Free Write – Week 5 (Jan 29-Feb 4)

I began this week with a four day weekend that was one of the stranger weekends that I’ve had a in a while. Everything I planned got cancelled for a variety of reasons: doctor’s appointment, movie night, dinner with parents, shopping, etc. The mental space I left for all these activities was left unfulfilled and outside of cleaning the house and one trip to Walmart, I spent the rest of the time indoors watching TV. Don’t get me wrong, I love watching TV, but it was strange since I watched with no real agenda. I didn’t binge a bunch of movies or watch one particular show. I just kinda hung out and flipped around. It was relaxing, but also strange for me. I’m usually very intentional with my television watching. By the end of the weekend I felt like I accomplished very little and I believe I was disappointed in myself. I’m not really sure how to feel about that.

“There is no productivity score assigned to you at death.”

While catching up with my RSS Feeds from over the weekend, I saw a post of Colin’s that mentioned a book called Chatter by Ethan Kross. Colin mentioned that the podcast featuring Ethan was interesting, so I decided to research the book some and discovered it to be something that interested me. The book deals with self-talk, especially in regards to negative self-talk and how this running commentary in your head can affect many aspects of your life.

Monday was a particularly bad day for me. Sunday night had some issues and I didn’t sleep well and woke up in funk. I had fallen into some sort of shame cyclone and I guess you could say the negative self-talk was doing some damage on me. The book suggestion came right at the right time and within a couple of chapters, I began to feel myself calming down and feeling a bit better. I’m excited to finish up this book over the next week or so.

I re-discovered Battlebots on Discovery+ recently. I used to watch the series back in the early 2000’s and even had the Gameboy Advance game, but my time watching robots fighting has been rather limited ever since. Discovery+ has an exclusive Battlebots Bounty Hunter series that I decided to give a shot and the next thing I know I’ve watched all four episodes and began the most recent season of Battlebots. I gotta say, the robots are super impressive these days and the presentation and commentary is on point. The show doesn’t waste your time and seems to have a fantastic balance of knowledge and entertainment. I feel like other sports could learn from the leanness that Battlebots operates within.

While on the topic of Discovery+, I am a bit disappointed that not every new show is added to the app upon airing. I really can’t figure out why certain shows get added and others don’t. So, the wife and I get to watch Worst Cooks with no commercials, but still have to refer back to the Food Network app to watch Supermarket Stakeout and Beat Bobby Flay which has commercials. That definitely hurts the value for me, but since I didn’t pay for this first year I’m not complaining… too loudly.

I’ve been wanting to begin journaling by hand again this year, but I had it in my mind that I didn’t want to start journaling and immediately begin complaining about life. So, I just kept putting it off until I realized it was February 1st and I had written nothing. I decided it’s better to write and complain than not write at all.

I remember standing in front of a huge banner advertising the first Avengers movie and just smiling. I remember thinking about what an amazing world we lived in where I’d get to see all of these fantastic characters in a huge live action spectacle. Having grown up with cartoons and low budget Marvel movies, a live action Avengers film was something that really spoke to the inner geek child within me.

Just a few short years later, I’d find myself burned out on the Marvel machine and the series of movies that it cranked out. The films varied in quality and outside of the two Captain America sequels were rather forgettable.

I attempted to watch Captain Marvel last weekend but turned it off about thirty minutes into it. I still haven’t seen the most recent Spiderman flick and to be honest, the upcoming slate of films doesn’t really interest me. However, I have been watching Wanda Vision on Disney+ and it’s utterly fantastic. It’s different and brave and doesn’t fall into the cookie cutter Marvel experience that we’ve been conditioned to expect. I really hope Disney branches out with the Marvel Universe with fun little side projects like this more because it’s slowly reigniting my excitement for the MCU.

