A Fresh Cell Phone

Last night, I mentioned my cell phone is on it’s last legs. In an attempt to keep it running for as long as possible, I did a factory reset and have tried to scale down everything that I can on the phone. I also activated some gestures via Nova Launcher so that I can lock my phone without the use of the power button since I can unlock the phone with my fingerprint reader.

I never use the system backups on phones, computers, tablets, etc. I just like to rebuild everything by hand, because that’s how I grew up doing it. I also think it keeps me nimble so that I don’t rely on any one service/company too much.

Right before I wiped the phone, I backed up a couple of apps like AntennaPod and then let it do it’s thing. Once my phone was new again, I realized that I had become a bit too reliant on cloud services.

I wasn’t backing up my photos like I used to. I had books and various files on my phone or in various cloud drives and not backed up else where. I wasn’t as bad as alot of people, but I had become way more reliant that I would like.

Luckily, having a clean slate to work from, I was able to be intentional about what I was adding back onto my phone and how I wanted to add it. I asked myself, “Do I really need this app?” and “Do I need this service?” I figured now was as good of a time as any to de-clutter.

Like most of the time when I start off fresh, I feel good. Sure, the hardware that makes up my power button is eventually going to fully break, but at least for now my phone is running better and I have found a way to circumvent the pressing it more than I need to.

But I wasn’t expecting to feel so free and focused. My phone is stripped back down to just being a device… or a tool. It’s no longer an entertainment device or shopping platform, it’s just a phone with messaging, music, and the like. I kinda like it.

A Lot of Moving Parts

It’s Sunday night, and I’m less than hour away from going to sleep. I thought I’d take some quiet time to discuss some of the things going on and help organize my thoughts for the week to come.

1. My Dad is Out of the Hospital
My Dad had a scare a few weeks ago, after having COVID. He did well with COVID but developed a terrible case of pneumonia that hospitalized him and had every quite worried. Luckily, he’s home now, although he’s still not feeling great and has to use oxygen.

2. My Phone is Dying
My stupid phone is on its last legs and I’m doing everything I can to keep it alive. The power button has failed me, so now I’ve found a few work around to lock my phone, but if my phone dies, it’s anyone’s guess on whether or not I’ll be able to boot it back up.

3. My Dad is Moving
My father is moving nearby within the next two weeks, which means I’ll be helping with some unloading and moving stuff, especially in his weaken state. That will take up some of my weekend time.

4. We Gotta Move
The time has come to get out of my mother and step-fathers home. It’s unfortunate, because we hoped to move into a place we were going to buy from here and we really hoped to have more money saved up. Unfortunately, his alcoholism is taking a toll on everyone and we’re going to have to find an apartment and just hope that things work out for the best down the road.

5. Which Means… We Gotta Live A Bit Poorer
In order to save for a place to buy, we’re going to need to save more money, which means were going to have to tighten the belt quite a bit. It’s been a few years since I’ve really had to scrap and save, and as weird as this may sound, I’m kinda looking forward to it.

6. My Mom Has COVID
Now, my mom has COVID and we are under the same roof. Apparently my stepsister and stepfather don’t care, but Brandy and I have been keeping a reasonable distance and staying up in our room this weekend. Fingers crossed.

7. I Haven’t Made as Much Progress As I Wanted Writing Fiction
One night I wrote the first three chapters of a book and I decided it wasn’t the route I wanted to go in. I haven’t made near the progress I hoped for in January but I’m trying to cut myself some slack. See above.

So, I guess I have a lot going on right at this moment, with finding a new place to live being the most important. I’m hoping by acknowledging all this stuff in my head, I’ll be able to rest easy tonight and begin my week on a good foot.

 

Letting Go

For the past several years, I’ve kept track of every movie that I’ve watched. I just started with a simple text list out of curosity about how many movies I watch in a year. It became a habit for me to update the list and I enjoyed sharing monthly micro reviews.

As December wrapped up, I went to add a final movie to my list when I noticed my list was gone. I had chosen to save it in my email account’s Notes section. What I didn’t realize is, the Notes section does not have a recycle bin. My phone is slowly dying on me and the power button that I use to lock the screen works maybe 15% of the time. So, I find myself constantly texting, opening up apps, playing music, and so forth just by walking because my screen didn’t lock like I thought it did. I believe that I had my email open when this situation occurred and my list was deleted.

It was a bummer, because this would have been my fifth year and I was looking forward to adding up all the films. But in the scheme of things, its really small potatoes. It was just a list. So, I moved on and let it go. It just wasn’t worth being irritated about, especially when it was lost forever.

I went into 2022 without starting a new list and ya know, I kinda like it. I don’t feel quite as compelled to finish movies I lose interest in and its just one less thing to do.

