Posts Tagged resolutions

Live from Carnival Glory

As you are probably aware, I do my fair share of karaoke. Ok, maybe even more than my fair share! So when I heard there was live band karaoke on our boat during the Magic Cruise, I was all for it. The first night it happened, I was tied up with configuring Faceboat, but I resolved to join the others for singing times later in the week.

On Thursday, we went over and grabbed two large booths. A bunch of us signed up, including the Seattle karaoke regulars. Live band karaoke has a somewhat shorter song list than regular karaoke, obv, because it’s songs the band has the sheet music for. (Also potentially the license, not sure.) Luckily, they had a song listed I was happy to do!

Ke$ha – Tik Tok
I love this song because it was basically our dance anthem on Magic Cruise 2, and I love this one the most of all of Kesha’s insane sing-a-long pop songs (see also: Die Young, Your Love Is My Drug, Blow, etc.) As I do when I’m about to sing a song *I* can’t help but sing along to, I stated “This one is kind of a singalong” at the start of my live karaoke act. Afterward, the MC/band singer remarked on how she thought I meant some classic rock or something.

“That must be how you guys do it in Seattle, huh?”

YUP

…more on this lovely singer later!

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Songs of a Color

Last night at karaoke, I decided I wanted to sing a song I missed out on from last week (early night), and that led me to brainstorm other songs with similar titles. That led me to the theme: black!

Rolling Stones – Paint It Black

I’ve always had a soft spot for the Rolling Stones, although most of their songs I can’t sing very well. This song has come on the radio often enough in the past decade that I learned it well, and I do appreciate the lyrical twang on my emotions. Plus, I designed an entire puzzle around it for Ditch Day when I was a senior, based on the fact that we had a Red Door Cafe. Story for another time!

Goo Goo Dolls – Black Balloon

The Goo Goo Dolls are my #2 favorite band, and were at the first concert I attended as an adult. On my own even, on Long Island! (My friend Nadia almost made it up from D.C. to go with me, but it didn’t quite work it.) I love the style of the Goos, and I sing them well. This particular song has always made me smile – it doesn’t really make a whole lot of sense when I try to understand what he’s trying to say, and for some reason, that’s hilarious.

On a future night, I will deploy the third black song I would have sung, if I had stayed that late: Soundgarden – Black Hole Sun!

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Singin’ the Songs

Since one of my resolutions is to sing karaoke and never repeat a song (thanks again for the inspiration, Amanda!), I figured a good way to keep myself honest and get some blog posts done would be to talk about the songs after I sing them! So each Friday I’ll talk about the songs I sang the previous night (Thursday being the now-normal karaoke night for our crew):

Fuel – Shimmer

I discovered this song via Pandora, which is actually where I found a huge portion of the songs I know today. (Thanks Pandora!) I think the first time I heard it was a cover, then the real one came up on the same station. I enjoy using this song as a starter for an evening, because it’s straightforward, fast, energetic and (I feel) I do it well. It’s also kind of an emo song with an upbeat ending, which I like. Seemed like a good start to a year-long karaoke experiment!

Smashing Pumpkins – Today

I enjoy singing the Smashing Pumpkins, having been introduced to them properly by my friend Todd, who loves them. Today isn’t my favorite song of theirs (that honor goes to Bullet with Butterfly Wings), but I do love it! It’s got a good mix of highs and lows, along with some cool vocal acrobatics (as most Pumpkin songs do). I originally thought this song was a cover of somebody else’s Today, but I see now in doing some research that it is originally a Pumpkins song – nice!

…it was a short night, since I needed to head home early, but expect more like 3/night in the future!

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Resolved for 2013

I am starting up my blog again! I really enjoyed doing them for a year, so here we go again. Starting with my yearly resolutions!

I posted on Facebook that I am going to do a person-to-person resolution for each of my friends who ask for it. 40 so far and counting! I figure it’s a good way to get myself doing great things with my great friends. :) Sign up if you haven’t already!

Here is my full list of 2013 resolutions:

  • This is the year of confidence. I intend to let that be my guiding principle in my actions this year!
  • I’ll post a blog a day on this here site, every day of the year.
  • I’ll organize an event a month for friends, likely a party or outing.
  • I’m going to sing no song more than once for karaoke all year, while trying to maintain how much I go right now (~1/week). Thanks Amanda for the inspiration!
  • The aforementioned person-to-person resolutions.

Should be a fun year!

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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: Resolutions 5

Today was a pretty incredible day, even though it feels like I didn’t actually accomplish very much.  I went to pick up a new awesome beanbag chair – a huge one! – through a series of sunny snowshowers, which was surreal.  I also managed to get my new Dance Pad set up with StepMania (the open source version of DDR, thanks Nate and Sam!) along with the old DDR song mixes from the PS2 that Todd and I used to work out to… so the circle is complete!

Onward, to finish up these resolutions!

9. Travel to one of {mainland Asia, Australia, sub-Saharan Africa}.

Hrm.  Well, if I had indeed done any sort of planning on this one beyond simple thought, I might give myself some credit, but the sad truth is that I didn’t.  I got a little wrapped up in other travel this year – Los Angeles, San Francisco, Florida/Grand Cayman/Jamaica, San Juan, Amsterdam, Minneapolis, Madison – that I didn’t really ever have the presence of mind to plan out a trip to Asia/Australia/Africa.  This is still a long-term goal of mine, as I love traveling to new places, so I may see what I can do planning-wise next year.  Overall, major failure. :(

10. Stress less.

This one is super difficult to evaluate – am I less stressed now than I was in past years?  In my work, yes, I think so.  Even though I am often busier in my new role as game designer, I am happier and managing it better.  In my social life, it’s kind of a push – I have a lot of great folk I see, but I stress sometimes because of awkwardness among friend groups or because I just don’t have enough energy or time to see them all.  I stressed quite a bit about women this year, but I wouldn’t say that’s particularly different than other years. 😀  Overall, I’ll give this the barest of minor successes.  I have a ways to go, but I have started along the path to more stress-free living.

