Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Genius Idea

I just had a genius idea. 

But when I opened the word processor and began typing the title, "Genius Idea," autocorrect changed it to "Heinous Idea."

Now I'm not so sure.

-Youngman Brown

Tuesday, December 10, 2013


You're stuck in traffic (the really bad kind of traffic).

You're late, of course.  You were already running late when you left, but now you are extremely late (the give-up-worrying-about-it kind of late).

It's not a big deal, really.  Just a family function.  You call them and tell them to start without you, but really the call wasn't so much to inform them as it was to share your plight with someone who might care.  They don't seem to mind, telling you to "drive safely," which should be easy, considering you are cruising at less than 1 mph.  It is the kind of driving that doesn't require the gas pedal, only a hovering foot over the brake.

You get to the point in the road where three lanes become two. 

That's when you see him. With your peripherals.  He enters your life from the right at a blistering 3 MPH, trying to get into the middle lane (yours).

You quickly spring into action, moving your vehicle forward to reduce the space between your front bumper and the rear bumper of the car in front of you. The space shrinks from three feet to a few centimeters.  As you do this, a great number of foul words enter your brain at once, mashing into an unintelligible string of highly offensive names, some of which are actually spoken.

You hate this guy.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Writing is F**king Awesome (feat. Bryan Cranston & Aaron Paul)

First off, if you haven't watched the Breaking Bad series finale, don't watch the following video.  It contains major spoilers, since it shows Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul during their first reading of the final scene of the script.

Also, if you haven't watched any of Breaking Bad in general, then you are missing out.  Go ahead and start from the beginning of Season 1 and come back.  I'll be waiting.  And honestly, once you start, nothing much will get in your way as you have no choice but to plow through the seasons.

Okay, now watch this:

Awesome, right?

You can tell that they are taking in the words slowly and thoughtfully, the way one might eat a delicious filet mignon, not wanting the act of consumption to end.  They know the words are finite, that the story which they have devoted the past half-decade of their lives is about to end, yet they have to read on to find out what happens.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

State of the Youngman

Hi guys.

Sorry I've been away for so long.  But as you can see from my last post, I've been busy.

Let's see.  What has been happening in my life?

For one thing, I moved to Maryland.  The casino where I was working in Pennsylvania cut my days down significantly, so I auditioned at a new casino in Maryland, which hired me as a full-time dealer.  Money-wise, it was a no-brainer.

For now.

Monday, November 18, 2013


I'm in the dark guest bedroom at my parents' house, trying to fall asleep.  My old shitty laptop is lighting the room.  It doesn't have Microsoft Word or an "N" key, so I am forced to write in Notepad, desperately missing the convenience of Autocorrect, especially with words that have an "N" in it, such as "Notepad" and "N."

I might as well be writing blind with two broken arms.

The goal, I guess, is to slowly soften the glow of the screen by filling up the white Notebook canvas with black words until my thoughts are out there as opposed to in here.

See, the last thing I did before I opened up my laptop was lie to my girlfriend.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Vixie, Champion of Kisses

Vixie, looking well-behaved.

My girlfriend and I are rarely alone on the couch.

If we are on the couch at my apartment, Sadie accompanies us, sitting or standing in whichever spot blocks our view of the television the most.

While we are at Jess's apartment, her dog, Vixie, does the same thing, only adding in the additional trick of laying on her back and moaning for belly-rubs.  Both dogs love to lick my face as much as possible -- a form of kissing that always seems cute on the surface, but is, in fact, completely disgusting.  Especially when you remember some of the things that they pick up with their mouths while on walks.

As such, I usually allow them one good lick before I push them away.

They try their luck a few more times, but are met only with my impenetrable stiff-arm, as I attempt to focus on more important things, like trying to catch all the subtle gems that I missed the first time I watched Lost.

Off the dogs go to their corner of the couch, where they rest their chins on the cushion and stare up at us.

"Woe is me."

Woe is Sadie, too.

Looking at them, you would think that they are depressed from being pushed away.  Sad, innocent little pups.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Where We Are Heading

I was very excited to see that I was nominated for one of The Indie Chicks Badass Blogger Awards.  But I must admit that I was somewhat surprised to see the category for which I was nominated: "Most Feel Good Blog."