I read an interesting article about Midway’s attempt at a baseball version of NBA Jam called Power-Up Baseball. The game was never released and recently discovered and it’s a strange bit of video history. Turns out Midway was working with the folks who made Golden Tee to make an arcade cabinet that would utilize two trackballs to control the plays. It didn’t work and the game looks really rough, but an interesting little article nonetheless.

A few weeks back, one of the blogs I followed (sadly, I forget which one – Edit: it was Colin Devroe) shared a post from Seth’s blog titled The most important blog post. I’ve kept it bookmarked since that day as reminder that what I’m doing matters.

The most important blog post

It is on the most important blog.


if no one but you reads it. The blog you write each day is the blog you
need the most. It’s a compass and a mirror, a chance to put a stake in
the ground and refine your thoughts.

And the most important post? The one you’ll write tomorrow.

I found this fascinating article about two researchers attempting to solve the reasoning for Pan Am crash in 1957. This article was written in 2004.

Upon doing a little more research, I found a follow up article written in 2017.

I was so fascinated by what I was reading, I ended up doing a deep dive into the Boeing 377 Stratocruiser. I was hoping to find a museum or at least some sort of look inside of the plane that didn’t originate from 1950’s promotional photos, but it doesn’t look like those exist.

“Never attribute to malice that which can be explained by incompetence.”

I ran across this article called 15 Minute Rule that I enjoyed. It discusses looking at time in more of fifteen minute increments instead of hours. The idea is by minimizing the time you commit to a task you’re less likely to put it off.

“This is a problem we all face. Much of it falls into the “I must do things that are productive to my financial well-being” or “Must do productive things to show off” etc..

Not everything in our lives must be quantified and qualified to the point where it gives us a rank up.”

Free Write – Week 4 (Jan 22-Jan 28)

Every blogger/writer knows that empty feeling that you get in your gut when you lose a large portion of work. This week, I managed to lose two pages worth of my Free Write as well as three movie reviews for my horror blog. There’s a wave of panic, frustration, and then a complete loss of motivation to re-write that occurs. I’m trying to battle that loss of motivation by getting back to writing, just knowing that my second attempt will not be as good as my first.

It was announced that the WWE Network will be absorbed into Peacock, providing the Peacock with more material and the WWE a wider audience. As of right now, it seems like the fans are the one who win. Pay per views will be cheaper (with the $4.99) option and $10 for all what NBC/Universal has to offer plus the WWE’s library is a heck of a deal.

I am concerned that some content will be lost in the transfer though. Peacock has already removed their classic movies and westerns due to what one would have to assume is low viewership. Will some random ECW Television show from 1998 generate enough of an audience to remain streaming all the time?

The Peacock already has a horrible UI and does a terrible job at categorizing movies and shows. I’m hoping the WWE will get its own section and will not just be tossed amongst the clutter that already exists.

I think down the road most of our niche services will be swallowed up by bigger streaming networks. I know that Amazon offers some as channels and in the case of Shudder, the content is limited vs. the full app despite being the same cost. Amazon also doesn’t put up the live events which to me shows a lack of understanding of what the niche audience actually wants. Only time will tell, I just hope we don’t all regret moving on from physical media.

Speaking of physical media, I want to talk about commentary tracks for a moment.

I was reading a post online about Taika Waititi’s commentary track on JoJo Rabbit. Apparently, he makes it clear he doesn’t want to do one and makes comments like, “Who listens to commentary tracks anymore” or “Does anyone really care that this was filmed in the Czech Republic?”

He does call some of the cast during the commentary tracks but doesn’t put any real effort into exploring the movie or celebrating it. This particular poster was really disappointed and I was too hearing about the content of the commentary track. I know how frustrated I was when Kevin Smith insulted singular commentary track listeners on the Clerks II commentary track, so I could imagine if this was your favorite film, you’d be disappointed.

Worse, physical media lovers have a hard time justifying the cost of physical media in an on-going digital world. Commentary tracks help justify the cost at times and this particular commentary track didn’t sound like it helped.