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Year in Review: Resolutions 4

Mike and I were just having a conversation about my blog for the year (and how he has been a loyal reader!) when I told him my post about him on 9/1 was the most popular this year.  That of course led him to promote it on FB and Twitter. :)  In the meantime, time to get this series on my prior resolutions finished so we can move on to (specific) resolutions for next year!

7. Go out (as in, social activity outside my normal friend circles) at least three times a month.

I didn’t plan it exactly, but I ended up going out about three times on average to karaoke once the year got rolling, and about once a week on average over the weekend to… something new.  Of the social activities I participated in this year, my favorites were my friend Amy’s performance in Belltown, The Stranger’s Hump (amateur porn film festival) and Event & Adventures’ outing to Comedy Underground with Dhuse and Emily.  Overall, I’m going to give myself a minor success, because although I didn’t exactly go “outside my normal friend circles,” I did strengthen and build quite a few friendships anyway!

8. Study some physics books and take two GRE Physics practice tests – receiving a better score on the latter!

Oof.  I totally bailed on this one.  Physics does still really interest me, and it really bugs me when conversations come up at work that I should be able to contribute to in a scientifically-minded way but can’t because all of my previous knowledge has leaked out.  This goal was probably too ambitious anyway – I should start with a refresher course if I start back into Physics, because the ordered, structured and most importantly *scheduled* activity will be a good starting point.  Overall, major failure! 😛

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Year in Review: Resolutions 3

I’ve been trying to kickstart this coding project I’ve been meaning to do, but man, the tedium of data access is really bogging me down.  I will probably switch to game designs tomorrow, although tomorrow might be JAM PACKED with ADVENTURE.  We’ll see!

5. Host three different out-of-town friends (or friend-couples) at my place for at least two days each.

Although I have once again spent some of the year taking friends up on offers to stay with them or at least come hang out with them, I was not successful in my plan to get some of them to come out here and stay with me at Casa de Guskin.  Looking back, this was kind of a bad year for friends to visit me in Seattle – not only did I end up doing a ton of travel for work, but I “canceled” our standing PAX plan by going to Amsterdam and I probably levied pressure to visit at my busiest friends – in hindsight, not the greatest plan to acquire visitors!  Overall, moderate failure.

6. Create a pros/cons document for each reasonable career path I could take.

This one is interesting – over the course of the year, I had a pretty major career shift from web developer to game designer (although I was tending toward game-designy projects while still a programmer).  I did spend time categorizing both of those potential career paths, but I didn’t treat a number of others – return to laboratory science, law, some other business role (like entrepreneur).  Still, I did manage to spend a fair bit of thought on this one in the course of making my career change.  Overall, minor success!

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Year in Review: Resolutions 2

This vacation has been nice and relaxing so far, but I don’t feel like I’m getting anything done, exactly.  Which is an odd feeling to have on a vacation, but still.   I have been trying to finish World of Goo, which I have hilariously owned for a while courtesy Sam, but got stuck and left it (not wanting to get overly frustrated by it), and may move on to other video games after that.  I have two games to design and a project to code – I just need to get myself back into a regular “work at home” schedule!

3. Exercise three times a week.

Unfortunately, exercise is one routine I never really got myself back into, and it shows.  I feel pretty out of shape, have for a while, and haven’t been able to consistently get myself to the gym or any sort of reasonable workout ethic.  Over the past year, I have re-started workouts in fits and starts, but never more than twice in a week and often with many weeks skipped.  I *do* have this new DDR workout program going – five days in a row now! – so that’s been helping, but still, mission unsuccessful.  Overall: minor failure.

4. Prepare food for myself at least seven times a week (counting breakfast).

Interestingly, both resolutions today are ones I have been doing much much better at over this holiday break!  I would say that over the course of the year, just like exercise, I have attempted to cook for myself in short runs, and done okay at it.  Especially over the latter half of the year, I have been failing at this goal, but within the last week I have already prepared myself a good 12 meals or so!  So this one is looking up, but I won’t exactly make up the shortfall by year end. :)  Again, getting into an automatic routine never happened with food prep at home.  Overall: another minor failure.

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Year in Review: Resolutions 1

I kind of ran out of new resolutions to make, so we’ll leave it at an awkward 23.  As I mentioned before, I don’t think I’ll be doing ALL of them, but I do intend to pick a few to start with by the start of the new year.  So, how did this past year’s resolutions go?  Not particularly well, honestly.  I’ll be evaluating myself on them over the course of the next few days.  Luckily, today is thumbs up for me!

1. Write one blog entry a day.

I think I nailed this one.  Although there were some days I posted late (the cruise, work trips where I forgot, etc.), the record shows I do indeed have a blog per day for the year to date.  More than that, I really feel like I wasn’t making excuses-for-blogs, and I felt like I connected with the correct part of my mind in terms of lettings my thoughts and feelings out onto the page.  If you were to tell me at the start of the year how detailed and widely-varied my topics in this blog were going to be, and how open I ended up being in it, I would not have believed you.  Overall, major success!

2. Spend five hours each week on personal “side projects” – websites, games, etc.

On average, I think I have been spending more like two per week, and I haven’t really completed anything.  I think the biggest problem with this goal is that although it is measurable, it is not appropriate – I think I would have been much better served choosing a side project and resolving to complete it.  When I made Breeze, I definitely felt like the primary motivator of completing it so others could use it worked very well for pushing me forward.  Overall, minor success (I did contribute to this resolution, after all) with an eye toward re-statement in the future!

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