What a forking year that was. I’m usually pretty upbeat when the new year comes around, but I’ll be honest – 2017 really did knock the wind of us.
One of the first things we did this year was go to the Oakland Women’s March as a family, because this country felt broken. The truth, of course, if you listen, is that this country has always been broken – that it, in many ways, was built on a rotten foundation. But for us, amidst this swirl of resistance, the story of surviving this year to forge a better future was shattered when Katie’s dad passed away in March.
Welcome to 2017! It’s time to take stock. Look at all this stock. Let’s take it.
In 2016, aside from the celebrity deaths and political quagmire, what happened personally? (We’ll set aside for now how politics felt more personal this past year than they have in a long time.) Well, Cecily emerged from her super-shy stage and now will start talking your ear off if you come visit. Simon has taken to fancy clothing – we got him a button-up white shirt and suit jacket that he wears more often than not – and has started to have to deal with some real schoolin’ in first grade. Katie and I visited Chicago and Hawaii this year, along with driving up to Portland overnight one weekend. We celebrated 10 years of marriage. Katie jumped out a window. What a year.
It’s almost 2016. Cecily celebrated with a Netflix Care Bears countdown, Simon with a 30 second Force Awakens TV spot, and I with a 9 PM livestream from New York City. Now it’s time to sit in bed, watch Insurgent on HBO GO, and reflect on my triumphs and failures from the past year.
This was the year that Cecily started preschool, meaning there is a time when both of my kids are in the care of adults other than my wife, which is both fantastic and terrifying. This was the year that I listened to Hamilton and my world turned upside down. This was the year that Star Wars won the marketing and hype battle for everything. This was the year that was.
Happy 2015! What a year it’s been. My children continue to grow – too quickly it feels. Simon and Cecily are both in some of preschool program now. Simon begins actual real live kindergarten in 2015, Cecily is able to sing several verses of Frozen songs, and I am wondering how much longer I can fool them into thinking that I’m cool.
Katie had an exciting year, too, punctuated by her appendix bursting on or around her birthday.
Now, quickly, before the champagne gets flat, let’s look at this past year through the lens of a few rash resolutions I made 365 days ago.
- Balance the family budget.
50% success. I got budgeting software early in the year to do this, and I didn’t keep up with it all year, but our finances changed such that we came out in the black in our annual report.
- Brush up on programming enough to make a little game or project.
Massive failure! Didn’t brush up. Didn’t make. I did some thinking about this, but no doing. Sad trombone.
- Read a dozen books. This is my year, I feel it.
Not quite, but better than last year. I think I got 7 this year, which is more than halfway there.
- Never yell at Simon. Not once.
Failure. This one’s really hard for me. I love my son, but boy does he know how to get my goat more than anyone else I’ve ever known. I should be better at this. I need to be better at this.
So that’s that. If we count the two half victories, I can give myself a generous 0.250 batting percentage. What about this year? Can we cross 0.300 and become a decent contact hitter?
- Make 2 Twine Projects/Games – the interactive fiction system, not the material
- Read 10 Books – a lesser goal, but still more than I’ve been reading
- Get Abs – not like rock hard ones, but existent ones
- Continue Roll the Dai – don’t stop believing
- Count to 10 – before responding to my child’s behavior if I feel angry, unless of course, they’re like falling off a cliff, in which case catch them and then count to 10
Those all seem doable, right? I mean, maybe not the abs. All right all right all right list of stuff time. Hit me up on any social network except LinkedIn if you want to discuss or take umbrage to any of these.
Best Movie I Saw in Theaters: Big Hero 6
Best Movie I Saw in Theaters with Singing: Into the Woods
Best Movie I Saw in Theaters and Then Again and Again at Home: The LEGO Movie
Best Movie I Saw Because I’m an EA Employee: Need for Speed
Best Movie I Saw Because I’m Friends with Brain Kaiser: Transformers: Age of Extinction
Best Movie I Saw in a Plane Over the Pacific Ocean: The Grand Budapest Hotel
Best Movie I Saw Randomly on Netflix: In Bruges
Best TV Show (New): True Detective
Best TV Show (Old): Parks and Recreation
Best TV Show That Was Obviously Going to Get Canceled: Selfie
Best TV Show We Ended Up Watching Tons of on Netflix: Once Upon a Time
Best TV Show Second Season We Probably Should Be Watching Instead: House of Cards
Best TV Show Second Season We Actually Did Watch: Orange is the New Black
Best TV Show I’ve Been Meaning to Get Around to Watching: Jane the Virgin
Best TV Show Katie Watches Without Me Because I Got Bored of It: How to Get Away with Murder
Best TV Show to Keep Simon Entertained for Hours: Wild Kratts
Best Young Adult Book I Read: Wonder by R. J. Palacio
Best Book I Finally Read So I Can Finally Watch Season 1 Spoiler-Free: Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin
Best Literally the Only Music Album I Bought All Year: Taylor Swift, 1989
Best AAA Game: Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor
Best Indie Game: Hexcells Infinite
Best Indie Game Post-Launch Update: Goat MMO Simulator
Best EA Game I Helped Make: The Sims 4
Best EA Game I Didn’t Help Make: Plants vs Zombies: Garden Warfare
Best Game Where I Can Kind Of Be The Monkey King: Enslaved: Odyssey to the West
Best UGT Game: Mount Your Friends
Best Game According to Simon: Cat Mario (aka Super Mario 3D Land)
Best Singer of For the First Time in Forever: Cecily
Best Superhero Colorer: Simon
And keep your ears open for a special Scott Dai 2014 Podcast Roundup, which should appear on this very blog (and potentially various social networks other than LinkedIn) in audio form in a few days, once our main computer downstairs has a new power supply and is up and running again.
One midnight gone!
(See you next year.)