On a bright note, Hulu put up a commentary version of Palm Springs which is the first digital commentary that I know on a major streaming service. I’m hoping it’s successful enough to encourage more filmmakers to do so.

Brandy and I tried out Wario Ware: Smooth Moves this past weekend and had a lot of laughs in doing so. I couldn’t help but think about what a great machine the Wii is for that. It’ll definitely get you up, being competitive, and laughing. I’m not sure any other video game system ever came close to capturing this same sort of engagement. It truly is a memory maker.

My lovely wife bought me a copy of Mr. Spock’s Little Book of Mindfulness which is an adorable little book featuring some cartoons of Spock that teach mindfulness.

I got a chuckle out of learning that the Save Walter White Web 1.0 website from Breaking Bad is still online.

I also enjoyed this fake website for the city of Arlen, Texas, that King of the Hill takes place in. The webmaster played it straight almost 100%.

Wowzers, HBO Max released a remastered version of Babylon 5! I never in my life thought I’d see that. It’s not perfect, but they did rescan the film to 4K then downgrade it to HD. They cleaned up some of the CGI and kept the 4:3 ratio. This is probably the best we will ever see Babylon 5 and I hope HBO Max will introduce it to some new folks. It’s a great show once it’s gets going.

I ran across this picture of a Muggsy Bouges poster that I used to have on the back of my bedroom door. It transported me back to the 90s.

After a lot of pondering, I’ve decided to get the COVID vaccination. I’ve been on the fence, but after seeing some of the lingering effects on my co-workers partnered up with the possibility that Brandy may not be able to get the vaccine pushed me to move forward. I get my first shot on Wednesday.

Currently I use OpenBoard for my keyboard on my phone but I ran across FlorisBoard on FDroid and I’m loving it. It’s in an alpha phase and is missing some features (suggestions) but its ultra responsive. I’ve never been fully satisfied since leaving GBoard but this may come damn close.

Free Write – Week 3 (Jan 15-Jan 21)

Deep down I hoped that my clean start for 2021 would bring instant peace and happiness to me. Of course, this was naïve. A clean start can give you a palette to build upon, but it doesn’t change the problems at the core.
I’m struggling with my anxiety again. It’s been years since I’ve dealt with this to the degree it’s bothering me now. It comes and goes in waves and I just can’t get a grip on it. I’m not giving up, but I gotta keep researching and applying different tactics in order to keep this at bay.

“There is hardly a trope I dislike more than “do the right thing and everything else will miraculously work itself out.” Life doesn’t work that way, and neither does Farscape. There are good days, and bad days. And tough choices. You can’t always win, you can’t always make everyone happy. Life will leave scars, you just have to learn to life with them.”

Saturday, the wife and I ran out to the mall to pick up a few things. It was one of those touristy malls that she had never been to before. We had a fun day eating lunch, browsing the stores, and buying some odds and ends. I got a Durham Bulls baseball cap I’ve been trying to find for a few months now. I haven’t been able to find the time to visit the gift shop at the ballpark, so it was nice to find one in Lids.

It was interesting visiting a busy mall in COVID times. Every store had a person by the door regulating how many people could enter. I’ve seen this tactic done at Target, Walmart, CostCo, etc. various times during the pandemic but never in such small stores. It was a little strange having to wait several minutes to enter a lot of the stores, but kudos to the staff and the mall for helping keep everyone socially distanced.

I’ve been on the hunt for a Google Keep alternative for quite some time. I’ve dabbled with a variety of apps and not one has really given me what I need mainly checkboxes. I stumbled upon the other day and it seems to be exactly what I want minus an Android apk. I’m not sure how long I’ll put up with the web app performance, but I think it’s worth giving a chance.

This is actually my second attempt at finding a way to manage my to-do/shopping lists. I attempted to carry a small notebook late last year/early this year and it just wasn’t working for me. It was too cumbersome.

