Free Write Week 24 (June 11 – June 17)

It’s pretty wild to think that I’ve been blogging for 24 straight weeks. If I’m honest, I’m disappointed that my blogging has slowed down and now consists most of my weekly update, my monthly Star Trek review, and monthly movie watch list, but I’m hoping sometime down the road I can dedicate a little more time to my writing. Until then, this will do.

I had a second interview for a job at the local community college. I feel like it went well. It was a panel interview over Teams and everyone seemed super nice. Sadly, I wasn’t feeling my best that day but I think I put up a decent showing. There is some concern over what salary would be offered should the job come my way, but I’m not putting the car before the horse. I’m just taking this one day at a time.

I didn’t apply to too many jobs this week. I needed the mental space to wrap my head around moving back in with my mom and downsizing yet again. I’ve spent a good portion of my adult life living basically out of boxes. Having dealt with a lot of housing issues since my teenage years has left me a bit traumatized. I’m always waiting for the other shoe to drop and I learned its easier to move fast when I don’t own much. So, I maybe went beyond my comfortable level of minimalism just so I could pack all my belongings in a single sedan and leave at any moment.

But over the course of my relationship with Brandy, I let some of that go. I started allowing myself decorative items and I even bought some shelves to display some of my geeky interests. I spent a lot of time curating my shelves and creating some spaces that I enjoyed, and now I guess, I feel somewhat like it was all for nothing. Now, I’m moving into my mom’s exercise room, which is a very tiny room in her house for the foreseeable future. All the stuff I accumulated will find a home in a storage unit and I think deep down I feel like a moron for ever thinking I could actually own some things like that. Like, I should have known life is hard and I need to live lightly. I know it’s not the healthiest thought, but its something I’m dealing with.

The first SRX race was pretty good last week. I missed the heat races, but I saw the main and I liked what I saw. I’m excited to see how it plays out on dirt this weekend at Knoxville.

Brandy and I attended the Art in Bloom exhibit at the NC Museum of Art last weekend. It was pretty neat. Various floral designers created works of art inspired by actual pieces within the museum. It was a nice way to spend a couple of hours and a good distraction for the bad news that came near the weekend.

I discovered Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit’s Reunions album on Spotify this week and absolutely fell in love with Only Children. Wow… what a powerful song.

Free Write Week 23 (June 4 – June 10)

This week, let’s leave the bad news till the end.

I had two phone interviews this week. The first one went well and I now have a second video panel interview and writing prompt to do next week. The second interview was going to be for significantly less money, so I ended up cancelling it. More on the money problems below.

I also had the local school system email me regarding a position I applied for a couple years ago. I re-applied and it looks like it’ll lead to an interview as well. Hopefully, I can make a positive occupational change soon.

There are lots of cool things coming up that I’m afraid I’m going to miss out on. AEW Dynamite comes to Charlotte in July. There is a small comic con next week, a huge comic con in July, and a massive wrestling con in November. I’m really hoping I can manage to make it to something. The comic con in July is very nearby and it takes place two days after the AEW show. They’ve already announced one AEW star, I’m hoping they’ll add more.

I stumbled upon a great little app called Fritter on F-Droid. Fritter allows you to view public Twitter accounts with relative ease and without having an account. I’ve been experimenting using it to keep up with certain things like the before mentioned comic con. I could definitely see this app serving a purpose in my life.

Last weekend, I watched the new Conjuring movie and Saw movie. Both were mediocre at best. AEW aired the worst episode of Dynamite yet so I really felt like I wasted my weekend on pretty meh entertainment. The only saving grace is that Brandy is accompanying me on my re-watch of Better Call Saul, which will hopefully lead into Breaking Bad. I needed some intelligent writing, great acting, and awesome cinematography after that weekend of meh.

I started listening to Fake Doctors, Real Friends and love it. It has definitely earned a place in my podcast rotation and really fit the bill for the type of podcast I was looking for. It helps the work day go by a little easier.

Alright, let’s do this… the bad news.

The punches of 2021 continue coming my way.

