Bad Browsing Habits Return

 Last week, was a bit chaotic. It’s my second busiest week of the year at my job and I was putting the final touches of my old apartment before turning in my keys. In the midst of all that was going on, I found myself just wanting to zone out here and there. I needed a break from the chaos, so I slowly slipped back into my old internet habits. The news trickled in at first, and then the r/all page on reddit. I began that slippery slope and today suffered the consequences.

Brandy and I took a trip to Walmart and I felt like something was off. I was, for lack of a better world, paranoid. It was almost like those few months after we were attacked at Sheetz, where I was jumpy and things just didn’t sit well with me. At first, I blamed it on it being Walmart, because it’s just about my least favorite place on Earth to go into. But then we made our way to Whole Foods, Chick-fila, and Trader Joes and the feeling didn’t go away.

I confessed my dark feelings and even mentioned that something was off. It wasn’t the places, but it was me. As Brandy and I discussed it, I slowly realized how my internet behavior had been poisoning my mental health again. My desire to be lazy and just zone out, had propelled me to visit easy to get to sites and in doing so, exposing me to a lot of negative videos, hot takes, and unpleasantness.

I hate that I’ve done this to myself once again, but I’m thankful that I realized it before it went on too long. I’ve made some adjustments tonight to some accounts and put up some additional blocking and filters to at least present a hurdle should I ever decided to just “check on the state of the world.”

BRANDON WRITES

05 Feb 2023 at 05:22

The Flash

 I’ve been thinking about The Flash a lot lately. I’m not sure why a TV show I stopped watching years ago has become part of my daily rumination, but it has.

The Flash is coming to an end soon and with it, the end of the Arrowverse. On today’s internet, if you look up the Arrowverse, you’ll find lots of angry takes and dismissal of low-quality television, but when it first began it wasn’t so negative. It was wonderful to see decent, quality superhero television shows on broadcast TV. Folks forget, but it wasn’t that long ago that superhero movies were few and far between, and superhero television shows (especially good ones) even further.

I fell in love with Arrow. It was dark, brooding, and featured some fun action sequences. It got me excited for comic books again and I found myself exploring the lore of The Green Arrow more than ever before.

Not too long after Arrow debuted, The Flash was announced. I’ve always loved the character thanks to the 1990’s John Wesley Shipp show and the Justice League cartoon of the 90’s.

I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. The darkness that was in Arrow wouldn’t fit in The Flash, and luckily, they didn’t force it. They allowed The Flash to become its own show, that was more light hearted and feel good. The Flash became a show about friends and family, coming together to fight evil and I loved that. It was hopeful and positive, the way I remembered comic books once being.

Sadly, the lack of direction and story planning quickly revealed itself as each season of The Flash seemed to be slightly lesser quality than the one before. The show was playful and energetic, but the lack of focus and the constant resetting of timelines really took away any impact any pivotal scenes the characters had. Who knew if they would remember some big revelation the next week if Barry went back in time, once more.

My Arrowverse watching slowed down once the crossover events began. As much as they excited me, I just wasn’t up to date on all the shows and felt a bit lost. As the shows embraced the chaos and the fandoms grew, I just didn’t have the time to keep up. And as quickly as Arrow, The Flash, and Supergirl came into my life, they exited and were forgotten about.

Then for some reason, this week, The Flash came back to mind. I didn’t think about the special effects (impressive for TV at the time) or the big bads, I thought about Barry and Joe’s relationship. It snuck up on me several times in those first couple of seasons. I’d be sitting there, enjoying this goofy superhero show, and then I’d feel that lump in my throat. The show did an amazing job at showing a non-traditional family and it was able to make you feel part of it too.

I doubt I’ll ever go back and finish up The Flash. I think that time has passed in my life. For some reason, I just kind of forgot about it, but I’m glad it all came flooding back this week. The Flash helped me through some rough times and the characters deserved better stories than they received. The cast was incredible, and the guest stars were even better.

