I started off this year with a small, simple personal blog on Blogger. I found myself writing more and using the blog as a replacement for my lack of social media. It was a place for my friends to keep up with what was going on, as well as a sounding board for all the weird stuff I wanted to share. After a few months, I grew frustrated with some technical mishaps occurring at Blogger and fueled by my desire to escape the Google eco-system as much as possible, I took my blog over to Write.as, where I rebranded it Brandon’s Journal and found a whole new audience of privacy conscious people who miss the internet of old pre-algorithms and sponsored posts. As much as I enjoy the community at Write.as, I found myself spending way too much time on Read.Write.as and well… I was taking in just as much negativity by reading some the personal blogs. So, I stopped. I pulled my blog off Read.Write.as as well. And for the last month or two, I’ve been back writing in my bubble which has been relaxing.
I recently moved over my horror website, Brandon’s Horror Review to a self-hosted WordPress. Google recently forced a new update with Blogger that I just cannot stand and it was time to allow that site to grow and breath. After a few days, I was thrilled at my progress and loved being back on WordPress. I decided then, that I would move Brandon’s Journal over to WordPress as well.
I hate to separate myself from the community over at Write.as, but I missed my sidebar. I think Write.as is a wonderful platform, but some of its limitations were just hindering how I wanted my site to grow. So, I’ve been porting everything over (which as not been an easy task), and I think I got the site 75% where I want it and that’s why I’m posting this today.
I do not have the time or the patience to figure out how to port my email and RSS subscribers to WordPress. I’m sure if you are like me, sometimes you rarely actually visit a website and just let your email/RSS readers do all the work. Well, if you like my content or want to continue keeping up with me, you’re going to have to re-subscribe. Just open up your browser and go to BrandonsJournal.com where you’ll find a Subscribe via Email feature and my RSS can be found at http://www.brandonsjournal.com/feed.
I appreciate all my readers and followers and hope you’ll continue to follow me on my new platform.
After Clarissa describes the experience of visiting Ferguson in prison we finally get our first glimpse of the man. He’s rocking a do rag and a gold cap. He talks like a stereotypical rapper (what’s up with this book and giving people bad accents?) and he’s actually adjusted well to the prison life. He’s started up a dating service and bribes guards with his mom’s tofu cookies. He also turns off his prison persona once Clarissa explains the problems he’s created for his family.
Ferguson proceeds to spend two hours teaching Clarissa about finances and setting her up to write a great article.
Clarissa still can’t figure out what angle she wants to write her article on so she takes a stroll through New York City for inspiration. She notices a do it yourself cafe and is inspired by the DIY movement that has sprung up both in person and online with Kickstarter and Indiegogo. Then she runs into her ex boyfriend Norm.
The meat of this read through was the chapter with Ferguson which was annoying to read but did progress the story. I’m not sure how much I like the current Ferguson storyline, but I’m willing to ride this out and see where it goes.
Be sure to check out Michael’s thoughts about this book over at Random Thoughts and Ponderings
A couple of months ago, I bought a laserdisc of the movie Stargate. I don’t own a laser disc player, but I’m a big Stargate fan and I really loved the artwork on the laser disc so I bought it for display purposes. Years ago, I saw someone with a massive frame of audio albums online and I always thought that would be cool to do with laser discs.
It took me a while to get around to buying a frame for my album, but I found one for $9.99 at Walmart that looks pretty good. My fiancée recommended I pick up a few more so that we can hang them above the TV in our bedroom and that sent me on a wild goose hunt for cool looking laser discs.
I spent some time thinking about what movies I wanted to feature: Do I do my favorite movies? or Do I stick to a single genre? I decided I wanted to keep a theme going, so I decided to look up other sci-fi movies that had nice cover art.
One of the first movies that popped up is an old favorite of mine that I haven’t seen in years: The Arrival. This is not to be confused with Arrival from 2015. This film stars Charlie Sheen and was released in 1996 and seemed to air around the clock on HBO.