To recap, since March:
-My wife was laid off.
-I got a new job that is terrible and only allows me to take vacation days three months out of the year (March/April/May).
-The unemployment office messed up Brandy’s papers so she had to resubmit physical copies which means we still haven’t seen a dime.
-We’ve both had some great interviews that didn’t lead to offers.
-My new job’s health insurance was so expensive I couldn’t add my wife, which was a bummer since the relief act was supposed to cover her COBRA but since I changed jobs she wasn’t eligible.
-There’s been a slew of family drama on both sides.

And now… to top it all off we’re losing our apartment.

Okay, maybe that last sentence was melodramatic. Here’s what happened. Our lease is up in August. Last year our lease went up $23. This year, it’s going up over $200. That means our tiny one bedroom apartment will cost over $1500 a month. The apartment complex claims it’s market value, but I think it has more to do with the fancy apartments that opened up next door and paying for all the electronic door locks they installed.

They said they’d work with us and after not hearing from them for four days, we reached out again. When they finally responded they said they’d drop it $20. Needless to say, we can’t afford this.

We were saving for a house pre-layoff and were hoping to get another year here under our belts and allow the market to settle. This isn’t an option anymore. Not only are we not eligible to buy right now, but we also can’t rent another apartment on my $39,000 salary. We reached out and spoke to some other apartments and well… the timing is just terrible.

We don’t know exactly what we are going to do yet. Unfortunately all my friends live out of state and that leaves just my mom and step-dad close by. I’ve had to live with my mom quite a few times over the past few years and I guess I really hoped I was done with that. I guess life had other plans.

The real estate market here is booming. Most apartment complexes don’t have openings in August and I guess we are just going to have to take our licks. I briefly mentioned this issue to my mom, but I need to go over to her house and talk to my stepdad and see if they will take us in for a bit.

So, the hits just keep on coming. I gotta say, I’m handling it a bit better than expected. I think now I just know things are down and there is no sense in being upset. I just gotta regroup and start over, yet again.

Free Write Week 21 (May 21 – May 27)

Welp, no good news on the job front his week. I didn’t get the job I interviewed with last week and Brandy hasn’t heard back from her interviews either. We’re also still waiting for unemployment to get their crap together. Maybe next week, I’ll have some better news in this department.

I spent some time listening to The Dale Jr Download podcast, which I’ve enjoyed a lot. I was never a huge Junior fan, but he interviews some legends of NASCAR and does a great job at it. I’ve struggled finding podcasts I can tolerate lately, but this has been a great one.

I also discovered that MRN has podcast versions of old NASCAR races. I grew up watching NASCAR all the time and if we were traveling or out shopping, we always had MRN on and was listening to the race. I’ll never forget sitting in the back of our van listening to Michael Waltrip win 1996 Winston. Those broadcasters were amazing at painting an incredible picture of what was happening on the track and for background noise, it’s been wonderful listening to these old races while at work.

I watched the final episode of season one of Debris, which introduced a ton of questions. Then NBC cancelled it. You’d think I would have learned my lesson about watching network sci-fi. I think from now on, I’m not going to invest into shows like that until after they’ve been renewed. It’s just not worth the frustration and quite honestly, it ends up being a waste of time. It was like reading 75% of a book.

I also caught up on the final episodes of The Conners. I’m hoping the show improves a bit next season. I feel like the production during COVID mixed up the pacing and storytelling and it felt a bit disjointed. The previous season was more solid and coherent. Although, I’ve loved seeing Lecy Goranson really coming into her own and steal every scene that she is in.

I’m thrilled to have a three day weekend this weekend. I’m hoping to catch up on some rest, do some job applying, watch a little racing, watch some AEW, play a little SRX Racing, and make the best of this extended time off.

Free Write Week 20 (May 14 – May 20)

I had a phone interview which led to a Microsoft Teams interview this week. I don’t think I’ll get offered the job, but just having the interview helped me feel a little less trapped in this current job, which continues to get worse. My wife also had an interview this week and has another scheduled for Monday. I’m hoping things are turning around for us and we can get back on our feet shortly.