The Arrowverse was the last holdover from the 90’s, where television shows had 20+ episodes and most of the episodes were monster of the week with a loose arc covering the entire season. It’s a shame to see this sort of television die off, especially in a world here the options are becoming more limited. But maybe, The Flash and the Arrowverse are prime examples of people’s attention spans being too short to indulge in long seasons and maybe even the writers who seem incapable of writing a long-term storyline.

Run Barry….

BRANDON WRITES

04 Feb 2023 at 05:32

Friday Night Pizza – Week 2

 Well, we’ve made it two weeks with our new pizza and a movie ritual. Tonight, we both had turkey bacon, turkey pepperoni, and pineapple pizzas. We learned some lessons from last week’s cooking, and I feel like my pizza turned out much better than last week. I will say, I don’t care for Trader Joe’s pizza sauce and I even bought a refrigerated version of their pizza sauce for this week and it wasn’t much better. I gotta figure out a better sauce solution for next Friday.

The movie we watched was Grease 2. It wasn’t as bad as I assumed it would be, and I guess I’d give it a meh thumbs up.

BRANDON WRITES

04 Feb 2023 at 05:21

Starry

 I drink a lot of diet soda. Way too much actually and I’ve been trying to cut back the past year, and I feel like I’ve made some headway. I’m doing it for my health, but also for my wallet since soda prices have gone up with everything else.

A few weeks ago, Michael mentioned he tried Starry, Pepsi’s new lemon-lime drink that was replacing Sierra Mist. He gave it a thumbs up, so I immediately went out looking for it. I found a twelve pack first, but then stumbled upon a 20 oz on my way out the door so I cracked it open. What I found was a sweeter version of Sprite that was pretty darn good. I’m not much of a lemon-lime fan, but I could see myself drinking this occasionally.

On my next trip to the grocery store, I couldn’t find any diet caffeine free drinks on sale other than Starry, which also had $2 off coupons attached to each box. So, I loaded up and I’ve been drinking Starry every day for the past couple of weeks.

I got to say, it’s grown more and more on me. It’s not too carbonated and its refreshing. It goes down a bit easier than Sprite. I think Pepsi’s got a winner on their hands.

BRANDON WRITES

03 Feb 2023 at 02:57

Boundaries and Family

 Recently, I watched the tribute match between Mark Briscoe and Jay Lethal on AEW Dynamite. The match was a tribute to Mark’s brother who recently passed away in an automobile accident. It was an emotional match and a touching tribute to an entertainer who brought many people joy, including myself. I actually meet The Briscoes Brothers this past November at WrestleCade.

During the match, commentator Caprice Coleman mentioned several times how precious life is. He followed it up with comments like, “Call you family, tell them you love them, get over the small things.” His comments were coming from a great place, I know this, but I believe over the course of the match, he mentioned three or four times to call your family and get over any petty disagreements because nothing was too important to prevent you from chatting with them.

I hear this sentiment a lot, and I believe it’s meant with good intentions. Lots of relationships break apart over small disagreements and things that aren’t important. So, I’m hoping, that is what people are referring to. But when it’s said, it’s usually said in an authoritative manner like, “Get over yourself and just forgive, because life is short” and that’s when you lose me.

The arrogance of thinking you understand my or anyone else’s family dynamic is absurd. There is a reason people set boundaries with family, and there can be all sorts of abuse, manipulation, addiction issues, and whatnot that interfere with the family on a daily basis. It’s not always as easy as just “forgiving” and moving on. While I think it’s important to process and forgive for your own personal wellbeing, in many cases it’s not so healthy to open the door to family or allow them to take up space in your life again.

Having been on the side of having to establish boundaries with parents and watching my wife deal with her family, the comments Caprice made the other night really bothered me. I guess, I just wish he would have left it at “Call your love ones, each day is precious” instead of adding the additional commentary and advice for “healing.”

BRANDON WRITES

30 Jan 2023 at 03:43



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