Tag: new year’s resolutions

New Year’s Resolutions

“I got no time in my life to get uptight, y’all”   – Adrock

I spent much of the last weekend of 2017 with a vicious head cold, which, considering how shitty 2017 was, seems rather fitting.  But I recovered in time to have a wonderful New Year’s Eve, and I’m going in 2018 with an attitude adjustment.  2017 was emotionally draining on just about every conceivable level, and while I don’t necessarily see 2018 getting any better on that front, I can at least prepare for it a little more.

I don’t know that what follows are “resolutions” as much as they are guidelines.  In any event, this year I’d like to do the following:

  • Get back down to a 32 waist.  Which means:  stop eating like an asshole, and exercise once in a while.  Maybe set up the exercise bike in the gaming room.
  • Get back into a creative mood.  Write more music.  Finish the album if I can; if not, just keep working.
  • Stop spending money like the world is about to end.
    • For example, stop spending money on power-ups in idle clickers, for fuck’s sake.
  • Be gentle and kind to myself, but go easy on taking mental health days.
  • Enjoy family time (more).  Create (more) family time.
  • Resist, resist, resist.  But also take a break from the internet if necessary.

So I’m an idiot, because I bought that fancy new TV and yet I’m not necessarily in the middle of a new game that really needs it; I finished AC:Origins and Wolfenstein 2 and all the other hot newness when my Xbox One X arrived.  So, instead, I’ve been revisiting older games in my Xbox catalog that have the “enhanced” tag.  I’m gonna be replaying all of The Witcher 3, as an example, because (a) I never finished all the DLC on the PS4, and (b) those sweet, sweet ‘cheevos are calling my name.  But Witcher 3 is a long time investment, and sometimes I just need some quick escapist fun.  So last night I spent some time with Rise of the Tomb Raider, a game that I’ve already beaten thoroughly on 2 different consoles.  But playing with the “enhanced” visuals on my new TV?  Holy shit, it’s astounding.  It already looked very good on the vanilla Xbox One, and then it looked quite spectacular on the vanilla PS4… but on the Xbox One X, in 4K and HDR?  My goodness, it’s something else entirely.

Another reason why I’m an idiot – I may have mentioned last week that with this new TV came a few headaches, in that my consoles weren’t recognizing my TV as HDR-compliant.  Well, in the case of the Xbox, I just needed to change the input setting – this wasn’t intuitive, but at least it was in the instruction manual.  In the case of the PS4, it took at least 30 minutes of frantic Googling to realize that the reason my PS4 wasn’t doing HDR was because it was still connected to the TV via the PSVR unit, which is not HDR-compliant.  I swapped that out and now Horizon Zero Dawn looks quite magical.  Now, I don’t know if I need the PS4 Pro – the regular PS4 already looks really good, whereas the Xbox One X feels necessary because the vanilla One is so underpowered.  (Plus I don’t know if I can go through the stress of swapping out the Pro’s hard drive with my super-big PS4 hard drive.  I mean, I did it once, so theoretically I should be able to do it again, but UGH.)


I have not yet started the new season of Black Mirror, and that’s really just because it’s difficult to get excited about watching near-future dystopian nightmares when we’re already sort of living in one.  I will get to it eventually.  In the meantime, Dunkirk and Blade Runner 2049 are available for home viewing, and so I might give those guys a swing this week; I missed them both in the theater.


I don’t know if I’m 100% satisfied with this new blog theme; I may keep tinkering with it.  In the meantime, I’m about to get busy with work, so I’m gonna sign off.  Happy New Year, everybody; let’s do what we can to make sure that this one is everything that 2017 wasn’t.

the other side

Let’s see how I did with my 2016 Resolutions and Reminders:

1. Do not pre-order.  I did pretty good at this, actually.

2. Don’t buy everything.  Remember that you have an active Gamefly account.  I started out doing really well at this.  But I also kinda went a little bananas during the Xbox holiday sale, which I’ll get to in a little bit.

3.  It’s OK to not finish stuff.  It’s OK to not start stuff.  It’s OK to not want to feel like you’re wasting your time.  Recall #1 and #2 above.  I finished most of what I started last year, and while I’m in a bit of a backlog logjam at the moment, I did relatively OK at this.

4.  Don’t worry about “missing out on the conversation.”  […]   This will always be an issue for me.  But I’m also becoming a bit more comfortable with the realization that nobody really cares.

5. Write when you can write;  read when you can read; listen when you can listen.  Enjoy what you can, and don’t fret about what you can’t.  Try not to be idle, unless you’re looking to achieve stillness, which is another matter entirely.  I think I did OK at this, all things considered.  I would’ve liked to have written more – and we’ll get to #7 shortly – but I enjoyed most of the media I consumed last year because I allowed myself the time to properly experience it.

