Why overdosing on Netflix is hazardous

I recently discovered the wonderful world of Netflix. I wrote about this in a previous post “Smart TV Drama.” The great thing about not having it all these years is I get to binge on multiple seasons at a time on my favorite shows. And I’m discoveringwpid-20150815_215557.jpg that watching an hour a more — per day — isn’t necessarily a good thing.

First, it’s making me fail at adulthood a bit. Novel? What novel? I’m not working on a novel while I still have season three of “Orange is the New Black” to finish! Laundry? Who needs clean clothes? Friends? What friends? My friends live in a show about prison. I must know what their day is like today!

Let’s not even talk about the fact that I’ve only been watching this show since Labor Day.

But, besides failing at adulthood, there are other side effects of immersing yourself so much in one show. I’m starting to realize why they only release one show every week in normal-running seasons.

Here’s what else happens when you watch nearly three seasons of one show since Labor Day:

  • You start to see the characters wherever you go — or at least everyone reminds you of certain characters. I recently went to a restaurant and I was reminded of several scenes in the prison kitchen. It led me giggling through dinner and having to explain myself to my dinner mates.
  • You laugh during random conversations because the person you’re talking to said something or sat a certain way and reminded you of a really funny character. Seriously this happened to me last week. I was in an interview with someone and they sat a certain way and my mind flashed to a scene in the show. I felt the corners of my mouth erupt into a smile and laughter bubble up. That one was hard to explain. Way to go, Brandy.
  • You talk about the characters like you know them — like you live in the show with them. You discuss their lives in great detail with other show junkies. You reach out to other people who watch the show and gossip about today’s “prison news.” This is a real thing, truly. I seek out other people who watch the show and discuss the injustices of the show. Sigh. Perhaps I’m losing touch with reality?
  • You make references to characters at work only to be met with confusing looks from co-workers who question your sanity. Sometimes, perhaps, it’s a good thing they don’t know which character I just told them they remind me of.
  • You start to think “hey, maybe prison isn’t that bad.” Then you realize you’ve really started to lose touch with reality. You then promise to limit your time watching the show. You then go home and watch another two hours because you want to know what Piper, a character in the show, is up to today. You realize you failed at this goal. Again.
  • You count the number of hours before you’re off work so you can settle in and check in with the show. Then you make a list of what you have to do when you get home and calculate how much time you have to watch the show. Lots of things can be done in front of the television, right?
  • You go home, only to realize the Internet is down, and you’re suddenly in a life crisis. Because Netflix is now your stress relief, your entertainment and did I mention your friends live in there because you’ve not been out since Labor Day? You text your Internet provider, and other people who also use the same company. You find out they’re also in Netflix withdraw. You realize you’re not alone and consider starting a support group. But it will cut into Netflix time, so you forget that idea.
  • You start to get sad when you only have five shows left in season three. As I write this, this is where I’m at in the show. And, a quick Google search informed me I have to wait nearly a year for season four. What am I going to do without knowing what they are up to each day? Perhaps maybe thrive at adulthood again? Or maybe I’ll act like a normal person and socialize. Or maybe I’ll catch up on “Dexter.” Yes, I’ll catch up on “Dexter.”
  • Lastly, you realize you’ve written nearly 800 words on this topic. Perhaps I need an intervention.
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Today I got to smash a wall

wpid-20150911_103127.jpgI figured since I sent a Snapchat to a few friends with a picture of holes I put in a wall, I should stop to explain myself.

Today I smashed a wall. But I wasn’t the only one. And it was for a very good cause. I had the honor of smashing a wall today.

Myself and the paper’s photographer Kendra, went to the site of the future Lyon County History Center. There, we had the honor of watching people who worked tirelessly to raise money to renovate a new building for the History Center. Something that is much-needed.

One of the most rewarding parts of being a journalist is getting to see things come to fruition and tell the stories that go along with the efforts of so many hard-working people. I truly live in an incredible community. I feel very blessed to be a part of it and tell their stories.

The whole story is here. There’s also a video you can check out.

Oh, and on a more personal side note, I’m pretty sure I  might have a bit of a frustration problem. I hit that wall and I hit it hard — three times and it went through the wall every time. #oops

Smart TV drama

wpid-received_10153192725732992.jpegOn Labor Day weekend I had a plan: a 3-day weekend with my new smart TV. But, as it frequently happens, things didn’t go as planned.

Here is the way I imagined it happening: move old TV out. Have someone come and haul it off the next day. Install new TV — it’s a smart TV, how hard can it be, right? Then, after all was installed and ready to go, I’d enjoy the magical world of my new smart TV.

Here is how it actually went: move and shove the old projection TV out of the house. It falls apart a bit and leaves a trail of plywood dust. But hey, I can handle this. Step two: Get new TV stand into the living room. Hey, this one was pretty drama free. Step three: hook up new TV. This step was a little harder. Unpack new TV. Wow, this thing was packaged well! And it was heavy. Good thing I had help. Step four: hook up new TV. Deep breath. This is where it truly went all wrong. Wires, so many wires. Where do these go? They go to what? Where? Why? Ok. Finally get all that figured out after camping out behind the TV hooking up wire after wire. “I don’t think this is really right, but here goes!” I told myself. Next it was time to plug in the TV. Finally the fruits of our labor! And enter the “you lost on the gameshow” sound here.

