Thursday, January 01, 2015

New Year's Resolutions 2014-2015

2014 was an improvement on 2013 in almost all major ways. For one thing, while the cancer was still around, and I had to do chemo and have a surgery, nothing was quite as major as the surgery I had in 2012 and had to recover from. For another, I got myself a new car, a Mustang, something I've been wanting for quite a while. One of my best friends got married. My store continued to thrive. I continued to meet a ton of interesting and fun people. My family was all pretty happy and healthy, all things considered. Some of my friends had shitty years, and that sucks, but a lot of them did pretty well. New babies, kids growing up, new relationships, all kinds of cool stuff out there.

So now we come to 2015, which just really sounds like living in the future, despite the lack of jet-packs, flying cars or reasonably-priced sex-bots. So it's time for resolutions, and a check in on last year.

Last year's resolutions:

1. Don't die. Bam. Knocked that one right out. Suck it, death.

2. If I do die, regenerate as a ginger. See #1.

3. Learn Spanish. So, yeah. Started off strong using Duolingo, faded entirely. I would guess that what I gained is the ability to read a tiny, tiny (pequino) bit of Spanish, but speaking and understanding it spoken? Not so much.

4. Read at least 12 books. Done. No problem. I read:
City Primeval by Elmore Leonard (July)
Devil Red by Joe R. Lansdale
Galveston by Nick Pizzolato
Leather Maiden by Joe R. Lansdale (April)
Orange is the New Black by Piper Kerman (August)
Pagan Babies by Elmore Leonard
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
The Great Divide by Matt Taibbi (May)
The Hunter by Richard Stark (June)
The Polysyllabic Spree by Nick Hornby (February)
The Walking Dead by Greg Rucka (January)
Vanilla Ride by Joe R. Lansdale (September)
Veronica Mars: The Thousand Dollar Tan Line by Rob Thomas & Jennifer Graham (March)

5. Be 10% less of an asshole. Hard to quantify. I'm gonna go ahead and give myself this one, I feel like I at least managed 5%.

6. Spend time with as many of my friends as possible, as much as possible. The most successful of my resolutions, and also quite honestly the easiest. I fully embraced my extroverted nature this year.

7. Play at least 12 new board/card games this year. Yep. 20, actually. For the record, they were:
Battlestar Galactica
Boss Monster
Cards Against Humanity
Escape from Colditz
Firefly The Game
Forbidden Desert
Geek Out!
King of New York
Machine of Death
Night of the Grand Octopus
Once Upon A Time
Roll Through The Ages (Bronze Age & Iron Age)
Sentinels of the Multiverse
Shinobi Wat-AAAH!
Terra Mystica
The Resistance
Unspeakable Words

8. Stay under 200 lbs. Ballpark? At end of year, I think I'm at 199. I was doing well before holiday eating habits kicked in. But... I managed the most important part, which is not having to buy new clothes. (I mean, I did buy new T-shirts, but not because I in any way needed them.)

9. Go bike riding with my kids. Not so much. My bike, which is a holdout from college, turned out to be pretty broken. And the kids don't ride their bikes a lot.

10. Travel. We took a family trip to Denver, and I managed to get up to Dallas, which I haven't done for a couple of years, and I took the daughter to San Antonio for Six Flags. So... baby steps on this one.

This year's resolutions:

1. No cancer. I managed not dying, let's see if we can push that up a notch by having no chemo, no surgeries and no cancer. I've got 2-3 CT scans I've got to get through to make that happen. #nocancer

2. Read books. To start with, all the books I have on my night table. I've been gathering books, both graphic novels and just-plain novels, for years now. I'm going to do my best to get through them before I buy more. Graphic novels I sort of buy as they come out so they don't go out of print, but I'm going to continue to not buy too many extra until I get through the pile. Novels... I'm gonna try not to pick up anything new until I've read those on my stack.

Five Eberron novels, Elmore Leonard, 3 Fletch novels, and several others - if I read only what I have now, I'll hit 17 books

I'm also doing a reading challenge with friends, there are categories and the idea is to read 50 books. I'm not gonna get anywhere near that number, I'm guessing more like 12-15. #books2015

3. Watch all the TV & movies I have saved. Similar vein, I'm gonna try and slow down on buying movies and TV on Bluray until I've gotten through my backlog of several years. I'll no doubt still buy a few new shows and movies, but I'll try to relegate it to must-have new releases (like anything from Marvel Cinematic) and hard-to-resist bargains. This also comes with a resolution to start up my movie nights with friends again. #videos2015