Naturally, this was the first image that appeared
when I Googled "happy feel good shit"
When I started this blog, one of my main goals was to be as cynical as humanly possible in order to
effectively express my disdain for my environment and surroundings.

Things change, I guess.

I went back and looked at posts like "How I Saved Dopey the Dog," "Attn: Soon-to-be Uncles," and "My Best Friend, The Terrorist," and realized that there was, in fact, a growing warmth in my heart that came out in my writing, whether I liked it or not.

Anyway, in an effort to get back to my cynical roots, I decided that I should write something incredibly depressing.  My life is pretty incredible at the moment, however, so in order to really depress you all, I had to go with some fiction.

So here you go.  Here's a little piece about how school shootings are becoming an increasingly normal occurrence.

It's called, "Where We Are Heading."

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Day Owl

(c) peek-a-prints (My sister's Etsy shop)

I know, I know.

I haven't been updating much.  And when I do update, it comes with an apology, promising all kinds of grand things.

They're coming.  Big things.  I promise.

But in the meantime, let me share with you some excuses as to why I've been so distant (I'm really good at making excuses).

You see, I have a job (some might not consider dealing poker a job, but it is certainly a step up from my previous "job" of playing poker).

Well, I recently switched to day shift (for those of you who might have forgotten, as I had, day shift is the one that takes place while the sun is up).

This whole business of having a girlfriend inspired me to change my nocturnal schedule.  This, so that I can actually see her once in awhile, as well as the rest of the inhabitants of the world.

It has been a difficult transition, though, seeing as how long I have been a creature of the night.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Four Seconds

This all happened in four seconds.

The club is very crowded, very loud.  The three of us are trying to leave to find our other friends outside.  Navigating through a sea of people is hard enough, made even more difficult by the fact they are all dancing.

A girl gyrates in front of me, blocking me, and I lose my grip on Jess's hand as she moves forward through the crowd.  I glance back to see that Andy is still in tow.

Jess isn't ahead of me by much, only a few feet.  But it is enough space for the sharks to get the scent. 


A pretty girl by herself.

Ripe for the plucking, one guy thinks.

He gets up on her.  In front of her and on top of her at the same time.  Blocking her, kind of.  Looking down upon her, from above, like she is this piece of meat that he is about to dominate.  And he seems confident that she is going to like it.

Thursday, April 25, 2013


Thoughts are still hard to make, and the thoughts that make it through are hard.

-Youngman Brown

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

YMB Recommends: Epic Mom

"What the hell is 'Epic Mom' and why are you reading it?"

I was tucked away in the men's locker room, like usual.  So that I could read in peace, though it rarely happens like that.  I was reading MOV and Marianne's new book, "Epic Mom: Failing Every Day a Little Bit More Than You," whilst occasionally giggling.

One of my coworkers peered over his locker at me, judging me.  As if a 27-year-old man reading a book called "Epic Mom" all alone in the men's locker room was somehow suspicious.

"Are you an epic mom?" I asked him.


"Are you an epic mom?"


"Well neither am I.  So I'm learning.  Maybe you should too."

He didn't seem too interested.

I suppose I got so defensive because it is such a good book, whether you are a mom or not.  Or even whether you are epic or not.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Tenth Grade Youngman Brown

This week, Dude Write is teaming up with bytestories.com.  Here are the rules:
  • Tell us a real-life story. An embarrassing, funny, or cringe worthy story.
  • You must have either witnessed the embarrassing happening (good) or have had it happen to YOU (even better!)
  • The story should take up no more than 1500 characters, including spaces (that's something like 200+ words)
So here you go, world.  Something embarrassing:

*   *   *

I have no idea what he could have said that was so funny, but the photographer who took my tenth grade school portrait said something that made me laugh really hard.

There was no chance that I'd upload the actual picture.
So you get Mitt.  Sorry.
As evidenced by my tenth grade portrait.

In the picture, my head is tilted back, as if I am in the primary detonation phase of a sneeze... but really happy about it. 

It was bad.

Like, if for some reason you needed to Google Image search "teenager laughing hysterically," it is the picture that you would choose and upload to your blog, ignoring all thoughts of copyright infringement in the process.  It had a borderline fake-ish quality, it was that obvious.  With the head tilting back and the eyes clenched tightly and all.

