Brandon's Journal

Around six years ago, I ran across a post online that recommended a book titled Quartershare by Nathan Lowell. The book was described as a coming of age story set in space. There were no battles or wars to be won, just the mundane life of a young man working on a space cargo transport.

The description intrigued me, so I bought the book and I devoured it in one sitting. Over the next several months, I followed the adventures of Ishmael Wang as he made his way through life, aging, advancing, and growing.

The books varied in quality and tone at times, but I never found myself bored or forcing my way through. Several of the books I listened to via audio books while working as a delivery driver. Those days were the only fond memories I have of that job.

Over the years, I read through the six books in Nathan Lowell's Trader Series and just today I finished up the final book in the Seeker's Tales, By Darkness Forged.

I haven't always been thrilled about the path that Ismael's' life took, mainly because it's a little too unrealistic for me at times, but his story ended well. In fact, By Darkness Forged is probably my favorite book of the Seeker's Tales and one of my favorite books in the series. I'm sadden that Mr. Lowell seems to be struggling with more Ismael stories. He has an outline prepared for a new trilogy but he's bored with the characters and that makes me think they are best left alone.

A few days ago, when I wrote about struggling to focus with reading, I wasn't sure what book to turn to. Then I remembered I had this final Ismael tale to read. I'm so glad I chose it. I read through it within days and it was nice to close the chapter on this series and get back to finishing a book.

I'm not sure what's next on my list to read, but I wanted to take a moment and commemorate the completion of this series and recommend it for anyone who likes a character based science fiction story that isn't about saving the galaxy.

If you'd like to read a better breakdown of what the series entails Wired wrote a nice piece on the series back in 2012: Space Opera Without Explosions

#100DaysToOffload 40/100 #Reading

Forty-eight hours ago, a blog that I've read for the past four years closed. It was a place for the author to share childhood memories and interests along with a daily journal to discuss her personal life. It inspired me because it was a blog that wasn't advertised or written to impress anyone. It existed on a very small corner of the internet by an author who remained anonymous. It was a real person exercising their thoughts online with no agenda. It took many several years to get back to this core of blogging.

Blogs close all the time, so what's the big deal?

Well, in this case, the blog closed down because the author felt shame. They felt like their ideas, thoughts, and energies were no longer valuable because they weren't fighting a large social justice fight. Online bullies and social media made this author feel like her writing was no long valuable, because it wasn't controversial nor combative.

I understand if someone decides they want to spend less time blogging and more time volunteering or fighting for something. That makes sense and is just a change of focus which is natural. But to close off your writing because you feel it no longer holds value or will be judged and condemned for not having certain content bothers me.

The internet, for me, has always been an escape. It's like television. I don't want to turn on every channel and see depressing stuff. I don't want to spend all my time hearing about the injustice in the world. I need to balance that negativity with positivity and that means I need some fluff. I need some content that wasn't created to inspire rage or fear, and sadly, the internet has become a rage and fear factory. We are manipulated on a daily basis to experience these emotions because they make other people money.

Earlier this year, I was pretty much done with the internet. I debated about just walking away from it altogether. I felt like I was alone in wanting the internet to be fun. Then I decided to empower myself and just bend the internet to my perspective. I closed accounts and re-directed my focus to reading personal blogs and avoiding all the mainstream stuff. I found other people frustrated with the internet world who just wanted a less stressful and happier place to hang out online. I started building up a huge catalog of personal blogs to take up my online browsing time instead of the news, social media, reddit, and the like. And for the first time in a very long time, I found the internet to be stimulating, fun, and relaxing.

Now these very people are having shame spill over into that more peaceful existence online and that really sucks. We can all do things to make the world a better place and people online or even society as a whole, shouldn't make you feel like you aren't doing enough. For some people just being nice is enough. For others donating time or money is enough. But the one thing I don't think you should do is destroy all that makes you happy because you feel shame. You shouldn't take away your outlet for expressing yourself because you don't have a certain banner or don't talk about certain topics.

