Today's Mighty Oak


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.
  • Horrorst√∂r 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

Clean spaces

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
  • Desk
  • 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!



Quick update for everyone, let’s see what I have for you today.

First up, the Harry Potter books are now available in eBook format.  The cool thing, is that for the first time, the eBooks are being sold directly from the author with the ability to push them onto Kindles and Nooks, no DRM From Amazon or Barnes and Noble.  Amazing!

Things are getting crazy with the Martin case. ¬†Think Progress is debunking some of the myths out there, go check it out. ¬†And while we’re on the subject (since I’m a pacifist and all), here’s an interesting bit of psychology from the Journal of experimental Psychology.

Infographics go 3D…in Grand Central. ¬†Pretty awesome!

And lastly, I’m not sure if the video will embed below, I can’t even find the embed code, so here’s the link. ¬†Take a minute and just enjoy the drawing

 



Whole bunch of stuff to add in today, still not quite caught up, but it’s a big dent, I hope you enjoy:

It’s no longer illegal to jailbrake your phone!¬† I could have put this under the Great and Secret Show, but I have some other ideas for that, so I figured I would just link this here.¬† Hooray!

I have no idea where I found this, but it involves The Muppets and Kick-Ass:

Jane Lynch is going to be hosting SNL!  Be sure to tune in on October 9!

Over the summer we searched for fake merit badges and found this page.¬† I really like the “Easy Button” on!

How about a lot of Iron Chef America secret ingredients?  Ok:

Amazon is now selling more eBooks than physical books.¬† Kind of scary, but interesting.¬† Slate takes a look at it, I can’t remember if it is that article, or another that makes mention of the idea of dynamic eBook covers, which I think is an awesome idea.

Good.  Freaking.  Gravy.  This is why I get fed up with people.

I’ve been reading PostSecret for a while.¬† Frank’s mail carrier retired, but she put some thoughts up on her own blog.¬† Check them out here.

And here’s another fun video for you:

And here’s an awesome news story coming from I’m not even sure where.¬† But I have to say, The strippers sound more level-headed than the pastor:

And I was up at camp when it all went down (and continues to go through the legal system), but here’s some updates on Prop 8 being struck unconstitutional:

Andrew Sullivan pulls out the facts from the Judge’s ruling.¬† He also links to some other excellent writing.

The lawyers go on both Fox News and CBS, and absolutely destroy their opponents (not legal opponents, in these clips, the talking heads).  Both are amazing to watch.

And strangely enough, Fox News seems to be flipping.¬† One anchor supports Marriage Equality and Bill O’Reilly tries to make Obama stop enforcing Don’t Ask Don’t Tell.

And on a related note, a candidate for Governor of Florida (and their current Attorney General) wants to ban same-sex couples from adopting, based on his personal religious views.  Dan Savage takes him down a few pegs:

We’re not allowed to slam McCollom for this because, you know, he’s talking about his personal, religious faith here… a personal, religious faith that McColloum would like to impose on everyone in Florida by force of law. And I think we can all agree that every child deserves a mother and a father‚ÄĒparticularly the 20,000 kids that are in foster care in Florida right now because they were failed, neglected, abused, or abandoned by their mothers and fathers.

And finally, AFER (American Foundation for Equal Rights), the lawyers for the plaintiffs in the trial, put together this video about one of the couples they represent (points for including Wii Tennis!):

Paul and Jeff from American Foundation for Equal Ri on Vimeo.

 

That’s it for now, catch everyone later!

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