The "To Watch" stack - Not shown: Key & Peele Season 3, Brooklyn Nine-Nine Season One, Space: Above and Beyond, Boomtown, Police Squad!, Max Headroom, Profit, Wonderfalls, Pushing Daisies Season 1, Band of Brothers, Batman Beyond and a few more DVDs
4. Buy no more than six videogames this year. Again... backlog. Until I need new games, I'm going to refrain from buying too many new games. I mean, when Arkham Knight comes out, I'm buying that, and if Pathfinder Online hits, I'll probably buy that... so I'm allowing myself essentially one every two months. Also, this is a cheaty one since I got a couple videogames for Christmas already. And since I won't be counting games I buy for Aaron. And since I got a Playstation Plus account to go with my PS4, so I'll have 1-2 new "free" games each month. #ps42015

5. 12 More Boardgames. I plan to add at least 12 more boardgames and card games to my repertoire this year. Since I also hope to do mostly-monthly boardgame nights at the house, this should be pretty easy. #games2015

I've got over 20 on the list just from 2014 games alone:
7 Wonders
Attack Wing (Dungeons & Dragons, Star Trek and/or Star Wars)
Battle for Kemble's Cascade
Betrayal at House on the Hill
Castles of Mad King Ludwig
Dead Winter
Dice Masters
Doomtown Reloaded
Five Tribes
Formula D
Guardians' Chronicles
Love Letter
Machi Koro
Red Dragon Inn
Shadowrun Crossfire
Star Realms
Terror in Meeple City
 X-COM: The Boardgame

6. Get below 190 lbs. By the end of the year, I will weigh less than 190 lbs. Quite possibly 189. But that's the goal. This means trying to get back to my "less snacking, less desserts" rule and keep cutting back my soda intake (currently I'm at every other day, I need to drink less) as well as continuing to take the dog for walks, use the elliptical and generally do a bit more exercise and healthier eating. #diet2015

7. Travel. I've already booked the Image Expo in San Francisco for January. I've been threatening a New Orleans trip for all of 2014. Emerald City Comicon is in March (on the weekend of my daughter's birthday, so this may not happen this year.) Heroes Con in June. San Diego Con in July. I will make at least one other comic book-related show and a trip to New Orleans this year. #travel2015

8. Instagram - I plan to post at least one picture a day. This isn't really a self-improvement thing or anything, just something fun I plan to do. #365in2015

9. Cook! I bought Thug Kitchen and got a Salsa cookbook as a gift. I'm hoping to cook at least one new recipe a month. Ideally lots more. If anyone has any good recipes or cookbooks or websites with recipes to recommend, let me know. #cook2015

10. NaNoWriMo - I've been wanting to try this for years. As long as it doesn't conflict with #1 or #7, I think this year I'm gonna try and write a novel in November. Not for publication, because it will more than likely be terrible... but just for me. #nanowrimo2015

I *should* resolve to be less angry, less judgmental and less snarky... but I know full well it's not gonna happen. And honestly, being angry, snarky and judgmental, while absolutely character flaws, are a big part of who I am and I'm not willing to change that at this point.

Also, less a resolution and more a plan, places I didn't eat at enough that I want to eat in 2015 at least once: Perry's Steakhouse, Lucy's Fried Chicken, French Quarter Grille, DiMassi's Mediterranean Buffet, Hopdoddy, Estancia Churrascaria, Garbo's Lobster, Salt & Time, Sawyer & Co., Texas Chili Parlor, and Fork + Taco.

By The Numbers:
1. I read about 300 single-issue comics this year. Well, I'm sure I read a few more than that, but I read and liked that many.

2. I ate at over 50 different restaurants this year. Some of them more than once. OK, several of them more than once. My favorites, the ones I went to at least a half-dozen times, were Curly's BBQ (R.I.P.), Chuy's, Jack Allen's Kitchen, Torchy's Tacos, Lucy's Fried Chicken, Michi Ramen, PizzaRev, Sushi Nini, Haymaker and Noble Sandwich.

Monthly Update - December 2014

Comics I Read And Liked:
Afterlife with Archie #7
Alex + Ada #11
All New Captain America #2
Amazing Spider-Man #11
Axis Hobgoblin #3
Batgirl #37
Bitch Planet #1
Chew #45
Copperhead #4
Daredevil #11
Deathlok #3
Django Zorro #2
Dungeons & Dragons Legends of Baldurs Gate #3
Gotham by Midnight #2
Graveyard Shift #1
Hellboy and the BPRD #1
Kitchen #2
Manifest Destiny #12
Ms Marvel #10
Punisher #13
Revival #26
Rumble #1
S.H.I.E.L.D. #1
Scarlet Spiders #2
Sex Criminals #9
Shaft #1
She-Hulk #11
Southern Bastards #6
Spider-Verse Team Up #2
Spider-Woman #2
Storm #6
Superior Iron Man #3
Thor #3
Wayward #5
Wytches #3