I feel like this post violates my own blogging goals of not discussing controversial/political/news events, but I just don't want to see anymore blogs die because of shame. The world needs balance and the internet is full of enough negativity, please don't snuff what little light remains.

#100DaysToOffload 39/100 #Reflection

I started off this year by reading five books in the first month. It was an impressive feat for me, something I haven't done in a very long time. I figured I'd keep this pace throughout the year, but that did not happen. Instead, I found myself distracted by too many books. I'd start one and then another and bounce between the two before finally giving them both up. I'd start a book on some technical topic and I'd get halfway through before I realized that I had truly learned all that I possibly would from the book.

I've been reading regularly, but I haven't been finishing anything and now that we are six months into the year, I'm a bit frustrated that I haven't made more progress. So, I spent some time trying to figure out what is holding me back. Here is what I came up with:

1. My Attention Span is Not What It Used To Be I've known this for years. In my early twenties, a six or seven hundred page book didn't concern me. I'd read through it in a week or two, but now if its over 300 pages I start questioning if I want to make that sort of commitment to the book. Blame it on cell phones, the internet, or getting older, but I struggle sticking with a long story these days.

2. Picking Too Technical of Books I'm a fan of reading for fun, but also for knowledge. For the past ten years, I've primarily read non-fiction offerings usually in the self-improvement or history genres. I've discovered that a lot of time was committed to these books and I got very little out of it, especially when it comes to self-improvement. Recently, I discovered online book synopsis that work as modern day Cliff's Notes, which I prefer to read in lieu of wasting eight or ten hours on a self-help book that would have made a better blog entry.

Recently, I started reading Batman and Psychology. I really enjoy the book, but after a while it starts getting very technical. Way too many big words are dropped in sequence and I find myself zoning out. I made it about 30% through before I realized that I would prefer to just jump around the remainder of the book and pick what I want to read vs. trodging through the rest.

I have two other books that I also hit a wall with because they became repetitive or just felt overwritten. Again, this could just be my lack of attention span flaring up but I feel like sometimes I find the subject more exciting than the actual content within.

3. Having Too Many Options My MoonReader app is full of books. I have so many books, I keep a large majority of them on a cloud server instead of on my phone, but even with that there are over twenty books on my phone right now. Its just too convenient to start something else, or to refer back to another book and then start it back up. The convenience of having so many books at my fingertips is actually a disservice. It's similar to how I feel at times with Netflix and other streaming services. I have so many options, I have no reason to stick with anything should I find it a bit boring at the beginning. It's one of those things that is both a blessing and a curse.

4. Not Regulating My Own Fandom I have a lot of interests and I'm one of those people who likes to be as close to an expert on anything I'm interested in as I can be. So, when I think of something that I like, I almost always search to find out what books have been written on the topic. I think it's a great way to expand your knowledge base, but I think it's also something that can get out of control if you are a little obsessive like me.

A good example is Star Trek. I love Star Trek and I loved getting in on the ground floor with Discovery. Several tie-in novels were produced and I decided I would read them all with gusto. I made it through the first two, but I struggled. I lost interest, didn't find them nearly as compelling as the series, and I just wasn't enjoying myself. That's when I decided it was time to give up on this dream of keeping up with all the quasi-canon Discovery tie-ins and just enjoy the show. If a particular book plot spoke to me, then I'd search it out. If not, there is no reason for me to force myself to read something to prove to myself that I'm a real fan or whatever other nonsense was fueling that desire.

5. Not Reading Different Things A few years ago, I stumbled upon this little sub-genre of neo-noir crime fiction. Neo-Noir involves stories about good people who made bad choices and live in violent ways. Its not something at first glance I thought I'd like, but I ended up loving it. I poured through dozens of self-published novels and short stories compilations and while I don't think I gained anything intellectually, I enjoyed myself immensely.