6.  Set reasonable goals.  You wanted to read 30 books in 2015, you ended up with 41.  Don’t challenge yourself to read 45 books in 2016 when you already know that’s impossible.  This apparently applied specifically to my book-reading habits; as it happens, I ended up reading 51 books last year, so, go me.  But the pressure to hit my Goodreads number drove me insane.  I purposefully set a lower number this year (30) only because I like how Goodreads lays all this stuff out.  I plan on blowing past it.  There’s also a ton of exciting books coming down the road pretty soon, and I already splurged on a bunch of wish-listed items at year’s end, so I’ve got plenty to read in the meantime.

7.  GET BACK TO MAKING MUSIC AGAIN.  Don’t procrastinate by playing games you’re not even enjoying.  You like making music; you always have; if you need to fancy up the studio area, do it, but the work is the work is the work, and if you’re not working, there is no work.  I failed at this, big time, and it’s my primary regret of 2016.  I aim to turn this around.

8.  Make regular doctor appointments.  On it.

9.  Hug and kiss your family every day.  Don’t go to bed angry.  Communicate always.  On it.  This one’s easy.

10.  Be good to yourself.  On it.


I spoke with my therapist this past weekend; he asked me if I’m a New Year’s resolution kind of guy.  I’m not, generally speaking.  I know I need to lose weight, I know I need to eat better, I know I need to get to work on my credit card debt again, I know I need to get back into a creative routine and finish that album.  But let’s be honest here:  Donald Trump is going to be President of the United States in less than a month and I’m starting to have recurring nightmares about nuclear war again, which is a thing that I only finally stopped having when I was 9 or so.  Life in this country is about to become so thoroughly surreal that I don’t even know how to properly process it.  I suppose I should be grateful for being properly medicated, because at least I can still leave the house.

To that end, I’m not going to make any resolutions this year, beyond (a) taking proper care of myself, both physically and mentally; (b) spending quality time with my family, who I love more than anything; and (c) getting back into a creative routine, because I miss it and I need it.  That’s all I have control over, at any rate.

Mounting a proper resistance to Trump is another matter entirely, and that will take shape in due course.


As noted in #2 above, I did go bananas during the Xbox holiday sale.  Truth be told, now that I’ve spent a bunch of time with it in my mad quest for Achievements, I’ve started to realize that I like the Xbox One a bit more than the PS4, even if the PS4 is a more powerful machine.  And so part of the aforementioned banana-going was to buy a whole bunch of heavily discounted games that I’ve already bought and beaten on PS4.  And you know what?  That’s fine.  I was sorta enjoying Dishonored 2 and Watch Dogs 2 and I needed to get back into Final Fantasy XV, but the thing I’ve been playing the most over the last week has actually been Diablo 3, of all things.  I’m playing a female Monk, from scratch, yet again, and I’m still having as much fun as I ever did.

I, uh, also managed to score a PSVR unit, which arrived yesterday.  And, um, it’s amazing?  Sure, the graphics are a little lo-res compared to what one wants, but the experience is nothing short of astounding.  I gave my wife the shark-tank tour last night, and she was amazed – I even gave my 3-year-old a few minutes with it, and he lost his mind.

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I spent the bulk of my time messing with Thumper and Rez Infinite, both of which are simply astonishing in VR.  I also gave Batman VR a quick spin – just enough to say, yeah, I should probably carve out a few hours with it and use the Move controllers instead of the Dualshock 4.  But even the tech demos in the VR Worlds collection are impressive; for people who come over and have never used VR before, it’s a perfect introduction.  I’m still in the baby stages, of course, and so I don’t necessarily need a full-fledged game just yet, but I’m already looking forward to seeing what fun stuff will emerge from the indie space.

Resolutions and Reminders for 2016

1. Do not pre-order.

2. Don’t buy everything.  Remember that you have an active Gamefly account.

3.  It’s OK to not finish stuff.  It’s OK to not start stuff.  It’s OK to not want to feel like you’re wasting your time.  Recall #1 and #2 above.

4.  Don’t worry about “missing out on the conversation.”  For starters, the conversation will be happening with or without you.  Recall that at this very moment, the entire world has already seen Star Wars twice by this point, even if you’ve yet to see it once; there’s nothing to be done about it.  For another thing, remember that you kinda hate Twitter.  Take the necessary time to form your own thoughts and then put them into words and then leave it alone.

5. Write when you can write;  read when you can read; listen when you can listen.  Enjoy what you can, and don’t fret about what you can’t.  Try not to be idle, unless you’re looking to achieve stillness, which is another matter entirely.

6.  Set reasonable goals.  You wanted to read 30 books in 2015, you ended up with 41.  Don’t challenge yourself to read 45 books in 2016 when you already know that’s impossible.

7.  GET BACK TO MAKING MUSIC AGAIN.  Don’t procrastinate by playing games you’re not even enjoying.  You like making music; you always have; if you need to fancy up the studio area, do it, but the work is the work is the work, and if you’re not working, there is no work.

8.  Make regular doctor appointments.

9.  Hug and kiss your family every day.  Don’t go to bed angry.  Communicate always.

10.  Be good to yourself.