Kevin James has a new NASCAR themed sitcom coming out called The Crew. It’s a Netflix sitcom and the first trailer doesn’t give me much hope that it’ll be worth watching. I am a fan of Kevin James and was once a huge NASCAR fan so I’m going to check it out whenever it releases despite my concerns.

Bloody Disgusting did a nice little write up on my favorite video game Alan Wake that’s worth checking out.

Why ‘Alan Wake’ is Still Worth Revisiting Over a Decade Later

There is an interesting websites called The Companion that launched recently. It is a subscription based science fiction blog that features some of the creators or Stargate SG-1.

One of those creators, Brad Wright recently penned a free article discussing rules in science fiction. I really enjoyed it and he brought up some great points.

Brad Wright: My Rules For Stargates, Star Wars and Superheroes

I finally found a bag of 3D Doritos at the grocery store. I remember the Ali Landry commercial well, but I never tried the Doritos when they were first released around the turn of the century. I must admit, they are not what I expected. They are more like a Bugle than a Dorito, which was disappointing. They aren’t bad, I just have certain expectations when I buy something with the word Dorito on the bag and this did not meet that expectation.

Last summer, I purchased a Nintendo Wii. I wanted a gaming system that made me get up and move a bit. Plus, I really wanted to go bowling and the bowling alleys were closed. Sadly, my purchase didn’t get quite as much play as I had hoped it would. I think this was partially because I didn’t buy enough games to really engage the wife and myself. I decided to rectify this by purchasing Wario Smooth Moves and Wheel of Fortune. Wheel of Fortune was delivered this week and Brandy destroyed me in our first play through. I gotta say, I love the little Miis of Vanna White and Pat Sajak and spinning the wheel with my Wiimote was actually fun. The game did destroy the fantasy I had in my head that I would go onto Wheel of Fortune and dominate though.

I think I’m going to slowly purchase several more of those cheesy game show Wii games. They are all under $20 and I have a feeling I’ll get my money’s worth out of them.

Walker premiered last night and it went about how I expected it to. Its a very generic cop procedural with a bit more focus on family. It had the expected CW melodrama which was okay, but the show itself was pretty meh. Outside of the name, the show has no resemblance to its namesake and no performances really stood out. It was light on action and lacked a hook to make me want to tune in again.

By the time it was over, I really wanted to watch Longmire, a great show about a man in a cowboy hat mourning the death of his wife.

Free Write – Week 2 (Jan 8th-Jan 14th)

I noticed several bloggers that I follow have re-upped on doing 100 Days to Offload. Last year, it was truly a remarkable experience. I found so many interesting blogs that I still follow to this day through that little hashtag. I got lazy in properly tagging my posts, so despite writing well over 200 posts, I don’t feel like I actually accomplished the goal of committing to that tag.

I thought about starting off the new year with using the tag, but chose not to. The one thing that 100 Days to Offload did was it made me feel obligated to write a little more. I would sometimes shovel out a few posts that were probably better left unpublished or at least re-written. It’s a quality over quantity thing.

I have no doubt that my blog will evolve over the year. As interests enter my life and things change, I’m sure the layout, frequency, and topic of posts will change. I’m okay with this. I just think I may wait till later in the year when I need a bump to write more consistently to commit to 100 Days to Offload.

I am slowly working on a proper Links page for this blog to share all the great blogs that I follow on a daily basis.

Season three of Star Trek Discovery is now over and I really enjoyed the ride. I felt the first half of the season was stronger and some of the plotlines got a little muddled, but I loved the tone of this season and there were some truly great moments.

The show closed out with a quote by Gene Roddenberry (creator of Star Trek):

“In a very real sense, we are all aliens on a strange planet. We spend most of our lives reaching out and trying to communicate. If during our whole lifetime, we could reach out and really communicate with just two people, we are indeed very fortunate.”

Mr. Roddenberry makes a very good point and I am thankful I have several people in my life that I can really communicate with: my wife, Jimmy, Michael, Matt, Alex.