 

Some Truth

Before I get started, I’d like to apologize if you got spammed with a ton of email or RSS posts from me. I was working on a few things and ended up republishing my entire blog, including stuff in Drafts. It’s a long story, but I do apologize for any inconvenience.


I’ve decided to talk about something on here I wasn’t originally planning to, but I’m hoping that maybe opening up a bit will do me some good.

I’m currently writing from a quiet hotel room. My wife has a huge meeting for her job and she asked me to attend because she was still a little shaken from the attack we had a few weeks ago. I obliged, not only am I able to comfort her, it also gets me out of the insanely stressful house we live in currently.

$420,000 is the current average home price in my county and the two surrounding counties. One bedrooms apartments average $1500 a month. Needless to say, the economy has put us in a very uncomfortable spot being stuck where we are living without a real solution. But that’s not what I’m here to talk about today.

I’ve been dealing with some effects of the incident at Sheetz from a few weeks ago. As I mentioned in my post, I was calm, relaxed, and felt like I handled things well. The first bit of irritation from the event occurred a few days after, when I became frustrated with hearing “Oh, I wouldn’t kicked his ass” or “I would have shot him.” Everyone had an opinion and everyone’s opinion was I didn’t man up enough and make the incident worse. I took comfort in realizing that most of people who ran their mouth had never encountered any similar situation, and statistically they would have froze and not done shit and/or made the situation worse.

Life has moved on and I really hadn’t given it much thought. It was just an unfortunate event of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Then, yesterday, I made my first trip to Walmart in many months. Like everyone else, I hate going into Walmart, so I avoid it until I absolutely can’t avoid it anymore. I needed a handful of things to prepare for this five day hotel excursion so I walked in and went about my shopping business.

I wasn’t in there long before I noticed a very uneasy feeling arising inside of me. I ran into a guy who gave me a weird look both times. I thought he was following me. I assured myself I was mistaken, but the rest of my shopping trip was plagued with an uncomfortableness. I wasn’t happy walking down places where I couldn’t see around corners. I didn’t like having someone behind me. I profiled the hell out of people and anyone who looked similar to the guy who attacked us fell into that category of not feeling comfortable around.

I did my shopping and made it to the car. I didn’t freak out or anything, but I felt incredibly unsafe. It was so strange, because I haven’t had any issues and I’ve been grocery shopping and everything else for weeks.

Today, I visited another Walmart to grab a few things I forgot. I didn’t have the same experience, but I did find myself jumpy. Someone got loud inside their car as I was walking out of the store and it scared me. Another person was walking intently and I immediately entered fight/flight/freeze mode. It’s absolutely mind blowing how uncomfortable I suddenly feel. I don’t even know how to handle this.

I’m sure hyper-vigilance is not uncommon in a situation like mine. Maybe this is just a passing sensation that was triggered because I felt like I was traveling due to the hotel stay (I was staying in a hotel at the time of the attack.)

I’m not really sure what to think, I just thought that maybe writing about it would help a little.

2021 – A Year’s Reflection

2021 is going to go down as the hardest year of my adult life. I find myself mere hours away from 2022 and while my prospects for the future do look better, I cannot say I’m all that thrilled with how everything finished up. I’m not my an ideal living situation and it only seems to be deteriorating by the day. I also wish I could find a bit more contentment for my job, but life doesn’t  work on my schedule and it’s up to me to be at peace with my job or find a new one.

I’m grateful for my friends, all of whom I feel I’ve grown closer to this year. I’m appreciative of my health, which is the one thing that has been solid this year. I’m excited for the future, since I’m dedicating myself to exploring my spirituality and philosophical practices in the new year. I’m going to do everything in my power to find peace and contentment in my life and learn to better roll with the punches.

I’m also eliminating as much negativity in my life as possible. I’ll be eliminating some internet practices that incite rage and find better places to spend time online. Or better yet, I’ll find myself reading more which is a goal of mine.

I also want to do more writing this year, and not just blogging and non-fiction. I don’t have a plan right now, but behind my intent to work on finding peace in my life, writing some fiction or completing some writing projects is next on my list.

Speaking of writing, I do plan on taking a slightly different approach to my blogging. I’m always tweaking my technique and inspiration and going forward I’m asking myself if I’m writing for fun or am I writing because I feel like I’m supposed to. The truth of the matter is, I write a lot and sometimes I write things because I’ve always done it or because I feel like I should, but I’m not hosting thousands of readers here. I believe my reader ship hovers somewhere around five people and that’s across blogs. So, no more time constraints on when to write something or unnecessary pressure on what to write. It’s just gotta be for fun, so I can free up time to work on more serious projects this year.