As if I had done it cynically.  As if I scoffed at the concept of "school portraits."

You'd think that the photographer would have, you know, taken another.  Considering that he was the one who caused me to laugh maniacally, you know?

I could get retakes, of course.  And I did.  And they came out as handsome as you'd imagine.

But there was a different problem.  A problem that had a name: The Yearbook Committee.

The pictures that were taken on Picture Day were the ones that were used for the yearbook.  No exceptions, they said.  Like, whatsoever.

And that is how, amongst a gallery of smiling teenagers, the portrait of Tenth Grade Youngman Brown defiantly stood alone as the most embarrassing school portrait to ever appear in a yearbook. 

For the rest of time.

-Youngman Brown

Head on over to Dude Write to check out other embarrassing bytestories, and then vote for your favorite!

Dude Write

Thursday, March 21, 2013

The White Lie

It's my favorite time of the month: Dude Write Flash Fiction!  This month's prompt is an image given by Joe Cawley:

"Bride", an image by Nicholas Hayward

Here's my take.  Weighing in at exactly 500 words, here's "The White Lie":

*   *   * 
There was a brief moment, there in the woods, that almost made her laugh.

Tears -- and now sweat -- were streaming down her face.  Her legs ached, begging her to stop running.  Her lungs burned, screaming for her to loosen her dress and walk back to the church, where, in her sister's purse, her inhaler was sitting as idly as all her family and friends.
And through all of this not-just-physical pain, she wanted to laugh at how silly it was that she was instinctively holding up her dress.

None of it mattered, of course, once she found out that he had ran.

But she still unconsciously held up the dress, not wanting to expose it to the crumpled leaves, dangling branches, and dirt of the woods.  She needed to preserve the iridescent white that she had marveled at only an hour before.

But why?  What did it matter now that it was all over?

She hadn't seen it coming.  There was this unspoken communication between them.  One where she said untruths, made everything seem like it was okay.  And he saw through the untruths and loved her anyway.  Unconditionally.  Even when it took two tries to get her to agree to marry him.

She hadn't been sure.  Not until this moment, in the woods.

But why had he ran?  He was always so sure.  Perpetually sure.

She stopped running.  

Bending over, she put her hands on her knees and began violently retching.  Through her tears, she saw that some of the vomit got onto her dress. 

That is when she started laughing.

Her violent, soul-shaking laughter echoed throughout the empty woods.

How hard she had tried to keep things clean.  To maintain the image that her life was this pure, ivory white.  To build a relationship that relied on a man's unyielding love to disregard her own fabrication of sanity.  To hold up her wedding dress in the woods, not for the purposes of making running easier, but so that if she ever caught up to him, she would be able to maintain the white lie.

The laughter stopped as quickly as it came, and she crumpled to the ground, realizing that it was useless.  Since she met him, she had never been able to catch up to him emotionally.  What made her think that she'd be able to catch up to him now, in a footrace through the woods? 

She knew that he must have been so far away by now, happier and more relieved with every step he took away from her and the muddied dress that now defined her.

She missed him desperately as she envisioned him taking his first step to a million possible new lives.  All of them, free of her.

Of all the countless places that she saw him, however, the one place she didn't consider was the church, where he was still standing, holding the flowers that her sister had seen him dash into the woods to pick before the ceremony.

-Youngman Brown

Head on over to Dude Write to check out the other entries, and come back on March 23rd to vote for your favorite!

Dude Write

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

That Whole "Anonymous" Thing

A month ago, I wrote something which I now regret.

It was a post regarding those annoying Anonymous spam comments that bloggers sometimes receive on their blogs.  In all honesty, the post was nothing more than a lazy attempt at a blog post whilst feeling unequivocally uninspired.

But at the end of the post, I challenged anyone who wanted to comment, to do so anonymously.  And anyone who didn't would be forced to meet the wrath of ME RESPONDING IN ALL CAPS.  WHICH KINDA MAKES IT SEEM LIKE I AM YELLING, RIGHT?  I MEAN, DIDN'T THE VOICE THAT NARRATES THINGS FOR YOU IN YOUR HEAD CHANGE A BIT AND START YELLING ONCE I SWITCHED OVER TO ALL CAPS?  IS THE VOICE IN YOUR HEAD STILL YELLING?

