Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Expect to Hear About Nipples (And Other Advice for Uncles)


I recently posted some helpful hints for my sisters in regards to taking care of their new babies.

I thought about it, and I realized that everyone gave them advice.  They were overloaded with advice from everyone they talked to, and certainly didn’t need any tips from me.

And then I thought about the fact that nobody gave me advice four years ago, before my first nephew was born. 

To be fair, being an uncle certainly isn’t as hard as being a mother or father, but there are definitely some shocking truths that new uncles will need to face, and a little heads-up would have been nice.

So as a service to any guys out there with a sister who is expecting a baby, here are some things that you can expect when your sisters are expecting:

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

"Oversky" Words + Music Companion

If you haven't watched it yet, check out the video below from my Youtube Channel:

First of all, sorry it is so depressing.  That's my bad.

But just listen to “Oversky” with headphones. Hear the pedals of Luke Howard’s piano. Hear Nadje Noordhuis take a breath before she breathes life into her trumpet. It is a sound that, to me, is both relaxing and tragic – like a rainy night.

Lady, unhappy it is my birthday
The first time I heard this song, the scene that I saw in my head was that of a man driving his dog to the doctor to be put down. The image I saw in was him adjusting the rear-view mirror to get a better look at his dog, lying in the back seat. He’d think of all the memories they had together, and maybe stop at the beach on the way.

It was a fine scene to tell, but the more I thought about it, the more I thought about my own dogs, past and present. And then I remembered, so clearly, those two car rides from my childhood.

*   *   *

Lady ran into my dad’s high school classroom one afternoon. Security was much more lax back then, and I suppose that any creature was welcome to run right in through the open doors. Her first meeting with my dad was brief – she ran in and out, leaving everyone puzzled.

Our previous dog, Happy (of whom I have virtually no memories), had died a month before. So a homeless, housebroken dog somehow finding its way into my dad’s classroom seemed like one of those destiny things. At the end of the day, my dad inquired about the dog, and found out that nobody had claimed her. One of the other teachers had taken it home for the night. So that night we drove and picked her up, which is where the W+M begins. I was just three years old, yet the adrenaline of getting a dog etched that moment into my brain.

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