The 3 Day – Walk for the Cure

This year, I’ll be participating in a very special event called the Susan G. Komen 3-Day®. It’s a 3-day, 60-mile walk with a bold goal – to end breast cancer forever. We keep walking, and we keep raising money until breast cancer is done. Over the past 13 years and 150 events, we’ve raised more than $800 million – which Susan G. Komen® has used to save lives and make huge strides in breast cancer research.

Susan G. Komen® is the world’s largest breast cancer organization, funding more breast cancer research than any other nonprofit while providing real-time help to those facing the disease. Since its founding in 1982, Komen has funded more than $889 million in research and provided $1.95 billion in funding to screening, education, treatment and psychosocial support programs serving millions of people in more than 30 countries worldwide.

I’ve agreed to raise at least $2,300 in donations. I’ve set my personal goal at $2300. So I need your help. Would you please consider making a donation of $10 or more? Every donation matters! Keep in mind how far I’m walking – and how hard I’ll have to train. You can give online at Just follow the link below to visit my personal fundraising webpage and make a donation. You can also call 800-996-3DAY to donate over the phone.

As you know, my grandmother Beverly Englishbee died from complications after several years battling breast cancer. I’m walking in her memory and to make sure that other families do not have to face the pain that mine did.

Every minute, somewhere in the world, someone dies from breast cancer. That’s why I’m walking so far. To do something bold about breast cancer. I hope that you’ll share this incredible adventure with me – by supporting me in my fundraising efforts.

Thank you in advance for your generosity!


Brennen Dean

P.S. Ask your employer if they will double your donation through a matching gift program!


Not Death, but his brother, Sleep

Sleep. This fine fellow has eluded me the past month thanks to my insomnia. Slipping from my grasp just when I thought I had achieved victory.

[insert frustrated sigh]

I hate insomnia.

To be more specific, I fucking hate insomnia.

I need at least eight hours of sleep in order to feel rested and competent the next day. The past several weeks I’ve had less than four a night. Some days the exhaustion is able to overcome me the minute I step into my room and I end up sleeping for twelve or more hours. (ahh, bliss) Other days I putter mindlessly around the house or work, doing repetitive tasks because that’s all my brain can handle.

Needless to say, the past few weeks have been pretty miserable. They’ve had their ups and downs like any other time, but those ups and downs have all been overshadowed by sheer exhaustion. My anxiety has skyrocketed, my depression has soared (or crashed, maybe?) and my lack of sleep has made me irritable, brilliantly creative, and zombie-like in turns. I even started smoking again and even though I know this is a very bad habit, I feel like that calming tradition has kept me a little more sane than I would otherwise be.

In spite of this, and in spite of my anxiety about crowds and my fear of public places, I made myself go to an event to raise money for breast cancer awareness. It was a luncheon, featuring several speakers (including a brilliant geneticist) a raffle, and a silent auction. All proceeds were donated to certain nonprofits that help communities by providing education about breast cancer, promoting awareness, and providing screenings to women in need.

The event was completely sold out and the room that had been rented for the occasion was packed. My social anxiety felt like it had never been worse.

And yet I managed to enjoy myself somehow. Sure, I had to take extra medication, as well as step out twice to smoke, but I got through the event. I supported my community, I honored my family members and friends who have been affected by, or lost to, breast cancer. And I am so very glad that I did.

No matter how tired I was or how anxious I felt, every minute I was there felt like a tiny victory in a war I had previously been losing.

I realize that this might simply be a lull in the month-worth of sleepless nights and zombified days, but it is something I did and am proud of doing. And I think I’ve earned that.

And now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go stare at the ceiling until it either caves in and kills me or I fall asleep. Goodnight and thank you.

The Whole Thing

The thing about diets is, well, I don’t. At least, I didn’t. I’ve been about 30 pounds overweight for the past six years, something that bothered me more in high school than it does now. You’d think a diet is something I should be on.
But I’ve tried dieting, I’ve tried counting calories and carbs, I’ve tried The South Beach Diet, I’ve tried a myriad of blog-inspired diets, each with their own catchy little name. And I’ve failed each of them.

The failure is due more to my general approach to life than to the diet’s failings: I tend to try things out like a person at a buffet, try a little here and there, but never commit your entire plate to one item. I suppose you could say I have commitment issues, but personally, I just didn’t care enough to stick with any one thing for more than a few weeks. If you dug through my life you’d find mountains of proof of this: My dating life, for one. Three week relationships, testing the waters, getting close, then single again. My exercise regime is another prime example: I’d commit to walking 30 minutes every day, but that would only last about a month before I’d give up and move on to 15 minutes of cardio in the mornings instead.