I mentioned Intergalactic, a British sci-fi series a few weeks ago that I was excited about. Well, I gave the first episode a shot and turned it off. Wow, was it pretty bad and not in a fun way.

I’ve been making my way through Star Trek Picard: The Dark Veil, which is a Riker/Troi story based in the Picard universe. So far, it’s pretty amazing and I’m enjoying it. I’m hoping after I finish it to check out Andy Weir’s new book Project Hail Mary, which I’m hearing great things about.

I’ve been playing WRC 9 quite a bit on the PS5 and I’m looking forward to the SRX Racing game that is releasing next Friday on PS4. It’s developed by Monster Games, who did the Tony Stewart sprint car games which I loved. This looked like the next generation in that franchise with the addition of Stadium Trucks and the SRX series. Plus the $40 price tag warms my heart and helps my wallet. If I get half the amount of time out of it as I did the last game in the series, it’ll be well worth it.

The Fayetteville Comic Con is running next month and they recently announced Gigi Edgely as a guest. I’m a big fan and have heard she’s one of the best guests you can meet a comic con, but I’m still quite skeptical about people social distancing and being crammed in such a tight place. It doesn’t look like the con is offering photo ops, which seems wise to protect the celebrities, but I’m curious to see how it all plays out. There’s a wrestling convention in late July as well as Galaxy Con which I’d love to attend, but I just don’t know how I feel about those sorts of crowds right now.

Free Write Week 19 (May 7 – May 13)

Friday, marked Brandy and I’s six month wedding anniversary. In order to celebrate the ocassion, she whipped together a very fun 1950’s sci-fi drive-in style date for us. She whipped up together a drive-in style dinner completed with hot dogs, hamburgers, french fries, pop corn, pretzels, candy, and more. We watched some vintage 50’s sci-fi movie trailers while snacking and then watched The Day the Earth Stood Still, which was actually very good. It reminded me a lot of the Twilight Zone. It was a great way to celebrate our first six months and a very fun, relaxing, at-home date.

I spent some time listening to a couple of podcasts while working this week. One is an old favorite of mine that I’m a few years behind, Whats This Tao All About? The other is Another Lousy Millennium, which is a Futurama podcast hosted by two brothers. I’ve discovered an appreciation for Futurama this past year and this podcast is really helping me enjoy the episodes even more. It’s the perfect little distraction for my life right now. Speaking of Futurama, I’ve sorta embraced this Futurama poster as my tagline in life right now:

Not much else happened. I’m still just grinding away at this job and hoping a little luck will blow my way.

Free Write Week 18 (April 30 – May 6)

This week has gone about like the last two weeks. I’m not very happy and I’m not feeling my best, but I’m surviving. Actually, surviving might be the best way to describe how I’m living right now. I’m just getting by the best that I can, one day at a time.

I caught up on Debris over the weekend and the show really took off around episode seven or so. It reminded me a lot of Fringe when it first began and I was wondering if the show was ever going to actually go anywhere, but then when it got going it got good fast. Debris worked the same way, I just hope it retained enough of an audience (or gains one based on word of mouth) to get a season renewal. We all know how broadcast sci-fi usually goes.

Brandy and I picked up It Takes Two, an adorable couch co-op game that deal with some unusual video game subject matter: divorce. I highly recommend you take a look at the great trailer that sold me on the game to begin with, but in a nutshell: a couple announce they are going to divorce and their daughter wishes upon a romance help book to save their marriage. The couple then wakes up as two little doll caricatures that the daughter created and are forced to learn to collaborate and compromise thanks to the guide of this love book which now talks and walks around. It’s like a Pixar movie come to life and the game play is a lot of fun.

Playstation Plus also gave away Battlefield V and Wreckfest this week. I’ve played Wreckfest before, but never finished it up so I’m excited to dive back in. Thus far the PS5 improvements are minimal and the controller sound is pretty terrible, but it’s still a fun game by the makers of Flatout.

I loved Battlefield 1 and have been curious about Battlefield V and well… it’s not bad, it’s just not great either. I do love the loud war time chaos sound mixing that goes on and I’m sure I’ll play an occasional match or two. Can’t beat free. I still think I prefer Battlefront.

