take it with no shame

Posted on Wednesday 30 December 2009

sense :: hearing // U.N.K.L.E. – Bloodstain

nekomimi 2009

Thanks in no small part to Rae, I’ve been diving back through my back collection of CDs, finding music that I haven’t listened to in a while. When I was in New York and at her house, she played U.N.K.L.E.‘s Lonely Soul, and when I started marveling at it she mentioned it was on a soundtrack and she liked it, but hadn’t heard the rest of the album. So…we took care of that. U.N.K.L.E.’s Psyence Fiction is one of those storytelling albums that you absolutely have to hear at least once from start to finish, starting from the first track all the way through to the outro track at the end – the narrative of the songs is really amazing, and some of the short tracks in between some of the longer ones are fun to hear as well. Between that and The Avalanches, she and Alms have a tendency to stumble on really awesome bands completely by accident.

Speaking of whom, since I’ll doubtlessly be busy this weekend with New Years festivities, I figured I would take care of my annual look back and reflection ritual a little earlier rather than later. Usually I wait until sometime in January to really start thinking about the things I want to do with the coming year, but I think this year I have some pretty strong ideas of the things I’d like to work towards and the things I’d like to do. Let’s take a look back to this time last year, shall we?

A lot has obviously changed between the time I wrote that post and now, but most of my goals and desires haven’t. (Can you believe my beloved Deneb, the computer I was building at that very moment, is a year old now? Sheesh – it feels like it was just yesterday I was reading all about the new hotness in processors and video cards and making tentative decisions on the components I wanted to install in her that Christmas.) So here’s what I wanted to do and how I did:

Media //

** Rebuild my home theatre/media computer (Polaris) with more storage. This will allow me to rip and store more music and movies easily, and back up our main computers to it!
So this one came kind of inadvertantly! Polaris is powered down now and Orion is my new home server/theatre computer, and he’s stuffed with four 1TB hard drives and a 250GB drive for the OS and applications. And good thing, too – I’ve been collecting video podcasts and other various video downloads! I’m glad for the space, now I just have to figure out how to get the video to the TV over something other than s-video. Maybe I should pick up a new video card that supports HDMI, now that I have a shiny new TV. No rush here though!

** Figure out an easy way to digitize VHS tapes before they disintegrate.
Ugh – I still need to do this. I have tons of VHS tapes still, and I’d really like to get them in a format I can back up or even take around with me when I travel. I’ll try for this one this year!

Personal //

** Take more pictures. (partially so I dont have to start every post with a picture from Lucky Star) When Photowerks seemed to die, I stopped taking and uploading photos. Photowerks is fine now, let’s put it back to good use!
I’ve actually really nailed this one, it’s just not been in the way I thought it would be! I thought I would start taking lots of photo galleries of trips and such and uploading them to Photowerks, which I did for a few outings, but I’ve been making use of Lorelei Complex (my moblog) much more than I thought I would! In fact, all of the photos from my trip to New York City are up there!

** Do more for myself on weekends than sleep. It’s so easy to get into the mindset that the weekends are for relaxing and getting away from the stresses of the week; which is true, but that relaxing doesn’t have to always entail sleeping in super-late and lounging around. At least not all the time.
This one actually was kind of reactive to some behaviors I was indulging in around the turn of the year, and I would say that with some of the major life changes that came early in 2009, this was all but wiped away. My weekends are still chill-and-relax times when I’m not traveling or something, but they’re also times for housekeeping and tidying, laundry and cooking, and often staying up late with some ideas in my head and a glass of wine. I’m definitely over this one, happily.

** Experiment more. See strange places, visit wierd and new things in my backyard, try strange foods and restaurants – I’d like to branch out a bit. I keep hearing from people who live in my area about restaurants I’ve never seen. I’d like to try some of them.
If I had to rate this one on a scale of 1 to 10, I’d give myself an 8.5 or a 9 on this one having knocked it out of the park. It took a lot of changes to get me where I am now, but especially in the latter part of the year I’ve been making plans and getting out of my comfort zone. Traveling to New York and back twice, headed to Vegas for CES next week (good lord it really is next week), deciding to go through with Otakon earlier in the year…it’s all been pretty amazing, and even though it’s forced me to peel back some of the layers of my comfort zone and my semi-hermit nature, I’m glad for it. The only thing I’d like to do a little more of is trying some new restaurants in the area. I live in a different place than I did when I made this resolution, so I have a whole spate of new eateries to try!