There.  That's better.

Did the voice in your head switch back to normal talk?  Did he sigh, take a deep breath, and perhaps adjust his collar, as if he just came inside from a storm?

Anyway, the point of this wasn't to tell you about writing in all caps to the people who didn't respond anonymously.  It was to tell you that many people responded under the name "Anonymous," just like I commanded*.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Dog Poop Addendum

I know I just wrote (too much) about picking up dog poop, but something else came up that I felt like I needed to add.

My girlfriend got me a thing that you put on the end of the leash for poop bags.  Like a toilet paper dispenser, but for picking up dog crap.

Anyway, the bags it came with are thin.  Like, really thin.  So thin that I imagine it would float away if you let one go on a completely windless day.

Being so thin, when picking up fresh dog crap, I can totally feel the temperature and texture of the specimen more than I could with my old bags, as if the bag is not even there.

Just thought I'd share that with you guys.

Oh, and yes.  Yes, that is the way I just announced that I got a girlfriend.

-Youngman Brown

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Ice Breakers

My friend Kaytlynn recently wrote about things that make her feel uncomfortable that totally shouldn't, all of which I could completely relate*.

*Follow her blog.  If you like mine, you will love hers.

The first of those things was ice breakers.  You know, those "games" that bosses, trainers, or orientation leaders use to start a group session in order to get everyone relaxed and acquainted with one another.

Ice breakers aren't too distressful for me.  My heart rate increases a bit as it nears my turn, but otherwise, I don't fear saying a sentence or two in front of a group of strangers.

Most of my anxiety comes from listening to the other people.  I can't stand watching someone crash and burn.

As a result, I find myself smiling in moral support as they sheepishly try to describe to the group their love for different types of shoes.

"My name is Katie-Lee and I love shoes," a red-faced girl says to the group, though she only looks at the discussion leader.

"I mean, I'm not like obsessed with shoes," she corrects herself.  "But I have a lot."

She's crashing.  And burning.

"Not, like, a lot of shoes.  But more than most people."  She shakes her head and then adjusts her hair, guiding it back behind her ears, as if that will put her back on track.

"I've been collecting them for a while, and I have so many that I don't really wear them that often, so they don't wear out.  And my feet stopped growing when I was, like, seven.  So I've had a lot of time."

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

On Picking Up Dog Poop

Warning: The title of today's post is not a metaphor for anything.  The following post is literally about dog poop.  Almost entirely.  If you're not in to that kind of thing, might I direct you to greener pastures?  Perhaps click on one of my "popular posts" over there on the right.  Although, the one titled "Attn: Soon-to-be Uncles" talks about baby poop.  And the one titled "Penis" actually talks about elephant poop.  So steer clear of those two.  But everything else is poop-free, so you should be safe with those. 
*   *   *

"Time for a walk?"
It is almost always dark when I take Sadie for a walk.

Working nights, I don't see much daylight.  And as a result, neither does my dog.

So when we go on walks, not only do I need to make sure that I have a bag to pick up her poop, but I also need to have my cell phone for its flashlight app (which is really nothing more than a "turn-on-the-camera-phone's-flash" app). 

It'd be easier if Sadie pooped in just one place.  But she does this thing where the squats, looks up at me (every single time, it's kinda awkward), and then begins her business.  As she's doing it, she moves forward on the grass, using only her front paws.  She just dangles her back paws an inch or two above the grass, I assume because she doesn't want to step in shit.

As she shits and moves across the grass like a mischievous circus dog, she continues to shoot glances at me to see if (or make sure, I'm not sure which) I'm still watching.

And yes, yes I did just describe, in detail, the exact way my dog poops.

You're very welcome.

Needless to say, it is much more difficult to track down all of her little droppings in the dark when they are spread out over a large area, as opposed to normal dogs that poop, you know, in a pile.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

The Great Divide

Recently, I've been really getting into the mysteries of space and all that good stuff.  So I was excited to tackle this month's Dude Write Flash Fiction prompt, based on this image:

Here's my take.  Weighing in at 301 words, here's "The Great Divide":

*   *   * 

The image of the face on the planet that we call Mars was in their history books.

