BW Weekly Content Churn (Aug. 13-19)

Hi friends. Here’s this week’s content churn as I keep you up-to-date with everything I’m working on:

Sunday – Aug. 13

Monday – Aug. 14

Tuesday – Aug. 15

Wednesday – Aug. 16

Thursday – Aug. 17

Friday – Aug. 18

Saturday – Aug. 19

Listen to Brandon on Midwest Swing
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My Top-15 Kanye West Tracks

About a year ago I wrote this for a website called “The Takery” that has since fizzled out. It went unpublished, so I thought hey, why not bring the #takes to my own personal website to help build my #brand?

All jokes aside, here’s my top-15 Kanye West songs, which I’m sure you’ll disagree with. Suck it, haters.

The greatest thing the American society has been able to do in recent years is sell you a product that was already readily available, and get people to buy into that concept. Before Starbucks there wasn’t a coffee shop on every corner; you could literally make your own at home, and yet we have people who still scramble to spend $4 on a cup of joe. *extremely ‘back in my day’ voice* My grandparents didn’t drink $4 worth of coffee in a month. Anyway, the same thing is true of frozen yogurt, taxi cabs and probably a whole host of other things I can’t think of right now.

So what we’re trying to accomplish here at The Takery is finding a way to review elements of pop culture from years gone by. You know, by taking a broader look while mixing in some of the trademark takes that make this place so great. Since this is Kanye Week, we’re taking a look at his broad and diverse body of work that has spanned parts of two decades now.

It may not necessarily be fresh, but it should be fun. We’re glad you’re along for the ride.

And now, the takes:

  1. Flashing Lights – Graduation

Money lyric(s): “Feelin’ like Katrina with no FEMA; Like Martin with no Gina” | “I’m just saying, hey, Mona Lisa, come home, you know you can’t roam without Caesar.”  

Breakdown: I’m not totally sure why, but this song gives me a vibe like I’m sorting out my shit at 3 am in a dark room with a glass of whiskey. It starts with sultry sounds and vibes, and closes with them as well, as well as an echo as the song slows to a crawl. I get goosebumps just thinkin’ about it. I wouldn’t say this song was the runaway — see what I did there? — favorite for the top spot, but it was pretty safely atop the list.  

  1. Paranoid – 808s and Heartbreak

Money lyric(s): “Yeah you see ‘em look, baby let ‘em look, give us cold looks, cause we look cold.”

Breakdown: For me, Kanye’s songs do two things: they absolutely melt my brain with complex, intelligent lyricism, or they lean more on cool sounds and beats. This leans far more to the latter, with the beats right away hooking me based on the low, repetitive sounds underneath being countered by the higher pitches that follow to make it have sort of a quasi-echo effect. Plus, the concept of being paranoid — while not to the level of Kanye in this song — resonates with all of us to some degree, I suspect. Continue reading

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BW Weekly Content Churn (Aug. 6-12)

Hi friends. Here’s this week’s content churn as I keep you up-to-date with everything I’m working on:

Sunday – Aug. 6

Monday – Aug. 7

Tuesday – Aug. 8

Wednesday – Aug. 9 

Thursday – Aug. 10

Friday – Aug. 11

Saturday – Aug. 12

Listen to Brandon on Midwest Swing
subscribe on itunescold omaha podcast network

Posted in General Sports, Minnesota Sports, Minnesota Twins, Random Chatter | Leave a comment

BW Weekly Content Churn (July 30-Aug. 5)

Hey folks. I’m starting a new thing on BW.com where I post everything I contribute to all week long so there’s one place people can keep up on it if they wish.

With that said, enjoy!

Sunday – July 30

Monday – July 31

Tuesday – Aug. 1

Wednesday – Aug. 2

Thursday – Aug. 3

Friday – Aug. 4

Saturday – Aug. 5

Listen to Brandon on Midwest Swing
subscribe on itunescold omaha podcast network

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…..And We’re Off

I’ve been very, VERY public about my battle with mental illness, perhaps at my own peril. But I think the only way to know me and understand me is to be honest, up front and frank about my struggle.

A little over a year ago I lost my maternal grandfather and it rocked my world. I knew it would be tough, but as we drove home that weekend I felt something creep over me like I never had felt before. It was so bad I couldn’t even drive.

It progressively got worse. I was withdrawn from things I enjoyed. I became a person I didn’t even recognize. I said and did things I didn’t even mean. I became a horrible friend and an even worse husband. I was combative all while being an emotional wreck. I felt nothing, mostly, but when I did have feelings they were bitter. Angry. Resentful.

And it wasn’t even that I think I was still grieving. I miss my grandpa dearly but I know things are better for him than they were before. I had just become a shell of my former self and had no answers. When my wife would leave for work every day, I’d sit on the couch and literally do nothing.

I saw a therapist and eventually decided to take medication, first for depression and then for anxiety. I became a person I liked even less. I lost even more of my personality, more of my desire for life — not for living, but for the things that make life great — and really bottomed out. There were peaks for sure, especially when my dosages would be tweaked, but ultimately I was still in an incredible rut.

I decided to quit cold turkey. Being off the meds couldn’t possibly be worse.

And medically, this is insane. There’s a reason you’re not supposed to do this. But after being in a weird haze for about a week, I’ve really started to feel better. I’m now going almost a full day without having the weird headaches that characterized my condition for the last year.

I’m rallying like Hulk Hogan when Roddy Piper has him in the sleeper, and I’m about ready to give life the leg drop again.

