Posts Tagged Blog2010

2011, Here We Come

Now that I have made the last decision I needed to make for 2010 (which New Year’s Eve party I would be attending) I now face my first 2011 decision: what resolutions should I take with me into the new year as noble goals toward self-improvement?  I’ve been reviewing my choices (from among the 23 or so I put down in the blog over the first part of December) and here’s what I’ve come to:

  • Designate a week where I will reply in the affirmative to every (reasonable) request to go out, hang out and otherwise get out (of my comfort zone).
  • Take Max on a camping trip at least twice, for a period of two or more days each, possibly with other friends involved on the trip too.
  • Track my spending for at least month to create a simple budget.
  • Plan no more than six meals “out” each week for a month, with a “these meals planned” calendar on my fridge at home.

There are a few others that are right over my horizon if I complete these satisfactorily.  Four goals that are relatively timebound should be a good start – we’ll see how it goes!

Finally, thank you, dear reader, for sticking with me during this very interesting and enjoyable year-of-blogs!  I’ll be back in the New Year with some different types of content and I’m sure a few regular-style blogs too.

Happy New Year, everyone! :)

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Year in Review: Summary

I went in to give blood today, and as part of the routine questionnaire they always give, the guy asked me where I had traveled in the last 12 months.  It was an unexpected reminder of how awesome this year has been, as I thought back to the Magic Cruise, my trips to Pro Tours San Juan and Amsterdam, and all of the amazing friends I’ve met and grown closer to over the last twelve months.

One of the themes of this year’s blog, if you read between the lines, is that I am very very hard on myself.  I am constantly upset at how poorly I’m doing compared to the Ideal Dave I have shadowing me in my mind.  I am thinking again and again of all these wonderful projects I could do only to fail to find time or energy to do them.  I fail to attend some social gathering and beat myself up over it.  The list goes on.  But now, taking a step back, I can see that if I look at Real Dave, not some imaginary ideal I have constructed for myself – well, he did a pretty great job with this year, and this year with him.

The highlights of this year were:

  • the Magic Cruise, reconnecting with the folk who attended the first one and meeting some wonderful new people (can’t wait for this year’s!)
  • my 30th birthday in San Juan
  • Karaoke Mondays, especially the, uh, Thursday with the Community Cup folks and later special guest stars Tom, Aaron and PV
  • my career shift into game design working with an excellent set of people
  • the focus this blog has given me in understanding how my brain works and what matters to me
  • the multiple marriages and engagements of my friends (they keep coming, and they are all great!)

Every trip I took for work or related to work brought with it a few days of the same awesome times with those awesome people.  Every night out with friends gave me a chance to cut loose, something I definitely don’t do often enough.  And now every day I spend at work I have a lot of fun and a lot of challenges that are rewarding to tackle.

Sure, some things could be better – they always could – but lots of things are way better than I have any right to expect! :)

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Interlude: Blog… to the Future!

I’ve mused a little bit on how I might continue my blog into 2011.  I may have intended this blog-a-day thing to persist for longer than a year when I started it up, but I think I’ll be a little happier if I don’t force myself to keep updating at that rate.  I do still expect to have things to talk about, but it’ll probably end up being a few times a week as opposed to once a day.  As I was pondering how to get myself on a reasonable blogging plan today, I realized that I might be able to leverage themes into the solution I need – “sub-blogs” for each theme, or sublogs for short.  (That makes them subordinate world wide web logs, I guess?  A lot of definition packed into a few letters!)

There are three separate themes I thought about today, each of which could become a reasonable, regular part of a total blogging effort.  The first was a project diary, kind of like what Alexis has done with her blog recently, to keep track of my thoughts, feelings and plans on a particular project, like a new website or a game.  The second was a memorable quotes/lyrics repository, in the manner of Rachel’s wonderful blog – you may have noticed I have a random lyric I enjoy near the bottom-side of this page, and I could use the blog space to talk a little bit about the source, the quote, or why I like it.  The third was newly created alcohol beverages – I happened to make myself a Black Sand Sunrise this evening, for example – that I could list the instructions for and then do a little review.  Such a sublog could also do new recipes for food dishes.  And these are just three possibilities!

