New Year’s best illusions

4 01 2011

It’s the beginning of 2011 and time to make New Year’s resolutions. While I sort of cringe at the thought of caving in to “year pressure,” I mostly kept my resolutions from 2010, and it helps to think ahead, so why not? This year is a whole different ball game than last year. FIrst, it’s a milestone year. My fifth anniversary at work is in May, and I’ll be attending my 10-year high school reunion in the fall. So, I’m naturally thinking about my life right now. Also interestingly, people I know are moving around left and right, thinking about their futures, building their families and relocating to different states or even countries. 2011 may be the most mobile year in recent memory; while I’m not planning any big moves at the moment, watching everyone do this to themselves despite (or because of) the rough economy is sort of a wake-up call for me to assess where I currently stand and make any needed improvements — big or small.

I’ve tried to come up with a list of things that are both easy to do and hard to master. In other words, I can dabble and succeed, or I can really delve in and take it and run with it. Maybe I won’t keep these resolutions, but thinking about the things I want to do is probably the best step in actually making them happen. Hopefully I’ll turn back to this list and try to make it happen, and hopefully I’ll be inspired to take on and achieve even more cooler things this year.

Here’s my somewhat banal-but-important list of 13 things for 2011:

1. Get my thoughts on real and digital paper. Writing is what I do best, and if I don’t actually write, I won’t get any better at it. Write at least one poem per day, even if it’s a silly haiku about wikipedia. Dream up storylines and explore the human condition through the power of the written word.

2. Read more of everything — eat a more balanced media diet. I hate buying paper books, but I’m kind of addicted to eBooks, so maybe getting a reader is in order. Allow the inner geek out to play, and investigate comics and films in that vein.

3. Blog more. Tumble often. Sign up for tons of sites that I never use, and find out why I keep coming back to the few that I do. Continue to explore online communities and the management challenges therein. Find out what the creative types are up to, and get to know them. Maybe meet up with some community organizations.

4. Shoot and edit more video outside work, even if it sucks; experiment and go crazy. Doing a video project can be very intimidating because it’s hard to do it really well, but as they used to say in the Arizona Lottery, you can’t win if you don’t play.

5. Play more music, even if it’s just GarageBand. Better if it’s something I do on an instrument. Pick up the clarinet every now and then, and then obtain a guitar or keyboard that I could potentially hook up to my computer. I have a decent keyboard at home, but it’s too big to take back with me.

6. Try to shoot at least one photo per day; preferably of but not limited to hat wear. Finish the 365 hats project from 2010 and carry it forward into 2011 in all its, um, glory.

7. Educate myself informally and perhaps even formally — educational resolutions might even be their own category in and of themselves. This is really something that I started in 2010 but want to continue. Expand my vocabulary, and continue to read up on world history. Learn about the city of Atlanta and the southern region; and even though it’s sometimes depressing, read the local news and try to feel like a part of the community. If I was a community reporter in this town, like maybe working for the college paper or something, what would I report on? Reconnect with my alma mater and catch up with former classmates, which I’m traditionally pretty horrible at. Figure out where I stand on furthering my education, and maybe take a class or so. Keep up with sports, music, languages, the cosmos and humanity’s Big Questions.

8. This is kind of cheating as a resolution, but there’s something to be said for setting goals you can keep: Travel to new places this year as well as old favorites. Do the midwest and SoCal in July. Maybe go to Europe in the fall. Hopefully make it out to the mid-Atlantic again this year, and maybe do the Northwest and New England, which are both kind of mysterious to me. Could a trip to Austin also be worthwhile this year? What about Disney World and Miami? Any good day treeps in Georgia? And of course, head out to the American west.

9. Eat more nutritious foods and fresh fruits and vegetables. Order the healthy stuff when eating out, and rely less on frozen dinners. Fire up the stove once a week. Keep my calorie counts within daily recommended limits. Alcohol in moderation as always.

10. Pay attention to my physical being. Work on exercise and balance, and defeat arthritis. Just a little a day goes a long way. Refresh my wardrobe and replace things that have overstayed their welcome in my closet.

