This Year and Next Year

My life changed quite a bit in 2012.

I remember standing on the deck of my parents’ beach house where I was living at the time, staring off into the distance.  The only thing I wanted was to get a better job.  One where I earned decent money.  One where I could move closer to home, closer to my nephew and niece who were still growing inside each of my sisters’ bellies.  One where I could legitimately start my life as a working man, back on the grid.

I got everything I wished for.  And more.

A new nephew, a new niece, godfather to both.  A new job, a new location.  New furniture, some new friends.

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YMB Recommends: Safety Not Guaranteed


My sister texted me to tell me that she watched the movie Safety Not Guaranteed, and that she thought I would like it.

Well, I loved it.

The movie follows three magazine employees who try to interview a man who placed an classified ad to find a companion for time travel.  It is funny.  It is clever.  And it is heartfelt.

It’s a movie full of that guy.
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Ruining a Song Forever: A YouTube Adventure

I love many different kinds of music.  You name it and I will probably listen to it (with the exception of country and hardcore/screaming music).

But I don’t really listen to the radio or Pandora.  Mostly due to the fear of that Gotye song coming on.  But also because I like to discover completely new music.

So I’ll usually just go on YouTube adventures, wherein one new song leads me to another new song and so on and so forth.  In this manner, I could start listening to techno and end up listening to classical a few hours later.

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Earmuffs: A Poker Story

I started playing poker again.

They cut my days down to three or four days a week at work, so I figured that playing once or twice a week would be a good way to make up for the lost days.

The first time I played, I made just over $500 in four hours. Though it is a small sample size, it is a decent hourly. But I was a bit upset with my performance, because I could have won more. It has been 15 months since I quit playing professionally, and I have lost almost all of my killer instinct.

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When I saw it, I nearly cried.

There it was. The thing that I had been working towards for days on end. The ultimate goal that I had been savoring all this time, for all my life, really:

The final screen of Super Mario Brothers.
When I saw it, I nearly cried. They were not tears of joy for slaving over the game for days and days. They were also not redemptive tears of satisfaction for the pain in my wrists and thumbs being worth it. And they weren’t tears that sprang forth upon seeing the beauty of a rewarding finale of a fantastic journey.

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There he sat at his table in the pathetic apartment that had become his living quarters. In front of him sat a shot glass, three-quarters full.

Nothing else.

A door opened and slammed shut, snapping him out of his daze.

He didn’t turn to look.


Behind him. A woman’s voice.

“That’s what I hate about you the most,” she continued, as if she owned this place too. “You put a shot in front of you and stare at it, making a whole big production out it. It’s pathetic, really.”

His wife. Ex-wife in progress. Still, he didn’t turn to face her. He hadn’t thought about what it would look like if someone walked in on him.

“You know that you’re going to start drinking again. So just do it.”

She came behind him and plopped a stack of papers on the table next to the shot.

Court papers. Bills. Things he had to pay for:

His house. Now hers.

Lawyer fees.

The tiny coffin.

On top of the papers, she placed a bottle of gin, which she had retrieved from the pantry. A cruel paperweight.

“So that you can finish what you started,” she said.

And then she left his pathetic apartment as cruelly as she had entered, making sure that she slammed the door.

Despite what she said, he stared at the shot glass for a few more minutes before he picked it up.

   “What does it taste like?” he had asked the guy.

   “No harsher than a shot of vodka.” he had told him.

He poured the clear liquid down his throat and gagged. The guy had lied to him. It tasted much harsher than a shot of vodka. But perhaps after five months he forgot how unkind alcohol could taste.

   “Will it hurt?”

   “Quite the opposite. You’ll feel euphoria and then you’ll lose consciousness.”

He felt a familiar tingling rush sweep over his body, his face, his brain. Then numbing.

The sweet numbness.

   “And then what happens?”

   “And then that’s it.”

With shaking hands, he unsteadily placed the shot glass back on the table, where it fell over.

After a moment, so did he.

-Youngman Brown



When chatting, texting, e-mailing, I have noticed that I say “LOL” quite often.

Of course, I am not actually laughing out loud. If I laughed out loud to my friend typing the words, “I burnt my meatloaf today,” you would think that there is something wrong with me.  That I have no life, perhaps. And that simply thinking about my friend burning his dinner packs enough comedic punch for rhythmic, vocalized, expiratory and involuntary actions to escape my throat in laughter.

In reality, we have bastardized this acronym, using it as more of a conversation extender, a cheating response to something that was most likely not that funny. Or possibly awkward.

For example, let’s pretend Mark just texted Tim, saying “i love rachel and everything, but if I ever cheated on her it would be with that new secretary. damn shes hawt!”

In response, Tim says, “lol.”

The “lol” is inserted as a placeholder before Tim can say “Did you see that pathetic Eagles game today?”
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My New Dog (Diapers and The Vet)

Day 2: Diapers

Brandon left in the afternoon.

He’s not one for goodbyes, and mostly just said, “see you around” as he left, giving the dog a pat on the head.

56c9b-sadieBut after he had walked out the door, she ran to the bottom of the steps, where she pawed at the door and cried for a solid ten minutes.

She’s smart, and she knew that he wasn’t just leaving for a little while.

While she was crying downstairs, I was crying upstairs as I took inventory of all of the tiny bloodstains that she made on my new carpet every time she sat down and used her bottom like a little rubber stamp. This was a problem that needed to be solved sooner rather than later.

So I put her in the crate that we bought for her, and made the journey to Petco.

That is where I found Simple Solution Diapers. They were doggie diapers for females in heat or for puppies with incontinence or excitable urination. And they even boasted “tail-wagging comfort!

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