Friday, January 01, 2016

New Year's Resolutions - 2016 Edition

2015 was a pretty good year. No big weddings, but two of my best friends had new babies. No new car, but I am still driving (and loving) my Mustang. And there was no chemo, even if there was a surgery.

Time for 2016 resolutions, and time to check in on last year.

Last year's resolutions:

1. No cancer. SO... CLOSE. But then I had stupid cancer in October that we had to take out. Still, like... 75% no cancer.

2. Read books. Last year I posted a picture of all the novels I had. Most of those novels are still there. But I did read over 20 books. And I read a total of 134 books including graphic novels. I also bought a lot of new books, including a couple of trips to Half Price Books and a fair number of Kindle purchases.

3. Watch all the TV & movies I have saved. Last year I posted a picture of all the Blurays and DVDs I had, and made an additional list of DVDs not pictured. I, uh... didn't watch most of them. But I did cut down on my buying, even though I did break on a few movies and TV shows.

4. Buy no more than six videogames this year. I just barely managed this.

5. 12 More Boardgames. This one I totally nailed, I actually played 36 new games:

  1. Age of War
  2. Bang!
  3. Batman Love Letter
  4. Betrayal at House on the Hill
  5. Biblios
  6. Castles of Mad King Ludwig
  7. Cinelinks
  8. Codenames
  9. Concept
  10. Cthulhu Wars
  11. DC Deckbuilding Game
  12. Dead of Winter
  13. Diamonsters
  14. Dixit
  15. Double Feature
  16. Epic
  17. Epic Spell Wars
  18. Exploding Kittens
  19. Formula D
  20. Geek Out
  21. Imperial Assault
  22. Jaipur
  23. Just Desserts
  24. Loonacy
  25. Lords of Waterdeep
  26. Lost Legacy the Starship
  27. Machi Koro
  28. Mars Attacks Dice Game
  29. Red Dragon Inn
  30. Red Flags
  31. Roll for the Galaxy
  32. Sheriff of Nottingham
  33. Star Realms
  34. Takenoko
  35. The Captain is Dead
  36. X-COM Boardgame
6. Get below 190 lbs. Uh... 204. Moving on...

7. Travel. Pretty good, actually. I didn't get out to New Orleans, Emerald City or Heroes, but I did take us all on a big Disney World trip, and we had a trip to San Francisco, and I had a couple smaller trips to San Antonio and other Texas local places.

8. Instagram - I abandoned this pretty early, but I still got over 300 pictures, so almost one a day.

9. Cook! I got to 10 new recipes, so not exactly one a month, but not bad.

10. NaNoWriMo - Abandoned this one. Not sure what I was thinking.

Also, less a resolution and more a plan, I got to eat at pretty much all the restaurants I was trying to get to, except for Perry's Steakhouse, Estancia Churrascaria, Sawyer & Co., and Texas Chili Parlor. The first two because they were expensive, the third because I decided it wasn't that important and the fourth just because time didn't work out.

By The Numbers:

1. I read almost 500 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 56 different restaurants this year. On average, I ate out about 20 times a month, which means roughly 1/3 of my meals were out. My favorites, the ones I went to at least a half-dozen times, were Chi'Lantro, Chuy's, Hoody's Subs, Kerbey Lane, Mambo House, Michi Ramen, Noble Sandwich, Peached Tortilla, PizzaRev, Popeye's, Smashburger, Sushi Nini and Torchy's Tacos.

Chuy's, Torchy's, Michi, PizzaRev, Sushi Nini and Noble were all on last year's list too.

This Year's Resolutions:

1. Reasonable Bedtime. For a while there in 2015, I was getting to bed by midnight, waking up around 10 AM. Then Battlefront came out and I backslid to 3 or 4 AM again. So my plan is, in bed by 12:30, asleep by 1:30, up by 11:00 at the latest. I know to most people this sounds like a crazy schedule, but I'm on a night owl schedule.

2. Cook More - I did OK learning a few new recipes in 2015, but I slacked off as always toward the end of the year. This year I resolve to learn to cook 12 new recipes... possibly one per month, probably I'll knock that out in the first six months and then fall again into bad eating-out patterns by the end of the year.

