Thursday, January 31, 2013

Me.



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She recently bestowed upon me the great honor of being one of the first people to read her unpublished manuscript -- her grandfather's memoirs during his time in the Navy during World War II.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

Redecorating

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?

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.

Boom.

It's on, 2013.  It's on.

-Youngman Brown