New Year’s Resolution

What’s your New Year’s Resolution? Is it to lose weight? To eat healthier? To exercise more? To practice the guitar more? To be nicer to the people I care about? To work harder? To be a better person?

Sure, all of that. Also, none of that, really.

My New Year’s Resolution for 2021: Get two doses of a Covid-19 vaccine and make sure my family gets them too.

Simple.

Self Improvement

Today we’re discussing self improvement.  Things to do to better oneself.

Did that sound like I was coming back from a commercial break during a morning talk show?  Hehe… still got it.

Anyway.  It’s technically too late to start thinking about new years resolutions, but I have a bunch of things I want to accomplish in 2015.  Some I’ve already mentioned here.

I want to discover new music.  I want to find some new bands to fuss over.  I’ve been using a combination of Google and (I am so sorry about this next one) Spotify.  <sigh>  I use Google to find things like album reviews and if I find something that sounds interesting I check Spotify to see if the album is available there.  If not I try Bandcamp.  So far I have found everyone that I’ve looked for in one of those (and sometimes both) places.  If I like what I hear I bookmark the band.  If a record appeals to me strongly enough I’ll buy it somewhere.  Check out Krill (from Boston, thank you), The Hold Steady, and (best name ever) …And You Will Know Us By the Trail of Dead.

The second project, or series of projects, is more or less the same as last year.  I want to write music and record demos,  Nothing new there, just probably not as year ’round as last year.  I want to do RPM Challenge and FAWM in February, 50/90 from July through September, and NaSoAlMo in November.  I want to keep writing and recording for the rest of the year as well, just maybe not so often or as structured as last year.  If I’m in the mood or something comes to me, I’ll work it out.  I would like to get the band to play at least a couple of new songs, and while I don’t have the means to pull it off right now I would kind of like to get them to record a song or two as well.  I am trying to figure out the logistics of that.  It will require some equipment upgrades.  While we’re on the subject of the band, I also want to gig.  I want to go to a bar and play for 3-4 hours without dying of exhaustion (I’m a lot older than I was the last time I played a bar) or being crippled by cramps in my hands (I’m a lot older than I was the last time I played a bar).  It’s all definitely doable.

Third.  We have a bookcase in the living room.  One shelf is dedicated to text books and user manuals for all sorts of technology.  At one end of the shelf sits two related books.  One on programming in Ruby.  The other on programming in Rails.  Ever since the new year started I’ve been looking at those books and feeling a little depressed.  My job title might have the word programmer in it, but I am by no means a programmer anymore.  I’m not sure I’ve really been a programmer at any time since I graduated from UMass Lowell.  I even have doubts about then.  I want to be a programmer.  Maybe not a proficient programmer, but when someone asks me if I know how to make something happen on the web I want to honestly be able to say yes.  Ruby on Rails was my first thought, but now I am thinking that it’s pretty pathetic how little I know about Javascript.  I did a little work there when I was in college, but almost all of it is gone from my head.  If I want to play with Javascript again I should really brush up on HTML and CSS.  I know squat about CSS.  Again, we touched on it in GUI I class during my second to last semester in Lowell, but I retained exactly none of it.  So this year I want to learn, or re-learn, how to make things happen in a browser.  Getting a little bit of Javascript skill is the first goal.  If I can nail that down maybe I’ll go back to thinking about Ruby.  We’ll see.

Fourth.  I want to read.  What the hell happened to me?  10 years ago I didn’t watch any television.  Well, I watched sports and I watched movies on TV, but I didn’t watch any television series.  While normal people were watching the tube I was reading.  Now?  While normal people are watching the tube I’m watching TV shows on my iPad.  I want to read more, the way I used to.  I have a stack of books, two are literally inches away from my left had as I sit and type this, but I just never get around to reading anything anymore.  I listen to books on tape in the car during my ridiculously long commutes, and that’s fine and all, but I want to actually read more.  Granted, while music challenges are under way the time I would have spent reading is spent noodling out bass and drum grooves on GarageBand.  I’ll have to work out some sort of schedule or something.

There are other things as well, but they are not necessarily goal orientated.  I want to travel.  Hell, I live in New England which is arguably the most beautiful region of these United States (please don’t argue with the Masshole).  I want to see more of it.  I want to pack the family into the car and go see stuff.  Not just New England, but everywhere.  San Diego is always calling to me, but so are a hundred other places just in the US alone.  Don’t even get me started about Europe!  I want to be a better photographer.  I want to learn more about not only how the camera works, but why it works and I want to learn about post-processing.  All of that is fascinating to me, not to mention oodles of fun.  I can use all of the traveling I want to do as an excuse to practice photography!  How about that!

In summary, it’s a new year.  I want 2015 to be a landmark for me.  I want to accomplish a whole slew of new things.  I want to be a better person.  I want to be a better husband.  I want to be a better step father.  I want to be thinner!  You didn’t think I was going to forget about that one, did you?  33 pounds down and about 180 more to go!

As always, I’ll keep everyone informed.