I think sometimes I don't step out enough of my comfort zone in reading. I get so focused on what I think I like or what I think I should read, that I end up missing other stuff. I think I also spend too much time taking reading recommendations from people online, which end up being bunk. I don't like a lot of media that the masses enjoy, why would I think books would be any different? Just this week, I started a short story collection that is highly regarded in the sci-fi community and ya know, it just isn't for me. I should focus on finding those stories that are for me and enjoy them.

I'm not sure what book I'm going to dive into next, but I plan on picking something I will hopefully enjoy. Maybe a sequel of an old series or maybe something completely new. I just would like to get back on track with finishing books and I'm hoping by doing a bit of a reset I'll make that happen.

#100DaysToOffload 38/100 #Reading

I woke up feeling calm for the first time in a very long time. I'm not sure what created this sense of peace within me, but I'm glad its here. I've been living on the edge far too long.

I've been attempting to meditate a little each day. Sometimes its for just a few minutes, but I'm trying to be intentional about remembering to breath, processing any residual feelings of negativity, and existing in a world that is quiet.

I find myself attracted to the word quiet a lot lately. I don't just mean audibly quiet, which is nice, but quiet in the form of information overload. We have so many flashing lights fighting for our attention it's nice to just turn them all off. No background TV, no music, no mindless web browsing, no news nor cell phone notifications. Just nothing.

The other word that comes up a lot is intentional, especially in regards to intentional living. I feel like I've coasted way too long on doing whatever I was pulled to or doing it just because, and not being intentional with my choices. By being a little more present and making choices that I've thought out and not just out of habit, ritual, or expectation, I feel like I've regained a little part of me.

#100DaysToOffload 37/100 #Calm

Recently, I've been doing a little internet archeology by checking out some old websites from the 90's and early 2000's. I like to see what people thought and wrote about before the internet was so obsessed with itself and usually it's pretty entertaining.

Between the .gifs and gaudy wallpapers, one design feature I noticed is that the writing on these websites seemed to be written as a permanent record. Every page was carefully planned, written out, and appropriately linked. Each page served a purpose (to pass along a specific set of information) and when put altogether the sum of those parts created this interlocking website.

Blogs didn't exist yet, and not too many websites featured journals. A lot of the sites were fan sites that discussed a specific interest such a movie, book series, television show, or hobby. The sites were designed to teach the readers something, share graphics, and at times connect fans through Web Rings and Guestbooks. Everything was designed intentionally.

Now... I feel like few sites have this type of design. Instead, we opt to allow Wiki's to serve as a database of knowledge and instead we just write. Those entries get shuffled down the page as the weeks pass and eventually our posts are forgotten. You don't see links to them from the home page and unless you click “More Posts”, “Other Posts”, or go digging, they aren't easily accessible. I guess, for something that is designed to serve as simply a journal this is fine, but I wonder what have we lost by not actually having pages. As much as I love my minimalistic look here on Write.As, I do feel a bit handcuffed by design options.

I guess, when I reflect on my own experiences with blogging, I feel as if my writing is more temporary now. I write a post, some people might read it, get gets shuffled and forgotten. Sure, I can break things down by Categories and maybe a new reader will be willing to wade through the old posts for little nuggets of gold, but for the most part my writing seems to serve its purpose for the day its published and then no more.

If I wanted to write something more concrete and permanent, a traditional website might be a better platform. However, those seem to be few and far between these days.

Have we lost something by not writing pages and instead focusing on just simple posts? Or are the way we blog simply the evolution of how webmastering changed? And was it for the better?

#100DaysToOffload 36/100 #Reflection

Ten years ago, Goldeneye was released on the Nintendo Wii. This isn’t the beloved Goldeneye that was on the Nintendo 64, but a modernized remake created by Eurocom and published by Activision. Eurocom had previously worked on 007 games like James Bond Jr for the NES, The World is Not Enough on the N64, and Nightfire on PS2, Xbox, and Game Cube amongst others.

Goldeneye didn’t go down as one of the all-time greats like its predecessor but I really loved the game. It was a simple action game that put the player in great James Bond moments. They utilized Daniel Craig’s likeness and grittiness in this reimagining of the Goldeneye story that was unique and was engaging.

