Sunday, January 01, 2017

Best of 2016 - Boardgames

I played 85 games in 2016, the most I've ever played. 40 of those games were new to me.

New Games:

  1. Awesome Kingdom
  2. Birds of a Feather
  3. Bullfrogs
  4. CV
  5. Cthulhu Realms
  6. Dastardly Dirigibles
  7. Dead of Winter The Long Night
  8. Die in Space!
  9. Dr. Eureka
  10. Dresden Files Co-Op Card Game
  11. Elysium
  12. Ghostbusters
  13. Here Kitty Kitty
  14. Heroes Wanted
  15. Instanbul
  16. Joking Hazard
  17. Letters From Whitechapel
  18. Love Letter Adventure Time
  19. Mysterium
  20. Pandemic Iberia
  21. Pandemic Reign of Cthulhu
  22. Pandemic The Cure
  23. Rent-A-Hero
  24. Spartacus A Game of Blood & Treachery
  25. Splendor
  26. Sushi Go Party!
  27. Sushi Go!
  28. T.I.M.E. Stories Prophecy of Dragons
  29. T.I.M.E. Stories Under the Mask
  30. The Networks

Favorite Games:

  1. Pandemic Legacy
  2. Machi Koro
  3. DC Deck-Building
  4. Splendor
  5. King of New York
  6. Sushi Go Party
  7. Dead of Winter
  8. Just Desserts
  9. 7 Wonders
  10. Superfight

New Year's Resolutions - 2017 Edition

So... 2016 sucked. On a macro level, at least. We lost Prince, Bowie, George Michael, Darwyn Cooke, Steve Dillon, Alan Rickman, Carrie Fisher (and her mom, within a day of one another), The Tall Man, Harper Lee, Garry Shandling, Merle Haggard, Doris Roberts, Michelle MacNamara, Muhammad Ali, Anton Yelchin, Garry Marshall, Kevin Meaney, and Gene Wilder, to name a few, not to mention my good friend Maida Carpio. We should have known when Abe Vigoda died in January that the grim reaper was not fucking around this year. Trump did a good job riling up the crazies and then FUCKING WON THE ELECTION, which none of us (including Trump and most of his supporters) saw coming. 2017 and beyond are going to be a rough slog of fighting fights that should have been over by now, watching progress we've made get steamrollered... and that's the BEST CASE scenario.

And yet... one of my best friends and his wife bought a new house. Another of my friends got married. My kids and my wife are healthy. The store is doing well. Successfully launched my Beach Cop Detectives podcast to pretty solid acclaim, which included getting to interview a whole ton of people, including Donal Logue, Michael Raymond James, Tim Minear, Kimberly Quinn, Shawn Ryan and Ted Griffin. Still love the Mustang. And oh yeah, my oncologist said I "might be cured," three words I never expected to hear. So there are silver linings, at least.

Time for 2017 resolutions, and time to check in on last year.

Last year's resolutions:

1. Reasonable Bedtime. The plan was, in bed by 12:30, asleep by 1:30, up by 11:00 at the latest. Instead, it was mostly in bed by 2:00, asleep by 3:30, awake by 11:30 and reading Facebook on the iPad for a half hour to shake off the groggy most days. FAIL.

2. Cook More - As predicted, I knocked out most of my new recipes early on and then fell into bad habits, but... I did cook more, even if it was a lot of the same recipes, and I added a few late in the year thanks to Suzanne's Instant Pot. So improvement on this one in 2016. PASS.

3. Exercise - Yeah, no. Whoops. FAIL.

4. No Cancer - On the other hand, I did manage this one. PASS.

5. Halloween Costume - I came up with some options, then discarded all of them in September and decided to go with an Overwatch costume instead. Which I ultimately decided not to get. FAIL.

6. Spend More Time With My Kids - I did pretty good here, as Katy and I watched a bunch of TV and movies (including Inception, The Matrix, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World and Midnight Run) and Aaron and I played a bunch of videogames and went on Pokewalks. PASS.

7. Stay on budget. I allocated myself 6 videogames in a year, 12 TV seasons in a year and 104 dinners in a year. I bought one videogame, 10 seasons and... a lot more dinners. Qualified PASS.

8. Try New Things. This one went out the window pretty quick. FAIL.

9. Less Negative - Nope. In an election year when Donald Trump was running... what was I thinking? I also did not succeed in not posting about Superman v Batman, which I still haven't seen (and don't plan to). But I wound up kind of liking Deadpool. FAIL.

So that's four PASS / six FAIL. Whoops.