My buddy Michael has released his latest wrestling book that takes a look at the history of Limitless Wrestling out of Maine. Having read this book, I can verify it was a colossal undertaking and is thorough as can be. It’s an impressive story and Michael breaks downs all the results, wrestler profiles, championships, and history of the promotion. It truly is an impressive book and one I’d recommend to fans of indie wrestling, especially Limitless.

It’s also worth mentioning that at one point the book was the second best selling wrestling book on Amazon, only behind Drew McIntyre’s book. That’s huge!

I’ve started meditating again on a regular basis. It’s been years since I’ve gone more than a day or two, but I’m on day six as of this writing of doing ten minutes a night. I’m proud of this and am hoping it’ll help make me feel just a little better.

I’ve been reading Rob Bell’s What We Talk About When We Talk About God and A Field Guide to a Happy Life by Mossimo Piglucci. Both are fascinating reads and ones I’m enjoying quite a bit. I don’t have as much time to dedicate to my reading, but I try to average at least one chapter a day if I can.

I’m intrigued by Alexandra Aja’s latest sci-fi film Oxygen. I’ve always enjoyed his work and this looks to be just as impressive.

I’m also interested in this quirky British sci-fi show called Intergalactic.

I also had fun experimenting with this adult bedtime story which creates a space travel story. It worked quite well and I’m interested in trying some others.

Free Write Week 17 (Apr 23 – Apr 29)

So, I don’t see myself getting to Friday posts like I used to, but I’m hoping to get my Free Write journals up by the end of each weekend. Maybe if I develop a new routine I can get back to Fridays, but for now I’m hoping to just get them done by Sundays.

Let’s start off with some good news first. I enjoyed watching The Middle this week, a sitcom that I missed out on but have developed a fondness for. I love the fact that they feel like a real family who have real struggles.

I decided to give Red Faction Guerilla: The Remarsters Edition a try. I’ve had the game for quite some time and I loved my original play through on the 360 (although I did not complete the game.) It’s totally GTA on Mars and I like that about it. It’s quirky, weird, reminds me a bit of Total Recall and the ability to destroy just about everything is great. It’s a shame we saw a game like this and Battlefield: Bad Company do some tremendous things with damageable environments but we’ve seemingly left that concept behind a couple generations ago.

I’m still on the hunt for Dr. Pepper Zero Cherry but I haven’t been able to find even a glimpse of it anywhere near where I live.

I finished up King of Queens this week and I gotta say, it ended well. So well, I almost wanted to start back over from the beginning the next day. The show wasn’t always great and I wasn’t thrilled with how Doug and Carrie’s relationship turned mean towards the end, but it was great for some laughs.

I’ve been exploring some options with faith this week, which is not something I’ve done in a very long time. I feel that I’ve exhausted my comfort from Buddhism and Taoism and I sorta stumbled back into a bit of the Christian faith in a way that I could stomach. I’m not ready to discuss it in detail, since honestly, this is very, very new but there might be something here worth exploring.

Okay, now it’s time for the main event. Let’s talk about this new job of mine.

As I mentioned before I started the job, I had high hopes that this was going to be the beginning of a career. I was hoping that I was taking a step in the right direction for secure employment with a decent salary. From what I was told about the position, it would include health/dental/vision insurance paid for by the State and I would be working alone in an office. Two things that sounded great to me and two things that really didn’t work out all that well from the get go.

Sure, I got free health insurance, but if I wanted to add my wife (which I needed to since she lost her job) my monthly premium would be $1700. That’s over 2/3rds my monthly take home pay. So, that sucked right off the back.

It also didn’t help that I had to beg to get premium information, my boss didn’t have a clue about it, and it took several days to sort out. It was straight up crazy disorganized which is the motif for my experience thus far.

That whole working alone in an office came with some cons too. That cons being that I have three cameras with microphones on me at all times. I also have to stay in contact with the folks who work remotely even to update them on when I go to the bathroom.

