Monday, February 01, 2016

Monthly Update - January 2016


1. Reasonable Bedtime - I did really well with this at first, but then got addicted to Making A Murderer and missed my 1 AM bedtime by first half an hour and then an hour and a half. And I had more than a few nights where I was planning a D&D game, or playing Battlefront, where I stayed up until 2 AM or a little later, but at least I was asleep by 3 AM most of those nights, which is... an incremental improvement. And then new TV started up and I still wanted to play Battlefront and I haven't totally abandoned this but it's more of a 2 AM in bed, asleep by close to 3 AM. And I didn't sleep in past noon on any days, so... making progress. Next month I need to really try to hit that 1 AM bedtime mark. Maybe 1:30 AM, and ease into it. (Most of this update was typed after 1 AM, for the record.)

2. Cook More - Several new recipes for the repertoire getting tried out this month. Chicken Pot Pie Casserole (which I wasn't crazy about), Shrimp and Cheesy Grits (which turned out pretty great, and were really easy), Red Beans & Rice (needs a thicker consistency and maybe ham hock instead of sausage, but a pretty tasty first attempt), Sweet & Salty Chicken Thighs (delicious and easy, paired nicely with soy-sauce and Asian spiced Brussels Sprouts), Panko Breaded Asparagus (turned out great, and really easy) and Fried Rice (three times, still adjusting the spice/flavor but pretty happy so far)... and a few more other recipes added to the try out list, including Curried Fried Chicken, Bacon & Egg Ramen and another new recipe for chicken thighs. I've also done pretty good in terms of cooking at home instead of going out to eat. My goal for the year was 12 new recipes... I'm already almost halfway there.

3. Exercise - I dragged the elliptical into the office the first Monday and managed 0.8 of a mile, then 1 mile even the next, then 1.2 miles the next and then, uh, 0.7 of a mile. Slow and mostly steady. Probably ought to add a midweek treadmill run, or even do a short run every day, since I'm keeping it in the office again.

4. No Cancer - Had my first CT scan early in January, and it was clear. So I'm good on this until April, at least. 

5. Halloween Costume - Costume ideas: Green Arrow (Etsy-made costume available for a couple hundred bucks), which would work well with a Flash/Black Canary/etc. etc. theme - Dead of Winter costumes with everyone dressed as one of those characters - King of Tokyo kaiju (maybe hard to find/make, but Aaron would love this)... more to come, but that's three good ideas, one with an actual source.

6. Spend More Time With My Kids - I played several hours of Plants vs. Zombies 2: Garden Warfare, Battlefront and Mass Effect 2 with Aaron, and watched Supergirl and Agent Carter with Katy. Also made a list of older Youtube videos that Aaron greatly enjoyed. Katy finished Firefly, so I got to watch Serenity with her for the first time, and see her reactions to some of the big moments in that movie, which was a lot of fun.

7. Stay on budget. I bought Angie Tribeca Season One on iTunes. Ate at Texas Roadhouse, but I mostly paid with a gift certificate. So... three dinners (two Sushi Nini and one Jack Allen) for the month. This budget thing is gonna be easy... which probably means I gave myself too much of a budget. Next year I definitely need to include lunches.

8. Try New Things. I didn't get to anything in January, but I've got a puzzle room challenge and the new archery range near the store for February. And I guess, if you count planning, I made flight and hotel reservations for Heroes Con in January.

9. Less Negative - This one was hard. Especially since people kept dying those first two weeks. And I had to resist posting something snarky or negative at least twice a day. That said, I think I'm managing. I mean, yes, I might have wished cancer on the GOP Presidential candidates, but that was in mourning for Rickman, Bowie and more and, though sincere, mostly there for comedic effect. And yes, I might have gone on a mini-rant about someone trying to get a PG-13 Deadpool, but that was mostly tied to finding the Deadpool response to the asinine idea hilarious. I griped a bit about all the "comics are dying" articles, which have been a pet peeve of mine for at least a decade. And I might have, at the eleventh hour, accused Ike Perlmutter, CEO of Marvel, of being a vampire. I like to think my negativity was also leavened with comedy.