By The Numbers:

1. I read almost 700 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 88 different restaurants this year. On average, I ate out about 25 times a month, which is... a lot.

My favorites, or at least the ones I went to at least a half-dozen times, were Brooklyn Pie Company, Chi'Lantro, Chuy's, Culver's, Deckhand Oyster Bar, Firehouse Subs, Fuddrucker's, Hoody's Subs, Hopdoddy's, Jack Allen's Kitchen, Juarez Mexican Bakery, Michi Ramen, Mod Pizza, New Fortune Chinese, Outback Steakhouse, Popeye's (somewhere I go once a month), Shake Shack, Smokey Mo's, Torchy's Tacos (almost every month), Vera Cruz All Natural Tacos, and Wendy's.

This was the third year for Chuy's, Torchy's Tacos, and Michi Ramen. The second year for Chi'Lantro, Hoody's Subs, and Popeye's. While I went to Mambo House, Peached Tortilla, Smashburger, Sushi Nini, Kerbey Lane, and Noble Sandwich this year, they fell off the regular visit list.

This Year's Food Plans:

Opening in January:
Flyrite Chicken Sandwich on Burnet

Opening in February:
JT Youngbloods in Mueller
Batch Craft Beer & Kolaches on Manor
Kula Revolving Sushi Bar on Airport

Opening in 2017 sometime:
PS 35 (New York style pizza, Round Rock)
Velvet Taco (Rock Rose - March)
Sprinkles 24/7 Cupcake Vending Machine (Domain)
Noble Sandwich (Georgetown - Spring 2017)
Easy Tiger (The Linc - 2017)
24 Diner (Rock Rose - 2017)
Home Slice (North Loop - 2007)

This Year's Resolutions:

I had a whole list. Now it can basically be summed up with, "No. YOU move." But... a few ideas.

1. Cook More - I'll try and add another dozen recipes to the repertoire this year. I got a gift card to Blue Apron for Christmas, so I'm trying that. I think I'll also try to figure out some of my favorite food that I eat out and see if I can make it cheaper at home, cut back on going out quite so much.

2. Exercise - Sure, why not, more likely not to make it again, but keep aiming. Thinking about trying out the boxing gym by work.

3. No Cancer - Let's keep this train rolling.

Last 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. I read five. Two of which I bought new this year. Whoops.

2. Read 100 new graphic novels. I'm a little surprised to fall short on this one, but my reading time got eaten by Overwatch more often than not. I fell short at 69 graphic novels.

3. Catch up on my TV and movie Blu-Rays and DVDs.

4. Play 15 new boardgames. From this year's list, I played TIME Stories, The Networks and Posthuman. In total, I played 34 new boardgames.

5. Go to 5 Comic Book Conventions. Wound up only going to 4, but at that point I was more or less done.

This Year's Pop Culture Goals:

1. Read 6 new books. Since I failed last year's goal, this year I'm scaling back to one book per two months, at least.

2. Read 60 new graphic novels. That's five a month, which was about my speed last year. Ideally, a decent chunk of them will be the ones currently sitting on my overstuffed "to read" list, a lot of which are giant omnibuses I bought in the last couple years: Mind Mgmt Vol 5-6, Uncanny X-Men Omnibus Vol 2-3 HC, Delilah Dirk & King's Shilling. Absolute Transmet Vol 2 HC, Master of Kung Fu Omnibus Vols 1-2 HC, Avengers West Coast Vols 3-5 HC, Secret Avengers Vols 1-3 HC, Mike Mignola's Screw-On Head Artist's Edition , New Mutants Sienkiewicz HC, and Moebius Library World of Edena HC to name just the ones I bought in 2016.

3. Catch up is clearly too broad, so I'm going with specifics. So I'm going with one each quarter: Rewatch all of Justified, all of Hannibal, seasons five and up of Clone Wars (and possibly rewatch Rebels Season 2) and either True Detective or Orphan Black Season One.

5. GenCon. I'd like to make this the first year I go to GenCon. My original plan was to try for Heroes Con again, and Emerald City Con, and maybe New Orleans, but our new administration has me nervous about spending too much money or time away.

6. RPGs - In addition to my semi-regular D&D 5E game, I'm hoping to run Phoenix Dawn Command, an Overwatch FLEX Game, Apocalypse World 2E, Fiasco and Dread.

7. Boardgames. I've been doing good, my goal was 15 and I almost doubled it... but I'm not sure how many new games I'll run into with that many games under my belt, so I'm setting a goal of 12 (1/month) and figuring I'll exceed it. On the list to try: 7 Wonders Duel, Dream Home, Seafall.