With that being said, thank you for supporting my writing this year. Thank you for following me across three blogging platforms and sending texts or leaving comments regarding my posts. It means a lot to me and I’m very appreciative.

I sincerely hope that 2022 is a better year for all of us. Sure, there will be strikes and gutters, but I do hope we can find peace and happiness in our lives.

-Brandon

A Brush With Crazy

Last night, I attended AEW Dynamite in Greensboro, North Carolina. It was the first part of planned two day vacation that would also include a trip to the Greensboro Science Center, the Shiloh General Store, and dinner at Jeffrey Adams on 4th. It was a way to get out of the house, as well as celebrate Christmas in our own little way. But something happened after the show that derailed our vacation plans. I had a little brush with crazy.

AEW ended after the Rampage taping around 11:40 PM. We hopped in the car and made some remarkable good time. I was starving, since we had been at the arena since 5:30 PM and I had eat just a small side of fries right before we headed to the show. I planned to get some food while at the arena, but the lines were so long I was going to miss the show. So, I decided to suck it up.

Our hotel was located twenty minutes from the arena and within a quarter of a mile is a Sheetz, a 24 hour gas station that also serves food. Brandy and I went into the Sheetz and spent a few minutes ordering some food, when we decided to head back to the coolers to pick up some sodas.

I quickly made a decision for a Coke Zero, and after leaning over to pick up a couple of bottles, I noticed a man walk up really close to me, almost in my face. It was so quick, I presumed I was in his way and even thought for a moment he may have worked there. I quickly apologized and turned around. I walked a few steps to my wife when another man ran up the aisle towards me. He got a little too close too and something didn’t feel right. Our interaction went like this:

“Hey, are you guys AEW fans?”

“Yea, we are.”

“Oh, I hear AEW is kicking Raw’s ass.”

“Yeah, they seem to be doing very well.”

“Oh, so just so you know, that guy just spit on you.”

“Did he?”

“Yea, see it on your jacket?”

I turned and sure enough, there was spit on my jacket. The first guy must have spit on me when I turned around.

“He spit on you.”

“I see that. Thank you for letting me know.”

Fifteen years ago, I would have been irate, but some spit on the back of my jacket was not the end of the world. I was too busy wondering why this guy was somewhat boxing me into the corner of the coolers as well. He seemed nice enough, but this was all a very strange occurrence. I didn’t do anything to garner being spit on. The store wasn’t that busy and I hadn’t cut anyone off or asked anyone to move or anything.

I didn’t have much time to think about it, because within a moment the first guy threw a bottle of motor oil at me. Sadly, it ended up more towards my wife and it bounced off the wall/glass of the cooler and quite a bit of it got on her jacket.

At this point, I’m looking around trying to figure out who threw that (was guy #1 or guy #2) and what the fuck is going on? I literally just walked into this nice gas station, in a nice suburb right off the highway, and I’ve been spit on and had a bottle of motor oil chucked at me.

No one said anything and I quickly dragged Brandy towards the middle of the store toward the registers. Sheetz have two entrances and I didn’t know where the guy went or if the other guy was part of this too. I alerted the manager at the register. Everyone had heard the giant boom of the motor oil bottle hitting, but no one had realized it had been thrown.

She quickly called the cops and the second guy came running back in letting us know that the guy was still outside, he’s in an eighteen wheeler. So, despite guy #2 being weird, he wasn’t an accomplice.

I paid for my food and stayed inside until the cops arrived. Guy #2 flagged them down and pointed his truck out. Apparently the guy who spit on me also ran his mouth to a Sheetz employee who was taking out the trash but the guy had headphones in and had no idea what he said.

The cops took a look at the video tape and it’s 100% all on tape. I did nothing to provoke the guy, as the police office said, “He’s just off.”

I had report taken and had a police officer escort us to the hotel where we packed out bags and drove back home, thus ending our vacation early.

Luckily, no one was hurt. My jacket and new AEW beanie have spit on them. Brandy’s jacket sleeve/side is covered in motor oil and is probably ruined. Luckily, it’s a cheap Costco jacket and easily replaced. Her new boots have some motor oil on them, but it seems to be mainly the soles of the shoes which is a good thing.

It wasn’t a pleasant experience and definitely put a damper on the night. I’ve yet to decide whether to press charges or not. I’ll have to drive about two hours to press charges and then follow up for court dates and such. This man is obviously not okay and it’s even scarier the fact that he is operating an 18 wheeler.

This is actually the second situation this year I’ve been involved in with a crazy person. The first one involved a lady at the local Ollie’s who accused me of cutting in line when a second register opened and then attempted to run me over on the curb. She rolled down her window, taunted Brandy and I, and bragged that she almost hit us.

We live in a crazy, crazy world. I guess you can’t stop crazy and you can’t fix stupid.