Monday, January 12, 2015

Glen Burnie Diaries, Entry 2: The Arrival

Written Aug 8, 2013

It's been a couple weeks since I moved all my stuff down to Maryland.  Since then, I have been taking care of a few odds and ends back in Pennsylvania: cleaning, returning uniforms to work, begging landlords to reduce early termination fees, that kind of stuff.

Orientation at my new job starts on Monday, so naturally I waited until the last minute to get the last of my stuff from Pennsylvania.  And by Sunday evening, I'm still laying in bed with Jess as we cry, not wanting to say goodbye.  It's not like I am shipping off to a foreign country, not knowing when I will see her again.  We'll see each other every weekend, which is about the same amount of time we are able to see each other now.  But being two hours away definitely adds a giant void. 

It's easier for me because I am armed with the knowledge that we are going to be engaged soon.  Much sooner than she thinks.  Also, I am distracted by the nervousness and excitement of a new location and a new job -- a full-time job, something that is very hard to obtain as a poker dealer.

But it still sucks.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Introducing Words + Music

I've been away for like, a really long time.  It is for a very good reason, I promise.

I've been tinkering with something new.  Something weird, kind of.

I call it "Words + Music."  Basically, music videos with storytelling.  Just my words, given to you with the beat and rhythm of my favorite songs.

I could go on describing it, trying to define what it is, and that is exactly what I tried to do in my own head as I conceptualized it and thought about it for months, maybe years.  I finally manned up and just made it. 

It feels good.  But I still don't really know how to define it.

Anyway, just watch it.  And know that it is very different from what you will usually see here.  I highly recommend using headphones, especially with this track.  You might not be used to this type of music, but just go with it.  Lose yourself, if you're able.

I have a few more of these ready to go.  But if you hate it, don't worry -- I have a few blog posts in the works as well.

And hey.  I missed you.

-Youngman Brown

 (Click link to travel to YouTube and watch it in high definition.  Then subscribe.)

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Do You Know About Bitcoin Yet?

If you have heard about Bitcoin in the news and thought that it was just some digital money for
computer geeks, you are wrong.  It is a world-changing invention, on par with the Internet itself (you know, that thing that lets you instantly find out anything you want and communicate with whoever you want).

The US dollar sucks.  There is no gold backing it.  Not a lot of people know that.  And the more and more dollars are printed, the less and less each is worth, until it all comes crashing down (the average lifespan for a fiat currency is 27 years).

I originally bought my first bitcoin because I thought that it would be a good investment, which it has proven to be so far.  But the more I learned about the cryptocurrency, the more I became convinced that it is the most important invention that will change the world.

I could go on and on, but I won't.  Instead I'll refer you to my favorite podcast, The Joe Rogan Experience, where Joe hosts Andreas Antonopoulos, who will explain Bitcoin and its implications with far more ease than I ever could.

It is nearly three hours long, but I implore you to listen.  It's really that important.

I took the liberty of starting it at 10:33, right after the commercials.  Also, if you would rather download it and listen in chunks, it is available for free on iTunes.

If you have any questions, I would be happy to answer anything in the comments section or on Facebook or Twitter.

-Youngman Brown

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

The Time I Saved a Dude's Life

Back in the summer, Jess and I were relaxing at my old apartment complex's pool.  Enjoying a cocktail, as we do.  People watching, as we do.  Sunbathing, as she does and I never do.

We stopped our conversation to observe a black man in the pool, groaning and splashing around, a lot.  Instinctively, I thought he was mentally handicapped.  From the splashing that his legs were doing, one could infer that the man was swimming, but his lack of momentum and wide-open eyes would imply otherwise.  Additionally, he was grunting -- the kind of grunt from a person who is out of breath but afraid to take a breath, in this case because of the water that threatened to enter his lungs.  

"You're doing so well!" a woman yelled to him from across the pool.  Upon hearing her voice, he stopped his splashing.

"I am?" he exclaimed, standing upright in the shallow water that barely reached his armpits.

"Yes, baby, you got so far!"

"I did?!" he asked, wiping water from his eyes.  A few people clapped for him.

He waded to the side of the pool and easily hoisted himself up.  He shook off some of the water before walking by us.  His exiting of the pool was accomplished with such ease and swagger that I was shocked.  Here was a man who was not mentally handicapped, but simply did not know how to swim.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Losing Anathema

One of the reasons that I am consistently writing again is because of a great tragedy.

You see, when I'm not near my computer and I get a great (or terrible) idea for something to write about, I input it into my iPhone's notepad.

I have a few notes, but the one that contained nearly 100% of my writing ideas was titled "Anathema."  iPhones take the liberty of titling your notes whatever the first word or words that you write for in it.  This particular note was created so long ago that I don't even remember why I created a new note and wrote the word "anathema," but I just did.  I think I heard the word somewhere and just meant to look up what it meant.

Anyway, that's how it went a couple years ago.  I just wrote the word "anathema" into a new note and added more and more random thoughts on that note for the next two years.  Anathema eventually became this thing -- a holding cell for my ideas, as they sat and waited to be individually plucked, inserted into a blank Microsoft word document where they could blossom into a full, robust idea that would become a blog post or short story.

I'm sad to say that didn't happen.