3. Exercise - For real. I make this one every year, and every year I fail. I think maybe I'll make Monday an exercise day. So that means at least a two-mile walk, or a mile on the elliptical, or even joining a gym if I get real ambitious.

4. No Cancer - Maybe this will be the year. First CT scan since the surgery is next week.

5. Halloween Costume - Every year, I promise myself I'm going to do a Halloween costume, and every year I fail. This year I have a plan. A goal each month, small and getting bigger, ending in a complete Halloween costume by the end of September. Goal One: Come up with five options for what I'm going to dress up as for Halloween. At least one of these will be a family option I can drag my kids (and possibly my wife) into. Another will be an option I can drag my friends into.

6. Spend More Time With My Kids - My goal is to spend at least one day a week either gaming or watching movies with Aaron and one day a week gaming or watching TV with Katy. That's because those are things they enjoy and I enjoy doing with them. If we can think up some actual activities to do, so much the better.

7. Stay on budget. I'm allocating myself enough money to buy one videogame bimonthly, one TV season per month and two dinners out per week. Not necessarily broken down by those units, but what that means is 6 videogames in a year, 12 TV seasons in a year and 104 dinners in a year. That last one is gonna be the tricky one, and even then I'm cheating by not including lunches. Next year we'll try to scale it back further.

8. Try New Things. I'm going to try at least one new thing each month of 2016. It may be big (like indoor skydiving) or small (like a food I haven't eaten before). I will no doubt be crowdsourcing some ideas on Facebook.

9. Less Negative - I am going to try really, really hard to present a more positive Facebook profile. This probably means me occasionally deleting posts when I decide they're only adding to the negativity of conversation. I will not be going all Pollyanna or stepping back on talking about legit social/political issues that piss me off, but I'm going to do my part to stop the spread of useless click-bait and rage-posting. And I'll try to stop wishing death on my political enemies, but I can't help but feel the planet would be better off without Greg Abbott, Ted Cruz, Donald Trump, Dick Cheney and so many others so no promises there.

I am also going to do my damndest to not post about Deadpool, Superman vs. Batman or any other pop culture thing I hate. If someone *else* posts about it on my page, I will damn sure unleash every bit of venom I've been saving, but I'm going to try really hard not to take potshots for no good reason.

This Year's Pop Culture Goals:

1. Read 15 new books. Book books, without pictures. Specifically, the 15 books I already bought in the last few years, pictured below. If I finish those, I''ll allow myself to buy some new books, maybe finish up the trilogies I started or continued reading this year, notably The Expanse series and Newsflesh trilogy.

2. Read 100 new graphic novels. Easy. The plan is to read all of the ones in these pictures first. So that's 45, which means if I read 3-4 a week, and keep adding at the rate I've been doing, I'll have them all read in maybe four months.

3. Catch up on my TV and movie Blu-Rays and DVDs. Pictured below are 6 seasons of TV on DVD and about 30 seasons of TV on Bluray (I've watched some of the Clone Wars). Throw in 10 movies and the DVDs not pictured (including Space: Above and Beyond, Max Headroom and Wonderfalls) and it seems unlikely that I'll get through all of it. But the goal is to watch at least one movie a month and if possible, a TV season each week. There is almost no way I'll hit that goal. But I'll be tracking it here.

4. Play 15 new boardgames. On the list from last year: 7 Wonders, Star Wars X-Wing Miniatures, Gloom, Splendor, Terror in Meeple City. Considering that my list last year had 20 games on it, and I only dropped a couple, that's not bad for 2015. Adding to the list for this year: TIME Stories, Isle of Skye, Star Trek 5 Year Mission, Portal Boardgame, Monarch, Above & Below, Mysterium, Mafia De Cuba, Legends of Andor, Welcome to the Dungeon and Sapiens. Also have two games coming from Kickstarter, On The Air and Posthuman.

5. Go to 5 Comic Book Conventions. Really want to go to Heroes Con this year. Also considering Emerald City or possibly Wonder Con. Will probably go back to Alamo City Con and will possibly exhibit at Wizard World Austin, will definitely be at STAPLE! This is all contingent on not having to spend money on cancer.