I’m bummed that we do not have any real dates for whatever Star Trek is next (Lower Decks season two maybe?), but a new Picard tie-in book was released last week that follows Riker and Troi’s time on the USS Titan called The Dark Veil. I’m excited to check it out once I finish some other books I’m reading.

Family Video, the last large video chain in the United States announced they are closing all locations. A mixture of COVID and a lack of new movies finally finished off the video store.

I visited a Family Video about ten years ago. I was out thrift shopping when I ran across one and was shocked to find a video store open. I went inside and bought a few movies and really enjoyed the moment. For the last few years, I’ve talked about driving a few hours away to visit another Family Video but it seemed every location I wanted to visit would close down before I made it there.

I planned on trying to make it last weekend, but a wintery mix came into the area that made traveling several hours a bit on the hazardous side. I may try to find some time to visit a location before they close their doors for good this upcoming weekend if I can.

For those of you who don’t know, I run a horror movie review site as well called Brandon’s Horror Review. I try to keep my blogs separate, but this week I published a post looking back at some old 90’s/early 2000’s horror sites that I found still alive on Angelfire. I have two more of these type of posts coming up in the next few months and I had a lot of fun digging into the old web to find them. I thought someone of you vintage internet fans might like to check them out.

The NFL playoffs did not go my way and I saw both the Titans and Steelers eliminated in the same day. I’m not sure how much football I’ll watch the next few weeks since I really do not have a dog in this fight.

I was out of work a few days this week while dealing with some stomach issues. I didn’t get nearly as much done as I had hoped but sometimes your body just needs a rest.

I played a little Fallout 4 and got to the point where I met the Minutemen. I remembered quickly how much I disliked Preston and decided I didn’t want to join them. So, I attempted to flee only to be attacked by a massive band of bandits and a Deathstalker. I’m not sure if the game was punishing me for not joining or what, but I attempted to weather the attack by diving in and out of a building. I survived the Bandits but somehow the Deathstalker managed to get me inside the building.

I looked up how to avoid the Minutemen and apparently it is possible, but I was a bit peeved at the cheapness death so I decided to play something else. I ended up booting up The Outer Worlds. It plays a lot like Fallout and is made by Obsidian who did Fallout New Vegas. The setting is inspired by Firefly (which I love) and I really like the storyline. What I don’t like is the confusing menus which are just not laid out in the best way. There is just too much information on too many screens.

I put some effort into playing this time around and really got sucked in. I’ve managed to put in several hours and am really enjoying myself.

One of my best friends, Jimmy has started a blog titled: The Pastor Abides. He’s one of my oldest friends and an all-around great guy. Some of my favorite time blogging was back in 2008 when Jimmy and I both ran blogs at the same time. He inspired me on several occasions with his writings and I can’t wait to see what he has to say. He’s taking the laid back, write for yourself approach, which really does seem like the surefire way to enjoy blogging.

I don’t know why, but I’m excited for the reimagined Walker Texas Ranger show, Walker. It’s strange because I wasn’t a fan of the original series. I lived in Texas through some formative years in my youth and it was during that time that Walker Texas Ranger was popular. My dad watched it all the time and I would see in it passing, but I don’t know if I ever saw a complete episode.

I’m intrigued by the cast, worried about the show being on the CW, and have a feeling it will turn into cheesy melodrama, but I’m excited. Next Thursday can’t come soon enough.

Free Write – Week 1 (Jan 1st – Jan 7th)

I rang in the New Year on my couch watching the countdown with my Animal Crossing islanders. The residents of Sandpiper (a nod to the TV series Wings) waved glow sticks, watched fireworks, and shot off party poppers once the clock struck midnight.

My wife sat next to me on her Switch doing the same with her villagers. It may not be the most traditional way to start the New Year but it seemed quite fitting for us.Sadly, I had to go to work the next morning, so I went straight to bed to score the six hours of rest before I had to get up and shower.