** Revive Before I Sleep. I all but forgot about it around the middle of the year, and I want to follow through on those lists, and come up with more.
Hmm. I keep stopping and starting on this one because that list is over at Aeria Gloris (my livejournal). I made a little inadvertent progress on this one, but not a ton. I’m not going to hold myself strictly to that, but I’m kidding myself if I don’t admit there’s a lot on that list that I really want to accomplish, even if they’re actually really small and quick little things I can do for myself.

Well then! I made more progress this year than I thought I would. I actually made some other serious changes this past year that I think reflect really well on my personal goals: I update all of my blogs at least once a week, and put them all on an update schedule that I strive to keep. I’ve been doing that for a couple of months now and it seems to be working out really well. I’ve been making a point (just like I mentioned above) to travel more and see the people I love who don’t necessarily live within arms reach of me. I’ve been doing more personally and spiritually enriching things: indulging in more music, spending time at my turntables, posting my mixes for the world to hear, doing more reading of both books that make me think and manga that make me feel good, watching more movies and making use of my Netflix subscription, reconnecting with old friends, and so on. It’s been a delightful change, and as negative as the impetus for all of those changes may have been, if there’s anything that’s true, it’s that there’s something in my blood that burns and churns to take bad things that happen to me and turn them into something good.

So let’s look forward to 2010 and see what I can do this year, shall we? As well as keeping up the momentum on the things I’ve been doing (taking pictures, traveling, ripping music and movies, etc) what else can I do?

Media //

** Digitize those damned VHS tapes! – Even if I have to buy a stupid USB VCR, I’ve got to do something; I’ve moved a bunch of my tapes several times, and I wonder how much more they can take.

** Get back to ripping CDs – I fell off the wagon a little here when I moved, so I have a lot of music ripped but there’s even more that’s not…and I’d probably listen to a lot of my older stuff if it were digitized, not to mention use the mp3s in some of the vinyl mixes I’ve been spinning.

Personal //

** Keep Experimenting! – Don’t let up on your traveling, don’t let up on trying new things, and find some new interesting places to eat…and people to eat with!

** Revive Before I Sleep – Time to look harder at this; some of the items are obviously harder than others (catch and gut and cook my own fish? really?) but some of them are pretty easy things I’ve always wanted to do.

** Keep Writing – One of the biggest changes I made this year was to focus on my writing, and through all of the writing I do I’ve met so many amazing people: World of Warcraft players, technology writers and pundits, wine and liquor lovers, and all around classy people. I have so many blogs on so many different topics, I want to keep that up.

** Continue exercising; losing weight – My DDR workouts have already helped me shed about 30 pounds, and I’d like to keep up that momentum. The holidays had me stumbling a little bit, but I’d like to get back on the pads and keep up the workout. Eventually I may even pull the workout clothes I already put in the trunk of the car out and use the gym at the office!

I think those are pretty good, don’t you? All doable, all reasonable. I was going to toss in a little something about making sure to treat myself to more media like music and movies and books every now and again, but I don’t think I’ll have a problem doing that – I’ve never had an issue making sure I had something shiny when I wanted it, but I’d like to be a little more targeted in the coming months, remembering to get albums from artists I already love as well as spontaneously picking up one from someone I just discovered, buying manga I’ve been meaning to read as well as titles I’ve been keeping up with, stuff like that. I’ll consider that a reminder, not so much a resolution.

Anyway, here’s to a happy conclusion of 2009 for all of you. The year started out well, hit some turbulence early on, but emerged pretty strongly and has turned into an amazing year. Here’s to keeping up the momentum, and to great things in 2010!

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