Podcast Incoming!

My brother has gotten me interested in a podcast he and my dad love called Timesuck. I’ve never really listened to a podcast before, so I never really understood too much about them. Turns out, they are pretty much just blogs that are spoken, kind of like having your own radio show.

Obviously, this has me intrigued!

I can’t tell you have many times over the years customers would come up to me at the register and tell me that I have a radio announcer’s voice. I always got a kick out of it but didn’t ever think too much more about alit after those customers left. But lately, having only just returned to customer service after a long break, I’ve had customers start pointing it out to me again.

Naturally, I am not a fan of modern news outlets because of all the political bullshit, and also apart from those with really long car rides most people turn the radio to music when they’re riding somewhere. I figured that I’d have no way to put my voice to good use so I never seriously thought of doing anything like that.

Now that I know more about podcasts, I’m seriously looking more into making one of those. Not as simple or free as making a blog–I know I will need peace, quiet, and God knows how much equipment to make a good one. If I’m making that sort of investment, I don’t want it to be a bullshit effort. It has to be good.

In the meantime, I’m going to set a goal of writing a few short bits for here every day and study any good podcast I come across and see how it’s done.

I can’t wait to see what’s in store!

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People Need to Shut Up About Black Panther Losing

Last night during the Golden Globes, Black Panther–long expected to bring home the trophy in a multitude of categories, failed to deliver on its grandeur. I didn’t watch them–I was too busy getting caught up in Red Red Redemption 2–but I heard it through the wall (my roommate was watching them). And as usual, social media was quick to react. A lot of what I’ve been seeing and reading has been full of shock and outrage. People just can’t seem to accept the fact that movies such as Bohemian Rhapsody and First Man won awards but BP didn’t.

Well, get over it. Seriously.

Black Panther was one of the latest of extremely high-grossing entertainment from the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Disney broke through some new ground and cast itself in an entirely new direction inside the MCU that attracted high esteem and praise from all over the world (not to mention at the box office). As the first superhero movie featuring almost entirely African and African American actors and characters, it’s easy to have high hopes for such a movie, especially when awards time comes around.

But despite liberal’s best efforts, you don’t always win awards for being different. Sometimes only the best movies and well-made movies win the big awards, and sadly Black Panther doesn’t fit in either category.

I personally didn’t like the movie. I thought they did some great things with it, expanding the MCU and showing some cool effects. But I felt like they were trying to take advantage of the fact that it was a movie made up almost entirely of black people to sneak in a hidden agenda and politics into a genre that is best suited for spectacular entertainment. Plot wise, it was a generic and predictable plot that we have seen in movies again and again and again. King falls from high horse, hero is deported, and must go up against the usurper to regain the throne/powers. And as almost every other MCU film, it always ends on a happy and optimistic note (Infinity War not withstanding). Some of the acting was good but some of it was just too over-the-top. It just wasn’t award-winning filmmaking.

It’s funny to see people bitch and whine about things like this, because it’s quick for me to point out who has a brain and who doesn’t. People need to realize that it’s not a popularity contest, and that people care about movies other than the regular supply of Marvel superhero enjoyment. Had Black Panther been a better film, it might have won an award. Had other MCU movies been better in certain ways, they might have won more awards, too. It is what it is.

Congratulations to the winners of the 2019 Golden Globes and my condolences to the losers. There’s always next time. I hope to see some much better film-making from here on out, though. The bar has been raised.

About to be an Uncle!

The Siebelink family is growing.

I am currently at Butterworth Hospital in downtown Grand Rapids, Michigan, hanging out with my parents as we wait for my niece–their first grandkid–to be born! She still has a while to go, I think, so I am just out strolling the hallways with my parents so I decided to write a few thoughts here, since I’m about to become Uncle John!

1) In a playful way, I never thought my kid brother would become a father before me. So I’m a little jealous. Out of all three of us, he was the one I expected to not have a kid at all. For a long time he was against dating or having kids or even moving out of my parents’ house. Now he is not only for-all-intents-and-purposes engaged to Katelynn, but is on the verge of being a daddy himself. Our youngest brother, Cy, and his fiancĂ© are also expecting. Alexis and I are the only ones (so far) who don’t have babies on the way, so for now I am happy to just be an uncle to this beautiful little girl. Next week Cy and Brooke find out if they’re having a boy or a girl. The excitement is unreal.

2) I have always been a baby-lover. I can never stop smiling whenever I am around the really little ones, so to have one so close to home is going to be amazing. It’s going to be a huge change for everyone, but it’s a needed change, I think. It’s about time for some excitement and more love in our little family. Helps break up the monotony of things and gives us all things to look forward to. I can’t wait to see my brothers grow and mature once they have kids, and be able to be that funny, crazy uncle that their kids will adore. It will definitely get me out of my apartment a lot more, because I see myself heading across town to my parents’ place quite a lot.

