I got lucky and had off on a Wednesday. We wanted to do something fun and different together as a family so we gave Grounds for Sculpture a try. It was such a fun day! I can’t wait to go back sometime. There’s so much to see! Here’s a few of our pictures:

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dad-and-i-grounds-for-sculpture

mom-pushing-wall-grounds-for-sculpture

mom-in-hammock-grounds-for-sculpture

parents-and-farmers-grounds-for-sculpture

mom-and-i-grounds-for-sculpture

Honestly one of the things I like the most about this picture is that I had to throw that shirt out because it no longer fits…it’s way too big! That’s a problem I don’t mind having… 😉

7.Yellowcard Concert Yellowcard has been one of my favorite bands for years and their Ocean Avenue album was practically revolutionary for me. I listened to that album thousands of time. Pretty much every single song on it is very important and meaningful for me. When I found out that they were doing a 10 year acoustic anniversary tour for the album I just had to go. I definitely wasn’t disappointed.  You can check out my full review of the Yellowcard Ocean Avenue Acoustic Tour Here. Here’s some videos from the show:

6. Commencement. I actually graduated in December of 2012, but my commencement wasn’t until May of 2013. I’ll be honest, Commencement was a little disappointing to me and I thought my community college graduation was 1000x’s better,but it was still a nice final “hoorah!”. I achieved something no one else in my family has — not just one, but two bachelor’s degrees.

Rowan-prof-commencement

This is Rowan’s mascot The Prof…we’re just too cool to call ourselves the Rowan Owls…

graduating-with-college-of-communication-and-creative-arts

I recieved a bachelor’s in English and a Bachelor’s in Writing Arts. I chose to participate in the Writing Arts ceremony with the College of Communication & Creative Arts

rowan-commencement

The red and white cords represent my membership with the Lambda Pi Eta Communications Honor Society.

thumbs-up-i-made-it

 

carpe-diem-rowan-grad-cap

I spent way too much time trying to decide how to decorate my cap. This was perfect. It’s a line from Dead Poets Society (my favorite movie and a movie that fits in well with both of my majors) that means “Seize the Day”.

5. Christmas  This was the best Christmas my family and I had for a long time. It was the first Christmas in our new home and we were all happy and well. The past few years have been rough with losing family members and financial struggles. We were very financially stable this year which definitely helped, but at the same time we always remember the true meaning of Christmas. Just having a nice day together was one of the things that made this year’s Christmas so special.
4. Working at Webimax I started 2013 still working at Walmart and it made me completely miserable. I hated it. I worked very hard and pretty much all I ever got was a hard time from everyone and taken advantage of by co-workers and management. I constantly applied for “real” jobs but the job market is no joke these days. Seriously, if you’re looking for a job good luck at getting so much as an interview. My job search lead me some interesting places…such as hundreds of miles from home in the middle of nowhere also known as State College PA:

state-college-pa

I interviewed for a digital journalist position at Accuweather. I was really late because apparently it’s really easy to get lost in the middle of nowhere. They didn’t like me and I didn’t like them much either. No surprise I didn’t get this job. I’m quite thankful for that…I was less than enthused about the idea of moving to State College.

I applied to Webimax several times over the course of 2013. The first being about two days before my trip to State College actually. I applied again when they announced they were hiring over the summer. I never gave up on them because in my heart I knew that was my dream job and where I really wanted to be.

I was interviewed for an Inbound Marketer position around the beginning of July. The interview went extremely well, but unfortunately they were unable to hire me at that time. So my job search continued as I remained a cashier at Walmart.

webimax-interview-pink-blazer

I took this picture right before my interview at Webimax. It took me forever to decide what to wear. I loved the pink blazer because I thought it would help me to stand out and be more memorable.

Then everything began to fall in place. I had an interview set up with The Christian Post. It sounded promising except for one thing…the interview was to take place in NYC on 9/11…not a time when you want to go to the city. It was also a 100+ degree day…not ideal for wearing a business suit and walking around the city…

God works in funny ways. As I was stressing over my Christian Post interview I got an email from human resources at Webimax with a job offer. I accepted immediately.

Now I have been working at Webimax since September. I love it so much. I have learned so much about the world of SEO and I always look forward to coming into work each day. My boss and co-workers are amazing. Everyone is so smart, creative, and fun. I definitely made the right choice accepting this offer and I can’t wait to see what 2014 has in store for me at Webimax.
3. Reconnecting with Old Friends I lost touch with a lot of friends during college especially when I transferred into Rowan. This year I started to reconnect with some and it’s been wonderful. I definitely need to give a shout out to Pam here. Pam, you’ve been a wonderful friend to me always. I always enjoy having tea with you and learning all about the cow apocalypse.
2. Moving to Washington Township I lived in Woodbury for about 9 years. It was supposed to just be a temporary thing but it didn’t quite work out that way. Woodbury’s been good for me over the years. The high school was amazing and I have many great friends from Woodbury. I love the diner, too. It’s my happy place. However, our house really sucked. Everything was broken. See:

broken-bedroom-wall

Just one of the many broken walls in my bedroom in my old house…

 

broken-sink

Believe it or not this was actually the only “working” sink in the old house…

 

The condo we moved to in Washington Township is much nicer. Nothing’s broken, we have counter space in the kitchen, we have a dishwasher, washer and dryer, and even a sunroom! The area is much more quiet, peaceful, and safe as well. I frequently go for walks around town and morning runs. Here’s some pictures of the new house:

cabinet-space-new-home

dishwasher-new-home

my-bathroom-new-home

We have two bathrooms now. This one is mine.

 

parents-bathroom-new-home

And this is the main bathroom/my parent’s bathroom.

 

my-new-room

My new room is just a tad bit nicer than my old room…

 

 

new-home-washington-township

This is the view outside of my new home in Washington Township

 

the-red-room

This is “the red room” also known as the sunroom but for some reason everything is red…

 
1. Meeting Sean Forbes Seriously though, did you expect anything else to be #1? Sean Forbes is absolutely amazing and meeting him was everything I hoped it would be. I love all that Sean is doing for the deaf community. He has so much talent and is just amazing. I saw his show at The Rotunda in Philly back in October and it was just amazing. I loved the vibrating stage and how he signs and everything it was just great. I got to talk to him before and after the show and he was such a sweet heart. He actually remembered me by name through Twitter! I was amazed that he remembered! He definitely cares about his fans!

Sean-Forbes-And-I

Sean Forbes and I after his show in Philly! I was so excited to meet him!

 

2013 was a pretty cool year. I’m really looking forward to what 2014 brings!



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