TV is on. TV has massive “cracks” in the picture. It was clearly punctured and shattered on the inside. This TV was brand new. Next up was a call to the retailer (who I will not name). The lady I talked to was less than pleasant and told me I had 15 days to return the TV. I was on day 14 at that point and even though it was brand new, could not be returned after day 15. So, after said lady hung up, the TV had to be re-packaged (I cut my toe on packing tape to add to the frustration) and TV was returned to the retailer. Manager of said retailer was really nice, says we actually have 45 days to return the TV (not 15). Sigh.

Finally, new TV gets home and hooked up. Turn it on and yay! It has a picture and this time it isn’t cracked. But… The smart TV is apparently smarter than I am. I forget the Wi-Fi password and the drama continues. Finally get it hooked up to the magical Internet and settle in to watch TV. Wait, why isn’t there any sound? Are you kidding me? Back to owner’s manual I went and turns out I didn’t have the right cable — another thing the store really, really could have educated me on.

So, it was back to the retailer another time. I was determined to get this TV up and working. While I was there I decided to pick up a Blu-ray player. I still had a DVD and VCR before this upgrade. I ask the cashier if I needed another cable for the Blu-ray player. He didn’t know. More frustration. So I finally resolve to pick up two HDMI cables — one for the satellite to TV and one for the Blu-ray to TV.

I return home triumphant, I was sure I finally had solved the problem! I hook up the TWO cables (instead of several) and turn the TV back on: no signal. At this point I about lost it. I went back to camping out on the floor trying to figure out what is wrong. How in the world can you mess up two cables? Only two? After another half hour of so of this I finally relented and called tech support, which, thankfully, it was open until 11 p.m. Turns out you have to tell the TV which HDMI port you want it to use. Sigh.

And I won’t even go into the sound bar situation the next day. I’m happy that is now working fine (though if you touch the wrong button it refuses to work until it gets over its attitude issue).

I am happy to report my wonderful co-worker, Jessie, helped me get hooked up with Netflix and I have since discovered “Orange is the New Black.” After the initial drama, I’m finding a smart TV is a whole new world that I never new existed. I proceeded to go on an 8-hour OITNB binge. The last time I binged on a show like that it was “LA Ink.”

So, the drama was worth it, but I’m sure anybody who has ever had to venture into the technology jungle can relate to this. And if you need help hooking up your new smart TV, hit me up. I can probably save you a lot of stress.

Welcome, Kizen

Brandy’s note: Finally! I can share this column on my blog! I surprised my brother and his wife with a framed print copy of this. So, here it is for all my online readers. 🙂

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The natural light in this photo is just beautiful.

On Thursday, Aug. 6, my family welcomed a new member: Kizen Malcolm Nance, a 6-pound, 12-ounce bundle happiness for my brother, Dalton and his wife, Amanda. They are brave souls — starting all over — their youngest is 14 (until Kizen came along Thursday).

Kizen has two amazing siblings, Mazie, 16, and Zerrick, 14, who are equally excited about the new addition.

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My sweet nephew and I.

Kizen had a bit of a rough start, spending a few days in a neonatal intensive care unit — but is home, happy and healthy. I cannot begin to express my gratitude and how much I already love this little guy. The family resemblance is striking — he’s a carbon copy of my brother. A true “Mini Dalton.”

In honor of Kizen coming into this world I have decided to put together a few memories of myself and my brother, his father, growing up. I’m sure someday he’d like to read about the mischief his dad and aunt got into, right? (My apologies ahead of time to my brother for this). And there will be many apologies to our mother, who had to raise us. Sorry, Mom.

We liked to play with our food. Our mom, Pat, likes to tell the story of the time we decided to test out the newly-released shatterproof peanut butter jar. Well, I’ll tell you this: it did not shatter, but it did break. A jumbo jar, too. Sorry, Mom. Then there’s the time we decided to test if the spaghetti was done by throwing it on the kitchen wall. In hindsight, I realize they meant to do it before you put spaghetti sauce on it. Again, sorry, Mom.

We enjoyed walking on icebergs. Seriously, Kizen, don’t do this when you get older! But, I have copies of pictures Dalton and I took of us standing on icebergs in Wichita (frozen ice at the bottom of a dam). Sorry, Mom.

We liked to watch street racing. Back in the day kids used to gather on weekend nights on Meridian Street in Wichita to street race — until the police came and ran everyone off. Sorry, Mom.

We loved to build forts using sheets. This is a childhood classic! My brother and I used to love building huge forts in our bedroom using sheets, chairs and whatever else we could find to build. We were pretty good at this, I must say.

We left mail for each other in mailboxes outside our bedrooms. This is a very fond memory of mine. After my brother and I got our own rooms, we had little mailboxes we would put notes in for each other. Each day we’d wake up to a new note. We even have our own Facebook group called “Sibling Mailbox.”

We always stood by each other — through thick and thin. Through it all my brother and I stood by each other. Even when we got into fights (which all siblings do), we would never rat each other out. Sibling strong!

Welcome to the world, Kizen. I hope you enjoy this history lesson someday.