3) I can’t wait to learn from them. Sure, I can read all the parenting and expectant father books that are out there (and knowing me, I will) but to see it up close and person will be great. Alexis and I are both anxious to be parents, though we are by no means trying. Being a parent and all the stuff that goes into it medically is different from when our parents were first doing it, so having people who have experienced it all from the beginning is going to be of huge help if and when the time comes for me to start preparing myself.

I’m in for a long night, so if I think of anything else to write I will post it.

God, the suspense is horrible!

More Posts Incoming!

Sorry I’ve been so quiet past couple days, all. I’ve fallen behind on eating healthy and have been working crazy hours, so my body has been drained!

Have the next few days off, though, so I plan on catching up on here and trying to get this thing going again. Can’t believe in a few months I’d have been writing on here for an entire year!

Proof that anything is possible if you put your mind to it, I suppose…

Happy New Year! (Goals, foals, goals!)

I hope you are all having a good day so far. I unfortunately have to work all day, so mine won’t be as relaxing as it could be. But hey, it’s money.

We started the morning off on a great note in my apartment with some homemade Strawberry-Orange smoothies in our new blender (same recipe I shared on here before) and I made a protein shake for lunch.

Making an about-face, I have set a goal of at least 500 words of fiction a day. I was too tired last night to do any writing, but that excuse will not fly from this point forward. Whatever I start, I am going to finish. So the mystery story I started the other night (partially based on a true story) WILL be finished by the end of next week, hopefully sooner. Quality does not matter anymore–writing can be fixed and polished later. The important thing is that the story gets told and I let my thoughts and ideas run free on paper.

This blog needs to start growing again. I have gone from hundreds and hundreds of views a day to less than a hundred. I have seriously fallen off the bandwagon with my website and my blogging, and it’s time to get back at it. I know my political posts are usually my most popular, but at the same time I want to try keeping politics out of my life in 2019. We will see, though.

I have a few other non-resolutionish goals I’m going to shoot for this year, ones I will probably talk about later. But for now, on to work!

Finishing 2018

In a few more hours, it will be New Year’s Eve, and the final hours of 2018 will start passing us by. It’s been a long year, filled with comings and goings. Changes of scenery, friendships, arguments, jobs, jobs, and more jobs. Lots of personal growth.

I can’t say for certain if I’m ending my 28th year (my birthday is in January) is ending on a better note than it began on twelve months ago or not. I can’t honestly tell you if I’m a better person or not, but I’d like to think that I’m on the right track. I need to count myself blessed that I haven’t lost anybody close to me. I think I’m one of the few lucky souls to have gone almost three whole decades without losing any friends or family. As I knock on wood for saying that, I do thank God for keeping them alive and well and close to me.

While I don’t know if deep down I’ve matured or not, on a material level I am more of a grown up than I ever have been before. I’m back into a career-level job, I am engaged, I have my own place and no longer living with parents, we have a vehicle, goals we are going to start working on right away, and a family that is already growing thanks to both of my brothers expecting kids in the next few months (one is due in just a couple of days!)

I don’t subscribe to Resolutions the way I used to, but I do have a few personal goals for the year 2019, most of them ones I’ve already started. The human brain and human body don’t know if a certain day is special or not, so what’s the point waiting until January 1 to start something if you can start anytime you want? That’s the way I look at it, anyway.

So all in all, it’s been a good year. I’m hoping the next one is even better.

Back to Writing (Again)

For the past few days I had a little bit of a plan. Instead of trying to tell stories it set myself a serious goal of a certain number of words or pages a day, I thought I would just take it easy for once and focus on thoughts, feelings, observations, and what not. Description and the inner workings of a character’s mind have always been my weaknesses as a writer. I was hoping going into the New Year I could start working on the basics of writing instead of full-on composition.

I tried doing that today, but was having a rough day and had too many thoughts on my mind to do any deep thinking. Instead, I’ve been working on a few scenes of a mystery story that’s been on my mind the past couple of days. I envisioned it as a short story, and quite frankly I hope it stays a short story. I know how easy it is for something short to expand into something longer, especially when the author loves rambling on about things as much as I do.

So far, I have almost 400 words written. That’s more fiction than I’ve written at one time in quite a while, so at least I’m on the right track. My record for finishing stories that I start is very slim. Grand Master Heinlein would be disappointed if he knew how many times I have broken that big rule of his. I’m not one for actual New Year Resolutions after having failed in so many of them, but if I could as a writer set only one for myself for the year 2019 it would be to finish what I start.

Maybe then Robert Heinlein won’t rip me too much of a new one when the time comes for me to finally pass on someday…