It was one of four potentially habitable places in our solar system where they had left evidence of their existence.  They had also built structures on the planet Earth and two of the moons of Jupiter.  Pictures of those structures could also be seen in their history books, next to the one of Mars.

We eventually figured out the mystery of the pyramids -- that they had been there long before the Egyptians and that they were an obvious signal.  More than a signal, they were a gesture -- an indicator jutting out of the ground and pointing to the skies as if to say there!  That's where we are.

More accurately, that's where they were.

When we finally developed the ability, we traveled to them, but most evidence of their existence had eroded, disintegrated, and disappeared -- a casualty of an incredible amount of time, like everything else in the Universe. 

Their planets were barren.  Potentially habitable, but barren nonetheless.

When we got there, we did not find their buildings.  We did not find their bones.  We did not find their history books with pictures of the face on Mars, the pyramids on Earth, or the ice sculptures on Europa that we would never discover.

The only thing we found on their planet were massive pyramids.  Large, impossible structures that triumphantly towered over the alien lands while everything else had crumbled.

The massive pyramids stood there, waiting for life to spring up around them once again -- not so that they could once again be revered -- but so that the life could evolve into something intelligent enough to realize that they were pointing to our sun, saying there!  That's where they are.

-Youngman Brown

Head on over to Dude Write to check out the other entries, and come back on Feb 22nd to vote for your favorite!

Dude Write

Monday, February 11, 2013

Anonymous Unite!

Last month, one of my favorite bloggers, MOV, wrote a really great post.

After reading a really great post, I usually leave a comment, telling the blogger how much I enjoyed reading his or her post.  In this fashion, I scrolled to the bottom of the post and began typing words of praise.

But as I was writing, I noticed the last comment that had been left by an Anonymous user:

After reading this stirring comment, I looked at the words that I had begun to type, and realized that nothing I said could compare.  Clearly, this Anonymous user had a better understanding of MOV's post than I ever would.

Not only that, this Anonymous user was polite.  I hadn't even thought to start my comment by classifying myself as a regular visitor and politely addressing everyone.

I felt bad for him.  He had asked everyone how they were doing, and not a single person took five seconds to reply.  I could see him sitting there, refreshing the page over and over again, waiting for someone to write back and tell him how they were doing.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

(Packing) Heat

"You're the one who called late on a Friday night?"

He said it irritably, in a way that sounded stale -- as if he had said it over and over on his drive to my apartment.  He had molded, shaped, and rehearsed the line too much, and in doing so, it had lost some of its bite.

Therefore, I was still ignorant of the fact that this man hated me.

"Yea, sorry to bring you out in this weather on a Friday night.  It has been off all day," I told him.

"You should have called during the day," he said.  As he passed by me to go up the stairs, he added: "Like a normal fucking person."


I'm almost always shocked when people are mean to me.  It's weird.  My brain does this thing where it assumes that people are decent human beings.

Crazy, right?

This, on top of the fact that he was at my apartment to do his job, left me speechless as he trudged up the steps.  I mean, ever heard of professionalism?  When I called the 24-hour emergency number that I had been provided upon moving in, I assumed that it would connect me to somebody who would rather be doing anything else than coming to my cold apartment and trying to make it otherwise.

But this irritable?  Please.

He went to work on the heater, which was in my kitchen.  He didn't say much, other than the pouting, grunting, and cursing that you might hear from an inebriated sports fan whose team just lost.  Or better yet, like that little kid in Walmart whose mom just told him he can't have a toy that he wanted, but he's forced to stomp around behind her while she buys everything else in the store*.

Monday, February 4, 2013


"Gimme somethin'," he said to her.  "Just somethin' to work with, here."

He was shivering, kind of.  

Naturally, she thought he just needed a bump.

He'd been off the stuff for weeks, though.  He was shivering because being honest made his teeth chatter -- as if the vulnerable request of reciprocal love was of a freezing cold nature.  He needed to know that after the snort and fuck, her eyes saw into his soul, too.

"You ain't gotta beg," she said, cutting two lines.

And he took it; he was addicted.  Just not to the stuff going up his nose.

-Youngman Brown

Cue the song:

This is my entry to the 100 Word Song competition on Dude Write, where we write a 100-word piece based on a song.  Head on over to Dude Write and read what it inspired the other guys to write about.