A great quote from Jason Sudekis regarding kindness and empathy:“I don’t think kindness, empathy and openness ever goes out of style, there’s never not space for it.There will still be those other elements in the world, and one of the themes of the show is how you go about reacting to those elements, because you can never get rid of bad. You can never get rid of people’s baggage. You can help them open it up and go through it with them and help them fold, but they’re the ones who have to put it in the drawers.”

I went and saw News of the World at the Alamo Drafthouse on the 2nd. It was my first time seeing a movie in a theater since July 2019. Overall, it was a great experience. Alamo did a great job of screening, cleaning, and making me feel comfortable at the theater. It also helped that we were the only ones in the theater. I finally got a chance to use up my Valentine’s Day present from last year, which was originally bought to use on the new James Bond film which still hasn’t been released.

I also watched Brittany Runs a Marathon on Amazon and was pleasantly surprised. I like Jillian Bell but wasn’t really sure what to expect with the movie. I presumed it was a simple comedy, but I was surprised to find an in-depth dramedy that really discussed some deep seated issues in a realistic fashion. For example: losing weight doesn’t immediately fix things broken inside of you.

I found it fascinating when I went to research the film by searching it on reddit, I found posts from all sorts of addiction subreddits, eating disorders, movies, running, getmotivated, etc. I don’t know if I’ve ever seen a movie cast that wide of a net on reddit before.

I got a free year of Discovery+ with our Verizon account and I gotta say, I’m sort of excited. I’m usually quite down on new streaming networks, but my wife spends most of her time watching shows from the Discovery family and we watched quite a few of them together. Now I get to experience these with no commercials and even have access to a ton of older episodes should I want to watch them. My experience so far with Discovery+ is quite limited, but I’m impressed with what I’ve seen so far.

I’m still playing FIFA 21 on occasion, Animal Crossing daily, and I’ve dabbled in NBA 2K20. It was one of the free PSN games a few months back and I’ve always enjoyed the 2k series. I like that I can set up a league featuring vintage teams from the 70s, 80s, and 90s. So, I continued the league I started a few months back with the 96 Bulls. I’m still very annoyed with the Gatorade and State Farm in-game advertising, but I’m trying not to let it irk me too much. I quit playing last time because of the non-stop advertising in that game.I’m still on the fence about diving into something bigger and more engrossing. I got a copy of Fallout 4 for Christmas and I’m still working my way through another play through of Skyrim, but I haven’t really settled on anything to really commit to.

SRX, the new racing series from Tony Stewart, finalized their driver and track line up for 2021 and all that excitement I had upon launch has dwindled. The drivers and tracks are quite weak and I don’t have huge expectations for this to be a long-term league. I hope the on track performance blows me away, but I’m not betting on it.

Free Write – Week 0 (Dec 26th – Dec 31st)

In the week leading up to the relaunch/clean slate of my blog, I’ve struggled with how to proceed. At first I had this clear vision of beginning the year with bettering myself, but after that initial high wore off (and several blogs were written) I began to with how I wanted to present the blog. I worried myself with the idea of making it “perfect” almost as if whatever I was writing would be written in stone. Oh, how old habits die hard.

I decided to stick with my initial plan which is to write about the things I hope to improve on and ways to make myself happier and then slowly add in discussions on pop culture or whatever else I want to discuss. I’ve also decided to attempt to keep a weekly diary throughout the year which will allow me to discuss smaller items, share quotes, and links that otherwise wouldn’t make a good single post. I’m partially inspired by Dino’s Journal’s Week Notes.

Being a goldfish is hard. I’ve replaced my phone’s lock screen wallpaper with a picture of a goldfish and I try to recite “Be a goldfish” whenever I know something bothersome is said. This is going to take some practice for sure. At least I’m already attempting to get into the habit prior to January 1st.