The game brought in some people with James Bond credentials like David Arnold who composed all the bond films from Tomorrow Never Dies to Quantum of Solace, Bruce Feirstein co-writer of Goldeneye, Daniel Craig as Bond, Judi Dench as M, and Rory Kinnear as Tanner. Nicole Scherzinger covered Goldeneye and did it justice and the use of Deadmau5’s I Remember in the club segment was fitting.

Being a huge Bond fan, I bought Goldeneye the day it came out on the Wii and played through it several times. It reminded me of simpler shooters from the previous generation, but it had a modern control scheme and great graphics for the Wii. The next year the game would be remastered for the PS3 and Xbox 360, and while it didn’t look quite as good as other current shooters, the gameplay was still fun and I really enjoyed playing it on my PS3 as well.

I sometimes feel like games have gotten too complicated. Red Dead Redemption 2 is a game I point out quite often as proof of this. The control scheme is just atrocious. But when you take a step back to the previous generation, you really don’t seem to have these problems (GTA V, Max Payne 3) and Goldeneye fits in this category as well. It’s a simple shooter that you can pick up and enjoy. I wish we had more games like that in 2020.

A couple of years ago, I purchased 007 Legends and yesterday I popped this in my Xbox 360 to give it a go. I actually played the game briefly when it came out but all I remember is quitting after running into some bad bugs and being disappointed that the game didn’t work as well as Goldeneye. It was a shame because it ran on the same engine and just put the player in all sorts of James Bond movies which sounds like a dream come true. I’m interested in actually beating 007 Legends and I think I’ll get through it this time, but while playing it I couldn’t help but think about Goldeneye and how much I loved it.

This is blasphemy but Goldeneye on 64 wasn’t my favorite Bond game. I actually preferred The World is Not Enough, and I also prefer the Wii remake as well. I just didn’t do a lot of four player split screen so I didn’t have all those fun memories so many guys my age tend to have when it comes to Goldeneye. Instead, my favorite memories of Goldeneye tend to be on the Wii such as the first time I walked into the club and saw the game designer’s brilliant use of lighting to make an awesome looking scene on the underpowered Wii. I also think about how much I had with the online mode, which never got the love and respect it deserved.

I’m not sure when or if we’ll ever get another Bond video game. Those middle range property video games seem to have died out with the last generation which saddens me. I loved almost every James Bond game I played and have nothing but good things to say about all of them. I still own Bloodstone and 007 Legends and plan to pick up Goldeneye Remastered soon.

I grew up wanting to be James Bond (hell, who am I kidding, I still want to be James Bond) and portraying him in a video game is the closest I’ll ever come. In my opinion, the Goldeneye remake was my favorite way to portray him and I’m so thankful Eurocom made such an enjoyable game.

#100DaysToOffload 35/100 #VideoGames

I have a tendency to save articles and websites that I find interesting in my bookmarks. After a few months, I get frustrated with the clutter and do a huge cleanse. In the past, I've created an off-line HTML file with all the links that I think I may go back to and I just delete the rest. I decided this time around to share some of the random websites and articles on here. I figured they might interest some readers and I can easily refer back to this post should I need to re-locate an address.


Nitter – A privacy focused way to view Twitter. It allows me to keep up with my friends still on Twitter and I can even subscribe via RSS to their feeds should I feel compelled. Wiby – A small search engine that focuses on small, independent blogs and websites. The Poster Database – A great source for finding high quality movie posters. The End of – A fan site discussing Tiger Electronic's mostly forgotten handheld the


enthusiasts and nerds and hobbyists Rediscovering the Small Web Gratitude Lists Are B.S. — It Was an “Ingratitude” List That Saved Me This Page is Designed to Last Best Mother Fucking Website

#100DaysToOffload 33/100 #Links

Fifteen years ago, I remember sitting in a movie theater with my buddy Alex waiting for Batman Begins to start when a trailer popped up for a cool looking sci-fi movie titled Serenity. He flipped out when he saw it and went even crazier once the screen said, “From the Creator of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.” I sat there, unamused, wondering why he was so excited. Between trailers, he tried to explain that Serenity was based on a cancelled TV show but he lost me at Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