1. Read 15 Books (2)
  • Eberron: Son of Khyber
  • Star Wars Before The Awakening
2. Read 100 Graphic Novels (15)
  1. Green Arrow Vol 4: Blood of the Dragon TP
  2. Fatale Vol 1-2 HC
  3. Amazing Spider-Man Vol 1 HC
  4. Hawkeye Vol 2 HC
  5. Starve Vol 1 TP
  6. Ciudad HC
  7. Pathfinder Vol 4 Origins
  8. Grayson Vol 1-2 TP
  9. 3 Story: The Secret History of the Giant Man
  10. Revival Vol 3 HC
  11. Dark Night: A True Batman Story
  12. Captain America: Scourge of the Underworld\
  13. Double D
  14. Zenith Phase Four
  15. Strongman 
3. Catch up on TV/Movie DVDs and Blurays
  • Running Scared
  • Ant-Man
  • Agent Carter Season One
4. Play 15 new Boardgames (4)
  • T.I.M.E. Stories (1)
  • T.I.M.E. Stories: Marcy Case (2)
  • 7 Wonders (3)
  • Star Wars Armada (4)
  • DC Deck-Building
  • Dead of Winter
  • Machi Koro
5. Go to 5 Comic Book Conventions
  • Dallas Comic Con (February)
  • STAPLE! (March)
  • Heroes Con (June)
  • Alamo City Con (October)
My Picks of the Week For This Month:
  1. Captain America Sam Wilson #5
  2. Amazing Spider-Man #6
  3. Captain Marvel #1
  4. Ms. Marvel #3
  5. Spider-Woman #3
  6. All New All Different Avengers #4
  7. Interceptor #1
  8. Gutter Magic #1
      Other Comics I Read This Month (45):
      • Agents of SHIELD #1
      • All New All Different Avengers #3-4
      • All-New Hawkeye #3
      • All-New Wolverine #4
      • Amazing Spider-Man #6
      • Astonishing Ant-Man #4
      • Astro City #31
      • Beauty #6
      • Birthright #13
      • Captain America Sam Wilson #5
      • Captain Marvel #1
      • Cry Havoc #1
      • Daredevil #3
      • Darth Vader #15
      • Descender #9
      • Devolution #1
      • Doctor Strange #4
      • Grayson #16
      • Gutter Magic #1
      • Hercules #3
      • Huck #3
      • Interceptor #1
      • Moon Girl & Devil Dinosaur #3
      • Ms. Marvel #3
      • Nova #3
      • Obi-Wan & Anakin #1
      • Paper Girls #4
      • Red Wolf #2
      • Saga #33
      • Scarlet Witch #2
      • Silk #3
      • Spider-Woman #3
      • Spidey #2
      • Squadron Supreme #3
      • Star Wars #14-15
      • Symmetry #2
      • The Fade Out #12
      • Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #4
      • Uncanny X-Men #1-2
      • Usagi Yojimbo #151
      • Violent #2
      • Web Warriors #3
      TV I Watched This Month:
      • Agent Carter "The Lady in the Lake" "A View in the Dark" "Better Angels"
      • Angie Tribeca "Pilot" "The Wedding Planner Did It" "The Famous Ventriloquist Did It"
      • Arrow "Blood Debts" "A.W.O.L."
      • Baskets "Pilot (Renoir)"
      • Billions "Pilot" "Naming Rights"
      • Brooklyn Nine-Nine "9 Days"
      • Cooper Barrett's Guide to Surviving Life "Pilot"
      • DC's Legends of Tomorrow "Pilot Part 1" "Pilot Part 2"
      • Flash "Potential Energy" "The Reverse Flash Returns"
      • It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia "Chardee MacDennis 2: Electric Boogaloo" "Frank Falls Out The Window" "The Gang Hits The Slopes" "Dee Made A Smut Film"
      • iZombie "Method Head"
      • Mad Dogs "Xtabai" "Well" "Flares" "Hat" "Leslie"
      • Making A Murderer "Season One"
      • Man Seeking Woman "Wings"
      • Man in the High Castle "End of the World" "Kindness" "A Way Out"
      • Scream Queens "Ghost Story"
      • Supergirl "Hostile Takeover" "Blood Bonds" "Childish Things"
      • Superstore "Pilot"
      • Telenovela "Pilot"
      • The Magicians "Pilot"
      • Transparent "Kina Hora" "Flicky-Flicky-Thump-Thump"
      • X-Files "My Struggle" "Founder's Mutation"
      Top Ten Shows This Month:
      1. Angie Tribeca
      2. Brooklyn Nine-Nine
      3. Flash
      4. Agent Carter
      5. It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia
      6. Supergirl
      7. Arrow
      8. DC's Legends of Tomorrow
      9. Billions
      10. Mad Dogs
      Movies I Watched This Month:
      • Ant-Man
      • Bad Words
      • Hateful Eight
      • Running Scared
      • Serenity
      • What We Do In The Shadows
      Places I Ate This Month (22):
      • Chi'Lantro (x2)
      • Chuy's
      • Fogo de Chao
      • Fuddruckers
      • Hopdoddy
      • Hoodie's Subs
      • Jack Allen's Kitchen
      • Juarez Mexican Bakery
      • La Barbecue
      • New Fortune
      • PizzaRev
      • Popeye's
      • Shake Shack
      • Sushi Nini
      • Tarka
      • Texas Roadhouse
      • Thai Spoon
      • Torchy's (x2)
      • Wendy's
      • Whataburger