The film is about an astronomer who discovers evidence of intelligent alien life and ends up in a huge conspiracy. It was familiar territory for all the TV shows and movies that were coming out on the heels of The X-Files, but this one had a little more class to it since it was written and directed by David Twohy, who wrote The Fugitive and Waterworld, and went onto write and direct the Riddick Franchise and A Perfect Getaway.
The Arrival was very much a high end B film that was better than anyone expected. It was the type of movie you’d easily get lost in and I must have seen it a couple dozen times.
The artwork for the laser disc is beautiful and way better than the VHS and DVD releases. I think it’ll look great right next to my Stargate laserdisc.
I’m still debating on what other films to display but I’m keeping with the sci-fi/alien theme and leaning towards: Fire in the Sky and an X-Files disc, but I may go with Communion.
About ten years ago, I went into one of those bookstores that sells books by the pound. It was located in a sketchy, industrial part of town and was located in a smelly warehouse with shelves made of 2x4s. The racks were full of books from the 70’s-90’s, with a few newer (and some older) titles sprinkled in. Massive palettes of books were spread everywhere and it was almost impossible to move around let alone actually search for anything. After an hour of browsing, I walked out with nothing, but I left some stuff on the shelves I wish I would have grabbed.
This bookstore (which went out of business within a few months) was loosely organized by genre. There was a teen section, which is not something I’d normally find myself browsing, but when I walked by I saw some titles catch my eyes. Titles that I hadn’t seen since the Scholastic Book Fairs of the 90’s. Titles like Rosewell High, Clueless, Saved by the Bell, and Sabrina the Teenage Witch. Titles that were popular when I was a teen.
I absolutely adore movie/tv tie-in novels and this love grew from those book fairs. Between the Newberry Award Winners and Lamborghini Posters, there were all sorts of small books that expanded the universe of some of my favorite shows and franchises. For the most part, these books were written for girls, so I’d glance across this as inconspicuous as possible before picking up something less feminine, but if I had to be honest, I wanted to read about the adventures of Stephanie Tanner outside of the TV canon and I wanted to know what happened in those AC Slater books where he was looking all dreamy.
I got up the nerve to purchase two books based on the Clueless franchise, although both of these books were ordered and not bought in person. A couple times a year, the teacher would pass out an order form that featured various books that you could pay for by check.
I remember thinking this was the one opportunity I had to snag a couple of these books, that I never seemed to find at Barnes and Noble. So, I ordered a couple: Achieving Personal Perfection and * Cher’s Guide To… Whatever*
I enjoyed both books and my younger brother was a less bashful and bought several Full House books that I was able to enjoy, but that was it as far as children/teen tie-ins went for me. I was reading the Goldeneye tie-in along with all of the classic James Bond books around this same time, and well… I guess I was ashamed they were so far beneath what I was normally reading. I always read way higher than my grade level and because of the attention I got from that, I tended to shy away from books I knew others would look down on me for reading. A good example was Goosebumps. I devoured those books as my little brother bought them, but I was already reading Stephen King books and well… I enjoyed the Goosebumps more, but I never bought a single Goosebump book of my own.
I always meant to go back and snag some of those novelizations. I’ve had this crazy dream to read through all of the Sabrina The Teenage Witch tie-ins just because there are so many and because they are mostly small. I’m also very interested in reading a book from Salem’s point of view and it seems like there are several of those.
Sadly, these books are all out of print and you can’t find them digital. I could buy them on eBay or Etsy but they are definitely not cheap by the pound like they were ten years ago. Also, I guess I still run into the same problem I did as a child. What business does a man in his thirties have reading books written for tweens in the late 90’s? I guess, I never did learn that lesson to just do what you enjoy and not over think things.
Sometimes I think about starting a blog and reviewing these books. Who knows, maybe I’ll buy a lot on eBay one day and do just that.