So I just felt like I needed to explain myself. I’ve hated who I was for about a year now. I’m still not perfect, and I’m trying hard to find my place in the world. I’m sure I’ve turned a lot of people off by my behaviors in the last year — especially those who could be instrumental for my future — but honestly, right now I have all I’ll ever need. This message isn’t for me. It’s for you. If you’re out there struggling, you don’t need to do it alone. Giving in isn’t the same as giving up. You can do this.

I struggle with my identity on a daily basis. Some days I want to be the gregarious joking guy on Twitter that people gravitate toward. Other days I want to be the serious journalist that is respected above all. I still can’t strike a balance as a communicator, journalist or even an adult. But I’m trying. I’ll make mistakes. I’ll pick myself up again. And I’ll keep trying.

Be well fellow humans.

BW

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Turning 30

As I sit here with a glass of scotch on what is the beginning of my birthday weekend — I work Tuesday through Saturday so in theory late tonight I can let my hair down a bit — I’ve been thinking about what I want to accomplish as I turn 30.

Twenty nine was a tumultuous year. Maybe eventful is a better word. There were just so many changes that wrought havoc on my mental state — a state which was far more fragile than I ever believed. Amanda and I bought a house. I got LASIK. We cleared a very specific financial goal. We’re on our way to having no credit card debt. In general we were healthy. We both got our wisdom teeth out. We spent time with friends and met many new ones on the way, including ones in our neighborhood that have made us feel like we belonged from the get go. There were just so many positives.

We also lost my grandpa. I’ve done so much soul searching over the last year and just keep coming up empty. You can only be so strong for so long. You can only be stonefaced and soldier on for so long before you start to crumble inside. I cracked. When you lose arguably the most important human in your adult life, it’s bound to happen. After a miserable summer — despite everything great that was going on around me — I needed help. I knew it once my baseball season ended. Baseball has always provided a refuge for me, in good times and bad, where I can put everything down, and for four or five hours just be a kid again. The times I felt best this summer were at the yard, playing with my friends. But no matter how hard I tried, those feelings would never last too far past the previous night.

I saw a doctor and was diagnosed with a minor form of depression, and when I think about it the stuff was probably there for a very long time, and it finally came crawling out as we drove back from my grandpa’s funeral. But I couldn’t run from it anymore, and I got help. Personally I’m anti-pills when they aren’t necessary, but going through a funk with a dull headache and no motivation to do anything at all isn’t something I’d wish upon my worst enemy, let alone even worse forms which may lead to thoughts of self harm — or worse. I never had anything like that. I was just miserable. After a few months and some dosage tweaks, I feel just about 100 percent.

But I feel like that’s been part of finding out who I am, and as I approach 30 on Monday, that’s what I truly want to do this year. I want to be more about relationships. Lunch with friends. Family interactions. Building new relationships and getting my name out in whatever positive way I can. I want to just fill my life with more positive experiences. That’s something I think I got away from, and I think it fanned the flames of my depressive fire. Or maybe it put them out. Perhaps I’m mixing metaphors here.

I also want to focus on quality over quantity in my life — in all facets — and that’s going to be a big part of turning 30 for me. This weekend, I’m starting that in terms of my possessions. Anything that I term “junk” will be either tossed or put up on eBay. I don’t need to live a life of quantity. I don’t need the clutter and possessions to be fulfilled; in fact, I think in some ways it’s doing the opposite. Why have three lousy, shoddy jackets when I can afford a nice single one? How many can you wear at once anyway?

In that case, I need to remember the words of Luke 12:15:

Then he said to them, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.”

I grew up the oldest of seven kids, so I never really had a lot. That’s not to be confused with anyone growing up in poverty, but we were just a middle class family in a middle class kind of city. And after that, I was a poor college kid like everyone else, hustling to work two jobs to put myself through school. So you better believe I clung to everything I had. Just ask my wife. She’ll tell you a story about the week before we were married, but I probably shouldn’t go any further. Alas…..I don’t need to be tied down by physical possessions, and this year my goal is to break myself from that. It won’t be easy.

I also want to focus on my professional aspirations. I love what I’m doing for a career, but there’s always more. I have two podcasts and want to add a third, but I need to find ways to make them popular. To make them viable. To make them worth the time and effort of other people involved. I won’t stop working until that happens, but I’m open to all ideas how to do that.

I don’t know what my long-term vision is. I want to (continue to) do media stuff for a career, but I don’t know what the end game is. Whether it’s journalism, radio or even TV….I won’t stop until I get it.

But I do know this: I’m closer to it at 30 than I was at 20 — by a long shot.

I’ll drink to that.

 

 

Cheers,

 

 

BW

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The Esoteric NFL Jersey Experiment

I’ve been thinking about ways to inject a little more creativity or character into my life, and I think I’ve come up with a pretty good thing. I work at an office in downtown Minneapolis for a sports company, so it’s generally the kind of place where guys and gals wear jerseys, team-specific hoodies and hats.

So what can I do that’s a little different?

I’d like to try an experiment where I try to find the oddest NFL jerseys to wear to work. Can I get my hands on a No. 2 Tim Couch Browns jersey? Great! A Jerry Rice Seattle Seahawks jersey? Wonderful!

I’m not sure what kind of life this can take on, but if you have any way you want to help — or any of those jerseys just taking up space in your house that you want to get rid of, or any sort of lead on an exceptionally weird one — I’m all ears.

I could probably fit into XLs right now but XXL would be best, so if you see deals or anything feel free to send them my way via a number of different outlets.

Email: brandon.r.warne-at-gmail-dot-com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/1brandonwarne/
Twitter: https//www.twitter.com/Brandon_Warne/

Thanks, and Happy Holidays!

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