Monthly Update - December 2015


Best Week of Comics This Month:
December 2nd (All New All Different Avengers, Daredevil, Doctor Strange, Paper Girls, Spidey, Star Wars)

Top Five Favorite Comics This Month:
  1. Amazing Spider-Man #4
  2. All New All Different Avengers #2
  3. The Goddamned #2
  4. Daredevil #1
  5. Ms. Marvel #2
                                                                              Comics I Read This Month:
                                                                              • All New All Different Avengers #2
                                                                              • All New Hawkeye #2
                                                                              • All New Wolverine #3
                                                                              • Amazing Spider-Man #4-5
                                                                              • Autumnlands: Tooth & Claw #8
                                                                              • Birthright #12
                                                                              • Black Magick #3
                                                                              • Chew #53
                                                                              • Daredevil #1-2
                                                                              • Darth Vader #14
                                                                              • Darth Vader Annual #1
                                                                              • Doctor Strange #3
                                                                              • Goddamned #2
                                                                              • Hercules #2
                                                                              • Huck #2
                                                                              • Illuminati #2
                                                                              • James Bond #2-3
                                                                              • Jughead #3
                                                                              • Kanan the Last Padawan #9
                                                                              • Klaus #2
                                                                              • Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur #2
                                                                              • Ms. Marvel #2
                                                                              • Paper Girls #3
                                                                              • Plutona #3
                                                                              • Rat Queens #14
                                                                              • Red Wolf #1
                                                                              • Rocketeer At War #1
                                                                              • Saga #32
                                                                              • Silk #2
                                                                              • Spider-Man 2099 #4
                                                                              • Spider-Woman #2
                                                                              • Spidey #1
                                                                              • Star Trek Green Lantern #6
                                                                              • Star Wars #13
                                                                              • Symmetry #1
                                                                              • The Beauty #5
                                                                              • Totally Awesome Hulk #1
                                                                              • Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #3
                                                                              • Violent #1
                                                                              • We Stand on Guard #6
                                                                              • Web Warriors #2
                                                                              Graphic Novels I Read This Month
                                                                              • Unity Vol 1 HC
                                                                              • Mae
                                                                              • Private Eye HC
                                                                              • Star Wars Adventures Omnibus
                                                                              • Crogan Adventures: Last of the Legion
                                                                              • Kaptara Vol 1 TP
                                                                              • Rat Queens Vol 1 HC

                                                                              TV I Watched This Month:
                                                                              This is mostly for me so I can keep better track of favorite moments, best and worst episodes and do a little less homework in prepping for my "Best of the Year" list next year. Last month I gave up on posting thoughts on each episodes, for the last two months this will probably just be a list.
                                                                              • Supergirl "Red-Faced" "Human for a Day"
                                                                              • Man in the High Castle "Sunrise" "The Illustrated Woman" "Revelations" "The New Normal"
                                                                              • Fargo "Loplop" "The Castle" "Palindrome"
                                                                              • Flash "Legends of Today" "Running to Stand Still"
                                                                              • Rebels "Blood Sisters" "Stealth Strike" "The Future of the Force" "Legacy"
                                                                              • The Leftovers "International Assassin" "Ten Thirteen" "I Live Here Now"
                                                                              • Arrow "Legends of Yesterday" "Dark Waters"
                                                                              • You're The Worst "Other Things You Could Be Doing" "Heart is a Dumb-Dumb, The"
                                                                              • Casual "Dave"
                                                                              • Agents of SHIELD "Closure" "Maveth"
                                                                              Top Five Shows This Month:
                                                                              1. Fargo
                                                                              2. You're The Worst
                                                                              3. The Flash
                                                                              4. The Leftovers
                                                                              5. Supergirl
                                                                                Movies I Watched This Month:
                                                                                • Star Wars A New Hope
                                                                                • Star Wars The Force Awakens x2
                                                                                • Die Hard
                                                                                • The Ref
                                                                                • Hateful Eight
                                                                                Places I Ate This Month:
                                                                                • Olive Garden
                                                                                • Popeye's x2
                                                                                • Patrizi's
                                                                                • Torchy's Tacos x2
                                                                                • Hoody's Subs
                                                                                • Mighty Fine Burgers
                                                                                • Wingstop
                                                                                • Smashburger
                                                                                • Michi Ramen
                                                                                • Chi'Lantro
                                                                                • Potbelly
                                                                                • Alamo Drafthouse