Clearly, there’s a lot I still want to talk about as we roll into 2011.  I just need to make sure I put myself into the right mindset and make it easy to do it the way I want.

Oh, and btw, Merry Christmas!

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#13: Dear Diary

I don’t really keep a personal journal, which is immediately identifiable as a false statement, since you are reading my blog right now.  But my blog is, in many ways, a product for public consumption, and it is as much about my thoughts and plans as it is about the immediate experience I am having (that day, week, etc.).  In the past, I’ve considered trying to start and keep a reasonable daily journal, one that might let me have a record of my emotional and experiential state each day.  I even tried to make it a month-theme on this blog (June) but couldn’t because it’s really hard for me to “find” an emotion to post about if I don’t have one in my head at the moment I want to write a post and/or I have a hard time translating what I feel into words on the page.

I heard or read a pretty simple and reasonable strategy for raw emotional state collection – take a book of blank pages, and each day mark on the left side of the page my emotional state in the morning (good at the top, bad at the bottom) and on the right side my emotional state in the evening.  I think if I did this consistently, I’d also be motivated to write a few words (maybe not in narrative form, but some words nonetheless) about why there was a difference from morning to evening.

13. I resolve to keep a simple emotional diary for a period of a month, to review and think about afterward.

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Famous Mentors

Monday, November 29, 2010
If you could have worked for anyone in history, in your field, who would you choose and why?

I guess my current chosen field is game design and I’m not sure exactly who I would want to work for in that respect. I would probably go with Jese Schell because his book on Art of Game Design is one of the best educational texts I have ever read, and his view on games as a medium for experience design is exactly in line with how I view the role of game designers with respect to the audience. He also has a literal ton of experience in the industry and I think I’d be able to learn a lot from him in a variety of areas.

In my previous “career” of Physics, I would definitely chose Richard Feynman. He ranks high on lists of geniuses, had an excellent method of teaching and teaching others how to learn. Not only that, but Feynman was such a wonderful lateral thinker – I strive to see the world the way he was able to, or at least in an approximation to his depth of understanding.

Also, thanks Iris for reminding me I needed to post, which I am doing next to you (while listening to Lee belt some Mraz) at karaoke!

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Long December (Ahead)

I’ve been pondering a little bit what to do with my blog, and also how to finish off the year.  I have decided the following, including next month’s theme!

  • December will be a Month of Resolutions.  Now, as Mike rightly pointed out earlier this year, I have been pretty bad at sticking to the other 9 non-blog resolutions for the year.  So I don’t intend to make 31 new resolutions… instead, I plan to use the space to think about how I might effect change in my life, and then at the end of the month, I’ll pick a few (3-5) and make those my resolutions for 2011.
  • I’m going to make an effort to post next year whenever I feel I have something relevant to say.  That might end up being more than once a day on occasion, but likely it will end up being a few times a week.  If I end up not having much to say about what’s going on in my head, my goal is to post twice a week anyway (once on Sunday [wrapping up the weekend] and once on Friday [wrapping up the week]).
  • I think I want to make the blog more of a conversation between me and anyone who wants to contribute.  To that end, I want to figure out (over the break) how to simul-post comments between FB and my WP blog comments.  Splitting the conversation means it’s (1) impossible to follow unless you are a friend of mine and (2) very difficult to follow even if you are!

One of my major goals for December is to have a year-plan by the end of it, so that I attack 2011 a bit more organized.

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Jokes and Memory

Friday, November 26, 2010
What’s the worst joke you ever heard?

This is an odd prompt – why would I remember a bad joke?  But then I realized that you could take “worst” in a number of ways, “most bad quality” being only one of them, and maybe this meant “most offensive/terrible.”  Of course, about the same time I started thinking about memory and its implications, so this blog post will cover both!

I spent a long while one day in college reviewing bash.org, which I sometimes call “Texts from Last Night before Texting.”  Bash was a repository for hilarious things said on IRC (in public chat online).  My favorite was the following, which could definitely be considered “most offensive/terrible”:

Joker: You know Hitler killed six million Jews and one clown.
Fish: Why the clown?
Joker: See, nobody cares about the Jews!