This is something I’ve been working to change: I’ve started keeping a journal to keep track of my moods and daily activities in an effort to improve my memory. I’ve started writing again, working on old stories I’d left unfinished in the dusty corners of my imagination. I signed up for a 60 mile cancer walk in September. (I guess this means I’ll have to go back to 30 minute daily walks) I stopped drinking soda and energy drinks. Part of this decision is to improve my abysmal health, lose a few pounds, etc. The other part is because I’ve noticed that whenever I drink soda or energy drinks my knees and hips start to hurt terribly and my tics get much worse. So far it’s been about a week since I stopped drinking soda and energy drinks and I haven’t experienced the awful pains again. I’ve only noticed a slight decrease in my tics, but hey, it’s better than nothing.

After several days without my usual dangerous amounts of caffeine and sugar, a strange madness took hold of me and I decided to start the diet known as The Whole 30 ( a diet which both my parents have done and several other family members have done as well. The Whole 30 is a diet that involves stealing your happiness cutting out foods that might be upsetting your system, including sugar, grains, legumes, alcohol, dairy, and sulfites for 30 days. Then you add each of them back into your diet one at a time to see if you have any ill effects from them. As I had already given up sugar and large amounts of caffeine I figured why not go the extra mile and make myself extra miserable by depriving myself of cheese, bread, and all the other god-given gifts to mankind.

I’m on day 2 and I have not noticed any changes at all (this is normal, I’m just impatient) The hardest was the very first day because I normally eat cold cereal for breakfast and when I got up I discovered that some demon my mother had bought some fruit-flavored marshmallow-blessed confection and left it in the cereal cupboard, obviously just to tempt me. After several miserable hours of doing nothing but sitting in a chair and staring at the box of sugary goodness, I realized I was being pathetic. I was not going to go down the path of Frog and Toad and declare to my dieting friend “You can keep your willpower! I’m going home to bake a cake.” That would put me right back at square one and undo all the work I had done so far. Instead of giving in to temptation, I made myself a plate of breakfast sausages (without syrup, I might add) and then munched on a few slices of red bell pepper.

For dinner I had wonderful tomato and beef stew, to which I added liberal amounts of cocaine curry powder to soothe my frazzled nerves. I went to bed and dreamed of garlic bread and pizza and awoke refreshed and ready for day 2 of suffering.

And now I am sitting here writing this, realizing that day 2 was not a day of suffering. I had wonderful breakfast of scrambled eggs and ham, and a delicious lunch of bell pepper and cucumber slices and a hot cup of yerbe mate tea. My stomach is full, I don’t feel guilty about any of the food choices I made today and while I still want a snickers bar very much, I’m not going to have one. Maybe I’ll go for a walk instead.


Aim for the moon…

…Because when you fall short, it’ll still be an impressive shot.

That’s not what I’m going to do with this blog. I’ve learned that if you keep everyone’s expectations low, then they’re less likely to be disappointed in you. It’s like that old saying: “Drop a dish and break it on the floor, and soon they won’t ask you to do the dishes anymore.” I’m sure I’ll be breaking many dishes with my writing, I’ll promise to write weekly and then be lucky to get one post out a month.

With that in mind, here’s some of my plans for this blog:

I intend to write about my adventures in prepping, homesteading, and permaculture. I will also be writing about tourettes syndrome, since that is a big part of my life and it impacts everything I do. I would also like to post reviews of different items that might be useful on a homestead or in a prepping scenario and I might also post a video from my YouTube channel from time to time.

Now that I’ve said all that I’ve probably jinxed it and none of that will happen, but here’s to hoping.


Next order of business, a bit about myself: I am twenty one years old, living in the state of Alaska (or the state of denial, if you ask my psychiatrist) I enjoy reading and digging in the dirt and I’m a huge nerd. I believe that as a society we’ve become very wasteful and very dependent on a fragile supply chain, which is why I’ve started looking into homesteading, permaculture, and prepping. I also have Tourettes Syndrome, a neurological disorder characterized by the presence of random movements and sounds (tics) TS impacts all areas of my life and has caused difficulties for me in my relationships, work, education, etc.


As such, I will make a quick apology regarding any videos I post since there is a good chance my tics will be active and noticeable in them. I do not apologize for having tics. I only apologize because they interfere with my ability to explain things orally.


Last but not least, thank you, readers (current and future) Thank you for taking your time to read this post and any others I write. I hope they’re worth the time you spend on them, and I hope you enjoy this blog.


As always, stay twitchy.