Thursday, January 31, 2013


Something different for you today over at the Indie Chicks' fiction section.

Way different.

Check out "Me"

-Youngman Brown

If you liked it, check out some of my other fiction.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Ducks, Grapes, & Epic Videos

Okay, this is how it all started.

MOV told a joke on her blog that made me giggle.  Here, I'll let her tell it:

While the post did make me giggle quite a bit, it also left me with this unsavory taste in my mouth.  I had a strong, immediate urge to actually witness a duck eating grapes.  I mean, wouldn't it be difficult for a duck to eat a grape?  Hard, even for a walking* and talking duck who frequents delis?

Friday, January 25, 2013

YMB Recommends: Codename Sob Story

One of the things that I want to do before I die is write a book.

The thing about books is that they're really long.  And anything that is longer than a blog post is typically too long for me (that's what she said, of course).

Another problem is that books typically require a plot, and I'm really bad at developing a plot.  Or at least a good one.

But this post isn't really about me.  It's about my friend.

I went to college with Jena.  We had a few English classes together, but reconnected a little over a year ago, when I saw her at a bar at the Jersey shore.  Recently, she started a blog, where she crushes* that thing called "writing."

*"Crushes," like, in a good way.

She recently bestowed upon me the great honor of being one of the first people to read her unpublished manuscript -- her grandfather's memoirs during his time in the Navy during World War II.

It is a story about character, and not just the character of her grandfather, Steiny, and how it was tested by the war.  Other, unexpected, characters reveal their looming presence throughout the stories.  Characters like the Pacific Ocean.  Characters like the Gear (Steiny's ship).  And other, painfully distant characters, like home.

After I read it, I told Jena that I really wanted to meet her grandfather.  Timing hasn't really worked out, though, and I haven't been granted that privileged yet.

But in a lot of ways, I've already met him.

Go buy this book.  It is really good.  Jena did a fantastic job, and I am very proud of her.

And kinda jealous.  My hands are hurting, just from writing this short post.  I'm not sure if I'll even have enough stamina to sign my name at the end.

-Youngman Br

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

How Much is Your Twitter Account Worth?

Something fun today:

I stumbled upon a site today, that claimed to appraise your Twitter account.  Needless to say, I had to check it out.

I was actually surprised to find that my Twitter account (@youngmanbrown) was actually "worth" more than a dollar:

Of course, the numbers are most likely skewed.  I doubt that the formula takes into account how many of your followers actively follow you on Twitter.  I know some people out there who have actually purchased followers -- dead accounts that are merely there to add numbers.

It is much harder to track how many of your followers are active on Twitter on a daily basis to actually see your tweets.  And even harder, still, to track how many of those followers trust your taste and judgement enough to click links that you might share.  Those are the followers that actually make your Twitter account worth something.

Not only that, but I am fairly certain that Twitter won't let you sell your account anyway.

But it is still fun to see.

And brag.

How much is your Twitter account "worth?"  Find out.

-Youngman Brown

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Messing Up Your Project

I recently wrote a short poem entitled "Self-Deprecation."  It's short, so rather than click the link to read it, here it is in its entirety:

Self-deprecation sounds
Too much like self-
And I hate myself for it.

The original version contained an added line about how "self-deprecation" also reminds me of masturbation.  But I've always felt like the word "masturbation" is one of the dirtiest words in the English language, so I used thesaurus.com to try to find a similar word that would still got my point across.

However, "autoeroticism," "malthusianism," "onanism," "self-abuse," and "self-pollution" didn't really do it for me.

If you know what I mean.

Plus, I like my "poems" to be as short as possible.  So ultimately, I left out the masturbation part.

But before I closed my web browser, I noticed this advertisement on thesaurus.com:

Thanks, Thesaurus.com, but I can safely say that masturbation has never messed up any project I have ever worked on.  Aside from sex addicts, I doubt masturbation has ever messed up anyone's project, regardless of the nature of the "project" in question.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Through the Eyes of My Nephew

He's actually kinda terrifying.

One of the coolest things about my 4-year-old nephew, which I suppose is something that applies to all children, is his unwavering devotion to the things he loves.  Namely, Cars 2 and Thomas the Tank Engine.