I apologize to everyone I have now offended with this hilariously offensive bit of humor from bash.org.

Memory is odd – I am kind of terrified of ever losing pieces of my memory, because I consider Myself to be somewhat firmly attached to the sum of my experiences.  The awful thing, of course, is if you start forgetting things, how would you know?  There’s the possibility you would know something is missing, either through some internal sense or by comparison with the world around you, but it’s still frightening.  I spoke almost a year ago on Identity and how I feel memory is tied up with it, and perhaps the trick is to fully accept that every moment the “I” is being reinvented in small irreversible ways, and it is this set of Daves that forms my identity.  It’s just so weird to think about sometimes!

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Friends & Family

Thursday, November 25, 2010
Who are you closer to, friends or family?

As evidenced by September’s entire month of posts about friends, and no such month about family, I think it’s pretty obvious I am closer to friends.  I travel the most to visit friends, not family; when I visit a place, I think first of seeing friends, not family; most of all, I keep in best touch with friends, not family.

There are a few reasons for this in my life, and one of the biggest is I didn’t grow up very close to my extended family.  I know a lot of folk whose family is concentrated in one locale, or who have big family events, but we had neither as I was growing up.  My mom and dad are both not super close to their immediate family, and although that’s changed in more recent years (both have become closer to their brothers, and also to their nieces/nephews-in-law), my worldview has been pretty fixed on the point of family since I was younger.  I do enjoy hanging out with family, but I mentally equate them to “friends I am not super close with,” since I have no special “family” category in my brain for closeness (with the slight exception of “mom,” “dad,” and “sister”).

Another big big reason for this is that I chose my friends, and they chose me.  I appreciate the foundation my family gave me for my life, but over time I have realized things about myself I don’t particularly like or that I really want to change.  Those realizations are almost always in part because of interaction with my friends.  Most of my friends are understanding and communicative enough that we get along very well, and yet they see things differently enough from me that I get a lot of insight into the world and myself through them.  With family, I often feel like we think mostly alike, and where others might get comfort from that, I can sometimes find it frustrating.

All that said, I am off to visit with family (Aunt and Uncle) today for Thanksgiving, so closeness might be relative. :)

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Small Purpose

Wednesday, November 24, 2010
What turns you on, excites you, makes life worth living?

Here’s a short list of what I find exciting and worthy of doing:

  • Teach something relevant to a friend, specifically (1) a game that makes them happy or (2) a skill that they find useful
  • Skydiving; also, driving well with a car full of people
  • Travel to new places and discovering things about that place – patterns, people and their idiosyncrasies, unique customs and/or items/locales of note
  • Choosing to embark on a project and completing it, usually creating something in the process (but not always!)
  • Learning something about myself, especially when it’s something I didn’t believe about myself but evidence proves otherwise, and I come to terms with that

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Wallflowers

Tuesday, November 23, 2010
What’s on your wall: prints, posters, photos, paintings? What makes you want to hang something up?

Right now, my walls at home are pretty barren.  In my room, I have only “Master Bedroom,” the first print I framed for myself when I worked at Prints Plus in Cambridge, MA, which is essentially a picture of a bedroom, bed and golden retriever sleeping.  Also, above my desk I have an At-A-Glance 120 day planner calendar, but it’s still showing June-July-August-September. 😛  Should probably update that.  I have a few other framed prints that I will put up once my furnishing mission for the remainder of the year is complete.

At work, I have a few funny printouts from the Internet up – social networking websites as vices, and “hug failed” from some stick figure comic I can’t remember right now.  I also have up a vintage print of WWII era “Loose Lips” guy drowning, pointing his finger and saying “Somebody Talked!”  That one is a subtle dig at co-workers talking too loudly around me, which makes me chuckle.

In general, I post things I would want to look at and/or that represent things I like or that I want to introduce other people to.  I have an Inception movie poster that I need to find a place for, for example, because I really really enjoyed that movie.  I almost never put up photographs because I don’t take them that often, and I don’t really put a huge amount of nostalgia in captured visual memories because my own visual memory is very good.  Probably I will regret that as I age and I start to forget what things looked like!

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