I’m actually not one for new year’s resolutions. Typically I set out some very manageable goals for me at my birthday, and work on those for the year. So what did I do this year? Set new year’s resolutions.
To be fair, last year I had a new year’s resolution to update my wardrobe and (to steal from
Thug Kitchen Bad Manners), dress like I give a fuck. It went well, and I’m generally really happy with what I did, so let’s apply that to this year!
Anyway, here’s what I’ve been working on:
Read more books
I read a lot, but feel like I’ve fell behind that a bit lately, so I set out to read at least seven books this year. Modest, I know, but with everything else going on, and an ever-growing pile on my nightstand, this seemed like a good place to start. Here’s what I finished:
- Secondhand Souls by Christopher Moore. The second book in the death series (after A Dirty Job), such a fantastic time!
- The Screwtape Letters by C. S. Lewis. I enjoyed this a lot, and the ebook that I borrowed from the library had a short afterword by the author, as well as the ‘Toast’ from Screwtape.
- Alice Isn’t Dead by Joseph Fink. This expanded on the podcast of the same name, both of which are highly recommended!
- Queer x Design by Andy Campbell. Amazing book about the history of queer design, highly recommended!
- The Adventure Zone: Murder on the Rockport Limited. Book two of the Balance Arc of the podcast, brought to life as graphic novels.
- hello mr., Volumes 7, 8, 9, 10. Literary journal about queer men, consistently some of the best writing in print, and a shame that it’s no longer in production.
- Naturally Tan by Tan France. A deep dive into Tan’s life and work, a fun read that showed me a different side of the Queer Eye star.
- Hamilton: The Revolution. Book about the creation of Hamilton, including a full script with notes from LMM.
- The Faceless Old Woman Who Secretly Lives In Your Home by Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Kramer. A book about the character from Welcome to Nightvale involving pirates, spies and revenge.
- The Power by Naomi Alderman. The story of the women who have the power to destroy the world.
- Hyperbole and a Half by Allie Brosh. A reread for me, but I had forgotten how poignant and good this book is!
- Solutions and Other Problems by Allie Brosh. Her next book, just as fun as the first.
- The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern. I reread this so I could discuss it with a friend, and I as reminded why it’s easily one of my favorite books of all time.
- Horrorstör by Grady Hendrix. Murder in a haunted Ohio IKEA competitor, just wonderful.
Other books and audio books
So, I’m not counting audio books for this challenge (hot take: it’s not actually reading. Not saying it’s not great, it’s just something else), or a couple other books that didn’t really require much reading:
- The Little Blue Kite by Mark Z. Danielewski. As recommended by the author, I read it through three times, each time following a different path (but it’s a really short book).
- Coincidences at Museums by Stefan Draschan. A wonderful little book of photography at my uncle and aunt’s house.
- The Infinite Noise by Lauren Shippen. Audio book based on the podcast, listened to during my long runs.
- Vodou by Manuela Dunn Mascetti. Short little book.
- Run Fast. Cook Fast. Eat Slow.: Quick-fix recipes for Hangry Athletes by Shalane Flanagan and Elyse Kopecky. Some great recipes, but like any cookbook, many I won’t make. But some great running and racing content in there as well!
- Meeting Jesus in the Gospel of John. A series of meditations on the writings of John.
- The Book of Blessings. Small book about Tibetan prayer flags.
- The Book of Urizen by William Blake. Small textbook that was mentioned in Origins so I decided to give it a quick reread.
- Firefly: The Sting by Deliah S. Dawson. Graphic novel about the women of Firefly/Serenity.
- Vox Machina Origins Volume II by Matthew Mercer. Graphic novel about the Twitch/Youtube show
In a general sense of decluttering and cleaning, I’d like to clean ororganize 12 small spaces, one a month. These are things like closets, bookshelves, dressers, etc. I have too much stuff, and it’s time to do some purging!
- Dressers in my guest room
- Filing cabinet in my office
- Nightstands in my bedroom
- Glove box
- Organized office bookshelves
- Cleaned office closet
- Cleaned and organized laundry room
- Organized hall closet
- Scrub kitchen counters (bigger deal than it seems, finally found the right combination of cleaners to get them really clean!)
- Cleaned cable totes (random computer/electronic cables)
- Garage shelves
- Camping/Burn/Relay race totes
Buy more music
So, I get in the habit of hearing new music that I like, identifying it, and then not actually buying it. So I’m making an effort this year to put together a playlist throughout the year:
- The Times They Are A-Changin’ by Fort Nowhere
- Julie-O by Kevin Olusola
- Arsonist’s Lullabye by Hozier
- Calvary by Mashrou’ Leila
- Dreamboy (album) by Dan Terry
- Hiroshima by Ben Folds
- Your Turn to Roll (Critical Roll theme song)
- Take Me Away by Barefoot McCoy
- Precious Love by James Morrison
- Dreamboy main theme by Dane Terry
- Hallelujah by Panic! At The Disco
- Be Me by VINCINT
- All Rode off Together by Meeting of Important People
- Caution by The Killers
- Reasons I Drink by Alanis Morissette
- Simply the Best (From Schitt’s Creek) by Noah Reid
This goal took a bit of a backseat after Google Play Music closed, and now I’m at a loss of where to buy music from if I don’t want to use iTunes (and not stream). Any ideas?
Diversify meals for game nights
My last goal for the year is to make something different each time I host a game day. I’ve fallen into a lot of the same things, and I’d like to expand a bit, so the goal is to not repeat over the course of the year:
- January: Broccoli and chickpea tacos (
Thug Kitchen Bad Manners)
- February: Curry Slurry (poorly named from The Lactose Free Cookbook)
- And then we didn’t have any more in person games due to the global pandemic. Will try this again when we can meet up again in person!
Well, I’d say I was successful! The trick for me is to set reasonable and attainable goals, then I gain momentum to do more! (Side note, just surviving this year is enough. Don’t let anyone tell you differently).
I have some ideas for what I’ll be working on in 2021, including a lot of cleaning those same spaces again! I also have some digital cleanup to do, and am hoping to knock out some TV and movies I want to catch up on, as well as restart an epic fantasy book series.
Here’s to a great year!