It’s a new year, so that means I’m supposed to come up with a bunch of resolutions to change my life for the better. I’m a contrarian though, I’ve always thought it made me look more intelligent to not buy into these kinds of rituals. Anyone can follow a crowd right? So naturally every year when the new year rolls around I start my usual rants about how “You shouldn’t strive to change yourself once a year, it should be an ongoing process, blah blah blah.” It totally makes me sound smart. Here is the thing, if I’m really as contrarian as I believe myself to be I should actually be joining the crowd at some point. Why follow all the other contrarians right? Why do the same thing every year, why talk the same talk over and over I can be the hipster of the overthinking world. So I’ve decided to do some fun new things this year as a way to invest in myself and possibly end 2017 better than I started. Here is the short list of things I’d like to do, or have already begun.
Writing – I used to write all the time. Blogs, reviews (that never went anywhere), short stories, etc. I have so much free time with my insane commute, I should be utilizing some of it to reconnect with something that, while I may not be all that adept at it, brings me joy and fulfillment. The great thing about all of the things I’m going to try to do with my year is that I should have plenty about which to write!
Boxing – I wrestled a lot in high school and beyond. I wasn’t half bad at it either. There was something about a competition that was not reliant on a team, where in I couldn’t hide my deficiencies behind someone else’s talent. I’ve always loved boxing for the same reason, and it’s a killer work out. I’ve already signed up for a membership at a local boxing gym. I’m going two nights a week on those rare weeks when I’m not traveling for one reason or another.
Fencing – Fencing has always been something I’ve wanted to try. I had friends back in high school who were on a fencing team, and they seemed to have such a blast with it. Getting to fight each other with swords for fun! Yeah, it’s not what you are going to see in Lord of the Rings, or a Samurai flick, but it’s still something I feel is worth learning. I’ve signed up for 6 initial lessons for the start of the year, and we will see if I enjoy it enough for it to stick!
Piano Lessons – I took lessons back in college, thought I never got all that good at it. I was never one to practice much, there was always something way more fun to do in the dorms, or out of the dorms for that matter. I received a new keyboard from my family for Christmas this year, and I’m looking forward to signing up for some lessons. Let’s hope I have learned the value of practicing at some point in the last 20 years.
Work Life Balance – I’ve never been good at this one, and living in the Bay Area doesn’t help. The culture here is often one of unlimited access by your employer and sacrificial weekends. I often work way more than I should, and this often leads to me being irritable, depressed, and just plain no fun. This year I am working on doing less work. I know that means I might not be as successful at what I do, since it means I’m not getting those extra 20 hours of work done every week. But my hope is that the quality of my work will improve as my enjoyment of life improves, and this will offset the lack of extra hours. I’m going to work hard to make sure my personal time stays personal, and my work time is used for work.
Videos – I’ve decided to create a couple video projects for 2017. I am always coming up with new concepts for something fun to create for Youtube, or where ever it would live. This year, since I’m going to being trying to not be working in my off hours, is the right year to attempt my first video project. I’m finally going to get that internet fame I’ve craved my entire life.
Personal Projects – The world is full of things I want to try, and now I’m going to. Starting with Home automation. I’m fascinated by the idea of technology integrating into the most personal space we humans inhabit, the home. Home integration of technology such as Amazon Echo, and Google Home, offer so many fun innovations, and bring us one step closer to living in the star ship Enterprise. We can enter our houses without a key, and issue voice commands to turn on lights, turn up the heat, and order a new 2-gallon jug of milk. But these awesome advances in technology and convenience come at a yet undisclosed price. No, I don’t mean the $150 price tag for the Google Home, or the crazy $65 you will pay for new wireless light switches, but the price that we pay in the way of what we will be giving up to the major corporations that we will be inviting to share our homes with us. We will be giving large companies a place so near us in our homes, that this level of personal life integration with something that could be used for evangelizing products and thought that has not been seen since the introduction of television into the masses. I decided to pick up both a Google Home, and Amazon Echo enabled device to weigh the value of integration vs the cost. It should be fun to write about for a while.
That about does it for my new year. If I can do a quarter of these things I’ll have plenty to write about this year, especially if I throw on a few PAX events, E3, Gencon, and other various work and gaming related topics. Let’s see if 2017 can be the year I return to blogging.
I’m back! Now imagine that I just wrote a whole paragraph about how awesome it is to be blogging again and how much I’ve missed it. Try to add to the imaginary scenario that it was a tour de force and that you were moved to some kind of emotion. You are either exuberant and over joyed that I am back, angry that I would abandon what is, obviously, my true calling, or mournful that so many years have gone by with little to no correspondence from me pertaining to the world at large. What matters is that you feel something.
Now that I’ve gotten that out of the way it’s time to talk, or write, or read, or whatever. We’ve got much to cover an only 30-40 years in which to cover it. Unless the upcoming election goes poorly, then we may have exponentially less time, but also less to cover as that time goes on. Look at me being topical and in the moment. I’ve missed this, but that was all covered in the previous paragraph. One that is sure to win me some sort of internet writing award, no doubt.
It's me, but now with more hair, in the face area.
As it stands I now have a 2 hour commute each day. I’ll be dedicating an hour of each day to getting a couple blog updates a week. I’m done trying to turn my blog into a business, so no off the wall reviews, unboxings or anything else like that unless it’s something I’m really excited about. I might throw up something about a game I’m playing, a cool new gadget I got, or whatever. For right now the experiment is for me to sit down and just put the digital pen to the electronic page and see what comes out in the wash of mixed metaphors.
Look at me writing a blog about me writing blogs, could I be any more cliché or meta? I doubt it, but then again, I’ve only just begun to start kicking this off. Stick with me for a bit and see where this goes why don’t you? Also watch Dare Devil on Nextflix, not because it has anything to do with my blog but because it’s so fucking kick ass.
Trying to figure out his closing line
I took this picture while I was on my way into a grocery store. I tweeted it and made some joke about how I was glad that they, the Zombie Response Team, are out there protecting us. It was funny at the time and it still is, but as I look at this picture it means a bit more to me. When I say, "I'm glad they are out there", what I really mean is "I'm glad the geeks and nerds of the world are out there." And not just out there at large, but out of the closet and out in the open doing the awesome things they do. It makes me so happy to see people who paint these things on their trucks, who dress up at conventions, who ride a unicycle while wearing a kilt and a Darth Vader costume while playing Star Wars music on a bagpipe.
Not to wax poetic about being openly geeky but I'm a bit of a late bloomer in the geek world. It wasn't until I was in my late twenties that I really began to embrace my nerdy side. It has always been present, playing RPGs on my Nintendo instead of sportsball games. Taking apart my mother's first computer and practically giving her a heart attack. The Star Wars addiction I had to work so hard to hide from my friends and coworkers. I have always been a geek, but I have tried to hide it for a long time. Now I am out and open about it, and I love running into others who are too!
To all the geeks and nerds out there who fly their flag high, and to the Zombie Outbreak Response Team, I say keep being awesome in public geek gals and guys! The world needs more awesome!