Shortly there after, Alex convinced me to watch Buffy and I loved it. The movie had soured me years earlier, and I hate that I didn't give the show a proper watch while it was still on the air. But it didn't take me long, running around town to all the CD Warehouses, to buy seasons of the DVD and power my way through all seven seasons. Once, I reached the end, I was going to start Angel and that's when Alex reminded me about Firefly, another show by Joss Whedon that had a sequel movie coming out soon. So,

I used whatever form of piracy was popular online at the time, and I sat on my bedroom floor watching every single episode in a row. It was the first time I ever binged a complete season and one of only a handful of times I've ever done that. I loved every moment of that show and as much as I loved Buffy, Firefly was superior in my eyes.

Firefly had the same great writing that Buffy did but it was more sci-fi balanced with a large dosage of western. Being both a huge sci-fi and western fan the show just played to my interests.

The cast was amazing, the action pieces great, the humor was hilarious, and the ship... the ship was perfection.

I watched the whole series again over the next week before starting Angel and I anxiously awaited the release of Serenity. I bought tickets for the first showing, a 11 AM matinee and I took my girlfriend at the time and a friend of mine from high school. I hyped them up the entire way to theater about the second coming of Star Wars and how amazing this experience was going to be. I wore my “Joss Whedon is My Master Now” shirt and I squealed like a school girl when I saw they had mini-posters on the table out front.

We walked into an empty theater and my stomach churned. By the time the trailers had started two other people had taken a seat and I knew this wasn't good. Serenity had cost $39 million to make and it only brought in $10 million the opening weekend. After the entire theatrical run was over and the international market was included, Serenity had brought in just enough money to cover it's budget. Between DVD sales I'm sure it made it's money back or at least it got close, but this wasn't the breakaway sci-fi hit I was expecting.

Firefly fandom was in full force with the release of Serenity. The movie was greenlit because of the demand of the rabid fans and people constantly compared the fan uprising to that of Star Trek's. I think we all thought our favorite crew would live on in a motion picture universe the same way The Original Series cast did in the 70's and 80's. Unfortunately, with no major stars attached and without the benefit of fifteen years of syndication, there just wasn't enough support to pull it off.

Afterwards, I joined forums and attended “Can't Stop the Signal” screenings. We all discussed how Firefly would come back eventually, and I think deep down we all believed it would. Eventually a lackluster comic series was produced, and a mobile game was announced. Sadly, despite the cast recording lines for the mobile game, it never saw the light of day.

When Netflix picked up Arrested Development back in 2012 it was a huge deal. Everyone expected Firefly to be next, or at least us Browncoats did, but then Netflix's chief content officer had this to say:

“Let me give you one broad statement about these recovery shows. In almost every case the cult around the show gets more intense and smaller as time goes by. Arrested Development was the rarest of birds in that the audience of the show grew larger than the original broadcast audience because people came to discover it years after it was cancelled. The Firefly fan is still the Firefly fan from when it was on TV and there’s fewer of them and they’re more passionate every year. Whereas with Arrested Development we’re going to be serving a multiple of the original audience. Any of the other shows we could bring back would be a fraction of the original audience.”

I think that's when my hope finally died. As much as I hated him for saying it, I knew it was true. I watched the fandom and fever die down since the release of Serenity. Firefly was a show that grew thanks to word of mouth, but everyone had already discovered it that was going to discover it and it had been so long they just moved onto their next obsession.

Since then the licensing of Firefly has increased with toys, Pop figures, models, and t-shirts having been released. A newer (and better) comic book series was released, but short lived. In the past year, several tie-in novels have been released, but according to the reviews I've read, they really lack the passion and excitement for the source material. I think the most interesting (and best reviewed) book has been a cook book inspired by the dishes seen in Firefly.

I'm even debating about purchasing it and cooking my way through it.