I watched The Orange Years, a documentary on the development of Nickelodeon and its success in the 80’s and 90’s. It was a wonderful documentary that was well paced, nicely shot, and had heaps of nostalgia. There is this retro obsessed kid inside of me still and this was one of those feel good documentaries that made me want to re-watch all my favorite childhood shows. Marc Summers is arguably one of the people I most associate with my childhood and I’ll never tire of hearing him speak. Speaking of which, I wonder whatever happened to that On Your Marc documentary that was announced in 2017?

Another documentary I watched at the end of 2019 was You Can’t Kill David Arquette. It was a fun watch that left me feeling quite indifferent. I respect that he went back to learn the wrestling basics and I know his matches were quite impressive, but I feel like the documentary skimmed over all the training he truly got and made it seem like he could jump in the ring for a few days and put on great matches.

Also, some of the setups were a little forced (like speaking to DDP) and I think the single biggest concern I had is that David clearly has some addiction issues and it seemed like wrestling provided him a distraction for a while. Once wrestling began to fade, the addictions came back, and there didn’t seem a lot of focus or concern on treating them. This was a little uncomfortable to watch and after the very enjoyable credits ended I couldn’t help to feel bad for David and hope that he gets the help that he needs.

My buddy Michael gave me one heck of a deal on his digital copies of In Search of Darkness I and II. I really enjoyed the first documentary and can’t wait to watch all 4.5 hours of the second! I’ll have a review up on my horror site whenever I get around to watching it.

I picked up a couple of games digitally this week: FIFA 21 and Road Redemption. I’m not a huge soccer fan, but about fifteen years ago I decided I wanted to learn more about the sport. So, I went to a couple of games and bought a copy of FIFA. It took a while, but once I learned how off-sides worked, I had a lot of fun with FIFA. The last copy I bought was FIFA 16 and I paid $2.99 for it. This year, I wanted to buy it on the Switch but the horrible reviews and EA’s lack of effort really pushed me towards the PS4 which had FIFA on sale for $28. So far, I’m really enjoying it and it was a nice change of pace for me.

Growing up one of my favorite games to rent was Road Rage. I can’t even guess how many times I rented it from the local Phar-Mor as a kid. For years, I’ve wanted a new Road Rage, but it’s not exactly the type of game that gets a big budget release. EA doesn’t seem to care about the franchise, so that style of gameplay has been left to low budget developers. Luckily, a Kickstarter was made a few years back and a game called Road Redemption was created which was actually good, unlike most of the other Road Rage clones. I’ve held off on buying this game for years, but the $7.99 price tag was just too good to pass up for some quick pick up and play fun. And man is it fun! It’s simple, but engaging, just like the original game. I’ve had way more fun than I ever imagined I would with Road Redemption and it was money well spent.

I finished up 2020 having watched 178 movies and having read 36 books. It was the most movies I’ve watched in a year since I started tracking in 2017. I haven’t been as thorough with tracking books, but it’s definitely been one of my busiest years reading as well. I had only read twelve books by July 1st, so I doubled my reading the second half of the year which I am proud of.

I spent the final day of 2020 reading various Year in Reviews. Typically, I like to create one of these for my blogs, but since I’m shifting gears on January 1st, it seems a bit useless. Here is what I will say about 2020:

2020 taught me to appreciate the little moments of peace. Those quiet moments with the people and things I like.

2020 showed me the worst in people and then showed me I strong enough not to let them make my life miserable.

In 2020, I found some small online communities of people who love to write and share without worrying about SEO, ads, tracking, and everything else. I smiled earlier today when reading Rebecca’s Year End Gathering post. She said, “…if you are reading this, you’re a friend, even if we haven’t met before.” I feel the same way about the people who choose to follow me on my blog with all my shenanigans and thoughts.

2020 showed me that I was brave enough to take a chance on love again and I had a beautiful wedding to show for it.

No one knows for certain what 2021 will bring. I just hope that I can find ways to continue to improve myself and share myself with the people that I love and enjoy.