I’m micromanaged with a massive spreadsheet that I have to keep track of. There is no breakroom or anywhere to escape to for lunch outside of my car. My computer is so broken/old/slow it’s not even funny. It’s almost inoperable and I know way more then the IT folks and that’s scary too.

I can only take vacations in February/March/April, no other time. The office was moved last year prior to COVID from a massive floor in a skyscraper to this tiny office, so there are literally disgusting, overflowing boxes EVERYWHERE.

My job title changed once I began the job and while it’s a different title now, the reality of it is I’m a secretary. I’m a secretary who is treated like a temp by the remote workers, because they are used to dealing with temps. There is not the slightest bit of respect shown nor patience.

The first week, my supervisor was there to train. She overloaded me with information but by the end of the week I was doing okay. Then this week, she went on vacation and someone else was supposed to show up and train me. She decided she wanted to continue to work from home and just interact with me via MS Teams. She trained me on using their chat feature for about 30 mins and then told me that I was on that alone and I should jump on the phones. I should note, this State Board is not something I know anything about. I have little to no knowledge of the laws and rules and answering questions is not something I’m even remotely close to being capable of doing. I tried to explain this (along with the fact that my supervisor said I wouldn’t have to) but she didn’t care. She was a supervisor so I was put to work.

My work flow went like this: someone would call, I’d answer. They’d ask a question and I’d put them on hold. I’d send a message via Teams to the other supervisor would then tell me the answer. Then I’d relay the message via the phone. Of course, sometimes, the supervisor had her sound turned down, so I’d have to sit and wait minutes for her to get back to me with an answer as I frantically searched the website and tried to come up with something. It was frustrating.

The job is not a good fit. I left my previous job because I didn’t feel like I was treated like a human being by the doctors I worked with. At least I only had to work with them 2-3 days a week. In this job, I’m not treated like a human by anyone, I work way harder, I don’t get three days off, and outside of the money, there is no upside of this job. I made a mistake and made a bad decision.

It’s my fault too. I was desperate to get out of my last job and I didn’t ask enough questions. I let a couple red flags go and it sounded too good to be true and it was. That’s on me and I have no one to blame but myself.

So, I’m back on the hunt for my next opportunity. I may have to stick this out for a bit until Brandy gets back on her feet as well, but that’s okay. We gotta do what we gotta do. I just wish this had worked out for me.

One other factor that I didn’t take into consideration was how much downtime I’d lose. In my previous job, I had time to write, research, pay bills, and the like. In this job, I’m worked non-stop from the moment I walk in till I clock out. I can’t complain, because that is what they are paying me for, but losing those hours of free time has effected me in ways I didn’t imagine. I can’t keep up with everything now and I struggle to find time to write. I’m having to take inventory of my interests and eliminating just what I can and can’t keep up with. It’s strange and a bit of a bummer.

So, I’m hoping this week will go a little better because to be honest, these last two weeks have been absolute hell. I think the other mistake I made was making this career change with so much going on. I shouldn’t have committed to this in the middle of a stressful situation like a spouse job loss. It was a risky move that didn’t pay off and now I’m paying the consequences.

Free Write Week 16 (Apr 16 – Apr 22)

So, I’m a couple days late on posting this and I don’t have anything written. The new job hasn’t been going well and the stress of the layoff and everything else that has been going has just bummed me out big time. I guess, if I’m honest, its created a bit of a mental health emergency.

I’m working hard on adjusting my expectations and trying to find some space to heal a little. Until I get that done, I have a feeling I won’t be posting too much.

Free Write Week 15 (Apr 9 – Apr 15)

A few weeks ago, I purchased a copy of Evil Dead on VHS. It’s the same Anchor Bay released that I bought back in 1998 and first experienced the movie. I found a new copy on EBay for $8 and figured it would make a fun little prop for my shelves.

Once I got the film, I decided to hook up the VCR, tear off the plastic and see how well the film held up. I wasn’t expecting much since I’ve seen it so many times and I own the film on blu-ray. Wow, was I surprised. In what will go down as one of my favorite horror viewing experiences, Evil Dead blew me out of the water. I was so used to the slapstick that came into the franchise following the second film, I forgot how terrifying the first film was. The atmosphere Sam Raimi creates is filled with tension and dread and I absolutely loved it. Would I have loved it just as much on blu-ray? I don’t know to be honest, but I had a blast with the VHS tape.