The Firefly fan sites and forums are a ghost town now. Memes still pop up time-to-time and Firefly is always talked about when it comes to great science fiction shows, but I can't help but to think that it's gone forever. We got what we got, and we need to appreciate it for what it is.

I recently started my re-watch of Firefly. It was once a yearly tradition, but it's been four or five years since I last watched the entire series. It's almost shocking how young the cast looks and how the CGI hasn't aged all that well. The series wasn't shot in HD and while it doesn't look terrible, you can definitely tell it's a pre-Battlestar Galactica show.

The interior ship design is still brilliant and once you get past the first thirty minutes, the cast begins to connect and you can still see the glimpses of what wonderfulness is to come.

I think what makes Firefly special is that when you watch it you want to be part of the crew. A crew that is always struggling, dabbles on the side of law breaking, and seems to run on borrowed time. Despite all of this, you feel like it would be totally worth it to live in cramped quarters on a ship that is constantly falling apart and being commanded by a very broken man. There is something about the family that is created on that show that seems to fill a void that many of us are missing in our lives.

#100DaysToOffload 32/100 #Television

Recently, I purchased a Wii and I found myself kicked back on the couch wishing I had a simply to play game that I could enjoy without needing to sit up. I thought back to all the games I used to have on my Wii back in the day and that's when it suddenly came back to me what was missing: ExciteBike World Rally.

ExciteBike World Rally was a WiiWare game that was a modern take on ExciteBike. It was created by Monster Games, known for the NASCAR Heat Series and Excite Truck. You played the game by holding the controller sideways and using it similar to a NES controller. The game was a nice looking updated version of the original ExciteBike and one that I logged a ton of hours playing.

Sadly, Nintendo hasn't re-released ExciteBike World Rally anywhere. The game lived and died with the Wii. This bums me, because while the game wasn't innovative or amazing, it was a simple, fun racer that tapped into my early childhood memories of overheating on ExciteBike and it was the perfect game to just kick back, check your brain at the door, and just enjoy.

#100DaysToOffload 31/100 #VideoGames

Note: This isn't the most well structed post. It is more or less some random thoughts regarding physical media that I tied together loosely.

Last week, I went to Goodwill and bought a VCR. While in Goodwill, I picked up a handful of DVDs, blu-rays, and a CD. At .69 its much cheaper than renting anything online and I get to keep it should I choose to. If I don't like it, I just return it to Goodwill and it's like I rented it in the first place.

For years, I've bought lots of media while thrifting. I love looking through all the movies and music, mostly because there aren't many places left to do that. The days of waking up Sunday and seeing what movies were on sale in the paper are over. The movie/music selection at Walmart, Target, and Best Buy are all almost non-existent. Even most of the used movie/CD stores in my state are now closed.

Sure, I can go online and buy just about anything I want, but I'll pay a premium for it and there is no fun in that. I love to browse and to pick up random titles. I like to hold the box in my hand and read the back cover. I guess, it's the closest I can get to the old video store experience.

I stopped by my local dying mall yesterday. For years, this mall has been losing stores and various announcements have been made about something to replace it. At one point it was going to be an Ikea, then a Drive Shack, then apartments. It was recently sold and is going to be a mix of commercial and business properties, meaning my childhood mall will be no more.

I'd say no more than twenty stores remained prior to COVID. The pandemic finished off a good portion of those stores. GameStop is closed, and the FYE still hasn't re-opened, but I think what saddened me the most while walking through the mall was remembering how it looked as a kid. There was an overpriced music store called Waves. Suncoast was open until maybe five years ago when it was turned into an FYE. B. Dalton's books was always a place I loved to stop and browse and I couldn't even begin to count how many movies, CDs, cassettes, and books I bought inside that mall.

Even now, I make at least a trip every six weeks or so to browse FYE. I don't usually find too much to buy, but I still enjoy bumming around and seeing what they have. Occasionally, I'll find a good deal on a movie or a t-shirt, but I think I enjoy walking in there because its one of the very few places I can still browse physical media.