11. Nurture an optimistic spirit and ignore negativity as best as possible. Try to be more forgiving and less judgmental of other people’s foibles and quirks and occasional self-absorption. Continue to work on understanding my fellow human beings, socializing more and feeling less anxiety in unfamiliar or uncomfortable situations. If we all listened better and raged less, the world would be a better place.

12. Become geographically independent. Knock off the Atlanta must-do’s list; eat a Ghetto Burger for God’s sake. Feel at home wherever I am. Live in the present and make my apartment feel like a place I want to come home to. At the same time, dabble in other geographies and try to understand where people who prefer tree-infested landscapes over the desert are coming from.

13. Get more wheels and rolling things in my life, from cars to bikes to balls. Do trains have wheels? Planes do. Actually, this might be the first thing to tackle out of the whole list, perhaps Priority Numero Uno. I’ll get started on that right away.

I think that rounds it up. The Lucky 13. Here’s to an awesome year.

Advertisements




2010: Re#hashed with 365 hats

31 12 2010


Hiking the butte!

Originally uploaded by N-Sai

It’s almost 5 a.m. on the last day of the year 2010. I just got up super early to take one last “365 hats in 2010” photo and celebrate a year well done. I didn’t stick with the “one hat per day” plan entirely, but then again, I did still manage to keep the concept going all year in spirit if not in exactitude.

When I set out, the goal was to challenge myself to think creatively. This was certainly the case. In terms of sticking with a goal, improvising with what you have, and having fun over the course of a year, this project satisfied its original criteria. Some of the “hats” aren’t really hats, just things I fashioned out of household objects. Some of them are folded or handmade hats. Others are hats adapted into new hats.

If you’re reading this, I’d encourage you to take a moment and peruse the now 365 images that populate the Picasa photo gallery that was set up to hold the photos. They kinda give you an idea of what happened this year. A lot of my personal milestones and big vacations, and even news events, were strangely enough best described by using hats. Here’s a rundown of what the hats can tell you about this year’s biggest events and surprises:

It was strangely reassuring for me to know that every day would have a photo associated with it, good or bad, and that there would always be more days and more hats. Some pictures were taken in different locations or with different backgrounds, my hair changed length, etcetera.

In a couple instances you’ll note a hat appears multiple times. An order of two separate hats ended up being an order of two identical pink hats, so they appear together in the shots. Also, I lost my purple hat twice, so it appears three times throughout the snapshots.

Also, there are a couple shots in there of friends, coworkers, random people and a cat. The goal, again, was to have fun, and I thought a few surprises here and there wouldn’t hurt.

Since I’m on vacation and doing the holiday thing, I’m not going to go into extreme detail for this little year in review. But I just want you, dear reader, to know that it’s been a pretty great year and I get a little wistful thinking about all the things that have happened this past year. A lot of it’s been really good, with only a few little bumps in between. Hopefully 2011 will be even better.





Looking back on 2008

22 12 2008


Too high

Originally uploaded by N-Sai

The Year that Was was certainly an interesting one. Submitted for evidence:

* Snow in January
* Bought my new MacBook, which was my first-ever Apple purchase
* Major tornado sweeps us up during our Pi Day party, March 14
* My 25th birthday
* Travel to Vancouver in June, where I met my grandmother and aunt for the first time ever
* Rainn Wilson, you know, Dwight Schrute, in the newsroom in the middle of July
* Went to San Diego in August and gawked at seals. We stayed at a beachside hotel, which was fun. It would be the first of two trips to California this year (and in a couple of months).
* Moved twice, first to a cockroach-infested studio on the lowest floor of a high-rise (I’m told that’s been fixed, but it’s by the trash chute) and then to a lovely but expensive place a few blocks away.
* Got my first credit card and went through a bunch of snafus with my utilities and lost a lot of money, but I’m earning it back.
* In October, I visited New York for the presidential debate at Hofstra University and then went to the JMMF reunion in Beverly Hills, where we ran into Kato. That Kato.
* Learned to edit videos in Final Cut and got promoted at work, which was cool.
* In November, I voted in a historic election and got a peachy sticker
* In December, I traveled to Arizona twice and did numerous “year in reviews” including this one and one for work.

Whew! Busy!