Monday was my final day of working at the hospital. It’s been almost six years and I can say, it was definitely time to go. Like most jobs I’ve left, I’ll miss some of the people, but not the job itself.

A little nervous energy has begun to creep in and this coming Monday I get to see how this next chapter in my life begins. I’m sure the first couple of weeks will be rough as I get comfortable and learn the ropes, but I’m hoping once that initial period of adjustment is over I’ll be good to go.

I fell into an internet hole when I ran across an article discussing The Television Ghost, one of the earliest television programs from 1931. Only a single promotional photo remains, but it’s an interesting story for those interesting in the early days of television.

Tales of Lost TV: The Television Ghost
Snapped Garters: The Television Ghost
The Television Ghost Thread at Fedora Lounge

I’ve been working my way through Republic Commandos and while I’m not sure if the game was worth a fifteen year wait, I’m definitely having fun with it. The music and voice acting is top notch and the old school Xbox shooter gameplay is a nice change of pace from today’s chaotic madness. The game has its difficulty spikes, but nothing ever feels unfair. I like that.

A couple of years ago, Leonard Nimoy and William Shatner both came to a local comic con. I was just really getting into Star Trek and figured this was a once in a life time opportunity. Sadly, life got in the way and I wasn’t able to attend the comic con, but since then I’ve had a couple of opportunities to meet William Shatner at other comic cons.

He’s a Star Trek/sci-fi icon and because of that he falls right into that category of stars I’d like to meet. That was until I started reading about how his fan interactions usually go. All of the things I read online said you were lucky if he cracked a smile for $100 picture. He usually sat motionless and didn’t say a word, and he definitely wouldn’t talk about Star Trek. If you asked about his horses, you’d have the best opportunity to exchange a few words, but in general, he’s just a jerk.

Wil Wheaton recently blogged about the first time meeting William Shatner and its heart breaking. It’s a shame that a man who is so infused with a property that preaches peace, compassion, and empathy is so bitter and disconnected.

I watched the Hal9000’s Fan Edits of all three Star Wars Prequels and was blown away by how much it improved the movies. I’m honestly so impressed, I’ve considered buying a blu-ray burner, just so I can download the full on blu-ray releases and have a permanent high quality copy.

I finally got my Playstation 5. I was starting to give up hope since it didn’t get delivered on the 9th as promised by Walmart. Instead, it arrived on Wednesday. So far, my impressions are very positive. It runs so quickly and I’ve finally gotten a chance to check out Control, a game made by the makers of one of my favorite games Alan Wake. So far, I’m loving it.

Free Write Week 14 (Apr 2 – Apr 8) 

I began this week in a much better mood with a little hope in my heart. I’m hoping April is going to be a big turnaround month for me.

Due to a planned week of vacation, this is pretty much my final week of work. I have to work this Monday, but then I’m off until I start my new position. I cannot express how grateful I am for a new opportunity and a chance to do a bit of a reset in my professional life.

So, I learned something new this week that just blew my friggin mind. Do you remember those extra pieces that came with in the Ninja Turtle action figures that the weapons were attached to? The ones we all threw away? Apparently they were actually weapon racks. Consider my mind blown.

Last week, a lot of people were up in arms about the closing of the PS3, PSP, and Vita stores, and rightfully so. As we continue to transition towards a digital future, we are at risk more and more at losing various forms of media and art due to incompatibility with future technology as well as censorship. (I recommend this excellent assessment by Joe Bob Briggs regarding how slow corporate censorship is taking over.)

I didn’t think I’d be too upset about the PS3 store closure since most of the games I play have been ported or remastered since that generation. Then I decided to take a look at the list of games that will be gone forever and I found that I owned three of them, the most important being The Last Guy.

The Last Guy was a quirky, PSN title that was one of the first games I bought for my PS3, and a game I sunk many hours into. I’ll be honest, I forgot it even existed until reading that article, but I did feel a twinge of sadness knowing it’ll be lost forever and I’ll never get a chance to play it again.