The CD I bought at Goodwill last week was The Offspring's Americana. It was an iconic CD when I was in high school, but I was too busy jamming to 80's music to appreciate it. I could easily boot this album up in Spotify and play it, but there's something about holding that CD, looking at the artwork, and physically putting the CD in that brings me joy. Also, when I have a CD, I don't tend to skip tracks and I can't make a playlist out of it. So, I'm forced to listen to a lot of the songs that I would give up on rather quickly if I was streaming. I've found so many good songs over the past few years because I bought a CD and actually listened to it all the way through.

Americana was no different. I knew the hits: Pretty Fly For a White Guy, The Kid's Aren't All Right, and Why Don't You Get a Job but I hadn't heard the Have You Ever, Staring at the Sun, or She Has Issues, all of which are fantastic songs. All are songs I probably wouldn't have listened to had I not bought the actual CD.

Sure, I could exercise more self control when using Spotify, but I don't. I guess, it's kinda like when you rented a bad movie back in the day, you usually watched it because you had nothing else to watch. Nowadays, if a movie is bad you just turn it off and quickly boot up something else from Netflix's selection of thousands. Again, this isn't a bad thing, but there is something to be said about trying to enjoy something new.

Throughout my adulthood I've struggled with some insecurities regarding my living arrangements. I won't bore you with the dramatic details, but basically I adopted minimalism because I enjoy clean places and because I felt it was necessary to be mobile. I felt comfort in knowing I could pick up and leave at any time with very little to lose.

Because of this, I live with very little. There is very little that I regret getting rid of and I feel like this lifestyle served me well for many years, but I'm beginning to think I can loosen up a little.

Recently, my fiancée and I were discussing my movie collection growing up. She noticed how I perked up when discussing my room and how much pride I took in my movies and she commented on how very few movies I own now. I guess, I never realized how much pride and love I had for my movie collection. It was an intricate part of my growing up and my passion for film has never ended. I think this stuck with me a bit.

When I purchased the box of VHS tapes last week, I took some time to display them on my shelf. I organized them and I took care lining them up nicely. And I've admire my little row of tapes ever since. I look over and see all these simple VHS tapes and I feel joy.

I felt joy browsing through all the old movies at Goodwill and I feel joy thinking about rebuilding my collection. I think I feel the most joy thinking about how I finally feel like I might be able to have my movie collection again and not feel so scared about moving or losing it.

I have to give my buddy Michael credit for some of this. It was his sharing of his movie collection that reminded me so much of mine. It was his decision to start collecting VHS that planted that seed that led me to buy a few VHS tapes.

I also have to credit an old friend of mine who passed away several years ago. He once had an entire room dedicated to his vinyl collection. He was forced to get rid of it when his wife got pregnant in the mid -90's. Seventeen years later, life was different and he bought his first record in many years. Slowly, over the course of several months, he began rebuilding his collection. Then he got a player and then a cleaner, and slowly and intentionally his collection grew.

I never collected vinyl, but the joy that it brought to this man was unsurpassed. He spent his free time browsing forums and testing out new online shops. He lit up like a schoolboy when he came into work and he received some album he'd spent weeks looking for.

It was a hobby that not everyone would understand, but it made him super happy. He died a year or so later and seeing how much joy he got out of those albums, even for a couple of years, made me happy that he re-discovered them. Everyone deserves to have something that makes them happy.

I think what I've learned throughout all of this is: life is hard and if you find something that makes you happy, you need to engage it. You need to just do it because you're only running out of time. I'm not thrilled with the state of the world and looking back to the past brings me joy. I don't want to live in the past, but I do think some of the ways we lived were better. At least for me. I've noticed that once I simplified my blogging and focused on writing and not marketing, I enjoyed it 100 fold. That decision was made out of nostalgia for a simpler time. I'm hoping that resurrecting some of things I loved from the past will bring me just as much satisfaction and joy as blogging does these days.

#100DaysToOffload 30/100 #Reflection

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