Especially Thomas, though.  The engines that work and reside at the Island of Sodor are like crack to the kid.  He simply can't get enough.

He owns all of the trains and plays with them constantly, setting up their wooden tracks, but often going "off-road" with them all throughout the living room.  There are many, many engines that reside in the Thomas the Tank Engine universe, and as such, he has many, many toys. 

They are thirty-dollar pieces of wood with wheels on the bottom and a face painted on the front to complete the anthropomorphic process.  Aside from the fact that some are painted different colors, they all look exactly the same.  The only way to tell them apart is by turning them over to read the name of the train, which is written on the underside.

Unless, of course, you are my nephew.  
If you are my nephew, then you are able to tell them apart in an instant, as if they are as different as mommy and daddy.  If he were blindfolded, I'd imagine that he would still be able to identify them by touch or even by their scent.

*   *   *

A few weeks ago, I went up to Connecticut to babysit my nephews.  As fate would have it, that particular day was the day that a maniac decided to shoot tiny children at Sandy Hook, a school that was only minutes away from my sister's house.

Friday, January 11, 2013


Just wanted to let you guys know that I'm sorry, but the other night I sat down to write and instead of writing, I found myself redesigning my blog.

Nothing major.  I just made it look a little less-cluttered and changed my color scheme.  The orange/black* just wasn't doing it for me.

*Orange/black only really looks good on my Philadelphia Flyers**.

**And Halloween.

Anyway, let me know what you think.

Unless you hate it.  In that case, I don't want to know what you think.  But I'm always open for suggestions.

Oh, and speaking of redecorating: I cleaned my apartment and finally finished unpacking everything from when I moved in back in the summer.

I also finally got my first piece of artwork framed and ready to hang up on my bare walls.  A few months ago, I commissioned Leaurxa to recreate something that I had seen on her blog that I fell in love with:

Awesome, right?

When you look at it, just try to pretend that there's no reflection.  I'm a really bad photographer, but fear not: I am taking a photography course next weekend, so as to cross another thing off of my list of things I want to accomplish this year.

Anyway, you can check out Leaurxa's original picture, sans reflection, along with the entire comic of which it is a part, here.  And check out the rest of her awesome stuff while you're there.

And I'll be around next week to write more stuff for you guys.

-Youngman Brown

Monday, January 7, 2013

The Smitten Cashier-Boy and the Pink Maneater

"You've got a ten-dollar bill coming out of your pocket."

The cashier-boy is looking down at my crotch, a little to the right.  A ten dollar note is hanging on for dear life after being pulled out of my pocket when I had handed him my store card from my keychain.

"Oh, just showing off," I say.

He looks back at me blankly for a moment.  I want to further explain my failing attempt at being funny, and clarify that I was just joking that I had purposely dangled a ten-dollar bill from my pocket in an attempt to show off the enormous amount of money that I carry around with me to the grocery store.
But too much time has passed for me to offer an addendum to my joke.

Finally a look of clarity sweeps over his face and he says the words, "I wish."  Which makes it clear that he does not understand what I meant, and it makes me feel a bit uncomfortable as I try to piece together what he thinks I meant.

Needless to say, it isn't a good start for me and the cashier-boy.

Friday, January 4, 2013

A Brief Defense of "The Bachelor"

If you've known me for a while or have read some of my previous posts, you know that my biggest guilty pleasure is The Bachelor.  It is honestly one of the worst shows on television. 

As well as the best.

I haven't watched the past few seasons.  One, because I don't have too much time.  Two, because many of the past seasons have been The Bachelorette, and I just can't bring myself to watch a whole bunch of dudes vying for the affections of one woman.  Not to mention the fact that the last woman they used (Emily) was the most fake and boring woman who constantly used her sob story as a crutch.  I mean, who wants to waste their time with her, amirite guys?


Anyway, I've committed to watching this season, and tweeting nonsense during the show (when I'm not working).  If you don't follow me on Twitter, you probably should.  Just one click on the thingamajig on the right side of my blog*.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

What's An Indie Dick?

Head on over to The Indie Chicks to read my latest "article" and to join the discussion.

Also, Happy New Year.  I'll have you know that I can already cross one of the things off of my list of resolutions:

Eat a pizza.


It's on, 2013.  It's on.

-Youngman Brown