I wish I had a solution to problems like these, but I don’t. Microsoft can beat their chest all day long about how they appreciate games from the past (and let’s give credit where credit’s due, they do a better job than Sony and Nintendo) but the backwards compatibility log still leaves a lot of be desired. If the Xbox Series X played NHL Hitz and all the Tony Hawk games, I would have bought it over the PS5. But it doesn’t, and so my Xbox 360 remains in my closet, where it gets pulled out from time to time when I want to enjoy some of my favorite games.

One of my favorite horror actresses, Danielle Harris (Halloween 4, Hatchet II, Wish Upon a Star) is reprising her role of Molly from Roseanne in an upcoming episode of The Conners. As much as I like Danielle in horror films, I’m always happy to see her in other roles like Roseanne and Psych. She’s a talented actress that I feel gets overlooked due to her horror scream queen status. I love Roseanne and The Conners, so I look forward to this upcoming episode.

I’ve been flirting with making an old school HTML site for several years now. The most recent version of the site I’ve kept in my work email and about once a year, I’d tweak a couple things and then zip it back up and forget about it. I finally decided it was time to unleash it upon the world. It’s called 90’s Therapy and it’s not something I plan on putting a lot of time into (at least not right now) but it’s a fun, quirky, side project for me. I’m just happy it’s finally online and not rotting in my email.

I have a lot of fun keeping things super simple and just creating like I used to.

Paramount Plus hosted a First Contact Day celebration which consisted of trailers and panels for the upcoming Star Trek shows. I was disappointed we didn’t have any footage from Brave New World, but the season four of Discovery trailer impressed me as well as the season two trailer for Picard. I’m also excited to watch more Lower Decks and glad it got a renewal.

I know a lot of Trek fans don’t love the new stuff, but I really do. I’m also impressed with Paramount’s ability to support the franchise with comic/novel tie-ins and physical releases of their shows. In my opinion, they have a much tighter and proper grasp on the property in comparison to Disney and Star Wars.

We spent Easter Sunday at my mom’s house where the highlight of the day was a delicious salmon fillet that Brandy grilled. It was by far the best fish I’ve ever tasted.

The lowlight/most memorable part will be that my mom’s new golf cart broke down and we were forced to push it quite a long distance and up a relatively steep hill. My mom took this picture of Brandon, myself, my brother, and his boyfriend shoving that beast uphill while she sat cozy in the seat and steered.

Recently, I’ve struggled with continuity and canon when diving into various fandoms. Marvel has made it so difficult to truly watch everything (and remember it) that I almost always have to seek out some sort of recap video before starting a new series like Wandavision or a new Marvel movie. Star Wars isn’t much better with the Legends continuity. They bring back the same characters and some of the same situations and just retell those stories in yet another canon so it’s hard to keep track of everything that is going on (or has gone on.)

Star Trek also has a recently rebooted their canon of books since the new series Picard is now the true canon and all of the tie-in novels for Discovery is considered canon until contradicted.

This is a ton to keep up with and a bit ridiculous. I’ve always been a bit of a completionism so I like to get in on the ground floor and see it all, but I realized as I’ve gotten older that is just impossible. Just this week I found myself trying to find a guide of what I needed to watch in preparation to watch The Bad Batch in May, and it finally dawned on me that this was supposed to be fun and entertainment. I shouldn’t be forcing myself to catch up and keep up if it takes away some of the joy. I can just watch The Bad Batch as it airs and I’m sure they’ll provide enough backstory that I can follow along. If I find myself loving it, I can always go back and revisit the previous tie-in episodes.

I bring all this up, because I read a decent article on Wired that discussed this today. I will admit, the author’s tone is a bit off-putting, but I felt like he did a great job of explaining why continuity ultimately does not matter and why a bloated canon is not necessarily a good thing.

Dr. Pepper Zero Sugar is my favorite diet soft drink in a very long time. I love it almost as much as Diet Wild Cherry Pepsi and that’s saying something.